Thursday, August 16, 2007

Return of the lightning links

Mike Wieringo, comic book artist, recently passed away at the age of 44 from heart failure. He wasn't my favorite artist, possibly because his art seemed a bit more cartoony than I like, but I did read his blog on occassion and I read a few of the titles he worked on, most notably his epic run on The Flash with Mark Waid in the mid-90s. Some people are sharing their favorite 'Ringo covers in this thread.

Roy Edroso, former punk and underground musician, is probably my favorite political writer (I say probably because I haven't given it much thought). He is very good at cutting through the bullshit, and his best work is when he picks apart those who view art strictly as propaganda and nothing else. However, that's only the tip of his penis, for he does well on so many other topics. Take his examination of people who are desperate to be free of diversity ("Race Men"), or the confusing minds of pro-war conservatives ("Hawks & Sheeple"), or even the me-first, you-never attitude of libertarians ("The Trouble With Libertarians, Part 45,882"). As an added bonus, his comments section is among the best on the Internet, a healthy mix of quality and quantity. I imagine his articles and blog are only enjoyable if you are left-leaning, but even in terms of technical proficiency, he is a hell of a writer.

Finally, this comic is so true to reality it's almost sad. It doesn't even touch on HMOs, which means that if you manage to corral health insurance from an employer, you still probably can't see the doctor you want and you need referrals everytime you want to have something checked. And don't even think about preventitive medicine, not even in passing.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Another legend gone but for memory and history

Phil Rizzuto, former Yankees shortstop and broadcaster, has passed away. Although members of the Yankees family have died in the past year (Cory Lidle, Hank Bauer, Clete Boyer, and Bill Robinson), none had the impact (except maybe Lidle, who died suddenly and as an active player) that Rizzuto's death did. For any Yankee fan of any age, Rizzuto was a part of their life. For my grandparents, they grew up listening to him play ball. For my parents, uncles, et al, as well as myself, we grew up listening to him call Yankees games, which he did for 40 years. My mom was very upset today. Although celebrities do not get to know the fans as people, when someone is in your home a few hours a day, 160 or so days a year for a few decades, it's hard not to become attached to the person in some way. Rizzuto was a familiar face and a friendly voice for so many fans.

It was probably fitting that WPIX stopped having Yankees games right around the time when Rizzuto stepped out of the booth. He was colorful and entertaining, so much so that a book of poetry was made based on his words. I can't say he is what a commentator should be, but as a kid that didn't know any better, he was a delight.

Rizzuto's best season by far was his 1950 MVP season, where he compiled 200 hits to finish the year with a .324 BA, .418 OBP, a 122 OPS+, .297 EqA, and a 12.3 WARP3. He must have known he didn't have much time left, because last year, after being unable to decide which child of his should receive his MVP award, he auctioned it off and donated most of the proceeds to his favorite charity, St. Joseph’s School for the Blind in Jersey City, NJ.

With thoughts of baseball and cannoli, I'll end this with Rizzuto's own words:
Faith. You gotta have faith.
You know, they say time heals all wounds,
And I don't quite agree with that a hundred percent.
It gets you to cope with wounds.
You carry them the rest of your life.

Godspeed, Phil.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sights and sounds of rap from days gone past

Monie Love - Monie in the Middle

Whodini - Rap Machine

Fat Boys - All You Can Eat

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Troop morale lower than Bush's ratings

Peter Beaumont, The Observer, in Baghdad:
We are driving and another of the public affairs team adds bitterly: 'We should just be allowed to tell the media what is happening here. Let them know that people are worn out. So that their families know back home. But it's like we've become no more than numbers now.'
* * *
A week later, in the northern city of Mosul, an officer talks privately. 'We're plodding through this,' he says after another patrol and another ambush in the city centre. 'I don't know how much more plodding we've got left in us.'

When the soldiers talk like this there is resignation. There is a corrosive anger, too, that bubbles out, like the words pouring unbidden from a chaplain's assistant who has come to bless a patrol. 'Why don't you tell the truth? Why don't you journalists write that this army is exhausted?'
Sounds like the troops are becoming treasonous! Conspiring with the "MSM"...they must hate America! Courtmartial them all!