03.19.10 – A Friday

word

tome [tohm] n. 1. a book, esp. a very heavy, large, or learned book 2. a volume forming a part of a larger work

birthday

William Bradford (1890), Wyatt Earp (1848), William Jennings Bryan (1860), Earl Warren (1891), Moms Mabley (1894), Irving Wallace (1916), Richie Ashburn (1927), Phillip Roth (1933), Ursula Andress (1936), Sirhan Sirhan (1944), Glenn Close (1947), Harvey Weinstein (1952), Bruce Willis (1955), Andy Reid (1958)

standpoint

Drums, please. Once again, it’s time for another installment of the Wishing Well, a weekly post detailing wrongs I wanted to see righted in this decaying world of ours.

I WISH everyone would stop with the, “I told you so’s,” about Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson. Like many of us, the fellow has his share of problems. Why is it that when people like A.I. start facing his their demons, most of us feel the need to point out how right we were all along? Cut the dude some slack, for crying out loud. Compassion is truly dead.

I WISH we’d all just agree to the fact that FOX News, like most other news channels, is a bunch of right-wing nonsense. Why are we still having this debate? Are people really that stupid? Don’t answer that. I’m all ready down on people to know the answer.

I WISH I’d never seen the footage of former Olympic skier Bill Johnson‘s crash on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. It made me so uneasy, I won’t even post it here.

I WISH I never read another “helpful” piece, or hear anyone complain, about how we are losing our privacy online. Seriously, folks, let’s get stop trying to figure out what’s wrong with the internet and start a nationwide search for our common sense.

I WISH I was at this year’s SXSW. Next year, I’ll be there. Try to stop me suckas!

What about you, people? What are you wishing for?

quotation

Paranoids are not paranoid because they’re paranoid, but because they keep putting themselves, fucking idiots, deliberately into paranoid situations.Thomas Pynchon

tune

One of the best kept secrets of the Philadelphia music scene, although he shouldn’t be because he’s that damn good, is Ben Arnold. He’s been playing around here for two decades now and, if you ever have the opportunity, you should definitely check out one of his live shows. Here’s “So Low.”

gallimaufry

I’ve never met Lerato Nomvuyo Mzamane but, for this alone, I love the woman. Let’s all hope she puts Oprah in her proper place.

→ When I read garbage like this, I’m absolutely certain, sooner or later, no one will be allowed to do anything at all. Ever.

→ Holy shit. When I grow up, I want to be exactly like this guy.

→ For the record, I’ll have nothing to say about college basketball, which is currently experiencing an episode of “madness,” due to an overall dearth of fondness for the proceedings.

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04.14.09 – Tuesday

[Note: Today’s post is a little longer than usual due to the passing of Philadelphia’s legendary broadcaster, Harry Kalas – a man who will forever be remembered as “The Voice of the Philadelphia Phillies.”]

Word: sycophant [sikuh-fuhnt, – fant, sahy-kuh-] n. a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite

Birthday: Shorty Rogers (1924), Rod Steiger (1925), Loretta Lynn (1935), Pete Rose (1941), Richard Jeni (1957), Brad Garrett (1960), Robert Carlyle (1961), Anthony Michael Hall (1968), Adrien Brody (1973), Sarah Michelle Gellar (1977), Win Butler (1980)

Occurence: 1865Abraham Lincoln is shot from behind by in Ford’s Theatre by John Wilkes Booth.

Standpoint: I remember one afternoon in college. My buddy Joe Taylor and I were watching NFL Films. I mentioned that the narrator’s voice sounded kind of familiar. Joe sat up from the couch. “You don’t know who that is?” I told my friend I didn’t. “It’s Harry Kalas! The guy who calls Phillies games with Richie Ashburn!  Are you shitting me?”I wasn’t “shitting” him. I just wasn’t an avid Phillies fan. At that point, I saw no reason to stir Joe up any further by explaining to him I didn’t know who Richie Ashburn was.

Harry Kalas died yesterday at the age of 73 while preparing to call a Phillies-Nationals game in Washington D.C. Before that afternoon with Joe, I did know who he was. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t a baseball fan. Growing up in Philadelphia, it was nearly impossible to not know the man who could’ve patented the phrase, “It’s outta here!”  After college, I eventually did get into baseball and came to share the common reverence held for “The Voice of the Philadelphia Phillies.” He was one of those rare announcers whose love for the game and his team oozed out into the living rooms of all watching. His soothing voice could go from completely relaxed to incredibly excited with the swing of a bat.

The game of baseball lost a true living legend yesterday. The one silver lining being repeated everywhere was that at least Kalas lived long enough to see one more Phillies World Championship last October. I was actually outside Citizens Bank Park when it happened and heard Kalas call it live when Brad Lidge got that third out. Simultaneously, I heard the roar from the crowd in the stadium. My friends out in the parking lot, looked toward the ballpark and lamented the fact that we weren’t inside to experience the ensuing euphoria. I thought to myself that I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I got to hear the best broadcaster in baseball history call the final out of the World Series. It was the people inside who missed out.

Further Reading.

Quotation: Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side and it holds the universe together. Carl Zwanzig

Tune: I first heard this song back on MTV’s 120 Minutes. (Remember when MTV played good songs?) “Mr E.’s Beautiful Blues” immediately made me buy everything I could by Eels.

Gallimaufry: Amazon.com is under fire for their new “adult” policy. The online bookstore has being accused of removing only “adult” literature dealing with homosexuality. (Amazon is claiming a glitch on the site.) Click here to learn more and sign the petition. (Thanks to Beth Treisner)…I suspect that “Facebook Users Get Worse Grades in College” is the first of many articles I’ll read in the next year about the negative effects of the popular social networking site…Al Franken is still not a United States Senator but it appears to be a matter of time until he is. Hey, Minnesota, let the guy in already. Jesse “The Body” Ventura used to be your governor. I mean, seriously.

Incoming: Tomorrow – What’s StumbleUpon?  Thursday – More of your Annoying Sayings/Misused Words (This is now going to be a permanent Thursday thing.) Friday3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead and 5 People I Wish Would Move to Another Planet.

03.19.09 – Thursday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: zeitgeist [tsahyt-gahyst] noun the spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time

Birthday: Wyatt  Earp (1848), William Jennings Bryan (1860), Earl Warren (1891), Richie Ashburn (1927), Sirhan Sirhan (1944), Glenn Close (1947), Harvey Weinstein (1952), Bruce Willis (1955)

Occurrence: 1987PTL Club televangelist Jim Bakker resigns due to a sex scandal, handing the reigns over to Jerry Falwell, who proceeded to lead a very esteemed career crusading against such evils as civil rights, homosexuality and Teletubbies, just to name a few.

Standpoint: The new Facebook interface is dreadful. The social networking site is claiming that it’s receiving “mixed reactions” to its new design but I haven’t found anything to suggest that anyone likes it at all. As I’m writing this on Wednesday night, the new Facebook application, “New Layout Vote on Facebook”, has the votes for at 31,825 and the votes against at 514,610. By my calculations (and math is not my strong suit), that’s a 16 to 1 ratio. Not exactly a close-call. Facebook seems to be emulating Twitter with the new design and I’m baffled as to why. Facebook dwarves Twitter in pure traffic volume so why would it change to a more Twitteresque appearance? The “News Feed” on my Homepage now gives me a staggering amount of information about my friends like their results of the “Who Sings That 80s Song?” quiz. I’m glad everyone seems to be scoring so high but do I really care? Not really. At this point, I’m wondering if/when Facebook will cave the way it did last month when it announced a new user’s terms of service only to rescind it days later. Bottom-line: If something is working perfectly fine, don’t redesign its homepage and make navigation cumbersome to the point of disinterest.

Quotation: The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.David Foster Wallace

Soupçon: In the movie Game of Death, the studio changed the plot and used actual footage from Bruce Lee’s funeral after the actor died midway through filming.

Tune: William Shatner has made a name for himself in the music biz by working with the likes of Ben Folds and Brad Paisley. Check out “I Can’t Get Behind That” – a spoken word duet with Henry Rollins. (I like the puppets in the video.)

Link: Ultimate Flash Face – This is too cool. Hours of fun. Try it.

Gallimaufry: The previews for the new NBC drama “Kings” made the show seem pretty ridiculous. Somehow, I found myself watching it this past Sunday night and guess what? Pretty strong. Christoper Egan (Julian Shepherd) is a little too Ryan Phillipe and Ian McShane (King Benjamin Silas) seems to play the same guy in everything I see him in but neither of those things will keep me from watching next week… I’ve read Tucker Carlson’s article “How Jon Stewart Went Bad” a couple of times now and I do feel Carlson isn’t completely off-base about certain points like Stewart’s softball tactics with Kerry in ’04 and Obama in ’08. But, Mr. Carlson, please. If the rest of the media feel that they can’t attack him out of fear or reverence or whatever, I don’t see how the blame falls on Stewart…Check out the 2009 National Douchebag Tournament. And before the comments start coming, the answer is no, I’m not one of the contestants.