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Modern competitive wrestling vs Ancient December 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Gay Life, Lifestyle, Sports.
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It was the ancient Greeks who brought us the sport that would become modern competitive wrestling, and if we’ve learned anything from the Greeks, it’s this: One man’s wrestling move is another man’s anal sex. In a story we’re a little behind late in reporting from Sioux Falls, S.D., a high school wrestler is in trouble for inserting his finger where fingers don’t belong.

In recently released court papers some of Jerome Hunt’s teammates on the Parker High wrestling team allege digital penetration of the rectum through their clothing or attempted digital penetration through their clothing. Garretson High wrestlers demonstrated the move ‘skinning’, also called the ‘butt drag’. Coach Jay Swatek says, “There’s nothing in the rule book as far as how the move is performed. It’s just a simple break-down that’s been developed over time….We just hook our fist just so it gets the wrist bone exposed a little easier then we can hook that tail bone. We’re not trying to grab anything or hook anything else.”

Because this is South Dakota, Hunt may face rape charges. It should also be noted that the incidents in question occurred during team practices, and on the team bus. What happened to just listening to your I-Pod?

Wrestling

Questionable Moves [MSNBC]
New Info In Parker Student Rape Case [KELO]

Read More > Source > DeadSpin

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Mayans excited about first movie in their language December 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies.
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Scenes of enslaved Maya Indians building temples for a violent, decadent culture in Mel Gibson’s new film “Apocalypto” may ring true for many of today’s Mayas, who earn meager wages in construction camps, building huge tourist resorts on land they once owned.

Some Mayas are excited at the prospect of the first feature film made in their native tongue, Yucatec Maya. But others among the 800,000 surviving Mayans are worried that Gibson’s hyper-violent, apocalyptic film could be just the latest misreading of their culture by outsiders.

“There has been a lot of concern among Mayan groups from Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, because we don’t know what his treatment or take on this is going to be,” said Amadeo Cool May of the Indian defense group “Mayaon,” or “We are Maya.” “This could be an attempt to merchandize or sell the image of a culture, or its people, that often differs from what that people needs, or wants,” Cool May said.

Gibson employed Mayas, most of whom live on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, in the filming of the movie, and says he wants to make the Mayan language “cool” again, and encourage young people “to speak it with pride.”

The film has been screened for some U.S. Indians, who praised the use of Indian actors. The Mayas haven’t seen it yet, but like Indians north of the border, they have seen others co-opt their culture, as in high-class Caribbean resorts like the Maya Coast and the Maya Riviera.

But Indians are largely absent from those beach resorts, where vacationers tour mock Mayan Villages or watch culturally inaccurate mishmashes with “Mayan Dancers” performing in feather headdresses and face paint.

“The owners are often foreigners who buy up the land at ridiculously low prices, build tourism resorts and the Mayas in reality are often just the construction workers for the hotels or, at best, are employed as chamber maids,” said Cool May.

“Apocalypto” also portrays Mayan civilization at a low moment, just before the Spaniards arrived, when declining, quarreling Mayan groups were focused more on war and human sacrifice than on the calendars and writing system of the civilization’s bloody but brilliant classical period.

Outsiders’ views of the Maya have long been subject to changing intellectual fashions. Until the 1950s, academics often depicted the ancient Mayas as an idyllic, peaceful culture devoted to astronomy and mathematics. Evidence has since emerged that, even at their height, the Mayas fought bloody and sometimes apocalyptic wars among themselves, lending somewhat more credence to Gibson’s approach.

Warrior-kings and priests directed periodic wars among the ancient Maya aimed at capturing slaves or prisoners for labor or human sacrifice. Entire cities were destroyed by the wars, and whole forests cut down to build the temples. The latest trendy theory is a largely Internet-based rumor that the Mayan long-count calendar predicts a global calamity on Dec. 22, 2012. Some have woven that together with prophecies from the Bible.

Mauricio Amuy, a non-Maya actor who participated in the filming of Apocalypto, says the production staff discussed the theory on the set. “We know the Bible talks about prophecies, and that the Mayas spoke of a change of energy on Dec. 22, 2012, and it (the movie) is somewhat focused on that,” Amuy said. “People should perhaps take that theory and reflect, and not do these things that are destroying humanity.”

While they resisted the Spanish conquest longer than most Indians, the Mayas’ last rebellion, the War of the Castes, lasted until 1901, many were virtually enslaved until the early 1900s on plantations growing sisal, used for rope-making, or in the jungle, tapping gum trees. Discrimination and poverty are probably their greatest enemies today.

Just as Gibson’s use of Aramaic in “The Passion of Christ” sparked a burst of interest in that language, some Maya are hoping “Apocalypto” will do the same for their tongue.

“I think it is a good chance to integrate the Mayan language … for people to hear it in movies, on television, everywhere,” said Hilaria Maas, a Maya who teaches the language at Yucatan’s state university. Mass, 65, recalls that children were once prohibited from speaking Maya in school. There is still little bilingual education, and many of those who speak Maya can’t read it.

One sign of progress is Yucatan radio station XEPET, “The Voice of the Mayas,” which began broadcasting in the Indian language in 1982. While it began with a mixed Spanish-Maya patois, it now broadcasts in 90 percent pure Maya.

The station is trying to purge words borrowed from Spanish and revive a purer form of Maya. It broadcasts all sorts of music, from rock to rap to reggae, with Mayan lyrics. Still, the percentage of Maya speakers in Yucatan state fell from 37 percent in 2000 to 33.9 percent by 2005. Paradoxically, for a state that advertises the glories of the Mayan culture for tourists, it is having a hard time keeping the present-day Maya there; many are migrating to the United States.

“For tourists that’s what sells … what catches their attention are the archaeological sites,” said Diana Canto, director of the Yucatan Institute for the Development of Maya Culture. “We are trying to sell them on the living Mayas too, so that people get to know their cultural richness.”

Today’s Maya are known mainly for their elaborate rhyming jokes, a cuisine based on pumpkin and achiote seeds, and loose embroidered white clothing. They’re largely peaceful farmers and masons who carry their goods on ubiquitous three-wheeled bicycles over table-flat Yucatan. Interestingly, some Mayas reach much the same conclusion as Gibson’s movie, which focuses on one man’s struggle to save his family as a metaphor for saving the future of a people.

“Our culture hasn’t been destroyed, because the family is the base of it,” says Maas. “Perhaps some material things have been destroyed, but the real basis of the culture is what a family teaches their children, and that survives, and has survived.”

Polanski honored December 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies.
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Roman Polanski was honored with a lifetime achievement award in the country of his childhood at the 19th annual European Film Awards.

“It’s a moving moment for me, of course, to receive this award, and particularly to receive it in Warsaw,” the 73-year-old filmmaker said.

Polanski was given the award for creating what the academy said “were some of the most unforgettable moments in cinema” with films such as “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Chinatown” and “The Pianist.” He won a best director Oscar for 2002’s “The Pianist.”

Though Polanski was forced into the Krakow ghetto under the Nazi occupation of Poland during World War II and lost his mother in Auschwitz, he singled out only happy memories of Warsaw. In particular, he recalled his first-ever visit to the capital, when at age 14 he had the lead role in a Soviet play and received an award at a theater festival.

“Tonight arriving here I felt very happy and I realized that every time I come to this city I feel somehow elated,” he said at Saturday’s ceremony. “For some strange reason, only good things happen to me in this city.”

“The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen),” set in the former East Germany in 1984, won the best picture award. The film explores the ruthlessness of East Germany’s all-pervasive secret police, the Stasi, through the story of a party loyalist trying to advance his career by collecting evidence on a playwright.

Ulrich Muehe won the best actor award for his role as the Stasi agent Gerd Wiesler. The best screenwriter award went to Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who also directed the movie.

Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar won the best director award for “Volver,” which explores the culture of death in La Mancha through three generations of strong women surviving without men.

“Going back to the little place I was from, La Mancha, that was a very important experience to me, not just a cinematic experience,” Almodovar said.

He dedicated the award to Penelope Cruz and her co-stars who Almodovar said represented “the incredible women that surrounded me when I was a child.”

Cruz, 32, won the best actress award and gave what was the most emotional acceptance speech of the evening.

“Pedro, I love you so much,” Cruz said, fighting back tears. “Thank you for believing in me. You’re changing not only my career, but a lot of things in my life.”

Related Links > European Film Academy: http://www.europeanfilmacademy.org

Classic jingle to get re-fizzed December 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Health, Media.
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Plop, plop, fizz, fizz … you know the rest, even though it’s been 26 years since the famous Alka-Seltzer jingle graced prime time.

In fact, the last year ads featuring the catchy tune were broadcast, the Phillies won the World Series, Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter, and some new-fangled, 24-hour news network called CNN had just started up.

And yet, the slogan resonates. Which is why Alka-Seltzer is bringing it back. Only this time, the Waltons-era melody is getting a cyber-age makeover, “American Idol”-style.

Musicians of every stripe (and talent level) are being invited to submit a new version of the jingle, in a nationwide contest to remake the song. Entries must be between 30 seconds and two minutes long and must include the famous lyrics, “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is.”

It could be country. It could be rap. It could even be Baltimore club music. Alka-Seltzer has dubbed its ditty redux the Battle of the Bands, Bring Back the Fizz. The nitty-gritty of the competition’s rules can be found at http://plopplopfizzfizz.com. But, essentially, what will happen is that four national finalists will be chosen by January 2, and then America will vote for a winner by the Internet.

Voters will be able to listen to the jingles at the Web site. The grand-prize winner will be announced January 17. The victor will receive $10,000, and the new jingle will be featured in an ad broadcast during the Super Bowl pregame show. Anybody can enter a song online, or by snail mail. Deadline for all entries is December 26.

Famous quotes and a musical term December 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Music.
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FAMOUS QUOTES >

“You can’t possibly hear the last movement of Beethoven’s Seventh and go slow.”
Oscar Levant, explaining his way out of a speeding ticket.

MUSICAL TERM >

Pizzicato > The plucking of stringed instruments rather than bowed.