Tom takes on the Kardashians, RichRod, talking jocks and dumb parents

In an effort to avoid being accused of Scrooge-like symptoms, I have a few complaints to register before the start of the holiday season. I mean, it is Dec. 8; pretty soon, all the stores are going to have Christmas displays and stuff.

1. Could somebody please round up all of the Kardashians and put them on an island somewhere? And not an island with cameras, like "MILF Island" on 30 Rock. I can't take it anymore.

These three skanky-ass sisters and their skanky-ass mother are charter members of the FFSD Club. FFSD is a term I made up; it means Famous For ... (performing a particular act of physical intimacy). That's all they're famous for. Well, actually, they get an extra 10 percent fame bonus for being famous about being famous for the FFSD thing.

I understand that there are people out there whose parents were on the crack pipe during conception and pregnancy. Not everybody is meant to watch PBS. I have never watched the Kardashians' show; I value my intellect, such as it is.

Some might ask how I can criticize that which I've never seen. It would be a valid question were it not for the fact that the TV "show" has spilled over into the lives of people whose IQ numbers are higher than the number of teeth in their mouths. The Kardashians are in magazines, on TV news programs and in the newspaper. Make it stop.

As for the very concept of "reality" TV: Does anybody really believe that, knowing that there is a camera in the room, people are behaving just as they would otherwise? The mere act of observing something changes that which is being observed. Someone should mention that to the Kardashians, but I'm betting that the only word they would recognize is "of." And there's only a 50-50 chance that, working as a group, they could nail the spelling of "of."

Now that the furor over the fake-ass 72-day "marriage" is dying down, one of the other sisters is trying to grab headlines by screaming, "Hey, I got knocked up for the second time by a guy who won't marry me because he's too busy cheating on me with someone who is quite possibly even skankier than I."

And how do I know this? Because when I turned on AOL one day last week to look at news headlines, guess what came up? Not the debt crisis in Europe. Not the Santa Ana winds that damaged Southern California. Not the American who got kidnapped in Pakistan. No, the lead story was about one of the Skank Sisters who took time out from performing a particular act of physical intimacy to perform yet another ... without protection.

They're breeding, and perhaps we should all be very afraid.

2. I'm stunned by the reaction that Tucson Weekly editor Jimmy Boegle got when he expressed reservations about the hiring of new UA football coach Rich Rodriguez. At last count, more than 30 people had taken the time to comment online to say, "You're an idiot. RichRod's the greatest. Just read some book about Rodriguez's time at Michigan, and you'll rethink your entire stance."

I, too, cringed when they hired Rodriguez. (I would have greatly preferred Mike Leach, who was hired by Washington State.) If you don't want to call Rodriguez a cheater, then he's at least a certified rule-breaker. He doesn't come here with a clean slate, and he hasn't yet jettisoned his baggage. I'm an Arizona fan; I hope he stays clean and does well. I'll keep an open mind, but I don't welcome him with open arms.

3. We all understand that ESPN, in an effort to stay ahead-of-the-curve hip, hires former jocks as talking heads, offering "analysis" and banter. Many of these guys probably didn't see the inside of many classrooms, so over the course of a day, we can expect to hear "shoulda went" once or twice.

What kills me is when ESPN guys try to use big words when little ones will do the job. The other day, Mark Schlereth, when discussing an underachieving team, kept saying, "This is a prideful group of athletes. This is a prideful team."

Well, you're a dolt, Mark. "Prideful" and "proud" mean two different things. Take your overly large paycheck, and buy a dictionary.

4. It's being reported that there is a drop-off in the number of kids getting vaccinated and, not surprisingly, a resurgence of diseases that had been all but eradicated. Last year, more than 130 kids died of whooping cough. Do you know how many kids should die every year from whooping cough? None. Zero. Ever.

What's most infuriating is that those parents who are opting out of the supposedly mandatory vaccination programs are an oddball collection of paranoid libertarians and post-hippie health nuts. Many states allow parents to opt out on religious or even philosophical grounds. It's reported that many of these parents have some college education or even a college degree, which means they learned just enough to know very little.

Vaccinations don't cause autism; they're not part of some government conspiracy; and they can make some diseases fade into history. As an American, you have the right to be dumb, but you don't have the right to be dangerously stupid.

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