Month: June 2012

Newsroom Rage

Watch this, if you haven’t yet.

Ok, this is cool, I’ll admit. Jeff Daniels is great here. Sorkin weaves his usual tapestry of well-written dialogue. But the haughty dipshit-ism behind this rant is intense.

To lament the current generation while pining for the previousone is bullshit. Yeah, Generation X/Y sure look like non-caring dipshits that have ruined the country. Save for the fact that it’s the previous generation’s policymakers that have been responsible! I was 18 when the Glass-Steagall act was repealed. Yeah, that’s my fault; I didn’t even elect the guys who voted for that. Unions as we knew them were dismantled while I was learning how to walk. And the wage/production gap has grown since 1970, not 1990.

And don’t get me started on the historical selective memory this rant has. This rant wants to go on about morality, despite the fact that this “past” that’s trotted around like some golden age was also the same time as Pol Pot/Cambodia, segregation, Watergate, Vietnam, etc. And don’t forget those two huge fucking bombs we dropped on Japan.

This rant is borne from some deluded fantasy that things were better. In some ways, sure. But it’s treated as some black and white fact. Sure, the stats back up America’s decline, but to blame it on 20-year-olds is ludicrous. It’s not a copout or flawed reasoning, it’s completely fucking ignorant.

Never have I loved and hated a rant like this. I guess that’s a sign of Sorkin’s greatness as a writer. But he’s still a dipshit.

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Bullet Points for Justice

  • Obamacare declared constitutional.  Spending exorbitant funds on prosecuting baseball players for perjury still OK too.  We have a long way to go.
  • Seriously though, good job SCOTUS.  Today.  We’ll see about tomorrow.
  • NBA Draft today.  Anthony Davis’ unibrow worth the price of admission.
  • Google announces Nexus 7 Tablet.  Kindle Fire purchasers all shed a single tear.
  • I’ll want a Nexus 10 Tablet, assuming that’ll be a thing.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Android, it’s that the Google-branded devices are usually the best.  They at least get the most timely updates.
  • Getting into Game of Thrones.  It’s fantastic; enough for me to buy the books and read them all.  Though Sean Bean’s character got old quick; it seemed he constantly had that “constipated/someone shit in my cereal” look the entire time.

Coffee Bullets, aka Naming Things is Hard

Someday I’ll have a good name for this thing where I just throw out random thoughts in bullet-point fashion.  We’ll see.

  • I’ve always approved of Aaron Sorkin’s work overall.  Sports Night is one of my favorite all-time shows.  He’s always been a bit of a haughty dipshit, but never enough to turn me off completely.  Having said that, Newsroom is some haughty dipshit-ism to an extreme.  To describe America’s past as “better” in a cut-and-dry fashion is ignorant to an extreme I can’t abide by.  Such a fondness for the past is OK; but don’t forget all the other problems 
  • I listened to Rollins’ Band “Weight” yesterday.  I sort of want to lift weights and punch things now.
  • I’ve traditionally been lukewarm on Starbucks, but I’ve discovered their Blonde roast and I’m in love.  Never really liked light breakfast blends before, but this one is simply amazing.  I got K-Cups for it and everything.  I’m such a consumerist worm sometimes.
  • I’m currently working on material for some sort of stand-up comedy experiment.  I need to figure out what to channel on-stage.  I want to be myself; I feel that’s paramount to being interesting, original, and trusted on-stage.  But what part of me do I want to channel?  Self-loathing?  Goofy?  Political?  Nerdy?  I need to start, because I think the experimentation will be the most fulfilling part of this.
  • I’ve discovered a term: Music Isolationist.  This is something I am.  I don’t listen to radio or MTV, so I’m often ignorant (blissfully, might I add) of new hit songs until someone’s staring at me blankly as if I should know what I’m listening to.  I only listen to music I happen upon through Pandora, or the occasional sincere recommendation from a trusted friend.  It’s like I run an exclusive club, of which only the finest musical acts are allowed entrance into my cerebellum.  Okay, that’s a grandiose metaphor, but I like the idea of manipulating a velvet rope of particular importance.
  • At the Drive-In is keen.
  • So I just noticed on my Google Music app that there’s a thumbs-up/thumbs-down selection.  Why would this exist?  If I didn’t like a song why would I have added it to my library?  Why would I add a song only to give it a thumbs-down?  Is this for masochists?

Check back tomorrow, when there may be an update.  Or not.

So he won.

LeBron got his.

I used to be a “fan” of LeBron in his Cleveland days.  Then he was the most talented guy I’d seen since MJ who played unselfishly and appeared destined for the Hall of Fame, accolades, championships, everything.  The question wasn’t when, it was how many and for how long.  I obviously wasn’t OK when he would beat my Bulls, but outside of that, I was OK with him being the NBA’s best.

Then Cleveland failed to put a team around him.  People forget that sometimes.  Some people hold that against LBJ still, not just the way he did it, but the actual act of leaving Cleveland.  Sure it sucked, but he had to do what he did.  People say “<HoFer X would never have left <city y>”!  Well, Jordan, Bird, Magic all had great teams built around them organically.  MJ had Pippen, Horace, Rodman.  Bird had McHale, Parish, DJ.  Magic had Worthy, Kareem.  LBJ had…Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams?  He had to leave.

Obviously, how he did it, then what happened immediately after he did it are the real good reasons to dislike the man.  Turning his free agency into a bad informercial, then guaranteeing a staggering number of championships without having played a game turns entire sports’ fanbases against you.  Even non-NBA fans hear what happened and shake their heads, “That ain’t right.”  Not only that, but he also brought the magnifying glass squarely on himself and his team in doing so.

It’s always entertaining to watch greatness be great.  From an athletic standpoint, that’s what we watched LBJ do last night and throughout the playoffs.  There’s no basketball reason to dislike or question his place in the NBA now.  We wanted to see him attack more, he did.  We wanted to see a post game, he has one and uses it.  We wanted to see 4th quarter heroics, he’s delivered.  We wanted to see the greatest player of our time, and he is emphatically it, no question.  LeBron’s 2012 playoffs rank among the best ever.

And there was a part of me that was a little happy for him and the Heat, watching this huge burden be lifted.  They all said the right things, too.  Wade recognized last year as the Mavericks’ year.  Lots of self-aware talk like “it’s about god damn time” and “we were immature/playing with hate/etc” was all over the place.  LeBron looks like a little kid who finally got his wish, and also like a tired man whose biggest pressure has been lifted, yet the weight still feels there.

But they brought it all on themselves.  Watching someone overcome adversity is one thing.  Watching someone overcome adversity they put in their own way is…not the same.

The haters will remain, at least some.  One won’t be enough.  It was a shortened season.  They could have been more dominant along the way.  There will be people who will find a problem with what just happened.  And that’s OK.

He got one.  Now’s the real test.  Can he do it again.

I can’t say I won’t have fun watching.

Bullets from my coffee cup.

Random thoughts as my eyelids struggle to stay open:

– LeBron James is playing almost every available minute (almost 43 min/game) in these playoffs, and not enough people are recognizing how ridiculous that is.  Completely ridiculous that those 5 min/game he isn’t playing, that’s practically like choking away those 5 minutes!  He’s so unclutch!

– More states are pursuing drug testing for welfare recipients, despite the fact that it’s a complete fucking waste of money.  In related news, many states are also run by bumbling idiots.  Well, I guess that’s not news.

– My Asus Transformer has infiltrated my life, to a point where spending real money on a tablet (I got mine for $250 on a Black Friday sale) is looking more like an inevitability rather than an inconvenience.  It’s nothing compared to my desktop, but it’s way better than my phone in the “bathroom/couch/car/bedroom/kitchen computer” departments.

– The White Sox managed to avoid complete sadness by beating the Cubs, preventing a series sweep and winning the season series 4-2.  Now all they have to do is figure out where Philip Humber stashed his perfect-game juice and they could be set for a run at the division title.  Gavin Floyd being good again would help too.

So LeBron James is really good.

Watching the Finals has made me appreciate his game more.  I still think the dude’s Hollywood as hell (copyright
Joakim Noah) and someone who makes terrible off-court decisions, but it’s time to face the facts.  LeBron James will be considered one of the best of all-time.

His biggest “fault” has been answered in these Finals; he’s been megaclutch when he’s needed to be.  He’s used his refined post game to score, hasn’t relied on his jumper, and has routinely barreled towards the basket for easy layups.

The Decision was wrong.  “Not six, not seven, etc” was wrong.  And his chronic ref-pleading disease is certainly not endearing.  But LeBron James is the best player in basketball, and he’s amazing to watch.

Ready for fall now.

I’m ready for fall now.  This is the plight of being overweight and Irish.  I have two genetic reasons to hate this weather.

All the respect you deserve, Rod.

That’s the real bummer of most of Chicagoland (and I suppose the rest of the Midwest): there’s no great season for mild weather people.  Spring and fall are too short (and some years they’re skipped), winter is usually brutal, and summer is normally crazy hot.  All extremes.

In the future, I’m thinking something like the Colorado valleys, Pacific northwest, or even Toronto.  Someplace where there’s at least some consistency.  Fuck.