Our National Drug of Choice

No one is above the outrage cycle. We have now, in our culture, synthesized the two worst elements of pre-9/11 and post-9/11 media: the pre-9/11 obsession with meaningless bullshit; and the post-9/11 obsession with filling every story with apocalyptic portent and over the top, tween-girl-at-a-Jonas-brothers-concert hysteria. We still care too much about J-Lo’s dress and…

Bloodsport

Contra Bill Simmons, Malcolm Gladwell’s latest article isn’t 2009’s best piece of sports journalism. In fact, it’s not even the best article about football-related concussions. For that, you’ll have to go to GQ’s “Game Brain,” an absolutely frightening look at the long-term consequences of on-field collisions. I’ve always enjoyed football, but I never really considered…

Time Travel

My favorite movie that involves time traveling is Twelve Monkeys.  Anybody know a better time-travel flick?  And, beyond that, has anyone ever seen a time traveling film that made enough sense to be believable?  I find time travel to be the most difficult plot device – it is either used lazily or despite its clever…

What should I do (with all of this fruit)?

So, I went blackberry picking this weekend, and now I have an unreasonable number of blackberries in my fridge.  I made a cobbler last night – and I intend to make another – but I’ll still have a ton of blackberries left over.  Any suggestions for what to do with them (besides nom them as…

Daft Draft Analysis

The fact that teams frequently overvalue a player’s potential while devaluing actual production has been amply documented elsewhere, but I’m consistently baffled by sportswriters who exhibit the same tendency. Here, for example, is SI’s Chris Mannix: PACERS — Tyler Hansbrough will probably have a long NBA career. He will collect NBA paychecks well into his…

a reading list for fantasy enthusiasts (II)

My initial reaction to E.D.’s latest post was something along the lines of “oh dear, I’m not sure we need a comprehensive rundown of our favorite erotic fiction.” Fortunately, he’s talking about the other fantasy genre, so I’m happy to chime in with my recommendations. My (short) list is proudly traditional and leans rather heavily…

5-And-A-Half Stories About The Same Thing

Coleman Collins, D-League journeyman, former Euro-basketballer, and a pretty entertaining author, is now contributing to TrueHoop. A taste: I was walking through Amsterdam the other day when I crossed paths with two German women, one of whom stopped directly in front of me, looked me up and down, and turned over her shoulder to yell…

Thoughts on the Champions League Final

After an unbearably over-hyped build-up, Barcelona’s 2-0 victory over Manchester United was pretty darn anti-climactic. Adding insult to injury, the match forced casual or otherwise unaffiliated fans to choose the lesser of two (great) evils. Barcelona has gradually become the Iberian equivalent of Steinbrenner’s Yankees, and not since the Vandals crossed the Pyrenees has a…

Torture vs. Steroids

A cogent point from the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Mark Madsen: When the congressional hearing of Jose Canseco vs. other MLB players created questions about steroid use, Congress acted quickly and decisively and spent the next several years with multiple Congressional hearings related to this important issue. I remember watching impassioned speeches by senators and Congresspeople talking…

Star Trek

By the way, I saw Star Trek this past weekend and it was great fun.  I’m not a big Trek fan – though I loved some of the old movies when I was a kid – but this movie was sheer entertainment and you didn’t really need to be a fan to appreciate it, though…

Friday Night Jukebox

The first time I heard Elliot Smith was watching the Oscars – or rather, when I watched Good Will Hunting, but I didn’t pay much attention then.  When I saw this performance though I was extremely impressed.  It followed a number of big flashy numbers – Celine Dion I think, and others.  Lots of production.…

Observe and report.

Observe and Report is going to surprise many people who go see it this weekend. And perhaps not in a good way. From the TV spots for Seth Rogen’s new movie, you might think he’s revisiting the irresponsible-yet-good-hearted cop character he played in Superbad (i.e. the irresponsible-yet-good-hearted character he’s played in all his movies so…

Pandora Conundrum

I long ago gave up buying or even downloading music in favor of streaming it for free on Pandora – a free online radio station that does a pretty impressive job of tuning its stations to your own tastes.  The mechanism it uses to do this is a simple thumbs up/thumbs down on each song.

Friday Night Jukebox, DIY Edition

As a fellow part-time hipster, I found a lot to like in William Brafford’s meditation on DIY indie rock and localism: Here’s the application to politics. DIY never sought to replace the major labels; it just did without them whenever possible. It was in part technology that made DIY possible, especially cheaper home recording equipment,…

Indie rock, DIY, localism.

E.D. wrote, “The idealism of the paleoconservative cause is simply too burdened by the idealism of its vision.” To which I offer—not necessarily as a rebuttal—three letters: DIY. As punks and hardcore kids in the 80s demonstrated, sometimes the best thing to do in the face of a massive system you want no part of…

So when…

…will the “free market” take care of this anomaly?  Fact is, the government isn’t doing a very good job of it, but private enterprise hasn’t really made buying food a very transparent process either.  I feel perpetually duped buying food at the “natural health food store” here in town for this very reason.  I want…