Yankee Stadium and Snow

Now is the winter of our sports enthusiasm. We hate basketball because it’s ruled by tall people and the scores are too high. (Think about it.) Football is over and we only like it when the local team wins, and half the time it’s a field goal in the last two minutes. Congratulations to the New York Giants. We like volleyball somewhat but no network TV will deign to cover that even though it’s the number two sport in Brazil.

Here at mchuge.net, we like baseball. Baseball has no time limit. It has lots of rules but time is hardly ever called for foul play and there are no foul shots. It’s played practically every day. Greatness is earned over long stretches of time. Blah blah.

On that note, here are some shots of Yankee Stadium in the snow. I don’t claim to be a Yankee snob although they are my team. If you beat them, more power to you. These photos are offered so we may all look forward to baseball in April.

PS: I can’t believe Roger Waters sold out two nights of performing The Wall here. That’s like the blocked leading the blockers.

Getting Straight on Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens left this mortal coil late last week before he could say goodbye to Vaclav Havel and Kim Jong Il. I was disturbed by all the eulogies that praised him effusively for having nought but wit, a profuse pen, and a big personality that worked well on cable news. So here are two essays that set the record straight on this propped-up imperialist apologist for the biggest mistake of the previous decade.

Glenn Greenwald compares his canonization with that of Ronald Reagan’s. Greenwald wrote a similar essay when Tim Russert died as a journalist celebrated for softballing any and all propaganda the White House dished out.

Katha Pollitt talks about his drinking and sexism.

Stories of Hitchens’ drinking bouts sometimes landed on the gossip pages and other anecdotes occasionally reached my ears. In the 2000s, he had written enough for me to disagree with him on most points so I accepted his essential schtick — the smart, drunk, party guy from the left who flipped out after 9/11 — but I was surprised anyone of the left or libertarian bent took him seriously anymore, especially his pity party at Vanity Fair. As Pollitt says, he will be missed because he was larger than life. After that, it’s the booze talking.

Sideways

Pedestrian subway tunnel turned sideways

Rolling out old photos. It’s too cold. It hasn’t gone over 25┬░ F for a few days and the stiff breeze hasn’t let up for most of that time and everyone can agree that wind chill is a bitch. Why is just wind chill and not chill index like its summery step-sister, the heat index? A simple case of euphony.

A few more of my friends checked in and I really do have reasons to be thankful. Two had a parent die Christmas week and another went into the hospital for a second back surgery after a whole year of being in and out the hospital. Prayers are with them and knock on head.

I signed up for oDesk early last year and was discouraged at the low rates being offered for a lot of the work. I’m giving it another try as I realized it’s the sort of thing where you have to start low and once your reputation is established, you can charge more. Also it’s the global market place. I’ll be posting these buttons in better spots after I’ve taken a few more tests. Hire me!



Benchmarks

Benches, 111 St., Riverside

A life coach is a psychiatrist/therapist with a best (possibly a mild) seller and without a degree. Instead of having a whistle and making you do push-ups and laps and drills like a sports coach, they give you list-making exercises and paraphrase Bing Crosby songs in elaborate metaphors, ending with some variation of the punchline in “Happy Talk.”

I’m morbidly watching Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler. In order to be the best at what he does, he destroys himself while being an amiable monster. Picturing him in a confrontation with a life coach results in a few moments of good sitcom.

Today is my birthday. While I’ve done some stupid things, the only thing I ever punched really hard is my bed.

One Dead Zine Scene

The Ding Dong Lounge hosted a ‘zine fair on Saturday. They didn’t do a very good job of promoting it as it seemed like only ‘zine publishers were in attendance slapping each other on the back and outnerding each other. If you want bar regulars to come in and hang around, you may not want a naked old guy with distended testicles and large man boobs walking around your zine fair. I know it’s a pagan sort of act, but it’s really grody.

I didn’t take notes but a couple of the zines I looked at were interesting and some had great color graphic work. I also looked at a couple that might’ve been done by fifth graders. You shouldn’t charge $8 for your zine if it looks like it was done by fifth graders. Given the proliferation of blogging, publishing a zine is sort of like making yourself breakfast every day and tossing it in the garbage. I threw out all of my friends’ zines from the 80s and 90s. They’re not worth anything.

Unless you’re Dave Eggers and can produce something as slick (or nearly) as McSweeney’s or n+1 or… you know what I’m talking about– don’t bother. Definitely do it in color. Maintain a nice website/blog and pass out cards with the URL. Take it multimedia people. Once you’re hipper than Dave and get an audience, you might consider charging Kindle subscribers.

The band Wolfhaven performed and Chet messed up by introducing them as Wolverines. They played really nice blues rock sort of like Masters of Reality. I like that they have “333” in their myspace URL. That means they’re half-evil.

I’m Not There (but I’m Free)


Be careful of shrinks. If you say the wrong thing (or the right thing depending on your point of view), they will call the cops and put you in the psych ward. There really are shrinks out there who view their job the same way an asshole cop does: whatever it takes to keep the streets free of dirt. Mr. Bad Vibes must not be allowed on television figuratively, or on the 6 o’clock news. Judge, jury, sometimes executioner.

I just watched I’m Not There, Todd Haynes’ brilliant film about Bob Dylan’s life in the 60s and early 70s. Yes, it’s brilliant. I’m listening to Dylan’s 1966 “Royal Albert Hall” concert. I’m behind the curve and need to stay up on these things when they hit the theaters. Anyone with a creative life, who has ever been onstage for an extended gig and has ever had to answer for it, or maybe if you’ve been a critic parsing someone else’s jello nailed to the wall — should have an appreciation for this film. If you’ve ever studied film, this is one for the books. The internets have enough written about it already. Do a google┬«.

In the commentary, Haynes throws out some zingers during the credits regarding freedom. I believe these were credited to Ginsberg and Rimbaud. “You are free only as long as you are free to say no.” And “No one is free. Even the birds are imprisoned by the sky.”

This brings me full circle to crap I usually talk about in this blog: politics. Bush’s insane “conservative” budget was ramped not just by the war on terror, but by a domestic spying program and police state (severe crowd control techniques) designed to intimidate naysayers into silence, as well as an expensive public relations effort designed to overwhelm naysayers and keep them out of mainstream media. I’m dead certain John McCain would continue expanding these mostly needless expenses that basically burn money and manufacture nothing — a largely overlooked black hole in the American economy. A transparent administration wouldn’t need such frivolity. Barack Obama appreciates that freedom without security is meaningless whereas security without freedom is an oxymoron. Obama embraces dialog and that is a breath of fresh air I can believe in.

George Bush has been the world’s (fascist) asshole cop long enough and needs to get in the shrink chair.