Thursday, October 28, 2010

Behind The Wall of Sheep

I love the Smithereens and I always have, since the first time I heard the "Especially for You"LP back in the summer of 1986. WHOT played the living crap out of that album and kept it in heavy rotation for the better part of two years. It deserved it - it's a fantastic piece of work.

Mon and I saw the Smithereens live back in 2007 and it was one of the best shows I have even been to. I also saw them at Beatlefest a few years back and got to interact with some of the band afterwards. Good guys all around.

So imagine my joy when I saw Part One of an interview with Smithereens front man Pat DiNizio today over at Parbench:

The Smithereens’ Pat DiNizio Pt 1

Pat DiNizio, songwriter and vocalist for the successful rock band The Smithereens (“A Girl Like You,” “Blood and Roses,” “Only A Memory”), has long faced alienation from the liberal entertainment industry because of his semi-conservative views.

He says, “People who are extremely left wing, who think it’s an artist’s obligation to be extremely liberal and espouse that philosophy and they don’t get it from me, they hate me. I’m a traitor and they want to burn my records."

Now, keep in mind when you are reading this that we're talking about one of the nicest people you'll probably ever meet. When you are on the "wrong" side, none of that matters. I have seen some of the nicest people I know called horrible things just because they refuse to march off the cliff with the rest of the lemmings.

That's what I always like about the "free speech" crowd: they love the concept...until someone disagrees with them.

I'll link Part Two when it becomes available.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

That's That

Well, the Yankees are done. They were outplayed in every way by the Rangers, which is not surprising when you consider they have looked like they were out of gas since August. They actually got a LOT farther than I thought they would. When a tired team meets a white-hot team, this is what happens.

While I may be disappointed in the outcome, I do think that the concept of Lee matched up against Lincecum or Halliday in Game One is tasty to think about. Should be a good 'un either way.

Lots of changes to come in the off-season...what will happen with Jeter, Andy, the OF, the relief pitching...the Hot Stove ought to be a lot hotter than usual. Until then, time to concentrate on the Isles and (shudder) Election Day.

See ya next year!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Down To The Wire...

It probably killed AP to have to publish their own poll results (LOL) - but with 12 days left, the trending is encouraging. Guess we'll know soon enough...

WASHINGTON (AP) -- All signs point to huge Republican victories in two weeks, with the GOP now leading Democrats on virtually every measure in an Associated Press-GfK poll of people likely to vote in the first major elections of Barack Obama's presidency.

Between the elections and the playoffs, I'll be doing my best to keep the TUMS people in business.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Bullying Conundrum

Bullying - specifically school bullying - is not a new problem. I would venture to say that there has been bullying going on in school probably since the first time primitive man put a few rocks around a cave wall and started making drawings to demonstrate to the young'uns the proper method of making an arrow head from a sharpened rock and the proper methods for filleting a mastodon. Heaven knows Hollywood has made enough films about school bullies in school to fill a library.

It certainly was an issue when I went to school in the 70s. I was lucky in that I managed to not fall on either the side of the bullyers or the bullyees. I found that magic groove in the middle and managed to stay there for most of my years in the halls of education. This is not to say that I somehow got through twelve years of the system without incident...none of us probably did. But for the most part, I kept my sanity and steered clear of the ever-deadly "niche" mentality.

So here's what I don't get: how is it that all of a sudden, bullying is now front-page news? Shouldn't it have been front page news all along? The part of this that is annoying me is how the news outlets on TV and in the print media are treating it like it's some sort of new 21st-century phenomena. Not only that, there's a level of phony-baloney "shock" behind it all, an air of "How can this happen?" behind it all.

Not that this should be a big surprise, the the mainstream media (in all its' monolithic splendor) has made a wonderful habit of being a few days late and several dollars short. It's unfortunate that it takes a few suicides to get these guys to wake up and see what's going on. This isn't the first time, either. Whenever a bullying-related tragedy happens, we get the same song and dance, like it's somehow some big secret society that no one knew was going on. Please.

Sadly, it will be the same thing again this time. When the hysteria calms down, the media will shift gears towards the other shock stories du jour, and bullying will be put back on the back burner until it happens again (for the first time that we never knew it was going on, etc.). Eventually schools will ease up, too and things will return back to the way they were before the media picked up on it and everyone shared Facebook status updates about it.

The only way bullying will ever become a thing of the past is if schools do what they should have done since Day One: take a zero tolerance policy. You bully a kid? you're out on your ass. No suspension, no reprimand, out. Period. In fact, they should have special schools where all the expelled bullies can be sent to and pick each other off in grand, 'Lord of the Flies' fashion while taking forced anger management classes ('A Clockwork Orange' style).

Until then, then same sad cycle will keep repeating ratings or no.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Not Looking Good

The Rangers have been spanking the Yankees so far in the ALCS. Except for one inning in Game 1, the team has looked pretty pathetic.

Is this age finally catching up with them? Are the Rangers just unstoppable? The Yankees were in the same position in 1998 vs. the Indians and won in six games. Admittedly, we do not have an El Duque to step up and take control - we have the shaky AJ Burnett in Game 4. I guess we'll know in a few days whether or not the Yankees will be joining the Mets on the golf course or not.

BTW, I have to laugh at my Met-fan aquaintences that chose to poke fun at the fans leaving in the 9th with the Yankees down by 8 runs. Like staying there to endure watching the last four outs of an ass kicking makes you a super-duper fan. Give me a break. I guess sticking around to watch your team lose makes sense when you're used to sticking around to watch your team lose.

Hmm. I don't know. Let's take a look at a Citi Field 9th inning from late September (before the Mets were even mathematically eliminated):

Uh huh. Now shuddup.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Twenty Days...

...until November 2nd. Man, this is gonna be the longest 20 days in the history of days.

Oh, and in addition to that little election thing, the McRib is back on Nov. 2. I'll have one if I still have an appetite on Nov. 3.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Keeping Score of All That "Change"

Scorecard! Program! Keep track of how badly you're about to be screwed with a Scorecard! Program!

Sorry, we're out of little pencils.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

On To The Post-Season

Baseball's regular season is now over and the playoffs are set to begin this week. The Yankees go limping into the post-season, having completed a terrible September and final week of the season. The Division title was there for the taking, but I think four months of over-achieveing and playing their asses off to compensate for a myriad of injuries (the biggest being DH Nick Johnson and Damaso Marte, who was expected to be the main lefty in the pen), combined with the UNDER-achieving of many that were expected to be key players on this team (Burnett, Granderson, al) finally just caught up with them.

Despite that, they did finish the season with the second-best record in baseball (one game behind the Rheys) and managed to snag the Wild Card. I am not expecting much but with a short series, you never know. The pitching staff is in a state of flux and the key will be if Sabathia can come up big and Phil Hughes can step up. Jeter also needs to be "Derek Jeter" again, not what he has been for the second half of the season (the second coming of Wayne Tolleson). Arod will also have to be Superman again and Texiera will have to snap out of it. If any one of these things does not happen, it will be a short post-season trip this year.

A note to all the self-appointed "baseball purists" out there (the ones that watch 10 games a year and call themselves experts) that do nothing but complain about "modern" baseball (which hasn't actually changed in ages): enough already. The DH has been around for thirty-nine years. The Wild Card (with all its' minuses and believe it or not, pluses) has been around for fifteen years already, and is probably not going to change until Bud Selig's corpse is dragged out of the Comissioner's office. In other words (as the kids say), 'it is what it is' and it's probably not changing any time soon. Stop obsessing and complaining about it like little spoiled chidren every fifteen seconds and shitting on the people that just want to watch a damn baseball game. You hate the way it is? Great...but those of us that still like watching the game are sick of listening to the never-ending whining. We get it. Change the channel. Go watch something more your speed, like bowling on ESPN Classic or something.

Here's a late-breaking news bulletin: nothing is the same now as it was 150 years ago, including baseball. There were times when hitting a runner with the ball was an out and the World Series was a best of nine. There were times when the post-season was a round-robin tournament (you poker). There was a time when ballplayers wore high-button collars and corduroy pants. They don't do any of those things anymore, either. Change is gonna happen in every walk of life no matter what you do, and complaining about it endlessly is, well, a bit OCD. I'm not so much of a narcissist that I need sports (of all things) to be tailored to my every personal whim. I can still can enjoy watching the game regardless of some arbitrary playoff system I have no control over.

In other words, I have dealt with change and MOVED ON, rather than succumbing to BDS (Baseball Derangement Syndrome). Life's too short to obsess about inconsequential bullshit when there's so much there to relax and enjoy, know whut ah mean?

Today's The Day

Some good advice from the legendary Ray Stevens.