31 July 2014

Full of Pique

It was one of those mornings. I had to get up at before the crack of dawn, in order to catch an early train, because I had to get to a dentist appointment at 8:00, because on Monday, I went to the same dentist (at 8 am, same early train, same dark arising) and was told that I had a tiny little cavity. I can't remember the last time I had a cavity. Ancient fillings falling apart, leading to root canals and crowns? Sure. Tiny little newborn cavities? Blech.

On the train, the accursed early train, I discovered that I'd left my wallet home. My wallet, with my monthly train ticket, and my flex account credit card. So I got a bill from the conductor, which he claimed they will waive when I whine at customer service with my actual ticket in hand, but I'm going to have to whine nicely at the conductor on the train home so that I don't get a second bill. I did, however, get a belly laugh out of the dentist's assistant when I told him that I'd left my wallet home and that "of course, I won't be able to pay you". He shrugged, which is one of the reasons I adore him.

My general sense of pique at the ill start to my day was thoroughly exacerbated by the plethora of infuriating stories in the good grey lady, like the one about the trust fund dilettante whose neighbors don't like that she's inviting artists to her eight acre estate in suburban Connecticut. Read it, the whole thing. It's full of gag-inducing gems, ranging from "littered with Mr. Zorn’s charcoal sketches, including one that bore the digestive imprint of a chicken" to "Home-schooled until the age of 14, when her mother, Euphemia Brock Slater, a Mayflower descendant, died from complications of rheumatic fever..."

Then there was the front page article about the dare-devil idiots swinging from natural rock arches out in Moab, UT.

Agency officials say they are always surprised by how fast extreme sports evolve around them. One day, they got a call that someone had built a human catapult from the top of a plateau. They then realized they had no rules about human catapults, for or against.

Right - there are no rules about human catapults because normal human beings never dreamed that anyone would try such a thing outside of a circus!

But the piece that really got me frothing at the mouth was the one about Under Armour's new ad campaign. It's geared towards women, and it showcases a ballet dancer. Great! But:

Advertising for Under Armour tends to feature elite athletes competing on fields, but to promote its women’s line the athletic apparel brand has a new commercial starring a nonathlete....Under Armour says Ms. [Missy] Copeland is the first nonathlete with whom it has signed an advertising contract.

Sputter, sputter, sputter.

What neither Under Armour nor its ad agency (and perhaps the New York Times too) realize is that ballet dancers are passionate, disciplined, fierce ATHLETES. To call this campaign one that uses a "non-athlete" is appallingly insensitive. Just because they're not playing a game in which someone loses and someone else wins, doesn't make them not athletes.

And lest you want to quibble, ask an orthopedist, or read the Merriam-Webster definition of athlete:

noun \ˈath-ˌlēt, ÷ˈa-thə-ˌlēt\

: a person who is trained in or good at sports, games, or exercises that require physical skill and strength

Ballet dancer = athlete. No question.

Tomorrow, I plan to wake up at a normal hour and I hope to be not infuriated by anything I read in the paper.


FreshHell said...

Good luck with that.

Heide Estes said...

I just had a cavity too -- first time in 45 years. And I've been reading the news through one squinty eye with the other eye shut because ... I just don't want to know.

Anonymous said...


Jocelyn said...

Well now I'm PISSED.

A ballerina a non-athlete? Eff all that sh**.

Liz W said...

I have to say I went ballistic when I read the piece about the arts colony in CT. I need to sign up for a "workshop" and go haywire in her house and grounds; let's do that soon, yes???

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Definitely athletes. I'm not a huge fan of cheerleading, but those girls are athletes too.