Monday, December 13, 2004


I have news for Kobe Bryant. Soap operas are fine for winning teams. MJ's Bulls could have Rodman acting a fool because they won. When you lose, you are just a buffoon.

After Kobe drove Shaq and Phil out of L.A., it was clear that titles mattered less to him than Kobe did. That's fine. He has his rings, and it is pretty unlikely that people will ever denigrate his rings by pointing out that he won't win one without Shaq. He will be a Hall of Famer.

Still, today it was reported that Kobe and Karl Malone had an issue because Karl Malone supposedly hit on Kobe's (very, very beautiful) wife. He is alleged to have said, "'Why don't you come over here and sit next to me and give me a big hug?' Vanessa said, 'Why? For what?' And Karl replied, 'If you do that it will be on the cover of every magazine in the country.'" He then is alleged to have said, "'Do you like me?'" Finally, he is supposed to have replied to her statement that he was a married man who was old enough to be her father by saying 'Oh, like your daddy?'"

This is the most ridiculous thing I have read in ages. It is to Karl's eternal credit that when he was acting like a fool talking like that to Kobe's wife, he never said anything about Kobe the rapist, I guess. Kobe should have kept his yap shut about this.

By the way, former hated Michigan Wolverine guard Rob Pilinka is Kobe's agent.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


I just finished a book called Paris After the Liberation 1944-1949 by Anthony Beevor and Artemis Cooper. The book was generally written from a very French perspective. This is interesting, since we generally learn about the liberation of Paris as a weigh station between Normandy and Berlin. I guess for the United States, this is a sensible way to view the liberation of La Havre, Paris, Strasbourg, Frankfurt, and points in between. Obviously for the French the liberation of Paris was a much more emotional event.

All that being said, the book is very much in the tradition of the Great Man history. DeGaulle, Camus, Sartre, Monnet, and other such players drive almost all of the action in this book. There is absolutely not one second of trying to tell you what life for the various classes, etc. was like. That is not this book. Within that limitation, the book is a very informative look at the liberation of Paris from a different perspective than is normally provided. Oh, and the book may have a bit too much untranslated French for people who have zero French.

The next issue is the content of the book. Because the book is really focused on Paris, the artists and intellectuals (along with some diplomats) provide a disproportionate amount of the content. Thus, the impression is created that a large part of why France got trounced by the Germans, and had to be liberated by the Allies was that seventy years after Bismarck was saying that the issues of the day would be settled by blood and iron, the French were waiting for Picasso and Sartre to weigh in on the important matters of the day. It can be almost enraging when reading the debates and tiffs after liberation while Americans, Canadians, Russians, Britons, and a few Frenchman were fighting across the Rhein and Oder into the heart of the Reich. Still a good read though.