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Non Apologia. . ..

October 10, 2009 Leave a comment

In the October 16 issue of Entertainment Weekly, there appears a short article in which Tyler Perry reveals he was the victim of extreme abuse as a child. Child molestation and its corollary abuses are criminal and repugnant on any level, to anyone. I hardly lack the compassion to not feel this was a terrible thing. However he and fellow spotlight whore, Oprah Winfrey are set to profit from this muy pronto by wide release of Winfrey’s latest cinematic cash cow.* I’m sure some of the take will go to charities they support. Anyone know how much? Odd they are so circumspect in that arena. Sweet restraint. If only they’d do it everywhere else.

I don’t like those two people. They exploit their pain in the name of helping others. Perry has been very successful wearing a dress & making movies of it. We all know what Oprah does. Though frankly, I’m not sure. She has a magazine which features her on the cover. Every issue. Excessive at best, egoistic certainly. Does she even know O is the title of a major erotic novel. She’s obviously aware it’s the Periodic Table symbol for oxygen, as she’s full of hot air. Regardless, Winfrey was also famously the victim of family horrors. Who knew it could be so profitable? Repeatedly. I’m guessing they did, every chance they got. It separates them from me, I know that for sure.

One has to question the motives of tossing this information out into the media, like chum to sharks. Does it help the sadly large numbers of others who have suffered and currently are suffering? Many of them in silence. Is it going to give the courage to some boy to put on a female family member’s clothing & upload it onto You Tube—in hopes he’ll hit number one, as opposed to being hit by someone. Most likely it will make him or her a target to a larger circle of creeps. Or worse. We’ll have another Tyler Perry. There will of course, never be another Oprah. Thank God & Steadman for that-amen.

They are not the only people to regurgitate their traumatic lives. MacKenzie Phillips just wrote a book and went on some shows to talk about her incestuous episodes with her father, John Phillips aka Papa John of The Mamas & the Papas, a successful folk-rock group in the Sixties. Papa John—not to be confused with the pizza magnate, though there is an awful joke there, I’ll skip it, was known to get doped up & was quite the ladies man. Apparently ( no pun-OK it is ) he had no governor on which lady, all were fair game. Maybe Mac will have a Lifetime movie. I’m guessing Valerie Bertinelli won’t be in it.

So, I’m sorry Tyler, I had no idea you were so fucked up. Listening to you speak, reading about your work, seeing how you want to own an island—I never guessed. But hey Oprah—try featuring something else on the cover of O magazine other than your fat face. You don’t see Malcolm Forbes on the cover of Forbes —what? he’s dead, machts nichts schnickelfritz, you think I don’t suspect you have a clause stating O runs your mug until the end of the universe?

And oh yeah, I was abused. But I don’t wear a mu mu for money in bad flicks. And I wouldn’t. I might use it to dodge a war. But hey, I ain’t stoopit.

* I know the title – I’m not helping them, even with my 3 readers

Pete, We Hardly Knew Ye

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment

The state of the economy has taken its toll of many. I would never minimize how it has adversely affected people and the ramifications of it will extend into their lives for years to come. That said, it has finally & cruelly gone too far. This is just awful, sad news. I see the Apocalypse coming out of left field and it ain’t Manny Ramirez—OK, maybe it looks a lot like him.

PETE Abraham, Yankee beat writer and incredibly successful blogger for the NY area Lower Hudson Journal News is leaving the pinstripes to move closer to his family. He’s going to work for Boston Globe.com. It’s an upgrade for him and I wish him the best. But he’s going to be covering the Re… no! I can’t bring myself to say it. Or type it. Or whatever it is I’m doing. Other than feeling ill that is.

You know, when they tried to trade the legendary Jackie Robinson from the Brooklyn Dodgers to their hated cross town rivals the NY (Manhattan) Giants, he retired. It was a laudable and principled albeit extreme statement Mr. Robinson made. Of course, a hot dog at the ballpark & a Coke didn’t cost you $25 fifty years ago. And gas to fill the tank to take a drive to see the folks was 22¢ a gallon. Really.

Sure, Jackie wasn’t making 15 million a season either, he was lucky if he topped out at 40K ( the O’Malley’s were likely trying to salary dump, seeing as Robinson was in his mid 30’s). Pete isn’t getting millions to switch, but the Globe is getting a guy who did make a baseball blog in three years the most popular one on the net. Having the Yankees as the team didn’t hurt. That won’t happen in Boston—99% of Sawks fans can’t read. Oddly the other one per cent are writers of all levels and/or brilliant talents. Go figure.

I’d heard the newsstand copy of the Globe will become extinct in 2010, along with the NY Daily News, Miami Herald & 5 other major metro dailies. Online being the current format & one Pete has been extremely successful with, they are getting a proven winner. That said, here are the Top 5 Stories I hope he gets to file next season-

5. Ted Williams secretly longed to be a NYY & wore Yankee logo boxers

4. MIT will publish a Nobel Prize winning paper that Varitek is indeed a Cro Magnon

3. Larry Lucchino & Theo Epstein are married to each other

2. Every Red Sox player except Ted Williams & Dom DiMaggio has been juicing since 1919. They just didn’t get the good stuff until 2004

1. The entrance to Hell is that door in the Green Monster Manny used. . ..

Look out Gammons, there’s a new Pete in town.

Pyrrhic Pressure

September 15, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s been a season of win-lose here in Gritropolis. This, so pointedly captured by this weekend—on the court, on stage & sigh, at the movies.

Having a Pyrrhic victory may be fine for some. Not for me. Sure, that fat head no talent Tyler Perry, finally let a woman wear the dress. But his dreck came in number one at the box office. The one solace I have is that all people buying tickets for that movie have been tagged by Homeland Security, as no threat whatsoever to US intelligence.

While Serena Williams blew up at the US Open ( tennis ) for what she felt was an umpire’s wrong call on a foot fault*, Kanye West retained his title as Biggest Loudmouth in Music. Homeboy still believe he can hit that Beyonce groove thang, soon as the girl see he prettier than Jay Z. Or delusional that Taylor Swift has jungle fever & digs stupid guys. Either way, he on crack. One thing I know for certain—Taylor Swift’s videos are better than Tyler Perry’s. Watching hers only get you tagged by the local Fish & Game Commission. And that’s so they can call you for a donation.

If Serena can be fined an amount the equivalent of her tennis shoe allowance for a Grand Slam tournament (just kidding-I know she gets them gratis), why can’t that ahole Kanye get fined by the FCC. Why? for being an ahole in prime time. I bet  Mr. Obama’s backhanded smack of Kanye got more play than anything he might’ve said publicly about Joe Wilson (R-Rep. South Carolina). He probably just got an atta boy from Rush Limbaugh—ha ha ha ad infinitum. Times like these I wish James Brown was still alive to advise some entertainers. Not the sports James Brown. Or the other sports James Brown. Or one of the Steve Smiths. The late great King of Soul. Of course!

There’s more, but I like to stick to the headlines. I do feel compelled to inject a future story—Prince Fielder, the really talented & large (+ packing a few more lbs. than needed ) first baseman of your Milwaukee Brewers, is likely to be trade bait over the Winter. Team very interested resides in Boston. Since they are allowed to make any move & be praised for it by buttboys at ESPN, I can’t fight the power. It is true, they have gone too long without a big fat guy to play first for them, since Mo Vaughn left. And Pig Papi Ortiz admitted his ” protein drinks ” only enable him to do one thing well—hit v. the Yankees.

Speaking of baseball, who won the World Series? The season must have ended while I was on my retreat in Nepal, searching for the home of Deechen Lachman.** I had no joy finding it, though I did run into the Dalai Lama.† When I asked him if he knew her, he said vexedly—” she’s Australian, you moron.” If I’d have known the MLB season wound up early so ESPN could go football 24/7, I’d have asked the Dalai Lama about the WS. Hey! he was all ready pissed off, I had nothing to lose there. 

All I can get from ESPN is football f*gs, enabling gamblers with point spreads & injury reports & sucking up to coach. They are stat diligent to the point of being anal. I’m amazed they don’t do the Pop Warner games. Must be a licensing fee conflict. Or maybe the authorities draw an age line for boys locker rooms those bozo can invade. Why don’t I just Google? have I mentioned the page-load times for me & this old dial up here on the Copper Line yet this post? Oh look! there’s some mail from the Dept. of Homeland Security. . ..

* it was a bad call

** actor Dollhouse Fox-TV series

† I know I know—the DL is in exile in India




You’re On the uh er um. . ..

September 4, 2009 Leave a comment

The state of over the air sports talk radio from my perspective. Yes, biased. Based on auditory observational skills the level of Sherlock Holmes ocular ones. AND I’m a real guy. Mostly. †

HOST – Hi! Jim you’re on WFAN with Mark ( Moose ) Malusis…

JIM – …yeah hey uh huh uh yeah uh first time caller, long time ummm er uh yeah hello? Oh hi Jim. Wha? huh! oh yeah I’m Jim. Hey Tony love your show. Huh? Oh ummm OK sure hi Moose. Thanks for taking my call. Love the… wha? oh yeah ummm a caller called with a call a few calls ago today. You know what I mean. Hello Moose—you there? The caller who called about the Jets—I mean the Mets. About how, you know, I mean ummmmm the the the call. The one when he said Charlie Manuel should be… Huh? oh yeah Jerry Manuel. Wha? no I haven’t been drinking? Ah uh er um you mean tonight? This morning I mean. Yeah I disagree. I think Jerry Manuel should be fired.

MOOSE – wow I wonder what he was on!  [ other than the air you mean Moose? ] But he does have a point—the Mets have struggled all season due to unreal injuries, though they have looked better as of late. So who knows about next year. Bill you’re on WFAN…

BILL – Yeah um uh uh uh that last guy was uh um yeah. Hi Bill—I mean Moose—love the show. I think Charlie Manuel should be uh umm I mean about the Jets. Uhhhhhh I mean the Giants really kicked the Patriots as — ummmm butt. I predict they will go at least 10 & 6. Maybe 9 & 7. Or 10 & 6. If they do win at least 9…

MOOSE – Yeah only a pre-season game Bill. But things looking positive for Big Blue heading into week 1 of the regular NFL season going forward. I can’t wrap my head around predicting a record yet. I’ll be doing that next week. OK one more call before the 20/20… Jim from New Hyde Park you’re on the FAN…

JIM** – Hello Moose. Must be a full moon—heh heh heh.

MOOSE – I don’t know is it a full moon? I sleep all day, so…

JIM – I don’t know either, all my windows are painted black & I live in a basement apartment. But back to sports. I really think Jerry Manuel should be fired. AND Omar Manaya too. Plus the Wilpons should sell the Mets. To the Yankees.

MOOSE – ( silence for 10 seconds of dead air! ) Jim, how long have we known each other. From calling the FAN, I mean? Like 10 years! that is the most brilliant idea I have heard since I started working in sports! They won’t do it though hah ha ha.

JIM – As you know Moose, I am a lawyer. From Mars.

MIA [ sports reporter cuts in ] – It is a Full Moon, Moose.

MOOSE – Really? I don’t know I sleep during the day. OK we’re a bit late—here’s Mia Harris* with the 20/20…

_____________________________________________

In case you’re wondering, I chose not to attack ESPN this time. Mainly because those aholes went 90% football talk in mid August. They suck.

* Mia Harris is attractive & smart, but she does need to work

** lots of Jims call—really–they do


Leaving the House. . ..

August 22, 2009 4 comments

Avoiding the news is a preoccupation of mine. This will not be an exegesis, satirical, tedious or otherwise on that subject. But it is a quick factoid, explaining that the Internet has virtually made it impossible for me to not see the headlines in some side bar. Even when I’m only reading the @#%&*! comics! That’s how I read the news today (August 20). Oh boy. . ..

While I often allude to a boyhood in the Bronx, NY, where I was born ( the hospital a block from Manhattan—which made all the difference ), for purposes of being clear about one point in this piece, I admit I graduated high school in New Jersey. That’s why I will now tell you about Stevie Butler. I went to high school with him and his older brother Brian—Brian and I were born a few days apart in the same year. Their parents had a general store, maybe a football field’s distance away from the school. See, if it were in the Bronx, it would have been called a candy store.

Due to the vagaries of life & my incredible smarts ( mostly incredible for the fact each year I seemed to lose an IQ point ), even though Brian and I were identical in age, I was a Senior, he was a Junior & Stevie was a freshman, as was my sister. The year after I graduated, I was in a band & the times they were a changin’. Their mother was my boss for two summers I worked for the Parks & Recreation Dept. Sadly, there was no colleague the equal of Rashida Jones.

So, there was a connection. Two years after high school, Brian & I went to sign up at the US Armed Forces Draft Board in New Brunswick together. Despite the well intentioned advice from Arlo Guthrie, we did not walk in holding hands & sing a chorus of Alice’s Restaurant, and then walk out. One, because we didn’t want them to think we ” were both faggots ( sic )”. Two, I couldn’t sing harmony to save my ass. Literally. The thread which ties my life to others is so unbelievable, it’s more suited for the novel I never intend to write. I can’t do it here. Which spares us all. For now.

In that era, most guys I knew had grown their hair long, mustache and/or beard optional. For authority figures, it was believed to be a solid tipoff that person was doing some kind of drugs. It may strain credulity, but at 18 ( some of this ground covered in a previous episode ) I chose not to smoke, drink or do dope. Maybe it was the Catholic training or maybe it was I just wanted to save all my resources for girls & music. This was also the year I met another person who played a major part in my music history. His name was David Sutch–he was larger than life, and his did not end well.

I’d see Stevie at gigs & parties, he was affable, generous and blunt. He did have an annoying habit of busting me for not going out into the world & examining every possibility, in every corner. My retort was I didn’t need to, I had an imagination. The irony of my relationship with him will show up later in this. Despite what my so called other friends & acquaintances, family too, thought then, I was out doing other things. It just wasn’t with that old bunch. As a new decade opened, I jointly started a unisex clothing shop in Flemington N.J. with a college buddy, and I’d met several girls from that Hunterdon County area.

A life long habit of personal high impact-short lived jobs began with that store. About a year after leaving the store in a clash over business styles, I heard one of the girls Rita, had been hit by a car, while walking. Her injuries were extensive, but by the time I got the news, she was home and slowly mending. Rita had been a friendly and attractive girl, who came into the shop a lot and any ulterior motives aside, I went to visit her, hoping to cheer her up. She had some bad physical scars, all over. Though she was in decent spirits when I visited, one of her friends told me, she was good day, bad day. Something about her made me think Steve Butler could help bring back a healthy spark to her wounded psyche. He had a way with chicks.

I promised Rita I’d come back and I did. This time I took Stevie, he was up for it too, and because I was interested in one of her friends, Jaye, it was only natural for Steve to hang with Rita. I just knew Steve & Rita would like each other. I was right. Somehow I lost track of Steve after he got involved with her—my attachments to girls sometimes as short as my jobs. Their relationship lasted awhile, and I know he helped her recovery.

Next thing I knew about him, he was traveling with another girl, his hair down to his waist, and according to Brian, they were in Los Angeles. Everybody got excited when word was out, Stevie was going to appear on a popular television game show To Tell the Truth. The hook—lame, but tailor made for that era— He and the girl were placed, standing with their backs to the audience, the panel had to guess who was the boy or the girl. Yikes! We laughed, we cried–my pals got high, I didn’t. I was envious of Stevie being on TV. I can’t recall, but I think he & his gf made it onto the original Price Is Right that same week. It might even be on YouTube now—I don’t know and I don’t want to either.

Steve lived in a cave for a phase, on one of the Hawaiian Islands. Mostly he traveled the world. I’d get picture postcards from all over the planet, many with the same message— ” have you left the house yet?” I resented it after a while. But he wasn’t wrong. Experience had made me even more solitary, writing songs & collaborating with several others. My body lived locally—my mind traveled globally. Then I’d write a song. One made a sentimental reference to a friend like Stevie and a guy like me & a girl. I was sure it would be a hit. Just like me, it didn’t go too far. But it did leave the house, winding up no doubt in circular files from NYC to L.A. with a stop in Nashville.

In 1986 I was doing a thankless gig at a street fair in Frenchtown N.J. I’d invited an old friend, but he had not shown up. Much to my happy amazement, another, very unexpected person, did— Stevie. He’d just come back from Tibet (!), spoken with our friend Dennis ( the no-show ) & decided he’d try to sell some of the items ( no! not drugs ) he’d brought back from Asia. Doing my usual, “ I’d like to buy something, man , but I’m doing this gig free ” act, I shook his hand. Being Stevie, he said—“…just pick out a few things, they’re yours. It’ll be your pay for playing.” Chambers of Commerce could learn from guys like him. Ex-cave dwellers being more giving than say, fat white blowhards. I chose a great cap & a scarf, which I subsequently employed as gifts for two women. I’d told him I might do just that & he smiled. But the third thing, a small wooden slide whistle, resides just a foot away from this keyboard.

That was the last time I saw Steve Butler. Two years later, he boarded a plane in London for NYC. It was Pan Am Flight 103 and it blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland. The story doesn’t end there. That’s why I’m stopping this one. And for the moment, I won’t be leaving the house.


Bust A Cap in Yo Ass -The Sequel

August 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Yeah I really can’t help myself. In that way I have total empathy with the individuals I’d like to excoriate. That would be whoever approved and subsequently permits major league baseball players to wear those lame, dumb ass hip hop style caps on the field. Absolutely zero excuse for players who adopt the style either. It’s officially the New Era 5950 cap, more like New Error. This is not the original model 5950, but a pandering perversion of it. Let me think why…oh, yeah M O N E Y!

Here’s a few reasons why they shouldn’t be allowed.

1. They make you look retarded

2. They come from a thug sub-culture, one that embraces violence toward women, police & lately—animals. . ..

3. Did I mention they look fucking retarded? ( so much for a pretense of civility )

Oh I wouldn’t want to dictate how anybody should dress themselves. That is, if they are in fact doing so. Much of this sub-culture gets off on sticking it to the man. The man, who is authority, doesn’t give a shit. The man is making money off you fools. The roots ( oops ) of this styling comes from poverty. Clothing is passed down from older brothers ( oops again ) and often larger than the recipient is. Though a few boys ( oh stop!) apparently got a sister’s, maybe aunt’s? clothes ( see Tyler Perry ). So, the hat resting on ears look is organic—still looks, you know what. The pants falling off thing from a decade ago? same deal. Very tasteful choice. Yet fitting ( ! ) if you extend the image, downward.

When I was a young teaching assistant, the trend among some kids was to wear their belts unbuckled & dangling. Now what does that most evoke? here’s a clue —it’s not the result of a big meal in the cafeteria. Some actors started using their mouth to emote non-verbally. If you aren’t sure what a lolling tongue suggests, go ask Mick Jagger. Michael Jordan was a flagrant tongue abuser on the court. Maybe I’m just envious. When I played in Little League, I was ridiculed for making faces while I pitched.* It’s all pretty puerile, if not febrile. Definitely infantile. Ile ( sic ), er um I’ll say. . ..

The worst part is the fat white dummies who have adopted this look too. What man are they sticking it to? oh yeah, me. Just like wearing gold chains, while playing baseball, you look stupid ( cough—gay ). Those grotesque chin beards are a whole other story. The cast of Moby Dick phoned, they want them back. Yes, stupid. But they are also repulsive. Again, it’s athletes aping ugly musicians. You kids need a designer. Hmmm hold on, most of them are… OK, just keep doing what you’re doing. You’re only young & dumb once. But don’t try to tell me it’s ironic. Unless the irony is, you think it’s attractive. Now pull up your pants.

* I had a .786 won-lost percentage. Of course in Little League that’s meh

Where Angels Fear to Tread w/ commentary by Chico Marx

June 26, 2009 2 comments

“Hey! thatsa pretty fonny. You canta fool me boss. Thosa Transformahs ainta racists, theyah battlebots they donta race!” Chico Marx

Let me get this straight. There are some people upset about racism in the new movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The pervasive destructive disregard for life, property and national treasures, that’s okay? Not to mention the dogged possibility of damage to Megan Fox. And the veritable lake size puddles of oil they leave behind. I’d be an idiot of the same stripe as they are, to read as if I’d ever condone racism. But the superficial, knee jerk reactions of such people do nothing but actually pour some of that bot fluid on the flames.

They learned a big word once—stereotype. But they learned it in the context of an explanation with negative connotations. Am I even allowed to use negative? Stereotypes, as with the verbal equivalent, the cliché, exist for one reason—they are experiential human shorthand. If it waddles like a duck, we then see a duck, not some poor kid in a mascot suit. Unless of course, it is some kid in a mascot suit. Personally, I have seen just about every stereotype in real life, these jerkoffs complain about. It would be fine with them to have a white trash moron, an Italian mob goombah, a Jewish anything, but not a person of color who isn’t in Mensa? Could’ve been worse, they could’ve had Tyler Perry in drag Transformer. . ..

Bullshit. They are the people with the problem. It is so intense of a problem, they see racist in the use of the word people. In the Sixties, I was a second generation Italian, a teenager with long hair, a beard, wore sunglasses & drove a Corvette. If you knew anything about life before you were born or say, Heaven forfend, read a book, you’d know that was a set of characteristics sure to get you special notice by authorities. Luckily, I never did get any harassment. Because I was lucky and behaved myself, and never got caught the few times I power shifted, burnt rubber and wore a hundred miles off my tires. The only time was when a guy on my softball team, a police sergeant, advised me to be careful of the company I kept. He was right too. And I did. However, if you don’t think I got a taste of prejudice back then, you are culturally bereft. Sure, I had the ability  and the option to “clean up my act,” a popular phrase of that era. Oddly, even when I did, I was still the same iconoclastic individual. My attitudes and foibles were internal. Have some groups had unfortunate extra attention? the sad answer is yes. As always, I ain’t here to do an exegesis of race relations. Just to point stuff out. Did I look like a small time drug dealer though? you betcha. Was I? Nope and that rhymes with—okay, but just that one time. And I was drunk. . ..

But including a dumbass black character in a movie is anathema? What! there no stupid blacks? how do you explain Martin Lawrence? You obviously don’t listen to WFAN. While possibly not the only choice for a movie character, if it’s an urban scene, what fits more for the point it makes? an African American with GQ cover looks and two doctorates? or some street thug. All y’all are just hater players. BTW why are you even at that movie? oh—Megan Fox! Sexist ahole huh. Or just hetero and enjoying yourself. I’d say lighten up, but I’m no racialist, you get the picture. Maybe. . ..

“Ha hah ha. Shoo, everybody knows they gotta lottsa juice in Florida. They come frommah Noo Yawk for the sunny shine!” Chico Marx

Manny Ramirez, eagerly ( LOL ) awaiting his return to Mannywood and the Dodger lineup, has caught some new attention himself. This because he is a stereotype—of a ballplayer caught using performance enhancing drugs. Apparently someone he’s been associated with has a father who is a doctor. A doctor can write prescriptions for said PED. Voila! This conduit from outside the US, up into Florida and servicing predominantly Latino jocks, is now under scrutiny. Again may I state: Boston, you are hypocrites & phonies. Have a nice day.

Wowie zowie! God didn’t waste anytime with the dead celebrity trifecta. Banging them out like ARod in batting practice. Only God can do it in the actual games too. Yeah sure Alex has had some good at bats the last few days—90 games to go hombre. Sorry, got off track there. So, Farrah Fawcett, Ed MacMahon, and Michael Jackson are at the Pearly Gates. Saint Peter sees Farrah, looks at his big book and says—-” Angel! go right in.” Ed steps up. Peter says-” Heyo!—you have all ready won. Go on in.” Then he looks at Michael Jackson, looks at the book. Looks at Michael again, then back at the book,* he asks — ” Moonwalk, eh! you were an astronaut?” Michael squeaks, ” Uh yes. Yes I was. An astronaut.” St. Peter smiles, ” Welcome to Heaven.” St. Paul throws Peter a look.  Peter looks at paul and says – “Hey have you ever heard him sing She’s Out of My Life? The way his voice breaks at the end. That’s Heaven.”

*Take 2: St. Peter looks down at his book, looks at Michael Jackson. ” Oh dear, it’s Jackson. Whew–I thought they said Michael JORDAN. . ..”

Now if he can only keep his hands off the cherubs. Good night everybody! drive safely and don’t forget to tip your waitrons.