05.11.11 – a wednesday

word

animalcule [an-uhmal-kyool] n. 1. a minute or microscopic animal, nearly or quite invisible to the naked eye, as an infusorian or rotifer 2. Archaic. a tiny animal, as a mouse or fly

birthday

Irving Berlin (1888), Salvador Dalí (1904), Louis Farrakhan (1933), Martha Quinn (1959), Natasha Richardson (1963)

standpoint

First, I’d like to sincerely thank everyone who clicked here and made yesterday’s post one of my highest viewed ever.

Now that that’s out of the way, here are some things I’m finding irksome today.

→ I often use the word “irksome” to describe how I feel about one topic or another and most times I do, someone has something to say about my use of the word. It’s a perfectly valid word, people, and I’ll use it as I see fit.

→ The character aspersions surrounding Philadelphia Flyers’ captain Mike Richards and the team’s second round exit from the playoffs are completely ridiculous. Including the past two NHL seasons and last year’s Olympics, Richards has played in 204 games, the most of any hockey player in that time span.

→ For ten years, everyone and their grandmother wanted Osama bin Laden dead. Obama gave the order to kill bin Laden and it obviously happened and people have been celebrating. (Christ, last Saturday afternoon some squirrelly dopes in my neighborhood sat outside their house drinking with a sign that said something like, “HONK IF YOU’RE HAPPY BIN LADEN IS DEAD.” And the carhorns were going off fast and furious all day.) But the morbid honeymoon is over and we’re seeing headlines like, “Bin Laden’s death now part of Obama’s re-elect message.” Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Ain’t America the greatest?

quotation

Man spends his life in reasoning on the past, in complaining of the present, in fearing future. ↔ Antoine Rivarol

tune

This is “Porcupine Racetrack,” one of the best sketches The State ever performed. Here’s the thing. If you don’t think this is funny, I’m not saying we won’t ever be friends but it’s going to be an uphill battle. (Sorry the video is not truly embedded but MTV thrives on being a pain in the ass.)

http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:uma:video:mtv.com:375229

gallimaufry

Speaking of The State and “Porcupine Racetrack,” here’s an interview with Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black and David Wain about how the sketch came to be.

→ Man, there’s nothing worse than not being able to figure out if a company is truly worth $7 billion or not. It’s a real fucking problem.

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04.26.10 – A Monday

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note

As I announced last Friday, this will be the last week of the euneJeune daily. I hope you all enjoy my final five posts. Thanks for reading.

word

profusion [pruhfyoo-zhuhn] n. 1. abundance; abundant quantity 2. a great quantity or amount (often fol. by of) 3. lavish spending; extravagance

birthday

Marcus Aurelius (121), Muhammad (570), Charles Goodyear (1804), I. M. Pei (1915), Carol Burnett (1933), Duane Eddy (1938), Bobby Rydell (1942), Gary Wright (1943), Giancarlo Esposito (1958), Joan Chen (1961), Michael Damian (1963), Jet Li (1963), Kevin James (1965), Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins (1970), Jordana Brewster (1980), Channing Tatum (1980), Jessica Lynch (1983)

standpoint

During the late 80s and early 90s, The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, an outdoor amphitheater in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, was the place to see live music for those of us who were old enough to drive but too young to go anywhere remotely cool. I mean, there’s only so many movies you can see. Twice.

Friday and Saturday night concerts at “The Mann” were major happenings. Most every teenager within a 25-mile radius went to every weekend show. Those without tickets, sat on “The Lawn,” a large empty area of grass and dirt to the right and up the hill from the stage or milled around in the section above the concert area where the vendors were stationed. There were no walls just a large chain link fence which obviously did nothing to obstruct sight or sound. It was like having an awful seat for the concert, but it was free.

Below is a seating chart of The Mann. The area in black is where all the youthful debauchery took place.

If Phish or Jimmy Buffett were taking the stage, the crowd outside the concert came close to rivaling those inside. But it didn’t really matter who was playing. Menudo could’ve been opening up New Kids on the Block and The Lawn would still be packed. The Mann was a place we could drink warm beer, try to talk girls into “taking a walk,” watch macho shitheads beat each other senseless and score some pretty awful weed. It was teenage revelry at its finest. Times were good.

For Philadelphia’s Finest, though, times sucked. Between the underage drinking, the blatant drug use and the constant outbreak of fisticuffs, the police definitely had their hands full. I’m sure more than one cop fantasized about opening fire on the crowd on several occasions but stopped short after failing to conjure a solid reason for blowing away a bunch of mindless juveniles, most in possession of nothing more menacing than a hacky sack. (I’m sure the unfortunate workers who had the unsavory task of cleaning up the morning after those nights had similar musings on how to stop us once and for all.) They tried they’re best, though, and I have to give those officers credit for showing the restraint they did.

Like most everything great, those nights at The Mann came to be no more. Barricades were put up to block off  The Lawn and most of the other areas we used to occupy. A zero tolerance for teenage antics was established. You either had tickets or you went home. And, in 1995, The Tweeter Center opened up across the river in Camden, NJ, stealing most of The Mann’s biggest yearly headliners. Forced to adjust, The Mann, originally meant for The Philadelphia Orchestra, returned to a more cultured schedule. A few years back, The Mann started bringing in some hipper acts like The Shins, Passion Pit and a reunited Pavement.

However, the party, as it had been, was over. But it was fun while it lasted.

Anybody out there have favorite memories of The Mann? Share them here.

quotation

We awaken in others the same attitude of mind we hold toward them. Elbert Hubbard

tune

Of those shows at The Mann I actually bought a ticket for, I think the most memorable was a triple bill consisting of The Sugarcubes, New Order and Public Image Ltd. I didn’t know much about P.I.L. (as they’re called) except that the lead singer, John Lydon, was the frontman for The Sex Pistols. But he, and the rest of the band, put on one hell of a performance. Especially fantastic was “Rise.” Here’s the video for that song. At the beginning, notice the distinct lettering that appeared in all of the old MTV music videos. You know, back when they actually used to play them.

gallimaufry

→ Here’s a news item I’m sure only about nine of you will care about: The Fratellis and Voxtrot both called it quits last week. On the same day. Weird.

→ Recently, I finished reading Christopher Moore’s Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. I highly recommend it. Almost made me forget I don’t believe in God.

→ In another book related note, I’m halfway through The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama. I don’t care what your political affiliations are, if you’ve no respect for the formidable genius of our President, I have no choice but to call you an impossible fool.

01.18.10 – A Monday

WORD

pabulum [pab-yuh-luhm] n. 1. something that nourishes an animal or vegetable organism; food; nutriment 2. material for intellectual nourishment

BIRTHDAY

Montesquieu (1689), Daniel Webster (1782), Thomas Watson (1854), A. A. Milne (1882), Cary Grant (1904), Danny Kaye (1913), Ray Dolby (1933), David Ruffin (1941), Kevin Costner (1955), Mark Messier (1961), Dave Attell (1965), Jesse L. Martin (1969), Joanna Newsom (1982), Seung-Hui Cho (1984)

STANDPOINT

While I type this, NBC and Conan O’Brien are said to be close to a deal that will end the O’Brien’s stint as host of The Tonight Show after a mere seven months.

The complete failure of Jay Leno’s nightly 10pm show on NBC caused the network to move the 60-year old back to his original time slot of 11:35pm, leaving no place for O’Brien.

Everyone’s talking about it and there’s really nothing new to say on the issue but I’d like to encourage everyone who reads this blog to boycott Leno from here on out, in whatever forum the dipshit appears. It’s a heartless thing he’d doing here, not to mention meaningless.

Is NBC expecting everyone to watch Leno just because? Old people will probably go back to watching Leno because most old people, from as much as I can tell, like the kind of dopey crap he presents.

O’Brien will land on his feet. FOX is very interested in talking to him. Plus, he’s probably going to get somewhere near $40 million for his trouble. But still, NBC and Leno should be kneecapped for what’s gone on.

QUOTATION

Everything is handed to society now. Before, you had to dig for it. I like that — digging for it.Al Green

TUNE

In my head, I’ve a list of ten songs of which I will never tire. R.E.M.‘s “The Great Beyond” is one of them. Maybe number three on that list. I’m not sure.

GALLIMAUFRY

My dream of a New Orleans SaintsSan Diego Chargers Super Bowl was destroyed yesterday as the New York Jets (that’s right) beat Philip Rivers and crew in a surprising 17-14 upset. Let’s go, Saints!

→ Dear Mark McGwire, please shut the fuck up. We all know you did steroids. We all know you are now admitting it so that you can get a job in baseball. We all know that you’re a disgrace to athletes everywhere. We get it. Go away.

→ In a shocking development, MTV is actually producing a show featuring (I hope you’re sitting down) – MUSIC! Vampire Weekend did an episode of MTV Unplugged. And there wasn’t even a cameo by the cast of Jersey Shore.

01.04.10 – A Monday

WORD

dogmatic [dawg-mat-ik, dog-] 1. of, pertaining to, or of the nature of a dogma or dogmas; doctrinal 2. asserting opinions in a doctrinaire or arrogant manner; opinionated

BIRTHDAY

Sir Isaac Newton (1643), Jacob Grimm (1785), Don Shula (1930), Dyan Cannon (1937), Bernard Sumner (1956), Patty Loveless (1957), Matt Frewer (1958), Michael Stipe (1960), Dave Foley (1963), Julia Ormond (1965), David Berman (1967)

STANDPOINT

So, not only is it the the end of a year, it’s the end of a decade. Which, in my estimation, has more than quadrupled the annual year-in-review nonsense. What is the use of exploring what’s transpired in the last 365 days? Or the last 3,652.42199? (That’s exactly how many days are in a decade which kind of weirds me out.)

In any case, I’m only a human being. And so I’ve read some of these lists. Apparently, 2009 is one most people would like to see flushed down the toilet with extreme prejudice. (I’m one of them, but not due to anything outside of my own personal experience.) This past year was, according to most accounts, one filled with tantamount portions of both doom and gloom. And, while I guess everyone is right and everything is sort of shitty, I think it’s wholly irrefutable things could be worse.

And, the reason is this:  In the course of perusing and pondering all the recent trials and tribulations of our downtrodden society, I came upon Yahoo!’s Year In Review – Top 10 Searches. I concluded shit can’t be all that bad after reading what people seem to actually care about.

Despite the times, we’ve clearly got an advantage over any other generation that came before us because, in the internet, we’ve got a vast archive of information that can help better pretty much any situation. I was fully expecting terms like, “financial help,” and “employment opportunities,” to appear somewhere on a list of top searches by a group of individuals who spend most of its time worrying about the future. But, as happens more than not, people leave me disappointed.

Instead of searching for help, everyone’s searching for crap. The top search term of the year was Michael Jackson. Before his untimely death, only the most ardent fans truly seemed to care about whatever odd capers Jacko was involved in. Once he died, everyone took an active interest and felt the need to seek out information on someone they pretty much knew everything about in the first place.

The rest of the top search list was, in order, The Twilight Saga, WWE, Megan Fox, Britney Spears, Naruto (whatever the fuck that is), American Idol, Kim Kardashian, NASCAR and Rune Scape (again, huh?).

Once finding this data, I decided that, hey, everything’s going to be just fine. Because, if life was as seriously dismal as most would have us believe, we’d probably spend less time question for knowledge on tweener flicks, supposed sports, irrelevant celebrities, reality television and, again, whatever those other two are.

Let’s just relax people and collectively ease back from the ledge. If, as as culture, we’re concerning ourselves with such inconsequential nonsense on the internet, how ominous could it really be? Right?

QUOTATION

You know, Hitler wanted to be an artist. At eighteen, he took his inheritance, seven hundred kronen, and moved to Vienna to live and study. He applied to the Academy of Fine Arts and later to the School of Architecture. Ever see one of his paintings? Neither have I. Resistance beat him. Call it overstatement but I’ll say it anyway: it was easier for Hitler to start World War II than it was for him to face a blank square of canvas. → Steven Pressfield

TUNE

I’m fully aware of the fact that, in terms of music, I’ve a tendency to circulate around certain artists. Sorry. Some of these folks are just too damn good.  I found “New Amsterdam” on vodpod (a site I feel you should most likely be checking out) over the weekend and decided to share one of my favorite Elvis Costello offerings.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ I’m disgusted to report that even I’m not immune to the controversial MTV “reality” show Jersey Shore. The creators should be rounded up, along with anyone remotely involved including the cast, stuffed into a bag and hammertossed into the ocean. That said, I’m still watching it. Shit, I’m watching it right now. Christ.

→ It seems the Philadelphia Eagles‘ run of stepping ass-backward into big piles of sunshine has come to a close. Yesterday’s shutout loss the Dallas Cowboys was pretty embarrassing. Luckily, instead of enjoying the bye week they’d have earned from a victory, the whole team gets to go back to Dallas next week and do it all over again.

Jeff Bridges might finally get his due with an Oscar nod this year for his role in Crazy Heart. About effing time.

11.25.09 – A Wednesday

WORD

sang-froid [Fr. sahN-fRwA] n.  coolness of mind; calmness; composure: They committed the robbery with complete sang-froid

BIRTHDAY

Andrew Carnegie (1835), Eddie Shore (1902), Joe DiMaggio (1914), Percy Sledge (1941), Ben Stein (1944), John Larroquette (1947), Amy Grant (1960), John F. Kennedy Jr. (1960), Mark Lanegan (1964), Christina Applegate (1971), Donovan McNabb (1976), Dolla (1987)

STANDPOINT

One of my greatest friends is Joe. I’ve mentioned him before. He’s someone special.

And he’s also kind of this blog’s watchdog. When I miss a day (or three), or post something subpar, Joe’s the first one to let me know, whether through a scathing comment on a particular post, a verbal tirade on GMail chat, or an obscenity-laden phone call. Most of these responses center on his annoyance with the fact I call this the daily euneJeune, and I’m not exactly stringent about the whole “daily” thing.

I love it. Because it comes from Joe and he’s one of the few people out there in the world who knows me very well, and wants to be my friend anyway.

Also, Joe and I have two things in common: (a) We’re able to drink more alcohol than any two people at any bar anywhere, and (b) We’re most likely the funniest people you’ll ever meet. And, no, the alcohol has nothing to do with why we think we’re a goddam riot. Although it doesn’t hurt.

In any case, Joe and I have this routine of exchanging late night texts, mainly because each of us know the other is most likely awake and not sober. 99% of the texts’ subject material has to do with movie quotes. And of that 99%, probably 98% deal directly with the obscure black comedy, Clifford, starring Charles Grodin and Martin Short.

As a tribute to my friend Joe, I offer the following video clip.

 

QUOTATION

I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart so long.  If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can play together all night.Bill Watterson

TUNE

I’ve always loved the lyrics and music of Procol Harum‘s “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” It came on yesterday at the perfect time. And, so, I now share it with you.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ As we all knew it would, Antarctica has declared war on New Zealand. Tired of living in the shadow of its more “tourist-friendly” neighbor, the frozen wasteland has launched hundreds of icebergs in a desperate attempt to get some headlines. Some experts are saying it’s not an attack at all and probably has something to do with global warming. Other experts are saying there’s too much ice in Antarctica and it’s natural to jettison some of the dead weight. The same experts also suggested people get off global warming’s back. However, all the experts agree the iceberg assault will have little effect on New Zealand, prompting a disheartened Antarctica to go back to the drawing board.

→ Finally, MTV makes a show I would actually watch  – about a squad of young Italian summertime renters at the Jersey shore – cleverly titled “Jersey Shore,” and wouldn’t you know it? There’s a group of Italian-Americans that wants to block it. Of course.

→ No new posts until Monday. What with the holiday and all. Also, be careful out there tonight. It’s the biggest bar night of the year. And drunk idiots make it suck pretty hard. Just take the following advice: Make sure to drive fast and take chances. OK. It’s not really advice.

 

11.17.09 – A Tuesday

WORD

jive [jahyv] n. 1. swing music or early jazz 2. the jargon associated with swing music and early jazz 3. Slang. deceptive, exaggerated, or meaningless talk: Don’t give me any of that jive! v. 4. to play jive 5. to dance to jive; jitterbug 6. Slang. to engage in kidding, teasing, or exaggeration 7. Slang. to tease; fool; kid: Stop jiving me! adj. 8. Slang. insincere, pretentious, or deceptive

BIRTHDAY

Frank Calder (1877), Soichiro Honda (1906), Gordon Lightfoot (1938), Martin Scorsese (1942), Lauren Hutton (1943), Danny DeVito (1944), Lorne Michaels (1944), Gene Clark (1944), Stephen Root (1951), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (1958), Jeff Buckley (1966), Sophie Marceau (1966), Daisy Fuentes (1966), Kimya Dawson (1972)

STANDPOINT

Short and sweet today. I’m really quite annoyed with the all the goddamn Christmas ads, sales, etc. that are all ready all over the place.

Despite my misanthropic tendencies, I’m really kind of a softie in some ways. I like the holidays. I do.

But this time of year has been kind of tainted, for me, by all the commercialism. Even those of you out there who possess the unending optimism I enjoy frowning upon know this to be true.

For lack of a better, more definitive sentiment: BAH! HUMBUG!

QUOTATION

There are about five things to write songs about: I’m leaving you. You’re leaving me. I want you. You don’t want me. I believe in something. Five subjects, and twelve notes. For all that, we musicians do pretty well.Elvis Costello

TUNE

I know. I’m beating this HTC commercial thing into the ground. I just like it. Really like it. More than I like most people. For those of you wondering what song is actually playing, it’s a remix of “Sinnerman” by Nina Simone. One of the comments on YouTube simply reads, “Futureproof.” Sums it up.

GALLIMAUFRY

Oprah Winfrey and Sarah Palin were on the same stage and no one thought to do the proper thing and plant explosives. Christ, people, do I have to think of everything?

→ In what’s becoming sadly commonplace, another celebrity has died young. Ken Ober, the host of the late-80s MTV game show “Remote Control,” passed away yesterday at the age of 52. As of yet, no one’s sure how.

→ All right, on a personal note, here’s a picture of my favorite piece of art – “Woman with a Water Jug” by Johannes Vermeer. It’s only 18 in. by 16 in. The detail is amazing. Best part is that the painting currently resides in New York City at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

09.28.09 – A Monday

WORD

inane [i-neyn] adj. 1. lacking sense, significance, or ideas; silly: inane questions 2. empty; void n. 3. something that is empty or void, esp. the void of infinite space

BIRTHDAY

Confucious (551 BC), Ed Sullivan (1901), Max Schmeling (1905), Al Capp (1909), Brigitte Bardot (1934), Rod Roddy (1937), Ben E. King (1938), J.T. Walsh (1943), Steve Largent (1954), Janeane Garofalo (1964), Mira Sorvino (1967), Moon Unit Zappa (1967), Naomi Watts (1968), Joseph Arthur (1971), Bam Margera (1979), Ray Emery (1982), Hilary Duff (1987)

STANDPOINT

When it comes to the world of music, I’m in a bit of a shitty spot.

Because, you see, no matter what your particular music inclinations (and I’m sure they’re fantastic), there’s a 73% chance I feel different. Yes. It’s confusing. Let me clarify a bit.

For me, there are only three sects of music listeners out there.

“I don’t care if it’s cool, I just like that song.” – You’re someone who has uttered the previous statement about 9,233 times. You turn on the radio. You hear a song that begs you to drive faster, tap your foot and sing at the top of your lungs. The song ends. Some smooth DJ informs you that the last song was the newest release by Pink, Nickelback or some similarly dreadful source. For about three seconds, you wrestle with the following contradictory facts: (a) you’re relatively sure the artist is somewhat uncool, and (b) you just don’t care because it made you bounce around and sing. If bouncing around and singing in your car is important to you, you’ll likely choose the last option. And, hey, that’s more than all right. Just don’t go around offering up your opinion when the rest of us are talking about what constitutes good music. You’ve eliminated yourself as trustworthy. Sadly, you’re definitely part of the problem. Yes, you’re a fucking moron if you think the new Green Day album is “really good” just because everyone else is listening to it. You either suck at evaluating music or you just don’t care enough to be discerning. Either way, you’re someone who contributes to the MTV culture and that’s just not OK. Ever.

“Even if I’ve listened to a band for years, once I hear one of their songs during a TV commercial, I think they’re shit.” – OK, I get where you’re coming from. You’re an indie rock enthusiast with a chip on your shoulder. You’re absolutely right. But you’re also absolutely wrong. Unfortunately, the music you like is conveying ideals and beliefs that you own, that you share. And it’s not likely these ideals and beliefs have anything to do with “selling out” or being the song employed in the promo for the upcoming season of fucking “Grey’s Anatomy.” It sucks that millions of people (who’ve done nothing but turn on the TV) have discovered one of your favorites songs of the past three years, a song you found because you do the legwork, you’re constantly researching, looking for good music. You’re head’s up. But your head’s also up your ass if you can’t be happy for Vampire Weekend because the guys in that band, while they probably adore playing the smaller artsy venues in front of you and 100 other people, are looking for maximum exposure. And, while it sucks you gotta hear people you know to be moronic talk about how “it’s great when they curse at the beginning of ‘Oxford Comma,’” deal with it. You owe it to those who’ve brought you so many hours of listening pleasure. The main reason you suck is because you make others feel uncomfortable about their choices. And, hey, who the fuck are you?

“What in the good goddamn is wrong with you people?” – Here’s the group I’m in with most of the people I call friends. It takes work to be in this group. You have to constantly adjust your position. But in a quality way.  Most of you out there see things in black and white. And that’s worse than listening to Creed. The world ebbs and flows, and you gotta ebb and flow with it, brother. Just because an artist is making supremely shitty music right now, doesn’t mean it’s gonna be that way forever. People change. Attitudes get readjusted. We all eventually get shown the light. I’m of the personal unpopular opinion one of my favorite bands, R.E.M., will come back around one day and get back to some seriously good business. You probably disagree. That’s cool.  

Here’s the bottom line: Listen to music you like. It’s fine. But you need to understand, no matter which group you fall into, you’re never gonna be completely right. Unless you’re me. Sorry abour your luck.

QUOTATION

If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.Khalil Gibran

TUNE

In the spirit of my Standpoint, I offer “Sweet Pain.” A 90s song from a Blues Traveler, a band just about everyone’s deemed irrelevant. Listen to it. Do you feel what I can feel?

GALLIMAUFRY

→ I think Esquire sending someone who knows very little about pop culture to interview Gerard Butler had a great result. As a matter of fact, there’s not much Esquire can do that doesn’t meet with my immediate approval.

→ The LAPD is pretty fucking relentless. Just ask Roman Polanski, who’s been wanted by Los Angeles authorities for over 30 years. He was arrested this past Saturday night in Switzerland. Finally. Seriously, how in the world is the USA supposed to bring anyone to justice if it can’t bring down this guy? Top notch work, everyone. Now, how about you all get back to work on shit that really matters? Thanks.

→ Christ. Peter Forsberg wants back into the NHL. The team on the top of his wishlist? You guessed it, genius. My Philadelphia Flyers. Stay away, Peter. We’ve moved on.