Monday, December 28, 2009

Best of the 2000s: Best Movies


  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - 2003 - Peter Jackson
  2. The Departed - 2006 - Martin Scorsese
  3. Borat - 2006 - Larry Charles
  4. The Prestige - 2006 - Christopher Nolan
  5. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - 2001 - Peter Jackson
  6. Sideways - 2005 - Alexander Payne
  7. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - 2002 - Peter Jackson
  8. School of Rock - 2003 - Richard Linklater
  9. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World - 2003 - Peter Weir
  10. Amélie - 2001 - Jean-Pierre Jeunet
  11. Lost in Translation - 2003 - Sofia Coppola
  12. 300 - 2007 - Zack Snyder
  13. Donnie Darko - 2002 - Richard Kelly
  14. Adaptation - 2003 - Spike Jonze
  15. X2: X-Men United - 2003 - Bryan Singer
  16. Good Night, and Good Luck. - 2005 - George Clooney
  17. X-Men - 2000 - Bryan Singer
  18. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang - 2005 - Shane Black
  19. Inglourious Basterds - 2009 - Quentin Tarantino
  20. Mulholland Dr. - 2001 - David Lynch
  21. The Fountain - 2006 - Darren Aronofsky
  22. Zombieland - 2009 - Ruben Fleischer
  23. Brokeback Mountain - 2005 - Ang Lee
  24. Spirited Away - 2001 - Hayao Miyazaki
  25. Minority Report - 2002 - Steven Spielberg
  26. Milk - 2008 - Gus Van Sant
  27. The Dark Knight - 2008 - Christopher Nolan
  28. Ocean's Eleven - 2001 - Steven Soderbergh
  29. The 40-Year-Old Virgin - 2005 - Judd Apatow
  30. In The Loop - 2009 - Armando Iannucci
  31. Imaginary Heroes - 2005 - Dan Harris
  32. Narc - 2003 - Joe Carnahan
  33. The Wrestler - 2008 - Darren Aronofsky
  34. Step Brothers - 2008 - Adam McKay
  35. Memento - 2001 - Christopher Nolan
  36. Robots - 2005 - Chris Wedge
  37. High Fidelity - 2000 - Stephen Frears
  38. The Queen - 2006 - Stephen Frears
  39. Serenity - 2005 - Joss Whedon
  40. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters - 2008 - Seth Gordon
  41. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy - 2004 - Adam McKay
  42. In the Bedroom - 2002 - Todd Field
  43. About a Boy - 2002 - Chris Weitz
  44. Hedwig and The Angry Inch - 2001 - John Cameron Mitchell
  45. Wet Hot American Summer - 2002 - David Wain
  46. United 93 - 2006 - Paul Greengrass
  47. Blue Car - 2003 - Karen Moncrieff
  48. Michael Clayton - 2007 - Tony Gilroy
  49. The Salton Sea - 2002 - D.J. Caruso
  50. Seabiscuit - 2003 - Gary Ross
  51. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story - 2004 - Rawson Marshall Thurber
  52. Blades of Glory - 2007 - Josh Gordon
  53. The Fog of War - 2004 - Errol Morris
  54. Dear Zachary - 2008 - Kurt Kuenne
  55. There Will Be Blood - 2008 - Paul Thomas Anderson
  56. Thumbsucker - 2005 - Mike Mills
  57. Storytelling - 2001 Todd Solondz
  58. Ghost World - 2001 - Terry Zwigoff
  59. Shattered Glass - 2003 - Billy Ray
  60. Layer Cake - 2004 - Matthew Vaughn
  61. Drowning Mona - 2000 - Nick Gomez
  62. Bloody Sunday - 2002 - Paul Greengrass
  63. In America - 2003 - Jim Sheridan
  64. Spellbound - 2003 - Jeffrey Blitz
  65. The Woodsman - 2005 - Nicole Kassell
  66. Iron Man - 2008 - Jon Favreau
  67. Return to Me - 2000 - Bonnie Hunt
  68. 10 Items or Less - 2006 - Brad Silberling
  69. In Bruges - 2008 - Martin McDonagh
  70. Russian Ark - 2002 - Alexander Sokurov
  71. Animal Factory - 2000 - Steve Buscemi
  72. All the Real Girls - 2003 - David Gordon Green


  • Secretary - 2002 - Steven Shainberg
  • Personal Velocity: Three Portraits - 2002 - Rebecca Miller
  • The Safety of Objects - 2001 - Rose Troche
  • The Shape of Things - 2003 - Neil LaBute
  • Thirteen Conversations About One Thing - 2001 - Jill Sprecher
  • Pan's Labyrinth - 2006 - Guillermo del Toro
  • A Love Song For Bobby Long - 2005 - Shainee Gabel
  • North Country - 2005 - Niki Caro
  • Eastern Promises - 2007 - David Cronenberg
  • Waking Life - 2002 - Richard Linklater
  • Full Frontal - 2002 - Steven Soderbergh
  • The Secret Lives of Dentists - 2004 - Alan Rudolph
  • Lost in La Mancha - 2002 - Keith Fulton
  • We Don't Live Here Anymore - 2004 - John Curran
  • Fanboys - 2009 - Kyle Newman
  • Capturing the Friedmans - 2003 - Andrew Jarecki
  • The Darjeeling Limited - 2007 - Wes Anderson
  • I Heart Huckabees - 2004 - David O. Russell
  • Friends With Money - 2006 - Nicole Holofcener
  • You Can Count On Me - 2000 - Kenneth Lonergan
  • The History Boys - 2006 - Nicholas Hytner
  • Vera Drake - 2004 - Mike Leigh
  • Far from Heaven - 2002 - Todd Haynes
  • American Splendor - 2003 - Shari Springer Berman
  • Gone Baby Gone - 2007 - Ben Affleck
  • Confidence - 2003 - James Foley
  • SherryBaby - 2007 - Laurie Collyer
  • A Very Long Engagement - 2004 - Jean-Pierre Jeunet
  • Wonder Boys - 2000 - Curtis Hanson
  • Role Models - 2008 - David Wain
  • Possession - 2002 - Neil LaBute
  • Thirteen Days - 2000 - Roger Donaldson
  • The Shape of Things - 2003 - Neil LaBute
  • The Triplets of Belleville - 2003 - Sylvain Chomet
  • Friday Night Lights - 2004 - Peter Berg
  • In the Mood for Love - 2000 - Kar Wai Wong
  • Elephant - 2003 - Gus Van Sant
  • The Hours - 2003 - Stephen Daldry
  • Billy Elliot - 2000 - Stephen Daldry
  • Finding Nemo - 2003 Andrew Stanton
  • Frequency - 2000 - Gregory Hoblit
  • Thirteen - 2003 - Catherine Hardwicke
  • Old School - 2003 - Todd Phillips
  • This is England - 2007 - Shane Meadows
  • Stardust - 2007 - Matthew Vaughn
  • Cold Mountain - 2003 - Anthony Minghella
  • Rachel Getting Married - 2008 - Jonathan Demme
  • No Country for Old Men - 2007 - Ethan & Joel Coen
  • Y Tu Mamá También - 2001 - Alfonso Cuarón
  • Best in Show - 2001 - Christopher Guest
  • Monster - 2004 - Patty Jenkins
  • Punch-Drunk Love - 2002 - Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Requiem for a Dream - 2000 - Darren Aronofsky
  • Shaun of the Dead - 2004 - Edgar Wright
  • City of God - 2003 - Fernando Meirelles
  • Roger Dodger - 2003 - Dylan Kidd
  • Frost/Nixon - 2008 - Ron Howard
  • A History of Violence - 2005 - David Cronenberg
  • Wall-E - 2008 - Andrew Stanton
  • Meet The Parents - 2000 - Jay Roach
  • Chicago - 2003 - Rob Marshall
  • Kill Bill Vol. 1 - 2003 - Quentin Tarantino
  • Casino Royale - 2006 - Martin Campbell
  • Amores Perros - 2000 - Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • Gran Torino - 2009 - Clint Eastwood
  • 8 Mile - 2002 - Curtis Hanson
  • About Schmidt - 2002 - Alexander Payne
  • Infernal Affairs - 2002 - Wai-keung Lau
  • Children of Men - 2007 - Alfonso Cuarón
  • Palindromes - 2005 - Todd Solondz
  • Talk to Her - 2002 - Pedro Almodóvar
  • The Aviator - 2004 - Martin Scorsese
  • Kill Bill Vol. 2 - 2004 - Quentin Tarantino
  • Batman Begins - 2005 - Christopher Nolan
  • Star Trek - 2009 - J.J. Abrams
  • The Squid and the Whale - 2006 - Noah Baumbach
  • Finding Neverland - 2004 - Marc Forster
  • Moulin Rouge - 2001 - Baz Luhrmann
  • The Royal Tenenbaums - 2001 - Wes Anderson
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - 2008 - David Fincher
  • Million Dollar Baby - 2005 - Clint Eastwood
  • Cast Away - 2000 - Robert Zemeckis
  • Oldboy - 2003 - Chan-wook Park
  • Garden State - 2004 - Zach Braff
  • Zodiac - 2007 - David Fincher
  • Monsters, Inc. - 2001 - Pete Docter



  • Wanted
  • Scary Movie
  • Superbad
  • Almost Famous
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • Ray
  • Walk the Line
  • Gladiator
  • The Passion of the Christ


  • Spider-Man (all three, but mostly "Spider-Man 2")
  • Taken
  • X-Men 3: The Last Stand
  • Meet the Fockers (also see under: Terrible)
  • Superman Returns
  • Ocean's Twelve
  • Babel
  • Fever Pitch
  • Unbreakable
  • Insomnia
  • The Ladykillers
  • Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist


  • Gerry
  • The Wedding Date
  • American Dreamz
  • Meet the Fockers
  • 1408
  • Cellular
  • Changing Lanes
  • America's Sweethearts

Jim Caldwell is a Gutless Coward

The only acceptable reasons that it would be okay for the Colts to tank yesterday's game against the Jets, bringing their record to 14-1 for the year.

  1. They were trying to keep Denver or Pittsburgh out of the playoffs by giving the Jets an advantage. (The Jets now control their own playoff destiny.)
  2. The Colts felt like the Jets were poised to beat them anyway, and they didn't want to tarnish their air of invincibility. (Unlikely, but possible.)
  3. They wanted to honor Belichick's legacy.
  4. Better draft pick position.
  5. They think "Killer Instinct" is a Sharon Stone movie.
  6. Mercury Morris is holding Reggie Wayne's mother hostage.
  7. They knew they had no chance against Buffalo next Sunday anyway, so why prolong the inevitable?
  8. So many teams go 19-0, it's not even a big deal anymore.
  9. Fell for the Jets' old "you pull your starters, we'll pull ours" trick.
  10. Painter is actually a better QB than Peyton and gives them their best chance to win.
  11. Jim Caldwell inherited the great team that Tony Dungy left for him and actually has no clue how to coach a football team or how 19-0 puts you on the short list for greatest team of all time.
Whatever the reason, I will be rooting against the Colts and shooing away their bad karma for the entire postseason. (Unless they are playing Pittsburgh, Dallas or New England, of course.)

[Update: Man am I tired of being right. WHO DEY!]

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Best of the 2000s: Twenty-Five Best Albums

Sure, we have about six weeks left, but I have decided that I am going to post my top 25 Albums of the Decade.

This decade really changed my music listening habits, and not just because of the invention of the iPod (although that had an incredible effect too). The fact that so much music was available online for download and for listening meant that I didn't have to rummage through some indie record store where some asshole with bad hair looked down on me because I wasn't buying the new "hip" album. I didn't have to take as my chances on my purchases, because for the most part, you could listen to part of every song on any album you wanted to. And if I heard something online or saw some great new artist on Conan, I didn't have to wait till the next day to pick up the album. I know this all sounds rudimentary, but the sheer availability of music made me so much more knowledgeable and made this decade a lot richer for me.

Also, the fact that there are SO MANY SOURCES online which to read about music has pointed me in some really great directions. Pandora,, Stereogum, Pitchfork,, These have all been great resources for me to find stuff I never would have heard of or known of otherwise.

The last is satellite radio. There is no better way to serendipitously come across great new bands than on Satellite. Go to one of the niche stations and just listen for a few hours, and you will find yourself hearing things you would never hear on regular, terrestrial radio. I really hope that the fledgling format finds an audience because it is now an indispensible part of my life.

I don't think the 2000s (are we calling them "the Aughts" now?) have been THE best decade of music, but they have been one of the most diverse. And although I think pop music hit its nadir some time around 2005, hard-to-find music has flourished and become richer than ever. So here we go ... the soundtrack to my life for the last ten years.

I had considered breaking them up into pop/rock music and hip hop music, but let's face it: the decade has been sort of thin on both, and so I just picked my tops from both and I'm putting them together. Still, I stand by this list as being 100% great. I also considered ranking them but then I just got too lazy.

I will start by saying that my top three albums from 2000-2009 are, in alphabetical order by artist:

  • Iron & Wine - The Creek Drank the Cradle
  • Shearwater - Palo Santo (Expanded Edition)
  • The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow

Don't ask me to pick my favorite because my mom always said that she couldn't pick her favorite kid, even though she's lying it's clearly me.

I will also give you 40 or so very excellent albums worthy of honorable mention:

  • AESOP ROCK - Labor Days (2002), Bazooka Tooth (2004), None Shall Pass (2007) - Indie hip hop
  • ARIZONA - Welcome Back Dear Children (2006), Fameseeker and the Mono (2007) - Indie pop
  • BABBLETRON - Mechanical Royalty (2003) - Indie hip hop
  • BLACKALICIOUS - Blazing Arrow (2002) - Indie hip hop
  • BLACK MILK - Tronic (2008) - Hip hop
  • BLITZEN TRAPPER - Furr - (2008) - Indie rock
  • BLOCKHEAD - Downtown Science - (2005) - Hip hop instrumentals
  • BLUEPRINT - 1988 - (2005) - Indie hip hop
  • BROTHER ALI - The Undisputed Truth - (2007) - Indie hip hop
  • CANDY BUTCHERS - Making Up Time - (2006) - Piano pop
  • CARIBOU - The Milk of Human Kindness - (2005) Electro-pop
  • ROB CROW - Living Well - (2007) - Indie rock / math rock
  • CUT CHEMIST - The Audience's Listening - (2006) - Hip hop instrumentals
  • DANGER MOUSE - The Grey Album - (2004) - Hip hop
  • EDAN - Beauty and the Beat - (2005) - Underground hip hop
  • EL-P - I'll Sleep When You're Dead - (2007) - Indie hip hop
  • EMILY HAINES - Knives Don't Have Your Back - (2006) - Chamber/piano rock
  • FEIST - Let It Die - (2004) - Indie pop
  • THE FLAMING LIPS - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots - (2002) - Experimental rock
  • DJ FORMAT - If you Can't Join 'Em ... Beat 'Em - (2005) - Indie hip hop / nerdcore
  • GHOSTFACE KILLAH - More Fish - (2007) - East Coast hip hop
  • ILLOGIC - Celestial Clockwork - (2004) - Underground hip hop
  • JOY ZIPPER - American Whip - (2004) - Dreampop / Indie pop
  • MF DOOM - MM..Food - (2004) - Indie hip hop
  • MGMT - Oracular Spectacular - (2008) - Indie/electro pop
  • MIDLAKE - The Trials of Van Occupanther - (2006) - Lo-fi / indie rock
  • MOTHER MOTHER - Touch Up - (2007) - Indie pop, experimental folk
  • PINBACK - Tour EP 2008 [Ascii E.P.] - (2008) - Indie/math rock
  • RADIOHEAD - Amnesiac - (2001) - Progressive rock
  • DJ RHETTMATIC - Exclusive Collection - (2004) - Underground hip hop
  • SOUL POSITION - Things Go Better with RJ and Al - (2006) - Indie hip hop
  • SPOON - Gimme Fiction - (2005) - Indie rock
  • SUN KIL MOON - April - (2008) - Indie folk
  • SUPER FURRY ANIMALS - Rings Around the World - (2001) - Neo-psychedelia
  • SWITCHES - Lay Down the Law - (2008) - Indie pop / retro pop
  • WOLFMOTHER - Wolfmother - (2006) - Hard rock
  • ZERO 7 - Simple Things (2001), When It Falls (2004) - Ambient techno

Now here is the full list of 25 (plus one EP), in alphabetical order by artist (click on the album cover for more information):


Independent Hip Hop, 2000

ARIZONA - Glowing Bird

Indie Rock, 2009

BECK - Sea Change

Folk pop, 2002

BON IVER - For Emma, Forever Ago

Indie folk, 2008

CANNIBAL OX - The Cold Vein

Underground hip hop, 2001

NIKKA COSTA - Everybody Got Their Something

Electro/dance pop, 2001

DM STITH - Heavy Ghost

Experimental rock, 2009

BEN FOLDS - Songs for Silverman

Piano pop, 2005

SAGE FRANCIS - Sick of Waiting Tables (Compilation)

Independent hip hop, "emo rap," 2004

GRIZZLY BEAR - Veckatimest

Art-rock, indie rock, 2009

IRON & WINE - The Creek Drank the Cradle

Lo-fi alternative folk, 2002

MADVILLAIN - Madvillainy

Underground hip hop, 2004


Grungy indie rock, 2003

OH NO - Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms

Underground hip-hop, 2006


Adult contemporary pop, 2005

RJD2 - Deadringer

Independent hip hop instrumentals, 2002

ROGUE WAVE - Out of the Shadow

Indie rock, garage pop, 2004

THE ROSEWOOD THEIVES - From the Decker House EP

Indie rock, folk-pop, 2006

SHEARWATER - Palo Santo (Expanded Edition)

Chamber pop / power folk, 2006


Indie rock / power folk, 2008

THE SHINS - Chutes Too Narrow

Indie pop, 2003


Indie pop / progressive folk, 2005

TOBACCO - Fucked Up Friends

Techno hip-hop electronica, 2008

WEEN - Quebec

Ironic art-pop, 2003

WILCO - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Alt-country/rock, 2002

If you want, you can also read about my Best Post-Golden Age Hip Hop albums.

So that's been my decade. If you are interested in sampling any of these artists, I would suggest signing up at, because it's the most accessible, it can track the songs you listen to on your iPod automatically, and to my knowledge there is no limit on the number of listens you can have. You can pretty much type in the name of an artist (or any artist you like) and listen to a whole truckload of songs. And let me know if you agree, or if any of my choices stink.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Perils of Avid Living

Caring about things sucks. You might think that is a terrible thing to say, but it's true.

I heard a very interesting conversation the other day, where some people were talking about the fickle nature of sports fans. It seems that sports fandom is a nice microcosm of what I'm talking about.

Let's take my Bills. They are not good right now, nor have the really been that good this decade. (One winning season in the 2000s: 9-7 in 2004.) I am what you call a "diehard." I almost never miss a game on TV, and I will be loyal to that team until the day I do, or the day they leave Western New York, whichever comes first.

But there are other fans that we'll call "casual." They like the team during a week that they have just won, but in the losing weeks, these people are nowhere to be found. They even talk of being SO FRUSTRATED that they switch allegiances. Sometimes in the middle of the season! They will usually latch on to another team they sorta like (or just don't despise) since they have a better chance to win. We call these people "poseurs," "frontrunners" and "bandwagon-jumpers."

But I ask you this: who has the more pleasant life? The poor sap who is loyal year after year, only to have his heart broken? Or the faux-aficianado who can turn the game off at halftime and go to the movies? (Hint: not me.)

You can see this kind of dynamic rear its head in other walks of life too, such as politics. People who are politically aware and/or active have to be the most miserable collection of assholes in the world. (And yes, I do count myself among them.) Why? Because they are constantly putting up a fight. Politics today is not about solving problems, it's about skewering the other side and being "right." Both sides are guilty of it, and so am I.

People who don't give a crap about politics don't have this added frustration in their lives. If you don't care one way or the other about politics, then these Tea Party assholes probably don't bother you at all. And the quote-unquote Reverend Al Sharpton's race-baiting doesn't have any more effect on your psyche than your fantasy football league standings.

And such is the ironic curse of the engaged, passionate life. If you don't care about anything, it seems that you live a much more stress-free life, not unlike the post-hypnosis Peter Gibbons in Office Space. You can feel free to meander from interest to interest, not really caring if one doesn't meet your needs. You don't get mad when your favorite director makes a piece of shit movie, or that your favorite band sold out. If your team loses you find something else to do for the next game, or if your politician doesn't win, you go to the mall. Rather than trying a local microbrew, you pick up a 30-pack of Rolling Rock.

I'm definitely not crapping on these people: they seem to be doing it the right way. It is an internal defense mechanism that keeps them from getting upset about things that really don't matter. They are the people who say "I don't care" when a discussion gets too heated, or "Whatever" when they get called out for being incorrect. It is this kind of life that I wish I could lead.

But I can't.

In fact, if anything, my own stubborn nature has created a life for me that is fraught with unhappiness, frustration and incredulity. Many people can see a comment on a message board and let it go: I am not one of those people. Some people can overhear a discussion in which one of the speakers makes a major factual error: I must be heard! When thirteen year old girls say that Twilight is by far the best movie ever made, I feel the need to rattle off twenty superior films.

I just can't let people have their own misguided opinions or incorrect facts. In my own brain, I'm actually trying to educate them. I want people to be freed from the shackles of their limited experiences. I want people to transcend their reluctance to explore things outside their knowledge base. But rather than coming off as a sage source of grand experiences, I come off as a pedantic prick.

I remember this starting in about 1998, when the movie Titanic was a colossal mega-hit, still making tons of money from its release in late 1997. The movie was so big that it was sure to win the Oscar (which it did that year), and was very popular with the teenage girl set. [Twilight:2009::Titanic:1998]

I remember being on the internet and reading people gushing about Titanic being the greatest movie ever. At the time, I was a burgeoning film scholar, and was DISGUSTED that anyone would have the AUDACITY to stay that this very long, very overrated film would even crack the top 50 American films! In fact, that same year the American Film Institute came up with its 100 best films, and they had to create a press release saying that Titanic would not be on the list because it wasn't eligible due to the year it was released. (The implication being that Titanic would otherwise, of course, be #1 on the list.) I allowed this injustice of such an overrated film to consume me that summer, and I would tell anyone that would listen that L.A. Confidential was ten times the film that Titanic was, and that Titanic was a poorly-written fairy tale created for simpletons by a megalomanical director. (By the way, these assertions are still all true.)

But I realized that if people really wanted to love that Leo-Kate boat movie, let 'em. Why should I care if they want to settle for lesser entertainment instead of getting out there and digging for true art? Yes, it irks me when shitty or mediocre things get attention without having earned it. (Tony Romo. Paris Hilton. Tiki Barber. 50 Cent. Slumdog Millionaire. Glenn Beck.) But I really shouldn't care. It's not going to stop good things from being made, and not going to stop me from finding them.)

I am now self-aware of this predicament, and have been making efforts to allow myself to step back, take a deep breath, and stop giving a shit. This is outside my nature, as I care too much about everything. But I'm slowly learning that not everyone in the world has the "curiosity gene," as they say. And trying to get everyone to try new things and experience a passionate position is not my job. I can't make anyone like craft beer anymore than someone is going to coerce me into watching "Nip/Tuck." It doesn't make them bad people, it just is foreign to me that people wouldn't want to expose themselves to the best things in life.

All I can do is continue to enjoy the things that I enjoy, and silently look down upon others because they do not.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fuzz Defector

[Note: I had originally written this back on Tuesday, April 28, almost six months ago, and it acted as a valuable venting mechanism. But since I had a court date, I didn't want to inadvertantly put anything out there that could incriminate me. They have the Google now! Anyway, here is the story of the most trying two day stretch of 2009.]

So I got into a little issue with the New York State DMV this weekend. Apparently -- to steal a line from Willie Moe -- they expect you to pay for car insurance every month! Long story short, they took away my personalized plates (fine they weren't personalized, but they had the word "ARM" in them), as well as my car for safe-keeping.

When you used to having as-needed transportation, taking the bus throughout the Syracuse City limits is sobering and humbling. Having to be on someone else's schedule is something I am just not used to, and having to walk from bus stop to bus stop is brutal sometimes. I got lucky that it was in the spring and not the dead of winter. [Sidebar: why would the DMV north of the city have not one bus go anywhere near it?]

But basically my journey was like this:


  1. Taking bus from home to downtown; walking half mile to Erie Blvd DMV.
  2. Being told by guy sweeping up outside building that DMV had moved to Western Lights Plaza.
  3. Getting on bus I thought was going to Western Lights Plaza. Getting back on bus returning downtown.
  4. Getting on correct bus to Western Lights; going to DMV.
  5. Being told I had to come back the next day, because you cannot surrender your plates and get new ones on the same day (even though they were technically surrendered on Sunday).
  6. Swearing at DMV.
  7. Helping old lady with her bags to get on bus; considering myself a hero.
  8. Going back downtown; getting off bus to run at top speed to catch next bus going near my work.
  9. Panting all the way to work; applying swath of deodorant.

But it didn't end there.


  1. Taking bus downtown.
  2. Waiting 50 minutes for next bus next to smell of garbage.
  3. Taking bus north; getting off at wrong stop, 3 miles from where I needed to go.
  4. Walking one mile in the blazing heat before saying "fuggit" and calling a cab.
  5. Taking cab driving by sweaty mouthbreather to DMV. ($15)
  6. Getting new plates and registration.
  7. Taking another cab driven by friendly Jesus freak to police station to get release order for my car. ($20)
  8. Finding out from ornery police department pencil-pusher that I needed to have a copy of the title, or else he wasn't going to give the release.
  9. Taking cab back to the DMV to get this title for $20 and a green receipt. ($20)
  10. Taking cab BAAAACK to the police station with the info I needed and getting my release. ($20)
  11. Taking final cab ride ... in the WRONG FUCKING DIRECTION because the cop at the desk gave me the wrong address. (The tow truck driver would later tell me he thinks that this cop purposely fucks with people.)
  12. Finally getting my final cab ride ($40) to a gas station where the tow truck driver picked me up to bring me back to my Cranberry-colored baby.

But here's the kicker -- and the irony, especially considering that my dear little brother is a member of law enforcement.

Out of all the people I dealt with on my 44-hour journey through the belly of the beast, almost all the people I dealt with were pleasant and helpful.

The tow truck driver, my main cab driver, the DMV folks, most bus drivers (although one of them was a fucking miserable asshole) and even the girl behind the bullet-proof glass at the Centro station (!) were all great, even if their circumstances limited how much they could help me.

Who were the two people that I dealt with who were full-fledged, grade-A bastards? You guessed it: the cops. The one that pulled me over, who said "You can sit in the back seat of my back car, I'm not going to cuff you." As if he had any reason to cuff me!

And the lifer behind the desk who sent me on a $40 wild goose chase when I could have just as easily called the tow truck driver first. (Apparently the tow truck would have come to the station to pick me up.)

My brother always tells me -- and I totally understand why -- that he gets annoyed when people talk back to him and say things like "I pay your salary!" That has to be irritating.

However, when police are paid to protect us, and they end up being condescending stewards for the DMV -- all the while ignorning real, heinous crimes -- it actually diminishes the great work that police do on a daily basis. People want to like police to protect them from actual criminals ... but when police go after the GOOD people (like me, you and all of the mostly law-abiding people we know), it makes them look like they just have chips on their shoulders and nothing more. The reason that people hate cops is not because they want to break the law unscathed; it's because they aren't doing anything wrong (at least morally), and are still getting hassled.

Anyway, my girl is back and it's great to be back inside her. Wait, that didn't come out right.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Keep Pluckin'...

To me the best part of this video is the female anchor's face after this guy tries to say "pluckin' that chicken."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Chris Collinsperv

Ladies and gents, your new Sunday Night Football analyst...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Al Franken Remaps America!

And somewhere Tom Delay is green with envy...

Sunday, September 06, 2009


My feelings about Quentin Tarantino go like this:

I love Pulp Fiction. I hated Jackie Brown. Reservoir Dogs is completely overrated, although well-crafted and very watchable. The Kill Bills were both very good. I didn't bother seeing his self-indulgent "Grindhouse" films.

The world of cinema simultaneously owes an enormous debt to Tarantino (the non-linear narratives, the importance of dialogue, the combination of violence and humor) and idolizes him far too much (the reliance on non-linear narrative, his reliance on his dialogue, his reliance on violence and humor). He is one of the great cinematic talents of this generation, but he's also one of the most derivative and sometimes becomes way too enthralled with his own sensibility.

Having said that, I saw Inglourious Bastards today, and this is the kind of movie that I have a feeling will stick with me for a while.


There are so many things to love about it, and yet so many things I would change. Basically the plot is that two separate factions are on unknowingly on a collision course to try and topple the Third Reich in Nazi-occupied France. One is a young woman whose family was killed by the Nazis, another is a gang of "Basterds" who have taken it upon themselves to kill -- and scalp -- every Nazi they can find.

The film begins with "Once Upon a Time..." which gives the hint that this is not necessarily going to be historically accurate. In fact, part of the film's effectiveness is that it's not bound to any kind of historical fact. Every other Nazi film ever made by anyone other than Mel Brooks or Charlie Chaplin is hamstrung because you know how it all ends. (See: Valkyrie.) But Quentin casts aside all such shackles, and creates an alternate universe European Theater (no pun intended), where the unpredictability lies in the unknown. This isn't just a small story set in the backdrop of WWII, this is a WWII fantasia at whose heart is the entire outcome of the war itself.

There were a couple things I didn't love. (Here come them pesky SPOILERS I told you about.) First, does Quentin have to make heavy-handed references to other movies in every single film he makes? Usually it takes place in the dialogue, but in Basterds, the heroine owns a movie theater, which is also where the climax occurs. A main character is a (fictional) superstar German actress. There are references to then-popular culture throughout the film. I'm not saying it doesn't all work, because some of it does. But the fact that cinema has to play such a role in such a real-life time period says something about Quentin's possible lack of perspective here.

Secondly, Quentin needs an editor. I don't mean necessarily that the movie is too long, because if a movie is good (or near-great, as this one is) it can be as long as you want it to be. What I mean is that within his scenes of dialogue, Quentin doesn't have anyone who can stand up to him and tell him how to chop up the scenes. As dynamic and kinetic as his action scenes are, his scenes of dialogue are equally stodgy and overly verbose. (This is the plague that killed Jackie Brown.)

Quentin is so enamored with his own words that he doesn't know when to cut out a few words here or there, or let the subtext shine through. He could use a good David Mamet rewrite to get rid of a lot of the extraneous words. Some of the dialogue could be just as easily conveyed with a glance or a cut away to an object, or something non-verbal. When Quentin figures this out, he will make the greatest film of all time.

Those two qualms out of the way, this is a brilliant film. Absolutely brilliant. It's brutally violent, and it is tense throughout, notably in two scenes.

The first is a scene in an underground bar, where a game of Hitchcockian intrigue plays out, that ends in what has to be the loudest gun-battle I've ever seen. This scene is played to perfection throughout by all the characters, and it is so tense that when it's over it's like being jarred out of a trance. It's a brilliant scene and worthy of the greatest suspense films.

But then there is the coup de grace: the climax in the movie theater. And not for the reason you might think.

Yes, the heist-like scenes of hidden identities and moving explosives from one place to another are all very tense and effective. But they are nothing compared to the final reel ... and if you see the film, you'll know I mean that literally.

The climax can only be described as a holocaust revenge fantasy. It is one of the most powerful climaxes I've ever seen in any film. I don't mean to oversell it, but it affected me on a pretty deep emotional level. It is a catharsis, of every ounce of hatred that the Nazis elicit. It gives the Nazis the brutal, heartless, merciless ending they deserve.

The one image that I can't get out of my head is the look on Eli Roth's face as he haphazardly shoots his automatic rifle into a crowd of people. A theater burning around him, his eyes show the most intense evil you could ever see on a so-called protagonist. The Nazis are relegated to their own burning place, their own holocaust. Where they showed no mercy to others, none was shown to them. And the image of Hitler's body lying motionless, while his face is rent apart by machine gun fire, is haunting, and satisfying. It's a bloodlust that has been festering for six decades, and Quentin somehow finds a way to fuse his own violent sensibilities with the subconscious hatred we all feel. It might be the most satisfying climax I've ever witnessed on film.

The flipside to that is that Tarantino, to some degree, is also fucking with your head. The film that the Nazis are enjoying in the theater before the climax is one in which a Nazi "hero" snipes countless American/Allied soldiers from a clock-tower. The Nazis nod their heads and sometimes weep with glowing approval, and we are sickened by them. Yet when the tables are turned, and we watch those that WE hate get mowed down, it brings up feelings in me that I can only describe as euphoric. By turning the tables, it forces us to acknowledge our own base, vengeful desires.

It's not perfect, but it's great. I can see why it got an eight-minute standing ovation at Cannes, and people clapped at the theater in which I saw it too. It works on a much more subliminal level than any movie in recent memory, and it sets out to offer some sort of emotional closure. (Nothing ever could, of course, but it gives an idea of what that might feel like for a moment.)

It's a long movie, but a good one. And I think an important one.

I will leave you with Tarantino's all-too-true dissection of Top Gun.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Thruway Driving and You

I consider myself an excellent driver. Others don't, but I do. If there is one skill I have, it's driving on the New York State Thruway. I-90 is my turf, either east- or westbound, and I make the rules. If you don't want to follow them, you need to take back roads. Period.

My greatest gift in Thruway driving is "clearing the lane," as the Bohall calls it. It consists of unclogging the logjam in the left lane, like a quadruple bypass through an atery. I do this by tailgating and aggressive/copious use of turn signals (the tailgating + "hey, move it asshole" signal is a favorite). If you are in front of me, you are moving too slowly. I have shit to do, you are in my way.

There are a few simple rules of Thruway driving, and today, most people didn't care to follow any of them. So for those that forgot them, here they are:
  • When in the left/passing lane, drive faster than the car to your right, or I will tailgate you. This is the simplest and most important rule in the book; if you can't follow it, you should not be operating a motor vehicle.

  • Don't pull in front of me and then slow down, for I will stalk you and kill you. You can wait to do whatever it is you have to do; I can't.

  • If there is no one in front of you, you need to drive faster, or I will eat your children. The Thruway is utilitarian; it is not meant for sight-seeing. If you want sight-seeing, get off at the next fucking exit and take the one-lane roads, dick.

  • If you are to the left of me, hovering, and I put my left signal on, pass me, or I will throw a molotov cocktail through your window. It's a hint that you are driving like an asshole; take this nugget and learn from it.

  • You should be driving at least 80 miles per hour any time you are in the left hand lane. The one exception is when you are coming up upon one of those "Don't U-Turn" signs, since that's where cops live. At this point, you may slow down to 75. If you don't do this, I will sideswipe you into the median.

  • Get off your fucking phone if it causes you to drive 60 mph on the Thruway. I have places to be and I don't want to have to wait for your fucking ass.

  • If you are in the left/passing lane, and multiple people are passing you on the right, take the hint and get the hell over. It's the driver's version of calling you incompetent at your task.

  • Do not, under any goddamn circumstances, let an 18-wheeler pull in front of you in the passing lane. Pass it, and let it wait until there is NO ONE behind it. Eighteen-wheelers are the anti-Christ; if you help them, you are part of the problem.

  • If you are in front of me, and I am up on your ass, and you hit your brakes to try and scare me, you might as well pick up that cell phone to call your relatives and say good-bye, because you have just signed your own death warrant.
No one enjoys driving on the Thruway, but it is a straight line, so we all have to deal with it. If you can't handle it, stick to the bunny slope, newb. If I see you out there and you can't follow all of the rules, you'll know I'm there soon enough.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Slight Resemblance?

Trent Edwards

Peter Dinklage

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Young Cons

Joke or no? I swear I can't tell.

This one on the other hand....

Friday, August 07, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

Courtesy of Crappy Graphs...

TV Lesbian Breaks It Down Re: Town Hall Protests

Please take 10 minutes of your time to watch this information about these so-called "spontaneous" town-hall meeting shouting matches. It is all fabricated, contrived rage, foisted upon us by large right-wing corporations.

It's goes along with the birthers, the Swift-Boat Vets and others who live by the mantra, "If you tell a lie enough times, it becomes the truth." It is the continued shame of the once-spartan Republican party. I'm sure that John McCain had no idea that by picking Sarah Palin, he would unearth this unsanitary subterranean nation of hillbillies and mongoloids. These people need to be shut the fuck down so they will shut the fuck up.

This is important.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Fine, You Caught Me

Someone unearthed my Kenyan birth certificate. Damn you, Lou Dobbs!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Give Up On Your Life

If ever you questioned just how out of touch and myopic conservatives are, please read this article by Jonah Goldberg at, as well as the subsequent comments by its mongoloid subscribers.

The basic idea of the article is that LIBERALS are so worried about global warming and the environment and hugging trees and such, that it never occurs to them that the earth could get pounded by a meteor in 2019! (If he had done a lick of research, he'd know that the asteroid is actually coming as early as 2037.)

In other words, why bother worrying about the environment when at any second -- KABOOM! -- it could all be gone anyway?! There is no need for clean air, potable water, an intact ozone layer, or any of the items that LIBERALS think you need. It's that Negro Messiah NOBAMA who is tricking you into thinking that the world's ecology is deteriorating, and most LIBERALS in Socialist AmeriKa believe it!

As one commenter said, "What happens when the idiots behind the fake Global Warming give us an ice age instead? That's what their models predicted back in the 1970s... Small input changes to the models give wildly divergent results." This knuckle-dragger apparently doesn't realize that global warming isn't just about the planet heating up, but a destabilization in the climate as a whole -- including pressure systems changing that could cause more unstable weather patterns, like hurricanes, for example.

Others note that Chicago and NYC have recorded their coldest June and July, respectively, on record. That means global warming is a crock, right?!?!?!

I think we should all follow the logic of this article, that we don't have control over meteors, so why worry about it? We should all stop going to school and to work, and people should stop writing books and making music. Why don't we just prepare for the coming of the meteor and turn in our badges now?

Every day, conservatives move further from Barry Goldwater, William F. Buckley and even their supposed hero Ronald Reagan, and move toward Glenn Beck, Limbaugh and Fred Phelps. It is fine for conservatives to have a set of ideals, but when they ignore empirical fact (such as John Kerry's Swiftboat activities, Obama's birth, or the scientific fact of global environmental decay), they look like a bunch of idiots.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rap is Back!

In case you honkeys didn't know, my hip hop blog is back in effect. I'll be updating it more frequently, so go give it a look and get yourself some nostalgia.

I know rap, my man.

Flipping His Lid

So this is what happens when you get raped in prison.

I'll let my nigga J-Stew handle this.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Born Identity
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJoke of the Day

Oh and would someone please do the world a favor and put a gun to the base of this woman's skull and pull the fucking trigger?

That's what happens when you let women get involved in politics.


Even Ann-Fucking-Coulter thinks these people are "cranks"!

And This Guy Used to Trounce Letterman?

Do you think anyone will ever have the balls to tell Jay Leno he's the corniest comic working today?

Well at least his employees are laughing.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Jive Talk

Here is how the Closed Captioning transcribes the "jive talk scene" from the movie Airplane!. (Subtitles in parentheses.)


Jive Man #1: Sheeet, man, that honky mus' be messin' my old lady -- got to be runnin' col upside his head! You know?
(Golly that white fellow should stay away from my wife or I will punch him.)

Jive Man #2: Hey home, I can dig it. You know he ain't gonna be lay no mo' big rap up on you man!
(Yes he is wrong for doing that.)

Jive Man #1: I say, hey, sky. S'other say I won' say? Pray to J., I get the same ol' same ol'.
(I knew a man in a similar predicament and he ended up being sorry.)

Jive Man #2: Knock yourself a pro, slick. Gray matter back got perform' us down, I take', man.
(Don't be so naive, Arthur. Each of us faces a clear moral choice.)

Jive Man #1: Hey, you know wha' they say: See a broad to get that booty ack...
(Early to bed early to rise...)

Both: ...Lay 'er down an' smack'em yack 'em!
(...makes a mean healthy, wealthy and wise!)

Jive Man #1: Col' got to be! You know? Sheeeeit....
(How true! Golly!)


Elaine: Would you gentlemen care to order your dinners?

Jive Man #1: Bet babe, slide a piece o' da porter, drink side run the java.
(I would like the steak please.)

Jive Man #2: Lookie Here, I can dig grease and chompin' on some butter, then drag it through the garden.
(I'll have the fish.)


Stewardess: Can I get you something?

Jive Man #2: S'mo-fo butter layin' to the bone, jackin' me up. Tight me.

Stewardess: I'm sorry, I don't understand.

Jive Man #1: Cutty say he can't hang.

June Cleaver: Oh stewardess, I speak jive. He said that he's in great pain and he wants to know if you can help him.

Stewardess: All right would you tell him to just relax and I'll be back as soon as I can with some medicine.

June Cleaver [to Jive Man #2]: Jus' hang loose, blood. She gonna catch up on ta' rebound on de med side.

Jive Man #2: What it is, Big Momma, my mama ain't raised no dummies -- I dug her rap

June Cleaver: Cut me some slack, Jack!

[All speak jive]

June Cleaver: Chump don' wan' no help, chump don' get da help. Jive-ass dude ain't go to brains any-how!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Quiet You

Two people who need to shut the fuck up this week:


Osama Osama Osama.... baby, you are looking desperate. This is the 32nd tape you've put out since 9/11. That's about four per year. People still hate you because you are a big-lipped, shit-spewing asshole. But your act is tired. Is there anybody in the world who ISN'T Satan? You went from looking like this bizarro Malcolm X type guy to some panhandler standing at a corner raving about how the stop signs are the antichrist. Your need for attention is approaching Roger Clemens/Pete Dougherty-like proportions. (Although I'm still not convinced that you are more of an asshole than Clemens is. Might be a dead-heat.) You are a very sad man ... although not as sad as you will be when they finally find you. Ouch, that's gonna be a rough one!

WILLIAM KRISTOL of the Weekly Standard

He said this week: “Only six months into the new administration, even a talented hot air blower like President Obama, assisted by friendly gusts of wind from the media, is having trouble keeping the liberal blimp afloat.”

Sweetheart, when you have been wrong about EVERYTHING THAT YOU HAVE SAID in the last eight years, you lose your seat at the table to gloat. First of all, let's explain why the media is usually more liberal: it's because throughout history, the political regimes that have been the most unkind to the media (locking them up, torturing them, etc.) have been extreme right-wing governments, such as Soviet Russia, East Germany, North Korea, etc. That is why most "Hollywood types" tend to be liberal too: because it's the conservatives who are mostly in favor of censorship. (The "Reverend" Al Sharpton and his hair-trigger minions excepted.)

He said notably, "There's been a certain amount of pop sociology in America ... that the Shia can't get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There's almost no evidence of that at all. Iraq's always been very secular." (2003, source)

Eric Alterman notes the following prescient predictions by Kristol:

  • In the opening moments of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Kristol insisted, "We are now in the final days." He intoned, "If the President lied to the American People...he's finished."

  • When the Starr report was issued, causing almost universal revulsion among Americans, Kristol wrote a cover editorial for his magazine that headlined the report Starr's Home Run, portraying its author as Mark McGwire and calling for Clinton's immediate impeachment.
Not to mention sloppy misquotes, out-of-left-field comments and an epic 2003 C-Span interview that you might think was conducted by The Onion or Phil Hendrie.

Billy Boy, you really are George Costanza: a guy who would be right all the time if he just did the opposite of what his instincts tell him. Since you are wrong about just about everything that you say, you just need to shut the fuck up for a little while. Thanks bud.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Aries Spears - Also a Good Impressionist

Okay I know this is old but it's still awesome...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Jay Mohr is Goddamn Hilarious

I never knew that Jay Mohr was the greatest impressionist of our generation.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Battle Within

So I saw Transformers 2 last week. It wasn't a great movie ... in fact, it wasn't even a good movie. But I have to admit that I felt some genuine, palpable moments of excitement. And I attribute 100% of those feelings to my pre-existing love for all things Transformers.

We all know that Michael Bay is not just a shitty director, but he may be THE SHITTIEST director in all the land. Sure he's made a couple decent movies like The Rock and the first Transformers movie two years ago. But he also made both Bad Boys movies (and not the one with Sean Penn), Pearl Harbor, Armageddon, and the would-have-been-good-if-Michael-Bay-didn't-fuck-it-up The Island. If it weren't for Brett Ratner, James Toback, Uwe Boll, McG, Rob Cohen, Kevin Smith and Rod Lurie, he would clearly be the shittiest director in movies today.

But I realized that with Transformers 2, Michael Bay did something that he does in all his movies, and it just worked for me. He tapped into the juvenile child that I once was.

If you look at really any of MB's films, they are all just a celebration of machismo and being a man's man. He always has the dramatic 180-degree semi-circle camera shot, usually filmed from dick-level pointing upward, showing the sun in the background and group of determined capital-M "Men" ready to unleash their own brand of manly revenge.

Since I am a manchild of class and distinction, I have rarely fell for the rouse, scoffing at such neanderthal impulses, and opting for the more erudite, lyrical films of Frears, Lumet, Stanley Kaufmann, Egoyan, Noah Baumbach and the like.

However, because of my aforementioned connection with the Transformers brand, Michael Bay was able to bypass my cynical filtering mechanisms and successfully elicit a genuine adrenaline response.

If I may digress for one moment, I did see the film with my good friend D.Blakes, who is a unique movie-goer. D.Blakes is an African-American, and he treats any movie theater as if it were his own living room. So when Optimus Prime was taking on five Decepticons by himself, D.B. let out a high-pitched "WHOOOOOO!" When someone said something rude to one of the Autobots, D.B. -- at a silent moment -- said, "Oh shit, that nigga bout to get smacked in the mouth for that!" Thank God he's huge or else we would have had people shushing us the entire time.

So it turns out that most of the excitement that I felt in my chest came not from the storyline itself, or from the explosions being shown on the screen, or even by the mildly-attractive Ms. Megan Fox. No, it came from my extensive knowledge of the Transformers Generation One storylines.

I know that Optimus Prime is the baddest mo-fo this side of Cybertron. I know that Megatron treats Starscream like Michael treats Toby on "The Office." (Toastie's line, nuff respect due.) I know that Bumblebee and Sam (Spike in the cartoons) have a very special relationship. And I know this because I was obsessed with these stupid little plastic things when I was like 8 years old.

In fact, I think back to about 1984 or so, trying to imagine the amount of hair that would have spontaneously sprouted on my smooth boyish chest if I had seen so much as one minute of the Transformers 2 trailer back then. That such a thing could exist was inconceivable. I had envisioned a Transformers Atari 2600 game back then, but I couldn't decide whether the red button on the joystick would shoot a gun or make the robots transform into vehicles (or vice versa). Watching Optimus Prime stand up for the first time would have made my head explode.

These movies tap into something very primal (no pun intended) that is embedded in my psyche. And because of that, I was so willing to forgive all the terrible dialogue ("Mean robots suck!" "Punk-ass Decepticon!"), iffy acting, loud kabooms and completely incomprehensible plot. I mean the Matrix of Leadership turned to dust and then re-materialized? What the eff? Also, they could have shown all the "Primes" but instead just gave them one blurry, cursory scene! And sweet lord, don't you think that Megan Fox would have gotten a little bit of dirt or sand somewhere on her face or body at some point after running through the desert for two hours??!??!?!

But yet, I check my intellect at the door. As much as I know the movie is terrible, I still liked it. I would totally see it again. It's like the culmination of my youth, writ large. It's the same reason I gave Watchmen a pass, as disappointing as that was, and it's the same reason the G.I. Joe theatrical trailer gave me something akin to goose-bumps. And I wasn't even a G.I. Joe fan when I was a kid! (Sidebar, I'm a Judd Apatow fan, but that new Adam Sandler movie looks like a steaming pile. They practically gave away the entire plot in the trailer.)

These Hollywood assholes have finally found a way to crack through the veneer of us Gen-X film snobs. These bastards give us something that made us really happy when we were kids, update it, and then force us to try to hate it.

So bottom line, if they decide to make updates of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Go-Bots, M.U.S.C.L.E. wrestlers, Voltron, M.A.S.K. (that's Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, not the Eric Stoltz film), Thundercats or Super-Friends, my ass will be in the theater.

Of course, they did ruin Spider-Man, X-Men (the third one) and Star Wars for me in my later years so I suppose they can ruin anything.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Holy Shit!

The King of Pop is dead. Long live the King! (By which, of course, I mean Jamie Foxx.)

Poor Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon. Talk about bad timing.

But the upside is, Paul McCartney is getting the full Beatles catalog back!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

HIMYM, Save Thyself

I hope you'll indulge me, hyperanalyzing a TV show, but it helps keep my brain sharp. Plus, HIMYM is a good show overall, and I'd hate to see it end with a whimper like other promising shows (Samantha Who?, My Name Is Earl) that lost their way after only a few seasons.

The show How I Met Your Mother has been one of my favorites over the last three or four years. I have enjoyed the writing, the characters and the dialogue. But like all things I like, I fear for it.

This past season was classic pre-Jump the Shark behavior. There were more than a few episodes that weren't just sub-par, but godawful and contrived. ("Ten Sessions," "The Possimpible.") But it's not beyond repair, and the way that it can be saved is by diagnoising its fatal flaws, and fixing them pronto. Let's take a look:

  1. It's Too In Love With its Own Gags. A few seasons ago, HIMYM unleashed a wonderful little gag known as the "slap-bet." It goes like this: you make a bet, and whoever wins gets to slap the other one across the face as hard as they want. It was a hilarious little wrinkle in the plot. There was also a payoff seven full episodes later, which is one of the best "walk-off" endings in the show's history.

    But then they got greedy. What was at one time a rather ingenious little subplot to the "Let's Go To the Mall" episode then became "Slapsgiving" (season Three), in which the entire episode was a countdown to the third and final slap that Marshall was finally going to give Barney. The slap itself was fine, but then it ruined it. Rather than ending on that note or having a brief denoument, Marshall had to sing a song called "You Just Got Slapped," with Barney joining in on the chorus! Gone was any tension that had existed up until then, and all the time they had put into the slap-bet concept went from TV lore to tepid and instantly forgettable.

    This show has a tendency to become infatuated with its own humor, such as when Marshall was wearing a nightshirt, and Barney let off a rapid fire litany of jokes -- none of them funny -- about the attire. (Which, by the way, is a lazy tool of comic writing: make someone's appearance foolish, and then make other characters make comparisons or say "You look like the grandfather from 'Willy Wonka.'")

    The show has to learn to glide gracefully past even its more ingenious jokes. When it spends too much time on them, it makes it look like it's trying too hard. Just make the joke and move along now. Don't wallow in your own supposed comic genius.

  2. The Sentimentality of Ted. More often than not lately, the show has relied on ending on some kind of a dramatic or sentimental note. Now, from the first episode, Ted's character has been a kind of, for lack of a better word, pussy. He told Robin he loved her in the first episode, and is always talking about this ideal of "true love." That is, after all, the point of the show ... the backstory of how he met his future wife.

    But the problem is that these elements, which worked so well because they were the subtext, have become the ... well, text. Instead of Ted just being, we are constantly told what he is, by other characters and by voice-overs. A hopeless romantic, someone looking for a soul-mate, etc. All right, we get it.

    Problem is, Ted spends so much of his time fucking moping around and searching for this "true love," that it loses all of its power. There was an episode early on where Ted fell for a girl named Victoria at a wedding. They agreed they would never speak again after the wedding. Later on, when he finally tracks her down, the catharsis worked, because it wasn't telegraphed.

    Now, we have contrived pap like "Ten Sessions," in which Ted very consciously tries to wear down the woefully miscast and thankfully jettisoned Sarah Chalke over the course of ten medical treatments. This might have worked if it weren't so goddamn phony and contrived. And that two-minute date they had at the end of the episode was about as authentic as a 1980s porno. (Unfortunately, this was also the episode that Britney Spears was in, which means it was the one that most newbie viewers were exposed to.)

    Let's get the fun Ted back out there, the one that is sarcastic and doesn't take himself or his life too seriously, or come off as a "cool guy." (He might be the protagonist, but sometime's Ted is a borderline douchebag.) Because when the show validates his character, yet his character is doing something wussy/unlikeable/dickish, it undermines the whole framework of the show.

  3. Barney's Radical Character Shift. I shouldn't have to tell this to professional TV people. When you take the funniest character on a show, and make him a sentimental ass, or too vulnerable, you take away the best part of a show. They did the same thing with Chandler Bing on Friends right before he got married to Monica, before thankfully re-installing his testicles by the time the show ended. Scrubs was also in grave danger of doing this with Perry Cox, the show's resident misanthrope. His seriously-toned, "he's really a good guy after all!" monologues -- which were initially a nice dab of humanity in an otherwise cynical character -- became all too frequent, before the show's switch to ABC restored his balls as well.

    For the better part of three seasons, Barney has been the one standby. If Marshall is the innocent in Ted's life, then Barney is the devil on the other shoulder. This dynamic opposition has given the show much of its needed tension. Barney could always be counted on to act selfishly and with complete nihilism. He would always be in control and always be one step ahead.

    But at the end of Season Three, inexplicably, the writers made Barney fall in love with Robin. First of all, can you think of a worse match? Who the hell decided "we have to get these two together!"

    Barney should never be in love, not while the show is still on. And God forbid he ever does, it should be with someone conniving, mean ... borderline evil. Anything less would seriously compromise the character that this show has so successfully built into its best asset.

  4. Stella. She needs to move away to a distant city never to be seen or heard from again. Sarah Chalke is fine on Scrubs; she was abysmal on this show. Cousin Oliver crossed with that asshole who was Rory's boyfriend on Gilmore Girls. (So I watch a lot of TV, fuck you.)

So anyway, I think this show has the potential to be a so-called "klassic komedy," and would hate to see it go the way of "Andy Richter Controls the Universe," "Joey," "Life on Mars" or other shows with decent concepts that shat the proverbial bed.

Black Eyed Indeed (Wocka Wocka!)

No one hates you because you're gay, Perez Hilton Mario Armando Lavandeira. They hate you because you're a piece of shit. Is it okay to use the word "fag" now that Perez did it?

Perez is lucky it was just that she called a "fag" and not Suge Knight. He would have gotten a bullet in his face instead of just getting his meat lumped.

I've never really read much of this guy's stuff, but from what I've seen, he self-righteously hides behind the rainbow flag, all while using Microsoft Paint to draw penises and semen on the pictures of celebrities. Then he talks about dignity and respect. Sorry, bitch, can't have it both ways. I read somewhere that Mario is the gay Uncle Tom. Hmmm.. I think I like the sound of that!

The worst part? He's right about the Black Eyed Peas shitty music and has forced me to take their side. Fuck you Mario!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Dear Mr. Bryant,

You may have four rings, but you will always be a prick.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


I like Conan, but Dave was really the man back in the day...

Monday, June 08, 2009

Exponential Times


Real FREAKY naughty

Friday, May 29, 2009

Schmidtty Says Good-Bye

20 years ago today! Hard to believe...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Alternate Reality Football

We have a way to go before football season but I always get the fever about this time of year. It's a month after the draft, almost four months after the Super Bowl, and preseason is just over two tantalizing months away. I thought I'd take a look at the history of the league, and how only a few games could change everything.

Since 1966 -- the beginning of the Super Bowl era -- there have been a total of 14,134 regular season games, played, plus hundreds of playoff games. But when you think about it, if you reversed the decisions of just 43 of those games (less than 0.003%), the entire league would look completely different.

But it doesn't seem so unusual if you just reverse the fortunes of the 43 Super Bowl games that have been played over the last ... well, 43 years. Remember, we've still had fewer Super Bowls than we have presidents! That will change, of course, when the Bills win Super Bowl 44.

In the real world, the NFC has won 22 Super Bowls, and the AFC has won 21. (The Patriots could have tipped the balance in the AFC's favor had they stopped planning Disney World speeches and beaten the Giants, but such is life.)

Let's look at the first four Super Bowls, when the National Football League and the American Football League still had yet to officially merge. Here are the bizarro results (I am going to use Arabic numerals instead of Roman numerals for ease of reading):

Super Bowl 1: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS defeat Green Bay Packers
Super Bowl 2: OAKLAND RAIDERS defeat Green Bay Packers
Super Bowl 3: BALTIMORE COLTS defeat New York Jets
Super Bowl 4: MINNESOTA VIKINGS defeat Kansas City Chiefs

Since the AFL and NFL each won two games in these initial contests, it doesn't change the league dynamics all that much, other than making Kansas City the winners of the inaugural game, the Packers choking away two consecutive games (wonder what that might be like) and the Vikings beginning their soon-to-be decade of dominance. In the most exciting game of the first four, Joe Namath valiantly attempted to upset the heavily-favored Colts, but Johnny Unitas had one more miracle left in him, leading the Baltimore to their last football title ever to date.

Now, onto the 1970s!

Super Bowl 5: DALLAS COWBOYS defeat Baltimore Colts
Super Bowl 6: MIAMI DOLPHINS defeat Dallas Cowboys
Super Bowl 7: WASHINGTON REDSKINS defeat Miami Dolphins
Super Bowl 8: MINNESOTA VIKINGS defeat Miami Dolphins
Super Bowl 9: MINNESOTA VIKINGS defeat Pittsburgh Steelers
Super Bowl 10: DALLAS COWBOYS defeat Pittsburgh Steelers
Super Bowl 11: MINNESOTA VIKINGS defeat Oakland Raiders
Super Bowl 12: DENVER BRONCOS defeat Dallas Cowboys
Super Bowl 13: DALLAS COWBOYS defeat Pittsburgh Steelers
Super Bowl 14: LOS ANGELES RAMS defeat Pittsburgh Steelers

Oh, those poor Steelers of the '70s. They made the game an unprecedented four times in six seasons, and lost all of them. I wonder what that's like.

The bizarro 1970s were clearly dominated by the NFC, who won eight out of ten Super Bowls. The Cowboys and Vikings tie the decade with three each, but the Vikings get the edge for "Team of the '70s" because of their Super Bowl Four win, which technically took place in January 1970. However, the Cowboys get special consideration by making it to exactly half the Super Bowls of the 1970s (true in both the bizarro and real world).

Amazing that the '72 Dolphins came THIS close to having the NFL's first perfect season since the merger, until Garo Yepremien botched a field goal to allow the Redskins to score late in the game, take the momentum and win the game. Cowboys tight end Jackie Smith's clutch catch in the endzone of Super Bowl Thirteen gave Dallas the lead and the momentum over the star-crossed Steelers. The then-all-time passing leader Fran Tarkenton got his crowning third Super Bowl ring in four years in Super Bowl Eleven.

On to the 1980s!

Super Bowl 15: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES defeat Oakland Raiders
Super Bowl 16: CINCINNATI BENGALS defeat San Francisco 49ers
Super Bowl 17: MIAMI DOLPHINS defeat Washington Redskins
Super Bowl 18: WASHINGTON REDSKINS defeat Los Angeles Raiders
Super Bowl 19: MIAMI DOLPHINS defeat San Francisco 49ers
Super Bowl 20: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS defeat Chicago Bears
Super Bowl 21: DENVER BRONCOS defeat New York Giants
Super Bowl 22: DENVER BRONCOS defeat Washington Redskins
Super Bowl 23: CINCINNATI BENGALS defeat San Francisco 49ers
Super Bowl 24: DENVER BRONCOS defeat San Francisco 49ers

In four attempts, the pesky 49ers couldn't quite get over the hump, making Joe Montana possibly the greatest QB that ever lived who never won a championship. The Patriots performed the upset of the decade, toppling the mighty 15-1 Bears. But it was the Denver Broncos, led by John Elway, who dominated the second half of the decade, winning three out of four Super Bowls. The Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals -- the two AFC expansion teams of the 1960s -- showed a lot of toughness as well, with two wins each. Amazingly, the Washington Redskins would be the last NFC team to win a Super Bowl for fourteen long years.

The 1990s weren't just the advent of the internet and the Bedazzler! It was the decade of change ... and going back to the future!

Super Bowl 25: BUFFALO BILLS defeat New York Giants
Super Bowl 26: BUFFALO BILLS defeat Washington Redskins
Super Bowl 27: BUFFALO BILLS defeat Dallas Cowboys
Super Bowl 28: BUFFALO BILLS defeat Dallas Cowboys
Super Bowl 29: SAN DIEGO CHARGERS defeat San Francisco 49ers
Super Bowl 30: PITTSBURGH STEELERS defeat Dallas Cowboys
Super Bowl 31: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS defeat Green Bay Packers
Super Bowl 32: GREEN BAY PACKERS defeat Denver Broncos
Super Bowl 33: ATLANTA FALCONS defeat Denver Broncos

Clearly, the Team of the Bizarro '90s was the Buffalo Bills, run by the K-Gun offense, they started their good-karma with a clutch 47-yard Scott Norwood field goal to win Super Bowl Twenty-Five by a score of 22-20. Many compare them to the (real-life) New York Islanders of the early 1980s. The rest of the Decade shows a second Super Bowl win for the Patriots, and the first taste of victory for the Steelers and Packers, who had each been to the big game multiple times prior, but never able to win. Two major Super Bowl upsets in a row happened, with Atlanta defeating the 15-1 Broncos, and the Titans beating the high-flying Rams. (Note: the Titans got to the Bizarro-world Super Bowl by performing a completely legal lateral pass in a playoff game against Buffalo. In Bizarro-world, the play was 100% legit, and Phil Luckett was named head of officiating instead of being tortured in my dreams.)

Last but not least, the turn of the Millennium, with a couple surprises along the way!

Super Bowl 35: ST. LOUIS RAMS defeat New England Patriots
Super Bowl 36: NEW YORK GIANTS defeat Baltimore Ravens
Super Bowl 37: OAKLAND RAIDERS defeat Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Super Bowl 38: CAROLINA PANTHERS defeat New England Patriots
Super Bowl 39: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES defeat New England Patriots
Super Bowl 40: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS defeat Pittsburgh Steelers
Super Bowl 41: CHICAGO BEARS defeat Indianapolis Colts
Super Bowl 42: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS defeat New York Giants
Super Bowl 43: ARIZONA CARDINALS defeat Pittsburgh Steelers

Once again, the Steelers have a tough decade, losing two Super Bowls in four years, mostly because they got very little help from the officials in both games. The Patriots looked to be having a bad go of it as well, losing three of four games, before finally capping off their perfect 2007 season by defeating the Giants.

So to recap:

Bizarro Team of the 1970s: MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Bizarro Team of the 1980s: DENVER BRONCOS
Bizarro Team of the 1990s: BUFFALO BILLS
Bizarro Team of the 2000s: ????

Well folks, it has been a wild, wild ride. I hope you enjoyed this trip down a twisted path. And think, if just 43 games -- out of the 14,000+ that have been played in the Super Bowl era -- had had different results, this wouldn't have been bizarro at all, but real!!!!

How's your mind? Blown? I'm sure it is. Of course, to the kids in third world countries, this is how it really happened anyway.