February 8th, 2012

word

caprice [kuhprees] n. 1. a sudden, unpredictable change, as of one’s mind or the weather 2. a tendency to change one’s mind without apparent or adequate motive; whimsicality; capriciousness: With the caprice of a despotic king, he alternated between kindness and cruelty.

birthday

Jules Verne (1828), Kate Chopin (1850), Jack Lemmon (1925), Neal Cassady (1926), James Dean (1931), Ted Koppel (1940), Nick Nolte (1941), Robert Klein (1942), Creed Bratton (1943), Mary Steenburgen (1953), John Grisham (1955), Vince Neil (1961), Gary Coleman (1968), Seth Green (1974)

standpoint

Proposition 8. It sort of makes my blood boil. If you don’t know what “Prop 8” is  you can click here to find out.

Yesterday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared “Prop 8” was unconstitutional, saying that, “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.”

Finally, people in authority are judging this issue in terms of what is right and what is actually wrong.

But the fight’s not nearly over.

Surprisingly, presidential hopeful (yeah, right) Newt Gingrich disagreed: “With today’s decision on marriage by the Ninth Circuit, and the likely appeal to the Supreme Court, more and more Americans are being exposed to the radical overreach of federal judges and their continued assault on the Judeo-Christian foundations of the United States.” 

In addition, the (maybe) GOP front runner, Mitt Romney, had this to say, “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and, as president, I will protect traditional marriage and appoint judges who interpret the Constitution as it is written and not according to their own politics and prejudices.”

Also, Rick Santorum, the first-class asshole who last night won both the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses as well as the Missouri primary, offered his opinion, “Marriage is defined and has always been defined as ‘one man and one woman.’ We simply cannot allow 50 different definitions of marriage.

(Before I continue with my point about Proposition 8, I’m stating right here and now, I will leave my friends and family behind, and flee this fucking country if Rick Santorum is elected president. This is not a hollow threat.)

In any case, the addlepated triumvirate that’s left of the GOP hopefuls finally agreed on one thing that doesn’t have anything to do with President Obama being a socialist or a communist: they all feel homosexuals don’t have the same rights as the rest of us when it comes to the pursuit of happiness.

I’m apologizing ahead of time to those of my readers who are Christian. For the record, I am not Christian or even religious. Even though I spent the majority of my education in Catholic institutions, I emerged from them with the belief that religion, for me, exhibited the same usefulness as an 8-track player. That’s not to say I disregard religion or people who have faith. Some of the greatest people I know believe in a higher power. And I respect that. All I ask is that they do the same in regards to my non-belief in one.

But when it comes to condemnation of homosexuality, I will go against anyone, especially nitwits like Gingrich, Romney and Santorum.

As for Gingrich, these “Judeo-Christian foundations of the United States,” are proof of exactly nothing. It’s Newt appealing to the religious for votes even though we’re supposed to have a separation between church and state. And I don’t want to read any response that separation of church and state only applies to certain issues because that’s bullshit. It’s all or nothing. You don’t get to choose the application when it suits you.

Romney said what he said yesterday but in 1994 he said this: “If we are to achieve the goals we share, we must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern.”  What a super fucking guy.

And Santorum. I can honestly say that when I went to find statements he’s made to elucidate my point here, I almost became physically ill reading about how this motherfucker hides behind religion and family values to push an agenda of hate-mongering that would make the staff of Fox News reconsider what they’re doing with their lives.

Bottom line is this: If you feel that homosexuals aren’t entitled to simple rights like being able to spend their lives together, own homes and adopt children, then I challenge you right here and now to explain to me why. I’ll read what you have to say and promise I’ll respond fairly.

quotation

I love to read. It keeps the noise of the world at bay. ↔ Art Garfunkel

tune

Guster. Yeah, I know they’re not cool. I was once at a festival listening to them and one of the hipper acts that went before Guster came into the crowd, stood next to me and loudly asked, “What the fuck is this? Hippie frat rock?” And even though Guster was one of the bands I was there to see, I had to laugh. It was an accurate assessment. But who gives a shit? Guster’s made some of my favorite songs. And here’s one of them: “Happier.” Oh, and that dude who made the comment, and although I dig lots of his tunes, the last time I checked he’s been struggling to find his way out of the Philadelphia music scene for quite some time.

gallimaufry

→ One of the greatest things about Sunday’s Super Bowl was Clint Eastwood’s “It’s Halftime In America” spot. Pundits on both sides of the aisle were confounded and I’m sure that’s just what he wanted. We’re probably the only society in the world who have a few celebrities who are beyond reproach and not to be trifled with. And it’s refreshing when one of them uses their standing to make a point, even if most of us missed it entirely.

→ Everyone’s talking about Rob Gronkowski, tight end for the New England Patriots, and his well-documented partying after his team’s loss. Leave the dude alone. He ‘s a young guy who needed to blow off some steam.

Who would so something like this?

December 14th, 2011

word

panegyric [pan-i-jir-ik, –jahy-rik] n. 1. a lofty oration or writing in praise of a person or thing; eulogy 2. formal or elaborate praise

birthday

Nostradamus (1503), Michael Ovitz (1946), Beth Orton (1970)

standpoint

Jerry Sandusky. Maybe you’ve heard of him.

Yesterday, Sandusky and his lawyer, Joe Amendola, decided to waive his right to a preliminary hearing. Afterwards, Amendola accused Sandusky’s accusers of being in it for “the financial gain” as well as engaging in “some sort of collusion.”

Classy.

Sandusky is going to prison eventually, no matter how long his attorneys postpone it. It’s a fact. Fuck him.

But then there’s the matter of Joe Paterno, who’s experiencing some more difficulties after being fired as Penn State’s football coach for the past couple of centuries.

And it’s sad. It truly is. Up until a few months ago, Paterno was held in such high regard that some considered him to be the most influential person in the entire state of Pennsylvania. And it’s a legitimate shame that the sexual misconduct of one of his coaches will be the thing that, at least for the next decade or so, comes to mind when his name comes up.

But there’s a lesson here and it’s a good one: Do the right thing. When JoePa had the chance to get out in front of Sandusky’s crimes and report what he knew, he didn’t. For whatever reason, he just didn’t. Kids went through unimaginable anguish because of it. And all of Paterno’s great accomplishments, and there were a lot of them, were not so great when weighed against his decision to do absolutely nothing.

quotation

The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it. ↔ Bertrand Russell

tune

I don’t know much about Seryn but I’m liking what I’m hearing from them so far. Check out “We Will All Be Changed.”

gallimaufry

→ What started out as a pretty strong effort, the GOP presidential race has become a laughing stock.

→ Despite some cloud coverage, I actually witnessed a little bit of the Geminid Meteor Shower last night. Good stuff.

→ If you’re wondering what I’ll be doing at 10pm tonight, wonder no more. I’ll be watching the first installment of HBO’s 24/7 Flyers/Rangers: Road to the NHL Winter Classic.

06.17.11 – a friday

word

bray [brey] n. 1. the loud, harsh cry of a donkey 2. any similar loud, harsh sound  v. 3. to utter a loud and harsh cry, as a donkey 4. to make a loud, disagreeable sound

birthday

Igor Stravinsky (1882), M. C. Escher (1898), Newt Gingrich (1943), Barry Manilow (1943), George S. Clinton (1947), Joe Piscopo (1951), Thomas Haden Church (1960), Greg Kinnear (1963), Jason Patric (1966), Will Forte (1970)

standpoint

I’m gonna address a few topics today so just bear with me.

First, a note about this blog. I know the word “daily” is in the title and I’m aware that suggests there should be a new post every day. In the past, that was definitely the case but, for several reasons, it’s just not feasible nowadays. So you all will have to be satisfied with three posts per week. And, no, I’m not changing the name to conform to the current format. Unless one of you can suggest something better. As always, I welcome your ideas.

Next, the Anthony Weiner issue. I get it. The guy’s a scumbag. But should he have been forced to resign? I’m not completely sold. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be buddies with the guy but it seems to me he did an all right job despite his penchant for the occasional online dalliance. Lots of politicians have done way worse and retained their office. Also, Howard Stern, who’s becoming more irrelevant by the minute, is an asshole for sending one of his douchebag minions to the press conference to shout out mindless bullshit while Weiner was publicly resigning.

Last, the riots in Vancouver two nights ago were absolutely ridiculous. The photo footage looks like an anti-USA rally in Tehran. And I love the headlines: “Frustration Over Canucks Spills Into Downtown Streets.” If that had happened in Philadelphia a year ago when the Flyers lost in the Stanley Cup Finals, the media would have a field day, creating video montages of every awful thing any Philadelphia sports fan had ever done.

quotation

I like it when people talk shit. Because if people weren’t talking shit, there would be nothing for me to come back with. I need that. If I don’t have any ammo, what am I going to say? ↔ Eminem

tune

Hipster all over the country are revitalized this week due to the release of Bon Iver‘s eponymous second album. I loved the first album, For Emma, Forever Ago, but it certainly wasn’t pick-me-up listening. I always wondered (mostly aloud) if it would’ve killed them to pick up the tempo a beat, you know, just for a change of pace. Well, it seems Bon Iver was listening to me as much as I was listening to them. Or, at least, they’re meeting me halfway here. This is “Calgary” off the new album. Enjoy.

gallimaufry

“The World’s Oldest Light Bulb Has Been On for 110 Years” Yeah, you read that right. I like how there’s a “light bulb centennial committee.”

I recommended this book to three different people after I’d only read three chapters. Of those three, exactly none of them actually made it all the way through.  I finished it out of a sense of obligation but wasn’t happy about it. But good for McCann.

→ I’m an unabashed animal lover but there are people out there (including some of my very own readers) who go above and beyond the call of duty. I hope this article is helpful to those of you who look out for those George Eliot called “such agreeable friends.”

06.15.11 – a wednesday

word

betide [bih-tahyd] v. 1. to happen to; come to; befall: Woe betide the villain! 2. to happen; come to pass: Whatever betides, maintain your courage

birthday

Sam Giancana (1908), Mario Cuomo (1932), Waylon Jennings (1937), Harry Nilsson (1941), Simon Callow (1949), Jim Varney (1949), James Belushi (1954), Julie Hagerty (1955), Helen Hunt (1963), Courteney Cox (1964), Ice Cube (1969), Leah Remini (1970), Neil Patrick Harris (1973)

standpoint

Let’s face it, there’s only so many reruns one can watch before looking elsewhere for entertainment. Two nights ago, I was ready to watch Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals but lost interest midway through the first period when it became clear only one team, the Boston Bruins, came to play.

So I turned on the CNN Republican Debate and I actually learned a few things. First, apparently people participating in debates don’t actually have to answer the question posed to them. Instead, they answer some imaginary question they would’ve have preferred to be asked. Second, Republicans, at least the seven gathered on that stage in New Hampshire, absolutely fucking hate Barack Obama. If you went by what they were saying, he can barely go to the bathroom by himself. Third, all the candidates love to make babies. Also, they love to brag about it. Fourth and last thing I learned is that everyone of them despises homosexuals.

Granted, I’m no political analyst. Normally, I steer clear of the whole arena because political arguments are, to me at least, exercises in futility usually won by simpletons with tunnel vision and booming voices. “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” Plato wrote that.

But I am going to weigh in on the good folks who took the stage for last night’s “debate” which in the end turned out to be more of a meet-and-greet with the American public. Here are the unique impressions each one left on me.

Rick Santorum – This dude is pretty much my worst nightmare to be stuck in a room with. The only thing this clown loves more than God is himself.

Michele Bachmann – From everything I’d heard about this woman, I was expecting her to say plenty of inane crap. But she didn’t. She’s either extremely coachable or not as dumb as everyone thinks.

Newt Gingrich – Don’t take this hombre lightly. His campaign may appear as if it’s run by high school stoners but he’s got words at his disposal. They’re the words of a douche but still.

Mitt Romney – I gather that he is the front runner. He sure acted like it. He didn’t have much to say but, damn, he sure looked presidential. Really great head of hair.

Ron Paul – I’d like to have a couple of drinks with this dude. So off-the-wall, he’s harmless but interesting. Reminded me of Elmer Fudd if he’d solved the speech problem and became intensely religious and political.

Tim Pawlenty – This guy showed everyone he can back down from a statement he made just 24 hours earlier with the best of them. A true politician.

Herman Cain – CEO of Godfather’s Pizza? Never heard of it. But if this guy is running for president, how insanely tasty must that pizza be? The only other time I’ve heard of him was when he was ranting about Obama being from Kenya. I definitely want to try that pizza.

All in all, the debate was modern day media at its finest with one enormous grapefruit being lobbed after the other. Bottom line? I understand the economy is in disarray but I can’t get behind anyone who blathers on and on about outmoded religious morays while simultaneously displaying such disdain for individuals who don’t fit into their accepted ideals of normalcy. I can’t advocate prosperity built on meaningless hatred. If that makes me unworldly or foolish or wide-eyed, I can live with that.

quotation

There’s an old saying that God exists in your search for him. I just want you to understand that I ain’t looking ↔ Leslie Nielsen

tune

It’s taken me a little bit of time to get around to listen to TV On The Radio‘s latest album, Nine Types of Light. (Once again recommended to me by my roommate Dan.) I like the first song on the album which is cleverly called “Second Song.”

gallimaufry

I found slicingupeyeballs.com by accident and I still haven’t gone through it but the Pixies‘ lyrical reference is enough for me to take it seriously.

→ I support John Kasich’s move here. It seems the governor of Ohio’s got a sense of humor.

Am I supposed to feel bad for this guy? Come on.

05.19.11 – a thursday

word

orotund [awruh-tuhnd, ohr-] adj. 1. (of the voice or speech) characterized by strength, fullness, richness and clearness 2. (of the style of speaking) pompous or bombastic

birthday

Johns Hopkins (1795), Hô Chí Minh (1890), Malcolm X (1925), Pol Pot (1925), Pete Townshend (1945), André the Giant (1946), Joey Ramone (1951)

standpoint

Today, I’m doing some not-at-all-shameless promotion for someone who richly deserves it: my friend Marc Schuster.

Not only is Marc a superb individual, he is a fantastic writer. He’s just released a new (“blue”) edition of his book, The Singular Exploits of Wonder Mom and Party Girl. Click here and buy it. And then tell all of your friends about it in whichever way you know how.

quotation

If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees. ↔ Kahlil Gibran

tune

I love this one by The Chemical Brothers featuring Beth Orton on vocals. “Where Do I Begin.”

gallimaufry

If you’re Barack Obama or one of his people, why would you even bother with this nonsense? Come one, dude, you’re better than that.

Glitter bombs away! Some pundits are coming out and calling this classless. Oh, now we’re being classy? I must’ve accidentally deleted the email.

→ It’ll probably cost me my job and at least a few dozen friends, but I’m competing in this thing next year.

03.02.11 – a wednesday

Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

NOTE: Since I’ve come back, I’ve been posting sporadically. I’m trying to get back into the swing of things but things keep getting in the way. One night a friend of mine needed my help. Another night the power went out while I was composing the post. In any case I’ve been housesitting for the past two weeks but I’m back home starting today so posts will resume as usual. Hopefully.

word

au courant [oh-koorahΝ] adj. 1. up-to-date 2. fully aware or familiar; cognizant

birthday

Sam Houston (1793), Dr. Seuss (1904), Desi Arnaz (1917), Mikhail Gorbachev (1931), Tom Wolfe (1931), John Irving (1942), Lou Reed (1942), Gates McFadden (1949), Karen Carpenter (1950), Laraine Newman (1952), Jon Bon Jovi (1962), Daniel Craig (1968), Chris Martin (1977)

standpoint

Here’s why I think this planet, as a whole, is completely fucking doomed.

Charlie Sheen.

The dude’s a complete freaking mess. He’s hopelessly hooked on all types of chemicals. He employs a steady stream of hookers to keep him company. He’s bad to his children and worse to his wives. He’s a deplorable human being and he sucks but that’s not the real problem.

Everyone’s interested in what his next move will be. What’s gonna happen to his popular sitcom Two and a Half Men? Is he committing career suicide with his flippant and seemingly delusional remarks on his situation? An entire nation is wondering: What’s to become of Charlie?

We’re sure to find out since the national media is determined to show us it’s a much bigger whore than the ones on Sheen’s payroll. The guy’s been interviewed at least 429 times in the last three days and there’s no end in sight. And before you start rolling your eyes and sighing, lamenting the current state of news reporting in this country, you should know that Sheen opened up a Twitter account just yesterday and, after a few scant hours and four measly tweets, had over 500,000 followers.

Who else is wondering why? Why do we give a shit what the guy is doing? And before you start formulating your reply, stow it. I know why.

It’s easy. Concentrating on Charlie Sheen is just too damn easy. It’s way easier than, for instance, focusing on how, one after another, countries in the Middle East are becoming hotbeds of revolt. Or how our own country is impossibly gridlocked in an irresolvable dispute between its two main political parties while simultaneously maintaining its cherished status of “Most Hated Nation on the Planet.” Or how we’ll most likely end up destroying the Earth under our feet before we get a chance to annihilate each other.

Those issues not only require intelligent thought but force us to evaluate just what what the hell is going on and, man, that just brings the room down so let’s check out how fucked up Charlie Sheen is today. Did you see his tweet this morning? What in the hell did he mean by that? For real, the guy needs to seek some help, right?

Yes. Charlie Sheen needs help. And so do the rest of us.

quotation

Never miss a chance to shut up. ↔ Will Rogers

tune

I know very little about the band Favorite Saints. But, somehow, “First Words” found its way onto my iPod a few years back and is always on the top of my Play Count list. Enjoy.

gallimaufry

Want cool Philadelphia stuff from days gone by? Sure you do. Check out retrophilly.com for all you’ll need in that department. Thanks to my buddy Neal for sharing this on Facebook.

Newt Gingrich for President? How off-the-charts delusional is this guy?

→ Dear Blink-182, just release the new album all ready.

01.20.10 – A Wednesday

WORD

providence [prov-i-duhns] n. 1. (often initial capital letter) the foreseeing care and guidance of God or nature over the creatures of the earth 2. (initial capital letter) God, esp. when conceived as omnisciently directing the universe and the affairs of humankind with wise benevolence 3. a manifestation of divine care or direction 4. provident or prudent management of resources; prudence 5. foresight; provident care

BIRTHDAY

George Burns (1896), DeForest Kelley (1920), Slim Whitman (1924), Buzz Aldrin (1930), David Lynch (1946), Paul Stanley (1952), Bill Maher (1956), Lorenzo Lamas (1958), Rainn Wilson (1966), Melissa Rivers (1968), Kerri Kenney-Silver (1970), Skeet Ulrich (1970), Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (1971)

STANDPOINT

Oh, man, did you hear? Some GOP guy named Scott Brown won some Senatorial seat in Massachusetts yesterday. What that means is President Obama’s health care reform is in jeopardy and Republicans everywhere are experiencing something close to ecstasy. The NewsFeed on my Facebook resembles what I’m relatively sure a group IM session between Newt Gingrich, Pat Robertson and Dick Cheney would look like.

And I will be the first to ask the question, “What the fuck is wrong with you people?”

I hope that all of you who support whatever, one way or another, understand what it is you’re getting the rest us into. What kind of importance can government serve when a society of individuals, all feeling more entitled than one other, basically brings about a scenario in which its elected officials will never be provided enough time to do anything worthwhile?

I mean, Christ. We let George W. Bush do whatever the hell he wanted for eight years and, now, it looks like we’ve decided that one year of Obama is enough. When Obama got elected, I was legitimately excited. Not because I’m a staunch Democrat. Shit, I’m not a staunch anything. All I knew was the nation was in shambles and anything or anybody trying to move in a different direction was definitely a good thing. That’s basic logic. If something’s not working, there’s a good chance of literally any other alternative being a better option.

But not everyone thinks that way. We all want we want when we want it – and that means right now, please. And, due to the fact everyone feels so entitled, we’re on a straightaway path to nothing ever getting done again. Because the reasonable voices will always going get drowned out by the loudest ones. And the loudest voices will always belong to those out there who feel most wronged. Because, adversely, those of us who’re content won’t fight so hard as those of us who are not. And most of us have delineated ourselves as such that we’re on one side or another. And, instead of moving toward a society of free-thinking individuals, we’re headed directly into a big fucking mess.

And for what? Lower taxes? Health care? I’m no idiot. I know these things are important in a lot of ways. But I’m a realist and the one thing I truly know about what’s going on out there is that the more we nickel and dime about these issues, the less we’re grasping the big picture.The more we all bicker about our individual rights and squabble over who’s doing what and, more importantly, who’s getting what, the longer it’s going to take us to figure this whole mess out. And the longer it takes us to find a remedy for what ails us, all of us, we’re taking a greater a chance of having this fantastic situation we all occupy slipping away.

In the long run, one Senator getting elected somewhere doesn’t mean much of anything. Except to those of you who think it does. And, I fear your numbers have grown to uncontrollable proportions.

QUOTATION

It may be that life is only worthwhile at moments. Perhaps that is all we ought to expect. → Sherwood Anderson

TUNE

Yesterday, I announced that matt pond PA is releasing a new album, The Dark Leaves, in April. Check out the opening track “Starting.”

GALLIMAUFRY

Uh-oh. Soon, the United Kingdom might be a lot less fun. That is, if the soon to be proposed ban on drinking games and drink specials at pubs goes through. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen. Even though it will have absolutely no effect on my life.

→ Just when I start to despise the guy, Jay Leno comes out and gives his version of what’s happening over at NBC. From his explanation, it’s hard to figure out who the bad guy(s) is. This fucking sucks.

→ Recently, at The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, Death Cab For Cutie performed Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” during a tribute to late director John Hughes. Death Cab performed it very well, albeit in their minimalist way, but the video montage behind the band was kickass.