Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sunday Rundown

Hey kids! It's Superbowl Sunday! Are you ready to shovel buffalo wings into your mouth and watch men bash into each other over and over and over and over and over...........?

Frankly, I'm not.

My disdain for football has nothing to do with the common perception that gays hate anything sports related- that, kiddies, is way too easy. In fact, if you can believe it, I spent many a summer at tennis camp, played gold regularly with my mother, was a badass at badminton, am always a sucker for televised tennis, and have a little bit of a rugby fetish (okay, that may be a bit of stereotyping....). Clearly, I'm not too prissy for sports (although that list features many a genteel outdoor activity), which should mean that football shouldn't get me griping. Wrong!
My problems with football are not the common ones that usually revolve around the meatheads playing and watching the sport- what truly irks me about the game is the fact that it's a long drawn out case of viewing blue balls. I don't know how so many people can be patient to watch a game that starts and stops every minute only to be interspersed with a shitload of camera time devoted to the stressed coaches, painted fans, and strutting players when there could be a FUCKING GAME GOING ON. And then there's the problem of the terrible half time shows, usually with some pretty dismal and embarrassing half time performances.
Why? Why does the American populace shy away from sports that don't leave them constantly hanging? Sure the hours long back and forth of soccer may get boring at times, but my balls can't handle the waiting.

Regardless, by some strange twist of fate I'm actually attending a Superbowl party this year that will be attended by the casts of various operas from the Chicago Lyric Opera. I'm scratching my head a little over that culture clash. Perhaps I can stir up some impromptu Rigoletto during half time.


Anyway, here's a roundup of some recent points of interest-

The latest issue of The Believer has an exquisite article about America's curious relationship with "bad neighborhoods". The author, Eula Biss, is a professor at my alma mater Northwestern University (a place with its own share of football problems). She focuses a good deal of the piece on her experience living in Rogers Park on Chicago's far North side. After coming out of Northwestern, where RP fears are almost pandemic (late night fears of leaving the Howard el stop are quite common), this was an especially interesting dissection of white mythologizing and fear mongering over space. Anybody tied to Chicago or NU (or anyone else for that matter) should find it quite interesting.
Read it online HERE.

I just made a Myspace music page (please groan now) to chronicle my musical progress for a song cycle that I've been working on for a little while now about a horrifying witch trial that took place in 16th century Germany. I'll probably be updating more about my findings an research on this blog in the future, but for now you can hear some of the unfinished pieces HERE.

And finally!

I highly recommend that you go out and purchase some Van Steenberge Atomium beer to make your Superbowl all the better. On this most American of days, do you really need a domestic? Atomium is complex (sweet one minute, heavy and dark the next, a wee but oily...oily?!?!), rich, and boozy, which will make you look like a fancy fool in front of all your football fancying friends.


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