6.30.2004

hatin' on the LPGA

it seems that some lpga players aren't happy that golf prodigy michelle wie got an exemption to play in the lpga US open.

as you might guess, my rant here will be fairly predictable. the only reason i can think of to hate on the michelle wie is that she is asian. what if it were 14 year old michelle smith creating the buzz on the lpga tour. i have no doubt that everyone would be singing the praises of how a precocious young girl is charming hearts everywhere and encouraging many young girls to take up golf. but no, golf (far and away the whitest of white sports) doesn't like the laundry people taking over the tour.

i guess my main beef is that the people can't see the forest for the trees. in my opinion, michelle wie has more potential to really revive/kickstart/revolutionize a sport than anyone else. more than lebron (not quite transcendent), more than freddy adu (soccer will never catch on in the states, sorry mg), and more than any of baseballs crop of super young talent (not the first...and not the last). with interest up, money will go up, benefitting all of the lpga players. let's see which lpga players will be complaining when they start getting bigger checks. michelle wie playing at the US open will be THE story of the weekend. no one cares if annika sorenstam wins or if julie inkster comes in third. if these a-holes just want to play golf is a pure sport, then they can play at their country clubs with other white people.

what really kills me is that people really don't see what a phenomenon michelle wie has the potential to be. from what i've read and seen, this is a female who plays golf exactly like a man and it seems that it is inevitable that she will play and more importantly, win on the men's tour. a woman playing a major tv and major money sport better than the guys. folks, this is unheard of, and can only be good for the bigger picture of the hegemonic masculinity of sports.

i, for one, really hopes that michelle wie kicks the field's ass at this tourney. go big yellow!

6.28.2004

Diamond Dave - Saver of Lives

I'm really not sure what to make of david lee roth's attempt to become an EMT.

truth be told, i'd just rather he and eddie and the boys get back together, but i suppose that it's good that he's doing something productive with his life. do you think that when he needs to break into a locked house to get to someone having a stroke, that he'll just do his trademark jump-kick to bust the door open? i hope so.

i also suppose that one could interpret this as an unmistakable sign of shark jumpage, but maybe it'll work out in the end when he reunites with van halen and one of his on-stage costumes is a set of scrubs.

on a semi-related note, of all the band logos to scrawl into your notebook as a teen growing up in the 80's, van halen's logo (the old one with straight lines, not the new one with the curved lines) was far and away the easiest and the coolest. much cooler than metallica's and much easier than ac/dc.

6.27.2004

9-11 is not a joke

saw fahrenheit 9/11 yesterday.

overall, it wasn't as heavy handed as i thought it was going to be. even more surprising was that michael moore himself really isn't in the movie that much. maybe this is related but it also isn't as funny as other michael moore films.

in any case, i won't get bogged down in telling you what the movie is about or which side he's taking. that much should be pretty obvious. there are three things that i did want to point out that are semi-related.

1. there are two points where i think that he unfairly indicts popular culture, one in relation to the war and one where i think he's just trying to be funny. first, there's a scene where he shows that the soliders listening to agressive metal type music to get them psyched up for their fighting in iraq. people might argue with me, but i think that he's saying that there's an indirect relation to violent music and violent actions. to me it seems that he's saying that because these soldiers are listening to violent music to get them rapmed up, that the music must help them to be violent. when in bowling for columbine, he takes a lot of time to show that marilyn manson did not cause klebold and harris to shoot up the kids. i know he never says that violent music causes violent soldiers or anything, but then why even put that scene in the movie? why put those two elements together unless you are trying to say something about their relationship to each other? again, i think this begs the question how much is michael moore creating a propaganda piece than he is trying to reveal truth or whatever here. after all, it seems that he is using his arguments selectively - the media/behavior link is no good in bowling for columbine, but it's good here?

2. there's a scene where he shows britney spears saying in an interview that she thinks that we should trust the president. i think his point here was to show how people are generally uninformed and that it's reached such big proportions that even britney spears is aiding in the public opinion wrangling process. maybe he was just trying to be funny here, but it really doesn't make any sense to me to use britney here, other than to use her as a symbol of ignorance. granted, she's not the smartest person in the world, but i also don't think that she's the dumbest. plenty of people feel the way she does, country music artists, rappers, whatever. why not use them instead of relying on the bimbo stereotype to convey his message. i guess it's a lose-lose situation for him, since if he used rappers he'd be relying on bad stereotypes about black people, but i think britney doesn't get enough credit for being a successful female. she's dumb, but thom yorke and madonna are dumb in many ways as well and people really don't seem to pick on them. again, i think he's picking his targets because they're easy targets, not necessarily the best or most enlightening ones.

3. at the end, he got real heavy handed with a depiction of a mother who used to back the war until her son died. she does a lot of crying and what not, and there's this scene where she says she wants to direct her anger at the white house. it definitely shows the emotional impact of losing someone to a war that really doesn't make any sense, but at the same time, i think michael moore was also using it to show how ordinary people should get mad at bush. what i think kinda got lost at the end is earlier in the movie, it shows her telling the camera that she thought that the armed forces were a good idea for her children and she encouraged them to join. what i keep telling people is that you get what you sign up for. instead of accepting her share of the responsibility, michael moore seems to be exhorting us to blame bush. i say, by all means, blame bush, he bears much of the responsibility, but does he really bear any more responsibility than any of us. what are we really doing to try and stop him? and why did we wait so long? maybe i'm being over the top here, but that lady bears as much responsibility for not thinking enough about the whole deal enough to tell her son not to enlist as those who enlisted him. too much "what about me?" on her part.

which brings me to my final summary of the movie. it's a nice movie and for the most part, i agree whole-heartedly with the spirit of the movie. god help us if w. gets elected again. but is anyone's mind going to be changed with this movie? are conservatives or war hawks going to go see this movie? more importantly, are any non-political people going to see this movie and be affected to do something they otherwise wouldn't have, and vote. i guess the media attention that it's getting will help that alot, but ultimately, i think we're all prisoners of our ideology. movies don't affect us as much as we hope and i just don't know how many people will do anything as a result of the movie. not that that is what movies are supposed to do, but i think it's obvious that is what michael moore wants to happen. it seems to me that the things that gets people to change their mind in this country is when something affects them (the lady in the movie with the dead son being a prime example). or ironically enough, when people have to ask, "what about me?" i can't think of a time when people ever did something for the good of the whole until it came home to roost. no one did anything (i mean really did anything) about vietnam until the body bags and the war footage was shown. maybe this movie is a necessary step in getting there, but i think it's naive to think that we're getting out of the whole mid-east situation until things get much worse in terms of casualties. that and the fact that there really are terrorists who keep cutting people's heads off.

6.25.2004

sooooo, is she a woman now?

it seems that britney spears has conferred with my other engaged friends and is not a member of the betrothed set.

sure young boys and dirty old everywhere are now heartbroken that sweet clean young britney is off the market, but what everyone really wants to know is how this affects my britney spears playboy prediction. for those of you who are unfamiliar, the prediction is something along the lines of britney's career with each album release will continue to fizzle and fizzle until the point where she needs to do something drastic to revitalize her place and significance on the pop culture map. since she's really not talented music wise, and not smart enough (or pretentious enough) to pull off the madonna personality change thing, so she will have to fall back on the one thing that has always served her well, her sexuality and then pose for playboy promptly breaking all records for magazines sold, beach towels ruined, etc. my prediction date for this was 2005.

anyways, the prediction took a hit last year when britney spears latest album debuted at number 1 and actually did pretty well. definitely not as well as her other albums, but good enough to possibly delay the total trivialization of her career. getting married, i think could really go either way, it will either delay her playboy pictorial if her husband is all macho about that kind of stuff, or when she gets divorced, she will feel the need to do something to mark her independence (and boost her sagging career) and pose for playboy. in any case, happy marriage vs. doomed...hmmmm...give me the doomed marriage and slightly amend the prediction to the end of 2006.

6.24.2004

big red balls

so i saw dodgeball last night. for the most part it was pretty good. not the greatest slapstick comedy i've ver seen, but pretty good nonetheless. ben stiller was wayyyyyyyyyyy over the top with his character in the same way that will ferrell was in old school or jim carrey was in dumb and dumber, but at the same time, he also comes off like derek zoolander's evil twin brother, so, all three of the aforementioned performances were better than stiller's turn here in dodgeball. part of it might be that the overall story line was pretty goofy, and i think the movie probably spent too much time on the dodgeball matches, but for sure, it's a decent summer popcorn flick. except at the fiesta five theater, where the pimply teenager put about three gallons of butter on my popcorn last night. also, there are several parts of the movie that made me proud to be an american.

here's a piece that was published on slate recently about how dodgeball is misunderstood as a game.

blog metanote - in developing my blogging and linking style, i think that i've decided to always link movie titles to imdb. i'm not sure why, it's not like they're paying me, but i find it to be an eminently useful and interesting site.

are david hasselhoff clones close behind?

german super babies.

mutation my ass. everyone better get ready to fight off the fourth reich.

on a related note, ever since my friend patrick got back from a trip to europe in college, i've decided that almost anything can be made funnier if you say it in a smarmy german accent. you know, like the ones used by the bad guys in die hard. nien! nien! nien! (or is it (nein! nein! nein!). anyways, i'm sure all the germans are reading this story and saying to themselves in their smarmy german accents, "clearly, this is a result of zuperior german engineering."

crazy brits

kinda weird, but also kind of genius. big download, so if you're on a dial up, it may take a few minutes, but pretty funny. be sure to check out the pope during the drum fills.

6.22.2004

more BS from michael moore

sorry kids, but it's pop culture, so i have to comment.

so now michael moore is all bent out of shape because the MPAA won't change it's rating of fahrenheit 9/11 from the original R-rating it gave it last month.

please let me be clear here. i'm no fan of the MPAA, they're a bunch of elitist blowhards who are in bed with the major movie studios. they also couldn't tell you what's suitable for children if it bit them in the ass. so moore may have a legitimate gripe about unfairness on the MPAA's part. however, as usual, his comments betray a much more self-serving type of griping.

here's the quote that pisses me off the most
Teenagers should be able to see this film and see it on their own. Older teenagers are being sent to Iraq, some never to return. To say that teenagers shouldn't see this movie means that the truth should be kept from them.
it's clear that he's making some sort of allusion to draft. the teenagers who are over there didn't have to join the armed forces. there are plenty of teenagers who stay at home, work at mcdonalds' but keep their conscience by not joining a group whose sole purpose is to kill other people. then the part about the truth...well read my last post for some differing opinion from a pretty liberal guy on that.

the story also makes mention of ray bradbury not being real happy about michael moore ripping off the title to his book fahrenheit 451. again here's michael moore being an a-hole. didn't even occur to him to ask permission from ray bradbury. me me me.

anyways, as the slate piece that i mentioned in the previous post also points out that moore whines that not enough soldiers were sent to afghanistan and iraq, even slightly hinting that a draft was needed. hypocritical asshole.

actually, you know what all this crap reminds me of. f-ing mel gibson and his stupid jesus movie. lord knows that if i had been blogging when that piece of celluloid crapola came out, i would have slammed gibson too. i don't know how religiously radical mel gibson is and i don't know how politically radical michael moore is but i suspect that both really aren't that fiscally radical, and will be even less so after the final receipts are in for fahrenheit 9/11.

why can't al franken make documentaries?

i've always suspected that michael moore was as full of crap as his conservative counterparts such as rush limbaugh. today in slate, there's an extremely interesting piece by christopher hitchens on moore's new movie, fahrenheit 9/11. it's really long, so if you don't want to read it, the basic gist is that moore is full of crap and essentially, all he is really about is asking, "what about me?"

basically, he accuses moore and the movie of manipulating facts and presentation to present a wholly onesided argument that actually contradict previous statements and stances taken by moore.

let's play with that last sentence, shall we...accusing bush and the conservative press of manipulating facts and presentation to present a wholly onesided argument that actually contradict previous statements and stances taken by bush and the conservative press.

works both ways. granted i haven't seen the movie, but the truth of the matter, i won't know if moore is manipulating facts or not. i can't. i'm so skeptical about almost any news or "fact" source, that i suspect that there's almost always spin involved. for this class i was a teaching assistant for last quarter, we had a unit on independent media and how they provide an alternative to biased corporate media. appropriately enough one of the things that the students wrote about in the paper was how an alternative news show interviewed michael moore, about this very movie no less, and how the other networks were ignoring him. well if michael moore relies in the same kinds of tactics that a bill o reilly or sean hannity rely on, what's the goddammed difference?

don't get me wrong, i'm a pretty liberal guy. but this is exactly why i hate politics. everyone's an asshole. if michael moore really cared about the things he said he did, then a liberal political magazine like slate wouldn't call him out on these kinds of things. in other words, he doesn't really care about these kinds of ideals, he just hates bush, because he could make a movie about bush. i think his actions regarding other matters are reflective about this "what about me?" attitude. come on, why would anyone endorse wesley clark? and for people who really care about this stuff and want to change things (not me, by the way, emphatically, not me), this hurts the cause more than it helps. i suppose michael moore is good at what he does, and it will make for lively debate, but when it comes down to it, he's just another dude who's profiteering from this stuff, in a way that i don't think is very constructive for change.

i don't know, maybe there is something to this whole, we have to be better than conservatives by not relying on bluster and propoganda to advance our ideas thing. or maybe conservatives have liberals totally outclassed on both the propoganda front.

like i said, i haven't seen the movie yet, but the point is, if we are relying on michael moore to be one of liberal america's most prominent spokesman, then liberal america has got some problems.

or maybe i just hate him because he's fat. just like rush limbaugh.

on a related note, regular readers have probably figured out that i read slate alot. it's a good read and a good way to waste time. i highly recommend it to all.

6.21.2004

huh?

madonna changed her name, sorta.

my favorite quote is "My mother died when she was very young, of cancer, and I wanted to attach myself to an other name." which is very smartly followed by, "This is in no way a negation of who my mother was. I wanted to attach myself to the energy of a different name."

let's see, my mom, who had the same name died of cancer so i want to change my name. i don't think she was a bad person, but because her name gave her cancer, i am going to change the name she gave me. whatever.

what happened to madonna? she used to be so cutting edge and controversial. now she's just stupid with that stupid british director husband of hers. what annoys me the most were her statements about how she really buys into the kaballah and how she's not doing some weird celebrity trend and now that she's not a celebrity whore she's supposedly super spiritual now. hey madonna, guess what? kaballah is a cult (check out the creepy creepy website) not that different from scientology. i may not completely understand jewish mysticism, but i can spot a cult when i see it. madonna, you're either stupid or you're a fraud. either way, i'm not calling you esther. that name is reserved for those esthers who are truly great.

do you think daisy was a little more forthcoming in the bedroom that night?

this really has nothing to do with anything, but donald duck got a star on the hollywood walk of fame last week.

donald was always far and away my favorite disney character because it was always so clear to me that he was misunderstood. just like me, nellie olsen from little house on the prairie, and angelina jolie. what a great double date that'd be.

6.19.2004

at least no one's talking about the pistons anymore

shaq wants a trade.

the article has really affirmed for me how much i like shaq. and i'm really sure now that people don't give him credit not only for his on-court greatness, but his off court acumen as well. the quotes in the article seem pretty damning to me. and it makes no sense. shaq is one of those basketball players who are like baseball players. in baseball, i'm fond of saying, you are what you are. if you're a .300 hitter, you may hit a slump, but in the end, things will even out (i.e. derek jeter). take barry bonds for example. he may be a horse's ass, he may piss off everyone with what he says and what he does, but the bottom line is he will hit 40-something homeruns and single-handedly keep his team in contention. anyways, shaq is exactly like that. he'll end the season with about 20-25 points a game and 10-13 rebounds a game. and for the most part, he does bery well playing the part of good soldier. sure he's had some dustups with kobe, but after seeing kobe play this season, i think that it's pretty clear who's fault that is. when shaq leaves LA, i'll stop rooting for the lakers, only because i root for greatness, and the way that the lakers are ending this season is pure sorriness.

on to more important matters, the linked article seems to think that orlando is the ideal place for him. where he started his career, where he still has a home, where he has a 2nd banana who is not kobe (mcgrady), but fredo and i came up with a good theory about where he should go. dallas. think of it, the mavericks have plenty of firepower to give up to the lakers, antoine or antawn, one of big three, marquis daniels, josh howard, and plenty of people who the mavs can keep who can do a much better job of being the worker bees needed to win the championship. mark cuban and shaq i think would make a fabulous pair. dallas would welcome him with open arms. my ideal situation is shaq in the middle, with nash at the point and dirk at the four. najera, bradley, josh howard and any other half decent rebounders and defenders that they can roll out there are the equivalent of fox, horry, and ron harper of the championship lakers teams. this can work. the main obstacle of course is don nelson. cuban needs to pull the trigger on getting rid of nelson and make phil jackson an offer he can't refuse. if shaq joined the mavs, i would be back on board with basketball again. i know they have to play out the string and all that, but seriously folks, you have to have a pretty crappy organization if you can't win with shaq. mark cuban, if you're reading this, do the right thing. put the full court press and get the diesel in a mavs uniform and you'll have someone out in santa barbara wearing his MFFL t-shirt everyday with pride.

on a completely unrelated note, if you look at the day and time of this post, you'll notice that it's saturday night at about 10:30. for those of you who are familiar with the situation, this is clearly not a good thing. but, hey, at least the house is clean and i got to finally see T3 on cable tonight.

6.18.2004

it's no curse of the billy goat

been a while. much to blog about, but i've been busy as of late. sue me.

so the latest participants in the bachelor didn't make it to the altar, again. what i like the most about this story is how they call it "the curse of the bachelor." as if some supernatural forces work to keep these a-holes from getting married, as opposed to the completely artificial circumstances which surrounded their decision to get married. that's like saying people who got cancer from asbestos got hit with the curse of asbestos.

anyways, jesse palmer, sorry things didn't work out. (i'm talking about your football career by the way, not that whore who you proposed to).

6.15.2004

lakers lakers lakers...

lakers facing elimination. i know, i can't believe it either. i've already given most of my opinions on what's going on with the series. part of me hopes that there is some kind of conspiracy to get the series to seven games, but i generally laugh when people make charges that the officials are calling a game to go a certain way. generally when i see a referee call more fouls on a certain team, it is almost always because that team committs more fouls.

i know that i just got done writing about not buying into sports myths, but my head can't seem to convince my heart that the lakers will lose this game. i suppose i can concede that it is likely that the pistons will win the series, but it still doesn't change the fact that i love shaq. so go shaq, go lakers, shock the world.

on a semi-related note, is it me or is that pistons' PA announcer waaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy over the top. if i remember correctly the pregame introduction went something like, "wearing the biiiiiig reddddddd number threeeeeeee, b-b-b-b-b-b-ben w-w-w-w-w-w-w-wallace". the NBA is too noisy. maybe that's why i don't like it so much anymore.

6.14.2004

i think that flag burners might be on to something

so the supreme court copped out on the pledge of allegiance case.

from what i can tell, the court ruled that since the father doesn't have legal custody of the child, he can't even petition the court that the "under god" in the pledge of allegiance has an adverse effect on his kid. i suppose that the custody laws are the way that they are for a reason, but dammit, i hope some responsible atheist parents do take this matter to court. again, not to get all political on your ass, but the way i see it, the constitution is fairly clear in regards to the separation of church and state. to quote montecito resident dennis miller (who by the way, i hear is a real big a-hole), no matter what the context, church and state just don't go together, just like burt and loni. how anyone can argue that invoking a specific diety in an oath of allegiance to a nation state is not in violation of this is beyond me. i fully acknowledge that most of the people in the nation are christian, but most of the people in the nation are also white and i think that ends up leading to a lot of bad laws. earlier this year, i saw gayarti spivak give a talk on campus and she said that secularism is an impoverished abstraction that needs much more attention. i think that in this case, she might be right on target.

besides, for the longest time, i always thought that it was "one nation, under guard".

why sports matter

a few weeks ago, i laid out a list of topics that i was going to cover. the last topic, on the myth of sports in regards to a piece that ralph wiley wrote on ESPN.com was the only one i didn't get to. in passing, i mentioned that wiley was fast becoming one of my favorite writers. he passed away today at the age of 52. you can read the article to learn about his life or you can click here to see what some of his colleagues had to say in response to his death. i'm not going to write a sentimental obit about what a great writer he was. i wouldn't be able to because i only have started to discover his writing. the most i can honestly say about him is that he was a really good writer. instead, to honor his passing, i'll write a little bit about a theme that he wrote about a lot, sports and myth.

the general gist of his piece was that there was a certain mythology about the lakers that made them look better than they actually were. the other auxillary point, but the one i think is more important, is that this myth is not unlike a host of hollow myths about sports. these myths such as the idea that black people are genetically better athletes are built not to give us a rosier picture of athletes, but rather they're connected to other myths in our culture. as i said a few days ago in regards to the larry bird comments, myths serve the purpose of reinforcing a dominant class' ideas. and to me, nowhere is this notion more true that in sports, which although many of my friends think i'm lame because of this, is why i list my reasons for rooting for a team as nothing other than their ability to do things that i can't. the more you can do things that i can't the more i like you. which is why i like shaq so much. in any case, i just wanted to point out that ralph wiley said that basically the myth of the lakers revolved around the notion of two black supermen, shaq and kobe. he said that while they were good players, their greatness had been extended to the crappy group of players that they have around them. something that i've been saying all playoffs, is even with payton and malone, this is the worst group of laker worker bees that we've ever had. what i think is great about the wiley piece is that he doesn't get suckered into the myth that the pistons have more heart or have better team values or crap like that. he simply states that the pistons as a whole, are physically better at the game of basketball than the lakers. he did use some emotional descriptors to extol their greatness which i don't like so much, but i think he said it best when he said the best thing about the pistons is that they clearly do not buy into the myth of the lakers because they know that they are superior talent-wise to the lakers. and with the pistons up 3-1, it seems we can only assume that wiley was right.

i suppose that i'm guilty of buying into the myth of shaq. don't get me wrong, shaq is still great and i still hope that the lakers pull it out, but i'll admit that the lakers seem to be simply outmanned right now. shaq is the only player on the lakers worth a damn, but the pistons are playing lights out. malone and payton are worthless, and don't get me started on kobe. i still contend that talent wise, there are maybe two or three other players who are in his class when it comes to creating his own shot (which i think is probably the most important thing to being successful in the NBA), but he's dumb and he flat out sucked last night. sucked big time goat balls. recently the over-reactor in me even said that at times he was jordan-esque. however, thanks to reading wiley's piece again, i realize that kobe is not even in the same universe as his airness. maybe i've got good old days syndrome, but i count myself lucky to have been able to watch the true greatness that was jordan in his prime.

anyways, back to ralph wiley. generally, sports writers occasionally do pieces where they make the hackneyed claim that sports is a microcosm of society. and generally, they are full of crap. people like peter king, peter gammons, and tom verducci always connect the good things about sports to your usual "america is great and there's no racism here" crap. what's great about ralph wiley was that he was able to show in his writing how sports really is related to the rest of american culture without relying on the myth of sports as a ideal type of a pure meritocracy. what i think he articulates best is that you can just be a fan of sports for the pure physical spectacle of what you're seeing and not have to tie your fandom to wholly subjective (and often racist/classist/ageist/sexist) ideology. professional sports represents both the best and worst about us as a culture and as a nation, and even though it's a really f-ed up thing, you can still get excited about your team. or any team. even the pistons.

anyways, if you have some time and you appreciate good sports writing, you should check out ralph wiley's espn.com archive before they take it down. i've just learned that he's done all sorts of writing, so i for one am looking forward to see what else ralph wiley has to say about america.

6.12.2004

the sanest days are mad

this site will either make you feel better about yourself or make you feel like crap.

6.11.2004

i love brian piccolo...

i ran across a kinda neat website today. americanrhetoric.com contains a bunch of audio files of famous american speeches. i haven't gotten around to looking at all of the site, and i have to warn you that there's a "christian rhetoric" section that i probably won't spend a lot of time on, but there's a really good movie section that has some of the really great movie speeches: michael douglas' greed speech from Wall Street, billy dee williams' acceptance speech from Brian's Song, and alec baldwin's god complex speech from Malice to name a few. it also has some not so good ones such as bill pullman's independence day speech from Independence Day, nicholas cage's i choose us speech from The Family Man, and robin william's commencement speech from Jack that should give you a good chuckle. anyways, i think that it's missing a few really important ones, like alec baldwin's company speech in Glengarry Glen Ross and pacino's disowning of fredo from Godfather II, but all in all a good penalty kill.

we built this city on red wings goals....

people seem to be getting their panties in a bunch over anything on television that is remotely non-mainstream. jimmy kimmel got into a lot of trouble for saying "They're going to burn the city of Detroit down if the Pistons win, and it's not worth it," the ABC affiliate in detroit got all pissy and pulled the show from its lineup and inexplicably, ABC followed suit by pulling it off the air in almost all of its affiliates. can someone plese explain to me what the big deal is? so he made a reference to post championship rioting, something that has become as automatic as courtney love getting in trouble with the law (again, nice picture courtney). so someone things detroit sucks. i think that detroit sucks and that there probably will be rioting...is blogger going to discontinue publishing my blog? it also says in the story that jimmy kimmel apologized by saying on his show, "What I said about Pistons fans during halftime was a joke, nothing more. If I offended anyone I'm sorry," he said. "Clearly, over the past 10 years, we in L.A. have taken a commanding lead in post-game riots. If the Lakers win, I plan to overturn my own car." i thought that was a pretty good apology, but it seems that detroit is still pissed off. this reminds me when conan o'brien and triumph the insult comic dog got in trouble for making fun of canadians.

f all of them. detroit and canada suck. what kills me is that it's not like detroit has a super bad reputation or it's perceived as some kind of midwest shangri-la. it's just like any other city. there are some cool things about it (motown, birthplace of eminem, etc.) and there are some not so cool things about it (high unemployment, birthplace of erik love. etc.). people make fun of LA for being such a plastic city or full of bad traffic problems. you don't see any of us getting all pissy about it do you? and let me tell you why. out here in southern california, we really do have the right attitude. hey there are some parts about living in southern california that totally suck. the smog, the traffic, the high crime rate, whatever. but because we are such laid back nice people, you know what we do when someone points this stuff out. we say BFD. is moving out of here to another city like detroit which has its own problems gonna make our life any better? of course not, so we just say, yeah traffic sucks. but hey let's go to the beach this weekend. so detroit sucks in some way, what the hell do you care what someone else says about it. just live your life and root for the pistons, either way, i don't really give a damn what you think you're entitled to.

on a related but unrelated note, it totally sucks that detroit calls itself hockeytown, because i'm almost sure that any town in canada has much more rabid and good hockey fans.

6.10.2004

eh ding...what about yao?

so larry bird sparked a little controversey yesterday when he said that the NBA is a black man's game. i think that it's going to be very interesting to see how this plays out in the media as far as how larry legend gets portrayed.

this kinda stuff is exactly what my thesis is about. in talking about sports there are certain things that you can and can't talk about. one of those things is race. it's actually really crazy if you think about it. there are fewer arenas of american life where issues of race manifest themselves so clearly, i.e. the fact that the great majority of NFL and NBA and soon enough MLB players are african-american. so it's clear that it's a major factor in the way sports is played both on and off the field, yet there is a strict rule about not talking about race and its role in sports. there are sanctions for talking about sports. a more obvious example would be when then general LA dodger general manager al campanis said that black people weren't management material and then got fired. perhaps a little less obvious example is when charles barkley likened the NBA to the slave trade. granted charles didn't get as much backlash, but he was portrayed by many pundits as a race baiter or someone playing the race card. by the way, don't you just love it when whitey tells you that you're playig the race card? as if racial discrimination is a lucky card that i happen to have in my hand and i'll only play it when it suits me best. f you whitey. anyways, both charles and al campanis were sanctioned because they broke the rules on how to talk about race. the point is, larry brought up race and my guess is that you'll hear newspaper columnist, talk show hosts and the like all say something like "i don't look at race, i just like good basketball players." this is what we call in sociology circles as the discourse of color blindness. if we can pretend that we've gotten over racial stereotypes, it actually reinforces discrimination because now we can blame an individual instead of the the 500 pd elephant in the room, racism in america. so it's ok to talk about how jackie robinson broke the color barrier, but it's not ok to talk about how the fact that kobe is black will affect how he is perceived in the media. as barthes says, myths serve to reinforce dominant ideology and the myth of sports is no different.

6.08.2004

bedtime for bonzo...

in case you've been living in a bomb shelter or gambling and drinking your life away in vegas, ronald reagan died last saturday.

i'm not much of a politico, but from a pop culture perspective, ronald reagan truly was a unique person. as far as i can tell, ronald reagan was the single most charismatic president that the US has ever had. no matter how bad things were during the eighties, one thing never changed, people loved, i mean they really loved, ronald reagan. maybe it was his hollywood background, or maybe he just happened to fill the kindly grandfather role to a tee, whatever the case, i don't think that reagan's popularity can be questioned. the "teflon president" is surely the most appropriate nickname cuz a lot of shit happened on his watch, but i can't think of a time where he took heat for any of it. inflation, iran-contra, challenger, the start of the late eighties recession, you name it, nobody really blamed him for it.

as kinda mentioned before, i was in vegas when he died. i came into the room where fredo was watching the coverage and the maid was making our beds. fredo told me that the maid came in while he was watching the first bit of coverage and when he told her, she replied "oh, that's sad. i thought he was a really nice man." which of course seems to be a normal thing for an average american to say. however, fredo also learned that the maid was from honduras. if reagan was able to convince a person from honduras that he was a nice guy, then he basically was the greatest politician who ever lived.

personally, although now i disagree with his political philosophy, i do remember thinking as a child that he must have been a good president by the way everyone else talked about him.

now however, i do realize his legacy did almost more harm to more people than all other presidencies combined. here's a good piece on slate that does a pretty good job of chronicling why reagan sucked. also, someone else, i forget who, wrote a pretty good book, i forget the name, that did a convincing job of showing how reaganomics was basically the cause of poverty in the nineties. i know, not very helpful, but like i said, it was a pretty good book.

on a lighter note, i do think that it would be funny if at the state funeral, when they pan down the line of all the living presidents, jimmy carter and george senior, and bill clinton are looking solemn, and then when they get to george w. he's just sitting there blubbering like an idiot.

a sure sign of a recovering economy...

creed broke up. they actually broke up last friday but i was to busy losing money at the roulette wheel to notice. not that i would have noticed anyways.

usually with something like this, i would say something to the effect of, "well, you can't sell 30 million albums and not have something." however, for what i think are obvious reasons, this does not apply to creed. in their five or six year career, all they've done is spare us to death with repetitive power chords and quasi-christian rock lyrics. they brought very little if anything to the table and it escapes me how they got any radioplay at all. the worst of course was the lead singer, scott stapp, who was an egotistical, self-righteous, hypocritcal jerk. the e!online story says that the other members are starting another group, which is a sure sign that even they got tired of his b.s.

of course, this most likely means that we will have to suffer through some incredibly lame solo effort from stapp. damnit, why did creed ever have to exist?

dead AZ cards linebacker update...

i just found today on the net pat tillman's little brother's eulogy. granted it's probably a little over the top, but it just goes to show that news does get buried. it seems quite newsworthy to me and i guess it's not big secret as to why this really didn't get any media play even though maria shriver, who i'm guessing has very little to do with this kids death, did get plenty of air time.

i found this on a bunch of other blogs that i usually read but haven't read in a while. you can find it here or here, but here's the text and a great picture.

Thanks Pat. I didn't write shit because I'm not a writer. I'm not just going to sit here and break down on you. But thanks for coming. Pat's a fucking champion and always will be. Just make no mistake, he'd want me to say this: He's not with God. He's fucking dead. He's not religious. So, thanks for your thoughts, but he's fucking dead.

clickety-clack! clickety-CLACK!

so this past weekend was the first time that i had been to vegas since november. usually i don't go that long between visits, but you know how things go. the sorry thing is that i'm still not done with my thesis. oh well, on to more important details...as always we stayed at the fabulous luxor hotel in the pyramid. this was far and away the most gambling intensive trip that fredo and i have had. all told, i would say that we spent at least 20 hours gambling. fredo i think was treading water all weekend until our last session on saturday where he did pretty well. i, on the other hand had probably the worst run of luck that i've ever had in vegas. the first night was really the site of the worst of the slaughter. i played craps, roulette, and carribean stud. and lost big on all of them. i just couldn't get that hot streak that you need to win in vegas. i tried blackjack then, where i feel that i can almost always at least break even, but it treated me no better. in any case, on the morning that we left, i had a single one hundred dollar bill left in my wallet, and thought to myself, "well, no sense in taking this home." and i hit the craps table where i promptly won back everything that i had lost. some guy got hot with the dice and hit all my come bets. ah jeez, i forgot to mention that fredo and i also hit 1 grrr ('larious) on the wheel of fortune slots. incidentally, this is the second time in my life that i've hit a thousand bucks on that damn machine. so i guess that i was able to pay for the trip. although when the cowboys win the super bowl next season, that'll get me 16-1 on a twenty dollar bet, and then i'll be the big winner.

as always, there were other extra-curricular activities that i won't get into specifics about, but just know that we didn't make the spa on saturday afternoon like we usually do because we were up till real late at a certain establishment named after a particular great native american with two lovely ladies named ashley and bonnie. no there wasn't any freaky-deaky orgy or anything, so get your mind out of the gutter. however, it may be of great interest to you to know that ashley actually gave me her phone number...unsolicited no less...yeah, i don't know what to make of it either. even of more interest, you'll be happy to know that another lovely lady gave me her phone number not just more than an hour ago...to paraphrase dr. evil from austin powers 3, bobby's on fire....

6.02.2004

mean (and underage) girls...

saw two movies this past week. on saturday, i saw shrek 2. funny as hell. if you liked the first one, then i think it's safe to say that you'll like this one. i was thinking about how it compares to finding nemo, the other great animated movie that i've recently seen. true, nemo is disney and meant for a different audience, but i think when it comes to the test of time, that nemo will stand taller. much of the comedy in shrek 2, although hilarious, is quite topical and will in due time be outdated. this is also a good time to commit to written statement that animated movies are much more enjoyable when the things that are being animated are animals. i've noticed a trend that i generally don't like the disney movies where the main protagonist is a human (i.e. mulan, beauty and the beast, and that stupid hunchback movie), whereas the ones with talking animals or inaminate objects are always good (i.e. lion king, nemo, toy story, etc.)

on to mean girls...really good and funny and smart. that lindsay lohan is quite the talented actress and when she turns 18, i'll have much more praises to sing about her. but back to the movie, i really don't know what girl world was like in high school, but i'm guessing that tina fey did and she probably recreated a fairly decent facsimile of what it was like to grow up right when high school ceased being high school and became the year round beauty pageant/popularity contest that it seems to be at most high schools today. i also thought that she did a good job of not making it too sappy or simple minded like most teen comedies tend to be. there's definitely an edge, and i think that most of the really cool kids in high school will appreciate it. the person who i saw it with thought that the ending was kinda sappy, since in the end everyone gets along, but i think that it is more in the spirit of what tina fey was trying to do. i don't think that she was trying to write a black comedy or anything. i think that she was trying to write a script that pointed out the flaws of our secondary education system in a way where kids might feel empowered to not feel obliged to participate in the dog and pony show.

it's times like these where i wish i would meet someone like tina fey, someone who is smart, hot and wears glasses, fall madly in love and then get hitched. if you're reading tina fey, drop me a line and we'll do lunch. i've some movie treatments i'd like to pitch to you, if you know what i mean...

in any case, not to be happy happy movie guy, but i highly recommend both of these flicks.

the man at it again

here's a neat story about a guy who was cleared of murder charges thanks to the sheer coincidence that Curb Your Enthusiasm happened to be filming at dodger stadium that day. while it's a great and interesting story, i'd just like to underscore how to me, the casual reader, the whole fact that this dude got charged in the first place with such slip shod evidence is a big problem. according to the story, his alibi was that he was with his daughter at dodger stadium at the time of the murder. he has family witnesses, he had ticket stubs, and he offered to take a lie detector test (an offer that the cops conveniently declined). seems pretty clear to me that there's not enough evidence. granted i don't know how reliable the cops' eyewitness who placed him at the scene was to me, it seems highly unlikely that there was enough evidence for a conviction. this guy was the death penalty for chrissakes, and if it weren't for the total dumb luck that he was sitting in a section that happened to have a television show filming, he'd be on his way to the chair. the article also says he's suing and i hope he takes the government to the cleaners. there seems to be clear negligence going on here. it's also notable that the guy's name was juan catalan. i wonder how vigorously the charges would have been pursued with such flimsy evidence if they guy's name was john whitey.

where is the liberal outrage?

according to e! online, britney spears is planning a few concert dates in china . the chinese granted her permission to do so under the sole condition that she tone down any sexually suggestive outfits. in other words, they have to have final ok on wardrobe. i know it's different, but there are some parallels to the whole michael moore fahrenheit 9-11 thing. both have a political message attached with their personality. although many would argue, i think britney really does represent some kind of sexual liberation in a extremely victorian country. both were censored by someone who has a checkered history when it comes to freedom of speech, being headed by draconian dictators, etc. however, the main difference is that when michael moore got censored there was a public outcry that freedom of speech was being violated yadda yadda yadda. however, i doubt sincerely that there will be much outcry to allow britney to express herself freely. which goes to show you the a-holes who bitched and moaned about michael moore so much really don't care about freedom of speech or other high falutin ideals. they only care when it is convenient for them. i know that they situations are different, different cultures, governments, etc, but if you really care about this stuff, shouldn't britney spears be afforded the same protections as michael moore? it seems that the liberals are just as guilty of being a-holes as the conservatives. and that's my libertarian rant for the day.

6.01.2004

new on the Ragin' Asian: titles!

this article on slate, serves as pretty good evidence that the right are a bunch of a-holes. this particular piece deals with how the FDA is using really bogus objections to prevent plan b, the kind of birth control pill that you can take after sex, from becoming available without a prescription.

i won't get into the specifics, but it's such a prime example of a really really good idea that gets derailed by a bunch of hypocrites, most of which are christian. these a-holes are all screaming that they are looking out for children and tha they are looking for ways to reduce abortion in america. then we come up with something that will do just that. and instead of saying, "all right! let's get this puppy out there on the streets!" they get all pissy again. you see the truth is, these jerks have no interest in looking out for children. all they want to do is tell people what to do. more specifically, they want to tell women, people of color, homosexuals, and poor people what to do so that they can stay on top. and i've said it before on this blog, but if you pretend to be righteous and generous and concerned when in reality all you are doing is benefitting yourself, you're really just a douchebag. fewer things piss me off as much, so a big fat "f you" to the dipshits over at the FDA.