Monthly Archives: March 2007

Frothy Mixture: The Movie

America’s worst ex-Senator, Rick Santorum, has announced this post-political career plans. He’s joining a Pittsburgh law firm, he may become an Inquirer op-ed columnist, and… he plans to make documentaries.
What will the first be about? It’s “the relationship between radical Islam and the ‘radical leftists in various countries around the world.'” Because as we all know, there’s nothing more liberal than radical Islam.
For those more inclined to take in Mideast analysis from someone who isn’t a complete lunatic, Michael Totten’s latest dispatch from Iraq has him meeting with some Iranian exiles in Kurdistan who are… unreconstructed Communists. So going by the Santorum thesis, they must be natural allies of the Islamist mullahs in Tehran, right? Uh, no, not so much. Here’s Michael:

Whatever they think of our politics, they know very well that we are not enemies. Their enemies rule in Tehran, as do ours. 3,000 members of the Komalah Party are martyrs, as Kamal had earlier put it, and not one of them was killed by an American.

Whoever ends up giving Santorum funding for his sub-Moore garbage film, their money would be much better spent on Michael Totten.

Quote of the Day

From a Philadelphia Inquirer column by Annette John-Hall:

“Sounds ridiculous, but Obama isn’t the only one being forced to validate his black card. Eagles quarterback McNabb, often criticized for not being street-tough enough, and mayoral candidate Michael Nutter, tagged as “Watermelon Man” by political wannabe T. Milton Street Sr., are vexed by the same image problem. That somehow acceptance by whites makes them suspect to blacks.”

Damn, I’d been planning to write a whole column on the many McNabb/Obama parallels. Maybe I still will.

Ah, Philly

A.J. Daulerio of Deadspin previews the Phillies season and brings back memories of Philly baseball of yore:

By the time the third inning rolled around, Vet Stadium’s upper deck levels had turned into a Larry Clark film: tin foil bowls being inconspicuously smoked, passed out girls getting felt up, lackluster fistfights, cascading vomit — just a glorious time.

When we talk about the magic of baseball in springtime, that’s exactly what I have in mind. See you at the ballpark!
UPDATE: Best line is in the comments:

“Dude, we’re up 13-2 in the 9th inning.”
“They scored two runs? BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”

That must mean it’s time for an E-A-G-L-E-S chant.

That Tierney Piece

The profile of Inquirer/Daily News owner Brian Tierney that’s in the current Philadelphia magazine had been sitting in my to-read pile for almost a week, but I finally got to it last night and… my lord.
Tierney, as you may or may not know, was briefly my boss, as he purchased the papers along with Broad Street Community Newspapers while I was working for the BSCN-owned Trend Leader. I’m not bitter about being laid off, as I’m in a much better situation now, and I know Tierney himself didn’t choose me, personally, for the layoff list. But reading the piece, uh, hmm…
Bruce Toll, another co-owner of the paper, has this anecdote told about him:

Bruce Toll, vice chairman of Toll Brothers, has embarked on a second career as a peripatetic investor, buying into a biotech start-up, a bagel chain, a chain of for-profit methadone clinics, a for-profit kidney dialysis company and a huge auto mall. When I asked him if the newspaper business was like any other hed been in, he said, No. This is the hardest business Ive invested in. And theres so much unknown. In methadone clinics, everyone who signs up keeps going for the rest of their life. Once youre there, youre there. Same with dialysis. … But with newspapers, youve got to resell the newspaper every day, with advertising and such. Toll is the chairman of Philadelphia Media Holdings. In Tolls office, theres a drawing, given to him by his kids, of Scrooge McDuck, the money-worshiping villain from the old DuckTales cartoons. (Toll is a notorious cost-cutter he says his tactic is to look for costs that can be cut but dont affect anyone, like health care.”)

So, let’s review: Methodone: good (and, for profit.) Health care: bad. The fact that someone would actually consider Scrooge McDuck a figure of admiration, I suppose, validates that old adage about the rich being different from you and me. When Toll watches “It’s a Wonderful Life,” does he root for Mr. Potter?
Here’s the eeriest part, though. A couple of weeks before I was laid off, my office held a blind auction, in which my prize was… an Easy Button. Others won bottles of liquor or sushi kits, but I got the Easy Button. The day I was laid off, in a bit of gallows humor, I made some joke along the lines of… “They laid off 70 people? That was easy.”
From the piece:

But in other ways, Tierney has made the publishers suite his own. On the wall, a new sign reads YOU GET THE CULTURE YOURE WILLING TO ACCEPT. Theres a red EASY button from Staples next to his iMac; when you press the button, a voice says, That was easy.

I guess they really work, just like in the commercials!
Philebrity, meanwhile, has gone through the profile… and illustrated it with YouTubes from Monster movies!