Thursday, September 24, 2009

Jump, Blog & Wail

Get your affairs in order, ladies and gentlemen—it’s time to face your final destiny because the Apocalypse is surely nigh.  Kiss has finally been nominated for induction into the (C)Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame!  And so has ABBA!  First-timers Genesis and the Hollies even made the preliminary list.  I’m stunned that the Hall of Fame membership panelists and/or aging Rolling Stone hippies who think Leonard Cohen is a Rock star finally woke up and smelled the crappucino.  I’m still not holding my breath for The Hottest Band In The World to actually get voted in this year—these HOF buffoons will no doubt find a way to mangle things up, because their other nominees for the 2010 Class include LL Cool J, Donna Summer, Jimmy Cliff, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Chantels, Laura Nyro, Darlene Love and the Stooges.

Here’s my annual breakdown of the HOF candidates:  Y’all already know my feelings on Kiss and ABBA—they’re both no-brainers here.  Genesis and the Hollies are also on Top 25 list of acts who deserve to be in the Hall, so I hope they get voted this time, even if they do get in ahead of the Moody Blues, Deep Purple, Rush, Paul Revere & The Raiders, etc.  And if Kiss gets in, I think that will pave the way for many of those acts anyway.  As with R.E.M. a couple years ago, I think the Chili Peppers are a borderline choice, at best—they may well be Hall-worthy someday, just not quite yet, in my book.  But since we have to have five inductees, then I guess RHCP will have to do this time.

I’ve never gotten the whole Iggy Pop/Stooges thing—in fact, the whole Punk thing in general was all just mindless noise that never truly registered with me—but I’m not a bit surprised Iggy and the boys have been nominated.  Sorry, Iggy, but slicing up your chest with razor blades on-stage doesn’t impress me much, and frankly, I think Curly, Moe & Larry (and even Shemp) are more HOF worthy than your Stooges!  The Chantels were a black girl group that hit the Top 15 with 1958’s “Maybe” and had a couple other minor hits—nice try, but they were hardly the Supremes or even the Ronettes.  They weren’t even on a par with the Crystals, whom Darlene Love was the lead singer for on “He’s A Rebel”, and who was part of the trio Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans—again nice, but nothing earth-shattering.  Laura Nyro was a fine songwriter who had a nice run in the late ‘60s composing hits like “Eli’s Coming” for Three Dog Night, “And When I Die” for Blood Sweat & Tears and “Stoney End” for Babs Streisand, as well as “Stoned Soul Picnic” and “Wedding Bell Blues” for the Fifth Dimension.  Nyro had a moderately successful solo singing career as well, so maybe—maybe—you could make a case for her being in the Hall, but if she gets in, then how is it an equally prolific songwriter and infinitely more successful performer like Neil Diamond still gets snubbed?  Come to think of it, if they think the Chantels are Hall-worthy, then why hasn’t the Fifth Dimension been nominated?  Fifth D certainly had a lot more impact on popular music than the Chantels ever could’ve dreamed of.  As for LL Cool J, Donna Summer and Jimmy Cliff—a Rapper, a Disco diva and a Reggae artist?—you gotta be kidding me!  Save them for the Rap, Disco and Reggae Halls of Fame, if they ever exist.

So, here’s who I think should get in this year:  Kiss, ABBA, Genesis, the Hollies, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

And here’s who I think will actually get voted in this year:  The Stooges, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Genesis, Jimmy Cliff and Laura Nyro.

My man, Leonard Pitts, Jr., once again gave voice to my feelings about all this criticism aimed at President Obama:  “The same folks who were complacent as President Bush spent surplus into deficit, wasted $600 billion and 4,000 American lives on the wrong war and watched an American city drown are morally outraged because the new guy wants to reform health care?”  This is what I’ve been trying to say all along—Obama may not have all the right answers, but geez Louise, let’s at least give him a little time to undo all this damage from the last eight years and beyond before declaring him the worst President ever.  He has a tough act to follow anyway…

During a visit to Lowe’s hardware emporium on Saturday, I was amazed (but not amused) that they already had their Christmas decorations up for sale.  On September 18th?!?  Shit, we might as well just make Xmas a year-round holiday anymore.  As Charlie Brown was known to utter:  “*SIGH*”.

While channel surfing on Saturday afternoon between college football games around 4:00, I stumbled across When Harry Met Sally—right smack dab in the middle of Meg Ryan’s infamous simulated orgasm scene—on ABC Family Channel.  I repeat, friggin’ ABC Family Channel!  No biggie, tho—I don’t guess there would be any impressionable young children tuned in at that hour, would there?  Nah, probably not…

After witnessing the sideline demeanor of Chefs head coach Todd Haley while ripping his players right and left for two games, I’ve noticed an uncanny resemblance between him and actor Ben Stiller when he guested on “Friends” as Rachel’s temperamental date who went Postal over little stuff.  I’m going to give Haley the same treatment I’m giving President Obama, since TH is still new on the job, but his ballistic sideline histrionics are already giving me cause for concern, not to mention the piss-poor play calling and even worse clock management that snatched victory away from the jaws of defeat against the train wreck that is Da Raidas on Sunday.  It may be a while before K.C. wins another football game now, in light of the murderer’s row coming up on their schedule—the Eagles, Giants, Cowboys, et al.

One team the Chefs might have a chance against soon would be the Washington Redskins, who barely eked out a 9-7 win Sunday over the hapless St. Louis Rams, which gave ‘Skins fans rightful cause to lustily boo their own team.  This incensed one of the Washington players, rookie linebacker Robert Benson, who whipped out his Tweeter and labeled the fans a bunch of “dim-wits” who “probably work 9 to 5 at McDonald’s.”  Uhhh, Bobbo, the average McDonald’s employee can’t even afford a TV to watch the game on, let alone a ticket to one of your games, as the Redskins have one of the highest average ticket prices in the NFL.  What's really funny is those “dim-wit” McD’s employees contributed every bit as much to Sunday’s effort by the ‘Skins as Benson did—this goomer hasn’t even suited up for a game yet this season!  Best keep yer yap shut, buddy—a few more Tweets like that one, and you may well be churning out Big Macs and Egg McMuffins yourself real soon…

Tuesday was Kansas City’s annual pre-season NHL game at Sprint Center, which attracted a somewhat disappointing crowd of 9,700 or so.  The low attendance probably doesn’t help K.C.’s chances of landing an NHL franchise, but then again, L.A. Kings vs. New York Islanders isn’t exactly a sexy match-up, and you have to factor the economy into the equation, not to mention the over-inflated ticket prices.  If the NHL ever actually does move a team here, I’d only be able to afford to attend one or two games a season, as would most other average hockey fans like me.  Hell, I wanted to attend Tuesday night’s game, but all they had left on TicketBastard the other day were $75 tickets, and I’m sorry, gang, I ain’t paying that kind of money for a game that don’t count.  I wouldn’t even pay that much for a game that does count, unless it was the Stanley Cup Finals.  Oh well, I already have a ticket in hand for a regular season Blackhawks game in Chicago next month during my upcoming road trip, so I’ll get my NHL fix then.  Meantime, I really wish the city would lower their expectations a skosh and try to land an American Hockey League franchise (think Triple-A level in baseball) for Sprint Center instead.  It would be a much better fit for a city of this size, and a lot more affordable for us fans, who would pack that place on the weekends like we used to do when the Blades played at Kemper Arena in the ‘90s.

It didn’t take K.C. Star sports columnist Jason Whitlock (aka “The Flatulent One”) very long to resort to his typical schoolyard taunting gambit of assigning one of his childish nicknames to new Chefs General Manager Scott Pioli, the man whom JW avidly campaigned for the Chefs to hire, and whom JW now exclusively refers to as Scott Ego-li.  As I’ve stated before, it’s one thing to do a little name-calling on a blog like this—“Chefs”, “Flatulent One” or “Miss Winky-Dink” (Sarah Palin) for instance—that only a select few read.  But, it’s a whole different ballgame when commanding a six-figure salary at a major-market newspaper and representing one’s city as Whitlock does—to wit, try showing a little class for once, Jason!  In his most recent column, he wrote about Pioli’s ego:  “I’ve covered professional sports for 16 years, wrestled with ‘King’ Carl Peterson, stood toe-to-toe with drunken, delusional hostile millionaire athletes, battled Mike Lupica and irritated billionaire owners.  None of them can touch Scott Ego-li.”  Hmmm, the ever-humble and reticent Jason Whitlock taking exception to someone’s ego—that’s rich.  In the vernacular of the schoolyard, Jason, “It takes one to know one!” (And my dad can beat up your dad!)

Tell Gene Simmons never mind about getting Grandma outta here, because Jimmy’s workin’ TOO hard this year.  Anheuser-Busch needs to 86 this “Jimmy Football” bozo on the new Bud Light TV ads PDQ.  He’s nothing but a transparent rip-off of the late Billy Mays—the voice that launched a million mute buttons—and every bit as irritating, too.  Jimmy makes me miss the lizards and the ferret even more.  And in a bit of role reversal, this would be one of the rare times when Miller Beer actually trumps an A-B ad campaign—I love the current Miller High Life commercials with the black delivery dude and his accurate social commentary.  The best one is where he spots the hoity-toity women trackside at the horse race and exclaims, “Floppy hats at 10:00...closest to the track but farthest from reality!”  This is easily the best set of TV ads Miller has produced since the "Tastes Great/Less Filling" era.

Have you seen the appalling claims that actress/drug fiend MacKenzie Phillips is making about her late father, “Papa” John Phillips in her new book High On Arrival, about him having an incestuous relationship with her in the ‘70s?  Ewww!  Ewww!  Ewww!  She even claims they did the (really) dirty deed on the night before she got married in 1979.  You gotta either be totally twisted or pretty damn desperate to sell books to publish crap like this.  Up until MP’s most recent drug bust last year, I was fairly sympathetic to her plight with substance abuse, but it’s becoming pretty obvious that she’s just a colossal dumbass.  While it’s well-documented that Papa John was no angel and had a monumental drug problem himself, I find this all to be pure science fiction, and even if it is true, why go public with it now?  What good can come from this, other than a few paychecks from your publisher?  It speaks volumes that John’s ex-wife Michelle Phillips (MacKenzie’s stepmother) has quickly come out to defend him in the media.  Michelle wasn’t even on speaking terms with John for many many years before he died, yet she maintains that this is all a load of buffalo bagels, and that “MacKenzie has a lot of mental illness.  She’s had a needle stuck up her arm for 35 years.  She was arrested for heroin and coke just recently.  She did ‘Celebrity Rehab’ and now she writes a book.  The whole thing is timed.”  Then again, sister Chynna Phillips believes MacKenzie is telling the truth, so who the hell knows?  Would it at least be fair to say that the Phillips clan is every bit as fucked up as the Ryan O’Neal family?

It was exactly ten years ago last night that I was on board a plane bound for Las Vegas en route to a six-day rendezvous with a beautiful woman of the female sex—a week that was one of the major highlights of my 45 years so far on this planet, and far and away the high point of my love life/sex life.  Wonderful memories, to be sure, which I’ve played over and over in my head a zillion times—thank you again, Stacy, for taking me places I’d never been before (or since).  Without you, I’d probably be suicidal by now.

What haunts me, however, is the complete dearth of activity in my love life since late 1999—nary even a freakin’ date with a woman (other than lunch/dinner dates with female friends), let alone any glimmers of hope of finding a new significant other, and I now find myself rustier than the Titanic.  I already covered this subject thoroughly earlier this year in my “The (Love) Life of Brian” series, so no need to re-hash here, but this current dry spell is the longest of all for me, and probably the most discouraging, because the older I get, the dimmer my prospects are for finding the woman of my dreams.  I do realize the lack of relationships and prospects is mostly my fault—I don’t get out near as much as I should, my social life is stagnant-at-best, and I’ve let myself go quite a bit, physique-wise, but still, you’d think somewhere along the line in ten years, I’d have stumbled across someone in my travels (both Internet and terrestrial) whom I might hit it off with and want to “have relations” with, but there has been no one.  Hell, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then!  What precious few women that have caught my eye over that time were either co-workers, already spoken-for, had kids or were way too young for me (or any combination thereof).  What’s worse, women rarely seem to even notice me, and I almost find the indifference I usually encounter from women to be more hurtful than the sting of out-and-out rejection.  Never say never, of course, but the future sure looks bleak to me these days…