Thursday, October 30, 2008


YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, GOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Although the people behind the classic Fensler Film GI Joe PSAs don't seem to be behind this, the spirit is just as bizarre. Thrill to the evils of income distribution — and dark people!

Seriously, I'm fuckin' dyin' here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Stop Bogarting My Jesus

What will happen if my secular government stops acknowledging God? What if he no longer gets invoked by public figures?

What if the people around me stop mentioning God?

Will there still be a complete absence of proof he exists, like now?

Will all I have to go on be my faith???

Monday, October 27, 2008

I'm Aborting Right Now

From the National Review, former home of William F. Buckley's son (who was probably told, like Kathleen Parker, that he should have been aborted):
The Palin Trig-ger
Looking behind the hostility.

By Kevin Burke

Some of the very personal and often uncharitable criticism of vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin and her family may have a relationship to the collective grief, shame, and guilt from personal involvement in the abortion of an unborn child.

Seeing the Palin family, in a very visible public forum, with an uncompromising and public pro life philosophy arouses deeply repressed feelings in post abortive parents, as well as media members, counselors, health care professionals, politicians and others who promote abortion rights, especially the abortion of children with challenges such as Down Syndrome. These powerful repressed feelings of grief, guilt and shame can be deflected from the source of the wound (i.e., abortion) and projected onto an often uncharitable focus upon the trigger of these painful emotions…the Palin family.
This editorial really speaks to my problems because — I gotta be honest — I'm aborting right now. I was gonna kick my girlfriend down the stairs for a quick "Irish miscarriage," but as pithy as it is, it's just not the same. Now, abortion: that's just something my folk do. It's seeped into the language of my daily life. For instance:

Friday, October 24, 2008

World Series Live Blog, Game 2

Tim McCarver's Keys to the Game
Phillies - Where is Ryan Howard?
Rays - Don't want to go back to Philly down 0-2... no kidding

Keys to the Game Tim Somehow Skipped:
• Score more runs than the other team

• Try to keep other team from scoring more runs than you

• Though called "baseball," in the game, a base and a ball are in fact two different things

• Pitching — fuck, that'll help ya

• The small mouse that lives in my head and has adventures is named Scraps. He is scrappy and does things to my brain the way they're meant to be done, with mouse fundamentals.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

World Series Live Blog

It's the most successful transvestite in baseball, Jeanne Zelasko!

Okay, not to delve into rampant sexism here, but Jeanne is a woman who comments on baseball. Nobody expects her to do anything other than look hot or know things about baseball. She doesn't even have to do both; such is the nature of sports programming. Unfortunately, she does neither. Being built like a man, having a flaring and meaty nose and a voice like a fourteen year-old kid trying make his sound deeper to pass himself off as 18 would be perfectly excusable if she didn't also have shit for brains. But she does. Jeanne is really dumb.

Friday, October 17, 2008

'The Big Show,' Dan & Keith & NBC

I remember one summer day ages ago, idly thumbing through magazines and books in what passed for the Literature Aisle of a K&B Drugstore. I had 20 minutes to kill and had already smoked a cigarette, negating using the "I'll smoke a cigarette to pass the time" option again and thought I'd give reading anything a shot.

I won't pretend K&B Drugstores went out of business due to a lack of reading selection, but I can't imagine that'd surprise anyone if you told them it was the cause. It was abysmal precisely because it managed to have things on the shelf that somehow weren't even there. If you were the sort of person who loved trash novels, you'd probably still put your hands on your hips, blow some hair out of your face and say, inwardly, "There isn't anything here!" Even now, nothing stands out. Not a single title.

I can remember being stranded in a shopping center 12 years ago, with only $4 to my name and an hour to kill, desperately flipping through a Books-a-Christian discount bin and finding only Louis L'Amour novels within my price range. I can remember forgetting my book on my way to pulling a double-shift at work, finding $7 in my pocket when I ran into a bookstore I passed along the way and buying an anthology of classic English detective stories from The Strand. But I can't remember anything about the K&B selection. Except for what I bought. The Hanson book.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

'Fringe' Still Sucks

I turned over to Fringe because the Sox/Rays game was almost unbearably one-sided, and I caught this exchange:
(Joshua 'I Was on Dawson's Creek' Jackson walks with his father and Anna 'ACTING? FEELINGS? WHAT ARE THESE HYOO-MAN WORDS YOU USE?' Torv toward a crime scene where an elevator drove through the ground.)
Joshua Jackson Starring as Johnny Exposition: [Expository stuff about elevators you can glean from watching the show's teaser.]
Elevator Tech Guy: You know your elevators.
Joshua Jackson Starring as Johnny Exposition: (indicating self) MIT Dropout.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

'The TV Set'

Mike Klein (David Duchovny) is a terminally naive TV writer on the verge of seeing his pilot on the air. You can tell Mike feels good about his show, and The TV Set works hard, via omission and a counterpoint of bad plot ideas, to let you know that it offers a sincerely artistic musing on life. The few cut scenes and Mike's disclosure that the story is semi-autobiographical make the story arc of a man who abandons his life to return to his family and home town in the wake of his brother's suicide seem vulnerable and insightful.

Of course, it never gets made. Untold horrors await Mike and stand in his way. Among them:
Lenny (Sigourney Weaver), a TV executive who wants to axe "the suicide thing" because "it's depressing" and whose near-death experience bestows on her the revelation that life is short and "we can win Thursday night!"

Zach Harper (Fran Kranz), a totally empty vessel of a male lead whose acting ranges from 1990s sitcom-snark MU-UH-UH-UGGING to bizarrely accented homicidal stage whispers à la Travis Bickle.

A director, Brian (Willie Garson), so bent on mining each establishing shot for its avant garde potential that characters don't even appear on screen and dialogue loops over tracking shots of, like, trash, man—an old dude pushing around his trash!

Alice (Judy Greer), Mike's mostly unsympathetic agent whose advice on almost any issue of creative control is to accede to the studio's suggestions.

Focus groups.
By the end of the movie, everything touching about Mike's pilot has been cannibalized and replaced by exactly the insipid production choices you'd expect.

Friday, October 3, 2008

MLB Playoffs Live Blog Day #1: Time for Someone to Kick Harold Reynolds in the Junk

2:30 p.m.
Great to see that Harold Reynolds will be calling the Rays' game for TBS. Harold's famous for hitting on sports columnists' girlfriends and getting fired by ESPN for a pattern of sexual harassment, culminating in his creeping out a co-worker by hugging her in a Boston Market. When it is time to sup with eros, it is time for rotisserie chicken, meatloaf and gravy. Also, if I remember correctly, in Will Leitch's God Save the Fan, there's a story about one of the Deadspin writers catching Reynolds and many other ESPN personalities in a bar with their road beef.

Far be it from me to insinuate that Reynolds is a terrible commentator because he cheats on his significant other, tries to fuck employees and seems to think that a restaurant where people can buy ham and mashed potatoes with gravy in a snapped-shut plastic carrier is the place to make the first move. That would be ridiculous, and honestly I couldn't give a damn who he has sex with. He's a terrible commentator because he's a fucking moron.

For example, it took less than 120 seconds of the broadcast for him to say this:
[BJ Upton] is a great player. He is as good as anyone in this league.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Love Outside the Time of +1 Cholera

It may well be The Dork Masterpiece. Not a masterpiece dorkily told or a masterpiece of dork subject matter, but a masterpiece of the yearning dork heart, its inability to assimilate into a world of social ease, to be happy about anything without worrying about it. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz's 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, recounts the life of that one well-meaning incomplete guy that everyone knew (or was) in grade school, high school or college.

Told by his best friend Yunior and his sister Lola, Oscar's story evokes instant familiarity, empathy and pity. You never see Oscar with a woman, not because he fears or disdains them but because he feels for them a breadth of love and reverence that overawes even so-called "pussy-hound" Yunior. Your minor setbacks are his wrenching agonies; his isolation comes not from feeling coldly but too well. Oscar is every high school kid you knew who never won because he tried too hard and tried too hard because he never won. Wound so tight that the only thing that can loosen him up is a love reciprocated, his tension is palpably off-putting to others. He can't relax enough and let love come to him, but only love could get him to relax.

His body works against him. Oscar is fat; so fat that, when Yunior gets him to exercise, a little kid yells, "Look, Mom, that guy's taking his planet out for a run." Confronted by a world in which his ungainliness and unattractiveness is flung back at him with derision, he instead creates his own. Like so many intelligent and/or overweight kids, Oscar discovers genre fiction — sci-fi and fantasy — role-playing games and writing. He can't mold his body and psyche into the world as it is, so he immerses himself in Tolkein, Heinlein, Alan Moore, the X-Men and his own short stories, where he can mold worlds to fit himself or mold himself to fit his imagination. But this too works against him in a way.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

First Impressions of the Baseball Playoffs

The Carl Hiaasen Fundamentals and 'Nature Girl'

Like the lines about sex and pizza, even when they're bad, Carl Hiaasen novels are still pretty good. Regrettably, his latest, Nature Girl, is like the more-of-me-to-love girl with the cute face but the dumps like "uh...what?" who you left the hotel bar with, while on a business trip, after you both got totally hammered.

As said, it was probably pretty good. But if you've any other positive frame of reference, it's also probable you took less delight in it than you'd have liked. As is the case with all Hiaasen books — even those he's written for young adults — Nature Girl entertains and provokes a few really good laughs. It only falls short in comparison to Hiaasen's earlier examples of the satiric-comic-Florida-environmental caper novel. In fact, part of the problem surely lies with the fact that Hiaasen's novels usually contain such similar characteristics that it's easy to see how they stack up against each other.

For example, almost all Hiaasen novels feature the same elements:

One (1) Wish Fulfillment Male (WFM) Character
A kind of hyper-idealized Ur-Floridian, a guy who's a native, who compulsively prevents littering, fishes for tarpon like an expert, loves swamps, snakes, bugs, toads and muck. Has a preternatural tolerance for and adoration of things like mosquitoes that even authentic Floridians find incredibly irritating. Only dislikes: development, music that is not motown or rock and roll made by white people from 1960-1980. Despite perhaps having a normal professional job, possesses a unique ability to swing shotgun stocks into the skulls of murderous thugs, cope with the horrifyingly unusual and stare down the muzzle of a gun with a well-tanned crow's-footed squint and tight-lipped grin that is probably meant to look exactly like the picture of Hiaasen on the back cover. The "oh, that's Carl" factor explains the fact that he will effortlessly bed: