Monday, November 10, 2003

Well, they gave Susan Sarandon some kind of award in Sevilla and she insisted on shooting off her mouth as soon as she saw a camera and a microphone within range. Said Susie, according to El Periodico, the Barcelona daily:

It terrifies me to think that today's patriotism means following the government's line without questioning it. It's a dangerous form of democracy that is becoming Fascism...I think I was the first woman to speak out and they've been talking about me as if I had committed treason. As if I were putting our troops in danger. It's very unpleasant.

...There is the idea that only bad actors get involved in politics. but in a free country, everybody has the right to get into politics...As a citizen and an actress I do not lose the right to criticize them, above all if Arnold is occupying a public position...I've spoken with Spanish actors and it was very moving for me that in the Goya Awards ceremony (Spain's mini-Oscars) they were able to raise their vioces against the war. (In my country) there is no freedom of expression. In the United States you cannot say things out loud. And this is a terrifying situation for democracy, because whatever the government says, we artists are free to express ourselves.

Right, Susie. I think artists like, say, I dunno, Willem de Kooning (is he still alive?) or Roy Liechtenstein, or Frank Gehry, or Jeff Koons, or David Hockney--my favorite living painter--, or my man Stan Herd, the Kansas crop-art guy, genuinely creative people, ought to speak out even if they don't make any sense, because they see the world from a real original artist's viewpoint and that's something the rest of us ought to pay attention to. Life isn't just economic statistics. These folks have demonstrated that they are worth hearing out because of their creativity and originality and hard work and intelligence. I wouldn't go out and elect one of them President, but they are real creative artists and deserve our respect even if we do later decide they are full of crap politically.

But Susie, you, an artist? Fugeddaboudit.

Sports Update: The Chiefs blew out Cleveland and are now 9-0. If they keep playing like that they'll go down as the greatest team in NFL history. FC Barcelona has won three straight games against two schloops (Mallorca and Murcia) and one decent team (Betis) and are currently in fourth place behind Deportivo, Real Madrid, and Valencia. Things don't look too bad; they're learning how to play as a team. Coach Frank Rijkaard has a set starting lineup: Valdes; Gabri, Puyol, Cocu, Van Bronckhorst; Xavi and Gerard (or Motta); Quaresma, Ronaldinho, Luis Garcia; Saviola. Marquez has seen some action in midfield and has done very well, scoring a goal last night. Kluivert went in for Ronaldinho, who got himself mildly injured, early in last night's game, and also scored a goal after an incredibly infantile error by the Betis goalie. Maybe he'll break out of his slump.

Some guy from England wrote in late last football season and told me I'd blown all my cred for suggesting a defense with Gabri and Cocu (and Gerard, who hasn't been tied down there yet). Yeah, blown my credibility my ass, right now Gabri and Cocu are both starting defenders and Gerard plays either at defender or as a defensive midfielder.

Catalan NBA Watch: It's pretty incredible that a small place like Catalonia, with six million people, has produced not one but two NBA players. They are Pau Gasol of Memphis, in his third season, whom any casual fan like me recognizes and who might well be on his way to an All-Star season this year. He's a seven-foot power forward who can rebound, shoot, and play D, and he's Memphis's best player. The other guy is Raul Lopez of Utah and this is his first NBA season. He got drafted two seasons ago but was out all last year with injuries. He's getting about twenty minutes a game at point guard and is making the most of them, with ten fourth-quarter points in his last game, precisely against Memphis. It was the first time two Spanish, let alone Catalan, players have competed against one another in an official NBA game. Spain's only other NBA player was Fernando Martin, who was with Portland a couple of years in the early 80s.

Congratulations to both Gasol and Lopez, and to FC Barcelona's basketball program, which produced both of them.

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