Monthly Archives: June 2009

DISCOURSE ON BILLY MAYS’S LEGACY!

HOWARD MEGDAL: HI! HOWARD MEGDAL HERE! DID YOU EVER FIND YOURSELF ENJOYING THE HARMONIOUS RHYTHMS OF A BASEBALL GAME IN THE EVENING, WINDING DOWN AFTER A LONG DAY OF PEOPLE NOT SHOUTING AT YOU, AND WISH THAT SOMEONE WOULD JUST SCARE THE LIVING CRAP OUT OF YOUR CATS WHILE SELLING PRODUCTS OF DUBIOUS VALUE?!?

WELL, I NEVER DID! BUT NOW I MIGHT! BECAUSE WE LOST PITCHMAN BILLY MAYS THIS WEEKEND TO HEART DISEASE! HE WAS 50!

JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: HAVE YOU EVER FELT SO HUNG OVER THAT YOU WANTED TO DIE??? BEEN SO QUEASY THAT YOU COULDN’T STAND UP STRAIGHT???? HAD SUCH A THROBBING HEADACHE THAT ANYTHING OVER A WHISPER MADE YOUR EYES BULGE OUT?!?!?! Continue reading

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Multipart Discourse on Michael Jackson

AKIE BERMISS: The news hit me like a ton of bricks. Michael Jackson: dead at 50. What do you say to that? What do you think? There’s such a constant war raging on in my head regarding Michael Jackson — I barely even give it creedance anymore. Do I love him? Do I hate him? Do I aspire to be like him? Is he musics greatest disappointment? With other artists (contemporaries and predecessors of MJ) its much easier for me. You love them or you hate them or you’ve negotiated a comfortable middle ground. “Billy Joels sounds great on The Stranger and like crap everywhere else.” Some of them you like, but you know their overrated? Or you dig them but they’re underrated.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I felt very sad when I heard the news; I almost cried. Part of it is that he was such a big deal when I was a little girl, and some of my earliest musical memories involve listening to the Thriller casette tape on my Fisher-Price tape-player.

JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: Last night, at the bar that I frequent, there was a whole lot of Michael Jackson being played on the jukebox. The songs you’d expect to hear — Beat It, Billy Jean — and ones you might have forgotten about, like Dirty Diana. Everyone was discussing the passing of the King of Pop, remembering his music and trying to make sense of his missteps and eccentricities. Continue reading

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Love or Hate for Twilight?

JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: Vampires are big again, and, sure, I get it. Who doesn’t kind of dig the idea of immortality, of retaining one’s beauty, of basically being a species in many ways superior to our own? Also, vampires are sexy, cunning, smart, strong — things that many people spend most of their lives striving toward.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I never intended to read the Twilight series, but a friend of mine sent a copy to me in the mail. Really. I’m not making that up to defend myself. She called and asked if I’d read them yet, and a week after I answered “No, why would I?” an Amazon.com box with the first book landed on my doorstep. As is the case with many addictive substances, the first one is free because once you’re hooked you’re willing to pay anything. ANYTHING. Lucky for me the next two books were already in paperback, but I actually forked over $24.95 for book 4, which at the time was only available in hardcover. I’m not proud to admit that I elbowed a tween in the face to grab the last copy at my local Borders. Continue reading

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Bring Out Your Undead!

TED BERG: The season premiere of True Blood a couple of weeks ago was HBO’s highest-rated show since the finale of The Sopranos, and Twilight’s pale hunk Robert Pattinson has become alarmingly ubiquitous. Our culture is currently vampire crazy.

AKIE BERMISS: I can’t with it when it comes to vampires. I just can’t — And I’m not sure what it is. Maybe I’m just too into science and magic. For me, when it comes to entertainment — there’s science fiction, fantasy and then (though I don’t really mean this): everything else. In practice its ostensibly true. You can find me in a movie theatre for some of the worst scientific schlock known to man — just some of the worst crap, really. And yet I went kicking and screaming to see Robert Deniro as the Frankenstein Monster. Turns out I really loved the movie (but I remember kicking and screaming through the book as well). Horror? Monsters? Werewolves? Vampires? They just ain’t my thing. Continue reading

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Political Future: Spitzer vs. Edwards

Dave Tomar: Edwards has resurfaced recently to assure the public that he intends in whatever capacity possible to continue his advocacy of poverty rights. And I for one, take the deeply misogynistic standpoint that Edwards was significantly underperforming in the attractive-wife department well before she had terminal cancer. Continue reading

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Two Views of Obama vs. Fly

HOWARD MEGDAL: President Obama’s decision last week to use force against a fly during an interview with CNBC was the final straw for me. After all, the reason so many of us got behind Barack Obama was simple: we didn’t want a president who would engage in swat first, ask questions later treatment of anyone, whether they be Iraqi, frequently innocent detainees, or those from the insect world.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Well played, Barack. Well played. You are a worthy adversary. Continue reading

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Two Views of Whatever Works

HOWARD MEGDAL: Whatever Works didn’t.

AKIE BERMISS: All in all, it was a great film. And I DO mean film. Not a movie. Allen is a composer and his compositions betray his talent and dedication to craft. Much of what we find to be funny today owes its success to Allen’s wild invention days of the 70s. His anti-hero schlubbs, his idiosyncratic way of making New York a character in the story, his snappy dialogue — and on and on. Continue reading

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Unlikely Buyers: Reds or White Sox?

HOWARD MEGDAL: With a young team, the Reds shouldn’t be mortgaging the whole future for 2009. But as good as they already are, they owe it to themselves and their fans to see if they can grab a flag in this mediocre National League that will fly, I am told, forever.

CHRIS PUMMER: It’s not just that White Sox GM Kenny likes to make a splash, like he almost did with a Jake Peavy trade. It’s that if Williams really thinks everyone on his team is now rounding into form, he’ll have to land a big talent to make the trade worth the price he’ll pay in talent. Continue reading

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Blackberry vs. iPhone vs. Neither

AKIE BERMISS: I love my BlackBerry. And I have loved it since before I even laid hands on it. I have claimed, throughout these blogs, to be both a geek and snob; both a lover of gadgets and a lover of arcane media; a champion of progress but a devout advocate for simplicity. So yes, I’m a bit mixed up. Certainly — And who ain’t? But when I first saw the BlackBerry I knew I had found a friend. For the BlackBerry, above all things, is a smarthphone/pda/gadget that’s just a little bit mixed up.

JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: I think I’m in love with my iPhone. I really do. I never knew it could be like this – I’m not tech-savvy, I don’t know what half of the features actually do – but in the approximately 81 hours since I purchased this little wonder, I have fallen deeply, unequivocably in love.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I will readily admit that I have spent little time fondling either a Blackberry or an iPhone. And I don’t really have anything against either one—yet somehow, my ambivalence comes across to devotees as a thrown gauntlet. Yes, your iPhone is neat. Yes, I’m impressed by the ingenious App you just downloaded for free. I’m sure it’s already saved you lots of time. Look how quickly you found us a local restaurant. ENOUGH ALREADY. Continue reading

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State of the Pittsburgh Pirates

DAVE TOMAR: Right now, the Pirates claim to be betting on their future. They should bet on the fans instead. Without a doubt, the Pittsburgh Pirates will set a record at the end of this year. While the steel city lofts its Stanley Cub and its Lombardi Trophy, the Bucs will, at 17 years, quietly become sole owners of the worst losing streak in professional sports history. That’s not an accident. It’s a conspiracy.

CHRIS PUMMER: It’s not GM Neal Huntington’s job to be an armchair therapist for a fanbase that’s mistaken in making Nate McLouth the face of more than a decade’s worth of discontent. It’s his job to make the right decision, even if it’s a tough one. Continue reading

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