Thursday, February 5, 2009

Treatise On Evigan, Blago & Others

It occurs to me that I've not posted word one on this here rag since the night before that Obamuhhh chap beat the high-fastening pants off the creepy guy with the old balls and his sassy broad of an eye-twitchin' sidekick. For my absence, I do not apologize. Instead, I humbly offer you the following stuff & nonsense masquerading as insight & nonsense. May I now present the following blatherskite in numerical list form:

1. As is increasingly popular custom, I've cultivated a bit of a beard in the nearly three months we've been apart. Some of you may accuse me of developing this facial growth for no other reason than to fit in with the other young professional Brooklynites on the F, G and L trains. Untrue, at best. But I'll let you all in on my real motive: I've been trying to look as much like Late '80s Greg Evigan as possible. Pictured below, apparently at one time he was "Prime Time's Sexiest Dad" (not pictured is the issue of Playgirl that featured the other of two dads with the tagline "Paul Reiser: Prime Time's Most Neurotic Jew"). I gotta tell you, I truly miss the days when a sleeveless denim vest indicated hotness. Anyway, I resisted at first, but the beard's really been growing on me. Ha! Sorry. Really, sorry.

2. They tell me the Governor of Illinois something and something and hair joke and something. You may have heard about it.

I must admit, I fell for Blagojevich's Thelma and Louise-style, blaze-of-glory media tour. The sympathy plea worked on me. I kept picturing Ray Liotta playing him in an original Showtime picture in late 2010, and I thought I'd get in prematurely. I can't say for certain whether I'm enjoying this corruption episode in an ironic T-shirt kind of way or whether it comes with the newsroom-style jaded cynicism territory, but in the end I just loved how he veered into the skid and said "Fuck it." You never see someone with these kind of stones any more. "Fuck me? No, fuck you!" And that was just his wife! Also, gotta love the fact that now four of the last seven Illinois governors have been indicted, to go with nearly 30 alderman over the past three and a half decades. It's a fucking miracle Obama could actually win a general election for the presidency having grown to maturity in the gears of Illinois politics.

But, really, how is what Blagojevich did -- pay for play, essentially -- any different than what representatives and lobbyists do on a daily basis? He wanted money in exchange for a promise to do something, no? Is this not business as usual for Congress, the White House and other federal agencies? Have we not legalized bribery in Washington? Corporations, labor organizations, interest groups and others spent $3.3 billion on lobbying last year. That kind of fuck-you money buys a whole lot more than a Senate seat -- it buys the law. Take the bailout: The $350 billion doled out as part of the first tranche of TARP money has largely gone to companies that fill campaign coffers every two years. The recipients of these really expensive food stamps dished out $77 million on lobbying last year and another $37 million on federal campaign contributions (with the top government financial committee overseers getting $5 million of that). If you're doing the math at home, that $114 million Nigerian scam netted them more than $300 billion on the return...and that's the best investment they've made in years.

3. If your sense of humo(u)r is anything like mine, you'll also declare this Billy Mays parody to be one of the funniest videos on the Interweb. I can't even begin to count how many times I laughed out loud. Okay, four. Brilliant shit, that.

4. Leave it to the Democrats to fuck it all up already. Leave it to the Democrats to take a wildly popular and iconic president, a 77-seat majority in the House and a 15-seat majority in the Senate and throw away all their political capital in the span of a mere fortnight. About 75 percent of the country, Gallup says, wants swift government action in the form of a stimulus package. But only 38 percent of the total likes this $900-billion spending iteration. In other words, we're with you in spirit, but on the details, you guys are like Swim, Swami, Slippy...Samsonite (i.e. "way off!").

Of course people are gonna go apeshit when Pelosi puts on her Cesar Romero-as-Joker costume and defends condoms as stimulus (though I love the irony of a debate that has "contraceptives" and "stimulating" in the same sentence). Of course people are gonna go bananas when they read about $200 million for new sod on the National Mall, especially when we can track down George Toma to do it for much less. Of course people are gonna be apoplectic when they read about $248 million for furniture at Homeland Security or $400 million for STD prevention, or $1 billion for the 2010 Census.

These may be worthwhile endeavors, but why include them in a bill that Republicans are itching to blow up and castigate as pork-laden wasteful liberal spending. Why fall into that trap? Note to morons: Infrastructure (including alternative energy), unemployment, health care, a nod to business tax cuts, end of story, $500 billion and get the fuck out of there. Do I have to do everything around here? Sheesh.

5. Michael Phelps received his three-month suspension last night, a harsh, harsh buzz for a dude who's only crime was being a really famous dude photographed doing something common by a guy with a camera phone. Said the swimming overlords: "This is not a situation where any anti-doping rule was violated, but we decided to send a strong message to Michael because he disappointed so many people, particularly the hundreds of thousands of USA Swimming member kids who look up to him as a role model and a hero."

So let me get this straight: He's allowed to be photographed clearly inebriated in a Vegas strip club with his hand on a stripper/hooker's arse, and that's okay, that's role model material. But a bong is out of the question? Drink and fornicate with cheap women, kiddos, just don't touch the pot because it's bad for your lung capacity and it'll de-motivate you and...oh, wait. Yeah, 14 gold medals. Eat that, USA Swimming. He doesn't have a drug problem, and if anything, he should now be considered a role model for drug reform.

Phelps should have gone all Blagojevich on this one -- screw apologies, come out and say, "So what? Yeah I got high, and you know what, so do you. I'm Superman. So what? I did something everyone does. There's a show called Weeds that's wildly popular, for chrissakes. The last president did blow off the Oval Office desk when his dad was in office. So get down off the high horse and go shit in your hat." The end needs work, yeah. But suspension and the loss of a sponsor? Baffling. If anything, he should be suspended by the US Orthodonture Board for being a bad role model for kids with bad teeth. But this? Just baffling.

That's all the time we have. Tune in next time when we'll tackle Joe Torre's hypocrisy, Bernie Madoff's awesomeness, Etta James' cell block mentality, my Colin Farrell-esque trip to Bruges, and we'll also examine who has the stronger pancreas: Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Patrick Swayze. So long for now, sports fans.


Scott Bernstein said...

The internets missed you. Great post, as per the usual.

nikkos said...

Welcome back!

aaron and deanna said...

blogging again AND you have a beard? hot damn!

NoBowlsBrad said...

He's alive! Awesome post- please keep writing. I like Blago's style of not putting on any evidenceand then showing up for the closing argument-- and this from a former prosecutor.

I'd like to see Phelps appear in the next Harold & Kumar movie.

jwaful said...


the_goff. said...

so in your time away slade, has your beard become a Billy Mays beard or a Joaquin Phoenix beard? Also, great points about Phelps demise over grass vs. laying his aqua-jock paws on some Vegas strip(per) trash..............despite Not being paid for a lick of its nororiety, Phelps, perhaps has done for with his Weed endorsement than any of his other commercial interests. How do say Rosetta Stone translate 'stoner'???? keep in touch Ace!