Saturday, February 28, 2009

random observations

Just wanted to mention a few things I've thought about lately...

Remember when there was an outcry in California to get rid of governer Gray Davis. Granted, this guy was about as exciting as a local algebra teacher, but he was still an elected official. The referendum to have a special election was based on his lack of fiscal oversight in the debt ridden state. After all, California had a budget deficit of 6 billion at the time. Fortunately, California voters were wise enough to elect Arnold Scharzenegger aka The Governator. Now their budget deficit is 42 billion. Maybe they should have stuck with Gray Davis, but that election was just so much fun. They had porn star Mary Carey, midget TV phenom Gary Coleman, and roughly 300 other people run for Governor.

Fox News always makes this huge production that Iran and North Korea are going to test fire long range missiles. What country with long range missiles does NOT actively test them? Wouldn't it be even more irresponsible to have these missiles and not engage in routine testing? Why does Fox only mention the "axis of evil" countries in this regard. Why not disclose when India and Israel perform tests? Wouldn't that be a little more fair and balanced?

Here's an idea. When you speak with low income Republican who voted for Bush and is an ardent supporter of the war in Iraq, ask them to name 2 other cities in the country other than Baghdad. In Afghanistan, see if they can name 1 city.

Why did El Salvador commit troops to the Iraq war? How could this possibly have been in the national interest of a tiny impoverished country in Central America? Does the average El Salvadorian really have a vested interest in the Middle East or the political transformation of Iraq. They were just one of the more obscure members of the "coalition of the willing."

What kind of bank would extend a $400,000 mortgage with no money down?

How could the sequel to Meet the Parents be so pathetic when the first one was so hysterical?

Why does the Republican party seek to destroy absolutely anyone that proposes raising taxes? For a party that supposedly embraces sound principles of economics, you'd think they'd realize that in good times you're supposed to increase taxes and during recessionary times, you decrease taxes. It's called Econ 101. You can't just keep indiscriminately cutting taxes in every situation. Eventually you'd have no revenue.

Rank these 10 things in order of importance AS THEY AFFECT YOUR LIFE. BE TOTALLY HONEST. Which are you most likely to talk discuss with friends and family...
Nadya Suleman, the price of gasoline, the weekly episode of American Idol, the war in Iraq, long term U.S. energy policy, celebrity couples and romances, Nascar, Oprah's Book Club or any book, credit card debt, high profile arrests & mugshots.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Top 10 WORST Rock Concerts

You always see these lists everywhere - Favorite rock bands, vehicles I used to own, best recipes, favorite expressions (you know, "gag my with a spoon", "FACIAL")... on and on it goes, reluctantly and with a momentum entirely of its own. I already compiled a list of my favorite rock concerts a couple of years ago.
Well, how about a list of the absolute WORST rock concerts I've ever seen. I have all my ticket stubs showcased on my bedroom wall, so it was easy for me to walk around and pick them out. I would encourage others to make a similar list. I'll try to offer a brief explanation of why the show sucked. I'll also avoid targeting shitty bands, Jimmy Buffett and various country acts - what purpose would this possibly serve.
These are listed in no particular order.

10. Deep Purple & The Scorpions, June 15, 2002, Post Gazette Pavilion
I wouldn't classify this show as poor, but rather oddly pathetic. What desperate promoter conjured up this pairing? This was when The Scorpions came out with those horrible songs - Winds of Change and Gorky Park. When I saw these large, toothless morons swaying to that Winds of Change song, I bolted for the car and procured a much needed beverage. You think of great bands that have become absolute jokes - Aerosmith, Van Halen/Hagar, and The Scorpions are right up there.

9. Allman Brothers - Post Gazette (I think it was the 2003 show).
I love the Allman Brothers. Seen them about 10 times. There was one show that was really uninspiring. I'm sure their fans who go see them in Burgettstown every year know which year I'm talking about.

8. The Artist Formerly Known As Prince - 1997, Mellon Arena
I saw his Musicology Tour in 2004 at Mellon and it was one of the best concerts I've ever seen. This show was blatantly lame. First off, the venue was half full. He was at the peak of his Jehovah's Witness phase and properly referred to as The Artist. He wouldn't play any of his racy material and he refused to curse on stage, so he had the audience yell out words like "damn" or "hell." What the fuck? What was this? Although he's a weirdo, Prince is fantastic. But this tour he was straight weirdo.

7. Rusted Root - Wheeling Civic Center (I think it was 1996 or 97)
Rusted Root (I like to call them Rusted Soot) came to town riding the wave of that crappy "Simmy's on the Way" song. There's something embarrassing about going to see a concert in Wheeling. After the show, I feel like my mom's supposed to discreetly pick me up and tell me it's time for bed. This was the show where a Wheeling Jesuit girl bit the dust in the restroom and had to got to the emergency room so they could wire her jaw shut. I remember partying on the Island that night at Smitty's house. Long night for everyone.

6. Santana - Post Gazette Pavilion, 2003
This was the year Santana teamed up with all those crappy Top 40 bands - Goo Goo Dolls, the Matchbox 20 fag, Third Eye Blind. He released this horrible collaborative cd with all these endlessly regurgitated pop songs. Rest assured, he played them all to a crowd of rabid 40 year old women who had no idea his first name was Carlos.

5. Beat Bash - Post Gazette Pavillion, August 25, 2001
I'm still not sure what this was, why I was there or who I was with. I ight have zipped up just to scalp. Lots of Eminem, fake wanna-be thugs all over the parking lot. Not sure who played but I vaguely remember something called Kool-Aid and JoJo. This concert may have been a contributing factor to 9/11.

4. Grateful Dead - 3-18-91, Cap Center - Landover, Maryland
Everyone loves a Dead show, right??? Well this one totally sucked. Jerry kept forgetting lyrics and the band just sounded horrible. Setlist was boring and uninspired too. Couldn't even compensate through partying at the campground (Greenbelt) because we were continually harassed by militant park rangers. They even took our beer.

3. Anthrax, Exodus & Helloween - Hara Arena, Dayton, Ohio 4-24-89
Of all the top tier trash bands, Anthrax was always out of place. The only thing I remember was being embarrased to cheer, clap or applaud. Not a good sign.

2. The Other Ones - Mellon Arena, November 29, 2002
This was one of those early Phil and Friends shows. Plain awful. We had a good time though. For a while, we were behind the stage until security tossed us out. I hate to say this, but from what I've seen, the remaining members of the Grateful Dead and their affiliate members have become a colossal joke. You gotta know when to hang it up. Here's an idea - don't tour during the winter. So at the very least, we can enjoy the tailgating weather.

1. David Bowie & Nine Inch Nails - Starlake Ampitheatre, September 23, 1995
This was the year they collaborated. I think it was called "Tin Can Project" or something to that effect. We were so psyched. Instead, they played only the new material. You could see the disappointment in the entire crowd. After the show, everyone bitched on the way to their vehicles. You don't see that very often.

Honorable Mention - What else could it be but the Grateful Dead Blizzard Show. 3-20-94, Richfield Coliseum, Cleveland, Ohio
They canceled the show the night before and everyone partied their asses off at any hotel, rest stop, Taco Bell, wherever... Fuck it! State of Emergency and, ohhh yeah, the Dead comes to town. We were totally psyched. It might have been one hell of a party, but let's be honest. That show sucked.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

using facebook as a weapon

Here's a hypothetical situation. My name is Marlene and I live in the small rural town of Bethesda, Ohio. The population of our community is about 600. Being part of small town America, everyone pretty much knows everybody. About 2/3 of the townspeople have internet access and the majority are connected via facebook. We all monitor each others status and frequently discuss local politics and future events. In many ways, interest in facebook and its related groups (Bethesda bowlers, gardening club, etc.) has surpassed the popularity of the local newspaper. The instantaneous nature and accessibility to information via facebook just seems like a better way to keep in touch.
Recently, my best friend Annie Thompson was the victim of a physical assualt. Her alcoholic husband Jim came home violent and drunk. He punched her several times leaving her with 2 bruises and a broken nose. Annie fled the house and came to my home in tears. She told me the whole story and I decided to exact my own form of revenge upon her asshole husband Jim. I got on the computer, went to my facebook page and posted the following as my status update...

"Jim Thompson beat his wife, gave her a sexually transmitted disease and has engaged in acts of bestiality." Actually, you could write just about anything with the insinuation of child pornography or molestation and BOOM, it's all over. Maybe a drugged date rape accusation or so and so is a heroin junkie. The possibilities are endless - you get the drift.

Rest assured, all this is merely hypothetical but I assure you this is a highly plausible scenario. This is a vicious attack with little or no recourse. After all, it could be a reference to some other Jim Thompson. I could argue that someone else knew my password and posted it. You could go the freedom of speech route.
My point - I think you'll see a rise in frivolous litigation concerning these matters. What if I decided to start an internet facebook club entitled, "Here is a list of the names and addresses of sexual predators in Bethesda, Ohio." Hell, I got my information form a govt. website and was just trying to fulfill my civic duty.

Something very similar happened in Wheeling in the pre-internet days (early 1990's). Does anyone remember when a vindictive individual spray painted a message about how another person "raped her son" on a vacant building wall next to a local church. I'm sure that made for some interesting conversation amongst the churchies at Sunday brunch.

Here's the point of all this. There's going to have to eventually be some global acceptance that when it comes to libelous/slanderous (via webcams) online activity, the perpetrators will increasingly not be held liable. You'll be able to say anything or post anything with absolute impunity. In a world that increasingly relies on the world wide web as a reliable source for information and the non-stop level of accompanying litigation, it seems as though these two forces will soon collide. For the most part, they already have. I suspect we'll see a tipping point in the near future. When the interent surfaced 10 years ago, it was hailed as the World Wide Web. WWW is an acronym for the wild wild west???? Wild, wild west - that's the global understatement of the millenium.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Top 14 Observations about Octuplet Woman aka Nadya Suleman. Top 6 have special Wheeling overtones.

14. Former Charles in Charge TV star will babysit. Not Chachi Arcola, his bff Willie Ames. Prior experience on Eight is Enough gives him sufficient credibility.

13. That pic of her 9 months pregnant is bigger than Obama's stimulus package.

12. Someday, have all the kids simultaneously run for Congress. People would say, "Oh yeah... that's Octuplet womans' kids. She's got my vote. Gotta support the team."

11. Probably would be ridiculed in China.

10. Food stamps could run out. Might want to consider "high-end protein gruel" from Simpson's Camp Krusty episode.

9. Father should do a week long Maury Povich paternity test for all 14 kids. One by one by one by one by blah by yo by yo by bye

8. Special NANNY 911! episodes featuring Rush Limbaugh, Hannity, and other top-secret nannies. Ann Coulter heads up sweeps week.

7. Make Bristol Palin breast feed all the babies as punishment for her mother losing the presidential race. I know... this one is weak.

and now... onto Nadya Wheeling The Suleman Feeling ...

6. Get Joe the Plumber to be their fucking plumber and have them all relocate to Flushing, Ohio. This one is NOT weak.

5. She could hang at the Elm Grove DiCarlos. "Uhhh, that's for 6 trays with 17 bags of cheese?"

4. The father (who's tactically absent) should avoid handing out illegal Cuban cigars. Maybe consider the less expensive Wheeling Marsh Stogies?

3. Stick with me here... You go the absolute polygamy route. All the female children marry one man. All the male children are married to one woman. They'll come together for ONE SPECIAL NIGHT in Wheeling! An ALL-NEW... WHEELING WIFE SWAP (after hours in Benwood)!

2. Incorporate entire family into Oglebay Festival of Lights display. Parenting is NOT seasonal, damn-it!

1. Strength in numbers! Her family could provide "recession relief" to sagging attendance figures at Wesbanco Arena.