Saturday, March 24, 2018

Why We March

I don't want to take your guns. I just want common sense to prevail.

I don't honestly believe that any meaningful progress on sensible gun regulation will be made anytime soon.

I'm not really sure my presence will make much of a difference.

And my 16 year-old daughter is kinda nervous about what could happen.

But we're still going to the March for Our Lives today in D.C.

Because hope is better than fear.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Russell Crowe is really Dave Dogfoot?

I have determined that we have an impostor in our midst. The man we know to be Dave Dogfoot is really a famous actor with a different name of animal origin--he's Russell Crowe. This shouldn't come as a suprise given that he name-checked Crowe in song at least once before.

Here's a picture of Helen Hunt and Russell Crowe circa 1992, before Crowe hit it big. They were doing a summer stock revival of Grease in the metro Camden area. This photo was taken back stage. If you look closely through the eyeliner, you can see a striking resemblance to Dave.

Here's a much more recent photo of Dave juggling a ball at one of his myriad youth soccer events.

If you look closely through Dave's flab, you can see that he's the spitting image of Russell Crowe. This explains why he's playing soccer with a football--Australians take the whole "soccer is really football" conceit way too seriously. And who takes things a serious step too far more than Dave?

Not convinced? Fine. I have more facts, alternate facts if you will. Russell Crowe and his wife Danielle Spencer are divorcing. To make the division of assets easier, Crowe is auctioning off a bunch of stuff he "collected" over the years and will split the proceeds with his former wife. The auction is called "Russell Crowe: The Art of Divorce" and it's preposterous in so many ways that Dave has to be involved. In fact the whole thing is so insane that only Dave could gin up this fever dream of collectibles. Here's the cover photo for the catalog:

Sweet toupee Dave! Things get increasingly Dave as you dig through the catalog. For example, he's auctioning off a mosasaur skull that he received as a gift from Leonardo DiCaprio. Dave/Crowe notes that "The fossil relative of the monitor lizard family, which includes the Komodo Drago, the Mosasaur was a giant, serpentine marine reptile, which was prevalent during the Late Cretaceous Period, approximately 65 million years ago. Mosasaurs were formidable hunters, with a double-hinged jaw and a flexible skull enabling them to eat their prey whole. The Niobrara Formation is a geologic formation located in North America that was deposited between 87 and 82 million years ago." Dave totally wrote that--it's taxonomically perfect (mosasaurs were marine reptiles, not dinosaurs) and right on the line between interestingly informative and smarmily pedantic.

And who other than Dave would keep a dead lizard head in his home?

Another Dave-only gem is this antique leather athletic supporter. Who else would wear a used leather jock strap (read the comments)? In fact, on the night of the Tonka truck incident zwoman saw Dave staggering around the house, looking for the bathroom, wearing nothing but this very same cup. zwoman said "Dave wears a codpiece? I guess he really does teach Shakespeare."

Also up for auction: nineteen (19!) guitars. I have no idea why anyone needs nine guitars, let alone nineteen guitars, but a collection of nineteen guitars sounds like something Dave would amass. Some are acoustic while others are electric. I won't link to them all, and they all look more or less the same to (except for the colors). The most expensive is a limited edition Gibson Elvis Presley "The King" J-200 black acoustic guitar. According to Dave/Crowe "In 2000 I took a road trip from Texas to New York, via West Virginia, for the filming of A Beautiful Mind (2001). I took a detour via Memphis to visit Graceland and I bought this guitar from the shop there. It is no. 90 of 250 produced for 1997." Seems like it would've been easier to fly from Texas to New York but despite all his professed love of and advocacy for all things green and eco-friendly, Dave loves to burn inordinate amounts of fossil fuels by driving SUVs back-and-forth across the country so this is a very Dave story.

Dave's interest in oddball Euro sports like soccer and darts is well documented. As is his interest in cricket. Dave/Crowe's auction contains a batshit crazy volume of cricket memorabilia, including five signed and framed cricket batting gloves, ten game-worn sweater-vests, seven cricket bats, seven signed and framed cricket shirts, two bronze sculptures of Donald Bradman playing cricket (one of which is life-sized), and three framed cricket caps (one of which was apparently worn by W.A.S. "Bert" Oldfield and will allegedly sell for $50,000 to $60,000). Here's the pricey cap:

According to Dave/Crowe's catalog entry, this cap is:

green wool, embroidered with the Australian coat-of-arms worked in gold and silver wire and coloured silk, the series date below '1932-33', with a 'Farmers Sydney' label inscribed in ink 'W.A.Oldfield', framed with a black and white photograph of Oldfield, together with a copy of The Larwood Story: A Cricketer's Biography, (the dust jacket framed separately), opened at the page describing the infamous encounter between Oldfield and the English fast bowler, Harold Larwood, on 17 January 1933, when Oldfield was struck in the head off Larwood's delivery, suffering a fractured skull. An area of separation to one of the seams in the cap where Oldfield was struck, is a further reminder of the incident.

Sounds like a really pleasant piece of cricketing history to display in one's home--the hat hat Oldfield was wearing when he broke his skull, ripped seams and all!

I won't even get into the 1873 Sunbury Cup Australian silver trophy for greyhound coursing, attributed to Edward Fischer (1828-1911) for $10,000-$15,000.

Perhaps the most damning piece of evidence proving that Dogfoot is Crowe is Lot No. 5, a two-piece double-breasted purple suit worn by Russell Crowe in the movie Virtuosity.

Who would wear such an atrocity? This guy:

If you think this "slob with a football" ensemble is a one-off look you're mistaken. Historically, Dave looks like hell even when he's dressed up.

Pleated khakis, unzipped fly, rumpled shirt, oversized paisley print tie tied to a Trumpian length? Hell, this purple suit was probably the crown jewel of Dave/Crowe's wardrobe back in the 90's!

I think I can safely rest my case. Now that we know Dave is a wealthy movie star we should encourage him to pay for lunch at Tortuga's one day. All the more reason to attend OBFT XXV.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

On the topic of the Mike's Murder Soundtrack...

I did not know there was a movie called Mike's Murder, or that Joe Jackson did the soundtrack. But I did know all about the Joe Jackson moment in pop music about 35 years ago.

A few months ago, I coincidentally found myself googling Joe Jackson's Steppin' Out video. It almost made my head explode. His pasty face that was better-suited for radio, the bizarre video, the song that still holds up, etc. There's a lot to unpack.

But my favorite discovery from listening to that song again might be that when Joe comes in for certain vocals, his inflection sounds a lot like Will Ferrell's when he's doing his Harry Caray impersonation. Am I crazy, or is there something to that?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Won't You Be My Neighbor

"Love is at the root of everything...or the lack of it." -- Fred Rogers

In these roiled, sordid times, we're waiting for a hero. For now, we'll have to make do with the memory of one.

Today, on the 90th anniversary of the birth of Fred Rogers, Focus Features released a trailer for 'Won't You Be My Neighbor', a documentary about Rogers and his landmark television show.

The film is scheduled for release on June 8, so you can take me to see it as a birthday gift. I'll be your neighbor.

Friday, March 16, 2018

NCAA Saturday & UVA Lost to UMBC Open Thread

No analysis. No commentary. Just Al McGuire dancing after the 1996 west regional final.  Why?   Because, Al McGuire.

Whitney's 6-Pack: The Jayhawks

Okay, people, it's Friday morning of the NCAA tournament.  It's that time.  Again.

Tournament time is an excellent time to hit Vegas, or have a vasectomy, or just be alive.  It's beer drinking, wing-eating time.  So belly up somewhere on the clock and have a pint of this (no discernible scent; lower ABV), or hit the Total Wine and grab a case of this (Norfolk, VA).

In the interest of spreading the love of good music, we will throw out six suggested songs by certain bands you may or may not know much about. Not much of a time commitment, just a little something to get the flavor and get you going.

In the spirit of the NCAA hoopsters, the next band up is an classic whose name fits right into Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

Whitney's 6-Pack: The Jayhawks

Where: Twin Cities of Minnesota
When: 1989 - Present, with some haituses (hiati?) in there
Who: Gary Louris, Marc Olson (he's left and returned more than once), Marc Perlman, Tim O'Reagan

Never any big hits, but great harmonies and jangly guitar. A nice backdrop to a Friday morning. Enjoy.

"Waiting for the Sun," Hollywood Town Hall, 1992

"Blue," Tomorrow the Green Grass, 1995

"I'd Run Away," Tomorrow the Green Grass, 1995

"Smile," Smile, 2000

"I'm Gonna Make You Love Me," Smile, 2000

"Tiny Arrows," Mockingbird Time, 2011

Thursday, March 15, 2018

NCAA Thursday Open Thread

Until this collective group sacks up and schedules a maxi-summit in Vegas for the first weekend of the NCAA tournament, I guess we will just have to congregate in this little corner of cyberspace to track the rise and fall of the hopes of college basketball players, fans, and bettors across the country.

Just to get you in the mood and for the specific enjoyment of mid-major fans and Mark, here is the 2006 “One Shining Moment”.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Judge Nathan Is Still Dope, Likes to Party and Bullshit

Judge Alison Nathan is staking a claim to the title of most hiphop jurist. Much like MC Shan she is down by law. The last time G:TB checked in with Judge Nathan was when she let the Beastie Boys off the hook on a copyright infringement claim. Once again (back is the incredible!) Judge Nathan decided a case involving a hiphop legend arising under 17 U.S.C. §§ 101 et seq.

Abiodun Oyewole wrote a song called "When the Revolution Comes" in 1968 and released it as a member of the group The Last Poets.

Around 2:10 the song goes "But until then you know and I know n****s will party and bullshit and party and bullshit and party and bullshit and party and bullshit and party ...." Fans of hiphop might recognize this from Biggie Smalls's song "Party and Bullshit."

Even if you don't recognize it, Mr. Oyewole did and he sued Biggie's estate. Mo money mo problems indeed! While he was at it he sued Rita Ora too because her song "How We Do (Party") also starts with the lines "party and bullshit."

Mr. Oyewole is aggrieved by both songs's use of the phrase "party and bullshit" from an IP perspective but also from a political perspective. According to his complaint, Biggie and Rita Ora used the phrase "party and bullshit" "in contravention" of Mr. Oyewole's original purpose, which was to "encourage[e] people to NOT waste time with 'party and bullshit."

Unfortunately for Mr. Oyewole, he hired what appears to be the worst lawyer admitted to the Southern District of New York. Seriously--she spelled her name wrong at least once in her online bio. If your lawyer can't spell her name correctly you can't expect her to lawyer correctly. Predictably, Biggie and Rita Ora (and the other big-time defendants including EMI and a Sony affiliate) won. In some cases, brutally.

For example, Kobalt Music and Downtown Music won under FRCP 12(b)(5), which is insufficient service of process. I've never seen this before. To prevent your case from being dismissed under Rule 12(b)(5), you just have to download the summons form and serve it with your complaint on the defendant. The form includes blanks for the name of the court, the names of the plaintiffs and defedants, the name and address of the plaintiff's attorney, and a place where you get the clerk of the court to sign it when you file the complaint. Somehow or other, Mr. Oyewale's attorney didn't fill out the blanks for some of the summonses. She also used some jackass process server who didn't serve the summonses on people authorized to receive service, like an officer or director of the company or their registered agent. It is stunning. Yet another reason why you shouldn't use a lawyer with a gmail address.

Judge Nathan dismissed the claims against the other defendants as fair use, turning the complaint against Mr. Oyewole because it alleged that Biggie and Rita Ora used the phrase "party and bullshit" "in contravention" of Mr. Oyewole's original purpose, which was to "encourage[e] people to NOT waste time with 'party and bullshit." Thus he admitted that their use was transformative and therefore constituted fair use. Again, really bad lawyering.

More remarkably, the 21 page opinion uses the word "bullshit" 60 times. That's almost three bullshits per page! It also uses the N word three times, exclusively while quoting lyrics, and with the final letters of the word replaced with asterisks. I think this shows good judgment--failure to do so would've been bullshit. Puns!