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Speak For Yourself, Chris Jones

Grantland: Chris Jones on fans using the word “we”

Chris Jones published on Grantland today an article regarding something my friends and I have often discussed: whether or not it’s appropriate to use the first person when referring to your favorite sports teams (or, for that matter, the second person when referring to a friend’s).  Jones’s argument seems to be that unless you derive direct economic benefit from a franchise (i.e. player/owner/employee), then you have no business (see what I did there?) using the first person.  He doesn’t really offer a philosophical proof for this definition, but relies instead on two somewhat specious arguments to support his position. (Continued)

Occupy Wall Street

Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past several weeks, a group of malcontents has been camping out in the Financial District’s Zuccotti Park as part of the “Occupy Wall Street” series of public nuisances.  And by “group” I mean thousands of people, raging against perceived financial sector excess by enjoying autumnal park days while the rest of us, you know, work.  Also, I recognize that there are huge problems right now and there are legitimate grievances that deserve to be aired, but as a rule I reject this sort of organizing and protesting outright.

As for the organizing itself, I’m all for playing hooky to sit in the sunshine, but there has to be more to Occupy Wall Street than slogan chanting and hackey-sacking.  Until recently, it would have been difficult to make that argument.  Since its start, one of the chief criticisms of the Occupy Wall Street movement has been its lack of focus or, rather, the lack of any clear and specific demands.  What were they mad about?  What were they protesting?  What did they want (someone) to do about it?  A protest without a purpose isn’t a protest: it’s a flash mob.  Or a WBC gathering.

Well, the days of blissful indecision are over, because the protesters have released an “official” (difficult to know whence representatives of a grassroots movement derives authority, but whatever) list of demands.  And since it wouldn’t be a left wing jamboree without incredible pretension and delusions of grandeur, they have, without any apparent hint of irony, dubbed themselves the New York City General Assembly (seriously, this is what they call themselves) and named these demands (again, without any apparent understanding of the irony herein) the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City.  Let’s break it down! (After the jump)


Monday Morning Schadenfreude

That Groupon valuation? Lawls

Terra Nova: Premiere Recap

So Fox’s prehistoric sci-fi epic Terra Nova, which has been in production forever and whose premiere cost a reported $20 million, kicked off last night.  Despite obvious Lost aspirations, the pilot fell well short of achieving what the Lost premiere achieved.

“Terra Nova” is the name of a prehistoric settlement, populated by people originally from the year 2149, by which point the Earth is in even worse shape than it is today.  The air is so poor that people need to wear a breathing apparatus just to walk outside (although they were inconsistent in this) and the sky has been totally blocked out by smog.  Sort of like LA, but less fashionable (the characters look like they were plucked out of the early 90s, making me think the costume department didn’t get too much of that $20 million).  Arid conditions like this are visual shorthand for “this place sucks.”


Oblivion Kinda Sucks

I’m some% through my second playthrough of Oblivion for the 360 and with over 30 hours of gameplay down I’m struck by a couple of things: 1) This game is not that good and 2) I have spent over 30 hours in the last month playing a game that I determined was not that good within the first 5 hours of playing.  I don’t know when I came to this conclusion in the first playthrough but I do remember getting this impression then.

It’s impossible to critique Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion without also discussing Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, since the later game essentially shares the same architecture with a couple of updates that don’t really do anything to enhance the gameplay experience (and, in some cases, totally destroy it).  While Oblivion has a number of gameplay features that make it bad (combat is essentially button mashing with some bizarre collision detecting), some of these things were present in Morrowind too.  The difference is that Morrowind had enough going for it that you loved it despite its flaws.  I first played Morrowind in 2002 (Xbox version, although I’d later buy PC version and the expansions) and it remains one of my favorite games of all time, warts and all.  It was the first console game that felt really immersive (the 200+ hours I clocked testify to this).  It was also the BIGGEST game I had ever played, taking place on the island of Vvardenfell, with dozens of unique, large cities and hundreds of unique dungeons located throughout the island.  A lot of these things are replicated in Oblivion, but it feels like all of the things that made the admittedly flawed Morrowind so charming have been stripped out.
This will function more as a comparison of Oblivion and Morrowind than a review of either.  I’m assuming readers will have at least a basic familiarity with each title. (Continued)

I’m a little late to the game on this one, but I’ve recently been introduced to, which is basically like crowd-sourced live radio where the conceit is that actual users pretend (is it even pretending?) to be DJs, selecting tracks from’s massive online library.  Want to play something not in the library?  Just upload it.

It’s an interesting concept, blending pandora/spotify type services with a traditional social networking and chat-based platform. While you’re DJing, you’re chatting with other people in the room.  You get instant feedback on your track selection not only in the chatroom, but also by a binary thumbs-up-thumbs-down mechanism, where users can vote if a track is “awesome” or “lame,” giving the DJ “points” in the process.  Might hipsters complain about the gamification of music appreciation?  Sure, but hipsters are also the types of people who need to use services like this to get anonymous validation of their taste.  It’s science.

I haven’t tried to DJ yet (there are only 5 DJ slots per “room” and are typically always taken) but having spent a few hours using the service, it seems like something I’d be into.

Bobo’s Fantasy Football Appreciation Index: Week 3

Jamaal Charles is no more.  He has been cruelly swept from me and millions of other owners by the unfeeling tide of misfortune, just two weeks into the 2011 NFL season.  He tore his ACL against the suddenly-decent Lions and is lost for the season.  An injury like this hasn’t shaken up the fantasy/NFL world since Tom Brady’s 2008 Week 1 season-ending injury (guess whose fantasy team he was on).  Hundreds of per-team fantasy points lost in an instant.  So fragile is the future.

It’s difficult enough to care about fantasy once you’ve lost your first round pick and only legitimate stud.  But also, this week, my Booya team (now named “Down the Dwayne”) will be without Tony Romo, Miles Austin and Steven Jackson.  That’s four of my first five picks!  Not to mention Clark and Janikowski are Questionable to play.  Seriously, do I even bother checking my roster at this point?  Nevertheless, here’s the appreciation index for Week 3 (with Charles removed, for obvious reasons). (Continued)

Capital Punishment: Troy Davis

On September 21st, 2011, Troy Anthony Davis is going to die.  This has been decided by the Georgia Board of Pardons, who has denied his clemency request at the last minute.  As such, he is going to be executed tomorrow by lethal injection.


Quick Hits

Obama Should Abandon Reelection Campaign

Interesting idea – I don’t think Obama has any chance of being reelected.  If he is focused on a Democratic victory next year then he needs to recognize that it probably can’t involve him.  Odds of that happening are slim.

Debunking the Cul-de-Sac

My suburb was laid out in the traditional “grid” pattern, so I don’t have a lot of experience with cul-de-sacs, but this article makes a lot of sense, especially vis-a-vis driving culture.

Jamaal Charles Likely Out for Season


Bobo’s Fantasy Football Appreciation Index: Week 2

Well, I was wrong.  I overestimated EVERY one of my Booya starters’ Week 1 score except for Polish bad boy Sebastian Janikowski, who beat estimates by two points.  I was being unreasonable with some of my predictions, sure, but I really don’t think it was crazy to suggest that Jamaal Charles would put up at least 20 on the lowly Bills.  I’m in for a long, long season.  I was also wrong about the Giants needing until Week 10 to break my heart: Rex Grossman (Rex Fucking Grossman!) torched the admittedly banged up Big Blue Wrecking Crew and I’ve all but given up hope on the season.

I lost in all three of my leagues and didn’t get a home run out of a single player in any of those leagues.  I still think I drafted good teams but that didn’t make it any easier for me to sit down this week (know what I’m saying?).  I couldn’t even bring myself to read any of the usual CBS Sports or ESPN fantasy bullshit this week, because after a weekend of three demoralizing losses the last thing anyone needs is to hear Matthew Berry talk about Crocodile Dundee in LA or whatever it is he’s famous for.