Saturday, May 31, 2008

Keeping America Safe

This isn't the first time I've seen this ad on the subway, but for some reason it made me chuckle Friday afternoon so I took a hot pic. Although, for accuracy, the sign should probably read: "Last year, 44 brown people were needlessly harassed and 1900 people freaked out over abandoned Duane Reade bags."

Teach those terrorists to save big on sanitary napkins...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dan Patrick: Comedy Writer

I have to call bullshit on Dan Patrick. The former ESPN host now works for Sports Illustrated and has won the opportunity to regale us with his veteran wit. It seems, however, that he doesn't read his own column. In the May 19 issue of SI, Patrick criticizes Yankees relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain for his "spontaneous displays of enthusiasm" after striking people out (specifically, pumping his fist after fanning David Dellucci a few weeks ago). According to Dan "Catchphrase" Patrick (thanks for introducing "en fuego" to American pop culture, by the way. I had to hear that shit throughout high school. I prayed that your face was en fuego), these young ballplayers should save their celebrations for "meaningful occasions." Fair enough. But how does one explain Dan Patrick's handling of Manny Ramirez in this week's SI:

I'm sure you saw the clips of Manny Ramirez giving a fan a high five last week after making a catch - but before he threw the ball to first to complete a double play. The knee-jerk reaction for many is to shake their heads: Hey, he's not taking the game seriously. But I like it. Whenever I watch Manny, I'm entertained: He's having fun.

You see how he had to add that "before he threw the ball to first to complete a double play" in order to justify championing this bullshit? So fucking around while the ball is in play is adorable while celebrating a strike out is excessive. Manny Ramirez's high five was ancillary to the play: He did it to see if he could do it. Manny has always been beloved for his childlike personality (indicative, possibly, of an extra chromosome swimming around, know what I mean?). I don't feel it's entirely fair to condemn Joba for a game-related expression of emotion (which can only help a team and its fans get excited about a last place performance) while looking at Ramirez like a lovable scamp whose antics often cost his team.

Of course, Dan Patrick admits that Manny does sometimes blow it. He then compares him to Brett Favre and how he used to "goof around." But, WHATEVER! It's CUTE!!! What does Dan see in them?

Here's what I see in each: one of the best of his generation, playing like a kid.

Well, Dan, kids also pump their fists after strikeouts. Kids get excited. Kids also whine and cry and choke and fuck up. I'm just looking for a little consistency here, Dan. Like George Carlin says: Let's not have two standards here. One standard will do just fine.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


One of the perks of being an XM subscriber is being subjected to the dulcet tones of Jim Blasingame. He does adverts for his radio show which, from what I can gather, has something to do with either helping small business owners succeed or annoying the shit out of XM subscribers. His voice seeps into my brain through my nose and just SITS there droning on like some prison camp survivor telling stories about how severely he was beaten. He has this Droopy Dog cadence to his voice that inspires nothing but violent anger in me. Even though he talks like a tired victim of a bus crash, to be fair, it isn't just his mouthnoise that eats at me like a sleepy vampire. It's also his unBELIEVEably shitty analogies that he hamfistedly applies to running a small business. They range from marginally unrelated to batshit insane. They sound like this:

When a young kitten tries to lap milk from the other side of the bowl, he gets milk all over his chest fur. When running a small business, sometimes we try to lap our net income from the other side of the ledger. Write this on a rock: the closest milk is the sweetest.

ARGGHHHHH!!!! WHAT?! Even though I can't remember an actual quote from his dumb ads, the above example captures something he would say. Somehow he manages to be obvious and convoluted at the same time. I guess from this simpering drivel, we're supposed to get the idea that he's some kind, sagacious old man whose wisdom is brilliant in its simplicity. In reality, it's babble that makes you want to stab him in the mustache.

Sometimes when a man bends down to pick up a penny from the sidewalk, he misses the bigger picture. Like the other man sidling up behind him to slip in ol' Yeller. Write this on a rock: don't get fucked in the ass by being cheap.

He's infuriating. Next up, Suzyn Waldman.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Oh yeah?

I was watching an episode of WWE's ECW brand and saw Matt Striker pull off the official Jordan Barker "Look of Disgust." It was so close to Jordan's that I had to vid cap it:

This was the same look Jordan gave me when I was convinced that Rich Hall was the guy with glasses and a mustache on Not Necessarily the News (answer: Rich Hall is the Sniglets guy. I was thinking of Danny Breen).


This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit my girlfriend's sister's family in Long Island. Luckily, my girlfriend came along or it would've been CREEPY. The family includes a three year old girl who has a Herculean amount of energy and, as a result, is the source of nonstop entertainment. Rather than focus on her antics, however, I thought it would be super fun to talk about epistemology and identity for the purpose of boring everyone's fucking faces off.

I wondered aloud, much to the chagrin of the child's mother, when a young mind gains a sense of identity. According to this girl's mother, at about two to two and a half years old, the infant recognizes herself as a distinct personality. Things become "mine." In fact, the idea of "me" becomes overwhelmingly important, so much so that I marveled at how often the idea of "sharing" comes up in the age-targeted media she watches. What's amazing is that her self, her personality, her identity is, at this moment, at its most malleable stage. It's a tabula rasa. From here on out, her experiences inform her very being.

But how does that work now? In 2008? When I was three, I was inundated with the constant barrage of stimuli from various media sources. But however influential that was, it doesn't begin to touch what an infant mind has to contend with now. In an existential sense, the mind manufactures itself, identifies itself, with external "things." My name is Gabe. I have brown hair. I have brown eyes. These are facts that are identified with me, but at the same time aren't "me." The "me," in this sense, is a strange nothingness around which these identifiers adhere.

What makes this problematic is that the sense of identity in today's day and age seems in a constant flux. Don't like your hair? Change it. Don't like your eyes? Change them. Don't like any part of your body? Switch it out for something slimmer or stronger. And despite this bottomless well of choice, at the same time, we are encouraged NOT to consider ourselves different from one another. Categorizing by age, sex, race, or ability is ultimately, we are told, insensitive. It seems that all of these things that make us unique, that distinguish us, are at the same time liabilities.

Taking those identifiers out of the mix, it seems that what remains is harmless tripe. What television shows do I like? What music do I listen to? What sports team do I follow? But ultimately, who am I? Does it matter anymore? The cold, stale formula for the "self" becomes identical for every person, save variable "x" in his case stands for "Good Eats" while for her it stands for "America's Next Top Model."

However dismal my outlook is, I have hope. As I watched the three year old girl atop her playset, she paused for a moment and stared out into the row of trees that line her driveway. Her eyes flickered. She was daydreaming. And for a moment, I understood that consciousness was more than simple formulas.

Everyday Normal Guy

Andy Samberg doesn't come close to comedian Jon Lajoie:

Also in the rap department, a video that is hilarious but I'm not sure is meant to be, rapper Riskay's "Smell Yo Dick:"

Friday, May 09, 2008

New Podcast

My friend John and I discuss comic books! Well, John discusses comic books. I babble on like a retarded Andy Richter.


There will be an exclusive feed for this soon.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


* Most Yankee fans despise John Sterling. He's been the radio voice for my favorite team since I was a little boy. I have to admit that I have a soft spot for him and his hokey bullshit, which includes his tendency to emphasize the wrong words in sentences ("IT is high, IT is far, it is...GONE"), his quaint, ol' timey phrases ("They went back to back...and a-belly to belly"), and his sometimes painful catchphrases. What fans seem to forget is that Sterling wasn't ALWAYS delivering awful catchphrases. Growing up, he had a smattering of them, but it wasn't nearly as manufactured as it is today. Someone sucking on a cigar somewhere in the Yankee head office must've encouraged this behavior, because listening to him now is embarrassing. Most of his ridiculous t-shirt oriented slogans revolve around homeruns:

- "Bernie goes boom!" (when Bernie Williams hit a homerun)
- "It is an A-bomb...from A-Rod!" (when Rodriguez does same)
- "The Giambino!" (this couldn't be more awkward if Jason Giambi's face was actually grafted onto Babe Ruth's asscheek)
- "It's Robbie Cano, don'tcha know!" (we're stretching here)
- "It's absolutely Damonic!" (this I heard for the first time today when Johnny Damon hit a homer. This should be punishable by vasectomy)

They just get worse and worse. I'm half expecting him to eventually get weird:

- "You never know a girl until J-eter!"
- "A thrilling hand Joba!" (Or "What a blow Joba" when he blows the game)
- "Don't just stare at it, Pettitte."
- "What a play by Giambi! Mekka lekka high, mekka hiney ho!" (PeeWee reference? Anybody? Get it? I also would say "mekka lekka high, mekka hiney homer")

* The Marvel Secret Invasion story line is pretty great. I'm 31 years old.

* GTA IV has earned $500 million dollars in its first week. I earned significantly less than that.