As it must happen to all men,

I have an 1798 Thomas Jefferson letter in my bookmarks list, and no idea why or when I bookmarked it. Enjoy.

the catless grin

Five years ago, when the first round of photos depicting abuses at Abu Ghraib surfaced, I focused -- like I think most people did -- on this image. There's something so compelling and yet so thoroughly revolting about it that it stays with you for quite a while. I've failed a number of times at unpacking the inner workings of this gut reaction, why this image -- beyond pictures showing far uglier things -- is so infuriating.

A year ago, filmmaker Errol Morris not only articulated the why, he dug deeper [no surprise there, knowing his work] into the soldier's story before, during and after the photo was taken for the NEW YORK TIMES. Assuming you haven't already, it's more than worth your time in this life to read his essay.

The 1805th step on the last road home.

Well, one out of two correct predictions is better than none.

Berto impressed, but not enough for him to be mentioned in the same breath with the toppermost welterweights. .... Like Pacquiao, Cotto and Williams.

How could it be this far into the HBO telecast before we heard word one about Mike Tyson's daughter? It's not like they should have had a ten-count memorial for a 4 year old but really, a shout-out from a victorious welterweight who's young enough to be Iron Mike's son is it?

Maybe I will/did invent that time machine after all

There's a guy sitting in the crowd visible from virtually every stationary camera there who looks exactly like I did just after college -- it's eerie; the dude has the same posture, build, hair, clothing, difficultly in smiling, etc. as I had -- which was when I was the most focused on figuring out how to break the time barrier.

I don't remember much of anything from my life then, and no one else seems to recall much of me then either. If I did figure out how to travel through time, I can easily believe that I would use this paradigm-shattering breakthrough in mankind's collection of knowledge of existence to sweet talk Lou DiBella into giving me some primo seats at a B-level-talent fight night. What I can't believe, however, is that I didn't invite old/split-timeline me to go to the fights with me. That certainly doesn't sound like the kind of man we will/did grow up to be.

What a dick I was/now wasn't because this is a newly split-off reality from the one where I invent a time machine and fast forward to attend a fight that I was just going to watch on HBO tomorrow because I had a wedding to attend but am too sick [stupid summer cold] to go, and didn't feel that bad about missing when it was live. Where [in the multiverse] do/did I get off, acting so high and mighty, like my shit don't/hasn't/won't stink*? Still with me folks? Me neither. All I know is that dickhead with my younger face is probably me, and if he doesn't stop smirking I'm going to kick our ass right now. FUCK YOU, ME!!!

* You know the Hawthorne Effect right? How the act of observing something changes the thing being observed. I posit, my friends, that my shit does not, in fact, stink until one of you changes its character by smelling it. I intend to use this argument with the girlfriend tonight, Every Single Time I fart in bed. She can't argue with science any more than one can defeat methane mano-a-mano, right? Ha ha ha! I deserve to die alone.

Papa papa papa

Why does Bob Papa keep saying that a champion "owns" his title? A fighter "holds" or "defends" the belt until a challenger takes it from him. [Or he doesn't give the sanctioning bodies a big-enough kickback. Or they strip him of his title so that a promoter's star in that division can be given it, etc.] Doesn't ownership imply that it's a permanent possession?

Just for shits and giggles, I'm reversing my predictions; Berto by KO before round 7.

um, wha?

Harold Lederman just said that Cintron showed "a lot of guts and heart" in the last round. Um, by backpedaling, potshoting and clinching so much that the ref threatened to deduct a point?

OK, prediction number one eats it hard

One of these days, I'll learn how to separate what I want to happen in a boxing match from what the pre-fight realities suggest will happen. Not only is Cintron still in the ring for round seven, currently going, he's winning quite handily. At least the HBO announcers all agree that he totally lost to Martinez, three times in one fight, and that the draw decision was total horseshit.

I come to bury my weekly bookmark folder, not praise it.

I'm slowly rebuilding this blog into something that's less professionally shameful, and one of the things I've been meaning to restore is a blogroll of sites I visit, or want to visit, on a weekly basis. This has been the plan ... to implememnt, someday ... for the last, oh, six months or so. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the sites -- they're excellent -- but when even the undeniable greatness of ACHEWOOD can be back-burnered for months at a time, it's time that I stop bullshitting myself that the Web holds the same interest to me that it once had. For the auto-anthropological record, here's what was in my "weekly" folder [not counting accessing the Location Bar's memory to visit Sterling, O'Neil and/or Evanier when I need a quick shot of brain junk food]:

PZ Myers
Glenn Greenwald
Glenn Greenwald Radio
Fred Kaplan
Eliot Spitzer
Julia Wertz
Dan Baum
Eddie Campbell

Another round of wrong boxing predictions

Andre Berto beats Juan Urango via judges' decision
Alfredo Angulo rocks Kermit Cintron's monkey ass out of the ring by round 7.

The 1804th step on the last road home.

Questions for film buffs who actually keep up with new movies

Hey, what was the name of that Jennifer Connelly movie where she was all sad-to-placid looking from start to finish?

Hey, what was the name of that movie with Wes Bentley [the plastic-bag kid from AMERICAN BEAUTY] where he was all reticent-to-gloomy and stuff?

I would like to see those two in a remake of THE GRADUATE, and I don't care which roles they take. Hilarious to imagine Connelly as either Mrs. Braddock, emitting a joyful screech when Benjamin tells his parents he's getting married, or as Mrs. Robinson: "[long sigh, thousand-yard stare, flat affect] Benjamin, I am not trying to seduce you."

The 1795th step on the last road home.

Wow.

OK, now I feel bad for Hatton. Poor bastard is the worst, saddest-looking man I've ever seen laying on the canvas. In the slow-motion replay, it's telling that Hatton landed on the canvas before any of the crowd reacted. Holy fucking shit, Pacquio is fast.

Did Jim Lamphley really say that?

"a tsunami of punches"? Charming. Great metaphor for a fighter from a country that gets ravaged from real tsunamis on a regular basis. Ass!

Hatton's introduction

I still find it hilarious to watch bernad Hopkins when he's not actually fighting. I know it's because he does promo for and is a partner at Golden Boy but his awkwardness at these times I find funny and sort of endearing.

At long last, Pacman/Hatton

I will be very surprised if Manny Pacquio allows a mere opponent (albeit one with a financially superior fanbase) like Ricky Hatton in his ring for more than five rounds. Oh, the lead-in to the HBO show already spilled the beans that Pacman wins by KO. I'll go with Freddie Roach's prediction that it'll be over in three rounds. There's only one Manny Pacquio, motherfuckers. Oh, and I'll predict that there won't be much substantial back and forth after the first round.

The 1783rd step on the last road home.