a jim jividen blog

Here's the thing. I'm watching one of these shows on the Cooking Channel featuring food trucks. There's a Scottish expat making fish and chips; in a thick brogue he somewhat wearily explains his irritation with Americans who habitually order a side of tartar sauce: "tartar sauce is basically gherkins." That's this blog. I claim no particular insight, no revelation. If you enjoy the flavor, great, but this blog is basically gherkins.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Weekly Tendown March 6-12 2011

Dear Internet:


In case you wanted to know what to get me for my 500 month birthday.

I've got nothing to talk about this week.

1. I Did Watch 8 Documentaries
March is a bit of a sports nerd crunch; selection Sunday is today, and with real tournament games starting on Tuesday this year, that means a greater amount of pre-selection bracket work than one might normally do (I argued this might negatively impact office brackets when the decision was made the go to a 68 team field)  Incidentally, if you're looking for an off the path sweet 16 pick, consider Belmont. (and root against Dayton today as my Trojans are on the bubble edit - good for USC, bad for Belmont, as they couldn't have gotten a worse matchup - they still might win, but it's a crummy draw). Plus, baseball starts at the end of the month, and there's weeks of preparation involved to analyze an upcoming season and ready for three fantasy drafts.

So, before every day has either wall-to-wall basketball or baseball games, I spent this weekend watching documentaries.  8 of them.  Here should be your order of priority:

-Babies (the only one you should make a point to watch; you don't need to watch it, the way, say, you need to watch Why We Fight, but it's worth putting at the top of your movie to do list)
-The Tillman Story (too many talking heads, not enough footage, but that's an interesting family)
-Inside Job (not as good as the Banksy movie, if you're revisiting the Oscars)
-Casino Jack (might be better than Inside Job, you can really order the three after Babies in any way that suits you)
-Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie (Wayne understands our political climate more than most you'll encounter in all of these political documentaries)
-What's the Matter With Kansas (really only if you're unfamiliar with the narrative that heartland Americans have voted cultural interests over economic ones; it's true, and it's harmful enough that in a utilitarian calculation it would have been better to give them all of their religious issues in exchange for not allowing the plutocrats to take all of our money, but they're as wrong about social issues now as the southern democrats were about race)
-Plunder (you can skip Plunder if you see Inside Job, and you don't need to see Inside Job)
-The Lottery (you can skip the Lottery if you see Waiting for Superman, and you don't need to see Waiting for Superman)

2. I Did Watch Graps
I've seen 3 four star+ matches from January over the past week.  Here you go.


Hero v. Richards 4 ½ (ROH)
Strong v. Briscoe 4 ¼ (ROH)
Edwards v. Kotaro 4 ¼  (NOAH)

Richards/Hero moves into the race for 2011 MOTY, and that post is here.

3. Pay Teachers More
Kristof's proposal to aid public education - get better teachers by paying them more - would seem self evident, he offers the following unsurprising statistic in support:

These days, brilliant women become surgeons and investment bankers — and 47 percent of America’s kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers come from the bottom one-third of their college classes (as measured by SAT scores)

4. Meanwhile, in Madison

Yesterday, a hundred thousand people protested the stripping of collective bargaining rights to public unions in Wisconsin.  The largest protest in Madison - ever.  

5. Runaway Floating Restaurant!
We almost lost Cris Collinsworth to sea.

6. Almost All Americans, Shockingly, Agree With Me.
As I've been saying, my policy for fixing our economy would begin with two words "tax millionaires."


That number is significantly greater than the number of Americans who thought health care reform should be rejected because it was "government takeover of the health care system" - but health care critics got months of mainstream media publicity to the point where it was a truism that we didn't want our awful, awful health care system to be changed.

Why are Republicans allowed to say "well, that's redistribution" as if that ends the discussion?

We built the country on high top marginal tax rates for the wealthy, allowing the safety net to be created and the infrastructure of the country to be built.  In 2011, we continue to cut taxes on the wealthy while saying it's the poor and working class who need to sacrifice more.  It is absolute lunacy.  

7. Although, Maybe Not as Bad As This Guy
He's got 82 tattoos of Julia Roberts.

8. Worry More
You'll live longer.

9. Abortion Doesn't Cause Breast Cancer or Psychological Trauma
And in England, they'll tell you that.  Unlike, you know, here.

10. Your World Champion San Francsico Giants
When you win a World Series, they write stories about your ace in the New York Times.

That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time if there is a next time.

All good thoughts go out to Japan.  

Your pal,

Jim