Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Seeing Double

That annual day of love affectionately known half the world over as Valentine’s Day saw the other half of the globe celebrating the Lunar New Year as it ushered in the "Year of the Tiger" with hopes of good fortune. All of this luck in love hoopla gave us pause to wonder what lovers and tigers could possibly have in common.

It’s said that the Year of the Iron Tiger (or is that the “9-Iron Tiger”?) will keep away the three main tragedies of any household, and we can only surmise those averted tragedies would include something like NOT:

1) carelessly driving the family SUV into a tree at the end of the driveway in the wee hours of Thanksgiving night;

2) discovering extracurricular texts and phone calls from strange women on your husband’s cell phone; and

3) being forced to fend off a paparazzi feeding frenzy.

In with the Tiger also comes the superstitious belief that the year won’t be a good one for getting married. No one probably knows this better than the Arab ambassador who was treated to a cross-eyed view of marriage on his wedding day in Cairo a couple of weeks ago. We assume the bearded bride didn’t marry a hairless man, and there was obviously only room for one beard in that household. After Mr. Ambassador cried foul and obtained a hasty annulment, all we could see in the rear view mirror was burning rubber when he hotfooted out of town with no booty in the back.

Mr. Ambassador’s desire to have it both ways evidently backfired when the truth was unveiled, much to his (very public) humiliation. The discarded wife, however, incontestably landed on her feet financially thanks to his $136,000 endowment. Perhaps the Lunar New Year should’ve been called the Year of the Tigress instead.

The anthropology deeply nestled within the species homo sapien has proven itself to be hard wired into the most basic male-female interchange. Few would argue that the human male tends to gravitate towards visually attractive women who can reproduce, just as the female tends to gravitate towards strong men who can provide and protect. While the delicate balance of power between the genders has been historically lopsided in favor of the dominant male, it appears the pendulum has begun to swing in the direction of the educated female.

And it looks as if this shift is about to give new meaning to the phrase “double standard”.

As the economic advantages once commanded by men continues to decline in favor of breadwinning women, traditional roles have logically begun to alter as well. Yet somewhere within this shift in financial power percolates a healthy opportunity to incorporate these evolving standards and redefine the contributions each partner is expected to make to the partnership.

Replacing some of that old anthropological hard wiring has undeniably shown itself to be a challenge for today’s men and women as they both struggle to find a new normal in contemporary society. How then will the institution of marriage ultimately be redefined, and will it stand the test of time? 
Why buy the cow when you can milk it for free? ‘Vice Versa Verses’ December 8, 2009 posting "Wedded Biz”.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mount Olympus Chariot Sale (DS)

We had a dream……and in that dream we saw NBC Titan Jeff Zucker make the power play of a lifetime when he contrived to buy out Zeus, the King of the Gods himself, and purchase the right to sit upon that mighty throne perched high atop Mount Olympus.
Mr. Zucker’s strategic calculations reinforced his empirical belief that buying an Olympic kingdom wasn’t going to be cheap. Fortunately for Zucker, however, the Roman emperors of yesteryear had generously provided an historic sampling of time-tested tactics on how to successfully secure popular opinion with just a few celebratory games.

So when this Titan doled out $2 billion for the exclusive rights to televise the international athletic games played in honor of Zeus, it was simply a means to an end. And a little pre-games warm up didn’t hurt in priming the power pump either.

We followed along in dreamy disbelief as J.Z. preemptively engineered the thundering clash between late night television Titans, Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno. In the end, Mr. Z firmly established his incontestable reign as the Peacock King when he churlishly swept Conan away with a $45 million granite curling stone and tossed him deep into Tartarus until September.

While Zeus and Zucker were battling through the hard core negotiations about who’d be king of the mountain, we watched as the other gods quickly took advantage of the distraction and did some mischief-making of their own with the athletic pawns on the ground.

No one enjoys revelry and merry-making more than the god of parties, Dionysus. Dionysus understandably felt a special kinship with Bode Miller, and made sure that the bad boy of skiing got to party and socialize at an Olympic level. Any media backlash from his boy Bode’s off course antics would be synchronistically timed to end with the Big Bang.

The divine support offered up to Lindsey Vonn by the goddess of victory, Nike, seemed undeniable. That “Sports Illustrated” cover jinx may have made her a target like Chiron for the poisonous arrow of Hercules, but if Nike wanted to prolong Lindsey's pre-race healing time by messing with the weather a little, then so be it.

As we followed the Olympic flame on its time honored pilgrimage to the winter games in Vancouver, we wondered whether or not the Peacock King would capriciously torch the Olympic broadcasts altogether and replace them with reruns of “The Tonight Show” just because he could.

And then we woke up and thought that maybe the gods knew what they were doing when they created an honorary position for Stephen Colbert on the Olympic sports psychology team. Someone has to keep us laughing, and it won’t be Conan.

But what we really want to know is who will be king of the mountain and take home the gold?

Win popular opinion the Roman way in our ‘Dream Sequence’ September 27, 2009 posting "Rise of the Global Republic”.