Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Biggest Mess In Sports


You may have noticed that there has been very little Knicks banter here this season. The reason is rather clear: the Knicks suck. This has been especially taxing on yours truly, who has been waffling between crying and writing "Life is Pain" poetry in trying to cope with the absence of a basketball team I can root for (at least, a team I can root for without getting that dirty, scabies feeling all over afterwards). For your amusement, see the itemized horrors keeping me awake at night that is the NYK 07-08 season.

- Mentally soft - This team is made up of a bunch of me-first whiny crybabies with the mental fortitude of warm Jello. Almost every game this year, I'm treated to the sight of the Knicks playing hard until the opposing team gets on a big run, and we fold like a house of cards. The concept of team basketball is a fantasy for this squad. Everyone stands around waiting for the ball, or in the case of Zach Randolph, demanding it. If they don't get a touch or a good look, they walk back up the court, jaw jacking with officials, coaches, and teammates alike. Throws a towel over his head and pouts. Eddy Curry is probably the worst of the bunch, his mood vacillating between a lip-quivering infant and petulant 8 year old. Sadly, I'd prefer the petulant 8 year old Eddy Curry, at least that one acts like he cares about something.

- Career Losers


Take a look at this roster. There is one player with a ring, and that guy is firmly ensconced as ugliest cheerleader in Garden history, Malik Rose. Jamal Crawford and Eddy Curry have never been to the playoffs in their entire careers. Jerome James is still here. "The Best Point Guard in the NBA" hasn't ever won a playoff series. Our young players are being cultivated in a culture of losing. No one emerges from this team as a leader, beyond Jamal Crawford (again, see: never been to the playoffs). These guys laugh and pat their opponents on the back after blowout losses. No one cares. This cycle is going to continue until the Knicks can get a proven winner and leader to guide this trainwreck masquerading as a NBA franchise.

- Redundant Talent - In the NBA, the truly great teams have players which all offer a little something different. Take the Spurs. They have a solid mix of post play, outside shooting, dishing, defense; you name it, they've got it. The players on the court always compliment one another. Then, you have the Knicks. There is not a single two-way player on this team, and many of the skills our players have are replicated by other guys equally deserving of time. Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry are both scoring only bigs. Balkman and Jeffries are both defense-only presences with the jumper of my grandma. The only guy who supposedly is a good two-way player, Quentin Richardson, is statistically among the worst starters in the league this season. We have to clear out the glut of players with similar skill sets for pieces that fit.

- Garden Gestapo - So it can't get any worse right? Worst team in sports, laughing stock of the league, a team so bad even the beat writers don't want to cover it. A team so bad that the fans' scorn for its owner pervades other teams ceremonies. A team led by a sex offender, starring a point guard with a penchant for nonsensical jabbering and poking interns in his truck.

I thought there was nowhere to go but up as well, but then I read a story that just makes me shake my head. The Garden has been routinely taking signs from fans since the boos and chants started, which, in their defense, is their prerogative as it is their arena. The vulturous New York media has been routinely trying to interview these ejected fans, as their ire not only provides fodder for slash and burn pieces, but serves a broader agenda of tearing the team down in order to build it up. Well, this past week, things got ugly, Garden security got physical, and now access to MSG has been even more restricted to those with press passes. It's finally gotten to the point that reporters aren't allowed to do their jobs. If James Dolan had his way, the whole media organization would be streamlined to press releases from MSG regarding The 50 Greatest Garden Moments series and up to the minute notices that Knicks Season Ticket Plans are still on sale!

The reality is, I could go on forever about why this team is so awful. Meanwhile, I keep watching the games, hoping that a little streak could get going and we can somehow sneak into the playoffs. Then I realize what a fantasy that is with every crushing 20+ point loss, every quixotic Isiah Thomas euphemism, every stay the course message from the man at the top and every "why me?" look on the players' faces. This whole organization needs to be gutted, from the owner down to the soda vendors. Until that happens, I'll keep watching, wearing my disguise and remembering how lucky I was when I had a basketball team that made me proud to be from the hoops capital of the world.

Fuck It, Go Pats

You haven't seen football discussed often here for two reasons. One, the Jets' season was so miserable that their only notable achievement was to prove their fans are obviously not influenced by feminist doctrine. Two, Bushido Brown, our resident expert has decided things like "passing law school" and "making new friends" are more important than contributing. Hey, that's cool, he'll be able to represent me when I go a wee bit over the top some day with my threats and innuendo, and I'll glom off him and steal all his new high falootin monocle wearing friends.

That brings us to the subject of the Super Bowl, something that hasn't been referenced here since the very first post of this distinguished journal of lunacy. After the Cowboys and Packers crapped the bed against the Giants, I found myself with the one Super Bowl match up I absolutely didn't want to see: Giants v. Pats. Yet another fucking Manning against football's version of the Mongol Horde, except I'm sure not even Ghengis Kahn had Tom Brady's pocket protection. Who the hell was I supposed to root for? I figured while I watched I would just root for a nasty outbreak of malaria to grip both teams, or perhaps for Tom Petty to morph into some type of fire-breathing automaton during what I'm sure will be just a gripping halftime performance.

Then I got bored, visited ESPN.com and found that yet again some fucking asshole was shooting his mouth off about the Patriots. We've already seen Anthony Smith humiliated after suggesting the Pats wasn't so great, some putz on the Jags claimed Tom Brady was merely alright after he lit them up and Nick Hardwick pissed and moaned about cheap shot artist Richard Seymour. So what jackass Giant has put his ass on the line this time? Plaxico Buress has declared of the Giants mediocre wide receivers as compared to the Pats, "We have guys that can go out and do things just as well or maybe better than some of those guys."

This is getting ridiculous people. I'm not saying that you can't fire yourself up for a big game, but how many times do the Patriots need to be denigrated talent wise before people will shut the fuck up about it? Not to mention, I didn't see Eli Manning and Plax breaking offensive records left and right, nor did I see Tom Brady have a game this year where he threw four interceptions. How Amani Toomer possibly compares to Wes Welker or Donte Stallworth is beyond me. What's great is that after Toomer, I can't name a Giants wideout. I think they have a rookie named Steve Smith, but I only know that because of the good Steve Smith on the Carolina Panthers.

If Plax just had to run his mouth, he could have said the Giants defense has shown up to play in the playoffs, which is true since they derailed two of the top QBs in the NFC in consecutive weeks on the road. I'm trying to think of something else he could say that isn't too funny to consider, but I can't. Tom Brady was shaky last game against the Chargers, but he was also passing in cold weather and still led his team to a victory. Let's see if he doesn't air it out in the temperate climate of Shithole, Arizona, home of Internet University Stadium. Will Brandon Jacobs and that other guy run roughshod over what I've been told is a suspect Patriots run defense? I have no clue, but I know Michael Turner and Maurice Jones-Drew didn't.

Something else happened along the way as well. A couple days ago, after the media shitstorm about Tom Brady's boot, the ESPN was showing highlights from a Patriots' press conference. Amid the normal "That Bill Belichick hates injury reports" bullshit, Wes Welker and Lawrence Maroney both were at the microphones and both confided to the media that Belichick had asked each of them to be prepared to play quarterback. Know what? It was legitimately funny. For an allegedly gray toned team full of humorless "good soldier" types, I thought their deadpan performances were the exact right way to react to what is going to be the biggest non-story of the Super Bowl hype.

So guess what? I'm rooting for the Pats next week. Fuck Colonel Coughlin and his prickish demeanor, which is every bit as irritating as Bill Belichick's. Fuck that mouth breathing mongloid hick of QB they have and fuck his whole family. Fuck Michael Strahan's useless washed up ass and fuck Lawrence Tynes and the Giants fans who have pretended to forgive him. Fuck everyone who acts like their shit don't stink when talking about Boston sports fans, as if the fans in their city are so rational and well behaved in every instance. Fuck the Sports Guy too for that matter. If the Pats win, it's not like I'm gonna try and go to the victory parade. I'll just be content with knowing I watched a season that may never be replicated again in my life, when a group of jacked up freaks ran roughshod over the competition like the Wehrmacht did so many decades ago. Besides, if the Giants win, I'll have to suffer through much more bullshit than if they lose. Better to keep a Super Bowl victory parade I have no interest in out of my fucking city.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Oh Yeah, Hockey

On the glorious occasion of Brian Leetch Night and the upcoming All-Star break, I think it's a good time to take a look at the Rangers and wonder just what the fuck is wrong with these morons.

Yes it's halfway through the season and shockingly, the Rangers are out of the playoff picture. Ninth place in the East. A team that was picked to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals is teetering on the edge of the abyss, despite two high profile free agent signings in Chris Drury and Scott Gomez and the retention of old dude extraoidinaire Brendan Shanahan. So wha happened?

Well, the team has thus far lacked cohesion. Cohesive units are paramount in hockey, otherwise you just have five putzes flailing around on ice skates. More than anything, that's what the Rangers have been this year. They were bailed out early by an absolutely unconscious Henrik Lundqvist and some tough defense, but both of those factors have come back to Earth. On the other hand, their scoring has been non-existent. Since Slammer's opening day victory prediction of the team scoring literally one million goals, the Rangers have stayed at the bottom of the goals scored tally. There have been too many shutouts and one goal games for a team with this much offensive talent. If their defense hadn't been picking up some of the scoring slack they'd probably be in eleventh or twelfth place.

Chris Drury has been a bust thus far, but Scott Gomez has proven to be a capable performer on both sides of the puck. He skates fast and hard and he distributes well, to the tune of a team leading 36 assists. Still, everyone has been slow on the offensive side, especially Jaromir Jagr. Jagr was supposed to be the cornerstone of a dynamic offensive machine, an unstoppable scoring threat finally given a supporting cast he didn't have to carry on his shoulders. Instead, he's once again become the enigmatic headcase he was in Washington. In the beginning of the season, it's like he forgot how to score. Now he's turned it on with 12 points in January, but he's still on pace for his lowest point total since 1994. I don't think age is his problem, because watching him handle the puck is still a thing of beauty. He just doesn't seem comfortable on the ice so far, an issue Tom Renney is going to have to fix is this team is going to have any kind of success.

There's also the fact that no one on this team seems to be willing to take a shot. In tonight's game, I watched Scott Gomez break on a 2 on 1 with Chris Drury. Despite having the better angle on the goalie, Gomez passed off to Drury who got a weak, easily deflected shot off. On power plays, there's too much passing and standing around and not enough driving towards the net looking for deflections and setting screens. It's a maddening thing to watch, and something I lay directly at the feet of Coach Renney until I hear something that convinces me otherwise.

Overall, the team seems lackadaisical and completely lacking in focus. I'm well aware of the fact that they turned on the afterburners last year when things were looking bleak, but forgive me if I wonder how often the team can do it. I'll still watch though, fervently hoping against hope that this team can reach it's potential and deliver a Cup.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Everyone Hates Greasebot

Well, at least Greasebot can win in the "Pure, unmitigated hatred" caucus held among Republican candidates. The New York Times leads with an article so emasculating that we should check if Otto Sulzberger now has Greasebot's mechanical balls in a a jar on his desk. The gist of the article is that every candidate is most eager to attack Romney over any other candidate, especially John McCain, and our intrepid Michael Luo wants to know why. There's outright insanity, like Ed Rollins' quote:

“What I have to do is make sure that my anger with a guy like Romney, whose teeth I want to knock out, doesn’t get in the way of my thought process,” Mr. Rollins said.

There's also this:

Mr. Schnur used a schoolyard analogy to compare Mr. Romney, the ever-proper Harvard Law School and Business School graduate, to Mr. McCain, the gregarious rebel who racked up demerits and friends at the Naval Academy.

“John McCain and his friends used to beat up Mitt Romney at recess,” Mr. Schnur said.

There you have it folks, The New York Times is officially trying to bury Mitt Romney. The article isn't all threats of assault and humiliating analogies, there's also a smattering of analysis that, while true, also falls into the incredible bullshit category.

Campaign insiders and outside strategists point to several factors driving the ill will, most notably, Mr. Romney’s attacks on opponents in television commercials, the perception of him as an ideological panderer and resentment about his seemingly unlimited resources as others have struggled to raise cash.

These things are true, but that just can't account for it. McCain made sloppy kisses with Jerry Falwell and Rudy Giuliani went from supporting the Brady Bill to Mr. Glock. Huckabee used Chuck Norris in his ad, which is pretty much a direct assault just because of the power of Walker, Texas Ranger. The only thing I can't peg on his opponents is the rich boy syndrome, and hey, everyone hates a stiff rich guy. If Greasebot had Mark Cuban's or Al Czervik's personality, the media would be eating his shit up with their bare hands.

Even the politically unaware have problems with Romney. I never talked about the actual story of why I started calling him Greasebot, so here it is. During one of the many, many debates the Republicans held, my roommate's girlfriend came in the room when Romney was droning on about something or other. "Who's that guy?", she asked. "I don't like him, he looks like a greasy robot." She then walked away. I shit you not people, all it took was a five second look at this guy before she insulted him. I guess the rest of the Republican field feels the same way.

Now if only PolitiFact could look up whether or not any of the candidates actually beat up Greasebot during recess.

Sweet Bonus Hatred:
The Times needed a quote from a senior adviser of the Romney campaign. Guess who they went to? If you guessed lobbyist-who's-not-running-his campaign Ronald C. Kaufman, you'd be correct. Maybe the Times really is trying to buy Romney.

Why Not Jason Friedberg?

The passing of Heath Ledger inspired a grief parade that was astounding in its civility. The regularly snarky What Would Tyler Durden Do? published a jokeless obituary of sorts. Even the normally contentious AV Club comments were subdued. And there was also uhhhh...Best Buy.

All I can say I guess is that it was unexpected. Not that I didn't think Ledger was a bad actor, but I never saw Brokeback Mountain. On the other hand, I did see 10 Things I Hate About You and A Knight's Tale. I was probably going to be wowed by his turn as the Joker in The Dark Knight, but I guess that's moot now. All I really wonder is if anyone will dare admit to not liking his Joker when it's finally unleashed. Here's a preview for your convenience.


This wouldn't be complete without mentioning albino rat Josh Gibson giving Ledger's death it's "52 Funniest Things About The Upcoming Death of The Pope" moment. Whatever. Gibson has said worse things before, I just had a good excuse to call him an albino rat in this space and I took it. Oh, and Fred Phelps I guess, but that publicity hungry swine would picket Jesus' funeral if it meant more air time.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Where's Chuck?

Never mind our crumbling infrastructure, ever expanding deficit or our insistence on throwing our army into a Third World hellhole meatgrinder, this is all the evidence you need that the government is a failure of massive proportions:

Former major leaguer Chuck Knoblauch had not been tracked down as of early Wednesday evening by federal marshals trying to serve him a subpoena from a House panel investigating steroids in baseball, a committee staffer told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because staffers were not authorized to make public comments on the matter.

Knoblauch, a four-time All-Star who played for the Yankees, Twins and Royals from 1991-02, originally was asked to appear Thursday for what was supposed to be the first of five depositions or transcribed interviews scheduled by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Those sessions are in preparation for a hearing Feb. 13, when the witnesses are scheduled to include seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens and his former personal trainer, Brian McNamee.

When the committee didn't hear from Knoblauch or a representative, it issued a subpoena to force the 1991 AL Rookie of the Year to submit to a deposition next Tuesday.

As of 7 p.m. Wednesday, though, that subpoena had not reached the former infielder who, like Clemens and more than 80 other players, was accused of using performance-enhancing drugs in last month's Mitchell Report on baseball's steroids era.

So let me get this straight. We have the PATRIOT Act and the NSA is eavesdropping on our phone calls and we can't find a guy who forgot how to throw a baseball from second base to first base? At least we'll know what books those dastardly Unitarian Universalists are reading. This does beg the question though, Where's Chuck? Some possibilities:

  • Shrank himself down, hiding in his Rookie of the Year Trophy
  • Fled to Mexico, sailing with Andy and Red
  • Turned himself into a cartoon, guest starring on Aqua Teen this week with John Kruk
  • Is masquerading as Secretary of Veteran's Affairs, Dr. James Peake
  • You ever see Serving Sara? No, me neither, but still...
  • Is hiding in plain sight at Kauffman Stadium
  • Vacationing in Iraf
  • Stalking the underbelly of early 1960s New York
  • Did so much steroids he turned himself into a being pure energy
Those are just my theories though. What do you think?????

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fred Thompson ('s Campaign) Is Dead! Long Live (Eh, I Could Go Either Way) Fred Thompson!

Finally, a big name drops off the face of the Earth in this two year insanity we call presidential politics. While Fred's surrender deprives us of a young and virile First Lady who we'd all love to see at Gate D, anyone who's been paying attention can't be too surprised.

From the moment Thompson entered the race, he exhibited a ridiculous level of laziness. I understand what he was going through, because I'd rather order Papa John's over the internet than dare pick up a phone or even walk the one block to pick it up. However, while I would make a great President, I'm not dumb enough to enter a race and expect people to do everything for me. I remember in particular, during one of his early public appearances, Thompson came out sounding like he'd eaten a handful of Ambien. After being particularly uninspiring, he exhorted the crowd to cheer for him. I had never seen anything like that in any kind of campaign. Think about how boring you have to be for a bunch of geeked out volunteers not to cheer for your bullshit speech about how Ronald Reagan visited you from White Heaven.

No, Fred Thompson never did have a chance. He was a Hollywood actor and a Fox News ideologue, but he didn't have Dutch's easygoing smile or the good fortune of an angry white male backlash. I always thought Thompson's candidacy was a bit of a joke, some desperate ploy cooked up by Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh in the midst of an opium binge.

As for his geeked out volunteers, I'll admit to having some sympathy for them. In the throes of my own debilitating drug addiction, I developed a temporary psychosis and jumped onto the "Draft Wesley Clark" movement. After all, it may have been late in the race, but he was the most electable guy out there. The waiting Messiah, just biding his time until the dramatic rescue would take place. Instead, we got a guy who was obviously unprepared for the job, in way over his head and quickly lost his sheen after one public appearance. Don't cry for Fred Thompson though. He made himself relevant again and had his moment in the Sun when he told that uppity bitch he wouldn't raise his hand. He established residency in the Kingdom of Fox News and will no doubt be rewarded with a talking head show that leads into O'Reilly.

The only person I really feel bad for is me. I missed my chance to run this picture over and over, and I'll never be able to do it again.


Left to right: Viable Presidential candidate, Hollywood ghoul

An Enduring Testament To My Laziness


OK, so this video and this issue is a few days old. However, since I've been casting myself as such an anti-Greasebot kinda guy, I would be remiss in my duty if I didn't discuss it. It goes without saying that Glenn Johnson should get a medal, or at the very least an ice cream sundae, for interrupting Greasebot in the middle of a flat out lie. This kind of behavior is rare on the campaign trail, mostly because reporters are terrified of being frozen out of a race.

Glenn Johnson had no such qualms obviously, embarrassing every other reporter at the event who was willing to just take Romney at his word. PolitiFact shed some more light on the spat and regardless of what you think "lobbyists running a campaign" means, it's pretty damn obvious that Mitt is connected to Washington insiders. Frankly, it's insulting when any candidate (including John Edwards) claims to have no connections whatsoever to the Beltway or their evil lobbyists. There's a matter of degrees of course, but if you're in national politics, you talk with lobbyists and you probably even listen every now and then.

The video is most interesting towards the end when Romney has decided he hasn't taken enough abuse from Johnson and confronts him, condescends to him and then sics his press secretary on him. Is there a more clear cut example of the sickening nature of campaign coverage than that smarmy asshole telling Johnson how to do his job in full view of the cameras? If there's a Hell, I'd love to see what punishments await traveling press secretaries for presidential campaigns.

The Debates Roll On

Hillary Clinton is obviously much smarter than I am. Loathe as I am to admit that about anybody, the Senator from New York has stuck to her goal of getting under Barack Obama's skin by any means necessary, and her strategy is finally paying off. Watching tonight's debate in South Carolina, we're finally getting the heavyweight bout the campaign press has been begging for.

Does this mean Barack Obama is stupid? No, because what else is the man supposed to do when Clinton accuses him of praising Republican ideas from the 1980s? He can throw up his hands and claim to want a clean campaign all he wants, but after a certain point, you have to argue. This is exactly what he wanted to avoid however, because as the first one to peg himself as the candidate of change, he can't be seen getting into these slap fights over the wording of arguments.

You can see the strain now, along with that peculiar phenomenon Hunter S. Thompson once spoke of, comparing candidates who are close to the prize to bull moose during rutting season. Obama was calm, to the point of seeming inhuman for so long during the campaign. But in the beginning of the debate, when Hillary lobbed the charge at him that he praised those old Republican ideas, you could see the eyes gloss over and the rage spew forth. Clinton and Obama pointed fingers and spoke over each other, generally looking like any other cut rate politicos. Hillary didn't care because everyone sees her as the ambitious ice queen of Washington. In fact, you just know she went back and laughed her head off when the debate was through, because lo and behold, the New York Times ran with the headline that Obama and Clinton "tangled" at the debate, along with this picture:
Ditto the Washington Post, which led with the Democrats "clash" and "rancor". Matt Taibbi wrote a compelling article in Rolling Stone this past month, castigating the press for their demand of a fight during what was shaping up to be a peaceful campaign season with upstart candidates. While Taibbi was certainly correct in placing some blame on the press for getting excited at each jab, he left out the most important part: That the Washington press corps aren't the only people who benefit from a "streetfight".

Clinton especially needed and went for the argument angle in the very beginning of the debate because she knew that's what the papers would lead with, no matter what happened afterwards. For the most part, the debate wasn't rancorous, only in a few moments in the first half-hour or so of questions. It doesn't matter that the entire second half of the debate was a relaxed affair during which the candidates sat in easy chairs and Barack joked about not knowing if Bill Clinton was America's first black president because he had never seen him dance. All that matters is that there was a brief scuffle, and like a group of middle schoolers, the press gathered around chanting "Fight, fight fight!" Was there a teacher to break it up? Nope, just Wolf Blitzer.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Finally, A Nickname For David Brooks

Ever since I've taken to commenting on his articles, I've struggled with a derogatory name to call David Brooks. It's not that I needed to do it, but considering that everyone calls Tom Friedman, his equally loathsome colleague at the Times "The Walrus", I didn't want David to feel left out. Today, that struggle finally comes to an end. In the middle of a seemingly innocuous pop politics column on how we really make our decisions on who to vote for, Brooks throws in this paragraph:
It is no accident that the major candidates in the Republican field are a pastor, a businessman and a war hero. These are the three most evocative Republican leadership models. Nor is it an accident that the Democratic race is a clash between a daughter of the feminist movement, a beneficiary of the civil rights movement and a self-styled proletarian. These are powerful Democratic categories.
At first glance, it seems to be just a normal thing to say, nothing to see here folks. At closer glance though, Brooks is playing a game that's so transparent it's sad. The Republicans in the field are strong, success identified categories: a pastor, a businessman and a war hero. Who are the Democrats though? Two special interest babies and a limousine liberal. Hillary, Barack and John aren't say, community activists and self-made success stories.

No, Democrats don't believe in success, do they? They never ran a war hero or a religious southerner or The Guy Who Invented The Internet. Well, maybe that's a reach, but you get the idea. For all of his nice guy, gentleman manners, Brooks is at heart, just another prick grasping for a paycheck.

Ladies and gentleman, I introduce you to "The Gentleman Prick." Whenever you discuss David Brooks in polite conversation, and I just know you do, be sure to let your colleagues in on his new moniker.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

If Mike Bloomberg Wants My DNA, He Can Feel Free To Suck It Out Of Me

A polite thing to ask after Mayor Mike Bloomberg's State of the City address is whether or not he has lost his fucking mind. Oddly enough, that's also probably the most polite way of phrasing the question. Who else would have the audacity to push for the taking of DNA samples from every person arrested in the city, regardless of their guilt or innocence?

It's well established in this country (it used to be anyway), that we have certain protections against government. Phone calls, mail, what kind of condoms we buy and when; these are all things that the government can't find out without probable cause. These are petty compared to our DNA, the very building blocks of who we are. Not only would Bloomberg have them taken from people who were convicted of say, selling a nickel bag, but if you get yourself hauled off at a sit-in, the state will be allowed to take your blood and put you in a database.

Mister Mayor, let me put this bluntly. This move turns you into a monster, a slavering power hungry beast with designs so frightening they could kill just with their utterances. Just because George Bush pushes the idea that the President has unending powers to invade the privacy of Americans doesn't mean you get to import that kind of creepiness to New York. Having more money than God doesn't mean you get His omniscience. Honestly, I'm just as angry at myself for getting suckered by this swine as I am at him for turning around and pushing this kind of bullshit.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Greasebot Wins, Republicans Lose

Greasebot, buddy! Just wanted to congratulate you on your victory in Michigan pal! Not only does it mean that I still have you around to call you names, but you've hopelessly split the Republican party at the exact moment when the Democrats were having some kinda creepy love-in at the Vegas debate. Yes, if you've been consistent with anything during this election chum, it's been that you seem to always come out wrong.

Nevada and South Carolina stand in the distance. DR. RON PAUL stands at 6 percent there but has been winning all sorts of obscure straw polls, while John McCain leads overall. Mike Huckabee leads South Carolina, and bat creature Rudy Giuliani is tied with McCain for the lead in Florida. Of course, Rudy has also staked his whole presidential campaign on winning Florida, so he won't give it up without a real nasty fight. All the while, Fred Thompson is skulking around like damn mummy siphoning off ten percent here and five percent there. Unlike DR. RON PAUL's kind of principled lunatic fringe stand, Thompson doesn't know what the fuck he wants, other than apparently less time with his smokin' hot wife.

The man to keep an eye on in all of this is none other than Dr. Ron Paul. Dr. Paul has a ton of cash and an army of crazy supporters. Oh yeah, and a blimp. The possibility of Dr. Paul hijacking the Republican Convention is a pipe dream right now, because he only has about two percent of the available delegates. I could see Thompson eventually dropping out because his hallmark thus far has been laziness and catatonia. If Rudy doesn't pick up major numbers on Super Tuesday, he may say "Fuck it" also. However, if Thompson and Rudy and Paul all stay in it, they're going to show up in Minneapolis drunk on power with their own retarded demands.

Never you mind Bruce Reed's analysis of the three Republican camps and their splits, can you imagine the screaming calamities that would result in Huckabee, Romney and McCain trying to appeal to the diverse demands of a Thompson, Giuliani, Paul block? Utter madness.

So what's a good liberal to hope for? Let McCain and Huckabee win Nevada and South Carolina respectively. The first place finishes just aren't as important as that they come out close enough to shred the delegate count one would get from a resounding victory. Dr. Paul needs to come out stronger than he's polling in Nevada, since right now he's behind Fred Thompson. In South Carolina, root for a fifth place finish for Dr. Paul, which would leave Rudy with zilch again. I'd like to say root for fourth, but for some reason Fred Thompson is polling at ten percent there, which I just can't see Paul overcoming.

By Florida, hopefully the whole country will be able to smell Rudy's flop sweat, but if he pulls out a win there, the field gets even more hopelessly confused. The problem with Rudy winning Florida is that they do a winner take all system, so a win there vaults him back into contention. So let's wait and see what happens, and I'll get back to Florida next week.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Council of Nerds: America Getting Dumb

In a report that would shock you if any of you gave a fuck about science, America's dominance in the field is being threatened by economic growth in Asia and our reliance on filling technical jobs with foreigners. From the Times:

The report, available at www.nsf.gov/statistics/indicators, recommends increased financing for basic research and greater “intellectual interchange” between researchers in academia and industry. The board also called for better efforts to track the globalization of manufacturing and services in the high-tech sector, and their implications for the American economy.

Over all, it said, surveys of science and mathematics education are both “disappointing and encouraging.” Fourth- and eighth-grade students in all ethnic groups showed improvement in math, the report said, but progress in science is far less robust. And knowledge gaps persist between demographic groups, with European- and Asian-Americans scoring higher than students from other groups.

Many Americans remain ignorant about much of science, the board said; for example, many are unable to answer correctly when asked if the Earth moves around the Sun (it does). But they are not noticeably more ignorant than people in other developed countries except on two subjects: evolution and the Big Bang. Although these ideas are organizing principles underlying modern biology and physics, many Americans do not accept them.

“These differences probably indicate that many Americans hold religious beliefs that cause them to be skeptical of established scientific ideas,” the report said, “even when they have some basic familiarity with those ideas.”

Well then, stop the country please, I'd like to get off. How do we live in a country that put a man on the moon and now have a population that doesn't know if the Earth revolves around the Sun. Gotta love the Times answering the question for us, because it isn't something taught in science class from the time we're children. Ah fuck it, American Idol is on, right? Let's just stare at it and laugh at the bad singers! Hooray! Hooray!

Hooray, More False Controversy!

First I was thinking that the feminist reaction to Juno was utter bullshit and these women would never be happy with anything. Then I realized, hey! I'm a mean spirited crank who gets off on this sort of shit. So let's fire away! After all, when Alternet has three articles devoted to slamming the shit out of it and the more sub-par Knocked Up, something must be said.

Even more entertaining than the articles themselves are the women who write them falling all over themselves to say they still liked Juno because of its spunky, witty heroine. Then comes the "But..." Here's a few of my favorite passages.

"I enjoyed this the way you enjoy the bubbly on New Year's Eve that leaves you with a hangover the next morning. I had the sense of being co-opted into tacit approval of a goofy, romantic story only slightly less plausible than the actual transformation of its author, Diablo Cody, from stripper to screenwriter." - Ellen Goodman

"Still, and maybe this is why I remained dry-eyed, I couldn't get over my sense that, hard as the movie worked to be a story about particular individuals, not a sermon, it was basically saying that for a high school junior to go through pregnancy and childbirth to give a baby to an infertile couple is both noble and cool, of a piece with loving indie rock and scorning cheerleaders; it's fetal fingernails versus boysenberry condoms." - Katha Pollit

"Your first high school lover ends up being the most perfect love you will ever know (Juno)"
"Closed adoption, another last minute decision, works out for the best for everybody (Juno)"
"Raising a child-like boyfriend is a darling substitute for an infant (Juno, Knocked Up)"
"Abortion is fine for someone else, but not for someone heroic and plucky like YOU! (ALL)" - Susie Bright

To be fair (a business I am not very interested in) Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon was at least smart enough to get it. Juno was a comedy people. Did you think it was funny? Did the dialogue make you laugh? What about the sight of Michael Cera in running shorts or scarfing orange Tic Tacs? Was Ellen Page witty yet vulnerable enough? Then good, mission accomplished.

Oh wait, what's that, you worry she didn't have an abortion? Go write your own god damn movie you worthless cunts. Diablo Cody, a woman who's lived the modern feminist ethos more than any of you slags could dream to, crafted a pitch perfect coming of age story that deals with pregnancy. Pregnancy. Not abortion. Abortion isn't funny. Unless maybe you get a clown to do it or the doctor wears a Groucho Marx disguise like Bobby Valentine.

This stream of idiocy lead finally to (where else?) the op-ed pages of the New York Times, where each and every day they seem intent on proving their are dumber things than hiring a smug neo-con douchebag. On Sunday (never let it be said The Gil Meche Experience isn't consistently two days behind the zeitgeist), Caitlin Flanagan drops the incredible news on us that not only is Juno "a fairy tale" but also that "[F]emale desire can bring with it a form of punishment no man can begin to imagine, and so it is one appetite women and girls must always regard with caution."

Chicks can get pregnant? Really? And it's from what again? Sex? Shut the holy hell up all of you fucking idiots. Emily Bazelon has a much more measured criticism of the article than I do, but she also gets paid to do it, so she has to be intelligent and demure. Me? I can reprint this line: "Does the full enfranchisement of girls depend on their being sexually liberated?" I can then say, "Yes it does you dried up old prude. Sex is as much a part of life as voting or working and trying to 'protect' girls from it is just as sexist as protecting them from playing college basketball."

Let The Resurgence Of New Journalism Begin Today!

Capote, Mailer, Thompson, Wolfe. These luminaries blazed a unique path in the art of journalism. They defied old standards and broke more rules than your average con. Through it all, they inspired a generation of writers to think outside the staid conventions of the inverted pyramid. Today, we can add a new name to the glorious ranks of New Journalism: Tuffy R. Yes, with his harrowing story of purchasing an issue of Penthouse, Tuffy R. shows us that the evocative style of these masters of the English language can easily translate to the internet age.

OK, done laughing? I sure as hell am not. What I linked to up there is the story of a 32-year-old man buying pornography and almost having a nervous breakdown while doing it. Am I missing some kind of a joke here? Last time I checked, pornography is not only legal, but it's fucking advertised on television if you watch late enough at night. Yet this full grown adult almost has a stroke because he thinks soccer moms and teenage girls are going to see the magazine he carries out of a store with him.

Maybe it's just my big city seen-it-all-cynicism. Maybe it's because every time I walk to my friend Mike's apartment I pass the same "DVD store" with the same ad for Kim Kardashian Superstar and some other porno poster. Maybe small town Illinois is as backwards as the liberal media has made it out to be. I just can't understand how buying a porno rag is epic or funny when you're almost double the legal age to own it. This isn't heroin or human trafficking you're involving yourself in, and in the age of internet pornography, it's also a very tame magazine that's being purchased.

So thank you Tuffy R. Thank you for bringing me back to the glory days of New Journalism and thank you to your commenters for proving that Deadspin has plenty of giggling 12-year-olds in the bodies of adults. If anyone needs me, I'll be at the corner store trying to buy a pack of cigarettes without bursting into tears.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bill Kristol Has A Large Gun And A Drug Habit

Did you know everything is going great in Iraq? Just peachy keen as they say in Flyover Country. Why, it's the kind of place we'll be bringing our kids to soon, provided of course they do a little bit better job of de-Muslimifying the place. We need to be civilized after all.

Why would I say such horrifying things? I'll let you in on a little secret: Bill Kristol is in my apartment right now with a high powered assault rifle and he told me if I don't start recognizing our success in Iraq, he'd blow me away. I'll stay strong for you, my six loyal readers, and go over his column in today's paper while he's in the bathroom not smoking methamphetamine.

When President Bush announced the surge of troops in support of a new counterinsurgency strategy a year ago, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Democratic Congressional leaders predicted failure.

Where would they get that idea? It couldn't be because everything the neo-cons predicted turned out so wrong that the entire ideology was demolished in a few short months, right? No, it's because Democrats are addicted to surrender.

Obama, for example, told Larry King that he didn’t believe additional U.S. troops would “make a significant dent in the sectarian violence that’s taking place there.” Then in April, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, asserted that “this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything.” In September, Clinton told Gen. David Petraeus that his claims of progress in Iraq required a “willing suspension of disbelief.”

I can't see where they get these ideas from. Adding 20,000 troops to what was already an overwhelming force of about 130,000 soldiers obviously was going to make a dent the size of an asteroid on the violence. It's not like Iraq is as big as California and has porous borders on all sides. Bill just chimed in, he wants you all to know I'll be fine as long as the moon doesn't start talking to him again.

The Democrats were wrong in their assessments of the surge. Attacks per week on American troops are now down about 60 percent from June. Civilian deaths are down approximately 75 percent from a year ago. December 2007 saw the second-lowest number of U.S. troops killed in action since March 2003.

Whatever you do, do not look at these poll numbers from the BBC outlining the various horrible things the Iraqi people think about Americans. They like us.

Do Obama and Clinton and Reid now acknowledge that they were wrong? Are they willing to say the surge worked?

I uhhhh...well...I mean, I don't know. Can you tell me, please?

No.

What a shocking, blockbuster answer! Bill Kristol, you win the Oscar for Best Screenplay and Handsomest Media Hack Commentator.

When Obama was asked in the most recent Democratic presidential debate, “Would you have seen this kind of greater security in Iraq if we had followed your recommendations to pull the troops out last year?” he didn’t directly address the question. But he volunteered that “much of that violence has been reduced because there was an agreement with tribes in Anbar Province, Sunni tribes, who started to see, after the Democrats were elected in 2006, you know what? — the Americans may be leaving soon. And we are going to be left very vulnerable to the Shias. We should start negotiating now.”

But Sunni tribes in Anbar announced in September 2006 that they would join to fight Al Qaeda. That was two months before the Democrats won control of Congress. The Sunni tribes turned not primarily because of fear of the Shiites, but because of their horror at Al Qaeda’s atrocities in Anbar.

You know what else the Sunni Awakening has nothing to do with? The millions of dollars we're giving them in weapons and aid. Like I said before, the people of Iraq really really like us.

And now Iraq’s Parliament has passed a de-Baathification law — one of the so-called benchmarks Congress established for political reconciliation. For much of 2007, Democrats were able to deprecate the military progress and political reconciliation taking place on the ground by harping on the failure of the Iraqi government to pass the benchmark legislation. They are being deprived of even that talking point.

Bill, when you're right, you're right. You're completely not just grasping at straws. After all American troops have fought and died for, I'm sure they're thrilled to hear that one law which took two freakin years to pass has finally passed. And everyone in Iraq loves it too.

Yesterday, on “Meet the Press,” Hillary Clinton claimed that the Iraqis are changing their ways in part because of the Democratic candidates’ “commitment to begin withdrawing our troops in January of 2009.” So the Democratic Party, having proclaimed that the war is lost and having sought to withdraw U.S. troops, deserves credit for any progress that may have been achieved in Iraq.

Those wacky Democrats! They're like Eddie Haskell of politics!

That is truly a fairy tale. And it is driven by a refusal to admit real success because that success has been achieved under the leadership of ... George W. Bush. The horror!

OK, Bill just leapt out the window (don't get your hopes up, I live on the first floor), so just allow me to say this. If everything happening in Iraq is so great and we have to kiss George Bush's feet because of it, can't we blame everything that happened up to now on George Bush's leadership? Oh no, Bill is back! I didn't mean it Bill, honest! Put the gun down, please!

Trashmaster To Obama: Your Community Organizing Was A Threat

I'm a little late on this, but cut me some slack: Giants/Cowboys was an interesting game and this went on right int he middle of it. BET founder Bob Johnson, a man who definitely didn't make his fortune on lowest common denominator trash, had this to say about Barack Obama:
"I am frankly insulted," Johnson declared, "that the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Hillary and Bill Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues since Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood -­ and I won't say what he was doing, but he said it in the book -­ when they have been involved."
Now, everyone who has ever read, laid eyes on or heard of Barack Obama's book knows that he talked about smoking pot and doing a little blow here and there. Hey, I think we've all gotten to the point where a little bit of drug use in one's youth can be tolerated as long as it's repudiated later in life.

Oh but wait! Bob would have us believe he was merely talking about Barack's community organizing. Oh sure, that makes sense, right? The only thing more shameful than being a community organizer is a streetwalker or an AIDS-riddled heroin addict. So I guess I can see where Bob Johnson was coming from when he just couldn't bring himself to mention the work.

Meanwhile, in other Clinton news, the ever excellent Daniel Radosh has a theory on the Clinton racial oopsies so cynical and paranoid it makes me blush:
Think about it. All of a sudden, Obama is being reduced to "the black candidate" he never was before. Bill even called Al Sharpton's radio show to "apologize" for his remarks -- thus linking Sharpton's name with Obama for perhaps the first time ever. Indeed, it seems like every African-American politician is being called for comment, driving home the point that Obama is "one of them" rather than "one of us" (where us means all America)...

Even if it was unintentional, this is very much a narrative that Hillary wants right now. For the first time in the primary, she's running against "the black candidate" rather than Barack Obama. If it was intentional, that's just one more reason the country needs the Clintons out of the picture immediately.
Just remember that this is a liberal who thinks the Clintons are this devious. I'm not entirely sure how they did it, but this might just be the most polarizing family in America.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A Double Dose of Dumb

Unless David Brooks start getting published the same day as Bill Kristol, I usually only get one chance for manufactured outraged from the New York Times. Today however, Gloria Steinem decided to prove that women can write shitty op-eds just as well as men.

Brooks wasn't his normal obnoxious self, instead playing the role of gentleman reporter. However insightful his observations about the similar yet different leadership styles of Barack Obama and John McCain, he shoots himself in the foot by reverting to something he calls himself out on early in the article. If you write this:

I was writing columns criticizing the Republican Congress, but each time I’d throw in a few sentences slamming the Democrats, subconsciously trying to make myself feel good. One morning I got an e-mail message from Obama that roughly said: David, if you want to critique us, fine. But you’re just throwing in those stray sentences to make yourself feel good.

I felt like a bug pinned down in a display case.

You can't spend the last quarter of your article telling blatant falsehoods and writing things just to make yourself feel good. Barack Obama doesn't hold town hall meetings on the campaign? John McCain, the man who went from calling Jerry Falwell an "agent of intolerance" to weeping and kissing his feet at his vile Liberty University is "honest, brave and forthright?" Normally, Brooks' weaselly little "I like both of these guys but the conservative one more" is fine, but why call yourself out on it and then seemingly obliviously go back to it?

Meanwhile, Golria Steinem would have been better off telling the nation her thoughts on Bratz (now available OnDemand) then trying to convince us that the only reason Hillary Clinton lost Iowa is because she's a woman. From the absurd:

THE woman in question became a lawyer after some years as a community organizer, married a corporate lawyer and is the mother of two little girls, ages 9 and 6. Herself the daughter of a white American mother and a black African father — in this race-conscious country, she is considered black — she served as a state legislator for eight years, and became an inspirational voice for national unity.

Be honest: Do you think this is the biography of someone who could be elected to the United States Senate? After less than one term there, do you believe she could be a viable candidate to head the most powerful nation on earth?
to the downright idiotic:
I’m supporting Senator Clinton because like Senator Obama she has community organizing experience, but she also has more years in the Senate, an unprecedented eight years of on-the-job training in the White House, no masculinity to prove, the potential to tap a huge reservoir of this country’s talent by her example, and now even the courage to break the no-tears rule.
Steinem wastes everyone's time. If she was trying to impersonate a lurching zombie of old feminism clawing desperately at the limelight, then Mission Accomplished. How else can one seriously put out the hypothetical female Obama without mentioning whether "Achola" is as eloquent as the Senator from Illinois? If Barack Obama was covered with open sores and oozed a horrible slime at every public appearance, the Senator would hardly be the beacon of hope and righteousness that he is now.

Her paragraph about Hillary Clinton's alleged superiority is bunk all around. How silly to even posit that being First Lady gives Clinton "on the job training". Even a particularly active First Lady like Hillary doesn't get the full presidential experience. That's like claiming Anna Benson has had on the job training as a league average starting pitcher because she's married to Kris Benson, so she may as well be some frugal team's fifth starter. But then again who knows, the Marlins are always looking for another way to vomit on the shoes of their six loyal fans. But I digress.

Hillary Clinton would probably have to try twice as hard to prove her manliness if elected President. She'll have to respond to minor crimes like jaywalking and child pornography with naplam strikes in order to show she's tough on crime. And never mind what she'll need to do to those poor Iraqis. They'll be building solid gold Hillary statues, however many of them are left after the tragic ebola outbreak that will strike the country the first time the blood of a US Marine is spilled during the Clinton II Presidency.

As for the pissing contest of who can energize the biggest amount of talent in the country (youth, blacks vs. women), that's only something a past her prime Steinem would worry about. I fear that if Steinem is allowed to continue speaking freely in this election the Republicans will have a whole new pinata to unload on. Perhaps there's some kind of Hall of Fame we can put her in to shut her up?

Monday, January 7, 2008

So, This is Kristol?

If you'll excuse the awful pun, I'll excuse that body buried beneath your floorboards. Jack Shafer covered it better than I did, but when the New York Times announced the hiring of one William Kristol to their op-ed page, it was like they threw a chair in the room. And to paraphrase the Boondocks, when that happens, "Niggas get angry." Unlike the rest of the hate-filled liberal blogopshere, I was eagerly awaiting his first column. How could someone who regularly reads the Times not be giddy over the hiring of a smirking, largely discredited jackass who climbed on his Daddy's corpse to get where he is not be excited? It's the closest we'll ever come to having George Bush himself write a regular Times column.

So I must say Mr. Kristol, you need to raise your game. I was expecting some kind of wild beast running wild over the page, the literal equivalent of an invading army looting the crops and raping the women. Instead, we get a milquetoast piece about how Bill maybe sorta kinda is starting to like Mike Huckabee. Let's all commence to prattle like schoolgirls, eh?

Hell, there's barely even anything to pull out and highlight. What's that Bill, you don't want some liberal Democrat to "pull defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq?" Oh how droll. They must have loved that line at the last cocktail party. It must have been a great line the other hundred thousand times it was said to justify staying in Iraq by every other brain dead war cheerleader. The people that want "victory" in Iraq couldn't come together with a clear definition of what it was if you locked the all in a room and offered them a quadrillion dollars to come up with one.

You don't want to expand the nanny state but you want to reject same sex marriage? What a charmingly predictable hypocrisy you have there. The piece displayed the same "running scared" mentality that every conservative has nowadays because they know they're running straight into the rocks this year. They have no standout candidate, their coalition of Book of Revelations kooks, free market warriors and expansionists is crumbling, and everyone hates their current sitting President. The Republicans will be stomped this upcoming election and we'll get to watch Bill Kristol fall to pieces and half-ass his column all the while.

Welcome aboard Billy!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Ye Gods, I'm Just Glad I Missed the Republicans

In finding something to tide me over during commercial breaks for the NFL playoffs doubleheader, I stumbled onto the second half of ABC's marathon debate involving the remaining Presidential aspirants in both parties. This seems to happen often with me, when debates and sporting events clash on the same day. I famously (in my own mind, but also where I interned) declined to watch the third Presidential debate of 2004 in order to watch Game 2 of the ALCS. What can I say? I pay attention every other god damn day and to be perfectly honest, the idea of simulating being locked in a room full of career powermongers while they claw each other's eyes out just isn't that appealing. That being said, here's a couple gripes.

If I hear the word "change" again, I am going to mace somebody. Between Barack Obama and John Edwards, I must have heard the word approximately 48,592 times, and don't forget I turned in sparingly. It was already a kind of cliche idea to call oneself the candidate of change, and at this point the word is just starting to lose all meaning. While Edwards and Obama consider themselves candidates of change, but it just isn't true. They'll govern differently from George Bush and they may even be more ethical if they win, but Dennis Kucinich these guys are not. There's no transcript that I can find right now, but here's part of an article that quotes what I'm talking about:

Comparing [Clinton] to the "forces for status quo," Edwards said that Obama "believes deeply in change, and I believe deeply in change. Anytime you speak out for change, this is what happens. The forces for status quo are going to attack."

Clinton shot back, emphasizing, "Making change is not about what you believe or about making a speech, it's about working hard." Raising her voice, she said, "I want to make change, but I've already made change. I'm not running on a promise of change. But on 35 years of change … we don't need to raise false hopes of people in our country about what can be delivered."

And she almost shouted: "I think that having a first woman president is a huge change."

Stop saying change!!!!

I really truly wish Facebook wasn't a partial sponsor of this bloviatefest since it makes old media think they're in touch with today's hip youth. Any internet utility that allows my friends to send me two "puff puff pass" invitations, two vampire requests and one zombie invitation in the past few months just isn't a serious tool for political discussion. The Presidential Election group on Facebook is just full of intelligent banter that as of press time (4:09 AM EST) has somehow turned to the genocide of the American Indians. It also leads to news stories where said old media calls Facebook users at home to get their opinions. Here's a sample:

Sarah Odell, a 20-year-old sophomore at Wellesley College, told ABCNEWS.com in a phone interview that the debate would not change her support for Sen. Hillary Clinton, D- N.Y. She said Clinton most represented the campaign's hottest buzzword — change.

"Change is not just an amorphous buzzword for Clinton," she said. "Young people want change in the deepest sense of the word. If you listened to what she said in the debate, or if you look at her record after serving a full term in the Senate, it's clear she's the most qualified candidate."

Fuck you Sarah Odell, 20-year-old sophmore at Wellesley college! That you can actually use the phrase "young people" when talking to a major media network and that you can say with a straight face that an ex-Nixon Youth who didn't do any drugs in the 60s represents anything new shows that your future is bright. Provided your future is dried out, desperate political operative for so no name schmuck in the House of Representatives that is. But hey, ABC doesn't just talk to retards who are Democrats!

On Facebook's "Soundboard," an electronic bulletin board, Pamela Geller Oshry, in her 40s and from New York, asked "Will any candidate be brave enough to lay out a strategy to fight the global jihad?"

Reached by phone by ABC NEWS.com, Oshry, described Paul's position as "scary and soft on terrorism." She said she was supporting Giuliani, but found former Sen. Fred Thompson's positions "stronger and stronger" and would elect "anyone capable of beating the Democrats."

A 40-year-old on Facebook? That's just sad. Maybe it's actually Sarah Odell's future self come to the past to vote? I'd bet any amount of money that despite her "anyone but the Democrats" rhetoric, Pamela said that the 2004's "Anybody But Bush" strategy was proof that liberals just hate America and have no principles. Also, her question about fighting the global jihad actually makes it sound like she wants to sign up for it. Sounds to me like we got a sleeper cell agent.

Facebook being involved with the debate also means that media outlets covering the debate have to mention Ron Paul's continued popularity among the coveted "internet losers" demographic. I may have a blog that I'm updating at 4:30 in the morning, but at least I'm not a tinfoil hat putz who run around the internet posting "Vote for Dr. Ron Paul!" on all of Mike Huckabee's YouTube videos. Ron Paul is the favorite of 37 percent of Republicans on Facebook, an esteemed group composed entirely of people who make sure to correct you when you say "Mr. Paul" or "Representative Paul" as opposed to "Dr. Paul". Paul's insurgency candidacy is far more interesting than Mike Muckabee's, if only because it proves this country has a growing number of pissed off losers with internet access. But that is for another day.

All in all, just another disappointing day at the track. Until a meth crazed Bill Richardson takes hostages then breaks down weeping while talking about his failed professional baseball career, I'm going to keep watching football.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Iowaaaaaaaa Madnessssss



Fucking finally, the Iowa caucuses have come and gone, and I for one can't wait to ship New Hampshire down the very same garbage chute. It's not that I don't enjoy the first shot of the presidential election. As much as I play the cynic, I care, if only because I am a true and helpless News Junkie. Still, how excited can someone get about the least democratic aspect of the election? A much more interesting question, I think, than why did Obama and Huckabee win Iowa is why can't the Rangers score a fucking goal? Is it an issue of coaching? Fran Healy's old favorite, confidence? Or has Jaromir Jagr just gotten old and Chris Drury proven a bust?

Different sport for a different time I guess, since I'm now here to talk about Iowa. I'm mostly here to laugh at Greasebot though, who after unloading all the negative ammo he could about Mike Huckabee, not only lost the moral highground (or did he?), but the ridiculously overhyped first round of the primaries. Romney I'm sure now will race off to New Hampshire, babbling and promising that when he gets there, he'll stomp Mike Huckabee like a cold and ruthless assassin.

He just might too. The people of New Hampshire don't take kindly to big government, and it sure as hell isn't going to sound any better coming from some oily Jesus freak with a preacher's smile and corrupt sense of entitlement. He'll also face a tough fight from Rudy Giuliani, who for all his talk about not caring about Iowa got flat out embarassed with 3 percent of the vote. Ron Paul, by contrast, got 10 percent. Rudy can talk a big game about Florida and Super Tuesday, but he may not be able to recover from the media shitstorm of two complete flops to open the year. If he can't, good, he deserves it.

As for the Democrats, I can't say I'm unhappy Barack Obama came out on top. For all the noise progressives were making about Edwards being the realest dude on the block, I also feel like he's the only candidate with nothing to lose. He talks a big game now, but he also isn't a senator or representative of any sort, so when this is over he can go host a talk show or get a column somewhere. If the man won the nomination, I wonder if he would be less the liberal firebrand and more the moderate we knew in his time in the Senate.

Again, I'm not looking to get that excited about this. It was the first vote of the election and it didn't even come in a real primary. So instead, I leave the last word in this post to Christopher Hitchens, who despite his support of the war, still manages excellent analysis and invective such as this:
So, once you subtract the breathless rhetoric about "surge" and "momentum" and (oh, Lord) "electability," it's finally admitted that the rest of the United States is a passive spectator while about half of 45 percent of 85,000 or so Republican caucus voters promote a provincial ignoramus and anti-Darwinian to the coveted status of "front-runner" or at least "contender."

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Hooray For Movies!

Here it is, the long anticipated list of films I enjoyed sitting around and watching! There's no particular order to it because everyone else ranks their lists and I don't want to be like everyone else.

Juno

I'm not sure what I think of Diablo Cody or the road she took to stardom, but I do know that I enjoyed her feature debut. A quirky study of a suburban teenager dealing with unplanned pregnancy, Juno deflects what could be maudlin drama by injecting its title character with an abundance of protective irony and her family and friends with a similar detachment. Ellen Page and Michael Cera make the indie couple of the year, while J.K Simmons can now somehow claim credit as one of the most evil motherfuckers in TV history on Oz and the most forgiving fathers in cinema history. For my money, it was a much more touching and worthwhile pregnancy movie than Knocked Up.

No Country For Old Men

The Coen Brothers have always enjoyed making smart cinematic violence, and they rarely have done it better than this. Full of nihilism, dread and of course, blood, No Country defies any chance to treat it's protagonists fairly. While Cormac McCarthy deserves credit for the story, the Coens deserve the credit for keeping the slow pace alive and for introducing the world to Anton Chigurh. Chigurh, if the movie is seen widely enough, could go down as one of the most frightening movie villains of all time. Six feet of pure, smoldering intensity, it's a testament to Javier Barden's acting ability that Chigurh's most frightening scene is when he actually chooses not to kill someone.

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

I was talking about this movie with my dad the other day. He said that when he saw it with my brother, my brother said to him about a half hour in, "It's obvious nothing good will happen to anyone this movie." This was why they were somewhat lukewarm on it. That's also precisely why I liked this movie so much. I'd never seen Phillip Seymour Hoffman play such an evil role, but watching him grapple with drug addiction, financial ruin and marital problems despite an outward veneer of success was just delicious. That he singlehandedly destroys the lives of his brother (Ethan Hawke), his father (Albert Finney) and even his drug dealer heightens his evil dramatically. Make no mistake, Hoffman's character is absolutely irredeemable, and the movie is all the better for it.

Southland Tales

From getting booed at Cannes to being featured in Nathan Rabin's "My Year of Flops", Richard Kelly's cracked out vision suffered a heap of abuse before quietly debuting and retreating from theaters. This is a shame, because Southland Tales is the most insane, ambitious film I have ever seen. While Kelly overextends himself at some points, I'd still take a thousand daring, genre-bending films over another fucking Shrek sequel. Kelly brings to cinema much of the fear and loathing currently floating around America as we all continue to wonder just what the fuck is going on all around us. He does it with humor, intrigue and horror, and never stops challenging the viewer to figure out what just happened and why. What other movie can you tell someone features a do-rag clad Lou Pucci standing on top of a floating ice-cream truck, firing a rocket launcher at something called a Mega-Zeppelin, and then tell them it's not the weirdest part of the movie? There is after all, this:

I want to be Pilot Abilene for Halloween.

Children of Men

Is this actually a 2006 movie? Maybe, but I know I saw it on someone's "Best of 2007" list, so I'll include it too. I'll also include because despite me saying that I wasn't ranking the movies, this was the best movie of the year. Much like Southland Tales, Children of Men is as much a political screed as it is entertainment. Confronting humanity's various failings since the Twin Towers fell, Alfonso Cuaron makes that rarest of films: the intelligent action movie. It takes risks with its stars and is not at all interested in uplifting humanity. Cuaron's use of long takes, particularly in the movie's anarchic scenes in a refugee camp give the viewer a terrifying feeling of being exactly where the action is. That this movie wasn't nominated for Best Picture, let alone winning it, proves the Oscars are as useless as the god damn Grammys.

Honorable Mention: Shoot'Em Up

Oh what a gleefully stupid little movie. Essentially a live action cartoon, there is a perverse fun in watching two top leading men in Paul Giammatti and Clive Owen duke it out for no reason at all. There's a massive gunfight two minutes in, and the movie never lets up from there. Even better, no one tried to shoe in any kind of real plot, just an incomprehensible mishmash about baby organs, the U.S. Presidential race and the gun industry. But hey, if they talked more, there'd be less time for Clive Owen to screw Monica Bellucci while simultaneously blowing away a whole room full of hired guns.

Dishonorable mention, Worst of the Year: Epic Movie

There were a bunch of shitty movies I could have chosen for this coveted slot. Norbit, Bratz, Alvin and the Chipmunks. None of these movies however, can compare to the incredible hackery that is Epic Movie. I think the above clip shows just how sad the parody industry has gotten. Reduced to making a parody of a joke that wasn't particularly funny to begin with. Even worse than the actual existence of Epic Movie is that it made just under $40 million at the box office. By contrast, Children of Men made $26 million. So which do you think we'll see more of? If you guessed more fucking Epic Movies, then congratulations. If there was any real justice in this world, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer would be dragged from their houses in the middle of the night and stabbed to death with rusty nails. There is no excuse for this mind boggling waste of film, not even studio bosses' desperation for money at all costs. Epic Movie is a blight on this country, a blight on cinema and a blight on humanity in general. The only thing more disgraceful than the scum who financed and worked on this movie are the sad individuals who paid to see it. Are you one of them? Go play in wet cement you animal, and let us real human beings engage with that organ we call the brain.