Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso are among a slew of riders that will not be competing in this year's Tour de France due to Spanish doping allegations. This really breaks my heart, as Basso is one of my favorite riders. I was really hoping he could pull the Giro-Tour double this year. I sincerely hope that he is not guilty.
Having the two top contenders suspended from the Tour puts a severe stain on the race and on cycling in general. I'm sick to my stomach about this.
In lieu of my usual, jubilant pre-tour post where I pick the top contenders and the dark horses I will only offer two predicitons:
1. Floyd Landis, Alejandro Valverde, and George Hincapie are my new favorites to win. I would have mentioned Alexandre Vinokourov but it looks like at least half of his team will be suspended, and we all know that you need a full team to defeat a well organized machine like the Disco train.
2. Whatever the outcome, this year's results will be marred by this scandal. This race will always be remembered as the battle of the titans that could have been. So sad and confounding.
Joshua Glenn's review of A Scanner Darkly is a treatise on the slacker as revolutionary in the literature of Philip K. Dick, the writings of Deleuze & Guattari, Richard Linklater films and the theory of Michel Foucault. It's the finest review I've read in some time. I can't wait to see this, I think it could be the movie of the summer.
According to City Business magazine, there is a bewigged gang of African American transvestites that has been terrorizing boutiques in the 2000 block of Magazine St. since Spring. The police have been either unable or unwilling to assist the store owners, so the businesses have taken matters into their own hands by creating an ad hoc emergency list when the gang is spotted on the street.
This stuff reads like a fantastical combination of William S. Burroughs and John Waters:
The transvestites, Ogle said, appear to be drug-addicted and fearless in their lust for designer shoes, jackets and jewelry.
“The city’s not functioning the way it was and I’m sure a lot of them were getting some kind of government aid, which they probably aren’t getting any more so they’re incredibly desperate,” Ogle said.
And sometimes violent.
When Lewis co-owned Trashy Diva, they attacked one of her partners in the French Quarter location, throwing her to the ground and tossing a heavy mannequin on top of her.
“They’re kind of confused because they think they’re women so they don’t mind hitting women, but they’re dudes. If you get hit by one it’s like getting hit by a dude. ... Because the police are so poorly staffed, we’re kind of on our own but the system we have seems to be working. I haven’t seen them in at least a week but they’ll be back. They’re never gone for long.”
Truth is stranger than fiction. You can't make this kind of stuff up.
Also, the "lost" episode of Bourdain's A Cook's Tour, Decoding Ferran Adria, premieres a week from today as an episode of No Reservations on the Travel Channel. This is the episode that Tony and his crew made, renegade style, after the Food Network decided not to renew his show. It profiles legendary chef Ferran Adria, he of El Bulli fame, researching in his food "atelier" in Barcelona, foraging in the stalls of La Boqueria and cooking at the restaurant itself. Not to be missed!
Sometimes the opressive Louisiana summer heat produces within me a deep feeling of melancholy and torpor, not unlike what French poets refer to as the Spleen. My only reprieve for the past few days has been a few good World Cup matches, cold beer with friends and the salty, sweet words of Anthony Bourdain. I wonder how common this seasonal malady is. I bet it regularly affects half of the population down here, probably many more this year.
Cox and IFC are teaming up to save the New Orleans Film Festival. Our first collaboration is an opportunity for New Orleans filmmakers to submit their films for a special showcase we are sponsoring at this year's Festival. Winning entries will also be shown on Cox Local On Demand.
Our team played another weak game today. The lack of enthusiasm and their blowing of every opportunity is just so dissapointing. I think it's time to rethink our soccer program. We need to bring in fresh blood in the coaching department, maybe a foreign coach.
Also, our finest players should be encouraged to play abroad. I hate to say it but I think that MLS is detrimental to their development. You can see it in the way that they handle the ball compared to the other top players. Our guys just can't control the ball and get it up front. They don't create plays or opportunities at all.
Hats off to Ghana, the only African team to make it through to the knock out rounds. I hope they go far.
The crackdown on crime and criminals has begun. This morning my wife left our house to find a parking ticket on our car. That's right, we don't have a parking permit and we dared to park our car in front of our domicile, which happens to be in a 2hr residential zone. Watch out fellow criminales, the popos are out in force now!