(I don't want anyone to ever know how long this took me to make.)
I woke up this morning at around 6:30, because my body knew I had something to do today. (Breakfast at Wimbledon! Watch Wimbledon!). I finished watching Under Siege 2: Dark Territory for the third time in two days. This movie features a seventeen-ish Katherine Hiegl, baby fat included, getting hit on relentlessly by a a twentysomething Morris Chestnut, who still had a geeky rap-star high top fade.
(Note: photo may not accurately represent the geeky high-top fade of Morris Chestnut.)
It's rare for a movie to feature two actors (Hiegl and Chestnut) who would become so much more attractive when they rounded the 30s.
("Hi, I'm Morris Chestnut, and I'm hot as balls.")
Throughout the movie, Steven Segall does that deadpan cocksure snark delivery that only he can do. It's a strange effect. He takes a trad, uninteresting line of dialogue and delivers it in such a way that it seems he's enormously satisfied with himself and absolutely demolished the other conversant in a game of one-upsmanship, but trying hard not to let you in on the fact that he's enormously satisfied with himself. He single-handedly ensures that any chemistry that threatens to burgeon between the (so-called) professional actors falls flatter and limper than a drag queen in a Shirley MacLaine wig after three hours at Comic-Con. It's so wonderful.
There are, like, three things in my life that I love unequivocally: televised athletics, pop music, and bad movies. (Good movies suck so hard compared to bad movies, I don't even know where to start.) But god damn if I didn't hit all three of my sweet spots today.
So I tune in to Wimbledon, and I watch two incredible but heartbreaking sets get carried by Rafa Nadal, who is a possessed evil demon of athleticism, against Federer, who I'm convinced is some kind of seraph avatar implanted on earth by God to make us remember that everybody else is comparatively pathetic and needs some help if they want to get saved. Except Federer looks so humble and mortal, and he's clanging unforced errors into the net and past the baseline and I'm starting to get frustrated.
Then, I fall asleep.
I wake up furious at having fallen asleep, and am startled to learn that the angelic light of Federer has smiled upon me, in the form of a rain delay, and they're just now coming to the end of the fifth set. A mad dash to the tv that results in a bruised shin yields up five more minutes of agony, as Rafa, in all his damnable good humor and warm, humble competitiveness, aww-shuckses his way to his first Wimbledon final. Federer, in the post-match interview, calls him "the worst opponent," cracks a melancholically classy Swiss smile, and manages to convince me that I want to take one for the team and jump his bones to console him.
It's been a tough year for me as a casual tennis fan, because I've had to pick between my all-encompassing Underdog Complex, and my hatred of presumptuous "you heard it here first" bandwagon croneyism. I liked Rafa, when he was still my little well-kept secret, the Roland Garros juggernaut who turned into a bumbling, Clark Kentishly inept misadventurer on grass and hard courts. But now everybody's jumped all over his hot Spanish tip in that way that is most infuriating. He's still "the underdog." But everybody is so fucking quick to point out, it won't be a surprise if he wins. What good is that? So I've decided that I heart Roger Federer, because there's nothing more infuriating, on a human-interest level, than somebody slipping past his prime in the public eye. It is, in a way, the ultimate underdoggedness. This is, of course, presumptuous, because he's still the best all-around player in the world. But it really hurt to watch him get ripped up on his turf. It was like watching a peace-loving Athenian statesman get speared through the thorax by a rampaging Visigoth usurper, all the while intoning philosophical maxims about democracy and beauty. It was like watching the temple burn against a backdrop of mass cattle rape. Federer walks on water, but Nadal runs through concrete. If Bruegel the Elder had painted a war-torn tennis-scape about the triumph of evil, it would have looked like this.
Also: Why is it that the good people at Campbell's, in their infinite wisdom, deign to release oodles of soups with one hundred calories and eight hundred thousand percent of your daily sodium requirement? I wonder what grocery store soup would taste like with no added salt. But that's sort of like aspiring to do a line of blow off your own tit -- food for thought, sure, but odds are nobody's going to be around to be impressed.