Penn & Teller: BS Season 8

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by mattCR, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Kicked off tonight with "Cheerleaders"
     
  2. Garrett Adams

    Garrett Adams Supporting Actor

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    Very well done, and a big problem that I had no idea existed.
     
  3. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I was pretty stunned by the level of scam that really is. I mean, really stunned. I commented in my facebook about it, and someone I knew, who I knew was into it as a teacher, pointed out that yeah, major injuries especially with girls getting dropped are very real.


    It's pretty apparent that the whole concept of saying "Cheering isn't a sport" which is the way this started needs to be re-evaluated. If they are going to do all this wild tumbling, gymnastics, and competitions, it sure as hell is a sport. That moment where the girl misses a tumbling run, goes flying and a trained coach walks over very slowly and basically tells her shake it off, you're going to do it again.. wow.
     
  4. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    I'm not sure why you're calling it a scam. Scam means a confidence game or other fraudulent scheme.
     
  5. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    But Chris, isn't that exactly what it is? Parents are informed that there is an independent governing body (USASF) and there isn't, that place is entirely owned by Varisty, and it is never disclosed to those involved, so they don't realize the system is rigged and that the governing body isn't a governing body at all.


    Meanwhile, since one company controls all the tournaments held under about 15 different shell companies, they manage to get much more revenue by fooling people into participating into a varying set of different tournaments that are all under different brand names.. but in fact, the same company.


    I'm not sure how that doesn't fit the idea of scam.. using means of deception to influence people to spend tens of thousands - as P&T point out - while providing a fixed governing body.
     
  6. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    I'm not sure what you're talking about, because the cheerleaders I know of are cheering for their schools' teams.


    The fact that they might get injured doesn't make it a scam. I don't think anyone is intentionally designing routines to cause injuries.
     
  7. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Chris, did you watch the same show? Them participating isn't a scam. It's that the governing body is run by someone who is making money on the enterprise. In effect, the "refs" and "sanctioning body" are paid off. Meanwhile, the parents and those paying for it aren't informed or they are hidden behind shell


    Let's put it this way:


    Your kid plays football. It's a team sport. The sport itself isn't a scam. But let's imagine that the referees are all on Nike's payroll as a shell company called "Sport Safety Inc." and the rules committee for the sports is governed by "Football Guidelines, Inc." except both of them are owned by Nike. And then, let's say you have one tournament to win a competition here, and three others under the same header of "State Champs" Except for all the tournament for state championship, all the profits from all those tournaments goes back to the same company, Nike.


    Here, Varsity Inc. runs a total of 18 shell companies. They offer up 66 different "National Tournaments" all under different headings. They offer people who are "trained" for "safety" of the cheerleaders, by USASF, which is also owned by Varsity. The rules and point system is created by another company, under another name, which is also run by Varsity.


    So, the entire sport is "fixed". They use a confidence scheme by which parents let their kids participate because the parents believe that the event is safe because the trainers are all tought by USASF.. but USASF reports to no one except Varsity, which creates the point system, and does no level of checking on the things needed to make it safe.


    How is this not a scam? Yes, the word gets thrown around somewhat too often, but here you've got people throwing money at a group that has not helped make this a sport - where safety measures would actually be controlled by a truly independent body - and instead it has used a series of tournaments it all owns to hock it's product.


    Imagine if your kid competed in say, Volleyball. And they were invited to eight different tournaments to prove "State Champion" that wont' happen, because those things are controlled and the kids are protected against it. But cheering has no such protection.. so kids do multiple events which mean nothing because the bodies that support them aren't real at all.. they are just shell corporations for Varsity. And since Varsity's rule system DEDUCTS POINTS for using a Spotter (which would be the appropriate safety measure as they pointed out) then while the routines aren't designed to injure people, in order to get the points to win, you take on risky routines and you are coached to not use the appropriate safety measure. Imagine someone came in and said "a touchdown is worth 10 points if you don't where a helmet"


    Did you and I just watch the same show?
     
  8. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Screenwriter

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    I only caught a few minutes of it, but why don't people want to make cheerleading a sport? Is it because you will then have to have legit outside regulations for safety? And more regulations in general? Is it Varsity that doesn't want this to happen?


    You shouldn't be deducted points for having a spotter, you should be deducted points for having to use the spotter.
     
  9. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    I didn't see this episode but I heard Penn talking about on Opie & Anthony. That is basically the gist of it. To coach a recognized sport you need to have some kind of P.E. certification. So, for cheerleading you can have someone coaching it who has no formal training.
     
  10. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I agree with the above. But points are deducted if a spotter is present, not if they are used.


    As for why is it not a sport.. well, Title IX, when it came out, basically said schools were using Cheerleading funding to prevent them from funding women's sports, and demanded equal expenditure for womens sports. That was a good idea then, in 1972, when cheerleading was just standing on the side and waving pom-poms. Now, it's a bunch of tumbling, gymnastics, basket tosses and.. competitions. Before the mid 80s, there were no competitions, enter.. Varsity.


    And that's the other reason why it isn't a sport.. Varsity, who runs all the governing bodies, sells all the uniforms, certifies coaches and runs thousands of summer camps has fought to keep it from being a sport. Why? Because if it's a sport, it has to report to a state level athletic association. Coaches would have to pass a basic PE Certification, requiring them to know CPR and emergency care.. something that isn't at all required now. And, even worse.. if it's controlled by a state athletic association, then USASF becomes irrelevent as a governing body, and the fees paid to them go away. And for Varsity, "National" tournaments go away because if you're a sport you only compete within your own state, with exceptions only by exemption. (ie, do you ever see a state champion football team in florida flying to Alabama to play a game there? No.) Varsity runs 66 national cheerleading tournaments. I did a quick run of the math, and the fees alone they collect from these tourneys is between 12-16 million. If Cheerleading was a sport, none of these tournaments would exist. State only tournaments would exist... and they couldn't charge entry fees beyond cost. Entry fees in some national tournaments under Varsity is up to a few hundred dollars PER KID. If it was run by a state, the maximum fee would probably be that -per team-
     
  11. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Anyone see the fast food episode? I knew Penn would lay into the blonde decrying the fast food industry.
     
  12. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Yeah, I was laughing as she kept prattling on and I was thinking: she's about to get doused. I did love the blind test, which tended to show that people will eat a ton if they THINK it's healthy, but they worry about fast food. That was a good point.
     
  13. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    You know, when I watch this show now, more often than not I find myself disagreeing with P&T. The fast-food ep is a very good example. While there are some valid points made, Penn often shouts down the good points made by the opposing side in favour of his really rather poor attempts at being funny. Maybe because they're running out of cut-and-dry topics (or ran out years ago) which the majority of the audience could agree were BS... Now they're into more grey-area topics, where opinion is often split down the middle. It's very easy, I'm sure, to find one family who eats nothing but fast-food which has no health problems, just like you can find someone who has smoked for years who has perfect lungs (my dad would be an example of that). I guess I should just watch the show for the tits, huh... :-/
     
  14. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I don't think they ever made the point that fast food was good for you. I think they were making the point that taxes specifically aimed at fast food or soft drinks tend to backfire and aren't productive.
     
  15. LynxFX

    LynxFX Stunt Coordinator

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    I didn't really buy either argument on this episode. For starters, I eat fast food every day and I'm not fat. The reason, I eat in moderation and I stay active. They sort of hit on that for the very last point about not having to eat your entire burger or steak. It is the excess that causes obesity. You can get just as fat on salad if you eat enough of it. I didn't like how they basically ignored the health aspects. Again something that can be avoided with knowledge and exercise. I do agree that taxing soda and fast food and redoing zoning laws for where a franchise can or can not be is bullshit.


    I'm looking forward to the Area-51 ep and Old People? :)
     
  16. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    If You've seen "Super Size Me" they interviewed a guy who ate at McDonald's every day apparently and he was a beanpole.
     
  17. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Screenwriter

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    I have eaten fast food on average of about 2.5 times a day for about 6 years and am 5'8 143, I have lost weight since I stopped making my food and working out. I work in construction so I am somewhat active during that time.
     
  18. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Jeremiah, I hate you so very, very much.


    ;)
     
  19. Robert A. Willis Jr.

    Robert A. Willis Jr. Second Unit

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    There are other factors beside weight to worry about. Too much fat will affect your cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.
     
  20. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    The Martial arts one pointed out everything I have always thought:


    (1) Belts are BS, there is no standard.. except money to buy them


    (2) It's unfortunate, but just as likely someone would use martial arts as an agressor rather then for defense.


    (3) Breaking wood is BS


    (4) Encouraging people to fight in a muggings etc. is stupid.


    Liked it.


    These are much more simpler, direct issues this year, but I tend to agree.
     

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