Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Sucker Punches, Crazy Diamonds...and Head-Butts

Commentary on a few random items...

1. Just found out that Syd Barrett died. Most people just went, "huh"? Unfortunately, many of those people also consider themselves to be Pink Floyd fans, and are completely unaware that back before "The Wall" and even "Dark Side of the Moon" there was another guy helming the band. In fact, Barrett was the guy who founded and named the band.

Back before my jaunt to Chicago, I got into the "early" Floyd pretty heavy...it was an era of far-out experimentation and movie soundtrack gigs that honestly makes their more well-known stuff seem pretty tame. "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" was the first Floyd album, and the only full one that featured Barrett. The guy was basically in a 24-hour acid haze at the time, and according to legend, had a mental breakdown not long after. He got kicked out of the group (after the band had already picked up guitarist David Gilmour to carry the load), went into seclusion for most of the rest of his life (aside from recording a couple of equally-far-out solo albums), and basically became immortalized as the inspiration for most of the rest of Pink Floyd's work (see "Wish You Were Here" and "Shine on You Crazy Diamond", among others).

As I listen to the Barrett stuff now, I don't find it as "cool" as I did back when I was eighteen. Maybe I just enjoyed listening to something so different than what everyone else knew about the band. Of course, I don't find most of the psychedelic stuff as--ahem--intoxicating as I did then. Listening to the stuff by itself was far out on it's own...I can only imagine what happened to the people who did drugs and listened to it.

2. Now, as for the head-butt in the World Cup final...OK, if soccer is as huge as the rest of the world makes it out to be, wouldn't the magnitude of that game, plus the fact that you know it's your final game, plus the fact that your team is tied and in a second overtime, plus the fact that you've been playing well enough through the tournament to earn it's MVP award (and the inherent assumption that you're used to trash-talking and other distractionary tactics) maybe make you think twice before HEAD-BUTTING your opponent in the heat of the moment?

The Drudge Report is saying the Italian player called Zidane a "son of a terrorist whore", and I'm sure that would be considered a pretty nasty dig no matter who you are, especially these days. But it's an obvious bait...and he fell for it. And I find it hard to believe that ducking down and going Bighorn Sheep on the guy is a better way of defending your honor than sucking it up and making your opponent pay the hard way...by beating him on the scoreboard.