Thursday, November 28, 2002

HAPPY THANKSGIVING: All right, enough sports news. Have a happy T-day, do not fall too deeply into the food coma.
CFL: Should expand to Halifax. Via the great great OurSportsCentral. With the Grey Cup and Jeff Jarvis' recent Canada love post, I am all about the CFL affection. I have a beef, though, with the city of Toronto's abandonment of the Argonauts, which I want to chalk up to insane NFL-lust but I probably don't understand all the nuances of the situation to make that claim convincingly. But crikey, they couldn't sell out the Sky Dome for a playoff game.
MIAMI CRAPPY SPORTS TOWN: So says Linda Robertson in the Miami Herald:

Fact is, we're no closer to Chicago or Detroit or Boston than we were in 1985. We've got the clubs. We lack the devotion. We don't care, unless one of our teams is stocked for a World Series title, as the Marlins were in 1997, or becomes a trendy thing, as the plucky Panthers were in 1996.

Our climate promotes languidity, not energetic cheering or endless analysis of the Knicks curse. The rootlessness of our populace means kids won't grow up hearing tales of Brian Skrudland.

Plus, Miami is the poorest big city in the country. People are too busy working. Like Los Angeles, another lousy sports town, Miami is a city of immigrants. Dominicans surely root for Sammy Sosa, but they have no idea who Ruth Riley is. Asking a Cuban to embrace ice hockey is like asking a Siberian to follow the surfing circuit. The idea of tapping the Hispanic market for baseball and soccer proved a bust.

AND ABOUT THE WNBA: I'm all for the NBA cutting the pursestrings. You know? Let the league succeed or fail on it's own merits. And bring back the Philadelphia Rage.
SPEAKING OF MARK CUBAN: The Mavs are 14-0, denying Detroit their revenge last night. Tonight at 7:30 they visit the Pacers to go for the record, which is probably as must-see as it gets for regular season NBA games. C'mon, watch, get on the Mavs bandwagon. They're the really great team you won't hate yourself for liking.
WNBA CRAPS OUT: The Miami Sol folds a month after the Orlando Miracle did. It looks like that the NBA is cutting back on their funding of the WNBA and forcing the NBA parent franchises to do more of their own fundraising, which means that some franchises--in these cases, the Magic and the Heat--are just going to fold up shop because it's too much of a hassle. The league hasn't said if they're going to kill the two Florida franchises dead or if tehy'll relocate to non-NBA cities. I would have to think Kentucky and Tennessee would be good relocation spots, they're underserved pro sports markets. Or they could give Mark Cuban a franchise; I would love to see what madness he would come up with in the WNBA. Heck, just make him league president and see what happens.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

PEOPLE I NO LONGER HAVE TO IMAGINE NAKED: Tia Carrere in the new Playboy. Oh yes. I mean, I haven't seen it yet but Playboy celebrity layouts tend to stink, not being particularly provocative but also not even rising to the level of faux artiness, like Norman Rockwell porn or something. But that's probably unfair to Norman Rockwell. It's on some level like those inoffensive statues you see in shopping malls--that's what Playboy celebrity layouts are like. But, I mean, it's Tia Carrere. Does this mean her career is in the dumper? Has anyone ever successfully resuscitated a career by being in Playboy? I can't think of anybody. On the other hand, when somebody's made their Hollywood career off their looks the Playboy thing is probably a logical culmination of years of being almost-naked in Wayne's World and syndicated teevee, all leading up to maximum value for Tasteful Nudity in the Hefner mag. I'm sure Tia is that Machiavellian. Uh-huh.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

FUNNY: Freakin' great Greg Beato post on Michelle Malkin, cultural dominatrix. Greg's point, I think, is that Malkin is sort of being a little too interested in Christiana Aguilera's nakedness if you catch my drift. Of course, Malkin is a conservative who probably thinks displays of sexuality are best confined to the bedroom, so she has to argue against publicly displaying something she's more than a little interested in, which makes me think the only winner in all this is Mr. Malkin--the lucky bastard. She's on my list of People I'll Always Have To Imagine Naked, and that's just from the head shot. Unnf.
THE PUNCH: Rudy T. and Kermit Washington talk to USA Today about it.

Monday, November 25, 2002

I HEART THE MAVS: Just not in that way. No thanks to you, SLAM LINKS.

Friday, November 22, 2002

A QUESTION OF CLARITY: Juan Non-Volokh says something I agree with about the term "homicide bomber:"

Would it make any sense to refer to a murderer as a "homicide killer"? Should we have called the D.C. snipers the "homicide snipers"? Of course not. Why not? Because it is redundant and the addition of the word "homicide" does not clarify or provide additional detail. If a killer took his own life after that of his victim(s), it would make no sense to refer to him as a "homicide killer." The same is true here. Indeed, the only purpose of inserting the word "homicide" is to make a political statement. Unfortunately, it comes at the expense of the English language. Any terrorist bomber who kills is a "homicide bomber." What is unique in these situations is not that a terrorist is killing people -- terrorists do that as a matter of course -- but that the terrorist is taking his (or, in at least one case, her) own life in the process. This is what makes suicide bombings different from an "ordinary" terrorist bombing -- and what makes this sort of attack particuarly difficult to stop.

I know what some of you are thinking: Somehow, using the phrase "suicide bomber" unnecessarily validates the actions of these terrorists, and downplays the evil nature of their attacks, whereas the phrase "homicide bomber" makes clear how terrible they are. Sorry, but I don't buy it. The phrase "suicide bomber" is simply more descriptive and accurate.

And it is jarring to hear Laurie Dhue start talking about "homicide bombers" on Fox News. It's a cutesy little term, loaded down as it is with well-intentioned there's-no-two-ways-about-this condemnation of a horrible kind of terrorisim. But stick with suicide bombers, it's just better English.
YAO GETS 30: Rockets lose anyhow. Granted, it was against Shawn Bradley, about whom Shaq always said if there was anybody he could score 100 points on and tie Wilt, Shawn was the one, but still. Maybe he will be something great.
AI: Great little conversation between Larry Platt and Eric Neel on Allen Iverson. Via Ken Layne, basketball fan.
THE WANKERS GOT WHAT THEY WANTED: Miss World pulls out of Nigeria after riots kill a hundred people. Can you believe this shit? At some point when this news was filtering in my reaction was, "I hope they stay, we as a planet need to stand up for goofy frivolity in the form of beauty pageants." But I don't know. It's all part of a larger conflict between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria--so Miss World isn't responsible for what happened. You can fault Miss World for going there at all--but Miss Nigeria won last year--but who picked Miss Nigeria? Here's the lgf thread on this. There's a joke here about Rebekah Revels, but I'm not going to make it. Nope.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

YOUR BILL SIMMONS QUOTE OF THE DAY: From his recent column on why being a sports fan today is so much better than being a sports fan in the 70s:

So you're stuck with local newspapers and sportscasters covering the local teams. Which is fine … until you move. Now you're riveted to Mel Allen's "This Week in Baseball," hoping for a feature on your team. You pray ABC books your boys on "Monday Night Football." You scour national magazines, relishing even the most meaningless nuggets about your team. Eventually, you're forced over to the Dark Side -- the Cowboys, Steelers, Dodgers, Lakers, Knicks, Yankees -- just because they're always on TV. You've given up. You've sold your soul.

I don't get the Dodgers and Steelers being included in the Dark Side--maybe they were on tv a lot more in the 70s. Otherwise it's a perfect representation of every purely evil American sports franchise.
LAKERS DEATH MARCH: The comical going-through-the-motions Lakers are 3-9 after losing to San Antonio last night. But Shaq comes back Friday so they'll probably crawl out of the Pacific cellar and back into the playoffs and darken my teevee again. It was fun while it lasted.
YOUR PETER BAGGE QUOTE OF THE DAY: From this interview, answering the "Is Comics Art?" question:

I really, honestly, and truly do not care if people think it's an art form or not... I mean, I think I'm an artist, but if there's somebody out there that doesn't think I'm an artist, but is still buying my comic -- well, what the heck do I care whether if the guy thinks I'm an artist or not? He's still buying what I'm making and reading it. That's really all I care about. It's just a given: if they're buying it, they're getting something out of it; they're liking it. So whether they consciously perceive what I'm doing as art or not, it's almost irrelevant. To me, art is anything that a human being creates that is meant to express something. And that could be a video game. Y'know what I mean? It could be a Sunday funny. It could be a superhero comic. Like there's art that I like. There's art that I hate. There's art that I think is good. And art that I think is bad. But it's ALL art. I really don't understand why people say that something is art and something isn't.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

YAO WATCH: Charles Barkley set to kiss Kenny Smith's butt after Yao scores 20 in a game. Or whatever deviltry Kenny has thought up.

Monday, November 18, 2002

COMICS ROUNDTABLE: Dirk Deppey directs us to this NinthArt discussion on all things Grant Morrison. I first heard of him when he did Animal Man, and I was all hyped about it because I thought DC was going to let him reverse the Crisis. I was young and impressionable.
HITCH WATCH: Number One Hitchens fangirl Elizabeth Spiers has a report on his latest performance.
MAGAZINEWATCHING: ESPN Mag has a nice article on the death of Davey Boy Smith, which goes into all the crazy things he did to himself to make it big in wrestling. I wonder why they didn't put Bulldog on the cover like the picture that they're running with the article--and on the Mag's front page. On-line front page, I mean.
ALSO: The beloved Mavs beat the beloved Nets on Friday night, in a game the Nets could have won if Steve Nash hadn't already decided the Mavs were going to win. The Mavs are 10-0 and this week play the Lakers--who will probably try everything to give the Mavs their first loss--and the Rockets, where Yao Ming will face one possible alternate future for his career: Shawn Bradley. I love this game.
AND HEY: Clippers keep pace with Warriors and Lakers for Golden State basketball stinkiness domination by losing a game to Seattle they led most of the way. Stoopid Clippers.
MING DYNASTY PROGRESSES: Rockets beat Lakers with Steve Francis' 27 points and Yao's 20, overcoming Kobe's 46. Yao was the difference-maker, as his points put the Rockets over the top. Yes, Shaq wasn't out there. Who cares? For the first time Yao looked enthusiastic out there--and, I mean, against Samaki Walker how could he not--and that is a definite sign of progress.
ANOTHER ONE FROM THE CANNOT BEAR TO WATCH/CANNOT LOOK AWAY FILE: History of Michael Jackson's face. Via Chris Puzak.

Friday, November 15, 2002

BEACH BLANKET BLOGGO: Almost forgot to hype this: Fritz Schrank is hosting a blog weekend down in Rehoboth Beach starting tomorrow. Here's the details. I will not be in attendance myself, as I am studying for a horrific physics test (physics is inherently horrific, for me anyway) but if you're on the East Coast and a blogger I encourage you to show up. It's never too cold for the beach.
AND HEY--LET'S BE CAREFUL OUT THERE: The FBI is warning of a "spectacular attack" on targets with "[h]igh symbolic value, mass casualties, severe damage to the U.S. economy and maximum psychological trauma"--so let's just watch ourselves this weekend, these assholes have the death sentence on twelve systems and are looking to prove their manhood in a horrific way. Be cautious when you're enjoying whatever wretched hive of scum and villainy you call home. That is all.
CLIPPERS WATCH: The Chron is reporting early warning signs of the coming Clippers implosion:

We kind of knew that sometime this season, maybe on a long, winter road trip, perhaps late in the season when bodies are sore and the season is old, the Clippers would run headlong into individual interests.

With seven players in the last season of their contracts, that seemed certain. But in the first week? They couldn't make it through the first week?

There has been speculation that the many injuries are in part the result of players not willing to chance playing at less than 100 percent because injury-marred play could hurt bargaining position later.

Not surprisingly, Michael Olowokandi was the first to blow a fuse, demanding that the team run more plays for him. General manager Elgin Baylor was eventually called in to mediate. Coach Alvin Gentry was conspicuous in an animated conversation with Olowokandi's agent Bill Duffy. Gentry denied there was any "major" blowup, but something clearly happened.

"The contract thing is not an issue," Gentry said, protesting too much. "These guys are athletes, and they are bred to compete. When they walk onto the court, they are going to compete. With the contracts, nothing can happen until the end of the season, anyway."

Assistant coach Mo McHone said the team's lack of chemistry is an on-court problem, not an off-court problem.

"You can blame it on the contracts if you want to, but I really think it has more to do with us not playing together," he said. "I don't care what you do in practice, you cannot completely simulate game action. We have a new point guard (Andre Miller) and new starters, and the first time they really played together was in the first game. It just can't work that way."

The LA Times has a quote from Gentry on his team's impending free agency:

"Obviously, it's in the back of their minds," Gentry said. "We can't do anything right now as far as contracts until the season is over. So we've set our goals on the court. It's a distraction, but I think our guys have handled it well. I don't see any selfish play on the court so far.

"Actually, I'm a little sensitive to their situations. I understand how important the stats are to them. I might even play a guy a few more minutes than I might have."

Is there some curse associated with being on the cover of ESPN Mag too? Or maybe ESPN Mag just got on the Clippers bandwagon a season too late. I dunno. All I know is, the Clippers are not fun to watch thus far this season.
OFFICE OUTRAGE OF THE DAY: Coffe pot found, burner off, thin layer of coffee on bottom of pot. Plenty of coffee in break room. Inexcusable.

Hey, remember the Punisher's War Journal? He would jot things down about the last gang of dope-pushers or brokers in stolen AIM technobabble he had shot full of holes that day. The Office Outrages as I write them are sort of like that. And I was never a big Punisher fan. Huh.

UPDATE: Actually, it's probably more like Rorshach's journal in Watchmen. Which speaks volumes about my sanity. Greaaaat.
BELOW RADAR OUTRAGE ITEM: Charles Paul Freund in Reason Links tell us the story of Hashem Aghajari, who is to be executed in Iran for questioning religious authority, a sentence that Aghajari could get out of but might not want to--to make a point:

Aghajari has the right to appeal his verdict, presumably allowing a deal to be worked out that could defuse the crisis. (Similar death sentences have been reduced on appeal.) But his lawyer now says that Aghajari doesn't want to appeal. According to the lawyer, Aghajari says that "those who have issued this verdict have to implement it if they think it is right or else the Judiciary has to handle it." He thus appears to be risking his life so as to force Iran's judicial establishment to confront its own barbarity. In the meantime, he is reportedly suffering in prison, where his right leg, amputated at the knee as a result of the Iran-Iraq war, has become infected. He cannot stand or walk, even to the prison bathrooms. Nevertheless, he appears to be prepared to sacrifice himself in the name of his liberal principles, an act of potential martyrdom that contrasts dramatically with the acts of the unspeakable but celebrated ghoul "martyrs" who detonate themselves to kill Jewish children in strollers.

Freund ends by saying Iran "has had enough martyrs; it doesn't need another one."
MAVS LOVE: Profile of Steve Nash. Via Rapmaster.
END OF A BLOG: Diana Moon has announced her retirement. She's also decided to remove the blog from the web--which I think is a little premature, for who can say when the Will To Blog shall return; it is beyond us, this Will To Blog--but it's still there as of right now so get your Letter From Gotham goodness while you can. God speed, Diana, on your real-life journeys.
YOUR BASKETBALL BLOG OF THE DAY: Tim Kraus's The End of the Bench, who I found via the Kevin Holtsberry link list.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

FA FA: Fa. And more fa. Wait, this is the one in Nigeria. And the one with Rebekah Revels. What did Bobby Dylan say? Everybody must get stoned? I certainly hope not.
CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP WATCH: A report on the Saudi royal family's vacation in Spain, via The Indepundit:

The extravagant vacations of Saudi King Fahd and his royal retinue in Spain are disproportionate for a country suffering severe political and social problems.

The 81-year-old king of Saudi Arabia, Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al- Saud, accompanied by nearly all of his children and family members and an entourage of more than 3,000, has been vacationing on Spain's Costa del Sol since August 14.

In the posh Mediterranean resort town of Marbella, 450 kilometers southeast of Madrid, he stays in his palace, a replica of the White House named "Mar Mar". Just the preparations of the palace for his visit ran to US$185 million. Luxury villas and 300 rooms in five-star hotels were rented for the rest of the royal family in and around Marbella.

Chic restaurants and jewelry shops have cheerfully prepared for the Saudi visitors, who spent $90 million on their last stay, in 1999. During this year's visit, which is to be one month longer than the last one, they are expected to spend as much as $300 million.


Several Spanish media outlets reported that a British agency has provided a large group of women to accompany the Saudi men during their vacations in Spain, on two conditions: the women must be young and blonde, and must be replaced every 15 days.

Although prostitution is legal in Spain, procuring is punishable by law. Nevertheless, no authority or organization has moved against the British agency, even though the contract was made public.

"Mar Mar?" Or, specifically, a replica of the White House called Mar Mar? Jeebus. I'm appalled. And the dullards only wanted blonde hookers.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

OFFICE OUTRAGE OF THE DAY: Two coffee pots, one decaf and one regular, each with about a half an inch of the brown fire liquid down the bottom, with both the burners turned off and no coffee in the lounge. This is the office I work in. There's a cold box of Dunkin Donuts coffee out there too.
MARVEL HATE: Stan Lee sues Marvel, Joe Simon sues Marvel. And then there was this important Dirk Deppey essay from the weekend:

On the 23rd of last month, current Marvel COO Bill Jemas attempted to defend his company's policy of no longer fulfilling re-orders on new books by claiming that A) it was better for Marvel's bottom line and B) that it would stimulate the moribund speculator's market, which would C) benefit forward-thinking retailers.

Bill Jemas is full of shit, and he's full of shit for the following reasons:

The policy is only better for Marvel's bottom line to the extent that the initial sell-through makes Marvel look better to both current investors and companies interested in buying out Marvel and giving it the same kind of safe-haven DC enjoys from AOL-Time-Warner. As recent sales figures show, once re-orders are factored into the equation DC Comics actually holds a slim lead over Marvel in overall dollars earned. If this is Jemas' definition of "better," I'd be interested in seeing what his definition of "worse" looks like.

The policy will only stimulate speculation to the extent that it's possible to convince teenage boys that tens of thousands of comics, all hoarded away by collectors, will ever accrue in value. Anyone with half a brain in their head can see the flaw in this logic. Anyone who lived through the last two speculator bubbles can see where all this is headed. You did read this far down, right?

Even if the speculators' market is again kick-started into existence, the reader demand necessary to drive up prices has a new damper preventing it from increasing the way it did in times past: graphic-novel collections. Say you're a reader wishing to collect earlier stories from your favorite title. In times past your only option was to buy expensive back issues, but nowadays you've got a second choice: buy the book instead. If the back issues cost substantially more than the book, which option are you going to choose? Moreover: with a brake like this applied to the speculator market, can anyone seriously forsee the value of said back issues significantly rising past the cost of a softcover collection? This is what I meant when I said earlier that I thought the speculators' market was a bygone era -- with a second alternative available, the only people speculators can realistically sell their "investments" to are other speculators. Something of a closed loop, don't you agree?

The policy makes comics retailing even more of a crapshoot than it already is; by forcing retailers to gamble on increased inventory rather than on what their experience tells them will be the maximum point of sell-through sales, Jemas is asking retailers to sit on an increasing backstock in order to improve Marvel's own financial fortunes. Eventually that backstock will pile up to the point where the retailers' ability to invest in new merchandise will be compromised by the capital already tied up in inventory. This has happened before. Twice.

Marvel's "no re-orders" policy, coupled with the proliferation of titles we've seen coming out of Marvel over the past few years, represents a cheap and sleazy attempt to recapture long-lost market-share by forcing retailers to buy more heavily into an ever-increasing array of titles. By printing more titles per month, Marvel undoubtedly hopes to squeeze some competition from other superhero publishers off the shelves. By eliminating re-orders, Marvel undoubtedly hopes to tie up money that might otherwise have gone to their direct competitors, which further squeezes them out of the game. The notion that this policy is in place for the benefit of the retailers is ridiculous -- the only people who stand to benefit from such moves are Marvel Comics and their investors. Even then, this policy actually screws Marvel in the long-term by adding instability to the very market Marvel depends upon to sell the bulk of their wares. If comics shops again start going belly-up in large quantities, Marvel loses retail outlets they'll still be needing years down the road.

Read the whole thing, it covers, in detail, three of the big comics events of the 80s and 90s: the speculator bubble bursting after the black and white comics explosion, the speculator bubble bursting with the 90s gimmick comics, and the distributor wars of the 90s. An excellent read if you need to know about comics industry history. And make mine Marvel.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

NOT ALL MEMORIALS ARE CREATED EQUAL: Any suckas who don't think the Vietnam War Memorial is heroic enough or something, send them to Geitner Simmons. Via Donald Sensing.

Monday, November 11, 2002

LAKERS TWO-MAN ARMY: Blame Mitch Kupchak:

Jerry West took a front-office position with the Memphis Grizzlies over the summer, and in his first offseason managed to add two quality players -- Drew Gooden and Gordan Giricek -- to his team's rotation. It may not seem like a big deal, but that's two more than Mitch Kupchak has been able to find since taking over the reins of the Lakers from West three years ago.

While the players West brought to Los Angeles -- Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Robert Horry, Rick Fox, Derek Fisher, Devean George and Brian Shaw -- went about winning three straight titles, Kupchak's additions have provided precious little help.

That wasn't a problem as long as Shaq was around to carry the mail for the Lakers, but his absence has exposed all manner of holes in the rest of the roster. The team is now 2-5 despite the fact that Kobe Bryant is averaging nearly a triple-double.

By John Hollinger.

Friday, November 08, 2002

THE ACOMPETITIVE NATION: One thing I noticed at the last Olympics is the fact that India--the second-biggest nation on Earth--stinks at sports. So I'm reading all the iSteve articles and I noticed this:

Once again, however, the biggest loser in the Olympics was India. For the second straight Games, its one billion people brought home - a single bronze medal.

Indians just don't seem to care about any sports besides cricket. Even in field hockey, a game they ruled through the middle of the 20th Century, they stunk up the place again.

Perhaps Indians are just too cheerful, friendly, and polite to care much about winning at sports. Interestingly, their few sportsmen tend to come from the traditional warrior racial groups like the Sikhs. The British recognized that the Sikhs, along with the East Asian Gurkhas of Nepal, made the finest fighting men in South Asia. Sikhs remain the backbone of independent India's officer corps. Similarly, guys named Singh (i.e. Sikhs) hold about half of India's national track records.

It's long been theorized that militaristic nations should be best at sports, since sport is fundamentally training for and recreation from fighting and hunting. This correlation, however, has proved hard to test since practically every nation on Earth has a pugnacious history. Ancient nations that didn't like war tended to be put to the sword.

The most obvious exceptions: the peoples of India, who have repeatedly been the passive victims of invaders. So perhaps there is something to this old saw after all.

At the same time I thought the ultimate or the most universal form of competition would have to resemble a Bollywood musical. Universal in the sense that those musical numbers involve men and women in a weird form of mock sexual competition. That makes no sense...
TOWARDS A SHAQLESS LEAGUE: Steel O'Neal realizes his mortality in this Boston Globe article:

''I don't bounce back like I used to bounce back,'' O'Neal said. ''It's just one of those things. They know and I know I'm not the same person I was when I came into the league.

''I was 19 years old, and I could do anything. I never got hurt. But the sun doesn't always shine forever.''

In fact, O'Neal revealed last night, he can see the end of his career coming, and it could be much sooner than most Laker fans think.

''I always said when I wasn't winning championships, `All I want is to win one, then I can stop,''' Shaq said. ''But now that I have three rings, I want to get five. After I get five, I'm going.

''And, when it comes time to [write] my book, I want everyone to say, `He was dominant to the end.'

''Patrick Ewing was once a dominant player. At the end of his career, he's coming off the bench for Orlando.

''That's not how it's going to go for me. When I win that last championship, I'm going to say, `You know what? I'm done.' You won't ever see me out there, playing eight minutes a game, trying to hit short jumpers instead of dominating inside like I'm supposed to.''

My own enthusiam for the Lakers losing to the Celtics last night was tempered by the knowledge that it'd all be different if Shaq was out there. But I'm enjoying this unpredictable Shaq-free part of the season, and looking forward to a time when there isn't just one guy with such a huge impact on the rest of the league--or at least when said guy isn't on the same team with Kobe Bryant.
FUN: Is reading all the articles at the Steve Sailer site. I looove dat man. Here's his discussion with readers of his "Is Love Colorblind?" article.
THE TROUBLE WITH DAWKINS: His kneejerk, oppressive atheism is his least appealing feature, and leads me to think--maybe not exactly logically, more of a hunch--that his reductionism is wrong too. I dunno.
INTELLECTUAL ANALOGY OF THE DAY: Stephen Jay Gould is to evolution what Camille Paglia is to art. And you can make the same analogy with their two magnum opi, The Structure Of Evolutionary Theory and Sexual Personae. Yes.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

NBA REALIGNMENT: Jack McCallum put his potential NBA-with-new-Charlotte-franchise realignment up and now I'm going to put mine up, because it's fun. Here goes:


New Jersey
New York

COMMENTS: This is a hard group to deal with because you know the NBA isn't going to break up the Knicks-Celtics-Nets-Sixers. I stuck in the Cavs.


COMMENTS: These all logically fit together for me, kind of like the NFC Central or whatever they're calling it these days.


COMMENTS: Every realignment plan is going to have some leap of logic, and mine is sticking these five teams together. Indiana is sandwiched between Mid-West and East and thus is squeezed south. There's not enough room for Washington in the Northeast so it goes here too. The other three are in the middle of the South. I think Indiana is culturally closer to the South than the Mid-West anyway, so here you go--my grand flawed beautiful Mid-South division.


New Orleans

COMMENTS: I like this one, there's no absurd sticking of Florida teams in Eastern conferences that I hate. All of these cities are in the South geographically speaking but are not exactly what we think of as being "The South"--Texas is Texas, New Orleans in New Orleans and the Florida cities are transplanted Easterners. So here they are, pariahs dotted along the Gulf coast.

San Antonio

COMMENTS: The two bits of weirdness here are taking San Antonio away from the Texas teams and Sacramento from the California teams. But an all-California conference isolates either Portland or Seattle and thus cannot be done. Sacramento is the best choice to move to a different division, it's miles from the Bay Area but it might as well be light years. San Antonio is the furthest West of the Texas teams so Tim Duncan and company get stuck in here. It's a fun little small market division.


COMMENTS: The Pacific coast becomes one big line of basketball hate. There's so much NBA history here--past glory (Warriors), past, present and future glory (Lakers), one of the all-time worst franchises in sports history (the Clippers) and one of the rare enduring NBA rivalries (Portland and Seattle.) I would love this division.

There you have it, the conferences bisect the United States with an imaginary diagonal line that goes from Washington to the northen border of Florida. I don't know how to do the playoffs, maybe the six division winners and the top ten teams after that in an NCAA-like cross-nation bracket. It would work for me.
NO CONTEST: Was the movie I saw last night on cable and it's notable for the high-concept casting of Roddy Piper, Shannon Tweed and Andrew Dice Clay in the same Die Hard retread which suffers from not having Alan Rickman as the bad guy (though the Diceman is still entertaining in this role) but Shannon Tweed is about a zillion times less obnoxious than Bruce Willis--so it evens out. Roddy mows down a bunch of people before he dies, I guess he had it in his contract that he needed a big body count if he was going to get pasted by Shannon Tweed twice during this thing. Plus there's Robert Davi in this too, and you might not know the name but you probably know the face--it's one of the classic bad complexion faces that you always recognize on teevee. A novel B-movie, though not as good as you'd think given the cast.

I thought for sure I'd come up Jeffersons, but there you go. Via Ann Salisbury.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

BELOW MEDIA RADAR: You know, if I didn't read War Liberal I wouldn't know that there's a practical tie in the Alabama governor's race.
LAUTENBERG WON: And all you hear on the radio is people talking about how Forrester was going to roll back abortion rights--as if he could. Cretins. Sheep. A pox on the people of my state, for not doing what the people of Minnesota could and throwing off septugenarian tyranny from the Democratic party's past. Dang it.
NBA LEAGUE PASS: The ultimate time-sucking vortex that I will love and hate over the next six months. I am now acquainted with all of the Golden State Warriors. I am a KING.

The Rockets are becoming my must-see team, I tune in initially to se if Yao Ming does something cool (he hasn't yet) and end up being impressed with the rest of the team. They're the youthful-promise team the Clippers could be if Rudy T. was coaching them.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

WILDERNESS OF NATIONAL ENQUIRERS: The Top 100 Celebrity Trainwrecks of the 20th century. Via the DVDVR board. There are some good, atypical choices in there, along with the classics.

UPDATE: The R. Crumb entry:

R. Crumb is much like Woody Allen in that they are both undeniable geniuses, but they're both old cranky pervs with really skunky fetishes, who prattle on for hours about boring obscure blues musicians from the turn of the century and "fancy themselves a bit of a musician." In fact, R. Crumb and Woody Allen may be the same person. Have YOU seen them in a room together?

UPDATE UPDATE: Hey, Tripod stinks, so here's the Google cache.
NBA HAPPY STORY: A little bio of 29-year old Rockets rookie Juaquin Hawkins, who finally made an NBA roster after years of summer and foreign leagues.
ALL RIGHT WITH WORLD: Nets 4-0, Knicks 0-4.