Monthly Archives: February 2007

Ah, That Explains It

News Item: Fox News’ John Gibson says journalists not covering Anna Nicole are guilty of “news guy snobbery.”
Yes, of course! People who cover wars and elections and other things that have an effect on the world and history and life and death- they’re just sanctimonious shits! Screw ’em! Gibson actually chides Anderson Cooper for covering the war instead of Anna Nicole, as though such a decision is worth mockery. At least when Anderson covers a war, it’s one that actually exists.
I remember a similar argument during the Laci Peterson nonsense, when one of the Fox bimbos (I forget which) suggested that anyone who complained about excessive coverage of such tabloid stuff was “elitist.”
Hasn’t the last six years taught us that anti-intellectualism for anti-intellectualism’s sake is a path to morally bankrupt disaster?

Cold Comfort

Here’s a funny line from Peter King’s column today, about receiver prospect Calvin Johnson:

“Would you have any problem playing in a colder climate, like a Minnesota?”
–Reporter’s question to Georgia Tech’s Calvin Johnson during Johnson’s press conference at the Combine Saturday afternoon.
The Vikings have played in a dome since 1982.

To be fair, that isn’t as dumb a question as King thinks it is. Even though Minnesota players play in a dome, they still have to live in Minnesota, which is quite a lot colder than, say, Atlanta, where Johnson played his college ball. This was an issue for another Georgia Tech alum who ended up in the Twin Cities, Stephon Marbury, who played at the very indoor Target Center but still complained often of the cold, eventually forcing a trade to that noted tropical hotbed, New Jersey.
There also remains a chance, however unlikely, that the Vikes will actually someday build an outdoor stadium. But at the rate they’re going, if they draft Johnson (which I hope they do, by the way), the new place will be ready around the time he retires.

Back to Work

If you don’t mind, we interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging for a few words of personal update:
I departed the Trend Leader in early January, as myself and a few others fell victim to the concurrent, well-publicized layoffs at the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Trend’s corporate sibling. I greatly enjoyed my time at the paper, as I made lots of good friends, did tons of interesting work, and got to interview everyone from Kevin Bacon to Ed Rendell to George Takei. But, the newspaper business being what is, I always sort of knew that layoffs were a matter of when, not if.
Thankfully, the Trend kept me on as film critic on a freelance basis, so I’ve been working on that as well as my North Star column and various other side projects, while throwing myself into my job search. I’ve also been trying to do a lot more blogging, as you may have noticed the recent uptick in posts.
Anyway, after an especially tumultuous job search that included all sorts of possibilities materializing and disappearing at all times, I’m happy to report that I’ve accepted a position as an Associate Editor with North American Publishing Co. I’ll be working specifically for the Consumer Technology Publishing Group, publisher of E-Gear, Dealerscope, and Custom Retailer magazines, as well as various newsletters and blogs covering consumer technology.
I’m incredibly excited about this opportunity, as I’m looking forward to working in a fascinating field with a respected company, right in Center City Philadelphia. Much of my work will have an online component, which I’ll be sure to link to here. I’ll also continue to the do weekly movie reviews for the Trend, as well as the North Star column, and a few other things that I’m working on too.
The blog might slow down a bit for a week or two, but you can expect to still see at least a post or two every day. With the five-year anniversary of the blog coming up in May, I think it’s about time for some sort of redesign. But with the my wedding scheduled for that month and now the new job, I’m guessing it won’t happen until summer.

Oscar Notes

The Oscars, you could say, are like pizza, and sex- even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. But this year’s telecast tested the patience of just about everyone, even an extreme film buff such as myself.
Unfortunately, due to the East Coast snow storm, the power went off in my house at about quarter to midnight, causing me to miss the presentation of Actor, Actress, Director and Picture. Yes, the greatest filmmaker of his generation finally wins an Oscar after 30 years as does his movie- and I miss it. Dammit! Still, the right film won Best Picture, and that hadnt happened in quite awhile.
First of all: way too long, and way too much filler. They have to cut off every winner after less than 30 seconds, but they still find the time for pointless filler like those shadow-interpretive dance displays (can we please ban interpretive dance from the Oscars, forever?) I know the show usually goes long, but 50 minutes past the scheduled end time, finishing up at 12:20 on the East Coast? It was like a World Series game.
My thoughts on Ellen DeGeneres as Oscar host are similar to my thoughts on her in general: She’s very likable, and very admirable, but not very funny. That monologue was just one dud after another, and the rest of her material throughout the show wasn’t much better. Yeesh. I vote for going back to Billy Crystal or Jon Stewart next year. Seinfeld or Conan would work too.
A few more thoughts:
– I liked that “choir” doing the sound effects, although it would’ve been cheaper and easier to just bring in Winslow from “Police Academy.”
– Al Gore is now the only man on Earth who has delievered acceptance speeches at both a Democratic convention and the Oscars. It was inevitable he would win, though I could’ve done without the “energy facts” in the background during Melissa Etheridge’s song. Is it ever anything other than condescending when a political argument involves a plea to “wake up”?
– That Celine Dion song had some familiar opening lyrics. But when will Savage Garden win an honorary Oscar?
– Shocking that Eddie Murphy lost Best Supporting Actor to Alan Arkin. Even more shocking? They found a cursing-free clip to show of Mark Wahlberg in “The Departed.”
– Next biggest shock: “Pan’s Labyrinth” winning Best Cinematography over “Children of Men.” If there was one movie that deserved one award this year, it was that.
– What, no Anna Nicole in the death montage? She was in “Naked Gun 33 1/3,” co-starring with Leslie Nielson and O.J.

Quote of the Day

Ben the Professor, from The Gold Seat, on the Twins’ pitching woes:

The 2007 Twins starting pitching staff will likely determine if the Twins make the playoffs or not in the increasingly competitive AL Central. Boof Bonser, Matt Garza, Carlos Silva, Scott Baker, Ramon Ortiz and Sidney Ponson are likely the 6 pitchers realistically competing for 4 starting spots. If I had to guess right now I would say that Bonser will step into the #2 spot behind Santana, followed by Carlos Silva (#3), Sidney Ponson (#4), and Matt Garza (#5). This means that much of our hope lies in the arm of a man with a Ricky Williams legal history, Pat Williams belly and Serena Willams rack–Sidney Ponson.

In the Sporting News’ preseason power rankings, they have the Twins #1, which is totally ridiculous considering how unsettled their pitching is. I’m guessing the season will start off like the last couple- a horrible April and May, until they get rid of the ineffective veterans and play the kids. Ponson is clearly the Tony Batista of ’07.

The End of “The O.C.”

Really, is that the best they could do? I know the “Six Feet Under” finale was brilliant and all that, but must every series finale from now on copy the flashforward-montage-through-the-future-set-to-music? At least “The Sopranos” won’t go that route- at least, I hope not.
“The O.C.” was once a great show, and a significant show, but I can’t remember the last time a show flamed out so quickly, and ended with such a whimper. Alan Sepinwall has more; I also noticed the parallel to the “I choose me” episode of 90210.