Here's my two-part review of "Crazy Stupid Love" and "Cowboys and Aliens."
I'm thrilled that McNabb is a Viking. He's long been one of my favorite players and I've long been one of his biggest defenders. True, he's past his prime, but the beauty is, even if he sucks they have a quarterback of the future (Christian Ponder) in place. They're not going into it without a net like they did with Favre the last two years. Best case, Donovan is rejuvenated and leads a contending team. Worst case, they just move on to Ponder.
Also, I'm very excited for the first time KFAN goes nuts about a McNabb performance. It'll be like worlds colliding.
Meanwhile, Vince Young is an Eagle. I'm excited for all the thinly veiled racist shots people are going to take at the Vick-Young tandem.
After years of the McNabb/Kolb quarterback controversy, both are traded on the same day, with neither ending up with the Eagles. The McNabb or Kolb blog really needs a new name.
And I don't know what's worse- that an NFL team so wanted Tarvaris Jackson to be its quarterback that it signed him on the first day of free agency, or that Sidney Rice really knowingly followed T-Jack to a new team.
Sean Burns on "Sarah's Key":
The staggering, inadvertently campy ending reveals Sarah’s Key as a Shoah-infused Eat Pray Love, with the massacre of millions a brief detour on a bitchy magazine writer’s journey toward inane self-actualization.The only thing that possibly could've made "Eat Pray Love" worse would be if they had somehow found a way to work the Holocaust into it.
No, not as bad as when he claimed the NFL lockout was a conspiracy by the players and owners to gin up TV ratings, but in this column Jack chides the Phillies, once again, for failing to acquire both Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee in 2009, and now demands that they go out and get both Hunter Pence and Carlos Beltran (too late on the latter.)
What about prospects, you say? Jack doesn't care about no stinkin' prospects. To him, they are "unproven baseball nonsense" and "junky trinkets."
When's the trade deadline over again?
Stewart is on Fire:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|GOP - Special Victims Unit|
Not sure if I've mentioned how much I enjoy Marc Maron's WTF podcast, but the appearance last week by comedian Demetri Martin was really great, and I recommend checking it out.
It's not every day a personnel move you've been advocating for five years comes true. But it's looking like reality- PFT and Fox Sports are reporting that the Vikings have reached a deal to acquire Donovan McNabb from the Redskins for two 6th round draft picks, which is contingent on Donovan agreeing to a new contract.
McNabb may be further past his prime than he was when his arrival in Minnesota was first rumored. But I still love the move. Sure, he had a bad year last year- but that was in the super-dysfunctional Redskins organization. He's a good fit for the city, and an even better one for the offense, and the team doesn't have to count on him for the long-term- unlike the Favre years, there's a quarterback of the future in place. And don't forget- McNabb is about seven years younger than Favre.
The Vikes also said goodbye to Tarvaris Jackson today, as he signed with the Seahawks. The only thing more inexplicable than a team wanting to have T-Jack is that they signed him on the first day of free agency.
Ah, trade deadline week. One of the more fun parts of the calendar when you're a fan. But it's also one of the times of greatest idiocy when it comes to fans- during which every fan should thank their lucky stars that their team isn't run by talk radio callers.
The trade deadline really brings out the worst of fans, especially in the areas of ignorance and short-sightedness. Yes, of course we should trade every prospect for any veteran I've heard of. Of course my team should offer the three worst players on the roster as a package for some other team's superstar. And how dare our general manager not do everything I just suggested!
I love the deadline, but I'll be glad when it's over.
It's shocking to me that the idea of Brett Favre signing with the Eagles as a backup to Michael Vick is not only being treated as an actual possibility, but actually has people openly advocating for it.
I mean, come on. Favre is 42 years old. He's already retired four different times. He has about ten different injuries, and when he played last year he looked like he was not only past his prime, but pretty much near death. Vick is enough of an injury risk that it's important to have a dependable backup. So why even think about bringing in someone who's a pretty good bet to get hurt himself?
Signing Favre makes about as much sense as trading Domonic Brown and Vance Worley for half a season of Carlos Beltran.
The heart, the hatred, the mean-spiritedness, the regret- this GQ story about Louis CK really captures everything great about the comedian. And this season of his show has been brilliant, too.
Jonathan Chait on his TNR blog:
Last Spring, Republicans threatened to shut down the federal government in order to force domestic spending cuts. House Speaker John Boehner managed to ass a bill. But a subsequent CBO analysis found the immediate savings were quite small. Conservatives went ballistic and vowed they won't get fooled again.I know, he meant "pass a bill." But "ass" sounds better, and is actually a more accurate description of what happened.
I suppose the success of "The Social Network" now means we'll get a big-screen origin story of every corporation. I'm sure the ESPN movie would be good, but my questions are, how can it not possibly be ten hours long, and how will ESPN itself deal with the release of the movie? I can't imagine they'll want to promote it.
Here's a nifty list of web design mistakes often made by newspapers. Philly.com is guilty of more than half of them each day.
Jeffrey Goldberg, on the Norway shooter and his American inspirations:
"I would say this to anyone, liberal commentators, and also (and especially sometimes, given the rhetoric) to Fox commentators who portray the President, and others with whom they disagree, as enemies of America. But on Pamela Geller and the target of her demonization: I believe that the mass of Muslim Americans are loyal, law-abiding citizens, and that many of them came here, in fact, to escape extremism, fanaticism and violence. And therefore, I believe that Pamela Geller's broad-brush condemnation of people and their religion (remember, she thinks that Islam is intrinsically evil) can create conditions in which people could get hurt. Yes, she has a right to free speech. But she has a moral duty to keep herself from using language that could physically endanger her fellow citizens. When you state, over and over again, that Muslims -- all Muslims -- are followers of an evil religion, you create conditions in which innocent Muslims could get hurt."
Pat Buchanan, always on the right side of history. His biggest problem with Anders Breivik, I'd imagine, is that Breivik is a Zionist.
Funny, heartbreaking and touching- this piece just blew me away.
From Peter King's Monday column, in which he talks about his first visit to Target Field:
On the way out, I ran into Sid Hartman The Statue. That's right. One of the all-time media icons is bronzed outside the right-field stands. Sid, we hardly knew ye.He thinks Sid is dead, doesn't he?
I review the fun but ultimately disappointing new "Captain America" movie at Patch.
Thanks to some reader named "Stephen," KSK has taken it apart, FJM-style.
Ezra Klein has the definitive take on what's going on with the debt ceiling debate. I've got a feeling these events are going to be the beginning of the end of the Tea Party's influence on politics.
A great read in The Awl about the various mediocre Muppet projects in the years since Jim Henson's death, leading up to the Jason Segel-fronted movie that's coming later this year. It's an uphill battle, but everything I've heard about the new movie indicates it's got the right idea.
This Jezebel piece -written by a guy, it appears- is one of the most clueless things I've ever read. I'm not sure what the guy knows less about- sexuality, or "the economics of the web."
This KSK rant really hit home for me.
New York magazine, prior to last week's season premiere, suggested ways to catch up on the series quickly, which included skipping some whole episodes and fast-forwarding through large parts of others. I have a better idea: watch all of every episode.
The Norway mass murderer mentioned -and praised- Pam Geller by name in his manifesto. Of course he did. Sort of like when a brothel gets raided, and they find Charlie Sheen's name in the little black book.
Then again, I love the idea that when the perpetrator of a mass murder turns out to be white and/or non-Muslim, it's described as "not terrorism."
It's a beautiful day in Cooperstown. Kind of a surprise that Bert made it through the speech without mooning anyone, but he did joke about it.
"Let’s say that through a combination of fund-raising prowess, ideological militancy, and personal charisma, Jesse Jackson Sr. is able to assume a position of considerable behind-the-scenes power in the Democratic Party. His sway over elected Democrats is such that he manages to get 95% of the Democratic Congressional delegation, House and Senate, to sign an oath of personal loyalty to his policy goals. Specifically, they pledge that under no circumstances will they ever support cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other social welfare programs. Jackson believes that any such cuts will affect the poor and people of color disproportionately. Throughout the debate over the budget and debt ceiling, House and Senate Democrats refuse to even consider any proposal that touches any of those programs. It is a non-starter. Full stop. Because they swore an oath to Jesse Jackson that they wouldn’t. I’m sure you can see through this thin shoe-on-the-other-partisan-foot analogy to Grover Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” that currently holds sway over the GOP. I do think it’s interesting to draw out the hypothetical scenario, though, to underscore a point: Can you even imagine the sheer violence of the pant-shitting that the GOP, Teatards, and Beltway media would be engaged in if the shoe really was on the other foot? If every Democrat had signed a personal oath to an interest group and private citizen that took precedence over their oath to the American people and Constitution?"Grover Norquist isn't the president. He's just some activist and Jack Abramoff co-conspirator.
The Delco Times' Jack McCaffery, always a contender, has outdone himself. His angle on the pending end of the NFL lockout? The entire lockout was a "ruse," "ginned up" by the players and owners. Why?
The contracts will be approved, the marathon TV watch will begin, and by business hours Friday, the NFL will be back...All of which will prove that it can be done that way … unless there is another motive. And if that motive is to artificially tease the fans for months into discussing player movement and obsessing over unsigned contracts, then the victims can blame themselves.This is so, so wrong it's almost hard to know where to begin (other than the word "ruse" being spelled wrong in the headline). This isn't happening. McCaffery presents no evidence that it is, because there is none. It's in neither side's interest to fake a lockout, while doing so would almost certainly be illegal.
So just remember that next offseason when some draft choice is holding out or a player transaction stalls: None of it is more than manufactured nonsense designed to worm football conversation out of people.
And then, be strong. And then, resist.
Because the NFL will have proven that everything important really can be accomplished in a snap.
Not only has the lockout not led to more interest in the league than usual, but there's actually been much less- fans usually spend the entire offseason speculating about player movement anyway, but due to the lockout, football has largely been out of site and out of mind. Because, of course, there has been no player movement.
The labor dispute is "manufactured nonsense" that could and should be solved instantly? That isn't any more true of this than, really, any dispute between two parties ever, including the debt ceiling negotiations.
And why would a lockout that lasted for the entire offseason lead to an increase in ratings? McCaffery was around during the baseball strike in '94, right? He does realize that labor disputes in sports cause fans to turn away with outrage, and not to watch in greater numbers, right?
To believe McCaffery's theory, you'd have to believe that the players and owners got together, decided mutually to spend months pretending to fight over labor and faked hundreds of court documents and negotiating sessions, all in order to get fans to have interest in nonexistent player movement and increase ratings. Sounds like a perfect plan!
UPDATE: KSK, thanks to some reader named "Stephen," has noticed this too.
I had a great trip last week to Chicago for business, and it remains one of my favorite U.S. cities. I feel the same way about that city that I do about Washington- I really wish I'd spent 2 or 3 years living there in my 20s.
The strange thing about this visit was that on just about every block, I noticed something that I either remembered from a past visit, or recognized from a movie or TV show. That never seems to happen when I'm in New York- probably because I actually lived there and know the city backwards and forwards.
Also, on about four different occasions I remembered a place or thing in Chicago and thought "I wonder where that is." And every time I looked it up on Google Maps and I was only a block or two away.
One of the examples? The Lake Street Screening Room, the legendary site for Chicago movie press screenings and former stomping grounds of Siskel, Ebert and numerous others. I tried to make a pilgrimage, but unfortunately couldn't get past the front desk.
My latest Week in Electronics Retail Crime story is up at Dealerscope.com.
This guy had a not-so-happy reaction to the Casey Anthony verdict:
And here's the same guy watching himself on Dr. Drew.
Yes, I kind of had a hunch he was a complete fraud.
This may be the greatest ad I've ever seen, as a talking cat on an airplane sings the praises of the human female genitalia:
Yes, this is a real ad (from Summer's Eve) from a real ad agency. I swear.
"Breaking Bad," with glue, and a guy who really, really looks like Cranston:
The man is a homophobe of the highest order; he and his odious wife support discrimination against LGBT people, they're particularly invested in sustaining the religious stigma against queer people, and Marcus Bachmann makes money torturing vulnerable gays and lesbians—not all of them kids—with false promises of cures and false threats of hell. So here's a man who thinks people should be discriminated against for being gay... a man who tells Christian gays that God hates people who are gay... and his manner is so stereotypically gay that he wouldn't look out of place in a gay mens chorus or a sling at Club Z.I disliked Bachmann enough even before I realized she was married to Cameron from "Modern Famly."
Visiting the set of "The Royal Tenenbaums," ten years later:
I'm only two hours into my "Friday Night Lights" catch-up, but I'm already hooked. So I enjoyed this:
If anyone watched "Friday Night Lights," this would be a great thing to play in stadiums.
On this morning's WIP morning show, all five of the people in studio were in agreement that the Phillies absolutely MUST do something at the trade deadline- not necessarily because they need another player, but because it's important that they send a message to their fanbase that they care and that they're trying to win. Because that's what the Yankees do. And every year in the postseason, players who were obtained in midseason trades come up huge.
What nonsense. No general manager should ever make a trade with the primary purpose of "making a splash" or "sending a message to the fanbase," and any GM who does should be fired. That's not his job- his job is to make the moves necessary to make his team better. And yes, sometimes players obtained in midseason trades come up big in the playoffs. But some don't. And a whole of World Series heroes are people who've been on the team all along.
Should the Phillies go out and get a righthanded bat? Probably. But I don't necessary believe that the difference between Josh Willingham and John Mayberry is the difference between winning the World Series and not winning it.
Angelo Cataldi also ripped previous GM Ed Wade for never doing anything at the trade deadline. A fair point, perhaps- but a lot of those years, "doing something" might have entailed trading a minor-leaguer named Ryan Howard or Chase Utley or Cole Hamels for a stopgap relief pitcher.
News Item: Michele Bachmann mispronounces "Chutzpah"
This is a hilarious post about the guy running the Kidz Bop Twitter account vs. his various tormentors. My favorite part is the hilariously over-the-top vulgarity of the names of people's accounts.
She goes appoplectic about that jaw-dropping Fox and Friends segment defending Murdoch:
He's got a point here:
And thanks to the far-right Media Research Center for making the video available!
John Cole on the House Republicans:
"Of course they are crazy. Ross Douthat is just a hack who does his best to run cover for his dumber compadres, but they are all crazy. There is really no reason to debate this anymore. They deny evolution, many of them think the earth is only several thousand years old, they don’t believe in global climate change and adamantly don’t believe humans have anything to do with it, they think being gay is a choice and I guaran-god-damned-tee that at least half of them think you can pray it away, they think stem cells are tiny babies, they think Saddam Hussein had a role in 9/11, they think you can cut taxes indefinitely and government revenues will always increase, they think Sarah Palin is qualified to be President and Joe the Plumber has keen political insights, they think Obama may be a Muslim and might not be a citizen, they think the solution to gun violence is more guns, and that dijon mustard and arugula are elitist, that the President who appointed half of Goldman Sachs to his administration is a socialist, and so on. And I’m not attributing to the GOP made up stuff, these are things in their fucking platform or that they state regularly on camera and in print. Michelle Bachmann was just on tv all wild-eyed asserting that even if we default, seniors will still get their social security checks and that Obama is a big meanie for suggesting otherwise. How will we pay them? Who the fuck knows? They aren’t dealing with reality and haven’t been for a long, long time."
I laughed and laughed at this:
It was just about the most perfect day I could possibly imagine. Beautiful weather, great seats, Noah having a great time, behaving well and lasting all nine innings (Cole Hamels had to come out after the 8th.) I even got to hear a Philly crowd mocking the Tomahawk Chop, which is one of my least-favorite things in sports.
Fathers and sons and baseball are among my principal obsessions, so I imagine this sort of thing will continue.
- "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Good premiere of the newest season, delivering lots of laughs and setting up some good arcs for the season, as it moves to New York for several episodes. If Jeff is going to spend the whole year trying to find a way to divorce Susie, I think I'm going to like this.
- "Louie." Two episodes of Season 2 so far, and it's batting a thousand. The dating episode was good, and the real estate one even better. I don't know that I've laughed harder at anything on the show as Louie, when told he can't afford a $17 million apartment, asks, "What about Obama?"
- "Treme." The second season was uneven, sort of like the first one, David Simon's got a serious Cloud of Smugness problem and I agree with most of the points of this Grantland critique of the show. But damn, that finale just blew me away. The show doesn't always try to be "The Wire"- and really, it shouldn't- but I like that it borrowed the season-ending montage device, and this year's was just perfect. I'm still in for Season 3.
- "True Blood." I can't believe I ever liked this show. Yikes. So now there's fairies, witches, werewolves, were-panthers, AND vampires? I don't know how we're supposed to keep all that straight, much less care about it. And the writing just keeps getting worse and worse. I thought Season 3 was bad, and now we don't even have the awesome Vampire King villain (Denis O'Hare) around anymore. Once "Breaking Bad" starts this'll be about my 5th option on Sunday nights.
- "Chiildrens Hospital." I'm sorry, I just don't get it. All the comedy nerds love this show, a live action hospital parody that for some reason airs on Adult Swim. But aside from entertaining cameos, I just don't understand what the appeal is. The whole non-sequitor-based thing just doesn't do it for me, which is why I haven't warmed to most spinoffs of "The State." It also sort of reminds me of "Strangers With Candy," where I felt like the humor was operating on some almost non-human wavelength that I just couldn't understand.
Murder-solving psychics, ladies and gentlemen! Other than "ghost hunter" and "general manager of the Cubs," it's the only profession with a zero percent success rate.
This is one of my favorite Twitter accounts ever. If you enjoy horseshit New York Times trend stories, you'll enjoy it too.
The Timberwolves' handling of Kurt Rambis has got to be the worst-handled firing of all time, is it not? Though if they actually hire four-time loser Bernie Bickerstaff as head coach, that would be an even worse move.
Monday, Grantland ran a piece by longtime plagiarist and fabricator Mike Barnicle. Deadspin ran a video of editor A.J. Daulerio dropping acid and attempting to reenact Dock Ellis' no-hitter on Xbox. Point: Deadspin.
Here's where I come down on "Friday Night Lights:" I love the book. I love the movie. For whatever reason, I never watched the TV show, although I always heard great things about it. When they started showing the reruns on ABC Family earlier this year, I watched the first episode and thought it was probably the best pilot of a TV show that I'd ever seen. But then the network, due to low ratings... canceled the reruns.
Luckily, I heard this week that ESPN is going to start showing two episodes a week on Classic. The DVR is already set.
The new Sandler movie- and in which the actor plays both himself and his sister in drag, who Al Pacino wants to sleep with- may have the most maligned trailer of all time. Here it is, combined with the recent "South Park" parody of Sandler:
And here it gets the George C. Scott-in-"Hardcore" treatment:
TURN IT OFF!
A Sports Illustrated cover story by Gary Smith on Carlos Ruiz? Yes, please.
In a just world, this "Nightline" report- calling out Michele Bachmann's creepy husband on his lie that his clinic didn't try to "convert" gay people, would end her presidential bid. Instead, I'm sure it'll win her Iowa:
I'm just wondering how anyone who claims to be for "small government" could sign a pledge making rules about marriage, pornography, "chastity" and everything else.
It would be nice to see this sort of truth-telling on American TV news once in a while:
If you were bummed that Mike Myers never based a full-length movie on his Linda Richman character, you're in luck: Adam Sandler has a new movie in which he plays his own sister.
Sandler's "Just Go With It," the leader in the clubhouse for worst movie of the year, began with 10 minutes of stereotypical whiney-Jewish-girl jokes, so it's good to see he's learned his lesson and made an entire movie worth of them.
I review the very, very funny "Horrible Bosses" at Patch.
Here's my latest appearance on Jordan Rockwell's Sensitive Nice Guy Show podcast. Should be another one next week.
A montage of Ron Swanson eating:
I'm going to Indianapolis this fall; makes me wish Charles Mulligan's was open and existed.
News Item: Sony Kills MIniDisc Player
I never had one, did you? Did you ever even see one?
KSK brings the two together. Maybe they'll kill each other, or something.
This piece, about a guy who pulled off a Madoff-like Ponzi scheme involving green building projects, is a great, great read. Generally not a good idea to invest any money with a guy who shows up drunk to every meeting.
Do you know when I learned that fact? When I first read it on his baseball card in, I think, 1986.
Noah talks about his first week as a walker in a new blog post.
Bad news for the blog though- Google appears to be doing away with Blogger. They're just going to rename it "Google Blogs" or something.
Remember when I wondered what it would be like when Kris Humphries takes Kim Kardashian to Minnesota to meet the folks? Sounds like it finally happened last week- and included a Twins game.
Now if only that Lamar Odom-to-the-Wolves deal had gone down before the NBA shut down for good.
News Item: Jewish Support For Obama Flat
I'm sure Jews will just be running to Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry, huh?
Whoever Entenmann's was paying to run their Twitter is probably out of a job today. And yes, that will be my only comment on the Casey Anthony verdict.
My review of the underwhelming "Larry Crowne"- in Tom Hanks ignores the gorgeous young woman who's all over him in favor of hooking up with Julia Roberts- is online at Patch.
Salon's Alex Pareene on Halperin:
Being a professional observer of the "horse race" is bad enough, but Halperin doesn't even understand the horse-race element of politics. He fails at being a hack. He's too dumb to correctly parrot conventional wisdom. He is pretty sure Sarah Palin and Donald Trump are 2012 front-runners. He thought "suspending his campaign" to fix the economy and not knowing how many houses he has were both huge messaging victories for John McCain. He wrote a book about how to win in 2008 that predicted everything Hillary did, but in his world it all worked. He thought Bush's political comeback would come any day now throughout the entirety of the years 2006-2008. He can't interpret polls or see through the spin of GOP consultants who are much smarter than he.