Thursday, March 31, 2005

Bridge Over Troubled Afro


james
Originally uploaded by dangunderman.
Guess which folk/pop icon this boy belongs to. (For an even better view, check out the cover of Rolling Stone this month.) In the late 80s, my dad went through a perm phase with his thinning hair and was often accused of looking like the soft-voiced tenor. I think he liked the comparison. As for me, with James' strong hair genes here being an alternative, I'm pretty sure I should be grateful rather than jealous.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Wherefore Art Thou, U.S. Presses?

How come this is front page (i.e. home page) news at the Guardian UK, but the New York Times has got nothin' nowhere?

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EU Ministers on Crazy Pills

What the fuck is wrong with people?

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Not Just Any Dickhead

There really are so many nasty things to say about The Long, Fat Arm of God's Hatred on Earth, Jerry Falwell, who today finds himself in critical condition with his second bout of viral pneumonia. So let me just say that I hope God shows him the compassion, understanding, and tolerance Falwell so richly deserves in his battle against death.

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Best Ballpark Organist Ever

OK, so the news of his death is a year-and-a-half old now, but for some reason this morning I got to thinking about Wilbur Snapp. Wilbur is the only ballpark organist to be ejected from a professional baseball game. During a Clearwater Phillies' game, a young umpire made what Wilbur felt was a particularly bad call. Using the only tools he had available, Wilbur responded by playing "Three Blind Mice." The umpire pointed up toward the organist's booth, then gave the universal sign for "get outta here!" Well, Mr. Wilbur Snapp, I say you gave the best, "Oh, Snapp!" of all time.

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Monday, March 28, 2005

Nice Goin', Genius


bush_bias
Originally uploaded by dangunderman.
Bushie's done it again -- rewarding a job poorly done with accolades and cushy appointments. Following in the footsteps of Paul Wolfowitz is Ann Veneman, former Secretary of Agriculture. Her stellar track record, which consistently resulted in boos when she bothered to show her face at, say, actual farms, has earned her the nomination to head-up UNICEF. So now she will be feeding children in the name of corporate interests, free trade, and genetically-modified foods, while ignoring potential health crises, such as mad cow. I guess our fearless leader is making sure that, finally, there is No Child Left Behind in his pro-business agenda. Thank you, Mr. President!

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Dickhead of the Week - Ted Stevens


stevens
Originally uploaded by dangunderman.
Fresh from his victory opening up the wildlife refuge in his backyard to possible drilling, Ted "Afraid of the Teddy" Stevens, esteemed Senator from Alaska, now has his sights set on extending the reach of the FCC. Working with new commissioner and Dickhead of the Week Runner-Up, Kevin J. Martin, Theodore has hopped into bed with the right-wing Parents Television Council, forming a relationship so tight that before long they won't even be able to show it on cable.

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Saturday, March 26, 2005

Kyrzkgzkrgkzstvkz

I don't really understand what's been going on in Kyrgyzstan, but that's probably because every time I try to read a little something about it, I find myself staring off into space, wondering how a three-syllable country name can have so few vowels. The "sometimes y" argument doesn't really hold any water with me.

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Friday, March 25, 2005

Broadway: Where Pop Culture Goes to Die

It feels like it was in recent memory that the New York theatrical scene (yes, including Broadway) was the pinnacle of the dramatic arts. It strived to challenge audiences and asked the tough questions, all while giving you occasion to stomp your feet and shout YEE-HAW. But gone with the interesting characters of the Old Times Square (the hookers, the johns, the druggies, the New Yorkers, and all those who tried to save them) are also the interesting characters once found on the stages there. Giuliani's Disnified Times Square is instead dominated by Abba, Billy Joel, the Beach Boys, and now Elvis.

On the plus side, it appears that theater criticism is reaching new heights of artfulness, or at least bitchiness. And this review can't touch the one for Good Vibrations.

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

An Easter Memory


easter-egg
Originally uploaded by dangunderman.
Today is Thursday of Holy Week, known by some as Maundy Thursday, a.k.a. the night of the Last Supper. Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss, which, as we all know, led to Jesus' subsequent trial and crucifixion, not to mention Judas' suicide.

Well, my grandmother betrayed me with an egg one fine Easter Sunday nearly thirty years ago, leading to my own subsequent loss of innocence or "moral crucifixion," if you will.

The sun shone brightly that morn. My father sang the chants at the sunrise service at the Lutheran church across the street, and my mother carefully prepared a rigorous Easter egg hunt for my five-year-old big sister and myself. It all began innocently enough.

Then, at the end of the hunt, disillusionment and deception. My sister ended up with two more eggs than me. I cried. That was bad enough.

But then my grandmother insisted on getting involved. Thinking I was a retarded child, she told me to close my eyes. Deprived of sight, my other senses came alive. I heard her take one egg from my sister's basket and put it into mine. When my grandmother instructed me to open my eyes, I saw that the yellow egg once on the top of my sister's pile of eggs was now, in fact, on the top of my own. My grandmother told me I had miscounted and that I should try again.

Still crying, I tried to explain to Grandma that I was not actually retarded, that I knew she switched the eggs. She denied doing anything of the sort, and refused to change her story, no matter how much evidence I presented proving her falsity.

It was then, just shy of my third birthday, that I learned my grandmother was a duplicitous, conniving woman. Old people could not be trusted.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Dammit!

I just can't believe it.

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Giving Credence to Bad Fiction

The Vatican has appointed a bishop to debunk Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code, fearing that the masses don't understand that they're reading fiction. Two things of note in the article: 1) The bishop appointed is on the short list to replace the current ailing Pope, so it's good that he's doing something of significance to make the world aware of his importance; 2) Even the guy who defends Brown's theological arguments calls Danny a hack. Thankfully, with the lack of respect this poor writer is getting, he's got more than $200 million in royalties to take the sting off a bit.

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Monday, March 21, 2005

Dickhead of the Week - Tom DeLay


tdelay
Originally uploaded by dangunderman.
Whether power-grabbing by redistricting the state of Texas or referring to the EPA as the gestapo, Tom "Evil-ution" DeLay is a world-class dickhead in a world of world-class dickheads. The karma serpent seems to be rearing its incredibly slow head against Tommy of late, but even if not terribly swift, hopefully its jaws will bite his ass particularly hard. But, dear serpent, beware the acid coursing through his veins. It buuuuuuurrrns.

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A Korean Waxman?


waxman
Originally uploaded by dangunderman.
While I have mixed feelings about his committee's investigation into baseball's steroid policy, I'm a fan of Representative Waxman of California. A tough lefty using what little power he's got in the minority to do some truly good work. This morning, I thought I caught a glimpse of his Orc-like face right here in Sunnyside, but then realized that the man I saw was Asian.

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Friday, March 18, 2005

God Helps Me with My Half-Pipe

Dude. The best thing about Jesus is that you can do anything for Him.

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Congressional Hearings, Part II

The players (why the heck didn't they call Barry?) have been sworn in and have given their opening statements. The Bash Brothers have taken the fifth. Mark McGwire nearly broke down while saying that he wouldn't dignify Jose Canseco's recent book with a response of any kind. Rafael Palmeiro, on the other hand, dignified Canseco's blatherings with the words, "Fuck you, Jose, you lying douchebag. I'll shove my Viagra-inflated bat down your lying throat if you don't shut your fucking face where I'm concerned, you money-grubbing, attention-seeking has-been motherfucker." I'm paraphrasing, but Curt Schilling pretty much seconded that emotion. Sammy Sosa spoke through a lawyer, and when he didn't, I missed what he said. To you, Mr. Enormous, Frank Thomas, I say this: if you've never taken steroids, you must be eating a shitload of mac and cheese. J'accuse!

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Congressional Hearings on Steroid Use and Bad Cliche in Baseball

The hearings are only just underway, but it looks like it will be a long day of bad baseball metaphors. So far, I've already heard, "This policy barely gets out of the batter's box," and "A more realistic policy should be three-strikes-and-yer-out." I don't know how much of this I can take. On the plus side, Jim Bunning, Hall of Fame pitcher and Senator from Kentucky, seems to be advocating a more prominent use of the bean ball against players that can hit the damn thing 480 feet.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

It Just Doesn't Stop

Jesus Christ, it happened. It really fucking happened.

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The Arctic Wildlife Reserve

Jesus Christ, it happened. It really fucking happened.

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World Bank - Follow Up

Jesus Christ, it happened. It really fucking happened.

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Irish Chamber Orchestra

I'd just like to give a special shout out to the Irish Chamber Orchestra who played at Carnegie Hall last night. Bill Whelan of Riverdance fame had a US premiere of a new piece as part of the evening. Whatever you think of Riverdance, this new little fella he wrote that's a sort of fusion of traditional Irish and contemporary classical music, called Carna, was freakin' brilliant, and featured some Irish lilting and a hot fiddler called Zoe Conway. She was born in the 80s, so I'm guessing she's gonna have a bit of a career ahead of her yet. Kudos also to my brilliant wife, who scored free tickets to the show and allowed me to enjoy my first experience at Carnegie Hall. It was one of those things that remind you how great New York is.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Dickhead of the Week - Bernard Ebbers - Follow Up


ebbers
Originally uploaded by dangunderman.
The retard defense fails, and Bernie's found guilty. Can't wait to see how many days in prison this weasely douchebag actually serves.

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Report from Queens


map_boundaries2
Originally uploaded by dangunderman.
A mildly amused Sunnyside chuckles in vague disappointment as its fair borough is slammed once again by cantankerous subway riders. During a typical evening journey home, a group of fine ladies out for a night on the town exclaimed, "Aw, man, this train's going to fuckin' QUEENS!" and quickly exited. Well, lassies, some of us will take that fine train forevermore, finding ourselves going to fucking Queens every single day. Some of us may not even mind.

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Ducks

While as a kid I always found Donald and Daffy to be somewhat humorous, I finally know what it is about ducks that kind of freaks me out.

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Monday, March 14, 2005

Dickhead of the Week - John Bolton


07bolton
Originally uploaded by dangunderman.
Maybe it's a cheap shot to give Johnny Boy such an honor before he's even had a chance to do anything, but I figure I'm just giving him the benefit of the doubt. Considering he's been quoted as saying, "There's no such thing as the United Nations," and "If the UN Secretariat building in New York lost ten stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference," I'm looking forward to enjoying his performance (and mustache) as new US Ambassador to the UN. You can't make this shit up.

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Nice Goin', Genius


bush1
Originally uploaded by dangunderman.
First of all, and this is something that's been going on for some time, the Bush administration is pre-packaging propaganda presented as real news. The degree to which this has been going on is still being uncovered, but appears to have no end at any level of government. So that's nice. Plus now Bushie's got a new plan for power plants to trade "mercury credits" rather than actually cleaning up their act. This guy really does a swell job of making the world a better place. Thanks, buddy.

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A New Leaf?

It's been suggested that my use of solely lowercase letters is both unprofessional and immature, particularly since I always use a capital I when referring to myself. Like, somehow it's arrogant that baldandeffective.com should be all about me. Still, the professionalism is a point well-taken, so I will now treat my website as if I'm applying for a job, or writing something to be published for real. Capital Letters, Here i Come.

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Friday, March 11, 2005

mm... coffee...


dunkin
Originally uploaded by dangunderman.
I don't remember where I got this mug. clearly it came from dunkin' donuts in the 70s or early 80s, back when brown was one of their colors along with the pink and orange of today. this was before baskin-robbins joined the company, before they got rid of the stools around the counter, and before its employees were all indian (at least that's how it is in NYC). I fear this little fella is on its last legs. a crack allows just the smallest droplets of coffee to get through its thick ceramic. chucking the mug will give me a sad mug, too.

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

the NEA

at this point, giving the national endowment for the arts a hard time is akin to kicking puppies. still, since my life has been taken over the past few days by its massive grant application, I'd like to encourage the NEA to make the process just a tad easier. frankly, I'm hoping that if I make it all the way through, there will be so few of us standing they'll almost HAVE to give us the damn grant.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

lessons from kansas - tornados


wall clouds
Originally uploaded by dangunderman.
people out east freak out when they hear the words "tornado watch." well, take it easy. don't worry until you get a "tornado warning," when there's been actual touch-down. or if the following conditions apply during a "watch": dark wall clouds like the ones seen here; deadly calm air; not hot or cold but both; and a yellowish-green hue from the sky, making the whole world look vaguely like pea soup. if you get all those things happening at once, I recommend taking cover - in a basement if possible. if you can't find a basement, sit in a closet or bathroom as far into the interior of your building as possible. good luck and godspeed.

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going after tom

there finally seem to be some real documents tying this tom delay character to the fundraising illegalities that he's always insisted were legal. unfortunately, I think I see tom's next legal move. the nytimes this morning quotes one of the email messages written by warren robold linking tom to the scandal, "I would then decide from response who Tom DeLay others should call. If this is successful than I will do more of them." the times goes on to say, "Many of the records provided by Mr. RoBold are printouts of e-mailed messages that have spelling and grammatical errors." seems to me all tom has to say is, "what? warren's writing is so bad, I never had any idea what he was asking me to do."

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

st. vincent's

a fainting spell/bumped noggin on the subway landed the missus in the emergency room this morning. we spent about six hours waiting to find out that she was, thankfully, fine. which is more than can be said for st. vincent's e.r. wow. it wasn't as scary as it could've been, I guess. very few doctors rushing around to save lives NOW like on that e.r. show I've never seen. but it was still quite the scene. there was the guy who tried to claim that he was drunk until the doctor told him that there wasn't any alcohol in his blood system. he finally copped to having taken four valium, but seemed so relieved to do so, I suspect he had actually taken a much stronger opiate. he left in his coat over his robe. then there was the woman next to us, who had so many ailments even the doctor started laughing. but my favorite had to have been the really mellow older guy lying calmly in his bed reading the new york times. seemed perfectly healthy. he'd only look up from his paper when asked to explain what the problem was. "I've had the hiccups for a week."

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Monday, March 07, 2005

dickhead of the week - charles jarvis


jarvis
Originally uploaded by dangunderman.
chuck "fuck-o" jarvis probably should have been the dickhead of last week, too. in fact, this schmuck belongs in the dickhead hall of fame for his last two high-profile campaigns alone -- first the infamous swift boat veterans for "truth," and now u.s.a. next, proudly painting the a.a.r.p. as a bunch of communist pantywaists, eager to kill our own troops and string up puppies using the entrails from kittens. u.s.a. next, by the way, has been around lobbying for right-wing causes since 1991. to the newsies, I ask: how come I had to do independent research to find that out? to herr fuhrer jarvis, I ask: hey, fuck-o, have you no shame?

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Sunday, March 06, 2005

first and third at second base

referring to oneself in the third person has been joked about on shows such as "sports night" and "seinfeld," norm macdonald's bob dole impression relied on the third person for laughs... it's become a cliche of grammatical comedy. tony womack, new second baseman for the yankees, tried something a little different the other day during spring training, referring to his batting ninth instead of lead-off -- "as long as I'm playing, tony's happy." tony might just be a genius.

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Saturday, March 05, 2005

where the poor people at?

the link above discusses mary-kate and ashley olsen's trendsetting style - dumpster chic. you know, multimillionaires that dress like they're not. now I'm no fashionista, but the article implies that this is some kind of new thing. but during my days at sarah lawrence from '90-'94, the best way to tell which half of the students were on no financial aid whatsoever was to pick out the ones that looked shittiest. those of us who came to school having worked the summer before our first year bought new clothes in an attempt to fit in, only to discover that the people who dressed nicely were the other broke-asses like ourselves. we still stuck out as pathetic poor people ("poor" at sarah lawrence equals "middle class"), until our senior years, when those nice clothes were finally worn out. then of course we graduated with no nice clothing, and found it very difficult to get work right about the same time our student loan payments kicked in -- student loans we're still paying off today, more than ten years later. so to the olsens I say this: up yours.

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my favorite ballplayer

he quietly takes a seat during "god bless america," he speaks out publicly against u.s. naval presence in puerto rico, and now carlos delgado tells the press that he was underwhelmed by the mets g.m. omar minaya's you're-latino-I'm-latino approach to negotiations. rather, carlos said, to paraphrase, "dude, it's a business, and I'm a man. go fuck yourself. I'm playing in florida."

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Friday, March 04, 2005

report from queens


fadeyouknow
Originally uploaded by dangunderman.
an eager sunnyside waits in hungry anticipation as burned out blocks and empty storefronts seek new owners. in the meantime, stencil artists plaster temporary walls with enough graffiti to warrant a crackdown from police in the form of monetary rewards for snitches. alas, if fellow borough residents are forced to choose between the law and local street artist binx, I'd like to think that binx will win every time.

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johnny come latelies

so congress has invited some baseball players to come talk about the steroid problem and potential solutions. now that everyone - EVERYONE - knows about the steroid issue, our government proves itself to be on the cutting edge of the solution-making again. I'm hoping they declare a steroid war and appoint a steroid czar. 'cause that always works.

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

time to take off the snobby pants


the spaceman
Originally uploaded by dangunderman.
my employer has assigned me to read bill lee's new book to see if "the spaceman" is worthy of being invited to a literary festival in october. even if the book is a grammatical disaster and literary clunker, I'm gonna argue my ass off in favor of his inclusion. while bossman sees his role as "keeping the literary in literary festival," I see it more as "keeping the snobby in snobby pants."

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sleeping habits

occasionally, I wake up super-early and can't go back to sleep. it happened again this morning at 5:15am. so now that it's coming up on 10:45am, I'm ready for my afternoon nap. this has got to be the most fascinating post ever. good night, moon.

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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

the queen's english

the british library has put nearly 700 recordings of local dialects on its website. I can think of no better way to waste some time, should your time be in need of wasting. just you wait, 'enry 'iggins, indeed.

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free land!

small towns in the heartland suffering from "brain drain" are now offering incentives to move there, including free land, thousands of dollars toward owning a home, and free country club memberships. I'm happy to put the blame squarely on these sucky small towns, whose inhabitants vote for the right-wing representatives in our government responsible for draining economic resources from small-town america. but hey, at least the gays can't get their abortions.

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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

jackass


donkeycart
Originally uploaded by dangunderman.
this is a special shout out to alisha, who suggested that I dumb-it-down a bit.

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in case you need proof the world bank is evil

apparently, deputy secretary of defense and renowned neo-con paul wolfowitz is up for the top job at the world bank. as someone who occasionally makes up stories, I can tell you that if one were to write a fictional version of the bush administration and all its suspicious ties to dodgy organizations, it would be a ridiculously-spun and completely unbelievable yarn.

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