Wednesday, June 13, 2012


If someone told me that, right this minute, Justin Bieber was signing autoigraphs at White Oaks Mall, I wouldn't care at all. I wouldn't feel any urge to go meet him or talk to him or even see him. I wouldn't even be filled with a hatred for him and want to go just to hate him in person. That news would have no effect on me at all and I would continue my day as previously planned. I have absolutely no opinion on him as a person or a performer and his presence in my city would mean nothing.

If someone told the little girls I coached at gymnastics Zone that Justin Bieber was at White Oaks Mall signing autographs, they would shit themselves. They would shit themselves, then change, then force their mothers, coach, or whatever adult they could find to take them to the Biebs imediamente.

If someone told me that Patti LuPone was at White Oaks Mall, right now, spitting on people dreams, I would shit myself. Then I would clean that up, drive myself to the mall and cry all over her assistants while she stood nearby (she doesn't seem like a "I love me fans" type).

 I used to think that I was above the celebrity-obsession that is so prevalent in America. I don't buy gossip magazines, I've never watched a reality show about some celebrity's everyday life, and Ive never understood the big deal with autographs. Then I realized that it isn't that the rest of the world is celebrity obsessed and I'm not, it's just that I have different heros than most people and everyone is gaga for their own heros (there's a hint at another one of my heros).

Although Robert Pattinson would barely make me look up from my coffee, I know that there are plenty of obscure seemingly unimportant people in the world that I wouldn't even be able to speak to in real sentances (i.e. Aaron Tveitt- I brokenly asked him for a picture, was turned down, and ended up taking a super blurry picture of the side of his head because I was shaking so terribly (Aaron Tveit is a Broadway actor (no one has heard of him))).

I'm pretty sure if other members of Classic Brian saw the creator of The Wire on the street, they would yell quotes form his show at him until they elicited at least some kind of reponse from him. In our own way, we are all giddy little fan girls, it's just that they don't make magazines about my heros.

So what is it that makes humans so suceptable to this kind of ridiculousness? I would say that I am just a sucker for raw talent and that I like to see these people in person to prove that they are real people and not perfectly engineered robots. However, I don't have any desire to meet Mark Zuckerberg. He is undeniably talented and powerful, but he has no effect on me as a person.

I suppose that it has to do with our hidden or not so hidden desires. For example, I have always dreamed of being a fierce braodway performer, so those people seem like gods to me. The ultimate that I will never reach. Super versions of my local theater friends. Maybe Conor has secretly always wanted to write a kickass drama series and The Wire is his idea of writing perfection.

Whatever it is that makes us willingly to pay or break laws or travel just to spend 3 minutes in the presence of another human, it seems to be universal.

People I would quit my summer job to meet:

Patti LuPone
Lady Gaga
Alec Baldwin
Amy Poehler
Robert Downey Jr.
Conan O'Brien
Bill Hader
Will Arnett
Ian McKellan

There are more, I just can't think of them right now.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Nick - Pretzels, Man, Pretzels


This is the third time today that I've supplemented one of my meals with a pretzel. These things are great. They come in packs of, like, 25, and they have salt packets so you can put however much salt you want on top! You just have to make it stick with water first, and then pop it in the microwave. BAM! Pretzel!

In Imaginary Nick Land, these are served instead of dinner rolls.

Okay, I guess that's all I have to say about this!

Pretzels! Oh boy!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Character I Hate From A Show I Love

This post began as a tweet. Because I had something to say about a story I thought was interesting. Then I realized that no way could I capture my feelings about this story in 140 characters, so I opted to post it to Facebook. When I kept writing, I realized that no one on Facebook wanted a novella on their newsfeed, so as a courtesy, I am opening the floodgates here so this tweet-turned-tangent can take on its truest most uninhibited form.

The piece I'm referring to is this LeBron James profile done by ESPN's Brian Windhorst. To credit Windhorst and ESPN, this is sports journalism. That's a start, and a notable one from the Worldwide Leader in gerrymandering journalistic integrity to attract viewership. As it is a feature profile, it has every right to focalize through LeBron James, the way the entire network seems to operate. Windhorst writes about how different LeBron James is as a person from last year's Finals to today, placing James' proposal to his longtime girlfriend at the crux of said transition. While it'd be easy for Windhorst to have written a piece for the sake of hyping the Heat's title chances, it seems there is an actual point here, and that LeBron is actually growing up.

This piece fascinates me. I'm mad at it, I feel for it, it's good, it sucks. But it makes me feel a lot of things, which is to say, if nothing else, it's an extraordinary picture of LeBron James. Windhorst, in most all his "journalism," pads the Heat, shows them love a little more than I'd like a journalist to. But here, it's different because it's a feature; it's allowed to paint LeBron as the hero. But that aside, he is the villain in these playoffs. Just a tragic villain. He's grown up, but has done so after hopping to the wrong side of the fence.

Right now I'm thinking Kevin Durant is Luke Skywalker, and LeBron James is the NBA's very own Darth Vader. But, that is to say, James' story is tragic. So talented. If only he hadn't decided to go to the dark side, spurning his adoring fans in Cleveland by making them hold their collective breath through 27 minutes of an overly gaudy nationally televised acceptance of slick psychophant Dwyane Wade's offer to form a devastating hoops alliance whose purpose was to rule the NBA for the next decade. In terms of disgusting self-righteousness and crude pageantry, however, The Decision was a mere appetizer for this appalling entree.

What LeBron had mistaken as earnest excitement for the NBA's next big thing sticks out as the most arrogant, polarizing offseason filled with mistake making and camera loving. And the owner of that camera was ESPN and all of its affiliates (except for in the previously linked video, the owner of THAT camera was Chuck Fadely of the Miami Herald). ESPN has since graced the Heat with an utterly disproportionate amount of coverage, going as far as creating a "Heat Index" page for the team, designed to track the progress of the Big Three and aggregate all their personal headlines surrounding Miami's new darlings.

Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder — a team that A: had a better record than the Heat this season, B: has as many (if not more) All-Star caliber players on it as Miami, and C: has a better, more fervent fan base than the lackadaisical Miami crowd that comes late and watches expectantly rather than passionately — get practically none of the bountiful attention ESPN provides. The Thunder came from having nothing but Nick Collison, Ray Allen and a 28.2% shot at a top-three pick to its (different) name five years ago to now having three offensive forces, two defensive forces, and some quality veteran role players — essentially everything it takes to win an NBA championship. Yet it's Miami we care so much about. Why?

Because the NBA is about LeBron James. It's about the moment he turned bad. It's about him being defeated last season by an aging Mavericks team that was cashing in on its last hurrah and breaking through for the first time simultaneously. It's about him coming back this year and trying to win it again, the haters less vicious and pressure mounted higher. It's whether the Heat will be defeated by the Thunder, or if they will seize the throne and occupy it for years to come. Because James is the league's prodigal son, the most gifted player in its history, and the one of whom all the league's fans have demanded greatness.

The NBA is a drama about LeBron James. But it's also real life, because LeBron James is not a character. LeBron James is a real person. Dwyane Wade is a real person. Kevin Durant is a real person. And yet the way it happens to set up, these monumental storylines aren't depicting fantasy, they're depicting a competition for an accolade, had by two businesses, played out in the arena of their products, selling their brand, their product, their players, to the public. McDonald's can't get emotionally upset when you choose Burger King, but LeBron has been hurt by the hate he's received since "taking his talents to South Beach."

And that pain made him change himself. That and the pain that came with losing the NBA Finals. He changed himself, his approach, after getting bested on the biggest stage for the second time in his mortal career. He grew up. And that's what I love about the drama of the NBA. Even the enemy gets down on himself, but he's still the enemy. Even the enemy grows up, but he's still the enemy. LeBron James is still the enemy, but even he is human.

--Eliot Sill

Characters I Hate From Shows I Love

I'll try and do this without spoiling anything for you folks. I'll stick to rather vague, non-plot oriented details about these fucking fucks. But I will show you how shitty these characters are.

The Wire

This might as well be first up, since I'm watching season 5 again. This guy.

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck yooooooooooooooou. You are the worst person in this show, Scott, and this show is full of fucking drug dealers, murderers, and self-destructive psychopaths. He's a liar and a kiss-ass, the reason that the news industry struggles to remain impartial. All he cares about is winning an award, and unfortunately his superiors are of the same mind. He makes me mad every time he comes on screen.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Deanna Troi is the ship's counselor. She's also an empath. Oh, you don't know what an empath is? No reason you should. Basically, it's a shittier telepath who can only sense people's moods and feelings, but not their thoughts. Bottom line is, she cheapens the show. Oh, we've made contact with an alien race. What's that Deanna? You sense some deceit from their leader? Good. Glad I can expect a "surprise" later. Bitch. There's often a gratuitous pair of boobs thrown into so many shows, and you're Star Trek's.

Battlestar Galactica

Gaius Baltar, bane of the human race. Baltar's Wikipedia page describes him as weak, arrogant, and a coward. The only one in the entire universe who cares for him describes him as narcissistic, self-centered, feckless and vain. (The font fucked up here and I don't know how to change it back. Whatever.) Anyway, man this guy. Petulant. I think petulant would be the word I would use to describe him. I keep hoping he's going to die but man, I can just tell he's gonna be a survivor. Sheeeeeeeeeeit.

Huh. I guess I don't really watch that many serious shows that have characters I can actually hate. But...

Lololololol. I don't hate Krillin. Actually I love him. I just wanted to laugh at him. Worthless. (Oh hey, my font fixed itself. Fancy that.)