10.31.2004

unstable

taken at the cowboys game today.

and can the paint on the stomach be good for the baby?

i suppose it's no worse than taking a course on globalization

UNC is going to offer a course on the show American Idol through its musicology department. i suppose that i could think of some things about the show to work into a class on music and television, but according to the article, the final goal of the class is to develop some kind of rating system for the contestants. i'm all for integrating pop culture into the curriculum of the acedemy, but this seems like reach.

10.30.2004

happy halloween

i just downed my first shot of tequila. i'm going to go eat and then get into costume and then eat as much of the halloween candy that we got for the trick or treaters tomorrow. the ragin asian wishes you and your own a happy and safe halloween.

10.29.2004

bobby the gook, week 8

i know this is late, but what they hell are you gonna do about it? anyways, i got killed last week. my percentage is starting to come back to earth, which actually makes me glad that i'm not betting real money on this thing. and if you think about it, this is why i'm even picking games in the first place, to see if i will start betting the games regularly again. anyways, i guess we're not even halfway through the season yet, so i have some time to redeem myself. anyways, last week: me - 5-8, season 58-40-3 (.592); fredo 8-5, 54-44-3 (.551). look who's right back in this thing. anyways, point spreads from caesar's/hilton, home team in bold.

GB (-1.5) over WAS
farvre is starting to look like farvre again. now with a new tragedy to deal with in his wife's breast cancer, i guess i'll be the dopey american here and say he'll win one for her. by the way, is joe gibbs being exposed or what. maybe spurrier wasn't such an idiot after all.

BAL (+8) over PHI
i think that this one is going to be a low scoring affair. i don't expect the ravens to win or anything, but the ravens have too good of a defense to lose by more than a TD. donovan's numbers come back to earth this week for all you fantasy owners out there. a FG or a dorsey levens TD wins it late.

ARI (+3.5) over BUF
i'm not sure why vegas is giving the bills any respect. this might be your classic trap game in that the road team with the better record is getting between 3 and 4.5 points. however, it's also a classic, no feel for the crappy teams, take the points game.

MIN (-7) over NYG
the points are tempting here, but it looks like moss will be at full speed again. i fully expect kurt warner to throw at least 2 ints on the road as well.

CIN (+3.5) over TEN
why do i hate home teams all of a sudden? anyways, chad johnson finally woke up last week, and we'll stick with the crumbling empire theory for the titans. they officially begin rebuilding after this game.

IND (-2) over KC
seriously, i need to stop picking against home teams. anyways, there are two schools of thought out there. the chiefs still have a horrible defense or the chiefs are finally coming around. indy lost last week, but i expect them to rebound nicely this week.

DET (+3) over DAL
trap game? i don't know, detroit is a better team than they were last week. dallas is also starting to have problems with their usually sound defense. i sense a blowout here.

HOU (-1) over JAX
i have decided that i love the texans this year. the jags are legit, but i think that the texans can score on the jags.

DEN (-7) over ATL
vick is officially having trouble with the new offense. denver at home, there's no reason not to take the broncos here.

SEA (-8) over CAR
this big line really surprises me. especially with the way the hawks have played over the past three weeks. but carolina is starting to really smell up the place. the superbowl hangover is still in effect here.

NE (-3) over PIT
everyone is saying that this is where the streak ends for the pats because of ben f-ing roethlsiberger. is everyone freakin' crazy? rookie qb vs. top 3 defense? give me the defense. and give me fifty bucks on the pats (3-4 on the big bet).

SD (-6) over OAK
love the chargers, love the chargers, love the chargers. i was deciding the chargers and the pats for the fifty dollar bet.

SF (+2) over CHI
when ohio state won the national championship, people were always talking about how craig krenzel was the heart and soul of that team and that he was a real leader. all while maurice clarrett was having one of the best seasons by a freshman rb ever. we see this phenomenon alot, white guy being called the team leader while a person of color is the one that is really kicking ass. people will say that the locker room/clubhouse influence is invaluable and that even though the white guy is not as talented he's the real reason why a team is doing so well. it's what everyone says about jason varitek while manny and ortiz combine for 30% of the red sox' RBIs. is it really that hard for anyone to acknowledge that black athletes usually contribute more to a team than white athletes? anyways, krenzel starts for the bears, which means at least three ints (which he had a problem with at ohio state by the way), two crappy teams, all signs point to a niners win.

NYJ (-7) over MIA
last week was a complete abberation for the dolphins. while the jets at least showed a little fight against the pats (while covering the spread, i might add). jets win big on monday night and john madden begins to wean himself off of favre's ballsack by starting to lick chad pennington's.

he's barry roided-out

like we didn't know, but there's more evidence that says barry bonds used steroids. i'm really not sure how to feel about this right now, as i haven't fully figured out my stance, but if barry does get caught, it's going to be one of the biggest black eyes that baseball has seen i think. which is a shame, especially after that great playoff run by the red sox. like i said, i need to further flesh out my thought on this in my head, but rest assured, when i do, i'll blog about it.

the ragin' asian reviews team america

i love south park. i mean i really love it. it's cutting edge social commentary combined with sophmoric humor which only serves to highlight the absurdities that they skewer. that said, i had high hopes for team america. i was thinking that maybe the whole puppet format would work in the same way that the primitive animation in south park worked. anyways, i was extremely disappointed. the social satire was middling at best. consequently, the goofiness of watching the puppets was not nearly enough to carry the movie. there were a few part of the movie that i giggled at. potty humor is always gonna be good for that, but other than that, it was an hour and a half of suck. it almost seems like matt stone and trey parker realized about twenty minutes into filming what a poor concept this was and then just churned out the rest of the movie as fast as they could. also, it was a bit heavy handed. when i say that i mean that it doesn't do a good job of satirizing both sides of whatever issue they were trying to make fun of. it paid a lot more attention to satirizing hollywood's involvement in activism than it did to some of the absurdities of the US' involvement in policing the world, which is where the "world police" part of the title comes from. which if you think about it, is the real proof that this movie wasn't that good. the ragin' asian has gone on record several times in making fun of hollywood douchebags for pretending to give a flying crap about world affairs despite their own whoring themselves out to the hollywood regime.

yeah, it's a short review, but i really don't have anything else to write about this movie except that i want my money back. the weird thing was everyone else in the theater seemed to think that this was the funniest thing since richard pryor. they laughed at all the awkward movements of the puppets. they laughed suring all the scenes where puppets got killed or were having sex or were throwing up. it was like i was at an adam sandler movie or something. maybe it's just me, but it just didn't seem that kind of laugh out oud funny.

anyways, bottom line, if you think puppets are funny go see this movie. if you want good satire, just watch south park.

near the end of the harry caray era

steve stone resigned as color man of the chicago cubs yesterday. and while i never thought he was as great as everyone else in chicago, i'm pretty sure no one would have worked as well with harry caray as stoney. he's nearly the last link to the harry caray era. there are only a handful of players that were around before caray died. what sucks is that there are some rumors that a few players were instrumental in getting stone to resign. why don't any players get up in arms about the crappy job that tim mccarver does?

i'd like to see a cat try and do this

a dog saved a lady's life by dialing 911. good dog. goooooood dog!

10.28.2004

web fun

this is just something i ran across, one of my favorite SNL skits of all time. it's the one with christopher walken and the blue oyster cult. genius.

on a related note, the song in the skit, "don't fear the reaper" plays a crucial part in one of my favorite movies, the stoned age. it's actually a really bad movie, but for whatever reason, it really cracked me up. do yourself a favor and check it out.

yasser arafat stole my halloween costume idea


i'm going to be tyrone biggums from chappelle's show. i'll post pictures on sunday after the party.

more courtney love news

courtney has to go back to court. this time because she supposedly attacked another musician.
Love, King said, per City News Service, "picked up a [Johnnie Walker] Red Label bottle of whiskey and dumped it all over me...She threw the bottle at the left side of my face. She picked up a big candle that was lit and threw it at the back of my head."The irate rocker allegedly dug her nails into King's arm, leaving a scar, and grabbed King's boob--"the worst pinch I ever had," the woman testified. "I was like, 'Get off me,' and she slapped me across the mouth," King said, adding that Love was "very aggressive, angry, just vicious, erratic." King eventually escaped the purportedly rampaging rocker and alerted police via cell phone.
looks like we're about to enter tonya harding territory here. unfortunately the story doesn't say anything about how this affects her probation. i'm not sure why i feel the need to keep you updated on courtney love. i guess i just can't resist staring at the train wreck.

p.s. don't forget to click on the fantasy link on the tonya harding website for some decidedly un-hot erotica.

10.27.2004

the red sox weren't the only ones who won tonight...

america won tonight.

kathleen hanna on the war, feminism, and ric ocasek

here's an interview from pop matters with indie music icon, kathleen hanna.

i never really was that big a fan of bikini kill or le tigre, but she definitely seems someone who academics like a whole lot. i think that she has some interesting things to say about the intersection of music and activism today. i'm taking a culture seminar and we've talked alot about the political power, or i guess i should say the political potential of art. kathleen hanna i think has a good point when she says:
The artists are always the seers, they're always the people who figure stuff out before anybody else figures it out, and then it trickles down into culture.
on the one hand, i think that it's a a somewhat romantic view of the artist, especially today with the way most art is made. i concede that she typically creates and distributes her art in a way that's probably outside the dominant paradigm, but she still derives a lot of her charismatic authority, to use a weberian term, from her ability to play the guitar. on the other hand, the quote actually makes a whole lot of sense to me. which is why we here in the ivory tower will never be as influential as we think we will.

she also talks about working with former cars' frontman and current supermodel husband ric ocasek on le tigre's latest album. selling out? of course not, ocasek is a genius.

speechless

if you haven't seen this yet, here is eminem's new video for a song called "mosh". you really should watch it yourself, but the quick story is that it is a progressive political statement to get bush out of office. on oliver wang's blog, pop life, where i first saw this, there are some interesting thoughts on how things have changed in hip-hop and the divide between socially conscious hip-hop and commmercial hip-hop has lessened considerably. he writes:
Here's the 2004 scorecard. Two of the most "political" statements made by rappers this year did NOT come from the expected voices like Talib Kweli and Mos Def. Instead, we have Jadakiss with "Why?" and Eminem with "Mosh." Add to that Jay-Z guesting with Dead Prez, Sean Combs urging MTV viewers to "Vote or Die," and Trick Daddy registering voters (again) and hip-hop's visible political order now seems completely out of whack with expectations.
but that's not what i want to blog about.

eminem is such an enigma. when i heard the other single, just lose it, off of his upcoming album, i was less than impressed. no real hook and same ol' i'm-crazy-but-for-the-right-reasons lyrical content. it bored me and i just figured that this might be the end of the line for good ol' slim shady. but now after hearing this, it turns out that eminem might have some contributions to make after all. i guess what i'm trying to say is that i never really bought the "i'm truly angry and this is where my music comes from" angle from eminem. i just figured that it was all part of the image that dr. dre dreamed up for him. but now i'm starting to wonder if he actually is angry. and if so, in my book that gives him a lot more credibility as an artist. i'm not sure that he's doing it on purpose or anything, but in the bigger picture, i think that it's the shrewd business move to make, reinventing yourself.

meta-blog note: i've decided to start giving credit to the sources of any links that i give out. especially when they come from other blogs. i used to think that it really didn't matter because it seemed everyone just stole shit from everyone else. and since we've learned that the web is one of the hardest places to police anything, no one seems to care about this kind of thing. and can you blame them? after the ashlee simpson SNL thing, it was all over the net. every blog, and i mean every blog weighed in and had a link to the movie which was hosted by collegehumor.com. now do you think that everyone simultaneously went to collegehumor.com saw the video and blogged within the same two hour time frame? of course not. so on the one hand, it's not a problem, because that kind of stuff is going to get out there no matter what and no one is really trying to scoop anyone else. however, on the better blogs that i read, they usually give credit where credit is due, so i want to strive for that golden ring. besides, the more that i think about it, the more it just seems like the right thing to do. now you may ask yourself, well dammit bob, why should i read your blog if i can get the same shit elsewhere? i'll tell you why, because you won't be able to to get the unique and ragin' and not to mention asian perspective that i bring to the table anywhere else. same goes for all you ladies out there too. once you go asian...ahh never mind.

10.26.2004

can mothra be far behind?

godzilla is getting a star on the walk of fame. apparently, the star will be unveiled in conjunction with a release of a new godzilla movie (who's greenlighting these projects?).

on the one hand, it's sad how the walk of fame is now just a another type of commercial endorsement, as it costs something like 2000 bucks to be even considered. however, on the other hand, as the angry asian man says, godzilla is the most badass asian ever.

more commentary on the world series telecast

what another great game. boy pedro was really something else. i know it's a cliche, but there's no other way to describe it other than to say he was dealing last night. you know the old cliche is that good pitching always beats good hitting. i've never really bought into that and i think that the red sox this year really show that i'm right here. from top to bottom, they have what i like to call "professional hitters". in other words, they almost never waste at-bats. the red sox have shown remarkable plate discipline so far this series. they're patient, they're taking a ton of pitches and if they ever get behind in the count, they seem to all be able to foul balls off until the pitcher makes a mistake. oddly enough, the last lineup that i can remember with this many professional hitters in it were the late nineties yankees with paul o'neil, scott brosius, and the like. mccarver brought up a good point when he told us that of the nineteen runs scored in the first 2 games, 9 of them were scored with two outs, which i think is indiciative of this plate discipline that i am talking about.

unfortunately fox still was able to really trick up the telecast again in what i think was one of the real low points of world series baseball. at one point in the telecast, they went to chris myers who is roaming busch stadium with a wireless mic, your standard championship game television fare. however, he was in the box and he was interviewing leon, of budweiser commercial fame. for those of you who haven't seen the commericials, leon is an athlete that supposedly actually says what we think athletes are saying instead of the usual generic crap. for example, in one of the commercials, when the coach tells him to go in for a play, he tells the coach that he's still distraught over his last bad play and that he's in a "fragile emotional state" right now and it probably be better if he put someone else in. the exact opposite of what athletes would have you believe about them. so as a commercial, it's real effective, especially since it backs up budweiser's slogan of "true". you can read the official anheuser busch press release here (sorry, i couldn't find the actual commercials anywhere on the net). anyways, botoxed-out chris myers starts trying to interview him and leon then goes into his shtick where he pretends to be the egotistical athlete that he plays in the commercial. in other words, they were basically doing a commercial during actual gameplay. there was even one point where fox had the split screen going, with pedro mowing down a cardinal hitter on one screen and then leon being a jackass on the other screen. i understand that baseball is a business, but dammit this feels like they've crossed a line. does every single bit have to be a cross promotion? can't budweiser just buy commercials or billboard space like everyone else?

also, i finally paid full attention to the polar express play of the game. this too is disturbing, because usually the graphic involved with these things may just be the logo of the sponsor. if it's animated, it's usually animated in a way that just is used as a transition to the announcement. and then the logo just sits there as the announcers describe the play of the game. for these polar express play of the games, you have a fully animated train that drags with it, "tom hanks in the polar express" and then when the announcers start talking the animation keeps going. again, another commercial that actually is done while the game is still going on. very unstable.

i hate to be good ol' day syndrome guy, but this just doesn't seem right to me, and baseball on television was much better when nbc did it.

U2 doesn't sell out again

apple is releasing a U2 themed iPod.

i know what you are all thinking, that this marks the second time that U2 has sold out. but let's break down that statement a little shall we?

first off, U2 never sold out in the first place. to be honest, i'm really not sure where this notion ever came from. the only guess that i can offer is that when they went experimental and electronic with zooropa and pop, that they were kowtowing to some zeitgeist that said that electronica was the "in" music. both of those albums in my mind were categorically not electronica and in fact, in my opinion, a few of U2's greatest songs (specifically lemon from zooropa and please from pop) came from these albums. i never understood the charge of selling out just because an artist wants to try something new. sure some of the results were mixed, but i think that because U2 were so successful, they were just an easy target. what do people expect them to do, make the joshua tree over and over again? one of my favorite quotes from bono is when asked about what he thought about radiohead going experimental with kid a, he replied something to the effect of, "we've been doing kid a for the past ten years." anyways, the point is, U2 put out albums that had relevant music that did enjoy a broader audience because of a hybrid style. and i am guessing that is what irked some people. that argument never really flies with me either, when people stop liking bands because other people like them. i have a theory that what they're really saying is, i don't like them because non-white people like them now. but that's another discussion/research project.

second, my logic is that apple is seen as the more innovative and grassroots of the computer companies that they're actually working as always to upset the order of the world. if they teamed up with microsoft then maybe they'd be selling out. plus they're promoting digital music, which is has revolutionary potential in itself. so they're good business people, that doesn't make them sellouts.

anyways, the new iPods are supposed to have 60GB worth of space and have a better battery life, which makes it more and more tempting for me to get, but that $600 price tag will probably delay the arrival of iBob for a few more months.

now that's texas justice

another situation where i can't tell if this guy is a genius or an a-hole.

ashlee simpson, my heart burns for you.


you want more ashlee simpson news, you got it! in her latest attempt at damage control over the SNL sound engineering debaucle, ashlee cops to lip-synching, but places the blame on acid reflux disease, better known to the rest of the world as heartburn. nothing really to add here, that you haven't thought of yourself, but i suppose that heartburn isn't the worst excuse she could have come up with. but it also isn't the best. i mean, who hasn't seen those pepcid ac commericials and doesn't know you can stop heartburn before it starts.

interesting sidenote: on the pepcid AC website wou can subscribe to a mailing list that they call, "Enjoy!", where you can "connect with the vibrant community of Pepcid® users!" i guess we all need a sympathetic ear whenever we eat too many italian sausages. i guess it's a good thing that there's a place where people who suffer from this tragic disease can find people who are non-judgemental and supportive. there's also a recipes section that provides recipes of food that don't give you acid reflux. i guess this is really a vibrant community.

recent blog commentor molly just stopped by and brought up a good point about how ashlee is relying on the authority of medical science to try and weasel her way out of a social transgression. yeah, molly is kinduva nerd. anyways, i wonder if that means i can use acid reflux as the excuse of why i haven't finished my thesis yet.

10.24.2004

bodie gets spiritual on us

the winner of the most irrelevant celebrity to criticize the US' involvement in iraq award goes to:

patrick swayze

joining the dogpile on ashlee simpson

in case you haven't seen the train wreck of ashlee simpson's SNL appearance, here ya go.

while on one hand, she and her band are idiots for not rehearsing the click track, are we under any illusion that lip-synching isn't just part of the biz? but then again, her dancing around like an idiot while trying to figure things out certainly didn't help.

anyways, seriously, everyone uses vocal enhancement these days. i have it on good authority that on their last tour, steven stills and david crosby had their vocals processed through a pro-tools enhancement. it's not lip-synching, but at the same time, is any less dishonest than what happened to ashlee? does that make them talentless? then it doesn't make ashlee talentless either. what makes ashlee talentless is that her music is annoying to listen to.

bonus embarrasing singer moment from enrique inglesias!

no telling if this is real or not, but if it is, it's pretty funny.

world series game 1 telecast analysis

what a game last night huh? before the start of this series, i thought for sure that the cardinals would win at least two games, but now i'm not so sure. boston's lineup is just as relentless as st. louis'. anyways, i thought that instead of providing you with actual sports analysis, i'll break down the telecast of the game for you. i figure that there are plenty of places you can get game analysis. but only the ragin' asian can provide insight on all of the little things about the experience of watching sports on television.

1) julian tavarez is easily the ugliest player in the world series.


2) at the top of the third and the bottom of the third, they actually interviewed the managers in the dugout. i guess it's a good effort by fox to provide insight, but it just doesn't translate in baseball, especially after only three innings. they might as well have done the interview before the game. what exactly were they looking for besides the generic, "there's a lot of baseball left to play" quote, which by the way they got from terry francona. really, what kind of insight can francona provide us on ortiz's homer?

3) speaking of ortiz, there was a red sox fan sign that fox showed between innings. it read, "it's not in the cards" with a big picture of the face cards of a deck of cards with a pictures of ortiz, manny, schilling, and pedro as the faces. at this point, it's a pretty good sign. in fact, the lettering was professionaly done, so you know they put some money into this sign. however, at the bottom was a little tribute to ortiz that read "whose your papi?" "whose" of couse, being the interrogative pronoun that asks who the object of the question belongs to. i.e. whose line is it anyway? the correct word of course, would have been "who's", the contraction for who is. if it were me, i would be really pissed off that i had a very expensive sign ruined by my poor usage. plus i thought that new england was supposed to be one of the most educated parts of the country. now this guy has shown everyone in the nation that it isn't.

4) what's the deal with larussa's glasses? does anyone think that tinted lenses look good? how much of a hassle is it to have a regular set of glasses and then another set of prescription sunglasses. especially for the manager of a professional sports franchise? goofy.

5) throughout the telecast, fox would show a graphic of the world series logo accompanied by cgi graphics of fireworks exploding around the logo to promo the next world series telecast. this was accompanied by not a single sound of a burst to draw attention to the promo. instead, it was accompanied by the sound effects of fireworks playing for the entire duration of the graphic being on the screen. i thought that it was super annoying, especially since i couldn't hear what the announcers were saying.

6) the fox announcers, joe buck and tim mccarver were actually ok last night. i've gone on record as saying that mccarver is terrible, but there was nothing too annoying about them last night. which i attribute to the fact that the yankees, whose balls this broadcast team is especially fond of licking (notice the correct usage of the word "whose" in the last clause), are not in the series. see? everything about baseball is better when the yankees lose.

7) last night was another example why the "sounds of the game" segment doesn't work. fox decided to mic up boston's hitting instructor. the worst was when they replayed the sounds of the game when bellhorn hit the go ahead homer. this is an exact transcript of what he said: "yeah! yeah! (dramatic pause) yeah!" the problem with this segment is that they never air what we really want to hear that would give us insight into the game that we wouldn't have known otherwise. for example last night what would have been really interesting to hear is what was said to tavarez after he gave up that home run. the same thing in football. i don't want to hear ray lewis trying to encourage his teammates on the sidelines. i want to hear him at the line of scrimmage telling the opposing quarterback that he's going to rip his head of and sh*t down the hole.

8) it's strange to me that the play of the game was sponsored by a children's movie. the canon sureshot play of the game, i understand. the polar express play of the game, i don't.

9) does so taguchi look like shortround from indiana jones and the temple of doom or what? hey lady, you call him dr. jones!

10.22.2004

a-hole of the week

someone invented a keychain called TV B Gone that can turn off almost any tv.

from what i can tell, the guy who invented this thinks that he's offering some kind of public service by basically forcing people to watch less television. i guess the idea is if you are distracted by a television in a bar or a restuarant, you can turn it off. in other words, it's a real obnoxious way to say, "what about me?"

two things from the story that i'm gonna break down for you. first,
He has tested the TV-B-Gone remote discreetly in many places, and in other countries, and -- with the exception of Hong Kong -- says he usually gets little to no reaction from others after the background TV noise disappears.
what this should tell this guy is that no one except for him is really distracted by the tv being on in a public place. i suppose it's a waste of electricity, but that's really beside the point.

second thing, a quote from the inventor
I can be mischievous, but I'm not going to do anything malicious, and I don't want to make anyone's life more difficult. I just don't like TV, and I'd like people to think more about this powerful medium in their lives.
what an ass! first of all, just because you don't like television, doesn't mean it is a bad thing. the whole "i just wanna make people think" is your classic bs excuse for "i want people to have the same values as i do." what if i said, you know i think that certain books have too much of an effect on people's lives (are you listening to me wal-mart?), i want to make people think about that by burning them. it's the same goddammed thing. last time i check, we didn't live in nazi germany. it's like farhenheit 9/11, if you don't like what you think the message is going to be, then you don't have to go see it, a-hole.

i don't get the whole luddite thing. in fact, i think that when luddites say stuff like "technology dehumanizes us", i just think it's code for, "i liked things better when black people couldn't live in the same neighborhoods as us, gay teens just did us all a favor by committing suicide, and women couldn't vote." all this yearning for a bucolic time when people really talked to each other is just bs. just ask black people, gay people and women if they think that people really talked to each other while they were systematically discriminated against. it's just not a good argument to say that technology is ruining our lives. how we use technology may be the culprit, but humans are repsonsible for that. i for one say that there is no shame in having the television on just to keep yourself company while you are mopping the floor or something.

think about it, without seeing rodney king on television, it might have taken us a lot longer to realize that some cops like to beat up black people. without the footage of the bodies coming home on television, the US might have stayed in vietnam even longer costing even more lives. without television, brooke burke would have never gotten her start as the host to E!'s wild on show and wouldn't have been able to grace the cover of this month's playboy.

look, i'm not saying that we watch too much television, cuz we probably do. but the solution lies in people taking responsibility for how much television they watch, not someone else telling us what to watch and what not to watch. just like the solution to obesity is not telling people not to eat. it's getting them to get their fatass of the couch and stop watching tele...oh wait a minute. anyways, you know what i mean.

anyways, the stupid keychain is supposedly selling like hotcakes, so the douchebag inventor probably thinks that he has some kind of following, but i can guarantee you that at least half of the people who are buying are high school kids looking for new ways to pull pranks.

starting to like jerry rice less and less

in addition to having to watch a legend suck and watch him whine until he got traded, i found out something else that seems to be indicative of a trend of overall sorriness. uni-watch, another espn.com page 2 column wrote about rice and his uniform situation with his new team the seahawks. it's at the bottom of the column, if you want to read it for yourself, but here is the pertinent text.
Uni Watch's recent examination of retired numbers gained a bit of extra resonance this week when Jerry Rice was traded to the Seahawks. Rice has worn uni number 80 for his entire career, first with the 49ers and then with the Raiders. But the Seahawks retired that number in 1995, in honor of Steve Largent. Given Rice's recent temper tantrums regarding playing time and the loss of his consecutive-game reception streak, how would he react to having to wear an unfamiliar number? Not to worry. Calls were made, permission from Largent was requested and received, and Rice will be wearing number 80 after all.
first off, let me say, yes, i know that jerry rice is the greatest receiver, possibly the greatest football player of all time. however, it's not like steve largent totally sucked ass. they retired his number for a reason and if i were a seahawks fan, i'd be pissed off. what if vinnie testaverde said to jerry jones, "i want to wear number 12, could you please call roger staubach and let him know i'm going to piss all over his legacy?" the seahawks have sold out here. what's really bad about this is that i doubt rice will be able to help them much.

damn skippy!

for once in my life, i really agree with skip bayless. it's hard for me to see jerry rice and emmitt smith hanging on by a thread. 8 super bowls between the guys and now all they do is spare us to death.

on a related note, i'm still trying to figure out how bayless got added as a regular espn.com page 2 columnist. i thought that page 2 was supposed to be a place for a different kind of sports column that combines pop culture and non-traditional sports thinking. i really don't know if bayless qualifies. sure he's been a jackass wherever he's been, but i think that his column is more suited for the newspaper than page 2.

how democracy is spread


they're opening a hooters in shanghai.

i've always contended that the way to spread democracy around the world is via T & A. we wouldn't have any of the problems that we have in the mideast if the US would just open up a strip club in bagdad.

by the way, say what you want about the political correctness of hooters, but you have to admit, that's a genius logo.

10.21.2004

bobby the gook, week 7

seriously, can anyone deny the existence of god, or at least the existence of gamblor after what happened in baseball this week? that reminds me of a joke. what do you get when you cross an insomniac, an unwilling agnostic, and a dsylexic? someone who stays up all night agonizing over the existence of a dog. thanks! you've been a great audience! anyways, the more well read of you will know that i aped that from david foster wallace's slightly more funny than average book, infinite jest. what the hell does this have to do with anything? nothing, i'm in such a good mood though after the red sox win. anyways, enough of the nonsense, on with the picks. i rebounded to form as did fredo, but i still manage to increase my lead even after last week's debaucle. last week results: me: 9-5, season 53-32-3 (.624); fredo: 8-6, season 46-39-3 (.541). for some reason, there aren't any lines from caesar's/hilton, so we'll use thepoint spreads at the mgm/mirage. home teams in bold.

BUF (-6) over BAL
hear me out here. willis magahee looked good last week. i'm not saying that he's the next coming of O.J., but he's probably better than jamal lewis' replacement chester taylor. although i hope i'm wrong about this, cuz i have him on both of my fantasy teams. oh year, kyle boller really sucks.

DET (+6.5) over NYG
i felt better about this at the beginning of the week with roy williams coming back and all, but the giants have been pretty good against the number this year. erik is going to vegas this weekend, and i was going to bet this game, but i'm not so sure now. actually, i know i'm not.

PHI (-7) over CLE
no contest here. i think that philly is better than the pats right now.

IND (-9.5) over JAX
one of two trains that we'll keep riding until it stops, philly being the other one. which leads us to ...

NYJ (+6.5) over NE
i'm really not sure that the streak ends here for the pats, but the jets have gutted out all of their wins. i think they can at least keep it close.

TEN (+7) over MIN
minnesota's defense has looked pretty awful the past two weeks. with moss up in the air, i'll take the titans in an upset.

SD (+3) over CAR
apparently, i'm going to pick the chargers every week. i dunno, i thought that they played atlanta tough, and i think that stephen davis is out of gas.

STL (-6.5) over MIA
i'm officially back on the rams' playoff bandwagon. they've been great against the spread this year too.

TB (-7) over CHI
the bears might not win another game this year. tampa bay rolls here. look for a big game for pittman (yardage wise of course. all veteran fantasy managers know that pittman is worth shit when it comes to TDs). i love this game by the way, definitely money going down on this one.

ATL (+4) over KC
huh. my favorite quadrilateral is a TRAPezoid. stay away from this one.

GB (-3.5) over DAL
another one to stay away from. this one could seriously go either way. but like i said, last week was the beginning of the rest of a bad season for the hometeam. who knows what to make of green bay too.

SEA (-7) over ARI
the seahawks may have some reciever problems this week. how awful is it to see jerry rice don a green uniform? anyways, despite the two game losing streak, the hawks aren't really that bad a team. they'll play great with the defense getting in on the scoring and shaun alexander going ape-s on the cards.

NO (+3) over OAK
no reason to bet on the raiders until they stop turning over the ball (translation, no reason to bet on the raiders until kerry collins is out of there).

DEN (-6) over CIN
the bengals should have been a playoff team this year. carson palmer looks completely lost back there. kitna really should have thrown at least 4 tds to chad johnson by now. sad sad sad. all denver does is cover the spread. give me 50 bucks on the broncos (3-3 on the big bet).

chris martin and coldplay feed the world

chris martin is trying to get people like noel gallagher, dido, and robbie williams together to re-record "do they know it's christmastime?" i really do have a lot more to say on this, but i don't have the time right now as i have to scurry off to section. however, as of right now, i predict disaster. one thing's for sure though, he should definitely get bono to reprise his part in the first one...wellllllllllll, tonight thank god it's them instead of youuuuuuuuuuuu. genius.

will someone please do a sociological study of this?

if there's one thing that is money in the bank, is that after a major sports playoff win, there's going to be a riot and someone is going to get hurt or die.

help get VAX tv back on the air

on the one hand, this petition is the predicatble response to the cancellation of VAX. i've never been a big fan of petitions as i have never ever ever seen them work to change something. but at the same time, i don't know what else i can do right now so, read through my previous posts here and here on the subject, click on the links and read through them and then if and only if you think it's worthwhile, then fill out the form. i'm definitely not going to ask you to sign up just because i told you so. yeah i'm making you do a lot of work, but it's my goddammed blog, so i can do whatever the hell i want. after all, that's the whole point of this blog, right, answering the question, "what about me?"

the red sox and gamblor

fredo made a good point in one of his comments about the red sox and the omnipotence of gamblor.
if nothing else, if this doesn't inspire defectors into red sox nation, then maybe this will inspire belief in gamblor, who made the red sox a -200 favorite entering the series. vegas is rarely wrong and even more rarely wrong by as much as the yankees wanted you to believe. long story short, gamblor = good, yankees = evil.
the way that the money line was structured was to basically discourage you from betting on the sox. i'm not sure what the money line on the yankees was, so it's hard to know if the return was high enough to encourage people to bet on the yankees. however, i suppose by definition, discouraging you to bet on the red sox usually means good action the other way. in any case, a 50% return is definitely enough to get most bettors to find some better action. after the red sox lose the first two games, i can only imagine the amount of action that vegas got on the yanks. i seriously doubt that they took any bets after 3-0. however, in the end, vegas was right and they probably made a bundle.

anyways, fredo's point that i'm trying to acknowledge is that gamblor is all-seeing and all-knowing. we'd be smart to put our faith in him. thanks be to gamblor. amen.

10.20.2004

ok, now i'm pissed off again

i just got through watching the clip of the segment that spurred the protests against VAX. there is absolutely no reason to get upset over this. none whatsoever. if anything, the segment only reaffirms the fact that the vietnamese community is alive and active as it has ever been. people are freakin' idiots i tell ya, freakin' idiots.

ok, i'm feeling a little better now


sorry about that last post. now that the redsox have completed the greatest comeback in sports history, not to mention that the yankees completed the greatest choke job in sports history, i have to admit, i'm not as angry as i was a couple of minutes ago. i'm still angry, but right now, i need to revel in the fact that the yankees, a-rod, and derek jeter are complete failures right now. and that one of the most likable baseball teams in recent memory were able to break through. history baby! it's nice when it's about a good thing.

my favorite part about all of this, is imagining what steinbrenner's reaction is going to be. he's going to go crazy i think. i think that he'll decapitate brian cashman and put his head on the gates of yankee stadium. truly, what a great day in baseball history.

why the vietnam war continues to be a bad idea

this really pisses me off.

in short, the first ever vietnamese-oriented (no pun intended, heh heh) television program, VAX had the plug pulled on it, after 2 FRIGGIN' EPISODES! apparently, they aired a segment on a documentary about a 1999 anti-communist protest in westminster. somehow, a bunch of a-holes decided that the segment was a show of support for communism and went and protested outside of the VAX studios. According to the official press release from Saigon TV protestors were pissed off
1) that the image of Ho Chi Minh and of the Vietnam communist flag was an indirect support of communism, 2) that VAX is not a respected or proper media outlet to discuss such a serious topic, and 3) anything related to the 1999 Little Saigon protest should not have been discussed period because the Vietnamese community wants to forget about it.
unfortunately, the press release didn't say who these protestors were, as it might be possible that these protestors were in fact, vietnamese. if they aren't, i've got a much longer rant. but since when i tried to google news this story, i came up with squat, i'll leave racial and identity politics out of this rant. but to deal with these protestors' objections.

1) what the hell are we supposed to do? burn all images of ho chi minh? the vietnam communist flag happens to be the official flag recognized by the UN and EVERYONE ELSE IN THE F-ING WORLD! the display of these symbols is no more a show of support for communism than a display of a picture of hitler is a show of support for nazi germany. however, i will concede that if the protestors were vietnamese, i understand a little bit. my mom and most of my family is still really bitter about the whole having to become political refugees thing.

2) what does constitute a proper and respected media outlet? if the protestors didn't notice, vietnamese people don't have one and this show was the first step in having one.

3) i as a vietnamese american categorically do want to talk about it. as do a bunch of other second generation vietnamese people whose only connection with their parent's homeland are the movies platoon and full metal jacket (both good movies, but completely devoid of any perspective of what the vietnamese experience is).

i'll be honest and get personal with you. i'm livid. i don't know all the facts yet, but having a tv show about vietnamese americans seemed like such a good idea to me. how in earth could anyone want to shut it down so quickly. anyways, this may inspire me to get off of my fat ass and find out more. i'll keep you posted as i figure out what's going on. or some news outlet writes a friggin' story about this.

in apocalypse now, robert duvall's character famously says, "someday, this war's gonna end." unfortunately, that someday hasn't come yet and it's amazing to me that we still continue to feel the effects of the vietnam war. i feel them personally, and as evidenced by this incident, so does the whole vietnamese community.

i know that i promised never to get political or partisan on your ass in this blog, but i fear that we're headed down the same road with the stuff that's going on in the middle east. even despite the fact that the boston red sox are about to beat the yankees, i'm genuinely sad right now. we need to make sure that we elect the right person in november. god help us all if we don't.

new blogger template: leaner, meaner, fewer carbs!

as if you couldn't already tell, i've changed the template of my blog. blogger calls this one, "thisawayblue". pretentious huh? which i guess means that it's perfect for this blog. anyways, just so you know the reasoning was i felt that the font sizes in the sidebar were too big and i wanted to compact that stuff so that you could have access it without having to scroll down too much. i live to serve you, o beautiful sweet clean blog reader.

courtney love update

courtney pleads guilty to bonking a club patron on the head with a mic stand during one of her shows.

here are the terms of her sentence according to cnn.com
Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Melissa Jackson granted Love a conditional discharge, meaning her case will be sealed after one year if she pays the victim $2,236 to cover medical expenses, joins a drug-treatment program and does not commit any other crimes. If Love violates the conditions, she could face 15 days in jail.
well, as we like to say here at the ragin' asian, good luck with all of that courtney. guess we'll see you in the clink sometime this year.

a-rod the a-hole


i know that i wasn't the first to blog about this and i certainly won't be the last, but here is undisputable material evidence of three things:

1) alex rodriguez looks very effeminate when swatting the ball away from a fielder.

2) alex rodriguez is a sorry human being. when he was with the rangers, i was on board because of his talent, but i always thought that he was never fully leveling with us and being the typical company man. his behavior last night is indicative of one of the things that i like least from people who play or are involved with the management of a professional sports team. if you remember last night, a-rod hits the grounder and then blatantly swats the ball out of arroyo's glove as he is about to get tagged out. the ump misses the call, and jeter scores from first and a-rod races to second as the ball squirts around. francona comes out to argue and the umpire crew confers for about twenty seconds and then makes the obvious call, runner interference, a-rod is out and then jeter has to go back to first. then a-rod puts both of his arms out at ninety degree angles from his body and then has this look on his face as if he can't believe that anyone would dare accuse him of committing such a sorry act. anyways, this behavior, aside from obviously being "what about me?", it is indicative of a greater sports phenomenon. and that's when players, managers, gm's, and people of that ilk treat the average fan like we're a bunch of idiots. how can he possibly defend his actions as not cheating. the replay last night showed it over and over. the natural motion that his hands made was running, abruptly stopped, the arm was raised and the palm was opened up and then went straight down towards the glove. cheater cheater pumpkin eater. anyways, we see this behavior often in the form of coaches telling reporters that we just don't understand the game, especially if the reporter questions anything that the team or organization does in a negative manner. actually now that i think about it, the irony of this all is that a-rod probably learned this behavior from his former manager buck showalter, who is one of the people who engage in this kind of chicanery. if you think about it, it's really not that different from political spin in that the spin both preserve the outward integrity of whichever part (candidate, player, administration, manager) of a social institution, after a public gaffe. either way it sucks and it's sorry and as jon stewart says, it's hurting america.

anyways, i haven't even read any of the stories so i can't even imagine what sorry excuses that he is going to offer. and make no mistake, he won't admit that he was cheating. i'll post the good and sorry quotes later as i find them. oh hey i just found one
I was kind of perplexed by it. I don't know what I was trying to do. I know he was coming and I know that the line is mine. They said I could've run him over, but I went out of my way. Looking back at it, I probably should've just run him over.
god, what an a-hole! also, i am of the opinion that major league baseball should take disciplinary action. i know that they won't, but think about it, how different is this from say, scuffing the ball or corking your bat. you're making a deliberate attempt to subvert the natural flow of competition.

don't get me started on the sorriness of yankees' fans.

3) thanks to the sorriness of alex rodriguez, the yankees have some bad karma coming their way. like kanye west says, it's history in the making. how about one more look at the crime.

10.19.2004

finally, the tupac myth resolved

this is genius.

the ragin asian reviews friday night lights

as a matter of genre, sports movies are almost always supposed to make us feel better aren't they? i mean think of every sports movie you've ever seen and you'll probably remember a story that celebrates either singular human achievement or how a group of indivuduals come together in the interest of a greater purpose and then succeed. there are a few exceptions, like he got game or any given sunday, but even those movies capture that moment when one person or team is better than anything that anyone else can put up against it. on that level, friday night lights completely succeeds. there are all the requisite sports movie cliches in there. you have boobie miles, the cocky athlete who finds redemption and meaning in his own life after his spectacular failure. you have the insecure athlete in mike winchell the quarterback, who with the support of a parternal figure head coach, greg gaines. reaches his manhood. you have sports as the means in which a father and son come to understand and respect each other in the billingsleys. you have relative newcomer in chris comer, that when thrust into a leading role, fulfills his potential and is great.

unfortunately, it is precisely these reasons that the movie completely fails. i've made reference to this before, but the reason that the book is so good is that it actually highlights the failures of what i'll call the US sports culture in a larger social setting. all of the things that made the book gripping and interesting, the discussion of how race plays an integral part in how these kids and ultimately how the town experiences sports, the chapter on how the girls reproduce the patriarchal order in their role in supporting the male athletes, and how a community that is gripped by economic disaster uses sports as a coping mechanism which eventually leads to a perversion of the towns public educational priorities. all of these things were for me glaringly absent. while these themes were touched upon, they were ultimately subordinated to the main storyline of a team that overcomes adversity. what is especially troubling to me is how the movie only pays lip service to these crucial themes of the book. when they were invoked, it was almost as if the screen writers said, "ummm, we need to work in race, let's work in one line here about it....ok, we don't need to talk about race in the movie anymore."

however, other than that, it's actually a pretty good movie. the sports scenes are some of the best i've ever seen in a movie. the acting is really good too. this kind of role is right in billy bob thornton's wheelhouse. the requisite inspirational speech to rally the players is a really good one. i was crying like a baby. in a real surprise, tim mcgraw as don billingsley's father is really powerful. maybe not on the level of dwight yoakum in sling blade, but he manages to give an incredicly nuanced performance. and of course, all of the kids really hit their marks and were believable as high school kids.

for someone like me, who grew up in texas, this movie also had the added bonus of being a great trip down memory lane. so if you're from texas too, i definitely recommend it. for those of you who are looking for a very well done sports movie, i also highly recommend (unless of course, you get motion-sickness). however, if you're looking for a probing look into how sports affects us as individuals and as a community, go rent hoop dreams. i don't know, hoop dreams was a documentary, so maybe that's the only way that that kind of movie can get made. it's too bad though, because there is a much more interesting story to be told about those kids from odessa texas.

on an unrelated note, in the trailer, the musical accompaniament is "the golden age" by beck. it seems to fit well in that it invokes that desolate small town feel that is also crucial to understanding what this story is about. however, i think that the producers really missed an opportunity. my favorite song of all time is "one" by U2. from what i can remember, it's been used three times in movie trailers. if you remember, it was used in the the trailer for courage under fire and i guess it worked ok there, although i'm uncomfortable associating my favorite song in the world with a military movie. it was also used in the trailers for black hawk down, also a decent movie but again, i don't like the military connections. lastly it was completely misused in the trailer to the nicholas cage/tea leoni romantic comedy, the family man, where nicholas cage infamously utters the single cheesiest line in all of movie history, "i choose us". anyways, i think that the producers should have used "one" for the trailer for this movie.

10.18.2004

greatest idea ever

it looks like men's tennis is going to take a page out of the women's tennis tour and try to include more hot women in the festivities.

why this is the greatest time to be alive

this is sure to attract more people who are looking for porn to my blog, but...

as if the new britney spears' my prerogative video wasn't bad/awesome enough, i just saw the new lindsay lohan video, rumors last night. good god, they sure do grow up fast!

artsy directors = pretentious a-holes

i saw friday night lights this weekend and i'll blog a thoughtful review later when i have the time. however, there is one thing about the movie that has inspired this long overdue rant.

the last six or seven years has really seen a boom in the use of what is affectionately known among people with motion sickness as "shaky-cam" for the cinematography in movies. for those of you who don't know what it is, it is when a movie films a scene using a hand held camera, instead of a stationary camera or one that moves mechanically. in other words, the cameraman has the camera on his shoulder. i've read that the principal reason for doing this is to give the scene a more realistic feel or even dumber, a "gritty realistic feel".

when was the last time you sat and watched a movie and said to yourself, "you know i just don't buy this movie because it looks like the camera is moving on rails of some sort", or "you know what would have made that movie more believable is if the director had made it seem like the person holding the camera was having a seizure."

the only thing i can come up with is that it makes the scene in the movie look more like those cheesy investigative reporters who ambush car mechanics who overcharge. you know what i'm talking about, they wait behind bushes, and the car mechanic comes out of the mcdonalds and then the camera crew jump out, the reporter sticks a microphone in his face and repeatedly asks, "did you charge an old lady $20,000 for an oil change? why did you do it?" and then while the guy tries to get into his car, they chase him, the reporter trying desperately to keep the microphone in his face, still asking the stupid question, "do you have any response to these accusation? do you?" and then the promos make the reporter seem like some kind of modern day customer service vigilante.

anyways, the point is, that stuff sucks, and it also sucks when a pretentious director's thinks his pretentious artistic statement is worth causing a large portion of the audience to not be able to watch an entire film. the shaky cam in friday night lights is so bad, that one of the people that i went to see the movie with had to leave about ten minutes in. i had to leave at one point because i thought i might barf. i haven't felt that sick in a movie since the blair witch project.

anyways, like i said, i need to think about the movie some before i can write a decent review since i don't remember half of it because i had to focus on the exit sign (when you get motion sickness, you're supposed to focus on a non-moving object, like the horizon).

anyways, to all you stupid directors like lars von trier and stephen soderburgh who think you are being intelligent or artsy or symbolic by using the shaky cam: cut it out you pretentious a-hole. you're literally making people throw up.

10.16.2004

sure to be interesting blog reading

in case you haven't already seen it, martha stewart is going to semi-blog from jail.

i don't know what to say, but i hope they include some shower stories.

10.15.2004

bobby the gook, week 6

dammit, i've been busy. plus, i've already talked about how i got slaughtered last week, so no chit-chat. me: last week 6-8, season 44-27-3 (.620); fredo: last week 5-9, season 38-33-3 (.535). lines from caesars/hilton, home team in bold.

MIA (+6) over BUF
the worst game of the week between winless teams. miami really really sucks, but they've got a better defense and bledsoe sucks.

SF (+10) over NYJ
the jets haven't covered in ages. the niners showed a little something last week, so give me the points here.

NE (-4) over SEA
hey mike holmgren, way to screw up the game of the week by losing in the last two minutes. what a crappy game. now i don't think that the seahawks are overrated or anything, it's just that there's no reason to bet against new england until they lose.

PHI (-9) over CAR
i just don't see the slow plodding running game working against the eagles. stephen davis still probably isn't 100%, and probably done being a premier back for the rest of his career by the way. on another note, when is the T.O. meltdown coming? i'm going to go ahead and set the over/under on that at week 9.

CIN (+2.5) over CLE
why is cleveland getting any respect here? i know the bengals have underachieved, but look at the browns roster and what do they got? give me the johnson bros. (rudi and chad) over the other team from the crappy state of ohio.

DET (-3) over GB
if last week wasn't the nail in the coffin for the packers, this will be it. the passing of the torch in the NFC north from favre to harrington. just kidding, harrington i think is going to end up like a brad johnson i think, you know, decent arm, pretty smart qb, but never even approaching transcendent. anyways, i've already gone on record as saying that the lions are better than the packers this year. give me 50 bucks on the lions (3-2 on the big bet)

WAS (+1) over CHI
in the battle between two crappy teams that you don't have a feel for, take the points (or the team that isn't starting the quarterback named jonathan quinn).

HOU (+6.5) over TEN
this looks like it could be a trap game, but the way i figure it, the titans beat the packers who aren't that good and the texans really looked good in their OT loss. remember kids, the titans are a crumbling empire. incidentally, that david carr kid does look like he might be transcendent. i was down on him the last two years, but i can tell you that i really wish that he was the cowboys' qb.

SD (+5.5) over ATL
i might be getting sucked in, but aren't the chargers some kind of feel good story or what? i dunno, i guess that there's no really no reason to take the chargers here. just call it a hunch.

KC (-2.5) over JAX
how is a team with one win a favorite over a team that everyone was calling playoff contenders a week ago? simple, it's a trap! like i said last week, the jags needed to beat the chargers last week to prove to me that they're for real. well they lost, and they're not for real. should be a good test for the chiefs though. let's hope that offense finds some kind of consistency.

DAL (-3) over PIT
they way i see it, after cleaning house last weekend, vegas is getting a little cocky and setting up a bunch of traps this week. i guess roethlisafkl is better than tommy maddox, but come on, it was tommy maddox. however, if the cowboys lose this week, i probably won't bet them again this season. at the beginning of the season, i put the cowboys' best case scenario at 8-8, probably 7-9. after a good start, it looked like they might make a run for 2nd place in the NFC east, but i think they may have come back to earth. look for performances like last week much more often this season from the cowboys. and stay away from all cowboys in fantasy football.

DEN (-2) over OAK
in the two games that he's started, kerry collins has turned the ball over by himself 8 times. that's more turnovers than 15 teams have had all season. also, i'm done betting against denver.

MIN (-4) over NO
i know that last week was kinduva letdown for the vikes, but i think they got it out of their system. no stoppin daunte and randy here.

STL (-6) over TB
nice little win for the bucs last week, but an even better one for the rams. fredo and i were really down on the rams this year, but i may be changing my tune a little bit.

10.14.2004

syndication and the quest for more hits

you may have noticed that i've updated the header bar up there to include the two things that this blog tends to be about mostly. the reason i've done this is becuase i've discovered RSS as a way to get more people to read my site. and while i apologize for the blatant commercialism, this is the only way to get the editors at tv guide to notice me.

chris rock and the oscars

chris rock has been named the host of this years oscars.

i really don't know what to make of this. the obvious question is will a black comic whose best bits are about race and uses lots of colorful language sell to middle america. it seems pretty clear to me that this is a move aimed at getting a younger demographic with an edgier comic than billy crystal.

i really think that chris rock is in a lose-lose situation. first, i really don't think he can unleash the full fury of his type of comedy on something as big as the oscars. i just don't see it happening. he's going to half to tone it down big time. look at when letterman did the hosting, he was only kind of edgy and he got ran out of la for his job hosting the oscars. on a sidenote, i still contend the "uma...oprah" bit was a little underrated. secondly and more importantly however, is that i think chris rock has already peaked. his last hbo special wasn't as good as his last one which wasn't as good as his first one. he's appeared in a slew of crappy movies since 2000 and is no longer the hot black comic. that would be dave chapelle. it amazing to think that nat x has mellowed out, but he's not nearly as angry-black-guy enough for most people's taste.

i'm actually kinda surprised that the oscars didn't go after chapelle, but then again, there's no way that his shtick would fly for a prime time network event. anyways, i guess i have no real commentary on this other than i predict a complete train wreck of a broadcast. should be entertaining though. i'm contemplating doing an eonline.com style realtime color commentary on the blog. let me hear from you if this is something you might be interested in.

this guy wins.

i thought that i had some dark thoughts about the whole christopher reeve thing. this guy is my opinion times ten. you may think we're assholes, but you got to admit, the picture's pretty funny.

ASU's dumbest son, jake the fake

the nfl got jake plummer to stop wearing his pat tillman memorial sticker on the back of his helmet. the full story is here, but to give you the quick version, jake is going to stop wearing the sticker because it violates nfl uniform policies and in exchange the nfl is going to let jake plummer make public service announcements honoring tillman that are going to be aired at nfl stadiums the weekend after verterans day.

generally speaking this really isn't anything real interesting about this story. the uniform issue is one of those things that the league is super strict about (although inexplicably the bengals uniforms were somehow ok'd) and jake will find another way to honor tillman (or more accurately, he'll find another way to say "what about me?"). what is really stupid is that somehow taping a spot that says, "i really think pat tillman was really brave and i'm sorry he died" qualifies as a public service announcement. i know the league is going along and all, but my point is, this kind of idiocy could only have originated from a sundevil.

bear down!

10.13.2004

why nothing important ever happens in idaho.

you know you can have your moral beliefs and all, but these people are simply just a bunch of morons. believe me, if god didn't want us to gamble, he wouldn't have invented strip clubs.

10.12.2004

dammit, i knew i should have gone into advertising

i guess the guys at abercrombie and fitch thought that their commercials weren't enough like old navy's?

i don't really get this at all, but maybe i'm not supposed to.

sean penn - president of the "what about me?" club

it seems that sean penn yelled at south park creator matt stone for saying in an interview, "If you don't know what you're talking about, there's no shame in not voting."

i'm not advocating stone's position, but i do think that sean penn is a douchebag that is more concerned about telling other people what to do, drawing attention to himself, and being a general a-hole than about people actually voting. my guess is he's one of those people that's come to the conclusion that he should use his celebrity status to make a better world, but that means doing pretentious things like going to irag to find out himself what's going on there and report the truth to the american people instead of doing things that can really make a difference. you know while stone's position is a rather pessimistic one, can any of us argue? my guess is that those people who aren't informed and vote anyway will end up voting for bush. and as we found out in 2000, voting doesn't make a difference. anyways, f you sean penn. go back to playing the exact same tortured-guy-who-used-to-cause-trouble-but-is-trying-to-turn-things-
around-but-his-conscience-won't-let-him-let-go-of-the-past-guy that you do in all of your movies.

toe nash, boobie miles and the race/sports machine

the single greatest magazine article that i've ever read was in harper's magazine. it was the original story about the world series of poker by jim mcmanus that i think single handedly propelled poker to the wild popularity that it enjoys now. anyways, i started grad school and found that i never had time to really read the articles. that coupled with the fact that harper's these days only seems to print articles related to the war in the mideast caused me to cancel my subscription. anyways, i still flip through it when i'm in the bookstore to read the index and what not. anyways, i was doing just that today when i saw a great article about toe nash in there.

for those of you who don't know who toe nash is, the short story is in the late nineties, he was supposed to be this baseball phenom that was discovered completely by chance. supposedly, a scout saw him in junior high, but when he came back to check up on him in high school, he had all but disappeared. it turned out that he had dropped out of high school and was working in the sugar cane fields of louisiana. anyways, he was rediscoverd by the same scout years later. and by his accounting, toe nash was supposed to be as close to the natural as there ever was. a paul bunyan type player who could hit the ball a mile and throw 95mph gas. for a full reading of what became his legend, read peter gammons' famous column that did much to elevate his mythical status.

anyways, the story is pretty interesting as it deconstructs the myth and gives what seems to be the real story of a kid who was incredibly gifted, but at the same time incredibly troubled. as soon as the crushing weight of national notoriety found him, ate him up and spit him out into a world of drug use and violence. the story is most interesting in that it doesn't necessarily paint toe nash as a sympathetic character. in fact, it sort of makes him out to be this incredibly violent and selfish thug.

anyways, with all the talk about friday night lights movie being out, i was thinking about the comparison between toe and boobie miles, the texas football prodigy whose exploitation and downfall was chronicles in friday night lights. toe seemed to be fueled by what seemed to me as some kind of psychopathic tendencies, while boobie also made some poor decisions as well. i'm not articulating the differences very well here, so you're just gonna have to go to the bookstore yourself and read the article and then go see or read friday night lights. anyways, while the were both extremeley different stories, both were poor african american kids in rural communities who saw sports as a way out of the abject poverty that they and their families were living through. both were seemingly exploited by those who knew that america's obsession with the black athlete as a commodity (by the way, the article in harper's really indicts larry reynolds, toe's agent as a exploiter par excellence, and indirectly, his brother espn baseball analyst harold reynolds), and both had the education system completely fail them because of the very sports institution that had gave them the idea that they might be superstars one day.

the central assertion of my masters thesis is that it is incredibly obvious to any casual observer that race and sports are intimately linked in the US, especially for african american kids. yet people always get in a tizzy when someone brings up the idea that the sports institution itself might be racist. you can't talk about race in sports, and i think that's f-ed up, and it's hard for most americans to come to grips with because sports is so central to our identies. but it's the truth and we need to be more aware of the boobie mileses and the toe nashes of the world.

10.11.2004

forget the war in the mideast, there's a more important one going on in the northeast

redsox yankees starts tomorrow. here is a pretty good summation of what's going down.

anyways, a couple of related items.

first here is some news about how redsox fans are crying about a t-shirt that say's "who's your daddy" in reference to pedro martinez's comment a few weeks back about not being able to beat the yanks. anyways, as usual, MLB caved and has yanked (rock me!) the shirts off the shelves. the requisite reaction being the shirt appearing on ebay (hurry up and click, no telling how long this item will last. at post time, it's going for 102 bucks). anyways, the article mentions something about the boston complainants saying the phrase "who's your daddy?" is somehow offensive. a few years ago, bobby knight also got his panties in a knot when when some opposing fans started the chant "who's your daddy?" during an IU loss.

hey a-holes, this isn't 1950. "who's your daddy?" is a common expression and no one finds it offensive except a-holes who believe that all children should only be born into heterosexual married couples. get over yourselves already. you want the yankees fans to stop harrassing you? well then try mixing in a series win. the point is, of all the reasons to complain about the yankees, this is a pretty lame one.

that's not to say i'm rooting for the yankees, red sox all the way man.

in related news, attaboy curt.

the looming spectre of angry shaq

shaquille o'neal made his debut in a miami uniform last night.

sometimes a preseason game is just a preseason game. and sometime a preseason game is a preview of things to come. from all accounts, shaq did lose weight in the off season (or maybe the black uniforms are just real slimming), and he did work on his agility (although i've always contended that he was way more agile than anyone gave him credit for), and the diesel dominated the game and dominated yao and dikembe, two of our favorite foreigners in the nba. in other words, shaq's on a mission this season, he's showed up with an extremely big chip on his shoulder, and he's put in the required off season work to show the world that he's serious about kicking kobe and jerry buss square in the nuts. revenge is a dish best served by a 7'1" 300 pound black guy.

anyways, i'm not about to just say that the heat are going to breeze their way to the championship, but i'm also not saying it's out of the realm of possibility. shaq has already proven that he is one of the greatest players of all time, but it will be interesting to see what he does this year. if he can somehow pull a team of slightly above average talent to an NBA title, then i think that he belongs in that special upper tier of NBA greats that include jordan, magic, bird, chamberlin, etc.

anyways, as most of you know, i love shaq, and i hope he destroys everyone in his path. he really is that much better than anyone else in the nba (except for tim duncan, who in all probability will win another championship this year).

this was published a long time ago, but it's a great piece by bill simmons about how "angry shaq" affects the league....aughhh! i just went to get the link for you, but it turns out that ESPN.com has moved any content older than a couple of months to their ESPNinsider program that costs money! damn it, i can't believe that this is happening. anyways, i suppose the moral of the story is to click on the links as soon as you see them, otherwise, they might not be there in a few months. you'll have to trust me on this one, the column was good and simmons is right in that angry shaq changes everything.

superman isn't dead, but christopher reeve sure as hell is.

actor christopher reeve died last night.

i've actually been wanting to make this rant for a while now. let me start off with a disclaimer that i'm about to make some extremely dark comments that many of you will think that i will go straight to hell for. for those of you who think that, i've got news for you. i punched that ticket to hell a long time ago, so all this other bs is just gravy for me. the rest of you, sit back for something that you've probably already heard me talk about before.

anyways, i always thought that it was really stupid that the press and other people made such a big deal about christopher reeve falling of his horse and becoming paralyzed. i mean of course it's sad, but come on, it's not like al pacino fell of a horse and became paralyzed. we're talking about christopher reeve here! what did he ever do besides the superman movies? and i mean really, did anyone see superman IV? one could reasonably say that he had it coming for making such a piss poor movie. for someone to make such an insignificant contribution, yet so much attention was diverted to, speaks of some social force at work. and let me tell you what that social force is.

i call it, "the parade of the cripples". the media, television especially, likes nothing more than to roll out someone in a wheelchair to try and elicit false sympathy from the viewers. i call it false sympathy because it is just that. we care no more or no less about people who can't use their arms and legs than say someone who is homeless. the fact is, we like to look at that person and feel sorry for that person because it makes us feel better about ourselves. believe me, if we really cared about this kind of stuff, we'd put a lot more effort into volunteering for foundations or donating more money towards these causes. but i can almost guarantee you that the vast majority of americans haven't done jackshit in these areas.

what i also think is kinda f-ed up is how christopher reeve was supposed to be some kind of beacon of hope for others who were in the same wheelchair, if you will. if you saw the presidential debate on friday then you will remember that john kerry made reference to christopher reeeve when talking about stem cell research. i'm not sure how this happened, but somehow christopher reeve became a symbol of hope that we might be able to manipulate our bodies to the point where we could do whatever the hell we want without any consequences. anyways, tell me now that he's died, is there no hope? have we invested so much in christopher reeve that his passing can only tell us that we as a society really aren't interested in really trying to cure paraplegism? that is what it should tell us, but i suspect that we'll find some other half-hearted cause to glomb on to that makes us feel better about ourselves. that's what we do as humans in our never ending search to find the answer to the question, "what about me?"

don't get me wrong, of course it's sad that someone died early. but i'm just saying that we care less than you might think. besides, a former NL MVP just died, isn't that just as important?

10.10.2004

10/11 - a massacre of another sort

i normally wait until i make my picks for next week to reveal how i did with my NFL picks, but this warrants mentioning.

apparently, gamblor is punishing me. you see, because i did so well last week, i had been telling anyone who would listen that i was a football genius. well apprarently pride is one of gamblor's deadly sins and he decided that i needed to be reminded who was the boss around here. well, i humbly accept my penance, as i got massacred with my picks. i mean seriously destroyed. i got 5 out of the 12 sunday games. what really kills me is i swear i lost at least 2/3 of those games in the last two minutes. couple that with big losses in vegas and a cowboys loss and we have a completely unsuccessful football weekend. i can't even point to a single team that really f-ed me in the a, as i was ritually gang raped by one team after the other.

on the bright side, i'm pretty sure that both of my fantasy teams won, but if i had to pick which one i'd rather be better at, fantasy football or handicapping, well, it doesn't take a committee meeting to decide this one, give me handicapping every day of the week and twice on sundays. anyways, the bookmakers really nailed this week on the head. but i suppose that's why the house always wins.

10.07.2004

bobby the gook, week 5

i've already given you most of the inside dope on how well i did last week, but to refresh, i went 9-4-1 last week and fredo went 8-5-1 and the raiders f-ed us in the a. the season standings are me: 38-19-3 (.667), fredo: 33-24-3 (.579). when doing a regular handicapping thing like this, the general break even point is 55% (vegas gets a cut even if you win), and as we can all plainly see, both of us are in the black right now, one of us more than the other. in any case, it doesn't matter, because as we saw last week, vegas got alot better at setting the lines and life for the both of us will get more difficult from here on out. one more thing before i get on with the picks. it turns out i've been crediting the caesar's/mirage sportsbook for the lines, but in actuality i've been using the caesar's/hilton point spreads. a minor detail, but one that i felt that i ought to point out. as always, home team in bold.

MIA (+13.5) over NE
the worst team against the best team at home and i'm taking the points! what's my problem? well i figure that miami's defense is just really that good and they're not at the point where they'll tire out yet. of course, the pats are the pick to win, but 18 games is a long time and they can't all be blowouts.

PIT (-6) over CLE
never count on crappy teams to do well two weeks in a row. suggs looked ok last week for the browns, but he still won't be enough.

IND (-9.5) over OAK
did i mention that the raiders f-ed me in the a last week? four days later and i'm still walking funny from their violation of my anus.

ATL (-7) over DET
detroit would seem to be the trendy pick, but here's the deal. the falcons have played great despite the fact that vick has been slightly above average at best. i dunno, the lions seem like as good as any team to be the team that vick runs for 150 yds and 2 tds against.

NO (-3.5) over TB
while the saints didn't violate me in the way the raiders did, they certainly were standing in the corner jerking off while the whole thing was going on. however, i think the saints will be one of those teams that will play well at home against bad teams and lose on the road.

DAL (-4) over NYG
while the giant's win over the packers was probably my greatest bet last week, i don't think that they can keep it up. tiki's got to be worn down and i think that parcell's is a much much much much much much much much much better coach than coughlin. i must admit, the cowboys look in better shape than i thought they would be at this point in the season, so there's a good chance that i'm going with my heart here.

MIN (-4.5) over HOU
isn't it funny how vegas can anticipate which teams bettors will jump on after an impressive win. houston's got no chance here folks. none at all.

NYJ (-7) over BUF
bledsoe looked like dog ass last week didn't he? crucial mistake at the end of the game. anyways, the jets are better than i thought they were and it looks like c-mart isn't slowing down any. i bet the under on the win/loss line before the season at 8 and that's starting to look like a bad bet.

JAX (-3) over SD
the other great bet i had last week was the chargers over the titans. i guess the jags showed a little something against the colts but i'm not sold yet. i actually think that this game is more crucial in showing whether or not they are for real. i think that they need to crush the chargers to show me that they're legit. fredo seems to think the jags are a playoff team, so i'll go with that for now.

CAR (+5) over DEN
i noticed that i can never get the broncos right. i also noticed that i've done very poorly in not taking them at home. i don't know, just call this one a hunch. the broncos didn't look very good in their win over the bucs, and i figure that with the kinda heat that the panthers are going to bring, jake the fake will throw 4 ints.

SEA (-7) over STL
this will be a huge letdown game for the rams. the rams did finally start running the ball, but i figure that martz is going to f things up as usual and try to pass alot against a very good defense. i'm also guessing that we're gonig to really start to see the hawks offense light it up this week.

ARI (+1.5) over SF
let's think about this one for a second. the niners get slaughtered on espn on sunday night and the cards have an emotional upset at home. i guess it's hard to fathom the niners going 0-5, but i don't get this line at all. make the (gulp) cards my $50 bet of the week (3-1 so far by the way on the big bet).

BAL (PK) over WAS
i suppose that the chiefs upsetting the ravens was another great pick i had last week, but i figure that we've all gotten a little tired about being jealous of my football genius. jamal lewis runs for 200 yds and 3 tds before getting suspended by the league.

TEN (+3.5) over GB
i suppose the real whitey midwestern thing to do is say that the death of brett favre's brother-in-law will inspire a performance like the one he had monday night after his father died. but i'm going to bet against the magic here. did anyone see him on the sideline after the concussion? i've seen that look before on troy aikman. this is the beginning of the end for brett, and i feel a little bit bad for him cuz i'm almost sure now that the packers are not as good as the lions.

i thought that i liked this board better than last week's, but looking at it again, i'm scared to death of it. fredo's actually going to vegas again this weekend and no doubt i'll pout some more money down on the games, but i'm expecting a much worse result.