Posts Tagged ‘paul shirley’

Monday Medley

What we read while turning down the Donald Trump debate…

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Paul Shirley Doesn’t Like Haiti Relief

Our old friend and adversary Paul Shirley has gotten into some trouble recently, for saying something even more controversial than that he doesn’t like The Beatles:

I haven’t donated a cent to the Haitian relief effort. And I probably will not. I haven’t donated to the Haitian relief effort for the same reason that I don’t give money to homeless men on the street. Based on past experiences, I don’t think the guy with the sign that reads “Need You’re Help” is going to do anything constructive with the dollar I might give him. If I use history as my guide, I don’t think the people of Haiti will do much with my money either.

Not so surprisingly, this statement, which was part of a larger essay on the misguided nature of donations to Haiti, got Shirley into a lot of trouble. He was a trending topic on Twitter yesterday (a worse fate has befallen no man) and he lost his job at ESPN.

Part of me feels for Shirley. For one, I’ve always enjoyed his writing, and he was nice enough to respond to our blog review of him. I also like it when people take unpopular stances and generally hate when people get fired for them.

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Monday Medley

What we read while forgiving Gilbert Arenas’ gambling debts…

  • It’s been too long since our last fiction link: Here’s “39 Minutes” from former NBA player and one-time NPI commenter Paul Shirley over at Flip Collective. And don’t worry, it is not tied to the Al Pacino movie.

Ranking Bob Dylan Songs, #55: Rainy Day Women #12 & 35

This song is a joke. Not in a bad way. The whole song hinges on one joke, and a pretty basic one at that, which is repeated again and again throughout each verse. The crux of the song, if you couldn’t figure out Dylan’s usual subtlety, is a pun on the word “stoned.” Get it? “Everybody must get stoned”? It’s a drug reference!

Dylan’s sense of humor often gets overlooked, but this is probably his most famous joke. It’s also his most hokey. But if you listen to the song enough, you stop hearing the pun.

I’d be lying if I said that I’m favoring this song because it’s the lead track on Blonde on Blonde; if this song were on Bringing it all Back Home, or even Highway 61 Revisited, I’d probably dismiss it as almost as one note as “Nashville Skyline Rag.” But placed where it is, it ends up setting the tone for Dylan’s best album. As a result, I’ve listened to it more than enough times to get beyond the joke. Continue reading

Paul Shirley Doesn’t Like The Beatles

Et tu, Paul?

Listen Mr. Shirley, we like you here at NPI. We like sports. We like books. We like people who write good books about playing sports. You even tweeted at Tim. But if forced to choose between you and the Beatles, well, we’re gonna have to go with the Beatles.

Now, I have no problem with unconventional stances; in fact, I like them a lot. And I have no qualms with someone’s personal tastes. It’s also true that people who don’t like the Beatles are unfairly maligned (you guys should form a support group with people who don’t think The Godfather is that great and people who think Shakespeare is overrated).

 

Some of what you say is certainly true: “[T]he mythology that surrounds the Beatles has overwhelmed rational humans’ ability to judge the band by its music.” There is no denying that when you are brought up and essentially conditioned to think something is good, that is going to affect your judgment of that thing, whether your judgment is positive or negative. Continue reading

The Sports Revolution: The AutoTyer

Let me set the scene for you: it’s late in an NBA playoff game (one of those before the conference finals), and one team is running the other off the floor as the time ticks off the clock. You correctly turn off the television.

Let’s reset that scene: it’s late in an NBA playoff game, and one team is running the other off the floor, when the trailing team nails a 75-foot shot from inside their own three-point line to tie the game. It doesn’t matter how much that team trailed by because they just hit a three-quarter court shot. And because this is even a possibility, you correctly left your television on.

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