Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Gray Skies Are Going To Clear Up,

Thank crap the blue skies are back. Let's put all that grayness behind us. It never seemed to bother me when I lived in Ireland; I must have lost my tolerance for it. Allez Les Bleu!

Sports: speaking of Allez Les Bleus, the World Cup is a few weeks away. The US is in a very tough group with Italy and the # 2 ranked Czech Republic, so the chances of them advancing aren't great. They're very good though, so there's a chance. Has anyone seen that ridiculous gatorade commercial which melodramatically portrays the US team as the plucky little underdog fighting against a mean world that's against it? I'm sorry, but please. Obviously I am a critic of the government, but I support the US National Team because I'm a soccer fan, the US is where I'm from, I'm as much as an American as Dick Cheney is, the players represent the people to me, not the government, and their rise throughout the FIFA ranks over the last ten years has been impressive. But still, there's really no excuse for portraying the US as the little guy against all odds, in this day and age, in any respect. The contradiction with the reality of our belligerant imperialism is just too extreme. I know I'm contradicting what I just said about the team representing the people, not the government, but still. Come on. Up with the US Soccer Team. Down with stupid nationalism.

Also, in sports, that was a great comeback by the Yankees last night, led by my boys, DJ and Posada (See that, Randy? He's won more games than you). In fact, it was the largest rally in the Yanks' storied history. I had a free ticket to that game, but declined to go down to NYC. Last time I passed on a free ticket was the infamous Snow Game - one of the ten greatest games in NFL history. I really need to start taking people up on these complimentary tix.

Music: I probably mentioned this before but I've been listening to tons of WZBC Boston College radio these days. I heard "fashion bleeds" off White Trash Heroes by Archers of Loaf this morning - one of my favorite albums from 1999. A lot of the regular DJs have left for the summer. Hopefully, there won't be too much dead air. Right now there's a professor with a really funny voice and great music taste DJing (playing Black Heart Procession right now, I think (he's not updating his playlist online)).

I have two music recommendations today: a song and an album. The song is "The Prettiest Girl" by a Boston band called the Neighborhoods, who I believe were around in the eighties. Just a great, tight pop song. Every once in a while a song comes along which blows you away with its catchiness. Mass Romantic by The New Pornographers was such a song. Gold Digger by Kanye West and Jamie Foxx was too. So is this one.

The album is Shut Up I Am Dreaming by Sunset Rubdown. If you haven't heard Apologies To The Queen Mary by Wolf Parade yet, go get that first. Then get this one. It's the solo project (which I guess has 3 cd's now) from Spencer Krug, the song writer on WP that sings "I'll Believe In Anything". Yet another excellent music product from Canada. What the hell are they drinking up there? Freedom? Labatts?

Also, two Western Mass music acts, Mark Schwaber and Spouse, will be playing tomorrow night at The Abbey Lounge. 8 PM.

VTK Update: Well, I finally heard from my Dad and he said that he saw this guy taking photos of a steel band with a really nice camera, so he pointed out to the guy that there was a double rainbow across the Bay behind him. Chris took some shots of it, and then my super sociable stepmom (or "bonus mom", as she is still trying to brand herself) started chatting him up and thought he reminded her of me. They did the where-are-you-from thing and narrowed it down to the connection in a few steps. classic.

Las Vegas: (or "Vegas Baby!", as it appears to have been renamed). Early Friday AM, I set off for the desert, for my buddy's bachelor party. I believe the schedule goes something like: arrive at 11:00 AM on Friday, drinks, slots, golf, drinks, blackjack, stripclub, drinks, blackjack, craps, drinks, 2 hour nap, bloody mary's, sports bar betting on Yankees' game and the Preakness, slots, snack, drinks, strip club, blackjack, drinks, 2 hour nap, slots, depart 1:00 PM on Sunday. We'll see if I can keep my streak of 33 years without a hooker going. Shouldn't be too tough. I invented not getting laid.


Dewy24 said...

I think you are reading the ad wrong. It accurately depicts the level of animosity shown to the U.S. national team, which you can argue is justified or not. But I don't think there is a single team that inspires a more rowdy reaction than the U.S. with the possible exception of Israel (which didn't qualify). And I don't need Noam Chomsky to tell me it's ok to think it is a huge victory and, yes, an upset that the U.S. qualified 1st in qualifying group. But more importantly the music being played in the background is 'Take me out the ball game' which cleverly juxtaposes the battle to qualify for the World Cup against hostile fans and the larger battle for soccer's relevance in the American sport market. What the ad is really saying is that soccer in America is the underdog.

Anyways the World Cup is nothing if not a massive display of stupid, drunken nationalism and I will fiercely defend it is my only opportunity to be unabashedly patriotic for 3 weeks every 4th year. Don't Tread, Mr. Nolan.

Dan said...

First of all, I'm assuming you didn't get to watch the UEFA Champions League match (didn't it used to be the European Cup?), so I won't get into that, but I'll just instruct you to find out what channel the replay is on, stay off the internet (?), and watch it. That's all I have to say about that subject.

Second of all, yes, I was throwing out some wishy washy opinion in hopes of getting you into a discussion on that commercial. Yes, it accurately depicts the level of animosity shown to the team and the intensity in foreign soccer crowds, which is unrivaled in American sport (even in the Yankees Sox rivalry, I dare say. though that might get close in some situations). I was at the qualifier match with you when the nice El Salvadoran kid congratulated us and said, "... you win ... again." I wanted to get Chomsky on that kid til he knew we weren't the bad guys. And yes, I caught the TMOTTBG music, and it's an interesting take that it was intended to appeal to the American sports market's innate sense of nostalgia. You're probably right on that one. I don't know if I would go so far as to say that the ad's message is that soccer in America is the underdog. I think it's more likely pulling at the I-love-american-sports heartstrings to get people psyched up and then juxtaposing that with the hostility was supposed to amp that up with nationalism to get people really into the World Cup. Ultimately, of course, the point is to sell Gatorade, but I'm betting they bought HUGE ad time during the World Cup game broadcasts and therefore have a vested interest in getting 250 million people to watch it in the US. And I don't think it's Chomskyesque to point out the obvious hypocrisy of invoking US nationalism and painting the US as underdogs. Then again, maybe it is. And you know what else, Chomsky is right 99% of the time, so maybe yes you do need Chomsky to tell you if it's ok. I heard he was a Yankees fan, btw.

get your Sam on dewy24. rock on. now go watch that UEFA Cup game.

marshall said...

Well, you have to admit that the U.S. versus Canada in Olympic curling was kind of an underdog situation for our middle-aged brooming boys...

Dan said...

I have just reviewed my post and I see now that I did not include the curling match as the exception to the rule. My mistake. The US is always to be considered the plucky underdog in curling situations (the match itself and all related activities - the weigh in, the post match Labatts drinking session, etc).

lc said...

Speaking of Canada, I'm going out to get Sunset Rubdown. The song "I'll believe in anything" pretty much changed my life (in a good way, not in an "I invented not getting laid" way)after I found out about Wolf Parade on this blog. I'm looking forward to another such experience. Thanks, VTK.

Dan said...

Glad to be of assistance, lc. Say, weren't you hanging out with my mother in a drag queen bar last week?

lc said...

Yep. Honestly, I consider VTK a family blog and I can't think of a single thing that came out of those drag queens mouths that I could repeat. Your brother is pretty much sure some of those bridesmaids could file sexual assault suits. Your mom did an admirable job of pretending not to listen/see. Oh, and I told her about your blog. Hi, Kathleen!

Dan said...

well, I'd like to thank all of you for tuning in over the last several months. this will be VTK's last transmission. cheers and goodnight.

Duffless said...


for shame!!!!