The Mr. Nice Guy Show Blog

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My thoughts on what's goin' on in the world,

just like years ago on the radio.

Saturday, March 01, 2003

How's the Weather?

When did it become the job of the weather forecaster to scare us???

It's been a very long, rough winter throughout the country. Even in the mild ones we've had in recent years, though, I've noticed that TV weatherman (still predominantly a male field, but the women are just as guilty) don't just report and predict the weather, they try to terrify us with it.

The slightest possiblilty of any precip is exaggerated. A dusting of snow is made to sound like it could have us trapped indoors for days. They'll break into regularly scheduled programming to show us the radar and even have a map up in the corner of the screen for an entire sitcom - and even worse these days - during a "reality" show, sometimes getting in the way of the face of someone we desperately want to watch degrade himself and all humankind.

The Fox network's probably the worst at this. Their Memphis station loves to do this; same here in this city. Everyone's copying them on it: even the National Weather Service forecasts in print and on the Web seem to accentuate the scary and negative. Maybe the forecasters there figure doing that will get them entree into TV, where the real money and glory are.

It wasn't always this way. Years ago, when he was on channel 3 in Syracuse, Dennis Bowman used to work with a puppet called Chester Drawers. Weather people would be happy and make us smile. Fewer rating points in that, I guess.



Who the hell is Ben Affleck...and why should we care about him?


Tuesday, February 25, 2003


Norah Jones won big - real big - at the Grammy Awards the other night.

She's a very beautiful, talented, classicaly-trained musician with a degree from the University of North Texas (where they also have a library school) and is [as many of us just found out] the daughter of Ravi Shankar, India's most popular musical talent and a 60s era celeb in this country.

When I first heard Don't Know Why, I was mesmerized just like most people. It was so different, so beautiful. I quick bought the CD and remember listening to it in the car last summer on the way from here to Buffalo, a nine-hour drive wherein you remember everything. What I also remember was that the rest of the CD was really no big deal. Just kinda dry, routine acoustic stuff.

I'm gonna agree with Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly, who says that at Sunday's Grammies, Jones was "terribly over-rewarded."

The Grammies have been under fire for years for being too stodgy and behind the times. You don't fix that by giving Bruce Springsteen an award. But then why would you call on a nervous, old, uncomfotable, un-cool Dustin Hoffman to start off the show...and pronounce the name of a legend "Sprinsgstreet?"

Avril Lavigne deserved something. Others did, too.
My hunch is that Norah will be a one-hit-wonder. Sheryl Crow she ain't.
My hunch is that the Grammies and other award shows - which I haven't even watched a minute of in years - will continue to annoy and feed our silly worship of celebrity, when God's the much better choice.

Music has an important place in our lives. It takes us to wondrous places and makes us think and dream. Shows like the Grammies ratchet down the magic.



Ooh, it's an exciting time here in town: the semi-annual begfest at my National Public Radio station, one of three in the area.

I became a member last year, weeks after arriving in town. Before that, I was a member of the NPR affilliate in West Tennessee where I lived.

I'm not renewing this time around.
I have very, v-e-r-y mixed feelings about NPR. They are clearly the best and most intelligent, thoughtful choice on the pitiful radio dial. As a result of knowing this, they are also incredibly arrogant, pompous and full of themselves.

I keep finding more and more reasons not to give them my money:
-One reporter they have on the local station practically grunts out every story and makes a ridiculous attempt to inflect like Robert Siegal on the network. He might be the most annoying person in broadcasting.
-Read what Barry Crimmins has to say about his recent experience with NPR.
-Read how CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, evaluates NPR's coverage.

I dunno how we fix this. They shouldn't have to beg...and they shouldn't be arrogant jerks. If we funded 'em well, like the BBC in England and the CBC in Canada, would that help?