The Spectacle Blog

Tiger, burning bright

By on 3.6.06 | 10:28AM

It is to Tiger Woods' credit that he is always in position to win if other people choke, and that he himself never seems to choke to hand away titles to other people. He is indeed the most dominant athlete in his sport in my entire lifetime, Lance Armstrong included. But how I wish we could see him, a la my idol Jack Nicklaus, be forced to deal with excruciating defeats once in a while. Just once it would be nice to see somebody do to Tiger what Lee Trevino and especially Tom Watson (and several others, although they made no habit of it) did to Jack, which is to make birdies to snatch victories away when Jack seemed to have done everything necessary to win. Instead, the only people who have even held on in the face of Tiger in the lead or tied for the lead were the forgettable Bob May -- who lost, but didn't choke -- the perennial runner-up Chris DiMarco -- who choked early on Sunday, then came back, but was made to look better when Tiger bogeyed the final two holes of regulation -- and the enigmatic Thomas Bjorn, who just lucked out when Tiger mis-hit a ball into the water on 18 to hand Bjorn the victory. In short, once Tiger has the lead, everybody else folds.

Court Upholds Solomon Amendment

By on 3.6.06 | 9:46AM

Law schools that accept federal funds lose case to boot military recruiters.

Great Work If You Can Get It

By on 3.6.06 | 9:36AM

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court justices billed the state for more than $50,000 in assorted food, travel, and miscellaneous expenses -- for trips to conferences in Alaska, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico. And that's just for the first half of the fiscal year. Given their approval of the unconstitutional pay raise for themselves and the legislature last year, such spending would merit an audit. But no such luck, since Ed Rendell's the governor.

“Victory against Wal-Mart!”

By on 3.6.06 | 8:06AM

That's NARAL's reaction to Wal-Mart's capitulation -- deciding voluntarily to stock the morning-after pill nationwide.

One Thousand vs. David Gregory

By on 3.6.06 | 8:04AM

Some are calling -- via petition -- for the NBC White House correspondent's head.

Re: Curtains

By on 3.6.06 | 1:38AM

Oh, yes, Wlady, I forgot about that -- it was the president of the Academy who went on about how much better movies are in theaters than on DVD. You'd think he, of all people, would have a decent home entertainment center, but I guess not...

Re: Vince Young, Gale Sayers

By on 3.6.06 | 1:35AM

Quin: So far as I know, the University of Texas is synonymous with the state, a state that was once synonymous with primacy in football. Thanks to Vince Young, a native of the Republic of Texas, not only did he for all intents single-handedly and in the most brilliant fashion win the national championship for his Longhorns -- but in so doing he returned Texas football to heights not seen since its glory days under Coach Darrell K. Royal many decades ago. So how could the savior and liberator of Texas football possibly be allowed to end up serving the football interests of some other state?

Let's say he's drafted by the Saints. Surely he'd be more likely to build on his legend if he were based in San Antonio rather than in New Orleans, no?


By on 3.6.06 | 12:06AM

John, apparently Hollywood also is afraid it's losing viewers. My wife tells me that earlier in the show someone made a distinct plea to viewers to watch their movies at the Multiplexes or Multisexes or whatever they're called these days instead of on DVD at home, where the popcorn is cheaper and less soggy. So far as I can tell the Academy split the difference, conferring the best-supporting actor awards to "cause" roles while saving the main acting prizes for two genuinely likable and appealing actors. For Reese Witherspoon to win over a major portrait of tranvestiture, in what for her was really a very slight role that allowed her to do little more than sing like an angel and go through a charming paces the rest of the way, is a huge Hollywood copout. So too is its choosing some nonsense named Crash -- does the 1996 movie of the same name (in which a couple get their kicks watching cars collide) get to share in this best movie prize? -- over the greatest male bonding film of the 21st century is an ultimate instance of chickening out. It won't do that Ang Lee was given a consolation prize for best director.

Hollywood Hates Gay People!

By on 3.5.06 | 11:16PM

It's hard to believe that the Best Picture of the year was really Crash, a series of vignettes of wildly varying quality that, as Matt Welch points out, takes place in an LA that doesn't exist. There's a whiff of Brokeback Mountain backlash in the choice: I must admit that part of the reason I haven't seen Brokeback, thought to be the frontrunner, is that it seemed pitched as an eat-your-vegetables movie (see this if you're tolerant!). Maybe Academy members had the same reaction.

Other notable things about the ceremony: The word "Bush" was never mentioned. Jesus was thanked -- by "It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp" songsters Three Six Mafia. The Stephen Colbert-narrated "attack ads" were good for a laugh; so was Clooney's acceptance speech (being "proud to be out of touch" implies an indifference to selling tickets, which the star of Ocean's 12 plainly does not have). And the suicide bomber movie lost (Go Tsotsi!).

Re: Chertoff (and Jon Stewart)

By on 3.5.06 | 8:44PM

Quin: Many thanks. I have no concreted prejudice against spec ops guys for that job (some of my best friends are...) But they are used to moving quick and light. Maybe D'OHS needs a heavy forces guy at the top and a spec ops type as deputy?

Meanwhile - watching the incredibly boring Oscars - I'm wondering if Jon Stewart is usually this bad. He's not dying up there, he's dead. Frozen with stage fright? I don't know, but isn't there someone in that crowd who could slip him a Prozac? Be merciful, people.