Articles of interest and other things

“Brooklyn Nets”? For real? I don’t know what to make of it; while it’s great to see Brooklyn get revitalized (and unfortunate that Newark hasn’t been able to do it), I feel for those people whose homes are going to have to be put out of the way unless the designs and plans get tweaked. I’m not necessarily anti-development, but I’m hardly pro-development either.

Bacon taste testing in the NY Times! Bacon is good, even if I am one of those people who’d look for the least fatty one in the supermarket. has a good article on the real story behind “Cheaper by the Dozen.” (I liked the original movie; the original book was also good; not touching the current movie).’s Michael Kinsley says he has figured out what “Compassionate Conservative” means. Hmm. The article’s worth a look just to help one figure it out.

Last night’s “Angel” on WB – quite good. Angel and Spike, Spike and Angel – two vampires with souls who may or may not have destinies to fulfill. In last night’s episode, Spike’s on a path that paralleled Angel’s path of four years ago when Angel began the path of the champion in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Angel’s feeling sicker and sicker (literally) over whether he’s looking less like a champion and losing meaning in his work. Yet, who’s playing conquer and divide between Spike and Angel? Are the Powers That Be still involved and who are Wolfram and Hart’s Senior Partners? Who is good, who is evil, and what does it mean when you’re in the gray? Is it okay to be in a blurry world, or better for things to remain strictly black and white? Will Team Angel figure it out, before they get sucked into oblivion??? And, oh yeah, the classic take on a favorite favorite sci-fi/fantasy plotline, wherein parasite suck one’s mind. Kudos. You can never get away from parasites.

In the middle of all this, the “Angel” episode (directed by Angel star himself, David Boreanez) injected some good humor. Angel’s dream sequences are remarkable (good dream sequences are always hard to beat – funny yet filled with Freudian analyses type of questions). There was one moment that made one wish that the producers had been able to get Sarah Michelle Gellar back as Buffy, but what they did instead was funny enough (her voice and a blonde stand-in would have to do, apparently; it seemed like Angel and Spike were going to have to take that as it was).

Earlier this week, in a review in the NY Daily News, tv critic David Bianculli thought “American Idol” was still as good a watch as ever – although he seemed to think that judges Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul seemed meaner than they have in the past, he pointed out that the contestants haven’t exactly made it any easier. Simon Cowell thought an immigrant contestant couldn’t have even won “Kosovo Idol.” Randy and Simon snickered like junior high school boys at a bunch of losers when they were left to judge with Paula gone. Too many contestants had serious tin ears, refusing to acknowledge that they so cannot sing. Did they realize that the line between karaoke (singing for one’s own pleasure, by the way) versus the big time (where, you know, you’re supposed to be serious) is not that big a blur, really?

Anyway, “American Idol” still a fun watch, especially if one likes watching people get punished (fairly or not) like this. But, it’s sometimes scary or hard to watch – when the sore losers get too sore and then I get to feel the voyeur for listening to them rant about Simon or the other judges; when the sore loser then causes a tortious assault (you know, the kind the tort law professors would teach) on Simon (throwing water at Simon); and so on – it almost makes me wince. The Chinese guy in Houston, who aimed to be the Hong Kong flavor of the “American Idol” – umm, okay – so he forgot that one needed actual talent, not just a desire, to be on tv. I figured some contestants were intentionally bad, to get on television; but, it’s hard to tell sometimes. It should get more interesting when the good singers come on.

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