On today's WIP morning show, Angelo Cataldi reacted with glee to the news that a 10-year-old boy was seen throwing a beer at the Giants' team bus after Sunday's game. How delightful, Angelo said, that fans are learning passion for the game at such an early age.
His co-hosts, to their credit, distanced themselves from that one rapidly.
This video- with Don Draper introduces the Facebook Timeline- really makes me miss "Mad Men":
My son blogs about his September adventures at Noah's blog.
Double movie review this week at Patch, with "Moneyball" and "Killer Elite."
Here's a video I put together of the day I spent with my son last Tuesday:
Very strong "Saturday Night Live" premiere over the weekend, and I think Kristen Wiig deserves as much kudos for her Michele Bachmann impression as for "Bridesmaids":
I would be sad about the news of R.E.M. breaking up, if it weren't that bands never really break up. They always end up getting back together years later, provided none of the key members have died. Not that that stopped Sublime or Alice in Chains...
Still, their music always meant a lot to me, especially the "Automatic For the People" disc, probably my favorite album of the '90s.
I learn of a presentation someone gave online called “Pivoting to monetize mobile hyperlocal social gamification by going viral in the cloud." I think it's a parody, or at least I hope so.
Jonathan Chait, on a roll:
Netanyahu thinks a lot like a Jewish-American Republican. Jewish Republicans, for one thing, see the Israel issue in highly partisan terms — Israel's interest may lie in preserving the bi-partisan character of the alliance, but the Republican Party's interest lies in defining support for Israel as something that only Republicans can have.
What's more, Republican Jews tend to have an overdeveloped sense of black anti-Semitism. Indeed, they generally regard traditional (i.e., white) anti-Semitism as having disappeared long ago, replaced by black anti-Semitism, which they consider largely pervasive. Their unstated assumption is that any left-of-center black politician is an anti-Semite unless proven otherwise — and proving otherwise is essentially impossible, as any statement or action will be considered a facade hiding a militant anti-Zionist interior. I have no basis for this characterization other than every conversation about anti-Semitism and Israel I've had with any Jewish Republican over my entire life.
Batting Stance Guy embodies all the meanest players in baseball:
My pal Jordan Rockwell is now writing for the "How I Met Your Mother" blog "Have You Met Ted." I didn't love either of the first two episodes, but it is great to see Victoria again.
What if I told you there was a British-based podcast (featuring one American) that features discussion of Tottenham Hotspur, lots of cursing, and it's called "The Fighting Cock"? Is that something you might be interested in?
When people say Jews are going to abandon President Obama en masse, I always say there's no way they're going to vote for Rick Perry. Well, these four guys are:
I mean, it's not as applause worthy as 200 executions, but...
"Sesame Street" does "Glee," in a bit much more witty, creative and entertaining than that show's premiere:
Speaking of "Glee," I renew my objection to the "Jacob Ben Israel" character. Not only is he one of the more anti-Semitic caricatures in TV history, but his existence goes against the show's very ethos. It's good to be weird, there's nothing wrong with being different or an outcast- but if you're that guy, you're just creepy and you suck.
Jonathan Chaitat New York magazine:
One of the frustrating conventions of American-Jewish thought is to use the term "pro-Israel" to mean "the most right-wing position possible on Israel." It's a useful concept for helping to understand why, say, Jimmy Carter or Pat Buchanan is not a friend of the Jewish state. But the framework begins to collapse when the boundaries of pro-Israel thinking adopt a more right-wing position than even the right-wing party within Israel. That is the position the Republican Party seems to be currently approaching
I review the very, very good "Drive" at Patch.
Jon Stewart gives the other history of 9/11:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Coming Soon - The Daily Show Remembers 9/13/2001|
I didn't write anything on the actual anniversary of 9/11, probably because I feel like I said everything I need to say on past anniversaries and in the other years since.
The wonderful world of sexual innuendo in kids' shows. This must've been made before the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse's "Triangle Bush."
Thomas Friedman's been very wrong lately when it comes to domestic policy- his version of bipartisanship seems to be the Republicans becoming centrist and Obama staying the way he is, but he knows the Middle East, and this column from late last week is dead on:
I have great sympathy for Israel’s strategic dilemma and no illusions about its enemies. But Israel today is giving its friends — and President Obama’s one of them — nothing to defend it with. Israel can fight with everyone or it can choose not to surrender but to blunt these trends with a peace overture that fair-minded people would recognize as serious, and thereby reduce its isolation. Unfortunately, Israel today does not have a leader or a cabinet for such subtle diplomacy. One can only hope that the Israeli people will recognize this before this government plunges Israel into deeper global isolation and drags America along with it.
And I'm so glad to live just one county away from the 103-year-old driver.
So what is I Don’t Know How She Does It about? Honestly, nothing. Nothing happens in this movie. So much nothing. The nothing never ends. It’s around the world in nothing days, sitting by the dock of the nothing, Saturday night is all right for nothing. This movie is Ethan Hawke singing in Reality Bites
I review the underwhelming "Contagion" on Patch.
Come on, Donovan! You have to do better than that. As a Vikings fan and longtime defender of yours, I'm going to need you to at least throw 100 (or 200, or 300) yards next week against Tampa, got it?
No, I didn't draft Donovan to my fantasy team, but enough people disappointed- especially Dwayne Bowe, Percy Harvin, Zach MIller, and the Saints defense with one point each, and Adam Vinitari with none- that he would have fit right in.
Sorry guys, but I'm due to nonstop spam lately I'm going to have to close comments here for the foreseeable future. I'm hoping to relaunch the blog on Wordpress sometime this fall, so when that happens comments will return.
The Onion channels Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless:
From Monday night's debate:
At least they were considerate enough to skip the "let him die" chant.
I cover "Cake Boss" Buddy Valestro's appearance at CEDIA Expo in Indianapolis on Dealerscope.com.
News Item: Mel Gibson eyes movie about Judah Maccabee
I've said a few times before that I would love to see a Maccabees movie, but no, I don't want to see Mel Gibson anywhere near it. No thanks.
Michael Schur pays a thoroughly enjoyable tribute to "Cheers," and I remember every single episode and moment he mentions.
I love this. Love it.
One of my favorite political bloggers, and one of the only remaining reasons to read The New Republic, has left the building. I'll be following him at New York magazine, of course.
"Entourage," you win! Some finales are too overly happy, others are too complex and put balls in the air that they can't possibly catch. The last "Entourage" did both. Good thing we have at least one movie to look forward to!
I liked Firewell and Iceberg's idea for the finale better: They all drive off a cliff, but the car has a parachute and fire extinguisher system, and then at the bottom of the cliff is a million dollars, on a yacht with porn stars, and Steven Spielberg, who immediately offers Vince the lead role in his adaptation of the Bible.
Another good idea by @4Who4What on Twitter:
There should be a spinoff where Turtle is the president. He can say "I wanna be elected without Vince's help" but Vince does everything.
Two day-job pieces: a blog post review of a new book about "Super Mario," and the latest Week in Electronics Retail Crime.
Roger Ebert on "A Good Old Fashioned Orgy":
I believed in none of these characters. They were a small step up from a porn movie starring Barbie and Ken, and of course their best friends Midge and Allan and Tanner the pooping dog. If Barbie had arrived in her pink Corvette convertible, I’d rather play with that.
Good start. But why is only the trade plan named after Ronald Reagan? Why not a “Reagan tax plan,” “Reagan regulatory relief,” a “Ronald Reagan balanced budget,” a “Reagan worker training program”? Or go for the whole kahuna: “the Reagan Economic Reagan Reagan.”
When we were watching the Derek Jeter HBO documentary last month and they kept showing his then-girlfriend Minka Kelly, my wife asked me how they met. I said I had no idea, but I figured Jeter is probably in the position where he can see any gorgeous woman on TV or in a movie, have his people call her people, and make it happen in a matter of hours.
I guess other baseball players do the same thing, according to a leaked email by his agents to the representation of an attractive young woman who played a mermaid in "Pirates of the Carribbean 4":
I hate to even be sending you this e-mail, and I’m quite embarrassed to say the least, but we have a young client on the Philadelphia Phillies who asked us if we knew any agents at Innovative Artists and could connect him to Antoinette Nikprelaj. I know you’re not a dating or set-up service, but John Mayberry Jr. (Phillies OF) would love to meet Antoinette or invite her to a baseball game sometime. Would this be possible?My only reaction to this is that Mayberry should probably fire his agents, for letting something moderately embarrassing as this become public.
Here’s a bio of John to give you some more info on him (he’s a great guy, down-to-earth, humble, Stanford-educated, etc.) Thanks for considering this as you know how this business is and servicing clients.
Yes, it's Dan Savage against Ross Douthat on Bloggingheads! Very entertaining.
Pajiba has a list of 25 Pop Culture Facts That No One Denies. I agree with just about all of them- especially the one about the T-Mobile Girl.
Here's my review of "The Debt," the last film of the summer.
A few thoughts on my recent late-night DVR viewings of TV shows old and new:
- "The Larry Sanders Show." I spent the last few months watching the re-runs of this show on IFC, after not having HBO throughout the '90s and only sporadically catching old episodes since. So, so great. Holds up remarkably well, despite all the '90s pop culture references and celebrities, and it's hard to believe Hank Kingsley and George Bluth are the same species, much less the same person.
- "Louie." The best show currently on TV, and I don't think it's close. The first season was enough of a gem, but "Louie" has taken a leap in Season 2 and is producing nothing less than a masterpiece every week. Always funny, always poignant, and often very, very painful. Highlights of the year are the Dane Cook episode, the "Who Are You" episode with the racist aunt, and the whole "Duckling"/Afghanistan episode. But honestly, I could list 20 more.
- "Breaking Bad." The season got off to a bit of a slow start, especially following Season 3, which was one of the all-time great TV seasons, probably the best of any show since "The Wire"'s Season 4. But it's kicked into high gear in the last two or three episodes, culminating in the Gus backstory episode last night. The third season really got into high gear around this time, and I expect the same now.
A commenter on one of the recap blogs wrote this week that "Skylar's such a bitch! The show doesn't explain why Walt still loves her." I wanted to reply, "Walt's such a criminal, sociopath and murderer. The show doesn't explain why Skylar still loves him!"
- "Friday Night Lights."- My wife and I are finally watching this, on the ESPN Classic re-runs, and we're both in love with it. We're about halfway through season 1 and I'm so glad we have so much more to go.
- "Sons of Anarchy"- I came to this one late- I watched the third season first, while reading the Sepinwall recaps and seeing that every critic and fan hated the season. But I was intrigued enough to go back and watch the first and second when FX started re-running them. The first is good, and the second is even better, although I agree the third isn't up to snuff. Still, I'll be watching Season 4 when it starts next week.
Interesting thing I noticed- for a show about a motorcycle gang, isn't it strange how little the motorcycles matter to the show? The characters never talk about them and they've never figured in a plot in any of the three seasons. I don't care in the slightest about the subject, but I bet biker types who watch the show aren't big fans of that.
- "Curb Your Enthusiasm"- 'Curb' has been revitalized in its eighth season and 11th year by making two radical changes: Larry is single, and the show is in New York, which just feels like its natural home. In nine episodes so far there have been three instant classics, including "Palestinian Chicken," "The Bi-Sexual" and this week's great "Mister Softee," featuring Bill Buckner, Sy Abelman from "A Serious Man" and Robert Smigel, choosing to play his character as Triumph.
- "Entourage"- The very definition of "limping to the finish." Completely cliched drama that always gets solved by a last-second deus ex machina. Nevermind that E is supposed to be the head of a big Hollywood management company, yet he dresses like I did in 9th grade. And I'm just wondering how Melinda Clarke could agree to so debase herself, especially under her own name. I mean, Sasha Grey did the same thing last year, but Melinda's not an internationally well-known porn star.
- "True Blood" What a disaster. The show has just plain dropped the idea of character development in favor of vampires, werewolves, witches, fairies and whoever else just using their powers against each other over and over again. I may have to jump off the ship after this season.
"Deadwood" is next, now that one of the HBOs is re-running it. I'll probably catch up on "Game of Thrones" after that.
From Matthias Stork's great anti-shakycam manifesto, "Chaos Cinema":
Chaos cinema apes the illiteracy of the modern movie trailer. It consists of a barrage of high-voltage scenes. Every single frame runs on adrenaline. Every shot feels like the hysterical climax of a scene which an earlier movie might have spent several minutes building toward. Chaos cinema is a never-ending crescendo of flair and spectacle. It’s a shotgun aesthetic, firing a wide swath of sensationalistic technique that tears the old classical filmmaking style to bits. Directors who work in this mode aren’t interested in spatial clarity. It doesn’t matter where you are, and it barely matters if you know what’s happening onscreen. The new action films are fast, florid, volatile audiovisual war zones.
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz passes the "will you condemn this" test with flying colors:
With WIP switching over to FM, Friday marked the final day of broadcasting for the decades-old rock station WYSP. Host Spike Eskin even got Howard Stern to call in on the last day.
Meanwhile, this guy has the Twitter handle @94wip- his football uniform number is 94 and his initials are WIP- and he just got a ton of new followers.
We got through Hurricane Irene okay, with water in the basement but no damage to the house, and we only lost power for a few minutes. A few thoughts on the year's big hurricane:
- It bothers me greatly that people thought the hurricane was "overhyped," and was somehow a disappointment, because not that many people were killed and not that much property was destroyed. A lot of this is New York media stuff; NYC didn't get hit that badly, and who cares about the rest of the country, right?
- It's comforting that most elected officials seem to have learned from Katrina and are much better at disaster preparedness than they used to be. Although, every time I saw Chris Christie on a press conference, I couldn't help but get the feeling that he really just wants to yell at the hurricane and tell it to shut up.
- My favorite moment of the whole hurricane. Idiot CNN reporter Chris Lawrence was standing nearly waist-deep in the Cheseapeake with the hurricane behind him, and even the cameraman seemed to be hightailing out of there. Then Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley got on the broadcast and told him to get the hell out:
The famed Philly weatherman gets into a Twitter fight with his FakeJohnBolaris imposter.
Someone in Minnesota MUST set up a FakePaulDouglas Twitter, like, immediately.
Man, I wish this existed, back when I was single and traveling alone all the time between various Northeastern cities. I never would've had to spend two hours in that awful Trenton train station.
Andy Levy eviscerates Chris Brown on "Red Eye":
At least, the best one since this:
A battle is underway between Atlas and the rest of the right-wing blogosphere, mostly on the question of whether Rick Perry is or is not a stealth jihadist. I'm no Perry fan but I've got a feeling sharia law is not on his agenda.
Blogger Ace of Spades has the whole story here; in it he mentions that he first met Pam at one of those blogger bashes they used to have in New York in the early-to-mid 2000s. I used to go to those parties too, and I remember meeting Ace there once or twice, meaning... I probably met Pam too. Yuk.
I somehow missed this episode of "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse":
Johnny Goodtimes- Philadelphia's greatest bar trivia host- has the best take I've seen on the passing of Joey Vento.
The most despicable person currently running for president- and it's quite a competition- gets taken down:
The Chatanoogan: Hispanic Says He Has Been Burglarized Repeatedly
Reminds me of the Onion classic "Area Homosexual Saves Four From Fire"
What took so long?