September 29, 2010

Three Thoughts on Last Night's "Glee"

- That Jewfro'd blogger kid may be the anti-Semetically drawn TV character since Levy the Evil Jewish Lawyer on "The Wire." This would be the sort of thing the ADL should go after if, you know, they had any credibility left.

- I was sort of hoping Lea Michele would continue dressing like "Baby One More Time"-era Britney Spears indefinitely, but alas it was not to be. I did like the joke that she dresses like "the bait girl on 'To Catch a Predator.'"

- If the dentist part had been played by Bob Saget instead of Stamos, it would have been ten times funnier. Maybe they can introduce Saget and Dave Coulier as his practice partners, or something.

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

I'm Not a Reds Fan, But...

This was pretty awesome. I don't even remember the last time someone hit a walk-off homer to clinch a division. And their first playoff berth in 15 years, no less. I'll be rooting for them to crush the Braves in round 1.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:59 PM | Comments (0)

Getting "Nice" Again

My latest appearance on the "Sensitive Nice Guy" podcast is online here.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:59 PM | Comments (2)

The Party of No New Ideas

Stewart on the totally original Republican "Pledge":

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Postcards From the Pledge
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity
Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:58 PM | Comments (0)

The Sabermetric Kenny Powers

Fangraphs calculates Powers' career stats. Incidentally, twice in the last couple of months I've met former major leaguers, and the first thing I've done afterward is looked up their Baseball Reference pages on my phone. Don't you wish you could do that with everyone you met- look up their "career stats" immediately?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:56 PM | Comments (1)

The O'Keefe Prank

First of all, he's an idiot; second of all- why is this shot like an MTV "rockumentary," circa 1994?:

Yea, that'll teach the "Lamestream Media" a lesson! Clearly, it's convoluted, failed pranks like this that are what's going to get the Republicans back into power.

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

The Scourge of Student Council Must Be Stopped!

Remember those student government types in college who took themselves so seriously that they thought they were actual elected officials? Well, this story is the exact opposite:

For months, Andrew Shirvell, an assistant attorney general for Michigan, has been writing the blog "Chris Armstrong Watch," devoted to attacking the University of Michigan's gay student assembly president with homophobic and other horrible slurs. What is wrong with him?
Shirvell, who faced an outraged Anderson Cooper on CNN last night, is a deeply conservative Christian who claims that he has the right to say whatever he wants outside of work. Which may be true, but his campaign against a gay college student might have veered into the category of harassment, and at the very least, is as sad and pathetic as pretty much anything an adult can do under the name of "political activism."
Yes, it's a high-ranking government official- in the actual government- who felt his valuable time was best spent attacking a 20-year-old college student. That remind anyone else of the plot of "Karate Kid III," where it's a wealthy businessman dedicating himself to destroying a teenage karate champion?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:55 PM | Comments (0)

A "Fuck You" From NES

An old-school game system sings Cee-Lo's hit:

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

I Support Same-Sex Marriage...

But you know what I don't support? Heterosexual sitcom characters getting into sham same-sex marriages. It wasn't funny when "The Drew Carey Show" did it, when "Old Christine" did it, when the awful Adam Sandler movie did it or now that its Charlie and Frank on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." And it's especially weak since Charlie and Frank were pretty much married anyway, living together and even sleeping in the same bed. It's just a stupid cliche that's never worked and probably never will.

'Sunny' had its all-time best season last year, but through two episodes this year? I don't know. The show after it, "The League," has been much better, largely thinks to Rafi, aka "El Cuñado," who has instantly become the show's best character.

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

September 28, 2010

I Know I've Been Saying This For Five Years, But...

McNabb to the Vikings in 2011 is looking pretty inevitable, huh? He's a free agent, hasn't signed an extension with Washington and they're terrible. Favre won't be back, there's no Vikings QB of the future anywhere in sight, and unless they go 3-13 or something old McNabb friend Brad Childress won't be fired. So I wouldn't be surprised at all- if, you know, there is a 2011 season.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:21 AM | Comments (0)

Phillies Clinch at Home After All

The Phillies tonight wrapped up both their fourth straight NL East title and home field advantage throughout the NL playoffs with a win over the Nationals in Washington, and if you thought it was a bummer to clinch on the road, you'd be wrong- the crowd, at the end of the rainy game, appeared to be about 95 percent Philly, including everyone sitting behind home plate and anywhere else within camera view.

Say what you will about Philly fans, but taking over a stadium in another city on a weeknight in the rain- that says something. But it has to be humiliating for for the Nats organization who, I'd imagine, would like to be able to celebrate an NL East title on their own field someday.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:21 AM | Comments (0)

RIP, George Blanda and Gloria Stuart

But in all honesty, I was amazed that both were still alive until today. Kudos to Gloria for outliving her "Titanic" character by 13 years.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2010

Pam Geller is Stupid

Not only is she a loon and a bigot, but she lacks even basic reading comprehension skills. From her site today:

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf Leaves NBA For ........Turkey (hat tip Living)

(CBS Sportsline) Sacramento Kings guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who gained notoriety for his refusal to stand for the national anthem two years ago, is leaving the NBA to play basketball in Turkey.

Quite a topical story, indeed. It's from 1998.

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

In the ATL

I just returned from five days in Atlanta, my first-ever visit to the city. It was a fun time; a few observations on the city:

- I was there covering CEDIA Expo, an annual conference of high-end electronics professionals, home theater installers, integrators, etc. Sort of like CES, only an older and much more professional crowd. My coverage of the event can be found at and

- A very nice city, I was quite impressed. I stayed downtown and also spent some time in midtown and really enjoyed both areas, though I didn't make it to Buckhead unfortunately. I like the town, my longstanding Braves hatred notwithstanding.

- Speaking of which, after being in Philly for the first two nights of the Phillies-Braves series, I was in Atlanta for the third night when the Phils completed the sweep, and the devastation in Atlanta was just palpable. Just kidding. I didn't notice anyone caring at all.

I stayed at the Atlanta Westin- a beautiful hotel in a great location, with a real great view of the convention center, Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia Dome and World of Coca Cola. CNN was right there too and has without a doubt the ugliest building of the three cable news channels. In a visit to the CNN Center gift shop, I nearly had to be restrained from strangling a life-sized cutout of Nancy Grace (and from playing the Larry King Game with Larry's cutout.)

And speaking of CNN, I passed none other than Ted Turner on the street, right outside my hotel. He was with a woman who looked to be, maybe, 25, as well as another couple. The last time I saw Ted in person was when he was he and his then-wife, Jane Fonda, sat in the front row as the Braves were losing the 1991 World Series to the Twins. (See third verse.)

Also across the convention center, next to CNN, was Philips Arena, former site of the Omni- which I remember most of all from all the NWA and WCW stuff that happened there. Rather than any basketball or hockey moment, my biggest memory of Philips Arena was Goldberg winning the WCW championship from Hulk Hogan in July 1998:

My favorite part of that- due to the storyline at the time, Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone both interfering.

Speaking of wrestling, I didn't make it to Abdullah the Butcher's House of Ribs. Maybe next time.

I got invited to an industry party Friday night and the musical guest, randomly, was the Gin Blossoms. The crowd was pretty into them considering they're about 15 years removed from their last hit.

And finally, Saturday, I paid a visit to the Martin Luther King Historical District. It's a beautiful facility, and very inspiring, and I'm so, so glad that Glenn Beck is around to keep MLK's legacy alive.

Atlanta is good, I like Atlanta. And now, Seattle, Houston, Phoenix and New Orleans are the only major U.S. cities that I haven't been to.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 07:55 PM | Comments (3)

Going to Town

My review of Ben Affleck's "The Town" is online at

Posted by Stephen Silver at 07:54 PM | Comments (0)

Sports Radio Moments of the Day

I guess I picked the right week not to be in Philly. The three points of consensus about the Vick/Kolb switch I heard during the Eagles pregame show on the way back from the airport just now:

- Andy Reid had a secret plan all along to play Vick as starting quarterback, and was just stringing Kolb along all the time.

- The QB switch was initiated by ownership, and the move was merely "all about the money."

- Now that he's done this, Andy Reid will never have any credibility ever again.

All three are total, total hooey. For these reasons:
- If Reid had wanted Vick to be the quarterback all along, he'd have named him the quarterback; he had no reason not to do so. He didn't "lie," he just changed his mind.

- How could the Vick/Kolb decision be about money? Both quarterbacks will make the same salary this year whether they start or not, and the team won't sell any more or fewer tickets either way.

- No credibility ever again? What if the Eagles win the next 10 games with Vick? Then he'll be seen as a genius and a visionary and no one will care about the process.

At least it's finally team for the game- then, it's McNabb Week! Speaking of which, Mark Eckel's column today: "Vick: Best QB Since Donovan." Gee, ya think?

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

The Story of the Hankies

MinnPost has a fascinating history of the Homer Hanky. Here's this year's:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 07:44 PM | Comments (0)

TV Critic Quote of the Day

Nathan Rabin on "Jersey Shore":

US Weekly’s cover this week boasts a screaming headline reading, “Snooki’s trash talking, The Situation’s diva antics, Jwoww and the backstabbing TV doesn’t show.” I found that odd considering that just about all Jersey Shore has shown this year has been Snooki’s trash talking, The Situation’s diva antics, Jwoww”s explosive temper and backstabbing. What TV doesn’t show is the cast pontificating loftily on the new Jonathan Franzen novel or heading to the local art theater to check out the latest mumblecore effort. Yes, season two will go down in pop trash history as the season we found out what happens when people stop being polite and get really, really horrible.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 07:35 PM | Comments (0)

So Unlike Him!

ESPN: Brett Favre having "second thoughts" about comeback

Aren't they fifth or sixth or 50th thoughts by now? Although at least they got a win today. It's great to not be 0-3, and even better to see Peterson running all over everyone again.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 07:34 PM | Comments (0)

SNL, Eek

Yes, I liked the Katy Perry Elmo top (who didn't?) But Andy Samberg's Brigette Nielsen impression was probably the first time I laughed all night, and that was at 12:57. I like Amy Poehler a lot, but none of her SNL recurring characters were funny, at all, and trotting them out again- along with a celebrity cameo every two minutes- didn't help matters. And this Jay Pharoah, who I keep hearing is a potential superstar, showed me nothing on the first shot. Yikes.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 07:33 PM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2010

AL Central Champs, Best Record in Baseball...

And now the Twins have a Craig Finn-written theme song for the playoff run:

Yes, he rhymed "wasn't quite born yet" with "Zoilo Versalles."

Much, much better than that Prince-written monstrosity for the Vikings last year. I'm seeing the Hold Steady in Philly Oct. 8; maybe he'll play it.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:08 PM | Comments (0)

Fire Naked Joe Morgan

Just last night I got to the FireJoeMorgan reunion on Deadspin- made me realize how much I missed them. The "Naked Joe Morgan" item, in particular, had me howling uproariously.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:06 PM | Comments (0)

Tick Tock, the Movie

Don't know about this idea:

"The Clock" is a montage of clips from several thousand films, structured so that the resulting artwork always conveys the correct time, minute by minute, in the time zone in which is it being exhibited. The scenes in which we see clocks or hear chimes tend to be either transitional ones suggesting the passage of time or suspenseful ones building up to dramatic action. "If I asked you to watch a clock tick, you would get bored quickly," explains the artist in remarkably neutral English. "But there is enough action in this film to keep you entertained, so you forget the time, but then you're constantly reminded of it."
I liked the idea better when it was called "every episode of '24."

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

Guessing This One Won't Be Screened For Critics

Insane Clown Posse presents... the first-ever Juggalo Western:

My favorite part, other than the Jimmy Hart cameo? That Violent J is pretty obviously playing the villain as Boss Hogg.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 01:04 PM | Comments (1)

September 23, 2010

A New Starter

Philadelphia Fan/Radio Conventional Wisdom, Fall 2009: "Michael Vick is a monster! How dare the Eagles sign him!"

Philadelphia Fan/Radio Conventional Wisdom, Fall 2010, Before Tuesday: "Michael Vick should be playing instead of Kolb!"

Philadelphia Fan/Radio Conventional Wisdom Fall 2010, After Tuesday; "How dare the Eagles bench Kolb for Vick! Andy Reid is a liar!"

Notice there's no internal consistency there whatsoever, with one exception: it's always against the Eagles. And if you thought that was a lot, wait until he has a bad game!

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:18 AM | Comments (2)

September 21, 2010

Simmons on PTI!

The two best things about ESPN converge:

As for the other best thing about ESPN, much as I've loved "30 For 30" it's been sort of mediocre lately. The Steinbrenner doc was a bunch of old interviews and old stories, with almost nothing we didn't know already. The Tyson/Tupac one had the awful slam poet narrator, plus it told maybe the 25th most-interesting story of Tyson's career. And while I generally liked the Martina/Evert one, as one critic pointed out, "it was shot like a douche commercial."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:40 PM | Comments (2)

Noah in the Fall

My son's got a new blog post up here.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:10 PM | Comments (0)

My New Favorite SI Cover Ever

The beautiful photo of the beautiful ballpark under the blue, Teflon-free skies. The Garrison Keillor reference in the headline. The homage to the first SI cover from 1954. That it's Jim Thome's first-ever time on the cover of SI. The appearance of my dad's office (the ugly beige skyscraper behind Target Center). The possibility of actual October success for the Twins. That I'm sure Posnanski wrote a kick-ass story- can I hope for a Steve Rushin sidebar too? And I would probably love the cover even if I weren't a Twins fan.

I might have to order this and frame it- barring a jinx, of course. The magic number is two.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 07:24 PM | Comments (0)


My review of "Machete," which despite being a one-joke movie was perhaps the most fun I've had at the movies all year, is online at

Posted by Stephen Silver at 07:23 PM | Comments (0)

"The Eagles' Worst Nightmare"

In quite a few cases over the past week I've heard the Eagles' current quarterback predicament- Kevin Kolb played badly, got injured, and Michael Vick played well, with Kolb scheduled to come back- described as "The Eagles' worst nightmare." To which I ask- why?

The Eagles' worst nightmare, I'd imagine, would be if they had NO good quarterbacks, or both of them injured, or Kolb going out injured and Vick looking terrible. If they were the Arizona Cardinals, in other words, that would be their worst nightmare. If you're two games into the season and you're not 0-2, it's probably not your worst nightmare.

If you take the position that the Eagles' management are evil, sadistic Machiavellians who hate their fans and purposely do the exact opposite of what they want- and that's probably a majority opinion in the Anti-Eagles Movement- then yes, Vick playing well in Kolb's stead is the worst possible outcome. But I'd imagine Andy Reid and Joe Banner and Jeffrey Lurie are happy to be 1-1 instead of 0-2. And, once again, they don't care what the fans think, nor should they.

And I thought stupid conspiracy theories about Eagles quarterbacks were a thing of the past once McNabb was gone...

UPDATE: Looks like, in a rare case of WIP conventional wisdom and Andy Reid aligning, Vick will become the starting QB after all... And in today's sports radio moment of the day, a WIP afternoon caller spent 10 minutes berating Ike Reese for "destroying" Kevin Kolb, as though Reese singlehandedly had the power to move time, space and Andy Reid.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 07:21 PM | Comments (1)

Great Moments in Fantasy Football

At risk of breaking the "nobody cares about anyone else's fantasy team" rule, a fantasy story from last night:

After losing by more than 100 points in Week 1 in my Philly league, I went into Monday night with a 10-point lead. I had only Frank Gore left to play, and my opponent had only Drew Brees.

Skip ahead to two minutes left in regulation- the fantasy score is tied. The Saints are leading by 8 and the 49ers have the ball. So I'm rooting for the Niners to keep the ball for the rest of regulation, Gore to get points, but for them NOT to tie the game, because the Saints getting the ball back, or overtime, means a chance for Brees to get more points.

So Gore gets a long run, and then he scores a touchdown, to put me ahead. Then the Niners' two-point conversation fails, meaning the Saints get the ball back, will sit on it, Brees gets no more points and I win. BUT, there's a booth review of the two-point conversion, it's reversed, the score is tied and the Saints get the ball back for one more drive.

So Brees has a chance to get enough points to beat me. Fortunately, his couple of completions aren't enough, and the Saints' game-winning field goal means no overtime and I win. Also, my opponent in my national league had Saints kicker Garrett Hartley, but fortunately I was ahead by enough that the field goal didn't matter.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 07:18 PM | Comments (0)

Move the Hall of Fame!

Hoboken's Hudson Reporter gets into the sad story of how Cooperstown stole the title of "birthplace of baseball" from its rightful place, Hoboken, NJ.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 07:17 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2010

And George McGovern Says, "Release the Birth Certificate!"

News Item: Walter Mondale calls for Obama to "get rid of those teleprompters, and connect."

I love ya, Walter, but you're not helping.

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

Quote of the Day


"At the beginning of the summer, my conservative friend David Frum made a joking remark that stayed with me. The evolution of right-wing abuse of President Barack Obama, he said, was not unlike the evolution of American pornography. It took a long time for the appearance of things like bare breasts and pubic hair to occur, but once those thresholds had been crossed, it didn't take long for the most lurid things to be freely depicted and for the competition for obscenity to become ever more extreme. "Everybody's afraid now of being outdone from the right," he told me. "So when somebody eventually comes out and calls Obama an 'Afro-Nazi,' it will go mainstream quite fast."
By this time next year they'll be calling Obama a space alien, and Fox will host "debates" on "is Obama a space alien?"

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

Like Koufax in '65, Only the Exact Opposite

Nationals pitcher Jason Marquis, who is Jewish, pitched Friday night, which was Kol Nidre, against the Phillies. He lasted a third of an inning, giving up six runs on six hits.

So does this mean Jewish ballplayers should make sure to go to Temple on Yom Kippur? Not necessarily. Twins third baseman Danny Valencia, also a member of the tribe, hit a game-winning three-run homer against Oakland Saturday.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:00 AM | Comments (1)

September 19, 2010

Sunday NFL Notes

- Oh, Vikings. The team through two games has reminded me of that awful stretch they had in December last year where the offense was out of sync and they couldn't score. And yes, Favre looks every one of his 41 years. And now Percy Harvin's hurt, too. It's going to be a long, long season, I fear.

- The Eagles got a big win over Detroit, as MIchael Vick looked like his 2004 self, which will give even more ammo to the Eagles' quarterback controversy this week, especially since Kevin Kolb has already been named the starter for Week 3.

- In the Redskins' loss to the Texans in overtime, Donovan McNabb threw for over 400 yards. No, not 400 yards on passes thrown on the ground. 400 yards in actual catches.

- It was free preview week for the NFL RedZone Channel, and even though I only had it for the late games, I think I'm in love.

- At least I appear to have won in both fantasy leagues this week. Last week, in my local league, I lost by more than 100 points, and only a late Monday night run prevented my entire team from being outscored by Peyton Manning alone.

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

Good To Get Different Viewpoints

AP: Colin Powell Defends Obama

Politico: Colin Powell critical of President Obama

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

Quote of the Day

John Cole on Christine O'Donnell:

It really says something weird about the country that in 2010, you can be a viable Senate candidate believing masturbation is evil and that gays just have a personality disorder or even admitting you’ve dabbled in the dark arts, but if you stand up and say “I’m an atheist,” you’ll just get destroyed in the election. People believe in and do all sorts of crazy shit and get elected to higher office, but the one surefire barrier (save Pete Stark) to elected office is not believing in something. Saying “I don’t believe in the virgin birth” makes you a crazy person. It’s just weird.

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

Liberal Woodstock

Get ready for Stewart/Colbert-a-pol-ooza:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Rally to Restore Sanity
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

I'd be totally there if that weren't the middle weekend of the World Series.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:57 PM | Comments (0)

The Chart Pam Geller Doesn't Want You to See

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:56 PM | Comments (1)

September 17, 2010

Going Gaga For the Eagles decided to go to the parking lot outside the recent Lady Gaga concert in Philly to ask who should be the Eagles' quarterback going forward. They seemingly edited out the majority of people who answered, "huh?"

First of all, women in Philly know more about sports than women anywhere else, no question, even if none of them can correctly pronounce "Kolb."

Gaga fans or no, I still think it's hilarious that all the same people who a year ago were outraged about the Vick signing and vowing to renounce their fandom are now demanding that Vick play.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:26 PM | Comments (3)

Cohen and Queen

News Item: Sacha Baron Cohen to star in Freddie Mercury biopic

This instantly jumps to the front of the list of 2011 movies I'm most excited about. We know Cohen isn't squeamish about playing gay- but can he sing? Other than "In My Country There is Problem," I mean? I'm just glad they didn't do something foolish like cast Adam Lambert in the role.

We know we'll never get a decent, honest biopic of John Lennon or Kurt Cobain as long as Yoko and Courtney Love are alive. But here some other music biopics I'd love to see:

- Marvin Gaye. This one's allegedly in limbo because two different entities own the rights to two different chunks of his music.

- Jeff Buckley. It would probably have to be short though. James Franco would have to play him.

- Harry Nilsson. There's a doc out about him right now.

- Cat Stevens. Would be the most fascinating one of all, I'm sure, although American audiences would never go for a story that ends with the star renouncing his music and embracing Islam. Joaquin Phoenix would be more right for this role than he was for Cash, for both acting and facial hair reasons.

- Led Zeppelin. An adaptation of "Hammer of the Gods" could make a kick-ass movie, although I can't imagine it possibly avoiding an NC-17 rating if it's at all faithful. Ditto for Motley Crue's "Dirt."

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

September 16, 2010

"I Saw a Vagina Once. On a Thursday"

Richard Rys, in a really good Philadelphia Magazine piece, traces the decline of Philly's Old City section, from the city's premiere nightlife destination to "The Land of 1,000 Snookis." Yes, I know to avoid Second and Chestnut, aka "The Douchebag Block," on any weekend evening.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:24 PM | Comments (0)

That About Does It...

The Twins beat the White Sox for the second night in a row Wednesday, bringing their AL Central lead to 8 and reducing their magic number to 10. And despite the headline below, they didn't beat themselves up:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:48 AM | Comments (0)

Sensitive Side

My latest appearance on my friend Jordan's "Sensitive Nice Guy Show" is posted on his site. We discuss "Eat Pray Love," "Sex and the City" and much else.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:47 AM | Comments (0)

Reading Between the Lines of Obama

Jonathan Bernstein shows what Obama REALLY said in his speech in Philadelphia yesterday.

I didn't get to see the president yesterday, mostly because I was standing in exactly the wrong place when he was both coming and going, although I did see his motorcade go by. A pretty excited audience out there but no protesters; 17th and Spring Garden in Philly isn't exactly a teabagger stronghold.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:47 AM | Comments (0)

The Joke in Delaware

The Tea Party did its stupidest thing yet Tuesday, propelling nutty perennial candidate/Sarah Palin Mini-Me Christine O'Donnell over more moderate shoo-in winner Mike Castle, handing a sure Senate victory to the Democrats.

Yes, as Rachel Maddow dug up yesterday, O'Donnell once went on MTV and spoke out against masturbation. So O'Donnell's candidacy should be in pretty good shape provided they're aren't any masturbators in Delaware.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:46 AM | Comments (1)

Stupidest Anti-Blogger Argument Ever

The Toronto Globe and Mail's Bruce Dowbiggin on how to handle the "blogger problem":

if a blogger wants a place in a press box or dressing room environment there should be something more tangible at stake - say, a bond of $10,000 that a blogger would lose should a court or arbitrator find he or she broke professional standards or libel laws. Such a policy would sort out the valuable from the voluble in short order.
Yea, great idea. Are print reporters subject to the same restrictions? Of course not.

Look, there are bloggers who dig up embarrassing personal stuff about athletes, and there are other bloggers who get credentialed, sit in the press box and pretty much act as beat reporters. There isn't a whole lot of overlap between the groups. The press box should be for people who are respectable journalists with a sizable audience, whereever that audience may be.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:46 AM | Comments (0)

Film Critic Quote of the Week

Lindy West on "Eat Pray Love":

Objectively, Eat, Pray, Love isn’t even that BAD as cotton-candy chick flicks go. But the unexamined privilege, the idealization/exotification of all places east, the canned spirituality, the sensual goddamn spaghetti—it’s all so focus-group-tested and Oprah approved and self-perpetuating and embarrassing that I just want to go and hide in an Ashram somewhere and suck on figs forever. And who knows? Maybe I’ll finally find a husband! Not that it matters. (Oh, but it does!!! It DOES.)
That was my second-favorite review of that particular movie. This was my favorite.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:45 AM | Comments (0)

Brandeis vs. Peretz

The New Republic's Marty Peretz draw a lot of fire a couple of weeks ago when he wrote in a blog post that "Muslim life is cheap" and that Muslims are undeserving of the "privilege" that is the First Amendment. Among those firing back at Peretz is his alma mater (and mine) Brandeis.

Students at the school have drafted a letter to Peretz, asking him to apologize for the comments.

And he has, although he stated "I wrote that, but I do not believe that," which is not something any writer should ever say. If you wrote it, then by definition yes, you do believe it, unless you're talking about something you wrote ten years ago, as opposed to last week.

But more importantly, he's lying- Peretz clearly DOES believe that, because he's a bigoted old coot who's been bashing Muslims verbally and in writing for something like two decades, and has a long, long paper trail to prove it.

I've always loved the New Republic, but the magazine's going to be missing some legitimacy and credibility for as long as Peretz is associated with it.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:45 AM | Comments (0)

Hey, Remember the '90s?

Pitchfork does, with an amusing list.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:44 AM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Adam Serwer on Dinesh D'Souza's latest nonsense:

"This is birtherism with big words. This is the witchdoctor sign without Photoshop, WorldNetDaily without the exclamation points. D'Souza doesn't need to stare at Obama's birth certificate for hours to come to the same conclusion as the birthers, which is that the president is a foreigner... Of course, it isn't just racist but idiotic. D'Souza's grasp of policy is shallow as a puddle of piss in a dark alley, but it's safe to say that someone self-identifying as an "anti-colonialist" would not be escalating an American war in central Asia or claiming the authority to use the entire planet as a target range for flying robots armed with cruise missiles."

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:43 AM | Comments (0)

Finally Embracing Julius and Ethel

News Item: ADL to Honor Rosenberg Family

Just kidding. Different Rosenbergs, who aren't spies, and it's a local branch of the ADL. But honoring the actual Rosenbergs would probably make more sense than some of the ADL's recent moves.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:42 AM | Comments (0)

The Case Against Kindle Bikini Girl

AdFreak doesn't like her, calling her "a snooty ice queen who brags about her frugality and flaunts her wasteful consumerism." The comments are even nastier.

The backlash is almost as pronounced as the one against "I May Be in My Pajamas..." Girl.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:40 AM | Comments (1)

Worst Sports Radio Show Ever

Yes, Turtle is going to host a fantasy football show on Sirius. Most days I time how long I can listen to the Cataldi show before wanting to turn it off and the average is around ten seconds. The Turtle Show makes Cataldi sound like Vin Scully.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:40 AM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2010

The Worst Movie Line Ever

From the trailer to the new movie "The Virginity Hit":

"I'm gonna do to your virginity what Alfred Hitchcock did to Birds."
Huh? You mean direct it?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:23 PM | Comments (1)

September 13, 2010

Caution: Kenyan Anti-Colonialist on the Premises

President Obama will be delivering his annual back-to-school remarks Tuesday from the Julia R. Masterman Labratory and Demonstration School in Philadelphia, which is a mere two blocks away from my office building. I can almost smell the Islamic socialism from here!

I'll have to try to catch him walking into the building or something at lunchtime. I just hope my parents' flight out of town in the morning isn't impacted by Air Force One's arrival...

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

On Kolb

An honest question for Eagles fans- what gave you the impression, prior to yesterday, that Kevin Kolb is good? I'm not trash-talking; I honestly am curious why.

Kolb has always looked awful in preseason games, as well as in the controversial game in '08 when he relieved McNabb in Baltimore. He threw for a ton of yards in his two regular-season starts last year, winning one and losing the other.

So what's inspired the confidence? That the organization seems to trust him? That he's always looked good in practice? That Andy Reid, for all his faults, seems to have good judgment with quarterbacks? Or just that his name isn't "Donovan McNabb"?

I'm not saying he won't eventually become a quality quarterback. And since they've committed to him as their starter, I don't see how they can yank the starting job from him after one half of one game. But my goodness- that was NOT a good start to the Kolb Era.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:16 PM | Comments (1)

Kindle vs. iPad

Amazon fires a shot across the bow:

There's a bit of a hole in that ad though: the guy with the iPad clearly doesn't care how easy it is to read the Kindle in the sunlight. He was just looking for an excuse to chat up the bikini babe.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:15 PM | Comments (1)

RIP, Mike "Norman the Lunatic" Shaw

Yes, Bastion Booger lived to be 53. He'd better be Deadspin's Dead Wrestler of the Week... Shaw's Norman the Lunatic character, an escaped mental patient in circa-1990 WCW, was one of my favorite gimmicks ever.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:14 PM | Comments (0)

The Vile Newt Gingrich

The bar for disgusting statements about the president from top Republicans has been cleared once again, with Newt Gingrich over the weekend saying that Obama sees the world as a "Kenyan anti-colonialist."

I mean- let's count the things wrong- Obama's not Kenyan. He's not any more anti-colonialist than, I don't know- George Washington? John Adams? Nelson Mandela? Gandhi? Is colonialism, on the right, now seen as a virtue? It's also a bit inaccurate; I can't imagine anyone whose worldview is shaped by anti-colonialism choosing to triple the amount of troops in Afghanistan.

Of course, the whole thing is one big racist dog-whistle, with a little bit of red-baiting thrown in for good measure (the far right in America also saw African anti-colonial movements as fronts for communism.) All this, of course, can't do anything but help Gingrich in the Republican primaries.

And what's sad is, Sarah Palin is a blithering idiot. She doesn't know any better. Gingrich does- he's got a PhD in history. He's just choosing to embrace pure, hateful bullshit when he DOES know better.

Of course, all Newt was doing was quoting that lunatic Dinish D'Souza, whose article originally making the point has already been thoroughly dismantled. I saw D'Souza speak once in college and he seemed like an intelligent, reasonable conservative. Then, he wrote a book that argued that due to liberal excesses, America had 9/11 coming.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:13 PM | Comments (2)

Quote of the Day

Reza Aslan, on "Meet the Press" this week:

Anti-Muslim sentiment in this country is at unprecedented levels. We all know this. But what’s truly disturbing is how mainstream it’s becoming with politicians on both sides–and I would have to include the former mayor [Giuliani] in this, in this category–openly and explicitly associating American Muslims with al-Qaeda. But let’s call a spade a spade for a moment. If you are painting 1.5 billion people with the same brush of violence and, and, and extremism, you’re a bigot. And I think what’s, what’s disturbing is the way that that’s become part of the natural discourse now.

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

The Tillman Story

I review the great but infuriating documentary "The Tillman Story" on

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:45 AM | Comments (0)

Birds Down

Well, that was about the worst-case scenario imaginable for the Eagles- they lose in Week 1, Kevin Kolb looks atrociously bad before coming out of the game with a concussion, as does Stewart Bradley, while Leonard Weaver and Jamaal Jackson sufer season-ending injuries. And now they've got a quarterback controversy, to boot. Oh- and Donovan McNabb beat the Cowboys in his Redskins debut.

Kolb scored a whopping two fantasy points, and looked just about as bad as any NFL quarterback I've seen in recent memory. So I hope all the "McNabb Must Go" types are happy- because Donovan never, ever in his life played a half of football as bad as that one. Michael Vick looked better than Kolb, but he clearly isn't a playoff-caliber NFL quarterback at this point. They say in most cities the backup quarterback is the most popular man in town- but not, alas, if he's murdered dogs.

I was almost surprised how subdued the postgame radio discussion was. As opposed to the WIP pregame show, which consisted, almost exclusively from what I heard, of anti-McNabb cheap shots. Yes, about a player who's no longer an Eagle and wasn't on the opposing team, either.

My favorite part of the night- I went to go pick up a pizza at one point during the fourth quarter, and a little old lady waiting there looked at the TV and asked me, innocently, "Why isn't Donovan McNabb still on the team?" While I struggled for an answer to the question, she followed up, "did he do something wrong?" Two very good questions, that I expect we'll be asking for months if not years.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 12:44 AM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2010

Radiohead-Inspired Headline of the Day

Wall Street Journal: Apple Gets Paranoid About Android

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

September 11, 2010

High Noah Days

Noah celebrates his cousin's bris, and his first Rosh Hashanah, in a new blog post.

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

"McNabb Deniers"

Football Outsiders' Michael Tanier has written the best take I've ever read about Donovan McNabb, and I've read a whole lot of them. Every word is absolutely spot-on. The best part, in talking about the death of Tanier's anti-Donovan aunt:

My beloved aunt died in 2009, but the McNabb Denial movement is still going strong. Some call fans like Aunt Ginny "McNabb Haters," but hatred isn't strong enough a word. They are deniers, like evolution deniers, moon landing deniers, and other deniers who I don't want to mention here. McNabb Deniers don't just denigrate his accomplishments in Philadelphia, they try to erase their very existence. They spent the last decade writing a revisionist history of Eagles football as it happened. Now that McNabb is in Washington, they are shoveling dirt over everything that's left, recasting the most successful decade in Eagles history as an era of failure and scandal. The McNabb Deniers have taken typical Philly pessimism to a new level: It's not just spleen-venting, but a salted-earth pogrom of collective memory eradication that would make Orwell proud...
And more:
What's happening to McNabb isn't booing. It isn't fraternal criticism. It's character assassination. Booing is an in-the-moment impulse, a seat-of-the-pants judgment. I've screamed at McNabb, hurled my kids' toys across the room, stormed out of bars cursing his name, sulked through Audibles at the Line with nary an Eagles comment after his poor games. Criticism, right or wrong, implies thought and perspective. McNabb had an awful delivery on out-routes. His ball security, in recent years, was terrible. He had slumps. He should have known the damn overtime rules. McNabb "lovers" are capable of criticism.

McNabb, more than Jaworski, Schmidt, or anyone before him, has become the victim of a smear campaign, one that connects the dots between real and perceived faults, plays very fast with the facts, and ignores all the evidence that doesn't fit. In other words, a denier's agenda.

I've always wondered how people like that would react to an actual crappy Eagles quarterback. We may very well find out, starting on Sunday.

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


Well no, not an especially auspicious start for the Vikings' season, as the offense sputtered in an opening-night loss to the Saints. Perhaps they've have been in better sync if the quarterback had shown up at training camp earlier than August 17.

But really, deep down, didn't every Vikings fan know they'd lose that game? I'm just glad Favre got through the game without a debilitating injury.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:44 PM | Comments (0)

9/11 Plus 9

It's hard to believe that terrible, singular day was nine years ago. I was across the river in Hoboken when it happened, and could see the smoke from out my apartment window. I saw the Twin Towers-less skyline from the park there on more or less a daily basis for the few years afterward, and the event all but dominated my thoughts, and views, for a very considerable period afterward.

At any rate, I want to say how infuriating it is that 9/11 has become, for all intents and purposes, a Republican holiday. No, this isn't new, exactly; see the '04 GOP convention, Rudy Giuliani's entire political career, etc. That moral cretins like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Pam Geller can spend the day either cynically vilifying political opponents and/or whole ethnic groups, cashing in, or more than one of the above. Anyone who engages in stuff like that should be totally ashamed of themselves.

Those who died that day will never, ever be forgotten.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:44 PM | Comments (0)

Film Critic Quote of the Week

Matt Zoller Seitz on Salon,"trash-talking" nine classic movies, and starting with the most deserving of all, "Gone With the Wind":

What happened? Maybe the country grew up just a little bit, and realized that, almost a century and a half after the Civil War's end, a democracy of free men and women should not be sentimentalizing the Confederacy as a fairy-tale kingdom in which good-hearted plantation owners ruled over happy, loyal darkies and threw big, beautiful soirées -- a land where things were just hunky-dory until those bad old Yankees came along and spoiled it. That's the part of "Gone With the Wind" that always gnawed at me.
I hate "Gone With the Wind" and always have. It's four hours long, it's racist and celebrates things that are vile and horrible, and its heroine is a loathsome, despicable shrew. It shouldn't have even made the AFI 100.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:42 PM | Comments (0)

The Coming War

It appears the NFL is set for a cataclysmic labor showdown a year from now, and Mike Silver (no relation) has a good roundup of what's going on.

I'm on the players' side, no question. They're the product, and they're the ones risking their lives and, in more and more cases, their lifelong physical well-being. Meanwhile, the owners have, by far, the most owner-friendly economic system of any major sport, and they're ready to shut down the game because they want it to be even more owner-friendly.

And not only that, the likes of Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft want to crush the league's revenue-sharing model, which is generally considered the #1 reason for the league's success. Are they really stupid enough to blow it all up, like the baseball owners did in the mid-'90s? Unfortunately, I think they are.

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

Two Wild Cards?

I would've been dead-set against the idea of any baseball playoff expansion, but Jayson Stark has me sold- why not two wild cards per league, playing a three-game series, with the winner playing the team with home-field advantage?

The way it is now, there's not much advantage to winning the division- but under the Stark System? It would make both the regular season and playoffs more interesting. Sort of like when the NFL used to have the Wild Card Game.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:40 PM | Comments (0)

Discovering "Friday Night Lights"

I watch lots of TV shows. I love football. I'm a big fan of both "Friday Night Lights" the book and the movie. Yet for some reason, until today I'd never seen the TV show. Not really sure what stopped me- too many shows to watch? My long-held antipathy towards creator Peter Berg, probably my least-favorite working Hollywood director besides Michael Bay?

But I just watched the pilot- wow. I think I'm hooked. They're showing re-runs five nights a week on ABC Family, and even though I'm heading into the busiest fall ever, I may need to catch up.

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

September 10, 2010

The Best Terry Jones Interview...

Was none at all. Good for "Morning Joe":

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Actually, I was with them until Pat Buchanan spoke. He is absolutely no different whatsoever than Terry Jones.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 03:17 PM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2010

Another Thing Steve Rushin And I Have in Common

My college didn't have a football team either, so I have no one to root for in college football. I guess it's between Minnesota (who've done nothing but play minor bowl games in my lifetime) and my wife's alma mater Pitt, until Noah picks a college.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:00 PM | Comments (2)


It's been a great year for documentaries, but I might be excited for this one most of all:

Posted by Stephen Silver at 10:57 PM | Comments (0)

September 08, 2010

Remixing My Son's Favorite Muppet Song

Shana tovah!

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:49 PM | Comments (0)

My Tech Magazine is a Lot Cheaper

Emails From an Asshole brings the funny on a TV sale.

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

Monster Trucks and Korans

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:51 PM | Comments (2)

Quote of the Day

Tim Marchman on Tony LaRussa:

I understand why no one likes Tony La Russa: You can’t drive drunk, hang out with Buzz Bissinger and Glenn Beck, wear highwaters, play as many scrubs with names like Chip and Scoot as possible and speak in a tone of sneering condescension and righteous belief in your own genius more suiting someone convinced he’s minutes away from mastering cold fusion than a baseball manager without rousing well-earned ire.

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

September 06, 2010

The Movie Left the Cake Song Out

I review "Going the Distance," in which Drew Barrymore plays the world's oldest journalism intern, on And yes, I know Drew mentioned the Cake song on Jon Stewart.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:38 PM | Comments (2)

Durant on a Pedestal

Tommy Craggs had a great, great piece on Slate last week about how sportswriters just love to put athletes on a pedestal, especially compared with, say, some other guy in the same sport at the same time who's in trouble for doing bad things. About time somebody said it.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:37 PM | Comments (1)

Among the Old Timers

Some quality footage from the Twins' Old Timers' Game Saturday- which, incidentally, delayed the start of the game. I love that Twin-turned-Rangers manager Ron Washington put on a Twins uniform to play in the Old Timers' Game, before changing back into Rangers garb to manage the game. Has that ever happened before?

As for the present-day Twins, it's been a good week.

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

Jon Runyan's Ass

A campaign ad by Congressman John Adler, who's running against ex-Eagle Jon Runyan:

This idea of paid negative ads against members of the Eagles is just hilarious to me. And what is the WIP morning show, after all, if not an anti-McNabb 527? They bash Andy Reid instead of Harry Reid.

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

Striking Back at Geller

The Jewish Week interviews Pam Geller- until she ran away from the interview, that is- and exposes this vile fraud for the shrieking bigot she is.

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

Godspeed, Portland Beavers

The Twins' former Triple A team ceases to exist, as of today. I used to have a Beavers T-shirt...

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

It's Sports, It's a Trap!

An ESPN commercial looks at the quest to name Admiral Ackbar the Ole Miss mascot:

"Star Wars" was on today, by the way, and while we didn't watch all of it, Noah got to see the Death Star blow up for the first time.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 11:34 PM | Comments (1)

Why Would Any Kid Want to Watch a Gingrich Biopic?

News Item: Pixar Releases Images from Canceled 'Newt' Film

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

September 02, 2010

Happy 9/02/10

In honor of the occasion:

Of course I loved a show in which three of the main guys were a Steve, a Silver and a Minnesotan. And yes, I had sideburns back then too.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:49 PM | Comments (1)

Quote of the Day

Tom Scocca on the Discovery Channel hostage-taker:

James J. Lee's political position was too esoteric to have fun playing football with. A radical environmentalist who decides that the crisis is best understood as a Manichean struggle between Good, represented by Al Gore's movie, and Evil, represented by the Discovery Channel—well, for someone who wanted to inspire a global movement, Lee had maybe dug a little too rigorously into the nuances of his own personal logic-space. He was the Armond White of ecoterrorism.

Posted by Stephen Silver at 09:49 PM | Comments (0)

Ruining Alaska

Alaska native Marty Beckerman complains that Sarah Palin has ruined his home state. I know how he feels- the "you betcha" and "doncha know" accent used to be associated with Minnesota, specifically because of "Fargo," although now it's tied to her.

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

September 01, 2010

The Third Amigo Arrives

Noah writes about his brand new cousin in his latest blog post.

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

The Twins' Ups and Downs

Minnesota's Sports on Demand goes round and round:

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

Quote of the Day

Taibbi on the great summer freakout:

There’s nothing in the world more tired than a progressive blogger like me flipping out over the latest idiocies emanating from the Fox News crowd. But this summer’s media hate-fest is different than anything we’ve seen before. What we’re watching is a calculated campaign to demonize blacks, Mexicans, and gays and convince a plurality of economically-depressed white voters that they are under imminent legal and perhaps even physical attack by a conspiracy of leftist nonwhites. They’re telling these people that their government is illegitimate and criminal and unironically urging secession and revolution
Then there's this video. It's nutpicking, sure, but my lord these people are idiots:

(Oops- wrong video earlier. This is the right one.)

My favorite is the person who said they heard Obama has made it illegal to pray at monuments. First of all, this hasn't happened- there's no news story about anything like that. Second of all, why would it? Third of all, how would such a ban be enforced? And fourth of all, who prays at monuments?

Posted by Stephen Silver at 04:51 PM | Comments (1)