November 23, 2011

word

bibliophage [bib-lee-uh-feyj] n. an ardent reader; a bookworm

birthday

William H. “Billy the Kid” Bonney (1859) (most likely inaccurate), Boris Karloff (1887), Harpo Marx (1888), Bruce Hornsby (1954), Chris Hardwick (1971), Miley Cyrus (1992)

standpoint

I’ve watched a lot of movies. And when it comes to movies there’s about a million lists out there of the best this and the worst that and what have you. But one list that’s mostly overlooked is The Biggest Assholes in Movie History. Sure there are a few out there but it’s largely an explored area. So I thought I would weigh in on this topic that is obviously in dire need of address. So here’s my list…so far.

Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker in The Social Network – Usually, Timberlake does his best to look squeaky clean in his cinematic endeavors but I gotta respect the guy for taking this role and doing a great job with it.

Hart Bochner as Harry Ellis in Die Hard – Ok, I know he’s more comic relief than serious asshole but the guy exemplifies every douchebag in the 80s. (Side note: I had no Bochner directed PCU until I had to look him up for this post.)

Matt Damon as Charlie Dillon in School Ties – If you can watch this movie and not want to punch real-life Matt Damon in the face, you’ve got ice water running through your veins.

Gene Hackman as John Herod in The Quick and The Dead – This clip doesn’t really reveal the extent of what a gigantic shithead Hackman plays in this movie but it’s the best scene so I thought I would include it.

William Atherton as Walter Peck in Ghostbusters – Atherton might be a very nice guy in real life but he will always be known for being one of the biggest assholes to ever grace the screen. I could’ve also cited him for Die Hard or Real Genius.

So that’s that. Feel free to comment if you think there are any I’ve overlooked.

quotation

I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land. ↔ Jon Stewart

tune

Here’s the thing about The Muppets: They’re fucking awesome. Even though, they’re not technically members of the human race, they sum up everything great about it. They always assume the best about whatever situation they find themselves in. But they’re also incredibly sarcastic and, at times, they do actually get angry. But, in the end, they always forgive. I love this clip of Jason Segel’s SNL monologue from this past Saturday. (Sorry, you’re going to have to clip on the link. It wouldn’t embed properly.)

gallimaufry

→ Last night, CNN aired the GOP National Security Debate. I listened to most of it as I was preparing this post. When is the GOP going to realize it is doing itself absolutely no service by holding all of these debates? It’s become comical. My favorite part was when Herman Cain addressed Wolf Blitzer as “Blitz.” Here’s an article on some of the other gaffes from last night’s hi-jinks.

→ I know I’m probably beating this to death but what else is new? Yesterday, on 97.5 The Fanatic, Mike Missanelli interviewed Eric Lindros and John LeClair. During the interview, they discussed their latest charity efforts with CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia), what it was like to play with each other, Lindros’ feelings about his return to the city that shunned him and lots of other stuff.

→ I won’t be posting again until sometime next week. Happy Thanksgiving!

November 14, 2011

There will be a happy hour on Wednesday, November 30th at the Field House for The Harvey Forsyth Memorial Fund. More details to follow.

word

pansophy [pan-suh-fee] n. universal wisdom or knowledge

birthday

Claude Monet (1840), Aaron Copland (1900), Joseph McCarthy (1908), Brian Keith (1921), McLean Stevenson (1927), P.J. O’Rourke (1947), Prince Charles (1948), Condoleezza Rice (1954), Yanni (1954), D. B. Sweeney (1961), Laura San Giacomo (1962), Patrick Warburton (1964), Josh Duhamel (1972)

standpoint

I only posted once last week and there was a lot going but none more important than the whole Penn State thing.

Christ. What a fucking mess.

And I’ve got a million thoughts swirling in my head about what’s happened but I’m going to hold back. I’ve got it on good authority there’s lots more details to surface this upcoming week, details that “will sicken the public like never before.” Apparently, Jerry Sandusky is a highly disturbed individual and Penn State used all the powers at its disposal (and still may be) to protect its good name.

quotation

Humor’s a weapon if you want to make it one. ↔ Bob Newhart

tune

What the world needs is more songs like Aloe Blacc‘s “Green Lights.”

gallimaufry

→ Even The Onion couldn’t properly joke about the Penn State scandal.

→ I think Bill Hader might be one of the funniest people on the planet. Seriously, click on this link and watch the skit. I love it when he says, “Oh, this lady…”

→ Ruben Amaro Jr. is doing his best to keep the Phillies viable. Welcome to Philadelphia, Jonathan Papelbon.

06.20.11 – a monday

word

Golgotha [gol-guh-thuh] n. 1. a hill near Jerusalem where Jesus was buried; Calvary 2. a place of suffering or sacrifice 3. a place of burial

birthday

Errol Flynn (1909), Audie Murphy (1924), Martin Landau (1928), Danny Aiello (1933), Brian Wilson (1942), Anne Murray (1945), Bob Vila (1946), Lionel Richie (1949), John Goodman (1952), Nicole Kidman (1967), Josh Lucas (1971), Mike Birbiglia (1978)

standpoint

I’m sitting here watching Return of the Jedi and wondering if SPIKE TV airs anything other than the six Star Wars movies. I’m not knocking it. Just wondering.

By my own estimation, this must be my 50th viewing of Jedi (don’t judge) and it’s one of several movies that I can quote verbatim. And, while I’m an above average fan of most things Star Wars, I dislike most everything about Luke Skywalker. I like the actual character but I think the casting of Mark Hamill might be one of the biggest cinematic blunders ever. Whenever his whiny ass is featured prominently in a scene, my mind wanders.

And now I’m thinking of the other night, while I was bartending, when one of my regular customers asked me a question that people pose when they’re running out of discussion topics: If you could have dinner with five people, alive or dead, who would they be?

First, and I didn’t always feel this way, but I tend to pick people that are alive. It’s drastically more feasible.

Second, depending on what I’m into in terms of reading, music, entertainment in general, I’m likely not to list the same five people from one day to the next. I’m fickle like that.

Third, I don’t want to have dinner with all five people at the same time. That would be awkward and futile. Dinners typically last two hours when they’re going well. 25 minutes per person? No. As long as we’re playing an adult version of make believe, I prefer to name five people I would have dinner with on an individual basis.

IN ANY CASE, here’s the five people I would currently select.

Kevin Nealon – Even though he was on SNL for several years he never struck me as particularly hilarious. But I saw him on Real Time over the weekend and I now think the two of us might hit it off.

Stephanie Courtney – You’re probably asking, “Who the hell is that?” Well, it’s Flo from those Progressive commercials and, yes, I understand she’s playing a part.

Bob Mould – I’m not in love with every song he’s ever made but he’s responsible for more than a few of my favorites and the progression of his career fascinates me. I’m definitely going to read his autobiography, See A Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody.

A. J. Jacobs – If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ve figured out I’m a gigantic fan of this guy and his perpetual curiosity. I’m halfway through My Life As an Experiment: One Man’s Humble Quest To Improve Himself and it’s pretty great. (Thanks, Samantha.)

Louis C. K. – I consider him to be the funniest guy around right now and if we had dinner I’d probably be so intimidated I wouldn’t talk at all. And that would be weird for the both of us. I’m really looking forward to the second season of Louie.

All right, that’s it for now, I’m gonna watch the final assault on the Death Star and then head to bed.

quotation

Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. ↔ Erich Fromm

tune

I mentioned him above so I thought I would share one of the songs that first made me dig Bob Mould, “Compositions For the Young and Old.”

gallimaufry

I’m a little late with this but several of you emailed me this video after I wrote about how going to the movies nowadays is a microcosm of what a shitty society we’ve made.

Obviously, I love that the Alamo Drafthouse did this.

→ Even if you’re not a golf fan, you must give props to Rory McIlroy for what he did at the U.S. Open over the weekend. Truly amazing stuff.

→ C’mon, Bill Murray. Get off your high horse and make this happen. I realize you consider yourself above this kind of thing now but it’s what the people want.

03.31.10 – A Wednesday

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word

greenhorn [green-hawrn] n. 1. an untrained or inexperienced person 2. a naive or gullible person; someone who is easily tricked or swindled 3. Slang. a newly arrived immigrant; newcomer

birthday

René Descartes (1596), Joseph Haydn (1732), John Fowles (1926), César Chávez (1927), William Daniels (1927), Lefty Frizzell (1928), Gordie Howe (1928), Liz Claiborne (1929), Richard Chamberlain (1934), Shirley Jones (1934), Herb Alpert (1935), Barney Frank (1940), Patrick Leahy (1940), Michael Savage (1942), Christopher Walken (1943), Gabe Kaplan (1945), Al Gore (1948), Rhea Perlman (1948), Ed Marinaro (1950), Angus Young (1955), Marc McClure (1957), Ewan McGregor (1971), Josh Saviano (1976)

standpoint

My new laptop actually works with this old iPod I inherited so, after I got home from bartending last night later than usual, I started ripping old CDs and, hence, there is no new Standpoint today. Tomorrow, there will be definitely be one and a most unpopular one with some among you.

quotation

Sometimes when you look back on a situation, you realize it wasn’t all you thought it was. A beautiful girl walked into your life. You fell in love. Or did you? Maybe it was just a childish infatuation, or maybe just a brief moment of vanity. Henry Bromell

tune

There’s a variety of songs out there with such an outstanding opening line, I don’t particularly care what happens throughout their duration. One such line is, “For once I want to be the car crash,” from “Headlights on Dark Roads” by Snow Patrol. In this instance, the entirety is solid as well.

gallimaufry

→ I try to steer clear of language so strong as this, but HOLY FUCK. The GOP leadership must be contemplating an assassination plot of this batshit crazy lady. To be fair, the video clip is at least four times as funny as anything she did on SNL.

→ For the record, if you don’t find Craig Ferguson funny, we’ll most likely never see eye-to-eye on anything at all. (This doesn’t mean I’m backing down from liking Jimmy Fallon, I just thrive on variety.)

→ It didn’t come as any surprise to me the Philadelphia Phillies made this decision. But I’ve been hearing gripes about it which is surprising since I was under the belief this city always rooted for the underdog. What other explanation could there be for all those damn Rocky movies?

03.02.10 – A Tuesday

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word

brouhaha [broo-hah-hah, broo-hah-hah, broo-hah-hah] n. 1. excited public interest, discussion, or the like, as the clamor attending some sensational event; hullabaloo: The brouhaha followed disclosures of graft at City Hall 2. an episode involving excitement, confusion, turmoil, etc., esp. a broil over a minor or ridiculous cause: A brouhaha by the baseball players resulted in three black eyes

birthday

Sam Houston (1793), Dr. Seuss (1904), Mel Ott (1909), Desi Arnaz (1917), Mikhail Gorbachev (1931), Tom Wolfe (1931), John Irving (1942), Lou Reed (1942), Rory Gallagher (1948), Gates McFadden (1949), Karen Carpenter (1950), Laraine Newman (1952), Jon Bon Jovi (1962), Daniel Craig (1968), Chris Martin (1977), Ben Roethlisberger (1982), Elizabeth Jagger (1984)

standpoint

So the 2010 Winter Olympics Games in Vancouver are officially over and I can honestly I’m going to kind of miss them. For many reasons, I was much more enthralled this time around.

While the rest of the world searches for the next big thing to fixate on, I’d like to dispense my final salvo on this year’s games. And, yes, I completely understand I’m a day late.

→ I’m genuinely curious to see what new oddity people will discuss now that curling won’t be on television 24 hours a day. Check out this article. Maybe one of these will become the subsequent cult sport.

Team USA was, by far, the best in the Men’s Ice Hockey tournament. Hands down. Sure, they walked away with the silver after a hard fought overtime loss to Team Canada, but they played some of the best and biggest hockey ever. Ryan Miller was the tourney’s best netminder but it was the play of guys like Ryan Kesler, Patrick Kane, Zach Parise, Brian Rafalski and Ryan Suter that made it truly special to watch. Hopefully, the NHL and the NHLPA can agree to let its players participate in 2014, when Team USA will be even better and, most likely, the favorite.

Sidney Crosby, the captain of Team Canada and one of the most annoying people on the planet, scored the gold medal winning goal to capture the top spot for his country, further proving my belief the shithead obviously signed some kind of a deal with the devil. Crosby wasn’t that effective in the tournament but, as usual, he managed to to grab the limelight and snatch up a prize he didn’t necessarily deserve. It’s such a weak-minded character flaw to dislike the dude so much, but I just can’t help myself. Also, he looks like SNL cast member Andy Samberg, who I like.

USA snowboarder Shaun White is one of those annoying athletes who knows he’s good, tells people how good he is and then proceeds to never fall flat out on his face. I’m glad he’s on our side.

→ I’m never going to like Ice Dancing. Never. A sport’s got have some sort of attainable points outside the arbitrary opinions of a bunch of strangers. If that’s not a rule, it should be.

→ Watching the Men’s 50K Mass Start Classic Cross Country Race was maybe the longest couple of hours of my life and even made me entertain the notion of maybe putting on NASCAR. Yeah. It was that exhausting.

Overall, I think everyone got what they wanted out of this year’s games. The American people were able to participate in many discussions and enjoy the fine art that is speculative bullshitting. The USA also received the most medals, which again we like because we don’t need to have the best of everything, just the most of it. And Canada won the most gold medals, including the two for ice hockey, which apparently the country desperately needed. Lastly, I’m pretty sure there were some other nations involved in the whole ordeal but, in all the excitement, I didn’t catch any of their names.

quotation

Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour. Walt Whitman

tune

After many years, I’m ready to admit that, in my youth, there was a two or three month period when I was a huge fan of 50s rocker Ritchie Valens. It was most likely right around the same time La Bamba came out. I remember finally seeing an actual picture of the 17-year old Chicano rock ‘n’ roll pioneer and feeling conned – he didn’t look anything at all like Lou Diamond Phillips. Anyway. I always liked “Come On Let’s Go.”

gallimaufry

As much as I became entranced by Olympic hockey, I’m glad the NHL is back in session. Trade deadline is tomorrow at 3pm EST and there should be some serious moves this year. I’m sure close to nine of you are even remotely interested.

→ Last night, I got into a moderately heated debate on Sarah Palin with my mother, who views the ex-governor from Alaska as some sort of victim. For all of you who share that point of view, I offer this. And, for the record, I mean no disrespect to the woman who birthed me. She’s awesome. It’s healthy for people to disagree.

→ Sheesh. Would everyone please get off the back of American singer Elliott Yamin for tweeting during and after the earthquake in Chile? Apparently, the guy helped ease some people’s fears. However, it’s still fair game to make crazy fun out of him for being on Americal Idol.

09.21.09 – A Monday

WORD

farrago [fuhrah-goh, –rey-] n. a confused mixture; hodgepodge; medley: a farrago of doubts, fears, hopes, and wishes

BIRTHDAY

Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor (1415), Louis Joliet (1645), H.G. Wells (1866), Larry Hagman (1931), Leonard Cohen (1934), Henry Gibson (1935), Jerry Bruckheimer (1945), Stephen King (1947), Bill Murray (1950), Bruce Arena (1951), Ethan Coen (1957), Nancy Travis (1961), Rob Morrow (1962), Cheryl Hines (1965), Faith Hill (1967), Ricki Lake (1968), Alfonso Ribeiro (1971), Luke Wilson (1971), Liam Gallagher (1971), Nicole Richie (1981)

STANDPOINT

I got nothing to report today. All of this medical treatment has turned my sleeping patterns into much of a debacle.

Some things are in the works, though.

Is 2009 the year of celebrity deaths? Maybe. Maybe not.

What I’ve figured out about my relationship with the suburbs. And, no, all you Facebook friends, it’s got nothing to do with all the damn spiders.

Lastly, I’m working on a piece about the modern dating scene and I think more than a few of you will be curious to see what I’ve discovered.

Until then, come back for some more.

QUOTATION

It’s so much easier for me to talk about my life in front of two thousand people than it is one-on-one. I’m a real defensive person, because if you were sensitive in my neighborhood you were something to eat. ← Richard Pryor

TUNE

Watching the SNL rerun this past Saturday, I came to the conclusion everything Green Day has done in the past several years is just simply mediocre. I mean, “Jesus of Suburbia” (Great lyrics: “And there’s nothing wrong with me/This is how I’m supposed to be/In a land of make believe/That don’t believe in me.”) is a really great song but I’m done thinking bands who reshape its music to appeal to the lowest common denominator (AKA the musically lazy who make up just about every dim-witted person who make “American Idol” a runaway hit show). I’m here to tell you “J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Felva)” was the last truly good song Green Day released. Disagree? Too bad. You’re exactly who I’m talking about.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ Something that’s truly sad about…well, life in general…sometimes is when you find program on television that truly appeals to you. It’s smart and funny and entertaining. Comedy Central used to air this game show called “Beat the Geeks.” And I loved it. So did my buddy Tim. We would watch it for hours On-Demand. But then it went away. And the world was reduced accordingly.

→ Often, I’ve wondered just how many days Bill Murray’s character spent running around Punxsutawney in Groundhog Day. Luckily, someone took the time to figure it all out. In what may be too much detail.

→ My buddy Dave Frees, a solidly good guy in his own right, has a son in Victor’s Lament. Check out the music. Kind of a Mighty Mighty Bosstones vibe to it, but probably better. Check out “Living for Today.”

09.18.09 – A Friday

Word

querolous [kweruh-luhs, kwer-yuh-] adj. 1. full of complaints; complaining 2. characterized by or uttered in complaint; peevish: a querulous tone; constant querulous reminders of things to be done

Birthday

Trajan (53), Samuel Johnson (1709), George Read (1733), Greta Garbo (1905), Jack Warden (1920), Robert Blake (1933), Frankie Avalon (1939), Fred Willard (1939), Dee Dee Ramone (1952), James Gandolfini (1961), Holly Robinson Peete (1964), Lance Armstrong (1971), Jada Pinkett Smith (1971), James Marsden (1973), Xzibit (1974), Jason Sudeikis (1975)

Standpoint

If you’re an avid reader of this blog, and it’s shame if you’re not, you’ve come to the conclusion that I’m an above-average humorous individual. To put it mildly.

And, after reaching  that conclusion, I’m betting you’ve wondered, “Hey. How’d that guy get so goddamn funny? What his secret?” Well, it stems from all kinds of places. I will say that, coming from a family with five other siblings competing for attention at the dinner table, it didn’t take a genius to figure out the the proper execution of well-timed humor earned you a little more time at the podium during the nightly palaver.

But that wasn’t all there was to it. I had my influences. At a young age, I decided every single person in the entertainment business was essentially just borrowing material from somewhere or another, and presenting it as their own original ponderings. But, once in a while, I’d see something that either (a) was borrowing shit from so many different places it did actually became original content, or (b) was original content. Watching anything that fell into one of those categories represented a possibility of, for me at least, a tiny shred of hope the world wasn’t doomed to watch garbage like “Charles In Charge” or “Who’s The Boss?” for the rest of eternity.  

Here are a few things you can watch if you want to see exactly what I’m talking about. (Note: It’s a coincidence that Dave Foley is in two of the three clips here. Or maybe not. He’s a funny motherfucker.) (Another note: I was going to embed the videos but I couldn’t with some so just hit the link.)

Clip OneNewsRadio“The Cane”

Phil Hartman has my vote as the funniest person ever to put two feet on Earth’s soil. This scene from “NewsRadio” with Dave Foley represents most of the range Hartman possessed. Foley is great, too.

 Clip(s) TwoKids In The Hall“King of Empty Promises” and The State“Porcupine Racetrack”

“Kids In The Hall” is debatably the funniest sketch comedy show of all-time. Other might say it was “The State.” I lean towards the latter, but, really it all depends on my mood. Both were unendingly funny. Both went places similar shows (“SNL“MADtv”) either weren’t allowed to go or were incapable of. These two sketches helped convinced me there were other like-minded lunatics out there in the world.

Clip ThreeBlack Books“Bernard Black Drunk”

This clip from “Black Books” – the British sitcom that aired on the UK’s Channel 4 for three seasons and the US’ Comedy Central for about one hour late some random Sunday night – is representative of the completely hilarious work Dylan Moran and Bill Bailey did on this unfortunately still-unknown classic.

 Sadly, if you don’t find any/all of this funny, there’s only one thing wrong with you. You would fail to recognize humor if it walked up and kneecapped you.

Quotation

A drunk driver’s very dangerous. Everybody knows that. But so is a drunken backseat driver – if he’s persuasive. ← Demetri Martin

Tune

Yesterday, I revealed that I’m a sucker for a song with well-written lyrics. Well, there’s something that can make a song with well-written lyrics even better. And that’s a multi-part harmony. When done the right way, multiple harmonies can turn an ordinary song into an anthem. The multiple harmony song usually starts off kind of slow, but that’s not a requirement. There is one steadfast rule, though, each harmony, and its corresponding lyrics, has to be introduced separately. A byproduct of that is the song can travel all over the rythmic spectrum, producing the effect of several songs contained in one. The result of the crescendo is an overlapping vocal harmony where all the separate vocal sections are woven into each other and the best parts of each accompanying melody are grooved into one. The final minute of such a song should make you want to turn up the volume, roll down the windows and hit the gas pedal. That’s how you know it’s a good one. I have five favorite songs falling into that category. But, I think I’ve decided that “See These Bones” by Nada Surf is the greatest. The best part is when Matthew Caws comes in with “The lights in the city are more or less blinking/Which side of the story decides what you’re thinking.” It’s the beginning of the end. But in a really good way. Listen to it. I’m not wrong. Right?

Gallimaufry

→ Man, am I glad I never got around to removing the PEOPLE SUCK sticker from the interior of my car. Because, I’m really sorry, it’s one of the indisputable truths of this world. Need more proof than the cool sticker in my car? Check out WhyTheFuckDoYouHaveAKid.com. As Jonathan Schmock, the actor who played the Chez Quiz Maitre D’ in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (click that link to watch the original movie trailer.), stated so very snootily, “I weep for the future.”

→ You know what’s a really great thing? When the mayor of one of the largest cities in the country plays chicken with the state legislature using innocent peoples’ jobs as a bargaining chip. That’s what Philadelphia’s mayor, Michael Nutter, did with the jobs of 3,000 municipal workers in an attempt to pry money out of Pennsylvania. It worked. But still. Kind of shitty.

→ All right. Need to make a teensy tiny request of the fashion world here. Please make the fucking Snuggie go away. I’ll help in whatever way I can. Just let me know where to be and when to ber there. For centuries, individuals have made an easy time of having a blanket on top of them as they relax. It’s kind of like Basic Human Knowledge 101.  We don’t need one that slips over our heads. We are not Old West Mexican gunfighters.