If we're to consider blogs as personal journals or diaries, rather than the oft-seen Power Rankings, rants and personalized Top 25s, here's my entry for this past weekend.
Dear Diary, I witnessed two great events this past weekend.
Friday night I attended the Marlins-Phillies game as a fan. I wasn't just any ordinary fan, I was a special fan who got to sit in Section 1 of Dolphin Stadium. I didn't know there was a Section 1, but low and behold it existed.
Now while sitting at the field level was a real hoot (they have waiters down there!), the real fun didn't start until trivia time. That's when "Vision Host" Johanna Gomez (right) singles out a lucky fan to answer a trivia question.
She found a mom in our section and put her on the Jumbotron with this question:
Who was the last player to win the MVP award while playing on a last-place team?
My cohort, Miami Herald reporter Adam Huntington Beasley thought he knew the answer. He turned out to be wrong. I knew the answer. But because he blurted out Alex Rodriguez, I had my doubts with my choice, Andre Dawson.
So I froze up. Did I mention we were standing right next to the Mom and expected to help?
Not the point.
The point is, she got the answer (Johanna told her it) and she won an autographed baseball.
Did I mention we were also standing with Santa and two midgets dressed as elves?
We were. Part of Christmas in July they call it down here.
Santa had a bag with a gift, as the norm for his job description. Johanna offered the Mom the chance to keep the baseball or go with whatever is in the bag.
She took the bag. Monty Hall applauded.
Inside the bag was something you wouldn't believe.
It was covered with wrapping paper. It was thin and square-ish. It looked like a calendar.
It wasn't a calendar.
It was a laserdisc.
Yes, a laserdisc. What are we, in 1995?
Eric, you say, remember when you're film professor in college swore by laserdiscs as having better audio quality than DVDs?
Maybe this isn't such a bad gift after all.
But Eric you ask, what laserdisc could it have been?
And I shall tell what laserdisc it was.
The Eddie Murphy examination of a womanizing advertising executive named Marcus Graham, otherwise known as Boomerang.
What are we, in 1992?
A 16-year-old laserdisc.
A 16-year-old laserdisc of Boomerang?
I would have been thrilled, despite my lack of a laserdisc player. But to receive an opened (did I mention that part? Yes, opened.) laserdisc of Boomerang from the lovely Johanna Gomez while sitting in Section 1?
Turned out, she wasn't even allowed to keep the laserdisc. No autographed baseball, no laserdisc and not even a hug from the little person dressed as an elf.
I saw one of the great tragedies of the modern era unfold right before my eyes.
And speaking of tragedies ...
I also saw Dark Knight, which features another tremendous tragic fall, as portrayed by Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent, and eventually Two-Face.
This movie works (it doesn't just work, it shines in a highly bleak sort of way) because it's not about Batman vs. Joker and good vs. evil. It's about terror and the decisions terror forces people to make. That's what the Joker does for nearly three hours -- put us in social experiment after social experiment and ask us: what will you do when the chips are down and your life, or lives of those you care about, are at stake?
Harvey Dent is asked that question time and again as the public's own Batman. But it's the private Batman, the one in the Teflon suit, who ends up having to live with the decisions that come with fighting terror -- and that's what helps make this much more than a superhero movie.
It's a movie about the morality of people and the codes of insanity (Joker) vs. heroicism (Batman/Bruce Wayne). And there's no doubt about it, the Joker is insane in a way Jack Nicholson never came close to approaching. This Joker, a self-described "dog chasing cars" (but he doesn't know why and he doesn't know what he'll do once he catches one) is out to prove the fragility of the society and systems we've created and support.
And he succeeds. He makes us all wonder just what being human means, what is at the core of existing. Through his games he exposes the ugliness of it all -- and the movie pushes that to the brink. There's a scene with two boats, two bombs and two decisions that is the ultimate experiment in human nature, and makes the movie-going experience all the worthwhile. The outcome didn't work for me, but the attempt proved director Christopher Nolan isn't kidding about taking this comic book creation and firmly weaving it into the cannon of American literary/film cultural experiences.
I'm seeing it again tonight, in IMax form. I'll keep my fingers crossed for a laserdisc to come my circa 2224.
On to the best blogs ... around
Like reading about quarterbacks? All of them? The 411 from the Sports Consigliere has a self-described 2008 NFL Quarterbacks Report 2008 (Version 1).
Guess what, the Tour de France is going. Yep, actually been going for a week or so. Who knew, right? I tell you who knew. Maestro's Musings knew, and the blogger is intrigued.
Guess what? Gregg Doyel and Greta Van Susteren are having a blog battle. Rosie-Donald redux? You bet.
The Yankees are starting to string some wins together, which has the Sports Girl happy. Sort of.
Klick of the Day
Dark Knight is No. 1 on the IMDB Top 250, which I've never seen a movie hold that didn't have god, fat, or her in the title.