Monthly Archives: December 2007

Film Critic Quote of the Week

Matt Zoller Seitz, reviewing “National Treasure 2” in the New York Times:

To acquire the cleverly named Book of Secrets, Ben plots to kidnap the current president (Bruce Greenwood) and blah, blah, blah purple monkey dishwasher.
Like its predecessor, National Treasure, this sequel amounts to a bunch of crossword puzzle answers stitched together with explosions, chases and displays of intuitive reasoning that the Twin Peaks F.B.I. agent Dale Cooper would reject as too right-brained.

I’m telling you, MZS should have the first chair at the NYT, not the fourth.

Andy Reid, Class Warrior

The Eagles won yesterday, beating New Orleans in convincing fashion on yet another excellent performance by Donovan McNabb. But with the team already elminated from playoff contention, most Eagles fans are talking about something else- the article, out this week, in Philadelphia magazine in which Andy Reid and his wife, Tammy, speak out about their sons’ drug and legal troubles.
I haven’t read the piece yet (it’s not yet publicly available in its entirety), but the big bombshell in it is that the Reids have been dealing with their sons’ troubles for several years- “through Super Bowls and championships”- and not only this year, when they first became public. Therefore, the idea that the team’s struggles this year are due to his being distracted must be false.
To that, I suppose, the negative Philly fan would react that first of all, “Super Bowls and championships” is inaccurate, since Reid as coach has reached only one Super Bowl, and won no championships, unless we’re talking about divisional and conference championships. And besides- maybe Reid’s distractions related to his sons played a part in those playoff losses!
But the worst argument I’ve heard yet came from a female reporter at Reid’s press conference (I don’t know who it was, as I only heard the radio highlight.) She asked why Reid had chosen the upscale Philadelphia magazine for his first interview on the subject, as opposed to, say, one of the local newspapers. Because after all, the reporter said, “my blue-collar father” doesn’t read that magazine, and would therefore be excluded.
Now, there’s often a lot of faux-populism, and class-resentment, directed at Philadelphia sports teams, by both fans and media alike. Usually it’s along the lines of, “Jeffrey Lurie owns four houses- why can’t he sign a better wide receiver?,” even though the person making the argument is usually a columnist or radio host making well over six figures.
Both Lurie and the Phillies owners are often accused of being “out of touch with the blue collar fan base,” as though that wouldn’t be true of anyone with enough money to own an NFL or MLB team. I suppose they would prefer a poor person own the local football team- he might not be able to make payroll, but hey, at least he’s authentic.
If our reporter’s blue-collar father doesn’t read Philadelphia magazine, it’s not like there’s a class-based barrier to entry. It has a newsstand price of 3 or 4 bucks, and I’d imagine the Reid story will be posted to the web in its entirely, for free, within a week or two. Or maybe his daughter can just lend him her copy.
You can criticize Andy Reid, fairly, for many things. But which magazine he chose for his soul-bearing interview should be towards the bottom of the list.

Quote of the Day

Christopher Hitchens, on Mitt Romney’s ridiculous “freedom requires religion” speech:

Yes, well the rape-and-lynch-women-for-trying-to-be-funny-about-Mohammed community is entirely religious. The suicide-bombing community is not absolutely 100 percent religious, but it is pretty nearly 100 percent religious. The child-abuse and child-sexual-mutilation-of-genitals community is pretty exclusively religious. The “You must tell children they’re going to Hell for minor infractions, to terrify them when they’re little” community, which I believe to be child abuse, is exclusively religious. The “Bribe people with Heaven” communitythat’s not moral eitheris exclusively religious. One could go on and on. Scientology is a religion. Now, secularism, I’m sorry, just isn’t like that.

I don’t agree with Hitch on either the all-religion-is-bad argument, or the Hannukah-is-evil argument. But I’m with him in denying the idea that all faith must be good.

Consider This Before You Call the Phillies Cheap

News Item: Mariners sign Carlos Silva for 4 years, $48 million
I’m sorry, but that’s just insane. I’ve followed Silva for his whole Twins career and, solid as he may be, giving him more than $10 million a year is just nuts. The only thing crazier would be if a team gave that much to Kyle Lohse- and you just know someone will.
As the Phils, I like the Geoff Jenkins signing, as he should form a fairly decent right-field platoon with Jayson Werth. I’m not worried that they won’t score enough runs- they led the league last year, and if you have three superstars in your infield, getting by with an outfield of Burrell, Victorino, and Werth/Jenkins shouldn’t be so bad. Even without the scrappiness/gutsiness/playsthegametherightwayness of Aaron Rowand.

Ad Critic Quote of the Day

Flash Warner. with Festivus thoughts on Beyonce’s “Upgrade” ad:

Every time I see Beyonce Knowles gyrating, foot shuffling, and fierce walking through your spots (which is every 3 minutes), I beg the nearest person to choke me out.
This Upgrade commercial is the most baffling and preposterous ad of all time. I don’t know if it’s Beyonce’s bizarre Axl Rose-like foot shuffle and scallywag, her horrendous speaking ability or the way she rolls over to reveal a gold “UPGRADE” chain in her mouth that was no doubt purchased from a bubble gum machine outside Wal-Mart. The whole spot is truly astonishing in its hideousness. I’m almost inclined to believe it was funded by the cable industry to put you out of business. If so, is Beyonce in on the joke? Likely not; she’s too busy 1-click ordering boomerangs off amazon.com.
“Lemme lemme lemme upgradejya-gradejya.” Upgrade, indeed. The only thing you’re upgrading me to is suicide watch, DirecTV. 2 enthusiastic thumbs down.

It really is starting to be a problem, for those of us who watch football for 12 hours every Sunday, that we have to see the SAME DAMN COMMERCIALS, again and again.