aderam: (Horizon)
The HMS Bounty has sunk off Cape Hatteras in North Carolina during Hurricane Sandy. Fourteen of the crew have been rescued, but apparently two are still missing, including Captain Robin and a woman I don't know.

I sailed on the Bounty for about a month the summer after I graduated from high school. She wasn't exactly a good ship - she was leaky and poorly organized - but she was my home for that time and I have fond memories (even while shaking my head in retrospect). As far as I can tell most of the people from my time - except Robin - weren't on board anymore and are safe. I'm not sure if I knew anyone else who was there, though because in general I've been terrible at keeping in touch. But being on the Bounty was an important time in my life. It's (indirectly) the reason I know [personal profile] denisia since her friend R was a shipmate of mine and we stayed at her place in New York after I got off the boat. And I learned a lot while I was there.

My brother called me this morning at 7am to let me know what had happened. And I'm glad I heard it from him first, since he was the one who got me on board in the first place, and we could reminisce together. But after that I got emails and texts from all sorts of people, which is cool. Obviously people actually listen to my crazy sailor stories.

When I was on board we sailed from Jacksonville, FL up to Long Island. When we went by Cape Hatteras on the way into Beaufort, North Carolina it was calm, which is very unusual. Cape Hatteras is known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic for good reason. Cape Hatteras is bordered by a series of (I think) three sets of shoals, which is why it's so dangerous. The Frying Pan Shoals are the best named of the lot. I remember getting off watch at 4 in the morning as we were passing and Matt, our first mate, making a terrible joke about the Frying Pan Shoals. Actually he didn't get the chance to make the joke, he just started it and then we all groaned and left to go to bed.

I'll probably write a little more about the Bounty later and my sailing experiences, but for now I think that's what I've got.

Robin, I hope you're okay, but what the fuck were you thinking trying to go around Cape Hatteras (of all places) in a Hurricane?
aderam: (I Hate Everything)
The CBC has recently made a partnership with an online audio show which provides an alternate commentary during hockey games. For the Stanley Cup Final games they're going to be hosting the show as an online stream alongside the English and Punjabi (!!!) commentaries. There are several problems with this.

- the show is called "While the Men Watch"
- the subject matter seems to have absolutely nothing to do with hockey
- the subject matter is in fact extremely stereotypical, hetero-normative, and "girly"

None of which would be a problem (except in the general sense) if it weren't being

- funded and supported by the CBC, and therefore public money

Now, I realize that this show is not aimed at me. It is not supposed to be for people who are hockey fans regardless of their gender. The aim of the show is to make hockey more interesting to people who aren't interested in hockey. Instead they are talking about what the coaches are wearing, how hot players are, what's happening in the crowds and various other things.

Actually, I'm totally in favour of those things. And I was filled with glee when I found the places on the internet where female (and male with corresponding interests) hockey fans hung out. I like looking at photos of attractive hockey players. I like hearing about their families and the parts of their lives which are off the ice. The players are people as well as players and they are most interesting to me when I can see both sides of them.

And I would be perfectly fine with these women talking about these things on the internet. Except for one two key points.

1. They are not hockey fans.
2. They are being endorsed by the CBC.

Let's expand on these things. Second things first: the CBC is endorsing them. By endorsing them the CBC is presenting an image of how women should be involved in hockey broadcasting. And it's an image which is not a good one.

Here's some of the subtext:
- women should only start watching hockey because they want to spend time with their man
- they should not actually be interested in the sport, but only the social aspects surrounding it
- the only relationships worth acknowledging are heterosexual ones where the man watches sports and the woman has to find ways to be amused by said sports instead of doing something else that interests them

First things second: they're not hockey fans. Making the sport more accessible is a great thing. I love that they have a commentary track in Punjabi (for example). It's amazing. But I don't understand why they seem to be courting people into... continuing to not be hockey fans?

These women are opposed to playoff beards (BLASPHEMY!). And they most alarmingly have a post on their website which suggests that you shouldn't decline sex with your man after a big loss.

Things the CBC should do to court the casual sports fan:
- make an alternate commentary track that explains the rules in game as well as the significance of certain plays and milestones
- talk about the social aspect of the sport. This is already done somewhat, but not very much. Don't make it gendered. Don't say: "Because women want to hear about your families..." - cause guess what? lots of men want to hear about that stuff too. Talk about what the players do off ice. Talk about the pranks they pull on each other (which are often hilarious). Talk about how they got to where they are (not just "He's a good Saskatchewan boy!").

I mean come on. The CBC has a study that says 40% of the hockey fans in Canada are women. We're not here because we date men who like the sport.

Some of us date women who like the sport.
Some of us date men and make them watch the sport.
Some of us find hockey players attractive for what they do on the ice as well as what they look like off the ice.
Some of us spend time listening to our hard core hockey fan male roommates complain about coaches suits.
Some of us stream hockey games at home alone and yell at the internet.

Being a hockey fan isn't about your gender. So CBC, please don't tell me that the the female perspective (ie my perspective) is what these women are offering.

On the other hand I would love it if you would have more women commentators on Hockey Night in Canada. Cassie Campbell-Pascal is awesome but she's not around nearly as much as she deserves.

I long for the day when a female commentator doesn't have to have more gold medals than the combined players of the teams upon which she's commentating in order to gain respect.

(NB - Cassie Campbell-Pascal (Olympian x3, World Champion x6) is apparently very well respected by the players in the NHL who often talk to her about hockey and ask after the women's team etc. But their respect unfortunately doesn't equate to the respect of the general audience or the broadcasters. Sigh.)

There are many more things that can and have been said about this issue. In various blogs and things across the internet - most of them are more articulate and organized than me. If you're interested I can russell up a few links for you. But the main point I'm trying to get across here is that the problem here isn't that it exists - the problem is that the CBC is backing it as "the female perspective". That's the sexist and derogatory part here.
aderam: (I Hate Everything)
WHY?

Didn't I mention that hockey was my stress relief during this hard time in my academic career? Have I treated you poorly?

On a personal level the Kings are currently up 3-0 in their series with my beloved Canucks (only 4 teams have ever come back from a 3-game deficit to win a seven game series *sobs*). And it's not even that we've been playing particularly poorly (unlike the Penguins). Yes there were mistakes and some bad plays - but that is normal. What isn't normal is that after a whole season where the Kings only won games by virtue of Jonathan Quick being a truly spectacular goaltender, they've figured out how to score. :(

(And when I say "spectacular" and "the Kings don't score" I mean it. I think they have the highest number of 1-0 and 2-1 games in the league. And also there was at least one, maybe two, games where they lost even though Quick had a shutout. How does that happen you say? Shoot out goals don't count against the goaltender's shutout. That's right. Even when their goaltender was a brick wall the Kings couldn't score in the regular season. This has changed. *sobs*)

Honestly the Kings have been a good team all season, and if they'd actually been able to score there is no way they would've been 8th seed, and we wouldn't have played them in the first round.

I'm currently longing for the alternate reality where we played the sharks in the first. We can beat them. (of course I was sure we could beat the Kings too. *sobs*)

But to add insult to injury the whole playoffs seem to be going to hell in a handbasket. Most of the teams haven't played game three yet and I've already seen at least five headshots. No wait, six. Which is something that the league has been fighting to get out of the game all season (and before, but this year it was a campaign). Some of these I'm sure will result in suspensions, some of them already have. But for some reason when Shea Weber (Nashville) grabbed Henrik Zetterberg's (Detroit) head in both hands and shoved it into the glass after the game had ended and after Nashville had won he only got a $2500 fine. Admittedly this is the largest fine they can give without handing out a suspension - but holy fuck batman? What do you need to do to get suspensions these days?

It makes me want to throw up a little. I mean, I still love hockey. But that's not hockey. There's playing close to the edge (which is fun to watch because it's physical and good), and then there's that.

Also I watched the Flyers-Pens game yesterday. Everyone was expecting this series to be a bloodbath because the two teams hate each other. But I don't think anyone was expecting it to go like this. There were 113 penalty minutes in the game. That's almost two full games worth of penalties. 78 of them came in the first period alone. Both Clouturier and Giroux (who each scored 3 goals in Game 2 - that's right their were TWO hattricks in game 2) were the recipients of elbows to the head. Clouturier had to leave the game (I have no idea if he's alright). Claude Giroux (lead scorer of the Flyers) got into a fight with Sidney Crosby (whom you might have heard of)! And to top it all off the scores were ridiculous. The Flyers are now up 3-0 in the series. Game 1 was 4-3, game 2 was 8-5, and game 3 was 8-4. The total number of goals in game 2 alone is the same number of goals that have been scored in the entire Canucks-Kings series. Both the defence and the goaltending on both sides of the ice have been super crap.

This is not hockey - it's organized chaos on ice.

So what the fuck?

The only light of goodness so far was that the Canadian Women managed to eke out an overtime win at the worlds to get the Gold Medal! Beating an American team that wolloped us 9-2 in the round robin. So let's focus on that.

Photobucket

Photobucket

These are from the Olympics, but I don't CARE!

And here's some perspective from Flyers Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov:


"The Universe is so huMANgous big! ... just be happy. Don't worry be happy."

Bryz: Never Change. You are not the best goaltender, but you are probably the most interesting one.

BAH!

Sep. 23rd, 2011 11:26 am
aderam: (Henry and Big Guy)
I've got a dentist appointment today. It's just a cleaning, but knowing my luck I'll find out that I've got about ten billion more cavities that need to be filled. Think good thoughts for me please.

Also the bruise on my forehead is still there, and there is only so much that can be covered up by make-up. And there's no wearing of hats in the dentist chair.

Also Also I've got a meeting with library people this afternoon where I have to be all professional and represent the department. I'm the Reading Room TA this year and I'm talking to them about getting an electronic database of the books we have. I still think that this should be done by a prof rather than by me, but I'm still doing it. Here's hoping they take me seriously. I'm pretty sure that I know what we want at least.

And I'm super tired for no good reason. Well, I have one idea... and I'm hoping it just goes away. May talk about it later.

Lots of other things are happening as well which I want to write about - but I should go now to avoid being late for the dentist (*wibble*).

At least tonight is the season premier of Fringe!
aderam: (I Hate Everything)
I think I might have given myself a huge star-shaped bruise while trying to pop a big zit on my forehead.

And what's worse - the zit didn't pop. (Hilariously, it hurt too much.)

Photographic Evidence: Sad!Aderam is sad )

Boy am I feeling competent tonight. FML.

AHHHHHH!

Jun. 15th, 2011 10:14 am
aderam: (Luongo Wins)
I am a huge ball of stress for the game tonight.

It's game seven! That means whoever wins tonight wins the whole bloody thing!

The Stanley Cup - which Vancouver has not won in its forty year history. And this is the best shot we've had in seventeen years.

And the media is making me even more angry than usual.

And poor Mason Raymond got his back broken last game. (And the stupid Boston fans jeered him for diving long after he was lying on the ice in obvious pain. Stay Classy.)

(Also, do you remember Rome's hit on Horton last week that was scary for injury? It was a late hit and definitely not intent to injure but he got a four game suspension. Turn that around on Monday so that the Canucks player is the one who's injured, and Boston gets nothing. Not even an interference call on the play. It's not that I think that Boychuck did it on purpose, but can you say double standard? Especially since Rome hit Horton in the middle of the open ice and Boychuck finished his check into the boards while Raymond's head was between Boychuck's legs. It's a fast game and that wasn't done on purpose, but it's a much more dangerous position in my mind. Also this is the second time in the last few months that a Boston player has broken someone's spine. I don't care if it was on purpose or not - someone needs to look into that.)

Also I may go insane if (when - sigh) I hear someone say that Roberto shouldn't be starting in net tonight. Yes he played like crap on Monday. He's still our best goaltender.

Anyway, I'm going to go for a wander through the crowds downtown tonight and then watch the game at home with friends and then maybe go downtown for craziness afterwards.

Think good thoughts! (My head thinks we're going to win because of the home ice advantage which has been a big thing in this series - but my heart may explode in the meantime.)

Whatever happens after this I'll be able to get back to thinking about the rest of my life.
aderam: (Reality)
This article On Stanley Cup Final Coverage and Bias by Harrison Mooney does an excellent job of articulating why Pass it to Bulis (the Canucks blog which he writes with two other guys) is the only sports media I read.

It's bad enough when fans are being douchebags and making snap judgments which prove they have the attention span of goldfish. When they only pay attention to a player's mistakes and ignore all of the good things he's done on the ice. When they apply a double standard between one game and the next or between different teams. Or make comments about sissy European players because it's not racist if they're white too.

But when the professional media does it too? It makes me wonder why they're allowed to keep their jobs.

An excerpt from Harrison's (very well written) article (emphasis mine):

I’m more than willing to deny a bias that doesn’t exist, and the East Coast bias is a myth.

That said, the journalistic bias against the Canucks has been clear as day. Consider, for example, the writing about the Sedins, whose manhood has been questioned for their lack of production in the Final. Anyone with an ounce of sense can see that their best series came against a team that didn’t have a dedicated shutdown pairing (San Jose), and they’ve had a tougher time against teams with Norris-Calibre defensemen that aggressively focus on shutting them down (Chicago, Nashville, Boston).

However, instead of telling this story, we’ve been subjected to a “limp-wristed Euros” narrative that smacks of embarrassing prejudice.

When was the last time someone suggested that Sidney Crosby or Jonathan Toews was less of a man for their relative lack of production in their respective Finals? In 2009, Crosby went minus-3 with a goal and two assists. In 2010, despite going minus-5 with no goals and three assists, Toews won the Conn Smythe. I’m sure their Canadian citizenship had nothing to do with their generous coverage.

In these cases, credit was given to the opposing defenders who shut down elite scoring threats. The Sedins, meanwhile, simply aren’t man enough. They’re hacked, slashed and impeded constantly, but any time they go down, they’re sissy divers, a narrative that stinks of xenophobia over an ethnocentric worry that Europeans have come to ruin the Canadian game. Chris Nilan claimed their “balls shrivel up when they’re on the road”, Joe Haggerty called them “Hansel and Gretel”, Mike Milbury called them “Thelma and Louise,” and a bevy of other sportswriters and fans have stuck with the much less innovative Sedin “sisters”.

Why, exactly, is it considered acceptable — professionally acceptable, even — to mock two men by comparing them to a minority group in hockey, anyway? What’s next? The Sedins play like blacks, jews, or gays?

This line of criticism is, in and of itself, childish and sexist. It’s 2011 and there are women in the Hockey Hall of Fame. If the Sedins actually were women, people might be a little more impressed with their point per game pace over the last five years, their back-to-back Art Ross trophies, their potentially back-to-back Hart trophies, or the fact that they’ve led their hockey team to the Stanley Cup Final in their first year as team leaders. As it stands, however, these accomplishments aren’t enough to escape the criticism that they’re actually women on skates — and that there’s something inherently wrong with that.


This whole thing makes me furious. Most of the time I don't bother reading because it's just awful, the comments are not intelligent and I disagree with what they've said about the game. But every now and again the media actually goes and says something like this that is SO completely offensive that it almost makes me ashamed to be a hockey fan. This is how people who don't watch hockey see the sport. How could this possibly be considered a good thing?

I used to think that the NHL would be the first of the major sports leagues in North America to have an openly gay player. It's a sport that's dominated by Canadians and Europeans who (especially in my generation which is the same age bracket as all the rising stars) increasingly don't give a damn about other people's sexuality. The NHL itself has tacitly endorsed gayness by allowing their names and logos to be used in a movie about a gay hockey player (admittedly it wasn't a big blockbuster - but still!). But if this is what they're saying about the Sedins because they're Swedish I'd hate to see what they'd do if they were gay. Sometimes staying in the closet is the safer choice.

And the Sedins? Their responses were very classy. Because they are cool like that: cut for length )

But whatever. Screw you Don Cherry and your xenophobic comments about Europeans. It doesn't matter whether your favourite team wins or the Canucks do, it'll still be a European captain raising the Stanley Cup.

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