Saturday, November 11, 2006


Sheff gone. I just can't wait to hear him bad-mouth the Yanks even more now.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sued By Scum

I was going to wait even longer to talk about the Borat film, to give people a chance to see it first. But the main part I wanted to talk about is now making headlines. So I'll talk about it now. Don't read on if you don't want this part of the film spoiled. See the story here.

In the movie, our friend Borat is picked up by an RV containing three frat boys from the University of South Carolina. Now, there is debate as to how much of this film was staged. I personally feel that everyone involved thinks they really are talking to a foreign news reporter, and that they will appear in a documentary. (With the exception of Pamela Anderson, who I believe was in on the joke.) People have to sign release forms in order to be in a movie. So, regardless of what they believed was going on, they all signed the form. The filmmakers may have "staged" certain things, but that doesn't mean the people they came across knew their grand scheme. They may have been "playing along," but in their minds they were playing along with a European guy making a ridiculous movie that no one in America would ever see.

Now, back to the frat boys. These guys showed their true selves, thinking they were among "the guys," not realizing that all of America would witness the scene. They said horrible things about women--classic frat boy bullshit: use 'em and then send 'em packin, ha ha!, and worse. They talked about how they wished black people were slaves. In other words, the crap that a whole lot of people you know say, as long as there are no women or black people around.

As I watched, I was ready to strangle these drunken fools, but I was also giddy. Because it's about time the whole world got to look in on a "private" male lunkhead BS session. It's unfortunate, and anger-inducing, but the behavior of these guys is closer to the rule than the exception.

Where do they learn it from? Look to another segment of the film for the answer: The old dude who agrees with Borat, who basically says, "There are no more slaves, that's good for them, but bad for you, right?"

The frat boys are suing. They claim they were duped, they were purposely boozed up, and they had no idea the film would be seen by the whole country in wide-release. What they are mad about is so telling. I think of it this way: "We were duped."--into saying what we really feel. "They got us drunk."--and that's when our true feelings come out. "We didn't know this was a major motion picture."--or we would've hidden our racism and sexism like we do when blacks or women are around.

You know what I mean? Let's say, for a second, that I was in that RV. And I was totally non-sexist, non-racist. (I am non-racist and non-sexist.) And some guy came on there--first of all, even if I drank, I wouldn't "let" someone get me drunk. It's everyone's choice whether they want to get drunk or not.--and said, "Just say these pre-written horrible, sexist, racist lines," and I, for some reason decided to do it, and then signed a release form saying it was okay to show my performance, and then the movie came out in wide release, and I felt tricked, well...the main thing I'd do would be to tell everyone that that wasn't really me! Right? But these guys, they come out, predictably, I might add, with "We were tricked! We wouldn't have said these things (our true feelings) if we knew everyone would hear it!"

Screw those guys. I am so glad they were exposed. people need to know what Americans are like behind closed doors. The message here: Teach your kids to love others, regardless of sex or race. In public AND in private.

Great job, Sacha Baron Cohen. Even if it comes out that everybody was an actor and it was all fake and even the lawsuit is fake, which I promise you will not be the case, the movie still served its purpose, as far as I'm concerned. Also, it was fucking hilarious.

E. Jerry Green

When I was very young, I learned who Pumpsie Green was: The first black man to play for the Boston Red Sox.

Recently, I was thinking about Pumpsie. Not Pumpsie the symbol, Pumpsie the human being. I felt kind of ashamed that I didn't even know if he was still alive.

He is. He's 73 years old. (On the day he turned 71, the Red Sox won the World Series.)

I wanted to know more about him. I did a little research today, and one of the few pieces I found about him was one written by him.

Click here for "his story," from the book Growing Up Baseball, via

It's not very long, but it gives you a nice summary of his life. I was happy to read about how Tom Yawkey was nice to him, and told Pumpsie to go straight to him if anyone gave him any problems. Of course, this was an older Tom Yawkey, one who at that point surely realized the mistakes he'd made in the past thanks to his bigotry.

Pumpsie also said something that I've said before--that there's racism in Boston, but it's everywhere else, too.

One specific event I'd been wondering about was his first game at Fenway Park. He gives his account of it in the article. A packed house to see a team that was a few games out of last. He says a lot of black fans wanted to get in to see him play, but didn't have the money, so the Red Sox allowed them in for free.

I checked the dates on As with any story a ballplayer tells, almost all the dates and facts are incorrect. His first Fenway game wasn't July 24th of 1959, it was August 4th. The crowd was 21,000 for that night's doubleheader. Compared to the 7,000 that showed up two days later, that probably seemed like a packed house. The next Monday, the Yankees came to town, drawing 32,000 fans. In that game, the Sox led 4-0 going into the ninth, when an error by Pumpsie led to a four-run Yankee rally. They then scored three in the tenth for the win.

How come this game, and Green's first game, aren't part of team lore? I wonder how people reacted to the first time he came up to bat, or to that key error in his first big game. (He did point out in the article how Boston fans, as we know, give you the yeah when you're up, the nay when you're down. I'm sure they cheered for him like they did anyone else, but I still wonder if overall his performance wasn't the only thing that was judged, by a lot of the fans.)

It seems like all we know about Elijah Jerry Green is that he was the first black player in team history, and he wasn't that great of a player.

On April 11th, 1997, he threw out the first ball at Fenway. I have no recollection of this.

Maybe it's time for the new ownership, who have done a great job when it comes to reaching out to the non-white communities of New England, to do something special for Pumpsie. It doesn't matter that he wasn't a superstar. If Jackie Robinson had suddenly become a bad player and retired shortly after breaking the color barrier, would he be less-known and respected today?

Retire Pumpsie's number, I say. Hell, I don't even know his number. Again, I am ashamed. But, then again, why isn't this part of team lore? Why is this man just a name?

He's still around. Let's honor him for breaking a color barrier that arguably was a tougher one to fight through than the national one. Granted, he was just the one they chose to put out there first, and, like he says, he'd have been happy just making the Oakland Oaks. But he still had to be the first. He had to deal with whatever came along, in the city of Boston, as the first black man to play in white Fenway. And from what I've read, he did a fine job.

Another article, from early October of 2004 is here. In it, we learn more about his family, and that he "pulls for the Red Sox." He'd get a nice treat later that month. This is a brand new happiness coming out of that season, for me anyway. That Pumpsie was rooting along with us, and got to see the Sox win it all--on his birthday.

I hope one day I can tell my not-yet-existing kids about the first woman to play for the Red Sox. If it hasn't happened by then, I'll at least tell them story of Pumpsie Green. The whole story.

Hmmm...Pumpsie Smith. I like it. (Pumpsie Gedman Smith, of course.)

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Note, 2/14/07: These vids got taken down, but they'll be back soon. Sorry.

Warning: There are 12 videos to watch in this post. One for each year of the 80s, an intro and a closing.

If you grew up in the tri-state area in the eighties, and your parents watched the Cee Bee Ess station every night to get the news while you watched something else on another TV until they called you downstairs when the sports report came on, you are familiar with Warner W. (Watch the videos for his last name. I'm trying to make sure these don't get taken down from YouTube.)

Warner was absolutely classic. Every night, his smiling face would come on and he'd say "Let's go to the videotape!" He'd do "plays of the week," which would be accompanied by wacky music. Then there'd be the monthly and yearly versions.

In January of 1990, Warner came out with "Plays of the Decade," which warranted an hour-long special. I missed that, but I taped the edited half-hour version. It is rumored that my friend Deane has the hour-long one, though.

In the late nineties, I found the tape, and showed it to my group of friends. It became an instant tradition.

We had this frigger memorized. We'd watch it--with 1990 commercials--and say every line, like we were at some sort of Rocky Blooper Picture Show. (Speaking of Rocky, Warner appeared as an announcer in Rocky IV, the first Rocky film I saw in the theater--in Danbury, where the Super FoodMart now stands.)

We'd quote it like, well, like ourselves quoting Ghostbusters. "Down goes Roberto Duran." "...and the Buena Vista coach faints!" "...and hits Ripken in the head!"

Other quotes were perfect for real life. If you were waiting for someone's answer to a question: "What's the call, ref?!" Somebody makes a good shot in a pickup game: "Nice shot, Mel!"

The ball rolls around the rim for more than a half second: "The longest roll in a college game!" Your friend tries to blow a ball foul: "Blow it, Lenny, blow it!" Okay, that one's not likely to happen. But, I assure you, we'd break it out for anything close.

These players' names, for their committing of these bloopers and their making of these amazing plays, became part of our lexicon: Gymnast Brian Meeker ("Ohhhhh! Meeker was not injured.") (In Warner's world, everyone always turns out fine: "The worst crash of a hydrofoil with only a slight injury to the driver.") Iowa defensive back Ron Hauley. "...back to" Kevin Moen. Cheerleader Sally Neigh. Matadors Vincente Ruez and Jose Manzaneri. Kickboxers Joe Poe and Tom McElrue. 250-pound kicker William Ritten. They're all here for you.

Of course, there are also Warner's famous catch phrases to imitate: "Come awn, guys!" "Give us a break." "...and the ball rolls in!" "And Dr. Frank Field was at the game..." (He'd show people in the crowd who looked like celebs or other members of the news team.) "If you had West Virginia and 29 points, YOU LOST."

Shortly after our late-90s Warner obsession, he returned to New York, where he'd stay until 2004. It was good to have him back, although it was a little Pet Sematary-ish. You can't bury Warner in the old Micmac burial grounds and expect him to come back good as new. To me, he'll always represent the happy-go-lucky 80s. The clip of him and Andre the Giant--I mean, look at the background. You can't find stuff like that anymore. You can buy it at the "vintage" store for 30 bucks, but I can tell the difference. I loved those days when you had to move the antenna to get a station in, and UHF? Good luck! That was a bonus. And watching stations go off the air at night. It was like a win. Those days were so, so...Barney Miller. 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13. The original nine colonies. Pix pix pix pix pix pix pix.....

But the best part of this show, with all apologies to Warner and the athletes, is the "A SPECIAL Presentation" graphic at the beginning. This thing was on before all the Charlie Brown specials growing up. And the sound effect that accompanies the spinning "SPECIAL"--what is that? My lifelong dream is to be in a band where I'm the "coo-coodly-coodly coodly-coo-coo fwaaaaah. (duh nun duh nun) Fwah!"-player.

So, I finally uploaded it, in segments, for your viewing pleasure. Hopefully, you'll get as much enjoyment out of it as we did, although that's highly unlikely.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Virginia goes to the Dem, according to MSNBC. House and Senate both non-Republican.


Rumsfeld resigns!

We might not being seeing much more of either of these two...

'litical Update

The House belongs to the Democrats. And this just in: The Dems' magic number is one in the Senate, as they've officially clinched a tie.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Electile Disrespect Funkadeliction

It's looking good for anti-Republicans like me. Dems are winning key races. I saw an interesting thing on the news. People in Rhode Island have voted out a Republican who's an anti-war, pro-choice liberal and is considered essentially the opposite of Bush. A poll found that 30 or 35 per cent of voters coming out of the booth in Rhode Island said they voted him out because they "thought" he was too similar to Bush! Okay, I guess that means that a lot of RIers aren't paying attention, but that doesn't really matter. What matters is that the guy's a Republican, the people are sick of them, and are voting them out in order to put the overall power on the other side.

So maybe they are paying attention, and what they're saying is, "The sole fact that you're a Republican means you're too similar to Bush! Out!"

(Why doesn't that guy just switch parties at this point, by the way?)

The bad thing about some of these Democrats is that they're just Republicans in disguise. I'd be really happy if the house and senate go over to the Dems, but I still wish we were in a place where we had Green and other party candidates regularly winning major offices. The Democrats are too Republican for me. But, nonetheless, I'm rooting for them tonight.

Looks like that hawk Joe Leiberman has won in my home state of Connect (Four: Pret-ty sneaky, sis) icut. If you haven't been folllowing this, Ned LaMont won the primary over Joe, causing him to run as an independent. Since CT is predominantly independent, Joe was able to win tonight. However, my mom says that LaMont standing up against the war and against Bush and against Leiberman's crush on Bush set the tone for the Dems, and if they do gain power back, he should get the credit.

Chan and I agree that LaMont's commercials were kind of dumb, and Chan says that's what did him in. (We get the CT candidates' ads because a lot of people there, as I know too well, get the New York local channels.) One ad showed a Sox fan and a Yankee fan (both total actors) saying that they disagreed on sports but agreed that LaMont is better than Joe or whatever. That's so "politician." Pick a side, man. Connecticut doesn't want a guy who's gonna root for both the Red Sox and Yankees! You might as well say you're for and against the Iraq War. Another ad was a "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" takeoff. Chan said that's the one that lost it for him. It was all old-timey, and he said "darn" in it. Kinda dumb. I'm just sayin.' Too bad he couldn't have taken Joe out of there.

Hillary kicked butt in my current state tonight.

This just in: Ridicupublican Nancy Johnson is getting her butt kicked in CT's distrcit 5, my former district. Nice job, old neighbors!

The Deval Is '06

Deval Patrick just became the first black governor of Massachusetts. Nice job, Masses!

'06-'07 Quiz VI

What actor said the line "What way? What way?"

(Quiz III is still unsolved.)

Clue, 11/13/06, 11:17 AM: The line was sung, rather than spoken. And it was in a movie. From the 1980s.

Clue, 11/26/06, 6:30 PM: On this quiz, someone has already guessed a person with the same last name as the actor in question.

Hot Cider

The good news: There's a sneak preview of the new Christopher Guest film, For Your Consideration, tonight at the Walter Reade Theater.

The terrible news: It costs 90 dollars.

The everything will be just fine news: It opens for real on Friday, November 17th. I am psyched. I'd heard after A Mighty Wind that Guest would stop doing mockumentaries. Then, a while ago, I heard he'd be making a movie, with the usual cast members, and Ricky Gervais. If you're a person who talks about "The Office" and isn't referring to the original British version, you probably don't know Ricky. (I still haven't seen the American Office out of pure protest, but I'm gonna pull a Yankee fan and say that it couldn't possibly be better than the original. Please give it a try, and, at the very least, please don't say "The Office" unless you mean the real one. (And I love Steve Carell, so I really should watch the American one, but, still, come on.) Also check out Gervais' newer series, Extras, whose second season is long overdue in my book.)

Gervais thrust into the Guest world should prove magical. It seems like I've been waiting for this for years, and now I'm seeing the subway advertisements. The time has almost come.

[Thanks to the writers of two defunct blogs for pushing me toward the Gervais way, one directly and one indirectly.]

Photo from

What If?

Classic line by Walken right here, from 1/22/1990. I remember Pat saying this line a lot. I checked the Best of Walken DVD, and this skit, terribly, wasn't on there.

Monday, November 06, 2006

What's Cooler Than Bein' Cool?

I'd be (Romulus and) Re-mis if I didn't mention the whole Kerry thing, with his joke and whatnot. This post by L-Girl at WeMo2Ca contains what Ralph Nader and Keith Olbermann said about the issue. I'm glad they spoke out about it.

In other news, did you ever wonder what it would be like if Vanilla Ice intro'd the Ice Ice Baby video himself? Well, wonder no more, my bored friend. Also, check out the ad for that Parenthood show beforehand. Do you see Thora Birch? Leo DiCaprio? Ken Ober, the Quizmaster from 72 Whooping Cough Lane?

Carltonfisk Manifesto

Fisk got hacked.

(Site not actually connected to Carlton himself.)


I guess the Yanks are assuming Wang will be their ace next year. In fact, they were calling him "the next ace" this past season. He pitched well for the most part, and really does get those ground balls that are so hyped. (Although when he gives up ground ball hits, Michael Kay acts like they don't count, because they're still ground balls.) But is he the ace of the New York Yankees? If he is, that's good news for us.

Then they've got the possibility of getting Gyro-Mite, who will be an uncertainty. Moose is coming back, and he and Randy together will make great starters...five years ago.

And the final spot is the Jaret Wright/Carl Wrong spot. No worries there.

But I'm sure The Boss will rectify the situation by getting a guy who hits a lot of home runs! Go ahead, George. Please.

Finished The Marathon

What marathon day would be complete without it?

Sunday, November 05, 2006


This doofus predicted Santa Clause 3 would blow Borat away at the box office.

I don't know about you, but I made sure to get my Borat tickets as early as I possibly could. I would've got them last Monday, only Chan and I had to wait to find out about the plans of Gumby, who was in town--from his jolly ol' fun mission of transporting wounded troops from Iraq to Germany--this weekend. I kept pressuring Chan to get the info, and come Thursday, we had our tickets for Friday night, with some shows already sold out on Fandango.

I saw it in a packed theater, Brian in Danbury, CT saw it in a packed theater, and my girlfriend reported being shut out of tickets up in Mass. My point is, I fully expected it to be the number one movie. If I knew that a Santa Clause flick was coming out, that only would've made me more sure.

As it turns out, I was right.

Borat WINS!

I will talk more about this film once more people have seen it.

High five.

Behind The Scenes

This is the stuff I missed last year:
Seeing the fans walking down my street with their signs and wigs and stuff. I live on a block along the route. These people are coming from the route, and will now go home and look for their wigs on TiVo or whatever.

Scroll down for more of the laziest marathon coverage on the web.

Armstrong. Legs Weak?

I don't like athletes who use drugs to enhance their performance, or dudes who dumptheir nice, innocent, non-famous wives for a celebrity wife once they become famous, but I know some of you care about this guy, so here he is.
I saw on TV he was headed my way, so I again timed it perfectly, going back out to my spot, waiting one minute, capturing Lance, and coming back home. He's the guy in green, if you're confused.
This is twice in the last hour I've looked directly into the sun. I think my theory (that "they" tell you not to stare at the sun because they know you gain super powers from it, and they want to keep that a secret, so only they can use those powers to keep us down) is incorrect. It just makes your eyes hurt really bad!

My shots of the leaders from earlier are below.

New York Marathon Update

The mens' leaders as they went past where I live, about ten minutes ago. (I woke up too late for the women...)

There they go.

There they continue to go.

This dude was right after that initial pack of eight.

My street, closed off! I love closed off streets. Especially mine. I can go out my front door and hang out in the street, and play Wiffle Ball if I want.

During last year's 'thon, Chan and I walked all around. (Click here for the photo gallery.) This year, I slowly rolled out of bed, flipped on the TV, saw that the mens' leaders were headed up my avenue, and walked a few feet over and captured them. And came home. I was wondering why I was hearing a pounding bass sound this morning as I slept. It was because they had huge speakers right at te end of our street. I was standing right in front of them when I got the above shots, actually. So I had blaring music in my ears and the sun in my eyes.

It was cool how as they approached, on TV, they cut to a helicopter shot, and then I heard that helicopter outside my window. That's when I knew to go outside. I almost missed the leaders, too. Turns out I timed it perfectly. I was only outside for, like, five minutes. As I type this, the womens' leader crosses the finish line.

'06-'07 Quiz V

Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz are number two and three on the all-time Red Sox slugging list. Which two other players in the top ten played on teams with both Ramirez and Ortiz? (minimum 1500 AB)

Quiz III is still unanswered. Current standings here.

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