WWW

On tanking, Evil Has a Name, and not caring about The Oscars: While We’re Waiting

Happy Tuesday everyone! I’m jumping in for Andrew during this dead time of the sports season. I’m mostly going to talk about entertainment things, but I’ll lead things off with a sports take that I think I’ve had before, but remains relevant again with these Cavaliers.

I believe in tanking at whatever talent level you happen to be

When you have a team like the Cavaliers in their current state, that is not a serious challenger for the playoffs, it’s easy to de-prioritize winning. Even with the NBA altering the lottery rules in the league, where they took some of the incentive to lose away, they didn’t actually go the next step by creating an incentive to win. An incentive to win is the responsibility of a team, not the league. So, while it is true that it’s less beneficial to lose, that’s a far cry from actually rewarding teams that win marginally from the bottom of the standings brackets. But the Cavaliers should win however many games they’re supposed to win.

Despite a loss to the Blazers last night, I love the fact that the Cavaliers are winning a few games with Kevin Love back in the fold. Winning is how you validate your process and the work you’re doing as a franchise. Even small victories are meaningful to a roster with young up-and-comers like Cedi Osman and a 20-year-old-should-be-a-sophomore-in-college player like Collin Sexton. Even though the aforementioned young players are almost certainly just role players on a championship contender, part of becoming a contender is maximizing assets even when they’re real live players playing for your basketball team.

I think the only way to do that is to start winning, at least a little bit to foster more growth.

I know it could hurt the Cavaliers draft probability, but not as much as it once did. So while I still stand by the fact that the Cavaliers don’t have any new incentive to win via NBA draft rule changes, the incentive to win comes from having a roster with at least a few players that you expect to be a part of the team when the daylight finally deigns to shine once more.

So, I’m not cringing as the Cavaliers win a few.

Evil Has a Name from Audible

I recently bought this “audiobook” from Audible and it was good. I have thoughts.

1. Is it an audiobook if it was never a book first? This is like a podcast in the Serial genre. It’s well put together and it is organized in chapters, but it’s a collection of interviews, organized into a narrative format. None of this matters as long as the result is entertaining audio, but I find the blurry lines between podcasting and audiobooks rather interesting. Someday soon, we’re probably just going to call it audio entertainment and stop delineating. What else could you conclude when Audible is commissioning podcasts and calling them audiobooks, while Spotify is buying up podcasting companies even though they are most known for music streaming?

2. Back to this actual audiopodcast… This is how you do grisly material without making it crime porn. While some of the descriptions and survivor accounts were gruesome and disturbing, but I felt like the editing and storytelling was done in such a way as to not revel in the destruction. Much the way I thought “Believed” about the Larry Nassar molestation cases handled victims with dignity, I felt the same way here.

3. The way this crime was solved in the end is fascinating. It was in the news, so I’m not spoiling much, and you really need to hear it for yourself in all the technical detail, but DNA testing and forensic genealogy are not going away. Privacy has always been a myth, except it was difficult to connect dots. In the connected age, and with DNA testing becoming far more prevalent, even if you don’t give up the goods, enough people in your family tree will that if you’re ever wanted and the police have a DNA sample from you, they will be able to triangulate to you by your relatives.

So don’t become a serial rapist and/or murderer.

I Don’t Care About the Oscars

One thing I learned from Opie and Anthony way back in the day is that anyone who says “I don’t care” about something actually probably cares quite a bit. Even knowing I’m falling into the logistical trap, I have to say I’m over the Academy Awards. I don’t need the Oscars to validate the movies I love every year.

I used to care a lot. I loved Good Will Hunting when it came out and I lived in Boston at the time. When Oscar night rolled around, the entire city rallied around it like it was a playoff game. I felt invested in it too, and I really wanted that movie to win awards, which it did. That felt particularly good because I felt like I won and the movie I loved was validated. More often than not, though, it feels like my favorite movies are passed over for artistic achievements that fail to entertain me.

I saw tons of movies in 2018. Black Panther, Infinity War, Incredibles 2, Jurassic World, Aquaman, Deadpool 2, The Grinch, Ant-Man 2, Solo, Venom, Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star is Born, Ralph Breaks the Internet, A Quiet Place, Spider-Man Spider-Verse, Hotel Transylvania 3, The Meg, Ready Player One, Peter Rabbit, Rampage, Christopher Robin, Smallfoot, The First Purge, Skyscraper, Tag, A Simple Favor, Hereditary, Paddington 2, Teen Titans Go!, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? to name a few.

My favorite experiences at the theater were for Bohemian Rhapsody, Ready Player One, and A Quiet Place. I also loved a lot of superhero movies this year, but I’m not going to try and claim they should win awards.

More and more, I’m unsure exactly why the Oscars are broadcast on television, because I don’t think they’re very relevant to the actual movie-going public.