Treatment Day 5: Autobiographical Saturday (on Monday).

May 2, 2011

A thing I like.

    Autobiographical Saturday, back by popular demand. Three likes, three dislikes, with links, explanation and commentary. The sweet tea never materialized last time, but you never know.

     Same qualifications as last week. It’s gimmicky. It’s hokey. It is fantastically self-indulgent.  It’s not particularly creative – I’ve seen ads for male “enhancement” pills that are more subtle: “The ‘performance’ from these pills will get you the hot girl and make you rich beyond your wildest dreams; you’ll probably own a yacht.”  However, as I indicated last week, my shareholders demand page-views – you know how advertisers can be – so I’m gonna do it anyway. Editor’s Note: I have neither shareholders nor advertisers.

Three things I like:

    1. College Football: This might be my most favorite thing in the charted universe. I spent 10 years in a beautiful southern college town. I never had a chance, I’m hopelessly addicted. If it weren’t for the fact that this particular affliction is completely – okay, mostly – wholesome, this would probably outrank my other DOC’s on the scale of my inability to walk away from them. We do football differently in the south.  Lots of pretty girls go to the games. Take it away ladies:

                         [Photo redacted. My mom reads this blog, pervert]

    The point is, football is an egalitarian sport in the south. Women participate, and with alacrity. And the women aren’t just there to have a good time. In the south, most female fans can tell you why your team shouldn’t have been in a cover-two in a critical short-yardage third down, and that’s why your team lost. And in a tradition that is unique to the south, the women dress up to go to games. It may seem arcane, but girls in the south really put on the ritz for our games. Like these young University of Georgia fans.

This was one of the few photos suitable for publication that turned up in a word search for '"football, south, girls." The internet is all the proof I need we're going to hell in a handbasket.

     You will note the complete absence of what we might call – for lack of a better term – slut gear. There’s no cut up t-shirt with cleavage spilling out (I’m looking at you Florida State). No lived-in hair. No hats. No hoodies. This is how we do college football in the south.

    2. Killing Osama Bin Laden: No need to elaborate. Beautiful Day by U2 comes to mind. I’ll give President Obama credit for pulling the trigger once the intelligence was there and for a relatively non-partisan speech to announce the news.  USA! USA USA! (As I typed that I heard Homer’s voice in my head).

People in Philly have a certain way about them that just seems right, under the circumstances.

    3. C.S. Lewis: One of my favorite authors from this century. This man, through his book Surprised By Joy, fanned the embers of my faith through times when I described myself as an atheist. My atheism was an intellectual point of view, one rooted in my brain, that never made the 18-inch drop to my heart. That was largely owed to C.S. Lewis. His view on the sublime, and his articulation of the idea that we see glimpses of the sublime here on earth, but never the real thing, made an indelible impression on me. So much so, that even during the times when I was entirely eaten up with drug-addiction and atheism (I’m not suggesting that the two concepts are related for everyone, but for me, those two ideas were cause-and-effect), I found myself asking the question, “but what about C.S. Lewis?” This quiet man, an intellectual and a scholar his entire life, was a giant of the 20th century. (He also authored the more well-known Chronicles of Narnia).

Three things I unlike:

    1. The Florida Gators: They represent all that is evil and soul-less in the world. The Darth Vader of the college football universe. From the gator chomp to the ubiquitous jean shorts – or, “jorts” – this affliction is a scourge on all humanity, and should be rooted out and destroyed wherever it exists. Every good story has a villain, and the narrative of college football has the Florida Gators. Most of the people afflicted with this sickness – as with addiction, these are otherwise good people, it’s the disease that is evil – are oblivious to the fact that college football was played before 1990, when Steve Spurrier came back to Gainesville, and made a deal with the devil  started chucking the ball all over the damn field, effectively ending the “three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust” era of SEC football.

Oh the humanity.

    Spurrier was banished by Satan to South Carolina, as part of the deal, eventually left Florida for South Carolina, also in the SEC east, so once a year, I have to make the choice of whether to root for Spurrier or Florida. I usually root for the meteors.

Where's a good meteor when you need one?

    2. The phrases “24/7” and “A.S.A.P:” Expertly derided in the movie “Role Models”, there’s really not much more for me to add. As a general rule, I hate lingo, and more often than not, you will see this space used to call out certain overused expressions which may have had a viable window for use, but that window closed around the same time music videos started putting hot women in them again (for some reason, grunge rebelled against a tried and true formula: sex and rock n’ roll; that’s why today MTV has about a billion reality shows and very little music; thanks a lot, Kurt). Interestingly, AA is riddled with clever little pithy one-liners: “one day at a time,” “Easy Does It,” and so on. But I like them in this context, because they are used to convey truth, not to demonstrate either that you are hip or have adopted new age (middle) management practices. FYI, STFU, ASAP, PREESH.

This actually happened.

    3. People Who Don’t Like the Movie Tombstone. Do you hate democracy too? And apple pie? Babies? Do you club baby seals with rolled up replicas of the Bill of Rights? Do you have toilet paper with the Constitution printed on it? Did you skip the Louvre when you were in Paris in favor of a trip to Old Navy. Did you feel Scrooge was simply misunderstood in A Christmas Carol? Did you root for Ivan Drago in Rocky IV? Oh, that’s right, you hated Rocky IV.

That baby seal you clubbed to death with your Bible belonged to this man.

    My point is this: it’s not a guarantee that I’ll hate you if you hated Tombstone, but it’s no feather in your cap. If that is the only thing I know about you, you’ll be ranked somewhere above holocaust deniers, but probably below people who say “think outside the box” or “let me put a bug in your ear” a lot. Maybe Doc Holiday was the black sheep of your family and you have personal reasons for not liking his character, as played – legendarily – by Val Kilmer. I actually know someone who can claim this is true. But even he loves Tombstone.

There's enough testosterone in this photo to choke a horse.

    The dialogue absolutely pops (“I’m your huckleberry…”). There are themes of second chances, redemption, renewal, loyalty, grace under fire, justice, death, salvation, nuance, love, jealousy, retribution; need I go on? Val Kilmer deserves his own post here, but suffice to say that he made this flick. Val Kilmer has had some bad choices (the Island of Dr. Moreau, anyone?), but during this period: Tombstone, The Salton Sea, Heat – HOLY CRAP, what a run!

    The costume design was superb, the facial hair grooming was nonpareil, and Dana Delaney was at the top of her career as a typecast sexy intellectual (what a thing to be typecast as). For crying out loud, Jason Priestly – a hunk of hunky hunkliness during the 90’s – was reduced to an impliedly gay effeminate theater junkie (not that there’s anything wrong with that) – in the festival of testosterone that was Tombstone.  It was a beautiful thing.

    So goes another chapter of the Saturday Autobiographical. See you next week. Back to the serious fare related to my personal journey of spiritual awakening and self-discovery later today. But until then, remember: SEC football – our girls are prettier than your girls.

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