And That’s the Season

World SeriesThe regular season of MLB baseball ended yesterday. As it turns out, no one has to play a game 163. As recently as Saturday it looked like there could be up to three game 163s, but the final games played Sunday settled matters. On the personal plus side, the Pittsburgh Pirates and — perhaps more significantly — the Kansas City Royals are going to the playoffs. On the flip side, both teams are getting in as wildcard teams, so the journey may be short (but it would be pretty cool if the Royals went all the way).

And your Minnesota Twins, once again, aren’t going. It was another losing year for the Twins — fourth in a row — but they did manage to do a little bit better than they have in the last three. As I wrote earlier in the season, this year’s team showed some potential not seen those last three years. Unfortunately, in the end (as usual) our pitching brought us down. But at least we ended the season on a fairly nice note.

Post-season baseball begins this week and ends with the “Fall Classic” — the World Series.

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No Connection?

Messing gunExhibit A: Raymell Mourice “Ray” Rice. NFL running back for the Baltimore Ravens since 2008. He was a 2012 Super Bowl Champion and has a number of other accolades: three-times to the NFL Pro Bowl all-star game, AFC Champion and the NFL Play of the Year award in 2012. He’s also the 200-pound pro football player who delivered a knockout punch to his fiancée, Janay Palmer, while they were riding in an elevator in Atlantic City this past February.

Exhibit B: Two new TV shows, Legends (TNT) and The Mysteries of Laura (NBC). There are many other examples I could pick, but these stuck out, perhaps because I’ve always liked Ali Larter and Debra Messing, who star in them. The problem I have is the way in which both shows sexualized their female stars.

Casual violence against women. Women as eye-candy sex objects. No connection?

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What’s To Eat?

eatingIf “we are what we eat,” then what about what we consume with our minds? If the food we eat becomes the substance of our muscles and bones, doesn’t the information we absorb become the substance of our thoughts and emotions? We understand that it’s not healthy to live on junk food alone; do we have a similar sense regarding our mental health?

I think a lot about the media content we absorb so casually day in and day out. In the last three or four decades, we seem to have come to an ugly, unfortunate place for entertainment dining. Our diet now is rich in violence and sexuality, and it’s served in a visceral emotional stew of force and conflict.

I think it’s disturbing, especially considering how few seem disturbed by it!

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Man Dog!

man-dogIf you’re wondering about the Gravitar change, it’s because I’ve temporarily switched my email notification address. I’m switching to a new service provider for my main email and personal website, so there needs to be an alternate for WordPress during the cut-over.

I could have used the gmail account I set up for this blog, but gmail and Goggle+ are too complicated for my taste. Maybe I’m getting old, but I’ve found it extremely challenging to learn my way around Google+ and YouTube.

Anyway, the Gravitar image is from a trip to Disney World — Epcot, to be specific. This would have been back in 1999, I think (wow; fifteen years!). They had a thing that would take your picture and merge it into one of several possible animals. Naturally, I picked the dog (my first dog as a child was a beagle, in fact).

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Doctor! Doctor!

TARDIS

“These are the voyages of the…” Wait! Wrong great SF TV show!!

Do you know about the impossible girl? How about the girl who waited (for 12 years and then again for 36), or her other half, the boy who waited (for 2000)? There are others: the woman who forgot the greatest adventure ever; the woman who became a doctor and a warrior; the woman who was forever lost to another dimension. And there is the stolen daughter raised as would-be assassin, but who instead became a wife traveling backwards in time.

Do you know about deadly monsters encased in metal armor? How about fearsome monsters that are as stone statues when you look at them, but who remove you from time when you don’t?

Most of all, do you know about the madman with a box?

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Spielberg: Not A Fan

mashed potatoesFor the record: I am not a fan of Steven Spielberg‘s movies. I do not like them on DVD; I do not like them in theater three. I do not like them on VHS; I do not like them — I said that, yes! And let me be clear: sometimes when I say I don’t like something, it means I’m neutral; I neither like nor dislike. But in this case, I do mean I actively dislike his movies.

I will readily agree that this, almost universally beloved, director-writer-producer is brilliant at his craft. He’s clearly one of the most successful directors in modern movie history. But I stand with a (very!) small number of critics who find his movies morally shallow and blatantly emotional. Even worse, they are peppered with what I call “Spielbergisms.”

It all started with the damned mashed potatoes.

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Sometimes…

shower valveMy personal life — at least from some angles — hasn’t had a lot of marks in the win column. The wins, it seems, have been mostly reserved for my work. In the early days, theatre lighting, student- and amateur-level efforts in film and TV, and finally, computer programming. My work has generally been deemed useful and of high-quality, so at least I don’t feel like a total fail.

But broken hearts litter my past, and I approach the six-decade mark without my own family or mate. My life has been daunted by physical limitations, plus I look like a bit like Quasimodo. The point is, outside of my work, I’m used to the dragon winning; I’m used to throwing snake eyes; I’m used to everything being difficult and a challenge.

But every once in a while for me… the Dragon loses!

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Now Appearing

Now showing at the Heaven’s Gate Theatre:

Now appearing Bogart and Bacall

Bacall’s famous line from To Have and Have Not is the all-time sexiest line in movie history! “You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together — and blow.” My reaction matches Bogie’s every time! Hoooo-eeee!!

And at the Heavenly Comedy Club:

Now appearing Robin Williams

But tickets to these shows… are a little tricky to come by.  On the other hand, you have plenty of time to get there and see them. They run every night (with matinees on weekends)… forever!


180 Years of Venn

John VennIn my family, we were rather casual about birthdays and other event days. It wasn’t  unusual to celebrate a birthday, not on the exact day, but on a nearby day. We were fairly poor, so birthdays mostly consisted of a cake and a token present of some sort. (Put it this way: I can’t recall a single birthday present I ever got. We just weren’t that into birthdays.)

But I don’t recall ever not celebrating Christmas or Easter on the day. That may be as much due to my father being a pastor and having to do his thing at church on those days. The religious upbringing — and the strong streak of anti-materialism that went with it — likely accounts for downplaying birthdays and other gift-giving occasions.

Which is all to say that I missed posting on John Venn‘s birthday!

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BB #43 – Anti-Batman

Batman-0Some of those who take their comics seriously and think deep thoughts about them have remarked on the symbiotic relationship between super-heroes and super-villains. They do seem to form yet another Yin-Yang pair (and, as I’m mentioned many times, we find such pairs many places in life). In fact, many see comics as nothing less than variations on the basic Yin-Yang of good and evil.

There are even those who suggest super-heroes create super-nemeses as necessary mirrors and justification for their existence. There is just enough truth to that to make it seem debatable, but the more common view is that both arise as natural symbols of basic good and evil.

So today’s question: Is the Batman responsible for the Joker (and others)?

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