Happy Valentines Day!  I celebrated by thinking warm thoughts of each and every one of you.  And pan-frying some chicken livers with caramelized onions and a plum port reduction.

While many were celebrating the start of the Olympics, many others were protesting…well, I’m not exactly sure what the hell they were protesting.  I’m sure there was a point to that big gathering in downtown Vancouver the other day but, unfortunately, whatever message those in attendance were attempting to convey was trumped by the violence that broke out, with demonstrators breaking shop windows, vandalizing cars, and assaulting police officers.  According to event idiot, I mean organizer, Alissa Westergard-Thorpe, there was some property damage but “the people who committed the damage were not the ones arrested” (http://ottawa.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100213/bc_violenet_protest_100213/20100213/?hub=OttawaHome).  Yes, I’m sure that fellow reportedly nabbed wielding a bicycle chain was in the midst of fixing his ride when that crowd spontaneously formed around him.  Hope he found his bike!  Other poor, misunderstood protesters were no doubt victims of “intellectual profiling”, a practice that targets perfectly innocent imbeciles stupid enough to mask their faces in a crowd peopled by perfectly guilty imbeciles who also happen to be masking their faces.  I know, I know.  I’m sure they were only wearing masks because their skin is very sensitive and can’t take direct sunlight – and now they have to pay the price.  How unfair!  Protest idiot, uh, I mean organizer, Alissa Westergard-Thorpe refused to condemn the vandalism.  “People can choose the tactics that they like,” she said.  According to her, what went down was non-violent because no one was hurt.  So, to be clear, in her books destroying public and private property is perfectly acceptable in the name of free speech.  Which is good to know.  Thus, in the future,sould Ms. Westergard-Thorpe ever find herself the victim of a property crime, she can simply chalk it up to someone’s freedom of expression.

Well, guess all the faux-anarchists and wanna-be rebels can pack up their marbles and return to their self-loathing middle-class existences.  Until the next protest they can hijack!

Speaking of the Winter Games – echoing the Olympic spirit of friendship, dignity, and  mutual respect, Canada handed Slovakia a humiliating 18-0 ass-kicking in Women’s Hockey.  Boy, that makes me proud to be Canadian!

Hey, apparently Canada won its first gold medal on Canadian soil.  I believe it was in log-rolling or something.

Reality television is an insidious creation that appeals to the basest of human fascinations, robbing audiences of the opportunity to view far more artistic, intellectually-challenging programming.  As a writer and a producer, I am strongly opposed to it.  In principle.  Having said that – hey, who watched the series premieres of Survivor and The Amazing Race?  First off, this latest installment of Survivor may prove to be my favorite yet with some of my favorite past villains (Russell, Boston Rob, Parvati, Randy, Coach and Tyson) pitted against some of my favorite past heroes (Cirie, Amanda, Rupert and James).  I’m not at all sure why Coach is in the villain’s camp.  While admittedly annoying, he certainly sees himself as a hero and does play the part with astounding earnestness.  I don’t know.  Maybe I like him because he reminds of my cousin.  Also, not sure why Survivor’s number one villain and winner of the very first season of Survivor, Richard Hatch, wasn’t invited to participate.  And, speaking of glaring omissions, where’s perennial fan fave Ozzy?  Surely he should’ve scored an invite to the heroes’ table?

The Amazing Race, on the other hand, got off to its typically slow start.  As always, it takes me a couple of episodes to really get back into the show.  Still, the premiere offered up some entertaining instances, my fave being the guy, afraid of heights, who decides to prove his masculinity by tackling the vertigo-inducing high-wire challenge – and failing miserably on all counts.  Also, I hope someone remembers to feed those cowboys otherwise I fear they may not be long for this world.

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Taylor
Taylor

Alas Richard Hatch wasnt allowed to leave his house to participate as he is still uner house arrest!

“Richard Hatch Returns for Survivor 20?
Archa’s claims were seemingly confirmed this week when news broke that Survivor: Borneo winner (and the original reality TV villain) Richard Hatch had been asked (at the end of June) to appear on Survivor 20 as part of a special tenth anniversary season. An invitation letter to Hatch, sent by Survivor Entertainment Group, was released to the public, along with Hatch’s petition to the courts to be released from a halfway house in Pennsylvania in order to participate in the season.

The invitation letter reveals that Survivor 20 will be filming in Samoa for a period of 39 days between August 1 and September 20. This information is not surprising since it had been previously reported that, as a result of budget cuts, seasons 19 and 20 were being filmed back-to-back this summer.

Back in April, Hatch petitioned the court to serve his time in Argentina (where his husband is from), as well as to be allowed to freely travel to make an appearance on Survivor. Thus, it appears that ‘Heroes vs. Villains’ has been in the works for several months now. Hatch’s previous petition was denied, according to the judge, because “Hatch was in need of supervision, including mental health counselling” partly because he had “perjured himself extensively during the trial,” and also because Hatch had yet to pay back $400,000 in back-taxes.

Hatch’s recent petition argued that participating in Survivor 20 “[would] allow him to pay any 2000 and 2001 taxes determined to be due.” The judge, however, still denied the motion. Thus, it appears that Richard Hatch will NOT be appearing on Survivor 20 after all. “

Marsha_R
Marsha_R

I delint and defur for you and you fix chicken livers without me? And on Valentine’s Day?? I’m hurt.

susan the tartan turtle

I admit to never having watched any reality TV – although I can understand why it is so ‘watchable’.

Say hello to the pups for me. I hope that you are all not missing Ms. Brie too much.

Susan

PoorOldEdgarDerby
PoorOldEdgarDerby

I can’t always tell when you’re kidding, but last I heard Richard Hatch was thrown in jail for tax evasion. Funnily enough, it was because of the money he won on Survivor, which he assumed the network had paid the taxes on.

And don’t be so blind, Joe. Everyone knows the middle class is just a cheap ninth century forgery created by misguided Carolingians. We’re all still dirt-eating peasants, man!

Morticae
Morticae

I admit to being a proud fan of Survivor & The Amazing Race.

As for Survivor, I have many favorites! I’m very happy Rupert is back. I noticed many contestants are from Gabon though (Coach/Randy/Sugar/James/JT I think, right). Oh well.

Richard Hatch was invited, but the IRS wouldn’t let him go. They are still punishing him for not paying taxes on the million dollars he won.

The Amazing Race is hard to follow in the beginning, so many different teams and a lot of action. But they got that miss america pageant contestant on! No doubt that’ll be a hoot.

The best part had to be the painting, when that father/daughter team started painting inside somebody’s house and the people just stood there watching, wondering what the hell was going on.

jojo
jojo

Richard Hatch was invited to participate but couldn’t go because of his at-home confinment sentence (after his jail term was served) due to his tax evasion conviction. He requested to go from the judge, saying it was a “job” for him, but the judge refused it. He said all this in an interview, using the occasion to further voice his innocence of the charge.

I love Amazing Race and am so looking forward to seeing Jeff/Jordan as they were the only thing worth watching in Big Brother. They are really cute together and will be fun to watch. It seems the challenges are really tough so it should be great TV!

Lorrie
Lorrie

I thought your comment about the amazing young man Alexandre Billodau who won the gold medal was insulting. Maybe you were trying to be funny or sarcastic I’m not sure. But this young man worked very hard to get this medal and I think by you saying we won a medal in log rolling or something was not called for. He won the medal in Free Style Moguls . You should read about his bond with his brother it is truly inspiring. I know you are not a fan of having the Olympics in Vancouver but there are many young men and women from all over the world who have worked very hard to get here.

pastrygirl
pastrygirl

The mob mentality never ceases to amaze… people feel brave if they are anonymous in a crowd, especially masked – for proof see examples of the KKK and internet trolls….

My theory has always been thus: that there is a finite amount of intelligence in the universe, and it has been spread WAY too thinly.

An example would be : reality TV! Although I do like the Amazing Race, mainly for the beautiful scenery and all the wacky cultural stuff they make the contestants do. The Harlem globetrotters pair doing folk dancing, for instance!

I used to watch Survivor, but it seems like the same (non)script over and over with different players. My goal on that show would be to be the first one voted off, so I could live happily in some resort while waiting for everyone else to get eliminated since they have to isolate everybody for the entire amount of time!

Congratulations on Canada’s gold medal. It was not, in fact, log-rolling, but moose wrestling (men’s division).

wink
Lisa

Abby

I’m so happy that Canada got it’s first gold medal today. I’m not Canadian, but I was sooo happy when I found out. Congrats to all the Canadians out there!!!

Pol

‘Kay Joe, I’m done with the lint thing. I think I got it all…Joe? JOE!

Dang it, did you all go out to dinner without me?

{{grumble}}

Oh, wait. Guess that means I get to poke around the office while you’re gone! Glad I could help with the cleanup!

Janet
Janet

G’day Joe

Reality TV sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!! Give me a good ol’ action, drama, character driven, well written TV show anytime. Hey I know just the show, well three, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe.

Janet.

Janet
Janet

Oh yeah
Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi

fsmn36

LOL, men’s moguls, you mean? I’d never even heard of the sport before, but I ended up watching the big win as it was interspersed with pairs figure skating. I felt bad for the Americans who biffed it so bad, they didn’t even score their runs. sad

SG-Richard
SG-Richard

Reality TV sucks.

Also, I love your sarcastic take on the “non-violent events”.

I do have a question for you, how does one deal with crazy shippers who are obsessed to an unhealthy point with the romantic storylines of a TV show? Is it even possible or should one just resort to ignoring them?

Luis
Luis

The only Reality show I ever watched was “Fear Factor” and I stopped watching the show when they started putting celebritie’s and Playboy Bunnies on and took it away from the average Joe..I have never watched a reality show since.

annie from Fremantle
annie from Fremantle

I wonder if Ozzy isnt in it because of the rudey show he participated in before his first stint on Survivor.

Heck I didn’t look it up , or watch it..

No sirreeeee

(well not in front of my kids)

Congrats to Canada for the GOLD. I thought it was in Salmon throwing?

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

I usually get homicidal when someone throws out the “C” word when talking about a womanl. However, I admit that the same word came to mind when reading Ms. Westergarde-Thorpe’s statements. I also have come up with the hypothesis that certain people actually get an increase when a lobotomy is performed on them. I would suggest Ms.. W-T as a subject to prove my hypothesis. First, it’s idiotic to allow other groups to hook up with your own demonstration. It dilutes and confuses whatever point you are trying to make. It can lead to the non violent factions being tarred by the actions of the violent ones, who seek out such idiotic patsies. And as you pointed out, any acts against the protesters’ personal property are no longer crimes, but expressions of free speech. And that’s the one place folks like that don’t want to go. There are too many two legged wolves out there for indoor dogs like them to compete against.
Skipped Amazing Race this go round, but Survivor was fun. I’m wondering how the labelling of one group as villians and one as heroes will drive the actions of the players. Certainly it seems the inhibitions of the villians was lowered when it came to causing injuries to the other side. A half dozen more dislocated shoulders, and they have a free run at dominating after the merge.
Couldn’t run the video attached to the article; Canada only came up on the screen. Guess I can find it elsewhere. Do hope you’re enjoying your Olympics enforced hiatus,m and that in between playing host and tour guide you make some progress on that outline we all volunteered to assist you with..

scarym
scarym

Hey.

The only reality shows I watch are on the Discovery channel. : )

I love Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe. Now there are so real people working hard for a living. Mike Rowe isn’t bad to watch either. ; )

Airelle
Airelle

Joe, thanks for entertaining me this morning,always get a chuckle out of your blog. but livers,,,maybe. Not watching the olympics or your tv shows, did go to the Daytona 500 yesterday and nearly froze it off, especially after the first red flag of way over an hour,,had to get my souvenirs and head for the warmth of the car home, yeah I know true race fan, actually my first ever race and it was great, if it wasn’t so dang (non-typical FL)cold. But congrats to all the drivers and winners for making it thru, and safely… Fun, I would certainly do it again.
Hope you had a wonderful valentines and enjoy your nice clean house. good luck with the comics, ready to read it when you are done.

FargateOne
FargateOne

Bonjour Joe,
comme vous le savez, je suis de Québec. Notre maire et d’autres représentants de la Ville sont présentement chez vous à Vancouver pour voir comment cela se passe. Ils ont l’intention de présenter ( à nouveau ) la candidature de Québec pour les Jeux Olympiques de 2022. (Vous vous souviendrez qu’en 1998 Québec avait perdu la couse au profit de Vancouver pour les Jeux de 2010.)
À mon avis on ne devrait pas dépenser tant d’argent pour tout cela .
Mais j’aimerais savoir ce que vous en pensez.
Compte tenu de votre expérience actuelle comme citoyen de Vancouver, aimez-vous l’expérience des Jeux suffisamment pour conseiller à la Ville de Québec de se porter à nouveau candidate pour les Jeux?

Cao

Gracey
Gracey

I admit to watching some reality tv…My favorite is The Amazing Race, I love seeing all the countries and the unusual tasks and Phil….

I do watch Survivor and am missing Ozzy and Ethan, however Ethan is battling leukemia at the moment.

I love the Olympics, but I’ve never had them held near me, so can understand that some people might be disgruntled/annoyed/etc. I choose to ignore the bad and go with the original intention of peaceful competition and support those young men and women who have worked very hard to get there. The majority of the athletes have no hope of winning a medal, but really are there to compete and share in the Olympic dream.

Bloomgate
Bloomgate

Joe – I find your comments about reality TV somewhat bothersome. The only way they will stop producing that dreck is if people stop watching it. Even if it is your own personal indulgence, please stop shilling for it.

@ Janet – Amen.

On to real unscripted reality TV. Joe, how do you think Mike Martz and Jay Cutler will do together in Chicago?

Matt
Matt

I think its been mentioned that Hatch is serving some form of sentence (home-confinement or halfway house, whichever).

Ozzie on the other hand is recovering from cancer. They interviewed him and his survivor-alum wife on the preview episode of Survivor a week before the premier. I don’t want to provide any injustice to his condition, so I won’t attempt to give details

Barbaro
Barbaro

I like both Survivor and The Amazing Race but I record everything. Survivor I watched yesterday after the Truck race and I’m going to start The Amazing Race right after I log off here. Still have to sit down with hubby and watch the Daytona 500 too. I love 3 day weekends. Have a good day, Joe!

Bryan M. White
Bryan M. White

Hello Joe,

Congratulations to Canada on their first gold medal on home turf. As a former skier myself, I always like to critique every run in the games, and when I saw his run, I said “that’s it, they got it!”. It’s been a long wait, but congrats!

I have to say that I have never been a fan of reality TV, but it is hard to find a good drama. I gave up on House two seasons ago, and this year, I gave up on Heroes and 24. At least Lost got off to a great start, but this is its final season so after this I don’t know what I’ll do…

At least spring training starts soon on the YES network…

Sincerely,

Bryan