Monday, December 31, 2007

The Rest of the Dudes Top Shit of 2007



The Flaming Lips, UFO's at the Zoo. Sensational. Magnificent. A surround sound experience. One of the best live rock DVD's ever.

Runner Up: Led Zeppelin The Song Remains the Same. The DTS mix is hair raising. The Hammer of the Gods. One of my favorite Xmas gifts ever.


  1. Bill Moyers on PBS. The man is the clearest voice on television, covering all of the stuff that truly matters.
  2. Torchwood Season 1 and Doctor Who Season 3. A one two punch of BBC brilliance. BBCAmerica viewers should note that in addition to the second Season of Torchwood airing in January BBCAmerica will also be airing the third season of Doctor Who that very same evening- making Saturday night MUST SEE TV, or MUST DVR TV.
  3. The hour long Offices that kicked off their abbreviated fourth season. At least two of them (I think there were 4) qualify as works of perfect television comedy genius. The Fun Run to fight rabies episode almost gave me a panic attack when I realized that I couldn't stop laughing.


  • I loved the whole YEAR OF IRONIC COMEUPPANCE thing: the entire Spears clan going up in smoke (the perfect coda to the Republican era), the Larry Craig saga, the British soccer team crashing out of the Euro 2008 Qualifiers, and the toxic shit manufactured for our consumption by the Chinese in particular.
  • I think it's great that there will literally be dancing in the streets when Bush leaves office in 2009, based on the fact that 2007 was his most obnoxious year yet and everybody knows it, making the thought of another year of him physically revolting.
  • But we're still choogling along, and there is hope and a sense of possibility in the air, and that is GOOD. The USA ain't dead yet.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ay Carumba

The last few minutes are worth it. Penelope Cruz is a real team player going that extra mile for her brother's musical debut...

Ay yi yi.

The Dude's Top Shit of 2007 Part 2


3. Chuck Klosterman IV. What can I say? I wish I was Chuck Klosterman.

2. American Vertigo, Bernard Henri-Levy. Henry-Levi knows us even better than we know ourselves, even if he is a bit overly optimistic in his appraisal...

1. Long Way Down, Nick Hornby.


1. July. The month of Harry Potter (book, audiobook...MOVIE) and that mindblowing Roger Waters show at Darien Lake. Also the Fourth of July is always a gas.


Just when everybody's getting crazy and ready for the Winter Classic the Sabres go and throw some cold water on us with some positively shitty play last night, following a ho-hum performance the night previous. What's the big fucking idea? Do we really need to be worried about which Sabres team is gonna show up Tuesday? Do we really? Shit.

And will somebody step up and assume a leadership role for this team already? Anybody? It sure as shit ain't Captain Lacksadaisical Giveaway Campbell. Minga.

The Dude's Top Shit of 2007

And not my top shit mind you, although I could probably tell you about that if you really want me to... this is the shit that floated my boat this past year (in multiple parts):


3. Jarvis Cocker, The Jarvis Cocker Record. I knew I had to get this album when I heard "(Cunts) Are Still Running The World" over the credits of Alfonso Cuaron's Children of Men and it didn't let me down. It's scathing satire made me laugh, the arrangements and production kicked my ass, and it's breadth and depth of subject matter really made me listen it every time I put it on, and that's something you really have to cherish these days.

2. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible. It was my favorite album of the year for a long time. Funky, soulful, densely orchestrated, a yearning, earnest piece of art that spoke to me every time I listened to it. A staggering sophomore effort.

1. Radiohead, In Rainbows. The first beautiful Radiohead record in 10 years, and goddamn was it worth the wait. I also had to like the whole bypass the middleman experiment, and the fact that it was like Radiohead announced on their blog that the album was coming out next week and wham it came out next week. The hype, the madness, the interest- that was all us. Fucking brilliant on every level and in every way.

Honorable Mentions: Rilo Kiley Under the Black Light (sexy, dirty, funky, the sexy cooing of Jenny Lewis is irresistable), Springsteen's Magic (the MAN is on a mission to save us from ourselves, bless him), both of those vintage live Neil Young cd's, and Sigur Ros Hvarf/Heim (the accoustic Heim side is awe inspiring).


3. Transformers. And I'm not fucking ashamed of that fact. It's the first Michael Bay movie that didn't make me want to vomit all over myself, the explosions and digital FX are mindboggling- thus making it the most perfect disaster/Godzilla/killer robots movie ever (the movie I've always wanted to see even if I didn't know it), and goddamn it satisfied on just about every level. Was it soulless? Probably (although probably not), but goddamn was it satisfying.

2. Grindhouse. The most intentionally misunderstood movie of all time. A gnarly trash cinema double feature that served as potentially definitive auteur statements of their respective makers. The most dirty fun I've had at a movie theater since the first Kill Bill and a film whose box office failure paradoxically actually signals the impending death of American culture.

1. Children of Men. Bleak yet affirming. A tour de force by Alfonso Cuaron and perfect in every respect.

Special Honorable Mentions: Michael Moore's magnificent Sicko and Wes Anderson's The Darjeerling Limited.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Real Quick

  • It's been a busy week and that's made blogging tough. A thousand apologies.
  • Next week's going to be busy at until Thursday but I will try to get some Winter Classic and 2007 pick's up. I've been thinking those up big time.
  • Christmas was good. I got good stuff and the stuff I gave others went over well. Smashingly well.
  • Of particular interest, I got Led Zeppelin The Song Remains the Same on DVD, The Onion's Our Dumb World atlas, Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson by Jann Wenner and The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein.
  • I just polished of Eduardo Galleano's Soccer in Sun and Shadow and have dug into The Shock Doctrine, and JESUS H. CHRISTMAS is that thing a fucking humdinger. Naomi Klein had me 7 pages in and after 48 I am fucking shattered. I've known that we've been through the looking glass for a while now but the true extent is beyond our wildest imaginings. A full report will follow when I've finished it and put myself back together.
  • Uraquayan author Eduardo Galleano's Soccer in Sun and Shadow was a treat. Beautiful prose vignettes about the world's game in all of it's glory (and squalor) that explode with poetic grace, potency and passion- passion for justice, fairness, beauty, and the (purity of the) game itself. In a bit of serendipity Galleano even gets quoted in the preface to The Shock Doctrine.
  • With one of my numerous gift cards I picked up Led Zeppelin's third album on CD and now have every Zeppelin release on CD. Hot shit! Every damn studio album (including Coda), The Song Remains the Same soundtrack, The BBC Sessions and How The West Was Won. I've had most of that stuff on vinyl and wanted to get the CD's judiciously and as cheaply as possible, and now it is DONE.*
  • I bought myself a vintage CCM replica Sabres jersey, the classic blue away jersey. I've earned it. What a beautiful fucking piece of apparel. I am beside myself.
  • Tonight is the first game of the home and home series that culminates in the Winter Classic. Let's go Sabres!

* You throw in that Led Zeppelin Live DVD and The Song Remains the Same DVD and it is done. DONE.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Two-Hour Star Wars Holiday Special in only Five Minutes!

When I first saw this in 1978 it blew my mind for all of the wrong reasons, and for many, many years I blocked it out of my memory in self defense. But I'm older now, and it's certainly worth taking in again... especially edited down to 5 minutes. Dig Harvey Korman! Bea Arthur mincing! Jefferson Starship (wtf?) in their twilight! Goofy wookies before Episode 3 made them cool)! And how about that closer by Carrie Fisher that made my spine hurt. Wow.

Hightower: Gifts for a happier new year

Seasons greetings to all- including Buckshot Cheney.

Happy Holidays

No cynicism. No irony. And the sarcasm is in temporary remission. Happy Holidays.

Monday, December 24, 2007

We Did It

We did it people. We saved the fucking day. The American economy can breathe easy until the Recession hits us upside the head thanks to the heroic efforts of American consumers. I doubted the captains of industry and commerce and their words of reassurance about the state of our economy but those captains know us better than we know ourselves, and for now we are hunky dory. Hallelujah!

Knock It The Fuck Off

I'm sorry folks, but I can stay silent no longer: if Rolling Stone's David Fricke says that Zeppelin's reunion gig was all good than it was all good. Yeah I know 97 Rock has been talking to some wanker who's been trash talking the show but COME ON NOW. You know that wanker is just TRYING to be cool by being contrary , and that frankly is the oldest trick in the COOL book. LISTEN to Kashmir. LISTEN to it! Does that sound lame? That's a fucking audience recording and it's still got balls. To hell with wankers. To hell with haters.*

Merry Christmas.

* And before you say that I am a hater I ALWAYS hate for a reason. Hating for the sake of hating is just lame, and worse it is obvious.

Good God!

Merry Christmas everybody. Now get down on the good food... GOOD GOD.


Is It A Wonderful Life?

Yes it is. It's got Donna Reed. The original Bert and Ernie. Banks in crisis. A savings and loan scandal. Jimmy Stewart at his spazzy finest. A stellar script that crackles with great lines and a fine sense of serendipity. And it's a parable about the greedy motherfuckers killing our country (I mean let's be honest- Pottersville was a total, abject shithole). It's also as old as the hills, and in this transient age of perpetual modernity that has to count for something. Yes, it is A Wonderful Life, and it wouldn't be Christmas without it.... even with the 1.5 hours of commercials.

Flaming Lips White Christmas 1999

Yesterday I wasn't too sure about all the Earth tones we were left with after our Global Warming induced weekend thawing; everything sort of looked like shit and you can't have that on Christmas. But lo, this morning is a different story: a nice coating of white, the wind is howling and the snow is blowing. This is what I am talking about.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

All Hail the Boss. Vintage Boss.


... the bonus stuff that accompanies a Simpsons Season _ DVD set makes the bonus stuff that accompanies The Simpsons Movie DVD seem like total and utter chump change as there is obviously another Simpsons Movie DVD release in offing for the future (we are talking about Rupert Murdoch's 20th Century Fox after all). That said however the DVD is still kind of sweet: the DTS surround sound mix is extremely satisfying, the deleted scenes are funny (they totally should have left in the scenes about Springfield "under the bubble"), and there are enough funny bits in the menus and presentation to give you the impression that somebody at least tried to produce a decent package- even though they knew they're going to gouge me again in the future.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Pop Culture Ideology

If chuckleheads like Alan Greenspan can derive personal ideology from popular culture so can I. I give you some Krugman, on the subprime credit crisis:

So where were the regulators as one of the greatest financial disasters since the Great Depression unfolded? They were blinded by ideology.

"Fed shrugged as subprime crisis spread," was the headline on a New York Times report on the failure of regulators to regulate. This may have been a discreet dig at Mr. Greenspan's history as a disciple of Ayn Rand, the high priestess of unfettered capitalism known for her novel "Atlas Shrugged."

In a 1963 essay for Ms. Rand's newsletter, Mr. Greenspan dismissed as a "collectivist" myth the idea that businessmen, left to their own devices, "would attempt to sell unsafe food and drugs, fraudulent securities, and shoddy buildings." On the contrary, he declared, "it is in the self-interest of every businessman to have a reputation for honest dealings and a quality product."

It's no wonder, then, that he brushed off warnings about deceptive lending practices, including those of Edward M. Gramlich, a member of the Federal Reserve board. In Mr. Greenspan's world, predatory lending - like attempts to sell consumers poison toys and tainted seafood - just doesn't happen.

God Ayn Rand is shit. Elitist fantasyland hargle bargle of the worst variety- the kind that justifies and encourages greed and predation. No wonder our country is totally fucked. I'd much rather take a page from DOCTOR WHO: travelling time and space righting wrongs as I go, battling fascism, toppling totalitarian regimes and freeing the oppressed.

Sure the travelling in time and space bit is hooey but by golly I like the cut of Doctor Who's jib.

Christmas, Futurama Style

More YouTube crap.

The Hardest Working Team in Hockey

The Sabres are clawing their way back to the gritty yet occasionally beautiful hockey they played a few years ago, and I for one am fucking thrilled. They are hitting a bit more, finishing their hits, rising to in-game challenges and prevailing, and winning the close games. The Sabres are the Hardest Working Team in Hockey, and I salute them on their 5 game win streak.

The Flyers better watch out TONIGHT.

The Future is Now

Possible evidence that we are living in the future RIGHT NOW:

  1. Gas station Kwik-E-Marts and our local Corner Stores and Wil-Fils are becoming total hubs of future commerce. You can buy your dried meats, porno, lottery tickets, conduct your banking and manage your cell communications, buy Red Bull energy drinks as well as toilet paper and beer... just like in a William Gibson future sci-fi novel (Nueromancer, Virtual Light).
  2. Our malls shine as bright as a downtown urban center and are getting bigger and bigger. The Galleria alone is cavernous, a center of international commerce where you can get pretty much anything (except for porno and liquor), but if they want us to live in the mall (like in Howard Chaykin's American Flagg series) they're gonna have to add the porno and liquor.
  3. Thanks to 24 hour news and the Internet our celebrities exist in a way previous celebrities did not, providing us up to the minute stimulation and distraction from our lonely, non-celebrity lives; and for the real ding dongs and the lost among us our modern celebrities have become surrogate (or should I say imaginary) friends... just like in William Gibson's Idoru.
  4. A lot of our teenagers are dressing and behaving like cartoon characters, and some are starting to act like low grade rejects from A Clockwork Orange.
  5. We are WELL on our way to becoming a high tech surveillance police state.

Interesting times folks.... interesting times.

Friday, December 21, 2007


I love that Ford Escape commercial with the snotty Liberal preteen girl with her head is so far up her own ass that she doesn't even know that the family SUV is a hybrid. The snide anti-environmentalist messages (Liberals are snotty, Liberals don't really know anything, the environment isn't really that important) aren't even subtle in the least. Even I wanted to give that kid a slap upside the head... and I am a total, TOTAL Liberal.

The gloves are off and Detroit is coming out swinging.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

YouTube Crap

Chuck calls this "YouTube crap" and to Chuck I apologize. That said I needed some Christmas shit up in this thing and here is the first of many X-Mas ditties and oddities.

Enjoy yourselves. It's a celebration.

House of Cards


  • This is the Republican era. Up until January of this year they controlled all three branches of government. Theoretically we should be having a "Shining City on the Hill" moment.
  • Isn't Brittney Spears a big Bush supporter?
  • I refuse to buy my niece wee lass hoochie wear or toys made in China this Christmas.
  • This knocked up Jamie Lynn Spears thing is a genuine American event. Parents really are being compelled to address the birds and the bees with their tweens under total duress. It really has upset the applecart of the American family, and in a true twist it actually warrants front page coverage. Up to a point.
  • It is an incontravertable fact that the Spears family is leading America down the path of destruction.
  • A Christian publishing house was going to publish a book by Lynne Spears about raising children. Lynne Spears is of course the mother of that sixteen year old girl who's giving it up to a nineteen year old boyfriend and not too surprisingly got knocked up.
  • Boy has it been a rough year for the tween entertainment industry whatwith that chick from High School Musical getting buck naked for pictures and e-mailing them to the entire Internet and now this Spears episode. Disney and Nickolodean really took it on the chin in 2008. Or did they? This is free fucking advertising.
  • The true test will be what sort of teenage pregnancy numbers we see in the late third and fourth quarters of 2008.
  • This is truly the Republican Era.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Whoa. That shit is totally subliminal. Watch that pearly white cross hover over Pastor Mike's shoulder like he's Reverend Lovejoy. Was it me or is that thing pulsating? Sweet Jebus!

This one is cagey people. I think I might have to keep an eye on this one.

The Sabres are in the playoffs. 7th place for now.

I can breathe a little easier. Smoke if you got em and have a drink people. Now all we have to do is settle in and follow this thing for the haul. Put in the hours. Talk Sabres shit with people on the street. Represent.
"Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" is fucking bloody hilarious. Where to start: The succesful use of every rock music cliche ever. The way it earns that R rating. John C. Reilly's genius. Jenna Fisher's positive attributes. The succesful merging of the Apatow and Saturday Night Live universes. Jack Black as Paul and that Apple dude in those Apple commercials as George (I have no idea who John was and I suspect the pie fucker from American Pie was Ringo- appropriate). The music. The lyrics that deserve your attention. The loving skewering of the last 50 years of American popular music. And just when it gets old in the tooth it wraps itself up nicely. It's all there folks.

I'll Take It

And that is what they call an "ugly" win. But I'll take it. We've got a 4 game streak going.

Officially Cool

Alright. This looks cool. I'm not a super Speed Racer fan and I'm pretty well gobsmacked by this trailer.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Any suggestions out there for Ice Bowl attire and cold weather gear? It's been 10 years since anybody's been out to Ralph Wilson Stadium (back then it was called Rich Stadium I believe) in January and I'm out of practice.

I Gave Offense

In response to the comment by Anonymous (very original, very original) about my religious bigotry I am lapsed Catholic*, which in other words probably means that I am a former Catholic. Actually I've pretty much given up on organized religion all together. It's all a big stretch, a lot to swallow, and at the end of the day I've moved on intellectually and philosophically. And speaking of being a lot to swallow, you can claim I (actually Lawrence O'Donnell) took some of the tennets of the Mormon faith "out of context" but we both know that's just not the case. Why you sound just like a politician. "Out of context." You want context? How about this: Mormonism is a kooky religion that hated on black folks until 29 years ago. There's your context.

And those other "horrified" people on McLaughlin were "horrified" that O'Donnell was laying it all on the table and they plainly were not. They were pretending, they were certainly turning a blind eye to some unpleasant facts about the faith of Mitt Romney's fathers, and they were totally playing the game. A game that I don't play. I call it the way I see it.

But thanks for reading the blog and posting your comment. Seriously. Thanks.

* But no matter how lapsed my Catholicism is, I still feel guilty for the Catholic Church's crimes against humanity throughout history. Oh the guilt.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I Am a Religious Bigot

It's true. Voting for a Mormon would be difficult for me, at least until my deep unease about their beliefs were assuaged. "Oh" I bet you are saying, "I thought The Dude was open minded," and to you I say "kiss my ass" and "sorry Charlie but Mormons have some 'splainin' to do," although I don't think there's a way to explain how Mormons believe

that the Garden of Eden was in Missouri; that Jews were the first people in
America; that Indians descended from Jews and are a lost tribe of Israel; that
Jesus came to America; that after the next coming of Christ (which will be the
second or third, depending on how you count his trip to America), the world will
be ruled for a thousand years from Jerusalem and Missouri; and to answer Mike
Huckabee's now famous question, yes, they believe "Jesus and Lucifer were
brothers, in the sense of both being spiritually begotten by the Father."

Yes it's true- I am defending former West Wing writer and producer Lawrence O'Donnell for his delightful rant on PBS the other day. If Romney wants to talk about his faith that's fine, but the trick is to actually talk about his faith and not blow smoke up our asses. Come on now Mitt, take your medicine like a man.


Obviously Cleveland's witchdoctor was more proficient than ours. How else do you explain how the snow let up just about every time they touched the ball and picked up whenever the Bills were on offense? Even the gods were against us.

At least the Sabres are on a run. Go Sabres. Bills... hire a better witchdoctor.

For Fans of the Real Deal

This one is for YOU.

The Real Skinny

This week's Frank Rich column breaks it down so clearly that I have to leave you with his last paragraph, which distills the Obama effect precisely:

For those Americans looking for the most unambiguous way to repudiate
politicians who are trying to divide the country by faith, ethnicity, sexuality
and race, Mr. Obama is nothing if not the most direct shot. After hearing
someone like Mitt Romney preach his narrow, exclusionist idea of “Faith in
America,” some Americans may simply see a vote for Mr. Obama as a vote for faith
in America itself.

Correctomundo Meester Rich. Obama totally represents change as well as a welcome break break with history. It's all very potent, and certainly will far well against the goofball GOP field. I also liked Rich's comments on Romney's laughable "I'm A Mormom" speech earlier in the week and the hilariously out of touch with reality wisdom of the Washington Beltway...

Beltway hands thought they knew how to frame the Romney speech because they
assumed (incorrectly) that it would build on the historical precedent set by
J.F.K. When they analyzed the three-state Oprah-Obama tour, they again reached
for historical precedent and were bamboozled once more — this time because there
really was no precedent.

I'm not even going to go on about how I was right about Oprah, that would be crass. Oprah is bigger than Jesus. Oprah is a FACT. Instead I'll be crass and have a good laugh about how the lamebrains tried to compare JFK's "I won't take orders from the Vatican" salespitch with Romney's "allow me to not address your unease about me being a Mormon" speech. The sad reality is that it's a far fucking cry to compare that silly prejudice to the misgivings I have about what I saw depicted accurately on South Park a few years ago when they did a show about Joseph Smith, and the misgivings other folks have after watching Mormonism covered on Frontline. I'm sorry kids but that's a huge fucking difference, and Romney knows it.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Lord Don't Slow Me Down

Here's something else to look forward to in 2008- some new product from Oasis (and a tour perhaps??. To hell with all that shit on FUSE (I swear that channel is incapable of playing a decent video)- THIS is rock and roll.

I Hope They Make Kane Cry

I don't care if it's this Patrick Kane's first NHL game in his hometown. He's playing for the wrong team, and we've got to bury him and them. Sabres, show no mercy. We've got something going and we can't stop now.

Fuck Boots

Memo to parents: don't let your teenage daughters wear black leather fuck boots, unless you like the thought of dirty old bastard like myself gaping at your daughter (and men in general because I wasn't the only one doing it). I even felt like a dirty old fucker because my first thought was HEY- NICE FUCK BOOTS, followed by JESUS H CHRISTMAS SHE'S A TEENAGER!, then I CAN'T BELIEVE HER PARENTS LET HER OUT OF THE HOUSE WEARING THOSE FUCK BOOTS, MAN- CHECK OUT ALL OF THESE OTHER DIRTY BASTARDS GAWKING AT THAT TEENAGE CHICK, and concluding with WE ARE ALL DIRTY BASTARDS. And then I felt shame.

Men cannot help but apprectiate black leather fuck boots, even if it makes them dirty old fuckers.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Call to Arms!

I encourage all sane minded music lovers to sign the petition to get Zeppelin out for a proper full tour over at Rolling Stone (Michael Buble fans need not apply). And to prove that I put my money where my mouth is this is my compelling reason for Zeppelin to hit the road (in the form of an insane ramble):

The Dude 12/13/2007, 10:30 pm EST

Because it’s Led Zeppelin’s time to stomp on the goddamned firma again like the GODS OF ROCK they are. The world would quake as multiple generations flocked to witness them in their mighty and wizened glory… and it would be good. How the hell could you say “no” to that?

Come on now people. Let's do this thing.

Toronto FC Supporters - GO Train - East Bound - May 12 2007

Toronto FC fans go crazy at 1st goal

This is what I am talking about. I am definitely getting up to Toronto for a game. They've got a crazy and exciting soccer culture up there (in less than one season mind you) and that shit looks like a lot of fun to throw myself into.

I'm telling you, it's the next sport. No joke.


  • I am proud to say I've never heard Michael Buble sing before today and having heard the platinum record selling singer I can now say that many, many people have no taste in music at all. Somebody should slap a pink woolie (with holes for his eyes) over his face it's so fucking ridiculous. "Ahbe towbe dowbe nuuwbe." The guy sings like he's got a cock in his mouth.
  • Britney's career became essentially nonexistent once we all got a good look at her crotch. Yes there was a temporary blip for a minute there, but in the end it is gone again. That is why true celebrities never, ever show you their vaginas.
  • The BBC's coverage of our baseball crisis is great.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Oh Yeah

Oh yeah I watched Superbad the other night. Fucking hilarious. True. Strangely authentic. The teenage quest for underage booze and parties and girls at parties, and all the fucked up shit that occasionally ensues. Genuinely funny and emotionally satisfying without any hackneyed Hollywood ending bullshit.

Baseball is Dead

Yes folks, what we've been watching for the last 15 to 20 years has been phony baloney and that is just plain sad. It is the American past time after all kids, and if I learned anything from Ken Burns's Baseball it's that baseball has some deep existential and symbolic connection to the American soul (you like that? I pulled that totally out of my ass) and if this is where baseball is at in the America of the 21st Century then I posit to you that we, like baseball, are in serious trouble.

Ah well, maybe soccer can take it's place as our summer sport. MLS- start signing those foreign players pronto. Now is your chance!

No Funk in the Trunk

I am almost embarassed for Hillary's campaign... almost. You can SMELL the desperation and despair in Camp Hillary when the campaign chairpeople are trying to make hay out of Obama's teenage drug use. It's pathetic. Sad.

500 Hockey

Folks I gotta say that this 500 hockey being played by the Sabres has been an adjustment... a real crash down to Earth. And I know some wags out there are saying "get over it" or "500 hockey is OK" but you know what? Those wags are full of it. We shoulda had a dynasty or the near equivalent here in BFLO, and the fact that we are back to wandering in the wilderness rankles the hell out of me. It's a long NHL season but man, this up and down business isn't doing my overall mental health any favors.

Monday, December 10, 2007

BBC World News America's Matt Frei looks like hell, and that makes him the best goddamned news anchor on our airwaves. He's no pretty boy. He gets all rumpled and frowny and by gum he doesn't take shit off of nobody. He's an incisive interviewer who can verbally joust with ornery world leaders and drop prime nuggets like referring to Oprah as "the patron saint of African American culture" with a straight face, and that makes him cool in my book.

Sweet Jebus!

Courtesy of 97 Rock's website, the set list from today's Zeppelin reunion (with corresponding album):

Good Times, Bad Times I
Ramble On II
Black Dog IV
In My Time of Dying Physical Graffitti
For Your Life Presence
Trampled Under Foot Physical Graffitti
Nobody's Fault but Mine Presence
No Quarter Houses of the Holy
Since I've Been Loving You III
Dazed and Confused I
Stairway to Heaven IV
The Song Remains the Same Houses of the Holy
Misty Mountain Hop IV
Kashmir Physical Graffitti

Whole Lotta Love II
Rock and Roll IV

Holy shit is that a fucking rock solid set list, a veritable greatest hits. The people who were there are the luckiest people on Earthy by leaps and bounds. It's not even funny. And from what I saw on the BBC World News they totally fucking rocked out Black Dog, and more importantly they looked like they were having fun doing it.

It is time.

In the Light

But there is light. Zeppelin apparently blew people's minds. The Gods walked the Earth one more time.

Let us hope they will walk it some more.


The Sabres were abysmal tonight. Woeful. Toni Lydman is a jerk. Even before that guy scored Lydman's pass made me violently ill. Was it years of watching Hockey Night In Canada as a child? Was it an insight gleaned from years of watching Sabres hockey, some esoteric philosophy derived from my years of Sabres joy and Sabres pain? No- it was playing street hockey with my mates. You never make passes across the length and breadth of your defensive zone... EVER. Shit. What an ass.

We are in the wilderness folks. The spark isn't there. Hell, the Sabres were gormless.

This could be the onset of darkness for the Sabres faithful.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

2008 is so important for our country that it's not even funny. Really.

Kool Keith

This is it people. We are through the looking glass... over the rainbow... down the hole. The President is a war mongering, truth averse piece of shit absolutely divorced from reality- a President beating the war drums again... and again with bullshit. And we have the CIA destroying their torture interogations tapes to cover up the torture they (we) are obviously using in a blatant front page cover-up. This is our time folks, OUR WATCH; and this is our government leading our country down the shitter. At least Keith is on the job.


Well how do you like that? Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather KO'd English oik Ricky Hatton and thus preserved some of what's left of our national pride and dignity. We've still got it folks... we've still got it.

Thank Jebus

And how about them Sabres? Ya see what a good honest effort will get you? Way to salvage something on that West Coast road trip boys. Now all we need is some consistency (and a leader on the ice and in the locker room) and we'll be in business.

I Am A Goofball Magnet

And yes, just like at the Roger Waters show at Darien Lake no matter where I stand the goofballs in the crowd gravitate toward me, with last night's ding dongs being the aforementioned lyric screamer ("I HATE MY FREEEKIN' ISP.... YEEEAAARRRHGGH!") and a wanker who pissed and moaned because Todd played a cover tune ("why is Todd playing somebody else's song? I didn't pay to see Todd play somebody else's song"). NO MOTHERFUCKER YOU PAID TO HEAR WHATEVER THE FUCK TODD PLAYS FOR YOU. There, it had to be said.

They didn't ruin the show for me, but I will admit that it's starting to become a disturbing trend at shows. I will however give a shout out to the older Todd fan who tried to push her way to the front of the crush by grabbing my ass (and the ass of everybody else in front of her and her husband) and mashing her chest into our backs. She was very friendly and oddly enough her husband didn't seem to mind (to each his own), but needless to say she didn't get in front of us because we circled the wagons and weren't giving up our spot. Nice try sweetheart.

Is Todd God?

Is Todd Rundgren God? That is a tough one. On one hand at least two of his songs last night at the Tralf were rabidly anti religious, but on the other hand the man melted my face with his incendiary guitar work... and he certainly provoked some ecstatic reactions from some of the folks in the crowd (one of the dudes in the seated area stood up and started striking Superman poses in time to the music). Plus the faithful (every cool high school teacher in WNY) in attendance knew all the sacred texts, including Todd's newer stuff (the guy standing next to me was screaming the lyrics to "I Hate My ISP")... so maybe, just maybe Todd is God. Anyhoo, it was a great show, even if I only recognized 4 or five songs in the set, and a fine end to the 2007 concert season.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Actually we have no excuse for not backing the US in the World Cup (Cups) either. I can't stand America just as much as the next liberal,* but shit people, it's your country for Jebus's sake.

It is sad, and it is regrettable.

* This is proof of course that we love America, probably too much in fact.

It's probably easier to just say "FUCK IT" and just go along with the flow... down the river.

Proud to be an American

Ha! Yeah right! No. I'm just playing. I am proud to be an American. In fact I am so proud to be an American that I am right now ashamed to be an American. Where's our patriotic fervor? Why are we not all about Floyd Mayweather, who will be representing our great nation against the English Ricky Hatton (an oik if you ask me) in a transatlantic welterweight donnybrook tomorrow night? I don't care if all the talk is about this Hatton bloke, and yeah that Dancing With The Stars business doesn't help him either, but come on now! We can't have these English running wild on our soil! According to the BBC "national pride is on the line," but I'm having a hard time seeing exactly whose pride in on the line seeing that we're so disinterested. Not getting behind the US team in the World Cup is one thing, but shit people, this is boxing. We should at least be able to get it up for boxing.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Good Night

It is 11:17 PM and I am going to bed, and I now I really regret drinking all of that ice tea.

Odds and Sods 2

  • I've moved on from that mall mass murder guy (yes I refuse to say his name). If some machine toting lunatic (who always seems to be a honkey now that I think about it) wants to cash in my chips at the Galleria so be it. I have to do my X-Mas somewhere because I ain't made of time and money (it must be so nice to hit the boutiques and shops in our many fine neighborhoods) and that's that. It's not like I can buy everything at the Sabres store....
  • I'm sorry, but the new New World Records (is that Version 3 or 4?) is a good store to buy music. Yes it's in North Buffalo, and yes it's in a strip mall, but come on now. I know there's a ludicrous effort to rename parts of our fair city with pretentious shit like Mid town or Upper Delaware or some such nonsense, but come on now people, we have to get over ourselves. And for you pretentious urbanites out there- it's only cool if you do it like in England and you're calling shit "Tottenham" or "Islington." Again, either get over yourselves... or go for broke.
  • I had to pick up Todd Rundgren's Utopia to get ready for the show Saturday night (a hot ticket according to the same old New World guy who worked at the location on Elmwood) and dag that is some crazy shit. Prog rock insanity, even crazier than A Wizard, A True Star. Man I can't wait for that show.
  • Now this is fucking genius. According to the Heritage Foundation (note, a conservative "think tank") the biggest rise in the teen pregnancy rate in 14 years isn't because the Jesus Brigade's Abstinence Only sex ed programs are failing utterly, it's because the kids just want to have kids, and they want to have them now. Like I said... a "think tank." And even better, according to El Presidente's regime, it's all Bill Clinton's fault. Like I said, fucking genius.

Odds and Sods

  • The depressing part- that mall mass murderer guy from the Mid-west really is famous now. I think it's time to redefine the word "famous," or come up with a new word for people who get to be on the TV news, especially for the wrong reason.
  • The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show giveth and America's well armed mentally ill taketh away. We don't need terrorists to shoot up our malls! That's already being taken care of! At the holidays! CNN is trying to reassure me this morning, they really really are, but I think it's Target for my X-Mas shopping. Oh no... wait a minute... Target... Target. Shit.
  • I can't believe I stayed up for a 4-1 drubbing by the Ducks. Ah well.
  • Thanks to BfloBlog (the only Buffalo blog that matters) for the kind words.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Night Shift

I don't know about you but I am looking forward to this little Sabres West Coast Swing. Yeah the morning is going to be tough but those are the breaks, especially if you are a vocal proponent of everybody playing everybody else at least once a season, which of course is exactly how it's supposed to be. And I guess in a year or two (or maybe less, I don't know) we'll get home and aways against everybody outside of our division (plus our division matchups, which never should have been cheapened by overplay), which will be a lot of fun, and just like how they do the soccer everywhere else but the US. Every game has meaning when you play everybody else in the league twice (no division rivalries though), and it will be neat to see that in the NHL.

Anyway let's break out those Red Bulls and watch the Sabres against the damned Ducks.

Bud Light: Real Men of Genius - Hopeless Notre Dame Fan

This is hilarious and totally true. Sorry Uncle ____.

Thanks A.

Jarvis Cocker on Ali s G Show


You mean it was 6 years since last we laid eyes on The Spice Girls? It seems like a lifetime... a glorious lifetime! Really, I just thought back to when the Spice Girls first arrived... one of the college girls who did the over the phone surveys at Survey Service with me kept singing that fucking song, especially when we'd stand outside and smoke. Another lifetime ago. But the Spice Girls still suck, that's still a fact. I still think they sound intentionally bad, and have all along.

But more imporatantly, what is this shit? Hillary for Pres and The Spice Girls... it's the 90's all over again- fuck, now I know I have to vote for Obama.
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show served to remind me just how big the gap is between the universe we live in and the one inhabited by celebrities and super models. Or maybe that gap is totally artificial, a construct of the media and our wacky culture. Either way it served to remind me of that large gap between us and them. This year's theme was "Lingerie for Super People," with many of the "outfits" so ridiculous that they could only be worn succesfully by a hot female superhero or supervillain. At least the new VS commercials were hot, as usual. The pajama one alone... wait a minute... you don't think... ah those crafty bastards. Also, not all of the outifts were ridiculous. Some were actually quite brilliant, so brilliant that this show gets the Tivo green button (until next year's show). At least now I'm in the holiday spirit. You can't help but be all about the holiday spirit after watching the Victoria Secret Fashion Show.

And Prince should take a break from suing his fans and instead sue VS for bogarting his stage design from his Sign O The Times era shows. Or maybe VS was paying homage to the 20 year old masterpiece? I'm sure that's what they'll say in any case in court...

The Books I Read

Just finished Nick Hornby's Long Way Down. Wow. Yikes. I knew from reading his Fever Pitch that Hornby has battled depression in the past (being depressed and an Arsenal fan go hand in hand), but wow, to mine those experiences so to bend them and shape them for such a potent work of fiction... yeah that takes some courage and honesty- and literary talent to make it so damned entertaining. And dare I call it profound? Yes, I will call it profound. Four individuals coincidentally make each other's acquaintance on New Year's Eve on a rooftop in London to do away with themselves but don't do away with themselves and instead choose life such as it is... but with NO BULLSHIT. No trite emotional hargle bargle or tidy happy endings. Hornby is too good for that. Hell Hornby even takes time to comment on our inculcated expectations for tidy happy endings. Oh you get a happy ending more or less in the end, but it's honest, real. And not sappy in the fucking least.

You have to love Nick Hornby.

spoon - you got yer cherry bomb

2007 only produced three albums really worth buying:

Arcade Fire, "Neon Bible"
Radiohead, "In Rainbows"

and Spoon, "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga."

By golly those Americans cans till rock occasionally. Dig that sound. Dig those lyrics. "It was the longest day that I've ever known."

You got that right, brother.

Fear the Underdog

"You've got no fear of the underdog, and this why you will not survive."


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Hurricanes @ Sabres 12/1/07

I'm almost shocked to see that the NHL is being so decent as to provide video highlights on YouTube for free, and with Rick and Harry... the best ambassadors for hockey I could ever think of.

What a game.

Hipsters for Obama

Of course I am that shallow as to take stock of the celebrity Presidential endorsements (Babs will generate as much mojo for Hillary as the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair will for Huckabee; Oprah will totally mobilize the women in touch with their spirits for Obama) , and of course I have to say that I am pleased to see Wilco's Jeff Tweedy doing a fundraiser for Barack Obama. Curt Schilling however is wasting his time for John McCain, the guy whose campaign even Jesus couldn't resurrect.

Shut the Fuck Up!

Did anybody else see El Presidente babble and mug for the press corp today? The guy has literally jumped the shark: the boy who cried WOLF goes for the gold one more time, undetered by reality and the utter disbelief of everybody else in the room except the gay prostitutes- who of course like to see those tricks more than once.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Hummana hummana hummana hummana hummana hummana.

Speed Racer First Look

Yes the third Matrix movie sucked big time, and yes the muy excellent V For Vendetta doesn't actually count (because they didn't direct it- and they ain't George Lucas), but damn does this sound kind of neat. We shall see.

Wow did you see that fella juggle that football out of bounds and get it called a touchdown by a corrupt administration trying to push forward the storyline of "another perfect season" even though the story involves an Evil Empire? For shame.

And the story continues (much to Mike Turico's obscene joy). Does this qualify as another blow to my faith in humanity? No. Somebody will get this motherfuckers and save the day. They have to.
Except the NFL is rooting for the goddmaned Evil Empire. Motherfuckers! And now Baltimore is shitting the bed. Aaaarrrrrgggh.
If you are in Buffalo and you are not rooting for Baltimore against New England than you are just wrong. Out of order. Come on now.

Another Strike Casualty

There's always some pain involved in a strike, and I've seen another show temporarily go under as a result of the (righteous) WGA donneybrook with the last Heroes of 2007 airing tonight (the first casualty of course being the writer heavy Office). Ah well, that's the way it goes... but we have to remain tough, and tough we shall be. At least the Heroes "finale" kicked serious ass in just about every way possible. Blood, guts, betrayal, cold blooded revenge, and death. It was good. I like I said- ah well.

Also, my HD jealousy is growing. Torchwood, Foo Fighters, NHL hockey, Monday Night Football- it's all ridiculous in HD. Of course I like my current digital (non HD) set up- I have the THX certified digital optical cables connecting my shit so it's not like it's all fuzzy and crummy. It's bright and crisp, but it doesn't have that HD depth and weird hypnotic effect. But I will resist.
Check out this bit that stuck with me from Bob Herbert's column from last week on the GOP debates:

I'll concede that it's difficult to have a thoughtful exploration of
complex issues in a format that allows a candidate just 90 seconds to answer.
But the Republicans, far more than the Democrats, go out of their way to present
themselves as 21st-century Rambos - a childish, cartoonish posture that solves
nothing and can easily lead to tragedy in a world that is in fact quite

Now ponder this depressing tidbit: Rambo hits theaters in January 2008.

Right on cue. Now that's a blow to my faith in humanity.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Proof Of An Eventual Satisfactory End To The Writer's Strike In The Near Future

And by satisfactory I mean that the writer's get everything they want (if I have to put up with ads when I watch The Office online somebody who created the thing ought to get paid something). But I digress. You want proof? I've got two words for you: AMERICAN GLADIATORS. And I have three more words for you: ON NETWORK TELEVISION. Coming to us this January.

And may Jebus have mercy on our souls.

And Also Let Me Gush

about the sheer genius of Torchwood creator and Doctor Who executive producer Russell T. Davies and the band of artistic wunderkind (wunderkinds?) who create this stuff for the BBC in Wales. It's become a TV cottage industry, this Doctor Who business, with it's weekly behind the scenes show (Doctor Who Confidential), it's adult spinoff* (Torchwood) and kid's show spinoff (The Sarah Jane Adventures), and even more impressive is the fact that they are all damned good, and they all work as entertaining and compelling TV**. How long they can keep it up is another story, but right now it is all good, and I can't wait for more of all of it.

* and I am talking adult. Cussing, shagging, nudity, it's got it all.

** including the kid's show, which is not available in the US except for YouTube videos that are sadly no longer available. How they get away with having 2 shows for families and 1 totally for adults all in the same overall melieu and written by many of the same writers is beyond me, but it seems to work, and that's all I need to know.

A Higher Level of TV

The first season (or series as they say in the UK) of Torchwood just wrapped up on BBCAmerica and all I can say is: GODDAMN! Like a lot of what's on BBCAmerica and the BBC mothership Torchwood came across like it's from a higher plan of existence; it's clearly derived from some of our finest American TV shows of the last 10 years (NYPD Blue, The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and worse a spin-off (of Doctor Who) but it utterly transcended it's derivitives and mother show to be something amazingly substantial and occasionally profound. It could be alternately fun and sexy and then dark and existential... all within one episode, and after it's initial 13 episode run you really feel like you've been on a satisfying journey into some of the more intersting dark places of human existence that left me wanting more. Which is good because the second season (series) of Torchwood starts in January and even better for you folks because you get to catch up on Torchwood with 2 reruns a week starting next Saturday, so get those Tivo's and VCR's ready. You will not be disappointed. There really isn't anything on TV like it.

The Least They Could Do

I don't who decided to sell tickets for the Ice Bowl Game online in blocks of 50 and thus screwed myself and many deserving Sabres fans out of face priced tickets to the game ($150 tickets for the nosebleeds? Fuck that! Those are Stanley Cup Final ticket prices!), but somebody did and I will hold a grudge against them in perpetuity. That doesn't mean that I won't enjoy the game however, and the Sabres have a great idea:

Fans will be able to watch the game (at the HSBC obviously) on the new HD
video scoreboard, while listening to the synched-up radio coverage of Sabres
broadcasters Rick Jeanneret and Harry Neale (fucking right!). The arena will
operate just like a regular home game, including game presentation elements and
Sabretooth. All arena concessions will be open throughout the game, as will the
Sabres Store. The unique game-day atmosphere will also include games for the
kids, and a Sabres Autographed Puck Surprise.

Tickets are $5, it's all for charity, and you get a Sabres alumi game for a warm-up. It's all bloody brilliant if you ask me.


You gotta love Robbie Ray and this blast from the past.

Sunday Tea Leaf Readings

1) Just how doomed are the Republicans next year? So doomed that their top strategist has been reduced to hilariously half assed historical revisionism... so hilariously half assed that it crashed and burned on the FOX NEWS CHANNEL. Trying to pin the Iraq War (or as I call it, Bush's War) on Congressional Democrats? Jesus H. Christmas Karl, that's just sad, and profoundly desperate considering we're 11 months from Election Day. I'm just glad that somebody's watching Fox News so I don't have to.

2) While we're on the subject of the Iraq War as a political albatross you gotta check out Frank Rich's latest column, which takes a wry look at the seemingly obvious storylines being ignored by the political press and true believers alike...

Now that the Beltway establishment, jolted by the Iowa polls, is
frantically revising its premature blueprints for a Clinton coronation and
declaring, as Time’s inevitable cliché would have it, that Mr. Obama has “found his voice,” it’s worth looking at some campaign story lines that have been ignored so far. They tell us more than the hyped scenarios that have fallen apart. Indeed, they flip
the standard narrative of Campaign 2008 on its head: Were Mr. Obama to best Mrs. Clinton for the Democratic nomination, he may prove harder for the Republicans
to rally against and defeat than the all-powerful, battle-tested Clinton

The unspoken truth is that the Clinton machine is not being
battle-tested at all by the Democratic primary process. When Mrs.
Clinton accused
John Edwards of “throwing mud” and “personally” attacking
her in a sharp policy exchange in one debate, the press didn’t challenge the
absurd hyperbole of her claim. In reality, neither Mr. Edwards nor any other
Democratic competitor will ever hit her with the real, personal mud being
stockpiled by the right. But if she’s getting a bye now, she will not from the
Republican standard-bearer, whoever he may be. Clinton-bashing is the last
shared article of faith (and last area of indisputable G.O.P. competence) that
could yet unite the fractured and dispirited conservative electorate.

Personally I've found it rather entertaining watching the media trying to shape the story (Hillary is unbeatable, Guiliani is a credible candidate, Thompson is Reaganeasque) independent of the numerous realities on the ground (that Hillary is utterly unelectable, Guiliani will be dragged down by his collection of closeted skeletons, Thompson is as Reaganesque as I am) with the exception of Frank, who seems to grasp the storylines even better than I do (ya see it's our abiding awareness and fascination with the popular culture that gives us an edge in this crucial area*...).

* Crucial because it's ALL about the story, a fact the Republicans have known this for some time.

In Hockeytown USA We Don't Like Anybody

You know you live in Hockeytown USA when pretty much every game is an occasion for getting together and last night was no exception, with my favorite part (in addition to the game itself and the beer) being a Socratic run thru of the NHL during the 1st intermission that ended with a decision that outside of Tampa Bay (John Torterella, Dopey Dave Andrychuck) and Calgary (strangely enough no beefs with them) we don't like anybody. It's the Sabres baby and nobody else.

We also agreed that it is rank heresy to be born and bred in WNY and root for the Boston Bruins and Miami Dolphins. Actually it's rank heresy to root for anybody other than your hometown teams, but it's exceptionally foul to root for those teams. And to be able to buy a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey at the Dick's at the Galleria Mall.

Like I said, in Hockeytown USA we don't like ANYBODY but OUR team.

Special thanks to our rowdy (ie passionate) away game fans who are among the least liked in the NHL.

The Killer Instinct

It's that extra factor that pushes you to finish your job on the ice/field. A hunger that can give you the edge to win and finish off an opponent, to drown them in the tub past the point of no return.

The killer instinct.

And the Sabres haven't had it near enough this season until perhaps last night when we drubbed the Hurricans 8-1. An exceptional performance, near perfect, with many, many players on the schnide getting goals that just might build some much needed confidence (and thus off the schnide) at an important time in the season. I will definitely be stocking up on Red Bull to watch this week's West Coast Swing.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I Couldn't Resist

Sure Rudy can say "it was Halloween!" but personally I don't think they celebrate Halloween in the Red States so this will most likely be real trouble for the erstwhile REPUBLICAN presidential candidate...

Right on Schedule

Come on now people! Did you actually think Rudy, with his batallion of closeted skeletons... did you really think he was a credible candidate for President? Ay yi yi people... all you have to do is actually talk to somebody from NYC about Rudy and see them laugh and nod their heads to know that this guy was off on a halfcocked kamikaze mission, and now that we're a little over a month from the caucaus and primary season we're all gonna find out why, probably every other day judging by the last few days. And we haven't even got to the inevitable constant YouTube videos of Rudy in drag yet!

I'd almost feel sorry for the Rudyites who are starting to realize that they've been wasting their time, but then again they're saps anyways so in the end it's good for them.

Trampled Underfoot - Led Zeppelin

This clip I just posted because it's fucking brilliant. Fonky!

10 days to the Zepp reunion show....

The Hammer of the Gods

I probably posted this before (years and years ago) but hell, I just picked up the remasterd and extended CD soundtrack to The Song Remains the Same, and it's fucking mightily appropriate. Crisply remasterd with 6 unreleased cuts of Zep hard rock brilliance. A must for any rock fans XMAS list.

Fun is Alive

Ah well. Fuck it. I'm bringing this, my favorite blog, back from the dead after 13 or so months. There was no point punishing my blog for what I posted on it, and after much soul searching I've decided to get back in the saddle. Fun believe it or not is not dead after all.

Please note: there will be no mention of my working life on this blog EVER. I know that might disappoint some folks (folks for and against me; the Buffalo News), but that is life, and even I occasionally learn from my mistakes.