Thursday, June 30, 2011

Go B1G Red!


Free at last! Free at last! Great Paterno Almighty, we're free at last!


Go B1G Red!

Only a (bleep) calls a body a (bleep) on TV

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Here's what I learned pretty much on the first day of my high-school radio broadcasting class: The microphone is always on.

Of course, not always, but if you don't act like it is when it's not, time will come when you think it's not but it is. And $%&* me if generations of actual broadcasters have found themselves eating government cheese in a van down by the river after forgetting that simple rule.

The other thing I learned shortly thereafter at the voice of Baton Rouge High,
WBRH, is that when you try to bleep stuff on the fly, a certain percentage of the time, it doesn't work out. Have you ever heard the version of Pink Floyd's "Money" where the "bull" gets bleeped but the "s***" doesn't?

I have. Praise be that one wasn't actually my fault. I was to blame for various other transgressions.

SO NOW we have the world of cable "news," where entertainment trumps all and former pols and present ink-stained wretches take to the airwaves because that's what all the cool kids do. And the pay ain't horrible, either.

It was only a matter of time before the guy from Time, Mark Halperin, decided to be the coolest of the cool kids by calling the president a d*** on national TV. He thought the seven-second delay would allow him to engage in safe-badassery.

Of course, the condom tore . . .
er, the brand-new producer couldn't find the "dump" button.


AND THAT "cool kid" from Time? They got him on the rag, rag.

Shove that up your royal Timese machine

Eine kleine Nachtmusik


Frankie Carle entertains at the piano, through the decades and on vintage vinyl, late on a summer's night.

You want to know why I love estate sales? Because I can pick up original, first-generation LPs -- this one is from 1948 -- for about a buck a piece.

And why a 63-year-old sweet-jazz album for my listening pleasure on a Wednesday evening?

Because it's not Lil' Wayne. Or Lady Gaga. Or Ke$ha. Or Kenny G. We at 3 Chords & the Truth have a reputation to uphold.

Next question?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mrs. Hansen to Chris: 'Why don't you take a seat?'


Chris Hansen, the Dateline NBC exploiter of criminal perversity for titillation and corporate profits, recently has gotten a National Enquirer-administered taste of his own medicine.

It would seem that a guy who, to all appearances, enjoys all too much mining the sordid depths of fallen humanity for the "entertainment" value of it all under the guise of "journalism" has a lot more in common with Lester the Molester than with this picture of a love untouched even by death.


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THIS IS "the Chris Hansen Treatment."

And this, as reported by the
Daily Mail in London, is Chris Hansen undergoing an ironic bit of gotcha:
Hansen, 51, has allegedly been having an affair with Kristyn Caddell, a 30-year-old Florida journalist, for the last four months.

Last weekend he was recorded taking Miss Caddell on a romantic dinner at the exclusive Ritz-Carlton hotel in Manalapan, before spending the night at her Palm Beach apartment.

Hansen, who has two young sons, was caught in an undercover sting operation arranged by the National Enquirer.

Secret cameras filmed the couple as they arrived at the hotel for dinner and then drove back to her apartment - where the pair left, carrying luggage, at 8am the following day.

Hansen lives in Connecticut with his wife Mary, 53, but he has been spending more and more time in South Florida investigating the disappearance of James 'Jimmy T' Trindade - and allegedly sleeping with Miss Caddell.

A source told the newspaper the pair met in March, when they were both out with friends at the Blue Martini Lounge in Palm Beach.

Miss Caddell, who was once an intern with NBC in New York, introduced herself to Hansen in the VIP area, and 'there was an immediate physical attraction between them', according to the source.

The source alleged: 'Chris and Kristyn got on so well that she ended up going back to his room at The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach - and later boasted to pals about staying the night with him.'

The couple have allegedly continued to meet up in Miami and Palm Beach over the last few months, with Miss Caddell and her friends even flying to New York to spend a weekend boating with Hansen, the Enquirer reports.

According to the source: 'Chris sends Kristyn flowers and tells her he loves her, but he still doesn't seem all that motivated to leave his wife for her.
HE ONLY sent flowers? Gee, that other guy on Dateline brought strawberries, whipped cream and a stuffed animal.

Some groomer Mr. Hansen is.

Mayor takes up cross, fights for Them


Repeat after me: Justice without mercy is no justice at all.

During this sad season of empty wallets and cold hearts in America, one small-town Georgia mayor understands this. It probably will end up costing him dearly.

Acting like a true Christian usually does. It was for no small reason that Jesus told His disciples, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me."

Today, in state after state across this country, the cross we take up will look something like what
Cable News Network illuminates here:

Paul Bridges leans toward his desk, picks up the phone and punches in a number with the fast, laser focus of a man on a mission. The mayor of this tiny town in South Georgia is ready for battle -- and looking for a new weapon.

"I need some help getting a website," he said, spelling out the words of the domain name he wants for a site promoting immigration reform.

The man on the other end says he'll try to help. But that isn't enough for Bridges.

"I really don't know what your beliefs are on this issue," he said, "but I'm going to persuade you."

Bridges wants the federal government to come up with a solution that gives the millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States a chance to work here legally.

"You get me an invite to that Tea Party meeting and I'm going ... I'd like to give the contrary viewpoints. Surely one person in the audience is going to be sympathetic."

(snip)

Bridges is one of more than a dozen plaintiffs suing Georgia and its governor, trying to stop the state's new immigration law. They won a reprieve Monday when a federal judge temporarily blocked parts of the law scheduled to go into effect July 1.

One of those sections would criminalize exactly what the mayor of Uvalda does almost every day: knowingly driving a car with illegal immigrants as passengers. The judge also put on hold parts of the law that allow police to ask about immigration status during investigations of criminal violations.

But the legal fight is far from over. It could drag on for months and reach the chambers of the nation's highest court. It's a struggle that pits Bridges against many members of his own party and could hurt his political future. But that doesn't stop the mayor.

THE HEART of Georgia's law -- like so many others that have been, or will be, passed across the United States in these times -- is a basic indifference to the humanity of its targets. Justice is one thing, as is upholding the law. Intentional cruelty and a one-size-fits-all approach to a vast array of humanity and motivations is entirely another.

It is here that American "respect for the law" begins to ape that championed by monstrous regimes we once fought to the death.
Bridges sits on a wood bench in the front row of a courtroom in Atlanta, clutching a notebook. The atmosphere is tense, quiet. He is nauseous and alone.

Friends are waiting in a van in a nearby parking deck. The family has lived in Georgia for more than a decade, but now they are afraid to walk outside.

Bridges is fighting for them, and for countless other friends and former students. His decision to be "the mayor for everybody" led him here.

The family is willing to sit for hours in the heat so he can drive them to a shopping mall after the hearing. Uncertain how the law will affect them, they have canceled plans for the 14-year-old's coming-of-age quinceañera party in case they have to leave the country. They hope to get their deposit back on a dress.

"All rise. Court is now in session," the bailiff said.

Omar Jadwat, an attorney from the American Civil Liberties Union, mentions Bridges in his opening argument, describing him as "Mayor Bridges, who on occasion helps undocumented friends come from Florida to Georgia."

U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash Jr. grills the attorney representing the state.

He asks what would happen if police pulled over an 18-year-old citizen for speeding while he was on the way to the grocery store with his illegal immigrant mother.

As the judge speaks, Bridges nods so intensely that his whole body rocks back and forth. He is encouraged by the questioning. The judge seems to see what he does: a law that makes criminals out of good citizens and tears families apart.

But he grimaces at the attorney's answer.

"It would be no different than if his mother had pockets full of cocaine, and he was knowingly transporting her to go sell it," said Devon Orland, senior assistant attorney general for the state.

THINK about that for a minute.

Repite conmigo: La justicia sin la misericordia no es justicia en absoluto.

It is a finer line than we think between "truth, justice and the American Way" and "ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer." That line usually is crossed when scared people blame THEM! -- and then do evil, calling it good.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A river runs over it


For your flood watching edification, here are some scenes from downtown Omaha on Sunday.

Yes, the Missouri River continues to consume everything in its bloated path.

First Snooki, now Crooki


I'm not exactly sure how you can beat the 1991 Edwards-Duke debate in the universe of whack-job, bizarro "reality TV."

Apparently, though, somebody is willing to try to top the "reality" s***storm that was the gubernatorial runoff between Edwin Edwards
(the crook) and David Duke (the Nazi).

In Baton Rouge,
The Advocate isn't prone to considering that. I just did.
First a fiancée and now a reality show?

Former Gov. Edwin Edwards is unfolding the chapters of his post-prison life on a Facebook page that features a photograph of him snuggling with his fiancée, Trina Grimes Scott.

The latest installment is a possible reality show on his personal life, including his engagement to Scott, who is in her 30s. Scott would be Edwards’ third wife.

Edwards recently posted on Facebook that he and Scott are in talks for a reality show.

“We have received a lot of questions but have no answers at this time. Thanks for all the interest and we will try to keep you posted!” Edwards wrote in an update Monday.

Edwards, who was released from federal prison in January, lists his residence as Gonzales.

He said he and Scott are working with producer Shaun Sanghani of SSS Entertainment.

Like Scott, Sanghani has ties to Alexandria.

One of his latest works is “Girls, Guns and Gators,” which follows a 25-year-old girl’s management of her family sporting goods store in Bastrop. The show is scheduled to air on the Travel Channel.
WELL, I GUESS it theoretically could get weirder. The Silver Zipper could get his own reality show, then commence stepping out on his grandchild-aged fiancée -- on camera -- with Snooki.

But then people would lose all respect for the man. Even Louisiana has its limits.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ghost in the machine


There's a ghost at the College World Series.

That is, apart from all the phantom home runs still flying out of the ballyard and into some fifth dimension amid this brave new era where real baseballs -- the ones made of leather, twine, rubber and cork -- tend to stay well within the outfield walls of Omaha's brand-new TD Ameritrade Park.

No, it seems to me the ghost haunting the College World Series this year -- haunting baseball's new digs in the River City -- is baseball's old digs in the River City. That old stadium perched atop a hill in south Omaha.

Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium.


OVER AND OVER, its specter appears out of nowhere. The Ghost of Rosenblatt Past horns into casual conversations in the new park.

Into announcers' remarks on ESPN.

Over and over into the pages of the Omaha World-Herald's sports section.

It even interrupts your regularly scheduled video-screen programming.

And even though the new digs compare more than favorably with the old in every way, the ancient, cobbled-together haunt still haunts our hearts and our memories. I wonder whether TD Ameritrade -- shiny and new and sexy in every way . . . all made up with a long future to go -- feels like its competing with an old flame.

I wonder whether that's any easier to take when the old flame is a ghost.

35 feet and rising


A couple of months ago, it wouldn't be unusual for visitors to be "swept away" by Omaha's riverfront.

Now, if you're down by the Missouri downtown, it wouldn't be too hard to get swept away on Omaha's riverfront. There's a distinction here, and it involves minding the barricades and signs.

The muddy Mo is running rampant and consuming just about everything in its wild and woolly path. So far, that pretty much has been limited to levees, farms, homes, roads, an interstate highway, a town or three, some parks and bunches of marinas.

And now the River That Ate the Midwest has its gastronomic eye on a couple of Nebraska nuclear power plants for dessert. Lovely.


FORGIVE US in this part of the world if we've become prone to visions of John Cleese and the "thin little mint . . . a tiny wafer" in Monty Python's the Meaning of Life. Only radioactive and sort of apocalyptic.

I guess we'll let the Nuclear Regulatory Commission worry about that for now. At top, you can see that Omaha has its hands full keeping the College World Series -- and the rest of north downtown -- dry.

What you're looking at is where crews tapped into the area's storm sewer that has been backed up by the flooding Missouri. Now the city pumps out runoff that would otherwise have nowhere else to go -- well, apart from all over city streets and into neighborhood businesses -- and send it over the floodwall and into the swollen river.

Moving south a bit, at left above, this is what the "Labor" sculpture on Omaha's Lewis and Clark Landing looked like Sunday evening. If you look closely, you'll note a couple of figures that have just about been covered by the rushing floodwaters.

They're about 8 feet tall. And they stand atop a platform the entire sculpture rests upon.

AT RIGHT is what "Labor" looked like a couple of weeks ago. Here's a link to the scene from when the waters just began to overtake it.

Perspective -- it's a useful thing.

Now back to keeping north downtown -- NoDo in local speak -- somewhat dry. It's not easy when the river's so high the storm runoff can't run off.

That's where these pumps (below) come in.

It seems Omaha has become a northern New Orleans. Complete with the street flooding until the pumps can get all the water lifted out and into the river.




THE STORM WATER goes from the sewerage (top picture) to these pumps (above), and then to a makeshift slough across what was, until a few days ago, the parking lot of the National Park Service regional headquarters.


THIS IS the drainage slough to the river and all the plumbing coming from the newly added sewer pumps.

Beneath this is the concrete parking lot. It's covered with plastic tarp, walled in with concrete traffic barricades and buttressed with sand berms. One-ton sandbags close off the slough in the foreground.



AND THIS,
by the way, used to be the lower level of Lewis and Clark Landing. Now it's the Missouri River.


LIKEWISE,
this used to be an old pier that stood well above the Missouri River. Now it is the Missouri River.


AND LIKE the riverfront trail, this post must come to an abrupt end.


Stay dry out there.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

3 Chords & the Truth: Beyond the badlands


Badlands, we all live it every day.

The broken hearts have stood as the price we had to pay.

All we wanted was to keep pushin' till it was understood, and these badlands started treating us good.

Sometimes, it worked out. Other times, not. But always, The Boss and The Big Man were there to cheer us on.

To let the restless youth of what seems like a lifetime ago know they weren't alone. That they weren't freaks to want something better than the badlands.

THE MUSIC of my life was the music of my discontent . . . and of my hopes and dreams. It was the music that kept me sane when I wanted to spit in the face of those badlands.

The Big Man is gone; Scooter survives him. And many of our dreams linger on life support.

The badlands refuse to treat us good.

But this edition of 3 Chords & the Truth is all about holding on to hope. It's about spitting in the face of these badlands. It's about looking for how God is with us, not for declaring that He ain't.

This episode of the Big Show is devoted to finding joy amid our grief. It's about keeping the dream alive despite the lure of low expectations and lower estate. These are favorite haunts of the badlands.

In honor of Clarence Clemons, the Big Man, I spit in the face of these badlands. We'll have some fine spitting music on the Big Show this week, I guarantee.

Poor man wanna be rich,
rich man wanna be king
And a king ain't satisfied
till he rules everything
I wanna go out tonight,
I wanna find out what I got
Well I believe in the love that you gave me

I believe in the love that you gave me
I believe in the faith that could save me
I believe in the hope
and I pray that some day
It may raise me above these

Badlands, you gotta live it everyday
Let the broken hearts stand
As the price you've gotta pay
We'll keep pushin' till it's understood
and these badlands start treating us good
IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

If wishes were birdies. . . .


Everything's a metaphor. Especially in Detroit.

On the other hand, I think the United States' transition to a banana republic is going pretty smoothly, don't you?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Let's kick up the stupid a notch. BAM!


I love it when brain-dead barbarians take it upon themselves to instruct the rest of us on how to behave in public.

The only difference between Bam Margera, the still-alive Jackass, and Ryan Dunn, the now-dead Jackass, is an immovable tree at the end of a sports car's 40-yard free flight. Yet he and his equally reprobate Jackass Nation somehow think they have moral high ground enough to chastise film critic Roger Ebert for his allegedly insensitive Twitter post about Dunn's death.


THIS IS what the moral high ground looks like to Generation Moron:


SORRY about that. That was what normal, everyday public interaction looks like to Generation Moron. This is what the moral high ground . . . moral outrage . . .righteous indignation . . . whatever . . . looks like to Generation Moron:
@ BAM__MARGERA I just lost my best friend, I have been crying hysterical for a full day and piece of s*** roger ebert has the gall to put in his 2 cents

@ BAM__MARGERA About a jackass drunk driving and his is one, f*** you! Millions of people are crying right now, shut your fat f****** mouth!
I THINK I choked up a little bit reading those poignant sentiments. It reminds me of the moral outrage and palpable grief of a riotous mob when the National Guard moves in.

Margera's tender defense of his late friend was followed by other instances of Generation Moron calling somebody else deviant in a highly ironic fashion:
* Roger Ebert looks like a victim of drunk driving, s*** happens, its a tragedy when anyone dies. He should let his fans and family grief before talking s***.

*
I think this is straight bulls***. those 2 grown men decided to get in the car with him aswell and this "man" keeps wanting to run his mouth. The Jackass crew was family and people need to understand were f****** human beings. The other 2 that died with him were just as liable for getting in that car robert ebert needs to back for the friends and family sake its sad and sickens me. Ryan may you rest in peice. And prayers are sent out to the one hurt from all this. I know I am I enjoyed jackass with my cousin when i have a teen and after he passed a year ago from overdose and when I watch jackass I laigh knowing it was something we shared . ROBERT STOP BEING A F****** DICK LORD AND SHOW THE FAMILY YOU PIECE OF S***.

*
Most of you dumb motherf****** have zero sense of accountability. Everyone knows the passenger was boozing, too, and he/she chose to get into the car just like Ryan chose to drive the car. I highly doubt the passenger was protesting when Ryan drove at high speeds. It's a f****** accident and sad that 2 people died. Ebert should shut the f*** up. RIP Ryan, your s*** on CKY and Jackass will give people the giggles for years to come.

*
Obesity is a bigger problem in America than Drinking and Driving, Roger needs to take a look in the mirror. Friends don't let friends get obese.

*
Everyone, including Ebert, should stop speculating and SHUT THE F*** UP! The only 2 people who really now the circumstances are no longer with us. And even if true….Show some respect you Mother F****** who prentend you've never had a drink or drove over the speed limit.
WE ALSO have proof that friends let jackasses tweet, too:
* I bet God regrets letting Roger Ebert survive the jaw cancer he had.

* Who is Roger Ebert one to tweet about someone's death. Bitch, you have like no f****** mouth. It was taken from you as a sign to STFU!!!

* Roger Ebert can suck a d***, by the way

*
ROGER EBERT Go kill yourself! You f****** piece of s***!

* One might say that Roger Ebert put his foot in his half-mouth.

* its gonna be hard for
roger ebert to "save face" because he already lost half of it.
BEHOLD the outraged, and outrageous, grief that comes when the barbarians besieging our culture have been caught dead to rights -- literally in this case -- and know their sad fate is nobody's fault but theirs. Not that they won't be making the rest of us pay for their sins, regardless.

Like I said, the only difference between Bam Margera, the rest of Jackass Nation and the late Mr. Dunn is a 40-yard free flight in a fast sports car . . . and an immovable tree at the end.

And, the sensitivity of his comments aside, they hate like hell that Ebert has their number.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and gamma rays


The missus and I spent a wonderful Sunday night with friends at the College World Series.

The series' new home, TD Ameritrade Park, is beautiful. Awesome, even. And the downtown Omaha setting is a grand slam.

The night was wonderful, the company better, and the game between South Carolina and Texas A&M was a nail-biter. A late-spring night at the CWS always has a little bit of everything -- like the game itself (above).

And daddies and their babies.

And wacky team mascots. This is Cocky from South Carolina.

And, of course, wireless combination radiation and multigas detectors. Because it's dangerous out there.

If it's June, and they're playing baseball. . . .


If it's June, and if a College World Series night game is under way, you pretty much can expect this to happen. Repeat as necessary.

Usually, a slightly above-average outbreak of thunderstorms doesn't merit the tornado sirens going off -- not without a tornado warning -- but this one did because . . . see above. You had a lot of folks inside TD Ameritrade Park at just after 8 p.m. Monday, and even more outside all over downtown Omaha.

With a gust front with winds up to 70-plus m.p.h. headed their way.

Smart move.


In fact, cops were getting people out of their cars on 10th Street and herding them into the Qwest Center Omaha.



NOW, I'm no Jim Cantore (and I don't play him on television), but this is what it looked like in west-central Omaha.

This was just after the gust front went through. I don't know what the wind speed was but -- being that I was outside standing in it like an idiot -- it was strong enough to make it hard to catch your breath.


Back to you, Jim.

It's a mystery why some things happen

NOTE: Coarse language that's not safe for work . . . or kids.

Ryan Dunn of Jackass fame is dead. Who could have seen it coming?

You make a living doing idiotic things, and you're not dead yet . . .
that must mean you're impervious to death, right?

MTV made a mint off of the idiotainment of Dunn and his Camp Kill Yourself cohorts for years. And now that the first CKY luminary has "graduated," I wonder whether the corporate enabler of so many of society's death wishes will at least have the decency to pay for the funeral resulting from the success of this particular one.

According to
The Associated Press account today, the 34-year-old fell victim to a fiery meeting of a sports car flying low and some trees that weren't going anywhere:
Dunn, a daredevil whose most famous skits included diving into a sewage tank and shoving a toy car into his rectum, was driving his 2007 Porsche in suburban Philadelphia when it careered off the road, flipped over a guardrail and crashed into the woods before bursting into flames. A passenger was also killed, and speed may have been a factor in the crash, West Goshen Township police said.

The force of impact shattered the vehicle into several twisted and blackened pieces, leaving the Porsche 911 GT3 unrecognizable except for a door that was thrown from the crash and not incinerated. A 100-foot-long tire skid marked where the car left the roadway.

Both Dunn and his passenger were severely burned. Police said they were able to identify Dunn through his tattoos and hair, but the identity of his passenger was still unknown.

Dunn appeared on MTV shows "Jackass" and "Viva La Bam" and the three "Jackass" big-screen adaptations. He also was the star of his own MTV show, "Homewrecker," and hosted "Proving Ground" on the G4 cable network.

His longtime friend and fellow "Jackass" daredevil Johnny Knoxville tweeted on Monday afternoon, "Today I lost my brother Ryan Dunn. My heart goes out to his family and his beloved Angie. RIP Ryan, I love you buddy."
ACCORDING TO TMZ, it's likely Dunn also fell victim to being behind the wheel with a gut full of liquor:
One of the friends tells TMZ ... Dunn had 3 Miller Lites and 3 "girly shots" between 10:30 PM and 2:10 AM -- nearly a 4 hour span -- but he was "not too drunk to drive."

But according to another person who was inside the bar that night, Dunn was "wasted" -- and "had a lot to drink."
BUT I GUESS we could have seen that one coming, too. Or, as one YouTube commenter rather uncharitably put it, "He died as he lived . . . with car parts in his anus."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Our loss is Gabriel's competition


When this week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth got put in the proverbial can Friday night, the last thing we had heard about Clarence Clemons was he was -- thus far -- making a remarkable recovery from his serious stroke last week.

That didn't work out.

Clemons, the Big Man, the irreplaceable sax man of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, died Saturday at 69. With him, one would think, went the E Street Band. With him, too, went a piece of an American generation's heart.

You can't replace the Big Man.

Bruce can't replace the Big Man any more than a widowed spouse can "replace" the one who, suddenly, no longer shares a home . . . shares a life. You strike out on a new path, with new dreams and a heart that always will be missing a piece.



FOR A GENERATION of us, restless Americans of a certain age now, Clarence Clemons' tenor saxophone -- sometimes joy-filled, sometimes mournful, always soulful -- filled our hearts as Springsteen's words filled our minds and gave voice, a soaring, wondrous musical voice, to our joys, our hopes, our struggles and our fears.

Decades down the highway, they still do. Sometimes more than we could have imagined in 1978.
Or 1980. Or 1984.

Only now those hopes, dreams, struggles and fears are quieter now. A little less joyful. A little less expressively mournful.

They now will be told with a lot less soul.


BUT WE REMEMBER a time when we were young, and when our proxies roared and wailed like a mighty beast. Before our advocates grew old, as did we, and the voice began to falter and fade.

In our memories, though, we still roar, and our heroes are still as young as our spirit, lurking as it is behind graying hair and expanding waistlines.

Hand me that old LP, will you. I damn time as I drink of the fountain of youth.

Friday, June 17, 2011

3 Chords & the Truth: A home run of a show


In the frozen north, you have Hockey Night in Canada.

Here on the somewhat-less-frozen Plains, we have Baseball Month in Omaha.

In honor of the advent of yet another College World Series -- this one at the brand-new TD Ameritrade Park, we'll be highlighting . . .

BAH! BAAAH! BAAAAAAAAH!

. . . on this week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth.


IN FACT, we'll start out the whole ballgame with . . .

SO GOOD!

SO GOOD!

SO GOOD!

. . . which I think you will find to be a real treat this time around on the Big Show.

And those hipsters down there about three rows -- the ones who are obviously here to be seen being here, even though baseball is usually so uncool -- would enjoy this week's 3 Chords & the Truth excursion into . . .

BAH! BAAAH! BAAAAAAAAH!

It's really going to be cool, even if it was put together by a balding guy well old enough to be their father. Especially when . . .

SO GOOD!

SO GOOD!

SO GOOD!

Aw, screw it. Ima watch the game now.

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there . . .

BAH! BAAAH! BAAAAAAAAH!

Aloha.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

George Jefferson and the Big Lie


LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson won't be movin' on up to Phi Beta Kappa.

Unfortunately for the university's media-relations types, however, he moved on up to
ESPN -- an event they touted to the world:
LSU senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson will spend Thursday at the ESPN Headquarters in Bristol, Conn., appearing on various ESPN shows and platforms throughout the day as part of the network's "car wash."

The ESPN "car wash" for Jefferson gets underway at 9:50 a.m. CT with an appearance on ESPN First Take, which will air on ESPN News. Jefferson will also participate in the network's social and digital media platforms, including an appearance for ESPN Rise Magazine's official website.

"I am excited about representing our team with this opportunity," said Jefferson Tuesday morning. "We had a great spring and we have worked very hard this offseason as a team. I can't wait until camp starts and the start of my senior year. I know our fans are just as excited with the season right around the corner."

After lunch in the ESPN cafeteria and an opportunity to visit with ESPN personalities, Jefferson will conduct an ESPN.com chat at noon CT followed by a live interview on the Scott Van Pelt ESPN Radio show at 12:45 p.m. CT. The "SVP show" also airs tape delayed on ESPNU at 2 p.m. CT. To access the ESPN.com chat, visit www.espn.com/sportsnation/chats.
HOW DO YOU screw up the answer to that question? Easy. By not having a clue about fourth-grade American history.

You get spotted the last name. You see the powdered wig. And you come up with George Jefferson of TV fame?

No, you don't. Even an LSU football player knows George Jefferson was black.

In this case, I'll bet, what you come up with is "Thomas Washington, George Jefferson . . . whatever."

That some Americans surely are that confused about the Founding Fathers and the origins of our country is tragic -- both for civics' sake and theirs -- but not surprising. That some Americans are that confused and on scholarship to an American university when scores of less-confused young people no longer can hope to afford a college education is a crime.

It also is a contradiction that American colleges and universities have ignored for decades, all for the sake of athletic glory and the almighty dollar. It's a contradiction we ignore, despite the injustices at its heart, for the sake of the bread-and-circuses segment of the American economy.

We perpetuate the Big Lie because of all we have built upon its foundation -- giant stadiums, a TV-sports money machine and de facto developmental leagues for the NFL, NBA and MLB. There's big money in the Big Lie.

And not such a Big Future -- at least anymore -- in being a former LSU quarterback in the National Football League. JaMarcus Russell, anyone?


AS CLOSE AS we get to acknowledging the Big Lie is the cynical wink we give when forced to utter the words "student athlete." And that right there is a massive injustice to the many student athletes who fit the bill -- and bear the stereotype for all those who pretend to learn while we pretend they're college material . . . or even aspire to be.

I'm not here to run athletics out of American colleges -- not that I could even if I wanted to. What I am here for is to ask you, as you polish off another damn bag of chips watching all the "student athletes" get the ESPN "car wash" treatment, to give a fleeting thought to the Big Lie.

And to say a prayer for all those non-athletes who do recognize Thomas Jefferson as they slave away for Abraham Lincolns while too many "student athletes" are otherwise occupied getting Benjamin Franklin handshakes.

Benjamin Franklin . . . now that's a Founding Father a college quarterback can appreciate.

Apocalypse Night in Canada

O Canada!
Our home and native land!

True patriot rage in all thy sons command.
With flaming cars we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we lose our s*** for thee.
God help our lads burn Vancouver, B.C.!
O Canada, we lose our s*** for thee.
O Canada, we lose our s*** for thee.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Do as I say, not as I make my living


When a big-time NPR reporter gave a speech at a Norwalk, Conn., awards banquet Thursday, the local cable-access guy figured there would be no problem taping it for broadcast.

Happens all the time. Most journalists hawking books welcome the prospect. That's why God invented PR people.

Only in the case of Dina Temple-Raston, NPR's national-security and counterterrorism reporter, it turns out that the Darien/Norwalk YWCA found a broadcast correspondent who's camera shy. A radio journalist who, outside of working hours, just can't abide audio recorders.

The local cable-access TV guy couldn't believe it. And Jim Cameron, a former NBC Radio anchor, didn't like it. Didn't like it at all.


HE LIKED Temple-Raston's attitude so little, he wrote about it for AOL's Darian Patch:

A day before the event, at my request, the Y sponsors circled back to me with more information. Apparently her agent was wrong. It was not an NPR's rule about no taping, it was Ms. Temple-Raston's rule. Clearly, the Juan Williams case (of NPR Staffers speaking off-air) has had a chilling effect on those NPR staffers' outside, money-making speaking gigs.

The day of the event I decided to give full coverage a final try. Arriving at the Woodway Country Club, I told the YWCA organizers that the community deserved to see the award winners and I promised to record only that... if I could speak to Ms. Temple-Raston and make a final appeal. Seconds later, she appeared and we shared a rather contentious two minute conversation.

"You know you cannot tape my speech"' she said. "So I've heard," I said, "But why? Is it really an NPR rule?". "No," she said, "It's just my personal preference. I am on vacation today."

Then I tried appealing to her as a fellow fifth-estater. "As a journalist are you comfortable in stopping my coverage of your speech?”

"Absolutely," she said without hesitation. "You're lucky I'm allowing you to tape the awards presentations!"

"That's not your call," I told her. "I'm here at the invitation of the YWCA."

"Well, that camera better be off. That's an ethical issue," she said, and then added icing to the cake... "and this conversation is off the record."

"No, this conversation is ON the record, Dina, and it is part of my coverage," I said.

At this point two other videographers arrived, one from The Patch and the other from News12, our local cable news operation. Dina visibly flinched, turning to both and reminding them they too could not tape her speech. "No problem," said one of them.

Her final comment came as a somewhat rhetorical question... "why are you being so hard-assed (about this)?"
ARROGANCE LIKE THAT, as Temple-Raston is finding out from the resulting Internet kerfuffle, can be every bit a bad thing for you, your career and your employer's public-relations bottom line as any inflammatory thing you might say during a speech. And didn't want electronic proof of.

Mostly, though, it's just really, really funny.

Why is that?

Well, just wait for the punch line. It will come up right . . . about . . . now. Courtesy of an article on the banquet in the local newspaper,
The Hour.
Dina Temple-Raston, National Public Radio National Security and Counterterrorism Correspondent, spoke of her experiences in the Arab-speaking world, suggesting that female journalists can often succeed where male counterparts can't.

"Women are instinctively more aware of their surroundings than men and more alert to dire developments," she said.
SAID THE "instinctively more aware" woman journalist who never saw this one coming.