Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

On Voting

Posted: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 in Current Events, Politics, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

If you don’t vote today, come on, it’s time to face facts: you are kind of a shithead.

Voting is so easy.  Voting feels good, almost orgasmic even.  Think about it: the act of Voting is like the concentrated release of all the beefs and gripes and hopes and ideals that have been pent over time.  Voting is finally having our say.  Even if the system is rigged, and all our votes go uncounted, at the very least Voting reinforces the illusion that we live in a free and democratic society.

Again, Voting is easy, especially nowadays.  Even if you are forced to vote during rush hour and are stuck in a long line, with the tiny computers in our cellphones, you could get your banking done, set your DVR, and check Facebook, all while listening to some fresh tracks on your iPod.  And Voting is pretty fun anyway: I love people watching and trying to guess who that asshole is voting for.  And if you are like me, and have never been polled (especially since most of us youngerish people don’t even have hard land-lines) that makes our votes the monkeys-in-the-wrench, so to speak.  There is nothing better than proving the polls and pundits wrong.

Polling places are well within a reasonable distance to you and your home. The internet makes them easy to find, and is a great resource for learning about your district and the candidates.

Voting is sexy.  So come on!  Get in the mix.  Make your voice heard, because only once every year do we get the opportunity to pop off like our Forefathers intended.

So Party People, please VOTE.

As promised, here’s where my head is at, as far as Sports goes, in this, the Summer of our Lord, 2010.  Sorry this post is starting off with some old shit; just haven’t gotten around to tightening up and publishing my notes till now.  I promise that each topic will get subsequently more, well, topical, as we move along.

More on LeBron’s Weak Shit

Here are a couple of my favorite LeBron-to-Miami reactions:

The G.O.A.T also thinks that LeBron’s shit is weak.  “I am Michael Jordan.  And you, Sir, are no Michael Jordan.  I’m Michael Jordan, and I approved this message.”

Here is, by far, the best take on LeBron, from the great Drew Magary, as per usual:  As you can see, I left the enitre url intact, rather than couch the link in text, because no one writes a headline like Drew Magary.

And in the spirit of fairness, here is the counterpoint to Magary’s piece, also from the great sports blog

Oh, and Jay-Z is apparently not pleased. Now you’ve gone and pissed off Hova, Lebron: not good.

Dan Gilbert

You can’t blame this cat for going fucking ballistic over the way LeBron left the Cleveland Cavaliers.  First of all, as owner of the Cavs, Gilbert had to watch his franchise lose, like, at least $100 million in value during a televised dog-and-pony-show hosted by that douchebag Jim Grey.  And secondly, Gilbert watched arguably the world’s most exciting basketball player “take his talents to South Beach” along with Gilbert’s best chance to bring the first championship to Cleveland since 1964.  So I get it: getting dumped by the hottest girl in school really, really, sucks. especially when she leaves you for someone way sexier and shallower.

But Gilbert has gone way off the deep end here, and his actions are analogous to spreading nasty rumors about, calling and hanging up on, and driving by the house of, said hot chick.  That ridiculous diatribe that Gilbert “penned” on the Cavs website should have been subjected to the whole put-the-angry-letter-in-the-desk-drawer rule, because both he and it could have used a little cooling off time.  And perhaps the choice of going with the “Comic Sans” type-font wasn’t the best call in hindsight, as the hand-written style of the font closely resembles the penmanship of the bat-shit crazy poo-painting inmates locked up in solitary (I love me some MSNBC’s “Lockup.”)  The choice of the Comic Sans font was so curious to people, that #comicsans became a trending topic on Twitter.

OK, now lemme just bottom-line this business, as this story is well past it’s expiration date:  Gilbert’s anger and impulsiveness, while understandable and somewhat admirable, is also immature and short-sighted.  How many big-time free-agents are gonna choose to play for Gilbert and his Cavs, now that he has blasted and aired some dirty laundry of the one of the league’s most popular players.  Players talk, Dan.  If I’m a Cavs fan, I’m pretty pissed about this, as Gilbert spent up a lot of the good-will and rooting that is coming the Cavs way in the wake of their very public dumping.  If you own a pro sports franchise, you just have to be able to take the high road in these type of situations, especially when dealing with extremely large children.  Besides, most owners should remain invisible anyway: unless you own a transcendent sports franchise, that is worth billions, thanks in large part to your efforts, no one really takes you seriously or gives a fuck about what you say anyway.

George “The Boss” Steinbrenner

And while we’re on the subject of iconic team owners and, shall we say, less than dignified behavior, I gotta say a few things about The Boss.  First, let’s get all the bad shit out of the way – and mind you, I’m a Yankees fan.  Now I am to young to be cognizant of the days when George was kind of out of control, and was firing Billy Martin during the press conference announcing the man’s hiring.  This kind of stuff, and the rest of Steinbrenner’s antics back then, fall into the aforementioned category of STFU.  George didn’t really earn the right to be such an over-bearing presence at that time, even after bringing two titles back to the Bronx in the late 70s.  He would have done well to shut his mouth and listen a little more; perhaps those great Yankee teams would have been a dynasty had he done so.  And all those shenanigans just made him look more like the buffoon famously caricatured in Seinfeld.  Over time, George did become a great elder statesman, all while maintaining that great bad-assery he was so known for.

George Steinbrenner’s mercurial and somewhat ruthless personality most definitely was a mixed bag, and probably had a lot to do with both his personal, and the Yankees’ team, success, thus making George like any other complicated individual, only amplified to the extreme.  And I have complicated feelings about the way that The Boss obsessively chased championships at all costs like Ahab, with seemingly little regard for what carnage lie in his wake.  On the one hand, I of course understand that George endeavored to put the best product on the field each year, and I have personally enjoyed the sweet fruits of the Boss’ efforts as we Yankee fans have watched our Bronx Bombers ascend to the premiere professional sports franchise in the world.  But on the other hand, the precedent set by Steinbrenner’s literal win-at-all-costs strategy has hurt the competitive balance of Major League Baseball, and has taken some of the fun out of winning when you have the highest payroll by a mile.  I’m not complaining too much, because I sure do appreciate being a Yankees fan instead of rooting for, say, the Pirate or Royals.  However, it is extremely annoying to deal with the inevitable payroll complaints when discussing Yankee greatness.  This is one of the main reasons why the NFL is by and far the most popular professional sport in America: this time of year every team has hope to make a run at a world championship.  Again, George played within the rules, and made up some of his own when he could, so he deserves the adulation from the Yankees’ faithful, and the ire from the rest of baseball.

As far as the personal side of the Boss goes, the side often hidden from the general public and media: every account since his passing paints a picture of a great man with a huge heart who would give of himself every chance he got.  The most public version of this aspect of Steinbrenner’s character manifested itself in the way George reached out to help troubled players like Darryl Strawberry and Doc Godden, and was always ready to grant a blessed second chance.  So many stories from people who have been on the receiving end of George’s great charity have emerged since his passing, the reason being that Steinbrenner did not his generosity publicized, thus making his philanthropy all the more sincere and meaningful.

Like I said, the Boss was a complicated and great man, who I feel is the embodiment of the so-called Byronic Hero, my favorite kind of hero.  He certainly was an idealized but flawed man, as all the great and interesting ones are.  He died as champion, and has left the New York Yankees as the #1 sports property in all of sports.  So I tip my cap to you George, the Boss; fare thee well on the Other Side.

Stay tuned for more on…

A-Rod’s 600th HR (and why no one gives a flying fuck.)

MLB and the Season of the Pitcher

And some other stuff…

LordhaveMERcy! there has been a lot of action in the world of sports recently, so much that I have welcomed this All-Star break; I needed the breather.  Usually this time of year is one of two death-valleys in sporting news, the other being around the NBA All-Star break in mid-to-late February.  But in this mid-summer of 2010 the sports wire is just crackling with electricity; stories abound: the World Cup, Baseball, LeBron’s decision and the rest of the NBA free-agency, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, and some high profile passings, all with NFL training-camp looming on the horizon.  So now that the dust has settled somewhat after all these earthquakes, and their subsequent aftershocks, I’d like to provide my commentary on them, starting with the biggest story of all:

LeBron’s decision to leave Cleveland, and “take [his] talents to South Beach”

Everyone knew that wherever LeBron decided to play this Fall, it would send shock-waves throughout the NBA, and the sporting world in general, but no one could have predicted that LeBron’s bomb would be of the nuclear variety, with all the accompanying fallout.

I’ve been a big LeBron fan from the get-go; I’ve marveled at the way this kid has delivered on the astronomical hype that has followed him since his skull completely hardened, all while managing to maintain a relatively good head on his humongous shoulders.  I’m pretty jaded and cynical about athletes and celebrities, so it is a rare thing when I can genuinely respect one’s character as well as their talent: LeBron is in this rarefied air as far as I’m concerned.  But with that being said, LeBron takes a real big hit in my book over how he’s handled this whole situation.

Now I don’t feel that LeBron James owes Cleveland anything really, but the city and it’s fans certainly did not deserve the kick in the teeth they got during the circle-jerk that was the ill-conceived, hour-long ESPN “special” (more on those ESPN jerk-offs later.)  The whole program was weird, unnecessary, and blatantly self-serving for all involved.  And what’s up with holding it at a Boys & Girls Club in Greenwich, CT? arguably the wealthiest fucking town in the WORLD! Matt Taibbi has a great take, as usual, on the whole ESPN debacle here on his new blog.

While LeBron is taking the most criticism for the poor handling of his announcement, he’s also taking a lot of heat for choosing the Heat.  As much as I want to buck the consensus of the sports opinion echo-chamber, I will have to agree that Lebron’s choice to join Dwayne Wade, and now Chris Bosh, in Miami can be described as weak, at best.  For all the talk about legacy, and the next Jordan, and “King” James, and being “Chosen,” or “I Am A Witness,” the fact is apparently lost on LeBron that in choosing the Miami Heat, attaining the legendary status he at one time seemed destined for will be a lot less likely, regardless of how many championships he wins with the Heat.  The reason I say this is that leading the Cavs or Knicks (full disclosure: I’m Knick fan, albeit a dormant one) to an NBA title is equal to 5 with the Heat.  People will now expect Miami to go on a dynastic run now that they have three of the premiere players in the league, including arguably two of the top 3. Where’s the fun in that?  Sure, in order to win it all, an NBA team usually needs two all-star caliber players, but this should happen way more organically than the contrived way the Miami deal went down. And Miami is Wade’s town anyway; he was here first, drafted the same year the Cavs took LeBron first overall, and is the only one from that class to lead his team and city to a championship.  So Miami will always be Wade’s town.  Ideally LeBron would stay with the city he was drafted by, Cleveland, a title starved, passionate town, who also happen to have the bonus serendipity factor of being 30 miles from LeBron’s home town and people of Akron, Ohio.  We all love a good narrative, and LeBron bringing home the Larry O’Brien trophy to Cleveland would certainly qualify as story-book.

With all that being said, I can totally understand why LeBron would be ready to move on after 7 years in Cleveland, and, again, I don’t begrudge him for doing so.  Can you blame a 25-year old with hundreds of millions of dollars for not wanting to settle down in the Rust Belt?  But if he had leave Cleveland, there were a number of better options from a legacy and narrative perspective.  There could have been another great narrative had LeBron chose to play for the New York Knicks and resuscitated that historic but atrophied franchise.  Think about it: the day LeBron signs with the New York Knicks, he instantly becomes bigger than Jeter, A-Rod, Eli, and Sanchez…combined.  I could even live with LeBron in Chicago, where at least he’d still be the Alpha Dog on roster talented enough to make a deep playoff run.  And perhaps the most delicious scenario of all, from a narrative perspective, would be if LeBron went to the Los Angeles Clippers.  It would be fabulous if LeBron James left Cleveland to fight Kobe in his own back yard for the hearts of L.A. and the title of World’s Best Baller.  Ahhh, dare to dream.

But Miami?  Ugh.  Another reason this move is weak-ass is that Miami is kind of a shitty sports town, and no one will convince me otherwise. In my opinion the amount of true sports energy and fandom in and about a city is inversely proportional to the attractiveness of it’s average citizen. In other words: there is simply too much hot scattered ass in Miami for people to take more than a fleeting interest in it’s sports franchises.  Of course Miami is gonna sell-out every home game and will be the hottest ticket in town for awhile, and will appear to be like the East Coast version of L.A.’s “Showtime”, but they will never have the local and national fan base of the legendary Lakers; hell, the Miami Heat have only been in existence for 22 years.

Again, I can’t completely blame LeBron for wanting to do his thing in a hot party town, with perfect weather, and in a state with no state income tax.  I’d probably make the same decision.  And while we’re on the subject of taxes, this issue should always be factored in when discussing the migration of professional athletes.  Florida and Texas, and all their myriad pro-sports franchises, have become a very attractive destination for free agents on the verge of signing huge contracts.  In the case of LeBron, he would pay around $12million in state taxes in New York, and about $6million in Ohio, but zero in Florida.  And that’s just counting his NBA salary income.

But again, and in summation, from strictly a psorts-narrative angle, Lebron’s move to Miami is pretty lame because he chose not to step up to the plate, be The Man or The Alpha, and take on the heavy lifting that is leading a passionate, hungry fan-base to a championship.  Because of all of this he is now just a great basketball player to me, and not the transcendent  “Chosen One” I hoped he could be.

Stay Tuned…

…for my take on the aforementioned other sports stories.  This post just became too long for me to delve into that other stuff.  But here’s a preview:

  • Cavs Owner Dan Gilbert: While I understand his beef over how LeBron handled things, I gotta kill this cat over how childish and short-sighted his comic-sans-fonted tirade was.
  • ESPN’s Coverage and Radio bits: “The Worldwide Leader’s” sycophantic drooling over LeBron’s announcement was very annoying.  And while their radio programs and hosts are actually very good, they need to leave the comedy bits to the professionals.
  • The passing of “The Boss.”:  Say what you will about Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner, you can’t deny he was a very complex character, and one of the most consequential owners in the history of professional sports.
  • A Quick World Cup postmortem: Something about this tournament really has stuck with me, and I may find myself starting to follow soccer more.
  • The State of MLB: The ‘Year of Pitcher’ is turning out to be way more exciting than the typical collective bludgeoning that pitchers have been subjected to over the past few decades.
  • NFL Training Camp:  In about two weeks NFL teams start reporting to college campuses and training facilities around the country, and I’ve already got a chubby.

The following 15-minute video is pretty much all you need to know regarding what is happening on the front-lines of the BP Oil Disaster.  Kindra Arnes, a Venice, LA, native, delivers a mind-blowing account of her dealings with BP, and the effects the oil-giant’s spill has had on her community.  I know it’s a bit long, but I urge you to watch this video; you won’t find a more compelling human voice of this tragedy.

A great big thanks goes out to the Cajun Boy, for posting this.  My heart goes out to you, your people, and the rest of the Gulf Coast.

I’ve caught the World Cup fever, and the only cure: more vuvuzela!  And it looks like I am not the

only one.  President Clinton has World Cup fever too. Check  Bubba celebrating the US victory over Algeria with Carlos Bocanegra and an oat-soda.

Today is the day.  No matter what the outcome when the United States takes on Ghana in the first knockout round of the World Cup, the game will be a tremendous experience, as pretty much the entire nation will have our eyes and hearts trained on a television set around 2 o’clock, eastern time.  The fact that we all – Red and Blue Americans – came come together behind the Red-White-and-Blue is a rare thing nowadays, and something to be savored.

These games have been so thrilling.  I watched all 90+ minutes of Wednesday’s US/Algeria match, and was disheartened as time waned by the notion that US Soccer would again be denied a chance to mix it up in the Sweet 16, especially after so many missed opportunities and poor calls.  But then Tim Howard made a great save and immediately fired the ball like an outlet pass in basketball to Donovan, and the fast break was on, culminating in Landon’s put-back goal after the Algerian goalies made yet another incredible save on yet another close range kick from Clint Dempsey.  I went bananas, as most of the country did, from what I’ve gathered.

What an amazing sporting event, with these electric finishes.  But, in the immortal words of Marty McFly in Back to the Future: Part III: “Why do we have to cut these things so damn close?”  I don’t know if I can handle another nail-biter; I’m down to my knuckles already.  Let’s get out to a lead for a change today, OK fellas?

And as I’ve mentioned in my previous post on the World Cup, Rivers Cuomo, front-man and driving force behind the great rock band Weezer, is not only a huge soccer fan, but a personal friend of Mr. 91′, Landon Donovan.  Anyway, Cuomo and Weezer wrote a song specifically in honor of the 2010 US World Cup squad called “Represent”.  It has become something of an anthem for our boys.  The new video is below, and it will get you fired up.

So get fired up.  This is gonna be a tough match: the “Black Stars” of Ghana are no joke.  But our team has a touch of destiny about it, and hundreds of millions of people 100% behind them.

So they’ve got that going for ’em.

U-S-A! All.  The.  Way.

Ain’t no party like a Solstice party, ’cause a Solstice party don’t stop!

Other than the freaks here at Stonehenge, no one really makes much of a fuss about the Summer Solstice.  Considering the importance the ancients placed on this annual solar event, History’s original summer blockbusters if you will, you would think that something would carry over.  When you consider how Christmas co-opted much of the traditions of the Winter Solstice, the lack of Summer Solstice play seems  even more perplexing.  I suppose with the Solstice falling between two of the Summer’s biggest holidays, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, things are just too crowded.  Or maybe it is because there are too many people like myself, who are just too damned tired from the getting up with the Sun at 5 AM (I’m very photo-sensitive.)  Still, if fuckin’ Cinco de Mayo can gain the legitimate, drink-your-face-off, party status it has accrued over the past decade or so, I see no reason why we can’t go buck-wild in honor of the longest day of the year, when the Great Ball of Fire makes his longest appearance at our daily Northern People Party (The Sun is just pissah at a party, what with his funny anecdotes and all; he just lights up the room – heyoooooh!)

OK! Off to go mix up a big pitcher of 100 proof vodka and Sunny Delight ®.

So Happy Summer Solstice, Party People!

The Monday Morning Punter, as you may know, is in reference to one of the only two occasions where the foot actually touches the ball in the misnomer that is American Football.  But for this month, picture the MMP like a bad-ass  goalie as he launches the ball like a freakin’ mortar across the huge field – Tim Howard will do fine for this mental exercise.  Yeah, I’m pretty into the World Cup.

Now I hardly know shit about soccer; never played the game, but greatly admire it from afar.  My sports were Football and Basketball.  And it is my familiarity with these two sports that always gave me an appreciation for the tremendous athleticism required to play Soccer; what it takes to run back and forth like a Basketball player on a field slightly wider than a Football gridiron.  But it’s not all about just running.  These cats have some hops, the way they get up there to head that ball, and balls, the way they risk those heads.  (I couldn’t play Soccer, because I’d be too busy screaming in a high pitched voice, “Not in the face!”)  The agility on display in this game is incredible, as the players weave themselves and the ball through a gauntlet of adversaries.  And I find it fascinating the way all these body parts are flying around and firing out, everything but the arms and hands.  It is all beautifully spastic.  And this all leads to some real rough moments and some pretty gruesome injuries.  Soccer players are kind of bad-asses, expect for when they flop about like Vlade Divac or Manu Ginobli (it’s probably not a coincidence that some of the NBA’s best all-time floppers hail from countries where Soccer is big.)

Another big reason for my appreciation for Soccer is that lots of my friends not only played and play the game, but are really good at it; back in the day they won a lot of games .  At Masuk High School, my alma mater, the Panthers were a force to be reckoned with, as we dominated southeastern Connecticut, and were in the mix for States.  Big Ups to my boys – Kenyon, Jeff, Dave, Lex, Chris, Tony, among others – who anchored those great Masuk teams of the mid 90s, from the time they were freshman or sophomores.  My college friends had mad success too: Nasty Nate, Jimmy, and Prah kicked ass in central PA for the Mifflinburg Wildcats; and the twins, Ben and Dan, brought home a New Jersey State Championship for Princeton High School.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not following club teams, nor do I have a favorite MLS squad.  This little crush only comes around every four years.  I’ll never be full-time Soccer fan because, like most Americans, I simply don’t have any more room in my life for another sport.   I have a hard enough time keeping up with the ones I already follow, especially since the NFL pretty much has a hold of at least a little of my attention all twelve months of the year now.  It’s just like the Olympics: most people dig the Swimming and Snowboarding and Track & Field, but they are not following the box scores  after The Games.

So I am gonna enjoy this spectacle that is the entire world coming together, and going bananas over The World’s Game.   The sights of the flags and crazy, colorful costumes, combined with the sounds of singing and, mostly, vuvuzelas (more on those in a bit), are all truly something to behold.  And finally, you have gotta love our own country galvanizing behind our Boys in Blue, as they try to kick the world apart.  U-S-A!!!  U-S-A!!!

Here a few other thoughts regarding the 2010 World Cup:

Far-Right Poltical Reaction –

It figures that certain far-right bloggers and commentators would get their myopic, xenophobic, moronic panties in a bunch over the inherent “Anti-Americanism” of Soccer.  What a bunch of jerk-offs.  These asshole see “Anti-Americanism” under their beds every night and in their Cheerios every morning.

New York City –

I was living down in the West Village back in the summer of 2002, when the World Cup took place, and was amazed and delighted by how often you would pass by a random bar packed full of people repping some nation, and cheering their squad in full throat at 9:30 on a weekday morning.  The crock-pot of cultures that is NYC has to be one of the most exciting places to be during the World Cup.

The Vuvuzelas –

By now everyone has heard about the plastic buzzing horns, also known as Vuvuzelas, that sound like gigantic kazoos, and created the sensation of being inside a bee’s nest.  They’ve been the talk of the tournament not related to the play on the field.  Most people seem to hate them, finding the sound very annoying.  Me, I don’t really mind them all that much.  For one, I’ve always been partial to droning sounds: I can easily sleep to the sounds of AC units, traffic, fans, and the like.  I’ve already has a nice little power-nap during the middle of one game; I of course didn’t miss any scoring.

But the biggest reason I dig the vuvuzelas is because of how much they seems to be pissing everyone off, specifically the powers that be like the players and commentators.  But that’s just the rascal in me.  “Waaaagh, the buzzing is bothering me!”  Shut the fuck up and do your job, Soft Serve.

Weezer’s Un-Offical, Official USA Soccer Anthem –

Weezer front-man, and Harvard-grad, Rivers Cuomo is apparently a huge soccer fan, so much so that the following  song is the second written specifically in honor of the US team, and its pursuit of our nation’s first World Cup.  Idon’t know about the last song from 2006, but this one rocks!  This is quintessential Weezer, blasting the power chords as they get us fired up for an improbable run at The Cup.  So enjoy this bitchin’ song and video, “Represent.”  If you really dig it, I’m pretty sure it can be had for free on iTunes until this Friday.

For whom The Bell tolls?  It tolls for thee, Slovenia, 10 o’clock est, Friday morning.  Keep talkin shit, and you’ll catch it but good you little punks!  U-S-A!!!  U-S-A!!!  U-S-muthafuckin’-A!!!!

By now you have all probably heard the tale of 16-year-old Abby Sunderland, whose quest to be the youngest person to circumnavigate the Earth was derailed last week by a fierce storm in the Indian Ocean.  And you have also probably heard the predictable media backlash, criticizing Abby and, more pointedly, her parents for what they deem to be a dangerous and fool-hardy quest.

To all those critics out there, self-righteously arm-chair parenting from afar, I say to you:  “Shut the fuck up! And worry a little more about getting little Bobby off those oxycontins.”

I think Abby is kick-ass!  From everything I’ve heard and read about this kid, she seems remarkably capable.  She was able to survive the 30-ft waves that ultimately took down her mast because she apparently really knows what she is doing.   Meanwhile, most 30- and 40- somethings shouldn’t even be allowed to drive cars: I’ve seen you assholes putting on your makeup and/or shaving during your morning commute, all while reading the paper and texting.  I’m not one to necessarily equate advancing age with sound judgement or capability.  So there.

And as far as allowing a 16-year-old girl to be in such a dangerous situation goes, I would argue that there are plenty more perilous predicaments the average teenager faces throughout the course of high school.  Maybe I’m the crazy one, but if I were a 16-year-old girl, I think I’d take my chances on a sailboat in the middle of the Indian Ocean, instead of in some rapey lacrosse player’s car.

Personally, I don’t understand the desire for this kind of adventure, or risk-taking: I won’t ever get on a motorcycle or into a helicopter, and I tend to drive the speed limit.  But this kid is really into sailing; it is what she loves to do.  Of course having a passion to paint seascapes is infinitely safer than actually sailing them.  Whatever winds your clock, or, in this case, floats your boat.

So good for you, Abby.  You seems like a nice, sweet kid, and are probably too polite to tell your critics where they can go and stick your broken mast.

Tomorrow is the big day: The Masters!  And I must say that I’m really excited about it.  First of all, although I’m not yet a golfer, I get all jazzed up about The Masters each and every year for a number of reasons.  The first major tournament of the season signals to me the unofficial start of Spring: after The Masters, a chilly-ass day is the exception rather than the rule.  Another thing that makes The Masters the preeminent tournament in golf is the familiarity that comes with it being held each year at Augusta National Golf Club (as opposed to the other three major tournaments, which change venues each year, for those of you who don’t know shit about any of this stuff.)  Even if you just having a passing interest in golf or The Masters, you know about the harrowing 11th, 12th, and 13th Holes, also known as ‘Amen Corner;’ you recognize the Sarazen Bridge, and President Eisenhower’s Tree and Pond.   So when you combine Spring in Georgia, with a pristinely designed and manicured golf course full of history, you get tradition, and some incredibly stunning scenes of natural beauty.  And now with HD, the Azaleas, Magnolias, and Dogwoods, exploding with color in their full Spring bloom against a backdrop of ancient Oaks on a big TV, are enough to give you an eyegasm.  Also, if you happen to have DirecTV, you get a few bonus channels of coverage for free, which is nice, that focus on some of the more noteworthy holes.  And, as a bonus, for all the tea-bagging, birther, GOP, freedom-loving, real Americans out there, y’all even get a nice little slice of the Antebellum South (Augusta National was built on a former plantations, still has no Female membership, had no Black membership until the early 90s but had all Black caddies until the early 80s.)

But we all know that this year’s Masters is extra special, and we all know why: Tiger, Tiger Woods y’all!

The whole world will have their eyes fixed on this year’s Masters to see what happens.  Literally hundreds of reporters from dozens of media outlets worldwide have already descended upon little ‘ol Augusta, Georgia.  Of course this is more than a little ridiculous because all that is really gonna happen is that Tiger is gonna hit a little ball with a big stick, walk after it, and do it again.  I mean, it is not like Jamie Grubbs and Rachel Uchitel are gonna pop up from under The Hogan Bridge and demand that Tiger, “answer we, these questions three,” in order for him to pass over Rae’s Creek en route to the 12th green.  (But Jocelyn James, she of the very freaky Tiger texts, will be dancing at a strip-club in Atlanta, 100 miles from Augusta; so he’s got that going for him…)

The real thing everyone will be looking for is how Tiger will handle the scrutiny and pressure at what is ordinarily one of the most scrutinized and pressure-packed tournaments of the year.  The Masters is also an event that Tiger has dominated since turning pro, with 4 titles and numerous top-ten finishes.  Tiger’s length is tailor made for success on this course – pun very much intended.

Personally, I am very much looking forward to testing my abilities as a pop-psychologist regarding Tiger when he tees off Thursday at 1:42 pm.  Playing pop-psychologist is one of my favorite pastimes, because I fancy myself as someone who knows a thing or two about the neat little tricks the mind can play on its owner.  I think that Tiger has been striving towards this robotic version of human perfection in a sport that has a minuscule margin for error, a sport in which even a momentary loss of focus can result in disastrous consequences on the course.  My theory is that no matter what Tiger does on the golf course, this Terminator image of him has been shattered – an image he and his sponsors worked hard to cultivate – and that will affect his legendary focus and, ultimately, his golf game.  Because, regardless of how many tournaments he wins, regardless of whether or not he surpasses the great Jack Nicklaus in terms of major titles, Tiger is just another entitled jerkoff, who can’t keep his dick in his pants.  I dunno, I just think that this fact cannot help but be constantly gnawing at the back of his mind, which I believe will affect not only his game this week; but, more importantly, I feel that it will affect his overall drive and desire to be the greatest golfer ever..who just happened to engage in unprotected sex with a litany of random women, with a lovely wife and two young children at home.

So here’s my prediction:  Tiger doesn’t even make the cut. Remember that you heard it here, from the Monday Morning Punter.

And finally, I find it endlessly funny that Tiger chose to make his return to golf at The Masters, because masterbation would have saved Tiger a world of trouble.

UPDATE: So Tiger shot his best first round ever at The Masters, with a 4-under-par 68, and is making me look like an asshole, and a shitty pop-psychologist.  Dick!

Of course I’m not going out on a limb here in calling Jesse James a creep for cheating on Sandra Bullock, and totally ruining what should have been one of the great high-water-marks in her career.

I’d like to also take this opportunity to set something straight, in light of the recent (and the apparently not-so-recent) revelations of Jesse James  and his particular fondness for, shall we say, WWII memorabilia.   Specifically, I’d like to address the lame-ass excuses for this, now infamous, picture.  Also, here, where he pulls out the old some-of-my-best-godfathers-are-jews excuse.  Is it even cool for Jewish people to be godparents?

Shock value?

What, so now everyone who rocks nazi gear is like some edgy performance artist? Fuckin’ Lenny Bruce over here.  Give me a break: shock value, my ass.  See, the thing about Lenny, and others like him, was that while they indeed shocked people, they also made people laugh and think in the process.  There is nothing terribly clever or thought provoking about putting on nazi clothes: it’s just terrible, and it is certainly not funny.

History buff?

This excuse is even lamer than “Shock value;” because anyone who has even a casual interest in history – to say nothing about history “buffs” – would understand the horrid significance of nazi symbolism, and how it impacted and enabled the third reich’s power and ability to affect the inhuman group-think that resulted in some of the worst state-sponsored atrocities this world has ever known.

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who are sickened at the mere thought of donning any piece of a vile nazi uniform…and fucking nazi assholes!  Now I suppose I’m not willing to go and call Jesse James a straight-up nazi without actually knowing the man; but by wearing the gear, making the salute, and that German WWII Fokker plane back there in the pic, he is tacitly supporting a genocidal regime and murderous, dehumanizing political movement.

But I can safely say, at least, that he is an asshole.