Friday, September 29, 2006

I Don't Hate David Eckstein

So, I'm finally tired of the guys at Fire Joe Morgan bitching about David Eckstein. His reputation seems to be based off more anecdotal evidence than statistics, too many articles have referred to him as "diminutive" (and, guys, I'm glad you've read Swift, but there's really no need to use the term "Lilliputian" outside of a senior thesis on Gulliver's Travels), and if he played for any other team, I'd hate him like I hate Craig Biggio and the state of Texas. Fuck them. But in the usual post about Joe Morgan's chat, someone asked a question as to who deserves the MVP more: Pujols or Howard. Ken Tremendous talks about Howard's onbase percentage and other stuff that baseball fans who care enough to know what they're talking about cite, but ends with this statement:

"Would you rather have a guy with only 41 strikeouts and a .350 OBP, who is legendarily good at "moving runners over?" Because you can have him. I'll take Howard, please."

What the fuck does David Eckstein have to do with the debate over who deserves the MVP more? Is it because he's a Cardinal? Hey, Larry Bowa was a douche bag, so Ryan Howard doesn't deserve the MVP. The Eckstein-hate has gone too far. How would these guys like it if someone said David Ortiz didn't deserve an MVP because Curt Schilling is a toothless, self-promoting, Evangelical Christian cunt? Not at all? Oh. Nevermind.

Oh, and yesterday, Kevin Slaten - the heartwarming local sensation (it's an incredible story, really - he was born with a crippling learning disability - possibly mental retardation - and has become the king of local sports radio... some would say the two are interconnected), suggested that Albert Pujols could never measure up to Stan Musial because he's nowhere near as good a person off the field. He even suggested that Pujols is a bad seed. Why? Because he watches his home runs too long. Later, he suggested the NFL has become worse than the "unwatchable" NBA because of its preening prima donnas who show off after making a big play. First off, this argument has only made its proponents sound smarter since Frank Deford (with a thumb up his ass, no less!) wrote it fifteen years ago, and second, Kevin Slaten hates black people.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Last Night...

A dramatic re-enactment of Bill Clinton's pointed reaction to Chris Wallace's antagonistic interview technique.

Ah, Scoop

The best part is, he doesn't once stop to consider that divorce here might be healthy.

Is Scoop Jackson, dare I say, a Traditionalist?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Fox Newswatch

"And while I truly admire President Bush..."

--Dennis Miller. I think they revoke your Oxford Classical Dictionary for saying things like this in public.

John Gibson has a typically enlightening piece on Ireland apparently hating America. When did America become synonymous with right-wing, born-again, golf-playing douche bags?

He cynically quotes the Irish Times for saying "Many Euros and other international players are put off by the overwhelming number of American PGA Tour players who identify themselves as George Bush-loving Republicans who support the U.S. occupation of Iraq." John, you'd be hard-pressed to find people who aren't like that today, but I guess you'd actually have to do research, like, you know, talk to people outside of the bathhouse.

Then, John hilariously suggests that Loren Roberts, Corey Pavin, and Tom Lehman are some of "golf's best players." And Boomer Esiason, Tony Eason, and Bernie Kosar are some of the finest quarterbacks in the NFL.

If you read carefully at the end, he suggests that Ireland is being ungrateful to America, which so graciously took in Irish immigrants in the 19th century and allowed them to build our railroads and fight in the Civil War. Here's where I cobble this suggestion:

"In other words, to the Irish we have become not the nation they sought to relieve their famines with open immigration, but a nation of George Bush war-mongering dullards whose presence in their emerald paradise they find not merely annoying but deeply offensive."

-What does "George Bush" modify in this sentence?

His next to last paragraph:

"I haven't even been to visit yet. Does this mean I can't go because I'm going to have some guy who looks like me and has my gene pool yelling at me in the pub while I'm trying to enjoy a pint and leave some of my dollars behind?"

You hear that, Ireland? He's threatening not to bitch at the guy behind the counter at the Shannon airport over the exchange rate and then leave behind ten euros with no tip at some America-themed bar in Kilkenny. You reap what you've sown.

I support John Gibson, and I think he should go over there and give Ireland a piece of his mind. Telling the Irish how to think: that always goes over well for non-popes.

Friday, September 22, 2006

New Cliches That I Fucking Hate

I only have two entries for this right now. Maybe I'll remember another by the end of the post, or maybe I'll have to constantly update this list.

First off:

"Yes, Virginia..." references. They aren't clever, original, witty, evocative, mature, or whateverthefuck else you want them to sound like. They call to mind a person who has read other articles wherein someone like P.J. O'Rourke said something about sex like, "Yes Virginia, women do have orgasms," which acts as both lame and creepy, if you think about the original reference. I firmly believe that people use the limp-dicked "Yes, Virginia..." reference just because everyone else does. The Dresden Dolls even have this palsied phrase as an album title, and just because of that, I will never listen to it. Is it supposed to evoke humor? Is it a zany reference? Who knows? We'd have to ask the first person who used it, in 1946.

"Slouching towards..." - Yes, let's all imitate Joan Didion. Funny aside - I've hated Joan Didion ever since I read something she wrote about Woody Allen, from the '70s. Ashby tells me I could just have stopped that last sentence at "ever since I read something she wrote," but, that's neither here nor there. She was too cool for his neurosis or something. I guess I should dig up the reference, but thinking about people who use the phrase "Slouching towards Gommorah/Nerd-vana/Lollapalooza/etc, etc, etc" pisses me off to the point that I can't remember how to use Google. That's right, I break the internet.

"It's like when (x) meets (x)." Tapes 'N Tapes sounds like Pavement meets the Pixies. No, Tapes 'N Tapes sounds like a band from Minnesota that has been equally influenced by Pavement and the Pixies. Oh, and hey, what does their music sound like?

Sweeping statements about religion. This shit was played out in the '90s. Or, always has been. "Religion is the source of all warfare." "Religion makes people stupid." "Religion is the opiate of the masses." No, it's not religion, it's evangelicism. You know what's more entertaining than lamenting with heavy-handed weariness the untoward effects of religion on society? Using arcane references from early Church history completely out of context. Like when the Pope uses a quote from a little-known Byzantine emperor in order to tell Muslims that their Faith is murderous. Hilarious.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Come On, Deadspin

Look Out, Pitchfork

Newsweek yesterday highlighted Idolator, the new Gawker Media music site, wrapping it up with the punchy line, "Look out, Rolling Stone and Pitchfork." For the former, I had to laugh: people still read Rolling Stone for music news? People still read Rolling Stone, period?

Anyway, here's a sampling of some of the stories on Idolator this morning:

Justin Timberlake
Cat Power
A straight-faced report on Fergie

Precisely what over-lap is there with Pitchfork? The Cat Power entry focuses on her weirdness rather than musicianship. And exactly what is this site bringing to the table if it's talking about Timberlake's awesome new single which I will never ever ever hear (Yeah, it makes me a snob that I put Heineken commercials on mute), Cat Power's weirdness, and who gives a fuckwhat on Fergie?

Stereogum, though hilariously accused by some of its commentors of "selling out", is a better resource than that. I'd rather read about bands I'm not familiar with like (as of now) Grizzly Bear than some more shit about Timberlake. Hasn't he been acting like a dick lately? Or is that just keeping it real? Talking shit about Taylor Hicks, now that's keepin' it real.

And how can you write about Fergie without referring to her freakish man-face or the fact that she pissed herself on stage? That's going to be the initial entry in the "I love the '00s" marathon on VH-1 next month. Expect Michael Ian Black to nail his spot with some wry observation on what it must have been like to be in the audience when it happened.

And why hasn't there been more reporting on Hank Williams Jr.'s trial? He beat the shit out of some waitress, and apparently didn't need any help from his rowdy friends. What about this isn't awesome?

And I got that last link from Rolling Stone. They aren't completely useless, after all!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Saturday Afternoon, Angry Thoughts

The only time I am Catholic is when I watch Notre Dame games. Nothing against the One True Faith, except for, you know, its doctrine, its hierarchy, its more conservative adherents, its rules for the priesthood - okay everything up to the divinity of Christ but not including his teachings. Anyway, it's as I watch the heathens of Ann Arbor get the tradewinds of luck over and over again that I realize myself thinking things like "I bet they're all Protestants" and "In the dawn of our Third Awakening (see previous post), God, George W. Bush, and the taskmasters of the NCAA cannot stand to see the Catholics get the post position" and so Notre Dame is punished. It's not talent, because, well, see the results of the past few ND-Michigan games. It's an eschatalogical conspiracy.

I stopped listening to Tom Hammond and Pat Hayden pretty quick, because, since NBC is the flagship station for Notre Dame, they go out of their way to kiss the other team's ass. What's worse is when they deserve it. And Pat Hayden's timbre gives me seizures. So I slapped on some John Cale, Paris 1913, and am quite impressed. First time I've ever heard this album, or actually any Cale project not overshadowed by Lou Reed. I cannot critique music, so I won't even try.

Publications/Websites to have taken potshots at Pitchfork this week: all of them. Especially Idolator, which in turn faced a quick backlash from some other site. They jump all over the shitty, nonsensical metaphors Pitchfork reviewers tend to use, which I actually find adorable. It's like a little kid who discovers bigger words and tries to use them in everyday conversation, only to mangle their meaning. Most of these reviews are intentionally impenetrable, and are, of course, intended to sound imperious - the sort of thing you cannot respond to because you wouldn't know with what obscure reference, uneven metaphor, or made-up word to start with. I love that site. I go to it everyday - there's no better resource for new music. And any reviewer who has ever used the "word" "soundscape" cannot complain about the hautiness of anyone else's review. Many people complain about how Pitchfork makes bands, which I can see, but tend to disagree with. What publication doesn't try to do this? There is a danger, of course, that some deserving bands suffer from getting a 6.0 or whatever, and some less-deserving bands (I'm looking at SunO))): Dear Pitchfork, 'droning' is not a pleasant sounding word and does not promise a pleasurable listening experience. It in fact connotes jackasses with Excalibur tattooes making "dark" music that goes positively nowhere) get popular. Such an effect, with popular sites (or sites that influence other popular media) is unavoidable, and sometimes undesirable. But, it' s a fact.

What happened to that promising looking movie about the high-stakes underground hoops scene starring Wayne Brady?

"How I Met Your Mother" makes my skin crawl, because its protagonist reminds me of a seventeen-year old me, which is no compliment to either of us, and it's a thousand times more maddening because he's somehow successful with women. He's obsessive, is less funny than the original Ross on "Friends", and does a rain dance so that his lady love won't go on this camping trip with Wesley from Angel despite the fact that Wesley, though a wet blanket on the show, is still more righteous than the douchey lead actor.

The president looked like a petulant child at his press conference yesterday, which is kind of what I think he's like every Christmas. My favorite thing about his presidency: Laura. Unlike the 1950s paradise that Laura no doubt dreams about every night, women no longer have to defer to their husbands. I don't think she realizes this. If George W. is a cocky frat boy, the country is his '57 Buick and the presidency is the empty bottle of bourbon in the back seat. But Laura can't take the wheel because that is just not the ladylike thing to do. I no longer think she looks so dim because there's not much going on inside that creepy pointy-nosed head of hers, but because she's paralyzed with fear.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Yet Another Awakening

President Bush said yesterday that he senses a "Third Awakening" of religious devotion in the United States that has coincided with the nation's struggle with international terrorists, a war that he depicted as "a confrontation between good and evil."

Is anything creepier than watching cross-eyed public officials seriously discuss "good" and "evil"?

And, if this awakening is anything like the previous ones, prepare thyself for some shitty poetry.

Anyway, here's a list of what is good, then what is evil, and then what is at stake between good and evil

College Football
Smiling Muslims
Some movies
Knowing the danger that Osama bin Laden presents us, but not mentioning the fact that he's at large
Education that adheres to national standards
WWF Hulk Hogan
Unprotected sex

The "Houdini Cheesecake"
Other movies
Large groups of black people
India, but not Pakistan's nuclear capabilities
Mentioning Osama bin Laden
Islamic Fascists (they sit on the riverbanks drinking cappuccinos discussing Pound and the evils of proletarianism; clearly, if people are left to their own devices, these fascists reason, they are dangers to the nation-state)
Education that "teaches" things
WCW "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan

At Stake:
Whose bombing is justified
Carpool duties
the legacy of Hulk Hogan
The right to call the other "fascist"
If masturbation is a sin
Our Historical IQ (functionally retarded vs. completely retarded, like curled-hands in a wheel chair retarded)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Here's a writing prompt:

Defend US Foreign Policy.

For examples, be sure to mindlessly repeat '9/11' and further cannibalize the fetid corpse of American Political Discourse.

* * *

It is unhealthy to dwell on death - the final stage of coping is acceptance. What has this country accepted? That it happened. Not why, or how, or again how to stop something in the future.

The media, trivia, is our self-medication, our best intentions our motto, short-sightedness our method. We employ C students in our highest offices, and C students' best friends in ancillary posts. We deserve to be shaken out of our complacency again - but hopefully we will be shaken by a far-sighted leader rather than 19 constipated Arabs.

Until then, football.