as great a player as he is, he should change careers

T.O has great potential as a human being. He has almost never used his somewhat-rare courage, and overall vision.

Owens himself has glimpsed that football wastes some his talents -- in my opinion this is what was happening in Owens' confrontations with Andy Reid.

Many people in the world -of course - are never exposed to the ideas that will allow to see the way forward that is best for them. Authoritarianism can contribute to these minor tragedies. Even though participation in football helps more people than it limits, like others before him Owens has lost something by spending his life with this sub-culture that over-emphasizes obedience and loyalty.

I guess making it worse for Owens has been playing under the warped Bill Parcells, who is a kind of genius-promoter of a stunting philosophy.

T.O. should change professions, at least for a while. He could begin anew in talk radio. And even though I love Texas ... not in that state. Within a few years Owens could even go back to sports as a commentater. If he could manage to be exposed to nurturant values & ideas for a few years, Owens could end up far more interesting (and good for the sport) than the douchebags and the imagination-free fascists that make up so much of network football coverage.


I have a similar opinion of Randy Moss, btw. Both Moss and Owens could have been great men. But the West crushes kids with libertarian-anarchist instincts, especially black kids. Some end up playing football, and many fans decide these players' troubles with authority are flaws. But this is only half the story.

A limited analogy: just as Jimi Hendrix did not belong in the military, Owens does not belong in football.


culture-watching brag

I did it again!

On this blog 3 weeks ago I used a Stephen Colbert 'on notice' generator to put up a few of my peeves. Among other abuses, I put the 'misuse of irony' on notice.

Then yesterday Stephen Colbert himself put irony on notice!!
He didn't pull out the board but he said it.

Is that like proof that I am way cool, or what?

Just call me the 'joke prefigurer' (a very catchy phrase if I don't say so myself).

my earlier bit of premonition

Maybe last year sometime I happened to notice that Tom Cruise's dice had lost another spot, that the movie actor had under gone a 'change'. I was not a Cruise-basher btw. Nor did I follow his story much. But I noticed this before it was news (I won't say how).

I even said it. In another context I predicted that a blowup was coming from Cruise. And just weeks after that he stood on Oprah's stage couch and jumped and yelled. An event which led a gazillion others to notice what I already had.

Did I get credit? No. Not one person said .. that man, he knowz culture. Not one person. they all think they are SO smart. but who spotted what first? ... Sigh.

yes, I know

Clearly, I use too much time looking at popular culture.


the symbolism in V for Vendetta

When I first saw the title, "V for Vendetta" I lamely joked "V for Vagina", knowing full-well it was a political, subversive movie 1. Now that I have seen it (and read a few reviews) I think it's worth returning to this.

If you want to read about the politics, go here instead.

The character 'V' is a asexual masked enabler, allowing the dramatic arc of the secretary played by Natalie Portman. An ordinary, practical young woman is made into a political warrior.

In the original version of the story the female lead was different. David Edelstein writes:
"Evey might seem less of a goody two-shoes if she’d begun—as in the graphic novel—by turning tricks for money; and her relationship with another TV host, a melancholy teddy bear (Stephen Fry), is yawningly platonic. After Evey’s head is shaved and she endures a marathon torture session, we expect great things. It’s a lapse in the screenwriting that her new fearlessness is barely tested; she’s a Joan of Arc who never fights. But Portman’s watchfulness and unaffected beauty keep you entranced—and the movie from drifting into camp. Whatever else it is, V for Vendetta is not frivolous. The Wachowskis—one of whom is reportedly in the midst of a sex change—introduce a lesbian martyr to make a plaintive case for the right to be what one is."
The Wachowskis seem to have shifted the core symbolic struggle in the powerful material from
working-class prostitute holding off Thatcherism

virginal woman who sympathizes w lesbians holding off self-absorbed rapists

In every scene with V and multiple men V pulls 'his' knives out of their scabbards. They are shiny and sharp, and they cut the bad men. None will never have sex life again.
V as Edwards Scissorhands luckier older brother?


V for Vendetta is very good movie. I doubt it could have been made any better. Despite the surface material it is not pretentious - it's makers worked with the anti-authoritarian pulp roots like gardeners transplanting a precious young tree.

Good for them!

The movie may not have the most enlightened deep meanings possible, but sexual subtext in political movies truly can matter.

I do not have the writing skills to explain how these kinds of messages can stick over time. But they do.

For instance, this happened with 2 influential, quality movies about WWII. In both Open City (1945) and the Longest Day (1962) the authoritarians were depicted as gayer than they actually were, while simultaneously the freedom-fighters were made straighter.2 No doubt this was done with the best intentions - but a generation later the stereotype of the mincing Nazi is entrenched, and millions of homophobic authoritarians today are unable to use the past as a mirror.

To directly compare the symbolisms, the gayness in the intervening 50 years has shifted from the authoritarian sadist not to the victim but to the enabler of the victim's righteousness.


  1. More things could be said. #1 on the list, possibly, is that the some of today's Guy Fawkeses are likely heterosexual men who had been sexually molested as boys. But that as a subtext could not explain the doppelganger wannabe relationship between the authoritarian and the terrorist (that they are each other)

  2. The layering of "the Longest Day" Nazi train sequence and the emphasis on the heterosexuality of the French Underground is profoundly ahistorical. It implies something very different from the truth. In reality that movement was largely comprised of the French that would have been vulnerable to the Nazis, that would have been taken in any secondary wave of arrests. Who was the most vulnerable? ..gays and freaks of all kinds (bless them all), as well as the socialists, former labor union organizers and anarchists. These groups largely were the French Resistance (and their prior experience in keeping secrets helped them). Instead of showing this the movie shows a stereotypic man + woman cooing at each other, just stopping to fight the Nazis. ... "Open City" is a translation of Roma, città aperta (I'll add to this note later).


her mistake is, she thinks this is civilization

A famous 'feminist academic' has dissed Steve Irwin!

Her mistake is, she thinks this is civilization.

If this actually was, then there would real Dad figures everywhere (and peace etc). In such a world, the television 'crocodile hunters' would be less important.

Unfortunately this is a faux culture - underneath everything nowadays lie violence, fear, ritual, and religious belief.

So many people today yearn for any grown up man who isn't hostile or sold-out or a moron or a fool or a drunk. This is why they settled for ..crikey!.. Steve Irwin.

Any Dad is better than no Dad, and that is why Germaine Greer is wrong to knock the venue he was in, whatever it was.


the Conan O'Brien interview at AV Club

AV Club has an OK interview with Conan O'Brien [part1, part2].

About one of the jobs he has had:
“There were no vacations at The Simpsons that I can recall. You're in a poorly ventilated room with horrific furniture, worse than any furniture that had been in my dorm room. In my dorm room, we had, like everyone else, found furniture. Like, "Look at this thing on the sidewalk! It looks pretty good!" When you're there, it's really fun, but when it's 10 o' clock at night and you just want to go home, but you can't until you figure out what Marge says after Homer shoves the plutonium rod through his ear, and you've got to come up with that next line: "Oh, Homey!" It gets kind of grim.”
about his sense of self:
“I'm kinda hyperkinetic. ...

...I've been this way since I was a kid. I said something about this in an interview years ago, and my dad called me up and said, "That was so perfectly true about you." Unfortunately, the quote was, "I'm making a living off of something that should be treated." I had mixed feelings that my dad thought that that was absolutely the best, most true thing I ever said about myself.

...For lack of a better way of looking at it, if I existed 200 years ago, all the other farmers in my community would be like, "That guy is worthless! He's sitting on a rock, jumping up like a frog, coming up with weird concepts and ideas, making faces, and combing his hair into a giant pastry." It's a good thing I was born in this century, when superfluous television seems to be part of the economy.”