Monday, April 26, 2010

Quintessence of Dust

A quick nod to The Bard, born on this date in 1564.

“What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason. How infinite in faculties. In form and moving, how express and admirable. In action, how like an angel. In apprehension, how like a god. The beauty of the world, the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me.”

- from Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2

Monday, April 19, 2010


This has been on YouTube for some time, but I just found out about it. Funniest thing I’ve seen in a while. It’s a montage of cheese-whiz David Caruso one-liners from CSI: Miami.


The action of putting on his sunglasses before every line, followed by the Daltrey scream punctuating it, makes each clip ten-times funnier.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The King (not-Elvis edition)

This is a celebration. A celebration of LeBron James, who is about three weeks away from claiming his second straight MVP nod.

So let the debates begin. Let’s hear the naysayers come out with arguments for Kobe, for Durant, for D-Ho (?). Please.

Just check out this small sampling of what the King has done on the court this season:


Good golly, Miss Molly.

I’m not going to get into stats and PERs and win/loss and all that. ESPN has twenty-seven different writers who will be hashing all that out over these next weeks. LeBron is my 2009-10 MVP for this reason:

If I ran a good NBA team, and we had to play one game (or for that matter, a 7-game series) for our lives, I’d rather play against any other team than the Cavs. And LeBron is the reason.

Even the Lakers — with a fading-but-still-awesome Kobe, a superior supporting cast, and a coach who makes Mike Brown look like a child — don’t put that icy fear in me like the Cavs do. (And to be clear: I’m assuming Shaq is done for the season.)


P.S. This is kind of beside the point, but screw it: LeBron does things that honestly seem to defy the laws of physics. On a breakaway once, I watched him blaze downcourt and somehow get from the top of the key to the rim in ZERO TIME. It looked like a “glitch in the matrix,” where he somehow moved from Point A to Point B without any time elapsing. It was even blurry on the slow-mo playback. Unreal. (I’ve seen only three players in my lifetime who made me jump out of my seat and yell, “Whoa!!!” — a whoa that meant, “How is that humanly possible?!” Those three players? Magic, MJ, LeBron.)

P.P.S. Speaking of MJ: When did Jordan win his first title? His 7th season. What season is LeBron playing right now? His 7th season. (And by the way, he’s only 25 years old.)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris

If you haven’t visited this exhibit yet, do yourself a favor and get there. Just a wonderful collection of Cubist work — along with some other miscellany: photographs and the like — culled together from traveling pieces, as well as some of the Phila. Museum’s own.

The exhibit kicks off with a self-portrait Picasso made in 1906:

As you walk in, you’re given a personal MP3-player device, through which you can listen to an “audiotour.” The narrators told me, through my headphones, that Picasso had intended this portrait to show him as a man on top of the art world. Having gone through his Blue and Rose periods, Picasso felt that he was capable of anything and everything; so much so that he illustrated himself without paintbrush — a man beyond tools — implying that he was almost superhuman in his artistic abilities.

But take a close look at Picasso’s face here. Does it say “supreme confidence” to you? He looks lost, like a man at some kind of crossroads. Perhaps, an artist who HAD achieved great success, and now didn’t know what to do for an encore ... expectations — from his critics, his patrons, himself — like weights on his chest ... and he, the artist, standing center-stage, without a clue what to do next (the missing paintbrush as metaphor).

Just saying, maybe.