Organized Sports: Stanley Cup Layoffs – Round One

Someone had already thought of my joke.

Someone had already thought of my joke.

Organized Sports is a recurring sports column named for a seminal DC avant-hardcore song by the equally stupid and brilliant (to me, “equally stupid and brilliant” pretty much just means “brilliant”) band Void. Take from that what you will.

Organized Sports makes its long-awaited, triumphant return with everything you need to know about who will (possibly, maybe, probably not?) be victorious in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the best postseason in sports. Said playoffs begin tonight in earnest (well, they actually begin in the hockey hotbed of Tampa, Florida, but who’s counting?), so here are the Fully Reconditioned predictions.

This year is the debut of a new format, with divisional playoffs before the conference finals, with the top three teams in each division, and then two “Wild Card” teams making the playoffs rather than the top eight from each conference. It’s a slight return to the way things used to be, but with a modern twist, which also results in one of the divisions being named the Metropolitan Division. Said division contains such gleaming metropolises as Columbus and wherever the fuck the New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils play. One day I will view their shimmering spires.

It also means that there was an actual incentive to win the divisions, keeping the regular season slightly more meaningful than it has been in the past. That being said, the real season begins here. Predictions and sour feelings about the author’s hometown St. Louis Blues after the jump.

Round 1 Predictions – Atlantic Division Continue reading

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Videodrome: The Act of Killing

The Act of Killing is available to stream on Netflix. 

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 3.53.03 PMYou may already know what The Act of Killing is. If you don’t, here’s a handy description from IMDB.com. It tells us that The Act of Killing is, “A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers.” That’s basically an accurate description of the film. There are standard talking head interviews and the crew also follows their subjects into the streets as they mix and mingle (and extort) common people. It’s not all showbiz. The Act of Killing doesn’t attempt to contextualize the anti-communist killings of ’65 and ’66 or the men behind them. It doesn’t need to either, because this is a film about the essence of something, not the particulars. Suffice it to say that that a lot of communists were killed in those two years. I don’t mean to be blithe, but this is a film concerned with ideas for today, not the events of 40 years ago. If you want to read more, go here. The film plays less like a cerebral expose on genocide and more like some sort of mad scientist’s experiment or an elaborate practical joke. But the documentary presumption that what we are seeing is real, not artifice, and not matter how much The Act of Killing taxes our suspension of disbelief, it’s important to remember that all of this is very real.  Continue reading