Thursday, February 22, 2007

I don't know if I can finish tonight's post. I might just be so scandalized by so many things that I might explode. The least of them is CMT (Country Music Television) is currently rebroadcasting it's countdown of the 100 Greatest Duets. I am watching it because Miami is being slaughtered in Dallas. Much as I complained about the Blender Magazine countdown of the 50 Worst Things to Happen to Music (if you might want to see it, please use the tags), I must complain about this. If Reggie Miller gets to sing a bar or two of Kumbaya without being beaten savagely, I can rant about whatever I want.

George Jones and Tammy Wynette came in at 16 with Golden Ring. Seven Spanish Angels came in at 15. I love both songs. They should have been 3-4, behind Roy Orbison and KD Lang singing Cryin' and Roy Orbison and Emmylou Harris with That Lovin' You Feelin' Again. That's the way it should have been. I know Mitt Romney just came out and said Roy was his favorite music, but I can't hold that against Roy. I'm not coming out against Mitt, just don't attach much weight to his opinion as arbiter of music.

As it was, Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss came in ahead of the four songs mentioned above with Whiskey Lullaby. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill was 13 with a terrible song. I won't go through them all, but Marty Stewart and Travis Tritt came in at number 12 with The Whiskey Ain't Workin' Any More. Roy Orbison singing Oooby Dooby alone is a better duet, despite the fact that it's not a duet and, as much as I love Roy Orbison's music, Ooby Dooby blows.

Before I get to the real heart of this post, I do have to say this. You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma came in at 6. Personally, I rank it at number 5. Not so much because it's a great song (it's average), but because it is one of the great mysteries of all time. Is it tongue-in-cheek, or are they serious? It baffles me. I will admit that I don't know much about Oklahoma, beyond the fact that True Grit was set there (I'm not sure where it was shot, but I love the movie). But three is no way that's a compliment. After all, it's not one of those iconic places that come to mind when one thinks about great natural beauty like Hawaii. To me, it sounds like the song's subtext is basically: "You're very average and I'm OK with it."

In case you care, the top duet in Country Music history, as judged by the CMT brain trust was Islands in the Stream, the Kenny Rodgers-Dolly Parton crime against humanity. The Roy Orbison duet with KD Lang came in at 26, and That Lovin' You Feelin' Again somehow placed 41st. Perhaps it was due to a series of clerical errors, a bizarre offshoot of the anti-Mark Cuban conspiracy or the fact that every one but me and, of course, my readers (unless you're reading this to monitor me for one of my many enemies) is a moron. But, for the record, sucks. But I should move on, while I still have a reader left.

Among the other things that scandalize me at the moment, and do not relate to the sports world: VH1's Celebreality. I know it's hard to get famous, and it's hard to stay famous. But the people they drag in for show's like the Surreal Life Fame Games probably never should have been famous in the first place. There's the guy from Poison who wasn't Brett Michaels. And who the F--- is this New York that I'm supposed to love? Has any person done less to be famous? God help us.

But into the sports world. Miami might be down by 26 with 2:40 to go in the third, and it seems like it would take a miracle for them to win. But I am shocked and appalled that the officials have not called all of the fouls that the Heat have committed. They must have taken pity on the people who paid to see the game, because there is no other explanation for why all 12 Heat players didn't foul out 20 minutes ago. I would have documented all their abuses, but I'm busy waiting for Mark Cuban to admit that Dallas has been the beneficiary of even one bad call.

You know it must have happened. The law of averages commands it. Furthermore, if David Stern is even 1/3 as intelligent as Bill Simmons makes him out to be, he'd at least try to cover his tracks. Maybe it's just so hard to conceal anything from Mark Cuban that he's given up trying to hide the machinations that deprive the Mavs of title after title. One would have to get up very early in the late afternoon to outfox the Benefactor.

I salute Antoine Walker for his foul on Dirk Nowitski. Toine hit him hard, harder than necessary. It was a flagrant foul, but he didn't try to put Dirk out of the game. What happened to the day when one could send a message with a hard foul without Stu Jackson banishing the offender to the island prison from the Ray Liotta film No Escape? And if poor Dirk is traumatized, he can just cry like a little girl and Mark Cuban will make it all better.

I can't decide what scandalizes me more, so here are the two top contenders in no particular order. I don't know if you saw on PTI or read in the Globe, but the Boston Red Sox announced that Wise Food Inc. is now the Official Potato Chip and Cheez Doodle Sponsor of the local professional baseball concern. There are so many things about this that upset me, I hardly know where to begin.

First, does the "cute" misspelling of cheese open the door for the Red Sox to create partnerships with any number of companies that produce said product and employ any conceivable permutations of cheese and doodle in their logos? Second, is it that much of a stretch to make ends meet at Fenway that they need to do this? Third, why Wise? When I told a friend about this story, he mentioned Vincent's or Boyd's because I had forgotten for a moment the name of the company involved. His rationale was that those are both local companies. John Henry is always willing to go the extra mile to forge connections with the local business community. After all, Wise is almost a local company. The company's headquarters is about 15 minutes away (by SR-71) in Berwick, PA.

This brings me to the other of my main sources of irritation on the evening. When I heard this story, I immediately thought of a line from the the movie Miller's Crossing. Gabriel Byrne's character tells one of the other characters "if there was a market for little old ladies, you'd have Grandma Bernbaum first in line." That sums up the John Henry business model. Any way to squeeze a red cent out of this team, its properties, its trademarks and its fans is acceptable.

It bothers me, not that they have an official snack food company, but that they narrow it down to that extent. I await the day when they sign a deal with Pringles, since I'm sure the tube based potato crisp falls outside the rubrics of their agreement with Wise. But I'm also irritated by the fact that I could swear I used that Miller's Crossing reference before, but I couldn't find it by googling the blog or checking the tags. I suppose I could look some more, but I'm tired. It's time to sign off.

P.S. If I end up in the trunk of a car in the weeds three weeks from now, you'll know that I might have one more reader than I think I have at this point. I'm not saying I told someone that she was the reason God made Oklahoma when I was intoxicated, but I might have. All I can say is, I'm sorry. Nothing I say when I'm drunk can be held against me. Just look through the back numbers of this blog to find the "this will make us all soldiers" that very nearly makes me sick to my stomach with confusion and shame when I think about it. But I'm not admitting anything.

And another thing - the simple fact that I'm paranoid doesn't mean that I'm wrong. After all, Richard Nixon was paranoid. But people were out to get him. They must have been, because they got him in the end.

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