aftermath-levar burton

“You got it. But their teachings were just as flawed as those of the Jesus freaks. All they want to do is sit around and meditate, channeling their energy for the betterment of mankind. What a crock of shit. If they want to help other people, then they should share some of the food they’ve got stockpiled. You wouldn’t believe how much they’ve got stored away. They’re sitting fat while their so-called brothers and sisters starve.” (155)

i recently came to the realization, while walking through spadina station, that i’d like my career and influence to be somewhere in the spectrum between levar burton and amy sedaris.

because i work under a signed portrait of levar burton (and make daily bojack jokes with a few choice coworkers), i decided to look up what the library has of his materials. i borrowed a particularly touching episode of reading rainbow that discussed life as a child with a parent in prison, and it was in that search that i also found this dystopian novel that i didn’t even knew existed.

i’m not usually a reader of the genre, but having just come out of station eleven, i figured i’d give it a go. it was interesting enough, and i appreciated how the author’s point of view affected that of the characters’ and the book’s. thank you once again, mister burton.

modern romance-aziz ansari

“So love goes from feeling like I’m doing cocaine to feeling how I feel about my uncle? I don’t want to make companionate love sound like a bummer. It is love, just less intense and more stable. There is still passion, but it’s balanced with trust, stability, and an understanding of each other’s flaws. If passionate love is the coke of love, companionate love is like having a glass of wine or smoking a few hits of mild weed. That makes it sound a little better than the uncle thing, right? We all like booze and weed more than we like our relatives, right? Great.
It also makes sense that passionate love shouldn’t last. If we could all have lifelong passionate love, the world would collapse. We’d stay in our apartments lovingly staring at our partners while the streets filled with large animals and homeless children eating out of the garbage.” (215-6)

“As a medium, it’s safe to say, texting facilitates flakiness and rudeness and many other personality traits that would not be expressed in a phone call or in-person interaction.” (44)

so, i saw this title pop up in my hulu feed (thanks, tpl) for an account that i no longer remember the password to, and assumed that it would be a comedy album. imagine my surprise when it turned out to be a book! a book that was interesting enough, though not as compelling as aziz is as a live performer, and certainly not what i would feel is grounds for a 14-year old boy to make awkward conversation to me on a streetcar about, or make the otherwise non-plussed goth girl shout down the aisles at my grocery store over. i didn’t quite get the hype, but i’m happy when things inspire it.

what i continue not to understand is why guys are ok with their girls cheating on them as long as they don’t know about it? i know a few real life doods that feel this way, and this guy just said he was cool doing tyrese in his backyard benihana.

but he also made a reference to perfect strangers, bigup scottie pippen (and was tweeted by him!) and closed with an inspirational pitbull quote, so he’s all good in my books.


bag check

because it’s particularly ridiculous tonight (and other than the regular purse things):

-2 bags of siracha chips
missy elliot‘s under construction cd
maestro fresh wesorchestrated noise
– cop comedy collection (police academy x 3 and national lampoon‘s loaded weapon)
graham roumieu‘s a really super book about squirrels
f-you‘s memoirs of violence and compassion
errol morris’ gates of heaven/vernon, florida
– blowdryer
– 3 halved zucchinis
– 1 bag of cheese curds
– 1 rainbow chard
– 3 small pomegranates
– mushroom gravy
– small sack of snackimals (vanilla)
– 1 bag of parmesan potato wedges
– 4 lemons
– italian parsley
– baby carrots
– kumato and campari tomatoes (fresh)
– flame grilled canned tomatoes
– bok choy

shout to katie for not making me freeze my balls off with this bag lady haul.

top five-dir. chris rock


sometimes i see movies that are recommended to me by people i used to be involved with, and they’re all nonchalant, like it’s not exactly the situation that we’re in (trainwreck was the last one). so while i’m still shaking my head at that, i am also marvelling at how this whole transition from product placement to an entire movie being an advertisement is happening before our eyes.

it’s not the first time that jay-z has won a prominent place in a chris rock film, but when we look back, we can remember how this was a moving ad for watch the throne. and again, i’m not exactly mad about that. (sigh).

there’s a lot here-women writing, women writing under aliases, what people will go to to get the story, who we really are and what we want to show people, cinderella in the hood, the role of substance abuse in comedy/entertainment, reality shows and contracts, stand-up, iPhones (and ads for angry birds) and freakin’ rap music.

this is the best role i’ve seen for rosario dawson in a long time, and the best i’ve seen dmx in a long time.

the last season (part too-chicago)-phil jackson

“In fact, in many ways, I have more in common with reporters than with my own players. We maintain an ongoing dialogue about subjects other than basketball. But in Los Angeles, unlike Chicago, their agenda is different, more dangerous. In Chicago, the vibe I received from the press was one of adoration for Michael, for the team, everyone reveling in the success we generated for a franchise that until this new era arrived, never hung a championship banner from its rafters. In LA, which has fourteen banners, reporters want to know: what can I write that advances the drama for one more day?” (33-34)

“Giving goals is not a practice I followed with the Bulls, who were sufficiently self-motivated from Michael down to the twelfth man, watching countless games on television to scout their opponents. When I arrived in Los Angeles, I sensed that this team needed a measurable target to advance its cause. The players weren’t nearly as driven.” (89)

“In Chicago sometimes we meditated three times a week. There were eight or nine guys who benefited from the sessions. Here on this squad, Fox and Fish are the only two, I suspect, who will profit. The rest will walk out and never approach this space again. What I am trying to instill in them is simply too far removed from their more practical, more materialistic, commonsense world. They think we’re wasting our time, at best tolerating the intrusion.” (149)

“There have been some notable exceptions. In 1998, before the playoffs began, I asked the players to contribute a poem or a section of prose related to their experiences together, which we then burned. ‘I couldn’t do it without you, Michael,’ Scottie said. Michael cried.” (23)

was that a coincidence that that quote came on page 23 of the book? i think not. also-it’s telling that it’s scottie saying that to michael, and not michael saying it to scottie-i’m just sayin’.

and i know that men take a lot longer to deal with things and move on (if they ever do) than women, but at a certain point, it’s fucking tired-you don’t coach in chicago anymore, the constant comparison to chicago makes you sound old and bitter, and is a reminder that no, they didn’t want you anymore. so maybe you should just ease up? but i guess if you’ve never done anything else, you can’t talk about anything else. so let that be a lesson-kids-go learn some shit and be interested so that you may be interesting.

“In the league’s opinion, the officials are the sacred cows. In my opinion, the league has a growing problem, which endangers the game’s credibility.” (126)

“All I ask for, and I’m far from alone, is consistency, for the refs to call it the same way at both ends.” (67)

i will end with a point that i do agree with him on-the officials and how they do an absolute shit job when they’re bad. i suppose it’s like playing goalie or being a good soundtrack-it must be hard to have to fade into oblivion, but hey-it’s your job not to be noticed. it is a choice that you made, so either do it well, or don’t do it.

i’ve been wondering if underhanded free throws were allowed, and he confirmed that they are (he suggested them to shaq, as i would have) but cats are just too ashamed to shoot them-fools! a point is a point! he also hipped me to the cba rule that nobody could foul out, just after the 6th foul the other team would get two shots as well as possession of the ball. i concur that this would be a great improvement to the game.

the last season (part won)-los angeles-phil jackson

“The answer is because he can’t possibly imagine anyone ever voluntarily leaving his Los Angeles Lakers, the number-one franchise on the planet. It reminds me of a story about a guy who can’t understand why his girlfriend would ever break up with him.” (262)

“Teamwork is a nebulous thing. It is as ephemeral as love, disappearing at the latest insult.” (1)

“Ultimately though, I don’t believe we developed enough trust between us to win a championship.” (259)

no, i suppose not that year-but here’s the thing about writing a book like this, and subtitling it a team in search of its soul, nothing is forever in love and basketball-not even for phil jackson.

i believe this was at a time when basketball was having trouble drumming up viewers, but was this whole thing a publicity stunt? because how would a team that had been so dissed by this man even offer him the job as head coach again? how could he go in on these players and have them still mesmerized by his fucking triangle? and most importantly, if he hated it so much, why did he go back? for all of his zen-propagation, i have to wonder how much money motivates this man…i mean look at his “long game” in new york right now.

“His decision to delay toe surgery until last September was one of the reasons we didn’t win another championship.” (18)

yikes. and this is about shaq-the one he likes.

kobe, he does not. he goes on and on about how he’s an ungrateful baby, how he’s worried about how the rape trail is affecting him and the team, and how he’s seen as the golden boy so he feels like he’s playing one-on-one every night against the spawn of jellybean. he even goes so far as to suggest that kobe should’ve been traded for jason kidd and shawn marion-let’s imagine the lakers, and the league for a minute if that would’ve happened…

“The fact that the alleged incident took place in Colorado heightened my level of concern. Here was one state in the Union in which the word ‘no’ definitely meant no.” (11)

just for the record, which are the ones where “no” means, uh-maybe?

to address the fact that kobe didn’t like him insinuating that he sabotaged games, he said, The point was well taken, and one I will bring up when the right moment comes this fall.” (13)

to me, this sounds exactly like when dennis rodman was all crying up on oprah‘s couch claiming that he would apologize to scottie pippen for breaking his nose in front of the whole world when they won a championship together-that shit never happened either.

this book gives first-hand insight into phil jackson’s attitude about players, and his paternalistic borderline overseer’s attitude on how to deal with “his charges”. he tells of splicing clips from the three stooges into his game videos to keep their attention and to teach them the errors of their ways. (sigh).

“But taking money out of their pockets, I’ve always believed, is not the most effective way to keep players in line. Far more threatening is the loss of my approval. Despite their tremendous talent, they are still, by and large, young adults, seeking validation from an authority figure, and there is no greater authority figure on a team than the coach. Needless to say, in today’s warped, self-indulgent climate, too many players couldn’t care less about appeasing the coach. So how do I combat these forces? Well, one way is to take away playing time. The loss of playing time means the loss of precious stats, and most threatening, perhaps, the loss of potential income. Being ostracized from the group also brings shame and embarrassment.” (73-4)

this is kind of like hearing ceos speak on how they built their success on sapping the talents of people who don’t know how to properly use them and claim how they accomplished everything against all odds-everyone’s against them-the players, the refs, the management. it’s a bit disheartening, like the success stories that are supposed to inspire you but just reinforce the idea that in order to get ahead, you have to be a complete asshole.

coming up tomorrow-“i’ve got a huge chip on my shoulder about no longer coaching in chicago”.

gaming the game-sean patrick griffin

“In my business, you couldn’t have a personality that wanted glory.” (110)

“When asked to describe his close friend Tim ‘Elvis’ Donaghy, Tommy Martino simply calls him ‘greedy and cheap’. Battista’s assessment, based in part on the January 2007 meeting, is more biting. ‘Elvis was the greediest motherfucker I met in my life. He was only worried about getting paid. He was also a racist, and was resentful toward the NBA. Elvis would bad mouth them to death, and say things like, ‘These niggers are overpaid.’ He took it personal that these guys were making so much money more than he was. I didn’t really give a shit about his views. I just wanted to make money, and just wanted to hear who he liked.” (163)

“I knew that Timmy’s demand for money far exceeded his ability to get it. If the NBA gave out free tampons, Timmy would take them. That’s the type of guy he was. He was fucking shrewd, and believed everyone owed him the world.” (140)

i suppose these next couple of basketball posts are appropriate as i am currently watching bobbito‘s one love collection. anyone who has ever been to a game with me knows that i take it very seriously-and i’m not shy to call an official’s time out when they’re particularly wack. as an aside-i saw melo take the ball out of bounds twice in five minutes in the sixers @ knicks pre-season game (and let the shot clock expire and somehow still make it back into the game after timeout, but coach was coming freshly back from being put in the hospital by matt barnes) so it didn’t quite surprise me when that ref “missed” him stepping out by a mile at the end of the game a few weeks back-i guess there’s a new baseline for carmelo, just like time stopped in the key for shaq. also, for the record-the news reported that coach had “sour grapes” for pointing that out, and i am here to say that it’s not sour grapes when it’s a call that could’ve led to us staying in the game, it would be sour grapes if it was a fucking blowout. just saying-dirty refs-i got your number and i’m looking up your record and tweeting that shit. stay woke.

another unfortunate aside-i just watched j-zone do his basketball rap and learned that gary payton made a song (previously i was stumped by dana barrows‘) and decided to google that shit. i was saddened that the typo “gary payton raping” actually led to more hits than the intended “gary payton rapping“-whomp whomp.*

i devote the same level of obsession to anything that i’m interested in, so of course i have my nba reading list. i’m not sure how i got to this one, and it’s not written in a particularly interesting style, but it is about a time that i know as the lost years-a lot happened in the nba that i didn’t remember because i was off being 20 and shit. i didn’t know about the gaming scandal, and this one illuminated it enough, but i’m sure someone has done it better. if you know who-get at me.

like breaking bad or all those news pieces that just teach people how to break into people’s cars and homes, i don’t see how this doesn’t teach people how to cheat when betting on sports. i also learned that t-mobile, at least at the time, doesn’t require names to get phones, thus each client could have their own name (after characters from everybody loves raymond, of all things)

at the time that i was pulling quotes from this book, i was listening to a philly free library podcast about the digital age, and the author was describing an innovator as having “liked giving credit more than taking credit, and that’s always a good thing in this industry”-well, i would go so far as to say that it’s good in any industry, and in life. i’m really looking forward to that pendulum swinging back, as we really don’t have that many moves as humans, and we’ve been on this “me me me” shit for a minute, now.

*now that i’ve heard it, i have to admit that he sounds like a bootleg 2$hort-further whomp whomp.