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Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Baseball icon Don Zimmer dies at 83 | MLB.com

A unique baseball personality passes. The world is not the same.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 04, 2014 at 09:35 PM | 220 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: don zimmer, obituaries

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   201. Rob_Wood Posted: June 06, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4720591)
bump
   202. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 06, 2014 at 05:05 PM (#4720612)
How is VHS tapes better than the above system?

First, my collection is 100% DVDs, not VHS tapes. There is a difference, just as there's a difference between the cars made in the 2000's and the cars made in the 70's.

Second, since I've already got over 3000 feature length movies on DVD, plus many hundred shorts, how much time would it take to transfer them onto either that system or the one that YR mentioned after that? Whatever the answer to that might be, it's more time than I care to devote to it.

Third, the monthly charge for those DVR boxes runs $20 on Verizon. What's the point, unless your sole objective is to save a relatively tiny amount of storage space in a closet? That may be a problem for someone living in a one bedroom apartment, but not for someone in a four bedroom house. The next thing you'll be telling me is that I should convert my 8000+ books onto Kindle.


Hmm. I thought the monthly charge was like $8.95 or something. Regardless, you can purchase DVRs (e.g., Tivo)


Fios quotes me $20.00 a month, and I notice you don't even bother to answer the other points I raised.

And here's a radical suggestion: You deal with recording in your way, and I'll deal with it in my way, which has served me perfectly well for the past five years.
   203. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 06, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4720638)
You deal with recording in your way, and I'll deal with it in my way, which has served me perfectly well for the past five years.

Next thing you know, Andy will want to select his own size soda, too.
   204. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 06, 2014 at 06:01 PM (#4720663)
Personally I swore off sodas about 20 years ago, but if anyone wants to buy the 64 ounce version, more power to them, dumb as they are. And I won't even cut off their Obamacare if they wind up having to call an ambulance when they get stuck in a bus door.
   205. Publius Publicola Posted: June 07, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4720905)
YR, who's your favorite boxer? I think my favorite is either Arguello or Hagler.
   206. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4720927)
Peter Jackson is a complete hack.


Categorically not true.

He made Dead Alive, Heavenly Creatures and Forgotten Silver.

All of which are fantastic, in completely, totally different ways.

Current Peter Jackson is a hack.

The LotR movies are when it began, but King Kong is when the cancer of his inner Lucas metastasized.

Never go full Lucas ...
   207. Morty Causa Posted: June 07, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4720932)
Tangentially related to that, Tolkein's translation of Beowulf, which he shelved in something like 1926, has been published to some great acclaim. I've always thought that Beowulf as a movie had possibilities, especially if done thematically as Richard Wilbur in his fine poem imagines it:

Richard Wilbur's "Beowulf".
   208. Hysterical & Useless Posted: June 07, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4721016)
Movies this century of which I'm particularly fond: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (which has been mentioned), Memento, and Fight Club (which I don't believe have been). I also very much liked Almost Famous, but would put it a step below them. The Fountain and Inception are others that impressed me, but I can certainly understand why others would hate them.

I think there is far more good stuff on TV today than BITGOD, as well as far more dreck ("reality" shows); there's just a helluva lot more TV. But long-form TV--plot lines that span multiple episodes and seasons--is, for me, a far better use of the medium than the old style, everything gets wrapped up in this hour, what happens tonight has no bearing on what will happen next week. Again, I understand that a lot of people don't like the time commitment; a lot of people would rather read 4 short books than 1 long one, but I'm more interested in the quality. If the short book (or TV show) isn't very good, why would I want to spend ANY time with it? If it's great, I want to spend LOTS of time with it. Happily, we live in a world where both short and long forms are available.
   209. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 07, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4721025)
How the f--- did the thread about Don Zimmer's passing turn into a discussion about tv shows and movies?

Because Zimmer's head was in Cinemascope.

There are still great movies being made these days, like "The Incredibles" or "City of God" or "Zodiac" or "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." Because of the current economics, I think the 5th-best or 10th-best movie in a given year is certain to be worse than the equivalent film in 1975 or 1935.

That kind of depth chart is reversed on TV. Anyone who thinks television used to be better years ago is out of their kotter-picking mind. It's work to keep up with the exceptional shows, let alone the good ones. What was the 5th-best TV show being produced in 1985... "Moonlighting"? "Family Ties"?
   210. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:26 PM (#4721086)
YR, who's your favorite boxer? I think my favorite is either Arguello or Hagler.


Well I have my "favorites" in the sense that they were the boxers I most admired and was interested in during their careers, and then I have my favorites based on my historical interest and research in fighters, most of whom were long-dead before I ever heard of them.

In the first category, you picked two of my personal favorites right off the bat, and they're a great couple of boxers. When I was a young YR and actually competed in the ring I thought that Marvelous Marvin Hagler (which is his legal name, BTW) was the best all-around boxer in the world. He was a competent technical boxer with good power in both hands, a solid chin, a brilliantly unspectacular defensive approach that subtly deflected incoming danger with a minimum of exertion, and a fiercely determined mental approach that ensured he never overlooked an opponent or lost sight of his gameplan during a fight. He also liked to switch easily between orthodox and southpaw stances and even used the "Fitzsimmons Shift" on a few occasions, techniques 100 years old and still blindingly effective when used by a master. Most historians will rank Hagler as being in the inner-circle of all-time middleweight champions, usually along with Carlos Monzon and Harry Greb (most historians prefer to rank Sugar Ray Robinson as a welterweight, he's arguably in this group as a middleweight as well).

While I always thought Hagler was the best all-around fighter the two champions I most tried to emulate were Arguello, probably the greatest junior-lightweight of all-time with credible credentials as a featherweight and lightwight to boot, and Thomas Hearns, the deadly-hitting welterweight who was, along with Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Roberto Duran part of a group of elite boxers who kept the lower weights nose-to-nose with the heavyweight division in popularity and gate revenue.

Both Hearns and Arguello shared the physical gifts of freakish height and power for their weight classes. As a 6' welterweight I was in awe of their ability to neutralize all manner of opponents, sluggers, swarmers, boxer-punchers, whatever, using their reach and footwork to avoid damage at every distance. I, sadly, did not have explosive power but a kid was still allowed to watch and imagine while sparring.

Another fighter I greatly admired from that era was Larry Holmes, someone underrated his entire championship reign but is retrospectively considered by many historians to be in the inner-circle of heavyweight greats. He defended the heavyweight title an incredible 20 times, second only to Joe Louis, and possessed arguably the best jab in the history of the division. Holmes' second career post-retirement was one of the most amazing and unheralded accomplishments in the modern heavyweight era - everyone gushed over George Foreman's comeback but Larry's was every bit as impressive and probably moreso. Larry's win over Ray Mercer was a bigger victory than Foreman's win over Michael Moorer, even if Moorer had a belt and Mercer didn't. Mercer, you should remember, was fresh off his absolute destruction of top young contender Tommy Morrison in a finish so violent I'm not going to link to it because I don't want to have to see it again. Mercer was big, strong, durable, and undefeated, and he showed no hesitation in damn-near killing Tommy Morrison in the ring. People legitimately feared for Holmes' life in this fight, I ain't kidding.

And Larry Holmes boxed Ray Mercer's ears clean off his head. Larry made Mercer look like an amateur. You held your breath the whole fight waiting for Mercer to finally land the haymaker that would scramble Holmes' 42 year-old brain, and it never happened. It was awesome.

Then when he was like 52 years old, he beat the #### out of Butterbean. How can you not love that?
   211. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:38 PM (#4721098)
There are still great movies being made these days, like "The Incredibles" or "City of God" or "Zodiac" or "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." Because of the current economics, I think the 5th-best or 10th-best movie in a given year is certain to be worse than the equivalent film in 1975 or 1935


I don't think that's the case.
I think the inversion of that (5th-worst or 10th-worst in 2000s is worse than the equivalent in 1975 or 1935) is true.
Wouldn't the idea of simply more movies being made in the 2000s mean that there is a better chance of great movies coming through?
More scripts, more directors, more studios, more opportunities...
(Like expanding the baseball player base in 1947 and then again during Asian/Cuban arrivals?)

   212. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 07:46 PM (#4721107)
I can't talk about Hearns and Halger in good conscience without mentioning that EVERYBODY should see their their 1985 title fight, which many consider to be the greatest championship bout in the history of one of boxing's oldest and most storied divisions. Watch the whole thing to get the full experience.
   213. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: June 07, 2014 at 11:46 PM (#4721180)
Thanks for the video, YR. I hadn't seen a replay of the fight in years.

I know the first round was three minutes, but it seemed so much longer.
   214. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 07, 2014 at 11:59 PM (#4721182)
Doh! Wrong Thread.
   215. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 08, 2014 at 12:09 AM (#4721185)
I think the inversion of that (5th-worst or 10th-worst in 2000s is worse than the equivalent in 1975 or 1935) is true.
Wouldn't the idea of simply more movies being made in the 2000s mean that there is a better chance of great movies coming through?
More scripts, more directors, more studios, more opportunities...
(Like expanding the baseball player base in 1947 and then again during Asian/Cuban arrivals?)


The thing is that they were probably making just as many movies in 1935 as they are today, and they were definitely making more movies aimed at general audiences throughout the country, as opposed to films that hit New York and LA and then died a natural theatrical death, as so many if not the majority of them do today. And there were foreign movie galore being made back then, too, just not as many that ever made it to the English speaking audiences. Not to mention that movies were far more central to the culture in the years before World War II than they have been ever since then.

As for when the best movies were being made: Probably today, if for no other reason than the absence of the insanely restrictive production codes that essentially forced films to be vetted by extremely conservative Catholic pressure groups. Plenty of great films were still made in spite of that code, but there were simply way too many topics (or permissible endings) that were off limits for films to be much of an accurate reflection of the society it was depicting.

The other thing is that unless you're a professional critic who's spent your working hours for the past 20 to 50 years watching movies, you probably have no intelligent idea about 95% of the movies that have been made since you came of age, and no idea of about 99% of the movies that were made before that. Every time there's a movie thread here, what I see are some people who have vast knowledge of the more recent Hollywood blockbusters, a smidgen of knowledge about a few independent and / or foreign films, and almost no knowledge of the entire black and white era of movies beyond maybe 100 or 200 films like Casablanca or It Happened One Night. And then you've got a few others whose chronological knowledge is about the reverse of that, but still sorely lacking overall.

And that doesn't even count the fact that most people only watch a small handful of genres, and avoid most of the others like the plague. But until you've really made an honest effort---which I haven't myself, I'll be the first to admit---to expose yourself to the best movies from all countries, all genres, and all time periods, your opinions about the "best" movies is about on the level of a typical casual fan's opinion about baseball. That's not a knock, just an observation, and I definitely include myself when I say this.
   216. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 08, 2014 at 02:20 AM (#4721216)
Wouldn't the idea of simply more movies being made in the 2000s mean that there is a better chance of great movies coming through?
More scripts, more directors, more studios, more opportunities...


Today's movie economics mean that there's $230 million to make "Iron Man vs. Godzilla," and there's $4 million to make a handheld road movie for Sundance, but the mid-tier productions aren't getting funded. Thus, they're not getting written in the first place. And that's the zone where a lot of the "best ever" films have traditionally come from.

Meanwhile, I saw a film a couple of months ago that might appeal to one or two of the movie mavens here. It's a Dutch crime drama titled "De Zaak Alzheimer," or "The Memory of a Killer" in English. The central conceit of the movie is that an aging hit man accepts one final assignment on behalf of a crime ring, but he's got Alzheimers and is beginning to fail. All you guys who like the Mitchum/Gabin/Bogart/Von Sydow feel will recognize friendly but also unfamiliar territory.
   217. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 08, 2014 at 06:34 AM (#4721221)
That does sound like it's right up
   218. Publius Publicola Posted: June 08, 2014 at 08:52 AM (#4721227)
Thx, YR. Great analysis as always.

Didn't know you boxed yourself in your day but probably should have assumed that.
   219. Publius Publicola Posted: June 08, 2014 at 08:56 AM (#4721228)
Ooh, just had to see what YR was talking about on the Mercer/Morrison ending. Good lord, that was ugly. The ref should have been banned for negligence.
   220. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 08, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4721264)
Good lord, that was ugly. The ref should have been banned for negligence.


As someone who watches an awful lot of fight footage, both boxing and MMA, there are only a handful of fights that are so disgustingly brutal that I refuse to watch them again, and this is one of them. The fact that Morrison's career largely recovered afterwards doesn't quell the queasy feeling I get watching Mercer repeatedly bludgeon Morrison's head as the ring ropes keep Morrison from slipping to the canvas.
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