So apparently Sarah "Settin' Women In Politics Back 40 Years, You Betcha" Palin is going to be dropping the ceremonial first puck at Saturday's Rangers/Flyers game in Philadelphia. The GOP campaign staffer who okayed this should be fired immediately.
One of my earliest political memories is watching the 1992 MLB All-Star Game in San Diego. The first pitch was thrown out by the legendary Ted Williams, who was born in San Diego, and thus was greeted with wild applause. The 'other' first pitch was then thrown out by then-president Bush, who was welcomed by a solid wall of boos. It was wonderful. Bush stood there with a frozen smile on his face, waving like an idiot, and not even Williams' presence could calm the crowd down. At Clinton HQ, they must've been giving each other high-fives (and, possibly, blowjobs).
Now, obviously, the TV audience for the Rangers-Flyers tilt will be far, far less than the MLB ASG, but still, is it really a wise move by the McCain campaign to put their punchline of a VP candidate in front of a packed hockey crowd in a blue state? Especially in, of all places, Philadelphia? The home of arguably the hardest fans in all of sports? This isn't going to end well. Hopefully Palin has his moose-shooting rifle with her to fend off an angry guy in a Bobby Clarke throwback.
This is my biggest problem with organized religion....there just aren't enough living gods or goddesses anymore. Where's Neil Gaiman when you need him?
This story deserves the Fire Joe Morgan treatment....
Wrapped in red silk and adorned with red flowers in her hair, Matani Shakya received approval from the priests and President Ram Baran Yadav in a centuries-old tradition with deep ties to Nepal's monarchy, which was abolished in May.
Wait a second, was the practice abolished, or were the ties to the monarchy abolished? I'm confused.
The new "kumari" or living goddess, was carried from her parents' home to an ancient palatial temple in the heart of the Nepali capital, Katmandu, where she will live until she reaches puberty and loses her divine status.
She can lose this divine status just by reaching puberty? Ouch. You can learn more about this practice in the popular children's novel Are You There Buddha? It's Me, Matani.
She will be worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists as an incarnation of the powerful Hindu deity Taleju.
A panel of judges conducted a series of ancient ceremonies to select the goddess from several 2- to 4-year-old girls who are all members of the impoverished Shakya goldsmith caste.
One judge, Richard Alpert, was angered when Matani reached for the knife instead of the book, and then didn't invite her to the special school.
The judges read the candidates' horoscopes and check each one for physical imperfections. The living goddess must have perfect hair, eyes, teeth and skin with no scars, and should not be afraid of the dark.
In a related story, the Chinese Olympic commission used the same criteria to pick its opening ceremony anthem singers. I know things are rough in Nepal, but....scars? Yikes.
As a final test, the living goddess must spend a night alone in a room among the heads of ritually slaughtered goats and buffaloes without showing fear.
Hold on! Flag on the play! Fifteen yards for traumatizing! If you can get a three-year-old in a room o'heads and they don't show fear, you should probably consider them to be a budding sociopath rather than a living goddess. That's some serious Dexter-level shit there.
Having passed all the tests, the child will stay in almost complete isolation at the temple, and will be allowed to return to her family only at the onset of menstruation when a new goddess will be named to replace her.
"I feel a bit sad, but since my child has become a living goddess I feel proud," said her father Pratap Man Shakya.
Winner of the Associated Press's 2008 Quote Of The Year Award. I guess follow-up questions aren't allowed under their religion.
During her time as a goddess, she will always wear red, pin up her hair in topknots, and have a "third eye" painted on her forehead.
Devotees touch the girls' feet with their foreheads, the highest sign of respect among Hindus in Nepal. During religious festivals the goddesses are wheeled around on a chariot pulled by devotees.
So except for the third eye, the goddesses are basically Christina Hendricks from Mad Men. Nice work if you can get it. Okay, I guess there was no scene in the show involving forehead-foot touching, but hey, I'm presuming John Slattery's character was into some kinky stuff.
Critics say the tradition violates both international and Nepalese laws on child rights. The girls often struggle to readjust to normal lives after they return home.
"Matani, clean your room!"
"No way Mom, I'm a goddess! That's below me!"
"Tampons are on your shopping list, right?"
Nepalese folklore holds that men who marry a former kumari will die young, and so many girls remain unmarried and face a life of hardship.
See, this is the biggest difference between our culture and Nepalese culture. Even with a folklore curse, I'll bet lots of guys over here would line up to shag a former goddess, if for no other reason than the bragging rights. Just look at how guys drool over the Olsen Twins just because they used to be on Full House, even though they look like defective garden gnomes. If you did date an ex-goddess, though, it's admittedly hard to make small talk.
"So, where'd you go to grade school?"
"I spent my adolescence having people touch their foreheads to my feet."
"So, a foot fetish, eh?"
My friend James, a Red Sox fan, recently made the following his MSN Messenger headline in the wake of Boston's series win over Los Angeles: "I would proudly father Jason Varitek's children."
James, to paraphrase Inigo Montoya, I do not think that word means what you think it means. You're basically saying...
a) you would impregnate Varitek if he was a woman, or if the technology seen in the Schwarzenegger classic 'Junior' actually becomes a reality
b) if anything untoward happened to Varitek, you would offer to act as guardian for his children much like how Bruce Wayne stepped in as guardian of Dick Grayson after his parents were murdered by a Gotham City mob boss
Either option seems, frankly, kind of odd. In summation, fuck the Red Sox. Go Rays go.
You may remember my post encouraging people to vote for Tom Cheek for the Hall of Fame's Ford Frick Award for broadcasting excellence. Well, Cheek did indeed end up in the top three in online voting, thus earning him a spot on the final ballot of ten. Interestingly, the ballot has some additional Canadian content with Jacques Doucet (longtime Expos radio broadcaster) and Dave Van Horne (longtime Expos TV broadcaster, current Marlins TV guy). Even Tony Kubek is a former Blue Jays TV guy.
If I had to guess, I'd say the award will go to either Cheek, Joe Nuxhall, Lanny Frattare or maybe Jerry Coleman. But really, come on blue-ribbon panel, vote for Cheek!
Start with hockey, end with hockey. Quick and dirty NHL picks....
1. Pittsburgh....a whole season of Crosby should offset the loss of Hossa
2. Ottawa....their last gasp before their core of players totally falls apart
3. Washington....holy crap, this division stinks
4. Rangers....presumably Gomez and Drury start playing like their contracts
5. Montreal.....a lot of things went right last year, this year's a bit of a course correction
6. Philly....booing fuels them, so Palin's appearance will make them the Hulk
7. New Jersey.....yay Sutter!
8. Toronto....realistically this spot will go to Tampa or Buffalo, but the Leafs just beat the Cup champs, so I'm stoked! Toskala for Hart Trophy!
1. Detroit....so old, but so good.
2. San Jose....Marleau has one more season to prove himself before I finally admit he's overrated
3. Calgary....they'd easily win an inter-Canadian tournament, if that's any consolation
4. Dallas....to quote my pal Matt, BRAD RICHARRRRRDS!
5. Anaheim....holy crap, the Pacific is stacked. Three great teams....uh, and the Kings and Coyotes.
6. Chicago....by the end of the season, people will finally know how to pronounce Toews' name
8. Vancouver....Luongo kills himself for 82 games to get the Nucks in the playoffs. They promptly get swept in the first round. Luongo punches through a top hat.
Penguins over Leafs
Devils over Senators
Capitals over Flyers
Rangers over Habs
Wings over Nucks
Sharks over Wild
Flames over Blackhawks
Stars over Ducks
Penguins over Devils
Rangers over Capitals
Stars over Wings
Sharks over Flames
Rangers over Penguins
Sharks over Stars
Sharks over Rangers