Thales's recent activity

  1. Comment on No love for fiction or literary pursuits on Tildes? in ~tildes

    Thales
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    Did you just call Ursula K. Le Guin a niche author? Sir (literally knighted by the Queen) Terry Pratchett? How could you do this to me, pyeri ;)

    Haven't read any of the other niche authors

    Did you just call Ursula K. Le Guin a niche author?

    Sir (literally knighted by the Queen) Terry Pratchett?

    How could you do this to me, pyeri ;)

    5 votes
  2. Comment on Wicked | Official trailer in ~movies

    Thales
    Link Parent
    You may already know this but Grande did actually get her start acting in musicals/TV: Ariana Grande’s Wiki article That’s not to say that “Nickelodeon star” = great actor, of course, but she’s at...

    Regarding the cast (and again, with ignorance of the Wicked characters), I'm iffy about Ariana Grande. She can sing, but can she act? I did like her small part in Don't Look Up.

    You may already know this but Grande did actually get her start acting in musicals/TV:

    Grande began her career at age 15 by appearing in the Broadway musical 13 (2008). She rose to prominence for her performance as Cat Valentine in the Nickelodeon television series Victorious (2010–2013) and its spin-off series Sam & Cat (2013–2014).

    That’s not to say that “Nickelodeon star” = great actor, of course, but she’s at least got a fair bit of experience in comedic roles.

    Maybe someone who watched Victorious or Sam & Cat can speak to her performance there and how they think it will translate to a more dramatic role.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on Kendrick Lamar - Meet the Grahams (2024) in ~music

    Thales
    Link Parent
    Earlier today I spoke with a friend who is firmly on the side of "Drake is a victim here". I walked away feeling conflicted (how fitting...). There's a lot I don't like about the beef. As I said...

    Earlier today I spoke with a friend who is firmly on the side of "Drake is a victim here".

    I walked away feeling conflicted (how fitting...).

     

    There's a lot I don't like about the beef. As I said above, I've always been a bigger Kendrick fan than a Drake fan, so I've been more inclined to take Kendrick's "side" in this.

    But the second Kendrick said, "I think n***** like [Drake] should die // Him and Weinstein should get fucked up in a cell for the rest their life," I did think Kendrick crossed a line. Doubly so when he reminded listeners via the "Not Like Us" cover art that Drake's address is easy to look up.

     

    My friend added an interesting point this morning after news of the shooting broke. He compared Kendrick calling Drake a pedophile to Pizzagate and said violence was inevitable. I agreed that Kendrick had some level of culpability assuming the shooting was beef-oriented.

     

    BUT, as I said above I think it was appropriate for Kendrick to call Drake out for spending too much time around girls and young women. I don't think an artist whose lyrics are as overtly sexual as Drake's and who spends a lot of time talking about sliding into girls' DMs needs to be offering "advice" to girls and young women. The situation gives off major bad vibes and I think it needs to stop.

     

    BUT my friend made another interesting point, which is that despite the bad vibes I'm getting... there are no public accusations against Drake and there's no actual evidence of wrongdoing.

    It's all just "this dude/situation gives off bad vibes", and "Kendrick says he's a pedophile".

     


     

    I think we all agree that violence is wrong. Likely we agree that Kendrick went too far in saying Drake should die.

    But what do we think of Kendrick repeatedly calling Drake a pedophile without offering any evidence?

    Did he go too far? And is the public going too far in embracing the image of Drake as a "pedophile"?

    1 vote
  4. Comment on Kendrick Lamar - Meet the Grahams (2024) in ~music

    Thales
    Link Parent
    I think Drake's early work and his beef with Meek Mill were what gave him what little street cred he had/has. That was when my appreciation for him peaked, especially with Back to Back (what a...

    Drake has never been very high on my list of artists. I didn't think he was bad but not my style. So I'm surprised to hear anyone thought Drake was a "hard MC." He always came off as kind of as more pop/R&B/rap to me. A guy you'd see at parties/clubs with a large entourage.

    I think Drake's early work and his beef with Meek Mill were what gave him what little street cred he had/has. That was when my appreciation for him peaked, especially with Back to Back (what a time that was to be a Drake fan).

    "The hardest MC" is a line from Drake's 2023 song "First Person Shooter (feat. J Cole)", which is what reignited the Kendrick/Drake beef. J Cole raps:

    Love when they argue the hardest MC
    Is it K-Dot? Is it Aubrey? Or me?
    We the big three like we started a league

    TBH, I thought the idea of "The Big 3" was laughable the first time I heard it. Like you, I've always been a much bigger fan of Kendrick fan than Drake. I feel both of them have been overrated at times, but Kendrick is a real artist, and that's undeniable imo. J Cole is nothing to me, so I thought it was hilarious that he tried to lump himself in with commercial titan Drake and critical darling Kendrick.

    But apparently the idea of "the big 3" is a real thing?.

     

    Anyway, I basically agree with you: I felt right from the start that Kendrick would trounce Drake on lyrics.

    BUT, what has actually kind of stunned me is that Kendrick has also won over the public. Drake has always been flashier and had more commercial appeal, so I was fully expecting him to win in the court of public opinion. After Mr. Morale (which I loved but which had few bangers) I think I forgot Kendrick was still the guy who put out mAAd city, Backseat Freestyle, DNA, etc.

    I think Drake thought the same, and he underestimated how motivated Kendrick was to sink him.

    4 votes
  5. Comment on Kendrick Lamar - Meet the Grahams (2024) in ~music

    Thales
    Link Parent
    I think the best that can be said for Drake at this point is that he can make an argument for being the second best rapper of the 2010s generation. Pushups and Family Matters showcase some of his...

    I think he's held his own

    I think the best that can be said for Drake at this point is that he can make an argument for being the second best rapper of the 2010s generation. Pushups and Family Matters showcase some of his best rapping in recent years. He really does his best work against the wall.

     

    But putting aside the unsubstantiated claims (e.g. Drake has a second daughter, Kendrick beats his partner), I feel like Kendrick has skewered Drake on the stuff that is verifiable.

    1. Authenticity ("Culture vulture")
      As you noted WRT authenticity, Drake often comes off as a poser. I'm not someone to put great store in claims of "cultural appropriation" generally, and I think that criticizing Drake for not being "Black enough" is wrong. BUT, draping oneself in the trappings of hardship while actually being a child of privilege is embarrassing and it's something Drake has been guilty of his whole career.
      I definitely believe Drake had a difficult upbringing--but, compared to the awful childhood circumstances of many of his peers in hiphop, he still grew up relatively privileged. (He wasn't gang-affiliated like Kendrick or deep into drug dealing like Pusha T). Naturally his competition is going to be pissed when he tries to claim he "started from the bottom" the same way they did.
      Kendrick's done well in the beef to paint Drake as a "master manipulator" who's "Not Like Us". Now, the narrative is that Drake's been stealing stories of adversity from people who are truly at the bottom and using them like slaves (Kendrick's words, not mine...) to build himself up: "How many more fairytale stories 'bout your life 'til we had enough?" That's some brutal character assassination, as you alluded to.

     

    1. Drake is weird with girls and young women
      He's been getting called out on this for years, nice to see another callout from someone within the hiphop community.

     

    1. Who's the "hardest MC"
      Kendrick has always been more critically acclaimed than Drake. For maybe the first time in his career, however, he's also winning a larger share of the casual audience than Drake. Even though there have been points where Drake's flow was arguably more impressive (the second and third parts of Family Matters are particularly impressive to me), Kendrick's had the catchier bars and the harder hitting lyrics/delivery.
      And while I know this has little-to-no relevance in this kind of beef, I also like that Kendrick's resorted to less juvenility than Drake. Makes me roll my eyes every time Drake boasts about his dick size, mocks Kendrick's height, insults the Weeknd for being popular with the gay community, mocks victims of molestation (wtf?), etc. Unfortunately both Kdot and Drake are misogynistic, however.

    If this is the end of the beef, I think Kendrick has destroyed any credibility Drake has as "the hardest MC".

    J Cole obviously bailed on that weeks ago, though, hahaha.

    7 votes
  6. Comment on A Reddit-led boycott of Loblaws, one of Canadas largest grocers, begins today in ~finance

    Thales
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    I'd add a fourth: There are other grocery stores, they're just not as convenient to shop at Assuming comparable prices, if Loblaws is 10 minutes from your house and Metro is 12, you'd probably...

    I'm somewhat baffled by the idea. I feel like there's three scenarios:

    I'd add a fourth:

    1. There are other grocery stores, they're just not as convenient to shop at

    Assuming comparable prices, if Loblaws is 10 minutes from your house and Metro is 12, you'd probably shop at Loblaws before Metro. But if you're participating in a boycott, you might decide to just walk/drive the extra few blocks to avoid Loblaws.

    8 votes
  7. Comment on Taylor Swift adds fifteen songs to ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ with surprise release ‘The Anthology’ in ~music

    Thales
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    As a poetry lover, a Taylor Swift fan, and a 1975 fan, a double album is a dream. I can’t tell if I genuinely believe she could get some nominations for literary awards or if that’s just me...

    As a poetry lover, a Taylor Swift fan, and a 1975 fan, a double album is a dream.

    I can’t tell if I genuinely believe she could get some nominations for literary awards or if that’s just me getting swept up in the moment.

    Looking forward to picking over this album for months to come. I know a lot of people are skeptical of Taylor Swift because of how commercial she is but the woman can really write a song. I’ve teared up multiple times already.

    4 votes
  8. Comment on NESN’s Jack Edwards opens up about his speech issues: ‘I’m slowing down all the time’ in ~sports.hockey

  9. Comment on Tildes Book Club discussion - Piranesi in ~books

    Thales
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    (I read this book a little while ago. I write my reviews as memory aids without intending to share them, so forgive me if it's a little fragmentary/fanboy-y :) ) Piranesi Review This novel was a...

    (I read this book a little while ago. I write my reviews as memory aids without intending to share them, so forgive me if it's a little fragmentary/fanboy-y :) )


    Piranesi Review

    This novel was a reminder of everything I love about Susanna Clarke

    • Atmosphere is probably her strongest suit as a writer
    • There’s always a premonition of horror lurking just out of sight in her writing. A gradually unfolding sense that something terrifying and beyond comprehension is unfolding. She taps into that primeval, animal sense of “something’s not quite right”
    • The way the mystery unfolds here is brilliant

     

    • Clarke doesn’t bother to state, “This man is a prisoner of the Halls” until halfway through the book. She doesn’t have to. It’s something the reader realizes slowly over the first hundred or so pages, beginning with the references to real world dates (2012) and objects (does the Other have a smartphone? How does Piranesi have fishing nets?)

    • “How can this man possess knowledge of angels, gardens, etc. if he lives in an alternate universe full of endless marble halls? How can he have journals? What is going on?”

    • It’s because you take Susanna Clarke seriously as a writer and trust her to not just handwave away these inconsistencies that you realize the terrible truth: this man is a prisoner from our world and he has lost his mind

    • The way she creates an utterly convincing world of endless, dizzyingly complex halls (I instantly gave up trying to track which hall was which or which statues were where) and then subtly cues the reader to recognize, “Actually, this world doesn’t really make sense,” is brilliant

    • The mystery surrounding Laurence Arne-Sayles and his followers is doled out piece by piece, and I devoured every portion of it

    • Although, I thought it was a little trite to make Laurence gay (“Those sordid, queer academics are always preying on our kids!”)

     

    • The end of the novel (post-hall) is brilliantly executed too
    • The usage of names (is this Matthew Rose Sorensen? Piranesi? Or someone else?) raises interesting questions about the nature of personality. It reminds me of Better Call Saul (should I call him James McGill? Jimmy McGill? Saul Goodman?) and reminds me of my own struggles with personality
    • Who am I? I am not the same person that I was as a child, a teenager, a new adult—but I carry many fragments of those people in the person I am today. Sometimes those pieces wound me. Often I wish I could dig them out of me—but on the other hand, I sometimes wish I could bring back pieces too.
    • Returning to the story, though: I do not know what to call the main character at the end of the novel (a problem the character struggles with as well). Piranesi is a cruel moniker, given to him by his imprisoner; but the name Matthew Rose Sorensen feels alien—a name belonging to someone else (someone whom the reader barely knows).
    • Something else that I was so impressed with was how Clarke writes the main character’s internal narration so convincingly that, at the end of the novel, the real world actually does feel alien and the Halls more like “The Real World”
    • It’s jarring to see the main character in London. It feels wrong to have him walking to a café to meet with Raphael. I don’t know how to envision this man in the real world, whereas I know exactly what his day-to-day life is like in the Halls.
    • The main character’s family feel two-dimensional and foreign; they are strangers to me. Conversely, the Biscuit Box Man, Concealed Person, Child, Fish-Leather Man, etc. feel like “real” people, and I hate to see them left behind (alone) in the Halls.

     

    • There was a lot more plot to this novel than I expected. It was more of a page-turner than the wandering Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, and I didn’t mind that at all because of how it so effectively portrays and/or raises questions about insanity, personality, and the nature of reality
    • One of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in a long time
    5 votes
  10. Comment on Chinese woman in Beijing goes on one hundred blind dates per year in ~life

    Thales
    Link Parent
    167cm = 65.75 inches, or a little less than 5’6 (5’5 and 3/4).

    167cm = 65.75 inches, or a little less than 5’6 (5’5 and 3/4).

    8 votes
  11. Comment on Multiauthor poetry anthology recommendations in ~books

    Thales
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    You can't beat the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry as far as 20th century anthologies go. The third edition is the most recent, but it's also the most expensive. The first and second editions...

    You can't beat the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry as far as 20th century anthologies go.

    The third edition is the most recent, but it's also the most expensive. The first and second editions are more affordable and available from used booksellers. All editions are massive.

    There is also the Oxford Book of Twentieth Century Verse, which is similarly huge. It is available from used booksellers and also on internet archive.


    Ordinarily I would recommend supporting the artists by purchasing a new copy of an anthology but, given that most of these poems have been out for decades (some over a century!) and new copies of these anthologies are exorbitantly priced, I think going with a used book or Archive.org won't offend too many of the poets ;)

    2 votes
  12. Comment on 2023-24 NHL season: who makes the playoffs and where? in ~sports.hockey

    Thales
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    Western Conference Standings Prediction C1 DAL C2 COL C3 WPG P1 VAN P2 EDM P3 VGK WC1 LA WC2 NSH The Western Conference playoff teams are set, imo, but the order is where this conference gets...

    Western Conference Standings Prediction

    C1 DAL
    C2 COL
    C3 WPG

    P1 VAN
    P2 EDM
    P3 VGK

    WC1 LA
    WC2 NSH

    The Western Conference playoff teams are set, imo, but the order is where this conference gets interesting.

    The Central is the most unpredictable division. DAL/WPG/COL are locked into those top 3 spots but I could see any of them claiming #1. DAL/WPG in particular made some excellent deadline additions for depth. Not sure how I feel about COL losing Byram, but Mittelstadt fills the hole at 2C (empty since Kadri left) and I feel like he could have another gear.

    In the Pacific, I think VAN is too far ahead (and too good) for anyone to catch up. The Oilers will have to settle for second place, although I doubt they mind after such a scary start to the year. I'm also confident Vegas turns their skid around and transforms back into the championship team we saw last year (and earlier this season).

    Of the non-playoff teams, MIN has the most potential to disrupt things, imo. I could see them challenging NSH for that last spot in the wild card... but it's a tall order at this stage of the season. I think they'll fall short despite their easy schedule to end the year.

  13. Comment on 2023-24 NHL season: who makes the playoffs and where? in ~sports.hockey

    Thales
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    Eastern Conference Standings Prediction A1 FLA A2 BOS A3 TOR M1 NYR M2 CAR M3 NYI WC1 TBL WC2 DET The Bruins and Panthers play each other twice before the end of the season, and I think it's going...

    Eastern Conference Standings Prediction

    A1 FLA
    A2 BOS
    A3 TOR

    M1 NYR
    M2 CAR
    M3 NYI

    WC1 TBL
    WC2 DET


    The Bruins and Panthers play each other twice before the end of the season, and I think it's going to be those two games that decide who takes the top spot. The Panthers have the slightly more difficult schedule, but they also have a game and a point in hand. Ultimately, I predict they clear BOS by a handful of points and pair off against the Red Wings in the playoffs, setting up yet another TOR vs. BOS round 1 rematch.

    In the Metro, I think the Rangers will hold their edge over the Canes despite the latter picking up this year's biggest trade deadline acquisition in Jake Guentzel. I doubt Kuznetsov will end up making a big impact in Carolina, but who knows. That being said, the Rangers may regret taking #1 in the Metro given that it will match them up against Tampa Bay instead of the Islanders 😳

    1 vote
  14. Comment on 2023-24 NHL season: who makes the playoffs and where? in ~sports.hockey

    Thales
    (edited )
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    The playoff teams in the West are set, imo. The situation in the East is down to four teams fighting for three spots. As of today: NYI are on a six game winning streak. DET are on a five game...

    The playoff teams in the West are set, imo. The situation in the East is down to four teams fighting for three spots. As of today:

    M3: PHI (74pts; 17 games left)

    WC1: TBL (74pts; 17 games left)
    WC2: NYI (72pts; 19 games left)


    Out: DET (72pts; 18 games left)

    NYI are on a six game winning streak. DET are on a five game skid.

    However… I think when it all shakes out, the standings will look like this:

    M3: NYI

    WC1: TBL
    WC2: DET


    Out: PHI

    By some power rankings, the Red Wings have one of the easiest schedules left in the entire league. Even going by objective point percentage, they still have a slightly easier schedule than NYI/PHI.

    Their recent skid (imo), is down to a combination of the loss of Dylan Larkin, some tough opponents (VGK, COL, FLA), and... a little bit of genuinely bad play. But, their next five games are against non-playoff teams! By the time they face sterner competition again, Larkin should be back in the lineup.

     

    The Flyers are a Tortorella-induced mirage that's been coming apart in the back half of this season. I expect them to continue to drop in points percentage due to goaltending issues and a lack of star-power.

    I think the Isles make it because of how weak the top of the Metro is this year (NJ's goaltending and injury issues changed the face of that division) and because their team has been playing stingy defence and getting timely offence/goaltending of late.

    Tampa I simply can't count out.

     

    One team to watch in all of this, not because they'll make it but because they have the potential to play kingmaker: Buffalo.

    The Sabres have been playing better in their last 20ish games. Over the rest of the season, they play DET x3, PHI x1, NYI x1, and TBL x1. Will be interesting to see what their role is in the final Eastern Conference standings.


    Edit: another team to watch: NYR. They play NYI x3, PHI x 2, Det x1, TBL x1. They may end up choosing their own opponent if they drop into M2 and play M3 (either PHI or NYI). Interesting.

    1 vote
  15. Comment on What's a "house rule" that has made a game more fun for you? in ~games

    Thales
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    It's the base game that isn't balanced--I think your house rule is pretty much necessary to correct for the game's snowballing bias.

    Doubt it's balanced

    It's the base game that isn't balanced--I think your house rule is pretty much necessary to correct for the game's snowballing bias.

    16 votes
  16. Comment on What are you reading these days? in ~books

    Thales
    Link Parent
    The sheer number of characters in this novella was insane. I actually wrote up a review for it a little while ago. It's essentially spoiler-free, but I'll put it in tags just in case you want to...

    I've been trying to get through Gabriel García Márquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold

    The sheer number of characters in this novella was insane. I actually wrote up a review for it a little while ago. It's essentially spoiler-free, but I'll put it in tags just in case you want to wait till after you're done to read it :)

     

    My review of *Chronicle of a Death Foretold*, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (no major spoilers)

    I had no idea what to expect entering this novella. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is frequently talked up as Latin America’s premiere writer and I’ve been eager to try his work for a long time

    • I think this is something I would have really enjoyed had it been easier to follow the ridiculous number of names, locations, personal histories, and interrelationships
    • Santiago Nasar is the son of Placida Linero (why they don’t share a last name is a mystery), the friend of the unnamed narrator, best friend of Cristo Bedoya, fiancé of Flora Miguel, patron of Maria Alejandrina Cervantes, enemy of Pedro and Pablo Vicario, suspected lover of Angela Vicario, la di da di da
    • I gave up trying to work out the relationships after like 50 names had been introduced in the first 35 pages
    • But as headache-inducing as the web of interrelationships is to follow, that’s also where this story finds its spark. There’s a sense of gravity and reality to the story that comes from the deep personal histories and relationships that connect the characters; old conflicts, promises, alliances, and rivalries extend backward years into the past
    • It’s impressive how Marquez introduces and fleshes out so many characters and so many relationships in so few pages—even if it did nearly kill me
    • The narrator delves into the past, peeling it back, layer by layer, and each level stripped away only reveals more levels of history, deeper and deeper
    • There is a real sense of humour and humanity in Marquez’s characters and his writing
    • I look forward to hopefully getting a slower-paced, more accessible experience with Love in the Time of Cholera, though I anticipate that large casts and complicated relationships are something of a staple in Marquez’s work

    I had an okay time with it, but like you, I wasn't enthralled by the story.

    1 vote
  17. Comment on Toronto Maple Leafs' Morgan Rielly to appeal five-game suspension to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in ~sports.hockey

    Thales
    Link Parent
    I think this is one of those situations where everyone's just going to have to watch the video and decide for themselves whether Rielly was aiming for the head vs the shoulder. I don't know if...

    I think this is one of those situations where everyone's just going to have to watch the video and decide for themselves whether Rielly was aiming for the head vs the shoulder.

    I don't know if anyone is still following this who hasn't already seen the tape and picked a side (lol) but here's the video for anyone who hasn't already seen it.

    There's a slow motion replay around 1:44. Unfortunately there aren't many angles.

    1 vote
  18. Comment on Toronto Maple Leafs' Morgan Rielly to appeal five-game suspension to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in ~sports.hockey

    Thales
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    I haven’t seen a video that shows the trajectory of Rielly’s swing change due to contact with Greig’s shoulder. Until that video emerges, I’m siding with the DOPS, Bettman, and (anecdotally) most...

    I think it's pretty obvious that Rielly wasn't targeting the head. He had plenty of time to line it up properly if that were the case, instead of having it glance up off the shoulder.

    I haven’t seen a video that shows the trajectory of Rielly’s swing change due to contact with Greig’s shoulder. Until that video emerges, I’m siding with the DOPS, Bettman, and (anecdotally) most neutral fans on this being intentional.

    1 vote
  19. Comment on Toronto Maple Leafs' Morgan Rielly to appeal five-game suspension to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in ~sports.hockey

    Thales
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    I was extremely disappointed by Rielly's actions. I'm a fan of the Senators and have a history with head injury, so naturally I was upset seeing Greig take a headshot--but I'm also generally a fan...

    I was extremely disappointed by Rielly's actions.

    I'm a fan of the Senators and have a history with head injury, so naturally I was upset seeing Greig take a headshot--but I'm also generally a fan of Morgan Rielly. Even if he plays for a rival team, I've always recognized him as a skilled player, and his outspoken support for the LGBT community is inspiring in a sport that has some serious homophobia issues. His relationship with Tessa Virtue is also cute, and I admire him for the way he has (seemingly) handled the endless Tessa Virtue X Scott Moir shipping with grace. Watching him succumb to emotions on the ice and deliver a headshot was as surprising as it was disappointing.

    I don't buy the "it was an accident, he was aiming for the body" excuse from Rielly, and I'm pleased to see Bettman gave it zero credence as well:

    "This is not a case where Mr. Rielly's stick was delivered to the misection or shoulder and 'rode up' to Mr. Greig's head" (page 8).

    I think the slapshot was awesome--I love rivalry in sports. It's one of the few areas of life where shit-talking, flexing, etc. is 100% fine, in my opinion. I'm genuinely hoping that the next time Toronto has an open net opportunity vs Ottawa, one of the Leafs winds up for a clapper and then gives the Sens bench a big shit-eating grin. It would be hilarious if this turned into an ongoing thing between the two teams.

    I would have also been cool with Rielly challenging Greig to a fight and/or shoving him. The response isn't the issue--the decision to respond is actually fantastic for the rivalry, imo--it's the egre(i)giousness of the response that is the whole problem here. I think Bettman nailed it in point#1 on page 7.

    Hopefully this is a one-time thing from Rielly and I can go back to being a fan.

    1 vote