Saturday, November 19, 2005
Speaking of TiVo settings, a few Turner Classics worth your time: Sunday features Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Eve at 6pm, perhaps the greatest romantic comedy ever, followed by Harold Lloyd's Safety Last at 8pm, which indeed features the most famous shot in silent film comedy history. And Wednesday morning, starting at 6am, it's five straight Marx Brothers movies, culminating with Duck Soup -- which I think is the most laugh-packed movie of any during the pre-Mel Brooks era, and also feels pretty relevant given our present circumstances.
But first? Watch the South Park.
Groaner two-error quote from our nation's only bearded Senator, however: "We'll never surrender looking for ways to honor our local hero, who made it big in this land of hopes and dreams."
(Better/worse: "Though I had reason to believe this resolution was just around the corner from the light of day, we found living proof that I might have to prove it all night with a filibuster to ramrod this bill, but that's the price you pay if we should fall behind having a Senate majority which operates under a code of silence."
Friday, November 18, 2005
Thursday, November 17, 2005
It's hard to match last season, with Fireman Tom, Ian and Steph, but it's still good television.
For me, it's Art and Architecture of Europe from 1400 to 1800. Because my advisor, Hadley Arkes, kept pushing me to take it but I didn't, overloading on political science, history and film studies instead where I was more confident about my ability to succeed. And that has left me lacking ever since. I was fortunate in my post-college years to spend a good deal of time with people who were happy to ramp up my arts learning curve, but still, I'm a few steps behind.
You? Links to actual courses from your actual alma mater are welcome.
One bookseller calls it "a censorship tactic most famously associated with Joseph Stalin, who falsified the archival record of the Soviet Union by literally removing images of his political enemies from photographs in an effort to recreate history in his own image," but, seriously? The money that went into building that website could've been spent buying children's books to donate to public libraries.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
- Why Ethan kidnapped Claire
- What Kate's big crime was
- What happened to Jack's marriage
- Why the plane crashed
One thing we definitely will not learn this season on Lost:
- What the heck the numbers mean
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
How many men must die before the age of forty under his watch until Vincent K. McMahon Jr. feels some responsibility and takes some responsibility? Let me remind you of the scope of the tragedy:
Since 1997, about 1,000 wrestlers 45 and younger have worked on pro wrestling circuits worldwide, wrestling officials estimate. USA TODAY's examination of medical documents, autopsies and police reports, along with interviews with family members and news accounts, shows that at least 65 wrestlers died in that time, 25 from heart attacks or other coronary problems — an extraordinarily high rate for people that young, medical officials say. Many had enlarged hearts. . . .Much of the blame can be placed on the wrestling lifestyle -- unlike professional sports, there is no non-contact offseason, no rest period for aching bodies. Painkiller abuse is inevitable, and, obviously, the steroids. And for what? For a company that faces no competition in its industry, dwindling crowds and tv ratings?
Wrestlers have death rates about seven times higher than the general U.S. population, says Keith Pinckard, a medical examiner in Dallas who has followed wrestling fatalities. They are 12 times more likely to die from heart disease than other Americans 25 to 44, he adds. And USA TODAY research shows that wrestlers are about 20 times more likely to die before 45 than are pro football players, another profession that's exceptionally hard on the body.
That said, a few words about Eddie Guerrero, whose past turns with drug and painkiller addiction led to his death at 38. In an industry of 6'8" 300lb titans, he was 5'8" 220lb. He succeeded by entertaining us better than almost anyone else -- through daring aerial manuevers, a real sense of drama to his matches, and through character. Guerrero generally portrayed The Sneaky Latino, and yes, it was a total cartoon heel stereotype, but my goodness did he have fun with it. "Cheat To Win" was his motto, and if that meant getting ready to deck another wrestler with a steel chair while a referee was "knocked unconscious", then, seeing the ref reviving, tossing the chair to the other wrestler so that he could be disqualified for its illegal use, so be it.
Guerrero didn't use bloody fights or physical strength to impress fans; it was athleticism and humor. Perhaps you could say that he was the Jeremy Irons of the industry, a consumate professional character actor who the smart fans grew to idolize, while rarely being as beloved by the masses as a Mel Gibson, say. (Mind you, it's been 4-5 years since I've watched regularly, so this could be wrong.) (Also, last week marked the eighth anniversary of The Montreal Incident, and if that phrase means anything to you, enjoy this link.)
Curt Hennig, The Big Bossman, Crash Holly, Brian Pillman, Chris Candido, Road Warrior Hawk, Davey Boy Smith, Owen Hart, and the list keeps growing. Shame on the WWE, its ownership and its shareholders.
- Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room
- Mad Hot Ballroom
- March of the Penguins
Surprisingly, Werner Herzog's much-acclaimed Grizzly Man didn't make the short list, and perhaps even more shockingly, at least judging from titles, there doesn't seem to be a Holocaust movie on the list.
So, anyone have any good ideas? Leave them in the comments (with links if possible). Thanks!