Monthly Archives: June 2007


Rebecca and are moving into our new house tomorrow, so I’ll be Internet-less for the next three or four days. Stay tuned Monday for thoughts on the NBA draft, the likely trade of Kevin Garnett, and whatever else should happen to take place over the weekend.

Today on (All iPhone Edition)

– The critics (including Walter Almighty) seem to like the iPhone.
– They announced what the iPhone’s going to cost per month.
– The first mass shipments of the iPhone arrived in the U.S. last weekend.
No, I’m not getting one. It’s worth waiting until the second addition. And besides, we’re buying a house on Friday- one big purchase per day is enough.

Benoit, Day 4

Tim Marchman, putting the Benoit thing in perspective, vis a vis baseball and steroids:

“Baseball has to start doing a better job of educating the public about steroids, because no one else is going to do it. Right now, many people believe that steroids drove Benoit to strangle his own child a belief so self-evidently simplistic and ridiculous that it allows WWE to point to its pathetic drug policy and ignore the real issues at play, which involve not only Benoit’s own private demons, but a brutal, dehumanizing schedule, work that requires a level of physical punishment the body just can’t handle, drug abuse as a near condition of employment, and a string of dozens and dozens of deaths about which no one has cared…
Baseball has every right to unapologetically point out that no matter how deep the steroid crisis in the game is, it has only affected competition something that’s not the case in, say, bodybuilding, prowrestling, and even football, which have seen violence, suicide, mental illness and all sorts of early deaths connected to steroids”

This thing just keeps getting weirder and weirder- Greta Van Susteran’s guest last night on Fox? Bret “Hitman” Hart, whom Greta had clearly never heard of prior to the interview. Plus: Wrestling fans vs. Nancy Grace! But you can’t blame them, after Nancy suggested on the air that Benoit may have snapped because “he was demoted from the Four Horsemen to Raw.” It’s of a piece with Grace’s usual MO of being simultaneously strident and vicious, even when she has no idea of which she speaks.
And finally, Benoit’s crimes would have certainly catapulted him to the top of Matt Taibbi’s Sports Crime Leaderboard, but alas, the deceased are presumably excluded, and wrestling isn’t a sport.

Too Bad My Bachelor Party Already Happened…

Because this, from the Poconos, sounds like lots of fun:

Stroudsburg Area Regional Police are investigating complaints of a private golf outing featuring lap dance stations, threesomes and naked women at the Cherry Valley Golf Course on Monday.
Neighbors called police after Dave Gold, 20, and a 17-year-old female were denied access to the road shared by the golf course and the home of Gold’s friend, Will Croasdale, 19.
Gold said an employee of the course told him a private golf tournament was taking place, and the road was closed.
When Gold argued, he said he was first told by the employee “I’ll kick your ass,” followed by “I’ll break your neck.”

I first heard about this on sports radio, so I just assumed some local team had done an Al-and-Alma’s, only on dry land. But nope; Fred Smoot was nowhere near Stroudsburg that day.

Cracked Isn’t Whacked

With its hilarious, list-dominated Web site, Cracked has emerged from its past life as a Mad magazine knockoff to become both of the moment, and very, very funny. Here’s their latest classic list, of the 25 most ridiculous band names. Here they are on Toad the Wet Sprocket:

The story: The band named themselves after a comment in an Eric Idle monologue on a Monty Python album. This, then, is the musical equivalent of the A/V club nerds who recited the “Knights Who Say Nee” sketch over and over.
Why it’s ridiculous: Look, just because your band’s name is intentionally ridiculous doesn’t mean it doesn’t count. It’s like wearing a Care Bears T-shirt ironically. Yes, you know it’s a joke, but at the end of the day, you’re a grown man, you’re wearing a Care Bears shirt and, we’re sorry, you need to be ashamed of yourself. In the same vein, you can talk all you want about the cred naming your band after a Python gag gets you, but it doesn’t change the words, or how stupid they sound. Now, Owl Stretching Time: There’s a name for a band.

And while we’re on the subject of funny-but-true lists, here’s the Onion AV Club on “Ten Directors You Didn’t Know You Hated”– 10 men who not only suck, but are so subtle about sucking that you probably don’t even know their names!

Senator and Mrs. Blutarsky Could Not Be Reached For Comment

You’d think the youthful drug use of political candidates would have seized to be something that people give a crap about by now, but apparently that’s not the case in Minnesota, where according to the Strib, Senate candidates Norm Coleman, Mike Ciresi, and Al Franken were all asked about it yesterday.
This came about when a “marijuana activist” who was a former Coleman classmate wrote a letter stating that the now-Senator once “stood atop a building during a protest and smoked marijuana.” Now, everyone knows that Coleman was a left-leaning hippie in his youth, so none of this is surprising. But Franken has now also admitted that he used cocaine and LSD back when he wrote for “Saturday Night Live” in the ’70s, which should come as no surprise to anyone who knows anything about SNL in those days, or about the comedy-writing profession in general.
This reminds me of the anecdote, told by Lorne Michaels, from the great SNL oral history “Live From New York,” about what a hazard it was to work with John Belushi (quoted on this blog):

Al [Franken] and [writing partner Tom Davis] had bought their first-ever cocaine, and they had it all out on the desk. First time they were ever able to buy any. As apprentice writers, their pay was, I think, $325 a week. So they have the cocaine on the desk, and they’re like literally staring at it. I’m off in the distance. I’m in a tough place because I’m supposedly the executive, but I decided it wasn’t my job to play the policeman.
Suddenly this figure comes roaring through the room. Unbeknownst to us at the time, he had a straw in his hand. He gets to the table, and he has half of that stuff up his nose by the time they knew who it was: Belushi. They didn’t know whether to be thrilled that Belushi had just done this to their coke or be absolutely decimated, because that represented about half of the money they had in the world at that time.

That last joke in “Animal House” suddenly makes a lot more sense.

Ruiz’ Revenge

A great sidebar to the Phillies’ win over the Reds on Tuesday, as Philadelphia Will Do pointed out: Carlos Ruiz stole home.
If you have to wonder why that’s significant, then you’re probably not from Philadelphia. When Philly fans hear “Phillies-Reds,” “Ruiz,” and “stole home,” they think of Chico Ruiz, the Reds infielder of the 1960s who, on September 21, 1964, stole home against the Phillies, an event that precipitated Philly’s historic collapse that year, which included a ten-game losing streak. It even led to the firing of manager Gene Mauch, who went on to lose the World Series the following year as manager of the Twins.
So how about that: 43 years later, in another game between the Reds and Phillies, a guy named Ruiz just happens to steal home. Does this mean the curse has been broken? Probably not; the Reds beat the Phils last night. I’ll be at the rubber game tonight.

Just the Dog in Him

The latest dog controversy is happening right now in New Jersey– and it involves reiteration of an old story:

Pete Georgoutsos was thrilled to learn that his beloved brindle mastiff, a hefty 120-pound dog named Spartacus, had been found hours after a burglar broke into his vehicle and released the dog in Queens last month.
But his elation was short-lived. Within hours he was told that the return of his pet from a Brooklyn animal shelter would be no easy task. Spartacus would have to be neutered, the city told him. A 2000 city ordinance designed to reduce the number of stray, abandoned and unwanted cats and dogs on city streets mandated the procedure.

If only, when they came to get the dog, all the other dogs had just said “I am Spartacus,” none of this would’ve happened.