03.15.10 – A Monday

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word

lachrymose [lak-ruh-mohs] adj. 1. suggestive of or tending to cause tears; mournful 2. given to shedding tears readily; tearful

birthday

Andrew Jackson (1767), Eduard Strauss (1835), Lightnin’ Hopkins (1912), Lawrence Tierney (1919), Cecil Taylor (1929), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933), Judd Hirsch (1935), Jimmy Swaggart (1935), Phil Lesh (1940), Mike Love (1941), Sly Stone (1944), Ry Cooder (1947), Dee Snider (1955), Terence Trent D’Arby (1962), Bret Michaels (1963), Mark McGrath (1968), Mark Hoppus (1972), Eva Longoria (1975), Will.i.am (1975), Joe Hahn (1977), Takeru Kobayashi (1978)

standpoint

Today’s Standpoint is going to be short and sweet.

Over the weekend, I coined a phrase that, I feel, is a surefire bet to find its way into the cultural lexicon.

You’re most likely heard people discussing the latest “It Movie”, the one all the with-it folks are lining up to see, over and over again.

A recent example would be Avatar. Last year, it was The Hangover. But these are not just “It Movies”, they’re “Yet Movies”. Only a short while ago, I was having dinner at my parents’ house, which is something I love to do but don’t do enough, and my mother posed the question, “Joshua, have you seen Avatar yet?” I laughed a little and responded, “I’m trying to get to the theater to see it, but American Idol is on so damn much, frankly, I’m having trouble finding a night to get out of the house.”

Obviously, I was joking. She wasn’t the first person in my life to ask me a similar question. Seeing Avatar hasn’t earned a spot on my top 100 things to do, and sitting through an episode of American Idol will probably never crack the top 500. The phrasing of the question struck me as odd.

It was the last word – YET. “Have you filed your taxes yet?” “Have you taken a shower yet?” “Christ, are you ready yet?” Those are all questions insinuating an action that’ll eventually needed to be completed. As if it’ll only be a matter of time before I’ll be compelled to capitulate. Apparently, it’s such a fantastic film, I’ve got an obligation, as a member of the human race, one day I’ll find myself watching Avatar and, for no other reason than just because.

I don’t mean to pick on Avatar and I patiently listen to those who castigate me for not seeing it, especially since it’s “so kickass” in 3-D. Before we know it, there’s going to be another movie to take its place, one I probably won’t be falling over myself to rush out and see.

And everyone will be asking me, “Dude, why haven’t you seen it yet?” I won’t have a response that’ll ease their uneasiness. But, I might try to make them feel a little better by telling them about that night back in March when I coined the phrase “The Yet Movie.” You heard it here first.

quotation

…And I thought about how many people have loved those songs. And how many people got through a lot of bad times because of those songs. And how many people enjoyed good times with those songs. And how much those songs really mean. I think it would be great to have written one of those songs. I bet if I wrote one of them, I would be very proud. I hope the people who wrote those songs are happy. I hope they feel it’s enough. I really do because they’ve made me happy. And I’m only one person.Stephen Chbosky

tune

Until recently, Charles Mingus was the most overlooked jazz musician of his time. The guy was both a genius and a mess. His autobiography, Beneath the Underdog: His World As Composed by Mingus,  is still one of the best books I’ve ever read. Lately, when people talk about the big jazz legends, Mingus’ name is being mentioned more and more. And that’s a great thing because, while the guy didn’t receive his due credit during his lifetime, it’s better late than never. Here’s “Myself When I Am Real.” A good title to a great song.

gallimaufry

Back in high school, I pretty much did everything I wasn’t supposed, within reasonable limits. I could’ve easily been one of these kids. Luckily, most of my teachers were men and sleeping with a teacher was at least one thing I spared my parents from having to deal with. And for that,Mom and Dad, you’re welcome.

What a shitty day this lady had. At the completion of her jog, some assjack tried to sexually assault her. She escaped by literally jumping off of a friggin’ cliff. Then the dude takes off on her car. She escaped with minor injuries and she’s okay, but still, she was just trying to get a little exercise. Hey, perverts, in case you’re unaware, I’m here to enlighten you: You suck.

→ I know I’ve plugged these guys before but, the way I see it, there’s nothing stopping me from doing it again, After all, when it comes to the content on this blog, I’m my own boss. (And a good one at that.) If you’re considering getting a tattoo or a body piercing and you’re in the Philadelphia area, the only shop you need consider is Liberty Tattoo in Skippack Village, PA. The folks who run the joint are not only friends of mine but have a fantastic reputation in their line of work. Don’t go anywhere else.

03.02.10 – A Tuesday

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word

brouhaha [broo-hah-hah, broo-hah-hah, broo-hah-hah] n. 1. excited public interest, discussion, or the like, as the clamor attending some sensational event; hullabaloo: The brouhaha followed disclosures of graft at City Hall 2. an episode involving excitement, confusion, turmoil, etc., esp. a broil over a minor or ridiculous cause: A brouhaha by the baseball players resulted in three black eyes

birthday

Sam Houston (1793), Dr. Seuss (1904), Mel Ott (1909), Desi Arnaz (1917), Mikhail Gorbachev (1931), Tom Wolfe (1931), John Irving (1942), Lou Reed (1942), Rory Gallagher (1948), Gates McFadden (1949), Karen Carpenter (1950), Laraine Newman (1952), Jon Bon Jovi (1962), Daniel Craig (1968), Chris Martin (1977), Ben Roethlisberger (1982), Elizabeth Jagger (1984)

standpoint

So the 2010 Winter Olympics Games in Vancouver are officially over and I can honestly I’m going to kind of miss them. For many reasons, I was much more enthralled this time around.

While the rest of the world searches for the next big thing to fixate on, I’d like to dispense my final salvo on this year’s games. And, yes, I completely understand I’m a day late.

→ I’m genuinely curious to see what new oddity people will discuss now that curling won’t be on television 24 hours a day. Check out this article. Maybe one of these will become the subsequent cult sport.

Team USA was, by far, the best in the Men’s Ice Hockey tournament. Hands down. Sure, they walked away with the silver after a hard fought overtime loss to Team Canada, but they played some of the best and biggest hockey ever. Ryan Miller was the tourney’s best netminder but it was the play of guys like Ryan Kesler, Patrick Kane, Zach Parise, Brian Rafalski and Ryan Suter that made it truly special to watch. Hopefully, the NHL and the NHLPA can agree to let its players participate in 2014, when Team USA will be even better and, most likely, the favorite.

Sidney Crosby, the captain of Team Canada and one of the most annoying people on the planet, scored the gold medal winning goal to capture the top spot for his country, further proving my belief the shithead obviously signed some kind of a deal with the devil. Crosby wasn’t that effective in the tournament but, as usual, he managed to to grab the limelight and snatch up a prize he didn’t necessarily deserve. It’s such a weak-minded character flaw to dislike the dude so much, but I just can’t help myself. Also, he looks like SNL cast member Andy Samberg, who I like.

USA snowboarder Shaun White is one of those annoying athletes who knows he’s good, tells people how good he is and then proceeds to never fall flat out on his face. I’m glad he’s on our side.

→ I’m never going to like Ice Dancing. Never. A sport’s got have some sort of attainable points outside the arbitrary opinions of a bunch of strangers. If that’s not a rule, it should be.

→ Watching the Men’s 50K Mass Start Classic Cross Country Race was maybe the longest couple of hours of my life and even made me entertain the notion of maybe putting on NASCAR. Yeah. It was that exhausting.

Overall, I think everyone got what they wanted out of this year’s games. The American people were able to participate in many discussions and enjoy the fine art that is speculative bullshitting. The USA also received the most medals, which again we like because we don’t need to have the best of everything, just the most of it. And Canada won the most gold medals, including the two for ice hockey, which apparently the country desperately needed. Lastly, I’m pretty sure there were some other nations involved in the whole ordeal but, in all the excitement, I didn’t catch any of their names.

quotation

Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour. Walt Whitman

tune

After many years, I’m ready to admit that, in my youth, there was a two or three month period when I was a huge fan of 50s rocker Ritchie Valens. It was most likely right around the same time La Bamba came out. I remember finally seeing an actual picture of the 17-year old Chicano rock ‘n’ roll pioneer and feeling conned – he didn’t look anything at all like Lou Diamond Phillips. Anyway. I always liked “Come On Let’s Go.”

gallimaufry

As much as I became entranced by Olympic hockey, I’m glad the NHL is back in session. Trade deadline is tomorrow at 3pm EST and there should be some serious moves this year. I’m sure close to nine of you are even remotely interested.

→ Last night, I got into a moderately heated debate on Sarah Palin with my mother, who views the ex-governor from Alaska as some sort of victim. For all of you who share that point of view, I offer this. And, for the record, I mean no disrespect to the woman who birthed me. She’s awesome. It’s healthy for people to disagree.

→ Sheesh. Would everyone please get off the back of American singer Elliott Yamin for tweeting during and after the earthquake in Chile? Apparently, the guy helped ease some people’s fears. However, it’s still fair game to make crazy fun out of him for being on Americal Idol.

02.26.10 – A Friday

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word

surreptitious [sur-uhp-tishuhs] adj. 1. obtained, done, made, etc., by stealth; secret or unauthorized; clandestine: a surreptitious glance 2. acting in a stealthy way 3. obtained by subreption; subreptitious

birthday

Wenceslaus (1361), Christopher Marlowe (1564), Victor Hugo (1802), Levi Strauss (1829), William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody (1846), John Harvey Kellogg (1852), Herbert Henry Dow (1866), Grover Cleveland Alexander (1887), Tex Avery (1908), Jackie Gleason (1916), Tony Randall (1920), Fats Domino (1928), Johnny Cash (1932), Mitch Ryder (1945), Michael Bolton (1953), Greg Germann (1958), Erykah Badu (1971)

standpoint

Earlier this week, I admitted to succumbing to the subtle nuances of the sport of curling. I didn’t claim to love it. It’s okay. As far as television watching goes, it accomplishes what it needs to. But I’m annoyed about people clamoring on and on (and on) about the high television ratings curling is getting during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Let’s face facts. This time next week, hardly anyone’s going to be lifting a finger to do anything about their supposed love affair with curling. It’s not the fact the cult sport is getting so much attention that’s drawing my ire. Good for curling, I guess.

No, what’s bothering me is the insinuation and the mindset of “majority rules,” the notion that if most everyone shares the same opinion on a particular person, event or ideal, inherently it must have a certain degree of merit. It’s employed as a substantive bookmark and those in the minority, those who just don’t see what all the fuss is about, are viewed as being ultraist. And, in case you’re unaware, I’m no longer talking about something as innocuous as curling.

In our society, somewhere along the way it became improper to have a dissenting voice. If you’re not a joiner, your point of view doesn’t carry the same weight. In most circles, you’re summarily dismissed as one sort of crackpot. You didn’t vote for Obama? You don’t watch American Idol? You haven’t read any books Oprah’s recommended? You don’t own any classic rock albums? You don’t get jacked for Monday Night Football? Why not? What the hell is wrong with your dumb ass?

Maybe those are questions you’ve been asked. They’re queries designed to put you on the defensive. They’re meant to imply you most likely have a wire loose somewhere in that head of yours. They’re intended to make you reconsider your discord with what everyone else is doing. There’s a reason for that. When you break from the norm it creates a certain amount of anxiety among those who don’t. It raises doubts within them they’d prefer to overlook. It’s cause for pause, an unsettling wavering to the approach of most individuals’ need to be a part of something with little regard to precisely what that something is.

Simply put, the majority has the edge on the minority in sheer numbers. But the latter scares the former much more than the former does the latter. And that’s because while the majority does in fact rule, it’s mostly in error a high percentage of the time. Pick up any history book and you’ll find an overabundance of instances in which the majority blundered.

There’s absolutely no harm in a surge of popularity for a sport in the Olympics, reading a book someone suggests or listening to Boston. The harm resides in the zeitgeist.

The minority is sometimes right; the majority always wrong.George Bernard Shaw

quotation

War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.Jimmy Carter

tune

Earlier this week, I posted an a capella cover version of Toto’s “Africa” by Perpetuum Jazzile. One of my most loyal readers, and closest friends, posted a video response. I think it’s also a quality ditty. Thanks, Joe Taylor, for your interest, albeit often overzealous, in me and my blog. In honor of you, good buddy, I present Howie Day‘s version of “Africa.” Enjoy.

gallimaufry

This is all the proof you’ll need to be convinced it merely takes a lot of money to get a shitty record produced. Props for including Paris Hilton on the list. So very very true.

If you’re an adult between the ages of 25-40, you’ll identify with this article. There’s a reason a lot of names went the way of the dodo. Hey, parents, not that you’ve got a kid, I understand you’re just dying to show all your friends how creative you can be, but give your kid a break. You have to remember that chldren are awfully mean to each other, and your sons and daughters are going to have a hard time appreciating your ingenuity while dining alone in the cafeteria.

→ I’m pretty sure internet music sites all over the world would simply shut down if there wasn’t at least one item per day to post about Thom Yorke. Yesterday’s big news? Yorke finally named the band he put together last fall – Atoms For Peace. The only aspect of AFP (as I’m sure music geeks will soon be calling it) weaker than the name is that Flea, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (or RHCP), is its bassist.