Monday, December 31, 2007

To The Makers Of The Golden Compass - Chicken!

I finally have some time off for the next couple of days until I return to school and basically have no time for anything. So for the last couple of days I actually caught up on world events (still the same, all fucked up), sports (I'm pretty excited about the bowl season, had time to argue with John-O, which was fun) and movies (haven't seen an inside of a theater in almost 6 months). But when I heard about the Golden Compass and I never realized what the big hububalooo was about. I guess the whole story was written by an atheist whereas the bad guys are Christian and god is an alien pretending to be divine and the earth would be a lot more fun if faith disappeared. As a Christian I wasn't offended because this is a free world, write what you want to write, I have the freedom to ignore it if I want. Besides, I thought Passion of the Christ was one of the worst movies of that year (I can't remember which). But when I read a review of it from Greg Easterbrook I guess the makers of the movie left the entire anti-religion context out of the movie. If your going to make the movie at least be true to the book, go all out. Not surprisingly the movie basically bombed at the box office.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

End Of The Year Awards

Since we are at the end of this wonderful 2007 I'll give out some worthless awards......

In Your Face! Award

Colts defeating the Pats in the AFC title game and then going on to win it all. But the Pats come back, like the worse bad guy in a shitty movie.

Best Celebrity Meltdown

Ike Turner, you know, because he died and was cremated. Too soon? Oh, he was buried. That joke didn't work.

Worst Sports Announcer Of The Year Award

Bryant Gumbel. Actually worse sports announcer ever. At least Harry Carey had the excuse of being drunk.

Most Unbelievable Sell Out Award

Perry Farrell, for showing up at the beginning of the ABC sports games dressed in gold and singing about the upcoming games. Jesus Christ Farrell, gone are the days of Janes Addiction.

Best Movie Of 2007

Eastern Promises. This is by default since this is the only good movie I've seen all year, all two of them that I've seen.

Best Album of 2007

Rush - Snakes and Arrows. Duh.

Worse Teammate of the Year Award

Hope Solo of the U.S. womens soccer team calling out her coach and basically telling her teammate goal keeper that she's old and sucks.

Best TV Show of 2007

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. My wife keeps telling me I'm going to hell for watching this show, I agree.

Worse Commercials of the Year

Those commercials where those douchebags with Coors Light are asking a bunch of unemployed NFL coaches lame ass questions.

Worse TV Personnel Move of the Year

Bringing Keith Olbermann to Football Night In America. He's too far removed from the glory days of ESPN, he now just comes off as a liberal douche bag more than anything now.

Comeback of the Year Award

Colorado Rockies. Unfortunately that feel good story ended with those royal a-holes the Boston Red Sox.

Best Sports Team Meltdown of the Year Award

New York Mets. Losing almost every game down the stretch was just unreal and painful to watch.

Douchebag Liberal Award

Sean Penn. Accusing the president of being a dictator then supporting a known dictator. Not smart Spicoli.

Douchebag Conservative Award

James Dobson. Look it up, he's a douchebag.

Worse Computer Idea

Windows Vista. This, my friends, is why I am now a Mac user.

Worse Sports Journalist of 2007

Jemile Hill. If there was ever a time you could say that political correctness and affirmative action has run amok, just look to Jemile. Plays the race card so much that even Spike Lee told her to chill out. Ripped Andy Pettite for taking HGH but defends Barry Bonds at every turn. Has the worse sports takes that she makes me forget that Jay Mariotti exists. Hell, she even makes me forget Bill Simmons exists.


Julia Carson. I'm not big with her politics but I was impressed with the speech she gave at my graduation. I talked to her afterwards and she came off as a genuine, sincere and very nice.

Best Sports Feel Good Story of the Year

IU football. Getting to a bowl game for the first time in a long time after their coach died.

Worse Movie Of 2007 Without Me Actually Seeing It Award

Toss up, Redacted or Rendition? Naw, Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Hypocrite of the Year Award

Al Gore. I've covered this extensively. When the president that is considered the worse environmental president of all time has done more than you? Yeah, not good.

Worse George Bush Speech of 2007

Pretty much all of them. I seriously can't get through any of his speeches, just like I can't with Al Gore.

Biggest Sign of the Apocolypse for 2007

The presidential election of 2008.

Biggest Sign of the Apocolyse for 2007 Part II

Colts win the Super Bowl.

Pretentious Artist of the Year Award

Jake Gylenhall.

Biggest Global Warming Prediction Bust of 2007

Hurricanes will be bigger, more destructive and there will be more of them. Whoops. 1 landfall in the U.S. in two years.

You Should Have Just Stayed Retired Award

Jane Fonda. Georgia rules, and blows.

Fat Man of the Year Award

Mark Mangino - Kansas Jayhawk football coach. This guy is so fat that even with his shirt off he can put his hands in his pockets.

Worse Impersonation of a Professional Football Team Award

Miami Dolphins. Damn Ravens, we could have 0-16 and 16-0 teams this year. This has got to be the worse team since 1980.

WTF? Award for the NFL

Randy Moss and Terrel Owens kept their mouths shut and are role models in the locker room. That just doesn't feel right.

WTF? Award for College Football

Over 30 players on the Florida State football team were suspended for the upcoming bowl game. I guess the boys will be boys excuse didn't work this time.

Creepiest Bad Guy in Movies Award

Javier Bardem. I haven't seen the movie yet but the dude is totally creepy as a hit man.

That's all I can think of...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Perfect Season or Perfect Douchebaggery?

I have been busier than a one legged cat trying to cover up it's own crap on a marble floor so I had to catch up with what everyone has been saying on the ol' blogs. John-O mentioned how the Pats are having a hell of a season and we should all just enjoy some good football. He took the high road, I'll be taking the lowest of low roads to explain why I seriously hate the Patriots and pretty much every team in Boston. If anyone has noticed, I'm pretty much in the third rung of sports hell right now, the Sawx won the series, The Celtics are winning at a record clip and the Pats are going to have a perfect season. It's as if I got down on my knees last year and prayed to god, Buddha, Allah and Elvis during halftime of the Colts Pats playoff game last year to let the Colts win. And they answered back "All right, but Boston will win every sports category next year and ESPN, Bill Simmons and Peter King will be especially annoying about it." Fine, whatever, just give the Colts their win. And here we are, butt chin Brady and the Pats are going to win it all. Here is why I'm not impressed with their unblemished streak or with the records they are breaking.

1) They're Douchebags (or just really bad sportsmen)

After securing a win against the Colts one of the Pats took the ball and spiked it on our logo. Surprisingly enough this isn't the first act of douchebaggery that they have performed, they also:

a) Ate popcorn on the way out of Cowboys stadium after their blow out win.
b) Mimicked Merriman's dance on the Chargers logo last year.
c) Mimic the Eagle flapping every time they faced and scored on the Eagles.
d) Run around like their asses are on fire after every win (or score) with Tom Brady looking like Arnie from "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" slapping his head and screaming "We won football game Gilbert!!!!!" Thank Christ there's never a water tower in sight.
e) Taunt whenever possible.
f) Continuously get away with cheap shots (not so much this year).
g) Constantly complain to the officials after every play.

Plus the whole running up the score thing really bugs me, it also bugs me that every sports analyst see nothing wrong with it. I remember when the entire sporting world was all over Sam Wyche and his Bengals (when they were good) for purposely running up the score against Jerry Glanville and the Oilers. They called him a bad sport for having a grudge against Glanville. And now? Oh it's alright, it's the Patriots, it's cool. It's hard for me to get fired up with a team full of dicks, a head coach with a personality of a fence post who got caught cheating and a bunch of ban wagon a-holes sporting Brady jerseys even though they have never stepped in Boston city limits. I understand if your a kid and you identify with Brady but when your over 13, from another city, and are only rooting for the Pats because they are winning, well then you suck. Plus New England fans are irritating, even more so then Yankee and Ohio State fans put together.

2) The Tapes

The were caught cheating even after being warned. Many NFL pundits have stated other teams have done this and it's not a big deal. Ok, who? Tell me teams, don't just tell me everyone does it. Who else, other than the Pats, have been caught? No one. All sports analyst also say that it really doesn't help get an edge in the long run. Ok, then why did the Pats do it if it wasn't to get an edge? And if it isn't a big deal, why did the NFL make it illegal? The NFL confiscated and destroyed all the tapes without mentioning if there was any Super Bowl evidence on the tapes. Which, at least to me, makes me wonder if the Pats Super Bowl wins were legit. Plus the whole Bellicheck non-apology apology had shades of Nixon after Watergate.

3) They Play In a Weak Division

And I mean a WEAK division. The Dolphins are probably the worst team since the 1976 Buccaneers, plus their head coach couldn't even hack it with the Indiana Hoosiers football team. The Bills are better then last year, but not really. The Jets? Yeah, not good, 3-11 is not exactly what I would call impressive especially when it's headed by a Bellicheck disciple. Meanwhile the Colts are getting their heads bashed in by the Jags, Titans and a improved Texans team. If you stick the Pats in the Colts division do you think they would come out with a spotless record? Maybe, maybe not. One things for sure there would be injuries..which leads me to...

4) Rodney Harrison and HGH

Resident loud mouth and douchebag Curt Shilling said that Clemens should give back his Cy Young awards if he was on HGH when he accomplished these feats. This from a guy who refused to talk to Mitchell and is also old and mysteriously pitching well. But people forget that Rodney Harrison was suspended for the first four games this year for receiving a shipment of HGH. Sooo, are all the Pats on this or just Harrison? Is this why they aren't having many troubles on the injury front this year? Any body else notice that a very old linebacking core has had little to no injuries this year? I mean Teddy Bruschi can come back from a stroke yet Marvin Harrison can't come back from a knee bruise. Hey, if Bill Simmons can make wild accusations on a weekly basis, why can't I?


It was founded in Springfield Massachusetts and has a host of ex Boston sports writers on their staff including one Bill Simmons that is prominently featured in the magazine and on their web site, so ESPN is basically one big sports page for the Boston Globe. Don't believe me? This is what was on and ESPN after the Sawx won the world series in 2004: Many articles written about busting the curse, many articles about Shilling's bloody sox, Peter Gammons article about how great it is for Boston to finally win it, many Bill Simmons blubber posts, Photos from charity events featuring Bronson Arroyo singing with Peter Gammons and Johnny Damon, article about the queer eye makeover with 3 Boston players, advertisements for Bill Simmons book "Now I can die in peace" that ran through the next year, an hour long special featuring Dennis Leary doing his best to bring back his accent before the ring ceremony game, the ring ceremony, the game after the ring ceremony where the Sawx played the Yankees, Johnny Damon honeymoon photos, Bronson Arroyo personal photos, many articles about Schilling sans bloody sox, David Ortiz clutchness articles, Manny being Manny articles, article by Stephen King, it goes on and on. I get it, the Red Sox haven't won in a while.

The next year the White Sox won it all. The first time since 1917 (?) plus the whole Black Sox scandal that lingered over the head of that organization like the Bambino curse. What did ESPN have to offer after their monumental series win? A still photo of the White Sox catcher getting his ring and a half assed article written by Chicago native Scoop Jackson. Whoopie.

Seriously ESPN pom poms for all Boston teams waaay too much. Right now I can turn on ESPN news and see a scroll that say Patriots, Pursuit to Perfection. Did they have this in 2004 when the Colts had their run? Nope.

6) The Way They Are Breaking The Records

Running up the score in an attempt to break all the records seems like a complete douchebag move considering how many bad teams the Pats faced this year. Tom Brady is about to break Peyton Manning's record for single season touchdowns. Yet seeing Brady in a shotgun formation with 1 minute left in a blowout game really doesn't make me all that impressed. When Manning broke the record in 2004 he regularly sat out the fourth quarter during blow outs. You know how many fourth quarters he sat out? Roughly two games worth. You know how many fourth quarter touchdowns Manning threw in 2004? 1. How many fourth quarter touchdowns has Brady thrown? Good question, I don't know, but it's a hell of a lot more than 1.

I know, I'm ranting. I'll stop

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Not Another Rush Post - Best/Worst Live Songs

I can't help myself. I was horrifically bored the other night at work and decided to see what was up with our boys from Toronto. Apparently Rush will be adding more tour dates to their Snakes and Arrows tour which will run through August of 2008. The reasons they are doing this could be because:

1) They are paying for retirement.
2) They are trying to keep up a ridiculous lifestyle that many celebrities have.
3) Are into self abuse or..
4) Are actually enjoying playing and are itching to try out new material for their next studio album.

Hopefully it's reason #4, but who knows? They haven't said where the added dates will be but one things for sure if it's anywhere near Indy (or Virginia where my bro lives) I will be there post haste with my throwback Signals shirt and my lighter. Keep your fingers crossed. Anyways, I was thinking of the best songs Rush play live, so much so that it out performs the studio version, and I was also thinking of the songs that just don't do it for me live.

"I'd Rather Listen To The Live Version" Songs

Song: The Weapon
Best Live Version: Grace Under Pressure Live
This only came after I purchased Replay X3. I really love the studio version (still do) but I would rather listen to this live version now. The DVDs come with the audio disk to the Grace Under Pressure tour. The song is great live but the best part is that it is introduced by Count Floyd, that never gets old.

Song: The Trees
Best Live Version:Exit....Stage Left
Broons Bane, Alex's little ditty, is set up like a little intro to The Trees which adds a lot to the song. I love this version a lot. I don't know who the sound engineer was for this tour but they did a bang up job.

Song: Subdivisions
Best Live Version: R30 Tour
All live versions before this were not that great, especially when you had Alex spitting out "Subdivisions" during the chorus. The R30 version is more sonic, has a great sound, and it doesn't have Alex spitting anything. When they were here for the R30 tour my lovely wife and I had front row center seats. I ran out of beer and had to refill, during that time I missed this song. I still kick myself because it sounded great.

Song: By Tor and the Snow Dog
Best Live Version: Rush In Rio
You can't help the fact that this song was made in the 70's which really adds to the cheese factor of the studio version. But the Rio version is just too good especially when you watch the video of a cartoon Alex and Geddy running around. They actually did include this song in the All The Worlds A Stage, which wasn't bad, but the Rush In Rio version is fantastic. When I saw Rush in Virgina for the R30 tour during the solo of this song a bored Alex went behind Geddy and started barking. Cracked me up.

Song: Closer To The Heart
Best Live Version: Different Stages
Even though A Show Of Hands has a great version Different Stages is definitely superior. They started doing the extended ending for the Hold Your Fire tour, which really adds a lot to the song.

Song: YYZ
Best Live Version: Rush In Rio
The Studio version is fantastic but when you have 40,000 people singing, yes singing along to an instrumental you get goose bumps.

Song: Spirit Of Radio
Best Live Version: R30 Tour
This song was made for the stage, I've never heard a bad live version. But now I have Meat Wad's (Aqua Teen Hunger Force) voice in my head when Geddy sings "Salesmen!!!!" You have to see the show to get it.

Song: The Analog Kid
Best Live Version: Different Stages
I was pleasantly surprised when Rush finally brought this little gem out. I have no idea whether or not they ever played this live before the Test For Echo tour, but I'm guessing no.

Song: Red Sector A
Best Live Version: Rush In Rio
During Rush's art rock/synth days of the 80's Alex kind of blended in and was not part of the forefront as he was throughout the 70's and early 80's. This song was testament to that. This version is so good because they pick up the tempo and Alex has more of a presence.

Song: Ghost Rider
Best Live Version: Rush In Rio
Has anybody seen the movie Ghost Rider? It sucks complete balls. What makes it worse is the fact that I'm a huge fan of the comic. Thanks Hollywood for continuously fucking up my childhood comics. And thank you Nicholas Cage for selling out so much you only have a vague recollection of Raising Arizona. Oh, and I just like this song more live.

Song: Working Man
Best Live Version: All The World's A Stage
John Rustey was the drummer for the studio version, which was not great. Neil adding his own little flare helped this a lot, to the point of me actually liking it.

Song: Between The Wheels
Best Live Version: R30 Tour
I liked the studio version, but this version was just too damn good.

Song: Xanadu
Best Live Version: Exit....Stage Left
Again, the sound engineer deserves a lot of credit for this version being so damn good.

Song: 2112
Best Live Version: Different Stages
At the time (1997) it had been 20 years since 2112 came out. To celebrate Rush played 2112 in its entirety, I'm glad they did. Even though I still listen to the studio version from time to time I just cozy up to this version better.

Song: Bravado
Best Live Version: Rush In Rio
The extended ending of the live versions help a lot, plus the song feels a lot looser than the studio version. The Different Stages version was good but I really liked Rush In Rio just for the fact that I have never seen (or heard) Rush play better.

Song: What Your Doing
Best Live Version: All The World's a Stage
My wife bought me the All The World's a Stage long sleeve T-shirt last year, which I really like (not more than Signals throwback shirt mind you). One of my friends from school saw it and remarked:

"Man, that's when I loved Rush, back when their hair was down to their asses and they were rocking out."

I couldn't argue with that.

Song: Freewill
Best Live Version: Rush In Rio
Rush really opens up when they play this song live, it's really fun to watch and listen especially this version, again the crowd brings it, swaying and chanting during the solo. Fantastic.

Maybe They Shouldn't Have Attempted This Live

Song: Show Don't Tell
Version: Different Stages
Just didn't work.

"I Just Like The Studio Version" Songs

The following songs that were played live just didn't work for one reason or another. But the biggest reason would be because of the difficulty replicating an element that was best suited for the studio.

Mystic Rhythms
Turn The Page
Time Stand Still
Force Ten (except for the R30 version, which was pretty decent).
Red Barchetta (Just because Moving Pictures was an outstanding studio album).
Tom Sawyer (Ditto)
The Pass

Why Didn't they Ever Play These Live?

These songs would seem to me that they would be kick ass live. For some unknown reason they never did, or they did and I never got to witness it.

Lock and Key
Everyday Glory
Emotion Detector
The Camera Eye (I know, it last 10 minutes).
High Water
Best I Can
The Fountain of Lamneth (just kidding)
Cut To The Chase
Digital Man

Alright, enough Rush geekdom.....

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Best Worst Movies Of All Time

If you haven't noticed I like to write lists of crap rather than a random post generating my opinion. I was going to write a nasty little blog criticizing The Indianapolis Star for basically supporting a candidate for Mayor of Indianapolis rather than report the news and let us citizens decide on who we would like to vote for. This is why I hate the media of today, they generally mislead us and basically promote their own agendas and opinions (that goes for both sides of the political fence), which is why I and other drunk people go to places like The Onion for our news. Anyways, back to my crappy post, there are movies that everyone and their brother say is awesome and a "classic", these are some I feel are really overrated, hence the best worst movies of all time moniker.

1) Easy Rider (1969) - If I were high as a fucking kite 24/7 I would probably still really hate this movie. It's slow, crappy, and only for hippies who like to get baked and remember the good ol' days, if they can remember them at all.

Worse part of the movie - Hillbillies beat the ever loving crap out of Hopper, Fonda and Nicholson at their camp site with baseball bats. Nicholson dies and apparently Fonda and Hopper are so chocked up about their new friends death that they leave him there and continue on with their journey apparently free of injuries.

2) Shakespeare In Love (1998) - Won the best picture oscar beating out the more deserving Saving Private Ryan. Why? No idea, this movie was awful. It didn't help the fact that it starred chronic whiner Gwyneth Paltrow.

Worse part of movie - When Ben Affleck appears.

3) Forrest Gump (1994) - If someone told me that this would win best picture of the year beating out both Shaweshank Redemption and Pulp Fiction, easily the best of 1994, I would have called you a no good liar, then I would have bet my beer money that it wouldn't happen. I would have lost my shirt. A dumb guy running for 2 hours during the sixties and seventies, that's all the movie is.

Worse part of the movie - The running scene, pretty much the entire movie.

4) Gladiator - (2000) - The battle scenes were confusing, I had no idea who the hell was killing who half the time; it had hair lip Steve (Jacquan Phoenix); it left out some pretty significant facts of the time; and it had resident overrated actor and chronic head case Russell Crowe as the lead. I was disappointed because I usually love Ridley Scott movies.

Worse part of the movie - The awkward kiss between hair lip Steve and his sister.

5) The Godfather Movies (I and II) - I'll start out by saying that I know this is a classic, a majority of the people out there think these movies are the best of all time. I just didn't get it. I tried numerous times to sit down and watch them, the furthest I got was 1 hour, and that was because I was at the hospital bored out of my skull and there was nothing else on in the break room except this. I figured out the reason I didn't cozy up to this classic. I saw Goodfellas and Casino first before I even tried to watch Godfather, which is kind of like getting an ipod then going back to an 8 track a few years later. That was probably a bad analogy. But the main reason was Goofellas and Casino were based on real events, some embellishments of the facts but generally true which made it more interesting. Godfather was largely made up. Goofellas and Casino had nice snappy editing and speed through scenes at break neck speeds, which is great for my ADHD. Godfather was ploddy, slow, like watching two turtles screwing in molasses. Goofellas and Casino had DeNiro and Pesci pre sell out and over the top, Godfather had Marlon (I sound like I'm chewing on bacon when I talk) Brando and a young pre-whooha Al Pacino. Anyways, I know it's a classic, so I'll just agree to disagree.

6) Titanic (1997) - No explanation needed. This movie is the reason I now hate:

a) The academy awards.
b) Leonardo DeCrapio.
c) Any story or documentary on the History channel covering the Titanic.

7) Monsters Ball (2002) - Gave me a headache. Not only did it get best picture nods it also led to Holly Berry winning for best actress and leading up to her giving the loudest most annoying oscar acceptance speech of all time, narrowly beating out Sally Field. Just an aweful movie.

8) Brokeback Mountain (2004) - I had a really good gay friend where I use to work tell me that this was probably the most overrated movie of all time. The characters were crap, the story was crap, plus no homosexual man could get their rocks off watching Ledger and Gyeeennhhalll because there were no true love scenes, if you know what I mean. Those were his words, not mine. After watching about 20 minutes of it I realized my friend was right.

9) The Sixth Sense (1999) - Thanks to M. Night Shamalamadingdong every movie after this started to do the "twist" ending, usually with disastrous results. Cracked.dom covers these movies. In retrospect this movie was really not all that great, especially since M. Knight is probably the biggest egomaniac director around. He thinks he's Spielberg but he's actually Uwe Boll.

Worse part of the movie - "I see dead people."

There are others for sure...I just can't think of them right now.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Maybe John-O shouldn't read this. This comes from Gregg Easterbrook AKA The Tuesday Morning Quarterback one of my favourite sports writers out there. He contributes to and is part of a (some say liberal) think tank called The Brookings Institute. He wrote a compelling book called The Paradox Of Progress: How things get better but people feel worse. During his usual sports takes he has this to say about our boy Al Gore and his fight with manbearpig (global warming).

"Those Hollywood Searchlights Around Gore's Home Sure Eat Power: Gore wasn't the first quack to win the Nobel Peace Prize, and history suggests he will not be the last. Gore spent eight years in the White House, and in that time took no meaningful action regarding greenhouse gases. The Clinton-Gore administration did not raise fuel economy standards for cars and trucks or propose domestic carbon trading. Though Clinton and Gore made a great show of praising the Kyoto Protocol, they refused even to submit the treaty to the Senate for consideration, let alone push for ratification. During his 2000 run for the presidency, Gore said little about climate change or binding global-warming reforms. In the White House and during his presidential campaign, Gore advocated no consequential action regarding greenhouse gases; then, there was a political cost attached. Once Gore was out of power and global-warming proposals no longer carried a political cost -- indeed, could be used for self-promotion -- suddenly Gore discovered his intense desire to demand that other leaders do what he had not! It is a triumph of postmodernism that Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for no specific accomplishment other than making a movie of self-praise. Gore caused no peace nor led any reconciliation of belligerent parties nor performed any service to the dispossessed, the achievements the Peace Prize was created to honor. All Gore did was promote himself from Hollywood, and for this, he gets a Nobel. Very postmodern.

An annoying complication of Gore's Nobel is that few realize the award was given jointly to him and to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an organization well worthy of distinction. The IPCC is a group of scientists who have spent two decades studying climate change in obscurity, and in many cases without pay. The IPCC's efforts have been selfless, motivated only by concern for society. Had the Nobel Peace Prize gone solely to the IPCC, it would have been a great day.
An astonishing measure of how out-of-touch the Norwegian Nobel Committee seems is that it gave a prize to Gore for hectoring others about energy consumption in the same year it was revealed that Gore, at his home, uses 20 times the national power average. Gore's extraordinary power waste equates to about 377,000 pounds of greenhouse gases annually, or about 20 Hummer Years worth of global warming pollution. (A Hummer Year, TMQ's metric of environmental hypocrisy, is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in a typical year of driving a Hummer.) When his utility bill made the news -- though apparently not in Oslo -- Gore responded by saying he buys carbon offsets. That takes you back to the offset problem: All offsets do is prevent greenhouse gas accumulation from increasing. If you really believe there will be a global calamity unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced 80 percent, as Gore told the Live Earth crowd, you would buy offsets and cut your own energy use. Instead, Gore flies around in fossil-fuel-intensive jet aircraft telling others: Do as I say, not as I do!

After news of Gore's personal energy consumption broke, Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider told The Associated Press the utility bill was justified because "Al and Tipper both work out of their home." This raises the question -- what kind of work are they doing? Perhaps reanimating Frankenstein; in Frankenstein movies, there is always a lot of electricity crackling wastefully about. Here are other possible reasons the Gores' home requires so much energy:

• Gore is building a time machine to return to Palm Beach, Fla., in October 2000.
• The former vice president is doing everything he personally can to cause global warming, so he can claim his predictions came true.

• Gore is growing marijuana in his basement. [Note from the corporate legal department: This is strictly a joke, ESPN is not accusing Al Gore of growing marijuana. We stand by our allegation that he is a sinister kingpin of international rare-bird smuggling.]

• Members of Gore's species require high power levels to maintain human form.

• Al and Tipper don't just leave the lights on when they make out, they leave the lights on all over the house."

And what about Congress? Gregg.....

"Congress Talks Green -- Action Is Another Matter: As debate heats up in the Senate regarding "carbon trading" legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, I commend to readers this new paper by TMQ pal Robert Stavins of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Stavins is the top environmental economist in the United States, and his paper, though not exactly beach reading, tells you everything you need to know about carbon trading. Plus, Rob must be a great guy because he has nine titles.
Raising mileage standards for vehicles and enacting a carbon trading system for electric power generation are two highly desirable actions Congress can take right now, without doing economic harm, to cut greenhouse emissions, improve national security by reducing U.S. reliance on Persian Gulf oil and push Detroit automakers to become more competitive so they stay in business. But instead of taking badly needed action, the House of Representatives last week spent $89,000 of taxpayers' money to purchase 30,000 tons' worth of "carbon offsets" for its antiquated coal-burning powerhouse. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi declared the U.S. Capitol will be green by 2008, but this sounds to me like political yammer.

First, according to estimates by resource economists, carbon offsets need to cost $20 to $25 per ton in order to generate a significant profit incentive for innovators, and thus inspire technical breakthroughs that will stave off artificial global warming. If the Capitol paid only $3 per ton, it wasn't buying much. More important, if you really believe artificial global warming is a huge menace to society, you don't just buy offsets and continue using your antiquated coal-fired powerhouse -- because, after all, the offsets only prevent emissions from rising, doing nothing to reduce emissions. If you really believe artificial global warming is a menace, you buy offsets and cut your own carbon output, thus reducing emissions. This is the big fault with Al Gore's patting himself on the back for buying offsets: He has not reduced his carbon footprint. If he believed his own speeches, he'd both buy the offsets and cut back his carbon-intensive jet-set lifestyle.

Pelosi's talk of a "green" U.S. Capitol is especially phony when she refuses to allow the House of Representatives to vote on proposals to increase fuel-economy standards for vehicles. Higher mpg standards -- the average fuel economy of new cars, trucks and SUVs has not risen since 1988 -- are a million times more important to preventing artificial global warming than symbolic actions such as those being taken at the Capitol. Stricter mileage rules would not only reduce U.S. payments to Persian Gulf dictatorships but also make a significant dent in greenhouse gases because greenhouse emissions are proportional to fossil fuel burned. Yet while Pelosi announces lofty promises about a renewable Capitol, she won't schedule a vote on the strict new mileage standards backed by figures as diverse as President Bush and Barack Obama. (In the Senate, anything goes, but in the House, the Speaker has ironclad control over what comes to the floor.) Pelosi appears to want to prevent progress against petroleum waste so that Democrats can bash Republicans in 2008 by saying nothing has been done about automotive mileage. Wouldn't it be nice if the Speaker of the House were more concerned about the country than about political posturing!

They want to cooperate on reducing petroleum waste. Congress won't stand for that!
What of other political leaders? George W. Bush has proposed an international conference to negotiate nonbinding future goals for greenhouse gas reduction -- exactly the empty gesture his father proposed in 1992! As Juliet Eilperin of The Washington Post shows, all contenders for the presidency have embraced climate proposals that seem bold and sweeping. But read closely: None would have teeth until long after the bold politicians making the sweeping proposals leave office. Hillary Clinton, for instance, wants bold, sweeping action against greenhouse gases by 2030, when she would have been out of office for at least 14 years. John Edwards, whom TMQ likes because he emphasizes the forgotten issue of poverty, wants bold, bold, really bold action by 2050, when he will be 97 years old. Arnold Schwarzenegger is pulling this fast one, too. His bold, bold California climate plan has gotten him fawning press but does not require any action until after Schwarzenegger is out of office. Obama and Bush have backed higher mpg standards that would go into effect right now. But then, the lesson of Gore's Nobel Prize is that to talk big but do nothing of substance is what society rewards."

I wish we could see more of this from mainstream media, but we don't. Notice he bashes both sides of the political spectrum, we never see this in today's media because just like this article states, most (almost all) people in the media are Democrat or have contributed to liberal causes and would never question anyone like Gore or really any Democrat.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Best Gay Characters/People Of All Time

John-O bought up the fact that the main wizard in Harry Potter is indeed gay. While I really don't give a crap about anyones sexual orientation I found this quite odd because Rowling's characters are already 7 books in. I'm not quite sure if this is bold or not, especially in this day and age, but it is what it is. Striving for equal rights and acceptance or jamming an alternative lifestyle down our throats? Such a fine line sometimes.

Anyways I thought I would revisit some of the best gay characters and people of all time.

1) Scott Thompson - Very funny on Kids In The Hall, his Buddy character is one of my favorites on that show. I tried to find the clip on YouTube where Buddy decides to coach an all lesbian softball team but I couldn't. Easily one of the funniest skits on the show. I also find his over the top performance as a straight business man hilarious.

2) Big Gay Al - South Park - First gay character on one of my favorite shows of all time. The very flamboyent and lovable Al runs a commune for gay animals which in itself is hilarious. Also had the best song in the South Park movie back in 1999. He is also responsible for millions of people to say "I'm super, thanks for asking" for about 3 years after the movie came out, which, unlike any Austin Power characters, never gets old.

3) Jim J. Bullock - Hollywood Squares, Spaceballs - I actually liked Hollywood Squares because of him. I heard there was an incident where Alf made a homosexual joke Jim didn't take to well, he took him from the center square and jammed a cat down his throat screaming "Suck on this bitch!" That actually didn't happen but I would pay to see it. His Prince Valium character in Spaceballs is a classic.

4) Ellen Degeneres - After the Ellen show - Before she came out I really didn't find her stand up act all that funny, kind of like a female version of Jerry Seinfeld. She came out during her show and immediately set in on her angry lesbian phase which got her show cancelled (probably unfairly, but the show did start sucking after she came out) and landed into the arms of resident space alien and all around shitty actress Anne Heche. She chilled out, dumped the alien, and finally started to make me laugh and now I find her quite charming and funny. She also shattered the stereotype that there are no happy go lucky lesbians.

5) Mr. Garrison/Mr. Slave - South Park - Mr. Garrison and Mr. Slave had me in stitches for years until the South Park duo decided to Have Garrison go through a sex change. The actual show that Garrison got the sex change cracked me up but it also sacrificed Mr. Slave, which kind of sucks. Mr. Slave's whore out competetion with Paris Hilton is permantly saved on my DVR.

6) Mr. Smithers - Simpsons - Though he never actually came out and admitted that he was gay there were so many innuendoes and hints that even Inspector Cluesou would have figured it out. Probably one of the most beloved characters on the Simpsons.

7) The Entire Cast of Winnie the Pooh - Nuff' said.

8) Liberace - Though his music sucked out loud you can't help love his over the top fashions and style.

9) Bob Mould - Sugar, Husker Du - Probably has one of the loudest guitars ever. He is definately underrated as a musician and guitarist. Husker Du is one of my favourite Indy bands of all time. The funny thing about Husker Du was the fact that the one guy you thought was gay (the bassist) wasn't, and the two other dudes you would never figure on being gay were (Mould and Hart).

10) Aaron Copeland - Composer - Made some damn fine music, especially Fanfare for the Common Man.

11) Ian McKellan - Actor - It's Magneto baby! One of many great casting decisions made by the movie creators of the X-men movies (Patrick Stewart was born for Professor X). He's done some other good stuff, like, uhhhh, oh Gods and Monsters.

12) Chuck Palahniuk - Author - Had no idea he was gay, which really doesn't matter. Even though his books are really starting to suck it big time he's still one of my favorite authors of all time (yes, I do read sometimes).

That's all I can think of.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A Tip For the Colts Against New England

Just a few tips for the upcoming game for the Colts:

1) If Vrabel is in the game in a goal line situation put a guy on him. For some fucking reason no other team in the NFL has gotten this yet.

2) Brady throws a majority of short passes over the middle directly in front of him. Might want to put a safety there. Again, no other team has caught on to this yet.

3) If they run up the score put a hat on Brady's knees or knock the crap out of Randy Moss before he can get off the line.

4) If you are near Belicheck throw an out pass and purposely over throw so Dallas Clark can run into Belicheck on the sidelines.

5) Please for the love of god beat the Patriots!

Food For Thought

Has anyone noticed that all Belicheck's ex-assistant coaches are stinking it up as head coaches? Mangini, Crannell, Weiss, all under .500 for their career as head coaches. Grown accustomed to cheating?

What exactly were on these tapes and did the Patriots turn them all over? Notice that the NFL destroyed them all and would not comment if the Patriots cheated in the super bowl.

Wasn't there a time when running up the score was unprofessional and cosidered an asshole move? Now ESPN and the like are in awe of it. What the hell?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Indiana Pacers - 2007- 2008 Preview

This comes a day late (and a dollar short) but I'll do it anyways. My lovely wife scored suite tickets to the Pacers v. Timberwolves pre-season game a couple of weeks back so I got to see our Indiana Pacers up close and personal. So while I was pounding free beer, nachos and fruit I made mental notes and compiled my drunken opinion on how the Pacers will shape up for the waaaay too long NBA season for 2007-2008. They started out pretty strong last night without Jermaine O'Neal which made me proud. But since the NBA is as fixed as WWE (without the steroid induced murder-suicides) there is no fucking way Herr Stern would allow the Pacers anywhere near the NBA finals. But since I'm a Pacer fan for life, I'll give my stupid, drunken opinion of them. Trust me, if it weren't for the Pacers I would have stopped watching the NBA a looooong time ago.

The Ranking System Ala' Major League

They're Shitty
They're Still Shitty
These Guys Aren't Too Fucking Bad
We Can Beat the Yankees

Head Coach - Jim O'Brian

O'Brian took over after the Pacers mercifully wacked Jim Carrey as coach and decided to pump some energy in a very stagnant, slow and plodding offense that was killing us under Carlilse. So far, so good. The Pacers took Washington by surprise last night with the constant up tempo offense. But can the Pacers keep up this frenetic pace? We'll see..

Verdict - These Guys Aren't Too Fucking Bad

The Team

Any other GM would have been shown the door if they made the moves that Larry (I look 80 years old) Bird has made over the years. Last year he basically traded Al Harrington for Al Harrington then traded him again for a couple of white boys and a loss of a 1st round draft pick. Not as bad as Isiah Thomas, but still completely crappy. However the team is rid of all egos that basically killed it in the last two years (Stephen Jackson, Ron Artest, Al Harrington) and has replaced it with a roster that had me saying, "who are these fucking guys?" But let's run down the new talent the Pacers have.

Travis (You're killing me Smalls) Diener - Looks like the kid from the Sandlot, but he can pass, run and hit the 3 with regularity. Too bad his defense sucks.

If I'm not mistaken, that's pretty much it for new talent that the Pacers will use regularly.

The rest of the team is what you remember from last year after that horrific trade: Jamaal Tinsley (slimed down), Jermaine O'Neal, Danny Granger, Troy Murphy, and Mike Dunleavy.

Verdict - The Guys Aren't Too Fucking Bad

The Offense

Up tempo, break neck speed, hit the open man, hit the three. The Pacers field goal percentage was crap last night but it was a welcome site compared to the granny trot that was Jim Carrey's offense last year. But can they keep this up the entire year?

Verdict - The Guys Aren't Too Fucking Bad

The Defense

In order to win they are going to have to score more than the c-note they give up regularly to other teams. In other words....

Verdict - They're Shitty

The Bench

Couldn't pick them out of a police line up. Showed promise last night, but, this could easily tank if they go on a long stretch of losing.

Verdict - They're Still Shitty

The Management

Did I mention the horrific trades and draft picks made by Larry Bird? Yeah, I'm sure I did.

Verdict - They're Still Shitty

My Drunken NBA Predictions


Will probably finish 6 or below in the Eastern Conference and then get bounced in the first round. But Jim O'Brian did actually take the Celtics to the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals, so who knows? Like I am with the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Indy Colts, cautiously optimistic, but will probably blow up in my face, and I'll go drink and cry and cry and drink some more.

The Rest of the NBA

Eastern Conference Champs - Pistons, or whoever Herr Stern wants to win.
Western Conference Champs - Suns, or whoever Herr Stern wants to win.
NBA Champs of 2008 - Whoever Herr Stern wants to win.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sports Guy Mock World Series Game 4 Running Diary

Since Boston is about to win the world series that means all of is about to explode with stories, articles and nonsensical Boston BS. One of the lead writers on ESPN is Bill (I only got this job because I'm a Boston sports fan) Simmons. He is probably the biggest Boston homer they have on the web page, he also makes fun of Indy sports teams waaaay too much (see "the Manning face"). He goes out of his way to do so contantly, even this year with the Colts. Since ESPN has only Jay Mariotti representing the midwest (seriously, look it up, 7 Boston writers for 3 teams, 1 midwest writer for a shitload of midwest teams) I thought I would make a typical mock diary of Bill Simmons for tonights inevitable Boston win.

8:00 - We come at you live for game five of the world series with Boston battling, um, some team from Colorado, seriously, does Colorado have a team? I only know the Red Sox and the hated Yankess.

8:15 - Me, House, Jay-Bug and the rest of the Goonies were circle jerking each other the other day while watching Good Will Hunting when House asked if there was a better team then the 2004 Red Sox. We all said the 2007 Red Sox.

8:20 - Tim McCarver is dumn (insert typical dumn McCarver quote).

8:30 - Second pitch is hit and the Red Sox are on base. It's in the bag. I'm already preparing to write "Now I can Die In Peace II, Electric Boogaloo."

8:45 - My dad called me after the Red Sox scored their first run, "hey son, I'm not your real dad, by the way, go Sox".


9:14 - My wife comes in all mad at something, I don't know why, maybe I'll give her her own crappy article to write that no one will read in my colums on By the way, did you know that I'm a Boston Red Sox fan?

9:20 - Boston 2, St. Louis - 0. I know that St. Louis isn't in the world series, it's just that I don't any other team other than Boston and the Evil Empire.

9:25 - I would f**k Jason Varitek on my coffee table right now with Big Papi's c**k in my mouth.

9:40 - (some stupid anecdote about some shitty reality TV show on MTV that no 30 year old should be watching).

9:45 - (Name drop about a celebrity that he knows).

9:50 - Tom Brady is dreamy - Red Sox 2, White Sox - 0.

You get the idea.

WTF David Stern?

I read earlier that Herr David Stern has let numerous refs off the hook for gambling at casinos stating that there is nothing to be concerned about as long as they don't bet on sports. What the fuck? Didn't they just have a huge betting scandal not too long ago because of a ref's gambling addiction. What makes him think this won't happen again? So he isn't strict with the refs when it comes to rule breaking but he is horrifically strict when it comes to players. He wouldn't bend when Suns players came to the aid of a hip checked Steve Nash when they thought their best player (2 time MVP) was hurt when Cheap Shot Rob Horry purpously bumped the point guard into the scorers table. He suspended the Suns players who left the bench basically giving the NBA championship to the Spurs. Don't get me started with what he did to the Pacers in 2004.

Rasheed Wallace stated earlier that he thought the NBA was fixed. For the first time I agree with Rashweed, I really do think it's fixed when Stern pulls shit like this. Other instances that stick out in my mind that the NBA is not on the up and up:

1999 Eastern Conference Final - Knicks v. Pacers - a lot of calls against the Pacers, Knick Bavetta called the continuation foul against Antonio Davis even though Grand ma ma Larry Johnson wasn't touched.

2002 Western Conference Final - Game 6 - Kings v. Lakers - just an unbelievably shitty called game that looked like it was a fix. It was blantent. Kobe elbows Doug Christie in the face and Christie is called for a foul, I'm not making this up.

1997 NBA Finals - Bulls v. Jazz - Micheal Jordan pushes off the Jazz point guard that was an obvious foul and Jordan scored the winning shot.

2007 - Isiah Thomas v. MSG employee - Thomas found guilty for sexual harrasment against an employee and never denied making racist statements against whites. Never disciplined by the NBA and never called out in the press (unless you count Al Sharpton, which I don't) and still has a job.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head even though I know there are a ton more examples. If it weren't for the Pacers I really wouldn't give a shit about the NBA.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Prime Mover 10 - Top Ten Drummers of Rock

I seriously couldn't think of another Rush appreciation post that hasn't been done somewhere else. I was going to do the best Rush references of all time until I realized that Power Windows (Rush tribute page) has already done it. So, I'll just offer up my usual drunken rants on something that no sane person should give a crap about. These are the drummers that I have grown up with and I feel are the best for my generation (some before my time). They are only rock drummers because if I included jazz I would be banging my head over who should be number 1, seriously, jazz is ridiculously hard to play well. As a note to all I am an armchair drummer, entirely self-taught. My style can be best described as drunken drumming, or ADHD drumming. Not bad, but definitely not professional. Here we go (open beer)........

Banned From The List

1) Lars Ulrich - Metallica - Two words keep him from the list, Load and Reload. Two of the worst albums of rock or metal. The only band in history to make a sequel to a song (Unforgiven Too, or was it two, who gives a shit it sucked) and album (Reload after Load, get it?). Then they come out with St. Anger. After bassist and long time punching bag Jason Whatshisname left the band (good call on his part) and Metallica replaced him with a bassist who looks like he came from a holloween party dressed up like the Korn bassist, they decided to make an ill advised album which James Hetfield sounded more like Captain Caveman then James Hetfield. To make matters worse they make a documentary along with the album chronicling the fact that they are waaaaay past their prime and James Hetfield needs to lay off the booze before his liver and mullet explode. It also doesn't help that Lars was in front of congress lobbying for record companies to stop online song sharing. Before you go nuts remember, most bands get a majority of their money by touring, not records sales. Thanks Lars, now go pick up James Hetfield from rehab.

2) The chick with the rack from White Stripes - White Stripes - How anybody thinks this band is good is beyond me. I finally figured that most music critics are men and seeing Meg White jiggling her gigantic boobies like crazy while desperately trying to keep time hypnotized them from making any sort of sane, intelligent critique of the band. How else can you explain Meg's creepy brother Jack (I know they are not siblings) being ranked number 17 on the best guitarist list on Rolling Stone magazine back in 2002? A list that did not include Alex Lifeson or Eric Johnson! That was the last time I read Rolling Stone magazine by the way. She looks like my 2 year old playing trying to play drums, confused but having fun. I know, I know, nowadays it's all about style, not talent with rock music.

Honorable Mentions

1) Charlie Watt - Rolling Stones - Those of you who know me are probably doing a double take. I've been harsh on ol' dapper Charlie before (with reason) but three things came about which reversed my opinion.

a) He can play jazz. Like I said before, that ain't easy.

b) He is very well respected by almost every drummer in the business.

c) The story of him getting a call at five a.m. from a very drunk Mick Jagger. Charlie is a proper gentlemen who wasn't ever in the overindulgence of libations like the other members of Rolling Stone were. Early to bed, early to rise and dress like a proper Englishman, that's Charlie. Anyways Mick and Keith were plastered out of their skulls after a night out when they rang Charlie out of his slumber. Mick called him "his drummer" and told him there was a band meeting right now, "get your ass over here." Charlie calmly got up, put on his best suit and polished shoes and went over to Mick's hotel room. When Mick opens the door Charlie said hello then plastered him with a right hook nearly sending him out his hotel window and to his death. After a shocked Mick came to he was greeted with Charlie hovering over him yelling, "I'm not your fucking drummer, you're my fucking singer!" Charlie politely let himself out and went back to bed. I love that story, and it completely changed my opinion of him.

2)Dave Grohl - Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Killing Joke - I've always been a big fan of Josh Homme's music with QOTSA, Eagles of Death Metal or Kyuss. When QOTSA 2002 album Songs for the Deaf came out I was floored. The first thing I asked when I got through the first 4 songs was, "who in the hell is that drummer, and why wasn't he found sooner?" I was really surprised that it was Dave Grohl, I had no clue he could play like that. The entire album was great and the drumming was spectacular. Given that fact that Grohl can play just about any instrument gave me great respect for him. Then when Killing Joke's long awaited self titled album came out I asked the same question. "This drummer is great, who the hell is it?" Again Dave Grohl. Not only did he manage to work with Jaz Coleman (insane leader of Killing Joke) without stuffing him into a trash compactor, but he fit in quite well with Killing Joke's industrial, bombastic sound.

Best Output: Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf, Killing Joke - Killing Joke

The Up and Comers

1) Erin Tate - Minus The Bear - I've really come to love this band. Mixing prog rock, emo (or emu), alternative, new wave, electronica, and the current thing going on, this band has really impressed me. Erin is great at off beat, odd time signature rock. Great Drummer with great skill.

Best Ouput: Planet of Ice, Menos el Oso

2) Zundel Tkotch - World/Inferno Friendship Society - Great band out of Brooklyn, NY. They have actually been around for a while boasting a rotating musician cast of over 30 people. Very imaginative band mixing ska, punk, swing, jazz and something else I seriously can't put my finger on, which is why my Ipod list them as "unclassifiable". I have heard that they are great live, but they would never come near Indianapolis so I will never know. I'm not sure if Zundel is their original drummer, I'm guessing not, but he was unbelievable on their live album from 2003.

Best Output: Hallowmas Live at Northsix

3) Sammy J. Watson - Apex Theory - The only non-Armenian in an all Armenian band. Just ridiculous with the time signatures. Good style, great licks, does not rush like some drummers naturally do. Great drummer with a great band. I almost put him in the top ten but he has really made only one album. Apex Theory's (sans original lead singer) latest output was a very disappointing 15 minute song that they put on Itunes. So the future of the band looks pretty crappy.

Best Output: Topsy Turvey

The Top Ten

10) Mike Portnoy - Dream Theatre - Might as well start out the list strong, Portnoy and the boys hail from Berkeley out in California where they had dreams of kick ass, ridiculously complex tunes lasting longer than 10 minutes. Portnoy has some great chops which I have actually never seen live until I got HD tv and they showed them live from Japan (where they are freakin huge) on one of the HD channels. Portnoy is not only freakishly talented he does most of the crowd baiting and cheering, which means he basically drums standing up. This is so because the rest of the band is about as dull as fence posts. He has retooled his set time and time again so every now and then when I look him up he's got something else going on.

Best Output: Awake, Falling into Infinity, Images and Words

9) Matt Cameron - Soundgarden, Those pinko commies Pearl Jam (Hi John!) - Matt's style, sound and skill has always impressed me. I was pretty disappointed he didn't let loose on Geddy Lee's solo album My Favorite Headache.

Best Output (all with Soundgarden) - Badmotorfinger, Superunknown

8)Danny Carey - Tool - This band is completely fucked up. Fucked up lyrics, fucked up album covers, fucked up lead singer, you get the idea. But I really genuinely like their music even though I feel like taking a shower after listening to them. Danny Carey is a damn good drummer and dare I say underrated. I was blown away by the drumming in AEnima.

Best Ouput: AEnima, Laterlus, Undertow

7) Will Calhoun - Living Colour - Damn fine drummer in damn fine band. Has this thing where he will play 3/4 time and 4/4 time simultaneously. Let me say I've tried a million times to do it and I can't even come close. He is often overshadowed by Corey Glover and Vernon Reid. He deserves major credit (I will never say props) for the drumming he has done over the years.

Best Output: All Living Colour albums except Callidiscope

6) Tim "Herb" Alexander - Primus - In an interview with Modern Drummer he said that in high school he was a huge Rush snob. He would only listen to Rush and come home everyday after school and air drum to Rush tunes for hours. Tim and I have that in common, except now he is a successful, well-respected musician boasting a catalogue of music and I'm a 32 year old alcoholic with a dead end job that still comes home everyday and air drums to Rush. Oh well. I was pretty disappointed when he left Primus because 1) Primus sucked after that and 2) He disappeared. I literally had to go looking for him in other bands to see what the hell he was up to. Great drummer that I got to see live when Primus opened for Rush in 1993 (you remember that John-O). Very inventive and managed to complement Les Claypool, something that other drummers have failed to do.

5) Stewart Copeland - The Police, Animal Logic, Klark Kent - Completely sentimental drummer of mine because he was one of the first drummers I used to hit pots and pans while listening to The Police back in the 80's. Has the distinction of actually being a well rounded musician. Wrote soundtracks to a couple of movies, unfortunately Highlander II was one of them. Uses a traditional grip and has the smallest drum set (5 piece) compared to every other drummer on this list, at least in the early days of The Police he did. Very fast drummer, continuously pushed Sting to make Police songs faster. He has a weird mesh of punk, jazz and rock drum styles that works really well. Also managed to not kill Sting for the years he worked with him.

Best Output: All Police albums, Animal Logic II

4) Carl Palmer - Emerson, Lake and Palmer - The least egotistical of the trio this drummer rounded out a ridiculously talented band that started in the late 60's and finally disbanded in the mid 80's. They regrouped for Black Moon in 1992, even though the album was definitely the worst output of ELP it did spawn a live album in 1993 that was very decent. Very fast and very technical drummer as evident in many ELP songs. He is a classicaly trained musician that moved into rock at 19 and then had a hand at starting progressive rock (which is what influenced Rush). Great drum solos, I got to see him in 1992 and I was completely amazed at how fast his hands and feet were, and he was in his mid forties at the time. He still does events and is very well respected in the drumming world.

Best Output: All Emerson Lake and Palmer albums excluding Black Moon and In The Hot Seat (which he admitted sucked complete ass).

3) John Bohnam - Led Zeppelin - Bonzo was one of the best and drunkest drummers of all time. His sticks were tree trunks, his toms were see through and his cymbals rang for weeks. His skill was unbelievable, not only was he thundering and loud he was also very technical and fast. Jon Paul Jones (the bassist of Zep) often cites Bohnam as the best drummer he's ever seen. His skills diminished greatly as his boozing went along as evident after seeing the 1980 concert at Wembley stadium. He died shortly after. He was definitely one of the best.

Best Output: All Zeppelin albums except In Through The Out Door

2) Neil Peart - Rush - The professor at the drum kit. The man behind my favourite band of all time. I really marvel at the fact that he's been doing this consistently for over 30 years now. When I saw him at the Vapor Trails tour in 2002 I thought he was playing better than he had in years, and I just sat back and marveled at his skill and the fact that he was 49 years old and still kicking the shit out of the drums. I know some people call Rush "drum solo with a complement" (I call them assholes) but they are the best musicians around (alive) today in rock. I hope they continue on after Snakes and Arrows, but if not, oh well.

Best Output: All with Neil

1) Keith Moon - The Who - Often cited as the best drummer of all time. If there was ever a title called lead drums he would be it. When I first heard him (Who's Next album) I immediately wanted to pick up a pair of stick. He played so fast and hard. He gave it his all every night. He was also completely nuts destroying countless hotel rooms and wreaking havoc with his next door neighbors. Moon will always be my favourite over Neil (I know, sacrilege) just because he was the first drummer I ever idolized.

Best Output: All Who albums except Who Are You

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Rush Geek Week Part III

I kind of fell asleep at the post, well got really busy, so I haven't had the time to follow up on my Rush geekdom week. Good to see John-O post his top albums like I hoped he would. Very interesting selection, but for me there is no bad Rush album, and at one point or another they were all my favourites. Now time for something different.

Best/Worst Rush Videos Of All Time

(Note: I do not include any videos made in the 70's. The 70's were so bad that even the jazz sucked, not to mention all of the presidents.)

When I was in Virginia in 1982 there used to be a program on called Friday Night Videos (I'm really showing my age) that would play the best videos of the week. One late night I finally got to see what Rush actually looked like. Remember, this was before the Internet or cable (for us anyways) and we were miles away from shopping malls. Plus the fact that all the Rush tapes my brother had were second hand copies of the original, since we were poor as hell, so we did not possess any liner notes and had no clue what these gents looked like and more importantly, had no clue what Neil's drum set looked like. Subdivisions came on and my bro and I were estatic, and shocked. Man that song rocks, but that video kind of sucks. That wouldn't be the last time we said that.

To be fair, Rush probably does videos as an afterthought being more concerned about how their music sounds rather than how the video looks. But man, some of those videos are real stinkers, almost laughable. But there were a couple of good ones.

The Best

1) Distant Early Warning - probably their first good video and the reference to Dr. Strangelove is a plus. That is also Geddy's kid riding the missile. Off of the Grace Under Pressure album.

2) Mystic Rhythms - Looks like they actually took time to do this one. It looks like they did this video right before releasing Hold Your Fire, because they are wearing the same clothes as they are for liner notes of HYF. Very artsy, no fartsy. Off of the Power Windows album.

3) The Pass - The video is as haunting and dark as the subject matter of the song. I actually didn't see this video until the advent of YouTube, which was a couple of years ago. I was pretty impressed. Off the Presto album.

4) Half The World - Saw this video on MTV2 late one night right before leaving IU in 1997. The last time a Rush video ever graced that crappy channel ever again, seriously MTV sucks balls. Off the Test For Echo album.

5) Show Don't Tell - Saw this video right before Rush released Presto in November 1989. I practically broke my face jumping out of my seat with elation because I haven't seen a Rush video in nearly 6 years at that point. Again, this album, and this song especially, helped get over the fact that I moved to landlocked Indiana and was attending the shitty Creston Middle School.

6) Tom Sawyer (South Park Intro) - Just saw this on YouTube, makes me regret my decision on not going to the Snakes and Arrows concert, well, I actually had no choice.

7) Lock and Key - Really liked the song and video. Not sure what movie the video is referencing. Off the Hold Your Fire album.

8) Time Stand Still - This is right on the border between good and crappy. I give it a mulligan because it was 1987 when this video was produced. Off the Hold Your Fire album.

9) Nobody's Hero - Never really liked this song, but the video was decent. Off the Counterparts album.

The Crappy

1) Far Cry - This is awful, looks like this was done as an afterthought. Rush didn't even bother showing up for the making of this. I actually thought it was a goth video or something. Off Snakes and Arrows.

2) Subdivisions - Probably one of the first Rush videos produced, and it shows, though I do identify with the nerd in the video. Off the Signals album.

3) The Enemy Within, The Body Electric, Afterimage - I lump these 3 together because they were all off the same album. Afterimage looked like the director kept falling asleep, plus Alex's looked like he combed his hair with a rock. The Enemy Within was just plain awful, but it's nice to know that the bad guys in the video like to take the time to rock out. And The Body Electric was a story that I really didn't want to follow. I read not too long ago that The Body Electric was actually a 30 minute short that was only aired in Canada, thank Christ, and the video for the song showed exerts of that short. It was still a stinker. It was supposed to make the future look bleak and hopeless, it actually made it look really gay. The good guy's hair looks fabulous though.

4) Superconductor - Wow, yikes, even my wife couldn't get through the video, I barely could. Looks like Alex and Geddy switched positions on stage, looks really weird, like bizarro Rush or something. Off Presto.

5) Stick It Out - Beavis and Butthead made fun of this video, with good reason. Is that Eddie Grant in the chair? Off Counterparts.

6) Big Money - From the clothes, to Neil's rat tail, to the cheesy graphics, to the butchering of the song. Not all that great. Off Power Windows.

7) Driven - This video actually gave me a headache. Kind of cool, but not really. Off Counterparts.

8) Countdown - No imagination. Off the Signals album.

Time for a beer....and for me to pop in Chronicles.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Rush Geek Week Part II

Ahh, this is fun, for me anyways. Lets keep this crappy idea of mine going.

Ranking The Rush Live Albums

Not on this list: Grace Under Pressure (1984) - Technically never released as a tour album until Replay X3 (2006). But it does have a great version of The Weapon.

6) All The Worlds A Stage (1976) - 2112 Tour

The first live album by Rush, and it kind of showed. Neil had to take off his bass drum heads in order to get mikes near them and there was an excessive amounts of feedback. Some good tunes though.

5) A Show Of Hands (1989) - Hold Your Fire Tour

This is ranked kind of low due to crappy sound transfer to the video. Also, Subdivisions was pretty weak. This does introduce the longer version of Closer To The Heart and has a strong drum solo.

4) Different Stages (1998) - Test For Echo Tour

Nice two-disc deal which included 2112 in it's entirety. Gets points off for the drumming. During this time Neil screwed around with his drumming style using a traditional grip, ditching his double bass and condensing his kit a tad.

3) R30 (2006) - 30th Anniversary Tour

Got to see this tour twice. Actually witnessed the first major fuck up of a Rush show, Neil's triggers kept fucking up resulting in numerous glares at his engineer and Alex constantly cracking up. The next time I saw them (in Indy) I got front row center tickets, so close I could see Geddy's neck waddle and it was freakin' awesome. Great live album, Subdivisions is spectacular as is Between The Wheels.

2) Exit.....Stage Right (1981) - Moving Pictures Tour

I always have a soft spot for this one. The sound is awesome, the drum solo is great. The Trees and La Villa Strangiato stand out on this one.

1) Rush In Rio (2003) - Vapor Trails Tour

Easily my favourite live album just because of how loose the guys were. The drumming was great as was the drum solo, and the crowd (over 60,000 strong) was raucous. They actually sang along to an instrumental. I also have sentimental reasons for loving this tour and live album. This was me and my future wife's first Rush concert. We have been dating maybe a month. After the show she asked me,

"Is he (Neil) the best drummer ever?"

I knew it was meant to be.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Rush Geek Week Part I

Since John-O was so kind to compliment me on my drunken rambling that Rush always closes out their albums with great songs I decided to ratchet up my (actually our) Rush geekdum by pronouncing this Rush Geek Week. I will list some great Rush doings this week while listening to Rush while staring at my homemade Rush artwork (yes, I made some) while petting my cats Geddy and Alex. We couldn't afford a Neil. Before you judge me, please read on. Well John-O will, and maybe my wife, if I beg her.

Best Rush Albums of All Time

10) Fly By Night - The introduction of Neil after Rush ditched that whiny non-talented, diabetic drummer John Rustey.

Best Songs: Best I Can, Anthem, Fly By Night, By-Tor and the Snow Dog, Beneath, Between, Behind

Most Confusing Song: Rivendell - never been able to listen to it all the way through, yes, I know it is based on the Lord of the Rings.

9) Hemispheres - The last concept album where the entire first half is a story.

Best Songs: Circumstances, La Villa Strangiato, The Trees

Most Confusing Song(s): The entire first half - Though it's not bad, it's kind of weird of a rock band to sing about Dionysus and Bacchus.

8) Grace Under Pressure - Considered the worst Rush album, I actually really like it. Also considered the darkest Rush album.

Best Songs: Distant Early Warning, Afterimage, Red Sector A, The Enemy Within, Between the Wheels

Most Confusing Song: Red Lenses (it's true!!!)

7) Roll The Bones - Rush raps, kinda.

Best Songs: Dreamline, Bravado, Where's my Thing?, Ghost of a Chance, Heresy, The Big Wheel, Neurotica, You Bet Your Life

Most Confusing Song: Roll the Bones - seriously, white people from Canada shouldn't be allowed to rap, actually rap should be banned period.

6) Presto - First album of Rush released when I moved to Indiana in 1989. This album helped me ease through the fact that I moved away from waterfront property in Virginia to flat, cold, and landlocked territory of Indianapolis.

Best Songs: All, except.....

Most Confusing Song: Red Tide, never really warmed up to this one.

5) 2112 - The album that saved Rush, got to acknowledge that.

Best Songs: All, except.....

Most Confusing Song: Twilight Zone, did Neil get really baked one night and write these lyrics?

4) Power Windows - Unbelievably complex album, from a musician standpoint.

Best Songs: All, except...

Most Confusing Song: Manhattan Project - I like the lyrics, just don't like the song

3) Hold Your Fire - Completely sentimental album of mine. First Rush album bought with my own money, I actually have the tape framed.

Best Songs: All actually like all of them.

2) Signals - Really love this album, even though Rush fired their long time producer because of it.

Best Songs: All of them, especially The Weapon.

1b) Permanent Waves - I REALLY like this album, but I can never place it before Moving Pictures.

Best Songs: All except.....

Most Confusing Song: Entre Nous - only because I actually learned a French phrase. Other than that I like the song.

1a) Moving Pictures - no weaknesses, anywhere. Best....Rush....Album.

Time for a beer...and a cigar. More tomorrow, for Rush Geek Week.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Movies/Shows and the Causes They Have Wrecked

There are some movies and shows that have come out in the last couple of years that have tried to persuade us to live and think a certain way but failed miserably because they are so gosh darn awful. I'll cuss better later on in this rant. Here are a few......

The Sara Silverman Show

The Cause: That Sara Silverman is actually funny.

Where it failed: Well, everywhere. She is such a comedic black hole that she has now officially ruined Jimmy Kimmel. She should probably take a note from Margaret Cho; being foul mouthed comedian without any jokes does not make you funny, just a hack with a foul mouth.

The Solution: Just quit, seriously, porn is calling, maybe a underground tape of Silverman, Kimmel and Pamela Anderson in a three way would help you recoup your losses.

American Dad

The Cause: That conservatives are joyless, war mongering, neanderthals.

Where it failed: Giving all the good lines and jokes to the conservative neanderthal and giving all the unfunny and crappy lines to the liberal, named Haley, REALLY doesn't help. Unless, that how it is in real life. There is also the unflattering representation of Haley where she's always baked past noon and can barely get through community college. Plus the fact that Stan Smith (the neanderthal) is routinely viewed as a sympathetic figure, especially at the end.

The Solution: You know what? Steve Smith is pretty much carrying that show, send Haley to a real college or something.

The Mind of Mencia

The Cause: That Carlos Mencia creates and uses his own jokes.

Where it failed: YouTube ran a video showing where Mencia ripped off his jokes. The fact that Joe Rogan, who can barely pronounce his own name, exposed him is especially damning. There was also a YouTube skit (too lazy to post it) that shows Rogan out thinking and out maneuvering a grasping at straws Carlos while they were on stage duking it out, comically, not physically.

The Solution: Write your own jokes douchebag.

Passion of the Christ

The Cause: Not sure what the cause was. To convert non-believers to Christianity? We'll go with that.

Where it failed: Pretty much everywhere. The over use of slow motion, the deranged Hollywood actor drunk with power, money and hatred of Jews directing; the fact that this movie was really nothing more than a 3 hour snuff film; the fact that I wanted to convert to Buddhism within the first 10 minutes of the film and forget that I was ever a Lutheran from New Jersey; the whipping scenes that go on longer than it really should have; it goes on and on.

The Solution: Give Mel his own island ala Napoleon Bonaparte and make sure he never gets ahold of a camera again, then round up all Christians who actually thought this movie was good and give them a good spanking.

Battlefield Earth

The Cause: Scientology (please don't sue me!)

Where it failed: Same as Passion, everywhere. If Jon Travolta said that this movie is a comedy and not to take too seriously I think everyone would forgive him, eventually, because it was really funny. But the fact that he took this movie very seriously and the damning fact that this is considered one of the worst movies of all time should have really made everyone reconsider the religion that is Scientology. Then compound that with the fact that Travolta was willing to front his own movie to make a sequel should have given him a one way ticket to an insane asylum. But you have to admit, a religion which is based off a man who was knocking back Coronas on his boat wondering if he could get followers by making up a bunch of crap about aliens to get him more dough, you just have to marvel at that.

The Solution: Considering that fact that a lot of high profiled and rich Hollywood actors are involved in this, there really is no solution. But at least we know there won't be a sequel.

The Day After Tomorrow

The Cause: Global Warming

Where it failed: This web site will give a much better explanation of why this movie failed. Other than the fact that Al Gore was promoting this movie pounding on the podium that this kind of thing will happen in the future while the temperate outside was -2 degrees Celsius. Compound that with the fact that all global warming experts and Al Gore refuse to debate or take any questions from any detractors on the validity of their scientific findings in an open forum, making the cause very suspect.

The Solution: Debate or come clean, one or the other, quit hiding behind your boys from the media.

Super Size Me

The Cause: Vegetarianism, corporations are evil

Where it failed: Actually it didn't at first. Morgan Spurlock and his vegetarianism propaganda machine was doing pretty well. This documentary was chugging along with a lot of followers until common sense questions started to creep in.

1) Who can afford or have the time to eat McDonalds 3 times a day?

2) When you are a strict vegetarian (as Morgan Spurlock is) isn't the body going to reject any sort of processed food, making you throw up?

3) Who in the hell is dumb enough to eat McDonalds 3 times a day and believe that you won't gain massive amounts of weight and have body organs shutting down on you eventually?

4) Instead of pointing the finger at McDonalds for the poor diet of Americans shouldn't we be pointing the finger at ourselves? It's caused freedom of choice, we have the choice to eat or not eat McDonalds. We have the choice to eat healthy or crappy, to be in or out of shape. Why don't I drink nothing but beer for 30 days and I'll get back to you on how it works out, then we can go after the evil beer corporations.

The solution: Well, Spulock has pretty much disappeared, so there you go. It didn't help that he folded like origami under scrutiny during one news show.

There you go. Time for a beer, and some big macs.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Under The Radar - Television

I really don't watch network television, which means me and my drunk ass has to stick to non reality TV, which means cable. These are some of the shows which are kick ass. Warning! Might actually educate or offend or do both.

1) Survivorman - one man, who is his own camera crew, own sound guy, has to survive for 7 days (on his own, no help) on limited supplies on some of the most remote and dangerous terrain in the world. Les Stroud is a Canadian who is an expert on survival. He lives off the land and teaches us as he goes along.

Best Show Thus Far: African Plains - Les constantly has to survive off the land and avoid a 500 lb lion and its clan.

Warning! May offend vegetarians, he actually kills and eats a bunny to survive in the Northern most territory in Baffin Island, which is pretty close to the Artic.

2) The Universe - Many scientists converge on one show to try and explain the wonders that is our universe. As the tag line says, will blow your mind.

Best Show thus Far: The controversy of Pluto being a planet and its subsequent demotion as a lesser planet, as in not the ninth planet in our solar system (there are officially eight planets revolving around our sun now).

Warning! May actually educate and piss you off. Pluto is a planet dammit!

3) It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia - Four friends (and a desperate Danny Devito) run a bar in Philly and are the most un-PC gang you will ever meet. Kind of like South Park in sitcom form.

Best Show Thus Far: The Gang Goes America On Every body's Ass - don't ask, it's really funny, even takes a run at the guys.

Warning! Will offend practically everyone, and I laugh my ass off.

4) Battlestar Galactica - remake of the late 70's show starring Dirk Benedict and Lorne Green (best..death..scene..ever!). Has a different twist where some Cyclons are human and Boomer and Starbuck are chicks, nothing wrong with that.

Best Show thus Far - The season finale of last season, leaves a lot of lingering questions.

Warning! Will fry your brain trying to figure out how humans can be so stupid.

5) Subterranean - The last hope of decent music on MTV, well MTV2. Replaced the late, great 120 minutes.

Best Show thus Far - The ones that don't show shitty videos, which is kind of rare these days.

Warning! Shows completely crappy videos starring kids that don't have a clue how to play instruments, plus they dress like teen girls (even the guys). But they did introduce me to Minus the Bear, Thievery Corporation and Blonde Readhead and the latest from Dinosaur Jr., so it's not all that bad.

6) Stroker and Hoop - Two bumbling private dicks with a very out-of-date talking car (it has an 8 track) solving crimes that are way over their heads.

Best Show thus Far - Putting the "Ass" in Assassin

Warning! Was cancelled, dammit!

7) Dogfights - Show that chronicles the dogfights in wars that the U.S. were involved in.

Best Show thus Far - Kamikaze - chronicles the kamikaze pilots of Japan. Shows how desperate the Japanese were near the end of WWII and how scary it was to be an American soldier at the time. Does not glorify war.

Warning! Might offend those who hate America, like Micheal Moore, or someone like him.

8) Miami Ink - I love tattoos, I have 2 of my own and will probably get more. These guys are really talented, I actually have plans of getting these guys of getting me a tattoo of Bhuishajyagurn - the healing/medicine Buddha.

Best Show thus Far - All are good.

Warning! No warning, it's in Miami, cute gals, cute guys, great tattoos.

That's all I can think of right now, I'm sure there are more.