Friday, January 21, 2011

Try The Veal

Lance is going down.


Now probably not to the level of prison time or anything crazy. Most caught steroid users or dopers don’t experience that. It is more a public embarrassment than anything.

Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire are still rich.  Alex Rodriquez still dates famous actress after famous actress.  They still live in very nice homes. They can still be retired by 40 years old or younger.

For the most part, nobody must give their money back. In football, you can be suspended for steroids and still win rookie of the year or other awards.

Your fans will even still defend you despite your head size increasing after age 35.

With all the positives you figure people have weighed the risks and decided its worth it.

And when they are caught.  Wow.  The excuses sure are entertaining.

There is some sort of code to NEVER admit wrongdoing when caught. If we believed every athlete ever caught cheating in this fashion, then there are a lot of very unfortunate situations going on. I just hope that Lance comes up with an equally interesting story.

When police found EPO and other performance enhancers in the home of Frank Vandenbroucke, the Belgian cyclist claimed the drugs were intended for his anemic dog.

Bulgarian tennis player Sesil Karatancheva blamed a positive steroid test on being pregnant. (That seems wrong on a few levels)

After testing positive for strychnine, Dutch cyclist Adri van der Poel said the reason was he ate a pigeon pie made from juiced up racing pigeons trained by his father- in- law.

Is no sport clean?

Petr Korda failed a test at Wimbledon. He said it was from veal he ate that must have been drugged up on steroids.

If you pay attention to tennis players, you will notice there is a lot of veal being eaten.

German runner Dieter Bauuman said he failed a test because someone spiked his toothpaste.

“But my teeth have never felt stronger. I eat corn on cob in 3 second.”

My favorite of all time is cyclist Tyler Hamilton, who said his blood came back tainted because he has two different types of blood coursing through his veins.

How? He was a twin and he claims his "vanishing twin" that he absorbed in utero is the reason for many of his failed blood tests.

Of course if the twin was a juicer, would not he have been the one to absorb Tyler? Just wondering.

American skeleton rider Zach Lund blamed a positive test for a banned stimulant being in his baldness cure medication.

Bobsled rider Lenny Paul blamed a flunked test on a plate of spaghetti Bolognese.

Lenny’s trainer: “Lenny just eat the broccoli.”

Lenny: “Nah. Im gonna have the Bolognese. Ive trained hard all my life. How could this hurt me now?”

Sprinter Dennis Mitchell said his false test was from drinking 5 bottles of beer and then having sex with his wife the night before.

The “Im not a cheater Im just a stud defense” has never been successfully used. But never is a long time.

So I want something good Lance. Hey Rafael, I want a good excuse why your arms change size a day later.

The bar has been set high.

But you guys are the very best.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Learn How To Play The Game; It's Easy

"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."  -Rahm Emanuel

As soon as I heard I knew. Every tragedy must be political. That this tragedy was on a congresswoman, what hope did we have?

Oh, can we not just mourn for our country without blaming people who had nothing to do with it? 

Sarah Palin might as well have pulled the trigger. She was targeting after all, democrats she felt needed to be replaced in congress. Sounds radical from someone in politics doesn't it?

We see a picture with cross hairs in AZ and we know that she must have actually pulled the trigger. Not this Jared guy, he is just a patsy.

Hey, we can all play this stupid offensive game! DailyKos had an entry 2 days before the shooting titled, My CongressWOMAN voted against Nancy Pelosi and is now DEAD to me!

Well quite obviously this is the shooter, or at the very least who inspired the shooter.

He is a right wing nut job so if you vote Republican you are partly to blame!

How quick did this sentiment take? Of course, we also have him described as a "left wing pothead" by a classmate. Hmm...well maybe he did not vote for straight line "tea party." But I sure as heck hope he did!

Wait, he burned an American flag in that video he made. That doesn't quite sound like Palin does it? But he hates this administration, so obviously this is Republicans' fault. If we had only kept Congress this would have never happened!

I need to read some movie reviews. Get my mind off all this. Wonder what Roger Ebert is saying on Twitter.

"The Tucson massacre stirs memory of the rightist murder that inspired Talk Radio."    -Roger Ebert

Wow, different way to suggest a film. OK.

"These 'incidents' aren't 'isolated.' They're 'clustered' around the American Right Wing."  -Roger Ebert

Maybe I'll see what has been celebrities write. That should be safe.

"Somebody make Palin apologize to Giffords' husband."
-George Lazenby

Do we have to continually play a preschool game of "gotcha" when anything bad happens?

I have yet to hear one person mention that the federal judge that was killed was a Republican.  If Republicans had been more with it, maybe they would be winning the "use tragedy to our political advantage game." 

Maybe they forgot the latest rules.  Remember, Ft. Hood was not terrorism.

So this must not be either.

Let us all define terrorism when it suits our political purpose. So who did all this? The guy who ran against her in the election, Jesse Kelly?

"I would bet my house that it will come out that some disgruntled former Jesse Kelly right-wing supporters did this," (Daily KOS "My CongressWoman is Now DEAD To Me..." writer)

When will this good will for the most famous victim turn?  After all she wasn't so opposed to guns.  She owns one.  She even posed for a picture with one in Afghanistan.

Loughner appears to be an atheist or at least very anti religious, when do we start blaming atheists?

The most accurate description of the killer is probably by a classmate that "he was on another planet." 

In September, officials from his community college sent campus police officers to Loughner's home, where he lives with his parents.  They presented a letter stating he could not return without a mental health professional's written assurance that his presence at college would "not present a danger to himself or others."

He seemed more interested in mind control and proper grammar than Health Care.

But if we ever figure out who the man voted for, start impeachment proceedings on that person right away if they are still in office.

"Shooting of Jewish Congresswoman Giffords is Not Just a "Tragedy"--It's Part of a Right Wing Assault on Government and the Liberals & Progressives Who Support It."   -Rabbi Michael Lerner

Remember:  It is only vitriolic rhetoric when someone else says it.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"Anyway, we delivered the bomb."

"If you were injured, you were in trouble, because sharks go after blood. I was fortunate not to have any serious injuries. You’d hear somebody scream, and you’d know the sharks had got him.”
 -USS Indianapolis Survivor Woody James

Steven Spielberg has made tributes to many people in his films before. (Amistad, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan)

But maybe his greatest and most lasting tribute was from a 4 minute scene that was not in the script. 

Spielberg, for all his immense talent, lucked out in some ways with his breakout film, Jaws.  The film was very difficult to make, running over budget and Spielberg thought he might never work again.  So he probably never felt lucky.  But chaos sometimes helps create a masterpiece, as is evidenced in Apocalypse Now or Aguirre, The Wrath of God.

We were supposed to see the shark.

What works so well in Jaws, is the tension that builds up because we so seldom see the shark.  We saw so little of it because the mechanical sharks almost never worked.  The shark is seen throughout the original script, but they were forced to rewrite out of necessity.

The iconic Jaws theme music composed by John Williams; Spielberg did not much like.  He was not convinced it would work.

But where Spielberg really shines as a director in Jaws, beyond the water level camera work he was forced into, was the famous Indianapolis Monologue Scene.  It is the best scene in the film.  It is not in the original book, but Spielberg recognized the Quint character needed to explain his motivation.

Actor Robert Shaw wrote parts of it himself, and all of the main actors gave ideas to screenwriter Carl Gottlieb to flush out.  Shaw performed the scene the first time drunk.  Then he came back and did it again sober the next day.  The second day is what they used.

Quint´s U.S.S. Indianapolis Speech - Jaws

This film, which became the most successful of all time during its run, told a generation a story they did not know.

The USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.  They were returning from delivering much of the bomb, "little boy" that would be dropped on Hiroshima.

Most of Quint's speech is accurate.  The exact date is all he really got wrong.  The ship went down in just 12 minutes.  The mission was so top secret; nobody was even going to look for them until a week later.  A distress signal was indeed sent out but it was taken as a bluff by the Japanese to flush out more American ships.  It was therefore ignored.

Having to wait 5 days to be rescued, 879 men would die in total.  There were only 316 survivors.  Though you might argue less.

Commanding Officer Charles McVay survived.  Despite numerous mistakes by people for what happened and why it took so long for anyone to know, McVay was made the scapegoat.  He had only recently been awarded the Silver Star for a previous battle.

He was court martialed and convicted of "hazarding his ship by failing to zigzag."  This despite the Japanese Commanding Officer who shot the torpedoes saying it would not have mattered, or the dispute whether the elements were appropriate for such tactics. 

McVay had also requested a Destroyer escort during this time but was denied.

Throughout the following years McVay would receive letters and phone calls from relatives of deceased Indianapolis crew members, blaming him for the tragedy.

In 1968, McVay was found on his back lawn.  He had shot himself with his Navy issued revolver.  He had been holding a toy sailor in his left hand.  It was given to him by his father when he was a boy.

Despite talks, a high budget Hollywood film has yet to be made about the Indianapolis.  I almost hope this continues to be the case.  I think that one scene in Jaws, might be the best tribute possible.

Survivors loved the tribute from that scene. 

Sometimes film can get a tragedy just right and do it honor.  Other times it seems like a slap in the face.  (Pearl Harbor)

In 2000, Congress passed a resolution stating McVay's record would now indicate he was exonerated for the Indianapolis tragedy.

The Navy would soon after release a statement saying he was without fault.

The formal conviction still stands on his service record, as no court martial has ever been erased.

"I would not have hesitated to serve under him again. His treatment by the Navy was unforgivable and shameful."
-Florian Stamm, one of the USS Indianapolis survivors.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


"She's someone that has been the prima ballerina; has been the star. She is now of an age where they're going to replace her."

-Winona Ryder, describing her role in Black Swan.

Winona Ryder was once the it girl. For quite a long stretch she was the actress everyone wanted in their film to give it that indie street cred and yet critics and studios loved her too. She could do little wrong.

Then she got caught shoplifting. It has taken Hollywood a long time to forgive. With all the many sins of actors and actresses; did the punishment fit the crime?

Literally you could argue it did not, as over 5000 other people who committed the same crime received the option of a no contest/misdemeanor charge. Ryder was instead charged with 4 felonies.

Career wise, she had a 4 year hiatus where she worked very little. Seems some by choice and some not.   She would later admit she has suffered from depression for some time.

I always admired Ryder for not being more screwed up actually. To put her upbringing in some context consider this:

Ryder and her family grew up in a hippie commune called Rainbow, to a Buddhist mother and atheist father.  Her first exposure to movies was watching them on a screen in a barn. This was rare enough as there was generally no electricity on the 300 acres they shared with 7 other families.

Ryder's godfather was LSD guru Timothy Leary.

She made her film debut at age 15 in Lucas, and by 17 was famous, having starred in Beetlejuice.

Natalie Portman's first starring role was at the age of just 12. She starred in The Professional as a young girl who's family is murdered. She is pseudo adopted by a professional hit man. The role was understandably controversial for such a young girl. The whole film depended on her acting ability and she pulled it off.

She too had a 4 year period of working very little, as she attended Harvard and graduated with a degree in psychology.

Now Portman is starring in Black Swan. She stars as a young ballerina obsessed with becoming the prima ballerina in her company. She does, and the dancer she replaces is portrayed by Ryder.