Imitation And Life

By Michael-Louis Ingram
Updated: November 26, 2007

PHILADELPHIA — Two things I have always loved are movies and reading; especially reading the newspaper. If all that stuff about exposing the baby to positive stimuli in the womb is true, then I guess it was destiny that to this day I can’t go anywhere without a book or magazine or newspaper. Moms read everything in sight when she was carrying me, so I’m told…

Anyway, as far as social activities go, it’s fair to say a movie might be at the top of the “to-do” lists for nearly every age demographic. Whether for feeding an aesthetic bent or fulfilling an escapist fantasy, motion pictures play their role in the ongoing human drama.

No matter what type of movie I see, it’s always the dialogue that impresses me most. Lines from certain movies have become part of the lexicon of popular culture; and for any current topic today, somewhere in the recesses of your mind may linger a line from a favorite flick floating around in there.

So, given that premise let’s “kick the ballistics here.” (Wesley Snipes, “New Jack City”)

This year in college football will no doubt go down as one of the most competitive and upset-laden seasons ever. A whole buncha D-I Goliaths were getting rock-jacked upside the head by Davids of every size, division and stripe.

One recent upset featured the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks, a former Division I-AA champion, movin’ on up to the big time and dropping a 21-14 spanking on highly favored Southeastern Conference stud Alabama and their highly paid and highly hyped head coach, Nick Saban.

In the following press conference, Saban compared losing to the Warhawks (and SEC foe Mississippi State the previous week) to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. “Changes in history usually occur after some kind of catastrophic event,” he says.

When he got called on it, his SID ran interference for him. Damn –can’t the man speak up for himself? On second thought, Nick — you’ve said quite enough.

“Because you’re a walking cluster fuck as an infantry officer; my men are hard chargers! Lieutenant Ring and Gunny Highway took a handful of young fire-pissers, exercised some personal initiative, and kicked ass!” (Richard Venture to Everett McGill in “Heartbreak Ridge”)

Meanwhile, back in the NFL, the New England Patriots have become everything good and bad about the league at the same time. The $750,000 fine commissioner Roger Goodell levied on owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick for spying and cheating was chicken feed compared to the $100 million dollar fine paid by formula one giant McLaren by the World Sport Motor Council for essentially the same thing.

Given a fine of similar magnitude could have gone a long way to help many former players whose life spans have been significantly shortened to help create this league enjoy a better quality of life, one can only conclude those noble gridiron gladiators got screwed big time by those who supposedly were looking out for them.

“You know, Burke, I don’t know which species is worse. You don’t see them fucking each other over a goddamn percentage! (Sigourney Weaver to Paul Reiser in “Aliens”)

So, infused with self-inflicted righteous indignation, Belichick becomes bellicose, and orders his general, Tom Brady, his not-so-secret stealth weapon Randy Moss and their terror troops to crush, kill and destroy all competition:

Some thoughts have a certain sound, that being the equivalent to a form. Through sound and motion, you will be able to paralyze nerves, shatter bones, set fires, suffocate an enemy or burst his organs. We will kill until no Harkonnen breathes Arakeen air.” (Kyle MacLachlan to the Fremen hordes in “Dune”)

More Patriot Games: Prior to their home game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Pats had cut such a swath of cleat-worn carnage, the Gods of Odds in Las Vegas deemed Philly to be 24 point underdogs.

Apparently, having Donovan McNabb out of the lineup didn’t change the minds of the suckers who plunked their money on the Patriots plus the points.

Don’t you know a game like that always comes off the board when a starting quarterback is confirmed as a non-starter?

That should’ve sent alarms to every available wallet, but “It’s not fair when six foxes and one chicken vote on what’s for dinner.” (Jeff Bridges to Gary Oldman in “The Contender”)

As to the aforementioned McNabb, he ruffled some feathers of his own in insisting in an interview that Black quarterbacks “have to do a little more.” While many may have pooh-poohed D-Mac off as being thin-skinned, Black passers are subjected to different shit, and the criteria leave every current Black field general wondering, admittedly or not, if they are subject to a different standard.

“Now if that don’t beat all. Here we take the good time and trouble to slaughter every last Indian in the west…and for what? So we can appoint a sheriff that’s blacker than any Indian. I am depressed.” (Slim Pickens in “Blazing Saddles”)

The National Basketball Association began its 2007 season under a cloud as well as the stink of the Tim Donaghy referee scandal wafts through the air like a gym full of used jockstraps.

NBA commissioner David Stern implied his investigations concluded that Donaghy was just “one bad apple” and the possibility of crooked referees and fixed games was now nil. “There’s the shot — swish! Three points for the nigger – a million dollars for the television network – who got game?” (Roger Guenveur Smith in “A Huey P.

Newton Story”)

Meanwhile, in New York City, Knick head coach Isaiah Thomas and the Knick organization ended up on the losing end of a sexual harassment suit by a former employee, Anucha Brown Sanders, who contended Thomas made unwarranted sexual advances to her.

The trial exposed the Knicks, for better or worse, as a typical old-boy network, only with black boys replacing the old boys; sadly, with the same results.

“Men are such cocksuckers, aren’t they?” (Jack Nicholson to Susan Sarandon in “The Witches of Eastwick”)

I know the San Diego Padres are definitely contemplating “what if?” in lieu of the September 23 incident between Milton Bradley and umpire Mike Winters.

Winters baited Bradley, known to have a temper, into blowing his top — and his knee, tearing his ligament at first base. Winters used profanity, and Bradley had proof. How do I know? Winters was suspended by the commissioner’s office and kept out of making any post-season money — you don’t fuck with the money.

And this was not Winters’ first time in such a situation. In 1998, he got into it with San Francisco Giants third baseman Charlie Hayes, who said Winters told him to “go fuck himself” after beefing on balls and strikes.

The expletive led to Hayes’ ejection from that game, and Hayes later testified to same when questioning the suspension.

“Skin job — a derogatory word for a replicant. In another time, he was the sort of person that would call black men niggers.” (Harrison Ford describing M. Emmet Walsh’s character in “Blade Runner”)

And, of course, we can’t seem to go to ‘Frisco without taking a dip into McCovey Cove and Barry Bonds. Finally indicted for perjury after four years, the federal government now looks to flex on Bonds for allegedly lying under oath.

In spite of evidence indicating hundreds of players have taken steroids, and years of baseball turning a blind eye and bullshitting everybody that they didn’t know — whether you like Bonds or despise him — there can only be explanation for white tile in a dressing room:

“The right sort of men will always run this country; not your sort of men – you’ll always suffer” (Terry O’Quinn to Colin Farrell in “American Outlaws.”)

Enjoy the show.