Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MLK Randomness

First up, this MLK loofah, courtesy of the HGOC. I didn't create it, people.

I got MLK Day off, but according to the NY Times, some students in the South had to attend school. I understand the sensitivities of canceling MLK Day in the South, but the kids need to go to school! I'm pretty sure MLK would prefer that the kids get an education. The quotes from the NY Times article are amazing: "It always seems like Martin Luther King day is the first one they are willing to give up,” said Dot Scott, president of the Charleston branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. (It's the first one people give up because it's the first holiday on the calendar.) As can be expected, the reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton chimed in on the matter. From Al Sharpton, "We’re urging people to keep their kids home. It’s un-American not to observe the holiday." You know what else is un-American? Leading the world in education. There's a reason the US lags behind the rest of the world. I highly doubt the countries leading the world in education give their students as much time off as the US. So, I hope you followed Reverend Sharpton and did your part to honor the great Dr. King by keeping your kids at home and withholding their education. (And no, this is not a veiled attempt to say Asians rule at everything. If you look at the chart, seven of the top ten countries listed are from the West. Though the top three are Asian... On a related note, I do have thoughts on the Tiger Mother, Amy Chua. That'll be a separate blog post.)

I've read that a lot of the people were quite irked by Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes. Newsflash to Hollywood: he's a comedian! And you've chosen a profession that requires you to be in the limelight. Deal with it. It's made you millions and millions, so stop complaining. The Tim Allen joke was amazing though. I only caught the last hour of the show, so I didn't see Toy Story 3 win and was wondering what Tim Allen was doing there. I kept trying to think of work he's done, but all that kept creeping into my mind was Home Improvement, a show I really disliked.

I can't believe people still have a thing for The Social Network. Back when it was released, critics were calling it the movie of the year. After I saw it I had to ask, "Why?" Don't get me wrong. I liked the movie and found it very enjoyable. I'm not at all disappointed I paid $13 to see it in the theatre, but I don't think it should win any "movie of the year" honors. Hollywood is all moist because the odd power couple of David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin were able to make it work. OOOOOH. AHHHHH. Two powerhouses in the film-making industry who don't seem to be a likely team chose to collaborate on a project, and everything panned out. Sweet! If it wins, it's going to be this year's Crash. In retrospect, does anyone seriously still think that movie deserved to win that year? I realize the subject is relevant to our times, but even Sorkin himself says, "From a plot standpoint, you could’ve told the same story about the invention of a really good toaster." Does that sound like a movie that should win the top prize? Also another reason not to give it film of the year Justin Timberlake had a starring role playing Justin Timberlake. If they wanted to cast a musician, they should've cast Mos Def. Who cares if Sean Parker was white? Mos Def still would've been 10 million times better than JT.

In matters related to Sean Parker, I just want to give a shoutout to Shawn Fanning. The Social Network seemingly depicts Sean Parker as the sole creator of Napster. This is false. Shawn Fanning was actually the technological brains behind Napster, and Sean Parker was his business partner. You gave us free music you will not be forgotten.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Hokeamania

I IMed The Flint Skinny on Wednesday to ask him where I could watch the Brady Hoke press conference, and he responded, "In the archives of awesome."

I watched the entire hour-long press conference at work that day, and I came away impressed. The man loves Michigan. There's a good chance he turns into a wolverine when there's a full moon. He's also charismatic. He had some funny moments, like when he made up the word "multipli" when talking about his goal of winning multiple Big Ten championships.

He did a spectacular job of selling why he's the right coach: his philosophy, his love for the players, his respect for the program and its tradition...yada, yada, yada. But the part I loved the most was the answer he gave when asked about the rivalries. (At 16:30 of this video.)

Reporter: "Michigan has lost to its main rivals, it seems, in the past few years. Could you talk a little bit about the rivalries and what your thoughts are in the last couple years?"

Brady Hoke: "Sure. You wanna win'em."

Boom goes the dynamite!

I loved his delivery, but the rest of his answer shows he truly grasps the importance of the games against Notre Dame, Michigan State and "that school from Ohio." I think he understands and respects the program enough that he'd probably leave on his own if he doesn't win those games. And for the sake of Michigan football, I hope he's DOES win those games. We're knocking on the doorstep of becoming the next Notre Dame. There's nothing sadder than those Irish fans wearing those "Return to Glory" shirts for umpteen consecutive years. I didn't realize it was even possible for an annual return to glory.

I am a Hokeamaniac. I look forward to the day when we return to launching 20-yard cross-field bombs to our receivers for 2-yard gains.

(Side note: He called out a "Glen" as one of the former players who showed up to the press conference. I'm guessing it was Glen Steele. I was quite interested in this because Glen Steele was on the 1997 national championship team, and he was involved in the one play from that season that I'll always remember. Fourth-ranked Michigan went to third-ranked Penn State with experts thinking Michigan would finally lose to a superior Penn State team. On Penn State's first offensive play, I remember Glen Steele running through the defensive line and sacking the QB and giving a mighty roar as he was mobbed by his teammates. I'm not sure why, but for me, that play was the moment I knew Michigan was going to run the table. Check it out at 3:05 on this video. Another gem from that video starts at 1:05. Keith "Whoa Nelly" Jackson the best is introducing the coaches and says, "...and of course Joe Paterno's been here forever." That was 13 years ago...)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Like Father, Like Son

I randomly felt like ranking a few father-son acting duos. I'm not quite sure why. I don't smoke pot, so it's not because I'm stoned. It could be due to the fact that it's award season, or it could be because I read about Charlie Sheen's alleged pornstar orgy at the AVN Awards and thought, "His dad must be so ashamed," then realizing his dad is famous too. In any case, the nominees are listed below with my arguments for why they should be top-ranked.

Martin Sheen & Charlie Sheen
Martin played one of the greatest presidents in entertainment history, Josiah Bartlet from The West Wing. Charlie's most memorable roles were in a vast array of projects, such as Hot Shots!, Hot Shots! Part Deux, Major League, Major League II and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (you remember he made out with Jennifer Grey in the police station). I refuse to rank his time on Two and a Half Men as "memorable." Why people think it's funny is one of life's great mysteries. What's unique about these two is that Martin and Charlie both starred in iconic Vietnam movies Apocalypse Now and Platoon, respectively. Not bad. 

Martin Sheen & Emilio Estevez
Kudos to Martin. Because he produced one of the greatest movie hockey coaches of all time, he's on this list for a second time. Emilio Estevez played Gordon Bombay, who gave us The Triple Deke, The Flying V and "Ducks fly together." Definitely one of the top two Gordons in movie history (see below for other Gordon.) 

Kirk Douglas & Michael Douglas
Spartacus and Gordon Gekko. "I am Spartacus." "Greed is good." I'll leave it at that.

Donald Sutherland & Kiefer Sutherland
Donald has had an illustrious career, but what stood out for me was his powerful portrayal of the stoned professor from Animal House. I'm trying to come up with a Jack Bauerism right now, but I'm just not that good.

Freddie Prinze & Freddie Prinze, Jr.
Don't really know anything about Freddie Prinze, but he was apparently best known as the star of Chico and the Man. I just really wanted to include Freddie Prinze, Jr. on this list. His hits include I Know What You Did Last Summer, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, She's All That and the baseball classic, Summer Catch.

Now that you know the nominees, here are my rankings in descending order:

5) The Prinze family: if this list of father-son pairs was a standardized test question, thne this family obviously would be the one that does not belong.
4) The Sutherlands: Jack Bauer isn't scary enough to take #1.
3) Sheen/Sheen: Two and a Half Men is more of a detriment than you think.
2) Sheen/Estevez: The Flying V can only do so much damage.
1) The Douglas family: no question about it, this duo is a juggernaut. The ultimate compliment was delivered by Alicia Silverstones in Clueless, calling Kirk's iconic movie, "Sparaticus."

Monday, January 03, 2011

Wife Swap: Shania Twain Edition

Back in 2008, we found out that Mutt Lange, the beautiful husband of Shania Twain, cheated on her with the equally beautiful Marie-Anne Thiebaud, who also happened to be her best friend. At the time, I thought the most interesting part of this story was the severe downgrade in talent by Mutt, and I'd never talk about it again.

Well, I was mistaken. Shania obviously divorced Mutt, but I found out last night that she got remarried... to Frederic Thiebaud, the ex-husband of Marie-Anne. To summarize, Mutt cheated on Shania with her best friend. Shania ended up commiserating with the woman's husband and ended up marrying him. It's a real-life wife swap!

Pretty certain Frederic got the better end of that deal...