Had a lot of fun watching the election forum Isang Tanong last night. It was very informative and surprisingly watchable, given the game show/beauty pageant format of the production.
The best performers for the evening were Chiz Escudero, who had his game face on the whole evening, and Alan Peter Cayetano. Cayetano has been on my short list of candidates for a while now, although I probably won't be voting for Chiz because (a) he makes me wonder, "Did Ferdinand Marcos look and sound this brilliant when he was a young congressman?" (and the answer is, "Yeah, probably"); and (b) when you look at his record and his position on issues, from Charter Change initiatives during the Estrada administration to the Davide impeachment complaint, you'd see that Escudero has basically been towing the Estrada party line (which, when you come to think of it, just makes him a skinnier, chain-smoking, telegenic, and infinitely more articulate version of Jinggoy).
Anyway, since it's only a couple of weeks before the elections, let's play a game on this thread. Post the name of one candidate that you're going to vote for, and tell us why. It could be something as silly as:
Vic Magsaysay - Gusto ko kasi yung commercial niya sa TV eh, "Magsaysay, tara-tara-taralets!"
Or it could be something serious. Just post, and then let's compare notes.
The other night at 70s Bistro, while waiting for Imago and Sandwich to come on, we got to talking about Will Ferrell because of Blades of Glory. We were all big fans, and so we were sharing our favorite Ferrell moments both from films and from SNL sketches. Anyway, I found out that some of my buddies still haven't seen the classic "VH1 Storytellers: Neil Diamond" sketch.
(Unfortunately, the only copy that's on the web today has a Lorne Michaels interview in the middle of it. Pfft. But it's still great though.)
I'm embarrassed to admit that I am only familiar with Mr. Halberstam's work through ESPN's Page 2, where he wrote short, eloquent pieces about athletes in the early part of this decade. Aside from covering serious matters, Mr. Halberstam had plied his talent in the world of sportswriting, where his work was eventually hailed as some of the best sports literature ever.
It reminded me of a post by Howie Severino last year, after Manny Pacquiao's victory over Erik Morales, where Howie rued the lack of quality sports writing that Pacman's accomplishments deserved. Mr. Halberstam's writing, even in a field that most other people of his talent and accomplishment would figure to be mundane, gave sports the treatment that he himself thought it deserved.
What stood out most, however, about Mr. Halbestram's writing was not so much his words, although he did craft the language of his work in much the same way that a maestro crafted their compositions, but the amount of knowledge that the author had about his subject. Take, for example, this 2001 ode to Allen Iverson, who was then leading his Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Finals against a vastly superior Los Angeles Lakers squad. The piece chronicled Allen Iverson's transformation from the hip-hop poster child of everything that was supposedly wrong about the NBA, into the true People's Champion that even people like Mr. Halberstam could not help but admire.
Everyone on that team plays hard, and they play hard all the time. You cannot put the Sixers away. If the Lakers, early in the fourth quarter make a major run of 10 or 12 points, enough for most teams to be a dagger in the heart, the Sixers are immune. They are not intimidated. Back they come. They never think they are going out of a game.
Much of this, I think, comes from the psyche of Iverson. He seems to me to be lionhearted. He is supremely talented as well. He has not just played hurt, he has played very hurt. So have his teammates.
He has been the invincible man, refusing again and again, when faced with opponents who have superior ability, to lose. He has driven himself and his teammates to a level where they normally would not be. He has helped take a team that is, in a technical sense, not necessarily that talented, and not only lifted it to the Finals, but he has made it competitive with an L.A. team that appeared ready to roll over it just as it had rolled over everyone else lately.
He has given us a competitive Finals. That's worth admiring.
I first came across his work while reading High Fidelity. In the book, the main character Rob was talking about how he's read "smart" books like The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Love in the Time of Cholera, but he didn't really enjoy those books as much as Kurt Vonnegut novels.
I'd only read a couple of Vonnegut books so far (Slaughterhouse-Five and Deadeye-Dick), and each time I found myself blown away by the experience. That was it, each Vonnegut novel was an experience. You have to be there to get it.
First, someone made a totally awesomeBeatles shirt. Then the crazy Wizards basketball blog Wizznuttz came up with this wicked parody that I am ashamed to admit that I actually get. (I could give the last names of the guys on the t-shirts, what a loser!)