Monday, November 20, 2006

Deals with the Devil Never Pay Off. See: John Bunting

We all know, from the days when Robert Johnson supposedly made his deal with Ole Scratch at the Crossroads, that being imbued with underworldly power is a surefire route to earthly success, fame and fortune. Right?

Well, maybe not always. Case in point: John Bunting's career at UNC.

It is obvious that bad consequences are supposed to come after the success. The whole selling of the soul part implies an eternity spent in warmer lattitudes, of course. But even so, legends tell of the eventual downfall in the more corporeal realm.

Poor Bunting never really even got off the ground. No Eruption. Not even a Separate Ways.

So what's my evidence for Bunting's deal with the prince of this world?

1: The team song for UNC's football team the last few years, apparently, has been Hell's Bells. Now nevermind the ridiculous thought of Angus Young half duck walking out onto the stage with a powder blue guitar. Or of Brian Johnson waving a pom-pom. This is a song that they picked. The song did not pick them.

Every third down, the loud speaker begins belting out the opening bell tolls to Hell's Bells (AC/DC Song Template #5). And between the third and fourth quarter, the song is allowed to play through. This gets the UNC crowd excited, which seems to conflict with their image, and I really have no good answer to this.

Lets take a moment to examine some of the lyrics to this piece of classical music:

Won't take no prisoners, won't spare no lives
Nobody's putting up a fight
I got my bell, I'm gonna take you to hell
I'm gonna get ya, Satan get ya
Hell's Bells!

Hell's Bells, Satan's comin to you
Hell's Bells, he's ringing them now
Hell's Bells, the temperature is high
Hell's Bells, across the sky
Hell's Bells, they're takin' you down
Hell's Bells, they're draggin' you down,
Hell's Bells, gonna split the night
Hell's Bells, there's not a cloud in sight, yeah

Now, presumably, the UNC football team and crowd take on the persona of the narrator, with their opponent being addressed by the song. The Stones may have had sympathy for the Devil, but Bunting & Co. seem to be offering active assistance.

2: Dawn Bunting's voodoo rituals have been the stuff of legend since they became public knowledge.

Forgive me for linking to a Barry Saunders column, but it's hard to find a better link right now.

Days before the Sept. 18 game, Dawn Bunting, the wife of UNC head coach John Bunting, was seen escorting a veiled, stooped figure around the empty stadium. The woman was burning sage and making incantations.

The sage ritual was also practiced in St. Louis when Bunting was an assistant coach with the Rams from 1997 to 1999.

All this, and no championships. Not even a Gator Bowl. And now he's lost his dream job. Maybe he just handed his soul over, and forgot to ask for the success part. Tough break.

Now my Carolina friends will be quick to point out that now is not the time for NC State fans to poke fun about football. I would just point out that we're already aware that where Bunting is headed... our football program is already there!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Milton Friedman has passed

One of the principle defenders of Liberalism of the past century, Milton Friedman died today at the age of 94.

Here is a great interview from a recent WSJ:


At 94, his work was as done as it was going to be. His death is a symbolic one. But oh, what a symbol.

Who is left to represent us? Who will be the standard-bearer? The Republicans have shown what they do with total power. The Democrats never pretended to represent such ideals (despite having stolen the name of Liberalism for the better part of a century). It will not be a politician.

Fresh views from afar? Europe is crumbling in a chaotic din of cultural takeover that a morally impotent continent is unable to withstand in light of their spineless political correctness and Orwellian overlords in Brussels. Perhaps someone from a former Bloc state with first hand experience of having walked the Road to Serfdom.

If I didn't have faith that God is in control of it all, I'd be near despair.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Anal Bum Cover

I seriously think Celebrity Jeopardy might be easier than Teen Jeopardy. It's definitely easier than College Jeopardy.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Departed

Any movie that defenestrates Martin Sheen is a good movie. I mean, that's almost as awesome as a Railing Kill.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sonic Commercial about Blogging

That one talking about a milkshake or somesuch cracks me up. Guy mentions wanting to post about his milkshake experience on his blog (similar to a post I made recently). He goes on to state that his readers will be very interested. His wife points out that he has one reader -- his mother.

I think he's got me beat.

*cricket chirp*

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Free Advice

Samuel Adams makes a Cranberry "Lambic*"

Do not walk within ten feet of a bottle of this stuff.

Don't say no one warned you.

*I rather doubt it is a true Lambic

It's about IDEAS!!!

Not people.

Earlier tonight, one of my friends, with whom I have political disagreements with on a regular basis, sent me a link to the following Dick Armey column.

The column itself is excellent. Armey makes many points that I have been making for a while now, particularly recently. Some excerpts:

As a united conservative movement, we win when we defend traditional values against big government pretensions to impose its brand of "morality" on the American people. We lose when we attempt to use government power to impose our values on others.

And so America’s Christian conservative movement is confronted with this divide: small government advocates who want to practice their faith independent of heavy-handed government versus big government sympathizers who want to impose their version of "righteousness" on others through the hammer of law.

We must avoid the temptation to use the power of government to perfect our society and its citizens. That is the same urge that drives the Left and the socialists, and I can assure you that every program or power we give government today in the name of our values can be turned against us when the day comes where a majority of Congress is hostile to us.

That last part: "I can assure you that every program or power we give government today in the name of our values can be turned against us when the day comes where a majority of Congress is hostile to us." was something I repeated over and over when the calls for a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage first started cropping up. Armey does seem to have a personal beef with Dobson that I don't know about, but other than that, I say right on!

Now back to my friend. Unlike me, he is no Christian. But he at first respected the seemingly principled stand. But then he says he recalled the Clinton impeachment trials, and he said that at that time, Armey was betraying many of the principles he is espousing here. Maybe so, maybe not. But it's not a personal concern of mine. My beliefs do not hinge on whether one particular politician has always been principled. My beliefs just happen to be expressed very succintly in this column.

He went on to rattle off a few examples of Chrisitan leaders and Republicans embroiled in scandal. As if mattered. Textbook tu quoque. He seemed convinced that if you could add up all the hypocrites and slimeballs on 'both' political sides (because we all know there are only two sides, locked in a Zoroastrian struggle ), his side would come out on top, and that would validate his positions. I simply told him that I didn't see the need to keep score.

What I should have asked was if he'd urinate on the Declaration of Independence because it was written by an owner of many slaves. Ideas can be greater than the people who have them. In fact, by definition, any worthwhile one will be.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Are college athletics good for college academics?

Specifically, are high dollar athletics good for academics?

The question was indirectly posed yesterday on NC Spin. During a discussion of whether UNC behaved appropriately by firing John Bunting mid season, John Hood made the comment that (paraphrased), "Semi-pro athletic teams have no business coming home to roost at a state institution!" It was the closing comment and didn't get a chance to generate much discussion on its own.

Given, though, that athletics are a part of college, I think the behavior was, at worst, debatable. Sure, it does kind of throw the current crop of seniors under the bus. But it also gives the school a jump on getting any available coach. But as anyone here in Raleigh knows, coaching searches that go on too long don't look too good.

Of course, none of that goes back to the implicit point that Hood was making. Should a state university, whose mandate is clear, become that involved in athletics? Is it ultimately good for academics or bad? I really, really want him to be wrong. My initial reaction was to think back to my own college experience. While it is obvious that an undue amount of my own time was focused on attending NC State sporting events (especially to collect SWPC points). But I certainly didn't have to. Isn't that a good thing? I'm free to involve myself in athletics. I'm at liberty to do so. Well... it's not that simple. In a sense, it is almost like the lottery. While I think people should be legally free to gamble away their money, it is quite a different matter when the government takes an active hand in it. Please note that I am only likening the two issues in type, not in severity or importance.

In defense of college athletics, they are almost completely divorced from the academic side of a university. They have their own budgets and their own administration. It's not like (with the exception of some arena funding at both of the state schools in the Triangle) public money is going straight to the programs. Well, that's not completely true, too. Coaches earn a state salary, but is a very, very small fraction of their total compensation, which includes endorsements, shoe contracts, and camp earnings. So no harm no foul?

It's interesting food for thought at the very least. My reaction to sports, though, is unlikely to change. It's similar to watching a good band on Austin City Limits. While entertainment goes well beyond any reasonable mandate for government, my turning my TV to PBS does not make an effective difference. However, the comment has made me give second thought to my Wolfpack Club membership.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Just getting started

Hi all,

Just started this blog, and I don't intend to spread the word. I'll just maybe post a few comments to other blogs with this as my homepage and see what happens.

As to how I arrived at this name for a blog: I was listening to the radio driving into work one morning, and a Boston song came on, and this weird thought process followed that lead me to this blog name. It's not worth getting into.