Friday, February 15, 2013

Class Notes 2/11

I think I'm done trying to watch award shows that don't have any regard for the art froms that I like.  I watched the Grammys last weekend and found myself wondering why so many of the hip-hop and R&B awards don't make the actual broadcast.  It's similar to when I watch the Oscars and the 5-7 movies that get nominated for Best Picture are flicks I've never even heard of.  Doesn't mean that the artists who do get nominated aren't talented.  I enjoyed Mumford & Sons performance as well as the Black Keys (infused with the Preservation Hall Band), but that's not making my playlist rotation when I'm in the car.  I'm sure I'll find something else to do with my three hours on a Sunday night when your favorite awards show is on.  Here are the rest of my Class Notes:

POLITICS:  Read the transcript of the State of the Union address.  Liked the President's emphasis on the pockets where jobs can be created (clean energy, infrastructure), and that there needs to be serious redress of the minimum wage.  I also liked his subtle tweak to the education program where schools will be rewarded for innovative partnerships that better prepare students to be competitive workers in an increasingly tech-oriented global economy.  It was also encouraging to hear him speak of aiding those who are trying to keep their homes.  My critique of the speech would be that while the President continues to extend his hand towards Republican peers in an effort to make bipartisanship more than an ideal, he needs to make it more clear that there is an expiration date on that collegial nature.  He noted taking executive action in the speech, and I would've liked to see him be more explicit about the items that he is willing to ram through should he not receive the support that he needs.  I am tired of simple opposition politics played out by privileged folk who are rarely held accountable by those whose lives they carelessly toy with while gridlocking policies meant to help those who most need it.

SPORTS:  It's NBA All-Star Weekend which means that H-Town is about to be besieged by those who hold roundball culture dear.  The NBA does a great job of complimenting their product on the floor with events that cater to it's most hardcore fans.  However, I've got a couple of ideas that would take the weekend to yet another level:

1.  Mix up the All-Stars - The all-star game is an exhibition at its core, so I propose jazzing it up even further by getting rid of the East/West designations and just letting legends pick up the squads like they have begun to do in the Rising Stars game.  You could then potentially have pairings of Kobe and LeBron versus Durant and Wade.  So now when the game gets serious in those last five minutes of the fourth quarter, you'd have even better matchups then just teammates playing against other teammates (ex: the Heat all-stars versus the Thunder all-stars).  If I was dubbed commissioner for the day here's what the 2013 All-Star squads might look like:

Ballers -
(starters) Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Blake Griffin, Kevin Garnett

Shot Callers -
(starters) Russell Westbrook, Dwayne Wade, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard

2.  Tennis-style sets - To keep the game from getting too far out of hand, play best of three to twenty-one or even thirty.  That way each bucket counts a little more.

ENTERTAINMENT:  Looks like the Beyonce world takeover, which started with her Super Bowl halftime show and will continue in the States throughout the summer.  Nose bleed tickets for the show are hard to come by already, and they're far from cheap all the way around.  There's also the documentary she produced which will air on HBO this weekend.  Salute to Mrs. Carter.  Keep doing what you do.

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