Monday, July 26, 2010

Zombie Literature- Jury is Still Out

I recently started on the zombie anthology The Living Dead edited by John Joseph Adams and am having a hard time rendering judgement on the collection as a whole. While I am a stalwart of all things zombie I had an incredibly tough time getting into about half of the stories included in this collection. While I have enjoyed the diversity offered by a collection of short stories the lack of resolution has been frustrating. Overall I would recommend purchasing a true zombie novel such as World War Z by Max Brooks (which is slated hit a theater near you in just a few years) or Dead in the West by Joe Landsdale.

Golden Age for US Soccer?

For the last twenty years there has been a natural order in which every kid plays soccer growing up then promptly at around high school age they forget they ever cared about the sport and place their interests in "legitimate" sporting events. It seems impossible to watch ESPN for an hour without a passing reference to the US's disinterest in "the beautiful game." The 2010 World Cup has however challenged this order and brought the possibility of soccer fever here in the United States. All of a sudden the States has a legitimate superstar in Landon Donovan, thousands traveled to South Africa to watch the US Men's National Team, and millions more watched across the country as the US's never say die attitude created some of the most exciting moments in the tournament's opening rounds. This is US Soccer's chance to assert itself as a force in the international football community and the trends seem to be in their favor. It is little secret that the USA is currently bidding to host either the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup and are the alternate site for the 2014 cup currently slated to be hosted in Brazil. Coupled with the prospect of American players entering the Premier leagues of Europe and recent victories by US teams over major players in the international soccer community, soccer could finally take root in the US of A.

Personally I hope we do embrace the game of soccer both because it is an international tradition and because we have the demographics to dominate. Given the cultural diversity and size of the United States full engagement in the sport of soccer will likely yield incredibly successful national and MLS teams. Only time will tell is these are lasting or temporary trends but I think soccer just may be here to stay.


All I can say is go see this movie.

Despite the naysayers Nolan, DiCaprio, etc. delivered in a big way providing a film that I am still thinking about over a week after I saw it.

The fact that it also had Cillian Murphy (Scarecrow in Batman Begins) didn't hurt and it was cool seeing someone I had met at a production of the play Jerusalem in London last winter.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What Has Chelsea [Handler] Done For Me Lately

I am a huge fan of Chelsea Handler's comedic talk show Chelsea Lately on E! and actually almost everything she has done so far. Her stand up is funny and her first two books were great. I started reading her third effort Chelsea, Chelsea Bang, Bang with naturally high expectations. I was tremendously let down. Far and away the best part of this book is her scantily clad picture on the cover. The stories (all more recent than in her earlier works) are not funny and rather mundane, trite crap. To add insult to injury the book is ridiculously short, comprised of just eleven chapters that are VERY liberally spaced.

In searching for the underlying reason for the suckiness of this book I keep arriving at just one conclusion: Chelsea Handler's relationship with E! Executive Ted Something or Other. This relationship severely limits the discussion of Handler's funniest topic, her sexual escapades. More importantly though she loses her ability to relate to the audience while discussing the absurd lifestyle allotted to her by Ted. Lets face it no one likes the person who is sleeping with the boss, living in the boss'sweet house, and mooching off of him at every turn.

The lone bright spot in this book is the use of original pictures from her blackberry but even those are not nearly enough to save this train wreck.

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