No Such Nonsense

A little of this, that and... what was I talking about again? It's TV, sports, pop culture and politics - all the stuff that really matters in life.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mid-Season Thoughts

Well, it's been 8 weeks of football with nary a comment on the season from me. Have I just been busy with work, or taking the season off out of solidarity with poor, broken Tom Brady? I'll let you decide.

So where do things stand round at the half-way point? Well, the Lions aren't the worst team in football (hello, Kansas City!). The Buffalo Bills may actually win the AFC East. Kerry Collins has lead the Titans to a thus far unblemished record. Brady is hanging with Giselle instead of at Gillette. The Giants are still winning despite having to deal with Plaxico Burress' unpredictable child-care plans. All in all, a pretty amusing season from my vantage point - even if my beloved Colts are struggling to reach .500 in the absence of Bob Sanders and, oh, any kind of rush defense.

Still, some things remain the unchanged. Pacman Jones is still getting into fights. T.O. is still pouting he isn't getting enough passes, then dropping half the ones he gets. The Bengals are both awful and brutish. And the Colts can still score three touchdowns in three minutes (or so they proved to me and my friend Randy after he declared the game with the Texans over with five minutes left and Houston up by 17).

Do you think anyone explained the homo-erotic subtext to Kobe?

I can't even begin to know what to say about this.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Election Hangover

Stephen Harper told us it was time to vote, because his minority government had ceased to function efficiently (but really because he thought he could win a minority). We voted. And got... a Tory minority government. Well, I don't know about you, but am I ever glad we spent all that cash for the Tories to win a few extra seats and the Liberals to lose a bunch of them. Democracy at work... and at a price.

But to be honest, the thing about this election that really irritates me is Elizabeth May. She made it into the debates. She was all over TV (and Via Rail). For the first time, the Green Party seemed to have a legitimate shot at winning a seat. That is, had she run in a winnable riding. But she didn't. She could have run pretty much anywhere she wanted - and she chose to run against Peter MacKay in Central Nova. Now, I'm not exactly in the Peter MacKay fan club, but even I could have told Ms. May that she had zero chance of winning against the powerful Defense Minister. I mean, the guy was elected in 1997 - when just 20 ridings in the whole country voted Conservative. Even with the Liberals sitting that riding out, May was in tough.

I guess I can understand wanting to slay a giant and avoid any sense of being a parachuted candidate - but couldn't may have done more for her party by actually winning a seat?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Behind Blue Eyes

Paul Newman was one of those movie stars who was really and truly a star. Not in a Zac Efron mass-produced Disney-star kind of way, but in a brilliant, shining, unmistakable academy-baiting but audience-pleasing way. If you haven't caught much of the Newman oeuvre, here are some essentials:

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Tennessee Williams can bring out the best or the worst in an actor. Williams brought out the best in Brando in Streetcar, and his southern gothic melodrama suits Newman perfectly here. Liz Taylor, as the forlorn and neglected Maggie, gets the meaty role and most of the accolades, but Newman quietly steals the show for me as her tormented, closeted husband Brick.

Cool Hand Luke
The essence of cool here, Newman's Luke is a petty thug ground down by his time on a southern chain gang. It's got some seriously famous lines, and one very famous scene involving Luke, a bet, and 50 eggs.

The Sting
Most people favour Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but I have a fondness for this other Newman-Redford pairing. It's smart. It's silly. It's one of my all-time favourites, especially when you catch a glimpse of those famous blue eyes staring across the top of a hand of cards.

Slap Shot
Now this one isn't one of my own favourites, but as a true Canadian, I gotta put it on the list. A genre classic.

The Colour of Money
Watch Newman give a young Tom Cruise a master class in acting. Returning to his favourite role, Fast Eddie Felson, won Newman an Oscar.

The weathered, grumbling voice of Doc Hudson was a perfect fit for Newman, and a fitting end to his career.