July 29, 2004

Stephen's Last Night in Town

I'm off to go bid the 'boken adieu and become a real New Yorker once again. I'll be back on Monday to discuss city life, Hoboken memories, the Kerry speech, the baseball trade deadline, and whatever else should happen to come up.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 06:03 PM | Comments (0)

Convention Notes, Day 3

- I liked the Edwards speech a lot; this is why I wanted him to be the VP. My favorite parts of all were when he put the lie to that canard about how the Democrats don’t think we’re really at war- like, for instance, when he said “we are at war.” And later, “we will destroy you.” That, weaved in with all the optimism stuff, is what Kerry/Edwards needs to win. That said, I've never been a big fan of the "Two Americas" bit, and hope tonight will mark its retirement.

- On the other hand, it was enough of an embarrassment that Al Sharpton was even allowed in the building, much less on the podium. Sharpton’s entire reason for running for president was so that he could give a prime-time convention address, and of course the party (fearing the sort of sabotage that’s been the reverend’s forte in New York politics for 20 years) summarily rolled over. Sharpton responded with an overlong, self-serving rant that not only jumped off the party’s message, but continued for about 15 minutes after he first said “I conclude with…”

Howard Dean had an exponentially greater impact on the presidential race this year than Sharpton, yet the reverend spoke for about three times longer at the convention than Dean did. And I never understood why everyone says Sharpton’s such a great speaker/debater- he speaks almost exclusively in clichés, and makes jokes and one-liners instead of arguments.

Matthews and Co. had it exactly right- the media gave him way too much attention during the primaries, because they were mistakenly treating the debates as entertainment.

- I had to log onto the DNC website for work reasons today, but it appeared to be down for most of the morning. Was it off for maintenance? Due to too much traffic? Or was it hacked? Hmm.

- Speaking of unlikely Democratic convention speakers, Ron Reagan addressed the DNC last night, leading to a sticky situation, as he drifted from journalist to participant and back to journalist all in one night, at least according to the blogger formerly known as CableNewser. The 'newser has jumped to MediaBistro, which used to be a site to look forward to not reading whenever I wasn’t looking for a job, but now that’ll change.

Meanwhile, the former president’s other son, Michael, was invited onto “Hannity & Colmes” in order to throw his own brother under the bus, which he dutifully did. The first question was “have you gotten to speak to Ron about his decision to speak at the DNC,” and Michael gave a mealy-mouthed version of the correct answer (“no, because we don’t speak”), before leveling the charge that there’s no way Ron would’ve been invited to speak if his last name wasn’t “Reagan.” Yes, and I’m sure the Michael Reagan radio show, and Michael’s FNC appearance that night, have nothing whatsoever to do with his last name.

Besides, isn’t this a particularly inopportune time in American political history for Republicans to start complaining about nepotism?

- Speaking of which, Hannity was bumped from “Nightline” tonight due to breaking news; however, both Jon Stewart and Ana Marie Cox appeared with Ted Koppel as scheduled.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:09 AM | Comments (1)

July 28, 2004

Return of the Piss Man

It’s been about three days since Ricky Williams’ surprise retirement from the NFL, and a most unlikely subplot has emerged: supposedly Williams had flunked a drug test, and has since admitted that pot use- as well as use of drug-test masking agents- is rampant throughout the league.

At issue is a product called, I’m not kidding, “Urine Luck,” which is marketed by a BALCO-wannabe firm called Spectrum labs and sold –over the counter- to athletes looking to beat drug tests. About this, I have two questions- one, how in the world could this possibly be legal, and two, if this has been going on for years why am I, just today, hearing of Urine Luck for the first time?

At any rate, the newest NFL player, Brock Lesnar, might want to give Urine Luck a try.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:24 PM | Comments (0)

The Lead Widens

Nothing to report yet on the Kris Benson front, but the Twins did complete a three-game sweep of the White Sox, in Chicago, to run their AL Central lead to 3.5 games with eight weeks to go.

Meanwhile, I’m going to the Yankees-A’s game next Thursday night (a week from tomorrow). I place the odds at about 4-1 that the Yankees’ starting pitcher that night will be Randy Johnson.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:08 PM | Comments (0)

'Roll Call XVII

Blog: RachelLucas.com, or “Piquant Rants and Sassy Impudence”
Blogger: Rachel Lucas
Location: Texas
Have I Met Her?: No
Why She’s On the ‘Roll: Rachel, who returned recently from several months MIA, blogs solidly from the conservative side, but occasionally she’ll lob a bomb in the other direction.
Best. Post. Ever.: An amazing post (no longer online) about the lackluster media coverage of the second anniversary of 9/11.

Blog: Ramblings Journal
Blogger: Michael H. King
Location: Atlanta
Have I Met Him: No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: Michael, a black conservative whose background is in radio, also runs a “Leadership Network” called Project 21. I may make fun of “Hannity & Colmes,” but King has actually appeared on it.
Best. Post. Ever.: A joke about that Kerry-space suit thing, making a “Willy Wonka” joke, as opposed to the more obvious Woody Allen reference.

Blog: Ramen & Red Bull
Blogger: Dave Wagz
Location: Boston
Have I Met Him?: No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: Dave talks about sports and politics, and tends to be partial towards the Democrats and Red Sox, respectively.
Best. Post. Ever.: Some stuff about Netflix.

Blog: Red Letter Day
Blogger: Mike Silverman
Location: Lawrence, KS
Have I Met Him?: No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: One of the original Kosher Scoop Jacksons, Mike is gay (but is sort of conservative) and lives near Kansas City (but roots for the Cubs!) Also, his civil union was performed by a rabbi who was on the faculty at my camp when I was 12.
Best. Post. Ever.: A satirical look at that Roy Moore nonsense in Alabama.

Blog: Roger L. Simon
Blogger: Roger L. Simon
Location: Los Angeles
Have I Met Him?: No
Why She’s On the ‘Roll: An Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, Roger wrote the film “Enemies: A Love Story,” which starred this blog’s patron saint Ron Silver. Now he’s one of the Blogosphere’s leading voices, complete with an always-vibrant comments section.
Best. Post. Ever.: Last year’s Gregg Easterbrook flap, of which he was at the center.

Blog: Romenesko
Blogger: Jim Romenesko
Location: Chicago
Have I Met Him?: No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: The favorite blog of the “elite media,” Romenesko (formerly “Media News”) covers the business and ethics of media, and played a leading role in the ouster of New York Times editor Howell Raines.
Best. Post. Ever.: The time he tackled last fall’s racial scandal at Brandeis.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:06 PM | Comments (0)


Today's my birthday, and it's also Bill's; we just shared a birthday beer.

I don't do Sullivan-style pledge weeks, though wishlist is at right.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:10 AM | Comments (0)

O’Reilly vs. Moore

It’s like a Yankees-Braves World Series- who do you root for?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:02 AM | Comments (0)

Conventional Wisdom

No, I’m not there, but I wish I was- maybe next time. Instead, I watched the first two nights of the Democratic convention from my couch, from which I gleaned the following observations:

- A tour-de-force by Clinton Monday night, but I was less impressed with Al Gore- didn't he seem to be speaking too fast, like he was in a hurry or something?

- MSNBC has been my network for choice thus far, mostly because of Chris Matthews and his infectious enthusiasm- you can tell he just loves the process, probably more than anyone else there. It’s enough that I can forgive the Freudian slip where NBC’s Andrea Mitchell referred to President Clinton’s hometown of Chappaqua as “Chappaquiddick.” Also, have you noticed that Joe Scarborough, like Tucker Carlson, suddenly moves about 45 degrees to the center whenever he’s on a panel?

- I haven’t yet seen Wonkette on MTV- what, do they have ten minutes of political coverage per day? But I was disappointed to learn that I missed Ana Marie Cox being interviewed by Campbell Brown on NBC. Oh damn…

- Howard Kurtz reports (you decide) that Fox News cut away from both Gore and Carter’s speeches Monday night in favor of O’Reilly/Hannity content; my personal favorite moment was when, while CNN and MSNBC were broadcasting BeBe Winans’ “Star-Spangled Banner” live, the “patriotic” FNC was instead treating us to O’Reilly’s opening monologue, about how Kerry seems to have “distanced himself” from Whoopi Goldberg, after which Dick Morris of course filled us in on the Hillary implications.

- Then later, Mr. Factor interviewed Ralph Nader, who had been “banned from” the Democratic convention. Ralph wasn’t banned from the FleetCenter any more than I was; after 2000, why the hell would the Democrats even think of letting him in?

- The first night’s other Fox News atrocity? Hannity (and Colmes) had on Jerry Springer as a Democratic spokesman, and Sean actually debated policy with him. Unfortunately, no chairs were thrown, but if they had been you just know Colmes would’ve acted as Hannity’s human shield.

- Just as FNC, early in the evening, ran a live picture of Mrs. Kerry as a canned interview by Matthews of THK was airing a few channels over, a late-night interview of Jon Stewart by Tom Brokaw reminded me to click over to “The Daily Show,” where I caught the tail end of Lewis Black’s rant. In it, Black wondered why they go ahead and have conventions when we already know who the candidates are, and his theory was that “the balloon industry has both parties by the balls- and they know how to twist!”

- I missed Howard Dean and Ted Kennedy, but Barack Obama- wow. What a speech- not bad for a mere state senator. You’re going to hear more much from this guy, and not just because Ditka decided not to oppose him.

- I was less impressed with Teresa's speech, however- just a generic speech from beginning to end. The FNC pundits could barely contain their revulsion. But regardless, I can’t understand why this nonsense story about her telling a reporter to “shove off” was even in a single newspaper.

- And finally, here’s the lede of the offending Ann Coulter column that got her fired from her USA Today convention gig:

”Here at the Spawn of Satan convention in Boston, conservatives are deploying a series of covert signals to identify one another, much like gay men do. My allies are the ones wearing crosses or American flags. The people sporting shirts emblazoned with the 'F-word' are my opponents. Also, as always, the pretty girls and cops are on my side, most of them barely able to conceal their eye-rolling.”

How do you say “self-parody” with a Boston accent?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)

Film Critic Quote of the Day

“Michael Moore has won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and may win an Oscar for the kind of work that got Stephen Glass, Jayson Blair, and Jack Kelley fired. Trying to track the unproven innuendoes and conspiracies in a Michael Moore film or book is as futile as trying to count the flatulence jokes in one by Adam Sandler.”
Scott Simon –an NPR hand- in the Wall Street Journal.
Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:23 AM | Comments (0)

'Roll Call XVI

Blog: Patio Pundit
Blogger: Martin Devon
Location: Los Angeles
Have I Met Him?: No
Why He’s on the ‘Roll: One of the first blogs I read, PatioPundit is the blog of a very funny Jewish Californian who follows politics with a keen, right-of-center eye.
Best. Post. Ever.: A look at why many natural supporters of Joe Lieberman (myself included) didn’t support him.

Blog: PaulFrankenstein.org
Blogger: Paul Frankenstein
Location: New York
Have I Met Him?: Yes
Why He’s on the ‘Roll: A fixture in the New York blog scene, Paul is also an accomplished web designer. He also recently returned from several weeks in Hong Kong.
Best. Post. Ever.: The time he caught the New York Post plagiarizing from the IMDB, landing him a mention in a Daily News gossip column a few days later.

Blog: Paul Katcher.com: A View From Manhattan’s Upper West Side
Blogger: Paul Katcher
Location: New York
Have I Met Him?: No
Why He’s on the ‘Roll: My soon-to-be neighbor runs a blog covering sports, bars, strip clubs, and other things of interest to males the world over, including lots of stripper and bartender interviews. Like Maxim, only a lot funnier and smarter- and now Paul is about to become a columnist for ESPN’s Page 3.
Best. Post. Ever.: A review of the rap album by “Macho Man” Randy Savage.

Blog: A Picture of Me
Blogger: “C”
Location: New York
Have I Met Her?: Yes
Why She’s on the ‘Roll: I met C at the Blogger Bash a few weeks ago, and I’ve since gotten into her blog- and she’s even cool enough to link to Napoleon Dynamite’s IMDB page.
Best. Post. Ever.: Shoes, and more shoes.

Blog: The Politboro Diktat
Blogger: “The Commissar”
Location: The Kremlin
Have I Met Him?: No
Why He’s on the ‘Roll: This guy parodies the left from the right, complete with funny Communist imagery.
Best. Post. Ever.: His map of the Blogosphere, which is legendary.

Blog: Pork is Not a Verb
Blogger: “MayorKL” and “Misthop”
Location: ?
Have I Met Him?: One of them, maybe
Why They’re on the ‘Roll: This funny blog bases its name on a “Simpsons” reference, and one of its authors is allegedly a guy I went to college with.
Best. Post. Ever.: Something I never noticed before when looking at the stars.

Blog: Practical Penumbra
Blogger: Susie
Location: ?
Have I Met Her?: No
Why She’s on the ‘Roll: An associate of both the Bloviating Inanities crowd and “Bloggers With Boobies,” Susie’s blog has a cat with a sword at the top, which is really all you need to know.
Best. Post. Ever.: The best-ever Kurt Russell movies.

Blog: Press Think
Blogger: Jay Rosen
Location: New York
Have I Met Him?: Yes
Why He’s on the ‘Roll: This NYU journalism professor is one of the Blogosphere’s foremost theorists; he’s currently up in Boston blogging the convention.
Best. Post. Ever.: The idea of journalism as a religion.

Blog: Professor Quotes
Blogger: ?
Location: ?
Have I Met Him?: ?
Why It’s on the ‘Roll: A compendium of quotes by university professors that are submitted by readers, ProfQuotes continues a feature from the old Brandeis humor magazine Gravity.
Best. Post. Ever.: Why socialism doesn’t work.

Blog: Protocols
Blogger: Luke Ford, et. al
Location: Various locations
Have I Met Him?: No
Why He’s on the ‘Roll: This Jewish-themed group blog passed from Steven I. Weiss’ leadership to Luke Ford’s a few months ago, and still provides trenchant and funny analysis of Jewish issues.
Best. Post. Ever.: A photo I never thought I’d see.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:14 AM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2004

Wrestling With the Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings today announced that they have signed former professional wrestler Brock Lesnar to a contract and invited him to training camp. Lesnar, a former national champion wrestler at the University of Minnesota, later won the world championship in WWE, but abruptly walked away from pro wrestling last spring in order to try his hand at professional football, a sport he hasn’t played since high school.

I guess if Jesse Ventura can be governor, Brock Lesnar can be a defensive lineman for the Vikings. However, his first steroid test, whenever it happens, may very well shatter the Unintentional Comedy Scale.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:07 PM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2004

If You’re Ready to Take That Long Walk

An announcement: The third annual Length of Manhattan Walk- beginning at 220th Street and ending at Battery Park- is officially scheduled to take place on Sunday, August 22, and is being co-organized by LilB and myself. We’re also trying to organize some sort of charitable cause, and are open to ideas.

It’s a lot of fun; here’s a description of the first one.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:18 PM | Comments (2)

Hard Blog is Gonna Fall

Due in part to their ingenious decision to put their anchor desk right in front of Faneuil Hall, I watched several hours of MSNBC’s Democratic convention preview coverage last night, including a great, tough interview of weasel-like DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe by Chris Matthews.

But there’s one decision by the “Hardball” gang that I’m not so enthusiastic about: they’ve started a new group blog called Hardblogger. Ugh, what a horrible name. It reminds me of when the WWE bought WCW, and floated the idea of starting a TV show called “WCW Hard-On Saturday Night.”

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:08 PM | Comments (0)

Your Olympic Hero Says Goodbye

I knew it was coming, but I’m still upset: the Minnesota Twins appear on the verge of trading first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz. According to the Star Tribune, Your Olympic Hero (so called because he was a star of the 2000 US Olympic baseball team) has been told he will soon be dealt, most likely either to the Pirates or Red Sox, so that the Twins can make slugging rookie Justin “Nosferatu” Mourneau their starting first baseman for the next decade or so.

It’s quite a sad day- Mientkiewicz has been my favorite Twin ever since the start of their renaissance four years ago, and I’m enough of a fan that I both know how to spell and pronounce his name, and own a Doug Mientkiewicz jersey. There are only two silver linings I can see here- Morneau may turn out to be the second-best first baseman in Twins history, and if Doug goes to the Pirates “Minny” will likely get top pitcher Kris Benson in return. Mientkiewicz is generally conceded to have the best-looking wife of any Twin, but then Benson is married to this woman.

For more on Doug’s last night in town, check out the holy trinity of Twins bloggers: Aaron Gleeman, Bat Girl, and TwinsGeek.

(UPDATE: The original report was 24 hours ago, and still no trade. Hmm.)

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:05 PM | Comments (0)

“Donnie Darko,” Explained

Salon takes a crack at it, just in time for the director’s-cut release.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:01 PM | Comments (71)

I'm Listed As Day-to-Day (Aren’t We All?)

I haven’t joined the official ESPN boycott urged by that Mercury News columnist last week, but I do plan to observe it temporarily for the next five days, for two reasons: they’ve got musical guests (yes, musical guests) on SportsCenter this week, and they’ve decided to fire respected NBA reporter David Aldridge, apparently preferring the snide bloviations of Stephen A. Smith and Co. Shameful. At least Aldridge is rumored to be landing on TNT.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:00 PM | Comments (1)

‘Roll Call XV

Blog: Ocean Guy.com, aka Somewhere on A1A
Blogger: Jim
Location: Hotly Contested Florida
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s on the ‘Roll A Jewish guy blogging about Jewish themes, Jim regularly goes after such foes as Yasser Arafat, the European press and the French with gleeful zeal.
Best. Post. Ever.: Some offbeat replies to that “honest blogger meme.”

Blog: OliverWillis.com
Blogger: Oliver Willis
Location: DC (formerly Boston)
Have I Met Him? Yes
Why He’s on the ‘Roll “O Dub,” who I met at the Harvard blog conference a few months ago, is one of the nation’s most highly regarded liberal political bloggers- and that was before he was getting paid to do it.
Best. Post. Ever.: A 9/11 anniversary post.

Blog: Off Wing Opinion
Blogger: Eric McErlain
Location: DC area
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s on the ‘Roll One of the smartest sports blogs on the web, Off Wing mostly covers hockey but also makes frequent forays into baseball, as well as the business of all of the above- sprinkling with an healthy amount of ESPN-bashing.
Best. Post. Ever.: Eric’s “free market sports manifesto.”

Blog: Oxblog
Blogger: Josh Chavetz, David Adesnik, et. al.
Location: Oxford University (among other places)
Have I Met Them? No
Why They’re on the ‘Roll Probably the best blog still on Blogspot, Oxblog consists of the ruminations of several Oxford students and their cohorts, looking at the political situation at home and abroad.
Best. Post. Ever.: A look by Josh at vitriol in blog comments.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:53 PM | Comments (0)

Memo to the Miami Dolphins

I think you should try to talk Barry Sanders, Robert Smith, or even Jim Brown out of retirement, because I they’re more likely to come back and make an impact than Ricky Williams is. But in the meantime, won’t a 4-12 season sort of invalidate that whole “annual December collapse” thing? ‘cause that’s the only expected outcome for a team whose top offensive star is A.J. Feeley.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 07:53 PM | Comments (0)

Not-So-Sweet 'Revenge'

The third and final “Star Wars” prequel will be called “Revenge of the Sith.” But what are they getting revenge from? Pretty much all the bad guys did in the second one was win, except for the thirty-second Yoda fight scene (also, coincidentally, the only exciting 30 seconds of the movie).

I’ll see it, but my hopes aren’t high. Then again, since all that will happen in the movie is the good guys dying, maybe it’ll have a “Passion of the Christ” vibe.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 07:50 PM | Comments (0)

TV Critic Quote of the Day

“My sympathy for [Nate] has fluctuated in inverse proportion to his lack of empathy for anyone other than himself, and let's just say I have less sympathy for Nate right now than I do for Kenneth Lay.”

-Liane Bonin, from EW.com’s weekly “Six Feet Under” review. As usual, last night’s episode was good on the surface but I had four or five major problems with it. First of all, hasn’t the writing of Nate just been all over the place this year? First he thought Lisa was still alive, then he forgot about that by the next week, and now he’s back working at the funeral home/sleeping with Brenda? And wasn’t that whole Brenda’s-fear-of-commitment-symbolized-by-vision-of-falling-bedspreads thing something that would have happened on “Ally McBeal”?

I also loved the “Magnolia” homage that had Claire and her stoned art pals singing along to Death Cab For Cutie. Would an anarcho-punk radical feminist/lesbian like the Mena Suvari character even be caught dead listening to such an MTV-friendly band?

And finally, here’s an Andrew Sullivan reader who has also noticed the below-the-surface Bush-bashing on the last few episodes of “Six Feet Under.” Yea, when Claire made that reference to “how many evildoers do we have to kill before we become them,” I just about gagged.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 06:15 PM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2004

Crossing the Hudson

For those of you I haven't yet told, a week from today I’m finally ditching Hoboken after more than three years, to once again live in New York City proper. I got a place in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan near Columbia U. which is also, oddly enough, just around the corner from that diner that was spliced into every episode of “Seinfeld.”

Blogging may be slow this week due to the move. But after that, being in Manhattan will probably lead to no appreciable difference to this blog, except for a sharp increase in funny New York stories. Because honestly, Hoboken’s really not that interesting from day-to-day- you can tell only so many “I overheard a yuppie say something funny on his/her cell phone as he/she was leaving a bar” stories.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:00 AM | Comments (0)

‘Roll Call XIV

Blog: The New Vintage
Blogger: Jessica
Location: New York
Have I Met Her? Maybe
Why She’s on the ‘Roll A Brandeis grad who was a year ahead of me (though I read her for weeks before I knew this), Jessica’s in New York now and started her blog a few months ago. I love its delightfully oxymoronic title.
Best. Post. Ever.: A recap of a Clinton book party at which she ran into comically self-tanned former mayoral candidate Mark Green. I saw Green at a Barnes & Noble reading the other night and I agree- the man has reached Hulk Hogan levels of orangeness.

Blog: Norbizness aka Happy Furry Puppy Story Guy
Blogger: Norbizness
Location: Texas
Have I Met Him? No, but I’d love to go out drinking with this guy
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: Author of the best blog review in history (of Bloviating Inanities: "Reading this blog is roughly the equivalent of watching a homeless guy trying to negotiate 11 layers of dirty clothing in order to masturbate”), Norbizness’ own blog is full of laughs as well. Left-leaning political humor, with cartoons!
Best. Post. Ever.: An anti-“SportsCenter” piece, interspersed with Cartman quotes. "Stop saying hella!"

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:57 AM | Comments (0)

Best Animation Idea Since “Queer Duck”

From a website listing upcoming Cartoon Network “Adult Swim” pilots:

Decker the Panda: A stupid panda, an alcoholic train, and a gay clam teach our viewers valuable lessons. Optioned for development.
A gay clam, wow. Of course, if that clam were to get a female clam to pretend to be his clam girlfriend, you know what that would make him.

And speaking of clams: Feech LaManna may have mentioned it last season on “Sopranos,” but Hoboken’s Clam Broth House is apparently set to go the way of the original Vescuvio’s. A judge recently ruled that the legendary, 105-year-old restaurant, which closed after its building began crumbling two years ago and has been teetering on the verge of physical collapse ever since, must be demolished by its owner.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:28 AM | Comments (0)

It’s Funny ‘Cause It’s True

Onion: “Majority of Americans Out of Touch With Mainstream.”

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:26 AM | Comments (0)

To Find the Theater Nearest You, Press 10025

My life is rated R.
What is your life rated?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:23 AM | Comments (0)

Roll Call XIII

Blog: Marietta Fortune aka “A Day at the Races”
Blogger: Anonymous
Location: Somewhere west of the Hudson
Have I Met Her? Yes
Why She’s on the ‘Roll The pseudonymous Marietta used to blog under her real name before circumstances forced the switch; she now goes by the name of the Diane Ladd character from David Lynch’s “Wild at Heart.” If I started an anonymous blog I think I’d call myself “Man From Another Place.”
Best. Post. Ever.: Some EXTREME photos.

Blog: The Mark Cuban Weblog, aka Blog Maverick
Blogger: Mark Cuban
Location: Dallas
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s on the ‘Roll Probably the first sports owner ever to start a blog, Mavs owner/internet billionaire/reality show star Cuban discusses basketball and business with a candor rarely seen in the sports world; he of course also regularly rips various refs and sportswriters. The blog is the flagship of Jason Calacanis’ Weblogs, Inc., and acknowledged Internet genius Cuban is said to have invested in the operation to the tune of $40 million- also, coincidentally, the amount Cuban reportedly recently spent on a jet.
Best. Post. Ever.: A smackdown of Donald Trump. Reality show billionaires attack!

Blog: MatthewYglesias.com
Blogger: Matthew Yglesias
Location: Washington, DC
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s on the ‘Roll One of the top liberal bloggers, Matthew parlayed his blog into a gig writing for the American Prospect under editor Robert “Crazy Bob” Kuttner. He’s also not related to Enrique, which I consider a point in his favor.
Best. Post. Ever.: Highlights from his war with the aforementioned Little Green Footballs.

Blog: MichaelTotten.com
Blogger: Michael Totten
Location: Portland, OR
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s on the ‘Roll One of the smartest bloggers out there, Totten is refreshingly pragmatic, slapping down both the right and the left when they deserve it. And right now, he’s blogging from Tunisia- something I doubt anyone else on this list has ever done.
Best. Post. Ever.: A skewering of Sean Hannity. And another of Michael Moore.

Blog: Mike Toole: Blogging Like I’ve Never Blogged Before
Blogger: Mike Toole
Location: New York
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s on the ‘Roll Hilarious stuff from a New Yorker. I don't read this nearly enough.
Best. Post. Ever.: Some reality show ideas. My favorite: "Will This Fit Up Your Ass?"

Blog: Miscellaureous
Blogger: Laura Gleason
Location: Philadelphia
Have I Met Her? Yes
Why She’s on the ‘Roll I went to Brandeis with Laura- though I’m sure she doesn’t remember me. Now she’s a Penn law student and writes about law and politics.
Best. Post. Ever.: A look at that whole people-suing-McDonalds thing.

Blog: Missives Anonymous
Blogger: Danielle
Location: Nashville, TN.
Have I Met Her? No
Why She’s on the ‘Roll She was born in Iowa, and Midwestern girls rule. Also, her blog has music- not many do.
Best. Post. Ever.: A “Twin Peaks” moment.

Blog: My Urban Kvetch
Blogger: Esther D. Kustanowitz
Location: New York
Have I Met Her? No
Why She’s on the ‘Roll My Manhattan soon-to-be-neighbor is a Jewish/pop culture addict (as am I), and I admire that she borrowed her blog name from the late, lamented dot.com Urban Fetch. Esther started her blog a few months ago and then stumbled into a comical gold mine when Madonna decided she wanted to be called “Esther.” So now, of course, Esther is “Madonna.”
Best. Post. Ever.: The historic name change post.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:21 AM | Comments (1)

Quote of the Day

Rising pundit Cathy Seipp, a blogger/frequent Dennis Miller guest, on her TV wardrobe:

”Speaking of modest dress requirements, I have some Orthodox Jewish friends who don't like it when I wear my usual sleeveless/low-cut tops on TV — sends the wrong message, they say, and I suppose they could be right. But ever since Sept. 11, I've become fonder of anything that offends the Islamofascists. "Step on a crack, break old Hitler's back," kids used to say during World War II. These days I sometimes think to myself: "Dress like a tart, break an Imam's heart."”

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:12 AM | Comments (0)

Movie Critic Quote of the Day

“The score by Klaus Badelt and Timothy Andrew Edwards is particularly annoying; it faithfully mirrors every action, with what occasionally sounds like a karaoke rhythm section. The director, whose name is Pitof, was probably issued with two names at birth and would be wise to use the other one on his next project.”
-Roger Ebert, eviscerating “Catwoman.”
Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:10 AM | Comments (0)

Further Into the SI.com Sinkhole

Sports Illustrated’s website is now running a virtual note-for-note copy of ESPN’s Daily Quickie called “Scorecard Daily,” and while it bears no resemblance to the magazine’s still-excellent Scorecard section, it still sucks.

Included on the Scorecard Daily: A link to everybody’s favorite non-blog, as well as a few features (a quote of the day, a mini-poll, etc.) lifted straight from Shanoff. But the biggest embarrassment of all is a link –which spread around the ‘net today and was even mentioned by Simmons- to New York Sports Express’ Mike-Piazza-was-in-“Teen Wolf” April Fool’s joke- from FOUR MONTHS AGO.

I guess you could call it NYSX’s final revenge, as mainstream sports media advertently bought their hoax the week after they called it quits.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:09 AM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2004

The ESPN Backlash Continues

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News nails it, in calling for a boycott of ESPN:

"ESPN has always had a split personality: Good ESPN, with tremendous reporters, excellent game coverage and a sense of responsibility; and Bad ESPN, which believes that the only way to cut through the clutter is to SHOUT LOUDER AND LOUDER and produce dumber and dumber shows.

Good ESPN is 'Baseball Tonight,' 'Pardon the Interruption' and 'Outside the Lines.' It's Tom Jackson, Bob Ley, Harold Reynolds, Linda Cohn, Chris Mortensen and Dan Patrick.

Bad ESPN is almost everything else, from Berman to the ESPYs to Stuart Scott to NFL analysts Sean Salisbury and John Clayton (two very nice guys off-air) yelling at each other like kindergartners.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:59 AM | Comments (0)

Condi Porn

In reference to this story about how former Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger may have stolen classified documents by sneaking them out in his pants/jacket/socks, conservative pundits the world over have attempted to play the usual liberal media bias game, but subsituting a certain other NSA into the equation. And it seems they've all got the same general idea:

Hugh Hewitt: "If Condoleezza Rice had stuffed her blouse full of various drafts of pre- 9/11 terrorism reports, [would that] quiet a crazed White House press room?"

James Lileks: "Imagine a hidden camera snapping shots of Condi Rice slipping secret memos into her foundation garments."

New York Post editorial page: "If Condoleezza Rice were caught skulking out of the National Archives with incriminating 9/11 documents stuffed into her bra, do you think Bill Clinton and his good old boys would be sitting around yukking it up?"

Newsmax.com: "Can you only imagine the media reaction... if Condoleezza Rice, the Berger counterpart in the Bush Administration, were stuffing documents out the door in her bra?"

You get the idea. It's a natural joke to make, except none of the Berger accusations that I know of involve his underwear, and all the Condi analogies for some reason do. Seems like these guys are all awfully fascinated with Ms. Rice's undergarments, huh?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:09 AM | Comments (0)


The Expos are likely headed to DC next year, ESPN says. Then again, I'm not sure how likely-but-not-definate is any different from where things stood yesterday.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:41 AM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day:

“So, quick bleg: Does the 9/11 Commission Report demonstrate the correctness of all my political opinions, or does it's failure to do so indicate that it was a piece of partisan hackwork?”
-Matthew Yglesias, boiling down the essence of all political commentary that you’ll hear for a few days.

I haven't yet digested anything in the 9/11 report, but Jeff Jarvis has some fascinating insights about where we are now. Also notice that the smarts/civility gap between Jeff and his commenters is staggeringly huge.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:36 AM | Comments (0)

'Roll Call XII

Blog: The Lex Files
Blogger: Lex Friedman
Location: LA
Have I Met Him: Yes
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: This Brandeis grad and former Justice columnist now lives out in LA with his wife Lauren, who is (no joke) slated to be the first-ever makeover recipient on the forthcoming “Queer Eye For the Straight Girl.”
Best. Post. Ever. : An album review/tribute by Lex about his hero, “Weird Al” Yankovic.

Blog: Lindsayism
Blogger: Lindsay Robertson
Location: New York
Have I Met Her: No
Why She’s On the ‘Roll: Hipster humor and commentary that's funny- funny enough to get Lindsay a job with Comedy Central, anyway.
Best. Post. Ever. : One of her first, a shot at women's magazines: "895 Ways To Change So Someone (Rich) Will Marry You.” It somehow entails changing every instance of "he," "her," and "your man" to "Carrot Top."

Blog: Little Green Footballs
Blogger: Charles Johnson
Location: California
Have I Met Him: No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: It may be off-the-charts right wing, especially in the comments; it's easily the most reactionary blog of the dozens listed here. But LGF does provide a service in dredging up some of the worst anti-American/anti-Semitic venom spread by media in the Arab world.
Best. Post. Ever. : Some commentary on a pro-Palestinian cartoon that ran in the New York Times Magazine.

Blog: Lockhart Steele Internet Presence
Blogger: Lockhart Steele
Location: Lower East Side, Manhattan
Have I Met Him: Yes
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: A Lower East Side hipster who blogs about the Red Sox, Lockhart also gets credit for introducing Bat-Girl to the world. Well, it was either him or Eric Neel.
Best. Post. Ever. : Some Phish Photos.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:27 AM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2004

Due North

I mentioned last week that Bill Simmons had included a salacious joke about porno actor Peter North in his “More Cowbell” column, which was summarily deleted by his editors not long after.

Well the next day, Sports Guy included an explanation of the deletion- but then, a matter of hours later, the explanation was itself deleted. (Hopefully, those responsible for the deletion will be deleted- or sacked).

Ergo Simmons, in the week since Shaquille O’Neal was traded to Miami, has let Heat coach Stan Van Gundy’s uncanny resemblance to Ron Jeremy go completely unmentioned, and in yesterday’s franchise-creating “Vengeance Scale” column, there was not a single reference to Peter North or any other porn figure, despite wrestling references throughout.

Incidentally, it’s too bad Simmons neglected to include historical or political examples on the Vengeance Scale. I can think of a half-dozen right off the top of my head, nearly all of which involve Israel.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:23 PM | Comments (0)

The Best New Show of the Year- And It Stars Denis Leary

I watched the premiere of the FDNY drama "Rescue Me" tonight, and damn- it's good. Here I thought FX would never have another good show to go with "The Shield," after they've whiffed with the failed John Corbett vehicle "Lucky" (which missed the poker-on-TV fad by about a year), and the loathsome, unwatchable train wreck known as "Nip/Tuck."

Now even though Leary's standup is great, his acting choices have always been a bit sketchy to say the least, to the point where an entire Comedy Central roast was constructed around the joke that Leary had spent the last decade doing nothing but appear in bad movies. But based on the premiere, it's almost a shock how great "Rescue Me" is- capturing the post-9/11 moment like no work of pop culture since Spike Lee's "The 25th Hour."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:18 PM | Comments (0)

Further Wisdom From Dick Morris

According to today’s Dick column, the Hillary/convention mini-controversy is symptomatic of a “full-fledged feud” with the Clintons on one side and Ted Kennedy and John Kerry on the other, which the Democrats will be “mired in” for a “decade.”

”The Kerry campaign's recent effort to keep Hillary out of the convention's spotlight prime time, coupled with the selection of Sen. John Edwards as Kerry's running mate, are opening shots in this fight, which will likely escalate into a full-fledged feud.”

This is not to be confused with past grand theories by Dick, such as “the Clintons vs. Gore/Dean ‘war within the party’”; “Clark as Hillary’s ‘stalking horse’”; “the Dean/Hillary ticket”; “the Kerry/Hillary ticket,” and more. I’m just wondering how Hillary can be so focused on running in ’08, when according to Morris, her grand evil plan to become president has changed about 10 times in the last six months.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:10 PM | Comments (0)

The Latest ESPN.com Transgression

The top story on The Worldwide Leader's website for the past several hours has been a Vince-Carter-to-the-Clippers trade rumor that apparently originated in writer Marc Stein's head.

If a trade rumor is going to be the lead story on ESPN.com, shouldn't it at least be a real one? Besides, Stein's scenario- in which the Clippers match Phoenix's offer sheet for Quentin Richardson and then sign-and-trade him to Toronto for Carter- is not legal under the NBA's collective bargaining agreement.

Dallas owner/blogger Mark Cuban, who may be interested in procuring some Vinsanity for himself, has more on how most rumor-mongering NBA beat writers have no idea how the league's rules work.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:04 PM | Comments (0)

'Roll Call XI

Blog: Kambri Crews’ Daily Dose
Blogger: Kambri Crews
Location: Queens
Have I Met Her?: Yes
Why She’s On the ‘Roll: This native Texan, who Paul Katcher accurately called "NYC's Best-Looking Blog Basher," writes about her adventures in New York and the various theater/comedy events she promotes. She also dates the guy from the “Chappelle’s Show” ‘Real World’ parody, but that was not her in the sketch having sex with Tyree and "Lysol."
Best. Post. Ever. : Some advice related to McDonalds table etiquette.

Blog: KausFiles
Blogger: Mickey Kaus
Location: California
Have I Met Him: No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: One of the world’s most accomplished political bloggers (who actually gets paid to do it by Slate), Mickey is blogging his second presidential campaign, which I can’t say about too many people. I started reading KausFiles during his Bush-or-Gore “Don’t Rush Me” series, and never stopped.
Best. Post. Ever. : The “Howell Raines-o-meter,” which Kaus put on his site about four hours before the NYT editor resigned.

Blog: KesherTalk
Blogger: Judith Weiss, et.al
Location: New York
Have I Met Her?: Yes
Why She’s On the ‘Roll: A group blog covering Jewish issues led by Manhattanite Judith Weiss; now that Fiddish is gone it's unquestionably the best J-blog written by a New Yorker named Weiss.
Best. Post. Ever. : Some material about everyone's favorite collegiate Israel-basher, Charlotte "Little Red Kaffiyah Hood" Kates.

Blog: The Kicker
Blogger: Elizabeth Spiers
Location: New York
Have I Met Her?: Yes
Why She’s On the ‘Roll: The role model for aspiring journalists everywhere trying to get in on the big-media action by blogging first, Elizabeth jumped from Gawker to New York magazine last year- but not before hatching a wonderful creation called the Christopher Hitchens Drinking Club.
Best. Post. Ever. : A Central Park story.

Blog: The Kosher Blog
Blogger: Jonathan Abbett
Location: Boston area
Have I Met Him: Yes
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: My old friend from Brandeis could be producing fire-breathing MidEast commentary, but he smartly realized there’s enough of that on the web already. So he instead deals in a kinder, gentler topic: kosher cooking.
Best. Post. Ever. : Two words: Kosher Atkins.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:58 PM | Comments (0)

Jews vs. Google, Part II

Top story on Google News for the past few hours:

"Israel Shows Contempt For International Opinion"

And in other news, international opinion shows contempt for Israel.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:07 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

"If George Bush had to go through what Theo Epstein in Boston or Mitch Kupchak in Los Angeles goes through on a daily basis, he would resign within 20 minutes. Can you imagine the dreaded Red Sox beat writers—Dan Shaughnessy, Peter Gammons, Jeff Horrigan and the rest of those snarling monsters—unleashed on, say, Bush's education policy? Shit, they would have had Rod Paige traded to Myanmar for prospects two years ago.

-Matt Taibbi, discussing how the sporting press is much tougher than the mainstream press, in New York Press. Taibbi eulogizes the late New York Sports Express, and also shares that "unless someone like Katrina Vanden Heuvel at the Nation wants to pick up that column—not fucking likely-" his days of writing the "Week in Sports Crime" column are over. Damn.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:49 AM | Comments (0)

LA Divorce

What really happened? According to this persuasive TNR piece by Football Outsiders' Aaron Schatz, it's all about class.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:30 AM | Comments (0)

It's An Unfair World

Stephen I. gets fired, yet Stephen A. remains gainfully employed.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:41 AM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2004

Honeymoon’s Over in Vegas

Linda Ronstadt’s in the news for the first time since about 1985. And the news isn’t good:

US singer Linda Ronstadt was booed off the stage and kicked out of a Las Vegas casino after praising polemical filmmaker Michael Moore's film "Fahrenheit 9/11," the casino said…

According to local media, members of the 4,500-strong audience stormed out of the concert hall, tore down concert posters and tossed cocktails into the air.

See, now that’s just rude. I usually just laugh in people’s faces when I hear them praising Michael Moore.

Speaking of overreactions to celebrities’ political beliefs, Sheila has a post on that topic today, discussing both the Ronstadt thing and Whoopi Goldberg's recent firing from her Slim-Fast endorsement deal after making off-color jokes about the president at a fundraiser.

Here's what I don't get about the whole Hollywood-bashing thing. The usual argument from the Joe Scarborough types is something along the lines of "those Hollywood liberals should just shut up- who cares what they have to say?" To which I normally reply that yes, some of them are dumb, but while Hollywood people aren't any more worthy of attention for their political beliefs than anyone else, they're also under no more obligation to "shut up" than the average individual either.

But here's my question about the Whoopi incident: her vulgar commentary routine was given at a private fundraiser that was not televised, and would in all likelihood have not been noticed at all- except the New York Post put the story on their front page the next day, and since been discussed by every conservative talk show host in the country. Why? If the political opinions of such celebrities are so "irrelevent," why must they be trumpeted to the skies by the right?

I don't see why they can't just ignore the bleatings of celebrities they can't stand; I myself have been ignoring Whoopi Goldberg since about 1989.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:45 PM | Comments (0)

‘Roll Call X

Blog: JaneGalt.net, aka Asymmetrical Information
Blogger: Megan “Jane Galt” McArdle, Mindles H. Dreck (identity unknown).
Location: New York
Have I Met Her? Yes
Why She’s On the ‘Roll: Megan, who I once shared a plate of nachos with at one of the Blogger Bashes, is one of the Blogosphere’s brightest people, either from a rhetorical or policy standpoint.
Best. Post. Ever. : The history-making establishment of “Jane’s Law”: “The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.”

Blog: Jawsblog
Blogger: Josh
Location: Waltham/Ohio/Long Island
Have I Met Him? Yes
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: The rarest of birds at Brandeis- a half-Hispanic Republican- Josh provided invaluable frontline coverage of last October’s racial brouhaha on campus. And now he’s heading straight for New York.
Best. Post. Ever.: The whole October archive, for the “controversy on campus” series.

Blog: JimTreacher.com, aka Mother May I Sleep With Treacher
Blogger: Jim Treacher
Location: Unknown
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: Long one of the funniest bloggers out there, Treacher evolved past the level of mere joker a few months ago when he played a part in exposing fraudulent “Navy SEAL” Micah Wright.
Best. Post. Ever.: A gleeful anti-Ted Rall post.

Blog: John Carroll’s Campaign Journal
Blogger: John Carroll
Location: Boston
Have I Met Him? Yes
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: About the only non-worthless journalism prof I ever had at ‘deis (he was, alas, only visiting), John is a correspondent on the local TV show “Greater Boston,” and blogs (sort of) about the election campaign. He taught me a journalistic maxim that can easily be ascribed to the Laci Peterson case: “It’s always the husband.”
Best. Post. Ever.: Some welcome Moore-bashing.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:27 PM | Comments (0)

David and Donna

Last night’s episode of “Six Feet Under” reminded me of one of those “90210” episodes (there were two or three, at least) where Donna was held hostage by some thug. Heavy-handed, unbelievable, and inconsistent with the tone of the series, last night’s 35-minute kidnapping-of-David sequence was liked by some people, but it just plain didn’t do it for me.

Like “The Sopranos”’ much-maligned dream-sequence episode, only minus the bonus appearances by long-dead favorite characters, the “Six Feet” kidnapping scenario interrupted what had been one of the season’s more interesting episodes, carried it in precisely the wrong direction (that of a second-rate thriller), and just got more and more outlandish as the show went on.

The ATM robbery? The borrowed-from-Bruckheimer breaking-away-from-rope part? The “Training Day” homage in which David was forced, at gunpoint, to smoke crack? Is that even the drug of choice for Beavis-like idiots such as the villain? And are we now in for a David-drug-addiction subplot that’s about as believable as “24”’s quickly abandoned heroin plot?

I know they must have been looking for a reason to have David mope around hopelessly for the remainder of the season (like Nate is), but it’s hard to think of a more heavy-handed, unconvincing way to do it.

It’s too bad though; prior to that, it was shaping up to be one of the year’s better episodes- if only for this exchange, after Brenda’s mom has shared her plan to undergo vaginal rejuvenation surgery:

Brenda’s Mom: Oh, come on Brenda! No one wants to fuck a glass of water!
Brenda: (Gently sets down her glass of water)

Meanwhile, here's Sheila's take; I hadn't recognized Brooke Smith as Claire's art teacher.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:56 AM | Comments (0)

Life Imitates Hans & Franz

"Some California legislators are angry with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger after he referred to them as "girlie-men" during a speech on Saturday."


Carvey and Nealon must be thrilled; it's first time Dana's been dragged into a political scandal since that whole "lactating Bill Clinton" fiasco. I'm not counting his Bush I impression, which remains the only political impersonation ever to drive a president from office.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:34 AM | Comments (0)

Light Rail vs. Cherries. Advantage: Cherries

"A semitrailer truck with a load of cherries hit a pole in downtown Minneapolis around 12:30 p.m., briefly disrupting service on the Hiawatha Light Rail line."

(Star Tribune)

This doesn’t bode well for Minnesota’s light rail plan at all.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:30 AM | Comments (0)

The Leak (Not at MTV.com)

We’ve all been waiting nearly four years for the new U2 studio album, but apparently one guy couldn’t wait any longer: the master CD of Bono and Co.’s new record was stolen during a photo shoot in Nice, France, and is expected to pop up on the internet any day.

This is the most high-profile album leak since the Dave Matthews Band’s “The Lillywhite Sessions” appeared on the internet three years ago- though I’ve got a hunch the finished product will be significantly better than DMB’s substandard “Busted Stuff” album.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:26 AM | Comments (0)

'Roll Call IX

Blog: Idle Gossip
Blogger: Michael
Location: DC area
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: One of the those “Democratic lobbyists” we’ve heard so much about, Michael writes about politics and pop culture- every, really, except gossip.
Best. Post. Ever.: A look at “The War at Home.”

Blog: Illuminated Donkey
Blogger: Ken Goldstein
Location: Jersey City
Have I Met Him? Yes
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: A Blogger Bash perennial, "the IllDonk"'s blog is way too good to still be on Blogspot. Despite that, and even though he’s lived in six different cities in New Jersey and is a Nets and Mariners fan, Ken is not a masochist.
Best. Post. Ever.: The inaugural celebration of Ken Goldstein of the Week Week.

Blog: Instapundit
Blogger: Glenn Reynolds
Location: Tennessee
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: Why do you think? The most-read, most-linked, and most-influential blogger by almost every estimation, a Blogroll without the good prof is like a day without sunlight. I just wonder, with all the dozens of posts every day, where he finds the time to actually be a law professor.
Best. Post. Ever.: The one time he linked to me, of course.

Blog: …Is Full of Crap
Blogger: Laurence Simon
Location: Houston
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: The man who administers the Blogosphere’s most popular “dead pool,” Laurence’s hilarious rants merit inclusion- even though he started the new site after jettisoning one of the great blog names in history, “Amish Tech Support.”
Best. Post. Ever.: A certain controversially-named contest.

Blog: It Comes In Pints?
Blogger: Emily Jones
Location: California
Have I Met Her? I wish
Why She’s On the ‘Roll: The third blogger I ever read (after Sullivan and Asparagirl), Emily’s still going strong, albeit focusing more on “Lord of the Rings” and Lucas-bashing than political stuff. But she recently added a co-blogger, Ken Summers, to shore up the anti-idiotarian quotient.
Best. Post. Ever.: Emily:"The BBC criticizing our media for not being 'impartial' is like Divine calling RuPaul out for being 'too gay.'"

Blog: It Could Be a Lot Better Too
Blogger: Matthew
Location: Mississippi
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: A libertarian look at journalism and politics from a Southern boy who’s apparently had better things to do than blog for the past few months.
Best. Post. Ever.: A confession that he fell asleep during last year’s NFL playoffs; I myself only stayed awake for three of last year’s six World Series games.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:25 AM | Comments (0)

@%$ Yes

CBS will fight any fines levied against them in relation to the Janet Jackson/Super Bowl incident. Good for them.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:03 AM | Comments (0)

Just When I Thought the Twins Were Doomed…

The White Sox, for the second year in a row, go and make a trade for lunatic outfielder Carl Everett. May he be their undoing once again!

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:02 AM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2004

Powerful- And Responsible

My review of the amazing "Spider-man 2" is online at IOFilm.com

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:01 AM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2004

No Such Blog

SI.com’s “The Daily Blog” continues to soldier on and continues to not be a blog; a version of it even appeared in SI’s print edition last week, marking its second non-blog manifestation in as many weeks. Josh Elliott, in yesterday’s edition, decided to refer to himself in the third person throughout as “The Blog,” but that was of little help.

It’s still hard to believe that this project has been going on for this long, and no one involved has even noticed that a rotating column, in which previous columns are not posted on the same page, is not a blog at all.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:58 PM | Comments (0)

TV Critic Quote of the Week

“Being the host of ESPN's "Around the Horn" should have been the death of a television career. But for Max Kellerman, an annoying loudmouth, it was an inexplicable triumph, if you believe that careers are built on playing the howling ringmaster/emcee/buzzer-pusher for a daily quartet of sportswriters who should know better than to appear on such shows…

The chemistry on "I, Max" is of three men - two of them immensely unlikable - who are sharing a private joke. The insults between Kellerman and Holley sound like an act they have been told to perform - in fulfillment of a faux boxing match - and Wolff's oleaginous style would give any sensate viewer the heebie-jeebies.”

-New York Times critic Richard Sandomir reviewing Fox Sports Net's "I Max," in a piece that feels much more like blog writing than NYT writing. (Via Off Wing Opinion)

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:48 PM | Comments (0)

‘Roll Call VIII

Blog: The Hardball Times
Blogger: Various Artists
Location: Everywhere!
Have I Met Him? Some of them
Why They’re On the ‘Roll: A virtual clearinghouse of baseball analysis, led by the aforementioned Aaron Gleeman and former Bill James assistant Matthew Namee. Informed and funny looks at the national pastime, from a decidedly sabermetric perspective.
Best. Post. Ever.: A panel discussion/chat during last week’s All-Star Game. (Gleeman: “Ruben Studdard looks like he ate C.C. Sabathia.”)

Blog: The Head Heeb
Blogger: Jonathan Edelstein
Location: Queens
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: One of the best-named blogs in the world, “Head Heeb” is the home of New York lawyer Jonathan, who doesn’t limit his writing to Judaism or Israel at all; he also frequently discuses legal issues, as well as Asian, Pacific, and African politics.
Best. Post. Ever.: A look at Jordan’s role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, titled (of course) ‘Return of the King.”

Blog: The Hebrew Lion/Adventures in Jerusalem
Blogger: Ari
Location: Jerusalem
Have I Met Him? Yes
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: A Brandeis-grad-turned-Hebrew-University grad student, Ari now blogs about his experiences living in Israel; the blog is so-named because “Ari” is Hebrew for “Lion.”
Best. Post. Ever.: A look at the recent International Court of Justice decision on Israel’s protective fence.

Blog: Hi, I’m Black!
Blogger: Glenn
Location: Sacramento area
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’re On the ‘Roll: This very funny blog is decorated with images of Mr. T, as is Glenn’s second blog, ClubberLang.com. He also runs a porn blog called Not Work Safe, which makes him the only pornographer on my blogroll- but that’s only because I’ve neglected to list Nick Denton or Luke Ford.
Best. Post. Ever.: Glenn makes fun of one of those “sugar daddy wanted” ads on CraigsList.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:46 PM | Comments (0)

I Love the Google

This blog is currently the first (and only) Google search result for the string “VH1 I Love the ‘90s Long Dong Silver.” Why? Because I did a post on “I Love the ‘90s.” The “long” comes from unrelated use of the phrase “long-awaited.” The “Dong” is from a mention of the blog “Dong Resin’s Joint” And Silver, for my name.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:41 PM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2004

Four Words on the Emmy Nominations.

“West Wing.” “West Wing”???

If it beats out “Sopranos” for Best Drama, I will never watch television again.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:43 AM | Comments (0)

Kobe Chooses LA

Faced with the possibility of staying with his lifelong team surrounded by unfamiliar players, or jumping to other team with more unfamiliar players but in the same building, Kobe Bryant chose the former, re-upping with the Lakers for 7 years and $134 million. Then again, the possibility remains that Bryant could end up playing with even more unfamiliar teammates, in the Colorado Prison Intramural League.

Kobe may have had better teammates had he crossed over to the other locker room- but he decided, wisely, that since the Clips are the most sorry, no account franchise in all of sports, he’d rather spend his career as the signature player in an historically great organization than in an historically awful one.

Now if you’ve been following “what’s going on with Kobe” but don’t know the Lakers from the Clippers, there’s other news from yesterday, which may have some impact the first news: the videotape of an interrogation of Bryant by investigators after he was arrested last June has been declared admissible in court. And according to one of the “legal experts" interviewed by O'Reilly on Fox News tonight, the interrogation includes Bryant discussing the sexual habits of several other NBA players- including Shaquille O’Neal. Oops.

Were this true, might it shed a bit of light on the whole Shaq/Kobe feud of the past three years? Funny- in all those hours of pontification about the situation in the last four weeks, I’ve never heard Stephen A. Smith mention this once.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:42 AM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

From today’s historic Bill Simmons chat on ESPN.com (where were you when Kobe said he was staying?):

Scott, St Petersburg FL: If Cheryl Miller shaved her head, again, and pretended to be her brother for one game, how many points would she score?

Bill Simmons: (2:53 PM ET ) What do you mean, "if"?

First runnerup, from the same thing:

Bubba (Colorado State Prison): I am looking forward to Kobe being my "lady" in a couple of months.

Bill Simmons: (2:39 PM ET ) Thank you bubba!

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:38 AM | Comments (0)


I’ll now have one less free paper to read each week, as New York Press announced yesterday that its sister paper, New York Sports Express, will fold, effective immediately. I greatly enjoyed NYSX in its brief run- especially Matt Taibbi’s “Sports Crime Blotter” column; it will be missed.

Here’s the farewell letter from editor Spike Vrusho, who concludes with the last lines of Bernard Malamud’s novel “The Natural” (not the compromised screen version). And here’s my favorite thing ever in the paper, Taibbi’s telling of the ‘80s Pirates drug scandal, in which the team’s mascot (“Pirate Parrot”) was caught procuring drugs for numerous players on the team, as well as other teams in the NL.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:35 AM | Comments (0)

Back Wolfe

The new Tom Wolfe novel- a sprawling story set on a college campus- is coming in November, and is called “I Am Charlotte Simmons.” Can’t wait, though its excerpted in Rolling Stone this month, in that magazine’s closest brush with relevance in recent memory. I mean, their editor just quit to take over Maxim, for God’s sake.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:33 AM | Comments (0)

Working Blue

It’s Slate’s Red/Blue Quiz! Tells you how “red state” or “blue state” you are- and I am, you guessed it, right in the middle. Even though I’ve lived in four blue states and no red ones, being from the Midwest gives me some “rural” cred, even if I am from the suburbs in a state that elected Paul Wellstone to the Senate twice.

It’s entertaining stuff, though the quiz conflates being liberal with being from New York and rich; it was quite obviously written by a New Yorker. All in all, it’s much of the same oversimplified cross-cultural stereotyping that’s made David Brooks a journalistic superstar.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:31 AM | Comments (0)

'Roll Call VII

Blog: Gawker
Blogger: Choire Sicha
Location: New York
Have I Met Him? Once, briefly
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: The blog that started it all for the Nick Denton empire, Gawker is a must-read daily for everything (from trucker hats to what happens inside Conde Nast) that New Yorkers and no one else cares about. I met Choire at the recent blogger summit at the Soho Apple Store; as NYP said about him a while ago, “yes, it’s pronounced ‘Cory,’ and yes, he’s a dude.”
Best. Post. Ever.: This.

Blog: Gothamist
Blogger: Jen Chung
Location: New York
Have I Met Her? Once, briefly
Why She’s On the ‘Roll: Just as informative about the New York scene as Gawker but not nearly as catty, Gothamist also has a lot more pandas. I also met Jen at the recent blogger summit at New York’s Apple Store.
Best. Post. Ever.: An interview with the aforementioned Dan “Minny” Shanoff.

Blog: Greek Tragedy
Blogger: Stephanie Klein
Location: New York
Have I Met Her: Yes
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: This lovely lady, who I met at last week’s Blogger Bash, shares super-personal tales about her life, interspersed with some really awesome photography. She’s half-Jewish and half-Greek, hence the name; “Jewish Tragedy” wouldn’t quite have had the same gravitas.
Best. Post. Ever.: Her “facts about me” page, which is quite a bit more interesting- and honest- than most people’s.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:28 AM | Comments (0)

Down With Wilco

Here’s an anti-Wilco smackdown, filled mostly with rock-crit gibberish, by Stephen Metcalf on Slate. While I certainly love Jeff Tweedy and Co. and consider “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” the album of the decade, I’m a bit underwhelmed with “A Ghost is Born,” I’ve gotta say. It’s been compared to “Kid A,” and like “Kid A” I fully expect it’ll take me three or four years to appreciate it.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:24 AM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2004

The Hottest MILFs Are Filipino MILFs

Esther makes us aware of an al-Qaeda cell currently active in the Phillipines known as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front- that's M.I.L.F. Even though I saw them the other night, Fountains of Wayne could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 06:39 PM | Comments (1)

July 14, 2004


Bush and Co. turned off every social moderate/Kosher Scoop Jackson/”eagle” in the country, and for what? A 50-48 defeat in the Senate. Sullivan is celebrating, and so am I.

So ask yourself this, Rick Santorum: Your name, and that of your children and their children’s children, will forever be sullied by its connection to a certain previously obscure sexual substance. Was it worth it?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:34 PM | Comments (0)

A “Slight” to Hillary

There is outrage- OUTRAGE, I tell you!- that Hillary Clinton will not be a featured speaker at this month’s Democratic convention. At least according to Judith Hope, the deposed former head of New York’s Democratic party and a “major” fundraiser for the party.

In a dramatic feat of Courtney Love-like proportions, Hope has referred to the lack of Mrs. Clinton at the podium as “a slap in the face, not personally for Hillary Clinton, but for every woman in the Democratic Party and every woman in America.” (Emphasis mine). Even Phyllis Schlafly and Ann Coulter, apparently.

I’m not as anti-Hillary as some people, but I do feel she’s been inflated in importance by the left, and even moreso by the right, which seems to think the world revolves around her. Again, I ask the question I always ask in regards to her: does she deserve to speak at the convention any more or less than any other first-time Senator?

But at any rate, the lack of a Hillary appearance sort of ruins Dick Morris’ whole theory about Hillary being omnipotent and omnipresent, doesn’t it?

Speaking of which, Bill O’Reilly has “a Washington source” saying that Hillary is miffed about not being chosen. Consider how wrong Morris was about Mrs. Clinton being named veep, I don’t think we should believe the Fox News Contributor this time either.

The primetime speakers, in addition to Kerry, Edwards, and their wives, will be Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, former Senator Max Cleland, Ted Kennedy, and Ron Reagan, Jr.; delivering the keynote address will be Illinois Senate candidate Barack Obama, who has a clear path to the Senate seat now that Ditka is not running.

I was very surprised not to see Howard Dean’s name on the list, although he will be speaking at some point during the week, though but at least the DNC didn’t do something foolish like invite Al Sharpton to speak in primetime.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:32 PM | Comments (0)

Heading North

Sports Guy, in his column Tuesday, threw in an hilariously perverse joke about porno actor Peter North that was unfortunately excised after about an hour on ESPN.com. I don’t remember the exact wording, but when Simmons told the story about the kid dropping a chili dog on his back, he originally followed it with something like “I turned around, expecting to see Peter North.”

I’d imagine Simmons’ original editor read the column and, unfamiliar with Mr. North’s work, let the language in, until a more porn-savvy official somewhere on the ABC/ESPN ladder noticed and ordered it out soon after. Still, strange that when Sports Guy, last year, accidentally attributed Patty Hearst’s kidnapping to “the Zionists,” it took the editors days to fix it, but the homoerotic reference to a male porn star couldn’t stay through the afternoon.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:29 PM | Comments (0)

Most Laughable Headline of the Day

Al Jazeera Adopts a New Code of Accuracy and Good Taste” By REUTERS
Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:24 PM | Comments (0)

“You Know What Else is Uncalled For? Sucking!”

Ahead of the drubbing taken by Roger Clemens in tonight’s AL All-Star Game victory, Seth Stevenson had a great smackdown of the Rocket on Slate today, certain to be of interest to fans of the Red Sox. Or Yankees. Or Mets. Or Blue Jays. Or really, anyone else.

Stevenson says many things that we’ve all wanted to say at one time or another, and also asks some hard-hitting questions. Such as, with such a celebrated, hard-core exercise regimen, how is Clemens still so fat?

There is one glaring factual error, however. Stevenson (or more likely, his headline writer) refers to Clemens as “the greatest pitcher of all time.” In reality, he’s not even in the top ten.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:17 AM | Comments (0)

Jadakiss’d Off

I’m not normally one to get all bent out of shape about either outlandish criticism of President Bush or about “controversial” rap lyrics, as I usually take the position that such things are at best perversely entertaining and at worst easily ignored. But one new hit song combines both and has got me a bit pissed off- as have the comments from its defenders.

On “Why,” the new single by rapper Jadakiss, he asks various questions, such as “Why Aaliyah have to take that flight” and “Why did Kobe have to hit that raw?” But one particular line in the otherwise non-political song has touched a bit of a nerve: in the second verse, Jadakiss asks, “Why did Bush knock down the towers?”

Since the rapper goes further into the realm of “unsupported assertions against Bush” in seven words than Michael Moore did in two hours, it’s no surprise that the right –and even some to the left of the right- have gone apeshit. I’m not for censorship- barring the unlikely event that the president of the United States should file a libel claim against a rapper- but shouldn’t we consider that tossing around such accusations, as part of popular music, is just a bit irresponsible?

But what’s particularly galling is certain defenders of Jadakiss, who are just as demented as Moore’s. A programming exec at New York’s Hot 97 defends the decision to continue playing the unedited version of the track, with the laughable rationale that “If Michael Moore's entitled to his opinions, why not Jadakiss”? As though the completely unsupported assertion that the president of the United States were responsible for the murder of 3000 Americans is just “his opinion.” Were I to make up a rumor on the spot about that same Hot 97 exec being a serial child molester, would I also be “entitled to my opinion”?

The wonderfully monogrammed music executive Kevin “Always Bet On” Black, undoubtedly thrilled and how much the mini-scandal will enrich him, told Billboard.com that “It touches the heart and says things that a lot of people are afraid to say." Yea, that may be because those things AREN’T TRUE.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:15 AM | Comments (3)

Cancel the Election?

As for hand-wringing on the left, there’s been lots this week about what to do should a terrorist attack disrupt November’s election. Officials with the Department of Homeland Security will meet this week to discuss the scenario, which is not totally without precedent- the 2001 New York mayoral primary was originally scheduled for September 11, 2001, but was postponed two weeks following the attack.

Some paranoid types are panicking, believing it’s just the Bush Junta’s latest subversion of democracy (following Florida, the California recall, and all that). But really, to get such a plan locked in now, in advance, is a good idea. I mean, what would you prefer- a plan being in place months beforehand to deal with such a calamity, or Bush making one up on the fly? If you’re a Bush hater, which scenario scares you more?

However, I only advocate this should an attack happen ON Election Day. If there's an attack, say, three weeks before, it's hard to defend rescheduling the election.

And besides, if Bush really did have a nefarious plot to cancel the election and declare himself King For Life, why would he make the information public now?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:03 AM | Comments (0)

'Roll Call VI

Blog: Fiddish
Blogger: Steven I. Weiss
Location: New York
Have I Met Him? Yes
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: The Forward, a Jewish paper dating back to the early 20th century, jumps into the 21st –only without all that socialist baggage- with this blog from veteran “J-Blogger” Steven I. Call it Gawker for the Jews, as Fiddish expertly surveys everything of interest to young Jews of all persuasions, while also taking frequent shots at people (the Kabbalah Centre; Heeb Magazine) who deserve it.
Best. Post. Ever.: Through good old-fashioned reporting, Steven discovered that a guy calling himself “the Kabbalah coach” was actually a convicted sex offender.

Blog: Fightin’ With Grabes
Blogger: John Paul Pagano
Location: Brooklyn
Have I Met Him? Yes
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: A “lexus liberal”-turned-neoconservative who thinks Thomas Friedman is the greatest journalist alive (and just can’t stop raving about that moustache), John's blog is meant to mimic his discussions/arguments with his old roommate, who he calls Grabes. Grabes, among others, provides entertaining comments regularly and John Paul, despite his “papal” name, is in fact Jewish, and constantly pursuing his grand thesis that socialism is inherently anti-Semitic.
Best. Post. Ever.: A discussion of “nouveau conservatism, a cheap, distilled ideology that grew out of post-9/11, pop neoconservatism.” A few posts up, he refers to anti-Semitism as a "merkin."

Blog: Football Outsiders
Blogger: Aaron Schatz, et. al
Location: Various
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: One of the smartest football sites on the web, with excellent content all year round; it also served as the temporary home for “Tuesday Morning Quarterback” Gregg Easterbrook after his ESPN firing last year.
Best. Post. Ever.: A “homage to TMQ” contest, with a couple of guest appearances by Gregg himself.

Blog: Frinklin Speaks
Blogger: Frinklin
Location: Southern California
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: A relatively new blogger, Frinklin discusses his beloved Seattle Mariners, as well as politics and culture. The blog began in March, just in time for baseball predictions.
Best. Post. Ever.: An explanation of where the “Frinklin” name came from.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:00 AM | Comments (1)

The Week in Craig

Funny things found while apartment-hunting:

In Hoboken, “a free place to live for hot women,” who must “hit the hot tub in a tiny bikini, walk around naked, be my eye candy.” But he’s a young guy, so “no worries.”

In Washington Heights, a guy advertising for gay roommates, because “I’ve always wanted to live with dudes that where into hanging out naked.”

Along the same lines here, if you’re interested, is a ten-man gay loft.

And advertising an Upper East Side apartment for women, this one uses the unfortunate phrase “CENTRAL PARK JOG!”

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:54 AM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2004

Quote of the Day

"Who killed Laura Palmer? OJ!" -Kato Kaelin, conflating the two primary murder mysteries of the decade, on VH1's "I Love the '90s."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:39 AM | Comments (0)

I Wish They All Could Be...

Fish came up with a distinct conclusion from Friday's blogger bash: she likes girls. Blogger girls. My impressions of the evening were remarkably similar.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2004

'Roll Call V

Blog: Eisenberg Sports
Blogger: David Eisenberg
Location: Saugus, MA
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: A rising sabermetric baseball blogger, David lives in Saugus, home of Route 1, and the only Fuddruckers in the greater Boston area.
Best. Post. Ever.: The creation of a new stat, BAP (Bases Advanced Percentage), that earned David comparisons to Voros McCracken, the wonderfully named amateur statistician-turned-Red Sox adviser.

Blog: ESPN’s Daily Quickie
Blogger: Dan Shanoff
Location: New York
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: Author of a daily ESPN.com dispatch that’s clearly based on ABC’s The Note, but really has more in common with Newseek’s Conventional Wisdom Watch column, giving readers a daily look at what the conventional wisdom is in the sports world. It’s funny enough that I can forgive Shanoff’s habit of calling the Minnesota teams “Minny.”
Best. Post. Ever.: “Forget our country's political or class divides; watch the culture divide between those offended by boobs and those who aren't”-from a couple days after Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl reveal.

Blog: Evil Forces in the World
Blogger: Reihan Salam, et. al.
Location: New York
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: He may not ever post anymore, but Reihan’s combination of political analysis and freestyle “intertectual rap” rates a mention regardless. An occasional writer for TNR, Reihan also edits Andrew Sullivan’s letters page, and used to contribute (along with yours truly) to New York Press’ now-defunct Daily Billboard blog.
Best. Post. Ever.: The first such rap, which works in references to Morrissey, the banned diet drug fen-phen, Maurice Sendek, “Three’s Company,” and the insult “go join a PIRG.”

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:28 PM | Comments (0)

There’s a Will

My review of “Anchorman” is online at the newly re-designed Hot Movie Ticket. An excerpt:

Essentially a two-hour succession of one-liners, interrupted occasionally by physical-comedy bits and star cameos that stop the plot dead in its tracks, and there's no real interest in character development or meaningful satire. But all that is forgiven, because the gags are so good that "Anchorman" is the first movie since "There's Something About Mary" that made me laugh so hard that I hurt physically.

And here’s the ScreenIt.com “parental review” of “Anchorman,” which is nearly as funny as the movie itself.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 06:30 PM | Comments (0)

First Pitch, Bum-aye-ay

In a bit of a surprising choice, throwing out the ceremonial first ball at the All-Star Game in Houston on Tuesday will be… Muhammad Ali. Say what?

Phil Mushnick, grasping at straws as always, rips the choice because these are patriotic times and Ali refused induction to the Army during Vietnam; another group wants Ali to decline because the Astros have no black players. My beef isn’t with that, but with something else, aside from the adsurdity of giving a baseball honor to a man who never played baseball:

Ali is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, and clearly hasn't been in good health for some time. To see this one-time giant of a man, one of the most entertaining and charismatic athletes in history, continually trotted out for appearances on behalf of sports leagues, corporate endorsements and political causes, is nothing short of sickening, and seeing his current (fifth) wife dragging him around is reminiscent of the worst actions of John Henry Williams, at another All-Star Game. On top of that is the general absurdity of asking a man with Parkinson’s disease to throw a ball, something he is physically incapable of doing (two members of a local Boys & Girls Club will handle the actual throwing).

Yes, Ali lighting the torch at the 1996 Olympics was a wonderful moment. But that was eight years ago, and the man has clearly deteriorated considerably since. Isn’t it time corporations and sports leagues stopped treating the Greatest of All Time like a prop?

Jeremy says: “Why don't they use his pitch to dictate who gets home field in the World Series?”

Posted by Stephen Silver at 06:29 PM | Comments (0)

This Is News?

So crazy people looking to stir shit up have big plans for the convention, aimed at making Seattle ’99 look like nothing. I could have told you that ages ago. In fact, I did:

“Since my office is three blocks from Madison Square Garden, I know I won’t be going to work that week, what with the multiple tiers of barricades meant to protect us from the rampaging anarchists.” -This blog, 6/25/’04

“Fringe elements are hoping to spark major disruptions at the Republican National Convention with a series of sneaky tricks,” –New York Daily News “exclusive,” today.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 06:26 PM | Comments (0)

More On Moore

Gregg Easterbrook (remember him?) takes some shots at “Fahrenheit,” using evidence from a previous Moore film, "Canadian Bacon." Elsewhere in TNR, Jason Zengerle takes a look at how Moore is running a “parallel presidential campaign” to Kerry’s, and echoes my prediction that if the Democrat wins, the “Michael Moore community” is likely to turn on him viciously, likely in the first 100 days.

The Zengerle piece also brings up the interesting question of how close the Democrats can get to Moore without his considerable stink rubbing off on them. Kerry himself is clear that he has not seen the film and does not plan to, but a veritable who’s-who of Democratic luminaries showed up at the movie’s DC premiere, including Tom Daschle, who Moore “hugged”- even though he’s lampooned in the film as a coward. Then again, when Moore hosted “TV Nation” in his pre-lunatic days, he once did a stunt in which he roamed the country in order to hug all 50 governors, so perhaps he's attempting a Congressional version.

And finally, my favorite Spinsanity headline ever: “Fahrenheit 9/11: The Temperature at Which Michael Moore’s Pants Burn.”

Posted by Stephen Silver at 06:22 PM | Comments (0)

NBA: Outside Stuff

A few observations on the NBA hot stove league, which is considerably more interesting than the regular season and only slightly less so than the playoffs:

- Shaq is headed to Miami, where he hopes to begin yet another mini-dynasty. But just as the Lakers, his first two or three years, weren’t nearly as good as the Orlando team he’d just left, don’t expect the Heat to be championship contenders right away. I mean, they’ll have Shaq, Dwayne Wade, Eddie Jones, and about ten guys you’ve never heard of.

- Meanwhile, Kobe may soon be facing a second rape trial, this time with the Lakers as his accuser. He’s already made demands about who they hire as coach, who his teammates are, and who knows what else, and now he’s asking rival suitor the Clippers to play a certain amount of games in Anaheim. A few questions- do the $150 million contracts he’s about to be offered have a “void-if-you-go-to-jail” provision? If Kobe is foolish enough to actually sign with the Clippers, will they give up players in a sign-and trade? Because if they traded, say, Elton Brand and Corey Maggette, that would give the “new” Lakers quite a nucleus.

- Our friend Stephen A. Smith, on SportsCenter last night, said that “everyone who loves basketball is hoping for Kobe to be found innocent.” Uh, yea, if he actually IS innocent. If it turns out he did it, I would hope he’ll be found guilty.

- The Nuggets appear ready to sign Kenyon Martin away from the Nets, possibly in a sign-and-trade for… Nikoloz Tskitishvili. Yea, GREAT trade. I’m sure Nets fans, if they gave a shit, would be outraged.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 06:20 PM | Comments (0)


No, not WWE pay-per-view last night; at this point I have so little interest that I haven’t even checked the results.

Actually, “Vengeance” is the title of Steven Spielberg’s next film, which according to the Wall Street Journal, “centers on the hunting down of the terrorists by the Israeli secret service Mossad,” following the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. No word on whether the film will find time for the famous story of future Prime Minister Ehud Barak, in drag, smuggling a grenade in his brassiere in order to kill one of the terrorists.

I think it’s safe to say I’m looking forward to “Vengeance” more than any other Hollywood movie currently in the pipeline.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 06:17 PM | Comments (0)

In Case the Blogger Bash Drinking Pictures Weren’t Enough

WKIKYA has more, from the previous weekend.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 06:15 PM | Comments (0)

Unlikely Concurrent Anniversaries

Two-hundred years since the Alexander Hamilton/Aaron Burr duel; 25 since Disco Demolition Night. Jim Caple calls the latter “the most famous promotion in sports history that didn't involve a midget.”

And coming just days after the hundredth anniversary of Herzl’s death is the centenary of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s birth. There’s a party scheduled, though not on this street:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:57 PM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2004

Great American Bash

I went Friday night to the year’s second Big Apple Blogger Bash at Siberia on Friday, and got to see several bloggers I’d met before (like the IllDonk, Marietta, and Kambri); a trio of ladies I’d been reading forever and am glad to have finally met in person (Fish, Ari, and Stephanie); and a few I was coming into contact with, real or virtual, for the first time (Krissa, C, Chris, Daniella, and many more).

A great time was had by all, and unlike the bash in January that I missed, the group was NOT kicked out of an establishment that karma would subsequently force out of business a mere three days later.

Paul Frankenstein was unfortunately not there to hang out or take his usual pictures (in fact, the evening had a “Paul is Dead” theme), but thankfully Stephanie –an ace photog herself- took some good ones. Also with roundups: co-hostess Daniella, C, and Fish.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:15 AM | Comments (0)

Available In Da Shul Nearest You

"Enter the Spiel," the long-awaited full-length debut album from Jewish rap superstar 50 Shekel will finally be released next month on Shek’s label Bagel Boy Records, and here’s a track listing:

Spieler On The Roof

New World Order

Kosha Nostra

New Jew Generation

J.A.P. Nation (J.A.P.=Jewish American Princess)

Blacks And Jews

Sushi Love Affair

Wake Up Call

Jew Rock!

You can pre-order it here; and read my interview with 50 here.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:00 AM | Comments (0)

Lyin' Layne

Here’s a fascinating Blogosphere story that’s been all-but-ignored by just about every blog I read: a Minnesotan calling herself “Plain Layne,” ran a deeply personal and confessional blog for more than two years, amassing thousands of regular readers- until the entire thing was revealed as a hoax, written by a 31-year-old man. Minnesota alt-weekly City Pages has the full story, as does Minnesota-native blogworld superstar Jason Kottke.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:58 AM | Comments (0)

TV Critic Quote of the Week

”Nicole and Jason are allegedly ex-lovers, but have such a dearth of chemistry that I dread their inevitable hookup, which will likely have the heat of naked Barbie and Ken dolls being smushed together by a bored toddler.
-Gillian Flynn, reviewing “North Shore” in Entertainment Weekly
Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:54 AM | Comments (0)

'Roll Call IV

Blog: Dan Kennedy’s Media Log
Blogger: Dan Kennedy
Location: Boston
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: One of the best media critics in the country who toils by day at the Boston alt-weekly the Boston Phoenix, Kennedy’s blog provides an informed and funny take on both media and politics, both nationally and in Boston. He also recently published a book on the culture of dwarfism.
Best. Post. Ever.: I’ve gotta be selfish and go with the time he quoted one of my NYPress pieces.

Blog: DanielDrezner.com
Blogger: Daniel Drezner
Location: Chicago
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: A political science professor at the University of Chicago and occasional contributor to TNR, Drezner is an unquestioned expert on politics, economics, foreign policy, and outsourcing. He’s never boring, even when writing about boring subjects.
Best. Post. Ever.: His survey of the most influential blogs in the media.

Blog: Defamer
Blogger: Unknown
Location: Somewhere in Hollywood
Have I Met Him? It’s possible
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: The Gawker formula went Hollywood a few months ago with this new blog. Hilarious movie star gossip, complete with plenty of Lindsay Lohan.
Best. Post. Ever.: This dig at the Olsen Twins.

Blog: Dong Resin’s Joint
Blogger: Dong Resin (Not his real name. At least, I hope not).
Location: Unknown
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: A very entertaining humor blog, with humor that takes shots at Paris Hilton and others who deserve it.
Best. Post. Ever.: “Nothing is deck,” a look at the stupid fad last year that had hipsters saying “deck” when they meant “cool.”

Blog: Douglas Rushkoff Weblog
Blogger: Douglas Rushkoff
Location: New York
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: Author of the super-controversial book “Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism,” which I read and agreed with about a third of, Rushkoff always has interesting things to say about media, politics, religion, and the battles he has with people over his book.
Best. Post. Ever.: A defense against some of the shots people have taken at “Nothing Sacred.”

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:44 AM | Comments (0)

If You Will It, Dude, It Is No Dream

Say Kaddish for Theodor Herzl, father of modern Zionism, whose 100th Yahrtzeit (anniversary of death) was Thursday.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:40 AM | Comments (0)

It’s no “Mean Girls,” But…

There aren’t many reasons I can think of to see the new teen comedy “Sleepover,” but there is one, for me at least: the director, Joe Nussbaum, is from my home suburb of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, and was an across-the-street neighbor of SS.net reader Dan Israel.

Nussbaum, who was also the man behind the famed short “George Lucas in Love,” is not to be confused with Jeff Nussbaum, a Democratic strategist and former Tom Daschle aide who is the brother of “Real World”er Cara.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:39 AM | Comments (0)

July 08, 2004

It’s Tomorrow

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:02 PM | Comments (0)

Opposite Day

“[The pick] signals that the conservative Democratic Leadership Council, Edwards's home base, will once again carry big clout in Democratic party politics. Anybody who thought Kerry's support for Edwards spelled a tilt to the liberal wing of the party can pretty much forget it.” –James Ridgeway, the Village Voice.

“The Kerry-Edwards ticket is the most liberal ever. “ –Bill O’Reilly, Fox News.

I tend to fall into the "Kerry and Edwards are normal liberals" camp, which I guess puts me "out of touch" with "mainstream America," both Ridgeway and O'Reilly would likely say.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:01 PM | Comments (0)

I’m Too Sexy For This Olympics

Sharapova to Skip Athens

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:59 PM | Comments (0)

Futility Infielder

As pointed out by BSG, the new manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks is Al Pedrique, an obscure ‘80s utility infielder best known to many as having been the starting shortstop for the NL All-Stars in the 1987 video game RBI Baseball, even though he was an utterly mediocre player. I’m at the age now where just about every managerial vacancy is filled by someone I remember as a player but had forgotten existed; while I played RBI Baseball too I confess the only memory I have of Pedrique was that I used to confuse him with the equally obscure journeyman infielder Fred Manrique.

Speaking of All-Star shortstops, when my father and I used to go to games we’d always fill out our All-Star ballots together, but since he didn’t know who any of the National League players were the only one he’d know to vote for was Ozzie Smith for shortstop. Then, after Ozzie retired my dad kept up the tradition of always voting for St. Louis’ shortstop, regardless of who it was. Well, he must’ve done something right, because this year the starting shortstop for the NL in the All-Star Game is Edgar Renteria of the Cardinals.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:58 PM | Comments (1)

'Roll Call III

Blog: Campus Press Notes
Blogger: Gin
Location: Boston
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: A valuable roundup of media and political battles taking place on college campuses nationwide, which always make me get down on my knees and thank God I’m not in college anymore.
Best. Post. Ever.: The coverage of last October’s Brandeis brouhaha is a typically astute example- and unlike most bloggers, Gin did actual reporting. Novel, I know.

Blog: Caren
Blogger: Caren Lissner
Location: New Jersey
Have I Met Her? Yes
Why She’s On the ‘Roll: Caren, an addition to being (at quite a young age) a successful author and editor of a chain of above-average community newspapers, is the only person on the blogroll who has ever interviewed me for a job. Though if Jeff Jarvis or Mark Cuban would like to, I’m all ears.
Best. Post. Ever.: An anti-“Bowling For Columbine” post, beating the Blogosphere's Moore-bashing trend by four months.

Blog: The Corsair
Blogger: Ron Mwangaguhunga
Location: Brooklyn
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: Because he’s just full of fascinating contradictions- Ron is perhaps the only writer whose work has appeared on both “Best Week Ever Blog” and “National Review Online.” Not only that, but he has room on his “favorite movies” list for both “Last Year at Marienbad” and “Meatballs.” And there are almost five letters in his last name for each in his first name, a feat topped only by former Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler.
Best. Post. Ever.: A look at which media personalities would be “left behind” if the apocalypse happened tomorrow.

Blog: Cup O’ Goodness
Blogger: Erik J
Location: Washington (State)/Washington State
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: Another laugh-out-loud funny humor blog that always makes outrageously funny use of Photoshop. Such as…
Best. Post. Ever.: This series of “vacation photos” of Erik at Mariners spring training, in which he’s Photoshopped himself onto the field. (Scroll down).

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:48 PM | Comments (0)

Outing Is In

Yes, just in time for the planned vote later this month on the Federal Marriage Amendment, the vile practice known as “outing” is primed for a comeback. Activist/journalist Michelangelo Signorile, the self-proclaimed inventor of outing, fires the first salvo- “exposing” Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland as a lesbian, and threatening further outings of lawmakers –and even staffers- who fail to take their side in the fight.

Now I preface that I’m as pro-gay-rights as anyone, and site his support for the FMA as Reason #1 why I’m not voting for Bush in November. But in seeking to blackmail politicians to vote their way by invading their privacy, Signorile and his ilk reveal themselves as no better than those who would break down doors in order to arrest homosexuals for sodomy.

It’s one thing if Signorile and Co. were to go after, say, a Roy Cohn type, someone who vocally rails against homosexuals while being one himself. But threatening to drag Congressional staffers into the mess, when they’re not even public figures- and as a result putting their jobs in jeopardy? And what if a member of Congress were married but bisexual- is it okay for the outers to threaten his marriage? All to oppose an amendment that observers on both sides doubt has any chance at all of passing.

It’s disgusting. And as Baseball Crank says, it also may be federally actionable blackmail.

Speaking of politicians and gay marriage, it’s official- Santorum knows about Santorum!

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:26 PM | Comments (0)

New 'Real World' Order

With last night’s “reunion special,” the San Diego season of “The Real World” officially wrapped up, and like Sports Guy I was underwhelmed- but apparently we’re in the minority, as (for the third or fourth year in a row) the season was the highest-rated in the show’s history.

I think I know why. Somewhere along the way, the show’s producers abandoned its original, years-ahead-of-its-time premise- the fascinating experience of watching interesting people from varying backgrounds interacting before omnipresent cameras- in order to become just another outrageous reality show, full of drama, drinking, and “hooking up.”

Not that I have any problem, of course, with drama, drinking or hooking up. And judging by the ratings, neither do most people. But once upon a time, in a good year “Real World” could get beyond the clichés so brilliantly mocked by “The Joe Schmo Show,” and actually present fasinating stories involving cast members who were three-dimensional. I think the last truly great “Real World” series was the Chicago season of 2002, in which I actually cared what happened to the cast members from week to week. Yes, all of them, not just Cara Nussbaum/Kahn.

But after that came the drug-and-orgy-filled Las Vegas season, and the two installments since have been just more of the same- the tiresome, one-dimensional cast members whining and getting into stupid fights, while drinking virtually non-stop. And worst of all, the chosen castmembers are either certifiable lunatics (Frankie, Robin), one-note bimbos (Cameran), vacuous lunkheads (Brad, Randy), and people so normal and likable that they get next to no screen time at all (Jacqueese, Jamie).

The rising ratings may cause them to ignore my advice, but I don’t care: I’d really like to see the “Real World” producers try to actually recruit interesting, multidimensional people. Because this year, the only thing that made the shows watchable was the merciless, morning-after mocking by Josh Wolk of EW.com.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:39 AM | Comments (1)

Worst Sports on the Web

I’ve written enough about how ESPN.com has lately gone down the tubes nearly as quickly as its broadcasting partner, more through oversaturation than anything else- better to publish 80 new pieces a day of non-sports and “rumors” when five or six would’ve sufficed.

Now, we see SI.com getting in the act too. They’ve brought back Jeff Pearlman for an occasional column- that’s the good part. The bad part is, Sports Illustrated’s web counterpart has apparently sought to copy the Worldwide Leader by tossing up all the content in the world- much of it by writers not good enough to appear in the print version of SI. Most egregious of all is a new feature called “The Daily Blog” which- since it’s merely a rotating column by several writers in which each entry has a page to itself- is not a blog in any sense of the word at all.

This amateurism has for the most part remained outside the print edition of the magazine, with the glaring exception of a recent Scorecard item that praised much-maligned ESPN basketball analyst Stephen A. Smith because, despite being bashed roundly by viewers and media critics alike, Smith “must be doing something right,” since he’s been popping up on programming throughout the network, including SportsCenter and “Pardon the Interruption.” As though the network’s decision to throw Smith on every show somehow makes him any more watchable- in fact, I often think ESPN’s mantra is “the more annoying you are, the more airtime you get.”

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:23 AM | Comments (0)

'Roll Call II

Here's the second batch of Blogroll profiles. I apologize for the delay; I have lots of blogs that start with "B" for some reason.

Blog: Baseball Crank
Blogger: The Baseball Crank
Location: Unkown
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: The Crank, despite his name, is not a baseball-only blog; it mixes in right-leaning political commentary with all the baseball.
Best. Post. Ever.: A look at why the political Blogosphere has more influenced by baseball writer Bill James than by perhaps anyone else.

Blog: BatGirl.com
Blogger: Team Batgirl (led by Anne “BatGirl” Ursu)
Location: Minnesota
Have I Met Her? No
Why She’s On the ‘Roll: A Twins blogger with “less stats, more sass,” BatGirl is also uniformly hilarious, making excellent use of Photoshop and, more famously, Lego-vision.
Best. Post. Ever.: When the Twins were blacked out locally during the first month of the season, Bat-Girl provided Twins fans with re-enactments, such as this one, with Legos standing in for players. She later did the same on a local TV news show.

Blog: Beats & Rants
Blogger: Trent Fitzgerald
Location: Brooklyn
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: Sometime Village Voice music writer Trent covers music trends and other fun stuff, up to and including the cameltoe.
Best. Post. Ever.: A justifiably excited preview of last year’s Outkast album.

Blog: Belligerent Albino
Blogger: Victor Varnado
Location: LA
Have I Met Him? Yes
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: The musings of a comedian/actor who is generally considered America’s foremost African-American albino entertainer. Years ago, I used to see Victor perform improv in Minneapolis.
Best. Post. Ever.: Victor shares, nearly unedited, a script from the late, lamented TV show “The Secret Diary of Desmond Phieffer.”

Blog: BenKepple.com
Blogger: Benjamin Kepple
Location: New Hampshire
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: Ben, an actual newspaper reporter in Manchester, New Hampshire, had a front-row seat for that state’s primary, an event most bloggers won’t even go within miles of. Freed on his blog from the shackles of objective reporting, Ben looks at both politics and pop culture from a delightfully detached perspective.
Best. Post. Ever.: A response to something I wrote about women keeping their maiden names after marriage.

Blog: Best Week Ever Blog
Blogger: Various Artists
Location: Various
Have I Met Them? I’ve watched them.
Why Their On the ‘Roll: The Corsair, Daniel Radosh, and the other commentators bring the same snarky sensibility to the Blogosphere that its VH1 companion series does on TV.
Best. Post. Ever.: A comparison of the new Iraqi government to "Animal House."

Blog: Big Red’s Man Barn
Blogger: Jordan
Location: LA
Have I Met Him? Yes
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: A young, generally successful screenwriter in Hollywood, Jordan’s blog first caught my attention two years ago with his series of “succubus” stories- tales of his various nightmarish relationships and breakups that are both hilarious and familiar to us all, and we’ve since become real-life friends. And the title of the blog isn’t nearly as gay as it sounds.
Best. Post. Ever.: It’s gotta be the original succubus story.

Blog: Big Stupid Tommy
Blogger: Tommy
Location: Tennessee
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: A lover of movies and the Cubs (two things I’m partial to), Tommy's a fun read who always does really well on my periodic movie quote quizzes.
Best. Post. Ever.: This look at the misplaced, post-Columbine/9-11 "vigilance" educators aim at kids, using the example of a principal who "went apeshit" over an "un-American" poem a student wrote.

Blog: The Bleat
Blogger: James Lileks
Location: Minnesota
Have I Met Him? I wish.
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: The man who intersperses sweet tales of his toddler daughter “Nat” with appreciations of trash pop culture and fire-breathing denunciations of terrorists and the Left, Lileks may have the highest “on-base percentage” of any blogger. And on top of that, he’s a Minnesotan, who writes for the paper I grew up reading, the Star Tribune.
Best. Post. Ever.: There are so many to choose from, but I’ve gotta go with his brilliant first-anniversary-of-9/11 post.

Blog: Bloviating Inanities
Blogger: Bill Cimino, and Friends
Location: Norfolk, VA
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: Possibly the most consistently funny blogger out there, consisting largely of years-old drinking stories and Bill and his commenters tossing insults at one another.
Best. Post. Ever.: Last St. Patrick's Day, Bill was overthrown in a "coup d'etat" by the co-bloggers, who spent the entire day posting while getting progressively more drunk all the while. Read the March archives and scroll down to the 17th; it's some of the funniest stuff you'll ever see.

Blog: Boi From Troy
Blogger: Boi From Troy
Location: LA
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: A Californian gay Republican, Boi tosses in savvy political commentary with Wonkette-worthy cattiness. Some excellent Washingtonienne stuff back then as well.
Best. Post. Ever.: His timetable for a "Dump Cheney Rollout Strategy."

Blog: The Bonnasus
Blogger: Daniel Geffen
Location: New York
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: A grad student who, unlike most bloggers, actually knows politics and doesn’t just pretend to, Daniel’s greatest moment of blog fame came when he first noticed the similarities between George W. Bush and “The Sopranos”’ Little Carmine, an idea later ripped off by Entertainment Weekly, among others.
Best. Post. Ever.: The Carmine Comparison

Blog: Buzzmachine
Blogger: Jeff Jarvis
Location: New Jersey
Have I Met Him? Yes
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: A journalist, entrepreneur, and media maven, Jeff probably knows more about the business and cultural aspects of blogging than anyone else. He ran a seminar on “Blogging as Business” that was the most well-attended event at the recent BloggerCon at Harvard. He’s an expert on everything from Iranian politics to Howard Stern, and loathes Michael Moore as much as I do but is still voting for Kerry. Oh yea, and he also founded one of my favorite magazines, Entertainment Weekly.
Best. Post. Ever.: It has to be his 9/11 story, one of the Blogosphere’s best.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:27 AM | Comments (1)

Book Critic Quote of the Day

"[Michael] Moore has called Charlton Heston, who marched with Martin Luther King, a racist. He decries the politics of fear and makes movies laden with sinister inferences. He lashes out at doublespeak but only rarely musters a coherent argument of his own. Most of all, he lopes and shuffles through his films as an advocate of the American people, but he doesn't seem to like the American people, and he seems to dislike in particular the working class he claims to come from. Plenty of urbane, sophisticated people hold conservative views, but Moore always manages to trot out some rube with bad teeth and a funny accent when he needs to air the Republican side. It's hard not to see this as a wink to his liberal-cosmopolitan audiences, a reassurance to those of us who have college degrees and like ethnic cuisine that we are correct after all, and that it's only the bumpkins and the sellouts who disagree."

-Michael Manville, a pretty stridently anti-Bush lefty, reviewing the anti-Moore book "Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man" in New York Press and saying everything about Moore that I've been writing for years.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:11 AM | Comments (0)

Music/Film Critic Quote of the Week

"Lars [Ulrich] deserves bonus points for being shorter than his wife, and his remark that the band's 'in a bit of a shit sandwich' wins the most-blatant–Spinal Tap–reference award. But he's not nearly as lovable as his ancient Danish dad, Torben—a bucktoothed, troll-bearded ex-Wimbledon third-rounder, jazz muso, painter, poet, filmmaker, and arts journalist who looks exactly like the wizard-of-the-rings mountain man inside Led Zep's Zoso gatefold. He's also the only person brave enough to tell Metallica their music sucks.

-Chuck Eddy, slamming the documentary "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster" in the Village Voice. I still want to see it anyway.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:04 AM | Comments (0)


After widespread online ballot-box stuffing by New York and Japanese fans, baseball’s fraudulent “fan vote” for the final All-Star spot has been won by Hideki Matsui in the American League and Bobby Abreu in the National.

Even after their third consecutive shutout victory against Kansas City, the first-place team in the AL Central (the Twins) has one All Star (Joe Nathan) while the first-place team in the AL East (the Yankees) has seven. I think next year’s All Star ballot should just read “Yankees: Yes or No,” like those pretend elections Saddam used to have.

Honestly, I’m shocked the starting second baseman for the AL isn’t Enrique Wilson.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:02 AM | Comments (0)

July 07, 2004

Perpwalk For Lay

Former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay will be indicted Thursday on charges that he spearheaded the years of fraud on a massive scale that led to the former energy giant’s bankruptcy.

I covered the energy industry in my last job and can tell you that Lay is the worst of the worst of the corporate criminal slimeballs, and I can’t wait to see him go away for years. But why are they letting him surrender tomorrow? Why not drag him out of his house in his pajamas, without warning, in the middle of the night?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:58 PM | Comments (0)

Vote Early, Vote Often

Exhibit A on how corrupt organized baseball is: in that “supplementary All-Star ballot” that picks an additional player for the AL and NL All-Star teams for next week’s game in Houston, there is not only a loophole that allows fans to vote again, but there’s even a “vote again” button. Well, I guess that’s one way to prevent an All-Star Game ballot tie.

At any rate, I voted –twice- for Lew Ford. And meanwhile, John Donovan at SI.com says what I’ve been saying for years- no one should give a rat’s ass about “All-Star snubs.”

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:17 AM | Comments (1)


Don’t expect the New York Post to ever trust a Democratic source again; then again, calling something an “exclusive” just because you made it up has been Page Six’s MO for years.

I read Tuesday morning’s Post and left it on the seat of the bus like I always do; I don’t get how this will be a “collectors item” when hundreds of thousands of copies were sold.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:15 AM | Comments (1)

July 06, 2004

Film Critic Quote of the Day

"Linklater's real-time fascination is not fascinating; he insists that audiences acquiesce to his refusal of wonder; he films Paris like Hoboken."

-Armond White, bashing "Before Sunset" in New York Press.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:30 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

"In fact, here's my ideal plan for the Kerry campaign. At an upcoming rally, an anti-Kerry protestor starts to burn an American flag. Kerry leaps down from the podium and starts strangling the protestor with his bare hands, then hurls him to the ground and rescues the flag. In the course of putting out the fire, he suffers minor burns that, the campaign announces, will force him to be hospitalized and inaccessible to the media and the public until mid-October. In the meantime, Edwards is dispatched to present the Democratic message for the next three and half months.

Sounds good, huh? All they need is to gin up a protestor who's willing to endure some minor, non-lethal choking."

-Jonathan Chait, participating in the post-pick "roundtable," on TNR.com.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:25 PM | Comments (0)

It's Edwards

Kerry makes the right choice.

Which is more than I can say for some people...

UPDATE: The Post deleted the original "Dewey Defeats Truman"-style front page from their website (in favor of two Tom Glavines). Look around the city though- there are millions of them!

Posted by Stephen Silver at 07:38 AM | Comments (3)

July 05, 2004

Happy Fourth

Hope everyone had a happy Independence Day; as you can see above, rebuilding at Ground Zero has begun. And all the lunatics were there- both the Bush-did-9/11 people, AND the Fred Phelps crowd.

LilB was up for the weekend, and the highlight was probably when, at 2 in the morning, we stumbled out of McSorley’s and into the open front door of the Village Voice’s nearby headquarters, after which we were told to “get the fuck out of the building” by a Bulls-jersey-clad security guard. He must read my blog.

Pictures should be posted momentarily.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:34 PM | Comments (0)


Entertainment Weekly had a piece in last week’s issue on the “return of good alt-rock,” prominently featuring Franz Ferdinand, Modest Mouse, and other bands that are knocking such crap as Limp Bizkit and Creed out of the alternative rock box.

While it’s good to see such generally good bands as those, Interpol, The Shins, and Death Cab For Cutie getting attention, a had a few problems with the piece: one, the bands mentioned, while all good, have next-to-nothing to anything in common with one another; two, the term “alternative rock” really lost all meaning whatsoever around ten years ago; and three, how is the roster of bands mentioned in the EW piece any different from the wave of “post punk” acts (the Strokes, White Stripes, Hives, Vines, etc.) that surfaced two years ago?

Still, nice to see some of this stuff getting mainstream attention, as opposed to the garbage that’s been dominating MTV for the past six or seven years.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:27 PM | Comments (0)

'Roll Call, Part I

As mentioned earlier, I'll be running profiles of each member of my blogroll throughout the month of July. Here's the first batch:

Blog: Aaron’s Baseball Blog
Blogger: Aaron Gleeman
Location: Minnesota
Have I Met Him? Yes
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: He’s one of America’s best-known baseball bloggers, gets published all over the place- and he’s still an undergraduate. On top of that, his baseball rooting interests are impeccable.
Best. Post. Ever.: I could go with any of his well-reasoned and well-argued posts for the Twins or against Joe Morgan, but none were as enjoyable as this, his discovery that a Twins-loving blogger/stripper had mentioned him favorably.

Blog: Alarming News aka Spot On
Blogger: Karol
Location: New York/ Atlanta
Have I Met Her? No
Why She’s On the ‘Roll: One of those “Republican political operatives” you’ve heard so much about, Karol blogs the pro-Bush spin in a hilarious and entertaining way; she’s also got a stable of commenters who always contribute lively debate. Karol’s now down in Georgia, working to elect Herman Cain to the Senate; she e-mails to say he would be “a real Republican in the Senate,” to take the seat of another such “real Republican,” Zell Miller.
Best. Post. Ever.: A rip-roaring anti-Ted Rall rant.

Blog: The American Mind
Blogger: Sean Hackbarth
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: A great design, and humorous looks at politics, sports, and other subjects. It’s good enough that I can forgive Sean’s Packers fandom. Almost.
Best. Post. Ever.: The original anti-Howard Dean “Duck Hunt,” which later evolved into “John Kerry’s House of Ketchup,” which drew a disapproving Instapundit link.

Blog: AndrewSullivan.com
Blogger: Andrew Sullivan
Location: Washington, DC/ Provincetown, Mass.
Have I Met Him? Yes, twice.
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: The first blog I ever read, and the gold standard of political blogs to this day, AS.com is the ship that launched a thousand other blogs, mine included. The only place on the internet where you’ll find praise of Ronald Reagan, bashing of John Ashcroft, and worship of Madonna.
Best. Post. Ever.: I could go with any of his 9/11, Iraq, or gay marriage posts, but let’s get real: none of them compare with “Big Gay Al is Not a Leftist.”

Blog: Ari Goes Down
Blogger: Ari
Location: New York
Have I Met Her? Once, briefly
Why She’s On the ‘Roll: Funny and occasionally touching tales from a Manhattan Jewish single gal.
Best. Post. Ever.: This one, a wistful story about the passing of her family dog. Or the one below, where she “outs” an ever-present troll who has, I think, not been heard from since.

Blog: ArmchairGM.com
Blogger: Dan Lewis
Location: New York
Have I Met Him? No
Why He’s On the ‘Roll: He may not post much anymore, but Pro Football Prospectus writer Dan came up with some great stuff when he ran the blog from Dlewis.Net, most notably his discovery of the “Chunky Soup Curse”- every NFL player who had an endorsement deal with Chunky Soup in 2002 suffered a major injury that year.
Best. Post. Ever.: A meta-post in which he grades a mock draft that ran in the Sporting News.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:22 PM | Comments (0)


Supposedly John Kerry will announce his vice president pick Tuesday morning; if he’s smart, he’ll pick John Edwards. Edwards showed in his presidential run earlier this year that (unlike Kerry) he can galvanize the Democratic base, without (unlike Dean) being a lunatic. I would vote for a John-John ticket with pride.

Tom Vilsack I can live with, but Dick Gephardt? Bob Graham? Why add someone to your ticket who got no response whatsoever when they ran for president themselves?

And no, sorry Dick Morris, it won’t be Hillary.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:03 PM | Comments (0)

The Don is Dead

Marlon Brando died Friday at the age of 80. My generation for the most part had little exposure to the actor in his prime, I’ll always appreciate his work.

As a seventh-grader I discovered “The Godfather” and unlike any other movie until “Pulp Fiction” it really sent me on the road to film buff-dom. I also have great love for “Apocalypse Now,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “The Freshman,” and the Hoboken-set “On the Waterfront,” which just happened to be on TV the first time I plugged in my cable when I moved to ‘boken three years ago.

One of Brando’s final films was the infamous 1996 flop “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” but it did give us the inspiration for both Austin Powers’ Mini-Me, and “South Park”’s Mephisto. NAMBLA (The National Association of Marlon Brando Lookalikes) has expressed its sincerest condolences to Brando’s nine children.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:02 PM | Comments (1)

July 01, 2004

‘Roll Call

For the month of July, I’m planning a fun little blog experiment, albeit one blatantly stolen from our good friend The Talking Dog.

As you can tell at right, I’ve got a big-ass blogroll. It’s probably because I’m constantly adding people and never subtracting them, and on top of that I’ll always have the knowledge that there are another couple hundred of them out there that I would love but haven’t discovered.

Anyway, because I feel like throwing some love to the many bloggers who don’t get enough of it, and because there’s no other way I’d ever be able to link to everyone otherwise, I’m going to spend the next few weeks doing brief link/profiles of the whole ‘roll. I’ll do it alphabetically, with one letter of the alphabet per day, and for each person I’ll share why they’re on my blogroll, and my favorite post they’ve ever done (Best. Post. Ever.) It'll be an opportunity for some of my readers to discover new blogs, and also introduce newbies to the Blogosphere.

If you’d like to nominate one of your posts, or nominate yourself for blogroll inclusion, shoot me an e-mail.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:49 PM | Comments (1)

The Networks vs. Fat Fat Fatty

If you thought that Matt Taibbi column that blamed Hitch’s anti-‘Fahrenheit’ piece on Microsoft was asinine, that was nothing compared to Richard Goldstein’s current Village Voice piece on the subject. Goldstein, taking a break from his usual ruminations on Bush and Kerry’s penises in order to write the “Press Clips” column while Cynthia Cotts is on sabbatical, singles out NBC and ABC’s news divisions for being especially tough on Moore’s movie, while he expresses surprise at Fox’s passivity. CBS, with its “traditional resistance to the right,” gets credit for letting Moore be.

Why, you ask, did certain networks give F-9/11 a tougher time than others? It’s all a corporate conspiracy, you see! ABC, which is owned by Disney, who dumped the film, obviously didn’t want it to succeed, while NBC is owned by General Electric, a defense contractor that obviously was pained by the film’s negative portrayal of defense contractors (even though it doesn’t mention GE. But of course! NBC has no tolerance for criticism of GE- except when Carson and Letterman used to do it every fuckin’ night!) And why did Fox lay off Moore? According to Goldstein, it’s because Rupert Murdoch is “hedging his bets in case John Kerry wins.” Obviously!

Left unexplained, of course, is any evidence at all that the corporate overlords of the networks actually influence the work of individual reporters- is Goldstein saying the higher-ups at GE dictated to highly respected reporter Lisa Myers how to handle her story? Or that Disney strong-armed George Stephanopoulos (George Stephanopoulos!) into tilting the coverage against Moore by raising questions about the veracity of the film? How does Goldstein explain away why NBC and ABC News generally slant their coverage in the other direction, while managing to avoid the corporate pressure that seems to only apply to Michael Moore? And does he really think Rupert Murdoch could be kissing up to John Kerry, when his network’s coverage tilts towards the Republican side the other 51 weeks of the year?

Has Goldstein maybe considered that Moore’s film does indeed have major credibility problems –as even his staunchest supporters all but admit- and that the reporters who bring this up are merely doing their job? Oh well, look on the bright side- at least Goldstein didn’t write a story about Moore’s package.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:46 PM | Comments (0)


Eric over at Off Wing Opinion asks his readers “which sports television personality would you most like to see thrown off the air”? My answers should be no surprise to anyone who’s read this blog for any length of time: Sean Salisbury, Stephen A. Smith, and just about everyone who currently on “SportsCenter,” “Baseball Tonight,” “NBA Fastbreak,” “Around the Horn,” or any Fox Sports Net show.

I was surprised by lots of the answers from Eric’s generally savvy commenters: lots of votes for Chris Berman, Bob Costas, and Stuart Scott, in addition to probably the most hated sports commentator on Earth right now (that’d be Stephen A.- last Friday, when I got off work early and thus was able to watch PTI for the first time in months, you can imagine my horror when I discovered “Screamin’ A” was sitting in for the vacationing Michael Wilbon).

Still, I have trouble agreeing with the Berman-bashing for one reason: I think that with sportscasters, if it’s someone whose voice I’ve been hearing my entire life, I’ll never get sick of them, no matter how far past their prime they get. Which is why you’ll never hear me complain about Costas, Berman, Al Michaels, Vin Scully, Marv Albert, John Madden, or the Twins’ John Gordon and Herb Carneal. It’s why I shed tears when Jack Buck died, but want to throw things at Joe Buck. Hell, I’ll even give Stuart Scott a pass, despite his nefarious influence on every other SC anchor who has followed him.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:31 PM | Comments (4)

Name That Blog

Sports Guy has gone back to his roots- Sports Guy’s World not only has a new feature that looks suspiciously like a blog (though he won’t use the word), but they’ve also dragged the old BostonSportsGuy.com URL out of the mothballs, allowing lucky surfers to bypass the increasingly wretched ESPN.com altogether.

Too bad about the Sox last night though- David Ortiz should never, under any circumstances, be allowed to play first base again. Defensively, he makes Cecil Fielder look like Keith Hernandez.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:28 PM | Comments (0)

Unfortunate Headline of the Day

“Truth + Rumors: Who Has the Leg Up For Kobe?”-SI.com. I guess we'll find out when the trial starts.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:26 PM | Comments (0)

Sexual Advance

Congressional aide/blogger/ho Jessica Cutler has received a $300,000 book deal, according to Wonkette. A prediction: it’ll be about as successful as the Jayson Blair book, meaning “no one will read it.” In other words, she’ll have a year or two, tops, before she has to go back to whoring full-time.

The Washingtonienne story was amusing for a week or two, but that was it- the vast majority of people in this country couldn’t give two shits about the “secret lives” of low-level political employees, and they’re certainly not about to fork over $25 to read about them.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:24 PM | Comments (1)

Politicians: They All Seem Like Game Show Hosts To Me

Al Sharpton, who as recently as three months ago was a candidate for President of the United States, will host a reality show called “I Hate My Job” on Spike TV starting this summer.

One more reason to lock him out of the convention…

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:23 PM | Comments (0)

I Think of All the Education That I’ve Missed

A 23-year-old Florida teacher named Debra Beasley Lafave has been arrested for having sex with a 14-year-old male student, setting off a major debate between the warring “She’s a Pervert” and the “He’s Lucky as Hell” camps.

I hear Van Halen is touring this summer. When they play “Hot For Teacher,” I really hope they have the good sense to dedicate it to Mrs. Lafave.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:22 PM | Comments (0)

Happy Canada Day

Which reminds me- I forgot to order Rush tickets.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:20 PM | Comments (0)

Stern's Rules

Way for Howard to stand up to the FCC and their undemocratic “decency” crusade, by adding stations instead of quitting. I was saying five months ago that the “Stern voters” could swing the election; now it’s more or less conventional wisdom.

For more, check out Jeff Jarvis and his “Daily Stern” briefs.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:10 PM | Comments (0)

Best Movies of the Half-Year

“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Napoleon Dynamite,” “The Ladykillers,” “Mean Girls,” “Control Room,” “The Terminal,” “Miracle,” “Saved!”

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:23 AM | Comments (1)

Best Albums of the Half-Year

Grant-Lee Phillips- “Virginia Creeper”; Norah Jones- “Feels Like Home”; Franz Ferdinand- self titled; Prince- “Musicology”; Starsailor- “Silence is Easy”; Ben Kweller- “On My Way”; Modest Mouse, "Good News For People Who Love Bad News"; Wilco- “A Ghost is Born.”

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:21 AM | Comments (6)


Another Hillary-for-VP rumor has started, and this time it’s not from Dick Morris- at least not officially, anyway. Matt Drudge quotes an anonymous “top DC insider”- saying all the same things Morris always says when he talks about Hillary- as stating that “all signs point in her direction.” Morris or not, the source fails to share any concrete or non- circumstantial evidence whatsoever.

Didn’t Drudge learn from the whole Alexandra Polier thing not to believe bullshit like this? Using this “insider” and not naming him as Morris would be like if Drudge quoted an anonymous source saying “I’m Rick James, bitch,” and didn’t identify him as Rick James.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:19 AM | Comments (0)

The Port Security Bill Was Vito’d

Keith Olbermann tonight ran a story about the safety of port cargo, and the idea that terrorists could smuggle a weapon of mass destruction through the ports. Olbermann had teased the segment by mentioning that “this is such an issue of concern that it came up in a plotline on ‘The Sopranos’ this year.”

Which at first made me think, “What issue? Early-morning gay sex at mob-controlled construction sites?”

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:15 AM | Comments (1)