Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just Thinking Out Loud: Hey LeBron, go count your money

I would prefer to laud the extraordinary talent of pro basketball's top draw, but the 6-foot-8, 240 lb. Chosen One has been making it difficult to overlook all that comes with the entertainment package.  Though I took a couple of not-so-malicious shots last July (1, 2) for the most unregal way in which "King James" departed Cleveland for Miami, it seems LeBron's dropping Q Score among non-Blacks could explain his recent slip o' the tongue when asked by CNN's Soledad O'Brien about the role he feels race played in the unexpected backlash that followed.

Even if the reaction to his statement was somewhat blown out of proportion, I am already tattered from both hearing and reading (four times today with more sure to follow) that a White guy can't understand how a Black man feels.  Having spent over 30 years in the Memphis area -- where practically every matter remains permeated with racial undertones -- the humble purveyor of this blog has been afforded all the education needed to comprehend how betrayed and oppressed LeBron James must feel when his ethnicity can no longer be used as a protective shield for a heightened sense of self-importance.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What she said

Oriana Fallaci (1929-2006), an Italian journalist whose reputation was built, in part, by her interviews with numerous internationally known figures, was also an atheist who is perhaps best remembered for her outspokenness about Islam's worldwide impact.

In The Rage and The Pride, her first book inspired by the 9/11 tragedies, Fallaci analyzed Muslim practices and dissected totalitarian forces single-minded in its collective desire to either dominate, or destroy Western society.  In the book that followed, The Force of Reason, she opined that Europe is under a Muslim siege and already well into the process of becoming "Eurabia."

Fallaci concluded with the most self-evident point of all: that peaceful coexistence with Islamofascism is simply impossible.  We can only hope, and pray, that Europeans and Americans -- Christians and secularists alike -- will, at last, rally around the boldness exhibited by this one atheist.

Monday, September 27, 2010

TEC's College Football Top 10, Week 4

*** The Alabama/Arkansas match-up lived up to the hype, as their win over the Razorbacks in Fayetteville cemented the Tide's top-ranked status.
*** Ohio State surprised no one with a 53-point win over an Eastern Michigan team that hasn't won a game since the finale of the '08 season (EMU is currently 8-44 since 2006).
*** Boise State allowed nationally-ranked Oregon State [AP #25] to stay within striking distance, but the Beavers never really threatened.  Despite the quality win, the Broncos can only hope that either of the two higher ranked schools end up with an unexpected defeat by the end of November.  Otherwise the men from Boise will remain on the outside of a national championship game that many observers believe they deserve.
*** Texas Christian outlasted a much-improved Southern Methodist squad in a game that neither hurt nor helped the Frogs' chances to rise in the rankings.

*** Oregon racked up big numbers as usual, but couldn't put Arizona State away until the very end.  Like TCU, the Ducks neither hurt nor helped their long term chances with the win.  But that could change in five days when the new look Stanford Cardinal comes to town.
*** Nebraska were the antithesis of last week's big win over Washington, as the Huskers' paltry 14-point win over FCS doormat South Dakota State could have people in Lincoln feeling nervous with several big games still to come.

*** Florida are beginning to look like its old Gator self with a dominating win, from start to finish, over a promising Kentucky team.
*** Oklahoma almost coughed up the victory against a pesky Cincinnati team that made it close in the end.  Finding ways to win is not the dominating style of play we expect from the Sooners, but OU remain undefeated nevertheless.
*** Wisconsin finally put up big offensive numbers, but it was against FCS also-ran Austin Peay.  The Badgers rise a spot in the rankings anyway thanks to the Texas loss (see below).
*** The formerly sixth-ranked Longhorns dominated UCLA for one quarter before the Bruins pulled away for a surprising 22-point victory in Austin.  Stanford enters the top 10 as a result, but the Cardinal's season will be defined by how they perform in the next two weeks: at #5 Oregon and Southern California [AP #20].

Rankings as of September 27, 2010

#1  Alabama (4-0), 715 pts.
#2  Ohio State (4-0), 640 pts.
#3  Boise State (3-0), 605 pts.
#4  Texas Christian (4-0), 555 pts.
#5  Oregon (4-0), 540 pts.
#6  Florida (4-0), 470 pts.
#7  Nebraska (4-0), 455 pts.
#8  Oklahoma (4-0) 375 pts.
#9  Wisconsin (4-0), 340 pts.
#10  Stanford (4-0), 305 pts.

(click to enlarge)
Auburn fullback Philip Lutzenkirchen celebrates with teammates after pulling in the go-ahead touchdown against South Carolina last Saturday.  The Tigers' impressive play thus far could see them next in line to enter TEC's Top 10. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday's Quote: An observation from a foreign observer

Through varying degrees of failure and success, most of America has come to realize that President Obama is not "The Chosen One" as advertised by his staunchest supporters.  Like each of the men who preceded him, Obama is now seen by most as merely another politician who just happened to win the most important of all elections.  Additionally, the fact that he is "historic" has become little more than a footnote amid the policies of an administration that has done the impossible, comparatively speaking, by making George W. Bush appear fiscally responsible.

The honeymoon ended long ago, but all is not lost.  Obama is capable of turning the proverbial corner, but a Far Left marrow that has been exposed beyond any question is tantamount to an ideological stubbornness that all but guarantees a continued march down a path that many of the so-called "racists" and "extremists" have been warning us about since the day Senator Obama became the Democrats' nominee to retake Washington.

His imposing voice and studious charisma no longer afford Obama the pass that got him all the way to The White House.  Things are different now, as a neutral observer noted last year in the most ironic way imaginable...

"Nobody wants to hear it, but this fact is too important to ignore: So far, the first African-American presidency has been one of the worst ever for African-Americans.  The economic crisis has predominantly hit non-white working class men; the collapse of the auto industry is threatening to destroy the basis of the Midwestern black middle class.  Key matters for African-Americans languish — the overincarceration of young black men that makes a mockery of American justice being the number one example.  Government aid?  That goes to bankers in Connecticut.  If the President were white, there would be riots."
-- from the opening to "Where's Dave Chappelle When You Need Him?" by Canadian novelist and Esquire contributor Stephen Marche; July 30, 2009

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Iconic Shot: The 1959 Ole Miss Rebels

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Led by All-America selections Marvin Terrell and Charlie Flowers, the '59 Ole Miss Rebels allowed a scant 21 points all season and finished the year with a 10-1 record.  The only mark on the Rebels' schedule, a 7-3 defeat in Baton Rouge against the defending national champion Louisiana State Tigers, was avenged at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans with a dominating 21-0 victory on New Year's Day.

Although both the Associated Press and the UPI ranked Syracuse #1 at season's end, the Rebels were crowned national champions -- the first of three for legendary head coach John Vaught -- by Berryman, Billingsley, Dunkel and Sagarin.  Jeff Sagarin, an MIT graduate whose method of ranking sports teams has been featured in USA Today for a quarter-century, also rated this squad as the third-best college football team from 1956-1995.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On This Day in History

The guy standing actually lost.
1776 – Nathan Hale, a soldier for the Continental Army during the American Revolution who was captured by the British during an intelligence-gathering mission in New York City, is hanged for espionage.  Officially designated as the state hero of Connecticut in 1985, Hale -- a true patriot -- is best remembered for his last words before being hanged: "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."

1823 – Joseph Smith is supposedly directed by an angel called Moroni to Cumorah Hill near his home in Manchester, New York where the "golden plates" Smith are said to have used to translate the Book of Mormon were buried.  Nonsense.
1888 – The first issue of National Geographic magazine is published.  It remains possibly the most important American periodical ever. 

1896 – Queen Victoria surpasses her grandfather, King George III, as the longest reigning monarch in British history.  Her reign lasted nearly 64 years.  Provided she survives, Victoria's great-great-granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II, will surpass Victoria on September 10, 2015.

1927 – Jack "The Manassa Mauler" Dempsey (pictured above, standing) loses his world heavyweight title rematch to Gene "The Fighting Marine" Tunney in front of 104,000 people at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.  A comprehensive account of what became known as "The Long Count Fight" can be found here.  On a side note, the $2,658,660 gate was the first in history surpass the million-dollar mark.

1980 – The Iraqi air force attacks ten airfields inside Iran, beginning the Iran-Iraq War.  The conflict was declared a stalemate after nearly eight years of fighting.  

1991 – Discovered in 11 different caves throughout the ruins of Khirbet Qumran in Israel's West Bank between 1947-1956, the Dead Sea Scrolls are made available to the public for the first time by the Huntington Library in San Marino, California.

2006 – The F-14 Tomcat is retired from the United States Navy.  Initially deployed aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) in 1974, the F-14 served with distinction as the Navy's primary maritime air superiority fighter and fleet defense interceptor for over 30 years.  Believe me, the Tomcat kicked a lot of ass on behalf of this nation.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Real Music: Eddie Van Halen

We've forgotten what Rock n' Roll is all about, and we've definitely forgotten about what it is to play an instrument with masterful precision.  Here is Eddie Van Halen performing "Eruption" (amid Van Hagar's prime) to graciously remind us.

Monday, September 20, 2010

TEC's College Football Top 10, Week 3

*** Alabama's game against Duke, as expected, was over at halftime thanks in no small part to the return of last year's Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram.  Expect the top-ranked Crimson Tide to be tested next week when they visit Ryan Mallett and the Arkansas Razorbacks [AP #10, USA Today #11] in what could be a preview of the SEC championship game in December.

*** Surprising no one, Ohio State won decisively and will not be tested again until mid-October.

*** Boise State also won big.  The Broncos' home opener will come this Saturday against #25 Oregon State in a statement game BSU needs to win by a considerable margin in order to retain their #3 ranking, as weak scheduling will prevent the Broncos from rising any higher unless either Alabama or Ohio State are shocked by an unexpected loss.

*** Texas Christian were also victorious and remains the most likely team to finish undefeated.  But similar to Boise State, a less challenging schedule could keep the Frogs from challenging the BCS elite at season's end.

*** TCU's cross-state rivals in Austin have looked less than inspired.  The Longhorns' next three opponents stand more than a puncher's chance to win.

*** Oregon has possibly the most explosive offense in the country.  The difficult schedule that lay ahead for the Ducks will determine their worthiness in the hunt for the national title.

*** Nebraska converted a lot of doubters with a convincing win over Washington.  Make no mistake: the Huskers are back.

*** Florida, on the other hand, was less than dominant, but the Gators found a way to beat Tennessee (again, damn it).

*** Also looking less impressive than they did the week before, Oklahoma enters TEC's top 10 nevertheless to replace Iowa, who were shocked by Arizona.

*** Wisconsin looks more anemic by the week.  Another substandard game could see them replaced in the rankings.

Rankings as of September 20, 2010

#1  Alabama (3-0), 725 pts.
#2  Ohio State (3-0), 630 pts.
#3  Boise State (2-0), 610 pts.
#4  Texas Christian (3-0), 555 pts.
#5  Oregon (3-0), 535 pts.
#6  Texas (3-0), 470 pts.
#7  Nebraska (3-0), 455 pts.
#8  Florida (3-0), 375 pts.
#9  Oklahoma (3-0) 345
#10  Wisconsin (3-0), 300 pts.

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Orange-clad fans of the Tennessee Volunteers sing "Rocky Top" during last Saturday's game against the Florida Gators at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN.  The wretched Gators won, 31-17.  Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday's Quote: Ole Miss & The South

Because matters centering upon race have remained prevalent in large metropolitan areas such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Baltimore, Detroit and Los Angeles, I have often wondered why the South is hit with the inclusive liability of all racial issues while practically all others are given a pass.

The considerable majority of arguments, when broken down to their most common denominator, harken back to the days of slavery -- something of which the South was the last in the western hemisphere to partake.  Interestingly those driven to demonize present-day Southerners who reject the weight of an institution that has existed on virtually every corner of the planet for nearly 4,000 years exhibit an unusual amount of artificiality when celebrating a heritage of their own that, to this day, is absolutely rife with all the elements they claim to despise.  But I digress.

Nobody dismisses the malignancy of the past, but it does not define who we are.  So to answer the critics, today's quote is from yet another northerner who was pleasantly surprised to discover what the South is all about:

"...Hiram Eastland, James O. Eastlands nephew said, you know, a lot of people have ideas about Mississippi based on things that happened 50 years.  And all of that stuff, as Hiram put it to me, is in our rear-view mirror.  And I was a visitor, but I was really surprised by the nature of race relations in Mississippi.

"I live just outside of Washington, D.C. and there's a mayoral race going on right now in Washington, and its all about race.  You don't see any of that in Mississippi.  People are friendly.  You see blacks and white socializing together in a way you don't here in Washington at all.  It really, really was stunning to me, actually, to see this.

"...for people who don't come from the South or don't spend any time in the South, it might come as a big surprise that people do get along as well as they do.  They are not just over - not get along over football, only, but just the way people are friendly.  The communal spirit there is just amazing."
-- from an NPR interview with writer Bill Thomas; September 13, 2010.  The full piece about his trip, "The sounds and the fury -- down home with Ole Miss, beauty queens and literary greatness in Oxford, Mississippi" was featured in The Washington Post the day before.  It's an excellent read.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Those glorious beatings

My mom kept me from playing organized football until my senior year of high school.  As a nurse, she had witnessed too many injuries incurred on the field of play to allow her only child anywhere near helmet and pads.  So it was a shock by all accounts when she finally turned me loose.

Perhaps dear ol' mom assumed the impact of full-contact violence with dozens of other guys -- the majority of whom were larger, stronger, tougher, meaner and more experienced than I -- would rid me of this dastardly football bug that had plagued me since first grade.  In a somewhat ironic twist, it was a non-football related injury to my inner right thigh from the year before that gave me reason enough to quit after six weeks of sustaining one brutal pounding after another.

Sensing that I would regret forgoing my last opportunity to play, especially by relying upon a wound that was stitched up and healed not long after a doctor removed three small pieces of metal from my leg (it's a long story), I returned to the team on my own fruition about a month later to give it one final go.  Dear ol' mom was less than thrilled.

In short, I was awful.  But the team itself is another story.  Widely known for both a stellar running game and a punishing defense that held four opponents scoreless while limiting four others to single-digit tallies, the 1993 Evangelical Christian School Eagles were victorious in 10 of 12 games and finished the season in Gibson County with a tough loss at Milan High School (about 90 minutes from Memphis) in the playoff quarterfinals.

Milan, for the record, made it to the state championship game a couple of weeks later.  They lost to Sweetwater, 10-6.

The chief architect of the Eagles' gridiron success over the past several decades is the recently departed Jim Heinz, who led ECS to four state championships during his tenure {'83, '99, '00, '05}, compiling a 219-88 record in 27 seasons as head coach ('78-'90, '96-'09) and finished fifth all-time in wins for coaches in Shelby County.  In a testament to his leadership and versatility, he also guided the Eagles to three state titles in baseball {'89, '96, '98}.

Coach Heinz served as an assistant during the season that I played.  He was my U.S. government teacher as well.  In short, his impact at Evangelical Christian School cannot be overstated.  Briarcrest probably doesn't deserve him.

By the way, I ended up a letterman along with the rest of the seniors from the '93 squad -- not because of my statistics, because I basically had none, but because I persevered to the end.  Still the overall experience has always felt rather incomplete.  Heck, I'm not even in the team picture.  An underclassman named Jeff, who quit despite his considerable athletic prowess, is shown wearing the #80 jersey that I ultimately inherited.

Although a picture taken of me in full uniform the day after the loss at Milan (in which I did not play) is the only evidence that I was on the team at all, I wore the cardinal and white proudly nevertheless.  Yet no matter how imperfect the experience may have been, at the very least I can say that regret has no place in my trip down memory lane.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

From My Own Camera: The backroads

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What appears, at first glance, to be a lonely wall standing in a vacant lot is actually the east side of the former Mudville Country Market.  Located on the edge of Shelby County, just past Mudville Rd. at the corner of Redwood and Brunswick, this dilapidated remnant of a bygone era has been boarded up and covered with graffiti for years.  Yet something about this abandoned establishment grabs my attention in a very pleasant way every time I see it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

TEC's College Football Top 10, Week 2

There were no big surprises last weekend.  The top ranked Crimson Tide defeated Penn State handily in Tuscaloosa, while second ranked Ohio State handled a Miami team anxious to prove that "The U" is back.  Boise State was idle, but the rest of the upper crust won with relative ease.  Oregon and Nebraska swap spots after the Ducks reeled off 45 unanswered points in Knoxville against a Tennessee squad that, for a time, looked ready to challenge.  In short, the coming weeks ought to be fascinating -- as they always are in college football.

Rankings as of September 13, 2010

Pepper spray is good for rowdy fans.
#1  Alabama (2-0), 720 pts.
#2  Ohio State (2-0), 630 pts.
#3  Boise State (1-0), 605 pts.
#4  Texas (2-0), 565 pts.
#5  Iowa (2-0), 525 pts.
#6  Florida (2-0), 495 pts.
#7  Texas Christian (2-0), 435 pts.
#8  Oregon (2-0), 380 pts.
#9  Nebraska (2-0), 345 pts.
#10  Wisconsin (2-0), 300 pts.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

To our Islamic terrorist aggressors...

We, the citizens of the United States, are beyond irritated with your peculiar hypersensitivity and tactics of intimidation.  So know this: America will not become more Shari'a compliant, we will not yield to your self-righteous hubris, "Freedom of Religion" was not inserted into our Constitution to enable extremists to dominate through fear and double standards, and we are not fooled by your suddenly friendly rhetoric about unity and tolerance.

You brought this fight to our doorstep.  You believe a term like "Islamophobia" will guilt-trip us into submission.  And you think that we're blissfully unaware of the relentless atrocities Muslims have committed unabatedly against our Christian brothers and sisters throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East for over a millenia.  Think again.

The United States did not become the envy of the entire planet by giving in to threatening factions like you.  And despite the best efforts of your American Left Wing counterparts, who defend you whenever the opportunity presents itself, you will be defeated.  One way or another, you will bow down at the altar of the very spirit you vowed to destroy.  By God, we will place our giant American feet on your scrawny little necks and never let up.

If only we dare.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Just Thinking Out Loud: Volunteer State Democrats

Tennessee is home to the moderate Democrat, perhaps more so than any other state, which was predicated by governors Ned McWherter ('87-'95) and Phil Bredesen ('03-present), both of whom were preceded by a streak of 11 consecutive Democrats who resided over the State Capital from 1923-1971.

While I believe that a vote for a politician is a vote for both that person's party and his/her supporters -- a philosophy that justifies my leeriness of the Left -- I also believe that my home state could do worse than electing Ned McWherter's son, Mike (pictured), in the coming November election.

Call me a sellout if you like, but when a Republican candidate -- current Knoxville mayor Bill Haslam, in this case -- reminds me of John Edwards for reasons I cannot fully explain, then it could be time for this particular voter to weigh my options... for once.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

On This Day in History

70 AD – Climaxing the First Jewish-Roman War, forces under Roman Emperor Titus sack Jerusalem.  Judea would remain under Roman control for over 550 years until Jerusalem was captured by the Islamic Rashidun Caliphate in 637.

1504 – Michelangelo's 17-foot sculpture of David is unveiled outside the Palazzo della Signoria in Florence, Italy.  It has been located at the Accademia Gallery, also in Florence, since 1873.

1565 – Outnumbered by as much as five-to-one, the Knights Hospitaller -- a Christian military order similar to the Templars -- turned back the Islamic Ottoman Empire's attempted siege on Malta in southern Europe.

1863 – At the mouth of the Sabine River on the Texas-Louisiana border, a small Confederate force thwarted the Federal invasion of Texas at the Second Battle of Sabine Pass.

1892 – The original Pledge of Allegiance is first published in The Youth's Companion as part of the celebration of Columbus Day: "I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all."  The Pledge would be revised four times until finally settled upon by President Eisenhower in 1954.

1968 – The Beatles perform "Hey Jude" (pictured above) on The David Frost Show for their final performance on live television.

1975 – U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant [E-6] Leonard Matlovich appeared in uniform on the cover of Time magazine with the headline, "I Am A Homosexual."  Matlovich was later given a general discharge for his cover story.  He died of complications from HIV/AIDS on June 22, 1988.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

TEC's College Football Top 10, Week 1

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Note: Read this post if you're unfamiliar.

Alabama and Ohio State won their opening games easily, while Texas slipped a spot due to their performance against a Rice squad they normally would have pummeled.  Boise State proved they belong among the BCS elite with a Monday night victory against perennial contender, Virginia Tech, who is nevertheless replaced in the rankings by an Oregon team than ran up 72 points on Saturday.  Iowa and Florida switch positions due to their respective performances, while Texas Christian, Nebraska and Wisconsin held steady to round out the top 10.

Rankings as of September 7, 2010
#1  Alabama (1-0), 720 pts.
#2  Ohio State (1-0), 630 pts.
#3  Boise State (1-0), 610 pts.
#4  Texas (1-0), 565 pts.
#5  Iowa (1-0), 530 pts.
#6  Florida (1-0), 485 pts.
#7  Texas Christian (1-0), 430 pts.
#8  Nebraska (1-0), 370 pts.
#9  Oregon (1-0), 355 pts.
#10  Wisconsin (1-0), 305 pts.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sundays' Quote: Reinventing the steal

Everything came to a head five years ago today.  To summarize a brutally long story -- one that required 17 pages to explain adequately -- I spent almost a year writing a 200-page screenplay for a group of people I had known since 1982, only for it to be stolen by the very individuals who introduced me to the project.  Needless to say, I was irate.  You already have a good idea of how pissed I was if you've heard the infamous Mel Gibson tapes.

Durwood Fincher could not have spun half as well as they did.  The men of that family have no conscience.

I must've written one helluva script because these people, for whom I exhibited more respect and trust than they ever deserved, went above and beyond to keep the whereabouts of my work a closely guarded secret, which was compounded by a network of Pavlovian dogs -- my closest confidant included, much to my chagrin -- who evidently refused to believe that such a Stepford family would commit this unnerving act.  Yet because infinitely worse tragedies occur everyday, I will abstain from rambling any further.  My only advice: don't be shocked by anything that anyone does, ever.

"The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law."
-- Psalm 119:61, KJV

Illegitimi non carborundum

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Real Music: Country & football

Country music star (and Tennessee native) Kenny Chesney recently debuted a fitting salutation to the sport most attributed to this time of year.  You will enjoy this song and video, just over eight minutes in length, if you appreciate football even a little bit.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Adam's Perfect Day (and a half)

Originally sent to a group of friends about a year ago, the following details a misogynistic adventure involving money, food, sex, booze, and omnipotent power.  Also, please attempt to keep this bit of humor in its proper context.  It's only a joke.


7:00 AM -- Awake from an evening of slumber, roll out of my custom-made double king size bed and step onto my third story terrace overlooking Harbor Town as I take a moment to appreciate the exceptionally nice weather (68 degrees, 10 mph winds, 0% humidity).

7:15 AM -- Chow down on an assortment of scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, waffles with hot maple syrup, a cheese omelet, buttermilk biscuits with gravy, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, cantaloupe, apple juice, orange juice, chocolate milk, and a Flintstones vitamin.

7:45 AM -- Return to master bedroom for coitus with Victoria's Secret supermodel Miranda Kerr.  She thanks me and leaves.

8:15 AM -- Take a 30-minute crap.

9:00 AM -- Fall asleep watching ESPN SportsCenter.

11:00 AM -- Awaken with a sudden desire to visit the Cooper-Young district to engage adherents of Left Wing philosophy.

11:45 AM -- Ride my custom Harley-Davidson V-Rod (Confederate Memorial edition) to CY and proceed to engage Liberals.  This leads to constructive conversation that prompts many to abandon their Far Left roots.

12:30 PM -- Receive a surprise call from [name withheld], who initially stammers, but eventually confesses her long-suppressed love for me despite her recent marriage.  Yet in an effort to take the proverbial high road, I talk [name withheld] out of leaving her husband because, "It's the right thing to do."

1:00 PM -- Take a moment for reflection and shed a tear (just one tear) over perhaps the most lovely woman I have ever known.

1:15 PM -- Receive text that my Gulfstream G550 has arrived from Nashville with Carrie Underwood on board.

1:16 PM -- Inform my people that I wasn't in the mood for another round of sweet love makin', as I was still worn out from layin' The Good Wood on my girl, Miranda Kerr.

1:17 PM -- Gulfstream takes Carrie Underwood back to Nashville.

1:45 PM -- Ride custom Harley to Memphis City Hall, smack the sh-t out of Willie Herenton and tell him to "Get lost already!"

1:50 PM -- Shake hands with A.C. Wharton on the way out, implore him to do better than the last guy.

2:00 PM -- Take a short walk down South Main to the Planters Peanut Shop my grandfather ran for 10 years as I reflect on playing on the 100-lb. peanut bags with my cousins in the back of the decades-old establishment; purchase a small bag of cashews like my grandfather used to bring me.

2:15 PM -- Ride to Confederate Park, leave a thank you note at the Jefferson Davis Memorial.

2:20 PM -- Arrive at Nathan Bedford Forrest Park and kiss the base of the statue in which General Forrest and his wife are interred, just as I did in front of Al Sharpton and a potentially hostile crowd on the afternoon of August 13, 2005.

2:45 PM -- Buy a new Jaguar XJ8 for no reason.

3:15 PM -- Make my usual visit to GNC for MesoTech peanut butter protein bar and grape Ripped Foce energy drink, just as I do around this hour almost every day.

3:30 PM -- Get inspired, make a few phone calls and purchase majority share of the San Francisco 49ers (Win Super Bowl XLV).

4:00 PM -- Read Bible, ask forgiveness for present and future sins.

4:45 PM -- Consume an assortment of fine alcoholic beverages with members of the League at my home in Harbor Town while reminiscing about the good ol' days as Sirius Ch. 35 ("Chill") plays in the background.

5:15 PM -- Receive an impromptu booty call from Megan Fox, which I politely decline until she agrees to gain a few pounds and lose the tattoos.

6:00 PM -- Chow down with The Inner Circle on bayou salmon, grilled chicken and pork tenderloin.  The meal becomes known as "Protein Fest."

6:45 PM -- Upon finishing off the last of Protein Fest with The Inner Circile, which included an unforeseen influx of friends and family members, I experience a sudden urge to visit Las Vegas.

7:00 PM -- Having received word that Carrie Underwood ransacked the interior of my Gulfstream G550 in a fit of rage after being sent home, I arrange to have a customized Airbus A380 prepared for our arrival.

7:15 PM -- Having initially declined my invitation to Protein Fest because of numerous household chores assigned by his wife, Eddie is kidnapped by an elite group of special ops mercenaries.

7:30 PM -- Two Bell 430 helicopters arrive with a band of ruffians from Harbor Town on board.  Hooded and hogtied, Eddie arrives moments later.

8:00 PM -- Specially customized Airbus takes off.  And yes, it took longer to depart than necessary because I refused to board a jet that didn't have my preference of two 72-inch flat-screen high-definition televisions, Bose surround sound w/ tandem connection to satellite radio, leather couches and recliners, a proper assortment of only the finest and most expensive wine, liquor and beer ever assembled, and of course, a stripper pole.

11:30 PM -- Arrive at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas; half the group passed out during the trip, as the drinks and previous meal (Protein Fest) proved too much for them to handle.

11:45 PM -- Enter my Skyloft suite at the MGM Grand.  As the remaining group preps for the evening's festivities, I am given a special bath treatment by an assemblage of bartenders from Coyote Ugly.

12:30 AM -- Chow down on a midnight snack, dessert and more alcoholic delight at Wolfgang Puck, as arrangements were made in advance for the five-star restaurateur to stay open later than usual.

1:15 AM -- Those among the group who passed out earlier -- and thus, were still onboard the Airbus -- awake in time to join the rest of us for more drinking and cavorting at Tabu' inside the MGM Grand.

1:45 AM -- UFC legends Chuck "Iceman" Liddell and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson begin fighting over a woman at Tabu'.  I stop the brawl by flashing the blue-green blade of my lightsaber in between them.  Liddell runs away, Jackson passes out, and the girl (named "Candi") joins our group.

Note: As a Jedi Knight, I chose the blue-green hue of my blade in honor of masters Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

1:46 AM -- Feeling an excessively promiscuous vibe, I tell Candi to get lost.

2:00 AM -- With the group at full strength once again, we arrive at The Sapphire (the world's largest strip club).  Upon giving each man a roll of $2,500, I tell everyone to "Run off and have a good time."

3:00 AM -- Landon is arrested by Sapphire security and charged with disturbing the peace, reckless endangerment, and 14 counts of lewd conduct.  He is never seen again.

3:30 AM -- Eddie is warned by Sapphire security to stop "making it rain."

3:35 AM -- After more than three years of marriage, Eddie finally loses his virginity.

4:15 AM -- The group makes its way back to The Grand for a round of poker, blackjack, and roulette (my personal favorite).

8:00 AM -- In all, the group (now known as "The Twenty") tallies a winning total of about $3.8 million.

9:00 AM -- Receive word that about half the group will be divorced and/or unemployed if they don't return to Memphis immediately.  I arrange to have my cohorts return home while those remaining receive a massage treatment at the Grand Spa & Health Club.

9:45 AM -- With half the group now aboard the Airbus en route to Memphis per the threat of pending unemployment and/or divorce, I take the loyalists in a stretch Hummer limo to check out my new home -- still under construction -- at Red Rock Country Club in nearby Summerlin, NV.

10:15 PM -- After observing my humble abode, a modest 275,000 sq. ft. spread over several acres (rare for a country club set in the desert), Gavin screams "I want one!  I want one, and I want it NOW!"  Gavin regains his composure and tries to act as if his embarrassing cataleptic episode hadn't just occurred.

11:00 PM -- Seeing that Gavin's outburst was partially due to a lack of sleep, the crew and I return to my suite at the MGM Grand for some rest.

11:15 PM -- Because I require very little slumber, I slip out for a beverage at Wet Republic (the MGM Grand's pool area).

11:30 PM -- Become acquainted with several members of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas cheer squad.

11:45 PM -- Turn down their subtle advances, per a lack of hotness.  Believe me on that one.

12:15 PM -- Take my Ferrari 360 Modena for a cruise around the Las Vegas Strip... and beyond.

2:00 PM -- Snack time at GNC.

2:30 PM -- Realizing that most of the guys don't have the luxury of living off the interest of a ten-figure fortune, I decide that returning to Memphis is necessary, however unfortunate.

7:00 PM -- Arrive in the Bluff City.  Everyone cries; "Take me back to Vegas" is repeated almost constantly.

7:30 PM -- Treat the group to a nice meal at Chez Phillippe before retiring to my 12th floor executive suite at The Peabody.

8:00 PM -- As we kick back and reminisce, Nick notices that I have imprints of Trent and Justin's faces on my toilet paper.  Nick leaves in a fit of rage.

9:00 PM -- The last of my friends from this fantastic voyage returns home, leaving me alone to ponder the events of the past 38 hours.  "Helluva time," I thought.  "Helluva time indeed."

9:30 PM -- I return to Harbor Town where I find Carrie Underwood is sitting on my front porch.

"I guess sleep can wait."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Just Thinking Out Loud: Al Sharpton

Tawana Brawley.  The Crown Heights Riot.  Bernhard Goetz.  Dunbar Village.  Despite the bevy of contentions for which Al Sharpton has become so infamously known, it's the "donation" shakedown (extortion) of corporations that possibly fascinates the most.

Having toned his hairstyle down a notch or two and exchanged the trademark jumpsuit for a business suit, "Reverend" Al's image has definitely been tweaked over the years.  But make no mistake, this man -- whose selective outrage is reserved only for that which is monetarily advantageous -- remains chief among all race pimps, demagogues, charlatans and problem profiteers.

Indeed being called a "racist" was once the kiss of death.  But thanks to this man, ironically, it's not such a big deal anymore.

"White folks was in caves while we was building empires... We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it."
-- Sharpton, during a '94 speech at Keane College in Union, New Jersey