2.28.2005

halle berry: really hot and a good sport

halle berry showed up to collect her raspberry award. for those of you who don't know, the razzies are the annual anti-oscars given to the worst in film that year. anyways, i just have to say that it is quite impressive that a star of berry's stature would show up and acknowledge the fact that she was in a crappy movie.

one of my biggest pet peeves is when actors pretend that everything that they do is this high falutin artistic that only they as talented mediums are capable of interpreting. the worst example of this is when james lipton asks someone on that completely addictive show, inside the actors' studio a question like, "Gene Hackman, after unforgiven, you took on a different role, in a little movie called, 'the replacements'. what was it like working with keanu reeves?" just once i want to hear someone on that show say something like, "yeah, i was pretty much just collecting a paycheck on that movie, not really my best work," or, "to be honest, i was riding the white pretty hard during those days so i really can't remember a thing about the filming." actually the worst is when they people like jennifer lopez who really just isn't that good of an actor but promoting a movie or something on there. i guess we need to think that movie stars have special talents, but the truth is, celebritites are just like us in that they do what they do because someone is willing to give them a lot of money for doing it (except for bono).

anyways, like i said, it great that halle berry can cop the notion that hollywood, for the most part fails in its purported mission of creating art. that and that she somehow still manages to be one of the hottest people on the face of the earth.

other quick hits
1) the oscars were pretty boring i thought. i don't know if the tricking up of the oscars sped up anything though, but i did think it was amazing how quickly the on-stage nominees for the technical awards disappeared after the winner announced. here is sb, we speculated that there was some sort of trap door under the losers that dropped them into a pit full of aligators.

2) chris rock was ok, but i like him better when he's doing real stand up. the little bit where he went to the magic johnson theaters was brilliant i thought. i'm sure everyone was laughing, but the bit made it so crystal clear that movies are being celebrated as art has nothing to do with any actual sense of art, but rather simple bordieu-ian notion of cultural preferences.

3) is robin williams the biggest asswhip in the history of ever? first he walks out with a piece of tape on his mouth because supposedly, the producers told him to tone down some of his material. there are free speech problems in this country, and i'm pretty sure that robin williams really doesn't suffer in any way because of them. where were you robin when ward churchill was having problems? what a douchebag for pretending to stand up for free speech or something when all he was saying was, "what about me?" as if that wasn't bad enough, before he gives out the award for best animated feature he beats us all down with a retarded stand up bit about reality television. i still contend to this day that it was all downhill for him after mork 'n' mindy.

blog meta-note: i've stopped providing external links in the posts (external links are the ones that open up a new window). i guess what i was trying to do is get a better sense of how interested other readers are in my blog and navigating away and then back to the blog seemed to count twice in my counter, so i tried to keep the blog open no matter what. anyways, that just got to be too much of a pain in the ass for both me the writer and you the reader, so you're going to have to click "back" more often.

2.24.2005

randy moss and drew bledsoe, 2 sides of the same coin

so it was a big day for NFL transactions yesterday. randy moss got traded to the raiders, and much to my chagrin, the cowboys signed drew bledsoe to start next year.

i've already made my thoughts known about the randy moss situation, but i was having a conversation with my roommate erik, (who also happens to be the tiny little brain behind the world's most important blog...ever) and it got me thinking about how despite the seemingly huge differences between the kinds of player moss and bledsoe are, how their movement this offseason actually kinda points to the same thing.

moss, who if judged by onfield performance, did nothing but help his team win is deemed a clubhouse cancer and the reason why the vikings defense sucked. while bledsoe, who has done nothing for the past five years but throw interceptions and suck is brought on to somehow bring the cowboys back to the playoffs. i'm not saying this is the cause of the different perceptions, but let's say that it's no coincidence that randy is black and drew is the great whitey. although, i'm pretty sure that pretty much everyone black and white think that the bledsoe signing is a horrible move.

all this aside, i can't tell you how disappointed i am in the cowboys for signing a quarterback who is even more immobile that their previous 64 year old qb, vinnie testaverdee. i really hope that the jones/parcells braintrust can prove me wrong, but let me go ahead and say that this team is 6-10 next year. if i could, i would've fired parcells by now, because this is emphatically not what i signed up for. dammit, why didn't we try harder to get randy?

anyways, i have some really strong opinions on the whole bonds press conference a few days ago. but it's nothing that you haven't read elsewhere. man what a major league a-hole.

new episode of pop life available for download

the feb 24 show of pop life is available for download at the pop life blog, or the pop life show archive page. i think i really got the sound right here, so you should finally be able to hear clearly everything that me and jp say. enjoy!

2.23.2005

more female teachers having sex with their students

where were these teachers when i was in high school?

buyer's remorse revisited

apple just dropped the price of my ipod by about 150 bucks. so a big f you to all of you a-holes who encouraged me to keep the thing. just kidding, i still think that it was totally worth it, but it was pretty frustrating to read that i could have saved some cash. damn you invisible hand! damn you to hell!

2.22.2005

learning fear for your god, gamblor

i'm back from vegas and all i can say is that gamblor must be really mad at me. i lost and i lost big this weekend. i really don't know what to attribute my recent losing streak to. i guess i kinda knew that gamblor was mad at me for putting off my visit to vegas for so long, but apparently, he really wanted to teach me a lesson cuz i didn't win at anything this weekend. it was so bad that i even violated the first rule of vegas, never go to the ATM. anyways, the only explanation that i could come up with is that this is this is gamblor's penance for me, and all i can do is accept it and hope that gamblor forgives me in the future. despite all of the losing, i must say, i still had a helluva lot of fun, which i suppose makes me a gambling degenerate. but you already knew that.

however, i should also note, that the demi-god striptor still seems to be smiling favorably on me.

other notes about the trip, for any car trip over a few hours long, the ipod is a must. again, totally over the buyers' remorse and happily enjoying the ipod. i don't know how i lived without it before. it was also raining cats and dogs here in socal and i'd say it took us about five and a half hours to get back, we didn't do much better on the way there. fred and i both agreed whole-heartedly that we really hate it when it rains in southern california, because as fredo so astutely put it, "it makes me feel like everyone else."

anyways, it's probably going to be while before i get back to the greatest city on earth, with weddings and whatnot occupying the majority of my traveling for the next few weeks, so i probably won't be able to regale you with the usual tales of vegas ribaldry for a while. anyways, i've got a ton of school work to do in the coming week, so blogging may be in short supply the next few days, but my next big trip is to the SABR meeting in LA next weekend, and no doubt i'll have a lot to report from that front.

2.17.2005

new MP3 of Pop Life available for download

the feb 17, 2005 broadcast of pop life v2.0 is available for download here.

i've also set up an official pop life radio show homepage. just click on the archives link and you'll be able to download and listen to the shows that jp and i did last year. it's takes a little while to get them from analog to MP3, so right now i've only got three shows posted, but i'm working on getting at least one show a day transferred right now until i get all nine of the episodes that we have on tape. they're very topical of course, covering topics that were current at the time, and of course, the sound quality and has much to be desired. but it's there if you want it.

while i'm at it, i guess that you should know that i've launched bobngo.com. it's far from a complete working personal website, but there you go.

anyways, i'm off to las vegas tomorrow morning, so there's always a distinct chance that this will be the last you hear from me. i think that this time, i'm going to concentrate really hard and maybe this time i will win the wheel of fortune slots jackpot this time around. so if this is the last time you hear from me, it's been nice. otherwise, i'll blog about the trip when i get back on monday.

2.16.2005

sports quick hits

i need to find a snappier title for these kinds of posts...

1) the nfl got its first ever black owner yesterday, when reggie fowler bought the minnesota vikings from red mccombs. i've really got nothing to say about this. it's not like the NFL is a lot less racially inequitable or anything, but i suppose this stuff has got to start someplace. in related news, it turns out that he may have lied in his official biography about playing for a professional sports league. no, it sure doesn't help, but it's not like it's the first time we've found out about people lying about their sports resume. george o'leary at notre dame being the most notable. however, this does confirm something that i've thought for a long time...resumes are useless and very rarely do people ever check them. i suppose people are going to start now though.

2) the nhl season got cancelled. and i don't give a rat's ass. and i'm pretty sure neither does the rest of america. that's what you get canada for selling us out to the french during the war! but seriously, it would be amazing to see a sports league lose an entire season. but as i said before, this is america, and hockey is basically pro-wrestlling on skates to us capitalists. the indifference is staggering however. just goes to show you that hockey is a regional past time. now if only the mls would go on strike, then my friends, you would really get to see some public indifference.

3) tony larussa is being sorry again by saying he knew canseco used steroids. so are you gonna give back your world series ring and bonus back now a-hole. if canseco's such a jerk, what kind of duplicitous self-serving hypocrite are you for not turning canseco in? you know, i used to really like larussa. he was one of the first managers to really use stats in his managing decisions and i always thought of him as a kinda progressive guy. but it turns out, he's a big an a-hole as any of those old baseball people.

2.14.2005

grammy's recap

i was going to blog on last night's grammy's which i thought were quite boring, but junichi who is guest blogging on oliver wang's blog, nailed it pretty much on the head. the only thing that i would have to add is how many freakin' lifetime achievement awards can they hand out in one night.

ok so i lied, i have more to say. seriously, is there anything as a true awards show anymore where they give awards to people who actually deserve them in the year they get them, instead of what we have now, where people get awards for being old or dead? or more accurately, where people get awards for not offending white sensibilities. how does usher's yeah, not win the record of the year award? how does a dead ray charles and an infinitely boring norah jones win with a decidedly boring song. people, it's not like ray and norah spent a few weeks writing and then producing the song. ray charles needed some cash, so he throws together a duets album in the same way that sinatra did a while ago and they sing a song that he's sung a zillion times before and then sits and counts his money. don't get me wrong, i think ray charles is as genius as they come, but it seems kinda lame that they would only give him a fake tribute by giving him a posthumous grammy.

2.13.2005

celebrity interviews as news

this weekend, there were two notable celebrity interviews done on two major television news programs, 20/20 and 60 minutes. on 20/20 corey feldman recounted his near molestation experiences with michael jackson to noted michael jackson documentarian (that last phrase is meant to be extremely ironic) martin bashir. on 60 minutes jose canseco talked to really really old guy, mike wallace about the prevalence of steroids in major league baseball. it was an interesting study in both of them had lurid stories to tell about their respective scandals, but at the same time, they were stark contrasts to one another.

and the oscar does not go to...corey feldman, who even when not acting, is a horrible actor. when i had first read the reports that corey feldman was coming clean with some questionable childhood experiences with jack-o, i was pretty excited. the revelation that there may have been some porn involved really piqued my interest. but then after watching about five minutes of the interview, i decided that corey feldman is a sorry human being who is only trying to exploit an already tragic event for his own gain. could his answers have been more pre-rehearsed and overdramatized. if you didn't see it, he basically took about 10 minutes to say one sentence. christalmighty, who talks like that? it reminded me of kato caelin's testimony at the oj trial. you know, trying to look like his answers were being carefully thought out and his words equally as carefully measured, but instead he just ends up sounding like a foreign tourist who is trying to ask for directions. in other words, both kato and corey were employing their decidely awful acting skills in an attempt to sound earnest. and then we had to endure footage of him in the recording studio, acting like he's just a hard working artist with no ulterior motives. here's my theory, feldman, in addition to being a general publicity whore (which we learned from season one of the surreal life), is desperate for attention and thought it would be a good way to try and promote his album. couple this with the fact that michael jackson had basically cut him out once corey wasn't so attractive as a potential molestation victim (do you think that michael jackson's playpals work like menudo, you know, once you reach 14, you get kicked out and replaced by another 10 year old?), and you have all the pieces in place for revenge by dredging up some half truths about his time with jacko and got martin bashir to interview him on national tv. and there's the coup de grace if you think about it. bashir is the classic manipulative interviewer. at one point after the revelation about looking at the VD book with michael jackson (on a sidenote, i think that's the worst possible way to molest a kid. if you want to get it on with a kid, you don't show him pictures of cauliflower.), martin bashir says something like "he shows you pornography, that doesn't prove that michael jackson is a child molester." now of course, in a court of law, that's true, but i'm guessing that everyone rational person watching was thinking to him or herself, "yes it does." bashir is a genius, because for most of the public who has watched this interview and bashir's first documentary on michael jackson, there's just no way that michael jackson hasn't touched little boys. unfortunately, feldman was so bad, i went away thinking, "well if this sorry sonuvabitch is making stuff up to promote his crappy album, then surely there are some people who are willing to make stuff up to make a pretty penny. i'm not saying that michael is innocent, but just from watching bashir's work on jackson, which is what most of us will do, you'd probably bet on jackson being guilty.

mike wallace on the other hand, is a bumbling interviewer who is so hopelessly out of touch with what constitutes news anymore that he was reduced to repeating things that jose canseco has already said to canseco and then waiting for an inarticulate canseco to answer. in other words, he sucks as getting his interviewer subject to say anything interesting. that's not to say that canseco didn't say interesting, cuz he did which i'll get to in a sec, but anything interesting that did come out of canseco's mouth had nothing to do with mike wallace. now, canseco's revelation that he stuck mark mcgwire, raffy, pudge, gonzo, and giambi in the ass is most definitely an interesting thing. jp asked me the other day if this was interesting because it appeals to the homo-erotic nature of sports. and i answered that probably not, that it was a more violation of public trust thing, but to hear canseco say that he and mcgwire used to squirrel away into a men's bathroom stall and drop trou to stick needles in each other's butt, well, sounds pretty homo-erotic to me. anyways, canseco himself was an interesting study. he was stumbling a bit for answers, but anything he said didn't sound forced or fabricated to me. in fact, his mannerisms and his reactions to questions seemed all very legitimate to me. for example, when wallace asked him if he injected giambi with steroids during his second stint with the A's, he answered "all the time", in the same way you would answer a question that was completely obvious to you, almost like he's surprised that you didn't already know. so either canseco is a great actor, or he's telling the truth. now i must confess that i was taken aback when he named some of my favorite texas rangers, but themore i think about it, the more it makes sense that they're juiced too. although he didn't say it, it seemed that canseco, after being shunned by the baseball establishment, just said, "well screw them too, if they're going to make me look like the bad guy, i've got plenty of ammunition to make them look like hypocrites." which is exactly what he has done.

in any case, it was interesting to see these two interviews in such a short period of time. both contain two people with beefs with someone and a confluence of events that allow them to strike back at people. but both interviews, in my opinion couldn't have been more different.

one more quick note, tony larussa, the manager of the A's when mcgwire and canseco were there was really sorry when he accused canseco of lying. he said something to the effect of canseco wasn't a hard worker, and mcgwire was, so obviously canseco used roids and mcgwire didn't. i guess he's standing up for his guy, but if he didn't know canseco was on roids (and also didn't do anything about it), how could he have possibly known if mcgwire was on roids or not.

pop life v2.0 goes online

as i've indicated in previous posts, jp and i are doing the radio show again. and i've finally got all the MP3's posted online. i've set up another blog where you can download the shows and listen to them at your leisure. i'm still working on some of the technical stuff, but the two shows that we've managed to record this year are posted and ready for your to load up on your ipod or whatever it is you listen to MP3's on. of course, the other blog would be a more appropriate place to leave it, but feedback is encouraged and welcome. enjoy.

2.10.2005

crazy bird tricks

ok, so my previous post on the puppy bowl brought me to the animal planet website, where i found this. you'll probably need a broadband connection to see it. enjoy.

sports quick hits

1) the vikings are trying to trade randy moss. i'm sorry, did they not see how bad the team was without him this year. i've made this point before, but it's hard for me to understand how someone that you're 7-6 with this season and 1-4 without hurts your team. no he's not the greatest man alive, but don't kid yourselves, neither are any of those team-oriented patriots. brady hops from bed to bed with super models, corey dillon was a sorry son of a bitch before he came to NE, and i'm sure teddi brusci did his share of immoral non-team oriented things when he was at party school USA, the university of arizona. from what i can see, randy is no sorrier than most NFL players, and on top of that he's ten times more talented than all of them. this is really indicative of how poorly the management of the vikings are. seriously with moss and culpepper, how have they not won the super bowl yet. easy, their defense sucks, despite having pretty good players. and you can attribute that directly to management. anyways, i am praying to god that somehow randy ends up with the boys. i'd think he'd look quite nice with that star on his helmet. besides, we haven't really had anyone ever really fill the shoes of the playmaker since he left.

2) hakeem olajuwon may have unwittingly funded terrorist groups via donations to a mosque. i'm not sure where to fall on this. not that every attack on an black athlete is character assasination, but i'm sure tom brady made a contribution to the republicans, which can be a terrorist organization of sorts, can't it? it will be interesting to see if the authorities try to take any action on olajuwon. all i know is that if they try to arrest him, they better double team him, otherwise, one dream shake and you know that baseline jumper is going in.

3) jason giambi made an apology without saying what he was apologizing for. it's takes a real man to admit his mistakes, but it takes a really sorry one to admit it after everyone already knew he had taken steroids, and then there were about six zillion news stories on it since he had last denied it. i hope that the press doesn't let up on him the way they won't let up on barry (also guilty). but i suspect they might for the usual reasons (he's white, he's a yankee, blah blah blah). in any case, if selig doesn't suspend him, then i'm going to just nuke yankee stadium myself. f you jason giambi.

4) the super bowl ratings were down 4 percent this year, which just proves again, that america hates the philadelphia eagles.

5) seriously, you just don't know how happy i would be to see randy moss in the silver and blue.

2.07.2005

jose can-" you see that we already know that mark mcgwire was roided out"- seco

how's that for a chris berman nickname? anyways, there have been reports that in jose canseco's upcoming book, he calls out mark mcgwire specifically, for using steroids. as is always the case with this kind of stuff, this is not something we already know. however, it should be noted that mark mcgwire has issued this statement, "I have always told the truth and I am saddened that I continue to face this line of questioning. With regard to this book, I am reserving comment until I have the chance to review its contents myself," which reads to me, as guilty guilty guilty. it will be interesting once the book officialy comes out if big mac will be able to contain his roid rage. i just wanted to go on record as saying that it's not so sorry that you deny using steroids. but any criticism of canseco for probably doing nothing more than telling us fans what we already know is sorry. lying twice only to save face in light of someone who doesn't think that sports fans are idiots, is just plain sorry. in other words, when this book comes out, get ready for some sorrieness.

some final superbowl thoughts

i suppose that this was a good game judging by the score, but honestly, it was a game that never really grabbed you. luckily, it was the game that clinched the title of dynasty for the patriots, otherwise it would have gone down as one of the more forgettable super bowls in recent memory. anyways, here are my parting shots until the beginning of the next football season.

1) there is no denying that the new england patriots are good, and with winning 3 out of 4 super bowls, i suppose that they can stake a claim to the title of "dynasty". however, i think that we should put this talk into perspective. when i think of dynasty, i think of teams that you just knew out and out that they could not be beat. think of the niners of the eighties, and the cowboys of the nineties. they destroyed teams, and they really destroyed teams in the super bowl. with a few exceptions, there was never any doubt as to who would win those niners games from the time the matchup was announced to the time the game ended. with the cowboys of course, there was never any doubt. the patriots, categorically, are not in this class of all time great football teams. the average margin of victory for the niners in the superbowl is 18.4 and the cowboys beat their superbowl opponents by an average of 20.67. the patriots beat their opponents by an average of 3 points. i'll concede that the salary cap and parity in general have something to do with this, but i will not concede that the patriots were anywhere near as good as the niners or the cowboys were in their heydey. factor in the fact that the patriots just happened to have one of the best kickers of all time and this is not even a top 20 team of all time. i'll take any of the cowboys' super bowl teams, and about 4 of the niner's teams over the pats. i would also take both denver superbowl teams, and probably the rams' winner as well. maybe even farvre's packers...after all they really did have a kickass defense that year. anyways, that's why people play up the "team" thing so much with this bunch. they simply don't have the talent to compete with the truly elite teams of history.

2) as alfredo put it nicely yesterday, can we now put any comparisons of brady to montana to rest? brady played poorly yesterday. his turnovers were not only costly in terms of covering the spread (and thereby screwing what should have been a slam dunk), but the touch on his passes were noticeably absent in yesterday's game. he missed on almost all of his long passes and he missed by a lot. if he makes those throws, maybe the pats cover the goddammed spread and then, maybe we can lump him in with montana, aikman, and elway, but right now, he's got a really good defensive unit and a great coach to bail him out of a generally bad outing. one thing's for sure, joe cool never played poorly in the big one. hey, isn't that john candy?

3) terrell owens can hang his head high today. many, including myself, counted him out for the game. his final line, 9 catches, 122 yds, and basically the only real threat that the eagles had. he was right to be upset about criticism. he was quoted "if brett farvre was doing this, he'd be called a warrior." and he's right, there was no reason to criticize him. he didn't hurt his team and he was the only eagle worth a damn yesterday.

4) i'm completely surprised that the pats weren't more physical with T.O. maybe if they had, then they would've covered the goddammed spread.

5) courtesy of the most important blog...ever, here is the bbc's most entertaining coverage of the superbowl, that include ridiculous bon motts such as this:
The Eagles soar back into contention with a 30-yard bullet pass to Greg Lewis who connects superbly with the ball in the Patriots endzone.
and the british wonder why we think they're a bunch of pansies.

6) this really hasn't gotten anything to do with the superbowl, but whenever superbowl time comes around, people always talk about how the 85 bears were the greatest team of all time. they were great, and that defense was something else, but offenses today which are almost all entirely derivative of bill walsh's version of the west coast offense are way too sophistacated for the 46 to work. everyone says that the reason no one plays the 46 anymore is because no one has the personnel. i say that no one plays it because most offenses today would pick the 46 apart. both montana and aikman would have destroyed the bears by themselves. it may be true that the 85 bears were the most dominant team in comparison to the other teams in the league in the same year, but for the best team of all time, and yes i know i'm biased, give me the second cowboys super bowl team (94-95). everyone on that team was in their absolute prime, and they had the complete package in a way that we've never seen before or since, power running, precision passing, a defense that was both fast and physical, and the greatest, most charismatic coach of all time...which leads to...

7) michael irvin got jobbed by the hall of fame selection committee. i know that he'll get in eventually, but there's no reason why he shouldn't get in on the first ballot.

all right kids, that's it for the 2004 football season coverage here at the ragin' asian. the most important thing in the offseason will be where edgerrin james ends up. i guess that i need to start gearing up for baseball season now. pitchers and cathers report in about three weeks.

the best superbowl counterprogramming

so after the superbowl, me and the flatmates are sitting around flipping channels to find something to watch while recovering from our food induced stupor (egg rolls, scallops wrapped in bacon and prosciutto, fried chicken, turkey chili, all manner of cookies and sweets, and lots of beer), when we ran across something that really kinda blew my mind: the puppy bowl on animal planet.

to counterprogram for anything, you take the demographic that is least likely to watch the other program and then put on something that will appeal to this demo group. so it makes sense that something like the puppy bowl would be on. after all, what's less manly than puppies? anyways, when i say the title "puppy bowl" on our little on screen programs listing, i was expecting something on par with another of animal planet's shows, pet star. pet star is basically a talent show for pet tricks. really lame, hosted by slater from saved by the bell, and full of cute pet tricks. anyways, the puppy bowl was nothing like that. the puppy bowl consists of 7-8 puppies that are let loose in a football stadium shaped playpen (complete with goalposts, 50 yd line logo, and a cardboard crowd taking fake pictures with fake flashes emanating from strobe lights). at the beginning, the introduce the puppies, and then they let them play. and that's it. and this goes on for 180 minutes. in the background, they have this super-goofy-new-age guitar music going on, and every few minutes whenever one of the puppies would do something exciting (or cute), they would have an instant replay of something like brenda, the lab/terrier mix slipping across the puppy bowl logo on the 50 yard line (click here to watch a clip of the puppy bowl).

so to reiterate, animal planet aired three straight hours of nothing but puppies playing with each other. no sign of people except when one of the puppies decided to take a leak on the puppy bowl stadium turf, which caused a dude dressed up in a referee uniform to come out and throw a penalty flag, after which we got to see him clean up the dogs mess. as if that wasn't enough for you, as soon as it was over, animal planet ran it again. and then they ran it one more time. that's right folks, nine straight hours of unadulterated puppy cuteness. enough to make you puke several times over. and then to put this thing completely over the top, the announcer who took you to commericial breaks is the same guy who does the voiceovers for NFL films. and then during the closing credits, they were playing the MNF theme. you can also vote for the MVP of the puppy bowl (as of right now, with close to 6,000 votes, bandit, the 13 week old jack russell terrier is in the lead), and you can order the DVD so you can, as the announcer said, "relive the pageantry". what the hell is going on here?

but at the same time, i have to admit it was somewhat mesmerizing. we didn't watch the whole thing or anything, but we ended up watching a good twenty minutes. we were discussing if this was the ultimate in high concept television. after all, the whole time, we were making comments on what we think the network was trying to accomplish, analyzing the behavior of the dogs, and trying to figure out whether or not this constituted some form of animal abuse. so maybe it wasn't the puppies that were the point of the program, but our interpretations that was the point. but then i checked on animal planet's website, they begin their description of the puppy bowl with this paragraph:
Animal Planet has plays, tackles and fumbles too, only ours are much cuter! Viewers can spend the day (or maybe some time between the big plays) with a "stadium" full of man's best and cutest friends—puppies! In the midst of the official pigskin, iron match, it's the family-friendly, feel-good Animal Planet Puppy Bowl premiering Sunday, February 6, 3-6 p.m. ET with encore presentations at 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and 12 a.m. ET only on Animal Planet.
so most likely this is the same concept as the lingerie bowl (guys and lesbians, you're welcome), only instead of appealing to male horndogs, they were trying to appeal to people who are way into "cute". you know who i'm talkin' about, those people who have puppy calenders, love anne geddes, and have way too many stuffed animals for their age. these people are usually childless, grotesque spinsters who yearn for children for no other reason than it would validate that someone found them attractive enough to have sex with them. the onion's ficticious columnist jean teasdale is probably the best example of these people. anyways, all i have to say to these people is that they make the world a less good place and they need to get their head out of their ass.

can you imagine the pitch for this show?

animal planet producer: ok boss, here's what i got in mind - we get some animal shelters to donate some puppies, and then we set them loose with each other and then we tape them playing for three straight hours. every twenty seconds or so, we'll change the camera.

animal planet network exec: sounds like a fantastic idea. draw up the story boards and come up with a budget of less than $1,000.

i don't know why i'm dedicating so much blog space to the puppy bowl, but all i can say is that they'll put anything on tv. that and puppies are really cute.

2.04.2005

the ragin' asian reviews million dollar baby and sideways

this review is really a week late. me and jp saw these two last week in the ol' high school double feature. you know, when you buy tickets for one movie and then after that movie, you go to the bathroom and wait ten minutes and then go into another theater and catch the second movie. except the timing was so impeccable, we were able to walk out of million dollar baby about half way through the ending credits and walk right into the sideways theater undetectec and getting one of the few decent seats left. i know, we're criminal geniuses, but hey, that's an extra $5.50 in my pocket. anyways on to the reviews.

million dollar baby starts out like most typical sports films. just take any plot involving a washed up coach or trainer (eastwood), add in his equally washed up buddy (morgan freeman) and then add in a nobody who has the heart of a lion (hillary swank), and voila - movie. and that stuff is interesting and fun to watch. lots of chuckles, which seems atypical for an eastwood directed movie. but then at all at once, the movie takes a left turn from the sports movie formula and then becomes the type of allegorical moral study that is typical of eastwood movies. i'm not going to give away plot lines, but i don't think that most people are expecting a happy movie. in any case, i think that eastwood really does well as a director here. i was totally sucked into the movie. the editing, the acting, and the pace was near perfect i think and it seems to me that eastwood should probably prevent marty from winning his narwhale oscar (although i haven't seen the aviator yet). all in all, this is a really really good movie, and i really do recommend this to most anyone. i think it will appeal to both arty movie types and popcorn movie types. final grade: a solid A.

the first thing i have to say about sideways is that paul giammatti got completely jobbed by the oscar nominating process. not in the way that jim carey got screwed, but in a real way. his is one of the most memorable performances that i've seen in a long time. his character is so believable, so flawed, and so easy to identify with, that i can't imagine oscar not recognizing him. not that it matters since it seems that jamie foxx is going to run away with this thing for his performance in ray (again, haven't seen it yet). but in any case, this movie in almost every way was an enjoyable experience. it's hilarious. the two principals, giammatti and thomas haden church of wings fame turn in two well acted and well comedically timed performances. you will be laughing out loud several times throughout the movie. and it's a good meditation on how complicated romantic relationships can be in a way that is a thousand times more accessible than say another oscar type movie, closer. especially after just seeing a movie like million dollar baby, i left the theater in a very good mood. you really do need to go see this movie. i don't know if it has a best film oscar type of feel to it, but it's definitely one of the best movies of this year. final grade, another solid A.

2.03.2005

paralyzed people are sorry too

vikes qb daunte culpepper was made to look like an ass today when he had to take back some jewelry that he had ill-advisedly given to a paralyzed teen. according to the story
The confusion began at the FedEx ground and air player of the year honors, where finalists Culpepper, Peyton Manning, Shaun Alexander and Curtis Martin were on stage for the announcement.

When the master of ceremonies opened the floor for questions, Jerry Townsend spoke up from his wheelchair in the front row.

"Hey Daunte, can I get some of that ice?" he said in a low voice, referring to the two sparkling necklaces hanging around Culpepper's neck.

Culpepper jumped up, pulled them off and brought them over to Townsend, a senior defensive back at Jacksonville Episcopal High School who was paralyzed from the neck down while making a tackle in October.
soon after the dad freaked out, the mom started crying, and daunte realized that it probably didn't make a whole lot of sense to give some paralyzed kid his bling. after the ceremony, he asked for and got the jewelry back. he also said that he would get the kid something else.

this only happened today so who knows what people are going to write, but even the cnn.com headline "culpepper ungifts necklace from paralyzed teen" makes out to be yoru stereotypical selfish athlete. let me go ahead and issue a preemptive defense of culpepper. granted culpepper never should've given away his necklace in the first place, but if we're going to play that game, then that sorry wheelchair kid never should've asked for culpepper's jewelry anyway. i mean, just cuz you weren't athletic enough to avoid getting paralzyed in a football game, the world owes you something? someone who you've never met before is supposed to give you 75 grand worth of his jewelry. did culpepper have anything to do with you getting hurt? i feel bad for the kid and all, but geez, where does he get off? i think he should do everyone a favor and go see million dollar baby and go the hillary swank route. (on an unrelated note, a review of million dollar baby and sideways will be forthcoming in the near future).

all i know is that a lot of blame will be placed on culpepper, and it should as he should have thought a little bit more before giving this jackass his jewelry, but again, if we're going to play that game, the kid should have thought a little bit more before playing football. if you're not responsible for your poor judgement, then neither is daunte. go f-yourself wheelchair boy.

michael jordan = mr. no-personality

here is an older piece that i meant to direct people towards earlier in the year but forgot. it's from slate and it's about how despite everyone's understanding of michael jordan as a superstar, in fact, he's done nothing but market himself as a non-entity. and i, super-jordan-fan-number-one am inclined to agree. if anything, jordan was mr. corporate. he never expressed any strong opinions about anything, never revealed to people what drove him (aside from the usual banal sports cliches), and never seemed to show emotion off the court. in a sense, we've pieced together the small glimpses of him showing emotion (such as when he was crying after winning the championship after his father died, or after scoring a winning basket) and turned it into "he's the most driven athlete in the world". it always seemed that jordan's camp was upset when books such as the jordan rules that actually did reveal a little bit of his personality, albeit the nasty side to sell books, were released. contrast him to someone like charles barkley who is mr. personality, and i think we'll all have to agree that maybe his mytholization really was just an ingenius marketing plan.

this is probably not something that we didn't already know on some subconscious level, but it's interesting to read it in print.

2.01.2005

voyeuristic superbowl

i think that they should put these on the sidelines where the cheerleaders are standing.

sports quick hits

1) sorry to harp on this, but T.O. is quoted as saying "god has cleared me to play". so did got not clear joe theismann or bo jackson when they had their career ending injury? you should never wish injury upon another player, but tonight i'll be praying to the same god asking him to have rodney harrison smash T.O.'s ankle into a million tiny pieces. i used to be completely on board with T.O., but as fredo has pointed out on several occasions, you can be entertaining and still be a sorry person. of course, this plays right into my hands, as i officially have 50 bucks on the pats to cover. i wonder if it's too late to get that up to 150? f the eagles.

2) it seems that no one wants to coach kobe. rudy t is stepping down and saying that bad health and the poor play of the lakers has caused him to step down as the coach of the lakers after tonight. all i know is that mitch kupchak and jerry buss have to be really regretting their recent basketball decisions over who to build the team around. all they had to do was trade kobe to the clips, and the clips get stuck with one of the worst team players of all time, while the daddy and the zen master lead the lake show back to the promised land. diesel 4-eva!

3) one of my childhood heroes and the greatest running back of all time (yeah, that includes a certain detroit lions running back), emmitt smith, will hopefully call it quits on thursday. it looks like he's going to do some ceremonial signing with the cowboys so that he can retire with the team that he won three super bowls with (how many did barry have?) and the team in which he broke the all time rushing record with (and by record, i mean that no one else in history has more yards than him, not even you know who). anyways, i really hope this happens. as soon as it does, the last two years will be forgotten immediately and emmitt can resume his duties as the greatest cowboy ever to tote the rock. although i have to admit, it's a little sorry that he's doing amidst the super bowl hoopla. the attention should be focused on the teams (and eventual spread coverers, new england patriots). but i've always said that emmitt has a little sorriness to him, but i've also always said, it doesn't at all diminish his career as one of the great football players of his era.