Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Brand New Cavalierism

Did you ever hear someone tell a joke that they thought was so clever that tell it over and over even if nobody laughs?

Well, on his last two forecasts Tony has labeled the weekend "Auld Lang Mild" on the five day forecast graphic. He seems very proud of his little wordplay.

He is a never ending source of bemusement.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

We Are Marshall: Post Premiere Comments

I have suppressed the urge to post on this subject because I really hoped I would be wrong, but it now appears my gut was correct.

Chris James nailed it when he wrote "We Are...A Flop!" I am so not surprised, and here's why:
  • The Title - While it is a cherished part of the Marshall and Huntington culture, The "We Are Marshall" chant really doesn't serve well as a title for the movie. I just doesn't say much to outsiders about what the movie is about. It is rare that a working title of a major motion picture ends up being the actual title and I was very surprised that they stuck with the original title all the way. It must have tested out pretty well in focus groups, but recent transplants to our area have told me that they thought the name was curious and that if they didn't know what the movie was about they wouldn't get it from the title. The fact is that not many people outside our area know the story and therefore will not make the connection. Too bad "Ashes to Glory" was already taken; I think that would have been much better.
  • The Actors - The "Sexiest Man Alive" list is replete with winners whose next career move was a bad one. Affleck had "Gigli", Clooney had "Batman." Now McConaughey has "We Are Marshall." This is his first venture outside the chick flick genre and from all accounts, his portrayal of Jack Lengyel is pretty hokey. Matthew Fox has a huge TV fan following but I don't seem him bringing in an audience. The total lack of a leading woman is problematic, too. Kate Mara and Kimberly Williams should have been played up more in the publicity.
  • The Timing - Let's face it, Christmas weekend releases are reserved for sure-fire family films (Toy Story, Babe, etc.) or Oscar contenders. This movie is neither. The field is way too crowded this time of year for a lackluster movie with little appeal to a wide audience.
  • The Director - I never understood why the local news media made such a fuss over director "McG". The highlights of his directing credits include two very bad movies (Charlie's Angels) and some Wierd Al Yankovick videos. I don't know any movie buff that is going to shell out their eight bucks to go see a movie because it was directed my McG.
I had really hoped that the movie was going to do well in spite of these obvious potential problems. How fitting it would have been if the movie would have overcome the obstacles and rise to greatness like the team in the story does. Sadly, the movie's fortunes looks more like a glory to ashes story.

The movie's failure is no reflection on Huntington or Marshall. The only thing the community did was to have expectations that were unrealistically high, and I blame McG and Co. for that.

Monday, December 25, 2006

West Virginia Travelogue

A stumbled across this very cool photographer's site that has an extensive collection of travelogues. One of these is of West Virginia. I love finding stuff like this on the internet and seeing what visitors say about us. Check it out and make sure you read the comments at the bottom of the page.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Coach Rod

I never thought he would leave. I felt certain that he was using the opportunity and the leverage of the Alabama offer to get some things he wanted for WVU and his assistants. Listening to him today, it sounded like he considered the offer seriously. He might be saying that just to mend fences with the Alabama folks or he might believe that he seriously considered it, but I think he's a West Virginia boy and he was never very close to leaving.

But the thing that most impressed me about this episode was the way people were so quick to believe what the media published in spite of the facts in evidence. People were looking for the lies in Coach Rod's words when they should have been looking for the truth. The lies, as it turns out, were in the headlines as they usually are. Our 24/7 news cycle, even sports news, has created an alternate reality. If a news agency - any news agency, even the Bugtussel Gazette - reports something, then other news agencies immediately cite "published reports" and put their own version in print or broadcast. Soon each agency begins citing every other agency's report and then the citations are lost because the item has acheived a reality of its own. It is now a fact that demands refutation from authoritative sources before it will die. Even though the original "news" item had no authority in its creation, its defeat requires mutliple authorities.

This has happened over and over with political stories since the dawn of the CNN era. Of course, Bill Clinton didn't help matters any with his "It all depends on what the definition of 'is' is" crap. That whole affair (literally) created a whole new dimension of skepticism about the words of public figures.

Anyway, I'm glad that the coach is sticking around.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

What's Up With

I've noticed for the last several days that The Charleston Gazette's online edition has been screwy. The list of news stories on the main page and then the subsequent sub-heading pages have stories from previous days listed among the new stories. I can't tell if this is by accident or intentional, but it's been happening for several days.