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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

Correction

September 19, 2009 Leave a comment

We’re sorry, the following title as it appears – I CAN DO BAD ALL BY MYSELF – is a typo. It is actually listed with the Screenwriters Guild and IMDb as – I CAN DO BAD MOVIES ALL BY MYSELF. QED

In a related story, all the resale & thrift shops in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Van Nuys & Manhattan are out of womens size 23 clothing. Donations are needed. Thank you.

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.

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.


The King James Babble

May 31, 2009 3 comments

LeBron James is a great basketball player in the NBA (National Basketball Association) & a young man, the league uses as one of its premier representatives. Last night he walked off the court after his team the Cleveland Cavaliers was eliminated from the championship chase by the Orlando Magic. Mr. James is now catching heat from all the jock sniffing media for not speaking into the mics these jerkoffs stick in your face win or lose. Awwwwwww too bad for them.

WTF do they think he feels or would have to say? they don’t care–he & and all the players owe them. Sure they do. It’s part of their contract – they routinely spout. Sure it is. But every once in awhile how about some media freak makes the human choice too. The choice to not intrude in the name of a clichéd soundbyte. One thing I always loathed about all of the jockocracy, is their lack of grasping basic human emotions in the now. They’re great at it after the fact, telling the athletes they feed off of, how to act, on and off the basketball court. Where is the true immaturity here?

I am no fan of the NBA—those guys don’t even play basketball the way it was invented by James Naismith in 1891. When LeBron James decided to break free and join the professional ranks straight out of high school, I saw a person ready to cash in, skip the phoney college bs & get the bling. But he has been a phenomenon, not just in his skills on the court, but as a model of good behavior. Trust me, he’s a rare man for his age and role, which is 24. I’m glad he is. The history of the recent NBA is rife with thugs—bad dudes guilty of, well, you name it. LeBron was & is a breath of fresh air.

Now, by not shaking the hand of Orlando opponent Dwight Howard or “facing” the media music, it’s time for the media to rip another of their false idols off a pedestal. The carrion eaters are circling, cawing and nipping at James. Oh what a bad man—he’s angry, tired and beaten. But he needs to be a man. Some real men get pissed off at what other perfect (jerks) consider inappropriate times. For them. Most athletes are not exciting extemporaneous speakers. For all my antipathy toward them, I prefer to hear from the media when it comes to commentary on a sporting event.

Jock sniffers live to suck up to all things jock—to call old fools “coach.” To scream orgasmically over a play, then drool over it until something replaces it. In a what have you done for us lately world, LeBron James has made a fatal error, he didn’t do what is expected of him by the peanut gallery. Because he didn’t kiss their fat asses the way they kiss his. When the quid pro quo goes unbalanced, the media has the tools to lash out. And they are pretty much just that—tools. . ..

Give LeBron a break. You two faced vultures. Wasn’t there enough free food to eat in Disney World? When you can’t shoot the 3 from downtown at the buzzer, you can give a press conference and cheerfully explain how you lost the big one.

Apparently—I Love NY!

May 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Having just realized I rarely say anything about the sports media people I like, I hope to remedy that a bit here. One reason I neg out a lot is, the guys who provoke me seem do it when I’m nearest to a keyboard. The other is I’m bitter. Here are thumbnail mentions of a few who just happen to be from the NYC metro area. How’d that happen!

Michael Kay, who began his pro career as a sportswriter, currently straddles two media giants. One owns the New York Yankees, the other takes cheap shots. Long before the NYY launched the YES Network (Yankees Entertainment & Sports), Kay made the move from print to the broadcast booth, paired with legendary egoist John Sterling. I thought Kay was great—at a time when the beloved pair of Phil Rizzuto & Bill White (my former neighbor) were ending their run, Kay was a breath of fresh & knowledgeable air. Yankee brass agreed. Now he anchors the YES play by play team & does a daily afternoon drive radio show for ESPN’s New York affiliate. AND I like him a lot. Joe Torre, on the other hand, may not. That’s another story.

Howard Megdal is a regular & integral contributor to a podcast—The New York Baseball Digest (hosted by Mike Silva). He’s also an author The Baseball Talmud— a non-fiction work which chronicles the history of professional Jewish baseball players. However, his main gig is covering NYC baseball for a newspaper The New York Observer. Though an ardent Mets fan, his sharp wit & ability to extemporaneously turn a phrase on mic, make him a rare exception in the sports media—intelligent beyond the sports arena. I used to be pretty good at this: I’d place his IQ at 130, if not slightly higher. He’s one of the few I can actually listen to criticize the Yankees, typically because he’s right. His Achilles’ heel is WFAN megastar Mike Francesa—don’t get him started. . ..

The next man I have come to praise (and not bury) is another sportswriter & blogger Pete Abraham. His LoHud.com Yankees blog has so many hits each day, I can rarely leave a comment due to my slow dial up—because there are frequently too many other comments, often well over 300-400, sometimes many more! Pete is the Yankees beat writer for The Journal News & also makes many radio appearances, providing his insight to Yankee baseball. Even when he’s on a break, he often files a post, because he loves baseball. Sadly, the immense popularity of his blog doesn’t exclude him from the current economic downward trend in newspapers, and he’s actually on an unpaid furlough for a week! Sigh. BTW Pete was at the game anyway last night as a fan. Here’s hoping it all turns around for everybody. Except for Boston — I ain’t smoking any of Mary Lou’s bud.

Not in any way would I minimize the work, talent & efforts of the next two. I place them in tandem because Sweeny Murti & Ed Coleman cover the Yankees & Mets respectively, for WFAN AM New York, the King of sports talk radio. They are both routinely on air around the clock, doing phone reporting i.e. Sweeny was on today at 4:25 AM. Are the Yanks on the West Coast? did a game run extraordinarily late or something extremely awful happen? Nope—though Joba Chamberlain did take a batted ball off a kneecap (he’s OK—hmmmm). Sweeny is also very bright (Penn State grad). Mercifully(?) the Mets were on a travel day to Feng Shui Park for the weekend ugh, unless you like hubris with your chowdah. So, Eddie had a respite from the Mets woes.

See, I can say nice stuff. Especially when it’s true. Yankees v. Phillies this weekend, should be balls flying out of new Yankee Stadium. While I am naturally rooting for the Yanks to win more than they lose, I have a soft spot for the Phils from my 20 years of living & working in Bucks County PA.

Oh yeah — Lets GO METS!


Aks me no questions. . ..

May 21, 2009 Leave a comment

I’m well aware most of you @#%&*! jock sniffing morons, who somehow were hired to be professional media announcers only made it to sixth grade. So, one more time:

If a proper name ends in the letter s i.e. Phil Hughes and you need to make it a possessive, as in— Phil Hughes’ next start—that is how it is enunciated. Don’t add another s. Not only is it unnecessary, it creates sibilance, which is bad for audio, most importantly as spoken, it’s AWKWARD sounding. BTW no doubt you were asleep, dreaming of showering with the football team that day in class, because they teach that rule by sixth grade. Pete Rose’s name only sounds as if it ends with s. You’re on your own with Rodriguez, Gomez, Martinez & Aziz et al. That ain’t English.

Note to major know it all Colin Cowherd–the word is pictorial. Not pictoral.* As for some audience members who call in radio programs—how do you exist at least twenty plus years in a country where English is the primary language, and mispronounce the word ask? Laughable and depressing at the same time. Audio-verbal dyslexia—the new epidemic.

OK— recess you dumbasses. Go enjoy some repressed homosexuality. Don’t aks

* next time I heard that particular promo, the pronunciation had been corrected—incroyablé!