Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dropping the ball (without the disintegration of the persistence of memory)

Over the weekend a number of football games were essentially lost because a player failed to make what should have been a routine play. The Buffalo Bills (the only team named after a historical figure with the first name William) saw a game-winning catch dropped by receiver Stevie Johnson in the endzone during overtime; USC had a similar drop as they drove down late in the game against Notre Dame; and perhaps most notable was two missed "chip shot" field goals by the Boise State kicker, which allowed Nevada to thwart the Broncos hopes of competing for a national title.

Granted, had the Bills, Trojans, and Broncos played better earlier in their games and not had to rely on coming back late or pulling out the game in overtime, none of these three individuals would have been in the position to fail, but when there's that opportunity for making what would be called the "game-winning" score the failure to make the play must be considered what cost the team victory.

The Bills' receiver noted in a post-game interview that he'd never forgive himself the drop in the endzone. Certainly he would need to put it behind him and not dwell on it when the team plays next week, but he specifically noted that he'd never really get over that blown play. And this is on a Buffalo team that should have been ecstatic just to have made it to overtime against the Steelers.

The competitive spirit leaves deep scars.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Getting in touch with the TSA

The hullaballoo about the new TSA screening procedures (where at the security checkpoint one must choose a full-body scan or being patted down by a person) and the protest movement someone sought to organize today, a very busy travel day, to encourage people to choose the slower pat-down and drag down the system, makes me ponder the following question: Is the government secretly trying to make us want to get in shape?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Don't make me fail to refudiate Seth Myers, Oxford

The Oxford American Dictionary made its word of the year Sarah Palin's typographical error "refudiate".

That was mocked during Weekend Update this past Saturday in a piece Seth Myers called "Come On, Dictionary". He duly noted how risible it was at the time of creation even Palin admitted it was a flubbed amalgamation of "refute" and "repudiate" but later she pulled the best way to cover a mistake: claim it was clever, like how Shakespeare came up with new words. However, comparisons to the Bard aside, and faux pas or not, as Myers stated in his quasi-rant, to take two words that not only start the same but mean similar things and switch one of the letters in the one with one of the letters in the other to make a new third word that means essentially the same as the first two did does not make for a worthwhile addition to the lexicon.

But that's not what this is about.

Monday, November 22, 2010


A useful skill one can attain as an adult is learning not to feel guilty about things that are not one's fault.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The end of our Union. Or not. (Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the system.)

In an article I read not long ago the author pondered why the American public is relatively clueless about the nature of our economic woes and what the impact of the health care bill will have and all the associated circumstances that led to the "shellacking" the Democrats took a couple weeks ago. Ultimately, the accomplishments of the administration and the outgoing Congress should have been tout-worthy, but it proved shameful from a campaigning standpoint.

In short, the Democrats did a hideous job of convincing the public that what they did was good.

Or is it the Republicans did a masterful job of convincing the public that those accomplishments were harbingers of the end times unless they were undone before they could even have a chance to succeed or fail.

The only certainty is that the GOP pushes out a message in ways that the Dems cannot hope to match.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Kardashian sex machine... well, machine

Note to Kim Kardashian*: I accidentally saw some of you hosting the "25 Years of Sexy" special on ABC the other night (only until I found the remote). At the beginning you claimed to "know a little something about sexy," and yet every second you spoke you were so lifeless that it sounded like you don't. (It seemed more like not only did you not know something about sexy, you lacked familiarity with being conscious.)

You may want to do something about improving your skills at being an emcee (and with voiceover). Or fade into obscurity.

Either would work for the rest of us.


* Sure, she might read this. Eh, I can't even type that with a straight face.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dancing with the deluded

A Wisconsin man was so upset by Bristol Palin's routine on Dancing with the Stars, allegedly exclaiming she had no talent, that he shot his TV, which led to a showdown with the local SWAT team.

I have to imagine that Palin's mother would respect that more had the man shot the TV from a helicopter.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The best way to stop cell phone usage

Actual thing that happened last week:

The light rail train I take travels down the median of a main boulevard and then crosses over the southbound lanes and a crosswalk to head northwest. One morning as the train was waiting at that intersection the operator used the external loud speaker (which we on the train all could hear as well) to say to someone the following:  "You need to get your behind off the phone!"

I couldn't see from the second car to whom she addressed that order, but presumably someone was lollygagging on the tracks with a cell phone to his/her ear, oblivious to the large train waiting to go.

I may have to look into becoming a train operator just for that reason. How awesome would it be to blare a verbal ass-whooping with tons of steel to back you up?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tuesday Morning Coming Down

It's been two weeks since the election and there's been no further glossy fliers from the candidates or those promoting a proposition. Weeks and weeks of daily deluges of didactic documents, and then… nothing. I know that back on Election Day I was celebrating that it would stop, but it's such an abrupt transition that way. The building of postal attention followed the complete discontinuation makes it seem like those behind the mailings did not really care about us, had no interest in developing a genuine connection with us; all they wanted was our votes and then we were of no further worthiness.

Friday, November 12, 2010

When You're NOT the Sexiest Woman Alive

In the previous post I admitted that the newest inductee into Esquire's pantheon of sexiest women was someone I didn't recognize. One might think that accepting that title may reek of desperation for attention, and maybe so, maybe not. However, another magazine on the stands at the moment is an issue of GQ that really showcases desperation.

It features three members of the Glee cast on the cover. It's two of the young women (Lea Michele and Dianna Agron), and and one of the young men (Cory Monteith). The shot has the guy between the ladies, with his arms around their waists and his hand grasping their behinds.

However, to see the real desperation one needs to check out the photos in the spread inside.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sexiest Woman Alive. Whoever She Is.

There was a period of years in the last decade when I had an Esquire subscription. The primary reason was for the Chuck Klosterman columns that used to run in that magazine, which were enjoyable more often than they weren't, but I would read other parts of the issues as well. In 2004 they started bestowing the hypothetical honor of "the sexiest woman alive," which would feature a pictorial and interview with the feted one, and the photos (not surprisingly) would show the woman in a way that played up her sexuality. Not as much as Playboy would, in that there'd be specific spots on her body that could not be shown uncovered, but not entirely dissimilarly.

I'm sure it sold magazines. However, I think part of the appeal was not merely seeing a woman in a seductive pictorial—magazines like Maxim have those every issue, if one is looking for that. No, it was seeing the specific women, who tended to be reasonably popular celebrities.

The first one was a household name: Angelina Jolie. And it truly was a phenomenal cover photo they had for that one (see right).

Monday, November 08, 2010

The Real Great Political Divide

Everyone seems to agree that ours is a country that's divided politically, but the flaw with that conclusion is not so much the division itself but who is on the different sides. It's not conservatives vs. liberals, or Tea Party vs. GOP, or even major parties vs. third parties; ultimately, all of those people are on the same side.

Yes, you read that right. Voters of the Republican, Democratic, and independent persuasions are all together here. They constitute the party of those who actively involved in the political process, of those who are actively invested in the game. These people feel passionately about not only their positions and candidates but about the concept of politics.

On the other side are those who don't vote, or who only vote intermittently, and for whom politics is merely that thing necessary for achieving the larger goal of governing.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Boehner's genius

Presumptive Speaker Boehner made some statement about how the GOP gains in the House was a "referendum" from the American people to repeal "Obamacare."

Memo to the representative: First, unless you ask each and every voter individually whether that was the case, you're talking out of your ass. But, okay, conceding you were stating your opinion, here's the question: How would devoting energy to that (which isn't in effect yet) actually do anything about the state of the economy in 2011? If you don't care about helping the country but merely want to exact some level of virtual retribution for a perceived wrong in the past, that may offer a temporary sense of satisfaction, but it seems to suggest you're not interested in doing anything for the  benefit of the country's biggest issue.

The largest demographic is actually non-voters, and this vengeance-based agenda you've suggested seems unlikely to pull any of them to your side.

Ah, but I suspect your aim may actually be to drive more of the public to that group, and thus reduce the pool of who might vote for the other side.

Bravo, sir. Insidiously clever.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Hooray! Sanity is Over!

We've reached the end of the first week of November, and one of the best things about this time is: The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear is over, and now the subset of those who were commenting on that can stop talking about it. As with the election, we may have a bit more time putting up with some post-game stuff, but soon any interest as a general topic will expire.

Thank goodness.

The election was politics. The rally was not (as I mentioned it would not be a month ago). Jon Stewart stated that emphatically many, many times. However, those who were so fascinated by the rally clearly could not accept that, presumably because they need to project on to it what they wanted it to be—namely, a rally for their agenda. I'm not so oblivious that I don't grasp that the somewhat amorphous mission statement of the rally allows those who seek a more definitive message to impose their more definitive message on to it (in their minds).

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Thanks a lot, Delaware

Now that the big election (like any election is "small") is over, I have to say: I cannot believe what voters in Delaware did to us. They had the chance to send spitfire (and Tea Party darling) Christine O'Donnell to the U.S. Senate but instead went with "tax man" Chris Coons.

In the Senate O'Donnell would be constrained and forced to at least feign an attempt at governing, but now she'll be free to go be a pundit for Fox News, following the lead of her quasi-mentor Sarah Palin.

Come on, Delaware. When O'Donnell got the GOP nomination she befuddled the establishment so much that even feminists declared part of her appeal was that she was the pretty one. Just look at her:
Compared to Coons' bald head, isn't she's stunning? Isn't that what you were supposedly looking for? Are you really that not-shallow?

Now it's only a matter of time until there's no escaping her on the cable news tsunami.

Eh, what else should we have expected from the "blue hen" state? Shows what they know about politics...

Monday, November 01, 2010

The madness stops Tuesday

No matter what comes of tomorrow's general election there'll be one way in which all—Democrats, Republicans, independents, non-voters—will benefit equally:
All of this came on the same day. Seriously.
Our mailboxes will cease to be filled with campaign fliers every day. There'll be room for the non-politically themed junk mail to which we are accustomed.

So we have that to look forward to, whether we like the results of the election or not.