Bear and Ugly Betty

Last night I wanted to watch TV, but 24 and House weren’t on, so I settled by flipping back and forth between Man vs Wild and Ugly Betty.

Man vs Wild is an acquired taste. On the one hand, Bear Grylls is very attractive. On the other hand, he eats termites. Last evening’s Mt Kilauea episode apparently was a re-run but I wanted to see him walking on lava fields.

I had never watched Ugly Betty before, and years ago I only saw a few minutes of Betty la fea (yes, that means Ugly Betty), the original soap on which it’s based.

The original Betty la fea character was in much uglier disarray that Ugly Betty, but after a makeover that took months, she got the guy at the end. Betty la fea was the usual ugly-duckling/Cinderella story but it was so successful across Latin America that the Colombians did another ugly duclking/Cinderella soap with a guy, Pedro el escamoso (which I would translate as Geeky Pete, instead of the more literal Creepy Pete). The guy playing Pedro wore a mullet, created a dance that became a fad, and got the girl at the end.

Pedro had four things in his favor: he was in great shape, had a truly beautiful voice, he was a good man, and he was really funny – a lethal combination in any guy. One’s willing to overlook a mullet. His fans certainly did.

Since nothing exceeds like excess, Germany, Holland, India, Mexico, Russia, the USA, and Spain came up with their own versions of girls wearing orthodontia and eyeglasses.

Which comes to show you the universality of a cliche.

But back to Betty: I actually liked the program. This Betty is young, and homely (due in great part to her clothes and hairdo), but is a good role model for young girls.
Here’s why:
1. Betty loves a guy that doesn’t love her back. That’s the existential crisis of every teenager. In last night’s episode she finally figured out that trying to be his friend that tags along while he goes on a date with someone else is not a good idea.
The good thing about it is, she stopped that, and she was fine.

2. Betty helps other people do the right thing. The show is not preachy, and indeed Betty arrived at that moment after much meandering. But she knew what the right thing was, and she was able to bring around the other character to turn herself to the police.

3. Betty has good friends, and a good family. They’re Mexican but they don’t sound like “dees”; they say “these”. They are fully integrated into American society, another excellent thing.

4. The show pokes fun at fashionista slaves while at the same time showing what really looks good.

How does this relate to Bear? I’m not quite sure yet, but you can order his t-shirts for $39. Just don’t go walking on the lava fields.

Update A Bear fan emailed asking for a YouTube:

Technorati tags: Ugly Betty, Bear Grylls, TV


Of course he isn’t!, and today’s items

Of course he isn’t!,
Russian President Vladimir Putin has strongly denied claims that Russia is using its energy resources as a lever to put pressure on other countries

Update: Via Maria, Why are Vladimir Putin’s opponents dying?


Cassandra posts on The Virtues of Gratitude, and she lets it rip.

Via Larwyn, It’s Official: The Press Has Gone To War – with us.
Important Analysis

“U.S.-Iran tensions could trigger war,” cautions an article by the AP, which appears to be just waking up to this possibility.

In a similar vein, this morning’s BBCA newscast managed to blame the centuries-old, thirteen centuries, that is, Sunni-Shia rivalry on – you guessed it – Israel and the Americans:

“It’s America and Israel who want trouble here,” said another participant.

I kid you not.


Must-see video: The Islamic Mein Kampf
The Terrorism Awareness Project

Don’t miss Pamela’s CAIR censorship round-up


The French work only 35hrs/week, and now they’re taking naps after lunch:

“Sleep must not be trivialised,” Xavier Bertrand, the Health Minister, said.

But they’re not lazy.

Obviously Cassandra’s husband (see above) is not French.


A little romance, a little sadness, from Siggy,

You’ll find a line from the lyrics in today’s Twitter box on the right sidebar.

In a lighter mode,
I’m always amazed by what brings some people to my blog. The latest are two people doing google searches for “Bear Grylls naked picture.” These two have been doing that search for the past couple of days but I guess they haven’t given up on me yet. (For those of you who don’t remember, Bear‘s one of the Discovery Channel guys.)

Sorry to disappoint you, folks, but this is a mostly PG-rated blog. However, You Tube has several videos of the fully clothed Bear. I might post one of those one of these days.

I watched the Discovery Channel the other night and they had Stephen Hawkins talking about black holes. I can’t say I understood most of what he said, but I came out pondering the possibility that my long-lost pair of eyeglasses dropped into a mini black hole.

Back to Man vs Wild, then.


How I almost made $5 this morning

As the NYT won’t listen to my very assertive requests to cancel my subscription, I browsed through the contents of this morning’s edition and found their annual Sunday Magazine obituary issue, quaintly named “The Lives They Lived”.

The front page shows in neon signs JUNE ALLYSON EUGENE LANDY STEVE HOWE and a dozen others. Before looking inside, I said to The Husband, who was just getting out of bed and had walked into the kitchen for a glass of water,

I bet you $5 they don’t mention Jeane Kirkpatrick.

The Husband might have been half-asleep but is very familiar with the NYT editorial criteria.

He declined to wager. Darn.

Sure enough, no Jeane Kirkpatrick. Instead, they had Anais Nin’s “other husband”, and the Naked Guy. Can’t say I had heard of those two before.

At least The Economist showed more grace: in their year-end “Special Holiday Double Issue”, they have her obituary, along with op-ed comment (“Certain sentences from her most famous article, “Dictatorships and Double Standards” – written on her summer holiday in France, published in Commentary magazine in November 1979 – now induce a sigh.” [link added], and we all know how deeply The Economist has been sighing):

Her actual job was ambassador to the United Nations, the first woman to do it. She found the UN a dangerous place, the work miserable, and Security Council debates “more like a mugging than anything else”. There, too, her shade seemed to haunt the corridors in the days before she died. Her style at the General Assembly was a model for John Bolton’s, confrontational and blunt to a degree, and the present ambassador, as he resigned amid general hooting, candidly acknowledged his debt to her. But times were different then. Mrs Kirkpatrick represented an America that had become, under Jimmy Carter, an apologetic and unconfident country. She saw no need to compromise or conciliate on anything, but instead came out furiously fighting against the “expansionist” Soviet Union and its client states. “There is…only one revolutionary society in the contemporary world,” she cried in 1984, “and that is our society.”

America still remains the one revolutionary society in the contemporary world. Thank you, Ambassador Kirkpatrick.


Cinnamon Stillwell writes about how the Experts Discover Men And Women Are Different! Cinnamon explains,

The manly virtues include character, confidence, honor, inner strength, pride, responsibility, loyalty, generosity, industry and dignity.

The antidote to the trans confusion, male girlfriends, and weepie guys? The Discovery Channel Guys, of course! Not one wuss in the lot – and Bear Grylls looks great without a shirt on.

Unfortunately he waited to take off his shirt until he was adrift on the Pacific Ocean, but still…


The Discovery Channel Guys

After two days away from political blogging, I’m still not in political news mode, so there.

Being the only female in the house I’m outvoted when it comes to TV selections, so I’ve watched a lot of Discovery Channel stuff over time.

I love the Discovery Channel guys.

My first pick is my fantasy cab ride, The Cash Cab. The Cash Cab’s the only game show I can stand. There’s this guy named Ben who drives a New York city taxi and he asks you trivia questions. If you get the questions right he gives you money. If you don’t, you still get a free cab ride: A win-win situation.

I’ve been taking cabs in NYC for over 25 years and one can only dream of finding a
1. nice American cab driver
2. who speaks English
3. knows where he’s going
4. and doesn’t drive like he’s in the throes of demonic posession.
Making $500 after answering a few questions would only be the icing on the cake. The Cash Cab is on at 5PM while I plan and make dinner, at the same time as Larry Kudlow’s program on CNBC, which comes to think of it, has also made me a little money.

The Dirty Jobs marathon was playing on Christmas Eve while I was cooking. Mike, the show’s host, has achieved fame and fortune by finding the grossest, messiest jobs around and building a TV program about them. All the jobs require a great deal of physical extertion. Most of the jobs are done by men, with a few exceptions, such as the lady that shucks oysters and the Army maintenance engineer. Some of the jobs – such as silkscreening – require great skill and training, and others are simply disgusting, but Mike’s there, showing us that there is great pride in doing a job well, and that these jobs are indispensable to the functioning of our society:

But you’ll walk away from Dirty Jobs with more than just a glimpse into unfamiliar occupational duties – serving slop to pigs, collecting sperm from stallions and removing bones from fish, for example. If you’re like us, you’ll also gain a new understanding and appreciation for all the often-unpleasant functions someone is shouldering to make your everyday life easier, safer – and often cleaner.

Mike’s nice-looking and seems like a real nice guy but I hope he gets good and clean before he heads home after he’s done. You don’t want him bringing that stuff into your house.

I wasn’t sure whether to include Man vs. Wild on this post, because I think the premise is crazy. So I (F) discussed with my son (S), and the conversation went like this,

F: It’s crazy.
S: It’s not!
F: I’ve watched the program and the guy’s crazy.
S: He’s not crazy. He’s cool.
F: OK, I’ll look up the program on the website. What’s the guy’s name?
S: Bear.
F: The guy’s named Bear?
S: That’s his real name. Bear Grylls.
F: That explains a number of things.
S: Like what?
F: Like why he has a job that requires him to be dewormed after he’s done in the jungle.
S (Patiently explaining to the obviously clueless mother): It’s called surviving, Mom. The idea is to go to the jungle and survive.
F: My idea would be to go to Club Med in Cancun and have a great time.
S: He’s not going to do that – he was Special Ops in the British Army, and did a program on the French Foreign Legion. And he can fish with his bare hands.
F: That, too?
S: Oh yeah, he’s cool.
F; You’re right. I’ll include him in the post.

But my favorites are Adam and Jamie of Mythbusters, which yesterday had a marathon while I was cooking. (Do I see a pattern here?) Adam and Jamie do actual science experiments while having a great deal of fun (they do get to blow up a lot of stuff), and their crew are definitely cool. However, The Husband, who worked as a scientist in a lab, complains about their lack of safety measures, especially when it comes to flammable materials.

I’m sure I’m not the only Mythbusters fan out there since last Friday I nearly started an altercation at the Barnes and Noble at Marketfair. I was looking for this book and for a last-minute gift when I saw a lady go by carrying a copy of MythBusters: Don’t Try This at Home. I was standing at the Information desk while the clerk looked up some information for me, and I asked her where the book was. She said she’d go and get it for me while I picked up the Che book.

She was back before I got back to the Information desk, and waiving the book in the air said, “Mythbusters book!” Four people raised their hands trying to grab at the book while the clerk fought them off.

She managed to tell them where the book was, and as I headed to the register with the copy she’d found me, I saw two people getting in a tug of war over the one copy left at the display.

As I’m writing this post American Chopper‘s Christmas special’s playing. I haven’t watched American Chopper yet. No time like the present – they’re making Santa a motorcycle.


Not related to the Discovery Channel, but cool,