Monday, April 30, 2007
I’ve been off the drugs for a solid handful of years now, yet it’s weird and strange how often drug memories, actions, and thoughts pop into my fairly clean head. Sure, like everbuddy else who spent their teenage and early adult years partaking in any drug, anytime, anywhere, then followed that up with a solid decade on the coo-coo-cococaine ya begin to wipe out a whole lotta the mishaps, financial woes, ruined relationships and general bad vibes and easily zoom back to the cocaine camaraderie, wanton sex, unforgettable nerve-tingling- brain-sparking-crystalline-thinking that always kicked off the next cocaine high. Luckily, beyond that(whew), I don’t desire or fantasize about or even consider jumping back in for a quick line or two (or forty), although I do experience a nausea-inducing mix of envy and hate when I spy someone tawkin’ and walkin’ the cocaine trail. The one aspect of my former drug persona that I can’t rid myself is--and it’s somehow embedded deep within my central nervous system-- that when driving, while on the road, when I spot a policeman I switch right into a state of silent-yet-urgent paranoia. My eyes get glued to the rear view like I’m observing a last chance glimpse of Penelope Cruz doffing her clothes, I reach for my seat belt and snap it into place crushing my vertebrae in the process, I immediately start planning my copspeak explanation, and reach into my recent memory banks in a tongue-swallowing attempt to remember if there is any paraphernalia or discarded drug stuff lying under my feet, anything and everything to avid the downhill rush of yet another jailtrip. (I’ve only done three, and I think that should be enough to cover my particular lifetime.) All this, and I’m GODDAMNED STRAIGHT! Is it some kinda druggy karma, or self-mediated punishment, or simply a case of the results of irreversible damage done to my poor battered and busted-up central nervous system? How do I kick this post-habit habit and get to be like most of the rest of the pack, switching lanes, forgoing signals, traveling at absurdly high or low speeds, ignoring coppers as if they were nothing more than silly stop signs? Maybe I should get into the pill thing, chemical zen, a new fix for the end results of just saying no…
Friday, April 27, 2007
Good buddy and budding filmmaker Matt Turner informs me that the Jukebox documentary (Jukebox: From Edison to Ipod) mostly shot here in Providence at Nick-A-Nee’s, with talking head participation from myself and pallies Mark Cutler and Terry Moran has been accepted in a short film category at Cannes. Imagine this at the very least—all those sophisticated European cineastes checking out the doc and marveling at its authenticity, which our pronounced RI dialects help provide. Heh-heh. (Eventually we’ll have the doc available for viewing on this site.)
Thursday, April 26, 2007
As always Christmas brought me a large and teetering stack of books and I decided to hit those that specifically centered around one of my more enjoyable obsessions—The Showbiz, and more particularly, Showbiz Lives. First up was Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas, and All the Rest of My Hollywood Friends by John Leguizamo (Harper Collins, 2006, 280 pgs., $25.95. Leguizamo’s antics, whether they be his one-man shows, his brief-lived sitcom, or his big screen character roles have always amused me and he’s written a slight but funny book about his creative life, dishing the dirt freely about some of his co-stars, offering his own Showbiz survival tips, and in general tossing in as many funny one-liners as he can. A quick and easy read, although one hopes he goes for it with a little more seriousness 30 or 40 years down the road. Peter Falk has also published another slight tome, Just One More Thing: Stories From My Life (Carroll & Graf, 2006, 281 pgs.,$26.95), essentially an autobiographical notebook with some entertaining anecdotes, an abbreviated running account of his life and his work, peppered with his own observations of the craft of acting. It’s a surface glimpse into the life of a guy who’s had a more than intriguing career, one that spans Old Hollywood, Cassavetes and Columbo, but it’s probably of interest only to committed fans and Columbophiles. Grizzled character great Eli Wallach also takes a shot of chronicling his life and his acting work with The Good, the Bad, and Me: In My Ancedotage (Hartford Books, 2005,312 pgs., paperback $14.00), a well written and insightful glance backwards at a life filled with theatre, politics, and Hollywood mainstream filmmaking. Wallach’s is a legit autobiography and his insider’s view of people and places like the New York stage world, Elia Kazan, Sergio Leone, Brando, and much, much more is detailed with a wry wit and a trenchant wisdom, reading it, I came away with a deep appreciation of the varied work Wallach did, and the choices (economic, artistic, and political) behind much of it. Well known Hollywood biographer Marc Elliot has put his prodigious talents to work again with Jimmy Stewart: A Biography (Harmony Books, 2006, 463 pgs, $25.95) a wide-angled view of one of America’s greatest and most unlikely movie stars. The Jimmy profiled is closer to the on-screen Jimmy than one might imagine, a mid-western Presbyterian who makes the transition from the stage to Hollywood as a basically earnest, nearly virginal young man with unfocused ambitions and indefinable talents. His on screen maturation from gawky everyman to the tortured middle-aged figure with the raging psyche is truly the story of America pre and post World War II. Stewart’s work with some of cinema’s finest auteurs; Hitchcock, Wilder, Ford, Capra and in the westerns of Anthony Mann is unforgettably sublime, and the book analyzes most of that pivotal work through the back-stories of the film’s themselves, the climate of the country and the box office, and Stewart’s own decision making process. It’s an engulfing tale, meticulously researched and well rendered. Lest we forget, one of the founding fathers of The Showbiz was the one and only William F. Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill, who managed to mythologize both himself and the American frontier, utilizing elements such as artful deception, chicanery, pageantry, and the essential yearning of the urban proletariat to plug into that in this country which is wild, savage and free. Buffalo’s Bill’s America: William Cody and the Wild West Show, by Louis S. Warren is sprawling, proto-academic bio of the man, and while it’s plethora of footnotes and details is often overwhelming (and drier than a dusty desert gulch) the book provides a fascinating look at the self created man himself, the America of 1845-1917, and very foundation of what we now recognize as the poisonously hypnotic realm we adoringly call The Showbiz.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Confession. I don't always look at the Phoenix but last week I picked one up and discovered that good ol' Rizzz was playing a free show at the Century, Thursday night (April 26). Confession again. I like a lot of things about the Grateful Dead, a band that got by on great chops and good vibes and that other thing__they wanted to be our pals. Rizzz is like that, a musical collective whose membership is variable but whose musicianship is sweet. And rather than focus on the downside of such hoary icons of bygone days playing a lame duck club in its fading days (read-is there no end to the end of live music in the city of Providence?), I will focus on this: the Sox are 12 and 6, Graham Parker lit up the Narrows last Friday night and like free shows in Roger Williams Park on a sunny, summer afternoon, Rizzz will no doubt deliver just what we need come Thursday. I hope to see you there!
the barely sentient being
the barely sentient being
Monday, April 23, 2007
Sopranos Episode 3: Rocking the Boat
Post-hospitalization, it’s obvious that Tony is peering ever deeper into his own mortality and not enjoying the view. He’s visibly shaken by the future (the Feds are hovering, old bodies are resurfacing) and refuses to look back at either good or bad memories, and as last night’s episode liberally peppered references to his early relationships with his father and Uncle Junior (who kept up his own inexorable waltz between past and present, invoking life lessons from his immigrant dad and confusing his fellow patient and new protégé with a young Tony), his adolescent hero worship of Paulie, his first hit, the birth of Meadow, all of it exacerbated by the warm glow of vitality emanating from two black and white photos, Tony attempted to block it out with his pre shot-in-the-gut faves- excessive eating, drinking and whoring. Throughout the hour Tony’s feeling towards Paulie seesawed between simple admiration for his old school ways (his brazenness with the hijackers, his gifting of the expensive coffee machine, his special relationship with Daddy Soprano, capped off by Beansie’s more than apt summation to Tony: “You’re all he’s got. You, the guys, and his image.”), and outright exasperation over Paulie’s chippy, non-stop, encyclopedic reminiscing and vainglorious ways, “Remember-when is the lowest form of conversation.” The story arc curved and suspended splendidly during the boat trip, as the seas ominously and rhythmically rocked the boat, as the spectral presence of Big Pussy loomed harder-than-concrete, and as Tony and Paulie’s emotions veered from shared fellowship to paranoia to murderous contemplation.
Red Sox and Yankees: Having A Wild Weekend
While far too many members of Red Sox nation are basking smugly while munching down their daily Dunkin Donuts sinker after the continually-come-from-behind- 4 HR game-highlighted-3-game-sweep why don’t the rest of eternal realists skip past yet another Pyrrhic April victory while remembering the mostly sad September Sox-Yankee history and do a quick gut check. Yes, the pitching was stellar, yes, (for once) the offense was clutch, and yes, the defense a bit more than adequate, and there were many good signs (successful bunts, Tek hitting again, the emergence of Okie, the continuation of solid starting pitching, Papelbunny’s energizer act, Tito’s chess moves) but the Yankees were undeniably a hurting team, with a sub par Johnny D, no Sox-killer Posada, rookie arms and third string catchers, no Matsui, Mussina, Pavano or Wang. The games were tight, nail-biters, the weekend play was indeed exhilarating, 2 outta 3 in New Yawk next week would be blissful, but take it easy boys and gurls, it ain’t even May…
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Ty Burr, one of The Boston Globe’s sharp film critics, wrote a provocative and insightful think piece in last Sunday’s (4-15-07) Globe Movies section. Entitled “Sandra, meet Ingmar: the education of a critic”, it posed this basic question: “What does a movie reviewer need to know?” Face it-until the advent of film schools and the acceptance of film studies as a legit scholarly pursuit in the late ‘60’s/early 70’s most of the film nitcrits assigned to movie row for America’s dailies, weeklies and monthlies were basically slumming, men and women whose backgrounds consisted of straight reportage, college lit classes, maybe once and a while a theater cat, but mostly those who needed a buck, a job, or a space to vent about their movie-going hobby. I would venture that some of that still exists today, although many of the smarter and insightful movie nitcrits have either come from a film study background, or plunged themselves into that realm of study once they found themselves in the front row seats. Quoting from UK scholar/critic Ronald Bergan, Burr allows him to lay down his challenge” “I believe that every film critic should know, say, the difference between a pan and a dolly shot, a fill and a key light, direct and reflected sound, the signified and the signifier, diegetic and non-digetic music, and how both a tracking shot and depth of field can be ideological. Burr stretches it further--is it necessary to know all about Ingmar in order to dissect (or maybe knife up) the latest Sandra Bullock trifle? Nearly very popcultist around today seems to be able to trot out the basics when it comes to Hitchcock, Welles, Truffaut and Kurosowa, every other one can easily give ya a few minutes on the movies or styles that Tarantino or Scorsese continually lift, and most of ‘em can even probably pronounce the terms genre, homage, and film noir. As a long practicing film nitcrit (one who did indeed major in Film Studies, despite the fact that my ambition was always to be a big timey music writer and crit), I can attest that there are self-proclaimed movie critics poised on nearly every other bar stool in my little towne, and in yer own little towne. Bloggers galore consider movie analysis and commentary as easy as writing about the wrinkles on their toes, and just about every other small city publication seems to let the guy (or gal) with the encyclopedic knowledge of all past Oscar winners on the latest loose on the newest Spike Lee release. I’m a firm believer that a legit diviner of the magic of movies has too have seen as much as possible, from blaxploitation to Godard to the silents to Kenneth Anger, but seeing ain’t all, the true film nitcrit should have logged plenty of his or her time reading the pantheon of movie crits (Sarris, Kael, Farber, et al), digesting Hollywood social history and genre studies, keeping abreast of the smarter contempo crits (Burr, Hoberman, Denby,Thomson), and watching as much new stuff (art film, popcorn movie, pure celluloid crapola) as possible. I’ve always felt that when writing about movies for the general public it’s as important to both entertain and inform, to both educate and elucidate, to make apparent the underlining fact that no movie-movie, from The Incredible Mr. Limpet to In the Realm of the Senses is created in a vaccum, that all movies are crafted with very specific cinematic language and authorial choice, propelled by the notions of genre and style, and fueled by a dizzying backlog of shared celluloid history and a very basic filmic consciousness.
Friday, April 20, 2007
The April 23, 2007 edition of The New Yorker features a lengthy profile of, gulp, Manny Ramirez. What’s next? A piece about Helen Mirren in Car & Driver? Kevin Federline in Vanity Fair? Kelly Ripa in Sports Illustrated? Sanjaya in Esquire? The Books for Dummies series in Harper’s? Henry Rollins in The New Republic? Anyway, the piece, “Waiting For Manny”, by Ben McGrath, has some intriguing (and amusing) stuff:
McGrath on the Manny persona: “He is perhaps the closest thing in contemporary professional sports to a folk hero, an unpredictable public figure about relatively little is actually known, but whose exploits, on and off the field, are recounted endlessly, with each addition punctuated by a shrug and the observation that it’s just ‘Manny being Manny.’”
Manny to McGrath: “I’m here,” he said. “I get paid to play baseball. That’s why I’m here. That’s it. What else can I say.”
Dan Shaughnessy: “It’s just impossible to insult the fans if you’re that good. It’s the equivalent of the beautiful woman who’s loved by all the guys regardless of anything else she might contribute.”
Yet Another Cleveland Indian Tale: “As big-league rookies, they (Ramirez and Julian Tavarez) asked the newspaper reporter Sheldon Ocker if they could borrow sixty thousand dollars. ‘We were in Kansas City,’ Ocker recalls. ‘I reached into my pocket, and I’m like, I don’t have that much.’ Manny says, ‘How about thirty thousand?’ ‘Each of them wanted to buy a Harley.’”
Manny, Forever late in Spring & Winter, Forever early in Summer & Fall: “ A running joke in Boston has it that none of Ramirez’s coaches know when he gets to the ballpark in the morning, because he’s always there (if sometimes napping) when they arrive. His punctuality does not extend into the off-season, however, the length of which varies on whether you ask the team or Ramirez.”
Julian Taverez: “There’s a bunch of humans out there, but to Manny, he’s the only human.”
Unnamed Red Sox boss: “ (Manny is)… affably apathetic”
Big Papi to McGrath: “When I asked his teammate David Ortiz, himself a borderline folk hero, how he would describe Ramirez, he replied, ‘As a crazy motherfucker.’ Then he pointed at my notebook and said, ‘You can write it down just like that: ‘David Ortiz says Manny is a crazy motherfucker. That guy, he’s in his own world, on his own planet. Totally different human being than everyone else.’”
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
The following column is reprinted from the April issue of Providence Monthly
EYES WIDE OPEN
By Scott Duhamel
What exactly is behind the not-so-quaint American obsession with serial killers, repellant figures who lurk outside of society’s mores, aberrant and psychologically damaged citizens who leave a trail of death, sexual perversion, and unsettled souls in their wake, psycho killers bent on carving out their own kinda infamy with an entry into the bogeyman hall of fame? The eternal and ironic question remains—is the public (and the media’s) all-consuming interest into both the exploits and gory details of these killer-by-numbers one of the propulsive levers that actually set of the machinations of a public killing spree? During the last few decades we’ve elevated a whole batch of these predators and killer-misfits into the soul brothers of Jack the Ripper—They’ve become poets of torture, misunderstood dark geniuses, the boy-next-door who doesn’t grow up wanting to be President, complete with a full back story, Freudian analysis, while all the while being churned by the tides of the then politico and socio climates.
The so-called “Zodiac” serial killer roamed the back alleys and mean streets of the San Francisco Bay area from the late 1960’s through the 1970’s, playing cat and mouse games with both the police and the newspapers with phone calls, coded messages, death claims that were not always verified as his, even, at one point, actually wondering aloud in one note who might play him in any forthcoming movie. As time has passed the grisly story of the Zodiac has acquired more resonance since the case remains unsolved to today, and the killer has never been identified.
Director David Fincher and screenwriter James Vanderbilt seem to have taken all of the above into consideration (obsession and compulsion, mass hysteria, media eye-balling, the villain as headliner, mysteries and clues), crafting a haunting, cerebral, stately (almost 3 hours) film entitled Zodiac that neatly combines elements of the police procedural, the suspense thriller, and the psychological docu-drama. Fincher has heretofore made his mark with a series of profitable and much talked about movies (se7en, Fight Club, Panic Room) that were equally gritty, lurid, and meticulously constructed. That same directorial meticulousness is evident throughout Zodiac, a movie that (for once) mounts its suspense
Organically, eschewing the bumps and grinds of contempo suspense flics, for an all- pervasive mood of silent dread and stopped-up emotions, all of it unfolding in a chilling series of frames just this side of Edward Hopper, all of it devoid of Fincher’s previous penchant for heightened hysteria and grand guignol effects.
Zodiac centers around a few disparate men similarly obsessed with the Zodiac killings, all based on real life guys, including tough guy detective David Toschi
(Mark Ruffalo) and his low-key partner William Armstrong (Anthony Edwards), flamboyant journalist Paul Avery (Robert Downey, Jr.), and political cartoonist and amateur sleuth Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal), whose subsequent books the movie is actually based on. The movie splits its time among these men, the killings, and the ongoing manhunt and the setting ranges from Vietnam to disco, from Watergate through the ’89 earthquake, the focus remains on the still fuzzy and unfocused mystery of the Zodiac—his where, what and why for. As specific (and self-promoting) as the bad guy is, the who and why remain illusionary, and the movie hints this is an accurate reflection of the terrors we face in today’s everyday world—the evil may be well documented, and even explained, but it’s inhabited by a faceless and omnipresent entity.
While it’s quite easy to cite Fincher and his first resounding effort, se7en, as the inspiration/launching pad for dozens of artless (and heartless) horror, suspense, and snuff films since, his readily acknowledged visual acumen and hardscrabble thematic vision seems to flourish in the larger scope of this particular cinematic tale. Finally, a film where the exploitative violence of a series of killings isn’t the payoff—Instead, Zodiac ‘s pleasures are derived from the intercrossing of textures (time and setting shifts, investigative inertia, characters incessantly yapping and smoking, yet another bloodied body), textures which are both the nuts and bolts and the very backbone of the story’s curdled arc. When all is said and done Zodiac was and remains another serial terrorist, part PR man, part midnight-rambler, the biggest element in a scrupulously told but essentially amorphous ghost story, just another shapeless particle of modern day horror, let loose in our dreams, both real and cinematic.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Dice K—Despite the fact that the Dice Man was slightly off his game he still pitched well, going 7 and only giving up 3. But truthfully, wasn’t Felix Hernandez a sight to behold, knocking down the Sox big boys as if they were Cranston Little Leaguers? Check out Bob Ryan in today’s Globe, citing a number of impressive under-21 pitching stats and realize the kid’s thrown 17 innings of 4-hit, 5-walk, 18-strike out, shutout ball in his first two starts.
Longer Combat Tours---C’mon, through the looking glass even further? It’s more than surreal, yet another outrageous hardship being thrust upon our military and, more importantly, their families from this jaundiced, venal, poisoned, diseased administration, proving once again that BushII’s line of thinking never varies---when in doubt, pour it on.
Duke Guys Innocent---No way around, it this was and is about race in America, with a scarily ambitious local DA utilizing the race card to garner votes and raise his profile. Like old good liberals I had these whitey-white, frat boy, rugby dudes guilty, convicted, fried and cooked. Shades of Tawana Brawley, it was a rush to judgment, and yet another flashing warning sign that race relations across America are as polarized and tension-filled as evuh.
Oh Donny Boy , the pipes, the pipes are callin’---I’ve done a little Imus time, and I’ve done a little Stern time, but inevitably the sameness of the tone, the dialogue, and most of the jokes, plus the constant yelping, giggling, and ball-licking from the on air posse of (all-white) sycophants just gets to be irritating. Hey, I dig satire and parody as much as the next guy, but I’ve always felt slightly uncomfortable when of those so-called funny white guys tosses in an Amos-and-Andy styled vocal imitation of a black American, whether the on air character be fictional or based on a public figure. While Imus’ “Nappy headed ho’s” seems to be the spotlight phrase, lets not forget the chief ass kisser Bernard began it all, trying to quote Spike Lee’s School Daze by describing the final basketball game as one between “the jigaboos and the wannabes.” I’m all for free speech, but I just can’t get behind out and out stupidity.
Monday, April 9, 2007
(When my brother gifted me this blog I hoped it would be a decent forum for some spirited dialogue about the In's and Out's of pop culture, (aside from affording me a platform to assuage my ever expanding ego, translate my know-it-allness to the masses, and spread the gospel about all things popcultural), yet there really hasn't been much give-and-take action after the initial flurry of call and response stuff. C'mon, I know for certain that my pallie, buds, and galfriends, are ever opinionated and mostly whip-smart when it comes to the hurly burly swirl of culturevulturism.(That's a blatant ego massage directed at you, dear readership.) Speak up, join in, get up on the debate thang, let me a hear the sound of two fingers typing, and either blog it up yerselves or at least weigh in occasionally with yet another all-knowing or downright pithy comment.)
A knock on the door and Carmela's Godot-like response, "Is this it?" The Sopranos couldn't have opened this, the final nine week run, on a more prescient note. For those who really watch the groundbreaking series is been obvious from the initial season on, that despite the whackings, the brutality, the wonderful array of characters, the many soul-wrenching moments and those that have achieved a piquant sense of black hilarity, that this so-called gangster drama has always been a cross between a blue collar Macbeth and a kitchen sink King Lear, a multi-layered and full scale mediation on the very values and issues us everyday folk have to bear--the tug and pull of family, the secretly terrifying process of aging, the juggling of responsibility and pleasure, the tightrope balancing act of simply doing the right thing. The first episode took place primarily in the odd but bucolic setting of the great outdoors, and a restful county getaway was the setting for what we come to expect from Tony and the gang--simmering resentments, unfulfilled promises, middle-age craziness, In my mind, it was a perfectly crafted and sublimely moderated (with a grunting wrestling match and a quick snuff-out thrown in for those not-so-patient Soprano-watchers), an overt declaration that this endgame will be a slow boil, that creator David Chase is going to pour on the existentialism, trot out the ducks, and bring this once-in-a-lifetime television experience all the way home. Like most of you, I quiver with both anticipation and dread--Eight to go, my friends.
Friday, April 6, 2007
Spent half of last week in Washington, DC, doing that union-political two-step thang, at a yearly shindig called the Building & Construction Trades Legislative Conference, an AFL-CIO sponsored forum that puts delegates from the various unionized building trades across country in the huge ballroom of the Washington Hilton and Towers, i.e., the place where Reagan got his bell rung. The highlight this year was the so-called Presidential Candidate Forum, wherein 7 of the Dem wannabe’s assembled before the huge ballroom full of hardcore hardhats, desperate unionists, and cynical optimists. A quick scorecard, in order of their appearance:
Former Senator John Edwards (D-SC)—Southern-fried mini-JFK type, handsome, smooth and assured, began with the Elizabeth Big C coattail stuff (a surefire crowd pleaser), pulled out his “two America’s” spiel, tossed in a dollop of picaresque anecdotes, adept at labor speak, for the Employee Free Choice Act, claims to be the only one with a defined Universal Health Plan, gotta get outta Iraq, garnered the second best applause of the morning.
Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM)—New-fangled politico with old school connections, populist precinct-Boss type, spoke of an America where “too few prosper, too many sacrifice”, claims to be the only candidate with actual foreign policy experience, described his New Mexico as a unionized labor paradise, invoked Walter Reed, for the Employee Free Choice Act, his Labor Secretary would actually come from organized labor, “You’ll hear a lot today from some great and creditable Democratic candidates, and all of them can serve effectively in the White House, …as my Vice-president.”
Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)—Poised, well-coiffed, confidant, eyes twinkling with the awareness that she is indeed among friends when it comes to big labor, name-checked Walter Reed, stated unequivocally that the Employee Free Choice Act will be passed, tossed out nearly every labor byword (Davis-Bacon, Project Labor Agreements, Universal Health Care, the right to organize, etc.), “One of the keys to our sense of democracy is the state of unions, we will gain back our strength when we remember the very promise of America”, predictably the best received speaker of the day.
Rep. Dennis Kunich(D-OH)—Loose-limbed, on-the-edge, spider monkey, immediately invoked FDR, tore into Universal Health Care, not-for-profit Health Care, “I don’t want to be Chairman of the Insurance industry”, his street sense told him right from the beginning that this was a call to war built on lies, he would repeal the Patriot act immediately, his grand finale was a combo of whirlwind arms, spastic jump steps, spittle flying and a croaked cry of “Solidarity Forever!”
Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT)— Liberal, glib and tuff, a Tip O’Neill-meets-Newt Gingrich look-alike, began with a Willam Howard Taft joke, for the Employee Free Choice Act, tsk-tsk Walter Reed, his admistration will bring about Universal Health Care, he‘s the guy behind Family Medical Leave, “America’s comeback has to start with a rebirth of organized labor”, “I’ll say it again, I’m a union guy, I’m a union Senator, and I stand right alongside union members”.
Senator Joe Biden (D-MD)---Caustic, fiery, teeth-clenching, “No Malarkey” Joe, licking his chops in anticipation and bristling with know-it-all energy, “My name is Joe Biden and I am the best friend you have ever had, and I have 34 years to prove it. Here I am, and you have no one to blame but yourself—because labor got me elected, labor kept me elected, and when I’m President of the United States I’ll still be the best friend labor ever had!”, the current Prez is waging a war on labor and a war on the middle-class, the war in Iraq must end and it must end now, the Employee Free Choice Act has to pass, Joe’s finale brought it down to whisper with a tale of his daddy not having the dough to send him to college, then a JFK reference, then a booming “It’s time we ask this current administration-What in the hell are we doing?”
Senator Barack Obama (D-IL)—The Sugar Ray Robinson of candidates, light on his feet, quick with his hands, deceptively strong and obviously razor sharp, drops an Abe Lincoln reference in straight off, joked about being last and everything needing to be said was already said just not be him, by the end of his Presidency we will indeed have Universal Health Care, stood up against this war way, way back in 2002, high-toned the assembled with a clarion call “We are all here today because our country calls us!”, dug into the Bush administration’s “politics of isolation”, layed out a coupla history lessons starring ordinary peeps, all-in-all more of a cool breeze performance than his usual preacher-like speechifying
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
7-1, to the lowly Royals. A perfect opening day exhibition for the fatalistic minions who make up Red Sox Nation. And the Yanks came from behind to win, helped along by an A-Rod homer and a 3 strike-out 9th from Mariano. It's obvious that the much vaunted Sox have a few question marks, although I personally wouldn't advocate pushing the panic button. Still, let's reprise the low lights: Julio Lugo's 3 strike-out debut, the utilization of 6 opening day arms, o-fers for Varitek and Coco who both had weak spring training numbers, all-time great Gil Meche easily out dueling blogmaster Curt, Hideki Okijima's first pitch intro to the bigs(a John "Who That" Buck 400-foot plus smash), and my fave twin moment--Dusty Pedroia and Kyouk doing the brain dead hustle and both getting thrown out away miles away from 2nd base. See ya Wednesday with Josh (not Samuel) Beckett in the drivers seat.