Monday, December 12, 2005

From the Sports Desk

an editorial

It’s been a while since the last sports piece, but I’ve been very busy. As my close friends and family already know, every December I travel to Nepal to take part in the annual World Elephant Polo tournament. Since 2001, I had made a name for myself as rising star in the cut-throat world of elephant polo. The U.S. doesn’t field a team, so I’ve been sort of a ringer for Scotland’s team. However, due to an unfortunate incident during the 2004 tournament I was unable to compete this year. My Nepali was a little rusty and I unintentionally insulted my mahout, or elephant driver, during the final chukka. Soon after my faux-pa, I was thrown from to the ground where I narrowly escaped a trampling at the hands of an angry elephant guided by one pissed off Hindu. This year, the 13th Duke of Argyll, captain of the Scotch team, didn’t invite me back so I was forced to cover the event rather than participate. Sure enough, the Scots won the tourney.
As you’re reading this, I’m already preparing for my comeback in next month’s King’s Cup in Thailand. Life is good in the elephant polo community. Midnight drinks in Sri Lanka, trashed hotels in Bangkok, and endless weekends spent carousing with the jet-set aristocracies of the Far East and Europe all paint the rich tapestry that is life as an elephant polo star. The fast paced world of the true Sport of Kings may beckon me to the Orient, but the simple life back in Texas will always call me home.
Getting to real sports, the Rose Bowl should prove to be historic. Hopefully Texas will pull off the upset and get the national title for the first time since 1970. Unlike last years ugly rout of OU by USC, this year the team playing USC might show up. USC needs to watch out for Vince Young and the high-powered Texas offense, and whoever marries Reggie Bush needs to watch out too, landside victories in the Heisman race and record stats as a USC running back can be a bad combination, I’m looking at you O. J.
Finally, it may be late but I have to say something about Michael Irvin. Irvin, who was indefensibly overlooked in last year’s hall of fame selections, was caught with a pipe in his car. The Playmaker claimed that it was a friend's and I believe him, but that’s not the point.  The real issue here is that this shouldn’t be a big deal.  Michael Irvin continues to get a bad wrap by the media after all these years.  If the golden boy Tom Brady was caught with a pipe I guaran-damn-tee you that media would be questioning marijuana laws and saying things like, “maybe it’s time we rethink these laws.”  But when Irvin gets in trouble people start asking, “Has Michael Irvin fallen off the wagon?” It’s hypocrisy and it’s racist; just like marijuana laws. I could go on and on...

Good luck and go USA,

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

We Can Be Heroes
an editorial

History shows again and again
How nature points up the folly of men


Godzilla [not to be confused with the non-fire-breathing, retarded lizard from an American movie of the same name] began in post-war Japan as a scathing commentary on the folly of nuclear weapons and the menacing giant of the United States. The character went on to become a hero who saved Tokyo from goofy looking villains from Monster Island or outer-space often at the cost of many lives and millions of yen in property damage.
This reluctant hero embodied everything a person could hope to be. Large and in charge, Godzilla exerted his will on any situation. There was no Japanese defense unit too big, no radioactive monster too crazy to keep the King of Monsters down. Godzilla would always prevail, and the scientist and the little kid always knew it.
Godzilla may have best displayed his heroics as a strong role model for kids. What Godzilla movie would be complete without the kid that some how understands the gentle monster? The radioactive legend continued his work as a role model on the 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoon show, the aptly titled "Godzilla." In both the American cartoon and the Japanese movies, Godzilla becomes a dad and shows that even monsters can be good father figures.
In terms of film, the original Godzilla series represents groundbreaking cinema. Hollywood, in typical fashion, attempted to co-opt the Godzilla franchise in the 1990s, resulting in the biggest bomb since the two that inspired the original film. But Japan struck back with Godzilla 2000 and proved that millions of dollars worth of special effects can't beat a rubber suit and a detailed, scale model of Tokyo.
So now, as America prepares for the new incarnation of King Kong, let's take time to remember when film needed a little imagination on the part of the viewer to work. Try to remember the days when models were made out of plastic, not polygons. But most of all, when it seems like life's got you caught up in power lines as it shoots you with tiny rockets, take a lesson from Godzilla and remember: you can gain strength from those power lines and use it to enhance your radioactive powers.

Good luck and Go Go Godzilla,