Saturday, January 10, 2009

Three Degrees of Paul Stanley

The parody of the parody of the Paul Stanley Weatherman bit.

The parody of the Paul Stanley Weatherman bit.

The Paul Stanley Weatherman bit.

Back In The Saddle Again

So, I'm back.

I realized with a bit of shock that I hadn't blogged anything since Tuesday. Tuesday? Heavens to Murgatroyd.

So here I am.

The Red Sox have apparently signed Rocco Baldelli and John Smoltz to contracts because, as we all know, it's 2003.

I actually had a pretty good day Wednesday, followed by two pretty awful ones-waves of work-oceans of it-buckets of it. I know, I should be grateful. But there are times when I'd gladly hand you my job, and its attendant paycheck. Thursday and Friday was one of those times.

I have been restlessly moving from book to book, lately. I finished the Baseball Forecaster, and then moved on to Bill Felber's "A Game of Brawl", about the 1897 pennant race. I then drifted again, polishing off a freelance writing project, and finally settled on rereading Roger Angell's "A Pitcher's Story", a baseball autobiography about David Cone. I just finished that minutes ago, and I'm back into "A Game of Brawl" again. I still have "The Savage Detectives" sitting here-it lost me once, but I have been meaning to start it again, and I took down a PJ O'Rourke book, too, but that didn't do much for me, either.

Nothing has grabbed me in a while-not in the way that "Twilight" did.

It's a little more than a month before pitchers and catchers report to spring training.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Word Freak

"I'm a word freak. I like words. I've always compared writing to music. That's the way I feel about good paragraphs. When it really works, it's like music...I found out then that writing is a kind of therapy. One of the few ways I can almost be certain I'll understand something is by sitting down and writing about it. Because by forcing yourself to write about it and putting it down in words, you can't avoid having to come to grips with it. You might be wrong, but you have to think about it very intensely to write about it. So I use writing as a learning tool."

-Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, 1990

Monday, January 05, 2009

Try to look at this and not cry

The legs of a small dead Palestinian child.

Yes, I know, I don't live there.
Yes, I know, if buses were blowing up in my town, I might feel differently.
Yes, I know, if rockets fell on my brother's house, or my mother's, I might feel differently.

But I don't know.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Magic WHAT?

Another brilliant Dan Carlin this week ( about the Arab-Israeli problem. The dead right certainty of both sides, the fiendish merchants of death on both sides, the senseless waste of human life…like Dan, like all thinking beings, it sickens me. Dan points out that, to Americans, the struggle is nonsensical-what is worth sacrificing, and slaughtering, anyone’s children, especially one’s own?

Dan cleverly links it to the old Kinison routine about feeding Ethiopians-why pay money to feed people who live in a desert? Why not pay them to MOVE TO WHERE THE FOOD IS? Thus, why not move the decent people, the people not bound by ancient historical grudges,

I think one of the factors here is that, as Americans, we have always had more room, more land, more everything. If you don’t like life in Houston, you move to Fort Lauderdale, or Portland, or Flint, or Sacramento. Palestinians and Israelis can’t do that.

Dan’s second half was a brief disquisition about presidential power, how powers that appear tyrannical and dictatorial in the hands of President McFlightsuit look downright reasonable in the hands of President Obama, or, alternatively, powers that are right and just now, under Obama, appear oppressive. I have to admit he has a point here-I oppose expanded presidential powers, but I feel more comfortable with these powers in the hands of Obama. Dan’s conclusion is an excellent one-in order to fix the problem of presidential authority, he not only has to give up the power, he has to get Congress to TAKE the power-and the corresponding responsibility.

I can’t believe it took me this long to notice this story-apparently a candidate for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee circulated a CD of Christmas songs on which he sung a parody of “Puff The Magic Dragon” which was called “Barack The Magic Negro”. I don’t think I have anything to add except, to borrow a phrase from Bill Simmons, ladies and gentlemen, your 2008 Republican Party!

Well, no, maybe I do have something to add. The traditional defense in these matters is to note that the speaker/writer “was just trying to be funny”. Uh…no. Not funny. Sorry. Unless you’re referring to a defunct baseball league, that word is not uttered in polite company. Not because it’s politically incorrect, just because it’s rude.

As John Oliver points out on The Bugle this week, there wasn’t somewhere in the process of creating this musical masterpiece that someone said, “Hey, wait a minute.”?


Then again, that word doesn’t really apply when applied to the Republican Party in 2008. As someone smarter than me wrote, not so much a political party as an organized criminal conspiracy.