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Posts Tagged ‘literacy’

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.

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!

The Artless Dodger…

May 8, 2009 2 comments

It seems Manny being Manny was aided and abetted by performance enhancing substances†[please see below]. All those clutch, drop the Yankees hits while with the Boston team, were bullshit. Now, while that city and its players enjoy the rewards their envy and hypocrisy continue to provide them, they need to admit they are phonies. If they can hate on and gloss the NYY as the evil empire, riddled with cheaters, then they themselves are surely the Weasel World of sports. Yankees suck? you m*****r f****rs suck and blow.

I have been watching, and for a short youthful period, playing baseball since 1956. I steeped myself in the game via what media was available then— TV, radio, books, magazines and baseball cards. It never seemed enough—sure baseball was talked year round—with friends. Nothing like the current media, carpet bombing 24 hours a day, seven days a week; pervasive and invasive coverage. Really, it’s too much. It encourages excesses and it gets them. From everyone involved.

Too much and yet the magpies who pass for talk show hosts on all sports radio outlets, discrete team owned tv, and networks like ESPN & Fox, turned a sycophantic blind eye to some tried and true practices. Amphetamines before games and shopping trips after—lining up groupies for stars. AND the last 20 plus seasons of slowly unfolding revelations of anabolic steroids and human growth hormones (HGH)usage by the big names of the big leagues.

It has resulted in the breeding of hack writers such as Selena Roberts (Sports Illustrated) who indicted the Duke Lacrosse team for party fouls at the rapist level before they were found NOT guilty*, to her present exposé book of Alex Rodriguez. These jock sniffing carrion eaters turn on you faster than a whirling dervish and they care not a whit if they are subsequently off the mark. The bullshit “court of public opinion” is the demographic they court. The lowest common denominator, once the exclusive stained and chawn turf of the National Enquirer, a newspaper no self respecting journalist would’ve been employed by when I was in J school, is catered to via sensationalism passing for reporting and writing.

It has also grown the barely literate radio talk host, most of whom have never read a book. If they have, it was about sports and no doubt, at the level of a fifth grader. Video games began cutting into the sports dollar heavily during the eighties and in some cases supplanted it for youth recreational time and bucks. The spawn of gamers are the announcers of today’s media. Dumb as rocks without the charm and personality. The majority of athletes, even less so. Easy to see how in this environment a clownish thug such as Manny Ramirez can thrive and pull the double-knit polyfiber over the eyes (and the limited intellect within their heads) of the feral media. One moment they are sucking up, the next, sucking the life out of their prey—the superstar, over paid and undereducated.

Major league baseball itself is led by a septuagenarian former team owner and used car salesman. He needs to step down; he never should have been there to need to do so. Baseball needs restructuring, it is at once archaic and contemporary, the new parts grafted on top of its decay, an aging Hollywood actor made of plastic. A Joan Rivers face, attempting to deceive the world into thinking she’s Megan Fox. A world moving so fast, it almost works—one because even if they had attention spans, most humans own the observational skills of two year olds.

No Boston fan will ever own up**—Manny ain’t theah prawblem anymore. I’m sure they’ll say he never got caught copping ‘roids down by the Charles River. He is however, the true face of the MLB, smug and bloated, and they only suspend him for 50 games? ha ha ha. Manny loves a vacation, he comes back well rested (pumped full of some new undetectable designer dope) for the stretch run and leads a slumping LA to the playoffs again. This is almost a strategic gift! Blow up baseball and bring the Dodgers back to Brooklyn—if you rebuild it they will come. But you won’t, you’re too fucking stupid. And so are your ugly, dumbass friends.

Did I mention beam me up, Simon? Simon! Theodore? ALVIN!!!**

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†  Ramirez tested positive for a  female(!) fertility drug HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin. HCG is popular with some steroid users because it can mitigate the side effects of ending a cycle of the drugs. Going off steroids can stop testosterone production, decreasing sperm count & shrinking testicles. Manny apparently wants to maintain those big balls as well as cheat…

* Niether Roberts nor SI printed a retraction—creeps.

** Denis Leary, Doris Kearns Goodwin & Jonathan Schwartz might, but they are exceptions because they are exceptional.

** Simon Pegg appears as Scotty in the new Star Trek movie—Alvin & the Chipmunks reference 110% gratuitous, though a nuts connotation is implicit

Set Phasers on Stunned

The new Star Trek movie (US release May 8 ) has a lot of really good things going for it. I have not seen it yet, but I will. This, despite the fact that along with some very poignant secondary casting i.e. fulfilling a dying academic’s last wish, director J.J. Abrams has included that pretentious prat, T. Perry.

Zoe Saldana portrays Lt. Nyota Uhura—I’m sure Perry is heartbroken he didn’t get the role. Does he play her mother? He’d be perfect as a Klingon—but they don’t wear mumus and eye shadow. This clown must have video of major Hollywood players doing donkey shows. Fortunately the rest of the cast can actually act, I’m praying to Zeus & Apollo the hacktor CD, has limited screentime. Somehow, I knew those old airline barfbags would come in handy.

AS for the old gag reflex, personal events kept me from commenting on the Yankees woes. Even a curmudgeon fifty-plus year baseball fan, knows not to get too negged out in April. Yet one can’t ignore the obvious. I admit I was wrong—this 2009 season’s version of the Yankees bullpen will not shine. Wow–do they suck. And A.J. Burnett, who had appeared to be the only Free Agent acquisition who came to play, totally blew up against the Rat Sox. Sorry, I guess he was nervous once he found out I was watching. I won’t do that again.

Good news is, once they leveled the A Rod-less Yanks, the Beanotown Nine has lost a bunch of games. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch. I have no doubt both teams will be brawling against each other down the stretch. If Alex Rodriguez survives and hits, and Mark Teixiera finally shows up in the same batters box as his bat, the Yankees will be in it at the end. That said—

Selena “The Middle-aged Witch” Roberts’ book about A Rod has crawled out from under its slimy rock. She is the same Sports Illustrated writer who jack-rabbited a story accusing the Duke lacrosse team of party rape several years ago. Those student athletes have since been exonerated of crime, but not after Roberts made her tainted bones off them. Alex Rodriguez and I are not acquainted—but I’m guessing he might be guilty of using illegal, performance enhancing drugs. The key word, as always, in all this crap, is illegal. Because — corrective lenses for players with vision problems or batting gloves for players with sweaty palms are in fact, performance enhancing. As are bigger baseball gloves, tighter wound baseballs and @#%&*! lights for night games—of which there are way too many.

Having gone to journalism school, and been in trouble for my own work ( a few misplaced commas and ummm, some verbiage ), I know what it’s all about. Selena Roberts is only doing what comes natural, like the scorpion did to the frog. I personally chose not to be a reporter. Though, if I could nail Tyler Perry for something I would do it. But unlike Roberts, I wouldn’t write a book. I’d go to Mr. (?) Perry and tell him—if you stop making movies – I won’t publish. Quid Pro Quo Vadis.

They all lived happily ever after. Beam me up Simon…

Bias some peanuts & crackerjack

March 22, 2009 4 comments

There will be quite a few major newspapers closing shop by the end of 2009. On the list is the first one I ever read—The New York Daily News. It is a tabloid and that is the size & shape of the page, not a value judgement. Though, through the years it was castigated for a bit of yellow journalism, it was essentially, along with The NY Post, the daily of the common man. Also on the list is the Boston Globe, its unfortunate location aside, another legendary newspaper.

For those of you who may not know, the place where a reporter’s name is found, is called the byline. In the last few years of the 20th Century, it became more and more a biasline as regards sports. Whether in the print media on real paper, the online version or even the audio/video format, it was the journalistic signature. It took and gave sole responsibility for that piece of work to that individual (sometimes more than one). Well, with help and/or hindrance from the editorial staff & the headline editor. Again, for some of you who wouldn’t know this, the byline reporter does not write the headline for the story. Does not.

In the advent of self-centric existence, proving more than just cream rises to the top, contemporary journalists let their colors fly. Like some gangbanger in East LA. Or a gay man cruising Greenwich Village 4 AM Sunday. It once was ethical to not do this, journalists prided themselves as impartial. “Just the facts, ma’am. . ..” hmmm well, that was Dragnet ( a 1950’s TV show ), when being biased was bad. Though the words drag and net oddly suit. Now, most do it because, no one cares. They barely seem to spell check. As I point out ad nauseum, the TV and the radio guys especially make Mrs. Malaprop sound as if she’s William Safire. Suggesting they stick to words of one syllable would only pour gas on the flame. I wonder if they ever listened to radio before they got jobs. AND who the fuck is hiring these idiots.

I’m not a cultural anthropologist, I just play one on the web o’net. The illiteracy is acceptable to management because the offenders are paid to comment on sports, not be exemplars of elocution. Sure, I get that aspect—hardly rocket science. Yet, it is sad to hear words repeatedly misused and with such casual certitude. Any way I came to attack bias, and went off on my own. It just pains me to hear otherwise, almost intelligent people from bloggers to Hall of Fame writers, continually have to dump on the Yankees while building up the team they not so secretly support. The media people who are hovering under the 30 year old mark, only seem to go back to 1994. They also routinely refer to 2 or 3 years ago, as ” a long time.” Historical perspective is also taking a hit. I guess when one is myopic, it’s a problem seeing much clearly, let alone the ancient past of say, the 70’s.

One word the jockocracy loves and managed to use correctly is apologist. I suspect Keith Olbermann is responsible for this anomaly, he has read several non-sports books. He’s graduated from the playing fields to the smokey backroom, from Rick Reilly’s pal to Bill O’Riley’s archnemesis. This is as rare in the media as an actor getting elected President. Or governor, and still getting a movie rôle after leaving office. The world is so creepy now, I had to look up apologist, because they were getting it right. Proving the adage, even a blind pig finds it’s still a blind pig in the morning.

I am a New York Yankees apologist; I know it is difficult to root out bias in one’s self. Once I respected some of these sports media people. Until they were virtually the only radio I could listen to, in my special circumstances. In high school I was co-opted by punk ass authority figures into doing sports reporting. I’m not sure I’ll ever tell that whole story—not enough readers. I need a big audience for that one. I played baseball & then tennis, tennis after I realized I could neither hit nor throw a high school curveball. My antipathy towards sports is aimed at the suits & jocksniffers and not at the unis. Admittedly, I have very little in common with the players—I even love the game more than most of them too. I know why: they are in it for their paycheck—and rightly so. Guys like me are in it to get a small win in life & sometimes a big one, i.e. a World Series.

When I am Supreme Ruler of Existence, no announcer will wear a suit & tie, ever—that one is pure bullshit. Naturally, that mostly happens on network TV. The real guys in the trenches doing 150 plus games know better. A TV clown doing maybe 18 games, dresses up like the man tells him. Try talking for 4 hours wearing a tie—it’s not a coalmine for 18 hours, but it makes no sense. On the other hand, if you are an ahole who is ripping the Yankees—let me adjust that knot for you, maybe show you something in a Colombian? I abhor violence and never advocate it as a solution. But if every Yankee hater died right now, believe me I’d still have plenty to rail against.

Radio guys are always going to use the word continuously when they really mean continually. Or say comparable as compare-able. They just don’t care. I heard a guy, who seemed to be otherwise articulate and knowledgeable, say stigmatism ( no such word ). He meant stigma. Would I fire a guy for that? no. I would however, expect him to learn the right word. My sad consolation is, if you get simple words wrong when you are bashing the Yankees, you likely have some other holes in your game. Why does it grind me? because 97% of the audience doesn’t know this. Or much.

So, root root root for your home team and not against mine. If you do at least pronounce the words correctly and know what they mean. Practitioners of schadenfreude can all lech mich am arsch. If you know what I mean.

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PS while reading some movie news, I happened across some vidcaps of that Tyler Perry in drag. In no way does he resemble a human female. He really needs to buy a good mirror.

Manny’s Inhumanity to Man

July 7, 2008 1 comment

Listening to sports talk hosts speak, you’d know where all those types who slept their way through high school English landed. All one ever need know about them is they don’t even say the word athlete correctly ( they routinely & wrongly add a 3rd syllable: ath-ah-leet ). What is even more troubling, is the naiveté and lack of insight these so called professional announcers and the majority of their audience evince.

Prime example is the recent contretemps involving über moron Manny Ramirez. This buffoon has been manifesting his inner creep for years. But the jock sniffocracy* laughed it off with a catch phrase—they love catch phrases, in between mis-pronouncing words: ‘ it’s Manny just being Manny.’ Who, it seems has aquired Bob Marley’s old hair stylist and/or actual hair. And Pedro Martinez’ penchant for pounding old guys.

So, what did M. Ramirez do? did he snub the President of the US ( twice ), buy yet another really expensive car, walk through the Fenway Park scoreboard to wizz, or pose at home plate watching another lameass homerun, have a dugout fight with teammate, Grizzly Youkilis? Nope.

ManRam wanted some tickets for purported family & friends. When he couldn’t get them, he knocked down the first guy he saw, a 60+ security guard. Now some ‘ fans’ are shocked. Why? Manny Ramirez is a self-absorbed asshole. He’s a thug, who has been obscenely overpaid and encouraged because hmmm, he helps the Boston Red Sox win ball games. With or without a bat in his hands, Manny, just being Manny, is a Major League jerk.

Naturally, 99.999% Boston fans could care less, what Manny does. They want more pennants now they’ve had a taste. For 86 years Red Sox proponents had the sports equivalent of penis envy re: the New York Yankees. Oddly, they also had a hard on for all things NYC. Must have been very very confusing. No wonder they worship trogs like Jason Varitek, David Ortiz and M. Ramirez. I could say a lot about those guys, but they do have balls. And know how to use them. Sadly, now they’ve won some World Series, it’s only gotten worse.

These days the once Ruthian cursed Red Sox, have been glossed the world’s greatest baseball team, by its fans & their PR arm: ESPN. Another glaring solipsism jockos are guilty of, is using absolutes. As in declaring Boston’s Peter Gammons a Renaissance Man, because he reports baseball and plays in a band. He’s a yeoman-like guitar player at best (a colorless singer), maybe a cut above Madonna on a 6 string. Though she is currently more knowledgeable about Alex Rodriguez than Gammons is. . ..

Luckily, God, who has abandoned the Yankees ( don’ t ask…), has this season become a fan of the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays, the team formerly known as the Devil Rays, mainly because they were previously too limpwristed to co-opt Stingrays from a minor league team, have cast out Satan in FLA! Also, they have changed uniform colors to blue & sand( really creative palette fellas ) and now have the best team in baseball. Chalk one up for the fat white Southern Christians who plagued the Tampa Bay franchise, until they changed that brimstone laden monicker this year. A devil ray is a manta and a vegetarian sea creature, but hey! So, GO RAYS! yeah that’s the ticket. . ..

THE HELP DEPARTMENT here is a tip for sports pronouncers: it’s Wimble-DON, not -Ton. How they can claim to have watched the tennis matches and still say Wimbledon wrong, proves my point. Game. Set. Match. You have a whole year to practice, @#%&*! idiots.

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