Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Checking In With You Yanks

While we wait for the last of our party to shower so we can get the feck out of this flat and onto the mean streets of South Kensington, I'll post this corny but awesome wedding video that Coach dug up...

I really hope that was the first dance of the evening...bloody brilliant. In other news, England is ace, and I feel fantastic about being even closer to Harry Potter's balls than all of youse back home. Good times.

I'm off to William Hill to pick up some poundage. Handstand the Younger and I threw down 10 quid on Dirk Kuyt to score the first goal in last night's Liverpool win over West Ham, and sure enough, the Dutchman came through at 9-2 odds. I'm rich, biotch. Cheers, mates.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

So Long, Ol' Chaps

I'm not what youse would call a seasoned traveler. I've seen my fair share of North America and the Caribbean, but I've never actually been to another continent. I suck.

That all changes tonight, however, when Don Fiedler, Handstand the Younger and Jake Zebra join me for our five-fixture, seven-day soccer junket to our old mercantile motherland 'cross the pond.

Regular readers of this here rag have oft rolled their lazy eyes in my general direction when a soccer post appears. But this is a special trip, a true once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hit England and Wales with planned activities and plenty of time to see the cities for my first time in the country. Here's the schedule for the week:

Sunday, 1/28: Chelsea v. Nottingham Forest (FA Cup)
Tuesday, 1/30: Reading v. Wigan Athletic (Premiership)
Wednesday, 1/31: Chelsea v. Blackburn Rovers (Prem)
Friday, 2/2: Cardiff v. Barnsley (Championship)
Saturday, 2/3: Aston Villa v. West Ham United (Prem)

Throw in the typical Yankee tourist shit and that's a fucking trip. You just can't go wrong with two jaunts to Stamford Bridge to see one of the best teams in the world, one of which is hosting our collective favorite non-affiliated player in the league (Gaaamst!), one trip to Reading, one to Cardiff and one to Birmingham -- two levels of top-flight soccer and one tournament match. And, of course, there'll be time for snogging the British.

But stick around this week. With the aid of wireless internets and any free time we can find that doesn't involve me waking up on a pub floor, I'll be checking in from our South Kensington flat to say hello and post pictures of people running like Welshmen. Look at 'im.

To better serve your boredom needs I've also lined up an incredible week of guest bloggers, so you'll be treated to 4,000-word essays on late-term abortion and Frogger from the likes of Dame Judi Dench, light-hitting utility man F.P. Santangelo, Alexis de Tocqueville, Spuds Mackenzie and Jesus F. Christ III. (Shit, that Spuds commercial is really much more awesome than I had remembered.)

If you miss me too much, which is fairly likely because I'm downright charming and possess no terrible body odors, there's always the Top Notch Slackin' repeats over there to the right >>>>> to cool down your jets untilst I return. And, as usual, I urge you to spend some time with the other bloggers from that column as well, many of whom are amazing writers and savants, if not borderline psychotic. They'll make up for my absence by gently rocking you to sleep.

Flip side, we'll catch youse. Cheerio.

(Interestingly, when I return I'll find out whether Roommate Dorsey hath moved out of the apartment or whether he's staying for another couple weeks. I've decided that if he asks me to help him move, my answer will be "Oooh, I'm sorry, I don't have knees. No knees.")

Friday, January 26, 2007

Well Said, Man

Two things I'd never thought I'd hear on ESPN, let alone in one night:

"...and yo, Simon, *mad* respect for seeing the alley oop 7 into the switch 7 at the bottom...love to see that, kid." --A fired up Taylor Hall, Winter X Skiing Half Pipe Something Gold Medalist on silver medalist Simon Someone's gnarly run down the pipe

"Serena giving Maria Sharapova a spanking she's never been given before." --An enthusiastic Dick Enberg near the end of the lopsided Women's Final of the Australian Open

It pays to stay home and get your shit together every now and then.

No News Is Lazy Ace News

I'm gearing up for tomorrow's big trip to England and Wales and trying to bang out some work on my last day before the trip. I'll have a new post ready tomorrow, and in the meantime, enjoy the usual daily links below. Until then, fuck off. Or should I say, "Fuck all."

Okay, and here's a bonus video from Handstand the Elder that's just too good to be true. This guy has all the right moves...



Slack Link of the Day: My friend LStern sent this one over yesterday, and it's simple enough: Hot Chicks with Douchebags.

Slack Video of the Day: Check out this sick UFC knockout from last night, courtesy of our friend and big time cage fighter Wilson.

Slack Song of the Day: Van the Man's still got it...take a listen to the Northern Irishman's show from Vegas' Mandalay Bay Event Center last month: Van Morrison on 12/30/06.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

No Direction, Period

My buddy Rob Ronanea found this must-watch Dylan gem:



Good lord that's hysterical. And in a wholly unrelated story, my buddy Coach found this hilarious anecdote from Scott Baio. What a chach...

On losing his virginity at the age of 16 to Happy Days co-star Erin 'Joanie' Moran: "I didn't know what to do. I didn't know what to say after we got naked. So for the first five minutes, maybe less—hell, it might have been the first twenty seconds—I'm doing it and thinking, man, this is really uncomfortable. What happened was, my thing was between the cushions on the couch and I didn't even know it. Instead of being inside Erin, I was humping a corduroy sofa!"

I don't have a good quip to follow that up, but my friend Gus does: "Ironically, Henry Winkler had already had sex with the couch, and Scott Baio got his first case of crabs." Well said.

Caption This Pic: Nice Pants

If you haven't heard the teased-hair news, Van Halen's reunion with David Lee Roth is basically a done deal.

Roth may be back Runnin' With the Devil for 40 shows, the first time this outfit would take the stage together in two decades. And speaking of outfits, what the shit are these guys wearing? Good lord: High pants, tight pants, mullets galore and D.L. Roth's exposed pelvis. Let's do a little caption contest here...whatcha got, Slackers?

"Excuuuuse me...your balls are showing." --Ace Cowboy Ventura

Slack Link of the Day: Some college kids after my own heart, let's check out the best article lede of the early morning: "Authorities at Tarleton State University said they plan to investigate a Martin Luther King Jr. Day party that mocked black stereotypes by featuring fried chicken, malt liquor and faux gang apparel." Hmmm, was Fuzzy Zoeller there, playing through maybe?

Slack Video of the Day: Check out this clip of a brand new bride caught on camera giving a hummer to the best man at her wedding (safe for work). And while we're on the subject of crazy crazy crazy women, here's another Break.com video of a bride-to-be freaking the fuck out and cutting all her hair off.

Slack Song of the Day: Let's do a little Oysterhead this morning, from the underwhelming album The Grand Pecking Order -- Used To Be the Owner of the World, Rubberneck Lions and Mr. Oysterhead.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bush Wants To Sex Mutombo

So I guess there was some sort of speech in Warshington D.C. last night. I, for one, thought it made for great television when Colin Powell busted in and started yelling about how Bush "switched the samples" and "falsified the reports so RDU 90 could get approval." The president almost got away with it. But Colin's got the original pathology reports. And he never gives up.

I was on a plane at the time, so I didn't see the speech itself. I've read the text, and the Democratic reponse from Senator Jim Webb as well, but there's not really much comedy in that (which is all the SOTU is usually good for). How could I miss the Dikembe sighting? And for chrissakes, who wants to sex that man? I'm guessing it's Laura, who looks like she's wondering if the long hands match the tube.

So I've got nothing to say about the State of the Union, funny or otherwise. It's a non-story. But I've got a little story for youse anyway. Roommate Dorsey is moving out soon, so my name will now appear as the contact on the lease. I'm never met my landlord, but by all accounts he's a good guy. He owns the building, and I'm sure the mortgage is paid off, so he loves us, seeing as how our cash goes directly into his pocket. Here's a little more change for your pocket.

I'm started emailing with him to get the lease-signing off the ground, but remember when you read this that we've never seen each other's faces and have only exchanged three terse electronic communications in our history, all beginning last week. I wrote to him, "Thanks for everything, I really enjoy living in the apartment," to which he replied (in all italics for some reason):

"I am glad you enjoy the apartment and living there. It has alot of history. Friends of Thomas Merton lived there in the 50's. I baby sat for a couple who lived there in the 60's. I was 12 or so and they had no TV just walls of books. I remember reading Naked Lunch and On The Road for the first time and being so scandalized!

The women I baby sat for would get ready to go out and meet her husband for dinner. She always had a cocktail before she left. When she was ready to go she would stand in front of a standing light fixture they had in the living room and ask me how she looked. The light would shine through her dress and I wouldn't help but see the moon and the stars. To this day I still wonder if she did it on purpose. Of course I always said 'You Look Great!'"

Whooooa! We've known each other for three e-mails and already he's disclosing stories about seeing a grown lady's boobs and junk as a 12-year-old. Even crazier, he's openly questioning whether this was an act of exhibitionism. The only thing missing was the words "li'l boner." Between that forwardness and the mere mention of the beat writers, I think I'm gonna like sending rent checks to this guy.

Slack Link of the Day: My favorite headline of the day: Dutch shock at proposed dating show for 'visibly disfigured'. I hear Dutch shock beats a Dutch oven every time.

Slack Video of the Day: Seriously, this Marvin Gaye video from Amsterdam in 1976 is the concrete proof as to why white people are inferior to black people. Wow, awesome.

Slack Song of the Day: I'm feeling the classical this morning...so let's digest a little Yo-Yo Ma Prelude from Suite 1 in G Major.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Warshington

Allright, folks, I'm off to our nation's glorious capital in an hour. And every time I head down there, I can't help but think of how great of a country we have. This is our country. Somebody should really write a song about that. And play it a lot. On Sundays. All day.

Mellencamp begins to defend himself [NYT]:
“People say I sold out,” John Mellencamp said, explaining his decision to license a song for a Chevrolet commercial. “No, I got sold out. Sometime during the ’90s record companies made the decision that us guys who had been around for a long time and had sold millions of records and were household names just weren’t as interesting as girls in stretch dresses.”
Sounds about right, Johnny. Get out there and wage a PR war against oversaturation. After a ditty like that, I'll take your side every time.

Slack Link of the Day: You gotta be shitting me -- the MLB Extra Inning package is no longer an option for regular schmucks like us. DirectTV, you suck big floppy donkey dick.

Slack Video and Song of the Day: Danjaboots last night. 'Nuff said.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Colts Take Advantage of Caldwell's Boners

What a wild day for football fans, a Championship Sunday that like a pregnant woman with a slowly descending fetus, finally delivered.

The Patriots/Colts affair lived up to the massive hype, and the constant switch in momentum in both games provided an incredible sporting backdrop to my family's unconscionably tardy Hanukkah party. This year, the NFL gave us the gift of excitement. And latkes. (Incidentally, Delayed Latkes would be a great band name.)

The day wasn't quite as great for Pats' wideout Reche Caldwell, though. The former Gator dropped two surefire catches, one in the end zone and another while wide open on the sideline in Colts' territory. His wide-open bungles begot wide-eyed stares, and thusly he's earned the unflattering nickname "The Runaway Bride."

This poor schlub looks just like Jennifer Wilbanks, dudn't he? Caldwell should falsely claim a Hispanic male and a white woman in a blue van conspired to make him drop them. Ese.

Bring on the Hype, sports media...bring out yer dead. It's time for the inevitable fortnight of stories about Peyton Manning's back monkey, Brian Urlacher's grittiness, The Super Bowl Shuffle, Rex Grossman's shoddy quarterbacking, darker-than-usual head coaches and Adam Vinatieri's gold-plated foot. I'm ready for it, and I'm excited for it.

Slack Link of the Day: Since we're talking manly man football shit today, here's the best headline on Drudge right now: "Man Leggings Take Runway in Milan." The lede of the piece is even sweeter: "Now I know there are many out there who will think I have lost it when I write that a key, new must-have for men this coming fall will be a pair of leggings to be worn outside, not just in, the house, but that was the big message at the debut Marni men's runway show this morning in Milan." Fashion is catching up to my style for once.

Slack EPL Goal of the Weekend: Now to the other football...Sunday also featured a match-up of fourth place hosting the Premiership leader, the hottest team in Cup competition versus the strongest in League action, Arsenal needing a victory to retain their spot in the table and keep pace with the top three, Manchester United wanting a win to lock up a near insurmountable lead over Chelsea, which got jackhammered by Liverpool on Saturday and demonstrated why John Terry is the most valuable player in the world.

The 2-1 Arsenal victory was nothing short of extraordinary, a match that would've made a fan out of the biggest soccer haters. Ordinarily I just put one goal in this here space, and today it would easily be Thierry Henry's unbelievable header in the 93rd minute. But this thing was so frenetic and action-packed that I figured I'd post the entire four minutes of highlights: You can watch the whole clip here, which I recommend quite strenuously.

As a close second, at least with my Reds bias, check out Jermaine Pennant's fantastic strike from just outside the area, his first for the club. Oh, and I'm less than a week away from a five-match, seven-day trip to England and Wales. Yahtzee.

Slack Song of the Day: For the Arcade Fire fans out there, you can already download Saturday night's unannounced show from the basement of St. Michel Church in Montreal, the night after they played a high school cafeteria in Ottawa. Pretty cool shit, hipsters.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

We're Talking About Miami Now

My travels agents, Ron and Sheila Albertson, failed to get me the promised good deal on a package to Miami Beach, a week, two weeks. But fuck it, I'm going down there anyway.

I wish it were under better circumstances -- it's not that some old bag died, I'm just going for work -- but I'll be down in Miami for the rest of the week, returning Saturday. And as I was trying to pack up for the trip, I fielded urgent calls regarding my upcoming late January trip to England and Wales for four soccer matches and our now-upcoming March jaunt to Arizona for Cactus League Fantasy Baseball Draft Excursion Weekend. Throw in the Langerado festival in mid-March, and I really best be gettin' out my steel-tipped travelin' boots.

I hate to leave youse in the lurch when you're all so vulnerable and so bored, but it looks like you're on your own today. I'll probably throw up a post on Friday, though, and in the meantime here's something interesting to think about: The Duke kids didn't really rape that black girl and Kobe Bryant didn't really rape that white girl. I say athletes should adhere to a strict "Asians or bust" policy.

Slack Link of the Day: Speaking of Florida, Ron Mexico Mike Vick is at it again, potentially getting busted at Miami International Airport after a secret compartment for traveling with nugs was found in his water bottle, which he was reluctant to throw out. That Vick family really has a knack for staying out of the negative news.

Slack Video of the Day: Someone recently posed the question "Young girls who wear Mom Jeans -- WHY??" I'm not sure if there's an answer to that one, but I'm guessing it's because they want to marry for money and they want you to know it. Regardless of that query and the foolish replies they invoke, Mom Jeans is an incredibly funny concept.

Slack Song of the Day: Let's fall back on an old standby this morning -- here's some God Street Wine from Connecticut College on May 8th, 1999: Nightingale, Hammer & Spike, and Mile By Mile > Hellfire.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Great Literature Can Be Like Coffee

Everyone does it. Everyone that stands on the subway inevitably looks down and checks out what the person sitting down closest to you is reading. It's the golden rule of Public Transportation Voyeurism: Take a peek at others' source materials.

I stepped onto the A train just after 8:30 am, about four minutes into the newly released Headphone Jam from the popular rock band Pheesh. The train was emptier than usual, but I still chose to stand, as I often do on the subway. I picked a spot by myself in the doorway and began to rock out (with my cock in) to my latest download. That is, until I looked down at this girl's book and saw the word "pussy." Wait, really? Does that say Den of Pleasure at the top of the page?

So I squinted and began to take a closer look at her novel. Sure enough, not only did it have the third word in O.P.P. right there on the page, but it even said "wet pussy."

I was intrigued. Here was a young professional-looking black girl riding the subway, publicly displaying her love of erotic fiction...at 8:30 in the morning. I mean, some people need coffee to wake up, some choose soda or hot chocolate, but this chick apparently needs a tale of erotica involving a throbbing member and a squeeze of the buttocks to get her going. Maybe all it takes to really wake up is reading the sentence "'I wanna fuck you,' I mouthed to her."

We approached 34th Street and the doors behind me opened, so I switched to the other side of the car. Now I had a clear look at the front of the book, which featured a naked black woman wrapped tightly in the embrace of (I think) Jorge Posada. And it appears that Den of Pleasure's either the name of a chapter within the book or a smaller story within a collection...

For in big fancy cursive letters right underneath the racy photo, the title of this tome stared me right in the face: Caramel Flava.

Ain't nothing as hot as a hot cup of Caramel Flava in the morning.

Slack Link of the Day: You know what goes really well with Popeye's fried chicken? Razor blades! (You thought I was gonna say something else, you racist fuck.) See, the Colonel never gave up his secret ingredient, and look how well that worked out. Meanwhile, next time maybe they should stay away from a side called "dirty rice."

Slack Video of the Day: From the spotless desk of Dr. JB Hoobs, check out these cool videos of indie rock band Tapes 'n Tapes in Paris -- I wish I could read French, considering the website these clips are on seems pretty effin' cool.

Slack Song of the Day: Horns aplenty this afternoon, let's play around with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band for some fun: The Flintstones Meets the President (Meets The Dirty Dozen), Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and Who Took the Happiness Out?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

They Come from the Land of Ice and Snow

Check out this cool (not for them) clip of real-life bumper cars in Portland, Oregon, the incredible result of a crazy ice and snowstorm.

Monday, January 15, 2007

WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR?!?

For those of you that haven't seen the two-night, four-hour season premiere of the popular Fox drama 24 yet, please don't read this post.

There are spoilers contained herewithin, and I recommend you avert your eyes if you want to remain surprised when you eventually watch it. If you wish to opt out, feel free to click this link here, which will take you to the post below this one. If you wish to proceed, please continue below the awesome Bauer photo...

The Communist Chinee* government held Jack Bauer as an enemy combatant prisoner for two years, where he didn't speak a single word for the duration of his stay and was tortured daily, leaving hideous scars all over his length-challenged torso.

Since his release a mere four hours ago, Bauer spoke his first word in two years and shaved his playoff beard. Good start, that's what I'd do. He's also been sacrificed to a terrorist organization by the New President Palmer, he was tortured severely, he bit through a person's neck veins and killed him to escape custody, he rescued a terrorist from an immediate incoming military air strike, he kicked a suicide bomber off a subway to save the passengers as the bomb exploded, he created an intentional high-speed car accident with a suspect, he ushered a known terrorist into political negotiations with the United States and then he shot and killed a CTU colleague and friend with a bullet to the throat in order to defend that terrorist. Oh yeah, then a nuclear bomb exploded because he couldn't find it fast enough.

Got all that?

Color me Badd amazed that Jack still knows how to drive a car or work a mobile PDA unit with a complicated GPS system. If I miss a week of work I forget how to properly log in to my office computer; but, this guy can spend 24 months locked in a Chinese jail cell getting the life and soul literally beaten out of him "for nothing," and he can come back to all that shit without missing much of a beat.

I don't know, I think he's making this Missouri kid look like a pansy. Kid's been out a few days and he barely even smiles -- one thing is for certain, that 15-year-old weakling is no Jack Bauer.

Look, I love 24. It's easily the most suspenseful television show I can remember, probably the most suspenseful of my lifetime. I'm on board, I've been on board, I'll watch it as like it as long as it's part of regular weekly programming. But I never get the people that call it the "greatest show on television." Again, it's a dynamite thriller, and it's great, but dear lord, the acting is basically the "greatest piece of elephant dung wrapped in burnt garbage on television."

Pedro Serrano's awful acting as President has been replaced by his television brother, and now the Guy from Ally McBeal has decided to add his own brand of horrendous thespian skills to the proceedings. The old standbys are as poor and unwatchable as ever, but whose decision was it to bring fucking Kumar into the fold?

Kumar, from the White Castle picture? The one with Doogie Howser?

Hey, I can tolerate the sudden shift to drama from Jim Carrey and Tom Hanks, and I guess even Adam Sandler. But Kumar as a suburban terrorist? Who thought it was a smart idea to cast the guy who will forever be best remembered as a cheetah-riding, blunt-smoking, pube-trimming stoner with the mini-burger munchies and the sex-starved Indian protege of Van Wilder as the serious-as-balls "soldier of war?" You gotta be shitting me. What, Rip Taylor and Rita Rudner weren't available to play the terrorist's parents in this one?

Having said all that, awesome premiere. Good stuff, I'm hooked.

(*not racist, read your Heinlein)

Stay Classy, Saints Fans

If Fox Sports wanted to showcase the healing city of New Orleans returning to its perpetual enthusiasm and chronic misbehavior, they may have captured the true essence of that theme in a singular crowd shot at about half past eight on Saturday.

That's when the game's director made the questionable decision to cut to a midruff-exposing, strung-out Cyndi Lauper disciple wearing a homemade T-shirt that clearly said "Fuck Da Eagles." But apparently we weren't the only ones that caught this strumpet in her moment of glory -- I shot four seconds of video that I uploaded to YouTube (wanna hear me giggle?), but this kind fella did a much better job:



Something tells me that when the Eagles aren't in town, that short normally says "Fuck Dese Titties." Welcome back, N'awlins.

Worse than Janet Jackson's nipple? My kids are scarred for life.

Slack Link of the Day: Wanna know what goes on in Hugh Hefner's bedroom? After all these years, a tell-all expose is finally seeing the light of day. Check out this interview, and pretend for one second your life is as cool as his. It's not even close.

Slack Video of the Day: What else could it be? I Have a Dream.

Slack EPL Goal of the Weekend: Newcastle striker Obafemi Martins scored one of the goals of the year against Tottenham this weekend, one of the more exciting fixtures of the Premiership season -- check out this sickening strike from the Nigerian international. (Oh, and if you're scoring at home, I'll be in London in less than two weeks for four, maybe five, matches in seven days. Yahtzee.)

Slack Song of the Day: It's MLK Day, and what better way to honor the man's unbelievable legacy than with a little Lipps, Inc? Wait, that's kinda weird. Oh well, it's Funkytown time.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Fainting Goats = Comedy

Here's a great way to kick off the weekend...check out this fairly hilarious video of fainting goats, which according to one YouTube poster are the national mascots of France:



Enjoy your pebbles, and look both ways before crossing...

Link Dump, Rub It All In

It's been a bounce-back week for Slack, with my return to posting normalcy and a fair amount of discussion 'round these here parts.

But I've got nothing special cookin' today, unlike Monday when I'll be serving up some collard greens and fried chicken when Fuzzy Zoeller comes by for our annual MLK celebration. Actually, I'll be working on Monday, which is ironic in some generally racist sense.
  • Deadspin alerts us there's now a Nation of Islam Sports Blog, and after about six seconds on the site, I already love it. I'll likely forget about it tomorrow and never look at it again, but good allah god that's some funny shit. Gotta love a hockey post that contains the sentence: "Knowing full well the Negro athlete has a traditional distaste for performing on or in water."
  • Three-dimensional urban murals are fucking awesome. This awesome guy deserves an award of some kind...maybe a Cleo, but probably not.
  • Just what we need, more fuckin' fat-asses at Major League Baseball stadiums: The Dodgers are opening an all-you-can-eat section in right field next year. I mean, is there really a demand for gorging buffets out in the City That Never Eats? I can understand this move in Milwaukee and St. Louis, but in the town of Flockhart? Craisins.
  • You may need a username and pass for this if you click on it after today, but here's a really cool piece from the WSJ about bloggers outing people performing societal wrongs like talking too loudly on their cell phones.
  • What’s the connection between Borat and The Wetlands? Double J Jesse Jarnow tells us it’s all about a woman
  • Ladies and gentlemen, a new drink: Meth Coffee.
  • And finally, here's the lede of the day: "India on Friday ordered two television channels to apologize for showing footage of a man dressed as revered Indian freedom icon Mahatma Gandhi performing a pole dance and brandishing an AK-47 rifle."

And on one final note, if you're not watching 30 Rock, you're missing out on the next great Thursday night comedy. Holy fuck that was a hilarious show last night. Allright, sports fans and SportsCreme, back to this shiite we call work...Yahtzee.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Where's Ed Sullivan When Ya Need'm?

Teenage girls and rabid homosexters of these United States, your day has arrived: David Beckham has agreed to play for the L.A. Galaxy.



This is a great move for both parties, a real no-brainer, a total Schiavo. The benefactors of Major League Soccer need to stop deluding themselves into believing it's a viable league for American talent, which it's not, and this is the first step towards that realization. The MLS must drop any model centered around US talent and become a two-pronged feeder and taker system.

First, we recruit the best talent from Latin America that isn't good enough to sign with a European club, and then we train them and shop them, becoming a feeder league for this young Latin American talent to the now-intersted European clubs. That's a revenue generator, both in terms of transfer window money and getting even more Hispanic butts in seats, which at this point seems to be the only fanbase for soccer in the States. Getting Americans to the matches, well, that's where guys like Beckham come into the fray...

The MLS then needs to go Cosmos and get as many washed-up or past-their-prime European players like Becks to come over here and finish their careers in America. Beckham is a commodity in the MLS in every way (skill and marketability), but he's finished across the pond. The trick is to snatch up guys like Becks and Luis Figo and Ronaldo in two years and anyone else who doesn't quite have it any more, and line them up with the young Hispanics and handful of Americans not good enough to play elsewhere. That's a commercially viable league.

In my amateur opinion, today's news is the initial step towards this plan, and it's incredibly important to young US stars like Clint Dempsey and Eddie Johnson, who may finally get their shot overseas. The MLS cannot continue to hold back talented Americans from playing in Europe if it ever wants to see US Soccer compete on the world stage. Our international program won't be in the same class as the rest of the world until we let those guys go to Europe and get the real-time, fast-paced training they need to compete.

I know, nobody cares. But now Posh Spice will live in California, and that's cool. I, for one, welcome our new British overlords.

(For a somewhat differing opinion of this Becks issue, check out the second half of this point from the always on-point That's On Point.)

Slack Link of the Day: The television in my bedroom is somewhat broken, but not quite. It doesn't play sound out of the cable box, but I can watch DVDs with no issue. So every night for the last two weeks I've fallen asleep to a different movie from my collection -- last night it was Tommy Boy, which still manages to crack me up to no end.

What a coincidence, though, when our boy Fritz sent me a link to this article (with pics!) about a Moooose landing in the front seat of a car. I swear I've seen a lot of stuff in my life, but that...was...awesome. Sorry 'bout your car, man, that sucks.

Slack Video of the Day: My Liverpool guru over at The Red Cauldron posted this on Monday, but I forgot to get it up until now. Wanna see an aawesome middle-school slapfest from the world of professional soccer? Seriously, take every pussy fight you ever saw when you were 10 and multiply it by 100 because these guys are adults on national television. Fabiano v. Diogo, The Kickball Fight.

Slack Song of the Day: I threw in Rushmore the other night for the first time in at least a year, and it reminded me of how absolutely amazing that movie was and is. The acting, the script, the cinematography, the whole nine, just a perfect flick. And, of course, the soundtrack is incredible. In a nod to Wes & Co. this morning, here's the Faces' Ooh La La. And because I love the Faces' work, here's a bonus version of Bad 'n Ruin.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds

I witnessed a gloriously awkward chance encounter two weeks ago before the Spoon show at Webster Hall. And despite my tardiness in reporting it to others, it's definitely worth a mention on this here rag.

Donnie Fiedler, [Name Withheld] and I stood outside my apartment just after 8 pm doing the cool kid thing: smoking cigarettes in a small circle before seeing a rock concert. (Man, we're awesome, but that's a whole separate and incredible riveting story for another time.) On this night, the three of us huddled together, taking in both the nicotine and the unseasonably warm December weather as one, enjoying our last night of triumvirate happenings in 2006.

Like many evenings outside my door, a disheveled man began to approach our group, and as someone who's been hounded for change or smokes quite often, I recognized his game before he made it there. So Donnie and I continued discussing the nonsensical minutiae that envelops most of our time together, and the seemingly homeless man reached the third member of our party.

He came over and saw [NW]'s face, and before he asked for anything his face lit up: "Oh hey, what are you doing around here? I was just gonna come over here and ask for a cigarette, and hey, it's you!"

I heard that line uttered, but instead of breaking up whatever was about to go down, I continued my chat with Donnie and kept one ear on this now-interesting side conversation. [NW] exchanged pleasantries with the man briefly, and one of us gave him a cigarette before he waved politely and walked back down the way he came.

I should say here, there are three homeless people around Manhattan that know me by face and/or name (one believes the world will END in 2017, no joke). So I thought this was strictly a case of our friend knowing this man on account of being friendly to panhandlers. Either that or we had just caught him in an incredibly embarrassing "Handjobs for Cash" scheme.

Our curiosity and interest piqued, Don and I inquired immediately: "How the fuck do you possible know that guy?"

"Oh, um, he's in my Stop Smoking class," [NW] said with a smile.

Doesn't seem so awkward yet, until you realize that [NW] doesn't take a Stop Smoking class with this man -- he teaches the class. Yes, my hypocrite but wicked smaht friend is now less than a year away from attaining his PhD in psychology, and every week he stands before a group of war veterans and preaches the joy of the non-smoking life, trying his best to help these cats off the sticks as best he can.

And on this particular night, a regular attendee of our friend's class marched up to a random twentysomething on a random street looking to bum a smoke, and he was greeted by the guy trying so hard to help him quit...with a cigarette in his mouth and a smile on his face.

He's yet to come back to class. I guess "Do as I say, not as I do" only goes so far with war veterans. God, I just fucking love shit like that.

Slack Link of the Day: I'm one of those guys that thinks New York Magazine is the greatest publication in the land, local or national. I've got a cushy job, but if they offered me something, I'd take it in a heartbeat, because they're super. Everyone there writes how I write, or maybe I write the way everyone there writes. No matter how stupid, always insert yourself into the story, because the story's always about you in some way. That introductory graf aside, check out this article from the current issue, Chasing Dash Snow. Cool shit.

Slack Video of the Day: From the world of Deadspin, check out this awesome clip of a Wichita sportscaster dropping a serious F-Bomb on a man named Buzz (I think little home-alone Kevin McAllister wishes he thought of this one). And on the similar-but-not-really front, here's a better one of a street reporter getting harrassed at a concert on Randall's Island. Classic.

Slack Robot Video of the Day: Robot dude gets pwned by steps.

Slack Song of the Day: Since I posted the Umphrey's McGee New Year's show yesterday, it's only fair I put up the Tea Leaf Green NYE concert from Philly today. Regular readers know how much I fellate these bastards in my online reviews, but my enthusiasm for them shouldn't be off-putting to youse, and I implore you to give 'em a listen. They're not a Phishy third-tier jamband that wastes your time, they're a tight song-based unit that blends several genres to create a folk-infused, raw rock-heavy sound. It's quite something.

Let's all check out these beauties together: Hot Dog, Can You Guess It? > Death Cake > CYGI?, Garden III and Georgie P.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Come and Burn Down Our House

We've been waiting for you
Where the ashes are hers and hers and his
Ladder Company Twooooooooo

Suzanne Somers' house was one of four that burned down yesterday when a California wildfire swept through Malibu. If I were the Malibu police, I'd track down that rotten bastard Larry Dallas and interrogate the curly chest hair right off him. Jack, arson, Regal Beagle, now!

Who's Fault Is It?

The good people at nomaas.org have uncovered the giant mystery behind the toxic gas smell in New York City yesterday, as well as who crashed the Exxon Valdez, who directed Enron into bankruptcy, who killed the dinosaurs and who really stole Christmas.

That's right, it's A-Rod, he did it. And he even killed James Brown:

Actually, it turns out that rancid sulfuric smell in the city yesterday was in fact emanating from New Jersey. So all you indignant Garden Staters can lick me; it was you. Save your outrage for the inevitable day you get shut out of tickets for Bon Jovi.

Slack Link of the Day: Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse for New Orleans, here come the killer bees. Africanized bees for an Africanized city, how poetically racist.

Slack Video of the Day: The Roots covered it overseas and Umphrey's McGee just did it back home. On New Year's Eve at the Aragon Ballroom, UM broke out a rousing rendition of SNL's My Dick In a Box sketch, and the results are solid to quite solid:



Slack Song of the Day: Umphrey's also nailed Steely Dan's My Old School at its NYE show in Chicago, one of the many highlights from the night. Here are some of their originals from that evening -- Miss Tinkle's Overture, Bridgeless and Higgins.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Overheard In The Office

"You know what? Cut off his fuckin' dick and put it in his mouth."

Gotta love when you miss the rest of the conversation and only catch gems like this on the way to the office bathroom...

Addressing the Jets' Loss

I didn't make any bold predictions on Friday for a reason, hoping upon hope that we'd actually upset the possum-playing Pats, rather than declaring an upset victory that'd never materialize. Armed with that hope, and a nothing-to-lose mentality taboot, I thought there was at least a small chance Gang Green would walk out of The Razor with a win (so you're telling me there's a chance!). But I didn't want to actually expect one on the road in the playoffs against a solid coach, a great quarterback and a dynastic team.

And so the Jets understandably fell at the hands of their chief rival. Still, if I'd been in the Foxboro stands, I would've totally been throwing out my patented brand of Standing Slow Clap in their honor in lieu of feeling any shame or embarrassment. Despite the loss -- the predictable and completely pain-free loss (for once) -- the New York Jets posted a memorable season for their fans, providing us with highlights galore and a taste of what the future may hold.

The only analogy I can come up with for this Jets season is loading up on 10,000 shares of a penny stock with no real hope for a short-term gain, only to see it run up to three bucks heading into yesterday's trading session and lose 50 cents in one session. Sure the stock lost a bunch of momentum, and sure it hurts the shareholders financially, but there's tons of room for this thing to run as we go forward, and you've already locked in a solid and most unexpected gain. I'd say take some profits, sell 3,000 shares here and watch this pupper climb to $10 before you know it.

That playoff game was gravy: I mean, I can't even fathom how Eric Mangini took this squad to 10-6. I didn't even write my annual "The Jets Will Win the Super Bowl" post this year for the first time since the late '70s. We were supposed to be 4-12, tops. We were projected to finish last in the division, maybe last in the conference. Chad Sexington didn't even have the starting job in training camp, and everyone thought rookie Kellen Clemens would get the nod by Week 7, roughly the same time we'd be eliminated from playoff contention.

But this year's club had more fighting spirit and moxie than Scott Peterson. The rookies played well above their age, the veterans stepped up and made big plays and the coaching staff took chances and outcoached other coaches more than they were outcoached themselves. I can only imagine where this team can go with some more solid player personnel moves from upper management, a good draft and the continued maturation of our young players.

Speaking of young players, can we get a round of applause for general managers Bill Parcells, Terry Bradway and Mike Tannenbaum? These three guys (mostly the last two) have drafted incredibly for the Jets over the better part of the last decade, and it's finally starting to show. Think about the team's impact players on both sides of the ball and special teams -- mostly every one of them are young draftees ready to flourish: D'Brick and Mangold seem like genius moves, Vilma, Rhodes, Cotchery, Ellis, J-Miller, Nugent, Leon and Cedric, Brad Smith, the list goes on forever. Ironically, the Jets are known for their lack of drafting prowess, but they've been one of the best eyes for talent lo these many years now.

As I said at the time in both instances, Herm Edwards thankfully bolting for Kansas City and the 2006 Draft were the watershed moments for this franchise, two events Jets fans will remember as the first step to winning a championship. Let's be patient and see how all this develops, and my guess is we'll win the Super Bowl next year, and then move on to take the Stanley Cup and the World Series trophy. The Jets could be that damn good.

Slack Link of the Day: I know most New York football fans ate like shit this weekend watching the NFL games, and apparently there's a mysterious "gas smell" stretching from Midtown to Battery Park City. I blame New Jersey. Bloomberg just did a litttle Frankie Goes to Hollywood, telling everyone to relax. There's no major leak, just a small one on Bleecker Street and 6th Avenue. Oh, nothing to worry about, that's only exactly where I live. Cool beans.

Slack Baseball Link of the Day: Here's a pretty nutty and true sentence: "...The bottom line is that New York’s 2007 payroll currently projects to the $180 million range, a mere $20 million more than your free-spending Boston Red Sox." Oh, Gluttonous Beantown.

Slack Video of the Day: This one doesn't quite possess the greatness of Little Superstar, but here's another gem from Bollywood that famed Internet spelunker Henge uncovered. For fans of The State and Wet Hot American Summer out there, don'tcha think Ken Marino and a hilarious ensemble cast could've nailed this thing? Missed opportunity.

Slack Song of the Day: I'm feeling some Paul McCartney & Wings this morning, so let's look in with a little live action from 1973.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish

On the heels of the Randy Johnson trade, I've got another derivative idea for those original independent thinkers known as network executives: Who Wants To Fellate Brian Cashman?

I think it'd be a big hit among Yankees fans, at the very least. Has anyone done a better job this offseason than Cash? By smartly dealing the Janet Reno-voiced Unit, Angry Dragon Sheff and Ball Magnet Wright, our wholly underrated general manager's shed $36 million from the payroll and banished three guys that were probably going to subtract from the well-being of the 2007 Yankees.

More importantly, in return for these castoffs (two of which weren't going to be offered a chance to re-sign), the Yankees welcomed to its club six minor-leaguers that by all accounts look promising at worst, Young Chris Britton, and middle reliever Luis Vizcaino. So even after the combined $20 million Andy Eugene Buttchin and Nipponese Igawa signings, the Yanks shaved about $16 million in salary and stockpiled a host of young talent like John Mark Karr.

That leaves the Yanks with room for the Rocket, a deal I'm sure will get done some time in the next few weeks. Jeff Karstens, Darrell Rasner and (hopefully not) Carl Pavano can certainly fill in as the fifth starter until Clemens gets ready to pitch, and with Das Wunderkind Phil Hughes on the horizon, all of a sudden the club looks ready for this year and beyond.

At a time when everyone and their foul-mouthed Southie mother is doubting the Boy Wonder & Co. up in Fenway, it's nice to know the Yanks are returning to the Stick Michael School for Awesome Baseball Management (a subsidiary of Building World Championship Teams, LLC). Pitchers and catchers can't come soon enough.

Slack Video of the Day: Just like the Lazy Monday follow-up to Lazy Sunday, the Dick In a Box derivatives are starting to flow like menstrual hemoglobin. Up first, My Box in a Box, by this chick with seriously nice cleavage. The video otherwise is a solid "meh."

Slack Video of the Day II: An fairly oldie but a definite goodie, here's a vid of Jack Black offering blowjobs like a common street hooker.

Slack HT Plug of the Day: If you'll remember kindly, last year I did a whole recap of the live shows I saw in 2005. I managed to one-up myself this past year, though, seeing 86 live performances by 59 different bands at 60 ticketed shows in 37 separate venues. Check out my Top Ten favorites from 2006 over on the musical playground.

Slack Song of the Day: Today we're hittin' youse up with Freedom of 76 and Don't Shit Where You Eat by Ween.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Brilliantly Insightful Commentary

I watched the new ABC comedy The Knights of Prosperity during halftime of last night's Sugar Bowl. My epic review: "It's pretty good."

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Impossible is the Opposite of Possible

If you've never seen the David Brent-like assface that produced a startlingly real video resume to land a Wall Street gig, take a peak at this allstar clownery. Leave it to one of my favorite television actors to spoof this putz in truly clever fashion:



You play that guitar, Cera. And feel free to wrestle with some pretty taboo issues while you're at it. Well done, young man.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Talk About Self-Loathing

Thought you knew some shit about Adolf Hitler? Well, the Iranians are turning everything you know about the Nazi fuckface upside down:

"A top advisor to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed in an interview with Iranian website Baztab that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's parents were both Jewish and that Hitler himself was one of the founders of the State of Israel."

Apparently Hitlerberg developed his well-known aversion to the religion "because his Jewish mother was a promiscuous woman." Might she have also been the only Jewish woman to continue to give her husband hummers after marriage? The Iranian leaders have yet to disclose their feelings on that part of the stereotype.

Make Your Resolutions

The extended New Year's vacation has come and gone, and now I'm back from my mental, emotion and actual respite from work. I was hoping that we'd be able to mourn Gerald Ford's death from home, but alas, I'm here at my desk trying to figure out a way to quit my job and maintain a regular paycheck. Thanks anyway, klutz.

But I actually appreciate this return to normalcy...if nothing else, it's certainly a whole lot less tempting to beat off to Internet porn in the middle of the weekday when you're in an office. Well, that depends, I guess. I was gonna make "Less porn at the office" my New Year's resolution, but I quickly realized that'd be a waste, since I only really watch about two or three hours a day at work.

Instead I chose something else entirely, something completely attainable like 2004's "See more live music" pledge to myself. Let's take a look at this year's winner, along with my resolutions from years past (I've bolded the ones I accomplished):

2000: Exchange in more correspondence with Goldie Hawn
2001: Run for my life, preferably in September
2002: Give Rue McClanahan 7 - 10 piggyback rides
2003: Stop tossing double amputees in the Long Island Sound
2004: Let friends in other Northeastern cities experience sports titles
2005: See more live music
2006: Mourn fewer former presidents
2007: Learn to lay it down on the bass guitar

That's right, after proclaiming for the better part of a decade that I'd like to play the bass, I'm now at Step One. My buddy NoBowls Brad is departing New York for a few years, and in a mutually beneficial housecleaning, he's bestowed on me his old bass in the interests of my learning how to bring in both da noise and da funk. I need to dust it off a bit, put a little cash into fixing it up, and then figure out everything there is to know about playing music.

Sounds easy enough, no? So that's my resolution for the year: actively learn how to make like Ike Turner and slap the shit out of that bass' neck. What's your resolution(s) for 2007?

Slack Link of the Day: Wanna see what happens when a faulty gas cooker blows up a tiny Caribbean island? Pretty sweet.

Slack Video of the Day: I'm not advocating the watching of this leaked grainy video, but I figured I'd at least give y'all the option of making that decision for yourselves. Personally, I have no interest in seeing Saddam hang, but I know most people are curious, so I'll provide the link for youse here: Dictator Hangage. (Just don't hang yourself like Saddam: And watch out for your idiot kids...)

Slack Photo and Video of 2006: Ladies and gentlemen, Crouchbot!

Slack Song of the Day: A bluegrass morning, let's play a little Sam Bush together: Sailin' Shoes, Funk, and Norman and Nancy.