Friday, December 24, 2010

Idiot Box 2010

I suppose that title is a misnomer. Yes there are thousands of dumb shows on television, but why watch swill when there is also quality, textured progamming? This post isn't about the swill either, so chalk the title and this opening bit to my goats-mandated compulsion for obfuscated attempts at meta-comment.

Yes, well, recently-aired television in the form of a list of the shows that are programed to record on my digital video recording machine. I will mourn that machine briefly when I soon do not have it. That's what I was getting at. It's straightforward.

The Walking Dead
Why I watch: The first episode is pretty much amazing. Zombies are cool. Post-apocalyptic imagery a la top photo.
Quibble: Only 6 episodes of this exist, still gets mad slow toward the end.

Boardwalk Empire
Why I watch: It's the Sopranos in prohibition-era Atlantic City. Offers perception of 1920s American life and politics. Good to great acting performances from the four major characters. Omar from the Wire plays a character named Chalky White. Paz de la Huerta could be the Joe DiMaggio of televised nudity.
Quibble: Can get a bit heavy-handed with the metaphors.

30 for 30
Why I watch: Documentaries about different subjects by different filmmakers hit and miss, with the best transcending sports and exploring modern humanity. The Iverson one (No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson), the OJ chase one (June 17, 1994) and the Colombian soccer one (The Two Escobars) spring to mind. June 17, 1994 is one of my favorite pieces of media that I have consumed, like visualizing part of a Don Delillo novel.
Quibble: Some of them aren't as good, like the one about the origins of fantasy baseball.

Sons of Anarchy
Why I watch: Motorcycle gang members do their thing, run guns, fight the enemy of the week (Aryans, IRA, Feds, etc.) but with hearts of occasional gold. Not unbelievable characters confronting each other and their legacy. Peggy Bundy and Ron Perlman (HellBoy) as the motorcycle mama and daddy respectively.
Quibbles: Muddled at times. One of the main character's name is "Jax".

Why I watch: Louis CK is funny as hell. Provides a good mix of stand-up and horrible situations. Sometimes both, like this confrontation with a heckler.
Quibble: Darkly hard to describe.

Doctor Who
Why I watch:This mostly.

Quibbles: British. Nerdy.

Mad Men
Why I watch: Don Draper et al doing Don Draper et al things. The dialogue. Pete Campbell's wide variety of blue suits. Hipster cred.
Quibble: Can devolve into idealized, if imperfect, vision of history.

South Park
Why I watch: Al Quaida crashing jet-liners into people from New Jersey, and in the process stopping the advancing horde of New Jerseyites.
Quibble: Kind of shitty these days, you know?

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Why I watch: Philadelphia is in the name. It's grotesquely funny and quotable.
Quibble: Not enjoyable while stoned.

Why I watch: Along with Louie, a half-hour comic show with smarts that is hard to define. Chevy Chase in a wheelchair. Probably all the characters.
Quibble: Could be described as dramedy.

Top Chef
Why I watch: Bunch of crazy good food. Host Padma Laksmi. Fulfills weekly recommended intake of reality show drama.
Quibble: Hyper-kinetic cuts in editing.

The Venture Brothers
Why I watch: Cartoon satire of heroes and villains. Brock Sampson. Horribly inventive.
Quibble: Half the time I don't know what's going on, plotwise.

Other shows in the DVR that I don't feel like writing about right now because they are off-season or cancelled or whatever, but still I would watch them maybe: Treme, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Futurama, Terriers, Archer, Better off Ted.

So there you have it. If I were to put a gun to your head and tell you to watch one of these, it would be June 17, 1994 or Louie or Community depending on my perception of your sensibilities.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bagger 288

Here's the AV Club's of the best films of 2010, which I endorse, having seen only number 4. Next is Exit Through the Gift Shop because it is on Neflix streaming. Score! Although I would like to make in-the-know jokes about something called "Winter's Bone".

"Half of its users use Twitter as like a sort of digital closet that they go into once in a while to mutter to themselves, with no one else listening."

This essay on a video game is notable if only for the introduction of the term BFCockPOOT (Brett Favre's Cock Principle of Ontological Transference).

Great moment in sour grapes journalism? Or greatest? Cliff Lee=1893 World's Fair=9/11 Health Bill blockage=All My Children.

That's it. Merry Christmas from Lamar Odom and family.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

RIP idealism

A few notes on giving peace a chance:

There is a scene in the possibly underseen "In Bruges" where Colin Ferrell beats the hell out of a American tourist, telling him "That's for John Lennon, you Yankee fuckin' cunt!" Later Farrell is dismayed to learn that his beating victim was actually Canadian. Humor!

Some reporter here just told me that the "real infamy" is there is more media coverage Lennon's death today than there was of the bombing of Pearl Harbor yesterday. This is the same guy who didn't understand why a "White Student Union" at the local university is a terrible idea. A king of merit-less arguments.

For some reason this reminds me of a Hunter S. Thompson quote about Richard Nixon representing the "dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character that almost every country in the world has learned to fear and despise." On instinct I find this to be true and think that anyone who disagrees is either lying to themselves or has willed themselves into ignorance, if those are two separate things.

How can one compare a musician who wrote songs about peace and love with the bombing of a Naval base? It's completely infuriating, these two things could not be any more different. Maybe there is some fundamental comparison as reflections of opposing forces that make up human nature, the urge to both create and destroy. Later we could discuss the relative merits of David Bowie and the Battle of Antietam.

A better comparison would between Lennon and Nixon, or better yet Lennon and J. Edgar Hoover. At least then it would be between two people, and not a person and historic event. Also possibly acceptable: Some connection between Lennon's murder and the bombing. Two sides of the same coin, yin yang, etc.

I'm not sure if I'm making much of a point here and I'm already tired of trying to explain myself. The plan was simply to commemorate the 30 anniversary of a guy's death that affected many millions of people. Best intentions turn foul and bitter, again. So I'll just end this with a recommendation to go listen to Happy Xmas (War is Over).

Monday, December 06, 2010

Strong men also cry

Burning someone with hot tea out of nowhere to early 90s synth-riffs. It just works for me, I don't know why. Later the viewer and Daniel Craig are filled in on why this happens; it is something about napping on the job and a prison term. "It wasn't until Capitol leaked "Ordinary World" to a radio station in Florida in the autumn of 1992 that it looked like Duran Duran mania might yet hit again." A welcome diversion, in any case.

The other day I was driving and thinking about what stylized violence could go along with The XX's Intro, or perhaps Neon Trees' Animal. The latter was playing on either the top 40 or "alternative" local radio station at the time, in between sultry-voiced commercials for a Linkin Park-brand iPad. But all I could think of was a terribly violent fight between a terminal cancer patient and her elderly mother, with cricket bats. They could easily be tricked into fighting, because of the mutually severe brain rot. Still, that may be too weird, personally. But I do like the idea of cricket bats. Talk to you later!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Get rich quick

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Things I read today

Fans of the Original 10 (RIP Tampa Bay Mutiny) know there's something else at stake Sunday. The rest of the band has its origins in the Philadelphia space rock scene of the early 90s. Knowledge is power ... France is Bacon. This is just the kind of thing that the British sporting press eats up like free bags of crisps, but there may be one avenue of escape for Bale: he’s Welsh. Robert Kraft once, controversially and perhaps not intentionally, gave one of his three Super Bowl rings to buff, Modigliani-headed Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin.

-various sources

edit: Too highbrow? Here (balls towel)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Economic codependence explained by dancing pandas

I have nothing of substance to add to that video, the mildly racist caricatures really put it well, in their rap battle.

New Girl Talk album dropped today, you may or may not be aware. Download it for the the novelty/partying if nothing else, if you have internet skills to do so. I mean ... ELO and GZA ... Radiohead and ODB ... and the rest.

I enjoyed this, about people in Olive Garden ads sharing their existential pain. The buzz generated by a story at work about an Olive Garden's pending existence made me as disgusted as I've ever been with my hometown/the human race. That day.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Beard eating

No one once said that it would impossible to write a newspaper column combining the McRib and moustaches. They were wrong.

If anyone has the Daft Punk Alive 2007 album on cassette tape or can make that somehow I will buy it off them for three dollars, maybe more.

It's nice that Conan O'Brien is back on the air, even if the show isn't called "One Night Closer to Death" as he joked during the show on Wednesday. That name is better.

True phrases that seemed unlikely 5 years ago: Pat Burrell two-time World Series champion.

And lastly, I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of writings from 2013, about the 2011 NFL lockout. Suddenly: Bedlam.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Cleaning out the queue: Dead songwriter edition

As always these are movies seen after they were sent to me through the mail. Looking at the rental history, I realize that I have been "slacking" on watching the Netflix, so much so that I am beginning to suspect that it is a waste of money. There are so many other ways to spend my time! Like watching movies on television, for example "Get Him to the Greek" on demand with my roommate and his awful girlfriend and noticing how Russell Brand basically rips off the whole choose life speech from Trainspotting. Or Avatar for the first time and then thinking for hours about the perfect joke to post on Facebook or Twitter or somewhere else and then not ever posting it. The joke was something like "Just watched Avatar for the first time, how did this cute little film slip below my radar?" I am so fucking clever or whatever.

Townes Van Zandt: Be Here to Love Me
"I'd like to write songs so good nobody understands them, including me."
-Townes Van Zandt
This is a documentary about a songwriter I'd never heard of until I saw the indie music video that was included in the World Series post from last month. That video was directed by the same person (Margaret Brown) as this movie, and there was link to it in the YouTube description. Which is a good example of the arbitrary methodology I use to find movies for the queue. Sometimes there is great success. Like this one -- a bit impressionistic maybe -- but a tender, unflinching look at a guy who had a messed up life what with the shock treatments and drugs and whatnot, when he wasn't writing great songs. As far as music documentaries go, you can't do much better than Steve Earle talking about Russian roulette.

Lawrence of Arabia
Here's me taking another step in a slow, agonizing attempt to see every film in the AFI top 100. Kind of like the crossing of the Nefud Desert in this film. I like to imagine some kid in 1962 getting his mind blown by seeing this for the first time. The most iconic score on this list, along with The Good The Bad and The Ugly.

A History of Violence
Stab him in the brain with his nosebone, Viggo! Later you can have rough sex with/rape Maria Bello on the stairs! The movie lives up to its title. Yet but, there is more subtlety than you might expect.

World's Greatest Dad
I still haven't watched this, indicative of my hatred of Robin Williams and what I was typing about earlier today before I had a gin fizz. Williams writes a fake suicide note for his son after said son dies in a terrible auto-erotic asphyxiation accident, is what I gather from the summary on the Netflix envelope.

Everything Is Illuminated
Ukrainians and Jews, together at last? The grandfather thinks he's blind and has a seeing-eye dog, yet he drives the car. You can't make this stuff up! (editors note: based on a true story)

The Searchers
John Wayne in the role he was born to play: Racist cowboy.

Ehhhhhhhnnnn, no. The trailer looked cool, but this is no Chopper. This movie kind of tries to be a combo of that and A Clockwork Orange, and fails terribly. Cash no. Robbo? No cash.

Run Lola Run
German techno. I probably would have liked this more if I'd seen it closer to when it came out, in 1998. Disjointed narratives and timelines were so much fresher then, you know? Still, she does run a lot.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Oh, here we go, this is one of the best films I've ever seen. It is based on a memoir of a stroke victim that he dictated entirely by blinking his left eye. This guy. At first I wanted to see it just because I was curious to how the hell he wrote a book. But also I've been thinking a lot about the mind-body problem, and this fits right in with that. A glimpse of what it would be like to exist as a brain trapped inside a body, a prisoner in one's own skin, learning to interact with world that is completely beyond your control. Note to self, an essay on this somehow? No.

Fantastic Mr. Fox
Foxes love them some whatever they do in this movie. Steal things?

Hot Tub Time Machine
Hilarious? Increasingly it seems the answer may be yes. I enjoy the comic stylings of Rob Corddry. He's in your face. And the black guy from the Office is also funny. And the rest of course.

For a Few Dollars More
I have little to no recollection of what happens in this movie. But rest assured Clint Eastwood kills a bunch of people. I think I liked it more than Fistful of Dollars. I don't know, blame the booze.

The Believer
Jewish Nazis: A recipe for disaster? If this movie is to be "believed" that could well be the case. Sorry. What's his name, Ryan Gosling, is a good actor, between this and Lars and Real Girl and the other one where he's the crackhead teacher.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Speaking of Nazis! It's amazing how these things come together sometimes. Maybe you heard of these books? The movie is good, if Swedish.

A Fistful of Dollars
I will be sad when Clint Eastwood dies. YOU CAN NEVER DIE, CLINT! Until you inevitably do of course.

The Kid Stays in the Picture
Self-narrated autobiography of Robert Evans, Hollywood producer behind Rosemary's Baby, The Godfather and Chinatown. Later he did a bunch of coke and was disgraced somehow. Surprisingly, in this film he focuses more on his successes than his disgrace. Patton Oswalt says it's the greatest Hollywood memoir ever, because Evans is the devil.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Yeah. I was really into the spaghetti Westerns for a while, and not without cause. I blame that Arcade Fire-Once Upon A Time in the West mash-up. And of course this. Spoilers.
Is that the music from Kill Bill 2?

Hard Target
See here.

The Descent
Quality horror flick, with the all-female cast going crazy with the claustrophobia and killing cave mutants with pick-axes and the nihilism. Best horror movie ever I want to say. I don't like horror movies though.

North by Northwest
A cool thing about watching some classic film for the first time is the rush of recognition where every pop culture reference barely understood previously comes into sudden, sharp focus. This has two such moments, the finale on Mt. Rushmore and Cary Grant getting chased by a crop duster.

Morvern Callar
I don't remember this at all ... something about a vacationing in Spain? Covering up a suicide? Whatever.

That's all for now, I am going to spend the next several weeks summoning the internal fortitude and willpower to go see 127 Hours in the theater when it finally comes to Philadelphia.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Twenty minutes later they walked along the street, umbrellas up, it was raining lightly, a few panhandlers, a woman in a mohawk and white makeup punching a doomsday leaflet into the belt buckle of Marvin's raincoat. PEACE IS COMING--BE PREPARED. Most the shops were open despite the hour or because of the hour and they were almost all below street level so you peered over a guardrail to see what they are selling, Role-Reveral Rubber Goods, or Endangered Fashions--jackets made from the skin of disappearing species.
They went into a hole in the wall place, a lot of cracked plaster and roachy baseboards and a stock of rare recordings. But you're not talking about old jazz 45s. These were phone taps you could buy, recordings of organized crime figures discussing their girlfriends or their lawyers, he's a hard-on with a briefcase--you're talking about men on the eleven o'clock news in cashmere overcoats with enough material you could clothe a Little League team from Taiwan. And phone taps of ordinary anonymous men and women, even more repellent-addictive, your next-door neighbor maybe, and Marvin understood how such a purchase could lead to stupefied hours of listening, could take take over a person's life, all the more so for the utter sucked-dry boredom of the recordings and how they provided the lure of every addiction, which is losing yourself to time.

I almost excerpted the part about Marvin having progessively worse-smelling BMs while traveling across Soviet Eastern Europe, but you know. This is more foretelling, considering it was copyrighted in 1997.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

For all the anti-DC talk you hear from politicos, most of them can't get enough of the place. The diagonally slicing arterial avenues are just larded with dudes in khaki pants and gold-buttoned blue blazers who, pre-Pelosi ethics rules, couldn't cram down enough lobbyist-purchased steaks at the charmlessly wood-panelled wine n' dine joints for which the district is so famous. You know how, yesterday, Politico's honchos bemoaned the state of distraction-driven political culture? Yeah, it's like that with politicians who campaign against Washington. Most of these people are having fun there.

-RIP Russ Feingold

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tangentially about the World Series

The reason why that video is there is extremely esoteric, even for this blog. It has something to with the mild resemblance that the singer has with San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson, what with the eyes being too close together. It was either this or something about Spoon and Mike Fontenot. So that's one "storyline" to watch, somehow. But what else?

The Josh Hamilton situation. I am deeply ambivalent toward Josh Hamilton. His success can represent victory over terrible addiction that can occur when the crutches a person has relied on for life are yoinked out unexpectedly (ie, he descended into drugs after he moved away from his parents and lost the ability to play baseball because he got hurt). There are parallels to be drawn between him and giant-headed recovering addict Don Gately, my favorite character in Infinite Jest. Maybe later. But on the other hand Hamilton's story of redemption through not trusting oneself with bills larger than a 20 also reflects the deep financial inequalities that exist in America. Like, if this guy couldn't hit a baseball 450 feet, he'd be dead and/or homeless I suspect. He's a meathead. Not to mention the whole God thing he's got going.


The Giants haven't won in a long time. It is an interesting fact that the Giants have not won a World Series since leaving New York. They are kind of even cursed, I read the other day on, what with the WS earthquake and the terrible 2002 loss to the Angels and Barry Bonds. I should be more hostile toward them, considering they knocked "my" team out in a series of bitterly contested games that could have gone either way. And said defeat prevented me from seeing any playoff games live this year. I didn't even care if the Phils made the World Series, I just wanted to see Game 7! FUCK* Anyway, yeah, go Giants. National League woo! Witnessing a friend's pure joy at seeing the Giants in the World Series makes me realize how jaded the Phillies recent string of success has made this town. "How quickly does the world owe you something that you only knew existed 10 seconds ago?"

In closing, this sentence I read on Deadspin earlier today: "I've heard from pretty reliable sources that Pat Burrell dresses up as The Machine, in full gimp decorum before games." You're goddamn right he does.

*That ticket is so getting burned in some sort of ritual sacrifice at some point.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Check out this dog

I like to think the owner of this dog is like the Ukrainian guy from Everything is Illuminated. "Many women want to be carnal with me, because of my premium dog." You know who trains their dog to do parkour, or "freestyle walking" as I derisively call it? Ukrainian hipsters, that's who. You see what happens when you remove the oppressive Soviet boot from these people's metaphorical necks? YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENS?!?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Gorillas were observed to play tag. Biologists said that gorilla taggers acquire some form of “advantage” by hitting competitors, and then preserve that advantage by running away, but it was not clear whether gorillas could be deemed conscious of the rules. Chimpanzees conducting border patrols kill the infants and seize the territory of other chimpanzee groups. Zoologists described two new species of pancake batfish living in the Gulf of Mexico. Cetologists found that female humpback whales seek out their girlfriends summer after summer. The death of as many as 500 million trees in the Amazon in 2005 was blamed on a single storm, and the recent death of as many as 500 penguins who washed ashore in Brazil remained unexplained. “What worries us,” said one Brazilian scientist, “is the absurdly high number of penguins.”

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It makes me appreciate the Phillies more somehow

Somehow because of the immense appreciation that already exists for the Phillies in my brain. With any luck they will be the most dominant hometown team a Philadelphia homer will ever see. Filled with great baseball, irrepressible and clutch and dirty and other adjectives. The Reds were called the Little Red Machine* this year but not any more. Also the Phillies color could also also be considered red, with the hats and all. Perhaps 'Little Red Machine' is a play on the actual team name and baseball history, but people who say that have never read The Giver.

The subject of the title of this post though is the prologue of Don Delillo's novel Underworld, and the raw enjoyment I derived in reading it. Delillo's prose is certainly more fun than 900 pages 15th Century Spanish in translation, i.e. Don Quixote. Anecdotally: I ripped through the 60 page Underworld prologue in one sitting the first time. And there is likely another reading coming before the end of the baseball playoffs. And then another some day in December when I really miss baseball. Televised baseball is everyday and then not at all, cold turkey.

Basic summary: Jackie Gleason vomits on Frank Sinatra's shoes while Bobby Thompson hits 'The Shot Heard Round The World' among other things. The other things include a kid who jumps the turnstiles and paper falling from the upper decks and J. Edgar Hoover. And now I've done more research, via a google image search, and the prologue was actually a separate thing, at one point, called "Pafko at the wall" until it became the Underworld prologue, at which point it became "The Triumph of Death" which is the name of the painting that J. Edgar Hoover is looking at because it fell on him while Gleason was vomiting.

Whatever, Delillo loves him his crazy style. And the ideas are funny/poignant. I'm no literary scholar, but I've certainly read enough to post about him on the internet. Airborne Toxic Event ain't just a LA indie band. So as jarring as it may be to jump from 1951 baseball to some broad painting 230 bombers in a post-cold war USA desert, you know its going somewhere. Like, I trust this author. There are going to be sudden changes in setting, and tangents about waste and sex and death and crowds and whatever else, but at the end, the audience is going to know what happens. Which really is kind of important when trying to tell a story.

*It's possible I'm remembering this wrong and the nickname was something less demeaning.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Recently learned there is something called "shoegaze" and the thing I don't like about it is that I like it. What I don't like though is the blatant unfinished nature of this video. What the fuck, have some professionalism YouTube user "ezekieldas" if that is your real name.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

This guy

I've seen this before, it's internet old for sure. But now seems like the correct time to put it here. Most recently via something called internet k-hole.

Monday, October 04, 2010

From the archives 2

I was checking the tracker for the first time in a while and May 2007 is wildly* popular. So I clicked on it and it's a fair representation of this blog, like it is before I was aware of post-modernism.

But May 2007 was some halcyon days, I can admit drunk, what with the "deathmatch listoff" and the thing about Starship Troopers being underrated, with this lead:

The 1997 film tells the tale of Johnny Rico, Dizzy Ibanez, Doogie Howser, Denise Richards and Gary Busey's son -- among others -- as they travel across space to train for and fight the inevitable giant insect war of the 23rd century.

*4 hits

edit: Pistol whip foreshadowing!.

Important college football coverage


Now is as good a time as any to write about Northwestern University football. The team's record is 5-0 after escaping Minnesota's off-putting new outdoor stadium. Outdoor football? In Minnesota? On television? That shit fucking blew my mind into pieces.

Anyway, yes, the "cardiac cats" as they are sometimes known, less so now than before their coach died of a heart attack. Jesus, I always do that, with the Randy Walker jokes, anytime I try to write something about Northwestern's football team. Suppose it's better to put it out there now, relatively near the beginning, move on and possibly delete this graf later. "To let the weight off my spleen, as it were."

The team itself? I'm not sold, despite the record which has come against the likes Central Michigan and Vanderbilt. It will be fun to say things like "They won a game on the road against the SEC" out of context. QB Dan Persa, the pride of Bethlehem, Pa.*, has ably filled in as Mike Kafka's heir apparent, now that he (Kafka) is dealing with the inescapable bureaucracy that is the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback situation.

I think its very important to point out Northwestern's style of play on offense here. They play super fast, comparable perhaps to the old 90s Buffalo Bills of Jim Kelly and Super Bowl losses, shotgun spread. Which perhaps could help explain Northwestern's inability to win a Bowl game. Too much pressure on the defense and what have you. The aforementioned Kafka attempted 78 passes in the Outback Bowl last January, for example. Although convenient, I wonder why that game has a wikipedia page.

Hmmm, what else. Nothing really. Do the students still do the thing where they shake their keys before kickoffs? I always thought that was stupid, like, look at how affluent I am! I have keys! Anyway, I'd be remiss not to link to this after a win over Minnesota. Likely the weirdest thing I've ever published.

*Although, to be honest, he's no Jonathan Taylor Thomas or Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

The tragedy—small in the scale of things, no doubt—of this film is that practically everyone watching it will miss this point. Practically everyone walking out will think they understand genius on the Internet. But almost none will have seen the real genius here. And that is tragedy because just at the moment when we celebrate the product of these two wonders—Zuckerberg and the Internet—working together, policymakers are conspiring ferociously with old world powers to remove the conditions for this success. As “network neutrality” gets bargained away—to add insult to injury, by an administration that was elected with the promise to defend it—the opportunities for the Zuckerbergs of tomorrow will shrink. And as they do, we will return more to the world where success depends upon permission. And privilege. And insiders. And where fewer turn their souls to inventing the next great idea.

-Aaron Sorkin is terribly overrated, unless you are over 40

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

For Sheikh Jabbar, desperate times required desperate measures. He arranged a meeting with Colonel John Tien of the US Army in which he asked for weapons and ammunition for his men to take on al-Qa'ida. At that point, they numbered in the dozens; eventually the forces, later known as the Sons of Iraq, swelled to 100,000. The Awakening had begun.

"People ask me what was the tipping point in Anbar Province," Colonel Tien said in an interview. "I would say 22 November, the day Sheikh Jabbar entered my tactical operations centre and said 'I want you to help me take back my neighbourhood'."

-well that's in depth article that would never be printed in the USA


Possible post idea: Dead comedians, in order

Sunday, September 26, 2010

There’s a case to be made, of course, that soccer is uniquely adapted for the creation of Federer Moments. Unlike tennis, which augments the player’s physical capabilities with a racket, soccer takes an essential physical tool—the hands—away from the player and forces him to compete in a state of artificial clumsiness. Soccer thus emphasizes the limits of the body and the difficulty of realizing intention. When a player does something amazing, we’re apt to see it not as a superhuman feat (he made the ball travel 150mph!), but as a human victory over what’s essentially an everyday difficulty. If the crisis of having a body is that it’s resistant to our will, soccer exaggerates the crisis, moves what you want to do even further away from what you can do, then gives us athletes who do what they want to anyway. That may be why moments of beauty in soccer, compared to those in other sports, nearly always feel like consolations.

-Run of Play essaying Pele and David Foster Wallace is good

Saturday, September 25, 2010

From the archives

So I was sitting here messing around with various and decided to click on some archives and see what I see. It's unpredictable even for me! And this post is memorable. That photoshop took a way long time for its quality, which is low.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A collection of shit

I decided to go through some of the things that never made it on here due to a variety of factors including lack of sobriety and the Philadelphia Eagles. The double line breaks indicate individual posts, originally, and this is in reverse chronological order. Enjoy?

-This is the a title of a post with no content I saved earlier today. Likely related to explaining how to browse for files on a computer for several hours to some white beard who is going to Dubai. With any luck he will be imprisoned. YES YOU CLICK OPEN TO OPEN THE PICTURE.

There is the Jump-Off, the broadcast headquarters of Psychopathic house station WFukOffRadio (call letters WFKO), where a nude model will duct-tape a Juggalo to a stripper's pole and then stuff an Ecstasy pill in his rectum. (Later, the Juggalo will suck tequila from a beer bong and vomit.) There is the Spazmatic Hangout, a dry saloon serving Faygo and the official Juggalo energy drink, ICP's Spazmatic!™, which tastes like a melted freeze-pop mixed with cough syrup (text on the can: "Insane Clown Posse's Frothy, Freaky, Frosty, Refreshing Energy Freshness Can of Shazam!"). At seven in the morning, watermelon-smashing comedian Gallagher will be found there nearly passed out, smoking a joint.
-all kidding aside I kind wish I had gone to gathering of the Juggalos

Big Red Son
Certainly the End of Something or Other, One Would Sort of Have to Think
Some Remarks on Kafka's Funniness from Which Probably Not Enough Has Been Removed
Authority and American Usage
The View from Mrs. Thompson's
How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart
Up, Simba
Consider the Lobster
Joseph Frank's Dostoevsky
-A post about David Foster Wallace's "Consider the Lobster" got as far as this, a list of the essays contained therein

A link about something called "NutriLoaf"

Cars are dicks

"You just don't get it do you, you dumb fuck."

The strange thing about my utter lack of education in management was that it didn’t seem to matter. As a principal and founding partner of a consulting firm that eventually grew to 600 employees, I interviewed, hired, and worked alongside hundreds of business-school graduates, and the impression I formed of the M.B.A. experience was that it involved taking two years out of your life and going deeply into debt, all for the sake of learning how to keep a straight face while using phrases like “out-of-the-box thinking,” “win-win situation,” and “core competencies.” When it came to picking teammates, I generally held out higher hopes for those individuals who had used their university years to learn about something other than business administration.
-business school is fucking worthless

It would be nice if maybe soldiers could die without being subject to sick fetishization by members of the local media.

The biannual goats movie guide (part 1)
If you want to see something swedish
If you want to see something about a Jewish Nazi
If you want to see a spaghetti Western
If you want to see a stupid-funny R-rated comedy
-This didn't get very far, now did it?

Arcade Fire songs in order
Rebellion (Lies)
Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
No Cars Go
Keep the Car Running
Half Life II (No Celebration)
Wake Up
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)\
We Used to Wait
Modern Man
Black Mirror
Neighborhood #2 (Laïka)
Crown of Love
-So incomplete/innaccurate!

He's an over-privileged boy
Who's careless with his words
His actions are the actions of a child
-And that takes us to the beginning of July, I'm done. This last one is a reference to this song by the way.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

This fucking guy

Elsewhere in my brain, this blog is stagnating terribly and may soon be abandoned. But I don't want to act rashly, this thing has been a part of my life for more than four years for better or worse. If it has to die, it will be a slow, painful death. The problem is I have too much "web presence" for my liking, between this and the twitter and facebook and another "professional" blog. I am the online editor of a daily newspaper. Today I wrote a column chastising commenters.

But perhaps the goats will come back in vogue, you never know. I would like to get to 1000 posts before complete abandonment, just from a personal achievement standpoint. And we are getting close, a few more haphazardly posted YouTube videos could do it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My daughter has come from Los Angeles to live with me. Rhoda is thirty-one, and she used to work in advertising, but now she’s a painter and a maker of other art that I’m not sure how to describe. Her field is bummers. Rhoda’s past exhibitions include leukemia-cluster art, floating-yuan art, water-rights art, and mental-health-funding-cuts art, which was piles of clothes painted bronze and rigged up with speakers that yelled. She has also made a lot of hand art and hair art. Eight years ago, shortly into her new career, while getting the hang of a radial-arm saw, Rhoda severed the index, middle, and ring fingers of her left hand. The surgeons reattached them, and Rhoda recovered nearly complete range of motion, but the shock of the injury caused some of her hair to fall out. She keeps her head shaved close now, a style that improves the plainness of face she inherited from me. Bald, she looks about fifteen years older than she is, but also terrifyingly smart and owlish, Lady Malcolm McDowell

-what the fuck I'm linking to the New Yorker now?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The juxtaposition of twitter is amazing, sometimes.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

A perhaps inevitable post about DFW and tennis

Watching the U.S. Open tennis for potential brawls, then flipping television channels back and forth between that and a FIBA basketball game between the United States and Angola which was being playing in Turkey barely held my attention. I will say Gael Monfils was mildly amusing, in attempting a between the legs shot in the first set for no apparent reason other than style (pictured). It's unfortunate that shot failed and that he lost to Djokovic, at least from a personal ratings standpoint.

It's natural when watching tennis that my mind, which has read much David Foster Wallace, will start thinking about the things he wrote about the sport. Because they are very smart. There is of course the Federer piece, which is widely read due to its internet availability. And there are other essays too because the dude was way into tennis, having played it as an amateur youth. Many pages of Infinite Jest are dedicated to how pupils at a tennis academy constantly squeeze tennis balls in the hand at the end of their disproportionately larger forehand arm. Hypertrophy. I think "How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart" a book review/essay on Austin's awful autobiography is notable in its ability to break down the athlete-fan dichotomy. Or maybe the pro athlete-amateur athlete-fan trichotomy. Ugh.

Its easy to fall into the black-white assumption of superhuman-pro-athlete v. fat-idiot-fan. But as with all things stark comparisons fall short. Fat slobs like to throw footballs too, and much appreciation of sport comes from playing. Thus a middle ground, in which amateur soccer players like myself watch the World Cup obsessively and those with country club memberships enjoy tennis and golf I assume. Playing a sport gives one more knowledge regarding the intricacies of how the game works -- call it muscle memory maybe -- than one can ever get watching it on a brightly lit screen.

I don't know if this was a point Wallace made in his Austin essay, or if the point is adequately described here, even. There really is no way to know right now because I donated that book to a vacation home. Because it was called "Consider the Lobster" and the cabin is in Maine, a state known lobster. And also because of gin.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

And not to put too fine a point on it, but who freaking cares? All great athletes are arrogant; some just hide it better on camera. The people ladling praise on the guy for saying shucks and thanking the equipment manager and generally being very Beaver Cleaver with everyone—"Durant always asks the [University of Texas] basketball sports information director, Scott McConnell, about his sons by name," the New York Times informs—evidently would rather use athletes as large vessels for vicarious moralizing, something to put down on the mantel next to the Precious Moments figurines, than admit we care about them only because they jump high.

-how dare you belittle media-driven idol worship

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This thing is as good a reason as any to download Google Chrome, I would say after being convinced to watch/do it the after the at least fourth time I went to the site via various internet links. It's an "interactive movie" involving the third best song on the new Arcade Fire record and whatever address you put in "of the home where you grew up" assuming there is enough google maps data on that particular address. Mine didn't so I was going to put in the NUKE address but I couldn't remember it and a cursory search was disrupted when I found this quote below and decided it needed to be posted. Anyway, yeah, cool thingy.

Kappa Sigmas at Davidson College (Davidson, NC) also lost their charter during the spring. New Members beat a goose to death with golf clubs in a public park -- after luring it to them with bread crumbs.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Songs best seen live

There are many different variables in whether a particular song is good in concert. A big one is whether the musician and the crowd can feed off each other's energy. I don't feel like listing any more, so let's get to the point. This is an attempt for to make a post about songs that when I hear them take me to a particular place in time, while trying to be less self-indulgent than that sounds and failing. Goats have eaten at least half these videos before.

Killing in the name of - Rage Against the Machine

An obvious choice.

National Anthem - Radiohead

What the fuck 3:49? No seriously I'd never even heard this before and then that opening riff (which is not at 3:49 because it is at the beginning, or was that obvious) goes and makes people crazy with euphoric joy.

Crystal Cat - Dan Deacon

That video is remarkably low budget. I think if I got a vote on what should be put in like a 1 terabyte thing that we could show civilization(?) in a millenia or two from now it might be that.

Korn - Blind

Oh man, remember Korn? Definitely superior to Deftones, yet so similar, like comparing Bakersfield to Sacramento. Anyway yeah you will probably will die if you heard this song in person 10 years ago.

Cypress Hill - Ain't goin out like that

I only picked this because "Insane in the Brain" is cliche. The best part is when they smoke the giant bong.


This is what it would kind of be like to see Led Zeppelin or The Who or some other 70s shit in a smaller venue. It was a good show at the Electric Factory anyway.

The Kids Aren't All Right - The offspring

This may be an outlier/wrong. Time to publish and call it a night.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Watching this last night, I was all like "Man I sure hope someone makes a gif of that so I can put it on my blog." Go team internet.

Also I'd like to type words here indicating that this Betty Draper character is an insolent child and a terrible person. I could tell because of her relating well to the child psychologist, and the daughter-slapping. "You're soft, Henry." Well, he's no philandering alcoholic, that's for sure.

In conclusion: Japanese businessmen and Highlights magazine.

Friday, August 20, 2010

And now for something completely different

Eventually one of the penguins, whom the zookeepers had named Merle, caught the butterfly and ate it. Then Merle died because that particular species of butterfly is poisonous to penguins. The end.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oh for fuck's sake

Memories fade over time, especially those about how a friend you hadn't seen in like five years can be a huge flake. So it's actually surprising when plans weeks in the making are abruptly canceled less than 24 hours before they are scheduled to take place. Oh, your spouse suddenly has to take a "Mission to Mars" and now you don't have anyone to watch your kid? Huh, I was under the impression that NASA tended to plan things out far in advance, unless there is like a huge asteroid bearing down on earth. Better call up Bruce Willis and his motley crew of roustabouts and roughnecks ... unfortunately they are done down at the spill in the gulf and have spread far and wide, necessitating chasing some guy on horseback down with helicopters. Where's Steve Buscemi? Why, the strip club of course, that lech.
Anyway, worthless.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Premier League Preview '10

Finally, the English soccer league preview no one knew they wanted: Teams as interpreted via internet videos. Selections made via a combination of drunken esoterics and personal frustration.


Aston Villa


Manchester United


West Bromwich Albion

Stoke City




Manchester City







West Ham

Birmingham City

Wigan Athletic

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Things I don't care for/about today

People who quit their jobs in "amusing" ways
James Buchanan, 15th president of the US
The term "game-changer" in non-sports any context
Paris Hilton
Black SUVs
90+ degree temperatures
Some guy on MTV's The Real World
This remix
The Cathy comic strip
Painting furniture with oil-based paint (Primer? God!)
The lack of fox soccer channel's HD feed on Verizon FIOS
The guy who called me a small man filled with high handed arrogance, with "absolute power" because I banned him from commenting on a website (wait no, I find this hilarious)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Goal of the season?

Only attempt this if your nickname is "Chichirito" for some reason. via

Sunday, August 08, 2010

You saw it here first

It is a good song even though I'm sick of it now because of twitter.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A conversation I have had multiple times

Me: Going to the Phils game tomorrow
Other person: Nice. Who's pitching?
Me: Fucking Joe Blanton/Jamie Moyer.
Other person: expression of marginal sympathy
Me: Yeah, I got season tickets, we see this asshole every time and its getting old.
Other person: Season tickets? Don't you get to see all the games?
Me: It's just a partial season plan, and I got half a seat, so 8 games or so. I see your eyes glazing over.
Other person: ...
Me: Our seats are in left field so I can't even see the pitcher, the main concern is who is playing left field for the opposing team. It's good when they win.
Other person: Oh yeah?
Me: We yell at them. The left fielders.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

I learned nothing from this.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Linky linky

pic via

Probably should have put this up on Friday, so you could have clicky clickied while we Phillies fans descended on Nationals Park in Washington D.C. like a plague of locusts. Or maybe a cloud of some smaller flying insect, that is less plague-like and all-consuming and more annoying. Like gnats. OH YEAH I WENT THERE BOTH LITERALLY AND FIGURATIVELY.

In case you are wondering where the hell the Mad Men Power Rankings are these days: This place. Reverse fingerbang alert! Lisanti is a hero.

Speaking of other things that are also on that particular web site: The Jersey Shore v. Kanye West's Twitter, which is better/more authentically enjoyable. My vote is for the twitter, because of the persian rugs. Also: Goblets. Is this serious?

James Franco may or may not be fucking with you. He made a short film called "Dicknose in Paris." It's exactly what you think.

In wildly depressing economic blog posts, this guy says call the current situation "a compressive deflationary contraction, because that's exactly what it is, an accelerating systemic collapse of activity due to over-investments in hyper-complexity."

This is another link I got off Harper's, that is interesting even if it's not exactly clear what the author saying, if anything.

I'm running out of steam. Come back later for an exciting list of the top ten mosh pits of all time.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What exactly is going on here?

How does a graphic artist/cereal executive determine the amount of savage cannibalistic glee with which the "Krunch Head" characters tear into bowls of what one must presume is smaller versions of themselves? Is there a standard archetype of how cartoons on the boxes of cheapo brands of cereal are drawn? Possibly Count Chocula-based? Also there is a natural tendency to draw a comparison with crackheads, considering both the name of the cereal and the dead-eyed mania that Mr. and Mrs. Krunch Head are splashing the milk out of the bowls. I find it highly unlikely that anyone would purchase this cereal intentionally.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why I enjoyed Inception

One reason was going to see it on the hottest day of the hottest summer so far. Because theaters are air-conditioned. But the weather is a banal reason for doing just about anything in human history, including this. The real reason is more about film, and the film, than what its doing outside. The spoiler alert is implied.

If there would be one word, it would be structure. Not so much narrative, because in my mind that implies the words that are spoken by the characters, which left something to be desired. No, the structure of the film is what makes it, in what I'll call my informed opinion, good. Comprehension is a wonderful thing.

I don't want to get into the specifics of Inception. Or maybe I do? Dreams within dreams. Actually four levels of dreams, if you count the shores of the subconscious they fall to when dying in dreams they can't wake up from. Also reality makes five. And each time the characters go into another dream, from their previous dream that they were dreaming, somehow their minds operate exponentially faster. This allows for a comprehensive assault on a snow fortress in the time it takes a van to drive off a bridge into a river.

In many filmmakers hands this would be convoluted. And it is, probably. But Christopher Nolan is nothing if not a precise and technical director. I can imagine him assigning a whole team of nerds to figure out how long each scene should be on each level of dreaming, when there is cutting back and forth between the aforementioned falling van and snow fort scenes, and also Joseph Gordon Levitt getting in gun battles/problem solving in a weightless environment. It feels accurate!

But I've already said to much, or possibly too little. Its a good movie, even if the gist of the final scene is apparent withing the first five minutes. This is coming from someone who'd take confusing over mindless any day when it comes to 2-hour 200-million dollar blockbusters. Not to hate on Transformers* of course. Many people lack comprehension skills, thus summer media besides Mad Men tends to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Anyway, Inception is a good movie, the best to come out in this blighted film season. It inspired me to make some post using the structure that fits it so well. It might of worked, but we'll never know because in the end I just had a glass of whiskey to loosen my typing fingers and did this instead.

*hate on Transformers 2 is welcome**

**fucking jive-talking robots

Friday, July 23, 2010

How was I not aware of this until today? I specifically said that I was to be informed of all hysterical reactions to natural phenomena.

edit: So I decided I needed to record the dialog from that video for those of you who can't access Youtube (these people exist?) ... it's a better use of my time* than my usual workday, which as you might of guessed spent mostly playing ACTION TURNIP!!!

Whoa that's a full rainbow all the way
Double rainbow oh my god
It's a double rainbow all the way
Whoa it's so intense
Whoa man wow whoa whoa
Whohoho oh my god oh my god oh its a oh my god
Whoa ho ho wow Wooooo oh my god wooooo
oh my god (repeated)
It's starting to look like a triple rainbow
Oh my god its a full on double rainbow all the way across the sky
What does this mean
It's so bright oh my god it's so bright and vivid
Ohhhhhh ohhhhhh ohhhhhhh
It's so bright and beautiful
crying and/or laughing
now he's just openly weeping
oh my god (repeated)
It's a double complete rainbow right in my front yard
Too much unintelligible what it means
sigh it's so intense
oh my god

*or is it!?!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hilarious or cruel

It's easy to find humor in the misfortune of others. People falling down, getting hit in the groin, getting slapped in the face, all comic gold as long as its not happening to you. But where some balk at comic violence is when it happens to animals. Which brings me to this video that has made the rounds on the web this week.

Maybe its because I'm a cynic, but I find it hilarious. The way that donkey goes spiraling off into the sky, so good. But not everyone feels this way, so much so that "charges may be filed" against whoever did this, which may or not have been part of a promotion for para-sailing. It's not exactly clear what was going on, and in the rush to judgement it seems that the perpetrator/donkey-owner may have slipped away.

For some reason thinking about where to draw the line between animal cruelty and some good old-fashioned donkey fun brings my mind to a conversation near the end of Pulp Fiction. In it Jules talks about not eating pork because it comes from a filthy animal, and Vincent asks if he considers a dog to be filthy, what with the occasional shit-eating. Eventually they determine that it's a dog's personality that makes it not filthy, just dirty, and that a pig would have to be "ten times more charming than that Arnold on Green Acres" to cease in its filthiness.

Which is a good way to say that certain animals are more sympathetic than others. I might better understand the outrage at this alleged donkey torture if instead of a donkey, it was a dog flying through the air, possibly never to be seen again. But come on, it's a fucking donkey. A pack animal, used to carry things and plow fields and other back-breaking labor. Who knows, perhaps its braying, which many have interpreted as stemming from fear, is actually indicative of excitement/joy. If I was a Russian donkey, I'd enjoy an occasional para-sail to break up the drudgery of my daily existence, which I assume would involve turnips.

But yeah, people have different sensibilities, which means "horse people" can feel more empathy with this stupid donkey than with another human being. This argument boils down to the idea that animals are "innocent" because of their lack of free will. The line of thinking goes that animals have no control over their fate, and thus must be protected at all costs. Also there is the perceived "connection" that the animal lover has developed with a creature that doesn't know shit except maybe a few behaviors it associates with getting delicious food. So yeah, put that donkey on a para-sail for my amusement.

Addendum: It's unclear how much being bitten by a horse at age 8 is affecting my opinion on this matter.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

But the hope that we could carefully control how others view us in different contexts has proved to be another myth. As social-networking sites expanded, it was no longer quite so easy to have segmented identities: now that so many people use a single platform to post constant status updates and photos about their private and public activities, the idea of a home self, a work self, a family self and a high-school-friends self has become increasingly untenable. In fact, the attempt to maintain different selves often arouses suspicion. Moreover, far from giving us a new sense of control over the face we present to the world, the Internet is shackling us to everything that we have ever said, or that anyone has said about us, making the possibility of digital self-reinvention seem like an ideal from a distant era.
-this is why I don't tell anyone about this blog

Monday, July 19, 2010

Welcome back to me?

There is probably no better way to dive straight back into the inanity of the internet (internanity?)than with this "Gathering of the Juggalos" infomercial. Gallagher and Ron Jeremy?!? So much to process just in the dialogue/voiceover: "Coming to regulate ninjas it's Warren G" "The girl I went to high school with, no lie, Tila Tequila!" "Ain't no two juggalos alike, truthfully" "The gathering has fresh and exciting shit to do all around the fuckin' clizock. Helicopter rides. Carnival rides. Midway games. Seminars." "And if you like midgets, we've got midgets for ya" etc etc etc. Not to mention the production valuues and sets.

I know making fun of juggalos is easy. Saturday Night Live even did it with some success. But shit man, I gotta start it off slow coming off a glorious internet-free week.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Some people go Boo, they go quack quack, they go keek
Some people have nothing and want nothing and are free
Some people want to burn the world with their greed
We just want to have a good time

-brazilian girls, "Good Time"

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

It's too hot to blog

Something about the heat just takes it out of you, you know? I'm not sure if there is literally nothing going on anywhere (edit: besides maybe duck boats), or that it just seems that way because of the oppressive temperatures. So dissatisfied! But I guess I should post something, given that I'm heading out of town next week to the family vacation compound in Maine, as required by my WASP heritage.

But what (who? why?) could I possibly type words about? Some Daily Show-ladyblog kerfuffle? No, I don't think that is a real thing, not even going to link it. A Will an egg fry on the sidewalk video. Something about the books I'm taking on vacation: Don Quixote and How Soccer Explains the World. That didn't take long. An account of fourth of july partying:

Last weekend I celebrated the most American of holidays in the most American of ways, by getting progressively drunk while engaging in outdoor sporting contests with people I had just met. This inevitably ended with me crashing my bike into a car's side mirror, but not before bashing the hell out of the top of my foot ... playing volleyball? Jesus, who cares/remembers. Not me that's for sure.

HHHHNNNNNNNNNNGGGGHHHHHHH. I will now be entertaining myself by recreating this scene (in my head) for the rest of the day. Talk amongst yourselves.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Sometimes I help L___ with his laptop, and in return he sublimates his disgust and horror at my lack of careerism into a sort of benevolent mercy; the kind one might direct toward a friend’s mentally challenged younger brother who needs help tying his shoes. He wants the best for me. He knows I have it in me, somewhere. He saw the zeal and determination with which I used to lie on my couch and watch MTV Jams in college—if only he could bring Mystikal out of retirement (prison?) to help him coach me.
-you say 'lack of careerism' like it's a bad thing

Thursday, July 01, 2010

There won't be any ties

The World Cup quarterfinals start on Friday, at 10 a.m. with Brazil against Netherlands in one of two epic-on-paper matchups (also, Germany-Argentina). It's not exactly clear how much the goats know about soccer, so I'll try and keep it in a layman's voice. But know this: Drunken fans and the Roger the Irish bartender at the pub were quite impressed with my analysis during the US-Ghana game on Saturday. Through some miracle of geography and '80s youth soccer programs it was like living in a real "football" country. I even held my head in my hands with my elbows resting on the bar for the entirety of extra time.

It was certainly nice to have that game fall on the weekend, despite the loss. Which is to say it's taken determination and grit to keep to my average viewing of two hours of day. This is the top sporting event in the world, is how I justify cutting out on work and family to watch it. This is not an excuse that could be used for say, the College World Series. Oh sorry boss, had to watch one of the top thousand sporting events in the world, it's slightly less popular than the Canadian Curling Championships. The point is World Cup games happening during the 9 to 5 has diminished the potential viewing audience. But on the other hand, unemployed stoners love soccer, so it evens out.

There has been much griping about the referees, particularly by naive fans in the states about the lack of replay. There were some questionable offsides calls that cost us two goals, so yeah sure, bitch about it. But video replay is a terrible idea. I guess I'm a purist, ball-chip goal line technology is possibly acceptable but that is it. Getting calls wrong is part of the game. People were saying that the England non-goal against Germany was the referee revenge for something that happened in 1966! As an added bonus that particular egregious boner gave us an opportunity to see the Frank Lampard face. Dude does it at least once a game. Not surprising in how easy it was find on an image search. I kind of want to be this expression for Halloween.

Another thing I've enjoyed is the British announcers. Someone said something about the guy at the end of Layer Cake being Martin Tyler (awesome movie by the way). And then there is the continued brilliance of Ian "Go Go USA" Darke. It's like the game is being called by Dr. Who. "I'm 900 years old and I've come from the planet Gallifrey to call this football match." Too nerdy? They do have a particular cadence that US-based booth dudes lack. Also fun is the use of so many strange descriptions of players that end in man e.g. dangerman, talisman, starman, targetman. So sophisticated!

But what kind of rambling, ultimately pointless post would this be without some specific game breakdowns. It's not going to be as insightful as other things out there, Zonal Marking for example (worth it for the diagrams alone). Here we go:

Brazil-Netherlands (10 am ET)
Brazil have been mowing teams down much like the gangster children in the countries' favelas do to each other as depicted in "City of God." But Netherlands has the skill to play with them. Plus they just got Arjen "Mr. Glass" Robben (pictured top) back. Brazilian striker Luciano Fabiano's face looks like a skeleton and it bothers me. Prediction: Samba!

Uruguay-Ghana (2:30 pm ET)
I've always thought Ghana's nickname "Black Stars" was bit racist. Is this like where black people can say the n-word, but white people can't? Or is pointing out that I had this thought racist in itself. Uruguay? I got near nothing outside of Simpson's references. Uh, they are well-organized? Prediction: You are gay!

Germany-Argentina (Sat. 10 am ET)
Have I mentioned how fun it is to make jokes based on the history of the countries? It's a shame that Germany's blitzkreig wiped out England last round, because an Argentina-England game would open up the possibility of all sorts of Falkland's War references, which are comic gold. This game could be wildly entertaining with two attacking sides and the best player in the world in Lionel Messi. If you only watch one quarterfinal, make it this one just for the unintentional comedy that is manager Diego Maradona's life. Prediction: Terrifying neck scars!

Paraguay-Spain (Sat. 2:30 pm ET)
Spain leads the world in tiny midfielders who can possess the shit out of the ball. Paraguay leads the world in fans with huge boobs who have naked pictures all over the internet. It's a close call, really. Prediction: Breast implants!

After Andy Spade, the brander, entrepreneur and husband of Kate Spade, put one in Partners & Spade, his quasi-gallery, in May 2009, design bloggers and the design news media trumpeted the “authenticity” of this manly tool — and then promoted it largely as an art object. This was both irritating and pleasing to Mr. Buchanan-Smith, who says that he constantly worries that he’ll be perceived as “just some design hipster kicking it old-school selling some chic tools to a handful of other hipsters.”
-what exactly should one think about someone who spends $200 on an "urban axe"