12.11.09 – A Friday

WORD

mortify [mawr-tuh-fahy] v. (used w/ object) 1. to humiliate or shame, as by injury to one’s pride or self-respect 2. to subjugate (the body, passions, etc.) by abstinence, ascetic discipline, or self-inflicted suffering 3. Pathology. to affect with gangrene or necrosis v. (used w/o object) 4. to practice mortification or disciplinary austerities 5. Pathology. to undergo mortification; become gangrened or necrosed

Note: I am giving the definition of “mortify” because it has been brought to my attention it’s used wrong pretty much all of the time. I have to admit, I learned something new today.

BIRTHDAY

John Labatt (1838), Carlo Ponti (1912), Big Mama Thornton (1926), Rita Moreno (1931), McCoy Tyner (1938), Donna Mills (1942), John Kerry (1943), Brenda Lee (1944), Teri Garr (1947), Bess Armstrong (1953), Jermaine Jackson (1954), Nikki Sixx (1958), Jon Brion (1963), Mo’Nique (1967), Mos Def (1973)

STANDPOINT

This Tiger Woods scandal. Christ.

Thousands of unanswerable questions seem to be flooding the news hourly. None are getting answered.

The facts (maybe) are: (a) At 2am the morning after Thanksgiving, Tiger got into his car and drove into a fire hydrant and then a tree, both within walking distance of his home. (b) His wife reportedly saved him by smashing one of the back windows with a golf club. (c) Tiger didn’t really want to talk about the whole thing, instead he took to dodging police inquiries and issuing vague statements on his website. (d) At least a dozen women jumped out of the woodwork, feeling the sudden urge to tell the world about their sexual misconduct with Woods. (e) Tiger’s mother-in-law was admitted to the hospital with stomach pains that probably had something to do with her son-in-law sleeping with lots of women who were not her daughter. (f) Tiger Woods’ life, no matter how this all plays out, is fucked.

And that sucks for him but he was having sex with hostesses, waitresses and porn stars. Difficult to feel bad for the guy. Difficult, but not implausible. I mean, getting caught for one transgression must be a pretty shitty ordeal. But to get caught having mulitple affairs with at least ten different women within the span of several days? Well, I’m not even sure Bill Clinton could shuck and jive his way clear of something like that.

There is one question, however, I would like answered: Whatever Tiger has done or not done, what’s the difference? How’s it going to change my life?

Sure, it’s interesting to bemoan the current state of a society which seems to (a) shrug its collective shoulders when yet another of its heroes are found to be flawed, and (b) be running out of respectable authority figures and celebrities. We’ve adapted a very another-one-bites-the-dust mentality. Everyone’s rather concerned but no one wholly cares.

There are those overly curious about a situation in which a man who seemingly had everything he could ever want, managed to blunder this bad. People are demanding the truth, soapboxing on the notion we all deserve to know. As usual, the American people want to get down to the bottom of a situation in the interest of mainly being able to say, “I hate my life, but I imagine I’d rather be me than Tiger right now.” It’s always amazed me how determined people are to reveal how fucked up everyone else is.

It’s not like any of it matters.  Woods is under absolutely no obligation to disclose more than he wants. He’s not a politician. He’s broken no laws. In reality, he could pack all ten women he’s been sleeping with into his Cadillac and drive into ten trees. Unless, he’s charged with some sort of crime, he doesn’t have to justify anything. Oh. In addition, he’s also the first billion-dollar athlete, so if O.J. Simpson can kill two people and amble freely out of an actual courtroom, Woods’ gigantic gobs of money will guarantee a night of careless driving and a few years of bad decisions won’t stop him from ambling equally free out the courtroom of public opinion.

Plus, in a few months, possibly a few weeks, everyone will have moved on to the next thing. And I don’t blame it on short memory. Everyone says that and it’s bullshit. The real reason everyone’ll forget about this by the next time Woods steps onto some nationally-televised first tee is once the outrage lessens a bit, most people will start making excuses for Tiger Woods because the execrable things he’s done to his undeserving family will have grown far less significant than the idea of a PGA season without Tiger Woods.

Note: During my research and reading for the above rant, I encountered this piece. As far as I’m concerned, Tiger Woods can do whatever the hell he wants. As long as Glenn Beck is around, everyone else gets a pass.

QUOTATION

The typical gambler might not really understand the probabilistic nuances of the wheel or the dice, but such things seem a bit more tractable than, say, trying to raise a child in this lunatic society of ours.Arthur S. Reber

TUNE

 Yesterday, I hit up my favorite music store, Main Street Music in Manayunk. (One of the best music shops of all-time, by the way. If you can get there, I highly recommend it.) Anyway, I bought a couple albums. One of them was People Are Soft by local Philadelphia band, The Swimmers. I like the whole album a lot. Go buy it and support your local music scene. Favorite track so far? “Nervous Wreck.”

GALLIMAUFRY

→ For all of out there who wish you could get rid of Facebook forever, there’s now an option. Seppukoo.com is ready to assist you with your virtual suicide. Click here to see how it works.

→ There’s many arguments I can tolerate listening to, no matter how completely wrong they are. But I refuse to hear anyone out who’s not entirely convinced Ted Knight didn’t steal the show in Caddyshack. I know. There are argument to be made for Chevy Chase, Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield. But without Judge Smails (link is a small collection of wavs), it would’ve been a lesser film. Still good. Just not as good.  

→ Do you desire with all your heart to have a chihuahua? All you have to do is get on a plane to California, where the little dogs have become an essential purse accessory to the likes of Paris Hilton, Miley Cyrus and a slew of other people who don’t really matter. Animal shelters across the state are reporting chihuahuas make up close to 30% of its inhabitants. Seems even idiots are capable of grasping the notion that, after they take it out of their purse, the dog wants to do all kinds of annoying crap like eat and be taken for a walk.

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04.20.09 – Monday

Word: euphemism [yoo-fuh-miz-uhm] n. 1. the substitution of a mild, indirect or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh or blunt 2. the expression so substituted: “To pass away” is a euphemism for “to die.”

Birthday: Napoleon III (1808), Adolf Hitler (1889), Lionel Hampon (1908), Tito Puente (1923), George Takei (1937), Ryan O’Neal (1941), Jessica Lange (1949), Luther Vandross (1951), Clint Howard (1959), Don Mattingly (1961), Crispin Glover (1964), Carmen Electra (1972), Joey Lawrence (1976)

Occurence: 1999Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill 13 people and injure 24 others before committing suicide during the Columbine High School Massacre.

Standpoint: Last week, I polled all my friends on Facebook and Twitter. I asked them to name the best movie with a one-word title. Also, I was asking everyone I talked to, including my co-workers at The Chestnut Grill, who came up with a ton of them. (Special thanks to Ezgi and Adina on that one.) So, I compiled over 200 suggested titles and whittled (Colleen, you were right. I misused “wheedle”. Live and learn. 4/21/09) the list down to 15 movies. Here is the list (alphabetically) of 15 Great Movies with a One-Word Title, followed by the reason each film made the final cut. Enjoy.

There you have it. Just in case you’re wondering, it’s pretty difficult deciding the best 15 out of 200. The Honorable Mentions are too many to list. I can give you a few movies that never stood a chance. Titanic. Volcano. Twister. Accepted.

I’m sure you can think of a few movies I overlooked or discarded. Tell me which ones and why.

Quotation: Everybody is wrong about everything, just about all of the time. Chuck Klosterman

Gallimaufry: Falling into the “How-Pathetic-Can-I-Possibly-Get” category, Spencer Pratt (“The Hills”) has challenged Ashton Kutcher to a 30-day contest to see who can get the most Twitter followers. Dude, you’re a little late. I suggest concentrating your efforts on something that doesn’t involve some crappy show like “The Hills.” Look into it…All season long on “American Idol,” people have been asking the question, “Why in the hell did they bring Kara DioGuardi on as a fourth judge?” It appears she’s wondering the same thing. Could this be a sign of her exit?…Yesterday was a good day in Philadelphia for sports. The Phillies beat the San Diego Padres, 5-4, off a two-run homer in the ninth inning by Raul Ibanez. The 76ers beat the Orlando Magic in the Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on a last-second jumper by Andre Iguodala. But the highlight of the day in sports, for me at least, was sitting at my brother Jeremy’s new house and watching the Flyers spank the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-3. Claude Giroux registered a Gordie Howe hat trick. He’s the real deal. (Thanks to Phinally Philly for the link.)

Incoming: This week is up in the air. Besides more of your suggestions for Annoying Sayings & Misused Words, we’ll have to see where the wind takes us.