Author Archive


April 27, 2009

If you read Tangzine in an RSS reader and have been wondering why you haven’t seen any posts for the past week, it’s because we moved.

Please update your RSS feed –

Where everybody majors in being offended

April 19, 2009

We now live in a nation where everybody majors in being offended. Me too, some days. It’s our national character; the Great American Petulant Pout. And it comes because we take our cues from the media of our choice, which focuses on demonizing the other side. I think I’m going to quit paying attention, and I think this may be the most godly stance I can take. Turn if off. Start thinking for yourself.

Andy Whitman

Online overkill – week of April 12

April 18, 2009

Good, bad and inspiring, these are some of the items that filled my RSS feed this week. 

Susan Boyle. Wait. You mean unattractive people can sing too? I’m with Jordan Green. The reasons the video is so inspiring and capturing millions of hits on YouTube are kind of sad. 

Ashton Kutcher. Now, if Dude Where’s My Car got all million of his Twitter followers to give money to the poor that would be a good story. 

Tea partying. If you’re disgusted with the sexual innuendo used in the coverage of the tax protests this week raise your hand. 

New Yankee Stadium. Plenty of people weighed in with opinions about the grossly expensive new home for the recession-what-recession Yankees, but Jeff Passan did a bang-up job making me feel sick to my stomach

Torture memos released. The details of the abusive interrogation techniques included in the memos and the right-wing talking point defense of the human rights violations made me sick to my stomach for another reason entirely. 

A mall with a baseball field in the middle

April 17, 2009

It’s unclear whether Yankee Stadium wants to be a ballpark with killer amenities or a mall with a baseball field in the middle. The inside of the stadium is freakishly loyal to its predecessor, like twins who look identical but are actually fraternal. The differences are ornamental, and because of its classic look, the initial thought is: Really, $1.5 billion? And you didn’t reinvent the baseball stadium like Camden Yards in 1993? The toilet seats are definitely gold-plated, right?

One trip around the concourse, and suddenly the cost makes more sense. It is a sea of goods, the free market through a Yankee kaleidoscope, a study in old-fashioned gluttony. It is a cheesesteak line 50 people deep, and a beer garden serving 14 sudsy favorites, and pink foam fingers next to pink hats with flowers alongside pink hats with glitter-covered NY logos.

Jeff Passan

16 million girls

April 17, 2009

Sixteen million girls are missing in China. And now we know what happened to them: They were aborted because they weren’t boys.

A study published last week in the British Medical Journal, based on a survey of nearly 5 million Chinese children and teenagers, bares the gruesome numbers. Worldwide, the number of boys born per 100 girls ranges from 103 to 107. (The numbers later equalize due to higher male mortality.) Among Chinese children born from 1985 to 1989, the number of boys per 100 girls was 108, close to normal. But among those born from 2000 to 2004, the number rose to 124. The authors conclude that as of 2005, “males under the age of 20 exceeded females by more than 32 million.”

William Saletan

An afternoon with Dan Zimmerman

April 17, 2009

What ESPN cares about

April 16, 2009

“I truly believe ESPN only cares about promoting the Red Sox and Yankees and Mets – and nobody else.”

Heath Bell, San Diego Padres closer

Like the anti-war folks

April 15, 2009

My friend Tim Lee pithily observed on Twitter that the tea partiers are in a lot of ways similar to the anti-war protesters from several years ago. I tend to agree with them, but they make it very difficult to take them seriously. And like the anti-war folks, they’re letting their cause get hijacked by a variety of other causes, too, including anti-immigration and anti-gay protesters, and, now, many of the mainstream GOP hacks that had no problem growing the federal government back when they were in power.

Radley Balko

British football in the ’80s

April 15, 2009

To attend a match in that time was not the sanitised theme park that many Premier League clubs now aspire to. Fans who chose the terraces sometimes had to be prepared to stand for hours before games so as to make sure they got in. Access to toilet facilities were limited on big-match days, giving rise to many a story about fans feeling the warm, wet and deeply unpleasant sensation of being urinated on. When goals were scored or in other moments of high excitement, fans found themselves catapulted forward and back, up and down, steep and often decaying terraces. You would rarely end a match where you started to watch it. Take a look at videos of games from the era and view the swelling sea of humanity as a goal goes in. You don’t get that at the Emirates for your £65. It looked dangerous. It felt dangerous. It eventually proved deadly.

Another facet of the era was the fencing in of supporters. Hooliganism’s growth in the early 1970s had led clubs to construct high and forbidding fences, caging fans in to prevent them from storming the pitch. As a result, fans were often given a poor view of the games, having to watch the action through tiny grids of metal. Should an emergency occur, they were penned in to face their fate as panic set in.

John Brewin

Today, of course, is the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, a dark day in the history of British football when 96 Liverpool supporters were crushed to death in Sheffield.

Preview and pre-order new Saxon Shore

April 14, 2009

Saxon Shore’s It Doesn’t Matter is now available for pre-order from the band’s Web site – $15 postage paid. If you’d like to preview it before you hand over your credit card number, you can do so at the band’s Myspace page.

Here’s a description of the record from the Philadelphia-based band’s Web site:

We’ve spent the last few months working away on the new Saxon Shore album with producer Dave Fridmann (MGMT, Tapes n Tapes, Clap Your Hands). The album will be running about 55 minutes in length and also includes vocals on one of the tracks courtesy of Caroline. First time we’ve done that. Probably not the last. We are all very happy with the way everything turned out and we’re very excited to share this with everyone. Just figuring out the oh so important timing of it all…