Leading up to Monday's Game 1, Puck Daddy is previewing every facet of the Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the San Jose Sharks — on the ice and off the ice.
The San Jose Sharks don't have a dedicated anthem singer. Instead, they rotate through local singers and occasionally the notable guest singer.
What makes the Sharks anthem unique is the crowd involvement. Let us stop you before you start thinking of the Chicago Blackhawks and their fans cheering during the anthem. This is much less, well, polite?
After the announcer asking the fans to rise and remove their hats for the singing of the anthem, the Sharks' homecrowd yells, "HEY [visiting team]! YOU SUCK!" Here's an example from the first round of this year's playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings:
Anthem singers not accustomed to this local tradition have known to be thrown off by the crowd. Especially when the 'YOU SUCK' part coincides with the singer's name.
As for the Penguins, singer (and Dave Coulier lookalike) Jeff Jimerson has been belting out the anthem for the Pittsburgh faithful since the 1990-91 season.
One of his most poignant moments with the mic is on October 22, 2014 when he sang 'O Canada' to honor those involved in the tragedy in Ottawa earlier that day. No Canadian teams were playing in the game.
ADVANTAGE: PENGUINS. Fans love a friendly face. Fun fact: Jimerson played 'Anthem Singer' in the 1995 movie 'Sudden Death' starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.
For the first two years of the Sharks existence as a franchise, they played in an arena named the 'Cow Palace.' This wasn't a nickname. It was actually called the Cow Palace. In 1994, the team moved into San Jose Arena. This locale has been home ever since. The arena has undergone four name changes with the current being SAP Center.
SAP Center has been recognized as the biggest success story in the revitalization of downtown San Jose. SAP Center, also known as "The Tank," exemplifies the architectural excellence and technological innovation of the Silicon Valley and includes the latest in audio and video technology. The building has a glass pyramid entry and unique stainless steel façade. Most noticeable is the high resolution LED center hung scoreboard -- one of the largest in North America and a full-color moving LED fascia display.
In the past decade the Shark Tank has been one of the loudest buildings in the NHL when full. Yet, the Sharks saw a drop in attendance at the beginning of this season.
Since their beginning in 1991 at the Cow Palace, the Sharks have been one of the NHL's shining examples of how hockey can work in a nontraditional market. They had a five-year streak of sellouts, 205 games overall. For a span of nine seasons, starting in 2006, they played to 99.8 percent of capacity at their 17,562-seat arena. Just once in franchise history -- in 2003-04 -- did average home attendance fall below 96 percent of capacity.
For the first time in franchise history, they failed to sellout a playoff game in Game 1 against the Nashville Predators. (A quick look at the Ticketmaster site for Games 3 and 4 appear to be sold out - aside from resale tickets - at the moment; however, the team has released tickets on the day of throughout the playoffs leading to some empty seats.)
One thing the Sharks had been chided for for years was their Washington Capitals-esque display of banners. Our friends at The Canafornians show just a few of what is on display in the rafters, including the ridiculous 'regular season champions' banner (second from the left):
Look on the bright side. They'll get to add at least a Western Conference Champions banner to start next season.
One other unique feature of the SAP Center is the hovering head of a shark that rises and lowers from the rafters. Players skate out from its mouth when they come on to the ice. It kinda looks like the shark is barfing up the team.
SAP Center is a popular venue for all things outside of hockey, too. So much so that Andrea Bocelli's concert was scheduled smack dab in the middle of the Stanley Cup Final. The Sharks put Lord Stanley ahead of Bocelli on the list of priorities forcing the tenor to reschedule his concert.
Who cares if the man has the voice of an angel when there is hockey to be played?!
As for the Penguins, they spent a majority of their existence at the historic Civic Arena/Mellon Arena until they moved into the lavish confines of Consol Energy Center; a venue befitting a king (or the second coming of Penguins hockey).
Ever sat down in a stadium seat and wondered when the seats got so small (and not that your butt is getting bigger)? You won't have that problem in Consol! The arena boasts "the most comfortable seating arrangement in the NHL — seats up to 24 inches wide, with an accompanying increase in legroom."
The Penguins showed how they can do banner overkill, too. Many of theirs are earned over the 49 years of existence, but did they need banners for MVPs and scoring titles (far left) when they're the same guys all the time.
When set up for hockey, the arena holds - wait for it - 18,087 fans. Yes, the number ending in 87 is in honor of Sidney Crosby.
The crowd noise has been of some debate since the arena opened. One wouldn't know that if they paid attention only to Game 7 versus Tampa.
“I thought it was incredible,” [Mike] Sullivan said. “It’s the loudest that I’ve heard a building in all my years I’ve been associated with this league… to the point where we had to scream to the players on who was up next.”
Sullivan says his players appreciate every decibel of support they get from their fans.
“They’re passionate about their team. They want to see them succeed, and I thought tonight it was on display. It was the most electric building I’ve seen,” Sullivan said.
That isn't been the case all along. Many said the arena is/was too quiet, and hasn't matched the atmosphere in the intimate setting of Mellon Arena.
From Pittsburgh Sporting News in October:
"It was fun to play (here), especially coming from Pittsburgh,” he said to Islanders Insights. “It’s pretty dead there.”
[Thomas] Greiss, who played only one season in Pittsburgh before signing a free-agent deal with the Isles this offseason, may have a point. Despite the Penguins’ 377-game home sellout streak, his criticism is one that rings true. The environment at Penguins home games hasn’t been the same since they left Mellon Arena for their new digs across the street in 2010.
Part of the problem may be that the Penguins have priced out the average fan. The average ticket price at Consol Energy Center last season was $73.59, a more than 100% increase over the last 10 years.
With the team on the market for sale, and demand for tickets still high, change in that department will be slow to come by.
(Remember, Greiss now calls BARCLAYS CENTER home. Is it a player scored or an indictment on the crowd?)
That quote brings up a good point. Pittsburgh tickets are expensive. How many "real fans" can afford the expensive seats especially during a final.
At the time of publication, the Penguins were still selling Game 1 tickets (via Ticketmaster, non-resale) in the lower bowl for $375-$580 per seat. Less seats are still available in the lower bowl for Game 2 at $420 a pop. We're pretty sure the tickets will get sold or given away to a VIP by puck drop, preserving the 428 game sellout streak by the Penguins.
ADVANTAGE: SHARKS. They've sold out their two games at home, and have consistently been one of the loudest buildings in the NHL - not just in Game 7.
Both teams underwent a goal song makeover this regular season.
The Sharks had used Gary Glitter until this season when they finally realized why no one else used the song in their arenas anymore.
As a part of the 25th anniversary season festivities, they put the new goal song to a fan vote because what could go wrong, right?
We lent our full support to the [ear bleeding] LMFAO remix of 'Shots' as 'Sharks.' As did California rival fans of the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings who surreptitiously voted often for the song.
The Sharks brass allegedly caught wind of what was happening and intervened. They went for the way less exciting, yet often used Jock Jam of “Get Ready for This” by 2 Unlimited.
Prior to this season there wasn't a clear cut goal song for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"Last season, an ongoing joke in the press box was that it was tough to remember what the Penguins used as a goal song, even a minute after the goals themselves. They opted for "Kernkraft 4000" and "Rock And Roll, Part II" a lot."
(The latter is the Gary Glitter song the Sharks used, too. Probably time to retire it anyway.)
Thanks to Pittsburgh Sports and Mini Ponies (a.k.a. PSAMP) a social media campaign was launched to change the song to 'Party Hard' by Andrew W.K.
Party Hard is the ultimate expression of joy, happiness and love for one another. These are all feelings associated with watching your favorite hockey team score a huge goal at home. Hugs all around, people. There are few songs with such power and direction. Andrew tells you to Party Hard? You Party Hard.
There’s an idea that “partying hard” is not the exact image the new stuffy Penguins and CONSOL braintrust is trying to convey. This is the worst argument ever, you tool. See here, Andrew has a long history of using his platform as a means of enriching the lives of everyone he meets. Party Hard is not a mantra of getting drunk and high and puking in the street. Party Hard is a vehicle of letting your true emotions flow out of you unrestrained so you can use all of that energy to make your life better simply by making the lives around you better. Imagine a timely goal by Sidney Crosby snowballing that inevitable avalanche? There’s simply no way of getting around the positive impact the song and feeling has created.
It worked. The Penguins debuted their new goal song against the New York Rangers on October
ADVANTAGE: PENGUINS. Don't ask for fan input unless you're ready to accept what's next.
Don't you love it when Shark Week and hockey combine?
Nobody describes the (somewhat ridiculous) specificity in the team's home and away jerseys quite like the poor soul in marketing that had to write the description for the website.
The Sharks debuted the newest iteration of their uniforms for the 2013-14 season. Here's how they describe their home and away sweaters:
TEAL: Worn as the home sweater, the teal look debuted during the 2013-14 season as part of The Next Wave. The look is clean, focusing on the Sharks primary color, Pacific Teal. The player's number, located above the crest, on the sleeves, and on the back, are in white lettering with a black trim. Each shoulder has the jumping Shark logo. The sweater has neckline lacing, a homage to hockey sweaters from years past.
WHITE: Also debuting during the 2013-14 season, the white sweaters were worn during away games. The look is unfettered, with the Pacific Teal contrasting against the white fabric. Similar to the teal sweaters, each shoulder has the jumping Shark logo and neckline lacing. The player's number, located on the sleeves, on the back, and above the crest, are in Pacific Teal with a black trim.
"The Penguins' jerseys now feature thicker Vegas gold side sections, while the black and white body portions of the jersey go all the way to bottom hem. The cuffs and underarms are black on the white-based jerseys and are white on the black-based uniforms. Additional Vegas gold inserts appear on the sleeves just below the numbers. The NHL shield also has moved from the back right hem to the base of the neckline."
The team adopted their alternate jerseys as their new home jerseys for their playoff run, and you can see why:
"The Penguins went back to the future during the 2014-15 season, unveiling the 'Pittsburgh Gold' third jerseys reminiscent of the sweaters the Penguins wore during their back-to-back Stanley Cup championship seasons of 1991 and 92."
ADVANTAGE: PENGUINS. The black and gold is synonymous with the city of Pittsburgh and professional sports (no matter what Boston says).
- - - - - - -
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:
*****Please note that news items and movie reviews may contain spoilers)*****
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+ The Hound of the Baskervilles DVD review
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A Diseased Fancy - 15/25 by J. Baillier (Sherlock/John | M | BBC)
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You hear talk about Internet overload/addiction, but this very specific form has crossed my radar multiple times in recent days. In students, specifically. To the extent of failing multiple courses. Because they use laptops for everything, and YouTube is always a Cmd-Tab away, and whether your itch is Team Fortress 2 or cat breeding or string quartets or tentacles, there’s always something new and fresh there to scratch it. So teachers don’t get heard and homework doesn’t get done. My hunch is it’s a real thing. Anyone else?
I still haven't filled out my census form, and they've sent me a reminder. I guess I should get on that.
And kate_nepveu has re-read and reviewed Victory of Eagles, which may well be my all-time favourite Naomi Novik book. As usual, spoilers for all the published books in the Temeraire series may be found either in the re-read and review itself, or in the comments section.
I believe this is what is commonly known as "a problem."
Also "time to own up to the fact that you're kind of a woo person."
(The unpackaged one is Raven's Prophecy, which SUPER ANNOYINGLY -- because I don't actually really like Maggie Stiefvater's writing -- is kind of awesome.)
(And I ACTUALLY also have this deck! But for hopefully obvious reasons I hate it -- it was a gift, I did not pick it -- and it will be going out to the curb with the next box of free-to-a-good-home bookshelf culls*. Hopefully someone will appreciate it more than I do.)
(Relatedly, I owe a couple of people readings! HOPEFULLY I will be getting to those in the next couple days; I seem to have recouped some spoons.)
* This area is at Peak Used Book and it's actually kind of a PROCEDURE to get anyone to take donations, but I can just about guarantee that SOME passerby will go "oooh, hey!" at just about anything you see fit to leave in a box on the curb.
Note: This wound up somewhat diagonal to the prompt and took an unexpected detour through angst on its way to the mostly happy ending. Oops? As per the secondary part of the prompt, this is another installment of the Leaf and Letter AU, wherein Rose is an author and Jade owns a plant shop. It falls between the two [2,450 words]
(Content note: Rose talks about her mother's alcoholism and its effects on her childhood.)
( Who Contract the Habit of Eating )
Random fact: it is actually true that Kraft stopped using artificial colors and flavors in their mac and cheese. I know this because articles about that fill most of the first page of Google results when you look up 'kraft mac and cheese' in an attempt to check what is actually printed on the blue boxes (which I then ended up not describing at all in the ficlet at all, because that's how my life works).
Another random fact: I had instant Kraft mac and cheese for dinner tonight. One little-mentioned hazard of writing is that occasionally one incepts oneself with some really annoying and/or ridiculous cravings. *headdesk*
The San Jose Sharks and the Pittsburgh Penguins are both known for the blazing team speed. That doesn’t just go for their scoring prowess, but also their defense.
The Sharks’ team goals-against average for the playoffs is 2.28, while the Penguins is 2.39. The Sharks have given up 41 goals against to the Penguins’ 43. Both teams like to swarm opposing players, taking away their time and space, filling gaps to disrupt outlet passes.
Here’s a look at both of their team defenses.
The blue line is anchored by the top pairing of Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun, the team’s shutdown duo. They helped stifle Tyler Toffoli, who had one assist in five games for the Los Angeles Kings. They helped frustrate Filip Forsberg, who had one goal in seven games. And then, most impressively, they held Vladimir Tarasenko scoreless until the final stage of the St. Louis Blues’ elimination game.
“We’re playing against the top players on every team. Me and Brauner will keep doing what we did,” said Vlasic, who skates 23:34 per game. “Every series gets tougher. You go from series to series, and now you’re playing a pure goal-scorer like Tarasenko. To shut him down for six games is unbelievable. Did I expect to shut him down? No. Did I expect him to score every one of these six games? Yes.”
Paul Martin and Brent Burns are the other dynamic duo. The acquisition of Martin was a boon for Burns, as he’s been the perfect complement and safety net for the offensive dynamo. They’re both positive possession players and solid on the back end.
Veteran Roman Polak and 25-year-old Brendan Dillon are the other pairing, and they’ve been victimized in this postseason. Dillon currently has the lowest score-adjusted 5-on-5 Corsi on the Sharks at 43.98.
Up front, the Sharks have some stellar defensive players among their stars, including a Selke-worthy season from Joe Thornton. He and Joe Pavelski are the only Sharks with a faceoff winning percentage above 50 percent (based on 100 faceoffs).
Their bottom six has been strong as well, with that third line of Melker Karlsson, Chris Tierney and Joel Ward giving the Sharks that third option that’ll be vital in beating the Penguins.
If the game is on, chances are Kris Letang is on the ice. He’s averaging 28:46 per game. With the injury to Trevor Daley, that means the next highest player in average ice time is Brian Dumoulin and he’s nearly eight minutes off Letang’s pace (20:56).
That pairing is the top one for the Penguins, and their best possession drivers: Letang at 54.60 Corsi (5v5, score adjusted) and Dumoulin at 53.54. They’re a shutdown pairing that, thanks to Letang, can also add to the attack.
Ben Lovejoy has been the third best possession driver for the Penguins on defense (50.83). His partner, Olli Maatta, appears to finally be rounding back into effectiveness after some rough patches in the postseason.
Ian Cole and Justin Schultz make up the other typical pairing. Schultz’s puck-moving game has been vital with Daley out. Cole is a negative possession player, but honestly, this duo’s sum can be greatest than its parts.
Up front, the Chris Kunitz/Evgeni Malkin line has dominated opponents, especially Kunitz, who’s having a marvelous postseason. Ditto Sidney Crosby’s line, as he’s winning 51.5 percent of his draws.
Matt Cullen leads the team with 52.4 percent faceoff wins, but his line with Tom Kuhnhackl and Eric Fehr has been getting eaten live by opponents otherwise.
WHO HAS THE EDGE?
Sharks. The top two pairings are overall stronger, especially with the injury to Daley, and the team defense has the ability to suck the life out of the other team’s top scorers.
PUCK DADDY'S STANLEY CUP FINAL PREVIEW
Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at
Second, Memorial Day means Fleet Week, and that means the streets are crowded up with sailors, and I'm not exactly a big fan of extra crowds.
Third, Memorial Day + Fleet Week = airshow, which means sooner or later I'm going to get scared shitless by some planes flying right over the house. Every year, same deal, planes come and I end up in the basement for ten minutes.
Fourth, Memorial Day is the last holiday before the 4th, and would you believe I'm not a huge fan of that either? Fireworks scare my cat.
Later this summer, Mom and I are going on our big Italian Adventure. I actually enjoyed reading The Agony and the Ecstasy in high school -- you know, as opposed to everyone else in my sophomore class. So you might think that Florence is tops on the list. It sort of is, but it's been overshadowed by the genealogical research.
Well be spending time in a tiny town that sits on top of a mountain in Abruzzo, where my Great-grandfather was from. On the flip side of the coin, we also want to visit Palermo, where my Great- and great-great grandmothers came from. Seriously it's like he was from Smallville and she was from Metropolis and then the both had families and were widowed and met up in Gotham. There's a heroic angle here too, because when she lost her first husband, her children were put into orphanages. He got them all back and then moved them to that little slice of paradise we call Jersey.
But Sicily is more challenging -- which I'm told is the general rule about Sicily. We need to spend some time in Palermo. But I need to see Etna. I'm lead to believe that I may need to change base to really get to the towns that service the tourists to Etna. There seems to be a lot of can't get there from here. Any thought? 'Cause you know that the highly rated Sicilian tour company hasn't replied to my e-mails. I thought it was just Mercury in retrograde, but no.
And since Rome is where we're flying into and out of and, ROME we'll be doing that too.
Informal polling (of the #cap-im chat) got me three yeses and one no. How about you all?
The article recommends the first couple minutes of this Bach piece (up to and including the chorus coming in) as frisson-inducing, which I have to agree with. Poking around their other suggestions, I get it more from orchestral work and not so much pop/rock music (unless it also has an orchestra -- like, I get it from "Live and Let Die"). Also non-orchestral music with a lot of harmony suddenly coming in will often work for me, like this sea shanty.
Humans. We're weird, huh?
So asked Michael Rank in the comments section to this post:
"Triple topolectal reprimand" (5/29/16)
That's a very good question.
It's a common expression among Wuhan speakers, a pet phrase for men and women alike, almost as though it were a sort of mantra or dharani. If you ask them what it means, they will probably tell you that they themselves don't know, in which case you might get the impression that it's a modal or expletive without specific semantic content.
In actuality, gè bānmǎ 个斑马 (superficially "a zebra") is short for gè bānmǎ rì dī 个斑马日滴 (superficially "a zebra day drop"), which you will also often hear in Wuhan. As soon as you see / hear that rì 日 (looking like an innocent "day"), you know that you're in the territory of the most foul imprecations that can be uttered in Sinitic.
We must probe more deeply!
First of all, we have to split up gè bānmǎ 个 斑马 into gè bān mǎ 个 斑 马, where bān 斑 does not mean "striped" (like a zebra), but rather is the nasalization of the pretransitive particle bǎ 把. Next, we have to realize that mǎ 马 ("horse") is standing in for mā 妈 ("mother"). Hence, putting it all together, we have gè bǎ mā 个把妈. Now we know for sure we are on dangerous ground, for when Chinese are arguing and start talking about the other person's mother, the trouble is getting very deep.
Note that the Wuhan pet phrase gè bānmǎ 个斑马 gè bǎnmǎ ("a zebra") can also be written in characters as 个板马 ("a plank horse"). This is further evidence that gè bānmǎ 个斑马 has nothing to do with zebras, but is simply a phonetic transcription of gè bǎ mā 个把妈 (measure word [m.w.] + pretransitive marker of the accusative + "[your] mother"). I honestly don't know the exact function of the m.w. gè 个 here, but suspect that it might (in some circumstances) be self-referential. On the other hand, it perhaps more likely implies that "[you are] a motherf*cker"). It all depends on whom we think the implied subject is, the curser or the person who is being cursed.
Next, we have to add in that seemingly innocent, little "day" word — rì 日. Uh-oh! In the expression gè bānmǎ rì dī 个斑马日滴, it really means what it does in the extremely vulgar curse, gǒurì 狗日. That looks like it means "dog days", but really signifies "dog f*ck" (the term for "dog days" in Chinese is sānfú [tiān] 三伏[天], where sānfú 三伏 refers to the three hottest months of summer). An expanded form of gǒurì 狗日 is gǒurìde 狗日的 ("dogf*cker").
Now you're probably wondering how poor, little rì 日 ("day") came to mean "f*ck". In truth, it is standing in for rù 入 ("enter") (cf. the unspeakably vulgar character cào 肏 (graphically = rù + ròu 入 + 肉 ["enter + flesh"]).
rì 日 ("day")
Middle Sinitic reconstructions:
- Wuhan: /ɯ²¹³/
- Cantonese (Jyutping): jat6
- Hakka (Pha̍k-fa-sṳ): ngit
- Min Dong (BUC): nĭk
- Min Nan
rù 入 ("enter")
Middle Sinitic reconstructions:
- Wuhan /y²¹³/
- Cantonese (Jyutping): jap6
- Hakka (Pha̍k-fa-sṳ): ngi̍p
- Min Dong (BUC): ĭk
- Min Nan
All right, that takes care of all the elements in gè bānmǎ rì dī 个斑马日滴 except for dī 滴 ("drop") at the end. This part is rather easy, since it's just standing in for the ubiquitous nominalizer 的. Usually this is pronounced "de", but many people pronounce it "dì", which was its original (before bleaching) pronunciation when it meant "target". Indeed, for the first decade or so while I was learning Mandarin, following some of my teachers and various instructional materials, I pronounced 的 in all of its usages as "dì", not "de". Occasionally that habit of decades ago still comes back to me.
The denizens of Wuhan have a reputation for being rude and foul-mouthed. I'm sure that there must be plenty of polite, elegant, well-spoken individuals in Wuhan, but people from other parts of China — even where swearing is prevalent — are often stunned by the ubiquitousness and creativity of Wuhan profanity.
In comparison to the raw language discussed in this post, the "25 literary Yo Mama jokes" that I just read (on Book Riot, 5/27//16) are incredibly tame.
[Thanks to Wiktionary and this Chinese website]
( Live fast, die young, Carter girls do it well )
Beyond that, I'm really enjoying this piece dragging Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort about this horrible interview he gave complaining about all the whiners whining about Captain America: Steve Rogers.
If you like nerdy counterfactual stuff, someone has mapped out where Wakanda is, based on Civil War, and gone into things like actual climate and language choices, as well as the viability of a monarchy when only one actually remains in Africa. Super super neat!
Also, I just really like this infographic explaining film noir. Something for everyone tonight. <3 Hi!
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Source: Sherlock "The Abominable Bride"
Description: He used to make merry over the cleverness of women, but I have not heard him do it of late.
Music: "I Follow Rivers" by Lykke Li, Alvita Remix
HQ Download available here.
Sherlock inspires such ambivalence in me! Maybe ambivalence is the wrong word, because really it inspires stronger feelings. Excitement. Frustration. I saw this episode (on the US clock) right after I'd just finished teaching a first year seminar on Sherlock, and in so many ways I felt like it was made for the Sherlockian fangirl in me, and so perfect for the class! So many references, so many key themes, hell there was even a Mary Russell reference (and we read The Beekeeper's Apprentice.) I'll be able to close with The Abominable Bride in future iterations of the class (for which I've secured the course number 221, but that's neither here nor there--OK, it's totally awesome, I'll admit it.)
But I know many, many people rightfully had HUGE issues with The Abominable Bride, and I totally get why. I share those issues. I see this episode as a partially misguided attempt for the source text to engage with and address its female viewers, its unexpected (unwanted?) fangirls, the elephant in the room, yet show rather spectacularly how they don't really understand them... I'm familiar with that ride from SPN, I have to say. But I feel like there's raw material in this episode--even in the misfires themselves--that just resonates for me--and that made me want to vid it enormously. I've been sitting on this vid since January, lacking the time to tweak it until now, and also because I was a bit hesitant to wade into what I know has been a rough debate surrounding this episode of Sherlock. But now I've sat with it, reworked it somewhat, and am ready to part with it, for better or for worse (I hope for better? :D)
The title references Freud via Mary Ann Doane's "Film and the Masquerade," an article that had a huge effect on me way back when and that I teach regularly and still get a lot out of. I realize that the article isn't available to all, so let's see if this link is going to work...