Why Rocky, The Hurt Locker, and Liz are Losers

My sister is a smart lovable gal.  Sometimes she is wrong and she hates it when people point this out to her.   She responded to my recent Oscar predictions post with some interesting comments.  She said,

I won’t remember Avatar in ten years. Hell, I can barely remember it now; I had to go re-read a review to remind myself of what the actual plot was. I left Avatar thinking “Wow, you know, that looked really cool.” But Best Picture? Really? No.


I should note now that my brother compares the Oscar race between Avatar and Hurt Locker to the Star Wars vs. Rocky Oscar race for Best Picture, and where he comes down on the side of Star Wars on that one, I’m firmly in the Rocky camp.

Interesting comments.  But totally wrong. As an older brother, it is my duty to explain why.  Here we go:

Liz, first off I can see why you’d think this way.  You said you got sick from the 3D for Avatar and in your review you can’t even remember what the plot of Avatar was.  Well if you were so sick and you don’t know what the movie was about, you probably shouldn’t pick it for Best Picture.  But just realize that you’re in the minority and the rest of the country is quite aware of what occurred on the screen and loved it.  Maybe you should to rewatch in non-3D

Now about Rocky vs. Star Wars.  Have you seen the first Rocky lately?  The dialogue is atrocious. Rocky’s relationship with Adrian is one of the worst written and acted relationship in cinema.  It’s severely dated.

Star Wars is a different story altogether.  If you don’t think Star Wars was a seminal film in cinema history, you’re retarded.

Star Wars references are so deeply embedded in popular culture that you don’t even realize it.  You can’t even watch CNN now without them trying to copy many of the technological ideas that were first shown in a movie over 30 years old now (election hologram anyone?)  Everyday references to the main characters and themes of Star Wars are casually made. Darth Vader has become an iconic villain.  Phrases like “evil empire” and “may the force be with you” have become part of the popular lexicon in EVERY industry and culture.  Do you even remember what Apollo Creed’s nickname was?

Rocky is a good movie, but Star Wars was a good movie that changed cinema forever.  Almost all (or the majority) of science fiction films have been influenced by Star Wars and it basically created the modern-day blockbuster genre.  How many Rocky parodies are there?  Could you imagine a Spaceballs or Fanboys of Rocky?  No, the only thing keeping the Rocky films alive are Sly Stone’s attempt to remake the original time and time again.

I could go on and on about how Star Wars impacted both society and film but i think you get my point.  It was a major game-changer. This is why i compare it to Avatar.  While i don’t think Avatar will have the impact of Star Wars, i do believe it represents a large step-function in how films will be made going forward.  Major dramatic films are being made in 3D.  Future films will be made, realistically, without actors.  Think about that.  Major realistic, dramatic films without actors.  That’s what Avatar has introduced.

Let me just say that in 2007, NASA launched a space shuttle carrying a pair of Rocky’s shorts into space to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film.  Wait, no, that’s a lie.  They didn’t.   What they DID do is launch the space shuttle with the original lightsaber on board.  It was the lightsaber that was used by Luke Skywalker. After spending two weeks in orbit, they brought the lightsaber back to Earth on November 7.  And you think this film, Star Wars, where they are doing event like this and making more references to over 30 years after the film was released shouldn’t win a “Best Picture” Oscar.  Really Liz?  Really?

LA, You’re Fired!

The fires in LA are both incredible and sad. The sight of them is unlike anything i’ve seen. Take a look at this video that Toby put up (click on it to watch video):
Picture 3

It makes me reflect on my time here in LA.  As some of you know, i’m moving to Denver in the next few weeks.  I’m out of here. While i’m excited about moving closer to the mountains and friends, i’m sad to leave LA.  The past 17 months have been an interesting time. Some thoughts on LA:

  • The people are not as bad a place as people think.  Sure, there are some shitty people – and most of them work in “the industry” but if you avoid the industry and industry parties, then you really don’t run into these people that often.
  • Side note: it’s interesting moving from one town where “the industry” was the government to LA where it is the film business.  As i see it, these are the two largest growth business the US will have in the next 30 years (except maybe health care) or if not the largest grown maybe the largest export
  • LA is very entrepreneurial. However, the people i met here are quite different than the entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley.  Up there, a startup is typically an academic thought-based exploration.  Down here in LA, it’s much more about the hustle.  When i think about the two types of startups, i’ve found that  LA is more focused on making money and less on the ideas and philosophy behind the deals.
  • Nature, nature, nature.  It’s all around LA.  People talk about Colorado’s proximity to mountains and nature – well it’s right here too.  You’ve got beach, mountains, desert – all within 2 hours.  And it’s beautiful.  If you can see past the smog, you’ll see some amazingly beautiful scenery. I wish i had spent more time exploring
  • The beach is underrated.  There are lots of parts of LA.  You’ve got the Valley, Hollywood, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills.  But what all of those don’t have is great weather year round and the beach.  The beach brings a calm to people’s attitude and a coolness to the air.  Both make a big difference day in and day out.
  • Related to the above post: Beach Cruisers. I’ve always loved biking but it wasn’t till i moved to the beach that i discovered the cruiser.  This has 3 key characteristics: (1) a big comfy seat, (2) a basket for carrying stuff, (3) handlebars angled up so you can sit straight up and not hunched over.  All of these dramatically change the bike riding experience so it can be done recreationally and comfortably .  I love my cruiser
  • Food: I love the Tacos.  Cactus Tacos, Dos Burritos, Loteria or all the others.  My taco standards have been raised forever.   I also love In-N-Out and ate there almost twice a month the entire time, as noted by JT and Jstreet and Nader.
  • Movie theaters. As i’ve written before, LA does movie theaters the right way.  This means that they are big comfy seats and that you can pick your seat before you arrive so you can get there 5 min before showtime and have a nice center seat.  Or you can see that there are no good seats and wait for another show.  Game changer
  • Dartmouth surely represents.  No matter what i wanted to do in LA, i found that there was a Dartmouth alum and friend who had figured it out and could take me along.  I was so fortunate to have soccer teammates, pong partners, business thinkers, rock band drummers, talent agents, concert goers and providers, and lots entrepreneurs all over the place.  They made LA an easily place to join and a hard place to leave.  I see lots of vacations back in my future.
  • The Garfields.  Todd and Julie were one of my highlights of LA.  I’m very fortunate to have roped them into many meals and movies.

Of all of these, i think i’ll miss the beach and the people around the beaches the most.  Waking up to salt water in the air and a cool breeze is amazing.

Santa Monica

Thank you LA, i’ll miss you.

Mothers and The Internet

A friend of mine from MN posted this on her Facebook.  It’s a conversation between her and her mother.  It’s amazing…

me is my friend
bcscott is her mother

7:05 AM

bcscott: Howed you make that heart
7:08 AM me: it’s this:
and this:
pretty cool.
7:10 AM bcscott: doesn’t work on a non Apple

9 minutes

7:20 AM me: yes it does, i’ve doen it at work
you have to type them together.
but it ONLY works in this chat box, nowhere else.
7:22 AM bcscott: I typed them separately and together and I get a 3. Do you use shift or control? See if you can see the heart and smley face I inserted.
me: you have to type them in this window
i can tell you haven’t because i should be able to see you doing it.
7:23 AM don’t insert them,
type them here.
bcscott: ,3 There you go.
me: you hit the comma. try it again.
< and 3
7:24 AM bcscott: My greater symbol IS the comma.
me: doit again, barb.
< and 3
7:25 AM bcscott: #< There you go. That’s with the shift.
me: mom, you can’t be serious. instead of the 3, you typed # and you did it backwards.
< and 3
7:26 AM bcscott: Carrie, what kind of keyboad do you have? My 3 IS the #. The shift controls all this. ,3
me: yes, but you keyed in a #
you need to type exactly <
and then 3
just do it.
7:27 AM bcscott: I know, maybe you have a numbers pad. I don’t have that on my laptop. Otherwise, this conversation is ridiculous.
me: this conversation is ridiculous.
i am not doing this on a number pad.
you’re going to do this, mom.
type <
and then 3
you’ve been typing ,3 and <#
bcscott: I can’t type < without the shift key. if I use the shift key on the 3 I will get a #
7:28 AM me: then ONLY use the shift key to get the <
and then don’t use the shift key to get the 3
do it, mom.
bcscott: <3 There you go!
me: that was unbelieveable.
absolutely unbelieveable.
7:29 AM bcscott: I had to do shift < and then regular 3. Now where did you get your smiley thing.
me: oh boy.

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Levels of Blogging – where have my blogging friends gone?

Over the past year, I have seen some of my friends (Toby, Kathryn, Sarah, Drew) drop off the blogging scene. Some of them have switched blogs, but some have just switched the way they share information. With the growth of other online tools, it’s becoming much easier to express yourself (sharing ideas, links, and messages) in ways that are easier than blogging.

Because of this trend, this post by Fred Wilson and image really stuck a chord in me:

You can see how facebook and MySpace and the ease of use there is going to take people away from glogging. I know a few of my friends have been casualties.

Personally, i like blogging still as it allows me to fully explain my thoughts and ideas whereas the other mechanisms are smaller chunks and just single thoughts. I do them too. But with facebook there is no nuance. Of course, not everyone has the time to explain themselves – at least that’s the number 1 excuse. To which i’ll reply, if you have time to debate a topic for hours – which all of you do – then you have time to stick it on your blog. Get off your ass

Why does Snoop Carry An Umbrella?

Fo drizzle, yo

This is my annual Snoop post. Even since Dre’s The Chronic, i’ve been in love with Snoop’s rapping. I even wrote a paper in college for an English class where i translated The Scarlet Letter to the lyrics of Nuthin’ But A G-Thing, it was renamed Nuthin’ But an ‘A’ Thing. Luckily, i’m not the only one who loves The Dogg. Danielle (who has no internet identity) sent me the following two gems…

The first is a site called Gizoogle. This is a site that will translate the text of any other site into Snoop-speak. If you look at what it does to the post i put up a couple weeks ago (below), it’s fantastic. I don’t who has the time to make site’s like this. But god bless them.

Here’s what i originally wrote:

This is a good graph that was sent to me that can accurately diagram who the person next to you in bed is, or how they fit into your dating perspective. While some of my friends have set up camp in the Zone of Pain with their “go ugly early” strategy, others jump between the dreaded cycle of Friend – Awkwardness – F-Buddy – Awkwardness, while the rest meander around in the dating zone with occasional layovers in the Zone of Pain.

becomes this

This is a good grizzay tizzle was sent ta me thiznat can accurately diagram who tha person nizzy ta you in bed is, or how they fit into yo pimpin` perspective wit da big Bo$$ Dogg. While some of mah niggaz have set up camp in tha Zone of Pizzle wit they “go fugly early” strategy, otha jizzle between tha dreaded cycle of Friend – Awkwardness – F-Buddy – Awkwardness, while tha rizzay meanda around in tha pimpin` zone wit occasional pusha in tha Zone of Pizzy.


The second is a free-style rap from a guy in LA. He’s able to perfectly imitate Snoop, Jay-Z and The Game. It’s an amazing video. I like how the DJ is at a complete loss for words at the end. All he can keep saying is “jesus christ!”


Finally, my friend Adam sent in this clip of Snoop going into Rick Dees studio and hitting on Patricia, Adam’s girlfriend.  It’s not every day that my buddy’s woman is flirting it up with Snoop.  Pretty funny.

Where Are You in the Dating Graph?


This is a good graph that was sent to me that can accurately diagram who the person next to you in bed is, or how they fit into your dating perspective. While some of my friends have set up camp in the Zone of Pain with their “go ugly early” strategy, others jump between the dreaded cycle of Friend – Awkwardness – F-Buddy – Awkwardness, while the rest meander around in the dating zone with occasional layovers in the Zone of Pain.

Where do you stand (or should i say sleep)?

Dartmouth Soccer Scores in Zimbabwe

Grass Roots SoccerI played with Methembe my freshman year at Dartmouth and beyond being one of the nicest guys ever, he was a truly amazing soccer player. Called as “the Mayor” on the field ever since his youth when he tore up the Zimbabwe youth league, he also become known as “Captain Hook” to Chris Pedrick and others who liked to watch. I never forget when Methembe rolled into preseason my freshman year and was marking me on defense. He pretty much dominated my every move and walking off the field one of the players mentioned to me that Methembe was a few days late to preseason because he was playing the World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria and i should be too upset that he crushed me on the field b/c just a few days later he was marking Amochaci and Kanu. Yeah, that’s quite a switch – world cup qualifier to Ivy League preseason. Anyway, i bring all this up b/c i wanted to post the latest of Methembe’s accomplishments in Zimbabwe and with Grass Roots Soccer which is a great program:

Former Dartmouth Soccer Star Scores Again

Methembe Ndlovu is arguably the best soccer player ever to pull on the Dartmouth green. He left Dartmouth to return to his homeland, Zimbabwe, where he earned the nations highest honor, captaining the national team. He made a brave decision to return to Zimbabwe last year to lead Grassroot Soccer’s HIV prevention efforts there. According to the WHO, Zimbabwe’s has the lowest life expectancy in the world and has dropped from 69 in 2000 to 35 in 2006. Everyone who can leave has left. Methembe returned.


Under his leadership the Grassroot Soccer Zimbabwe program has flourished, in large part due to a partnership with Highlanders, one the nations most popular teams. In return for Methembe’s coaching services, GRS has access to all the players (pro’s and Highlanders youth), the Highlanders games for graduation ceremonies (see attached photos) and their facilities for conducting the HIV education program. The partnership has paid off for Highlanders now too as 2 days ago Methembe became the youngest coach ever to win a Zimbabwe national title.

The Dartmouth-Highlanders/Zimbabwe connection is a strong one. Dartmouth graduates Andrew Shue, Jesse Bradley, Tommy Clark (CEO of grassroots soccer), Geoff Wheeler, Brian Wiese, Chris Mitchell and former coach Bobby Clark have been involved with the club.

Feel free to drop Methembe a note at: mndlovu at grassrootsoccer.org (note, very slow internet service in Zimbabwe so don’t expect a quick note back) or check out www.grassrootsoccer.org to find out more about this project.

Tendencies of a Recovering Frat Guy

I read lots and lots of articles, and occassionally they hit the nail right on the head. As a dartmouth frat guy (here’s the breakdown of them – try to guess which one is mine), i know people like this and can appreciate this article. It’s scary. This is from a Charlotte paper….

“During my five-year college reunion in May, I snuck into my old fraternity house, which at the time was being used as some sort of community service dorm. As I wandered about taking pictures, a student approached and asked politely, “Excuse me, who are you?” Instinctively, I turned around and yelled menacingly, “Who the f*ck are YOU?” The girl scurried off, but the incident made me introspective. Here I am, twenty-seven-years old, with a relatively successful career, regular car insurance payments, and pillowcases that match my comforter. Yet at the same time, I can’t drink one beer without drinking twenty, I can’t converse with a girl without trying to take her home, and I can’t even step foot in a fraternity house without immediately regressing into an asshole. While college is many years behind me, vestiges of the experience remain deeply ingrained in my personality. Welcome to the world of a recovering frat guy.

“Of course, I’m not the only one. There’s an entire faction of twentysomethings out there who live seemingly mature lives – but only to the naked eye. Take my friend Mike, a successful software developer in New York whose downtown apartment has actually been passed down for years to successive generations of graduates from his fraternity like an off-campus party house. Or my buddy Justin, a writer here in LA who is looking to move to a new place – but has yet to find one big enough to fit hisbeer pong table. Unfortunately for him, “Hardwood floor quickly soaks up cheap beer” is generally not an amenity typically found on craigslist.

Recovering frat guys aren’t required to have ever been Greek. In fact, they don’t even have to be guys. On average, every other Evite I received from girls over the past year has been for some sort of elaborate, costume/theme party that reminds me of sophomore year. If you’re a strong, independent woman in her mid-twenties who is still throwing parties entitled Pimps & Hos, Forties & Hos, or Golf Pros & Tennis Hos, you are most definitely a recovering frat guy — dressed like a whore.

To me, the phrase, “Let’s grab a drink” is both the rallying cry and secret password of the recovering frat guy movement. For some reason, no one uses that phrase until they’ve graduated college, and then they use it so frequently it becomes virtually devoid of meaning. If you really think about it, you only actually grab a drink with about 10% of the people you say that to. Of that 10%, most think you literally want to have a solitary cocktail and exchange pleasantries or discuss current events (these people are often married or lawyers). The remainder – who you quickly recognize as kindred spirits – take “grab a drink” to mean “play beer pong and find that party where chicks are dressed as whores.”

Why is it, then, that so many of us, whether subconsciously or not, have adopted this quasi-Peter Pan lifestyle? These days, it’s no longer, “I won’t grow up.” It’s more like, “OK, I’ll grow up, as long as I can still throw up once a weekend.” I think the answer is simple: because we can. The world is changing. Getting married in your twenties is no longer the norm – in fact, those unfortunate souls who do are now outcasts, scorned and shunned, spit on and kicked to the side of the road by the rest of us single folk. And that means we now have more time to live our lives the way we want to and, most importantly, have evolved the ability to do so while still excelling in the adult world. People ask me all the time how long I can continue calling myself a recovering frat guy. Those people are usually sober and annoying. And my response is always the same: “Who the f*ck are you?”

Some people move into the real world more easily than others.