Friday, June 26, 2009


And now I'm on Twitter, if you're so inclined:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hey, Yet Another New Blog

My new blog, a weird/horror story. Prepare to be creeped out:

Leporidae Rex

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Minion Diaries

I've started a new blog that I'll probably ignore with equal frequency. It's called The Minion Diaries and it's about a temp-worker who signs on with various criminal masterminds and does their bidding.

It may be the most inane, juvenile blather I've ever written, and that's saying something. Enjoy.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Everything I Ever Needed To Know About Banning Pete Rose From The Hall Of Fame, I Learned From The Jews

A few months ago, I wrote a post about the Baseball Hall of Fame getting it right, and at the end of it I mentioned that I'd get to the Pete Rose issue another time. Under mounting and overwhelming pressure from my readers (Translation: last week, one guy half-heartedly mumbled "What about that Pete Rose thing?") we're now getting to it.

Pete Rose is one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Without question he's top-ten, more likely he's one of the top five greatest players ever. Let's run down his credentials:
  • 17 time All-Star
  • 44 game hit streak
  • 1963 Rookie of the Year, 1973 NL MVP, 1975 World Series MVP, three World Series championships
  • Rocked the "Moe" haircut more diligently than the entire People's Republic of China, or indeed Moe himself
  • All-time Hit King in baseball: 4,256 hits in his career
So the question gets asked all the time on sports-talk radio, "Why isn't Pete in the Hall?!" To answer that we set the Wayback Machine to 1919. The Chicago White Sox conspired to throw the World Series, accepting a few scraps in return. They bet against their own team and then went out and lost. This was the apocalypse for baseball because people simply didn't trust what happened on the field after that. If MLB didn't come down hard on the Black Sox team, no one would ever believe the box scores again. Gambling threatened in a very real way to turn Major League Baseball into professional wrestling*. It would have become nothing more than a curiosity, with a few inbreds occasionally tuning in to see if anyone would hit each other with a bat or if the bikini-clad female "managers" would have a catfight.

Baseball knew just how serious a crisis this was. It banned all the players for life (the cheating White Sox players, that is. If it banned all the players baseball might become more boring than it already is). Then the owners went out and got a commissioner who would act in the best interests of baseball and act impartially. Finally, they put a sign in every locker room: NO BETTING.

The argument for putting Pete Rose into the Hall is generally, "Well, there are a lot of dirtbags in the Hall, just add him to the list". True, there are racists, wife-beaters, drug abusers and worse in the Hall. Exhibit A is the player that Rose surpassed in the all-time hits category: Ty Cobb, one of the worst human beings who ever lived. But here's the thing: if a player beats his wife, you don't open the paper the next day and wonder if the Phillies really beat the Mets, or if the whole thing was fake. If a whacked-out cokehead of a relief-pitcher plows through a playground of second-graders in his SUV, you don't start questioning if the Mariners will purposely blow the opening game of that double-header this weekend. Individual criminal acts may sour you on that particular player or even on the team he plays for, but they don't make you question the basic reality of the sport.

Ask Boxing about that. Fifty years ago the three major sports in America were Baseball, Horseracing (somewhere, Pete Rose perks up and rubs his sweaty hands together without knowing why) and Boxing. When there was a heavyweight fight it was a must-see event. They held gigantic parades for the Champ when he came home. Now? Quick, who is the Heavyweight Champion of the World? No? I don't know either. Boxing has been eroded for three reasons:
  • Too many different governing bodies. There are at least a half-dozen different "belts" proclaiming the wearer champion of the world. It's absolutely baffling to try and figure out which are legitimate. It's as if the NFL was just as popular as the USFL, AFL and XFL, and they all had their own Super Bowls.
  • The greatest prize-fighters in the world today are playing middle-linebacker in football. Better to tear up your knee than stagger around drooling from brain-damage in your 50's.
  • Most importantly, we don't believe it anymore. Any time a guy gets knocked out we ask, "Do they both fight for Don King?" We joke that he had gambling debts to pay off, wonder if they took a dive, examine the punch in slow-motion to see if it really connected... in short, we just don't buy it. There's been too much corruption in boxing for too long.
"NO BETTING" is the Golden Rule in Baseball. Pete Rose broke that rule willingly and repeatedly, then lied about it for years and years, going out of his way to destroy people's careers to protect that lie. Sports sideline weasel/reporter Jim Gray asked Pete about his betting at one World Series and it almost cost him his job, with New York Yankee outfielder Chad Curtis refusing to even speak to Gray after the game because of it (you might remember Chad Curtis' famous quote from last week: "Have you considered all the benefits of a term-life insurance policy?").

To sum up, I finally reference the odd title of this post. For the Jewish People, the all-time hit king has to be Moses. He stood up to the Pharaoh, turned staves into snakes, wasted every first-born in Egypt, rained frogs and blood, parted the Red Sea and led the Chosen out of bondage and into the Promised Land. Not a bad week. But Moses didn't get to enter the Promised Land himself because when he was about to part the Red Sea, for a split-second he doubted whether God would actually make it happen for him. One screw-up and he's out, and Moses is a top-five Jew (#4, right behind Sammy Davis Junior if you were wondering).

Now, do the Jewish people turn around and say, "Well, it's been a few thousand years... he's learned his lesson... we've let other worse Jews in..." Fuck, no. Moses, you squat out there in the dirt with the Gentiles. There's a big "NO DOUBTING" sign in every Temple (okay, I'm guessing here. They won't let me in, more power to 'em) and every time someone considers Doubting God's Law, all they have to do is point to Moses. Look at him, there's the all-time hit king. He was the best of the best, but he flouted our biggest and most important rule so he's out. He's not out until he apologizes, he's not out until he writes a book about it or goes on a talk-radio show and cries, he's out period. Now every rank-and-file Israelite can look over at Moses and think to themselves, "If he's out for doing this, I better not even think about doing it".

Every season, Major League Baseball players will be tempted to bet on baseball, both for and against their own team. Virtually all of them will be will be far, far worse players than Pete Rose was. They'll think about it, then they'll peer out of the corner of their eye and see one of the greatest there ever was shuffling morosely outside the ballpark gates. "If he's out for doing this..."**

Congratulations, Pete. You now serve a very important function in Baseball: The Cautionary Tale. Which, by an odd coincidence is the name of the horse you've bet to Place at the track this weekend. Good luck, just take my advice and don't bet on boxing.

Word has it, it's rigged.


*It bears mentioning that Pete Rose has participated in multiple Wrestlemania events, and has even been elected to the WWE "Hall of Fame". Seems entirely appropriate.

**That's right, I compared Pete Rose to Moses. If you're looking for me in Hell, I'll be sitting next to Ty Cobb.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

I Scared Stephen King

True story, swear to God:

Back in 1993 or '94, I had a glamorous, fast-paced career as a gas station assistant manager in Little America, Wyoming. One day, I read in USA Today that author Stephen King was going on a motorcycle book tour across the country. "Hm," I mumbled, the word fraught with foreshadowing.

One week later I'm behind the marble counter-top of the checkout (it was actually a really nice gas station. It was part of a whole complex including a diesel gas station for trucks, a restaurant and hotel. It was all run by Mormons who were amazingly polite and who put me in charge of the place from day one because I also was polite, as well as white and male). I look out of the large bay window, see a guy filling up his cycle and know right away it's him.

I start panicking. Should I ask for his autograph? Should I tell him how much I enjoyed The Stand? Now he's walking up to the door. Finally, without any idea what I'm going to do, I spread my hands on the counter-top and look down.

Stephen King steps up to the counter. I'm still keeping my eyes down, but facing him, not making eye contact. The moment stretches out... finally I lift my head very slowly, look deadly-serious and say in my deepest, most Lurch-like voice:

"We've been expecting you."

He shit. His eyes flew wide and he took a step back from the counter. "Whaaat??" I will remember that face as long as I live. I was actually worried about him for a second, wondering if I'd have to call the paramedics.

Then my entire demeanor changed, and I put the most nonchalant, bored, gas station-drone look on my face and gestured lazily back over my shoulder at his bike. "Yeah, you owe $5.95 for gas."

He took a hesitant step toward the counter and began pawing money out, laying it on the counter. I gave him his change and finished with a kind tone, "I really enjoy your work, by the way." King nodded absently, giving me a concerned sidelong glance as he walked away toward the restaurant. I later heard from the restaurant waitresses that he was nice enough, but a bit distracted for some reason. He didn't eat much and left quickly.

I want to apologize to Mr. King for scaring him. He didn't need some guy to just randomly freak him out like that, and I hope it didn't sour him on gas stations, motorcycle book tours or Mormons.

That being said... Stephen King has made a mammoth pile of cash frightening the hell out of us for thirty years. He's been the inspiration for more nightmares around the world than Joan Rivers' face. He's the king of horror, and I put The Fear into him, if only for a few seconds. Whatever else I do, I know I have not lived in vain. After I die, my tombstone shall read:





Monday, March 5, 2007

Word For Word, The Fairy Tale I Told My 5-Month Old Daughter This Morning

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful Princess.

The Princess lived in a huge castle, and she rode a gorgeous white pony. With wings! So it was actually a Pegasus, which is better than a horse, er, pony.

One day, the Princess met a handsome young Prince. Or maybe she didn't. Daddy's not entirely sure how he feels about that. Alright, she did. He was androgynous and non-threatening and very, very rich. The Prince married the beautiful Princess. Then the Prince gave the King (the Princess' father) a brand-new, even bigger castle. And a carriage that went Turbo, and better crown jewels.

The Princess lived happily ever after. Not that it was that rough for her before that, what with the castle and the awesome dad the King. Not to mention she had a freakin' Pegasus.

The End

Those were the actual words that came out of my mouth this morning while getting my daughter dressed. I only ask that this post not be admissible in the inevitable child services hearings.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Replacing Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon is out as writer and director of the new Wonder Woman movie. What did he know about writing strong women, anyway? Do not question Hollywood! Hollywood is busy audience-testing and focus-grouping Dukes of Hazzard 2: Maybe Jessica Simpson Gets Naked, plus there's the marketing tie-in's to consider, so leave Hollywood alone. Instead, let's do our part to assist in finding the next director of Wonder Woman, the Movie:

Quentin Tarantino

Pros: Arterial spray.

Cons: Movie poster warning label: Caution! This film may contain acting by Quentin Tarantino.

Cast as Wonder Woman: Pam Grier, sucka!

The Movie: Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman II, Wonder Woman III and Wonder Woman IV, The Quest for Peace actually all just one movie chopped up. Wonder Woman III is nothing but Wonder Woman and Cheetah talking in a Chinese Restaurant for four hours.

James Cameron

Pros: Killer Robots from the future could actually work in a Wonder Woman story. Aw, who am I kidding, they work in any story!

Cons: Spends seven years and a quarter of a billion dollars painstakingly reconstructing the Invisible Jet.

Cast as Wonder Woman: How much do I still owe Linda Hamilton in alimony? Grrr... call her.

The Movie: I'm Queen of the world!!!

Uwe Boll

Pros: Final cost to produce? Forty-seven dollars, twenty-five cents.

Cons: Credits include House of the Dead, Bloodrayne and Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Cast as Wonder Woman: The very next person he sees. It could be you!

The Movie: What's happening? Is that a microphone hanging down from the top of the screen? Who are- why are they- this makes no... what the fuc- The End. Roll typo-ridden credits.

Francis Ford Coppola

Pros: Steve Trevor rides the rivers of Paradise Island straight to the heart of darkness. His mission: to terminate with extreme prejudice a mad Queen Hippolyta. The horror...

Cons: Keanu Reeves may attempt a British accent.

Cast as Wonder Woman: After an exhaustive world-wide search, Coppola finds the perfect actress to portray Wonder Woman: his own lovely daughter, Sophia! Isn't she precious? Sit down and look at these baby pictures.

The Movie: Leave the tiara. Take the cannoli.

Spike Lee

Pros: The Right Thing involves punching people in the face.

Cons: Wonder Woman's bracelets, tiara and golden lasso may be referred to at some point as "bling".

Cast as Wonder Woman: Angela Bassett. Denzel as Steve Trevor. Holy crap, that could actually work. I'm calling Hollywood with this right now. "Hello, Hollywood? I've got an idea for a big-budget, all-black..." Hm, must have got disconnected.

The Movie: A message about black people will be told. But will we listen? Will we, really?*

Woody Allen

Pros: We'll all feel a little smarter after having seen it, but we won't actually be any smarter.

Cons: Film will gross forty-seven dollars, twenty-five cents.

Cast as Wonder Woman: Mia Farrow has been in almost a dozen Woody Allen movies. Soon-Yi: zero. Don't think that's not coming up at the dinner table around casting time. Also, Woody envisions Air Force Colonel, war hero and ace pilot Steve Trevor as more of an elderly, nebbishy man.

The Movie: An existentialist exercise worth bringing the whole family for, if the whole family is well-educated, Jewish, raised in Brooklyn and collecting social security. Should be easy on the ears as the action film will be entirely devoid of explosions, or action.

Steven Spielberg

Pros: If you want to set it in World War II, the director search is officially over.

Cons: We don't see Ares, the God of War and Diana's arch-nemesis until the last ten minutes of the film. Until then, we just hear scary music whenever he's nearby.

Cast as Wonder Woman: In all of Spielberg's films, only once has he made a woman the main character. He'll probably go back and cast her in this as well. Whoopie will look fab in that bustier, I'm sure.

The Movie: Glorious happy ending. That character who died poignantly in the second half of the film? He's not really dead at all! He's actually alive for no reason! Yay! And adorable puppies!

David Lynch

Pros: Two or three images or scenes in the film will shake you to the core. You'll leave the cinema jittery, unsure of reality and in desperate need of a stiff drink. Wait, should this be a con?

Cons: Wonder Woman chain-smokes.

Cast as Wonder Woman: Laura Dern. The only Wonder Woman in the history of the imagination that cannot be effectively masturbated to.

The Movie: Is this a dream? No, wait, this part is actually happening. Or maybe it's a dream. Wait, does that character really even exist? So she's going insane? Or she's always been insane, but she's dead and dreaming of this from the afterlife? Are there two Wonder Women? My head hurts.

John Woo

Pros: John Woo was one of the very best directors in Hong Kong.

Cons: John Woo isn't in Hong Kong anymore. Plus, Cheetah... you're wearing my face!!!

Cast as Wonder Woman: Who's hot? I mean it, who is the hottest of the hot right now in Hollywood? Her? She was hot five minutes ago. I'm not exaggerating, five minutes ago she was the hottest, now, she's not. Hot, heat, hot! Find her! Go! And cast as Steve Trevor: (please say Chow Yun-Fat, please say Chow Yun-Fat, please say Chow Yun-Fat) John Travolta. (argh)

The Movie: Wonder Woman jumps through a flaming doorway in slow-motion, shooting two guns at the same time while doves flap through the air in front of her.

Nora Ephron

Pros: Tom Hanks might show up. Then again, he might still be wearing that mullet from The Da Vinci Code.

Cons: Actual title: Wonder Woman, Brought to You by Massengill. May induce cuddling.

Cast as Wonder Woman: Meg Ryan. The world's collagen, Botox and silicone supplies take a hit from which they may never recover.

The Movie: OMG, WW and Steve are never going to get over their differences and realize they're soulmates! That Rosie O'Donnell is so funny as Wonder Woman's best friend. No, no, no Ares is just not right for you, Diana, don't you see that? Aww, they're kissing on the top of Paradise Island. It's so sweet. Pass the Kleenex? i wuv u.

Well, that's the complete list**. Hollywood owes us a debt of gratitude it will never repay barring legal action. In the meantime, Joss Whedon can go back to doing what he does best: being a handmade idol on my mantle that I pray to hourly.


*I'm sorry, were you saying something? Kinda nodded off there.

**The Oliver Stone jokes were just too obvious, and I'd roughed up George Lucas enough in the last post.