Saturday, December 05, 2009

Weekend Assignment: #296: Scandalized

This week's Weekend Assignment seemed like a good idea at the time:

Weekend Assignment: #296: The press and the public always seem to be obsessed with one scandal or another, from Tiger Woods to Balloon Boy. Do you eagerly follow such stories, try to avoid them, or something in between? Does the identity of the celebrity (or would-be celebrity) affect how interested you are?

Extra Credit: Have you ever purchased a supermarket tabloid?

This week, Tiger Woods has been the subject of much news and speculation in the aftermath of a rather minor traffic accident, along with derisive jokes and even CGI recreations of the incident. And I don't care. I'm only vaguely aware of how the story unfolded, and I really don't need to know whether his wife hit him with a golf club and to what degree he deserved it. Much as I disapprove of adultery, I have no interest in  learning about the alleged sexual misbehavior of someone I've never met. What business is it of anybody's, aside from the people directly involved?

The story of the boy and the runaway balloon was slightly different. It wasn't about sex or celebrities. It was initially a bit of an oddball mystery to be solved, namely, what is this balloon thing, and why did they think there was a boy attached to it when there wasn't? My interest lasted only until the mystery was solved and the hoax revealed.

Michael Jackson? I admit that I watched one or two specials in the media frenzy after his death, if there was nothing better on. The only excuse I can offer is that I grew up hearing the guy on the radio, and was slightly intrigued by his tragic persona. Many years ago I postulated that he would benefit from being forced to live a normal life for a while, specifically working at a fast food counter. I still think so, l really. But no, I don't think his life and death warranted wall-to-wall coverage for weeks on end.

All this being the case, it's probably no surprise that I hate supermarket tabloids, and have never purchased one. I don't trust them to be remotely accurate, an assumption that seems to be borne out if one compares the headlines from week to week. For a while it seemed that one of these papers named a different culprit every issue in the death of  the same little girl. Now a certain paper seems to be making up a scandal involving a Republican one week, a Democrat the next, over and over and on and on. It seems to me there's enough legitimate scandal involving Senators and governors. Do we really need to supplement them with fake scandals about the current and former Presidents and their families?

Reading the paragraph above this one, you might wonder: if Karen hates tabloids so much, then how does she know in such detail what they have claimed in their headlines? Okay, you got me: I do tend to read one or two headlines as I wait to pay for my groceries. To paraphrase a line from one of my unsold novels, it's only because I have no better use for my eyes. I don't read the articles, nor buy the publication. I just stand there, being annoyed.

How about you? Do you enjoy following celebrity news, particularly stories of famous people making a mess of their lives? When non-celebrities get their fifteen minutes of fame, do you notice? Or is it all just background noise to you? Tell us about it in your blog, or in the comments below. Easy instructions to participate are at the end of this entry, right after last week's wrap-up.

For Weekend Assignment #295: Keep Me Warm!, I asked how you like to keep warm in cold weather. Click on the names below to read their full responses:

Bea said in comments...
Hi Karen. I'd rather keep the thermostat at lower than 70, possibly 68 would be enough for me. But hubby likes to keep warm, and donning more clothes isn't exactly his solution. We have disagreements about how to respond to the colder evenings every winter. I love snuggling in warm blankets. Alas, two puppies on the bed would be completely acceptable by me, but our babies are gone, and we haven't opened our home to new pets just yet. Perhaps when one of us can be home most of the day, we'll reconsider. Retirement perhaps, in two years. Til then, I settle for wrapping up in a blanket when I'm sitting at the computer in the winter. Or reading a good book. Take care. bea

Florinda said...

Right now, the thermostat is set at 73, but the heat's not turned on. I'll switch it on and lower it to 69 overnight, and then bring it up to 73 again in the morning, when we crawl out of our warm beds and into showers that don't warm up fast enough. But on a typical day, I'll turn the heat off again before we leave the house. This is Southern California; the number of days each year when we actually have to heat the house all day long is probably in the low double digits.

Julie said...

Last night a cold rain fell, and I was simply cold and miserable. About 7:30 last night I gave up and settled in bed under the electric blanket with a book. My arms were chilly, but that was the price I paid to keep the rest of my body warm.

Carly (of Florida) said...
Here is my favorite way to keep warm, cuddle with the hubby under our 2 down comforters and a thermal blanket. My parents were visiting last week and on the same night we slept under our 2 comforters (no thermal blanket that night.) They pushed the quilt off of the bed they were sleeping in and used only a sheet.

Carly (of California) said...
Dylan is my little cuddle buddy when it's time for bed, he just loves to sleep alongside me, between myself and Alan. When I sleep alone, on Sunday nights, he sleeps on a pillow right next to me, and sometimes, he cuddles on my right shoulder. Not only is it heartwarming, but it is body warming as well. He takes care of me, and I always feel loved. 

Mike said...

When it is chilly, I usually put on what Jenn likes to call my 'old man sweater.' It's just a zip up fleece thing, but since I wear it all the time, Jenn likes to make fun of me. Though, when I am on a stretch of days off I do tend to wear it a lot. It's like the flannel shirt Michale Keaton wore in Mr. Mom. So maybe she's not so far off. Hey, at least it's not a sweater that Mr. Rogers wore, or anything.

Thanks, folks! I'm writing this on the night of Tucson's first hard freeze of the year, with snow on the mountains predicted for early next week. Your entries are giving me all sorts of ideas on how to warm up!

Here are the guidelines if you'd like to participate in the Weekend Assignment:

1. Please post your entry no later than Friday, December 12th at 6 PM. (You can also post your response in the comments thread, but a blog entry is better. )
2. Please mention the Weekend Assignment in your blog post, and include a link back to this entry.
3. Please come back here after you've posted, and leave a link to your entry in the comments below.
4. Visiting other participants' entries is strongly encouraged!
5. I'm always looking for topic ideas. Please email me at mavarin2 on if there's a Weekend Assignment theme you'd like to see. If I use your idea, you will be credited as that week's "guest professor."

Stay warm, everyone!



fdtate said...

Here's my entry...

Carly said...

Hi Karen

You can read my entry here...

Have a good week.


Florinda said...

My interest in scandals tends to fluctuate, but the details are in my post for this week :-).

barrettmanor said...

Late again. I'm scandalized!