As you all know, I used to write for the unofficial fan blog of To Appomattox, and still wish them the best of luck in production and plan on covering it from a far on here once filming begins, but I just have to say that I am not too crazy about the name change, the mini-series now shifting over to Grant Vs. Lee. I can see why the title was changed, because the majority of television viewers in this country can probably barely pronounce the word “Appomattox” correctly, let alone know what it refers to, however, I think that the new title they have come up with is a bit too gimmicky and hokey for my liking, sounding like something the History Channel would have produced, and you all know how I feel about them and their Civil War productions. Grant Vs. Lee is definitely better for marketing, because most people (or at least I certainly hope so) know who Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant are. Even the casual reader of history and anyone who paid attention in school knows them, so I can obviously see the marketing angle they are coming from. The rumor is that ongoing network negotiations have forced the title change, and that comes as no surprise, since respectful titles and historical authenticity must go out the window for the almighty dollar. Thankfully, it is being reported that the script has gone unchanged, which, unless you want to really be fanatical, is all the matters.
“Speaking of child abuse, next stop grade school! Where he won’t be allowed to play tag because it encourages victimization. And he won’t be able to play dodgeball because it’s exclusionary and promotes aggression. Standing around is still okay. Standing around is still permitted but it won’t be for long because sooner or later some kid is gonna be standing around and his foot will fall asleep and his parents will sue the school and it will be goodbye [expletive] standing around!”- George Carlin
This past week, I was conducting a Civil War camp for students at a nearby school, the grade-levels ranging from entering fifth grade to entering high school. We took a lightning-tour through all the causes of war, and every major battle, person, and event that I could cram into the fifteen hours we spent together in those five days. Aside from me speaking to them using PowerPoints and showing battle scenes and clips from various movies, we had to pass the time in some other way, one which would be both educational and fun. The only thing that came to mind was dodgeball, a childhood favorite of…well…everyone. It also served as a way to reenact some of the battles we learned about. For Manassas, we split into two groups, North and South of course, and had to just march toward one another, firing off the dodgeballs. They had to stay shoulder to shoulder for two volleys before they were allowed to run around in the general insanity that would ensue in playing such a fun sport. For Fredericksburg, we set up a barricade using a giant gym mat, which one side, playing as the Confederates, had to hide behind while the Union attacked it. On the last day, we explored the trench warfare that developed in Petersburg, by giving barricades to both sides. There was one difference with our game, which we called “War Ball”, and that was if you got hit, you had to lay down like you were killed in battle. There were no sidelines and no catching the ball to make the thrower out. If you were hit anywhere, that was it, though sometimes we made an exception if someone got hit in the arm—they had to play the rest of the match with it behind their back as if it was amputated in a field hospital. Everyone had a blast, including myself, which makes the taboo surrounding this recreational activity all the more ridiculous.
It finally happened. The trade that everyone has been waiting for just went down, and that was the New York Rangers acquiring Rick Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first blockbuster of the off-season. There were many guesses as to whether or not it would take an overpayment to get him, but I held fast with Glen Sather saying it would either be a robbery, or he would not be acquired at all. The magician has just completed his latest trick, because the Rangers somehow managed to only send Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon, and a first round pick. The Rangers also received a third round pick and a defenseman back from Columbus. All told, the Rangers still have more than $13 million in cap space, with nearly a full roster, as the only two players awaiting to be re-signed are restricted free agents Anton Stralman and Michael Del Zotto. Glen Sather has put himself in a wonderful position here to acquire more, some believing that Shane Doan will be signed shortly. The Rangers are also expected to pursue a defenseman.
Who loves a good hot dog? Everyone! In fact, I love them so much that I never eat them. The reason is because if I eat one, then I have to eat a second one, which quickly turns into a third. The same can probably be said for most lovers of hot dogs, because they just taste so amazing—they taste American. There’s just something about stuffing your face with your daily supply of fat and cholesterol that just reeks of Americana. Oh, and do you want to know the other reason why I never eat them? Well, obvious nutrition fact reasons aside, the chemicals and preservatives that manufacturers pump into the dogs, nitrates and nitrites to name a few, reportedly give a hot dog the same effect on your body as smoking a pack of cigarettes. There just became no way for me to trick myself into eating one, especially after reading that, which combined with these little pieces of smoked goodness running an upwards of 20 fat grams per piece, and some beyond, because I was dieting and trying to lose weight at the time. Now that I have lost some weight and am probably in the best shape I have been in for quite some time, I still could not get myself to chow down on a hot dog, no matter what the occasion. That was until I met Trader Joe, a specialty store of organic and natural foods.
The killer who went on a shooting spree inside of a Colorado theater during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises has been caught, and his name is James Eagan Holmes. Got that? James Eagan Holmes. Not James Holmes, not Jim or Jimmy Holmes. James Eagan Holmes. You will never be able to forget that, what, with our media placing special emphasis on his middle name every time they mention him. A tragedy and disaster has once again turned into a media spectacle, where the breaking news is little about reporting, and much about reporters trying to ram their inflated egos down your throats every step of the way. Every network has the best coverage. Every network has the latest information. Every network is the one you should glue your eyes to as this normally dismal Friday morning just saw certain networks’ stocks rise as people absorb their commercials every five minutes. Don’t watch that network, watch this one! We have all the exclusives! It’s nothing new. It happens every single time there is a tragedy.
Las Vegas could probably get a betting pool together with odds set on which NHL free agent will be the proverbial domino, as in the one player who signs or gets traded that causes all other players and teams to finally act in the middle of what has been a very stagnant off-season. So far, we have had plenty of single dominoes, but no domino effect. Anyway, at least we finally have some major news to talk about, regarding the other star defenseman on the Nashville Predators, Shea Weber, and the little offer sheet situation he and his team are involved in. Let’s take a look at that, and more, as we go “Around the NHL”…
In the midst of all the quotes coming out from National Hockey League players and officials, the one word I have not seen uttered once has been “fans”. I don’t want to be harsh. I want to be able to give these people the benefit of the doubt they deserve, and not automatically assume that they care nothing about the very people who even make this sport possible. Without fans, there can be no league. Not that fans should have an official say in the matter, because they do not know the intricacies and legalities of what is being discussed, but they certainly should be more vocal about what exactly they expect here. Rather than anger, it’s been a case of, “Oh, here we go again”, a statement bereft of shock and emotion, but loaded with sheer annoyance. Here they go again. It is almost as if we expected it; since the second the new CBA was reached in 2005 on the heels of an entire season lost, we expected it. Money is the root of everything today. The almighty dollar is once again the reason why we may see another lockout. “The owners want more, and they want the players to have less.” “The players just want their fair share.” Just what exactly fair treatment is to multimillion dollar athletes who play in a country where some people are struggling to feed their families, I do not know. What I do know, is that if these two colliding factions cannot reach some sort of agreement, and a another lockout does indeed come into effect and takes out either a large chunk of the season, or an entire one, you are going to see the largest mass exodus of people since Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt.
I just saw the video clip below pop up in my Facebook news feed, so I thought I would give it a watch. The footage is of Bill Oberst Jr. reciting the famous “Gettysburg Address” as Abraham Lincoln. His accent and mannerisms are perfect, and his reading is flawless (the background music also adds to the flow). One would think this was taken from a historical epic, right? But what if I told you it was actually lifted from Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies? You’re probably incredulous at that prospect, but I just wanted to share this with you because I thought it was a great clip. The film may have a preposterous subplot, much like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but I guess it shows after all, that intertwined with a fantasy or horror story, there can be something good and educational located within. This is a clip I would have no problem showing to a history class, when teaching about the event and needing something to illustrate it. Perhaps I would not tell the name of the film to my students, to spare myself a classroom full of laughter and intrigue immediately before a serious subject, but I would still show it nonetheless. I was very impressed! Please enjoy:
I know what you’re thinking: you’re the biggest Civil War buff on the planet, right? You consider yourself a hardcore fanatic, who eats, sleeps, and breathes Civil War. Well, maybe there are a few things for you to ponder before you declare yourself king. Reenactors notwithstanding, because those people really are in a world of their own, this list is designed to draw the line between the casual reader/enthusiast and the obsessed!
Since it’s now been a few days since I caused that melee on Twitter with a certain Rick Nash rumor, I thought that it was now okay to go ahead with another hockey post. I just want to say that it seemed more people actually approved of the experiment than disapproved, though there were plenty who felt the latter. It’s funny that the people I know on Twitter, whether it be through actually talking to them on a regular basis or just casually following (even those who were not aware of the nature of the plot) were not angry at all, yet all these people who just came out of the woodwork were quick to call me names and attack me. I was left with this lasting impression: the lower the IQ, the higher the overreaction. Okay, now we’re moving on, and ready to go “Around the NHL”…