Thursday, December 01, 2005

If only the sun shined more in the U.K.

Here's a excerpt from a recent issue of Q music magazine:

Sinead O'Connor says, "I'm surprised Bono can still talk, his mouth is so full with American politician cock."
Bono: Hmmmm... I can take the custard pies. Believe me, it's hard to do this job if you don't like the taste of custard. Yes, I know that some people get angry with who I'm dealing with. But, I'm determined that poverty in Africa can't be a left-wing issue. Some of the American politicians have very different points of views than mine. But that's the whole point: to convince people like that that saving the next generations of Africans is a worthwhile cause. Not a charitable cause, a just cause. A mouth full of cock is a tough charge, but I can't say I've never felt that myself.


Here's a excerpt from a recent edition of the Los Angeles Times :

"The opportunity is there," Kobe Bryant said. "Guys just have to attack and do it within the confines of the offense."


Add up all the quotes in the Times in 2005, and I'd bet Kobe tops the list of Most Quoted Local Personalities.

I'll leave you to form an opinion. I have mine.


At 2:19 AM, Blogger jsbankston said...

Okay, I'm sick as a dog tonight, but I'll weigh in--

One, Sinead O'Connor has managed to scare up a measure of attention and prolong her "career" to an extent that is not proportional to her talent. Yes, she knocked it out of the park when she did a cover of the old Loretta Lynn classic, "Success Has Made A Failure Of Our Home." Mad props there. That's about the only thing she's done worth a damn, though.

But, her various changes of image (Pope-hater/Priestess of a Catholic splinter group, lesbian/non-lesbian) have seemed to display less of a savvy Bowie-esque/Madonna-esque adaptation to the changing tastes of her audience and more the signs of a confused woman whose head is up her ass.

In my opinion, U2 peaked with "The Joshua Tree" and "Rattle & Hum," and though they continue to sell records, I admit I have trouble keeping interested in them. I have my doubts that they are still relevent. And U2 in general and Bono in specific have over the years frequently threatened to collapse under the weight of their own self-importance.

But having said that, Mr. Hewson is still walking the walk and talking the talk. There are many "celebrity Christians"--just check out how many thank "The Man Upstairs" whenever they win an award. But Bono, while being vocal about his faith for over a quarter century, has actually tried to put it into practice by using his celebrity to help his fellow man and not just to get a better table in a restaurant.

I think he realizes that there are some causes and needs that are more important than partisan squabbles, and if sitting down and talking to a group of loathsome, morally bankrupt American politicians will get the hungry fed quicker, then that's just what you've got to do.

I may not buy Bono's records anymore, but I will take my hat off to him for his humanitarian work, and I'm willing to let him ramble on about that work as long as he's getting results.

As for Kobe Bryant, well, I've never really been a sports fan. I've tried to become one on several occasions but just have never succeeded, probably because sports is so popular with so many of the kind of people I loathe. I have a habit of seeing the dark side of every cloud, and sports, for all the good it does, still always seems to bring out the worst in a lot of people. Do fans, for example, really need to burn cars and destroy buildings when the home team wins a championship?

I wish I could one day live in a world where you could start a conversation with a total stranger about movies or music the way you can today about sports. I've seen so many people whose brains are jam-packed with sports trivia and knowledge who cannot otherwise function in the day-to-day world. They can rattle off some guy's stats, but they lack basic job skills. Am I alone in thinking there's something amiss here?

I have a serious problem with a society that will take a stupid kid who is able to run fast or throw a ball for a long distance, and then showers him with perks, with cars, sex, money, a free ride "education" where he doesn't have to work for his grades, and that will excuse his violations of the law, and make him rich beyond the dreams of avarice, while an intelligent child has to bust his balls and hope he will be able to succeed, though he'll by no means have any guarantees of it.

And yes, I resort to cliche when I point out that our athletes live in mansions while our teachers live in trailers and rinky-dink apartments--why is this? And goddammit, what about our nation's bloggers?! How many bloggers went to bed hungry last night?

I'm not saying athletes are all bad people, but we have really fucked-up priorities as to who is and who isn't important, although I hasten to point out a strain of hypocrisy that runs through me--I have no problem with actors and singers living in mansions.

At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok -- i agree with you on Bono and U2, but i part ways (slightly) on the bit about athletes. it's true society's economic priorities are out of whack, but athletes are no less deserving of admiration than other celebs. i'm no big sports fan, but i can appreciate a perfect spiral thrown downfield or flawless pick and roll or an ideal fade off a sidehill lie into a slick multi-tiered green. these are skills that come from years, often decades of practice and dedication and world-class athletes have a combination of innate talent, skill, dedication, guts, luck and intelligence that most of us can't or won't ever achieve. all sports involve smarts and strategy and blindingly quick thinking and maybe the yao ming will never be poet laureate but he's god skills and grace that few others on this planet possess.

for example (and this could be applied to tiger or shaq or beckham or annika or lance), maria sharapova gets paid an ungoldy sum in good part becuase she's young and blonde and pretty, but she also undoubtedly spent years honing her talent on the court to develop world-class skills, and went out and competed and beat opponents for years so that she could get the chance to compete in wimbledon, then outsmarted and outplayed the most elite field to become for a moment the world's best female tennis player. all those people at that level of sports are just that good, even the losers.

of course, superstar athletes are forgiven all sorts of sins that sideline us normal folks, but i'd argue that superstar musicians are the worst offenders in terms of being allowed to be bad boy, boorish, sexist, abusive people and still be forgiven. stories like 'walk the line' reinforce the myth of the artist as self-abusive and abusive to those around him/her -- especially the devoted lover -- who is redeemed through the power of their art. at least professional and amateur athletic associations (the nba, the nfl, ncaa, pga, etc.) have the patina of a code of conduct for their players.

which is not to say i don't totally agree with you that we don't value the right things (e.g. teachers, aid workers, etc.). and i agree that sports FANS can be some of the most irritating hooligans around -- but there's something unpretentious about a sports fan that I don't get with fans of the "arts" -- high brow books, or movies or music i like that aspect...

ok - my morning rant is over...bankston you always get me thinking in good ways....

At 5:02 PM, Blogger jsbankston said...

Well, we are not so much in disagreement. I've never claimed not to be a pretentious boor and insufferable snob about my tastes, and have long ago reconciled myself to this. I'm not as bad as the posers I used to see in the Austin coffee houses in the "Slacker" days who used to hold up their European literary theory books in such a way that everyone could marvel at what they read, though.

I also admit I buy into the artist/monster myth, as I believe the creation of great art is more important than mere human beings, their comforts, their feelings, etc., that if the artist must be a monster in order to create things which transcend time, then so be it.

As for sports, as I said, I've tried to develop an interest in them several times, but keep hitting two snags: 1) I've just never been able to sustain lasting attention or derive entertainment from most sporting events (I will say I have found live events infinitely more compelling than televised ones), and 2) I've never been able to divorce sport from the fans and from the Jock Uber Alles mentality prevalent throughout Texas. I have no dount my life would've been a lot more smooth and enjoyable had I ever been able to develop such an interest.

I am sure there is something pure and beautiful about an athletic skill executed in a good and true way, but for whatever reason I've been denied the ability to appreciate it, though I would be willing to look for it if I knew how.

At 5:06 PM, Blogger jsbankston said...

For instance, I think I would genuinely enjoy going to Yankee Stadium, or Wrigley Field. And I'd love to see a British football match.

And strangely enough, I'm vaguely nostalgic about sports history, like those great old NFL films from the 60s. And I enjoyed all 11 hours or whatever it was of Ken Burns's "Baseball," to the extent it had me crying when Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson died.

I don't know what the hell to make out of that other than that I'm a jumble of contradictions.


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