1. For the past two nights that I’ve been at the gym, the talking heads on ESPN’s Sports Center have been working themselves into a lather over the series of vicious football hits that resulted in some unfortunate injuries last week in the NFL . Outrage! Indignation! Affront! We must put a stop to such savagery! Except . . . the whole time they’re talking, they are showing clips of these vicious hits, over, and over, and over, and over again. I’m betting that these defensive players are getting more screen time and notoriety for these hits this week than they’ve ever gotten for what the talking heads would consider to be clean, ethical, safe hits. So what’s the real message? I’m thinking if the powers that be want to stop those sorts of violent plays, that the best thing they could do is fine and suspend the offending players, and then work with the television stations to ban the perpetrators from receiving any air time for some period of time after their offenses. Showing the offending hits repeatedly while complaining about them is not going to deter the next wannabe Jack Tatum out there, folks.
2. My office at the University at Albany is located on Western Avenue, and for most of the two years I’ve been here, I’ve had a nice north-looking view over our parking lot at a pleasant stand of woods, through which I would usually walk when I was heading over to the main Uptown campus. A month or so ago, however, construction began on a new residence complex (which is much needed), so the view from my office went from “green and pleasant land” to “dark Satanic mills” pretty quickly. Now we’ve moved into “Bob the Builder” mode, with huge trucks pushing soil around in a vast field, that looks from the distance I see it like a really big sandbox. Today, however, we looked out in wonder after a little rain storm, and saw our giant construction site framed by a huge, clear double rainbow. One of my employees and I tried to get a photo of it, but the cell phone camera wasn’t cooperating. Fortunately, I received a photo of it from a colleague that appears to have been taken directly above my office, one floor up. I don’t know who the photographer is, or I’d provide due credit where it’s due, but I’m really glad that this image was captured and preserved, even though it was after the top part of the double rainbow had faded (you can see it above the primary rainbow faintly if you look closely). If you took the photo, let me know! And thank you! (Update: The photo was taken by Kate Thies in our Office of Human Resource Management. I’m so glad she was in the right place at the right time, and was able to make her technology work better than ours. Thanks, Kate!)
3. I’ve been listening to Korn’s recent album Korn III: Remember Who You Are a lot lately, and, by golly, I’m not going to apologize to anybody for doing so, or for enjoying myself while I do so. Of the various guilty musical pleasures that I admit to (INXS, Wings, Abba, Neil Diamond, etc.), this one seems to befuddle and/or annoy people the most. I’m assuming it’s because of the maggoty collective persona that the band has build around itself over the years, or the creepiness of someone close to my own age singing lyrics that would better fit in a 14-year old boy’s secret journal. I understand those complaints, sure, but, damn, I like the way that Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu plays his bass guitar, and I actually think that singer Jonathan Davis has got one of the most effective, versatile vocal instruments in contemporary metal, and the group manages to actually craft some catchy melodies atop their sludgy, ponderous riffs. So, you know, I like it. Does it make me bad?
4. Update from Ladyjane the Bumblecat on These New Beds Here: “Yes, yes, my new bed does please me, mostly, though you now need to get another new bed to put next to this one, because there’s not enough room in this one for my cat thumbs. Thank you. You are dismissed.”