October 26, 2011

word

bunkum [buhng-kuhm] n. 1. insincere speechmaking by a politician intended merely to please local constituents 2. insincere talk; claptrap; humbug

birthday

Bob Hoskins (1942), Pat Conroy (1945), Pat Sajak (1946), Bootsy Collins (1951), Rita Wilson (1956), Dylan McDermott (1961), Cary Elwes (1962), Natalie Merchant (1963), Seth MacFarlane (1973), Jon Heder (1977)

standpoint

It’s funny to me how people are treating the 2012 Presidential election. First of all, it’s not even 2012 yet. Also, despite what the media is pushing, the race hasn’t even begun yet. And the GOP should be happy about it because if conservative voters keep changing their collective mind about who they want to go against Obama, they’re gonna run out of viable candidates before this whole thing gets properly started.

Every week there’s a new “front runner.” Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and even Michele Bachmann have had their reign as heir apparent. And now it’s Herman Cain.

Herman Cain. Conservative. Black. CEO. Lunatic. I’m not using that last word in a negative way because, to paraphrase the immortal Billy Joel, it might just be a lunatic we’re looking for.

I mean the guy just says whatever the hell he wants, whenever he wants. He’ll make a statement one day, then come back a little later and contradict it. Or maybe he’ll expound on it. Or maybe he’ll just flat out deny he ever said it. It doesn’t matter if what he’s saying from one minute to the next is true because it appears like it is. He speaks in such a way that you just kind of want to believe whatever words happen to be falling out of his mouth are the truth.

Here’s a great article detailing how Cain is clearly the new zen master of shucking and jiving.

Right now, Cain is an amusing figure, a kind of curiosity. He’s an eloquent man participating in debates and interviews in which the subject matter is entirely hypothetical. I’m mostly sure that when it’s time to get serious, when everyone is looking for actual answers, when it’s time to play for real, Cain will be less appealing.

But, while I never want to live in a world where Herman Cain is running anything but his mouth, I have to admit that I kind of dig his whole free-wheeling, in-your-face demeanor. Now if only we could get someone worthwhile to do the same. Finger crossed, folks.

quotation

Forget governments. Focus on the individuals. ↔ Mohamed ElBaradei

tune

A few weeks back, I picked up 12 Desperate Straight Lines by Telekinesis because the sticker on the CD read, “Spin says, ‘If you don’t like Telekinesis, your ears don’t work.'” Strong words. Maybe a little too strong. But it’s still a good listen. Check out “I Cannot Love You”

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→ Dear Arby’s, as a nationwide purveyor of meat sandwiches, I gotta believe you’ve got a pretty sizable marketing department. Furthermore, I find it hard to fathom someone in that marketing department didn’t maybe tell you that no one in Philadelphia calls a cheese steak a “Philly.” It’s not the most important thing going on in the world right now but it’s just bugging the shit out of me.

Here’s yet another example of how The Onion can be more accurate than the actual sports media.

→ This is great. Here’s the media reporting on how the media is losing interest in Occupy Wall Street. Maybe the media should be focusing on why people are losing interest in the media.

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07.25.11 – a monday

word

flivver [fliv-er] n. 1. Older Slang. an automobile, especially one that is small, inexpensive and old 2. Slang. something of unsatisfactory quality or inferior grade

birthday

Thomas Eakins (1844), Estelle Getty (1923), Matt LeBlanc (1967), Brad Renfro (1982)

standpoint

So I’m sure you’re all tiring of my excuses (or lack thereof) for not updating as much as we’ve all grown accustomed. But shit just keeps getting in the way. For instance, last week I wrenched my back due to an unfortunate sneeze (lame, I know) and it was really all I could do to get up and down the stairs for a day or two.

But here’s some stuff I was concentrating/obsessing on while I was laid up.

→ I’m off the whole James Spader appearance on the season finale of The Office for the time being (almost). My latest thing is Conan O’Brien and “It looks good!” I’ve been annoying everyone with it, especially my exceedingly patient girlfriend who I’m assuming understands I just need to get it out of my system. Here’s a sample of what I’m referring to:

It’s positively addicting.

→ The NFL lockout. What a bunch of complete nonsense. There will be an NFL season, people. In the oft chance I’m wrong and the parties can’t come to an agreement, I’ll probably just going on living life as usual.

→ Next year sometime, there’s going to be a movie released, starring Robert De Niro, with the best title ever: Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. Come on, you know you’re curious.

→ Last, and I guess most important, I was reading about the US debt ceiling talks between John Boehner and President Obama breaking down and now it seems that both the Republican and Democratic parties are prepping for action. And it made me think of the term cluster fuck which was originally a military term used to describe a situation in which there were too many officers involved in solving a problem that basically required only one clear cut decision.  If you’re a conscientious thinker (or at the very least masquerade as one) then the time has come when you need to re-evaluate just what in the hell is going on around you. You hate Obama and his flaky liberal agenda? Fine. You think the Republican party is comprised of close-minded gasbags? Fine. You have the sneaking suspicion that maybe Ralph Nader wasn’t batshit crazy? Fine (maybe). Whichever way you lean or don’t, it’s essentially defunct nowadays. It’s paramount that, as of today, we start catechizing the political dogma we’ve been forever spoon-fed and begin formulating a new way of doing things because, and I know this is an unpopular mindset, this shit just ain’t working.

quotation

Lots of people talk to animals…Not very many listen, though…That’s the problem. ↔ Benjamin Hoff

tune

I always loved this version of “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” by Marshall Crenshaw from the Lou Diamond Phillips‘ classic film, La Bamba.

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→ Everyone always said that they could see it coming but it doesn’t make the death of 27 year old Amy Winehouse any less tragic. Rest in peace, troubled soul.

→ I’m pretty sure the only person dismayed by this is Sarah Palin. Christ, could she be more laughable?

→ Looks like my chance purchase of Washed Out’s Within and Without created quite a buzz. I mean, it could just be a coincidence that Ernest Greene‘s album has taken off into the stratosphere since I wrote about it on this very blog last week but I wouldn’t be shocked if there’s all ready a thank you letter headed my way.

06.23.11 – a thursday

If you’re reading this blog on a regular basis like you should, you’re aware that my best friend Harvey passed away this past November. But you’re probably unaware that April, Harv’s widow, has created a pretty superb blog of her own titled Running Rocks. Check it out.  

word

hornswoggle [hawrn-swog-uhl] v. Slang. to swindle, cheat, hoodwink or hoax

birthday

June Carter Cash (1929), Clarence Thomas (1948), Glenn Danzig (1955), Frances McDormand (1957), Joss Whedon (1964), Jason Mraz (1977)

standpoint

About two weeks back, I decided to watch more news-type TV programs. The decision was completely arbitrary. I didn’t feel as if I was ill-informed and was perfectly capable of participating in conversations involving current events. And although some people who know me maintain I’m a liberal (which I’m not admitting to), I thought why not watch everything from every side of the fence? At the very least, it’d be informative and I’d come out on the other end a more knowledgeable person and feel better knowing more of the world around me.

But I don’t feel better at all. At least not yet.

Sure, I know that the current health status of the president of Yemen is not very good. I know that Republicans love to procreate. I know that we’re going to finally start pulling troops out of Afghanistan. I know that Prince Harry is into his brother’s new wife’s sister. I know that I don’t want to live in Greece. I know all that and much more.

But I’m not getting the satisfaction I thought I would. Watching all this news is muddling. And I’m fully cognizant that it might be my fault. I may be over-analyzing what I’m viewing but I can’t help it. I mean, everyone’s got a motive. It’s not only the national media and their eschewed coverage but even local newscasts run segments on its parent network’s reality shows.

So-called “news” is, on every level from top to bottom, simply promotion of one kind or another. They’re pushing angles, manipulating facts, steering interviews, etc., shooting for targets of all sizes. It’s murky, smoke-and-mirrors type shit, designed to over-stimulate and cause fear.

Granted, it’s not all that bad. The other day there was a story about a rescue cat who saved a woman’s life. That was kind of cool.

quotation

No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth ↔ Robert Southey

tune

Caution: Hipsters will want to look away. Despite my dislike of Coldplay (I mean, c’mon, their new EP is titled Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall), I’ve always loved “Fix You.” And this version from The Voice‘s Javier Colon is worthy of some notice here.

gallimaufry

Comcast has reintroduced The Slowskys ad campaign. In case you’re wondering where I stand on this issue, I’m pro. Very very pro.

Good for Lappy, one of the all-time great guys to ever don a Flyers’ sweater. Definitely could’ve used him last season.

All right, people, allow this guy to rest in peace. Let’s move on.

→ Set your DVRs. The second season of Louie starts tonight on FX. I’ll also be checking out Wilfred.

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.

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.

04.16.10 – A Friday

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word

malaise [ma-leyz, -muh-; Fr. ma-lez] n. 1. a condition of general bodily weakness or discomfort, often marking the onset of a disease 2. a vague or unfocused feeling of mental uneasiness, lethargy, or discomfort

birthday

Wilbur Wright (1867), Charlie Chaplin (1889), Henry Mancini (1924), Pope Benedict XVI (1927), Herbie Mann (1930), Bobby Vinton (1935), Dusty Springfield (1939), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1947), Gerry Rafferty (1947), Peter Garrett (1953), Dave Pirner (1964), Jon Cryer (1965), Martin Lawrence (1965), Peter Billingsley (1971), Lukas Haas (1976), Akon (1977)

standpoint

What I was reminded of yesterday is that there’s a ton of shit in this life imaginary and inconsequential. Find the people who matter in your life and let them know their role. Just do it.

quotation

I am much better employed from every point of view, when I live solely for my own satisfaction, than when I begin to worry about the world. The world frightens me, and a frightened man is no good for anything. George Gissing

tune

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – The Weepies is one of the worst-named bands ever. But, conversely, Steve Tannen and Deb Talan have formed a music act of the highest caliber. One of my all-time favorite songs is “World Spins Madly On.”

gallimaufry

→ For all my SJU peeps who enjoyed those Parties-In-The-Park my friends and I used to throw, and, also, for everyone who stumbled into the original Grape Street Pub and was afforded the privilege of seeing this band live, I offer a link to the entire catalog of WNOC. Enjoy.

→ Man, I can’t believe Obama isn’t taking these idiots seriously. (That’s sarcasm, by the way)

→ Last night, I was reminded of the existence of Philadelphia’s fist cable channel – PRISM.

04.08.10 – A Thursday

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word

felicitous [fi-lis-i-tuhs] adj. 1. well-suited for the occasion, as an action, manner, or expression; apt; appropriate: The chairman’s felicitous anecdote set everyone at ease 2. having a special ability for suitable manner or expression, as a person

birthday

David Rittenhouse (1732), Betty Ford (1918), Carmen McRae (1920), Kofi Annan (1938), Stuart Pankin (1946), Tom DeLay (1947), Steve Howe (1947), John Schneider (1960), Izzy Stradlin (1962), Julian Lennon (1963), Biz Markie (1964), Robin Wright Penn (1966), Patricia Arquette (1968)

standpoint

Short and sweet today. Here’s a list of shit I need to stop hearing or reading about. It’s a new section called I’m Tired Of These.

  1. Toyota – The Japanese car company used to be considered the best in the world. But they made a mistake. Ever make one yourself?
  2. Federal Income Taxes – Almost half of our nation’s households don’t pay income tax. It’s been happening for a few years now. You only know about it now because certain political factions want you to. No one was freaking about it when the President was a generic white guy.
  3. Facebook Simpletons – When I was in high school, my mother had my father take me to the family hairdresser and, while we were in route, called the lady and instructed her to ignore my instructions and cut seven inches off every hair on my head. Was I pissed? You betcha. Did I sue my mother? No. Dude, unless your mother is beating you mercilessly, shut the fuck up and deal with the fact you got caught.
  4. Texting While Driving – If you don’t understand why this is dangerous, you should call the authorities to come pick you up and put you on the next plane to Mexico.
  5. Obama Is A Communist – For real? That’s the best you’ve got? It’s okay if you disagree with our President. I’m not saying you’re right or wrong. But if Joe McCarthy was still around, even his drunk ass would come up with more current terminology.

About the only truth out there right now is the national media is lazy. It’s creating (and recreating) your news for you. Find out what’s what for yourself.

quotation

Someone to tell it to is one of the fundamental needs of human beings. Miles Franklin

tune

With a recently revamped iPod and a renewed determination to attain my exemplary weight, I’ve started working out again. (In case you’re unaware, two years ago, I tipped the scales at 260 lbs. Nowadays, I find myself in between 210 and 220 lbs. I’m resolute to get down to my original goal of 200 lbs.) And I’m not joining gym, or enlisting in the ranks of the single-minded bicycle enthusiasts. I’m simply going to walk. Hard and fast. And what’s great about that is I don’t need a bunch of redundant fist-pumping music like one’ll find in those inane spinning classes. Any good music will do. Today, I listened to Keep In Mind, Frankenstein by Grand Archives. Here’s “Dig That Crazy Grave.”

gallimaufry

→ Remember all the snow we were having around here a while back? And how everyone was joking, “Hey, Al Gore, what happened to global warming?” Well, morons, one snowy winter hasn’t stopped the effects of what will probably destroy this world before we humans get a shot at it. Don’t believe me? Click here.

→ Today, Tiger Woods resumes his golfing career. But not before this guy used his standing to read him the riot act.

→ All you who are still confounded by what actually happened with the Donovan McNabb trade, as usual, Sal Paolantonio has the inside dope.