The way they did it.

Eighties nostalgia is all the rage these days. I told Alan the other night that “Hot Tub Time Machine” was probably sold on the basis of the title alone, but now that I know it’s about the ’80s, maybe not. Everyone wants to wear their hair in those cantilevered bang-poufs again, don’t they? Skinny ties, anyone?

For something a little different, I suggest you watch “Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals” on HBO instead. I caught a few minutes the other day, and was interested enough to watch the whole thing on demand a few days later. (For someone who pays zero attention to sports, that’s something.) You want ’80s hair, ’80s glasses, ’80s TV graphics? You got ’em. In the bargain, you get some ’80s Midwest, especially Indiana. You can wallow in it.

The title is the story — a look at the love/hate relationship between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird that stretched from college rivalries to NBA head-knocking, and like all great head-to-head matchups, transcends it all and ends up being about Something More. That part, the something-more part, feels a little tacked on, if only because you get the idea the main players didn’t give a crap about race relations, ginned-up-for-TV conflicts and clips from Spike Lee films, but just when you feel the rivets popping, the narrative skips back to clips of behind-the-back passes and arcing jump shots, and who can’t get with that?

My attention was taken more by Bird, who was at the apex of his career when I arrived in Indiana, a source of great state pride, the embodiment of all of Indiana’s beliefs about itself — not handsome, but approachable; not flashy, but hard-working; not a showboat, but a team player; not Showtime, but Grindstone. And so on. I was probably the last person in America to learn that Larry Bird mowed his own lawn in Boston, frequently with an audience of fans watching from the curb. How quintessentially Indiana, the poor boy’s reluctance to pay good money for something he can do himself in less than an hour. What else was he going to do? Read a book?

Johnson, on the other hand, was a Michigan kid, one who learned his work ethic from his father, who worked at General Motors, back when that was the dream of every blue-collar man in Michigan. Magic was another homebody who stayed close to home for college, and ended up on the other coast, goggle-eyed that in Los Angeles, you could have your own orange tree.

You could have a lot of things in L.A., it turned out, including six women in your bed at once, and we all know how that turned out for him. Bird hurt his back building his mother’s driveway back in French Lick — why pay good money for something you can do yourself? — and that was his turning point. All sports careers have to end sometime, and you could hardly pick two more fitting endings for those players.

But this was my favorite part: When the two were persuaded to shoot a sneaker commercial together, and did it in French Lick, at Bird’s mother’s house, where Larry had built a full-size basketball court to practice on when he was back home again in Indiana. The script made much of how testy their relations were, but when the crew broke for lunch, Bird invited Magic up to the house, where his mother had made lunch for them. Beautiful. There was no mention of the menu, but I bet they had fried chicken and baked beans. Just a hunch.

And now it is spring. Bright sun, etc. I didn’t think I’d live to see it. But here it is, and here’s the bloggage:

One of our contributors caught a lovely pheasant photo this week. Look at those colors. Pretty, pretty bird.

Wow. This is remarkable. Russell King’s open letter to conservatives. I’m probably the last person to recommend this, but there you are.

Best Twitter joke in a while: #SarahPalinonDiscovery

Off to get my oil changed.

Posted at 9:35 am in Uncategorized |

47 responses to “The way they did it.”

  1. Dorothy said on March 24, 2010 at 9:53 am

    We watched that HBO special this weekend and it was everything you said it was. Our basketball tastes lean more towards college ball instead of pro, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. And speaking of basketball, once again our crying towels are put away since Pitt is already One and Done. Everyone around here is pretty jazzed about Ohio State’s chances, though!

    363 chars

  2. Julie Robinson. said on March 24, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Larry Bird enrolled at IU the same year as myself, but dropped out before basketball practice ever began. It’s always been fun to speculate how great those teams would have been had Bird been playing on them. As it was, IU went 31-1 in 1975 and 32-0 in 1976, winning the NCAA championship. And that’s what we IU fans have to cling to now. Crying towel? We didn’t even get to one and done. One and done in the Big Ten tourney was it. We’ll have to get this show when it comes out on Netflix; the DH luvs him some college basketball.

    Most of my memories of the 80’s revolve around potty training and Raffi songs.

    620 chars

  3. alex said on March 24, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Please, God, not the ‘eighties. Remember parachute pants? Eeew. And mulletts? And peg-leg jeans? And white socks worn with loafers with peg-leg jeans? And women in helmet hair and troweled-on makeup and tops that made them look like they had the shoulders of a linebacker?

    It was the beginning of the end of civilization, I tell ya.

    336 chars

  4. harrison said on March 24, 2010 at 10:26 am

    As for Russell King’s suggestions, I wonder if Richard Lugar, that damn stiff, will follow them or put them into effect.

    I’m not holding my breath, by the way.

    162 chars

  5. Deborah said on March 24, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Yeah Alex, those 80s shoulder pads were awesome. I had a whole drawer full, in small medium and large. They were foam rubber shoulder falsies that you clipped to your bra straps. I loved them because I have sloping, weak shoulders. I wore them way after they were out of style, I reluctantly gave them up and threw them out when they were disintegrating. I held out for years hoping they’d come back in fashion, alas they never did. I would have worn a 2×4 across my shoulders if I could have gotten away with it. My daughter has great shapely strong shoulders which she hates, go figure.

    588 chars

  6. moe99 said on March 24, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Julie, I can totally identify. The 80’s for me were all about raising two kids and holding down a full time attorney job. I had time to celebrate C & E and that was about it.

    180 chars

  7. basset said on March 24, 2010 at 11:33 am

    if I had played basketball in high school rather than hiding out in the library and the art room I would have played against Bird… he’s a year younger than me and our schools were in the same athletic conference. I may be the only person ever to graduate from an Indiana high school without going to a single basketball game.

    328 chars

  8. Joe Kobiela said on March 24, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Julie @#2,
    How do you know it is spring time in Indiana?
    Purdue is playing basketball and Indiana isn’t.
    Pilot Joe

    117 chars

  9. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 24, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Joe — [fist bump]!

    19 chars

  10. brian stouder said on March 24, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Eight­ies nos­tal­gia is all the rage these days.

    I couldn’t agree more.

    Honestly – when John Hughes was memorialized at the Oscars telecast, I vacated the kitchen (and the computer) and came to the living room and stood and watched the ‘brat pack’ – and got a lump in my throat and misty eyes.

    When I was in high school, ’50’s nostalgia was the thing – sock hop dances and so on; and now the ’80’s are the new ’50’s (and Hughes’s great ‘brat pack’ characters are our Brandos and Deans)

    506 chars

  11. john c said on March 24, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I was once a certified Larry Bird groupie. I lived in Boston from 1980 to 1987, pretty much the heyday of the Celtics-Lakers rivalry. And not long after I moved to Chicago in 87, I drove down to French Lick just to see it. Needless to say, I enjoyed the HBO thing, even when it pegged the sappy meter.
    Obviously one of the more powerful moments was Magic breaking down as he remembered Bird calling him the day he found out he was HIV positive. What blew me away, though, was the footage of Bird’s first game after the announcement. I remember that game, and Bird’s full-court, behind-the-back pass on a fast break. It was clearly a shout-out to Magic. But in the documentary, they show the pre-game huddle, with the present-day BIrd narrating how upset he was, and how he didn’t want to be there. You can literally see his lip quivering as he stood in front of the bench, getting ready for the game to start. Very powerful. I had no idea at the time how close they were.
    Oh yeah, and I looooved seeing those shorty shorts again.

    1031 chars

  12. Sue said on March 24, 2010 at 11:52 am

    The other day I was trying to explain to my daughter those weird music cd compilations that come out (Time-Life 70’s music has its own infomercials and more recently a lot of 80’s and 90’s stuff is coming out) packaged for nostalgia niche listeners, and how they have been around forever. She in turn was trying to explain to me all about this downloading thing, where you magically take only the songs you like and stuff them into a tiny flat thing smaller than your cell phone, the better to get lost in your purse, apparently.

    530 chars

  13. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 24, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Re: Tournament Savant — You’ll note his pick for final winner, a school where either he’d fit in well or we’d all fit in well with him.

    269 chars

  14. nancy said on March 24, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I remember sometime in the ’90s, Sports Illustrated did a big investigation of all the out-of-wedlock children NBA players were leaving behind. I was shocked to hear Larry Bird was one of them, naming a daughter who “looks just like him,” and yes, God help the girl for that. Anyway, his wiki bio says he was briefly married at the time of her conception and birth, but he initially denied paternity and hasn’t sought a relationship with her. Disappointing but not surprising, I guess, although the HBO doc reveals a few details about his jerkish father, so I suppose he learned from the best.

    593 chars

  15. Julie Robinson. said on March 24, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    That’s okay, Joe and Jeff, you can have your boring, flat, red-brick hothouse of engineers and I’ll take my beautiful hills full of flowers and mellow limestone buildings housing great thinkers of the liberal arts. Moo, moo, Purdue.

    233 chars

  16. Bob (not Greene) said on March 24, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I went to both Purdue and IU — really, it happens — and I gotta say, Julie’s right. IU’s campus is beautiful, especially in the spring, which comes early in that part of the state. Bloomington itself is no great shakes, but then again West Lafayette ain’t exactly a metropolis. I met my wife at Purdue, though, so I guess both places worked out OK for me.

    The best Big 10 university (at least for me) is Wisconsin. Gorgeous campus, nice town and we had our first kid there. Meeeeem-rieeeees.

    496 chars

  17. brian stouder said on March 24, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    two non-sequiturs:

    Ever since the election, I get junk e-mail from Human Events. The header on today’s missive:

    “Prepare for Boehner’s Revelation”


    and second – I just read that 5,000 stranded people are sleeping at the Denver airport?? I bet you can sell printed newspapers in there.

    357 chars

  18. Sue said on March 24, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I think it was MMJeff who first linked to Sacred Sandwich. Love the site more every time I check it out.

    135 chars

  19. prospero said on March 24, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Magic and Larry–everything Michael Jordan never was nor will be, unless Denton Cooley invents a personality transplant. I never met Larry, but I played fast-pitch in Boston with his brother Eddie. He could crush the ball. As far as that blue collar vs. showtime bidness, Magic’s style was extremely sound fundamental basketball, and Larry frequently appeared to deny the laws of physics.

    TCM is showing Steve McQueen movies today, and one of his best, Junior Bonner is on at 5:30. Pretty close to a masterpiece for Sam Peckinpah, and a brilliant performance by Robert Preston.

    587 chars

  20. LAMary said on March 24, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    They have about two feet of wet snow in Denver, Brian. Usually it’s soft powdery stuff in Denver so the wet stuff is troublesome.

    129 chars

  21. Dexter said on March 24, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    I saw the Bird-Magic show last week On-Demand. I am a sports nut so I enjoyed the French Lick footage, Bird’s house, his court, the infamous driveway.
    After Bird hurt his back he used to have to lie flat on the floor by the bench because he could not sit. That is pain.
    For most of us fans, it was no big deal that Larry Bird left IU so quickly, we understood. And it was for the best, of course, as Bob Knight probably would have ruined Bird, or at least confused him like Knight did Luke Recker, who never realized his potential at IU.
    Being able to get both Detroit dailies, I knew all about Earvin Johnson, he of the odd spelling, who was already being heralded as “Magic” in the press. He got a lot of Detroit ink, and I remember what a big deal it was when he went to MSU.
    I saw both play in person, Magic in Dayton at the 1978 Regional in which MSU played Kentucky and trailed by one point and then Kyle Macy dropped two free throws and MSU was done, only to go all the way the next year. Magic was most decidedly not a great shooter in college; he got that down pat in the pros. I chuckled to myself once when an SI interviewer went to Magic’s place for a look into how Magic was doing in LA…Magic offered the writer a “Cooler’s” beer. He didn’t know what a Coor’s was.

    I saw Bird play at the old Chicago Stadium one time against the Bulls. The Celtics were a great team but had the worst game of their season, and the lowly Bulls won something like 120-73, and Bird was cold as ice and only made a few baskets and had like eight points.

    Bird was perhaps the best shooter in the history of the game. He practiced alone constantly. He had a routine down where he would shoot and then move to another spot on the court, and he could spot the way the basketball hit the rim through the goal just perfectly so it would roll to the next spot where he was going to shoot from. That’s impossible to do every time, but he would work on it and most of the time he had it down. Try that some time…it’s only for the gods…like Larry Bird.

    I always assumed Larry hated “Hick form French Lick”, but not according to the show. He embraced it.

    Bird came across as a cold hearted individual I thought. As the two man rivalry ended, that changed.

    2280 chars

  22. nancy said on March 24, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    The New Yorker ran a piece a few years ago — I think it was by Atul Gawande, but I’m not sure — on the physical component of genius, how some people simply have an edge in how their brain processes certain information, and their body reacts to it. For example, race-car drivers have a noticeable edge in reaction time as rookies, and retain it well after retirement — it seems to be inborn. The through-line anecdotes were of a surgeon who can do amazingly delicate and complicated procedures in half the time it takes the rest of his colleagues; Yo-Yo Ma, the cellist; and Wayne Gretsky. They were all fascinating stories, but Gretsky’s was most interesting, because alone among hockey players, he was almost clairvoyant at a microsecond level; he would say he doesn’t always know where the puck is, but he does know where it’s going to be.

    The wild card, of course, is practice. Bird had talent, but he also had the sort of grim, unemotional nature that allowed him to practice for hours on end, doing the sorts of drills you mention, Dexter. Interestingly, one thing Gretsky mentioned as helping his game was his father’s insistence that he turn over his equipment after the season ended, which he would then lock in a closet and not allow his son to even look at for 90 days, minimum. The enforced break seemed to reboot his hard drive.

    1346 chars

  23. Peter said on March 24, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Bob (not Greene), I can only half agree with your Wisconsin opinion – I think the towns great but the campus is very haphazard. I think Northwestern’s campus is nicer. By the way, my sister went to Purdue and my brother-in-law went to Indiana, and much as I like the Tippacanoe court house and the Sullivan bank, Bloomington is nicer.

    336 chars

  24. Sue said on March 24, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    It’s started – Republicans are starting to take credit for HCR. How could we have done this without Chuck Grassley, I ask you? I assume he can’t wait to vote in favor of the reconciliation package.

    303 chars

  25. Rana said on March 24, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Gah, the ’80s. If there was ever a period when all of the fashion trends conspired against me, that was then – big glasses, big hair, shoulder pads, peg pants, stirrup pants, acid-wash jeans, neon, pastels, jelly shoes, giant earrings… NONE of them looked good on me. So of course I was a teenager then, and it all gave me a bit of a complex. I am therefore boggled when people express nostalgia for that era.

    The only explanations I’ve heard that make even vague sense is that either this was a brief moment in some people’s lives where they felt good about themselves, or they were little kids who thought the bigger kids (those of us slogging along in our feathered hair, blue eyeshadow and bangle bracelets) were cool – and who now want to recapture that supposed coolness.

    For me, the ’80s evoke awkwardness and puberty and not quite fitting in – not exactly prime nostalgia material!

    901 chars

  26. coozledad said on March 24, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    I wouldn’t worry too much about Republicans: particularly the ones in Southside Virginia who are now having their phone records gone through with a jeweler’s loupe. Wonder how much kiddie porn the FBI and DHS will discover on the bagger’s hard drives. Funny how just a short while ago, they believed such scrutiny was for others. And I mean Ha Ha funny.

    476 chars

  27. Bob (not Greene) said on March 24, 2010 at 3:08 pm


    Yeah, in terms of the actual layout, I’d rate IU as gorgeous. There are parts of the Wisconsin campus that are also beautiful, simply because of the lakefront nature of the campus — Bascom Hill, Observatory hill, winding your way up Observatory Drive and catching the sweeping view of Lake Mendota, the lakeside terrace of the Memorial Union and the roads along the lakefront dotted with small Indian mounds (you used to be able to drive along there). Once you’re away from the lake it’s not as beautiful, though. Indiana has a coherence to its design that’s hard to top. Oddly enough, though I’ve lived in Chicago alomst my entire life, I’ve only been to Northwestern a coupe of times and don’t have a distinct impression of it. My wife has a soft spot in her heart for Purdue since she did her undergrad there. I think it’s kind of bleak.

    851 chars

  28. Dorothy said on March 24, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I was in Bloomington a couple weeks ago to see a quilt show. We did meander over to the IU campus but at this time of year it was just brown and lackluster. We’ll have to go see it again sometime in the fall when the leaves are changing. As campuses go, though, Kenyon’s is mighty fine:

    373 chars

  29. moe99 said on March 24, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    George W–still a real classy guy. And Joe K, this one is caught full on the video.

    180 chars

  30. Dexter said on March 24, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    “The through-line anec­dotes were of a sur­geon who can do amaz­ingly del­i­cate and com­pli­cated pro­ce­dures in half the time it takes the rest of his col­leagues;…”

    For the first ten years of my career in the factory I worked as a press operator , running the presses and maintaining the set-up , and then removing dies and if the set-up man was busy, installing the dies for the next jobs.
    One guy was so “slow” in reading ability he drove a car to school in the seventh grade…yep…16 years old in grade seven, lots of flunking there, but he was hired in to the factory. Many times new dies would need to be installed into presses that were dated back to the 1940s…ancient equipment that needed to be quickly adapted to new dies, using shims and blocks , all installed safely somehow, and this “stupid” guy would just start wrenching and he could figure everything out in an hour and have parts falling into the tub while I would be trying to figure out how to get something level or straight or angled as the case might have been… it was like this guy could see in his eye exactly how the finished installation would be, and just quickly get to that end . It was not memorized motor skills, it was reasoning, fast reasoning…he was worth much more to the company that I was.
    I never looked down at people as inferior…I worked with illiterate people who could run rings around me in work productivity.
    Last night I recorded “The Devil and Daniel Johnston”. Johnston is autistic, a great illustrator and song writer, and the subject of this amazing documentary. Sundance showed it. People who cannot focus on the mundane sometimes excel where they are interested.
    Me, I hated punch presses, but I got by until I got out.

    1762 chars

  31. Dexter said on March 24, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Since I don’t live very close to any big-time university, I always enjoyed my short visits to the schools. I attended the IU Bloomington campus for one semester in my truncated college career, and I have visited Wisconsin, Purdue, Michigan, MSU, Purdue, Minnesota, Miami, Toledo, BGSU, The Citadel, Notre Dame, Kentucky, Louisville, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, De Paul, Ball State, Columbia, Rutgers, Ohio State, College of Charleston, and others, and for aesthetic beauty
    I give the nod to UC Santa Cruz.

    594 chars

  32. Sue said on March 24, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    File this under ‘who could possibly have seen this coming?’:
    “The “Up Close & Personal” show featuring Montel Williams and psychic Sylvia Browne show scheduled for Monday at the Milwaukee Theatre has been canceled. The promoter blamed “unforeseen circumstances.””

    268 chars

  33. Joe Kobiela said on March 24, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Don’t know what to say,I guess that means Bush hates blacks, guess we should shoot him or something, oh the humanity of it all. The v.p. drops the F bomb and nothing gets said, Oh yea i forgot its just ol Joe Biden, ha ha, no worry’s. Oh yea anyone want to fly to Fla with me? Pay me now and I’ll take you in four years. sound familier?
    Pilot Joe

    354 chars

  34. brian stouder said on March 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Joe – I didn’t like it when the VP dropped a celebratory, whispered f-bomb – and I especially didn’t like it when the preceding VP dropped a hostile f-bomb on a United States Senator, while we’re on the subject of Vice Presiential foul language (and we all know that VP Cheney was exceedingly foul; indeed, one is advised to be extra vigilant when hunting fowl with that guy)

    It’s not a word I like, and I think people who are in the habit of cussing risk thoughtlessly embarrassing themselves, which is what Biden did. But I think Cheney’s use of the word was more malicious than thoughtless, and all the more offensive.

    Anyway – regarding pretty colleges, let me vote for Knox College in Galesburg Illinois – which has the distinction of being the school Lincoln went through*. Pam and I visited there two years ago for the annual Lincoln Colloquium, and it was simply gorgeous.

    (*old Lincolnian joke from the debates versus Stephen Douglas; pull my finger and I’ll repeat it)

    988 chars

  35. Deborah said on March 24, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Oh Joe, get over it. I thought the VP’s f-bomb was hysterical. He whispered it in the ear of the pres, in a jovial way, it couldn’t be more different than Cheney’s hostility using it against the Senator as Brian mentioned. It’s pretty silly and not very reverent all in all but I think Biden made points with a certain demographic (young guys) for saying it. Not that he set out to do that, but what’s wrong with that?

    418 chars

  36. alex said on March 24, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Don’t know what to say,I guess that means Bush hates blacks, guess we should shoot him or some­thing, oh the humanity of it all. The v.p. drops the F bomb and nothing gets said, Oh yea i for got its just ol Joe Biden, ha ha, no worry’s.

    Nobody’s saying that, Pilot Joe. They’re just pointing out Mr. Bush’s bad manners. Leaving bodily fluids on other people’s clothing was once something only a Democratic president would do.

    441 chars

  37. MIchaelG said on March 24, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    I’ve been down south for the last couple of days. I flew out of Burbank this afternoon and I can report there was no snow there.

    This beautiful college campus thing seems to come up a couple of times a year. I’ve visited a ton of college campi over the years and somehow find all of them beautiful. I can’t see any profit in trying to decide which is the most beautiful. People see things differently, people have different tastes. The beauty of the moment is too much tied to other factors.

    The University of Illinois at Champaign will never be a contender in the most beautiful sweepstakes but it has its moments. The most beautiful sight on a college campus for me occured on a winter evening in Champaign in about 1963 when I was walking down a tree lined street in the midst of a snow storm holding hands with my girlfriend. It was one of those snows when the temp seemed warm, there was no wind and the snowfall was so heavy that things were instantly covered with a silent white blanket. I was young and in love and the night and the girl were beautiful.

    I think the true beauty of college campuses is the vitality, the optimism and the hope of the young people. I like the warm feeling I get when walking on a campus.

    1247 chars

  38. MichaelG said on March 24, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    I did a typo that came out “MIchaelG” I’m really “MichaelG”.

    61 chars

  39. Dorothy said on March 24, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    You re-type your name every time you comment here, MichaelG, instead of having your browser remember it? Or are you using a public computer and don’t want the name stored there? Also – your comments were only a minute apart. You could have just edited the comment, fixed the spelling, and no one would have been the wiser.

    Just my helpful little self trying to do some good…!

    383 chars

  40. Joe Kobiela said on March 24, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    It truley dosn’t bother me at all, and to quote Dennis Miller, I just wish he would drop a F bomb on our enemy. Alex, you get a good one off now and then, and that was good.
    Still waiting on that Fla offer. Pay me now,fly you 4yrs later.
    Pilot Joe

    258 chars

  41. MichaelG said on March 24, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Dorothy, I have the browser remember it but I delete all that stuff periodically. The last time I entered I didn’t notice the typo. I finally got around to fixing it. Maybe it’s superstition, but deleting everything and running a scan makes me feel safer. I’ve had my problems with a virus here and a virus there. I’ve edited before (you wouldn’t believe) but I didn’t try to edit the heading or whatever you call it. I’ll try to avoid a next time.

    453 chars

  42. brian stouder said on March 24, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    I’ve gotta say – I just caught the re-done “Yes, we can” video on Lawrence O’Donnnel’s show, and it was just marvelous.

    They (someone) recut it, so as to incorporate Boehner’s howling “Hell no, you can’t!” from the well of the floor of congress (which many of us watched live the other night), as a recurring refrain in response to the president’s assertion that “Yes, we can”.

    I just wish he would drop a F bomb on our enemy.

    That’s funny, Joe. The way I see it – the sons of bitches that hit us on September 11, 2001 (aka “our enemy”; and/or al Qaeda – “the base”) were “based” in Afghanistan.

    You remember Afghanistan: the nation that President Bush rightly invaded very quickly in 2001, after the assault on NYC and Washington and (ultimately) southwestern Pennsylvania. The place where “our enemy” watched as we drew away, whilst President Bush (et al) went smashing into Iraq?

    The very place where President Obama has very rightly redoubled our efforts and heavily augmented our presence, as we roll OUT of Bush’s debacle and heavily INto Afghanistan, so as to finish up business there?

    I just wish he would drop a F bomb on our enemy.

    Indeed, and agreed. Possibly we agree that our current president is actually, literally redirecting and concentrating our fire onto the heads of “our enemy”.

    Or, maybe I just wish that.

    1382 chars

  43. moe99 said on March 25, 2010 at 12:29 am

    I’m stealing that line, alex, that was so good!

    And, in honor of the 80’s I am rewatching the Big Chill tonight. My daughter was not impressed and left after dinner. Hmm…

    177 chars

  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 25, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Peter, how can you not love Purdue’s serried ranks of rectilinear red brick buildings stuffed full of protractors, slide rules, and pocket protectors (at least in the mind’s eye), filled with men waiting for a chance to drive from West Lay-flat down to Bloomington to meet some women who aren’t ag majors?

    Me, I married a plant physiology major, but I didn’t get off campus much, worked at the dorms and in the student union. But now I live here — — where we say Kenyon’s a pretty campus, a short half hour away, for people who are mobility impaired and need level sidewalks.

    597 chars

  45. Peter said on March 25, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Jeff, I do like Purdue, just not as much as other campuses.

    A classmate of mine visited Purdue once; he said he didn’t like the place because it was flat, all the buildings looked alike, there were way too many engineering students, not very many women, and the ones that were there weren’t very attractive. I had to remind him that we’re at IIT, and if that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black….

    405 chars

  46. Deborah said on March 25, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Times have changed at IIT Peter. It’s still flat but there are lots of women and lots of good looking ones too.

    111 chars

  47. Jill said on March 26, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Thank you, Brian, from a proud Knox alum. It is a nice campus.

    63 chars