29 July 2011

Friday Double: (6) The intransigent black hole

First, a quick observation on media coverage of the debt-ceiling hostage situation:  the word "intransigent" describes a driver who crawls down the road at 20 mph below the speed limit and then refuses to let anyone else pass.  Technicaly, it's possible to use "intransigent" to describe the Osama bin Ladens, Agosto Pinchets and Anders Breviks of the world -- but that seems woefully inadequate, doesn't it?  Given their grim determination to shove the United States through an event horizon, House Republicans shouldn't be described as "intransigent," either.

Event horizons, as suggested by the teabaggers, were my initial excuse for this week's Friday Double picks.  These are the parts of black holes from which neither matter nor light can escape.  My original plan for today was to just post a couple of pieces of music with black-hole motifs.

Leave it to U.S. Soccer hand me a new excuse to pile on top of the first.  Men's national team coach Bob Bradley, whose firing I had been hoping to see following last month's Gold Cup debacle, got the sack yesterday.  No word on whether Bradley chose paper or plastic.

Click to hear how I feel about this development.

This pretty overture is exactly that -- the overture to The Black Hole (1979).  For a barely watchable piece of unintentionally funny science fiction, it's an enormous part of Hollywood film history.
  • It was the first movie Disney ever produced for an audience that didn't include younger children.  The movie succeeded well enough to eventually spawn the Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures studios, and, from there, the Disney empire we know and love.
  • Its John Barry score was the first to ever be digitally recorded.
  • After this and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, no mainstream Hollywood movie ever includes an overture.

Jürgen Klinsmann (Wikipedia)
Back to U.S. Soccer.  Today, the federation named former German head coach Jürgen Klinsmann to succeed Bradley.  If the deal leaves Klinsmann the control over the men's program he wanted five years ago, this could be a good thing.  But his actual coaching resume is mixed.  He did take the Germans into the 2006 World Cup semifinals at home, and he did lead Bayern Munich deep into the UEFA Champions League.  But both terms were short, and Bayern didn't do so well in the Bundesliga under his reign.

As it turns out, the main title to John Barry's Black Hole score expresses my feelings about Klinsmann's hiring.  Bradley left the men's program in worse shape than many of my fellow U.S. soccer fans seem to think, so I'm only willing to give him a 2-in-3 chance of success.  If he fails, it won't be all his fault.

Either way, click and enjoy the main title.

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