Archive for November, 2008

The Shield – Holy Shit.

Posted by Matt on Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

I am still digesting the best series finale ever made.  I won’t detail the plot in case someone wants to watch, but oh my God, what a way to go out.  It’s certainly better to burn out than fade away.  David Chase & Co. could have learned a lot from the last season of The Shield

1.   Walton Goggins is awesome.  I don’t know who wins tv awards, but he certainly deserves some.  Basic cable has never seen such a well-crafted, dynamic character. Shane (a/k/a Cletus VanDamme) was certainly a fuck-up.  However, you couldn’t help but root for him + Mara.  Their scenes together over the last 3 episodes were something to behold.  “Family meeting” - Are you fucking serious?!!  I’m still reeling.

2.  The show is so well written, but I also think Shawn Ryan + staff do an excellent job in editing and creating the proper pace to the show.  Just when a grueling storyline becomes too unbearable, they’ll cut to a (relatively) easier to digest scene.  I liked the closure with Dutch, Claudette and the teen-killer.

3.  Vic – Chiklis may be 5’2, but for 7 seasons he was as bad-ass as it gets.  Last episode, his facade

he will shake you up, shake you down, shake your hand, rule the town.  He's Vic. That's poetry.

he will shake you up, shake you down, shake your hand, rule the town. He's Vic. That's poetry.

crumbled and he was exposed for the despicable asshole he really is.  Yet, like Shane, even knowing all this, part of you can’t help but root for him.  Like other great tv shows, over time so much gets invested in the characters that sometimes the viewer doesn’t want to see them for who they are.

4.  Poor, poor Ronnie.  You take a stove-burn to the face and this is what you get?  Can’t go any further than that.  Too soon.

5.  CCH was on fire last night.  Let’s hear it for The Shield’s moral authority.

And so ends a great era of tv dramas: The Sopranos, 6 Feet Under, The Wire, The Shield.  Rest in peace.  What’s left? nothing for me.  I guess there’s always a Law & Order on somewhere.  Maybe The Shield could produce a couple spin-offs:

The Shield II – Acevado v. Predator:  Acevado is mayor.  But with so many skeletons, how long will this honeymoon last?  And could there be something supernatural in the mix?  Find out after the season premiere of “Dirt” on Fx.

The Shield II – The Early Years:  Lem is back, the team is together, and everyone is happy shaking down eastern europeans and such. Dutchman loses his virginity. 

And so it goes. I will really miss the “Barn.”  So long, Shield. So long.

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Posted by Matt on Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

More of the Same.

More of the Same.

Joe Lieberman knew.  He knew he could campaign on a promise to investigate the Bush Administration’s ineptitude in their handling of Hurricane Katrina.  He knew he would give Bush a pass once he got his chairmanship (as Homeland Security Chair).

He knew he could push for the “compromise” to appoint the far-right-wing ideologue Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.

He knew he could support John McCain, promise not attack Barack Obama directly, and go right ahead and say the following:

  • “Obama does not always put country first”
  • on whether Obama is a Marxist: “it’s a good question.”
  • pick-up on the misleading, bullshit line that: “Obama…voted to cut off funding for our troops.”
  • said Obama’s econmic plan would be like Herbert Hoover’s approach, which:  ”turned a recession into a depression.”

He knew he could rally with the rest of the neo-cons + chickenhawks in vehement support of Bush’s Iraq war, implying those who were not fully behind the Bush War were traitors.

What did Joe Lieberman know? He knew Harry Reid + Co. were ineffectual hand-wringers who don’t really give a shit about the people that got out the vote to elect a democratic president + congress.  He knew.   He knew the spineless Evan Bayh wouldn’t even get his half-hearted “apology.”  He knew he would never have to give up one of the most crucial chairmanships in the Senate – the committee that just happens to deal with many Lieberman/Bush/McCain policies that the voters just overwhelmingly rejected.  Good job, Senate Democrats.  Your reputation is certainly well-earned.

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Kanye the New Pepsi

Posted by Matt on Monday, November 17th, 2008

Are you between the ages of 24-35?  Do you feel isolated and alone, like no one looks out for you?  Have you ever been frustrated by your failure to reach people, no matter how much you use your MacBook Air?  Do standard musicians (that just play music) really get you down?  It’s ok, children. Kanye is here for you. 

I realize that my place and position in history is that I will go down as the voice of this generation, of this decade, I will be the loudest voice,” he said in an interview on Wednesday. “It’s me settling into that position of just really accepting that it’s one thing to say you want to do it and it’s another thing to really end up being like Michael Jordan.”

post-concert, pre-paint ball tourney

Kanye West: post-concert, pre-lazer tag


You might be the “loudest voice.”  Absolutely.  Your volume is quite high. And playing the MJ-card?  Wow, I like it – quite bold.  However, for the sake of argument, I don’t know if that’s something MJ would say.  I mean, MJ would be more likely to put up 38 points in game 5 of the ’97 finals while suffering crippling effects of the flu, and not really say a thing about.  He didn’t really proclaim he was great. He was just great. 

Kanye, on the other hand, you are more likely to spew a rage-filled rant (by typing in all CAPS) because a few trust-fund hippies were upset they actually stayed up until 4 a.m. to see the new voice of their generation who wouldn’t go on stage because his light-set-up wasn’t “strong” enough.  WWMJD? 

But let’s let Kanye plead his case:

The Grammy-winning rapper-producer said Justin Timberlake had a chance to be music’s MVP, but hasn’t put out enough material. (Timberlake’s last album was in 2006, while West released a CD last year and is releasing his latest “808s and Heartbreak” on Nov. 24.)

“There were people who had the potential to do it but they went on vacation, so when Justin went on vacation I made albums,” he said. “And it just came out to be that.”

It’s really up in the air, but Kanye has the edge because he stepped up with the bold proclamation.  Personally, whichever one appears in the most commercials and hosts the most award shows is the one I want speaking for me.  Good luck, gentlemen.

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Christmas Counter-Insurgency

Posted by Matt on Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

It seems for the past decade or so, Christian crusaders have increasingly bemoaned any effort by organizations and corporations to expand campaigns of Christmas Consumerism to encompass non-Christians.  Stores have changed “Christmas Sale!” to “Holiday Sale.” Companies have changed the ”Christmas Party” to the “Holiday Party.” Public Schools change “Christmas Break” to “Winter Break.” And so on.  And so on, while most of the country yawns.

But is it a big deal?  As O’Reilly once sounded the alarm,

See, I think it’s all part of the secular progressive agenda -– to get Christianity and spirituality and Judaism out of the public square. Because if you look at what happened in Western Europe and Canada, if you can get religion out, then you can pass secular progressive programs like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage, because the objection to those things is religious- based, usually.

indeed.  One day, you’re looking for 1/2 off bath towels at Macy’s Christmas Sale.  The next?  You’re shooting smack with your married gay Dutch friends, while euthanizing an out-of-work Santa Claus.  It’s a slippery slope. And so O’Reilly and the other blowhards started calling out companies taking the “Christmas” out of “Christmas Shopping Extravaganza.” Stores like FAO Schwartz, Toys R’ Us, and Jack’s House of Secular Shit for Kids.

Of course, there is no bigger symbol of secular progressivism than the Toys R’ Us Giraffe!  Damn that giraffe and his “Holiday Sales.”  Because at Christmas time, when I’m buying a dozen pairs of socks or “Grand Theft Auto XI – Rickshaw Massacre,” I want these purchases to be in the name of Christ.  He and no other.  But without huge cardboard signs saying “CHRISTMAS Sale,” all the spirituality is removed from my purchases!  It’s like I’m wandering aimlessly down aisles of cheap plastic + plush toys (made in China) without the constant reverence to Santa Cl-, excuse me – Jesus Christ.

Which brings me to the Humanists.  As the AP reported:

Ads proclaiming, “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake,” will appear on Washington, D.C., buses starting next week and running through December. The American Humanist Association unveiled the provocative $40,000 holiday ad campaign Tuesday.

Pretty simple message, right? “Be good for goodness’ sake.” It’s like it’s right out of a jingle or something!  Not a bad message for city with a high crime rate. Why is the A.H.A. doing this?

“We are trying to reach our audience, and sometimes in order to reach an audience, everybody has to hear you,” said Fred Edwords, spokesman for the humanist group. “Our reason for doing it during the holidays is there are an awful lot of agnostics, atheists and other types of non-theists who feel a little alone during the holidays because of its association with traditional religion.”

Makes sense to me.  I am not qualified to state whether or not seeing this ad while running to catch the bus in December D.C. sleet will bring any comfort to non-theists.  But at least the explanation is rational.  Of course, certain people just love complaining, and the American Family Association is really good at it.  The story continued: 

The humanists’ entry into the marketplace of ideas did not impress AFA president Tim Wildmon.

“It’s a stupid ad,” he said. “How do we define ‘good’ if we don’t believe in God? God in his word, the Bible, tells us what’s good and bad and right and wrong. If we are each ourselves defining what’s good, it’s going to be a crazy world.”

Yes. No one should define “good” except the Bible’s ghost writers. Not individuals. Not parents. Not teachers. Not Webster’s F’ing dictionary.  Because we don’t want a “crazy” world where people exercise independent thought, or fail to be militant about the proper titling of department stores’ ad campaigns.

Maybe the “Liberty Council” can give us more Christian clarity:

It’s the ultimate grinch to say there is no God at a time when millions of people around the world celebrate the birth of Christ,” said Mathew Staver, the group’s chairman and dean of the Liberty University School of Law. “Certainly, they have the right to believe what they want but this is insulting.”

The ad does not state “there is no God.” It asks why you need to believe in a god in order to be a respectful, compassionate, decent member of society.  And perhaps that’s the point. You don’t. But of course the outraged ones don’t want that point made, and the over-zealous believers rarely traffic in reason.  I don’t want to disparage anyone’s religious beliefs.  “To each his own.” Exercise all you want. Just don’t forget other people have a right to the use the pool. Or even the side of a damn bus.

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Gratuitous Balls! NBA Preview (with limited hindsight) – Part 5

Posted by Matt on Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Yes, the season has already started.  Honestly, I have not drawn any conclusions other than a man-crush on Derrick Rose and mild (Noce) to severe (Deng) irritation directed at the rest of the Bulls’ roster.  Thus, it’s past-due time for the final & deluxe edition of Gratuitous Balls.

NORTHWEST DIVISION – I was a big fan of the Seattle Super Sonics growing up.  I liked their uniforms.  I

Makin' it rain 24/7!

Makin it rain 24/7!

loved Shawn Kemp and thought that he impregnated all those women because he loved children. Maybe he would adopt me and teach me how to jump high + grow facial hair! 

Now, thanks to some rich Okie, the Super Sonics franchise is defunct and the team is now the Oklahoma City Thunder.  Great nickname. It was probably a result of some contest run by the Oklahoma Public School system – a model of wheel-spinning mediocrity!  Good Luck, Thunders.

Projected Order of Finish

1.  Utah: Mormons do not deserve a NBA team this solid. Jerry sloan is my favorite coach in the league.  And to quote a great man, I don’t think he’s doin’ a lot of singin’ with the Tabernacle Choir.

2.  Portland:  This team has about 22 young, talented players. They don’t necessarily look young, but trust me – lots of potential. Greg Oden should eat up the paint (when healthy).

3.  Denver:  Carmelo peaked at age 19. That’s about all I got. Play some defense, guy!

4.  Oklahoma City:  Poor Kevin Durant. Banished to the Dust Bowl.

Trendy OKC.

Trendy OKC.

5.  Minnesota:  Kevin McHale = the Matt Millen of the NBA.


The Lakers will not see much competition here. 

1.  LA Lakers: Kobe will not take ‘no’ for an answer. Zing!

2.  Phoenix:  Steve Nash is many things.  At the same time, he is one of the the best PGs in basketball, as well as the NBA’s most overrated player.  Phoenix will be just good enough to get ousted in the 1st round of the playoffs.

3.  Golden State:  If you want athletic swing-men and a roster with a history of conduct-issues, Golden State is the team for you. (edited = projected #4)

4.  LA Clippers:  Baron Davis is good. OK, I’m going to switch it up.  LA Clip-show now projected =3. Ah, but Frankie Muniz is a Clippers fan, which can’t be good for anyone. Ahhhhh, ok, we’ll leave them at #3.

5.  Sacramento:  The Sacramento PD no longer has an unmarked car outside Ron Artest’s residence.  Kevin Martin can seriously fill it up.  this is probably the last time you’ll hear about him all season.

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Mighty Johnny At The Bat

Posted by Matt on Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

The Outlook wasn’t brilliant for the McCain Campaign that day:
The score stood fairly even, with but some swing states more to play.
And then when Phil Gramm got the hook, and Fiorina did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the Wingnuts at the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to delusion which springs eternal in the Wingnut breast;
They thought, if only Johnny could get but a whack at that -
Exxon would put up even money, now, with Johnny at the bat.

But Huck preceded Johnny, as did also Mormon Mitt,
And the former was a zealot, and the latter full of shit;
So upon that stricken multitude grim, still his cronies sat,
But there seemed but little chance of Johnny getting to the bat.

But Huck let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Sarah, the much despis-ed pinch-hitter, fooled millions despite her gall;
And when the dust had lifted, and old men saw what had occurred,
There was Sarah safe at second and some Nut a-hugging third.

Then from 40 Million throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled the Ohio Valley, it rattled Wisconsin’s Dells;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Johnny, POW Johnny, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Johnny’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Johny’s bearing and a smirk on Johny’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he broke into a yarn,
‘Bout War Heroes entitled to power, and organizers not worth a darn.

Millions of eyes were on him, despite Rich Cindy’s dress;
And for every time he had no answer, he blamed it on the press.
Then while the opponent spoke with grace, and intelligence to wit,
Defiance gleamed in Johnny’s eye, a sneer curled Johnny’s lip.

And now a question on the economy came hurtling through the air,
And after some classic flopping, he stood silent in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the Arizonan, the question unheeded sped-
“I don’t know that much,” said Johnny. “Strike one,” the nation said.

Blaming liberals and black people, there went up a muffled roar,
From Malkin the self-righteous, to Rush and the alarmist whores.
“Muslim! Flag Pins! Rezko!”  shouted many from the stand;
And Johnny heard the message, sending ads across the land.

With a smile of faux-Christian charity, Johnny’s pale visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He winked right at the pitcher, some rube named W;
Remembering their thick embrace, the nation said, “Strike two.”

“Fraud!” cried indignant conservatives, “we’ll need vast voter-fraud”;
And after one race-baiting speech from Palin, the Wingnuts were all awed.
Some said, he’s still ’Just Ol’ John,’ a ‘Maverick’ he remains,
And they knew that Johnny wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Johnny’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
And Trusty Joe whispers in his ear, words John regurgitates.
And though W still holds the ball, and soon he’ll let it go,
The air remains shattered by the force of what Johnny doesn’t know.

Oh, everywhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere troops come home, and kids with health care shout;
But there is no joy in Nutville – mighty Johnny has struck out.

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Man Arrested After Refusing to Pay Buffet Tab

Posted by Matt on Monday, November 3rd, 2008


Oct 30th, 2008 | ATLANTA — Being a cheapskate could get you in trouble with the law. Fulton County authorities arrested 40-year-old Dan Linscomb of Texas City, Texas, last week for refusing to pay his tab at the all-you-can-eat Iron Skillet buffet in northwest Atlanta. Officials say Linscomb ate at the buffet and let his girlfriend eat from his plate.

The restaurant charged him for two $7 meals, which he refused to pay. Linscomb was taken to the Fulton County Jail on a charge of theft of service. Fulton County Sheriff’s Sgt. Nikita Hightower said Linscomb was released two days later after pleading guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct.

Linscomb could not be reached for comment. Restaurant officials declined comment.

Let’s first step-back and appreciate the fact that a man who can’t or won’t fork over $7 for an additional buffet plate has an actual girlfriend.  For the lonely souls out there, there should be some solace in this detail.

I wonder how his first night in Fulton County Jail turned out.

Cellmate #1:  What you in for?

Guy:  Took down the Iron Skillet.

Cellmate #2:  Shit, and they caught your fat ass? What did they get you with?

Guy:  Ya know, Some toast. A little bit of macaroni salad. Chicken drumstick, a couple slices of bacon.  Some sweaty cheese…um…

Is that realistic prison dialogue?  I’ve seen some movies.

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Gratuitous World Blog

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      January 29, 2014

      [Former NCAA President Myles Brand:] They can’t be paid. [Q:] Why? [Brand:] Because they’re amateurs. [Q:] What makes them amateurs? [Brand:] Well, they can’t be paid. [Q:] Why not? [Brand:] Because they’re amateurs. [Q:] Who decided they are amateurs? [Brand:] We did. [Q:] Why? [Brand:] Because we don’t pay them. – Michael Rosenberg’s 2010 Sports Illustrated interview of former NCAA president Myles Brand Yesterday, quarterback Kain Colter led a group […]

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      January 7, 2014

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