Sunday, 28 September 2008

Sarah Palin Backfire

CNN is currently running a little timer that appears in the bottom right-hand corner of the television screen; it counts down the days until Thursday night's vice presidential debate. The McCain camp must be shitting itself. His backing out of his own debate against Obama and ditching an appearance on Letterman, only to subsequently re-enter and lose the debate, didn't help; Obama has now opened up an eight-point lead in the polls, a small but significant increase on the five-point lead he held prior.

Certainly, the sentiments exhibited in McCain's decision to 'suspend' his campaign left a bad taste in the public's collective mouth. But the delusional belief that he was the real difference-maker in last week's now failed attempt to solve the financial crisis, along with the more troublesome notion that solving a crisis requires 'taking a break from politics' to go behind closed doors and wheel-and-deal in private, does not really represent anything new and cannot solely account for the polling fallout.

Enter Sarah Palin, the perfect storm whose month-long stint at the center of American politics entered a surreal chapter last week, and could come to a crash-and-burn conclusion Thursday night - potentially in an after-school special type of way. With anticipation of just such a spectacle brewing, prominent opinion-makers have begun calling on McCain to sack her.

The irony in all of this is twofold: first, had McCain chosen anyone else in the field, the upcoming VP debate would be just another VP debate, and not a potential moment of undoing for the GOP's White House bid; second, had he not decided to suspend his campaign last week and remove himself from the scene, Americans would have never really reflected on what a Palin presidency might be like. McCain stupidly created the void and, in a series of priceless interviews, Palin filled that shit like only she, or maybe Billy Madison, ever could.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Presidential Debate

Lord knows I love me some PBS, and my man Jim Lehrer, the debate moderator, did not disappoint. Not having any of it from the get, he made Obama and McCain squirm during the opening segment for what seemed like an unremitting twenty minutes. In his no frills, but not overbearing, old-school sort of way, Lehrer repeated the same question on the financial crisis like four times almost word-for-word, unsatisfied with the nonsense answers both candidates first offered up. Basically, he pooh-poohed those initial answers, even pooped on them a little, but in an encouraging way that brought out more candid responses and made the debate worthwhile.

Here's the question I asked myself most times Obama spoke: Who sincerely believes, at this very moment, that John McCain is not being proverbially stole in the face by a litany of solid answers? According to a post-debate poll, a majority of undecided Americans reacted similarly.

An amazing interview with Sarah Palin. And Matt Damon cutting up deadpan: "It's like a really bad Disney movie...It's like 'Oh, I'm just a hockey mom from Alaska' and she's the president...I mean, does she really, I need to know if she really thinks dinosaurs were here 4,000 years ago." Ha!

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Josh Howard

It would be inaccurate to say that there are no great sports announcers in America, but certainly many are indistinguishable from one another. This is already apparent with the colorless comments viewers must endure during the course of a game, but it becomes especially clear with the deluge of self-righteousness that obtains whenever a professional athlete does something controversial. Whether a touchdown celebration - universally loved by fans, perhaps because they remain the sole unscripted aspect of the NFL - or, of recent occurrence, Josh Howard's comments on the American national anthem, the level of moralism reaches truly ridiculous heights.

Professional sports definitely occupy an uncomfortable position between morality and art, politics and entertainment; everything ought to be about teamwork, but the players themselves are personalities who, like musicians and comedians, test the limits and break the rules, sometimes admirably so and sometimes not. Fans are attuned to both aspects, while today's commentators, I think, fail to see the gray area in between. In the current context, Josh Howard's comments weren't funny, but only in the sense that a lot of jokes people tell amongst their boys and record on a cell phone aren't. I'm sure he wouldn't have said the same thing during an interview; if he did, he could rightfully be judged on political terms (though even then one would hope to see a mix of viewpoints).

Best Sports Announcers/Commentators:
1) Michael Wilbon/Tony Kornheiser
2) Bill Walton/Snapper Jones
3) Joe Morgan/Jon Miller
4) Hubie Brown
5) Ernie Johnson/Kenny Smith/Charles Barkley
6) Phil Chenier/Steve Buckhantz
7) Greg Anthony

1) Stephen A. Smith
2) Skip Bayless
3) Jim Gray
4) Mike & Mike
5) Andrea Kramer
6) Suzy Kolber
7) Sonny Jurgensen

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Dick Lines

4. One in the head, I'm fed, this is how we doin'
Put a Rough Rider on my dick, bust right through 'em - U-God

5. I give her a bottle of water, bitch break out sweatin'
Then she get straight to that head like a fuckin' Excedrin - Lil Wayne

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Movie Review: 'Pineapple Express' Is Gay

In the last couple years I've reached two conclusions about film that, because contrary and superior to all prevailing views, I push really hard. The first is that Tom Cruise makes indisputably awesome movies. You don't recall? Here, let me remind you: 'Risky Business', 'A Few Good Men', 'The Firm', 'Minority Report' - the list goes on, my friend. Personally, I like 'Jerry McGuire'; for my money, it's the type of feel good cinema that comes around two, maybe three times every decade.

My second conclusion is that 'Superbad' is not that funny. Since most people think it's not just every bit of funny, but downright hilarious, I've developed a healthy indignation toward Judd Apatow; I now see all of his movies in the theater just to confirm how right I am. My main feeling about 'Superbad' is that it has some funny moments, but sits well below its obvious inspiration, 'American Pie', which remains the gold standard of comedic coming of age films. As for 'Pineapple Express', it has funny moments too; but it's not that funny. For that reason, it's gay.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Dick Lines

Some hype lines about dicks from rap songs:

1. I don't know 'bout you, but I'm on some new shit
While your bitch is on my dick like a gluestick. - Lil Wayne

2. I'm the flyest on the 12 inch
So is your girl and she doesn't make records. - Edan

3. Come up to me and try to talk shit, man
I was makin' records when you were suckin' your mothers DICK. - MCA

Thursday, 11 September 2008


So, I'm on JDate now. So far I've had seven bitties holler at me: two could easily beat the shit out of me; two were trying to get me to sign up for their naked webcam pages; one was from Togo; one may or may not have been in a wheelchair; and one was an awkwardly hot 19 year-old from some rural part of the U.S.

Current music thoughts: the song 'Walkie Talkie' by DJ Shadow is really ill; Jay-Z is the messiah. That is all.

Friday, 5 September 2008


NBA rookies Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur got caught smoking weed in their hotel room. I thought this part was funny:

"Management then left to get security, which used its own key to enter the room minutes later. Once inside, security found Chalmers, Arthur and at least two women. There was a strong stench of marijuana in the room, and one person was in the bathroom with the door locked, repeatedly flushing the toilet, sources said."

Ha! The sense of urgency is so palpable, so...familiar.

New 'Covert Techniques' in the Iraq War?

Bob Woodward of the Washington Post has written a new book on Iraq. What seems most interesting is his discussion of 'groundbreaking' covert techniques that have had more of an impact on recent U.S. success than the surge. What kind of techniques? What could possibly be so new? I ask this skeptically - doubting that whatever techniques are being called new are really as novel or successful as claimed - but also curiously. I mean, um, what they got, mayn?

Here's from the article:

"The book also says that the U.S. troop "surge" of 2007, in which President Bush sent nearly 30,000 additional U.S. combat forces and support troops to Iraq, was not the primary factor behind the steep drop in violence there during the past 16 months.

"Rather, Woodward reports, "groundbreaking" new covert techniques enabled U.S. military and intelligence officials to locate, target and kill insurgent leaders and key individuals in extremist groups such as al-Qaeda in Iraq.

"Woodward does not disclose the code names of these covert programs or provide much detail about them, saying in the book that White House and other officials cited national security concerns in asking him to withhold specifics."

Monday, 1 September 2008

Fantasy Football Draft 2008

QB Peyton Manning
RB Larry Johnson
RB Maurice Jones-Drew
QB Jon Kitna
RB Earnest Graham
WR Jerricho Cotchery
TE Kellen Winslow
RB Steve Slaton
RB LenDale White
WR Chris Chambers
WR Derrick Mason
RB Kolby Smith
WR Devin Hester
PK Kris Brown


I've been reading a blog over the past few days called YoRapper. Especially entertaining is the story about how Rick Ross used to be a corrections officer. There are also some random clips worth looking at. I was quite bothered, however, by the absurd amount of postings about Joe Budden, including one in which Budden is dubbed the best rapper of 2007.

Now, I have a lot of friends who sweat suspect rappers. Shit, I personally went through a Jeru phase a couple years back. I had been pushing Wrath of the Math really hard, beyond defensible limits (although "Ya Playin' Yaself" remains an ill song and video). Having had enough, my friend Aaron called me out, I came around to what he was saying, and we had a good laugh about it.

YoRapper has taken the alternate approach. After being called out on the Joe Budden thing, he has hunkered down to defend the indefensible, which sort of amounts to being a bitch.