Thursday, July 26, 2007

anyone but you

I was going to post about NFL Comissioner Roger Goodell and his lackluster enforcement of the new NFL behavior policy last week but didn't end up getting around to doing so. It seems like that may have been a good thing, as I now have even more reason for ranting about it.

I was going to complain about Goodell's inconsistent enforcement of the policy, where players like Chris Henry and Pacman Jones get suspended for having multiple problems (as they should be), but higher profile players like Michael Vick and Joey Porter get preferential treatment. By preferential treatment, I mean that while Goodell was more than happy to suspend Pacman Jones for multiple run-ins with the law--even though Jones had never actually been charged with anything--but when a big moneymaker like Vick gets in trouble, Goodell is content to let things play out in the legal system first. Saying that Vick isn't a repeat offender like Jones is just downright not true; Vick has had more than his share of run-ins with legal authorities and the NFL itself for poor behavior in the past. The only difference is that Vick brings in a lot more money.

Then you have Joey Porter, who assaulted and robbed a fellow NFL player at a casino and merely gets fined for it and is not suspended a single game. Contrast that with today's news that Odell Thurman's request to be reinstated by Goodell after reportedly complying with all the requirements of the league's substance abuse policy was denied by Goodell with no explanation! Thurman is automatically suspended for another entire season. Apparently when you're the NFL Commissioner, you can just wake up in the morning and make decisions that affect the rest of someone's career on a whim. The only possible reason could come up with at this time was an alleged assault in the spring involving Thurman, but since no police were called and no charges were filed, Goodell would simply be looking for any excuse at all to punish Thurman if that was his reason. There may be a good reason for denying Thurman's request, but not releasing that reason at the same time the denial was announced is simply lazy and irresponsible, and Goodell deserves all the criticism he gets because of it, even if he announces a legitimate reason at a later date.

The NFL's morale of the story: someone suffering from substance abuse problems deserves to be repeatedly punished for it for the rest of his life (or at least suspended two entire seasons), while a thug who--along with six or seven of his cronies--decides to mug a fellow NFL employee outside of a casino doesn't get suspended for a single game.

Monday, July 23, 2007

through the graves the wind is blowing

The New York Times featured a decent front page article on Ron Paul, which is probably as good a look at the candidate as you're likely to find from a major news outlet, since most of them seem hellbent on pretending the man doesn't exist (although maybe a slightly more flattering, less biased headline would have been "The Pro-Peace, Pro-Life, Pro-Freedom-, Pro-Health Candidacy..."). I may not agree with every position he takes, but I agree with a lot of them, and more importantly, I admire the way he sticks to his guns and doesn't toe the party line (something I used to be able to say about John McCain). And while I realize the chances of him being nominated are next to none, I'm not sure how the Times can get away with publishing lines like "Ron Paul will not be the next president of the United States." and call it unbiased journalism. Thanks for trying to predict the future, Times. Next time leave the fortune-telling to carnival workers and at least pretend to have some journalistic credibility. That said, it's still a pretty good article.

I'm realistic enough to know that it will take an incredible turn of events for Paul to receive the Republican nomination, which I why I firmly believe the presidential primaries are going to be far more important to vote in than the actual presidential election.

Friday, July 20, 2007

it's a song i sing

Surprisingly, Transformers ended up not being half bad. I never followed the series as a kid and honestly I hardly know a thing about it, so I whether or not the film dogmatically adhered to canon was not an issue to me like it was for some (I love you, Justin). That said, the movie was nothing more than a brainless, high-budget popcorn flick. The fact that the movie really had potential is the sad thing; in the hands of a real director--not Michael-I-use-lots-of-explosions-because-I-can't-direct-a-movie-with-real-plot-development-Bay--m it could have been amazing. Despite wanting to dislike Shia Labeouf for appearing on a Disney Channel show, he was really the only character that truly felt three-dimensional. The effects were impressive, but considering how great technology is these days, good character development and story is rarer than jaw-dropping effects.

3 out of 5 Davies

I watched Velvet Goldmine the other night-- a weird, trippy glam-rock fairy tale loosely based on David Bowie and Iggy Pop. Wasn't anything spectacular, but it did make me overcome my skepticism that Ewan McGregor would not make a good Kurt Cobain if (or more likely, when) they make a biopic about him. McGregor, who played the Iggy-based character, ended up looking just like Cobain for most of the film, making him and Brad Pitt the only two actors I'd like to see play the part.

Friday, July 13, 2007

as she counted the spiders

The Smashing Pumpkins will be in Columbus on October 11 for anyone interested. No announcement when tickets go on sale yet.
edit: Tickets went on sale Saturday!

No one wants to see Queens of the Stone Age in Indianapolis on August 4, do they?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

torn like an old dollar bill

U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded al-Qaida has rebuilt its operating capability to a level not seen since just before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, The Associated Press has learned. [link]

Well, it looks like the tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of lives lost and the billions of dollars spent, not to mention two countries invaded, for the "war on terror" has done nothing more than set al-Qaeda back six years. I'd hate to see what we'd have to do to achieve and real long-term results.

And my faith in the current administration's ability to handle anything plummets even further...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

get behind me

It's official: UFC 77, featuring the rematch of Anderson Silva vs. Rich Franklin, will be held on October 20 at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. No announcement on when tickets go on sale.

Austin and I walked down to watch the fire on West McMicken this evening. There was a ton of smoke and the whole building was mostly destroyed.

the hardest button to button

No, I'm not dead. It's been two weeks since I've updated (and even then just with a new layout), but I've just been busy with work. That, and I doesn't feel like I have too much to write about.

I watched Letters From Iwo Jima the other day. It was a really good--but very somber--film. Not the movie to watch if you're looking for something to brighten your day. Next on my list are Flags of Our Fathers, The Bourne Supremacy, Blade Runner (never seen the whole thing), and Dr. Strangelove. Pixar's new movie, Ratatouille, has received great reviews, so I'd like to see that soon too. Despite the good things I've heard about Transformers from most people, I'm still indifferent about seeing it.

The new Smashing Pumpkins album did not disappoint. Zeitgeist can't measure up to most of their older albums, but most of the songs are surprisingly good. It's a very aggressive album; at times it is reminiscent of Machina and the heavier parts of Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie. Worth picking up if you're a fan.