Monthly Archives: June 2007

Film Critic Quote of the Week

Sean Burns of Philadelphia Weekly, articulating exactly how I feel about Mr. Sicko:

A buddy recently quipped that in another lifetime George W. Bush and Michael Moore probably wouldve been great friends. This sounds outlandish at first, but chew on it for a little while.
Both are millionaires who strive to pass themselves off as regular folkstheres not much difference between Moores carefully cultivated blue-jeans-and-ball-cap getup and our presidents Crawford brush-clearing regalia. Both Moore and Bush address the American people in the condescending tone one might take with a developmentally delayed child, and theres never a crisis in our complex modern age that cant be resolved with a simple declarative sentence. Neither gentleman has much interest in gray areas.
Speaking as someone who sees the world as an endlessly complicated and terrifying place, I personally find such reductive black-and-white worldviews profoundly unhelpful, no matter which side of the aisle they come from. I know Im violating the unspoken agreement among good liberal-minded folks, as were all apparently supposed to gloss over the unsavory aspects of Michael Moores methods and demagoguery, at best admitting that his shenanigans and distortions arent any worse than what Rush Limbaugh does on the airwaves every day.
This may be true, but I dont like Limbaugh either. Shouldnt we be aspiring to something better and more substantive?

I haven’t seen “Sicko” yet, but damn “Live Free or Die Hard” was a lot of fun.

Benoit Quote of the Day

Scott Keith articulates the way many of us now feel:

This has gone beyond the point where I can even wrap my head around the situation any longer. Its like theres this guy who was basically a hero to me, who everyone Ive talked to that knew him always said what a great guy he was, who never let me down as a performerthen suddenly hes dead. And sos his family. And its like Oh, shit, thats awful, I feel so sorry for him. And then you find out that he killed his family and then himself. And then you find out that he not only killed them, he killed them in what can only be called a gruesome and ritualistic manner. And ironically, when the WWE is getting more mainstream press off him than at any time before, they suddenly erase him from history, too and distance themselves as fast as possible so that we all know that theyre the victim here.

The Benoit Tragedy, Cont’d

The death of Chris Benoit seemed 24 hours ago like the WWE’s equal of what Dale Earnhardt’s death was to NASCAR. Now, it looks like it’s wrestling’s O.J. Simpson case.
It’s now been confirmed that Benoit, one of the world’s most popular and respected wrestlers, murdered his wife Nancy and seven-year-old son Daniel, before taking his own life on Monday.
This has become a national story, with such bizarre asides as Bill Apter being quoted by Fox News, and steroids being raised as a possible factor in the murders. This may also hurt wrestling quite a bit- we all know about the dozens and dozens of deaths connected to the “sport” over the years; this is only the most prominent, and certainly the most grisly.
Indeed, the tribute show the WWE aired for Benoit last night was pitched as though he was a great guy who had been struck down through no fault of his own; the WWE must now do a total 180 on its treatment of the tragedy. Jonathan Last suspects the tribute aired last night will “disappear down the WWE memory hole pretty quickly,” as things in their operation often do. Last also suggests they probably burned the tape right after it aired.
WWE has now pulled all merchandise related to Benoit, and his bio on the website now redirects to the update page related to his death.
Meanwhile, the Internet’s best wrestling writer, Rick Scaia, has more on this sad, shocking day.

Losing KG

It now seems almost certain that Kevin Garnett is on his way out of Minnesota. It’s sad, and I’ll miss him, but if done right, the trade could actually get the Wolves in contention sooner. Unfortunately, in the Kevin McHale era, there’s a very big “if done right.”
All I can say is, that proposed (by Chad Ford) deal with the Lakers, Indiana, and Boston, in which the Lakers get KG, the Celtics get Jermaine O’Neal, and the Wolves get… Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, and a couple of mid-level draft picks should NOT happen. McHale would be hung from effigy on Hennepin Ave. if it did. But luckily, it’s probably fiction; the pro-Lakers Blog GetGarnett.com pointed out that the Wolves/Pacers/Celtics/Lakers scenario would include three non-LA teams which have 1980s Celtics as their GMs (Bird, McHale, and Ainge), all of whom would seemingly not to want to help the Lakers.
I expect we’ll find out more on draft night (Thursday), although with Wolves owner Glen Taylor leaving on his honeymoon, this could be dragged out for weeks.

I Know It Was You, Dubya

Jonathan Chait, on our John Cazale-like president:

The most fun detail in the Washington Post’s series about Dick Cheney is that President Bush calls Alberto Gonzales “Fredo.” One might wonder why he appointed as Attorney general someone he regards as a hapless ne’er do well. One theory is that we wanted a doormat.
But here’s another theory. Until 1994, George W. Bush was anything but a success. Through his family connections he had been given backing for a series of business ventures, all of which failed. His one skill seemed to be glad-handing, and so this was put to use as “owner” — he actually put up just a token sum of money — for the Texas Rangers, where he slapped backs and chatted up fans. His younger brother, Jeb, was considered the family’s bright light and the son most likely to run for the presidency.
In other words, until 1994 (when Jeb lost a race for Governor and George W. won), George W. Bush was Fredo. No wonder he’s so sympathetic to Gonzales.

So Sonny = Jeb and Bush 41 = Don Vito, so I guess that means Solozzo is Saddam. Why didn’t Maureen Dowd write this column eight years ago? I guess Dubya, after leaving office, should avoid fishing boats.

No, He’s Not the Father

Former NBA star Shawn Kemp, who has all but completely disappeared from the public eye in recent years aside from frequent appearances in “lots of illegitimate children” jokes, has resurfaced- as part of the Jessie Davis murder investigation. In reference to defendant Bobby Cutts and his alleged treatment of Nikki Giavasis, one of this three baby-mamas, the AP (via Randball) reports:

Susan Hulit Burns, Taylors court-appointed guardian, said she was bothered by how often Giavasis switched apartments and daycare providers, questioning the effect on Taylor. She said she was also bothered that Cutts conceived a child during his separation from his wife, according to a June 2006 court filing. In 1998, Cutts was accused of breaking into Giavasis home while she was inside with former NBA player Shawn Kemp of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cutts pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge and was sentenced to three years probation.

What are the odds of Shawn Kemp randomly popping up in a story about someone else having lots of illegitimate children?

Things That Make You Go Hmmm

From Peter May’s Boston Globe basketball column Sunday, one of the funniest paragraphs of the year:

There were a couple of coaching moves with Celtic ties in the Continental Basketball Association last week. Kenny Anderson was hired to coach the Atlanta Krunk, who have a decided musical bent to them in that their principal owner is Freedom Williams, a Grammy winner.

I don’t know what’s craziest about this- that there’s a professional basketball team called the “Krunk,” that longtime NBA malcontent Anderson is their head coach, that Freedom Williams- the frontman of C&C Music Factory!- is the owner, or that the CBA still exists.