Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Benoit tragedy linked to steroids

The horrific tragedy playing out in suburban Atlanta, involving pro wrestler Chris Benoit and the double murder-suicide at his home is already being linked to that most evil of culprits - steroids.
Apparently, he smothered his 7-year-old son, strangled his wife and then hung himself in his weight room. Sources are telling CNN (right there in Atlanta) they suspect steroid involvement and this being a case of steroid rage. One look at Benoit in the ring and how he looks would lend some level of creedence.
Normally I would say this would spell doom for pro wrestling because the dirty little secret, which has already claimed other lives (Eddy Guerrero) and is now taking innocent lives. But the resilient WWE paid a three-hour tribute to Benoit Monday night, which appears ridiculous in light of the emerging news stories. Hell, it bumped off a storyline about the "death" of WWE leader Vince McMahon - great, exploiting tragedy for ratings.
Just like Fox News.
And the pro wrestling fans have apparently found a new blood lust in this shit called mixed-martial arts which is legalized mugging to the Rollerball-style cheering of people. I guess that is totally steroid free --right????????
At least Jason Giambi or Barry Bonds didn't kill anyone.

The Not-So-Supreme Court

Whatever ever happened to the principle of your personal freedom ends at the point of my nose?
Just how FAR will the arm of the government reach if you restrict the free speech of an individual (and at last check, children WERE individuals unless that status has changed ...) away from the work place and/or school campus. This pussyfoot Court took steps to claim its ruling did NOT apply to anything else but, hell, the door is now wide fucking open.
But what do you expect? The Court reflects exactly what this dick-shit President wants it to think - regardless of such silly concepts as legality. The Supreme Court is supposed to interpret the law and cases, not create legal excuses. We HAVE an activist court, just leaning now for conservatives (who, when in charge, are as blind as bats). Imagine what 5-4 ruling will go if the Cheney is/is NOT part of the executive branch argument ever reaches its desk.
It is a sad day NOW when you can predict IN ADVANCE what the court will rule before a single word is uttered in arguments. That means the fix is in!
And the rest of us have to live with the consequences in a country that is losing its rights (and left) quickly rather than slower.
God HELP America!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Is Paris Burning … yet?

The national pastime of America is no longer the great game of baseball. The activity that seems to float the boat of most people is celebrity voyeurism – the burning desire to gawk at the public works and private lives, and subsequently seek to destroy, of those men and women in entertainment field, sports, politics (even religion) for some sort of perverse pleasure. Simply put, we like tearing down people who have “made it.” I don’t know why, but we do.
The latest example is the legal trials and tribulations of one Paris Hilton. This 26-year-old woman’s legal affairs have been splashed across the TV screens of the world like so much old Aqua Velva in a sweaty men’s locker room. It reached the absurd point of no return last Friday, like a circle of small children watching an animal being tortured merely to get their kicks from it.
Here is the real situation. In Los Angeles, this was a political battle over a power base between Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer and L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca. Little Miss Hilton is caught in the middle.
Paris was ordered to serve a 45-day sentence for violating probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case, but she was released, by Baca, after serving three days (which is three days longer than this girl ever imagined).
After the word got out, the judge ordered her back into court and tossed back in the pokey. Fair enough most of you said. She should do the time for having done the crime, right?
Except … the sheriff let her out and the battle was on.
In a reversal of discrimination of sorts, the sheriff told a news conference that Hilton’s celebrity was working against her.
“The criminal justice system should not create a football out of Miss Hilton,” Baca said. “The only thing I can detect as special treatment is her sentence. The special treatment appears to be her celebrity status.”
Of course, Hilton didn’t help her own cause by bawling like a 3-year-old, crying for my mommy.
According to the Los Angeles Times, in the last five years, the LA County Sheriff’s Department “has released more than 200,000 inmates early, including some who ended up committing murders and other serious crimes when they otherwise would have been behind bars.
“The releases were possible because of a nearly 20-year-old federal court order allowing the Los Angeles County sheriff to alleviate overcrowding by letting county offenders go home early.
“Behind closed doors, many judges have complained that the releases have circumvented the justice system — essentially giving an elected sheriff the power to re-sentence offenders in violation of the constitutional separation of power. But few have been willing to speak publicly, and no one has challenged Baca on legal grounds.”

While West Coast legal experts debated the sheriff’s authority to issue such an early release, those same experts admitted that it is a common practice and judges almost ever challenge such actions.
“It would be an interesting clash of judicial power,” said UCLA law professor Sharon Dolovich said.
Let’s state this clearly: Paris Hilton is a stupid, vapid, spoiled woman of ridiculous wealth (not earned at all) whose only claim to talent apparently was having sex with a former boyfriend that was seen by million on tape. As a member of society, she contributes nothing of any discernable value although I am sure some rare examples of humanity can be cited.
That having been said, this also is true: men want to be with here and many, many women want to be her (young, fairly attractive, filthy rich, able to attract male at the snap of her fingers). Anyone who says they don’t dream of having more money than God, and being perpetually young and attractive, is a flat out lying hypocrite!
Want some more truth? Rich people have a different standard of “justice” than others because of their accessibility to better lawyers. You DO get what you pay for (just ask someone named O.J.).
So why does this constant yearning to tear down people of means and celebrity on the public’s part? Is it because we want them to lead lives as ordinary and mundane as ours? Or is it jealousy of the talent, wealth, fame and, yes, sexual advantages that being among the “beautiful people” commands? People want to rip actress Angelina Jolie all the time and I suspect it is because she’s probably the most gorgeous woman on the planet who is involved with Brad Pitt, one of the most handsome males on the same planet – not because of any adoption, her politics or her humanitarian efforts.
To seek punishment for illegal behavior is one thing; that is well-deserved in this case. However, when we cease to punish and merely want to torment a particular person, then the line has been crossed to some sort of perversion. Retribution becomes entertainment and, in any compassionate society that it laughingly claims to be, that is morally wrong.
If you really want to punish a person like Paris Hilton, how about this: IGNORE HER! Simply don’t give her any publicity, any photos, any attention or even the time of day. A celebrity is not a celebrity if no one notices.
But do not treat her like a piece of meat in a tank full of piranhas … which is what the American public has become. Shame on many of you for acting like voyeurs; you do not honor yourselves or our society.
Those with their eyes glued to the television, smiling at the prospects of Paris Hilton being perp-walked, only feed such frenzy.
Because, in the end, what has she ever done to you?

Sopranos blogging

Once the final credits rolls Sunday night to end “The Sopranos,” I immediately joined the blog on the Dallas Morning News (Over the Top) and contributed to the discussion – split 50-50 about liking the open-ended, non-conclusion. Those who didn’t like it felt strongly that there should have been closure. Others like me felt more than satisfied with the surprise.
The following are my submissions – go to dallasnews.com and click on entertainment/Over the Top to read the entire amount of entries from last night. I’m sure there will be more:

I was ready to blow up Time Warner Cable! I thought the ending was interrupted until I realized David Chase WANTED it that way.
All along, what you THINK is going to happen usually doesn’t, and the ending is left up to you. However, that might have been the most foreboding conclusion ever on TV.
Pure unadultered genius.
Posted June 10, 2007 09:11 p.m.

Most viewers want nice and neat closure to their shows but this show has always been different. Life usually doesn’t HAVE closure – just recurring themes and problems. Tony was upset about future indictments even though he knew, one day, they would come. Yes, the song sang “Life, it goes on and on and on...”
By the way, brilliant choices of music tonight from an all-time Dylan classic (“It’s Alright Ma”) that was speaking to two teens some 40 years after it was recorded and a grand oldie, “You Keep Me Hanging On” by the Vanilla Fudge.
Perhaps we should have listened closer at the start to see how it would end.
Posted June 10, 2007 09:25 p.m.

Nothing ever committed to film for this show answered questions without posing even more. In the end, a show about a mob family with the leader who has real family issues finished with Tony surrounded by his family. All that was missing was the collection of ducks.The sadness that Tony felt toward Uncle Junior, where he wanted to deposit more rage, simply turned into resignation – not unlike the knowledge that legal troubles were coming – was beautifully done. He wanted to do the right thing for Bobby’s children but still remembered that Janice was a bloodsucking leech.
Yes, I have one eye on the DVR clock and one eye on Meadow’s inability to parallel park (do we all have that problem?).
Like a good book, David Chase is letting everyone use their imagination for the next moment. Total genius.
And if you think the Tonys, or Tony Parker are more interesting than Tony Soprano, you should be watching junk like “Two and A Half Men” for your concept of quality TV.
Posted June 10, 2007 09:48 p.m.

The DMN movie critic, knowing that even what’s on Tony’s TV matters in the context of things, wondered about “The Twilight Zone” episode shown. I helped answer, sort of.

The episode, aired May 23, 1963, was called “The Bard,” starring the funny Jack Weston and a real young Burt Reynolds.
From idmb:com:
“Failing playwright Julius Moomer (Jack Weston) conjures up the spirit of Shakespeare (John Williams) to appear in the present in his former earthly form. The bewildered Bard reluctantly agrees to write plays for the inept Moomer who quickly sends them (under his own name) to Broadway Producers. Soon, Moomer is the toast of the town and getting rich in the process. Alas, his fame and fortune are short-lived when he mistakenly invites the Bard to see the production of one his plays in-person. Naturally, Shakespeare is taken aback by the Method acting he witnesses, and particularly by the artificial performance of one Rocky Roads (a young Burt Reynolds). Method-acting Rocky needs “motivation” for one scene and can’t seem to find it --- until the Bard provides it for him by sending him flying through a wall with a punch to the nose.
Moomer is forced to return the indignant Bard back into the past. But he’s far from finished, however, as he now conjures up Lincoln, Washington, Napoleon ... etc. etc. for more creative work.”
Does that give you any clues?

“Rome” had a nice and neat ending. Of course, it had history on its side.“Deadwood” did not have a real ending because it will return as a two-hour movie. Maybe.“Carnivale” has an ending but left lots of room for another season which didn’t happen.Regular network TV like tidy endings. BUT ... it’s not TV ...
IT’S HBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Remember that.
Also wasn’t the collage about saying goodbye to “The Sopranos” well done?
Posted June 10, 2007 10:06 p.m.

Only the immediate family knew where it was having dinner and it was a last-minute decision. So who would have been sent there to do any whacking? Besides, as we have ALL learned, some thing about the “code” are sacred and you don’t touch family members.
Besides, Tony had made a deal with the NYC guys (although I might have missed a wonderful pearl of wisdom from Little Carmine). Phil was the price to be paid for Bobby. Maybe Tony needs to hire the law firm of Binder & Binder because “you have enough to worry about.”
You know why “The Sopranos” is greatness? Because no one blogged all night about “Six Feet Under” or “NYPD Blue” or “Hill Street Blues.”
Posted June 10, 2007 10:20 p.m.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Frankly, as a retired journalist and overall news pjunkie, I am now officially BORED-er out by immigration talk and balk. Enough of this bullshit adn let's move to something else.
ALL sides are disingenuous - one side cannot accept reality (you can't deport 12-20 million people), the other cannot accept how many people feel (you can't let more people cross illegally) and the current administration is quite simply too impotent to affect anything in Congress.
It is NO coincidence that the Republicans staged this mini-coup against the White House-supported bill while the President was at G8. His tummy will hurt more when he returns and has no position to stand upon. At least in this final year, Clinton was relevant; Bush, clearly, is NOT!
And he won't spend any veto savings on immigration because, deep down, he doesn't believe in it. He's too beholden to businesses who really, REALLY don't want to change the status quo (no enforcement, no penalties, make money off these workers).
And NO one trusts the current Justice Department to begin massive enforcement, which is where it needs to happen - not Homeland Security (who can't stop one guy with TB from crossing the Canadian border).
When he leaves office, Bush will only have the support of the ultra-crazies and half his family ... and the latter is in doubt.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Someone has a cold in the West Wing

Something tells me Scotter Libby got a cold in court.
I hear he is sneezing all around the White House and keeps saying, "PARDON ME!"
No one in Cheney's office is responding with "God Bless you" just yet.
But I hear the shotgun is being cleaned.