Thursday, April 24, 2008


Extra Salacious Edition

First up, we have this headline from Reuters: lynchings in Congo as penis theft panic hits capital. Let that one simmer in your frontal lobe for a while. Kinshasa's Chief of Police had this eminently reasonable reaction to the sorcerer-related breakdown in social order: "I'm tempted to say it's one huge joke, but when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it's become tiny or that they've become impotent. To that I tell them, 'how do you know if you haven't gone home and tried it.'" My inner undergraduate wants to advance some theory about reactions to modernity, etc, but he's too busy laughing beer out his nose.

In the "old but still good" category, we have Yglesias reporting on the trials and tribulations of Finland's Prime Minister: "Matti Vanhanen, 52, prime minister since 2003, has been enjoying a wave of support since the disclosure that he likes to take a sauna before sex and enjoys his favorite meal of beef and baked potatoes afterward." The second commenter really sums up the position of all men on this important political issue.

Edit: How could we forget Pen Island!

Now, on to murder. Metstradamus reports the following quote from a Mike and Mad Dog segment on the slumping Carlos Delgado: "there's not a solution in sight for the first half of the season ... maybe in July they can get a first baseman, they could kill him, they could bench him, they can do a million things then." C.C., you may wish to purchase security ahead of your inevitable arrival in NYC. That 10.13 ERA shit isn't going to fly in the Big Apple.

Finally, we have a few YouTube clips for your perusal. As you may or may not know, Thomas Friedman, he of "Suck. On. This." fame, was recently given a pie to the face by a pair of uppity Brown students incensed by his role as a cheerleader for global capitalism. For the record, this is the equivalent of placing a flaming bag of poo on the White House steps because you're annoyed at Bush's position on steel tariffs. Still, we at FTB support almost any form of abuse directed at Friedman, so click on the link and watch him almost slip on pie and fall over. Classic.

I thought long and hard about whether I could contribute meaningfully to your enjoyment of this next clip, and I've decided that nothing I say can make it any more hilarious than it already is. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Past Two Weeks in Stupid

Blogging has been light due to "circumstances" but should resume it's regular clip in the near future. To fill the time, we at FTB present the following idiotic screeds from respectable news sources:

Summary: I hate disenfranchising voters in Florida and Michigan, but I'm totally okay with a system that has the potential to disenfranchise 49.9% of the voters because their preferences don't reflect those of the 50.1% majority. Why? Because if we had a winner take all primary and all events in said fantasyland had transpired exactly as they have in reality, HRC would be winning.
Hack-O-Meter: 9.3 -- I thought historians didn't respect counterfactuals.

Maureen Dowd: Wilting Over Waffles
Summary: Hillary is an emasculating bitch, and Obama's not giving her the pimp-hand she deserves. This apparently raises questions about Obama's electability, because America wants a Commander in Chief who isn't afraid to show a woman her place.
Onion Headline-O-Matic: Bullshit column filled with bullshit.

Summary: If you're a woman and you're not voting HRC, you've got mommy issues. That is the only explanation. Any other explanations are merely excuses for your deep-seated mommy issues. 
Judgment: Hirshman falls into a long tradition of older women telling younger women that they don't know what Hillary's campaign really means for women. (See: herehere, and here, although that last one is cheating because it's Hirshman again.) Fortunately, Michelle Goldberg has a pretty damning response.

"Like a Yankees Fan in April"

An American colloquialism meaning "frustrated," "moody" or "homicidal." Related : "Like a Yankees fan in October." I'm about an inning away from going all Wicker Man on Kyle Farnsworth.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Opening Day: Fenway Park

The Red Sox Nation is real. Ultimately, however, the reality of the RSN is that of a group of people pledging allegiance to an illusory vision of America that can only find purchase in New England. That said, from the field box of Fenway Park on opening day, you wouldn't know it for the fever dream it is.

The sun shines down from a clear sky, providing a crisp day with just the right amount of warmth for a baseball game. The light lends a clarity and depth to the colors: the grass  is emerald, the caps crimson and navy. In the stands, a sea of white faces. On an equally pale blanket in center field the Boston Pops plays the national anthem against the backdrop of an American flag draped over the Green Monster. Planes fly over. Bill Buckner, freshly released from the gulag, throws out the first pitch. Every sense tells you that this is America as you understood it when you were six, when finding a lizard sunning itself on a rock was still a major life event.

On some level, I can appreciate the allure of that pollyanna vision and all that it encapsulates, from Field of Dreams to apple pie. But it's not my America. One of the things that I miss the most about NYC is the sheer overwhelming diversity of the place, the dizzying array of faces, colors, clothes, sounds, sights and smells that pervade the city. Similarly, at a Yankees game there's a variety you just don't find at Fenway. Fatcats behind home plate, latinos, nuns, Italians, blacks, straight brims, bent brims and on and on. Thousands of people from thousands of different Americas screaming, yelling and drinking to the same team. 

So yes, the Red Sox Nation does exist. It has a uniform, an anthem ("YOOOOOOOUK!") and legions of jackbooted irregulars. And, while I have my problems with the whole "Yankees Universe" idea, it does capture the bewildering diversity that makes NYC and the NYY so much fun.