Saturday marked the third anniversary of Slack LaLane's unfortunate inception, and on this Memorial Day, we pause not to remember those who deserve and who've earned our respect, but instead to celebrate three long years of casual racism, misguided misogyny and equal parts self-aggrandizement and self-deprecation. It's been a remarkable run.
Thirty-seven months ago I received a phone call from my longtime associate Don Fiedler, who wanted to emulate our friend Mulgrew's burgeoning success by starting one of them blogs. As is custom with our good ideas, nothing materialized immediately -- we were impeded by the simple task of finding an online moniker for the site.
In May of 2004 I sat in my apartment listening to some hilarious stage banter from a bootleg of the popular rock band Phish's 5/28/89 show, and our eventual blog's name jumped right from the Maxell XLII to the free blogger template. Donnie dropped by for an evening of Yank'ums baseball, and we filled out some basic information. The rest, as they say, is histor...ical lameness.
About 1,100 days have elapsed since that fateful evening, and since then we've published 1,540 posts, some of them short blurbs, some epic narratives, some news and some opinion, some about sports, some about politics, but most about complete and utter nonsense. We've tried to be your sherpas in the quest to tackle boredom, your Internet wrangler, your web shepherd, the mercury in your online thermometer. And even though Fox News curiously credited us as a legit news source on its heavily watched 7 pm newscast, I feel as though we've done our level best to earn a reputation as a fierce playground of irreverence.
But as I've begun to realize, there's only so many times you can write a post with the phrase "a total Schiavo" in place of "no-brainer" (27, actually). Did I really substitute "craisins" for "crazy" in 53 separate posts? And how many times can we make fun of the handicapped, the blacks and the Jews before it loses all meaning altogether?
So if this blog started by borrowing its name from the words of a certain Vermont foursome, maybe it should borrow from their graceful exit as well: "This Sunday, I got together with Don to talk openly about the strong feelings I've been having that Slack LaLane has run its course and that we should end it now while it's still on a high note. Once we started talking, it quickly became apparent that Don's feelings, while not all the same as mine, were similar in many ways -- most importantly, that we both love and respect Slack and the Slack audience far too much to stand by and allow it to drag on beyond the point of vibrancy and health. We don't want to become caricatures of ourselves, or worse yet, a nostalgia act. "
I've often said that bloggers and blog readers employ the perfect combination of exhibitionism and voyeurism. I've loved sharing our world with everyone, but sometimes, for one reason or another, it's best to shut the drapes. The writing's been on the screen for quite some time now. Between my real job and the music blog I so often plug here, Slack's sadly become an afterthought in our world of mighty procrastination. And instead of letting the quality steadily decline, the time to close the curtains has officially come.
We started out as yucksters making some weird jokes, but eventually we fell in love with the community that sprouted in the comments section. And online relationships begot real friendships, and I've truly met some great people through this endeavor. I'm not sure I'll miss posting daily, but I'll certainly miss reading the perspective so many of you brought to the blog in between meetings and classes and social events. Many of the names have changed from the early days, but everyone who posted a comment made it possible for us to last this long. Three years, 650,000 visitors and 1.1 million hits later, we're flatly out of gas and ready for bed.
For those of you that can stomach music talk, I'll still be posting regularly over on my Hidden Track outpost, and I'll probably be starting another niche site by the end of the summer. And if you're really jonesin' for some Slack attitude, you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you a shot of our boobies and the top offbeat story of the day.
And since I can't find a clever way to sign off forever, I'll just link to a song I wrote many years ago for occasions of this magnitude:
Class is dismissed. Yous're all on your own now. Thanks for playing.
Ever since I found out about Ron Albertson's penis reduction surgery, as well as his wife Sheila's potential vagina enlargement, I've been very interested in the exciting world of genitoplasty. Now I can't wait to get married and buy my wife a designer cooch.
My mother called me yesterday inviting me to the elementary school production she's been charged with patiently directing. The woman's genuinely the nicest, sweetest, most generous person on this planet, and yet the following conversation still ensued:
Mom Cowboy: "It's not Broadway, obviously, but it's something. You know, some of them are really good, some of them are retarded. Everyone tried out and I tried to get everyone involved. There are special ed kids in the play."
Ace Cowboy: "Oh, so when you said 'some of them are retarded' you meant that some of them are actually retarded?"
MC: "Yes! It's a riot, it really us. The lead is hilarious, he's great, and some of the other ones are pretty good, too...and then there are a bunch of kids that aren't so good. I have one Chinese kid that doesn't know he's retarded. One kid has Tourette's. It's going to be hysssssterical, you're gonna laugh in your chair the whole time.
AC: "That does sound fairly unmissable. I'll try my best."
I really want to put in for a press pass so I can live blog this thing. I hope Tourette's Kid has a big part in Greased Lightning.
It's Kaká! It's Gerrard! It's midfielders looking lovingly into each other's eyes and holding a ball! It's the UEFA Champions League final!
This homoeroticism ends at 2:30 EST when AC Milan looks for revenge against Liverpool for the greatest comeback in European history, the night the Reds overcame a 3-0 deficit to defeat the I-tals on penalties. I doubt this one will be the scorcher it was in 2005, but it's the last meaningful soccer game involving an English side we'll watch 'til August, and coincidentally it's a Scouse Special. I started the season at the Red Lion, I'll end it in the same spot.
I think we're in for far less than six goals in this one, but let's look back at Istanbul for a look at total fucking awesomeness:
For a more in-depth view of the final, let's check in with our good friends over at That's On Point. I like Liverpool 2-1. Mark 'em.
It's been a busy day here at the ol' oficina, but not busy enough to keep me from offering up this little political quiz...
The striking woman with presidential candiate Dennis Kucinich is:
A. His kid's friend that helps with campaign appearances B. His co-star in the new documentary "How Tall Do Some Redheaded Chicks Look Next To Hobbits from Cleveland?" C. His $499 state-of-the-art sex robot named "Roja Awesome" D. His 29-year-old hippie wife from Upminster, England
If you guessed (D), you know more about the Congressman than I do (or you realized those other options were lamer than FDR's legs). Rep. Kucinich is indeed married to this fine, young thang, and the story about her in yesterday's Sunday Times UK is worth a read.
Among the great pieces of information you'll find out about this potential first lady: She's got a tongue ring, the signature on her business e-mail comes from Kama Sutra, he proposed on their second meeting and married three months later, and somehow, Shirley MacLaine got herself into this article.
I know I'm poking some fun here, but I'm a fan of these two finding each other. It gives hope to everyone out there, even commie dorks. Anyone else think the little guy is packin' enormous junk?
It's been a long week for everyone. Well, fuck all'a youse, it's been an incredibly long week for me. So I'm just gonna fall asleep at my desk until I can head outta here, and in the meantime, you should all enjoy this awesome 1970s beer mersh for Shlitz Malt Liquor starring the Average White Band and Tommy James & The Shondells. Wow.
It ain't Schmidt's Gay, but it's something. It's something, alright.
Slack Link of the Day: A few friends and I hit the Bowery Ballroom to catch the ever-popular !!! at on Wednesday, and my lazy ass just posted a review an hour ago. If you're into sweating your ass off to pure-energy dance-punk bands, check these guys out.
Here's an interesting, albeit buried info-morsel from the NY Times:
"Derek Jeter singled in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader to give him hits in 92 of his past 100 games. According to the Society for American Baseball Research, no player in the 1900s had a hit in as many as 92 of 100 games. The last player to do it was Wee Willie Keeler, who hit in 93 of 100 games 1898 and 1899."
Lost in this broader stat is the fact that Jeter has hit safely in something like 72 of his last 75 games. It's certainly been a slow start for the Yank'ums, and most of them are playing like their shoes are tied together or like they have some fucked up chromosomes, but you can't put that on the Captain. Over the course of two seasons, this guy is putting together one of the sickest stretches in batting history, and he deserves to at least be given a rusty trombone by someone.
I just love stats, and this one's pretty cool. Standing ovation for the dude with the well-intentioned yet wholly inexplicable fade haircut.
Slack Videos of the Day: Allright, nobody's above a good fart joke, and today we've got two videos surrounding the best of the flatulence -- the first video is an anchor losing his shit when his co-anchor toots on air, the second is probably fake, but it's one of the better videos of all-time, steppin' on ducks or otherwise. Aflac!
Okay, one more, because I just can't even believe this one. Colonel Fritzy sent this one over a few minutes ago, and I've already sent it to like 5,000 people and their wives and children and pets:
Long live the US Armed Forces...military intelligence, baby.