Thursday, June 29, 2006

War on Terrorism

Listening to Open Source on NPR right now. William E. Odom made a point about this that I think everyone realizes, but not many have articulated particularly well. A war on terrorism is a ridiculous because it's a war on a tactic, which is ridiculous. Militarily it doesn't make sense, it doesn't allow for a real enemy. He likened it to waging war against people who use knives--it's impractical. The rhetoric is distracting us from the real problem. Our war isn't really against terrorism, it's against al Qaeda, the Taliban, Wahhabis, and against, essentially, those who are violently anti-American. This is a culture war. Democrats should grab ahold of this.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

USA 1- Ghana 2

That was never a penalty. While I can't blame the ref for our poor finishing, I can blame the ref for giving Ghana a freebee. I can also blame the ref for not carding the two or three flagrant dives from the Ghana side. That said, with the exception of a clever backheel from McBride that ended up fizzling into nothing, the US lacked any kind of creativity. Our counterattacks, until the last fifteen minutes, were far too slow. We didn't press enough in the first 20 minutes of either half. Our bright moments were few and far between, but they were there. Lewis did a good job with his crosses; Dempsey was all over the field for the first sixty minutes and hammered a fantastic shot into the back of the net; Beasley finally put in a good effort, grabbing an assist, winning a lot of balls in the midfield (even if they didn't amount to much), and helping out the back line; and McBride broke my heart with his header off the post. And I was happy to see Ben Olsen get a CAP, even if he didn't contribute much. Donovan looked sluggish. I think putting Convey in was a mistake. I would've dropped O'Brien in. We needed someone with a little more of a creative mind.

All in all, I would say it was a pretty mediocre game. It's a shame that the ref had such a heavy hand in its outcome. At least there's some hope with our next generation of players... Adu, Convey, Quaranta, Johnson, and Donovan and Beasley still have another cup left in them. South Africa in 2010!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

the netherlands vs argentina

remember what happened the last time the oranje played the blue stripe-y team?

(thanks for the reminder

more of the magnificence that is dennis bergkamp (a man who, like john madden, refuses to take an airplane):

(or in a slightly more legible google video version)


Monday, June 19, 2006


About US forward Brian McBride, who took a vicious elbow to the face in the first half of the match:

No broken bones were reported as a result of the elbowing. In fact, McBride said he did not even feel much pain. After repeated operations — including plastic surgery — to repair shattered cheekbones, McBride said: "I don't have a lot of feeling in my face. My nerves are all dead from the surgeries. You get hit and you get back up."

The team out on the field on Saturday looked like a completely different squad of players. We made some good cuts up the front, with some nice runs down the wings. We also won a number of 50-50 balls and held possession quite well in the first half. Dempsey even showed a little flair with some stepovers and a couple decent crosses.

WC Trivia: Apparently Ukraine has seven Andriys in their squad...

And Argentina's amazing goals.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Highlights of the US - Czech Republic game:

You'll notice that most of the hightlights involve the Czech Republic attacking. This is because we played like ass. The only reason I post this is to remind us that (1) the first goal was scored by the 6' 7-1/2" Jan Koller, or Frankenstein as he's better known, and (2) Reyna did actually hit a post.

Other cup news: I listened to Spain destroy Ukraine, a team which may have looked worse that the US. Granted the Ukraine may have only had 10 men on the field for half the game, but still, at least we don't look like the only chumps in this tournament any more. Spain were dominant even before the red card though, and it sounds like they may have actually fielded a contender this time instead of a lot of hot air.



Sunday, June 11, 2006

Arjen Robben

Arjen Robben was incredible. The Serbia-Montenegro defense looked like turtles compared to this guy. He was all over the field. It seemed that nearly every time he touched the ball he created a chance on goal. The only piece he was lacking was a decent touch in a dead ball situation... but then, neither side had a free kick or corner kick on mark the whole game.

I cannot wait until the next game the Netherlands play. Netherlands-Ivory Coast. Don't miss it. It may be one of the fastest paced games in this round.

Friday, June 09, 2006

holy god. this is why the world cup fucking rocks.

Lahm's goal for Germany...

Fring's goal for Germany...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

a boring, whiney post about pop-culture

X-Men III is schlock. I would have asked for my money back if I had actually paid to see it. It's a b-movie with an a-movie budget--written by hacks with cornball dialogue, glacial pacing, boring choreography, and clichés galore. I think the best word to summarize it is unimaginative, from the production design (the pristine white science lab with extras in white coats all scurrying around and peering into things to look science-y and Magneto and his band of merry evil mutants in the forest), to the characters, the plot, the use of mutant powers (repetitive use of telekinetic levitation, telepathic voices echoing in peoples heads, equally opposing blasts of fire and ice from Iceman and Pyro in a standoff, a general lack of acrobatics from Beast... The list goes on), and the dialogue:

Wolverine: The whole world's going to hell, you gonna just sit there?

Warren Worthington, Sr.: Warren, it's a better life. It's what we all want.
Warren Worthington III: No, it's what you want.

Jean Grey: Would you die for them?
Wolverine: No, for you.

A few examples of other grievances:

- blatant inconsistencies, like a scene turning from day to night from one shot to the next, without the passage of time

- Angel, besides being a completely useless character in the film, looks ridiculous, striking cheesy, heroic poses throughout

- the decision about keeping the Xavier Institute open is out of context and is abrupt and seemingly thoughtless

- the head scientist working for Worthington is a science lab cliché

- whereas in previous films, Magneto and his group appear as a more radical mutant activist / terrorist group, in this movie they're just portrayed as evil and any kind of moral ambiguity is shoved aside to make it a good guy vs. bad guy battle at the end as opposed to a conflict of ideas

- Jean Grey, the most powerful mutant on the planet sits around and does nothing for most of the movie... when she finally does do something, she levitates some stuff and disintegrates things... that's it.

- why didn't Magneto take out Wolverine and Colussus by himself at the end? They're made of metal. He could've have twisted them into knots instead of letting them kill a dozen of his mutant cronies.

- why move the golden gate bridge to get to Alcatraz? It was just a little ridiculous.

- throughout the diagolue was trite, characters lacked depth, the story was slow.

... Highlights:

- Shadowcat... decent acting and some pretty cool use of her powers... well, a couple of times... was useful as a foil for Rogue

- Wolverine... despite some shitty fight choreography, cheesy lines, and too much lone wolf bullshit, Hugh Jackman still managed to put in a pretty decent shift as everyone's favorite mutant badass.

- Preview for the new Jet Li movie looked fucking radical. That shit is going to be an hour and a half of awesome.

- Preview for Superman looked pretty good. I think it was the third trailer... no John Williams soundtrack to this one, which is a bummer... but Kevin Spacey is going to kick ass as Luthor, even if the rest of the movie blows chunks.

- Jean Grey levitates and disintigrates things... yeah, it was repetative, but it was pretty cool at first...

...Congratulations X-Men 3, you made my list of top 5 bad blockbuster hollywood movies I wish I had not seen:

1. Star Wars: Episode II
2. X-Men III
3. Star Wars: Episode III
4. Star Wars: Episode I
5. Batman & Robin