January 31, 2007

let's meet the frontrunners

Dick Cheney- Mr. Vice President has been sick of the bullshit longer than most of us have been alive, and this might be the year all the sneers and audible sighs finally pay off. Between a bumbling boss, a hostile Congress, the Scooter Libby trial, a knocked-up lesbian daughter and a liberal press unwilling to forget that he once shot a man in the face, there's a lot of bullshit in Cheney's future. Odds: 5 to 2

Martin Scorsese- Currently a long shot, Scorsese's viability as a candidate will become clear after the Academy Awards. Marty doesn't emote the way Saddam Hussein or Dick Cheney do, but make no mistake: he's been dealt a heaping pile of bullshit over the years. Try losing Oscars to sentimental hacks like Robert Redford, Kevin Costner, and Clint Eastwood and see how you feel. Odds: 10 to 1

Barry Bonds- This is one disgruntled ballplayer. Not only do reporters insist on interviewing him after every single game, but thousands of adoring fans have been pestering him for autographs ever since he was a rookie. And if that weren't bullshit enough, recently people have been accusing him-- Barry Fucking Bonds-- of using steroids. With a federal perjury indictment looming, this could finally be Bonds's year. Odds: 4 to 1

Suri Cruise- At first blush, Ms. Cruise might seem like an unlikely candidate-- after all, she's got youth, wealth, and fantastic genes. But on the other hand, she's got paparazzi swarming her and the world's most insane parents raising her. All year I'll be asking myself: is she crying because she's hungry, or because she's Sick of the Bullshit? Odds: 10 to 1

The Field- Of course, these candidates could fade and a new contender could emerge. No one is immune from the bullshit, and prolonged exposure has been known to wither even the hardiest of men. There's a lot of bullshit yet to be suffered, and no telling who might snap. Odds: 2 to 1

January 26, 2007

Sick of the Bullshit

Part of me is going to miss Saddam Hussein. Being a longtime sufferer from the bullshit, I've come to appreciate the daily struggle that being Saddam must have been. During his trial, little made me happier than watching him roll his eyes as wave after wave of bullshit came crashing down: Not allowed to call all his witnesses? BULLSHIT. Not allowed to insult the judge out of turn? BULLSHIT. Lawyers kept getting murdered? BULLSHIT.

But through it all, Saddam took it like a man. He confronted the bullshit with a blend of arrogance and disbelief that would make the Geico Caveman proud.

Thanks to his groundbreaking work in the field of Being Forced to Live in a Cave Because Some Numbskull Wrongly Invaded Your Country, Saddam was the recipient of the 2003 Sick of the Bullshit award. And just a few weeks ago, he became the only repeat winner in the award's history.

Unfortunately, Saddam is something of a lame duck these days. But if there's a silver lining, it's this: for the first time in a while, the race is wide open. I've listed some candidates in the poll near the top of the page. Have a vote, and I'll come back later to handicap the early front runners.

January 24, 2007

Victory is ours

Certain Blogs would like to thank you, dear reader, for your unflinching support of my advertisers-who-use-unfunny-clich├ęs-and-outright- misconceptions- about-masculinity-to-sell-their-products Boycott.

A mere six months ago, the average viewer was besieged by these types of commercials. But now, thanks to your efforts, either these ads have been expunged from the airwaves or I have become so numb that I no longer notice them. Either way, it smells like victory from here.

Let's look back at the progression of our movement. The first important step happened in mid-summer, when I finally got tired of complaining about these stupid ads. As luck would have it, this initial stage was followed by a prolonged period where I was traveling or otherwise living without cable television. While I was gone, Hummer retooled the commercial that had drawn my ire, rendering my lucid, carefully measured rant obsolete.

The third step happened after I moved to New York, where I ordered a DVR along with my cable package. Armed with the ability to record stuff and fast-forward through the commercials, I became oblivious to whatever buffoonish ads were probably still on TV.

Finally, last week, the death knell sounded.

During the middle of an NFL playoff game, I noticed a peculiar commercial for a pickup truck. The ad begins stupidly enough, with two dudes doing a bunch of rugged things to their truck, like throwing anvils into the bed. But then the guys get into the cab, which is reasonably clean and nice looking. And when the passenger puts his feet on the dashboard, the driver says something like, "hey asshole, get your fucking feet off my dashboard".

I was dumbstruck, and not just by the driver's potty mouth. Here was a character in a truck commercial who (a) used his truck for its intended purpose and (b) didn't want it to look like complete shit if he could help it.

Holy hell! What a reasonable way to act!!!

January 16, 2007

Yet Another Mailbag

I don't just pretend to receive letters; sometimes I pretend to send them, too. Recently I've kept myself busy writing fake letters to my favorite music celebrities. So busy, in fact, that I haven't had time to fake mail them!

So, like grandpa chugging a glass of Metamucil, it's time to empty the ol' outbag:

Dear Brandon Flowers,

I think
The Killers rule! (I especially like the one album I own.) But one thing has always bugged me. In your song "All These Things That I've Done", you repeatedly sing, "I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier." Do you find that people make this mistake a lot? Personally, I've never misidentified anyone as a soldier; then again, I've never known anyone with an ounce of soul.

Best wishes for the new year!
_____

Dear Kanye West,

I think you're the greatest entertainer in the world. That's not hyperbole- I really mean it. I wonder if you could take time out of your frenetic schedule to answer a question from a longtime fan:

In your song
"We Don't Care", you sing, "Drug dealin' just to get by/Stack your money 'til it gets sky high". This is one catchy lyric. But my question is, Does your character sell all those drugs to feed his family and pay his bills, or is he out to get rich? I read an article that said this song demonstrates your keen awareness of the tension between social responsibility and consumerism that informs many aspects of black culture.

I'll admit this didn't occur to me; I just figured you were looking for a good rhyme. So which is it?
_____

Dear Mike Skinner,

I've long enjoyed your work as the only member of
The Streets. I think you're terrific. That's pretty much it, actually. Cheers!
_____

Dear Julian Casablancas,

I have grudgingly begun to accept that ignoring your band,
The Strokes, won't make it go away. After listening to your first album, I have only one question: What are your thoughts on disaffected sex?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Warm regards,
Blogadier General

January 13, 2007

stop me if i'm wrong

"Courage is grace under pressure."

Really? REALLY??? What the fuck kind of a thing is that to say? I love Hemingway about as much as my own mother, but what the fuck? Is that not the stupidest definition you've ever heard?

Where exactly does grace enter into the picture? Is that a better definition than "courage is not being afraid to die" or "courage is getting shot up by a bunch of krauts because you want your unborn child to go to college"?

What's the matter with people?

January 11, 2007

ahem

Here's something fun to read.

January 7, 2007

Random Rules

In spite of my growing disdain of The Onion, I continue to admire its AV Club section. One recurring feature the AV Club offers is called "Random Rules", where they ask a celebrity-- loosely defined-- to put his iPod on shuffle and talk about whatever songs come up. Here's a recent example.

So I thought I'd give it a shot. I'm not going to skip around or anything, and I'm going to write my comments in real time. Just in case this sucks, I'm going to crack a Heineken tallboy before I start. Maybe you should do the same.

Here goes:

1. Kanye West, "Hey Mama"

Man I should crack 100 Heineken tallboys before talking about this song. My mom's had Multiple Sclerosis since I was a little kid, so I'm kind of partial to this song even if that makes me a huge pussy. Moving on, does every rapper have to write a song about his mom? Will anyone ever do as well in this department as Tupac did?

I saw Kanye in North Carolina the Wednesday before Thanksgiving a couple of years ago, as part of Hip Hop Thanksgiving, which also featured Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Pharoah Monch the following Friday in D.C..

2. Spoon, "Someone Something"

I saw Spoon just last week at Webster Hall in New York with two of my siblings. The next night, New Year's Eve, we saw Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. We called it Rock 'N' Roll New Year's. Apparently I have a thing for music-themed holidays.

3. Elvis Costello, "Radio, Radio (Capital Radio Version)"

I've already written somewhere about this song. This is a stripped down early version recorded for a radio station somewhere. Elvis's plaintive voice and lack of production really changes the feel of the song.

God this didn't take long to suck, did it?

4. Talking Heads, "Heaven (live)"

My old boss introduced me to Talking Heads when I was selling knives after my first year of college. I borrowed his two-disc greatest hits compilation "Sand in the Vaseline" one day, then drove to Blacksburg to visit a buddy of mine. We got in a fight that night and I decided I was going to drive home, in spite of having consumed several beers. I popped disc one into my CD changer and the first track, "Sugar On My Tongue", freaked me out so much I pulled into a gas station and sat as still as I could until I sobered up.

5. Neil Young, "Cinnamon Girl"

Did you know Neil Young is sometimes referred to as The Godfather of Grunge? Does anyone remember Grunge? My brother's ground-breaking band The Coalition covered this song a few times, to mixed reviews.

6. God dammit what the hell is this song? Ah, yes, "Let the Funk Flow" by EPMD. I like having this album (Strictly Business) in my collection because it adds a veneer of credibility to my rap collection. But the truth is, I think it sucks.

A friend of mine hates Funk. And Jazz. She also sheds a lot of hair and never squeezes her toothpaste from the bottom OR flattens as she goes up.

7. The Beatles, "Birthday"

God, what luck. The White Album contains 9999 awesome songs, and Larry the iPod picks out this one. When you best remember a song for playing between innings at minor league baseball games, it's probably best not to remember the song at all.

8. Lauryn Hill, "When It Hurts So Bad"

I don't think I've ever heard this song. I bought this album because of that single she had way back when and for her awesome cover of "Can't Take My Eyes Off You". This song isn't as good.

Fuck me, this really sucks.

Maybe next week I'll cut my toenails and tell you a story about every last one of them.

January 6, 2007

let's see if i can make this make sense

imitation, someone probably once said, is the sincerest form of flattery. a few years ago, a certain quilt enthusiast achieved this rare honor when a couple of not-particularly-anonymous admirers aped his blog for the good of all mankind. the whole thing is pretty hilarious, but if you know what's good for you, you'll scroll down to september 15, 2004's entry.