Smartasses of the world unite!!

Generally a smartass and believer in the Twainism that Against the assualt of laughter, nothing can stand. Mission: mock bigotry, narcisism, and ignorance. This is a collection of thoughts on baseball, politics, economics, and occasional other things.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Names - they say more than you think.

What's in a name? Well, Lisas are cool. Tinas are always skanks. Candi is a stripper name, but Cyndi is not. Dans are pretty cool. Steves are cool, but Stephens are self absorbed, and too macho. Teds are almost always nerds. Bretts are know-it-alls. Lisas are cool. Jens are cool, unless they want to be called Jenni...fer - then they're stuck up. Jenny is OK - if you're 12!

Amys - they're the best. They like beer and football. Laugh at dirty jokes, and are never uptight. Anyone who goes only by the full version of their name is stuck up. Elizabeth - stuck up. Beth and Betsy - very cool. They like beer too, but are soccer fans. Betsys do like baseball though.
Katrina - stuck up, but usually hot. Katy, and Trina - cool. Kerry - cool. Carri - stripper. Carrie - pain in the ass. Anns and Sues are cool. Annabelles are nerds. Susan is the only exception to the full version name rule. Susans are just as cool as Sues. More on this bit as it develops. And people - don't blame the messenger. I don't make the rules.......

Jesses are cool if they're girls. Jesses as dudes are touch and go. Could be cool. Could be a criminla douchecanoe. Jessicas? Do I need to keep explaining? If she goes by Jess, she'd pretty cool. If she insists on Jessica - bitch. Les - cool. Lester - pervert. Rich is a tough one. If they laugh when you call them Dick - they are cool. If they say "It's Rich," they're a dick. Al is cool if it's Allen. If it's Alvin - nerd either way. George - have you seen Looney Tunes? The dumb guy names everything George. I know it's from Mice and Men. Again - just the messenger.

Bonnies are cool, especially if their nicknames are Bon-Bon, or something similar. Kims are cool too, but the full name rule applies here. Kimberlys are stuck up - Kims are cool. Saras are usually pretty cool. Tammys are whiny and annoying - if it's Tami - she's probably a stripper. Fun fact, female names ending in "i" are most likely strippers. Er - I mean "exotic dancers" What-the fuck ever. Lindas ane Lauras are usually pretentious. Lauras are smart, and can pull it off.

Bambi - come on, this is obvious. Stripper. Morgan are usually dingy, but hot most of the time. Kathy with a K is a cool name, but Cathys with a C are nerds. The only exceptions are if they finish with the "i." In this case they are dingbats. Michelles are always cool, and easy to hang with, and usually like to have beers. Patricias are like female Richards. If it's Patty - they're probably cool. If it's Trish, they might be crazy, so be careful. If they go by Pat, they are probably lesbians, and can kick your ass.

Carlys are cool, and almost always really fun and quick with jokes. Carlys are very funny. Anns are cool. Annies are either stuck up, or nerds. Even if they are not hot, they're stuck up. Charles is tricky too. Chucks are usually pretty cools. Chuckies are crazy. Charlies are kinda dorks. If they insist on Charles - they are probably dickheads. Jeffs are usually pretty cool, but in a nerdy way. Geoffs are pinheads - come on spell it right. Jeffery/Geoffrey - always overly effeminate, and most likely homosexual - not that there's anything wrong with that.

Mark - good name. Marcuses are usually pretty cool unless they spell it with the "k" - kinda jaggish. Jason most of the time turns out to be a knob, and if they spell it "Jayson" - total ass. Tiffany - total skank, and if she wraps it up with an "i" at the end - stripper. Maynard - dork. Audreys are cool most of the time. Bill - cool. If they go by Billy, they're either a special needs student, or totally funny. William - asshole. Petes are cool. Peter? Dunno - something about having a penis euphamism as a name - just like Dick. Let's see, Good to know. Apollo? Total jackass, and a pet's name anyway. Tim - cool. Timmys are usually wusses, or life of the party. Timothys are pretentious, and annoying. Sam - girls and boys go by Sam. Sams of either gender are pretty cool. Samanthas are bitches. Samuels are total dorks. Pauls are almost always cool, as are Paulas. Paulines are usually kinda bookish, but in a cute way.

Any names left out leave in comment, and I'll address them.

Monday, March 17, 2014

What the????????

It's Monday - blogger self imposed deadline.

What to blog, what to blog.

Voter ID? Solution in search of a problem. It's bullshit. You show an ID to register already. You sign the registration form. When you vote, you sign the rolls. If there were fraud, you'd expect there to be a record of signatures on rolls, not matching registration forms. Until someone shows widespread signature mismatch as evidence of people voting as not themselves, voter ID is bullshit. Total bullshit. The sad thing is, is that they know this.

Post split dating? I've found the phrase "So, how long since you've been divorced?" has replaced the college equivalence of "What's your major?" It's the question that will always get asked. Of course 6 years sounds a lot better than "Um, I'm undeclared."

NFL Free agency? Ted Thompson finally signed a big name this weekend. Julius Peppers. I think it's a decent signing. It'll also get the hyperbolic pinhead fans to quiet down until at least the draft. He'll be a situational guy, and TT did much better than the Broncos in getting talent for his money. $30 million for DeMarcus Ware? Glad I'm not a Bronco fan. Elway's going to fail again to buy a Super Bowl.

Baseball? Spring training, and opening day approaches. Really? Holy shit, I JUST am able to see my grass poking through the tundra.

Missing airline? Holy shit! No, really holy shit. Nobody knows anything. Terrorists with fake passports? Well, actually no. Most likely not. Bomb and it exploded over sea? Again, probably not. Now it's the pilots went rogue, depressurized cabin killing everyone? I don't even know what to say.

No more True Detective, but I came into this weekend, not missing the show. Weird.

In other words, I got nothing.

Monday, March 10, 2014

It's silly season

Here it is, silly season. March Madness? No. Spring training? No. Taxes? Hell no. Slackers finally taking down their goddamned Christmas lights? No, none of that.

It's NFL free agency season. The silliest of all silly seasons. This is the time the NFL juggernaut is fed less by the mainstream fans, and more by the rock headed, backwards cap-wearing, full-of-shit "experts" in every city. The guys who won their fantasy league going away one season, 7 years ago, but have been "snake bit" since then, but damned if they don't know what's what. Ask them, they'll tell you. Shit, you don't even have to ask them. They'll tell you anyway.

These are the guys - and they're always guys, I've yet to meet a "full of shit" variety female fan - who will tell you why the GM of their team is an idiot. Everybody knows at least one of these doucherockets. By the way, if you don't know one, then it's you. These the are guys the NFL depends on generating the TV ratings for the goddamn scouting combine. People watch the scouting combine. There are commercials! Who watches this? If I'm watching anyone run fast on TV there better be cops in pursuit, or a gold medal at the end. Who watches TV to see people do the fucking shuttle run for no reason?

Who makes all the comments on the local media websites about how Ted Thompson is ruining the local team (be they Packers, Bears, Lions, Ravens, and on and on and on)? Who calls the radio shows? Who tweets incessantly how stupid Ted Thompson is? These guys. They are the dipshits who were apoplectic last silly season when Ted Thompson didn't sign Steven Jackson, and the year before when he dind't get a 1st rounder for Matt Flynn. Steven Jackson went on to suck ass in Atlanta. Matt Flynn couldn't keep the Buffalo Bills job. Now they're chicken little'ing all over the place about "too much money to Sam Shields," "If the don't sign a safety, Thompson should be fired" "If Thompson doesn't fire Capers/McCarthy, then he should be fired." These are the comments on Wisconsin media. Change the names, and they would be in any other NFL market.

They're in every sport in every city, and they're damned annoying, because all they do is repeat conventional sports wisdom. "Defense wins championships" "Pack needs a running game" "If you can't stop the run, ...." DERP DERP DERP. Here's the thing about conventional wisdom; it's never wise. If I wanted it, I'd turn on ESPN. These people need to shut up and go away, because they give sports fans a bad name. They're the ones throwing drinks at team buses, getting in fights, yelling at the TV in the local establishment, stealing foul balls, and being assholes when someone takes their kids to a game. Nobody cares you won your fantasy league three years running when Marshall Faulk was in his prime, and you got him early because nobody else knew how good he'd be when the Colts let him go except you. Fine genius. Now could you please sit down, and shut up, because nobody is impressed. We'd like to watch the game.

True Detective - finale; Am I the only one?

Last night was the True Detective Season 1 finale. I, for one was disappointed. Not that the ending wasn't dramatic, and suspenseful. It was, but it didn't feel to fit the character of the show. All the exposition done through secondary characters; the tent preacher, and his fall, the series of schools, the room full of devil catchers at the end of episode 6 when Cohl goes back to the school.

It turns out the spaghetti monster was the lawnmower man, a relative of the Tuttle family, we met innocuously at the end of episode 3. He seemed a tangential character. It was an inventive twist to bring back someone we took little notice of. Was he The Yellow King? We're left to assume that. His house was a hoarders paradise, and the labyrinth on the property was chock full of devil catchers of all size, which was a really cool effect. But this shit sty was the headquarters of a cult that had such reach, and influence that dozens of murder, and missing person cases were swept away for over a decade? It was a disappointment to have the Tuttle family idiot be the Yellow King. What was their involvement, aside from hiding some evidence? I wanted to know more about the cult. How active were Tuttles, or other Louisiana notables in the cult? How expansive was cult? It covered up so many missing/murder cases. It had to have been huge.

And how, how, how did the police know to get there (and where) while Hart and Cohl were wounded after the Yellow King confrontation? Did they all of a sudden get cell reception in that pit - you know, the reception they couldn't get in the driveway? The house land line didn't work, and who would have called anyway? After the attention to logic, and the what if's, the what abouts, the how does this fit, the this doesn't, to have the police just show up was a serious departure from the series' cohesive attention to detail.

Marty, after being visited in the hospital by Maggie and the girls, breaks down as if he finally realizes all that he's lost. Then nothing after that. Did he begin to get to a good place with Maggie. Reconciliation? More importantly, did he begin to get to a good place with his daughter Audrey? We haven't seen interaction between those two since the "captain of the varsity slut team" incident. So much of the series was the development of Cohle, and Hart from 95, to 02, to present. Watching Marty Hart's demons consume his relationship with his family, and his first mistress was really compelling. What happened after the hospital visit, Shit. What happened after he broke down when Maggie held his hand? I wasn't hoping for a reconciliation, but we spent 7 episodes watching Marty's self destructive nature fuck it all up. Did anything happen?

Rust, who was the most seriously wounded and the more deeply scarred personally, lets us in on his near death experience. His description of the warm darkness, feeling his daughter's love, and wanting to stay there was an uncharacteristic bit of light in his personal darkness. McConaughey's character is the glue of the series, and I almost shit myself when it looked like he was mortally wounded. I mean, shit, no cell reception, who's gonna navigate that labyrinth in time to keep him from bleeding out? It also felt odd that Cohl and Hart seemed to have become kind of buddies. Every cop show has the partners as buddies. True Detective introduced a really cool dynamic by having these 2 not like each other the whole time. "If you were drowning, I'd throw you a fucking barbell."

The strength of the show has been it's introduction of interesting characters, whether they are major or minor to the narrative. The destructive personal natures of Hart and Cohl was also compelling. Hart lost a battle with it, and Cohl accepted it. It looks like they've come to some sort of terms with that, and maybe even personal redemption. Looking at the stars, and noting how the dark has more territory was interesting. I don't know how I feel about that. Maybe almost dying does that. On balance True Detective has been outstanding. The finale left me wanting more, and if there's a season 2, I'm there.

Seriously, how the fuck did the police know where they were?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ukraine - a few thoughts

There is, unless you've spend the past 2 weeks doing research on the Bachelor contestants, or watching all movies nominated in all the categories for the Academy Awards (and really, how do you appreciate sound editing?) a huge crisis in Ukraine.

Here's a summary of the past few weeks; There has been a popular uprising since late January leading to massive demonstrations in Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine, against the sitting President. He was seen as a puppet of the Russian government led by Putin. After swearing, and promising he would not step down, after hundreds died in huge demonstrations in Kiev - he stepped down. On the 23rd of Feb the Ukrainian Parliament appointed an interim President until new elections. February 28th is when Russia says "Screw that." Invades the Crimean peninsula to "protect" ethnic Russians (although they were not in danger really) It was a bullshit rationale to invade a sovereign nation.

This is a real crisis, with real people affected, with life, death, and liberty at stake for Ukrainian people. Ukraine is on the western edge of Russia. It's the most European of the former states of the Soviet Union. Its capital - Kiev - is a historically significant city in Russian history. The seat of the Russian Czars was there before being moved to Moscow. It was a pretty autonomous state under the old Russian Empire, although it did remain subordinate to the Czars. Under the Soviet Union it was strategically important during the Cold War. It was a hub of Soviet armed forces, and was densely armed with nukes. When the Soviet Union collapsed after the Cold War, Ukraine became independent. In exchange for its independence it gave up all nuclear weapons to Russia. Russia paid Ukraine the value of the uranium. A treaty was signed by Ukraine, Russia, United States, and United Kingdom recognizing Ukrainian sovereignty. So, no way is Russia right in it's invasion.

To hear the conservative punditocracy the biggest reason Putin felt he could do this was because Obama is not decisive, or tough enough. Never mind that when Russia invaded Georgia in 2008 there was a different President who, for whatever his faults, was very decisive and tough. Right there the argument is exposed as red team bullshit. This issue is way bigger than the red team/blue team political paradigm that out lazy media finds the need to put everything into.

If there were a President Romney right now, and if events played out in Ukraine as they have the past few months, the crisis would be here in current shape. If you think differently, you're either stupid, or not paying attention. If you think tough talk will change anything, you're foolish. If you think US forces should be there to support Ukraine, I suggest you crack a history book, and look up "land wars in Russia." If there's anything Putin is counting on it's Congress and the President NOT working together, and playing politics with this as they have since 2010.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This just in - Matthew McConaughey is good.

This just in; Matthew McCounaughey has 180'd his career from the early 2000s. It's stunning how good he actually is.

Usually I try not to follow TV series. I don't say that because I don't watch TV, or look down objectionably on TV. There's actually a lot of good content on TV. Generally when I am watching TV I find myself suffering from "writer's guilt." What that means that I find myself saying "What am I watching this for? I should be writing. Instead of watching TV I should be writing a story, or following an idea that could become a TV show (or movie, or whatever)."

Have you seen HBO's True Detective? It's good. It's scary good. Not that it's scary. I just haven't seen anything this compelling to watch in a long time. There are a lot of reasons to watch it. The story is thick, and layered. All the characters are good. None of them are throw aways, or fillers. Woody Harrelson is really good, but he's really good in just about anything. I mean, who would have thought the guy playing Woody Boyd - a replacement character when the guy playing Coach died on Cheers - would turn out to be one of the BEST actors of our generation. I cannot think of a thing he's been bad in.

But this is about Matthew McConaughey, who has not been good in everything he's done. He was really good in A Time To Kill as an "Atticus Finchey" Jake Tyler Brigance, but that was 20 years ago. I thought that U-571 was pretty good, but he was just OK in it. The best part of Failure To Launch was Terry Bradshaw. The rest of the movie sucked. We Are Marshall was OK. Since A Time To Kill Matthew McConaughey has been, in my opinion, girl candy in movies.

Now I'm wrong. The past year Matthew McConaughey has been off the charts good. I didn't see Magic Mike, but reviews loved him in it. I'll trust the reviews, and will not be seeing Magic Mike. His part in The Wolf Of Wall Street kicks ass. What a sleazy douche. He just won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Ron Woodruff in Dallas Buyers Club. The reason I'm writing this piece is Detective Rust Cohl in HBO's True Detective. Every scene he's in is can't miss watching. He's part enigma, part shaman, part cynic, part witch doctor, and part tough guy cop. And you just want to see He owns every scene, EVERY scene. He's taking scenes from Woody Harrelson. Remember I just got done telling you a few paragraphs back he's a great actor.

So here's to Matthew McConaughey kicking ass, and showing everyone how talented, and good he really is.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A writer's tribute to Harold Ramis - the writer

If you're a fan of the movie careers of John Belushi, Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield, or Dan Akroyd - and there are lots of those people - you're a fan of the writing of Harold Ramis. Harold Ramis passed February 24, 2014 (yesterday). The movie comedies he had his fingerprints all over compare to Woody Allen's work. While being less pretentious, and characterized by the neuroses of Mr Allen's work, they're also more accessible with characters more identified with underdogs, nerds, smart asses, boors, and people who fart at parties. You know, all of us! While there is no Carl Spackler without Bill Murray, or Bluto Blutarsky without John Belushi, or Al Czervik without Rodney Dangerfield, to name a few they did have to be written first. Those actors made those characters so memorable. The one thing is common they all have is Harold Ramis wrote, or co-wrote, the dialog, and lines they made so memorable. Everything starts with writing. Every movie, every tv show at their most elemental started out as characters on a page, and Harold Ramis was really, really good at it. This is my list of the 5 best dialog lines of selected Harold Ramis films as a tribute. These are not in order of favorite movie, or favorite quote, and as a tribute to the writing part of it all, there is no video linked, just dialog as written.

(disclosure: Harold Ramis shared writing credits is all of these movies, so that should be noted. Then again, how many of them died yesterday - this is a tribute to Harold Ramis)

From Stripes:

John: C'mon, it's Czechoslovakia. We zip in, we pick 'em up, we zip out again. We're not going to Moscow. It's Czechoslovakia. It's like going into Wisconsin.
Russell: Well I got the shit kicked out of me in Wisconsin once. Forget it

Recruiter: Now, are either of you homosexuals?
John: (Russell and John look into each others eyes, and John looks back at recruiter) You mean like flaming, or...
Recruiter: It's a standard question we have to ask.
Russell: No. We're not homosexual, but we are willing to learn.

Cruiser: I guess we're going after John and Russell. Can't believe they're Russian spies.
Psycho: Alls I know is, I finally get to kill somebody.
John: Tito Puente's gonna be dead someday, an you're gonna say, "Oh, I've been listening to him for years, and I think he great."
Psycho: The name's Francis Soyer, but everybody calls me Psycho. Any you guys call be Francis, and I'll kill you.
Leon: Oooooh
Psycho: You just made the list buddy. And I don't like nobody touching my stuff. So just keep your meathooks off. If I catch any of you guys in my stuff, I'll kill you. Also, I don't like nobody touching me. Now, any of you.....homos.....touch me, I'll kill you.
Sgt Hulka: Lighten up Francis.

From Caddyshack:

Carl: He's the Cinderella boy. Uh - tears in his eyes, I guess ..  as he lines up his last shot. He's got about 195 yards left. He's got about an 8-iron. The crowd has gone deathly silent. The Cinderella story, from outta nowhere, former greens keeper now, about to become Masters champion. (swings rake and chops tops of flowers) Oh he got all-a that one! It looks like a mirac - It's in the hole!

Al: (to his asian companion) Hey Wang. I think this club is restricted, so don't tell them you're Jewish - ok.

Carl: (to young caddie holding pitchfork under chin) So we finish the 18th and he's gonna stiff me. And I say "Hey Lama! Hey, how about a little something, y'know, for the effort. And he looks at me and he says, "There'll be no money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Al: Oh look at this hat. This is the worst looking hat I ever saw. What? I bet when you buy this hat you get a free bowl of soup
(looks at Judge Smails who's wearing same hat)
Al: Oh, looks good on you though.

Ty: Be the ball Danny. Just be the ball.
Danny: (blindfolded) Kinda hard to be the ball with you talking
Ty: I'm not talking. I'm perfectly quiet now.

From Animal House:

Bluto: (laying on floor after having been expelled) Christ! 7 years of down the drain. Might as well join the fuckin' Peace Corps.

D-Day: (to Bluto) Let it go. War's over. Wormer dropped the big one.
Bluto: (to group) What?! Over?! Did you say "over?" Nothing is over until we say it is! Was it over when the German's bomber Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Otter: (to Boon) Germans?
Boon: (to otter) Forget it. He's on a roll.
Bluto: And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the going gets tough......(thinks of rest)....the tough get going! Who's with me?! Let's go!! (runs out of room alone)

Bluto: See if you can guess what I am now? (shoves hard boiled egg into mouth - chews - pounds each cheek spewing egg bits) - I'm a zit! Get it!

Otter: (to Flounder) Founder, you can spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes! You fucked up! ........ You trusted us! Hey, make the best of it. Maybe we can help!
Flounder: (still crying) That's easy for you to say! What am I supposed to tell Fred?!
Otter: I'll tell you what. I'll tell Fred you were doing a great job taking care of his car, but you parked it out back last night,...and this was gone! We report it stolen to the police. D-Day takes care of the wreck. Your brother's insurance company buys him a new car!
Flounder (sobbing) You think that'll work?
Otter: Hey, it's gotta be better than the truth.
Bluto: (thrusting 6-pack of beer into Flounder's hands) My advice to you is; start drinking, heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him Flounder. He's pre-med.

Hoover: (subtly to Boon) Will you tell those assholes to shut up?
Boon: (stands and turns to group) Hey! Shut up you assholes!

From Ghostbusters:

(all 3 looking at ceiling through out scene)
Ray: Y'know, it just occurred to me that we haven't really had a successful test of this equipment.
Egon: I blame myself.
Peter: So do I.
Ray: Well, no sense worrying about it now.
Peter: Why worry? Each one of us is carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back. 

Ray: Symmetrical book stacking! Just like the Philadelphia Mass Disturbance of 1947!
Peter: You're tight. No humans would stack books this way.

Ray: (into walkie talkie to Egon) He slimed Venkman!
Egon Great! Save me some.

Peter: (after Ray's proton blaster has destroyed a chandelier, and many dining tables in the hotel ballroom) Whoa whoa!..... Nice shootin' Tex!
Egon: There's something very important I forgot to tell you.
Peter: What?
Egon: Don't cross the streams.
Peter: Why?
Egon: It would be bad.
Peter: I'm a little fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean "bad?"
Egon: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously, and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
Ray: Total protonic reversal.
Peter: Right, that's bad. OK. Alright. Important safety tip. Thanks Egon.