ESPN isn’t a division of TMZ, but some days they might as well be.
I was just watching SportsCenter as I ate dinner. After telling us the good news and the bad news about today’s Lakers/Thunder game (good news: OKC lost; bad news: LA won) co-host Matt Barrie turned to the weekend’s big golf tournament, the Doral. Obviously, the dictates of big time sports journalism meant that he led with the
winner guy who tied for 25th. Continue reading
“The Exquisite Canvas of Abandonment: Images of Historic Fort Monroe” – now through March 22nd at the Page Walker Arts & History Center in Cary, NC.
Many of you have probably been admiring the work of North Carolina photographer Cyndi Goetcheus here lately. Shots like this, for instance.
Several four and five-star releases already, and a boatload of top artists have releases scheduled for later this year – 2014 might wind up as one of the best years for new music in recent memory.
Given how many talented artists there are out there making music, pretty much every year is a good year for new releases. Some years, though, go above and beyond the call of duty.
2014 is shaping up to be one of the great ones. We already have a few seriously fantastic CDs, just three months in. For instance, there’s the new Dum Dum Girls:
Dear Parents: if your son goes to college, joins a fraternity and screws up, you could lose your home.
Do I have your attention yet?
How many times in my adult life have I heard this?
YOU were in a fraternity?
Doc Sammy, in another life.
Yes I was. Theta Chi, Gamma Omicron chapter, Wake Forest University. I know, I don’t fit the stereotype. Neither did my chapter. Sure, we had parties. We drank, sometimes more than was strictly healthy. We were appropriately hormonal for a pack of 18-22 year-old guys. We were noisy and obnoxious and occasionally rude, especially when singing a rousing round of “Roll Out Your Mother” during Parents Weekend football games.
But consider this. Theta Chi, during Spring Rush of 1980, was the first place in my life I ever heard anyone talk about diversity. Today, of course, diversity is a critical concept in corporations, in schools, in government, everywhere. We are becoming a more diverse nation that promotes equal rights and standing for people of all races, for women, and finally for the LGBT community.
I’ve been paid by large corporations to develop diversity training, in fact, and what a wonderful irony that my first introduction to the importance of the concept came in a fraternity. Continue reading
IABC Communicator of the Year has a pattern of bad behavior. I’m not sure “I’m sorry” is enough.
We all screw up. When we do, it’s our responsibility to acknowledge it and apologize to those our mistake in someway damaged, hurt, disadvantaged or inconvenienced. Hopefully we learn and move on, never repeating the mistake.
But sometimes … sometimes apologies are hard to accept. I’m not just talking about faux-apologies like we heard recently from First Idiot Ted Nugent, either. I’m talking about apparently honest, heartfelt apologies that accept the blame and make no attempt to excuse the bad behavior. Continue reading
Women – and men – in online dating communities are acting like goddamned sociopaths. This needs to stop.
Okay, not all of you. But some of you. Men, too – I’m guessing this isn’t just women. See if you recognize yourselves below.
On multiple occasions I’ve been talking to women I met through OK Cupid. Things going great, we really seem to be hitting it off, and then we agree to meet. The woman has even been the one asking me out, in fact. I say yes, then … poof. Gone without a trace. Never hear from her again.
This is odd behavior, especially when she just asked me out, right? Am I saying yes wrong? WTF? Continue reading
Did you see Thomas Frank’s column at Salon Today? It’s quite short and, bubbly Facebook memes notwithstanding, it’s rare to see this much wisdom packed in such a tight space.
The word is a polite one, but “inequality” is what we say when we mean to describe the ruined downtown of your city, Continue reading
Pussy Riot’s commitment to social justice in the motherland is more than admirable. It perhaps merits a spot in Russia’s artistic canon.
The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia closed today, and if you set aside the homophobia and generally strong-armed approach to governance by the host, one Vladimir Putin, these games were remarkable in just about every way.
The images of the opening ceremonies have lingered with me for the past couple of weeks. If you watched, you know that the creative team built their narrative around the highwater marks in the nation’s glorious history, honoring their accomplishments in the arts, literature, science and technology. Given Russia’s considerable heritage, the little girl’s interaction with Cyrillic alphabet primer, associating a historical moment with each letter, couldn’t help being an impressive reminder to the world of the nation’s rich cultural legacy. Continue reading
Normally I try and show you “official” videos when I write about bands, because that’s where you get the best audio fidelity. I think you’re going to see why I opted for the live vid in this case, though.
Sweet lord a’mighty.
Photographers everywhere can identify with William Anders and the crew of Apollo 8.
Our friend Frank Dilatush forwarded a YouTube link this morning commemorating the 45th anniversary of what many consider to be the most famous photograph in history: Earthrise, taken December 24, 1968, by Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders.
Earthrise: Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
As it turns out, the iconic shot almost didn’t happen. Continue reading
Rush’s decision to license “Working Man” to a company that has declared war on American workers is one of the biggest betrayals of trust in Rock history.
Yesterday I offered up a brief post wondering what the folks at Walmart were thinking when they chose to use Rush’s iconic “Working Man” as the soundtrack for their ad on investing more money in American manufacturers. Rush, in case you don’t know them, is Canadian, and that struck me as a tad … ironic. Maybe for a follow-up they can do something with Alanis Morissette. Or a Chinese band, if they want to be especially heavy-handed.
Today it’s time to ask WTF Rush was thinking when it decided to sell out to one of the most egregiously anti-working man corporations on the planet.
First off, let’s get some perspective on the claim. The ad says that in the next 10 years they’re “pledging $250 billion to products purchased from American factories.” That’s a lot of money. However, this is a company with 2013 revenues of nearly $470 billion, so the ad shouldn’t be construed as a commitment to go all-in on the American worker. Continue reading
American businesses are anti-intellectual. American universities are anti-relevance. The gods help the overeducated schmuck stuck in the middle.
Hi. I’m Sam, and I’m a PhD.
For those of you who don’t know me, I have a doctorate. Communication, University of Colorado, 1999. Some days it’s the thing I have done in life that I’m most proud of. Other days I think it’s the worst mistake I ever made in my life. There are days where I think both things more or less at the same time.
A couple of recent articles address my frustration and ambivalence. Continue reading
Walmart advertising execs need a lesson in geography. And maybe irony.
Have you seen the new Walmart commercial? Pay attention at around the 50 second mark.
I was never great at love poems, but these two are probably my best.
Gravity: Summer Solstice, 1992
- for Mary
Go tell it to the sea,
how he should let go
his shameless high tides –
climbing each day, each night
kissing at her cloudless
indifference. Continue reading
LeBron James is certain that he’s going to be on basketball’s hypothetical Mt. Rushmore someday. Who’s there now – Jordan, Bird, Magic, and who else?
King James wants to see his face carved in granite. Hard to blame him for being confident.
“I’m going to be one of the top four that’s ever played this game, for sure,” LeBron James said in an interview that will air on NBA TV on Monday. Continue reading
A few days ago I offered up volume one of stuff that should have been in my best CDs of 2013 note, but wasn’t. So now we arriveth at volume the second, whereupon I apologize to Adam Marsland.
Adam has been one of my absolute favorites for a long time. I’m a sucker for the sub-genre we call Power Pop, and he’s among the best. His last studio disc, 2009′s Go West, made my intensely fantastic super-platinum list, and was one of the best PPop CDs I have heard in years. Continue reading
Michael Sam has made it easier for current gay players in the NFL. Will they do the same for him?
By now you’ve probably heard that Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam has publicly announced that he’s gay. A projected third-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft, this decision will (unless all 32 teams simply decide that they’re going to be officially homophobic and to hell with whoever doesn’t like it) make him the league’s first active out player.
NFLPA President Domonique Foxworth predicts that players will accept him “with open arms.” Makes sense – his teammates at Mizzou did. Continue reading
It’s one thing to have “sports” with subjective judging when there’s no choice. But it’s unforgivable to introduce “artistic impression” and “style points” into sports that don’t need it.
Imagine a world where the folks that brought you the Olympic Winter Games also created the Summer Games competitions.
Brent Musberger: And there’s the gun! Usain Bolt is out of the blocks like a shot. He’s looking strong at the 30-meter mark. And here it comes – oh no! – he got a little loose with his elbow on the cartwheel, although he recovered nicely and stuck the landing on the backflip. That’s going to be a two-tenths deduction on the judges’ scorecard. And here he comes – that’s a new world record time, folks! Let’s wait and see if it’s enough to get him the gold. Here come the marks. 9.2, 9.1…
Ato Boldon: Oh, no – the Iranian judge gives him an 8.6! That’s going to hand the gold medal to American Tyson Gay!
Ummm. What? Continue reading