Sunday, July 12, 2015

Murray's Lament: How Cardinal Nation Turned Bill Murray into a Grumpy Golfer

 Bill Murray's Cardinal Nation Whines Reach Limit of What is Humanly Possible

Bill Murray seems to have lost his comic sense about the hapless Chicago Cubs and their hundred years of World Series solitude. Murry, once one of America's funniest men, has now become a grumpy golfer who keeps believing that his next tee shot won't slice into the rough. And that his beloved Cubs will be MLB relevant in September.  Some might see this as a sign of creeping senility but it's more likely due to the fact that Murray has lived a lifetime of disappointment waiting for the Cubbies to once again be The Boys of October. Lacking Wrigley Field success has driven Murray's laments about the Cardinal Nation to epic proportions; his whining* reaching levels near the limit of what is humanly possible. There hasn't been that much wailing on the South Side since Mayor Daly's baton wielding thugs attacked democracy in Chicago streets back in the summer of 1968.
History of Murray's Lament (whine levels shown in decibels).

Once a promising comedian, Murray has been slowly losing his way. His descent into a life of grumpy baseball depression and three-putting greens can be tied to the continued growth and stability of the St. Louis Cardinals franchise: while Cubs fans struggle to find their way out of poison ivy.  It's likely that Cardinal success during Murray's formative youth played a role in his bitter attitude toward Redbird success.  Having suffered through 9 Cardinal World Series appearances in his lifetime, continued StL baseball successes (despite a managerial change) must seem as though come September, the Cubs emerge from their dugout only to find themselves in the shadow of the Gateway Arch. Then it's 6 more weeks of Cardinals, Cardinals, Cardinals.  It's no longer wait till next year; more like, wait another decade. Since 2000, Cardinal Nation boats a hefty .786 percentage of playoff appearances while the hapless Cubs struggle to keep it above the Mendoza line (.214).

Surprisingly, for a man of his age, Murray just keeps getting louder. If the Cardinals (who, at the All-Star break still own the best record in baseball) reach the 100-win plateau this season and raise another banner atop Busch Stadium, Murray's vocal cords are likely to pop like champagne corks in the visitor's dugout.

*Murray's Lament (in decibels of whining) is calculated as: Cubs winning percentage*100 + Cards winning percentage*100 + years since last WS won by Chicago + Cardinal NL pennants + Cardinal World Series + a conversion factor.  Results are adjusted downward in years where Redbirds lose the Series or NL Championship.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

what you can do

The time has come to insist on an obvious but overlooked fact—artists are workers. They make things and perform services, just like other workers, and these goods and services have value—not merely in lofty spiritual terms but also in dollars and cents. Dana Gioia, Chairman National Endowment for the Arts. in Artists in the Workforce, 1990-2005
If you are an artist, it's almost a certainty that you will fall into the blue region represented above—that is, in the lower 90 percentile of wage earners in the US. Everyone deserves, and should demand, a living wage. Not just for artists but for everyone.

it's not what you think it is

Americans think they understand how wealth in this country is distributed but they DO NOT. Our perception is that in general, there is a much more equitable distribution of wealth across the nation than actually exists. In fact, the top 20% of Americans control almost most, (more than 80%), of the wealth in this country.

income inequality matters

The gap between the rich and the poor is vast. It wasn't always so. From 1917-1970, the wealthiest Americans controlled about 70 percent of the US economy. Currently, the rich control, for all practical purposes, almost the entire amount of US wealth.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

witches can be right, giants can be good

One of life's strange twists is that there is more to it than we will ever know. More to see. More to explore. More to love. More than we can do in one lifetime. Try as we might, we cannot do all there is to do. We can try. And we should do as much as we can accomplish. Recently a friend, as we all do, encountered a rough patch. About that same time I heard this song being sung on the radio, and there being more to life than I can do, missed the chance to see it sung live. I regretted this, but hearing it again, and thinking of my friend, it made me revisit this song and the context in which it was sung in the show, "Into the Woods." The first thing that struck me about this performance, the thing that really floored me, was the voice control required to sing it. It's really quite amazing—more so, because it appears so effortless. After I listened to Bernadette Peter's take on this classic, I spoke with someone who had performed the play to remind myself of the context of the song. Musicals exist for the book; the music is what drives them, the action proceeds only to get us to the next song. But what seems to separate the very good musical from the great ones are the songs, and the connecting action between the two. In the case of this song, a number of classic fairytale characters have been wandering around trying to find their way in the world. Sad for them, times have been tough. Love ones has left them. Life has been filled with despair. And it is here, lost in the woods, that they stumble upon this key moment.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Fifty word restaurant review: Aixois

Fifty-word restaurant review of Aixois-Kansas City.

Perhaps not the best French cafeteria food you'll ever eat but likely the most expensive. Aixois commits the ultimate faux paux: neglecting the food. Everything about my meal here was pedestrian. Sadly, in a weird transference of power, the best option on the Aixois menu might be a burger with pommes frites.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

funny gay sheriff valentine

Gay Republicans are the funniest people. I don't know what it is about Republicans but if they are vociferous in their opposition of it, it seems that eventually the skeleton will come out of the closet.