Sports Briefs

Super Bowl has super morals?

Spouses feeling frisky and unfulfilled with their partner didn’t find any new avenues for intercourse during Super Bowl advertising. According to, a website called, which seeks to match attached men and women for casual encounters, has had its commercial rejected by CTV, Canada’s Super Bowl broadcaster.

“The Super Bowl attracts a broad audience composed of families, men and women, young and old. An advertisement for a website promoting adultery does not meet the standards for the quality brands associated with this premiere television property and major social event,” said Scott Henderson, CTV’s vice-president of communications.

So it’s really about branding, then. I was expecting to hear something about football and family values, but CTV’s really out to protect their other (wealthier) advertisers, like beer companies. Anyone who’s seen beer ads knows they definitely don’t objectify women or glamorize promiscuity.

Author John Updike dies at 76

The great American author John Updike died Jan. 27 at a hospice near his home in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts after a battle with lung cancer.

Along with two Pulitzer Prize wins for his well-known “Rabbit” series, Updike’s 50-year career explored everyday post-war American life in many written forms, including children’s books, poems, memoirs and criticism. According to the BBC, fellow Pulitzer Prize-winner Philip Roth described Updike as “our time’s greatest man of letters, as brilliant a literary critic and essayist as he was a novelist and short story writer.”

Updike suffered health ailments such as asthma and psoriasis during much of his childhood, which freed up time to develop a love for reading and writing. After leaving Harvard University with an English degree, he traveled to England to study graphic art. But it was at The New Yorker, for which Updike wrote reviews, where he began his journey to the forefront of American literature.

Updike is survived by his second wife, Martha, four children and grandchildren.

Conservative budget sees increase in arts funding

All that whining finally paid off. According to, the federal government’s new budget contains $276 million in new funds for arts and culture that will be spread over the next few years. There is speculation that the unfortunate cuts made by the conservatives last fall are the reason they failed to gain a majority government.

“Generally speaking, it’s good news. Not as good as one would have hoped for, but good in that the government has turned its back on slashing arts and culture and has seen the importance of maintaining and increasing investments,” said Alain Pineau, executive director of the Canadian Conference of the Arts.

Let’s hope this trend continues for the Stephen Harper’s conservatives, but not so much that we actually begin to like them.

Published in Volume 63, Number 19 of The Uniter (February 5, 2009)

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