Thursday, September 29, 2011

In Case You Missed It: MGMT on Fallon

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 2:58 PM

I'm posting the video of MGMT playing Pink Floyd's "Lucifer Sam" on the Jimmy Fallon show Wednesday, because, hey, maybe you didn't stay up late or you were still crawling around the Sears parking lot at the BOM party.

I wish I had the inside dope on why they dressed up like zombie lobstermen, or why that guy from Deerhunter is onstage dressed like Joey Ramone, but I don't. But it sounds good, especially through earphones.

Check it out here.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

MGMT Plays Pink Floyd on "Fallon"

Posted By on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 11:36 AM

That band I really like, MGMT, is playing the Jimmy Fallon show's tribute to Pink Floyd Wednesday night. MGMT, Pearl Jam, the Foo Fighters, Dierks Bentley, and the Shins are each playing a Pink Floyd tune one night this week. MGMT will perform "Lucifer Sam" off the "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" album. There may be costumes involved. Should be fun.

Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser of MGMT
  • Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser of MGMT

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Mystery of Ann Coulter and the Commercial Appeal

Posted By on Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 9:23 AM

So the Commercial Appeal once again ran an Ann Coulter column. This one was about the Troy Davis case, ostensibly, though it was so full of bile and lies, I could hardly bring myself to read it. I would link to it, but as far as I can tell , the CA doesn't put Coulter's columns on their website, though all their other syndicated columnists' pieces are posted.

Coulter's column (as most of them do) contained blatant, provable falsehoods. She claimed, for example, that no innocent man has been executed in the U.S. since 1950. I assume she came up with that date the way she comes up with most of her "facts" — by pulling it out of her ass. Anyone who does the absolute minimal amount of research can come up with many instances of people who were executed and later exonerated, either because the real culprit confessed or post-execution DNA determined that the executed person was not guilty. Trust me, this is not difficult to do.

This raises a couple of questions for me: Why does the CA run Coulter's column in the first place, if it's filled with lies? And why does it print the column in the paper yet not put it on the website?

Two answers to the first question come to mind: a) The CA editors just don't bother to check the "facts" in Coulter's column, even though she has a long history of spewing total bullshit, or b) they do check her facts and run it anyway, knowing that her venomous lies are red meat for the cro-magnon sector of their readership.

I would tend to go with: "b"

So why don't they put Coulter's crap-bag column on their website?

I would tend to go with: They don't want the evidence that they run this garbage in the paper out there for all the world-wide-web to see.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Welcome, Commercial Appeal Commenters

Posted By on Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 12:50 PM

The Commercial Appeal has announced that it is finally embarking on its plan to implement a paywall system for its website. The plan will only impact non-subscribers to the paper product, but I'm suspecting that will be a substantial number of folks, including no doubt lots of commercialappeal.com's infamous "commenters." Whether or not those folks decide to pay to continue using the site is the big question. The CA obviously hopes the answer is "yes."

Many of them probably won't, however, and will begin looking for another local news site to air their opinions. With that in mind, I thought this might be a good time to lay down some of the ground-rules here at good ol' memphisflyer.com. First off, let me say, "Welcome." We encourage you to sign up as a commenter, preferably using your own name and a picture, but if not, we understand. Some folks have good reasons for being anonymous online. But being anonymous doesn't exempt you from knowing the playbook.

We pride ourselves on trying to keep things civil around here. If you're a racist or if you like to engage in venomous personal attacks on our writers or on other commenters, you won't last long. We'll block your computer's IP number and you'll have to use another computer to get on. If you do it again, we'll ban that IP number.

We like humor. We like wit. We like reasoned arguments. But we are subjective. I'm the bartender and this is our joint. If you're a bozo and start harassing other customers or the staff, the doorman will see you out, pronto.

A great example of what we'd love to see more of is the discussion on the "Seeds of Discontent" story. There are nearly 100 comments so far, many made by folks using their real name, and the overwhelming majority have been well-considered and within the bounds of civil discourse. (Many of these folks signed on through Facebook, which you can do when you log in or sign up for an account.) We love this sort of dialogue. More please.

I look forward to getting to know more of you. Thanks for coming on board.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Memphis Tigers Hit Bottom

Posted By on Sat, Sep 10, 2011 at 9:45 PM

There's an accepted bit of wisdom for those with addiction issues: Before they can be helped, they have to hit bottom. That is, they have to be so depressed, so worn out from their destructive actions, that they can see only one way out — a total change in behavior.

The University of Memphis football team has hit bottom. It has become a pathetic, embarrassing excuse for a Division I football program. An intervention is needed, stat.

It was only a few years ago, that I wouldn't have missed listening to a Tiger game on the radio or TV. I even attended a couple games every year. Tonight, I fixed dinner for some friends. We talked about lots of things, but Tiger football wasn't among them. Around 8:30, someone said, "I wonder how the Tigers are doing." I checked the score on my phone. "It's 44 to 3, Arkansas State, middle of the third quarter," I said. Loud groaning, laughter, and scornful remarks ensued.

Seriously, the U of M allows Arkansas State(!) to run up 600 yards in offense? Arkansas State holds the Tigers to one field goal? No offense to the players (literally), who I am sure are trying their best to win football games, but can anyone seriously argue that this program is not a joke? In fact, we are a national punchline.

After week one of the season, which featured a massive thrashing of Memphis by Mississippi State (55 points, 600 yards allowed, ho-hum), ESPN put Memphis as number one in its infamous "Bottom 10." In other words, U of M was considered by ESPN as the WORST team in D-I football. Think they'll stay there this week? I think they're a lock.

Greg Akers argued in the Flyer this week
that the U of M ought to downsize its football program and focus on basketball and other sports, a la Butler, Georgetown, Gonzaga, etc. At this point, that plan makes all the sense in the world. The only other option is to go big, to get FedEx money and other big booster commitments to go all-in: world-class facilities and the hiring of a Saban-level, big-name transformative coach.

But why? Really, why? We have a great basketball program, decent soccer, baseball, and other minor sports that don't cost an arm and a leg to run. Why not accept that we can be a good, even great urban university. No one thinks less of NYU because it doesn't have a D-I football team. What's a better image for the city? A respected academic institution along the lines of Georgetown or Washington University or Chicago University, or a middling football school like, say, Rutgers or Clemson or Ole MIss? I mean, who gives a crap about mediocre football? It's not much better than bad football.

Think about it, Shirley. Then Dream about it. Then Do it. Stop blowing energy, money, and prestige in a futile chase for pigskin glory. It ain't gonna happen. Ever. It's a distraction, and an expensive one, at that. Refocus. Change your behavior. Consider this an intervention. You can thank me later.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Enduring Mystery of WTC 7

Posted By on Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 3:38 PM

As the tenth anniversary of the attacks of 9/11 approaches, there will be countless remembrances — some exploitative and self-serving, some truly meaningful — of that horrific day in American history. I have doubts that the answers to some of the mysteries surrounding the attacks will be revealed in my lifetime, if ever. But I can never watch this video without wondering just what the hell happened that day to WTC 7.
I can't even come up with a good theory as to who might be behind its demolition or why.

I just know that these engineers and architects make an extremely compelling argument that the building did not collapse from a fire.

UPDATE: At the suggestion of a couple of emailers, I'm posting an article from Popular Mechanics which "debunks" the conspiracy theorists. We link, you decide.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Guess That Tea Partier!

Posted By on Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 10:16 PM

The Iowa Democratic Party has come up with a fun game that you can play at home. On your computer! Here's how it works: You read a stupid quote on gay marriage, abortion, creationism, taxes or another Tea Party wet dream, then try to guess which GOP nitwit actually said it. It's harder than it looks!

Try it here.

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