Friday, August 31, 2007

Plug

On Tuesday night (August 28) myself and four other booksellers from Warwick's (San Diego's best independent bookstore) hosted a book recommendation night for anyone who wanted to listen. Here are the books we discussed.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Film: No End In Sight

Every self-respecting American adult, whether you plan on voting in the 2008 Presidential election or not, should go out and see Charles Fergusen's documentary film, No End In Sight. Hell, even if you never vote or read a newspaper or watch the news or question anything at all, you need to watch this film. Fergusen presents an unbiased look at the debacle of the Iraq War, devoid of the mocking tone of Michael Moore and any fire & brimestone "liberal" talk, and without placing blame solely on Bush, since he's clearly just a monkey puppet. Through interviews with those directly involved - General Jay Garner (original holder of L. Paul "The Devil" Bremer's job in Iraq - in charge of the occupation), Ambassador Barbara Bodine (in charge of Baghdad until Bremer arrived in '03), Colonel Paul Hughes (Director of strategic policy for the occupation), Chief Douchebag & National Security "Advisor", Walter Slocombe, and most telling, Richard Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State, among many others - and video footage that we have seen with our own eyes countless times, but never really seen, Fergusen presents a punch-in-the-face film that slaps you awake. Seeing the last 6 or so years of American foreign policy laid out like that on screen was sobering, upsetting, depressing, disgusting, infuriating, and above all, sad. It was all things that I think I knew already, through reading the papers and seeing it on the news, but I have become so desensitized to on a daily basis, that I have failed to make note of them anymore - which really upsets me. Knowing that there were several hundred ways for this conflict to be avoided - not to mention the obvious solution of not even being in Iraq in the first place - or ended within the first 6 months of 2003, is particularly disappointing to me as an American. I left with the prevailing thought of: I cannot believe our government did this to these people. Please watch this film.




Friday, August 17, 2007

O-crap

Brian Roberts, Baltimore OriolesI'm going to just head all this talk off before it happens and refer anyone to this post who tries to talk smack to me about this. Since 1987 I have been a diehard Baltimore Orioles fan. They were horrible in '87, as any baseball fan remembers, losing their first 21 games in a row to start the season. But I was hooked for some reason, I stuck it out and have remained a fan ever since. That said, I have never been more embarrassed to be an O's fan than I am right now. In the first game of a double header today against the even-lowlier-than-the-Orioles, Texas Rangers, their pitching staff surrendered 30 runs, setting an American League record. Thirty runs. 30. The most runs allowed in the Major Leagues since 1897. That would be one hundred and ten years ago. Grover Cleveland was president in 1897, I mean c'mon. (In 1897, the Chicago Colts beat the Louisville Colonels 36-7 in a National League game on June 28.) Here's what happened today: Daniel Cabrera, the starting pitcher, gave up 6 runs through 5 innings. Not great, but not horrible either. He's been terrible this year, so this kind of outing is sort of par for the course. The next guy, Brian Burres, formerly a starting pitcher in his own right, faced 11 batters in the 6th and was charged with 8 hits and 8 runs. Rob Bell came in after that, faced 12 batters and let in 7 runs. He was relieved - at this point, everyone had to be thinking, "This can't possibly get any worse, right?" I mean, its not like bad pitching is a contagious disease. But Paul Shuey came in for the rest of the 8th and the whole of the ninth, and allowed 9 more runs. That would be 30. Six homeruns by Texas, 57 official at-bats, 2 guys with 2 homeruns and 7 RBI (including someone named Jarrod Saltamacchia), while two other guys hit grand slams. And their DH went 3-for-7 and struck out 4 times! Four! And after the third inning, the Orioles were leading 3-0. ESPN.com offered this HILARIOUS stat: The Baltimore Ravens (of the NFL), who play across the parking lot from the Orioles, haven't allowed 30 points since Week 12 in 2005. Nuff said, I think. Ah well, these things happen, right? Right? Oh, wait, no they don't.
Here's the boxscore for the ages: Debacle 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

OJ-pacalypse

Just when you thought we had narrowly averted the apocalypse.... Even with Judith Regan - the Antichrist & deposed head of Regan Books, the now defunct Nazi party wing of HarperCollins - way out of the picture, the goddamn OJ book rears its ugly, wife-butchering head again. And this time, it appears that the Goldman family will be the ones to reap, er...are they benefits?

Last month, the Goldman family acquired the rights to OJ's "novel", previously titled "If I Did It" - the supposed imaginings of OJ on how he would have murdered his wife & her friend if he had actually been inclined to do so. I mean, who doesn't fantasize about true life murders of their loved ones? That must be closure, muthafuckin' OJ style. But I digress. When the Goldmans managed to secure the rights to OJ's bullshit book in a Miami bankruptcy court, it was assumed by most of us who still hope for justice in the world, that they did so simply to prevent it from ever being published. But then they hired book agent, Sharlene Martin, and spent the last week looking for a new publisher. (They have now actually found a pub: the previously unknown Beaufort Books.) The rumor is that they would like to publish the book under the title, "Confessions of a Double Murderer" in order to recoup some of the money that bankrupt OJ owes them from their civil court cases. Martin: "I have a passion for justice. I believe the Goldmans have every right to recoup every penny of the 38 million they are owed." Ah, I see. It has nothing to do with the fact that this crazy douchebag killed 2 people, got away with it, then wrote a "hypothetical" book about how he did it. It has to do with the money they're owed by said crazy douchebag, I get it. What is wrong with these people? If some super famous asshole (or non-famous asshole, for that matter) had butchered my sister, gotten away with it, and walked around looking as smug as OJ does, I would have put him in the ground a long time ago, consequences be damned.

But is this justice for the Goldmans? Mmmm, not really, although it would be nice to see Juice squirm - although, I think you actually need to be human in order to feel remorse, or guilt, or pity, or anything at all. Simpson is clearly some sort of Frankenstein designed to play football and kill people. Basically, I just think it's fucked up that this book ever got written, edited by someone, slated for publication and everything else that's involved in it's abominable creation. And that the family of one of the victims actually WANTS the book published now! I'm sorry, but no amount of money would make me want to see something like this released if it had been my family member who had been butchered. And what about the Brown family? For whatever reason, they were denied the book rights in the same bankruptcy court. Denise Brown, Nicole Brown Simpson's sister said, "This book should not be published. I have said this over and over again. It's a manual to commit murder. (CNN)" Exactly.

The Simpson trial was one of the darkest chapters in US legal history - not for the crimes committed, but for the farcical manner in which the case played out. It only proved that money & fame allow you to chop off the head of your wife, walk free and write a book about it. So now that this sordid story is back in our national headlines, well, it just makes me want to puke. In an era of Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, Michael Vick, and the countless other celebrities making a mockery of our sick celebrity culture, OJ & his book just make the mountain of crap that forms the basis for our society all the taller. This book should never see the light of day - whether published as OJ's novel or as a non-fiction tell-all for the Goldman family. It is disrespectful and tasteless - which was the general consensus when the original book was announced by Regan. What's different now, especially in the eyes of the Goldmans? How is publishing this going to convince the American public of anything we don't already know? Everyone in the country knows that OJ did it - we don't need some shitty, self-serving book to tell us this. I can't believe I'm saying this, but all copies of the book manuscript should be put to the torch and the Goldmans should just move on with their lives. And so should we, damn it.



Thursday, August 09, 2007

756*

I, like most baseball fans living everywhere but the Bay area (aka: "reality"), pretty much hate Barry Bonds. I have been torn by this, it's true - there's no denying that he's probably the best all-around baseball player of the last 3 decades or so. But I resent the fact - the very notion, the inkling of a rumor - that he felt the need to enhance his physique in order to break records for hitting home runs. I have no proof, this is true, and it is pretty f-ed up that I even think these unsubstantiated thoughts about a man who I do not know, even slightly. So throw out the steroid allegations, at least until anything else comes to light. That said, I have always resented the way he made it seem that I should feel honored to watch him play baseball every night. That's why I hate him. Not because he shot horse steroids into his ass, but because he lacks the class and the character I deserve as a fan. That's right: Deserve. I buy the tickets, the caps, the jerseys. I watch the games late into the night. I root for you when you are at the top and I never turn my back when you are down. All I ask is that you take the time to acknowledge the fact that you are one of the luckiest people on the face of the earth. Cal Ripken? Tony Gwynn? (Visit Cal's Foundation and Tony's Foundation for examples of manhood.) Yeah, that's right - they were professional baseball players that realized how lucky they were to play in front of us, not the other way around. Do you know how hard it is to make 100 million baseball fans hate your guts? By that rationale, I guess Barry really is the best. The Alltime Record for the Number of Baseball Fans That Despise the Same Player: the 2007 Population of the United States, minus the greater San Francisco area.
There is no professional baseball without the fan, Barry, so lose the fucking chip. And by the way, good luck catching Sadaharu Oh, you overgrown bag of gas. 868, bitch.

Destruction Of National Pastime Given Two-Minute Standing Ovation

The Onion

Destruction Of National Pastime Given Two-Minute Standing Ovation

SAN FRANCISCO—A sellout crowd rose to its feet and exploded into ecstatic cheers Tuesday night as Barry Bonds completed the downfall of America's most revered sport by hitting a thundering 435-foot shot into the left field bleachers for...