With only nine blogging days left until Christmas, here’s the best of the week …
Most Nostalgic. “What do you call a machine that hangs out with musicians?” by Jack Hamilton at Slate.
Jonathan Demme’s 1984 Talking Heads movie Stop Making Sense features maybe the most famous opening of any concert film. David Byrne strides onstage in a gray suit and white canvas sneakers and lays a boombox at his feet. “Hi,” he says. “I got a tape I want to play.” He presses a button and a pulsing, slithering rhythm emerges. The crowd goes wild; Byrne strums the opening chords of “Psycho Killer.”
The boombox is a lie; it’s not even mic’d. The sound that fills the stage and screen is a Roland TR-808, plugged into a mixing board far from the camera’s gaze, defined by invisibility.
Best Santa List. “A 10-Month-Old’s Letter to Santa” by Raquel D’Apice at The Huffington Post.
I am a 10-month-old baby and I write because my mother has been sending out my “Christmas List” to people, and her list does not in any way represent the things I really want. I could give two s#*ts about receiving stacking cups.
And I know you’re ready to make the joke about 10-month-old babies and how all we want is the wrapping paper and the boxes. Touché, Santa. Touché. We do, of course, want those things. But I have a number of additional things I want very badly.
My list is enclosed below. Have a lovely holiday.
Best Photo Blog. “38 Test Answers That Are 100% Wrong But Totally Genius At The Same Time” by Jake Heppner at Distractify.
Funniest and Saddest (at the same time). “Breaking Madden: Tony Gonzalez, cranky old man of destruction” by Jon Bois at SB Nation.
I. INSTALL TONY GONZALEZ AS KICK/PUNT RETURNER.
II. MAKE THE REDSKINS’ SPECIAL-TEAMS UNIT EVEN WORSE, SOMEHOW.
III. GIVE MR. GONZALEZ AN ELITE SPECIAL-TEAMS UNIT.
The Result? Click the picture to sample the carnage.
Best Drum Solo. “No Reverb Added: An Acoustical Experiment in Drumming” by Christopher Jobson at Colossal.
Best Witness to a Slow-motion Car Wreck. “Snyder, RG3 made mistakes, but this Redskins disaster is all Shanahan(s)” by Jason La Canfora at CBS Sports.
And while fans and the media try to sort out the blame game, with the team’s infrastructure frayed and exposed, keep this in mind: No matter how he tries to spin it, Mike Shanahan had total control of this franchise. He demanded as much, and he has final say over everything remotely related to football operations this team has done since he arrived in 2010 (and, frankly, even before then, with Snyder’s lust to hire Shanahan well known in NFL circles while Jim Zorn was still coaching the team, and the 2009 in-season arrival of “general manager” Bruce Allen all part of that master plan). Allen carries the title, nominally, but Shanahan has authority over the 53-man roster and the game-day roster and any move the team makes. Allen works for him. Shanahan got it all his way.
Best Parenting Advice. “A Spanking Manifesto” by Natalie Trust.
“Hands are for loving. Not for hurting.”
Best Christmas Video. “The Gremlins Blog” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).
Merry Christmas from Fafa, Mario, and Gorilla.