Brian Cook, We Hardly Knew Ye

After bad mouthing Brian Cook in my last update, I get back to my desk not five minutes ago to learn that dream of dreams! The Lakers have traded Brian Cook to the Orlando Magic. Brian, along with the hard-working Maurice Evans, got swapped for former UCLA star, Trevor Ariza.

Now that he's gone, I actually feel a little bad for the guy. Not too much though, let's not forget that he sucks. He was probably the worst player not named Sasha Vujacic on the Lakers. He's even a worse prospect when you consider that the Lakers selected Brian over superstar 6th man Leandro Barbosa in the 2003 draft. But the reality is, last year Brian resigned with L.A. at a lower salary because he wanted to remain on the Lakers. He easily could've gotten more from some other team. Not that much more (remember, kids, he sucks) but still, the point remains. He stayed because he wanted to be a Laker.

In this day and age where some sports "stars", who are nothing more than glorified mercenaries, routinely threaten to force trades because "they want to win" (*cough* Kobe Bryant *cough*), shouldn't a player like Brian Cook be admired? Or at the very least respected? After all, he made a personal sacrifice to remain with the city that he considered home. Eh, maybe not.

Anyway, see you around Brian Cook, you won't be missed. Because remember, kids, he sucks.


Ebbsfleet UNITED!

Earlier this week, an amazing thing happened in England's National League System football league.

Twenty-thousand football fans joined an internet venture called MyFootballClub and purchased controlling interest in the Ebbsfleet United team. Each member paid approximately £35 (about $72 USD) and as a result, not only do they own a piece of the team, each of them gets to participate in decisions affecting the team. From player selection to front office decisions, all of them now have a say in their team's future.

As a sports fan, this has to be one of the most righteous things I've ever heard. You wouldn't believe how many times I've dreamed of the Lakers cutting Brian Cook. And I would've paid $7,000 for the privilege of personally firing Grady Little. Being able to have an actual say in what happens to your team is every sports fan's dream.

But let's not get too excited. I'm positive that this is going to be a massive disaster. My friends and I can never decide where we should go to lunch, and there's only 3 of us. Considering that there seem to be no legitimate governing body (which is how another, more famous community owned sports team, i.e. the Green Bay Packers, does it), how the hell are 20,000 equal partners supposed to make any kind of decision? It's conceivable that personnel decisions, for example, could pass with a smallest of majorities. If 10% of the group agreed on a particular player, a player that 90% of the remaining shareholders didn't want would likely be signed. What a nightmare.

One thing that I hate about sports in general is the business of it all. I mean, I'm not naïve. I understand that all of sports is a business but still, there's nothing I hate more than the corporate-ization (!) that's completely taken over sports. For example, the Boston Celtics play in the TD Banknorth Garden. What the hell kind of name is that? Yes, I know, naming rights for arenas is a big source of revenue for teams but come on, if you're a fan, how are you supposed to get excited about that?

Back to Ebbsfield United, I think it's great that fans, regular fans took control of their team. You gotta love it. So let's forget that that Ebbsfield plays in the fifth-highest ranked league and that the entire conference is bankrupt, let's forget that despite the influx of cash from the controlling stake sale the team will still be too poor to be competitive and let's forget that the sale is unlikely to generate desperately needed new fans for the team. In fact, let's forget that this entire situation is unbelievably impractical, I still think it's very awesome.


the many moods of larrydigital, pt. 1

To download, iTunes users: Click here.

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After 3 months worth of solid procrastinating, I finally got off my ass and put together a podcast. I'd been threatening to do this for a while now but after some gentle (almost loving) encouragement from Bean Robot, I finally finished it.

The premise of the podcast is pretty simple. Basically, I load up iTunes and hit Shuffle. That's it, instant tracklist. Full disclosure time: I have to admit it, I do cheat a little, no intros, no outros, no song fragments (from mixed albums), no interludes or reprises but other than that, what I get is what you get. I also sequence them for you but that's not cheating, is it? Of course not.

Despite the fact that it took me a long time to put it together, I had a great time doing it. I'm hoping to put these things out monthly but we'll have to see. Like I mentioned, it took me far too long to make this, even if that was due to simple procrastination. That being said, I've already compiled the track list for Episode 2 and I've started on Episode 3, which may be a Christmas edition. For reasons that I will not begin to explain, I have a rather large collection of holiday music. The randomness theme of this podcast should still apply, I'll just grab from a specific genre.

Anyway, that's down the line. Maybe. Until then, please enjoy Episode 1: Fever in the Funkhouse. If you hear something you like, let me know. If you hear something you don't like, let me know.

Episode 1: Fever in the Funkhouse Tracklist

1. larry's intro
2. "Move On Up" by The Jam
3. "Nothing Can Stop Us" by Saint Etienne
4. "Six Days" by DJ Shadow
5. "All the People" by Money Mark
6. larry's interlude #1
7. "Do You Think I'm Sexy?" by Queen of Japan
8. "North American Scum" by LCD Soundsystem
9. "Keep Fallin'" by Hot Chip
10. larry's interlude #2
11. "Hey Young World" by Slick Rick
12. "The Vulture" by Labi Siffre
13. "Mr. Cool" by Rasputin's Stash
14. "Hot Stage Lights" by Van Hunt
15. "Sweet Like Candy" by Winston Williams
16. larry's interlude #3/outro
17. "Lonely Avenue" by Stephen Marley


©Murakami @ The Geffen

I got a chance to head down to the ©Murakami Exhibit at the Geffen this afternoon. If you're not familiar with Takashi Murakami's stuff, it can be a bit of a trip. I'm only somewhat familiar with some of it (like Kaikai, Kiki and Dob) but I knew that he was responsible for a ton of work, only some of which is known here in America. I guess his most known piece of work right now could be the album art for Kanye West's latest album Graduation. You've seen it, right? Looks like this.

Anyway, I have to admit that while I was thoroughly entertained by the exhibit, I wasn't really expecting some of the subject matter. For example, I wasn't prepared for My Lonesome Cowboy. How can one prepare for a six foot statue of a naked anime-style manchild twirling a lasso made out of his own ejaculate over his head? There's also Hiropon, which is a statue of a woman apparently using breast milk as a jump rope. Fascinating.

I thought it was a great exhibit. Murakami's uses a whole variety of mediums (media?), from sculpture to painting, from acrylic stickers to video montages, even a line of exclusive designs that he did for Louis Vuitton, all of which are on display here. What I really liked about it is that it's clear that Murakami has his own unique vision. Of course, that can be said of all artists but what I mean in this case is that while a particular artist may present a scene of a man and woman looking at a lake (for example), Murakami's vision is such that you can't tell who is the man, who is the woman, where's the lake, or even if any of those elements are in the picture. What I'm getting at is, Murakami's vision is such that it transforms the entire landscape. His vision affects the world, not just the scene. That make sense?

The ©Murakami Exhibit runs through February 11th, 2008, at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Little Toyko. You should definitely try to check it out if you get a chance.


American Gangster

I saw American Gangster today. I thought it was a pretty good movie. Sort of had to be, right? Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Ridley Scott, uh.... The RZA. It had all the makings of a good film but I couldn't help feeling a little disappointed when it was all over. And here's why....

You've seen the commercial for the movie, right? You know the scene where Denzel walks into a darkened bar or whatever and fires a gun towards the camera and the muzzle flash briefly lights up his face? Well, guess what. That scene isn't even in the damn movie. I mean, it's in the trailer, it's a cool scene, it even inspired the album art for Jay-Z's latest album (right). How can this scene not make the final cut?

In my mind, the muzzle flash clip is the main highlight of the trailer. I wanted to see how it fit in the context of the film. So I waited. And waited. And waited. And when it never came, I was a little pissed. I expect I'd feel the same way if this happened in any other trailer. Like, if you see the trailer for Superman Returns and the whole Superman stopping a bullet with his eye scene doesn't make the final cut of the film. Don't get me wrong, American Gangster is still a really good movie and all but this is kind of like false adverstising, isn't it? Look, go see the film. It's good. Just now you know what not to expect when you do see it.


Griffith Park Observatory

Made it out to the observatory tonight. I'm not sure but I'm pretty sure that it's been at least 20 years since I've been to there. It was a little packed because tonight was the first time they opened it up to the public since the remodeling. Well, actually, it's been open for a while, just tonight was the first night that you didn't need reservations to go.

Anyway, it was fascinating. It helped me look at the big picture. Sometimes I allow myself to get bothered by everyday things. Like I'm stressed from work, or my home life or whatever. Going to the observatory, for me, really helped put certain things into perspective. Meaning that in the grand scheme of things, our everyday lives are so small, so fleeting that how could I possibly allow myself to get stressed out by my job or whatever. There I was, looking at a thousands of years old piece of Mars and I couldn't help but wonder, in this ancient universe, why do I let certain people in my life piss me off so much?