Thursday, May 25, 2006

Isn't Superman an Illegal Alien?

I mean think about it.
He has no passport, no green card plus his foster parents clearly lied repeatedly and possibly under oath to secure his adoption as a baby.
Am I alone in thinking under the rules being proposed (nay bellowed) by Representative Tancredo and his ilk in congress Kal El is deserving of nothing but deportation back to Krypton's star system?

Now maybe if he admits to any crimes committed on US soil, pays back taxes, is willing to leave the country and re-enter at the back of the line (Behind such other heroic wetbacks as Hawkman, Hawkwoman, Martian Manhunter and Wonder Woman) THEN we can let him back in.
Anyway he has been stealing work for native born heroes for years, I think the House of Representatives should investigate WHY Warner Brothers and DC Comics are CELEBRATING this illegal immigrant as a paragon of virtue.

Poor Barbaro!!!

Broke his leg out of the gate at the Preakness now his life hangs in the balance. That was an awful thing to see last weekend. Currently there seems to be some post operative optimism out there but not much. Barbaro's career as a racer is over hopefully they can save his life for the stud farm.
This situation pains me as I've always regarded horse racing as reasonable family entertainment despite the gambling and chintzy atmosphere. Kids can grasp who wins and who loses easily and the excitement is fairly wholesome.
Well...except when one of the horses comes up injured like that...then the whole thing takes on a sad morbid cast.
I once saw a horse euthanized at Suffolk Downs, its a humane procedure but utterly sobering in every way.

So here is to Barbaro!

I hope & prey he can survive this thing.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Dr. Who (Sci Fi Friday nights 9 pm) just keeps getting better and better

Christopher Eccleston is at the top of his game and Billie Piper in particular seems destined for membership in a very exclusive club of supporting actors who keep stealing the big show.
In the ultra-chic TV Sci Fi Division this would include such luminaries as Jonathan Harris,Jan Merlin (Tom Corbett Space Cadet, look it up kids), Leonard Nimoy, Julie Newmar and Allyson Hannigan.
A merry collection of players indeed.

Preakness Today...

Can't suss out the field as yet, only nine ponies this time as opposed to the twenty horse cavalry charge we saw at the Kentucky Derby.
Predictably, the sports punditariat is hyping Barbaro as the next Secretariat. They do this ALL the time and it always ends the same way, either in tears in Maryland or in defeat at the Belmont Stakes.
Today's horses are faster than the ponies of 1979, faster yes but they lack the stamina to capture the triple crown.
So I'm thinking maybe Barbaro was a fluke aided and abetted by his long layover from his previous race. He has had but two weeks down time since the derby so I'm wondering in my ignorant amateurish way if he can pull off anothe coup?
Brother Derek has a great starting position and all the bona fides, but he ran so damn poorly in Louisville.
No, I might MIGHT go with SweetNorthernSaint....good starting position reasonable odds he might make two plus two equal victory.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The curtain falls...

The first season "Here Come the Brides", a late 1960's bit of western piffle starring David Soul and then teenybopper pop star Bobby Sherman was released on DVD yesterday.
The show itself only lasted two years and is chiefly noted for it's boisterous feel-good themesong and a guest appearance by the late Sifu Bruce Lee.

The great days of film and tv revivalism are drawing to a close my friends. If obscurities like "Here Come the Brides" can land in the "new arrivals" rack at Tower Records then how soon before Ros Serling's "The Loner" or Richard Mulligan in "The Hero" show up?

The dump it all on DVD movement strongly inhibits Channel Zero's ability to revive and screen such rarities and obscurities. I mean, why drop by Movies on a Menu or the Coolidge Corner Screening Room to watch Bruce Lee's sole appearance on "Here Come the Brides" when you can buy the damn series for thirty bucks?
The very definition of obscure and rare is being relentlessly changed by this phenomenon.

This doesn't mean that Channel Zero is going out of business, but what we do, will have to change because the market is changing and the screening zeitgeist is changing.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Floyd Patterson is Dead...

The heaven's shake.

For better or worse, the late champion was a sort of flight-test for the modern heavyweight fighter. He was fast and light like Muhammed Ali but he also built his rep on punching well above his weight.
Neurotic and given to melancholy he had to be the first boxer whose mental state was a major consideration in all pre-fight commentary. The New Yorker's AJ Libeling devoted reams of copy describing Patterson's eccentric training methods (The champ napped, he napped alot!) and personal worries.
For all his mental agony, Floyd's real problem was he had a classic glass jaw. That prototypical slacker Ingmar Johansson found it in 1959 and practically pounded on Patterson like a ten penny nail.
And yet, neuroses and all, Patterson came back a year later to beat on Johansson like he was an old tin bucket.
Patterson had class...when he wasn't worrying himself into a state of the screaming bedspins.
Alas his 1960 comeback is now completely forgotten in the relentless press of his two humiliating losses to Sonny Liston. A lot of people burdened the champ with expectations that he'd stop Sonny's brutal drive for the championship belt, and alas Floyd just couldn't deliver.
He tried a third time to come back but ah... Muhammed Ali was in the other corner, twelve rounds later it was all over for Floyd.
Still and all that, there was nothing low about him, he kept pushing and striving deperate to live up to his potential, a small man in a business that favors big beefcake he hung in there to the last.
He died of cancer and was suffering from Alzheimers as well. New york State found him a sinecure on the Athletic Commission and in more lucid days he could talk up the sweet science with some enthusiasm.
Ali owed a lot to Patterson's mixture of a middleweight's speed and a heavyweight's stopping power...he'd never admit it, but he does.
And the next time we roll our eyes over Mike Tyson's emotional issues, well, jsut remember Floyd brought a lot of his problems into the ring as well.

G' bye Floyd, say hi to Joe Louis and other departed titans for us willya?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

If you are in Downtown Crossing on a weekday

and at liberty (as I am these days) then definitely swing by the Brattle Book Shop on West Street. Their daily outdoor booksale (in the adjoining empty lot) is a thing of wonder with top prices on hardcovers reaching an affordable $5. Most tradepaperbacks can be had for $1 to $3 dollars maxiumum. If you were a penurious local undergraduate, then this might be a way to secure some assigned readings at prices below the campus bookstore.
I've been buying disparate volumes of Will and Ariel Durant's History of Civilization here as I have gaps in the collection.
Trust me, you'll buy something in this lot, there is just too much temptation.