(A Random Post)

Lament

It’s All Coming Back To Me Now – CĂ©line Dion

A strangely liberating thing happened yesterday. I forgot that the Toronto Raptors existed. It wasn’t a big deal that I missed the game, I’ve missed plenty of Raptors games in my lifetime, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually experienced amnesia in regards to this organization. Normally, I have a good idea when the team is playing and usually it is one of the first things I think of when my consciousness gathers itself as I wake up (along with who am I?, is it too late for breakfast?, and the inevitable do I want to fuck men?).

Not until about ten in the evening last night as I was checking scores for other teams did I notice that something called Toronto had lost to Philadelphia. Oh, right. Them.

It’s not just that this team is bad. I can stand a losing team, trust me. That’s one of the major parts of any relationship, especially between a sports team and its fans. Your faith, your aptitude is tested by these trying times. It’s just made that much harder when the team is lazy, soft, clumsy, inconsistent, boring…I could go on forever. Honestly, my thesaurus is right in front of me, but I’m exhibiting restraint.

No, what really kills me about this team’s failure is that it is destroying certain social aspects of my life. There are several people with whom I have a relationship built primarily on our love of sports. I’m certain I’m not the only one experiencing this crisis. It’s a simple equation: Succesful team = happy fans. When a team like the Raptors are stinking it up night after night, nobody wants to go out and spend money to drive out to Boston Pizza and eat overpriced, undersized chicken wings. They’d rather watch the game at home, or worse, not watch the game and sulk in the bathtub. I don’t blame them.

This whole season has been truly depressing, which is why I’m going to take the time in the next few weeks to write about other, more positive basketball related stories and things that I love in general. As usual, there will be little rhyme or reason to what I’m writing about, but the posts themselves should be more focused on a single topic. They’ll just be topics that nobody wants to read about. So again, business as usual.

*****

From the Rule Of Irrelevant Threes (working title) department:

I have a smattering of links to get to, but before I do I have to express my terror over the fact that the movie Romeo Must Die seems to be creeping back into my life. I have no idea why. I have no fondness for the film whatsoever.

A few weeks ago, the song Try Again by Aaliyah came on the radio. That may not seem strange to you, but considering the fact that the song was a #1 hit years ago and as far as I know has not been receiving regular radio play since that time, it was a bit peculiar. It was a pleasant surprise and brought back memories of Romeo Must Die, which spawned this single, and the complete lack of chemistry between the two leads. As excited as I was at the prospect of watching one of China’s most famous action stars hook up with a hot and talented black woman, it’s probably a blessing that we were spared any on-screen intimacy between the two.

Some time later I noticed the same song being played during a basketball game. While it’s normal for teams to pipe in music during games, the songs usually fall into two categories. The arena usually plays recent hits or songs that have become vintage, like a Whoomp! (There It Is) or This Is How We Do It. Try Again did come out almost ten years ago, so perhaps it has reached vintage status. Still, I was shaken. By the way, I was lying before, I did want to see Jet Li tap that ass on camera. The movie was rated R for chrissakes, they couldn’t have had her play with his balls or something?

Finally, most disturbingly, after recently viewing, nay, experiencing the instant classic that is Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun-Li, I had to know what else director Andrzej Barkowiak had done.

Yep. The Rule Of Irrelevant Threes strikes again.

*****

A smattering of links that have been festering in this notepad file for over a month now.

We’re always talking about how much we enjoy amusing YouTube comments, so why not YouTube profiles? Take this gentleman, for example. This has to be a joke. Just skip to the bottom of his profile and check out his city, interests, etc. There’s no way that this is a real person. It’s all a gag. It has to be. I suppose it’s more chic to make fun of people’s Facebook accounts, but you know how I feel about that site.

Courtesy of Derek, Dave raps in some Flight Of The Conchords promos (1, 2, 3).

I’m sure you guys have watched every Lonely Island clip out there, but I thoroughly enjoyed Jorma’s dancing to the Arcade Fire.

Scrubs has made a triumphant return on ABC, a progression that I feel began last season. The whole “JD has a child” storyline reeked of creative shortcomings and created a lot of trite, unfunny episodes at the end of season 6 and beginning of season 7. However, after the first few episodes of season 7, the writers seemed to just throw the storyline out the window and went back to writing solid scripts. It didn’t make a lot of sense, but it made for better television.

Season 8 so far has been excellent and my favourite episode has been My Lawyer’s In Love. For years, Sam Lloyd has done superb work as the classic sad sack character, Ted, and in this episode the proverbial dog has his day. It bears mentioning that the only reason an episode like this was written was because the show is cutting costs by excluding the lead actors from some scripts. Regardless, it exists as a shining example of Lloyd’s work, as he alternates brilliantly between sad and funny creating a bizarre harmony between the two emotions.

The highlight of the episode and the writing highlight of the whole comedy season for me so far is when he finally musters up the courage to tell his love interest how he feels about her (beginning from 7:09 in this clip). Scenes like this are so difficult to pull off without a) being completely cheesy and b) in this case, betraying everything that makes a character like Ted so appealing. Thankfully, his first line sets the whole thing up perfectly:

I’m…really not what you would call…a winner.

You’ve got to watch the clip to appreciate the delivery. It’s devestating, but it’s so important for the character to say and from that point his confidence begins to rise and fall and rise and fall and it’s so masterfully done. When you’re rooting for a character to succeed and when his victory comes with such honesty, that is great writing and acting, my friends. Great, great television.

All of that is to segue into a cover of My Hero on the ukulele. I hated the ukelele when I was younger, but it’s prominence in that Scrubs episode made it seem cool. For now.

And now, with no segue whatsoever, the video for Ava Adore by The Smashing Pumpkins. I don’t know why, but I had the strong urge to watch this video recently. I mean…this is the best video of all time right? Obviously, everyone knows I get wood over long tracking shoots. That’s just my thing. Now add in the fact that characters seem to be moving at different speeds and you can imagine how much planning had to go into filming. According to the Wikipedia entry, they almost gave up on it altogether. Thank God they didn’t.

I have to mention that the imagery blows my mind. I honestly believe that there is no meaning to any of it and they just decided to put in whatever tableaus would look cool in a music video:

Billy Corgan making non-sensical hand motions and dressed like Nosferatu? Check.
Creepy insane asylum? Check.
D’arcy dancing around like she’s on a bad acid trip? Check.
A huge doorway surrounded by upper-class socialites, armed guards, and a nun leading to an ominous red room? Check.
A bunch of people with shaved heads in a featureless, yet vaguely futuristic white area? Check.
A hall of mirrors filled with a bunch of weirdos? Check.
Rave in a car park? Check.
Sitting on steps in the rain looking sad? Check.
Orgy? Check.
Beams of light coming through holes in a wall piercing the lens? Check.
??? Check!

Seriously, this is all a video needs to be. I don’t need a storyline or symbolism, just give me something that compliments the song. It probably helps that the song itself was written in a stream of thought manner. Ava Adore remains one of their most unappreciated singles, probably because the album that it came from was complete garbage. That said, Billy was really ahead of his time with this track and he correctly predicted that rock music was heading towards a more electronic sound.

Here’s a link to the Bill Simmons podcast regarding Adam Carolla’s movie pitch for Pedoph-Isle (fast forward to about the 68-minute mark). I attempted to explain it over lunch, but I really don’t think I did it justice. It’s amazing all the movie cliches they run through, especially when you consider that these cliches are still in full force today. Highlights for me include Carolla talking about subtly pitching the idea to Jon Hamm, references to Kramer vs. Kramer and Mrs. Doubtfire (a dusting of Doubtfire), Nicolas Cage as the ambiguous pedophile anti-hero, and Carolla’s obsession with canopy imagery.

Finally, to give you a preview of my upcoming Love And Basketball series, the one, the only…Zach Randolph.

All these years, my greatest nightmare has been that someone would strike at me through my friends. Now it’s coming true.
Listen, Bizarro’s dead, the others are behind bars. What’s to worry about?
I…I don’t know. It isn’t rational–it’s just…well, if the nuisances from my past are coming back as killers…what happens when the killers come back?

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Destined to fight the world's evil, The WAMBAG endures massive battles involving impossible stunts, races on horse-pulled carriages, and the desecration of enchanting medieval castles (all done with dizzying computer graphics). Not only does the eye candy keep on coming, the tongue-in-cheek writing and deep Transylvanian accents perfect the film with a dose of dark humor.

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