James Leroy Wilson's blog

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ten Things

Ten things, July 18, 2009:

10. Tiger Misses the Cut at the British Open. Tiger is still relatively young. Every year he gets by with winning one major tournament, I think it's possible he'll surpass Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major championships. Each year he wins two, I think it's probable. Each year he fails to win even one, we're reminded of how difficult this really is. This year, he has the PGA Championship left. Tiger is 33 and has to win five more majors to surpass Nicklaus. We can no longer take it for granted.

9. The best news about 59 year-old Tom Watson leading after three rounds of the British Open is that it suggests Tiger Woods could be in the mix in the majors for another 26 years at least.

8. Did you know: Aaron Burr saved Alexander Hamilton's life before he ended it.

7. Is it just me, or is Coldplay just bubblegum pop music for adults? There is absolutely nothing wrong with it; I really like this. It's just that I don't love music by today's 30- or 40-somethings as much as I do music performed by 20-somethings before I was born.

6. Did you know? The last story on November 22, 1963 CBS Morning News was a human-interest story about this group called The Beatles that had captivated Britain. Then, JFK was shot. After days of constant JFK Assassination coverage and to lighten the mood of the country, Walter Cronkite suggested re-airing the Beatles piece as the first non-JFK story on the CBS Evening News. So, The Beatles were the last story before the Assassination and the first story after it. Chicago DJ legend Dick Biondi had actually played the Beatles earlier in 1963, thinking they were the best thing since Elvis, but they never caught on on the merits of the music, they needed massive national propaganda that the likes of Walter Cronkite could provide. I'd provide links to this information, but I learned it all by listening to the radio many years ago.

5. When I was six years old and our family was on a long road trip, we played 20 Questions. I stumped the tribe, who was thinking I'd choose Bugs Bunny or Batman. The person I was thinking of was Walter Cronkite.

4. Third-best non-fiction movie of all time: Fog of War starring Robert McNamara; Second best: The Wizard of Oz; Best: The Matrix. I suppose the latter two are subjective: does "non-fiction" mean relation to historical "facts," or does "non-fiction" mean ultimate truth and reality?

3. Second-best non-fiction music video: The White Stripes, "Seven Nation Army" It's not what the lyrics say, it's how the song is constructed and how the video is made. You know, hypnotizing.

2. Best non-fiction music video: Elliot Smith, "Son of Sam" I just fear that all of us are as controlled as the protagonist that Smith portrays, whether we're conscious of it or not.

1. 30 Rock gets a record 22 Emmy nominations. Bring the head writer (Tina Fey) of a live comedy program (Saturday Night Live, in one of its better periods) to create, write, and star in a single-camera sitcom and what do you get? A sitcom that goes for the laugh in every single scene, regardless if it's toilet humor, farce, or satire. There have been many single-camera, non-laugh-track sitcoms. Some of them are brilliantly plotted (Arrested Development), some clever (Corner Gas), some charming (Everybody Hates Chris) but none are as energetic and relentless as 30 Rock. A sample of episodes is found here and the Kidney Now! finale is here. Frankly, I think the stunningly adorable Norah Jones - I say "adorable" because she has short hair; I'd says "gorgeous" if she still had long hair - deserves an Emmy just by the way she says "And only three of us are drunk."

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