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, October 16, 2011

The Weekly Tendown October 9-15 2011

Dear Internet:

The thing most on my mind, as evidenced by last week's Tendown, is the 99% movement; yesterday it went global, with occupations in over 80 countries.

I'm not going to talk about it this week; in fact, this week is politics free, a safe zone for whatever conservative readers of my sports posts drop by.

Next week is my 99th Tendown, and also my Ladygal's birthday.  My priorities are in the right position, and I'll make next week's issue almost laborless, entirely one of pictures and graphs related to the 99% movement.

A week later - the two year anniversary of Tendown; if you were around a year ago, you may recall that Tendown 50 was links and brief content descriptions of the previous 49, and I'll do that again with Tendown 100.  You may also recall I took a week off after Tendown 50 and will do the same after 100.

But that's not today.  Today is a Politics Free Tendown 98.

1. Who's Got It Better Than Us?






Have you ever wondered, "Where does Jividen write Tendown; what is to his immediate right in his workspace?  At what was he looking when he announced "tax millionaires" as the crux of his economic policy?" (Not that I'm advocating that today, in this politics free issue of Tendown; for today, I'm not even recognizing that millionaires exist - it's divisive after all; dirty talk of our exploding wealth gap over the past three decades.  I won't have it!).

I have pennants in my office.  These are they.  One for each Super Bowl, plus extras for SB23 and 29. Memorabilia isnt in my budget anymore; I still don't have nearly as much World Series effluvia as would I ideally; so it's helpful that the last pennant was purchased in Clinton's first term.

The 49ers have largely been irrelevant for a decade.  I haven't seen a single game this year, not out of lack of interest but because there hasn't been one televised in my market.

Until today - when, even as I write this, Niners/Lions (we're down early) is on in south Florida.

4-1 gets you some chatter.  Here's a NY Times blog piece about how the roster came to be and here is the current playoff projections by Football Outsiders.

The team in the entire NFL most likely to make the postseason?

The Niners.

I took Detroit today in my weekly picks, and one may recall in my preseason forecast my saying I'd rather go 0-16 than lose in the NFL Championship.

That remains true.  But at 4-1 we're clearly not playing low ball this year.  So, time to root for good cards.

Go Niners.

2. The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Pill
Is here.  If you wake up one morning sliding out of John Malkovich's amygdala into a ditch just off the New Jersey Turnpike, you'll know the entire Charlie Kauffman catalog is becoming reality.

3. Meet the Mullets


The best part of the arrests this week of five Amish men in Ohio for cutting off the hair of other Amish men is that the last name of the suspects is Mullet.

That means the Mullets were arrested for Crimes Against Hair.

4. I Need You to Trust Me on This.
If you eat this:
And then you immediately brush your teeth with this

Your mouth will foam like a rabid woodchuck.  Maybe this can be a new urban legend, like when the kid Mikey from the Life cereal commercials back in the 70s died from eating too many Razzles.  "Remember the guy from Hanging with Mr. Cooper?  That dude ate a bunch of salt and vinegar chips and then brushed his teeth right after and swallowed his tongue."

5. The Worst Monday Night RAW....ever.

Somehow, WWE managed to turn an angle that was referenced on Jim Rome's radio show as possibly being real and got CM Punk an hour on Bill Simmons's podcast into an absolute pile of gloop that saw Hunter bury virtually the entire roster this week.

The visceral dislike fans have for this type of corporate indulgence (shoot firing JR, having the Punk character stand with authority against the walked out wrestlers, treating matches as if they an impediment to the product) is exactly the nerve that the original Punk promo touched.  WWE is a corporate criminal, which isn't an estimation of the booking; their classification of wrestlers as independent contractors is without even a colorable argument.  It goes without challenge because the McMahons control the wrestling marketplace and its labor force essentially has no voice or protection.  I assume its coincidence that WWE has decided to run an anti-union, anti-labor angle at the same moment that 99% movement begins to gain some traction.  But were one to write a book (or a doctoral dissertation; I totally should have gone on to get my PhD in 2004; I was shortsighted thinking it was a mistake to sell my house to spend the next few years in grad school when I had a teaching job lined up - as 8 years later, I lost my house anyway and am still at that same job, still just scratching out a living) on professional wrestling as ratifying the messages of the corporate class to its largely working class fan base - this current angle would be a good place to start.  Hey workers, WWE is saying, don't complain about workplace conditions, just do what the boss says.  Successful people don't complain, they work.  Only jobbers align together and try to force the hand of management.  Get back in your goddamn cubicle.  And the "actors" who have to present that morality play, the WWE wrestlers, have no employer provided health insurance, pay for their own travel expenses, are subject to random drug testing, and have to sign over intellectual property rights to their ring personas.  It's as if the characters at Disney theme marks (also a non union shop) had to sing a little song about how Norma Rae was a commie and Joe Hill got what he deserved.

Yes, that was politics.  I'm sorry.

I saw some four star wrestling this week.  Richards/Strong from last week's ROH TV (ROH is now owned by Sinclair Media; if you've forgotten its attempts to smear John Kerry in 2004, something that I don't think the wrestling press has taken note of since the purchase, here's a reminder). Another Richards match, he and Romero winning the tag titles this month from Devitt/Taguchi in NJ was 4 stars.  And Go's NOAH title defense over Takayama in September was 4 1/2, meaning it goes in my Match of the Year post.  I'm at 40 4 1/2 star+ matches for the year thusfar.

6. I Write the Stories
I've been doing a post a day for awhile; which is a good pace to keep up as long as I'm making picks.

I did a list of the best WWF/E title switches.
I'm down to 171 in my revision of the 200 greatest baseball players of all time.
I went 6-7 against the spread in yesterday's college football picks.
And today's NFL picks are here.

7. Flapjacks



As requested by my Ladygal - we're now calling all pancakes "flapjacks."  Adjust your lexicon accordingly.

Also, given the amount of British television we've been watching, I think we're probably going to replace the word "bacon" with "streaky bacon" but I'd assume that's a step too far for most.

8. What British Television?



Big Brother UK.  We've seen every episode of the current season.  I am uncertain how I survived without it in my life until now.  I'm Team Aaron in a near violent fashion. Seriously, the amount of my day spent thinking about Big Brother UK is unsettling.

9. Hey, Beavis and Butt-head is Back.
The NY Times did a profile of Mike Judge.

10. And Just Because I like It.
That's all for this time.  I'll be back next time.  If there is a next time...

Your pal,

Jim