‘Race’ Returns Sans HD. Again.

CBS has updated the official website for season 13 of their Emmy winning reality series, The Amazing Race. My favorite reality show’s 13th season features 11 new teams as they race around the globe to try and be the first to cross the finish line for 1 million dollars. I was really hoping that the show’s producers would make the move to gorgeous high-def by now but the AP is reporting this isn’t the case.

Although CBS’s mega-hit Survivor has finally switched to HD this year, The Amazing Race seems to be stuck at a roadblock. Executive producer Betram van Munster told the AP that his show won’t switch to high definition anytime soon. “I don’t think it’s a priority. We’re just happy to continue making the show as it is.” That’s too bad because if there ever was a TV show made for HD, Race is it. Jet-setting to exotic locations, exploring unknown streets and experiencing challenges in 1080p is just what The Amazing Race needs to give it a kick in the pants.

Aside from the HD disappointment, I’m really looking forward to the debut. Season 13 includes the usual assortment of teams like the blonde belles, the long-distance daters and even a pair of aging hippies. Being the huge geek that I am, my money is on Mark and Bill, two long-time friends and comic book fans who met at a science fiction club. CBS also promises several firsts this year including race legs in Cambodia and Kazakhstan. The network has also revealed one team will make an “unprecedented mistake” on the road, which will keep them from crossing the finishing line. Thanks to my friend Cabel Sasser of Panic fame, we already know which city that finish line will be featured in. He also told me about one of the final race challenges which he was lucky enough to (kind of) witness, and it sounds positively WILD. I think you’ll really love it.

The new season of The Amazing Race begins Sunday, September 28th at 8pm est. Despite the lack of HD, Race really is the best reality show on television, bar none. Just once however, I’d love to see someone get Philimated in glorious wide-screen format. Oh well, there’s always next year. Travel safe!

Obama Isn’t the One Playing Cards

Bringing myself to admit, and perhaps to some small degree, promote the disgusting hatred of racism turns my stomach. But media outlets, and some local bloggers have started to promote the idea that Barack Obama has finally “played the race card” in recent days by predicting that the GOP will try to use the issue against him. To all those reporters, bloggers and other misguided folks out there, I’ve got news for you: It’s too late for all that.

From the moment Obama put his hat in the ring, the “cards” started to fall. It wasn’t Obama that sold racist Curious George t-shirts with “Obama in 08″ on them. It wasn’t Obama that sold racist campaign buttons at a Republican state convention reading “If Obama is President… will we still call it The White House?”. No, that was the GOP. Let me state that again, it was the Texas state Republicans who distributed and promoted that particular brand of hate.

And now we have word from the Washington Post that interest in white supremacist groups has been sharply increasing. These Neo-Nazi and skinhead organizations (or cockroaches as blogger Oliver Willis calls them) have seen a dramatic increase in traffic to their online websites because of the prospect of an African American president in their future. So much for a color-blind society.

So don’t you dare tell me that Barack Obama is the one playing the race card on the electorate. Thanks to the scores of racists that have reared their ugly heads (both in private and public channels) these past few months, that hand was played long, long ago. For Obama to leave them sitting there without making the rest of us aware of the danger they represent is naive. Race is an integral part of his campaign, whether for good or bad, which is why a win in November would be all the more historic. Deal with it.