Saturday, July 31, 2004

Nomaaaaah



Nomar Garciaparra traded to the Cubs in a multi-team deal, sending OF Dave Roberts, 1B Doug Mientkewicz, and SS Orlando Cabrera to the Bosox. This sadly means that many drunk men of all ages in the New England area have lost a statement that held a great amount of power. It could make you laugh (see: Jimmy Fallon's Masshole character on SNL) or bring you together (see: any guy named Sully chatting it up with a nerdy kid from BU in a bar that may or may not have O'Flannery or Charlie in its name) or, more importantly, give you something else to yell out at games, rallies, weddings, barbecues, bar mitzvahs, circumcisions, baptisms, funerals, political conventions, etc. other than "Yankees Suck." If this trade doesn't work out, God help us all. Those people nevin evein let shit go. Nevin.

Back to Plan B...

...blowjees and handjees by the freeway underpass.


Tyson Gets "Knocked The Fuck Out"

It Takes A Village

Ben summed it up quite succinctly. Save your money and pass on the latest from...cue the overzealous score...M. Night Shyamalan. The Village could not have been worse than Signs, some kind of Sunday school lecture that has the most innocuous of alien invasions considering that the furry fellows from Earth Girls Are Easy apparently die Wicked-Witch-of-the-West style from water. Sure hope it never rains. But, alas, M. Night tops himself and makes a film even more tedious, sanctimonious, and downright silly (especially in how terribly serious he treats every "twist" he heaps onto this waif thin concept). The obnoxious thing here is the waste of talent (if, like me, you don't have the energy to wade through the dialogue, structure or pacing of the film right at this moment). Despite having to read sub-Crucible dialogue (Goody Proctor's a witch!), Bryce Dallas Howard exhibits a kind of radiance that now makes me grasp all the hype. Brendan Gleeson is entirely wasted. Adrien Brody is embarrassingly bad. Sigourney Weaver seems lost, as if she stepped onto the wrong set and even William Hurt, who can be as dry as any actor, can occassionally work very well in particular confines that service his talent (most recently in Changing Lanes). Here, saddled with tone deaf dialogue, he sounds like some bozo pretending to be a blacksmith in colonial Williamsburg. Joaquin is not my cup of tea and, here, he's almost inert, forced to be quiet and contemplative, saying little, and coming off less intriguing and more dull than I'm sure M. Night hoped him to be. Now, sure, Roger Deakins makes the film look great and there are some nice compositions and visual sequences, but, essentially, it's worthless. Be sure, you wait for the twist that you know is coming, not because you want to see how that will affect the proceedings, but because you hope that will mean the film's all but over.

One more thing, it wasn't too long ago that M. Night was called "The Next Spielberg." If we are to exclude Amblin' and his early TV work (including Duel) and we are to compare Spielberg's first six films with the six we have from M. Night thus far, we have this list:

The Sugarland Express (1974)
Jaws (1975)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1976)
1941 (1979)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982)



Against this list:

Playing With Anger (1992)
Wide Awake (1998)
The Sixth Sense (1999)
Unbreakable (2000)
Signs (2002)
The Village

I guess I'm also supposed to give extra credit to M. Night because he's a double threat (writer/director) which, generally, Spielberg is not. Just so you know, I don't.

Team America: World Police

Check out the trailer here.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Fire Engine Red

The latest from Hitch.

For Pier



(Thanks to Uncle Grambo for the pic.)

Straight Talk

From George W.

Subscription Not Worthless?

Rejoice, Ben!

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Daily Bread

Just came out of the L.A. Opera's production of Sondheim's A Little Night Music. (I'll write more on it later.) I now head into day five of lunchtime prayer watch. I've very rarely witnessed a lot of public and/or group prayer over meals that did not involve Hebrew school, shitty kosher pizza passed off as "just as good" as real pizza or horrifyingly awkward sayings of grace at a one time girlfriend's family Easter dinner, where in it was angrily declared by this girl's Civil War revisionist father, after some mild protest to saying grace by his daughter/my then girlfriend, that Jews "also pray." But, anyway, I witness quite a bit of meal time prayer during my weekday work hours in Santa Clarita. (Especially over burritos. Now, sure, I go to Baja Fresh too much but in an unofficial experiment, I've also witnessed this prayer phenomenon in the Polynesian burrito establishment Wahoo's and the wretched, never eat there again Rubio's.) I don't so much care but it's just interesting to me. (The only time I care is when these same people get up, come over to my table, ask me if I'm a College of the Canyons student and ask me to sign a petition to stop evolution from being taught at their college. True story.) I've never seen this before or, rather, I've never seen it this much and this often. And they're almost always young. 9 out of 10 in their twenties, I'd say. This would also go along with the intriguing young clerk in the courthouse who may or may not be legal who also reads lots and lots of books on Jesus, Israel, youth ministry, and drives a car with one of those Jesus fish on it. Now, she's cute and all but she's nothing close to the girl who I always see in the parking lot who works in one of those vague offices across the way, next to the traffic court. That girl I'm gonna marry and if she wants to pray over burritos, I can do it, because, well, Jews also pray. And, speaking of hot chicks, here's some fun Ahsley news:

"That's the beauty of being 21 years old, I guess. Not only do I not feel the need to pretend like I'm not interested in boys, I actually go to their house and fuck them while their parents are home! I was definitely a full-service girlfriend yesterday. I ate dinner with the parents, made lovely small-talk with them the whole time, helped clean up, helped do the dishes, and then entertained their son after dinner. It was good, too. And dinner wasn't bad either. Then, just for good measure, I gave him a blow job right before I left. I figured I had given such an outstanding performance all night that it deserved some sort of encore.

The only request I had for A.J. was that he didn't cum in my mouth or on my face, because I didn't think I could deal with talking to his mother on the way out of the house with remnants of her son's sperm in plain view."
(For the rest, go here.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Doppelganger

The other Obsolete Vernacular.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

New Imaginary Friends

Thanks to Uncle Grambo...meet Ahsley. (She won't cyber with you...well, maybe with Josh.)

One More Than Four

1) Being Susan
Each weekday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., I grapple with a horde of people working at the highest level of incompetence. Today was no different. There are times when I expect Sonny and Cher to serenade me in the morning and to hear Brian Doyle Murray say "blizzard thing." On this day, I chose to follow up this slog with a wondrous cuddle session with Stew from SBC who, after thirty minutes, gave me the simple but effective solution to our brief DSL troubles: Unplug it. Then plug it back in. This followed my brief discussion with Dahlip who seemed quite fond of repeating my name, perhaps to cover up the fact that he knew, well, nothing. Alas, this seemed frighteningly appropriate:

Fit fit fits.
You will perish of fits. Repeat this to yourself:
"Things can work out even if I don't get
my way. Things can work out even...."


What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?
brought to you by Quizilla

2) Uniforms
Sooner or later, after you've told enough people that you hate Michael Jordan, someone asks, "But wouldn't you have loved him to be on your team?" Frankly, no. I would have preferred it if Xavier McDaniel had in fact succeeded in his attempt to maim Scottie Pippen and maybe B.J. Armstrong would've started sucking sooner and the Knicks could have stuck it to MJ as opposed to bringing him in like a ringer and winning with him. I'd rather kill the enemy than become it. Anyway, there are frequent times when this kind of thinking is challenged. Not in this grand of a sense, i.e. winning a title with the greatest player ever or crying over a Carvel hot fudge sundae in one of those commemorative baseball helmets because the fucker dropped 55 on the Knicks and, worse yet, was aided by the likes of Bill Wennington, Luc Longley, Toni Ku-Cock or wife beating, child hating, gun toting Scottie Pippen, but in the sense that you are forced as a fan to, as Jerry Seinfeld put it, root for the uniform. The Mets are the worst offenders of this rule. I had to defend Bret Saberhagen using a super soaker to spray the press with bleach, Vince Coleman maiming children with firecrackers, Doc and Darryl smoking every bit of crack available in Tampa, Bobby Bonilla breathing the air/putting ear plugs in to block out the boos/somehow coming back and playing with them again only to further disgrace himself by leaving the dugout during the World Series to play cards with Rickey Henderson. However, recently, the Knicks have become pretty bad about this (see: Shandon Anderson, Howard Eisley, Vin fucking Baker, Luc Longley (perpetual DNP), Keith Van Horn (instead of Sprewell), Chris motherfucking Childs (who found ways to lose games that I think even he couldn't believe), the coaching tenure of the drunk who now runs Dallas, etc.) Now, it seems, I will learn to love Jamal Crawford, maybe Rodney White, and if the Knicks can convince Chicago to take Shandon and his contract (oy), "Junkyard Dog" Jerome Williams and Eddie Robinson. Let me take something back. Yeah, okay. I'll take Jordan. Fuck it.

3) Fractured Psyche
Paul Greengrass and editors' Richard Pearson (The Rundown, The Score) and Christopher Rouse's (The Bourne Identity, TV's Boomtown) work on The Bourne Supremacy giving the film a jittery, fractured style to precisely capture the state of their main character's psyche and predicament.

4) Blogging for No One
No one reads this (except for 1-2-3-4-5? of you...shout outs to Greg and Aysha who may or may not visit this thing regularly) and yet I still enjoy it. Props to ya'll for the reasons why.

5) T-Shirt From Hell
Thanks to Your Dirty Mind for the link. Oodles of shirts. This one cracked my ass up:

Friday, July 23, 2004

4 out of 5 Middle Aged Stand-Ups Agree

Last night, Bill Maher said it should be THE issue of the upcoming campaign on what must be his hundredth appearance on Larry King this year. And Ben and I sort of argued about it before seeing said comment. And now, the former host of Stand Up Stand Up on Comedy Central is chiming in with his radio show partner:

Remember President Bush and "The Pet Goat" in Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11"? After learning that terrorists have flown passenger jets into the World Trade Center towers, Bush spends a full seven minutes reciting to Florida schoolchildren from an instructional reading workbook, including such lines as: "A girl got a pet goat. She liked to go running with her pet goat. She played with her goat in her house. She played with her goat in her yard. But the goat did some things that made the girl's dad mad." Today at 7 a.m., Air America radio jocks Marc Maron and Mark Riley will read "The Pet Goat" in its entirety on their show, "Morning Sedition." (NY Daily News)

The G Word

W says it.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

The Vengeance Scale

Bill Simmons ("The Sports Guy" on Page 2 at ESPN.com) has created "The Vengeance Scale" (from 0.0 to 10.0) in order to determine how much Shaq wants revenge on the Lakers. Here are some quality excerpts:

0.1 -- O.J. Simpson's valiant attempt to find the "real killers."

1.1 -- Zack and Slater pouring punch on each other (from "Saved By the Bell") ... the Sammy Hagar-David Lee Roth feud.

1.4 -- Cameran breaking Charlie's guitar (from "Real World: San Diego") ... Lisa turning Chet into Jabba the Hut (from "Weird Science") ... Moses Malone vowing revenge on the Sixers after they traded him in '86 ... Paul Westphal in the '76 Finals ... Puck sticking his fingers into Pedro's peanut butter.

2.1 -- Malakai slamming Patrick Dempsey against the video machine and screaming, "You s--- on my house! You s--- on my house!" (from "Can't Buy Me Love").

7.2 -- Darren McCarty beating up Claude Lemeiux (after Lemeiux broke Kris Draper's jaw the previous season) ... Ricky Steamboat learning to speak again after Randy Savage crushed his larynx with the ring bell, then ultimately seeking revenge (bonus points for the comedy of every taped piece where Steamboat pretended he couldn't speak, so he had to make crazy gestures to indicate how angry he was).

9.5 -- Rocky Balboa holding a dying Apollo in his arms as Ivan Drago sneers, "If he dies, he dies."

(Note: This led to Rocky fighting on Christmas Day in Russia for no money; nearly losing his unfeeling wife; climbing a 55,000-foot mountain in snow boots; singlehandedly ending the Cold War; and possibly ending up with brain damage, although we will never know for sure since "Rocky 5" never happened.)

For the whole thing, go here.

We Are In The Jungle

Hat tip to The Blueprint for linking to this urine free story on R. Kelly (courtesy of the fine folks at Page Six):

R. KELLY is so obsessed with Africa, he turned his music studio into a jungle. "I have never been to Africa, but I got books and studied up on the music, the culture and, most importantly, the people," Kelly told the upcoming issue of Damon Dash's America Magazine. "That's why you see all of the shrubs and plants and trees in here. I just wanted to feel it. I put tents in the studio and slept in the tents for like a few months, eating off the floors, dressed in army fatigues. . . . I know people out there might laugh, but we are in the jungle." In an apparent — and unfathomable — Vietnam reference, he continues, "We're on a serious mission, and just know that Charlie is out there to stop us, and you have to load up your guns. I know this all sounds crazy . . ." It sure does.

Goldblum

Fleshbot has the scoop.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Degrassi Results

At least I get to fuck Liberty.

jt
You're J.T.! People know you as the funniest guy
around. You hang out with Toby, Emma, and
Manny. You're always making people laugh and
pulling wacky stunts. You tend to like girls
you know you can't have, and you're confidence
and immaturity can set you back sometimes. Now
you're in with the popular crowd, but you've
seemed to let your best friend fall by the
wayside. Don't forget who was there for you all
along. And that girl who you thought was


Which Degrassi Character Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

One More Than Four

1) Clothing That Covers Your Undergarments
Ben started it. Let me continue. If I were thirteen, Degrassi: The Next Generation might be my favorite show. (Right now, at age 25, it's not so far from the top.) Interestingly, Degrassi's lead in on The N is My So Called Life, which to many thirteen year old girls of our generation was a religion. When I asked Ben last night what percentage of girls had based their appearance, their outlook, their whole persona on Claire Danes' character Angela, he answered, "All of them." (I hadn't even really gotten the question out.) But getting back to Degrassi, we've already had the obnoxious guy with "theatre in his blood" throwing plump Terry down, her head hitting a rock and giving her brain damage or a blood clot or something...something very, very dramatic; Craig cheating on Ashley (who sings songs with lyrics that Trent Reznor would love and, sadly, write...lots of endless voids of sadness) with Manny/aka Manuela (she of the infamous thong) who's been hankering for some Craig since last season or maybe the season before (whichever one where Craig's sadistic and abusive dad dies in a car crash). There's also Emma's struggle to stay true to herself and what she believes (when not brawling in the hallways or calling Manuela a slut), despite relationships with guys like Sean, who nicely fits his role as the character tempted by dangerous outside influences, and who has the great fortune of now being with Degrassi's resident cutter and my girlfriend, Ellie. You'll notice that my grasp on the timeline of the show is a bit out of wack as Noggin doesn't so much play them in order and we don't so much care to try to watch them in order, although Ben's guarantee that he'll buy the DVDs is a welcome promise. Anyhow, the show's rad and terribly earnest and contains wonderfully awful psuedo hit songs that sound like other songs that they can't afford and commercials that aren't commercials but just shameless promotions for the show itself and other Noggin related programming (i.e. that cartoon they keep pumping, My So Called Life, and some lame Survivor-like game show called Girls vs. Boys), and, well, yeah, you'll should watch it. And, if you don't like it, we can go to the mall afterwards, and check out the Hot Topic.

2) Snow in July



As some of you know, I work in beautiful Valencia, California, a city best known for having the closest Applebee's to my apartment. Valencia is part of the amorphous Santa Clarita Valley, which contains Valencia, Santa Clarita, Newhall, Canyon Country, Stevenson's Ranch and some other shit that may or may not have an Applebee's. Anyway, some of this place is on fire. Literally ablaze. It's been contained, but during large portions of the day, even inside, with the AC blasting, the air smells like you threw wood chips in the BBQ. It's sort of nice and aromatic for about a minute and then, well, there's fucking smoke in the air so it's not all that cool. Add to this the fact that it's 95 degrees in the shade and you have yourselves a problem. So, here's my idea...and somewhere, Roland Emmerich is smiling (or burning books...whatever), it needs to snow, and it needs to snow now. For one, I miss snow. I want snow. I want a big, unkempt blizzard that closes shit down for days. Now, sure, I can go and buy snow at Stupid.com, but that's fake and lame. What we need is John Beard to get on the TV and tell people, yeah, guess what Angelinos or Southlanders or any other such silly moniker...it's snowing. Deal with it.

3) God is in the iPod
From my car ride from work to a meeting (songs on random shuffle):

The Rolling Stones, "2000 Man"
Stephen Merritt, "All I Want to Know"
The Beatles, "Her Majesty"
Lyle Lovett f/ Rickie Lee Jones, "North Dakota"
Radiohead, "In Limbo"
The Flaming Lips, "It's Summertime"
Joe Henry, "Stop"
Piero Piccioni, "Psychedelic Mood"
Nina Simone, "Be My Husband"
Uncle Tupelo, "New Madrid"
Candi Staton, "Sweet Feeling"
Eels, Ant Farm
My Bloody Valentine, "Soon"

4) Dampier Watch



In a day or so, Golden St. free agent center Erick Dampier will likely come to be a New York Knick, by way of a sign and trade for Nazr Mohammed and Othella Harrington. Dampier will then likely get a new backup at his position when Dikembe Mutumbo and his less frequently wagging finger will be shipped out for any of the following possibilities: Jamal Crawford, Shareef Abdur Rahim, Vince Carter or Antoine Walker. I always get a strange feeling when the Knicks acquire a center. I know they have a strong chance of being way better than Luc Longley, who never played a game for the Knicks but collected a check that's close to the GDP of some small island nations, but I also know they'll never even come close to sniffing the likely foul smelling jock of the long gone, but never forgotten Patrick Ewing. The rap on Pat is that he never won a title. He was also never surrounded with much of anything until it was too late and his knees were already spent. So, yeah, I guess he never won and that makes his legacy slightly suspect (the 1994 Finals Game 6/John Starks blowing the game and Pat Riley letting him argument does hold water however), but I think it says something for his legacy that this franchise has just barely scraped by without him and every time his once held position is filled, the amount of excitement one can have for the likes of Erick Dampier is always measured, because you know what once was and, maybe, if anyone that ran that organization had had a brain in their heads from the beginning of his tenure there, what could have been.

5) Meeting Five People in Heaven
So, you're in Heaven, and you can meet five people, but you only choose to meet three? Lame. Heaven is no place for quitting. There must be two other things worth a mention, Pier. Sandy Berger stuffing shit in his pockets and socks? Martha Stewart's gargantuan ears? Love for Nick Cannon? Love for Drumline? (Yes, I've seen it. And I wish you were being sarcastic.) Comics? Female singers? I think the stock market is above 10,000 and you once told me you were all about that...no? Whatevs. Mitch Albom will piss in your mouth for this.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Charmless

As Ben mentioned, I found Entourage pretty charmless. I don't want to pick it apart because, to be fair, it's only been one episode. But, if that one episode were it, well, you'd have nothing but an only slightly convincing, one note "riff" on modern Hollywood, that seems to have been thought up by the B team over at Maxim. (And, frankly, HBO needs to step up to the plate and make this show mad raunchy if they plan to give me nothing more than sub-OC-like drama.) But as charmless as this one episode was, the prospect of another episode of Adrien Grenier mumbling his lines and Jeremy Piven doing his best Jay Mohr impersonation is way, way more enticing than the following:

Title: Untitled Tom Brady Project
Log Line: A young girl who is trying to make it big in New York's fashion world gets set up on a date with a blind man.
Writer: Tom Brady
Agent: Endeavor Agency and atty. Bill Sobel of Edelstein Laird &
Sobel
Buyer: Revolution Studios
Genre: Romantic Comedy
To be based on pitch from Nick Cannon and Michael Goldman. Nick Cannon, Michael Goldman, and Happy Madison's Jack Giarraputo & Adam Sandler will produce. Tom Brady will direct. Nick Cannon and Lindsay Lohan will star.

Boo-motherfletching-urns. This shit isn't half the film Matahorn(Die Hard at Disneyland) will be. (Entourage references, yeah!) Lindsay: Cut the implants out. The silicon has infected your brain. (Correction: No, baby. I didn't mean that. I know they're real and anyone who says otherwise is a cocksucker. I love you.) Seriously though, you're making a fucking remake of Herbie the Love Bug and you're now in a romantic comedy with Nick Cannon (speaking of charmless) where he's blind??? Jesus. Just stop now and save us all the trouble.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Twins



I also saw The Magnetic Fields last night. As some may know, Stephen Merritt doesn't so much like playing live and, due to an ear problem, doesn't handle applause too well. He also (rightly) hated on people for clapping through the opening to "The Book of Love." ("The book of love is long and boring/No one can lift the damn thing") He gave us a wry commentary on audience etiquette and then started the song again. Well, Stephen, you have a friend in the White House:

"Cheney is terrible on the stump. He doesn't even like applause. At a recent speech when cheers forced him to repeat a sentence, he growled, 'You guys want to hear this speech or not?'" (Andrew Sullivan)

Knick Rumors



As to be expected, the New York tabloid press is helping to fuel the Toronto based rumor that Vince Carter not only wants out but wants on to the Knicks. Considering that the current coach of my beloved Knickerbockers is Lenny Wilkens, who Carter helped get fired in Toronto, I somehow doubt these rumors are true, unless Isaiah's megalomania's taken over and he's already jettisoned Wilkens to make himself the coach/general manager. Possible, I suppose. Then there's the Dampier/Van Exel rumors which are now being touted by Peter Vecsey (a frequent...how do I say it...LIAR) where in the Knicks would acquire the free agent center and take on the next two years (and 25 million) of Nick's contract in exchange for Nazr Mohammed, Othella, and maybe Dikembe Mutumbo (with the possible addition of Moochie Norris' ungodly contract). Or, if you are to believe Vecsey, they'll turn around and ship Van Exel to Dallas for Antoine Walker and then use Kurt Thomas in some other trade. Shrug. And there's still an insistence that the Knicks and Bulls want to work something out in regards to Jamal Crawford.

If I had my choice, Wilkens would be canned, Isaiah would just skip a few steps and take over as coach, and they'd make some kind of serious offer to Toronto for Carter...maybe Tim Thomas, Frank Williams, and a few expiring contracts that would help out Toronto for future free agent considerations. Or, if they don't care for that, give them both Thomases and Williams and an expiring contract. Now, sure, Vince Carter isn't Michael Jordan, but when doing the analysis, Tim Thomas and Allan Houston sure as hell aren't Vince Carter and with Houston and Thomas (I know, I know, Houston was injured), the Knicks got whooped in the first round of the playoffs by the Nets. Now, sure, the Nets were good, but it's still a team from New Jersey. A group of people who love to refer to New York City as "the city" in a way that's not that obnoxious New Yorker way of being egotistical and lazy but in that shameful way of being from New Jersey where in you hope that by referring to it as "the city," people will think you're from New York, as opposed to where you're from, where in "the city" might be a reference to Newark.

Peter Vecsey's Rumors and Fat Joe References

ESPN on Carter Rumor

Top Ten

Michael Chabon's Top Ten Comic Book Adaptations.

Sadly, it's totally boring.

Agent Cooper

Kyle in today's San Francisco Chronicle:

The big one that got away, MacLachlan tells me, is "Sex, Lies and Videotape." He turned down the lead, a sexually maladjusted interloper in other people's lives, which went to James Spader. "I had just played a similar part in 'Blue Velvet,' and I was afraid of being stereotyped. You have to remember nobody had heard of Steven Soderbergh back then.''

On the other hand, MacLachlan leaped at the chance to work with "Basic Instinct" director Paul Verhoeven on "Showgirls." "I didn't have a clue how bad it was while we were shooting. In fact, it seemed very erotic and powerful, " MacLachlan recalls. "It wasn't until I watched the film from beginning to end that I thought, 'Oh, dear.' "

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Letters to a Young Film Critic

Ebert on A Cinderella Story.

Writing Porno

Some helpful hints.

(Hat tip to Fleshbot.)

Nerd News

According to Harry Knowles, Bryan Singer and his X2 writers are the team now responsible for the new Superman. J.J. Abrams' script will be tossed and McG will move on to the Hot Wheels movie. Rumors that Hugh Jackman will play an amnesiac Superman who can't remember how he came to be the Man of Steel are completely false.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Bobby Fischer

A new, bizarre twist in the life of the former chess champ.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Billy? Stephen? Alec? You decide.

I think I want to look like Daniel, post hotel coke binge/rage fest. Or maybe not. Check out the possibilities here.

Foxtrot

Slate's Stephen Metcalf on Wilco:

"Some consumers, of course, still need to feel as though the music they buy merits, if not exactly landmark status, some claim to cultural importance. Wilco is the band for such consumers; and to help them along, critics have provided the word "deconstruction." Deconstruction is now rock-press shorthand for the crumbling of the traditional Intro Verse Chorus Verse Chorus Bridge Solo Verse Chorus song structure. But its real significance has gone unnoticed. Deconstruction is currently doing for Wilco (and Radiohead before it) what it did for literary studies in the '70s and '80s: providing a sense of pomp and excitement during a period of near-total marginalization."

For the rest, go here.

Lavender

Sully takes the Slate quiz:

"I love Internet quizzes and here's the latest from Slate, determining how red-state or blue-state you are. It turns out I'm bang in the middle - a lovely shade of lavender."

Doin it and Doin it and Doin it Well

Drum roll please...



Find out your results here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Red or Blue?

Take the Slate quiz. I'm "in the middle." There are some pretty softball questions that put you in a red state, i.e. if you've ever heard of anything related to the midwest or Nascar and, vice versa, there are some blatantly silly questions placing you in a blue state. Whatevs. It's fun.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

One More Than Four

1) "I've Got Soul, But I'm Not A Soldier"
The Killers, Hot Fuss. There's emo tinged power pop to start with (the first few chords of "Mr. Brightside" even slightly resembles the opening to that Simple Plan song that opened the now defunct(?) MTV's Frat Life) and then the hints of 80s New Wave just about takes over and makes for my one of my favorite new records. It's at times like the perfect soundtrack to a never made adaptation of a Bret Easton Ellis novel (once again reminding me that Roger Avary's adaptation skills are a few steps behind those of William Hung). Favorite track: "All These Things That I've Done," which is where the lyric in the title of this entry comes from.

2) Jim Cramer



I know nothing about the stock market. Nothing. But I find CNBC's Kudlow & Cramer intensely watchable, if not mostly for the interesting pairing of fiery Cramer and suspenders clad Kudlow (this pairing also shows off their ideological differences but not in that vomit inducing way it usually does, i.e. any derivation of potential pairings on CNN's Crossfire). Now portions of the quote below may be simplistic (they are, but it's a sound bite), but I think he just about nails it (hat tip to Sully for the quote):

"I have been slow to recognize the bigger issues that are just killing this market in part because I wanted to believe that the current President Bush is smarter than he sounds or looks. I wanted to believe that he could articulate correctly why we went to war in some foreign land where a thousand guys have died and billions have been spent. But he hasn't. He had terrible intelligence and bad homework, stuff I fire people for regularly and always have. What we see now in the market is a gradual realization that Bush will be forced out in November and a new man will be president, a man who may not be better for the stock market but one who arguably may not be worse if simply because a gridlocked government is better than the drunken spending and the no-vision team we have in now."

3) Dirty Bloggin'



Oh, how I love Fleshbot. For "Ass Fucking Friday," Paris buying her own porno, endless updates on Lohan's Lohans, and for being part of my favorite blog circle outside of this one.

4) Why Stop Now?
The NBA Offseason (Part III). The Lakers better hope Kobe doesn't get convicted. If he does, they're the Heat without Wade or Riley's hair goop and that's not much. I don't know if Shaq makes the Heat much better than the Pistons, but I'll wait to see if they go out and get anyone other than Robert Horry. The Knicks now seem to be backing away from this Jamal Crawford bidness and have moved on to a potential multi-team deal which would net them Antoine Walker (and his shimmy) and Erick Dampier in some kind of manuever by Dallas to get Vince Carter. Sheed waited and got his money and now Antonio McDyess will play behind him. Oh, and here's a prediction...Rudy T will be getting drunker than Pier on any afternoon this season if Kobe's on the team or not. I'd have pity for him if I didn't love every second of the destruction of the purple and gold.

5) Dale Peck
The News about this guy, no matter what you think of him, is never, ever boring. Another example (thanks to Gawker):

A little after two o'clock today, while novelist and book critic Dale Peck was lunching with the writer Linda Yablonsky at Tartine in the West Village, jazz critic/cultural commentator/novelist Stanley Crouch decided to introduce himself. (Peck had reviewed a novel of Crouch's a few years back; in response to that review, Crouch told Salon that Peck was "a troubled queen.")

At Tartine, Crouch shook Peck's hand, then, as a follow-up, smacked him in the face, saying "if you ever did anything like that [presumably referring to the review] again, it'll be much worse."

Crouch once also threw a punch at Howard Mandel, the president of the Jazz Journalists Association. If two equals trend (or maybe three? Didn't Crouch hit Harry Allen at the Village Voice, back in the day? (And wait, make that four -- didn't he slug the late letters editor Ron Plotkin at the Voice as well?) ) then it's pretty clear Crouch has, at best, some serious impulse control problems. Funny stuff, coming from a guy who's always railed about the "politics of resentment" -- guess he's been carrying around a grudge for years.

It remains to be seen whether assault charges will be filed. [Full disclosure: As previously mentioned in this space, yes, I share a shitty East Village rabbit warren with Dale Peck.]

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Quote of the Day (II)

"His radio talk this morning could have been written by Gary Bauer. No mention of the actual people affected by the amendment - gay couples merely trying to live lives of commitment and love. No understanding of the real Constitutional issues involved - just an hysterical screed against "activist" courts. No mention of the fact that 38 states have already banned equality for gays in marriage. No explanation of why the Defense of Marriage Act is obviously unconstitutional or why a court will soon strike it down. No mention of civil unions. And, again, no actual use of the words "gay", "lesbian" or "homosexual." This really is a revealing silence. Think what he could have said: let's keep marriage for heterosexuals, but let's find a way to protect the relationships of our gay and lesbian fellow-citizens. That would be a "uniter" not a "divider." But Bush is a tool of the fundamentalist right - a movement that seeks not simply to keep marriage for straights, but to strip gay people of dignity, rights, protections and equality. If he were to call us by name, he would violate the fundamentalists' belief: that gay people don't exist, that we're sick heterosexuals, that we need to be put in therapy or jail. Yesterday, Bush decided to show he was a moderate by arguing that people should be allowed privacy in their own bedrooms (a policy he opposed when supporting Texas' disgusting gays-only sodomy law as governor). That's it. That's what he thinks the place of gay people is in society. We're lucky not to be arrested in our own homes." - Andrew Sullivan

Quote of the Day



Jason Alexander on sex with one-time "wife" Britney Spears:

"We were both hot so I led her into the bathroom. There was a huge shower head that sent water down on to us as though it was rain. We stripped off competely and got into the shower and Britney performed oral sex on me as the water ran down over both of us. Afterwards I led her back into the bedroom. At first she was on top of me and then I was on top. We did it every way you could. But it wasn't cheap. I really cared about her and it felt right. At times she was noisy. She didn't call me any names, she just moaned. We didn't use any precautions either."

For the rest, go here.

(Hat tip to Ben for the photo.)

Reported OTPHJ From Chuck Schumer Now Called into Question



Daschle denies hugging Moore

There was no hug between "Fahrenheit 9/11" director Michael Moore and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle at the film's June 23 premiere in Washington, D.C., Daschle said Thursday.

When asked about Moore's account of a hug after the premiere and the criticism Daschle has received for it, the South Dakota Democrat said he and Moore did not embrace. Daschle said his schedule forced him to arrive late and leave early.

"I know we senators all tend to look alike. But I arrived late, and I had to leave early for Senate votes. I didn't meet Mr. Moore," Daschle said.

In a lengthy Time magazine piece about the movie and its political effects, Richard Corliss reported Moore's criticism of Daschle's leadership and the filmmaker's account of a hug with Daschle.

"At the Washington premiere, Moore sat a few rows behind Daschle. Afterward, says Moore, ‘He gave me a hug and said he felt bad and that we were all gonna fight from now on. I thanked him for being a good sport,'" Corliss wrote.

Daschle, who was at the premiere at the invitation of producer/distributor Harvey Weinstein, said he and Moore have never met.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Uh Oh

There's that word again: (Hitch in The Mirror)

Not long ago, Moore said those who are blasting and maiming and beheading their way across Iraq, and trying to prevent it from having its first-ever free election were the Iraqi revolution.

"The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not 'insurgents' or 'terrorists' or 'The Enemy'.

"They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen [the civilian militia of the American war of independence], and their numbers will grow - and they will win."

Moore complains all the time that the funerals of fallen Americans don't get enough publicity.

I think he should jam on that baseball cap of his, shamble off to a few of these ceremonies, and get himself filmed while he cleverly explains this secret, known only to a favoured few, about the liberation forces that are killing British and American and Iraqi servicemen.

If he had the nerve to do that, I might join in the current witless chorus about his supposed "courage".

Shakespeare by way of Ludlum

Excerpt from Hitchens' review of Dylan's Visions of Sin by Christopher Ricks (BU professor):

"I used to play two subliterary games with Salman Rushdie. The first, not that you asked, was to re-title Shakespeare plays as if they had been written by Robert Ludlum. (Rushdie, who invented the game, came up with The Elsinore Vacillation, The Dunsinane Reforestation, The Kerchief Implication, and The Rialto Sanction.) The second was to recite Bob Dylan songs in a deadpan voice as though they were blank verse. In addition to the risk of the ridiculous, it can become quite hypnotic. Try it yourself with "Mr. Tambourine Man": It works so well, you hardly care that a tambourine man can't really be playing a song. "Lily, Rosemary and The Jack of Hearts," "Chimes of Freedom," and "Desolation Row" all have the same feeling."

Pain in the Ass

From Rush & Molloy:

Vanity Fair's Christopher Hitchens reports in his August column that "a prominent senator" told him that, while visiting the President recently, the senator complimented Bush on his desk photo of First Daughters Barbara and Jenna.

"You have children?" Bush asked.

"Oh yes, Mr. President."

"You like them?"

"Of course, Mr. President."

"Mine are a pain in the a--," a straight-faced Bush allegedly responded.

Though the girls haven't lately embarassed dad with any boozy behavior (at least none we've heard about), Hitchens suggests the sober Bush "resents them because they can cut loose and he can't."

"That Bush did not surrender to the need for a colossal bourbon on Sept. 11 stands, I think to his credit," writes Hitchens, himself a Johnny Walker enthusiast. (Context)

(parenthetical added)

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Dave Bekerman says Yes(!) to Masturbation



This also functions as a little test to see if that kid reads my blog.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Peck

At Slate, Laura Kipnis analyzes Dale Peck. Sample passage:

"There's always something perversely gripping about people acting things out in public, and if residues of Peck's family horror show seep into his brand of critical vehemence, that's one of the things that makes his writing compelling—if more buzz-producing than critically significant. It's Peck's habit of turning these propensities into moral high-grounding that wears thin."

One Back



The Mets win big, pulling within just one game of the first place Phillies. I don't want to make this sound more important than it is, considering they're only a game ahead of the fourth place Braves but, still, they're red hot, new hitting coach Don Baylor may be a god or in control of some kind of secret Balco stash, and with one more acquisition (Benson? Zito?), they might be able to make a real push for the division title and beyond. Huzzah!

Free Iran

A while ago, I e-mailed most everyone I knew and encouraged them to visit an Iranian student activist web site and sign their guestbook, read some of the articles on the site, etc. (That site is here. I sent the link Sully's way and he's since added it on his site. He even e-mailed me back to let me know.) In another attempt to share, go here and check out this site. (this link I got from Sully.) A terribly important cause that gets little to no press.

From Wonkette

From last night's "Newsnight," Aaron Brown confesses:

Good evening again, everyone. We begin tonight with a confession: I dated John Edwards' wife. Well, not dated like plural, dated like singular. We went out to dinner. Well, we didn't actually go out to dinner. We went to a dinner, just the two of us -- and 2,000 other people.

Well, not dinner. More like a snack. And it wasn't really John Edwards's wife. It was this woman I met on the street. A prostitute, actually. Maybe I shouldn't go into detail like this.

And then there's this:

Talk that gay rights activists are going to out closeted Bush administration members and politicians is getting louder and louder around here -- not so much a whisper campaign but a deafening roar. The goal -- we think -- is to defeat the Federal Marriage Amendment, though we're puzzled by the logic: "Ha! You supported an anti-gay amendment and yet you're gay!" isn't really much of an argument for someone who has presumably lived with their own hypocrisy for years. The whole idea of outing has always seemed like overkill to us, anyway. We think being a gay Republican -- Wow! Your own private hell! -- must be torture enough.

That said, we wish that big homo George Bush would admit it already.

And, finally:

Who says Drudge doesn't break news? Today's news flash: "Over 40% of Canadian teens think America is 'evil,'" from a poll in the Toronto Free Press. Pretty strong stuff, but, being Canadians, they still manage to find a way to equivocate: "These teens appear to equate George W. Bush and Americans with Osama bin Laden and Hitler, although it is unknown if the teens polled would describe the latter two as being evil." Yeah, wouldn't want to go out on a limb there.

UPDATE: We thought this whole "evil" thing seemed a little too "extreme" for our mild-mannered neighbors to the north. Wonkette's diplomatic relations operative writes to say "I work in the [Canadian] media business, and until I followed the link from your webpage, I had never even heard of the 'Canada Free Press.' On perusing the webpage itself, it was immediately, floridly clear that it was a one-note kook publication of the variety that would have been passed out, in mimeo form, by a crazed-eyed vagrant in those happy golden pre-Internet days." Now, that's no way to talk about our father. But, yeah, it looks sketchy. If Drudge is short on news, why go to such suspect sources? Can't he just make it up himself?

Lay Lady Lay

Finally.

One More Than Four

1) The NBA Offseason (cont'd)
Steve Nash goes and fucks everything up for the Lakers and Mavs and signs with Phoenix, which now means Sacramento or maybe Memphis has the best shot at getting Shaq, who, despite the immininent hiring of Rudy T, still wants out. That being said, the biggest news of the week was Coach K flirting with Mitch Kupchak but then realizing he needed to stop drinking from the glass Kobe handed him, and come to his senses. Also, Adonal Foyle got stupid money from Golden St., Vince Carter demanded a trade, Mehmet Okur signed a girthy offer sheet with Utah, and the Knicks continue to circle Jamal Crawford, who may or may not be a guard the last time I checked, making a deal that would potentially send their starting power forward to Chicago for Crawford's services, a hearty return to the old days of deals that make absolutely, postitively no fucking sense at all. But, hey, why not just bring back Glen Rice while you're at it. That worked out so well.

2) Meet the Mets, Greet the Mets

Two out of three vs. the Reds (including the 7-6 victory I attended on my first day in the 'Nati). Then a sweep of the mighty Yankees and now a split of the first two with the Phillies. Let's Go Mets!

3) John Edwards
Thank you, thank, thank you. (There are rumors that Bob Graham was Kerry's initial choice and that he was talked out of this. Whoever did this, even if it was Bob Shrum, well...I love you.)

4) Alex Ross' Spiderman 2 Credit Sequence
Pretty, so pretty.

5) Going Back to Work
How did that get on the list???