Friday, July 27, 2007

For a little while, I found myself wondering whether I had been a bit unfair in my diatribe against the state of Connecticut. However, it is with a clear conscience and a wish that I could add even more unpleasant things to what I said earlier that I sit down to write this post tonight. You see, today I found myself driving through Connecticut and stuck in a traffic jam because for some reason, the right hand lane of I-95 North had to be closed so that the grass on the shoulder could be manicured with a weed whacker.

Now of all the days to do this, a Friday in the summer seems like an extremely poor choice. Perhaps no one alerted the powers-that-be in the CT Highway Department, but people like to flee NYC for summer destinations on Friday at noon. So closing off a lane of traffic so that a guy could trim the grass is not tremendously cool. Especially since that artificial traffic jam south of New Haven at noon puts people heading for Boston, the Cape or points north in pole position to hit traffic coming through Providence and then again as they get closer to their ultimate goal.

Of course I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that the Massachusetts transportation bureaucrats managed to turn the terrible tragedy of the manhole cover on 128 North into a traffic catastrophe of epic proportions today. But to be fair to MA, that was an unforeseen event that called for an immediate reaction and not a poor decision by a bureaucrat.

But there are other things to talk about tonight. We have one more feud where it seems impossible to take a side. Barry Bonds didn't like the Bob Costas show about him, so he called Costas a midget. Costas shot back that he may be all of 5-6 and 150, but he came by that physique naturally. Personally, I think some kind soul out to play the scene from Full Metal Jacket where the Drill Sergeant has unkind words for the Texan who tried to exaggerate his height for Mr. Costas, but that's just me.

I don't like feuds like this because they put me in a position of choosing between two people that I can't abide. In this instance, I think I have to be with Bonds because I hate Costas even more than I hate Bonds. Costas is a whiny midget and a jock-sniff who desperately tries to bring gravitas to the stories he covers. Unfortunately for him, pipsqueaks can't bring gravitas to much of anything. Thanks, though, for carrying your Mickey Mantle card in your wallet for so many years. That gives you street cred...

In other news, we can leave off worrying about the surging New York Yankees. Curt Schilling was phenomenal in his second rehab start. The season is once again over. One good thing about the return of Big Schill is that we now have a ballpark date for when the World of Warcraft craze will end. 38 Studios comes out with their own game along that line (but allegedly much better) sometime in 2010. So America's fascination with these games will end sometime about a week before the 38 Studios title hits the shelves.

I thought it was mighty decent of the Globe to throw the picture of Schilling's image as Everquest character on the front page of the business section. Since he's been on the DL, I've had very few opportunities to criticize Humpty Dumpty. But seeing his animated likeness in a suit of red armor, that's like a gift from Heaven. You didn't hear it from me, but rumor has it he chose Everquest over World of Warcraft because his online persona lives in mortal fear of our old friend Leeroy Jenkins and his penchant for leading unsuspecting gamers into ambushes.

Finally, tonight marks an auspicious night for the performing arts in the Greater Boston Area. Not in the 377 years since the Puritans settled Boston has one night seen such cultural significance as tonight, and maybe tomorrow. Two acts of tremendous eminence will grace stages in our city and we can tell our grandchildren we lived to see it.

In case you can't tell, I am unimpressed with the two showstoppers playing the Tweeter Center and the House that John Henry uses to shake down New England. I am so unimpressed that I am having a hard time determining which show impresses me the least. Under ordinary circumstances, I would have to say Kenny Chesney, as he basically ripped off his entire musical persona from Jimmy Buffet (whom I do not particularly like, as I don't smoke dope and prefer beer to tropical drinks) without the redeeming quality of having received a beating from the real life inspiration for the sheriff from Walking Tall (as Buffet did).

But the Police are impressing me less than Kenny Chesney at the moment. First, they were never that good, not even in the 1980s. Their hits are vastly overrated. Roxanne isn't good, it's annoying. Every Breath You Take was actually improved by Puff Daddy when he covered it. Take a minute to let that sink in. That's how bad the song was. A notorious cheese ball like Puff Daddy made the song better.

But since the Police had the good manners to have a controversial break up and flirt with this reunion tour for the last 20 years, people forget just how pathetic they were. Let's not forget, either, that Sting was in Dune. It's like the John Cougar Mellencamp comeback all over again. These frauds stay away for so long that people forget how bad they were, then people realize they like the political stances the artists have taken and next thing you know, the inherent artistic deficiencies are dismissed and we have this comeback.

Without a doubt, what bothered me the most about this Police appearance at Fenway is the fact that all of a sudden tickets for the previously sold out shows all of a sudden went on sale again 10 days ago. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I can't shake the feeling that something underhanded is going on here. I don't buy the cover story that due to a change in the positioning of the stage more seats suddenly became available. I think the shows weren't selling out, so they pulled back some tickets and trumped up this little gimmick to add a sense of surprise and urgency to unload tickets at the last minute.

That bothers me to no end. I can't really fault the Red Sox or the promoter who came up with that little scheme. It's a nice one, after all. If Red Sox fans weren't sheep, the team ownership would have a lot of trouble shearing them. But Red Sox fans are sheep, so management can manipulate them and shake them down as they see fit.

No comments: