Sunday, February 23, 2014

True Detective Symbols and Signs

What is it about True Detective that has people captivated and tuning in? Is it simply getting to watch Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson dissect the buddy cop myth? Maybe the fact that the whole series has one writer and one director? There are many possible answers. As humans we have long been entranced by the particulars of a good murder mystery. The audience gets to feel a part of the unfolding story in a very specific way to the genre. Aristotle said there are only two stories: Comedy and tragedy. By that standard True Detective is a tragedy.

Damien Walter has something interesting to say about stories:
“Arthur Quiller-Couch devised the rather Man centric seven plots of Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, Man against God, Man vs. Society, Man in the Middle, Man & Woman, Man vs. Himself. Also weighing in for the number seven is Christopher Booker, who puts forward a convincing argument that all plots revolve around the conflict between humanity and our selfish ego, only then to ruin it by trying to argue that all 20th Century literature represents the capitulation of the the self to the ego. George Polti outlined Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations including Deliverance, Pursuit, Disaster, Revolt and thirty two more. Perhaps my current favourite has recently been republished in Plotto : the Master Book of All Plots by dime novelist William Wallace Cook which represents a possible 1,462 plots. Wallace once wrote fifty-four novels in one year. Take that NaNoWriMo fanatics! In probably the most famous typology of story, Joseph Campbell trumped everyone by declaring there was only one plot and naming it the Monomyth, thereby determining the formula for almost every Hollywood blockbuster from Star Wars to The Matrix, Toy Story and The Dark Knight…Are there really only two, seven, thirty six or however many plots? Again, who knows. I’d love to argue for the infinite mutability of story, and I’m sure I could quite convincingly. But at the same time stories, however diverse they appear on the surface, are all made from much the same thing underneath. Some characters. A plot. A theme or two. Half  a dozen symbols. A bit of conflict to get it all going. And yet, much like the seven chords that make up all songs, the same elements used in much the same ways seem to yield staggeringly different and original results in the hands of each artist who picks them up. There may only be seven stories, but there are uncounted storytellers, and each one must contribute some unique spark, or the story will never take life.”

Also interesting is a quote from Matthew McConaughey on the website by Carla Day:
“This is the first time we worked together where there’s real opposition.”
And on the interview scene,
“We didn't do them all at one.... 29 pages was one day. And that was the biggest mountain of the heap I've ever had. We had these 29 pages that I had broke down for weeks ... and then decoded everything and the little words and stuff where I could have my line, because I had all these different stories to tell. But we went in, sat down. We said, "We got enough film. Let's stay right here and do it." And we did do it in one day.  And I remember at the end of that day, we had like one more piece, one more angle to do. And somebody was like, We're all burnt. We should really go home. I said, "No, we're not going to home now." Because I had broken a literal sweat by then and was groveling in it. It was like, "No, we gotta stick to it." So everyone stayed, and we got it all in one day. That was fun.  I remember the wine tasted really good that night.”
Here’s that same quote again from
“We did 29 pages in one day,” McConaughey revealed.” And that was the biggest mountain of the heap I’ve ever had. I was going to Woody, ‘If we get into this, we gotta just dance.’ We had these 29 pages that I had broke down for weeks. I knew it was coming up. But we went in, sat down. We said, ‘We got enough film. Let’s stay right here and do it.’ And we did do it in one day. And I remember at the end of that day, we had, like, one more piece, one more angle to do. I think somebody was like, ‘We’re all burnt. We should really go home.’ I said, ‘No, we’re not going to home now.’” He continued, “I had broken a literal sweat by then and was groveling in it. It was like, ‘No, we gotta stick to it.’ So everyone stayed, and we got it all in one day. That was fun. I remember the wine tasted really good that night.”
Hitfix has a transcript of the TCA panel, here is how they recorded the quotes:
“This is the first time we've worked together when there's opposition.” They continue later, “3:32 p.m. McConaughey recalls one day that they shot 29 pages in a single day in the 17-years-later sequence. That's insane, by the way. They got near the end of the day and others wanted to call it a day and he insisted they push through. "I remember that. The wine tasted really good that night," he says.”
This article also features a solid record of the Pizzolatto quote that TD sleuths have been dissecting,
“3:42 p.m. How will a second season work? "If you got to do it again, the setting would be a major character along with our leads," Pizzolatto says, adding that it would be in settings we haven't seen as much. "I think in some form the story would always maintain some aspect of a story being told," Pizzolatto says, which plays into the idea of an investigation. He loves theater and monologues. "This an idea of an objective truth versus a spoken truth is something that provides a great deal of tension and is one of my governing tendencies," Pizzolato adds. He said another season could be more of a conspiracy thriller or a small town murder mystery or a master criminal versus a master detective."As long as there's some crime in there, I think the series format could approach it," he says, claiming that "Absalom, Absalom" could hypothetically be a season. Unclear if he means that literally.”
Supposedly the first time a tragic play was put on was during the 10th century. For a little background on the 10th century:
 “The 10th century is the period from 901 to 1000 in accordance with the Julian calendar. The 10th century is usually regarded as a low point in European history. In China it was also a period of political upheaval. In the Muslim World, however, it was a cultural zenith, especially in Spain under the Caliphate of Córdoba. Additionally, the 10th century was the zenith for the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires. Medievalist and historian of technology Lynn White said that "to the modern eye, it is very nearly the darkest of the Dark Ages", but concluded that ". . . if it was dark, it was the darkness of the womb."[1] Similarly, Helen Waddell wrote that the 10th century was that which "in the textbooks disputes with the seventh the bad eminence, the nadir of the human intellect."[2] Even in the 15th century, Lorenzo Valla described it as the Century of Lead and Iron and later Cardinal Baronius as the Leaden Century or Iron Century.”
Some more interesting 10th century facts:
“Reindeer and Bears became extinct in Great Britain and Lions became extinct in Europe.”
“Although Otto II had succeeded peacefully to the throne, internal divisions of power still remained unaddressed. During his first seven years as Emperor, he was constantly occupied with maintaining Imperial power against internal rivals and external enemies. The domestic problems Otto the Great faced between 963 and 972 had not been resolved by his death. The Saxon nobility continued to resist the Archdiocese of Magdeburg located along the Empire's eastern border. Though established by Otto I, the exact details of the diocese's boundaries were left to Otto II and his aides. Otto II's marriage to the Byzantine Princess Theophanu proved to be to his disadvantage because the Saxon nobles felt it distanced the Emperor from their interests. Among Otto II's chief advisors, only the Saxon Bishop Dietrich I of Metz had close connections with the old Saxon nobility. His other advisers lacked support from the Empire's various Dukes. The Archbishop of Mainz Willigis, appointed in 975, who had been with Otto II's advisor since Otto the Great's second expedition into Italy in the 960s, had not been born from a noble family. Hildebald of Worms, who had been appointed as Otto II's Chancellor in 977 and then as Bishop of Worms in 979, was also not from a noble family. Otto the Great also failed to clarify affairs in Italy prior to his death. Otto died soon after the appointment of Pope Benedict VI in 973. In 974 Benedict was imprisoned in the Castel Sant'Angelo, the stronghold of the Crescentii family. When Otto II sent an imperial representative, Count Sicco, to secure his release, Crescentius I and Cardinal-Deacon Franco Ferrucci, who would subsequently become Boniface VII, an antipope, had Benedict murdered while still in prison.[4]”
On war with Denmark:
“In 950, Otto the Great had subdued the Kingdom of Denmark and forced the Danish King Gorm the Old to accept him as his overlord. Otto the Great also forced the king and his heir apparent Harald Bluetooth to convert to Christianity. Under the reign of Otto the Great, Denmark fulfilled all its obligations and regularly paid tribute to the Germans. When Harald became king in 958, he expanded the control of his kingdom into Norway, becoming king there in 970. With his newly obtained power, the young ruler was no longer willing to accept German supremacy over his kingdom. In summer 974, Harald rebelled against Otto II.[6] With the support of Norwegian troops, Harald was able to cross the Danish border into Germany, defeating the German forces stationed in the north. Otto II attacked Harald's forces, but the joint Danish-Norwegian army repelled the German army. In autumn, however, when the Norwegian allies sailed north to return to Norway, Otto II was able to counter Harald's advances at the Danevirke. As a result of this victory, Otto II officially annexed Denmark into the Empire and exiled Harald to Norway.”
“Otto II convened the Imperial Diet in mid-July at Dortmund. There, Otto II declared war against France and prepared his army to march west. In September 978, Otto II retaliated against Lothair by invading France with the aid of Charles.[9] He met with little resistance on French territory, devastating the land around Rheims, Soissons, and Laon. Otto II then had Charles crowned as King of France by Theodoric I, Bishop of Metz. Lothair then fled to the French capital of Paris and was there besieged by Otto II and Charles. Sickness among his troops brought on by winter and a French relief army under Hugh Capet forced Otto II and Charles to lift the siege on November 30, and to return to Germany. On the journey back to Germany, Otto's rearguard was attacked and destroyed by French forces, with their supplies being captured.[8] Despite neither side obtaining a clear victory, Otto II felt his honor was sufficiently restored and opened peace negotiations with the French King. Peace was finally concluded between Otto II and Lothair in 980: in return for renouncing his claims on Lorraine, Otto II would recognize Lothair's son Louis V as the rightful heir to the French throne.[8] With peace concluded, Otto II returned to Aachen to celebrate Pentecost, and then moved towards Nijmegen. During the journey, in late June or early July 980, the Empress Theophanu gave birth to the Imperial couple's their only son: Otto III.”
On papal politics:
“With his rule north of the Alps secured and with the birth of his heir, Otto II shifted his focus to Italy. The situation south of the Alps was chaotic. Pope Benedict VI, who had been appointed by Otto I, had been imprisoned by the Romans in Castel Sant'Angelo. When Otto II sent an imperial representative, Count Sicco, to secure his release, Crescentius I and Cardinal Franco Ferrucci had Benedict VI murdered while still in prison in 974.[4][10] Cardinal Franco Ferrucci then crowned himself as Benedict VI's successor, becoming Antipope Boniface VII. A popular revolt, however, forced Boniface VII to flee to Constantinople, taking a vast treasure with him.[11] In October 974, under the direction of Count Sicco, the bishop of Sutri was elected Pope as Pope Benedict VII.[10] Boniface VII was then summarily excommunicated for his unsuccessful attempt to take the papacy. In 979 Benedict VII's position as ruler of Rome was threatened, forcing the Pope to withdraw from and seek the aid of the Emperor. Accepting the Pope's call for aid, Otto II and Theophano, along with their infant son Otto III, prepared for a march south across the Alps. Otto II appointed Willigis, the Archbishop of Mainz, to serve as his regent over Germany. In October 980 the Imperial court arrived in Chiavenna and received its first Italian delegations. Otto II arrives in Italy at Pavia on December 5, 980. In Pavia, Otto II and his mother, the dowager empress Adelaide of Italy, were reconciled after years of being apart. Before the imperial family celebrated Christmas together in Ravenna,[12] Otto II received the Iron Crown of Lombardy as the King of Italy.[13] Following the New Year, Otto II led his Imperial court to Rome, reaching the city on February 9, 981, where the Emperor restored Pope Benedict VII to his papal throne without difficulty. In Rome, Otto II held a magnificent court ceremony to mark Easter.[12] The imperial family was joined by Otto II's sister Matilda, Abbess of Quedlinburg, King Conrad of Burgundy and his wife Matilda of France, Duke Hugh Capet of France, Duke Otto of Swabia and Bavaria, and other high secular and religious officials from Germany, Italy and France. Otto II proceeded to hold court in Rome, making the city his Imperial capital, where he received princes and nobles from all parts of western Europe.”
On religious policy:
“Otto II followed the policy of his father in expanding the importance of the Church in his Empire, in particular the importance of monasticism and monasteries. The Church and its organs served as supporting and stabilizing factor in the Empire's structure. To fulfill these tasks, Otto II strengthened the legal integrity and economic independence of the bishops from the secular nobility. The Ottonians had particular religious interest in Memleben as both Otto II's father Otto I and grandfather Henry I had died there. Otto II and his wife Theophanu enhanced the spiritual importance of the city by establishing a Benedictine Imperial abbey there: the Memleben Abbey. Within a short time, the Memleben Abbey had become one of the richest and most influential of the Imperial abbeys. These measures and the unusual size of the abbey perhaps suggest that Memleben may have been intended as an Imperial Mausoleum for the Ottonians.[14] Following the suppression of Henry II's rebellion, Otto II used the Empire's monasteries as the location for the treason trials. While his father had founded only one monastery (Otto I later replaced the abbey with the Cathedral of Magdeburg) during his 37 years of reign. Otto II, however, established at least four monasteries: Memleben, Tegernsee, Bergen, and Arneburg. Monasticism became a key part of Otto II's Imperial policy, entrusting the Abbots with key political functions. Otto II employed monks among his top political advisers, including Ekkehard I and Majolus of Cluny. One of the most important such monks was John Philagathus (the future Antipope John XVI). Of Greek descent, John was the personal chaplain of Otto II's wife Theophanu, accompanying her when she traveled from Constantinople to marry Otto II.[15] Otto II appointed him as his Imperial Chancellor from 980 to 982, as well as the Abbot of the Nonantola Abbey. Following Otto II's death in 983, Theophanu, as her son Otto III's regent, would name John as Otto III's tutor. She would later appoint John as the bishop of Piacenza, and would send him to Constantinople to arrange for a marriage between Otto III and a Byzantine princess.”
On southern expansion:
“In regard to his Italian policy, Otto II went beyond the goals of his father. Not satisfied with the territorial gains made under Otto I, Otto II wanted more. His policy was based not only on securing his power in Rome, or to cooperate with the Papacy, but also to gain absolute dominion over the whole of Italy. Influenced by his wife, who was hostile to the return of the Macedonian Dynasty in the shape of Byzantine Emperor Basil II after the assassination of John I Tzimisces, Otto II was persuaded to annex the Byzantine controlled southern Italy.[16] However, this policy necessarily meant war with not only the Byzantine Empire but the Muslim Fatimid Caliphate as well, who claimed southern Italy as within their sphere influence. The Ottonians' chief lieutenant in central and southern Italy had long been the Lombard leader Pandulf Ironhead. Originally appointed by Otto I as Prince of Benevento and Capua in 961, Pandulf waged war against the Byzantines and expanded Ottonian control to include the Duchy of Spoleto in 967. Under Otto II, Pandulf added the Principality of Salerno in 978 to the Empire. His campaigns under Otto I and Otto II incorporated all three of the southern Lombard principalities - Benevento, Capua, and Salerno - into the Holy Roman Empire. As vassal of Otto II, Pandulf ruled a large bloc of territories that stretched as far north as Tuscany and as far south as the Gulf of Taranto.[17] Pandulf's death in 981 deprived Otto II of one of his primary lieutenants. Pandulf's lands were partitioned among his sons, though further quarrels between the local Lombard princes soon followed.[13] Pandulf's older son Landulf IV received Capua and Benevento while his younger son Pandulf II received Salerno. Upon hearing of Pandulf's death, Otto II, ruling from Rome, traveled south to install Thrasimund IV as Duke of Spoleto. Then, Pandulf's nephew Pandulf II was given Benevento when Otto II partitioned Landulf IV's territory, with Landulf IV keeping Capua. Finally, Duke Manso I of Amalfi deposed Pandulf II of his rule in Salerno in 982. By 982 the entire area once ruled by Pandulf had collapsed, weakening Otto II's position against the Byzantines. The Byzantines still claimed sovereignty over the Lombard principalities and the lack of singular leader to prevent their advances into Lombard territory allowed the Byzantines to make inroads further north. Otto II attempted on several occasions to reunify the Lombard principalities politically and ecclesiastically into his Empire after Pandulf's death. Though he unsuccessfully besieged Manso I in Salerno, Otto II ultimately obtained the recognition of his authority from all the Lombard principalities. With his authority reestablished over the Lombard princes, Otto II turned his attention towards the threat from Muslim Sicily. Since 960s the island had been under Muslim rule as the Emirate of Sicily, a state of the Fatimid Caliphate. The ruling Kalbid dynasty had conducted raids against Imperial territories in southern Italy. The death of Pandulf in 981 allowed the Sicilian Emir Abu al-Qasim to increase his raids, hitting targets in Apulia and Calabria. As early as 980 Otto II demanded a fleet from the city of Pisa to help him carry out his war in southern Italy,[18] and in September 981 he marched into southern Italy. Needing allies in his campaign against the Muslims and the Byzantine Empire, Otto II reconciled with Amalfian Duke Manso I, granting Imperial recognition of his rule over Salerno. Otto II's troops marched on Byzantine-controlled Apulia in January 982 with the purpose of annexing the territory into his Empire.[19] Otto II's march caused the Byzantine Empire to seek an alliance with Muslim Sicily in order to hold onto their southern Italian possessions.[9] The Emperor's army besieged and captured the Byzantine city of Taranto, the administrative center of Apulia, in March 982.[11] After celebrating Easter in Taranto, Otto II moved his army westward, defeating a Muslim army in early July.[20] Emir Abu al-Qasim, who had declared a Holy War (jihad) against the Empire, retreated when he noticed the unexpected strength of Otto II's troops when the Emperor was not far from Rossano Calabro. Informed of the Muslim retreat, Otto II left his wife Theophanu and young son Otto III (along with the Imperial treasury) in the city and marched his army to pursue the Muslim force. Unable to flee back to his stronghold in Sicily due an Imperial naval blockade, al-Qasim faced the Imperial army in a pitched battle south of Crotone at Cape Colonna on July 14, 982. After a violent clash, a corps of Otto II's heavy cavalry destroyed the Muslim center and pushed towards al-Qasim's guards, with the Emir killed during the charge.[21] Despite the Emir's death, the Muslim troops did not flee the battlefield. The Muslims regrouped and managed to surround the Imperial soldiers, slaughtering many of them and inflicting a severe defeat upon the Emperor.[16] According to the historian Muslim Ibn al-Athir, Imperial casualties numbered around 4,000. The Lombard Princes Landulf IV of Benevento and Pandulf II of Salerno, German Bishop Henry I of Augsburg, German Margrave Gunther of Merseburg, the Abbot of Fulda, and numerous other Imperial officials were among the battle's casualties. The Imperial defeat shocked the political makeup of Southern Italy. With two Lombard princes dead, the Principalities of Capua and the Benevento passed to younger branches of the Landulfid family. Though the Muslim troops were forced to retreat to Sicily after their victory, the Muslims remained a presence in southern Italy, harassing the Byzantines and Lombards. The Ottonian defeat, the worst in the history of the Empire at the time, greatly weakened Imperial power in southern Italy. The Byzantines joined forces with the Muslims and regained possession of Apulia from Ottonian forces.”
On Succession issues:
“The defeat at Stilo forced Otto II to flee north to Rome.[22] He then held an Imperial Diet at Verona on Pentecost, 983.[20] He sent his nephew Otto I, Duke of Swabia and Bavaria, back to Germany with the news of the defeat and to call the German nobles to the assembly, but he died en route on November 1, 982, in Lucca. News of the battle did cross the Alps, however, reaching as far as Wessex in Britain, signifying the magnitude of the defeat. Duke Bernard I of Saxony was heading south for the assembly when Danish Viking raids forced him to return to face the threat. At the assembly, Otto II appointed Conrad (a distant relative of Otto II) and Henry III as the new Dukes of Swabia and Bavaria respectively. Henry III had previously been exiled by Otto II following his defeat as part of a two-year revolt against Otto II's rule. The defeat at Stilo cost the Empire many nobles, forcing Otto II to lift the banishment of Henry III in order to stabilize domestic affairs in Germany while he campaigned against the Muslim and Byzantines in southern Italy. Also, the appointment of Conrad I allowed the House of the Conradines to return to power in Swabia for the first time since Emperor Otto I in 948. Otto II and the assembled nobles agreed on a strategy of naval blockade and economic warfare until reinforcement from Germany could arrive. Otto II then prepared for a new campaign against the Muslims[16] and obtained a settlement with the Republic of Venice, whose assistance he needed following the destruction of his army at Stilo. However, the death of Otto II the next year and the resulting civil war prevented the Empire from appropriately responding to the defeat. The most important action taken by Otto II at the assembly, however, was to secure the "election" of his son Otto III, who was then only three years old, as King of Germany and heir apparent to the Imperial throne. Otto III thus became the only German king elected south of the Alps. The exact reason for this unusual procedure has been lost to history. It is possible that the conditions in southern Italy following the defeat required Otto II to act quickly in designating an Imperial heir to ensure connivance in the Empire's future. It is also conceivable, however, that holding the election in Italy was a deliberate choice on the part of Otto II in order to demonstrate that Italy was an equal part of the Empire on the same level as Germany. His election secured, Otto III and his mother, the Empress Theophanu, traveled north across the Alps heading for Aachen, the traditional coronation site for the Ottonians, in order for Otto III to be officially crowned as king. Otto II stayed in Italy to further address his military campaigns.”
On the Great Slav uprising:
“Around the year 982, Imperial authority in Slavic territory extended as far east as the Lusatian Neisse River and as far south as the Ore Mountains. Following the defeat of Otto II at Stilo in 983, the Lutici Federation of Polabian Slavs revolted against their German overlords, sparking a great revolt known as the Great Slav Rising (Slawenaufstand). The Polabian Slavs destroyed the bishoprics of Havelberg and Brandenburg.[23] According the German chronicler Bishop Thietmar of Merseburg, the decades-long, forced Germanization and Christianization of the Slavs associated with these two churches was the reason for their destruction. Thietmar blames the uprising on maltreatment of the Slavs by the Germans: "Warriors, who used to be our servants, now free as a consequence of our injustices."[24] In the Obotrite territories along the Elbe River, the Luticians initiated a revolt aimed at the abolition of feudal rule and Christianity,[23] drawing upon considerable support by the Obodrite populace and their leader Mstivoj.[25] In part, the Obrodite revolt was successful: The princely family, though in part remaining Christian, dissolved Christian institutions.[25] Soldiers from the Northern March, the March of Meissen, the March of Lusatia, as well as from the Bishop of Halberstadt and the Archbishop of Magdeburg, joined forces to defeat the Slavs near Stendal.[26] Nevertheless, the Empire was forced to withdraw to the western banks of the Elbe river. The successes of the Empire's Christianization policy towards the Slavs were nullified, and political control over the Billung March and the Northern March (territories east of the Elbe) was lost. In the decade since his death, Otto I's life work of converting the Slavs was undone. The Slavic territories east of the Elbe would remain pagan for over a century before further missionary work resumed: it would not be until the 12th century that the churches of Havelberg and Brandenburg would be reestablished. The Danes took advantage of the Slavic revolt and invaded the March of Schleswig along the Empire's northern border while the Sorb Slavs invaded and conquered the March of Zeitz from Saxon control.[20]”
“In July 983, Pope Benedict VII, a longtime Ottonian supporter, died of natural causes after having reigned for almost ten years. Otto II returned to Rome in September to name a new Pope, selecting the Bishop of Pavia Pietro Canepanova (who reigned as Pope John XIV) in November or early December.[27] While Otto II was in Rome overseeing the election of a new pope, a malaria outbreak in central Italy prevented the resumption of military activity in southern Italy. The outbreak ultimately led to the death of the Emperor himself: he died in his palace in Rome at the age of 28 on December 7, 983, after having reigned for just over a decade.[16] Otto II's money and possessions were divided among the Catholic Church, the poor of the Empire, his mother Adelaide and sister Matilda, and those nobles loyal to him. Otto II was then buried in the atrium of St. Peter's Basilica, becoming the only German ruler to be buried in a foreign country instead of in Germany. Otto II's three-year-old son Otto III was crowned as King of Germany in Aachen on Christmas Day in 983, three weeks after his father's death. Otto III was crowned by Willigis, the Archbishop of Mainz, and John, the Archbishop of Ravenna.[28] News of Otto II's death first reached Germany after Otto III's coronation.[28] The unresolved problems in southern Italy and the Slavic uprising on the Empire's eastern border made the Empire's political situation extremely unstable. The arrival of a minor on the Imperial throne threw te Empire into confusion, allowing Otto III's mother, the Byzantine Princess Theophanu, to reign as his regent.[29] In 976, Otto II had deposed Henry II as Duke of Bavaria and imprisoned him. In early 984, Henry II escaped from his imprisonment by the Bishop of Utrecht. Free from his confinement, he seized the infant Otto III and, as a member of the ruling Ottonian dynasty, claimed the regency of the Empire for himself.[29] Henry II eventually went so far as to claim the German throne outright, obtaining the allegiance of Mieszko I of Poland and Boleslaus II, Duke of Bohemia.[30] Henry II's claims were supported by Archbishop Egbert of Trier, Archbishop Gisilher of Magdeburg, and Bishop Dietrich I of Metz.[30] Otto III's right to the throne, however, was supported by Archbishop Willigis of Mainz and the Dukes of Saxony, Bavaria, and Swabia.[29] The threat of war from Willigis and Conrad I, Duke of Swabia forced Henry II to relinquish Otto III on June 29, 984 and to respect the regency of Theophanu.[30] The early death of Otto II and the ensuing events proved to be a serious test for Empire. Despite having a child under the regency of his mother as a ruler, the structure established by Emperor Otto the Great remained strong as most of the Empire's most powerful officials stayed loyal to the Imperial system.”
On Otto’s character:
“Otto was a man of small stature, by nature brave and impulsive, and by training an accomplished knight. He was generous to the church and aided the spread of Christianity in many ways. According to one of the chroniclers of the time, he was given the epithet of the "Red" when in 981 he invited the most troublesome of the Roman families to a banquet, and proceeded to butcher them at dinner.[10] More sympathetic chroniclers said that it was due to his reddish complexion.[9]”
Background on the other of the King in Yellow:
“He was born in Brooklyn, New York, to William P. Chambers (1827–1911), a famous lawyer, and Caroline (Boughton) Chambers, a direct descendant of Roger Williams, the founder of Providence, Rhode Island. Robert's brother was Walter Boughton Chambers, the world famous architect. Robert was first educated at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, and then entered the Art Students' League at around the age of twenty, where the artist Charles Dana Gibson was his fellow student. Chambers studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, and at Académie Julian, in Paris from 1886 to 1893, and his work was displayed at the Salon as early as 1889. On his return to New York, he succeeded in selling his illustrations to Life, Truth, and Vogue magazines. Then, for reasons unclear, he devoted his time to writing, producing his first novel, In the Quarter (written in 1887 in Munich). His most famous, and perhaps most meritorious, effort is The King in Yellow, a collection of Art Nouveau short stories published in 1895. This included several famous weird short stories which are connected by the theme of a fictitious drama, The King in Yellow, which drives those who read it insane.[1] E. F. Bleiler described The King in Yellow as one of the most important works of American supernatural fiction.[2] It was also strongly admired by H.P. Lovecraft and his circle. Chambers returned to the weird genre in his later short story collections The Maker of Moons, The Mystery of Choice and The Tree of Heaven, but none earned him as much success as The King in Yellow. Some of Chambers's work contains elements of science fiction, such as In Search of the Unknown and Police!!!, about a zoologist who encounters monsters.[3] Chambers later turned to writing romantic fiction to earn a living. According to some estimates, Chambers had one of the most successful literary careers of his period, his later novels selling well and a handful achieving best-seller status. Many of his works were also serialized in magazines. During World War I he wrote war adventure novels, and war stories, some of which showed a strong return to his old weird style, such as "Marooned" in Barbarians (1917). After 1924 he devoted himself solely to writing historical fiction. Chambers for several years made Broadalbin, New York, his summer home. Some of his novels touch upon colonial life in Broadalbin and Johnstown.”
On the authors legacy:
“H. P. Lovecraft said of Chambers in a letter to Clark Ashton Smith, "Chambers is like Rupert Hughes and a few other fallen Titans – equipped with the right brains and education but wholly out of the habit of using them."[4] Despite his effective later abandonment of the weird supernatural tale, Chambers's early works heavily influenced Lovecraft's tales. Frederic Taber Cooper commented, "So much of Mr Chambers's work exasperates, because we feel that he might so easily have made it better."[5] A critical essay on Chambers's horror and fantasy work appears in S. T. Joshi's book The Evolution of the Weird Tale (2004). Chambers' novel The Tracer of Lost Persons was adapted into a long-running (1937–54) old-time radio crime drama, Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons, by legendary soap opera producers Frank and Anne Hummert.[6] Chambers' The King in Yellow has inspired many modern authors, including Karl Edward Wagner, Joseph S. Pulver, Lin Carter, James Blish, Michael Cisco, Ann K. Schwader, Robert M. Price and Galad Elflandsson. After emerging as a writer in the New Masses magazine, Whittaker Chambers faced confusion as Robert W. Chambers' son from Max Bedacht, the Communist Party official who summoned him into the Communist underground: Max Bedacht had somehow convinced himself that I was the son of Robert W. Chambers, the novelist. No doubt, the same surname and the fact that we both wrote (though for somewhat different markets) made kinship seem self-evident to him. When the novelist died, shortly after I came to know Bedacht, he congratulated me on coming into a fat legacy, which I believe he thought was about to be swept into the party's till. When I tried to undeceive him, his disappointment was so great that at first he insisted that I was covering up, and I had some trouble convincing him that Robert W. Chambers and Whittaker Chambers were really unrelated.[7]”
About Nic (from his website):
“Nic Pizzolatto was born in New Orleans and raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He was educated at Louisiana State University and the University of Arkansas, where he received several awards for his writing. His work has been published in the Atlantic, Oxford American, Iowa Review, Missouri Review, and other magazines. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award, and his collection of stories Between Here and the Yellow Sea was named by Poets & Writers magazine as a top five fiction debut of 2006. He currently lives in California with his wife and daughter. His first novel, Galveston, was published by Scribner on June 15, 2010. He is represented by Henry Dunow at Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Agents in New York and RWSG Literary Agency in Santa Monica.”
“My main subjects are probably memory, sex, and death—my big three. Your love and hate and memory and pain and joy are all one thing: a dream you had in an attempt to transcend death. Likewise, Pizzolatto does note a sinister, festering quality to those lands where he first lived. The southern states feature a denseness of grime and underbrush, of half-industrial wastelands, of desolate shorelines. True Detective is a story of murder, after all. Decay, Pizzolatto says, is a natural flavor in the southern air. “The South has visible but unremarked-upon corruption,” he explains. “Layers of overgrowth. Wilderness. Dark wilderness, channeled by the culture.” But then again, that culture was home. “I miss the food,” he remarks of Louisiana. He says it without hesitation, sighs a little, and though he now breathes California air, it’s clear the South has stuck with him.”
From a Mens Journal Interview:
“I do think the unifying theme of season one of the show is the damage that men do - to themselves and particularly to women and children. But, within this, I do think I'm always just as concerned with how people wait out darkness, with courage and hope and love. I think, in the end, the total piece points toward a kind of optimism that's hard-earned and redemptive.”
“Authentic, vivid characters drive any story. After that, we look for refinements in language and detail, effective structure, the originality of the author's imagination, etc. But I think it probably all starts with character.”
So what conclusions does this web help us draw. Instead of trying to spoil it or solve it I’m just going to ask the most interesting questions I’ve been thinking of.
What leads to the falling out between the two detectives? 
What is the significance of the beer cans?
What is Rust Cohle up to when he is not being interrogated? The show has set up Gilbough as the modern Hart and Papania as the modern Cohle. That would make sense because Papania is sniffing out the lies in the report. He doesn’t realize yet that Cohle is not responsible but he does see discrepancies in the report. Do Cohle and Papania team up to get to the bottom of the mystery? Or does Papania frame a suspect the same way Cohle did? 
Will Hart’s daughter become involved in the case?
Will the show conclude by unveiling a large religious coverup? That would seem like a letdown unless a couple more heart strings are tugged at along the way.

Elefante from Pablo Larcuen

ELEFANTE from Pablo Larcuen on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Pharrell Williams: Career Arc

Wreckx-N-Effect - Rumpshaker

Tonights the Night - Blackstreet

Lookin’ At Me - Mase

Super Thug (What What) - Noreaga

Caught Out There - Kelis

I’m A Slave 4 U - Britney Spears

Rockstar - N*E*R*D

Lapdance - N.E.R.D

Hot In Herre - Nelly

Grindin’ - Clipse 

Frontin’ - ft. Jay-Z

Light Yo Ass On Fire - Busta Rhymes

Hot Damn - Clipse ft. Ab Liva and Roscoe P. Colchain

Flap Your Wings - Nelly

Like I Love You - Justin Timberlake

T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S. - The Hives

Can I Have It Like That - Gwen Stefani

Pharrell and the Yessirs

Did It Again - Shakira

Martians vs. Goblins

Happy (1pm) ft. Tyler the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt and Jasper Dolphin

Thursday, February 20, 2014

NBA Trade Deadline 2014

       The trade deadline is notoriously a marketing creation. Used effectively in the EPL as well as the major professional sports in America. There is no real logic to it. I’d guess it stems from incidents back in the day where dumb owners made horrible trades just before or even during the playoffs that shifted the competitive balance so greatly that an adjustment was made.
There have only been a couple times when a deadline deal has been able to really change the landscape of a season. A lot of times contending teams will make a small adjustment that will help a bit on the path to glory. Every so often there is a truly big deal. Luis Suarez was a big deal when he went from Ajax to Liverpool at the deadline in 2011. He’s an even bigger deal now three years later. This is an example of buying a player at the right point in their career. A valuable thing for sure but in the last three years Liverpool has won zero premier league titles. Because only one team wins a year that’s not a huge deal except for the fact that Manchester United has won twice during that time bring their total to 20 premier league champions. Two ahead of Liverpool.
The biggest transfer in the history of EPL deadline day is commonly believed to be Wayne Rooney in 2004. Since then Manchester United has won five premier league titles. Before winning with United, Rooney helped them finish third place in back to back years followed by a second place showing before winning three straight.
In soccer teams use money to buy players from other squads at the deadline. Because of deals like the ones for Rooney and Suarez there is a premium to pay when buying top tier talent in the early stages of their athletic prime. Mesut Ozil was transferred for close to twice as much as Rooney was nine years earlier. And he is four years older than Rooney was at the time. That is the name of the game at the deadline. Pay the price for the best pieces available and you can win big. But even these examples fail the ultimate sort of measuring of deadline dealing. Beyond dumping salary or acquiring assets for the future there remains an even more pure cause for ‘wheeling and dealing’ up until the bitter end. Some teams believe they are one change away from everything. And by everything I mean a championship that very same year.
In Hockey it is more common than I thought. There are multiple examples of key players getting moved at the deadline who made a real difference in their new teams push for the cup. Examples include Ulf Samuelsson joining the Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburg Penguins in 1991. This trade also included Ron Francis, who was a living legend for the Hartford Whalers at the time. He was shown the door along with Ulf in return for a young player named John Cullen who was top ten in scoring at the time of the trade. Usually a smart team doesn’t want to trade a young blue chip player. In this case John Cullen faded away and Pittsburgh won back to back titles.
There are other examples in the NHL like Mark Recchi in 2006, Bill Guerin in 2009 and a pair of risky moves the Rangers made in 1994. All of these trades start to show some patterns. The most noticeable one is that suddenly at the deadline players who are thought of as undesired by their current club become, in a moment, the key piece of their new club. Often they are traded for superior players who are younger and on better contracts. But suddenly once the trade happens the roles are reversed. In NHL deadline deals, the path to a championship seems to be adding veterans who have lost their value.
In baseball there are a lot of good deals on deadline day but still very few great deals. Randy Johnson was traded to the Mariners in 1989 and increased the teams wins above replacement by over 80. That’s a lot. The best example of success is from 1964 when Lou Brock was traded to the Cardinals. At the time he was a rising star and only 25 years old. The Cardinals won that year and Brock went on to be elected to the hall of fame after a 19 year career. He’s been called ‘The Legend of St. Louis’. Stole 118 bases in 1974. Won two World Series in St. Louis, lost another. Was third in the league in sacrifice hits in 1964. Top 100 all time on the intentional walks list. Top ten in hits for ten years straight. Top 100 all time in doubles and triples. Top 20 all time in singles and at bats. Top 50 in games played and runs scored. 24th all time in hits. From 1965-1968 for four straight years he was first in errors committed by all outfielders and also first in range factor, a number that determines which fielders successfully cover the most amount of field. Number two all time in steals behind Multicultural Friend Ricky Henderson. The most Lou Brock ever made in a year was $180,000. In 1964, the year he was the big deadline deal that sealed the Cardinals title he was paid $12,000.
Lou Brock was traded for three players. This has become a staple of deadline deals for good players. Packages of prospects whose names are often quickly forgotten in exchange for a difference maker who has fallen out of favor to the point of becoming expendable for one reason or another.
This brings us to the NBA. The best example of a deadline deal that made a difference is none of than Multicultural Friend Rasheed Wallace to the Pistons in 2004. The Pistons were able to acquire Wallace for no one who affected the team. Although draft picks traded away to make the deal work eventually became Josh Smith in Atlanta and Tony Allen in Boston. The Pistons won the title that year. Were a contender atop the Eastern Conference the next couple years after that. Rasheed was the key piece. Combined with Ben Wallace in the post the Pistons had an imposing defense and a complement to Wallace on offense who could create space for Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton to find lanes and open looks. The team changed the way their opponents had to play against them by putting together a perfect starting five. Before Rasheed Wallace came to town the Detroit Pistons were one piece short. After he arrived they were a title winner. Before he arrived he was still in his prime, had led Portland to the playoffs multiple times and somehow was traded to Atlanta in a dump type move where he lasted about a week before Detroit swooped in and got him.
This year there are many rumors floating around. Smart organizations with smart gm’s like the ones in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, LAC, Miami, OKC, Orlando and San Antonio are floating non key pieces trying to see if they can give themselves depth in more important places for the stretch run. Danny Ferry now has a reputation for making good deals and has been trying to find another victim. Chances are decent that he works his way into some talks with Jeff Teague as bait. A solid point guard but not elite. He is the perfect player to have around the deadline. On a contender he makes a huge difference. On a team that believes it can contend he can make an even greater one. The problem is Danny Ferry is too smart to get fleeced. Unless it’s someone like Iman Shumpert or Omer Asik its probably not happening. While the Knicks and Rockets do need a point guard there are no deals that make a lot of sense. Maybe if Atlanta sends Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague to Houston for Omer Asik. Houston sends Lin and Ronnie Brewer to the Knicks who send Shumpert and Raymond Felton to Atlanta. This would gives the Knicks a point guard capable of playing 30 minutes a night while also rejuvenating the fan base. They also replace Shumperts promise with Brewers veteran presence. Houston loses their blue chip center and Lin in exchange for a point guard who is a better fit and a power forward who can play with Dwight Howard and mesh with the teams other key players. Atlanta gets a prospect with a lot of potential for two guys who aren’t in their long term plans. Houston gets a little better with this deal and it could make the difference come championship time.
The Bulls are in a funk. Their star is hurt and not back until next year. Their team is not capable of winning it all but with Tom Thibodeau as coach and a scrappy bunch of solid tools they find a way to contend. This is the time to trade one of their veterans some place and take a chance on a prospect or a draft pick becoming a valuable piece down the line. They have enough pieces to take a chance on someone who’s value has dropped or to try and get an extra second round pick, which they’ve been effective turning into quality players. Whatever move they make it won’t win them a title. Even if they make the rumored Carmelo Anthony trade.
Dallas is in an interesting place with two expiring players who also happen to be competent. There is a chance someone makes a move for Carter and Marion. Both are solid rotation players best suited for a bench role. But that can be very valuable in the playoffs for certain teams. Dallas could use this as a chance to convince someone like Luol Deng to sign long term or they could take a chance on a package of spare parts and hope one of those becomes a diamond in the rough. Either way they are not one move away from the title unless it is for Lebron.
The Clippers want to get better. The truth is they are probably better off standing pat. Trading their spare parts for other teams spare parts has as much of a chance of backfiring as it does succeeding. This team was put together strategically to get the right group. I doubt taking two or three of those pieces and treating them as insignificant is the best way to get the team to go to the next level.
The Heat and Thunder are both looking for improve. Neither team wants to sacrifice anything too valuable so they are both being careful not to move the wrong piece and cause the foundation to weaken. Oklahoma City may trade Sefolosha and or use one of their trade exceptions to add a swingman. The Heat will probably be the first choice of any guys waived due to deadline deals. Doubt they can turn any spare parts into a valuable asset. Maybe a small tweak but I doubt we see any of the big three getting moved or anyone capable of being the ‘fourth’.
The difference makers are Kevin Love, Rajon Rondo, the Cavaliers, Kenneth Faried, the Pistons, Harrison Barnes, Arron Afflalo, the 76ers, the Suns, Kyle Lowry and Gordon Hayward. You also have to include Danny Granger, Zach Randolph and Pau Gasol. All three are older with diminished returns but they are all on the last year of their deal except Randolph, who has a player option he may or not exercise this offseason.
Pau Gasol is probably the most interesting of the bunch. The Lakers have no reason not to move him if the right sweeteners are included. It is a bit of a challenge finding a team that is the right fit for Gasol’s abilities at the moment. He is a large plodding man with a refined offensive touch. He’s a liability on defense but a hard worker. Ideally he fits on a team with a point guard who doesn’t hold the ball much. A team that is contending but needs another piece to solidify with. The Suns are an interesting option, that’s why there have been rumors of him going there. The Trailblazers are interesting too. Same goes for the Wizards and the Bobcats and the Mavericks. All these teams are contending for playoff spots. If they can get the Lakers to accept the right package he can change the fortunes of one of those teams.
Granger and Randolph are more enigmas albeit on different ends of the spectrum. Granger is a three point specialist known for showing up fat and rusty at the start of every year. Despite having the natural talents to have already lead the league in scoring once during his career he struggles to stay at a high level. There are good matches on other teams where they would love to have his expiring contract going into the offseason. The Pacers would also love to hold onto him and probably cannot entertain moving him if the package includes players with big numbers and multiple years left on their deals. The Clippers would be a great fit and you can bet a handful of other teams are making calls. Doubt the Pacers do the trade for anything less than a Deng type player.
Randolph is a garbage man power forward. Just past his prime but still with gas in the tank. He’s the kind of player who could totally change the outlook of the postseason if he were added to San Antonio or Toronto. As things stand now that seems doubtful. The possibility still exists of someone grabbing him from the Grizzlies for one of those packages of prospects or even one of the names listed above.
Hayward and Lowry are in interesting positions. They are both full of ability and capable of being huge difference makers. They are also both about to be free agents asking for more money than some teams think they are worth. Many teams could benefit from obtaining one of these guys at the deadline. Few teams will be willing to part with the assets to take a chance on one of them. Hayward could be a glue guy on a team with players who need the ball or a distributor on a team with weapons that lacks a leader. Lowry is a pit bull capable of changing the fate of many teams. Both guys can probably take a contender and solidify their playoff spot or take a top tier team and push them over the edge. For other teams they represent a solid building block for the future.
Kenneth Faried and Harrison Barnes are both young guys who have played better in the past than they do now. Either guy is capable of shifting the playoff race if put in the right location. Barnes is a beast who could really blossom with minutes on an uptempo team. If he was traded to Philadelphia for Thad Young or Spencer Hawes both teams would benefit. Faried could really help a team down low. Everybody always needs rebounds and despite his flaws Faried more than makes up for it with his rebounding rate. He also gets easy put backs and is a double double machine with 30 minutes a night.
The 76ers, Pistons, Suns and Cavaliers all have a bunch of assets that they can turn into a piece or two that better fits their current teams. The 76ers are in full rebuild mode but somehow have at least two guys they are willing to move who are on reasonable deals that also can make an impact during the stretch. The smart move would be unloading both to teams like the Spurs for packages slightly less valuable than they may be worth. That way the players will perform well and Hinkie can start to repair his reputation after fleecing New Orleans in the Jrue Holiday deal.
The Pistons have problems that probably need to be fixed through action. The first option would be trading Josh Smith, the more likely option is moving Greg Monroe. Greg Monroe is an elite talent right now in the league. Josh Smith is over the hill and overpaid. Both could be effective in different situations but Monroe is the one you have to focus on if he can really be had for the right pieces. I can’t imagine a world in which every team isn’t thinking about what it would take to get Monroe right now. He is capable of playing 4 or 5 and has a sophisticated all around game.
The Suns are a piece or two away and if they can get a superstar have to think about packaging some assets and making a run. If they could trade the Okafor expiring for Greg Monroe that would put them right near the top of the West. On top of that huge expiring contract they also have a stack of draft picks. Should be able to do something if they want. Would be smarter to think long term and go use their assets to get someone with a chance to be great.
The Cavaliers have pieces and no one is untouchable besides Kyrie Irving. That makes them ideal partners for someone looking to make a move. The team wants a legit star to pair with Kyrie Irving. The good news is that their idea of a star is different than some other teams in the league. The bad news is that it seems as if most teams in the league are not fans of the Cavaliers assets. The possibilities are endless but really I doubt many teams besides the Knicks are very interested in adding Dion Waiters, the prime chip.
That leaves the big three this deadline. The bronze goes to Arron Afflalo. Guy’s on a reasonable deal, puts up monster numbers that actually help his team. On any contender he could push them over the top. The questions are does Orlando want to move him and does any other team have enough to make a trade realistic. He is a game changer but could be someone we end up seeing grow with the rest of the new guys in Orlando.
The silver goes to Rajon Rondo. Despite coming off a knee injury he is still at a good number for next year and can change the future and fortunes of an organization in a moment. It’d take a lot to get him, as the Sacramento deal suggests. But if Boston can really get a package like Isaiah Thomas, Ben McLemore and a draft pick from a lottery team they have to think long and hard about pulling the trigger. Especially if it is someplace Rondo would actually play. Imagine him on Houston. Or feeding Melo. And you get the idea why teams covet him right now and Boston seems to be listening. I also wouldn’t rule out the possibility of an extension with the Celtics getting announced and him staying as the backbone of the team for the rest of his career. So that one is up in the air but he is definitely a franchise player who seems to be available for the right price.
The big piece is Kevin Love. Most assume it a forgone conclusion that he leaves Minnesota as soon as possible. While that does seem likely I wouldn’t put it past a doughy guy like Kevin Love to take the max money while the offer is there. He’s already a big star. Heading to a big market and winning some games will increase that but by how much? And what teams will really be able to afford adding Love to the mix at max numbers? I’d say you have to consider Golden State, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns as all being teams with a legit chance. The Lakers get rumored but its not happening for Gasol and a pick. The Clippers would be interesting if they had different pieces to offer back. Houston could maybe work it involving other teams. Whatever way you slice it the trade would be a big deal because Love is a top 5 player in the league right now if not for his inability to lead a team to the playoffs. If the Wolves keep him they probably lose in the second round of the playoffs and hope the team gels before Love has a chance to leave as a free agent the next year. If he goes someplace else that team likely joins the conversation about who realistically can win it all this year.
Peanut Butter Honey