Tuesday, April 22, 2008


It's election day here in Philadlephia and I have to say I'm glad it's over. I consider myself to be hyper-political person. I constantly read and watch anything election related these days. I love discussing politics at great lengths with friends and family. But after tonight, I'm taking off for at least a week or two. No more blogs, NY Times op-eds, and no more TV pundits for a while. I'm just mentally exhausted from the whole process.

I have begun to dislike myself because of the guttural feelings I have towards people who are Hillary or McCain supporters. Not just strangers, but my friends and co-workers. This isn't healthy.

So I voted for Barack Obama and some other people I knew very little about. Now, I'm looking forward to watching some baseball and maybe doing some schoolwork during the next couple of weeks. Who knows? Maybe I will start watching the NBA again or even more dramatic for me, the NHL.

Monday, April 14, 2008


I have always had a love for songs about revenge. There is something romantic about the characters in these songs that dedicate their lives to murder/justice. Here are my top five revenge songs:

5. Black by Okkervil River - Not sure but it sounds like a deadbeat dad gets murdered for abandoning his first family and starting a new one.

4. Big Payback by James Brown - James get revenge while making the rest of us get down on the dance floor. Someone pissed off James real bad in this one. They stole his honey and more importantly, his money. Best line: "I don't know Karate but I know Crazy!"

3. The Mariner's Revenge Song by The Decemberists - This song combines two of my favorite things: revenge and whaling. This song reminds me of Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon.

2. The Other Shoe by The Old 97's - Infidelity can get you killed in many parts of the world and Texas is no exception.

1. Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner by Warren Zevon - This one is my favorite. The song tells the tale of a Norwegian mercenary named Roland who is betrayed and murdered by his Judas-like comrade Van Owen. Roland gets his revenge however by somehow reanimating and killing that son of a bitch.

Does anybody else have favorite revenge songs?

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Earlier this week, I watched Kansas comeback and beat Memphis for the National Championship. I watched the post-game interviews with the coaches and the players and was troubled by some of the comments made by Memphis head coach, John Calipari.

While trying to explain how his team blew a nine point lead with less than two minutes left in regulation, Calipari began to explain that during those final minutes, he asked God that he was going to leave the outcome of the game in his hands(paraphrased). What? Are we to believe that God really wanted Kansas to win? Did God have some money riding on the game? Or, was Calipari just trying to avoid accepting his share of the blame for losing the game?

Calipari was the one who failed to call a timeout and instruct his players to foul Chalmers. Calipari, you blew it! Don't blame God because he probably doesn't even exist.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Ode to Eugen Weber

I love history. In fact, I'm currently working on becoming a high school history teacher. In the past year or so, I have discovered a television program called The Western Tradition, which airs on WHYY at 5:00am. The show chronicles the history of western civilization and it is tremendous. Here is a clip.

He is like a god clad in tweed! Listen to how he rolls his r's.

The program was originally filmed in 1989 and is broken into 52 half hour episodes. The program is hosted by former UCLA Professor and famous writer, Eugen Weber. Weber does an excellent job of explaining history through highlighting art, letters, and details that are often ignored by many other historical programs.

In the last week or so I began having daydreams of meeting this man. Perhaps I would write him a letter. We would begin corresponding about the rise of nationalism in France during the 19th century or how the Viking invasions of central Europe served as a catalyst for economic change during the Dark Ages. Oh, the things this man could teach me about history! Much to my dismay, I just learned yesterday that Weber died last year of Pancreatic cancer and so, we will never have that correspondence.

I know it seems odd that I feel so strongly about someone I have never met, but I can honestly say that the man has inspired me. He makes we want to wear a suit and tie everyday once I'm a teacher. It's a profession goddammit.

Here's to you old man.