June’s 13

After a month-and-change disappearance from the world’s bandwidth, thomascrone.com’s favorite monthly feature returns. With a whimper or a vengeance, depends.

Sites 1, STLUFC.com: The soccer kids have their own corner of cyberspace. Thanks to Bill Streeter for creating it and cutting the video and to Brian Marston for the hosting. And that’s all I have to say on that!

Sites 2, The Art of Manliness: Though it’s been some time since I’ve given the sport of boxing a lot of thought, I still get interesting e-mails and links on the subject and this one’s got a nice, overall primer on the sport’s history. Better yet, it got me looking at this overall site, which is filled with exactly the kind of content you’d expect from its name. A few entertaining reads here

Blogs, 52nd City: As soon as I’m done with this fascinating business, I’m going to set up a 52nd City Twitter feed and will note on the actual blog that we’re going with a new, stripped-down version. (Even more stripped-down than present.) Because all three, primary members of our blogging team has been b(l)ogged down by life’s other challenges, joys and vexations, we haven’t been updating it a ton. Instead of simply nixing what’s up, we’ll leave it up for special pieces or series and will note when new content is up via Twitter. So let us lightly-clutter up you Twitter page; we promise not to tell you when we’re getting coffee.

Fish, catfish: It’s a humble fish. It’s a tasty fish. And I’m truly sorry for killing y’all, catfish. But thanks for your delicious flesh.

Show of the month, Viva Voce: Tuesday, June 9 at the Firebird (forever known in advertising and marketing as “formerly the Bluebird”). A few years back, I happened into the Way Out Club on a random night and caught this husband-wife/guitar-drums duo with no prior knowledge of them. The other dozen people and myself were transfixed by the set, which moved me to buy every piece of merchandise that the group was selling. At that point, it was only a pair of albums, but those two cemented the band as a lifelong fave. Looking forward to this one, much.

Book, “The Dumbest Generation“: You’d think that teaching a bunch of college classes would equate to a good number of free books. And that’s sorta true, if you’re jonesing for a dozen different texts on your specific subject matter, which never stop arriving. This week, though, paydirt was hit with the arrival of “The Dumbest Generation,” Mark Bauerlein’s readable evisceration of the today’s collegians. According to the work (and you’ve probably guessed this from the title, if you’ve not heard of it before), all of us oldsters should be bemoaning the current crop of kids, who spend their time on video games rather than classic literature; in lieu of trips to museums and galleries, there are countless visits to the sites of those institutions; instead of boning up on culture in old-fashioned ways, they’re committing time to blogging on personal websites. Now I’m convinced: we’d better prepare for the worst.

Films 1, “Terminator Salvation“: Great explosions. Great cheekbones on Christian Bale. Great closeups on Moon Bloodgood. Great expectations. Not met. Oh, well.

Films 2, “The Third Man“: Working with a student on a summer film project has plunged me back into the long-discarded project of viewing the Top 100 AFI films, along with a Time magazine list of 100 worldwide films worth watching. The best film of the recent run has been “The Third Man,” a classy noir with all the needed elements of the genre: dark alleyways, a gorgeous (and troubled) femme fatale, erroneous decision-making, abandoned urban spaces, clever one-liners, et al. Delicious. Delightful.

(Debates, Zima: While typing this up, a Mangia bartender just brought in a Zima sign, purchased earlier today for $25. Is this iconic sign worth a $50 bid, to free it from her clutches? I’m weighing the options as this is assembled. By the way, Zima, according to Wikipeia, was part of the clear culture craze of 1993, which also included Clear Tab, Miller Clear and the eventual Zima offshoot, 1994’s Izen Klar.)

Countries, China: We should probably all think about this more, shouldn’t we?

Trends, pop: Lately, I’ve fallen on-off-on-off the bandwagon of boycotting soda pop. My request is that those who read this, then see me guzzling soda pop, take the initiative to slap that s–t outta my hand. You can crack me in the head, too, which would be appreciated and might reinforce the need for boycotting. The stuff’ll kill you.

Rides, City Museum Ferris wheel: The word is out, that City Museum’s roof will “go live” tomorrow evening, with a $5 charge added to your CM adventure. Tell you what, though, I was lucky enough to ride the Ferris wheel a couple weeks back, just after dark. And the views were spectacular. I would think that timing a visit to dusk and getting more than a couple, quick revolutions would be a valuable way to spend some quality minutes in Downtown. That rooftop is really quite a sight, altogether, with fountains, the mantis, a chance to see the infamous bus and, of course, the wheel. I do go on…

Bands, Blodwyn Pig: Was recently treated to a gift of “Ahead Rings Out,” by Blodwyn Pig. The cover is rather reminiscient of the mascot of a certain local radio station. We give a nod to the BP’s today.