30 July 2007

Bergman, Bush, Blair, Brown, Baldomir, Bartman and Baseball

The news leads of with the death of iconoclastic filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. Bergman created more than 50 films that explored the subjects that vanilla Hollywood was afraid to touch in a way that was uniquely his own style of expression. He died on a remote island, proving that the American film industry had gotten so vapid in the last few years that a genius director had to find a small piece of land floating around in the water in order to escape Hollywood's ignominious influence.

Britain and the United States have a new B and B duo. Instead of the combination of across-the-pond cowboys Bush and Blair, the new tag team is Bush and freshly-minted Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Brown, who is trying to win friends both in the U.K. and the U.S., called America Britain's strongest ally. His most important task is to keep relations between American and Britain friendly but not too friendly (because too friendly got Tony Blair kicked out of office). At this point in Bush's tenure, even the Atlantic Ocean may not be enough distance to keep his abrasive foreign policies from upsetting the new Killer B in London.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party suffered a major setback in a recent election that may cost Abe his seat as PM. His party lost seats in areas that they almost always win, and the defeat is blamed on Abe's policies as well as scandals that have kept his actions in the spotlight. If Mr. Abe doesn't right the ship, the opposing party may issue the ominous battle cry "All Your Base Are Belong To Us."

The 95-0 Senate vote to change the way the government puts poor college students in debt is one step in the right direction. Of course, it's a little too late as I am poor and already in crippling college debt. Better late than never, I guess.

Media news starts with video piracy hub YouTube pledging to install content filtering software that will prevent posting of copyrighted material...whenever they get around to it. Once the copyrighted materials are removed, the site will still have all of those banal video blogs , shots of guys getting hit in the nuts or drinking horrible things, and stupid pet tricks for you to enjoy. What a service!

The sports wires were bursting with news today. Cooperstown inaugurated two new members. Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken joined the ranks of Babe Ruth and Cy Young in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Ripken, with his slight build, and Gwynn, who is built like he ate Ty Cobb, may make up one of the last elected classes for some time that won't have to have to answer questions about performance enhancing drugs. Hopefully Commissioner Selig got an opportunity to practice his secret escape from the induction so he can duplicate the exodus after Bonds hits his record-breaking home run.

On the heels of Vernon Forrest's victory over Carlos Baldomir for the WBC super welterweight title comes a New York Times report on the shortcomings in health care for professional boxers. In a given week, I typically agree with John McCain as often as I agree with Charles Manson, but this time he had a pretty good idea.This was one of his pet issues that was spurned by the sport and underreported by the media (and not mentioned in the Times' coverage). Don King and the boxing governing bodies look like such scum that they make John McCain and his Crazy Train actually seem more like the Straight Talk Express.

Nascar bad boy Tony Stewart crossed the finish line as the victor in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. Those who live in civilization and think that Nascar is an excuse for hillbillies to get together and drink Pabst Blue Ribbon while inhaling auto exhaust rolled over and continued sleeping.

Finally, researchers have determined through use of statistical modeling that the 2003 Florida Marlins should not have won the World Series. Using careful analysis, the researchers found that the Yankees were a better team than the Marlins in 2003. The Marlins were determined to be the worst team in 30 years to win an MLB championship. Finally Cubs fans will have a statistical anomaly not named Steve Bartman to blame for coming up a day late and a dollar short in their neverending quest for a Series title.

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