Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Olney in New York!

Dear Buster Olney,

Stop being such a fucking baby.

So Joe Torre writes a book (with your own colleague Tom Verducci, no less) and whoops pow surprise! It turns out that Brian Cashman is a company man and A-Rod is a faggot. What a shock.

You think everyone didn't already know that A-Rod is a prima donna shitdick who cares more about P.R. (and I don't mean Puerto Rico, folks) than about whether his team wins or not? Did you think he was fooling anyone with his "I want to be a Yankee" friend-of-the-workingman shit? Just because Torre confirmed it doesn't mean that everyone didn't already know.

So Torre had "the scowl," as you call it, where he would chastise yellow journalists for bringing up sensational stories in press conferences. What the fuck did you expect him to do? Openly comment on these kinds of stories when he is still the manager of the team? And did you expect him to have any loyalty to Cashman or the organization after the way they unceremoniously booted his ass?

Maybe in your feeble little Yankee-lovin' mind, this is going to go down in infamy as Torre's own "I'm not here to talk about the past" moment if he doesn't fess up to writing all this stuff. But you have to remember one thing.


And maybe if you left your fucking cubicle once in a while, you might realize that there are more things out there in the world than the Yankees. And sorry, not every book written about the Yankees can be a sanctifying ode, like your own book The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty, in which you swoon over "[Derek] Jeter's confidence, [Paul] O'Neill's intensity, [Tim] Raines' humor, [Joe] Girardi's professionalism."

And why do you give your boy Verducci a pass? You mention several times in the article that he wrote the words, but that Torre had to sign off on it. Why not chastise him for allowing his good name to be sullied by such depraved dreck?

Sorry Torre shitted on your squad, Buster, but he was only reinforcing what everbody ALREADY KNEW. You love the Yankees, you feel personally hurt by Torre's words ... we get it. How dare someone spit in the face of Yankee Universe?!?

Quit crying like a baggy-eyed little fruit and be a man, you fucking nerd.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Super Bowl Kerfuffle!

Considering that this year's Super Bowl teams have two of the douchiest theme songs on record, it's hard to choose. Behold:

Personally, I'll take the Cards just because they don't have that eardrum-exploding Picksburg accent.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Oscar? I Barely Know'er!

There are two things I love above all others: wasting time and making spreadsheets. I found a way to kill two proverbial birds with one hypothetical stone, by combining these with the Academy Awards.

There are cynics among you who will say that the Oscars are pointless, and that awards should not be given out for art. I kind of agree with the latter part, but as for the Oscars themselves ... well yes, they are pointless. But I like to go into them relatively well-informed. This will not be one of those years, being that I've seen about 3 movies this year, none of which will be considered for the Academy Award.

Why has your humble cineaste fallen so behind in his moviegoing? Well, going to the movies is on the expensive side, and it's hard to find someone to go with me. Also, let's face it, for the most part in the last 5 years or so, movies have ... well, completely sucked ass.

Gone is the scintillating era of the mid-1990s, where even Pulp Fiction ripoffs were fun and exciting. (And if you have to copy a movie, I'd rather have they do it with Pulp Fiction than these goddamn Sons of Saw III.) From about 1989 to about 1998, there was a torrent of innovative and well-crafted films, that also happened to be popular. Look at the list: Boogie Nights, Fargo, L.A. Confidential, sex lies & videotape, GoodFellas, The Usual Suspects, Glengarry Glen Ross, just to name a few. While not perfect, these films were a testament to storytelling innovation, outstanding dialogue, and most importantly, SUBTEXT.

Subtext is sorely lacking in modern cinema. We have movies like Crash, Brokeback Mountain, Million Dollar Baby, Babel, and Ray (again examples) that bat you over the noggin with exactly what they want you to know about their movies. They don't challenge like they once did. And even when the films of the 1990s were not challenging you with their meanings, they were usually challenging you in other ways, such as structure and conflicted characters.

Right now we are in a period that is similar to the 1979 to 1987 period in cinema, where precious little interesting or innovative films were being made. It's why we are seeing two major phenomena: big-time movie actors having their films go straight -- or at least very quickly -- to DVD (Nicholas Cage, Samuel L. Jackson, Al Pacino, Matthew McConaughey); and established movie actors going to TV (Laurence Fishburne, Tim Roth, Kyra Sedgwick, Gary Sinese, Alec Baldwin).

For the latter, it's not that actors are slumming it; they are smart. TV is better now than it's probably ever been, and movies are at their nadir. So why wouldn't an actor get a job with steady work on shows that are far better written than most of the movie crap that comes out. Compare the writing of shows like "The Wire," "The Sopranos" (even with all its flaws), "30 Rock," "The Office," "Mad Men," "Battlestar Galactica" and the like to Uwe Boll's latest reel of cinematic excrement.

Anyway, that is all neither here nor there. Since movies have been so shitty lately, I have naturally become nostalgic for the last two decades of films, waiting for the next great wave of moviemakers to come along. And I'm going to do something rather revolutionary. I am going to correctly predict all five of the Academy Award Nominees this year, before they are announced.

There is a methodology to my madness, and it is this: every Academy Award nominee of the last 20 ceremonies fall into one of ten categories. They are...

  1. Feel-Good Movie:
  2. This is a movie that has a happy, uplifting ending. It forces you to leave the theater with a grin on your grill and a song in your heart. (Examples: It Could Happen To You, Muriel's Wedding, A Christmas Story, It's a Wonderful Life.)

  3. Quirky:
  4. It's a little offbeat, and a little strange. It might have weird camera angles, wacky characters or some kind of goofy voiceover. It is usually slightly funny, often in a twisted or macabre way. (Examples: Spanking the Monkey, Buffalo '66, Barton Fink, Boogie Nights, Citizen Ruth, Harold and Maude, Fight Club.)

  5. Period Piece:
  6. No, it's not about a teenage girl, it's a movie that takes place in a different time, and sometimes in a different country. It harkens back to a more romantic era, and is usually hinged upon a romance. (Examples: Chinatown, Amadeus, Avalon, Ragtime, The Great Gatsby)

  7. "Message" Film: 
  8. It tells gives you a lesson at the end, hopefully one you will take with you when you leave theater. Sure it entertains you, but it also makes you think!!!! Often takes the shape of a courtroom drama. (Examples: 12 Angry Men, To Kill A Mockingbird, Judgment at Nuremberg, The Long Walk Home, The Best Years of Our Lives, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.)

  9. Liberal Agenda:
  10. Different from a message film in that it pushes forth a liberal agenda, rather than one of universal truth. Not always strictly liberal; sometimes just hippy-ish. (Examples: The Contender, A Few Good Men, The American President, Coming Home, Easy Rider, The Ghosts of Mississippi, Dances With Wolves, Amistad, The Cider House Rules.)

  11. Epic:
  12. By definition, longer than two-and-a-half hours, but often with the scope of several years or decades. (Examples: Lawrence of Arabia, Gone With the Wind, Heaven's Gate, The Godfather.)

  13. Inspirational:
  14. Makes you want to stand up and cheer for he who faced the odds and beat them! (Examples: The Shawshank Redemption, My Left Foot, The Pianist, Hotel Rwanda, A Beautiful Mind.)

  15. Weepie:
  16. If you walk out of this one without a tear in your eye, you haven't a heart in your chest. (Examples: The Color Purple, Old Yeller, Love Story, City Lights, Sophie's Choice, Kramer vs. Kramer.)

  17. Gritty:
  18. Raw, sometimes violent. Doesn't blink or let you off the hook. (Examples: GoodFellas, Narc, Saving Private Ryan, Reservoir Dogs, Se7en, Mean Streets, American History X, Requiem for a Dream.)

  19. Surprise Hit:
  20. This is a movie that no one expected to be this good or this popular, and therefore warrants a spot on the list. (Examples: Pirates of the Carribean, Moulin Rouge, The Sixth Sense, Babe, Little Miss Sunshine.)

Now, if you are interested in how the last 20 Oscar races have come out, HERE IS THE SPREADSHEET. It breaks each of the five nominees down into their categories -- and sometimes more than one -- for 1988-2007. That is 20 years of research. The numbers don't lie!

But based on that, here are what the five Oscar nominees WILL BE this year:

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (aka the Epic/The Weepie)
  • Frost/Nixon (aka the Period Piece)
  • Revolutionary Road (aka the Message Movie/Period Piece)
  • Slumdog Millionaire (aka the Surprise Hit/Feel-Good Movie)
  • Vicki Cristina Barcelona (aka the Quirky Comedy)

This WILL BE the list. Mark it down now and bet the house on it.


Wow, I blew that one. Three out of Five (The Reader and Milk instead of Vicki Cristina and Revolution Road.) But I'll get 4/5 next year. Write it down and bet the house on it!]

Monday, January 19, 2009


Tonight the Bush presidency saw its final sunset.

Monday, January 05, 2009

2008 Media Recap

A rundown of my media consumption this year...don't worry it's for posterity charity

    Best Albums I Discovered (didn't necessarily come out in '08):
  • Shearwater - "Palo Santo" and "Rook" - Dense, heavy folk music
  • Bon Iver - "For Emma, Forever Ago" - Folky folks music
  • Nerina Pallot - "Fires" - Great voice, catchy piano pop
  • Stephen Malkmus - "Real Emotional Trash" - His best non-Pavement album ... except for "Pig Lib."
  • MGMT - "Oracular Spectacular" - I first heard of them in 2007, but never thought they'd get big.
  • Vampire Weekend - "Vampire Weekend" - I was late to jump on this train but it's a very good album.
  • Panic at the Disco - "Pretty. Odd" - Not at all the type of album I'd like, but yet I did. What is happening to me?!
  • Fleet Foxes - "Fleet Foxes"
  • Tobacco - "F**ked Up Friends"
  • Oh No - "Exodus into Unheard Rhythms" (2006) - Hip Hop in a time capsule from 1993.
  • Switches - "Lay Down the Law"

    Best Shows:
  • The Sarah Silverman Program
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • 30 Rock (although the 2008-09 season has started a little lackluster)
  • The Venture Brothers (it's from a few years ago but it's probably the densest and most culturally-savvy show since the Simpsons)
  • It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (I finally got caught up and it's great)
  • The Colbert Report
  • Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father - devestating, mesmerizing
  • Summer Heights High - The UK version of The Office directed by Christopher Guest

    Best Movies:
  • The Dark Night
  • Iron Man
  • My Winnipeg
  • Tropic Thunder (for the first half hour or so)
  • Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
  • The Prestige - I know it came out in 2006, but I've been a little behind. It's one of the best mystery films I've ever seen. Ever. Seriously.
  • The Bourne Ultimatum - I thought the other two Bourne movies were just okay, this one kicked some serious ass.
  • Manufacturing Dissent - the best documentary out there exposing the fraud that is Michael Moore
    (it was a seriously weak year for movies)

    Two concerts I went to:
  • Iron & Wine in Buffalo; Glen Hansard in Massachussetts

    Biggest Disappointments:
  • Ben Folds' "Way To Normal" - All the things that have irked me about his songs the last few years have culminated into this steaming pile of shit.

  • The Foot Fist Way - Indie cinema is dead, and if it's not, I will now have to kill it after this sporadically funny but ultimately sloppy farce.

  • The Wire, Season 5 - It was still good -- still the best show on TV, in fact -- but it was the weakest season of the series; the "serial killer" angle was something out of a bad Al Pacino crime procedural.

  • From the Earth To the Moon - yes the 1998 Tom Hanks NASA miniseries. Some episodes were pretty good, some really boring (especially the one with the device of a filmmaker following everyone around), but ultimately it was just a TV movie. I don't know what I expected, just something a little better I guess.

  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - It was a great concept and pretty interesting at times, but ultimately it suffered from the same aimlessness that has plagued French cinema for decades.

  • Amy Poehler on SNL - She is just not all that funny, and her Hillary Clinton impression -- though iconic -- sounds absolutely nothing like Frau Cankles herself.

  • Dane Cook "Rough Around the Edges" - the first chink in the Dane Train's armor; too dirty, too inside and just not funny enough. With this and his shitty movies, we may be seeing an epic shark-jump.

  • Deadspin - Not as much as I used to since I don't read it at work anymore, but it's still the best place to find the "comedy pyramid"
  • Politico, Talking Points Memo, Five Thirty Eight, RealClearPolitics, Wonkette, Pollster.com and just about any other left-leaning website in the universe this past year.
  • BeerAdvocate
  • BeerJanglin'! - naturally...
  • Google Reader - now all my unhealthy obsessions in one easy-to-read interface!
  • MP3Sale dot are-you. We'll keep it our own dirty little secret.
  • Last.fm and Pandora - since I am too lazy to read about music and need someone who will tell me what to like.
  • Wikipedia - the best site in the history of the internet, errors be damned!

    Odds and Ends:
  • Hard N Phirm - the "Pi" song is a corker
  • Tori Schulman from "Movie Up"
  • "Firefly" the TV series and its movie follow-up "Serenity"
  • POTUS '08 on XM Radio - my obsession for about 10 months until Election day
  • The Vice Presidential Debate - the epic battle between the MILF and the Mouth
  • Brian Regan's "The Epitome of Hyperbole" - finally a TV special that captures the genius of the greatest stand-up comic of our time
  • Rock Band and Rock Band 2 - don't drink the haterade, it's a real hoot.
  • Opie and Anthony and Li'l Jimmy Norton - outside of their Jill Nicolini phase, they did some great stuff this year. FRUNKIS! It's still my go-to radio show, even though I get Howard now too.
  • Giants beating New England in the Super Bowl. What a wonderful wonderful moment in human history. Of course, no one in the LIBERAL MEDIAL will mention that in three consecutive seasons the Patriots have a) blown an 18-point lead to lose the AFC Championship, b) blown a perfect record to lose the Super Bowl and c) missed the playoffs (yeah yeah, I know Brady was out, cry my a river). Choke much, Bill Belicheat?

So there you have it, 365 days of me sitting on my ass. Hope you enjoyed it.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Oh the Minutes I've Wasted!

My 525,600 minutes? Most of them were spent:

  • Drinking awesome beer
  • Sleeping
  • Not getting laid
  • On the shitter
  • Blogging
  • Driving
  • Pretending to work
  • Eating delicious foods that were bad for me
  • Clearing out my DVR even though I wasn't in the mood to watch the shows on it
  • Calling other motorist "c--ts" and "c--ks--kers"
  • Calling the Bills "a--holes" and "f--king d--chebags"
  • Calling Republicans "f--ggots" and "motherf--kers"
  • Sitting on a train
  • Texting Willie with great/awful puns
  • Not cleaning my apartment
  • Not paying my bills
  • On the computer
  • On the computer
  • On the computer

And the rest of it was just wasted. Ba-dum-BUM!

Happy New Year everybody!