Sunday, 27 February 2011


Here's a zinger: does someone telling you you're the best make you better? Pause a second for what that means for you. Well, it will surely help you sell more of whatever you're selling. And we're all selling something, even if it's just ourselves. With that in mind, we watch the Oscar's and smile with those being recognized for their fine work that inspires us with the silver screen. Pardon my waxing poetic, but good movies stir me.

Philosophically, fame can throw a wrench in "right for right's sake." But only if you forget that accolades originate to afford us simple gratitude. The window dressing of speeches and photo ops that make it fun and fluid. The transformation from potential to marvel from others imparts us with strength. Oh, and there's that funny thing called pride, too.

Footsteps in the Dark

What's in a name has been asked since Shakespeare and it's an eternally playful question. Think about the names for your favorite albums, favorite films, books, dogs, cats, paintings, what have you. The strong ones survive. The clever ones delight. And you want more. Names are that important. That's why people diverge from the norm when naming their children, but let's not get into those judgments just now.

Footsteps in the Dark is the title of Cat Stevens' greatest hits volume 2 and it's alot better than Greatest Hits Volume 2, because it's one heck of a lasting image. It feels like a premonition when you hear it. It couldn't have been called anything else. That's the true essence of a great name: it had to be.

What are you favorite names? Smokey the Bear? As you watch the Academy Awards tonight, think of how powerful a name is to sell a movie, and how bad names can down a fine flick.

But, beyond that, let me get more eclectic. There's a book called the Art of Racing in the Rain. And every time I see it in the bookstore of behind a bald dome at Starbucks, I think what might have been. It should plainly be Racing in the Rain. The Art of Racing in the Rain has poor cadence, talks to much like a bookie on his knees. It's just not the right call. I wish I could have been in that editing meeting to save them from the shame... well maybe that's harsh. I've never read the book, but Racing in the Rain could have been The Grapes of Wrath.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Front page or back page? Not equal sides of the coin, but still sides of the coin

The world is a hot-bed of political unrest, but the New York news scene has been dominated by basketball player unrest and the west coast exodus of Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams. The situations and build-up were quite different in each case, but the end result is a palpable buzz in the country's largest media market. And if you turn on the radio or TV you'll hear about how great this is for the league that the #1 market is improving and hurtling its way back to the top of the heap. Well, maybe not for the Nets. And the Knicks still have plenty of teams in front of them... let's not talk about the end of the season when last night the Madison Square Garden crowd was bursting with enough luminous excitement to burn every hobo trash can in the city. Welcome back to NYC, Carmelo; I'll enjoy every iota of your play.

Mikhail Prokhorov paid the king's ransom for Deron Williams whom wasn't even reported by ESPN and co. as available, so that's a big steal. Is that hubris? They didn't know, so it's that special? Williams is the best point guard in the NBA, but as Wilbon pointed out on PTI, he doesn't have the same star-ticket-selling-power Carmelo Anthony has now in the Big Apple.

The point? While the middle east with Libya and Bahrain crumble--fascinating us because of the entente-like precarious balance of power in the region and the fact that the US and Europe will probably get involved because oil is at stake, do you think people care more about the migration of NBA stars or 20,000 Egyptians ex-patriots from Libya fleeing across the eastern Libyan border? And does it matter? Awareness is important for an enlightened society, but many people think their individual actions don't matter on the world stage, as per the continuing examples of American voter turnout. All I know is I don't want to live in a world where people only talk about themselves. Right now, in the twisting nether of cyberspace, thousands are tweeting about their every second basking in their own presence. And I don't care. While I may be more fascinated with Qaddafi's head possibly on a pike in the next weeks, there are still lighthearted alternatives, no matter which end of the newspaper you grab for first.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Devouring the dark delight; not dirty dining

I'm back. Back in black. Speaking of such, why did McDonald's stop including dark meat McNuggets? Who thought that was a good idea?

"Hey guys, I have a really great idea, let's take away the most interesting part of the classic McNuggets experience!"

"You mean no more errant mice organs?"

"No, take out the dark meat, no one really likes that, right? Just grosses people out."

Maybe it grosses out you folks that don't like to get your hands dirty, but enjoying dark meat McNuggets were akin to being a raj served exotic delicacies by gorgeous harem girls content delight in quenching my gastronomical desires. I'd open up the box with my friend Matt and we'd hunt for that one dark nugget to put aside, crack 'em open just to check. And if we didn't get one in the pack, we felt cheated. "The gall! No special nugget? I want a refund!"

White meat better than dark meat? Racist! Or something. Something offensive. Catalyst: McDonald's put out an ad campaign flaunting their all-white meat nuggets and real chicken ingredients. Understandable as fast food is all about trust. Trust that any McDonald's you walk into will have the same tasty, safe food. You're not gonna get food poisoning or be ambushed by renegade flavors--fast food chains are about consistency. You can't say the same of of most food on the go. Many people view food carts as safe as spelunking. Wow, it's great to use spelunking in consecutive sentences.

McDonald's will probably never bring back dark meat McNuggets as they undoubtedly have a sophisticated screening process that visually compares the meat to the hue of chiclets. But, like all patches of nostalgia, this article will one day date me. I'll be that dinosaur pining for the days when McDonald's used fattier, more cholesterol-tastic meat.