G.D.: Thank Jebus for FreeDarko. The popular hoops blog reads like it was written by a bunch of jazz-loving philosophy students. (Trust me, it’s more fun than it sounds.) Last year, they published the Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac, which was weirdly sitting on my desk when I got to work yesterday. I haven’t been able to put it down. It’s weird and hilarious and full of random musings, like a clever sidebar that shows how the dispassionate, machine-like Tim Duncan’s career numbers almost neatly match up with the Fibonnacci sequence. Each profiled player’s vital stats is full of weird, true anecdotes, as well as their “Spirit Animal,” (Rasheed Wallace is an Egyptian mongoose). There are cockamamie stats, like measuring the “cancer effect” of certain team-killing players (with a special mention going to the entire miserable 2000 draft class). And it’s all rounded out by spot-on expressionistic artwork, like the above picture of the perfectionist/neurotic Kobe Bryant, or the unheralded Joe Johnson waiting for the bus to go to work. It’s sportswriting for people who have long, discursive bull sessions about shit other than sports, but who still take their sports seriously.
nicholep: Working on research for an upcoming project, I recently found myself in the central location of the Los Angeles Public Library, rediscovering a simple pleasure from my childhood. Although technological advances have former card catalog files papering the walls of the elevators, the little pencils and awkwardly-cut pieces of scrap paper remain. There’s nothing like slowly moving one foot in front of the other, midget pencil still in hand, navigating the bookshelves that stretch forever, and finding that racist, sexist, out-of-print book amidst the Dewey Decimal system. Go back to the library this weekend and lose yourself in its giant print and occasionally malodorous guests.
blackink12: Quiet as kept, this weekend is as good a time as any to get down with The King: Run DMC is getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday. So to mark the occasion, dust off your boombox and slip in an old cassette of “Raising Hell” or “Tougher Than Leather.” Feel free to put on some shell-toes, a dookie chain and a bucket hat.
The Hollis, Queens, trio – minus late member and deejay Jam-Master Jay – will be only the second hip-hop group to be inducted into the Hall, following the selection of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five in 2007. Run DMC’s induction will complete the circle of irony, which started with their 1985 hit “King of Rock” –– a video that shows them trashing a museum that resembled a rock and roll hall of fame. Nice, right?
To be honest, I missed out on much of Run DMC’s heyday. Some of this was because I lived in Houston. Some of this was because I wasn’t yet able to buy my own music. And some of that was by design.
By the time I was a teenager in the early ‘90s, I thought Run DMC was corny and – this is embarrassing to admit – sort of wack. I wasn’t moved by the groundbreaking nature of “Walk This Way.” And I damn sure didn’t own any Adidas. If it wasn’t Tribe or Cube or Public Enemy, I really didn’t want to hear much about anything else.
Oh, the folly of youth. I’m going to pay proper homage this weekend. Won’t you do the same?
That’s why I enjoyed this week’s Intelligence Squared podcast from NPR. I never debated in high school, and the format of the show is a little weird. It’s always something I feel that I should enjoy with a nice big cup of snobbery in hand. But on this week’s show the resolution was “Blame Washington more than Wall Street for the financial crisis.” You get to hear really smart people like Niall Ferguson and Alex Berenson debate where the blame lies. It’s not necessarily an in-depth discussion, but it has anger directed at the right people.