09.15.09 – A Tuesday

WORD

itinerant [ahy-tin-er-uhnt, i-tin-] adj. 1. traveling from place to place, esp. on a circuit, as a minister, judge, or sales representative; itinerating; journeying 2. characterized by such traveling: itinerant preaching 3. working in one place for a comparatively short time and then moving on to work in another place, usually as a physical or outdoor laborer; characterized by alternating periods of working and wandering: an itinerant farm hand n. 4. a person who alternates between working and wandering 5. a person who travels from place to place, esp. for duty or business

BIRTHDAY

Marco Polo (1254), James Fenimore Cooper (1789), William Howard Taft (1857), Agatha Christie (1890), John N. Mitchell (1913), Nipsey Russell (1918), Bobby Short (1924), Cannonball Adderley (1928), Merlin Olsen (1940), Tommy Lee Jones (1946), Oliver Stone (1946), Wendie Jo Sperber (1958), Dan Marino (1961), Josh Charles (1971), Prince Henry of Wales (1984)

STANDPOINT

So, I was going to write about the plight of professional athletes in Philadelphia but I decided it’d be best to weigh in on this Kanye West-Taylor Swift debacle from the MTV Video Music Awards a couple of nights ago.

West, apparently upset that Beyoncé didn’t win in the Best Female Video category, came onstage and grabbed the microphone from Swift to publicly voice his objections to the final result. And everyone’s world was turned upside-down.

And rightfully so. It appeared as if Swift, one of the great thinkers of her generation, was about to share some of her poignant inner perspectives with all of us out here in the huddled masses. But West robbed everyone of hearing those life-changing words. For that, my friends, we should never forget or forgive. There was a great injustice done this past Sunday night. One that will undoubtedly leave a permanent mark on every facet of our society. Truly.

OK. If you’re having trouble figuring out the point I’m attempting to make, I’ll break it down for you – what Kanye West did to Taylor Swift doesn’t really matter for the simple reason that…well…it just doesn’t matter. I’m sure Swift was traumatized by the whole ordeal and I’m equally certain we’ll be hearing some overly-produced piece of fluff (that she and others will call “a song”) and she’ll be just fine.

President Obama was right when he called West “a jackass.” He didn’t say “enemy of the public.” Or “heinous criminal.” West acted like a jackass. Just like a lot of people you know.

Bottom line? It’s all about publicity and entertainment. I’d bet all of ten of my fingers that West and Swift have already privately resolved the situation. Unfortunately, the rest of us, dominated by the mindless, ultra-driven individuals who love to tell us what’s important and what’s not, will have to hear about this for a long time. Or, more likely until the end of the week. But it’ll feel like forever. At least to me.

QUOTATION

I always look for a woman who has a tattoo.  I see a woman with a tattoo, and I’m thinking, okay, here’s a gal who’s capable of making a decision she’ll regret in the future.Richard Jeni

TUNE

I thought since today would’ve been jazz great Cannonball Adderley‘s 81st birthday, it’d be best to commemorate it by sharing “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” – one of the greatest songs of all-time.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ Man, is this the year of the celebrity death or what? Sad to report Patrick Swayze died yesterday at the age of 57, finally losing his fight with pancreatic cancer. Swayze, while he was not always consistently making hit movies, was in some of the most popular films of all-time. The Outsiders. Red Dawn. Dirty Dancing. Road House. Ghost. Point Break. Donnie Darko. Rest In Peace, Dalton. BY THE WAY, I’d love for everyone who reads this to weigh-in on their favorite Patrick Swayze movie/moment.

→ One thing that will never ever change is this country’s obsession with “Seinfeld.” And rightfully so. Jerry and crew observed one of the most important rules of show business – always leaving the audience wanting more. And it is more we are about to receive as the cast of the popular sitcom ever will reunite on “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David’s HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Not exactly sure what the context will be, but Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards will all appear on the third episode of the upcoming season.

→ I know you all are just excited as I am the Philadelphia Flyers opened up training camp this past weekend. What’s that? You’re not? Well, you should be. Jerk.

07.28.09 – Tuesday

Word: vicissitude [vi-sis-i-tood, -tyood] n. 1. a change or variation occurring in the course of something 2. interchange or alternation, as of states or things 3. vicissitudes, successive, alternating, or changing phases or conditions, as of life or fortune; ups and downs: They remained friends through the vicissitudes of 40 years 4. regular change or succession of one state or thing to another 5. change; mutation; mutability

Birthday: Ignaz Bösendorfer (1796), Ballington Booth (1857), Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia (1860), Beatrix Potter (1866), Marcel Duchamp (1887), Barbara La Marr (1896), Rudy Vallee (1901), Charles Townes (1915), Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929), Junior Kimbrough (1930), Mike Bloomfield (1943), Bill Bradley (1943), Richard Wright (1943), Jim Davis (1945), Gerald Casale (1948), Sally Struthers (1948), Michael Hitchcock (1958), Lori Loughlin (1964), Stephen Lynch (1971), Elizabeth Berkley (1972), Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em (1990)

Quotation: People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order so they’ll have good voice boxes in case there’s ever anything really meaningful to say. Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Tune: The other day, I went through the list of music artists I’ve featured here and was pretty damn stupefied I’d never included anything by Pete Yorn. For the last several years, I always find myself coming back to his albums because, in some ways, they’re pretty close to perfect. At least most of the songs definitely are. Check out “Crystal Village” – off his second album, Day I Forgot. Also, he celebrated his 35th birthday yesterday. (Which you already knew because you read this blog everyday.)

Gallimaufry: If I went by Bob Poilon of NPR.org, and his list of the Best Albums of 2009 (So Far), I’d have to seriously consider that maybe I’m not as hip as I think I am, seeing as how I only own 4 out of 30. Wow. I gotta get on the stick and start listening to some more music. I mean, the year is halfway over already. Check it out and see how many of the albums you’ve got – you might just be as surprised as I was. Do you love Young Guns, and/or more importantly Young Guns II? Well, then I’m about to tell you about the best vacation idea you’ve possibly ever heard of in your life. The New Mexico Tourism Department has created a six-day intinerary designed to help you follow in the footsteps of the legendary Billy the Kid, including something called “The Billy the Kid Pageant.” There seems to be no mention of the fact William H. Bonney‘s (as The Kid was formally known) story is one that most scholars agree is mostly fiction. Likewise, it’s not known if vacationing Wild West enthusiasts will be participating in something Billy the Kid definitely did do, namely wandering around the desert for long stretches of time, starving and exhausted. In what can only be considered the boldest of bold moves, EW.com is challenging the longheld notion that 1939 was the best year for the release of films by offering instead…the year 1984. And it may just have a very valid, solidly based point on its hands. Some of the films that debuted 25 years ago? Footloose. Splash. Romancing The Stone. This Is Spinal Tap. The Natural. Sixteen Candles. The Karate Kid. Ghostbusters. Revenge of the Nerds. RED DAWN. The Terminator. Beverly Hills Cop. Johnny Dangerously. And so many more. Hard to believe all those movies were all released (a) in the same year and (b) a quarter century ago.