- We're back to the question of cheating with the latest exploits of Bill Belicheck and the New England Patriots. The penalty that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell slapped down was fairly severe; I know Belicheck makes millions but I think anyone would feel the sting of a $500,000 fine. What I'm hoping is that this gets the NFL to do the obvious, which is to give the defensive players a similar wireless communication system to what the quarterbacks currently have. It's never made any sense to give the advantage to one side of the ball. What will be interesting is to see how this change affects the Patriots. I've seen enough of the Patriots to wonder, at least retrospectively, how they were always able to figure out the right defense to stop the other team. Now we know.
- I've been writing a little less about politics these days because, to be honest, I find it depressing. I haven't heard an original argument from the Democratic Party in years; it seems like the intellectual peak of the party happened sometime around my 4th birthday, and as regular readers of this feature know, I'm a late Boomer and certainly approaching my dotage. I would really like it if we could actually see a substantive discussion about the issues underpinning all the ideological hectoring, but I doubt we will. As the old saw goes, ideas have consequences, but too many of our politicians are substituting invective for explanation. It's no wonder that both the president and congress are about as popular as Michael Vick.
- Have you seen the ads for the new Jodie Foster film, "The Brave One?" Thirty years ago she appeared in the movie "Taxi Driver," playing the role of a barely pubescent prostitute. Now she wants to be Travis Bickle. I don't know if this represents progress, or is simply another example of the utter bankruptcy of ideas in Hollywood. I went to college with a guy named Matt Tolmach, who has gone on from Beloit to a fabulous career as a producer in Hollywood. If you Google his name, you'll find that he's produced dozens of big films and is starting a production company with Tom Hanks. Matt was a good guy in his college days and I have no reason to believe that's changed. But Matt came up with more clever ideas when he ran the parody issue of the student newspaper than I've seen out of Tinseltown in recent years.
- Time for another Mr. Dilettante contest - name your favorite guitar solo. Since my daughter has decided she wants to be a rock star, it would be good to get a few representative samplings for her to hear. I will throw out two of my favorites: Denny Dyas's lyrical, stinging playing on Steely Dan's "Bodhisattva," and Roddy Frame's hilarious sendup of Eddie Van Halen on a cover of "Jump" with his band, Aztec Camera. Let's hear yours, readership!
Friday, September 14, 2007
Yo, Manolo, choot that piece a chit
Manolo will oblige. Here come the bullets: