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Archive for January 25th, 2007

Just reading an ESPN article on ‘as yet unsigned’ free-agents, and came across this little passage here, which deserves finger pointing and mockery:

  • Meanwhile, lots of established players inhabit a more stressful universe. For Steve Finley, Steve Trachsel, Mark Redman, David Bell, Ronnie Belliard, Bernie Williams, Preston Wilson and others, life is all about calling their agent, reassuring the wife and kids that everything will be fine, and coping with the realization that their skills are no longer in demand.

Take a second to dwell on the italicized section.  Here’s what those listed players made last year.

  • Finley = 7 million
  • Trachsel = 2.5 million
  • Redman = 4.5 million
  • Bell = 4.7 million
  • Belliard = 4 million
  • Williams = 1.5 million
  • Wilson = 4 million

I don’t think the wives and kids are all that worried.  In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Juniors (all seven of them) were currently out in the front yard laughing over the burning remains of the third Segway Scooter they’ve crashed into a tree since breakfast.

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Happenings.

First week of classes has had it’s share of irritation inducers.

The first $80 textbook I’ve been asked to buy in a couple years is being used this semester.  So I ordered it online for $10.  But it hasn’t arrived, and it turned out to be the first book we’re using, and the only copies available in town are the full $80 price.  I’m not paying $80 for a second copy of a twenty five year old book.  So I’m forced to read other people’s copies during their down-time.  That’s annoying.

This is why professors should always A) email the book list to their grad students a week or two before class, and B) put the library’s copy on reserve so that we all have access to it in case of accidents.

Speaking of book problems.  None of my used books that I’ve ordered online have shipped; or at least, the sellers haven’t notified me of shipping.  This is bizarre.  I’ve never had a problem with an Amazon or Half.com seller before, and now, all of a sudden, I’m having trouble with all of them?

What’s up with that?

It’s also been a rough start to the film viewing for the semester.  In keeping with the reading intensive, overly intellectual semester, we’ve started with Antonioni’s “Zabriskie Point,” Godard’s “Passion,” and Murnau’s “Sunrise.”

“Sunrise,” for those who haven’t seen it, was essentially the progenitor of the ‘Oscar Winner’ genre.  Straight forward, deadly serious, sentimental love story with glorious visuals and a few tiny little elements of true creativity.  It’s a bit of a bore these days.  (“Caligari” and “The Last Laugh” have aged better, in my opinion.)

“Zabriskie Point” I actually quite liked.  It was sort of a blend of surrealism with narrative.  An at times laughable image of ’60s counter culture youth moving through a thoroughly unpredictable plot, culminating in a very long orgy (which gave me sort of ‘inverted Eden’ ideas – a mass orgy in a dry riverbed in the desert) and a series of slow motion explosions that accidentally made for the best music video ever created (Pink Floyd was the originator of rock that transcended superficiality).  But, as much as I enjoyed the film, it was a bit of a struggle at times.  The problem with a surrealist ethic (or simply a refusal to have a clear narrative) is that the film never seems to go anywhere.  Tedium sets in occasionally.

“Passion” was tonight, and it was horrible.  I understand that Godard was about theorizing the image rather than narrative, but there is a point at which intellectualizing simply becomes masturbating.  He went way over that line with this film.  A lesson in being considered a genius: take one unfinished script, one copy of “The Modern Philosophy Reader,” and a lot of random mucking about in the prop room, place them all in a blender, and serve for 90 minutes.  It’s shit, but pompous film-intellectuals will apparently eat it right up.

But, for as much as the semester has been a trudge right out of the gate, I suppose there are things to look forward to.  I’m still excited about the Godard/Barthes class, even though it is going to descend into pretentiousness often.  And I’m having a number of good ideas for my Historiography paper.  And I’m kicking around the idea of basing every single short paper for Contemporary Theory around MST3K, which could be fun, or could be unworkable…

And Vienna Teng is playing here again in April.  So that’s nice.  I can go be wowed by an inexplicably enthralling woman for a couple hours.

But that’s not for a while yet.

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