09.15.09 – A Tuesday

WORD

itinerant [ahy-tin-er-uhnt, i-tin-] adj. 1. traveling from place to place, esp. on a circuit, as a minister, judge, or sales representative; itinerating; journeying 2. characterized by such traveling: itinerant preaching 3. working in one place for a comparatively short time and then moving on to work in another place, usually as a physical or outdoor laborer; characterized by alternating periods of working and wandering: an itinerant farm hand n. 4. a person who alternates between working and wandering 5. a person who travels from place to place, esp. for duty or business

BIRTHDAY

Marco Polo (1254), James Fenimore Cooper (1789), William Howard Taft (1857), Agatha Christie (1890), John N. Mitchell (1913), Nipsey Russell (1918), Bobby Short (1924), Cannonball Adderley (1928), Merlin Olsen (1940), Tommy Lee Jones (1946), Oliver Stone (1946), Wendie Jo Sperber (1958), Dan Marino (1961), Josh Charles (1971), Prince Henry of Wales (1984)

STANDPOINT

So, I was going to write about the plight of professional athletes in Philadelphia but I decided it’d be best to weigh in on this Kanye West-Taylor Swift debacle from the MTV Video Music Awards a couple of nights ago.

West, apparently upset that Beyoncé didn’t win in the Best Female Video category, came onstage and grabbed the microphone from Swift to publicly voice his objections to the final result. And everyone’s world was turned upside-down.

And rightfully so. It appeared as if Swift, one of the great thinkers of her generation, was about to share some of her poignant inner perspectives with all of us out here in the huddled masses. But West robbed everyone of hearing those life-changing words. For that, my friends, we should never forget or forgive. There was a great injustice done this past Sunday night. One that will undoubtedly leave a permanent mark on every facet of our society. Truly.

OK. If you’re having trouble figuring out the point I’m attempting to make, I’ll break it down for you – what Kanye West did to Taylor Swift doesn’t really matter for the simple reason that…well…it just doesn’t matter. I’m sure Swift was traumatized by the whole ordeal and I’m equally certain we’ll be hearing some overly-produced piece of fluff (that she and others will call “a song”) and she’ll be just fine.

President Obama was right when he called West “a jackass.” He didn’t say “enemy of the public.” Or “heinous criminal.” West acted like a jackass. Just like a lot of people you know.

Bottom line? It’s all about publicity and entertainment. I’d bet all of ten of my fingers that West and Swift have already privately resolved the situation. Unfortunately, the rest of us, dominated by the mindless, ultra-driven individuals who love to tell us what’s important and what’s not, will have to hear about this for a long time. Or, more likely until the end of the week. But it’ll feel like forever. At least to me.

QUOTATION

I always look for a woman who has a tattoo.  I see a woman with a tattoo, and I’m thinking, okay, here’s a gal who’s capable of making a decision she’ll regret in the future.Richard Jeni

TUNE

I thought since today would’ve been jazz great Cannonball Adderley‘s 81st birthday, it’d be best to commemorate it by sharing “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” – one of the greatest songs of all-time.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ Man, is this the year of the celebrity death or what? Sad to report Patrick Swayze died yesterday at the age of 57, finally losing his fight with pancreatic cancer. Swayze, while he was not always consistently making hit movies, was in some of the most popular films of all-time. The Outsiders. Red Dawn. Dirty Dancing. Road House. Ghost. Point Break. Donnie Darko. Rest In Peace, Dalton. BY THE WAY, I’d love for everyone who reads this to weigh-in on their favorite Patrick Swayze movie/moment.

→ One thing that will never ever change is this country’s obsession with “Seinfeld.” And rightfully so. Jerry and crew observed one of the most important rules of show business – always leaving the audience wanting more. And it is more we are about to receive as the cast of the popular sitcom ever will reunite on “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David’s HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Not exactly sure what the context will be, but Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards will all appear on the third episode of the upcoming season.

→ I know you all are just excited as I am the Philadelphia Flyers opened up training camp this past weekend. What’s that? You’re not? Well, you should be. Jerk.

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09-04-11: A Friday

Word

candor [kan-der] n. 1. the state or quality of being frank, open, and sincere in speech or expression; candidness: The candor of the speech impressed the audience 2. freedom from bias; fairness; impartiality: to consider an issue with candor

Birthday

Anton Bruckner (1824), Mickey Cohen (1913), Henry Ford II (1917), Paul Harvey (1918), Forrest Carter (1925), Dick York (1928), Clive Granger (1934), Raymond Floyd (1942), Tom Watson (1949), Khandi Alexander (1957), David Drew Pinsky (Dr. Drew) (1958), Kim Thayil (1960), Damon Wayans (1960), Mike Piazza (1968), Dave Buchwald (1970), Ione Skye (1971), Beyoncé Knowles (1981)

Standpoint

With the return of the NFL season, we are inevitably going to be forced to face the dreaded return of NFL commentary and game announcing. Here are a few things that bug the shit out of me routinely on Sunday and Monday Night (and occasionally Thursday night).

Keys To The Game – Right before the kickoff of each and every game, the expert announcers rattle off something called the “Keys to the Game.” Usually, these “Keys” are the factors the entire production staff has figured out one team will need to do to win the game. Most of the time, it boils down to three bulletpoints that usually translate into (a) limiting the other team’s scoring to as much as possible, while on the other hand, (b) scoring as many points as possible, and (c) not taking stupid penalties. Concepts easily grasped by anyone who has a rudimentary understanding of how a competitive game actually works.

The On-Field Interview – Usually, some newbie sportscaster is relegated to the sidelines for the duration of the game. This person is usually asked, in whatever kind of weather, to comment on things like “the feel of the crowd,” or “the mood on the bench.” But the sideline reporter’s time to shine is definitely the on-field interview where he or she gets the opportunity to ask the coach, either right before the game or the second half starts, a supposedly poignant question like, “Coach, your team is down 42-7. What’s your strategy for the second half.” The coach will normally respond with something like, “Well, I had a talk with the guys during halftime and I think you’re going to see a different football team out there in the second half.” Translation? “Well, I went into the locker room and threatened everyone within an inch of their life and I’m pretty sure the entire team knows I’m absolutely serious about killing them and everyone they know if the other team scores one more fucking point. But, honestly, I gotta say I’m ecstatic you stopped me to chat. Besides picking you up over my head and throwing you as far as humanly possible, it’s difficult to conjure anything else I’d rather be doing right now.”

The In-The-Booth GuestMonday Night Football is the main culprit here. Whatever city the MNF game is in, some famous person gets scheduled to come up and chat about the game with the commentators. A nice idea. The only problem is that everyone involved in the conversation eventually gets wrapped up in whatever the hell it is they’re talking about and we get to hear Kiefer Sutherland talk about all intense action on the upcoming season of 24 while, on the field, some guy is breaking a 90-yard touchdown run.

Tony Siragusa“The Goose” can make even the most exciting game kind of suck. Waddling around the sidelines and making ill-informed, unfunny, random observations is apparently something you can get paid for. Even in this economy.

Quotation

Among creatures born into chaos, a majority will imagine an order, a minority will question the order, and the rest will be pronounced insane.Robert Brault

Tune

Brendan Benson has recently gained fame as part of the Jack White-led outfit The Raconteurs. But he’s been around for years, making outstanding music all by himself. His latest release, My Old, Familiar Friend, is no exception. Try “A Whole Lot Better.”

Gallimaufry

→ About seven years ago, poolside on some cruise ship, I read “Video-Game Character Wondering Why Heartless God Always Chooses ‘Continue'” and became convinced that The Onion was the funniest periodical of all time. I actually spit out my banana daquiri when I read, “But sometimes, like when I suicidally attack dozens of armed guards with only my bare hands, it seems that God is putting me through hell merely to amuse Himself. It just doesn’t make sense.” Trust me. It’s funny in context. Go read it if you don’t believe me.

→ To the depths of my core, I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I don’t go to conventions or sleep out for any kind of tickets, but it’s likely I know more about George Lucas‘ epic than you do. Geeky? Yes. Let’s move on. I’m no idiot. Nor am I blind or deaf. So I understand there are fundamental plot faults in everything, including my much beloved Star Wars. For more information on this topic, please read “7 Classic Star Wars Characters Who Totally Dropped The Ball.”

→ I’ve worked in the restaurant business my entire adult life and can testify that most of “Five Secrets Restaurants Don’t Want You to Know” is absolutely true. Except for the “Be Wary of Fish” part. Never once heard of that happening.