Weekend Endorsements: In Pursuit of the Promised Land.

GD: A few years ago, Slate‘s David Plotz undertook a fun project called Blogging the Bible, in which he reads Old Testament again with fresh eyes as an adult. He finds the holy books full of stuff that got left out of his religious education growing up: adultery, incest and lots and lots of land deals. (In college, we did some close reading of OT texts only and I had the same experience: we all know the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, but did we know that after that Lot’s daughters got him really drunk and took turns raping him?) Plotz’s blogging has been made into a book, called Good Book, which is also available for free download as an audiobook for the next few days.

II: The Lakers’ victory over the Nuggets in Denver lat night was the most lopsided victory of the NBA’s conference finals so far, and it was decided by a measly six points. Prior to that, every game in either the Lakers/Nuggets series or the Cavaliers/Magic series had been decided by three points or less, and every one came down to the last shot. (The winners, obviously, will meet in the championship round.) The most thrilling was the end of Game 2 between the Cavaliers and the Magic the other day, which is already a classic.

The NBA and ABC obviously wants to see a Kobe/LeBron showdown in the NBA Finals; they’re the planet’s two dominant players. But a Nuggets/Cavs final would have its own storyline: these playoffs have been one long coming-out party for Carmelo Anthony, a fantastic player who has been weighed against LeBron since high school and has generally come out on the losing end of those comparisons. He doesn’t have LeBron’s megawatt charisma and has taken his lumps for some early career missteps. But in these playoffs,  he’s finally put it all together, becoming an unguardable force of nature in his own right, and has complicated our conversations about basketball’s contemporary greats. B-more, indeed.

blackink: Because I am not cool and I have lost the will to shop for full-length CDs, I am almost always a few months behind on music. That must be the reason I was so late in checking out Raphael Saadiq’s most-recent release, “The Way I See It.” Over the past week, I have been making up for the lost time.As a guy who came along a little too late for Motown’s heyday, Saadiq’s latest album is a welcome throwback. Sure, some of the songs are boring and a bit formulaic, but the highlights far surpass much of anything playing on popular radio at the moment. I’m thinking in particular of “Never Give You Up,” which features vocals from newcomer C.J. Hilton — he’s got a little Marvin Gaye swag — and some sweet, sweet harmonica from Stevie Wonder. Now I’m all good and ready for a new Tony! Toni! Tone! album.

Also I need to officially apologize for recommending “Kobe Doin’ Work” last week. I love Spike Lee, I love basketball and I can appreciate the unparalleled skill set of Kobe. But something went terribly awry with this documentary. It was an absolute snooze.

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Gene "G.D." Demby is the founder and editor of PostBourgie. In his day job, he blogs about race and ethnicity for National Public Radio. He is a native of South Philly and reads and writes and runs and rants. You can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to him on Facebook.

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13 comments to Weekend Endorsements: In Pursuit of the Promised Land.

  • Postbourgie fam,

    I am writing this letter as a concerned citizen of the NBA. Your publication is generally of the highest-quality, but in regards to Lebron James, it sadly falls into the sort of hagiography that I would expect of a lesser blog. Lebron James is the best player in the NBA, but he is not in the pantheon of anything besides ‘Best players who have never won a ring’. He also gets every conceivable call to the point that any basketball game is 6 on 5, with the Cavs having the referees on their side. There is a reason my people in DC call them the Traveliers, and its not because of frequent flier miles. This is Lebron’s first legit playoff buzzer-beater, which was a good catch and shoot but not quite an epic shot with a hand in his face. Considering the sorts of leads that the Cavs give up, Lebron is still unable to put his boot to anyone’s throat when it counts. Oh, and he got swept when he did make it to the Finals (If Jordan dragged a team to the Finals he would never have gotten swept… AI won his first against a superior Lakers team).

    And yes, my own venom towards James is completely from his illegitimate ‘victories’ (travashamockeries more like it) against my beloved Washington Wizards, the noblest team in the NBA, paragons of virtue, and guardians of justice.

    Please consult with your editorial staff in the future to make sure that your publication produces more critical assessments of Mr. Crab Dribble.

    Sincerely,
    Winslowalrob

  • Scott

    Winslowalrob:

    Sorry, I lost all respects for the “Wizards” after they changed their name from the Bullets to be politically correct. I only hope the ‘Skins don’t give in to such silliness.

  • Kia

    My gossip rags were filled with tidbits that Kobe and Spike had some twisted power play at the end of filming that doc that culminated in Spike begging at the gate of Kobe’s home for his ok to release it.

    Take that info with a grain of salt but they did call the Nas/Kelis split months ago :)

  • shani-o

    If you weren’t already married…

  • Winslowalrob, here’s where we finally depart. We’re all witnesses. And really, how can anyone take DeShawn Stevenson seriously?

  • Man, being a DC homer must make folks *crazy.* LOL.

  • Kia

    I couldn’t agree more.

    I can’t remember the exact stat but he went some obscene number of minutes w/o any fouls. Even a “finesse” player, (which he clearly is not) is going to accumulate more foul trouble by the act of breathing.

    And no, I’m not the least bit bitter by the complete and utter decimation he gave my beloved Hawks : )

  • blackink12

    Uh, Scott … really? You don’t see how Redskins might be terribly offensive?

    Sometimes being “politically correct” is merely the correct thing to do. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

  • Scott,

    A) Changing the name of the sports team from ‘Bullets’ to ‘Wizards’ falls under no definintion of politically correct that I can find.
    B) I actually think that the current name, logo, and color scheme is superior to the old one. I am a big-ass dork though, and I am clearly in the minority.
    C) There is nothing particularly wrong with Political Correctness, and while both the right and the left decry the term and the concept (for different reasons), I kind of like walking around and not hearing epithets being dropped in the public space. That might just be me though.
    D) I am agnostic on the Redskins issue. It gets into the whole Noble Savage thing (dumb as hell), but even if I do not personally find it offensive, others might. Still, I support the team over the name (Otherwise I would move to Boston and support the Braves!), a point that is often lost on the fans (who are more than willing to put up with the hijinks of a god-awful owner, but the threat of a name change turns a lot of normal skins fans into Sauron’s orcs). Not the end of Western Civilization if we change the name or anything.

  • Scott

    Yes it “might” be offensive, but so what? If I wore my heart on my shirt sleeve I’m sure that I would see and hear things that I “might” find offensive every day but I don’t. People today spend far too much time finding things to be offended about instead of acting like adults.

    On the other hand one could see the usage of the American Indian motif as a compliment to the bravery and fighting prowess of the tribes. Haven’t sports teams always sought mascots that were recognized for strength, bravery or some other admirable quality? What is next, PETA is going to demand that sports teams stop using animal imagery because it demeans the animal? Can’t you see how using the wolverine as a mascot stereotypes it as a violent killing machine? By the way, I never understood what was so wrong with the Washington Bullets, I guess someone felt it glorified gun violence or some other nonsense.

  • quadmoniker

    Scott, you kind of unintentionally laid out the problem. One, you’re using stereotypes about people — that American Indian groups were warriors, etc. — as truisms. Two, other team mascots are animals.

  • I normally like Spike but his Kobe movie was TERRIBLE, straight up propaganda.

    And I was pissed as hell about the Hawks getting swept, because they have a solid team (though they need another star with Johnson, otherwise the second-round is the farthest they can go) who deserved more respect from the league and the refs. There will always be next year for Hawtlanta!

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