Saturday, 11 June 2005

Tyson tanks

I must say I’m a little bit surprised at the news that Mike Tyson lost his fight tonight in Washington against unknown opponent Kevin McBride after quitting at the end of the sixth round. While there’s no doubt Tyson is no longer at the top of his game, pretty much everyone expected him to make short work of McBride nonetheless, although most would have figured that he’d be in trouble if he couldn’t make a knockout early… and that’s exactly what appears to have happened.

James Joyner recaps Tyson’s career; Tyson just never was the same fighter after serving the sentence for his rape conviction—as the AP piece points out, he hasn’t beaten a top opponent in 14 years, and his career has been increasingly bizarre since his time in the big house.

More than Tyson needed this fight, though, one suspects heavyweight boxing needed it; Tyson’s promise this week to “gut [McBride] like a fish” gave boxing its first real sizzle since he was in his prime in the 1980s, and the sport—embattled by corruption, a lack of stars, and a public image that makes Big Tobacco’s look good—needed the sort of buzz that Tyson can generate. Tyson at least has the gift of gab to eventually carve out a George Foreman-type role for himself in pop culture; boxing, though, may now be in terminal decline.

Killen goes on trial

Edgar Ray Killen is set to go on trial in Philadelphia, Miss., for his alleged role in the “Philadelphia Three” murders on Monday, and the predictable flood of worldwide media coverage has materialized; probably the best pieces I’ve seen are from the New York Times and Canada’s National Post.

However, neither story makes it clear why Killen wasn’t tried again after his 1967 federal criminal trial that ended in a 11–1 hung jury; you’d think that an 11–1 jury vote would be a pretty strong indication that a second trial would have ended in a conviction… does anyone know the answer?

You ask, we answer

OFJay has a couple of thoughts worth responding to:

Why is it that Trek fans absolutely, positively, demonizingly hate Voyager? It’s as if that show had no merit whatsover either as a Trek show or as a TV show. This inquiring mind would like to know.

I don’t know that fans necessarily “hate” Voyager, although most would probably have it tied with Enterprise for the nadir of televised Trek. I think the main problem with the series is that televised science fiction had “grown up” since The Next Generation came on the air, as more sophisticated shows like Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5 were out there, and Voyager quickly settled in as essentially redoing TNG with an inferior cast; its oft-discussed failure to deliver on its premise left it in the position of having less intelligent things to say about pushing the limits of Trekkian ideology than DS9 did in the comparatively “safe” confines of the Alpha Quadrant.

That said, there were lots of elements of Voyager that really worked, and some of the best hours of modern Trek were on the show. It just never added up to much of anything more. (This critique probably also applies to Enterprise.)

It’s been less than a month since the season ender for House but I sure miss that cranky doctor. And the “tall dark one,” the “little girl,” and the Aussie that “would run like a scared wombat.” Also Lisa Edelstein, who played a post-op transvestite in Ally McBeal and a real woman in the last season of The Practice. At least they’ve signed it on for a second season.

Indeed, despite the occasional gore (something I’m really averse to), House M.D. is probably my favorite network show these days. Greg House is probably the best unlikeable character on TV since at least early Andy Sipowicz, and possibly even Basil Fawlty. Add my thing for Sela Ward and you have must-see TV in the fall.