-Rolling Stone comes through with a long article about how America is losing the drug war and wasting money.
-Here is the The New York Times Magazine List of Ideas and the
The 2007 Esquire 100. I had grand schemes to read both of these all the way through so that I could comment more thoroughly, but alas.
-Huzzah!!! The Big Dig is finished! There’s a stat in there about how the average trip through Boston has gone from 19.5 minutes to 2.8 minutes. Which is true and beautiful.
–Someone is killing musicians in Mexico. Probably the drug cartels.
-Two movie relate links from kottke.org. Ebert’s 10 Best Films of 2007 and a list of movies coming out in 2008. Ironman and Batman both look great!
I almost always agree with King Kaufman’s take on baseball, so I thought I’d quote this bit from his column after Barry Bonds’s record-breaking home run:
I’ve been thinking and writing for a while now that Bonds is getting a little bit of a raw deal, that he’s become the scapegoat for a whole era of drug abuse and cheating, that to dismiss his achievements as steroid- and human growth hormone-fueled is overly simplistic because we don’t know what effect drugs have on baseball performance and we don’t know which players and which pitchers were on the juice when.
But that doesn’t mean I — a home fan, after all — can enjoy this moment any more than most anybody else. I believe Bonds’ record is legitimate, that he really did hit all those home runs, that a lot of our reaction as a society to the steroid mess is in-the-moment hysteria — why aren’t we equally upset about amphetamines?
And Bonds’ record still feels somehow unreal to me. I’ve got an asterisk going.
Bonds probably deserves all of the doubt and controversy around the home run chase; it certainly looks like he took steroids. But I can’t help but think that a big part of the anti-Bonds sentiment comes from the fact that he’s a (black) athlete with a bad attitude who hates to talk to the media. 756 home runs is an accomplishment, in some sense, no matter how he got there, and it’s a real shame for baseball that here we have a magical number that doesn’t quite seem as magic as the ones that came before it. (And this number isn’t unique in that. Quick, without looking it up, what’s the current single-season home run record?)
Of course, in seven years, this whole thing will be moot when A-Rod hits his 780th.
Don’t do drugs. Even if you can keep a job because you seem to have an innate talent, you’ll likely end up getting fired and letting down the people you’re working with. And your cat will die.
A brother of my friend got himself into a sticky situation. He’s been charged with selling a small amount of marajuana to an undercover police officer. The undercover police officer spent last summer gaining the trust of my friend’s brother and 15 of other kids from Western Mass before buying different amounts and types of drugs from them. These kids are not big time drug dealers and most of them only sold the drugs because they thought they were doing a friend a favor. Since the sale took place in a parking lot less than 1000 feet from a church basement nursery school which was closed for the summer, the DA has decided to utilize school zone drug laws which carry a 2 year mandatory minimum. Mandatory minimums for first time offenders are ridiculous.
One thing you can do is go to the Berkshire Eagle website and scroll down the page to the poll where you can voice your opinion on the DA’s plan to utilize mandatory minimums. Also, if you see somewhere to post comments feel free to do that as well. Thanks for spreading the word to your friends as much as you’re inclined!