Thursday, July 31, 2008

Remember Me: A child reminds us what's important

This poignant YouTube video was made by 15-year-old Lizzie Palmer of Columbus, Ohio, and has been viewed more than 25 million times. Known as FlutieCutie at the video site, Lizzie says: "I'm a senior in high school, and I play the flute/piccolo. I plan on joining the U.S. Army after I graduate. I only hope I can make America as proud as our troops today have, and I hope I can honor them in the way they deserve with my videos."

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Living Stupid: Backward caps are a sign of the apocalypse

If you're older than 10 and not a baseball catcher, wearing your ballcap backward just makes you look stupid. Not cool, not fly, not hot, not sexy, not dope. Just stupid.

Let's think this through: one wears a baseball cap to shield his eyes and face from the sun. To buy a fitted ballcap for $15 just to nullify its sole purpose by wearing backward suggests you aren't real good with money -- which is a major attraction to women who A) want you to spend money mindlessly on them, and B) don't care if they're seen with idiots who wear their caps backward.

Why not just wear a brimless beanie? You know, one of those with the little propeller on top? Maybe a raspberry beret? Too gay?

Bloggers Will Layman and Chris Osmond lamented the "disquieting modern trend" by saying:
"Dudes, here’s the thing: the backwards baseball cap makes you look like Charlie Brown’s hapless catcher, Schroeder. If you must wear the cap, then please wear it facing forward as God and Joltin’ Joe intended that it be worn. ... You’ll be less likely mistaken for a prematurely bald guy in the wrong light, and you’ll help to rid the land of the beastly musical backcap phenomenon that calls himself 'Gavin DeGraw.'"
This is a fashion trend that should die a hasty death ... but won't.

NEXT WEEK'S FASHION COMMENTARY: Guys who wear their ball caps sideways ... you know, like retarded children in the 1920s.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Beautiful Afternoon: A short film, a long time coming


To put a little lift in your weekend, take a look at this 4-minute short film by Mexican filmmaker Alonso Alvarez Barreda, winner of the NFB Online Competition Cannes 2008. With a stroke of the pen, a stranger transforms the afternoon for another man.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dixie or Yankee? This quiz will score your 'Yankee-ness'

Down here in Texas, it ain't hard to identify Yankees. They're the ones who believe the insidious myth that there are actually 49 other states.

And it usually ain't hard for Yankees to identify Texans ... who usually start any conversation by saying, "I'm from Texas."

But for many folks, it's not easy to discern one's "Yankee-ness" or "Suthun-ness." So we're lucky that somebody has actually come up with a simple test that will actually gauge just how Southern or Yankee you are. (I scored 48% Yankee, which I daresay is neither Yankee enough nor Dixie enough to satisfy either group.)

Wanna take the test? Just click the link below, and please leave your score in the Comments section for our prurient interest:

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hello Dolly: Three years later, another storm lurks

This blog was launched at the height of the disastrous 2005 hurricane season, shortly after Hurricane Katrina unleashed her little bit of Hell. And now it is resurrected as a new storm lurks in the Caribbean, just a couple wobbles from slamming into my old stomping grounds in Southeast Texas.

It's not ironic. It's hurricane season.

If soon-to-be Hurricane Dolly does hit Southeast Texas -- and right now it is tracking well south -- it will be the third hurricane to rake across that unlucky region in 3 years. The place is still recovering from Katrina's traumatic little sister, Hurricane Rita, in 2005; Humberto in 2007 was a relative weakling but still cut a destructive swath across the bayous and refinery yards.

Ah, but I live safely inland in San Antonio now, in a brick house no less. What the hell do I care? After Rita, I swore off the swashbuckle, promising I'd never waste another year of my life just to peer into the gaping maw of a killer storm.

Oddly, I do care. Hunkering down under two hurricanes makes me care. For my friends, for everyone else. I find myself hoping that every big storm dissipates before it makes landfall. That ain't gonna happen, but it's a wish as good as any other when a hurricane is bearing down. Even though we know a lot about their behavior, hurricanes remain unpredictable. Its path can shift as much as 100 miles in 24 hours -- left or right. As both Rita and Humberto taught us, anything can happen up to the moment it does.

Dammit, I wish I were as unpredictable. If Dolly veers toward Southeast Texas, I'm sure I'll go back. I'd rather be there with my friends telling the story than here in my safe brick home reading about it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Ron is back! Under The News is open for business

After an 8-month dalliance with ... ahem ... another blog, Ron has returned to Under The News! He's newly married ... he's working on a new book ... and he's ready to rock!

Bookmark Under The News and come back often. The fun starts now!