Archive for history

lavoris and the wizard people

well dear reader, it’s been a few days since i wrote anything on here.  last semester came and went. and then winter break (or as i rather enjoy calling it, christmas break) came and went (by the way, i happened to have a quite a fabulous break and did some quite fabulous stuff, but i’ll be letting you know about that later.  it isn’t quite the time for that yet).  and now i’m back here at the university of connecticut for yet another extended period of growth, learning, and education (it happens to be my sixth one of those in case you were wondering).  seeing as it’s a new semester with new teachers and new work and new toothpaste (i’m currently using the “original cinnamon flavor” paste that is sold by some company called “lavoris” [which seems to be owned and/or operated by another company known as “charlesflora consumer products, llc”].  interestingly, the company’s website mentions a bunch of different mouthwashes that they sell, but no toothpastes [you can, however, purchase a tube from cvs online. thank goodness].  even more interestingly, i happened to purchase this wonderful variety of paste at ocean state job lot.  that being said, with consideration toward the lack of representation on the company website, there’s a good chance that it’s toxic and/or carcinogenic.  oops.  but the flavor’s not bad.  you always have to take the cons with the pros, i guess), things have gotten a bit backed up.  there’s probably a good deal of laziness involved as well, but we’ll just blame it on lots of stuff to do.  if nothing else dear reader, it makes me look better, and seeing as i’m the one writing, looking better sounds like a good plan.

that being said, we can move onto the important (yeah…) stuff.  it just so happens that this semester, i’m taking my first ever university english class.  technically speaking, everyone is required to take an intro-level english class when they get into the school, but i took care of that requirement in high school, so i didn’t.  it’s been rather interesting.  it’s a fun little class about the bible.  uh oh… he said bible but didn’t have a disclaimer at the top of the page.  how does that work?  well you see, it is a bible class.  but it’s also called “the bible as literature”.  so it’s not really a bible class.  it’s like a normal english class with a normal english book but with many more biblical allusions (seeing as every word, theoretically speaking, is referencing the bible… because it’s in the bible).  that’s the way it’s supposed to work at least.  faith does creep into the discussions occasionally, often by accident, but those flames are usually quenched in a timely manner.  i must say, dear reader, it’s a really different way to take the bible and read it.  it’s kind of like trying to watch a uconn vs tennessee women’s basketball game and appreciate the good play of both teams from an unbiased perspective (in the terms of the laypersons [so politically correct], that means it’s hard to do).

just this past yesterday, we handed in our first essays for the class.  my decision-making skills were shown to be a bit hazy with this paper, dear reader.  basically, i wrote a thesis that contradicts thousands of years of jewish tradition and literary merit (and because i know you’re all so interested and curious, my paper was about how while abraham [normally seen as one of the uber-cool guys and big time patriarchs in jewish tradition and history] did do a lot of good stuff for the jews and set their big long journey in motion, he also cursed them with his mistakes and led to a lot of israelite woes long after he had died.  does it line up to anything that anyone thinks?  probably not.  but hey, college is all about experimenting).  as far as trying to make a good impression with your first paper goes, that was kind of, in a word, dumb.  but i had a genius idea as i was trying to decide what to write about and went with it.  i suppose we can just see how things turn out when i get it back.

the one thing that i really took out of writing this paper, however, was that coming up with ideas (even if they are crazy, and maybe even moreso if they are) and writing about them can be a pretty cool thing.  creativity, in a nutshell, is top-notch.  being in a major of quite a musical degree, dear reader, i don’t get to do that a whole lot.

so wait a minute here.  why the heck does he keep writing the stupid “dear reader” thing?  sure, maybe it’s an endearing thing to say… once.  but saying it again and again is just overkill.  with that thought, i agree.  and as such, an explanation.  i’ve actually been plagiarizing that phrase.  i know, not very nice, but it’s getting proper acknowledgment now, so that makes it okay(ish).  i came across a cute little link recently (with the help of the oh so powerful facebook mini-feed [which i’ve have been known to appreciate and, dare i say, praise in the past]) that happens to incorporate said phrase and that i feel shares and exposes my sentiments on creativity quite perfectly.  plus, it’s got harry potter, so how can you go wrong?  it’s a fantastic multimedia experience by some crazy dude named brad neely.  basically, mr. neely took the first harry potter film (which may involve the stone of a certain sorcerer and/or philosopher) and wrote his own script for it called “wizard people, dear reader”.  simply put, you turn down the volume on the movie, crank the volume on the audio file, click play on both at (approximately) the same time, and let the magic (no pun intended) unfold before your eyes.  i must warn you, our friend the narrator does have a bit of a potty mouth at times, but with exception to that, it’s quite a ride.  i provide you with  the “re-envisioned” (as they call it) audio here so that you can join the adventures of hp, the wretched harmony, and ronnie the bear.  you can “just say no” and leave here untainted or click the dazzling link and go for it.  the choice is yours.  all i can say, dear reader, is don’t choose incorrectly.

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history 101

the old adage says that history repeats itself.  more specifically (and in the words of the great george santayana), “those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.”  it happens rather often.  whether it be something as big as hitler marching into russia only to retreat in a giant failure after napoleon had done the same less than 200 hundred years prior or something as small as trying the dining hall food everyday in the hope that it will be (magically) delicious, which it never really is.  either way, history is quite repetitive.

and though i’m sure you’re sitting there singing such praises as “good point”, “well done”, and “bravo”, you may also be asking yourself why the point was made.  and it’s a valid point to question the point, i assure you.  basically, it’s quite simple.  history is repeating itself.  in a big way.  and it’s happening in china.  ooh, china.  so exotic.  so foreign.  excitement for sure.

sadly for all of you exotic thrill-seekers out there, the chinese history isn’t what’s repeating.  it’s american history.  in china.  american sports history, to be precise.  if you’d care to read about it, you should probably take a look at the article right about here.  the story goes a little something like this:  the united states women’s soccer team (which is praised [for lack of a better term] in their current fifa world cup television ad campaign as “the best team you’ve never heard of”) is playing against brazil in the semifinals of the 2007 fifa women’s world cup later today.  they’ve played the entire tournament (and the majority of the past few years) with one goalkeeper (namely hope solo [and yes, her name really is hope solo]), and they’ve won every game in this tournament with the exception of a tie to north korea in the opening round.  their coach, however, has made the decision to switch goalies for the upcoming game against brazil.  why?  well, just because.  it’s not because of bad play or injury or anything.  he’s just kind of bringing in the new girl (who is named briana scurry and is actually the old girl, as she used to be the starting goalie on the team for several years but then took a few years off from the team and when she came back had to assume the role of backup).  now, the new/old girl is definitely good.  that’s not a question.  she’s proved her skill in many big time games for the team in the past.  but regardless, this move has quite a few soccer aficionados stumped.

the question, of course, is whether they should be stumped.  does this make any sense at all?  thankfully, i happen to have the answer (and basically, the result of the upcoming game to go along with it).  that answer is found deep within history.  this move may seem crazy and unprecedented to some, but in actuality, it has happened before.  if you’d care to join me in my figurative time machine, we can go back and take a look.

very interesting. “in a surprise move, bombay has gone to his bench.” sounds familiar. “i don’t know about this move by bombay. putting in a cold goaltender to face the leading scorer in the tournament.” cold goaltender, check. leading scorer in the tournament, check (it just so happens that two players from the brazilian team [marta and cristiane] are in first and third place, respectively, on the goal scoring list). and why did coach bombay put julie in? “julie, you’ve got the fast glove.” (though, i think emilio estevez is much cooler than me because it sounds like the actual line is “julie, you got the fast glove.” if it had a “yo” on the end, it would be perfect.) and why is coach ryan (of the u.s. women’s team) putting in briana against the brazilians? well, in his press conference yesterday, he stated, “i think the way the brazilians play, in terms of creating off the dribble in the penalty box and making the goaltender make reaction-type saves, i think [scurry] is the best goalkeeper in the world in those situations.” now that may not be grammatical perfection, but when push comes to shove, you could probably simplify it down to “briana’s got the fast glove.” or hand, in this case. though soccer goalies wear gloves too. just not big baskety ones.

personally, i see these two scenarios very much as one and the same. coach greg ryan is just the next coach gordon bombay, and briana scurry is just the next julie “the cat” gaffney. i haven’t thought far enough into the metaphor to tell you who the next charlie, ken wu, and gunnar stahl are, but trust me, they’re there. it runs deep. and the result of the soccer game? well, that’s easy. the usa ducks won. after putting in a new goalie. against the best goal scorer. so logically, when the u.s. soccer team puts in a new goalie to go against the best goal scorer… well, i’ll let you create your own logic on that one.

so what was the best part about this post? well, you thought you were in for a history lesson and instead you got to watch “d2: the might ducks”. that’s pretty much as good as it gets. and so with that, i leave you. but always remember, “greenland is covered with ice, and iceland is very nice!” with that in mind, you can never go wrong.

update:  oops.  apparently they should have considered changing into duck jerseys at halftime. 

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