Monthly Archives: July 2005

Live From Philly

I’m all moved and just about all settled, and will be back tomorrow night with stories from my last weekend in New York- including Twins-Yankees at the Stadium, Dave Matthews at Randall’s Island, and OJ’s Bronco on Varick St.

Closed Mike

I’m beginning to think that Sports Illustrated football writer Michael Silver is totally unworthy of my last name. First, he wrote a stupid pro-T.O./pro-Rosenhaus column which returned, again and again, to the meme that Owens deserves a new contract because he agreed -at the Eagles’ behest- to sign a medical release form before he played in the Super Bowl.
A perfectly good argument- except it’s wrong. Silver’s column this week carries this disclaimer:

Last week’s Open Mike by Michael Silver incorrectly stated that the Philadelphia Eagles asked Terrell Owens to sign an injury waiver before Super Bowl XXXIX. The column, which went on to say that the Eagles should be obligated to renegotiate Owens’s contract, was flawed because it was based on that misinformation. We regret the error.

Wow. Shouldn’t the #2 football writer for the nation’s #1 sports magazine know a bit more about the ins and outs of this, probably the biggest running football story of the year? I couldn’t imagine Peter King making a mistake like that. Also, the original column appears expunged from SI’s site.
Silver goes on to refer to Edgerrin James, for some reason, as “the Martha Stewart of the NFL.’ But shouldn’t that be Jamal Lewis? After all, he’s the one who just got out of prison.

Film Critic Quote of the Week

Matt Zoller Seitz, on “The Island,” the latest from the devil himself, Michael Bay:

After Armageddon, Pearl Harbor and Bad Boys 2, it goes without saying that The Island is inferior not just to Blade Runner or Minority Report, but to almost any big budget sci-fi film of the last 30 years. (Spielberg deserves partial blame for this dystopian horse apple; he sent Bay the script and lured him away from regular producer Jerry Bruckheimer to direct it.) Bay is a serial abuser of CinemaScope, and this movie’s images rank with his cruddiest. Some of the most kinetically important moments are sloppily composed, cluttered with welding sparks and strobe flashes, and filmed with such absurdly long lenses that they become an objective correlative for Bay’s shallowness. The Island is the kind of nine-figure monstrosity that invites critics to take turns bashing it like a piata. To quote Slant magazine’s Keith Uhlich, “I think we’re far enough along in our civilization that the following can be stated with absolute authority: all Michael Bay movies are evil.”…
“Bay’s movies render emotional and intellectual participation unnecessary. They aren’t cinema, but the opposite of cinema.”

Save the Wall

There’s an effort underway in Pittsburgh to preserve and possibly expand the remaining outfield wall of the old Pirates ballpark Forbes Field, which has been left standing, Western Wall-like, decades after Forbes was torn down. Standing on what is now the campus of the University of Pittsburgh (my girlfriend’s alma mater), I visited the wall on my recent trip to Pittsburgh, and I wholeheartedly support the effort to keep it up.

A Matter of Interpretation

There was a fascinating Wall Street Journal piece last week by Laurence Silberman about some recently declassified FBI files from the 60s, and what they revealed about various misuse of the bureau by various presidents, especially Lyndon Johnson.
In the piece is this section, which I had to read a few times in order to understand it. It concerns Bill Moyers, the LBJ aide-turned-PBS host, and a conversation he had with Silberman in 1964. Take a look:

Only a few weeks before the 1964 election, a powerful presidential assistant, Walter Jenkins, was arrested in a men’s room in Washington. Evidently, the president was concerned that Barry Goldwater would use that against him in the election. Another assistant, Bill Moyers, was tasked to direct Hoover to do an investigation of Goldwater’s staff to find similar evidence of homosexual activity. Mr. Moyers’ memo to the FBI was in one of the files.
When the press reported this, I received a call in my office from Mr. Moyers. Several of my assistants were with me. He was outraged; he claimed that this was another example of the Bureau salting its files with phony CIA memos. I was taken aback. I offered to conduct an investigation, which if his contention was correct, would lead me to publicly exonerate him. There was a pause on the line and then he said, “I was very young. How will I explain this to my children?” And then he rang off. I thought to myself that a number of the Watergate figures, some of whom the department was prosecuting, were very young, too.

My question: is the author implying that Moyers had misused the FBI, or that Moyers was homosexual? ‘Cause blogs have interpreted it both ways.

Say It Ain’t So, Ricky!

Yea, somehow I get the feeling Ricky’s gonna regret this:

On his first visit to the Middle East, Ricky Martin declared he will try to change negative perceptions of Arab youth in the West.
”I have been a victim of stereotypes. I come from Latin America and to some countries, we are considered `losers,’ drug traffickers, and that is not fair because that is generalizing,” said Martin, who was born in Puerto Rico…
He said he planned to do a concert tour of the Mideast and North Africa, including Jordan and the Palestinian territories, tentatively scheduled for May 2006.
Martin, whose hits include ”She Bangs,” ”Shake Your Bon-Bon” and ”Livin’ La Vida Loca,” posed for photos with fans, at one point draping over his shoulders a traditional Arab kaffiyeh headscarf with the slogan ”Jerusalem Is Ours” written in Arabic on it.

Uh oh. Ironic that Ricky would take that position, ’cause I always assumed that he was part of “why they hate us.”
And as for being “a victim of stereotypes,” I’d say Ricky has- but I’d associate that more with the ever-present gay rumors than anything racial.