portrait of the nihilist as a young man...
anyone who spends three minutes listening to one of my political rants knows that i think just about every problem can be solved by just tearing everything down and starting all over. i call it the "let it break" theory - i think certain institutions are so thoroughly rotten that we should just LET them spin out of control and self-destruct.
so anyway, i happened to have visited my mom's house last weekend and stumbled across an old floppy disk full of writing from my high school days. one of the files was a column i wrote for the school paper attacking the student council (and the student v.p., coincidentally, happened to be a good friend, billy milliken)....anyway, my article read like a young lenin-in-training...
"Maybe the only reason for having student council is facilitate dances and fundraisers. Then the question is raised. Do we then even need student government? The answer would have to be no! If silly little school-spirit activities are the sole reason for retaining a student council, than why keep it at all.
If we can't devise a real student government, than we might as well just get rid of it all together. The only job they've accomplished so far has been coordinating activities. All of the many student clubs in our school could easily take over those responsibilities. That would actually be better because it could facilitate the input of many more students than with the student council. Under my system, more kids would have a say in more school-wide activities.
...It is time for Betty and Bill, and the student body as a whole to make some tough decisions. Do we want to stand up to the administration? If we don't even try, student council will have signed it's own death warrant. At that point the entire system of student government should be seriously brought into question."
....i love the part about "signing its own death warrant." i can totally see myself writing that. what a jackass.
May 31, 2005
portrait of the nihilist as a young man...
May 26, 2005
May 24, 2005
well malcolm glazer, the tacky billionaire himself, went ahead and bought friggin manchester united for almost $1.5 billion last week. that's a lot of dough....probably $500 million more than the most valuable NFL clubs (generally thought to be either washington or dallas). anyway, it appears the shit is already starting to flow downhill toward the NFL.
it seems glazer's MAN U operations are intertwined with a new casino partially being built by the club near old trafford. of course, man u fans, who detest glazer are using it as a wedge issue with the nfl, which has always been opposed to owners with gambling connections. here's an excerpt regarding a meeting between glazer and the league...
"The meetings came on the same day that the U.S. representative of Shareholders United, a group of fans and shareholders who oppose Glazer's takeover, wrote a letter to NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue outlining Manchester United's connection to gambling.
The letter, written by J.D. Deitch, said that United has bookmaking stalls at Old Trafford and has links to a gambling Web site on the club's official site. The letter also mentions the deal with Las Vegas Sands."
By Joel at 9:25 PM
whenever i hear anyone seriously talking about how great hillary clinton is for the democratic party, i just cringe. she's a perennial AIPAC suck-up who wouldn't stick her pinky finger out for the palestinians, lest she lose the support of a few powerful zionist organizations. i would LOVE to know what makes sharon, an absolute butcher, so funny to her...
By Joel at 9:03 PM
May 23, 2005
i've really been diggin on some great electro music lately. mylo is just killer. funky, funky house music with a poppy, 80s feel to it. he KNOWS how to get great drum sounds out of his hardware, too. you gotta check out "drop the pressure."
By Joel at 9:01 AM
May 22, 2005
one of the things i miss about d.c. (in addition to friends) is going to Five, one of the greatest nightclubs OF ALL TIME. hehehe.
here's who they had playign the last few saturdays...
4/9: TIMMY REGISFORD. THE SHELTER - NYC
4/16: MIGUEL MIGS & LISA SHAW - w. PHIL C.
4/23: DJ HALO VARGA & TOM B
4/30: DJ MANDRILL & TAHA
5/7: MATTHIAS "MATTY" HEILBRON
5/21: LIL' LOUIS
not a bad lineup....damn. why can't providence get big names like these?
By Joel at 8:08 PM
May 20, 2005
we booked a honeymoon today! woooooo. we're going to puerto vallarta, mexico. neither di nor i have ever been to mexico, so we're really excited. we're going to stay at Dreams Puerto Vallarta, which looks like a friggin gorgeous resort. the beaches just look amazing. here it is...
By Joel at 5:04 PM
i try to watch SNL at least a few times a year. unfortunately the last season or two have just sucked horribly. you know that feeling you usually get with young up-and-coming SNL stars? where you just know they're going to blow up someday and become huge? (i swear, i knew chris rock would be HUUUUGE the first time i saw him doing that funky soul train dance dressed as "Nat X.") well i never get that feeling anymore with the new cast members.... anyway, SNL had will ferrel host last week and he busted out his famous "more cowbell" character, according to the sports guy. here's his take...
"Will Ferrell hosted 'SNL' last weekend. another sub-par show, with one good Weekend Update joke (Pat O'Brien's 'You're So Bleeping Hot Sauce') and one decent sketch ('Celebrity Jeopardy,' rehashed from the 400 times they did it when he was on the cast). There was one highlight, though. during the first song of Queens of the Stone Age, Ferrell randomly came out dressed like Gene Frenkle and started banging the cowbell, which would have been the greatest marijuana moment of all-time if you were stoned watching the show. It seemed like the guys in the band requested it because none of them were even remotely phased. plus, they were singing 'Little Sister,' a great song that actually has a recurring cowbell in it. Just a goofy, inspired moment that redeemed an entire season of crappiness."
By Joel at 11:56 AM
May 19, 2005
May 18, 2005
di and i get to be the music-nazis during the wedding reception. i'm trying to come up with a song list for the deejay to play. here's some of the tunes i've come up with so far...
Michael Jackson – Thriller
Daft Punk – Around the World
Heatwave – Boogie Nights
Lipps Inc. – Funky Town
Average White Band – Pick up the Pieces
Cheryl Lynn – Got to be Real
Stevie Wonder – Boogie On Reggae Woman
Black Eyed Peas – Smells Like Funk
Outkast – Happy Valentine’s Day
Cameo – Word Up
Gap Band - You Dropped the Bomb on Me
Parliament Funkadelic - She's a Bad Mama Jama
Run DMC - Tricky
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Relax
Dexy's... - Come on Eileen
Groove Armada - Superstylin'
Ludacris - Number One Spot
...feel free to suggest your own songs. the only rule is that it's got.to.be.funky.
By Joel at 8:17 PM
beer of the week...
here's a seriously great IPA (india pale ale) from delaware, 90 Minute IPA from dogfish head brewery in rehoboth beach. this is a monstrously hoppy beer. it's got a nice piney american-style hoppiness to it. the high abv gives the beer a slight burn, but the chewy maltiness is able to balance it out. this is beer on steroids. woooo.
By Joel at 8:10 PM
May 17, 2005
i've gotta admit, british parliament member george galloway pretty much threw it back in the faces of the mccarthyist senators on an oil-for-food witchunt... "'I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is that Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns.'
'I was an opponent of Saddam Hussein when British and American governments and businessmen were selling him guns and gas.'
'You have nothing on me, Senator, except my name on lists of names from Iraq, many of which have been drawn up after the installation of your puppet government in Iraq.'"
By Joel at 2:35 PM
here's a nice little article on why weekend box office numbers are utterly absurd. they basically measure how well a movie was promoted and not much else - certainly not how much profit a movie will eventually make. I consider myself to be an avid moviegoer (di and I probably average one or two trips to the theaters per month), but I have to say, I can't EVER remember going to see a movie in its opening week....even as a teen-ager.
By Joel at 1:17 PM
May 16, 2005
i usually really dig blacktable.com, but today's review of "the family guy". is just crazy. the author really, really needs to loosen up and recognize the show for what it its... a half-hour of goofy, idiotic, lightweight humor. that's all it tries to be! don't think so hard, fella. comedy is a tough widget to produce and if your formula for it involves pop culture ephemera and idiotic character, so be it.
By Joel at 1:43 PM
May 15, 2005
manchester fans are threatening to storm the field during the upcoming FA Cup final to protest the club's purchase by the original evil team owner, malcolm glazer. would that EVER happen in u.s. sports? where fans are viewed (and view themselves) less as stakeholders in the success of a team, but as consumers that can be replaced as soon as the team can appeal to a wealthier set of spectators?
By Joel at 6:12 PM
May 14, 2005
di and i FINALLY found a photog for the wedding. a friend of a friend is giving us a very fair and reasonable price. what a load off my shoulders.
now all we need to do is...figure out what the reception food will be, go through marriage counseling with father bocchino, reserve a block of hotel rooms for out of town guests, make the invitations, possibly book the limo, book the honeymoon, pick out tuxes, buy a wedding dress, pick out flowers, pick out centerpieces for the reception, pick out the songs for the deejay to play at the reception, pick a rehearsal dinner spot for friday night, plan the bachelor party, plan the bridal shower and last but not least....book di and i on larry king live after she runs away, prompts a community-wide womanhunt and then is found a week later living among cult members in a new mexico trailer park.
By Joel at 6:54 AM
May 12, 2005
this story is a few months old, but a writer for washington monthly published an excllent piece about just how screwed up america's healthcare non-system really is. the scary truth is that the VA health system is now superior to most private insurance programs. here's why and how.
By Joel at 9:05 AM
May 11, 2005
49ers Coach Mike Nolan was told by the NFL that he can't wear a suit on the sidelines during games next season. huh? i don't even like wearing suits, but shouldn't a professional coach dress like, well, a professional? unfortunately, the league has a deal with reebok to supply all coachwear -- which means rotund 60 year-old men are modellng sportswear. anyway, check out a little history of nfl coach-wear.
By Joel at 2:49 PM
May 7, 2005
beer of the week...
i've been drinking a lot of long trail beers lately. they're from a great vermont brewery that really makes high-quality stuff. i especially love
Double Bag , a german-style ale that comes in at a nice 7.2% abv. despite using an ale yeast, this beer has a nice fruity, sweet maltiness to go along with what taste like german hops (hallertauer?). a great cold-weather brew for the current nor'easter that's pummeling rhode island right now.
By Joel at 10:11 PM
other cities name their arenas after proud fortune 500 companies... providence names its arena the Dunkin Donut Center. but it's so so much more than just a name on a sign. rhode islanders couldn't function without dunkin donuts. there's a very shady dunkin donuts about 10 minutes from my apartment, in a rough neighborhood, yet EVERYTIME I pass the place, even at like 11 p.m., there's a line of cars queued up around the drive-thru and throngs of people in the parking lot. where do these people come from? i dunno, but this guy was on a mission to visit all 30 of providence's dunkin donuts franchises.
By Joel at 9:42 PM
May 5, 2005
i was looking up some info on boston museums and i somehow stumbled across the museum Of bad art, which is located "in the basement of the Dedham Community Theater, conveniently located just outside the men's room. The nearby flushing helps maintain a uniform humidity." This one is called "Lucy in the Field with Flowers" and was apparently found in a trash bin. Curators there refer to it as "MOBA's Mona Lisa."
By Joel at 8:30 PM
see...we're not so bad.
researchers tested various professions to see who is ethical and who isn't. journalists actually did pretty well.. "Journalists had an average score of 48.7 on a 100-point scale, meaning just about half the time, members of the profession make decisions based on the best quality ethical reasoning. That rate was exceeded only by seminarians/philosophers at 65.1, medical students at 50.2 and practicing physicians at 49.2."
but here's my favorite part...
"Nurses, orthopedic surgeons and members of the Navy are among the groups that trailed journalists. Junior high school students scored lowest, with 20.0, just below prison inmates, with 23.7."
By Joel at 2:58 PM
here's what juan cole had to say about pat robertson's comment that muslims (and jews) shouldn't be able to serve in high office. do you ever get the feeling that, despite their religious differences, if pat robertson and mullah omar ever did somehow get together, they'd be lovers at first sight?
By Joel at 8:20 AM
By Joel at 8:03 AM
May 3, 2005
i loved the flick "sideways," and there have been dozens of stories in recent months that the movie caused wine drinkers to shift away from merlot and toward pinot noir. here's an interesting take on the issue of why pinot noir isn't necessarily the solution to the problem. basically, pinot noir is a finnicky grape that is especially risky in cheaper wines. you're taking a gamble every time you buy that $9 bottle of pinot.
"My advice for Merlot drinkers who have been shamed by its portrayal in the movie Sideways is not to flee to Pinot Noir in the hope that you will find terminal coolness. More than likely you will be terribly disappointed and will have wasted a lot of money in the process. If you want to move on, I can assure you there is a better life after Merlot. In fact, there is a whole world of Syrah/Shiraz and Argentine Malbec out there that you really should be exploring. You definitely will get a lot more for your money in all price ranges, and you are certain to find wines that will give you were looking for in Merlot, and probably a lot more."
By Joel at 3:30 PM
i haven't blogged much about the eagles, but i've been reading a lot of garbage lately from uninformed (read: skip bayless) idiots. here's a l;ittle dispatch today from the inky regaridn the club beign irked by westbrook, who still hasn't re-signed his contract offer and missed minicamp last week. on westbrook, i think the team needs to shell out some bucks and get westy signed for the next 3 or 4 years. he's got a lot of mileage left on him and a talent like his simply doesn't fall into your lap every year (although we'll have to see how ryan moats, a rookie, will pan out. so joe banner: sign westy for us!!!
as for T.O., i think the eagles should probably restructure his contract to lessen the cap impact in two years. we'll see what happens, but i'd bet ONE MILLION DOLLARS that he'll be on the field when training camp begins.
the last big question mark is corey simon, the overpaid and underperforming defensive tackle. simon has played well at times over the last few seasons, but he's a classic over-the-hump veteran that the team should either trade or cut. especially with the rookie patterson coming in, we're stocked at tackle and should offload simon now while there are still teams stupid enough to bite (some get dan snyder on the phone!).
all this football talk is making it tough to get through the summer (aka "the dry season") as a sports fan. i'd rather watch badminton than nine innings of baseball, tennis is just gay and there's no summer olympics or world cup this year. oh well. there is SOME football (aka soccer). i will be catching the friendly between u.s.a. and england in june. england is coming here to play at soldier field in chicago. we'll see how the u.s. plays. they're doing well so far and look to be a lock to qualify for the world cup. oh and demarcus beasley is now tearing it up in the dutch league . beasley is playing among the best players in the world for PSV Eindhoven and thriving. hopefully that'll translate to a still-improving u.s. national team.
By Joel at 9:21 AM
can muslim-americans serve in the u.s. government? apparently pat robertson (founder of the christian coalition and host of the always-entertaining "700 Club") doesn't think so. he's entitled to hate muslims all he wants. he can fill his head all day long with delusions that muslims are treacherous and dirty, but nevertheless, americans need to recognize that his far-right evangelical christian view of this country is completely at odds with the constitution and the democratic norms that we've established over the past few centuries. these people HATE democracy because it IS inherently secular. judges and legislators and presidents don't have to adhere to a particular religion, but people like robertson are chipping away at it. let's hope they don't ever really get what they want.
By Joel at 9:06 AM
May 1, 2005
i've also been really really digging "Doubts and Convictions," an album by The Troublemakers. i'd guess i'd categorize them as trip-hop, but the french group's musical style is more upbeat than a lot of trip-hop. they also use a lot of great samples -- both vocal and instrumental...so their songs have great old bossa nova, jazz and funk rhythms. just a very jazzy vibe going on here.
By Joel at 11:23 AM