Monday, October 30, 2006

Ed Hochuli is omniscient


When Ed Hochuli is patrolling the field why would you even get close to breaking the rules? Sure, it may seem innocent enough but do you really think Hochuli isn't going to see your tiny camera? You're just lucky he didn't break you in half, Marcus Stroud.

THERE ARE NO CAMERAS ALLOWED IN THE TEAM BOX! I AM ED HOCHULI WHY DO YOU FUCK WITH ME?!?!?!

I've had it

I've had it up to here with American auto makers. They hemmorage money, make gas guzzling vehicles that fall apart in 10 years, lay off thousands of workers every year, don't pay their benies to the retired ones, and, worst of all, have apparently bought up more airtime than all of the political candidates combined. I've tried to resist writing about these but after so much football and baseball I have to get this off my chest.

Who the hell thought up this marketing strategy?
"OK, here's what we're going to do. We're going to find a really annoying song and play it over and over and over until everyone is braindead enough to not realize that buying a pickup that gets 15 mpg isn't a good idea."
"Brilliant! But, who should we get?"
"Hmm, when I think pickups I think Toby Keith. Or maybe John Cougar Mellencamp."

I really can't decide which of those commercials I hate more. My skin crawls every time I hear, "I've got to geeet up earleeee I got to beee on tiiieme." First, it sounds like you ripped off the Saved by the Bell theme song. Second, stfu Toby. You don't have to get up early and be on time for anything except being a total douche. You don't work at all, stop pretending to be some badass 'Merikun workin' man. The video is absolutely ridiculous. Hey, here's Toby building a house! And here's Toby driving a forklift! See, he works just like you poor assholes. Now, take your $8 an hour job and spend all of your paycheck on our overpriced pickups.



Uh oh, careful Toby, there's sparks flying around! It must take a lot of work to make that acoustic guitar play those electric guitar solos.

Of course, not to be outdone Chevy decides to donate hundreds of millions to save their company by pouring into a mostly confusing ad campaign with John Cougar Mellencamp's "Our Country." In this brilliant piece of marketing they decide to use images of America's past to try to sell their pickups. Hmm, there's Rosa Parks on a bus. Martin Luther King speaking. Soldiers fighting in Vietnam...war protestors? Nixon leaving the White House? Hurricane Katrina?? the World Trade Center?!?! What the hell is going on here?

Is this supposed to make me want to buy a Chevy? By recalling the Vietnam War and September 11? The deaths of thousands of people in a hurricane? Now, I'm just depressed. And have we really reached the point where two of the most beloved icons of the Civil Rights movement can be used to hawk pickups? Is this really what they were fighting for? It just amazes mne how quickly we can turn tradgedies into, not just movies, but actual commercial images! What about the familes of those that died in the WTC or during Hurricane Katrina. Oh well, they died for a good cause...the Chevy Silverado!

This is the only copy of the video I could find although it includes ways to prevent Stephen Colbert from stealing it from Jalopnik.



So, in conclusion, if I never hear either of those songs again it will be too soon. Do you know what it's like to have either one of those songs in your head? Somehow, I have a feeling you might.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Happy Red Ribbon Week!

Today is the end of Red Ribbon Week which some of you may remember from your Elementary School days. In my town Red Ribbon Week had a bunch of fun activities like wearing red on the same day which was supposed to make us realize that, "drugs are bad, mmmkay?" They also had high school kids come in to talk about how drugs and alcohol weren't cool if you were an athlete or into stuff like that. I was never asked to do it and I always wondered if it was because they knew I drank or didn't think Nerd Bowl was inspiring enough for the youngsters. I think it was the latter but there was the time someone ratted at Jessica's party out to the school and I was warned by a certain mustachioed teacher. But, I digress.

The point is during this week ther are always looking for role models for the kids so maybe a teacher smoking a J on school grounds probably isn't the image they're trying to project. However, that's what one teacher is accused of in Independence, Missouri. I happened to catch the story on the local news (squeezed in between the nearly ten minutes of coverage live from "Boo at the Zoo" event. Those Muir Cats are just so cute and look, they're climbing in Jack-o-lanterns!).

Oh yeah, back to the stoner teacher. This is the only online article I found but it doesn't go into much detail.
A second grade teacher at Luff Elementary School in Independence has been put on administrative leave for possible illegal activity at the school Wednesday.

Various media reports allege the teacher, whose name has not been released, was smoking a marijuana cigarette. The teacher was turned into police by the school.

Apparently, the teacher was caught by another employee that smelled the pot and went to investigate. Whoops...awkward.

Two of the moms they interviewed were shocked and outraged that this might be going on while the other one went on and on about what a great teacher she was. Well, duh! Doesn't it kind of make sense that a stoner would be a better second grade teacher? "OK, kids, time to fingerpaint again! Ha! You guys are soooo tiny! Just like little people!"

But no, instead the teacher will probably be fired. It's a good lesson to teach kids that smoking marijuana is wrong and if you do it you'll move on to harder drugs become addicted and lose your job because you suck at it! Or something like that.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Don't take your guns to town, Steve

I stopped by Yahoo to check on my fantasy sports stuff and ran across this headline, Stern wants NBA players to leave the guns at home. Seems like a reasonable request, right?
NEW YORK (AP) -- David Stern understands having a gun to protect your home. He's not convinced carrying one on the streets makes you any safer.

For that reason, the NBA commissioner said Wednesday that he would prefer his players leave their firearms behind when they go out.

"It's a pretty, I think, widely accepted statistic that if you carry a gun, your chances of being shot by one increase dramatically," Stern said during his preseason conference call. "We think this is an alarming subject, that although you'll read players saying how they feel safer with guns, in fact those guns actually make them less safe. And it's a real issue."

It's one that was raised recently when Indiana's Stephen Jackson shot a gun in the air at least five times outside an Indianapolis strip club on Oct. 6. He originally told police he fired in self-defense during a fight in which he was hit by a car.

I'm sympathetic to his cause so I took it upon myself to rework this song that Tex Ritter wrote for Johnny Cash in honor of Stephen Jackson and his gunbattle outside the strip club when a midget with "short handicapped arms" tried to run him over.

Don't Take Your Guns to Town (The Ballad of Stephen Jackson)

A young baller named Steve Jackson
Grew restless in Indy
A boy filled with love of groupies
Who really meant no harm
He changed his clothes and shined his bling
And combed his cornrows down
And David Stern cried as he walked out;

Refrain:
"Don't take your guns to town, son
Leave your guns at home, Steve
Don't take your guns to town."

He sang a song as on he rode,
His guns tucked in his jeans
He rode into a small strip club,
A smile upon his lips
He stopped and walked up to the skank and laid his money down
But David Stern's words echoed again;

Refrain:
"Don't take your guns to town, son
Leave your guns at home, Steve
Don't take your guns to town."

He drank his Cristal champagne to calm his libido
And tried to tell himself at last he had become a man
A short-armed midget at his side began to laugh him down
And he heard again David Stern's words;

Refrain:
"Don't take your guns to town, son
Leave your guns at home, Steve
Don't take your guns to town."

Steve was raged and the short arms shifted the car to drive
And Steve Jackson pulled his piece and fired five shots in the air
As the police slapped his handcuffs on the crowd all gathered 'round
And wondered at his final words;

Refrain:
"Don't take your guns to town, son
Leave your guns at home, Steve
Don't take your guns to town."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Stupid Kansas...

The infamous Kansas Board of Education has less than two weeks until they are officially voted out of a conservative majority. This is a foregone conclusion since even Republicans realized how moronic they were and voted most of them out in the primaries but maybe a few more Democrats can get voted in. It's not my district's turn to vote so i don't get the pleasure this time.

But, one of their lasting legacies (probably somewhere after forever linking Kansas with backwards anti-science wingnuts) is that everytime I take a class that mentions evolution the professor has to go into some sort of speech about the "controversry." Obviously, nearly all professors are on the side of reason so they feel obligated to try to explain to people that just because you're religious doesn't mean you have to reject evolution or start advocating intelligent design taught in science courses or anything like that.

So, I'm in my Microbiology class and the professor starts going into explaining why it's necessary to teach this part of the course from an evolutionary perspective. It got kind of interesting here when he asked how many people believed in a literal biblical creation story and I would guess 15% of the class raised their hand. Then he asked how many believed in an atheistic evolutionary system that proves there is no God and about the same if not more raised their hand.

I'm not really sure whether this surprised me or not because, on the one hand, it is a science class while, on the other hand, probably most of the people in the class aren't going to be "scientists" per se, but doctors or pharmacists and we are in Kansas. The professor then laid out 6 different options with those two options on the extreme ends and varying degrees of beliefs in the role of an intelligent designer or God on the evolutionary process. I don't remember how exactly he phrased them all but one was basically "God created the universe and then stepped back and let things go with no influence" and another was "God maneuvered the evolutionary process up to the apes but humans didn't evolve from anything and any evidence to this idea is a trick." Then there were two more on the inside of this.

Since he was trying to do all this in the last three minutes of class and had already told people they could leave if they wanted people were starting to take off which kind of sucked because I wanted to see where he planned on going with everything but he did end with crossing out the three on the left side of the board and said those were all completely incompatible with looking at evolution from a scientific perspective.

It's kind of embarrassing that these conversations need to keep happening but as long as those in charge of education in this state are willing to coddle attitudes like that it will be up to high school and college educators to take it upon themselves to explain exactly what science really means and why evolution is the bedrock of how we understand biology.

EDIT: After I wrote this I happened to stop by my favorite science blog, Carl Zimmer's The Loom. I should also link to his piece in National Georgraphic, an excellent look at scientists' efforts to explain the development of complexity in organisms. There's also a cool photo gallery.

Crappy timing...

There hadn't been many shows I was interested in seeing the last few months which makes it all the more upsetting that once I'm totally broke everyone starts coming through town. Within the next few weeks there's an And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead with Blood Brothers show, a Particle and Del tha Funky Homosapien (the real draw for me) show on Halloween, a Ben Folds show, an Oh My God show in KC, Jason Boland, the Black Keys, and Cross Canadian Ragweed in December. Good thing I can't aford any of them. The Lawrence Music Scene doesn't care about Ben.

Of course that's not much of a surprise considering how everything else has gone this week but I'm not sure that's a story for the blog...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Throw the Bank Down the Well!

I used to think that maybe Borat might be misrepresenting his country but after reading this story I've decided that it's probably pretty accurate.
ALMATY, Kazakhstan - The Kazakhstan central bank has misspelled the word "bank" on its new notes, officials said Wednesday.

The bank plans to put the misprinted notes — worth 2,000 tenge ($15) and 5,000-tenge — into circulation in November and then gradually withdraw them to correct the spelling.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

That was intense

It's 12:15 on Saturday and as I'm writing this I'm pretty sure I'm still drunk. My head is spinning, my apartment is trashed, and my phone call log is filled with calls I only vaguely remember. What was it about last night? Apartment Crawl 2006.

For those of you not familiar we got a big group of friends together and visited everybody's apartment. Each person on the tour was responsible for a drink. I think at the apex we had close to 20 people so it was a pretty big deal. Let me take you through the night.

Our first stop was Phil and John's place (there were three guys I only sort of knew and I'm not sure which ones live where) and our only stop west of Iowa Street (and also where my car is currently parked). They served White Russians (another Caucasian, Gary) and everyone looks for the most part sober although they left with a buzz.

We finally had to go after breaking up an impromptu jam session.

It turns out that waiting outside for stragglers would become a key part of the evening.

Our next stop was Dave and Meenal's. They had a nice spread of margaritas and pina coladas. I remember people were really impressed with the columns and amount of space in their kitchen.

The other highlight of the evening was the fact that their dog had a Carhart jacket. How hilarious is that?

The next stop on the tour was a little further down 9th Street and Rachel's place where she was serving champagne. One problem with a huge group like this is the lack of glasses as evidenced by the measuring cup. Classy!

I'm sure there's a reason Rachel is cupping Jesse's breast but I have no idea what it is.

After Rachel's we headed to Keith and Adam's. This was my least favorite drink of the night, vodka and tonics. But, there's really no reason to complain about alcohol. They had that video game where you play the guitar to the music...I didn't play but I did tell everyone else how much they were blowing it. By this point we're all well on our way to drunk and the fun stuff was only beginning.

This was where we started losing some people. Phil was passed out or couldn't get up or something so he and another guy skipped the next stop to get some food.

I explained to everybody that they had to take off their colors and we headed into the ghetto of Tennessee Street. Fortunately things were calm last night so we didn't have to get into any gun battles or knife fights, which was nice. Lacy's apartment was up first and this is where we started hitting them hard. Tennessee does not fuck around and I won't stand here and let you say that it does. She was serving Flaming Dr. Peppers.

Whoa, drunk girls!

This was where things definitely started to get out of hand. There were people puking and just a lot of really drunk people. It wasn't going to get any better.

But, hey, let's get to my place. If that isn't a reason to give high fives I don't know what is!

Fuck yeah!

Well, I kind of think I had the most alcoholic drink of the night with my Wondrous Punch. Wondrous Punch is the signature drink at the Red Dragon in Minneapolis. The actual drink has five shots of various rums (light, gold, dark, Bacardi 151, and Captain Morgan) but I only put four in mine (skipped the Captain...sorry, Paul) because it's really expensive to buy that much rum and I knew everyone was going to be bombed anyway. If the party was crazy before it absolutely exploded on Tennessee.

I had 19 drinks plus a small cooler already made.

There was none left this morning. Oh, and I forgot we drank some fig vodka and other small liquor bottles.

They finally got everyone to leave my place and we went to Amanda's for some wine.

Umm, I think Rachel might be drunk.

Same for these guys.

And for all of these people.

After we killed a couple bottles of wine we made it to our last stop on Rhode Island Street around 1:00 for some beer. Our first drink was at 7:30 so we made pretty good time for 8 different stops and a couple of miles. By this point my photography skills had taken a pretty serious hit and pretty much the only decent picture I had is of Rachel and Amanda making some food. And even that has my finger in it.

I think I stumbled home around 2 or so but I still managed to take a self-portrait. Apparently I'm really excited about that deal on selected KU merchandise.

Once I got home I chilled out for a while and I remember drunk dialing Jake to sing him a song or something but I don't remember what it was. After I did I just remember apologizing for being so drunk and him just laughing. Well, now he can understand why. Apartment Crawl 2006.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

TV is lamer

Last night I saw Martha Stewart lick blood off of David Letterman's finger. It was every bit as disgusting as you are imagining it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

TV is lame

I'm flipping through the channels and see some goth chick on Tyra Banks' show. Apparently this woman is looking for some goth dude to date because there's nothing more fucking goth than going on a model's talk show to find your true love. Well, that and black lipstick.

It turns out that all the guys she had to choose from were just pretending to be goth to teach her a lesson about not limiting herself to one type. I'm going to go stab my eyes for a little bit.

I am not a role model

So, I read that during the Miami-FIU brawl there were 700 local youth on hand as part of a "Join a team, not a gang" promotion sponsored by local police. Well, at least the players helped made a clear distinction between the two...

Why does God hate working people?

There's really not much to say about this ad running in Colorado in opposition to a minimum wage increase.

MOSES: Hello!

GOD: Can you hear me now?

MOSES: We need divine intervention. They want to chisel Amendment 42 into Colorado's constitution where it doesn't belong.

GOD: What on earth are you talking about?

MOSES: An annual minimum wage increase in stone for eternity!

GOD: When inflation and recession come, it will be a catastrophe!

MOSES: It's a plague we'll face every year.

GOD: We can't let the people make this mistake. Go. Spread the word. Vote no on 42!

Republicans make tiny infant Jesus cry when they use God and Moses to campaign against a living wage.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I'm just going to say that it wasn't a very good sports weekend for me.

My weekend started off with ISU-OU on Fox Sports. Here's a big shock...ISU fell behind early against a ranked team, showed a few signs on life, and then laid down for the rest of the game. They are not good. Fortunately, I was saved from watching the second half when a friend called with tickets to the KU-OSU game.

The seats were pretty awesome, 35 yardline, about 20 rows up. KU starts off great and takes advantage of some turnovers to go up 17-0 at halftime. My friend says that she hoped that OSU can score a few so we didn't have to watch a blowout and I laughed and said that with the way KU has blown leads this year she just might get her wish. Well, OSU explodes and scores 3 touchdowns in about 7 minutes and the trackmeet was on. They just played pitch and catch for the entire second half. I thought ISU's secondary was horrible but KU's might be even worse. The QB threw for 400 yards and this Bowman guy had 300 receiving yards and 4 TDs. KU fights back to get back within three but a decent kick return and one 65 yard pass and the game was just about over. It's tough to know what to think about KU (other than the fact that they're cheaters). They've showed some potential this year but they keep coming up short. The deck in the Big 12 is stacked against teams like KU and ISU so there isn't much margin for error if they want to do much. Is it the coaches fault or is good coaching the only thing keeping them in minor bowl games?

Then all weekend I'm watching former Royals in the postseason. Carlos Beltran is destroying people in the postseason...again. Jeff Freaking Suppan is pitching shutouts. Even Neifi Perez and Michael Tucker have somehow caught on with playoff teams. Stupid Royals not having any money to pay and signing horrible free agents and blowing every draft for the last 10 years...

I don't even want to get started on the Chiefs game except to say I waited around for that game all weekend and felt like puking about 10 minutes into it. How can they beat SF by 41-0 or whatever and then get their asses kicked just a few weeks later? Is San Fran really that bad? It's not that surprising to lose to the Steelers but any progress it seemed the defense had made was nowhere to be seen. 4th ranked defense? Umm, not anymore. 372 yards in the first half alone. They didn't tackle, they didn't get much pressure, they didn't cover anybody. The only bright spots continue to be Jared Allen and Tamba Hali at the end spots. Everyone else sucked.

The best part of the weekend had to be that Miami-FIU brawl. Yeah, way to go, Miami. You do such a great job of shedding that thug label. That's got to be a proud moment to see 8 of your players stomping a guy on the ground and some idiot running in swinging his helmet. Umm, you might want to keep that on considering these FIU guys were probably big enough thugs in high school that even Miami wouldn't take them.

And what was with that idiot announcer?
"Now, that's what I'm talking about," Thomas said as the brawl raged out of control. "You come into our house, you should get your behind kicked. You don't come into the OB playing that stuff. You're across the ocean over there. You're across the city. You can't come over to our place talking noise like that. You'll get your butt beat. I was about to go down the elevator to get in that thing."

"I say, why don't they just meet outside in the tunnel after the ball game and get it on some more? You don't come into the OB, baby," Thomas said. "We've had a down couple years but you don't come in here talking smack. Not in our house."

Not surprisingly, he's another fine alum of the U.

So, yeah, sports sucked this weekend. Stop sucking so much next weekend.

High Times in the Basement

At the risk of turning this blog into a Cheech and Chong adventure I have another weed story.

I'm walking between classes today in the middle of campus and I catch a whiff of some marijuana. I see someone smoking a cig a couple of people in front of me and decide I must be imagining things. I don't think much about it but a little bit later I smell it again and even stronger this time. I look in front of me and two girls are walking down the sidewalk blazing. They get in front of the building we're all going into and they stop in front with the cigarrette smokers and take a few more hits off their pipe.

I suspected it before, but it's official now, Lawrence doesn't care about weed.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Taliban's new secret weapon

This is a classic.
OTTAWA, Canada (Reuters) -- Canadian troops fighting Taliban militants in Afghanistan have stumbled across an unexpected and potent enemy -- almost impenetrable forests of marijuana plants 10 feet tall.

General Rick Hillier, chief of the Canadian defense staff, said Thursday that Taliban fighters were using the forests as cover. In response, the crew of at least one armored car had camouflaged their vehicle with marijuana.

"The challenge is that marijuana plants absorb energy, heat very readily. It's very difficult to penetrate with thermal devices. ... And as a result you really have to be careful that the Taliban don't dodge in and out of those marijuana forests," he said in a speech in Ottawa, Canada.

"Alright, men. There's only one way we're getting through this forest. Break out your Swiss Army Bongs."

"We tried burning them with white phosphorous -- it didn't work. We tried burning them with diesel -- it didn't work. The plants are so full of water right now ... that we simply couldn't burn them," he said.

Even successful incineration had its drawbacks.

"A couple of brown plants on the edges of some of those [forests] did catch on fire. But a section of soldiers that was downwind from that had some ill effects and decided that was probably not the right course of action," Hiller said dryly.

One soldier told him later: "Sir, three years ago before I joined the army, I never thought I'd say 'That damn marijuana'."

Had some ill effects? Yeah, I'll bet. Of course, I'm just one of those "Cut and Roll Democrats."

It's tough to make a group of soldiers march when they're deep in a conversation about aliens or trying to figure out if Gumby's will deliver Pokey Sticks to Kabul. I guess that sort of gives new meaning to the phrase, "War on Drugs", eh, hoser?

Sports Night

I've got some sports on my mind. Some of these links I got from Deadspin and others I didn't.

We'll start off in the annoying fan category. The University of Tennessee called a season ticket holder and told her to shut the fuck up because fans around her were complaining that she cheered too much. Sounds like a case of the "Stand Up Old People" sign guy, right? Well, follow this link and see. Like the bloggers says, "Hell, I can barely get through that 15-second clip, let alone three hours." Maybe we should have complained about any of the annoying fans behind us in Hilton. Like Paul L. and the 5th Floor Tool or the girl that screamed "pass it" or whatever everytime we had the ball.

Apparently Tom Glavine has access to a time machine because he came back from 1995 to pitch 7 scoreless innings against the Cards last night. Of course, Poo-holes wasn't impressed.

"He wasn't good. He wasn't good at all," Pujols said of Glavine, who threw seven innings of four-hit ball for the victory. "I think we hit the ball hard, we didn't get some breaks.

"I say he wasn't good at all. We just didn't get some opportunities and that's it. . . . (Glavine did the) same thing that he always does. Throw a changeup, fastball and that was it. I just think we should've done a better job than we did."

Yeah, that guy sucked so bad you couldn't get a run off of him. Those two pitches were apparently enough to strike you out once as well. Here's an idea, Albert. Spend a little more time trying not to get doubled up on shallow fly balls and a little less time whining.

Here is a hilarious fake letter to John Madden from the lowest rated player in the game.
You know what, John? Two can play this game. I rate you a fucking 12. I rate you a fucking 12 in Ethan Albright Football 2000-ever… except for in the category of ball-licking. That is where I will spot you a 98 rating. You will receive this score because I will never give your blubbery ass a 99 in any category. Take that, pencil-dick. Go do Al Micheals or something. Boom. Score one for Red Beard.


The NCAA came down on KU yesterday. In the report they detailed how KU football assistants gave players answers to tests, KU basketball players were paid, etc. It also noted how they tried to throw the women's basketball team under the bus by self-imposing severe sanctions on them despite the fact that their transgressions were much less severe than the other two. So, they were slapped with the "lack of institutional control" and have to give up a basketball scholarship and a couple of football scholarships. Wow. OK, so paying players and giving them answers to the tests is pretty much ok now? Good to know.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Movie Night

I watched two pretty good movies tonight and had some thoughts on them so of course I come here for that.

The first one I watched was The Inisde Man (a Spike Lee joint!). Anyway, Spike makes a pretty good Heist film about a New York bank robbery that's more than it seems. Lee always has awesome cinematography in his movies and there are some pretty cool shots in this one as well even though most of it takes place in the bank and the street in front of it. I really enjoyed it but the movie I really loved tonight was V for Vendetta.

This is set somewhere in future London. I won't go into a big recap but it would fit into the dystopia movie category. An oppressive, theocratic government takes advantage of terrorist attacks to use people's fear to seize power. One man, known only as V, blows up a building on the anniversary of Guy Fawkes' Day hoping to set in motion a revolution one year later.

The action scenes aren't as plentiful as in most action movies but the ones that are there are well done and they do a good job of mixing the intellectual parts of the movie with them. I guess part of the movie I didn't like was Natalie Portman. And I hesitate to say that because I think she can do a good job of acting but there were times when she slipped into her Queen Amidala robot acting. You know, like anytime she was supposed to be having some sort of loving conversation with teenage Anakin and the acting and chemistry between them was worse than some smalltown community theater production? Anyway, I'm getting off-topic and she did a good job through most of the film.

The movie deals with a lot of really good issues and the parallels between the current US goverment and the one portrayed in the movie are obvious and not often very subtle although the original graphic novel was written about the Thatcher government in the 80's. There's everything from a really evil Karl Rove character (maybe I'm projecting a little much on that one...) to a bloviating television host.

There are a lot of tough and interesting questions raised about the nature of terrorism and terrorists, how to fight an idealogy, governments that no longer fear the people, etc. For much of the movie you really identify with V even though he's a pretty ruthless killer and is seemingly looking for his personal revenge more than to see his ideals realized.

During the movie I thought a lot about our current government and comparisons to the one in the film or others in history. I really don't like comparing them to Nazis even if they use similar tactics to increase their power. Clearly this government hasn't committed atrocities anywhere near that level. However, a report will come out tomorrow that 600,000 Iraqi civilians have died violent deaths since the beginning of the war. Hundreds or thousands are being held in various detention camps around the world without being charged with a crime, unable to see a lawyer, unable to see any evidence against them. Are they innoncent, guilty? We don't know but they're not getting out anytime soon. The GOP congress pretended to stand tough to Bush's torture policies and belief that the US didn't need to follow portions of the Geneva Convention that Bush didn't see as relevant. Instead their "compromise" merely consisted acquiescing to his demands and "legalizing" torture. (Personally, I'll never believe torture is legal as long as we still have the Constitution whether the president believes he must follow it or not.) Of course there are those that believe that the tactics used in Guantanamo aren't that bad but even if you can pretend those aren't torture there is no denying the fact that we knowingly ship prisoners off to countries that will torture them (like the now-believed-innocent Canadian citizen sent to Syria and tortured).

It's a pretty surreal feeling to think that our government is doing things that we were once told they would never do and that was what made us different. That was what made America America. Land of the free, home of the brave, all that stuff. Well, things don't look as free and are we really that brave if we have to give it all up hoping it will keep us safe?

During one of the climactic scenes V is shot several times yet still stands. One of the villians says, "Die! Die! Why won't you die?... Why won't you die?" and V answers, "Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof."

Although that wasn't necessarily the intent of the line in the movie I think it really speaks to the futility of trying to win a war against "terrorism", a tactic, or "radical Islam", which I guess you could call an idea, with bullets and bombs.

After seeing a movie like this and thinking about the the liberties that they claimed to be saving taken away from an intentionally frightened population it's hard for me not to think that the two worlds are a lot closer than I'd like them to be.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Looking for the sweep

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- American Edmund S. Phelps won the 2006 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences on Monday for furthering the understanding of the trade-offs between inflation and its effects on unemployment.

He is the sixth American to win a Nobel Prize this year, meaning every prize save for the literature and peace prizes, which have not yet been announced, have gone to Americans.


Pretty cool stuff. Now, two prizes left. Literature and peace. I think that Terrell Owens might have a shot in the literature category for his autobiography although misquoting himself could hurt him. In the peace category? Come on...it's a runaway. George W. Bush!

And here's a funny fantasy baseball story told to the SF Chronicle by former major leaguer Tom Candiotti.
"It's '92 or '93," Candiotti says. "I'm playing for the Dodgers, Jeff Kent is with the Mets. I'm in a fantasy baseball league. I don't have Kent on my team and he's off to a torrid start and he's killing me."

The Dodgers are in New York to play the Mets. Ramon Martinez is warming up in the Dodgers' bullpen to pitch the series opener. Candiotti strolls to the pen and, within earshot of Martinez, tells pitching coach Ron Perranoski, "Perry, I just talked to Bret Saberhagen, and Sabes told me that if Kent gets drilled his first time up, he's mush for the rest of the series."

First inning, Kent steps to the plate.

"Ramon just absolutely buries one in Kent's ribs," Candiotti says. "It was so bad that he went down on one knee, and he had to come out of the game. I sat there thinking, 'What did you just do? You told a complete lie, you got this guy drilled!'

"After that, it was funny. Pedro Martinez (Ramon's brother) started drilling Kent, and so did all the other Dominican pitchers. For years, Ramon drilled Kent every time.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Ha!

OK, it's no secret that I'm still a pretty immature guy at times. Who doesn't laugh at a good penis joke once in a while? Anyway, it's always kind of been a dream to get on College Gameday with some sort of a "Corso" and "penis" sign. It doesn't really make sense other than it's Lee Corso and it's a penis and it's on TV. Some people set loftier goals but, meh, not me.

Someone else shares my aspirations and got another one on today. Well done.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Another scandal rocking the sports world

No, this time it's not steroids or testosterone or anything like that. We go to China...

Touted as a celebration of sport, culture and national unity, the Ethnic Minority Games held in southwestern China descended into a farce of cross-dressing cheating and mob violence, state media reported.

Athletes representing China's 55 ethnic minorities assembled in southwestern Yunnan province last week to compete in blow-pipe darts, horse-riding events and other traditional sports.

But blind pursuit of victory lead to some unorthodox tactics, Xinhua news agency reported.

Results of the women's dragon-boat racing event were reviewed after athletes complained of "big women with Adam's apples," Xinhua said. Referees subsequently found that several of the competitors were actually men wearing wigs.


It's sad when an event like the Chinese Ethnic Minority Games that is known for its purity (well, not ethnically, I guess) is tainted by crossdressing dragon boaters.

The event continued into ugliness.
A dispute between a team from the games' host city, Zhaotong, and another from Wenshan city in Yunnan province over the result of a wrestling final turned into a brawl, Xinhua said.

The Wenshan team was eventually chased away by a local gang with blades and sticks called in by the Zhaotong team, Xinhua said.

"I've never seen violence and ugliness like that," a reporter at the games told Xinhua.

Apparently, he's never made the trip to the Black Hole in Oakland. You know, it's never a good sign for your event when security depends on a local gang carrying blades and sticks. Really though, isn't a good farce of cross-dressing and mob violence exactly what a sport needs sometime to keep from getting stale? Just look at the WNBA. They already have the cross-dressers now they just need someone to go Ron Artest on the 10 people at the game.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Cool sites for TV football watchers

This site shows the NFL games that each city will be getting for each week. This way you guys in Minnesota can check to see if you'll be able to catch the Chiefs this week (you get it!).

And here is the official coverage map for the ISU-Nebraska game Saturday night. Pretty much all Big 12 and most of Big 10 country will see it.

If my two teams could find a way to win this week I would be pretty much ecstatic. Of course, the Chiefs are on the road and the Cyclones have Dan McCarney coaching but the history is on their side because ISU has a home streak going against Nebraska (and damn close to three game win streak) and KC is playing the Cardinals.

Sex offenders getting more creative

It appears that sex offenders are finding new and better ways to beat the system and stalk children. Like living in a hole next to an elementary school.

A convicted sex offender is behind bars in Georgia tonight, awaiting extradition back to Virginia Beach.

Police found 50-year-old Timothy Primrose in a hole behind a south Georgia elementary school. Primrose's last known address was in Virginia Beach, but he had since moved. Virginia State Police were looking for him and yesterday morning Georgia police found him hiding in a hole.
...
But just yards from where the kids play, Primrose was living under ground in a hole about 4 feet wide, 8 feet long and 6 feet deep.





Hey, little boy. I lost my puppy and I think he went down in that hole. Will you go look for me?

Dude, Saddam tried this already and he got caught. What were you thinking? Remember when they arrested Saddam and everyone kept calling it a spider hole? What was up with that? Have you heard anything else referred to as a spider hole since then? On and on they went about his spider hole. Why is that a spider hole but this one isn't?

Also, I'm sick of all these damn child predators. The guy that went to the Colorado school was a nutjob. The guy that killed the Amish girls had KY jelly on his list of things to bring. Those damn Republican congressmen think the internet is their own personal teen dateline.

Also, how about that guy's excuses? Umm, I was just being friendly. I'm an alcoholic. I was molested too! Remember, Republicans are the party of personal responsibility. Well, unless you're a congressmen who might lose your seat. Then we'll all just look the other way.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Oprah's Big Fat Roadtrip

OK, this entry is a little embarrassing to write but the further I get the more I have to say. I was watching the baseball game tonight while I worked on some homework and happened across the replay of that day's Oprah. I had read in the paper that her and her friend, Gayle, had travelled across the country and on that day they were going through Kansas so I ended up watching because I'm a little bit of a sucker for seeing places I've lived and stuff on TV.

The only downside is it's Oprah. During the course of this post I'll have plenty of reasons to rip on her. It starts off with Oprah freaking out because her damn room sucks or something. Here's a tip, you're driving in Eastern Colorado on Highway 50 what are you expecting? I understand people aren't as easygoing as I am when it comes to their accomodations but just shut up about it once in a while. Then she has to whine and whine and whine about so much driving. Oprah, the country is big. It might take more than a few hours to drive across it. Not sure if anyone warned you about that one or not.

They arrive in Dodge City and Oprah pulls one of her most favorite tricks ever. Hey, let's just show up somewhere and surprise them so they freak out about how wonderful I am. And then I'll act aloof and embarrassed at the same time even though I just set the whole thing up. The woman in the restaurant freaks out when she sees Oprah's friend. The whole thing is just pathetic as hell. Then she freaks out again when Oprah surprises her. Ugh.

Possibly the best part of the show is watching them drive through one of the longest feedlots I've ever seen. They were both about to puke. Good times.

Anyway, Oprah ends up in Wichita and is still complaining about everything until she finally gets to the Hyatt hotel downtown (that I've stayed in!!!!! OMG!!). Of course it's Kansas so they have to make everything as ridiculous as possible. What better way to make everyone look like an idiot than by saying how huge Bingo is in Kansas and go to a Bingo parlor? Hey, great, everyone's missing teeth, chain smoking cigs, and is about 150 pounds overweight. Yep, welcome to Kansas, Land of Ahs.

Probably the best part about the Bingo hall was that most people just looked pissed that Oprah was interrupting their game. Do NOT mess with someone's Bingo game. Even you, Oprah.

As if the Bingo ordeal wasn't enough they stopped by someone's yard sale that, once again, featured people missing teeth and a bunch of kids running around. They had 15 people with cameras following Oprah and her friend around this yard sale and they said the people on the porch never asked a single question about who they were or why they were filming all this. I'm surprised they didn't pull a shotgun out. Oh well, wouldn't want to miss out on the $2 Oprah spent on some stupid dolls.

So, hey, can't wait until next week when Oprah once again sticks her fat head into other people's places and expects them to be just so shocked and amazed about how wonderful she is. This time she's ruining weddings.

E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!

I've always had to give some respect to the Eagles fans. Not only are they tortured much like KC fans but they're pretty much batshit crazy. They've been crazy for a long time and much like a bunch of dudes trying to impress a girl they feel like they have to keep topping the other guy with something even more insane until the girl is fed up and walks away or somebody tears their scrotum.

Anyway, Deadspin had a couple of items I thought were worth linking to. First, the Eagles "Fan of the Game" was arrested and kicked out 20 minutes after being given the honor.

Second, here's an analysis of what to throw when T.O. returns the Philly next week. They talk about batteries and pretzels which are always nostalgic for me. (Not that I've thrown anything but myself and friends have been hit by various objects or always joked about hitting Bobby Knight with something.) Anyway, KSK has a good read.

Philadelphians, you have been presented with a golden opportunity to create a landmark moment in the history of sporting violence. You'll have the chance to join Piston fans; ice-throwing Giant fans; record-burning, Hitler-emulating White Sox fans; and unimaginative bottle-throwing Browns fans in the pantheon of sports fans who disgrace their city and their team, while entertaining me and my lack of shame in the process. You possess that all-too-rare combo of stupidity and obliviousness to pull it off. Imagine how deeply Joe Buck would furrow his brow at you.

Classic. So many hilarious moments.

Oh yeah, and Frank Thomas single-handedly beat Santana and the Twins today. Ouch.