Saturday, September 27, 2008

Stay Cool Forever

If the world feels a little warmer today, that's because Paul Newman has parted ways with it.

In doing so, he has not only left behind such iconic screen characters as Eddie Felson, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy, Henry Gondorff and Reggie Dunlop, but--even more significantly--what will remain the gold standard--perhaps forever--to the good that an artist can do with his celebrity.

I'd like to say that I would eat 50 eggs in your honor, Paul...but I'm just not that cool.

And neither is anyone else besides you.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Darkness Falls Upon the AL East

What the hell, American League East teams that aren't based in the armpit of America's penis? You all just went ahead and let the Tampa Bay Rays--a team that has existed for barely a decade (although that was just long enough for them to change their name from a stupid one that made geographic sense, the "Devil Rays" (and which would have allowed this post to have a better title: "The AL East Stings"), to one that was just stupid)--win the division?

Shame on you, Baltimore Orioles. Out of all the major league teams that represent America's pastime (and who didn't very recently relocate from Canada), your home field is closest to the capital of our nation. There's an American hero whose heart you continue to break...some call him "Iron Man", some call him "Junior"...and you've got a lot of explaining to do to him. I'm talking, of course, about Robert Downey Jr.

Shame on you, Toronto Blue Jays. You're from Canada, so it was inevitable that you would one day be defeated by even the worst teams from America...but couldn't you have at least shown proper respect to your pseudo-country's big brother actual country--the Gilbert Grape to your Arnie Grape, if you will--by finishing dead last in the division instead of second-to-last?

Shame on you, Boston Red Sox. Yeah, you're in the playoffs...but as the wild card. You're the defending World Series champions, for Yaz's sake, and you've conceded your division title to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays of baseball--the Tampa Bay Rays! As both a Red Sox fan and a fan of Major League Baseball as a whole, I find this outcome unacceptable. You have one chance to set things right, Red Sox, and you've got one month in which to do so.

Well, I guess that's everyone.

...Or at least every team who will have a stadium next year that is older than wherever the hell it is that Tampa Bay plays.

Monday, September 22, 2008

What Would We Do, Baby, Without Josh Groban Including 'Family Ties' in His Theme-Song Medley at the Emmys, Which He Did Not...Sha-La-La-La...

I'll tell you exactly what we'll do: we'll find out who Josh Groban is, and then we'll dislike him forever.

The "Two and a Half Men" theme was deemed classic enough by the producers of Sunday night's Emmy Awards telecast to warrant inclusion in Groban's (bizarre but impressively-executed) medley of well-known television shows' opening-title tunes, but the starter ditty from "Family Ties" was not.

Between the two aforementioned songs, which one is in your head right now?

Obviously, it's the theme from "Family Ties"--because that's the one that people have actually heard of...not to mention the fact that it also happens to be the greatest lyric-based (putting "Magnum, P.I.", "The A-Team" and "Knight Rider" out of contention) TV show theme song in history.

For the producers of the 60th annual Primetime Emmys to be so lazy as to allow such a heinous oversight would be equivalent to me not making the nominal effort to learn if Josh Groban is the same singer whose first name is "Josh" that I think is married to Katherine Heigl, who I think might be on "House" or something (I don't watch a lot of popular television shows)...which is exactly what I will not be doing, in protest.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tom Brady Reads This Blog

Apparently daunted by Metroville's challenge to redeem last year's Super Bowl loss, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady opted on Sunday to cut his season short--more specifically, to less than one quarter of one game.

You're welcome, Matt Cassel.

Patriots, Act

For the last few weeks, as the regular baseball season began to drag its feet toward the playoffs and sports fans' attention began to wander toward autumn (in most cases because their fantasy baseball teams and/or their actual baseball teams and/or both were already in the crapper), people have been asking me, a fairly outspoken New England Patriots fan, if I am excited about the start of the NFL season.

Surprisingly--perhaps to no one more so than myself--my answer has been: "Enh."

The fact is, I'm mad at the Patriots. Not because they lost the Super Bowl last season and not because they fell one game short of historic perfection...but because those things happened as a direct result of the fact that the Patriots bought into their own hype. There's nothing wrong with a team believing that it can't be beat--one could even make the argument that such is the essence of athletic competition. But as soon as a team starts deriving that kind of unreasonable confidence less from itself and more from a third party--say, for example, bandwagon fans who were barely aware that the team existed before 2001--it has reserved itself a front row seat at its own Comeuppance Circus.

Think I'm overstating the matter? I suggest you familiarize yourself with the tale of the mentally disabled quarterback who earned a Super Bowl ring on the back of the Patriots' hubris.

Given that I am deeply familiar with the vitriolic hatred that fans of professional sports teams outside the Boston area have felt, with increasing dedication, toward fans of Boston-area-based professional sports teams ever since the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, I understand that most "Patraters" would be eager to view my apparent indifference as a surefire indication of a fair-weather fan. As it happens, those are people who had never given a second thought to Patriots fans prior to 2001...and that actually would make them, in a sense, "fair-weather haters".

I ask you this, fair-weather Patraters: Did you hate the Patriots fans back when Steve Grogan was running the offense on the field in Foxborough Stadium? didn't. Because, not only have you never heard of Steve Grogan, you don't even know what Foxborough (also incorrectly spelled as "Foxboro") Stadium is. Mosi Tatupu--whom you've also never heard of--will gladly see you out the door.

At ten o'clock a.m. (PST) on Sunday, I will be seated front and center before my television set, surrounded by friends loved ones--all of them tried and true fans of the NFL team from Foxborough ("Foxboro" to the poseurs)--and I will be rooting for my New England Patriots with every last ounce of my sportsfan soul.

And if they don't lose to the Chiefs, which they probably won't, I'll be rooting for them to lose the next game...and, perhaps, the one after that.

I will do this because I truly love my Patriots, and I therefore realize that their media-drowned quest for a "perfect" season last year--and the ridiculous, jinx-tastic pressure that came with it--was what kept them from achieving a championship season.

Any NFL fan who would rather see his team have a perfect regular season (which, for the record, the Patriots did last year) than win the Super Bowl is the absolute antithesis of a genuine fan.

Which would mean that he's a New York Giants fan.

Which would mean that he's all about the Jets, now, because they have Brett Favre.

In either case, he calls himself a "New York" fan while rooting for a team that plays in New Jersey...which makes him a sad, sad shell of a person.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Republican Party: Keepin' It Real

Say what you will about the GOP--that it's willfully ignorant, that it sustains itself on deceitful fear-mongering, that its blind allegiance to an unprecedentedly incompetent party-line president has buried America in a pit eight years deep--after what went down on the third night of the Republican National Convention, one thing you can't say is that Republicans are not out, loud and proud about their perpetual evildoing.

During his speech in St. Paul on Wednesday, Rudy "9/11" Giuliani--who (you might not remember because he hardly ever brings it up) was the outgoing mayor of the city that was the central target of the terrorist attacks on America on September 11, 2001, which the Bush administration inconceivably Play-Doh-Fun-Factoried into a rationale to start the Iraq War, which led directly to the energy crisis that is currently drowning the United States--actually got the entire crowd in the Xcel--ahem--Energy Center to chant, "Drill, baby, drill!" (as in: for oil, anywhere and everywhere, as opposed to exploring alternatives that would alleviate America's crippling dependency on fossil fuels and its resultant tendency to become embroiled in transcontinental fiascos in attempts to maintain said addiction). In response to Barack Obama's position that the Iraq War is a losing effort, Mayor Nine-One-One asserted that if America didn't win that war, Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda did. While this would certainly be news to Osama bin Laden--who has never had anything whatsoever to do with the war in Iraq (and who has yet to be brought to justice for orchestrating the most devastating attack on American soil in history, FYI)--the Sheepublicans in attendance at the Xcel Energy Center (seriously, that's its name) responded to Giuliani's asinine remark with resounding cheers. But they cheered even louder when Rudolph the World Trade Center-Nosed Reindeer, whose public identity is based entirely on the fact that he once ran New York City, attacked the Democratic presidential candidate with the baseless claim that Wasilla, Alaska (pop. 9000)--the former mayoral realm of deer-in-the-headlights Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin--was "not cosmopolitan enough" to earn Obama's respect. Honest to (white, Christian, heterosexual male) God, the Minnesota audience applauded that jab...paying no heed to the frying-pan-to-the-face irony that it was made by a person who is inextricably linked to a city that is not only one of the most liberal in America, but one of the most--if not the most--cosmopolitan on the planet (unless I was asleep while Manhattan was relocated to central Kansas for the duration of Rudy "Quick! Name the Two Different Numbers Closest to '10' that Combine to Make '20'!" Giuliani's eight years in office).

That average American's (provided that the average American has a net worth upwards of $52,000,000) straight-faced nonsense was, however, merely an appetizer to the brain-melting unreality that main event Sarah Palin--whose appearance on the podium was met with a standing ovation from some 18,000 robo-people that had never heard of her less than a week earlier--spewed forth in accordance with her masters' command:

WHAT SARAH SAID (in a falsely ad-libbed reaction to numerous signs throughout the Xcel Energy Center reading "HOCKEY MOMS 4 PALIN" that were suspiciously identical in their handwriting): "What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull? Lipstick."

WHAT REALITY SAYS: That pandering punchline encapsulates the sole reason that the Republican party selected Sarah Palin as McCain's gimmick running mate: she has a vagina.

WHAT SARAH SAID: John McCain is an outsider to "the Washington elite".

WHAT REALITY SAYS: Given that George W. Bush--who currently inhabits the highest position in Washington--publicly and heartily endorsed John McCain two days prior to Palin's speech, Palin's description of her running mate is dizzyingly contradictory...probably to no one more so than the man himself.

WHAT SARAH SAID: The fact that Barack Obama has written two books is a bad thing.

WHAT REALITY SAYS: Having written two books is a bad thing only to people who hate thinking and reading (a.k.a. the Republican base).

WHAT SARAH SAID: In an attempt to mockingly exaggerate Republicans' perception of Democrats' perception of Obama, she alluded to the idea that Obama can "turn back the waters".

WHAT REALITY SAYS: She stole that joke from the previous night's episode of "The Daily Show" [jump ahead to 5:19]. (And she calls herself a right-wing extremist...)

WHAT SARAH SAID: Special interest groups and lobbyists were against McCain in 2000.

WHAT REALITY SAYS: That's because McCain's opponent in the 2000 Republican primary, George W. Bush, had more money than McCain had and therefore had the support of special interest groups and lobbyists...which John McCain now has in 2008, while his opponent, Barack Obama, has refused to accept one cent from lobbyists or special interest groups since the start of his campaign.

WHAT SARAH SAID: John McCain is the only candidate who has literally "fought for you" (referring to McCain's military service during the Vietnam War).

WHAT REALITY SAYS: No, he didn't. I wasn't even alive then. Besides--despite John McCain's heroics (which the Republican party hasn't been willing to fully acknowledge until 35 years after the fact, when it finally suits their purposes)--the Vietnam War wasn't fought for the American people; it was protracted solely to stroke the egos of a megalomaniacal U.S. president--who had no business holding office in the first place--and his like-minded administration. Thank (white, Christian, heterosexual male) God that has never happened again...

Right, potential President John McCain?

Oh--you're asleep? Because you're an septuagenarian ass-kicked shell of a human being who will be dead much sooner than later?

I understand.

Just pass me on to Sarah Palin, then. I'm confident that she can take on your potentially globally-resonant responsibilities. After all, she has driven kids to hockey practice a bunch of times.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Heckuva Job, Liebie

Following his address at the Republican National Convention Tuesday night, former Democratic vice-presidential candidate/ current independent/desperate wannabe Joe Lieberman inadvertently said more about the Republican party's collective mindset than he could in a lifetime of speeches with five little words.

Faced with an NBC News reporter's inquiry regarding Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin's questionable readiness to become the most powerful person in the world should super-elderly Viet Cong-punching-bag-for-five-and-a-half-years John McCain's health fail, Lieberman demurely replied:

"Let's hope for the best."

Yes, Droopy Dog--let's do that. It's totally worked out for the last 8 years, ignoring the fact that the United States of America is in shambles courtesy of a staggeringly incompetent Republican president.