1.20.2005

Whatever, Bush

Before Cap'n Pete releases the hounds on Bush's innaugural address, I'm going to beat him to it. What the pick was that all about? To call it "grandiose" would be a serious understatement.
There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and
resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the
decent and tolerant, and that is . . .
Coming from a man who claims to be an evangelical Christian, you might expect this sentence to end with "God." Nope. Apparently it is "the force of human freedom," whatever that means. If there was ever a vaguer phrase uttered by a politician, then I'd like to hear it.

Of course he offered the usual qualifiers:
This is not primarily the task of arms, though we will defend ourselves and our
friends by force of arms when necessary. . . . And when the soul of a nation
finally speaks, the institutions that arise may reflect customs and traditions
very different from our own. America will not impose our own style of government
on the unwilling.

But we all know what this sounds like to the rest of the world: America is the sole bearer of freedom, and we will wield our power in whatever manner we choose to "advance the cause of liberty," or something snappy like that.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all in favor of freedom and liberty and whatnot, but give me a break. This is the lamest rhetoric I've heard in my short and uneventful life. It may be an "odd time for doubt," especially since we have witnessed "four decades defined by the swiftest advance of freedom ever seen." (I'd like to know how they measure the velocity of freedom. Or would that be acceleration?) But I don't think I like where this is heading.

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1.18.2005

Take Me To Coney Island


It was one year ago today that I began Coney Island. This typewriter was the image I chose to grace the top of my page. It is fitting that Adam Robinson, who's blog was the reason I started, remind me in my last comment section that today is Coney Island's first birthday. Since then I've written over 50,000 words and had over 10,000 page views. I sincerely want to thank any and everyone who has contributed to the comment section, or just taken the time to read one of my posts. I truly appreciate it. This quote is from Miguel Angel Asturias' "Men of Maize."
"Gratitude must smell, if it has a smell, of rain soaked earth."

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1.17.2005

The Conservatism of the Jets, in Four Chapters.


Chapter 1. Well, Well Well.

No chance, huh? For all of you non-football fans who did not watch the game, (and for that matter are not reading this anyway) the Jets were winning the game thanks to two interceptions by their golden child "Big Ben," and a fumble by Jerome Bettis, his first in 353 attempts. The Steelers scored a freak accident of a touchdown to tie the game at 17's in the 3rd quarter. The Jets managed to get into field goal range twice but were not able to seal the win. So, by the invitation of my co-blogging buddy Gorss, I’d like to examine the loss.

Chapter 2. What happened?

How did the Jets dominate this offensive powerhouse and still manage to lose? Let's review the scoring. One field goal early in the game, due to conservative play calling which has become an obvious and predictable way to beat the Jets for years now. A punt return by the explosive Santana Moss accounted for their next seven. I'm afraid that Santana is looking for a way out of NY. He doesn't get the ball enough and the few times he does get the ball magic happens. (I fear he will follow Laveranues Coles lead and high step out of NY, unless they do decide to fire the compassionate conservative play caller Paul Hackett.) The offense gets the ball after again stopping Big Ben and what do they do? Nothing. The Jets managed to take the game (which they had "no chance of winning") into overtime without their offense ever once scoring a touchdown. The defense scored everything. Of course on 2nd and 3 the Jets always opt for the three-yard gain and never a down the field throw to Santana Moss. Of course on 3rd and 17 they opt for a three-yard gain up the middle to get them into good punting position. Sometimes, like on 4th and 10, they do decide to throw the ball, but its an out pattern to the concussion ridden Wayne Chrebet for what would have been a gain of at least 2 and a half yards had he caught it. Chad Pennington,"The Franchise" as I like to call him, has been brainwashed (not to bring up bad memories) by the Conservative theme at the Jets headquarters. In the beginning of the year he played like he has always played. He played to win. But once the play calling of Paul Hackett got to him he stopped. He threw not to lose. The plays called are called as to "not mess up." If we get the lead, try to run the clock out, even if it's in the first quarter. All of the sports pages are saying the same thing...
"But there is plenty of blame to go around. Start with Edwards, who went into a conservative shell with the game on the line. He and offensive coordinator Paul Hackett did little to help Brien. After David Barrett intercepted Ben Roethlisberger to give Brien another shot at winning, the Jets decided to milk the clock so the field-goal attempt would be the last play of the game. At the Pittsburgh 25 with 56 seconds left, Martin ran for no gain. They wasted 40 seconds before second down, when LaMont Jordan got 2 yards. After Santana Moss called a timeout with 6 seconds left, Chad Pennington took a knee to kill two more seconds and lost a yard."



Chapter 3. Conclusions.

Let's face it. The Jets are the superior team. The only reason they could not "Progress" into the playoffs, and then "Progress" into the Super Bowl is their Conservatism. Even though their play calling has been unsuccessful in the past and is now holding down some of the best athletes in the league, keeping them from "Progressing" their stats and their paychecks for that matter, and even though their Conservatism has lost them a chance at the Super Bowl, they continue to do it. They refuse to improve their team. They continue to not change for the better. It's almost as if they had made a mistake, and knew it, and had decided to run that dog into the ground, knowing it would not fix the damage they'd done. Like if they believed in their conservatism enough, eventually it would work. It's sort of like the Conservatism of politics except the only thing dying in the Jets Conservatism is their dreams of a Super Bowl ring.

Chapter 4. Congratulations.

I would however like to congratulate the Steelers (just to be clear, I am speaking about the football team, not the winning conservative political party, spelled with an “a”) on their win. It wasn’t pretty, but it is marked in the books as a “W” (what an evil letter) pretty or not. I can even say I’m a little bit happy. There is a part of me that is always excited to see the failure of conservatism on such a broad scale.

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TAKE ME TO CONEY ISLAND