Saturday, January 31, 2009

Stomp and shout and blog it on out...

Better late than never, the Pro Football Hall of Fame got it right and will be inducting the late Derrick Thomas this year after five straight years of snubbing him.  He was about as dominant as you get at linebacker in the '90s, and was absolutely one of the most popular sports figures in Kansas City sports history, period.  While I do still have issues with D.T.'s off-field shenanigans—fathering seven children with five different women—I think his induction into the Hall was long overdue.

Even longer overdue was legendary speedster/wideout Bob "World's Fastest Human" Hayes getting voted in, but they finally got it right.  Did I say that about a Dallas Cowboy?!?  Da hell you say...

"Bullet" Bob's induction gives us a ray of hope that my man Otis Taylor might still get his due and make the HOF.  Their career numbers are very comparable:  Hayes had 371 catches for 7,414 yards and 71 TDs, while Taylor had 410 receptions for 7,306 yards and 57 TDs.  If O.T. had played for a higher-profile team (like the Cowboys, for instance), he'd probably already be in the Hall...

BILLY POWELL, 1952-2009
In what is seemingly becoming an annual event anymore, we've lost yet another member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, keyboardist Billy Powell, who died of an apparent heart attack this week.  I think my favorite BP performances would be "Call Me The Breeze" and the live version of "Free Bird" where the late Ronnie Van Zant urged him to "Play it pretty for Atlanta," and he did.  This leaves Gary Rossington (and technically Ricky Medlocke) as the only original members of Skynyrd still with the band.  Original guitarist Ed King (formerly with Strawberry Alarm Clock) and original drummer Bob Burns are still alive as well, but left the group back in the '70s.  Another Free Bird flies on...

I've passed several churches in the area here this week with message signs urging people to "Pray for our new President".  Did these same folks pray for the old one?  Fat load of good that did, eh?

I was most impressed that Mr. Obama actually endorsed the Pittsburgh Steelers to win the big game mañana instead of doing the usual political song-and-dance of not taking sides for fear of offending the other team's fans.  Just coincidental, of course, that John McCain's home state is Arizona...

Former Chefs head coach Herm Edwards didn't walk the unemployment line for long—he has a new job already, and it's perfect for him.  After all, we're talking about a man who possesses the innate ability to talk your ears off and basically say nothing, so where else should he wind up, but ESPN!

Check out the very last name on that list—Gene Simmons and I have something in common!  Hate to say it, though, but Diana was a lousy lay...

I was reminded of this the other day:  Once upon a time during one of my sojourns at our local flea market to peddle my wares, across the way there was a palm-reader lady (whom I'll call "Miss Cleo").  I watched bemused-ly as a few suckers paid five bucks a shot to have their future predicted.  It was a breezy 55º day, making it a bit chilly at times.  Around Noon time, Miss Cleo wanders over to my table and inquires about that which I was selling (baseball cards, CDs, DVDs, et al).  Then—dressed in a fairly thin leopard-print dress—she proceeds to moan and groan about the chilliness of the day.  I don't mind telling you that I had to bite a damn hole in my lip to keep from saying to her, "Well, didn't you see it coming?!?"

...but why does Guy Fieri wear his sunglasses on the back of his head?  In what parallel dork universe has this been deemed to be cool?

A female police officer pulls a man over and arrests him for drunk driving. "Sir," she says, "you have the right to remain silent.  Anything you say will be held against you."  The drunk replies, "Boobs."

Friday, January 30, 2009

I just can't let this go!

I know once upon a time on this blog, I stated that I wasn’t going to bitch anymore about who’s in and who’s not in the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame.  But, just like a crack addict, I just can’t kick the habit, so I’m back in my pulpit to preach the gospel of the truly deserving, and this time, I’m citing precedents to illustrate my points.  These are in no particular order…

Paul Revere & The Raiders  I’ve said it on here many times, this is easily the most underrated Rock band on earth from any era.  The Academy (or whatever you call the panel of "experts" that runs this sham) needs to look past the campy stage act and omnipresence the Raiders enjoyed on TV in the ‘60s and check out their musical output a little more closely.  PR&TR had more sustained chart success than the Lovin’ Spoonful, were every bit as good as—if not better than—the (Young) Rascals and could blow the Beach Boys and Dave Clark Five off any stage, yet those acts are all in the Hall.

Kiss  I think they deserve to get in for their music alone, but in lieu of that, you can’t tell me Madonna got in the Hall solely for her music.  Her induction had just as much to do with her overall impact on popular culture as her musical contributions—some of which are quite good, don’t get me wrong.  Therefore, Kiss should get in because they certainly left their mark on the cultural landscape, and beyond that, there’s no denying Kiss’ influence on the way concerts and sporting events are staged today—watch this weekend’s Super Bowl pre-game show and see if you don’t see a bit of the Kiss influence with the pyro and such.

Three Dog Night  As Randy Raley noted on his blog recently, the big knock against these guys is that they didn’t write their own songs.  So?  The Temptations didn’t write their own stuff, did they?  Nor did the Four Tops.  Dusty Springfield, either.  Yet, they’re all in the HOF, as will be Little Anthony & The Imperials this year.  All great acts, indeed, and if they are allowed in without doing original material, then that argument against Three Dog Night doesn’t wash.  Other than The Carpenters, there wasn’t a more dominant Pop vocal group during the early ‘70s than 3DN.

Neil Diamond  Okay, forget the sparkly shirts he wears in concert and the cheesy palaver he started putting out in the late ‘70s—let’s remember what a truly great songwriter ND is, not to mention that he could rock out as well in his younger days on hits like "Cherry, Cherry" and "Thank The Lord For The Night Time".  Neil was right up there with the likes of Goffin-King in writing Pop classics like "I’m A Believer" and "A Little Bit You, A Little Bit Me" for The Monkees, and his early ‘70s output stacks up with the likes of Paul Simon, and he’s in the Hall as a solo artist.

Deep Purple/Motorhead  The former practically invented Heavy Metal, and the latter made it even faster, so how is it Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Van Halen and Metallica all got in ahead of these two influential bands?  In spite of their numerous personnel changes and incarnations, DP put out some killer stuff over the years, and Metallica themselves have acknowledged that they would never have existed if it weren’t for Brother Lemmy and Motorhead.

Doobie Brothers/Moody Blues/Rush/Chicago  In terms of chart success, popularity and overall impact, the Doobies, Moodies, Rush and Chicago are on a par with the likes of Bob Seger, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, the Eagles and Lynyrd Skynyrd, all of whom are already in the Hall.  Each band had its own unique style or niche, not to mention consistency and longevity—all are still popular concert attractions to this day.

Nick Lowe  This man is renowned in music circles for producing and/or championing numerous Punk/New Wave acts in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s (including one Elvis Costello, who’s already in the Hall) as well as his acclaimed work with Rockpile and as a solo artist.  Critics love this guy, so what gives?

Heart  You can certainly make a case for Ann and Nancy Wilson to make the Hall for their music alone, but also for forming the first major Rock band where women more or less ran the show.  Not since Grace Slick in Jefferson Airplane had a female been considered a peer of the men within the framework of a Rock band.

Pat Benatar/The Go-Go’s  And while we’re making a case for the ladies, what about the two most dominant female acts of the ‘80s?  Pat was/is a strong and independent woman and the The Go-Go’s wrote and performed their own music, which is more than one can say for (as great as they were) The Supremes or Martha & The Vandellas or The Ronettes.

Jim Croce/Stevie Ray Vaughan  Jim and SRV both had careers tragically truncated by aircraft accidents.  So did Ritchie Valens, whose career lasted basically all of eight months, which is about a quarter of the length of Croce’s time in the limelight and a mere fraction of Stevie Ray’s.  No doubt, Ritchie had plenty more up his sleeve, thus I think his induction in the HOF was based mostly on potential, whereas with Croce and Vaughan the results are quite clear:  Croce was a great songwriter filled with gentle good humor, and SRV was a killer guitar player and bluesman, and both are totally Hall-worthy.

There are plenty more deserving folks I could argue for like Dave Edmunds, John Hiatt, Grand Funk Railroad, Yes, the Hollies, et al, but you get the idea.  I just can’t fathom how the aforementioned greats are being snubbed for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame in favor of Rap groups (Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC), nobodies (Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith) and marginal-at-best acts (the Ventures, the Dells).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

57 Channels and Nothin' On?

Here's another classic I unearthed from the archives. It's a little dated and most decidedly politically incorrect, but it's still funny...

Al Jazeera TV Guide
All Shows brought to you by Texaco..."You can trust your Suburban to the man who wears the turban!"

0800 - My 33 Sons
0830 - Osama Knows Best
0900 - I Dream of Mohammed
0930 - Let's Mecca Deal
1000 - The Kabul Hillbillies

0800 - Husseinfeld
0900 - Mad About Everything
0930 - Monday Night Stoning
1000 - Win Bin Laden's Money
1030 - Allah McBeal

0800 - Wheel of Terror
0830 - The Price is Right if Osama Says it's Right
0900 - Children are Forbidden from Saying the DarndestThings
0930 - Taliban's Wackiest Public Execution Bloopers

0800 - Tales from the Koran
0830 - When Kurds Attack
0900 - Two Guys, a Girl, and Pita Bread
0930 - Just Shoot Everyone
1000 - Veilwatch
1100 - This Old Cave

0800 - Fatima Loves Chachi
0830 - M*U*S*T*A*S*H
0900 - Veronica's Closet Full of Long, Black,Shapeless Dresses and Veils
0930 - Married with 139 Children
1000 - Eye for an Eye Witness News

0800 - Spongebob Squareturban
0830 - Who's Koran Is It Anyway?
0900 - Teletalibans
1000 - Camel 54, Where Are You?
1100 - My Favorite Kalashnikov
1200 - Beat The Press

0800 - Judge Jihad
0830 - Suddenly Sanctions
0900 - Who Wants to Marry a Terrorist Millionaire?
0930 - Cave and Garden Television
1000 - No-Witness News

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Brother Leo strikes again!

My favorite columnist and fellow radical moderate, Leonard Pitts, Jr., has once again authored a dandy column.  I’ll hit the highlights from it below, and you can read all of it here.

"I hope he fails." —Rush Limbaugh

"Do you ever say that about your President if you are an American who loves your country?  Would you say it about George W. Bush, who was disastrous, about Bill Clinton, who was slimy, about Jimmy Carter, who was inept, about Richard Nixon, who was crooked?  You may think he’s going to fail, yes.  You may warn us he’s going to fail, yes. But do you ever ‘hope’ he fails? Knowing his failure is the country’s failure? Isn’t that, well…disloyal?

The irony is that Limbaugh and the other clowns would have you believe the are bedrock defenders of this country, that they love it more than the rest of us, more than anything. That’s a lie.  Limbaugh just told us so, emphatically.  It’s not the country they love, It’s the attention.  Their perversion of conservatism is but a means toward that end. The country doesn’t matter.  The "side" does.  And Limbaugh’s side seems angry.  It’s as if anger is all they really have.

If he (Obama) is successful, Limbaugh and the other clowns will face tough sledding in a radically different world.  Small wonder he is so eager to strangle this presidency in its infancy.  And need it even be said?

I hope he (Limbaugh) fails."

As far as ol’ Rush is concerned, failure is definitely an option, and I hope he accomplishes it.  Ain’t nothing worse that some smug ass-hat who makes $10 million a year spouting sour grapes over a lost election.  A good friend of mine once tried to downplay Limbaugh’s rhetoric by saying, "Oh, it’s just entertainment."  If entertainment were all it amounted to, then fine, but the problem is too many people out there take this walking/talking bowel movement’s words as the Gospel Truth, and therein lies the danger.  Too many people out there base their political opinions solely on the bilge that this windbag spews forth (and whatever Fox News Channel tells them to believe) without checking out other points of view first.  I don’t even think Limbaugh truly believes half of the crap he says on his show—which basically amounts to runny post-KFC stool most of the time.  He basically lives to stir up shit and draw attention to himself, no matter how outrageous he has to get.

As for all the sour grapes regarding Obama from all you conservatives, we put up with your guy for the last eight years and look what it got us—at least give the new guy a chance to succeed first before you start ripping on him.

Monday, January 26, 2009

More movie clichés

I was cleaning out some old e-mails on the computer this weekend, and came across a couple things I'd sent out a long time ago featuring stuff I'd found on the 'net about the movies, which fits right in with my current Overused TV/Movie clichés feature.  I didn't write any of this, but it's quite humorous...

15 Things We Wouldn't Know If It Weren't For The Movies
1) The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place.  No one will ever think of looking for you in there, and you can travel to any other part of the building you want without difficulty.
2) You're very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.
3) Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it is not necessary to speak the language.  A German accent will do.
4) A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.
5) If staying in a haunted house, women must investigate any strange noises in their sexiest underwear, which is just what they happened to be carrying with them at the time the car broke down.
6) If a large pane of glass is visible, someone will be thrown through it before long
7) If someone says, "I'll be right back", they won't.
8) Computer monitors never display a cursor on screen but always say:  Enter Password Now.
9) It is not necessary to say hello or goodbye when beginning or ending phone conversations.  And none of your friends have to knock when they come for a visit.
10) Even when driving down a perfectly straight road, it is necessary to turn the steering wheel vigorously from left to right every few moments.
11) All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they're going to go off.
12) A detective can only solve a case once he has been suspended from duty.
13) If you decide to start dancing in the street everyone around you will automatically be able to mirror all the steps you come up with and hear the music in your head.
14) Police departments give their officers personality tests to make sure they are deliberately assigned a partner who is their total opposite.
15) When they are alone, all foreigners prefer to speak English to each other!

And it seems there's plenty more where those first 15 came from...
  • When a car runs into another and there's a front end collision, they both explode!  How many cars have you seen explode from this?  Or when a car goes over a cliff, it will ALWAYS explode...
  • When a baby is born, it's soooooooo obvious that it's not a newborn, but at least a two-year-old.
  • Characters will always find a parking space right in front of the building they're going to even in a large metropolitan city where parking is basically impossible.
  • Characters at a bar or at a restaurant table will always get the attention of a server at the exact moment they need to order.
  • When a gift/present is given, the top is wrapped separately from the rest of the box and it lifts straight off so that there is never any ripping or fumbling with wrapping paper.
  • A chase scene on foot in a city always has a shot of one of the characters running into the street, nearly being hit by a car screeching to a halt at which point the driver flails his arm out the window and yells an expletive.
  • Anytime a character in an awful rush confronts another character curious about his predicament, the first one says, "There's no time to explain," and then explains anyway.
  • If you're watching TV and "flip" onto any movie made pre-1940, you don't have more than a five minute wait before hearing the line, "Say, what's the big idea?!?"  [Or "Let's get outta here!"]
  • The bad guy will always throw his gun at you to indicate he has run out of bullets.
  • A candle or table lamp can light a whole room.
  • At nighttime, it is blue.
  • If you are in a film, it is easy for you to master the skill of controlling any vehicle you need, like landing a plane, for example.
  • Everybody when needing a computer can type super-fast and never need to hit the space bar!
  • Computers never freeze or crash, unlike in the real world.
  • They have super-duper graphics programs which can zoom into blurs in fotos to make them super-clear!
  • The world is full of startlingly good-looking people.
  • In space, it turns out people can hear you scream, ships explode, planets combust, etc...
  • The best way to get laid is to put on some slow jazz music.
  • The moonlight will light up any room as though it were a 70-watt light bulb, and no one seems to own curtains/blinds or at least don't close them when they go to bed.
  • Text appearing on a computer monitor appears letter by letter and making a sound as if it was produced by a typewriter.
  • Computer mice don't seem to exist.  People just type and all the windows they need appear and disappear and they manage to find plans of buildings and top secret things in a heartbeat.
  • When someone uses a TV remote it makes a clicking sound that is impossible to replicate by existing remotes.
  • Scientists always wear 70s clothes, and when called upon in meetings, stand up and say some stupid complicated explanation that no one understands, followed by the chief who paraphrases them by a pithy cliché, "So what you're saying is we're screwed?"  "Um, yes..."
  • Cats always make a noise.  If someone is creeping into a house and is momentarily scared by a cat, it ALWAYS has to meow before running off.
  • At a beach, nightclub or party scene, the record or band that's playing is rarely anything you've ever heard in the charts. In the sixties, people apparently only ever listened to twangy instrumentals from tiny transistor radios (which were still powerful enough for a dozen people to dance around to).
  • Every gang of young people has to contain (a) a fat kid and (b) a geeky, bespectacled kid.  The fat kid would grow up to play the "Fat Friend" usually portrayed by Jack Black or Chris Farley.  These provide comic relief only, never having a girlfriend themselves.  They exist only to make the hero look good.
  • Americans always bring their "groceries" (shopping) back from the "market" (supermarket) in a brown paper bag with a baguette and stalk of celery sticking out of the top.
  • Every necklace in the movies is a breakaway, so you can just yank once it comes off the person's neck.
  • A woman being chased by a murderer will ALWAYS fall over—either because she's running in stilettos or is ridiculously clumsy.
  • Serial killers never just die...they will remain still for ages so that the hero is fooled and walks right past which point the killer grabs their ankle and then keeps fighting.
  • It is possible to drive safely for long periods with your head turned completely away from the road ahead, whilst either in conversation or looking at a map.
  • People brush their teeth BEFORE eating breakfast but not afterwards, at which point they run out the door with a piece of toast in their mouth.
  • Aussie accents in American films always sound like a mix of Cockney, South African and New Zealander.  And they say things like "Streuth!" and "Blimey!"
  • The bad guy's sexy girl will try to seduce the good guy, then when that fails will beat him up using martial arts, whilst wearing skintight leather, lycra and stilettos.
  • Women can never find their car keys whilst being pursued by a killer.  Once they do find them, it takes them ages to fumble the keys into the ignition, giving the killer enough time to reach the car and pound on the window.
  • Every bad guy knows how to tie really complicated knots...which somehow the good guy manages to untie.
  • A person investigating strange noises in their house always finds that the lights don't work, then stumble around in the dark rather than getting a torch.  At least one of the noises they hear will turn out to be made by a cat.
  • Dogs always bark at ghosts.
  • Vicious guard dogs can be easily distracted with a piece of steak.
  • Mice can somehow fashion a perfectly semi-circular entrance to their dwelling.
  • If a baddie is trapped in a cage with a gorilla towards the end of a light-hearted romp, the gorilla will take a sexual interest in the baddie.
  • A small goat is capable of propelling a fully grown man through the air by butting him in the ass with its horns.
  • Many animals, when they consume alcohol, will take on human drunken characteristics—usually to the sound of a trombone being played.
  • When a cat eats a fish, it leaves the skeleton perfectly preserved and intact.
  • If there is a telephone in the background or close by, it is GOING to be ringing.  The person calling will usually be a bad guy, and now THEY KNOW YOU'RE THERE...or something else bad will happen because of that phone call.
  • Any time a person is expecting a bad guy to jump out at them, often they'll sigh in relief when it's just the cat, or the wind, or a tree branch against the window.  But as soon as they let their guard down and laugh at their "silliness," they're going to be attacked by the bad guy that really WAS there after all.
  • In movies, when someone puts a baby down to bed, that baby coos and smiles, and then just goes right off to sleep.  It's amazing…
  • All high school students look like people in their mid-twenties, and can dance professionally.
  • In the movies everyone seems to have L-shaped sheets on their beds able to cover a woman up to her neck and her partner up to his waist.
  • Why if they have just spent the night together do they need to take a complete quilt and rap it round themselves before getting out of bed?
  • Does anyone eat a meal?  Food is set in front of someone, a conversation is had with others at the table and the food is cleared away or left without a bite being taken…
  • I need the manufacturer of the make-up and hair products that can get me up in a morning looking like I did when I went to bed…
  • Guns don't need to be cocked.  But you do have to cock them after someone says a witty one-liner or when it sounds completely badass.
  • Cars explode instantly from handgun fire.
  • Being around a bomb causes time to slow down.
  • Bad guys die instantly, good guys die slowly.
  • All police investigations will require at least one visit to a strip club.
  • You can jump from a tall building and land on mattresses, a pile of boxes, or a dumpster full of garbage and, though you might groan and be a little slow getting up, you will not sustain any serious injury.
  • It's very easy to fool the security guards at highly top secret government institutions.
  • It's very easy for a computer hacker to break a security code and find just the information he's looking for in less than a minute.
  • If you're a criminal mastermind, you cannot just shoot the hero in the back, you have to tie him up and wait for some diabolical machine to finish the hero off and you can't wait around to make sure it works, which allows the hero a chance to escape, which he always does because apparently no bad guy ever got his knot-tying badge in the boy scouts.