Tag Archives: musings

Football and MMA aren’t forms of art?

The Golden Globe Awards were last night and if you’ve launched any social media or culture outlet today you probably know about Meryl Streep’s acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award.  She spoke on the geographically diverse talent pool in Hollywood and that if they were kicked out, “…we’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.”

Sure, athletic competition is certainly not a fine (high) art form (painting, pottery, sculpting, architecture, music, opera, theatre, poetry).  The activity itself, though, is a performing art as much as dance.  Moreover, as televised football and mixed martial arts are very much part of the visual arts (photography, film, video, digital media), I argue that the representation of these athletic experiences, especially with an audience, is artful in their own voyeuristic physics-at-work ways.  Sanctioned body trauma and sometimes in slow motion. Sweat ricochets, inertia observed, crash-test dummy whooshes, and it is a wonder why some of us like to watch adults inflict physical pain onto each other for entertainment.*


And now for some other performing arts that is just as athletic but without all the violence.


*Of course, NFL Films changed profoundly how we think about football game play vis-a-vis how we see it.

NFL 2016: Falcons peck the Saints and some Hidden Figures for ya

The first film I watched at the theatre this year was Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi, 2017).  It is in my list of favorite films of 2016 (it opened in select theatres on Christmas Day and nationwide on January 6).*  The sports inspirational can be a sub-genre of the biopic, can the science inspirational be one too?  I don’t remember the last time I watched a movie where the audience clapped when the ending credits began.


It’s obvious that the film wants to inspire and bring to light a part of history that many of us may otherwise not have known about, but Hidden Figures also reminds the viewers about the social norms of the times without being too cynical or overly tense.  Archival footage and newsreels serve to ground the film in its historical context while the wardrobe, the set design and the acting highlight the vibrancy and tenacity of smart women who weren’t timid.

A more sobering message, though, is that talent and genius still requires advocates and guides to flourish.  In a Subject-Other/Dominant-Subordinate dynamic, without the support of those with the authority or clout, all the hard work and good manners of the Other wouldn’t get a chance to prove its value.  Even when you’re confident without being arrogant and absolutely deserving of an opportunity (or reward), when was the last time you succeeded in your goal or reached the next outpost without assistance?

Theodore Melfi’s film is based on Margot Lee Shetterly‘s book of the same name.  Read more about it in this NPR article.


In other news, the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons had a roll around the gridiron at the Georgia Dome today (the 199th and final regular season game here).  I started watching the game a minute into the fourth quarter — the Falcons were way up with points to the Saints’ 13.  By the bottom of the quarter with less than a minute left in the game, the Saints had decreased that score difference substantially.  Falcons 38 and Saints 32.  Final score.  Get game summary, stats and play-by-play here.


*The others are The Magnificent Seven, Moonlight,  Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, Certain Women, Hell or High Water, Things to Come, and Lion.

A Time for Hearing

Whenever the seasons change, particularly from summer to autumn, and the temperature fluctuates enough to bring out or put away certain types of clothing, my nose gets extra snotty or congested.  I was expecting it to happen this year, but it didn’t…at least not in the usual way.

Instead, my hearing decided to go on a semi-hiatus for a week.  One moment in the middle of the afternoon, everything was fine, and the next moment, part of my head felt like it was underwater and the other part seemed okay.



Machine sounds were very loud (vending machines, laundry machines, ice machines); I could “hear” the vibrations of automobile traffic before “hearing” the actual engine noise of the cars; human voices were almost painful to the ears.  After a couple days and nights of much research, I’d hypothesized that my hearing troubles were partly psychosomatic and partly my body’s confusion about where to put the mucous. And the sinuses seemed as good a place as any — the pressure under the eyes and nose without the snot running or doing that oozy drip-drip-drop from nostril to nostril.

Things have improved but I’ve felt horrible, truly horrible, on a level I haven’t before imagined.  I *almost* would not wish this experience upon the most cacophonous misogynist, xenophobe, homophobe, theophobe or all of the above.

I’ve taken for granted many of my body parts before, but I’d never considered how much I would miss being able to hear normally.

On account of environmental factors (air quality), I don’t think the mucous is going to recede completely any time soon.  It’s bizarre the way the body fights against invaders and protects itself from pathogens — by making you feel terrible.


For many Americans, today is a reason to eat all the major food groups (while still allowing for dietary restrictions) and to thank each other for whatever…

but the shadow over the feasting grows larger and larger every year.  I’m not giving thanks on this day in its creative history iteration.  I am, however, grateful for many experiences and people I’ve known (for better or worse) and the facets of the world that never cease to amaze and irritate me.  Sometimes, each time is like the first time.

History repeats itself because the equations have to be balanced.  Too much weight on one side always conjures weight on the other.  History repeats itself because there aren’t enough dissenters (of every stripe and flavor) in positions of agency and consideration…who would do things differently without threatening anyone’s way of life.

Harmony might be the goal, but if co-existence cannot be reached first, in what reality could the former take shape?


The Army-Navy game will be on December 10 this year at 3pm east coast time and televised on CBS.

And now for some Bjork.

Talons for Hire

I hear sirens already.

The following was originally posted on my tumblr.

The Talons come out only at dusk,
that in-between hour when the porcelain
lies down to recharge
and the granite wakes up to grind
their teeth on lost factions.

The Talons drip with money
spelled f-e-a-r meets l-o-n-e-l-y
in full capacity to stir up entombed
incantations spiked with barbed wire
and manic fists.

The Talons stake through every morsel
of soft and hard alike
until one day they crack and fizzle
from the weight of a multitude of masters.

Whatever well-intended patient zero
now a babbling, rancid cacophony
liquefied like their appointed enemy.

The Talons come out only at dusk,
that in-between hour when the porcelain
lies down to recharge
and the granite wakes up to patch
their teeth on broken promises.

– yiqi 9 november 2016 6:42 am


Over Easy

But first, I got new glasses!



Now back to it.  Originally posted on my tumblr (with a different visual aid):

The body (still) (will) remember pain that the mind never named.
The body (still) (will) relive the sensory perception that the mind can’t name.
Until one day the mind becomes haunted by the spectre of its own defensive game – will there be a special teams equipped well enough to coax or even drag out the incendiary filaments of anger much, much delayed?

– yiqi 20 october 2016 7:34 am


I got new lenses for my sunglasses too, but the photo’s lightning ended up being sub-par, so I turned it into a question of what if synaesthesia had you?