If you care about basketball or if you just like smart writing, you should probably read D Magazine contributor David Hopkins’ piece about O.J. Mayo for The Two Man Game. Also, this recommendation gives me the excuse to post David’s new Twitter avatar and take a poll. Which David do you prefer? Jump for the poll.
Mike, Zac, and I got into a discussion about words that you just can’t print (the words, not the discussion). These aren’t vulgarities. They are perfectly fine words that, for one reason or another, simply don’t work in print. “Facsimileing” got the discussion started. The gerund form of the word looks insane. I think at D Magazine it will always have to be “making a facsimile of something.” Here are the other we (and others) must avoid:
Niggardly. It’s a perfectly fine word and totally unrelated to that other N-word. But it’s essentially the same damn word. Too dangerous.
Whinge. It means nearly the same thing as “whine,” so, in context, readers will think we meant to use “whine,” and that zany “g” will make them think we goofed. Our readers are smart, but I think “whinge” trips up even smart readers.
Pussy. Get your mind out of the gutter. I’m talking about an infection. The problem here, of course, is that studies have shown that 87 percent of Americans have their minds in the gutter.
Lightninging. Mike brought this one up. He claims that if it’s thundering outside, then it should also be lightninging. Mike is insane. This is not a perfectly fine word. We’re not printing it.
Some Frontburnervians have probably been around here enough to remember discussions about Dallas businessman/stock broker Josh Lankford – a pretty decent rundown of links is here. And, full disclosure, I did work for him for a time.
Lankford has been on the lam for several years after being accused of helping run a few pump-and-dump scams. He’s into the SEC now for more than $94 million in penalties.
Well, just as quietly (presumably, since I wasn’t there) as he left, he was apprehended, apparently. Came across a Financial Times story from last week that was actually about federal whistleblowers. Read the entire damned story before I saw a name that I instantly recognized – Josh Lankford, my old boss.
The story, which you have to register to see (it’s free, but unless you really like reading Financial Times, probably a hassle), seemed like just this random story about snitches until the last few paragraphs, which quote Jordan Thomas, a former SEC attorney who helped create the whistleblower rules the agency now uses.
Thomas says one of his clients tipped the Feds off to “surveillance photos and satellite coordinates of the home and office of Joshua Lankford, a U.S. businessman charged criminally in 2009 with two others for allegedly stealing $20m from investors in a pump and dump scheme. Mr. Lankford,” the article continues, “was arrested in Costa Rica in September. The U.S. is seeking extradition. People familiar with the case say the FBI located Mr. Lankford independently from the whistleblower tip.”
So welcome back to the States, Josh?
I’ve gotten into what a friend of mine calls a “dork fight” on Twitter with Jake Silverstein, the editor of Indianapolis-based Texas Monthly. (By employing the latter appellation, I have satisfied a reader’s request (scroll down).) I noticed that Silverstein used the word “Metroplex” in his most recent editor’s note. After the jump, you can read the exchange that ensued on Twitter. TexMo senior staff writer Jason Cohen jumped in, too. Is it just me? Am I the only one who doesn’t dig “Metroplex”?
Me: Dear @jakesilverstein, please stop using the word “Metroplex.” Here is why: http://d-m.ag/wosPvm Thank you.
Silverstein: @timmytyper if the word is so odious, it shd be easier to kill. 33 yrs is a long time. Shd at least get “worthy opponent” status by now
Me: @jakesilverstein Kudzu is odious and hard to kill. So, too, the zebra mussel. Still, we owe it to our children to fight them.
Cohen: @timmytyper @jakesilverstein so is Denton in Metroplex? anyway, N Texas simply doesn’t work as urban area signifier when W, C, E & S aren’t
Me: @Jason___Cohen @jakesilverstein North TX Super Bowl Host Committee. North TX Council of Gov’ts. Not Metroplex, dents [sic]. Join our party.
Silverstein: @timmytyper @jason___cohen metroplexmayorsassoc.org
Me: @jakesilverstein @jason___cohen Founded by two Jacks (Evans of Dallas and Harvard of Plano). Ancient history.
Silverstein: @timmytyper I can’t stand up for a marketing word, but @jason___cohen is right: NT, as urban place name, lacks style, precision.
Me: @jakesilverstein @jason___cohen “Metroplex” connotes style, precision? Metroplex is the name of a Transformer. See: d-m.ag/Aojj4r
The folks at The New Republic have put together an audio montage to test your cochlea. See if you can distinguish between Will Ferrell, Rick Perry, Josh Brolin, and George W. Bush.
Remember Fed Up!? It was Rick Perry’s manifesto against all things federal in nature. Well, now that he wants to be well, the head of the federal government, his campaign is apparently distancing him from his own book.
Think Progress reports (see also here and here)Â that Perry’s communications director, Ray Sullivan, said that “Fed Up! is not meant to reflect the governor’s current views” on how to fix Social Security. He went on to say that the book was “written ‘as a review and critique of 50 years of federal excesses, not in any way as a 2012 campaign blueprint or manifesto.”
But, if I recall, the book was what began in earnest a push to have Perry run for president. It was while doing press appearances for this book that Perry began getting questions about a possible run, which he pish-poshed at the time. Â At the time, people sure thought it was a blueprint for Perry’s ideal federal government.
So if it’s not, what is Perry’s platform?
Me? Just blogging. Or maybe should I say bloggin’, make it a little less formal? You know, take the tie off, so to speak. You?
I love a good malapropism. And I love people who issue them in humorous ways. My wife, for instance, once declaimed: “You are skating on a thin thread, mister!” That’s good stuff.
Which brings me to this gem from Dirk at the rally inside in the AAC after the parade: “It’s been an amazing ride, an amazing journey. There’s been a lot of ups, a lot of downs. This is the top of the iceberg, and it feels absolutely amazing.”
Bear in mind that he did this in his second language, which makes it all the more impressive. It’s like his off-balance, one-legged fadeaway, a thing of beauty that you want to rewind and watch in slow-mo so you can see just how he did it. “It’s been an amazing ride. There’s been a lot of ups, a lot of downs.” Okay, so those words, for most people, would call to mind a roller coaster. That’s where you expect Dirk to go. But no. He fakes you out and instead goes for — a mountaintop? No! Your second guess is wrong! Dirk is three moves ahead of you. He goes for the top of the iceberg — which, of course, is only a few feet above sea level.
But wait. Also notice that he goes to the “top of the iceberg,” rather than the “tip of iceberg,” the latter (and much more common) expression referring to a large problem, only part of which is evident.
Swish. The ball splashes through the nylon, and Dirk goes running back down to the other end of the court, wagging his tongue and popping his jersey, as you’re left to stand there and scratch your head, wondering how the hell he just did that.
I love emails like the one below, because they make blogging easy. Many thanks to the FrontBurnervian who brings us the following cool study about the tendencies of Dallas daters.
This is fascinating. Media artist Roger Luke DuBois joined 21 online dating sites to see how singles from different parts of the country describe themselves in their dating profiles. He then mapped the responses — literally on map — by replacing the names of cities and towns with the words used by people in those cities and towns to describe themselves and their ideal dating partners. Each word appears in the place it’s used more frequently than anywhere else in the country. Here’s his explanation.
Here’s the map of Texas.
Having grown up with the innate and utterly reasonable chauvinism that knows Dallas to be sophisticated and Houston crass, I was delighted to see that Dallas daters most use the word “Symphony” in their profiles, while Houston goes for “Rich.” Also, it’s nice to see that Fort Worth is “Loving.” And “Clubs” makes sense for Austin when you consider the music scene.
Other towns are more puzzling: Amarillo=”Setting”; Abilene=”Decision”; Waco=”Exception”; and San Antonio=”Correct.”
As you may have heard, NFL owners formally locked out the players recently, as the two sides attempt to come up with a new collective bargaining agreement. It’s still early, but let’s take a quick look at the winners and losers so far.
A FrontBurnervian whose work responsibilities earlier today took him to MPS Studios sends along the below photo of one Zac Crain preparing to deliver what appears to be an on-camera performance. Zac? Care to explain yourself? What’s this side gig you got going?
A complete accounting of each instance in which Dallas Morning News sports columnist Jean-Jacques Taylor has employed the word “poppycock” in his writing, just because I care about these sorts of things:
December 4, 2007: “Mike McCord, the Cowboys’ equipment manager the last 13 years, assigns numbers to free agents, rookies and new players. McCord wants you to believe it’s pure coincidence that DeMarcus Ware received No. 94, the same number as Charles Haley, the Cowboys’ last dominant pass rusher. He wants you to ignore the fact Ware and Haley play the same position, had similar heights and weights and skill sets. Poppycock.”
February 16, 2008: “Players get traded all the time because it’s in the franchise’s best interest. I have no problem with that because players get paid handsomely for that inconvenience. That said, I have no problem with George exercising his right to nix the trade. Now, I would like to hear the real reason — not the poppycock his agent wants us to believe.”
I know Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway made his statement yesterday, admitted he lied to the DMN about why cops were called to his house, and said, “That’s the end of all of this with me. That’s my statement. There’s not going to be anything else. No more questions, no more nothing.” But I have a question. How do you diagram the following sentence, which came from his statement?
“Those of you in this audience that are married, those of you that are listening that are married, if you’ve not always wanted eggs and bacon and some of you may have wanted something else, but you didn’t get it and that’s just what marriage is all about.”
That’s the way marriage go?
Tom realized, suddenly, that he was hungry. More like starving. His stomach felt showroom-quality, brand new, 100-percent devoid of food. He turned into the first 7-Eleven he saw without even tapping the brakes, without even realizing he was going to do it. Screeching into the parking lot like that was dumb and he knew it. He sat in the car for a full minute, long enough so that anyone interested in who was making such a scene would have gotten bored and went back to their Big Gulps or whatever.
He looked in the rearview mirror and smoothed out his hair; there was some dried blood on the back of his hand. He scratched at it — not his. Tom laughed softly to himself, but not softly enough. His ribs stabbed at him under his jacket. His hand found the grip of the baseball bat reflexively, and tightened around it. GD Schutze. He let go of the bat, and braced himself against the armrest to get out.
Even with his head ducked down as he entered, the clerk recognized him, doing a not-subtle-but-trying double-take. The Mayor didn’t meet his gaze. He walked down the middle aisle and pawed at a few candy bars. He was so hungry, nothing sounded good. And then, there was the clerk, right next to him. Tom noticed just in time — the clerk was about to poke him in the side, the bad side, to get his attention.
“You’re him, right?” Tom did his best to look confused at the question. “Mayor Leppert, yes? You came to our church, remember — before the election? Yes, yes! Mr. Mayor! How are you?”
He knew Carol would hate him for what he was about to do, but right now, he didn’t really care about the election. There was time to glad hand later, to fake interest in this guy’s story.
“Yeah,” he said, not smiling. “It’s me. And you know what? I’ve had a long day. And I’m about to start on a long night. So why don’t you go back to doing your job and I’ll go back to doing mine, which now includes making sure your church gets as many code violations as I think we can get away with without people questioning my relationship with Christ.”
The clerk stared at him. Tom stuffed a dollar in the clerk’s shirt pocket and unwrapped a Snickers.
Why Dabney Coleman? Why not? One of them is actually based on the Cowboys, though it’s the one I’d watch last, personally, because 1) I just saw it and 2) it doesn’t hold up very well, unless 3) you like Nick Nolte which 4) I don’t like Nick Nolte.