Friday, February 29, 2008

Oh No-Han!!

I know it's early, even for Spring Training, but Johan Santana, in his Mets "debut" just gave up a single, a double, a triple, and then a 3-run home run to the recently unearthed Juan friggin' Gonzalez. Yikes.

Nothing quite like going back to the natural state of a Mets fan: pessimistic.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Future employment opportunities for George Bush

In a few months, Our Great Leader George Bush will have to find a new job. Sigh.

With the economy heading into recession, even a resume like his might have trouble landing hits on Monster, so it's vitally important to single out the particular skills and experience he has that a potential employer might desire.

Good news for the prez, though -- a company in Utah seems right up his alley:
A supervisor at a motivational coaching business in Provo is accused of waterboarding an employee in front of his sales team to demonstrate that they should work as hard on sales as the employee had worked to breathe.
Fits. Like. A. Glove.
In a lawsuit filed last month, former Prosper, Inc. salesman Chad Hudgens alleges his managers also allowed the supervisor to draw mustaches on employees' faces, take away their chairs and beat on their desks with a wooden paddle "because it resulted in increased revenues for the company."
Like a former frat boy's wet-dream job.
"At the conclusion of his abusive demonstration, Christopherson told the team that he wanted them to work as hard on making sales as Chad had worked to breathe while he was being waterboarded," the suit alleges.
I used to sell Cutco knives. I was never very good at it, but perhaps I lacked the proper incentives. My bad.
Ellis said no managers have said they saw the activities described in Hudgens' suit, and the employees reported they are "more along the lines of fun."

"It's voluntary, it's humorous, it's team and camaraderie-building," Ellis said.
Upon joining this team, Dubya would probably leap frog the sales associates and immediately find himself in middle management, perhaps developing new motivational stategeries.

I would hate to paint this whole company with such a broad, torture-promoting brush, so I feel obligated to point out that these events may just be the result of "a few bad apples."

Okay, I didn't mean to end on such a downer. So take a look at some poor kid's letter to some girl. I think maybe, juuuust maybe, this kid might've been a nerd.

Somewhat Interesting Constitutional Argument

I say somewhat interesting, because if it actually came to the forefront, I can't imagine them ruling him ineligible, especially if the Republican Supreme Court has the ultimate decision, but there's apparently a bit of conversation regarding John McCain's eligibility to be president.

The issue is that he wasn't born in the United States, but rather in the Panama Canal Zone while his father was stationed in the area by the military. The Constitution has a provision about "natural-born citizens" being the only ones eligible for the presidency. Some believe that means that only people born inside the United States are elegible to be president. Under the strictest interpretation of this provision McCain may not be eligible.

First of all, I don't imagine that anyone would challenge McCain's eligibility, nor, apparently, is it very clear who or how a challenge would be raised. Secondly, McCain has never been anything other than an American citizen, which is enough for me to end the conversation. The provision has never been challenged, though it seems pretty clear that a naturalized American citizen, say the Governator or Madeline Albright as examples, would not be eligible under any interpretation, but I can't imagine that McCain would be deemed to be ineligible.

Still, it's an interesting question. This seems like something that's screaming to be clarified by an amendment to the Constitution, but good luck with that.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

People Who Are Thirty

The Notorious LJT is the notorious 3 dash 0 today.

You are old, biotch.

Oh and happy birthday. And don't front like just because you're 30 I don't remember when you used to wear that denim vest every day when we were 8.

Things That Are Overrated: George Carlin

Let's start by saying that George Carlin is pretty funny. With that being said, George Carlin just isn't that funny. Nor are his insights particularly mind-blowing. You're not going to watch one of his routines and then leave with a different outlook on life. You're not going to leave thinking, "good gracious, that was the funniest thing I've ever seen ever in life." I mean...shit I don't even really have words for this...he's just not as fucking great as the people at HBO would have you believe. He has an HBO special like every 2 years and he's essentially just flooding the market with mediocre comedy routines.

I mean he's just a cynical old guy. He thinks that most people are stupid, and he proves it by somehow convincing people that he's smarter or more observant than them. Jerry Seinfeld is infinitely better than George Carlin with the "observational humor" thing. And Seinfeld does it in such a way that he doesn't have to say that 90% of the population are assholes. I just watch George Carlin and I think to myself, "Dude, calm down a little bit. Take your blood pressure medication. Accept that people are selfish and do stupid things."

That 7 words you can't say on TV thing? Why is that funny? I've seen the routine. It's not funny. Nor is it particularly deep or philosophical or any of those things. He's not challenging society. He's not bucking the system. He's the guy who sits on the sidelines a basketball games yelling at the other team. At the end of the day, he didn't help win the game, he just went home with a sore throat.

Shit, this is a bad post. I don't even really have evidence or specific examples (GIVE ME THREE EXAMPLES. THREEEEEEEEEEE!!!!) I just know that whenever I watch George Carlin I end up feeling like I got gypped.

I'm not going to post this right now. I'm going to wait until the end of the day to post this so that beating up 5 year olds thing can get some play. This isn't nearly as good as that.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

For some reason, I think LJT's gonna win this one

"Nice tits."

As all my co-writers will attest, in my youth I was occasionally prevented from participating in certain activities due to punishment. I'm speaking, of course, about LJT's annual Fourth of July pool parties. There everyone would be, playing pool-basketball and diving to the bottom in search of a rock or whatever; and there I would be -- sitting on some chair, trying my hardest to act casual as I (pitifully) tried to explain:
SIDE BAR: Open Bar, what're you doing? Get in the pool.

OPEN BAR: Nah, don't feel like swimming.

LJT: You don't feel like swimming? It's like 104 degrees.

OPEN BAR: Really? 'Cause, like, it doesn't feel that hot--

SIDE BAR: Did you beat up your brother again?

OPEN BAR: No. It's nothing. I just--

LJT: Okay, so you're grounded. Again. Don't steal anything from my house.

OPEN BAR: What?! I -- I'm just gonna go play some Nintendo.
And I would leave all the fun, go inside, head to the basement, and drown my sorrows in Pepsi, Super Mario Bros., and cookies (that I stole).

Anyway, the point is that I would sometimes get into some trouble for beating up my little brother. Most of this happened when I was between the ages of 9-12 or so, meaning my bro was about 5-8 years old. It was a dick thing to do, and I look back upon it with shame.

I don't know why I had that violent streak. When I stopped, I stopped cold turkey. No more attacking toddlers. (My parents couldn't have been prouder!)

But there's something I've wondered for quite some time now. I've posed this question numerous times to friends, usually in group-drinking environments, and I've heard so many different responses that I feel somewhat justified in having wondered about it so long. It's not something I've ever considered in a realistic way, more of a fun "What if..." vibe. And it's funny -- some people get it right away (that I'm not posing a serious question, and therefore I won't take your answer literally), while some people are so morally offended at the mere premise that they either refuse to answer or, worse, get all huffy-puffy and hate me.

Apparently, though, I'm not the only one who's thought about this (as I will demonstrate in just a moment). Without further adieu, the question is:
How many 5-year-olds do you think you could take in a fight?
Seriously. Think about it: There is a massive swarm of toddlers coming at you, attacking fearlessly. To give you a few parameters that I've usually included when I ask it:
  1. No weapons. (For you or them.)
  2. You're in an enclosed area, so running away when you get tired isn't an option.
  3. You don't need to kill them; knocking them out is fine.
Again, this is merely an exercise. No one is judging your morals. We're not talking about trying to set up an event next weekend and trying to see if you'd be "cool" with it. Just use your imagination. You know, like you did when you were 5.

(Incidentally, another variation I've used is, rather than 5-year-olds, substitute octogenarians. Is your answer higher or lower?)

Okay, now that you have your guess, I present the actual test. Click on the link below (it's safe for work), and please, allow me to quote Count Rugen: "This is for posterity, so, be honest." (It really is no fun if you cheat.)

How many 5-year-olds could you take in a fight?

And when you finish, please post your scores in the poll!

Monday, February 25, 2008

More Jeopardy fun!

A few months back, we saw the Lord of All He Surveys, Alex Trebek, in a moment of behind-the-scenes brilliance, revealing him to be a total potty-mouthed drunk bastard. It only made me love him more.

Now, here's another little gem from the best game show ever. This kid, who seems like the ULTIMATE Star Wars nerd, somehow misses an insanely obvious question. And his frustration comes to the surface. On live television. (Be sure you have the sound up, you've really got to listen close right before the little slut young lady on the left answers correctly.)

I don't know if you watch much Jeopardy (and you should), but while being able to answer the questions faster than the contestants is all well and good, the biggest challenge during the show happens at the end. I don't mean simply knowing the answer to the Final Jeopardy question, per se, but getting it before the clue is even read. You know how Alex Trebek reads the Final Jeopardy category before the last commercial break? Well, the Holy Grail of Jeopardy answers is to guess it immediately after the category is announced -- before the clue is read. For example:
ALEX TREBEK: Okay, contestants, the Final Jeopardy category is...Inventors. We'll be right back!

OPEN BAR (seated in living room, holding whiskey): Eli Whitney.

DANNY G (that's my roommate, for both of you who didn't know): Thomas Edison.


Now, of course, if that were the actual category, the answer would definitely be Eli Whitney, who invented the cotton gin, because that is always the answer to any question involving inventors or inventing. But the point is, getting the Final Jeopardy question right without even getting the clue makes you boss. Try it at home!

[Thank you, once again, GorillaMask!]

This has nothing to do with anything...

...but I thought it was funny, so here goes. The folks at Google are some of my favorites. If there are still some of you out there who aren't on Gmail, then Why? They also handle Blogger, which allows us to do this thing that we do that you're reading right now. The maps, Google Earth, the books? Oh, and YouTube? Yep.

But Google also keeps track of "Trends," apparently, something which I don't really follow. And yesterday, a particularly interesting trend popped up. Fortunately, there's someone out there who follows this sort of thing, and I guess he found it rather odd. Here's a screen shot:

I've thought back to what I was doing back in January 2006, and though I may or may not have looked one of those things up, I can't remember anything specific that I might have done to provoke this trend.

Oh, and by the way, if you or anyone you know works at the Google office in Manhattan, is there any way I could maybe come by for lunch one day? I've heard the most amazing things about the cafeteria there, and I've made it a life goal to find a way into that place. I am definitely willing to whore myself to achieve this goal, so take that as you will.

(I hope this didn't require an "NSFW" warning.)

(And if that pic is blurry, you can see it more clearly here.)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Big Ups To Science

I'm guessing you've heard about the US government shooting down a spy satellite that malfunctioned and went dead shortly after being launched a couple years ago. But let's take a step back from this for a second. Those motherfuckers shot a missile that I'm gonna guess was like a 5 foot diameter and hit a satellite that was, let's guess for the sake of the argument a 15x15 cube, and it was probably smaller. Furthermore they shot this missile into outer space and even furthermore, the satellite was travelling at 17,000 miles per hour. And on top of all that they were all, "well we'd like to hit the satellite, but even more specifically we'd like to hit the gas tank which is in the lower left corner of the thing kinda towards the back." And they fucking did it.

The combined brain power from Mr. Kirsch's physics class in 11th grade couldn't even begin to plot the trajectory that this missile needed to take in order to nail the satellite square in the gas tank. This is just fucking astounding.

It kinda makes you wonder. I mean, maybe these guys should be pitching for the Mets. Because Oliver Perez can barely throw strikes to a stationary target 60 feet away and these guys are essentially hurling shit into outer space strapped to an exploding gas tank and hitting things travelling at 17,000 mph.

Also, this should be a lesson to people everywhere. Don't fuck with the army. They can blow your shit up anywhere. Even in outer space.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Is This Targeted Marketing? Racism? I Don't Get It.

I think the 10 of you who read this blog were probably in the room at Side Bar's house during the discussion of this IO digital cable commercial, but I still don't get it. Here, watch it:

Who in the world thought of this commercial and what the hell were they smoking? I can just imagine some like 38 year old white dude who went to Cornell sitting in his cubicle on Madison Avenue thinking, "I know. The Latino market is gonna be the next big thing. That reggaeton thing is really popular. Lord knows that me gusta la gasolina. Why don't we make a commercial that speaks directly to the Latinos who are really the ones that want digital cable with free HD."

I just don't get it? Why is this a good idea? I mean, if the purpose of it was just to get people talking about hte commercial and then ultimately thinking about getting digital cable, then I guess it worked. I have had at least 4 or 5 conversations about this commercial. But why the fuck is this a reggaeton song? And why is it addressed to "mi gente", as if latinos are the only ones who can listen or think about getting digital cable with free HD? And why does he say "twenty nine ninety fye" instead of "five"? And why the fuck is that guy dressed like a sea creature about 50 seconds in?

This is just an existential conundrum. I have to know who conceived of this commercial and why? It's almost like the time that Jamie Lynn Sigler put out an album with some of the songs in Spanish because her mother is Cuban, even though she's Jewish and from Long Island. (I'm not trying to rob Jamie Lynn Sigler of her Cuban heritage, but I don't think the term "Latin Explosion" really should have applied to you, Meadow. How about that switch from third to second person?)

The point is, what the fuck is up with this commercial?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Johan Santana -- the best, Derek Jeter -- (statistically proven) the worst

February sucks for sports fans.

Unless you really love the NBA or NHL or college basketball's regular season, February is purgatory. The Super Bowl (which was won by the Giants, did you hear?) is done, and Opening Day is weeks away. No football, no baseball, and March Madness is still a ways away.

So to fill the void, let's take a quick look at two bits that caught my attention.

The New York Mets now have Johan Santana, who is the best pitcher in the entire world.

For some reason, it took me until I saw pictures like that to truly believe that he is a Met. Since their inception in 1962, the Mets have had two legitimate ace pitchers: Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden. Now, we have a third.

And then there was this bit of news: A recent study shows that Derek Jeter is the worst shortstop in the American League. And to top it off, it shows that Alex Rodriguez (who currently plays third base, because Jeter wouldn't move) would have been way better.

As much as I loved reading about this, especially the New York Post version, I have to say the results of the study are a bit suspect. Is Trot Nixon really one of the best right-fielders out there?

However, I've felt for a long time that Derek Jeter was waaaaaay overrated in terms of fielding. The man can hit, no arguments there, and he definitely should've won the MVP over Justin Morneau in 2006. The guy's a great baseball player, no doubt, but if anyone thinks he's a great fielder, then wow. He just isn't. Yes, he has made the occasional amazing play, like that time he caught that foul ball against the Red Sox and flew into the stands. But ultimately, I've thought for a long time that it was really dumb to move an excellent shortstop (A-Rod) to a new position just because the "Captain" wanted to stay where he was. (A-Rod, by the way, registered as the 2nd best shortstop, in the time frame of this particular study, 2002-2005.)

Oh, and don't say anything about Jeter winning any Gold Gloves. Those awards are total horseshit. I'm a Mets fan, and the fact that David Wright won one last year is all the proof I need that winning a Gold Glove doesn't mean you're a good fielder.

So I guess my conclusion is that the Mets are awesome and the Yankees suck. I'm glad science is now catching up.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Classic Video: I have no words to describe this

I seriously thought about putting this in the "All right stoners, explain this" category, but I bet this would baffle even my highest friends. Honestly, I don't have a clue what this is or where it came from, but it's...mesmerizing.

Seen on Shout File.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Update: Yes, They Will

This post hasn't even been up for 24 hours and here we go:
With every delegate precious, Mrs. Clinton’s advisers also made it clear that they were prepared to take a number of potentially incendiary steps to build up Mrs. Clinton’s count. Top among these, her aides said, is pressing for Democrats to seat the disputed delegations from Florida and Michigan, who held their primaries in January in defiance of Democratic Party rules.

Check that ho indeed.

Blog Analysis: Irish and Jew

What makes a blog good?

Not too long ago, reading blogs or, especially, writing blogs was considered nerdy. Okay, it still is, but these days, everyone and their cousin has one. (Granted, none of my cousins have one, that I know of. And I get a cliche point! [New tag]) The so-called mainstream media and general society took a while to accept, first, the existence of these "Web logs" and, second, that some of them might actually be written well and, thus, worth reading.

Occasionally, I come across a blog I really love. So I had an idea: Since I co-write a blog, why don't I use this space to analyze other blogs?

Seems like a no-brainer. After all, I spend most of my workday (I do occasionally work) reading other blogs, and most of those blogs spend their time analyzing things or discussing things or discussing an analysis of things. Why not turn the tables? (Blogs about blogs -- so meta.)

So: What, in fact, makes a blog good, or a good blog? What are the common denominators? Hm. Hard to say. Clearly, if you read this blog, you're aware that we have no idea what we're doing. We're approaching our one-year anniversary (March 20!), and we have yet to really find a "voice" or "identity" for the blog, so perhaps through analysis of other blogs, I/we can glean some insight into how to make this thing more readable. (Or we can keep on making inside jokes that only we get, which would actually be fine. That, or more fart jokes.)

So in order to figure out what exactly it is that makes a blog "good" or "interesting", I figured I'd take one blog that I find both good and interesting and analyze it. Maybe this'll become a regular feature, who knows? (Hey there's an idea -- do something on a regular basis so that readers can have some kind of idea what to expect; they might even like it and come back again. Could that be a "good" thing for a blog? Hmmm...)

So first up...

Irish and Jew!!!

I came upon this blog through some other blog I can't remember, but since my best friends are generally either Irish or Jewish (I, however, am neither. Sigh.), I figured I'd check it out. Then, to my surprise, their intro said this:
"Originally from (NORTH!) Jersey, we have pride in all things Garden State."
Pride in Jersey? And loudly (since loud = CAPS) proclaiming their Northern Jersey roots? Outstanding! (Incidentally, the intro used to have lots more fun stuff about them being promiscuous and swearing like sailors and the like. Don't know where that went. Send them an angry e-mail, I would suggest.) Anyway, I felt like I had spotted a winner.

And man, oh, man, was I right. It turns out that both Jew and Irish like drinking a lot. Which, of course = huge plus. As I continued to read their blog, I grew more and more interested in who the hell these chicks were. So I read their entire archive, and after doing so, I had to admit, these two chicks fucking rule.

So let's go over a few reasons why. A veritable "How To" for bloggers:

1. Content is more than just pictures and videos.

Irish and Jew's blog is about 90 percent words, with only the occasional YouTube clip thrown in and, even more rarely, a picture. So many blogs think just throwing up a video or a funny picture makes it worth reading. Not true at all, as these chicks prove. Most of their posts are simply funny recounts of them drinking somewhere or old stories about their families or the occasional rant. On most other blogs, this sort of routine crap sucks, as the random reader won't find the stories funny or connect to them at all. But somewhere along the line, Irish and Jew learned "writing," whereby I can simply read their "words" and be totally entertained. Without pictures!

Yes, of course, they have their "Happy Friday" thing, where Jew generally posts an old-school girly video, but I must excuse that since here at Where's Luke?, I've been doing the "Friday Classic Video" thing. (And also, just about every blog out there has some sort of Friday gimmick. What's that about? When I started doing Friday Classic Videos, I honestly thought I was being original. Turns out I'm just a one in a long line. Sigh, again.)

The Point Is: Writing is very important on a blog.

2. As they say in journalism, follow the KISS rule: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Irish and Jew don't break any sort of Web-design barriers. Clearly, all the alcohol they've ingested hasn't taught them XML or Dreamweaver. However, as you can see by my first attempt at putting a screen shot up:

Green type = Irish wrote it. (Green = Irish. Naturally.)

Blue type = Jew wrote it. (Blue = Jew. Rhymes!)

So simple, yet it really gives the blog a "look." These girls go so far as to use the proper color even when one is quoting the other. It's like this (I'll improvise an Irish post):
So anyway, I'm at this bar with Black Irish Stud, getting hammered, and Jew comes over, and she's all, "Holy shit it's 4:30 a.m., Adam just called, I gotta go!!!" And Jew hopped right into a cab, leaving me with the tab. So I flirted up the bartender and we both got WASTED, and he didn't charge us a dime! I rule, totes!
Y'see? Even that simple artistic decision is a memorable characteristic of their blog.

And yes, in the screen shot above, you'll also notice that there are boobs.

The Point Is: Create an attractive and unique visual presentation, using colors and boobs.

3. They actually pay attention to the people who read their blog.

On some blogs, people "comment." On the occasional post here at Where's Luke?, we'll get a few comments (that aren't written by myself, LJT, Side Bar, or Chuck), and sometimes we get as many as fucking 80, bitch. However, we do a very poor job of responding to those rare folks who happen upon our tiny corner of the Internet Superhighway NetWEB (INSWEB). If we took even a few moments out of our supremely busy lives to send a comment back, perhaps those brave souls would feel vindicated and choose to visit us again.

If there's a blog out there that could give a tutorial on how to treat commenters, it's Irish and Jew. On every post, they seem to reply to each and every commenter. And, believe it or not, this leads to more comments! And, likely, more traffic, and ultimately, more people reading what they write. Amazing, isn't it?

I have no idea how many people have stopped by Where's Luke? since we began writing it, but I'll bet my house (I don't own a house, but I'll bet Chuck's.) that if we were as diligent about writing back to our commenters and, perhaps, clicking on their names to find out what blog they write and then we read that and commented on it... Jesus, I got tired just typing that. How the hell do Irish and Jew do it? F.B.D. Fucking Blogger's Discipline. Or they enjoy it. Or you'll have to ask them, I dunno. But anyway...

The Point Is: If someone comments on your blog, thank them by responding, and they'll be more likely to keep reading.

So these three big lessons in blog-writing (1. Write it well, 2. Use colors and boobs, and 3. Be nice to those who read it.) can possibly help us along as we attempt to keep this blog going as we approach Year 2.

As it turns out, we lucky gents at Where's Luke? might just have the chance to meet these two gals this Friday. (This is because I was smart enough to throw a link to their blog up on ours, which they somehow discovered. I think they know more about the Internet than I do. But anyway, thank God we put "New Jersey" up on our banner pic. Anyway, in a future Blog Analysis, we'll go over "Links." I hear it's the latest thing. That and something called "Face Book.")

And as I'm sure you'd agree, the big question regarding us meeting these two strange women who write an awesome blog is clearly:

Are they hot?

Since they don't post pictures of themselves anywhere, it's a guessing game. So I will guess.

From the few clues they have left on their blog about their physical descriptions, all I know is that Irish is a redhead and Jew has large boobs. That, as they say in baseball parlance, is 2 for 2. So I'm gonna go ahead and guess that they're both pretty hot. But if you add in these facts:
  • They both drink a lot
  • They write an excellent blog
  • They come from NORTH Jersey
  • Jew was born on Halloween (it's in the blog, somewhere, I remember)
  • Irish is, well, an Irish redhead
I'm gonna have to guess they're both actually more than "pretty hot." They might even approach the hallowed "very hot." And fuck, I'll be really disappointed if they aren't.

But hey, after a few beers...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Yes, They Will

As someone who supported Barack Obama even when it looked like Hillary Clinton was a lock to secure the nomination as the Democratic party's candidate for president, it is impossible not to be excited about the events of the last few weeks. First, Senator Obama had a better-than-expected showing on Super Tuesday, winning more states and, I believe, more delegates than Senator Clinton (some confusion lingers regarding the precise number of delegates awarded in connection with the February 5 contests). Over the weekend, that trend continued with victories in Maine, Kansas, Louisiana, and Washington. Then, last night, Obama trounced Clinton in the so-called "Cheaspeake Primaries" held in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Senator Obama has also up-ended the Clinton campaign in an equally -- if not more -- important race: he raised almost three times as much money as she did in January.

The "Yes, We Can" mantra of the Obama campaign is an inspiring, and, apparently, a winning theme to his improbable run at the presidency. Here at Where's Luke, we don't apologize for the idealism that fuels our support for the junior Senator from Illinois. To the contrary, we latched on to it early, and have celebrated the fact that there is an inspirational candidate around whom we can share some naked optimism and excitement. As we observed a few months ago:

Whether Mr. Obama can carry the day in the face of the overwhelming the power, poise and pockets of Hillary Clinton's campaign is yet to be seen, but it will of course be an uphill battle. Mrs. Clinton is a deft politician, but we believe she represents a retreat to the center, and -- if the reader will excuse a worn cliché -- "politics as usual." By contrast, we believe an Obama presidency presents the best opportunity for America to rediscover its identity as a responsible leader of the world.

The idealism of endorsing Obama a few months ago, coupled with his recent success in a number of state primaries, ought to help supporters like me become more confident in his chances, and give substance to the hope that Obama could secure the nomination. A more and more resounding "yes, we can" with each individual success.

And yet I am as pessimistic as ever, and instead of reminding myself that "yes, we can," I just keep thinking that "yes, they will."

Will Hillary and Bill Clinton tap their personal fortune to fund the campaign while refusing to disclose exactly where that money came from? Yes, they will.

Will the Clinton campaign play the race card the second they perceive a political advantage from doing so? Yes, they will.

Will the Clinton campaign use back-room deals to secure a seat at the convention for delegates from Michigan and Florida despite a party decision to penalize those states for holding their primaries too early? Yes, they will.

Will the Clinton campaign try to secure a victory by relying on unpledged delegates (i.e., superdelegates) who are not chosen by the democratic process but instead are anointed as such by virtue of their membership in the party? Yes, they will.

The last one -- the superdelegates -- is really the one that gets me the most. As the New York Times explains:
There are two kinds of delegates assigned to each state by the Democratic National Committee — pledged and unpledged (commonly called superdelegates).

Pledged delegates are chosen by each state’s nominating process and bound by the process, while unpledged delegates are not bound by any state elections and include all of the members of the Democratic National Committee and elected officials such as members of Congress and governors.

Superdelegates were created by the Democratic Party following the 1980 presidential election as a means of ensuring that party officials were given a substantial voice in the nominating process. Since 1984, they have made up 15 to 20 percent of the Democratic delegation and have historically supported the front-runner at the convention.

There will be 796 unpledged delegate votes cast at the Democratic National Convention in August 2008 if the penalties against Florida and Michigan hold.

Could there be a more un-democratic process to be employed by the Democratic Party? The superdelegate process appears to be a first cousin to the electoral college (don't even get me started), except that the electoral college was created in the 18th century, while superdelegates are not even thirty years old. While it may be reasonable to give the elite a pass for their "don't let the masses screw things up" mentality in 1789, I can't cut the same slack to that kind of thinking in 1980.

The thought of Senator Obama winning more votes in the primaries -- especially in a year when all of the states have a meaningful say in the process -- yet still losing out to Senator Clinton because "senior party officials" determine to anoint her as the nominee is sickening (and sounds like we are electing Gorbachev or Brezhnev rather than an American President). I'll try to do my part (donations, phone banking, etc.), but in the back of my mind, when I worry that the Clintons will do everything wrong, and remind me of every single reason why I cannot support Hillary, but still find a way to come out on top, I just cannot shake one gloomy thought:

Yes, they will.

Monday, February 11, 2008

She Said Three Words: Stop, No and Don't

Takin' it back old SCHOOL up in this bitch on a Monday Night!

This brings me way back to the early 1990s, to the basement of Side Bar and his brother MMG (who is voted for Hillary Clinton, for SHAME) - which is where many an hour during the '80s and '90s were spent by myself and the other three contributors to this page.

In any case, I recall MMG playing the cassette "Niggaz4Life" by NWA back then and it seemed so cool - partially b/c the album was good from what I can recall (Alwayz Into Somethin was OK), in large part because we were suburban kids that wanted to think we were 'down' but mostly because the track you're about to hear was fucking hysterical. If you're easily offended or, for that matter, have any sense of decency you may want to skip this one. If you already know where I'm headed, meaning you listened to this song with me back in the day, or you're willing to put good taste aside and try to put yourself in a 13 year old boy's shoes for three minutes and sixteen seconds, enjoy the following video.

I have now morphed into the Video Music Box Guy for the remainder of this post, please read it with that voice.

This is Malicious Monday, we're gonna kick it Old Skool tonight with NWA featuring Eazy E and his classic love song, "Automobile"......

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Latest and The Greatest of Them All (Ouuu Ooooooooooooooooo)

While sitting in my cubicle on Tuesday February Fifth, 2008 I noticed a headline on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi had died earlier in the day. He was born between 1911 and 1918 in Jabalpur, India and became a disciple of Hindu Swami Brahmananda Saraswati and eventually became a Shankaracharya (spiritual leader) in the Himalayas (I assume to some group of followers). Part of his teachings include Transcendental Meditation and, as the years went by, he seems to have taken his teachings to the western world: first to Hawaii, then mainland America via California and, eventually, to Europe - one of the first people to do so.

Still doesn't ring a bell? You may know him as Sexy Sadie.

In August of 1967, while he was on tour in England, John, Paul, George, Ringo and their wives decided to check out one of his talks. They liked what they heard and during that following spring, the four of them traveled to Rishikesh to do some full time meditating. They were supposed to be doing nothing but meditating but found time to write over forty songs, many of which became the foundation for The White Album.

There seem to have been a bunch of pop culture stars of the day on the retreat: Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Donovan, Mia Farrow and her sister Prudence (of Dear Prudence Fame) - to name a few.

After a while, John began to feel like the Maharishi was kind of taking advantage of The Beatles fame and that he was a bit of a bullshit artist. It was also alleged, during their time there, that Maharishi made a pass at one of the women (Mia Farrow) and people began to get upset. (Although now, it seems to be generally accepted that this was false - at least according to Paul and George).

This turned out to be the last straw for John with the Maharishi. could have done such a thing. Having already decided to leave, he went to see the Yogi and announced his plans to depart. Upset, the Maharishi asked why, to which John replied "If you're so cosmic, you know why!"

Fair or unfair, John's disappointment and anger led to a great song.

'Sexy Sadie' was originally to be 'Maharishi' and it originally began "Maharishi / You little twat".
George Harrison was against calling out Maharishi so directly and suggested the name 'Sexy Sadie' and the song as we know it was born but if you check out the lyrics you can tell it's John Lennon calling the Mahirishi a bullshitter - and, once again, my favorite Beatle writes and sings a beautiful and melodic 'fuck you', like only he can. Check out the lyrics:

Sexy Sadie what have you done
You made a fool of everyone
You made a fool of everyone
Sexy Sadie ooh what have you done.

Sexy Sadie you broke the rules
You layed it down for all to see
You layed it down for all to see
Sexy Sadie oooh you broke the rules.

One sunny day the world was waiting for a lover
She came along to turn on everyone
Sexy Sadie the greatest of them all.

Sexy Sadie how did you know
The world was waiting just for you
The world was waiting just for you
Sexy Sadie oooh how did you know.

Sexy Sadie you'll get yours yet
However big you think you are
However big you think you are
Sexy Sadie oooh you'll get yours yet.

We gave her everything we owned just to sit at her table
Just a smile would lighten everything
Sexy Sadie she's the latest and the greatest of them all.

She made a fool of everyone
Sexy Sadie.

However big you think you are
Sexy Sadie.

And here you can hear John's take on the whole India trip - half spoken/half sung (with Yoko in the background, I think):

Friday Classic Video: I can't decide, but they're funny

(Also be sure to vote in our poll to the left, and check out Chuck's post below explaining it. If you for some reason can't figure it out.)

All right, so here are three quick clips. I liked all of them, so I figured what the heckfire, why not put 'em all up. I'm daring an' shit like that. They're all totally safe for work, and the bottom two should be office favorites for all you nerds with "jobs." (Side Bar, how's life?)

First up, this just goes to show you that Tarantino's words can be spoken by anyone or anything, and it still works just as well.

Next up, this is something of a YouTube classic, but I just saw it for the first time. Get out your Unbearable Cuteness Detectors.

And now, imagine if a couple of stoners got REALLY FUCKING HIGH and had just watched the above video. I'm not sure, but I may have actually done this at some point without realizing it, so maybe these two are actually thinking of me. Who knows? Now I'm hungry. Oooohhh, pretzels...

(Thanks to Liquid Television for the first vid.)

UPDATE: The Catch

Side Bar asked what we should call the amazing play from the Super Bowl where Eli Manning escaped a sack and then threw the ball seemingly wildly down the field to David Tyree who pinned it against his helmet before securing the catch. Also yesterday on Mike and the Mad Dog, Francesa spent about 3 hours taking calls offering suggestions on what to call the play. Incidentally, Mad Dog was off yesterday and Francesa would sometimes just sit in silence for literally 10 seconds at a time pondering the suggestions people were making. Is he that big of a fucking deal that he can't follow rule number one of radio, never stop talking?

Most of the suggestions from Francessa were pretty bad, but there were some good ones. I wanted to maybe just list a few of the possible names for the sake of fun, and also perhaps to get the picture of the girl peeing in the middle of the street with her breasts hanging out below the fold of the page in the hopes that I can again blog at work.

Here are a couple of ideas, starting with the bad ones:

Flight of the Phoenix (get it, the super bowl was in arizona, near phoenix?)

The Escape Catch (get it, like escape hatch?)

Let's not forget my suggestion to pull in the Fox cross promotion: Prison Break

Those are only a couple of the bad ones I can think of. There were some much worse suggestions on the radio show. Here are some of the better ones:

Catch-42 (get it, for Super Bowl 42?)

Eli to D-Ty, Oh My.

The Helmet Catch

The Tyree-ception

So far I think "Catch-42" is my favorite.

UPDATE: Look what I (Open Bar, that is) did. On the left side of the screen, I set up a friggin' POLL to determine the answer. Should we now takes bets on the Over/Under of what day we reach double-digit responses? Suggestions for both new names for the catch and for what the O/U date should be in the comments, por favor.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ah, the generation gap...

Click on the image below.

Thanks to
Defied Reality.

Just Say Guess, You Fracking Fracks

One of the things that really makes me angry that I understand is entirely irrational is when people say "guesstimate". I am all in favor of combining words that share syllables in order to create two different meanings, except in this case you're combining words that share the same meaning. You're not fucking clever, you're just a redundant fucking clown.

Either say "guess" or say "estimate". When you say "guesstimate" it hurts my fucking ears. They mean the exact same thing, at least in the limited context that you understand the word "estimate" to mean. I'm not trying to insult Americans who understand the subtelties of the English language, but I am trying to insult the subset of stupid Americans who use the word "guesstimate". You people suck. Stop it.

Fine, whatever, f*ck it

I hereby give up my insistence that this blog not deal with politics, because, hey fuck it. There's clearly no stopping it. The four of us are very politically engaged and aware, so why should we rob ourselves of discussing what's on our minds? Also, we haven't figured out some kind of blog identity that was divorced from politics, so why not just unleash the beast?

Chuck just posted a very thoughtful description of what went through his mind prior to entering the voting booth. I applaud him for doing that, even though I disagree with some of what he said. The writers of this blog don't need to hide our political leanings -- we only need to be able to articulate them clearly. I guess.

I have been very much against turning this space into something politically oriented, but tonight -- Super Duper Tuesday, as the media has described it -- makes it clear: Where's Luke? must rise to the occasion. We here are four intelligent, politically aware writers, and with the current political environment, we must respond. Because, otherwise, how would our dear readers know what to think?

I could sit here at my laptop and talk about the Giants and the Mets and how awesome drinking is (It's awesome!), but would that be the best I have to offer? No. (Yes.) And I don't want to prevent my equally brilliant co-writers the opportunity to write what matters to them. (Jameson whiskey.)

So -- and not like any of us needed the invitation -- let's open this blog to politics. After all, Chuck, LJT, and Side Bar have already begun the discussion with their intelligent, lucid, well-thought-out posts.

I am an Obama supporter. This is because I love his message of bringing the country together, that "We aren't liberal America and conservative America. We are the United States of America." This has resonated with me because for a long fucking time, I have felt that the idea of a Red-State America and a Blue-State America was a Rove/Bush concoction that the media ran with. That very idea is ABSOLUTE FUCKING HORSESHIT. Any time I've been down South, I have had a blast. All the people down there are -- believe it or not -- very much like me and people I know. I have never felt for one second while I was in "Red-State America" that I was unwelcome. Yes, we're different, but in my experiences, our differences are far outnumbered by our similarities. And whatever our differences might be, trying to drive a "wedge" between them strikes me as a political maneuver, rather than any attempt to actually make the country better.

What I love about Barack is the idea that everyone is welcome at the table. If you've ever found yourself in a situation where you've actually had to solve a problem, then you know that simply insisting you're right and ignoring the other side doesn't solve a fucking thing. But if you are willing to listen to the other person and give their side a degree of respect, then they will be much more willing to listen to you and, therefore, take the next step. You may not get all you want, but it's a step forward. And with the way the country has been run recently, simply taking a step forward is huge.

I fully believe that the only candidate on either side who can do this is Barack Obama. Every other candidate, from Hillary to McCain to Romney (Ron Paul excepted -- he's awesome) will simply continue the same game we've been watching. It's in their interest. They're classic politicians, despite what their campaigns are painting them as. If you look even a little bit closely, you can see that there is a clear difference between them and Barack. He has not changed his message at all. He is the actual messenger of "change." It doesn't take a genius to see that. Look back, and you will see that he has been preaching change far longer than Hillary or Romney, who only took up the "change" banner when it became politically viable.

That, ultimately, is why I choose Barack over Hillary. Their policies, as presented, are very similar. But once one of them is in office, who do you trust to do what he/she promised? If Hillary is elected, I don't believe for one second that she'll care at all about what she said. She will simply do what she thinks is best politically. All she cares about is winning. If things look tough, she will cave. She will start to claim such ludicrous things like her vote in the fall of 2002 wasn't actually a vote to go to war with Iraq, it was simply to give the inspectors more time or to enforce the sanctions or blah blah blah. If you were paying any sort of attention, you knew that that vote was a choice of going to war or not. Any further interpretation is dumb. That vote was for war, and she made it because it was her best political move at the time. That's it. That's all she cares about.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, said something different.

And Barack has continued to say something different -- something completely reasonable: That we are not simply Republicans and Democrats, we are not Red-Staters or Blue-Staters -- We are Americans. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to fool you.

So between someone like Barack and someone like Hillary, who do you believe?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Vote For Idealism

First of all, I don't know about the other contributors feelings on blogging about politics, but I know that I'm not going to be able to keep myself from blogging about the upcoming election on a somewhat regular basis. If you don't want to read my thoughts on politics, then I expect you'll just not read my posts.

Anyhow, today is "Super Tuesday", the day when nothing really happens, but there are really good new graph technologies on CNN. Heading into today I was really, honestly torn between voting for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. As I think I've expressed in previous posts, my feeling is that the prudent vote at this point goes to Clinton, and the idealistic vote goes to Obama. I think we know with Clinton we're going to get a president that's a solid B+ and that she won't really be better and she probably won't be worse. Obama, on the other hand, has the potential to be an A or even better, but also might go down in flames, or at least be like a C.

I have never had to think so hard about which candidate I wanted to vote for. Voting for Bill Clinton in 1996, Bill Bradley and then Gore in 2000, and Kerry in 2004 (the nomination was wrapped up by the time the New York primary rolled around) were all no brainers for me. This year I read a lot about it, I watched all the Meet The Press I could, I even read Maureen Dowd's column for the past couple weeks (which is getting harder these days. We get it Maureen, you're cynical. Very clever). I even looked fairly specifically at some of their policy platforms. At the end of the day, I really feel like the two candidates are pretty similar, in fact I believe that they are only marginally different. Requiring Americans to buy into a health care plan is not exactly a difference. It is, but you know what I mean.

It really just comes down to two things for me. First is electability, second is that prudence vs. idealism thing. If I felt like one of these two would be entirely outmatched in the general election by the Republican nominee (which is looking more and more like McCain), then I would vote for the other guy. Honestly, though, even there I see that they both have convincing arguments. Clinton is entirely prepared to go into the general election today, whereas she may lose momentum come November. I think Barack will have to build up steam by first changing is message for a more cnetrist audience, and second weathering the personal attacks that would undoubtedly begin in earnest come August, but I think he would really get the proverbial train moving later in the race.

At the end of the day, I had to make a decision. I was still not 100% convinced either way as I walked into the voting booth. My decision came down to this. I'm 29 years old, this is the last time I will vote as a "young voter" with my heart rather than with my head, and I decided to cast a vote for idealism, rather than prudence. I voted for Barack Obama.

I'm still not convinced that I made the right choice, to be perfectly honest with you, but I don't regret my vote. And I could not be more happy that my vote will actually count for something because 1)the nomination is not yet decided and 2)New York is not a winner take all state (Clinton has already been projected as the winner) so whatever proportion of the vote Obama receives will determine the number of delegates he receives.

If my guy doesn't end up winning the nomination ultimately, I will happily vote for Clinton in the general, but for today I'm still young, today I'm still an idealist, today I voted for the guy who most closely represents me and my background.

The Giants

I have honestly never been as excited being a sports fan as I was in the fourth quarter of that game. That David Tyree catch was the greatest play I can think of in the history of sport. The Giants won the Super Bowl.

I think that was a Haiku.

I'm F*cking Matt Damon

Today, on Super Duper-uper-uper-uper Tuesday - that apparently won't decide anything all of the sudden, let's take a few moments out for some levity.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Easy Eli, the Helmet Catch, and the Psychosis of Being a Fan

My turn.

Without hyperbole, without exaggeration, and without even a split-second of hesitation, I can honestly write that last night was one of the most exciting nights of my life, and one I really do not think I will ever forget. In fact, other than the night I got engaged, and the day I got married, it may have been the very best.

Open Bar and I share an affinity for the same teams, so his discussion below about our previous experiences supporting a team that wins a championship pretty much says it all. Mets in 1986, Giants in 1987 and 1991. And nothing else.

Until now. Last night was simply perfect: watching the game with a dozen good friends, plenty to eat (side note: amazing, amazing chili out of Open Bar. Well done, sir.), lots of beers, a come from behind victory for our beloved G-Men, and a post-game celebration with friends and strangers at three (or was it four?) bars right in the heart of the winning town.

I can't get enough of it. I've watched SportsCenter all day, read every paper in New York, cover to cover (even the Sun), and scoured for tidbits of information, pictures, and interviews. I've also watched the Helmet Catch about 17 times (side note: I am going to do a separate post polling our audience about naming Tyree's catch. "The Catch" is already taken, as is the "Immaculate Reception," so I think the "Helmet Catch" will work).

There's a football on my head!

And yet, I couldn't help but contrast last night's elation, and this morning's joyous hangover, with the utter devestation I felt just four months ago watching the Mets' season implode, or the year before that, sitting at Shea, waiting for Beltran to hit that curveball. I keep coming back to a fundamental question about being a sports fan: why on earth do I care this much?

I am an adult, I have a job (usually) in a field that is totally unrelated to sports, I am intelligent, and generally pretty responsible. Eli Manning doesn't know who I am, and has no obligation or reason to care. Plaxico Burress will never ask me for my autograph. But despite all that, I am absolutely devestated when "my" team loses the big game, and numbingly elated when they win.

I am sure there is an explanation. Something about in-group/out-group theories in psychology, about wanting to feel part of a team, about the vicarious thrill we get from seeing others succeed. Or maybe it's the camraderie that is shared by fans in the stands or in the bar, the excitement of predicting, criticizing, and wondering. To be honest though, even though I wonder about it sometimes, when all is said and done, I don't care why I care. I just do.

It might be that it is a little silly to get so invested in it, to jump up and scream like idiots because some guy caught a football three thousand miles from here. It may not be worth getting so down when your team loses, which all but one of them is guaranteed to do every single year, in every single sport. It could be that there are better things to do with a Sunday afternoon than sitting inside a dark bar in a random town because there is just no way you are missing a game.

Maybe, but the Giants just won the Superbowl.

So this is what it feels like, huh?


Son of a left-handed biscuit. (hat tip to Dr. Whatley, inventor of Tide)

By the power of Grayskull.

Oh my balls.

Great ghosts of Gargamel's Balls.

Balls of Mount Balls' Scrote.

K-Fed ate my baby's balls.

Those are a few of the nonsensical utterings my overwhelmed brain has coughed up over the last few hours. Brutal hangover notwithstanding, I now know what the limits of my central nervous system are. In other words, I've literally reached that point where something so extraordinary and unfathomable has occurred that I have no method of processing it. Instead, I tend to sit here open-mouthed (a la Eli), occasionally blinking myself back into awareness, only to be forced to reconsider the course of events of the last 24 hours.

This is a world where a marginal player can somehow catch a football-shaped ball with his FUCKING HELMET. A world in which I am humbled.

A world where one team can enter the Super Bowl with the never-before-achieved record of 18-0, then lose to a team led by a quarterback affectionately known as "the crappy one" in his family even when his oldest brother is some finance chump.

A world where, while watching the game last night, I screamed "Gisele's been to the abortion clinic four times already this month" and "I hope Wes Welker's children die," yet still, somehow, the Gods of Karma chose to...reward my over-the-top hostility and downright nastiness?

Where the fuck am I?

In my sports-watching life, the team I care about most -- the Mets -- has won one championship. That was in 1986, and at age 8, I had no proper perspective to appreciate the its magnitude. As if to hammer that point home, a few months later, the team I care about second-most -- the Giants -- won the Super Bowl. Four years after that, the Giants won it all again. Those three games -- each absolutely wonderful and spendiferous and scrumtrelecent, yes -- are it, though. Other than those three games, I have nothing but heartbreak, disappointment, and rage in my experience column.

That's why it's both beautiful and baffling to me as I sit here trying my hardest to compute what happened last night. It's been 17 years since I've been able to call my team Champion. In those 17 years, there have been some notable events which I, and those odd Giants/Mets fans have endured: the 49ers game, the not-even-close Super Bowl loss to the Ravens, this past September's Mets collapse, and, most painfully, a World Series loss to my most-hated enemy.

At this point, I feel conditioned to events like that. But for events like actually, you know, succeeding, alas, I got nothing.

I can say this though: It does feel quite nice. That surely sounds deserving of a Captain Obvious tag, but as I've never been old enough to properly experience something like this, "nice" is goddamn eloquent, nay Shakespearean, okay?

Holy humping Moses Malone's Tits, this feels good.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


As documented in our blog, I'm not necessarily the biggest sports fan going but I couldn't help but get caught up in tonight's Super Bowl and the Giant's gripping playoff run.

My more avid Giant-fans co-bloggers will expand but I just want to take a moment to revel in tonight's win.

Congratulations to the whole Giants team, especially Eli Manning who overcame mad doubters (myself included, admittedly) to win the Super Bowl - becoming the Super Bowl MVP in the process.

Also, props to Plaxico for standing up for the G-Men during the week and not backing down.

A GIANT fuck you to Bill Belichick, you sore losing, fuck-you-touchdown scoring, cheating, Jets abandoning, home wrecking fucking douche bag.

Luke, I am your cheater.

Also, a GIANT fuck you goes out to Tiki Barber, you announcing your retirement half-way through the seasoning, shit talking your former team while Today Show hosting, caterpillar eyebrow having, coach hating even though he taught you how not to be fumbling and going down like a Chuck Knoblauch, rooting for the other teaming and Eli Manning clowning after you're retired bitch!

Don't worry Tiki, you may never win a Super Bowl but you could still land a spot on The View when Babarbara Walters retires.