NBC: It’s Not Easy Being Green

The wife and I are locked in a perpetual struggle over our home’s thermostat. She wants it above a balmy 78°F while I prefer it to be at 72°F.

Yet as with most things, fiscal responsibility wins the day and the thermostat does not dip below 78°F (the junior Senator from the state of Illinois would be proud).

What Mr. Obama would not be proud of is NBC’s act in Beijing:

Not Green: NBC Beijing Olympic Set Air Conditioned — Outdoors

Whatever happened to this?

Univisión Steps Its Game Up

Univisión, as most people know, is a Spanish-language television station. Contrary to popular perception:

  • it is pronounced Uni-vees-ee-on not Uni-vision
  • its programming does not consist solely of variety shows featuring large men surrounded by ladies in late evening wear (that would be rival station, Telemundo), nor does it consist solely of sitcoms set in classrooms with middle-age people dressed as schoolchildren and a sultry cougar as their teacher

Here are some things that can be observed about the network,

  • There is fútbol on Sundays
  • The novelas (soap operas) are not perpetual like their American counterparts but all of them have basically the same story line (dirt poor, preferrably indigenous-looking, girl falls in love with rich European looking dude, but social and economic forces prevent the pairing until… it is discovered that poor girl is the sole heir to a shadowy magnate’s vast fortune thereby erasing said social and economic forces but upper-class blond/blue bombshell antagoinst still remains to be vanquished… undoubtedly she suffers a horrible fate which is roughly karmaic in nature, and the heroine and her prince live happily ever after)
  • There are no ads for State Farm Insurance but ads for Estate Farm are legion
  • Hosts and station luminaries like to pretend that people from different Latin American countries can all be happily lumped into one big happy family

All this to point out that the wildly popular station is overtaking some of its English-speaking counterparts,
Rapid growth for Spanish-speaking television news

Felicidades Univision!

Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian try out for Dancing with the Stars

Or so it would seem…
yao-yi.jpgHouston Chronicle

English the Universal Language

The wife and I took our son to México over the weekend to visit my relatives who for the most part still reside in the old country.

We drove down there and thanks be to God we got back safe and sound, not to mention that it can be truly said that a good time was had by all.

So I was watching Mexican TV on Sunday morning and at this time the programming mostly caters to children. Amazingly enough one of the shows that I watched as a child is still running new episodes.

During a commercial break, there was a commercial which was somewhat surprising to me. Here in the States we tend to hear that those who wish to see English declared as the official language of these United States are racist, xenophobes or at best just ugly Americans.

I never understood the criticisms aimed at this group of people, why? Well because if you go to México no one objects to Spanish (the language of the majority) being my native country’s official language.

Back to the commercial: it was an ad for a set of DVDs (made by Disney) to teach kids English.

That was not much of a surprise but the way it was being marketed was. The pitch was that your kids must learn English for the sake of their future and that English must be learned because it is the “universal language”.

Strange that in the U.S. English has not been declared the official language (for political reasons) yet in México an ad is declaring it to be the universal language.