Monday, May 01, 2006

Today's Word? The Truth

Two days of classes remaining, a few “study” days and then that final, beautiful stretch called Finals Week, where you get a sobering mix of the joy of completion and the pain of having to care.

(Easy remedy for the pain? Don’t care. Just a suggestion.)

No updates over the weekend, and while I apologize, you must understand the situation I was in. My two final papers of the semester hovering ever-so-close, the last four rounds of Bookstore Basketball, the NFL draft and the NBA playoffs all thrown into one three-day period? Where do I even begin blogging? Is it with the silly, yet somewhat enjoyable absurdity of The OC? The intriguing picks of the Dolphins? LeBron and his pouty face? The fact Mission Impossible: 3 – I checked, there are apparently two colons in one movie title – opens this Friday, and Philip Seymour Hoffman follows up Capote with what is rumored to be an All-Time Villain Performance?

None of the above. Instead, I’m going to start with the truth, and the man who best distributes that truth, Stephen Colbert.

I never cease to enjoy the mainstream emergence of The Daily Show and Colbert Report, two shows that the big-time pundits used to laugh at and discard as frivolous to the political stream as a whole. Colbert hosted the White House Press Corp dinner over the weekend, and with the President of the United States and his trained staff of killers a few feet away, delivered the following:

The greatest thing about this man is he's steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change; this man's beliefs never will. As excited as I am to be here with the president, I am appalled to be surrounded by the liberal media that is destroying America, with the exception of Fox News. Fox News gives you both sides of every story: the president's side, and the vice president's side.

But the rest of you, what are you thinking, reporting on NSA wiretapping or secret prisons in eastern Europe? Those things are secret for a very important reason: they're super-depressing. And if that's your goal, well, misery accomplished. Over the last five years you people were so good -- over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out. Those were good times, as far as we knew.

But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction!

Because really, what incentive do these people have to answer your questions, after all? I mean, nothing satisfies you. Everybody asks for personnel changes. So the White House has personnel changes. Then you write, "Oh, they're just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic." First of all, that is a terrible metaphor. This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg!

How fantastic is that? The entire White House press corps has to laugh, as everything he said is basically true. Watch footage of how the British press treats Tony Blair. They’re merciless, and it’s a great thing. I do suppose it’s hard to actually ask Bush any tough questions when he’s protected by his Minions of Doom and very seldom holds press conferences, but the only people that consistently out him for the ridiculous decisions and statements made are Colbert and Jon Stewart, and as Stewart put it once, they’re on a network that precedes their timeslot with a show about puppets making prank calls.

If you think it is just me whose ga-ga over Colbert’s weekend, you would be sorely mistaken. Throwing Things loves it, 60 Minutes did a profile on him, there’s a site where you can say thank you to the spectacled freedom fighter and EW goes over his big-time weekend that was.

His speech Sunday night probably made little to know difference in the grand scheme of things, other than probably the fact he’ll need to draw the shades a little tighter every evening, but it certainly was entertaining, and more importantly, true.

And that’s tonight’s word.

Watch Colbert’s genius (From the now-essential YouTube)

Read the transcript here


The next post is going to focus specifically on the NBA, that way everyone can avoid it except for the two people who actually care, but I just wanted to announce that I’m two wins away from getting to see Shaun Livingston vs. Luke Walton in the Western Conference semis, and that would complete some sort of pass-first, incredible-vision fantasy for me. I buy the jersey of the winner.

Don’t screw this up for me, Carmelo or Steve. You’re down 3-1 and you just need to lay down and die. Let us have the Battle of Los Angeles. Phoenix, you shone brightest last year, and once Amare returns – please Amare, return 100% -- you shall shine again, and Denver, some day you will put a proper team around our favorite Orangeman, but until then, defer to Kobe and Sam, Elton and LeBron. We need this.


Mel Kiper is a bitter, bitter man. In his NFL draft grades for ESPN, he manages to give no one above a B+. Now I realize nobody had super-fantastic showing over the weekend, but I thought Eagles did considerably better than what he graded them and the Texans did a lot worse than he gave them credit for. If the Texans didn’t think Reggie Bush would help them out – which, with his size and the glaring holes Houston has everywhere else, is somewhat understandable – why not just trade down? Just stupid. Mario Williams may turn out to be the next coming of Bruce Smith, although he probably won’t, but how many wins would that translate to for a team as far behind the curve as Houston?


I decree that Summer Movie Season officially starts on Friday, with the release of the third Mission: Impossible. The first movie still confuses the hell out of me and the second one still completely underwhelms me, but I’m excited for Tom Cruise vs. Philip Seymour Hoffman nonetheless. Ain’t It Cool News said that Hoffman is almost Goldfinger-ish in his preparedness, ruthlessness and evil, so I’m willing to get my hopes up for the first quality villain in a Bond or Mission: Impossible movie we’ve had since Trevelyan. Call me a nerd, but this is going to be sweet.


TV Bullet Points:

· New Grey’s last night that we didn’t get to break into last night due to our infatuation with watching Bonzi Wells and Mike Bibby lay the smack down on the Spurs. Patrick and Sean are insisting we watch it sometime today, so that’ll be fit in eventually. It’s been about a month since the last new episode, so I hope I can remember, or care, what is happening.

· The OC still gives me enough to come back to watch next week while providing me enough that I really wish I hadn’t watched. I love having Anna back, but I’d love her a lot more if she cut her hair again. Two episodes less, this is either going to go the way of awesome or the way of a train-wreck. (Please, Marissa, die...)

· If for some reason you’re not watching How I Met Your Mother, there’s something severely wrong with you. You might be a little confused with the situations to start, but you’ll fall right in and love it regardless. Last Monday night’s episode was as good as they get.

· Paula on The Real World is legitimately crazy. I know a lot of you don’t get to follow the Key West season as closely as you’d like to, and will catch up with some mega-MTV marathon to start summer, but you’re going to see a girl who is seriously disturbed. Abusive boyfriend, bulimic/anorexic, addicted to diet pills, seemingly devoid of normal social interaction and against any and all help people try to help her with.


Good luck with the last few days of classes. Next post coming...I make no promises.

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