April 29, 2010

The Second-Greatest Thing to Enter My House This Year

I review the iPad on E-Gear.com.

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

We Always Shoot the Things We Hate

This strikes me as the worst idea- politically, ethically, and morally- I've heard of in quite some time:

Gun nuts are the folks sponsoring "LiveFreePA," a fun-filled gathering May 8 where participants can shoot their guns at old cars that represent bad liberal ideas like gun control, healthcare reform and property taxes, as well as taxes and regulations on tobacco and alcohol.

"It's just a unique way to say we're against these policies -- shooting them down," organizer Nate Benefield told a Lancaster paper. "I don't really know where we came up with it, but it seemed appropriate." "Appropriate" isn't the word I'd choose, but hey, it's a free country.

In other words- I'm mad at Obama, and I'm gonna get drunk and shoot stuff! Real America! It's like they're trying to live up to every pissed-off redneck stereotype their opponents have of them that they can. What would be the liberal equivalent? A reading of the Communist Manifesto, while everyone holds up giant welfare checks, before adjourning to have gay sex?

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

Hitler on the Inquirer

Just when you thought the Hitler videos were gone for good... the Fuhrer reacts to the Inquirer auction:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:22 PM | Comments (0)

Worst Press Release Ever

This one came through on PR Newswire this week, from a porn star who is... going to a hockey game:

Katie Michaels, star of Barely Legal 100 and other fine adult films, and newest cast member of HBO's "Cathouse" series, has announced she is returning to Phoenix to attend game seven of the NHL playoffs between her beloved Phoenix Coyotes and the formidable Detroit Red Wings.
Yes, that's right- she's going to the game. Not singing the National Anthem, not dropping the puck, not playing any particularly prominent role. She's just going.

I'm going to my first Target Field game Monday night; that gives me two or three days to get my press release ready.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:53 AM | Comments (1)

A Brandeis Cause I Can Get Behind

Amid the inevitable controversy at Brandeis over Michael Oren being named commencement speaker, comes another political cause, aimed at one of the other speakers:

While the announcement of Oren's selection as commencement speaker prompted mixed reactions from the graduating class, two seniors began an effort to encourage honorary degree recipient Paul Simon, the Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter, to sing at the ceremony
I'm all for that. But does this mean they have to give Garfunkel one too?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:52 AM | Comments (0)

The Lenders Win


NEW YORK - A bitter 15-month battle for ownership of the city's two daily newspapers ended Wednesday when Philadelphia Newspapers L.L.C. lost a marathon bankruptcy auction to its senior creditors.
Critical as I've been of the Brian Tierney regime that has run the paper for the past four years- and not only because they laid me off*- I would've felt better about them in charge than the bean-counters, who are certain to fire more and more people and jeopardize the two or three things the Inquirer and Daily News still do well. Namely, sports, crime, and local political coverage.

*I'm much more upset with Tierney and Co. for a multitude of things- starting with pissing away millions of dollars and local control, not to mention hiring Rick Santorum and John Yoo- then with my long-ago layoff.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:51 AM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2010

Designated Merkin

News Item: Merkin Valdez designated for assignment

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:22 AM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2010

Canceling That Movie is Just INNNNNSANE!

As I write on Dealerscope, it looks like the Danny DeVito-directed biopic of consumer electronics entrepreneur-turned-convict "Crazy" Eddie Antar is off- for complex legal reasons.

As reported by Deadline.com, the producers secured Antar's life rights- which caused various victims of Antar's swindles to threaten to place a lien on the film. DeVito and Co. have since cut ties with Eddie, and hope to eventually revive the film.

A shame, too- I could've imagined this being a great, great movie, sort of like Soderbergh's "The Informant" only with New York accents, and even more nuts.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:29 PM | Comments (0)

Most Aptly Named Movie of the Year

I review "Kick Ass" on Philly.com.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:06 PM | Comments (0)

Noah's Ark is Built

My son has a new blog post- yes, his room is finally ready.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:06 PM | Comments (0)

What is the Deal With Girl Scout Cookies?

SNL writer John Mulaney with an amusing bit, one of the few on Saturday's show:

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

The Howard Extension

News Item: Phillies extend Ryan Howard for 5 years, $125 million

Howard's an excellent player and by all accounts a wonderful guy. He's done as much as anyone to bring the Phillies into perennial contention, and I'm glad he'll still be playing in town at whatever point my son becomes cognizant of baseball. My wife even got Noah a Howard t-shirt yesterday, in part to counteract all the Twins stuff my friends and relatives have been sending.

But Howard, as I've said numerous times, is the type of player who tends to decline in his early-to-mid 30s and need to become a DH, something that can't happen in Philly. Sure, he's gotten in better shape in recent years and become a better fielder as well. The Phils will be happy with this deal for the first couple of years, I'm sure- but will they at the end? I'm not so sure.

The national and sabermetric types, by the way, have been killing this deal.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:04 PM | Comments (1)

Sepinwall Moves

My favorite TV critic, Alan Sepinwall, is leaving the Star Ledger and going to Hitfix.com. Good move, Alan, although Tony Soprano never went out to his driveway to retrieve Hitfix.

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

The Mike Allen Piece

Everyone's talking about the long piece in the New York Times magazine about Politico's Mike Allen, who has become Washington's most influential journalist without having a life, or sleeping. I agree with Dan Kennedy's assessment:

Politico produces good work. Allen produces good work — it was he who broke the story last summer about Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth’s plan to hold paid salons in her home with lobbyists, Post journalists and government officials. There is a lot of talent and smarts at Politico, and I’m not suggesting that we ignore it.

But the overall sensibility of Politico is perhaps best described by Allen himself, who told Rose and Auletta last night (I’m paraphrasing) that his readers aren’t satisfied merely to know the score; they want to keep track of the entire game, inning by inning. You wonder if it has ever occurred to Allen that politics might not be a sporting event.

I read the Politico print edition for the first time when I was in Washington last week- it really is like a political version of the sports page.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:02 PM | Comments (0)

Jones' "Slur"

I saw on Memeorendum the headline "National Security Adviser Jones: Jews Are Greedy Merchants." Seeing this headline gave me the impression that National Security Adviser James Jones had... referred to Jews as greedy merchants. So I clicked the link and here's what really happened: Jones, in a speech at the Washington Institute For Near East Policy, told the following joke:

I'd like to begin with a story that I think is true, a Taliban militant gets lost and is wandering around the desert looking for water. He finally arrives at a store run by a Jew and asks for water. The Jewish vendor tells him he doesn’t have any water but can gladly sell him a tie. The Taliban, the jokes goes on, begins to curse and yell at the Jewish storeowner. The Jew, unmoved, offers the rude militant an idea: Beyond the hill, there is a restaurant; they can sell you water. The Taliban keeps cursing and finally leaves toward the hill. An hour later he’s back at the tie store. He walks in and tells the merchant: “Your brother tells me I need a tie to get into the restaurant.”
An old joke, yes. And perhaps it's unwise to tell any type of ethnic joke whatsoever in an official speech. But is this anti-Semitic? Was he saying "Jews are greedy merchants"? Of course not. A more accurate headline would have been "Jones: Jews Are Smarter Than the Taliban."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:01 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Ron Rosenbaum, on the bad history skills of the Tea partiers:

The Nazis were not Socialists. The Socialists were not Nazis. They were blood enemies. In fact, the Socialists fought the Nazis, while conservatives and nationalists stood by and thought Hitler would be their pawn. Hitler, need it be said, was not a Socialist. He hated the Socialists. Had thousands of them murdered as soon as he came to power...

It occurred to me that their cult of personality is a kind of perverse cult of Obama. They've made a graven image of alien evil out of him. Obama: communist, Muslim, Kenyan, Manchurian candidate, fascist, socialist, capable of all varieties of political malevolence. A supervillain, with superpowers. Who requires super lies to combat. It's time to take on these superliars and stop them from spreading their poisonous ignorance.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:00 PM | Comments (1)

April 25, 2010

If the Tea Party Were Black

An interesting thought experiment.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:45 PM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2010

NFL Draft Thoughts

I'm not going to comment on any individual picks; I'm just amused by a couple of things: One, that every fan has a loudly worded opinion about their team's picks, when none of them know diddly-poo about any of these players, and two, that the draft clearly defeated the playoffs of two different other major sports in the ratings.

And no, I don't want the Vikings to get Jimmy Clausen. Get someone who will help this year, while the window is still open.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)

Visiting the Nats

I was down in Washington, D.C. this week on business, and with the evening free Tuesday night I decided to head down to Nationals Park to see the Nats play the Rockies. Figured, I could get a $15 ticket, the place was right by my hotel, and I wanted to check one more ballpark off my to-visit list.

The verdict: good, but not great. It's got all the benefits of the modern ballpark, but didn't really feature any one thing that made it unique, with the exception of the creepy-but-cool President's Race. The park's also not in an especially great area, and it doesn't look like any of the promised "economic development" in the area has materialized as of yet.

As usual, the place was about half-full, so I was able to pretty much sit wherever I wanted, choosing a few different sections to sit in for an inning or two at a time. I suppose the perpetual lack of attendance was a combination of the team sucking for the last five years, Washington being a city of transients, and the total lack of lifelong Nationals fans.

However, I can see the team becoming good (when Stephen Strasburg arrives) and the place becoming more of a hub sometime in the near future. Indeed, Strasburg jerseys were among the most prominent in the stadium, despite the pitcher not even being on the team yet, although I saw more Ovechkin shirts than that of any Nats player.

The verdict? About in the middle of the pack of MLB stadiums. But no worse than the third-best in the NL East.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)

Simmons and McHale

So Bill Simmons interviewed Kevin McHale for over an hour on his podcast, and McHale's decade-plus as Wolves GM wasn't mentioned a single time? True, I can understand the whole "if you can't say something nice..." thing, and McHale's a Celtic hero of his, but it was still sort of an elephant in the room. It would be like interviewing O.J. Simpson about everything in his life except for the murders.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:46 PM | Comments (1)

The "South Park" Jihad

Yes, it's terrible that the "South Park" creators essentially had a fatwa against them, and that Comedy Central responded by backing down and censoring their show. The people who threatened Parker and Stone's lives should be thrown in jail, and Comedy Central should broadcast their show as is.

I agree wholeheartedly with Stewart:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
South Park Death Threats
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party
Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2010

Yes We Can vs. No We Can't

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

McNabb and T.O. II?

Everyone in Philly is sick of the Donovan vs. T.O. debate, which is still rehashed virtually all the time even though the events happened five years ago and neither guy is even on the team anymore. Well, get ready for more rehashing:

Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb has encouraged the team's coaching staff to consider signing free-agent wide receiver Terrell Owens, despite the acrimony that marked their time as Philadelphia Eagles teammates, according to multiple sources.
Honestly, I'm all for it. It'll make the two Eagles-Skins games this year even more fun. In fact, I was sort of hoping they'd announce the signing while I'm still in DC.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:51 AM | Comments (1)

The "Go Fuck Yourself" Choir

Stewart has some fun with Bernie Goldberg:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bernie Goldberg Fires Back
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party
Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:51 AM | Comments (1)

Getting Away From Skip Bayless

Apparently, all sports will have to cease to exist.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:50 AM | Comments (0)

Oren to Brandeis

News Item: Michael Oren to deliver commencement address at Brandeis

I've written a lot here over the years about the annual commencement controversies at my alma mater, usually over such issues as "he's speaking German!" (Helmut Kohl) or "I've never heard of him!" (Peter Lynch.) This should be no different, as the usual campus cold war between left and right vis a vis Israel will come to a full boil as Bibi's ambassador to the U.S. speaks.

While I'm not a huge fan of Oren's work on behalf of the Likud government, I did read two of his books ("Six Days of War" and "Power, Faith and Fantasy") and both were excellent.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:49 AM | Comments (2)

Quote of the Day

Jim Manzi, tearing apart the odious Mark Levin, and on his own turf to boot:

"There are many reasons to write a book. One view is that a book is just another consumer product, and if people want to buy jalapeno-and-oyster flavored ice cream, then companies will sell it to them. If the point of Liberty and Tyranny was to sell a lot of copies, it was obviously an excellent book. Further, despite what intellectuals will often claim, most people (including me) don’t really want their assumptions challenged most of the time (e.g., the most intense readers of automobile ads are people who have just bought the advertised car, because they want to validate their already-made decision). I get that people often want comfort food when they read. Fair enough. But if you’re someone who read this book in order to help you form an honest opinion about global warming, then you were suckered. Liberty and Tyranny does not present a reasoned overview of the global warming debate; it doesn’t even present a reasoned argument for a specific point of view, other than that of willful ignorance.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:49 AM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2010

Quote of the Day

Jonathan Chait, on the idea of Mississippi Gov. Haley "Boss Hogg" Barbour running for president, especially since he keeps a Stars and Bars Confederate flag signed by Jefferson Davis in his office:

A Confederate battle flag signed by Jefferson Davis? Seriously? I'm not sure what the Democratic equivalent of this would be. Maybe a Soviet flag signed by Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
That's one more reason I'm a Democrat. We don't have a neo-confederate wing. Not anymore, anyway.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:54 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2010

New From Noah

My son celebrates three months in his latest blog post.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:29 PM | Comments (0)

Some "Kick Ass" Observations

Know many review of the movies mention, using the exact phrase, that Chloe Grace Moretz also played the "precocious little sister in 500 Days of Summer"? Hundreds and hundreds.

Also, you know how at the beginning of every "How I Met Your Mother" episode they show Ted's kids? The girlfriend in the movie played Ted's daughter.

Loved, loved the movie. I still had a huge smile on my face like three days later.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:29 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Peter Beinart on the Tea Partiers:

So the press has a problem: what to call this intriguing new force in American politics? What kind of adjective suits older, grumpy, well-off Americans who believe Democrats are communists, the poor have it too easy and white people are oppressed? The term “Republican” comes to mind.

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

Heh, Heh, Shakeweight

SNL has some fun with the notorious commercial:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:27 PM | Comments (0)


More fun in the stands at the Phillies game!

Police arrested a man after he vomited on an 11-year-old girl and her father during a Major League Baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals, the AFP reported Friday.

Philadelphia police say Matthew Clemmens intentionally vomited on an off-duty police officer and his young daughter who were attending Wednesday's game at Citizens Bank Park.

Police say the man got angry after his companion was thrown out by security and witnesses said they saw the 21-year-old man put his fingers down his throat.

Yikes. Now, I should say, stereotypes notwithstanding, i've never seen this sort of thing at a Philly sports event.

But clearly, this doesn't reflect very positively on Philly fans as a whole. You can't deny that there's a certain breed of sports fan whose goal every time they go to a game is to get as drunk as they can, get in multiple fights, and generally act like as much of an ass as is humanly possible.

Is this unique to Philly? Of course not. But it does seem to be here an awful lot, especially since a lot of fans know the Philadelphia hell-raising reputation, like it, and seek to live up to it. It happens more at Eagles games, as football tends to attracts a more violent, beastly element, but it's been starting to happen at Phillies games too.

Of course, if you listen to Gonzo, this is really about the national media being too mean to Philly. Well, at least no one is defending the guy, or arguing that he was "just being passionate." "Just being passionate"- the Philly fan Nuremberg Defense.

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

April 16, 2010

The Limits of @BreakingNews

Amusing error today for the @BreakingNews Twitter feed. It reported the following this afternoon:

Gunfire erupts as police surround Philadelphia rowhouse occupied by activists from radical group MOVE
I was thinking- really? The cops are fighting MOVE again? Then I clicked the link and it was a Philly.com story from 1985 about the original shootout.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:56 PM | Comments (0)

You're Going to Jail!

Fox News gets caught in a lie. Well, a few dozen of them:

Is there a human being on the planet more odious than Dick Morris?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:54 PM | Comments (0)

Makes Prince's Vikings Song Sound Like Beethoven's Fifth

Scott Stapp's new Marlins anthem is one of the worst songs in human history:

It also sounds like he's saying "hoping and dreaming that you... will suck!" Not to mention, Marlins are fish, not birds. They don't soar.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:53 PM | Comments (1)

April 15, 2010

Retail Crime, In the Wood Chipper

There's some malfeasance in Fargo, although not up Brainerd, in my latest Week in Electronics Retail Crime.

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

Not a Socialist

Here's a column echoing something I've been saying since about 2007- how about asking actual socialists whether Barack Obama is a socialist?

Obama's only a socialist if you have no idea what the word "socialist" means. The right only starting using "socialist" as an epiphet when "liberal" started losing its sting.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:08 PM | Comments (2)

Quote of the Day

Matt Duss of the Wonk Room:

So, for those of you keeping score at home: The “crazy” side of this debate (Goldman, Ledeen) believes that President Obama’s mother’s choice of male companions is hugely relevant to understanding his plans for surrendering to the Islamofascists. The “sane” side (Podhoretz, Wehner) thinks that President Obama’s mother’s choice of male companions is irrelevant to the fact that President Obama doesn’t like America very much.
Isn't it great how Obama's election has revived the anti-miscegenation wing of the conservative movement?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)

April 14, 2010

I Guess the Other 96 Percent of Us Are "Real Americans"

News Item: 4 percent of Americans self-identify as Tea Partiers

But clearly, we must all listen to them and cover them and act like they matter.

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

Don't Wanna Be Your Superhero

A devastating "Entourage" parody. Here's a spoiler- everything works out in the end.

Phonetourage from The Midnight Show

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:24 PM | Comments (0)

Kobe and Allen

ESPN last night happened to air two different documentaries last night about basketball players with ties to the Philadelphia area- an "E:60" segment about Kobe Bryant and his relationship with Philly and the "30 For 30" documentary on Allen Iverson, "No Crossover: the Trial of Allen Iverson."

The latter first- it was one of the better docs in the series, directed by Steve James of the legendary "Hope Dreams." Like all the best of the "30 For 30" films, "No Crossover" took a look at a story from awhile ago that we all sort of remember, and gave it a lot of detail and perspective.

The film was a detailed and very fair look at Iverson's mid-'90s trial, and I liked that James wasn't afraid to take a nuanced and complex look at both the racial dynamic of the situation and the facts of the case itself. Even after watching it, I'm not sure whether or not Iverson was guilty of the crime- although it's pretty clear his sentence was excessive.

This documentary's bench of fascinating interview subjects is also about ten-deep, from local community activists to journalists to James' own mother. And James involving himself and his family didn't come across as self-indulgent the way it does for Michael Moore and Nick Broomfield.

In all, one of the best "30 For 30" movies, I only liked the Baltimore Colts band and Reggie Miller/Knicks ones more.

But how could ESPN broadcast this during Confederate History Month? Isn't it offensive to "the real Virginia"?

As for Kobe, two things jumped out at me about the E:60 piece- one, the racial element of the Kobe-hate in Philly was completely left out of the segment (the whole McNabb thing- where certain white people hate him for being black and certain black people hate him for being not-black-enough- applies to Kobe as well). And two, Kobe's rape accusation wasn't even mentioned. Will there be a newsmagazine piece in six or seven years about some other aspect of Tiger Woods' life, that completely omits the sex scandal? I think maybe there will be.

Still, the segment was worlds better than Spike Lee's Kobe documentary a couple years ago, which was essentially a propaganda film arguing that Kobe isn't a jerk and his teammates actually like him.

The 700 Level has more. And I love the first comment.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:23 PM | Comments (0)

Drunk Jerry Jones

A pretty amusing video. My favorite part- someone in the background struggling to play "Hotel California" on a piano.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:15 PM | Comments (0)

"Did a Lot of Thought Go Into How Long it Takes Jack Bauer to Make Love to a Woman?"

A wonderful interview with a "24" producer about last week's one-two punch of Jack Bauer getting laid for the first time on the show, and his lover Renee getting shot dead a few minutes later.

Horrible as its been for a long, long time, "24" is at least ending pretty well. I love that Chloe is now the director of CTU- she's practically the only agent in the history of the show who's never become a mole.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:14 PM | Comments (0)

Tea Parties Should Distance Themselves From the Republicans

Stewart on point as always:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Clash of the Teatans
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Steve King is more nuts than any rank-and-file tea partier, I have faith in that.

You know who's not helping? CrashtheTeaParty. Come on, guys- the real Tea Party is spreading enough insanity themselves- why cast doubt on it? You guys are about as helpful as if the Geico Gekko made a threatening phone call to FreedomWorks.

Wait, what?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:11 PM | Comments (8)

April 12, 2010

Where the World Cup Has No Name

A U2 song gets an African makeover- with Bono's approval, I'm sure- in this great ad for the World Cup on ESPN:

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

Outdoor Day

The day us Minnesota Twins fans have been awaiting for two decades as finally arrived, as the Twins today play their first regular season game at Target Field against the Red Sox.

I wish I could be there, but instead I'll be paying my first visit to the new place three weeks from tonight.

Here's time-lapse footage of the exhibition game from earlier this month, which my friend James actually had a hand in producing:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:01 PM | Comments (3)

Stiller the Asshole

I review the generally good "Greenberg"- featuring Ben Stiller in complete-and-utter-asshole mode- on Philly.com.

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

TV Notes

Let me just say I loved the show, and it's stayed with me in a big way since I watched it last night. The music is great, the acting is awesome, and I can't wait to see the world it establishes. And that montage set to the Louis Prima song was up there with all the ones from "Wire" finales.

No, the show isn't "The Wire." It's not as plot-driven, it's much less violent, and I can't imagine it having as much to say about American society in the 21st century. But it's still pretty damn good.

I'm loving this show, especially last week's, featuring Alan "Cameron from Ferris Bueller" Ruck as a dentist who's hiding out from a Columbian drug cartel. Ruck got to act out every dentist's fantasy- dragging an uncooperative douchebag patient to his car and doing some anesthesia-free teeth pulling- while acting out his own personal "Breaking Bad" episode.

Some critic (I think it was Todd Van Der Werff, or his wife, on their awesome podcast) described "Justified" as (I paraphrase) "Timothy Olyphant walking around Kentucky, slapping criminals with his penis." Only metaphorically, of course. My only complaint- not enough Walton Goggins, who was in the first couple of episodes as a neo-Nazi criminal.

As I mentioned earlier, I started watching the show this season without ever having seen it before. Of course, now I'm hooked and enthralled, and want to run out and watch all the DVDs. Regardless, having read Entertainment Weekly and the Sepinwall and Goodman blogs for all this time, I can follow the show pretty well and I'm not totally confused.

"The Pacific"
I saw only the first episode and am four weeks behind; figure at some point I'll sit down and watch all of it at once. I hear good things, though.

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

The Other McNabb Press Conference

The Onion nails Philly/McNabb once again:

Donovan McNabb: 'I'd Like To Thank The Ungrateful, Over-Expecting,Oftentimes-Racist Fans Of Philadelphia'
WASHINGTON—During an emotionally charged press conference Monday, newly minted Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb expressed gratitude to the unappreciative, abusive, and intolerant fans of the Philadelphia Eagles for their total lack of support over the years. "I'd like to thank all the Eagles fans who were always there to demand the whole world from me every week, who expected me to do everything with almost nothing, and who blamed me for the team's every failure," said the six-time Pro Bowler, who also apologized for his failure to shore up the Eagles defense and his inability to keep Brian Westbrook healthy while leading the team to five NFC championship games. "I can't thank them enough for the constant insults or tell you what their lack of support meant to me when Rush Limbaugh made racist comments about me. My only regret, besides every fucking awful moment of the past 11 years, is that I couldn't give these people what they wanted most: drafting Ricky Williams back in 1999. No fans deserved it more." McNabb then wished probable Eagles starting QB Kevin Kolb luck winning the next 25 Super Bowls "because nothing else will be enough," gave all Philly fans the finger "because I can't give them all cancer," sighed with pleasure, and went to turn in his Eagles playbook to the Redskins' defensive coordinators.
Totally unfair, sophomoric and stereotypical- and also true.

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

The Palin Network

Fey-as-Palin returns, and it's worth the wait:

I'm no fan of "30 Rock," as I've made clear, but this week was one of the better SNL episodes of this year.

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

Coco Comes to Cable

News Item: Conan O'Brien to host TBS show starting in November

He's going up against Stewart and Colbert while fighting for the same general audience, but I'm rooting for Conan to succeed. At last, after "Frank TV" and "Lopez Tonight," we'll have a constantly-airing commercial during the baseball playoffs on TBS for a show we might actually want to watch.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:55 PM | Comments (0)

The Sienna "Meet the Family" Ads

I've gotta say I really like these commercials, as Toyota isn't afraid to depict the owners of its vehicles as smug, unlikable dipshits. I guess that's a preferable public image to one where the cars are all driving off the road and killing people.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:54 PM | Comments (1)

Soccer Weekend

My favorite team in English soccer, Tottenham Hotspur, may have gone down to defeat in the FA Cup semifinal Sunday- but all was not lost this soccer-wise. That's because the Philadelphia Union played their first home game at Lincoln Financial Field, managing to draw over 30,000 fans for a 3-2 victory.

They're playing at the Linc temporarily before their new Chester stadium is done, but the Union game looked like a hell of a lot of fun on TV, and Philly's clearly a good fit for soccer, even if it is minor-league level. I look forward to getting to a game sometime soon.

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

This Article Made Me Hungry

An interview with the founder of Five Guys Burgers and Fries

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

Best Helmet Sundae Ever

I always love getting helmet sundaes in the 7th or 8th inning of baseball games, and for awhile when I was a kid I collected them. But the Toledo Mud Hens have come up with the ultimate helmet sundae- one the size of an actual helmet

Gameday visitors, this year, will find a super-sized 15-scoop Fifth Third Fantastic Freeze Sundae.  The frozen monstrosity features five scoops each of three different flavors of your choice, topped with hot fudge, whipped cream, sprinkles, and even cherries on top. The treat is served in a souvenir full-size Mud Hens helmet.  The dessert is said to hold nearly 3,000 calories.
Because what good is a helmet sundae if you can't actually wear it as a helmet? What's next? The bat-sized hot dog?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)

Twin Peaks + 20

Yes, David Lynch's classic show debuted 20 years ago, last week. I loved this show when I was in 7th and 8th grades, the two years it was on, and have periodically returned to it over the years. I've written it before, but "Twin Peaks" really took television to a level it had never before reached, and never would again until "Sopranos," "Wire," "Mad Men" and all the rest of the great 21st century shows.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:40 PM | Comments (0)

Better Than Broadcasting a Racist Song

The latest "Kidd Chris Show" scandal, now in Portland:

Secret Service agents visited the radio station KUFO on Thursday morning to investigate a report of money bleaching.

The agents were sent to the station at about 9 a.m. after hearing that "The Kidd Chris Show" had been broadcasting a "how to" class on bleaching and counterfeiting money, said a Secret Service representative.

During the show, Kidd Chris or his co-workers were bleaching genuine currency, the Secret Service official said.

Bleaching currency is a federal offense. The agents told Kidd Chris to stop bleaching the money immediately and he obliged.

They're also indirectly involved in another scandal, as a Philadelphia-based "celebrity boxing" promoter, Damon Feldman, has been accused of fixing fights. One of the fights allegedly fixed was last year's bout between former Chris regular Bob Levy and the man who replaced him on WYSP, Danny Bonaduce.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:40 PM | Comments (0)

Worst Analogies Ever

Some results of a worst analogy/metaphor contest, which made me laugh a lot harder than it should have. My personal favorite:

"He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a Guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)

April 09, 2010

Noah at the Zoo

My son's got a new blog post, where he talks about his first trip to the zoo, as well as watching the Twins and "Jeopardy" with his dad.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:25 PM | Comments (1)

Purple Park?

News Item: Movement in Minnesota legislature for Vikings stadium

I guess if it's going to happen this year is the time; there was actually Vikings excitement last year, everyone's psyched about Target Field and if there's an NFL lockout a year from now no one will be in any mood to throw money at the Vikings.

I'm just wondering how Tim Pawlenty plans to run for president after signing a nine-figure tax increase to pay for a stadium. That would be like, oh I don't know, a presidential candidate running against health care reform just a few years after enacting a nearly identical reform as governor of a state.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:25 PM | Comments (0)

Buchanan Defends Slavery

Because frequently defending such wonderful figures as Nazi war criminals and Richard Nixon wasn't enough, Pat Buchanan took to MSNBC the other day to defend... the Confederacy! Among other gems, Pat said "both sides were right" in the Civil War:

Someone please remind me why this vile, noxious racist asshole is allowed on otherwise reputable TV programs?

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

Vampire Cobain

In news that just about broke Twitter today, it was reported that Robert Pattinson was being eyed to play Kurt Cobain in a biopic of the late Nirvana singer. A horrible idea, of course, but really, could a good movie possibly be made about Cobain as long as its controlled by Courtney Love? Similarly, we'll never, ever see an honest biopic of John Lennon for as long as Yoko is alive.

UPDATE: Looks like the story was false. Good.

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

Survey Says...

Ellen was a category on "Family Feud." Let's just say one of the answers was not like the others:

First of all, I love the gorgeous daughters were all right and the stupid dad was wrong. Secondly, the biggest surprise to me was that J. Peterman from "Seinfeld" is now the host of the Feud.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:21 PM | Comments (1)

Phillies: Is it Time to Panic?

The Phils are 2-1 (and winning 8-0 against Houston as of this writing), but several red flags have been raised, as pointed out by The Good Phight:

• They've scored 19 runs in 18 innings.  Do you realize that they're just barely over the 1 run per inning mark?  How are they supposed to thrive if they can only slightly eclipse that mark?

• Ryan Howard's power is diminishing.  In game 1, he hit his home run into the second deck.  In game 2, he could only manage hitting the facade of the second deck.  If his home run tonight just reaches the lower deck, watch out.  You might as well ask him to retire after the game.

• Placido Polanco is cooling off.  He started the season batting .600 with 6 RBI.  He now has played twice as many games and his RBI total is . . . still 6.  And don't get me started on his batting average.  It's plummeted 44 points.  How bad do you have to be to lose 44 points in batting average?

• 20% of the runs the team has allowed are unearned.  Last year, they only gave up 36 unearned runs all year.  Those 36 runs accounted for only 5% of the team's 709 runs allowed.  The team defense really needs to improve.

• Chase Utley is in a career-threatening power outage.  All of his hits are singles.  In fact, you have to go back over six months to find his last regular-season extra-base hit.

• Jimmy Rollins is averaging 2 walks per game.  Now, I'll give you this is a huge positive . . . normally.  However, the Phillies have never before thrived with Rollins walking at that clip.  This is obviously the sign of the end of times, and last I checked, it's very unlikely the Phillies would reach the playoffs, let alone get another World Series trophy, if time were to end.

• Roy Halladay let the Nationals score a run.
I'm sure this list is incomplete, as I'm so distraught I can hardly think straight.  Bottom line: I'm worried.  Aren't you?
Funny stuff. I'm just wondered that they resorted to signing a Brandeis alum to pitch for them.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:21 PM | Comments (0)

Say It Ain't So, J.R.!

News Item: ex-Timberwolf Isiah "JR" Rider arrested for assaulting fiance, reneging on cab fare

When Kirby Puckett got arrested for assaulting a woman a couple years before he died, that was the most shocking and disappointing incident ever for an ex-Minnesota athlete. This has to be considered the least shocking.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:20 PM | Comments (0)

April 08, 2010

Fox News in a Nutshell

One picture says it all.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:40 PM | Comments (0)

Blue Michael Steele!

Having a three-month-old son means I've got a lot of "Sesame Street" watching in my immediate future, and I'm going to have trouble ever seeing the blue muppet in the restaurant without yelling out "it's Michael Steele!"

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Michael Steele Plays the Race Card
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

I think the Republicans have a clear racial interest in not firing their first-ever blue RNC chairman.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:39 PM | Comments (0)

Good News For Democrats

Dick Morris, who is always, always wrong, predicts a Republican sweep in November.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:38 PM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2010

Because It Didn't Seem Like He Was Old Before

News Item: Brett Favre becomes a grandfather

My dad is a Minnesotan first-time grandpa too, although Favre is 20 years younger than he is.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)

Vote For Beer!

News Item: Dick Leinenkugel may run for Wisconsin Senate seat

I love the beer that bears his name, but if I were a Wisconsite I'd certainly vote for Feingold.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Ta-Nehesi, on "confederate heritage" in the 21st century:

A lot of you have e-mailed me to note that Virginia governor Bob McDonnell has decided to honor those who fought to preserve, and extend, white supremacy. I don't really have much to say. The GOP is, effectively, the party of willfully unlettered Utopians. It is the party of choice for those who believe global warming is a hoax, that humans roamed the earth with dinosaurs, and that homosexuals should work harder at not being gay.

That the party of unadulterated quackery also believes that Birth Of A Nation is more true to the Civil War than Battle Cry Of Freedom, is to be expected. Ignorance does not respect boundaries. It is, at times, qualified and those who know more, often struggle to say more. But people who believe that the Census is actually a covert attempt to put Americans in concentration camps, are also likely to believe that slavery was incidental to the Civil War.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:36 PM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2010

McNabb Day Two

- That's going to be weird to see McNabb in a Redskins uniform the first time. Kind of like seeing Jordan with the Wizards.

- Also, looks like Donovan will sign an extension with Washington, so he probably won't be a Viking in 2011. Oh well, it was nice having that dream for awhile.

- You'd think McNabb's departure would be good news for the Anti-Eagles Movement, which has hated McNabb for years and had been demanding his ouster since at least '05. But you'd think wrong.

The talk show callers are outraged about the trade, either because McNabb strengthens a division rival, or because Reid/Howie Roseman/Joe Banner didn't leave town with him, or because the Eagles did something and they have to hate everything the Eagles do. In other words- "I've always hated McNabb and wanted him gone- and how dare the Eagles trade him!"

- The other big question- will McNabb be cheered or booed when he returns to Philly with the Redskins? I really feel this will be one of those moments that shows how Eagles fans are different from Eagles Fans Who Hate the Eagles. I predict a 90-10 cheer-boo split, at least, in favor of the people who don't actually hate their team.

- Then again, the wonderful WIP morning show has decided to reunite the "Dirty 30," the group of drunken idiots who bussed up to New York to lobby for the selection of Ricky Williams in the '99 draft and booed McNabb when he was picked. History has proven them completely wrong, they've been an embarrassment and laughingstock to the city ever since. If the Eagles ever win a Super Bowl, I hope they're banned from the parade.

So of course, they will get together again, this time to boo either the team or McNabb, I'm still not clear. Yea, good luck with that. When Brian Dawkins - a player always much, much more popular than McNabb- returned to Philly with his new team last year, he was cheered and no one booed the team.

- About 30,000 Phillies fans went down to Washington today for the Phillies' home opener. It's good to see Philadelphia fans traveling to another city for good and not for evil.

Reuniting the Dirty 30 to reenact their worst moment would be like if Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld got together, in 2010, and decided "let's invade Iraq again!"

- Noah's very upset about Donovan leaving town. He's been crying, on and off, since last night.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:30 AM | Comments (2)

Butler Didn't Do It

I really wanted Butler to win tonight's championship game, but the only bright side is that a Butler championship would almost certainly have led to a shitty Disney movie being made about their run in the next five years. Justin Bieber might have played Brad Stevens.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:29 AM | Comments (1)

April 05, 2010

Noah's Zero Day

Noah's latest blog post- chronicling the week when he was SUPPOSED to be born- is online here.

Noah's taking the McNabb trade pretty hard- he's been crying, on and off, all day.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:51 PM | Comments (1)

April 04, 2010

Godspeed, Donovan

The Donovan McNabb era in Philadelphia ended tonight with the trade of #5 to the Washington Redskins. The Eagles, somewhat shockingly, traded their quarterback within the division.

I won't go into my feelings on the quarterback; I've done enough of that over the years. I feel like McNabb is a good guy, who played very well, never got in trouble with the law and generally conducted himself in an impeccable manner. Despite that, he was treated horribly, mostly by the team's fans, for his entire time in town, as an uncomfortably large contingent of the team's fans just plain hated the guy, irrationally, all along. I've got a feeling he'll be greatly missed, and the McNabb era will be looked back on with a lot more positivity than it did at the time.

Anyway, the idiots who long hated McNabb got what they wanted. I think they should've been careful what they wished for.

So the Eagles move on to the Kevin Kolb era. Will it work? Who knows. But it'll be quite an exciting couple of Sundays next year when the Eagles and Redskins play each other.

And the Obama/McNabb parallel continues: now they're both in Washington.

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

To the Hot Tub!

My review of "Hot Tub Time Machine" is posted to Philly.com. I liked it a lot and was sort of surprised it turned out to be a flop.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:00 PM | Comments (0)

Target Field!

The Twins' new stadium opened Friday for the exhibition season, and I was able to watch it on TV. The place looks great, and I've heard nothing but positive things from people who were there. Can't wait for my first visit, in about a month.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:59 PM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2010

He Did Not Puke

The Inquirer's Peter Mucha does some research and discovers the #1 most-uttered anti-McNabb talking point almost certainly isn't true.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:28 PM | Comments (0)

Law and Order and Electronics Crime

I have a new crime report up- now with 100 percent more John Munch- on Dealerscope.com.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:54 AM | Comments (1)

Five Stays For Now

Despite rumors involving presumably half the teams in the league, Donovan McNabb is still an Eagle. Not that it especially matters whether he's traded now or in two weeks, but the haters are presumably getting impatient.

A couple of notes on this:

- First of all, it's worth avoiding WIP (and 950 too, I suppose) these days. There's only one host on either station- fill-in guy GCobb- who's making the slightest bit of sense. He went on for a while about how many Eagles fans were excited about Bobby Hoying in the '90s, based on a whole lot more than Kevin Kolb has shown, and it ended in disaster.

- That's the thing- people following the Eagles for the last ten years have forgotten what it's like to have a REALLY awful quarterback. Not "awful" in the sense that he loses multiple championship games. "Awful" in the sense that you go 3-13 and don't make the playoffs. if McNabb is the quarterback in 2010, there's no chance of a 3-13 season. If it's Kevin Kolb, there is such a chance.

- Might want to avoid Mike Florio too. He's spread about 500 McNabb rumors in the past year, and as you may have guessed, they were all wrong.

- The On the DL guys did a whole show on this Wednesday, which I felt like responding to. The general gist- the national media argues that McNabb has always been treated unfairly, but the local guys know better, mostly because they're used to seeing McNabb choking in big games, saying the wrong thing in press conferences, smiling at the wrong time, etc.

First of all, there are two sides to this. The fans, and the team. Have the fans mistreated McNabb over the years? I believe they have. He's been one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and the best in franchise history, and a large percentage of the fan base for all of that time has treated him like he sucks. They have treated him ridiculously unfairly, insulted him viciously and personally and yes, race has a lot to do with it- good for On the DL's Nick for pointing that out- and there's absolutely no denying that.

But is the team "treating McNabb unfairly" by possibly getting rid of him? I wouldn't quite say that. If I ran the Eagles I'd keep him and trade Kolb, but I can understand wanting to get value for Donovan, and deciding its time for a change. And besides, the Eagles have an almost unblemished record of getting rid of guys at the exact right time. The only people who believe the "treating McNabb unfairly" line are Stephen A. Smith and the sort of fan who thinks the Eagles should have kept Brian Westbrook around just to spare his feelings.

- For what it's worth, by the way, a whole lot of people in the Minnesota media are wholeheartedly embracing the Mcnabb-to-the-Vikings-in-2011 idea.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:53 AM | Comments (0)

Fuck the Piggy Away

Via Funnya, a highly disturbing (but hilarious) video of Miss Piggy singing Peaches' "Fuck the Pain Away":

It's my favorite manipulated-Muppet footage of the week, aside from "The Daily Show"'s Michael Steele/sex club bit last night.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:53 AM | Comments (0)

All the Women Loved Him. I Never Saw That One Coming

It happened during my little Passover hiatus- Ricky Martin finally came out as gay. My question is, who does that leave, in terms of "people everyone knows are gay but haven't actually come out?" Richard Simmons? Johnny Weir? Anderson Cooper? Jodie Foster? Charlie Crist? In fact, I bet there's enough GOP elected officials in that group to sustain a filibuster.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:52 AM | Comments (0)


A dog humps a stuffed animal as Gus Johnson narrates. So stupid but so damn funny:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:51 AM | Comments (0)

Murder-Free March

News Item: Newark celebrates first murder-free month since 1966

Congrats to Cory Booker. I knew there something about that guy.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:49 AM | Comments (0)

The Arnold Quotes

It's ten minutes of Arnold Schwarzenegger movie quotes:

I still can't believe "Batman and Robin" happened. Yikes. And it misses "True Lies"' "THE BRIDGE IS OUT!"

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:48 AM | Comments (0)

David Mills, RIP

I was sad to hear today of the death of David Mills, a writer for some of the best TV shows of the past 20 years, from "The Wire" to "Homicide" to "NYPD Blue" to "E.R." to the new "Treme."

In addtion, Mills was a blogger, who wrote the excellent Undercover Black Man site, and before that he was a journalist, breaking such stories as the Sister Souljah scandal, and the Professor Griff anti-Semitism flap.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:48 AM | Comments (0)