Monday, February 23, 2009

Every year there are the same complaints about the Oscars and how out of touch they are with, well, reality. I haven't seen any of the five Best Picture nominees, and to be honest, I don't really want to see them. I do want to see The Wrestler, because I'm a Mickey Rourke fan. But it's hard to say with any authority that one work of art is better than another, although obviously Pineapple Express is far superior to the Love Guru. If I were voting, these would have been my five Best Picture nominees, with the winner in bold:

The Dark Knight
In Bruges
Iron Man
Pineapple Express

I mean, I don't know how you pick the best movie or whatever, but I go with whichever movie had the biggest impact on me, and that was WALL-E. Also, the best Robert Downey Jr. performance of 2008 was the lead role in Iron Man. Honestly, without him, the movie doesn't work nearly as well. And I was not impressed by his work in Tropic Thunder. See, if he was really playing an Australian playing a black guy, you know what? He'd be more believable as a black guy. Instead, he plays it like an Australian who's never met a black guy, which makes no sense if his character is so 'method'. The best performance of Tropic Thunder was Jay Baruchel, who was terrific as the 'redshirt' who not only survives, but is the catalyst for getting the other actors out of the crisis alive.

Pineapple Express was funnier, anyway.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lose, Leafs, Lose

This is what the Leafs need to do - suck mightily in the hopes that Tampa Bay, Ottawa, and Atlanta find their collective sacks and pass them in the standings. (I'm assuming the Islanders are a lost cause) I mean, sure, it would be hilarious if Toronto somehow managed to finish higher than the Senators - I can't think of a bigger insult - but realistically, they need a chance at either Tavares or Hedman, so I'd rather see them lose now. If the prospect of finishing out the season with a string of defeats is too tough to bear for these guys, well, as the great Marsellus Wallace once said, 'That's pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps."

So come on, you inglorious bastards. Don't be afraid to suck for just a little bit longer.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

On Steroids and such

There was probably a time, long ago, when politicians told the truth, kept the promises they made, and acted with integrity. Then, one day, a politician lied, broke a promise, took a bribe. Politics is a difficult, demanding career, but once lies and corruption were discovered, suddenly it wasn't so difficult, so demanding. And the rewards were far greater than what came before. So with very little fanfare or protest, politicians became untrustworthy, corrupt, accomplished liars. Once it became commonplace, it was accepted as an unavoidable aspect of politics. Is this politician a liar? Is that one? Who can tell? Better to assume that they all are, to keep lowering our expectations instead of demanding more from those who would lead us.

We are at the stage now where it is impossible to say if a given player had used steroids or not, so a whole generation of players are being tagged as 'steroid-era'. I was a fan of Fred McGriff, and while he didn't seem like the type to use steroids, who can say? Once the use of performance-enhancing drugs becomes commonplace, it will be accepted as an unavoidable aspect of sports, and once that happens, then like politics, we will never be able to return to the days of old.

But then, maybe politicians have always been untrustworthy, corrupt liars, and maybe athletes have always used whatever would give them a competitive advantage. Maybe nothing ever changes but the names and the background scenery. If that's the case, is ignorance not bliss?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bank Rescue

If the banks want rescuing by the federal government, then they should have to agree to a couple of conditions:

1) Make it harder for people to get credit. I'm not talking about people with regular jobs and a steady income. I'm talking about giving credit cards to high school students who aren't even working. I'm talking about giving a $300,000 mortgage to someone who makes $28,000 a year. I'm talking about bringing back some rationality to this mess.

2) Force the banks and credit card companies to cap interest rates at 10% above prime as a maximum. No more Best Buy credit cards at 28% interest. No more Visa cards with 18% interest. If these corporations can't survive on 10% juice, then they shouldn't be in business in the first place. Certainly if they followed my first suggestion, they wouldn't be making as many bad risk deals, so their defaults and bankruptcies should decrease (which is their usual excuse for charging so much).