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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06.11.09 – Thursday

Word: inure [in-yoor, i-noor] v. 1. to accustom to hardship, difficulty, pain, etc.; toughen or harden; habituate (usually fol. by to): inured to cold 2. to come into use; take or have effect 3. to become beneficial or advantageous

Birthday: Ben Jonson (1572), Richard Strauss (1864), Vince Lombardi (1913), Gene Wilder (1933), Frank Beard (1949), Joe Montana (1956), Hugh Laurie (1959), Peter Dinklage (1969), Ryan Dunn (1977), Joshua Jackson (1979), Shia LeBeouf (1986)

Quotation: Just because everything is different doesn’t mean anything has changed.Irene Peter

Tune: Just got Noble Beast by Andrew Bird. So far, I’m digging “Anonanimal” the most.

Gallimaufry: Trent Reznor, one of the most active musicians on Twitter, may be hanging up his social networking spurs. On the official Nine Inch Nails website “Forum” section, Reznor had this to say, “I will be tuning out of the social networking sites because at the end of the day it’s now doing more harm than good in the bigger picture and the experiment seems to have yielded a result. Idiots rule.” Indeed they do, but did he really need Twitter to grasp that concept? The NFL (National Football League) is ready to play hardball with the NFLPA (National Football League Players’ Association).  With relatively-new NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and brand new NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith not wanting to look weak in their first head-to-head matchup, it should be fun to watch as the two groups square off over revenue sharing. Because, really, in a terrible economy, I can’t imagine what people would love to see more than insanely rich people fighting over money. My advice? Settle this one quickly and quietly, fellas. It’s hard to believe 10 years ago this month, Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker released Napster. I caught onto Napster really early, completely by accident. (A girl at a bar told me about it.) Once I found it, I was completely hooked. Sure, by today’s standards, it was clunky and time-consuming, but for a music junkie like me, it was internet crack cocaine. The day it got shut down, I didn’t light a candle or anything. But still. It sucked. I’ve never been able to bring myself to try the new pay version.   

Incoming: Relax, will ya? Be patient.