Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Masked and Anonymous

So, the Wildcats are teetering – at best. But the Suns are riding the NBA’s best winning streak and spring training is in full swing, so maybe it all evens out in my sports world.
Backup tournament favorites: UAB, because they have a guy named Squeaky Johnson; Gonzaga, for the NCAA’s Bravest Moustache; NAU (hopefully), for the pot-smokin’ brethren on the mountain; and SIU, for Spills’ one-time residence and the ridiculous notion of a small-town Midwestern school with an Egyptian dog for a mascot.
Actual tournament prediction: Connecticut, I ‘spose, because from what I’ve seen they really can suffocate teams. Just so long as it ain’t those pricks from Duke…
My days of giving Barry Bonds the benefit of the doubt are officially over. I never really cared – my thoughts on steroids in baseball are complex and I’ve always considered Bonds primarily a fierce competitor, which he is.
As a sport, baseball has gone through so many evolutions that to set steroid use apart completely from everything else that has gone before it just misses the point. I don’t support steroids in any way, but I think their impact on the game is overstated. Until the 1980s, baseball players never even thought about lifting weights or training year round. And you better believe pitchers are every bit in the mix as much as the hitters. Steroids are another evolution in the game – though perhaps the most unfortunate one. I don’t think any records should be abandoned outright, just understood within the proper context.
My solution on steroids and performance-enhancing drugs and all the like is to institute one single standard. Ban everything, starting with the Olympic committee and running on down to every professional league in the world, and college athletics. Everyone should ban the same stuff, test the same way and to the greatest degree possible penalize athletes the same way for violations.
But to throw away all that’s been done in baseball’s “steroid era” seems to be extreme. It’s not a good thing and it must be corrected, but objectively it’s one of the evolutions of the game, just as variations in mound heights, segregated teams, relief pitching, athletic conditioning, expansion, night games and domes.

This crazy guy in Mesa frat-guy’d a sheep. And got caught red... handed.

So, during my mostly upheld, personally imposed ban on political writing in the last 16 months, our criminal president and his trigger-happy first mate sure have slid downhill, haven’t they? (Just thought I’d point that one out – and say how enjoyable some commentary on scandals 1 through whatever might have been. But I’m good like that, yo.)

Anybody heard any good records lately?

Live music season is slowly but surely returning here to the desert. My note page of dates and bands is mostly full and looking really incredible.

I’ve turned back to Masked and Anonymous a couple times lately, trying to burrow myself deeper into what even I will acknowledge is at first glance an absolutely nonsensical, really quite awful movie. But that’s certainly not the end of it. I keep finding pockets of brilliance in the allegory and the commentary. Basically, as I’ve told the Minions, it’s a feature length music video (with dialogue, a rough plot and at times allegorically heavy-handed characters) to a Dylan song that hasn’t been written yet. That doesn’t quite make sense, and neither does the movie, but to simply dismiss it as nonsense or a vanity project risks throwing away an awful lot of intriguing notions.


Stu LeBlanc said...

good records? holy smokes! Have you listened to the new Destroyer yet?

CICCI said...

Yeah I couldn't even finish the film when I rented it. I have since then found a copy in a discount bin and bought it. I have watched it through a couple of times and its' grown on me but man is it pointless. Hard to think one of the creators of Seinfeld wrote and directed it.

finnagain said...

Masked and Anonymous is pure genius!

You will watch it a hundred more times and finally acknowledge its full greatness.

And I will humbly deign not to remind you who saw the beauty from the beginning.