Thursday, January 7, 2010

Simply Mad About the Maus

If you aren't hip to the jive bub, you've been snowed. I'm talkin origins, capeesh? When your lobe don't get it and you think what they've been laying down is the real dealio, that's where you're wrong, frankenstein.

Conventional wisdom indicates that one Mickey Mouse, pictured here...

... made his debut to the world in the animated short "Steamboat Willie". The real origins of the character lie several years earlier than the Disney Corporation's proclaimed "birth" of Mickey Mouse in November 1928. Before Mickey, there was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Disney's main character. After his boss tried to chince him out of some loot, he was strong armed out of the rights to the Oswald character, so he took off and created Mickey. Or so the story goes.

Take a look at this Oswald clip from 1927, before Disney left his contract with Universal Studios. Note the Mickey-esque character that comes onto the scene at 3:00. Observe how much of a little fucker he once was as he gets his ass beat by Oswald:

Before he became the bright eyed everyman that stood for all that was deemed "American", Mickey Mouse was a deviant sociopath with revenge-bent aggression that would make Donald blush. In 1928 when Disney struck out on his own, he brought animator Ub Iwerks with him and commissioned him to create the Mickey design that's become burned into the rentinas of every post-war youth. Yet, before the oft-cited "debut" of Steamboat Willie and ascension to Apple of America's Eye status, a still malicious version of Mickey appeared in Disney's first post-universal short titled "Plane Crazy". Straight up tries to kiss-rape Minnie, dang.

To think what the world would have been like if the character had never changed. I couldn't see the public latching onto him the same way. Who knows what society would have become? Would Times Square still be dirty? Would Florida be considerably underdeveloped? It's tough to put any measure on the impact that Disney has had on the world, and I sure as shit ain't gonna try and quantify it. From massive media holdings to subliminal messages, you know that shit is Xtra large, sonnnnnn.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Castlevanian Creatine?

A smeared reputation, a tarnish that follows an athlete everywhere he goes. How do you react when an outcome you desire has an unfortunate moral dilemma?

It's easy to heckle a juicer. It doesn't take much to join in the chants of "STEEE-RROIIIDS" when the latest disgrace steps up to the plate. But, what would you do if a synthetic goliath showed up to play for your team? Would you turn him away at the principal or would you let him hit home runs for your pride and joy?

Enter Randy Ruiz.

He is pictured here taking a ball to the cheek from Josh Towers. In 2005, he was suspended twice in the same season for steroid use in the minors. He had his major league debut with the Twins in 2008 at the age of 30. He signed with Toronto for 2009 and turned up career numbers both in Las Vegas and in a stellar late season Blue Jay performance. When he reported to Toronto, he led the Pacific Coast League offensively and was was crowned MVP.

What do you make of a player who's prime comes at the age of 31? He only played 33 games with the Jays, which is an admittedly small sample size. But, in those games he hit .313 with a 1.019 OPS, bettering his .304 career average in the minors. How do you contend with that as management? With lots of power pieces in the system looming to take permanent positions at first and DH - i.e. Lind, Snider, and Brett Wallace - how does Ruiz fit into this puzzle?

It was plenty frustrating to see Ruiz get off days so frequently in September considering he was on such a fuckin roll. Depending on who else gets moved before the season starts - Overbay rumours are persistent - Ruiz at first or DHing on Lind's off days seems like a most reasonable prospect until Wallace is primed and ready.

So, how does all the juice-a-ma-tazz cloud your support of the dude? Do you dismiss the benefits and thrills that a power monger like that exudes? Or do you sit back and reap the rewards of the winning-at-any-cost mentality as balls fly out of the Rogers Centre like popcorn?

I'm affeared that there is a tough biscuit to condone. I'm not quite so naive as to place any kind of mantle of justice on the heads of professional sports oxen. How do you expect to cut down on that shit if the league turns a blind eye and team management condones it? Get your priorities straight. A culture of cheating threatens the legitimacy and longevity of all that jazz, so get it straight. That being said, it's a lot harder to hate on when it's doing your team some party favours.