Spiraling Toward Irrelevancy

Never has a blog title spoken quicker to the absolute truth than "Spiraling Toward Irrelevancy" ...


Bill Walsh and Tom Snyder

Bill Walsh has died. If you’ve enjoyed football at any point in the last twenty-five years, you’ve got Bill Walsh to thank. Walsh coached the Beloved San Francisco 49ers for ten years, taking the club from a 2-14 mark his first season to a Super Bowl win his third. In those ten years the Beloved Niners won six division titles and three Super Bowls, back when winning Super Bowls meant something (before the league was significantly watered down because so much talent was spread so thin between so many teams). Walsh was the architect of what today is called the West Coast offense, a system so groundbreaking that it took the rest of the NFL until well into the 1990s to realize what it was seeing. (By that time, the Beloved Niners had tacked on two more World championships.) A leader of men and a crafter of character, team first and always, one of the greatest minds to ever walk the sidelines. Bill Walsh suffered leukemia and died Monday, at 75. R.I.P.

Tom Snyder has died. This is a crippling blow to whatever remains of the spirit of civility and good humor on television, as Snyder was perhaps the last relevant, thoughtful and competent interviewer of his generation (and one of the two, of any generation, anywhere near American broadcasting). You may not have ever seen Snyder host Tomorrow with Tom Snyder (1973 – 1982), but you’ve seen footage of that influential show everywhere over the years: Wendy O. Williams destroyed a car during a Plasmatics appearance in 1980; John Lennon conducted his last televised interview there; U2 debuted there in 1981, as did “Weird Al” Yankovic; not to forget a Charles Manson interview that even today would have to be seen to be believed. Network meddling with the show’s format forced Snyder aside in 1982 and David Letterman took the slot in 1983. As part of his later contract with CBS, Letterman was able to develop his own 12.35am show, and in 1995 he offered Snyder The Late Late Show, from which he retired in 1999. He was never The Star, and was the perfect remedy for a cesspool of mediocrity and thoughtless jackassery we today lament as simply being modern television. Tom Snyder suffered leukemia and died Sunday, at 71. R.I.P.


I Have Nothing to Say to You People.

Left hamstring feeling much better; will get back to working out Tuesday morning on some equipment lent by a neighbor. Further explanation as to the exact workout routine later this week, but the upshot is that I’d like to capitalize on the few pounds I’ve lost in the next month, before embarking on my 2007 I Have Nothing To Say to You People World Tour of Parts of the Midwest, beginning at the end of August and continuing through the first half of September. Currently seeking groupies to service me at various stops along the way.

But this cold has lingered all week. “I’ve got a cold,” I told the very attractive midget girl working the gas station last Wednesday night, “so no tongue kissing.” Wish you could have seen her face. What a good sport.

Iraqi celebrations turn deadly in the wake of its national team winning a soccer championship over the weekend. (Which championship? Who cares; it’s soccer.) Nice going, Iraq. Americans would have never known any progress was being made there until we saw you riot over a sports championship, like here in the States. If only the Iraqis would start murdering other spectators in the stands, they could warm the hearts of Europeans and Central Americans, as well.

The upside being, of course, that if the Iraqi team had lost the championship game, the players wouldn’t have been forced to kick around a concrete soccer ball in the aftermath, as was common under the previous regime.

List: Ten Songs That Will Probably Kill the Mood at an Orgy.

“Why Does it Hurt When I Pee?” by Dog Eat Dog
“Having My Baby” by Paul Anka
“The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot
“The Night Chicago Died” by Paper Lace
“Goodbye English Rose” by Elton John
“Don’t Try Suicide” by Queen
“Little Willy” by Sweet
“Misery” by Soul Asylum
“Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother” by Jerry Jeff Walker
The Roots theme


Half The Man I Used To Be (Weekend in Review)

Already down in the dumps over last week’s column fiasco, I somewhat looked forward to this last weekend as a sort of emotional pallet cleanser. Rose about 4pm Thursday, hovered about aimlessly before showering and heading to the office (late). There I made up things to do until Friday morning when I went home, watched the Three Stooges, and napped for a couple hours before getting up and running vital errands: Bank, downtown to buy four baseball tickets to that night’s game and lunch before heading home, whence I prepared a rent payment and laid back down. Any hopes of a follow-up nap were for some reason impossible, so instead of sleeping I watched the History Channel’s Abraham Lincoln special on video for the three trillionth time.

Hopped out of bed about 430pm; for those of you interested, that means I’d managed approximately two hours sleep in the previous twenty-four-and-a-half. To the bathroom to shave my head and shower, and by the time I was dressed it was time to drive to South Bend, fetch my son (aged 13) and head to the baseball game, where we met my brother (Cool Hand) and my father (Mr. Wise to you). First pitch was at 730pm with fireworks afterward (which is apparently the norm after Friday night home games, unbeknownst to me earlier in the day); good guys lost 3-0 but the fireworks were quite passable.

Long about the seventh inning I received a text message from Twitch, this tiny little bi-sexual girl I know. Twitch is the kind of gal that really makes you glad you’re not married or seriously dating someone: utterly lacking reservation about the life she lives and why she lives it, she’s quite content to laugh and talk about that time you fingered her in a public hot tub and in the aftermath walked to the pool with a boner the size of Andre the Giant’s arm, yielding a sense of humor you’d sooner expect from one of the guys. Said another way, she’s someone your wife or girlfriend would absolutely hate if she met and would have a seizure if she found out later you wanted to meet at a bar for a beer.

Anyways: Twitch was out and about, wandering around with a friend near my place, and wondering what time I was going to be home. No guarantees, I replied; once we were done at the game, I was taking my son to see the Harry Potter freakshow at the Barnes and Noble. What time was too late to text her back for a visit? (The answer: “4am.” Thatta girl.) We finally got out of the ballpark about 11pm and headed straight for the bookstore, which we reached around 1130pm (meaning two hours of sleep in the previous thirty-one-and-a-half).

I’ve attended concerts with fewer fucking cars in the parking lot. The building already packed to the capacity allowed by the fire code, a line streamed out the door, around the corner and most of the way toward the back of the quite-large-for-a-bookstore building. Not only was the Barnes and Noble lot packed, so were two nearby lots normally reserved for a few restaurants, and a decently sized strip mall lot, around to the back of both buildings, where people were just making up places to park.

We headed to the front of the line, people gazing. My son managed to dodge the Harry Potter fad in each of its numerous phases, but we did spy many little kids in various states of character related dress; for them, standing outside in line at midnight in fifty degree weather must have been the coolest thing ever, least of all because they were allowed to do all the things no eight or nine-year-old should be allowed to do: Stay up past midnight, dress up in play clothes with no concern for the weather, talk excitedly to adult strangers about the one thing in the world in which they have a common interest.

We made our way over to a used music and DVD store nearby, which had stayed open to take advantage of the line across the way; I’m friendly with most of the staff, especially the guy working this night, a fellow Beloved Atlanta Braves fan. In a discussion about (2006 TGO Awards Movie of the Year winner) Clerks II, my son made a brilliant “Listerfiend” callback and we made one last lap around the weirdos before being forced to make a ten point turn just to get out of the goddamned parking lot.

Was home by 1am (meaning two hours of sleep in the previous thirty-three), when I sent Twitch a text message informing her I was home. She arrived about 130am. Her hair and tattoos looked great. We sat around and babbled incessantly, watched Red Eye on Fox News Channel, then Lisa Lampanelli on Comedy Central and chose new music to signify incoming calls on her cell before things started to get sleepy. We generally made a nuisance out of ourselves until she went home about 730am, allowing me (after an email check) about 45 minutes of sleep before Stuntman Mike arrived for breakfast. I was unspeakably short and rude to Stuntman Mike, but eventually came around and we got away for breakfast after a quick caffeine injection.

Was finally in bed about noon Saturday (which equals two hours and forty-five minutes of sleep in the previous forty). Slept effortlessly until 9pm; rolled over and watched British sit-coms until midnight before falling back asleep until about 3am Sunday, when I had to field a phone call, and then until 7am, when I fed the cats, took a piss and slept until about noon.

At four o’clock Sunday afternoon, my local public television station aired Young Frankenstein unedited and without solicitations; later in the night I napped and am now, Monday morning, listening to Amy Winehouse’s wonderful album. My back hurts like I’ve got fucking meningitis, my throat is throwing off a dull pain, both ankles are killing me, and my previously self-diagnosed hip injury actually turned out to be a hamstring injury acquired while engaging in a light workout two Sundays ago, meaning that I’ll be spending the next two months walking like an eighty-four-year-old woman. I am literally half the man I used to be, but in every other way I’m feeling much better than at this time last week; think I’ll head over to one of the local radio stations and have a DJ I know give me a tour. (Will also ask after the White Stripes tickets I inquired about early last week.)

We’ll see about a column this week.


I Stink.

For the three of you hoping to see a new column yesterday – you know, on account of the fact I announced about a month ago that new columns were on the way – your surprise at not seeing one (or perhaps your lack of surprise) rivals only the level to which I am disgusted with myself for not being able to produce at least 700 words.

Things with that first column were very slow going over the early part of the week, but going nonetheless. Already six hours behind schedule by 4am Wednesday, I’d managed approximately 350 words of passable content; nothing brilliant, but nothing that would lead villagers brandishing torches and pitchforks to descend upon my home. Stuck in that place, I opened a book, looking for some motivation. Not long later I was intellectually exhausted (from what, I have no idea) and devoid of any inspiration or motivation to continue. My mind was the blankest slate I can ever recall while attempting to write.

In various attempts to straighten up and fly right (mister), I drove about aimlessly for awhile, fixed a light breakfast, watched the Three Stooges and even napped briefly, the idea being that as long as the column was late anyway, it didn’t matter whether the remaining four or five paragraphs were written right that minute; late Wednesday night would still be Wednesday.

Upon waking I sat in silence in front of this laptop and stared at the blinking cursor for about 35 minutes before coming to the depressing realization that nothing was coming, and nothing was going to come no longer how much longer I attempted to put roots to this desk chair. Even giving myself a month to get my emotional act together, I still fell apart like any random piece of Democratic legislation.

I hate myself for this failure.


Did the Dirt Worshiper Arafat Die of The AIDS?

If his fellow Dirt Worshiper Ahmad Jibril, Secretary General of PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) is to be believed, the French submitted a report saying as such. This would explain why no official cause of death was ever announced, and why the French danced like Fred Astaire when it came to discussing Arafat's final condition.

It would explain, as Mark Steyn mentioned at National Review Online, Arafat's "corps of hunky blond Scandinavian bodyguards."


Al Gore III (a.k.a. "Purple Haze") and His Getaway Car

One of the downfalls of being so out of the loop (as I’ve been for the last couple years) is that I’ve fallen drastically behind in all my Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy stuff. Why, you could hardly call me a member at all anymore, such is my falling behind. So I’m just now, on Sunday evening, reading that when Al “Purple Haze” Gore III was ushered from jail by his sister last week, it was in a Maserati Quattroporte (youtubers are ahead of the curve on this one; see the raw video of his getaway here, and note that the ability to leave comments for this particular piece of video has been disabled).

Now here’s a fun intellectual exercise. Hop onto Google and type in, “Maserati Quattroporte, fuel economy” (or if you’re too lazy, click here). As of Sunday, 08 July, the very first link takes you to FuelEconomy.gov, giving you all the vital statistics for a 2006 Quattroporte: 11 miles per gallon city, 16 highway, with an air pollution score of 2 (10 being the best). Now I have no way of knowing the model year of the Maserati that scooped up “Purple Haze,” but I feel safe in assuming that neither older nor newer versions of the same car are any more fuel efficient than the 2006 model.

Staying with FuelEconomy.gov, begin a series of new searches sticking with the model year 2006 (for the sake of constancy). A Hummer H3 (one of the vehicles most vilified by our environmentalist friends) weighs in at 12 city and 16 highway; and oddly enough, a 3 on the 10 point air pollution scale. An all-wheel drive 2006 Cadillac Escalade gets 12 / 16 / 3, and the two-wheel drive will nab you a slim 13 / 17 / 3.

To be fair, the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti (a random selection for the purposes of comparison) hits the streets at 9 / 16 / 2; and a Lamborghini L-140 / 715 Gallardo at 10 / 15 /2, so clearly there are cars worse for the environment than the one that sped “Purple Haze” off into the distance. But all this succeeds in pointing out is that the Quattroporte isn’t exactly keeping fine company in the ongoing battle for fuel economy; especially not when a 2006 Prius tips the scales at a phenomenal 48 / 45 / 8, and that a Prius is what "Purple Haze" was driving in the first place.

Without even researching the matter, I will simply think the better of my fellow Man and assume that all our favorite environmental organizations are up in arms over the prodigious waste of our planet’s natural resources, and are sending all the appropriate evil looks and threatening faxes to Vice President Gore’s estate, demanding that he strongarm his daughter and make her fall into line. Or it could be they will choose to remain silent, believing that everyone should be allowed to make their own choices regarding fuel economy, and that if left to its own devices, the free market will work itself out. But not likely.

Incidentally, before being asked by an irritated reader, my car – a nearly 14-year-old Toyota Paseo – nabs 23 / 29 with an unknown air pollution score.


Al Gore III / “Predator” Marathon / Arctic Monkeys / The Other, Sober Gore

1) Al Gore’s son – cleverly named Al Gore III – was arrested about 2.15am Wednesday for, according to this news report, “driving a blue Toyota Prius at speeds over 100 mph when he was pulled over … on the San Diego freeway south of Los Angeles. Smelling marijuana, police searched the car and found less than one ounce of marijuana and prescription drugs Xanax, Valium, Vicodin and Adderall, Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jim Armormino said…. Gore, 24, was released from a men’s jail in Santa Ana after posting $20,000 bail.”

Party at Gore’s house!

2) MSNBC broadcast a marathon of the Dateline NBC “To Catch a Predator” shows Wednesday night / Thursday morning, and for those brief, shining moments, it was the greatest basic cable channel of all time.

Could there possibly be a bigger buzzkill in the long, sad history of ill-gotten boners than Chris Hansen walking out from behind a partition when you were hoping for a 13-year-old in a bikini (or the like)? There is a sadness in knowing that teens are being taken advantage of by men of this sort, but that is eventually topped by the sheer hilarity of these tweaks as they’re not only drawn and quartered by Hansen and the transcripts of their own conversations, but then arrested in the aftermath. One hopes that not long after being handed a prolonged prison sentence, they’ll not only have tits inked onto their backs, but will then be subjected to various incidents of anal rape throughout their stay.

Wanting to fuck a 13-year-old is a compulsion I’ll never come close to understanding, for the widest variety of possible reasons. And not to put too fine a point on it, but 18 is still pretty goddamn young. Heading in that direction (18) won’t make you any more of a man, but it will at least make you legal, and will keep you from having to post a $30,000 bail, explain your various perversions to your wife / kids / parents et cetera, suffer the aforementioned tit tattoos on your back and prison rapes, ad infinitum.

I’m not even going to pretend I don’t prefer, and at times am distracted by, younger females; mainly redheads and freaks. But fuck all if any of the females that turn my head are only a few scant evolutionary steps away from being, basically, toddlers. The lone guarantee I’ll make to anyone who cares to listen is that if I’m ever going to be arrested for something, it sure as hell won’t be for scamming on teenage girls. I prefer to conduct my affairs with those comfortably within legal drinking age.

3) Looking for a reason to love the band Arctic Monkeys? It’s become the first to note, in a roundabout way, the obvious hypocrisy in bands boarding private jets and moving numerous collections of stage equipment to locals all over the world, including the “We Heart Earth” concerts this weekend, and then screaming on behalf of the poor planet we commoners are poisoning. This is not to forget the electricity necessary to power their instruments and microphones, or the electricity needed to power the lights under which the bands will be performing, et cetera.

Which reminds me, I’ve been meaning to get started on that war against good intentions. The problem with World Savers is that they’re so consumed with saving the world, they often lack the wisdom, willingness and foresight to effectively manage the lives they’ve somehow managed to create for themselves. Thinking here of Al Gore III, for just one example – something tells me that had his mother been less concerned with censoring music, and his father less obsessed with casting a taller shadow than that cast by the first Senator Gore, maybe they would have had more time to dedicate to their dopey son (who, by the way, did not suffer his first drug arrest this last Wednesday morning).

But someone has to save the world, don’t they? Not necessarily. Firstly, there is no saving the world when so much of the rest of the world can neither be threatened nor cajoled into caring as much as you do (speaking mainly of places like China, in regards to harmful emissions the filthiest country on the planet, or India, which will soon enough trump even the United States in oil consumption, but which doesn’t give the matter so much as a first thought). Better for Americans to turn their attentions to saving the United States and hoping the feeling spreads.

At as far as the United States is concerned, if people took it upon themselves to (first) tend logically and faithfully to their own conditions – and then closely lending the same care to their families / loved ones – we could, in no small measure, work ourselves out. Sure it sounds simplistic and naïve, but no more naïve than believing global warming (such as it is) can be set right by the “awareness” spawned by twenty-four hours worth of concerts brought to you in some of the most energy wasting circumstances imaginable.

Now in regards to getting out from under the third world shitholes that sell us the oil we feel compelled to use, I’m open to all variety of thoughtful ideas, provided of course they’re thoughtful ideas and not preached by someone who flew across country in a Gulfstream in order to get me the message.

I guess what I’m saying is: Arctic Monkeys is right, and enjoy the music this weekend, but always remember that saving the world begins on much smaller scales, such as those at home.

4) By the way: Before his son was pinched, Al Gore had cancelled a long series of “Ain’t I wonderful?” appearances over the remainder of the summer. He could be thinking the time might be better spent on the campaign trail. If Gore is going to announce anything close to a presidential bid, it could not be done in front of a bigger throng of admirers than at one of these “We Heart Earth” concerts; say, on Saturday. Just getting it out there.


Canadian Teens Are Fat Pieces of Shit, Too

And European teens - well, the 37 European teens who aren't Arab, anyway - aren't exactly svelte these days (making it all the easier for them to roll over and accept the Muslim takeover). Anyways. Read the story about Canadian teens, complete with an utterly gruesome picture of teen man-tits, here.

UPDATED on Monday, 23 July 2007 @ 3.45pm: The above link no longer takes you to the hideous picture in question, so I've posted it for you below.