Sunday, September 24, 2006

Irish Use Huge Fourth Quarter to Top Spartans 40 - 37: Quinn sparks improbable Irish rally

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Forget flag plantings. Forget game trophies. And forget alleged summertime guarantees.
None of that fodder mattered Saturday night.
In fact, all of it paled in comparison to the improbable, unbelievable (you-pick-the-adjective) game that unfolded in Spartan Stadium. It was billed as the 40th anniversary of the 1966 "Game of the Century" -- a tie that eventually helped Notre Dame win the national championship -- but truth be told, the 2006 version deserves its own special one-of-a-kind billing.
The Fighting Irish, left for dead entering the final quarter, somehow erased a 16-point deficit and turned it into a 40-37 win that saved their season just before it went hurtling off the tracks and into the surrounding Michigan farmland.
"There's a lot of crazy things that can happen out there, especially with last year's game and how that all worked out," said Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, who ended up with 319 passing yards and five touchdowns. "Until it hits all zeroes on the scoreboard, then it really sets in.
"Once we got in our two-minute mode, we kind of found a rhythm and really realized we could move the ball on them. It kind of got our confidence back. Coming off of last week's game, you can't build that confidence until you get in a game situation and start moving the ball."
The bottom line: One team showed up and one team was shown up again. Then they flipped the script and reversed roles in this game for the ages.
By David AlbrightESPN.com

Friday, September 22, 2006

Some Thoughts About Language

So I've been thinking a lot about language this weekend for a variety of reasons, not least of which because I've been trying to finish my chapter on Edinburgh. Sobes and I both agreed that we'd give up Hogwarts dorm breakfast to be able to write as well as E.P. Thompson, who not only wrote beautifully but also possessed a commanding knowledge of British history. Most people simply dismiss contemporary criticism of language (criticism of language NOT, mind you, literary criticism) usage with a head shake and a shrug, usually claiming that language is organic, always changing, and shouldn't be critiqued by 'outmoded' standards. As if this excuses current misuse, abuse, and outright butchery of the English language. Now I won't pretend to be a particularly accomplished writer or the most eloquent when it comes to oratory, but I'm going to make the suggestion that there is a very real connection between poor language skills and the current disaster called American politics. Read what George Orwell had to say on the subject back in 1945 after suffering a generation of fucked-up oratory, propaganda, and 'foolish thought:'

"Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilization is decadent and our language -- so the argument runs -- must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.
Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: it is not due simply to the bad influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. The point is that the process is reversible. Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration: so that the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers." From George Orwell's essay 'Politics and the English Language' (1945)

One wonders what Orwell might have to say, or write, about current 'journalism' in the age of Ann Coulter and Bush-speak. Talk about foolish thought! I'd suggest that a reason men are dying in Iraq today, well in addition to the warped world-view of freaks such as Rove and Cheney, and why we might actually end up bombing Iran as well, is the fact that our leaders generally and George W. particularly simply lack the clarity of language to make sense of the situation or communicate effectively. Essentially the've lost the ability to negotiate or formulate any but the most simplistic of policies and, therefore, can only threaten and resort to the use of force. It's like the teenage football player who, only having spent his time focused on the sport, finds that he has no resevoir to draw on in any emotionally charged situation except the violence he has learned through 'the game.' When language fails him, violence becomes his only response. I have to wonder whether the United States would be a partially radiated cinder today if we had sent George Bush to negotiate with Kruschev in 1962.

Anyway, I've prattled on long enough. While talking with YITS a bit the other day about writing on PW he had expressed a reluctance to write much becuse 'it wouldn't be that good' and he 'didn't have anything to write about.' Well, I just wanted to let all of you out there know that effective communication, both writing and speech, requires practice. We all need as much of it as we an get. We also need to practice thinking and as Orwell says 'slovenly langauge makes for folish thought.' My point is: use this forum of friends and fellow thinkers to practice both writng and thought. That's an open invitation to take a risk and throw it out here on Paddy Wop. Of course I could just be full of shit myself, but hey, what the hell, it was a profitable hour of thought for me anyway.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Good To See Ya Out There YITS


Well I'm doing the unthinkable and skipping a Hogwarts football game, but of course that gives me time to read and write on PW. I figured I dredge up some memories here with a blast froom the past: ah yes, we all remember that day when C, Darby O'Gill-like, stumbled upon his wee pot...of gold that is. {By the way, fabulous shoe buckles there Mr. YITS! Now we know where your brother gets his fashion sense. And who said glam rock was dead?!}

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Cead Mile Faltie

Every word that was ever sung or spoken hangs in the sky above us until such times as someone decides to commit them to whatever fate the deem worthy. Luckily, and not unusually here in Belfast, the sky is falling and the words fall with it. Nothing inspirational or expressive but rather a simple and warm welcome, a cead mile faltie and an invitation to, in the days, weeks and months ahead, read the words fall on a wet west Belfast.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Fish Squish


PaddyWop

Since we won't be getting an entry on a Notre Dame win this week, I thought I would add a Buffalo Bills victory to keep the football tradition going.


Buffalo 16 Miami 6

Monday, September 11, 2006

No. 4 Irish Triumph Over Nittany Lions

Brady Quinn throws 25-for-36 for 287 yards, three touchdowns in 41-17 victory