Friday, December 28, 2012

The Whole 42 Letters: Happy New Year

Happy New Year from your favorite blog. We are approaching our one year anniversary, things will likely get emotional so uh you can look forward to that. New Years Eve is one of the most overrated holidays--first of all, it is cold and everything you want to do is expensive. Second of all, there is really only college football on TV and not even the best games. Third, counting down to midnight is pretty anti-climactic now that I'm older and staying up past midnight isn't that big a deal. Yay, it's a New Year, now how do we spend the second half of our night? 

As far as drinking holidays go it is alright. Champagne at midnight is baller but again it is cold and there is tons of unnecessary emphasis for who and where you count down. The drinking holidays go like this 1. your birthday 2. July 4th, 3. Halloween, 4. NYE 5. St. Patrick's Day/Cinco de Mayo, 6. Flag Day

Now as always to your questions

Who has the ugliest shot in the NBA? Who has the best shot?

Joakim Noah beats out Shawn Marion and Kevin Martin for ugliest shot. This is largely due to his ugliness as a human being. Noah is such an instigating piece of crap and the worst part is he is actually really good at basketball. His mom was a supermodel and he wears a god damn Sumo bun and side face beard. God damn you Joakim Noah you scraggly bitch.

The best shot is still Jesus Shuttlesworth. Quick release, smooth motion, and an ability to get it off with only a tiny bit of space. Too bad he's on the Heat and still hangs out with his mom all the time. You are 36 years old why is your mom in the stands for all of your games?

Has anyone impressed you enough to be on par with TO's celebrations? How do you feel about celebrations that could potentially get you hurtDavid Wilson has been doing backflips since he was like 5, but the team obviously doesn't want him to because he might hurt himself. Do you hate that players can't really celebrate anymore?

Celebrations in football are different from other sports because they can't really get your teammates pumped up in the same way. If you've just scored a touchdown they are already going to be hyped up since there are very few scoring plays in a football game to begin with. So celebrations with any chance of hurting yourself are just stupid and really not worth pulling an Olindo Mare over. NBA celebrations are clearly the coolest, Tyson Chandler's chest punch is great, Melo's three to the dome is the best, and Novak's championship belt is also great. Yeah I turned this into something about the Knicks, I know you hate me, sorry. 

TO's celebrations were always creative which I liked but they weren't really part of the game in the sense of hyping your teammates and crowd up but more him showing off. I'm fine with those things being banned but something that a team does collectively like the Mile High Salute or the Dirty Birds Dance (I apparently haven't watched celebrations since John Elway's last Super Bowl run) are fine by me.

Has your countdown to pitchers and catchers reporting started yet? 

I'm still a little down on baseball as anyone who reads this blog will remember. The trend seems also to be that great great players aren't reaching the free agent market anymore. Hamels, Cain, Votto, Braun, Tulowitzki, and Longoria all signed massive lengthy extensions so the top notch guys are all kind of flawed players who are either too old or have massive question marks like Greinke.

Are the Clippers good enough to win it all?
Yeah probably. They have a great PG and athleticism and depth. The problem is that I think they aren't great enough defensively right now, but certainly are improving, and their wings are iffy. If Matt Barnes, Hill, Caron Butler, J-Crossover, and Odom are still playing at this level (or at all in Hill's case) in May then definitely, but I think we are seeing more a group of streaky players getting hot collectively at the right moment. The favorites for the West right now are 1. Thunder, 2. Clippers, 3. Spurs, 4. Grizzlies, 5. Lakers and nobody else has a chance realistically.

Could the Lakers miss the playoffs?

No chance. The West has four great teams who are going to win 50+ games but after that there is just a collective mishmash of crap. I know the Warriors have a good record so far but they aren't going to hold up. Basically, the Lakers need to finish somewhere in the Nuggets, Timberwolves, Blazers, Jazz, Houston, Dallas pack and even with their four man team they can still get it done. However, they aren't going to get home court advantage which is huge for an older team. The Lakers won't miss the playoffs but they aren't making the Western Conference finals.

Do you think Dwyane Wade's one-game suspension for kicking Ramon Sessions in the nuts is fair?

No, not really. The NBA is so all over the board with their suspensions that none of it makes sense. Kevin Love stomped on someone's face and only got 2 games. Kevin Garnett punched Channing Frye in the nuts while he was taking a shot and got 0 games. Technical fouls and flagrants are all up to the refs in one game. Also, Kobe Bryant called a referee a f*****n f*****t a didn't even get suspended. Wade's suspension is a lifetime achievement award if anything. The NBA in my opinion should suspend guys for things like this but go in the complete opposite direction when it comes to technical fouls. I'm happy with guys showing up the referees if they've made a bad call and every hard foul shouldn't be a five minute review before it becomes a flagrant-one. The NBA is more fun when guys are intense and physical so why is the league trying to undo this?

What is going on with the Nets?

The Nets are a good but not great team, they will make the playoffs but they aren't good enough to make the Eastern Conference finals. This is true whether or not Avery Johnson is their coach. They are basically paying the luxury tax just with their five starters who are either injury-prone (Lopez), too old (Gerald Wallace), overrated and aging (Deron Williams and Joe Johnson), or the ex-husband of Kim Kardashian (Kris Humphries). They are good enough to make the playoffs in the East but that's about it. New Jersey isn't great but their owner thinks they are and has spent money on a team but not smartly. Firing a coach is an easy way to try and jump-start a team but they aren't going to do anything with this nucleus.

If you could dunk once in your life, and choose the circumstances under which it would happen (dunk over people, to win a game, etc.), how would it go down?

Well when I was younger and could jump a little higher, I certainly wouldn't have appreciated it as much. Now that I see my athleticism slowly slipping away I'd give anything to dunk. The way it would go down was in a game where I was one of the worst players (this is easy to achieve), my friends got to see it and record it, and I did it off a missed shot (because my hands aren't big enough to really go up with the ball...fuck). To win a game would be great but either way I'm running out of the gym screaming like a fool afterwards. You think I'm playing defense after I just dunked, please man, I'm retiring from the game of basketball.

Who's the best non-Jesus character in a nativity scene?

Are there multiple nativity scenes? How is this possible if Mary didn't even have sex? Who else was there? The 3 traveling dudes, Joseph, and some farm animals? I guess if it isn't Jesus it is God who made it all happen.

When creating art or entertainment, what is the moral or social obligation/responsibility of the creator when depicting certain harsh realities or injustices such as racism, suicide, genocide (think Django, Inglorious Basterds, Hotel Rwanda and Schindler's List)? OR is the artist's only obligation to create beauty or develop his artistic vision to the best of his ability?

The answer is somewhere in-between and it depends entirely on the subject matter. For example, no one is really going to complain about Brad Pitt killing Nazis. But if someone is trying to trivialize or glorify slavery they aren't going to have anyone watch the movie. These harsh realities and injustices are part of our society and not something we should just bury our heads in the sand about. I haven't seen Django Unchained but it seems like a slave kicking ass of white people. Probably okay. 

The artist always has an obligation if they are putting something out to a mass medium to show respect to certain things such as slavery and genocides. However, they have to be given some artistic leeway to make it you know entertaining. Terribly depressing Holocaust movies are just that--terribly depressing and it is probably a move in the right direction that we've sort of exhausted this type of movie (although it did lead to Adrien Brody surprise making out with Halle Berry so that's good). There is no pure artistic vision to protect, artists are making things for people to enjoy and if people are going to be appalled they aren't going to be making art for very long. So yeah basically somewhere in between the two options.
What was your favorite sports moment of 2012?

Saying goodbye to Chipper Jones was my favorite moment. He had a great final season and though the Braves lost a tough game that was my favorite experience since the Packers lost to the goddamn Giants. 

Hopefully, 2013 brings the Knicks to the ECF, the Braves to the NL East title, and the Packers back to the Super Bowl. My New Years resolution is for all of these things to happen. 

Thanks for reading, send your questions to Jon next week.

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