Tag Archives: athletes



Pax Arcana

The conspiracy to assassinate Plaxico Burress’s thigh is beginning to unravel. Even though most of the media has already convicted Burress of plugging his own damn self (in what some are derisively calling a “Plaxident“), the New York Post finally got around to doing some investigating.

What they find is so shocking and profound that it will blow your mind and completely reorient your sense of right and wrong and left and right.

While the “official” police report and several eyewitness accounts say Plaxico shot himself while fumbling around in his waistband at a nightclub, Plaxico apparently checked himself into a New York hospital under the name “Harris Smith” and told doctors he’d been shot at an Applebee’s.

This raises two serious questions:

1. Who was Burress so frightened of that he tried to hide his real identity from hospital workers? Could one of the doctors be involved? Do the pocket gnomes have cousins who inhabit those backless gowns they give out at hospitals?

2. WHAT IS APPLEBEE’S HIDING? Deciding to do a little investigative journalism myself, I went to the Applebee’s Web site to see what they have to say for themselves. You would think that being implicated as the global center of wide receiver-based gunshot violence would prompt a statement from them, but the most recent news release on its site is just a milquetoast announcement of the new “2 for $20” deal at the chain — in which you and your date can both suffer explosive diahhrea for less than the cost of a movie.

Not since the Olive Garden hid its deliciousness from the residents of Sioux Falls has a major casual dining chain perpetrated such an insidious fraud on the American public.



Filed under sports

What is it with “Scarface” anyway?


Pax Arcana

Back when I was studying film theory at the Sorbonne, I watched both the 1932 original and the 1983 remake of “Scarface.” The original was a taut, if completely overracted, film noir gangster thriller starring Paul Muni as an Italian tough making it big in the city. The remake is the clownish, oversized minstrel show of campy violence starring Al Pacino in what will long be remembered as the first in a long line of movies in which he completely lost track of what he was supposed to be doing and hammed it up like a deranged soap opera actor.

It is also, for some goddamn reason, the favorite movie of every athlete, singer, rapper, or producer on earth.

In this article, Salon writer Louis Bayard reviews “Scarface Nation,” a new book by Ken Tucker that tries to unravel the mysterious allure of the film and explain its place in the firmament of popular culture. The answer, Tucker suggests, has less to do with what the film was than what it was interpreted to mean, rightly and wrongly:

We can see, then, that the phrases “Tony Montana” and “cinematic treasure” are never going to be yoked in the same sentence. “Scarface” owes its immortality, anyway, not to traditional tastemakers but to a devoted cult of young black and Hispanic men (a few women, too) who seized it for their own. Its arrival coincided with the gangsta phase of rap and hip-hop, and the film’s various tropes — “the ostentatious jewelry, the glorification of drug-taking as well as drug-selling, and the images of women as near-naked arm-candy” — have been staples of music videos ever since. As one observer put it, “All these rappers are out there rapping about how much money they got, and all the drugs they sell — that’s who they’re emulating: They’re living their little Tony Montana dream.”

Tony’s second-class status, coupled with his ruthless pursuit of the American dream, spoke with ferocious directness to a whole generation of street kids, not to mention celebrities. Snoop Dogg watches the movie at least once a month; Sean “Diddy” Combs has seen it at least 63 times; Shaquille O’Neal celebrated his 34th birthday with a Scarface party. No episode of the MTV series “Cribs” is complete without some musician pointing pridefully to a Scarface photo collection or a set of Scarface window blinds or an exact replica of Tony Montana’s white sofa.

I think celebrities and athletes would be a lot more interesting if they obsessed about “The Dark Crystal” instead of “Scarface.” Think about it. That movie was scary as hell and just as realistic as “Scarface” ever was. Imagine if they had an MTV Cribs episode where Willis McGahee showed off his replica of Thra and called his live-in homies “Gelflings.” And had a Rottweiler named “Emperor SkekSo.” How awesome would that be?

Why “Scarface” is f-ing great [Salon]


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