Saturday, November 22

Comments, We Occasionally Read Our Get Comments

arghous said...
That should be Sora Aoi, or if you want to be pedantic (like for Asashōryū Akinori), Aoi Sora.

First, haven't you've read this blog enough not to ask if I want to be pedantic? I took the misspelling from the photo tag, and on top of that, thought I remembered that "Sora Aoi" was correct and "Aoi Sora" was romanized. Which just shows you that I'm not as big a fan of Japanese porn as I pretend to be; in fact, my collection still only numbers in double digits. "Asashōryū Akinori" I got right only because I had to look it up, as a congenital defect prevents me from spelling Asashoryu correctly, let alone remembering where the diacriticals go. I can't figure out the international date line either; today or tomorrow is the final day of the Kyushu basho, the last one of 2008, which means it's either yesterday here or two days from tomorrow. Asashōryū withdrew before the tournament, making three straight he's dropped out of. Reportedly, the Japanese press is hyperventilating about this, and if you have any familiarity at all with the Japanese press you know that's saying something. This has nothing whatsoever to do with racism; it's just a coincidence that when Takanohana sat out more than a year no one said a word. Anyway, it's still all about the Mongolians, with the other yokozuna, Hakuho, tied at 12-2 with Ama, who defeated him on day 12 and is now certain to be promoted to ozeki, the second-highest sumo rank. Meanwhile the Bulgarian ozeki Kotooshu, the David Beckham of Sumo* and the first European ever to win a tournament, is 7-7 and playing hurt.

And here's the deal: I get fifteen different feeds from ESPN and none of them carry Sumo any more; how bad could the ratings be? If I want to avoid watching streaming video on the execrable Windows Media, which, frankly, rates a tossup with Blinding Myself, I have to subscribe to Japan TV, which is an a la carte selection from U-Verse. I'm not sure what the thing costs, but I suspect I'd have to add alimony in on top of it.

And, for chrissakes, American football purists are all about the line play; these guys are the greatest linemen in the world. C'mon, ESPN. You sold America NASCAR. That's proof in my book that you're capable of anything.

anonymous said...
I was reading Nixonland recently, and he mentioned Vance Hartke as a liberal senator from Indiana in the 60's. Was that the take the locals had? Just curious about what the Indiana view was.

Good question! And great screen name!

Hartke was the first (and one of the few) politicians I ever volunteered for, stuffing envelopes for his 1970 race against Richard Roudebush, who was a wingnut jingoist even by Indiana standards, or maybe I should say by 1970 standards. It's remembered as one of the slimiest campaigns in Indiana history, though for the life of me I can't really remember any details at this point.

Indiana had two of the most liberal Senators in Washington through the Sixties: Hartke and Birch "Why Did I Have Children?" Bayh. And yes, we noticed, but we also had a strong trades union, auto- and steel-manufacturing population in those days which hadn't yet abandoned the Democratic party. Hartke lost in '76 to Dick Lugar, Nixon's Favorite Mayor; Bayh lasted until 1980, losing to Pulliam family scion and war hero James Danforth Quayle.

All of which is instructive, I think, of where the real "partisan gridlock" comes from: it comes from Nixon's "Silent Majority" speech. I'm not saying there wasn't partisan opposition in Indiana in them days, but it seemed to me at the time (i.e., as a dewy-limbed yout) that there was a basic sense that even opposition politicians voted their conscience, or followed the polls, but were not thought of as mere automatons for party. That changed after Nixon's speech, and Hartke managed to squeak by just before it steamrolled.


Steve said...
Speaking as a Bats Left fan who likes to use windows less than full screen, the hall of fame on the top is too wide.

It's whatever width the (imported) layout called for, which is equal to the three columns plus their gutters, I think. I am working on making the whole thing, or else just the post column, whatcha call "floating", but,  y'know, it's leaf fall/winterizing season in the Heartland, and I try to get things that can be done before it turns -10 F done before it turns -10F, and leave the stuff I can do in the relative warmth, once my wife lets me move up from the basement again, for then. Plus there're no guarantees. Thanks for your patience.



map106 said...

Forget the "correction" for your layout. Christ, considering your breadth of knowledge and impeccable writing style, I've given up on whatever picayune errors my unsatisfying years as a technical writer might allow me to spot, and most of those turn out to be allusions to things that my paltry life hasn't exposed me.

We're talking genius here folks. It's his blog; let the man do what he wants.

Uncle Omar said...

Ah, Landslide Vance Hartke. In mid-70's Ann Arbor whenever a Detroit Tiger had a particularly atrocious outing we used to say that his next steps would be taken across the hot tarmac of the Vance Hartke Memorial Bus Station in beautiful Evansville, Indiana. And, for many, that is exactly where their next steps were taken.

Grace Nearing said...

I get fifteen different feeds from ESPN and none of them carry Sumo any more; how bad could the ratings be?

Rugby and Aussie rules football also disappeared, at about the same time that Bravo stopped having Kurosawa marathons and switched over to nonstop celebrity Texas Hold'em poker programming.

I blame the Bush administration.

stringonastick said...

OLN became Versus, but not before they quit showing mountaineering, back country skiing, rock climbing, etc, in favor of rodeo bull riding. Whee, what fun. I too blame the Bush administration.

arghous said...

I'd hardly call what Sora Aoi does 'porn'...

As for Japan TV, it's basically just NHK (kinda-sorta Japan's PBS), and it does carry some sumo (uh, sumō) (and a precious little nōgaku, what I'd be interested in (although I could live with the dramas, and music -- maybe I should check it out again)), and, yes, is quite pricey.

Nowadays, sumo seems more about the foreign wrestlers smoking marijuana (the alleged possession of which is a "major illegal act") or fixing fights.