Like newspaper comments, but LESS AWESOME. Fromthe story on the dissolution of the national ACORN structure (which is a whole other thing but too rage-inducing to attempt this early in the day):
it is asinine to compare Blackwater to ACORN. One is a private company
competing for bids and fulfilling those contracts; the other is a
publicly funded organization which has been consistently focusing on
ways to break state and federal laws.
As a conservative I have no qualms with organizations helping
underprivileged with housing – in fact I financially support several
charitable organizations to this end. I do however have GREAT issue
with these putrid cockroaches taking public money and intentionally
affecting elections, lying, promoting sex crimes and other illegal
activities, and then attempting to cover up their heinous acts by
scurrying off into the night.
Can we get a mASSive-large can of RAID and clean house?? A cockroach is
a cockroach until it’s gone.
Right. One is a company whose employees have MURDERED PEOPLE, and another grows into an oak tree if planted in the ground.
Also, I could consultCharlie Crews on this but I’m pretty sure a cockroach is always a cockroach, whether it’s here or not.
A.C.O.R.N. – That has got to be the largest scab I’ve yet seen on America’s butt.
How many other scabs have you measured? I mean, really, we need to know their sizes in inches here, not the commie metric system.
It’s all coming full circle fellas, grab on and hold on. The sweep is fixin’ to be complete!!
Somebody’s been mainlining Olympic curling, or black tar heroin, or both together.
ACORN WILL ASSUME ANOTHER NAME AND THE DEMOCRATS VOTE-BUYING WILL
CONTINUE. THE VOTES THEY WANT ARE MOSTLY THOSE WHICH HAVE LITTLE OT NO
EDUCATION. YET THEY CLAIM THEY ARE BIG ON EDUCATION.
Little ot no education. There’s that Ph.D. rearing its ugly head.
Hey Swifty have you looked at a pole lately? I don’t think the
Republicans have to worry about losing to many elections in November.
Well, they might if they spend all their time staring at poles instead of voting.
” dissolve”…TRUTH is 2+2=4 Obama and you cannot speak the TRUTH…Acorn = Obama = Seiu= Alinsky= ayers= marx= LIES!
It’s like geometry done by dogs on acid.
“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion
with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort
the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent
children,” said Marshall, a Republican.
the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was
dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would
was among more than 20 people, mostly Christian pastors and clergy, who
gathered for the press conference in the General Assembly Building.
There’s so much going on here, with the simplistic good people win/bad people have handicaps view of the world, and the idea that mothers are responsible for anything and everything their children are and if your kid has a disability it’s because you’re a whore, and of course the fact that he’s a fucking liar on top of it:
According to Marshall, Planned Parenthood receives “about $500,000 a year” from the state.
Jessica Honke, director of public policy for Planned Parenthood
Advocates of Virginia, said the only state funding Planned Parenthood
receives is from Medicaid reimbursements. That amount was about $35,000
in the 2009 fiscal year, according to the Department of Medical
If there was any justice in the world, a wingnut wormhole would appear, disgorge Sarah Palin, she’d kick Marshall’s ass and then they’d both get sucked to some alternate dimension.
I almost died last Friday. I won’t bore you with details, but it involved soap, a shower curtain, a razor, and NPR. See, Scott Horsley was covering theObama visit to Colorado to stump for Michael Bennet, and produced this little gem as I was engaged in my morning ablutions:
“One woman at the Bennet fundraiser held a sign with the number ’51’ on it — as if to say, the party that had a 60-vote lock on the Senate several weeks ago, will now feel fortunate to hold onto a bare majority.”
Seriously. I think you can understand the near-death experience now, can’t you? The only thing missing was Anthony Perkins in drag. All I know is I ended up on the bathroom floor with half the shower curtain wrapped around me, a bar of soap embedded in the ceiling, and a cat looking down at me with an expression that read, “You just had to listen to NPR. When will you learn?”
Now’s your chance to play! What do you think Scott would make of this sign?
This post isn’t about the ideas of Christianity. Every religion
celebrates times of abundance and times of solemnity. Yom Kippur,
Ramadan. They talk of repentance, of turning away from our past and our
For me, this year, this season is more about turning toward than
turning away. Turning toward other people and embracing their pain,
rather than ignoring it. It is a difficult discipline. But our true
wealth, says Wendell, comes when we recognize that while one of us
suffers, we all suffer. While our brothers and sisters live in poverty,
we do too.
Until that guy on the corner has a bed and a shower, neither do I.
I’ve begun thinking about religion again. Mostly because I made a deal.
Why else become a Catholic again at the absolute most miserable time to do so? Why else successfully resist the spiritual booty call of Christmas joy only to succumb in January? I hate Lent. I’ve always hated Lent. It’s dark, it’s cold, it’s damp, it’s miserable, and then you go INSIDE the church. The relentless focus on death and guilt and the crushing burden of being worthy of someone else’s sacrifice, and the natural presumption that you aren’t because who could be?
Then you go home to give up chocolate or in my case booze (I know, but I probably needed to give it a rest anyway), and really, April cannot get here fast enough. Somebody wake up that rabbit and get his cotton-tailed ass on the bunny trail. I can’t wait three days to roll back the rock. It snowed another half a foot last night and it’s all turning to slush today. I’m permanently tired. This is the time of year I forget and start to wonder if we’re going to make it out of winter alive. Maybe this time the earth will just stop turning.
I made a deal, because when someone you love is dying that’s what you do. You make deals. You make white-knuckled deals with the beyond to get you through the hour between three and four o’clock in the morning, and when the sun comes up you try to live up to them. Sometime in mid-November my regular conversations with whatever deity exists took the form of “I swear to you, you asshole, you stop her suffering and I will do whatever, and I mean WHATEVER.” Whatever, anddon’t bother to lecture me about how it’s all in my head because the crazy thing thing is I’m fully aware, seems to have taken the form of signing up for my local parish. And every Saturday night vowing to get my ass out of bed for the early service, and every Sunday barely managing to make it to mid-morning Slacker Mass on time.
The last time someone this close died I cut all my hair off. I go there, in no small part, to talk to her. She would find that blasphemous in the extreme and I’m aware of the humor in it. The church is old and the radiators make banging noises. I’m distracted by badly behaved children (jealous because I’d have been soundly smacked for clambering over pews and pushing my brother) and badly behaved adults. I remember most of the prayers but none of the songs are the same. It’s not a bad parish, all things considered. Lots of emphasis on
service, lots of discussion about challenging oneself to not be such a
dick all the time, clothing and food drives, the stuff I like.
I am hoping, at present, that if I just keep behaving like this eventually it will make sense and I’ll be able to be more articulate about it, particularly as it informs my politics (Told my mother once, “You’re the one who dragged me to church with all that crap about the widow and the orphan, and guess what? It took.”). For now, though? You breathe in and out, says a line I love from a movie I loathe, until it no longer hurts to breathe in and out. There’s no real way of getting around it, Lent. God, I hate this time of year.
Paul says this salvation is on your lips and in your heart. If it isn’t
in those places, where else would it be, and what good would it do you?
And if it is in those places, what good is it if it doesn’t make you
act? If it doesn’t lead you, drive you, compel you, to behave
accordingly? What good is your salvation, if it doesn’t make you feel
safe? And if it makes you feel safe, why wouldn’t you then do what’s
You could go out into the wilderness, and not be
afraid. You could go out to where God is most clearly seen, where there
are no distractions, no confusion, no mistaking something else, some
false idol, some human made object, for God. Where money is useless and
the noise is from nature and the sights are God’s handiwork. You could
go out into the wilderness and not be afraid; if you felt safe.
wilderness is not a place, of course; it’s s state of mind. You could
be in the wilderness right now, sitting before your computer, reading
these words. You could be safe right now, but in the wilderness
tomorrow morning, when the work week starts again. What salvation do
you have there, in the place where you don’t feel safe? What good is
your salvation, if there is a place where you don’t feel safe?
safety justice? It can be. “A wandering Aramean was my father,” but God
brought the ancestors of Israel to a place of safety, and then told
them to take care of the aliens among them. They were safe because God
had made them safe, and that meant they had to remember the lessons of
justice, and where their safety came from, and why they should not be
afraid, even of the aliens who lived with them, the ones who were not
children of Abraham. They weren’t better than those aliens; God didn’t
despise those aliens; there was no reason for the children of Abraham
not to feel safe. Because the word of God was as near to them as their
lips and their hearts.
In an utterly unsurprising development, the tip jar quietly has disappeared from the Miami Herald website.
and groans greeted the paper’s decision in mid-December to add a
heartfelt plea for voluntary donations from readers to the bottom of
each of its web pages.But the plea and the link to an accompanying payment page were nowhere in evidence on the website over the weekend.
thought those advertisers actually paid you guys to put all this stuff
up that we have to see if we want to look at this site,” said a reader
identified as jstella. “Silly me.”
“Yeah, I’m going to tip a for-profit business,” said a commenter identified as lucky0111. “I’d rather burn my money.”
Well, and seriously. Again, this has very little to do with the mythical belief that news is free and everything to do with the fact that people have caught on to just how badly newspaper companies have fucked up the Internet. Engaged consumers of news aren’t morons, and you keep blathering on about suing Google and charging people six cents to read a brief about relief efforts in Haiti that was written by the AP and republished in your paper, and they’re gonna call bullshit.
Consistently telling your customers they’re stupid and selfish and don’t care about what’s really important doesn’t help, either.
Advertisers do actually pay to put all that stuff up. Right now, they just don’t pay enough for the web site to justify itself, and there are about twelve reasons why that is, including that people aren’t selling the web very hard, that the economy blows, that web advertising as it presently exists is generally ugly and intrusive, and until you hire smarter sales folks you’re gonna wind up having conversations like this:
Hi, this is Ron calling you from the
Daily News. How you doing this
I'm not interested.
Okay. I'm sorry to have bothered you.
Have a nice day.
That's it? That's your pitch? You
consider that a sales call??!
You want to sell me a paper right?
Well you guys call me every Saturday
and I get the same half-assed attempt.
You wanna close me? Then sell me.
Go ahead, start again.
Okay... Hi, this is Ron from the Daily
News. How you doing this morning?
Shitty. What do you want?
It's not what I want, sir... it's what
Alright, now you're talking. What are
I'm offering you a subscription to the
Daily News at a substantially reduced
price. We're trying to reach out to
people that have never had home
So, everyone else that already has a
subscription is getting fucked on this
...Yeah, I guess so.
Good, I can live with that. Now why do
I want your paper? Maybe I should get
the Times or the Voice.
Well the Village Voice is free, sir, so
if you want it you should certainly
pick it up. But the Daily News offers
you something no other paper can, a
real taste of New York. We have some
writers on staff that have been with us
for over fifteen years. We have the
best features! More photographs than
any other daily in New York! And we
have the most reliable delivery in the
city! Now what do you think??!!
Alright, Ron. Now that was a sales
call. Good job!
So are you going to buy a subscription?
No. I already get the Times.
Brown’s anger about that was as nothing compared with his reaction on Wednesday evening, when he learnt of the coverage in theTimes.
Danny Finkelstein, the paper’s comment editor, a former speech-writer
to John Major and a keen student of American politics, had been struck
by the familiarity of many phrases in Brown’s speech. Finkelstein
confirmed his suspicions by Googling any line that sounded like a
speech-writer’s phrase. Brown said: “Sometimes people say I am too
serious.” That was awfully similar to a sentence used by Al Gore in
2000 when he accepted the Democratic nomination: “I know that sometimes
people say I’m too serious.” Finkelstein identified several examples of
phrases recycled from speeches by Gore and Bill Clinton, both former
clients of Bob Shrum, adviser and speech-writer for Brown. When
Finkelstein posted it on his blog that afternoon, the deputy editor of
theTimes, Ben Preston, thought it would make “a great splash” for the next morning’s paper.
When Brown learnt that theTimes
planned to lead its front page with how he had rehashed American
phrases, he was “incandescent”, says a member of his inner circle. From
his suite at the Highcliff, he rang complaining to Preston and Robert
Thomson, the editor of theTimes. “It’s a Tory plot,” he
raged, trying to bludgeon them into pulling the story. “This won’t be
forgotten.” He was maddest of all with his own team. Brown went berserk
with Bob Shrum, whose long friendship did not protect the American from
a ferocious blast of Brown’s temper. “How could you do this to me,
Bob?” Brown screamed at a shaking Shrum. “How could you fucking do this
to me?” Then the Prime Minister started yelling at the other aides
present: “Just get out! Just get out of the fucking room!” Sue Nye
became so alarmed that she felt compelled to come into the room to
protect the unfortunate Shrum.
Obviously, Gordon is unaware that getting Shrummy involved in a national campaign is a recipe for disaster. I suspect Shrummy’s defense was self-plagiarism: he wrote many of Gore’s windy and dull speeches. Plus, many of us have made the Gore as Brown and Clinton as Blair analogy because it’s so fitting.
The above excerpt comes from a new book by the Observer’s Andrew Rawnsley who describes the implosion of the Labour Government’s 2nd and 3rd terms in office. There’s as much court intrigue at Downing Street as in the glory days of the Medicis and Borgias. Prime Minister Brown was already in deep shit and sinking fast and the stories in this book could even lead to the umpteenth attempt to remove him as PM and leader of the Labour Party before the upcoming national election.
Stay tuned. It’s going to be a helluva interesting few weeks in British politics.
Separately, the White House proposal strengthens the employer
responsibility requirement in the Senate bill. Like the Senate bill, it
does not specificallyrequire employers to provide insurance to
their workers, but would require them to pitch in more money for each
employee who ends up on federal assistance to buy their own health
insurance. That money will be used to help cover the cost of subsidies,
which are slightly higher on average in the White House bill than in
the Senate bill.
Using the Senate bill as a baseline, White House proposal preserves
the Senate bill’s abortion language, and state-based exchanges, while
scrapping the Nebraska Medicaid deal. It does not include a public
From a political perspective, I love this summit thing. I love that they’re finally proposing their own plan, I love that Republicans are flapping around knowing they’re gonna look bad because screaming about death panels only works for people like Glenn Beck and looks shabby on a U.S. senator, I love that they’re going to be forced to put all their nasty, racist shit on display, I love “up or down vote,” and I love the implicit fuck-you to Ben Nelson.
What I don’t love is that the opening salvo in this is such a weakass, half-a-loaf thing that we can’t possibly go down from here, but something tells me we will, becausethis is the entirety of the argument:
American politics is haunted by the specter of undeserving poor and
working class Americans living beyond their means on someone else’s
dime. It’s not just strapping young bucks buying t-bone steaks with
food stamps, it’s strapping young bucks buying flat-screen tvs with
credit cards they can’t pay off, strapping young bucks gorging
themselves at the Applebee’s salad bar with their inflated union wages,
strapping young bucks buying houses withCRA-mandated
subprime loans, strapping young bucks suing doctors with lawyers on
retainer, strapping young bucks getting elective surgery with their
taxpayer-subsidized health care.
And, as the Crack Den has been pointing out for some time, when you propose something that doesn’t automatically benefit everybody — the way a Medicare buy-in or a public option would — people then go straight to the paranoid/selfish/racist place of assuming it’s going to benefit the wrong people, ie people who are not them. So why begin with something like that? Why not end up there and at least be able to say that you tried to do better?
Yes, the aftermath of 9/11 wasTeh AWESOMEST:
The second occasion was just days after Sept. 11. Every senator who
could make it to Washington gathered in the Senate dining room to
discuss the American response. The nation had been attacked. The
building in which we sat had been among the targets, and only the
heroism of the passengers prevented the plane from reaching its
destination. We had to respond to protect the country. There were no
Republicans or Democrats in the room that day, just Americans. The
spirit of patriotism and togetherness was palpable. That atmosphere
prevailed for only two or three weeks before politics once again
We were MEN, dammit. Doing MANLY things! Even the women. Shit, especially the women.
Look, I am so fucking tired of this nonsense that it took a national tragedy to bring everybody together. It didn’t take a national tragedy. It was just easier. People could come together at any point and do what this crybaby is describing, except for how they’re mostly selfish assholes. Let’s not pretend it’s outside events that we need to make ourselves special.
You know, there are any number of disasters going on in the country at the moment that are serious enough to unite us all as Americans. Back in 2005, in case anybody’s forgotten, a whole city kind of DROWNED. Plus whenever anybody hangs out a sign that says “free health care” like a gazillion people show up with teeth that have rotted in their heads because they can’t afford to get them pulled out by anybody but their drunk mechanic cousin with his pliers and you don’t resort to that shit until you’re desperate. There are neighborhoods I could take you into whereyou’d ker-thunk the automatic door locks so fucking fast, but no, we needed 9/11 to make a bunch of selfish fucks realize that their politics didn’t really matter all that much.
We could have been “united” like that at any point, but hey, just fixing health care or feeding poor people isn’t dramatic enough. Not for Evan Bayh and his Republican friends. They need to be Real American Heroes, and we know from Jerry Bruckheimer that you can only truly be a Real American Hero when something’s exploding.
And not for nothing, but it was complete bullshit. The only reason you were all Americans for ten minutes is that you were all scared shitless. Patriotism has always been a good part old ugly animal fear, and never was that more true than that day. When you’re amped up on adrenaline you’ll hold the hand of somebody you ordinarily wouldn’t throw a rope to if he was drowning. That doesn’t make it admirable in the aftermath, particularly, so there’s no reason to congratulate yourself.
Good morning everyone. I’ve arranged for everyone to have their own reflex hammer, because this is going to be the Freeper knee-jerk edition to end all Freeper knee-jerk editions.
I was sifting through the insanity this Thursday when the fordumb erupted with:
MOOSLIM TERRAIST CRASHES PLANE ZOMG!!1!
Posted onThursday, February 18, 2010
News Alert, single engine plane plows into building in Austin, Texas.
Building houses FBI.
Freeper prayers immediately go up for the injured and killed. For once, they show some genuine compassion:
10 seconds to government denial of terrorism.
div class=”a2″>To: chuck_the_tv_out
(snap fingers) Next 72 virgins – please line up. We have a new
div class=”a2″>To: sportutegrl
Zero’s policy of appeasing mudslimes is working as planned. As he
planned it anyway …
div class=”a2″>To: sportutegrl
Was the pilot Amish?
div class=”a2″>To: sportutegrl
Nothing to see here. Move along.
Abdul was just practicing take-offs and had not got the landing part
down just yet.
I guess TEXAS is going to be the whipping boy for the
terrorists…FT Hood and now this! OH YEAH, not terrorism nothing to
look here..move along! FUDGE!! This stinks to high heaven of a terrorist
attack. WHY a govt. building and not some other business building? IF
you have ever been to Austin there are A LOT of tall building there!!
Call it for what it is! The bastards told us of an incoming attack and
what is our govt doing SITTING ON IT’S HANDS…I DESPISE THE JOKER and
his incompetent cronies!! TEXAS WILL NOT TOLERATE THIS CRAP!Single out
ALL muslims living in this state!!
…and apologize to them for being such an asshole.
To: My Favorite Headache
Then suddenly it’s –Oops – he’s one of us! A tax protester!To: Bosco
What a shocker. Scratch a Freeper – find a domestic terrorist.To: A_perfect_ladyHehehe…
That’s nothing – did you hear the one about Tim McVeigh, the Bishop, and the Rabbi? It’ll kill ya!To: chuck_the_tv_outSince when do jihadists attack the IRS? Do you think they’re trying
to make friends with us?
Chances are this guy is a tax
cheat/truther/secessionist nutter who was distraught because he realised
Debra Medina has no chance in the 2 March GOP primary.
div class=”a2″>To: Vigilanteman
Yeah!Because refusing to get up and let a white person have your seat istotally like flying a plane into a building.
“If they’re now targetting the IRS, I might not be as outraged as
I otherwise would.”
Right. Andwhy didn’t he wait until April 15?
That would have been completely awesome. And like, all symbolic and shit.
Of course, hope springs eternal and all that:
To: My Favorite Headache
So they know he burned his house down before he crashed his
plane.So how is it he does not yet have a name? That item leads to
strong suspicions that his name is Mohammed or Sancho Iligalo and is
thus a member of a protected species.
Oooh – a twofer! He could be a Muslim and/or a Mexican! Wow.
Watch it be a white guy protesting taxation
div class=”a2″>To: My Favorite Headache
Just a few minutes ago you nutjobs were whimpering that it wouldn’t be called an act of terrorism. And now that it turns out that he’s a “tax protester” you’re afraid it will?Really?
I know – just because we teabaggers have been ranting about being taxed too much, and talking rebellion and referring to stringing up people, Lexington and Concord, and striking a blow against Big Government and all that stuff doesn’t mean that you’re actually supposed to go out anddo it!
When teabaggers say “fight the system”, it’s really code for“sit behind a keyboard and bitch impotently“.
If only there was some way to turn this around on the socialists… hmmmmm.
p>Nope – he was a “leftist moonbat”! Stop laughing!!
Insane Manifesto Of Austin Texas Crash Pilot Joseph Andrew Stack (was he
a Leftist Moonbat?)
| Feb. 18, 2010
| Joe Weisenthal
Posted onThursday, February 18, 2010
1:00:39 PM byFree ThinkerNY
Check out the anti-big brother rant on EmbeddedArt.com
that’s almost certainly from the pilot of the crash.
manifesto is dated today, and it even anticipated his death.
(actual screed snipped)
Guess the Obama admin was looking the wrong way on that right
wing militia scare.
To: Free ThinkerNY
The screed was very Marxist in
Funny – I must have missed the part in The Communist Manifesto about the State taking too much of your money.
To: Free ThinkerNY
Sssh – he’s on a roll.
To: Free ThinkerNYThe End is Priceless..
another Stinking Dead Commie
It looks like this fellow was at the end of his rope regarding his
tax problems and felt like a fool for taking bad advice.
Three Badgers on this team. I may have a problem here. I may be in love.
Canada out-superstarred the United States. The Americans outplayed the Canucks. Works everytime.
The United States was opportunistic on offense and selfless on defense.
The Yanks got two goals from Brian Rafalski and one each from Chris
Drury, Jamie Langenbrunner and Ryan Kesler, none of them stars, all of
them part of the team concept that recalls the choices Herb Brooks made
with some runny-nosed college kids 30 years ago.
“Your Dad? Has this girl in his private virtual space?” Zoë stares at
her, I guess not immediately twigging to the entirety of how fucked up
that is, so Lacy takes the next step: “She’s pure avatar, right? Something he invented?” Zoë agrees, because after all if that
were a someone they would just take off the holoband. I don’t know if
the full sex-doll ramifications of this are supposed to be your first
thought, but I mean… These little girls joined acult essentially because they were bored ofkilling/having orgies with each other.
They are no more innocent than anybody else about what the Matrix is
capable of giving you. So if that’s not the conversation that they’re
having — if this is not an Angeli Thing — then I don’t know what the
point of this is. And Zoë has every reason to trust Daniel Graystone
not one little tiny bit. He kidnapped her when she was terrified and
alone, on the day she died, in an embrace. Took her into this black
cell, and left her there until it was time for her to be an ugly robot.
Horrible movie you enjoy even though you know it sucks?
Me? Sweet November.
This evening, Dr. A and I will join 17 other members of the sub-krewe of PAN in recreating the 2006 Krewe du Vieux parade for the HBO seriesTreme. PAN’s theme that year was, of course: BUY US BACK, CHIRAC. Jeez, I almost feel like one of those Civil War buffs except I’ll be a French Catholic priest and Dr. A will be a pre-revolutionary fop.
KdV 2006 was the first Carnival parade post-K and it featured the late, great Ashley Morris as the mime trapped in the glass. My big-n-boisterous friend Chris Summa will be our mime tonight. I suspect we’ll feel the Big Mon’s presence since he was a big fan ofTreme creator David Simon.This one’s for you, mon ami.
Some people mark time by wedding anniversaries or children’s
birthdays. Others tend to note how long it’s been since some one graduated or
since someone died. My increment is a bit different. Every year, when February
rolls around, I raise a toast to the moment in time known as the Miracle on
It’ll be 30 years this week since they took Coach Herb
Brooks’ words seriously and realized each of them was “born to be a player” and
was meant to be there that night in 1980. They took a one-goal deficit into the
third period against the greatest hockey team ever assembled and managed to
poke not one, but two goals past Vladimir Myshkin. In defeating the Soviet
Union (Russians, Communists, whatever), 4-3 en route to the gold medal, they
provided a flagging country with a lift that could never be equaled.
For me, they solidified an understanding that nothing is
If you watch the game in replay (oddly enough, the way we
all saw it at the time; ABC couldn’t get the 5:30 start time moved up to 8
eastern, so decided to tape delay the broadcast.), it’s a game that still can
make you tense. The game was played almost entirely in the American zone, so
much so, the ice almost looked different on the opposite ends of rink. The
Americans mustered only 16 shots on goal that night, compared with 39 by the
Russians. Goalie Jim Craig turned away 36 of those, in what would be his
After Mike Eruzione’s 25-foot blast that gave the Americans
the lead, the tension got even worse. Craig noted years later that he wished
they hadn’t scored so early in the period. “It’s like banging a bees’ nest,” he
explained. “All we’re going to do is piss them off.” Sure enough, the Russians
pummeled Craig immediately with multiple shots, including one that clinked off
the post and a second on a wide-open net that Alexander Maltsev couldn’t quite
By the time that the game had closed in on two minutes to
play, the crowd was on its feet and the roar was deafening. In completing his
movie “Miracle,” director Gavin O’Connor tried to blend Al Michaels’ original
“Do you believe in miracles?” call with the dialogue he’d written for the film.
It was exceptionally difficult, not because Michaels had aged so much, but
rather because the roar of the crowd was almost overriding the original audio.
The celebration that followed as the clock hit 0:00 was one of those moments captured
and replayed for all eternity. Pure joy, spilling out of every pore of everyone
who desperately needed that team to do what it did.
Years later, I still can’t watch, read or think about
something Miracle-related without tearing up. It’s one of those things you
can’t explain, like why Mom always cried when she got a beautiful card.
I’ve spent years tracking players and buying memorabilia,
and I’ve never regretted it once. One year, Dad and I went to Vegas for a
gambling junket and happened across a sports card place. The guy said he had
everything, so I asked if he had the 1980-81 Topps hockey set. “I already sold
the Gretzky rookie,” he explained, like he knew what I was after. I didn’t care
about that. I wanted the six guys who were MOI guys. That year, the set flagged
Jim Craig, Mark Johnson, Neal Broten, Dave Christian, Robbie McClanahan and Ken
Morrow with USA logos. Couldn’t pass that up.
When I finished my time at the student newspaper, Athenae
got me the best present ever: A 16 x 20, hand numbered, autographed image of
the moment the team realized it won. Every player and the coach touched that
photo as they signed their names. It’s one of those things that if the house
catches fire, I’m running in to save first.
My passion is one of those things that could be problematic
if the people who are the object of my affection weren’t so understanding. What’s
nice about this is that most of the guys on that team understand and at the
very least tolerate our national obsession with them. It always pained me when
I saw athletes or singers or actors who had one fantastic moment and grew to
resent it. I could understand it, but it was sad because so many of us would be
willing to do anything to have that singular moment in time in which we meant
so much to so many people.
I got to meet the Magic Man, Mark Johnson, who pocketed two
goals in that win. Athenae and I ended up at a Team Cheerios breakfast with him
about 15 years ago and not only did he willingly don the ugly jersey they’d
brought for him, but he posed for pictures and signed autographs. I sent him a
copy of the 8 x 10 we took together, along with a letter thanking him for all
he did for us, both that day and the spiritual sense. He sent it back with a
personalized autograph a few weeks later.
We also met Bob Suter, the hard-nosed defenseman who once
spent 50 minutes of a 60 minute game in the penalty box, according to John
Powers’ epic “One Goal.” Suter was willing to sign a puck for each of us when
we stopped by his hockey shop. He was also willing to put aside a couple
tickets for us at a charity game in Buffalo later that year. A friend of mine
called in a favor and Suter was happy to oblige. He was a fantastically nice
guy but he still had the look on his face of a guy who would be happy to run
your ass over if it meant winning the game. In fact, that night in a “no
checking” game, Suter followed an elderly opponent into the corner and flattened
the guy. When we met him later and asked him about it, he just grinned.
Over the summer, I got a chance to meet the man Bill Simmons
once called “America’s houseguest.” Mike Eruzione took to the links at a
charity golf event near where my folks live, so we trekked out to the 14th hole
and waited for him to come by. Eruzione, of all people, gets the fact that he’s
been blessed. He often heard from his friends that if the puck he chased down to
score that winning goal had been “3 more inches to right, you’d be painting
bridges.” Instead, he plays golf, serves as a good-will ambassador for hockey
and works out of his alma mater’s sports department at Boston University.
In person, he was as nice as I had always imagined him.
Charming, funny, personable and wiling to accommodate everyone who wanted to
relive that moment in time.
The guy signed something for me, something for Athenae and
almost anything else we presented. He was happy to do it and kept looking
around for more people to shake hands with or take pictures with. I honestly
believe that if a flasher had come rushing out of the woods and opened his
trench coat in front of him, Eruzione would have grabbed the guy by the dick,
pulled out a Sharpie and asked, “So, who do I make this out to?”
And in my mind, that’s what makes him great.
These guys will be forever trapped in my mind as college
kids, average age of 21 and trying to accomplish the impossible. They’re in
their late 40s and early 50s now and I’m no spring chicken either. We grew up
together in a way, like a motivating older brother and a younger one, drawing
inspiration from that sibling. Now, their kids are probably older than they
were when they took to the ice all those Februarys ago.
And yet, they remain a symbol of what can be done when you
are too tough, too prepared, too optimistic, too persistent and too naïve to
believe that failure is an option.
For that reason, and many others, they endure as the Boys of
So. My brother owns a video arcade. I don’t know how to play video games well, so when I go in there togive him shit visit him and his fine establishment, I usually skip the Dance Dance Revolution and just feed money into that claw thing that hauls stuffed animals out at you once in a while. I suck at that, too, but everyone does. Unfortunately, my competitive instincts kick in, and I spend like 20 bucks trying to get something I don’t even really want because not getting it is just pissing me off.
Which, recently, led to me winning this unholy thing:
What IS THAT? At first I thought it was a punk thrash tiger of some kind, but it has a dog tail, and it’s PINK. It looks like Ziggy Stardust and the Cowardly Lion crawled into the thing that was in The Fly and this is what came out. It has a look on its plushy face like it’s thinking of interesting ways to eat my soul. It freaks me out.
So I gave it to Bucky.
HE LOVES IT. Oh, my God, he loves it so much. He takes it everywhere. He drags it across the room, cuddles with it, kisses it, reprimands it when it’s found not where he put it. He made a nest for it and its equally ugly mate (which I spent another 20 bucks winning) in a box and spends hours putting them into the box and taking them back out again. It is his most favorite thing in the world next to his food dish.
That’s at least 20 bucks’ worth of entertainment, right there.
I’d never heard of NYC CouncilmanLarry Seabrook until he filed an expense account worthy of the NYT’s late greatJohnny Apple. Of course, Johnny’s exgagerations were on the Sulzberger’s dime and Seabrook’s fiddling was public money.
A $177 bagel? Hmm, I wonder if it came from the KdV sub-Krewe of Mishigas and looked something like this: