I’m a long-time supporter of US soccer and a big football (soccer) fan in general, so today’s big Confederation’s Cup match between Brazil and the US was very big for me. In the end, it was a huge letdown when the US lost it in the final minutes. But I can’t really blame the US team. They were playing over their heads for 70 minutes and only lost because the Brazil players were, quite simply, better athletes than the US players (save Donovan and Howard) and had more “in the tank” at the end than the tired US team did. As a result, they were able to capitalize on a few mistakes in defense to get the needed goals to secure victory.
How can you fault a team that wasn’t supposed to even reach the semi-final game with Spain, much less beat Spain soundly before narrowly losing to Brazil? The US were phenomenal and deserve all the credit. They played hard and they played well.
At least everyone knows that the US team has the talent to compete against the best teams in the world. People (rightly) dismissed the US after the 2006 World Cup, but I don’t think anyone will be overlooking them come next year’s tournament–which will, I’ll add, be played in South Africa, just like the Confederation’s Cup.
And a tip of my hat to Landon Donovan, the local boy (from Redlands, CA, where my wife was born and where we lived for the first seven years of our marriage) who proved that he is every bit the leader that the US needs heading into 2010. He was always there, always making plays, always making passes. He just needs to realize (as so many point guards do) that the best pass is often not a pass but a shot.
Last night on the annoying show Real Time with Bill Maher, Billy Bob Thornton said something that bugged me immediately and then forced me to think about for a whole day before responding. He was relaying a discussion about music that he had with a PA on one of his movies. He challenged her to come up with a list of musicians from 1980 to the present who would be remembered 100 years from now. He gave her two names: REM and U2. And, he said, that was about it–compared to the hundred plus names he could come up with for the music from 1955 to 1979. Now, Thornton is right that there are tons of great artists from that earlier period who have already stood the test of time. He’s an idiot, however, because he assumes that any music created after his time sucks. Here’s just a sprinkling of artists who emerged after 1980 who could compete with the people on his list (and I’m even going to leave out the punk and post-punk artists like The Clash and Joy Division who created their music on the cusp of this era):
My Bloody Valentine
Neutral Milk Hotel
The White Stripes
De La Soul
Boards of Canada
Nine Inch Nails
Stars of the Lid
And that’s based solely on my iTunes collection right now. If I spent more time thinking about this, I can easily come up with 200 or 300 names whose music rivals anything created in 1965. The problem with people like Thornton is that they assume that, because everyone listened to the same music when they were growing up, that music today is inferior because there’s more of it and (hence) people’s listening tastes are way more eclectic than they used to be. He’s assuming that uniformity equals quality, in other words. Or perhaps he just thinks that his taste in music is the be all and end all of music, period. Either way, he’s way off. But at least he got me thinking.
So, please, tell me: what names have I forgotten here?
So Leopold Bloom used Twitter, at least in the theoretical sense. The stream-of-consciousness thoughts that are sent out to us in the page of Joyce’s Ulysses contain the same fast-paced, random gems of wisdom and obsession and banality as the typical tweet.
Paltry funeral: coach and three carriages. It’s all the same. Pallbearers, gold reins, requiem mass, firing a volley. Pomp of death. (Joyce 83) Continue Reading »
I’m working on the assumption that Leopold Bloom in Joyce’s Ulysses was the inspiration for Twitter (if not in reality at least in theory). Read Ulysses, read the stream of consciousness rambles that Bloom spews out in that novel, and you’ll notice that his thought are short and compact yet very complex–just like twitter messages. Continue Reading »
We spent 3 months getting out house repainted. It was costly and stressful, but it’s nearly done. Here’s some proof. The cat on the lawn is Steve. He loves the lawn and the fact that the guys painting the house are now out of his back yard.