Written by Russell Meyer
Published: November 18, 2004 at 11:36 AM
On a Serious Note
Orlando Sentinel 11/17/04
It’s time for the labor unions to vote on a new proposal submitted by Disney execs. The deal will increase pay and decrease healthcare premiums, but still does not appear to be enough for HERE and Teamsters leaders. The two more dominant unions are urging membership to vote down the proposal, while Disney and other union leaders are urging an agreement and end to the negotiations. Universal health care and its ramifications aside, unions, while in many cases beneficial to large groups of employees working for massive companies, prove yet again that they have the ability to gum-up the system. What’s at issue here is the power of unions even in a “right to work” state, where a large percentage of employees are not even union members.
Eisner Takes the Gloves Off
Orlando Sentinel 11/17/04
Michael Eisner was placed under high scrutiny as he faced cross-examination in the Delaware Chancery Court trial where shareholders are seeking damages against Eisner. "I accepted the fact that the contract said what it said," Eisner stated on the record, but he also stated that he would have rather the cash go to the Walt Disney Company if he could have done that. He insists that the board had full knowledge of the details of the contract, but minutes from the meeting that the contract was discussed were not available.
To put it another way…
Oh, woe is me, I decided to give someone a BIG FAT contract with separation stipulations, and then fire them so they could cash in… I would rather the money go back to the company that I work for so that I could capitalize on it and fatten my own wallet. You knew what was happening. Remember I told you in that secret meeting when no minutes were taken. Just accept it. It’s not MY fault…
New Characters Taking Over
Orlando Sentinel 11/17/04
Disney unveiled two new additions to its Orlando theme parks and announced plans for Typhoon Lagoon.
First, Stitch’s Great Escape officially opened in the Magic Kingdom to the public, complete with adorable little kids and toilet paper on Cinderella’s Castle. Yes, that right, the castle was “tp-ed” overnight, adding so much class to the “happiest place on earth.” What’s next, flaming bags of poo on the drawbridge? While reviews on this site offer mixed opinions on the revamping of the incredibly scary Alien Encounter, opinion from the Sentinel gives a more positive spin.
Secondly, Disney officially debuted its additions to the Living Seas additions. A familiar Aussie can tell you all about nature at Bruce’s Shark World. Also, Crush the sea turtle can teach your children about the ocean using “real time” animation technology. That way, all of the kiddies can learn about marine biology in a means reminiscent of the intellectual rambling of Keanu Reeves…Whoa!
Finally, Disney made it official by announcing their plans to add a series of slides and flumes to Typhoon Lagoon. “Crush ‘N’ Gusher,” which sounds more like what happens when you sit on a jelly donut than a water slide, is Disney’s spin on the popular “Master Blaster” water coaster. The slides will be part of Hideaway Bay, a brand new section of the park, and will take riders through steep drops and “gravity defying inclines,” as they travel through a tropical fruit facility. While the addition sounds great, the name needs some serious work.
ABC Pushes the Envelope on MNF
In a slightly theme park related story, ABC issues an apology for its Desperate Housewives Monday Night Football introduction featuring Terrell Owens and Nicollette Sheridan. While I found the spot incredibly amusing, many others found it offensive. While the scene was a bit racy, it was no more than the usual fare found on Desperate Housewives, the #2 prime time television show. The MNF intro appeared in the same 9:00 PM time slot as DH, and did not reveal any “naughty bits.” The NFL is cringing over the complaints and fears another Janet/Justin debacle. While TV has become increasingly more raunchy over the past 10 years, to complain about a spot that is no more offensive than the show that inspired it is hypocritical. Will the FCC ever let us make up our own minds about what’s appropriate?
Are You Nuts Enough?
As if there wasn’t enough stuff on the top of the 1,149 foot Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas, soon you will be able to go INSANE. Insanity, the newly named ride which has been rumored for the past year, will spin riders on an inverted centrifuge reaching speeds up to 40 MPH and 3 G’s of force on its riders. Add to that the fact that you will be looking straight down at Las Vegas and moving up to 65 feet away from the side of the tower, and the ride starts to really deserve its name. Insanity will take up the remaining real estate on the top of the tower joining The Big Shot, High Roller, and X-Scream. While a “Top Thrill Dragster” style roller coaster ascending the side of the tower was denied by the city council, the Stratosphere has countered with two of the most unique and terrifying rides on the planet. Whatever you do, LOOK DOWN!!
Yet Another Indoor Waterpark
Business North 11/17/04
Yet another indoor waterpark is popping up in a northern climate. The Edge, a $20 million 35,000 square foot tropical escape, broke ground today in Duluth, MN. The park is scheduled to open in fall 2005. With Cedar Point’s Castaway Bay, Deep River (Crown Point, IN), and 3 Great Wolf Lodges (Williamsburg, VA, The Poconos, PA, and Niagara Falls, Ontario) opening in the next year, the indoor waterpark business is “springing” up everywhere. Can we maybe get a decent indoor theme park?
While it may have been on at 9PM in the East, this was on at 6PM on the West Coast! How many kids were home from school watching this game?
While people may think that we are being prudish about this, I think the stunt was completely inappropriate for 6PM.
But regardless, yeah, this is a football game. They were advertising Desperate Housewives, a show aimed at the adult female demographic, during a show that is primarily male in viewership, plus it's a little TOO racy for football, especially considering the new family-friendly image the NFL is trying to project.
Next to the erection pill ads and the beer ads promoting threesomes and other drunken escapades, this promo didn't seem any more child unfriendly than the other stuff tacked around a football game. But then again, my kids are growing up in L.A., so they don't care about the NFL or football anyway.
FWIW, ditto on Sheridan. Now, if the clip had featured Eva Longoria... *then* we'd be having a different conversation.
And Ray, about the nudity on TV thing....rent a video if that's what you want, but our popular culture is already WAAAAAY too oversexualized....TV is (was) primarily family entertainment--all members of the family. To say, "Well, they do it in Italy/France/Germany/etc" doesn't win you too many admirers. Big deal. Then let them do it. It used to be that families could watch tv together...why do you want to muck that up even further? Sure, everyone's got a naked body, but dude, because of something called DECENCY and VALUES, we don't all just parade around naked (plus, that would ruin any chance I have of finding a date). I know, I know--those of you who hate to be reminded of values are gonna jump all over me. I don't care. Like I said, go rent a video and grab your tissues....that's what it's all about for you anyway.
I agree that nudity has no place on network television, but is what we saw even considered that?? nope. If the NFL wants to promote it's family image...it needs to start by not putting up with crap like the fight that went down with the Steelers/Browns game. A naked back never influenced a child, but images of their heroes fighting on the field sure do.
Let's look at what they have done to project their family image. They piss and moan when nudity is implied and not seen when nobody else does, they crack down on lighthearted end zone celebrations that make everyone but them laugh, and they establish ridiculous rules that protect big money offensive players such as receivers and quarterbacks from getting hit...while defensive lineman are out for the season because of chopblocking (hypocrisy at it's finest...all in the name of money and ratings). All of these things are said to have been done in the name of the family image, but in reality they demonstrate the NFL brass' need to make themselves relevant. What they have managed to do instead is tarnish the purity and tradition of the game while also hindering it from evolving with today's society. Certain sportswriters have dubbed the NFL the "no fun league" I agree wholeheartedly with them.
Robert, I agree with you as well. Eva Longoria would have been a much much better choice for the role.
(ba da CHING!)
But can't I just watch a freakin' football game without all the silly intros, "Punk'd"-wannabe halftime shows and assorted other silliness?
Now go back and take the word trains out the sentences and put the word naked body there. Oh geez, get over the naked body. It is a beautiful creation. Hard core porn, yeah maybe not, a naked back? Geez, get over yourself.
I'm beggining to think that with the elections over, people are just still riled up and sorely in need of something to whine about.
You know, let's just say that the spot was a little to adult-oriented for primetime and leave it at that. No need to bring political correctness into the mix.
Regardless, the NFL denouced it, ABC apologized, and it's not gonna happen again.
My problem isn't really that the people don't like the ad, my problem is the obvious hypocrisy and double standard at work here. The NFL is in absolutely no position to preach on the issue of decency and family values because they as a company have never practiced what they preach. Maybe it wasn't in completely good taste for them to air the piece, but this happened 5 days ago and the media is still jabbering about this in their top stories. Just an example of how taboo the subject of sex still is in this country.
But... we're afraid that other Americans look down upon such thoughts. So we wait for an opportunity to talk about sex in a dismissive manner, so we can deny that we really like it... all the while we talk about it anyway. See also Rice, Donna; Hill, Anita; Lewinsky, Monica; Jackson, Janet; etc.
(in case you're left wondering, your double negative implied you were denying the existence of sex, and thus destroying the human species, not to mention beer sales).
On another note, did anyone see the ungodly mess of a riot between the Pacers and Pistons? As a person who is admittedly desensitized to violence, I have to say that this scene was still very disturbing....take a look at that film and tell me which image is more indecent...professional athletes fighting fans, or a lighthearted skit being acted out with a naked back being shown.
What really sickens me is that Artest started to do the right thing -- walk away from Wallace -- and would have been fine if a fan hadn't done something stupid. Artest is a fool for reacting, but the Pistons were the bigger fools for not having cops and crowd control to bust up the fan before Artest could even rise from table.
I hope the NBA tosses Artest and Jackson for 15 games each and O'Neal and Wallace for five. Then it should toss the Detroit fans for a game -- make the Pistons refund the ticket money and play a game in an empty Palace. Then ban (those highly lucrative) beer sales for Detroit's next home game.
Of course, this incident won't rise to the level of the MNF skit because (a) Americans are less publicly concerned with criticizing violence than sex and (b) Americans are more privately interested in thinking about Nicolette Sheridan in a towel than Ron Artest clocking a fan.
Although I'm a previous offender, these "didn't this site used to be about theme parks" posts are actually starting to get on my nerves. TPI is partly as successful as it is because it allows RELEVANT tangents to appear. You take away those, and it really won't be much different from any of the dorky theme park sites that clutter the web.
You wanna talk about theme parks. WE GET IT. If you're sooo desperate to discuss rollercoasters and the likes, start a thread! Not only will this please Robert immensely, it will also give you an outlet to discuss more relevant things. But let's not waste the 50 posts discussing why those posts shouldn't exist in the first place, else the entire universe might collapse upon itself.
Artest has been suspended for the rest of the season.
Indiana's Stephen Jackson was suspended for 30 games and Jermaine O'Neal for 25. Detroit's Ben Wallace drew a six-game ban, while Pacers guard Anthony Johnson got five games.
Four players were suspended for a game apiece: Indiana's Reggie Miller, and Detroit's Chauncey Billups, Elden Campbell and Derrick Coleman.
Can't anyone say something without getting blasted. Oh, and ya, that fight was absolutely crazy. I was like what the hell is going on.
As a Pacers fan, all I've got left now is the Ewing Theory. And the Colts. Hey, maybe Northwestern can win this weekend and get into a bowl....
Thank you folks, I'll be here all week, try the veal! Remember, the 9:30 show is COMPLETELY different from the 7:30 show, and be sure to tip your waitress!
As to the concerns voiced that the promo wasn't appropriate for children tuned in at 9 p.m. ET (6pm PST) to watch MNF, there is an interesting piece of information that can be gleaned from the ratings -- more children, both ages 2 to 11 and 12 to 17, are watching Housewives, which also airs at 9 p.m. (EST AND PST), than are watching Monday Night Football, although both shows only get a small slice of the young viewers.
Desperate Houswives, gets 2.1 percent of those 2 to 11 and 4.3 percent of those 12 to 17, while Monday Night Football grabs only 1.4 percent of the pre-teen group and 2.1 percent of the older children.
How can there be that many people be upset when there are twice as many of our poor "impressionable teens" watching Desperate Housewives already?
What parents are letting kids ages 2-11 watch TV from 9-10 p.m.? Much less letting them watch Desperate Housewives?
CNN Money article, by Chris Isadore, from Nov 19.
The ratings I stated are stuck in at the very end of the article.
I think those viewership stats speak volumes myself.
That brings up the second point; the viewership statistics. Just because nearly twice as many kids in the above mentioned demographics watch "Desperate Housewives" as watch MNF doesn't mean that they are the same kids. The parents who allow their children to watch "Desperate Housewives" may not have the same values as the parents of the MNF crowd. Thus I maintain that using the viewership statistics to support an argument that the furor over the spot may be unwarranted is incorrect.
As much as they want to promote their fake "family" image, the NFL uses sex to promote just as much as the next, the difference is that they don't do it directly. Instead they allow their sponsors to freely use sex in promoting their products, and the NFL tries to project this "clean hands" image by crucifying things like this little skit. TO and the Eagles didn't get in any trouble, so that tells me the the NFL is making all this fuss not because they really disagree, but because they want to protect their little faux image, even though anybody who watches NFL games regularly probably sees at least one sexually suggestive ad per commercial break....Total hypocrisy.
One more thing....who in the world is letting their children watch Desperate Housewives???
When I worked at Disney World, I was not a member of the union, but, believe me, I supported and appreciated the union's attempts to get me the best possible deal.
Laurie's in the musician's union and has negotiated contracts before. So I've got some personal experience to say... if the negotiations aren't messy and acromonious, both sides are not doing their jobs to get their side the best deal.
Let 'em gum up the works. That's part of negotiating. If that gets the workers a better deal, while avoiding missed paychecks from a strike, then the union leaders are doing their job well.
As for MNF, let's not forget that thye bit was on the air at 6 p.m. here on the west coast -- three hours before Desperate Housewives scheduled time.
Finally, on Vegas: Shouldn't a ride that holds you hundreds of feet out over the pavement of the strip have some "mob loan-shark shakedown" theme?