02.17.11 – a thursday

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word

bollix [bol-iks] v. 1. to so (something) badly; bungle (often followed by up): His interference bollixed up the whole deal n. 2. a confused bungle

birthday

Aaron Montgomery Ward (1844), Thomas J. Watson (1874), Margaret Truman (1924), Hal Holbrook (1925), Chaim Potok (1929), Jim Brown (1936), Huey P. Newton (1942), Rene Russo (1954), Lou Diamond Phillips (1962), Michael Jordan (1963), Larry the Cable Guy (1963), Michael Bay (1965), Denise Richards (1971), Billie Joe Armstrong (1972), Jerry O’Connell (1974), Jason Ritter (1980), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (1981), Paris Hilton (1981)

standpoint

“They are rude, disengaged, lazy whiners. They curse, discuss drugs, talk back, argue for grades, complain about everything, fancy themselves to whatever they desire, and are just generally annoying.”

That’s how Central Bucks East High School teacher Natalie Munroe described her students in a post on her personal blog. Some of those students, the aforementioned “lazy whiners,” somehow discovered the blog and reported it to school officials. Shortly thereafter, Munroe was suspended with pay.

What’s bugging me here, and I hope I’m wrong, is that she’s going to end up on the losing side of this situation.

Munroe is essentially spot-on with her analysis of modern teens. Most of these kids nowadays lack anything resembling strong character traits. And that’s mainly because they’ve never had their asses properly kicked, either metaphorically or actually. They’re punks in the truest sense of the word, products of a flawed system that made sure none of them went home without a trophy in tow, even when they failed to perform something as simple as hitting a motionless baseball propped up on a T.

What’s the point in excelling when the dipshit who comes in last gets the same recognition as you?

Don’t get me wrong. When I was 17 years-old, I was as disengaged and lazy as was humanly possible. Some of my high school teachers remember me as one of the most frustrating students they’ve ever had. I got in trouble more than most, futilely argued my misguided points and was an overall gigantic pain in the ass.

But I understood the rules, even when I didn’t play by them. When I was in the wrong, I didn’t always admit it but I always knew it. I rarely went to my parents and tried to convince them I was being unfairly persecuted and the few times I did, they laughed me right out of the living room. My mother and father knew I knew better because that’s how they brought me up. To this day, my parents love me unconditionally, but, for the most part, they’ve never let that love get in the way of me owning up to my wrongdoings. Growing up, most of my friends had parents conducting affairs in a similar fashion.

These days, though, it’s rare that parents are willing to admit the faults of their children and that’s primarily because it would mean admitting their own. And that’s altogether the reason Natalie Munroe is most likely screwed.

I seriously doubt something as effete as free speech is going to possess the sufficient weight to mount a fight against something as tenacious as a few hundred pissed-off parents who, instead of seeking therapy, opted to have kids instead.

To paraphrase Han Solo, “Good luck, Natalie Munroe, you’re going to need it.”

quotation

Even cowards can endure hardship; only the brave can endure suspense. ↔ Mignon McLaughlin

tune

“Saints” isn’t likely to be embraced by most females out there. And, while I don’t truly agree with the lyrics put forth by indie rock band Army Navy, it’s still catch as all get out.

gallimaufry

I attempted to watch the movie version of The A-Team last night. I turned it off after 20 minutes. Hollywood, one last time, I’m begging you to stop incapacitating my childhood cinematic chicaneries. Bigger complaint is the guy that played Murdock looked more like Dirk Benedict than Dwight Schultz. Put some effort into it, fellas.

→ Hey, Len Lesser, we’re going to miss you. If there actually is a heaven, give it a great big, “HELLO!” on your arrival.

→ For whatever reasons, you may have missed the final results of The 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Hickory, a Scottish deerhound from Virginia, won the whole enchilada. After the victory, Hickory’s handler, Angela Lloyd best summed up how Hickory was feeling: “She’s not used to lights, cameras and noise.”

04.09.10 – A Friday

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word

vilify [viluh-fahy] v. 1. to speak ill of; defame; slander 2. Obsolete. to make vile

birthday

Charles Baudelaire (1821), Curly Lambeau (1898), J. William Fulbright (1905), Hugh Hefner (1926), Tom Lehrer (1928), Jim Fowler (1932), Carl Perkins (1932), Marty Krofft (1937), Peter Gammons (1945), Hal Ketchum (1953), Dennis Quaid (1954), Marc Jacobs (1963), Cynthia Nixon (1966), Jenna Jameson (1974), Albert Hammond, Jr. (1979), Keshia Knight Pulliam (1979), Jesse McCartney (1987)

standpoint

Today, I’m only offering a quote to someone who I’m sure, despite his limp rhetoric, can’t help but to check my blog everyday.

We are keenly aware of the faults of our friends, but if they like us enough it doesn’t matter. Mignon McLaughlin

TRUE STORY.

Sorry, folks, come back Monday for some more. Thanks for reading.

quotation

The man who doesn’t relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on. Elbert Hubbard

tune

I’ve mentioned this band on here before but, man, until the other day, I didn’t fully appreciate how amazing this song is. It’s “Airplanes” by Local Natives.

gallimaufry

→ Holy shit, lady. Go away all ready, will you? Do we need further proof that the people in charge of television programming are smoking crack?

→ Some people claim punk is dead. That may or not be true, despite Green Day‘s best efforts to murder it. But the original punk rocker is dead. Rest in peace, brother.

→ Dear Conshohocken PA, maybe instead of hosting meaningless parades, instead you might do something about the potholes. How in the hell did that parade make its way down Fayette St., anyway?

02.24.10 – A Wednesday

word

incursion [in-kur-zhuhn, -shuhn] n. 1. a hostile entrance into or invasion of a place or territory, esp. a sudden one; raid: The bandits made brief incursions on the village 2. a harmful inroad 3. a running in: the incursion of sea water

birthday

Wilhelm Grimm (1786), Honus Wagner (1874), Abe Vigoda (1921), Dominic  Chianese (1931), James Farentino (1938), Joe Lieberman (1942), Barry Bostwick (1945), Edward James Olmos (1947), George Thorogood (1950), Debra Jo Rupp (1951), Helen Shaver (1951), Steve Jobs (1955), Sammy Kershaw (1958), Mark Moses (1958), Michelle Shocked (1962), Teri Weigel (1962), Bill Bailey (1964), Billy Zane (1966), Mitch Hedberg (1968), Bonnie Somerville (1974)

standpoint

It’s the post you’ve been patiently biding your time for all week. Let’s dive into The Wishing Well, a weekly segment where I make five (5) wishes for things that’ll probably never come to fruition.

I WISH everyone would stop using made-up words involving this winter’s rash of snowstorms. Snowtographs? Snowicane? How about all these weather people take off their creative hats and just stick to the facts? Really, it’s all more than a little embarrassing. So quit it.

I WISH every cop drama each had a Det. Jimmy McNulty and Omar Little. Respectively played by Dominic West and Michael K. Williams on the now defunct HBO series The Wire, these characters are accurate portrayals of the way most of us really are, opting to either do the right thing or the wrong thing as dictated by what the circumstances the situation calls for.

I WISH Philadelphia Eagles WR DeSean Jackson didn’t come off like such a thug with his tweets. “On my cali shit that’s why the world of tweet ain’t heard from me…. y’all stay tunned tho got major shit craccn betta believe dat…”  Come on, man, at least make an effort, for crying out loud. And what’s with all the references to “Jerkin’?”

I WISH more of you actually gave a crap about how monumental a victory it was when Team USA beat Team Canada in Men’s Ice Hockey this past Sunday night. Only because I want to talk about it more and I’m pretty sure that, even though she’s a big hockey fan, my girlfriend is growing weary of me yapping about it.

I WISH it was readily apparent why in the world Tiger Woods felt the need to apologize to us about cheating on his wife. Dude, I feel bad for your wife and kids. What you did to them was wrong and you should make some massive atonement. But, truly, the rest of us aren’t losing any sleep over it. Play golf, or don’t. Be faithful to your wife, or don’t be. Believe it or not, whatever you decide, we’ll go on with our lives. Just stay the fuck away from our women, you sex crazed maniac.

That’s it for this week’s installment. How about you? You wishing for anything right now?

quotation

No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you’ll see why.Mignon McLaughlin

tune

I’ve always told anyone who’d listen that, despite what you might think of the band Toto, you’re obviously some kind of soulless bastard if you don’t like, even a little bit, the song “Africa.” The other night I stumbled upon this amazing a capella version of it. You have got to see it. I really dig how they use their hands to simulate the storm sounds.

gallimaufry

I was going to wait until closer to fantasy football season to post this, but it’s just too good. Every word of this made me realize how much I hate fantasy football drafts.

→ As I’m sure you are, I’m counting down the days until the release of Permalight, the new album from my favorite band, Rogue Wave. If you need a fix until then, check this out. March 2nd can’t come soon enough.

→ All I’m going to say about this is if this kid didn’t kill these cats, they need to find the sicko that did and lock him up for a few decades.

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12.28.09 – A Monday

WORD

umbrage [uhm-brij] n. 1. offense; annoyance; displeasure: to feel umbrage at a social snub; to give umbrage to someone; to take umbrage at someone’s rudeness 2. the slightest indication or vaguest feeling of suspicion, doubt, hostility, or the like 3. leaves that afford shade, as the foliage of trees 4. shade or shadows, as cast by trees 5. a shadowy appearance or semblance of something

BIRTHDAY

John Molson (1763), Woodrow Wilson (1856), Pops Staples (1915), Stan Lee (1922), Edgar Winter (1946), Alex Chilton (1950), Denzel Washington (1954), Seth Meyers (1973), John Legend (1978)

STANDPOINT

OK. Well. I was trying in earnest to complete today’s post but my laptop, which is older than most peoples’ grandparents, began acting up at 2am and is in desperate need of assistance. So there will be no new Standpoint or Gallimaufry. Promise there will be a more complete post tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

QUOTATION

For the happiest life, days should be rigorously planned, nights left open to chance.Mignon McLaughlin

TUNE

About ten years ago, it was considered kind of (sort of) cool to listen to bluegrass. Any song with a banjo could be (in some inexplicable way) played in the company of hipsters without a trace of irony. During that odd period, Nickel Creek, a trio of young and prodigious musicians, were all the rage. Despite the band’s efforts, and the huge popularity of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, bluegrass eventually sunk back into the fringes of popular music, where, because of its limited range, it’s most likely more productive and better off. But Nickel Creek had some pretty great songs. I think “Speak” is my favorite.

GALLIMAUFRY

(see today’s STANDPOINT)

09.09.09 – A Wednesday

Word

obdurate [ob-doo-rit, -dyoo-] adj. 1. unmoved by persuasion, pity, or tender feelings; stubborn; unyielding 2. stubbornly resistant to moral influence; persistently impenitent: an obdurate sinner

Birthday

Aurelian (214), Leo Tolstoy (1828), Harland Sanders (1890), Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder (1919), Otis Redding (1941), Pamela Des Barres (1948), Garry Maddox (1949), Joe Theismann (1949), Tom Wopat (1951), Hugh Grant (1960), Mario Batali (1960), Adam Sandler (1966), Rachel Hunter (1969), Henry Thomas (1971), Michael Bublé (1975), Soulja Slim (1977), Michelle Williams (1980) 

Standpoint

Normally, even I don’t like the person or people I’m looking at, I like the cover of Rolling Stone. A recent issue, though, kind or irked me.

The image is of President Obama and the caption at the bottom of the cover reads, “Obama So Far.” Around his head a banner, or maybe a halo, that reads “Will He Take Bold Action or Compromise Too Easily?” Inside the issue is a very fair and informative presentation of the thoughts of Obama‘s presidency by David Gergen (expert political consultant), Paul Krugman (Nobel Prize winning writer), and Michael Moore (douchebag documentarian).

The question on the front, though – “Will He Take Bold Action or Compromise Too Easily?” – is emblematic of lots of things I hate about the media in this country. I’ll admit fully understand that, especially in this age of the dying print media, Rolling Stone needs to sell magazines more than ever. But, in trying to grade the job done by Obama, and the future of his administration, why must the only two choices he has are to (a) “Take Bold Action” or (b) “Compromise Too Easily?”

It doesn’t have to be one-way-or-the-other. It could be that Obama will find the middle ground. Sometimes, he might take some bold action. Other times, he may compromise too easily. But more likely, he’ll find a way to act in ways that aren’t always bold and compromise in a way that’s not-so-easy.

My problem with pretty much boils down to this: We’ve all forgotten that not everything is black-and-white. And not just when it comes to our government. This one-way-or-the-other mentality is going to slowly mess everything up before we know it.

Quotation

Men feel that women somehow drag them down, and women feel that way about men.  It’s possible that both are right.Mignon McLaughlin

Tune

I just started to get into an English indie-pop group named Fanfarlo. So far, I like what I hear. Try out “Luna.”

Gallimaufry

→ Obviously, today is September 9th, 2009. Or 09/09/09. Triple nines. Find out why this date is so special to so many people. I like that the new Tim Burton movie, 9, is coming out today. Actually want to see it. Looks strange, spooky, kind of kickass cool.

→ You ever wonder how people can be so smart and dumb at the same time? Well, I do. Check out the Valley Monkey – a guy who wears a monkey mask in an attempt to avoid tickets. A nice idea if he wasn’t doing it in his own car.

→ My boy A.J. Jacobs has released a new book, The Guinea Pig Diaries. If it’s even half as good as his other stuff, you should go read it right now.

07.01.09 – Wednesday

Word: egregious [i-gree-juhs, -jee-uhs] adj. 1. extraordinary in some bad way; glaring; flagrant: an egregious mistake; an egregious liar 2. Archaic. distinguished or eminent

Birthday: Comte de Rochambeau (1725), George Sand (1804), William Strunk Jr. (1869), Thomas A. Dorsey (1899), Estée Lauder (1906), Willie Dixon (1915), Olivia de Havilland (1916), Jamie Farr (1934), Jean Marsh (1934), Sydney Pollack (1934), Karen Black (1939), Deborah Harry (1945), Shirley Hemphill (1947), David Duke (1950), Fred Schneider (1952), Terrence Mann (1951), Dan Aykroyd (1952), Alan Ruck (1956), Diana, Princess of Wales (1961), Carl Lewis (1961), Andre Braugher (1962), Pamela Anderson (1967), Henry Simmons (1970), Missy Elliott (1971), Claire Forlani (1972), Sufjan Stevens (1975), Liv Tyler (1977)

Quotation: Every society honors its live conformists, and its dead troublemakers. – Mignon McLaughlin

Tune: Last year sometime (I can’t remember when exactly.), I saw The New Pornographers in concert. While its album are really good, the band is even more spectacular. It helped that the closing song was my favorite – “From Blown Speakers.”

Gallimaufry: Finally. Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Minnesota unanimously decided that Al Franken was indeed a US Senator. After eight months, his opponent, Republican Norm Coleman, conceded. In the end, Franken only won by 312 votes, but it was good enough. The nation was monitoring the election outcome because (a) Franken was once a popular member of Saturday Night Live, and (b) his winning the seat gives the Democratic Party control of an unheard of 60 seats in the Senate. Tom, everyone’s default friend on MySpace (remember MySpace?), has been shitcanned. Don’t feel bad for the guy, though, he’s making $500,000 for the next two years. This brings two questions to mind. One, is this the beginning of the end for MySpace? Two, if it is, will anyone notice? Unfortunately, print media seems to be disappearing. The lastest victim? VIBE magazine.