9.19.2007

KG--2nd Degree Say What?


Check out this quote about Celtics great Kevin Garnett:
Kevin began high school as a 6’6, pencil thin 9th grader immediately earning the starting nod for the Maudlin High School Mavericks. His game was beginning to take off and Kevin was starting to build a name for himself, when everything took a turn. In the summer going into Kevin’s Sr. year of high school, Kevin and 5 friends were charged with second-degree lynching (charges were later dropped). This prompted the move to Chicago where Kevin would flourish.
2nd Degree lynching? According to Wikipedia:
during the summer prior to his senior year of high school, Kevin was in the general vicinity of a fight between black and white students. Although, not directly involved, Garnett was arrested. Due to the racially charged incident and fearful of being a target, Garnett decided to leave Mauldin.
Does anyone know any more about this KG arrest? Is lynching really a charge in cases where no one gets lynched? As usual I'm too lazy to actually do any research on this myself, but it struck me as cosmically odd...

Link via TrueHoop

Fall-Out Boy: Don't Tase Me Bro!


First of all, let's give a big round of applause for Fall Out Boy. They rock. They even covered Joy Division's final, immortal single "Love Will Tear Us Apart" and it was fucking awesome, it totally made me forget Ian Curtis... But judge for yourself (Itunes required). That shiznit is sick.

Speaking of Fall Out Boy, I wonder how Andrew Meyer is doing since he was tased... Oh, luckily he has a website that has been updated since the incident by friends. Naturally people have been commenting on the fact that the rest of his videos involve antics and pranks of a various sort; others have pointed out that regardless of whether it was some kind of PR stunt or not, his conduct definitely did not justify his handcuffed-tasing. BTW I'm uncertain of the proper verb forms for "to tase"... I imagine others say "tasering" and they may be right, I am simply too lazy to care beyond this paragraph. Tasing seems right to me.

In any event, Meyer is obviously a savvy performer-type and probably not insane after all... Oh well, what I said about the police "mistakenly" shooting mentally ill people still obviously applies.

BTW I continue to think Andrew Meyer is at the very least hypo-manic. Either that or on tons of Vitamin R. But words cannot express my horror at what has befallen this obviously fine gent.

9.18.2007

More Juice

Okay, I know because of the limitlessly ironic tone of this blog it is actually impossible to tell when I'm being serious, but what the hell is wrong with America?
"O.J. Three!" CBS radio correspondent Steve Futterman cried when he spotted NBC reporter George Lewis standing on the courthouse steps. Both men had covered Simpson's criminal and civil trials.

Futterman held up three fingers. Lewis waved back with the same sign.

"I've been hearing from all the old crowd," Lewis said.

"It's like ESPN Classic out here," Futterman replied.
These are the objective reporters covering a case where a man literally faces life. Glad to know they aren't taking their journalistic responsibility lightly. Great work you sad sack fucks, so you've been stuck in the same go no where jobs for the last thirteen years, great, thanks for sharing. Honestly, the charges against OJ seem suspect, the leaked audio is disgusting, while all of this is so ugly and stupid it boggles the imagination.

Meanwhile, well-intentioned Kerry questioners are tased like Rodney King:

Pretty unbelievable they found it necessary to tase him even after they had him on the ground, as others have noted. On top of everything, I think it's entirely possible that this kid was having some kind of manic episode. I'm no doctor, but I have some anecdotal experience with these matters, and his pressured-speech in particular seems characteristic of the early stages of mania. Later, in another video, as he is being led away by police he openly worries that he is going to be killed by "the government," which (while entirely justified under the circumstances) strikes me as also potentially symptomatic. If this guy is/was mentally ill, it makes his manhandling by police only more unforgivable. I don't have reliable statistics in front of me, but I shudder to imagine how many mentally ill people are "mistakenly" killed each year.

I ask, following as always the lead of Juvenal: Qui custodiet ispos custodes?

Isiah Thomas

This is one of the better discussions of the MSG sexual harassment debacle. Finally, someone with a little love for Zeke!

This quote has to be one of the best sentences I've read all year. Honestly, this is pure gold:
And worse, it has to be humiliating that he's being portrayed as someone who can't properly seduce a subordinate through coercion, intimidation, and disrespect. You don't go after a man's professionalism and management skills like that.
Did you catch all of that? Up until now I hadn't realized there was a "proper" way to "seduce a subordinate through coercion, intimidation, and disrespect," but thanks to this brilliant line, I realize that, of course, there is!

Also mad respect for the following sentence:
This is a woman who spends her time collecting big money--like, Jim McIvaine paper--while emailing the head of Madison Square Garden to ask important questions, like why her name isn't listed higher in the team's media guide.
Are you kidding me? Dropping a Jim McIlvaine reference while making Isiah's accuser look like an overpaid fool? Priceless. Friends, his whole post is a sustained piece of hilarity. Brilliantly done. Worthy of our Golden Age, almost...

Anyway, Straight Bangin' is getting added to the Hoops BR immediately.

Link via TrueHoop

9.16.2007

Notes on Juice with a side of Franks


Okay, so Juice was arrested, apparently guns were confiscated, yet Beardsley, no doubt swayed by my revelatory blog post, has decided he wants to forget about the whole thing and that he was on OJ's side all along... Amazing turn of events. I'm sure this won't get much media coverage, so I'll be sure to keep you updated on the details as they emerge. (Was anyone else shocked to learn OJ is 60? He's 47 4EVA as far as D-M is conerned.--Ed.)

Second, Frank Rich is out of control. Check out this flip remark from his Sunday column:
On cable the hearings fought for coverage with Britney Spears's latest self-immolation and the fate of Madeleine McCann, our latest JonBenet Ramsey stand-in.
Is that not the definition of flip? Who is Mister Rich to so quickly anoint anyone as a stand-in for our beloved, lost Job-Benet? Was Madeleine McCann a talented beauty pageant contestant? Could she sing? Was she principled in her responses to judge's questions? We just don't know. And neither does Mister Rich.

I mean, sure, he's been right on about the whole Iraq War thing, but can this degree of journalistic largesse from the primary columnist at the New York Times be tolerated? I think not, friends, I think not.

9.14.2007

Basketball Blogs


Lately, I've been paying more and more attention to basketball blogs. They are, in general, much more well written, much more concise, and much much much etc. more entertaining than all political blogs, which, as a general rule, suck (they are endlessly long-winded, plus nobody wants to read a journal article on a blog, no one, I say! Cf this failed blog).

I mean, really, the "vitriol" expressed in political blogs is for the most part incredibly passé. It's like the endless recycling of "Cross-overs" and "Universe-shaking-events" in comic books, a cynical ploy to draw interest, an ultimately bland expression of intensity for intensity's sake. Politics in America lacks all teleology, and thus blogs covering it lack all value. Okay, maybe you logic sticklers will say I'm drawing "spurious" conclusions from faultily argued points. But all of this is totally beside my point anyway.

TrueHoop by Henry Abbott is the de rigeur choice for those in the know. Henry is a sensitive, intelligent, totally non-partisan (though his allegiance to the Blazers runs deep, so keep him in your thoughts) NBA commentator, and what's more, he's a great writer, a joy to read in a world of choppy, indifferently composed, malformed NBA-related prose. On top of that, he seems to have some pretty good connections throughout the league thanks to a number of years covering the hoops as a blogger and as a freelancer.

When Henry is on vacation, Kelly Dwyer from SI blogs in his place, and it is a real shame he doesn't have a blog of his own, because this guy is awesome. He even recaps old games from the 90's which he has meticulously transferred from VHS to DVD! Wow, that is so cool. It approximates the "graduate-student" obsessiveness to such a degree I think that Kelly, Henry and John Hollinger (who also writes for my beloved New York Sun) may ultimately have to open some kind of "NBA Writer's College." Okay, that's going too far. I've lost myself to my inner flatterer.

But in any event, for those who care, these gents are at the top of NBA writing as far as this writing instructor is concerned, and what's more important, they seem to actually really know what they are writing about!

Some other blogs/sites I enjoy include:

CelticsBlog

Knickerblogger

82 Games (Best site for detailed stats)

Brian Windhorst

NBA Sports Blog

Detroit Bad Boys

Blazer's Edge

Oops... OJ did it again!

After my (somewhat) recent "If I Did It" content, I would be way out of line not to mention the fact that OJ is embroiled in a potentially hilarious investigation into a Las Vegas break-in!
But before we rush to judgment, let's all remember that OJ has been set-up before. In fact, after years of searching for the real killers, Juice has developed some serious investigative skills of his own:
Simpson told the Associated Press he was conducting a "sting operation" to collect his belongings when he was escorted into the room at the Palace Station casino. Police say the former NFL star, who was in town for a friend's wedding, is a suspect in the reported break-in...The customer claimed to have confiscated the items from Simpson because Simpson owed him money, Riccio told FOX5 News.
See, OJ was just running a simple "sting" to get back some of his stuff that had been lifted during the confusion following that whole "murder" hullabaloo. Nothing shady here at all.

In fact, I think it's time we turned the tables. The real villain in this situation is clearly the thieving sports-merchant Alfred Beardsley. According to Tom Riccio, clearly a trustworthy auction house employee, there were no guns at the scene of the incident. So why would Beardsley say there were? Is it because OJ is BLACK? As everyone in America knows, the only people who ever employ guns while committing crimes are black, so, igitur, if OJ committed a crime, he definitely had a gun. This is the most classic example of Fuhrman-esque racism since Fuhrman himself!

You can draw your own conclusions based on what "evidence" comes out from this point forward, but as far as I'm concerned, this case is closed!

9.12.2007

Content with new Content

Time has come for rhapsodic listing. No, this isn't a symptom of an oncoming manic episode, rather a form of reinvigoratory brain-storming, a classic writerly trick to get myself back on the blogging wagon.

So first of all, we've got to address the issue of subject matter. Needless to say, I am less than interested in the whole Media/Death obsession thing at this point. Besides, that wave has broken, flooding Aruban beaches like the granulated bones of Natalee Holloway. Who wants to bet that "Natalee" was not an approved spelling of that name before 2005? It suffices to say that the subject matter of this blog is from this point forward completely open, and though I won't be changing the blog's name anytime soon, the focus is a-broadening!

That said, I would be remiss if I didn't comment on the Phil Spector case. As a musician, and a blogger, and a musical blogger, it is hard for me to hear stories of Spector holding pistols to scores of womens' heads over literally decades without cringing, as if my own inner "Wall-Of-Sound" has been penetrated by a drunken bullet of doubt. It's like unwanted stereo in a mono world. Here is my sole comment on the Spector trial:

Phil's is my ultimate aspiration as far as hair is concerned. As far as sound is concerned, I favor Eno, Shields, Visconti, Jimmy Page...

In other matters, what's with the neglect of the Carolingian Empire in educational circles, and of the years 476-1453 more generally?


Looking at that map, those cats were mad serious. I mean, geographically speaking, Charlemagne (though let's not forget Charles "The Hammer" Martel and Pepin the Short who both did a mean job laying foundations, rather like Philip II of Macedon...) really had a sick amount of land at his disposal. As empire's go, was Napoleon's any better at its height?

Not really, right? But we're all materialists, so what gives? Neither empire lasted very long, but the Carolingian certainly outlasted the meager 14 years of Napoleon... And are not France and Germany still vital and important parts of the world's culture and... Okay, never mind. But the Middle Ages need more love. Much more love.

I think that's all for now. Oh right, Sarah Silverman's show is halfway decent.

9/11


Spent some pre-work hours today reliving 9/11, again, on MSNBC. That, my friends, is not redundant, because "reliving...again" is different from "living...again"... Sorry.

Watching the footage, what strikes you most of all is how absolutely clueless everyone is about what is happening. It's a complete logistical failure to assess the situation on the part of the Federal Government. It's exactly like Katrina. And Bush was reelected because of this nightmare? Amazing.

Anyway, I have a few thoughts that are safe to share now that 9/11 is over.

First, Barack Obama was so right to call out "Petraeus and Crocker" (proxies for GWB) for scheduling the surge update to coincide with 9/11... What a coincidence.

Second, Tom Brokaw is, to quote Actual Rod, an absolute animal. On the actual 9/11 I lived without cable in an awful off-campus apartment, and we only got ABC so I was led through the day by the subtle and sensitive (and now dead) Peter Jennings. Tom Brokaw was full of patriotic vitriol and bluster, mentioning how the USA is "The Most Powerful Nation in THE HISTORY of the WORLD" so many times that he completely gives up the ghost of his so-called "objectivity"... Really, he's so caught up in his jingoistic tirades he barely notices when the first tower collapses! Hilarious. That clown left not a moment too soon. I wish deeply that Peter (Canadian) Jennings was still with us...

Third, why does the 6th anniversary seem like a much bigger deal to me than the 5th? I was in New York for both, listened to the radio, watched tv, etc, both days, but this year I feel absolutely overwhelmed with 9/11 coverage, while last year it seemed some measure of closure was FINALLY beginning to set in... Maybe this is just me.

Fourth, the 9/11 conspiracy movement, much as I admire its adherent's tenacity, is totally full of it. The funny part about that lot is they focus on the so-called "hard science" that "disproves" events only to have their "proof" refuted again and again by ACTUAL scientists. Far better to take a tactic like this one: "Atta and his gang were all being secretly funneled money NOT from Al Quaeda, but from a Halliburton shell company, etc..." This surely is a better way, but it requires more imagination than those materialist imbeciles can muster.

Lastly, if there is another, worse, more destructive terrorist attack on the US, what happens to our appraisal/commemoration of 9/11? Is there potential for competitive grief? Does the new attack automatically go by its date also? Have we learned anything as a nation in the wake of the many cynical manipulations (Iraq) of patriotic sympathy by the current administration? Just something I wonder about as dark shadows pass over my window in Upper Manhattan.

Oh, really lastly this time, Joe Zawinul died today in Vienna at age 75. "In a Silent Way" is one of the most beautiful compositions I know. Zawinul was a master, but, like Aaliyah and Chandra Levy before him, his death will be swallowed up by the all-consuming culture relevance point, 9/11.

9.05.2007