Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Misplaced Sense of Entitlement

Reading this article, this paragraph jumped out at me:
One of the most pernicious effects of America's so-called meritocracy is indeed the attitude of smug entitlement it often produces. And that kind of attitude is by no means limited to Harvard grads. A distressingly large number of people in our society seem to believe that going to college is proof that they're "smarter" than their non-college-educated fellow citizens, and therefore more deserving of respect, status, and the comforts of middle-class life.
Reminds me of some folks I used to know...

And why I don't know them now.

A-Rod Can Kiss My Ass

My jaw dropped when I read that Alex Rodriguez, over-paid baseball player, makes more than the entire roster of the Florida Marlins. I knew that prick made more money than God, but more than an entire MLB team?

That's obscene.

I suppose there are some who might argue that A-Rod is actually worth more than the Marlins, but A-Rod isn't one of them. He seems to make the case that he's not worth that much. Listen to his humble comments:
"The Marlins? It's amazing," Rodriguez said. "And they still seem to find a way to be very competitive. They have a great pool of talent; they made some unbelievable trades, so they have great personnel people. To win two championships in 11 years, that's really admirable, and I'm very proud of that organization, being from Miami."
My emphasis.

You mean, you can be competitive and attract a great pool of talent without paying tens of millions of dollars to one dude? Yeah, I agree, A-Rod, the Marlins do have some great personnel people.

The Yankees......not so much. One wonders what kind of team they would have if their pockets weren't so deep. Would they still be competitive?

Doubt it.


Who do you think would win in a head to head match-up? The Florida Marlins...or A-Rod? I mean, I know the guy's a great third baseman and quite the slugger, but I'm gonna go with the Marlins on this one.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A Robbery....Averted

I went to the grocery store this morning and as I'm in the checkout, scanning the tabloids for photos of Britney going braless again, this dude walks in and goes straight to the bank. I knew something weird was up because the guy was wearing a heavy coat, much heavier than our cool-but-not-cold April weather requires, and he had the hood up.

Next thing I know, I hear the lady at the bank scream, and the guy starts barking orders at her and waving his arm. At the end of that arm was a BB gun. Yes, a BB gun. I have the same type, and let me just say, this particular model couldn't knock over a can in the wind. But when you're a big scary guy, barking orders and waving it around, it can be pretty intimidating.

The bank lady starts handing him wads of cash, and he's stuffing it in his pockets, yelling, "More, more, MORE!"

At this point, everyone that was in the vicinity has ducked for cover or is quietly slinking towards the exit. The security guard, a huge overweight guy who leans on things all the time, was standing in this little alcove by the lottery machine, one hand clutching a thing of mace and the other on his cellphone, probably calling 911.

Since the robber's back was to me, and I knew he had a BB gun, and I've been working out, I decided to charge him.

I went for his gun hand first, slamming down on his wrist with my forearm and knocking the gun to the floor. Then I tried to get him in a headlock, and since he was stunned for a moment, my initial efforts were successful. But then his fight or flight instinct kicked in and he started flailing around. It felt like riding a bull and the only grip I had was friction.

He grabbed me by the scruff of my neck and lifted me off him like a mother picking up a baby. This is no small feat. I'm six foot, 220 pounds and this guy picked me up like I was nothing.

He slammed me down on the counter and for a moment the lights went out. Certain death grinned at me from the abyss, so as soon as I was able, I scrambled over the counter, trying to flee. BB gun or not, this guy was going to kick my ass!

That's when he grabbed my leg, and started pulling on it...

Kinda like what I'm doing to your leg right now.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Another Angel Pic

Residential Towers Overlooking Cheesman Park.

Russian Ark: Reaction

Worth waiting for? What was I thinking?

This movie is like Russian Communism; it looks good on paper...but it just don't work.

The single shot is beautifully executed, with only the slightest hint of focus pulls now and then, and the setting, the Hermitage, is jaw-dropping, but the "story" is polemical dreck. There are two "characters" in the thing, the guy who plays the viewpoint "camera" and "The European." Both of them have come unstuck in time, and find themselves wandering through the Hermitage at different time periods, observing like ghosts history as it unfolds.

The Russian viewpoint character is slightly amusing with his dry aggrieved wit, but the European is more caricature than character, walking appraisingly around the Hermitage, his arms behind his back and his nose upturned. He makes snide remarks about Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Pushkin, practically every luminary they see. In every room they visit, he denigrates Russian culture, forcing the Russian "camera guy" to defend the Mother Land with tired grumbles.

Needless to say, it's not a buddy picture.

And with these two as our main characters, the movie isn't a celebration of hundreds of years of Russian history so much as it is a nationalistic pity party. And the "one shot" technique, the amazing backdrop of the Hermitage, all the costumes, the music, the spectacle, none of that can make up for what is essentially a propaganda piece that quivers with cultural insecurity.

Paging Dr. Freud

I woke myself from a dream this morning. In the dream, I was sitting at a table across from my Dad and his wife and there might have been a therapist-type figure hovering over us. The purpose of the sit-down was to discuss our differences in the hope of some kind of reconciliation.

What startled me in the dream was my reaction. As soon as my step-mom mentioned her grievances with me, I started hollering and pounding on the table. I don't recall the substance of my remarks, but every other word was "fuck." As in, "Fuck this, fuck that, fuck you, fuck fuck FUCK!"

Considering that this latest estrangement* started shortly after I told my step-mom to "shut the fuck up," the psychology of the dream is pretty obvious. Why I woke myself up...

That takes some deeper analysis.

I've been putting off a "reconciliation" for quite some time, recognizing that it would be me who would have to do it. An apology is owed, and by me no less, but as of yet I haven't found the will to offer one. I can't even do the polite thing and be insincere.

Instead I stall. Instead I dream about unleashing another string of obscenities that would render any apology moot.

*My relationship with my Dad has been colored by one form of estrangement or another for over 15 years...