Saturday, April 29, 2006

Good Night and Good Luck

I usually don't post so close together but I really felt the need to after watching the movie Good Night and Good Luck. The movie is about Edward Murrow and his classic battles over-the-air with Senator Joseph McCarthy during the 1950s. Due to the revelations on Murrow's programs, McCarthy's methods of ostracizing suspected "Communists" were halted. But it brings a broader message than simply McCarthy. It attempts to demonstrate the importance of the media in our world. We all learn in school about how the media plays a watchdog role in human affairs, but do we really learn that? For me, being an aspiring journalist I hear many conspiracy theories about the downfall of the modern newspaper. And that may be, but the importance of the media will never go away, as long as people remain educated. I really think everyone should read the news or editorials in some form atleast 2-3 times a week. It is so vital to remain aware of the situations going on around you. As a human being it is your job to be a watchdog over other human beings. I wanted to share this quote from the end of the movie in which Murrow (played by David Strathairn) talks of the importance television should play in people's lives.

"Just once in a while, let us exalt the importance of ideas and information. Let us dream to the extent of saying that on a given Sunday night...the time normally occupied by Ed given over to a clinical surveyon the state of American education. And a week or two later, the time normally used by Steve devoted to a thorough-going study of American policy in the Middle East. Would the corporate image of their respective sponsors be damaged? Would the shareholders rise up in their wrath and complain? Would anything happen...other than a few million people would have received a little illumination...on subjects that may well determine the future of this country...and therefore the future of the corporations? To those who say, "People wouldn't look, they wouldn't be interested...they're too complacent, indifferent and insulated"...I can only reply: There is, in one reporter's opinion...considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right...and this instrument is good for nothing...but to entertain, amuse and insulate...then the tube is flickering now...and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost. This instrument can teach. It can illuminate and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it towards those ends. Otherwise, it is merely wires and lights in a box."

Wizards Robbed in Game 3

If anyone caught the end of Game 3 Wiz vs. Cavs, you witnessed an awesome fourth quarter where Gilbert Arenas went blow for blow with Lebron and Larry Hughes. Very good stuff, and the Wiz deserved to win. With 20 seconds remaining and the Wizards trailing by two, Arenas drove by Larry Hughes (thank God he doesn't play in DC anymore) went to the hoop and got a three point play. It out the Wiz up 1. On the following possession, I'm sure everyone saw it, Lebron drove to the basket and made a tough shot over Michael Ruffin. It probably could have been a three point play as well because Ruffin fouled James. BUT...the basket should not have been allowed and there should have been no opportunity for a foul to be called. Watch the replay and you'll see LeBron TRAVELED! Watch his feet and you'll notice that he changes his pivot foot halfway through the move. Now, it would be one thing if this were some rinky dink high school (like Forest Hills Central) game with rinky dink officiating, but this is the NBA playoffs. You gotta call that travel no matter what player makes the move. However, I don't agree with Wizards coach Eddie Jordan saying Lebron gets preferential treatment from the refs. I mean the Wizards have gone to the free throw line more than the Cavs in the series. I think the official simply missed the call, and it's a shame because the better team lost the game. This Wiz-Cavs series is definitely going the distance, and obviously the winner will lose to the Pistons. But I think the Wizards can take Detroit 6 or maybe 7 games, while I don't see the Cavs winning more than 1 game against the Stones.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Back in Maryland

I have returned home to my old stomping grounds of Potomac, Maryland. I definitely had a satisfying year in Ann Arbor, and it kinda sucks to think that I am already halfway through college and it feels like a blink of the eye. My basement has been completely re-done and is pretty decked out (pool table, digital cable, 60" TV). But I put the finishing touches on the new room once I arrived home. Clark now lives in the basement, and should enjoy the friendly surroundings that people like myself, Battey, Pat, Matt, Raspy, and Jeremy will provide. I don't know if Clark will be able to match the tail he pulled at Michigan, but with him you never know. Welcome to Potomac Clark.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

A New Way to Foot the Bill

An interesting revelation was made by one Dan "the man" Kovel today at dinner at Good Time Charley's. What if you could pay the bill at a restaurant by simply texting in the dollar amount and the name of the place where you are eating into your phone? Then the phone could just take that much money out of a specific bank account and give it to the place where you are eating, using some sort of wireless network through the cell phone. For security purposes, there would be some kind of PIN number to be entered in order to do this. That way, instead of making the waiter or waitress collect like 6 credit cards from 6 different people, there would be no middle man. Breskin refutes the whole thing, saying it has "too many kinks" to be worked out. But I think it's do-able and could eliminate a lot of the unnecessary waiting time at restaurants.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Grounded For Life

I have been an underground fan for while now, but I'm gonna come out and say it, Grounded For Life was one of the most underappreciated show on TV. And I happened to be watching an episode today and lo and behold I had a Turtle (from Entourage) spotting. He was a random audience member during a school talent show. But it is just a great show, random guest spots aside. Uncle Eddie and the grandfather are the two that really make the show go. Classic line from today's re-run:

Eddie: You should stop reaching for your dreams. If everyone became what they dreamed the world would be full of movie stars and astronauts. And then who would make the sandwiches.

It's on from 4-5 on ABC Family every weekday if you wanna watch a truly underated TV show.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Van Morrison

I am definitely in favor of more recognition for the genius that is Van Morrison. He is so highly underrated. He has so many songs that you know, but you don't recognize as his. I would argue that he has the best voice for real music out of any artist in history. His unique blend of blues alongside some very early grunge rock make him different from any other artist. I decided awhile ago that "Dancing in the Moonlight" needs to be the first song I dance to alongside my wife at my wedding. The man is just a fantastic storyteller. His imagination is in direct correaltion with what the soul desires in music. The man is a recluse and he doesn't crave the limelight. In the words of Peter Krauss, "Van doesn't care about performing, he's an artist. He doesn't tour because all he cares about is good music." Think about some of the great Van Morrison songs... "Moondance", "Brown Eyed Girl", "Dancing in the Moonlight", "Domino", "Caravan", "Gloria", "And it Stoned Me", "Crazy Love", "Have I Told You Lately" and so much more. Peter Krauss just had another revelation, "There is no way someone can cover Van Morrison. No one does it better than him." And he's totally right that covers on albums = total garbage. Now, impromptu covers at concerts = sweet. Like moe. covered Blue Oyster Cult's Godzilla and that was unbelievable.

Well, that was a sweet rant. Music is the shit.

Sweet Bumper Sticker

I was driving back to SAE today and was behind this car that had a really great bumper sticker. You know, the bumper sticker that is kinda funny, makes you think, and has a great message. IT went like this:

"It will be a great day when all of our schools have enough money to pay for anything they want and the air force has to hold a bake sale to fund a bomber."

Friday, April 14, 2006

MLB Observations

I'm gonna lay it all out right here -

1. Brewers and Tigers = not for real. Tigers rotation is suspect. They remind me of the Orioles from years past. Their "good" young players aren't that good. Pretty much the Tigers have a good pitcher in Bonderman, and I'm still on the fence with Shelton. For the Brewers, their closer, Turnbow is legit, and JJ Hardy has shown some skills. But you can't make the playoffs with two players.

2. The Red Sox are gonna be unstoppable if they make the playoffs. Schilling looks like he's back to his old dominating ways. ANd combine that with Beckett, and you've got a 1-2 combo that is just as good as Schilling and Johnson from a few years back. As long as Clement and Wakefield give them 12-15 wins they will make the playoffs and be all right. And now there is a rumor that Clemens might end up there. Oh man, they are my early season pick for the World Series.

3. The Yankees' lineup is pretty ridiculous. I mean there is no break there.. Too bad they'll be the same team as last year. They'll make the playoffs but it will be another early exit.

4. The Nationals are not as bad as they look so far. They shouldn't panic back in DC. Everyone has to realize the Nats have played all of their games against real good teams. The AStros were in the World Series last year, and the Mets should win the NL East this year. I see the Natties in the 75-80 win category.

5. The Blue Jays will be this year's version of the 2005 Baltimore Orioles. They'll drop out of the race once we get past the All-Star break.

6. Barry Bonds will hit 25-20 HRs this season.

7. The White Sox will not even make the playoffs this season. They are a good team, but not a playoff team. Last season, they got lucky that every pitcher on their roster had a career year. In reality their only solid pitcher is Mark Buerhle. ALthough, Jim Thome looks unreal so far this season.

Should be another great baseball season.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Glee Club

I wrote a Grinds My Gears column on people who hand out flyers in the Diag. In it I made fun of the Glee Club. Now they have been barraging me by e mail, and even mentioned my name in their concert. In reality, those pukes should be thanking me. I gave them more publicity than they could have ever dreamed of. But I have heard a lot of good response from the column. Many have complimented my straughtforward approach. It sucks that people who hate your stuff are the ones most likely to give a response to the column. In the words of Mike Montero, "You can't win em all".

Monday, April 03, 2006

Incredible Day

What a day April 3, 2006 has been. It's opening day, where every team still has a shot at glory. By the way if anyone caught the Nationals game today, that call was total bullshit by the home plate ump in the eighth. Lo Duca dropped the ball and Soriano was safe. But it didn't hide the fact that Soriano was fucking loafing it around the bases. He should have been safe by a few steps.

But today is also the NCAA Tournament finals. Florida vs UCLA...I'm actually not looking forward to this one. But it's still the NCAA finals.

Last night I also had a weird happening. So I lowered myself to the point where I'm writing women's tennis stories for the paper now that hockey is over. I'm interviewing the coach, Bitsy Ritt, on the phone, and she was actually nervous to talk with me. After months of interviewing Red Berenson, my style is much more professional. This tennis coach didn't know what fucking hit her. She was like stuttering all over the place to the point where I almost laughed over the phone.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Aftermath

Battey was in town this weekend. It was pretty sweet. We just got real messed up everyday. He also got to experience the phenomenon that is Hash Bash. I can tell you it was fun, but if you want details, you'll have to go elsewhere for them. But because of the Bash I forgot to do a lot of stuff and now I'm playing catch up. But as Battey says, "Short term memory is so overrated".