Tuesday, September 7, 2010

No, I'm Not Dead ... But I Have Moved

Yes, I know it's been four months. I apologize for the absence. I was trying to write a novel, and the last time I did that, I ended up getting all wrapped up in the Health Care Stories Project, and everything went to pot. I won't tell you how far along I am with the new novel. I will, however, tell you that I'm shutting down Tome in favor of two NEW AND IMPROVED!!!! projects:

The Bill Campbell: Misanthrope Show

I call it, "The Podcast with a Little Bombast," which features "Funk, Hip-Hop, a Touch of Jazz, a Pinch of Rock and the Ravings of a Lunatic.

Please check it out. It's got some great music with a bit of my own brand of twisted humor and the "minisodes" feature rants from yours truly.

The first one, "USA! USA! USA!", was all about the Tea Baggers.

I've also started a new blog, The Billanthrope. It'll offer the same politics, parenting, etc., that Tome has offered over the years. I just wanted a fresh start.

I've had a great time here at Tome, and I really appreciate the support you all have given me over the years. Please join me at The Bill Campbell: Misanthrope Show and The Billanthrope. I think we can continue enjoying each other's company. Well, I'll at least enjoy yours.

Also, if our paths don't happen to cross again, I want you to know that I have a new book coming out, Pop Culture: Politics, Puns, and "Poohbutt" from a Liberal Stay-at-Home Dad. It should be out by the end of the month. Please look for it at Amazon. But really, don't be a stranger.

Love, Monogamy, Corn Chips, and Broccoli,


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Let the (Blame) Games Begin!

Now, I'll admit that, before hockey's post-season started, I figured the Penguins were not going to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. I just figured that the odds were too great against their repeating and, frankly, the few games I saw this season (thank you, Versus) featured nothing but lackluster Penguin performances. I could not help but not be optimistic about their chances.

Then, last week, I actually did start getting just a little cheerful over the Pens' prospects. I mean, all their arch-nemeses were gone: New Jersey, Washington, even Detroit. I was thinking, "If they can just get past these pains-in-the-asses Habs, they could at least get into the Final. I mean, come on, Boston or Philly. You gotta be shittin' me. And, if we can get into the Final, who knows? Maybe we'll have a mini-dynasty on our hands."

Of course, I didn't realize at the time that, stating my little soliloquy in the middle of a torrential downpour with nothing but an oil lamp to illuminate my face and ending it all with an eeeeevil stage laugh, only doomed the Penguins' prospects.

That, and one hard-ass goalie from Slovakia where the good ole red, white, and blue ... of the Canadiens' uniform.

Yeah, that was a little self-centered, I'll admit. After all, no matter how much of an egoist I may be, I know I had absolutely nothing to do with that humiliating defeat my hockey team went through last night. First credit has to definitely go to Jaroslav Halak, who clearly has made a deal with Satan (no, not Miroslav ... Old Scratch himself). His goaltending was simply otherworldly. Second credit is all the Canadiens'. They went into this bad boy as the eighth seed and have whipped Washington and Pittsburgh asses. You gotta think these garçon are fer realz.

But let's look at the Pens, shall we? After all, they were the defending Stanley Cup champions. How the hell did they let this debacle happen?

Well, I'm no expert. But I do have this free blog with pretty much unlimited space. So, let me pontificate.

7. Ray Shero

I know tons of people make such a big deal about GM Ray Shero and how he always produces trade deadline "magic" out his sphincter every year. Yeah, I'll give him mega-props for getting Hossa, Dupuis, and Gill back in '08, but, I gotta tell ya, if he traded anything more than a pack of Kools for Ponikarovsky, he most definitely got ripped off.

But that's not really why I'm peeved with the man. It's the team's singular lack of defense this entire season. Now, I don't know what the cap situation was for the Pens last off-season, but it seems to me that they should've moved heaven and earth (or at least Cleveland) to sign either Rob Scuderi and/or (so monumentally obvious now) Hal Gill.

Now, I understand, when teams win with even a little bit of offense, they get a little slap (shot) happy. Shero and Bylsma looked at Crosby and Malkin and that Lord Stanley trophy and said, "We got us some SCORERS!!!" But when one looks back, you can see, it wasn't the "scorers" who won that series (more on that later). In the four games the Pens won, they held Detroit to only six goals.

Defense won the Cup, and Shero and Bylsma let that defense depart. Then, during the season, when one of the main contributors to the Pens' inconsistency was their lackluster defense, Shero decided to get yet another offensive-minded defenseman in Jordan Leopold (whose play, what little I saw of it, I actually enjoyed) because he can "push the puck up the ice." I like those kinds of defensemen, too, but the Pens already had Gonchar and Letang and Goligoski. What they really needed was a guy who can pin fools against the boards and stand them up at the blue line. Orpik is cool, though he sometimes gets a little carried away (as witnessed last night), and Mark Eaton is fine. But the Pens so desperately needed more.

6. Dan Bylsma

Every NFL fan knows that as soon as pre-season starts, they will have to spend the next six months hearing about what a great "genius" Peyton Manning is. They'll hear about his instincts, his brilliant "football mind," how he calls his own plays, and how he may very well be "the greatest quarterback of all-time."

I'm thinking, the Rocket Experience of going from coaching the bush leagues to winning the Stanley Cup in five-six months must've made Dan Bylsma feel like Peyton Manning. The problem is, Peyton ain't the greatest quarterback of all-time--but quarterbacking's greatest choker. His football mind ain't so brilliant. In fact, in the face of a well-disguised blitz package, Manning can look quite dim.

Bylsma's using Malkin as some sort of floating virus, skating from line to line, seemed equally dim-witted. One of the Penguins' main strengths is their three outstanding centers. A team has to go against Crosby and then Malkin and then Staal. Having to constantly be on top of their games contesting those three wears teams out. Having Crosby and Malkin skating together so often, in an odd way, let Montreal off the hook. They only had to gear up for the one line and then could relatively coast for the next two-three. And some of those lines you slapped together were just one big joke. I mean, Max Talbot-Tyler Kennedy-Soupy Sales?! What the hell were you thinking?

5. Marc Andre Fleury

Damn, Flower. You obviously didn't read my last post about stopping the brain farts. I don't blame you. I really don't know what the hell I'm talking about. But damn! I mean seriously ... damn! What the hell was that first goal last night? Where was your head?

Even though you got pulled last night after giving up your fourth goal, I'm actually not too mad at ya, Fleury. After all, your defense had hung you out to dry so often during the series, they need to change your nickname to "Laundry."

Odd-man rushes for short-handed goals, constant crowding of the net, perfect passes along the crease, I mean, where the hell were these guys?

Which reminds me ...

4. Kris Letang

I guess playing in the home province really had him shook. It's like Disney paid the man for his own version of Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde on Ice. And when I thought it couldn't get any worse than Game 4's own-goal, Letang piped up, "But wait! There's more!" He's scoring goals! He's giving up goals! He's scoring goals for the opposition! And he can still slice this tomato!!! Mon dieu.

3. Sergei Gonchar

My boy, Dabalu, once said of should've-been Hall-of-Famer, Rod Strickland, "When I watched him in college, I thought, 'How cool. This brutha just don't give a fuck. Then, when he hit the pros, I realized, 'Oh my God, this brutha just don't give a fuck!"

I didn't know this was actually physically possible, but it seems as though Rod Strickland and Sergei Gonchar were separated at birth. I mean, every time he skated, it was like it was a walk in the park. "Oh well, looks like we have another power play. Maybe I'll shoot it. No, I think I should pass it. Hmm ... yeah, I guess I'll pass it."

Or ...

"Would you look at that, Scott Gomez skating right past me with the puck again. Isn't that rude? You'd think he'd at least say excuse me first. And hey, isn't that Mike Cammalleri scorching Kris again. Boy, I sure do hope they don't score again. Oohh. Oh, well. What can you do?"

2. Evgeni Malkin

Yes, Mr. Houdini, we are quite used to your disappearing act. We saw it first during that '08 Stanley Cup Final against Detroit. That's when I first made the joke about the Russian mafia having tied up your family.

You worked out your inconsistencies marvelously from Game 3 onward in last year's Cup Final. We thought you had finally arrived, but then you went back to your old, inconsistent ways this entire season.

For the Habs series, you added a new wrinkle to your magic act. You would come on strong, steal the puck, charge down the ice toward Halak, and then poof! disappear right in the middle of your own play, just to throw some of the limpest noodles at the goalie in the History of Impotence. I don't know what the hockey equivalent to Viagra is, but damn you needed it this series.

Yep. You guessed it ...

The #1 Person to blame

for the Penguins' loss is ...

Sidney Crosby

Yes. I know there is plenty of blame to go around. I know that Hal Gill was King Kong and Jaroslav Halak was Godzilla this series. And I know that Sid the Kid is a fan favorite and a media darling and a superstar and all that.

It's just that, for three years in a row, I have watched Crosby totally disappear when his team needed him the most. When defenses are mediocre or high-flying, Crosby can light it up with the best of them. But against vise-like Ds like we'd seen from Detroit in '08 and '09 and from the Canadiens this last series, El Sid simply shuts down.

I used to think it was about size. I would think about all the things that Lemieux was able to do on the ice and had to remind myself that (aside from the fact that they have different games), at the time, he was one of the biggest guys out there. Sid the Kid most definitely isn't that. But Mike Cammalleri has been proving this playoff season that you can be a midget out there on the ice. It doesn't matter. If you've got the heart, you can accomplish anything.

And so far, I gotta say, Crosby hasn't shown that he's got that heart. Last year, it was the D, Malkin, and Staal and his line who stood up and won that Cup while Crosby whined on the bench, all "injured," and shit.

This past series, a bunch of the role players stepped their games up (that first goal was totally Dupuis' Herculean effort), but the stars did not. They were nowhere to be seen. Suddenly, I thought Crosby and Malkin had become Bonds and Bonilla.

I know those two are still just kids; but so is Jordan Staal, and he always seems to bring that clichéd A-game every time. And, unlike Crosby, Staal is not touted as "arguably the best player in hockey," "the face of hockey," and a superstar. And, if Crosby is really and truly a superstar, he needs to start acting like it.

Superstars rise to the occasion, the challenge. Lemieux comes back from cancer and leads his team to the playoffs. Michael Jordan has a flu, his father has just died, and he wins another NBA championship. Kobe Bryant beats rape charges and some devastating Shaq rhymes ("Tell me how my ass tastes") to win an NBA championship. Joe Montana, John Elway win comeback after comeback after comeback.

These are the things great athletes do. They don't hide behind the efforts of their lesser talented teammates. They lead them on. And they've got that fire. When those men were determined, you could see it in their eyes. And their opponents trembled. When Sid's behind the eight ball and his team needs him, it always looks like he's about to cry. And the league laughs.

As I said, Sid's young. Perhaps he and the rest of the younger Pens got too much too quickly with that Cup victory last year. It's much like Big Ben. When the Steelers lost the AFC Championship to the Patriots his rookie season, he turned to Jerome Bettis, who had a Hall of Fame career and no Super Bowl appearances, and told him not to retire because they'd go on and win the Super Bowl next season. And the bastard did it, his second season in the NFL. He's been a head case ever since.

I pray to God Crosby won't feel the need to pin drunk, underaged co-eds in the bathroom and do hell-knows-what. But I also pray that he starts earning all the accolades that are heaped upon him. He's got a lot of time left. But I just don't to have him end up being another Peyton Manning.


Friday, May 7, 2010

So, Pens, What Did We Learn Last Night?

(I've got to make this bad boy a quick one. Time's a-wastin'!)

All right, Penguins, you came out with a mighty strong statement last night: "We will dominate you!" It was the strongest performance I've seen you give all season. I was mightily impressed. Unfortunately, for Guinlandia, the Canadiens came out with an even stronger one: "We will win, anyway."

Yinz skated circles around the Habs last night, pinned them mercilessly to the boards, shot the lights out on those [expletive deleted] French Canadians for two periods straight. Then, as though Bruce Arians became your offensive coordinator, for a brief moment, you decided that a one-goal lead was enough and rested on your laurels. But before those little sprigs could be properly placed on your heads, the Canadiens had tied the game. Then the Letang own-goal, and you found yourselves on the losing end of a mighty fine performance.

So, what did we learn last night?

1) Flower, you have got to stop the brain farts!

Marc-Andre Fleury has got to be one of the most frustrating goalies to watch. He has such brilliant nights, some truly spectacular performances, but even within some of those performances, he lets by some of the dumbest goals you have ever seen hit the back of the net. What else can explain the first two goals last night? Just momentary lapses of Fleury's judgment which always seem to result in a siren going off in the building.

However, Flower, Jaroslav Halak thinks he's Dominik Hasek and Patrick Roy's love child. He simply knows where every puck is going to be during every second of the damned game. Last year, when the Caps' Semyon Varlamov was channeling every goalie great, I kept saying to myself, "Shoot the shit out of the guy, he can't stop fifty." However, Halak can stop 50. He can stop 150. Right now, he can travel back in time and stop the bomb from dropping on Hiroshima. He'd simply take that big ole stick of his, smack Fat Man out of the sky, and watch it explode harmlessly into the Atlantic! Yes, he is that good. You've got to be his equal before Little Boy explodes all over the Penguins' post-season.

2) While a game, this strictly business!

Last year, up until the last five minutes of Game 7, the Detroit Red Wings just knew they were going to beat you guys and take the Cup. Just a week and a half ago, I watched the Washington Capitals emit the same swagger against this Canadien team. I have the sinking suspicion that you guys feel the same way. But watch out! It is that same arrogance that always gives the underdog the chance of pulling off the upset. Just ask Peyton Manning. He falls under the gaze of his own media-generated majesty every year, and every year, but one, he feels the light air of the missing Lombardi trophy in his grasp.

These Habs are some crafty bastards. You can skate circles around them, pin them mercilessly to the boards, and shoot the lights out on them, and yet, they will still figure out a way to make the most out of the meager offense they possess and skate away with the win. Ya need to wake up. They're about to do the same thing to you. And, if this thing goes to Game 7, they most likely will.

3) Sit Staal.

I love the way Jordan Staal plays. If it weren't for him and his line, I doubt the Pens would've beaten D-Town last year. But the boy is injured.

Now, I know in sports (even women's) that there's the macho equivalent to "If you can lean, you can clean" mentality all of us who've worked for a shitty wage know. If there isn't a geyser of blood or bones popping out of the skin, many feel that the athlete has to get out there and help his/her team.

However, in Staal's case, he just wasn't skating like his usual self. He's really not helping his team right now. He's probably even hurting it. Worse yet, you're probably ultimately making his injury worse. I don't know what kind of "personal issues" Ruff has right now, but he should be out there instead of Staal. Let the boy rest a few more games, and, if you survive this series, see how he's doing then. Maybe he can tame the demons in Miro Satan's pants right now (no, seriously, is this the same guy who skated like molasses for the Pens all last year? I know his last name is Satan--but I'm really starting to suspect that the man is possessed).

4) Yo, Geno!!!

Hey, Evgeni, I'm glad to see that the Russian Mafia has finally released your family so you can once again play hockey like the Evgeni Malkin we all know and love. You've been skating real well this past game and a half. But you have got to finish!

You had two great one-on-one opportunities last night against Halak, but, instead of slamming the puck home, you seemed to gift-wrap the damned thing and gently hand it over to Halak like some kind of Goalies' Day present.

I don't know why you're being so cordial. Isn't this the same guy who bounced your Russian team out of the Olympics? If that ain't enough to piss you off, find something else. I don't know. Take a quick flight to Detroit, punch Zetterberg in the grill, and start smacking pucks through the back of the net like Shae Webber.

5)Don't think I forgot about you, Sidthia!

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of El Sid's. I think, barring horrific injury or a run-in with a drunken college co-ed down in Georgia, he's pretty much a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame. And he's only, what, 13? I like how he decided to become a shooter this season and tied for the league lead in goals (I haven't seen anything like that since Jordan suddenly decided to rain threes down on Portland's head that one NBA Final after the commentators said he didn't have an outside shot). I also like, when he's being shut down, how he ups the other aspects of his game. That head-first dive he took in Game 3 to stop a breakaway pass was inspired. But let's face it: Sid the Kid is a little soft.

I mean, he already has a reputation as a bit of a crybaby throughout the league (or as one Canadian "cousin-in-law" put it to me once, "He's a homo."). I think, after the way he punked out of Game 7 last year (funny how he was all gimpy and couldn't find the strength to play the rest of the game but seemed miraculously healed when he lifted the Lord Stanley--yeah, I said it!). And, I swear to God, there have been so many shots of a red-faced, about-to-cry Crosby during this series, I wanna go buy some gloves, throw them on the ice, and take a swing at the guy myself!

But, come on, man. As Bruce Willis would say, "Time to cowboy-up, motherfucker!" Hal Gill owns that ass so bad, I'm half-expecting you to skate out there with nothing but black, leather chaps and a red rubber ball taped inside your mouth. And this time, aforementioned Bruce ain't gonna "Yippee kai yay!" down onto the ice with a katana to save you.

The thing I like most about the Pens is how they play as a team. What was that stat last night? Eleven goals by 11 different players in the series? Most teams can't compete when their stars aren't shining. Look at the Caps. But there comes a time when the supposed leaders of any team need to step up.

Sid, you've got that "C" on your chest. Most in the media confuse it for an "S". Whichever letter you decide is there, you need to commit to it and start acting accordingly.

As in any field sport, he who controls the middle of the field, controls the game. And right now, yall are letting Hal Gill run the show. (Should've re-signed him, shouldn't ya have?) Bylsma needs to stop letting you hike up your skirt and run away from the big man. You either need to start running circles around him or, better yet, take it to him!

Sid needs to become the gnat who drives the elephant to suicide. Crash into him, hack him, I don't care. Though pure suicide, drop the gloves and sock him right in the chin. With Halak guarding the net like it's his daughter's virginity, I can't imagine the Pens ultimately winning the series without getting and staying in front of that net. They can't just keep slapping shots from the perimeter and hoping for the best like they did last night. It didn't work for the Caps. It probably won't work for them. And since Crosby plays the longest amount with Gill hectoring with every tick of the clock, it is up to El Sid to beat this man. This ain't last year. We can't expect Talbot to come up with a few surprise goals to win the day.

When it comes down to it, this series is Sid's to win or lose. That's what it means to be the team's captain, that's what it means to be a superstar. Let's just hope he realizes this and decides to shine ... or at least give Gill a nice shiner. That'd be cool, too.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dear Lost:

I'm not Rev. Al now. I'm not ready to scream, "Racist!" at the drop of a spare rib. In fact, you will find that I am actually quite loathe to use that word at all. It's like, "When did you stop beating your wife." It's a charge impossible to defend against. Besides, I couldn't think of one reason--nope, not a one--why anyone would ever, ever call you such a dreaded, despicable word.

Now, I know some may wonder why Jack, of all people, was ever the leader of this lovable band of castaways. Personally, if I were stuck on a desert isle, after Marianne, I might, just might want the survivalist, Locke, leading the way (see, I'm not a racist, either--I've even suggested another white guy first). I mean, I don't know how to hunt game, forage for nuts, and find fresh water. You know who else doesn't? A friggin' doctor!

You know what else a doctor doesn't know how to do?

Run any sort of military operation.

So, I'm thinking, when "Da Utters" started attacking my black ass, I would've turned to the hard-ass brown man. That Iraqi brother who knows how to handle a gun, torture the shit out of someone, and, oh yeah, snap a motherfather's neck with his damned ankles.

So yeah, if I'd have been looking for a leader when the shit hit the fan, I would've been riding Sayid's jock. In Season 2, I might've even looked to the cop, Ana Lucia. Hell, even the Nigerian drug lord with a heart of gold and his eye towards God, Mr. Eko, would've been a better choice. Talk about a leader of men! And he did stare down the Smoke Monster, after all.

Man, I probably even would've looked to Hitman Jin.

But you know the last person I would've looked to? Crybaby Jack (does the man have a tear duct infection, or something?). No, not because he's a white man. Or a bitch. Though he is both. No. It's because he's a doctor. Not only would he have no practical experience in these matters (wait, I never went to med school--maybe combat training is covered in the first year), but, with polar bears, Smoke Monsters, and Da Utters going all FSU on their asses, you would think that the last person they'd want charging headlong into danger is the one person who could actually heal them when danger struck!

It never made sense that Jack was the leader. What exactly qualified him to be? Was it 'cause Matthew Fox could cry on command?

Or was it more insidi--

"You know what it was, Negro?!"

"Shut up, Al!"

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yeah.

Well, that ain't even why I'm mad at ya.

Not Jack's "leadership." Not the fact that you simply refuse! to kill that annoyingly anorexic Kate. (Why, Lord?! Why?!!!). Not the fact that yall have killed more brown folks than the Middle Passage and made the Klan salivate with your Killing Koloreds Kavalkade last night. Not "Sayid, Suicide Bomber." Nor Hurley's being Last Muchacho Standing.

I am hating on last night's episode, though. I'll admit, folks were needing to die soon--if Lost were to remain Lost. I felt a little cheated by Sayid's demise (especially since you're keeping Desmond alive), and I was sorry to see Lawnmower Man go.

But what really got me was Sun's and Jin's deaths.

Now, I'm not one of those saps who loved that love story. My memory's too long for that. I remember what a semi-abusive a-hole Jin was in the beginning. I remember how you intimated that he was killing folks for Papa.

You know what else I remember? How Sun was screwing around behind Jin's back, was planning to leave his fishy-smelling ass in L.A., and wasn't too sure whose baby that was cookin' in her belly--Jin's or Lex Luthor's or ... Michael's?

Yeah, you thought I forgot. But this brother's like an
elephant. He is fat as shit
don't forget shit!

I mean, I'm glad they worked through all that--by Sun's never coming clean--and found love. But I've always found that relationship only slightly less annoying than Kate and Sawyer's ménage-à-Jack.

But that's not what annoyed me so much about their deaths. It was just how painfully contrived their dying together was. You guys knew how much everybody (else!) loved these two, and you wanted, needed to give them their Titanic moment.

I don't blame you so much for that. It's just that it didn't make no kinda gotdamned sense.

You had me. At first. Sun's pinned. The sub's sinking. She's going to drown. Jin, the loving husband, is giving it his all to save his wife. What husband (in a relatively decent marriage) couldn't sympathize? Especially after all the years they'd been separated. What husband (in a relatively decent marriage) wouldn't do the same? After all, this was his wife--the mother of his child.

Who? What?

Oh yeah. You forgot.

That's strange.

So did Sun.

I mean, here's this woman, this mother, who struggled for years just to conceive, who returned to this fucked-up island to make her family whole, and, in the very last minutes of her life, she utters not a peep about the child to the father of said child.

Utterly baffling.

See, I'm thinking even Joan Crawford just might have given her child at least some thought at a time like that. In fact, I'm thinking any mother in her right mind, when her husband was all, "Ooooh baby, I ain't never gonna leave you again," woulda slapped his monkey ass, and shouted, "Motherfucker! You best git your ass to swimmin' and raise that daughter of ours!!!"

I mean, I know Sun was a pretty selfish woman--but not so selfish that she'd have wanted her kid raised an orphan. Or by that evil-ass father of hers.

And think of the pathos as Jin swims away from his darling beloved--off to raise their daughter who will never remember her self-sacrificing mother. And think of the shrieks and howls of anguish all across Lostlandia as you capped Jin's Asian ass (he was "of color," after all), failing in the one mission tasked to him by his martyred wife, never, ever to meet the baby girl that definitely was not Michael's.

Damn, I'm crying just typing this shit.

Well, clearly, it's too late for any of that. Even if it weren't, it's not like you'd listen to me, anyway. After all, I'm just the Unknown Writer, while yall are the sumbitches makin' bookoo bucks producing the only show worth watching on ABC for the last decade. You don't even have to remember that I'm mad at ya.

But I am.

Our prayers are with you, Hugo.
When the shit hits the fan,
remember the immortal words of Tonto,
"What do you mean 'we,' white man?"


Monday, May 3, 2010

The Bill Campbell 40Nil '80s Birthday Party Mix

I've gotta confess when Mrs. Unknown told me that my 40th birthday party would have an '80s theme, I was thrown for a loop. I kept thinking, "But honey, I hate the '80s." Now, a '70s mix. I could do one of those with my eyes and probably my ears closed. But the '80s ...

Well, every time I think of the '80s, I always flash back to the painful dictatorship Phil Collins and Rod Stewart exercised over MTV, Friday Night Videos, and every other video forum I was too young to realize was rotting my frontal lobe.

However, the '80s did actually have a lot of good music, and the nerd within with its obsessive-compulsive proclivities troubled over how to include a lot of it.

There was the R&B that floundered in post-disco disco, electrofunk, and ended in New Jack Swing. Post-punk was totally schizoid, including punk, reggae, disco, hip-hop, and New Wave. Rock recoiled from the arena- and soft-rock '70s with heavy metal, the hair bands (which I hate--with Motley Crue's Shout at the Devil and Van Halen's 1984 being notable exceptions) and thrash/speed metal (which I kinda liked). The nascent hip-hop movement started with disco went into electrofunk then went with minimalist T La Rock/Rick Rubin beats, and ended with jacking all those James Brown beats.

So yes, the '80s actually were quite dynamic and were much more than all those horrible synths, electronic handclaps, and obligatory cheesy guitar and/or sax solos that we remember. But how to include it all? And how can I be kiddie-friendly?

The other challenge for Multiculti Me with coming up with an '80s mix was how to deal with what happened Thursday, July 12, 1979, at Comiskey Park. That was when a whole bunch of angry, white folks held Disco Demolition Night and destroyed all those beautiful disco records on the baseball diamond.

Seemingly overnight, radio stations changed their formats and became more segregated than they had been in decades. MTV refused to play black videos and only reluctantly relaxed that policy with Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" (ironic, ain't it?). And still, for most of the decade, they'd only play Michael, Prince, Whitney, and Janet. It wasn't until 1988, with their launching Yo! MTV Raps did MTV really become integrated.

So, I had to throw up my hands in surrender, realizing that one's definition of The '80s would pretty much depend on your race. But what can ya do?

So, here it is, The Bill Campbell 40Nil '80s Birthday Party Mix. It's not by any means all-inclusive (I simply could not honor those horrible, horrible hair bands) and would not be most people's idea of an '80s mix. But hey, I don't have a lot of '80s music in my collection, I had to celebrate my own diversity (forcing folks to drink either Red Stripe or Rolling Rock), and yes, I did include a couple of '70s songs, but WTF, it was my birthday, wasn't it?

On that note, I wholeheartedly thank all yall who made the day special. Thanks to all the people who came to the party, all the emails, surprise phone calls, and FB birthday wishes. Thanks to JET for taking over the grill duties (I needed help, I hadn't barbecued in over a decade), to Mz. Canal and Johnny Walker for helping with the prep and cooking. Yall are the greatest!!!

All your efforts and well-wishing makes me think these 40s might not be so bad after all.

Enjoy the music!!!

Fela Kuti Zombie

Max Romeo and The Upsetters Chase the Devil

Bob Marley and The Wailers We and Dem

UB40 Sardonicus

Fine Young Cannibals Johnny Come Home

David Bowie Ashes to Ashes

U2 Seconds

Strafe Set It Off

Laid Back White Horse (AUTHOR'S NOTE: Forgot about the profanity in this one)

Michael Jackson Wanna Be Starting Something

EPMD You Gots to Chill

Queen Latifah Wrath of My Madness

Tom Tom Club Genius of Love

Prince and The Revolution Kiss (Extended Version)

Indeep Last Night a DJ Saved My Life

Cherelle I Didn't Mean to Turn You On

Devo Whip It

New Order Blue Monday

Paul Young Come Back and Stay (12" Extended Remix)

Level 42 Something About You

The Police Message in a Bottle

Tenor Saw Ring the Alarm

Barrington Levy Here I Come (Broader Than Broadway)

Joel Ski Love Do the Pee Wee Herman

Full Force Alice, I Want You Just for Me

Taanja Gardner Heartbeat (Party Version)

Eurythmics Here Comes the Rain Again

Depeche Mode People Are People

The Clash Rock the Casbah

Joe Jackson One More Time

Kate Bush Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)

Bush Tetras Can't Be Funky

Prince and The Revolution When Doves Cry

Rick James Superfreak

Falco Rock Me Amadeus

Herbie Hancock Rockit

Whodini Five Minutes of Funk

Salt 'n Pepa Push It

Public Enemy Rebel without a Pause

LL Cool J Jack the Ripper

Beastie Boys Shake Your Rump

Liquid Liquid Cavern

The Cure Boys Don't Cry

Elvis Costello Everyday I Write the Book

Eurythmics Who's That Girl

Imagination Just an Illusion

Newcleus Jam On It

Frankie Smith Double Dutch Bus (Extended Remix)

Beat Box Boys Yum Yum Eat 'Em Up

Michael Jackson PYT (Pretty Young Thing)

Steely Dan Hey Nineteen

Madonna Holiday

Pet Shop Boys West End Girls

Slave Just a Touch

Patrice Rushen Forget Me Not

Prince She's Always in My Hair

Simple Minds Don't You Forget about Me

ESG Moody

U2 Bullet the Blue Sky

Run-DMC Rock Box

Eric B. and Rakim I Ain't No Joke

Public Enemy Fight the Power

MC Lyte Paper Thin

LL Cool J Going Back to Cali

Musical Youth Pass the Dutchie

Bob Marley and The Wailers Forever Loving Jah

Elvis Costello Watching the Detectives

Terence Trent D'Arby Wishing Well

Nu Shooz I Can't Wait

Freeez I.O.U.

Bronski Beat Smalltown Boy

Grace Jones Pull up to the Bumper

Frankie Goes to Hollywood Relax

David Bowie Let's Dance

Prince and The Revolution Girls and Boys

Jody Watley Still a Thrill

Pointer Sisters Automatic

Roxanne Shante Bite This

Stetsasonic Sally

Jungle Brothers Beeds on a String

Eric B. and Rakim Paid in Full (Seven Minutes of Madness)

Alexander O'Neal Criticize

ABC Poison Arrow

Michael Jackson Starlight (Demo--AUTHOR'S NOTE: The song that would eventually become "Thriller")

Donna Summer I Feel Love

The Whispers And the Beat Goes On

Inner City Good Life

Run-DMC Peter Piper

Kid 'N Play Do This My Way

Cash Money and Marvelous Ugly People Be Quiet

The Fearless Four Rockin' It

Soul Sonic Force Planet Rock

Joe Jackson Steppin' Out

AHA Take On Me

Altered Images Happy Birthday

Billy Idol Dancing with Myself

U2 Sunday Bloody Sunday

The Police Spirits in the Material World

Dawn Penn You Don't Love Me

Bob Marley and The Wailers Work

Just-Ice Going Way Back

Steady B Serious (Remix w/KRS-One)

Boogie Down Productions Criminal Minded

Loose Ends Stay a Little While, Child

Junior Mama Used to Say


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy 40th Birthday to Me!!!

Yes, I've been a bad, bad blogger of late. Let's chalk it up to a midlife crisis I was having over this day. I wasn't actually having one--I've just been extremely lazy--but let's say I had. Anyway, today's my 40th. I'm gonna go enjoy it. I'll be back at Tome soon enough. Let's say, "Tomorrow," shall we?

Go on. SAY IT!!!!

Here, enjoy this 'n.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Drill, Baby, Drill! Oil Inferno!!!

We at Tome proudly bring you the video that is rocking the internet and environmentalist discos all around the world. Enjoy!


Friday, April 23, 2010

The Arizona Song of the Day

So, I guess Cesar Chavez Day has been cancelled in the Sunshine State now, too? Ditat Deus, people!!!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Michael Steele Quote of the Day

Boy, you thought the cowboys over at the GOPilgrim were pissed with Da Little Big Brutha before, wait till they get a whiff of this. This boy is so far off the reservation, I wouldn't be surprised to see his scalp paraded all across the Fox News set.

"We have lost sight of the historic, integral link between the party and African-Americans. This party was co-founded by blacks, among them Frederick Douglass. The Republican Party had a hand in forming the NAACP, and yet we have mistreated that relationship. People don't walk away from parties, their parties walk away from them.

"For the last 40-plus years we had a 'Southern Strategy' that alienated many minority voters by focusing on the white male vote in the South. Well, guess what happened in 1992, folks, 'Bubba' went back home to the Democratic Party and voted for Bill Clinton."


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

R.I.P. Dorothy Height and Guru

Today was a weird one. I spent all day listening to NPR and staining the deck. First, I was trying to think of a funny way to tell the Kal Penn mugging story--like he got jacked for his weed coming out of Barry's White House.

But then I got all bummed out over Dorothy Height's death. The woman was 98. So, it wasn't much of a surprise. But I've always enjoyed the few interviews I've heard her give. And, of course, she's a homegirl--another star in the Black Pittsburgh constellation. They just don't make many like Dorothy Height.

But, what's really got me is Guru's death. I had no clue the brotha was sick. I mean, damn, I'll admit to hating on Jazzmatazz II, but the man was only 43. And Gang Starr ...

Well, clearly, I have no words for this. So, a video's in order.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Snyder's Madden-ness Strikes Again

On Sunday night, either a victim of Xtreme food poisoning or the flu, my body became a high-speed, two-way food evacuation system--almost simultaneously. So, on Monday morning, cold and shivering, I thought I was merely delusional when I heard that the Redskins traded for Philadelphia Eagle, future hall-of-fame quarterback, Donovan McNabb. Now, with a few days to recover and regain my sanity, I'm wondering who was the delusional party when the Eagles gave McNabb up for a couple of draft picks.

Personally, I'm not much of a McNabb fan. {whisper: I actually think he's a 'roider.} But I've never understood the antipathy that so many Eagles' fans have had for McNabb all these years. Season after season the man has done nothing but win for that organization. For most of those seasons, it has been a smothering Eagles' D and McNabb all by himself on offense that got them into the playoffs and the inevitable loss in the NFC Championship game.

The failings of McNabb to get them into the Super Bowl was really the failure of the organization in providing him with a reliable wide receiver option. For years, it was so obvious that Philly would be playing for the Lombardi trophy if only someone could catch the ball, and yet they refused to accommodate the man. And the year they finally did and got T.O., they went to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, they ran smack up against those damned dynastic Patriots (we Steeler fans can tell you all about those videotaping bastards).

But now that the Eagles finally have a fully-functioning, though really young, offense with LeSean McCoy taking over for Brian Westbrook and two nice receivers in DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, they're giving the old guy up?

Yes, I understand that Donovan's best days are pretty much behind him. And that amazing D that Philly has enjoyed the past decade is gone and needs rebuilding. But McNabb's not that old. I was picturing these next couple of seasons like the last few Elway had once he finally got a running back and the Super Bowl rings he deserved.

To this armchair GM it seemed like a perfect fit, the grizzled, old veteran leading the young talented corps to the Promised Land. Instead, you've got a young, inexperienced quarterback, Dennis Kolb, with no veterans to instruct him on what to do (since the Birds are trying to trade Michael Vick, as well). Instead of a playoff team challenging for the title, the Eagles have decided to scrap the whole thing and start all over again.

I guess there's a certain logic in that, but it's hard to understand why Danielle Snyder opened up the purse strings to snag McNabb for a one-year deal. They started dumping players left and right in the beginning of the off-season. They swept the locker room clean of the Jim Zorn regime. It looked like Snyder might finally be shedding his old ways and may try to start building the organization up again from scratch.

But he hasn't. The Napoleon of the Potomac only knows one game. And that's EA Sports' Madden franchise. Whenever you look at the moves the little man makes, they only make sense when you realize that Snyder loooooves that great video game, and he loves it sooooooo much that he holds onto old versions of it long after the new season-by-season updates have arrived on and been cleared from the shelves.

That's why he always gets aging veterans like Deion Sanders, Jeff George, and Bruce Smith decades after their primes. He was playing old versions of the game when they still had 95+ Player Ratings. Last year, he actually did play Madden '09 before making his free agent moves. That's why he broke the bank signing Albert Haynesworth, not realizing that Asshole Factor actually isn't a Madden stat that could affect a real player's efforts on the field.

This year, he went vintage Madden--I'm guessing, '00--to get his coach, Mike Shanahan. His Coaching stats were through the roof that year. So, Snyder probably thought he was really getting a bargain when he signed Shanahan. Of course, Danny Boy forgot to look at the man's Without Elway stats, which are really in the crapper.

Larry Johnson was a 99, the perfect running back, power and speed with a wicked stiff-arm and could really chew up ground. Snyder probably went through the roof when he realized he could get Johnson for a song this offseason. Of course, he would've understood why if he'd only looked at the packaging. He was playing Madden '04.

And, when you team '05 Johnson with '06 "Fast" Willie Parker (who I was actually hoping the Steelers would've re-signed), you've got the best "Thunder-and-Lightning" running back duo in NFL history. What the Steelers and the rest of the league has realized, though, is that Parker had broken his leg in the '06 season, has been plagued by injuries ever since, and ain't so "Fast," anymore.

But that damned game has blurred Snyder's vision. He sees things in players that no one else does--highly-pixelated, two-dimensional images that look amazingly life-like with spin moves that just leave you dazzled.

So now, Snyder has the dream offensive team with the '00 offensive "genius," Mike Shanahan at the helm, his '08 Chris Cooley, '06 Santana Moss, '05 Larry Johnson, '06 Willie Parker, and an '05 Donovan McNabb under center. With such impressive weaponry available on his Playstation 4, you can understand how Danielle Snyder is once again salivating (as he does every April) over his veeeeerrrrryyyyy realistic chances of winning the Super Bowl this season.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Obama, Medvedev Celebrate Nuclear Deal

We here at Tome have obtained exclusive footage from Russian PravdaTV of President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev entertaining foreign heads of state tonight at Prague Castle after signing their historic nuclear arms reduction treaty. According to PravdaTV, even Vladimir Putin was inspired by this historic moment.


For Those Who Like Watching White People Dance

All right, I know I've been remiss in this whole blogging thing for more than a little bit. I will fall on the Excuse of My Generation ... I've been sooooooo busy. ... Well, a little bit.

So, here, to tide you over for a little bit longer, is a sample of the album that made this morning's rush hour a bit more tolerable, Lykke Li's "Little Bit." Youth Novels is a good one. Check it out.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Western Civilization and the Economic Crisis: The Impoverishment of the Middle Class

I haven't read this all yet, but Global Research has this fascinating article about, well, what the title says. It's depressing food for thought, but something we all need to digest. In fact, we should've heeded all this crap long before this crisis happened and had the FDA slap "This Bullshit May Cause Rectal Cancer, Aneurisms, and Worldwide Depression" warnings on MSNBC and all Wall Street reports we've been forced to ingest from the mainstream media.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Erykah Badu -- Window Seat

All right, I often joke that ... uh ... carnal relations with Erykah Badu must be revelatory, to say the least. I mean, Outkast was outlandish and all before Andre 3000 stepped to the goddess. But afterwards ... my God! Common was cool, but one night with Badu turned him out to make Electric Circus, one of the freakiest--and coolest--hip-hop experiences (way) out there. And now, folks are all over Badu's latest baby daddy, Jay Electronica. So, I'm thinking ...

Anyway, this video's getting all kinds of media-generated-to-sell-more-copies "CONtroversy" because Badu shows us what all those gentlemen's hysteria has been about all these years. I wanted to show the video because it fits well within the Tome theme for this past week. Besides, Mrs. Unknown loves the woman.

Enjoy. The new album, New Amerykah Part 2, drops today.


Health Care Quote of the Day

French President Nicolas Sarkozy comes to Columbia University to slam his Conservative American counterparts:

"Welcome to the club of states who don't turn their back on the sick and the poor ...

"[W]hen we look at the American debate on reforming health care, it's difficult to believe.

"The very fact that there should have been such a violent debate simply on the fact that the poorest of Americans should not be left out in the streets without a cent to look after them... is something astonishing to us."


Sunday, March 28, 2010

And You Thought I Was Just Being Paranoid

Dad used to always tell me one of his favorite Dick Gregory jokes: "A black man in this country who is not paranoid is crazy." So, I'll admit that I, too, can walk around like a Rockwell video in the making. However, I am not--I repeat, not--simply being paranoid about what I just said about the Tea Baggers. Here, take a look.

Oh yeah. And the FBI just conducted several raids on some Midwestern militia types. It'll be interesting to see what's going on there.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Potty Mouth Bill Is Right

I have my problems with Bill Maher, but this rant is not one of them. He is so right he's actually left.


Friday, March 26, 2010

True Colors

I have to admit, I am somewhat surprised with the utter surprise the mainstream media seems to greet the recent Tea Party insanity. I feel that anyone could've seen this coming. It's been three years in the making. The homophobic and racist comments, the spittle on Rep. Cleaver, the death threats, and cut gas lines are only a continuation of the arc started in 2007 and may very well just be a precursor of things to come.

That arc started its trajectory in Iowa when two Clinton campaign workers started an anonymous email accusing Barack Obama of being a closet Muslim. While Clinton disavowed the email, that same missive continued to appear in people's in-boxes all across the country, and through not-so-subtle innuendo they continued to use Obama's race and supposed otherness to play against the fears of a disaffected white working class, somehow suggesting that he would be "dangerous" for this country. This strategy did indeed work in states like Pennsylvania where that population was large enough to affect the election. And up until the very end of the primary contest, they continued to contest the legitimacy of his win.

Republicans picked up the thread during the general election campaign. "Barack Hussein Obama." "Palling around with terrorists." For the "real Americans" who just could not grasp, could not handle, and actually feared a black man's being President of the United States, the seeds were planted and were nourished by the Clintons and the GOP. And when Barack Hussein Obama actually became the President of the United States, their worst fears were realized.

Those fears have been simmering since the slave revolution in Haiti, the utter paranoia that black folks would somehow take over and seek revenge. They have been fanned throughout American history, and now, to them, that day is here.

The Birthers expressed it with their claims that Obama isn't legitimate because he was never born in the US. And when that wasn't enough, the Tea Party was born. When you listen to their complaints, when you listen to their ringleaders, Beck and Limbaugh, and when you listen to their GOP cheerleaders, you hear that fear. You hear that eschatological mania that the end is near. John Boehner himself rages on about "Armageddon." And among the complaints of Marxism and Nazism, of death panels and abortion, of "government take-over" and of illegal immigrants taking our health care, you hear one common refrain: "We need to take our country back!" back to when "this country was free!"

As all revisionist thought goes, they have a romantic notion of this country's freedom that was not free for a lot of us but definitely was for them. When these middle-aged and elderly (and some of their progeny) envision America, they are not thinking of DC 2010 but Selma 1960. And yeah, for them, this country was most definitely free.

Hell, white folks had so much freedom, it was murder--for the rest of us. The white working class never had it so good. They had good jobs with good pay. One man could work 40 hours, support an entire, rather large family, buy a house in the suburbs, relax on weekends, and even take a vacation or two.

Women cooked the meals, tended to the kids, and did the housework. Blacks weren't allowed to compete for the same jobs, didn't go to the same schools, and couldn't even find their neighborhoods even if GPS had been invented at the time. Latinos were called "Spanish," and they couldn't even tell you what one fucking looked like. Orientals were just enemies you had to travel to the other side of the world to fight on occasion. And all these other races and religions we are now surrounded by didn't even exist in their minds.

Now everything's changed.

There are no good working-class jobs. The illegals have taken them all. They fill up our schools for free. Take our health care for free. Fill up our jails and our welfare rolls. Along with the blacks. Who do nothing but rape, rob, and rap. The Arabs blow up our buildings. And the Asians own this country lock, stock, and barrel.

So yeah, I'll say it: The Tea Party movement ain't nothing but about race.

Sure, economics are definitely involved. After all, there really are no good working-class jobs in this country. But the white working class never blames the white ruling class who has shrunk their wages, broke their unions, and outsourced their jobs. They never do. They always blame the coloreds for their demise and the demise of this country. It is a fear that has consumed them since the birth of this nation, and it continues today. And now, they feel justified in that fear because a colored is running the damned country!

As Tom, a middle-aged white guy, told me when I went to a Tea Party rally: "They're just a bunch of racists. They're scared. They don't know where this country's going. They see Obama in the White House and a Latina on the Supreme Court, and it pisses them off."

There is a "New World Order." The country is less and less white, and they find minorities running the country and, to them, running this country down. They don't see a place in this new world for themselves. They are trapped. Cornered. Just like those Southerners in Selma back in '60. And just like those Alabamans, the Tea Baggers have decided to fight back. And they know just who to fight back against, the very symbol of all that's wrong, evil, and anti-American about this country--Barack Hussein Obama!

But these Tea Baggers can't come clean. They can't actually say they don't like Obama because he's black. Even racists get a little tetchy when you call them racists, and many of them actually don't want to be identified with such sentiments even as they voice them every day. So, instead, you get all this garbled rhetoric. We hear that the man is a Communist and a Nazi and an Islamic terrorist. We hear that he's taking over the country, taking away their freedoms. That he is dangerous and illegitimate.

The Republicans, seeing political opportunity and caring nothing for moral responsibility, have joined the mob. They have contributed in ratcheting up the rhetoric. They harangue about how dangerous Obama is, the Communist takeover. John Boehner himself has called health care reform "the most dangerous legislation" he has ever seen. Palin "targets" Dems with cross hairs while Glenn Beck openly encourages taking up arms and encouraging "revolution."

With their fears being drummed into hysteria, with their very own media and political leaders encouraging that hysteria, with open talk of taking up arms and revolution and a wacko slamming his plane into an IRS office being hailed a "hero," how can we be in the least bit surprised that these people are physically assaulting politicians and cutting people's gas lines praying for murder?

Their cause has become a righteous one. Stopping Obama is now their patriotic duty. And this weekend is only a precursor, their Boston Tea Party, if you will. First, they're targeting the "niggers, faggots, and baby-killers" who run Congress. But these fools are working themselves up for someone to take out Obama. All this hyperbolic vitriol has been in preparation for that eventuality. They want someone to get worked up enough to actually take that shot, and they want to feel justified when they're happy that someone has done it.

So, don't think this past week's violence was just a one-off. It was a mere flirtation that may very well come to a bloody conclusion. There will be many Tea Party sympathizers who will be turned off by what has happened and will slink away from the movement. But others will simply feel even more victimized by the criticism. They will become even firmer in their convictions. And someone will act.

Alabama militiaman Mike Vanderboegh is openly encouraging people to throw bricks at Congressmen's offices. Many Tea Baggers are planning to protest Congressmen's private residences. And rumor has it that there's a planned open-carry gun rally in Virginia on the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing (April 19) because they want to get as many guns as close to DC as possible.

Media talk around the Tea Party movement since August has been shrouded in uncertainty and speculation. The mainstream media has been suspicious, but they are utterly loathe to call anybody out as "racist" or "violent" or "dangerous." But that shroud has been lifted this week. Oh, they are trying to hide behind the rhetoric of "government take-over" and the yellow "Don't Tread on Me" flag. But only a fool or an opportunistic GOP hack can't see what the Tea Party really is. And someone needs to stop these fools before we are all watching a sea of red on CNN.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hell No You Can't!

I'm sure a lot of you have already seen this video. But it's so funny, I thought I'd share it with you unfortunate few who've not seen it yet.

I think it perfectly sums up the quandary that the GOP finds itself in right now. It's damned near impossible to fight hope with anger. And America fashions itself a "can-do" nation. To constantly say that we can't do something just pisses us Americans off--and even if we can't we'll steam right ahead just to prove you wrong.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

To All Those Tea Baggers Who Hate Health Care Reform & Love to Cherry-Pick Thomas Jefferson Quotes to Make Your Point--Here's One for Ya

"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness--That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the the Consent of the Governed..."

--Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence [Emphasis added.]

Makes you wonder what good, ole TJ would've thought about universal health coverage. After all, to quote your gal, Monica Crowley, on The McCoughlin Group: "You cannot have Life if you are Dead."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Obama Derangement Syndrome

"Obama Derangement Syndrome," a new and rather apt term coined by John Avlon, meaning "[the] pathological hatred of the president posing as patriotism" is spreading like wildfire through the Republican ranks. According to the latest Louis Harris poll, this is what these "Hatriots" (also an Avlon term) find themselves believing:

--57 percent of Republicans (32 percent overall) believe that Obama is a Muslim

--45 percent of Republicans (25 percent overall) agree with the Birthers in their belief that Obama was "not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president"

--38 percent of Republicans (20 percent overall) say that Obama is "doing many of the things that Hitler did"

--24 percent of Republicans (14 percent overall) say that Obama "may be the Antichrist."

Click here to read more about the insanity.

The asylum has long since crumbled to dust. Boehner has the keys but he only rattles them furiously to increase the furor. If you thought the passing of insurance reform would serve to quell the mob, you are sadly mistaken. These lunatics will not be satisfied until they are drinking Obama's blood and squishing around in his organs.

You may laugh at their madness, but, believe you me, these fools think they are at war. Don't be surprised if and when they actually bring it to us.


The Barack-Obama-Signing-Health-Care-Legislation Video of the Day

Now you just know that after all the T's are crossed, the I's dotted, and the ceremonial pens are handed out as souvenirs, The Big Brutha and Mrs. Michelle are going up to the Lincoln Bedroom and Cabbage Patching to this Old School Jam. Oh ... to be a fly on that wall.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Hitler, Stalin Plan Gay Marriage in Celebration of Obamacare

TPI--Warsaw, OH

"This is a glorious day!" trumpets Adolf Hitler, in his finest, Versace tuxedo. Joseph Stalin, decked in Vera Wang, nods in enthusiastic agreement.

Many historical observers would have never thought that this day would ever come. Many are probably rolling over in their graves as you read this. But these two dictators, who many have considered to be on opposite sides of the political spectrum, and who waged a devastating, four-year war against each other that left tens of millions dead, are uniting today--in marriage. Who is responsible for their pending nuptials?

Barack Obama.

"It is almost impossible to believe that I, the very definition of white supremacy," chortles Hitler, "would find such a kindred spirit in Barack Obama. But he's like the son I never had."

"Me, too," shines Stalin. "He stands for everything I stood for. Believes everything I believed in. He is the perfect Soviet!"

"The perfect Nazi!" Hitler heatedly corrects.

The two stare angrily at each other. Then, Stalin licks his thumb and rubs it against Hitler's moustache.

"You had some schmutz, darling."

"Oh, thank you, dear."

The two bloodiest dictators of the twentieth century kiss and hug. All is right again.

"It's like Addie and I got together and had our own child," Stalin says. "And we named him Barack Obama."

"We are so proud of that boy," Hitler says, wiping away a tear. "He will finally fulfill the thousand-year reign of the Aryan race I long dreamed of!"

"And make the world one, single proletariat!" Staling adds.

"He is half-black, ya know?" I hesitantly correct.

A big, burly Ss soldier steps forward and growls. Hitler holds up a hand and stays the beast.

Stalin laughs. "And I was part of the 'demon Asiatic horde'!"

Hitler laughs, too. "I was young. I said things I didn't mean back then. I am sure you have done the same."

"I once said that Kid N Play were the best rap group in history," I confess.

We all laugh at that one. "Ridiculous!" Stalin pours vodka.

"So, you two are no longer enemies?" I venture.

"We were until Barack brought us together," Stalin says. "We realized that he alone could bring our dreams to fruition."

"The total destruction of the United States," Hitler beams.

"The utter smashing of the capitalist state and thieving bourgeoisie," Stalin growls.

"The glorious creation of one, great National Socialist--"

"--Soviet Republic of the United States of America," Stalin concludes, dreamy-eyed. "Wondrous, isn't it?"

"The N.S.S.R.U.S.A.?" I ask. "And how will he go about doing all that?"

"'Go about'?" Stalin asks. "Why, he has already done it."

"Yes," Hitler agrees. "He got the health care bill passed. Didn't you see it?"

"Uh, all of that is in the bill?" I ask.

"Yes. The forced exile of all Spanish speakers." Stalin.

"The covert sterilization of the Africans." Hitler.

"The death panels that will elmminate the old, the weak, the infirmed." Stalin.

"The total annihilation of the Jews." Hitler.

They both sigh, "Ah ... the Jews."

"It makes you wonder why the white working class protested the damned thing so vehemently," I say. "It sounds like they're the main beneficiaries of the legislation."

"I blame affirmative action," Hitler says.

"Of course you do," I say.

"It brought down your education system," he continues. "Those Tea Party people don't realize how good they got it. The country will soon be theirs again!"

"Yes! One large--"



"Because of the health care bill?" I ask again, incredulous.

"Read the bill!" Stalin commands.

I start reading--fervently.

"And when we were reading the bill ourselves," Stalin continues, "we started realizing how much we have in common."

"How we were silly to think that Nazism and Communism were actually two, competing ideologies," Hitler added. "Those Tea Party people made us see the light. JoJo and I were actually fighting for the same things. The same things Barack Obama is fighting for."

"It's one of the things all three of us have in common." Hitler.

"We all like schnitzel." Stalin.

"And Marlene Dietrich movies." Hitler.

"Jay-Z." Stalin.

"And who doesn't love killing Jews?" Hitler.

"Uhhh ..." Me.

"And then, when we saw on page 1046 of the bill, the page that legalizes gay marriage, we realized that we had to make our newfound love known," Hitler declares.

"It is the only way to pay proper tribute to Barack Obama for all he's done for the cause of Communism!"

"And Nazism!"

"And who can resist that moustache," Stalin says, twinking Hitler on the nose.

"Oh, you silly Asiatic."

The two men hug. They do truly look happy. It's a bright, shiny day in Warsaw. I wish you all could be here to see it.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

GOP Talking Point Bingo Card

Here, I caught this over at Brown Man Thinking Hard and thought you'd find it interesting. Scare Tactics Made Simple, AND Fun for the Whole Family!!!


Friday, March 19, 2010

Freaknik: The Musical

Yeah. I was there. Freaknik. 1994. I'd just moved to Atlanta after spending most of '93 in the Czech Republic. I was just creeping out of my culture shock and starting to hang out in the city. I'd recently met Skip, who was to become one of my best friends, and he strongly encouraged me to join him at this thing called "Freaknik."

I was 23. I had nothing better to do. I went. Thank God!

After living in a 99.9 percent white country all that time, to see all those young black folks in one place was a revelation. All that ass shaking, all the videotaping, that sister with a snake up her skirt, folks hanging off of porches, all that drinking, all that ... uh ... smoking ("Is that the Chronic? Is that the Chronic?"). I was so--shall we say--"overwhelmed" that I was--let's call it--"exhausted," I was "asleep" by 11 o'clock.

Something that good, black, and, yes, illegal could not last for long. The white folks in Atlanta were pissed! At the time, I just chalked it up to good ole boy racism. "The City That's Too Busy to Hate" is really just too passive-aggressive to actually show that hate. They use their campaign contributions to hold their Vanilla Sway over Chocolate City Lite.

(Of course, I later amended this ... a little. After all, those porches all those students were hanging off of were private residences that they just took over. But still ...)

In '95, Piedmont Park was off-limits. And Freaknik became a great, big College Cruise through downtown Atlanta. Soon after that, Freaknik was dead.

So, when Triple T told me there was a new cartoon series on Adult Swim about Freaknik and that it was a lot like Boondocks, I was intrigued. I looked into it and saw that the cast includes Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Big Boi, Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, and George Clinton and Bootsy Collins, I was on that mess like government cheese on your colon.

But, while watching it, I got this strange sense of deja vu that left me pretty damned flat. It was the same feeling I got when watching Undercover Brother--through joke after joke harking back to the old Blaxploitation movies of the '70s, I kept thinking, "Wait, doesn't I'm Gonna Get You Sucka already exist?" Freaknik: The Musical isn't like Boondocks, it's basically ripping off Boondocks.

The show is just a retread, and, of course, isn't as good as the original rubber that has been fucking with our minds since Aaron McGruder got national syndication with his comic strip. Lord knows, black folks are funny, and we do a lot of shit that we can make fun of (NOTE: I said we). I don't understand why Freaknik just mines the exact same ground that Boondocks already has.

OK, first, they make fun of Kid 'N' Play. Didn't folks do that, like, 20 years ago?

They stole the idea of preppy rappers from Fear of a Black Hat and added a special twist of homophobia thrown in to, I guess, "keep it real."

Having the Boulé being the secret organization ruling over black life could've been funny. And the fact that the Boulé was Oprah, Cos, Reverend Al, Jesse, and Russell Simmons was also good. But all it was was the Black Intelligentsia that had Tracy Morgan on the run on 30 Rock. And those scenes must've been stolen whole-heartedly from the Boondocks' banned BET episodes. They even turned Rev. Al into, of all things, Robocop.

Lil' Wayne's Trap Jesus episode was the only bright spot. Our heroes roll into New Orleans during the day, when someone says, "I thought the sun never shined in the ghetto." A "gangsta" Moon immediately appears and caps the sun. And having a drug-selling Messiah who's been wanting to sell drugs since he was nine-years-old was pretty damned funny.

The rest of the series, though, is an utter waste of time. Borrowed irreverence just falls flat. You feel like you've been through all this before. The press material's talking about how it took T Pain two years to make Freaknik come about. I guess it just took him that long to rip off all the material he used to "compose" these episodes.

I guess that's what you get when your DVR doesn't have enough memory. And Freaknik: The Musical is what you get when rappers and musicians think they're actually writers.