Don’t Like: Hillary Clinton (But It’s Complicated)

May 31, 2008

Here we go.

First things first, I mentioned this the other day and someone said they were “sick of this sexist bullshit” and stormed off. I was really taken aback by this. How does not liking Hillary Clinton mean I’m sexist? Do some people not like Hillary Clinton for sexist reasons? Yes. But it’s a classic case of “correlation does not mean cause”  I mean fuck, I’m the guy who thought Winona LaDuke would have made a good Vice-President… and campaigned for her (she’d make a great politician on any level).

But first, reasons why I like Hillary: 1) She’s smart as a whip, an absolutely brilliant tactician. Her career as a lawyer is renowned for a reason. Really, nothing gets by her and she’s painstakingly conscious of the political machinations involved with Washington on every level. Bill Clinton was the same way (He was a Rhodes Scholar for pete’s sake). 2) for all intensive purposes, she’s a party elder. I’m constantly surprised how little this means in American Politics (It seems to be a bigger deal historically and internationally) but there is something to be said for being at the forefront of the democrats. She’s powerful and direct and would be able to lead swiftly. 3) She has a tremendous sense for the intricacies of policy and many of her policies line up with my own.  There’s many other things I like, but these are the main aspects.

What I don’t like: 1) She’s insincere… and she IS insincere . It has absolutely nothing to do with her being a woman and has anything to do with her longstanding tradition of saying or doing anything that benefits her in the given moment. Some people call that politics (and I supposed that’s fair) but if there’s anything people voters seem to appreciate these days it’s the appearance of sincerity (witness: Bush II, Obama). I’ve followed Hillary’s political career since 92, when she became First Lady, all the way up until now… And she’s wholly transparent. Perhaps, the most telling part of this was the famous chronicling of her “baseball fandom” in the 2000 senatorial race. Hillary grew up a Cubs fan in Illinois and that fandom had been relatively well chronicled throughout her life. She was never a huge sports fan or anything, but so it goes. Anywho she starts her campaign for New York Senate and all of sudden starts talking about her being a lifelong Yankees fan. Then there’s the now infamous campaign meeting where they realized they wouldn’t be able to “out-yankee” Rudy J so they decided to go with the Mets. Suddenly Hillary, was talking about how she was becoming a Mets fan . Yes, this is all completely ridiculous and should have no bearing on whether you vote for someone. It sure as hell doesn’t for me. It’s just baseball and completely meaningless in the political arena. However, this episode is WHOLLY metaphoric for problem with sincerity. Heck, lots of people like to approach politics just like they do baseball… and this is the kind of fan you don’t like to bring to games. It’s complete transparency in the attempt to fit in. Like I said, the entire behavior was indicative of a larger problem with her personality.

2) She has never been able to work with Republicans.  I think we all know the history here. It probably culminated with the whole “vast right wing conspiracy” episode.

3) She tells way too many white lies. Not big bold face GW Bush lies, just the kind of white lies that pile to the point where they become overbearing. Snipergate. When she met my dad’s personal hero Sir Edmund Hillary, she told him that she was named after him and his famous feat… Too bad he didn’t become famous (even within the climbing community) until 5 years after Hillary was Born. At another point she chronicles her time spent on her high school soccer team and what she learned about race relations… too bad her high school didn’t have a soccer team. That she learned in The Wall Street Journal how to make a killing in the futures market. (It didn’t cover the market back then). These are just the examples I could remember, I swear there must be literally thousands of them at this point. And here’s the rub, Bill constantly did the exact same thing . And his ultimately got him in BIG trouble.

4) We are officially at the point where she would tear apart the democratic party to insure a) she still has a shot at a nomination regardless of how badly it looks (she should listen to Al Gore’s famous and humane words after deciding not to appeal the 2000 election decision “Even if I win, I wouldn’t win”) or b) completely tear down Obama and her party to ensure she gets another shot in 2012. Look, at every thing she’s done and regardless if you’re a fan of hers or not, it’s just so readily apparent.

5) She’s a horrible public speaker. I’m sorry. She just is. She sounds bored listening to herself. I always like the words themselves, she just doesn’t have the ability to communicate. And I’m sorry, but that’s a HUGE part of being president. Even for the republicans, it’s the difference between Reagan (“the great communicator”) and Bush I+II (bad communicators). Bill Clinton got as far as he did in life because he was an wonderfully charming public speaker (almost bordering on smarm).

Look, even with all this crap. I still think she’d make a good president. I’d certainly vote for her over McCain in a heartbeat. Plus, her policies are virtually identical with Obama anyway so liking on and not the other would be purely semantic. And this has turned into a race of semantics. And it’s only getting uglier.

The problem is a lot of people take the insincerity, the fighting, the white lies, and the ruthless political nature and extrapolate a lot of very nasty, sexist attitudes. That my friends, is BS. It’s a component of this election for sure but I’ll tell you right now sexism isn’t what sank her campaign (most of it was strategic, but that’s another column) Besides, most of the sexist crap is coming from conservative blogs and shock jock radio, not democratic voters.

The Last element of this? I’m a dude. I’ve commented about identity politics before and I have to say I have no idea what it is to be a woman. I’m a dude. And a good deal of women do feel a real resonance with her. I don’t entirely get it. I’ve felt one with other female politicians (mostly on the more local level) but not with Hillary. In fact a good amount of hardcore Hillary supporters (not you edu 😉 ) have struck me as being just as ignorant as some of Obama’s hardcore supporters… you know… like Rev. Wright.

Anycrap. I don’t especially like Hillary Clinton. She’s smart. I’d vote for her over most republicans. But it’s complicated to the point I feel like I’ve barely touched on it.


Like: A Potential Lakers-Celtics Final

May 30, 2008

Game 6 with Detroit tonight… one win away.. can you feel it?

Don’t Like: People Ruthlessly Making Fun of Sarah Jessica Parker and Sex and the City While Not Being Actually Funny and Just Coming Off Like Sexist Assholes When Just Not Caring or Having Something Genuinely Funny To Say Would Be Reasonably Appropriate

May 29, 2008

The Sex And The City movie comes out tomorrow. As such, the influx of advertising has caused a tensing up in the sphincters of good ole’ American Boys across the country. Just on the radio yesterday I heard a series of dreadfully stupid guys tearing the entire thing a new one. The internet is lashing into this fucker like a sadistic prick that it is (yes I just called the Internet a sadistic prick). The conversations are everywhere. I’ve had a few interesting ones on the merits of the series/image/culture of SATC with some male friends, but mostly I’ve been listening to a non-stop parade of asshats make fun of it.

And it seems to amount to one kind of behavior, to quote Devin Faraci: “Ewwww! It’s a Girl Movie!”

Seriously people, what the fuck?

Why does the entire idea of a movie about fashion, dating, and older women make you want to be a colossal jerkass? Who cares? It’s just a movie and you don’t have to see it. Do you know how many movies are aimed at our (men’s) interests? About 88%. And most of those interests are borderline retarded. The other 11% of movies aimed at women are pandering romantic comedies that work so poorly that they make me want to dig up Charles Lederer’s corpse so he can start scripts again. And that leaves a measly 1% of movies that are for women and have a decent shot of being somewhat interesting. Sex and the City has a good shot at being in that 1% so what’s the big problem?

I’ve actually heard the movie isn’t that good, but that’s kind of irrelevant. What’s may be more relevant is my defensive stance probably comes from the fact that I enjoyed the show. I’ve seen every episode and once I let down my guard I realized the series has a a nice absorbing nature to it. Most of the time, it’s genuinely funny. The writing is cute but undoubtedly sharp. My favorite aspect is how brave the actresses are. This may sound lame, but it’s not. They’re completely unafraid to make themselves look silly/unglamourous (rather interesting for a show perceived as glamorous) and they realize that playing it straight is the way to go. Sure the show’s run has had some problems, but they’ve hardly been dehabilitating. While I don’t think the 1/2 hour format will lend well to a movie, none of that really matters. Mostly because there’s a lot of assumptions being tossed about and most of them aren’t really that accurate. SATC is not shallow. Sometimes they do deal with a shallow world/setting, but often it’s about the reality of those situations.

There’s also a lot of people bitching about how Sarah Jessica Park is ugly. This I don’t understand. She’s not ugly. Yeah, her face is a little weird, or unique depending on your view (the NYTimes called it “cubist”)… But that’s it. And most of the time she’s lighted fine on the show so it’s a completely non-issue. She happens to be a good actress who totally sells her part. Put in whatever dumbass girl you think is hot in the role (jessica alba for example) and it would fail… miserably. And even if you do think SJP’s ugly, what the hell does that have to with SATC being the hellspawn of satan? The best part of this is the majority of the negative reaction is largely confined to geek movie internet sites, where I can only guess they’ve never even conversed with someone as attractive as SJP in their entire lives.

The whole thing is adding up to this weird contrarian/backlash/sexist reaction that comes off as pretty asinine.

Look, I’m not above making fun anything. EVERYTHING is fair game. Just realize there’s an art to making fun of things that will reflect your maturity/personality. The funniest comment about SATC actually comes from Family Guy where they say “So this show is about three hookers and their mom?” That’s hilarious.

Comparing SJP to Mr. Ed and talking about how that movie must suck cause they’re old whores who like fashion is not. The “Ewww! It’s a girl movie!” shit has got to stop.

I’m talkin to you internets.

Like: Scottish and Airedale Terriers

May 29, 2008

I’m not really all that experienced with pets. I’ve only technically had 3 cats one year in college, but that was part of a big house. I don’t even really like dogs that much, but I’ve always had a natural disposition to Terriers. The first reason is simple, they look neat. Especially Scottish terriers and airedale terriers with their little beards. I don’t really find stuff “adorable”, but those are fucking adorable. Also, I’m Scottish so there’s the whole “kinsman/heritage” thing going on too. On top of that, I have to like terriers in general cause I’m from Boston and so Boston Terriers are also cool (and from what I hear kind of stoopid dogs). On top of THAT, I went to BU and our mascot was a Boston Terrier. Not that I ever cared about mascots or school spirit but you get my point.

What brings all of this up is that I had a dream the other night that I had a big, beautiful grey Airedale Terrier. His name was Morgan (not a name I like, but was my friend Elliot’s dog’s name growing up). And for some reason I had to bring him into work. People were like “you can’t bring your dog to work!” and I was like “Ha! Watch this” and went on to show how Morgan was the most well-behaved dog in the history of well behaved dogs. He was awesome and a total gentlemen who did whatever I said. Every single person loved him and thought he was the perfect dog…

So I woke up kind of wanting an Airedale Terrier.

This all theoretical of course, but dreams can have a weird power over us…

… this is probably as nebulous or spacey as you’ll ever see me.

Don’t Like: Flopping

May 29, 2008

Flopping, for those who don’t know, is the act of falling to the ground and pretending like you were hurt and acting like a little bitch so you can disown your manhood and get a foul call.

Over-acting has always been a part of the game, as has “selling the foul” but throughout NBA history it’s pretty much been regulated to just happening in the moment. Not so much anymore. Flopping is happening so frequently and to such great effect that it started becoming a noticeable part of the game. Refs finally started to not call that shit, leaving said players to look like retards. Finally, the NBA is doing something about it for real and is going to implement fines for flopping.

The flopping development is partially just a natural evolution of the game (LeBron participates a little too much for my liking. Jordan didn’t do that. He would get fouled then stare at the ref like he was going to murder his family in their sleep), but most of it has to do with the influx of international players, who all seem to take part in this shenanigan.

First off, I love the influx of international players. They’re hyper-talented, bring a global interest to the game, and play great roles/fundamental basketball. It’s wonderful.

But they also flop. Maybe it’s the influence of soccer, I dunno. Maybe it’s just how they play games professionally around the world. I really don’t know. I just know Americans don’t like it. I don’t like it.

Finally, the owners want to do something about the wussification of the NBA. David Stern’s rules on “can’t talk back to the refs” is so bullshit that it’s turned the NBA into a bunch of guys who can’t show passion on the court. What the hell does he know about the game of basketball? He never played. He’s a lawyer. And people who don’t think that the “can’t talk back” rule/the dress code rule/and the “can’t step off the bench” rule aren’t all racially motivated are nuts. As soon as the NBA incorporated the Gangsta culture it was suddenly perceived they weren’t being gentlemen and turned into a bunch of thugs. That’s horseshit. The 80’s were all about thugging and it was great. Fan interest was at an all time high.

The greatest foul of that thug era was Dave Cowens. An “enraged Cowens, fed up with a second fake flop to draw an offensive foul in the same game”, ran the Houston guard down in front of the Celtics’ bench, leveled him with a “double forearm shiver”, which completely threw him into the stands. He then ran over to the referee and screamed “Now that’s a fucking foul!” (that’s often quoted without the “fucking” because papers can’t print that part). Today he would be ejected for 10+ games. Back then? just thrown out of the game and that’s it.

… I miss the 80s NBA so much

Also, Flopping in Soccer is like a whole different level too. My Favorite story (quoted from Wiki):

“In 1989, Rojas was in goal for Chile’s 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Brazil at Rio De Janeiro’s Maracanã stadium. Chile, down 1-0, would be eliminated from the upcoming World Cup with a loss. Around the 70-minute mark, Rojas fell to the pitch writhing and holding his forehead. A firework, thrown from the stands by a Brazilian fan named Rosemary de Mello, was smoldering about a yard away. Rojas, his head bloodied, was carried off the field by his teammates who then refused to return claiming conditions were unsafe. The match went unfinished.

Video evidence later showed that Rojas had not been hit by the firework. His head injury was discovered to have been self-inflicted with a razor blade hidden in his glove. FIFA awarded Brazil a 2-0 win, effectively eliminating Chile from the 1990 World Cup. As a consequence, Chile was banned from the 1994 FIFA World Cup and Rojas was banned for life.

In 2001, following a request for pardon, Rojas’ ban was lifted by FIFA.”

Like: Drug Addicted Front-Men

May 28, 2008

Jim Morrison. Kurt Cobain. Freddy Mercury. Scott Wieland. Lou Reed. Axl Rose. John Lennon or Paul McCartney. Layne Staley. Nick Drake. Michael Clarke. Chet Baker. Sonny Clark. Winston Churchill.

If there’s anything that these men have taught me. It’s that drugs can make you a better singer-songwriter-musician-type-guy. Just look at their body of work. If these people weren’t on drugs they would have been off going something lame with their lives instead of exploding minds with thought bombs. So suck on that g.


Don’t Like: Sydney Pollack

May 27, 2008

God… What a jerk.

Sydney Pollack is an actor and director who made a bunch of stupid movies in the 80s and other various decades. Did you ever see The Interpreter? I didn’t. But the trailer was really shitty. For some reason I think he wore suspenders a lot and nothing says “out of touch” like suspenders. I’m trying to remember the names of his movies but they escape me. I’m pretty sure he left his wife too, yes, for a woman half his age! I have it on good authority he didn’t tip waitresses and might have molested a teenager-

Sorry, hold on, someone’s trying to tell me something.

Oh… apparently Sydney Pollack just died… This is awkward.

Okay enough of that. Why spread malicious rumors about Sydney Pollack on the day of his death? Cause he probably would have found it funny.

The truth is Sydney Pollack is probably the classiest classy in classville. I love his performance in Husbands and Wives and absolutely adore two of his early seventies features: Jeremiah Johnson and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? And that was before his golden era of the 80s. He had the quality of being both intelligent and literate. It is amazing how many people in Hollywood are the first and not the second. The other person I think of is Anthony Mingella who also just died (coincidentally, the two were producing partners). No matter what project he worked on he always brought a kind of “realistic gravity” with his presence that was somehow devoid of gravitas. It’s a rare feat and something that had to be intrinsic to his being. We’re talking about a guy who made “Tootsie” into a kind of legitimate gender commentary, while also being earnestly fucking hilarious.

I’m pretty sad that he died when he still had some good work left in him. This one sucks.