Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Go On With Your Bad Selves

From the WNY Progress Report blog:

Go On With Your Bad Selves
February 28th, 2006 at 11:28 am by Cliff

Kudos to the folks in New Orleans for trying to get on with it with a diminished but still potent Mardi Gras. While I understand why some folks are sore that people are partying down instead of cleaning up their neighborhoods, you can’t kibosh something like this. Yes the TV coverage reminds us of our national shame*, but that’s they way it goes in the big city. Get over it.

* Cue Fox News to bellyache about the “excessive” coverage.

Posted in Values, No Comments >>

And how about CNN covering the parades this morning like it was Macy's? How cool is that? Of course you know that had to cheese off Fox News and the hardcore Christians: Fox because it reminds us of our great national shame, a shame they'd coincidentally prefer we forgot about; and the Christians because it's all good heathen Catholic FUN, and besides, you know they were sort of secretly rooting for NOLA to be obliterated anyway.

To hell with the no fun police. Screw those people. Party People of Buffalo let's take to the streets and get some beads! Eat drink and be merry! It's for a good cause, and it's your civic duty.
- Kudos to Sidekick for calling Dennis Weaver as the third leg of the death watch. I was so worked up over 24 and fried over the phonebanking that it done slipped my mind. Rest assured folks- my coworkers got the dramatic re-enactment of my death watch blog yesterday when the Weaver news broke over the AP wire (if it wusn't for the AP Wire on the company intranet I probably would have thrown myself down the stairs years ago).

- "The Cool One of the Bunch" this time goes to Darren McGavin.

- The De-Deification of the American Faithscape. Fucking brilliant. How can 1 thiry minute show be such a wonderful scourge of an entire cable news network? God The Colbert Report is awesome, way funnier than The Daily Show. It has no shame. Colbert lets it ALL hang. And that's not a slap to the old DS. The DS is an institution, a daily satire engine that gets it right. I think they've even hired a fact checker to get it "right," it being the gist (because satire can't be 100% factual by it's nature). And Jon Stewart is one of the most trusted men in America, his natural American bullshit-o-meter in synch with ours more than theirs.

- The Colbert Report seems to be getting better, faster, quicker.

- Now I gotta get to work on time. Yikes. Fat Tuesday! Booyah!

- Doug Brinkley on CNN talking about Mardi Gras! Hunter Thompson biographer/archivist, Sean Penn NOLA rescue buddy! A good dude, even if he is straight laced.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Kudos to the party for making phone banking just like my real job. Technology is ruining my life at work, and now it's ruined phonebanking, something I wasn't entirely crazy about in the first place even though I'm apparently good at it. After a near wild goose chase to find the joint, the guy sat me down at the computer and said "wow, isn't this awesome?" and all I could do was giggle hysterically as I soon realized that my daytime nightmare had crossed over into night; the the familiar tightness in my chest settled in, and the calls came in one after the other.

Unless there's naked women, booze, Thai food, or ___ involved, I ain't doing that ever again.

Off the Hook

24 is off the hook. Get on this now. Palpable dread of impending doom. Bearuaecrats in full meltdown mode, and a brother stepping up to do the right thing and get the agency back on track. Jean Smart going for an Emmy. Robocop as Jack Bauer's Qui Gonn Jinn, up until the point when he tries to blow his old padawan up. And 2 hours next Monday! At first I thought the mood music was overly subliminal, but lately I've realized that it builds and builds and really plays the audience (the Duquin calls in "heart attack television") in a very subliminal Hitchcockian manner, which is good (especially for a tv show). Great stuff. Top of the pops.

Marge, I Ripped My Pants, The Only Pants That Understand My Complex Heinie

- I've decided that I might continue my occasional bathtub soaking after my ongoing... affliction is resolved. It's a great reason to keep the tub spotless, it's extremely peaceful and thus good for musing (or trancing out to weird rock music), and when I get out I feel like Lex Luthor in the first Superman movie... you know, when he gets out of the pool that's the underground subway station. I don't have a funny cap on, and there's no Otis to robe me (the roommate ain't down with that, nor should he be- I ain't wearing no trunks, especially if I'm getting thinking done), but I guess it's just a thing. I do yell "Otis!" just for the Hell of it. Weird.

- "Marge, I ripped my pants, the only pants that understand my complex heinie." Homer J. Simpson. From this week's all new episode. I know what you're thinking reader, and I know what this means. It means I am becoming Homer Simpson. I might be Homer-licious already.

Not a classic episode of The Simpsons, but a good one; a sharp critique of our makeover obsessed culture, our fixation with gambling and reality show competition, plus our fixation on other people's money and upper class society gazing. Homer selling himself to be a human billboard was also extremely appropos considering the lame ass attempt at viral marketing by the soon to cancelled Fox comedy whatever it's called... Free Ride I think during the commercial break (like I said, lame ass viral marketing). Not a show I'll be watching.

- I will however be watching Footballers Wives on BBC America next Sunday. Very sassy. A spicy meatball. Hot British birds in a soap opera free for all that's got the occasional curse word and titty ( a rarity on my level of Direct TV) thanks to bold programming and British cajones. People talk about TV going to hell on the pay services but really folks, outside of cussing on Comedy Central at 1 AM on weekends and some cussing and titty on BBCAmerica at 10 PM on Sundays it's sadly very tame. Footballers Wives also has nice outfits, some class awareness and a comedy of manners, and is occasionally blisteringly hilarious. It also features beautiful British women with beautiful british accents. A winner with this bloke.

I'll never play FIFA 2006 the same way again.

- And hot shit. On VH1 Classic I just saw a commercial for The Best of Electric Company on DVD. Damn, I loved that show. I don't remember any of it beyond vague images of moving comic strips of Spider-Man (he wuz real I tells ya!) and other weird shit with crazy colors, but I remeber loving it to death at the tender age of whenever it was it was on and I watched it after Sesame Street on Channel 17 (you know, back when children's programming didn't make children retarded), and looking back I'm pretty sure I liked The Great Space Coaster because it was like sort of like (a knock off of) The Electric Company, without so much educational value, because my young brain wanted MORE Electric Company. It probably won't do anything for me at this point, but I think I know what somebody's getting for Christmas (or sooner), and I'm glad she can't read... yet.

- And now some sleep before my day of woe tomorrow. 10 hours (some forced OT) and some calls for the local Democrats, who roped me into another thing. I am such a sucker.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Profound Pop Cultural Impact of Kolchak The Night Stalker

Kolchak The Night Stalker -> David Chase's first TV Gig -> The Sopranos* -> The resurgence of TV drama in the late 90's -> The resurgence of auteur TV: David Milch (Deadwood), Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing), Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives), Ronald Moore (Carnivale, Battlestar Galactica).

Kolchak The Night Stalker -> The X-Files -> CSI -> CSI knockoffs -> A full half of CBS's broadcast schedule -> CSI knockoffs on other networks.

* Am I the only person subconsciously turned on by HBO's marked lack of Soprano's hype? The show comes back in 2 weeks and they are just letting us get worked up on our own. Nice. Speaking for my fam, the family is celebrating my birthday on March 12 (official birthdate March 7- mark your calenders) with a pot of sauce, some pasta, a cassada (sic) cake... you know... the cake that's one big cannoli, and the first Sopranos in 2.5 years.

The excitment builds...

Fire Up The Death Watch


Don Knotts. Darren McGavin. Who's next? We lost somebody cool last time on the third leg and we've already lost somebody cool. I'm nervous this time.

Goddamn. Darren McGavin. The Old Man. Kolchak the spiritual forefather of The X-Files. Hell, he even did a few episodes of The X-Files as the spiritual forefather of Fox Mulder as the agent who worked The X-Files in the 50's and was a nemesis of Roy Cohn (the original Cigarette Smoking Man). I loved his gruff but lovable style and wonderful timing, and I've probably internalized more of the Old Man than I care to admit, and he will be missed.
- The bonus crap on The 40 Year Old Virgin is also fucking hilarious: the gag reel, the lines of cut dialogue, hair waxing, more sex advice from Mooj the foul mouthed Hindu from Brooklyn, hell, even the menus are funny.

- I don't even know how they made his movie without laughing through every take. The Age of Aquarius finale is gut bustingly hilarious. What a schizophrenic movie: a sensitive movie about personal growth that's got a lot of sex and dick jokes. Finally, I movie that I laughed at A LOT.

- I love Republicans. They edit Monty Python's Personal Best to "conform to broadcast standards" on PBS but forget about the bare man ass and all the other frank talk just so they could bleep "blowjob."

- Oh yeah, the Italian take out from Cafe Garangelo on Hertel Ave. (next to Johnny's Meats) was most satisfactory: the fettucini with proscuitto was excellent, and was heartily approved of by the exacting Duquin and myself, and the ravioli was also excellent according to roommate. And as awlays I also liked the garlic bread and the refreshing balsamic vinagrette house dressing. My only regret- I didn't order a cannoli.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Bode Miller is a Douchebag

What an asshole. A complete bag of shit. "I rocked." No Bodie, you lost. You barely showed up, and you were lame. America might be full of shit right now but full of shit or not we don't truck with the lame. Oh well. He didn't just represent the assholes in charge of our country, he represents the whole fucking lot of us and I am not fucking amused in the least. He should be put in the stocks and pelted with garbage for his arrogant, self serving horsecrap.

Wedding Crashers was sort of funny, but not as funny as EVERYBODY let on, and frankly it degenerates into one gratuitous cliche riddled scene after another. But the ladies are nice (brunette Rachel McAdam!) to look at and Owen Wilson's "I'm totally stoned but not stoned at all" shtick is always funny, so it's not a total wash. It also makes rich people look bad.

The 40 Year Old Virgin is also too long but unlike Wedding Crashers it's fucking hilarious: Steve Carrell is a genius as the vulnerable man child, Catherine Keener is an earth goddess, real; and the trash talking Indian dude is priceless. The dick jokes and profanity is wonderfully offset by some surprising sensitivity, and the payoff at the end is also very much worth the price of admission.

Oh yeah, The Tragically Hip have sold out 2 shows in one day up at Fort York in Toronto, and me and the fellas are going to the Saturday show. Booyah. The Hip, on their native soil, in the unofficial capital of Canada, or at least Eastern Canada. I am way psyched.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

- The silver lining of this bonfire that is America is that The Daily Show has been bloody brilliant. El Presidente in meltdown mode, last night Sarah Vowell being depressingly hilarious as she laments our modern administration, and tonight Matthew Fox getting hilariously grilled by Stewart for any clues about Lost.

- I really hope ABC does another Lost mockumentary catch up thingy (narrated by Peter Coyote!) after this season for you poor bastards missing out, I really do.

- Huh? DS correspondent Jason Jones is the father of fellow DS correspondent Samantha Bee's child? Are they... husband and wife? Why was I not notified? And dig how he hold his daughter. Hilarious. And wrong.

- WTF?!? El Presidente found out about the Dubai port deal... from the media coverage of the flap over the deal?!? According to Scott McClellan? During the goddamned actual press briefing? Puff out your mouth and let it go slack, go "aaaaahhhhh" in a low voice, and shake your head spastically. Repeat.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

- Ronaldinho is a goddamned genius. For Barcelona's second goal (two away goals! fucking huge!) he just levitated down the field at warp speed, and then he set up the cross with a ridiculously long pass that was fated to end up on Larsen's foot, then some other guy's, and then Sam Eto's noggin. Bloody brilliant. For all of Chelsea's efforts to cheat like hell Barcelona still kicked ass.

- I am so glad that ESPN2 is showing these UEFA Champions League matches. Two weeks until the next leg (rubber match central baby)!

- Tosy and Cosh is cool. And I hereby award Tosy and Cosh the Freedom of Zooropa for the fine essaying of U2's hilariously underrated Zooropa.

- And I started a 100 Questions Thingy that Tosh and Cosy got off Byzantium's Shores (hey hey, a local boy) and it was fun... until it became hilariously incriminating.

A Right Fucking Disgrace

Posted on the WNY Progress Report Blog:

February 22nd, 2006 by Cliff

Schadenfreude: Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.

I’m not the only person hip to the fact that it’s all going to hell. Our nation’s karma is shot, thoroughly out of whack, and it’s showing all over.

And the worst part? That the hopes, dreams, and self respect of a nation hinge on the skating of Sasha Cohen. Good luck with that kid.

Posted in Media No Comments >> Forum

The US Men's Hockey Team out of the Olympic Tournement? Already?!? That's a right fucking disgrace. Bullshit. Canada I can understand, the Gretzky Thing has shaken that nation to it's core, and without NHL hockey they're like men wandering in the wilderness without hope. But the US... I expected more.

We better get our karma right for the World Cup or we'll be the laughing stock... the punching bags, of the entire world. WTF.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Musin' in the Tub

- i am a total whore for radio. driving into the office today i felt compelled to call into Alex and Ray on The Voice of Reason (morning drive, 1270 AM), and sure enough they put me on the air so i could talk out my ass. it was fun, but man, what was i thinking? driving, talking, trying to THINK so i can sound intelligent on the radio? think harder next time and at least park before you get retarded.

- is organized religion really just the ancient wishful thinking? the grasping of mere mortals for some concept of immortality through which they "live forever"? Expressions of the universal eternal desire to understand the world/universe/life through submission to preordained dogma and bronze age morality and mysticism?

- late night reading up on Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung and the collective unconscious on wikipedia is fun.

- the official policy of our government is that global warming doesn't exist.

- are those really local chicks on AdultFinder.com?

- the latest edition of the SI Swimsuit Issue is tease porno, straight up. if that came out when i was in 8th grade, we would have marked it up to hell with stars (how we judged the "virtue" of each picture). it would have been illegible, mangled. hell, even the ads have women with airbrushed on swimsuits. is this a new form or porn, or merely the perfection of an american classical form?

- how the hell did i end up with a sebaceous (sic) cyst on my ass that 1) because it is located right next to my inner thigh gets chaffed whenever I sit or walk, 2) required a trip to the doctor so i could get diagnosed (where the sun don't shine!) and a prescription for high pro antibiotics plus instructions to give my cyst a warm soak?

- doc said it could be an infected hair follicle, or maybe a staff (sic?) infection. it wasn't my fault he said, and i want to believe him, but really, WTF?!?

- damn it i wash my shit assiduously! hell, i use exfoliating body soap, so technically i exfoliate my ass and nether-regions daily! trust me, i've taken red foxx's advice to heart.

- but at least i get to chill out and soak my shit in the tub and listen to some talking heads blaring in the other room. there are worse fates.

- of course i've gotta get this cysts thing, this monkey off my back- then i can talk about worse fates.

The Best In The World

One of the reasons why professional soccer hasn't really caught fire in the USA is that it's just not as good as European soccer, and one of the biggest reasons why is of course the absence of promotion and relegation: there just ain't a major incentive to play for their supper, and it shows. But today and tomorrow on ESPN2 at 14:30 we soccer impovershed Americans get a bonafide treat: UEFA Champions League Soccer, where the BEST CLUB TEAMS IN THE WORLD get promoted to. Today: London's Arsenal FC vs. Spain's Real Madrid (Beckham the wanker plays for Madrid), tomorrow, the top team in England Chelsea goes against one of the best teams on the planet, Barcelona FC, and the best player on the planet- Ronaldinho.

THIS is what it's all about folks; and why soccer is the most popular sport in the world. The beautiful game indeed.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Facts of Life

I cannot exactly pinpoint the moment I transcended my white honky self and the inherent limitations of honkiness to embrace the Universal Groove of the west: the percussion of Africa that the (damnable) slavetraders exported to the shores of the Western Hemisphere which became the basis for gospel, soul, jazz, FUNK, reggae, and the rhythms of South America. It's a heavy groove, and a groove with A LOT of historical and karmic baggage. This groove trounces all and rules all that is truly good because Europeans have no inherent groove; but this groove can be elusive, especially if you are a white American male. You have to admit it's existence on some level consciously or unconsciously, and submit to it in order to feel it in your soul, and a lot of folks just ain't down with THAT. Maybe it was my love of old Prince, old school hip hop, James Brown (and not "I Feel Good", I'm talking "Sex Machine"... "The Big Payback"), THE FUNK, or maybe it started because I had the Burtons for neighbors and Terry Burton as a best friend growing up. I don't know. I do know I can get down on the 1 like THAT, and that I can automatically bop and shake when the Universal Groove is present. But observe white people dancing to good music in large groups (like at weddings) and it's a different story: white women seem more in tune with the universal groove (which explains so much in American history), gay dudes have enough rhythm to bust moves because they like to dance and are also actively oppressed (they were also the first white men to discover disco*), but most white hetero dudes generally suffer because that rhythm totally ELUDES them. We do know it's there because and we keep trying to bogart it, ie rock and roll and country line dancing, but bogarting is not acceptance and submission. This is why white men need to listen to Naked, the final Talking Heads studio album, an album redolent with sweet African rhythms that you cannot help but dance to, an album about looking out beyond yourself at the whole wide world around you.

It just might make the world a better place.

And now I have completed my President's Day Talking Heads surround sound adventure, and boy was that fun. Now I am ready for my 10 hour day tomorrow...

* Did white people really dance well to disco? I really cannot say because I wasn't there. I do know that white hetero people killed disco, first within (ie "Disco Duck" and Ethel Merman Sings Disco!) and then without with big bonfires...

White people who danced well to disco... feel free to DEFEND YOURSELVES here in the comments section, if you dare.

Eternal Grooves

Cliff's Songs That I Wished Never Ended:

1) Don't Worry Baby, The Beach Boys
2) Niave Melody (This Must Be The Place), Talking Heads
3) Ego Trippin' At The Gates of Hell, The Flaming Lips
4) Let Down, Radiohead
5) Wear Your Love Like Heaven, Donovan

Making Flippy Floppy

Speaking in Tongues is pure art funk, with the emphasis on the funk as Bernie Worrell gets mad ludicrus on the keyboards Parliament Funkadelic style. That was the key to the art of the Talking Heads, they never perpetrated or fronted, and they never bogarted a style; rather they intercalated funk into their weird art punk rock, added electronic music around the funk, and on this record transcended and perfected their funk into something effortless, slinky, and fun. It's almost impossible to type with my head and upper body grooving, and the urge to get up and dance is hard to resist, and so I won't even try.

The Great Curve

Their third and final collaboration with producer- guru Brian Eno, Remain in Light is essential Talking Heads, and the 5.1 surround sound mix on the new reissue is sweet as shit. The NYC funk roughs you up around the chops while the Eno keyboards wrap you up in a warm, soothing embrace and the David Byrne lyrics rewire your brain to handle the disorientation that occasionally overtakes us on this here road of life, and the bodyshots life hits us with. Great music to dance and or trance out to.

Shake yer moneymaker!

Crosseyed and Painless

Whew. I dodged a bullet today.

Oh yeah, last week's Smallville was another goddamned classic that more than made up for last week's cheese fest: they Smallville-ized Cyborg (from the Teen Titans) properly and made him cool, bottomed out the Clark - Lex friendship further as they grind inevitably towards the roles of being each other's arch nemesis, added another layer of intrigue as it appears that Lionel Luthor (father of Lex) has designs on the widow (and now state senator) Kent and knows all about Kal-El, and beautifully underlined a welcome addition to the Superman mythos: making the Clark - Lana relationship that's been (achingly) central to the show a tragic romance that can never go any further than Clark saying "I've always loved and always will love you, no matter what happens" and leaving it at that because to be completely truthful to Lana will doom her utterly (as we saw in the titanic 100th Episode). God I love this show.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Cool Shit Alert

I am adding Dead Air Space to the link list as it appears Radiohead is recording a new album and is blogging about it for all to enjoy. Hot diggity.

I probably should have been all over this shit soon but hey, I ain't that cool.

Battlestar Galactica's Got Monster Balls (Cleaning Off El TiVO)

Last week the nature of terrorism, and this week abortion rights? And intelligent political intrigue? WTF? Is this The West Wing? West Wing DVD's? It sure as shit ain't Commander in Chief. Hot damn, it's Battlestar Galactica. Have I said how much I hated the original and was originally sort of rooting against the remake because they cancelled Farscape to make room for it? What a show. The best show on TV. The Sopranos has got a lot to do to reclaim it's spot, and Star Trek? Poor Star Trek's gonna have to find some genuine human dynamism if it's going to eventually come back and knock off BSG. Paramount, it might be time to take Michael J Strazynski up on his offer.

And the super villian fiesta that is Justice League Unlimited gets better and better. It's like those Legion of Doom episodes of the Superfriends only they're not lame as hell because they're dated as hell. There's just something about hearing Clancy Brown (from this week's Lost) and Powers Boothe (from this week's viewing of Sin City) voicing Lex Luthor and Gorilla Grodd respectively having a ball sounding evil and devious as all get out. Fun fun fun.

My Morning Jacket's performance on this week's Austin City Limits was boffo: weird, artful, a total rock out. Death Cab For Cutie's performance just didn't do it for me.

PS- You can properly play cooperatively in Tournement Mode in FIFA 2006, a recent discovery: do or die two man vs computer battles from group stage to knock out stage where EVERY goal scored and given up COUNTS. Devastating, ridiculous fun. Frankly I only cheer louder for goals when a Sabre scores on TV. FIFA 2006 is the best sports game I have ever bought, and right now soccer (football) has jumped up higher on my list of sports that I actually enjoy. I even like that "Joca Bonita ("play beautifully" in Portuguese) Nike commercials with Eric Cantona (I even now know who Eric Cantona is) and all those groovy "beautiful" goals, and I totally fucking hate Nike and their designs for global domination. All because of a goddamn videogame.

Bring on the World Cup!

Music Notes

And following my sweet karmic dump and some soccer on TV I went to the New World Records and got:

- The eponymous debut by Morningwood for $7.99. Some nice Pablo Honey guitar fuzz and crunches topped with the sweet vocal stylings of Chantal Claret (I love that name). She croons, she screams, she coos, and she done turned me on. Not world shattering but fun, and substantial. I also really like the name Morningwood, and appreciate somebody having the stones to name their band Morningwood.

- The CD/DVD dualdisc edition of Talking Heads Speaking in Tongues, complete with the original album plus a 5.1 surround sound mix by Jerry Harrison that is warm, sweet, funky, and soulful. Plus essential music videos for "Burning Down the House" and "Niave Melody (This Must Be The Place)" also in surround sound. Beautiful stuff.

A Sweet Karmic Dump

Dag I must have been mighty stressed out the last week or so, all cranked up over work woes and the return of the radio show, and it wasn't until the radio show ended and the weight lifted that I realized how heavy it was because I was walking on air yesterday with an unbearable lightness of being, the obvious result of a karmic dump (plus, an actual dump- again I was all sorts of worked up). I was light, ebulient, jim dandy yesterday, and it was good.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Adventure That Is The WNY Progress Report

From the WNY Progress Report blog:

The Adventure That Is The WNY Progress Report
February 18th, 2006 by Cliff

Wow, it is good to back on WHLD 1270 AM, but boy, am I wiped out. Whew.

On the technical difficulties: It happens. OK, having the tape delay feed coming into the headphones was tricky (obviously)… existing simultaneously in the present and 10 seconds in the past is tough, and boy do I apologize to Judy Einach for the repeated “HEY JUDY’S” you were subjected to.

But we can all laugh about it now, and that is good.

To Nelson Starr, composer of our most excellent music: thanks, and I promise you that we will play your new “news theme” next week. That polka business was a gag that didn’t come off quite right, a wee miscue. Sorry man but we will do right by you next week.

Christa is an awesome news anchor and a most welcome addition to the show. You are the bomb.

On Brian Brown Cashdollar: Not only is he the father of the feast, he’s bloody Montgomery Scott, saviour of the show, the man who cured our tape delay woes. Brian is the MAN. Not THE MAN, the MAN- come on now, you know what I am talking about people.

Our chat with Dennis Yedwab, the MAN from Media Matters, was great, a bonafide pleasure, and after our technical woes a reminder of why we’re doing the show, and why Kevin and I are doing the show. An excellent conversation, and I thank Dennis, and Media Matters for America from the bottom of my heart.

Mark Poloncarz is a good sport as always, and I thank him for coming back for our first effort since we’re back from the grave. Thanks to Christa also for pulling double duty for our WNY Coalition for Progress roundtable.

And thanks once again to everybody who had anything to do with the radio show. You all rock.

Until next Saturday’s adventure, 9 AM on WHLD 1270 AM…

Friday, February 17, 2006

Turn It On

Turn it on
Turn it on and all the way up
Turn it on
In your houses when you wake up
Turn it on
When you ain't got no relation
To all those other stations
Turn it on

- The Flaming Lips, Turn It On.

From the WNY Progress Report Blog:

February 17th, 2006 by Cliff

This week on the WNY Progress Report on WHLD 1270 Am, The Voice of Reason and Air America Radio join myself and the estimable Kevin Burd for conversations with:

- Brian Brown Cashdollar, President of the Niagara Independent Media, one of the folks responsible for bringing Air America Radio to Western New York.

- Dennis Yedwab the Communications Director from Media Matters for America, to discuss their new study If It’s Sunday, It’s Conservative.

- Plus a bull session with members of the Board of Directors for the WNY Coalition for Progress.

And please join us as we welcome aboard our new news anchor Christa Vidaver. That’s this Saturday at 9 AM on WHLD 1270 AM.

Kevin and I can’t wait to get back on the air.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Who’s The Bigger Fool? The Fool Or The Fool Who Follows Them?

Bogarted from the WNY Progress Report:

Who’s The Bigger Fool? The Fool Or The Fool Who Follows Them?
February 16th, 2006 by Cliff

More fun and games that went horribly wrong:

Bush spent more than 90 minutes with House Republicans, gathered for a
retreat at a resort on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He spoke near the midpoint of
their three-day meeting, a blend of policy and politics that included the
premiere of a tongue-in-cheek video modeled on Star Wars.

Shown to lawmakers on Thursday night, the video lampooned GOP political
opponents as “The evil Democrat empire.” California Rep. Nancy Pelosi (news,
bio, voting record), the Democratic leader, was depicted as “Darth Nancy.”

The “empire” soon struck back, as Pelosi and other Democrats announced
that Star Wars director George Lucas would be appearing with them at a
town hall-style meeting at the Capitol next week.

Talk about insulated. Don’t they know we all call Dick Darth Cheney? Yikes.

What a pile of assholes, misappropriating Star Wars so shamefully. It will serve them right if Lucas shows up and says "ha ha motherfuckers*- George Bush IS Anakin Skywalker after he comes Darth Vader in Episode III! I totally meant all of that shit!"

* Yes, in my mind sometimes Uncle George talks like Jules in Pulp Fiction.

Dark Canucks

Today was muy lousy, but it picked up pronto when got home and I saw in my e-mail that tickets for a just announced Hip show up in Toronto on 6/24 are going sale tomorrow. My peoples are aligned, and tickets will be purchased (barring unforeseen complications*), and all will be good (KNOCK ON WOOD). Also for your pleasure, the updated Hip site, complete with a Hip Player (click on the Clef thingy) that plays live cuts and old album cuts. Very nice indeed!

* I'll be working my voodoo to handle those unforeseen complications.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Today is Matt Groening's birthday. May he live long and prosper.

And hey now! The US Moves Up in FIFA Rankings, and is now tied for sixth with Mexico and Spain. Booyah.

Lost is a parable for our times.

My Sweet Lord

Joe Vip lent me The Concert For Bangladesh on DVD and I can't wait to watch it in it's entirety because a quick essay gave me a woody: George Harrison in early 70's collaboration with Phil Spector mode, a thoroughly fucked up Clapton, Billy Preston getting all churchified, the dynamite Leon Russell, and the man hisself Bob Dylan- all in DTS surround sound. Hare Krishna.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hot Tips

Sex, death, violence, love, guns, Mickey Rourke, exotic dancers, kung fu, Rosario Dawson in bondage gear, stylized comic book violence that translates into breathtaking cinema, Jessica Alba's ass, drugs, blood and guts loyalty, hookers, thugs, serial killers, cannibal bishops, dinosaurs, hallucinations, jailbait, Quentin Tarantino, hot cars, sexy get-ups, the "best sport ever" Carla Gugino= Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez's Sin City. And I look forward to watching the extended, unrated and recut version.

The best movie experiences since the first Kill Bill, a real kick in the junk.


Herc on AICN reports that Fox is rereleasing Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD cheap on May 30, Seasons 1-7 for $27.99 (cheaper if you jump on them immediately upon their release). Don't worry about me folks, I've already got my set- I know that Buffy was the best TV show ever and one of the greatest narrative achievements in the history of American letters and arts... I am already on all that, this tip is for you. It's the American Harry Potter* for god's sake, you owe it to yourselves, really.

* I'll elaborate on this more, eventually.

My Pat Robertston Moment

Darth Cheney shoots dude over the weekend.

Everybody laughs on Monday.

The White House tries to be funny about it Tuesday.

The dude has a heart attack Tuesday afternoon.

= God to the White House: KNOCK THAT SHIT OFF!!!!

Valentine's Day!

My Valentine's bag at work was full of Valentine's (yay!) and chocolate and pixie sticks (double yay!) and The Wiggles Valentine's cards I gave to my coworkers went over swimmingly. And can anybody tell me what the fuck is up with The Wiggles? That shit's just not right. But I digress. I love my coworkers, and I even love my boss (I don't think she's out to get me- that counts for a lot), lunch was good, and everything was swell, especially when Terri the Lotto Lady lent me her Shiatsu Master TM massager for an hour. That thing's magical.

And later, in honor Valentine's Day... Sin City on DVD. Booyah!

Monday, February 13, 2006

24 Update

24's still fucking crazy (nerve gas attack at the mall! The President almost lets it happen!), and getting crazier (the nerve gas is still on the loose). But now we're entering the phase of the season where Jack goes AWOL and breaks the rules... and sometimes where the show can loose it's thread. Still, the best thrillride on TV.

And a moment of silence for Phil Brown and Peter Benchley, whose great book Jaws I enjoyed as a kid reading at Grandma's house, again in college in Bestsellers 303, and every time the movie is on TBS.


29 inches of snow in NYC. Those wusses won't even begin to know what to do with themselves, and that sure as shit precludes going to work. Thus, every other customer service rep in NY state gets to pick up the slack, and we will be fucked. Joy.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

- To answer a thread on Eschaton about whether the folks at Battlestar Galactica know where they are going with the show: of course they know where they are going- it's obvious that the treachary of Baltar will be discovered this season, which means he'll end up hanging with the Cylons (which means we might get to see the Cylon homeworld and perhaps figure out what they fuck they're on about- almost annihilating humanity), and I think the Cylon-Human hybrid a-baking in Sharon the Cylon is significant also, and they've been building that since the first few episodes. To atrios I say "patience."

- By the by... this week's installment of BSG was a keeper with Dana Delaney as a terrorist just trying to get some justice; another crazy and challenging episode about the nature of terrorism. This is easily one of the best show's on TV right now.

- The other "best" shows on TV right now? The Office, Veronica Mars, and Lost.

- WTF? New York magazine's Highbrow/Lowbrow- Brilliant/Dispicable Matrix says they've cast Bryce Howard to be Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man 3?!? Huh? But they've already lobbed Mary Jane off the top of the Brooklyn Bridge in the first one.

- How about them Sabres? What a great game last night: yes the 2nd period was another unpleasant 20 minutes for the lads but once again they pounced hard in the 3rd and brought home the bacon. I can't wait for today's 5 PM game; I wanted them to win 2 of their last 4 before the Olympic break and they've done so brilliantly, thus we can all just enjoy today's game against the The Carolina Hurricanes, the best team in the East. Go Sabres.

- And now is the time to acquaint yourselves with the names of these Sabres: Thomas Vanek, Paul Gaustad, and Jason Pominville. Ryan Miller you should be worshipping already.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Damn it! Arsenal got revenge on my Bolton Wanderers for getting knocked out of the FA Cup by tying them in the 90th minute, thereby robbing my team of vital points. A great game nonetheless, although I so looked forward to busting the roomates chops over a Bolton win...

I Talkback

Back in my pre blog days I used to drop all sorts of science in cyberspace on any number of subjects, and it's good to occasionally pop in- especially when the situation warrants it:

Posted on Aintitcoolnews.com in response to the news that Gary Oldman has not been signed to reprise his (critical) role as Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth film in the series...

As much as the Tim Roth idea has merit...
by atomheartbrother
February 11th, 2006 02:33:31 PM CST

... they should pay Oldman the fucking money and do it right, considering they should have signed him for more than one picture the first time. Don't fuck with the movies, and certainly don't fuck with the fans.

Trust me on this folks, this is important. You'll know why when you see the movie (or of course read the book)...

It Was Arrested Development

Fox dumped the final four episodes of this absolute classic series last night and thank Jebus the TiVO caught them. If somebody (ABC? Showtime?) picks AD up great; it'd be nice to see it get to magic number of episodes neccesary for syndication, where gems go to be redigested over and over for televised eternity, but I don't see it happening so I'll take these last episodes and cherish them as fucking hilarious. The last four episodes featured: Judge Reinhold, William Hung singing his heart out, the Crazy Stock Dude from CNBC, the amiable big dude from Curb Your Enthusiasm (saying his farewell to a fine uncredited recurring role), Ed Begely Jr. (another return character as an alpaca hair wig wearing real estate titan), the Soup Nazi as a Saddam Hussein impersonator, Gary (Lumberg) Cole, Ron Howard, whose 3rd person "Eye of God" narration was central to the show's genius, and hello hello, the return of Mallory Keaton- Justine Bateman (sister of show star Jason). Man was she super hot, all thoughts of the airheaded Mallory stigma that drove her underground driven from my mind by her sassy performance, and watching her almost hook up with her brother (yikes!) on TV was priceless. The final 4 also featured incest humor in all it's forms: accidental cousin marriage, getting to second base with your cousin (I will never look at that b+w shot of Pete Rose diving into 2nd again the same way) when you think you're not related, adopted sisters trying to get it on with former brothers, it was all wrong and all brilliant. All along AD was also the only show on TV to actively mock the Iraq War and it got some final shots along with the CIA (CIA East didn't know what CIA West had going), the state of Iraq's reconstruction and prison abuse in American run Iraqi prisons. Through in some double entendres about latent homosexuality, inspired comic insanity at the expense of American "values" and pretense, the Seinfeldian vision of a karmic universe in action and you've got pure brilliance, and the best series finale ever for a show killed (maybe, maybe not) before it's time.

It was Arrested Development.


Bogarted from The WNY Progess Report Blog (it's Saturday, I'm lazy, and I'm about to watch the last 4 episodes of Arrested Development, so sue me):

I Do Not Want To Live In A Country Without Grease
February 11th, 2006 by Cliff

And that’s coming from somebody who really can’t stand Grease (frankly Grease makes my spine itch). I mean come on people, it’s one thing for conservatives to venerate 1950’s America as some sort of halcyon age for “traditional American values” (without the whole “union’s at their height of power” aspect of course), but this sort of thing, banning Grease and Miller’s The Crucible … this makes the “Culture War” scary.

Trying to put the kibosh on Deep Throat is one thing, that's got outright fornication and seditious talk about the female orgasm; but Grease? File that under WTF and I Don't Think So because that's just fucked up.

Friday, February 10, 2006

(Some Of) The Kids Are Alright

Rolling Stone is reporting that the sacred flame of classic rock is being actively replenished by enlightened teens discovering the true shit: Floyd, Zep, the Who, Hendrix, etc., and to this fellow I call this good fucking news. To hell with wanker emo rock (yeah I'm talking to you Death Cab for Cutie!), hip hop (unless your talking underground hip hop- where it belongs), and rap metal- the kids need a grounding in the basics and I'm glad they're getting it, and buying electric guitars themselves. Get back to the garage kids! Kick out the jams! Give us Americans something to come together and rock to! Be rock stars goddamnit- reach for the gold ring!

Say It Ain't So

Mirrored on the WNY Progress Report Blog:

Say It Ain't So
February 10, 2006 by Cliff

$15,000 on the coin flip. $75,000 on the game itself… OK, Wayne Gretzky’s probably got a gambling problem. But so long as he was betting on everything but hockey* I can live with it because if Bill Bennett can still do TV interviews without getting laughed off the stage then The Great One can keep some of his dignity.

* This would be a Pete Rose scenario and that, that would be curtains for Wayne, and rightfully so. A conservative government and the Great One tarnished… oh Canada. A cold wind blows over you.

** 1 PM UPDATE **
After reviewing some of New Jersey’s gambling laws I have the distinct impression that the Great One is toast, a devastating blow to hockey fans all over the world. A sad day for any kid who’s ever played hockey or a game of shinney on the ice or in the backyard, scored, and yelled “G-G-G-Gretzky!”

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Katie Is Cool

The radio show has always been a blessing and curse: a blessing because it is fucking awesome getting a chance to get on the public airwaves and KICK OUT THE JAMS- our chance to do our thing for truth, justice and the American way; and a curse because it's fucking hard work pushing that stone up the hill. Having no clue what the hell we were doing, having no virtually no money, and because it was essentially a hobby the show occasionally took a backseat to LIFE, so when the show had to go on it was as HARD as it was worthwhile. Sometimes I'd even consider it a bonafide slog (that's why we sometimes referred to it as the "hobby from hell"). But the person who got us there, who helped push that stone more than any other is "the boss" Katie, and frankly we'd be fucked without her. I'm horrendous with the details and my organizational skills could use some work, I admit it (I also have a lot on my plate so leave me the fuck alone*), but Katie, Katie gets shit done, and she makes sure that people are doing what they need to be doing. She's the boss goddamnit, and that's the way we like it because we are a true group: when shit needs to get done it gets done, and when there are decisions to be made the group comes together and makes them as a group. We disagree often but we work that shit out, we communicate, and to the best of my knowledge the product of our labors were met with satisfaction, to the extent that we're coming back off of hiatus on the local Air America Radio affiliate by invitation (not a big fucking deal I admit but it does count for something). It is hard work but we love and we love and respect each other (this is the group I am talking about), and it is good.

We know what the Prize is and we've got our eyes on the Prize; and I don't think anybody has worked harder to attain that Prize, and I thank her for it every day.

That's just the way we fucking roll.

* Unless I am really fucking up of course.

The Tyranny of Hypocrites and Assholes

Musings on Inside Deep Throat:

- I heartily support a woman's right to enjoy clitoral orgasms, and I encourage women to "mutherfuck" anybody who tells them otherwise.

- It's a very well made documentary with many learned people sharing thoughts and wisdom on the phenomenon that is Deep Throat. I particularly enjoyed Gore Vidal's and Norm Mailer's thoughts on our nation of lies and the commodification of booty.

- It also features the biggest collection of douchebags ever assembled as everybody top to bottom involved in prosecuting the movie comes off without the help of editing as total assholes. Pompous, hypocritical assholes. The movie actually made me feel genuinely morally and intellectually superior to a lot of people I'd associate with THE MAN.

- The notion that Deep Throat was inherently bad or evil because it was financed by the Mafia is ludicrus because of the simple fact that the mob has always been there to provide goods and services prohibited by the establisment, whether it's drugs and prostitution or dirty movies and alcohol because people WANT them. It's sort of like capitalism actually.

- Watching the movie and pondering our situation it has become totally clear to me that some people desperately need parent figures to guide them as adults, to provide moral clarity and a cause of righteousness to champion and force on others. They need THE MAN, they love THE MAN because THE MAN is there for them and THE MAN will keep them pure. It's all about authority: authority figures, people who joyfully enforce the will of the authorities, and the people who submit to authority in the face of choice, of freedom, of thinking critically for themselves.

- It's also not a coincidence that organized religion features strong "submission" to "higher authority" and 'external made internal' moral clarity components.

- I never thought I'd say this but thank God for disco, or the almost sexual release it provided for American society after the nightmare of Nixon because it got the hypocritical heat off of Deep Throat.

- Anybody who thinks there isn't a culture war on in our country needs to wake the fuck up because it's been going on forever and people need to choose sides. I for one proudly refuse to submit to the tyranny of hypocrites and assholes at the expense of my right to choose as a fucking taxpaying adult what I want to read, watch and listen to. This is America goddamnit.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The joys of TiVO:

- It gave me the "PRESS TO RECORD" during a promo last week on the far superior The Office showing her so I TiVO'd Scrubs because Mandy Moore was on (there's just something about Mandy Moore*) and while that show is just lousy there were a few good bits that I caught on fast forward after the first lousy 10 minutes: the black dude from Clueless lipsynching Bell Biv Devoe and Mandy Moore making out with the subsitute daughter on Roseanne during one of their tiresome "fantasy sequences." After watching that a few times I deleted it.

* That something being her fine and smoking performance as an uptight born again in that movie with the kid from Home Alone and the kid from Almost Famous, Saved.

- Lost is fucking nuts, what with the con men on the make, not so deserted island manias and phobias running wild, the forming of a posse commitatus for war, and the dissolution of a primitive society on the edge. Twin Peaks wasn't even remotely close to this good during it's fateful second season.

In Karma Police Custody

Karma police
I've given all I can,
it's not enough,
I've given all I can
but we're still on the payroll.

This is what you get,
this is what you get,
this is what you get,
when you mess with us.

For a minute there
I lost myself,
I lost myself.
Phew, for a minute there,
I lost myself,
I lost myself.

Lyrics and Music by Radiohead

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Bang the Drum

There's nothing else to be said.

The Sabres are fucking amazing.

Starting believing folks, and give freely of yourselves to this cause because things can and will happen if we do this right people.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Good Eats

Salsalita's, the new tex-mex joint at the corner of Delaware and Chippewa is hella good. Light chips with a better than passable guacamole, fucking delicious chicken tacos, I'm talking tacos that you can eat anytime of the day or week and not neccesarily when you are bombed, and beer. I had me a goddamn Dos Equis to wash down my grub, and one of the companions enjoyed a good margarita that went down well also. It is good shit I tell you, good shit.

The chicken club pizza from Just Pizza, with a honey BBQ crust is the bomb. Trust me on this.

And I hereby declare that the prepared foods at the Wegman's on Amherst are damned close, damned close to the quality found at the chic Sheridan Dr. Wegmans out in Williamsville. All they need is a pasta station and all will be right.

Cock@#$%er Blues

What do The Rolling Stones and I have in common? Two things. One is that both of us have been censored recently for making reference to busting nuts: I got the business BIG TIME from the powers that be for this blog post on the WNY Progress Report Blog orginally entitled "Another Premature Ejaculation," and the Stones agreed to be hassled by the man for their bawdy classic rock during XL's limp dicked halftime.

The moral of the story: shit happens.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Comfortably Numb

There's no guesswork here. I am all fucked up, and here are my random Super Bowl XL thoughts:

Playing The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony" as Seattle took the field was wrong, a total dis, and utterly prophetic. The "Star Spangled Banner" was woeful. Madison Avenue was totally under the impression that we Americans were all fucked up on something for this holy day: the wacky Dr. Seuss intro (and can somebody explain to me why the Hell Indiana Jones has an earring? and when did Dr. Seuss sell out?), the dinosaur vs. caveman Fed Ex commercial, and the wonderfully lesbionic Burger King burger dancers. I mean, they were so totally messing with us. The cheerleaders filmed from the neck up has got to stop! What the Hell is that about? Oh, we don't want to offend the red states. But of course all the best and most memorable commercials featured sex sex sex. The commercials for V For Vendetta intrigued me, Pixar's Cars got me fired up, while 16 Blocks struck me as sort of flat. The Stones were good, but ABC's sound SUCKED; rock should be played, Hell, has to be played at maximum volume, and the Stones were robbed. The thin sound made them sound strained and rinky dink when I know they can rock, and rock hard. Chris Berman however gets props for his Exile on Main St. reference to "Tumbling Dice". And what the fuck was up with that commercial with the Nuclear beast/Super Robot bestiality? Is that even bestiality? Where's Philip K. Dick when you need him? Hummer supporting, Hell, encouraging crass consumerism is one thing, but that might be a bit much. The game itself sort of blew, a grinding bore fest that like too many Super Bowls made me glad when it was over, and suprise suprise just when it started getting boring ABC flashed us some cheerleaders from the neck down... If the Super Bowl represents America than America is a place that will grind you up and spit you out, and probably existentially bore you to death while it happens, and the first 10 minutes of Grey's Anatomy reminded me why I can't stand it: it's just cheesy ass shit that's hilariously gratuitous and patently over the top as an alternative to actual depth, which is apparently the going trend over at ABC.*

* Ha ha mutherfuckers! I knew what are going to say before you say it. Lost however is a good show, clever and sly with a big, genuine heart.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Big Bang Orgasms of Color!

The big bang-esque globs of psychedlic colored phallic animated protrusions that visually accompany The Soft Bulletin in 5.1 (SURROUND SOUND!) on DVD are awesome; life affirming even, money shots of color that pulse and burble in tune with the SURROUND SOUND! music that envelopes the listener and lifts them up above the daily hum of existance into something beautiful and profound. Wayne Coyne's liner notes are awesome, a meditation on the nature of ART and the artistic experience and the act of creation, and the true meaning of life and how to live it. If Bono is trying to save the world Wayne is trying to save our sense of wonder, of exuberance, whimsy, and desire to better comprehend our human experience in a cold, cold world. The music itself, the art of The Flaming Lips is even more awesome than before; while it would be a stretch to call it a life changing record, The Soft Bulletin BLEW MY MIND when I first heard it about 2.5 years ago: beautiful lyrics about living and dying that spoke to me as a human being, and the Zeppelin-esque percussion backing the orchestral progressive rock psychedlia brought (and still brings) true joy to my heart; and the new 5.1 mix goes further into the mystic to create a tactile experience that literally touches you in the guts and sucks you into it for some serious sensory stimulation. And did I mention that it is life affirming? And awesome?
Those magical years spent watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Comedy Central years and years ago paid off last night at the WNY Coalition for Progress State of the Union Viewing Shindig. As a cinephile MST3K proudly lowered my horizons and exposed me to our world's worst cinema; as a political animal it helped give me perfect timing for interjecting snide and or funny comments, japes, and commentary, and last night it came in handy as the targets and opportunities were beyond plentiful.

Apparently I was funny.