Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Video Premiere

Every Friday, we're highlighting a specific video (or two, or three) for your end of week enjoyment.

We'll give you a break this week from soccer (remember to watch the Euro Final on Sunday!) and will present you with two music videos

First up? Lil' Wayne's "A Milli" live at MTV

This is easily the best song on his album "Tha Carter III" (which happens to have the greatest cover of all time):


This is just an incredible live performance. Weezy F. Baby looks like he's in Tron or in some video game..and it's beautiful because whatever camera lens MTV uses for the shot makes it look more live and real..and cheap.

Then, Weezy goes berzerk and rips the roof off of the building (and he has a live band!) before walking backstage and getting on his bus. Is it scripted? Yeah, but that doesn't make it any less cool.

Next? Vampire Weekend's "Oxford Comma"

Yeah, the song isn't as cool as their first single, "Mansard Roof", but it's still a pretty cool video. And, I mean, who gives an f about an oxford comma? I do. I doooo.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

now here is nowhere.

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

This one is probably going to be a bit touchy. Last week, Honolulu Advertiser Opinion Page editor Jeanne Mariani-Belding was named in a racism suit against the paper. The remarks she allegedly made can be found by following the link, as that particular article sums up the argument better than we ever could.

Obviously, the statements made weren’t the most politically correct—and they’re not remarks to be made by someone with any sort of power…or anyone period. However, such statements are commonplace in Hawaii.

I’m not defending the remarks, but they’re sort of part of growing up in Hawaii. Obviously, not everyone in the world grew up in Hawaii, and these remarks are inexcusable. Where do we go from here?

Hawaii is an incredibly diverse place. This allows us all to be exposed to different customs—but, unsurprisingly, there is still a subtle racist undercurrent running beneath the Island. Most people are described based on race—haole, yobo…the list goes on---and many attacks are said to be prefaced by such terms, often elevating said attacks to hate crimes.

In all honesty, there is racism anywhere multiple ethnicities of people come into contact. And, in many places, these tensions elevate into civil wars. The conflicts in the Middle East, Sudan and the fight over a Kurdistan in Iraq (among others) all occur based on racial/religious lines.

In a way, it’s a bit surprising that more violence doesn’t take place. Again, I know this is a big statement, but when one considers what these cultural differences in other places, you’ve got to question why it doesn’t happen here.

Is it because our rule of law? The fact that we’re a democracy? Or does it come down to the plain logic that these differences take away from working towards the greater good? That societal in-fighting accomplishes little while requiring all involved to expend so much?

The counter-argument would probably be that it all comes down to the fact that we don’t believe in fighting for intangible beliefs that don’t involve dollar bills—that we’re a secular society that doesn’t believe in anything other than the almighty dollar. In a way, this argument meshes with the aforementioned one—there are things far more important to fight over than petty differences, like skin color, what god we believe in or what days we call holidays.

There is no long and short of it. It’s all there. Yeah, the editor forced the woman to keep progress logs—but doesn’t this defend the almighty dollar? The problems lie everywhere and nowhere.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

keep the change

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

You know that change that you leave in the trays at the aiport security checkpoint? Yeah, well, in under four years, all of America's airport change has turned into one million dollars. It's like the world's best Coin-Star or something.

(photo courtesy

And the TSA is keeping all of it. Don't we already pay high enough taxes? I mean, airfares are so high because of oil prices, and now we're being forced to pay to take our luggage on the planes and to pay for beverages on planes...on top of fuel surcharges.

It's time for the government to give back to us. How about giving some of that to all of America's travelers for the next year? I mean, it is our money.

George Carlin Tribute #2--The Grotesque Evasion

In yesterday's Carlin tribute, I posted about Carlin's use of words. In the video above, Carlin blasts "soft language." If you didn't believe that Carlin mastered the english language, look no further.

That the "poor" don't live in "slums" anymore, for example. Rather, the "economically disadvantaged occupy substandard housing in the inner cities."

Here's the kind of humor I mentioned in Monday's obit. You probably won't pee your pants watching that video, but it is funny in that it presents an awkward glimpse of the world we are so familiar with.

The fact that it is not always laugh-out-loud funny makes a lot of these kind of Carlin bits perfectly suited for the written medium. His books--really--are some of the best toilet reading in the world.

These bits on the norms of our lives--what could be more fundamental to society than our language?--are ingenious. In the video below, George applies the same skewed lens to another basic institution of American society: War.

A lot of these points have become less controversial over time--such as the masculine, penis-centric justification for war, or television's role in wartime)--but he presents them in a brilliant way. I love that he justifies his points with historical and cultural evidence. (That we fight every 20 years and can't succeed in anything else besides killing people, for example.)

Now, we need to be very careful about accepting a comedian's opinion on politics. We always have to remember that he's an entertainer, not a policymaker. But what makes these points so salient is exactly that he isn't a policymaker or a scholar.

Besides, politics have always been fair game for comedians.

Carlin admits that he's only looking for what's funny (or stupid) in war, and for that we should be grateful that someone with the observational and rhetorical skills as Carlin took it on.

Because it's only from looking at these creatively can we ever learn anything new. I would be happy to hear a politician's opinion on poetry-it would surely show me something I never saw before. And I am glad that Carlin took on politics, because being the master of words that he was, he bestowed on his audiences a fresh, profound, and often unsettling view of the entire world as we know it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

George Carlin Tribute #1

Like the "stuff" routine I posted in yesterday's Carlin obit, this routine--which Carlin calls "Modern Man"--reflects Carlin's prodigious use of words.

Carlin had the same ability to harness the power of words as your favorite poet. He understood their potential and their agility. Thus Carlin poked fun at euphorisms, redundancies, and oxymorons.

And again, there is an important point behind his routine. For when Carlin ranted about how "shell shock" turned into "battle fatigue" and then "post traumatic stress disorder," he realized that the cold evolution of the term to make it less harsh-sounding also hurt veterans' chances of getting help.

The video above is a bit from a more recent Carlin act. I remember seeing him perform it a few weeks before he was to be taped. It was interesting because it was not yet memorized and he had to refer to a piece of paper. The result was Carlin looking more like a slam poet (especially in his all black fit) than a comedian.

It is amazing to think that he mastered the language so completely without even a high school diploma.

Here's the text, enjoy:

I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free. A diversified multi-cultural, post-modern deconstruction that is anatomically and ecologically incorrect. I’ve been up linked and downloaded, I’ve been inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech low-life. A cutting edge, state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond!

I’m new wave, but I’m old school and my inner child is outward bound. I’m a hot-wired, heat seeking, warm-hearted cool customer, voice activated and bio-degradable. I interface with my database, my database is in cyberspace, so I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive and from time to time I’m radioactive.

Behind the eight ball, ahead of the curve, ridin the wave, dodgin the bullet and pushin the envelope. I’m on-point, on-task, on-message and off drugs. I’ve got no need for coke and speed. I've got no urge to binge and purge. I’m in-the-moment, on-the-edge, over-the-top and under-the-radar. A high-concept, low-profile, medium-range ballistic missionary. A street-wise smart bomb. A top-gun bottom feeder. I wear power ties, I tell power lies, I take power naps and run victory laps. I’m a totally ongoing big-foot, slam-dunk, rainmaker with a pro-active outreach. A raging workaholic. A working rageaholic. Out of rehab and in denial!

I’ve got a personal trainer, a personal shopper, a personal assistant and a personal agenda. You can’t shut me up. You can’t dumb me down because I’m tireless and I’m wireless, I’m an alpha male on beta-blockers.

I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever, laid-back but fashion-forward. Up-front, down-home, low-rent, high-maintenance. Super-sized, long-lasting, high-definition, fast-acting, oven-ready and built-to-last! I’m a hands-on, foot-loose, knee-jerk head case pretty maturely post-traumatic and I’ve got a love-child that sends me hate mail.

But, I’m feeling, I’m caring, I’m healing, I’m sharing-- a supportive, bonding, nurturing primary care-giver. My output is down, but my income is up. I took a short position on the long bond and my revenue stream has its own cash-flow. I read junk mail, I eat junk food, I buy junk bonds and I watch trash sports! I’m gender specific, capital intensive, user-friendly and lactose intolerant.

I like rough sex. I like tough love. I use the “F” word in my emails and the software on my hard-drive is hardcore--no soft porn.

I bought a microwave at a mini-mall; I bought a mini-van at a mega-store. I eat fast-food in the slow lane. I’m toll-free, bite-sized, ready-to-wear and I come in all sizes. A fully-equipped, factory-authorized, hospital-tested, clinically-proven, scientifically- formulated medical miracle. I’ve been pre-wash, pre-cooked, pre-heated, pre-screened, pre-approved, pre-packaged, post-dated, freeze-dried, double-wrapped, vacuum-packed and, I have an unlimited broadband capacity.

I’m a rude dude, but I’m the real deal. Lean and mean! Cocked, locked and ready-to-rock. Rough, tough and hard to bluff. I take it slow, I go with the flow, I ride with the tide. I’ve got glide in my stride. Drivin and movin, sailin and spinin, jiving and groovin, wailin and winnin. I don’t snooze, so I don’t lose. I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road. I party hearty and lunch time is crunch time. I’m hangin in, there ain’t no doubt and I’m hangin tough, over and out!

the case against uniformity

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

With the Yankees' Chien Ming Wang hurting himself while rounding the bases in an interleague game, the debate over baseball's designated hitter has once again reared its head.

I'm not going to take a side here other than by stating that I think it's great that, within one professional league, there are two sets of rules. The game is completely different in the National League than it is from the American League. And, the fact that when the two Leagues meet in the World Series and the allowance of a DH is wholly dependent on what stadium the game is being contested in is incredible.

Baseball is really the only sport where a lack of uniformity is the norm, not the rule. Yes, FIFA does not have a set size for soccer pitches--only maximum and minimum field sizes--but these rules do not make as big of a difference as in baseball. In a sport where no two parks are exactly the same (or even remotely similar), games in different stadiums always call for different strategies. The huge behomoth football stadiums that teams occupy have huge swaths of foul-ball territory, thus almost ruling out a high scoring games. And, in domes and in parks at high altititudes (Coors Park in Denver), games clocking over six runs are a nightly occurence. Yeah, golf courses differ in length and difficulty--but there aren't different rules for different golfers.

And, I mean, there's a flag-pole and a hill ON the home field of the Houston Astros. A hill. How insanely cool is that? It's almost like playing in the most well-groomed backyard baseball field in the world.


And, in case you haven't seen it, here's Shaq asking Kobe to "tell me how my a** tastes". I guess sometimes we hate people so much that we secretly want to be with them. Sometimes.

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin 1937-2008

Oh, George!

Oh, George.

It's interesting: when I first heard about Carlin's death, it was about 4:30 am. I was woken up by a text message. My reaction was--and has been--far different from when Richard Jeni died, which is to say I had almost no emotional reaction. In fact, I silenced my phone and went back to sleep.

Even when I was dressed and ready to go to work, when I passed the living room record player and the George Carlin record just recently purchased, I was hardly affected. And when I took out the newspaper recycling, with the article from last week's Post saying Carlin would be receiving the Mark Twain lifetime achievement prize--I was not sad.

It took me an entire morning of listening to and watching old bits to realize why I wasn't upset.

First of all, I got to see the man live twice. Twice. So unlike with Mitch Hedberg and Jeni, I feel satisfied with having shared the same oxygen as this comedic genius. (Twice.)

Secondly, the man was not afraid of death. He was comfortable with it.

But thirdly, and most importantly, Carlin died at 71. Of heart failure. In a hospital he had checked into previously.

What a relief! I mean, finally one of our cultural heroes dies a dignified death of old age (even though decades of previous drug abuse, before he went clean, definitely took a toll). Carlin didn’t die of some revolting character flaw, neither did he die from some poor decision making. He died of old age!

Besides, how upset can I be when pondering the life of a man who created volumes and volumes of brilliance? Who had the opportunity to express to the world all that he saw mistaken in it--and who never ever ever failed to take advantage of that opportunity?

No, the life of Carlin is a life to be laughed over. It's a life to be appreciated even beyond his craft. For besides the drug abuse, Carlin's personal life was as sincere as his comedic life. He writes in the introduction to one of his books that he lived a perfectly happy life--happily married and everything.

He also took a case of freedom of speech to the Supreme freaking Court!

The life of Carlin is a life to be mulled and appreciated with more than just a little incredulousness--for this is how we view his comedy.

Even at the most barbarian, disgusting, and immature levels his comedy reaches--and there are quite a few--there is always a sophisticated and intelligent undertone. If you were one of those naive listeners who turned him off after the first (or fiftieth) cuss word, counting him out forever, then you missed out.

Because unlike annoying comedians like Carlos Mencia and Lewis Black, comedians who somehow make money by screaming profanities at people, Carlin laced his controversial approach with beautiful ingenuity.

Honestly, a lot of what Carlin performed was not always laugh-out-loud funny. It was smile-to-yourself funny. Sometimes you wouldn’t even get it until weeks after hearing it, when you’d find yourself at a baseball game or a hotel room and you’d remember Carlin’s ideas of putting mines in the outfield or putting “stuff” away in hotels.

That’s what true brilliance is: creating permanent images in a creative medium that changes the way we view the world.

And Carlin’s work will always be remembered as brilliant.

(Stay tuned for more Carlin stuff this week on JJ.)

For further remembrance, here’s two other great videos (I especially love Carlin’s use of rhythm in the “stuff” bit):

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Video Premiere

Every Friday, we're highlighting a specific video (or two, or three) for your end of week enjoyment.

Happy Friday JJ folk!! What a week. Here's what made this week great: (1) It was positively beautiful in DC, never topping 90. Each day it rained around four, cooling the air before night. (2) Even though the Celtics won, the conclusion of the NBA season was ridiculous. I can't believe the Lakers got mauled like that. But truthfully, I'm glad it's over. The NBA playoffs are so grueling--for players and fans alike--it's like three months long! (3) Tiger Woods is god. Nuff said. (4) Lastly, we saw some amazing Euro Cup games--more on that in a sec.

The main video today, though, is what I've been whistling all week. It's the song that plays in the stadiums after goals in the Euro Cup. If you listen, after every goal you can hear half the stadium singing along.

HAHAHAHA. Just kidding. I have no idea what the eff that song is. This was the one I was talking about:

I'm glad to say that the games this week lived up to expectations. The Turkey v Czech Republic game on Sunday, for example. It was the best game of the Euro Cup thus far:

This video is hilarious because it's the Turkish broadcast. At the first Czech goal (1:57 on the video above) the announcers go completely silent, except for one who goes, "Uhnn." Compare that to their reaction after their third goal (6:20). Looking back, I still can't believe P. Cech--one of the best goalies in the world--dropped that cross to allow Turkey to tie (5:50). Sports are weird, man. Weird.

You'll often hear people say that 2-0 leads are the most uncomfortable in soccer (or indeed, hockey). It's because at 2-0 the leading team often rests on their laurels, but if the other team grabs one back they're only a goal down--and they have momentum. The leading team often finds it hard to switch off their complacency, and that's why there are a lot of 2-0 games that turn into 3-2 games.

But the Germany Portugal game yesterday had a different turn:

Very interesting game. You know, if Portugal had taken their chances, they would have been right with Germany. We really weren't far from 3-3. But as Tiger Woods taught us, you just have to score when you have the opportunity. You have to. Portugal didn't, and now they're done. And they will be remembered as drastically overrated.

Okay, I think that's enough to get us all through into the weekend. Tomorrow is the first day of summer, let's go!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

southeast asians and mount rushmore

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

...not necessarily together. The BBC has an interesting piece on why Southeast Asians in America (particularly Indians) are so good at spelling bees. Namely, they have parents who are willing to help them study (even taking off work to do so!) and that they are smart kids. The lure of getting college scholarships through these things are big too.

But is it also because American kids are just lazy and don't care? I mean, it's like America being terrible at basketball on a world scale. Yeah, it's our game and yeah we should win it, but we've just become so blase about everything that it doesn't matter.

I mean, essentially, this article goes for why Americans suck at everything: dissolution of families, lack of work ethic (laziness), and being really, really jaded. It is less of a "why they're good" and more of a "why we're terrible"


In Calculus class, my mind started wandering (between checking the Guardian for the latest scores in the France-Italy and Holland-Romania games today) and I saw the Guardian's banner, which features Mt. Rushmore (this may just be in the states).

I mean, if the US government hadn't worked on this, would it be considered anything other than a tourist trap, like the world's largest twine ball?

I mean, seriously--it's the faces of our presidents cut into the side of a rock. It's absolutely absurd. The only people you'd expect to do things like this are absolute nutcases and governments. We spent billions of dollars cutting faces of past presidents into a rock for people to go and look at and say "Wow. Yup, that's them, alright."

I mean, there's no other reason to visit the Dakotas, right? Should we just put really hackneyed, nutzo homages to America in every boring state in the Union?

And does it get any better than building it on land that the US stole from the Indians? I mean, building a memorial to oneself on lands illegally and wrongly annexed. Sure, most of America was taken illegally, but this is kind of ridiculous.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tiger's So Good, He Gets Special Ultra Bonus Post!

At the risk of overkill, I'm giving Tiger Woods another post filled with sycophantic praise, lauding, and love--even though I did the same thing yesterday.

First of all, did you know there's a site called Kind of funny, actually.

Secondly, I'd like to put a video of this past weekend's Open highlights onto this post, but the fact is that there are so many highlights it wouldn't fit into one YouTube clip. So go watch Sportscenter at some point today. Or just watch this.

There was, however, a really well-written recap of the weekend by's least well-known "national voice" writer Pat Forde. Here's the most amazing quote:

"You keep playing," Woods said. "Whatever it is, you just keep going, keep going forward. All my buddies and I used to, when we were working out, used to always say 'Four.' How many more reps do you have? Four. Four-ever. And that's the idea. You just keep going, and there's no finish line, and you just keep pushing and pushing."
Now you tell me how that doesn't make you want to be a better person, you tell me how that doesn't make you want to be a better citizen, a better father, a better student.

We don't all have to be as cutthroat as Tiger. I understand that. Mantras like "Good is the worst enemy of great" are not for everyone. But there are some things about Tiger that are. Things like moving forward through pain. Things like playing best in the most important situations. These characteristics can apply in life as well.

I got to leave work early yesterday to watch the Open playoff. It taught me more than any day's work or any day's lecture ever can.


Thanks to the "anon" commenter who reminded us of the great Nike commercial that aired Father's Day weekend during the Open. Knowing Woods' relationship with his father, and his father's memory, it's a touching commercial.

You know, it's easy to be skeptical when looking at the relationship between Woods and his father. It's easy to think that his father obviously pressured him into become great; that his father obviously overused his Vietnam War experience to quasi-abuse Tiger and create a numb machine.

But this commercial does a good job of showing why those kinds of speculations are dumb. The tenderness that existed in that relationship is real and special. It was nice to see, especially on Father's Day.

Who knows, maybe one day I'll have to write up an entire "Best Tiger Woods Nike commercials" post...

Photo from here.

Jeff Koons At Chicago's MCA

The wise world of contemporary art has decided to put on a Jeff Koons retrospective, the first one in fifteen years. We can talk about my ironic or contemptuous or worthy use of the word "wise" some other time--for now let's just peruse the issues. Then we can talk. And talk. And argue.

I for one have to confess to not being totally familiar with Koons' work. I mean, I knew of him before and beyond his recent work with Gap, but not by that much.

I've read two opposing views of the Koons exhibition so far. The first was in the Chicago Tribune. It's quite harsh:

Its 60 sculptures and paintings show Koons as ideal for a time when buying art no longer is related to looking and talk about art has replaced what actually is present in the objects. The talk was characteristic of American artists in the 1980s who created a kind of work known as Neo-Geo, which involved strategies of appropriation and parody. Koons and others transformed objects from the everyday by putting them in a different context. Such appropriation acknowledged that artists could not create anything new or original.
The review concludes with this:
The verbiage obscures completely what goes on in the objects, and the objects themselves fail every known test for quality...The only thing reassuring in this atmosphere is that few of the idealistic young get into art wanting to be like Jeff Koons.
On the other hand, we have a review from today's Washington Post Style section which is absolutely impressed with Koons' vision and execution. This review just fleshes out one of those really simple facts of art. It says that Koons' art is successful in giving viewers new perspective on the world--exactly what good art ought to do:
With Koons, it's as though we're seeing objects from our own everyday world transported to a distant place where they have been transformed and reused to vastly different ends, then brought back down to us again without a key to their repurposing, leaving us with no choice but to use them as art. No wonder this show can leave a viewer reeling. Almost every object in it works like a Duchampian ready-made, but at many unearthly removes from its original function. It's as though Duchamp's urinal-become-fountain-become-sculpture were uncovered eons from now, and reused yet again to house a sacred relic. Then buried. Then re-rediscovered and presented as superb ancient art. The object's artistic aura might have been preserved, even increased, with time and its reuses, but its meanings would have become so layered and remote that they could never be deciphered.

It's said that art can take you outside yourself. Koons makes art that transports you 100 million miles.
Now, besides the use of such interesting art critique words like "repurposing," there is in fact plenty of interesting points in these two reviews regarding art in general.

Here's one obvious question: Is taking everyday objects and moving them into a new milieu eye-opening? Is it inventive? Or is it uninspired and lazy?


In case you're into this kind of thing, here are a couple of interviews.

Photo from Koons' website.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tiger Woods is Too Good, Like Thierry Was

The US Open has been indescribable. Truly amazing. I literally almost cried when Tiger made the putt on 18 yesterday to send it into a playoff with Rocco Mediate. I mean, first of all, it hurts just to watch the guy swing. But mostly what makes it so captivating is how Woods manages to "clutchify" himself in the biggest moments. It doesn't matter what kind of conundrum he's facing, when it comes down to it, he gets it done. And that's what sports (and life, really) is all about.

There was one little moment from Tiger's weekend that I have to share. After making an unbelievable eagle putt on 18 on Saturday to put himself in the lead, he didn't whoop or shout (as he had after other huge putts), he just sort of looked at the crowd, pumped a fist, and smiled. Look:

It reminded me so much of Henry's look after this ridiculous free kick:

You can't really see it in this video (sorry for the horrible quality), but after the shot goes in Henry just stands there. Then he looks over to the camera and says, "Is that enough?" Haha! What a ballsy celebration.

Reminds me of the Cantona celebration I showed in this post a while back.

Who knows. Maybe Woods picked up a thing or two from hanging out with Henry while shooting all those shaving commercials.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Video Premiere

Every Friday, we're highlighting a specific video (or two, or three) for your end of week enjoyment.

Welcome to the first Friday vid of June!! There's so much happy stuff going on in the world, you'll have to excuse me for my (probably temporary) optimism. But seriously, the Supreme Court came through big time yesterday and even though they basically threw a wrench into our system of dealing with these detainees, sometimes you have to burn ish down to build ish up, you dig? (Just don't ask Robespierre to do it.)

In sports, the Cubbies are coming through in the clutch, and even though the exceedingly obnoxious Boston sports community might gain yet another championship from the Celtics, there's so much soccer on everyday that my mood is simply imperturbable.

Ok, ok, enough. On to the videos!

There's no choice but to feature the Euro Cup, I'm sorry. Thing is, it's only a week in and there really hasn't been a goal that's made me smile right before I go to sleep (like this one). But there have been good goals.

Let's start with this goal from yesterday:

You'd be narrow minded to write it off just because it's from a corner. Look at how ballsy Sionko is! First of all, the guy's like 5'4". Second of all, he puts his head right where it would most probably be kicked--just to get a look at the ball. And last, he makes great contact to absolutely power it past Ricardo in goal.

I also like this Ibrahimavic goal:

There's two main things I like about it: one, that one-two with Larsson is amazing. Look how easily they slice through the Greece defense with two simple five yard passes. Two, it shows great technique that Ibrahimovic could turn his body to square up to the ball and hit it cleanly.

The goal is not as ridiculous as this one from Euro 2004, but it is one of the best goals so far.

And finally, the best goal from Monday's amazing Holland v Italy game:

Just look at how quickly they break--at how quickly the ball moves from the near side to the far side to the near side and in. It's the epitome of an effective counterattack, and there's a great finish by Sneidjer to boot.

Sort of reminds you of a classic Arsenal counterattack, don't you think? See for yourself:

Ok, you JJ folk, there you have it. It's weekend time! Sorry for the sparse output of late, but surely you can sympathize: sometimes, and in the cruelest way, summer jobs are more stressful and take up more time than schoolwork. Somehow.

So? Onwards.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cedric Benson Screws Us Over

This sucks. We kept you all updated on the Cedric Benson drunk boating fiasco back at the beginning of May, and we were more than a little forgiving when we heard reports that he was treated unfairly by cops.

Now? Benson goes and gets a DUI. That's his second arrest in a little over a month, for those of you keeping score, and the Bears really had no choice--they cut him yesterday.

You know, we could make all sorts of comments about Benson's horrid stats for the Bears--something about how his arrests nearly equal his average yards per carry--but the truth is that this is just sad.

We've seen plenty of sports figures get DUIs; some even have legitimate problems with controlling their drinking habits. It doesn't make it any easier to swallow.

The Bears are down another running back. The NFL is down another potential role model.

Photo of the wheels coming off--not actually Benson's car--from here.

eschew your shoes

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

Yes, Nike dunks (faux vintage and bright colors) have made a comeback (and no, we're not late to this fad here at the Collective--we just couldn't think of a way to drop sneakers into posts).

And, yes--boat shoes have since taken over

But, here at the Collective, we're challenging you to eschew your New Balances (and other casual kicks) and asking you to consider new sneaks.

The following should be dropping soon (sneak speak for coming out). They won't be at Foot Locker, either--look around for boutiques in your neighborhood.

(photo courtesy

These take color cues from Nike's Vandal line and put them on Dunk Hi's. Don't they remind you of something astronauts would wear? Or that really cool kid when you were in third grade?

(photo courtesy

Remember those New Balances we just told you to throw out? Yeah. These may look like New Balances, but they also look like a South Beach sunset on the sole. And, yeah, they're not Dunks--they're Air Max 1s. I find that these are a lot more comfortable for a flat-footed gopher like myself than Dunks are

Safari-inspired Air Max 1s. Nike is rocking this pattern hard this year--the Safari was one of their most popular color combinations ever. You can see it on the Air Force one pictured here.

Monday, June 9, 2008

euro 2008

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

Yeah, it's a bit overdue, but we're following the European Championships closely. Saturday and Sunday's games were alright at best--and today's France-Romania game was a snoozer (Henry benched for bruising?!?!), but today's game between Holland and Italy was exciting.

Before the tournament, I had Spain, France, Holland and Germany as my favorites--I know, really going out on a limb, right? But after seeing nouveau France and being less than impressed, I' like to say that one of the three teams are my favorites.

Yes, Holland is playing in the group of death--with them, Italy, France and Romania--but if they get out of the group, they should go far. Unfortunately, the two teams that escape the group of death may have to meet each other in the final--thanks to the new system taht came about from teams complaining about number of days off.

If Holland can shore up their defence (Melchiot and De Zeeuw in the back? Yikes), I'd like to see them win it--they play really fast, open, flowing football that would actually excite the casual American sports fan (if they gave it a chance)

As much as I want to love Spain, they constantly underperform. Their labored win over the US last week wasn't impressive either.

And Germany has the easiest path to the final of any of the major contenders--but they're such an unknown quantity that it's hard to judge how far they'll get (though Podoloski and Klose are beasts).

And it looks as if we were wrong about Cedric Benson. While boating while intoxicated may be somewhat forgivable, getting a DUI a few weeks later certainly isn't...and thus, the Bears waived him today after telling him to leave practice.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

i'd cry if it wasn't so funny.

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

Straight from the we-can't-tell-if-it's-real-news-or-from-the-Onion comes this story.

What's next? Are they going to take offense with Michaelangelo's David?


Sharon Stone also said that the people who died in China's quake deserved it because of the bad karma China had coming its way.

Only many people killed were Tibetan and/or buddhist.

I'm sick of celebrities pretending to be all worldly and making these huge statements. Don't talk to us about karma killing people, Sharon. And we don't care much about who you're going to vote for in the upcoming election, either.

This smells of Susan Sarandon claimed that she'd move if McCain was elected. Of course we're Barack supporters, but I guess having an outspoken, irrelevant celebrity leave the country would be a great consolation prize, even though she wouldn't leave in a million years.


And, a student was voted out of his kindergarten class in Florida by his fellow students. His peers called him annoying and a nuisance--clearly not the words of kindergartners, eh?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Why Baby Boomers Are Scarier Than Elijah Dukes

Here's how I feel about the Villages, a super creepy all inclusive retirement community:

You know that feeling when you think about licking chalk?

I heard about it from this book review. Here's a good excerpt:

The Villages has a population of 75,000 with houses for 35,000 more on the way, residents for whom it provides "anything their hearts could possibly desire, mostly sealed inside gates: countless recreation centers staffed with full-time directors; dozens of pools; hundreds of hobby and affinity clubs; two spotless, crime-free village centers with friendly, affordable restaurants; and three dozen golf courses -- one for each day of the month -- with plans for many more." But the icing on this particular cake is that it "provides residents with something else they apparently crave -- a world without children." The buyer of a house there "must be at least fifty-five years old . . . and no one under nineteen may live there -- period." Visits by children "are strictly limited to a total of thirty days a year."


But as scarily vapid as that lifestyle sounds, it seems to me that this is really just an extreme example of the way our society is most likely going to change as the baby boomers come of age.

In a time when the first generation who was raised in total internet immersion is entering the work force--and politics, especially politics--I'm curious to see what society takes shape in the collaborative (or push/pull) relationship between the boomers and the younguns that spend all day reading blogs.

The photo is from here.