World Cup, Statistics, Movie Lines, Cracked, and Clubbing

USA 1, Small Island Nation 1

Fabio Capello Fabio Capello, pictured left, shows us the tracks his tears took after Robert Green revealed his American sympathies by suspiciously letting a shot through—a shot so weak that it could have come from my old mother.

I’m not saying I know anything, but Capello—who was beautifully dressed in a perfectly cut three-piece suit, incidentally—ought to check Green’s locker for small bags stuffed with Franklins. If found, they could explain a lot. I guess England will now have to reconsider the importance of the now-ubiquitous phrase, “Going Green.”


Tomorrow, I start my two-week class at Cornell. Because of this and other commitments, I will not have a lot of free time. So I might turn the blog over to a journal of the class, or at least a record of the lessons.

Trying to cram all of probability and statistics plus require all students complete a project in two weeks is impossible. Finding the shortcuts and compressions to make it work is what makes it interesting. Call it probability as poetry. Tomorrow 9am: logic and knowledge.

Movie Lines I Long to Use

“Hey big guy. Circus in town?” Spoken by Johnny Twennies (Gibson Frazier) to a giant, lumbering oaf in Man of the Century. This charming favorite features the redoubtable nightclub singer (now deceased) Bobby Short.

Frazier wrote and directed the movie, which tells the story of a man who resides in modern-day Manhattan but who lives as if it’s the 1920s. The oaf is a bodyguard to Roman Navarro (Frank Gorshin; yes, the Riddler) who is “auditioning” young hopeful Virginia Clemens (Cara Buono). Johnny escorts Virginia to Navarro, oblivious of his ill intent, but eventually comes to the lady’s rescue, after first dispensing with the oaf.

“Beauty is but a curse to our women.” This is one of the howlers from The Ten Commandments which I treasure. It is always there, at the back of my mind, looking for an opportunity to come out when the circumstance is just right. So far, no joy.

Global Warming is Good For You

Reader Nate Winchester sends us over to Cracked magazine, which is where we now have to go to read fair and balanced journalism on global warming.

They tell us the obvious: warmer temperatures could mean greater crop production and fewer deaths from the complications of cold weather (such as freezing).

Relying on Cracked is sort of like how we had to wait for the National Enquirer to report the sordid story of ambulance chaser and Vice President wanna-be John Edwards.

It’s not all bad for traditional journalism: the main-stream press does do a solid job of reprinting SEIU press releases.

Only $375 A Bottle

The New York Post has another hard-hitting article on how difficult it is to gain entry to the city’s nightclubs. One of these pieces appears roughly every six months.

They sent six models dressed variously as geeks, guidos, and Jersey girls to see if they could slide past the gorillas pawing the velvet ropes (“Hey big guy. Circus in town?”). Depending on the hipness-factor of the club, they either had little trouble or were absolutely denied.

The geeky girl didn’t pass on looks, but the models with stick-thin bodies favored by the predominately homosexual men and ex-young ladies who run the fashion industry slid through the cracks, no questions asked.

In some instances, doormen were lenient to Post crew, but required pledges of hundreds of dollars to “reserve” a table, or they demanded credit cards on which the club would charge $375-dollar bottles of booze.

The desire to enter one of these establishments is a pathetic thing to see. Entrants must know they are going to be gouged; they must realize that they are about to be surrounded by a zombie-like crowd of vapid, shallow, emaciated people whose idea of a good time is to be surrounded by a zombie-like crowd of…well, you get the idea. Looks are everything. Beauty is but a curse to these women?

Perhaps this is why the music at these places is turned up to punishing levels. The sounds called “music” at ordinary volume would meet the old Geneva-convention definition of torture, but the decibels reached at the club level are beyond cruel. The music is so loud that it is almost liquid.

Yet people pay to enter. It is—and I do not exaggerate—my idea of hell.


  1. JH

    “You’re right. I cannot tell you which movie this line is from. It sure is among the top-ten phrases that I love to hear. I like to be right, I’ll admit. I am not afraid to use it, but I don’t long to use it. *_^

  2. Ray

    “Beauty is but a curse to our women.”

    I thought that was a Democrat principle. Look at the female Dem politicians and compare to Sarah Palin.

  3. John Galt

    I did watch the US UK match, but I’ll have to say soccer is more boring to watch than golf. I’m pretty open to sports, I really enjoyed Olympic curling this year. That constant fart noise the fans were making with those stupid plastic horns drove me to mute the sound. If the TV folks had any sense, they’d demand a stop to that. I even played soccer in college, but it’s still boring to watch.

    Another good line is “how big a boy are you, anyway?”. I’ve only been to one club in my life where there was a goon outside deciding who gets in. That was in ‘deep ellum’ in Dallas. I wasn’t impressed. The ‘music’ was certainly too loud.

  4. They’re selling postcards of the hanging
    They’re painting the passports brown
    The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
    The circus is in town
    Here comes the blind commissioner
    They’ve got him in a trance
    One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker
    The other is in his pants
    And the riot squad they’re restless
    They need somewhere to go
    As Lady and I look out tonight
    From Desolation Row

    Cinderella, she seems so easy
    “It takes one to know one,” she smiles
    And puts her hands in her back pockets
    Bette Davis style
    And in comes Romeo, he’s moaning
    “You Belong to Me I Believe”
    And someone says, “You’re in the wrong place my friend
    You better leave”
    And the only sound that’s left
    After the ambulances go
    Is Cinderella sweeping up
    On Desolation Row

  5. The problem with using your favorite-line-in-waiting referring to habitués of the doorman-protected establishments is when lights are eventually turned up very few of them now qualify as “beautiful”, no matter what their mothers might claim.

    As to the next fortnight, it’s rough when putting bread on the table gets in the way of the internet.

  6. dearieme

    Dear God, it wasn’t US vs UK, it was US vs England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland field separate teams.

  7. Dearieme @5:56 pm. Why? Wouldn’t that be like Texas, Alabama, Wisconsin and Oregon fielding their own teams?

  8. dearieme

    Because we do. History, you see. All the other countries humour us, bless them.

  9. Rich

    England, Scotland and Wales = Great Britain
    England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland = United Kingdom
    England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Eire, Isle of Man, Isle of Wight = British Isles.

    The United Kingdom, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have governments. England and Great Britain don’t but my passport says I’m “British”, that is, from Great Britain.

    What else would you expect from a country that invented cricket?

  10. dearieme

    Just to say that but for Lincoln, you chaps could have had two teams at the world cup.

  11. Joy

    The ball is the new ‘world cup ball’ and they’re all complaining about it as they always do. This has less than the usual 32 panels and is lighter. The goalie said it bounced off his thumb.

    We don’t have a reputation for cheating. That reputation goes to nations other than our own.

    My prediction is that both teams will go through to the next stage.

    I was glad to hear The English brass band above the moronic horns. They make the drums during test cricket against the west Indies seem mild. My Dad said that there was talk of them stopping the horns. That’s a relief. They make the drums from the West Indies at cricket seem reasonable. You’ve got to wonder at the mentality of people wanting to join in.

    Yep, the clubs are my idea of hell. Mind you so are Italian restaurants where the floor is tiled accompanied by wooden chairs that scrape nauseatingly. The sound in those places is enough to put you off your food. Why do people think it’s normal to shout at the table? Then, they bring out the dustbin lids when it’s somebody’s birthday! Now I walkback out if the noise level’s too high. It reminds me of junior school when the teacher would hand out the percussion instruments in ‘music’. The Italian Décor is fine if you’re in the Mediterranean where hard surfaces are cooler and easier to keep clean but make no sense in Epping.

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