A couple days ago a local big-time criminal defense attorney found his wife’s body in their home – she had the ol’ multiple blunt trauma to the head thing going – and the TV media here, smelling another O.J./Laci epic in the offing, have gone absolutely nuts. They lead off every newscast with the story (what Iraqi referendum? what fascistic special election?), refer to the victim exclusively as “Pam,” keep reminding us of the money factor by endlessly re-running chopper footage of the Xanaduesque hilltop mansion that the couple was building, bring on FBI profilers whom they then machine-gun with leading, lurid questions (“Does the fact that Pam was in her T-shirt and panties indicate that she knew her attacker well?”), and otherwise openly flirt with the line between showing proper sympathy for a grieving husband and accusing the bastard of outright murder. I’ll probably never mention this case again, but just know that for the next year or so I’ll be banging my head against the wall whenever I stumble across the 10:00 news.
Archive for October, 2005
I actually wrote the following at about this time last year, but anyone who follows these things knows this morning how relevant it still is, even in its sorry unfinished state:
Ten years from now I doubt I’ll remember exactly how it was that I managed to miss practically all of the Red Sox’s clinching victory and a full lunar eclipse on the same night—I just hope I remember that it was for a very good reason. As it was, the Red Sox’s four-game sweep of the Series came as an anticlimax after all the years of haplessness, so much so that the fourth game was barely over before the announcers were asking, “Which is the next cursed team?”
I wish I could claim something so redolent with mystery as a curse for my Astros. Everyone seemed happy that by dispatching the Braves in five games they finally managed to win a postseason series for the first time in the franchise’s 43-year history. The Astros’ problem, though, isn’t just winning any series, but the LCS in particular. They’ve been there twice, in ’80 against the Phillies and in ’86 against the Mets, and both times they were mercilessly mangled and ridiculed before being rejected by the mirthless gods of baseball. It doesn’t matter that in both cases their opponents went on to win the World Series; nor does it matter that both series (still in the old five-game format) were memorable for their high-anxiety theatrics. Game Four of the ’80 NLCS was a baseball anti-gravity house, rife with slapstick adventures on the basepaths, a momentum-turning play which, although it could only have been a single out or a triple-play, was instead deemed a double-play by the umps after they huddled for a 15-minute strange interlude, and a play in which the Astros leftfielder, rearing back to throw the ball, had it roll through his fingers behind his head before completing his full-armed throw to the infield, like a Little Leaguer faking out his teammates. (It was at this point that my buddy threw up his hands and yelled, “Do these jokers even want to win this game?”) Despite their own miscues and the calls against them, the Astros held a two-run, eighth inning lead with Nolan Ryan on the mound in Game Five, and still found a way to lose.
[Insert sound of gunshot here.]
The baseball playoffs are running a Bud Light ad that makes it look like Babe Ruth was actually pointing at a beer vendor in the stands when he supposedly called his homerun in the 1932 World Series. Even when Budweiser has a clever (or, in this case, possibly clever) idea, and they don’t overload it with smarm and jiggle, they still manage to offend just by being so damn lazy. You can tell that Woody Allen and Orson Welles had a blast capturing the look of old documentary footage in Zelig and Citizen Kane, but this Bud Light thing just looks like shit. The ad-men were content to just shoot it in B&W, cut out a frame here and there to make it jumpy, and draw some scratches on it that don’t even remotely look like the product of time. Maybe they’ll put more heart into it when they do an ad showing Morgana running out to give Ty Cobb a buss on the field…
…but tonight I felt a real rush of sadness that Robert Altman just can’t be with us that much longer.