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!
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?
13 thoughts on “Tiger in a Spotlight”
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What’s so uncool about Neil Diamond?
These days, nothing, Donna. He’s been totally rehabilitated. But I can remember that it was hard to defend him, despite all his early goodness, in the late ’70s/early ’80s, when he really was hitting the most treacly stage of his career. I think the song “Longfellow Serenade” is an absolute pop masterpiece, but it was hard to explain why, when most of my friends were listening to Black Sabbath’s lame latter-day Ozzy records and considering them classics . . .
I swooned over “Longfellow Serenade” and never could understand Black Sabbath’s appeal.
Metal bored me and I was never afraid to tell anyone. Of course, it would have been kind of hard. Friends used to laugh because it would put me to sleep. Friends that did not understand the appeal of Neil Diamond, Paul Simon and John Denver.
Eh, I admit I’ve never been afraid to march to a different beat. Neil never lost his appeal to me. And I shamlessly admit to liking The Monkees and — are you ready for this — The Archies. There’s a place and a mood for bubblegum.
PS: Metal did get better in the 90’s. It grew up and learned more than three chords. Love Godsmack and Drowning Pool.
INXS? Wings? Abba? Neil Diamond? I see nothing wrong here…
Few things bring me more joy than to put on a maligned band from my youth (defending the Bee Gees in the early 80s was rought sport) and see the pure joy of my boys enjoying music without worrying if it is “cool.”
Seriously, if you can listen to ABBA’s “Ring, Ring” and not be swept away in its giddy wake, I feel sorry for you.
On the topic of suspensions or fines for illegal hits, this has come up in hockey as well. Given that an illegal hit has likely sidelined another player trying to earn a living, the offending player should be suspended until the injured player is able to resume play. You play again when he plays again. Simple enough.
Oh, I like that idea, Russ. Even better.
Neil has regained some cool cache/critical luster over the years . . . though it was harder to defend him from the cool kids back in “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” and “The Jazz Singer” days.
Plus, there’s always “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” . . . there’s plenty of guilty to go around after you sing along to THAT song once.
My cats spend MOST of the evening in our bed . . . these cat beds are where they spend the days, until we get in our bed.
I don’t know why anyone should feel guilty about Neil Diamond.
Also, for the life of me I have never been able to get my cat (or the new one my roommate has) to use a bed other than my own.
Snarf is quite the party animal, Kevin! He had a lot of fun with us on Saturday night!
Try a kitty hammock (yes, they make those, or used to, been a long time since I had a cat), they love those.
That failing: is your laundry in a closed hamper or an open laundry basket. They love laundry and it might just keep them off your bed. Sure you’ll have cat fur all over your clothes but if you live with a cat, you will anyway.
As to your first point, it will never happen, dude. I used to work in TV, and those people will cut their mother’s throat to air what NO ONE ELSE will show. If it is shot, it WILL see air time. Controversy sells even better than sex.
The rainbow was very pretty, thanks for sharing.
To address point 3, we all have guilty pleasures when it comes to music. I have an enduring passion for hair bands from the 80’s because, dammit, that music was FUN. And Korn is nothing to be ashamed of; those guys have produced some seriously good music, image aside. Now, had you admitted to a liking for Rage Against The Machine, I might have to break a few of your fingers.