Writing ⋅ Podcast ⋅ Video

Full disclosure: I watch it

I read yesterday about how “Survivor” is planning to divide teams by race as it starts out the new season. And I really thought they must be joking–or just floating the idea to see how people would respond. (Responses in my house as well as my carpool have ranged from, “are you kidding me? How stupid!” to, “I feel vaguely offended, but I’m not sure why,” to, “Maybe the white team will manipulate the black team into working together to further oppress and defeat the Hispanic and Asian teams.” Because hey, what can I tell you, you play with stereotypes and you’re gonna get … more stereotypes.)

Now, though, it appears it’s not a float–it’s an honest-to-goodness plan. The thing is, it was pretty stupid last year when the divided the teams into older men, older women, younger men, younger women. But at least you could kind of get what they were going for–brains vs. brawn, in some form, because it’s such a physical game. But with a racial divide, what possible competitive advantages and disadvantages can you possibly even consider without embarrassing yourself with your totally uncool stereotyping (see above)? In sum, there’s no point whatsoever other than to get people talking about the show. Which, of course, they are.

New York City officials are asking CBS to reconsider its plans, with City Councilman John Liu earning my vote for “most awesome quote of the day” with this one:

“The idea of having a battle of the races is preposterous. How could anybody be so desperate for ratings?”

Exactly. Even better, though, is watching CBS try to stand by its plan as, like, brave and risky and daring and controversial and “part of our history.” Dudes. It’s Survivor. There is absolutely no point to this move in terms of the actual playing of the stupid game. If this is how far you’ve got to go to make people care about Season 173, or whatever you’re on, it’s really time to hang up the bush hat and cargo shorts. For real.

(This is pretty lame that I get this fired up about TV, eh? Well, hey, consider it brave, risky, daring, controversial, and part of my personal history. Yeah, see? Now it’s cool.)

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A “View” of the bay and CNBC today

CNBC is actually coming up in mere minutes; I’ll be taping for “On the Money,” on the topic of the technologies that are scaring the bejesus out of the entertainment industry. That’s kind of my favorite, lately. Also, yesterday, I taped a segment with View from the Bay, an ABC affiliate talk show here in San Francisco. It was the old five-gadgets-on-a-table action, and you can see the video at the link above. I expect this to be a fairly crazy time, actually, what with all the back to school stuff. I’ll attempt to keep you up to date.

And in a vaguely related (it’s TV!) “what is the world coming to” comment, I just read that ESPN will have to air the rest of the Little League World Series on a Janet Jackson-style, five-second delay, because a player dropped an F-bomb in primetime. Worse, after the expletive was clearly picked up and aired around the world, the Little Leaguer’s manager apparently slapped him across the face. WHAT!? Seriously. I think all our sports role models are having a bigger influence than the think. I’m talkin’ to you, T.O.

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Me = cranky (and, uh, geeky)

I was on Cranky Geeks this morning, and when I returned, I discovered the show is streamed live! Who knew? I guess I’d have been slightly less doofy, or maybe just alerted you sooner. Anyway, it was a pretty funny discussion. There were robots. Well, there weren’t robots there. You’ll see.

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CNBC, MarketWatch, and TV shopping

My next TV? Last minute call, but at least it was taped — I’ll be on CNBC’s “On the Money” this evening/afternoon. I think it’s on at 4 p.m. Pacific, and again at 8 p.m. Pacific. Appropriately enough, since I spent all weekend shopping for a flat-screen HDTV, I was talking about the glut of flat-panel televisions on the market. Poor “On the Money” was, I think, hoping I’d commiserate about the tragedy of all these companies having to declare lower earnings and poor financial projections because of being forced to lower prices on LCD TVs. But dude, I want a cheaper LCD TV, and I want it now! It was sort of interesting, though, because I was in Best Buy on Saturday, and I noticed a distinct push toward the LCD section. I’m shopping for a plasma, but I’m not necessarily committed, and the Best Buy guy was pulling some pretty big lines to get me interested in LCDs. For example, he claimed, they’re 25 percent more energy efficient than plasmas, weigh a lot less, and “run” a lot cooler. Uh huh. Anybody out there had a problem with plasma burn-in … on the wall?

In other news, I’ll be doing MarketWatch this afternoon, talking about back-to-school gadgets. It’s just that time of year … I’ll update this post with the link as soon as I get it.

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CNBC this morning — it’s all about Chocolate

LG Chocolate phoneSorry for the short notice! If you’re at home in front of a television, I’ll be on CNBC’s Power Lunch at 10:40 a.m. PT, talking about the inexplicably red-hot LG Chocolate cell phone–plays MP3s, looks hot, hopes that women will love it, etc.

UPDATE! Turns out, our PR company sometimes has clips, and they’ve got this Power Lunch one! I don’t know if I’m supposed to link to them but, uh, will do until told otherwise. Here’s this appearance! Love the URL — cnet’s molly woo.

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