Thursday, November 04, 2004
election leftovers, my midterm, Ray Lamontagne, TO, and music
A couple of things leftover from the election:
- I want to stress to my international readers (how fucking cool am I?) who have been inundating my mailbox with missives with topics ranging from "You guys are fucked" to "I'm so sorry for you" to "Check out my boobs!" to "You guys are idiots" that many Americans are not idiots. We are good people, we are smart people. Many of us understand your feelings about the US and agree with them.
But the fact is that we got beat, plain and simple. The Other America spoke a little louder, and thems the breaks. But please know that many Americans are right with you, and this election was not representative of the views of all Americans (this should be fairly obvious with 48% of the vote going to John Kerry, but still I wanted to clarify).
For you Canadians, reader LL in Georgia (who proves that yes, liberals do live in Georgia) sent this to me. So get ready, because I am not going to live in Jesusland (there are just no decent strip clubs).
Also, for the record, according to site counter statistics, I have three times as many readers in Singapore than I do in the whole Rocky Mountain time zone in the US. What gives here? Is the Rocky Mountain time zone against me, or am I just a demi-god in Singapore? Please explain.
- One of my friends, a Bush supporter, said he voted for GW because of Iraq. His logic was that though GW got us into the mess in Iraq, he'd rather see what GW can do in the next term than hand the mess over to Kerry, who doesn't seem to have a concrete plan.
Let's say I'm a shareholder in a Company X. Let's say the CEO of Company X, with a small group of lackeys, has decided it would be in the best interest of the company and the market as a whole to take over Company Y. The CEO believes in this so much he does so without getting permission of the Board of Trustees of Company X.
So Company X takes over Company Y without permission of the Board and uh oh - it doesn't work so well. Company X starts losing money, as it diverts more and more funds to Company Y. The employees are Company Y are pissed at the new management of Company X, and start impeding efforts at integration and, uh, start chopping off people's heads. And the market as a whole gets jittery because of this uncertainty with such big, powerful companies.
So now we have a CEO who has pissed off the Board of Directors, is losing his company money and hurting its reputation, and has fucked up the whole market.
As a shareholder, would you vote to leave this CEO in, watching passively as he runs the company into the ground by ruining his credibility, damaging the company's reputation and ultimately losing you money? Or would you rather have another high-ranking executive in the company take over to try to right the ship?
Hell, it's all moot now...
- One last unforeseen terrible result of this election: more Will Forte as George Bush on "Saturday Night Live". He and Seth Myers as John Kerry have got to be the WORST presidential impersonators in that show's history. My roommate Ben walked into the living room the other night when SNL's "Presidential Bash" was on TV, saw Will Forte playing George Bush in a debate, and after watching for a good thirty seconds said, "Wait a minute - is he supposed to be George Bush?"
I think I'm going to have to brush up on my Bush impression and use it as my in to get on SNL. Also, I'll have to lose 80 pounds, but that's no problem - bring on the cocaine!
Earlier this week, I got the results of my midterm back. I got a (drumroll please)...B.
B is ok. I was actually thinking I'd get a B-, which is the standard grade for, "Well, you don't really know anything about the material, but at least it doesn't look too obvious and you write reasonably well." So I'll take the B.
What's weird is that there were two questions on the test for which we had to write essays for, and both our answers received a grade. After taking the test, I thought I had completely bombed one, but aced the other.
The first question, based on the readings which I didn't do, was something like, "What does Professor Billington say about the icon and the axe and the bell and the cannon in Russian history?" I had absolutely no clue on this one. I think I started it by writing something like, "Professor Billington is a wise man, who knows much about Russian history, particularly about the importance of the icon and the axe and the bell and the cannon and its place in said history." I then wrote at length about the icon ("beautifully crafted, psychologically important"), the axe ("both weapon and tool"), the bell ("wrung during the good and the bad times"), and the cannon ("a weapon, but so much more - a symbol of Russian might").
I think I got tired of the sound of my own bullshit halfway through and wrote out the lyrics to R. Kelly's "You Remind Me Of Something" (It's something about your love that's got me going crazy/Baby, you know I want you real bad/And girl I really like your freaky style/How can I be down with you?).
The second question, based on the lectures, was something about Muscovite princes (I've already forgotten), I aced. I even threw in dates and a Russian word or two. So nerdy. So, so nerdy.
Grade for first question: B. Grade for second question: B.
A few friends and I saw Ray Lamontagne last night in the make-up show for a date he missed back in September.
This guy is really, really good. I've pimped him a million times here, and if you haven't downloaded any of his stuff, do so now. He was joined by a stand-up bass player, but for the most part, it was just he and his guitar up there, going off. I thought about why I think he's so good, and I think it's because his songs are so simple that anyone can relate to them.
Ok, that's the worst explanation ever - let me try again.
For me, Ray Lamontagne is to music what Charles Bukowski is to literature. Both are bare-bones, and don't come at you with big words or complex sentences, or sweeping orchestral arrangements or noisy feedback. At the same time, both are deeply emotional and genuine. But what's more, both, after reading or hearing them, inspire a sort of visceral, dichotomous reaction: something like, "Man, why didn't I think of that? It's so simple" and "Well, it's because I'm not nearly as talented as they are express certain feelings in such astute, poignant, and simple ways."
I just read that over, and we REALLY have to move on here, because I'm nearly completely incoherent.
This Terrell Owens-Ray Lewis feud is really hilarious to me. The long and short of it: TO was traded to Lewis's team, the Ravens, in the offseason. TO made a stink, got the trade rescinded, and now is playing extremely well with the Philadelphia Eagles. This past weekend in the Eagles' victory over the Ravens, TO did a dance imitating the one Lewis does during games and when he's introduced. Lewis and other Ravens were not happy.
TO has always been vilified for this celebrations, and, to an extent I agree with this. Celebrations are ok, but sometimes they are just a little too much.
Below is part of an article from www.philly.com, in which TO answers those who criticize him for celebrating. Some background: in 2001, Ray Lewis pleaded guilty to misdemeanor obstruction of justice charge and agreed to testify against two of his friends after a double-murder at an Atlanta-area nightclub in January 2000. Somehow, despite his involvement in a double murder, Ray Lewis is the face of the NFL. Read below (Terrell Owens is speaking)...
"I've never had any off-field problems. I've wanted to say it for a long time, but since Joey [Porter, Steelers' LB who expressed support for TO in his celebrations and was first to bring up that Lewis was involved in a murder but is incredibly popular] put it out there, you have a guy like Ray Lewis, who I thought was pretty much my friend. This is a guy, double-murder case, and he could have been in jail, but it seems like the league embraces a guy like that. I'm going out scoring touchdowns and having fun, but I'm the bad guy. So I don't understand it, I really don't.I have to say that I whole-heartedly agree with TO on this one. The fact is that Ray Lewis was somehow, in a strange way, tied up in a double homicide. Yet the league has made him their poster boy and NEVER mentions this. Can you imagine if your friends killed two people, you obstructed justice, later pleaded guilty to obstructing justice, then testified against your friends, and EVERYONE at your place of employment knew about it? Do you think your boss would come into your office and say, "You know what? We're going to start featuring you in a lot more advertisements and hype about this company. I was want everyone to know that you, someone whose name is associated with the killing of two people, are associated with us, your employer. This is a tremendous idea."
"I listen to ESPN and all the guys that report on there, it's really funny...I just take it with a grain of salt and I keep ticking. I know they're looking for me to do something [off the field] or something to come up, but it's not going to happen."
In an instance of art imitating life, or something like that, Owens' words quickly made it to ESPN yesterday evening, with a panel of analysts that included ex-Eagle Mike Golic expressing sympathy for Lewis and condemning Owens for bringing up the murder business. ESPN also read a statement from the Ravens, who thought they'd traded for Owens' rights last March, then were forced to accept a fifth-round draft choice instead when the NFL brokered a trade to the Eagles. "Like the rest of the NFL community, we would expect nothing less from Terrell Owens," the statement said.
Then, on ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption," Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon found rare agreement, bashing Owens for bringing up Lewis' brush with the law.
I don't think so.
- Six Songs
1) "Kiss Me Like You Mean It" The Magnetic Fields
Any song that's about making out with the Lord, even if they're not really talking about the Lord, well, I'm all for it. Even if you don't like music at all and prefer total and complete silence, download this song.
2) "What About Now?" Lonestar
Ah, country music. This song is one of my favorite country songs. Whenever I hear it, I just wanna grab my gal (whose wearing pig-tails and Daisy Dukes of course), hop in a pick-up truck with her, throw a shotgun and a ton of chewing tobacco in the back, and just drive across this great land we call the U-S-A, stopping intermittently to have sex in fields, drink some whiskey and do some line dancing, pray, and shoot the occasional black, homosexual, or pro-choicer. God bless America.
[And no, I'm not still bitter about this election. Nor am I currently starting a petition which calls for the Northeast, the West Coast, Chicago and anyone cool who reads this site to secede from the US.]
3) "Raspberry Beret" Prince
Yeah, I know, everyone knows this song. But seriously, this has got to be, what, one of the top seven or eight songs of all-time? Do you think Prince wrote this and said to himself, "Oh yeah - I'm pretty fucking awesome. Now I'm going to spend the rest of my life being androgynous and really fucking weird."
4) "Kathleen" Josh Ritter
This song reminds me of those late-high school suburban parties where all the guys are standing around, drinking keg beer out of plastic solo cups, talking about the girls at the party, but one girl there is just heads and shoulders above the rest. That's what this song reminds me of. Not that I went to those parties in high school, as I spent most of high school gang-banging and in and out of youth detention centers.
[Also, it reminds me of a girl that I have a HUGE crush on right now. The good news is that I'm pretty sure she doesn't read this site. If she does, well, I should just head back to the "Erotic" section of Craigslist.
5) "Strange Currencies" REM
My favorite REM song (very underrated - the song, not the band). That's really all I can say. Except: Michael Stipe came out of the closet in 2001? How did I miss this? Why did I not learn this until two weeks ago?
6) "I Was Just Thinking" Teitur
This guy opened for Ray Lamontagne last night. He had me when he said, "This next song is ten years old, and I'm 19. [pause] Actually, I'm 27." This is the song. I like him because he's from the Faroe Islands, and I just love all things Scandinavian. Well, not the food. Or the weather. Or really anything except the women. Definitely love the women.