Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year


Ratatat -- Mirando.

Have a look



As promised, here is your very own "year in review" post by goats. On the final day in the year of our lord 2008, an erratic list of things I found still relevant while after the baby attacks. Me syntax good.

"Are you being sarcastic?"
"I don't even know anymore."
There were a lot essays, posted with varying degrees of failure terrible success. I like to think the misanthropic ramblings fell into two categories: Somewhat earnest, and completely facetious. The trick is determining which is which. If it's about some national or world issue like Korean Beef or warrantless wiretapping, it likely was written in jest. Serious posts tend to delve more into anecdotes, or human nature through media. I guess.

Anyway: Animals! Pandas, penguins and bears.

More politics were posted here than I would have liked. Remember when I called Obama a magical negro? It seemed like a good idea at the time. Also: GnR holds up.

There were tons of videos.

A book club was around for a while -- not sure how many participated, but Blood Meridian, A Confederacy of Dunces, World War Z, and Master and Margarita were read. Then it kind of petered out. No linky.

And of course obscure energy drinks were discussed.

That's it, I'm sick of making this.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Top 10?

You know how all kinds of media run their "Top 10" crapfests at the end of the year. Here's a secret: Everyone is off around the holidays and these lists are a great way to fill space.


Anyway -- here's a selection of search terms that led here during the past year, minus most of the "fainting goats" searches because there are so many of those and they are almost entirely stupid. All terms taken verbatim from ice rocket.

Windmills do not work that way
This is my milwaukee
WHERE THE FUCK IS WALLACE
Can A Manta Ray Kill You? + animal
drudge
wire season one rawls "deeply ambivalent"
"apocalyptic disney"
video chris wheeler world fucking champions
origin of "being the guinea pig"
suckiest sucks that ever sucked video
mythbusters fainting goats xxx
Toadvine Blood Meridian

That's it. People search for some weird stuff, eh? I linked what I could find. There was no post that directly corresponds to some like "mythbusters fainting goats xxx" but I included those anyway, for laughs.

Going through and gathering those links makes me want to put together some sort of top 10 list with editorial discretion. Because rehashing old material is awesome. Look for that maybe next week after I get back from a short vacation.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Free dirty money


The other day I was bicycling in the early dawn and thinking about getting some frostbite. Suddenly I spotted a ten dollar bill lying in the middle of the street. Oh fortuitous chance that I happened to take that particular route to work that day. Now some might just chalk it up to luck and go buy something for 10 dollars. Not me. For some reason it's important to consider the deeper meanings and implications of finding money randomly.


Later I stumbled across a news article, titled "Where did the bailout money go? Shhhhh, it's a secret." After my initial shock at the idea that some sort of doofus-looking woman is in charge of more government funds than have been spent in Iraq, I had an epiphany. Clearly the banks aren't telling where the money is going because of their secret plan.  A plan to literally litter the streets with cash. Streets many will soon be forced to live on after their homes are taken by these very same banks. What better way to benefit the nation's poor?

Of course, this begs the question why? Why not just send out some checks like the notoriously-successful stimulus package that went out earlier this year? The problem with that was some unpatriotic bastards decided to save their 600 dollars in hopes of building a nest egg and the economy remained sadly unstimulated. But when the money is thrown into the street, it becomes found money, free to all. Few things are spent faster than free money even if it is only percieved that way.

So to Hank Paulson, the Goldman Sachs wizard who undoubtedly came up with this plan, I say "Huzzah, good sir!" You have finally found a way to stimulate the flagging economy even while historic numbers of laid off workers hit the unemployment rolls. Just imagine Paulson and all the other bank bigwigs smearing dog shit all over small unmarked bills (for realism) and then driving down main street throwing them out the window of their rolls royce limos. It's going to be the best Christmas ever!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Apropos of nothing


You tell 'em Clay.

Friday, December 19, 2008

What the shit is this


Just when you thought things couldn't get anymore absurd -- Burger King releases a body spray. Warning: There are things in that link that will haunt you forever.

This product begs all kinds of questions -- like what does it smell like? Answer: Burgers. Do people actually want to smell like "the scent of seduction, with a hint of flame-broiled meat" as the company says? Maybe, but it's doubtful that's an accurate description. According to assumptions I'm making while I type this, it smells more like Sex Panther. Sixty percent of the time it works every time.

After an unreasonable amount of thought, I can only come up with two reasons for this to exist. There may be more but thinking about fast-food scented perfume fills me with confounded rage -- a feeling I've been trying to avoid.

1) Kitsch/Irony. Ha ha you got meat spray in your stocking. Hilariously worthless!

2) Marketing. This is almost certainly how this came to be. Some flack thought an ironic and useless product would be a good way to expand on the creepy-ass king mascot campaign. Thus raising public awareness of their "wacky" burger king brand. And from looking at the results of google news search, it seems to have worked.

Grinchy



“It’s a Wonderful Life” is a terrifying, asphyxiating story about growing up and relinquishing your dreams, of seeing your father driven to the grave before his time, of living among bitter, small-minded people. It is a story of being trapped, of compromising, of watching others move ahead and away, of becoming so filled with rage that you verbally abuse your children, their teacher and your oppressively perfect wife. It is also a nightmare account of an endless home renovation.
-NYT

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A quote

This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it — that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.
-Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nice try there buddy



This has got to be a metaphor for something.

The Dickensian Aspect


So. Slumdog Millionaire. It's an intricately, or at least interestingly plotted tale about a Mumbai orphan who goes on the Indian version of "Who wants to be a Millionaire" but not for the money. After reaching the final question, he is arrested and tortured, because a "slumdog" could never know all the answers. As he is questioned by police we slowly learn about his life, through flashbacks to his 18 years of experiences have prepared him to be a successful game show contestant.


While the film doesn't have the grit of say, "City of God" it does offer a fairly unflinching view of the poorest put-upons in one of the largest cities in the world. The viewer gets to watch these kids' run-ins with various orphanage-operating gangsters (?) as they survive primarily via their witty grift.

The film does a good job of balancing the obvious terribleness of the characters station in life with lighter moments that pop up throughout. Another example of how Danny Boyle is the master of light-hearted examination of dark themes.

For example, there is one scene where the young protagonist is forced to jump in a shit-filled latrine hole to get a famous celebrity's autograph. Haha, poop. I'm not going to try to analyze the somewhat inexplicable Bollywood-style dance number at the end.

I'd recommend checking this one out if you get the chance, if only for the awesome way the game show host says, "Let's play 'Who wants to be a Millionaire!'" Plus it offers us westerners an view into a complex culture through an understandable parable/love story.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The bird is the word, and it's on fire

From left, last year, this year

When plans to travel up to NYC are hit by a car, it provides motivation to make the best of it in the greater Philadelphia area. This meant taking a bus into the city to see a movie not yet in wide release (Slumdog Millionaire) followed by watching a giant bird going up in flames.

What? That doesn't make sense? Well then you are unfamiliar with the local tradition of setting a 35-foot tall wooden bird on fire to the delight of young and old. It's like the Phoenix of yore, reborn once a year to light up the night sky. And then a bunch of pagans dance around it in a circle, along with ubiquitous hippies and their circular drumbeats.

It is the biggest party ever (in Phoenixville). There ain't no party like a Phoenixville party cause a Phoenixville party don't stop. The point is that when someone says "Hey you want to go see them light the giant wooden bird on fire?" You undoubtedly say yes.

Please let this be Bush's legacy



Multiple angles!

We can only hope Barack Obama shows this kind of reaction time and good humor when faced with a crisis of such great magnitude. Also, the Iraq War is like road rage.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm inspired

Keeping with the video blog theme:

This is just a video blog now




Apparently.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dogs with british accents can sell anything



OK yes, this is an anti-drug spot. But dare I say its the only effective such ad in the history of the world?

Unexplained perks

No one has ever accused me of being a diehard hockey fan. Never played, can barely skate, never been to a game, hate Canada, etc. Frankly, I would rather watch soccer. But that all changed, not really, the other night when I attended my first-ever Flyers game and sat in the first row right behind the visitor's penalty box. Maybe you saw me tossing up the shocker on TV? (photo unavailable at this time).

Anyway, its probably more than stating the obvious to say watching a professional hockey game in person, up that close, is a bit more exciting than seeing it on television. Oh shit that guy just got owned on the glass! My friend, who has been to some 50 Flyers' games, said they were the best seats he's ever had. He then offered rimjobs for the guy who hooked us up the tickets.

Anyway, hockey is still the lamest of all the sports to watch on TV, but sitting rinkside is pretty much awesome. Also, I am officially ruined for life on live hockey. Not much else to report. We thought better of pulling the trigger all over the glass on the last Islander penalty (Bill Guerin, still alive!).

Oh wait, there is one other amusing anecdote. The one usher assigned our section brought two skanky cougars down to sit in the empty seats next to us in the third period, presumably as part of some pucks for pussy scheme. They proceeded to annoy the shit out of my friend with their whining about how hot Daniel Briere is, even though he wasn't playing because he's injured. Greh.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Metallica, relevant in 2008?



The combination of zombies and whatever the heck else is going on in this video for "All nightmare long" is almost enough to make up for the last 10 years of useless crap. Falling Madly in anger with you indeed.

Drunk and on fire is no way to go through life



Here are a few quick links while anonymous brushes up on his 'Revenge of the Nerds' canon:

Cutethingsfallingasleep.org
It's exactly what you would expect.

And for something completely different, laugh at the highlights of an Ayn Rand dating site. Or consider an Atlas Shrugged update for the current economic situation. God I hate Objectivists.

Finally, here are what purports to be the 10 best Hunter S. Thompson quotes.

Monday, December 08, 2008

There are no heroes


So here's some "news" from the web -- Comrade-Elect Obama is stocking his cabinet with Ivy League types. While some say that putting those with proven "intelligence" and "credentials" in positions of power is a good idea -- it's just not that simple. The fact is that these ivory tower elitists just don't understand the problems of everyday Americans like say, Joe the Plumber. (What ever happened to that guy? Oh)

Anyway, liberal columnists like Frank Rich and are already ringing the warning bells and sounding the alarms and whatnot. These nervous nellies say that the new president faces an economy in meltdown alongside violent crises at home and abroad. Or maybe the president said that.

Either way, these financial picks are the descendents of Clinton freemarketism. Just like JFK's "best and brightest" who led us into Vietnam while avoiding nuclear war with the Soviet Union. So I guess that means that we will avoid a new great depression by miring ourselves in endless class warfare.

A bit melodramatic, sure, but are you fighting your personal war on life? Take every day and strangle it by the throat until it is dead. Unnecessary. Veering off into dangerous gibberish. Do I have a point? Why, the war on nerds (tm) of course. Your books cannot save you now smarty. Unless you somehow use them to build weapons.

Much like the War on Terror, the War on Drugs and the War on Christmas, this may be an unwinnable war. These pointy-headed eggheads will take our women in the moon bounce while dressed as popular Star Wars bad guy Anakin "Darth Vader" Skywalker.

Why wouldn't this exist?



Movies acted out in 30 seconds by animated bunnies? Sure.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Great moments in Internet commenting

This was left on a story on my work web site about a new plan to provide cheap prescription drugs for sick people.

" HOW MUCH IS THIS COSTING THE TAXPAYERS? The article doesn't say, naturally, proving yet again that the [newspaper] is part of the spreading socialist conspiracy. I don't begrudge Mr John Grant's desire to continue living, but why should I and my family have to subsidise his insulin and all that? Be fair. My common-law husband Hank was unemployed for a time last year and when we couldn't afford insurance he simply switched from our family doctor to the vet. It was cheaper, and every time he went for an appointment he came home for a free chew toy for our dog, Gibbon. People like Mr Grant would do well to follow our example. Hank is healthier than ever, and he moves a little farther up the transplant list every day. Anyway, Commissioner Aichele and Commissioner Farrell -- to say nothing of the [newspaper] -- owe us the TRUTH about the costs of this program. NOW! "


If only I had a nickel for every time someone accused me of being part of the giant socialist conspiracy. Seriously though, going to the vet for medical treatment is the best option when you lose your health insurance. Hey, it worked for Kramer.

edit: Yes this is almost certainly fake. But still hilarious. Here's a comment left by the husband on some other story. The best part is other commenters are responding back. Effective trolling.
"I wish to apologise for the content and tone of my earlier comment. I did not actually read the article in question. Instead, my common-law wife, Bea, summarised it for me verbally, and it appears her summary was well short of the mark. (This often happens; she confuses easily.) I apologise to the [newspaper], its readers, the family and friends of the victims, and to Bea."

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Prodigious



Electronic pioneers The Prodigy are releasing a new album next year and the title track "Invaders must die" is was available for free via their web site. All you have to do is sign up for Prodigy-related spam!

But seriously, Prodigy will probably never recreate the success they had with "Fat of the Land" but it's nice to see them back in action. And the new single is solid -- kind of a return to their hard-rocking days of Smack My Bitch Up and Breathe. So it's a good start.

Will the album fill out with underrated tracks like Climbatize? Will there be a huge controversy after a song is horribly misunderstood and the video is only shown late at night? Will the Beastie Boys request said controversial song be pulled from their set at a music festival? Only time will tell.

Discussion point
Better electronic act: The Prodigy or Daft Punk?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

This is ridiculous



This is supposed to be a Disney-ification of Akira. I find it oddly unsettling.

Monday, December 01, 2008

From the wire


I like how it is carefully considering what to play next.

Dolphinariums are something that exist? That's it, I'm going to Turkey.

This is why we can't have nice things

So as was mentioned here before -- I moved this weekend. Moving sucks. But boy am I glad to be out of the old apartment. The most recent roommate was fun for a while, but well, this anecdote sums it up.

On Saturday night we had a little closing up shop kind of get together. A few friends came over for drinks. I heated up a potato in the microwave and threw it against the wall. All in all, a good time.

After a few hours we decided to head out to the bars. Blah blah, you know the drill. Eventually I got tired and called it a night. I retired back to the apartment by myself, locked it up and hit the sack.

The next thing I know I'm woken up by a police officer yelling through my bedroom door something about getting tazed. Groggily, walked into the main room, where most of the group that had been at our place earlier is sitting sheepishly on our two couches with two cops giving them the business.

Obviously confused and pantsless, I asked the cops what the heck was the trouble? One police indicated that I should look at one of our walls, which just happens to have shattered glass all along its base. Apparently these geniuses and credits to the humanity came back and decided they were not done partying. Who knows what else was involved, but throwing beer bottles our apartment wall seemed to be a big part of whatever they were doing. At 6 a.m.

So now along with the undoubted sacrifice of the security deposit, I now look forward to a nice noise violation fine, for sleeping heavily. Although at least in the morning this situation provided the opportunity to say to the few still lying around passed out, "Y'all are going to either help me clean up, or get the FUCK out." They picked up the glass.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving from two convicted felons


"Parkay yabba dabba do" indeed.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Overdue: Trainspotting


Sometimes random significant bits of pop culture are elusive, be it by choice or by accident. For example, I've never seen the original Rocky and don't really plan to. You could say it's somehow related to a profound dislike of Sylvester Stallone -- that is if I didn't hold Demolition Man in such high regard. But hey, its never too late to catch up. And yes, this is kind of a rip-off of The AV Club's better late than never feature.

Trainspotting is one of those that is particularly embarrassing not to have seen, particularly for someone who likes movies. I knew I should watch it when a friend of mine who doesn't like movies (too long, he says) told me it was one of his favorites. The only excuse I have for never watching it is that it has a shitload of people shooting up heroin throughout -- one of the few things that still makes me squeamish. Watching every episode of the X-Files in a three month span will build up your tolerance to watching lots of disturbing stuff, but not drugs and needles.

Anyway. You know a movie is great, or at least reached some level on the cultural zeitgeist, when some scenes become cliche. I'm referring to the part with the baby on the ceiling while Renton is going through withdrawal. Not sure where I saw that elsewhere, but it has definitely been copied.

It's probably good that Trainspotting doesn't romanticize heroin use. Well it does, to an extent, but there is also the guy who gets AIDS and dies from a cat poop-induced stroke, for example. Or the "Worst Toilet in Scotland" scene. Terrible. It is probably more accurate to say the movie humanizes heroin addiction, at least in the cases of Renton and Spud. Begbie on the other hand is just psycho. And he doesn't even use.


Finally, Danny Boyle is rapidly becoming a favorite director. Love that imagery. The ideal Boyle double feature would have to be Trainspotting and Millions. Great characters, story telling, visuals and music throughout both. Plus the disparity between the two films could be pretty striking: Hardcore addicts grappling with life vs. innocent children grappling with death.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ah, memories


Recommend reading this unnecessarily long piece chronicling the struggles of Northwestern basketball over the past 70 years. That is if you care about Northwestern basketball. Took me back to the days of watching repeated alley oops from Mateen Cleaves to Jason Richardson from the seventh row. Neither of whom played for the home team.

The highlight of NU basketball l from 1999-2003 was when Tavaris Hardy somehow got upstairs at NUKE, hooked up with some skank (presumably) and left a used condom behind that the room's resident found later. I can't remember who let him upstairs (anyone?) but it was hilarious. Jim Rauh was involved, I think it was his room. Now old Tavaris is an assistant coach, looking for the next Jitim Young.

The most interesting thing about NU hoops is the bizarre recruiting. It certainly isn't worth the mentioning their postseason history. Conventional wisdom says the "Cats" can't get top talent because it's an "academic" school, what with the nerds and all. But this is a stupid reason because there are plenty of other private schools in major conferences that do just fine. There probably are a few players from Chicago or Indiana that are pretty good at basketball. Eyh, whatever.

I won't even try to offer any more insights this season because a) They probably will suck b) I don't know anything about them except this guy went off against Brown earlier this week. Gunner?

This is my Milwaukee



It is entirely serious and factly. I like the part about godseed fragments.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fake


Also, enjoy some dingers.

Friday, November 21, 2008

LIES. ALL LIES.



Here's some stuff you may find interesting while gearing up for an all out assault on Christmas. Get your mangers rigged with explosives ready, it's going to be a bloodbath this year.

George W. Bush is getting all kinds of punked (or pwned, I guess). First, world leaders at the G20 summite were all like "Down Low. Too Slow." And then Angela Merkel gave him a wedgie. Also, no one wants his memoirs.

A huge archive of photos from Life magazine are now available online through google images. Check it out here.

Want to be happy? Don't watch TV.

Also from the NYT: The best thing about the internet is it allows paranoid psychotics to meet each other and re-enforce each other delusions. That article in no way reflects the goats or its readers.

Speaking of delusions -- this morning I woke up and realized that this blog has far too many few weird pseudo-electronic music videos. So here is one that has werewolves(?) on bikes.


Somewhat related personal note: My exposure to random music videos (and thus, ability to post them here) will be drastically reduced at the end of next week, pour some out for that. I will be moving to a new place and odds are it will not be the Dan Deacon haven that I live in now. A veritable Wham City.

According to this thing, I am a doer. Which proves it to be horribly inaccurate.

Bah.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Yo ho ho, etc.


"It was like a beat-up little jalopy. I don't know what you'd call it. You didn't see it?"
"I didn't see it, boss."
"Well, keep your eyes peeled. Check who's on watch. I'll be in the sauna."

This is a direct transcript of the conversation that a captain of a Saudi supertanker had right before it was taken by pirates. Unfortunate for him and the millions of barrels of precious oil he didn't have a bilingual bond company stooge on board (apparently).

If media reports are to be believed nautical experts must beware a relatively new scourge -- Somali pirates. Apparently the country's denizens are blessed with the longest coastline in Africa, along what just happens to be one of the busiest sea-routes around: The Gulf of Aden, connecting the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. It's a thoughtening back to various historical times such as the Vikings or the Port Royal.

Not to romanticize what is at heart an evil and bloodthirsty occupation, but pirates are great and I want to be one. You can accept Indians sinking your motherships now and again by relying on a rich cultural history. Its a simple life, robbing people on the high seas. All you need is a boat and a gun and untold riches can be yours. Of course cursed geography has a limiting affect, as all the waters here happen to be patrolled by the Coast Guard, or possibly the Fish and Wildlife commission. It would be difficult to rob some fools from an hourly-rented kayak at the local state park.

Anyway. Somalia is the place to be, except for everything that forced thousands of young men to turn to piracy. It's like a Waterworld Iraq. I read on the internet (possibly one of those links) that the pirate trade brings some $20M to the Somali city of Eyl -- a city with a budget of $15M. It's Africa's only boomtown! The Great Lakes Coast Guard better keep on its toes lest Detroit start getting some ideas.

Puppycam!



So lazy. Must watch puppies.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

OK this is cool

Monday, November 17, 2008

Snuh?


Big news. Really big news. No, not the guy who killed himself by jumping into a tiger pit.

I'm referring to the interjection "Meh" finally gathering the support in literary circles that it so richly deserves, in that it has been recognized by a dictionary. Sure it's some made up dictionary that probably doesn't even exist, but still.

And no, this post doesn't really have a point. Damn you space coyote! What?

Friday, November 14, 2008

One more for the road



Heading out of town to the land of dancing Godzillas. I don't know what that means.

There's always this



Let's be honest -- you can never have enough fight scenes using elephant bones. And knees to the face.

The clip is the final fight from the classic film "The Protector" starring noted kicker Tony Jaa. It has a ludicrous plot involving protecting sacred war elephants. Still, I shed a single tear when that baby elephant gets tossed through the plate glass window.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Brutal Progress



So, uh, the economy? It sucks, don't know if you heard. Personally I had found it easy to ignore, even though I work in the news and information business. At least that was until today, when the newsroom got hit by layoffs. Granted, it was only four (although second shift is just coming in), and most were expected.

I kind of wish I had been one of those chosen for sudden termination. Unfortunately my skillful importance to antique future WEB TECHNOLOGY coupled with sub living-wage compensation means I probably have more security than just about anyone else there. Until the newspaper folds. Oh what a happy day that will be.

Seriously, crying old people. You've spent half your life at this dump, but get the fuck over it. Sure your past your prime but you'll be OK. That statement is reasonably true except for the alcoholic night editor, who has even odds to pull a Nicholas Cage in "Leaving Las Vegas" sans hooker (he didn't cry noticeably though, credit). I do actually feel bad for him -- there is not much of a job market for grizzled drunken luddites. I'd send him work ideas if he had e-mail.

Anyway, morale is low, and it won't stop raining.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You've got my back in the city



Trying to come up with something of substance by the end of the week. Til then enjoy this crazy ass video for Of Montreal's Gronlandic edit. Ha ha, few of those words make sense.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

RIP


Surely by now you have heard the awful news. The world's ugliest dog died of cancer at age nine. Not exactly sure how one can be sure that this dog is the "world's ugliest" but it is certainly quite unattractive.

Still, better than being stabbed to death by a sword.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Can't us? Why yes we can

Pic unrelated


Been thinking -- realized the two biggest wins of my life have occurred in the past two weeks. Through the miracles of brain chemistry both the first Philadelphia championship in 25 years and the election of the first black president will be forever linked. And that deserves some sort of published record by goats. So let us take a look at two three word phrases whose simple optimistic elegance inspired a nation, and alternatively, a region.

For the life of me I cannot figure out how one would make "Why can't us" grammatically correct. Stupid Associated Press stylebook, where are you when I need you most? Us can! The phrase does somehow perfectly sum up the ignorant optimism that seemed to fuel the Phillies fanbase during their run to a World Series Championship. Galoots, all.

On the other hand we have "Yes we can" which will probably end up being the more important sentence fragment, for history. Yay for history. Anyway, I can't think of anything else to say here, so check out this story about a longtime White House butler. Also, look forward to the Ed Norton produced documentary about the campaign.

All this is almost enough to turn off my cynicism. But not really.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The more you know

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Cleaning out the queue, Part III

Chuck the Truck is hungover

It's been quite a week, which I dealt with by letting out periodic whoops. But hey, things seem to calming down, if not in the world of excessively violent theater performances. So lets go back to an old standard here and take a look back at some flicks that have been sent to me through the miracle of the U.S. mail. Expect progressive shortening as you proceed down the post.

Diamond Men
When I hear a movie is "criminally underseen" it catches my ear. This stars Donnie Wahlberg and Robert Forster as two diamond salesmen currying their wares around podunk towns in Pennsylvania. "Shippensburg, shippensburg, good old shittensburg." Classic. Old man-young man buddy dynamic here, i.e. old guy showing young whippersnapper the ropes of the business, young whippersnapper getting old guy a hooker with a huge tattoo of a flaming eyeball on her chest.

The Foot Fist Way
This movie is hilarious. Kind of a Christopher Guest-style mockumentary but with some Will Ferrell mixed in. It's about a Tae Kwon Do instructor (Mr. Simmons) who is having some marital problems, in that his wife gives out handjobs to fit in at work. Danny McBride carries the film as Simmons, who has lines like "Meditate on that. Rape." and "Tae Kwon Do is terrific for keeping in shape, but it's also a deadly serious killing system." It's chock full of kid-punching action!

Short Cuts
Finally got around to watching a Robert Altman film, and this was a great choice. So many good performances from the ensemble cast, like Tim Robbins as the adulterous cop, or Julianne Moore as the adulterous painter. Or how about Lili Tomlin and Tom Waits as the dysfunctional alcoholic trailer park couple, or Chris Penn's dismay over his wife Jennifer Jason Leigh's phone sex operation. It's long, but awesome. Watching this made me realize I need to watch some more Altman films. Up next? The Player.

Barton Fink


Grindhouse
Well I watched Robert Rodriguez's "Planet Terror" a while back, and then saw the second part, Tarantino's "Death Proof" the other day. It is B-movie schlock, but it's supposed to be that way. The fake trailers are awesome. THANKSGIVING(nsfw). Also of note, Rose McGowan has a gun for a leg, and Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike. Who is Stuntman Mike? He's a stuntman.

Battlestar Galactica
Yes.

Lars and the Real Girl
Ryan Gosling as a delusional weirdo who falls in love with an anatomically correct life-size doll that only he can hear. Heartwarming.

The Bank Job
Jason Statham stars in this surprisingly good heist film. Just goes to show how much an R rating can help when used correctly.

Sonatine
It wouldn't be a list without at least one foreign language film. This is about Japanese gangsters on holiday. Super awesome.


Happiness
This film about three suburban sisters and their families is definitive proof that director Todd Solondz is a fucked up individual. Still, Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Southland Tales
See here.

Doomsday
Road Warrior meets Escape from New York you say? In Scotland? With Malcolm McDowell as some sort of feudal king? Sign me up.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Everything's different now



I remember sitting on a couch in Madison, Wis. on election night four years ago. It was a terrible time, everything seemed to be going wrong because of George Bush and Jim Beam. But I do remember one positive from that dark night -- listening to the freshly elected Senator from Illinois offer up a different kind of politics. I remember daring to think "Obama in 2008." It seemed premature at the time. Shows what I know.

So now we live in a world where a black man can be elected president of the United States. To paraphrase Chris Rock, now black parents don't have to tell their kids that they can be anything that want to be when they grow up. Now they can just look at the president, and someday respond to such encouragement with a shrug and an eyeroll, just like white kids.

Clearly it's bigger than that. For perspective: Those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s now have two historic points of experience. And while they are not diametrically opposed, they certainly stand in stark contrast. Everyone remembers where they were when the towers fell, and now everyone will remember night in November when the American people said "Yes we can." I'll admit it got a little dusty in my slum-cell abode last night, watching that celebration in Grant Park.

Sidenote: Kudos to John McCain, he said all the right things in his concession speech, even if hardline GOPers booed every mention of the president-elect. Stupid haters, no time for you.

The talking heads are already raving about the instant momentousness, and it's nice to think about experiencing today's equivalent of the emancipation proclamation or "I have a dream" speech or whatnot. But it's to probably too early (being less than 24 hours later and all) to start making grand comparisons like that. There's a lot of work ahead. But for now live in this moment, when millions of Americans who once gave up on the usefulness of politics and government made their voices heard.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

If you're still undecided on Election Day...

Check out this video, and be sure to replay it in your mind while in the voting booth. There's no better way to determine the next leader of the free world.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

World Fucking Champions



Far be it from me to correct Chase Utley.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chris Wheeler is excited



That reaction there pretty much sums it up. Sheer madness tempered with fist pumps.

Broad street looked like the Champs Elysees last night, and there weren't even riots. Sure there was a fire here and an overturned car there, but no wanton death or destruction.

Maybe I'll write something more significant at some point, but right now its all about basking the warm glowing glow of the first Philly championship in 25 years.

WORLD SERIES WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

I cannot wait for Friday's parade.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Running and Screaming



Harry Kalas ladies and gentlemen

I'll be disappointed optimistic if this doesn't turn ugly.

Ugh

What happened? I blacked out after the Rays tied it up in the top of the sixth on Monday night. Oh, the game still hasn't been finished. Makes sense in a Seligian way, which is to say it makes absolutely no sense at all. All I can think is Why? Why can't things just work out for this fanbase, for once? (Also, how)

Watching old Bud make the announcement yesterday was ... let's say frustrating. Bud Selig is not a man who is known for his public speaking ability. Or his ability to lead a major sports league. Sure he's had some success: The Wild Card, Moving the Brewers to the National League. But these minor triumphs are far outweighed by the bungling. Always with the bungling. Steroids. All-Star game ties. Canceling the World Series. This.



Granted, this was not an ideal situation for baseball -- stuck between Fox TV and mother nature. Sure moving the game's start time up an hour or two makes sense now, but then the game might have ended before the witching hour on the east coast. And it's important to carry the water for Rupert Murdoch, who I assume would turn MLB into a cricket league, or whatever balls and sticks sport they have in Australia, if Selig displeases him.

And it's also worth noting it could have been worse, like say if they called it after the fifth inning and the Phils won a tainted world series. If that happened the air of excitement that existed before Monday would have been sucked out of this town faster than you can say "God hates Philadelphia." So at least there is that.

But still, Selig, you fucking suck dude. Worse leader: Bud Selig or George W. Bush? Discuss.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What it's like



Slow news day. Can't wait for 8:30 ... Must. Not. Hyperventilate. Maybe posting something ... some slapdash odds on who will be the World Series MVP*

500,000:1 Evan Longoria or Carlos Pena
How's that 0-fer the series in the heart of your line-up treating you "Rays fans" who presumably still exist? Good?

30:1 Shane Victorino
Hasn't had the best series (at least compared to the NLDS and NLCS), but inspired possibly my best heckling moment ever. During the ninth inning on Saturday Sunday morning I yelled "It's happy hour in Hawaii, Shane!" It was appropriate at the time, being 1:30 in the morning EST. Although probably not accurate. Still.

25:1 Carl Crawford
Call this the "No Whammies" selection.

10:1 Joe Blanton
Phillies pitchers, the unheralded hitters! Making sense!

6:1 Chutley

4:1 Carlos Ruiz
I bet you didn't know that most, if not all, of Chooch's post-season batting success can be attributed to Gary "Sarge" Matthews. It's true.

3:1 Ryan Howard
He says, "Oppo bitches!" while hitting golf balls in the off-season.

1:1 Cole Hamels
OK I'm hyperventilating now. Post over.

*Written with crossed fingers, legs, and eyes. And arms folded. I actually typed this with my elbows and nose.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH


Can we add car surf through center city Philadelphia to that list? Because the guy doing just that to celebrate Hot "Cooch" Carl's game winning nubber early Sunday morning looked like he was having a great time. Unfortunately that guy is almost certainly dead now. A tragic life cut short.

Anyway. It's safe to say that not selling the World Series ticket was a smart move. Its going in the permanent file, even if my brain is having trouble grasping the concept of a Phillies championship being just 27 Cole Hamels' pitched outs away.

Jimmy Rollins edit: "Anything can happen when you swing a piece of wood." BAHHHHHHHHHHHH JOE BLANTON.

Heartwarming double edit: The Phils have help from the beyond the grave. Skeleton powers, etc.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Stupid liberal reality


So it seems the whole "Obama voter carves B in cheek of McCain campaign worker" narrative was a hoax. In case you don't spend all your time online, there was some 20-year-old texas girl who said some large black man robbed her at an ATM, and upon learning that she worked for the McCain campain, carved a backards "B" on her cheek like she would in a mirror. No word on why it wasn't a far more sensible O.

Normally a story like this would be properly vetted before it hit the national press (and it was, heh), but that's not the case in the magical internet world. The Drudge report reportedly busted out numerous sirens on this local story from the lesser Pittsburgh newspaper. So it instantly hit the big time, Muslim photo style. I remember talking about Drudge at Medill more than five years ago.

Here it'd be nice to make some grand point about how the rapid speed that new narratives change is good or bad, but no. Because that would likely devolve into irrelevant bitching about my job. Instead I decided to go out into the world, make some salt-of-the-earth observations and try and get some sort of narrative of my own creation. I failed, but the travels led me to the Square Bar, probably the only pure red drinking establishment within walking distance.

There I listened to some common folk talk about how Obama would halve their paycheck and the inevitable 60K jobs to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. Then I drank some Kool-Aid and realized that electing a black president would solve all my problems with no effort. But at least I didn't mutilate myself. Ha ha cut-nut.

Will I care when this girl kills herself? Only time will tell.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thursday filler?

So last night was great, and I'm not just talking about the latest developments on the new Knight Rider. Did you know that KITT can now transform into a pickup truck? It's true, even though that show is emblematic of everything that is wrong with America. TO THE LINKS!

If I had a car, I'd like to know how to live in it. Useful.

The Onion's done it again, somehow perfectly riffing on the ongoing Wall Street crisis.

Here is a pretty great photo essay about Barack on the campaign trail. And in the interest of equal time, here is an insider look at the highest levels of the McCain campaign.

Finally, Chinese Democracy.

The dudes, they will understand.

Here's an interesting ad campaign from across the pond. There's probably no God.

And I'll leave you with the Phillies theme song from the last time they won a World Series game. No Joe Carter.

Why can't us?



Shark Jesus is rooting for the Phillies. Are you?

Reference and reference.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Book Club: Watchmen

The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "Save us!" ... and I'll look down, and whisper "No."
-Rorschach's Journal

This one's been bouncing around the old noggin for a while now.

On first read through Watchmen, you may wonder "Where is all the action?" Sure, the Comedian gets killed right at the beginning, but otherwise it just seems like a bunch of dudes in masks talking about doomsday and conspiracies. You see the pages dwindling down. Suddenly you're at chapter 12 and it's all, what the hell just happened? Mars? Not too mention the whole pirate sub-story.

This is one of those that really rewards repeated readings, even though it has pictures. Second time through you are all like, "ohhhhhh" and slapping your forehead a bunch.

Basic plot is this: Set in an alternate version on the mid-80s where the United States won the Vietnam War, Nixon is still president and the doomsday clock is ticking ever closer to midnight -- someone is killing masked heroes (none of which have superpowers, except one). Most of said heroes have hung up their capes after some sort of registration act was passed. There are three exceptions:

The Comedian: Pretty much a badass. Deals with being a fascist evil prick by treating all of society as an elaborate joke. Unfortunately the joke ends up being on him, and not just when he shoots his unborn Vietnamese love-child.

Dr. Manhattan: Obvious play on the Manhattan Project, this big blue bastard is the only one in the book with any powers, which happen to be the god-like ability to manipulate matter and space. He's sulky.

Rorschach: The only non-government sanctioned mask still operating when the book opens. Has a propensity for right-wing literature and breaking peoples fingers. Likes beans.

Oh yeah, and there is a movie coming out next year, not sure if you heard. I would recommended to reading the book beforehand, just so you are in the know. Plus the trailer is way better if you know what's going on.


Questions
Political themes: right or left?
How does the pirate stuff relate to the rest of the book?
Does this hold up since the cold war ended?
Alan Moore: Great beard or greatest beard?

Monday, October 20, 2008

The suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked


Yes yes, the World Series is upon us. Facing off Wednesday (that's two days from now!) in the shittiest stadium in baseball are two of the biggest losers in baseball, sports, and human history.

Representing the National League, we've got my beloved Phillies. Who just happen to be notoriously terrible. My only hope for a parade is the players youthful ignorance of their team's long history of losing in hilarious ways. Also, Charlie Manuel beating the shit out of local radio personalities with his colostomy bag.

And on the American League side, there is this team called the Tampa Bay Rays, nee Devils. This is what happens when the Christians run America. You take a perfectly respectable, animal-based mascot, and turn it into something from geometry or astronomy or comic books. Why not just make their name the Tampa Bay Gamma Rays? Riddle me that, majority owner Stuart Sternberg! Oh, "A beacon that radiates throughout Tampa Bay and across the entire state of Florida." Yes a beacon that has shone bright and strong since 1998.

Fucking christ. If Tampa Bay wins this I am going to be really close to giving up on ever seeing a Philadelphia sports championship. So much bitterness. You might think one would be better off sitting back and enjoying the glory that is Victorino. After all, its been a heck of a ride this season, almost as good as the ride one of my fellow season ticket holders got from a stripper he paid over $400 dollars.

Party postponed


I don't know if any of you were actually planning on attending this, but its getting pushed back due to a variety of factors including the World Series, 15 North still inexplicably being open, and misanthropy. It will still happen someday ... like Halloween, or perhaps some Wednesday in November.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Reading is fundamental

Friday, October 17, 2008

Victory, no?



If only they still had Urbina.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Deathmatch Listoff: Filmmakers

Out of nowhere we have this here list. Harkening back to the halcyon days of July 2007. I was at the local drinking establishment and had what many of its patrons might call a moment of clarity. What better way to cleanse my troubled mental palate than a frivolous list of awesome movies. No responses necessary.

I actually attempted to write down options on my hand while sitting at happy hour, unfortunately they mostly wore off on the handlebars of my bike. But the very act of writing forced a certain level of memory. See top right. Here comes five:

Quentin Tarantino
Seen and of note: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill
Start it off with some stylish ultraviolence. Sure Tarantino is obnoxious as all hell, and his films are pretty derivative, but have you seen Pulp Fiction? Come on.
Also it's worth peeping the last act of Four Rooms.


Coen Brothers
Seen and of note : Big Lebowski, Fargo, O' Brother Where Art Thou, No Country For Old Men
Drawing a blank here, Barton Fink style. TMoney, write something in the comments.


Spike Lee
Seen and of note: Do the Right Thing, The Original Kings of Comedy, Inside Man
I hope Spike likes being the only black on this list. Maybe it will make up for his lack of Oscars. How Do the Right Thing didn't win something is beyond me. Maybe it was the racism.


PT Anderson
Seen and of note: Boogie Nights, There will be Blood
The second best PT in history? I can't imagine what it was like on the set for Blood. BASTARD FROM A BASKET.
And here is possibly the best ever drug deal gone bad in cinema.


Stanley Kubrick
Seen and of note: Dr. Strangelove, 2001, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Most of Full Metal Jacket
And end it with more of the old ultraviolence. Took advantage of the NLCS off day to watch A Clockwork Orange for the first time. Take that, Los Angeles! Watching it I realized Kubrick loves him some lines, whatever that means. Dr. Strangelove may well be my favorite film ever. Depressing!



Challenge: Which actor appears most in the films noted above? John Turturro is in three. Alternately, which has the best soundtrack?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Professional hitter



What's the over/under on number of texts sent last night with only the words "professional hitter" (professional hitler? No). I say 15,000, including two on my phone which will be saved probably forever.

Some interesting "facts" I just found via Stairs' wikipedia page:

-The Phillies are his 11th Major League team. Solid joureyman career.

-Once drove in six runs in one inning.

-He's Canadian. Broke into the majors in 1993 with the Expos as all Canadian players were required to due to what has become commonly known as the 49th parallel apartheid rule.

-He was drafted as a pitcher/shortstop.

-At one time Stairs played for Chunichi Dragons in Japan. This is their mascot.

-Noting that he didn't get 500 MLB at bats until age 29, baseball nerds Bill James and Joe Posnanski theorize that Stairs is probably a far more talented hitter than his career stats suggest. James contends, "You put him in the right park, right position early in his career ... he's going to hit a LOT of bombs." Possibly enough to be worthy of Hall of Fame consideration.

-With lines like "Stairs enjoyed a nice 2 years with the Kansas City Royals" it seems his wiki page was edited by a diehard fan. By which I mean me.

Heh. Hall of fame.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The opposite

Thursday, October 09, 2008

NLCS narratives



Here we go. Let's take a look at some story lines that occur to me while I get ready to watch Game 1 -- in lieu of going to see Girl Talk at the Starlight Ballroom. Don't make me regret this you bastards!

It's been a while
Both these teams have gone some time without postseason success. Phils: The 1993 team of Dykstra, Daulton, Kruk, Schilling et al. Dodgers: Kirk Gibson and Jack Buck's call in 1988. Orel Hershiser may or may have not been involved. In fact, the Dodgers hadn't even won a postseason series since then until they beat the Cubs in the NLDS. That's what they get for leaving Brooklyn.

Note: The Phillies have also already won a series, so it's probably all gravy for either team at this point.

Black Friday
So there is some history here. Of the six times the Phillies have gone to the National League Championship, three have been against the Dodgers. Record: 1-2. One of those losses includes a three-run ninth by the Dodgers in a 6-5 game (aka black friday). The lone win came from the "wheeze kids" in 1983 starring Joe Morgan.

Lefty v. Righty
One big key to this series is going to be how well the Phillies lefthanded hitters can knock around a Dodgers staff comprised almost entirely of righthanders. If Victorino bats second the Phils first four hitters will be lefty. Of course this won't matter much if RyHo and Utley continue to hit .200 ... or will it?

LA v. Philly
I can honestly say that LA is a terrible place. I mean, homeless white people. Smog. Entourage. This not to say Philly is not awful. Just less so. At least they have public transportation -- even if you may fear for you life while standing on the platform. Builds character.

Unrelated underrated note: LA people calling Elton Brand a sellout for coming to the city of brotherly love. Seems stupid, but I'm not going to argue with the mythical "Clipper fan."

Manny being an asshole
Hey did you hear that Manny Ramirez is the best hitter in baseball? Me too. Unfortunately sources in my head say Brett Myers is going to bean him in the face during Game 2 and put him in a coma. I will be cheering. Fortunately he will come out of it in two weeks and the brain damage will turn him into even more of a true bat-swinging savant. Too late for the Dodgers though.

Death by Carrier Pigeon



Sorry for no posts this week. I have been tearing my hair out as we try to roll out a third (3rd) new Web site redesign since January '07 here at my paper. I'm pretty sure whoever is making these decisions is also in charge of the McCain campaign. Desperation.

So yeah, the usual schedule of posting goats during downtime at work has been disrupted by the lack of downtime. And Jebus knows the last thing I want to do is stare at more computer screens at home. My eyes hurt. But maybe there will be a NLCS something something something something today or tomorrow. Later.

Monday, October 06, 2008

W. T. F.



Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Pat the Bat, Pat

Geoff Geary: Ladykiller?


Sweet sweet NLCS. Somehow clinching is sweeter because it came within seconds of the Eagles losing to the Redskins. Meaning the fans at the football bar I was at could instantly find another bandwagon to jump on. But hey, no hangover this week!

As an aside: I'm leaning toward saying anyone who wears any kind of sports jersey on a regular basis is a complete jackass. And that includes players. It's tribal.

Anyway. Blanton's fat gives him strength.

Edit of note: Charlie Manuel refers to Burrell as "My Guy" in this article.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Sure



Voting is for suckers.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Mahalo

Better than Hot Carl, I guess

The greatest walk of all times has the goats happy and full of life. Really, when a 9-pitch walk seems like the greatest thing to happen to your team in ages, things are bound to get a little wacky. Like when the diminutive best Hawaiian in the majors hits a bomb to all but send the upstart Brewers on their way home. It's almost enough to inspire some sort of weird half-assed narrative here. But not quite yet, maybe later.

Poor Brewers by the way, and not just cause they are from Milwaukee (sorry, couldn't resist). Just a little overmatched on paper, and worn down on the field from a brutal stretch run. You just get the feeling that maybe they are just happy to be there. Except for Craig Counsell, who is a robot made out of plastic and rubber.

Ha ha, Cubs


Yeah, so my enjoyment of the Phillies first playoff win in 15 years is only amplified by schadenfreude from the inevitable Cubs post-season collapse. At least they were treated to the vocal stylings of everyone's favorite living Belushi brother.

What more is there to say? It was a good game. Hamels=Good. I am collecting souvenir rally towels. Hopefully a few more before the season is over.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Where the magic happens

Well I was going to try and do some sort of NLDS Phillies-Brewers preview per Charles' request, but meh. I know it's relevant to many of your interests, so if you want something that may or may not contain facts go here, here, or even here.

Maybe there will be something tomorrow regarding the game I will be attending in six hours or so. Until then enjoy the drunken fan brawls. I know I will.



Hey look, they drink and yell in Milwaukee too. Who knew?