Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Where Are You, Lennay Kakua?

You've probably, if not regrettably, heard about Notre Dame's star linebacker Manti Te'o's recent girlfriend troubles.  To recap:  Last year, Te'o told reporters the tragic story of how his girlfriend, Lennay Kakua, had died of leukemia.   However, now we've learned that she didn't exactly die, but never actually existed.

As if to excuse, or perhaps obscure, their participation through their lack of investigative reporting, sportswriters seem eager to paint Te'o as a victim of a hoax.  Te'o, whether duped initially or not, clearly perpetuated the hoax by continuing to repeat the story long after confessing the lie to Notre Dame officials. Te'o shares responsibility--to what degree remains unknown--for the hoax.  That said, if lying to the press isn't a crime--& if it is, we'll need more jails--then the only damage is that to public perception of his character, which is already suffering as a result of his own nonexistent play against Alabama in the National Championship game.  A more important aspect of this story is that it serves as yet another example of journalism's decline.

ESPN keeps tossing around the term "catfishing," an allusion to the documentary Catfish. If people watch this movie as a result of ESPN's many (or should I say "Manti") references to it, then they, sadly, have become hoax victims as well, a hoax that ESPN has once again helped to perpetuate because Catfish is a horrible, terrible film--so mind-boggling dull that I refuse to give a link to it here since your online search for information will prove far more interesting than such dreck itself.

Apparently, we're supposed to believe that Te'o, an Academic All-American, doesn't know that people often "misrepresent" themselves online. Am I the only one who remembers lonelygirl15? Or ever signed up for Meet Me? As Dennis Kucinich said during the 2008 Democratic primaries of his fellow candidates, "I don't know which is worse, saying you voted for the war or saying that George Bush outsmarted you." Or something like that.  Honestly, I don't know if I wouldn't rather pwn, whether truthfully or not, that I pulled the wool over on the gullible sheeple--hell, flip 'em the bird--than admit I got hoodwinked into having an online relationship, including sexting, intimate confessions & mutual masturbation--lots of masturbation--with a dude pretending to be a hot chick.

Of course, I have no proof of Te'o engaging in any of the kinds of behavior suggested above, but given that my nonexistent girlfriend told me she used to date Te'o before she found out he already had a nonexistent girlfriend, I suspect there's a cell phone somewhere inundated with Te'o cock shots. C'mon, Deadspin. We're counting on you.

Oh, I shouldn't mock Te'o. I sort of feel sorry for the guy. I mean, shit, I'd hate it if my nonexistent girlfriend died. But the story here isn't what Te'o knew & when he knew it, or even whether the Fourth Estate is but a crumbling remnant of a ravaged ruin; the most important bit of information to emerge from this bizarre & sordid tale is that Lennay Kakua didn't die after all. Holy fuck! It's a miracle!

So take heart, Manti Te'o. Lennay's not dead--she's just offline.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Miscellaneously Meandering

As his second inaugural approaches, it's interesting to note that President Obama first took office in 2009 after campaigning on a platform of change. Although it seems to those who evaluate presidential practices in the cold light of objectivity that he stubbornly continued the extremely unpopular policies of his evil predecessor, George Beelzebush, Obama can be credited with making one significant change during his first term. I'm referring, of course, to his changing the meaning of the word "change" to mean "stay the same."  Afterward, the president promised "meaningful action," beginning with the announcement of his intention to appoint a committee charged with investigating the plausibility of forming a bipartisan panel of senior members of the senate whose sole duty would be to explore & exhaust every possibility in discovering the viability of establishing a congressional task force to study the practicality of putting together a diverse group of linguistic & cultural experts enjoined for the creation, if appropriate, of a new word to mean "change."   As it happened, however, the development of such a word was deemed unnecessary, given that we have words such as "unicorn" & "fairy" to represent the mythical & nonexistent. 

On the subject of made-up words, if you aren't familiar with the remarkable YouTube documentary series, Epic Rap Battles of History, maybe you should find time (search under the sofa cushions among the sundry candies & coins) to acquaint yourself.   To this point, let me point you, if I may, to the Dr. Seuss versus Shakespeare video. In an initially tightly contested battle, Shakespeare demonstrates ultimately those often emulated, critically acclaimed skills-that-pay-the-bills while Seuss's designated rappy "Things" do little but annoy. Although the Cat in the Hat may appeal to today's lack of sensibilities when he dubs Shakespeare boring, most viewers acknowledge that the Bard of Avon won hands-down. To be fair, if you go up against Shakespeare, you're bound to lose, so a more interesting battle, I think, would be to pit the characteristically light-hearted Dr. Seuss against the ever dark & dreary Edgar Allan Poe. While many adults still enjoy the silly, willy-nilly rhythmic rhyming of Seuss, you have to be a angst-ridden kid to like the overly alliterative, ham-handed meter & rhymes of Poe. I know it sounds like I'm joking, but if you were to ask a group of adults which they prefer, Green Eggs & Ham or "The Raven," I'd bet my entire life-savings--all $53.12 of it--that eight out of ten adults would choose the whimsically obstinate Sam-I-Am over some sad sack isomniac lamenting his lost love. Lenore? More like Le-snore! Granted, it's merely a guess on my part, but if you believe I'm way off base, then ask around. I'm confident you'll see the amazing accuracy of my estimate. Of course, if you poll a literary crowd, responses will probably skew slightly higher in favor of Seuss.