Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Disney theme-park ideas that never came to fruition...

From Wikipedia. I was hoping for some uber-bizarre rides or exhibits, maybe a death-defying plunge into the mascot actors' locker rooms, but these will do. The thrill I got as a young child at Epcot by being able to talk to someone through a television screen was worth the price of admission alone. And the animatronics. One can never have enough animatronics.

I would've paid big bucks to check out the Soviet Union Pavillion. And it's no wonder the Israel idea was shot down over security concerns.

Friday, August 10, 2007

"To Catch a Predator" needs to go quickly into that dark night, with its head held low...

Former Atlanta Magazine staff scribe Luke Dittrich splendidly writes in this month's issue of Esquire about the NBC journalistic guilty pleasure that is the Chris Hansen-led ratings blockbuster crusade against online sexual predators, focusing on the case of Bill Conradt, a Texas assistant district attorney who killed himself after a SWAT team and the NBC crew descended on his house. Conradt had been exchanging bawdy instant messages with who he thought was an underage boy, who in reality was a 21-year-old aspiring actor hired by NBC. It makes for gripping television, but so do amateur videos of bear attacks and, while I'm at it, this. But more on point, this does it the best.

The piece details some disgusting lapses in journalistic ethics--Hansen allegedly pressuring authorities to get a search warrant--and touches on the dangers of hidden-camera journalism and the murky gray when journalists and law enforcement work together, both looking to come off as heroes and in the process dominate the story rather than the topic or issue at hand. It should be read in its entirety.

I'll admit that I've watched "TCAP," was most entranced by the awkward confrontations between Hansen and then alleged pedophiles, and turned off the show once the gotcha factor was over. The resolution was much less interesting than whatever sensational act transpired. So funny how that parallels the mindset of those involved after hearing Conradt killed himself.

After ending her cell-phone call, Lieutenant Barber looks at the camera. She asks the cameraman a question, speaking loudly enough to be heard above the rumble and whine of the rotors. Although the events of the last couple of days provoke a lot of questions, perhaps the one Lieutenant Barber now asks is the most pertinent. When law enforcement and television entertainment have commingled so completely and so lethally, perhaps there is really only one question left that matters at all.

“We having fun?”

She asks the question, she smiles wide, and then she relays an update Frag gave her a little while ago, something about a three-hundred-pounder nabbed back at the decoy house.

Oy. Give me a break. Find a soul while you're at it. And before the critics ask Esquire why they're defending the deceased alleged predator, it should be noted they're attacking the show.

To end things on a light note, here's perhaps the finest Robert Smigel SNL cartoon, dealing oddly enough, with catching the REAL predator.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Half-blind with an eyepatch, looking to ace some serves

While sitting on my balcony this morning: A chubby man with an eyepatch, tapping the path before him with a cane, carrying four tennis racquets, a messenger bag draped around his chest.

Friday, January 26, 2007

From Love God's Way Ministries, the Houston-based cadre of Bible-beating bumbleheads led by its pastor and self-proclaimed healer of homosexuals, Donnie Davies, comes the parent's lone tool to deter their child from the eternal sandbox of hellfire and brimstone.

The List of Bands That Will "Make You" Gay

Why is Ghostface Killah considered a no-brainer by Davies while Morrissey is tagged as "questionable?"

(hat tip to Crooks and Liars)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes Dies

This blog has become some sort of memorial service, first woeing the impending death of Tom Selleck and then weeping about Bob Barker's retirement. Ed Bradley, however, has truly passed after battling a quiet bout of leukemia. Journalism entered my life at an early age through my parents' subscription to LIFE Magazine, my father's devotion to Louis Ruykeyser, and our Sunday night viewings of 60 Minutes. May you rest in peace, Mr. Bradley, and thank you for contributing to our world.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Nation Mourns, Allegedlly Fondled "Price is Right" Showcase Girls breathe a sigh of relief

Bob Barker announces he will retire from television after 50 years...

We'll miss you, you Q-tip-microphone totin' son-of-a-gun. Please spay and neuter your pets.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Newsflash: Italy wins World Cup, celebratory conception and low-employee turnout at all-time high

(Photo: From little ole me, 7/10/06)

Living two blocks from Little Italy, the lead-up to the World Cup final between the namesake motherland and France made for blue shirts and wild cheers. Our windows are ever open so the noise bounced through our apartment much like the horn honking and griping of the two old Italian women who lounge outside their apartment all day. Around 5:30 p.m., Italy won. Moments after I was in a standstill in a two-block orgy of nationalistic pride, exuberance, enthusiasm, and guys dangling dangerously off fire escapes. Wine bottles were shared, soccer balls were kicked to fans gallavanting on rooftops, Italian flags the size of pick-up trucks were flown and general beautiful chaos ensued.

And guys took every chance to grab girls's asses as they ran through the crowd. Because when on Mulberry...

(I was going to post a photo of the Italian Flag and ran "italy condom" through yahoo! photos with hopes of posting something playing off the idea that there was much coitus conducted in the name of celebration last night. The following was what I discovered. I present you with the file that is labeled simply, "condom_dale." Viva Italia, people.)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


We looked so good together on the subway, but we parted at your next stop, and I tried to eat a little better to trim off those pounds, but come on, now, that never works. It takes barbells and trainers and the threat of summer. And only you will make it.

But I feel better. I'm wearing better clothes and walking in new sunglasses, finding that every fantasy you create can become reality if you shove aside a goal, because goals are thoughts more than plans.

I'm buying a bike and building a helicopter on top of my three-story walk-up. Get on your roof and look for me.

Photograph by this guy

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Just Give Her Something to Say

Andy Whistler woke up to a loud thunk against his door followed by silence. He opened it and found Meagan, her nostril bleeding a crimson line that trickled over her and was poised to drip from her chin. She smiled and laughed that uneasy laugh that screamed "take me back" but he just let her in. Meagan spent her days sitting Indian style, cradling wine and twiddling packs of cigarettes and was better off as on the sidelines than running with the bulls. Steel blue eyes, the same size she and we all had as babies, that even in such a stupefying state of drug and drink, told him of her confusion.

He wiped her nose and let her in.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

What Is This "Vision" of Which You Speak?

Growing up a wee lad I had the most tremendous amount of respect for daredevils like Evel Knievel or Jimmy Snuka, wild ass and embattled lunatics who earned their fame by breaking their bones. I wanted to ride a motorcycle or jump off the tops of steel cages. Those dreams died when I realized that glory in aerial stunts is fleeting at best. I now have the utmost respect for a whole different breed of human: blind folk.

Even in the most familiar of surroundings I would not set foot outside of my home were I lacking the gift of sight, that power we use to not only warn of us of large piles of poodle poop but also to spot a mate, be it for life or a night. A cane would bring me no comfort.

Today I spotted a blind Frenchman walking by himself, talking to himself, a grin upon his face as he tapped out his path before him. The chirps of traffic signals told him to stop and go; I'm sure he knew it was a beautiful day by how the sun baked his cheeks. He never knows bad news because he can't read it. But he will never know a photograph or the power of maps.

Photograph by Story Sloane III

Friday, May 12, 2006

Yes Milton, He's Doing Quite Well These Days

Using a piece of wheat bread I slathered up the remaining cranberry sauce and brought it to my lips, a gob dropping on to my hand-me-down tux, another roll of the eyes from my relatives seated at the circular table. Though the invitation said "dry" I said "no" and proceeded to pound shot after scraping shot from my grandfather's flask, stopping myself from vomiting in the bathroom sink while the priest knuckled and knocked on the door. I ate a flower from the bride's bouquet and dropped two plates of chicken fingers while feigning sobriety. The girl my aunt introduced me to told me my breath could sanitize a lab. I replied that she wouldn't know fun if it crawled up her skirt and bit her.

Monday, May 08, 2006

I'm Going to Be a Sad Boy When Tom Selleck Leaves the Earth

The only man besides my father who can pull off a moustache. May this clip show you just how much better off we are since we had Mr. Selleck galavanting about in Hawaiian shirts (Magnum, P.I.) and acting as the most debonaire of 1980s NYC bachelors (Three Men and a Baby).

Tom Selleck on "The Daily Show"

Friday, May 05, 2006

More Imagination

There was a time when rock and roll pranksters had a little bit more panache, be it by using swordfish to sexually satisfy groupies, or wiring your bass drum with small explosives and partially deafening your guitarist after detonating them on live television. Pete Doherty is more subdued and manages to stay in the public eye by tripping over his decadent boots and accidentally always managing to land on a syringe that just happens to be filled with heroin. No more. The artist has moved on to painting masterpieces with blood. His brush? Well, hell, a needle. So speaketh his former manager, James Mullord, whose sangre was extracted by Doherty for one of his works.

"He was very careful, he used a new needle. Pete has become very good at using the syringe, either scratching it on to the paper or spraying an area. It creates an effect a little like a Ralph Steadman cartoon."

I'm sure he's badass. The image of him allegedly injecting a female with heroin, Doherty defends, really was staged and he was merely extracting her blood to use as paint. Yes, Pete, and Jack Ruby was just poking Lee Harvey Oswald in the ribs.

Doherty's Blood Paintings
[This Is London, from the Evening Standard]

Monday, April 24, 2006

Your Baby's Daddy Is...

Maury Povich charged with sexual harassment
Thunder Without Rain is Like Tonic Without Vodka

This morning at 8:43 a.m. I heard my first thunder in New York City. It was wonderful. The first sound of nature trumping urban life. And no rain followed.