Wednesday swag

19 Aug

liriano{+} One of my favorite articles of the past few weeks, “‘Mad Men’ Crashes Woodstock’s Birthday” about how people identify more with the TV show than the seminal event, comes courtesy of the New York Times’ Frank Rich. Loved every word.

Today a Woodstock couldn’t exist without corporate sponsorship; in fact this weekend’s planned 40th-anniversary concert was canceled for lack of one. Any large-scale youth “community” would be virtual, on Facebook and Twitter, and so might some of the sex. Only pot remains eternal.
That the early ’60s of “Mad Men” seems more contemporary than the late ’60s of Woodstock has little to do with the earlier period’s style or culture in any case (however superior the clothes). The rock giants of Woodstock remain exponentially more popular than Vic Damone and Perry Como, the forgotten crooners heard in “Mad Men.” The repressive racial and sexual order of Sterling Cooper, the show’s fictional ad agency, is also a relic, in part because of the revolutions that accelerated in the Woodstock era. The misogyny, racism and homophobia practiced in the executive suites of “Mad Men” are hardly extinct — and neither are the cigarettes that most of the characters chain-smoke — but they are in various stages of remission.

Today a Woodstock couldn’t exist without corporate sponsorship; in fact this weekend’s planned 40th-anniversary concert was canceled for lack of one. Any large-scale youth “community” would be virtual, on Facebook and Twitter, and so might some of the sex. Only pot remains eternal.

I have actually not read anything by Frank Rich (sorry!), but the guy summed up our current social and political culture almost perfectly. Highly, highly recommended.

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{+} Dave Allen @ Fangraphs has explored why our own Francisco Liriano has been so terrible this season. Turns out, it’s the fastball.

The big problem is his fastball, which has been worth a staggering -21 runs below average. It in about 3 mph slower than it was in 2006 as a starter. His two secondary pitches, a slider and a changeup, are both very good. He showed a similar pattern in 2006, an average fastball and an amazing slider and change.

Much more interesting research noted in the link above. Dig in, nerds.

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{+} The greatest telemarketer conversation you’ll ever hear. Promise.

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{+} Because I know most of you visit this website hoping for updates on the alleged methhead Jeremy Mayfield and his hayseed soap opera life, here you go:

Lisa Mayfield, the stepmother of Jeremy Mayfield and a witness for NASCAR in defending its suspension of the Sprint Cup driver, was arrested Saturday night after an incident at her stepson’s Catawba County house.

Oh please let this story never end.

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{+} There was a time a few years back when commenter A.B. and I batted around a theory (first presented by her) that Judd Apatow was secretly a Conservative. We pointed out the pro-abstinence theme of the 40-Year-Old Virgin and the anti-abortion Knocked Up and thought maybe, just maybe, the guy was a closet Republican. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

I batted around the idea of writing up a post introducing the concept but never got around to it, which is good because a NYT columnist recently made the same point, and I’m happy to report it makes a lot more sense in a private conversation than laid out in writing. Not that he sounds like a kook per se, it’s just that I realize now what a boring theory it is. She’s all yours, Douthat.

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One Response to “Wednesday swag”

  1. RandBall's Stu August 20, 2009 at 7:42 am #

    Ross Douthat is an idiot. That is all.

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