Friday, April 28, 2006

In Brief

The home computer is pretty frelled up at this point so blogging is going to be depressingly infrequent over the next few days and I'm at work so I'll be muy brief:

- Last night's Office was brilliant, again- a classic study of faux authority figures, hypocrisy, and complex office mores and relationships. Smallville however just kicked ass.

- I just can't get enough of this story. I just hope that book wasn't quasi-autobiographical because that would be mean this kid not only plagiarized her book but that she also plagiarized her life.

- Tonight, Game 4. Prepare yourselves people!

- Tomorrow at 9 EST: Tim Karr from on the WNY Progress Report, 1270 AM.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

On The Fly...

- Sabres lost last night 3-2. Not the end of the world. Keep your shirts on naysayers, and to the faithful I say "keep the faith!" Tomorrow is another day.

- Barcelona FC beat AC Milan yesterday and will face Arsenal FC in Paris on May 17 in the Champions League Finals. On ESPN2. Live. This is huge. Awesome.

- I am starting a music club for Lefties. Stay tuned for the first selection...

- The new Doctor Who is the bomb. Fun, witty, sharp, and Billie Piper is a real find- ethereal yet grounded and real. You gotta love the BBC.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Workin' Mojo

Tomorrow afternoon around 13:30 EST I will have to bend some of my mojo over the Atlantic Ocean and to the Nou Camp in Barcelona FC takes on AC Milan in the do or die second leg of the Champions League semi-finals. This is big shit and I gotta do my part. Barca's gotta do it- the roommate has already put a jinx on Arsenal (today's winner in the other semi finals series) by declaring them "the Champions," a total violation of the rules that will haunt him because that is the way it works. Trust me on this.

And tomorrow night: GAME 3. Yes! People get ready to bend your mojo to Philly, I'm talking about serious karmic re allignment for the greater good of WNY here. Serious business.

Focus, we can do it!
I have tried to like folk music but other than the occasional folk number interspersed with some rock I tend to avoid it. Don't get me wrong, I respect folk music- I respect it like I respect the union folks who've gone before me, and I've tried the Dylan but frankly, in the end I like him electric. I am a product of the 70's and 80's. I like riffs and keyboards and weird sounds and I like the feel the music. That said I love the new Springsteen album. It's alive, it's old and new simultaneously, and it comes from the heart. It conjures an America when people came together to kick it out: of smokey dancehalls and barns and buses or trains of people heading somewhere to fight something unjust, and a little like those Martin Luther King Day assemblies we had back in school. It's an album about people and stories and people overcoming shit and it's the album for this moment in our history because it is our history. It's good for stomping yer feet and I bet it's good on a picket line.

Monday, April 24, 2006

A Good Day

It's late and I am lazy.

From the WNY Progress Report blog:

April 24th, 2006 at 4:32 pm by Cliff

Al Franken’s live broadcast today from Ani DiFranco’s Church on Delaware humrocked the WNY Progress Report. 3 hours of the man hisself plus an autograph in my book and a picture. It was great, and for the folks from the WNY Progress Report who shared in the experience I love you guys.

Many thanks Al.

Of particular note: Al’s interviews with Eyal Press, author of Absolute Convictions: My Father, a City, and the Conflict that Divided America, and Tom Davis as Scott Norwood, both of which called to mind lesser moments in Buffalo’s recent history. The Buffalo flavor of the show was great, and much appreciated as well.

The new issue of Rolling Stone humrocked El Presidente, and there ain’t a damn thing they can do about it because it is all categorically true.

UPDATE:I just can’t do another Bush post- the Sabres game is going to be on soon, but this HAD to be added- the spector (specter?) of Jack Abramoff strikes… La Casa Blanca!!
Go Sabres.

Yes Buffalo, You Saw That Right…
April 24th, 2006 at 6:41 pm by Cliff

… a commercial to promote “prosperity” by the Seneca Gaming Corporation during the Sabres game. That we don’t need.

Oh yeah, and that 4-0 score isn’t a dream either. Holy mackeral! A benchclearing brawl! The Flyers goalie’s gone nuts!

And then it ended 8-2. There's a wind blowing in the NHL and it's saying "BUFFALO."

And 24 was excellent again; tense and dangerous with a few zags left before it wraps up. Plus it's a bonafide Robocop convention with a guest turn by the dude who gets hit with the toxic waste and explodes when he got hit by the truck at the end.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sam Seaborn returns to The West Wing and power begins to change hands. What a feast these last episodes have been... almost Sorkin-esque, and the end was wundebar. I think I used wundebar the other day but longtime WW fans know what I am talking about. I'm a softy like that.

Of course the Republican VP bit on next week's show looks like pure fantasy, a sot to an imaginary middle of the road that doesn't exist at this point. Not with these right wing nuts at least. We've got to put the breaks on these guys pronto.

That commerical for Flight 93 featuring a discussion with director Paul Greengrass is the weirdest commercial I have ever seen, and it might well be the most effective. The discussion for you folks: is it a manipulation to sell a controversial movie or a geniune and sincere attempt to sell a controversial film on it's potential merits? I'm leaning toward the former based on the positive early buzz and the fact that like Dark said the other day it is history that we should not forget. Also, as a LIBERAL DEMOCRAT I will certainly appreciate the fact that the film will refocus us on our proper foe/target, Osama Mutherfucking Bin Laden, who's still running around free as a fucking bird thank you very much. I just had to say it.

Oh yeah- THE STANLEY CUP, Le Coup Stanley, is out out Eastern Hills Mall, and tomorrow night is GAME 2. Game on. And OLN's broadcasting of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada Playoff feed is much appreciated. There's just something musical about the HNIC play by play and knowing color commentary. Nobody trumps Jeanneret but I'm just saying.

Wasted, or, "My Fucking Arm!"

People who know will know why, but suffice it to say I am wasted, and that will color my shit tonight.

The Simpsons was a classic throwaway that strangely enough featured Captain McAllister (proof that the show is in it's 16th season). Homer the Drunk gets the Pilgrims to America so "fundamentalist Christians can take over the country by the 21st Century," Bart mutinies against Skinner in a brilliant Mutiny on the Bounty bit that's immortalized Weezer forever and got me off my seat to dance, and the Poseiden Adventure just might have ruined that new remake for me with all the 70's disaster movie cliches and Homer J. in a fro.

The Sopranos was an otherworldly experience. America's decadence displayed. Cold hearted violence. Ben Kingsley running afoul of the Sopranosverse and reduced to saying "FUCK!" Christopher going off the wagon and punching Lauren Bacall in the face. Artie Bucco's moral universe destroyed and rebuilt by his art. The cold reality that the American century is over.

I really like the surround sound "God Only Knows" that kicks off Big Love. That album really needs to be remastered by Brian on DVD right away.

The Buffalo News really cornholed the proud radio station that the WNY Progess Report is honored to be on by misstating the stations goddamned frequency in the third paragraph. Yes, it's even fucked up online. Minga. It's 1270 jackasses! 1270! Now was that intentional or are they just incompetent.

And... Al Franken live in Buffalo, broadcast to the world, from Buffalo, tomorrow afternoon. A full eyewitness report will follow.

A Clip Show Has Jumped The Shark

Alas, Best Week Ever officially sucks. It just ain't funny (that "actor/comedian" label has alas been used too too liberally), and frankly it's softball approach to skewering our popular culture has been compromised or at least watered down to better fit the cultural vacuum that VH1 so totally covets. I will say however that those VW commercials with the car crashes are getting on my nerves- I just don't like car companies fucking with me through my deep seated fear of getting fucked up driving in my car, and OK, watching Cindy Margolis cook in slow motion (those babies are real!)* was pretty cool.

But it just ain't funny anymore.

* Thank you TiVO.

Quick Disjointed Thoughts About Hockey

The huge throngs of people working their way to the arena 45 minutes before game time. The fans who bust out in song and or cheering in hallways, on the escalators, and in the bathroom for no reason other than it's the playoffs. HUGE LINES for the bathroom. The "BULLSHIT!" chant. The pure energy in the building created by a full house. Honking your horn "Let's Go Buffalo!" in the parking ramp and in the streets of downtown Buffalo. This is Sabres playoff hockey.

OOH AH SABRES ON THE WARPATH! Daniel Briere and Ryan Miller saved our bacon. Mike Greer is an unsung hero- the unquantifiable X-Factor who's grit and unquenchable spirit made and makes the difference. Ludman should be scratched for the rest of the playoffs, his performance tonight, his continued efforts TO GIVE THE GAME AWAY was an absolute travesty. Thos refs fucking sucked balls: 3 times Hitchcock got away with having 7 guys on the ice, that was a clean hit, and they couldn't even handle the icing calls. And that was the best check I have ever seen. Campbell KILLED that dude and it was clean as hell. 2 overtime periods is 2 too many- exciting as hell but just as stressful. I cannot wait for Monday.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Steve Responds

I was just informed by Steve that I misquoted him regarding Star Wars: Steve says he still likes the originals, just not the prequels; also, Steve says he is still strong with the Force. OK. I'll be cool and post it because that is what I do- however I recall Steve making derisive comments about Star Wars period, and to me and George Lucas that means I - VI. Steve has also indicated that he will be responding in greater length and detail at some point in the future and I certainly welcome it cuz he's still got some 'splainin' to do.

Oh yeah, free Hip show 6/16 in Pittsburgh. I smell a road trip, especially considering Artpark sold out for the 6/17 Hip spectacular.


Less than 2 hours to game time. We're leaving here momentarily to meet some folks and drink some beers down at the HSBC because I want to, I have to be in my seats and ready to rock at 7:00 PM.

No greasy food down at the arena... no fucking pom poms... to tie up these clapping hands* because they are ready to clap for the Sabres.

Let's go.

* Cups of beer of course can be safely placed on the floor under the seats and I usually only drink when the puck is in the ref's hands anyway.


JJ Abrams (Alias, Lost)... is doing the next Star Trek movie?!? All I can say is: BEWARE THE WUNDERKINDS. Lost by it's very nature is precariously balanced between genius/crap, which means it's still up in the air which it is, and M.I.3 ain't even out yet and Paramount is lobbing Trek at them? Danger.


For the record: Bill Maher's views on the Democratic Party as espoused on tonight's Real Time are my current views on the Democratic Party.

No balls. No glory. Find your balls and doors will open.

Friday, April 21, 2006

You've Got The Power In There (Again)

Click on this link, click on the colorful picture, and tell those beautiful people at the Albright Knox you want The Flaming Lips to play Rockin' At The Knox.


Teenage boys... plotting to shoot up their high school jackass style... on 4/20?!?

This is why teenage boys should be encouraged to smoke dope... to keep them off this retarded shit and docile. Now their lives are REALLY fucked.

That Old Kennedy Magic

Tonight's Daily Show is an instant classic: Stewart (also) refered to Karl Rove as Emperor Palpatine (yes!), America's love of rule and order (and sub-divisions shaped like big dongs) got featured, and Sen. Ted Kennedy kicked out the jams and advocated campaign finance refer Bill Moyers style. Glorious.

Was it me, or was that the first true salvo of the 2006 mid-terms? On The Daily Show?!?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Facts

It's not too early to do a movie about 9/11. It's not too early to see a good movie about 9/11. It will never be a good time for a bad movie about 9/11. People who complain about people making money off of 9/11 has forgotten about: country musicians, flag and flag magnet makers (some overseas), knock off FDNY caps, and the military industrial complex. That's just the way it is.

I myself am interested in seeing Flight 93; it will be raw and heavy but 9/11 was raw and heavy- hell, America is raw and heavy and has been since 9/11. That too is just the way it is.
- I've finally finished off Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life by Jon Lee Anderson. Whew. Now I understand the Che phenomenon: he was a Marxist Jesus figure, or to be more precise, a Marxist Santa Claus- so sure of his philosophy that he felt compelled by history and the revolution to make a gift of his Marxist philosophy to the Third World whether they wanted it or not. An intense man who turned his life into a great adventure in the name of the highest ideals: helping his fellow man. I'll be wrassling with the implications of this book for some time.

- But enough of that heavy shit, I gotta decompress. Starting Che, then putting it down to read Confessions Of An Economic Hit Man for radio show homework, and then finishing Che... dag it's been almost 3.5 months, almost all of 2006. Switching gears next up is Staring At Sound: The True Story Of Oklahoma's Flaming Lips by Chicago rock critic Jim DeRogatis, something frothy about art and music and life and death. Just what I need.

- Actually reading a book about a rock band is something I reserve for only my most hallowed, revered rock heroes: U2, R.E.M., Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin.

- Smallville was a surprisingly effective Saw ripoff, and the dark dide comes to The OC. Kiki... oh Kiki.

- 2 days to Game 1.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Decline of the Roman Empire

From the WNY Progress Report blog:

The Decline of the Roman Empire
April 19th, 2006 at 11:14 am by Cliff

Competitive eating is the fastest growing sport in America. ESPN is betting that dominoes will be the next poker. Commericals for the finale of American Idol are going for $1.3 million.
Americans need to find time on their busy schedules for civics, or participatory government, something… anything; and for the record, I don’t “hate” America- far from it, America just worries the bejezzus out of me.

Posted in Value, Truth Justice and the American Way. No Comments.

ESPN Responds

I was impressed that this came back so soon:

Thank you for your e-mail.

A channel called Setanta Sports (not affiliated with ESPN) has the English rights to both AC Milan vs. FC Barcelona semifinal legs. ESPN Deportes, ESPN's Spanish network, will also televise both legs from AC Milan vs. FC Barcelona. (Next match on April 25, 2:30 p.m. ET). ESPN2 has the English rights to both semifinal legs of Arsenal vs. Villareal and the finals May 17 at 2:30 p.m. ET.

ESPN Viewer Response

That still blows.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Round 1

Sabres vs. Flyers.

The Apostasy of Steve


a·pos·ta·sy [e postessee]

renunciation of faith: the renunciation of a religious or political belief or allegiance
[14th century. Via French <>

wanted more on the alleged apostasy of my old roommate Steve, and there's really not a lot to say, my old chum now slags off the Star Wars movies en toto. All of them, even the classic originals. I don't know what to say about it... Steve was at one time hip... hell, he's the guy who really deserves the credit for finishing my Star Wars: Bounty Hunter PS2 game (that game was a mutha)... but now he's fallen from the path. Maybe it's because he doesn't appreciate the morality/parable/fable component integral to Star Wars- the notion that Anakin and Luke Skywalker's decisions, or exercises in free will, drive and inform the whole saga (one chooses poorly, the other well indeed), and that through their mythic quest we can ponder our own decisions and destiny. In any case he's chucked Star Wars in the bin.

Apostasy... pure and simple.


Sent to moments ago:

What is the deal with the disgusting bait and switch today? Why does my TiVO have the World Series of Poker instead of Barcelona's UEFA Champions League game? Are you going to screw me next week out of the second leg? If so, please let me know so I don't get my hopes up.

Men sitting on their asses instead of the world's game at it's finest. Feh.

Cliff Parks Jr.

In other news: GO SABRES! Saturday is going to rock.
Thanks for Byzantium's Shores for calling my attention to this slice of television heaven, a spiritual balm from our shared childhoods: The Mahna Mahna Song from the Muppet Show.

ESPN Blows

ESPN screwed me out of the first leg of the Champions League semi finals between Barcelona FC and AC Milan in favor of fucking poker and my TiVO is now clogged up with bullshit. I will be OK, Barcelona won so it's all good with me because I am not nuts; my roommate however will be a different story tomorrow if ESPN decides to show poker instead of the Arsenal vs Villareal semi final match. He'll go fucking mental and it won't be pretty. ESPN has been warned.

In Search Of The Esoteric...

Click here to get your Tarot reading and listen to some good tunes. Be sure to click on the nothingness to get it started.


Monday, April 17, 2006

Monday Notes

- 24 is bold, tense, a game of high political brinksmanship, a Robocop actors reunion, and it's just getting crazier at enters it's final episodes. Should I be ashamed that I still love it?

- Tickets go on sale to the general public tomorrow at noon for the 6/17 Hip show at Artpark.

- Word on the street: Radiohead might well be doing some shows up in Toronto this summer. Now all we need is a Flaming Lips show near here and it will be an amazing summer.

- Tomorrow afternoon, AC Milan vs Barcelona FC in the first leg of the Champions League semi - finals, live on ESPN 2 at 14:30 EST. The TiVO will be running, and it will be good.

Style Points

I have been living it for years, years ahead of the curve; behold the cover to the April 3, 2006 New York Magazine.

I am cool. Quantifiably cool.

I know I know, cool is elusive, undefinable. But when your personal style makes the cover of THAT magazine, you got it. Booyah.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The reason why nobody watches Commander in Chief anymore is because people are returning for the final episodes of The West Wing and are realizing that Commander in Chief actually sucks compared to these sentimental strolls down the memory lane of a truly great show. Reasons why West Wing is great, and a lot of fun going into the final stretch: the teaser at Leo's funeral featuring just about everybody who's ever been on the show including all the Bartlett daughters (but no Rob Lowe), Charlie and Toby, Charlie and Donna, Bartlett and Margaret, Mary Louise Parker, Ainsley Hayes, Bail Organa and Mary Louise Parker, Josh recieving the passed torch, Bartlett and everybody. Man, for a while this way MY show, it was fun to go back my old school, and it was a fitting farewell to Leo/ John Spencer.

Brief Easter Notes

- Before passing out last night up in Canada I saw the first five minutes of SNL and it was beyond woeful. Another CNN parody? To start the show? They aren't even trying.

- Going to church in Canada was wild, what with the BIG MASONIC EYEBALL in the stained glass glowering over me above. The sermon was some of that old time religion, ranting against democracy, abortion and same sex marriage, and then they tried to burn the church down. Very strange indeed.

- I decided to go right from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix audiobook right into The Half Blood Prince. The audiobooks just get better and better, and Jim Dale is a magnificent talent, subtle and emotive, and he captures Rowlings maturing tone perfectly.

- The Sabres are fucking awesome. 51 wins. A 6-0 thrashing, humiliation, of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The return to the kind of form that could be devastating in the playoffs. 1 more game folks and then we are in the PLAYOFFS.

- My old roommate was over for dinner and it was hilariously ironic: he's reading Ayn Rand A-Z while I am reading Che Guevarra: A Revolutionary Life. God I miss our late night discussions, especially now that his views on Star Wars are down right apostasy (a word heard today during that great sermon).

- The Sopranos was excellent, again. It covered all the bases. They are all a mess.

- Oh yeah- Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

North Buffalo needs to get it's retard infestation under control pronto: the Burger King drive thru was stalled for 5 minutes (was it the retard in the red truck starting off into space or the retards manning the BK? You never can tell), and then it was the Boston Market drive thru with the retard who said "we'll be with you in a minute" and never came back. In both situations I said "FUCK IT!", and to those retards I say "FUCK YOU!"

Trust me folks, THIS is the great unspoken problem facing our nation, the sad retardification of the US of A. Where it will end nobody knows...

In non retard news the Good Friday fish fry last night at the Serbian American Club was muy bien, and the company was muy excellente. And for the record: Colter Bay has never been and will never ever be my kind of bar, no matter how good the company kept. That, is just the way it is.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Free Radicals

Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly got it wrong, but MOJO and our local rock press got it RIGHT: At War With The Mystics is an amazing album, and The Flaming Lips are an important band, perhaps the most important band in the USA. Hell, I'll even sign on with Jeff Meir's assertion in today's Gusto that "this is as good as rock has gotten since the Beatles' best"; it seems ludicrous to even go there but, if you take the classic Beatles albums starting with Rubber Soul on through Sgt. Peppers (maybe even Magical Mystery) and the last three Lips records* and similarities appear. The studios and producers were de facto members of the bands, the records sound amazing, each record utterly replaces the previous one in quality and total artistic distillation and representation, and each album is a perfect artistic statement. Very few bands work towards these ends, and fewer succeed, and I think the Lips are very much in this exclusive club. Kudos to Donny Kutzbach and Jeff Meirs for being hip to the LODE.

Special note to the Albright Knox: The Lips are totally the band to headline your second annual music fest this summer. Totally.

And can anybody explain why the mainstream American music press is hell bent on minimizing the Lips while MOJO clearly believes they ARE IMPORTANT? The reviews of AWWTM in both RS and EW were perfuctory, slight, and frankly they just seemed interested in downplaying the virtues of an album they gave 3 stars and a B to respectively (obvious efforts to retain some cred by the reviewers). My theories on this will be forthcoming...

* The Soft Bulletin, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, and At War With The Mystics.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Kid Chino better have slapped a jimmy hat when he hooked up with that Darla looking waitress bird- he's already knocked up one chick.

Raving and Drooling

For some reason I remember a classic Barney Miller when the boys at the Ol' 1-2 girded themselves for a full moon and all the hilarity that comes with a full moon... unfortunately the full moon is not funny. The lunatics are on the loose. One guy called in just to cuss out on of the girls in the office. An arab called in to curse me for asking standard account verificiation questions. Terri the Lotto Lady is speaking perfect english but none of her callers can understand her. It just goes on and on.

Jebus... please spare us from the chronic violent masturbators and mental midgets.... PLEASE.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


My performance in the office talent show went off brilliantly. Decked out in white like a soda jerk or milk man I belted out "Psycho Caller", a clever riff on the legendary "Psycho Killer" with Joe Vip and Andy Hochworter strumming along Stop Making Sense style. My sublte yet thoroughly relevant lyrical changes went over perfectly, I didn't freeze up or shit myself, and my spastic dance moves at the end got much applause. I didn't win the talent show (Leo won with his subtle yet effective Johnny Cash- he'll have to be absent for next year's edition...), but it got me off the phone a tremendous amount (so much that I fear I might actually plummet back to reality), and it was fun.
Another hot teacher in America's heartland fucking their students. She's hot. Hot. What's going on here? What is driving these women... these beautiful and twisted women? Why wasn't this happening when I was in high school?

This is a national epidemic.
From the WNY Progress Report blog:

WNY Progress Report 4/15
April 12th, 2006 at 9:27 pm by Cliff

Check out the WNY Progress Report this Saturday at 9 AM EST on News Talk 1270 AM for a chat with special guest Barry Crimmins, noted satirist, Air America contributor and author (Never Shake Hands With A War Criminal) about any number of subjects ripe for satire. A group of WNY Coalition for Progress members saw Barry at an appearance at Talking Leaves in February 2005 and I can say that the man is hilarious, smart, and more than able to provide a sharp perspective on what’s going on as we speak. Calls are heartily encouraged (716 855-6848) although any attempts at cutting up or upstaging will be handled accordingly. Also, we’ll be giving away tickets to see Al Franken in Buffalo April 24 during the news segment with Christa Vidaver during the first 15 minutes so be sure to listen in, call in, and get this most excellent swag.

That’s the WNY Progress Report, this Saturday (April 15) at 9 AM EST on News Talk 1270 AM and online at

Posted in Truth, Justice, and the American Way No Comments »


No matter what happens, this has been one hell of a Sabres season as tonight's victory of Montreal ties the club record of set back in 1975 when they went to the finals. Kudos!

Monday, April 10, 2006

- Officially announced today: Tragically Hip, WNED Guitar Festival, Artpark, Saturday June 17. Plus the June 24th Hip show up at Fort Yorke equals a nice start to a Hip summer. Now all we need is a show at the Odeon in Cleveland and all will be well.

- Actually all will truly be well when shows within range are announced for Roger Waters, The Who, and the Flaming Lips. Some Rush shows would be nice too.

- 24 is tense, otherworldly in it's depiction of martial law and a lawless President.

- I refuse to be programmed into becoming a poker playing machine, no matter how hard they pump the current pseudo consumeristic fad/obsession/disorder at me over the boob tube. Beware Gamblor, the God of Gambling! Damn you Gamblor!

- That Anthony Bourdain show on the Travel Channel is great. Weird. I like the cut of that guy's jib- he'll try anything in his gastronomic/anthropological/philosophical/spiritual perambulations, and that's what it's all about.

Additional Simpsons Thoughts

The peeps agree, last night's episode is a classic, and we all seem to be in agreement with The Simpsons that international unionism is the key to thwarting / managing globalization. I mean, how great was it that manager Homer accidentally unionized the Burns Nuclear Power Plant in Bangalore India, and how great was it that Burns fired the unionized Indians so he could replace them with "desperate" down on their luck workers by relocating to Springfield?

Now all we gotta do is figure out how to unionize the third world.

Family Guy Just Sucks

This week's Simpsons was profound: Homer discovering that outsourcing is the key to solving every problem, the outsourced worker in the pro outsourcing movie being excited about having "more time to play the lottery- cha ching!", the Indian workers with degrees from M.I.T. now working in Burn's power plant (moved to Bangalore) pretending to take orders from ding dong Homer (not really), which inadvertantly deludes Homer into thinking he's Molaram and Col. Kurtz, Mac Guyver Richard Dean Anderson's Patty and Selma inspired danger/escape fetish, the fact that IBM's helpline, the Dallas Marriot's front desk and Miss Cleo's calls all being answered by Apu's, and a Bollywood musical finale all equal classic.

Also, all the jokes were germane to the plot, unlike any episode of The Family Guy.

South Park was not profound but was hilarious, and deserves our respect for shitting on Family Guy. Like Cartman I too get rubbed the wrong way when people act surprised when I say that I don't like Family Guy because it's allegedly "my" kind of funny; it's not funny, the jokes are interchangible, and it's just waaaay too derivative of The Simpsons to have any true merit with a bonafide, true Simpsons fan. I'm sorry, that's the way it is, and I will be rooting for Cartman next week in his continuing efforts to shut Family Guy down, even if The Simpsons shat on Family Guy first.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The wedding of Allegra Sack ("what the fuck does that got to do with cold medicine?") was the 21st century equivelent of the classic wedding scenes from The Godfather movies: there were a lot of obese people, the Godfather was the one asking for the favor, and the feds were still dickweeds. I like Buscemi's eye for cliche and detail, I liked Ginny Sack keeling over in 5.1 surround sound, and the inevitable Brokeback Mobsters jokes write themselves.

I also like the Beach Boys "God Only Knows" opening credits for Big Love in 5.1 surround sound. Brian, it's time to start remastering those classic albums in 5.1, starting with Pet Sounds. Or just do Pet Sounds. That's super fine with me.
I said it once and I will say it again: Bail Organa for President! Foo Fighters! U2's "Beautiful Day" (of course it reminded me of the Hyatt Ballroom when Mark Poloncarz took the stage)! And the profound sadness of the loss of John Spencer/Leo McGarry.

The last few episodes of The West Wing will be something to savor.

Jim Nance Is An Ass

Why did he and Lanny have to put the jinx on Phil's last hole during his magnificent 2nd Masters win? No Jim, he would have gone bogey free in his final round, the "round of his life" had you not put the whammy on him on the 18th tee.

Kudos to Phil, his fine lookin' wife Amy, and the whole Mickelson family. Fred, your putter was your kryptonite, but it was a hell of a tournement.

And what's with AT&T trying to purport themselves as the originators of K.I.T.T.'s and Rosie the Robot's voices? I don't bloody think so...
I am loving the past champion logjam at the top of the Masters leaderboard. Roccoo Mediate's meltdown however is tough to watch.


2:52 PM EST, Augusta National, GA: Phil Mickelson (-4) and Fred Couples (-3) tee off in the Final Round of the Masters. My two favorite golfers together for a round... a whole round of Fred Couples in action... it doesn't get any better. Golfers all over the world will be glued to their tubes to savor every swing of Fred's clubs, and for those who want to see what golf is really all about- they should watch Fred also, because in the pure poetry of his swing they could find it.

And, it's going to be a shoot out at Augusta. Awesome.

We'll See Them Later On

6-2 Buffalo over Ottawa. If they can conjure that in the playoffs hot shit!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

A Vein of Stars Calling Out My Name

Listening to a new Flaming Lips album is like getting cosmic beams downloaded into your brain from the great ether: some of them pulsate in bright, beautiful forms immediately and tickle your tangible fancy on the first listen ("My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion"), some register but lay dormant until they explode in your ears and in your mind and become one of your favorite tracks on the album after a couple of listens ("Vein of Stars"), and some even don't rock you until the complexity and sheer beauty envelope you and tickles your fancy from then onward ("It Overtakes Me", "Haven't Got A Clue"). At War With The Mystics is another modern prog rock masterpiece, otherworldly ambitious rock ear candy that sweeps you up and sounds sooo, so good in the ear. I like the anthems ("The W.A.N.D.", "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song", the wonderfully Prince-esque "Free Radicals"), I love the soulful ballads ("The Sound of Failure", the super sweet "Mr. Ambulance Driver"), and I love the fact that you can take something from this album and use it in your life. Yes, like any Lips record there's some songs about death, but it's all about life and how to live it that the Lips are on about, and I thank them for it.

The Flaming Lips also make me proud to be an American.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Status of My Ongoing Spiritual Quest

My seemingly inevitable conversion away from Christianity is moving along, this week aided by The Benny Hinn Ministry. Watching Hinn whack male churchgoers with the Holy Spirit through his rolled up white sport coat during The Daily Show's "Moment of Zen" wasn't exactly what did it- I've seen his weirdness before. It was watching the male churchgoers fall over on their stomachs on top of each other like chord wood that struck me as odd. OK, now you see what I am talking about. I mean, why would anybody go so far just to rub their linus against another man's buttocks, feigning getting socked unconscious by God in the obvious service of intentionally rubbing up on another dude? Come on now. Dudes who don't go there just ain't gonna go there. I've played a lot of tackle football in my life and I can assure you that sort of thing just doesn't happen. Junk on man ass contact isn't just gonna jump off unless you want it to, and you certainly ain't just gonna lie "unconscious" there junk on man ass either... trust me you're gonna fall on your side (avoiding the man ass fest) or roll off rapidamente. Or just avoid the whole scene period.

I mean, if you clearly want to scratch that itch what's stopping you? Why go through all that? Oh... that's right... you got that whole other thing sort of blocking that stuff.

There's just a little too much going on there with that whole scene that transcends "belief": delusion, submission, denial, transference, and frankly I don't think I'm down with all that subconscious and conscious hassle. Between this and the whole Adam and Eve hung out with dinosaurs thing (like the Flintstones!) you really have to wonder.
Tomorrow (today technically): Sabres vs. Philly at the HSBC. Yes!

Saturday: the WNY Progress Report at 9 AM on Newstalk 1270 AM.

Thursday TiVo Fun

Ellen caught some guff for busting out of the Coalition board meeting to meet up with a friend to watch The OC, but I stood by her. I respect her taste. The OC is my Thursday sugar fix, a thoroughly guilty pleasure essential for getting through Friday to the weekend: the saga (ok, soap opera) of beautiful people who are good people by my reckoning navigating the existential dilemma that is modern life, with great references (this week: Pa Kettle, ). This week it was Qui Gonn Sandy Cohen versus corrupt property developers (will Sandy hold true to his principals?), Cosmo Girl hits the skids with the arch nemesis of Johnny the Former Existential Surfer, Seth acts the jackass and lies about bitter failure, and everything hits the fan. And the music is good.

Whatever the hell the WB/UPN channel is going to be better bring on Smallville or I am going to be hella-pissed. This week's was a tasty nugget: Senator Martha Kent in action, Clark in South America chasing Brainiac (his first true blue super villain!), Lex as the concerned boyfriend, and Lana going Harry Potter one better in her effort to see her dead parents by becoming addicted to artificial death just like in a Flaming Lips song. Fun. And then Clark has an artificial death experience and sees Pa Kent and all of a sudden it got emotional and profound when Pa tells Clark that it is his destiny to be "a symbol of peace and a symbol of justice." With all the white light and music and John Schnieder it all very moving I must confess.

I might have to break down and get this series on DVD. Or I have to pull myself together.

And speaking of TiVo, I can safely say that I am excited about the Barcelona FC / AC Milan UEFA Champions League fixtures starting in two weeks on ESPN2, which I should be able to enjoy at some point on TiVO, complete with the jolly English play by play dude and the Leprecaun providing the Irish color. Frankly that shit is infectious and entertaining, and occasionally hilarious.

All I have to do is avoid the scores on the Internet that night (believe me, I won't catch them accidentally at work- the AP doesn't care that much to post anything over here that fast) all will be well.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Law and Order My Ass

I am thoroughly convinced that the American obsession with the police procedural television show has it's roots in:

1) our desire for empowered gratification, watching uppity perps take their much deserved fall, hell watching ANYBODY take the fall... so long as it isn't us.

2) our need to feel that there is some black and white justice in the world, even if it is only on television.

3) a deep seated requirement for ORDER and psuedoscientific deliverance from crime and dis-order.

Unfortunately this is entirely too convenient when this obsession is running wild during a period when America is running wild: absurdly violent crime, white collar perfidy, a hillbilly crack epidemic, a hilariously corrupt government, tabloid pop culture, and concerted campaign between religious fanatics and pro business interests to create perpetual skepticism about science.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

You've Got The Power In There

The new Flaming Lips album At War With The Mystics is magical, weird, sweet, bittersweet, and inspired. My mind is boggled, still trying to sort it ouot.


That was the most guts the Sabres have shown in a long time and that was just an amazing ot goal. How many times did they come back? How many? Without Jochen Hecht. What a show of spirit and guts.

99 points baby.

A Point Against Ottawa

Huge. There is lightness in my heart.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Monday Mashup

I passed out last night before I could blog but I have regrets, and tonight was busy so it's all mashed up, a real jambalaya of sorts:

- The Simpsons was great, a real ode to living without fear. Springfield blows!

- West Wing: Yes!!!! Finally! CJ for World Dominator! Leo. Next week's will be sad.

- God bless the Sopranos for chuffing off the fad jumpers and phoney baloney fans with it's densest season yet.

- Sopranos thoughts doodled this morning at work:

Last night's Sopranos offered an interesting critique of organized religion by placing Tony between the contrasting poles of fundamentalist religion (as epitomized by Pastor Bob) and pure scientific inquiry and theoretical physics (as epitomized by "the wizard" Hal Holbrook). The gist: that we are buffeted by the winds of the universe (the Ojibwe saying) because we are part of the singular event that is the universe, and that external modes of morality and Manichean dualities inherent in organized religion are ultimately concepts because we what have and what we need is within us becauase we are ultimately part of the universe.

- Hooray. We're in the playoffs. And we won in the shootout against the hated Leafs. Hey, it's a start.

- 24 notes: Goddamn beaureaucrats! Jack is still the shit. Ray Wise is a great, great actor. It's the best season yet. It was cool watching it on TiVo and having real time almost synchronize up perfectly with 24 time because we watched it after the game.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Bad News For My Waistline

Coming to North Buffalo... Jim's Steak-out. Practically right down the street. Booyah?


I Am Right

Simpsons movie announced for July 2007.
If the Sabres lose Monday back to back to the Leafs they are OFFICIALLY FUCKED and I'll be saving some $$$$$ on 2nd round playoff tickets. They are a team of headcases pure and simple, and unless somebody takes the lead they are going to be out of the playoffs pronto, and I really don't want to pin the blame on Lindy, who's daughter is sick and that just ain't proper behaviour. When the coach's daughter gets really sick and the coach's head is understandably elsewhere or on 100 things at once it falls to the TEAM to dig deep and get the job done and the Sabres HAVE NOT IN SPADES. It's not gut check time... they are so far past gut check time it's not even funny. They are at HEAD CASE CHECK time and the buzzer is not the far off.

Monday is a big game.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Anybody not concerned about the state of the Buffalo Sabres is hilariously deluded. And DirecTV better get this shit squared away pronto.
You know it's springtime in Buffalo when Main Street in the University Heights area becomes utterly impassable because it's being torn up for what... the 10th year in a row?!?