November 16, 2002

Are We Safe Here?

There's a fascinating article in the New York Times about the public perception of crime in New York City. The article describes how some polls have shown that people in NYC generally feel less safe now then in the past. Although some of the fears of crime is related to the events of September 11th, a lot of it is related to the end of the Giuliani administration. Many of the poll participants cited apprehension of the Bloomberg administration's emphasis on crime. Others noted that they were worried that the city budget crisis would cause an upswing in crime.

However, in reality, according to statistics, New York is the safest it's been in 40 years, September 11th not withstanding. The article looks into whether or not these statistics are misleading or whether or not the increased fear of crime is yet another effect of the World Trade Center attack.

November 14, 2002


Only If You're Really Desperate and Really Love Saved By The Bell

Two questions come out of this story for me.

Who is Dustin Diamond's agent?

Can this agent give Danny Pintauro a call?

Somehow Dustin Diamond's career keeps on going. It may sputter, it may break down, but it's a go-getter.

E! Television has created a show where regular people can mock has-been celebrities by going out on blind dates with them.

Oh, the thing's we'll learn and how we'll laugh when...

Brooklyn DA: "We Were Just Kidding About That Job Thing..."

Despite constant proclamations of a rebound, the U.S. economy continues to muddle around in a "soft patch" (hmmm...I'm old, I remember the days when they used to call this a recession.)

Even the government is laying off fact people who never even worked there. Fifty-four recent law school graduates who were hired as Assistant District Attorneys by the Brooklyn D.A.'s office in the Spring of 2002 to start in the Fall of 2002 were fired recently. By letter, too. However, they might have seen this coming considering the D.A. originally delayed their start to January 2003.

So now fifty-four aspiring prosecutors are left with only a New York bar admission and a city that's not hiring new prosecutors. I hear Buffalo's nice this time of year.

November 13, 2002

Boston Politico

Boston will host the 2004 Democratic National Convention, edging out New York and two other cities as Democrats prepare to challenge President Bush's expected re-election bid.

The convention is going to be hosted in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Southie, which is still under construction. The center is set to be completed one month before the Convention begins.

I was recently at a loft in South Boston, and I was able to get up on the roof and get a really good view of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center construction site. The building is absolutely massive. According to their Web site, the building has over 500,000 square feet of contiguous exhibition space, 160,000 square feet of meeting space, 86 meeting rooms and a 41,000 square foot ballroom. From my roof top view, it looked like it was about a mile long.

That should be big enough for the convention. I just hope it is completed in time. Boston construction projects have a tendency to take a bit longer than expected.

November 12, 2002

O'Reilly Blows His Stack...Again

What's the deal with Bill O'Reilly? Why is he sooooo angry?

I haven't seen this kind of patriotic rage since Hacksaw Jim Duggan left the squared circle. At this point, I'm waiting for him to take on the ghost of Morton Downey, Jr. and throw a cup of hot coffee in Al Sharpton's face. (Thanks for coming on Al, we'll let the audience always.) Ever since O'Reilly's show, The O'Reilly Factor, started to take off, O'Reilly's rage has grown exponentially.

O'Reilly's out for blood. Hollywood blood.

Back in late August, O'Reilly leaned into the camera and swore on his grave that he would hold the Satan worshipers known as PepsiCo responsible for the company's decision to hire Dirty South rap star Ludacris to sell some un-Coke. Thousands of outraged O'Reilly listeners who didn't want Ludacris to lick their children from their heads to their toes took time out of their busy schedules writing checks for AIDS research and providing shelter for the homeless to call Pepsi and complain. Officials for Pepsi reportedly said "Shit...are Big Tymers still available?" and dropped Ludacris like some Bad English.

O'Reilly shat his pants at his success and saw a future in holding evildoers responsible for their immoral media decisions.

Tonight on FOX...Co-Ed Naked Law Enforcement. 8pm/7pm central NEXT!!!

O'Reilly's recent fire hydrant has been VH1. (on a completely random note, check out Where Are They Now? Kid Stars on, Mayim Bialik is on her way to a Ph.D. in neuroscience and Andy from Family Ties is a "tattooed, pierced punk rocker.") In between Behind the Music episodes on Slayer and Cannibal Corpse, the evildoers known as VH1 created a show called Music Behind Bars.

Music Behind Bars is a documentary show hosted by Dylan "I'm not a lawyer but I play a brooding criminal defense one on TV" McDermott which chronicles the lives of inmates involved in music programs. I saw the first episode of it and thought it was okay. Just that okay. Something you might see on A&E at 2am on a Wednesday night.

Once O'Reilly got wind of Music Behind Bars he whipped open the rusty screen door of his working-class mansion and stamped over to the small shack bordering his Olympic sized swimming pool. Yes, ladies of gentleman, VH1 was granted an all-access pass to O'Reilly's woodshed.

When O'Reilly opened his mouth, his legendary wrath filled the airwaves, a wrath of a kind unseen since the Old Testament.

"Are you that morally bankrupt?" O'Reilly screamed at VH1 President Christina Norman. O'Reilly named Ms. Norman his Villain of the Week for October 20th to 26th. O'Reilly also proceeded to give out Ms. Norman's e-mail address and the times her children entered and exited elementary school.

Alas, O'Reilly's hard-hitting exposé for the most part fell on deaf ears at VH1. Perhaps enjoying the fact that the program reminded people that the struggling network still exists, VH1 stood its ground and ignored O'Reilly's rants. Apparently a buttload of corporations, the traditional moral pillars of our communities, dropped their sponsorships of the show in protest. An outraged Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker vowed changes in the Pennsylvania prison system and promised some good 'ol bureaucratic outreach from the Department of Corrections to the families of victims of inmates on Music Behind Bars.

Fade in: Episode Two.

The second episode of Music Behind Bars is scheduled. (and perhaps has already been shown...haven't seen it myself yet.) O'Reilly goes to his mahogany dresser and gets out a cashmere tube sock and fills it with oranges. He wipes the sweat out of his eyes, turns slowly at VH1 in the hallway, swings the sock and coldly mutters "It's go time."

O'Reilly storms out of his corner and is swinging hard. He goes straight for the sponsors, aiming for a TKO. All of these enterprises are "toast as far as [O'Reilly's] concerned."

Down goes:

...down goes whoever the hell was responsible for producing these pieces of "entertainment."


And Dylan McDermott??? You're going down, pal. O'Reilly's coming to your house and he's got a bone to pick with you. What's going to happen??? Oh no!!!

In the meantime, let's check out some O'Reilly's favorite books, films and movies on a page he likes to call All About Bill.

We've got O'Reilly's favorite books. Not bad!

O'Reilly's favorite music!! Bill calls conservative icons The Doors "psychedelic sixties sexuality." We all remember the good social messages of the But can't leave out Hall and Oates, baby.

She's a maneater!!!!

Bill's favorite movies. Yeah...Easy Rider.

O'Reilly...making Irish Catholics everywhere a proud bunch.

What Will They Think Of Next?

Interesting tidbit I found through blogdex (okay, I find a LOT through blogdex. In fact if I let you know where it is, well that kind of takes out the middleman known as my posts) today. For some reason, they're planning a gay version of Hart to Hart, that lame-ass TV detective show from the early '80s. I swear Hart to Hart was a staple of weekend afternoon syndication on Channel 38 and Channel 56 when I was growing up in Boston. One or the other. Between that and reruns of The Greatest American Hero (oh the memories...believe it or not, I'm walking on air, I never thought I'd feel so freeeeee!!!)and The Rockford Files (aw that funky music white boy...) there was nothing much left to watch.

UHF weekend afternoon tv sucked back then. Unless you got lucky and scored one of those god-awful Japanese live-action Spiderman movies.

Anyway here's the story on the gay version of Hart to Hart which will be titled Mr. and Mr. Nash. The characters are going to be "a pair of interior decorators [who] stumble upon a murder each week." Hmmm.

The producers are currently scouting locations such as East Saint Louis, IL and the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn where the Nashes would be able to "stumble upon a murder each week." That and a soundstage in Century City, CA.

One of the Mr. Nashes will be played by Alan Cumming. Oh that's but true. Any takers that his middle initial is a B? Kind of like Al B. Sure (shit...unibrow alert. Can Al get some wax up in here??)? But see with Alan Cumming, it would be Al B...

oh forget it.

November 11, 2002

Unicycle Mountain Madness

Over on Mr. Burton's site Giraffebrothers, there's a small, very small, yet interesting expose of the world of unicycle mountain-biking. Can it get any crazier? I'm going to go home tonight and push the envelope on my couch.

November 10, 2002

Bowling...My Ass

Last night I saw the film Bowling For Columbine, the new documentary from Michael Moore.

I didn't like Bowling For Columbine. In fact, I kind of thought the film sucked. And I guess from the ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, that I am probably in the minority of viewers in this regard. At times, the film was entertaining and funny, but it was never ever informative or even thought-provoking.

I don't think the film was ever intended to be anything but entertaining. Why? Bowling For Columbine preaches to the choir, a group of people so eager to "believe" that it's entirely content to operate on faith rather than any provable facts.

Over the past year, I've grown real tired of Politics™. I've grown more and more cynical and less tolerant of both the Republican and Democratic parties. I have even more scorn for the Green Party. Don't get me started on the Green Party. Politically, I feel rather lost. At present I would place my politics somewhere between the Green Party and the Democratic Party. Maybe "I'm liberal, but I'm not crazy." I like that line. That works.

I'm real tired of partisan politics, and I'm real tired of shouting, finger-pointing and name-calling. It's 2002, I'm Holden Caulfield, and I think everybody's a phony. I was once in a classroom when a professor asked me to justify Brown v. Board of Education. Other students were asked to justify "human rights." It was at that point when many people, including myself, realized that they really had no idea why they advocated certain political ideas. What is your political philosophy and why? They just knew that they were for X and not for Y. It seems now everybody, liberals and conservatives, are content with political food fights.

Republicans: You're evil.

Democrats/Greens: No. You're evil. (This from the group of moral relativists.)

I've gone through several drafts of writing entries detailing my complaints Bowling For Columbine and I've hit a real rash of writer's block. I've tried to write something several times and have been completely unhappy with it. The film riles and depresses me. It serves as an example of an unwillingness to try to find real answers to political problems. Instead we can just throw out the same old punching bags and throw them into the ring. I think I also was afraid that I would just rehash the best parts of this article I stumbled onto from a Google search. It's really quite good.