June 30, 2010

Fuck You, at the Movies

It's the 100 best movie insults ever (and no, it's NSFW):

Most represented movies: "In the Loop," "Glengarry Glen Ross," "In Bruges," "Full Metal Jacket," "Goodfellas," and the whole Steve Martin canon.

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

I'd Pray For Him But, Well, You Know...

News Item: Christopher Hitchens battling cancer

Get well soon, Hitch.

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

The Greatness of "Louie"

Louis CK's new show, based on the first two episodes, looks like 1) a masterpiece, and 2) unlike anything ever on TV before. If you didn't watch it, you certainly should.

Also, not a surprise that Louis CK has gotten divorced in real life, seeing as how his entire standup routine five years ago was about how much he hates his wife.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:09 PM | Comments (1)

Quote of the Day

Tom Scocca on the Weigel Affair, and specifically his emailed insults that Pat Buchanan is an anti-Semite and Newt Gingrich "an amoral blowhard who resigned in disgrace":

So Weigel was disrespectful to conservatives. What is a conservative? Apparently a conservative is someone who believes that Pat Buchanan's professional Jew-baiting is not anti-Semitism, who admires Newt Gingrich as a shy and retiring statesman, and who is completely unfamiliar with the basic history of the Republican Party and the conservative movement. And a conservative is someone who believes that no one should say anything, even in private, that might hurt his or her conservative feelings.

How one would be respectful toward such a creature, I can't really imagine. The Washington Post, however, sees that a vital mission. The "bigger loss," remember, is the paper's "standing with conservatives."

That's what's just ridiculous to me. The Post has fired Dave Weigel. Their op-ed page includes such noted liberals as George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, Michael Gerson, and Mark Theissen. And they could hire 50 more people like that, and purge every liberal from the newsroom, and CONSERVATIVES WILL STILL CALL THEM LIBERAL AND HATE THEM. The Post's editor-in-chief could be Ann Coulter, and the right would still call them part of the liberal media conspiracy. Ditto for the Philadelphia Inquirer (with columnists Rick Santorum, Kevin Ferris and John Yoo), and owned and published until recently by longtime GOP operative Brian Tierney.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:08 PM | Comments (0)

On Vick

Iggles Blog has the best take I've seen so far.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

Yes, It's Okay to Blame Bush

Stewart Says...

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

Apatow TV Lives

News Item: IFC to re-run "Freaks and Geeks," "Undeclared"

Great news. I haven't seen "Undeclared" since it first aired, and finally caught "Freaks" last year; I plan on watching both again.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2010

In Defense of Michael Vick

Not that I like defending the guy, but...

If the story went down this way, Vick didn't really do anything wrong. True, the sports radio consensus is that he "shouldn't have put himself in a position" for something like this to happen, but why? He had a birthday party for himself at a restaurant- I've done that myself like five different times. It's not an especially dangerous activity.

My favorite part of the story:

[A spokesman for the restaurant, Guadalajara's] also said NBA player and Hampton native Allen Iverson was scheduled to hold his own birthday bash at Guadalajara's this coming weekend, but the restaurant has cancelled the party.
No problem, he can just move the festivities somewhere else in town, like say a bowling alley.

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

Fix My DeLorean

Bravo, DontEvenReply, bravo.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:04 PM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2010

More From Noah

Noah's got a new blog post up now.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)

World of Toys

I review "Toy Story 3" on Philly.com.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:09 PM | Comments (1)

Monkey News

I watched the Animal Planet documentary about the history of Michael Jackson's relationship with his chimp, Bubbles, and it was a masterpiece of unintentional hilarity. I don't know what my favorite part was- that LaToya was the only member of the Jackson family who agreed to participate, or that the movie's narration gets considerably more judgmental about Jackson's later-years neglect of Bubbles than about his child molestation charges, or that the doc's emotional climax is LaToya's tearful reunion with the now 250-pound monkey.

The part that really got me- Bubbles is shown, in a cage, now living at a facility in Florida specifically dedicated to monkeys and other primates who have been abandoned by celebrities. Yes, apparently, there are enough such animals to necessitate an entire clinic. I wonder if Reagan's monkey from "Bedtime For Bonzo" is there too.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:08 PM | Comments (0)

Hat of the Decade

Desmond Tutu gets in the World Cup spirit.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:08 PM | Comments (1)

Byrd Dead

The longest-serving senator in history died today at the age of 92.

The question I ask about any older politician who dies is, "was he right on civil rights?" Byrd, of course, wasn't. But at least he denounced his prior racism, and renounced his Klan membership about five decades ago. Unlike, say, Jesse Helms, who remained a hateful quasi-Klasman right up until the day he died.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:07 PM | Comments (1)

Twins Interleague Fail

The Twins had a pretty bad interleague road trip, aside from taking two of three from the Phillies, and Saturday's win over the Mets in Queens, where the team beat Johan Santana for the first time thanks to a second dominant performance in a row from Carl Pavano. Gee, remember when Santana was a dominant pitcher for Minnesota, and Pavano was a laughingstock with New York?

Trade for Cliff Lee? I don't know- I'd love to have him, but the trade would subtract three fifths of the current rotation. They'd have to trade a pitcher, and Lee is a free agent, and so is Pavano. How about Dan Haren? I'd be happier with him.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)

On "Youth in Revolt"

Finally saw this over the weekend; back in January, I got directed the wrong way down Ridge Pike and missed the screening. Anyway, good movie, great idea, pretty funny, but could've been better.

The movie is mostly just a wasted opportunity. Its trailer made it look like a deconstruction of Cera's movie persona- the huge wuss who everyone's sick of, finally deciding to become the exact opposite. But instead, it didn't do nearly enough with the premise. ("Paper Heart," one of last year's worst films, wasted a similar opportunity.)

Still, impressive, coming from director Miguel Arteta, whose previous films ("Chuck and Buck," "The Good Girl") I didn't especially care for.

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

Comparing Stadiums

Randball's "Clearance Clarence," like me, was a Twins fan at the Twins-Phils series in Philly last week. His observations: cheesesteaks are awesome, Philly fans aren't as mean as everyone says, and:

Baseball: Citizen’s Bank Park is nice. It reminds me of a slightly larger Target Field, if Target Field were relocated to a parking lot in Richfield and had maroon steel I-beams instead of Limestone.

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

June 27, 2010

And They Say Americans Don't Care About Soccer

Good run, USMNT. May you go further in 2014.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:42 PM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2010

Godspeed, Weigel

This is awful, awful news:

Dave Weigel, The Washington Post’s embed in conservative grassroots movements, has resigned this afternoon following an incident earlier this week involving Matt Drudge, the blog Fishbowl D.C., and a private e-mail listserv
This is a damned shame, because Weigel was doing some of the finest work of any political journalist in the country- dedicated, informative, and often very funny.

The libertarian who used to work for Reason magazine and voted for Ron Paul in 2008 covered the conservative and Tea Party movements for the better part of the last two years, often attending Tea Party conferences every week (because really, they have them every week.) Even though Weigel- as shown through his Twitter feed- clearly doesn't agree much with the loonier precincts of the far right- he was way nicer to and gave way more of a hearing to the Tea Party types than they probably deserve.

It's really terrible to see this, because I can't think of a single thing Weigel did wrong- he said mean things about Matt Druge and others on an off-the-record listserv, but nothing he said would've even raised an eyebrow if, say, Rush Limbaugh said it. More of the "liberal media" at work; when the Post fires people like Weigel and Dan Froomkin, but hires every mediocre former Bush speechwriter for an op-ed column, can it really be called a "liberal newspaper" anymore?

I'm not worried about Dave, he'll land on his feet I'm sure, and I'm sure he'll eventually write a great book about the conservative nuttiness of the last two years.

The Twitter reaction has been entertaining- see #TeamWeigel.

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

Film Critic Quote of the Week

Dan Fienberg on "Grown Ups":

"Grown Ups" is the least funny theatrical release that any of its stars have ever been a part of. 
I just want to let that sink in, because Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider have combined to be in some truly unfunny movies.
"Grown Ups" has fewer laughs than "The Benchwarmers," "Little Nicky" or "Lost & Found." It has fewer chuckles than either of the Deuce Bigalow movies. It has fewer chortles than "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" and fewer guffaws than "Head of State."..

[Note: I haven't seen Schneider's direct-to-video prison rape comedy "Big Stan," so I added the "theatrical release" proviso just in case.]

Put that on the poster- "'Grown Ups'- Better Than Prison Rape!"

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

"Let Them Eat Cake"

Can't disagree with a word of what Michael Musto writes here, about the tendency for young actresses to become emaciated stick figures. And the Kardashians aren't helping either.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:13 PM | Comments (0)

Vick-Involved Shooting?

We don't know all the details yet, but yikes. I always said the furor over the Eagles bringing Michael Vick would die down eventually- IF he managed to avoid staying out of trouble. Looks like now that might not have happened. Uh oh. There are some sports radio hosts in Philly, by the way, who are absolutely ECSTATIC this this shooting happened.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:12 PM | Comments (0)

Atari in the 21st Century

Here's an awesome photo array of technology of today, using only tech available in the '70s.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:11 PM | Comments (0)

Put This Movie in a Body Bag- YEAAAAH!

I was in the critical minority on the "Karate Kid" remake, but good to see that 11 Points agrees with me that the movie was both boring and unnecessary, and killed its own credibility by 1) moving the action to China for no apparent reason; 2) Making the hero and villains 12 years old, and 3) not even actually being about karate.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:11 PM | Comments (0)


News Item: Showtime considering Stephen A. Smith late night talk show

More failing upward for Stephen A. Do you know ANYONE who likes this guy, whether on TV or in print? Have you ever heard anyone praise him?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2010

Watching the World Cup in New York

I look back on yesterday's great moment in an E-Gear blog post.

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

The "Jeopardy" Weirdness Continues

It's official: acid is being passed around in the "Jeopardy" writers' room:

That's my old friend Paul answering four of the five questions.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:48 PM | Comments (4)

The BP Escrow Fund is Hitler

Yes, they're really saying this.

Well, it's not as Hitler-like as, say, health care, but still pretty-close. The complete absence of genocide, concentration camps, racial purification or foreign invasions is just a distraction. It's all right around the corner, I'm sure, and always will be.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:48 PM | Comments (0)

Gad on Obesity

A pretty standout "Daily Show" segment from the other night:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Chubby Chasers
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Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:43 PM | Comments (0)

Anywhere But There

News Item: Munich named finalist for 2018 Winter Olympics

For obvious reasons, shouldn't Munich be barred from ever hosting an Olympics again? They're the only Olympic host city ever in which an entire country's team was murdered. That didn't even happen when Hitler's Berlin hosted in 1936.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:42 PM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2010

Say You Don't Want a Resolution

Say, what ever happened to that "anti-Israel" UN resolution that the Obama Administration was going to support, according to Bill Kristol? It was supposed to be "next week," but that was two weeks ago, and no such resolution has emerged. Hmm.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:31 PM | Comments (1)

Shorter Jon Voight

The gist of this letter: Jews are good, and Mexicans are bad. Shame on Obama for believing the opposite.

Don't you hate when stupid Hollywood celebrities try to talk about politics?

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

Best "Jeopardy" Category Ever

Alex Trebek does a two-minute-long Cookie Monster impression:

This comes from Tuesday's episode, the fourth of four in which my old friend Paul Kursky won.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:09 PM | Comments (0)

Now, in Spanish!

I would much, much rather watch Copa Mundial than the World Cup. Fuck you, Joey Vento.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:00 PM | Comments (0)

No, the Twins Still Didn't Win the Trade

News Item: Johan Santana was accused of sexual battery last year

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

Great! I'll Bring My Disco Records!

News Item: White Sox to host " '70s and Fireworks Night"

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:21 PM | Comments (0)


Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2010

At Line Shows

I'm up in New York for CEA Line Shows, an event co-presented by my company. Some things i've written from up here:

- A report from the keynote address by State Department official Jared Cohen.

- Sony's presentation of the World Cup in 3D.

- A slideshow of the day's events.

Be back with more tomorrow.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:46 PM | Comments (0)

On McCrystal

The biggest surprise of all- Rolling Stone broke a major political story! When was the last time that happened, 1975?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:45 PM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2010

The Series to End All Series

Over the weekend the Twins took two out of three from the Phillies, in what was the two teams' first series in six years, due to some weird quirk in the interleague schedule. The Twins had never before played at Citizen's Bank Park, Ryan Howard had never faced the Twins, and Joe Mauer had never faced the Phils.

A few notes on the weekend:

- Just my luck, the only game of the series I went to was Friday, when the Phils won. Saturday I was at a wedding and couldn't even watch one of the craziest games of the entire season, when the Twins came back from a 9-4 deficit and scored nine runs in the ninth inning and later to win 11-10 in 10 innings. Sunday, I spent my first Father's Day with both my father and my son, watching the Twins beat the Phils behind the unstoppable pitching of Carl Pavano.

- And yes, Noah is a dual fan of the two teams, something that's allowed since they're in different leagues.

- The Twins won the series despite neither Nick Blackburn or Kevin Slowey getting out of the third inning of their starts on Friday and Saturday. Pavano, though, pitched a complete-game 4-hitter Sunday. I've been impressed with him- and his mustache- but I hope the Twins don't do something foolish like sign him to a multi-year deal.

- I'm sure most Phillies fans would be thrilled if you'd told them before the season that Brad Lidge's first blown save of the year wouldn't be until June 19.

- I expected the Philly fan outrage to mostly be directed at the bullpen for blowing the Saturday game, but the main radio topic of conversation was... the Phils fans who cheered ex-Phil Jim Thome when he came up as a pinch-hitter, and even after he hit a single Friday and a crucial homer Saturday. Is the Philly fan savagery dying out? Either way, I'm sure Jim appreciates it.

- My dad and I wore Twins hats at the game and got just about no trouble from anyone, except for a couple of college douchebags in the men's room. There was one drunken older guy who, after Nick Punto's homer Friday, shouted that he excited about seeing the former Phil. When I retorted "you can have him!," the guy seemed offended.

- It was my first time this year at Citzen's Bank Park; it's my fourth ballpark of the season, after Nationals Park, Target Field and Yankee Stadium. And much as I love the place, I think it has to rank behind Target.

- And on Friday night, the Phillie Phanatic's on-field skit entailed the mascot attempting to seduce the female version of the Phanatic, and eventually jumping on her. I thought he was supposed to be a children's entertainer...

Posted by Stephen Silver at 05:13 PM | Comments (0)

Wax On, Wax Off

I review the underwhelming "Karate Kid" movie on Philly.com.

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

Quote of the Day

David Frum, on the right's disgraceful defense of BP:

The escrow fund idea was proposed by BP itself, at the prodding of Republicans who endorsed the idea well before President Obama ever heard of it.

This story is another example of the harm done by allowing talk radio & Fox – rather than elected officials and aspiring candidates – to define the GOP. Anybody heard any objection to the escrow fund from Mitt Romney? Has Mitch Daniels termed it a “shakedown”? Bobby Jindal seems cool with the idea, ditto Mitch McConnell. But these real leaders are crowded out by people trying to bump ratings a point or two by inciting another prime time hour’s worth of anti-Obama indignation.

Newt Gingrich, on the BP $20 billion escrow- "what it says to the world is, be very careful about investing in the United States, because the political class may take your money away from you." Bullshit. What it says to the world is, don't spill oil in the fucking ocean!

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

Snoop and Sook

A rather, uh, unorthodox career move for Snoop Dogg:

Snoop Dogg -

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

Quote of the Day II

The Examiner's Jason Kuznicki:

"All of this brings up a strange inconsistency to the opponents of same-sex marriage. Their ends -- every child gets a mom and a dad -- are strangely mismatched to their means -- prohibit same-sex marriage. It's sort of like banning bad moustaches to stop pornography. Perhaps there's some vague association, but that's about it.."

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

Confronting the Pro-BP Right

Making ads against Michelle Bachmann has got to be like shooting fish in a barrel, but here's a particularly effective one by her opponent Tarryl Clark:

I can't believe the GOP is stupid enough to actually defend BP. But they surprise me every day...

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

June 18, 2010

The Baby Blogs Again

Noah has a new blog post up.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:34 PM | Comments (0)

The Second-Worst Political Apology Ever

Balloon Juice remembers the worst.

Like I said on Facebook yesterday- if you think the biggest problem with the oil spill is that the government is being too mean to BP, then there's something very wrong with you. I thought Obama wasn't being tough enough on BP- now he's too tough? Wow, it's almost like the people opposing him aren't arguing in good faith, or something.

And the right- of course- stands up for Joe Barton. At least none of them call the BP $20 billion fund an impeachable offense:

Morally bankrupt tools, all. And Pat Buchanan adds BP to the list of the indefensible that he has defended, along with Richard Nixon, various Nazi war criminals and the Confederacy.

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

Just Don't Answer "Who Are Three People Who Have Never Been in My Kitchen"

Congrats to my old friend and Boris' Kitchen colleague Paul Kursky, who is appearing on "Jeopardy" this week and is a two-night champion going into Friday. Good luck, Paul!

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:32 PM | Comments (0)

The People vs. Hoops and Yoyo

The singing Hallmark card characters- who I love but I guess everyone else hates- are under fire from the NAACP. A graduation card mocking black holes in the solar system is being misinterpreted as "black whores":

I'm usually pretty vigilant when it comes to spotting surreptitious racism, but come on- the card clearly says "black holes." This is open-and-shut as is possibly imaginable.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:31 PM | Comments (0)

The Good Fight vs. Stupid Philly Fans

From an excellent post on the Phillies blog, on why the Phils shouldn't bow to talk radio pressure and call up prospect Domonic Brown:

Needless to say, most of the people advocating an immediate recall of Brown are not very bright. Their arguments bear all of the hallmarks of talk radio groupthink: a total lack of concern for future consequences, a reflexive blaming of everything on "cheapness" whether it makes any sense or not, an assumption that "doing something" is always better than doing nothing, mindless repeating of talking points, mindless rage, etc. Now - this is NOT to say that an intelligent argument can't be made for bringing Brown up sometime soon. But those are not the arguments that are being thrown around at present. I also think that, in the final analysis, even the intelligent arguments would be incorrect.

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

The Marlins Vuvuzela Gambit

News Item: Florida Marlins will give vuvuzelas to first 15,000 fans at Saturday night's game.

This is hilarious for three reasons:

1. The notion of the Marlins drawing 15,000 fans to a game is comical in and of itself.

2. The fans can use the vuvuzelas to drown out the Scott Stapp song, and

3. The team can just put unused tickets on sale next week for Saturday's game, so people can get their vuvuzelas after the fact. It worked with the Halladay perfect game.

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

On The Bread Bowl

Drew Magary's funbag, on everyone's favorite feature at Cosi:

By the way, anyone who's been to Cosi knows they always have a bowl out filled with scraps from cutting their bread. You can take them for free. And I do. Any time I go to Cosi, I empty the entire bowl of scraps. I don't care if that makes me a dick. That's free warm bread. It's delicious. I'll also walk into Cosi, use the pisser, grab all the bread scraps, and then leave without spending a fucking nickel. Makes me feel like the sneakiest hobo in America.
I'm telling you, I could've written that paragraph. But it seems Cosi has done away from the bread bowl of late- is this true?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:25 PM | Comments (1)

Film Critic Quote of the Day

AV Club's Keith Phipps, on the really, really bad "Jonah Hex":

Trouble happens, of course, but the 81 minutes (including credits) of Jonah Hex footage that made it to the screen look like something assembled under a tight deadline, and possibly under the influence... Jonah Hex is what happens when someone promises to deliver a releasable movie by a certain date, and then doesn’t.
I think he's too kind- this is a strong worst-movie-of-the-year candidate.

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

Best of Black

A Lewis Black "Daily Show" retrospective:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Lewis Black: A Look Back in Anger
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party
Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2010

Day Man! Fighter of the Night Man!

"Toy Story 3" was excellent, by the way, but I want to talk about the very good Pixar short that precedes it, "Day & Night," in which creatures representing day and night do battle.

Sound familiar, "Always Sunny" fans?

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

The OJ Documentary

Just great, riveting stuff, I loved it. I spent June 17, 1994 at Camp Teko, at staff orientation. We sat around the campfire, listened to the chase on the radio, and sang campfire songs, changing all the lyrics so they were about O.J.

I liked ALOTT5MA's take:

suppose O.J. Simpson did kill himself along or at the end of the drive as his Robert Kardashian-read letter and conversation with police during their pursuit strongly suggested he would. Tell us how today's world is different. Do we ever learn who Greta van Susteren or Jeffrey Toobin are? Does it change media coverage of car chases going forward? Does Leno still beat Letterman in the ratings? Do Kardashian's daughters still end up having a thing for star athletes? What replaces the Chewbacca Defense and Jackie Chiles?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:28 PM | Comments (2)

Do It Today, In Time For the Phillies Series!

News Item: Twins readying "serious run" at Cliff Lee

I'm all for it, but I wouldn't give up top TOP prospects (Gibson or Ramos) for a half a season of a guy. How about a package worth about a third what the Phils gave to Cleveland, or half of what Seattle sent to Philly?

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

"From the Creators of Finding Nemo and Generation Kill"

It's "The Wire" Meets "Toy Story":

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

June 16, 2010

Cartographers For Greater "Lost" Understanding

A professional mapmaker has produced an accurate-looking map of the "Lost" island. Now I need to go back and watch the whole series, with the map at the ready...

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:02 AM | Comments (1)

June 15, 2010

Cheating on Triumph

Former Conan announcer Joel Godard speaks about his bitterness over his dismissal from the show- I guess now Conan knows how he feels. And for some reason, he chose to give the interview to a talking puppet with a British accent who looks like Beaker:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)

Breaking Good

It's "Breaking Bad" as a silly funny sitcom:

Breaking Bad is now on ABC - watch more funny videos

This show, by the way, was just AMAZING this year. I had only watched it sporadically before now, but damn- there were four or five absolute holy shit moments during this season, including the endings of the last two episodes.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:09 AM | Comments (0)

They Are Teabaggers and They Are Racist

Ta-Nahesi, responding to the assertion from nutjob Congressman Steve King that Obama instinctively "favors the black person:

The charge by white public figures that certain politicians favor blacks, and thus disfavors whites is not merely "racial resentment" it isn't just "racial discomfort," it is an old and racist appeal aimed squarely at a particular citizen, nursing the most ancient of American resentments.

One final note, I've seen a lot of Tea Party folks taking exception to the charge that they are in anyway motivated by racism. Fair enough. I would humbly suggest that when you embrace political leaders who claim that the president "favors the black person," or when your keynote speaker claims that "literacy tests" would have prevented an Obama election, you should not be surprised that your membership comes to the mall toting signs that claim Obama is supporting "White slavery."

And tea party hero Glenn Beck, yesterday, claimed that Obama hasn't met with the CEO of BP because he is white. These people are nothing less than mockable.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:55 AM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2010

The Twilight of Gekko

I review the new Michael Douglas movie "Solitary Man" in Philly.com.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:56 PM | Comments (0)

Stupid Terrorists

A really great article in the Atlantic about how most terrorists who attempt to attack America are less than the unstoppable killing machines that we'd been led to believe- in fact, most of them are idiots.

That was always one of the more unrealistic things about "24"- the terrorists were much smarter, and much more successful, than their real-life counterparts. Then again, the article sort of buries the lede:

If our terrorist enemies have been successful at cultivating a false notion of expertise, they’ve done an equally convincing job of casting themselves as pious warriors of God. The Taliban and al-Qaeda rely on sympathizers who consider them devoted Muslims fighting immoral Western occupiers. But intelligence picked up by Predator drones and other battlefield cameras challenges that idea—sometimes rather graphically. One video, captured recently by the thermal-imagery technology housed in a sniper rifle, shows two Talibs in southern Afghanistan engaged in intimate relations with a donkey. Similar videos abound, including ground-surveillance footage that records a Talib fighter gratifying himself with a cow.
Shouldn't the article's headline have been "Terrorists Like to Screw Animals," with the terrorists-are-dumb stuff just as a sidebar?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:55 PM | Comments (1)

Pot for iPads

I've got a new Week in Electronics Crime update up, featuring the crime story of the year- a couple of idiots who offered- on Craigslist- to trade marijuana for a new iPad, including with their post a picture of the drugs as well as their contact information. Police, as you may have guessed, showed up not long after.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:55 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

The President, on the position by the anti-government Republicans that the government should do more to stop the spill:

“I think it’s fair to say, if six months ago, before this spill had happened, I had gone up to Congress and I had said we need to crack down a lot harder on oil companies and we need to spend more money on technology to respond in case of a catastrophic spill, there are folks up there, who will not be named, who would have said this is classic, big-government overregulation and wasteful spending... Some of the same folks who have been hollering and saying ‘do something’ are the same folks who, just two or three months ago, were suggesting that government needs to stop doing so much
Obama has failed to solve what looks a whole lot like an unsolvable problem. Yelling about it in the first few days wouldn't have helped, I don't think.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)

Israel's S.O.S.

Yes, I agree with this.

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

"Fox and Friends"' Stupidest Moment Ever...

Beating out about 7,000 other candidates. The Usual Gang of Idiots interview nutty Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle- who had been in the news for over a week- and had apparently never heard of her before:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:51 PM | Comments (0)

Vince Young's Non-Constructive Summer

Michael Rand points out how similar VInce Young's weekend arrest is to the Hold Steady's song "Sequestered in Memphis."

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

June 13, 2010

The Message: Don't Do Meth, Kids

Best of "Cops"!:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:53 AM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2010

"All the Cab Drivers Out There, I Love You"

Patrick Kane is a jerk.

Would Ben Roethlisberger, during a Steelers championship rally next year, give a shoutout to "all you college bar girls in Georgia"? I bet he's dumb enough to do exactly that.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:14 PM | Comments (0)

Bill Buckner, Goalie

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:11 PM | Comments (0)

Way to Go, Paypal

News Item: PayPal drops Pam Geller

Good for them. I'm all for opposing global jihad, but Geller's way- treating Muslims the way anti-Semites treat Jews, joining up with crazy European far-right political parties, and buying into every anti-Obama lie from the birth certificate to "secret Muslim"- ain't the way to do it.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Mark Harris in EW:

"'Prince of Persia: The Abs of Jake' is exactly as good as every other videogame adaptation, which is to say, not very. Killers and Marmaduke are not as good as staying home, even without air conditioning. Sex and the City 2 is not as good as the first; according to most critics; it's not as good as being stabbed repeatedly in the ear with a fork. The kindest thing you can say about these movies is that they were creatively unnecessary; not one of them exists because the people behind them believed that they had a great story to tell."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:56 PM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2010

Noah in June

My son has a new blog post with some recent photos.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:47 PM | Comments (0)

The Electronics Non-Tax

I've brought back my long-dormant blog on E-Gear.com to look at an FTC proposal for a 5 percent tax on consumer electronics to pay for the revival of newspapers- something that will never, ever actually be enacted.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:47 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Peter Beinart, on a noxious column by Elliott Abrams referring to Obama joining an anti-Israel "lynch mob":

It’s remarkable when you think about it. To Americans with even the slightest degree of racial awareness, “lynch mob” conjures something quite particular: African American men hanging from trees in the post-civil war South. To deploy the metaphor to describe a United Nations resolution that obliquely criticizes Israel is audacious. To deploy it to describe the support for that resolution by America’s first African-American president is downright astonishing. It’s a bit like calling Joe Lieberman’s opposition health-care reform a “pogrom.”
Lieberman actually supported health care in the end, but the point is right nonetheless.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:46 PM | Comments (0)

Finale Thoughts

- "Glee" Here's the thing about "Glee"- it's so flawed, and has so many obvious things wrong with its writing and plotting, but I just don't care. I love the characters and love the songs, and the finale was the show at the top of its game, especially the sublime "Bohemian Rhapsody" sequence, the best use of the Queen classic in pop culture since "Wayne's World."

The other interesting thing is that everyone expects "Glee" to go off the rails sooner rather than later. It's certainly very possible, but I'll still be watching. It's also hard to believe, mostly due to its weird schedule, that this was just the first season. "Glee" feels like it's on about Season 3.

- "Justified" I've been outspoken about my love for this show- great characters and acting, amazing writing, and a succession of standout one-off episodes with huge guest performances. But the finale was sort of a disappointment, as it just sort of all led to a shootout when it could have been a lot better. Oh well, it was still an A season, and I can't wait for the second.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:46 PM | Comments (1)

Sports Columnist Quote of the Day

The Inquirer's John Gonzalez, on this ridiculous "the announcers are against us!" attitude:

Here's the thing: NBC isn't biased against Philly. Neither is Fox or ABC or CBS or ESPN. The networks simply don't care whether the teams here win it all or go home early. That clearly irks certain people, though I'm not sure why. Even if every media outlet in the country openly rooted against Philly, would it matter? At the end of the day, when you put on your Eagles PJs, lay your head on your Flyers pillowcase, and turn off your Phillies night light, you sleep just fine, don't you?
I still don't get that- does bias by announcers somehow affect the game? Flyers fans sound like Republicans during the home stretch of the '08 election.

Sad that the Flyers lost the Finals, although they weren't supposed to make it this far anyway. Now the controversy is that some Philly fans booed during the Stanley Cup ceremony, something I sort of saw coming earlier in the day. It's a totally isolated Philly incident, just like beer-drinking kid, vomit guy, Taser Guy 1, Taser Guy 2, etc. etc. etc.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:45 PM | Comments (0)

L.A. Geffens?

News Item: David Geffen wants to buy Clippers, sign LeBron James

I'm all for the idea- the team needs to be taken away from racist slumlord/incompent fool Donald Sterling, and who better but L.A. power broker Geffen, who would also become the first openly gay U.S. sports owner?

Then again, Sterling seems to have no interest in selling, and even if he did, it's pretty unlikely the deal could be done by the start of the free agent period in, oh, three weeks.

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

Formidable Opponent

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict... that was nothing:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Formidable Opponent - Michael Oren
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Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:26 PM | Comments (0)

Chutzpah Award Nominee

Ben Roethlisberger, using the "I was young" excuse, in reference to events that occurred three months ago. Is he not still young now?

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

June 09, 2010

You and Me Babe We Ain't Nothing But Mammals...

It's Dan Savage, in the animal kingdom. The funniest McSweeney's piece I've read in a really long time.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:34 PM | Comments (0)

Ebert on Race

A beautiful, thought-provoking essay by Roger Ebert on, among other things, that disgraceful episode in Arizona in which a city councilman and radio host complained that one of the kids on a local mural was of color.

Seriously- has any state every done more to embarrass itself in one year than Arizona in 2010?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:35 PM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2010

Ben Stein is a Liar

... and a defender of "Nixon's Jew counter," Fred Malek, as Dave Weigel points out.

I kind of figured Ben was around the bend when he made that movie that 1) argued in favor of teaching creationism and 2) implied that belief in evolution was tantamount to the Holocaust.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 08:48 PM | Comments (0)

Spoiler: Everything Works Out in the End

News Item: "Entourage" movie in the works

This has the potential to make "Sex and the City 2" look like "Casablanca."

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

"If You Assume That You Know Everything, Nothing Will Satisfy You"

A great, great post from Marc Ambinder on the duty of journalists to tell the truth.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:20 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Jonathan Chait on the Helen Thomas myth:

Thomas didn't ask tough questions and she didn't hold the press to account. She spent decades as a wire service stenographer. In the latter years of her career, she alternated between collecting awards at an astonishing pace -- none of them mentioning her utterly unmemorable work -- and launching left-wing broadsides at press secretaries... If Thomas helped anybody, it was Republicans who endlessly repeated clips of her questioning in order to suggest that the entire press corp was filled with openly hostile left-wing ideologues. It certainly served no journalistic purpose. The way you hold a president to account is by uncovering information, not by hurling insults at his spokesman

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:18 PM | Comments (0)

The Sociological BP Spill

A great, great piece by Conor Friedersdorf. Ah, I remember college, when bullshit like this was the default position in all political discussion.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:17 PM | Comments (0)

The New Bush

Yes, indeed.:

An ideological, right-wing leader comes to power. He seems sure to be more disciplined than his predecessor, a centrist politician who sailed from scandal to scandal. Domestically, the electorate is sharply polarized—they’re still sore over terrorist attacks that have killed many of their fellow citizens, but they have strong disagreements about how best to respond. The government, however, has no such hesitation. The cabinet is stacked with veterans of the armed forces and the defense establishment who are sure that a strong show of force will finish off the country’s Muslim tormentors. The world doesn’t see it that way, and despite impressive deployments of troops—and plenty of military victories—the nation becomes more and more diplomatically isolated, tarnishing its reputation as a beacon of freedom.
Let's hope the Bibi tenure ends better for Israel than Dubya's did in America, though if the U.S. had a parliamentary system I'm guessing Bush would've gotten a no-confidence vote in 2005 or so.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:17 PM | Comments (0)

The Hold Steady Are Better Than a Pretty Girl

I think that's the point of this wonderful amateur music video:

I can't not love a song in which the lyrics are driving directions in Minneapolis.

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

Another Totally Isolated Philadelphia Fan Incident

A young kid enjoys a beer at Citizen's Bank Park.

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

Helen Thomas and South Carolina

Stewart in top form:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Thank You, South Carolina - The Race to Replace Disgrace
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Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:15 PM | Comments (0)

June 07, 2010

"Justified" FTW

Season finale tomorrow night; here's my favorite scene of the season:

"I didn't order assholes with my whiskey."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:31 PM | Comments (0)

June 06, 2010

Worst "Sex" Ever

My review of the egregious "Sex and the City 2" is online at Philly.com.

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

On Israel

A lot of people have a lot of opinions about what's going on Israel these days. It seems most people have chosen to react to what has happened based almost entirely on their own preconceived notion about the conflict, and they're choosing to believe the facts or narrative they choose to believe.

I'm used to this with the left and right on most political issues, but I don't know that I've ever seen more of a divergence of underlying assumptions between two sides of an argument. A couple of other points:

- Seeing as how President Obama has been less critical of Israel, following the flotilla attack, than just about any head of state in the world, I'm really not seeing how his reaction proves he's "anti-Israel." Read the transcript of his Larry King interview- I really can't find anything untoward in there at all.

- Helen Thomas needs to be fired, immediately. Being critical of Israel or Israel's government actions doesn't make you an anti-Semite. But saying the Jews should go back to Germany or Poland, I'd say, does.

And once again, as long as we're kicking people out of the mainstream media for being anti-Jewish, how about we toss out Pat Buchanan too?

Oh, and Drudge- you're an asshole too. Obama had his picture taken with Helen Thomas, therefore their views on the Mideast must be exactly alike? I'll bet you can find a similar picture of Thomas with, oh, every U.S. president since Eisenhower.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:56 PM | Comments (0)

World Cup- in 3D

My company, with some help from Sony and ESPN, has something pretty awesome planned for the CEA Line Shows in two weeks- we're showing the World Cup in 3D. Will the U.S. still be alive June 22? Let's hope.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:55 PM | Comments (1)

Silver Goes Mainstream

No, not me, but rather Nate Silver is taking his blog to the New York Times. Way to go.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:54 PM | Comments (0)

The Packers' Love Boat

Hey Packer fans- now you have your own Lake Minnetonka. I'm sure Mark Chmura is very upset he wasn't invited.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:52 PM | Comments (1)


Vanity Fair has a brilliant parody of Christopher Hitchens' new memoir. Can't wait to read the real thing.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:51 PM | Comments (0)

June 05, 2010

Obama is Not Spock

Yea, yea, I get it- Obama, like Mr. Spock, is "born of two worlds," and he's known for being coldly calculating and not showing much emotion. And others say it's offensive because it's comparing the president to an alien. But come on- this whole "compare the president to a popular movie character" thing is just lazy political commentary at its worst, yet another of Maureen Dowd's awful contributions to the culture.

Look, everyone can do it:

- "Obama is Iron Man" - Jon Stewart, April 1

- "Obama is Robin Hood" - Right Wing News, April 12.

- "Obama is Carrie Bradshaw" -Isaac Mizrahi, March 20, 2009

- "Obama is Don Draper" - Vivian Blog, October 2008

- "Obama is Harry Potter" - The Wrap.com, July 2009 (among others)

- "Obama is Batman" -Englandforobama.com, 2008.

Quick, Maureen- you've got two weeks to come up with a column on why Barack Obama is like the Karate Kid.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:08 PM | Comments (0)

How Dare He!

Really? Celebrities telling innocuous anti-Bush jokes is still something the right is getting outraged over? After the last two years of Obama is socialist/communist/Muslim/Hitler, I figured the Republicans had flip-flopped on the whole "insulting the president is bad" thing, but apparently not.

On the day Bush admits that he ordered torture and doesn't regret it, the obvious move is to get really, really mad at Paul McCartney for calling him dumb.

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

Two HBO Movies

I really, really liked HBO's documentary on John Cazale, "I Knew It Was You." But why in the world was it only 45 minutes? The filmmakers had access to footage from five of the greatest movies ever, plus talking head interviews with about 10 A-listers- they couldn't come up with a full hour?

And speaking of HBO, I also enjoyed the Clinton/Tony Blair movie, "The Special Relationship." I could watch a movie like this every week- in fact, some American network should hire Peter Morgan to do a weekly series, dramatizing real-life political events from the past 10 or 15 years. I'd watch it for sure.

Dennis Quaid was fine as Clinton- much, much better than his embarrassing Bush impression in "American Dreamz"- but he didn't really look the part. In fact, when he mentioned Boris Yeltsin, it made me realize he looked more like Yeltsin than Clinton.

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

The Imperfect Game

Yea, that was pretty sad last week when an umpire missed call cost Detroit's Armando Galarraga a perfect game. But yes, Bud Selig made the right call in not overturning the call- you can't rewrite history, and if the commissioner could, he'd have to revoke the World Series championships of every team that had someone on steroids. Like, say, every winner of the past 30 years.

Imagine if the same thing had happened in Roy Halladay's perfect game? What do you think the death toll would've been in Philly?

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

Godspeed, Junior

News Item: Ken Griffey, Jr., retires

Griffey is really the last superstar of my youth to retire (unless you count Jamie Moyer), not to mention the last Springfield softball player from that Simpsons episode to exit the game. I myself once saw Griffey get injured, in person, at a game in Cincinnati- and I'm guessing I'm far from alone among fans in that respect.

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

"All Barney Frank's Fault"

Did you hear that Barney Frank, as a committee ranking member in the party that was out of control of Congress, caused the financial crisis all by himself? Not so much, Krugman says.

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

Sort of Different, I'm Guessing, From "Treme"

Real World XXIV: New Orleans - MTV Shows

The music's not as good, but it's not as smug or preachy, either.

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

RIP, "Tim"

News Item: HBO cancels "Life and Times of Tim"

It was a great show; too bad, although allegedly other channels may pick it up.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:02 PM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2010

The Most Un-Self-Aware Man in the World

Larry Craig for some reason agrees to talk to "The Daily Show":

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Evan Bayh's Senate Retirement
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Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:42 PM | Comments (0)

June 01, 2010

Obama vs. Bibi

Time has a really great play-to-play of what went wrong in the relationship between the two leaders. I'm sure the piece will eventually be adapted into a Peter Morgan-written TV movie with Michael Sheen playing Netanyahu.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:00 PM | Comments (0)

One Other Dennis Hopper Performance

These delightfully deranged Nike ads from the mid '90s:

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

Noah at the Shore

My son's first trip to the ocean is chronicled in his latest blog post.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:02 PM | Comments (0)

"Flotilla Opinion Formed"

I pretty much agree with Jonathan Chait.

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

Perfect Halladay

Always nice to see history made, even if Philly was busy watching the Flyers at the time. Roy Halladay pitched baseball's 20th perfect game Saturday night, providing some relief amidst the recent unofficial sabbaticals taken by the Phils' bats.

Someone on Twitter had the best take- "Cliff Lee would've had two perfect games!" The Marlins had the worst- they're actually selling unused tickets to the game, at face value. As you know if you've seen a Marlins game, there were quite a few.

We thought about waking up Noah to show him history being made, but figured he's too young to get the significance. Yet if he's anything like the baseball-obsessed savant I was at age 7 or 8, I figure someday he'll know every single detail.

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

The Flotilla

I don't know exactly what happened; really, no one does. But it seems obvious that it was breathtakingly stupid of Israel to let it get to this point.

Israel's government right now reminds me quite a bit of the Bush Administration. There's the far-right orientation, the general incompetence, the seeming glee at being isolated from the rest of the world (including allies) and perhaps worst of all, the implication that if you're against them, you're against Israel itself.

At any rate, I'm beyond enraged at Bibi, Avignor Lieberman and the rest, because those of who love and defend Israel against truly evil enemies, they're making it harder for us.

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

Film Critic Quote of the Week

Matt Zoller Seitz on SATC 2:

The movie's privileged cluelessness reaches an early zenith when Miranda impulsively quits her cushy job at a law firm because her boss is sexist, and springs the decision on her husband (David Eigenberg) during her son's grade school recital. "Good for you, honey!" he exclaims. "I'll get another job, a better job!" she assures him. "I already called the headhunter." They should have ended the scene by having a giant bag of money fall out of the sky and land at her feet...

It's an accidental candid snapshot of the sick, dying heart of America, a film so pleased with its vacuous, trashy, art-free extravagance that its poster should be taped to the dingy walls of terrorist sleeper agents worldwide. More depressing and alarming than the movies themselves is the notion that a certain culture, a certain mindset, birthed it, without a pang of remorse or even apparent self-awareness, much less self-criticism. Ladies and gentlemen, this is why they hate us.

My review will be posted in a week, but my lord, what an atrocious film. It's like they forgot everything that was enjoyable or relatable about the TV show- mostly, the city itself- and opted to remake Albert Brooks' "Looking For Comedy in the Muslim World," making it even worse in the process.

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

At Least It's Better Than "The Ladies Man"

I review "MacGruber"- which after an inauspicious $4 million opening is now out of theaters- on Philly.com.

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