It’s been an unusual week

It’s been an unusual week or two, hence the chirping crickets. I’ll be getting the VH1 Behind the Blog stories on all of you up soon. For the two or three of you who haven’t thrown down yet, you’re running out of time. I can’t promise my version of your story will be as, um, flattering as you might like if you don’t give me anything to work with.

Also, for those of you who were pimping KU and UK back in one of the comment discussions, I told you so. The rest of my bracket may have cratered (though I picked OSU to win it all in my church bracket group), but I had GaTech spot on.

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Who are you? Sound off.

It’s time for all the regulars to reveal your true identity. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but I keep forgetting when I’m actually at the computer. If you’re reading this (and especially if you ever contribute to the graffiti in the comment sections), send me an email with the following data:

  • Name

  • How you know me (if you do) or how you found us (if you don’t)

  • Personal info like marital status (and spouse name), kids, education, career, and age (feel free to approximate if you’re sensitive about such things)

  • Why you bother hanging around here

  • Anything else interesting about you worth saying.
I’ll give you a few days, then I’ll put it all together and unmask everyone. If you’re a regular and you don’t send anything in, I reserve the right to submit your life and person to creative editorial embellishment at my leisure.

‘Bamer 70 Stanford 67

I’m going to open a betting tip service. From now on, if there’s someone you definitely don’t want to win the NCAA Tournament, just let me know. I’ll pick them to win and they’ll be guaranteed to go out in the second or third round. Three years in a row. I’ve got this down to a science.

Official March Madness Day 1 Thread

Given the Aggies’ exaggerated ineptitude on the hardwood, I’m officially throwing my support behind UTEP this year. Besides, Billy Gillispie (the UTEP coach who has taken them from 6-24 to 24-7 in a year) looks to be the new Aggie coach as soon as they’re eliminated.

The Miners are giving the ACC champ Terps all they can handle right now.

UPDATE: Maryland wins 86-83 after a couple of iffy foul calls in the last two minutes. Quite a performance by UTEP. Probably good enough to lock up the A&M job for Gillispie if he wants it, and the first round loss prevents his stock from rising so high that A&M doesn’t have a shot. I’ll call it a moral victory and go find someone else to root for.

Let’s talk Passion (even if we’re behind the rest of the world)

Well, I should have followed my own advice and written what I wanted to post here two weeks ago. By now, I’ve read, said, heard, and written so much about it that I don’t even know where to begin for the sake of this conversation (assuming there’s still a conversation pending). Part of me wants to find some particular angle to focus on so that we might have a shot at a dialogue that hasn’t already been done and redone somewhere else. But that’s probably a futile endeavor. So I’m just going to share some of my personal reaction to the film, then include a few scattered thoughts about some of the issues everyone is asking and talking about. Part of my struggle here is that I don’t know quite how to frame all of this and, as you probably know by now, I’m a bit obsessive about proper framing. Since I don’t feel prepared to do that properly on this, let me do it improperly…

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In the meantime…

I’m not going to get to the film stuff tonight. I’m just not. No whining. You get my brilliant wit and commentary free, so don’t get snippy about timing. It’s right around the corner, but it will take a little more energy than I’ve had the last couple of days. Anyway, if you check the specs, I technically said “tomorrow” today. I do have enough energy for a couple of other random comments and suggestions…

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$125 Million. Crazy. Be sure

$125 Million. Crazy. Be sure you jump down a couple of posts and log in once you’ve seen the film. We’ll start openly discussing it in the next day or two.

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A little “other” film talk in the meantime: Thad watches the Oscars.

So I’ve grown increasingly less likely to sit through four hours of rich people giving each other trophies over the years. There are all kinds of reasons for that, including attention span issues that are amplified when it comes to shallow and profit-motivated awards that seldom actually recognize the most important contributions to the genre in question. So, when I ended up watching almost the whole show last night, I admittedly did so with a little baggage. Now, as if anyone is interested, a random assortment of my thoughts and observations:

– As self-inflated and irrelevant as an awards show like this is in the scheme of human events, Billy Crystal seems like he was born to do this. Everybody has something, and I guess this is his thing. City Slickers was pretty good too.

Hollywood Posers, Caught on Tape #1: The Curse of Bono — Michael Douglas wears shades throughout the show. Apparently the ’88 Best Actor nod, the millions of dollars, and the wife starlet fifteen years his junior aren’t enough. So, now that we’ve seen you wearing the shades indoors, we get it. You’re cool, Mike.

– I guess I hadn’t paid enough attention to the nominations to realize that Alec Baldwin and Tim Robbins were nominated in the same category. There was a lot of gabbing before the show that ABC was going to let politically-motivated tirades go without striking up the band, which was sure to mean more Michael Moore type hollering about the evil President. There was even talk that we might get some anti-Mel/anti-Passion ranting. Once I saw Baldwin and Robbins in the same category, I knew it had been misnamed. What we have here is Best Whining Political Commentary in a Supporting Role, not Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

– That said, I must give Tim props for using his platform to reach out to victims of abuse and violence rather than playing predictable political tunes.

– And did you see Baldwin’s face when they flashed to him during Robbins’ speech? Not only was his pal Tim not bashing Bush, but he clearly knew that his one shot at this thing had come and gone. His face couldn’t have more obviously said, “Yep, it’s back to Beetlejuice and She’s Having a Baby for me. I wonder if that Knots Landing reunion thing is ever going to come together?”

Hollywood Posers, Caught on Tape #43: The Curse of the Elves — Liv Tyler walks to and from the podium throughout the Original Song performances, announcing each song and set of performers. She emerges from backstage with naked eyes, then stops to put on fake glasses to read the prompter. When she finishes, she takes her fake glasses off and puts them on the podium. When she comes back to announce the next set of performers, she picks up her fake glasses and puts them on again. The whole bit would have played better if she hadn’t forgotten to put them on as she started to read the prompter on the second intro, then realized she was screwing up her posturing and stopped to put them on. I wonder if she could get those glasses around her elf ears on the set.

– Not only is Robin Williams a comic genius, but I’m not sure anyone exposes the PC hypocrisies of Hollywood any better than him. He can make fun of anyone and get away with it, and he proved it last night: The French. Animals. Animators. Southern folk. Kids. Janet Jackson. Spanish speakers. San Francisco newlyweds. Disney. Even Billy Crystal’s “what Robin is thinking” bit went that direction: Native Americans. Strom Thurmond. Blacks. Whites. And everyone laughed.

– One of you rock stars tell me what that contraption Sting was playing is called. It looked like the love child of a mandolin and a jack-in-the-box.

– It’s a good thing the people in the “people who died this year” montage are dead. The not-so-famous dead folks probably wouldn’t appreciate how little applause they get from all the convinced-they’re-more-famous living folks when their picture flashes up on the screen. If you aren’t Atticus Finch or Bob Hope, forget about it.

– In “who paged the 80’s?” news, Annie Lennox’s transition to manhood is almost complete.

– I think they should wire the floor of the stage and sent 30 volts of electricity through the feet of anyone saying, “Wow, I never expected this and I didn’t prepare a list of people to thank, so bear with me” or “movies are the common language that unite the souls of all men” or anything equally stupid. I think they should also bleep out the “uhs” in the acceptance speeches. At least then we’d feel like we were watching an episode of The Osbornes. For being the best actors in Hollywood, these people sure can’t handle speaking in front of a crowd.

– They should also shock the people who are bad team players and take up all the speaking time so that their co-winners don’t have a chance to say anything.

Hollywood Posers, Caught on Tape #119: The Curse of the WMDs — Now listen, despite some pretty wild-eyed personal agendas, I think Sean Penn is an exceptional actor. I mean that. He’s probably one of the best ever. That said, I can’t let this pass. When he accepts his Best Actor trophy he says, “If there’s one thing that actors know, other than there weren’t any WMDs, it’s that there is no such thing as best in acting, and that’s proven by these great actors that I was nominated with.” Believe it or not, the posing part wasn’t his political jab, which barely registered a heartbeat on his resume of activist antics. What’s silly is his casual dismissal of the inscription on his tropy. Seriously, does anyone buy that false humility? If “all the actors” know that there is “no such thing as best in acting,” what’s everyone all dressed up for? It’s not like the Humane Society and Amnesty International got together and decided to put on a big show to honor Hollywood’s finest. This is an awards show for Hollywood put on by Hollywood. It’s a worship service for actors and filmmakers run by actors and filmmakers. Besides, Sean seemed pretty jacked up when his boy Robbins won, and he was smiling plenty when his name was called (and Sean don’t smile unless he’s just been named Best Actor or he’s having dinner with cruel dictators). We get that you’re a rebel, and you are a great actor, but this is one act that we aren’t buying.

Finally, I have a bone to pick with all of you. I work both a verbal and visual reference to Fantasy Island into a post about the most controversial film ever made about the most controversial man to ever live, and I get absolutely no love from anyone?

….I don’t even know who you people are anymore.