IT'S A LIVING… BUT IT'S NOT A LIFE #12.94
J Church/Honey Bear - Shocktober 2004 - Go Sox!!!


RED SOX!!!

I'm a huge Red Sox fan. I've followed the team ever since the mid `70s. I grew up in Hawaii. We only had a minor team, which I loved, called the Islanders. So everyone just finds a handful of arbitrary reasons, and picks a national team to support. For me it was the Red Sox and the '75 World Series was the real clincher. They just always represented to me the dignity of baseball that I live for. Often enough, there is no real dignity in sports. Whether you like sports or not, you can take even the broadest Marxist analysis and find fault with Manchester United, the Dallas Cowboys and, of course, the New York Yankees. They're teams of individuals corrupted by power as manifested in the money they throw around. If you think I'm being over the top to be funny, you're only half right.

So, I've loved the Red Sox. They were a bunch of regular guys that weren't regular guys. I could relate to Carlton Fisk and Fred Lynn and Yaz and El Tiante. They even had a dope smoking, commie, star pitcher named Bill "Spaceman" Lee who is my all-time favorite player. And equally, I've felt totally alienated and often times offended by the Yankees. What's this mean? Wednesday night was HUGE for me. I still can't believe it. The fact that most people don't really give a shit about baseball in Texas, the fact that I was sitting in an empty video store with one other person watching the game, the fact that the rest of the city had missed the boat only concerned about the Astros didn't stop me from jumping up and down and screaming my head off when the game ended. It still hasn't completely sunk in. I keep watching replayed footage. I keep seeing the fans and the players celebrating. I even took pleasure watching Billy Crystal slumped over in the stands just like I loved every reaction shot of that punk Rodriguez in the Yankee dugout scheming of a new way to cheat to get on base.

I don't know what will happen tomorrow. I have nothing but respect for the Cardinals. The Giants are my National League team, but I have total respect for St. Louis and La Russa. I've even got Super 8 footage of Tavares when he played for the Giants. If they were playing anyone other than the Red Sox I would be totally in their corner. But I really want the Red Sox to win.

Unfortunately, and I really hope I'm wrong, this feels like we're heading to a classic Red Sox meltdown. It's part of their charm and I don't mean that in the sense of the loveable losers. I mean, they win the deeper and less academic victories. With all the talk about how nobody has statistically done what they did to the Yanks, what's most important to people is the week long agony, the intensity of the last four games, the actual act of coming back and winning four in a row rather than how it looks on paper. That's what the Red Sox do best. The '75 World Series is still the best in my mind. The Red Sox lost, but it really feels like they won if only because of that amazing game six with everything leading up to and including the Fisk homerun.

I don't know if any of you saw Tin Cup. Okay, I don't know why any of you WOULD see Tin Cup but I did and it's really not that bad. Anyway, there's a great seen where Costner just gets pathological. He is losing to the evil Don Johnson and can't get his ball on the green. Rather than take a drop, he keeps hitting it over and over from the same spot landing time and time again in the water. At this point, he's completely eliminated himself from the tournament. But he finally hits a good one and it goes right in the hole. The crowd goes crazy. Renee Russo excitedly congratulates him in the now riotous crowd. He says, "I lost". She says that nobody is going to remember who won. They're just going to remember that great shot. That, as convoluted as it may seem, is the perfect analogy of why I love the Red Sox. That's what they do. Aside from all the talk of Shakespearean tragedies, they have won the great battles while losing the war.

In time, most people are going to see this comeback from three games down to be on par with the '75 Series. It was huge. It was historic. It was very, very emotional. Will they be able to take that to the next level and win the World Series? I love `em. But being honest with myself for a moment, I really can't predict who will win. I have no idea at all. But if the Red Sox do win, I think for the millions of undecideds out there it will cement them as the greatest sports franchise of all time.

 

SHOWS: DOMESTIC

We're playing at the Fest, as most of you may already know, this year in Gainesville. It's coming up quick on us, so here's a very loose schedule of shows before and after. These will be our last US dates until sometime late next year.

October 28th New Orleans, LA ­ venue TBA
October 29th Gainesville, FL ­ The Fest, Side Bar, 1:10 AM
October 31st Athens, GA ­ venue TBA
November 1st Shrieveport, LA ­ some radio show

Send me an e-mail if you want more details and I'll keep you posted.

 

SHOWS: EUROPE

We're heading to Europe for November / December. Here's how those dates are shaping up.

11/14 - Exeter, England @ Cavern
11/15 - Leeds, England @ Packhorse
11/16 - London, England @ The Windmill w/Reno Divorce, Chillerton
11/17 - Dublin, Ireland @ The Voodoo Lounge
11/18 - Belfast, Ireland @ The Pavillon Bar
11/19 - England
11/20 - High Wycombe, England @ Roundabout
11/21 - Leicester, England @ Charlotte
11/22 - England
11/23 - France
11/24 - Poitiers, France
11/25 - France
11/26 - Bordeaux, France @ Local Universel
11/27 - St. Etienne, France @ Kany Kaly
11/28 - Milano, Italy @ Leon Cavallo
11/29 - Italy
11/30 - Torino, Italy @ Antidox
12/1 - Bologna, Italy @ Atlantide
12/2 - Udine, Italy @ Volturno
12/3 - Zagreb, Croatia @ KSET
12/4 - Budapest, Hungary
12/5 - Prague, Czech Republic @ 007
12/6 - TBA
12/7 - Dresden, Germany @ AZ Conni
12/8 - Leipzig, Germany @ Conne Island
12/9 - Braunschweig, Germany @ Nexus
12/10 - Hamburg, Germany @ Störtebeker
12/11 - Aalborg, Denmark @ 1000 Fryd
12/12 - Hannover, Germany @ Korn
12/13 - Germany
12/14 - Oldenburg, Germany @ Alhambra
12/15 - Dortmund, Germany @ JUZ
12/16 - Saarlouis, Germany @ JUZ
12/17 - Nürnberg, Germany @ K4
12/18 - Munich, Germany @ Kafe Kult
12/19 - Stuttgart, Germany
12/20 - Bonn, Germany @ Bla

 

IN THE J CHURCH VIEWING ROOM

FREAKS AND GEEKS (created by Paul Feig)

Most TV is atrocious. I'm granting the premise that most of you black clad, patches sewn on, fanzine readin' types subscribe to. Commercials are a modern manifestation on Hitler's theories of propaganda. Most television is aimed at the lowest common denominator. As a result, inadvertently or not, TV makes people dumber.

I feel like I have to make that disclaimer every time I write something like this. Yeah, it's mostly horrible. But once in a while there are shining moments that are so great, so meaningful, so artistic, it's hard to believe that it was allowed to exist at all. That's definitely true for Freaks And Geeks, one of the greatest television shows of all time.

I guess it's no surprise that it was only on for one season. Aimed at ideas alien to TV like character development, smart dialog, equal parts drama and comedy, it was a smart and unusual show making it inherently threatening to consumer America and the market forces that serve as it's dictatorship.

I've got a personal connection to this show. This was really my life. It follows a sister and brother, Lindsay and Sam Weir. Sophomore and freshman respectively, Lindsay has a life changing moment knocking her out of her conservative academic world and forcing her to question her own reasons for existence by way of hanging out with the school freaks. At different times, these kids have been known as the stoners, the heshers, the dirtheads, whatever. Sam, on the other hand, is heading into every awkward situation a 14 year old geek can. He and his two best friends are outcasts, they're unpopular, they're in the AV Club, they play D & D on the weekends. It all takes place in 1980 which is when I started high school. Believe me, I was not a cool kid. Thank God for that.

The show starts off spoofing Dawson's Creek and the opening scene ends with Lindsay, who you're just realizing is the main protagonist, saying, "I hate high school." From that moment on, I knew I was going to love this show.

What I grew to really love about this show is that nobody is completely innocent and nobody in completely evil. They'll spend episode after episode showing someone to be a bully and then out of nowhere you'll get a little insight into their life and history. Everyone is sympathetic on some level. The conversations feel so real and the relationships are unlike any I can think of on TV. Even the parents are never stereotypical. Lindsay and Sam love their parents and in turn the parents are always trying to do the right thing successful or not.

I can watch this show over and over again. Every episode has a number of scenes that will have you dying laughing or sobbing. The writers and directors (Paul Feig, Judd Apatow, Jake Kasdan, the great Mike White) are all laughing with you. It's their revenge on high school.

If you were a cool kid or a jock in high school, you probably won't get it. It's not aimed at you. In fact, a lot of the humor is at your expense. But if you were a geek or a freak, this is a great look back on what were probably some terrible times. Now that we know how the story ends in our own lives, it's fun and safe to look back and laugh.

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