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.