Posted in Pop Culture, Smiler on October 31st 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: I’m still very much enjoying what Boston accomplished last Wednesday. Red Sox Nation will never be the same. It so wonderful that they won the World Series. I’m going to savour this win for a long, long time. Check out these front pages from local and regional newspapers after the Sox WS victory last week.

:: I haven’t exercised now since late August, and I feel like a total slug. I hope to return to the cross-trainer this week. I also need to clean up my diet, an ongoing, never-ending story. I ate some butterscotch ice cream tonight, then tossed the remainder of it into the garbage can in my driveway.

:: The fallout from the Ashlee Simpson fiasco on SNL on Oct 23 continues. Last night’s episode skewed her repeatedly, in sketches, on Weekend Update, and in Kate Winslet’s opening monologue. Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes was onsite the night of her blunder, working on a story about Canadian ex-pat Lorne Michaels, who produces SNL. The story includes a picture of Simpson, walking past Stahl and clutching her throat, in tears after she walked off the stage during rehearsal. The picture almost makes me feel sorry for her. A portion of Stahl’s report, which can be viewed for free from this page. I have to give Simpson credit for this, however. She did tell MTV that she thinks it’s silly that so many are concerned about her snafu given everything else that’s going on in the world. Fair enough, but at the same time, she’s another in a string of bland, manufactured pop stars. If this is what the music industry is offering the public, it doesn’t surprise me that the industry itself is in turmoil. My other question is: whatinhell was Michaels doing booking her in the first place?

:: Saw the movie, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘N’ Roll Generation Saved Hollywood, on DVD this weekend. The movie is based on Peter Biskind’s book of the same name, and is a documentary about 1970s maverick filmmakers, including Coppola, Scorsese, Lucas, Spielberg, Schrader, Bogdanovich, Hopper, Jaglom, and more. Directors are not exclusively featured, actors and actresses, producers, cinematographers, editors, producers, are also included in the discussion. Equally fascinating is the 2nd disc, which includes an addition 100 minutes of interviews, ending with comments, all unflattering, from many who were mentioned in the book, including Peter Bart and Paul Schrader. The clips end with Biskind describing how the book began, examples of how he was able to interview subjects such as William Friedkin and Spielberg, and finally, responding to criticisms from his subjects. A fascinating piece.

Biskind followed this book with another examination of the movie industry: Down and Dirty Pictures : Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film. I haven’t read either title yet.

Québec Judge Rules In Favour of Subscribing to Foreign TV Channels Via Satellite

Posted in Miscellaneous, Television on October 29th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: As someone who wants to be able to subscribe to HBO, I almost fell off the couch reading this article, which appeared in many Canadian newspapers this morning:

Making it illegal for Canadians to subscribe to television programming via foreign satellite systems infringes on their freedom of expression, a long-awaited judgment concluded yesterday.

Quebec Court Judge Danielle Côté handed down a 153-page ruling that found two sections of the federal Radiocommunication Act violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Those sections deal with so-called grey-market satellite systems for decoding an encrypted programming signal.

In 2002, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that it was a federal offense to sell technology which allowed consumers to get access to encrypted signals from US-based satellite systems. Côté’s ruling could eventually lead to the end of the CRTC dictating to Canadians what they can and cannot watch on their televisions. Côté is allowing a one-year grace period before her ruling comes into effect. Consider that appeals will probably be made as well, meaning that change could take a while. But it’s a move in the right direction.

The court order was sought by Jacques D’Argy of Drummondville, after years of legal battles:

D’Argy, representing himself throughout all the court proceedings, said yesterday he always wondered “why can I import the New York Times but not (the U.S. television network) Fox.”

Well, DUH! The Red Sox win the World Series, and a ruling in favour of allowing access in Canada to US cable networks. What a great week.

Hell Freezes Over

Posted in Sports on October 27th 2004 by Randy Reichardt


Marvelous, totally brilliant. The curse is over, the 86-year drought is finished, and the Yankee fans can no longer scream, “1918”. Instead, they can put a sock in it. Johnny Pesky, Bill Buckner, Bob Stanley, Calvin Schiraldi – all is forgiven.


Hell Gets Really Really Cold

Posted in Sports on October 26th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Man, what a fall classic we have on our hands. With the Red Sox Nation ahead 3-0 in the World Series, everyone, and I mean everyone knows better than to assume the Sox will win it all tomorrow, or on Thursday, or on the weekend, breaking their 86-year drought. We’ve seen it not happen too many times before. But migod – you could taste it tonight. You could taste it in the late innings of the game, when it became apparent St Louis wouldn’t mount a comeback, and you knew the Sox would win Game 3. The Cardinals are almost an afterthought tonight. I want the Sox to win, badly. Do I think they’ll do it? Maybe. Y’see, when you pull for the Sox, or the Cubs, or White Sox for that matter, you assume nothing, and follow the Berra rule: it ain’t over ’till it’s over.

The sheer, crystalline beauty of what the Sox accomplished against the Yankees last week can’t be celebrated and savored enough. Yes, the Yankees have 26 WS titles, and no other MLB team has more than 9 – St Louis, oddly enough, is that team. If the Red Sox win, they will move into third place, with 6 WS titles. In 1986, the Sox were within one strike of the title, with a 2-run lead, and found ways to lose. It wasn’t Buckner’s fault, his was the last in a series of mistakes made by the team. In the ALCS last week, the Sox turned the tables on themselves – down to three outs away from being swept, they tied the game against arguably the best relief pitcher in baseball, clawing back in extra innings to win Games 4 and 5 at home, anchored by their own version of flawless relief pitching. Game 6 saw Schilling’s miraculous turn, and in Game 7, the icing on the cake: a 6-0 lead after two innings, allowing baseball fans across Planet Earth to watch both teams set records: one for the greatest comeback, and one for the greatest choke in 100 years of baseball playoffs. The overpriced Yankees were absolutely humiliated in their home park while hundreds of millions of fans watched worldwide. It was a stunner.

The first WS was held in 1903. Boston beat Pittsburgh. There was no WS in 1904, and in 1994, it was cancelled. Thus, 2004 is the 100th WS. How fitting it would be for the Sox to bookend 100 years of World Series play with victories at both ends of the playoff century.

Hell hasn’t frozen over yet, but the temperature is approaching sub-zero.

Also posted to Blogcritics.

There Is No Joy In Mudville

Posted in Sports on October 20th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: And God smiled on Boston. Yeehaw!

Into the Florida Electoral Abyss

Posted in Political Hooey on October 20th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: The worst nightmare of a Democrat voting in the 2004 US presidential election. (If that link doesn’t work, try this one.)

Update – both links not working one day later. The domain name for the BoomChicago site in The Netherlands appears to have been claimed another group. Pity, because the video is a good one, and very funny.

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