Happy Easter 2013!
A catching up with things kind of post.
It’s that time of year when everybody plays with Peeps (umm, you are supposed to eat them, people!).
For the voting for the ABA Journal and the annual Peeps diorama contest voting, see here.
Washington Post had its Peeps contest. The Atlantic has all kinds of ideas on what to do with Peeps – including infusing them with vodka (not for kids!). And other things to do with Peeps. from Buzzfeed.
And, last but not least, a Slate “Explainer” rerun – oldie but a goodie: Peeps history, to the extent that it is at least an Easter explanation.
We finally had weather this weekend that actually felt like spring. The colder than normal March apparently would be attributable to the groundhogs, who predicted an early spring. And, really, someone out there – a prosecutor no less – wanted to blame it on the groundhogs.
I suppose this prosecutor thought he was being funny, but going with a death penalty on Phil is kind of… cruel. Just sue the groundhog for damages, punitive damages. But, oh, yeah, groundhogs don’t have deep pockets (any pockets) and you’d look silly demanding a sentence of hundreds of hours of community service or jail time from a groundhog.
I never see the point of relying on a groundhog, when spring always starts on March 21, per science. Warmer temperatures – that’s another story.
OMG. Ralph Macchio is 51? I didn’t catch the rebooted Karate Kid with Jackie Chang and Jaden Smith (umm, in China; arguably Kungfu Kid, but oh well), but I find the idea of a sequel where Macchio’s Daniel becomes the teacher to yet another Karate Kid be such a cool idea. The student becoming the teacher? Heh – a trope, but it’s a good trope. (h/t: Angry Asian Man‘s Facebook page).
A weird little post from the Columbia Spectator, my Alma Mater’s school newspaper. For a moment there, I was all “Geez, how did the Spec get James Franco?” and then I remembered, “Wait, didn’t he get a a degree at CU?” and oh, well, sure, press conference calls might as well invite everybody. Still: shall I watch that Oz movie, starring Franco? Are all movie CGI-ish now?….
Pop culture and the law: yes, even with a Walking Dead reference, thanks to the folks of the Law and the Multiverse, who were talking to the folks at NPR, on “Zombies Can Get Away with Murder.” I kind of figured that Zombie Merle wouldn’t be legally responsible for his acts as a zombie (no brain activity=no culpability, right?), but living Merle… well, I suppose he still wouldn’t be held liable, since who’s the law who’ll call him out for being a nasty racist whatnot (Deputy Rick? The Governor? Andrea the soon-to-be-tortured lawyer?). I watch The Walking Dead so inconsistently, but zombie-pocalypse society has a lot of implications. (h/t Law and the Multiverse‘s Facebook fan page).
And, it has been that time of year when men’s college basketball fans fill out diagrams – a.k.a. brackets – in hopes that 64 (or 68, if you count the play-in “Round 1”) – teams can come down to 4 then 2 then 1 NCAA champion. This year was as a strange as ever, but probably not that wacky (only one overtime game so far, and that was during the regional round).
I had picked Michigan State, Gonzaga, Georgetown, and Syracuse as my Final Four, with Gonzaga v. Georgetown as my final two, and Gonzaga as champion. Who was I kidding? I didn’t pick Harvard to get past the (now called) Round 2, since I thought that was some wishful thinking, even if I was rooting for them (got to root for the Ivy League). Yet they had beat New Mexico. So weird! But so fun!
Then this school called Florida Gulf Coast University beat Georgetown! Gasp. Just gasp. My brackets were obliterated. And, it got worse when Wichita State took down Gonzaga. Aargh.
Notre Dame had this atrocious fluorescent/neon green (a.k.a. Shamrock Shake) – to me, possibly as penance for the scandal/weird brouhaha of its football player, Manti T’eo.
Slate had this interesting article by Josh Levin on the Harvard thing. Levin notes:
For universities like Indiana, North Carolina, and even Butler, this kind of moral compromise makes a certain tortured sense: Basketball is as much a part as those schools’ identities as any academic subject. But Harvard doesn’t need hoops to win national prestige or rake in donations. Sure, an NCAA tournament win or two will make alums tweet a little more ferociously. But is vanity enough of a reason to lie down with an institution as flea-ridden as the NCAA? More than any other school, Harvard has the financial wherewithal and the exalted reputation to help change an immoral system or just site outside it. Instead, the school brought in a big-time coach to reel in big-time talent and win big-time games in the NCAA’s biggest event. Harvard isn’t doing anything particularly wrong. But they’re not doing anything right, either.
Honestly, people don’t believe me when I say that the Ivy League was invented because of college sports. It ended up being that the schools of the Ivy League haven’t made much stride in years in Division 1 sports, but nothing says that they won’t end up going along with the NCAA system – as greedy and charismatic as it is, it is the system that we have. It’s a societal thing: ultimately, success in mainstream sports will get the mainstream alumni excited – it’s not something easily overcome.
We all get so into it. Even President Obama, who showed up to watch the Syracuse v. Marquette regional final game. Obama’s not even a Syracuse alumnus; that’d be Joe Biden, who went to the law school.
And, Syracuse beat Marquette, as a last Big East hurrah. And, I feel sad, since this is it for the Big East as we knew it. I guess I should have picked Syracuse and not Georgetown, but I had figure, what the heck and call it a year of the Jesuit (since the new Pope is a Jesuit) and give support to the future Big East, as the Catholic schools that loved basketball try to keep going as the other schools leave. Sure, it’s all about the money and cable money at that and it’s silly to “blame” Syracuse. But, it was a founding member of the Big East and then this is it? Come on, Syracuse: you don’t have to leave the Big East! Think of the children!
(think of The Simpsons, when Mr. Skinner and Mrs. Krabapple were caught with their affair at school, and Mrs. Lovejoy, the minister’s wife, went all righteous about the c-h-i-l-d-r-e-n exposed to s-e-x, and Krusty the Clown remarking, “Sex Cauldron?” as a place that he thought had been closed and since he can’t quite spell).
(and think of the US Supreme Court, as the oral arguments for California’s referendum against gay marriage seemed to be about the children. It’s always about the children, it seems).
(and, seriously: who had Florida Gulf Coast State or Wichita State going as far as they each did? Wichita State in the Final Four?!)
This post from NPR’s Monkey See pop culture blog got me thinking: maybe the way to determine the greatest sitcom of the past 30 years is like doing an NCAA bracket. But, the “standards” of what makes a sitcom better than another – that’s a tough one. I haven’t watched “The Simpsons” the last couple of seasons, even if I can still quote lines from the earlier seasons. There are complete arcs and/or seasons where I skipped “Cheers,” “Friends,” “Frasier,” or even “Cosby Show,” and I’m not a much of a “Seinfeld” (sure, I laugh when I see it, but it’s not my show, the way, say, the first seasons of “Community” or “How I Met Your Mother” totally grabbed me). And, there’s the longevity question: “Golden Girls” might hold up, but no one even shows reruns of “Night Court” anymore (and that show was just nuts towards the end of its run).
And, Entertainment Weekly’s doing brackets for “Who’s the Greatest TV Couple of All Time?” Very crazy, since like with the question of greatest tv sitcom, what’s the standard of measurement? Longevity of love? Stability of love? The great storyline of love? Hmm! See here for Part 4 of the poll…
Good luck at trying to use your DVRs and other ways to watch “Game of Thrones” and “The Walking Dead” and everything else tonight.
Last item, but hardly least: Brooklyn Academy of Music is doing a Miyazaki festival, 4/5/13 to 4/14/13.
Yay! It’s spring indeed!