01.06.10 – A Wednesday

WORD

replete [ri-pleet] adj. 1. abundantly supplied or provided; filled (usually fol. by with): a speech replete with sentimentality 2. stuffed or gorged with food and drink  3. complete: a scholarly survey, replete in its notes and citations

BIRTHDAY

Joan of Arc (1412), John Smith (1580), Carl Sandburg (1878), Danny Thomas (1912), Earl Scruggs (1924), Vic Tayback (1930), Lou Holtz (1937), Bonnie Franklin (1944), Syd Barrett (1946), Rowan Atkinson (1955), Howie Long (1960), Andrew Wood (1966), John Singleton (1968), Gabrielle Reece (1970)

STANDPOINT

Continuing with this end-of-the-year nonsense, I’d like to present some the the following “important” news stories of 2009 and what I feel we learned from them.

I’m welcoming any and all comments. Which stories are important? Which are not? Which didn’t get enough coverage? Which didn’t get enough? Which reveal relevant aspects of the culture? Which are supposed to but don’t? Let’s open up a dialogue here, people.

  • Balloon Boy – Richard and Mayumi Heene, a couple who met while attending acting classes in Hollywood, captivated the attention of the entire nation for about three hours one afternoon when they claimed Falcon, their son, was stranded in a balloon they’d launched from their backyard. Turned out the kid was in the attic. It was all a hoax. What did we learn? People will do just about anything to get on TV.
  • Beer Summit – Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and police Sgt. James Crowley were involved in a racially-charged episode that ended in Gates’ incarceration for apparently attempting to break in to his own home.  Obama compounded the problem by stating the police “acted stupidly.” Then, he invited Gates and Crowley over for a beer. Obama had a Bud Light, Crowley a Blue Moon, Gates a Sam Adams Light, the press a field day. What did we learn? Blue Moon is not even made in fucking Belgium.
  • Roman Polanski Arrested – Polanski, an Oscar-winning filmmaker, was finally nabbed thirty years after he pleaded guilty to a count of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor in California. He spent the last three decades hiding in plain sight in (where else?) Switzerland. As of now, he’s still not been brought back the United States. What did we learn? The Swiss can do whatever the hell they want.
  • Sarah Palin – I’m completely sure I’d be unable to conjure the right words to adequately sum up this total fucking nightmare of a human being. Not surprisingly, this dreadful woman is still polling well in places where guns outnumber people. And I’m afraid those places outnumber the ones where us civilized folks dwell. What did we learn? Most people are either (a) confused or (b) morons.
  • Tiger Woods – If you’re unaware of what’s going on with the world’s best golfer, I think you’re probably a little too wrapped up in your own world and need to come to the realization you’re not the only fucking person on the planet. What did we learn? Woods is one strange dude.
QUOTATION

Our lives are not as limited as we think they are; the world is a wonderfully weird place; consensual reality is significantly flawed; no institution can be trusted, but love does work; all things are possible; and we all could be happy and fulfilled if we only had the guts to be truly free and the wisdom to shrink our egos and quit taking ourselves so damn seriously.Tom Robbins

TUNE

Remember when Napster was free? I’d sit in my bedroom in my old apartment in Ardmore and plunder the outlaw peer-to-peer file sharing program for hours on end, typing in the name of every band and music artist I knew at the time and expanding my music library by leaps and bounds daily. When I ran out of familiar search terms, I simply started typing random words into Napster’s search engine, just for shits and giggles. So, of course, I tried the names “Joshua” and “Josh.” That’s how I learned of Josh Joplin, a singer-songwriter originally from Lancaster PA. In the past ten years, I’ve seen Joplin at least five times, all at Tin Angel in Philadelphia. Here’s a clip of “Gravity” from one of those performances.

GALLIMAUFRY

“Dude, how cool would it be if there were these small octopuses who found coconut shells, dragged them across the ocean floor and used them to hide from their predators?” That’s not a question posed after one-too-many bong hits. That’s actually going on.

MLB pitcher Randy Johnson, 46, officially retired from baseball yesterday, which didn’t really surprise anyone. Except for me. I was convinced he’d already done that. Like five years ago.

→ I love this headline: “Martin Lawrence producing comedy for black viewers.” It’s going to be a stretch for him but I think he’s up to the task. I mean, being an actual black comic and all.

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07.29.09 – Wednesday

Word: symbiosis [sim-bee-oh-sis, -bahy-] n. 1. Biology. the living together of two dissimilar organisms, as in mutualism, commensalism, amensalism, or parasitism 2. Psychiatry. a relationship between two people in which each person is dependent upon and receives reinforcement, whether beneficial or detrimental, from the other 3. Psychoanalysis. the relationship between an infant and its mother in which the infant is dependent on the mother both physically and emotionally 4. any interdependent or mutually beneficial relationship between two persons, groups, etc

Birthday: Alexis de Tocqueville (1805), Booth Tarkington (1869), Benito Mussolini (1883), Ralph A. Bard (1884), Irwin Corey (1914), Jean Baudrillard (1929), Lou Albano (1933), Peter Jennings (1938), Tony Sirico (1942), Ken Burns (1953), Geddy Lee (1953), Patti Scialfa (1953), Alexandra Paul (1963), Martina McBride (1966), Wil Wheaton (1972), Stephen Dorff (1973), Josh Radnor (1974), Afroman (1974)

Quotation: I have known no man of genius who had not to pay, in some affliction or defect, either physical or spiritual, for what the gods had given him.Max Beerbohm

Tune: It’s difficult to, at the present time, find any band as hot as Bon Iver – a huge part of the bearded men movement (Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses) enjoying the can-do-no-wrong phase some bands enjoy at the onset of rushing popularity. Earlier this year, Bon Iver released a new EP titled Blood Bank. And it contains four very good songs. Take a listen to the title track – “Blood Bank.”

Gallimaufry: First and foremost, I’d like to extend my sympathies to the family of Philadelphia Eagles’ Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson, who dies yesterday from cancer at the age of 68. Truly a good guy in a sport dangerously short of them. I don’t know about all of you, but I’d like to have one week where we don’t see someone in public spotlight die for a change. It’s not good for the collective psyche. How is it all these people who, for the most part, bettered our society are dying undeservedly and world-class shithead Osama bin Laden is still running out there somewhere. Justice? I’m not seeing it.  While I’m on the subject of world-class shitheads, if someone is making a list of them, Glenn Beck better be featured prominently on it. Yesterday, on FOX News’ morning show, “Fox & Friends,” the popular talk show host, while discussing the Henry Louis Gates Jr. case, accused President Obama of having “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.” (Which is it, genius?) When challenged on his remarks by host Brian Kilmeade, who pointed out Obama has surrounded himself with a mostly-white staff in the White House, Beck replied, “I’m not saying he doesn’t like white people. He has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist.” Huh? How can a guy like white  people while simultaneously carrying “a deep-seated hatred” for them? If you’re cool like me, you’ll be at The Manhattan Room (or The M-Room)on 15 W. Girard Avenue in Philadelphia tonight to watch Chicago band Athens open up for Anders Manly.