June 17, 2002


THE DON IS DEAD, OR "WHAT WOULD RUDY DO?": John Gotti was buried yesterday at a cementary in Queens that is also final resting place to Lucky Luciano, Carlo Gambino, and countless other underworld figures. The burial makes me close my eyes and imagine what would happen if Rudy Giuliani were still mayor. Imagine if it was Rudy, the man who aggressively prosecuted the mob in the '80s, threw Yasser Arafat out of Lincoln Center, and tore up a $5 million check from a Saudi prince who blamed 9/11 on Israel, and was never shy about asserting his will when it was right, who had received the permit application for yesterday's Queens-encompassing Gotti funeral procession. If I were mayor upon Gotti's death I know I would refuse to allow his body to be buried in New York City— why should one of most vicious and violent criminals in history, who the government spent 10 years and millions of dollars putting away, have that luxury? I have a feeling Rudy, if faced with the same question, would've done the same thing.

ROCKIN' BASEBALL: It's one thing that Peter Gammons is the best baseball writer in America, but he's also got pretty good taste in music for a man his age. In this week's "Apolitical Blues" column Gammons analyzes the latest baseball stats, and each paragraph header is a song on Pete Yorn's excellent album, "Musicforthemorningafter."

STONE COLD QUITS JOB; BEATS WIFE: On the heels of this week's news that top WWE star "Stone Cold Steve Austin" has abruptly quit the organization, the "Rattlesnake" has now allegedly assaulted his wife. According to Dave Meltzer (the Peter Gammons of pro wrestling), police were called to Austin's Texas home, where they said he assaulted his wife, Debra. Austin had left the house by then, and is now supposedly missing. Debra, oddly enough, was formerly married to ex-Chicago Bear Steve McMichael, and was also employed by WWE as on-air eye candy.

MUSIC CRITIC QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "If you’re a rock fan, you’ve likely been depressed for the last decade, give or take a few years. These days rock equals clumsy rap-metal by brooding bands like Limp Bizkit or schlocky ballads by fifth-wave Pearl Jam ripoffs like Creed." —Lorraine Ali of Newsweek, in a story on the encouraging popularity of neo-garage rock such the Strokes, the Hives, the White Stripes, and Interpol (oh, you will hear of Interpol.) I always love when a critic writes something that I've been saying myself for years.

THE VILLAGE VOICE ON STRIKE: No, the NYC alternative weekly isn't headed towards a work stoppage, it just had a very well-done feature this week about the particulars of the likely baseball strike. The Voice is the last place you'd expect to find a strong sports section, but somehow its back-page "The Score" manages to deliver week after week.

NEW REVIEW: My take on Roman Coppola's "CQ" is online at American Dreamer. It's an excellent film and I highly recommend everybody check it out.

Posted by Stephen Silver at June 17, 2002 01:15 AM
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