Exchange your Christmas present gift cards to a store that you don’t shop at to a store that you do shop at, for a 8% fee). While that may seem steep, keep in mind a brick and mortar store like Best Buy will have significant markup over an online store like Amazon.com, for which the site has a reduced fee.
My cousin so aptly called me an “Amazon Whore” during our family’s gift exchange…funny cause it’s true.
If you aren’t following Anthony Bourdain on tumblr, you’re missing out.
By “those of you who are tragically unaware of the fine works of David Simon” He means those of you that have yet to watch “The Wire”. I will kindly lend out my DVDs to anyone that asks.
And I thought Boardwalk Empire was good, but overrated (blasphemous, I know). I just thought the story fell flat. All the ingredients were there, and Jimmy was played exceptionally by Michael Pitt, but it just didn’t intrigue me the way I wanted it to. But there’s still hope. It’s a young show and a strong second season can do wonders for it.
I love pointless, end of year lists, don’t you? Here’s mine: some of the stuff I felt strongly about (one way or the other) this past year. Plus a whole bunch of other things I’ve been either enjoying or hating.
TREME, Season Two. For reasons that will quickly become apparent even to those who have been tragically unaware of the fine works of David Simon and collaborators. …
REGRETS: BOARDWALK EMPIRE: It’s Martin fucking SCORSESE!! It was a GREAT book! Steve Buscemi is in it! So…what went wrong? And why will no one admit it?
“Never been to a Filipino party? The best ones are sprawling things: karaoke in the basement with the kids, all the ladies upstairs are your auntie, cousin A.J. in the backyard grilling oysters in the shell while yelling at the dog to stop barking, and in the garage, folding tables covered with newspaper, with guys standing around sucking down balut, getting blasted on San Miguels and Johnnie Walker.”—John Birdsall, SFoodie
Watching a re-run of the Giants NLCS Game 5 against the Philadelphia Phillies and in the Bottom of the 5th inning, the camera pans over a woman crying. The guy next to her has the “baby I’m sorry” look and leans in to kiss her when she leans the other way, refusing to kiss him.
I feel like that Star Wars geek that just keeps talking over and over about the same movie, or in my case a television series.
Bourdain calls “The Wire” the “best dramatic series in the history of television” in his most recent blog (**SPOILER WARNING). This whole blog entry was right up my alley, food meets excellent television meets “The Wire”.
I probably should have figured Bourdain was a fan out when he visited Baltimore for “No Reservations” and meets with the Felicia “Snoop” Pearson who opens Season 4 of “The Wire” with one my favorite scenes of the series and of television in general.
So far, Barack Obama, Anthony Bourdain, pretty much every television critic, and anyone that’s finished the series and I all agree on at least one thing. “The Wire” is the greatest there was, probably the greatest there will be.
“It will never be the same again…It’s not like losing your virginity because you lose virginity, yeah you remember that. But sex goes on to be better. This…this will never be topped.”—Bill Simmons on Giants fan experience after winning the World Series
On the basis of previous reviews, you’d never know that this series was on the verge of being canceled at least twice, that it never made satisfactory numbers for HBO, or that it was almost universally ignored by award committees despite its fervid following.
There’s a number of things for the faint-hearted or first time viewers to know about The Wire before you jump in:
1. There is no denouement, no simple, clear resolution at the end of every episode ala CSI, NCIS, or any other typical police drama. On the contrary, The Wire is the epitome of the “slow build”, it takes episodes to get started, much less finished. As in life, there are rarely any easy, clear resolutions at the end. Unlike the black and white worlds of network tv, The Wire is all gray.
2. There is not a simple, single story line. Rather The Wire is characterized by complex, multiple story arcs that can extend over more than one season. It demands (and rewards) concentration, rather than escape. Redemption and revenge are possible, but not in one episode or one season. The Wire requires patience.
3. There are no clear cut heroes and villains (this is the anti-“Heroes” tv show.) There are only human beings, all flawed. McNulty, a hero, is an alcoholic who cheats on his wife. Even Marlowe, the apparently soulless villain, grapples with very human issues of loyalty and pride.
4. Though there are great, fully realized characters (almost too many for escapist viewers to follow), and though to some degree Baltimore, the city, is a central character, the abiding presences in The Wire are Baltimore’s institutions and organizations: courts, city government, educational system, labor unions, police, newspapers. Even gangs are seen as just another organization. Unlike any other show I’ve ever seen, The Wire demonstrates how institutions are built from a complex web of relationships and motivations and seem to have an existence independent of those who participate in them. And it does so in such a subtle way that it’s not automatically obvious. It doesn’t appear to be about institutions, but it is. That’s subtlety.
That’s only a start. There’s more that makes The Wire a challenge for viewers: it’s non-linearity (it’s more like a spiral), it’s bleak view of cities and urban institutions; the seeming randomness of so many events that impact lives, etc., etc., etc.
All that said, The Wire, for those willing to make the investment of time and attention, is a transcendent, moving experience. However downbeat it’s subject matter, it is, in the end, a true work of art, a masterwork, and as such ultimately enobling and uplifting. And just a thrill to watch.
If there’s one thing I don’t like about sports, it’s scapegoats. People that don’t watch an entire season, hell an entire game look at one play where one person makes a mistake and blame that individual for a team loss. There was an full length game plus 2 over times and you’re going to boil it all down to one (or two) BLOCKED kicks? Get real.
Cubs have Steve Bartman, the most ridiculous scapegoat of all time. The heat have Erik Spoelstra (lol). Boise State has Kyle Brotzman, and apparently Arizona has their prized scapegoat in Alex Zendejas. A scapegoat is created when people refuse to admit that their TEAM didn’t get it done. They simply did not perform to the level that was required to be the winning team. But that’s impossible for fans to come to terms with. They must blame someone. They blame whoever is convenient.
There’s already been 2 facebook groups (maybe more?) bashing Arizona kicker Alex Zendejas over tonight’s loss to ASU. One claims that he “single handedly ruined OUR season”. Our season? Please. Apparently he’s the reason Arizona lost to Oregon and Stanford by 19 and 25 points respectively. I guess he also fumbled the ball that lead to the go ahead ASU touchdown.
Listen, if you actually know what you’re talking about and criticize that Zendejas’ trajectory was low, that’s all good. You’re entitled to that opinion. But give the ASU special teams some credit. The first block was a damn good effort that gave ASU a lot of momentum going into overtime.
Also, ESPN showed some Arizona fan crying. Come on kid, it’s a damn football game and all you did was pay for a ticket and sat on your ass.