May 29, 2009

I'm Shipping Up to Boston

I'll be in my college hometown for the weekend with family and friends; be back Monday.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:03 PM | Comments (0)

Another Reason to Love the President

He has excellent taste in burgers.

Michelle Obama said in the interview that she sometimes sneaks out to Five Guys without anyone noticing. Me too, Michelle, me too.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:57 PM | Comments (0)

May 28, 2009

Why I Love Soccer

There's a long-standing tradition of hooligans stabbing people in the ass, in Rome. Did I mention how excited I am for Philly's new soccer team?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:44 PM | Comments (0)

Interspecies Sexuality of the Day

Yes, it's Garfunkel and Oates, with the best Pat Robertson-inspired song ever written:

Call it the B-side of "Rubber Duckie."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:44 PM | Comments (1)

Quote of the Day

Hilzoy, on silly reaction to the Sotomayor pick:

Paul at PowerLine headlines his post "Che Guevara In Robes". I've been trying to think of something Sotomayor and Che have in common besides being Hispanic, but I'm coming up dry. But that's nothing compared to Mike Huckabee thinking her first name is Maria. Any moment now, I suppose someone will ask how we know she's in this country legally.

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

Computers Full of Cash, And More

I look at the latest electronics retail crime news on Dealerscope.

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

May 27, 2009

She Kidnapped Herself!

Yes, of course. My bullshit detector started pinging as soon as I heard the "victim" was blaming the whole thing on the proverbial "unidentified black males," although I suppose it was fishy to suggest that both the mother and daughter had been stuffed into the trunk of a car at 2 in the afternoon at a busy intersection without anyone noticing.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:35 PM | Comments (2)

Keeping Mauer

Joe Mauer is off to a superhuman start with the Twins, even hitting for power for the first time in his career. Of course, now Minnesota fans are fearing that Mauer, who can be a free agent after next year, will soon fly the coop, especially with the Yankees and Red Sox having franchise catchers who are nearing retirement.

I think the Twins need to make it their primary objective as a franchise to make sure Joe Mauer stays with the team for his entire career. He's a hometown guy, the best Twin since Puckett, and the best player in baseball at his position. With the new ballpark on the way, they'll need him, in a way they didn't need, say, Torii Hunter or even Johan Santana.

At any rate, I'm with Calcaterra:

But one thing I do know is that I am sick and tired of the fans and media that follow the Red Sox and Yankees putting virtual dibs on every single decent player who even sniffs free agency. We get it: your team has money. We know: you probably will get just about any star player you want when they become available. And to be honest, I don't even have a gigantic problem with your teams actually signing these guys. The system we have is the system we have and all the Yankees and the Red Sox are doing is exploiting it.
The same thing, of course, happened for years with Garnett. Even sadder, we're only a year-or-two away from Phillies fans adopting this, too. Bad times.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:41 PM | Comments (0)


I review the latest Pixar masterpiece on

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

As Wrong About This As He Was About Jeans

George Will: Sotomayor didn't save baseball

Will, of course, is a longtime ownership/Selig shill, even serving on the infamous "Blue Ribbon Panel" in the early '90s. I wouldn't pay too much attention to what he has to say on this.

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

Quote of the Day

David Frum, on that lunatic Mark Levin:

I've spent some time in recent days listening to the Levin radio program, watching him interviewed on television and reading his new book, Liberty and Tyranny. From all these things - shows, interviews, book - there emerges a man who cannot begin to deal in an intellectual way with novel ideas, discrepant information, or unwelcome reality. Levin's mind is entirely closed upon itself. No wonder he cannot respond to a dissenting caller except by screaming at her.
This, as part of a multi-part, multi-blog "debate" over whether it was wrong for Levin to tell a female caller that "I don’t know why your husband doesn’t put a gun to his temple." Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 conservative movement!

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

Happy Cinco De Mayo, From Keyboard Cat

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:39 PM | Comments (1)

I'd Call It Career Suicide, But...

News Item: Al Pacino to play Dr. Kevorkian in HBO biopic

If any role was made for HOO-HA scenery-chewing, it's that.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:13 AM | Comments (0)

May 26, 2009

"A Branch of Heaven On Earth"

I saw Pixar's "Up" last week; full review is to come, but I'll start by saying it's easily the best movie of the year so far, and it's right near the top of the all-time Pixar rankings, just below "Toy Story 2" and "The Incredibles." From an excellent Daily Beast piece about the movie and Pixar's unbelievable run:

Know your film history. It took the filmmakers several years to figure out where to send Carl and his balloons—don’t you just love that? Several years. It takes the writers of Bond and Bourne all of five minutes to jot down a wishlist of their latest destinations; the result are films that feel about as rooted as misplaced luggage.
Someday, somehow, Pixar will make a bad movie. But it probably won't be for awhile.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:58 PM | Comments (1)

It's Not About Nancy

I look into the weird jihad against Nancy Pelosi in this week's North Star column. And that it was before they started comparing her to Pussy Galore..

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)

She Saved Baseball- What Did You Ever Do?

News Item: Obama names Judge Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court

Just the fact that she ended the baseball strike in 1995 makes her okay in my book.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:52 PM | Comments (1)

Not a Gay Day

News Item: California Supreme Court upholds Prop. 8

At least they let the couples already married to remain so. My guess is, it'll go to the ballot box again, probably in 2010, and the result will be different.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:51 PM | Comments (0)

Cake Boss!

You've gotta love the new show on TLC, "Cake Boss," about the baker at Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken. Just a great bakery, with some of the best cupcakes I've ever tasted- I lived three blocks away, and they even made my birthday cake in 2004. I also enjoy how the logo brazenly steals the "Sopranos" font- just because the hero is Italian and from Northern New Jersey.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:51 PM | Comments (0)

Sure Beats John Yoo

Philadelphia Turkey: Smerconish’s Ass Gets Own Show

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:50 PM | Comments (0)

One, Two, Many John Mayberrys

Forget the home runs; the highlight of the Yankees-Phillies series was this:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:50 PM | Comments (0)

Savaging Savage

Radley Balko, on the Libertarian Party's possible cozying-up to now banned-in-Britain Michael Savage:

Michael Savage is a raving bigot. He regularly uses phrases like “turd-world countries” and “ghetto slime.” He once wished rape on a group of high school girls who make trips into San Francisco to feed the homeless. He’s a blood-thirsty warmonger, and a feverish culture warrior. He once said on the air that, “”When I hear someone’s in the civil rights business, I oil up my AR-15!” On social issues, he’s far to the right of just about every elected Republican official I can think of. He has wished AIDS and death on homosexuals. He regularly denigrates drug users. He is virulently anti-immigration. In short, there’s nothing remotely libertarian about him.
And the same goes for Mark Levin, too.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:49 PM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2009

Sting and Vader Go to White Castle

One of pro wrestling's all-time great moments of unintentional comedy, from 1993:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:36 PM | Comments (0)

May 22, 2009

Going to the Ocean

I'm heading down the shore for the long weekend, for the first time this year. Considering recent events, it's a long-needed trip. Thanks again everybody.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:13 PM | Comments (1)

Today's Republican Debate

Are the Democrats socialists, fascists, or national socialists?

Yes, that's right- there problem with the "Democrat Socialist party" nonsense is that it doesn't go far enough..

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:32 PM | Comments (1)

The Summer of "Infinite Jest"

Been meaning to read David Foster Wallace's doorstop this summer? You're not the only one.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:32 PM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2009


Good job, Twins- what a way to end a six-game losing streak! Between that and Jake Peavy rejecting a trade to them, not a good day for Obama's Team.

The Twins, meanwhile, where one of just two Minnesota sports teams who didn't name a new general manager Thursday- though they did get a new owner.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:44 PM | Comments (0)

"People Are Morons?" Speak For Yourself

Journalist Michael Wolff is the Dick Morris of media critics- no matter what he's talking or writing about, he's always, always wrong. Here, in an interview in which he both predicts "soon there will be no" Rupert Murdoch and that Murdoch could purchase the New York Times- he shares this little nugget:

Let me throw this out: I'm the best writer of nonfiction prose in America today. I may be the only writer of nonfiction who's even alive. Everybody else wants to adored by The New York Times—hell, they want to work for the Times (I guess there aren't too many other places for writers to work)—so they all sound like the Times. I'm from the old school that believes a writer's job is to break the form, or at least light a fire under it.
Oh, he "breaks the form," all right.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:35 PM | Comments (0)


News Item: Wolves name David Kahn general manager

The bad news- he was about their fifth choice. The good news- he's not Kevin McHale. And since his competition is only McHale, Billy McKinney and Jack McCloskey, he's probably already the best GM in Wolves history.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)

Every Nancy Grace Guest Should Do This

"Where does the stripper hail from?" Come on.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:26 PM | Comments (0)

Wang Headline of the Week

New York Post: Wang Remains in Holding Pattern

Between Wang and Putz, it must be fun days on the Post sports desk.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2009

President Cosby

This is certainly Wyatt Cenac's best bit ever:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Is Cliff Huxtable
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor
Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:49 PM | Comments (1)


Some good news out of Israel, that gave me an unintentional chuckle:

Israel's Supreme Court ordered the government to allot funds to classes for Reform Jewish conversions, in a small step toward recognition of the liberal stream of Judaism.

The ruling Tuesday followed a petition by the Israel Reform Movement, a liberal branch of Judaism that has long been engrossed in a power struggle with the Orthodox in Israel... "This ruling is a strong statement that there's more than one way to be Jewish and more than one path to Judaism," said Anat Hoffman, executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center, the legal arm of the Israel Reform Movement.

Yes, that's right, the legal arm of the Reform Movement in Israel is called IRAC. I had totally forgotten about that. You'd think sometime around 1991 they'd have changed the name.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:32 PM | Comments (2)

Sal's Slipping

In this blog post, Sal Paolantonio goes the full Cataldi, asking how the Eagles can possibly be so cheap as to be $20 million under the cap. Yes, it appears the team that gave Jason Peters $60 million and is paying Donovan McNabb over $100 million and Asante Samuel $80 million is JUST TOO CHEAP. Iggles Blog, predictably, tears this apart:

Look, it's one thing when some misinformed goober calls into WIP with this crap. And I can even sort of get how -- in our weaker moments -- all of us would at times feel the tempation to let fly about the gap between how much they have and how much they've spent. But this special guest appearance by SP on the NFC East blog is just dense and dimwitted.
You know why the Eagles are so far under the cap? One, they don't have "dead money"- they're not on the hook for millions for guys no longer on the team like most teams are. And two, they have a whole lot of good young players- like, say, almost the entire defense- still on their rookie contracts. But hey, if you want to turn Joe Banner into Shylock, that's a lot more fun, huh?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:31 PM | Comments (0)

A Better Reason to Fire MoDo

Bob Sommerby, on America's worst op-ed columnist, who unfortunately seems to have survived this plagiarism flap:

She has invented many other bogus stories, and she has degraded the discourse in endless ways. For example, she’s a flat-out gender nut, a point she’s made quite clear through the years. In Dowd’s oeuvre, Democratic men are all girls—and Democratic women are men. Most gruesomely, she had Gore singing “I feel pretty” the Sunday before the 2000 vote. But she endlessly made Edwards “the Breck girl”—and she started in on girlie-man Obama, until she saw history turning against her. Sorry—she started in on “Obamabi,” on the “Hollywood starlet”—on “the diffident debutante.” Or, if race-clowning is your metier, on “Scarlett O’Hara”—the man she described as being “legally blonde.”
The only good Dowd columns are the ones she turns over to someone else, like Aaron Sorkin or her cousin or something.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:30 PM | Comments (0)

I Missed the Old Days When He Flip-Flopped on Whether He Was Playing

News Item: Favre, refuting reports, will not have imminent surgery

I mean, I'd rather have than Tarvaris, but come on- can we really expect Brett to make a decision about playing and stick with it?

My theory is that Bus Cook has multiple-personality disorder, and that's why different reporters hear different things from him every day.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:29 PM | Comments (0)

Reihan Rapping

The world's greatest journalist/blogger/Twitter rapper, Reihan Salam, discusses political rap with Eli Lake on Bloggingheads:

You had find more dope rhymes here on Reihan's Twitter feed.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:27 PM | Comments (0)

Best Promotion Ever

Via Shysterball, it's the Reading Phillies' Gluttony Night!:

The Reading Phillies are looking for big eaters to attend Gluttony Night when the New Britain Rock Cats (Twins) visit FirstEnergy Stadium on Tuesday, May 19 for a 6:35 PM game.

For just $12.00 fans can eat as much as they want from the time the gates open at 5:30 PM until the 7th Inning Stretch. Hot dogs, French fries, pizza, funnel cake, ice cream and fountain drinks are all included in a Gluttony Night ticket.

A pre-game eating contest is also scheduled and sure to delight the crowd. Competitors will race to devour each of the six concession items available on the Gluttony Night menu. The items must be consumed one at a time, in the order of personal choice to bring a little strategy to the proceedings.

Of course, at many stadiums nationwide, EVERY NIGHT is Gluttony Night.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:26 PM | Comments (0)

So Glad This Doesn't Happen in Philly Anymore


Steelers Jersey Worn To Pirates Game
PITTSBURGH—Despite the football season having ended nearly five months ago, and the absence of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward from the Pirates' 40-man roster, local resident Heath Janoski, 28, wore Ward's No. 86 Steelers jersey to Wednesday night's Pittsburgh Pirates–St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. "I don't really own any Pirates stuff," said Janoski, who also brought a Terrible Towel and a "Cleveland Sucks" billboard to the nine-inning contest.
One of the best things about the Phils' 2008 championship- no more "E-A-G-L-E-S" chants at Phillies games.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:26 PM | Comments (1)

May 18, 2009

Thank You

Rebecca and I want to thank all of our friends and family for all of your support during a very difficult week. We greatly, greatly appreciate it.

I had some time on Sunday to get back to blogging, you can see the results below. No movie review or North Star column this week, although I do have a leftover blog post, about Microsoft's silly recent ads, up at

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:13 AM | Comments (0)

"Bump Girl," and Other HIMYM Theories

With the finale airing tonight, a "How I Met Your Mother" blog explores various theories of who is, or isn't, the mother. My hunch- it's either Bump Girl, or someone we won't see until the finale. Then again, I'm among those who see the search for the mother as the show's MacGuffin.

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

Simmons/Gladwell II

Bill Simmons and Malcolm Gladwell had another of their celebrated e-mail exchanges last week. A highlight:

Bands can go different ways just like successful basketball teams. McCartney and Lennon were two geniuses who ultimately needed one another (like Young Magic and Older Kareem, or Shaq and Young Kobe), whereas MJ and LeBron were more like Sting or Springsteen (someone who could carry the band by themselves). And if you want to drag hip-hop or rap into it, the best parallel would obviously be Jordan's post-baseball Bulls: MJ was Chuck D, Pippen was Terminator X, and there is no effing doubt that Rodman was Flavor Flav.
According to Simmons' Twitter, Pippen was originally compared to Professor Griff, although I'm guessing Bill didn't want to imply that Scottie is an anti-Semite.
Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:12 AM | Comments (1)

Those Damn Hollywood Conservatives

A sharp take from Jon P. Avlon on who the real "Hollywood elite" party is. I'm amused by the implication that Gary Sinise is somehow a GOP presidential savior. Come on, if you're going for a CSI star, why not Caruso?

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

Maureen Dowd, Plagiarist?

Hmmm... Maybe we'll finally be rid of her now, especially since her explanation sounds wildly implausible.

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

Politics and Baseball- Both Good For the Jews

Apparently my people are making huge inroads in two of my favorite fields. Well, I guess Hollywood was taken care of a long time ago.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:10 AM | Comments (1)

SNL Thoughts

Very good finale with Will Ferrell. Loved the weird, weird sketch built around probably Billy Joel's worst song, "Goodnight Saigon," and starring an A-List backing band. And is this really the end of Darrell Hammond, after 14 years? He came onto the show with Ferrell, in '95.

Liked "Celebrity Jeopardy" too, although Ferrell hasn't updated his Alex Trebek impression to reflect Trebek's shaving off his mustache or letting his hair go grey. The "Jeopardy" set is also based on the one from about three re-designs ago.

The season was wildly up and down, with most episodes either really great or really terrible. Also quite a few missed opportunities- they could've done a totally spot-on "John and Kate" parody, for instance, or maybe tried out a Kristen Wiig impression of Michele Bachmann.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:10 AM | Comments (0)

Sunday Morning TV Moment of the Day

Peggy Noonan actually said the following on "Meet the Press":

"The Republicans should... react by speaking the English language, which is something the administration has not been doing so good."
Yes, that's right. "So good."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:09 AM | Comments (1)


I'm going to predict it's the Best Picture of 2010. That is, unless Spielberg gets his act together with his Lincoln movie.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:07 AM | Comments (1)

Commerce Bank Pens, RIP

Yes, I miss them too.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:06 AM | Comments (0)

Film Critic Quote of the Week

Chris Orr, on "Angels and Demons":

How do you make a sequel to a blockbuster when the star of your film declines to return for a second go-round? I refer, of course, to Tom Hanks's hairdo in The Da Vinci Code. Slipshod and plodding though that film was, the mullety muss adorning Hanks's pate was a source of nearly inexhaustible amusement. I'm unlikely ever to watch the film again, but if I were to, it would be for the hair.

For Angels & Demons, Hanks's character, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, has returned, but without the mullet, which in the interim evidently detached itself from his scalp, crawled off to some dark corner, and grew up to be Danny McBride.

I missed the screening due to recent events, but damn, the "Da Vinci Code" movie was terrible. Just a long, boring chase scene, with Audrey Tautou struggling to speak English for two hours.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:05 AM | Comments (1)

Get Out of My Car

In this list of worst car commercials, "Saved By Zero," shockingly, is #2, while "This is Our Country" doesn't make it at all.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:04 AM | Comments (1)

Those Damn Flares

J.J. Abrams defends my least-favorite thing about the otherwise-excellent new 'Trek' film.

Someone, of course, put the flares into classic 'Trek' footage:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:03 AM | Comments (1)

Mikey Miss vs. Bayless

I'm almost a week late with this, but Mike Missanelli seems to have found a niche-within-a-niche on his radio show: defend the honor of Philly, with maximum victim-mongering, while going toe-to-toe with a national guy who's a loathsome douchebag.

Last month it was Colin Cowherd, now it's Skip Bayless, probably the only ESPN employee more hateable than Cowherd. Listen here; again, as with the Cowherd version they're both wrong.

Yes, Skip is talking out his ass. But is the Philly fan reputation completely unearned? Of course not. It comes largely not from national media figures telling the Santa Claus story, but rather from local idiots who know Philly's reputation, and like it, and feel the need to live up to the ideal of being a violent drunken buffoon.

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

It's Time

Great, great marriage-equality ad in New York:

With ads like this, Prop 8 never would've passed.

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

May 13, 2009

Taking Off

I'm dealing with some personal stuff, so there probably won't be any more posts this week. In the meantime, here's my "Star Trek" review on

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2009

Time For Crime

My latest retail crime roundup is up at

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:22 PM | Comments (1)

TV Critic Quote of the Day

Troy Patterson of Slate, on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey":

Rather too eager to exploit a Cosa Nostra caricature of New Jersey, the new show features a title sequence modeled on that of The Sopranos, its shots capturing the signage along the New Jersey Turnpike. That signage, as the initiated will frothingly tell you, is one of the elements that imbue a drive along the Turnpike with a unique brand of wretchedness. Would it kill them to be clear that you want Exit 13 for Staten Island? If the speed-limit signs were actually legible, then the speed limit would be seen to fluctuate constantly. The speed of traffic itself varies between 90 miles per hour and none, sometimes in the same lane. The roast beef sandwiches at the rest-stop Roy Rogerses get less meatlike with every visit. In featuring this nerve-spraining stretch of road so prominently, the show implies that the terrain is hostile to outsiders, the natives literally unyielding. It joins the novels of Philip Roth, the catalog of Bruce Springsteen, and the experience of loitering at the Short Hills mall as a key part of the state's cultural iconography. Trenton makes—the world takes—the soul aches.
It doesn't even have anything to do with the show, I just love that passage.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:18 PM | Comments (0)

The Kindle and the Papers

I look into the death of newspapers- and why the Kindle can't save it- in this week's North Star column.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:26 PM | Comments (0)

Pat Buchanan Supports Nazis

Still, after all these years.

How, exactly, can the network that fired Don Imus have this schmuck on for hours each day?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:26 PM | Comments (0)

Say It Ain't So, Pooh!

Pooh Richardson, the first player ever drafted by the Timberwolves, is improbably back in the news:

Former NBA point guard Jerome "Pooh" Richardson, a Philadelphia high school standout and a star at UCLA, is now a central figure in an obstruction-of-justice investigation built around a phone call he made to a local drug kingpin warning him that he was about to be arrested.

Richardson, 42, called Alton "Ace Capone" Coles from California shortly before 3 a.m. on Aug. 10, 2005, to tell him that "the feds were coming," according to those familiar with the probe.

I certainly did not see that one coming.

Also, though it may have since been changed, the Inquirer is guilty of a "misidentified black man" violation: the man pictured is not in fact Pooh but rather another ex-Wolf, the late Malik Sealy.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:25 PM | Comments (2)

The Sixers Get Even More Irrational

Philly Turkey:

Al From Pennsauken to Coach Sixers
76ers GM Ed Stefanski wasted no time in filling the team’s vacant head coaching position, this morning announcing that frequent WIP-AM caller Al From Pennsauken would succeed interim head coach Tony DiLeo, who stepped down yesterday... Analysts hailed the bold hiring of the previously-unemployed 46-year-old, who has never coached any sport at any level. “It’s a bit of a risk, sure, but I think it’s exactly what this team needed,” said Philadelphia Inquirer Sixers beat writer Kate Fagan. “Whether he’s telling [WIP host] Howard [Eskin] that Andre Miller is the best player in the East, or that [center Samuel] Dalembert should be traded for Dwayne Wade, you can tell that he really understands the game.”
That approach isn't appreciably different from the way Daniel Snyder runs the Redskins.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)

No, It's Not Stella

But we all knew that, didn't we?

Extra points for the murder house guy, who deserves a Best Guest Star Emmy.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)

Yoo Suck

Michael Schaffer, on the Philadelphia Inquirer's mindboggling decision to give a monthly column to torture enthusiast/war criminal John Yoo:

If John Yoo had any writerly creativity, he'd have come up with a better name for his Philadelphia Inquirer column. The possibilities are endless: "Tortured Logic." "Stress Positions." "Hints from the Gulag." But the author of the Bush administration torture memos apparently used up all his creativity in explaining why waterboarding doesn't violate America's legal obligations. So his monthly missive to the good people of greater Philadelphia is just called "Closing Arguments," which sounds like a feature that any superannuated lawyer could write.
How it can be an evil radical left-wing newspaper when its owner is a longtime Republican flack and columnists include John Yoo and Rick Santorum?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)

The Best Laptop Hunters Parody Yet

Much better than the real ads:

Laptop Hunters: Jennie - watch more funny videos

Speaking of which, did you know it costs $30,000 to fill an iPod? That is, if you don't have any CDs and don't know how to use Limewire...

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:23 PM | Comments (0)

"The Room" in Philly!

May 30. I will certainly be there.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:21 PM | Comments (0)

David Lynch's Goofy

More brilliance:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:21 PM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2009

On the Correspondents Dinner

Thumbs down to Wanda Sykes. I've liked her work before- especially on 'Curb'- but her routine Saturday was just brutal, as every joke was totally obvious and not especially creative. And no, talking about how much you love Obama isn't exactly my idea of a satirical benchmark.

Obama himself, though, was just plain hilarious. And best of all, he never pretended to search the room for weapons of mass destruction.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:53 PM | Comments (0)

Keith Hernandez Could Not Be Reached For Comment

I was at Citizen's Bank Park Saturday for Phillies-Braves- along with my dad and father-in-law, and we were walking around in the outfield, near the Braves bullpen. Looking down, I could see the Braves' pitching coach, who is none other than... Roger McDowell. He was within spitting distance, in fact, but no, we did not spit on the second spitter. Although it wouldn't surprise me if by the end of the day, someone did.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:53 PM | Comments (2)

"I Wannnnna... Talk to You!"

Great SNL this week, probably the best of the year. And no matter how tiresome Jimmy Fallon gets, he'll always have the Barry Gibb Talk Show:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:53 PM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2009

$76.5 Million

And 'Trek' is officially back.

Loved the film. Excellent action, brilliant casting from top to bottom, and it got the essence of what 'Trek' is about. Only complaints- the villain was pretty weak, and what was with the ever-present, flashing blue lights?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:33 PM | Comments (0)

Stein on Smoot

Ben Stein, who discussed the Smoot-Hawley Act in his "Ferris Bueller" cameo, writes on the topic in the NYT. But when will Dave Barry do the same?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:06 PM | Comments (0)

David Lynch's "Dirty Dancing"

Very funny:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:53 PM | Comments (0)


The BBTF crew has some fun.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:51 PM | Comments (0)

May 08, 2009

Ha! I Kill Me!

Ready to have "ALF" ruined for you forever, in just one minute? Here you go:

The dad, of course, is now the junior U.S. senator from Connecticut.

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

Until He Changes His Mind Again

News Item: If “Major Surgery” Isn’t Needed, Favre Will Play For Vikings

This is starting to get a little ridiculous. Now I know how Packers fans have felt for the last, oh, five years ago or so.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:12 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Jonathan Chait, on this whole "they're releasing the terrorists into YOUR neighborhood!" nonsense:

Even assuming that terrorists could break out of a maximum security prison, what do we imagine they will do, stranded in come tiny town with no money, weapons, knowledge of the local terrain or ability to speak English?... I suppose [Michael] Goldfarb imagines that, having escaped from a maximum security prison, a terrorist would immediately roam the countryside killing civilians with his bare hands, someting Nazis were either unwilling or incapable of doing."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 07:11 PM | Comments (0)

Still At It, All These Years Later

Onion: Mainstream Media At It Again, Bloggers Report.

This blog's been at it for seven years today. Thanks for your support.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 07:08 PM | Comments (8)

Simmons on Manny

Excellent column, except... does Simmons really expect his son to become a statistics-spouting baseball savant when he's 6 years old? I mean, I was a statistics-spouting baseball savant myself, but not until I was about 10.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:07 PM | Comments (2)

Brandeis Makes You Cooler

Hollywood Elsewhere, commenting on the trailer of a new "Star Trek"-based porn film starring Sasha Grey:

Sasha Grey's redefined coolness factor, nicely established by her appearance at Brandeis last week, just dropped about 15 points.
Thus marking the first time in human history that showing up at Brandeis made someone cooler.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:07 PM | Comments (1)

Rumble in Britain

Boy, do I wish American political debate was more like this:

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

You Mean They're Not the Worst?

New Item: Eagles ranked NFL's fourth-best organization

More here.

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

May 07, 2009

Until He Changes His Mind Again, Anyway

News Item: Favre rebuffs Vikings, will stay retired

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:33 PM | Comments (0)

Those Smug Pregnant Women

My wife, thankfully, has been able to avoid this general attitude:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:01 PM | Comments (2)

The Naked Truth

No, I haven't read Michael Smerconish profile in Phillymag yet. Probably because I can't get past the first page. As a friend of mine might say, "I CAN'T BELIEVE HE'S NUDE!"

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:00 PM | Comments (1)

The Simmons Campaign

Randball interviews Sports Guy about his campaign to become GM of the Wolves:

One last thing: How many people would ever say, “I’d love Minnesota, living there would be cool?” Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Minnesota … these are salt of the earth cities with great people. I would be proud and happy to move my family there for a few years. Also, I feel like Boston owes ‘Sota for KG, Big Papi and Randy Moss. It’s about time we gave you something back. So what better than me, the former Boston Sports Guy? Come on, you have to admit, there’s a certain symmetry here.
Would Simmons really chuck it all to work in the front office of a Minnesota team? Another Boston sports journalist did the same thing a few years ago.

Still- imagine Minnesota importing both Brett Favre and Bill Simmons the same week?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:59 PM | Comments (0)

Say It Ain't So, Manny!

News Item: Manny Ramirez tests positive for PEDs.

The list of indisputably clean 2000s sluggers gets even shorter... Manny blames E.D. medication, for what it's worth.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:59 PM | Comments (2)

The World's Only "Wire"-Hater

They say you either love "The Wire" or you haven't seen it yet; Kottke discovered the one exception to the rule.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)

May 06, 2009

Why Newspapers Are Dying, and Why Not

The Boston Globe's right-wing columnist, on the occasion of that paper getting a (possibly temporary) reprieve, rejects the Liberal Bias Theory of Everything:

But if liberal media bias is the explanation, why are undeniably left-of-center papers like the Globe, The New York Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle attracting more readers than ever when visitors to their websites are taken into account? How does liberal bias explain the shutdown of Denver's more conservative Rocky Mountain News, but not the more liberal Denver Post? How does it explain the collapse of newspapers in lefty enclaves like Seattle and San Francisco? How does it explain why the great majority of Americans - 60 percent, according to a recent CBS/New York Times poll - get most of their news from TV?

Newspapers are in extremis not because of their political agenda, but because the world around them has been transformed. The growth of the Internet has left the traditional newspaper business model, with its vast physical plant and expensive armies of writers, editors, photographers, pressmen, mailers, truck drivers, and salesmen, in a shambles. Craigslist and its ilk have vaporized what used to be most papers' greatest profit center: classified advertising. A decades-long trend of falling readership, brought on by the rise of television, has been accelerated to warp speed by the explosion of websites and blogs offering news and opinion on every conceivable subject, 24 hours a day - and usually for free.

On the list of reasons why newspapers are on the way out, liberal bias isn't even in the top 30.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:10 PM | Comments (2)

Favre in Purple

Looks like it's happening. I really honestly don't know what to think.

On the one hand, it'll fun to stick it to the Pack, and those games between the teams will be the most intense ever. On the other, he's been a Packer (almost) his whole career and they love him more than cheese in Wisconsin. Rooting for Favre would be like being a Celtics fan and having to suddenly root for Magic Johnson.

On the one hand, Brett'll be back in his Midwestern element, in the NFC North, in an offense similar to his old one in Green Bay, playing in a dome that should help him. On the other, Favre has sucked in the Metrodome for his entire career.

On the one hand, this is a team that is completely stacked, with just about every piece in place except for quarterback. On the other, when was the last team to sign a free agent QB and then immediately win the Super Bowl?

On the one hand, Favre has a long consecutive games streak and has never been injured in his career. On the other, he's got that bicep problem, and the older he gets, the more likely an injury is. Even Cal Ripken went on the DL eventually.

On the one hand, this team is just plain not winning a Super Bowl with Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels at QB. On the other, the guy's retired twice in the last two years- do we want a guy who isn't sure he wants to play football?

On the one hand, he'll bring some excitement to the franchise that's been missing for a long time. But on the other... do we really want to go through this whole "will he retire?" song and dance again next year?

Drew, of course, has some thoughts of his own.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:30 PM | Comments (1)

Heavy Metal Parking Lot

I review the excellent documentary "Anvil: the Story of Anvil," on

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:30 PM | Comments (0)


Galifianakis grills Natalie Portman:

Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis from Between Two Ferns

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:29 PM | Comments (0)

"Treme" is Official!

David Simon returns to HBO with the New Orleans-set show about musicians. Can't wait.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:28 PM | Comments (0)

"Like a Ramblings Column That Doesn't End"

Yes, Bill Simmons is on Twitter. This might be enough to get me to change my mind on that technology. I also support his campaign to become GM of the T-Wolves.

You can read mine here.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:28 PM | Comments (0)

Stephen Walt, Awful Film Critic

The "Israel Lobby" co-writer is very, very wrong about another thing- the best movies about international relations. Fred Kaplan rips into him at Slate.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)

May 05, 2009

I'm Guessing This One's "Only in Europe"

Why your car audio system matters:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:56 PM | Comments (0)

"Wall Street 2" Isn't Good, Isn't Right, and Doesn't Work

I look at why the sequel to "Wall Street" is a bad idea, in this week's North Star column.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:50 PM | Comments (0)

No, Stella is Not the Mother

Sepinwall explains the deal with last night's HIMYM ending. My theory- the mother is a friend of Stella's, most likely that woman Ted ran into in the bar during the St. Patrick's Day episode last year.

And I was surprised that Barney has only slept with 200 women. That's only 1/100th Wilt Chamberlain's record.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:49 PM | Comments (1)

Staying Inside the Beltway

Matt Yglesias noticed an amusing gaffe made by multiple reporters- the GOP's "Outside the Beltway" pizza party the other day was actually held... inside the belteway.

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

May 04, 2009

King on the Eagles

Not convinced that the Eagles had one of the best drafts in NFL history? Here's Peter King:

I didn't want to let the draft go away completely without telling you what I feel is the most underrated and unknown story of draft weekend. I didn't notice it until I started piecing together all the trades from Day 2 of the draft, starting with the Giants' deal with Philadelphia that allowed New York to pick wide receiver Ramses Barden with a choice in the middle of the third round. But the upshot of that trade, and four others within five hours, left the Eagles as the power players in the 2010 draft.

What would you think if I told you the Philadelphia Eagles got third-, fifth-, sixth- and seventh-round draft choices, plus half a starting cornerback for nothing in this year's draft?

That's right. For free. There is no smoke, mirrors or cheating involved. Only thought and effort.

For moving down six spots in the third round -- eventually taking a player they were considering for that 85th pick anyway -- the Eagles got filthy rich. I am shocked more teams don't run their draft the way the Eagles do. It s almost irresponsible that teams don't do it the Philadelphia way.

And that's to say nothing of the three impact offensive players they actually drafted. But don't expect to hear any of that sort of thing from the Eagles-hating local press or radio; the Eagles didn't get Anquan Boldin, so they suck they suck they suck.

The big story on Cataldi this morning? McNabb didn't speak to the media at least weekend's minicamp! What an outrage! And if he had spoken, I'm sure Topic A for Angelo would've been "McNabb's latest shocking comments," plus ten callers in a row asking "why can't McNabb just shut up?"

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:16 PM | Comments (0)

If I Ever Go Missing, It'll Have a Double Meaning

News Item: States Consider 'Silver Alerts' For Missing Adults

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

Large-Screen Kindle Fail

Can the new Kindle device save newspapers? Of course not. I delve into why not at

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:15 PM | Comments (1)

Rudy vs. The Gays

Remember when Rudy Giuliani was kicked out of Gracie Mansion by his then-wife and went and lived with his two gay friends? Last week, just a few months after coming out against gay marriage, he skipped their wedding.

So being against gay marriage means you can't go to a gay wedding? Come on, when my friends Evan and Cory got married last fall, there were at least a few Republicans there- even one guy who wore a McCain-Palin hat to the Sunday breakfast!

Speaking of The Gays, there were the subject of last night's Jordan and Chloe podcast- and my aforementioned friend Evan was the guest. And no, I will never dress my child as Stewie Griffin, never ever.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:14 PM | Comments (4)

Does It Break Down Every Year, Except For the Year It's Time to Buy a New One?

Electronic House profiles the home theater at A.J. Burnett's house.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:14 PM | Comments (1)

Made For YouTube

Has any sporting event ever been more YouTube-perfect than the Kentucky Derby?

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

The Original "Politician Who Showered With Blacks," RIP

News Item: Jack Kemp dies of cancer

The NFL-turned-quarterback was both a Congressman and HUD secretary, and went on to become Bob Dole's running mate in 1996. Aside from supply-side economics, Kemp's primary legacy is his effort to make the GOP a more hospitable place for blacks and other minorities- an effort that, alas, appears to have been completely abandoned at some point during Bush's first term.

The headline of this post, of course, is referencing a classic bit from soon-to-be-Senator Franken. (That bit, by the way, immediately follows a joke about a hypothetical 1996 Republican convention with the other newest Democratic senator, Arlen Specter, as the nominee.)

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:12 PM | Comments (2)

Quote of the Day

Anonymous Liberal, talking sense as usual:

The GOP's problem is twofold. First, we just concluded a period of history in which the GOP ran everything. And they did it really badly. They were corrupt and incompetent. They led us into an unnecessary and costly war; they got themselves embroiled in an endless string of scandals; and they presided over an epic economic collapse. People remember all those things very vividly and it has badly damaged the Republican brand.

But that's only half of the GOP's problem. The reason the Republican Party continues to bleed members has much more to do with the general attitude of the party's political and intellectual leaders than anything else. Rather than admit to any mistakes or take even the slightest bit of responsibility for the state of the country, they insist on blaming everyone but themselves. Rather than working with a popular new President, they insist on opposing his every move, attacking him relentlessly, and blaming him for problems that even the most clueless voters know aren't his fault. People may not follow the ins and outs of policy debates, but they can tell when one side is being unreasonable. They watch TV and they see a very intelligent, charismatic President who says a lot of very reasonable sounding things and exudes competence. And then they see a bunch of angry conservatives and Republicans who insist that that same man is some sort of evil communist who's going to destroy the country.

In other words, the problem is not the ideas, but the attitude. Republicans are coming across as a bunch of obnoxious, unreasonable a-holes.

The Republicans will never take power again until the Democrats screw up so badly that they're the only alternative. I predict that'll happen, at the earliest, about halfway through Obama's second term.

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

May 01, 2009

The Trouble With "100 Hottest Women" Lists

Among other problems, way too many of them include women who aren't, in fact, hot. This piece has more.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:22 PM | Comments (0)

The Dark Side of Wade Boggs on "Cheers"

Remember when the then-Sox third baseman guest-starred on "Cheers" in the late '80s, when the Cheers gang pantsed him? Ken Levine has some surprisingly dark behind-the-scenes stories. No word on how many beers Boggs had on the flight back.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:18 AM | Comments (1)