Thursday, December 11, 2008

Call in Agnostic/Atheist Day

Call your boss from work on Dec. 25 and ask them where they are.

The national Call in Gay Day seems to have failed due to the haphazard way in which it was put together and, more importantly the struggles of an economy that could claim the employment of individuals willing to sacrifice productivity for ideology. So YFBFB proposes a Call in Agnostic/Atheist Day, in which all who claim no such ideological attachments call their bosses from work on December 25 and inquire as to their whereabouts. "What do you mean you're not coming to work today? It's Thursday, there's work to be done. Who's birthday? I know Joel in accounting took off for his birthday but this is not becoming SOP is it?"

I challenge any boss to question this day's utility.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sarah Palin's "Radical Right-Wing" Mentors

This Salon article is fascinating but the use of "radical right-wing" twice in the article and once in the title is self-defeating. It's trendy these days to be as hyperbolic as possible and perhaps it helps attract attention but the article makes clear that the gentlemen at the heart of the story are indeed "radical right-wing"ers. Further, while the use of the term may serve to compel individuals predisposed to dislike Palin to read it it compels others to simply dismiss it as part of the "liberal mainstream media"s agenda.

As a journalism school graduate who has personally witnessed the liberal bias among many of those who aspire to work in media, I'm always shocked at the excesses of supposed responsible, objective journalism. Journalists who have strong political opinions should recognize that they needn't radicalize their stories with unnecessary language. If the story alone doesn't prove their point then they either need to re-examine their beliefs or realize that the story isn't worthy of publication. If it does reinforce their beliefs then they should let the reader come to it on their own. Otherwise the reader already shares that believe or has stopped reading before they get to the nut of the story.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

5 AM

I'm up and drunk, some thoughts:

Sarah Palin's run for the Vice Presidency has upset me to the point that I'm truly concerned for the future of this country.  Anyone of even moderate intellect should be able to ascertain that this woman has no business running this country.  This is not a matter of politics, this is a matter of competency and frankly she is devoid of competency.  She was a tape recorder in the debates and the idea that a debater can legitimately state that they are not going to respond to the moderator's questions is beyond is preposterous.  

Also note cards should not be allowed in debates.  They're counter intuitive to the concept and antithetical to the purpose.  

I'm watching a program called Lockup: Pendleton, its part of the Lockup series about prison life on MSNBC that I've really enjoyed.  This program is specifically devoted to a military integration unit that is particularly interesting.  Of note - and not addressed in the program - is the racial divide in the unit.  This website puts Pendleton's racial breakdown at 54/41 white/black but the military unit seems overwhelmingly white.  The show has just reached it's completion and both of the new recruits that they selected were black.  They only placed two individuals in the program when they could have placed three so it can be assumed that they were the best candidates but I wonder if affirmative action plays in the selection process.  As said it doesn't seem so but I am unaware of the legal requirements therein (and curious if they are required to abide by affirmative action requirements - as they certainly don't seem to be fulfilling them of yet).

This program is wildly conflicting to me.  On one side I think the purpose of prison is correctional and redemptive but at the same time its unfortunate to consider that a part of our (The United States) military is made up of ex-cons.  There's a perception in the States that northeast citizens perceive the military with condensation, this perception holds a certain degree of weight, unfortunately, but that is because many of the individuals who choose to go into the military in the northeast are indeed criminals or at least miscreants.  When I was in high school I was asked to take a piss for a friend who was in AA because he was forced to go there (essentially) for stupidity, to this day I like the kid but he's now a representative of our nation's military.  The reason I mention this is that for better or worse (and certainly more for the worse) the perception of the military in the northeast is generally that of thugs and individuals who don't deserve to represent us in international circumstances.

Perhaps I thinking too much of it, and I'm willing to admit that may be the case, but it's wildly disheartening that a man of the quality of David Foster Wallace committed suicide.  I've never met him and maybe I'm over sentimental of an author who was one of the best of our generation but if he's committing suicide we must be heading in the wrong direction.

We should be fostering minds like those not allowing for their demise. 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Lone Drinker: Vice Presidential Debate Edition

Sarah Palin is the culmination of everything there is to love about American politics. As the country has fallen deeper and deeper into the abyss I've learned to stop worrying and love the con. There's little doubt in my mind that a McCain/Palin administration would be bad for the country but at this point I'm almost rooting for them to win as it would certainly be America's greatest reality show.

Tonight's debate should be gangbusters and as such I thought a Lone Drinker was in order. Accompanied only by a magnum of La Monica Montepulciano, my computer, dog and television, I will attempt to discern what kills the most brain cells: the wine or listening to Sarah Palin and Joe Biden. 100 dead brain cells for each glass of wine, 100 for each dumb thing Palin says and 200 for each dumb thing Biden says (the glass ceiling still exists in this game).

8:18: Peggy Noonan is on the Daily Show, she's graceful and genuine. I used to think that was absolutely true but this video has completely blurred my understanding of her. It seems like everyone in the public limelight is filled with bullshit up to their talking heads. Glass one.

8:29: Just saw a commercial for the new Edward Norton vehicle (I've been watching Entourage lately) Pride and Glory, looks pretty good or perhaps terrible, can't tell.

8:54: Just had a pre-debate smoke to settle my nerves, I'm so excited I can barely control myself. On glass three.

8:57: I'm watching the debate on PBS. I like to support PBS by watching it even though the numbers mean nothing to their bottom line, 100 dead brain cells for my own stupidity. Also I must mention I ran 7.5 miles today so my extremities aren't working very well, this could come into play in later updates.

9:00: Gwen Ifill's moderating which pisses me off. She has a book coming out about the rise of Black politicians in America set to come out on inauguration day. I generally like Ifill but she has a financial interest in Obama winning and regardless of her bias or lack there of, the appearance of impropriety will give the 'pubs an out if Palin bombs.

9:03: Palin looks hot, Biden just coughed before the first question, this is gonna be great!

9:04: Biden blames deregulation for the failure of Wall St. Delaware has some of the most lax tax laws in the country hence the multitude of corporations who have their headquarters there. Biden 200 brain cells.

9:05: Palin comes out storming with "talk with a parent at their kids soccer game" in distress over the economy. She's been heavily prepped and is showing it, 100 brain cells.

9:09: I hate this maverick shit, Ifill properly calls Biden and Palin on not answering the question posed to them.

9:10: "Hockey mom's, Joe Six Pack," she's a fucking tape recorder, 200 brain cells.

9:13: That's the second time Palin has waved while talking about average or middle American families, that's preposterous, 300 brain cells.

9:14: "I may not answer the questions that you or the moderator want to hear," Jesus, 400 brain cells.

9:17: She waved again, what the fuck? Fuck it, people are probably eating this shit up.

9:20: Palin's waved 3 times but Biden's now pointed at us twice, um who the hell preps these idiots.

9:22: "We cannot slow up on education," good work Joe, 400 brain cells. I'm gonna have to start drinking faster if I want to keep up.

9:26: Opposing windfall profits tax isn't the same as giving a tax cut, sorry Joe, 600 brain cells.

9:27: Palin is butchering a question that I don't even know what it was, she got off topic somehow, yikes, 500 brain cells. Glass five.

9:28: Biden might have just done something genius. Um, no, he tried to and the idea was genius, he brought up the idea of allowing home owners to stay in their homes and adjusting not just their interest but the principle they owe - not sure if I agree with that policy but what he did was say that he's not sure if McCain or Palin agree with that, Ifill then tried to press Palin but she slipped out of it. To any discerning viewer she's essentially reading note cards to most people she's probably nailing it.

9:33: Biden's stumbling over his words like the drunk I suspect he is. Normally I wouldn't hammer a guy for that, considering this post and many like it before is dedicated to real time alcohol consumption, but he is in the midst of a Veep debate, put down the Jameson Biden.

9:35: "Nucular" holy shit, not again. Palin, 600 brain cells.

9:36: Watching Palin write notes is hysterical. If she's talking from her own notes my dog is multilingual.

9:39: Palin is definitely scoring points with the Iraq talk. No doubt they're not her points but points non the less. Unless of course she's spent the last month thinking about Iraq exclusively after she said she hadn't thought about it, and somehow acquired the ability of analytical thinking.

9:42: How are we spending 10 billion dollars a month in Iraq when they have an 87 billion dollar surplus. Why isn't the new government of Iraq paying for our troops? We put them there for fucks sake.

9:44: Biden pointed at me again, I'd like to brake his finger. I've said this before but he reminds me of the creepy uncle at family reunions who's a little to interested in your female cousins.

9:45: Ifill's doing a great job btw.

9:47: "Nucular" twice, this word is not that fucking hard to pronounce. 800 dead brain cells that feel like victims of rape and incest.

9:52: Joe Biden just referred to himself in the third person, 800 dead brain cells, this is turning out to be quite a match. Glass six.

9:56: Is it supposed to be cool and "American" to say nuclear wrong? What the fuck is going on, why has this country become so retarded?

10:00: Biden just audibly sighed, that's a huge mistake. 1,000 dead brain cells.

10:03: "It's so obvious I'm a Washington outsider," I was a bigger fan when she was her own retard. Glass seven, I want a cigarette, I can't keep up with these morons.

10:08: How would your presidential policy differ from the president's if they were to pass away: "I would carry out Barack's policies" good work again Joe. You're the same exact person, that's bold.

10:09: Fuck the brain cells idea, we're all dumber for this despite of our alcohol consumption. If a student were to respond to any of these questions from a teacher they'd be lampooned. Please vote for Bob Barr, the politics of this country are fucked and it doesn't really matter who's doing the fucking.

10:12: Honestly Sarah Palin has been willing to completely fore go her own opinions in order to accept the Vice Presidential opportunity. She's hasn't expressed a single opinion that she had discussed in interviews prior to this debate. I really hate everyone involved in this campaign but she seems particularly deplorable.

10:16: They shouldn't allow talking points in presidential or veep debates. If candidates want to take notes that's fine but they shouldn't be allowed to bring anything along. If they need anything then whomever writes it should be the candidate not the individual.

10:21: My interpretation of the republican advisers to Sarah Palin over the last 3 days: "Sarah, if you don't know what to say, bang out a couple "Mavericks" and "Ya'll's" "Change" and "average people".

10:23: Biden's pouncing on the Maverick thing, interesting, I wonder if this will play. Glass eight.

10:27: Honestly, I don't like Biden, he's a cheater, cheated in law school, plagiarized a speech while running for president but at least he's attempting to answer the questions posed to him. Palin's just regurgitating platitudes and reciting lines fed to her, I doubt she'll be in very many off the cuff interviews from here on out.

10:31: Biden's blathering on after Palin just blathered on, I'll be back after some reflection.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Motes '08

My dog's nickname is The Motes. My dog should be the next president of the United States.

Motes '08. True vision for the future.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Rule of thumb for modern living:

If your friend wears a pink shirt the same day you wear a pink shirt don't be friends for that day, not forever, but for that day.

I came across those two gentlemen on the j train this morning at Bowery. Fortunately they got off at Broad St. because I was prepared to follow them anywhere in order to take that picture.

Vegas this weekend, YFBFB has returned.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dylan at Prospect Park

The twilight of Bob Dylan’s career would be better served if he was less like a rolling stone and more like a Rolling Stone. As Martin Scorsese’s recent Shine a Light documentary proved (and from what I’ve heard all of their concerts still prove) the Stones have been around for a long, long year but haven’t really lost a step. The same cannot be said for Mr. Dylan.

Last night’s show at Prospect Park was an extremely hot ticket in New York. Released in early July, YFBFB and YFBFBGF were online for a combined three hours attempting to get tickets with no luck. Fortunately YFBFBGF spent some time refreshing Craigslist yesterday until the right post showed and she pounced.

$55 a head and 5 hours later we were standing on the beer line at PP Theater waiting for a chance to pay $6 for a Budweiser. The theater is like a natural forming amphitheater with the venue gradually rising as you move further from the stage. We were quite far from the stage and couldn’t see very clearly but the rain had stopped an hour or two earlier and our spirits could not be dampened.

Dylan came out with Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35 which was neat but turned disappointing. His backing band sounded folksy and the crowd droned out much of Dylan’s singing (either that or he actually was only singing about one in every four words which is also a possibility).

After RDW #12 & 35 I headed to the port-a-potty to heed Dylan’s demands. Cops were out in force but there really wasn’t much tension in the crowd which ran the spectrum age wise but was almost entirely white.

He second song was lay, lady lay, reworked to sound like an Eagles reunion tour song. And therein lies the heart of the problem. If Dylan is going to rework his classics with the same lyrics but different music he has to actually sing the lyrics. Otherwise the effect is plain confusing.

There were a couple highlights, Masters of War was very good and Dylan seemed enthused by the song, also whenever he broke out the harmonica it seemed particularly special. All in all it was an experience to get to see Bob Dylan perform, but had a complete unknown 67 year old man played the same exact music, $55 could have purchased a lot more $6 beers.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Blog

I'm posting here on a daily basis for the time being.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Little Bit of Shut the Fuck Up

How much luck is required to never encounter a little bit of luck ad, ever again? However much it is I hope all New Yorkers encounter it in the near future.

Couple links:

Interesting story about Japan taking extremely aggressive steps to curb obesity that includes this line: "I don’t think the campaign will have any positive effect. Now if you did this in the United States, there would be benefits," ah America, land of the free and home of the broad.

Attempting to understand the anger people have over Budweiser being sold to a European company is really confounding. Check the comments section.

Interesting New York Magazine article about male infidelity. Although I'm perplexed as to how Weiss doesn't include an exploration of male concern for the infidelity of women at some point, seems relevent.

The article does include this gem: ""Recent analyses of genetic databases reveal that fully 10 percent of people have different biological fathers from the men they name as their fathers." Wow.

Random thoughts:

Florida is a curious mix of strip malls, trailer parks, palm trees, and tourist destinations. There is nothing else.

There's more to people raising their sunglasses to see things more clearly than simply better vision.

I don't believe in opening mail because I think it deserves its privacy.

If only we could control-f our lives.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The British: Funnier than US

I was getting a good chuckle at the first couple paragraphs of this article when I read the line "You're a public figure now, they would say." So I decided to look up who the author, Boris Johnson, is. It turns out Boris Johnson is the mayor of London and probably funnier than anyone Michael Bloomberg even knows.

It's really strange and oddly disconcerting that British pols are capable of such superior humor in public arenas that Americans.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Want to Know How Happy you are?

Ask yourself this question:

If you could fast forward parts of your existence with the results of that time being exactly the same as if you enacted that period in real time (ie. your work production would be the same) how much of your life would you fast forward?

That's the answer to how happy you are, and that's the answer to what you need to change in your life.

What Nobody Involved in Politics Will Say

There's been a great deal of talk lately about Clinton supporters, specifically white women, defecting to the McCain camp in the general election.  This is a result of the disappointment that many Clinton supporters have felt from her failed candidacy.  What nobody is willing to admit and what is crucial to the coming GE, is that a large proportion of women vote on emotion.  Let us not presume that men do not vote for equally senseless reasons, such as what baseball team their candidate supports, but let us also admit that emotions play a bigger role in the female decision making process than the male.

If we follow that assumption we can understand that 1) many of the women who currently claim they will defect to the McCain camp are doing so out of frustration from the Democratic primaries and 2) when Obama smokes McCain in terms of likability and overall capacity for compassion in the forthcoming debates he will make huge inroads among this critical segment of the electorate.

Obviously it's controversial to discuss such a matter and I'm sure that some of the women who were reading this post have ceased well before reading this point but it's certainly worth consideration.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Lone Drinker VII

I haven't posted in a while due to a severe case of bloggers block but I'm home alone and sitting down to a magnum of wine and a chunk of cheese so lets kick back and kick off the gayest version of the Lone Drinker yet!

4:21: Glass #1. I have the Yankee game on mute and I'm watching the webcast of Meet the Press, this is not one of my cooler moments. I think that crack needs to be rebranded. A name change and a couple celebrity endorsements would go a long way to invigorating its consumer base. I propose "crevice" as a working name change. Crevice suggests a certain subtlety and sounds vaguely French. Additionally it's similar enough in meaning that we wont alienate our loyal consumers.

4:36: Glass #2. Tom Daschle is a very well practice political persona and that is all he is. He is not human. He is political persona.

4:38: I can't believe people buy into this lunacy.

4:42: Glass #3. Cigarette you very much.

5:07: Glass #4. Facebook is going to start running contextual ads based on imaging in profile pictures.

5:30: Congrats to the digger that found this page and I'll be sending in my resume to edit the UPI's website.

5:48: Two things: 1) If only we could control-f all of the elements of our life. 2) I don't believe in opening mail because I think it deserves its privacy.

6:00: Glass #5. Yankees lost, onto Smoking Gun Presents Worlds Dumbest Criminals 4 on truTV. I love the smoking gun but I've never heard of truTV. Hopefully I'm not as dumb as those they're about to highlight. I'm getting there.

6:04: This show is equally vapid and miraculously less entertaining than all of VH1's current programming schedule. Alcohol, do your thing...

6:09: Despite the presence of notorious douche bags Danny Bonaduce and Ron Kuby, this show is offensively bad. I'll give it one more commercial break.

6:25: I've read most of the articles nominated for 2008 National Magazine Awards recognition and really recommend Vanity Fair's City of Fear, one of the most compelling, most screen worthy examinations in journalism in the last 5 years. The New York Times Magazine's Where Boys Grow up to be Jihadis, and The New Yorker's Swingers. One article that is not, under any circumstances advisable is Everybody Sucks in New York magazine. The article is essentially a mainstream reporter denouncing the blogosphere due to her experiences with being exposed during her wedding and subsequent write-up in the NYT. The media business, and particularly print media, is not suffering solely from the flourishing of the internet. Far too much of modern media is directed at itself because far too many individuals in the media are wildly self-absorbed. I know because I went to journalism school and I'm in the media commenting on a magazine article about bloggers commenting on a newspaper piece on the author on my blog. This does not appeal to a large audience because nobody fucking cares about us.

7:12: Glass #7. Katie Couric on 60 Minutes feels like Walter Cronkite hosting an episode of TRL.

7:52: My lady friend returned home not long ago. She's makinv seafood gumbo in the kitchen. She's put the onions off to the side because she was devastated by their untimely demise. The tears flowed like water in a broken urinal.

7:58: Andy Rooney just complained about something.

8:08: Glass #8. I want to open up a bar based on the office work environment. Instead of booths there will be cubicles that can seat 3 or 4 people and instead of computer's there'll be televisions showing sport. The waitresses will all be dressed in sexy work attire and patrons will be able to call other cubicles to correspond (on work related matters). The receptionist's desk will be the bar and the CEOs office will be the VIP. Potential names include 9 to 5, The Office, The Grind and Monday's Off.

8:38: Holy crap the MTV Movie Awards are on tonight. This is the pinnacle of modern culture. May or may not return tonight.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

One Show Recap

I'm blogging for the One Club at various events during their One Festival this week. Below is my latest post, future ones can be found here:

The Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center was one of the best advertisements of the evening. With 50 foot high floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on Columbus Circle and a three piece jazz band sounding like they were performing at Carnegie Hall the evening’s cocktail hour started out very promisingly. Somewhere around 600 people made their way to The One Show last night for the most distinguished advertising awards in the biz – and to throw a few back, flirt a bit and eat some appropriately name jumbo shrimp.

The event was a collection of very talented, eclectically dressed people of seemingly all persuasions. Some of the attendees wore suits or ball gowns while others could just have easily been banging away on their Macs in a Brooklyn coffee shop.

For me it was an interesting (and first extensive) look into the advertising industry and an opportunity to collect business cards like I was having a raffle for a free lunch at the end of the evening.

“At One Show events the people who have come up want to help the people who are coming up,” said Phil Growick, the Managing Director at Jerry Fields Associates (A Company of The Howard, Sloan, Koller Group according to his business card).

And it really did seem like that. At one point I was talking with a guy (Greg Hahn from BBDO) who looked like a less mysterious version of Jack White just having a casual conversation and later he collected an award for the HBO Voyeur ads – the coolest of the night in one man’s estimation.

“It’s the best of the best,” Hahn said. “There’s a lot of inspiration here and you get to see the gold standard of the advertising industry.”

The awards themselves were hosted by Tom Papa who was funnier off the cuff than scripted. And the music played throughout the show was Vampire Weekend type, super hip, but not in a too-cool-for-school-kind-of-way stuff.

All in all a very cool show, and some of the better adverts I’ve seen this side of five or six Super Bowl’s ago.

Check back in tomorrow for a recap of the Student Awards Show.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Jeopardy Savants

I've written before about the poor strategic decision making that is a rampant phenomenon among Jeopardy contestants.

Two particular instances occur over and over:

1) A contestant has his opponents more than doubled in money going into Final Jeopardy and thus cannot lose (unless he pulls a Clavin). He then bets everything he can minus one dollar to ensure victory. In real life would this guy (think typical Jeopardy contestant) really bet 4,5,6 thousand dollars on his ability to answer one question? There is a logical disconnect between game money and real money but game money is real money. In fact, this game plan only makes sense if the contestant is uniquely competent in the Final Jeopardy category, it happens far more frequently.

2) A contestant is ahead going into Final Jeopardy but has not doubled up her opponent. She then bets enough to beat her opponent by $1 (assuming her opponent bets everything he has). This strategy is designed to send home a known quantity (the opponent said contestant has already beaten) to be replaced on the following day by an unknown quantity (a different contestant). This strategy is also nonsensical. If a contestant has beaten her opponent through single and double Jeopardy she should welcome the opportunity to play him the following day.

Today's Jeopardy episode featured another interesting scenario peppered with misguided strategy. The returning champion (Contestant A) was awarded with both Daily Doubles in Double Jeopardy. Both times he bet unnecessarily large sums of money in an attempt to separate himself from his opponents. When Final Jeopardy rolled around he had about $15,500 and his two opponents had something like $12,400 (Contestant B) and $12,200 (Contestant C). The Final Jeopardy topic was Royalty Wives (or something like that), a seemingly difficult category. Now, Contestants B and C should certainly have realized that if Contestant A was going down it was not going to be as a result of under betting Final Jeopardy, if he was going to lose he was going to get the question wrong. Therefore Contestants B and C know that he's going to bet $9,301 or more (in fact he bet $9,400) and should factor it into their decisions. In the case of Contestant B the information regarding Contestant A isn't particularly informative. Contestant B still needs to protect her slim lead over Contestant C and thus must wager nearly all of her money (she wagered all of it), but this information to Contestant C is very instructive. Contestant C must realize that the only chance she has of victory is for A and B to get the question wrong, as such she must limit her wager to within the loss A would incur under the circumstances of a wrong answer (she must not end up with less than 15,500 - 9,301 - and technically she probably shouldn't bet anything).

Anyway, as mentioned A bet 9,400, B bet 12,400, and C bet something like 9,000. All answered the question incorrectly and now A will return for another day.

It's strange that people who are smart enough to make it on Jeopardy are so miraculously stupid strategically.

On Friday I depart for a friend's bachelor party in New Orleans that happily and intentionally coincides with Jazz Fest. I will be taking copious notes and blogging about what is sure to be a monumentally dangerous trip. Keep an eye out for my best Hunter S. Thompson impression.

Friday, April 18, 2008

People are Strange

Hello and welcome to another addition of "Weird Shit People Search for on Google and End Up at This Blog." I've put an extra slathering of hair gel on to host today's event and I'm planning on inappropriately touching all the female contestants. Let's get started.

10. "Young Stiper": it's good to know there are retarded perverts out there.

9. "Commercial Mexican Dishware": As opposed to Indie Mexican Dishware?

8. "Excessively Jealous, Wife": big fan of the comma, gotta have the comma, (quick recommendation, Vampire Weekend has a song called Oxford Comma that I can't stop listening to, it's the new Young Folks)

7. "Child rape scene": it horrifies me that somebody is searching for this and even more so that they would end up at this blog (actually less so), wtf? Somebody call Chris Hansen.

6. "Living with a q-tube": I have no idea what this means.

5. "Wife sister areshole": Ditto number 6 (a search of areshole on google provides an interesting experience, I'm impressed that Urban Dictionary has the capability to be first on google with a term that "isn't defined yet but these are pretty close". Well done urban dictionary, well done. (btw, Urban Dictionary is defined thusly: A place formerly used to find out about slang, and now a place that teens with no life use as a burn book to whine about celebrities, their friends, etc., let out their sexual frustrations, show off their racist/sexist/homophobic/ anti-(insert religion here) opinions, troll, and babble about things they know nothing about.))

4. "My wife slept with the man blogspot": It may be time for marriage counseling.

3. "Gaysenator": is that one word or two?

2. "Wax replica of your private": I have to admit that one was me.

1. "Vintage Sunglass blogs": It'd be a lot cooler if this was.

Friday, April 11, 2008

All Over the Map Quotes of the Week

The cover of Vibe Magazine has this gem from Lil Wayne “I’m more afraid of life than death,” it’s unclear as to whether this quote is deeply profound or entirely inane but it would require reading an article on Lil Wayne to find out so it’s kind of like the amount of licks it takes to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop.

Today in the Wall Street Journal Peggy Noonan quotes Pope Benedict:

"The right use of reason" prompts us to understand that violence is incompatible with the nature of God

Only the leader of the Catholic Church could distinguish between proper and improper uses of reason.

Vatican Three should definitely forbid the Pope from making any appeal to “the right use of reason,” or reason at all for that matter.

George Karl, Head Coach of the Denver Nuggets after the win over Golden State that essentially sealed the Nuggets playoff birth: “If I call practice there will be a revolution.”

Couple things. Those are not the words of a man in control of his team. Those are the words of a coach who is afraid of his team. Those are the words of a coach who should definitely be fired. Also, it’s interesting that he used the term revolution instead of mutiny. Karl definitely thinks very highly of himself and revolution would suggest a higher self-regard than a mere mutiny.

“Why do all hybrid cars look slightly retarded?” - YFBFB

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

NYC to Outlaw Flatulence in Public Places

Mayor Michael Bloomberg today announced city plans to deal with those that dealt it in the city’s latest move to curtail disagreeable behavior.

“This is a great day for the city of New York and for sensitive olfactory neurons everywhere,” said the mayor inside city hall – removed from the city’s still rank outdoors.

The decision comes on the heels of the city’s ban on trans-fat which followed closely behind the city-wide ban on smoking in restaurants and bars.

Initially intended to be put into effect in June, the blowhard prohibition has been moved back to August to follow the July implementation of the trans-fat ban.

“We thought the ban could be more strictly enforced following the trans-fat regulations,” said Policed Chief Raymond Kelly.

Opponents say that Mr. Bloomberg’s gone too far in his desire to control the behavior of New Yorkers.

“I’ve been farting around this city for 53 years,” said Crown Heights native Noah Stankiewicz, 53. “The Mayor and the fat cats in city hall are unsympathetic to the little people…with digestive disorders.”

Other city residents are excited about what they will say will finally put an end to odorific subway trips and hellacious elevator rides.

“I can finally breathe,” said one long-time Upper East Side resident.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Superficial Thoughts

If you're interested in playing an April Fools joke on family and loved ones tell them you've been accepted as a contestant on the Moment of Truth.

"Results like these do not belong on the resume of a Supreme Being" - Carlin on religion, great line.

I enjoy how the City Journal consistently rails against intellectualism but doesn't mind dropping references to Bentham's Panopticon and the like. (btw Bentham's Panopticon is one of the coolest ideas I've ever read about on Wikipedia).

In the Sienfeld episode where Kramer allows people to smoke in his apt. - Kramer asks for ash tray from Jerry. Was there a time when people who didn't smoke had ashtrays for people who did? To smoke in the non-smokers apt? That seems outrageous to me.

Seinfeld is somehow getting funnier to me, again, apparently this is also happening to others our age, pretty crazy how good that show was.

Sometimes I wish I lived to 86 years old and was born in December of 1918 and died in the summer of 2004. It must've been truly magnificient to believe that the Red Sox were as irredeemable as their fans.

Isn't it weird that two entirely different sports called Football are the most popular sports in their native lands. Is there something about the word "Football" rather than the sports themselves?

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Politics Issue

I was inspired by the Onion magazine to put the above together. This may become a semi-regular addition to the blog. SportSquee was recently added to the blog roll. "Margee" is a friend of mine from high school and a very funny, creative writer. Be back soon.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Child-Man of La Mancha

While trying to conjure a name for a post reviewing Man of La Mancha at The DUO Theater I was reminded of Kay S. Hymowitz’s Child-Man in the Promised Land article which left an indelible mark on my brain (and which I responded to here). I decided to google Ms. Hymowitz to see if she had put together any other wildly misguided articles. Thankfully she had; including another one on her favorite subject titled Marriage and Caste, featuring this line:

Growing financial independence and changing mores not only gave women the freedom to divorce in lemming-like numbers; it also allowed them to dispense with marriage altogether and have children, Murphy Brown–style, on their own.”

This 1) is wholly contradictory to her uniquely flawed Child-Man story 2) suggests the sole blame for the spike in divorce belongs to women and 3) makes yet another reference to cheesedick pop culture, which is unequivocally the leading cause of men divorcing their wives in the United States.

Anyway, Ms. Hymowitz has got to be the dumbest contributor to the City-Journal and her idiocy is always entertaining so let’s move on.

On St. Patrick’s Day my lady friend and I holed up in a booth at a bar in Brooklyn and drank till we had forgotten our worries and created new ones. It was a good time and nice to be secluded in a crowded bar. Last night at Room 5001’s production of Man of La Mancha I had a similar feeling of seclusion amongst a crowd but the effect was more suffocating than reassuring.

Man of La Mancha is the story of 8 prisoners awaiting the inevitable and attempting to distract themselves along the way. The entirety of the play takes place within the confines of a jail cell and at times during the nearly two hour production the viewer experiences the feelings of imprisonment the prisoners are meant to bear.

In this way it can be seen as a grossly pessimistic metaphor for existence but the escapes that the distractions sometimes provide proove to be a savior to the prisoners and the audience. Man of La Mancha seems to be the rationalization for the creation of drama and in some ways it works and in some ways it doesn’t (which might just be genius).

The story is okay. This retelling substituted a man for the woman prisoner who gets raped in the original which seems more fitting. I can’t imagine many instances in the history of legal confinement when one woman has been detained with seven men. And the rape scene was certainly affecting and well acted which touches on Man of La Mancha’s strongest point.

The acting in Man of La Mancha is very very good. Justin Levine plays the lead of Miguel de Cervantes with a touch of madness and a lot of likability. Omar Perez seems larger than his stature would suggest allowing him to be fittingly menacing (I was surprised how short he was after the show), and Ricardo Perez-Gonzalez has a tremendous singing voice.

But the real star of the show is Rusty Buehler who is the play-within-a-play director as Cervantes' squire, Sancho Panza, as well as the comic relief of the show. His performance is idiosyncratic, clever and very entertaining.

On the whole, the story has highs and lows but the show was very well done.

Man of La Mancha at the DUO Theater 62 East 4th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Ave, $20 General Admission. Performances: Friday, March 21 8pm; Saturday, March 22 8pm; Sunday, March 23 3pm; Thursday, March 27 8pm; Friday, March 28 8pm; Saturday, March 29 8pm; Sunday, March 30 8pm


Put another spike in the coffin of substantive journalism. Deadline Hollywood Daily got the jump on the NYT, WaPo and others in reporting that the Associated Press is adding 21 new employees to its entertainment beat. I’m becoming more and more convinced that the only way for the fourth estate to maintain its watchdog roll will be through non-profit organizations. The paradigm has shifted and the money and interest isn’t there for real reporting anymore. (I found that link through Romenescko btw, I do not frequent Deadline Hollywood Daily).

This Lenny Dykstra article in the New Yorker is amazing for anyone who ever cared about the Mets in the 80’s, Phillies in the 90’s, baseball in any era, sports on the whole, compelling storytelling or existence in general… actually it’s not that good but it is a good read.

I really recommend checking out the White Rabbit’s Myspace page and taking a listen. They’re quite good.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

On the Tele

Pretty mediocre South Park tonight. Satirizing celebrity adoration (in this case it was Brittany) is like banging Lindsay Lohan when you're both stuck in a barrel. I'm sure it was still infinitely better than the episode of Lewis Black's Root of All Evil that followed it. At one point during the ep of South Park there was a commercial for LBRAE where Black said something like "watch this show America 'cause it's your duty." And then he proceeded to say "did you hear that South Park fans, I said 'duty'" - as if his show attracts more high-minded fans than SP. That show is offensively bad, I actually just had the show on my television with the t.v. on mute and changed the channel because I didn't want Nielsen to report an additional viewer that's how bad it is.

And finally tonight, I didn't keep a log of Moment of Truth but did watch most of it and wow. The contestant - a smokin hot, wildly insecure Caucasian looking Puerto Rican chick - was the victim of tremendous hubris. Asked the question, had she ever slept with anyone to further her career, she answered no and was found to be false. Apparently she really hadn't ever slept with someone (or so it seemed from her reaction) but going on that show is far more ethically and morally comprimising than whoring in the interest of career advancement. Sleep with some one and you've affected two people's lives - yours and the person who would have advanced in your stead - go on that show and you're fucking with at least 4 peoples lives. Utilitarianism is an over-simplified philosophical belief but in the case of contestants on this program, society should want them affecting as few people's lives as possible.

Further, sleeping with some one in the interest of career advancement is Machiavellian, and honestly Machiavelli has not been proven wrong. Fucking your loved ones for financial success and notoriety is always wrong.

The new Seth Rogan movie trailer looks killer.

I have a bunch of other links and a sociological experiment I'm about to start to report on soon.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Moment of Truth

Two weeks ago I watched with horror as a participant on the Moment of Truth on Fox destroyed her marriage, her husband's self-esteem and her own self-image. It was similar to watching Nuclear winter descend on the Southern Hemisphere. This week I've decided to do a journal of it, lets see what happens:

8:05: They've introduced the contestant, he looks like Matthew Perry with a much cheeper haircut. Apparently he's a carpenter, I don't imagine he's very Christ-like.

8:06: Q: "As a handy-man have you ever prolonged a job so you could bill more hours?" A: Yes, true, his explanation seems reasonable, bounced check, billed the extra money.

8:07: Q: "Have you ever made a wax replica of your private parts?" Yes- true, "my wife was going to bring it with her but it didn't fit in her purse" - not bad, did he come up with that on the spot? Mom: "I don't know him" she's going to become progressively more annoying.

8:08: Q: "Have you ever felt that your wife is excessively jealous of other women?" A: Yes - true. I have a feeling that this may be problematic going forward.

8:09: Q: "Has your wife Amy, ever said something that hurt you so much it made you cry?" Yes - true. Pussy.

8:10: Q: "Would you say your wife is the most attractive woman you've ever dated?" No - true. The audience applause after embarrassing correct answers is fascinating. They must be cued by signs right?

8:12 Q: "Since you've had children have you lost any of your sexual attraction to your wife?"

Commercial Break

They prep the t.v. audience for moments later in the show prior to each commercial break. We already know that two of the questions are "have you ever had sex with one of your wife's sisters" and "have you ever had sex with any of your friends wives". Also apparently Chandler's estranged father is going to make an appearance later in the show.

8:15 The show has returned, the slimy show host repeats the question. Answer: No - true.

8:17 Onto level two. For $25,000 Q: "Are you sexually attracted to any of your wife's sisters? Yes - true. One of the sisters is sitting right next to the wife, she's not bad looking and apparently there are 5 sisters in the family.

New revelation, he's dated the sister and another of the sisters, you can't blame the guy for answering that question in the affirmative. Further, what kind of bumblefuck town do they find these people in that he's dated 3 of 5 sisters in one family?

8:19: Q: "Have you ever lied to your parents about your religious belief" Yes - true. Is there anyone for whom that answer isn't true? Also this guy was raised Mormon, who the hell with any degree of analytical thought could believe in Mormanism? - Also that answers the question as to where they find these people.

8:21 Q: "Do you think your father worked hard enough to provide for your family?" No- true, as his mother cries. Yfbfb question: "Do you think you're a big enough asshole to destroy your entire family?

8:22 Q: "When visiting your Father do you think your step-mother intentionally does things to make you feel unwelcome?" Yes - true. Any child of a step-parent would have no problem answering in the affirmative if they felt this way. None.

8:24: The slimy host calls out the father, Chuck (of course), to ask the question. The father reminds me of an out of shape version of the father from American Beauty. Q: "Despite the life you've lead, do you think I still love you?"

Commercial Break

This question is inherently flawed. First, I wonder if the father put in the qualifier "despite the life you've lead" and second, by him being there, Chandler can assume that he still love's him, this may be warped logic but it doesn't matter if it's not true in reality, it only matters that it's true in his mind.

8:29: It's annoying how they repeat the last minute after every commercial break.

8:30: A: Yes - true. This guy seems like a tool btw, he seems like he's hamming up the dramatic effect for the show. The product of an asshole father. They embrace and his father says that he's proud of his son. My parents have always dreamed of me making it big on reality television. I've done nothing but disappoint.

8:32: He's just won $25,000, but nothing's locked, he can lose it all at any point.

8:33: They cut to a commercial break, teasing with the same three questions they've teased the last two commercial breaks to. This show is taking a short-term approach to a potentially long running show. It's really compelling content wise despite its trashy side, but it's not nearly as rewarding of a viewing experience as it should be because they cram a half an hours worth of material into and hour show. I mean there was 3 minutes of unseen content in between the last two commercial breaks. Can I get some show with my advertisements?

8:37: They're back. Chandler asked how he's doing: I'm good, I'm glad I'm here...Anything for a buck.

8:38: "Have you ever thought that your past drug use may have caused permanent damage to your body?" Yes - true. Who cares.

8:40: Have you ever had a sexual fantasy about a friends wife?" Yes - true. What if it was a dream? That question seemed loaded.

8:42: "Have you ever had sexual relations with any of your wife's sisters?

Commercial break.

He's dated two of them, doesn't that depend on what the definition of is is? This show may be getting too stupid for my taste. Also if you're scoring at home, that's 8 minutes of commercials for 9 minutes of programming not including the commercial break we're currently engaged in. And that is with a minute at the opening of each segment to remind us what happened previously and a minute at the end of each segment to tease future content.

8:47: They're back. Let's give'em a minute to recap.

8:48: A: No - true. So the point if moot, I maintain that question was bullshit.

8:50: Have you ever had sex with any of your friends wives?

Commercial Break

I feel like Fox is really bending me over during this show. Network television's really gonna squeeze every last drop out of interest in their programming as fast as possible aren't they.

8:53: Another minute to recap.

8:54: Slimy host asks Chandler's wive if she has any idea what the answer is going to be. She says no. A: Yes - true (audience applauds, wife cries, Chandler wins $100,000).

He decides to call it quits and "go home with the money he has." It's not so much that he is leaving with the final shread of dignity that he has, it's that he is leaving with one strand less than the full compliment of anti-dignity.

Show ends, clips from future shows, then a flash of the production company called "Lighthearted entertainment".

I've seen the devil and it has FOX in the lower right hand corner.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Motes: A story of Redemption

The one year anniversary of this blog passed fittingly without a post. I’m learning a new language so that I can start a new blog and post irregularly in Spanish.

I sent an email to a friend yesterday that highlighted a growing concern of mine. Last May I wrote a story on Starbucks and realized when I typed "Starbucks" into Microsoft Word it underlined the word – as incorrectly spelled – if it was not capitalized, but when it was capitalized the word was not underlined. Then while emailing my friend on Microsoft’s Outlook program I wrote this passage: I remember going to Wikipedia (btw Outlook automatically capitalizes Wikipedia when you type it in - the corporatization of the world has implications beyond the upper-casing of proper nouns but this is symptomatic)

Even as I type this on blogger when I write "Microsoft" the word is underlined if not capitalized – what the fuck?! Leave me alone you gigantic multinational conglomerates – you may own the clothes I wear, the television I watch, the soap I use, the car I drive, the food I eat, the land I walk on, my dog, the computer I use, the phone I talk on, the debt I’ve accumulated, the girl I sleep with, the chair I’m sitting in, the website I’m posting on, the news I read, the social networking sites I stalk people on, the alcohol I drink, and probably even the other substances I consume, but you don’t own me.

On another note, the aforementioned dog, The Motes, has made a miraculous comeback from the retardation that her epileptic seizures had induced. Cheers to The Motes, I'm so proud of you. Aw da Motes!

I’ll be back on Sunday with thoughts on the Plug Awards®

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Dear Texas and Ohio,

Please stop voting.

Yours truly,

America (and every other country in the world)

Friday, February 29, 2008

After these messages...

I have always dreamed of purchasing ad space on a billboard and putting some kind of self-promoting nonsense on it (like a picture of myself surrounded by scantily clad women wearing chains and holding a Tek 9). Actually, I have always dreamed of the time shortly after I purchase ad space on a billboard when a friend or acquaintance sees the ad and gets a kick out of it. The Billboard Liberation Front has employed a similar idea only they're trying to make a point, which is cool, I guess. Actually, I think it's really cool and congrats to them for taking street art to a new place.

Sometimes Vanity Fair is like US Weekly for really high minded individuals or "society" types. This article is one of those times and it's fucking great. Michael Joseph Gross did some really really extensive reporting to tell that story and did it very well.

The City-Journal continuously publishes thought provoking articles. This article is flawed in that it blames the sexual revolution of the 60’s for creating the hyper-sexualized campus environment of modernity while arguing that the campus rape phenomenon is more myth than reality. In effect Heather Mac Donald blames the sexual revolution for a problem she argues doesn’t exist. On the plus side she does argue correctly that there are hypocrisies within the rape prevention complex that should be addressed. In particular she reprints this astonishing passage from the magazine Saturday Night: Untold Stories of Sexual Assault at Harvard:

What can I tell you about being raped? Very little. I remember drinking with some girlfriends and then heading to a party in the house that some seniors were throwing. I’m told that I walked in and within 5 minutes was making out with one of the guys who lived there, who I’d talked to some in the dining hall but never really hung out with. I may have initiated it. I don’t remember arriving at the party; I dimly remember waking up at some point in the early morning in this guy’s room. I remember him walking me back to my room. I couldn’t have made it alone; I still had too much alcohol in my system to even stand up straight. I made myself vulnerable and even now it’s hard to think that someone here who I have talked and laughed with could be cold-hearted enough to take advantage of that vulnerability. I’d rather, sometimes, take half the blame than believe that a profound evil can exist in mankind. But it’s easy for me to say, that, of the two of us, I’m the only one who still has nightmares, found myself panicking and detaching during sex for many months afterwards, and spent more time looking into the abyss than any one person should.

The dereliction of personal responsibility in this passage is horrifying and an affront to actual victims of sexual assault. It’s not that she “deserved” or “was asking for it” but it seems very out-of-character for a “cold-hearted” rapist to walk his victim back to her room the following morning. It seems certain to me that the “offender” in this case does not think of himself as a rapist, perhaps he was also drunk and didn’t realize how out of it this woman was. . She got drunk to the point that she made several bad decisions, if two nights hence he blacks out and ends -up in bed with some woman he barely remembers from the night before was he raped? I’m not trying to make excuses for his behavior but she is certainly trying to make them for hers.

Skeptics are people who never believe.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Debating Times

I'm baffled by the timing of the Democratic debate this evening. Why would they schedule a debate for 11:00 p.m. EST? I realize the debate is in Cleveland and the big prizes in the March 4 primaries are both in the Central time zone but it's still 10 pm in both Ohio and Texas. Further the other two March 4 primaries are in Rhode Island and Vermont, I know they don't provide big delegate bounties but shouldn't the Dems at least give the people in those states an opportunity to see the debates for themselves?

The real loser in all of this is the newspaper business. It is a testament to the amount of influence the business has lost that the late start makes it nearly impossible for east coast newspapers to cover the debate in their early editions. The fact that the NYT, WSJ, and WaPo are all severely limited in the amount of space they can give to the debates (if they can cover them at all) is a bad indicator for the longevity of the industry.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Parodying his own irony. This is a seminal moment for post-hipsterism.


I am currently downloading Michael Jackson Essential and as far as greatest hits/best of albums go it doesn't get much better than this. I feel like my head is about to explode I'm so excited to listen to this record.

I've also downloaded Reasonable Doubt by Jay-Z and honestly, if you like rap you must have this record. It's smoother than butter and a fascinating look at hip-hop's CEO when he was still in the mail room.

I have so much respect for Jay-Z's blind ambition (Blind Ambition should definitely be the name of a skinimax feature, I'm going to check after this diatribe if it is). In Reasonable Doubt at one point he mentions Rockafeller Records like he was confident that it was going to be what it became. That type of self-assuredness is only endearing and charismatic when backed by some one who makes it happen - and cheers to Jay-Z for making it happen.

My semi-final download was Lupe Fiasco's The Cool. I'll write about this record within the next week or two.

I'll be back soon, I've had a bunch of ideas I want to expand upon during the course of this post. Including: We're judged by the way we treat the weakest among us. I don't believe that the weakest among us need be treated like I treat my dog, that is what informs my politics.

See here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Perils of Non-Profits

The thing about working at a non-profit is that it's difficult to express real discontent to others without feeling guilty. It's not that I don't like my job it's just that sometimes I want to bitch about my job like everyone else. I miss being able to do that without hesitation.

I just watched the Wu Tang Triumph video where Method Man looks like a bad mother fucker and refers to himself as "The Iron Lung". My next thought was him in the Speed Stick commercials with Redman. I don't mind aging I just don't ever want to become whatever the Speed Stick equivalent for myself would be.

Speaking of Method Man, or Cheese as he is known on The Wire. The March issue of Esquire (with Schwarzenegger on the cover) totally makes up for the terrible February issue. Tom Chiarella has a great article on taking up smoking for a month - for the first time of his life - at the age of 46. A.J. Jacobs has a funny essay on manufactured optimism, Klosterman has a dead on piece on the McLaughlin group and David Simon, the creator of The Wire, has a fascinating essay on the fall of the American newspaper (he doesn't really offer up much in the way of answers but man is that guy angry).

Also, I wonder if anyone has noticed the music that plays at the beginning of The Wire this year sounds unusually like the music that plays at the beginning of Law and Order. This confounds me greatly but I think it just means that I'm delusional.

I finished another article for DRN Magazine earlier today. I'd post them here but I think there might be legal restrictions (like the Blog Police would arrest me for posting such boring shit on blogspot), hope to be back soon.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

On the G-Men and Solipsism

Solipsism: the theory that only the self exists, or can be proven to exist.

Allow me a moment of consideration, pedantry, and idiocy:

In our time, a time in which individuals are granted the opportunity (for better or worse) to consider their place in the world at large, everyone occasionally entertains thoughts of solipsism. How can it be that so many of the world's factors have conspired against me - One might ask. How is it that I am so fortunate to experience this moment - One might consider.

When we are aware of the world around us - as it necessitates we be - how could we not wonder how a series of coincidences have brought about our fortune? How could we not wonder how all these odd coincidences have occurred to bring about our very being?

These questions at the very least require a consideration of solipsism. And to the feeble minded, like myself, they require a very serious consideration. Particularly whenever something of monumental goodness or stark evil has occurred.

It is with that in mind that I experienced one of the greatest evils that has ever been perpetrated upon man.

Leading 3-0 in the 2004 ALCS the forces of good, that had prevailed throughout my existence - and those who had "existed" before me - suffered defeat at the hands of a force that was inarguably evil.

It was a shattering relization of what might occur - what would occur - when the world only I existed in, decided against me.

What would occur when I wore the wrong hat on October 20, 2004.

Sure, the possibility existed that it wasn't my hat. Maybe it had something to do with my shirt. My boxers. The time I lied to that brunette and ended up in a strange room in central Virginia.

Regardless, I had failed. And now I was to be punished by an overweight blowhard with a crayola red sock, an aloof illiterate and a Dominican Stay-Puft Marshmallow.

And to this suffering was added a dynastic football team lead by a Jeterian quarterback. A team that could not be stopped and a quarterback that should be respected. All from the city that brought us (brought me!) Ben Affleck, Ferdinando Sacco, Bartolomeo Vanzetti, and Cowboy Up!.

I rarely give into the fear that God exists, let alone that he has damned me, but it is even more rare that I dismiss this fear entirely. And over the last several years I have considered my own damnation more often than I care to admit.

And then Sunday, February 3, 2008 happened and I was once again assured - whether it was I alone who existed, or the millions of fans with which I stood - that if God did exist, then he loved us very much. That the highest, the biggest, of our beliefs would triumph over extremism. That greatness, largeness, would triumph over jingoism.

That Gigantism would triumph over Patriotism.

That Good would conquer Evil.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Imperfection is Beautiful

Thoughts on the Giants and solipsism to come.

Well done G-Men.

Friday, February 1, 2008

What's the female opposite of a mensch?

Last week I wrote about the City Journal. A publication I recently discovered and very much enjoy. But this article, on what David Brooks labeled the "Oddesy Years," is so devoid of a reasoned argument that I had to devote a post to it.

First, I reject the premise that there is something wrong with people in their 20’s waiting to get married and settle down. For our entire youth we’ve heard about 50 percent of all marriages ending in divorce. I think I remember that statistic with more clarity than any other I heard growing up. The 26 year-old in 1965 the article mentions is now twice divorced and has been paying alimony for the last 30 years. To purport that we should blindly follow the paths our parents blazed to broken homes and visitation rights is ridiculous and moronic.

Second, this paragraph: But while we grapple with the name, it’s time to state what is now obvious to legions of frustrated young women: the limbo doesn’t bring out the best in young men. With women, you could argue that adulthood is in fact emergent. Single women in their twenties and early thirties are joining an international New Girl Order, hyperachieving in both school and an increasingly female-friendly workplace, while packing leisure hours with shopping, traveling, and dining with friends [see “The New Girl Order,” Autumn 2007]. Single Young Males, or SYMs, by contrast, often seem to hang out in a playground of drinking, hooking up, playing Halo 3, and, in many cases, underachieving. With them, adulthood looks as though it’s receding.

So women in their twenties and early thirties are shopping? That is so adult of them – and so revolutionary, they must be the first generation of women to shop. They dine with friends? Nothing says adult like eating with friends.

As for her assertion that 20 something men “hang out in a playground of drinking, hooking up playing Halo 3 and, in many cases, underachieving” it’s difficult to argue against as she has provided no “facts” or “statistics” from which to examine. Although according to her characterization of the prototypical SYM in the second paragraph, he’s finished college, of which only 29% of the male population over the age of 25 has, and (according to the 7th paragraph) he makes an average of $60,000 a year, $12,000 more than the average household income in the US. Hardly an “underachiever” by any unbiased metrics. In fact, the only area where he seems to underachieve is in the mind of Ms. Hymowitz who likely has a daughter (who shops and has dinner with friends) that just had her dreams of a $75,000 wedding dashed by a “mensch” tired of her nagging and horrified of his potential mother-in-law.

Also, it is curious to think of who these SYMs are hooking up with, certainly not the shopping adults previously mentioned.

And Third, Ms. Hymowitz makes an argument that SYMs are not interested in settling down by using a series of references to pop culture and celebrities (yes, of course Sex and the City gets a mention). Perhaps she’s onto something here, I know that I am invariably turned off when I see a woman reading gossip magazines or discussing vapid programming. But I’m not sure if she meant it that way.

One last note on this article, in this sentence: the Frat Packers are the child-man counterparts to the more conventional leads, like George Clooney and Brad Pitt.

Why does Clooney get a pass? Isn’t he the eternal child-man according to her definition? And Pitt’s been divorced for fucks sake.

Maybe it's not such a good idea to judge "manliness" by a willingness to get married and have children.

Maybe there is a reason the word settle is so prominently involved in the term settle down.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Flight of the Vultures

I've taken four flights over the last two weekends and have flown a fair amount in my life.  I've learned a great deal from my travels and feel that I have grown as a person as a result of the people I have met and the places I have seen.  

I have also seen the darker side of travel, the seedy underbelly of the human trafficking business.  Knowing this and knowing humanity as I (obviously) do, I've come to the conclusion that the primary source of mankind's unhappiness lies in our inability to streamline the boarding and unboarding processes on commercial airliners.  

When we. as people, are flying from one locale to another it is usually for one of three reasons a) to work b) to vacation or c) to visit family and/or friends (sometimes mistaken for b). 

These situations are usually either highly stressful or carry the burden of high expectations. Either way there is anticipation and anxiety both of which are exacerbated by tight spaces, stuffy air-flow and the near grasp of the next portion of ones trip. 

This creates frustration which is first, held in to be expanded during the unboarding portion of ones trip, and second, expelled from the traveller onto those of whom he is visiting.  This anger then spreads from visitee to others and eventually we have famine, drought, locusts and plague.  
All because we have yet to overcome the challenge of boarding and unboarding commercial airliners.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Shouldn't there be a bar named Drunk? I think it would be a clever satirical play on all the "trendy" single name clubs. Also I hadn't planned it this way but having seen it in print it could be Drunk? instead of just of Drunk.  Also, it could be Drunk. - with a period after it. Punctuation in bar names kicks ass. The stream-of-conciousness (I don't think I've ever spelt the word conciousness correctly) is due to A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius that I'm reading (having recently fallen upon the book What is the What, enjoying it and wanting to read more Eggers) and in part to a lack of time for a proper post.  Other shit that I've been thinking of writing lately includes: being more interested in Best of Craigslist posts from the city in which I, or you, live - which I would think is true for most people. Note: I just asked three people in my apartment if they engage in this behavior and none of them had ever read best of craigslist, which is insane to me, take a look.  Also, the hypocrisy of the NFL challenge system, by which they reward correct calls and punish for requesting them.  Finally, I want to write about shit that looks and feels cool but kind of  sucks - or might kind of suck but maybe doesn't (think PT Anderson films), people always come down on one side of that fence or the other.  I'm a fence sitter and I think a lot of others are as well - whether or not they're willing to admit it.  


Interesting article on critiques of The Wire.  I'm excited about the connection of Lester and McNulty, I think that there are interesting moral implications for this combination.

Also, the City Journal has a fascinating article on the state of Black/Hispanic relations.  I hadn't read the City Journal before this article but I think I will more often now.

I'll be blogging at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona this weekend on this blog.  It's for the foundation I work for and it's a very worthy cause (I won't mention it here because it'd show up on google alerts and people I work with would read this). 

Friday, January 18, 2008

Top 5 Things I Fear Are Going to Happen To Me in Texas

I'm going to Texas this weekend. This will not turn out well.

5. A Mexican will emigrate into my body
4. I'll become an alcoholic, endure excessive amounts of failure, get appointed the head of an oil company, acquire minority ownership of the Texas Rangers, get elected Governor, run for the presidency, win, bring the country to its knees with my incompetency. This weekend.
3. I'll start using the expression "y'all" (I found this magazine when I typed "y'all" into google to make sure I was spelling it correctly).
2. I'll have delusions that I'm some sort of cowboy .

And the number 1 thing I fear is going to happen to me in Texas...I'll become a born again Christian

Note: I left "Get shot by a redneck with a concealed weapon" off the list because I've come to accept the inevitable nature of this concern.

I have much to write about next week including thoughts on Texas. I've been lax this week due to my responsibilities to Dance Retail News Magazine where my article on the greening of small businesses will be coming out in March.

Special note: According to my biography at the end of the article I am working on my first novel titled Excess, Success, and Recess: the life and times of Liam Grant.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I write with a heavy heart today as I use this space to regrettably announce the breakup of my rap posse the Extroditables. We had a great run, sold hundreds of thousands of records and fucked mad bitches but it was time to call it quits and I think we all realized this.

On a semi-related note I would like to take this opportunity to announce the formation of my new Mariachi band Hermann and the Bodegas.

Comprised of the former members of Cervantes and the Extroditables, Hermann and the Bodegas feature the most groundbreaking sound of our generation. Heavily influenced by the street sound of rap groups like Cervantes and the Extroditables, Hermann and the Bodegas blend the sound of urban decay with with the plaintive tones of the violin and the festive brass of the trumpet.

Visit H and the 'Degas myspace page or check out our website

Friday, January 11, 2008

Lone Drinker V 2.0

Hello and welcome to the fifth installment of the lone drinker. Tonight's LD is being brought to you by Rolling Rock and Fris Vodka. Rolling Rock: because most other cheap domestic beer comes in brown bottles. Fris: It probably rymes with tree but it tastes like piss.

10:58: A very late start to the lone drinker, I'm a beer deep and just watched this video. When I initially recognized the idea I thought it was almost self-evident comedy, unfortunately the idea was not fully realized.

11:15: Beer 3, sometimes I read an article and think about how stupid we will seem to future generations.

11:31: This is an idea that I hope to expand on when drunk: I read a lot of articles and hear a lot of people complaining about the stupidity of Americans and it's really starting to offend me. It doesn't offend me as an American but as a person. Frankly people are stupid. This fact is not unique to the United States it is a universal fact that a vast majority of people are stupid. Too often I read commentaries and blog posts, like this, where people pan America or Americans. The only people dumber than the subjects of these articles and posts are the people who write them and think that such behavior is unique to the US. Wake up mother fuckers, you guys are retards too.

12:28: I just slugged down beer 6 when I realized I hadn't posted in almost an hour.

12:35: This article speeks to the crisis of age that I plan on writing about in the near future. There's something abound and we haven't wrapped our minds around it yet.

1:11: When do things that we've seen/heard/experienced lose their interest and why? Alcohol seems to be one of those delightful treats that keeps on giving but much in the way of music, movies, and art seem to lose their ability to intrigue after a certain amount of examinations. Why? This drunk has no answers. 9 down (and not really drunk, lest you think I am, mother fucker. Want to fight?)

1:28: Switched to Vodka. Poured a vodka club into a Christmas Glass. I'm at the home in which I grew up (no one else is). Do any women still exsist that would put out Christmas glasses during the holiday season? Would I want to date such a woman? I don't think it's just the alcohol that makes that a freigtening proposition.

1:42: Let it be said that drinking by oneself is a wondrfully cathartic experience.

2:31: A decidedly poor LD, I just added a dose of vodka to my vodka and diet because I was upset with my output. I'm not witty, just drunk.

2:41: A plea to McNuts to write his own blog, he's got one but has yet to post: Hey dickbag, you want to write so do it. Pissing in the wind is only fun when you hit people with it.



Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Ruling on "the rules"

Esquire has a section in most issues (or perhaps all issues) where they have a series of "rules" presumably for modern male living. Unfortunately these "rules" are usually so goddamn esoteric college sociology professors are left wondering what they're talking about. Like Rule No. 568: The didgeridoo is the only instrument that can be displayed in your living room without you being able to play it. Thanks fellas, I had spent the last couple months contemplating whether it was a faux pas to hang my didgeridoo above my television. Crisis avoided.

In honor of the wrong turn that Esquire has taken with this gimmick, I'm going to begin posting a series of YFBFB's rules but instead of giving them weird numbers for no reason I'm just going to number them in order. I know it's novel.

Rule No. 1: If a person believes that you are going to burn in hell for eternity for not subscribing to their religion you get to think that that person and their religion are ridiculous.

The links:

Extreme Drinking, NYT style. I liked this article except at the end where every beer they rate is either 2 or 2.5 stars. What the fuck is that? The writer makes the entire article seem like the beers were surprisingly good then gives them all mediocre ratings.

100 amusing quotes, although I wish the author had stuck with historical figures, the post fades a bit when it gets to modern comedians.

The best article I've read on the softer side of Sexual Offenders in the last couple weeks. Actually it's really interesting.

This New Yorker piece is an excellent example of observational journalism. The author also does a great job of avoiding preemptively writing off the Clinton campaign as many might in a similar situation.

I don't really believe it but there are a shitload of rumors flying around the internet that the NH primaries were rigged. A healthy democracy requires a healthy amount of skepticism.

The freakonomics guys recently put together a study that had the extrapolated conclusion that prostitutes have sex with police officers more than they are arrested by them. I love those guys.

Be back tomorrow.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Zen and the Art of Dishware Maintanance

If doing dishes were a sport it’d be prison soap dropping; everybody dreads it and it’s not actually a sport. Yet the importance of proper dishware maintenance cannot be overstated.

The 20th Century brought us a great advancement in dishware maintenance (no, not Mexicans). The automatic dishwasher freed mankind from the burden of cleaning up after himself, the ultimate goal in the whole of human progression. But the automatic dishwasher has not been without its faults.

The primary con of the automatic dishwasher is that it has softened our resolve - and our hands - to manually wash dishes. This is problematic because many apartments and/or living quarters still do not have automatic dishwashers, especially those that feature several 20 somethings occupying the bedrooms (multiple people sharing dishware further heightens the importance of clean plates, utensils etc.). As a result, an entire generation has moved into our cities without a thorough understanding of how to manually wash dishes - and the dishwasher is partially to blame for all of this.

More to blame however, is sloth.
Honestly, it’s just not that hard to clean a fucking plate. It’s just not that hard. Yet everywhere I go plates are piled like skyscrapers in sinks and there’s more crud on cups in cupboards that in the grimiest of sewers. This is really a matter of lack of effort.

There is no such thing as a kind of clean plate and no reason to partially clean a plate. If I’m going to bother putting a sponge to dishware it is going to be clean when I am finished. It’s a character flaw to hold a contrary opinion.

Further, it’s not just the top of a plate or the inside of a glass that needs to be cleaned. When one puts a plate in a cupboard it is generally on top of another plate, logic dictates that the bottom of the invading plate must be clean to maintain the cleanliness of the initial plate. And a glass generally has a person putting their lips on the inside and the outside of its rim, therefore the rim needs to be cleaned - inside and out.

Dishware Maintenance is not rocket science and its not gang anal raping but it is an important aspect of comfortable living. Think about that next time you pick up a sponge (or a bar of soap).