It is impossible to miss the racism at work here. This is not Vince Foster. This is not Swiftboating. This is the dude who passed health care reform as "the biggest Affirmative Action in history." This is the whitey tape. This you are an "Indonesian welfare thug." This is the host of "Celebrity Apprentice," questioning the intellect of the past editor of the Harvard Law Review. This is the scion of inherited money as populist, and the scion of a teen single-mother as elitist. This is, if you were white, you and the black dude who came before wouldn't be here. This is we don't believe you.
In other words, this is a racism of the bone.
News Item: Obama releases long-form birth certificate.
Thus ends one of the more shameful chapters in American political history. The birther hoax was debunked about four years ago, the nutters continued flogging it anyway, and the allegedly liberal media decided to continue covering the "controversy," as though truth and untruth are just a difference of opinion.
Yes, it was racist- "where's the birth certificate?" was pretty much always just a substitute for yelling "n-word! n-word! n-word!," and of course such questions were never asked about any other presidential candidate ever. It was also libelous- the president of the United States was called a liar about being an American.
But to me the worst part of all was that it showed once again that in politics, the truth doesn't matter. There are absolutely no consequences anymore for telling bald-faced lies in politics.
Then I hear that today is a "win" for Donald Trump. Which is true, as long as you define "win" as "the thing you've been saying every day for months being proven definitively false." Trump is full of shit about this, because he's full of shit about everything.
David Frum has the best take I've seen.
Shep Smith, going way off-message:
This Deadspin takedown of an ESPN.com story that approached birther, racist Orioles outfielder Luke Scott with sympathy made me want to stand and applaud. Good job.
Yes, it's Oscar Wilde's "Jersey Shore":
There will be much gay smushing, I'm sure.
Noahblogs about Passover, a trip to New Jersey, and his meeting several members of the "Cars" cast.
The Onion completely and utterly destroys Mitt Romney. It's really something to behold.
The club's aura is one of smart, highbrow competence, somewhere on the border of distinguand hipsterish. (If Arsenal were American, it would appeal both to David Brooks and to people who hate David Brooks.) In other words, its glamour is essentially commercial; Arsenal, which redesigned its crest in 2002 in order to sell more shirts, is pure at heart in the same way as an indie band whose songs sound great in Mercedes advertisements.
I review the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet on the E-Gear site. In short, it does a lot of great stuff, including good video and an awesome screen, but almost no apps are available, and you need a BlackBerry to get the email, contacts or calendar on the tablet. In short- if you've got $400 to spend, get an iPad.
I review Morgan Spurlock's new documentary "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold"- which has a little too much Morgan Spurlock for my taste- at Patch.
The idea for the movie is a feature-length version of that scene in "Wayne's World" where Wayne and Garth denounce product placement while conspicuously engaging in it themselves. The movie clip isn't online, but here's a clip of a dude who spliced himself into the scene in place of Mike Myers:
That clip ups the grand total of black people in the "Wayne's World" movies from zero to one.
Next week: "Fast Five," or as I call it, "The Fastest and the Furiousest." I just know they wanted to call it "The Fast and the Furious Five," but Grandmaster Flash threatened to sue.
Somehow I wasn't aware of this until today. From 2005:
For a movie that has been almost forty fucking years in the making, that at one point allegedly had a cast of luminaries attached that would make any studio salivate, thatís based on a novel that seen a renaissance thanks to the backassward ramblings of the Teabaggers and the Fox News ilk, itís remarkable how bad it actually is. Itís like the dramatization of an SAT math problem, or a first year economics final essay. Only that might actually imply there was drama. No, this film could have been performed by artistís mannequins, with projections of actor headshots on them and still given the same wooden and emotionless performances... this is a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad fucking movie. Even taking the fucking ridiculous Objectivism out of the plot, itís just a bad story. Itís structured like a 1970ís training video for joining AVON.
This latest "diva" is a costume in search of musical innovation. And what's dismaying about this latest stunt is not its bravery (ha!) or its wit (please) but its dumb derivative barrel-scraping predictability. Madonna was sometimes prey to this, but a song and video like "Like A Prayer" actually did assert a form of spirituality that challenged a church grown stale. It had its moments. Gaga is a pale, plagiarizing echo of this. There's a particularly irritating appropriation of gay culture for general consumption, perhaps guiltily over-compensated by Gaga's crashing every gay rights event known to man. Perhaps this happens with every civil rights movement. In the end, the outsiders raid the insiders and give it back to them at 0.99 cents on iTunes. And I sure wouldn't stop anyone on this well-trodden path.I've got a feeling he hates "Glee," too.
The second episode of Norm MacDonald's Comedy Central show wasn't as good as the first, mostly due to subpar jokes, but this segment had me practically rolling on the floor laughing. It's MacDonald's "nephew," doing a remote at a UFC event that he supposedly edited himself. Just brilliantly awkward:
|Sports Show with Norm Macdonald||Tuesdays, 10:30/9:30c|
|Ultimate Fighters with Kyle|
I don't know what I liked more, the Bob Barker microphone or the Video Toaster-style graphics.
It's the most progressive show in the world when it comes to gay issues. If someone's a 14-year-old theater queen who's felt like an outcast their entire life, that show has to be a godsend to them, and it's one of the better things about it.
But what's up with the Stephen Tobolowsky character? A recurring character in the first season who just appeared for the first time this year in Monday's episode, the character is a gay teacher who's 1) a pederast who openly lusts after underage students and 2) treated as a walking punchline.
It's not in line with the show's values, nor is it especially funny for a teacher to be a predator. The show's message seems to be "it's okay to be gay, as long as you're not a creepy middle-aged man. Then it's gross, but also funny."
And I say this as someone who loves Tobolowsky and thinks his podcast is one of the best things on the Internet. And I like that the character's last name is "Ryerson," same as his "Groundhog Day" character.
- Dan Levy's great On the DL podcast wrapped up with its final show last week. Here's the last show, and here's a funny list Dan did of which sports bloggers correspond with which Muppets. I'm going to miss the show but hopefully it'll eventually continue in some form.
- And finally, The Fightins are back!
Yes, a Herve Villechaize movie is in the works. Jeff Wells:
Sacha Gervasi's My Dinner With Herve, a drama about a 1993 interview Gervasi did with Herve Villechaize ("The plane! the plane!") days before the dwarf-sized Fantasy Island actor killed himself. The director of Anvil! The Story of Anvil is looking to snag James McAvoy as the journalist; Peter Dinklage will play Villechaize.Forget "The Hobbit," the Freddie Mercury biopic, Spielberg's Lincoln film, or the next "Dark Knight." I think THIS is the movie in 2012 I'm most looking forward to.
This is wrong in just about as many ways as a statement can be wrong. First of all, the economy has actually added jobs since the iPad was introduced, and especially since the iPad 2 was. Secondly, none of things Jackson is talking about started with the iPad. And third of all, the iPad has created jobs too, whether in the app sector or electronics retail.
My favorite startup of the early dotcom era, Kozmo.com, which used to deliver Blockbuster movies, Ben and Jerry's ice cream and NyQuil to my apartment in New York, is supposedly being revived in some form.
That's what everyone seems to be saying. I'm not as excited about this as I would've been a few years ago, but he's still probably the best option of those that will be available, post-lockout.
As I'm sure you've observed, Coulter is famous for hyperbolic single-word book titles referring to liberals -- "Treason", "Godless", "Guilty" and "Slander". After "Demonic", there aren't many words that are lower and more insulting.I take that back. I predict her subsequent three books will be titled "Molesters", "Rapists" and "Motherfuckers".Bob is also right on about that ridiculous John King/Orly Taitz segment last week.
A highly entertaining Philly columnist feud, conducted entirely on Twitter.
We've obtained exclusive footage of the arrest:
Check out this disgusting segment on CNN, in which John King allows screeching lunatic Orly Taitz to repeat about 15 different long-ago-debunked Obama birth certificate theories.
And what is that at the end? "Our job is not to cover things that we know to be true, but to cover things that people believe"? What kind of horseshit view of what "news" is is that? That's moral relativism at its absolute worst. No news organization should ever touch this without definitively stating "Obama was born in Hawaii and people who say otherwise are wrong."
Conor Friedersdorf, slamming Andrew Breitbart's book:
Unfortunately, Breitbart inspires a lot of people to let umbrage and misinformation shape their political attitudes. And that's a problem for all of us - conservative and liberal - who understand that anger at Hollywood celebrities and radical academics is an imprudent foundation for any worldview, and would remain so even in the face of insults from all four Baldwin brothers...
The latest masterpiece from Drew Magary is online at GQ.
I'm pretty impressed with how the La Salle student newspaper handled this bit of administrative interference.
Scott Tobias on "Atlas Shrugged":
It feels more like an ideologically reversed Tucker: The Man And His Dream, written and performed by robots.†
I guess the JDL is the closest the Jewish community has ever gotten to its own version of Death Row Records.
A Friday roundup of new stuff of mine:
- Here's my Patch review of "Certified Copy," a great film that everyone should see if it's playing near you.
But at least we still have Joe Mauer. Oh, wait...
The Awl had a really good look this week at Chris Kanyon, the openly gay pro wrestler who committed suicide a couple of years ago. Sort of think of it as "The Wrestler," if Randy the Ram had been younger, and gay.
No, he wasn't embezzling from the costume budget.
Deadspin had a great investigative piece this week about BYU's honor code, which it turns out has been wielded both in an Orwellian manner and disproportionally against black players. Very good work on their part.
Norm MacDonald had a good week this week- first he did a hilarious appearance on Bill Simmons' podcast, and then his new "Sports Show" on Comedy Central debuted.
For the latter, the material was about average, but MacDonald's delivery was so hilarious that I couldn't stop laughing for the whole half hour. This idea of a sports comedy show has been tried a few times in recent years- "Sports Soup," "Onion Sportsdome" (which had its moments). But the third time appears to be the charm.
"It's painful when reality intrudes. Here is the reality: the Republicans have spent the past 30 years creating deficits and the Democrats have spent the past 30 years closing them. The unimportance of deficits became an article of faith during the second Bush Administration: "Reagan proved that deficits don't matter," Dick Cheney famously said. It has been rather hilarious for those of us with even a minimal grasp of recent history to watch these folks pull fierce 180-degree turns on the issue--and it is even more hilarious to watch them accuse Obama of hyper-partisanship after the dump-truck full of garbage they visited upon his head these past few years,"
What's the best part about soccer? The singing and chanting, of course. And the most annoying thing about the vuvuzelas at the World Cup last year was that you couldn't hear the singing. Luckily, it was back for the first game by MLS expansion club the Portland Timbers:
So much better than the Yankees and their 25-minute 7th inning stretch.
My son's got a new blog post up, including four new videos.
The Sacramento Kings announcers fight back tears as they sign off for probably the last time:
Then it takes a surprising turn in the last few seconds- Tesla! "Love Song"!
The Frothy Mixture tosses his hat in the, er, ring. What does it say that Santorum is only probably the third or fourth most nutty of the likely GOP candidates?
Like everyone on the Internet said yesterday, if you don't know anything about Santorum, just Google his last name.
I look at the demise of the Flip video camera line- due mostly to the rise of smartphones and the ineptitude of Cisco Systems- at my E-Gear blog.
NakedPhilly.com- not what you think it is- has an article about the improvements being made to the Walnut Street Bridge in Philadelphia, co-designed by my very talented wife.
The New York Times had a lengthy feature Sunday on the upcoming Muppets movie, which is scheduled to arrive at Thanksgiving. I first heard about the movie when I interviewed Jason Segel a few years ago, and now it's in production.
I'm not gonna lie- everything about the movie, from the concept to the talent behind it to what appears to be the general attitude of the production- sounds awesome. They get what the Muppets are about and what people like about them. And the plot sounds like a combination of "Muppets Take Manhattan" and "Ratatouille," complete with a new Muppet character who's trying, "Dreams from My Father"-style, to come to terms with his muppet identity. It may be the 2011 movie I'm most looking forward to.
How a local sleaze in the Bay Area, running a nearly all-female P.I. firm and angling for a reality show, tried to hoodwink a reporter and ended up behind bars. The reporter reports it all.
Alex Pareene on Trump:
Trump is giving every journalist in the country the opportunity to delve into his past financial troubles, his old political donations, his marriages, his horrid books, his failed business ventures, his defaulted loans -- everything that the viewers of "Celebrity Apprentice" and the purchasers of Trump-branded crap don't quite remember through the mists of time.
This is Trump undoing the years of public image rehabilitation that allowed him to host a show -- on network TV, in prime time -- in which he hires and fires people to begin with. He's politicizing his straight-talking billionaire persona, and soon only Free Republic commenters will have him. There's money in being a right-wing folk hero, as Ollie North could tell you, but it's not Macy's national ad campaign money. General-interest celebrity "business" books surely come with fatter advances than vanity right-wing publishing books, even with all that Scaife money still sloshing around.
Here's the worst sports column of the year, by a guy at a rural paper in Pennsylvania blaming the recent fan assault of a Giants fan at Dodgers Stadium- which left him in a coma- on the victim himself, because he was wearing a Giants jersey. The guy has been rightly pilloried for this all over the Internet.
Truth is, I've heard a version of this argument on Philly radio countless times- "you wear a Cowboys jersey in OUR HOUSE- what do you expect?"- although to be fair, never in defense of someone being beaten into a coma.
This story doesn't make me feel particularly great about Ayn Rand acolytes being in charge of a major political party. Then again, it's long worked for Rush...
I think the thing that pisses me off the most about the birtherism and the coverage is that no one will come out and state that what is obviously motivating this crap is racism. Period. End of story. If Obama was white, we wouldnít be politely rebutting lunatics questioning his birth certificate for four fucking years. But because he is black, we can spend tens of thousands of hours listening to drooling idiots wonder whether or not he is a real Murrikan. Itís really that simple.He's right, of course. No other politician in history has ever been asked to show documentation that they're really American. Until the first black president. Just a coincidence, I'm sure. This stuff is hateful, mendacious and evil- not to mention proved a lie long ago- and anyone in the media who gives it the slightest bit of credence should be ashamed of themselves.
In 11 years of his blog, the happiest post ever. Congratulations!
The latest E-Gear Weekly newsletter, edited by me, is online.
This is a real show, apparently, even though its very existence seems to violate the oath of omerta. I guess the only difference between this and "Real Housewives of New Jersey" is that they're actually officially mobbed up, as opposed to it only being subtly implied that they are.
Sounds totally vile, and I can't wait to watch it.
I think it was Billy Joel who said "you should never argue with a crazy maaaaaaaaaaaan..."
Here's an amazing blog post by Louis J. Marinelli, who participated in an anti-gay marriage campaign last year on behalf of the noxious National Organization for Marriage, and has now changed his mind on the issue. History is slowly, and surely, moving in the same direction he is.
My friend Ben Dreyfus delivers the Humpty Hump guide to Pesach.
News Item: Jeff Buckley biopic in the works
I advocated this a while ago, mostly because it's a fascinating story that most people know nothing about, and the music is great. I'm sure James Franco will be playing him.
I can't say I have high hopes for Zach Snyder's Superman reboot- Bryan Singer didn't do an especially great job reviving the franchise, and he's ten times the director Snyder is- but damn that's great casting.
Let me see if I have this New York Times take on the Zimbabwe situation straight. Allies of dictator Robert Mugabe, who is in his 80s, are worried that Mugabe is starting to lose it and may not be up for another reelection campaign. So there's trying to schedule the campaign sooner rather than later, so that Mugabe is up to it.
First of all, if he's not up for running for office, how can he be up for continuing to govern? And besides, didn't Mugabe pretty indisputably rig his last election? Who's to see he won't do that again, and what's to stop him? And why hasn't this wave of revolution against tyrants reached Zimbabwe yet?
The coincidences just keep on piling up...
A couple of incredible magazine stories from the last few weeks. First, in case you didn't see it yet, is another amazing David Green piece in the New Yorker on the murder of a Guatamalan lawyer named Rodrigo Rosenberg. Like Grann's best work it goes back and forth between giving us one theory of the case and another, before reaching a shocking conclusion.
Also, in Sports Illustrated, there's a really great look at the murder a few years ago of Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams by a writer, Thomas Lake, of whom I don't think I had ever heard. Just great, great stuff.
Arthur does something even more audacious. It goes for broke. This spirited little remake of an 80ís Dudley Moore film fearlessly endeavors to be the first comedy of 2011 without a shred of comedic value. It is completely humorless! Thereís not a funny moment in the entire film. Arthur has the gritty audacity to entirely subvert the comedy genre by removing precisely what it is that makes a comedy a comedy, namely moments, scenes, lines, situations, or facial expressions that might elicit laughter. How daring! How bold! How adventurous!
"Fox and Friends," Fox News' cheerfully fascist morning show, is as plum and juicy and easy a target for satire as exists in American life, as Jon Stewart has demonstrated again and again. So watch SNL parody it and totally swing and miss:
I mean, they couldn't even get Gretchen Carlson's hair right.
Jonathan Chait, describing Haley "Boss Hogg" Barbour:
A former tobacco lobbyist and occasional pre-civil-rights-era nostalgic, Barbour is the comic embodiment of his partyís most negative stereotypes. A Barbour nomination would be the rough equivalent of the Democratsí nominating Howard Dean , if Dean also happened to be a draft-dodging transsexual owner of a vegan food co-op
Can't help but remind me of this:
This is pretty humorous:
This is amazing:
Jon Stewart drags out his batshit Glenn Beck impression for most of an episode, and the results are sublime:
Beck really said "search your feelings, you know it to be true?" Does he think he's Darth Vader?
If you feel like the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal would've been more entertaining if one of the key players had had the last name "Titcomb," you're in luck:
A friend of President Barack Obama has been arrested on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute in Honolulu, police said on Thursday. Local media reported that Robert Titcomb, 49, went to school with Obama in Hawaii and plays golf with the president when Obama visits the state where he grew up. Police sources confirmed on Thursday that Titcomb was stopped by officers on Monday.First of all, I think this illustrates that there really haven't been any "Obama scandals," unless your definition of "scandal" or "corruption" is "politician who pursues policies with which I disagree." If the worst that's happened is a solicitation bust by a presidential friend who's not a political advisor and has nothing to do with the government, then I feel good about things.
Of course, I had a singular first thought: What will Dick Morris say? Normally he'd write a column declaring this the beginning of the end of the Obama presidency, because that's what he always does, but this time, well, uh...
Flash Warner, on her blog, tees off against a video recently released by a mens' group encouraging males to apologize for all of man's inhumanity to women in the past:
I'm all for slamming down rape, sexism, subjugation of women and everything else. But I'm not so keen on the whole collective apology thing. I don't feel I'm "complicit" when the government of my country does something I don't agree with, nor do I maintain any personal responsibility for the horrible acts of other men.
Then there's the video's horrible presentation. Here's Flash:
Itís as if theyíve never met a woman at all, but is that a real surprise? This video is loaded with skeevie child molester types and dudes who look like they have roofies in their pockets. It also sports a ďDeliveranceĒ extra, a white guy with dreadlocks who isnít Adam Duritz, and a chap who celebrates womenís ability to ďpay attention to what is here, right nowĒ while standing in front of a drawing of a large kitten. I donít get vibes of sensitivity and awareness from this crew. I feel like I should call Benson and Stabler from Law & Order: SVU and get them on the case before Iím the next one tied up in the sex dungeon. These tools arenít sensitive or in touch with their feminine sides. Theyíre needy, self-indulgent creepers who canít get laid.It bothers me that the main guy looks like a 70-year-old Sting.
Dean Baker on the Ryan plan:
The reason why this is so useful is that there is nothing in the Ryan plan that has not been circulated in policy circles for decades. Almost everything in the plan has been tried and failed. The plan ignores obvious economic realities, such as the bubble-induced recession that has left 25 million people unemployed or underemployed. It doesnít lay a glove on the rich and powerful, while threatening to undermine the limited economic security enjoyed by tens of millions of middle class families.
Yet many pundits will applaud the plan as brave, innovative and creative. In making these pronouncements these pundits will immediately reveal themselves as worthless hacks who either lack the ability or desire to do their own thinking. Their endorsement of the Ryan plan will be like a scarlet letter permanently marking them as someone who has no place in a serious policy discussion. For this reason we owe Mr. Ryan a real debt of gratitude.
Andrew O'Heir in Salon on "Your Highness," which includes:
Smoking some pipeweed they stole from Bag End, giving hand jobs to a Yoda-like alien pederast called the Wise Wizard (you can only wish I were kidding), lopping off the penises of would-be ass-rapist minotaurs and sporadically attempting to rescue Fabious' fiancťe (Zooey Deschanel) from an evil wizard called Leezar (Justin Theroux), who plans to impregnate her with his foul seed. Oh, and Toby Jones plays a little, Iago-like elfin character called Julie. Who turns out to have no dick. Did I mention that there are a lot of dicks in this movie? Or that the people who made it are dicks? Or that I must be a dick, too, since I lacked the dignity and self-respect to walk out on this bloated, atrocious spectacle?... As for Danny McBride ... uh, he seems like a cheerful fellow! It's not a criminal act, exactly, that he has dragged a once-promising director and several talented co-stars down the cannabis-scented rathole that is this epic, unwatchable disaster.Is it actually possible that the "Arthur" remake isn't the worst new movie this weekend?
The movie is an emotional disconnection inside an emotional disconnection inside a story of a girl whose wealthy mother and then sister were murdered by the evil stepfather who wants the money, with suggestions of sexual abuse.So this young woman checks out to avoid the horrors of her reality by becoming a burlesque dancer (whose dance we never see, but which stops men in their tracks like Stupifyiní Jones in Liíl Abner) and when the horror of that is too great, she imagines herself being in a video game. Huh? She loses herself in the Stupid Spoiled Whore Playset and then, when she doesnít want to go the full whore, she imagines herself in a mixed era war videogame. Oy.
Two baseball pieces in the New York Times magazine of wildly divergent quality:
The bad one is this Pat Jordan piece about the Philies' rotation, which spent half its length talking about the author's unsuccessful attempts to talk to the pitchers by their lockers (always a riveting storyline), and then finding that none of them have anything interesting to say. Then he ends with a few paragraphs of Mike Schmidt giving his same old tiresome "kids today don't appreciate the game" rant that we've all heard a million times. Of the pieces I've read in the last six months about the Phillies' pitchers, this doesn't crack the top 20.
Much better is this sublime piece by Sam Anderson taking a cynical but ultimately admiring look at Derek Jeter's career:
But how do we even begin to think about someone who has been so thoroughly thought about? Jeter has been, since the middle of the Clinton administration, the signature player on the signature franchise in Americaís signature sport ó a sport that doubles as national mythology. He is the meta-Yankee: his legendary glories help us to experience, firsthand, the legendary glories of previous generations of Yankees. Heís like a wormhole to the world of our grandparents. His entire career might as well have been broadcast in sepia.Anderson also gets points for referring to baseball as "a jumbo platter of deep-fried masculinity: itís like a y-chromosome throwing a bachelor party for a penis with a beard."
Jeterís mythology is, at this point, basically impenetrable. His public image is almost scandalously banal ó as Buster Olney once put it, he is ďJimmy Stewart in pinstripes.Ē Heís like an after-school special about the Protestant work ethic. His every motion expresses the quiet dignity of champion champion dignity champion dignity champion.
My predicted Sweet 16, after some tough, tough decisions: Rockwell Bonecutter, Col. Many-Bears Grinder, Ebenezer Noonoo, Shalom Dreampeace Compost, Chuntania Dangerfield, Quardrophenia Taylor, Solo Alone, Leekeebrion Jackson, RexAchilles Imperial, Vernon Lee Bad Marriage, Jr., Dr. Loveday Conquest, Taco B.M. Monster, La'Peaches Pitts, Yu Arafuka, Spartacus Chino and Madz Negro.
And I can't see Taco B.M. Monster losing, and neither can the two Deadspin hosts.
And here I was afraid they'd never beat the Yankees again...
The Deadspin Funbag yesterday had an interesting idea, should the NFL lockout continue into next spring:
Remember: If you get drafted and you don't sign with the team that drafted you, you get to enter the draft the next year. So with that in mind, wouldn't that then negate the ENTIRE 2011 draft if the season were to be canceled? Wouldn't all those players need to be drafted again? Wouldn't that, in essence, make the 2012 Draft a DOUBLE draft? And wouldn't that be kind of fucking awesome? Fifty million people would watch that draft. They should make that draft 14 rounds. You couldn't change the draft order then, because Carolina would finally have a chance to draft Andrew Luck and Jerry Richardson would throw immigrant babies out of his mansion window if you tried to screw his team out of that pick. And then Cam Newton would fall to the third round and everyone would point at him and laugh. I kind of want to cancel the 2011 season now just to see that happen.I had an even better idea a while back- why not just have two drafts, one week apart? If there were no draft this year, and the strike got settled during the offseason, why not have the 2011 draft and then, a week later, the 2012 draft. The most fun part would be teams using draft picks next week to trade up this week.
Deadspin had a surprising piece yesterday about how yes, there are some online gambling sites that allow you to gamble on pro wrestling. How is that possible? All this work is done to make sure the real games aren't fixed by gamblers, and now a sport that really is fixed can be bet on?
What's to stop Vince McMahon from having one of his underlings bet millions of dollars on the outcome of the Wrestlemania main event, which Vince decides himself.
I refuse to believe this hipster typewriter revival thing is actually real. It can't be. This KSK post must've been in reference to an April Fools joke, right?
News Item: Glenn Beck show pulled from Fox News
I guess this is a matter of Beck going off the reservation and embracing a whole lot of stuff not quite in line with the general Fox News goal of GOP propaganda.
This may be the most hilarious magazine scandal ever. In short: the editor of a magazine for surgeons called Surgery News wrote an editorial suggesting semen as a "gift" for Valentine's Day. The magazine was retracted, the editor fired, and the entire issue has been disappeared from the magazine's website.
Dave Weigel, making a point about Obama so obvious that I'm surprised more people don't say it all the time:
Some serious conservative pundits who are driven mad by birtherism feel that way because birtherism is such a loud, stupid distraction that any serious effort to dig into Obama's past becomes impossible. I think that's true, even if I'm not convinced that a dig into Obama's college classes and transcripts is going to deliver a killing blow to his presidential campaign. The arc of Obama's career has been the arc of every modern liberal politician's career -- lefty college groupthink followed by liberal politics followed by big-money, centrist Democratic politics.I didn't see "Stalin" or "Hitler" mentioned anywhere in that progression.
Andrew Sullivan, on the sad Koran burning-leading-into-murders in Afghanistan:
The interaction between Christianism and Islamism could take us all back to the dark ages. Both acts are, to my mind, egregiously unhinged. What on earth does it achieve to burn a holy book? And how screwed up is a religion which responds to this by murdering UN workers? Both mindsets are sick versions of religious fanaticism.
My fear of a Huckabee or Palin as president is precisely their ability to inflame this kind of thing still further, and identify the the entire United States as representative of Christianist excess. The current GOP no longer includes in its leadership even someone like George W. Bush who kept insisting that Islam itself was not the problem, Islamism is.
Rob Long makes a very good point.
11 Points on 11 mysteries raised by popular songs. I always wondered what "If there's a bustle in your hedgerow" meant.
When I lived in New York, I used to notice with amusement the double standard applied by the tabloids when it came to crime.
All non-Mafia criminals, especially racial minorities, were regularly referred to as "vermin," "animals," "thugs" and other such epithets. The mob though? Despite committing all the same crimes, they were "gentlemen," "men of honor" who lived by a strict code. Mob trials, always, were the result of overzealous prosecutors working with dishonorable snitches to snuff out admirable, well-dressed dons. When John Gotti passed away the New York Post treated it as though a president or pope had died.
I was reminded of this by an extremely silly op-ed that ran in the Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday. In it George Parry, a former prosecutor who did battle in court with the mob in the '70s and '80s, laments how today's mob has changed from the good old days:
For example, it was clear to me that my generation of mobsters was completely indifferent to the subtleties of political correctness, especially when it came to the exquisite sensitivities of the feminist and gay communities. The old Mafiosi had real trouble getting in touch with their metrosexuality because, if it had existed, they would have blindfolded and strangled it.Too bad, huh? If only they'd get back to putting gays and women in their place like the old days.
Parry goes on to complain about how today's mobsters conduct "making" ceremonies while wearing bathrobes because, as Parry writes, they want to make sure the new made men aren't wearing a wire. But is that really the reason why?:
But today's made man swears to slit throats on command while wearing a bathrobe like some kind of mincing buffoon... Personally, I find the idea of naked hit men silly, depressing, and a sure sign the mob is succumbing to modern society's feminist-spawned male squishiness, which abjures the unapologetic masculinity that made this country great. And don't think for a second that the nightmare of a politically correct, feminist-compliant Mafia can't happen.Seriously. What a bunch of FAGS.
Parry himself wrote that the reason for the robe thing is that they want to prevent wires. But then he goes on to assume, with no evidence, that the mobsters really like being naked, are suddenly heavily influenced by feminism, or perhaps they're GAY or something.
The old Mafia was unapologetically sexist and homophobic, and they also killed people, frequently, and committed crimes with impunity. The new mob isn't quite so sexist or homophobic, they kill people far less often, and they have much less power in general. I'm willing to accept a little bit more "squishiness" from today's mob if that means fewer people get killed, and I would expect a former prosecutor of the mob to agree.
Today's mobsters need to realize that there are worse things than being caught on a body wire. One of them is getting the reputation of a bunch of clothes-shedding, scrotum-gazing, bathrobe-wearing girlie men.Actually, no. People thinking you're a "girlie man"- gay, in other words- is NOT worse than being caught on a wire committing a crime. For one thing, you don't go to prison for being gay. Besides, it doesn't seem like anyone but Parry is worried about the homosexual implications of the robe thing.
Maybe the mob should shoot a gay guy or two every so often, just to give Parry a nostalgia kick.
Andrew Sullivan has done a bunch of posts lately with the title "Gandhi, Too," in reference to a new book (I believe) claiming that Gandhi was gay. That, of course, makes me think of the "Gandhi 2," too:
So, so, comforting to know that a horrific crime like this took place just a couple miles from my house...
Lots of new things I've written/worked on have come online in recent days, and here's a roundup:
- At the Patch, I've got a double-review of "Win Win" and "Source Code," both of which I liked quite a bit.
- Also at the Patch, I did a fun interview with Frank Brady, the official team chiropractor of the Philadelphia Eagles, as well as the Flyers and Soul.
- Here's this week's E-Gear Weekly e-newsletter, featuring stuff about the new Apple-like Sony stores, a review of the Nintendo 3DS and a chance to win (I'm not kidding) an iPod dock shaped like a pig.
- And finally, my company's got big plans in June for the first-ever CE Week, a sort of Fashion Week for gadgets, or a CES in New York in the summer. There's a YouTube channel up; here's a welcome message from Natali Morris, the host of the thing:
News Item: Sbarro to declare bankruptcy
Then again, as we've learned from Tasty Kake, great food isn't enough to keep food companies immune from financial woes.
"The Daily Show" lays waste to the Republican field:
The newly redesigned Flip Flop Fly Ball has an animation of the first baseball game ever, in Hoboken in 1846. The apes discovering it are just outside the frame.
Also the subject of one of my first professionally published pieces ever.
Hulu has my favorite April Fools joke of the year- they turned their website into a 1996 Geocities-like site, complete with frames and "sign my guestbook," as well as streaming "X-Files" episodes. Brilliant.