11.21.2006

Cleaning out my net news wire...

• Some climate stuff: We are all fucked (Warning: unsafe levels of whimsicality). Also this:

If new rules ultimately impose controls on emissions, environmentalists say, TXU seems to be betting that restrictions will not apply to plants that are already up and running; environmental groups say that TXU’s ambitious coal construction plan is intended to be built and running before any new rules go into effect.
On the other hand this is reasonably good news.

• From a Variety e-mail I got: ""Snakes on a Plane" director David Ellis won't helm a film if he's not allowed to surf during the shoot. " Sleep well, Robert Altman: the medium is in good hands.

• Franklin Avenue says that the LA Times might be getting better. I think so too. They have an LAUSD columnist, which they should have had ages ago. If they would print letters to the sports editor every day (my single favorite thing in the paper), I would be even happier.

• Finally, Every Day Should Be Saturday interviews Michael Lewis. My favorite quote:
[EDSBS]: What sort of inefficiencies as a whole do you see in the college system? You mention that college football is a black market–what are some other inefficiencies you see?

ML: I’ll tell you my favorite. It’s a sociological one. One of the big problems in our country is the presence of ghettos. Inner-city America is a large, growing, festering social problem, and it’s being cordoned off from the rest of society. There’s a brief moment when the most dangerous people in this environment–18-22 year old men with a talent for violence on the football field–come in contact with the broader culture. And the broader culture of rich white businessmen take a real interest in them.

Yet we’ve created a system that prevents those two groups from having anything meaningful to do with each other. It’s called the NCAA. If the rich white businessman so much as buys lunch for one of these poor black kids, it’s a violation. So the only way the relationship occurs is illicitly and out of sight.

There’s a huge social opportunity–instead of saying these boosters can’t do anything to make these kids want to play football for their school–instead of saying that, say just the opposite. Let’s take this brief moment in these kids’ lives when the broader society is interested in them and cultivate it. Say you have to have these relationships, you have to be mentored, you have to have jobs in the offseason, so they have when it’s over and there’s no future in professional football they have the kind of connections a white kid has to get on. That strikes me as a grotesque inefficiency of the current system.
• As to Michael Richards, all I could say is, "oy, actors."

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