I used to spend a lot of time wishing I was a sportswriter. I don't so much anymore- observing that sportswriters are some of the most miserable bastards alive did the trick- but part of me wishes I was covering the Final Four this year, and I could interview John Calipari, who has been to the Final Four twice in recent years but had both appearances expunged due to NCAA violations.
I really wish some reporter at the Final Four would go up to Calipari and ask him questions, repeatedly, about how he's enjoying his first Final Four, how it feels to get there for the first time, why he thinks he didn't make it with any of his previous schools, etc. Then he could write a snarky, totally deadpan column built around the notion of "John Calipari, wide-eyed first-time Final Four coach."
Then, after Kentucky's appearance this year gets vacated, they could do it all again when Coach Cal takes his next school to the Final Four...
This New York Times story- about Democrats in Arizona wishing that Gabrielle Giffords can run for a Senate seat next year, really rubbed me the wrong way:
Representative Gabrielle Giffords is still in the hospital, but some of her most ardent backers are so enamored of the idea of her running for the Senate that they describe the inevitable campaign commercials: the deep-voiced narrator recounting what happened to her, the images of her wounded, then recovering and speaking into the camera alongside her astronaut husband to call on Arizonans to unite.This is just an icky story on many fronts- how about we let her recover first? Maybe, learn how to master all basic brain functions, before we start speculating about her political future?
Sure, I'd love to see Rep. Giffords return to Congress and possibly even run for higher office someday. But next year? When we really don't know how she's doing? Come on now.
Then again, of all the vile political stories to come out of Arizona in the last year, this probably doesn't crack the top ten.
If that didn't make you smile and/or cry, there's something wrong with you.
The Obama administration "conspiracy" to hinder the New Black Panther Party case? Not real. Neither, for that matter, is the New Black Panther Party.
That "Facebook Depression" Story? Not real. But you knew that, didn't you?
This Tumblr is a great idea and manages to stay funny for two or three minutes.
From George Washington University (via Deadspin), alma mater of my sister and brother-in-law:
Will Roberts of UVA threw a perfect game yesterday, only the 19th in D1 history and the first since 2002. But you wouldn't know it if you read the recap from George Washington University, which came out on the losing end of the feat.Yes, the opposing pitcher having thrown a perfect game was mentioned in paragraph 7 or an eight-paragraph story. Ah, the days of college newspapering...
This morning on 21st Street I saw a car with the Pennsylvania license plate "CATALDI." It couldn't have been Angelo himself; he was on the air at the time, plus I saw the driver and it wasn't him.
Maybe it was a relative. Or some unfortunate soul with the same last name who's unrelated. Or maybe it was a superfan, eager to spread the message to everyone who sees him on the road, that "I enjoy perpetually ignorant, ill-informed, hostile, and very loud sports radio."
I'll be sure to mention if I see an ESKIN.
I think it’s important to actually understand what Gingrich is saying here and not just make fun of him for contradicting himself. This speaks, I think, quite accurately to what the conservative movement in the United States is about—the identity politics of middle aged white suburban conformists. Note that Jesus Christ was not an American patriot. Indeed, there was no United States of America at the time the Gospels were written down. Nor were the early Christians some kind of Roman nationalists. But American conservatives are both Christians and Americans and it’s important to them to affirm these identities simultaneously, even though it makes a bit of a hash of things. This is also why in the United States loud proclamations of Christian faith are typically associated with enormous belief in the beneficent possibilities of organized violence, but only among Christians who are also white people.
By my count, there are at least ﬁve attempted rapes in Sucker Punch. When its female characters aren't fending off rapists, theyʼre being lobotomized, stabbed, imprisoned, sold, shot in the head, forced to strip, or blown up on trains in outer space. Sucker Punch has been pitched as a girl-power epic, but it feels like watching a little boy tear the heads off his sister's Barbies. After dressing them up in their sexiest outﬁts and making them ﬁght GI Joe, of course.
Gilbert Gottfried is funny:
I saw they're having a Facebook contest to find a new Aflac duck. I'm going to submit a video of my best Aristocrats joke.
My son's got a new blog post right here.
It's emerging as the most hated movie of the year, although the Sandler comedy that began with 10 minutes of Jewish-chicks-are-ugly jokes was much worse in my opinion. It's led to some high-quality snark, however.
We start with "TK" of Pajiba, who until I hear otherwise I'm going to picture as former Twins manager Tom Kelly:
It’s as if Snyder spent a weekend dropping acid and playing every video game he could find, and developed a series of hallucination-based short films. Then, he came up with a sordid, melodramatic-as-fuck story about young girls trapped in a brothel/insane asylum/burlesque club/Dickensian shithole. Then, he decided he was gonna get all girl-powered and developed his own brand of lingerie-inspired pedophelia-themed feminism. Then he took all of those things, stuffed them into a bag three sizes to small, and then beat the fucking bag with hammers until he shit himself. He then topped off the bag with feces, and hit me in the face with it. In short, Zack Snyder is an asshole.I hope nothing I create ever inspires such vitriol.
Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune:
The film abdicates so many basic responsibilities of coherent storytelling, even coherent stupid-action-movie storytelling, director/co-writer/co-producer Zack Snyder must have known in preproduction that his greasy collection of near-rape fantasies and violent revenge scenarios disguised as a female-empowerment fairy tale wasn't going to satisfy anyone but himself. Well, himself, plus ardent fans of Japanese-schoolgirl manga comics. "Close your eyes. Open your mind. You will be unprepared," is the movie's ad slogan. Indeed. You will be unprepared for a film packing this much confusing crud into a little less than two hours of solitary confinement, which feels more like dog hours, i.e., 14.
The main function of the whorehouse world seems to be to justify the kabuki production design, where everyone wears too much eyeliner (men included) and dresses like a Liza Minelli rhinestone queef... YOU LIKE CHICKS IN FETISH COSTUMES. WE GET IT. Emily Browning (Baby Doll) and Abbie Cornish (Sweet Pea) are the only passable actors of the group. Vanessa Hudgens and former Real World San Diego-castmember Jaime Chung have mercifully few lines, and their main function seems to be to stand around looking minority-y until they die first. Hudgens’ character is named “Blondie”, which is nicely obtuse, but calling the Asian girl “Amber” seems bit racist, no? Acting-wise, Jena Malone comes off the worst of the group, rushing through her lines and generally being over the top, but all of them look sweaty and gross under their five pounds of whore make up, despite all being pretty hot in real life.
This week marks the tenth anniversary of WWF's purchase of WCW, marking the end of wrestling's Monday Night War.
How much of the country is athiest? Five percent? How Muslim, two percent? And of course, no overlap. Obviously, they're headed for domination.
They're not even trying at this point.
The Onion on the Times paywall:
The whole idea of an American business trying to make a profit off of a product its hired professionals create on a daily basis is a truly brave and intrepid strategy," said media analyst Steve Messner, adding that NYTimes.com's extremely risky new approach to commerce—wherein legal tender must be exchanged in order to receive a desired service—could drastically reduce the publication's readership. "To ask NYTimes.com's 33 million unique monthly visitors to switch to a cash-for-manufactured-goods-based model from the standard everything-online-should-be-free-for-reasons-nobody-can-really-explain-based model is pretty fearless. It's almost as if The New York Times is equating itself with a business trying to function in a capitalistic society."Then why are the first ten of those goods- and probably more- free?
Having trouble keeping track of all the AT&T breakups and mergers over the years? WSJ has a nifty chart.
Steve Rushin has a wonderful column about buying his son his first-ever pack of baseball cards. I got Noah his first pack on his first birthday, although it may take him awhile to appreciate it.
Ross Douthat in today's column:
Advertising tonight’s address, the White House opted for “the situation in Libya,” which sounds less like a military intervention than a spin-off vehicle for the famous musclehead from MTV’s “Jersey Shore.”I would totally watch that show.
The true winner of this year's March Madness has been the "I am epic win" guy from the DirecTV commercial. And now you can order a mini-giraffe just like his! Treadmill not included.
My son spends a day in the city (video courtesy of his Mommom):
The new E-Gear Weekly newsletter is live.
I've always wondered why a movie has never been made of "Les Miz," It's been the most beloved musical for about three decades, is loved by theater geeks and non-geeks, it's known worldwide, and has huge potential for covers of a bunch of its songs to become "Glee"-like charting hits. I suppose it would be expensive and probably need to be three hours long but regardless, there was no reason for a non-musical adaptation of the novel to make it to the screen 15 years before a musical version.
The co-stars include Jena Malone , Abbie Cornish , Vanessa Hudgens , and Jamie Chung , all appealing and energetic screen presences, to say the least -- "in skimpy clothing, kicking ass. What's not to like?" Seeing the movie, you WILL find out what's not to like. Among other things, there's the aforementioned pandering, which is incredibly blatant in the sexist double-standard department. The picture practically nudges the viewers' ribs, saying, "Guys who enjoy looking at scantily clad women are all drooling despicable pigs -- except, of course, for you out there, sport!.. This is punctuated with philosophizing about how one's individual freedom is always in one's hands, and advice such as, "Remember, make sure your mouth doesn't write any checks that your ass can't cash." (Yes, exactly. Last time I tried to cash a check with my ass, I got thrown out of the bank.)
Yes, they're really re-releasing "The King's Speech" in theaters with a PG-13 rating, which means it's subtracting the below, minute-long scene of the king cursing:
I don't know what's more ridiculous- that this innocuous scene caused the movie to get an R rating, or that the difference is significant enough to change the rating.
Alex Pareene, bashing MoDo for buying into the "Obama was henpecked into war" meme:
Was President Obama "henpecked" into waging war on Libya by his "Amazon warrior" female advisors? Only if you're shocked by the thought of women in positions of power actually asserting their power. It also helps if you consider skepticism of military engagement to be inherently "feminine" and think that getting convinced of something by a woman is in and of itself emasculating. And if you're Maureen Dowd you repeat all that stupid, backward cant, because you're the hard-charging award-winning New York Times columnist with the most retrograde conception of gender relations this side of Hays Code-era Hollywood.Frank Rich and Bob Herbert are leaving the NYT op-ed page- when will Dowd shuffle off?
Dowd's first paragraph is simply a list of clichéd terms for war-making women. In the rest of the column she purports to be simply compelled by the media attention paid to the role of Susan Rice, Samantha Power and Hillary Clinton in planning the Libyan campaign, but she is actually just reveling in the opportunity to call a Democratic male politician an effete weakling surrounded, as always, by ball-breaking bitches like Hillary. This is the primary theme of Dowd's work going back to the Clinton administration. There is little daylight between her "position" on the matter and Rush Limbaugh's, except that Rush is at least honest enough not to cloak his chauvinism in the trappings of irony.
Chris Kluwe is as good as cartoonist and pro-union polemicist as he is a punter. This sort of thing is such much more helpful than talking about slavery.
They got it right this time. Big time.
Name of the Year! Name of the Year! Name of the Year! Name of the Year!
I have to consider La’Peaches Pitts the early favorite, but you can't sleep on Courvoisier Winetavius Richardson or Taco B.M. Monster.
The Daily Beast yesterday posted, and then apparently immediately took down*, an article referring to Obama adviser and genocide expert Samantha Power as "the femme fatale of the humanitarian-assistance world." Which may just be the greatest description of a government official every devised.
*Not sure why the article was taken down, but thanks to the magic of the aggregated content revolution, the sentence is many places online.
Yes, it snowed this morning here in Philly. At least the weathermen didn't go nuts like they do in Minnesota- this song being a primary example.
The happiest person in the world today? Debbie Reynolds.
Jonathan Chait, on Mitt Romney's pretzel-like position on health care:
I think Romney needs to try another tack. He should say that he destroyed the freedom of the people of Massachusetts because the people of Massachusetts do not deserve to live in freedom. This would be in keeping with the long-standing Republican position that Massachusetts is not part of America. Indeed, he destroyed freedom in Massachusetts as a warning to the rest of America that it should cherish its freedom to show up the the emergency room without health insurance and pay for their life-saving treatment by handing over their entire net worth, as the Founders intended.
I tracked down an old website that I wrote movie reviews for, the British-based IOFilm.com. If you're interested in my takes on some stuff from the 2002-2004 period, check it out here.
It's HIMYM, the Russian version:
I wonder if Charlie Sheen can outdrink the star of the Russian "Two and a Half Men." And yes, "In Soviet Russia, mother meets you!"
Usually when Buchanan is unfairly blaming someone for something, especially a war, it's Jews, so I suppose he gets credit for staying away from that this time.
Still, sort of puts a rest to that notion that if women ran the world - or, for that matter, if liberals did- there would never be any wars.
The best version of Rebecca Black's song to date:
Snoop Dogg sings a duet with a Russian-accented Air New Zealand "bush baby" named Rico, who constantly leers at human females:
I've gotta say, Snoop was the best part of the Donald Trump roast, that guy's really got great comedic timing. The Situation, meanwhile, performed the least funny, least well-received standup routine in human history.
The "Big Love" finale was decent. Not great, not as good as "Six Feet Under" or "The Shield"'s endings, but better than "Sopranos" and about on par with "Lost." The fifth season as a whole was better than the ridiculous fourth, but not as good as the first three. And since the second-to-last episode included a nearly shot-for-shot remake of the assassination of Harvey Milk, it made sense that the finale finished the job.
I first read "deposed" as "overthrown" and/or "fired." But in this sense it means "made to submit to a deposition." I guess "deposed" means one thing for dictators and another for Silicon Valley geniuses.
I riff on the New York Times' paywall- and why I think it will fail- in my E-Gear blog.
A great, great piece by Joe Posnanski,demolishing an unbelievably silly "mother's basement" rant from columnist Bruce Jenkins:
I flipped baseball cards in my mother's basement. I read books in my mother's basement. I dreamed of becoming someone in my mother's basement. I invented games, learned how to throw a spiral (with a Nerf ball, but still), perfected my between-the-legs dribble (sort of), played marathon games of Monopoly and generally became the person I became in my mother's basement... No, Bruce, that bit is ancient, and it's dumb, and consigning the person you disagree with into their mother's basement is just admitting you've run out of arguments. Anyway, it's wrong. My mother's basement was a wonderful place. It is, in so many ways, where I became a man. I visit there often in my mind. I'm usually wearing pants.
Max Boot, himself a neocon, eviscerates Donald Rumsfeld's memoirs in TNR:
You have to look beyond his flimsy and unconvincing rationalizations to see revealed a self-made Princetonian of surpassing arrogance, a collegiate wrestler who turned into a master of bureaucratic gamesmanship but failed to manage or lead effectively, a senior official who undermined his superiors and aggravated his underlings, who deferred to the incompetent and second-guessed the competent, and who in the final analysis refused to take responsibility for momentous decisions. Known and Unknown is destined to be remembered as a masterpiece of buck-passing and score-settling written by a man who seems to shrink in stature with every page. .. He will now be remembered as an awful Secretary of Defense and as an even worse memoirist. It is a fate for which he can blame no one but himself—although I would not be surprised to hear him in a few years’ time attributing his book’s shortcomings to his ghostwriters and his researchers.
The least funny cast member in SNL history got all pissy about the gay kiss on "Glee"- and CNN decided she was worthy of an entire news segment:
There's a "controversy" because this stupid, insane person was offended by seeing gay people kiss? Please. The story about the "Glee" episode is that, unlike what used to happen in the '90s with "Roseanne" and "Melrose Place" and other shows, there WAS NO outrage or controversy. It barely made any news at all.
I hope all of Victoria Jackson's kids are gay.
Though the books range in tone from the venomous (Gingrich's) to the hokey (Huckabee's), they converge on common themes and ideas, ones that define the conservatism of the moment. Ronald Reagan was perfect in every way. Bill Clinton did not exist (Gingrich has a section on "The 25-Year Reagan Boom"), and George W. Bush barely did either; neither one merits more than a passing mention. If we aren't careful, we'll turn into Europe, a nightmarish place consisting solely of the country of Greece ("That will be America soon," Pawlenty's 13-year-old daughter tells him "with simplicity and clarity" while discussing an article about riots there). Those who believe in God are an oppressed group in America ("People of faith have been systematically marginalized," Gingrich writes, by a "secular campaign waged by the cultural elite"). There are two kinds of people in America: the hard-working and virtuous and those who have become slaves to government (the nightmare of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, Palin explains, was caused by "a population of Americans dependent on government and incapacitated by the destruction of the American family"). Change is threatening, and when I was a kid, things made a lot more sense.
Pam Geller may be one of the nastier, more deranged people in American public life, but at least she's good for unintentional comedy. Today she writes about Libya; you'd think Pam would be happy about airstrikes, since it'll likely lead to dead Muslims and all, but instead she's upset that we're not invading Iran too. But that's something compared to the comments. Nut-picking, I know, but these are all real:
British and French oil-interest is at play.And another...
Libyan crude oil is of very high quality!
Hillary Rodham Clinton wants Islam in Libya as her husband, Bill Clinton, established Islam in the Balkans and, later, George Bush II established Islam in Iraq.
Middle Eastern Muslim donors gave a lot of money to Bill Clinton after he left the White House.
Bush family has a long financial connection with Saudi bin-Laden family.
Where are all those anti war rallies. Comrade Hussein " where is the birt certificate" Obama is following the One World Goverment which is dominated by oil/muzzies. This sucks. Our country is being distroyed right berfor our eyes by the muzzy in the White House.He's right. Obama has never produced a "birt certificate." Don't think he's a "Muzzy," though.
The US will not lift one finger to defend Israel to our detriment. We are lead by a card carrying muslim brotherhood, forward with the caliphate, death cult zombie.I'd say vetoing the U.N. resolution condemning settlements counts as lifting at least one finger. My personal favorite:
Its interesting that in the Book Of Ezekiel 38,39, a coalition of nations are named that will one day attempt to relieve the world of Israel and the Jewish people. Among the countries fingered by God include Iran, Turkey Libya, Sudan, Ethiopia and others.Because Iran, Turkey, Libya and Ethiopia totally existed as countries in biblical times! Back then it was "Gog and Magog"- much better names. And I think this one came from Mad Libs, or maybe the Geller post generator:
WHY? You have to ask why? It's because the communist moslim USURPER obaMAO's brothers in Iran are "friendlies" and Libya needs more moslim brotherhood and sharia to yell "DEATH TO AMERICA, DEATH TO ISRAEL". The head moslim terrorist the communist moslim coward gay USURPER obaMAO's plans are working perfectly.He's a Muslim, a terrorist, a communist, a coward, and gay!
I think if Glenn Beck read that he'd distance himself from it, suggesting it's just a bit too crazy for his tastes. And Geller, the day after this, had successive posts in which she 1) accused Obama of having "close ties" to Qaddaffi and then 2) accused Obama of siding with al-Qaeda AGAINST Qaddaffi.
I'm loving this new Deadspin feature. "Libs are asbad as a gayparade" needs to become an Internet meme, immediately.
"Minnesota Republicans are pushing legislation that would make it a crime for people on public assistance to have more $20 in cash in their pockets any given month. This represents a change from their initial proposal, which banned them from having any money at all."All fiscal problems are obviously caused by poor people carrying around too much money.
Matt Ufford, in the Kissing Suzy Kolber Fantasy Football and Sex Advice Mailbag- America's second-greatest weekly sex advice column- channeling Lester Bangs in "Almost Famous":
Let’s get this out of the way: your job isn’t cool. Nothing “freelance” is cool. No journalist is cool, except maybe Anderson Cooper. Most jobs of ANY KIND aren’t cool. Blogging isn’t cool. Lawyer: not cool. Doctor: not cool. Any job that a 19-year-old can get: automatically not cool. Even if you did have a truly cool job — like firefighter or Marine scout-sniper or bare-knuckle shark fighter — if you bragged about how cool it was, then you’d just come off sounding like a douchebag.
A look at three books I've read lately:
- "The Accidental Billionaires," by Ben Mezrich. My appreciation of "The Social Network" has risen even further now that I know that its source material was total shit. Some of the worst prose ever, and it achieved the extraordinary feat of making a fascinating true story sound boring.
There's also the creepy insistence on repeatedly providing lurid descriptions of female body parts- and how many times did the author feel the need to mention that Eduardo Saverin is attracted to Asian women? 15?
It just gives me the impression that the great stuff about the movie- the characterization, the deposition-based structure- all Sorkin. The Oscar was well-deserved.
- "Zombie Spaceship Wasteland," by Patton Oswalt. Oswalt's first book is pretty much a triumph all around. A Klosterman-like mix of essays, personal stories and pop culture theories, I read it all in two days, and that's including the three chapters that were so great that I read each one a second time. I can only hope, like Klosterman, Patton writes five more books that are mostly along the same lines.
I can't even remember the last time a book made me laugh out loud on a plane.
- "Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America," by Peter Biskind Biskind's expansive biography of the biggest movie star of the '70s, who also seemingly had affairs with every single woman who was breathing, walking and sentient at the time, has some good stuff in it, but my goodness, what a slog. This book took me almost three months to get through.
Biskind is a great writer, and his "Easy Riders Raging Bulls" is probably my favorite book about movies ever. But this isn't nearly as good- and the author reuses whole sentences and paragraphs from the earlier book.
There's a simple formula: about 20 pages about one of Beatty's classic movies, 20 more pages about each of his famous affairs. And even though pretty much all the stories make Warren look like a monstrous asshole, you can tell Biskind wishes he'd been his wing man.
(I remember seeing an Adam Sandler movie while reading the book and thinking that a career-spanning biography of Sandler- who's been in very few good movies and had no famous affairs- would be about 20 pages long.)
I'm reading the Bill Carter Conan/Leno book right now and love it so far.
This idea- that Google algorithm guru Matt Cutts is Internet's answer to the former Fed chairman occurred to me months ago, I swear it did. But BusinessWeek put it online first. I give them credit.
Paul Carr rules. And while I'm not generally one to thumb my nose at environmentalists, the whole "please consider the environment when printing this email" thing is just smug condescension. In the whole world, how many trees per year are saved by that signature being there? I'm guessing less than one.
I contribute to a weekly email newsletter called the Into Tomorrow Tech newsletter, which is associated with Dave Graveline's radio show of the same name. This week, I wrote a brief item about Ludacris' new headphones, and in reference to my favorite song of his, I gave it the headline "Ludacris Bringing Headphones to Different Area Codes."
I turned this in on Tuesday and it came out on Friday; on Wednesday Nate Dogg, who sang the chorus on that song, died. It wasn't intentional, I swear.
Matt Taibbi, as part of the Supreme Court of Assholedom Series, on "Tiger Mother" Amy Chua:
"Hilariously, she tells reviewers and reporters now that her book was intended as “self-deprecating memoir” of the sort that David Sedaris would write. You know, if David Sedaris was a heterosexual Asian woman with no sense of humor who engaged in the systematic psychological torture of his children and then bragged about it in a luridly self-congratulating, race-baiting best-seller."She was voted an asshole, 7-0.
Here's this week's super-stuffed E-Gear Weekly newsletter, which I edit. I've got a couple of product reviews in there too.
Once she gets into the primaries, and she's being attacked by actual Republicans who can't be tarred as part of the "lamestream media," that should be the final nail. Nate Silver:
Her ratings are now in the range of Al Sharpton and Pat Buchanan in the years before they ran for president, rather than those who were considered viable candidates.That's not all she has in common with the two of them...
A mashup of every Boston-set movie of the last 15 years:
One of those things ("Fever Pitch") is not like the others.
Once again, the people on the wrong side of this are on the wrong side of history.
But someone should probably tell Tim Pawlenty that. I would've guessed he'd started to show an Iowa or New Hampshire accent by now.
A classic rant from Drew Magary. We've all been there, in buying wine.
Finally, there's a "Philly sports comedian" besides Joe Conklin:
It isn't. This is:
Turn the sound down and don't look at the TV, you'd assume this was a video of a group of people watching a last-second field goal in a playoff game, rather than teenagers watching a gay kiss on "Glee."
I wouldn't call this accurate, because the "worst sports fans" are the ones who don't care, don't show up, and/or don't exist. Florida Marlins, you're the real #1!
Then again, I agree with Craig Calcaterra:
But before you get worked up, Phillies fans, understand that this is a giant troll. The editors at GQ have no strong feelings about this list in general or the fans in Philadelphia in particular. They sat down and said “what will piss people off and get them clicking,” and they came up with this. The fact that it’s in slide show form is the giveaway. They just want to crank you up and get you sending the link around.I'm already excited for the sports talk screaming tonight.
On Michael Medved's show yesterday, he talked briefly about the Adrian Peterson "slavery" comments and, rightly, slammed them. How ridiculous, after all, for a professional football player who's making more than $10 million a year and has the ability to retire if he wants to to compare himself to a slave.
Then, a few minutes later, a caller opined about Peterson. "He's a slave all right," the caller said, "but not to the NFL or the Vikings- his slavemaster is the government!" This, after all is, is because he has to pay "half his money" in taxes and will likely be hit with an estate tax bill after he dies. "That's a great point!," Medved said.
I'm very used to sports radio callers saying the stupidest stuff you can possibly imagine, and then the host calling it a "great point." But this is on another level altogether. If calling Peterson a slave because the NFL has a less player-friendly system than it should is laughably absurd, then saying the same thing because he has to pay taxes is equally so.
Matt Zoller Seitz writes what I've been saying for a decade:
Simply put, this crap is transparently cynical and opportunistic and has become totally played-out since 1999's "The Blair Witch Project," arguably the hit that made home video panic-cam an official, approved technique in mainstream productions. But 12 years later, directors who keep treating it as an aesthetic security blanket -- especially at the big-budget level -- should be required to get a tattoo across their foreheads that reads "Hack." Get yourself a tripod. Make a shot list. Think about where you're putting the camera and why you're putting it there, and try to redirect the audience's attention by moving the camera or refocusing rather than cutting every three to five seconds. Stop covering action. Start directing again.How many movies has this ruined? I can't even begin to count.
I'm loving this Moviefone/TechCrunch feud- and Paul Carr has written the post that every journalist has always wanted to write.
Best of Wikipedia flags the common expression. Speaking of which, anyone remember this song?
Want to take a really enjoyable trip down memory lane? If you have Netflix, go into your account and click on "Rental Activity," and you can see every movie you've ever taken out.
Mine goes back to late 2003, and I remembered where I lived and what I was doing at various times that I saw specific movies. For instance, I didn't watch anything for two months after my wedding/honeymoon, ditto for after Noah was born.
Incidentally, I apparently watched "They Saved Hitler's Brain" at some point between Jan. 6 and Jan. 18, 2006. And I remember watching "Gonzo," the Johnny Depp-narrated Hunter S. Thompson documentary, on a flight to Vegas, albeit not having nearly as much fun arriving in Vegas as Hunter did.
Of course, I must admit there are a few things on here that I had to click on to remind me exactly what they were. Try it yourself here.
This essay should hit home for any American male who was a teenager in the '90s.
I review a twisting iPad accessory at the E-Gear site.
But maybe he shouldn't talk for awhile. The players have the clear moral high ground and the support of most fans and media. Busting out the slavery talk is a great way to blow that.
New York Times editor Bill Keller on HuffPo:
"[Arianna Huffington] has discovered that if you take celebrity gossip, adorable kitten videos, posts from unpaid bloggers and news reports from other publications, array them on your website and add a left-wing soundtrack, millions of people will come. [Aggregation too often] amounts to taking words written by other people, packaging them on your own website and harvesting revenue that might otherwise be directed to the originators of the material. In Somalia this would be called piracy. In the mediasphere, it is a respected business model,"He already apologized; I wish he hadn't.
... and every other player they want, ever. ALOTT5MA deconstructs a frequent sportswriter assumption.
Well, not all the way East.. the popular West Coast burger chain is reportedly moving into Texas. Hopefully it'll be successful and the Northeast is the next stop- and next time, it won't be an April Fool's joke.
His son comes forward. Hopefully this will lead to many, many indictments.
Funny that the 9/11/Aristrocrats twofer back in '01 had no negative effect on Gilbert's career at all, and those were both a lot worse.
A viral video that makes we want to say "chicka chicka, oh yea":
I vote for Taiwan:
I had no idea the editor of the Washington City Paper -or possibly his lawyer- was a panda.
I review the terrible, "Twilight"-lite adaptation of "Red Riding Hood" at the Patch.
Today I'm proud to be from the 5th district of Minnesota:
Peter King is as much a hypocrite as he is a vile bigot, and I couldn't be happier that Ellison's heartfelt speech got most of the hearing's attention. McCarthyism isn't the answer here and honestly, neither is a Congressional hearing. Thursday was in the end a bad day for monsters like Pam Geller and Robert Spencer, whose goal is to treat Muslims the way anti-Semites treat Jews.
You got kids? Kids always act up the most before they go to sleep. And when I see the Tea Party and all this stuff, it actually feels like racism's almost over. Because this is the last — this is the act up before the sleep. They're going crazy. They're insane. You want to get rid of them — and the next thing you know, they're fucking knocked out. And that's what's going on in the country right now.
Unlike the thousands of media types in Austin this weekend for South By Southwest, I spent the weekend in a different part of Texas- San Antonio- for a work conference. Love the city.
I saw the Alamo, which was interesting enough, and I couldn't believe how weird the surrounding neighborhood was- a wax museum, a Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum and a Guinness World Records museum, all on the same block as a renowned 19th century fort. And no, I didn't try to visit the basement.
Also- love the Riverwalk. Every city should have one.
Glad to hear the NFL Players' Association has a sense of humor.
I remain on the players' side, and am hoping we get some kind of judicial injunction in the coming weeks that ends the lockout unilaterally. Hooray for activist judges!
Some highlights of Philly's creepiest news anchor, who may very well be a vampire:
News Item: Kenny G takes batting practice with Yankees
Jeffrey Goldberg, on the NPR incident:
What is horrible about this is that an NPR executive has lost his job (and his next job, apparently) after falling victim to a truly pernicious sting operation run by a morally-deranged individual. Schiller is being punished (everyone at NPR named Schiller is being punished, in fact) for saying a couple of dumbass things in private, and nodding in agreement to another set of dumbass statements. How about we turn this story around, and assert that these types of sting operations are what is morally egregious here; that humans often say stupid things; and that a person's life should not be destroyed for making the sort of statements made in the Schiller entrapment.If NPR were the left-wing monster we're supposed to think it is, wouldn't they have let the Schillers keep their jobs?
I review a product for watching your computer on TV, the StreamHD, on E-Gear.com.
Here's a really great profile of Dan Savage- written by a Methodist minister- that focuses on the famed sex advice columnist as an ethicist. A fascinating read.
I was sorry to hear earlier this week that the On the DL Podcast is going to be discontinuing in a few weeks. I've been listening to Dan Levy and Nick Tarnowski's show for a couple years now and have really enjoyed their savvy take on sports and beyond. It will be greatly missed.
When Delaware County Times columnist Jack McCaffery goes on the Angelo Cataldi show, you just know the brilliant commentary is bound to start flying. And I wasn't disappointed today.
First McCaffery concluded that Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown, who is 23 years old and has had a whopping 62 major league at-bats, "can't hit" and "will never live up to the hype." Brown may be in the top five of prospects in baseball who has dominated at every minor league level, but... McCaffery then concluded the Phillies made a huge mistake in refusing to include Brown in their July 2009 discussions with the Blue Jays to trade for Roy Halladay, because if they had, they unquestionably would've won the 2009 World Series.
Nevermind that Brown still stands an excellent chance of being a top major league player, and that giving up on someone after such a short time, after a week and a half of spring training, would be beyond idiotic. First of all, it's hard to fault the Phils for refusing to trade Brown for Halladay, since they of course got Halladay a few months later without giving up Brown. Secondly, had the Phillies traded for Halladay during the 2009 season, they would not have also traded for Cliff Lee (who they got instead of Halladay). Lee won two games in the '09 World Series, while the Phils lost the other four; if Halladay had started those two games instead of Lee, even if he'd won them, the Yankees would still have won the Series.
Cataldi and his crew responded to this unbridled idiocy with "good point." When McCaffery then suggested the Phils deal with Chase Utley's knee injury with "blood doping" (no, I'm not kidding) I lunged for the off button.
Bill Simmons' ESPN.com column is now probably his fourth professional priority, after podcasting, Twitter and TV production, and I don't necessarily begrudge him that, since he's very good at the other three things too. But his piece last week, an extended hypothetical about the upcoming NFL lockout, was the best thing he's written in years, total vintage Simmons. And it works especially because Simmons probably really did think about quitting ESPN and launching a subscription-only site.
The show has actually been on a roll in the past couple of months: the arc with Marshall's father dying gave it both gravitas and unexpected laughs. But I would like to see the show announced that that 8th season will be the last one, and spend the next two years developing an endgame.
My old friend and former sketch comedy teammate and now Rabbi Marci Bellows has an amusing rebuttal to Glenn Beck's shot at Reform Jews. I ultimately think that will end up being Beck's downfall: he'll say something at some point that insults Jews -worse than last time- and ultimately get fired from Fox. Because while the neocon and Christian segments of the right are philo-Semites, almost creepily so at times, Beck's more in the tradition of the John Birchers, who tend to take more of a "Jews are evil conspirators" view of things.
That's a much better take on celebrity anti-Semitism than Alan Dershowitz's, which seems to see a straight line that doesn't exist between the Israel-bashing of Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu and the drunken anti-Semitic ravings of Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson, and the Gucci designer who praised Hitler. Please. Do you think Charlie Sheen has ever heard of Desmond Tutu?
This list of scenarios from Tom Scocca should be familiar to anyone who's ever worked in the magazine world. Hilarious.
Not Charlie Sheen. Mike Huckabee.
I review Damon's new action movie "The Adjustment Bureau" at the Patch.
Here's my coverage of the launch of the iPad 2. You know, I felt pretty good about working a whole day Wednesday despite having an awful cold. Then the guy who probably has end-stage liver cancer got up and gave an hour-long presentation that got universally rave reviews.
Rumors of a Twins trade of Francisco Liriano to the Yankees continue to swirl because clearly, the solution for the Twins chronic inability to beat the Yanks is to trade them their best pitcher.
But you know... if the Twins aren't high on Liriano, don't like his work ethic/conditioning and aren't interested in signing him to an extension, they can probably get more value now than a year from now. And the Yankees are desperate... if they could get a significant enough package, it may be worth considering.
A focus group with sharks- after they ate people:
It seems like my people are at the center of every major news story these days. Goldblog investigates.
Salon has a great piece about Anjem Choudary, an alleged "Islamic extremist" who's been appearing regularly on Fox News, and appears to be a nonentity:
Choudary is a London-based preacher who has over the past decade become the face of radical Islam in the British press -- especially in the tabloids, and even more especially the right-wing papers owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. -- despite having no religious credentials and virtually no public support. In fact, according to those who have tracked his career in Britain, Choudary is wholly a press creationHe isn't Bin Laden. He's Fred Phelps.
It's become an established phenomenon in recent years for politicians that everyone forgot about years ago to pursue a quixotic presidential run, with the intention of getting on the lecture circuit, increasing visibility, etc. But Roemer's an especially strange case- I went to an event during the '08 election at which Roemer appeared as a surrogate for John McCain, and I got the strong sense that Roemer hadn't paid much attention to politics in the past 15 years or so and was just doing a favor because McCain's a friend of his.
Then again, Roemer having once run against David Duke will make his opponents in the GOP field not quite as loathsome as they would be to some.
An amusing commercial:
Then we find out Ruiz's wife gave birth to a baby exactly nine months after the perfect game. Hmm...
News Item: Apple, Android to Add BlackBerry Messenger
I'm counting the months until the iPhone 5 at this point.
Windows, upgraded through the years:
Will Wilkinson on Wisconsin:
Ms Malkin's ridiculous point is that the pro-union rabble is guilty of the racism, sexism and homophobia of which the courageous tea-party movement has been falsely accused. My point is that when folks get angry, they get stupid, and stupidity knows no party or clique. Progressives should not meet this truism so defensively. I know we want to believe the best of our comrades. And I know that loudly congratulating one's team for its superior intellect and virtue is a critical part of keeping a bubble of enthusiasm aloft and rising. So we adults can speak in whispers, if we must. But it's a plain fact that the fuel-mixture of potent populism includes generous helpings of stupidity and self-regard. Democrats got flattened last fall by a fired-up, pie-eyed right. They should welcome an equivalent efflorescence of inchoate rage from the left.
A young, pre-Sweet Dee Rob McElhenney in an anti-smoking PSA:
I was sad to hear this week that Peter Gomes, the noted Harvard professor and minister who lived one of the true only-in-America lives, had passed away. I actually once saw Gomes M.C. an a cappella show, at Harvard, when I was visiting friends there many years ago.
Andrew Sullivan has a moving tribute.
Business Insider points out a pet peeve of mine: hotels are never nearly as nice as their websites make them look. There's even one in Washington whose site makes it look a lot closer to the Capitol than it actually is. I had the same thing happen to me last year.
My two favorite Internet things of the last year- Strat and "Nicolas Cage Losing His Shit" come together in this interview:
Global Times (China): A happy ending to farmer's anus woes
This blog was down for most of the past day due to an expiring domain name- apparently the company that I registered with was sold at some point, and the new owner doesn't have a policy of, I don't know, giving people a heads-up about upcoming expirations.
Anyway, regular blogging will resume soon. And a full relaunch is likely on the way soon as well.
Slate has an awesome slideshow of the best stadiums that were never actually built. I can do a whole other slideshow of proposed but unbuilt Twins ballparks.
I never cared much for the guy, to be honest. Way too many lazy pop culture references, and it was rare that he'd written something on Sunday that I hadn't already seen someone write during the week.