Saturday, July 01, 2006
Friday, June 30, 2006
World Cup Fever Resumes...
...as Argentina is playing Germnay as I write this. All right, it's the half, for those of you playing Mr. Spock at home.
Later, Italy will attempt to dive...erm, play their way past the surprising Ukrainians. Of course, how "surprising" can the Ukrainians be when they've got Andriy Shevchenko in the side? The lad is a spectacularly lethal striker.
Tomorrow, I will be go spare watching England play Portugal. Will Beckham score again? Will Rooney score at all? Will Lampard put a shot on goal? Will Theo Walcott be asked to fetch Sven Goran Eriksson biscuits and tea, since he hasn't been asked to do anything else? Maybe Sven is waiting for the latter stages of the tournament to bring him on like Pele in '58?
Also, Brasil and France play in what may be a classic. There'll be more flair on the pitch than at a Duran Duran concert.
I have the fever, and I love it!
I still intend to post on Stew's Frappucino addiction though. An intervention is long overdue.
Update: I'm battling a cold/possible sinus infection, so it will probably be later before I can truly lambast Stew... I mean help Stew free himself from his devastating caffiene and sugar addiction.
Yet Another Update: I'm watching the Italy versus Ukraine match on Yahoo!'s Match Tracker. Besides the usual creeping subconscious feeling that Yahoo wants me to enslave myself to their Machiavellian plans to conquer the Internet (which runs counter to DOUI's purely noble and altruistic campaign to conquer the Internet), I've noticed one other strange thing: Ukraine has seven blokes named "Andriy" on their team.
Somewhere in China, some gent named Wang is reading this and thinking to himself, "Weird."
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Earl Fando is Tom Baker...
Or so says the "What Dr. Who Are You?" Quiz. My penchant for scarves and invective must have been the clinchers. My hair gets a bit who-ish when long as well. Mrs. Fando still refers to my "having an afro" when she first met me. Before I forget, my mother-in-law also happens to own a TARDIS, but it's not very impressive as a time machine.
I predict the following:
- Stew is the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) based on the fact that he is tall, frequently wears trainers, and also wears a sprig of celery (albeit not on his lapel...enough said!)
- Nuffy is the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) in that he played a character that was killed by Damien in the Omen II as well. You have to look really, really fast. Or, they might have cut that out. I can't remember. Also, he plays the recorder... the tape recorder.
- Zimpter is the Eighth Doctor (Paul McCann) in that he was here a very short time and then vanished.
- Jorge Carlito Viejo is the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) in that he is vaguely Latin... I mean Scottish. Actually Sylvester McCoy is very Scottish. It can't be helped, you know.
Allow me to correct a typo above. My mother-in-law in fact owns a Ford TAURUS. That does explain why it looks like a car.
Live Long, and Remake
World Cup Fever continues to infect people worldwide, as evidenced by this Swedish nutter with a paintbrush and a subconscious need for extended marital counseling. However, as there are no matches today, I thought I'd step out of my football-induced reverie to address Nuffy's post.
No, not the Star Trek remake, or even the choice of Mark Northover to "Star" as Captain James Tiberius Rudolphus Anita Kirk. No, I'm referring to the idea that Northover and Warwick Davis could play Spock by standing on one another's shoulders.
First of all, they'd need mechnical arms to account for the fact that Spock occasionally needs to press the doo-hickeys on the Science control panel of the bridge to make it look like he's doing something highly complicated, enhanced as always by impressively mechnical sound effects left over from Forbidden Planet. Davis and Northover could barely reach the first row of buttons without toppling over like Scotty after a full Robert Burns' Day of Glenfiddich swilling.
Such arms would be a dead giveaway the moment the ship started shaking as a result of a Romulan cloaked assualt, Klingon death ray, or Scotty playing the bagpipes with his arse after the above said holiday.
Second, with such little legs, Spock would be walking around like a thinly-clad, pointy-eared geisha.
Finally, neither Davis or Northover have the quiet resolve as actors to maintain the cool, logical, emotionless passivity of Spock. You'd need someone with an astronomically high dullness quotient to pull that off, meaning you'd have to hire a politician or accountant. I recommend John Kerry or Bill Frist, provided that watching them drone around the bridge of the Enterprise doesn't put the entire audience into the boredom equivalent of a tequila coma. Al Gore could do it as well, except that he'd be constantly complaining about the effects of the matter-anti-matter drive on "interstellar warming."
So, just who should take on these legendary and ridiculous roles. Matt Damon seems to be the lead candidate for Kirk, but Damon is too young-looking, too short, and too good an actor for the part. I would suggest Russell Crowe, who brings the talent, the hint-of-arrogance and petulance, the phone-throwing, and the ability to look at a woman in a way that would get 99% of men on the planet slapped with a permanent restraining order. He's Shatner with more talent, and therein lies the problem with him in the role.
If one could create a combined clone with the brutal he-manliness of Crowe, the odd and seemingly contrived cadence of Christopher Walken, and the clumsy, almost drunken fighting prowness of Sean Penn, then you'd have something.
Since that remains beyond current science though, we shall have to resort to stunt casting for cheap laughs.
So, here are my own casting suggestions for the new Star Trek. My selections would not only generate an enormous amount of buzz for the film, but would also give good actors a chance to put their own spin on this venerable (Meaning: "as if inflicted with venereal disease") institution:
- James T. Kirk - Phillip Seymour Hoffman - He's talented, unorthodox, and he could do the Capote voice for the big speeches. No one can compete with Shatner's version, so let's make a new Kirk! ...A freaky Kirk!
- Mr. Spock - Rowan Atkinson - What if Vulcans were not only highly logical, but also incredibly snide and insulting? Also, the whole Pon Farr experience would be great as a Mr. Bean episode.
- Leonard "Bones" McCoy - Triumph the Comic Insult Dog - The cigar! The one-liners! The barely able to contain his laughing! "Spock! You are a cold, unfeeling, computer of a man... for me to poop on!!" Triumph is McCoy!!
- Lt. Uhura - Halle Berry - OK, there's really no joke here. Uhura has to be one spectacular bird, and Berry is the best choice around. If Dorothy Dandridge were around, she'd be my pick for the role. I also recommend writing in a fight scene between Uhura and that green, dancing woman, as played by Cameron Diaz.
- Lt. James Montgomery "Scotty" Scott - Tracey Ullman - Billy Connolly, Alan Cumming, or Ewen McGregor would be too obvious. Ullman can do the accent, play a barely sober man to a tee, and also give a strange androgynous quality to the lines, "I canna get the power, Captain!" and "If we don't shut down now, Captain, the engines are gonna blow!"
- Lt. Sulu - Jet Li - Jackie Chan is too old for the role, but "Jet" who apparently had a Paul McCartney song written about him, is dynamic, athletic, and really in need of a big-time Hollywood film on his resume. He would give the whole shirtless, flailing about with a sword routine a bristling kung fu edge. Also, he could break through malfunctioning Enterprise doors with his bare hands.
- Lt. Pavel Chekov - Samuel Jackson - Sam would turn Chekov from a bowl-haircut, Monkees-wannabe, into a tough, even completely vicious navigator with a heart of gold. As a bonus, gunplay would be almost automatic, and think of the dialogue with Kirk -
Kirk: "Chekov, set a course for Antares 7." Chekov: "#$%& you,One downside: Screenwriters are tempted to make way too many "Black Russian" jokes.
Captain. I'm getting pretty
sick of all your %$#@!#$!!! 'Do
this Chekov!!!' 'Set a
&^%$-ing course Chekov!!' I oughta put a
cap in your $%# right now
and let my man Spock run this $#@%-ing ship
- Nurse Chapel - Cameron Diaz - Sorry, just bumping up the site hits.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Five Times the Shatner
Improving Language for All Humanity
Monday, June 26, 2006
And he's gone, gone, gone, gone, gone....
It's all over the news today. No, it's not the latest World Cup action or an A&E documentary of the torfivious Mark Northover as my colleagues here would have you believe. It is the story of a misunderstood bear and the German bloodlust that has led to his untimely demise. I am speaking of Bruno the Bear, who was only doing what bears do, only I guess he decided to do it in the wrong country.
I assume looting beehives is tantamount to murder in good old Deutchland these days so why don't we go around gunning down raccoons, maybe Ranger Rick oughta' keep one of those beady eyes looking over his shoulder. I don't say this to belittle the German people who have a wonderful heritage (except for a few years in the thirties and forties) of being tolerant and understanding. But to gun down a defenseless bear, who just wanted a few honey-glazed bovines is just going too far in my book.
When things like this occur many times we feel helpless to do anything. I thought of starting a fund to maybe buy some flowers for the funeral until I heard he was just loaded into a large sack and dumped in a landfill. Then I thought maybe we could protest in front of the Reichstag but I learned it had been burned down in 1933. I have decided to do two things: first I will give you a brief timeline of Bruno's life which will help us to understand the misunderstood bear who as Joern Ehlers so eloquently put it, "found his way into our hearts", and secondly I would like to present a performance art piece I have written called "Die Bear ist Kaput, and so is my Heart".
Apr. 27, 2004 - Bruno is born to Helga and Heinz Beare of 27 Einhoven Stasse.
Sept. 22, 2004 - Bruno says his first word, which coincidentally was also his last word, "Sausage".
Feb. 15, 2005 - Bruno sniffs his butt. (While we're still not sure why, it was pretty apparent that it meant very much to him.)
Jun. 21, 2005 - Bruno begins dating Paris Hilton and is seen as a "bear on the rise" in Hollywood circles.
Aug. 8, 2005 - Bruno and Paris break up sending Bruno into a spiral of drugs, booze, illegal honey substitutes, and gangsta rap. Bruno begins calling himself DJ Bruno B and is often seen in the company of Flavor Flav and Verne Troyer.
Sept. 5, 2005 - Suge Knight signs Bruno to an exclusive production deal but the bear disappears and isn't seen again until his untimely death.
Jun. 25, 2006 - Bruno is discovered by "hunters" who gun him down.
Die Bear ist Kaput, and so is My Heart
(staccato violin music similar to the music from Psycho is heard as William Shatner enters in lederhosen and Klingon make-up)
Shatner: (almost yelling) A..... shot was fi-red. The bear is dead. (with maximum delay and reverb) He's gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone.
(Mark Northover enters dressed as a bee and runs around the stage making a buzzing sound until Robin Williams enters with his shirt off.)
Williams: Whoa, it's like Andy Warhol on crack. (William's kicks Northover in the groin and begins to do a River Dance routine around the collapsed dwarf)
(US soccer team coach Bruce Arena enters dressed as Adolf Hitler)
Arena: There was no other solution. Rabbits are also deserving of sympathy. (Arena is about to salute when US team captain Claudio Reyna slide tackles him with the studs up.)
Wait a minute. Now I'm thinking this was just a dream I had last night. Earl, Nuffy!!!!!!!!! I'm blaming you for this.
Referees, FIFA, Blatter: Crap, Crap, Crap
I wasn't able to see the game itself, having to rely on Yahoo!'s peculiar Match Tracker (whereby a solitary computer geek provides a running update of the match, interspersing his commentary with droll asides as to how Yahoo! should rule the world because of their wonderful World Cup coverage... well, that's how it feels, anyway), but I fully expect to tune into Fox Soccer Channel this evening and watch Italian defender Fabio Grosso tumble to earth like William Shatner in a Star Trek fight.
The diving has been abyssmal at this World Cup. For non-football fans, diving is when grown men fall down the moment a member of the opposition gets within shouting distance of them, flailing their arms like little girls, and screaming in Mediterranian falsetto for the referee to pull out a red card or give a penalty so their team can get the goal that otherwise has eluded them for 90 minutes. Despite their great skill at football, the Italians (along with the Portugese and Argentinians) are masters of this emmasculated art, frequently going down at the slighest touch with as much bravado and noise as their formidable goal celebrations. Eddie Pope of the U.S. got one of his two yellow cards against Italy when, whilst running alongside an Italian player, he was pulled down on top of him by his own jersey. The official, a Uruguayian who apparently has extraordinary vision problems, immediately pulled a yellow card out to punish Pope for his daring to allow himself to be pulled down on top of another player.
Frequently divers will trip themselves up on their own feet so that the falling will seem more natural and less like the demise of the bad guys in a Steven Segall film. All of this acting, this wild gesticulation, is in order to gain an unfair result against the opposition, and also to cover up for the fact that the player apt to do this sort of thing is distinguished by his lack of a penis or testicles of any sort.
On top of these dishonest dramatics, the officiating has been extremely foul. The referee in the South Korea vs. Switzerland match overruled an offsides call by his linesman because the ball happen to carom off a South Korean player, which in the rulebook is a meaningless dinstinction, but in the mind of a World Cup official who is plainly out of his gourd is of infintesimal importance.
In the U.S. vs. Ghana match, the German official, a full-time dentist who should drop the refereeing gig and return to inflicting needless pain on children and pensioners, and who was apparently voted "Best Referee in the World" twice by his colleagues (obviously at two drunken officiating conventions), gave a penalty in injury time of the first half when American defender Oguchi Oneywu won a 50/50 ball by virtue of his height and strength. The only fouls on the play was the German dentist's judgement, positioning, and attitude, all of which were excreable. By consensus amongst the sporting press, Onyewu's only offense was to be considerably larger than the Ghanian attacker, who wouldn't have won the ball if he was being covered by Danny DeVito.
Getting back to today's travesty, the penalty the Italians won was given in the 5th minute of injury time. This is of course, after the referee indicated that there would be 3 minutes of injury time. I suppose his watch was slow.
So, the officials have been incompetent, criminally negligent, and pretty much out and out wankers, pulling cards out and giving penalties just about anytime a match threatened to turn interesting, ruining several matches by needlessly expelling players for what, in any other league in the world would be yellow card offenses at most (the deliberate elbow by an Italian on Brian McBride being the notable exception, as even the Italians conceded).
However, to be fair, the real blame lies with FIFA, the organizing body for the world's biggest sporting event. Right before the start of the tournament, FIFA does what it always likes to do... No, no, not prolifigately waste money on alcohol and women of dubious professions, but rather to totally change the expectations of the officials and players by declaring they are "going to clamp down on [insert meaningless topic here]."
In this case, they claimed they would clamp down on fouling. Their strategy was to insist that referees ignore the way in which they have officiated the last four years, much less 4 decades, and instead give out yellow cards quickly for offenses that normally would have only received verbal warnings or in many cases (I'm thinking of the English Premiere League) been ignored by everyone, including the players involved. On top of this, they implemented rules against time-wasting by giving players yellow cards for kicking away the ball after it went out of play or taking too long to put a ball back in play. This strategy, which has seen numerous players rendered ineligible for matches in football's premier event, was deemed much preferable to the silly, practical alternative of adding more time to the match.
The result is that we have a World Cup that, despite some brilliant goals and play, has been tainted, if not ruined, by heavy-handed officiating. So, what does FIFA Executive President Sepp Blatter do to rectify this? He holds a press conference excoriating the officials for handing out so many cards.
Let's rephrase that a little to make it clearer. Sepp Blatter held a press conference to loudly and publically criticise match officials for doing exactly what Blatter and his other FIFA executives, the stupid, hypocritical bastards, told them to do. Blatter even went so far as to follow it up with another press conference, after the disasterously officiated Portugal vs. Holland match, to suggest that the Russian official presiding should have gotten a "yellow card." After Blatter's comments, there was much chortling and rattle of Brandy snifters around.
Will someone please give Mr. Blatter a red card and see this charlatan off for good? Then, maybe he can move from ruining the world's greatest sport, interfering with the national leagues, and distorting the offsides rule to the point where it is almost unenforcable, to his real passion of getting women's players to wear hot pants in the matches.
As horriblly sexist as that Blatter suggestion was, at least it wouldn't spoil the play.