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Archive for September, 2006

Political Ads: Ted’s Accomplishment

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

Been a while since I posted. This “real world” thing takes a lot more of my time than I thought it would.

Anyway, I’ve been watching the expected political ads this time of year, and one of them really strikes me. It is one where Ted Kulongoski brags about his accomplishments while in office, probably in response to Ron Saxton’s ad that claims that Kulongoski has not had any accomplishments that anyone can think of in 10 seconds.

At one point he says “we’ve added 30,000 children to the Oregon Health Plan.”

Mr. Governor, this is not an accomplishment. What’s the real accomplishment? You have labelled 30,000 more children as poor. You have done nothing to improve the economy or number of good jobs so that there are less children and families relying on the government. Nice job, Ted!

OC Back to the Booze Release/New Year Party!

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

We’re going back to the booze!! 465 E14th Ave – 10pm Friday. Come meet the staff, discuss the new issue, and party-party with the Commentator!!

(Leeper will make sure the scrunt ratio is optimal.)

ODE Sports Section Replaced With LiveJournal Feed

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

I originally thought that yesterday’s “column” by Jeffrey Dransfeldt was an anomaly. Surely the Emerald hadn’t gotten so bad that their sports columnists will now regularly publish excerpts from their diaries rather than simply gush over local sports celebrities like Brady Leaf.

But in today’s paper, a piece by sports columnist Stefani Loh is less about sports than it is about Loh herself. What’s next? Luke Andrews on how he feels like cutting himself whenever Joey Harrington misses a read? Actually, that might be kind of entertaining.

To be fair to Loh, she actually realizes that she’s writing a column, that it will appear in print, and that a few people might read it. Dransfeldt’s piece reads like he wrote in his LiveJournal while on Valium:

I traveled to Santa Barbara and met Dallas Woodburn, a promising young writer who is the author of “3 a.m.,” a collection of short stories. Pooper Scoopers explained how it makes a quality living picking up customers’ dog poop.

Sports have a way of disguising reality. Big crowds and rivalry games overshadow everyday happenings. Arts and Living gave me perspective.

Cancer survivors described yoga’s relaxing and healing qualities. I listened to a woman whose dad committed suicide years ago on Father’s Day. She honored his memory by participating in the Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk in San Francisco last July, sponsored by the American Suicide Foundation.

I returned to Eugene two weeks ago, excited to return to sports writing, but at the same time, a better journalist with a new outlook on writing.

The only question left is how the ODE‘s designers are going to include Current Mood indicators in the layout.

BACK TO THE BOOZE

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

It’s that time again folks… the evenings get cooler, leaves change, bar revenue increases dramatically, and that new Commentator smell hovers on the breeze. Yes, it’s time for another epic Back To The Booze issue.

Brimming with great content like a perfectly pulled Guinness, this issue can not fail to entertain and enlighten. There’s a comprehensive survival guide to your time at the University of Oregon, with advice on everything from how to pick a major, to the legalities behind throwing a rager to becoming a bottom-shelf booze aficionado. As always theere is also a guide to Eugene’s best (and worst) bars. Also, Dolberg fills you in on a little thing we like to call Libertarianism. Plus breaking news on the new War On Douchebags.

Like last issue, we offer our loyal blog followers the first taste of the sweetness… and the first chance to whine about it. Look for the issue in boxes this friday, or just pick one up at the Back To The Booze Release Party this friday evening. Email ocomment@uoregon.edu for directions and legal waivers.

As always, please enjoy the Commentator responsibly.

Leading By Example

Monday, September 25th, 2006

[Via Hit & Run] The Daily Illini’s editors have decided that they’re just not competent enough to run editorials.

It is the standard of most respectable professional and college newspapers to run editorials regularly and frequently in its opinions pages. But such standards presuppose a definite utility for fulfilling the newspapers’ mission: providing fair, truthful, balanced, important, interesting and necessary information to the community they serve. Our editorials do not meet this goal and to continue publishing the editorials the way they have been would be a disservice to our readers.

Kudos to the Daily Illini’s editors for realizing their own shortcomings and quitting before embarassing themselves further. If only some other college paper had that sort of honest self-assessment, then they’d be able to give more space to the true geniuses among them.

Tabling for W.o.W. and first week back!

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

The Oregon Commentator has hit the mainstream by manning a table promoting the magazine in the EMU during the week of welcome. Come by and see us tomorrow around 12-4 and also during the entire first week of school on 13th and University. We’re selling sudsy t-shirts and passing out magazines. Also, Andy Dolberg will be debating college dem’s Ben Lenet tomorrow (Friday) at 1pm for SOS. Location to be announced later.

Did You Stop Beating Your Wife To Come Down Here?

Monday, September 18th, 2006

YouTube brings us some seriously creepy comedy gold.

Ducks Defeat Sooners, Use Up 40 Years of Officiating Karma

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

There isn’t much to say about tonight’s 34-33 win over Oklahoma other than that this was a pretty spectacular display of how terrible officiating is in the Pac-10. A quick recap:

  • Oregon did not recover the onside kick. The ball should have been given to Oklahoma since a member of the kicking team touched the ball before it had traveled ten yards. Simply put, the officials on the field made a bad call. This is pretty standard. But what was extraordinary was the replay official (who I can only assume was being held at gunpoint by someone in a Duck costume) confirming the call on the field. Had the correct call been made, Oklahoma would have had the ball and easily won the game.
  • On the second play following the onside kick recovery, a Sooner defender was called for pass interference. I can’t tell whether he actually did interfere with the Oregon receiver, but there is no question that the ball was tipped before any interference was committed. Once again, the officials on the field made a poor call. And once again, the replay official did not overturn it. This call was terrible, obviously, but it wasn’t anywhere near as crucial as the aforementioned phantom onside kick.

It’s a win. A win over a team that I extremely dislike. But it was about as ugly and tainted as one can be. The Oregon defense looked like, well, a typical Pac-10 defense. Oregon’s offense committed three turnovers. Brady Leaf was brought in for one series, presumably because Dennis Dixon didn’t have enough to worry about during the game. But it was a win, dammit. And you have to be grateful for that.
Now please, beat the living hell out of Arizona State and Cal. Please. If only for our pride.

Finally!

Friday, September 15th, 2006

Joe Scarborough joins Christopher Buckley, progeny of W.B. Jr., in calling for Republican relinquishment of one of the houses of congress. In a series of articles written for the liberal “Washington Monthly,” both call for the return to conservatism in politics. For many years there has been gnashing of teeth behind closed doors in the conservative ranks due to Bush’s spending orgy, rejection of isolationism, and blind eye to the open Mexican border. These articles may have broke open the floodgates to let frank discussion of the rift between the Republican Party and conservatives. This is necessary because conservatives have become too cozy with power and forgot that political parties are for affecting government policy – not an ideology unto themselves. Both writers make strong empirical points but Democrats may be in for a surprise. Already their candidates have been shifting right in order to win back seats, and with a Presidential win in ’08 for them, they may be faced with another leader like Clinton who was almost fully ineffective at promoting his agenda, ideology, or legacy.

Yo Ho, Yo Ho, a media critic’s life for me.

Thursday, September 7th, 2006

The Eugene Weekly’s “Letters” department, ever the forum for relevant and topical issues, has been seized with a new debate: the media’s glorification of piracy. Yes, that’s right, piracy. It all started with this, a “Monitoring the Media” column by UO Associate Professor of Journalism and Communication, Debra Merskin. Professor Merskin displays the steely nerve of the intrepid academic, cutting through the cultural clutter to confront society with its dirtiest, most inconvenient truths. And guess what? It turns out that pirates were actually really bad guys, who did really bad things, but have apparently just hired some great PR help since the 1700s.

You see, the life of a pirate was actually quite different than what is portrayed in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, or pirate costume parties. But if pirates were actually raping, pillaging, torturing and stealing (rather than say, acting quirky and hunting for treasure), how come they have become so beloved in our popular culture? Merskins answer comes from a book called Bold In Her Breeches (seriously), which she quotes as stating, “legendary … piracy has a similar eroticized thrill about conquering as that of Westerns, but to find it exciting we have to make ourselves blind to the brutality and sexist and racist attitudes that accompanied it.”

Despite the dire implications of her critique, Merskin seems resigned to simply simply acting superior about this one. “I doubt what I have written will convince anyone to take away their child’s pirate costume, halt the next community pirates’ ball or prevent anyone from seeing the latest Pirates film.” She writes, “That isn’t my goal. Instead, I ask that each of us stop and consider the source of media material and ask ourselves, “What is it I’m supposed to accept?” Our culture often becomes enamored with a romanticized version of the past that erases the truth of what happened to men, women and children at that time.” Maybe because of people like you, Professor Merskin, who feel the constant need make even the most light-hearted and entertaining topics as depressing and mundane as everything else in life. Next you’re going to tell us that despite the popularity and cheerfulness of Barney, dinosaurs were actually SAVAGE BEASTS who ate everything and were like, sooo opressive.