Each Day is a Lifetime, 8.15.08

Let's set it off with a piece of short non-fiction from Shoals:

Wednesday afternoon, my better half and I went to get Vietnamese food around 5PM. We were both kind of groggy, hungry, and glazed-over, and our waitress immediately decided that we'd worn ourselves out watching the Olympics (we need a better name for them. The Games?):

Waitress: You look tired. Been up watching the Olympics, huh?
Us: Actually, we have been watching them non-stop.
Waitress: Me too. Who are you rooting for?

(Slightly awkward silence all around. I start looking around for some evidence that this is one of those Asian restaurants where the food doesn't match the owners, to see if maybe she was secretly Chinese or something. At this point, I should remind readers that I look like every ethnic group in the world at once, and my girl is half-Cuban, which doesn't exactly "look like" anything but seems a relevant fact there.)

Us (mumbling): You know, lots of different countries. It depends on the event.
Waitress: Yeah, it's complicated. But hey, we just all like watching the best athletes and rooting for them, right?
Us: Right. So many different athletes are fun to watch.

Never had I thought that Liberated Fandom could save me from such a potentially weird situation, especially when it comes to the Olympics—the ultimate in traditional fandom.

-Desmond Mason going back to Oklahoma. Am I going to have to stop acting like the Oklahoma City (Thunder) don't exist? The Oklahoma Okies have seriously turned into the amalgam of the past 20 years of the NBA. White guys, Africans, Euros, prodigal sons (Durant), wiley veterans (Joe Smith) three-point specialists (Donyell Marshall), and now a dunk specialist. (Dr. LIC)

-How come everything involving Van Exel is automatically hilarious? Especially if it's striving for normalcy and grandeur. (BS)

-I don't know what's more dope about this Adrian W. column: Kidd robustly pointing out the double standard applied to the NBA, or Gasol's "it was all the in spirit of the Olympics." This is spot on: Plenty of people are just waiting for them to pull a Barkley and get ignorant, and thus absolutely demand we field a team of Reddicks in the future. Gasol, on the other hand, seems to feel that making fun of others is part of mingling with them on the world stage; mockery, even with a little bit of poor taste, spices up the already fraught competition. Is this being comfortable in one's cosmpolitan skin, or a rarified version of playground trash talk? Old World playfulness or vulgar NBA influence? Maybe there's no difference, aside the cluster of associations each carries with them. And how they're judged accordingly. (BS)

-New Portraits in Patriotism this morning. I'll let you in on a secret: I try and put myself in the mindset of McCain or Bush when I write these, and feel half-crazy by the end. (BS)

-Predicting the existence of YouTube

-Really good primer on gigantism, which has affected Sun Ming Ming, Gheorghe Muresan, and Andre the Giant among others. The pituitary gland apparently turns your body into its own personal Barry Bonds training regiment. Scary. (Dr. LIC)

-Best part of this Sarunas screed: Stephen Jackson's so loyal, to everyone, it's like codependent. (BS)

-Former NBA journeyman Vincent Askew (who is 43) was arrested this week for having sex with a 16-year old girl in Miami, and I have to admit I was surprised that was a crime, since the age of consent is 16 in most states. Turns out it's a felony in Florida whenever "a person 24 years of age or older...engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age." With such a bright line between college-dude-pulling-high-school-trim and creepy-old-predator, I was struck by the wishy-washy language of "16 or 17 years of age." Why not "17 and under"? Is that too difficult for panhandle rednecks to understand? (BR)

UPDATE: There is a separate statute in Florida that deals with people between the ages of 12 and 16. The statute I cited above does deal only with 16 and 17 year olds, so the language makes sense. I hereby apologize to all Floridians for my baseless speculation about their ability to comprehend the English language. It is I whose reading was not up to snuff. As penance, I will spend the weekend reading Eskridge's Legislation and Statutory Interpretation. (BR)

-Special Endorsement from Dr. LIC:

Your dude is back.

I just saw Tropic Thunder last night, with uncertain expectations, and holy sh*t--this film is a modern classic. For those worried that Stiller went soft with Night at the Museum, the Meet the Parents franchise, and Heartbreak Kid-type exploits, have your hopes restored. Social commentary/skewering of "Hollywood's excess" aside, this movie simply has more jokes than anything I've seen in recent years. With a 10-minute opening segment that is the comedy equivalent of "R O S E B U D"/Connie Corleone's wedding, the movie maintains its funniness for its duration. And Downey, Jr. should seriously be nominated for an Oscar. See it.



At 8/15/2008 2:02 PM, Blogger Fat Contradiction said...

Jeez, BR. "is that too difficult for panhandle rednecks to understand?"? Pretty angry rhetoric for so early in the morning...

At 8/15/2008 2:03 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Half of BR's lineage is angry rednecks.

At 8/15/2008 2:23 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

It was a legitimate question about why they would word it that way. "17 and under" seems pretty easy to understand. Really, I was too lazy to keep researching. There is a separate statue that deals with sex with people between the ages of 12 and 16. So, the one they got Askew on deals only with 16 and 17 year olds.

Anyway, have you ever been to the panhandle of Florida?

At 8/15/2008 2:23 PM, Blogger Babydaddy said...

Is sexing someone 15 or younger a separate, more serious offense? Could just be a poorly written law, but maybe the sentencing requirements differ or whatever. In any event, dude should have gone to China, where 16 year old gymnasts look like toddlers.

At 8/15/2008 2:24 PM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...

Homebread trying to get into the mind of Bush or McCain reads like Henry Miller's Time of the Assassins. It's more a funhouse then an expose.

At 8/15/2008 2:24 PM, Blogger Babydaddy said...

@BR--thanks for retroactively addressing my question.

At 8/15/2008 2:28 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Your legal chops are sagging. It deals with people between 16 and 17. Not 16 or 17.

And, so someone can call us "gay" for the second day in a row, every time we discuss this my brain loops "I am 16, going on 17. . ."

WV: rulsp=the word for the "16-17" offense had it been part of the plot of "Sound of Music"

At 8/15/2008 2:30 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Damn. Because I really think jokes about basketball HUAC count as an "expose."

At 8/15/2008 2:37 PM, Blogger SeanBS said...

That '85 Memphis Final Four team is afflicted. Add Askew's problems to the litany of troubles mentioned in this Geoff Calkins piece. A murder, a suicide, one in jail, one on the way. Their coach did time. Keith Lee's career was derailed by knee issues. Their season was wiped from the record books. But hey, at least John Wilfong is a successful financial manager who spoke at my high school's career day. Whitey wins again!

At 8/15/2008 2:40 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

For those that care, the punishment for both crimes can be "a term of imprisonment not exceeding 15 years" or a fine not exceeding $15,000.

At 8/15/2008 2:42 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Oh right, that was what was so stupid about it. They're the same crime, except for the 16-17 part.

WV: nuldrcpv-bela gets mugged and smacked with a break while ordering a hamburger, and instead demands his assailant purchase a mini-van for him since that was on his to-do list

At 8/15/2008 2:48 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

Well, what's interesting about it to me is that there's a sanction against all sex with people under the age of 16, but with people who are 16 or 17, it's only "wrong" if the person is 8 or 9 years older, and then the classification (felony of the second degree) is the same, which seems weird to me.


At 8/15/2008 2:49 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

I think this is all to blame on the R. Kelly trial. In Chicago, it was all over the news, forcing me to think about these issues.

At 8/15/2008 3:05 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Wait, that actually makes a lot of sense. When we first talked about this it seemed a lot stupider.

The law is a lot funnier when you misunderstand it.

At 8/15/2008 3:14 PM, Blogger Rebar said...

everyday posts on FD really wigs me out (this is a neutral emotion).

i think i'm going to love the okc team this year. just imagine westbrook/durant/mason/wilcox/smith

i totally agree with the microcosm of the last 20 NBA yrs, but i think more than that they just have some really amusing cats on that team now. the real question is will dj white get any burn behind joe "Q Public" smith?

At 8/15/2008 3:18 PM, Blogger Carter Blanchard said...

I still think this part, "however, sexual activity does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose," is pretty hysterical, even after Ty explained to me it's about gynecologists.

At 8/15/2008 5:31 PM, Blogger knowing is maxo said...

EDiaL has been revelatory. I hope it never goes away.

At 8/15/2008 7:12 PM, Blogger MC Welk said...

CB, it is "hysterical." Literally.

At 8/15/2008 8:55 PM, Blogger 800# said...

Stephen Jackson went into the stands not because he was crazy, but because he was loyal.


At 8/16/2008 12:02 AM, Blogger Rob Mahoney said...

Satan's Alley. That's all I have to say.

At 8/16/2008 4:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"three-point specialists (Donyell Marshall), and now a dunk specialist. (Dr. LIC)"

I read this and for a second thought you were suggesting the Thunder hire you to be a dunk specialist. I would move to OKC to see this 41 times a year.


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