Thursday, August 13, 2009

'I thought you were a racing man, ah, but you couldn't take the pace. That's a funeral in the mirror and it's stopping at your face'

Michael Vick is a Philadelphia Eagle now, eh? Has Andy Reid found a new motivational coach, a new regiment? Can't make the cut? Here's a new way of releasing a player: how 'bout a little 'lectricity to the gonads, Scarecrow?

Welcome to the Novacare Complex and Training Pit.

How do I feel about it?

Eagles? Eagles, who? Go, Seahawks!

Vick lands for me somewhere between a child molester, a rapist, and Dick Cheney. Which means, I guess, that he's fits in just fine in professional sports.

Yeah, I'm a meat-eating, slaughter-house-appeasing hypocrite. Guilty as charged. My prerogative.

But there's a difference. Humans are carnivores. We started out hunting with our hands, then spears, and so on. We've gotten brutally effective at turning what was (or so we thought) a necessary evil into a massive, assembly line killing-machine industry.

And a lot of that industry is needlessly cruel, both in their treatment of the animals before slaughter and of course in the means by which they are killed.

But they don't do it as sport. Vick wasn't electrocuting dogs for his supper, he was doing it for his jollies.

Redemption? Yeah, I believe in it.

This is different, though, than getting busted for selling drugs or robbing a bank or any of that kinda stuff. This is badness and cruelty over a lengthy period of time that comes from an innate sadism.

'But, Steve', you say, 'bad can morph into good.' It can. Not often. Is this the case here? Is this some sort of Edward Norton/American History X prison metamorphosis from evil to inspirational?

I don't see any signs of that yet.

For the techno-geeks, there something in software development called 'refactoring' - turning bad code into maintainable software. You start by identifying 'bad smells' in the code. You know you're done when there is no more odor.

You spot a bad smell the same as pornography: 'I know it when I see it'. Now, that's a bit cagey - there are patterns and known bad smells. But at its core, that's the starting point: something doesn't smell
right, your intuition and experience tells you.

And with Vick, something doesn't smell right.

Fuck football, anyway.

Roller Derby is coming back in a BIG WAY. Go Philly Roller Girls League!

So with that, I switch off the Eagles pre-season game and drown my sorrows in the psychedelic wonderland that is Woodstock (celebrating the 40th Anniversary, man), documentary-style.

Well, too distracted to keep it in 1969 for too long a clip at a time, so ...


... Flipping incessantly between Woodstock and Generation Islam on CNN with a rock star in her own right, the incomparable Christiane Amanpour.

It's kind of surreal whipping back and forth between swaying, muddy hippies and the shifting sands of Islam in the modern world. Jimi Hendrix and the Star Spangled Banner played over scenes of poverty on the Gaza Strip.

"The New York Thruway's Closed, man!"

Blood stained misery and steely eyed prepubescent hatred. Stubborn motherfuckers on both sides of the equation. Land and Religion and Ownership and "Security". All worth life and death and worthless in the end.

"Some people say that the acid is poison. It's not poison, it's just bad acid, just manufactured badly. There really are no bad trips, if you ask me. If you feel like experimenting, just take half a tab!"

There are bad trips, Mr. Unidentified Bad-Trip-Talker-Downer from the Woodstock stage (I'll just call you 'Doctor'). This intermixing of cultures I'm trying to do (sort of a hippie/Islam mashup - Cat Stevens would be proud) is giving me a migraine.

Ahh, the DVR to the rescue. I "taped" a Leonard Cohen Live in London on PBS the other night. Leonard at 74 is still at the top of his game (well, maybe a shade or two below it but only just).

I never really listened to Leonard's song, "The Future" until just now, though I know it's on my ipod somewhere. Any song that can rhyme "Charlie Manson" with "White Girls Dancin'" is okay by me.

Thanks for saving the evening, Lenny. It's just a Dress Rehearsal Rag, after all. Story of my life.

Now, before bed it's time to get my Philly Roller Girl League gear for the upcoming season. Shit - "men's 'merch' coming soon". Gotta wait to get decked out in my Roller Mania Colors, I guess.

Finally, to choose my team. Will it be:
  • The Liberty Belles?
  • The Heavy Metal Hookers?
  • The Broad Street Butchers?
Mmmm. Film at 11.
And who do the Philly Roller Girls sponsor?

Fuckin' A.