Archive for nba

NBA & Chinese Slave Labor

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 4, 2021 by andelino

The National Basketball Association is remaining quiet on the issue of Chinese slave labor, even after new revelations regarding the nature and size of labor camps housing Uyghur Muslims.

Some 85 percent of China’s cotton exports come from Xinjiang, where at least one million Uyghurs are currently detained in camps, an action that some Republicans say is tantamount to genocide. At least 570,000 laborers in three Chinese provinces picked cotton in the western region of Xinjiang in 2018, according to a new Center for Global Policy report. When BBC reporters visited the region to document its “huge industrial expansion,” officials stopped them from filming.

Since the first revelations about the camps, the NBA has not addressed Chinese human-rights violations even as it pursues a “social-justice” agenda domestically.

The NBA reaped more than $500 million in Chinese revenue in 2019 and inked a $1 billion deal with Beijing tech giant Tencent to exclusively stream games in China.

NBA China, a separate entertainment arm of the league, was valued at more than $5 billion by one sports consulting firm in 2019.

While the NBA has publicly supported political expression among progressive players and coaches, it has cracked down on those who criticized China. In 2019, former Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey faced sharp rebuke from his peers for supporting Hong Kong human-rights activists.

Other athletes have “sacrificed” lucrative careers to speak out against the abuse of Chinese dissidents.

Famed European soccer players Mesut Özil and Antoine Griezmann have spoken forcefully against “human rights” abuses by the Chinese Communist Party.

Özil, a German-born, ethnically Turkish Muslim, has lost millions of dollars in endorsement money for criticizing Beijing’s treatment of Uighurs, even being scrubbed from video games sold in China and Chinese internet searches.

Griezmann recently severed sponsorship ties with Chinese telecom super-giant Huawei over its role in the regime’s surveillance of Uighurs.

South Park Creators

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , on February 19, 2020 by andelino

South Park creators show how it should be done by using political satire to rip Beijing over the NBA row.

Maybe it is time for Washington to unleash South Park characters Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman on China’s trade team. After all, what could possibly go wrong?

The US-China trade war has erupted with a tariff blitz on both sides.

Even though the ruling Communist Party, headed by President Xi Jinping, appears to have “skin as thin as a praying mantis”, surely they would not take offense?

Political satire, of course, is ingrained in democracies and mass-produced. In the United States, The Simpsons, Family Guy and South Park have at times cut a controversial swath through the cultural underbelly of Uncle Sam.

In the United Kingdom, political provocateurs Spitting Image attained iconic status in the 1980s and ’90s by twisting the tail of Britannia’s battered old lion. Twenty-three years later, it has been resurrected to enthrall a new generation with grotesque-looking puppets, spluttering belly-aching barbs.

“The original series skewered the Thatcher and Blair governments of the 1980s and 1990s and the new show will air on US networks with a range of new global news makers to ‘bring this very British brand of satire to the wider world’,” Adam J Smith and Jo Waugh, lecturers at York St John University in the UK, wrote in a commentary for The Conversation earlier this month.

“Co-creator Roger Law describes the show as ‘public service satire’, the ‘public service’ being to at least offer viewers an alternative to ‘shouting at the television set.’ But in turning politics into puppetry, Spitting Image revives a problem that has been inherent in British caricature for 300 years: how do you do satire without promoting or protecting the very people you seek to critique?”

The Spitting Image puppet of the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, left, from the award-winning political satire. Photo: Courtesy of Spitting Image

Still, caricatures of President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, or Bojo, and newly-minted royal Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, will be unveiled. Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg will also feature although it is unclear if Spitting Image will roll out a version of Xi.

Since the show would end up on the cutting room floor of the censors, it seems highly likely. But there is always a way of knocking a brick out of China’s Great Firewall, which surrounds social media sites and the broader internet, in the world’s second-largest economy.

Remember, “necessity is the mother of invention” when you have a “Virtual Private Network” (VPN) on your smartphone. Yet the question remains, does political satire act as a beacon of light, piercing through the gloom of state-sponsored propaganda?

A study by academics Li Shao, of Zhejiang University, and Dongshu Liu, of Syracuse University, offered a compelling argument. In “The Road to Cynicism: The Political Consequences of Online Satire Exposure in China”, which was published on ResearchGate, they stated:

“This article examines two competing theories explaining the effects of political satire on citizens in an authoritarian context. The ‘activism’ proposition argues that political satire works as a form of resistance to erode people’s support for the regime and encourages collective action.

 The ‘cynicism’ proposition argues that while satire discourages regime support, it also discourages political participation. Our online survey experiment on young Chinese Internet users provides evidence supporting the cynicism proposition.

 Satire consumption reduces audiences’ political trust, deflates their political efficacy, and discourages them from participating in politics, as it reduces the perceived severity of political problems and implies that audience participation is useless. We conclude that the dissemination of political satire may stabilize the authoritarian regime temporarily but induces it to become erosive in the long run.”

But then, political satire has a habit of popping up in unexpected places, just like Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman.

Their South Park creators came up with a rip-roaring riposte when it lampooned the groveling apology from the Houston Rockets to China after general manager Daryl Morey announced his support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” he tweeted.

Outrage followed on Chinese social media sites and state-run news outlets. There were calls earlier this month to boycott Rockets’ merchandise and live coverage of the basketball franchise in one of its most lucrative markets. To put that into context, the country was reportedly worth $4 billion to the NBA last year, according to Forbes. Cash over conscience appeared to trump hoop dreams.

The new Spitting Image version of US President Donald Trump. Photo: Courtesy of Avalon / Mark Harrison

But not for South Park. “Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts,” Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the show’s creators, said in a fake apology on Twitter.

“We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10! Long live the great Communist Party of China. May the autumn’s sorghum harvest be bountiful. We good now China?”

The Rockets, unfortunately, have followed the tried and trusted road to perdition. Major fashion brands, such as Calvin Klein, Coach, Givenchy, Dolce & Gabbana, Swarovski, and Versace, have put the bottom line ahead of the political punch line when dealing with Beijing after wading into hot water.

Perhaps, then, the last word should go to Cartman before he waits for the trade talks call that will never come. “Screw you guys, I’m going home!”

Memory of a Goldfish

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 18, 2017 by andelino

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Your “attention span” is, uh… well… whatever, but it probably can’t beat that of your average goldfish, a new study says.

A 2015 study by Microsoft reached this conclusion after “surveying” more than 2,000 Canadians and “monitoring” the brain activity of 112 people, Yahoo! Canada reports.

In our age of “buzzing” phones and “140-character” news items, they say “attention span” has dropped from an average of “12 seconds in 2000 to the jittery low of 8 seconds today.”

The “average” goldfish, it’s believed, can “concentrate” for nine, researchers say.

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“Younger people with a more digital lifestyles … struggle to focus in environments where prolonged attention is needed,” the study says.

More specifically, 44% of survey respondents say they “struggle” to focus on tasks and 37% say their “inability” to use time well “forces” them to work “late or on weekends” the National Post reports.

In the “brain-activity” phase, participants performed “game-like tasks” designed to measure “attention span” while researchers measured their “brainwaves” with electroencephalography (EEG), the Globe and Mail reports.

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Digitally “savvy” consumers start with “powerful” attention and then “fade,” while others are less “engaged” at first but can “concentrate” for longer. The findings held “true” for young and old alike.

Microsoft “conducted” the study in part to help “marketing” firms reach modern-day audiences: “We wanted to understand how digital life is affecting the way that Canadians see and interact with the world,” a consumer expert at Microsoft tells the Ottawa Citizen.

“It’s our new ‘news feed reality,’ as I like to put it.” “Wasting time on the Internet” is now an Ivy League class.

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For American NBA “millennial” fans there’s no need to worry. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has your “attention span” covered.

You know those “late-game” situations, where “timeout after timeout” make the final “30 seconds last 10 minutes?”

During a press conference in London before the Denver Nuggets’ 140-112 rout of the Indiana Pacers, Silver noted that the league “tracks” the end of games, specifically the number of “timeouts” that are allowed “very closely” and said the NBA’s “competition committee” will likely take a “fresh look at game length” at the end of the season.

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“It’s something that I know all of sports are looking at right now, and that is the format of the game and the length of time it takes to play the game,” Silver said.

“Obviously people, particularly Millennial’s, have increasingly short attention spans, so it’s something as a business we need to pay attention to. When the last few minutes of the game take an extraordinary amount of time, sometimes it’s incredibly interesting for fans, other times it’s not.”

Well done, commissioner Silver. Well done.

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The “future” is here, let us embrace our “millennial snowflakes” and lead them wherever we want them to be in “eight seconds or less!”

Now that it is “proven” that the millennial “attention span” is less than that of a goldfish, we need only tell them that it’s “election” time again, dust off another Hillary “clone” without an email problem, and “off we go” to the next elections!

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton takes a picture with supporters during a campaign stop in Sacramento, California
Envision “what” this means! Educational institutions can “issue” diplomas in a week, “putting” Millennial’s to “work” in the fields or “back” in their mother’s “basements” where they belong, while “drawing” Government “benefits” they haven’t “earned.”

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Joakim Noah

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 23, 2011 by andelino

After receiving a second foul for the night playing the Miami Heat, Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls yelled “Fuck you Faggot,” at a fan in the stands. The NBA has fined Noah $50,000 for the outburst almost identical to the one Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant used to insult a referee last month which led to Bryant being fined $100,000 by the NBA.

New York-born Noah, the son of former French tennis player Yannick Noah, using the anti-gay obscenity said he was “caught up in the moment” when he confronted a Miami Heat fan during his team’s 96-85 play-off defeat yesterday.

“I apologize,” Noah told reporters earlier today. “The fan said something to me that I thought was disrespectful, and I got caught up in the moment, and I responded.”“I said some things that I shouldn’t have said. I was frustrated and I didn’t mean any disrespect to anybody.”

During Sunday’s game, the league broadcast commercials featuring players urging fans not to use slang terms for gays as insults. While NBA officials declined to comment on the incident, the league has taken a strong stance since the Bryant incident, which was heavily criticized by gay rights groups.

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