Friday, March 31, 2006

Things You Could Care Less About

Hi people. Just a few quick site updates (numbered because it makes it look so much more important than it is...)

1) As I said last week, I felt it was time to archive all the stories that were on the main page. You can find them in the ARCHIVE section to the left.

2) I know I said I was going to keep the old message board around, even after the archive, but I changed my mind. The old message board has been archived along with the old stories, and we'll start fresh again.

3) I'm going to try something a little different with the fresh message board. After I post a new story, I'll create a topic in the message board for that story, so people can post under that story, and all related posts will stay in one spot, all nice and cozy-like. Some people have emailed saying that they found the old way we did things to be a bit confusing when they were trying to read the posts for a particular article. This should fix that. Now stop bothering me!

4) This month I got some ideas on revamping the message board completely (I really mean it this time!), maybe by using a 3rd party package. Whether I attempt to make the switch or not depends entirely on how much Reality TV I end up watching this month.

5) With Lisa Tucker leaving American Idol this week, my Reality-TV street cred might have taken a slight hit. I DID pick the plucky young lass to not get to the end, but had guessed that she would be hanging around slightly longer. Overall, however, I still say my original picks (which you can see in the archive section) are still eerily accurate!

5) Thanks to all you loyal Slydebloggers out there that made March 2006 our most-viewed month EVER! I mean we really blew away our old record this month. It warms the cockles of my heart, whatever the hell a cockle is (it sounds dirty). Seriously, thanks so much for your continued support. Hopefully March will just be a stepping stone for an even more-visited April.

Peace, Love, and all that stuff.....

Things That Mean Nothing - March 2006

If you have visited before, you know that for some reason I have a sick fascination with the search strings people type into their browsers and end up finding Slydesblog. Since I find it so enthralling, of course i am self-centered enough to believe that you all could give a rat's ass about it as well.

So, presented below are the searches that people used and happened upon our site in March.....

slyde
joseph buttafucco biography
chris daugtry
chris daugtry music feature:audio
naked pics of brenna gethers

Now, this tells me a few things....

1) I need to stop talking about the TV-version-of-a-train-wreck-that-is-American-Idol, because as much as i want people to come here and peruse the sight, that fact that people have come here because of it has given me a serious case of the Heebie-Jeebies

2) I don't know what scares me more... the fact that someone was searching for the life and times of that Ass-Clown Buttafucco, or that someone was looking for naked pictures of an annoying American Idol reject.

p.s. If anyone DOES happen to find the aforementioned naked pictures, please forward them to me post-haste. I am currently writing my doctorate on the socio-political ramifications of pop culture personalities on today's youth. Yeah, right, that's it. It's research, dammit!

Six Degrees Of Sonic Youth

By B.E. Earl

Hey kids! So I’ve made a pretty important decision in my life. I had previously decided to fall in love with Kim Director, but I’ve just changed my mind and found that my love must go to Pauley -Name Removed - instead. By “previously”, I meant just earlier tonight. Confused? Lemme ‘splain.

I had just come back from seeing the new Spike Lee joint (wow, I hated typing that) Inside Man and I was looking up some things about it on IMDB.com. One of those things happened to be where Kim Director (who co-starred in the film) has been all my life. Apparently she had been in quite a few Spike Lee joints (ouch!) over the years, but I actually recognized her from Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 in which she played the yummie Goth Kim Diamond. Some of my favorite all-time women have been named “Kim”. Kim Deal from The Pixies, Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth, and I could go on. Still with me?

Scanning her acting credits on IMDB, I was sure that I was going to find her on “Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service” as the yummie Goth Abby Sciuto. I mean, I had seen the show all of one time so I was positive the same actor played them both. Right? Wrong! The aforementioned Abby Sciuto is played by Pauley -Name Removed - who really looks like Kim Director in only the vaguest of ways. They are both attractive females with dark hair.

Digging a bit deeper it seems that Pauley P is a published poet and spoken word artist. She actually has a Master’s Degree in Criminology (who saw that coming?) and a real obsession with the study of forensics. She also has her own blogsite, http://www.pauleyp.com/blog/, where she writes an awful lot. Great stuff too.

I was thumbing through it tonight when I came across a posting from February 16th, 2006 in which she made a list of great things that included: “One Of Your Fave Obscure Songs Heard On The Radio In The Car”. I had to shoot her a quick email (that will most likely go unread) to explain that this had just happened to me last week with the song “Titanium Expose” by Sonic Youth! Kim Gordon’s band, Sonic Youth! See what I did there?

So I’ve now been listening to my old Sonic Youth CDs for the past few hours, and reading through the archives of her blog. Nice! I think I’ll have to start watching “Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service” more often!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Great Balls of Fire

Well, here's a sentence I never thought I'd say in my lifetime....

... but damnit, I just can't stop looking at THIS guy's balls.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ramblings

I know, I know. I haven’t posted in a bit. Do you guys really want me to post something, if I have nothing to say?

Anyway, I still don’t. But I thought at least that I would give everyone some site updates, and make it seem like we actually have some new content for the site.

Item #1 – I hope you all have been watching American Idol, only to look on in unabashed reverence for my skills at picking this year’s winner. Almost to a “T”, the contestants I picked a few weeks ago to be eliminated early have all gone the way of the dodo. Since last I wrote, Ayla, Kinnik, Gedeon, Will, and Melissa have all been eliminated. I expect you all to keep eagerly tuning in to see just how damn Omnipotent I really am….

Item #2 – This front page is started to get a little long in the tooth. When March wraps up, I will be moving the past 3 months of stories over to the archive section, and starting fresh. Since the message board isn’t NEARLY as long as the main page, ill probably be leaving the existing message board attached to the new page rather than start with a new message board. I’d like to say that I think web-wise this move makes more sense than starting a new message board, but I’ll own up to the fact that it’s just a pain in the ass to make a new board, and I’m feeling lazy.

Item # 3 – I know our message board isn’t too hot. That’s a nice way of saying it sucks. Soon I will probably be looking at a new posting scheme, and maybe some new software. Just bare with it for now ok? I have too much Reality TV to watch to make any real headway here.

That's it for now.

Oh My God, They Killed Satire!

One of my favorite shows is South Park. I still can’t believe that the show has been on the air for 7 years now. It seems like just yesterday when we were introduced to the lives and (mis)adventures of Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman. The show has been a viewing staple, and a cash cow for Comedy Central, almost since it’s inception. The show is gearing up for a new season starting tomorrow night.

South Park's success can be attributed to the talents of it’s creators, Matt Parker and Trey Stone, and their refusal to back down from almost any issue, now matter how controversial, and to make fun of it in a harsh but intelligent way. After seven seasons, Matt and Trey have taken on everything from Michael Jackson, to Robert Blake, to J.lo/Ben Affleck, to more serious matters such as abuse in the Church, Iraq, prejudice, bigotry, and moral values. Matt and Trey pull no punches, and make no excuses for their cartoon tirades and very personal crucifixions. They have said repeatedly in interviews that they will continue to make fun of everyone and everything; an equal opportunity offender, as it were. If they see something going on in the world which they think is disgraceful, ignorant, or just damn funny, chances are that within a few weeks we’ll be treated to an episode of South Park devoted to it.

Which leads us to this week’s brouhaha.

A few months ago, South Park did an episode that poked fun at Scientology. No, let’s be fair. It did more than poke fun at it; it shredded the beliefs of Scientology and the people who follow it with the force of a wood-chipper. The episode basically put the ideals of true Scientologists under a microscope and showed it to the viewing audience for the big steaming pile of manure that it is. Even worse, the episode railed against some of Scientology’s high profile celebrity converts, such as John Travolta and Tom Cruise. In one part of the episode, Tom Cruise locks himself in Stan’s closet, and John Travolta begs him to “Come out of the closet already, Tom. Isn’t it about time you just came out of the closet?”

Needless to say, when the episode aired, neither Mr. Cruise (who is notorious for not having much of a sense of humor about these things), nor Mr. Travolta found the episode the least bit funny. They rallied against South Park, and purportedly issued warnings to Comedy Central to never air the episode again.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. One of the more popular supporting characters on the show is Chef, voiced by singer Isaac Hayes, a long-standing Scientologist. Rumor is, Mr. Hayes’ Scientology-loving actor-friends didn’t take too kindly to him being a part of a show that made them all look like ass-clowns, and have been exerting pressure on him to act. This week, he finally did.

After being on a show for seven years that has taken jabs at almost every religion under the sun, this week Issac Hays quit South Park. In his statement, he said “"There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins. Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored. As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices."

Well, it didn’t take long for Parker and Stone to issue a salvo of their own. Matt Stone told the the Associated Press Monday, "This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology... He has no problem -- and he's cashed plenty of checks -- with our show making fun of Christians. We never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin.”

I once again have to hand it to Parker and Stone for sticking it to the man, and doing so in a public forum. True intolerance is the ability to see the humor in all things, except for the things YOU believe in. You would think adults like Cruise, Travolta, and Hays would know that, and wouldn’t need to be taught it from two goofy cartoonists.

My hat’s off to you, Matt Parker and Trey Stone. Here’s hoping you guys continue to have the stones to keep telling it like it is for another 7 years. I’ll be watching.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Doh!

Chances are, if you surf the web HALF as much as I do, then you might have seen this already, since I believe this has, as of this week, become the current top download on the internet, but I think it's pretty damn funny, and really cool, so I thought I'd link to it as well.

Personally, I love the Simpsons, and have since it's inception. After all these years, it still manages to stay topical, and smart, and wickedly funny.

Now, when this link first surfaced on the net, rumor ran rampant about what exactly this was from. A live-action Simpsons TV-show? A live-action movie?

Alas, the answer is nothing so exciting. This was merely an extremely clever advert that is currently running in the UK to advertise the show. But the advertising company, getting some positive feedback from the promo, saw an opportunity and started circulating it on the web, where it has caught on like wildfire.

Nothing much else to say about it, except I think it's cool as Hell.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Late, Great Kirby Puckett

By B.E. Earl

Hey kids! Sad news this week from the world of baseball. Kirby Puckett, Hall of Fame centerfielder for the Minnesota Twins, died after suffering a stroke. Kirby was one of those players that made you love the game of baseball. His reckless abandon in the outfield, his huge grin and his semi-ridiculous body just made you want to smile when you saw him play. He was the centerpiece of a Twins team that won two World Series and he was a ten-time participant in the All-Star game. Yet, something has always bothered me about his first ballot selection to the Hall of Fame back in 2001.

It wasn’t the subsequent talk about his off-field problems. I’m not here to talk about that. Maybe he wasn’t as much of a “good guy” as baseball folks liked to think he was when he was playing, but the Hall of Fame voters ultimately shouldn’t decide whether or not someone is a “good guy” before voting him into the most hallow of Halls. The Hall is filled with players and managers that wouldn’t even come close to having “good guy” credentials in their resumes. And I certainly won’t go into details about the allegations about his character now that he has passed away. I don’t mean any disrespect to the man himself.

No. What I have a problem with was the automatic assumption that he was a first ballot HoFer after he retired early due to glaucoma, and the fact that assumption was proven to be correct in 2001. Take a look at Kirby’s career statistics alongside those of a contemporary of his whose career was also cut short due to a medical condition.

G
AB
Hits
HR
RBI
Runs
BB
BA
OBP
SLG
Kirby
1783
7244
2304
207
1085
1071
450
.318
.360
.477
Player A
1785
7003
2153
222
1099
1007
588
.307
.358
.471

You might find it impossible to find two players whose career numbers come any closer than these two guys. And yet, Kirby was a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame while Player A has never seriously been given consideration for the Hall. Let’s look at some other stats, shall we:

WS Titles
MVP Awards
All-Star Games
Gold Gloves
Black Ink
Kirby
2
0
10
6
22
Player A
0
1
6
9
23

For those of you unfamiliar with the term “Black Ink” it refers to the number of times said player led the league an offensive category (Hits, BA, SLG, etc…). Kirby did possess two World Series rings as opposed to none for Player A, but I’ve always felt that argument to be a little weak. Post-season success has much more to do with team success rather than individual achievement. Player A has the one MVP award, however, Kirby did place as high as second in the voting once and third in the voting twice. Both players have an impressive record of All-Star appearances and Gold Glove recognition. So its got to be the post-season success that made voters hold one of these players in such high esteem, while the other is thought to be just short. Right? Take a look at their post-season stats.

G
AB
Hits
HR
RBI
Runs
BB
BA
OBP
SLG
Kirby
24
97
30
5
15
16
8
.309
.361
.536
Player A
5
24
10
1
6
3
1
.417
.440
.708

Kirby certainly played a helluva lot more in the post-season than Player A, but when he did get the chance to play in the post-season Player A’s statistics were astronomical. And those numbers came in his last season as a professional when his skills had dramatically declined due to his previously mentioned medical issues. Who knows the gaudy numbers he could have put up had his team made the playoffs in any of his previous seasons in the big leagues?

So why the discrepancy when it comes to Hall of Fame votes? The answer is I honestly don’t know, but most analysts point to Kirby’s post-season success and heroics. Everyone mentions the home run he hit in Game 6, which allowed the Twins to take the World Series one game later. Very nice, but is it a career defining moment that makes him stand head and shoulders above Player A? And like I stated before, I think World Series titles are a testament to the team rather than the individual, but what the hell do I know.

For those of you who aren’t fans of the New York Yankees, Player A is none other than fan favorite Don Mattingly. To go on the record here, I don’t believe that EITHER player belongs in the hall. They were both great players, both considered to be sure-fire HoFers at the height of their careers. Both, however, were sadly forced to retire early due to their medical conditions. Glaucoma for Kirby Puckett and chronic back problems for Don Mattingly. 10 or 12 years, in my opinion, is just not long enough of a career to allow consideration into the Hall of Fame in most cases. Sandy Koufax is one of the exceptions to the rule. I think both Puckett and Mattingly come up just short.

The baseball world mourns the loss of Kirby Puckett, as it rightly should. Fan favorite and media darling that he was, he will be sorely missed. Maybe the timing of my argument against his induction into the Hall of Fame is a bit off. I’m sure it could anger some of his family, friends and fans that are faced with pain of his passing. I’m sorry for that, I truly am. Baseball, in the end, is just a small part of a man’s life and accomplishments. They should mourn the loss of the man, not the player.

Skanks For The Memories

By B.E. Earl

Howdy kids! One of the great things about getting older (and maybe one of the only great things) is that big ole’ bag of memories that you can dip into every once in a while. You stick your head in, fish around and sometimes you wind up with a great big smile. Other times you wind up embarrassed as all hell, but hopefully the smiles outweigh the frowns when placed upon the scales of life. Wow…that sounded much deeper than I am really capable of. Oh no! Another downer for the memory bag!

Anyway, I happened to see that The Ska-talites are going to be playing a gig in NYC next week with their new lineup. Got me thinking about ska, which was the driving musical force of my life during much of the early and mid 90’s. So I dusted off my pork-pie hat (which I’ve always been too embarrassed to wear out of the house) and kicked it out with some of my old ska recordings the other night, and I discovered something. I really miss The Scofflaws.

The Scofflaws were/are a Long-Island-based ska band that were at the height of their popularity during the mid-90’s before the flood of ska-pop bands began to hit MTV. A part of ska’s “third wave” along with bands like Bim Skala Bim, they were a staple in NYC and Long Island clubs during much of the 90’s. Along with my good friend Spaka, I was a semi-regular at their gigs all over the Island. We must have seen them close to 50 times back then.

One fond memory was seeing them at a bar in Farmingdale one weekend. It was the end of their set and they looked to the audience for requests. We shouted out “Paul Getty” (a favorite of mine) to which Richard “Sammy” Brooks, their lead singer/saxophonist, replied “F**k that!” Well, the very next week we went to see them in a bar in Port Jefferson. Brooks stepped up to the mike at the beginning of their second set and said they were going to play “Paul Getty” for those two dudes up front who requested it the previous week. He said he felt bad about telling us off back in Farmingdale. Cool!

So I wound up listening to their CDs over and over again over the next few days. I looked them up on Google and couldn’t find any evidence if they were still performing. I know Buford O’Sullivan is doing his own thing nowadays, but even he said on his website that the common denominator to all the various incarnations of the Scofflaws was Richard Brooks. So maybe Brooks is still out there, skanking his way through gigs just like he did back in the day. I hope so. If anyone has any info, please drop a line in the comment section.

Maybe I’ll go see The Ska-talites next week. They’ve been around in one form or another since the mid-60’s, and they are still skanking. Looks like only Lloyd Knibb and Doreen Shaffer remain from the original band, and I’m surprised even at that. Saw them a few times in NYC a ways back and they were great! Maybe I’ll even wear my unused pork-pie hat. Probably not though. Too bad…it’s a great hat!

Friday, March 03, 2006

I'm King Of The World!

Or pretty damn close.....

In a near-heart-stopping effort to not say "Nya Nya! Told ya so!" to whoever is within earshot, 4 of my picks as one of the first ones to be eliminated from American Idol (Brenna, Heather, David, and Sway), all got the boot last night.

I don't expect anyone except me to be impressed by this, however. And if anyone IS, I'd rather not know you.......

Tune in next week when we all witness my unnervingly accurate predictions further come to pass.....

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Seacrest..... Lame!

Not too long ago I shared with you all my list of what I considered to be the best shows on television. At the time, I omitted any Reality TV from that list because, even though I am a sucker for it, I don’t consider watching people make asses out of themselves for money to be exemplary television.

That being said, I am loath to admit that I do love the stuff, and watch quite a bit of it. I am currently, as is the rest of the country, in the midst of guiltily watching the 5th season of American Idol.

I am not going to go into how much I hate the show, or what a manufactured crock the whole charade is, or how, barring one stuck-up idiot, all the people who have won so far are (rightfully) never heard from again. As I said, I hate so much about the show, but like a tsunami-sized riptide, the show keeps pulling me back into it’s maw week after week.

So I thought it would be interesting to give my own short analysis of the remaining 20 contestants, and give my odds on what chance each has of actually winning. 4 more contestants are scheduled to be eliminated in a few hours from now (it will probably have already happened by the time you read this), so you all might be able to shortly see just how worthless my analysis tends to be.

Ok, here we go….
Ayla Brown - Not much to say about Ayla. Honestly the main thing I remember about her is that she’s tall and plays basketball. Not a bad singer, but kind of forgettable. Odds Of Winning: 10-1
Ace Young – Ace is far from the best singer in the competition. On the contrary, he’s one of the worst left. But Ace, as I keep hearing from every woman in my office, is quite the hottie (and to back that up, my wife told me the other night that when Ace comes on, she wants to lick the screen). So, since 99.9999% of the people who actually VOTE on American Idol are 14 year old girls, I think Ace will go quite far before America comes to it’s senses. Odds of Winning: 6-1

Brenna Gethers – A NY native, so I have to KIND of root for her. But my God, she is annoying! She is only about HALF as attractive as she seems to think she is, and all that ridiculous posing she does for the camera every time she notices she is on the air makes me want to shoot my television. She won’t go much farther. Odds of Winning: 20-1
Heather Cox – Another forgettable contestant. Sure, she’s cute, but I honestly cant remember one song she has sang yet. She needs to stand out, and soon, or she’s toast. Odds Of Winning: 15-1

Bucky Covington – This year’s Bo Bice, only even more “rednecky”. I actually like Bucky’s chops, but I can’t see him getting to the end. Odds Of Winning: 10-1
Chris Daugtry – Man, this guy has got an incredible voice. He is in another class from the rest of the male contestants. Probably the first Idol contestant in history who’s album I would actually consider buying, if he stayed true to his Rock roots. This one will go far. Odds Of Winning: 2-1
Katharine Mcphee – Another in the “totally forgettable” club. If she makes it to the final 12, she’ll most likely be given the boot soon after. Odds Of Winning: 10-1

Kellie Pickler – This girl is a real Southern cutie-pie. You can’t HELP but think it watching her. She can sing too, but she is SO close to Carrie Underwood (last year’s winner) in style and looks that I think at some point America will decide not to give the crown to basically the same person 2 years running. Odds Of Winning: 4 –1

David Radford – He does a pretty bang-up job of imitating Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, but how many 14 year old girls are going to stand that type of music for long? Odds Of Winning: 18-1

Elliot Yamin – Probably the second best singer of the males. The problem with this guy is that visually, with that beard-and-no-mustache thing going on, he looks like a Quaker who forgot to put on his black hat and suspenders. Every time he gets on screen, I keep expecting him to attempt to raise a barn or churn butter. Odds Of Winning: 6-1

Kinnik Sky – Forgettable, and with a forehead big enough to show a Drive-In movie on, I think her days are numbered. Odds Of Winning: 14-1
Lisa Tucker – Final 12 material for sure. She’s young and cute, and reminds me of a young Irene Carra. And she can sing. Odds Of Winning: 5-1

Gedeon McKinney – Between the Don King hair and the tombstone-teeth smile, I have a real problem looking at this guy. I think before long America will do the same. Odds Of Winning: 10-1
Jose ‘Sway’ Penala – The judges continue to like this guy, but I don’t. Just cant put my finger on it. Rumor on the web indicates that because he has a previous contract with his old band, he may end up being disqualified. Either way, no big loss. Odds Of Winning: 12-1
Mandisa – The most powerful female singer in the competition. But let’s be honest… looks are a big part of this contest, as much as talent really, and this plus-sized singer, while having a lot of heart, may not get the votes that the “pretty” group gets. It may cost her. Odds Of Winning: 6-1
Melissa McGhee – Have I mentioned “forgettable”?. Add another to the pile. Odds Of Winning: 18-1
Kevin Corvais – I HAVE to root for this little guy, just because he’s from Long Island and we don’t get to “represent” too often, but let’s be honest; his singing is so-so and he looks like a cross between and inch-worm and Harry Potter. Odds Of Winning: 12-1
Paris Bennett – Unless America is sleeping, this little 17 year old is going to be singing in the final 2. She is cute, sassy, and has an unbelievable voice. Odds Of Winning: 2-1
Taylor Hicks – This grey-headed youngling actually has a great voice, but the constant “Ray Charles”-like poses he does started pissing me off 2 weeks ago. It was funny the first time, and maybe the 3rd, but after the 100th time it kinda wears off. He’ll go far, but not to the end. Odds Of Winning: 5-1
Will Maker – “And the winner of the Peter Brady look-alike contest goes to……”. Not much else to say about this kid. Likeable, but not talented enough to get much father. I would bet he might get eliminated tonight. Odds Of Winning: 17-1

So there you have it. Clearly, I am expecting to see a Chris Daugtry /Parris Bennett finale come May, and if pressed for a clear winner, I would say the teenaged female Idol fans of America will give the crown to one of their own, and crown Parris this year’s American Idol.

Now you can all keep checking back week after week to see how unbelievable my insight was, or to make fun of me for how pathetic my guesses were.

Anyone care to put any money on it?