Sunday, February 26, 2012

This, That, and The Other

Briefly, then:

The blog of one of my former associates (at least six years ago, almost certainly more) has been thunderstriking me recently with its trenchant analysis of various issues assailing the universe nowadays. And no, I don't really know what "trenchant" means. I'm assuming it means "strong enough to dig a trench", which is actually pretty strong, when you think about it. The point is, this guy's smart, smarter than I am, actually. And he's a good writer--a better writer than I am, actually. And he's not frivolous, most of the time. Check him out at this link.

The Oscars are tonight, and I really only care about two aspects of the whole pageant.
1. Will the host be stoned like James Franco was last year? (I hate James Franco, FTR.)
2. Will Gary Oldman actually win an Oscar? His turn as George Smiley in the brilliant adaptation of Jean le Carre's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is his first Academy Award nomination ever, which is just stupid, because Oldman's awesome. I know a lady who sorta met him once, out in LA. And here's a picture for all of you visually-minded people.

It's embarrassing to me that right now I don't have anything trenchant to say about anything, really. This blog is supposed to be your one-stop shop for figuring out what the right thing to think is. But I can't even structure a sentence without ending it with a preposition. I suppose you, Valiant Reader, will have to be content with knowing that I have never, do not now, and will never enjoy or respect Sacha Baron Cohen as a comedian, an artiste, or a person.

Ps. Here's something cool: I've been following Mark "The Shark" Titus over at ClubTrillion for many and many a year. I know he left to go work at Grantland, and that's all cool, I guess. I've been missing his trenchant wit, until just last week his name VERY randomly popped up in my local paper. Apparently his book is being released a few minutes from now. (Minutes? Doesn't sound right. Maybe more like "weeks". I don't know...I thought he played for the Brewers.)

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I liked The Shark before he was cool, and I'm probably going to buy his book.

I'm hanging up now.

Long live spontaneI'm going to walk to Ecuador RIGHT NOW.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Disgusting Spelled W-O-N-D-E-R-F-A-L-L

Golden Corral, number one destination for impossibly hungry diners, Mecca for worshipers of adequate food, definitive proof that quality, not quantity sells--Golden Corral has introduced their...hold on a second.

*gags decorously behind hand*

Once more: Golden Corral has introduced the Chocolate Wonderfall.


Let's ignore the first comment viewers see after this video, the one that says "So I went to a golden corral today, and I tried this out. Right as I dipped my marshmallow into it, some little kid reached over the little metal railing and just stuck his whole hand into it...never again will I think this looks good."

You know what? Let's even ignore the typo in the reply that Golden Corral's official account posted.

(The response begins "We strive to provide the best possible customer experience for all of our guest." Talk about a Freudian slip.)

What needs to be discussed is the concept that repeating "a nonstop flowing river of chocolate decadence" makes one's borderline health-hazard, crass, step-in-the-wrong-direction "innovation" a nonstop flowing river of chocolate decadence.

I wish it could. There are a lot of things I wish I could change that way. Such as...

"Let's see, to do my NONSTOP FLOWING RIVER OF CHOCOLATE DECADENCE this year, I'll need my W-2s, income statements, pay stubs...actually, looks like I'll need a napkin more."

"Yeah, dude, I totally got my tickets to the concert! Can't wait to see the NONSTOP FLOWING RIVER OF CHOCOLATE DECADENCE live! Especially their hit new single bubbleGlorpSLOSH."

Unfortunately for anyone involved, words don't work that way. What a letdown.

And Golden Corral, just so you know, "food" ≠ "happiness". Helping oneself to food is not the same as helping oneself to happiness, even if we accept Golden Corral's presupposition that what they serve is "food" (a charitable observation if there ever was one). While food can certainly contribute to a feeling of happiness, an equation of the two is manipulatively simplistic.



Monday, February 20, 2012

There's Only One Rule!

I saw a promotional spot for a golfing event, a professional golfing event, possibly PGA, but it also could have been PBA or NBC or NASA or ROBOCOP, I don't know. In an (utterly futile) attempt to get people excited about watching golf on television, also known as the most monotonous pastime in the history of pastimes, monotony, and superlatives, the far-too-enthusiastic announcer busted out the following gem:

The only rule is "win or go home."

Well, now.

I don't really know that much about golf. Let me amend that: I know practically nothing about golf. That being said, I know that the game does have more than one rule. At least two, possibly as many as three. As far as I can remember, those rules include the following:

-use as few strokes as possible to hit the small round ball into the hole.

-don't pick up the ball with your hands.

-don't kick the ball with your feet.

-don't try to sweep a pathway clear of obstructions in front of your ball when it's rolling towards the hole.

-no hitting other golfers with your golf sticks.

-no hitting other golfers with your golf truck.

-no hitting other golfers with your caddie.

-depending on the persona you have cultivated (i.e. rule-breaking bad boy), you must break at least two expensive golf sticks over your knee. If you have bad knees, you're allowed to wear titanium reinforcements.

-don't kick Phil Mickelson into water traps while yelling THIS IS ST. ANDREWWWWWWWS. It doesn't matter if you're descended from Eglon and you have a hereditary distrust of left-handed men.

-the flag that they stick in the hole where the ball goes is NOT a prop in a massive sneaky game of Capture-The-Flag. Don't treat it as such.

I feel like these rules should be posted at every tee on every golf course in the world. That would solve a lot of problems.

Long live sport!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

God in King

I finished reading another King recently. It. The following is not a review of that book. Rather, it is a pontification upon Mr. King's seeming belief in a Deity.

Philosophically speaking, It discusses the tension between plan and chaos. The antagonist, in typical Kingian fashion, actually is chaos personified. Contrary to appearances, however, the protagonist is not the child-later-man who ends up *SPOILER ALERT* besting chaos. Instead, Order quasi-personified is the true protagonist; the humans on whose struggle the story focuses are mere tools in the hands of Order.

As is his wont (and more on that in a future post) King places the final confrontation outside of our plane of existence. The climax takes place in something King calls the "macroverse." (To my mind, the ambiguity of "macroverse" is a cheap sop to relativism, a wild card whose suit Constant Readers get to name for themselves.) Out there in the macroverse, Constant Readers are treated to a slightly-less ambiguous introduction: the Other, the Creator.

What he's touching on is the concept of antithesis. Chaos needs plan to balance it. Without plan, chaos is meaningless. And this is an interesting trait of King as an author: he says he believes in God personally, but God tends to emerge almost organically in King's writing.

I don't believe one's identity should impact one's writing. It can, of course, and if that impact is unforced--well then, so be it. Personal bias sticks closer than a shadow, when it comes to creation. Writers of any sort, however, must beware of forcing their bias into their work. Bias trickles in on its own just fine--it doesn't need any help.

The point of this pontification, if it even has a point, is that I know Stephen King believes in a Deity, because it's an inextricable part of his worldview.

And then I found five dollars.

Long live gutting it out!