11.18.09 – A Wednesday

WORD

paragon [paruh-gon, -guhn] n. 1. a model or pattern of excellence or of a particular excellence 2. Printing. a 20-point type 3. an unusually large, round pearl v. 4. to compare; parallel 5. to be a match for; rival

BIRTHDAY

Asa Gray (1810), Dorothy Dix (1861), George Gallup (1901), Imogene Coca (1908), Hank Ballard (1927), Don Cherry (1936), Margaret Atwood (1939), Linda Evans (1942), Graham Parker (1950), Delroy Lindo (1952), Kevin Nealon (1953), Elizabeth Perkins (1960), Owen Wilson (1968), Duncan Sheik (1969), Mike Epps (1970), Chloë Sevigny (1974)

STANDPOINT

OK. What’s irking the shit out of me today is quite simple. People keep asking me, “Why do you write so angry?”

Yes. I write angry. Yes. I am occassionally an angry person. But that doesn’t mean much of anything except I’m one of those folks who’s easily bothered by the people I come into contact with everyday. And you may not be one of those folks. And that’s fine. But maybe you should be.

You see, my problem with people thinking I’m too angry is there aren’t enough of you out there who are remotely angry enough. Being angry or annoyed is not cool because everyone wants everyone to just be cool. But, the truth is, there aren’t enough of you out there acting remotely cool enough.

And, so, if I tend to get a bit animated or a little too passionate about the current state of most everything, you’ll have to forgive me. I’m just not down with everyone being so goddam down about stuff.

QUOTATION

What I’ve learned about teaching is to refer back to the root of that word, which is educo, which means “to pull from.” Education does not mean jamming information into somebody’s head. Rather, it’s that ancient idea that all knowledge is within us; to teach is to help somebody pull it out of themselves.Alan Arkin

TUNE

Tonight, I’m headed down, with Jer and Ezgi, to World Cafe Live in Philadelphia to see Blind Pilot. I hope I hear “The Story I Heard.” I really can’t imagine a scenario where I wouldn’t.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ Suddenly, pharmaceutical companies have come to the conclusion it might be a good idea to get into the preventive medicine business, instead of the curbing and/or curing side of it. In the next five years, there may be vaccines available for such maladies as Alzheimer’s disease, AIDS, Malaria, grass allergies and even something called traveler’s diarrhea. With the soaring prices of prescriptions and the subsequent scramble to find other options like the internet and Canada, maybe someone at one of these companies said somethig like, “Hey, what if we switch gears and actually try to find a genuine way to help people? I mean, we’ve tried everything else, right? Let’s give it a shot.” Funny, how a completely fucked economical situation can bring out the best in people.

A group of Native Americans, who’d filed a suit against the Washington Redskins over the use of the name “Redskins,” had their case tossed out by the US Supreme Court yesterday for, from what I can tell, is a complete technicality. I’m no lawyer, though, so I could easily be wrong. However, what I’m completely unwrong about is that the NFL franchise should just give up the name. We’re headed toward the future here, people, let’s keep our eyes on the ball. (Plus, the Redskins are so bad I’m sure hardly anyone would notice if they became the Washington Suckasses.)

Jonathan Safran Foer, author of one of my favorite books of all-time, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, has a new non-fiction novel coming out titled Eating Animals. Check out his interview with the AV Club.

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07.20.09 – Monday

Word: propitious [pruhpishuhs] adj. 1. presenting favorable conditions; favorable: propitious weather 2. indicative of favor; auspicious: propitious omens 3. favorably inclined; disposed to bestow favors or forgive: propitious gods

Birthday: Alexander the Great (356 BC), Francesco Petrarch (1304), Edmund Hillary (1919), Chuck Daly (1930), Natalie Wood (1938), Kim Carnes (1945), Carlos Santana (1947), Donna Dixon (1957), Billy Mays (1958), Frank Whaley (1963), Chris Cornell (1964), Stone Gossard (1966), Vitamin C (1969), Sandra Oh (1971), Omar Epps (1973)

Quotation: There’s nothing like getting arrested or winding up in the emergency room at Cedars to make you think you might not be a “social drinker.”Ed Begley Jr.

Tune: In the ongoing exploration of the thousands of unlistened to songs on my iPod, I’ve come across anothe song that I’m quite fond of – “Hidden Thieves” by Israeli band, missFlag.

Gallimaufry: “Had I known I was going to live this long, I might not have stepped down from the anchor desk so soon and missed out on a lot of the dandy stories of this last quarter century. However, I would not change the opportunities and the fun I’ve had with my family and friends, and the folks I’ve met sailing and traveling in these ensuing years.” Those were written a few years back by legendary anchorman Walter Cronkite and published in Charles Grodin‘s book, If I Only Knew Then…Learning From Our Mistakes. This past Saturday, Cronkite died at the age of 92, just three days before the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing, an event to which he will always be linked. Truly, an important and honorable man. For those of you who watched the final round of yesterday’s 2009 British Open, how heartbreaking was it to watch the 18th-hole collapse of 59-year old Tom Watson? The bogey put him in a four-hole playoff with Stewart Cink, who eventually captured the win after Watson triple-bogeyed the the 17th-hole. I’m not going to lie. I, like most everyone else watching, was pulling for Watson, who is probably unlikely to find himself in a situation like that in a major championship ever again. Jack Nicholson and Paul Rudd have been seen in Philadelphia as of late. They’re here for filming of a as-yet-unnamed James L. Brooks movie. So is Owen Wilson. And, over the weekend, Reese Witherspoon came into town and will be here until October. It’s time like this we can simply hope everyone behaves themselves and, months from now, we won’t be hearing amusing anecdotes about Philly’s unique style of hospitality on all the talk shows.