Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's a new era at MSG

The Knicks are much more fun to watch these days courtesy of Mike D'Antoni's new system and the fact that they are actually trying hard. Last night, Nostra, Dan, and I enjoyed the Knicks' fifth straight home victory (along with a new version of "Go, New York, Go").

More interesting, however, is the new clientele attracted to the Garden. Sure, you still have the Spike Lee sightings (and Tracy Morgan was at last night's game), but while waiting in line for the bathroom I had a seemingly homeless (shabbily dressed, smelly, unshaven...maybe he was a hipster?) man ask me for spare change. Maybe he thought this strategy out and this was like a targeted marketing campaign for him. The ticket only cost $10, and all the people at the game obviously had some disposable income, so perhaps he figured he could make enough extra money begging at MSG to make it worth his while.

Or maybe he just found the ticket on the street and likes Nate Robinson.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


They should change their slogan from "Clothing bargains for millionaires" to "Shitty clothes for anyone, even the homeless."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Eating rice with a spoon

Just did it a little bit and realized that it seems like the obvious play...

Monday, January 19, 2009

The End

Just heard a great radio bit that featured gospel music about how hard it is to say goodbye playing over a series of Bush gaffe quotes. As bad as W. was as President, I think that he has the potential to be an amazing ex-President. But he's gonna have to make the effort and can't just sit on the sidelines. I've heard that he's been spending a lot of time curled up in big chairs reading mystery novels. That just ain't gonna cut it.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Some Marquis Grissom content from the Sports Guy (emphasis mine):

The Dee-Dee Getting Assaulted Again on "Hunter" Award for "Serious Promos for A Serious Show That Become 100 Times Funnier If You Don't Watch That Show"
To CBS for the incessant stream of "Grissom leaves 'CSI'" commercials that had me initially saying, "Wait, Marquis Grissom is leaving 'CSI'?" I love that we're supposed to feel emotional because the subdued star of a forensic science show has thoroughly examined every crevice of his last dead hooker. Guys, I think I'm hanging it up. You know my super-expensive microscope that allows me to examine the fibers of hotel room carpets for semen and blood? (Trying not to cry.) Tony, I want you to have it. I can't tell if I missed out by never getting hooked by this show, or if I saved 200 hours of my time that was spent on more important things, like trying to figure out No. 45's stats in the final "Teen Wolf" game. It's a coin flip, really.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

For the Record

Tom and I hashed some things out in real life and we agree about many aspects of the movies debate. SWS is a different matter, although we had talks about that too.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Can't we all just get along?

We both like to take pictures of swings.

You in NYC:

Me in LA:

Fanning the flames

A few other responses:

1. The idea of using profits instead of gross revenue was about looking at the "best picture" concept from a wider perspective beyond simply how good a movie was as a piece of art and thinking about how good it was from an economic viewpoint. Aren't profits what drive the industry for the most part anyway?

2. If only some people get a certain movie or reference or whatever, then maybe it's not the "best" movie for the general public. There are plenty of niche markets, as well there should be, but the idea here was for the masses.

3. This paragraph is classic condescension/wanting to make a funny:

The above two symptoms hint at the gangrene that infects Rich's entire premise: when we say "Best Picture of 2008" we are not trying to approximate "The movie released in 2008 that provided the most total pleasure to movie watchers". Proof: even if a re-release of Star Wars killed the game in terms of clitoral stimulation, we wouldn't want to give it "Best Picture" since it was made 30 years ago.

You are putting words in my blog post that aren't there and making false assumptions about what I wrote. I never explicitly said "only new releases" because I didn't realize that I had to be so rigorous in a blog post to avoid ridicule. I'm (sincerely) happy to hear your take on this stuff, but I would prefer to hear substantive disagreements.

4. In conclusion (emphasis mine):
There's a plausible case that experts do a better job here since they have a good intuitive understanding of what makes a "Best Picture" (though comedies tend to get the short shrift -- and what am I saying; they're all idiots; whatever.).

That said, if you could define what makes a "Best Picture" (in the same way that you can define what makes a good encyclopedia article -- Wikipedia has a tome of guidelines), I think you could also effectively crowdsource its selection.

Thank you.

Hold your applause

First of all, it is ALWAYS a mistake to wage war on two fronts against any entity. Second of all, thanks for the welcome to the world of ideas and the classy picture (did you and Gladwell pick it out together?). Third of all,

I think the "Best Picture" case is substantially more complex than you grant...

Really? I thought that I had nailed it. I thought that a few simple lines of skepticism did the trick.

All I wanted was to stimulate some sort of discussion on the subject and make it clear that the status quo was not particularly effective. Mission accomplished. In no way did I think that what I wrote was the "correct" viewpoint. I know "that one" wants to turn everything into an internet-based personal attack, but that's not for me.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Power to the People?

I look forward to Tom's remark in a Google Reader share, along with a remark about how other people have written very similar things before! If I'm lucky, those two remarks will not be mutually exclusive. Without further adieu, here's some skepticism for you:

A lot of people agree in theory that given a large enough sample size, "crowdsourcing" is a pretty good way of doing something like creating a market on the probability that a certain team will win a certain football game, or a certain old white man will beat a certain other old white man in the U.S. Presidential Election (before you scream at me, Obama is half-white and I don't trust anyone over 30). Similarly, we have gotten to the point where the "crowd" has given us the best encyclopedia in the world. The more people, the better answers we get to life's questions. Some guy wrote a book about the subject.

However, for something like the Oscars or the MVP race in any given sport, we entrust the selection of the "best" movies/ballplayers to a panel of "experts," each of whom insists that he/she knows better than the masses. Talk to an Academy member and he will scoff at the mention of the People's Choice Awards. Talk to Bill Plaschke and he will have never heard of Tango Tiger. Talk to a know-it-all Ivy-league educated Jew and he will say, "People's Choice Awards are a joke. Indiana Jones is nominated for Favorite Movie. But that Tango Tiger has some good shit, you see his Base Runs analysis?" Many people would agree with the Jew (and not just because he runs Hollywood and Wall Street) and say, "Now we're getting somewhere." But hold on, is this where we should be going? Isn't the Jew just another "expert," albeit one who reads the internet a little more often? Why should he and his brethren be telling the people, the MILLIONS OF PEOPLE who watch movies and sports, what they should think is "best"?

Maybe "best" needs to be redefined. As currently understood for something like the Oscars it's a fairly arbitrary decision that pretty much only rewards dramatic movies that are judged to be well-acted and have some serious themes. Fairly limited, eh? How about making the Best Picture the one that brings the highest combination of profit to filmmakers and enjoyment to viewers. Have exit polls at every screening of every movie and tally the enjoyment ratings in some manner (details TBD). Could you imagine democratizing the process like that?! Perhaps it's true that "X million Americans can't be wrong and Marley and Me WAS the most popular movie in the country on Christmas weekend!"

In conclusion, for better or worse, Ivy-league educated Jews are not the norm in this country. Some people even watch Flavor of Love non-ironically. It's called "popular culture" for a reason, so it should get the credit it deserves. There's still plenty of room for highbrow criticism, but the most presitigious awards should be the ones given by the masses and for the masses. We've lived under the tyranny of the liberal media elite for too long!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Am I racist or is this a good idea?

In watching the NFL playoffs today, I have seen many black men with many tattoos. But given that the ink is black and these guys have dark skin, it has been very difficult to figure out what most of these tattoos represent. Therefore I think that I should attempt to market white ink tattoos to black athletes so that they can stand out more. Thoughts?

PS Writing this post is all about getting outside my comfort zone!

Update: I did a little research and much to my shock, I am NOT the first person to ask this question. However, I still think that this a great opportunity for some R & D money.

Update 2: I swear on my mother I'm not a racist. Really.