1.22.2009

My Favorite Music Videos of All Time! (by Spike Jonze)

I had every intention of making a post about my favorite music videos, in general.  Then I realized that practically all of my top 5 would be Spike Jonze vids.  Even now after limiting it to just those by Jonze, I've left off some obvious choices.  I mean Sabotage, Cannonball, Undone, Weapon of Choice . . . come on!  Also, if I wasn't such an unabashed Weezer fan, I think number one and two would be switched...the Fatlip video is so sweet.  Enjoy!


5. The Pharcyde - Drop (1996)



4. Bjork - It's Oh So Quiet (1995)




3. Fatboy Slim - Praise You (1998)



2. Fatlip - What's Up Fatlip (2000)



1. Weezer - Buddy Holly (1994)


1.20.2009

On Being Tall...


The people have spoken.  In my first ever democratic blogging poll, seven (that's right...seven!) of you wish to hear about what it's like being tall.  First, some parameters...I am considered "tall" because at 6'4.5", I am clearly taller than the average male in the United States at 5'9.2".  FYI: One of the shorter countries is Indonesia where the average height for a man is 5'2.2" whereas, one of the tallest is the Netherlands at almost 6'1".  Because of my height, I cannot join NOSSA (the National Organization of Short Statured Adults) for men under 5'7" and women under 5'2".  I can however join a branch of Tall Clubs International which is for men over 6'2" and women over 5'10" and I can ride most amusement park rides. Heightism is a legitimate and growing concern for which advocates have raised legislation and proposals (although...I might add, these ventures have been heavily biased towards the causes of short people).  


Something I find amusing about height is how people seem to consistently lie about their own height.  This is particularly amusing given the fact that anyone who is able to see can simply assess a claim about one's height - but nevertheless, lies abound.  It is common in sports to list players at taller and heavier stats than they actually are, people who are just shy of 5 or 6 feet often round up even though it is clearly a lie, and some people just lie because they are weirdos.  The only time I have ever lied about my height is when I claimed to be 6'5" at my undergrad to qualify for a long bed.  Sue me.  Although it appears that now, the requirement has been changed to 6'3" - now that's what I call progress!

After looking around on the interweb to see what people list as the pros/cons of being tall, I was surprised at the abundance of trite and utterly obvious observations about these issues. You have trouble fitting into pants!?  OMG!  Cars and planes and beds aren't comfortable?  WTF!  You can see better at concerts?!  STFU!

I know those types of observations are not what bring the masses to the OME.  Here people crave truth - deep, pervasive, and life-changing insights.  So I present to you the serious implications that being tall has on one man's life in America.

Disadvantages:
1) I feel ethically obligated not to laugh at Randy Newman's song, "Short People."
2) I look like a total tool when I ride a bike, which I do every day.
3) Leg wrestling is often awkward and unfair for both participants.
4) Getting mistaken for Gheorghe Muresan.
5) Automatic fail at human tetris.

Advantages:
1) I can dunk the crap out of a basketball.
2) I can block the crap out of a short person shooting a basketball.
3) I can rebound the crap out of a basketball.
4) I can win the crap out of a jump ball against a short person in basketball.
5) I can be the crap on the receiving end of an alley-oop in basketball.

So, there you have it.  Everything you needed to know about being tall.  The tall and tall of it.

1.14.2009

My Hero: Maurice Flitcroft

Many of us have heroes/heroines and regard them as such for various reasons.  Mine takes the form of one unassuming man, Maurice Flitcroft, and the reason is for his being the most awesomest dude ever.  Born in Barrow-in-Furness, England in 1929, Maurice dabbled in various work, including that of crane driver, laborer, railway porter, ice cream salesman, bus driver, and stuntcomedy high diver.  But in these various accomplishments does not lie the reason for Flitcroft's heroism.  This, my friends, lies in the fact that "Maurice believes, on the flimsiest of evidence, that he is a golfer" (Dobereiner, 1985). 


The tale begins in 1976 when Maurice pursued his delusion to the extreme by entering the British Open - the most revered of all golf championships, perhaps the most revered championship of any sport.  By definition, the Open is precisely that, open, however, Flitcroft surpassed the initial qualifying rounds by presenting himself as a professional golfer.  This would be the equivalent of a ridiculous Week 1 American Idol contestant somehow being granted license to go straight to Hollywood.  Flitcroft's performance was not surprising.  He carded a 61 on the front nine and after recognizing, quite accurately, that he would need to improve on the back side, he did . . . with a 60.  His 121 remains the highest ever in a major tournament.

When the press started buzzing, Flitcroft's mother received a phone call concerning her son's performance to which she replied, "Oh, has he won?"  He had not.  However, his score was, in fact, not too bad considering the fact that this was the first round of golf Maurice had ever played.  He continued his quest for Open fame as he began using a variety of pseudonyms to gain entry into the tourney.  Surprisingly, Flitcroft was successful at gaining admissions on FOUR more occasions as a presumed professional!  In 1978 he played nine holes before being escorted off.  In 1980 he "pulled out of the qualifying competition without hitting a shot because he felt that his game was not sharp enough for a sustained challenge" (Dobereiner).  In 1984, he reentered as "Monsieur Gerard Hoppy, professeur de golf: Switzerland" whose 63 shots on the front nine saw cause for his removal.  In 1990, as "Gene Paychecki: United States," Flitcroft was removed after being three over after two holes (not too bad one might think; however, when stopped by an official, Flitcroft could not produce an American accent and his cover was blown).  

For the various reasons listed above, Maurice Flitcroft is my hero. Flitcroft passed away in 2007 but continues to inspire many.

Dobereiner, Peter. 1985. "Maurice Flitcroft: The Open's Don Quixote: How a Hapless Hacker Harassed the Royal & Ancient." Golf Digest.