Thursday, June 24, 2004

Shallow Thoughts
by AJ in Nashville

Busy day today. No time for my usual, wordy yarns. I'll most likely post a few random thoughts as I go, a la my fellow George Jones fan, "F."

The only thing "mystical" about it is how the hell it managed to get nominated for "Best Picture"
I rented "Mystic River" last night. I think I can talk about it without spoiling things for anyone, since I'm quite sure that no one on the planet takes longer to see movies after they're released than moi. I had really been looking forward to seeing it. It had gotten great reviews. It won two Oscars and was nominated for four more, including "Best Picture." I will say that the acting lived up to the hype. Sean Penn's performance was indeed Oscar-worthy. Tim Robbins, despite the fact that his Bahh-ston accent had gaps that you could drive a truck through, also delivered a great performance that rightly earned him "Best Supporting Actor."

However the plot...hmmm. Let me just say I got some seveah mixed feelings heeah. Is it just me, or was the ending of this movie the biggest anti-climax since "The Perfect Storm?"

It was hard enough to watch, with the agony that Jimmy (Penn) experiences with the murder of his 19 year-old daughter (you see, Amy is also 19, and those kind of parallels can kind of get to a guy, especially when you know nothing about the story plot going in). But once the shock subsided, you really wanted to see how this thing would be resolved. I did like the twists involving "Just-Ray" and his sons, but I thought that too much of the rest of the plot was just painfully predictable.

However I couldn't have predicted just how shallow the end of the story would be.

I was sure that justice would prevail in the end. Instead, evil not only goes unpunished, but is actually celebrated as something that is admirable; that it's something we're somehow expected to pay homage to as a father's duty; that blind rage-driven retribution is acceptable if it's done in the name of "family." Oh, and if you just happen to take your anger out on, say, the wrong guy, oh well...whadaya gonna do?

I felt robbed. I allowed my emotions to be tweeked for two hours, seventeen minutes with absolutely no payoff — not even a little one.

The movie's tagline is, "We bury our sins, we wash them clean." Sorry, but this movie left me feeling like I needed a shower.

Nice Pants
Three years ago I bought a pair of linen Dockers slacks for work. They had two problems: they were two inches too long, which was made worse by the fact that they had cuffs, which I haven't worn (or particularly liked) since cuffed baggies were in style back in my disco inferno days of the 70s.

Surely it wouldn't be too much trouble for my lovely wife, who is also a master seamstress, to lop off those cuffs and thereby make my new pants wearable, right? Uh...Sweetie? Helllooo...

Guess what I just got back from the cleaners yesterday? A NEW pair of three year-old pants! Who knew they did alterations? They fit perfectly. And unlike 99% of all my other dress slacks, they're really comfortable.

And can I just say it? I really like my "new" pants.

Gawd I miss The Tony Kornheiser Show, formerly on ESPN Radio. If you're into sports like I am, you probably know the "orange man." He's a sports columnist for the Washington Post and co-hosts "Pardon the Interruption" on ESPN TV with his Post cohort, Michael Wilbon. The TV show is great and Mr. Tony is a crackup, but not half as funny as he is on the radio.

He recently opted out of his radio contract with ESPN (March 26, 2004 was his last show), over longstanding disagreements with management about the show's direction and content. Tony wanted to do a funny show about "sports...and other stuff." ESPN wanted him to do a show just about sports.

It was the best sportstalk show on the air. Bar none. I was a constant e-mailer to the show and was lucky enough to be read on the air on a pretty consistent basis. It was e-mailing the TK show that really made me begin to think about writing. So I can honestly say that Tony Kornheiser changed my life.

Good news is, he's coming back sometime in the Fall, after his negotiated "non-compete" period expires. He has said he would do the show locally (from DC) and syndicate it nationally. I can't wait! There has definitely been a hole in my life from 9-Noon each weekday since he left the air.
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