Sunday, April 29, 2007
When Golden State beat the heavily favored Dallas Mavericks in the first game, Barkley announced that Dallas would win the next four. Golden State, however, has gone on to an astonishing 3-1 lead in the best of seven series, and are on the verge of eliminating the top-seeded Mavericks. When confronted with the fact of his foot in his mouth, Barkley didn't back down, adding fuel to the fire by saying, "The long national nightmare continues." When the jumbotron in Oakland showed the Warriors' mascot hitting Barkeley with a pie in the face, he responded, "I'd rather live in Alcatraz than San Francisco or Oakland." When TNT put up a fake, presidential-style, state-by-state infographic poll of public opinion on him, coloring the map with a sea of red, anti-Barkeley sentiment, he shrugged and said, "Those people are Republicans. They screwed up the whole country" --which is interesting also because of his former political affiliations.
The only point of this post is that the man is a treasure trove and is maybe the most charismatic figure in American sports and needs to be given a more prominent platform. Here are some favorite Barkley quotes:
- We don't need refs, but I guess white guys need something to do.
- My family got all over me because they said Bush is only for the rich people. Then I reminded them, 'Hey, I'm rich.'
- I love Sam Cassell. He's a great guy...but he does look like E.T.
- They say it about brothers, but I can guarantee everybody in Finland look alike.
- Jerry Krause must have pictures of his boss' wife having sex with a monkey [on Jerry Krause staying on as General Manager of the Bulls after some disastrous personnel decisions].
- All I know is, as long as I led the Southeastern Conference in scoring, my grades would be fine [on his academic achievements in college].
- I’m bilingual. I speak profanity and English.
- I don’t listen to the refs. I don’t listen to anyone who makes less money than I do.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
A few years ago, Sarah Vowell of This American Life fame noted that peculiar habit some wronged blowhards have of comparing themselves to Rosa Parks (pictured) everytime they take a stand at their book-club meeting or refuse to let a car merge in front of them. What inspired her were these words, from the mouth of some low-grade country singer: "In France it was Joan of Arc; in the Crimea it was Florence Nightingale; in the deep south there was Rosa Parks; in India there was Mother Teresa, and in Florida there was Katherine Harris." Now, the insanity that inheres in such puffery need not be expounded on here--Vowell, a mighty genius, does it much better than I could anyway--but I wonder if there is a new and even stranger rhetorical-metaphorical trend blossoming right before our eyes. I swear this is the last I will say of the Duke non-rapists, but could it be that they are the symbol de rigueur for the injustices that celebrity idiots (or their counsel) think they've suffered?
- Consider the lawyer for gun-toting Coney Island legend and soon to be fired Celtic Sebastian Telfair: "It always bothers me when you punish a guy so severely before there's been a finding of fact. I think that's wrong whether it happens in Durham (N.C) or in Boston."
- Consider Tom DeLay, who really wants you to know that the shitstorm he set into motion is happening in Texas: "I’m presently under indictment for laws that don’t exist in Texas by a Nifong [disgraced prosecutor in the Duke case] of Texas called Ronnie Earle, undermining our justice system here in Texas."
- And consider the lawyer for Paul Wolfowitz: "I am very worried about the rush to judgment. We just had a wonderful example of that in the Duke lacrosse case. I have reviewed the essential documents, and I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that Mr. Wolfowitz exercised good faith and that everything he did was in the best interests of the bank."
Monday, April 23, 2007
i've been linking more and more to the daily show/colbert report of late, but this one is a doozy. since c4ts and i agreed in a previous phone conversation that this segment was genius (although my sister deemed this to be too east coast intellectual), i hope he won't ban me from posting from these sources as well. [ed note: that emily person on gawker...genius]
i have admired robert pinsky ever since he guest-starred on the simpsons, but hearing a former poet laureate name-check a pat benatar song was something else altogether. and we all know that sean penn is the coolest guy in the universe.
In case you missed Washigton Post film critic Stephen Hunter's insane piece on Seung-Hui Cho and the influence Asian cinema may or may not have had on him, please check it out. I had planned to skewer it for the tripe that it is (whoah, mixed metaphor), but the New York Times' own A.O. Scott did it for me. Regarding Hunter's wild speculation about Oldboy and classic, genre-defining John Woo/Chow Yun-Fat Hong Kong action films Hard-Boiled (pictured) and The Killer, Scott has this to say: "It is hard to say what all this proves, other than that Mr. Hunter has no peer when it comes to wielding the conditional tense on deadline." Damn. Cold for the streets. This could prove to be as entertaining a film-critic related feud as that time Vincent Gallo said of Roger Ebert, he's a "fat pig with the physique of a slave trader."
Friday, April 20, 2007
No, no, that's not the title of Jonathan Lethem's next novel. It's just that sadly, our little Brooklynite who could, cannot anymore... The mink whale (previously and erroneously reported as a Baleen whale) that made its way into the Gowanus Canal met a sad end. I guess the hipsters get to stay another day. [Thanks to ace reporter smalldogarific for following this story.]
p. 3-9: gross, AMK! even if i believe your claim that "The Act proscribes a particular manner of ending fetal life, so it is necessary here...to discuss abortion procedures in some detail," let's try to stay away from unnecessarily inflammatory descriptions like "[A] leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the woman."
p. 17: wait, what is this? "The Act...is inapplicable to abortions that do not involve vaginal delivery (for instance, hysterotomy or hysterectomy)." why, it's still okay for the doctor to remove my entire uterus? all's forgiven, SCOTUS! ha ha!
p. 18: ruh-roh, i'm in trouble now...AMK has introduced my least favorite word in law, "scienter." what's the doctor gonna say if s/he's prosecuted, "yes, i totally delivered the fetus 'for the purpose of performing an overt act that [i knew] would kill [it]'"?
p. 19: this is becoming more and more mushy: "Doctors performing D&E will know that if they do not deliver a living fetus to an anatomical landmark they will not face criminal liability." then AMK goes on to tell me that this statute isn't vague! it has a mens rea requirement! uh...say what? are eyebrows up or down? omg westen, i hate you.
p. 20: i'm getting kind of bored. AMK repeatedly mentions "anatomical landmarks" when i know he just wants to keep writing about the va-jay-jay. where is the florid, soft-focus AMK of casey v. planned parenthood? c'mon, whisper sweet nothings like "[l]iberty finds no refuge in a jurisprudence of doubt" to me.
p. 28: oooh yes, AMK: "Respect for human life finds an ultimate expression in the bond of love the mother has for her child." ooooh, say it again. and while you're at it, turn on the sade.
p. 29: say what, AMK? "While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained." you can't say with a straight face that outlawing intact D&E is going to prevent women from feeling some regret and/or ease the painful moral and emotional dilemma abortion poses on people in general, regardless of sex. but thanks for worrying for me? what?!
p. 30: the name of this act is an affront. let's call the procedure by its medically precise term.
p. 31: "[w]hether the act creates significant health risks for women has been a contested factual question." don't patronize me, AMK. have you even read your amicus briefs? like the one from the ACOG? hmm...let's see here:
"Over 95% of induced abortions in the second trimester are performed using the D&E method. The alternatives to D&E in the second trimester are abdominal surgery or induction abortion. Doctors rarely perform an abortion by abdominal surgery because doing so entails far greater risks to the woman. The induction method imposes serious risks to women with certain medical conditions and is entirely contraindicated for others."
part V: oh wait, you left me room to mount an as-applied challenge to this Act? i don't know a whole lot about medicine, but what are the options here? a letter to the nytimes editor says it better than i: "
This ruling puts the few doctors willing to perform abortions in an impossible position. In the rare situation where a doctor determines in his best medical judgment that a dilation and extraction is the safest procedure for his patient, how is the doctor to choose between obeying the law and respecting his personal and professional commitment to protect the health of his patient?
For a doctor who confronts that dilemma, it will surely be cold comfort that the court has left the door open for an “as applied” challenge to the law.whew! now i'm exhausted and i don't have the energy to read batman & robin's concurrence. i'm sure it's something along the lines of "screw you, [penumbra theory/constitutional right to privacy/living constitution]." choose your own originalist adventure, reader!
ginsburg writes a passionate and urgent dissent.
there you have it folks. it's a convoluted opinion, of which i've yet to make sense for myself regardless of how many people are urging me to sound the alarms. i will say this much: i don't think much will hold this court back from chipping away on a woman's ability to obtain an abortion. and i shant forget the requisite shout-out to o'connor: thanks a lot.
and as jon stewart once told us, jesus + fetus = SCOTUS.
the most fascinating part of this story, though, was the following: For decades, only nine colors have been available in lighting the building, deployed by six maintenance workers who braved the elements on the parapets to install — by hand — colored plastic lenses on the tops of 208 old-fashioned floodlights, a job that can take six hours. They worked the color changes 200 times a year.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Whale Spotted In Gowanus Canal
A baby Baleen whale was spotted in the Gowanus Canal Tuesday.
The U.S. Coast Guard says the whale, which was spotted off the piers near 22 Street, is very young, possibly pre-juvenile.
Baleen whales are an endangered species.
Experts from the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation were sent to assess its condition and help rescue the whale.
It is unknown how or why the whale traveled into the Gowanus Canal.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Cho seung-Hui had "Ismail Ax" written on the inside of his arm, and immediately the blogosphere exploded with reactions. Ismail being one version of Ishmael, many concluded that Cho obviously was a Muslim and that his actions were in keeping with Muslim terrorists of his ilk. Of course, this is to say nothing of the fact that Ishmael's role in the Old Testament is well established or of the fact that Cho comes from a decidedly Christian family, or of the fact that with NBC's release of his creepy Napoleon Dynamite intoned rants, Cho fails to imply even a passing interest in Islam. In fact, the tapes are notable for what they do reveal about his motivations: (1) he identified pretty seriously with the crucifixion story and (2) he had a misplaced rage against the excesses of classism--misplaced because from what I remember from a trip a few years back, reasonably priced Virginia Tech has about as modest and middle-class a campus as one can find.
And then there's the picture above and the accompanying piece from the Paper of Record. Now, I should make it clear from the get-go that I think Old Boy is the most incredible film released in the last five years--a nuanced and breath-taking meditation on the nature of revenge (at times lyrically beautiful, and at times depraved in ways previously unknown to film-goers). Anyway, because in one of the pictures Cho sent to NBC he's seen wielding a hammer, because he's Korean, and because a Korean guy also wielded a hammer in Oldboy, ergo, that film was in part what inspired Cho to go on his murderous rampage. Of course, there isn't much evidence suggesting that Cho was inspired by Old Boy, but in juxtaposing the two images the Times lets our collective racist mind wander: fucked up Korean guy obviously influenced by fucked up Korean movie.
But what pisses me off really is this: The New York Times suggests that Cho was motivated by a Korean film, the blogosphere in its charmingly shrill way accuses him of being a Muslim terrorist, news outlets make noise about his residency status (preferring the otherizing term, "resident alien," over "permanent resident" or "green card holder"), and totally unnecessarily and repeatedly, the Government of Korea expreses its condolences to the United States, and so it remains as true today as ever--as a nation we cannot face tragedy or ugliness or violence without externalizing it. We cannot assume any sort of responsibility for evil that grows within the fold of our amber waves, our purple majesty. We live in a culture that glorifies handgun violence, one that desensitizes children to its consequences, while at the same time putting few obstacles in their path towards armament, yet we grasp at straws when something like this massacre happens. Maybe guns don't kill people. Maybe capitalism isn't godless. But when we let the homicidally deranged have access to guns, when we let the socially isolated and the financially aggrieved get a permit for them, let's at least man up a bit. We didn't make Cho Seung-Hui crazy, but we gave him the road-map from crazy to Columbine-style, faux-martyr fame. Maybe that's the price we pay for living in a free America--I don't know--but let's recognize it as our burden and ours alone.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
is it the shitey weather in new york? oh ann arbor, how you're laughing at my misfortunes. is it the occupational irony of wolfie? (also watch the video--as much a fan as i am of americone dream, jon stewart can hit it out of the park every once in a while).
then there is the massacre at both virginia tech and iraq. ughhhh....
i need a bahamavention.
in other news-related news, i sometimes like to peruse the atlanta journal-constitution's long-standing column, "the vent," which is exactly what it sounds like. the paper prints peoples' various gripes, which range from the obvious ("if you don't wear a seatbelt in your SUV or truck, you're too stupid to be driving") to the nonsensical ("i met her in metter, then i wined and dined her in winder") to the insane. in response to the recent british-iranian hostage crisis, one reader wrote: "If Gandhi had known what a pushover the Brits were, he could have been eating the whole time".
Monday, April 16, 2007
Well, apparently what one does is to strip down to his tattered purple chinos (pictured) and jump head-first into the sea of artistic compromise: Norton is set to play the Incredible Hulk in a sequel to a movie I am pretty sure no one even saw. Here's to hoping this arrangement is part of some sort of Faustian bargain that will result in Motherless Brooklyn actually being made and released. Or maybe the two movies could be combined: Bruce Banner gets exposed to gamma rays and develops a weird form of melanoma and a bout of Tourette's? Hollywood, thoughts?
Friday, April 13, 2007
Monday, April 9, 2007
Nirvana - Jesus Don't Want Me for a Sunbeam.mp3
he was told that he should not bring any valuables with him when he's permanently placed in a fire station (fire company? who knows) because, get this, the other firefighters will set your shit on fire as a part of your initiation. huh? then he told us that sometimes the other firefighters will attempt to test your mettle by setting YOU on fire.
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Blogger E, in an earlier comments section you had the gall to suggest that Ford CEO Alan Mullaly maybe doesn't deserve 28 mil. for presiding over a hemorrhaging company, but see below. How you like him now?
From the Detroit News:
Plug it in, fire it up, Mr. President
Credit Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally with saving the leader of the free world from self-immolation.
Mulally told journalists at the New York auto show that he intervened to prevent President Bush from plugging an electrical cord into the hydrogen tank of Ford's hydrogen-electric plug-in hybrid at the White House last week. Ford wanted to give the Commander-in-Chief an actual demonstration of the innovative vehicle, so the automaker arranged for an electrical outlet to be installed on the South Lawn and ran a charging cord to the hybrid. However, as Mulally followed Bush out to the car, he noticed someone had left the cord lying at the rear of the vehicle, near the fuel tank.
"I just thought, 'Oh my goodness!' So, I started walking faster, and the President walked faster and he got to the cord before I did. I violated all the protocols. I touched the President. I grabbed his arm and I moved him up to the front," Mulally said. "I wanted the president to make sure he plugged into the electricity, not into the hydrogen This is all off the record, right?"So, what do you think: Cry for help? New, desperate, if-you-can't-beat-em-join-'em Qaeda policy? If so, Mr. President, know one thing: I've got my DVD of Heathers (pictured) and an unopened tub of Americone Dream at the ready. Let's talk, and more important, let's hug it out, bitch.
Saturday, April 7, 2007
Friday, April 6, 2007
Sugarpockets introduced me to Sharffen Berger's 41% cacao chocolate. It's the greatest packaged food-related thing ever to happen to me. If all my teeth rot out and I gain 50 pounds and turn into some bizarro--and obviously more attractive--version of Jennifer Connelly's character in Requiem for a Dream, you'll know why.
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Woman saved by pile of poo
April 05, 2007 12:00am
A CHINESE woman survived a plunge from a sixth-floor balcony thanks to a convenient pile of excrement which broke her fall, local media said.The accident happened when the woman was hanging out laundry on Monday in Nanjing, capital of the eastern province of Jiangsu, the Kuaibao tabloid said on its Web site (www.kuaibao.net).
"Workers happened to be emptying the building's septic tank, which had not been tended for a long time and had regularly blocked sewage pipes," the newspaper said.
"She probably stretched out too far and fell ... right on to a 20cm-thick heap of excrement."
The woman suffered only slight injuries, the newspaper said.
In March, a six-year-old girl broke only her left leg when she fell six floors on to a pile of snow in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang.
My cool celebrity look-alike collage from MyHeritage.com. Get one for yourself.
5. Jeremy Irons in The Lion King
4. Harrison Ford
3. Diane Lane (pictured)
2. Tina Fey
1. Omar from The Wire
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Billy Packer has been the lead college basketball analyst at CBS for as long as I can remember, which means his old-man surliness is as much a part of the Final Four as say Luther Vandross' One Shining Moment. And, oh, what memories Packer's given us. There was that one time, for instance, when he called Allen Iverson a "tough monkey." And that other time when two Duke co-eds asked to see his press pass at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and he said, "Since when do we let women control who gets into a men's basketball game. Why don't you find a women's game to let people in." And now the gem above. According to one random internet dictionary, there is a non-homophobic definition for "fag out," but the Internet says a lot of things. So, let me join the fray: Billy Packer's a homophobe, a misogynist, a racist, and a biased analyst. Put him out to pasture already, CBS, and give his job to Bill Raftery.
Monday, April 2, 2007
In totally unrelated Hollywood non-news, how is it that The Office, which--to its credit--has one of the most diverse casts on television only recognizes five cast members in its opening credits--all of whom are white? Is Ryan (straight man, rotting from within) more integral a character than Kelly? Or Karen? I'll accept that Stanley, Oscar (from Season 2), and the Warehouse guys are all subsidiary, and maybe Ryan gets a little bit more screen time than all but the four principals, but he's not the reason I watch...Anyway, Dunder-Mifflin, our little spring fling was fun while it lasted: 30 Rock's back on Thursday.