Dear LeBron

Congrats.  You’ve won.  As much as most of us didn’t want to pay attention, we are.  Good job.  You Dick.

PS….Please sign with the Knicks.

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The Alt Vault

This is how I can feel myself aging…a 3 CD set chronicalling everything that was popular when I was 13.

Also…anything by Radiohead doesn’t belong in the pile of shit that are artists like the Gin Blossoms, Silverchair and Toad and the Wet Sprocket.

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The Curse of “Write the Future”

Just a note, every team/ player involved with the Nike “Write the Future” commerical has been eliminated from the World Cup.  Except Holland, who are a foil to Cristiano Ronaldo’s greatness (HA!).

Two points to make here:

1) Go Oranje!  Hup Hup Holland

2) Cristiano Ronaldo has contracted more STDs than he has international goals.  Scoring against North Korea doesn’t count.  Their team is malnourished.

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An ode to the best sports movie ever made

“Good morning, gentlemen, and welcome to another season of Indians baseball.”- Rachel Phelps

Once a year, I go to the Cleveland Indians website and create a custom player t-shirt…but I never buy it.  None of the names I’ve chosen are actually real people.  In fact, here’s the logic of why I’ve reasoned myself away from it:

#24- Dorn.  That’s right, Roger Dorn.  I want to start in reverance by stating my love for his character in LA Law.  My parents used to make me watch that show constantly.  LA Law isn’t the issue here.  Wearing a Roger Dorn shirt…it makes you an asshole.  Honestly, who likes an athlete that cares more about his net worth than his performance and winning (this is a not so veiled criticism at Cleveland’s potentially least favorite son: Lebron James).  The guy has awful range at 3rd base, is a singles hitter from a corner position (.271 and 86 RBI in your walk year…that’s Pedro Feliz like) and on top of that is a priss that wants to turn his solarium into a Santa Fe.  Also, what the hell is a Santa Fe? 

#13 Pedro Cerrano- Strangely enough, this Cuban practitioner of Voodoo managed to reinvent himself and get elected president.  However, he was also assassinated.  Where was Jobu then?  Plus, he can’t hit a curveball and I saw someone wearing this shirt at Fenway Park.  Oh and he hits breaking pitches as well as Ryan Howard.  That’s not a compliment…to either of them.

#0 Ricky Mays Hayes-  “You may run like Mays, but you hit like shit.”  So tough to like a character who in his sequel changes to the coach of the Steelers (do a google image search of Omar Epps and Mike Tomlin…you’ll see what I mean).    For a guy with speed, he seems to be bereft of extra base power.  Congrats on being a fictional Juan Pierre.

#Whatever Eddie Harris- Might as well just go out and buy an Andy Pettite jersey.

#7 Jake Taylor-  He’s the glue, the heart and soul.  He called his shot…and then bunted.  You know what, if you call your shot.  Hit the ball out of the park.  The problem with Jake Taylor is, he has the love story in the film.  You can only wear this shirt if you’re prepared to drive the bullpen car to trail home engaged librarians who you’ll defile…and then they go off an marry some jerkass lawyer…OR DO THEY.  The other problem here is that I think the best Tom Berenger love story involves Tom Berenger, Billy Zane, a rifle, the jungle and a cartel.  Sniper was awesome.

Also, do you really want to wear the t-shirt of the guy who played Sgt. Barnes?  Do you really?  You psycho.  (That’s a Platoon reference if you were born yesterday.  And if you haven’t seen Platoon, stop reading this blog.  Go see it.  Give yourself about 4 hours to recover and then go about your life.)

#34 Lou Brown- A true baseball man.  Goes from working in a tire shop to turning a team of misfits around.  I can’t wear this shirt either though.  He’ll be managing the Marlins next month, treating Hanley Ramirez like Roger Dorn and actually ending up in South Florida like Rachel Phelps wanted.  Subsequently, with the same salary restrictions the fictional Indians had in place.  Talk about a hybrid.  I can’t wear this jersey though.  Who buys a fucking manager’s jersey?  I mean really.  Who wears a managers jersey?  I saw a Willie Randolph mets t-shirt on sale and I almost bought it to burn in effigy…ok…I was going to burn GWB in effigy..but..I was going to put him in a Willie Randolph shirt.

#99 Rick Vaughn: “Wild Thing, you make my heart sing.”  I’m so conflicted.  Charlie Sheen is 1/3 Badass, 1/3 degenerate and 1/3 mega degenerate.  Does the jersey come with a cheerleaders outfit?  Do I have to watch and claim to enjoy Two and a Half Men?  The Wild Thing is everything I ever tried to create in a video game for myself.  All fastballs, no secondary pitches and balls 17 times the size of a watermelon (we’re only talking about Major League 1 here and not the softened shitty sequels- and on the note of sequels- Ted McGinley and Scott Bakula? Are you shitting me?  Who green lit that?).  In the AL his ERA would be 11.00, in the NL 1.00. He rides a bike, he’s been to jail.

Wait a minute- Rick Vaughn represents no stretch for Charlie Sheen at all.  I guess it’s easy for a degenerate to play a degenerate.

I know it’s tough to get through an entire essay on Major League without hearing something from Harry Doyle…so here it goes as a closer:

“Just a reminder, fans, comin’ up is our “Die-hard Night” here at the stadium. Free admission to anyone who was actually alive the last time the Indians won a pennant.”

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Why Can’t I Turn This Off?!?

Saturday Night, 8 PM, 28 year old male, sitting on couch watching network TV. At this point I’m trying to figure out what to do with my night…and all of a sudden the Godfather comes on Network TV. Not, I’ve joined the movie about 18 mins late. The first thing I’m seeing is Luca Brazzi…getting stabbed in the hand and garrotted by the Tattaglia’s after his fake allegiance switching with Sollozzo. I know what happens and I understand the symbols. Of course I do, I’ve both enjoyed and intellectualized the crap out of this film. Ten of my favorite scenes in any film are in this movie (there’s no need to go into all of them, it’s tangential to what I’m trying to point out)…I know them all by heart. I know why I can’t turn this movie off…I’m a film nerd and the Godfather is close to cinematic perfection. (Part II is to films what The White Album is to music….It’s Barry Bonds in the Steroid Era…Mark Sanchez in the second year of his career.) Unfortunately, there are some movies and TV shows I can’t stop watching regardless of how much I’ve grown to hate them. Entourage is the best example of this I can find. Rarely has a show started out so well, created a series of conflicts amongst characters who’s friendships we all get cause most of us have friends with whom we have underlying tensions (note: if you don’t you either a) don’t have friends or b) you’re Mother Teresa back from the dead and reading this…which is spooky). Those tensions made the first two seasons of this show actually endearing and watchable. Then the following events all happened…and the limitations of the concept all became too obvious: 1) The writers got lazy and started writing the same show over and over and over…and over. Every episode wasn’t the same. They just remade the same three episode arc over and over. 2) We realized that no one on this show can act outside Kevin Dillon and Jeremy Piven (who’s character still sucks as he’s a caricature of a caricature of a caricature. 3) Finally, they left the characters in a state of suspended animation. No growth. No redeeming qualities. Just nothing worthwhile. This isn’t just a flaw with entourage. It’s a flaw with a ton of films and scripted television. Fuck, it’s a problem with reality TV. I love Top Chef, but, Padma and Tom are introducing “twists” into the challenges as if it’s the last ten minutes of an M. Night Shyamalan film (who oddly enough is a client of the fictional Miller Gold Agency…this is like the cross-pollination of sucking beyond all possible belief.) Why can’t we stop watching something so formulaic. I’ve given a lot of the reasons as to why these characters and shows are just awful, but it really can be told much more simply: there is no believability to their existential crises. And yet, I can’t look the other way. I don’t think this is a case of actually identifying with the characters. Vince nailing a model from behind doesn’t resonate with me…cause I’m boring and have all my sex in one of two fashions and I’m not getting with any models and time soon (ok, actual live female models). If I’m attached to these characters, God help me. I think it’s just that I don’t like giving up on something where I’ve invested time and effort. That, and I think that I, like almost everyone else…is senseless devoted and loyal to shit that we’ll never explain or be able to (note: that is not a knock on religion…ok…it definitely is). On that note: I will always care for, Nicole “Snooki” Pilezzi. I hope she finds the tan, juiced up guy she’s looking for. Snickers for life.

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The Trouble with Teenage Romantic Comedies from the Point of View of Post-Mature Male Film Snob Looking Back his Pre-Mature Self

If you’re anything like me, a child of the 80s and 90s in America, you’ve watched not only too many movies but too many bad teenage romantic movies.  I’m not talking about films here, I’m talking about movies- solely designed for entertainment and not designed for the true artistic motivations that inspired David Lynch to make Blue Velvet.  You’ve been led to believe all of the following things are possibly true and that each of them has to happen to you:

1)      A single impassioned speech can alter 90 minutes of you acting like a chump

2)      We all only have one soul mate and one chance to meet that one soul mate.  If you miss it, you might as well move under a bridge and turn into a troll.

3)      Everyone getting in your way is a bad guy.   If someone is dating someone you like, they’re automatically a surly dickhead with a letter jacket who doesn’t know how to treat the target of your affections.  And let’s face it; you’re a much better person than they are.

4)      The very concept of existentialism doesn’t exist.  There’s one romantic comedy truth.  For the single truth, see point 2.

5)      In your times of despair, listen to the moodiest music possible.  This really ought to help.  Or at very least, it makes for a good mopey, ill placed montage.

Did I miss anything in that formula?  I don’t think I did.  If you can find anything, I bet it’s a variation on those points, but not a revolutionary redefinition.  Hell, all movies are pretty much based on formulas anyway.  The idea of 90% of romantic comedies is 2-1=1.  You remove one person from a pre-existing couple where the man or woman was wrong for his significant other and all of a sudden you have the couple you’ve been rooting for.  You’ve wanted them to get together.  Now that they have, you don’t care what comes next.  So what if they give birth to a serial killer or if they go on a ten state robbery spree (Side Note: Natural Born Killers is a phenomenal film and the only good Oliver Stone film past Platoon- sure I have a soft spot for “Any Given Sunday” but it still sucks).  What happens next doesn’t matter.

Ever wish real life worked like this?  I did.  I’m also the same person who played a video game called command HQ as the Soviets and sent paratroopers into Miami to make this world Red. (Using nukes in that game causes countries who have become aligned with you to switch sides…so if you find an old Apple II computer and this game…use your nukes sparingly.)  Through the years of 16-24 (I was slow to grow up…can you blame me, I’m an introverted person who watches too many movies) I tried many of the tactics that I saw in films.  I thought there was something noble in the concept of the pursuit.  While the rest of my friends were having random indiscriminate sex in the back of Volvo’s in the parking lots of a Northeastern Liberal Arts college, I was refining thoughts in my head about how I felt like Ethan Embree in Can’t Hardly Wait.  The sad part is, I hate these fucking movies, yet, they’d invaded my conscious mind.  I thought I was principled and noble and that everyone else was a savage.  Turns out that I was just someone who threw away his male sexual prime for the chasing of fairy tales.

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