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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07.22.09 – Wednesday

Word: ineffable [in-efuh-buhl] adj. 1. incapable of being expressed or described in words; inexpressible: ineffable joy 2. not to be spoken because of its sacredness; unutterable: the ineffable name of the deity

Birthday: Gaspard de Prony (1755), Emma Lazarus (1849), Edward Hopper (1882), Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy (1890), Bob Dole (1923), Oscar De la Renta (1932), Louise Fletcher (1934), Tom Robbins (1936), Terence Stamp (1938), Alex Trebek (1940), George Clinton (1941), Bobby Sherman (1943), Danny Glover (1946), Albert Brooks (1947), Don Henley (1947), S. E. Hinton (1950), Al Di Meola (1954), Willem Dafoe (1955), Keith Sweat (1961), Rob Estes (1963), John Leguizamo (1964), David Spade (1964), Keyshawn Johnson (1972), Rufus Wainwright (1973)

Quotation: There are many in this old world of ours who hold that things break about even for all of us.  I have observed for example that we all get the same amount of ice.  The rich get it in the summertime and the poor get it in the winter.Bat Masterson

Tune: Oakland, California’s The Heavenly States made a song called “The Story Of” a few years back. According to my iPod, I listened to it over 300 times. The song is catchy. I remember reading somewhere The Heavenly States were the perfect fix for anyone who liked Dave Matthews Band but didn’t want their friends to know they actually liked DMB. I don’t see it. Maybe it has something to do with the fact both bands employ a violin in most of their songs.

Gallimaufry: Tyler Perry must be one helluva guy. After the disgraceful debacle at The Valley Club in Huntingdon Valley, PA last week, the playwright/TV series creator/screenwriter has decided the 65 children in the middle of it all need a vacation. So, what’s he doing? He’s sending them all to Disney World. “This is awful, and for anyone that has grown up in the inner-city, you know that one small act of kindness can change your life,” said Perry on his website. See? Sometimes people can be not shitty to each other. It’s hard to believe Michael Vick is only 29-years old. It seems like we’ve been hearing about the convicted dog-torturer for decades. Now that he’s completely free of any legal entanglements, Vick’s looking to get back into the NFL. But commissioner Roger Goodell isn’t committed to making any decisions anytime soon. Not even about if he’ll be making any decisions anytime soon. I, for one, would be pleased if I never again saw Vick in a football uniform again. But my gut tells me I will, and it will most likely be of the Dallas Cowboys variety. “The desire is there; that’s one component. The other component is opportunity.” That’s Alec Baldwin telling Playboy Magazine he’s maybe considering running for political office. I’m reasonably sure it’s only a matter of time before we turn all of our celebrities into politicians. It just seems to be where we’re headed.