Monday, January 23, 2006

Just an old magazine...?

This time the tragi-comic pop culture find was the October 1993 issue of Esquire magazine, the 60th anniversary edition, 60 Things Every Man Should Know.

So there among the articles by such literary luminaries as George Plimpton, P.J. O'Rourke, Ken Kesey, William F. Buckley Jr., Robert Altman, Stanley Bing, Tom Robbins, Jimmy Breslin and more was a pair on sports proverbs by Roy Blount Jr.
Maybe it was another coincidence, but... his book "About Three Bricks Shy...And the Load Filled Up" is about the Steelers.
Anyway, he wrote about "Perceptivity" and "Pomposity" for Esquire, in the first it was titled, "Sports proverbs are profound and existentially useful" whereas the second was titled, "Sports proverbs are banal and make little sense".
The lesson being that that subtle sense of perceptivity beyond those around you is akin to the similar feeling of being a pompous cliche-ridden Monday morning quarterback.

Sometimes an old magazine kept for some long forgotten reason is just an old magazine stripped of meaning, this one in particular had suffered my wrath by having most of the crass advertising cut out in a fit of anti-commercialism. But I kept it and it had somehow survived along with a few others of note.

Next to Esquire in that box was the October 4, 1993 issue of the New Yorker with "Exiles: The faces of JFK's court" a photographic portfolio by Richard Avedon, truly an amazing collection of people from 1961 and 1993. The many Kennedys, Moynihan, Fulbright, Reston, Goldwater, Galbraith, Hayden, Sorenson, Bundy, Salinger, Shriver, Schlesinger, Halberstram, Bradlee, McNamara, Katzenbach, Manchester, Goodwin, Clifford, Rusk, and several others, no wonder I kept it.
He broke the long-standing prohibition against photos in The New Yorker when hired by risk taking editor Tina Brown,


Old Frothingslosh link...

Here is the link...


RS v. Y 10-20-04?

Yesterday, I was looking for something and found something else... every so often this happens with comical, or tragic results. First the backgrounder, my folks are from just south of Pittsburgh and growing up in NY there was only one real NFL team, the Steelers, Franco's Italian Army,
Lynn Swan and Co. etc, Iron City, Old Frothingslosh, the pale stale ale with the foam on the bottom!
Anyway, I called my mother after they won last night and made it into the Superbowl, I knew I had a Steelers button in an old box of stuff somewhere. As I searched a video tape fell out from one box being moved, on it was my handwriting, "RS v. Y 10-20-04 / RS v. Cards #7 last outs"...!

WELL! I popped it in and there were the supreme expressions of joy for Red Sox Nation, a catharsis of the most profound kind as I became aware over time. Now I am not much of a sports fan really, I grew up a chubby kid and rarely participated beyond what was required to pass phys ed class and even then I had issues, so... time passes and I am mildly oblivious to it except for the big ones, the World Series, the Superbowl and sometimes basketball and hockey if I was betting with my friend from California. It was all for fun until he suggested I pay the couple hundred he thought I owed him when he was ahead, what an opportunist! That was around the time I got into NASCAR, then went to races in Watkins Glen NY, NH, Pocono PA, Dover Delaware, Sonoma CA, then went drag racing in my street car up and down the East Coast...
So there on the tape, at Yankee Stadium, recovering from a 0-3 deficit to win 4 games, the biggest come-from-behind performance ever, etc... the game ends 10-3 right after midnight and there was much rejoicing throughout all the land.

I remembered that night vividly, that night and the one that would come later reversing The Curse... me in a t-shirt and shorts and a red terrycloth robe, faded Red Sox hat circa 1986 and Dale Earnhardt bedroom slippers that look like little puffy race cars... we live two floors above a bar and there is screaming and yelling and the crowd flows into the sidewalk and for an hour or two everyone driving by beeps and waves and we are all in frenzy, I found a cigar and lit it up thinking, "How sweet it is!".
(fast forward tape)
There was also a political ad for John Kerry for President on the tape... and that brought up another whole series of memories.
I like how Chris Matthews characterized what is going on with Rep. John Murtha as "swiftboating"!
Very nice... Good luck Pittsburgh!


Friday, January 13, 2006

Most E-Mailed! Most Viewed! Most Banal!

America is certainly obsessed with "Mosts". On any day, on any news webpage, a cross-cultural index of sorts is created by simply counting which stories that day that provoked the viewer into action by forwarding and sending the story along to a friend, associate, relative or whatever.

On January 11th for example, a cursory scan of Yahoo News showed a disturbing slant towards fluff over substance among the populace. While reports on the Ukrainian gas crisis spreading to Europe, National Security Agency domestic spying allegations, Avian Influenza spreading to humans in Turkey (Turkey, get it!?) and the looming spectre of Iranian nukes growing like mushrooms, there were the real tales of our times wafting their way in packets across the cybersphere...

#1 Most Viewed and Emailed...
One Eyed Cat Medical Mystery, AP
# 2 Most Viewed and Emailed...
Angelina Jolie Expecting Baby, AP
#7 Most Viewed and #9 Most Emailed...
Brad and Angelina Reproduce, E-Online
# 10 Most Viewed and #13 Most Emailed...
Jolie Pregnant with Brad Pitt's Child, Reuters
#20 Most Viewed = Hollywood's Style Guru Savages Britney Spears
#21 Most Viewed = Britney Spears Tops Hollywood's Worst Dressed List

Ah, young love through the lens of the paparazzi and Daisy Duke's lasting legacy. That, and a one-eyed cat will get you famous in people's in-boxes - for a little while at least.