Day: 2014.12.09

Overstated, Obviously

Detail of 'Mary Death' by Matt Tarpley, 9 December 2014.It is a famous song: “Thank Heaven for little girls”, though for my rock and roll generation it’s a bit warped, since Pete and Dave appended, in 1985, “and some of the other sizes, too”. And, besides, it’s a fucking twisted songα. No, really, what kind of sick monster sings something like that?β

Still, though, the younger generation, regardless of chromosomal disposition, has much to offer their elders in terms of basic wisdom. Sometimes it’s just about terrifying, ravenous monsters smashing up the city, and that’s all there is to it.

And, you know, every once in a while we ought to pay attention.

Still, though, kaiju pajamas. Fun. Pacific Rim might have been a terrible film better left unmade, but we can pretend that Mary is smart enough to have skipped it and instead, like the geek we know she will grow into—well, barring awful plot twists or one of those weird things where after fifteen years we wonder why she hadn’t grown a day—she has plenty of other reasons to adore (dai-)kaiju in general. And, hey, that way her parents don’t have to explain just who “Slattern” is, or why the writers chose that name.

Or, perhaps, it really is just about terrifying, ravenous monsters smashing up the city, and we really ought not waste our time fretting that Mary has somehow wasted a couple hours of her life on that film.

On a thoroughly unrelated note, I have no idea what to make of the idea that Death can overthink things like that.

You know, just like the rest of us.

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α “Thank Heaven for little girls, for little girls get bigger every day! Thank Heaven for little girls, they grow up in the most delightful way! Those little eyes so helpless and appealing, one day will flash and send you crashing through the ceiling. Thank Heaven for little girls! Thank Heaven for them all! No matter where, no matter who, for without them what would little boys do? Thank Heaven for little girls!”

β Maurice Chevalier wasn’t alone; Perry Como performed the song, too.

Tarpley, Matt. “Pajama Party”. Mary Death. 9 December 2014.

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A Look Ahead to Next Season

L-R: SFC Sporting Director Chris Henderson, ownership member Drew Carey, and head coach Sigi Schmid. (via SoundersFC.com)

Disappointment simply is; the rest remains ours to decide.

Certes, the loss of local team’s chance to play for the league championship is disappointing, but then again it is hardly like losing a war, or even sending troops abroad to a war they don’t need to fight. Disappointment is relative; its magnitude and priority are determined in the mind of the beholder.

And when that disappointment also means the end of a sporting season, there are plenty of ways to distract ourselves. For instance, there are the farewells and thanks to offer:

In the summer of 2012, Marcus Hahnemann got an unexpected call from Adrian Hanauer, the Owner & General Manager of Sounders FC. He was asked if he wanted to play.

“My question was, ‘For who?'” Hahnemann recalls. “He said the Sounders, and I went, ‘Yeah, I’m in, but [goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra] should probably come take a look at me, because I haven’t been training for three months.'”

Hahnemann was a retired goalkeeper living in the Seattle area when he received that call. He always wanted to return to his hometown’s club, but the opportunity didn’t work out in Sounders FC’s first three years in MLS.

Hanauer gave him that opportunity, and now a couple of years later, Hahnemann is retiring as a member of the team he began his career with more than two decades ago.

(Lester)

Sounder at heart. Sounder for life. Thank you, Marcus Hahnemann.

And then there are the questions of who will return next year; Sounder FC Public Relations devised a handy Q&A session with SFC Sporting Director Chris Henderson about the eleven protected players announced this week:

What are your thoughts on the 11 players the club chose to protect in Wednesday’s Expansion Draft?

“It’s always a difficult decision to protect just 11 players on your roster. There are so many factors to consider on the team side and the player side, as well. We have a lot of great players to choose from because we’ve made it a priority to have a deep roster that can compete in all competitions. We wish we could protect more, but unfortunately it’s a reality of our sport, so we have to make some tough decisions.”

There are some veteran players on Sounders FC’s unprotected list. When you make these decisions on specific personnel, is there a calculated risk for the technical staff?

“Yeah, there is. You have to look at the whole team. It’s a difficult decision having to pick 11 guys. We’ve all discussed things and debated it, and there’s a lot that goes into it with regards to age and player form, contracts, the future of the team and where we’re going. We’ve had some really tough decisions and you can only protect 11, so there’s many times we wish we could protect 15, but we had to cut off the line. We keep our fingers crossed leading into this draft. Sometimes you take risk and you leave a player out there and you can get by without losing someone.”

The protected players list arrived yesterday, and it looks about like we might expect. Furthermore, the dynamic this year is altered by the arrival of two new clubs—note the word “expansion”. And perhaps this is one of the strengths of soccer; professional-league expansion requires large sums of money in order that the new teams can have something of a chance coming out of the gate. But the personnel contract rules for soccer are considerably different from what Americans are accustomed to with NFL, MLB, and NBA contracts. For the sake of the league, that works out okay.

(more…)

A Quote: Steve on Dick

Former Vice President Dick Cheney (Getty Images, undated)

“It’s a curious argument: ‘We didn’t do anything wrong, but for the love of God, please don’t tell anyone what we did.'”

Steve Benen

In a separate post for msnbc, Steve Benen noted:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the committee’s chairwoman, summarized the four key findings of the report this way:

1. The CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” were not effective.

2. The CIA provided extensive inaccurate information about the operation of the program and its effectiveness to policymakers and the public.

3. The CIA’s management of the program was inadequate and deeply flawed.

4. The CIA program was far more brutal than the CIA represented to policymakers and the American public.

As to Mr. Cheney, Benen writes:

Leading the charge, not surprisingly, is former Vice President Dick Cheney, who has not read the report, but is nevertheless comfortable dismissing it as “hooey.”

“What I keep hearing out there is they portray this as a rogue operation and the agency was way out of bounds and then they lied about it,” he said in a telephone interview. “I think that’s all a bunch of hooey. The program was authorized. The agency did not want to proceed without authorization, and it was also reviewed legally by the Justice Department before they undertook the program.”

Referencing CIA officials responsible for executing the administration’s torture policies, Cheney told the New York Times, “They deserve a lot of praise. As far as I’m concerned, they ought to be decorated, not criticized.”

It should not require a lifetime attending politics to comprehend the differences between the two approaches.

One can certainly try arguing that the four points attributed to Feinstein are wrong, but Cheney’s argument is such that it doesn’t really matter; for God and country, anything is justified, and deserving of praise.

Sen. Feinstein, asked about the possibility that the Senate report will inspire violence around the world, responded, “I think the greatness of this country is that we can examine mistakes and remedy them, and that really is the hallmark of a great and just society.”

One wonders what Mr. Cheney is so afraid of.

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Benen, Steve. “Cheney blasts torture report he hasn’t seen as ‘a bunch of hooey'”. msnbc. 9 December 2014.

—————. “Intel Committee releases report on Bush-era torture”. msnbc. 9 December 2014.

The Love Bug

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 9 December 2014.Oh, come on, you knew that pun was waiting to spring like a hungry puma in heat.

And there is no way you could have predicted that simile, except perhaps in the sense of a general classification; you knew it was going to be bad.

That said, and disclaiming appropriately that some themes really are timeless, so I’m not knocking Mr. Huber in the least, but … you know, maybe there is a theme afoot?

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Huber, Adam. “Shot Through the Heart”. Bug Martini. 9 December 2014.

See Also:

Huber, Adam. “Scared to Beth”. Bug Martini. 21 November 2014.

Mika and the Furries

Mika Brzezinski: 'Morning Joe' host loses composure, runs off camera during segment on 'furries'. (via Facebook, 9 December 2014)Sometimes, you don’t need to see the video. Nor do you really want the story detail.

That is to say, every now and then the capsule summary does just fine.

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Image note: Detail of Facebook sidebar “Trending” widget, 9 December 2014, 1:08 AM PST.