Monthly Archives: March 2012
I don’t normally blog about sports, but today is a special occasion. For those of us who live in the United States and enjoy the game of basketball the Final Four is upon us! For those outside the US, here in the states, college basketball teams have a huge end-of season tournament called March Madness where the best 64 teams (actually a few more if you count the ridiculous play-in games) compete in a single elimination tournament. We are now down to the final four teams in the tournament: Kentucky, Louisville, Kansas, and Ohio State.
I lived in Kentucky for five years and I definitely caught the college basketball bug. Some people just don’t get it and I understand that the late game stoppages can be annoying, but in the more dramatic late-season games of the college basketball season I often find myself on the edge of my seat. There is always a chance to see some high-drama in these tournament games. Occasionally a small school like Lehigh takes down a behemoth like Duke, and oh did that put a smile on my face. This year’s tournament certainly did not disappoint and we’ll see if it has any surprises left in store.
I heard Jon Haidt recently say during a talk that “sports is to war as pornography is to sex. It gives us a chance to exercise some ancient urges.” I suppose that is true. It feels like you are going to war with the other team to a certain degree and I really enjoyed the competitive nature of athletics when I was in high school and college as a participant and an observer. In high school I actually got to play in a national tournament for small private school soccer teams. Definitely one of the best experiences of my life.
What sporting events really get your blood going? Please leave your comments below.
Oh yeah, and Go big blue!
I just listened to a great episode of Marc Maron’s WTF podcast where he interviews Jeffrey Tambor of Arrested Development and Larry Sanders fame. It was an interesting conversation and Jeff brought up one of my favorite episodes of the Larry Sanders Show, Hank’s Night in the Sun.
If you don’t know what the Larry Sanders Show is, basically it was a television show on HBO in the 90’s starring Garry Shandling, Jeffrey Tambor, and Rip Torn. Garry Shandling plays Larry Sanders a cynical late-night talk show host with Jeff playing Hank Kingsley the pathetic talk-show sidekick and Rip playing Artie the aggressive and wise producer. The history surrounding the show is interesting because Garry actually turned down an offer to replace Letterman on his old late-night show on NBC to star in The Larry Sanders Show, a late-night talk show satire.
Anyways, it was a groundbreaking show and is still absolutely brilliant and spot-on in its humor and satire. I watched most of the episodes on Netflix streaming, now that the DVD’s of the show have finally been released after a long legal battle. If you like The Office or Arrested Development, you’ll definitely find The Larry Sanders Show enjoyable.
Marc Maron also has a great interview with Garry Shandling where they discuss the show in more detail.
But I digress, Hank’s Night in the Sun is one of my favorite episodes from the show and it showcases Hank’s pathos to perfection. Hank has always played second fiddle to Larry and when Larry comes down with a serious illness he gets the opportunity that he’s been waiting for. But after he fills in as host for a night, his ego balloons and he tries to secure a few more nights as host, until the whole thing comes crashing down. Jeffrey Tambor plays this role so well, it is uncanny.
Here are some great excerpts from the episode:
Hank gets the opportunity of a lifetime:
Hank’s success goes to his head:
Hank hosts a second time:
Great speech by Adam Savage.at the Reason Rally
Below are some links to a really great series of videos from Sunday’s episode of UP, a show on MSNBC hosted by Chris Hayes. This is one of the most thoughtful discussions about the role of atheism in politics and public life that I have ever heard. There are some very intelligent and thoughtful people on the discussion panel including Steven Pinker and Robert Wright. I encourage you to watch as much of it as you can.
Richard Dawkins also joins in for a few of the segments. I have a real problem with his overall attitude and it was interesting to hear some of the reactions to his attitude from the panel. Some disagreeing strongly, others identifying with his more strident take on atheism. I’ve seen the damage that his attitude and incendiary comments have done and the ammunition it gives to conservative religious people, like my parents, so I have a real problem with him.
And also, in one of the later segments a pastor comes out of the closet as an atheist and engages in a fascinating discussion with the panel. I wish there were more thoughtful discussions like this on cable news!
The full show: Sunday’s Show: Atheism
Here is a great little comedy/humor break for all of you readers out there. I’ve been watching a lot of Craig Ferguson’s stuff lately and I ran across a very funny series of YouTube clips with guest-sidekick Thomas Lennon. Tom creates the bizarre character of Khloe Banderas, a gay Spaniard who is the least famous brother of Antonio Banderas. It’s even funnier considering that Tom is just creating the voice and basic hand movements of Craig’s robot skeleton sidekick.
It is absolutely amazing the humor they come up with purely through a few basic early thematic choices and then constant improvisation thereafter. Enjoy!
Tom Lennon’s first appearance on the show:
Three follow-up appearances at the end of the month: