Monthly Archives: April 2010


And after all that, the Bucks went out and shit the bed. Thanks guys…

Well, at least I’ll have something to watch Sunday.

Fear the deer.


The Magnificant Seven (and the rest of us rubes)

(Yup, the Limey’s right. It’s all about the beer.)

Apparently, America has only seven places that are worth
living in: L.A., D.C., NYC, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston and… uh… OK, I think
that’s it.

It’s cool to visit Naw’lins, but only when stuff is cleaned
up and Bourbon Street is full of bead-begging broads. Maybe ‘Frisco if you’re
looking to see where hippies came from or not… Dunno. Texas? Tons of people
exist there, but let’s not call what they do “living.” Unless you’ve got a belt
buckle you can serve tea on, you might not want to do more than visit and buy a

Just don’t live anywhere but the aforementioned safe zones.

Otherwise, prepare to be ridiculed, especially by
professional athletes.

Joakim Noah felt it necessary to explain that “no one” goes
to Cleveland and that there’s “nothing” to do.
I’m sure the 20,000 people in
the Q who watched the Bulls get knocked around two games in a row would say a
basketball game is “something” to do. There’s also the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of
Fame, the Cleveland Museum of Art and more, but maybe he’s looking for
something in the way of companionship. I guess when you’re a 6-foot-10 dude
with a ponytail, a beard that screams “I’m an edgy drifter” and teeth you could
park a Buick between, it might be hard to find some local talent that would
show some interest in you.

Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks then got into the act with
his“everybody knows there ain’t nothing to do in Milwaukee” comment. (If he’s
really that bored in Milwaukee, I’m sure if he could swing him by St.
Veronica’s on the South Side for a fourth-grade grammar lesson.) He then said
he couldn’t find a restaurant and mused if he could get in at Ruth’s Chris, the
closest one being about 90 miles away.
Let’s forget for a moment that there are dozens of restaurants around
the hotel where Atlanta is holed up downtown. Here’s a bigger point: Josh, we
make beer here. We make brandy here. If you can’t enjoy yourself here, you’re
clearly damaged in some way.

Milwaukee has approximately 605,000 people within the city
borders, with a total of more than 2 million in the Greater Milwaukee Area.
Comparatively, Atlanta has approximately 430,000 in the city and 3.8 million in
the 10 county region around the city. Obviously, it’s completely impossible to
enjoy yourself at anything unless you are in a metro area that has more than 3
million people in it.

The arrogance of the immense knows no bounds. In the NBA,
there’s been wild speculation over the past two years as to how the Knicks or
Nets were going to get LeBron James once he finished his time in Cleveland. The
New York media’s obsession was based on this obnoxious syllogism: LeBron is in
Cleveland. No one on Earth wants to live in Cleveland. The Knicks play in New
York. Everyone on Earth wants to live in New York. Welcome to the Big Apple,

LeBron grew up around Cleveland. He’s an Akron kid. He’s got
family in the area and he spent much of his first four years in the NBA making
unannounced trips to the University of Akron where he watched his former high
school teammates play. Still, how could he REALLY want to stay in OHIO of all

I’m not playing the “Main Street vs. Wall Street” or “real
American” card here. I’m not saying that where I live is inherently better, nor
am I necessarily thrilled by where I live. However, for some reason, it seems
like it’s completely natural for certain people from certain cities leave the “real world,” waltz in, look around and sniff, “Is this ALL there is?”Obviously, they figure, we
wouldn’t live in this shithole if we didn’t have to.

Fortunately for Joakim, he can enjoy the rest of the
playoffs from the comfort of his deee-lux apartment in the sky:His Bulls were
bounced out of the playoffs in the first round.

As for Josh Smith, he wasn’t as lucky.The Bucks lead the
series 3-2
with the next game happening in Milwaukee on Friday. Since he
couldn’t find a decent restaurant, might I recommend Eagan’s? It’s downtown,
near the Bradley Center and has a kick-ass Lobster BLT. It also is upscale, so
you’ll fit right in and I can’t remember ever seeing a TV in the bar area that
was tuned to ESPN.

That way, you won’t be forced to watch the highlights of
Game Six in which a group of misfits from the hinterlands cheered on a team
that kicked your ass.

Friday Catblogging: Classic Oscar

Even before we adopted him as a full grown cat, Oscar was a major doofus. Here he is interacting with a Whole Paycheck bag way back in 2005:



Dancing with the British Party Leaders

Tory leader David Cameron is out of step as Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown perform some variation on the buck and wing:


I’m not sure if this means that the Tories will win or lose but the posh boy is looking heavenward whilst his opponents stand on one leg. Of course, the way the campaign is going it may be Gordon Brown who hasn’t got a leg to stand on…

The Washington Post Tries to Eat the Blogosphere, and Chokes

What a bunch of snobby, smug, entitled, presumptuous ASSHOLES:

Five weeks ago, I received an unsolicited offer from the Washington
Post. They asked if they could post my picture and biography on their
website and link to every new blog post appearing here if I agreed to
produce regular original content for them at their request. I turned
them down. Why?

Because they wanted me to work for them for nothing.

Post is organizing a “local blogging network” linking to selected blogs
from their website and asking bloggers to submit original content,
which would be edited by them. The Post’s rights to that content would
be enforceable under a written agreement.

Scout sent this to me. My blood pressure has been so nice and LOW for weeks now. This is outrageous and sad and depressing and insane and stupid in all the ways shit like this is always stupid.

Why would the Post even think bloggers would agree to something like this? Because. Because they think they’re the Post, and you should aspire to be them, and if you’re not aspiring to be them you should at least aspire for them to piss on you as they walk by.

Because MPW should just fall all over themselves to kiss the Post’s ring, right? They should be grateful, I mean, my God, that the Post would even NOTICE them? It’s like an ant being smiled upon by a goddess! They shouldn’t ask for money from a multi-million-dollar news corporation! They should just be honored to be allowed to share the same pixels as the Post’s actual staff writers.

After all, we’re just untutored filthy Internet people out here. None of us are trained journalists (except those who are) and none of us know enough about our livelihoods to value work properly (except those who do) and none of us have any idea how to build our own goddamn incomes (except those making more money than Washington Post writers) without being adopted by Benevolent Media Daddy and shown the ropes as, you know, a favor. I mean, we really ought to pay THEM for the right to breathe their air!

And link to them. We should totally pay to link to them.

Especially since their traffic blows:

Google Subscribers, 4/19/10

MPW: 337
Post, Maryland News Articles: 324
Post, Editorials Page (All): 208
Post, Maryland Politics Blog: 68

I’m sorry, but this whole thing is starting to remind me of that guy who swans up to you in a bar and tells you how lucky you’d be if he decided to take you home, and the whole time, his fly is open and his shirt tail’s poking through.

Congratulations, Washington Post. You’ve managed tofail harder than the Chicago Tribune. I didn’t think there was any room left under that bar but you’ve limbo-ed right beneath it. Go you!




Fire Water


Unfortunately things aren’t looking any better off the Gret Stet coast;just the opposite, in fact:

NEW ORLEANS — Government officials said late Wednesday night thatoil might be leaking from a well in the Gulf of Mexico at a rate five times that suggested by initial estimates.

Meanwhile, BP admits that they can’t control the leak themselves and are asking for help from wherever they can get it…including the US military.

Do so-called “small government” advocates really think we should “let the private sector” handle this potential economic and ecological catastrophe? Or do they think the money is “better spent” on unconstitutional laws all but forcing police in Arizona to arrest “those people”…andshameful laws in Oklahoma designed for the sole purpose of humiliating women exercising their constitutional right to choose?

Now We Love Sex Offenders

In addition to gay marrying you to a box turtle, abortions for everybody, and having terrorists over for tea:

The Republican National Committee has launched a new web site,,
that accuses President Obama’s judicial nominees of angling to edit the
Constitution to protect sex offenders and terrorists, outlaw prayer and
make health care a right.


Another one of their targets, Robert Chatigny, once ruled that a
Connecticut online sex offender registry was illegal because it didn’t
give non-violent offenders the chance to appeal putting their names on
the site. According to the RNC, this means Chatigny thinks “sex
offenders should not be monitored by law enforcement.”

Awesome. Outlawing prayer, too! Because that’s totally possible.

BTW, I don’t recommend actually clicking on the Obama v. Constitution site. There’s ominous auto-play music and the whole thing looks like a Geocities nightmare.


Girls I’m Never Going To Be

Sometime a while back I came to terms with the fact that I would never be Club Girl pretty.

You know. Girls in videos. Girls who go dancing. With the fabulous long hair and the amazing smoky make-up and the jeans that fit perfectly and the back in a halter top that makes you want to run your finger down her spine. Never gonna be that chick. Not gonna happen.

I can’t grow my hair out. My hair refuses. It gets to my shoulders and stops. By then, it’s so heavy and thicket-y and not-behave-y that I’m ready to shave my head myself with Mr. A’s beard clippers. I’m learning to put on eyeliner competently but I have been searching in vain for red lipstick that doesn’t make me look like a little kid playing dress up for like 20 fucking years.

No matter how much blush/cheek stain/makeup “mousse”/whatever the fuck I slather on, by 2 p.m. I look pale again. As for the jeans and the halter, I do sit-ups and walk everywhere but I like booze and burritos and I’m broad-shouldered which even when I was extremely thin made me look like a linebacker in certain outfits. So fuck it, really, I’m never going to be Club Girl pretty.

I’m never going to be Competent Professional Lawyer pretty, either. I see these women on the train. Suits that fit beautifully, walking effortlessly in high heels, not a hair out of place, nails perfectly manicured, giant sunglasses and a shiny phone. I’m a mess getting out the door in the morning, glasses and shoes and scarf flying everywhere, stuff hanging half-out of my bag which right now at this moment contains a dozen sugar packets and a syringe case I brought home ferret meds in. I don’t so much get into the car as fling myself inside it and hope the pull drags everything I need behind me.

I’m not ever going to be these chicks. This isn’t me asking for affirmation, or even me badmouthing those girls, I’m sure they have problems and their kind of pretty doesn’t suck just because it isn’t achievable for me. This is me saying it took me a long damn time to come to terms with the idea thatthere are different kinds of pretty:

But instead of telling overly enhanced actresses the reason they’re
being passed over for parts (and therefore stopping the cycle of
unending alterations in its tracks), executives seem to be snickering
behind these poor women’s backs. They are purposely not telling women
with too much plastic surgery that that is the reason they aren’t being
cast. Yet still they have no problem telling a newspaper that they
think that “everyone either looks like a drag queen or a stripper.”
This is an instance when being kind to someone’s face is really the
cruelest thing you can do.

Look, Hollywood, you created this monster. This is your doing. You
can’t just stuff it back into a box so simply. And you can’t pass value
judgments on these women who were only doing what they thought you
wanted in the first place without some serious soul searching. What is
beautiful shouldn’t be based on the latest trend or the emergence of
high-definition TV or anything but actual beauty. Is it good that
you’re finally tired of the silicon and stretched faces? Yes. Is it
your fault they exist in the first place? Big fat yes.

Gabourey Sidibe – beautiful.Meryl Streep – beautiful.America Ferrera – beautiful.Amanda Seyfried – beautiful. All different, all beautiful. Beauty isn’t a trend, it just is. Get it together, Hollywood.

There’s a picture of Helen Mirren in a corset at that link. I’m just saying. (Holy God.)

Different kinds of pretty, and one’s not better than another. Which is not something I think we tell girls, really, which is a bummer, because while I’m mostly okay now with not looking like I just stepped off the TV screen, my 15-year-old self might have liked hearing it a hell of a lot.



The Internet Killed TV, Too


There has been a nationwide, slow, unstoppable erosion of local studio
production that continues today. Kid shows were the first to go,
studio-audience talk shows soon followed, even simply produced cooking
shows were axed. Stations have been bought up by big companies and the
bottom line has become a station manager’s bottom line if he or she is
to retain the position. Today’s studio production almost totally is
automated. Dehumanized. No camera operators, minimal lighting and
sound, fewer stagehands, fewer engineers, and practically no one but a
lone “director” operating a remote control board that switches the
cameras to about three basic shots. Profits dictate and the ledger’s
bottom line has taken the heart out of locally produced programs.


We Speak English

What do you want, a trophy?

“Why do our politicians make us give driver’s license exams in 12
languages?” James asks in the ad. “This is Alabama. We speak English.
If you want to live here, learn it. We’re only giving that test in
English if I’m governor.”

All this is, and I mean ALL this nonsense is, is scrambling to find a way to reward lazy assholes by making them feel like they’ve got something over on everybody else. These people need some goddamn therapy. Or some significant accomplishments in life.

You do not PWN by speaking the language you grew up speaking, were taught in school every day, listened to all around you and saw on TV. It’s not an achievement anyone should be trumpeting. You speak English? GOOD FOR YOU, here’s your prize from the Cracker Jack box, can we all get back to work now? Because people who come here who need to get licensed to safely drive to, you know, THEIR ESL CLASSES SO THEY CAN LEARN ENGLISH have stuff to do today.

Their stuff involves learning a whole other language in order to live somewhere else, while over their shoulders whiny dickheads are congratulating themselves for speaking their own native language. Like they just beat the final boss in a video game or something. Jesus, get a hobby.


‘Say a Prayer to Your God’


As discussion began, Redman called Ahmed to the podium and
asked him to “say a prayer to your God.” The comment elicited a
negative reaction from the audience and from Deputy General Counsel
Cindy Laquidara, who rushed to the microphone to ask to speak with
Redman privately.

After a moment of confusion,
Redman said he wouldn’t ask Ahmed to pray but instead if the council’s
opening prayer offended him. When Ahmed asked Redman why that was
relevant, and that people had a right to pray to whomever they please,
Redman said Ahmed would be offended by a prayer to Jesus, and therefore
was not suitable to serve on the commission.

The world is full of stupid assholes. I seriously … I’m gonna go watch the kitty video twelve or thirteen more times.


W.W.T.F.U.S: Sittin’ in La La

If you’re not watchingTreme, you should be. I’m not saying you have to subscribe to premium cable, but make a note because the DVDs will be out sooner or later. In the meantime maybe you can just persuade someone to record it for you, or invite you over for dinner on Sundays. It’s worth it, because likeThe Wire, it’s not just a story about one particular city. It’s about the stuff you read on this blog, it’s about this country we all live in. Not for nothing, there’s a hell of a lot of great music in it too.

Sunday’s “Right Place, Wrong Time” was arguably the best episode so far. The first two were certainly not all fun and games but in this one, shit got real. AsMaitri commented right after it ended, the sense of dread was palpable. Whether they’re working hard to get their life back on track or just going through the motions, most of the characters end up someplace they didn’t intend to be. In jail, in exile, in bed with the wrong person, drinking alone, staring bewildered at the Disaster Tour bus rolling through a moment of private grief. 

In the most poignant scene of the episode, two story arcs collide when trombonist Antoine, drunk and stumbling homeward after a stripclub gig, comes around the corner where buskers Annie and Sonny are performing. Weaving back and forth, he sings along, escaping into a memory.I
don’t stand a ghost of a chance …
and just like that, he’s a different character than who we knew before, no longer just the tomcatting clown we’ve come to depend on for comic relief.  

The Dr. John classic the title comes from, used as a source cue as well as episode theme, serves as an apt metaphor for life after one’s world has been picked up, shaken, and thrown back down, by trauma, by natural disaster, or by both entwined. In “Right Place, Wrong Time,” post-K New Orleans is a purgatory where polarities have been reversed, nothing works the way it used to, things can’t get back to normal because normal doesn’t live there anymore either.

Which brings me to today’s WWTFUS, which is not byLee Dorsey orDr. John. Also which, while stirring, is not exactly cheery.

TheContinental Drifters used to call New Orleans home, and the storm and its aftermath wereespecially cruel to the band’s extended family. In a rambling remembrance written after the body of his
ex-brother-in-law Barry Cowsill was finally found months after
mentions “the purgatorial zone” so many Katrina survivors ended up in. But this song pre-dates Katrina by a few years, so it’s not about the storm or any of that.

Except that it is, inasmuch as it’s about being in limbo:

Nobody’s home.

Drive downtown

to this bar I know

Drinking alone

won’t get me where I wanna go

I listened to this a lot when I was in my own fugue state following a life-altering trauma. It didn’t make me feel better but it helped me recognize where I was. I especially related to the cynicism of the title because even though I sometimes allowed myself to hope things would work out just fine, when other people said stuff like that I wanted to slap them.

Not unlike Antoine wandering home from Bourbon Street, the singer (Mark Walton, who also wrote the song)
lurches through the lyrics. Spaghetti-surf guitar pushes along under poppy-gorgeouschoruses in contrast with minor key accordion noir and the slurred despair of the vocals. It’s Nick Cave meets the Mamas and the Papas. It’s the bardo. It’s where you’re left after your old life is gone but before you come to recognize the stranger that’s taken your place.

Eggs Kiev

This post could be sub-titled stupid parliament tricks. Opposition members of Ukraine’s parliament took umbrage at a proposal for a continuedRussian naval port at the Black Sea. Pro-Government MPs sought refuge from the umbrage under umbrellas:

br />

Here’s a Kitty Being Silly

I dunno, seemed like we needed one today:


Prime Ministerial Pizzas?

I’m still on the 2010 UK general election beat; no, make that offbeat. This story is odd in a deeply silly way. As a publicity stunt, a British pizza chain created what could loosely be called Prime Ministerial pies. The combinations described bythe Telegraph sound downright weird as opposed to yummy:

Following a YouGov poll into what we think our leaders are made of,
PizzaExpress has created pizza portraits of the leaders of the three
main political parties. The pizzas contain the following ingredients:
David Cameron: cheese (cheesy), rocket (posh), broccoli (healthy) and
asparagus (environmental). Nick Clegg: mustard (keen), tomato (fresh),
spicy sausage (passionate) and peas (pacifist). Gordon Brown: chili
(fiery, hot tempered), tuna (clever), ground beef (untidy and a bit
chunky) and spinach (strong)

Holy flavor profile, Batman. Tuna on a pizza? Yikes. Here they are:



On Immigration: Eat It and Choke

Oh, what the fuck ever:

The other thing Reid did which you may have seen over the weekend is
he’s decided to bump immigration reform ahead of energy/climate change
in the legislative queue. That had the most immediate effect of causing
Sen. Lindsey Graham to throw a hissy fit because he’s been working with
Democrats on the energy bill and wants to see that passed — but more
accurately he sees Reid as giving priority to immigration reform
because that will help Democrats in an election year (including Reid
himself, who’s facing a very tough re-election slog in Nevada). Again
in case you don’t recognize it coming from a Dem, this is called
seizing a political opportunity.

Whine, whine, whine, Lindsey. Have fun trying to make it out like the polar bears are more important than locking brown people up in Arizona. I’m a fan of the polar bears, don’t get me wrong, and I recycle, and we could probably do both bills just fine, butthen there’s this:

Two dozen demonstrators were arrested
outside a federal detention center in Broadview this morning, minutes
after they halted a van of deportees headed toO’Hare International Airport for a flight out of the country.

Officers took the demonstrators into custody, one by one, as the
crowd of supporters cheered and chanted “no deportations today.”

they were escorted to squad cars from Broadview, Maywood and
Westchester, each demonstrator urged Congress and the Obama
administration to deal with immigration reforms.

“There is now a racial reign of terror spreading across the country
and it has to be stopped,” said Joshua Hoyt, director of the Illinois
Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and one of the people

Earlier, about two dozen demonstrators sat in the street outside the
detention center and chanted “Illinois is not Arizona” as they planted
themselves in front of a van carrying undocumented immigrants headed
out of the country.

After about 15 minutes, the van backed up and headed back into the detention center.

Sorry, but blame your pal McCain and his state for jumping the line. Polar bears want to get back on top of the DOEETRIGHTNOW list, they’re gonna have to start venturing into town and eating schoolchildren.

And also, Linds? YOU’RE NOT IN CHARGE. You don’t get to set the agenda, you don’t get to say what happens when, and I’m sorry you’re upset and you can just go out and try to get yourself 10 seats in the Senate and maybe then we’ll all have to listen to you but right now? The only thing holding the Democrats back is the Democrats, and all the Democrats know it, and we’re presently trying to figure out how to let Harry know it plus about eight chickenasses from various states so we can get some shit done despite what Dick Cheney or whoever says on David Gregory Does Dallas about it being mean.

It will surprise no one that I’m with thecrack dealer:

Another way to do things is to propose popular pieces of legislation
and then make the Republicans eat shit every day they fail to pass it,
go send out your charismatic leader to give speeches and hold rallies
in their states, mobilize your massive community of supporters to take
various actions in support of the legislation, etc.

Every day Republicans refuse to vote on Wall Street reform, every day they stay silent in the fact of this psychosis in Arizona, every day they whine in public about how their feelings aremore important than the oceans boiling, is motherfucking Christmas Day for the Democratic Party. Every day. Hang it around their necks, cats and kittens, hang it around their necks and leave it there to rot. Pile the stinking corpses of all they’ve failed to do, all they’ve stood in the way of, all they’ve refused and denied and turned away from right on their doorsteps and let the neighbors suffer the stench until they demand eviction. And then follow them to the next place they move and do it again.

Over and over and over and over, until they get it or get out of the way.