Were You Aware of It?

John Hodgman is hilarious. For proof of this statement, allow me to point you: here.


Moving On Down the Road

Today I moved into a nice Brooklyn apartment that's a step up for me. Overall I am happy with the decision, but the month of September in New York will be absolutely ridiculous. The apartment, which is just big enough for three people, will house 5-6 people for the next thirty days.

It's going to be like bad television around here: three guys, three girls, one apartment, two cats, a pizza place, and a whole 'lotta attitude! But I shouldn't be such a pessimist. Before you know it, we'll all be sitting around the boob tube enjoying syndicated episodes of Friends and everything will be all right. Just looking at this picture of Matt LeBlac already makes me feel better:

Talk about a painkiller. Just take two doses of Joey before you go to bed and you won't remember who you are. If only my living situation reminded me more of this show:

Now we're cooking with gas. The Sheild is one of the best shows on television. The writing is incredible. I blew through the first four seasons on DVD and I am eager to sink my teeth into the fifth. I hear good things. Cheers, FK Network! Jeers, Matt LeBlanc!


Federer as Scrutinous Experience

A few days ago, I read a piece in the New York Times Sunday Magazine by David Foster Wallace entitled "Federer as Religious Experience" - an homage to Roger Federer's artistry in the game of tennis.

In the piece, Wallace goes into detail several times about what it's like to have a 'Federer Moment', the first of which appears in a long sentence in the second paragraph of the piece, detailing events early in the 4th set of the Agassi/Federer match last year at the 2005 U.S. Open. It seems this sentence, has inspired some criticism of Wallace's propensity for extensive verbosity. Being a tennis player(a rank amateur I assure you), I ate it up and had to see the Moment for myself.

Like most things these days, I found it on YouTube and hunted around in the clip for what best resembled his words. I located something similar at around 8:10 in the video - a point where Federer is serving down 15-30, and wins it with "a forehand out of his backhand corner".

The point is vaguely similar to Wallace's description, but it was lacking a few key details found in Wallace's description, the most striking of which is Agassi's position on the court at the time of Federer's passing forehand - at the net in the text, on the baseline in the video.

The last thing I want to do is detract from Wallace's stellar work. His body of work is most impressive, and I thought this piece was beautifully written. But this warrants an e-mail to the Times Magazine editors to let them know of this fact-checking error.

8/27/06 UPDATE: Looks like something came of my e-mail. A correction has been appended on the NY Times website. Unfortunately, the article is now part of Times Select, but I have rerouted the first link in this post to an archived version, so you can still read it.


Hungry Like the Wolfmother

me why shitty bands like Nickleback and Evanescence are some of the top downloads on the iTunes, I could probably give a poor explanation involving niche marketing, distribution, and the sham that is the Grammys. But in the end, I'd still be baffled.

The Australian band Wolfmother is worth listening to. They mix the White Stripes with Led Zeppelin in a relevant combination of modern and classic rock that makes them sound like they are playing in a garage that seats 50,000. In other words, they should be huge.

Yet, like the mighty dinosaur, giant bands are dying out. Or to be more accurate, they all vanished instantly after a cataclysmic meteor crash. The cataclysmic meteor being, in this sense, the release of NSync's No Strings Attached in 2000. Revelations, indeed. Rather than going into detail, I'll simply point out an interesting piece in Wired about this very phenomenon.

At least some bands are still going for it. Best of luck, Wolfmother. You can count on me to rock out.


Take Me Out to the Ballpark?

I don't understand losing baseball teams. It's hard to fathom the incompetence behind organizations like the Devil Rays, Royals, and especially the Pirates. These are all great areas for baseball, but the teams just blow.

The Pirates are ancient, have a great history, and a beautiful new stadium - haven't had a winning season since 1992. The Royals won a World Series and had players like George Brett and Bo Jackson - they're gonna lose over 100 games for the third straight season. All of Florida seems to be a breeding ground for young talent these days - now have a look at all the people packed in for a D-Rays game: This brings me to The Tigers. They played the Rangers on ESPN tonight and Comerica Park was packed. This is a team that lost 119 games in 2003. To me, it's a pretty simple formula. Put together a decent club and the seats will be full. Or, rather: "If you win it, they will come". Easy enough, right? Yet many of baseball's owners refuse to spend money on their team. There's nothing holding you back, you rich bastards! You gotta spend money to make money.

As much as I think George Steinbrenner is a steaming bag of douche, I have to respect how much he wants his team to win. Carl Pohlad, the beloved owner of the Minnesota Twins, probably thinks Johan Santana is some kind of expensive Venezuelan cigar. This guy is one of the richest owners in baseball, yet the Twins were threatened with contraction. My ass. But perhaps it's not just about money.

My Twinkies are still one of the best teams in baseball despite a payroll that's 19th out of 30 teams. Great personnel can do wonders. Whatever a team is lacking, it doesn't take a genius to notice your team stinking it up in the morning paper. Way to go, owners of baseball. You suck.


Secrets of the Magus

I came across Ricky Jay for the first time in the pages of the New Yorker in 1993. My mom had a subscription and the magazine arrived every week for as long as I could remember. At the tender age of eleven, each issue was a swirling puzzle of complicated (byzantine, even) words in-between the only thing I could really grasp, the cat cartoons.

One day, I picked up an issue and
in it, was an amazing profile written by Mark Singer entitled "Secrets of the Magus". Jay's intense, bearded stare beckoned me into the unknown - the magician working his magic through a simple black and white photograph. I may have understood about half of the words, but my aesthetic fascination with cards and gambling had begun. More importantly, it was my introduction to Jay, who is now one of my heroes.

As my pop culture landscape broadened, I began to appreciate
and love movies like The Sting, Maverick, Rounders, and the X-Men character Gambit - pretty much anything that involved the culture of cons, cards, and gambling. In my widening horizon, I also noticed Jay, arriving out of no-where in a puff of smoke. An ongoing theme here at The Revue will be promoting his body of work so that more people can discover what a treasure he is.

David Mamet, one of Jay's good friends, put it best when he called him "one of the world's great people". Way to use that knife, Dave.