“Eww he was leaning in the Range Rover.”

“Stuntin’.”

“Speaking of stuntin’, what’s happening with Christian Ross?”

 

OR, Am I the Only One Who Thinks it is Weird?

 

Call me crazy.  Call me old fashioned.  Call me white.  But I just do not get the hype around the “hologram” of Tupac Shakur at Coachella two days ago.  Facebook, twitter, and the blogosphere have been gushing about how cool/wild/mind blowing/*insert positive descriptor here* it was.  People, Tupac was shot and killed in 1996.

I think it is more than a little creepy, maybe even bordering on disrespectful to use the man’s image in the way that it was.  People die, and new artists take their place.  The late Steve Jobs called death “earth’s great change agent,” or something (I didn’t bother looking up the exact quote).  Death is as much a part of life as birth.  I think someone as intelligent as Tupac Shakur would have realized this, respected it, and accepted it.  Who are Coachella’s promoters to play Tupac’s necromancers?  Would he have wanted his image displayed on stage fifteen years after his death in front of a bunch of entitled, privileged kids who can afford to spend $300 per ticket?  If you have to debate that question, listen to more of Tupac’s music.  No, listen.

Or, is that too much work?  To be quite honest, I get the sense that most of the people who seem the most exuberant about the idea are those that will drink any kool-aid the record company gives them (Top 40, anyone?). 

2Pacalypse, All Eyez on Me, Thug Life Vol. 1.  Listen to these records, and then think about it.  If you still end up on the same side of the fence, so be it.  At least I got you to listen to three records from one of rap’s legends.

 

Let’s leave holograms to Princess Leia

 

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…no doubt, when saying so, he intended to live up to his word, for his word was to be taken in all things, with the exception of his promising not to drink whiskey.

–Jerry Church, founder of the town of Lock Haven

 

No, I won’t trust you, asshole.

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I went to the largest mall in America (based on total leasable square footage) today to do my Christmas shopping.  It was a zoo—of humans.  Each animal with an expression of soul-less death on their faces, no one was happy to be there, they were there because they had to be.  The animals lined up out the door for Starbucks and the Apple store (pour one out for Steve) because those products are necessities.  Why are my feet killing me?  Maybe moccasins were a poor choice.

My main objective was to find a present for my girlfriend.  This quest to destroy the one ring that binds them led me into the caverns of many a department store—some with dragons that jealously guarded their goblin treasures.  And by that I mean middle aged women who gave me weird and suspicious looks for checking out the hosiery.  What?  It’s a present, duh.  Other stores had black holes many million times the size of the sun (ie. salespeople), which would suck you in and show you all (read: two, three max) great things about their product, all of which can be found on the products of their competitors.  While they distract you with the variety of colors and their feigned sincerity—I know you work on a commission, bitch—they conveniently avoid mentioning the price: your left eye, social security number, a pint of unicorn blood, and $299.98.  Shit, text books next semester or this gift?

I managed to avoid the gravity of the black holes and was back to looking for the perfect gift for my girlfriend.  My damn feet.  Yeah, moccasins were definitely a bad decision, and why does my hip hurt?  Ok, ok, gift time.  Ahh, Burberry.

Holy shit.  The price tag read, “Your left testicle…ya know what, while you’re at it why don’t ya gimme that right one too.” Damn, I’m getting this gift specifically for the benefit of my testicles, quite the catch-22, Burberry. I made my way outta there like I had just accidentally walked in on a Black Panther meeting: fast as hell, but cautiously so as not to attract attention, nervous smile intact.  Phew.

 If the mall is a cave, Victoria’s Secret is a seam of gold in the rock formations.  Wait, what?  How old is that girl?  Reminder: daughter will wear blinders to mall. 

I decided to try one last department store.  I made my way to the depths of the cave, where the fish have no eyes and the crayfish are completely white.  On my way down I had to awkwardly side step another spelunker emerging from the depths who was carrying his baby’s stroller up the steps while his wife looked on adoringly.  Showoff, take the escalator next time chief.  Then I found it, the perfect gift.  And by perfect I mean—she better like it.  Will she like it?  Does she like gold or silver?  I think this is aluminum…do people think I’m gay, no they definitely know I’m shopping for a girl, why is that guy eyeing me?  I gotta get outta here. Where’s the cashier?

 

“Ok, that will be one year’s tuition.”

“Uh…put it on my debit card.”

 

Despite the zombie-like mothers and the fathers weighted down with big, medium, and little brown bags, the people who walk on the wrong side of the aisle (right side people, like a car, strollers don’t make you better than me, yea, you.), the five year old girls in Victoria’s Secret shopping casually for thongs, the Mediterranean folks trying to sell me bath salts from the dead sea (no thanks, fell for that last year), the utter chaos, and the spray on butter at Auntie Anne’s, it was a successful trip.  Being immersed in the consumerism of a shopping mall always seems to make me feel like it is Christmastime.  I’m not sure what that says about me, or society in general, but nonetheless, I’ll take the caves and suspicious looks for a little Christmas spirit any time.

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Found this interesting article online.  Well, ok, it’s not actually an article, it’s a write up about the article.  The article itself is behind a paywall–but who pays for online content these days anyway?

 

Guess I should start planning my summit of Mt. Ranier ASAP…

 

Joe Paterno, legendary Penn State Football coach, was fired tonight, after 46 seasons at the helm of the program.  His back to basics philosophy and rolled up khakis have become the stuff of legend in Happy Valley.  JoePa was dismissed by the Board of Trustees of The Pennsylvania State University amidst much controversy surrounding the school as a result of former Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky’s arrest for sexually abusing 8 adolescent boys since 1998.  A ninth victim has since come forward.  Read the grand jury report here.

In short:  Sandusky was seen abusing a boy in the showers of the football team’s locker room by then team graduate assistant Mike McQueary.  McQueary then decided the logical thing to do was to allow the abuse to continue and call his father, who told him to report what he had seen to Joe.  Joe met with McQueary, and reported the incident to Athletic Director Tim Curley.  A week and a half later, McQueary was called into a meeting with AD Curley and Vice President for Business and Finance Gary Schultz to explain what he had seen.

Then…nothing.

Well, not nothing.  The crack duo of Curley and Schultz decided that the best plan of action was–get ready–not allow Sandusky to bring any more children onto campus.  Womp womp.  University President Graham Spanier signed off on this punishment.

“Oh, yea, this looks good.”  *scratching of pen on paper*

The ban was not enforced.  Sandusky was on campus as recently as last week working out at the football team’s facilities, according to some sources.

So what we have is a failure on every level, by everyone involved.  Sandusky, McQueary, Paterno, Curley, Schultz, Spanier, all failed.  Some more than others.

What bothers me most is not JoePa’s dismissal, it’s the fact that the administration is grossly mishandling the case, in my opinion.  Make no mistake about it, people had to go (Paterno included).  But the manner in which it was handled is upsetting, to say the least.  The media and the Board of Trustees made Paterno the scapegoat for systemic failure and negligence.  To fire Paterno (over the phone albeit) while placing the master minds of the cover up, Schultz and Curley on administrative leave is disgusting.  To fire Paterno while doing nothing to McQueary is unconscionable.

If anyone McQueary is the one who most failed the child (Sandusky aside) by failing to intervene, by–literally–turning his back on the boy.  Next in line:  Curley and Schultz who swept it all under the rug.  Next, Spanier, who gave the toothless punishment his signature.  Last in line–last I tell you–JoePa.

The house needs to be cleaned.  Everyone needs to go.  But JoePa first?  In this way?  Couldn’t you even let the man finish the season and retire, as he said he would?  The man who has donated over $4 million to this school?  The man who has a library named in his honor?  The only one who actually did something?

I am disillusioned with the Board of Trustees and Penn State, to say the least.

 

 

 

 

Beal’s nightmarish life grew darker on a walking tour in the area around Kharkov in the fall of 1932.  As he stepped off the beaten path, he saw a corpse lying by a ceek and was accosted by starving peasants.  In the spring of 1933 he found a “dead horse and a dead man upon the side of the road…The man was still holding the reins.”  In some villages he could see dead people seated at their windows, where they had died, gazing out onto nothing.  The journey that had begun in 1929, when Beal rode his motorcycle across the Catawba River in North Carolina, ended as he walked through this devastated Ukrainian land.  Now, more than ever, he desperately wanted to return to the United States.

 

Excerpt from Glenda Gilmore’s Defying Dixie

 

Anagram: n. : a word or phrase made by transposing the letters of another word or phrase

 

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