Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Black Bond part 2

A few days ago Jamie Foxx was on Jay Leno's show, and among other things he discussed the idea of a black James Bond again. And maybe he came across the idea on his own, or maybe he saw the idea here on my blog, but he also likes the idea of a James Brown-ish black Bond.

Thanks for the kind-of shoutout, Jamie, but, um... get your own ideas, divo!

It's Been Way Too Long (part one)

What with a governor trying to auction off President-elect Obama's Senate seat, the New York media trying to anoint Caroline Kennedy as Hillary Clinton's successor in Congress, Ponzi scammer Bernie Madoff (the fifty-billion-dollar man), the government throwing billions of dollars after companies that will probably collapse anyway, and God knows what else means I would have had plenty to write about -- but I've had some personal issues that kept me from posting. But the news that some person going by the handle of Fishgrease Jenkins is being blamed for encouraging shootings in Brooklyn (like the ones in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn last night) and attempting to defend himself that finally pushed me to go ahead and post something.

First off (and in no way am I suggesting this is most important): ¡¿FISHGREASE?! Of all the things this thug could have chosen to call himself, he couldn't come up with anything better than ¿Fishgrease? But then, judging from that lightweight ringtone-jingle of a rap he calls "I'm from East New York," Fishgrease is probably about as original as he can manage. (Why do these rappers all try so hard to sound just like everybody else?)

I do have to say, though, that it's kind of a knee-jerk reaction, to make a scapegoat of this one video and its apparently challenged author for five people being killed in Brownsville. Unfortunately this is all too common in Brooklyn and anywhere people can easily get guns, and see them as the go-to method for settling "disputes."

Blagojevich: Jay Leno's been calling him "Governor Sonofabitch," and understandably so. And yet the governor says he did nothing wrong, I'm guessing because no actual money changed hands. But if there are FEDERAL wiretap recordings proving that he was soliciting offers for Obama's former Senate seat, how can he claim innocence? Conspiracy is just as much a crime as bribery, in case you didn't know, Governor...

Bailout: Speaking of Leno, he's been making a good point about this bailout situation -- the government was all too quick to throw billions of dollars at the financial "industry," when all they really do is move other people's money around. But when it came to the car manufacturers, who actually make and sell a physical product, they're hemming and hawing. Rightfully so, since the Big Three car companies have waved their wastefulness and arrogance in everyone's faces -- flying to Washington separately in corporate jets to beg Congress for money -- but it would have made a lot more sense if Congress had been as cautious with Wall Street as they're being with Detroit. And notice that, when it looked like whatever help they got from Congress would come with conditions, Ford suddenly didn't have an immediate need for the money. So why were they there begging for it?

And now the sports industry is getting into it. Sports teams have a long history of raking in millions of dollars during the season and then, when they decide they want/need a new home, they beg their home city and state for help. Why would the New York Yankees, about to move into a brand-new stadium, be in need of help if they can afford to set aside $420 million-plus for three players? I know this amount is a multi-year commitment and not a one-time expenditure but still, if you have that kind of cash to hand out, why should you get any money out of We the People?

And why isn't the federal government forcing sports teams to give back any naming-rights money from banks and other financial-industry players getting bailout money? The naming rights money doesn't nearly match what the bailouts will add up to, but every dollar these companies get back from the sports teams is a dollar the Treasury Department (that is, We the People) won't have to dole out.

Friday, November 21, 2008

First (and hopefully LAST) Paris Hilton comment

A comment from an old thread in my Gmail account, referring to That Person, after someone mentioned who should NOT be used in a future casting call for the Sue Storm/Sue Richards character in a future Fantastic Four movie:
She was already miscast as a human. Now let's not make any more responses involving that grotesque creature. Every time the name of the terrible spawn is mentioned, her power grows.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Stupid Headline

There's a headline on the front of today's NY Daily News about the Yankees offering free-agent pitcher CC Sabathia $140 million, which would be the most expensive contract for a pitcher IF Sabathia signs, $2.5 million more than the contract the crosstown Mets signed Johan Santana to just last year. But some genius at the paper chose to advertise the story by focusing on the pitcher's weight -- he weighs 290 pounds -- and then they broke that down to $482,000 per pound.

If this was supposed to sound like the offer was somehow tied to his weight, it didn't take into account that a smaller man would be making *more* per pound. If he were 210 pounds, for example, he'd be making almost $667K per pound; a 175-pounder with the same offer would be getting $800K per pound.

Maybe it was just a stray point, just something to throw on the front page, which is possible since the actual article doesn't mention Sabathia's weight at all. But whatever the rationale, it was stupid.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Meeting of the Presidents

Yesterday I saw a paper with a cover photo of the Obamas and the Bushes in front of the White House, as I'd imagine most papers had in the US. But apparently none of Bush's people involved with arranging the photo-op thought about how this photo would work wih a tabloid paper like the NY Daily News. With the paper fully opened out, it's a wraparound photo of both couples; but on the newsstand it's the Obamas on the front cover and the Bushes on the back. To most people, apparently, that's just about right. Oh well...

A Black James Bond?

Daniel Craig, the current James Bond, says that Barack Obama's election as US president may open the way for a black James Bond, which Craig says the audience is ready for. But NY Daily News entertainment critic adds that Craig is quick to admit that Ian Fleming "no more envisioned a black Bond than he envisioned his suave spy driving a station wagon."

So why bring it up? Sure, after 40+ years of dark-haired Bonds, the audience accepted the blond Craig. But at this point, 45 years after Dr. No, I think if some producer wants to introduce a suave black spy character, he should be Bond-like, not Bond himself. A black James Bond would be too much change after all this time.

But when I decided on this post, the idea popped into my head of someone who I think could have killed in such a role if he'd had the acting ability.

Brown. James Brown.

I'm not saying that The Godfather didn't have acting ability, I just don't know if he did or not. The only acting I'd ever seen him do was a cameo in Jackie Chan's movie The Tuxedo -- though I know he did some cameos in movies before -- but they don't really count because he was basically playing himself.

Friday, August 01, 2008


Just a pre-emptive note should those stupid Google anti-spam bots decide to attack this blog, like they did to my fiction blog. There is NOTHING even remotely spammy about any of my blogs or my fiction, but until somebody at Google gets around to checking it out for themselves, there's nothing I can do.

Nor is there anything I can do to prevent such an attack here, but this is for whoever checks out the blog after such an attack -- and yes, if Google's robots lock my blog for no good reason, I call it an attack.

Big Ass Fan Delivers Brooklyn Church From Sweltering Heat

It cracks me up when you hear reporters (especially on the radio) when they get ahold of a story that lets them say something they might not get away with otherwise, like the name of Vincent Pastore's character from the Sopranos ("Big Pussy"), or, in this case, the Kentucky company that will relieve a Brooklyn church of the sweltering heat that's been one cause of steadily dwindling attendance every summer.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cowards in the Night

So the New York Mets have finally done what every one of the team's fans knew they would have to do, eventually: they fired manager Willie Randolph. But did they have to do it in such a cowardly way? To let the man fly 3,000 miles away to the West Coast, only to fire him after the game ended, was, as the NY Daily News put it, "a classless, cold-hearted and cowardly act."

It's apparent from the way it was handled that general manager Omar Minaya had decided -- that someone had decided -- to fire Willie days before the midnight hatchet job actually took place. Randolph actually asked Minaya on Sunday if he should bother taking the trip with the team to the West Coast, and was given a noncommittal answer that amounted to a firing right then.

But what I don't understand through all of this is, why isn't Tony Bernazard's job on the line? Supposedly a major issue in Randolph's relationship, or non-relationship, with the players was Bernazard's personal campaign against Randolph, making sure that each and every one of the organization's Hispanic players -- not only on the NY Mets, but even in the minor leagues -- had Bernazard's personal phone number so that they could contact him if they had any issues with the manager. So, naturally they felt that there was little need for them to pay any attention to Willie. Minaya, as the general manager, should have nipped that in the bud as soon as it became an issue. Personally, I think this is exactly the reason for Randolph's perceived lack of fire. If Bernazard and team COO Jeff Wilpon wanted Willie's head on a plate, what good would a display of fire really do in the long run? Bernazard is personally responsible for the sinkhole this team has fallen into, and because of that he should be bodily thrown into it. I feel a little bad about saying that, because I liked Bernazard as a player, but he's more trouble than he's worth in the front office. "Instigator" isn't a requirement of any major-league front-office job, at least not to my knowledge.

There was an article also in yesterday's NY Daily News that suggested that the Randolph saga provided the Mets' TV network, SportsNet NY, with riveting content even when the team was underperforming. It's natural to assume that Randolph's treatment had nothng to do with TV ratings, but then I remember reading that Ted Turner originally bought the Atlanta Braves in order to provide content for his then-newly-purchased WTBS television station. So who really knows...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

NOW Pay-Rod Says He Shoulda Been A Met

The back page of today's New York Daily News has habitual attention-hog Alex Rodriguez moaning that he should have signed with the Mets back in 2000, instead of taking the record-setting $252 million ten-year contract that Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks threw his way.

I think I speak for many Mets fans when I say, So freakin' what?

If Pay-Rod had signed with the Mets back when they were hot-and-heavy over him, we might not be enjoying the contributions of homegrown Jose Reyes and David Wright. After all, the kind of money the Mets would have wound up paying him -- probably not $252 million over any number of years -- would definitely have prevented Reyes from coming aboard, at least as a shortstop (Rodriguez' original position). The Mets have had a history of shifting promising players to different positions in the past -- Edgardo Alfonzo's late-90s third-to-second-to-third shuffle comes to mind -- but chances are that Rodriguez' presence would have jammed up the shortstop position for years to come and, if there had been a third-base or second-base prospect considered more promising than Reyes, the jam might have prevented him from becoming a Met at all.

Last year Rodriguez was foolish enough to follow the advice of his mercenary agent, Scott Boras, and turn down a sure-thing offer from the Yankees in favor of testing the free-agent market. Apparently $25 million a year was no longer enough to live on, or maybe Boras' share, $2.5 million or so, wasn't enough for him. There was plenty of speculation that the Mets might sign him, and David Wright had gone on record during the season to assert that he'd gladly shift to second base if that was what it took to land Pay-Rod. Thankfully that didn't happen, because this lifelong Mets fan was ready to shift allegiance to the Yankees for good if they had signed Mister Me for all the money the Wilpon family had in the bank. When Steve Phillips, the Mets' general manager back in 2000, claimed that he had stopped negotiations for fear that signing Rodriguez would create a team of 24+1 instead of a 25-man unit, he was widely ridiculed. I think the time that has passed, and Rodriguez' true contributions to the terrible Texas Rangers team and the not-good-enough Yankees, have proved Phillips right. Yeah, OK, A-Rod won an MVP award with the Rangers, but on a last-place team that's meaningless. What could it mean: that the team wouldn't have been as deeply in last place? The basement is still the basement, whether the team in front of you is only one game ahead or 20.

Having said all that, though, I could easily be wrong. I cried foul when the Mets let Alfonzo go in favor of an unknown thrid baseman named Ty Willingham. I figured he'd be just another in the series of forgotten names on the list Mets' third-basemen. But Willingham turned out to be a good hitter and fielder. During Ty's second year, though, there was all this talk about this wunderkind in the minors named David Wright.

"Oh no, not again," I thought. I figured the Mets had just "lucked out" this time with Willingham and that there was no reason to tinker with a good thing. Again, I was wrong -- Wright has turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to the Mets team.

Hookers and Cheaters and Britney, Oh My!

I'm back. Sorry if it looked like I'd abandoned this blog...

Spitzer and Paterson

By now everyone on the planet knows about former New York State governor Eliot Spitzer and his foolishness with high-priced prostitutes and with money-laundering, both on his own end (moving money between accounts to avoid triggering bank secrecy procedures) and in his dealings with the escort service that got him busted (paying a shell company that was under surveillance). He is both a former prosecutor and a former state attorney general, so I think it's fair to say that he couldn't possibly have been any dumber in how he went about his business.

All concerned parties in Albany breathed a sigh of relief at the prospect of dealing with the incoming governor, Spitzer's lieutenant governor David Paterson. But now it's come out that Paterson and his wife have both had affairs in the not-so-distant past. Since he came out with it -- actually they both admitted to having cheated -- it shouldn't really be a major issue, though of course the media is going to milk every drop of coverage they can wring out of it. A greater issue, maybe, is that he misused campaign funds at various times, usually reimbursing the payments later. So what? What politician hasn't dipped into the till and then repaid it later? The crime, when there is one, is using taxpayer funds, or campaign funds, for personal things and then not reporting or repaying. But, as was pointed out today, there are probably plenty of people not at all happy that the man at the top of New York State's government is black. If they can find something, anything, that might discredit him, they could consider it worth their while to fling it at him and see what happens.

That includes today's page 5 article in the New York Daily News on Paterson's past experiments with drugs. There were "whispers" circulating Albany about his past drug use, so he admitted to having used marijuana and cocaine a few times. This was in the 70s, when he was in his early 20s. The man is 53 now. Let it rest.

Or would those same folks rather have to deal with... Governor Joe Bruno, with the potential to be the Republican version of the Democrat "bulldog" Spitzer?

And on top of all this, it now comes out that some political sleazebag (his own self-description) named Stone now claims that he was the one that tipped the Feds off to Spitzer's wrongdoing while he was being paid consultant's fees of $20K a month by Bruno and other Republicans. But -- get this -- Stone claims also that, although Spitzer was in the middle of a smear campaign against Bruno, he
did not tell Bruno about the Spitzer dirt he mailed off to the Feds.

And this is someone with no sense of loyalty (but what sleazebag is ever loyal?) -- he hates Bruno's top aide so much that, even though he considers Bruno his mentor, he'd "happily" bring Bruno down if that's what it takes to put the aide out of the picture.

And they call "Kristin" a whore...

(Except for this line, I don't think Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick deserves even a mention here. "Liar liar," etc.)

Get Your Britney Fix Here

I'm not one to join the Britney Spears media pileon, especially since I'm NOT member of the media, but it's interesting that Britney decided to start her "artistic reputation rehab," as NY Daily News entertainment writer David Hinkley puts it, by taking a cameo role in a sitcom. In this case, "How I Met Your Mother." I've never watched the show, and didn't get a chance to see it last night, but by all accounts she did good. Let's see what happens next...