Ethnic Pride, Greek Style

I just started readingThe Turnaround by George Pelecanos. George is one of the best writers in the US and A right now. He’s often damned with faint praise “he’s good for a mystery writer.” That drives me batshit for two reasons: First, Pelecanos writes hard boiled crime fiction, not polite mysteries wherein the butler is the murderer. Second, some of my favorite American authors write crime fiction: Raymond Chandler, Elmore Leonard and James Lee Burke spring instantly to mind. All are great literary stylists who work the dark side of the street. It’s patronizing to say “so and so is … Continue reading Ethnic Pride, Greek Style

How secret is the Stadium Sauce?

I spent about 10 days in the Twin Cities as part of the annual summer journalism workshop there. One of the best parts of the non-work experience was that for the first time in a million year, I happened to be in town when the Twins had a home stand. Couple that with the fact that they were playing my team (the Indians) and it was a great chance to catch some fun baseball. The seats were sold out, but a bit of patience and the need for only a single ticket got me a great seat along the first … Continue reading How secret is the Stadium Sauce?

Friday Ferretblogging: Claire, the Whole World

The whole world, Claire: Yes. We have a girl. More properly, we have a miniature fluffball who looks like a fuzzy caterpillar, eats her own weight every day, and wants to be huggled and cuddled and carried around like a tiny, furry baby. She has a stubby tail and stubby little feet and was an absolute terror in the shelter. Usually we bring home chill lap ferrets from the shelter and they turn into demon dingos; this time we brought home a demon dingo and she turned into a snugglebug. Friends who’ve had girl and boy ferrets cautioned us that … Continue reading Friday Ferretblogging: Claire, the Whole World


Chuck Todd is afraid the right wing need an excuse to attack journalism: “I am sure Ezra had good intentions when he created it, but I am offended the right is using this as a sledgehammer against those of us who don’t practice activist journalism. “Journolist was pretty offensive. Those of us who are mainstream journalists got mixed in with journalists with an agenda. Those folks who thought they were improving journalism are destroying the credibility of journalism. “This has kept me up nights. I try to be fair. It’s very depressing.” Chuckles goes on to be a whiny pussy … Continue reading Excuses

Malaka Of The Week: Ron Ramsey

I’m an atheist but around religious people, I soften it to agnostic because for some reason they mind it less. I’m not sure why but, hey, I’m a tolerant person but one thing that I’m intolerant of is intolerance. That brings me to this week’s “honoree.” Ron Ramsey is running for Governor of Tennessee as a Republican. He’s the Lt. Gov and, apparently, his campaign was stuck in the mud. So, instead of spinning his wheels, he decided to take action and trot out a boogieman for the voters to beat on.Mr. Ramsey’s choice was Muslims: Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron … Continue reading Malaka Of The Week: Ron Ramsey

The Real Victims

FromAlbum3 Strictly on an intellectual level, it’s amazing to think aboutJeffrey Lord’s “logic.” I mean, we’re not even talking pretzel folds. More like protein twists. Back in the real world, though…good lord, what an asshole. What. An. Asshole. Borat had more tact. And since Mr. Lord presumably approves of “traditional” discipline, I say he needs a good old-fashioned smack upside the head. Continue reading The Real Victims

That Ole Devil Called Love

In the space of 36 or so hours, we’ve gone fromThat Old Devil Called Tony toOle´ toThat Ole Devil Called Love. Is there a pattern or is this just random shit thrown up against the wall? You decide: I gotta go and convince Della Street to stop howling like a tuxedo clad banshee: p align=”center” class=”asset asset-video” style=”display: block; margin: 0pt auto;”> Continue reading That Ole Devil Called Love

Jindal The Rockhead

As a resident of the Gret Stet of Louisiana, I’ve been appalled by the way so many local media outlets have been acting as cheerleaders for Governor PBJ, the Parish Presidents and the oil industry.Today, Picayune outdoors editor Bob Marshall throws a well placed rock at Bobby’s beloved rock jetties: At a press conference supporting his wish to narrow Gulf passes with rock jetties in an attempt to keep oil out of interior marshes, Gov. Bobby Jindal said this: “No one can convince us that rocks in the water are more dangerous than oil. That is absolutely ridiculous. The only … Continue reading Jindal The Rockhead

They’re Just Bangers, It’s Fine

Sometimes my city is glorious, butit really is run by assholes: In a violent summer, the city last night saw its most violent single incident so far. Nine people were hurt – one seriously – in what police are calling a gang-related shooting at a CTA turnabout at 7900 S. Western Ave., a junction for both the CTA’s No. 49 and No. 79 buses. According to police, five of the nine victims are known gang members (four Gangster Disciples, one Vice Lord). The victims, eight males and one female, ranged in age from 16 to 31. CPD Supt. Jody Weis … Continue reading They’re Just Bangers, It’s Fine

Family Values

Jan Schill nee Mantooth really, really doesn’t want her father to be elected a Judge in Oklahoma. So much so that she’s gone on the internets with a site calledDo Not Vote For My Dad. The thing that scared me about this story is that I found myself wondering if John Mantooth is related to actor Randy Mantooth. Randy must be a bit long in the mantooth by now… This is what happens when you watch too much reality teevee: brain rot. As former Louisiana GovernorJohn McKeithen would surely say at this point, won’t you please hep me. Hep me … Continue reading Family Values

Unfuck The Gulf

I’ve been worried that I haven’t been swearing enough in my posts. We’re obviously falling behind on ourfuck quota for the year.So, I decided to link to this faintly amusing site with a fucking good name. I’m not planning to buy any of their kitsch but it may be for a good fucking cause. Fuckin’ A or is that unfuckin’ A? Finally, exactly how does one go about unfucking something? Beats the hell outta me. Guess I’ll leave that to the philosophers among you. Continue reading Unfuck The Gulf

It’s Not Always About Happy

I thought of my grandmother, and my mother, and my great-aunt LaVerne, and all the women I’ve known and their white-knuckled strength in the face of the unspeakable, when I read this: When your daughter is nine months old, a neurosurgeon will say to you, “We believe resecting the left side of her brain will help control the seizures.” The seizures that she has all day, every day, dozens, hundreds; she was born with a massively deformed brain, what did you expect? You think a minute, and you realize the doctor is saying they are going to take out half … Continue reading It’s Not Always About Happy

The Assassin

(Ed. Note: Thanks to Athenae for letting me post on an off day. I couldn’t let this pass without a timely requiem. — Doc.) He was about my height and had a graying mustache. His eyes were soft and his smile was friendly. On his gnarled right hand, a relic of his glory sat perched on his third finger. It was the only thing that distinguished him from the other men in their 50s who wandered around the Sam’s Town casino that repressively hot afternoon in Las Vegas. For the $5 Dad and I each spent that day, we could … Continue reading The Assassin

Support for News Culture

A tale of two Romenesko-featured stories that make me want to say fuck it, spend the day on the beach, and hope a magic dolphin arises from the waters and carries me off to FUCKING DROWN. First, if we don’t all uncritically love newspapers, our only other choice is some total douchemook: A note to the notably angry, sarcastic American, the “snarlygaster” who, in letters to this columnist or in postings on talk forums, expresses glee at the troubles of the U.S. newspaper industry and the hope that the nation’s dailies disappear: Be careful what you wish for. You … Continue reading Support for News Culture

That Old Devil Called Tony

He may be on his way out as BP’s CEO but Wayward Hayward’s foot and mouth have been reunited incomments made to the British press: BP formally confirmed today that it hadaxed its boss Tony Hayward in an attempt to appease mounting anger in the US but risked undermining the move by insisting it had been a “model ofcorporate social responsibility“. In further comments unlikely to go down well in Washington, Hayward said he had been “demonised” in the US, adding that he might be “too busy” to attend future US hearings into the disastrous Gulf oil spill. Explaining his … Continue reading That Old Devil Called Tony

Small Town News

Small town newspapers crack me up. In the midst of the BP oiltastrophe, the Houma, Louisiana paper found time to run a feature that should have been called Local Woman Has Blog. I got the link from my friend Kevin and I kept waiting for there to be some sort of point to the piece but in the end it’s about some nice woman who writes a mommy blog who has fallen behind in her scrap booking. Bloggers are, apparently, everywhere; perhaps even next door… That’s small town news, Terrebonne Parish style, for today. Continue reading Small Town News

Make the Decisions, CNN

This, so much: CNN’s unexpected success in covering the Gulf War led to an American love affair with twenty-four-hour-a-day news, but, only a decade later, a CNN foreign correspondent told Ken Auletta, when he was working on a biography of Ted Turner, that news editors at the network ” ‘equate serious with boring.’ ” Executives told him that “there was no big news overseas,” which Auletta interpreted as another way of saying that “in order to get ratings, we need wars or some kind of crisis.” Of course, there are crises all the time, everywhere, but to cover them properly … Continue reading Make the Decisions, CNN

Happy Kerry Photo: Suck It Up Edition

Seriously: “However illegally these documents came to light, they raise serious questions about the reality of America’s policy toward Pakistan and Afghanistan. Those policies are at a critical stage and these documents may very well underscore the stakes and make the calibrations needed to get the policy right more urgent.” And to peoplewhining who should know better: “The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security,” National Security Adviser Gen. Jim Jones said in a statement. “Wikileaks made … Continue reading Happy Kerry Photo: Suck It Up Edition

What? No Mustard?

Photo by Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images p>Posh boy and British Prime Minister David (Just call me Dave) Cameron indulged in somestreet food on his visit to the US and A last week. Cameron likes to pass himself off as a man of the people despite his Eton and Oxbridge background but the “small people” tend to put mustard on their hot dogs. I asked my favorite Lucky Dog vendor, Harold, what he thought about this and he said: “Well, at least it’s not ketchup. That belongs on burgers, not dogs.” There you have it: Cameron. Hot Dog. Fail. Continue reading What? No Mustard?

In Which I Defend Andrew Breitbart

No, really.Because it’s Mitch Fucking Albom: But Breitbart lit the fire. He blew on the flames. As Sherrod would later tell CNN, “He knew exactly what would happen.” So Breitbart is where this sad story begins, where the blame lies and where the punishment should be doled out — if there were any you could dole out. Sadly, how do you punish a blogger like Breitbart? He simply slithers back into the muck that some confuse with journalism. Who does he have to answer to? Nobody. [snip] “I believe that I’m held to a higher standard,” Breitbart told Politico. “If … Continue reading In Which I Defend Andrew Breitbart