Another visit to wonder land

Depending on the results of this week’s election (my deadline was election eve), I’m either very relieved and thankful today or I’m scared spitless and praying my knees off for the future of our once great nation. Either way, it seems like a good time for the third episode of my admittedly random “wonderings.” And so, for the last time this year (I promise), here we go:

I wonder:  why it took station management at KTLA two years to realize the blunder they made by removing Stephanie Edwards from the station’s annual Rose Parade coverage? Watching her spar with co-host Bob Eubanks has been a tradition in our family for seemingly decades. Parade coverage these past two years without the perky redhead was like watching a float without flowers. I’ve had the privilege of working professionally with Ms. Edwards — a genuinely nice, classy and talented woman — and am grateful she’ll be back in our living rooms New Year’s morning.

I wonder: Having watched countless hours of the Beijing Olympics on high def TV this past August, why, in spite of the bleeding-edge sports technology in use — aero-fabrics, wind tunnel training, advancements in competitive physiology, kinesiology, psychology and many other “ologies” — the athletes’ numbers are still attached to their jerseys with old school, low-tech safety pins? I wonder if any inventors out there noticed.

I wonder: still thinking of the Olympics, if Speedo will do the right thing and limit sales of their revolutionary, ultra-tight LZR swimsuits to professional swimmers only? They should have done that with their original, package-hugging Speedo briefs that have frightened children and adults alike on public beaches for decades. I shudder to think of land whales strutting their stuff for all to see beneath a plastic-wrap-like LZR suit. Michael Phelps is one thing. Homer Simpson something else entirely.

I wonder:  if the years of promoting self-esteem and confidence vs. discipline and responsibility in our schools have led to a generation of super-narcissists? I read in a study that American prison populations have a significantly higher rate of self esteem than the general public overall. Seriously? I know its anecdotal, but you only have to watch the first weeks of any “American Idol” season and observe the shocked dismay of the diva wannabes when told they simply can’t sing. “Who are you to tell me I’m not talented?!?” they bark at Simon, Paula and Randy. “I know I’m gonna be a superstar. Everybody’s always said so!” Word of advice: Self-confidence can only take you so far, sister. You might want to work up a plan B.

I wonder: Since the mainstream media tried its best to turn Sarah Palin’s newly bought wardrobe into evidence of her not being as “small town” as portrayed, what would the same selectively critical media mavens have said if she already owned a wardrobe worthy of international press scrutiny like, say, multi-millionaires Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama do? Doesn’t the very fact that she didn’t have such clothes in her closet prove the point that Governor Palin runs in much less rarified and elitist circles? And correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t $15-million-a-year ($60,000-a-day) Katie Couric and friends initially mock Ms. Palin for wearing — gasp! — outfits bought from a thrift store?

I wonder:  what master salesperson convinced civic leaders to commit money and resources to build the new Pickens Canyon Park, that teensy-weensy sliver of scenery wedged between the flood control channel and the strip mall at the corner of Briggs and Foothill? Blink as you drive by and you’ll miss it. Seriously. Most dog leashes are longer than this place.

I wonder:  with our country more polarized than ever after such a long, ugly election cycle whether we will ever be truly united in anything, for any cause or purpose, ever again?

JIM CHASE is a longtime Crescenta Valley resident. He can be reached at jim@wordchaser.com.

 

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