Jun 26 2010

hail the conquering hero

Our long national nightmare has finally ended.  The World Cup is over!

May 13 2010

video vault

See, this is what I was talking about.

One book you won’t find on my horrific shelf is A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again.  That’s because I’m currently reading it.  Its current home is inside my backpack.  Yesterday on the way home from work, I finished the essay about David Lynch.  Since the bulk of the essay was written (or at least a literary device was employed to suggest that it was written) from the set of Lost Highway, and since I have never seen Lost Highway, I decided before starting the next piece about professional tennis that I wanted to watch Lost Highway last night.  Except I couldn’t.  I don’t own a copy of that particular film and a quick survey of the evening’s television listings confirmed that it was showing on exactly none of the hundred or so channels I receive.  If only there was someplace I could go and give somebody a few dollars to borrow a DVD – or even a videotape.

You might be thinking about now that this is going to turn into another rant about how Netflix is evil and ruining society as we know it.  And those things are certainly true.  But that’s not what this is about.  Sure, Netflix killed a once-thriving independent business – the cornerstone of our fragile economy – that happened to be a block from my home and was a temple to the art of film.  And sure, Netflix’ CEO has publicly stated that destroying such independent shrines as the one that I visited several times weekly was his corporation’s primary raison d’être.  But I’m not bitter.  On the contrary, I’m filled with a sort of…. shameful joy.  I realized yesterday that Netflix is doomed.

I didn’t know when I left home yesterday morning that I was going to want to watch Lost Highway last night.  And I sure didn’t know it three weeks ago when setting some arbitrary “queue.”  Hell, three weeks ago I didn’t even know I was going to be reading a collection of essays that included one about David Lynch.  (I know it’s willfully obtuse to state that I wanted to watch Lost Highway last night because I went to see an exhibit on parking structures at the National Building Museum last month, but I’m okay with that and I’m not going to elaborate.)  This is a problem that Netflix can never solve, and it’s why the company will ultimately fail.  Netflix decides what its subscribers will watch and when.  Oh sure, there’s a queue, but that queue can never be updated to accommodate real-time decisions.  The Netflix subscriber surrenders personal choice – surrenders freedom – for a mere ten dollars a month and no late fees.  I have faith that one day more people than not will come to the realization that they’re selling their liberty for cheap.  On that day we shall finally throw off the shackles of our tyrannic oppressor.  I can’t wait.

In the meantime I’ll be watching Blue Velvet again.  I own that one.  On VHS.

Mar 31 2010

pony express dvd

I’ll have more to say about this subject later this next month as a tough reality sets in, but this article about the link between the struggling US Postal Service and the (soon-to-be) struggling Netflix warms every last cockle of my cold and shriveled heart.  I want Netflix founder Reed Hastings to die in a fire.  Then I want all the proprietors of all the independent video stores he has driven out of business to converge on his grave and piss on his ashes.  Then I want the Postal Service to return to Hastings’ family the check they mailed for his burial for insufficient postage.  Then I want the funeral home in question to charge his family a “late fee” of sorts for not disposing of his soiled and desecrated remains because they hadn’t been paid in a timely manner.

In short, I want evil things to happen to Reed Hastings because he is an evil man who runs an evil company.  I don’t want the Postal Service to fail, but if the failure of the USPS means the failure of Netflix then I guess I’m okay with it.  This is what all those patriots were talking about when they suggest that we ask not what we can do for ourselves.

Feb 8 2010

who dat!

Dat is Tracy Porter and dat is the second greatest interception in the history of the Super Bowl.  Remember when Peyton Manning had a reputation for being a huge choker who couldn't win the big game?  Why did we all stop thinking that just because he beat the Rex Grossman-led Bears?

As a lifelong football fan, watching the New Orleans Saints win the Super Bowl was one of the more surreal experiences of my life.  In some ways, it was even more strange to me than actually being at the game last year.  It's moments like last night that make sports so special.  The Saints are Super Bowl Champions, but we're all winners really.  Except for Peyton.  He's a big loser.

A few other random Bowl related thoughts: It's time to put to rest this notion that Super Bowl commercials are something worth getting excited about.  The Who are my least favorite iconic classic rock band, and their halftime show was terrible and offensive.  And it's borderline criminal that I can't seem to find any pictures online of Tater Tot, who won Puppy Bowl VI in a rout.

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Jan 10 2010

dey who?

The last time the Cincinnati Bengals made the playoffs, Steeler defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen accidentally obliterated Carson Palmer's knee on a freak play that made me happier than is probably healthy.  Nothing about today's matchup against the undeserving New York Jets approaches that level of shameful glee, but I'm still pleased as punch that they lost.  The last time the Bengals won a playoff game was the year I graduated from high school.  And they deserve it.  They're a terrible franchise with a terrible fanbase who act terribly on those rare occasions when the team actually does well.  Those who believe in karma know it's a bitch, which is why I expect at least another two decades to elapse before dey see another playoff victory.

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Mar 14 2009

your moment of zen

I know jack shit about economics, so I don't have much (by which I mean "any") commentary on the finer points of the feud between The Daily Show's Jon Stewart and Mad Money's Jim Cramer except to say that it has been wonderful to watch it unfold.  And that everybody should make a point to see Stewart's full interview of Cramer yesterday if they haven't already.  Howard Kurtz is one hundred percent correct that Stewart is one of the sharpest critics of the mainstream media out there.  And I kinda think I might have a tiny man-crush on him because of that fact.  It's hard to believe that this is actually the same guy who once prodded "Weird Al" Yankovic to dump pudding and flour and mustard on his own head.

My all-time favorite Jon Stewart moment, though, is still this one because, well….  who doesn't dislike Tucker Carlson.

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Jan 6 2009

hook 'em horns

Jeez, I thought it was going to be a slow night at the Hotrod household.  I was wondering how I might fill the void left in Monday Night Football's absence.  Then I clicked over to ESPN.com to read another story about how awesome the Steelers are, and I was reminded that the Ohio State Buckeyes started losing in the Fiesta Bowl about three minutes ago.  I've been distracted all day what with being sick and being busy, and I completely forgot about the game.  I would have live-blogged that shit.


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Nov 4 2008

23 – 6

My, that was fun.  At least it started to be fun in the second half.  Tonight was the first time I've ever seen the Steelers play a game that counts in person.  I'm just glad they didn't lose – as are the third of the crowd who were wearing black and gold.  This victory is especially sweet.  I'll have more fun commentary later, but now I've got to sleep and dream of a world where football teams with racist nicknames lose every game they play.

Hmmm,  what's this?  Why, it's a text message from Egypt.  Who do I know in Egypt….

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Sep 9 2008


I had another shitty day today.  Fortunately, debilitating knee injuries never fail to cheer me up.  My plan for the evening is to watch the clip above fifty or sixty times, then put in my DVD of the Steelers v. Bengals 2006 AFC Wild Card game.  That ought to do it.

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Mar 31 2008

wild thing

I've been thinking about baseball movies lately, like I do every spring.  Baseball movies are vastly superior to the real thing because (A) they have a finite time frame – which usually makes them (B) shorter – and (C) more stuff happens.  I've been contemplating baseball movies even more than usual this year, though, because DC has been buzzing for weeks about opening day in general and the opening of a new ballpark in specific.  But Mother Nature threw the Nationals a curve ball (see what I did there? how clever!) last night with some abominably dismal weather.  It was cloudy and cold, and it probably rained – not exactly the mild and pastoral setting evoked by the phrase "the boys of summer."  I sincerely hope that none of the nearly 40,000 hapless spectators contracted pneumonia at the game last night as I enjoyed "Major League" for the seven thousandth time from the warmth and comfort of my sofa.

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