Monday, November 30, 2009

Mystery Science Theater 3000 lives on!

When the Sci-Fi Channel pulled the plug on Mystery Science Theater 3000 a few years ago, I thought it was the end of an era: the best and funniest television show of the past few decades was no more. But rejoice! The MST3K crew (Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett) are still ripping movies to pieces, and even better, they're no longer shackled by the Sci-Fi Channel's copyright constraints. Thanks to my boy Martin (aka G-Spot) for not only letting me know about this but hooking me up with two Rifftrax'd Bela Lugosi jewels this past week-end. You can preview and purchase their latest offerings on their website, Enjoy!

Monday, November 23, 2009

That stinking Cold War crap

Those of us who love opera know perfectly well that back in the 50s, an ignorant bunch of misguided, McCarthy-led idiots wouldn't let the great Boris Christoff sing here because we just couldn't have an opera dude from behind the Iron Curtain set foot on the Metropolitan. Yes, those sneaky Bulgarian bassos might have ended the American way of life with their open-throated craziness! That story has never failed to annoy the shite out of me, and I've often wondered how many more phenomenal singers we / I missed out on because of that idiocy. Surely, a school of singing as accomplished as that of the Soviet Union would have produced more than one great singer during the Cold War years! Over the last few years, thanks to the advent of YouTube, I've been finding more and more relatively unknown Soviet-bloc operatic jewels. Zurab Sotkilava, Muslim Magomaev, Nicolae Herlea, Pavel Lisitsian, Irina Arkhipova... and the latest find: my Armenian brother from another mother, Barseg Tumanyan.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A boxer: blindsided

The title of this post is a tribute to / blatant rip-off of Harry Sylvester's phenomenal short story, "A Boxer: Old." In this particular case, however, the protagonist is not a likable boxer fighting two relentless opponents: the boxer in front of him, and the ravages of time. The blindsided boxer in this case is a petulant little sanitary napkin named Floyd "Moneyless" Mayweather. A few days ago, he called in a satellite radio show co-hosted by some dude named RA the Rugged Man, probably thinking he'd get tossed a few softball questions and then be showered with lavish praise. Instead, this RA character blindsided "Pretty Broke" Floyd with a ton of tough questions regarding his career, his legacy, and his obnoxious tendency to proclaim himself the greatest of all time while demeaning possible opponents. Mayweather's response was predictable: lots of shouting, lots of empty posturing, lots of references to his wealth, but very little substance. In a way, I felt bad for Moneyless, even though I absolutely despise him, because I thought the instantly confrontational tone of the interview was unfair. Be that as it may, the interviewer, while not the most knowledgeable and articulate person, did know his boxing, and raised some very valid objections to the way Mayweather's career has been handled.

Here is the interview, in two parts:

I'll speak on behalf of the Floyd haters (h8rs), since I genuinely despise Moneyless. Those of us who dislike the man but are still somewhat rational don't judge his on-the-ring performance based on his personality. When Moneyless dismantled Chico Corrales, I was disgusted by the outcome but dazzled by Moneyless' brilliant (and it WAS brilliant) performance. Same thing when he took apart a then-undefeated and highly lauded Hatton. And I, for one, can't blame Moneyless for fighting Baldomir -- Baldomir had beaten Judah for his title, then beaten Gatti. Moneyless fought Judah first (and make no mistake about it, Judah was considered the better fighter even after his loss to Baldomir) and then Baldomir for his title. No complaints there, at least not from me.

My problem with Moneyless stems from his obnoxious, abrasive, not at all funny personality. When people ask him (rightly, in my humble opinion) why he chose not to fight Margarito or Mosley (and he DID make those choice -- even his most staunch supporters cannot deny that), his answer is to discredit those fighters he chose not to fight. "Oh, you mean the Shane Mosley that lost to Forrest? Lost to Cotto? You mean the Margarito that lost to Paul Williams?" So what if they lost some fights? That's not the reason Floyd chose not to fight them. I guess I despise him because he constantly and unremittingly insults mine and all other boxing fans' intelligence with his tiresome rhetoric. Just tell us you were biding your time for better fights or waiting for a better build-up of fight interest, which I, personally, would be inclined to accept. That's what he did with Judah. If memory serves, their fight was hashed out months in advance, and even though Judah, in his inimitable idiocy, muffed things by taking Baldomir lightly and losing a lackluster decision to him, Moneyless followed through on his plans and fought Judah first. Hey, boxing's a business, fighters need to make money. Even the most ardent hater (h8r) can and should understand that. But Mayweather gets on my nerves because he's a liar, and a pretty shitty liar at that, and I just can't stand liars, especially the stupid ones who believe their own lies. Case in point: Pretty Broke Floyd swearing up and down that he didn't owe the IRS millions of $$$, then showing off his impressive mansion on an HBO fight preview show, all while proclaiming, "My shit is paid for... how 'bout yours?" only to immediately turn over roughly half of his winnings from his last fight to the IRS to, you guessed it, settle his million $$$ debt to the government. What a douche bag.

So I guess that's it for me. I just despise Mayweather's boorish, obnoxious, "let me reinvent the truth and then shout it loudly because that'll somehow give my lies legitimacy" spiel. If that makes me a typical old-fogey white h8r, then so be it.