Saturday, September 30, 2006
Friday, September 29, 2006
My favorite part of this whole thing is the reason he made the sex tape in the first place:
The sex tape got out because Diamond and some buddies have a "monthly gathering" wherein they exchange such tapes which earn points based on "what [we're] able to accomplish" on the tapes: "We do it almost like poker. [The tape] could have been left out in anybody's home, machine, computer."This makes complete sense. Who among us doesn't tape ourselves having sex so we can impress our friends? You may not know this, but the LLatPoN gang gets together once a year so we can have our own little sex tape contest. The last one was the best one yet. Thrillhous started out with a little New York Taco. We thought that was great until Otto Man upped the ante with an Albino Dragon. But Studio beat us all with a Rochester Flop followed by a Grumpy Pirate.
I'm not even sure who Mr. Tooth Decay is, to be honest. I'm assuming he came out of the Cavity Creeps farm system, but he also bears a striking similarity to Snidely Whiplash. Who knows, maybe the mad scientists at Hanna Barbera were into gene splicing. It would certainly explain some of their more bizarre creations.
Whoever Mr. Tooth Decay was, it's pretty clear that Ali kicked his ass. As usual. And then he treated the whole gang to some high-grade hallucinogens. What a guy.
Alright, time for the Friday Random Ten. You know the drill.
1. Dusty Springfield, "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" -- Fairly straightforward '60s pop here, with a lush orchestral sound and lyrics that pretty much consist of the title being repeated over and over again. Not bad, but not cool. 6/10
2. Lightnin' Hopkins, "Goin' Back to Florida" -- Some nice acoustic blues from a master. Sadly, unlike a later tribute called "Goin' Back to Cali," this has neither the heels tall, nor the bikinis small. Too bad. 5/10
3. De La Soul, "With Me" -- Lordy, do I love De La. I know they dropped off most people's radar during the late '90s, but they were putting out great CDs during that span, including the one that this hails from, Mosaic Thump. Silky smooth and catchy as hell. 8/10
4. Bee Gees, "Jive Talkin'" -- Nothing to see here, people. Move along. 2/10
5. MC5, "Come Together" -- Thank God for the searing guitar salvation of the Motor City Five. Nothing clears out the stench of a Bee Gees embarrassment like kicking out the motherfucking jams. 9/10
6. Simon & Garfunkel, "The Only Living Boy in New York" -- Why yes, I do own the soundtrack to Garden State. I'm ashamed to admit I'd never heard this song before seeing the movie. I'm not sure if a shallow understanding of Simon & Garfunkel robs me of my music snob credentials, or actually bolsters them. Who knows? I like it all the same. 7/10
7. R.E.M., "Losing My Religion" (live) -- This is actually a recording from just a few weeks ago, a live performance at the Georgia Music Awards Ceremony. (Four lovely songs, with Bill Berry back on drums, available for you here.) A nice tune from the boys, notable largely for the non-southerners who took the title literally, as an anti-religious screed, rather than realizing it was a southernism for getting embarrassed in public. 6/10
8. My Bloody Valentine, "Only Shallow" -- Ah, the sweet, fuzzy, socially awkward sounds of shoegazer music. This is from the fantastic Loveless album, a Cd we loved so much in college we actually had a giant record store poster of it. Which we placed over the trash can. Yeah, that was a mistake. 8/10
9. Red House Painters, "Long Distance Runaround" -- I hope I get a little credit from Thrillhous for coughing up a Yes cover. He'll probably be upset it didn't capture the true spirit of the soft rock law firm Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe. Whatever, I think this is solid stuff. 7/10
10. The Clash, "Spanish Bombs" -- Does anyone know what this song is about? Guernica? Gambling? The fact that Generalisimo Francisco Franco is still dead? 8/10
Well, that gives me a craptacular 6.4 average. One of my weaker showings, and that's saying a lot. I better get out of here before a crowd gathers to cry "Ali, Bumaye! Ali, Bumaye!"
Drop your own random ten, your snarky comments about my choices, or perhaps some precious childhood memories of the Cavity Creeps in the comments below.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
While researching information for my post to kick off the Atlanta Hawks 2007-2008 Season Preview, I came across ... nevermind how I found this.
The point is "High Times" the magazine is having something called the "Stoney Awards". Yes, they are very clever in spite of all that mind numbing. Be sure and check out how un-inspiring their scope of entertainment is.
More fun is the "Miss High Times" pageant. Nancy Reagan wasted her time in trying to convince kids to just say "no". All she had to do was show this parade of winners. I'm not saying I have the most motivation or am an interesting dude - but these folks make me look like Voltaire.
Here are some highlights:
What's your Dream?
I'm really lazy so I've always wanted to own a head shop on a busy
street in Chicago. Where the downstairs would be the store front and
upstairs would be my apartment. How cool would it be to roll out of bed and go downstairs, sell pipes to potheads and really enjoy my job?
What do you do for a living?
I'm receptionist and make-up artist at, HAIR INN that were I did The DO.
What are your hobbies/interests?
I love to dance and go to festivals. I am on a personal mission to try and unite the world through dance and music
What are your hobbies/interests?
spinning/listening to records, lots of gettin high, reading, learning, thinking, listening to howard stern, growing herbs and lots of cooking and getting high.
How often do you smoke (times per day or week):
min 5x a day...ounce a week
What is your dream:
To have a porn empire so I can blaze all day.......naked!
What did you do last Saturday night? (Be honest!)
Honestly I'm trying to remember but it is just not happening, most likely i got fadded and forgot.
What is your dream?
A society that not only legalizes marijuana but utilizes its full potential. An America that remembers the definition of freedom. My dream job in this ideal future would be "casual modern day philosopher".
Why do you think we should pick you to be Miss HIGH TIMES:
I meet and exceed some qualifications in terms of "Pot Head" status & I love Marijauna and HIGH TIMES Mag has been in my house since I saw my dad read it back in the day!
The most serious problem was substandard plumbing that caused waste from toilets on the second and third floors to cascade throughout the building. A light fixture in one room stopped working because it was filled with urine and fecal matter. The waste threatened the integrity of load-bearing slabs, federal investigators concluded.Perhaps most disturbing is that this is just the tip of the giant doo-doo iceberg.
"This is not a complete list," he wrote, but rather a snapshot of "issues we are confronted with on a daily basis (as recent as the last hour) by the incomplete and/or poor work left behind by these builders."
Well, what did you expect for $75,000,000?
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Just tell it who you are, and you'll get a snappy Ricklesesque insult tailor-made for you.
Thrilly updates: A second source has confirmed the bizarre deer's-head-in-the-mailbox story. Eww.
I don't know if it's something in the water, but it's great to see liberals and Democrats finally pushing back at the right-wing noise machine and calling out their bullshit for what it is.
Seriously, go watch. It's a great way to start your morning.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Monday, September 25, 2006
(1) You will be poor. Like Sally Struthers recording outside your doorstep poor.
(2) You will get fat. Forget the women - they get attention and understanding. But thanks to the sense of pending doom (mostly caused by poverty) when your very pregnant wife orders one of everything from the menu - something deep down will tell you to finish it all. It's like how I imagine bears feel before the winter; or how Dick Cheney feels around innocence - consume at all costs.
(3) This is not about you. You thought the whole wedding thing stole your thunder. Man, get ready to be assigned to that "Ensign #4 on the away team" status. Unless, of course, there is the discussion of fixing something in the house, killing a spider, or the kid has been a major league pain in the butt - and you're home from work.
(4) You miss cussing. Embarrassingly, you will now think "I have to T.T."
(5) Burping outloud in your own house will be rebellious. Just like farting on a wooden pew in church, people will now look like you have done something wrong.
(6) Pornography will require more security than the CDC. Back of the sock drawer? Too simple. Under the mattress? Please. I will have you know the "Da Vinci Code" took pointers from me for hiding sacred artifacts.
(7) Other people's kids. Now that you have kids and the fact you go to sleep at 9:30, your fun / single kids no longer return your calls. You can only talk to people "of your kind." You will have to listen to stories where other dads tell you how tough their boys are, but you look away when your girl pushes the boy down and he screams like a woman.
(8) You will get dumb. I now sound like Carl from "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" when asking my kids why did they ... draw with permanent marker on my car, pour bleach on the carpet, throw flour around the kitchen because they want to pretend its snowing, put grass clippings in my glove compartment, open the bathroom door while I'm going #2.
Miracle of life.
So, why is some church who puts stock in all that "blessed are the peacemakers" claptrap newsworthy? Because George W. Bush is a member.
US President George W. Bush’s own church has called for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and is urging direct action to end the war.
Writes Mark Schoeff Jr: United Methodist Church leaders helped launch a week of protest and civil disobedience against the war in Iraq by signing a declaration of peace in the capital, urging President Bush to pull US troops out of the country.
Direct action? That sounds a lot like civil disobedience to me. Maybe we could have the spectacle of the president abducting and torturing the leaders of his own church in the name of national security.
I look forward to all pundits everywhere to talk about how good Methodists can only vote for anti-war candidates or be faced with excommunication.
Found this out in a Salon article in which we learn - shock of shocks - some of his teammates remember him being quite fond of the "n" word, although Allen says he's never ever used that word. I can't wait for his next tearful apology on CNN.
By the way, did any of y'all catch that? He got all blubbery about how he's seen the light and will spend the rest of his life fighting racism. Kinda made me think of when OJ vowed to devote his life to finding his wife's killer. Apparently he's got a hot tip that the killer spends a lot of time on golf courses. I bet that's where Allen goes to fight racism, too.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
1. I Adore Mi Amor - Color Me Badd
2. Things That Make You Go Hmmmm... - C&C Music Factory
3. Good Vibrations - Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch
4. Motownphilly - Boyz II Men
5. The Promise Of A New Day - Paula Abdul
6. Time, Love And Tenderness - Michael Bolton
7. Too Many Walls - Cathy Dennis
8. Now That We Found Love - Heavy D. & The Boyz
9. The Motown Song - Rod Stewart
10. Love Of A Lifetime - Firehouse
And second - I am becoming old. No longer just a mature, young adult. To put things in perspective, I was listening to Soundgarden's "Superunknown" in the office the other day and someone that works in the office came over and said, "Is that Soundgarden? My parents used to listen to that. It came out when I was like 8." Nice.
Please feel free to drop in your recollections of "Nevermind." As for me, I remember thinking it was nice that I could start watching MTV and not feeling the urge to vomit. And that maybe I could be the mediocre bassist for a mega hit band. Seriously, if Krist Novoselic could do it, I sure as hell could. ...And then I could get laid - but probably not.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Army is ending its best recruiting year since 1997 and expecting similar success in 2007, despite the weight of grim war news from Iraq, Army Secretary Francis Harvey said Thursday.Bad News for Everyone Else:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Army this year began allowing people as old as 42 to enter the service; the maximum age previously was 35.Analysis:
The Army also has accepted a larger number of recruits whose score on a standardized aptitude test is at the lower end of the acceptable range, and it has granted waivers to permit the enlistment of people with criminal records that otherwise would disqualify them.
Let's recall the logic for the Army's recruiting strategy.
(1) We don't recruit older people because its disruptive to the work force (read: hurts the economy) and families with children (I think this incorporates "family values").
(2) We target highly intelligent people because we have all this high-end technology (you remember Rummy's efficiency strategy for the army?) and not just anyone can learn it.
(3) We don't recruit criminals. This is probably straight forward. But if you are handing someone a gun, you probably want a high probability they won't use their peers as target practice.
Finally, in all seriousness, I cannot express the gratitude I have for people in the military. This post is not in the least critical of the people in the military - the criticism is for Rumsfeld, Cheney, and the Decider.
Simply put - We are now dealing with the long-term impacts of the tragic combination of epic ineptitude and hubris.
The fact that disrupting the economy, breaking up families, lowering the skills, and adding criminals to the army is all better than letting in gays (without criminal records, intelligent, no children, in their 20s) - baffles me to no end....
Friday, September 22, 2006
And, on closer inspection, I'm a little worried about where the smoke trails are coming from. "Concerned Party No. 1"? Sorry, Captain, but I think we should all be concerned about number two.
The triumphant arrival of Capt. Sky -- and his World of Tomorrow -- can only mean that it's time for the Friday Random Ten. Let's do this thing.
1. Billy Preston, "John Henry" -- Sure, Preston's a favorite for his work with the Beatles and his nice solo funk. But this song is pure genius for the simple fact that it's essentially a case of mistaken identity, as Preston has confused legendary railroad hammer-swinger John Henry with Declaration of Independence signer John Hancock. He thinks he's urging a woman to commit herself to him -- "Put your John Henry on my heart, girl / Sign your name on the bottom line" -- but is really asking her to drop the hammer on his heart. Priceless. 8/10
2. John Lee Hooker with Roy Rogers, "Terraplane Blues" -- Great blues number from the master. And no, it's not that Roy Rogers. Just some guy who got his ass kicked a lot in grade school. 7/10
3. Afro Blues Quintet Plus One, "La La La La La" -- I'm not exactly sure why this isn't just called a "sextet" but maybe it's because that sounds naughty. A band who'd give their songs such intricate titles probably doesn't handle linguistic subtlties. Words aside, it's a damn good song. 9/10
4. Elvis Presley, "Burning Love" -- I'm pretty sure this is about gonorrhea. 5/10
5. James Brown, "Your Cheatin' Heart" -- Yep, you read this correctly. This is the Godfather of Soul doing a scorching cover of a classic tune by a Founding Father of Country, Hank Williams Sr. I never thought it would work, but it's phenomenally good. 9/10
6. Superchunk, "100,000 Fireflies" -- Another great cover, this time of one of my favorite Magnetic Fields tunes. Some of Stephin Merrit's best lyrics ("Why do we keep screeching / when we mean soft things? / We should be whispering all the time") and Mac McCaughan gives them a nice indie rock punchup. 10/10
7. Gorillaz, "Bill Murray" -- This is from a Japanese issue EP for "Feel Good, Inc." I have no idea where I got this, but it's a nice slightly trippy tune. 6/10
8. The Twilight Singers, "Candy Cane Crawl" -- Greg Dulli's new, mellower project in the wake of the Afghan Whigs glory days. Nice, but nothing spectacular. 7/10
9. Helium, "Lucy" -- Somewhat amateurish sounding indie rock. This sounds like it belongs on a K Records 7" from 1993. And if that made any sense to you, then you, my friend, are a music nerd. 4/10
10. Talking Heads, "And She Was" -- I have no idea where this lies on the coolness scale. Retro '80s camp? Early alternative genius? Help me out here, people. Help me help you. 6/10
Alright, that gives me a 7.3 average. Again. I haven't seen a string of mediocrity like this since "Yes, Dear" was on the teevee. It's still on? Really? Huh.
Let's see what you've got. Drop your own FRT, or snide comments about mine, or open letters to Capt. Sky in the comments below.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
George Allen continues to be his own worst enemy. You’ve probably heard by now that, at a debate on Monday, ol’ Felix lost it when a reporter asked if his mom was Jewish. If you’ve seen the clip (view it here), you know that the lady asked the question in about as ugly a way as possible, but that doesn’t fully explain Allen’s freak-out. After sputtering around about Thomas Jefferson and heritage he said that, as far as he knew, his mom was raised a Christian.
Then, a day after the debate (and after the damage he had done to his campaign was becoming apparent), Allen issued a flip-flop: he celebrated the Jewish ancestry on his mother’s side. To clear up the contradictions, the Washington Post interviewed his mom, and here’s what they found:
She said Allen asked her directly about his Jewish heritage when he was in
for a fundraiser [in late August]. "We sat across the table and he said, 'Mom, there's a rumor that Pop-pop and Mom-mom were Jewish and so were you,' " she recalled, a day after Allen issued a statement acknowledging and embracing his Jewish roots as he campaigns for a second term in the U.S. Senate. At the table in Los Angeles Palos Verdes, Calif., Allen's mother, who is 83, said she told her son the truth: That she had been raised as a Jew in Tunisiabefore moving to the . United States
. . . Allen declined to comment, but his mother said she had sworn him to secrecy.
Two things. First, Felix was fundraising in
Second, even if we accept that Allen only recently learned about his mom’s religious heritage, somebody with the last name “Allen” is doing some serious lying. Let’s review: Hollywood Felix asks his mom about the Jewish thing in August after a romp for money with his Hollywood buddies, and then three weeks later in a debate, he states that as far as he knew, his mom was raised a Christian. This is a big fat lie. Not only did he know, he found out 3 weeks prior. His mom claims that she swore him to secrecy and told him not to tell his siblings. In other words, she told him to lie about it, and he agreed. Can ya feel the integrity?
The Jewish part of this story doesn’t matter to me. Maybe he’s ashamed of it, maybe he’s not. It’s a touchy and complex subject, and I guess I’m lucky not to have to deal with family religious mysteries myself (although I do wonder why my brother’s name is Schlomo). What matters is the lying; dude pinched out a big fat lie in a debate, a stupid lie that was bound to get found out. His excuse? His mommy told him to do it.
Maybe lying is a family value in the exclusive LA suburb in which Felix was raised, but it isn’t a
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
As Steve Benen notes, "the line between evangelism and child abuse is rather thin." I'm not sure what creeps me out the most about all this, whether it's convincing eight-year-olds that they can speak in tongues and should sacrifice their lives as "warriors for God," or the simple image of children literally worshipping a cardboard cutout of George W. Bush.
If I remember anything about teenage rebellion, I've got to hope that the Alex P. Keaton Effect can work in reverse and all these hardcore evangelical recruits into the Army of God will rebel against their narrow upbringing, throw off the shackles of the Religious Right, and become card-carrying ACLU members as adults. We can only pray.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Everything which strengthens the central al-Qaeda narrative of a Crusader war against Islam serves that strategy. Al-Qaeda does not need to win support for itself as a movement for this strategy to succeed - all it needs to do is to shape the political environment towards its "clash" narrative.Lynch goes on to assess Al Qaeda's successful use of the media, especially in the past year. Man, do I miss the days when gay marriage was the greatest threat to America and Christendom.
This is why Bush's recent "Islamic Fascism" speeches were such a gift to bin Laden, playing right to the al-Qaeda script, and seeming to confirm al-Qaeda rhetoric over a Western "Crusade" (and don't even get started on Bush's recent "religious revival" musings). And now the Pope has jumped in to lend a helping hand to al-Qaeda. Couldn't they have just sent flowers? I don't think that this is quite what the Counter-Terrorism Center at West Point meant by "stealing al-Qaeda's playbook" - we weren't supposed to actually run al-Qaeda's plays for them.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Though I'm not a Texan, I always had a soft spot in my heart for Richards. She showed that truly progressive policies and hard-nosed, sarcastic politics can not only co-exist outside of the blogosphere, but thrive. She was a Steel Magnolia, one of the best and brassiest politicians I've ever seen. (One of the many, many sad things about the Bush Presidency is the constant reminder that we elevated the wrong Texas governor to the highest office in the land.)
And she was one of those politicians who was just made for anecdotes, from her famous zinger about George Bush Sr. being born "with a silver foot in his mouth" to the time her opponents tried to paint her as a delicate lady unfit for the rough world of politics and she went out and shot a bunch of wild doves with a twelve-gauge.
I thought I'd heard all the stories, but her passing -- like all passings -- has brought out one I hadn't heard before. So, courtesy of Off the Kuff, I'd like to pass along the following anecdote from Molly Ivins, another Texas treasure:
Several years ago there was a big political do at Scholz Beer Garten in Austin and everybody who was anybody in political Texas was there, meetin' and greetin' at a furious pace. About halfway through the evening, a little group of us got the tired feet and went to lean our butts against a table by the back wall of the Garten. Like birds in a row were perched Bob Bullock, the state comptroller; me; Charlie Miles, a black man who was then head of Bullock's personnel department (and the reason Bullock had such a good record on minority hiring); and Ms. Ann Richards.Priceless.
Bullock, having been in Texas politics for thirty some-odd years, consequently knew every living sorry, no-account sumbitch who ever held office. A dreadful old racist judge from East Texas came up to him, "Bob, my boy, how are yew?" The two of them commenced to clap one another on the back and have a big greetin'.
"Judge," said Bullock. "I want you to meet my friends. This is Molly Ivins with the Texas Observer."
The judge peered up at me and said, "How yew, little lady?"
"This is Charles Miles, who heads my personnel department." Charlie stuck out his hand and the judge got an expression on his face as though he had just stepped into a fresh cowpie. It took him a long minute before he reached out, barely touched Charlie's hand and said, "How you, boy?" Then he turned with great relief to pretty, blue-eyed Ann Richards and said, "And who is this lovely lady?"
Ann beamed and said, "I am Mrs. Miles."
I'd tell you to rest in peace, Ann, but you wouldn't listen. We'll miss you.
Friday, September 15, 2006
As the cover makes clear, Ratchell combined four outstanding stars of the early '80s. Clockwise from the top left, we have (1) the always sexy Valerie Bertinelli, fresh from her starring role on "One Day at a Time"; (2) the always dangerous Christopher Lambert, right before his starring role in Highlander; (3) the always coked-up David Crosby, right during his starring role at the Betty Ford clinic (click that link for David's self-portrait); and, of course, (4) the always rugged good looks of Rocky Dennis, right at the moment I'm heading for hell.
The arrival of such a stellar supergroup can only mean that it's once again time for the Friday Random Ten. Lock and load, people. This is not -- repeat, not -- a drill.
1. TV on the Radio, "I Was a Lover" -- Oh, what a nice start. This may be my favorite track of their new album, The Return to Cookie Mountain. I'm not entirely sure what the song's about, but I'm positive it's absofuckinglutely brilliant. I missed seeing these kids at a free show in Brooklyn this summer, and it's quickly becoming my greatest regret. Well, that, and not finishing the world's biggest hoagie. 10/10
2. Pixies, "Wave of Mutilation (Live at the BBC)" -- A pretty nice version of one of their better-known tunes, though Black Francis (or Frank Black or Blackula or whatever he's called now) makes the lyrics a little too quiet. 7/10
3. Frank Sinatra, "Come Fly with Me" -- I have a soft spot for the Chairman of the Board, but this is a pretty standard, factory-issue arrangement from the Capitol Records conglomerate. Eh. 3/10
4. The Pretenders, "Back on the Chain Gang" -- I doubt I'll ever get tired of the sweet opening guitar hook or Chryssie Hynde's sultry voice, but I'm not sure anything featured on VH1 can be considered cool. (Except for him, of course.) 5/10
5. Kitty Love, "You Gotta Change" -- Some obscure soul strutting from a collection called Shakin' Fit. Really brassy vocals, with a fairly standard '60s R&B beat. I think I'm supposed to do the mashed potato to this song, or the home fries, or the scattered-covered-smothered hash browns. Some kind of starchy dance. 7/10
6. Earth, Wind and Fire, "Mighty Mighty" -- Some fairly early work by EWF, somewhere between the soundtrack they did for Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (billed as "The Film The MAN Doesn't Want You to See!") and the soundtrack song they did for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (known as "The Film NO ONE Wants to See!") Pretty nice funk, all things considered. 8/10
7. Chic, "Good Times" -- I have no idea how to classify this song on the coolness scale, as it's both retro hip and old-school lame, sort of like bellbottoms and Bea Arthur. But I will give it credit for a lyric I've always loved: "Don't be a drag, participate / Clams on the half shell and roller-skates, roller-skates!" Sounds like a party to me. 4/10
8. Yo La Tengo, "Here Comes My Baby" -- Hoboken's finest do a fairly straightforward cover of the Cat Stevens classic. I really should love this. I really should. I don't. 2/10
9. Hank Williams, "Your Cold, Cold Heart" -- Classic country from the all-time master. Man, if old Hank had lived to see what a dumbfuck, drunk douchebag his son turned into, he would've never stopped throwing up. 7/10
10. Stereolab, "Ping Pong" -- Well, there was a lot of crap in between, but I'm ending on as strong a song as I began. This is electronica at its happy, loopy, moogy finest. 10/10
Not a great week for me, with a 6.3 average. Any worse and I'd wind up having to go to coolness summer school.
Let's see what the rest of you have. Kindly drop your own FRTs in the comments, with or without the coolness self-aduit. Or feel free to pick apart my choices, or reminisce about how hot Valerie Bertinelli was before she settled down with the Crypt Keeper.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
This time, he broadened his apology to cover his youthful indiscretions; in other words, touting confederate symbols in his teens, having a lynching noose in his office in his twenties, flying a confederate flag at his house in his thirties, opposing MLK day in his forties, and calling that guy a monkey in his fifties, among others. Here’s a little of what he had to say on Tuesday:
"On football teams and every team sport, you don't care about someone's religion, race or their ethnicity," he said. "All you care about is if that person can help your team. Can he block, punt, pass or kick. It's a true meritocracy... and it's that meritocracy that you see on a football field and on a football team that we should aspire for in our society here in America."
Allen loves to talk about his “football background,” as if he were more than just a coach’s kid. For all his man’s man rhetoric about sports and war, there’s two places he wasn’t in 1970: in Vietnam, and on a football field. Allen did play football in high school, but that’s it; even sorry-ass UVA didn’t want him on their team, despite the fact that his daddy coached the Washington NFL team. It’s kinda like when Bush or Cheney rambles on about terrorism, Saddam, Al Qaeda, WMD, and 9/11, leaving the listener to make connections that shouldn’t be made.George Felix Allen sucked, SUCKED, at football. It doesn’t appear he’s ever excelled at any sport, unless falconry can be considered a sport. Yeah, when I think meritocracy, I think falconry.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Here are some thieves I'd like to hang out with this weekend. Mmmmm, herring.
Porkburgers? That sounds great -- I'll have a 350 Pounder.
Corn cobs: not just for assault any more.
...and here's a really sweet story about gherkins.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
The latest? TPM has a nice find on the latest racial sensitivity lesson from Sen. Felix Allen (R-Deep Macaca), while Kos has a terrific video of how Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Grampa Simpson) spent his summer vacation. Priceless.
As nice as it is to see these two schmucks self-destruct, the races aren't over by a longshot and every little bit of contributing or volunteering is still desperately needed. Act now, or live under the rule of these schmucks for another six years.
Monday, September 11, 2006
First of all, yet another incredible piece by Keith Olbermann. God bless him.
And second, this wonderful Driftglass post I found over in the comments at Sadly, No.
Remember, if you don't mock him, then the terrorists have already won.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
A nice little bombshell from Dana Priest at the Washington Post:
Intelligence officials think that bin Laden is hiding in the northern reaches of the autonomous tribal region along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. This calculation is based largely on a lack of activity elsewhere and on other intelligence, including a videotape, obtained exclusively by the CIA and not previously reported, that shows bin Laden walking on a trail toward Pakistan at the end of the battle of Tora Bora in December 2001, when U.S. forces came close but failed to capture him.I love the irony that the revelation that Bush really did have Osama in his sights and really did let him go is coming out the same day that ABC is showing its fictionalized "docudrama" which purports that Clinton had Osama in his sights but let him go. But no worries. I'm sure more Americans read the Washington Post than watch ABC, right?
That was December 2001. Only two months later, Bush decided to pull out most of the special operations troops and their CIA counterparts in the paramilitary division that were leading the hunt for bin Laden in Afghanistan to prepare for war in Iraq, said Flynt L. Leverett, then an expert on the Middle East at the National Security Council.
"I was appalled when I learned about it," said Leverett, who has become an outspoken critic of the administration's counterterrorism policy. "I don't know of anyone who thought it was a good idea. It's very likely that bin Laden would be dead or in American custody if we hadn't done that."
This isn’t my first confrontation with the dryer over noise issues -- it has a buzzer that goes off when it’s done drying. Well, “buzzer” doesn’t seem quite right; it’s more of a screaming, soul-crushing thunder howl. Every damned time that thing went off I lost hairs and urine, but there was no switch to turn it off. What were the wizards at Whirlpool thinking? After several attempts at locating the source of the claxon ex machina, I found the right spot and disconnected the wires. Much better.
This new noise was different, a grinding sound that suggested all sorts of bad things going on inside there. Clearly, it was time for another showdown with the White Menace. I provide these useful instructions so that you will know how to handle a similar situation in your own home.
1) It’s best if you buy a book on fixing common household appliances. A good book, such as one from the Readers Digest series, will save you time and aggravation. You will quickly recoup the cost of the book by fixing things right the first time.
2) Assuming you’d rather eat glass than buy a book telling you what to do, just start unscrewing stuff. There’s really not that many screws on a dryer, so you’ll get where you need to soon enough.
3) Do NOT unscrew screws willy-nilly. You will end up breaking stuff you didn’t even know you could break.
4) Metal conducts electricity. Throw the circuit breaker for the dryer before you do anything else. Otherwise you’re in for some very unpleasant electrical shocks, probably while you’re up to your elbow in sharp metal bits. This ain’t delivering a calf; you do NOT want to yank your arm out of there, because you’re going to lose skin if you make any sudden moves.
5) Skin grows back pretty fast, and the wounds look pretty cool without being all that serious. Beers will help with the pain.
6) Do NOT drink while working on the dryer.
7) Lordy is lint flammable. Do NOT even think about working on the dryer until you’ve vacuumed out every last mote in there, otherwise you run the risk of a fire you can’t blow out or douse with water.
8) Once the fire has caught, do NOT grab at balls of burning lint to put out the fire. The smoldering lint will stick to you hands and keep right on burning. This hurts quite a bit.
9) Whatever you do, do NOT tell your wife about any temporary setbacks, or else she’ll threaten to call a “professional.” The last thing you want to do is explain to a smirking technician why the dryer door is in upside down.
That’s your basic instructions. Augment as necessary, depending on what your problem is. Turned out my problem was the fan that blows the hot air through the dryer. The blade isn’t staying right on its axis, so it’s beating on the fan’s frame. I wasn’t able to make the racket go away, but I was able to repair the heating coil that I busted, so I’m calling this one a draw. Once my platelet count is back up to normal I’ll take another shot at it.
Nerdlinger update: Mrs. T, queen of all things D&D cartoon-related, informs me that Eric was not a Paladin; he was a Cavalier. The Cavalier class (as well as the Barbarian) was not officially part of the D&D role-playing game until Unearthed Arcana was released, so you can see why I would make that mistake. As Uni would say, "baaaaaa!!"
Friday, September 08, 2006
I've always felt that the Quantum Leap superpowers were wasted on nice guy Scott Bakula, who's not to be confused with not-so-nice guy Blackula, so it's nice to see that they're now in the possession of one Wade Boggs. True, he could've picked someone more deserving of help than Dan Marino -- which is pretty much anyone this side of Hitler -- but it's all good.
I have no proof, but I believe this comes from the same people who gave us the beauty of Yacht Rock. Same titles, same camera work, same crappy '70s mustaches. Enjoy.
(N.B.: Very brief nudity around 2:45. Thanks to the fine folks at Kissing Suzy Kolber for finding this nugget of love.)
Thursday, September 07, 2006
And thank God that he's here. How else would we ever be able to hear the songs of minorities? It's not like they've ever exhibited an interest in, or capacity for, recording their own musical creations. I think we all owe Don Paulin a debt of gratitude for doing what no other white musician would dare to do -- cover the songs of African Americans and present them as his own. Kudos!
An appearance by The Man can only mean that it's time for the Friday Random Ten. Let's do this thing.
1. Bob and Earl, "Harlem Shuffle" -- This song is perhaps best known for two other tunes it inspired. The opening horn blast is the one used over and over again in House of Pain's "Jump Around," while the Rolling Stones did a cover of the whole song on their 1,374th album. But this is the real deal, baby, and it's a stone cold groove. 9/10
2. Grand Puba, "360 Degrees (What Goes Around)" -- Grand Puba pretty much disappeared along with his group Brand Nubian, after a brief spark of brilliance in the early '90s. They were part of that "five-percent nation" movement in hiphop, the Afrocentric, dashiki-wearing movement. Remember that? Man, college was great. 6/10
3. Belle & Sebastian, "I Could Be Dreaming" -- Tigermilk is my favorite album by these kids, and this is one of the many reasons why. Peppy indie pop that's so happy I almost want to punch it. Almost. 8/10
4. Replacements, "Bastards of Young" -- Some classic 'Mats from their hangover of an album, Tim. Remember that? Man, high school sucked. 7/10
5. Graham Central Station, "Hair" -- Great funk from the band that Larry Graham formed after departing Sly and the Family Stone. As hard as it is for a spinoff to live up to the original, this one comes close. Consider this the "Facts of Life" to Sly's "Diff'rent Strokes." 8/10
6. Mitch Ryder, "Breakout" -- Some pretty decent soul from the folks who brought you "Devil With a Blue Dress On." Nothing spectacular, but it gets the job done. 6/10
7. Johnny Cash, "25 Minutes to Go" -- The darkest, creepiest countdown you've ever heard, sung from the perspective of a man awaiting his own hanging. Cash really should've written more children's songs. He clearly has a knack for it. 6/10
8. Cat Power, "The Greatest" -- Chan Marshall may be borderline crazy and a complete flake at her live performances, but when she's on, she's phenomenal. Unlike the store Stoner's Pot Palace, this song's title is not false advertising. 9/10
9. U.N.K.L.E. with South, "Suicide" -- A nice bit of electronica from the brilliant Sexy Beast soundtrack. Truth be told, the best part of this is the badass cockney thug monologue by Ben Kingsley. But the driving beat is fantastic too. 7/10
10. Black Sabbath, "Sweet Leaf" -- Oh, Lordy, I just made Thrillhous's week. I'm not really sure what this song is about. Oregano, I think. 9/10
Alright, that gives me a 7.5 average. Once again, I've demonstrated that I'm only three-quarters cool, much like one of the lesser Baldwin brothers.
Let's see if you can do any better. Drop your own Friday Random Ten in the comments below, with or without the Coolness Self Audit. Don Paulin would want it that way.
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- A Detroit Lions assistant coach was arrested twice in the past two weeks -- once while police say he was driving nude and a week later on suspicion of drunken driving.I know they said Mike Martz was going to bring a wide-open approach to the Lions this season, but I didn't realize it would be that wide open.
Police in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn said Joe Cullen, who coaches the team's defensive line, was pulled over Aug. 24 and ticketed on suspicion of indecent and obscene conduct. The ticket does not provide any other information about why Cullen allegedly was nude. The Lions said alcohol was involved.
Then, on Sept. 1, police stopped his 2006 Ford Explorer and determined he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.12 percent, court records show. The legal limit for drivers in Michigan in 0.08 percent.
Hopefully, this can become a team tradition, like playing on Thanksgiving day and, oh, having eight losses by the time they play on Thanksgiving day.
The 38-year-old, who was hired from the University of Illinois, issued a statement Wednesday to apologize.Wow. Nice to see that Matt Millen isn't just incompetent when it comes to recruiting players, but that he's also horrible at judging the character of his coaches.
"I would like to apologize to the Detroit Lions organization, our fans, my family and friends for any embarrassment these incidents have caused," he said. "These incidents represent a mistake in judgment on my part. I deeply regret them and have learned a valuable lesson. It won't happen again."
Cullen was fired from the University of Mississippi in 2005 after an alcohol-related arrest at a restaurant. Mississippi Athletic Director Pete Boone told the Detroit Free Press on Wednesday that no one from the Lions contacted him for a reference.
This guy got fired from Ole Miss for an alcohol-related incident? Has anyone here ever been to an Ole Miss game? They won't let you in the gate unless you can prove a 0.08 BAC or else show proof of purchase for a Value Jug of Southern Comfort. I mean, for chrissakes, this guy is still the program's poster boy. I'm pretty sure when Ole Miss thinks you're too much of a drunk, the state is actually required by law to check you into a rehab center.
And yet once again, professional George Papadapoulous lookalike Matt Millen shows that there's no idiot or assclown that he won't bet the house on.
God, I love this game.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Osama bin Laden, America's most wanted man, will not face capture in Pakistan if he agrees to lead a "peaceful life," Pakistani officials tell ABC News.Nice to see Bush is still on top of all this stuff. And, hey, thank God the Taliban isn't finding a welcome home in an unstable Muslim country with nuclear weapons.
The surprising announcement comes as Pakistani army officials announced they were pulling their troops out of the North Waziristan region as part of a "peace deal" with the Taliban.
If he is in Pakistan, bin Laden "would not be taken into custody," Major General Shaukat Sultan Khan told ABC News in a telephone interview, "as long as one is being like a peaceful citizen." ....
In addition to the pullout of Pakistani troops, the "peace agreement" between Pakistan and the Taliban also provides for the Pakistani army to return captured Taliban weapons and prisoners.
"What this means is that the Taliban and al Qaeda leadership have effectively carved out a sanctuary inside Pakistan," said ABC News consultant Richard Clarke, the former White House counter-terrorism director.
The agreement was signed on the same day President Bush said the United States was working with its allies "to deny terrorists the enclaves they seek to establish in ungoverned areas across the world." ....
On second thought, I may have uncovered new reserves of outrage. Where's the damned bourbon?
Obviously, the biggest issue to them is the brand of fundamentalism they each advance, but once you get past that oh-so-minor detail of whether the One True God is Jesus Christ or Allah, well, the worldviews look quite similar.
In fact, when you get right down to it, the disagreement between Christian fundamentalists and Islamic fundamentalists is about as wide as the one between rednecks who consider themselves bitterly divided over their tribal loyalties to Ford or Chevy trucks. Just like both sides in the fundamentalist debate are positive that God is on their side, both camps in the Great Truck-Off believe that the urinating Calvin sticker is on their side too.
Lately, though, the similarities between Christian and Islamic fundies are getting too numerous to count. Here's the latest from Iran. You can practically hear Falwell and Robertson applauding:
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Tuesday for a purge of liberal and secular teachers from the country's universities ....Given the fundamentalist regime's history of cracking down on liberal and secular voices since 1979, this is about as surprising as the Crocodile Hunter's recent death by animal attack. But our friends on the right like to think that All Things Bad are diametrically opposed to what they believe in, so I'm sure this news will make some of their heads explode.
"Today, students should shout at the president and ask why liberal and secular university lecturers are present in the universities," the agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying during a meeting with a group of students. Ahmadinejad complained that changes in the country's universities were difficult to accomplish and that the country's educational system had been affected by secularism for the last 150 years, but said "such a change has begun."
Earlier this year, Iran retired dozens of liberal university professors and teachers. And last November, Ahmadinejad's administration for the first time named a cleric to head the country's oldest university in Tehran amid protests by students over the appointment.
But here's the clincher:
The developments followed a campaign promise by Ahmadinejad for a more Islamic-oriented country. He took office last August.Hmmm. Stocking the government with inexperienced religious hard-liners? Don't look now, Saudi princelings, but George Bush may just have a new hand-holding bestest buddy.
Since then, Ahmadinejad also has been replacing pragmatic veterans in the government with former military commanders and inexperienced religious hard-liners.
Monday, September 04, 2006
Sunday, September 03, 2006
WASHINGTON -- Residents in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties had to put up with the smell of gas for quite awhile over the weekend.Residents and business owners in parts of Sterling, Ashburn and Western Fairfax reported smelling gas starting on Saturday afternoon.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Ten weeks before election day, conservative TV evangelist Jerry Falwell is heaping surprising praise on the Democrat opposing Sen. George Allen's re-election bid in Virginia. In an interview on Forbes.com, Falwell, 73, makes his first comments about Allen's opponent, James Webb. Falwell says he disagrees with Webb on social issues, but gives the politician a personal ranking of "A-."Many, many Virginians, especially the more rural folks, listen to what Falwell has to say. I know he seems like a nut to most of us, but the other 90% of what he says, the stuff you don't hear about, really resonates here. This praise for Webb is significant. I'm not his target audience, so my interpretation is suspect, but here's the message I'm hearing: if you want to vote for Webb instead of Felix, it's no skin off Falwell's back.
Correction: Thanks to Otto Man for de-balling me in the comments. Falwell's base of operations is Lynchburg, a town in which I have had motion sickness several times; it's in south-central VA.
Macacca madness update: Via Tbogg, Allen preemptively took his name out of the running for an award from the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund because of protests by donors to the fund. Felix says: "I regret that there are those who would put their personal or political dislike of me ahead of the needs of deserving students. . . ." That's right, George Jr. What those kids needed most -- nay, deserved -- was a speech from you. The scholarship money is totally secondary.
Now, you may remember Terry Bradshaw from such careers as quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, football analyst with the semiretarded Fox NFL zoo crew, or perhaps even his stint as the only actor who could make chronic stutterer Mel Tillis look like silver-tongued performer.
Despite all that, the odds are tragically good that you may not have heard Terry Bradshaw's angelic singing voice.
Well, here it is. Go bask in its tragedy. We'll wait.
Yeah, me too. In fact, after that, I may be done forever.
It can only improve from here, so let's get rolling with the Friday Random Ten. If you're just emerging from a coma, here's how you play. Take out your iWhatever, set it on random, and give us the first ten songs that pop up. If you want to get all fancy with it, you can also conduct a relatively painless Coolness Self-Audit by ranking the songs on a scale of 1 to 10. (N.B.: Do not attempt to use heavy machinery while conducting the Coolness Self-Audit. But by all means, do attempt to use heavy metal.)
Alright, here's mine.
1. Common feat. Laetitia Sadler from Stereolab, "New Wave" -- This may be the greatest merger of talent since chocolate first combined with milk. I never would've imagined these two getting together to record a song, but it works quite well. The verses are a little sparse, but the combined chorus is absofuckinglutely amazing. 10/10
2. The Cure, "Love Cats" -- There was a weird moment back in the late '80s when all of our high school alternative favorites poked their head into the mainstream. The Smiths, R.E.M., and all the rest had a semi-hit, and this was clearly the Cure's. On the bright side, the video for this song had the only dance that was easier than the Ickey Shuffle. 6/10
3. Iggy Pop, "The Passenger" -- I love the breadth of Iggy Pop's career, back to the first Stooges album, but this may well be my favorite song of his. Catchy hook, driving beat, and some nice dead-eyes vocals. 10/10
4. Al Green, "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)" -- Damn, it's nothing but hits today. You can't go wrong with the Reverend, unless of course you're coming off a bad breakup. There may be no other artist whose repertoire is so wholly about love and marriage. Listening to his greatest hits after a relationship's tragic end must be like the scene from "Better Off Dead" where the radio plays nothing but love songs. 7/10
5. Weezer, "In My Garage" -- This song comes dangerously close to describing my junior high years. "I've got Dungeon Master's Guide / I've got 12-sided die / I've got Kitty Pryde / And Nightcrawler too / Waiting there for me / Yes I do, I do // I've got posters on the wall / My favorite rock group KISS / I've got Ace Frehley / I've got Peter Criss / Waiting there for me." Man, good thing I managed to turn out so cool. Right? Right?!? 8/10
6. Eric B. and Rakim, "I Ain't No Joke" -- Goddamn, what a great song. Stunningly sparse beats and a great horn hook from former presidential nominee Eric B., with his running mate Rakim dropping enough science to merit the Nobel Prize. 10/10
7. Electric Light Orchestra, "Evil Woman" -- Although the difference between this song and the last one is about as big as Jeff Lynne's afro, I still love it. ELO embodies the very finest in 1970s pop excess -- lush orchestral arrangements, way too much synthesizer, and high-soaring, estrogen-laden male vocals -- but, dammit, it works. I believe that now that the New Wave revival has faded, the next bit of our musical past to be re-embraced is the ELO shtick. Brace yourselves! 8/10
8. The Go! Team, "Ladyflash" -- Some poppy, happy, electropop from the UK. Not exactly earth-shattering, but it does what it sets out to do fairly well. 6/10
9. Cibo Matto, "Moonchild" -- I know the debut album is supposed to be their best, but I've always had a soft spot for Stereo Type A. Sweet vocals, light hooks, and the wholesome goodness of Miho Hatori. Very nice. 9/10
10. The National, "Looking for Astronauts" -- I can't remember who recommended this piece of crap band to me, and that's probably a good thing. 1/10
Well, I had a nice run going until that last song screwed it up for me, but even then I wound up with a 7.5 average. I'm officially three-quarters cool, much in the same way the nepotism pop supergroup Wilson Phillips was two-thirds hot. I can live with that.
Alright, folks. Let's see what you've got. Go ahead and drop your own FRT in the comments below, or else feel free to expound on what I bungled here.