Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Happy Birthday Joey Ramone

If someone could make the leap as far as Joey did from being a born into hopelessness, a runt-of-the-litter, weird-looking freak hammered at constantly that his future was failure and, if he was lucky, a life in the loony bin, to someone whose cultural presence years after his death is rolling down the hill picking up more and more importance like snow on a snowball, then maybe you can do the same thing, no matter where you start out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


"Donald J. Trump, my really hot daughter, Hispanics, my perfectly normal-sized hands, Megyn Kelly (for 3 weeks a month, obvi), Donald J. Trump, the guy at Blimpie who knows I like extra provolone, Donald J. Trump, that black doctor guy from the debates, God (anyone who wrote the 2nd-greatest book ever deserves a shot), and Ronald Reagan."


Either this is an Onion headline, or we are officially out of things to report.

Love Will Tear Us Apart

People seem to be making a big deal of today being the 36th anniversary of Ian Curtis' suicide; I've never been a Joy Division guy but I must say, the older I get, the more I'm drawn to this song. It's always been there, I've always been aware of it, but with each passing year I listen to it more closely.

50 Year Ago Today

From Backstreets:
Bruce Springsteen cut his very first record 50 years ago today, on May 18, 1966, with his band The Castiles: "Baby I" b/w "That's What You Get," recorded at Mr. Music in Bricktown, NJ.

UPDATE: the B-side, which you can also hear at the link, is a much better song than the A-side. Catchy as fuck chorus.

Mike & the Mad Dog (AND Bill!)

Unleashed from the shackles of ESPN and promoting his upcoming HBO show, The Sports Guy spent yesterday afternoon on Mike Francesa's show - listen to clips HERE.

Which reminds of of a classic Sports Guy article from 10 years ago, his live-blogging of Mike & the Mad Dog:
1:17 -- Dog struggles to say the word "Phillies." He's not strong with his L's and his R's. That's part of his charm. I don't think any of us will ever forget the time he attempted to say the name "Rheal Cormier."
Of course, The Sports Guy's well-intentioned-but-feeble efforts will always pale next to my epic 2007 live-blog:
 1:27 Dog just tried to say "Colorado." After three fly-bys, finally just plowed thru it "Carararro." Sounds like a Chinese guy ordering Sammy Hagar’s tequila. Ugly.
Dammit, I miss Dog  :(

Monday, May 16, 2016


Great bit re: why Americans refuse to see the role of luck in success. Of course this was met with apoplectic stupidity at Fox Business:
“Contrary to what many parents tell their children, talent and hard work are neither necessary nor sufficient for economic success.” The missing ingredient, he explained in an argument he would eventually expand upon in his new book Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy, is luck.

After introducing Frank, Varney jumped right down the scholar’s throat, “Do you know how insulting that was, when I read that?” Varney asked him. “I came to America with nothing 35 years ago. I’ve made something of myself, I think through hard work, talent, and risk-taking, and you’re going to write in the New York Times that this is luck.”
Monday, at a book event at Ideas42, a behavioral-economics-focused think tank, Frank led off with this anecdote, and it’s understandable why: Varney’s reaction captures — albeit in a somewhat hysterical, made-for-cable-news way — the reaction many people have to the idea that luck, rather than hard work or merit, plays a big role in who rises to the top, who slides to or stays at the bottom, and who gets stalled in the middle. (As Frank couldn’t resist pointing out, Varney’s idea of “coming to America with nothing” left out the fact that, at the time he did, he had a degree from the London School of Economics — his was not the story of a battered √©migr√© riding in steerage on a creaky transatlantic steamship.)
"But Xmastime", you say in the voice of Craig “Ironhead” Heyward from those soap commercials (RIP), “didn't you call this bullshit six years ago?" 

Sigh. Yes I did, faithful readers. Yes I did:
I think the need to feel like an oppressed underdog who has succeeded against all odds is as American as apple pie.  Nobody likes to admit "part of my success is due to economic and social conditions cemented long before I was even born"; we must be made to believe that Successful Person X was left to die in a dumpster, then pulled himself up by his own bootstraps and became a real rags to riches story.  Nobody's happy simply to have been given the keys to the kingdom, they also hafta portray themselves as "victims."

Bill Simmons is Coming

I can't really remember a time I didn't read the Sports Guy, back when it was a 90000-word article twice a week mixing sports with Beverly Hills 90210. I've somewhat tired of him over the years but not really, tho he does seem to have his enemies out there including this guy for busting his chops.
I will now opine on each of the statements pointed out by Deadspin:
I believe that Kanye’s a genius. It’s just that he knows it, and that’s the problem. I don't wanna be the old white guy shaking his fist at kids to get the hell off of his lawn and that all music today sucks, but all I know about Kanye is he seems to be very much in love with Kanye.  Which doesn't really make him any different from many other successful musician, really. I haven't heard a lick of his music and have no desire to, but I do enjoy it when once a month he sticks his neck out to make himself look as stupid as possible, which I'm always for, no matter who the celebrity.
I believe we should ban the DH, long putters, extra points, the NIT, and pick-off throws. Don’t really care about any of these except the DH, which fuckers just need to give up on getting rid of. I know saying you want it abolished makes you more of a baseball purist than me and therein a better person, but knock it he fuck off already. Instead, they should be fighting to make sure that in meaningless fucking inter-league games throughout the season pitchers don’t have to step into the box - I’m having memories of the Yankees’ Chen Ming-weng’s career being ruined running the bases in an inter-league game IN FUCKING JUNE. I am curious about his aversion to pickoff throws; I’ve never heard anyone say this. Would he prefer runners be able to wander 20 feet off the base? Wtf?
You really wanna know what I believe? I guess so, I'm fucking blogging about it aren't I?
I believe in the four-point line. Yes, because how long would it be before these go from desperate chucking at the end of quarters to James Harden playing a game of HORSE from midcourt and beyond? Yes, that’s what I wanna see, 45-foot heaves in the middle of games.
I believe soup is the perfect food. Soup is not the perfect food. Soup is not even food - soup is what you eat while waiting for the food to come to the table. This is fucking idiotic.
I believe in a Belichick-Popovich presidential ticket. This I’m all for. Why not, at least they’d be entertaining; Belichick’s 4-minute State of the Union addresses during which he merely stares down Congress and then calls them idiots is well worth whatever happens.
I believe every DiCaprio movie would be just a little better as a Matt Damon movie. This is beyond idiotic. I know Simmons is drinking the clam chowdah here but come the fuck on already.
I believe the 2004 ALCS was an act of God. A god who hates everything that is right in this world, maybe.
I believe that billionaires should pay for their own fucking football stadiums. Now this one I agree with 100%. Not sure how after decades and decades we keep falling for this shit. The ol’ “socialize the risk/privatize the reward.” We pay taxes that owner uses to build stadium, owner keeps 100% of profit for himself while doing everything he can to get out of paying taxes back to the city, then pitches a fit every few years about moving to another city so we throw more money at him. Yada yada yada, endless cycle. But we fall for it every time - “ooooh, it will create 60 jobs!!!” The trickle-down economics joke of sports.
I’m looking forward to watching Simmons’ show because hey, you gotta watch something and hopefully his shit will be as interesting to watch as it used to be to read back in the day.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

I Guess I Just Wasn't Made For These Times

There are few albums I've loved the fuck out of more than Pet Sounds; I now sit back and wait to enjoy the shower of 50th anniversary kudos.

20 Years Ago Today

Doc Gooden threw what may have been the most improbable no-hitter of them all:
Baseball seasons can be a slog at times. 162 games is a lot, and Saturday's game against the White Sox appears to be just your average spring matinee at The Stadium. But sometimes baseball's most magical moments can emerge seemingly out of nowhere, just as they did twenty years ago.
Seattle's lineup boasted stars including Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, and a young Alex Rodriguez. Along the way to his no-hitter, Gooden threw 134 taxing pitches, walked six batters, and counted upon numerous defensive gems. Heightening the drama of the moment was Gooden pitching with the knowledge that his father Dan, who was enormously influential in Gooden's development as a pitcher, would undergo open-heart surgery the following day.

WTF du Jour

Welcome to the last person on Earth born in the 19th century. That's fucking mind-boggling.

Thoughts on the Gender Bathroom Stuff Republicans are Furious About. I Have Them.

Anyone who claims that pedophiles who had previously felt held back by door signs will now be unleashed into bathrooms because of a law can no longer claim gun regulations are useless because people will just find another way to kill large groups of people.