Saturday, August 11, 2012

Update on Co-Worker Josh

Ya know, never thought I'd say this but it's good to hear Josh's laugh again, even if it's on TV.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Hell Broke Luce

Tom Waits has a new record. This is one of the tracks.
Even if this doesn't float your boat musically, the lyrics sting:

I had a good home but I left
I had a good home but I left, right, left
That big fucking bomb made me deaf, deaf
A Humvee mechanic put his Kevlar on wrong
I guarantee you’ll meet up with a suicide bomb

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Get Ready for the Buycott

Uh-oh...Papa John's is talking about raising prices because of Obamacare.

Cue idiot Republicans ordering over-priced pizza in solidarity...

This part cracks me up:

One Papa John's franchise owner in Texas, Judy Nichols, says the law could interfere with her ability to open more restaurants.
“I have two options, I can stop offering coverage and pay the $2,000 fine, or I could keep my number of staff under 50 so the mandate doesn't apply,” she told Legal Newsline. Nichols added that the law may cost her between $20,000 to $30,000 extra in taxes. “Obamacare is making me think about cutting jobs instead," she said.
Do it then.

I'm pretty tired of this lady's thought process.  She's got 85 employees, 85 people who work for wages so she can keep the profits.  And hey, that's how it is in this unkind world of ours.  You own the company, or you work for one. 

What bothers me is this lady sees only two options, and neither of them results in any grief for herself.  She can, in her own words, "stop offering coverage" and prove herself to be an asshole boss who no one should work for, or "cut jobs instead."

Why should she sacrifice a damn thing for her business?  She makes the money.  They make the sacrifices and the pizza.

Catching Hell

I watched an interesting documentary last night called "Catching Hell," part of ESPN's 30 for 30 series which you can see on Netflix right now.  It's about Steve Bartman and how he ruined the Cubs' chances to go to the World Series.  Now I have next to zero interest in baseball and am not a Cubs fan, but it was an interesting documentary.

The filmmaker, Alex Gibney, had an interesting take on it.  Why Bartman? he asks.  Why not blame Gonzalez's subsequent error?  Why not blame the players who couldn't stop an 8 run rally by the Marlins?  Why not blame them for choking in game 7? Why did everyone focus on Bartman?

It's one of those questions that can't be answered really, only explored and Gibney does a decent job of doing so.  I was quite moved when he started talking about Bill Buckner and his ordeal with hostile fans over a misplayed grounder.  You don't have to love baseball to get a little glossy eyed over Buckner's emotional return years later to Boston, the city that spurned him.

But, like a lot of documentaries these days, Gibney makes the fatal error of making himself --and his film-- part of the story.   It's the Morgan Spurlock approach.  "This is a documentary about me making a documentary."  And that's fine...but I would prefer a more straight-forward approach, less "This is me going to the Dominican Republic to talk to Moises Alou and this is me giving a radio interview about my documentary and this is me telling you about my childhood baseball memories."

I noticed during the Alou interview, it kept cutting back to Gibney's face, listening to Alou, nodding, smiling.  Reaction shots, basically.  Reaction shots you don't really need.  We get it, Alex.  You talked to Alou.  We don't need to get your reaction to what he said, because the film itself should be your reaction.

Just tell the story, man.  The story about how you're telling the story...leave that to the special features on the DVD.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Randy Blythe - A Mensch

Lamb of God singer Randy Blythe spent much of the summer in a Prague prison. He's accused of pushing a fan off the stage, resulting in the man's death. After posting bail, Blythe returned to the United States and released this message:
"If it is deemed necessary for me to do so, I WILL return to Prague to stand trial. While I maintain my innocence 100%, and will do so steadfastly, I will NOT hide in the United States, safe from extradition and possible prosecution.

"As I write this, the family of a fan of my band suffers through the indescribably tragic loss of their child. They have to deal with constantly varying media reports about the circumstances surrounding his death. I am charged with maliciously causing severe bodily harm to this young man, resulting in his death. While I consider the charge leveled against me ludicrous and without qualification, my opinion makes no difference in this matter. The charge exists, and for the family of this young man, questions remain. The worst possible pain remains.

"It is fairly common knowledge amongst fans of my band that I once lost a child as well. I, unfortunately, am intimately familiar with what their pain is like. Therefore, I know all too well that in their time of grief, this family needs and deserves some real answers, not a media explosion followed by the accused killer of their son hiding like a coward thousands of miles away while they suffer.

"I am a man. I was raised to face my problems head on, not run from them like a petulant child.

"I hope that justice is done, and the family of Daniel N. will receive the closure they undoubtably need to facilitate healing.

"I feel VERY STRONGLY that as an adult, it would be both irresponsible and immoral for me not to return to Prague if I am summoned.

"This is not about bail money. This is about a young man who lost his life. I will act with honor, and I will fight to clear my good name in this matter.
The words of an honorable man.