Monthly Archives: October 2008

Greg Lemond vs. Lance Armstrong

 

Lance, you so hot right now!

Lance, you so hot right now!

I don’t know whether Lance Armstrong doped.  I don’t really care.  I know a lot of people who will get worked into quite a tizzy defending him as an American hero and role model, who overcame cancer and the systematic doping of everybody else in the field for a string of glorious triumphs unparalleled in the history of professional cycling.  Perhaps this is true, but I doubt it.  Anyway, I happened to be in Las Vegas with an invitation to Lance’s “I’m returning to cycling” press conference and I decided to attend, despite a crippling Friday 9AM hangover.  He is, after all, an American hero.  Here are the random notes I jotted down during the press conference:

 

 

9:05 Lance is late.  The cycling media has assembled in the impossibly drab Ventian Ballroom J for whatever the hell this is… a celebration of America’s famous cycling hero, I suppose.  A noticeably large percentage of the cycling media is going with the shaved head look. It’s very strange.  

9:17 All Rise for the honorable Lance Armstrong.  The man certainly commands a presence.  The room has gone silent and everybody is standing looking at the back of this ballroom.  I refuse to turn around.

9:19  “Everybody good,” Lance asks upon getting to the stage.  “I Got beat up a little last night…”  I immediately take this to mean that Lance was out binge drinking lie the rest of us, but he continues: “… in the cyclecross event.”  He is much holier than me.

 

The ease with which Lance discusses doping struck me. Most people might be a little uncomfortable sitting before  room full of people and talking about injecting anabolic steroids into their asses.  But doping is a central theme of Lance’s life.  To him it’s perfectly normal that the doctor who will be testing him follows him around to press conferences to field questions from reporters.  He talks about EPO and steroids like he is discussing what kind of muffin he decided to buy for breakfast that morning..  

The return is a savvy move by Armostrong, and it’s not hard to see the wisdom in it.  He has been retired for several years and doesn’t have anything to prove. Expectations are low, and I doubt whether he even cares about winning, so much as enhancing reputation/legacy. He has no reason to dope during this comeback.  He can make bare all his drug test results, no doubt clean as a whistle, and shore up his reputation, whatever the results he attains.  The only downside is having to go to press conferences like this to answer questions from cycling media geeks instead of sleeping in, waking up and rolling over for a morning bone with Sheryl Crow.

 

Greg Looks Puzzled

Greg Looks Puzzled

 

 

Greg Lemond sits front and center.  After a brief opening by Lance, he opens it up to questions, and, to his infinite credit, calls on LeMond immediately.  Lemond rambling nonsensically about VO counts, and EPO, and other inane bullshit. The look he wore while coughing up all this gibberish that was quizzical and uncomprehending, as he searched vainly for a point he was not smart enough to make… like a half-bright college sophomore trying to sound smart in history class.  It’s pretty embarrassing to listen to a guy of Lemond’s stature ramble on like this, a former champion reduced to waking up early enough to get the best chair at a press conference to yammer at the star who surpassed him.  Lance handled it with aplomb: “I feel like we should have a fourth chair up here.” 

 

Lance and his drug Doctor

Lance and his drug Doctor

The world of professional cycling is a decidedly queer one.

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Sarah Palin’s $150,000 Wardrobe Review

So the Republican Party went out and bought $150,000 worth of clothing for VP nominee Sarah Palin, eh?  Who really cares at this point?  The GOP is cooked, destined for another 16 years of minority rule and bitching from the shadows about them damn democrats.  When the major news networks tick off PA Blue on Nov. 4th, you can fairly well pop the champagne, and no one will give a good god damn about $150,000 that was spent to make this fucking muppet look more fashionable.  Nonetheless, we felt bound to take a harder look at where all that money was sunk:

Sassy Storm Trooper Commandant

Sassy Storm Trooper Commandant

We like to call this little number the “Sassy Storm Trooper Commandant,” for when you want a little extra flare, a little extra pizazz, during your annual review of the shock troops.  Est. cost= $3,200

Ho-down Storm Trooper Commandant

Hoe-down Storm Trooper Commandant

This is a good number to throw on when you’ve got another storm trooper review to conduct that day, but feel like you might like to hit the line dancing floor to dance some jigs with the fellas and some cold Budweiser after work.  Here, Sarah loosens her hips before blowing off work.  Est cost: $2,400

Sarah Palin as Our Overlord

Sarah Palin as Our Overlord

This is the look of someone who would try to ban books from your local library or outlaw gum chewing in your local town or run a dominatrix dungeon in a neighborhood basement.  It’s certainly lacking something though, like maybe a ray gun, or radiation shield.  Est. Cost= 20,000 Spacebucks

Sarah Pali, Honoring The Grizzly Bear

Sarah Palin, Honoring The Grizzly Bear

When the day comes to honor your state’s wonderful natural heritage and wildlife, what better outfit than a nifty little zip-up and miniskirt?  This ensemble just screams: I love nature. Est. Cost= N/A

Sarah Palin... resting her ass on the grizzly bear

Um… or not.

Patriotic Kool-Aid Cupcake Mom

Patriotic Kool-Aid Cupcake Mom

This pre-VP nomination assault on our collective sensibilities just proves what you all are afraid to admit:  The RNC needed to buy this low-key, humble, and hard-working American hockey mom $150,000 worth of designer clothing.  She looks like a damn fruit drink here. Est. Cost: $50 from bake sale proceeds.

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The Sweet Merciful Crap Store Is Open

Your editors are pleased to announce the opening of the official Sweet Merciful Crap store, chock full of heady, limited-edition merchandise.  Treat your friends, loved ones, and co-workers to our exclusive t-shirt with an obscure reference that you yourself could make with little more than five minutes’ effort.  Grant yourself a  little mystique and cache by wearing a t-shirt that perhaps 5% of  the population will understand.  Check it out now at http://www.cafepress.com/mercifulcrap Made in the USA?  You bet, motherfucker.

UPDATE: For those having trouble with the reference:

Show your support for Barack!
Show your support for Barack!

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A-ho ho ho, What’s up Croc?

What the hell happened to Sugar Bear?  What marketing geek killed that iconic figure?  That was one hep cat, a remarkably mellow fellow for one who ate bowlfuls of sugar all morning.  I like this commercial, although I am somehwat confused as to where he got the band saw with which he cuts out the crocodile’s jaw.  But I guess what is important is that he does it, as always, with style and panache:

I mean, everyone can appreciate the humor in a pants-less cartoon bear who eats his Golden Crisp cereal while floating in the ocean and wearing sunglasses right?  Hell, the guy uses sharks for helicopters and then rides off on his motorcycle… probably to find some 10am pussy.

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The Financial Crisis

We often hear much about how the proliferation of media outlets is creating an unbearable cacophony/feeding frenzy… which is true, to a large extent, but my question is why hasn’t the media gotten more creative at naming worldwide events, given all these diverse voices?   The global system of free market capitalism and 200 years of economic thinking are collapsing around our ears, and the best we can do to refer to this calamity is to call it “The Financial Crisis”?  Really?  I don’t think that really gets to the magnitude of the problem.  To wit, the time I was in a suite of the 8th floor at the Bellagio for New Year’s eve and some other folks in the room ordered hookers they couldn’t pay for or get to leave at 4 am, that was a financial crisis.  If you have any good suggestions for a better title, the comments are now open.

And on a completely unrelated note, here’s the song of the day: Passion Pit- Sleepyhead

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A Brief Retort

In Re: Republicans And Red Sox: Identity In Crisis

Dear Kev Dr$,

This is how it is going to be?  I invite you into my house and you start smashing all the plates and shitting on the carpets?  There’s only so much half-cooked nonsense I can take with a victory hangover this large, but we’ll try to wade through it all here before lunch.

Attempting to equate the Red Sox to the Republican Party has to be one of the dumber ideas I have heard in some time, although I guess churning out foolish swill like this might make you Yankee fans feel better.  You need to stop disparaging America’s great game by comparing it with a useless carcass like the Republican Party, I figured you knew better than to sully baseball like that.  Baseball is glorious precisely because it has nothing to do with politics or anything else that does not involve pitching, hitting, catching, and throwing.

There were several quotes from your last there were so colossally stupid in magnitude, that we must revisit them:

The Red Sox also have a disconnect.  For years “The Sawx” presented themselves as a hard-scrabble bunch of misfits who over come the odds and somehow eek out a winning season. Those days are gone; long gone, along with Trot Nixon, Manny and soon Jason Varitek. Now Red Sox Nation struggles with a new identity. Packed full of hired help, like J-D Drew, Mark Kotsay and Dice K, they win. But to do so they had to become everything they used to hate. To beat the evil empire, they became one.

This was either written by a fool or a drug addict, and since I know you are no fool, I will assume that you are again in the firm grasp of opium’s treacherous tentacles.  Perhaps you can see through your grim fog to where you fucked up when you imply:

a) the Sox did not win with Trot, Manny, and Tek, which they most assuredly did

b) that Manny was not hired help

c) that Mark Kotsay is some kind of crown jewel that only the richest teams in baseball could acquire

d) the ridiculous notion that the Red Sox are somehow “struggling with their identity (Struggling how?  Are they not sure who they are?  Are they anxious about dating and the prom, and moving to a new school?   Did their parents just get divorced?)

e) that becoming everything the Red Sox used to hate is somehow a bad thing, as that thing, presumably, was winning

f) that any objective observer could find one instance of how the Red Sox “presented themselves” as hard-scrabble

g) that anything in that paragraph constitutes a “disconnect”

h) that somehow the winningest team this decade is suffering from, or should be concerned with an identity crisis.

Walk around any city in America and you see Red Sox caps from a new generation of “Johnny-Come-Lately” fans. Children root for them, unaware of the crushing history that has united their stoic and honorable fans for decades. Its fun to be a Sox Fan now — no wonder so many call it “Poser Nation.”

Yes, winning is fun.  As to “Poser Nation,” well, there’s not much I can say.  Success breeds attraction (and contempt).  For Game 2 of the ALCS I had to sit next to some cross-eyed pussy wearing a Red Sox jersey (with no number on the back), a Red Sox cap, and a Red Sox power necklace, who cheered for Sox pitchers to bean every batter that came up.  There’s not much I can do about things like that (except repeatedly ignore his high five plea when it came).  If the Red Sox score more runs than the other team each night, I am happy, and fuck whoever happens to be sitting next to me.  I despise pink B hats as much as the next man, but If the implication here is that any real Red Sox fan wishes a return to the days when they were the earnest and likable underdogs that lost all the time with a core fan base as opposed to having those two World Series Championships and a huge following, well… ah, no.   And if “children” root for them without knowing of their crushing history, well then I suppose that proves that time is, in fact, still moving forward.

Here’s another peach:

I don’t think so, but no matter what happens, both Red Nations will have a lot of soul searching to do this winter.

Um… soul searching?  Really?  Are the Red Sox going to take a long walk down a country lane?  When did they lose their soul?  Should the Sox get in a time machine and return their World Series rings in order to get their soul back?  I think the phrase you were grappling for but failed to find is “the Red Sox Nation will have to make some decisions about player personnel and free-agent signings this winter, but with a solid core group of exciting young players they drafted- Pedroia, Ellsbury, Lowrie, Lester, Youkilis- and big ticket veterans David Ortiz, Josh Beckett, and JD Drew, this team is set up to win for years to come.”

And this was a quaint attempt at pre-empting me:

As you prepare your scornful response its important to point out one more unfortunate similarity between Republicans and Red Sox, a humorless and blindly partisan fringe of supporters incapable of and intolerant of objective analysis.

Objective?  Really?  You’re a fucking Yankees fan, where do you get the gall to call yourself objective?  When Bill O’Reilly analyizes democrats, does he get to call himself “objective” and all of a sudden it is so?  The objective claim is especially hard to stomach when you lob such ephermal nonsense as “the Red [Sox] have a lot of soul searching to do this winter” and “the Red Sox presented themselves as a hard-scrabble bunch of misfits.”  Despite your prediction, I was able to find humor in absurd quotes like that.  Keep your damn politics away from baseball.

Best wishes,

Dr. McGraw

Some other notes:

-The Republican Party is a intellectually/morally bankrupt rotting hulk, with no new ideas, direction, or focus. They are reaping the conequences for letting the Jesus nuts come rushing in the tent and then getting them drunk on rhetoric for the past few years.  The reward was eight years of Bush, the check due now is a crippled party, operating just a step above compelete dysfunction.  The GOP needs this defeat for its own good. It needs to be blown up and remade with a fresh batch of leaders and a sprinkling of new ideas. Obama racking up 350 EVs and 60 Dems in the Senate is a good start.  So on that, I think we agree.

-All JD Drew does is get big hits, peel money, and touch bitches.  That’s it.

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Republicans And Red Sox: Identity In Crisis

    Thursday’s Red Sox win offers an excellent reminder for all you Obama supporters “measuring the drapes.” When it comes to Republicans and the Crimson Hose, its never over, until its over. Upon close examination, this year’s Red Sox have a lot more in common with the GOP than just their favorite color.

    Of course, both are relentless fighters and solid and respectable institutions of American life. But there is a melancholy hanging over everything. A sadness born from the price of their recent success.
   I think, deep down, the Republicans and the Red Sox know that their identities have been forever changed during the Bush years.
   The Republicans, who played their, “What’s The Matter With Kansas?” hand so effectively in the past, lost sight of true conservatism, and are finding it tougher to dupe working class voters in times of real struggle. The “Joe The Plumber” story perfectly illustrates the disconnect. He’s not a plumber and he’s also not rich. Joe isn’t really trying to buy a small business and disturbed by the tax hike he’ll get once he makes more than $250,000 bucks a year. He should be so lucky. The real Joe makes $40,000 a year and will see a better tax cut under Obama’s plan. The Party is imploding, losing big business and alienating the suburbs as it consolidates its base of uneducated rural voters and evangelicals.

   The Red Sox also have a disconnect.  For years “The Sawx” presented themselves as a hard-scrabble bunch of misfits who over come the odds and somehow eek out a winning season. Those days are gone; long gone, along with Trot Nixon, Manny and soon Jason Varitek. Now Red Sox Nation struggles with a new identity. Packed full of hired help, like J-D Drew, Mark Kotsay and Dice K, they win. But to do so they had to become everything they used to hate. To beat the evil empire, they became one.

   Walk around any city in America and you see Red Sox caps from a new generation of “Johhny-Come-Lately” fans. Children root for them, unaware of the crushing history that has united their stoic and honorable fans for decades. Its fun to be a Sox Fan now — no wonder so many call it “Poser Nation.”

   But the Red Sox, like the Republicans, are at their best when they’re backs are against the wall. Both are, at their core, natural opposition parties. Never underestimate the Democrat’s ability to screw things up. Will the Dems choke like the Rays choked at Fenway? I don’t think so, but no matter what happens, both Red Nations will have a lot of soul searching to do this winter.

 

Kev Dr. $

 

P.S. I know this post will infuriate my friend Mr. McGraw.   As you prepare your scornful response its important to point out one more unfortunate similarity between Republicans and Red Sox, a humorless and blindly partisan fringe of supporters incapable of and intolerant of objective analysis.

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