A year ago (mid November, actually) I began writing Tendown, my recap of the week that was. The countdown conceit was to give my thoughts a little structure and provide a schedule for whatever readers I might have, knowing that they'd have a weekly place to check me out. It's a bit more of a chore now, given my real world schedule, than is ideal; and I'm uncertain if each week reflects enough of the thoughts I'd like to offer.
But, the value of the structure is if some weeks (most weeks) it winds up being links, at least it serves as a record of that week, for me, if no one else; just so I can get some bread crumbs down in case I ever need to backtrack.
This is Tendown 50. Here, I'm going to provide links/recaps to the previous 49 Tensdown, so I can have them all in one spot. I haven't read some of these essays since the immediate aftermath after their posting, so that's really the value in it for me. My working plan is to take next Sunday off. Although, I've been making multiple posts a week on sports topics, and one way or the other, I'm likely to have WS thoughts.
Thanks for reading. Go Giants.
-Mad Men's 2009 season finale and Sammy Sosa changing colors.
-Curb Your Enthusiasm's tremendous Seinfeld reunion episode. A gutsy as hell ten year old boy in Arkansas who refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance. A 13 year old Details Magazine article about the comedy troupe The State.
-My glowingly positive review of Sasha Baron Cohen's Bruno, my defense of Adam Lambert, Sam sent Diane a telegram on the last episode of Cheers, and a judge that couldn't get confirmed to an appointment because he knows the word Allah means God.
-I ripped Tim Tebow, offered for your consideration the film Elegy, talked about Marc Maron's curious family, and pimped a terrific Nick Kristoff piece.
-I criticized Obama for institutionalizing the worst right wing, authoritarian foreign policy preferences, discussed seeing Chris Cornell in an Anthropolgie, noted Glenn Beck (who I call Simple Jack) calling for the abolition of Medicare, and won the Palm Beach Post college football picks contest for 2009.
-I rip Obama again, noting that why authoritarian popular movements succeed is because there is an absence of reformist voices and fascism fills the space. I said about health care reform what I also could have said about the stimulus and financial reform too - the right fought it out of concern it would work, and (with the complicity of the corporate Democrats) wound up with half loaf measures ensuring that it wouldn't - or at least, it wouldn't sufficiently such that people would notice. The Democrats had a two year window they are unlikely to see in the near future to actually make change - and through a combination of weakness of political will and a disinterest in seeing those changes actually made - they largely failed and will pay for it Tuesday.
-My idea for a movie based on Dwight Clark's "The Catch" to defeat the Cowboys in the NFC Title game almost (gulp) 30 years ago. My favorite TV quote of 2009. A discussion of my past student loan debt nightmare that earned me a link on an advocacy site, and a discussion about jury nullification on the Survivor finale.
-The Hot/Crazy scale; movie reviews, Captain Kangaroo on youtube; and the G spot being a myth.
-My unsuccessful attempt to save Better off Ted. The foreclosure crisis, which had just reached my doorstep. Bret Hart's return to RAW.
-Jay v. Conan. Marvin Harrison killing dudes. The Texas textbook catastrophe.
-The Citizens United decision. The Massachusetts US Senate election. More foreclosure crisis talk.
-Obama takes on the Republicans. I pick the Saints plus the number in the SB. I write that the SFGiants will not win a WS in my lifetime and Howard Zinn passes away.
-44 Super Bowls v. 44 Presidents. The longest Tendown ever.
-Sarah Palin writes on her hand; isn't laughed out of public life. My discussion of SB44. I go to the theater. I pick SFG to go 81-81.
-Tiger Woods. Plutocracy. Roger Ebert. Texas textbooks.
-I decide I have Asperger's. Another kid kicked out of school for not saying the Pledge of Allegiance. I talk moral philosophy in the film Cop Out. Bryan Danielson starts his WWE run. The Republicans are correctly called a wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry.
-Oscar night, I gave you some winners and discussed the best pictures nominees as a device to talk about the week's news.
-I spend 4 hours watching Fox News in a waiting room, come out in favor of Crystal Bowersox, and explain how the Giants cactus league record won't help us go better than .500.
-Cake v. Pie in the ultimate dessert tournament. Health care reform. The 10,000 best movies ever made. Sandra Bullock's husband gets some strange.
-Wrestlemania. Republicans tell the truth. Survivor All-Stars.
-My most read Tendown ever. Russell takes out Boston Rob. Shawn Michaels leaves WWE. Obama's simultaneously called too smart and too dumb by the right wing. I explain the concept of the trope. Not a fish.
-SFG opens the season 4-1 and I get uncharacteristically optimistic. More Tiger Woods talk. Glenn Beck says he's just an entertainer and Fox is an entertainment company. We kill some more civilians. I complain about the Niners not dealing for McNabb.
-Plutocracy and a churchgoing requirement in order to vote in Virginia.
-Arizona's immigration law. I find my bar exam chartbook. The Giants don't give up runs. A toothless dude wins 250 million bucks. Sharron Angle kicks off her campaign of crazy.
-I have no air conditioning. The Phoenix Suns take a lefty political stand. The convict-lease system. The 4 NLDS games SFG lost to the Marlins. The top American idols of all time. Bill Moyers retires.
-LeBron James. The right wing has no earthly idea what the Constitution says or means. More Texas textbook talk.
-I take drugs. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, my analysis of which is maybe the best thing I had written to that date in Tendown, outside of 44 Presidents v. 44 Super Bowls, which is better read as its own standalone post
-I come out in favor of PEDs, listen to every call in the history of Jim Rome's Smack Off, celebrate the Giants finally calling up Buster Posey and requesting that we trade Bengie Molina, and miss the pick on the American Idol finale.
More Show Your Papers talk; I was on a good roll here. I rank the top 5 sports themed tv shows ever. I talk about the best wrestling matches of 2010.
I coin the term Circle K fallacy and expose an email scam aimed at those renting houses. I hit one of my favorite topics - the degree to which sports media fits stories in predetermined good guy/bad guy frames. Bryan Danielson gets fired and USC goes on probation.
-The BP oil spill. The right wing loves authoritarian violence - which I started writing about years ago and could still be writing about this week, if I were doing a new post. They want to be the boot stepping on your neck, as long as you can't (or won't) fight back.
-The NBA Draft, much like my Oscars Tendown, becomes the jumping off point for the full week of news. I liked that as a technique.
-I sell my house to the bank, talk about the rhetoric of waterboarding, the right wing wouldn't confirm Thurgood Marshall in 2010 and they'd like to make homosexual sex illegal.
-They set fire to LeBron's jerseys in Cleveland. Sharron Angle keeps bringing right wing crazy. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in a can.
And on July 15 - I wrote this.:
thanks to Brian McCann, Game 1 of the 2010 World Series will be played in San Francisco.
-I take apart George Allen's new book, do some reality show talk, and, for the third straight week, get some Mel Gibson schadenfreude in.
-I complain about my bank, out the racist right wing, oppose blood testing in minor league baseball and express curiosity about Dolly Parton's TV special.
-The San Francisco Giants are 60-45 and I start getting excited. I give my pre-season college football Top 25. Number 1 - Boise St. Number 2 - TCU. My most hated sports teams of all time (to that list, I really needed to add the early-mid 90s Atlanta Braves).
-The TV show Baggage. The top 5 athletes in Bay Area history. Opposition to gay marriage in 2010 = opposition to interracial marriage in 1967. The penultimate season of Friday Night Lights ends.
Anti-intellectualism in US politics. The Giants are 67-51. The top 20 SFG of all time. The top 10 Summer Slam matches of all time. A full scene from Invention of Lying.
-The Ground Zero mosque and 27 Buddys in the history of MLB.
-Glenn Beck's I Have a Dream speech. The Bush tax cuts. Davey Richards/Tyler Black - still the best wrestling match of 2010. The official report about the death of Pat Tillman and the right wing doesn't even know enough history to understand who they should dislike.
-Moral Philosophy on the Jersey Shore. The Giants are 76-61 and the Padres have lost 10 in a row. I pick us to win the West.
-The Giants are one back with 19 left and Andres Torres has his appendix removed. Reggie Bush gives back his Heisman Trophy. I talk Mad Men and the Dunning-Kruger effect.
-Randy Moss and Tom Brady wear Giants caps. We're a half game out with 13 to play. I've seen every game since July 26 and detail how they've all been decided by less than a run. The Democrats are at fault for the right wing resurgence. Every TV show I watch. The top 5 wrestlers I've met.
-I turn 40.
-The last day of the MLB regular season. Ken Burns crappy Tenth Inning. The Tea Parties are full of shit. Glenn Beck says the government ruined slavery.
-The NLDS is even at a game apiece. The right wing likes it when gay kids kill themselves. I wonder when the Brett Favre story will hit the mainstream (answer - the following day). A lawyer gets jailed for not saying the Pledge of Allegiance. A contemporary history of flag salute punishment in the US is a book that needs to be written. I join Richard Dawkins out campaign. That's the scarlet A on the right side of my page.
-We play 7 straight one run postseason games. I'm calling it a record. The Giants save my life. Infrastructure. Climate change. Right wingers hate facts.
-The Giants Win the Pennant.
49 Tensdown. Back in 2 weeks for Tendown 51.
10 months in. You can get to the previous winners here.
Back in '99, AP and I both picked Tiger Woods.
Jan: John Elway (Peerless Price, Terrell Davis, Chris Chandler)
Feb: Jeff Gordon (Patrick Roy, Oscar de la Hoya, Jeff Maggert)
Mar: Rip Hamilton (Lamar Odom, Wally Szczerbiak, Scoonie Penn)
Apr: Jose Maria Olazabel (Jaromir Jagr, Fernando Tatis, Chris Antley)
May: Pedro Martinez (Nomar Garciaparra, Allen Iverson, Luis Gonzalez)
June: Tim Duncan (Andre Agassi, Maurice Greene, Payne Stewart)
July: Mia Hamm (Lindsay Davenport, Hicham el Guerrouj, David Cone)
Aug: Tiger Woods (Dale Jarrett, Sammy Sosa, Michael Jordan)
Sept: Felix Trinidad (Barry Bonds, Serena Williams, Chipper Jones)
Oct: Orlando Hernandez (Kurt Warner, Nomar Garciaparra, Mariano Rivera)
Nov: Peyton Manning (Tiger Woods, Ron Dayne, Ladainian Tomlinson)
Dec: Kurt Warner (Edgerrin James, Stephen Davis, Gary Payton)
That completed the 90s, my Athlete of the Decade was Michael Jordan.