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!