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Archive for November, 2011

TONITE: 17 Years Of Fergie In A Glass

Monday, November 28th, 2011


GRUBB STREET: Before Fergie’s there was nothing. Okay, maybe that’s a little bit of stretch, but when Fergus “Fergie” Carey opened his eponymous pub on Sansom Street near 13th Street back in 1994, editors from Food & Wine and Bon Appetit weren’t exactly lining up to check out the likes of Barbuzzo, El Vez or Sampan. In fact much of what’s now called Midtown Village was dotted with empty store fronts, strip joints, sex shops and adult cinemas. And Fergie was seen as something of a madman for opening a bar and restaurant in the middle of it all. MORE

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BLOTTO: Fear & Loathing In Nowhere, New Jersey

Monday, November 28th, 2011

BY LANCE DOILY I had just gotten through my first route without a near total collapse into debauchery in a couple months, so I gave my man Royce a call to celebrate over a couple cold ones at the Husker. Slunt Huskers, that is. Stone was at the helm, so it goes without saying that the tap was locked in the pour position and Uriah Heap’s “Easy Livin’” was runnin’ repeat on the juke before my asscheeks even touched the barstool. He was in rare form that night, barely getting to the second round before telling us a story about how he let the Chief of Police work him like a hand puppet to get out of a couple parking tickets. Royce nudged him for a toot and the next thing you know, he’s scooping blow onto the bar like he was measuring out flour for a birthday cake. Clearly, we weren’t going anywhere for a long, long time.

Then I got the call from the office — it was Amy. She told me she got a couple inside tips from a gang banger she used to run with that Rex had fallen off the wagon again. For reasons he’s never fully explained, he has a habit of building up a respectable family and buying a nice ranch home in the suburbs, and then, with no discernible rhyme or reason, throwing it all away to slither through the backstreets of Paterson with a gang of unholy alley dwellers known as the Filth Hounds. So far he’s done it three times with three separate families, but no matter how many times we find him in a back alley, punching pigeons for their food scraps and using a half-inflated truck tire for a pillow, we’re always rooting for him to make good. Royce, who had actually spent some time with the Hounds as a misguided teenager, offered to come along for the ride. Tuesday nights for him normally consisted of hollerin’ scripture into deaf ears on the PATH train well into the small hours of the morning, but the good word would have to wait another day. We had a fallen comrade to find.

From the little I remembered last time I had to do this, it wasn’t going to be an easy ride. We started out by muscling our way through some of the burliest ghettos of Paterson. Gang warfare was up first, but I made my way around in a bright red Budweiser rig, so I was able to work through some pretty sketchy Blood territory relatively unscathed. They were too busy engaged in a firefight with some Latin Kings to really give a shit anyway, so we snuck by almost as an afterthought. Near 12th street we got thrown a knuckler as a large group of homeless people formed a human roadblock in front of my rig, but once I got close enough for them to realize that I wasn’t stopping, they got out of the way. Most of them, anyway. A bunch of strays tried to latch onto the trailer on our way out, but I managed to jiggle em’ loose with a series of bootlegger turns.

Once we got through that racket and made it to 16th street things started looking up. Out my window I could see a group of alley cats feasting on a freshly-minted cadaver, and out the passenger side window we could see a couple of neighborhood kids were kicking around a ribcage like a soccer ball. I grinned and shot Royce a fist-bump — we were headed in the right direction. On past search and rescue missions, I’ve found Rex around this area, but I had a feeling he was much deeper in this time. Not a problem, from here all we had to do was slink past a long forgotten section of Broadway where we’d get pelted with rocks and bottles from all angles and the truck wasn’t mine, so I didn’t care. Then the road would devolve from pavement to dirt to soggy marshland, and in the end I would have to finagle the rig across a nearly mile long rope suspension bridge over treacherous waters. Not a problem. I should have tried it in reverse on the way back. Next time, maybe.

After a good 15-20 miles of nothing but dense wilderness, Royce was able to make out in the distance the complex system of grunts and shrieks the Hounds use to communicate. He had retained the basics and spewed forth some convincing grunts of his own. The Hounds were summoned forth almost immediately, and led us to Rex’s general vicinity before retreating back into the darkness. Wasn’t long from there until we found him in all his poor fuckin’ bastard glory, laying on the ground, dressed only in a hollowed deer carcass. He had built himself an impressive cinderblock fort nearby, but otherwise this was deep Appalachia. God only knows what else he was doing to survive out here.

We peeled him off the ground and lifted him into the rig. His back was charred to a blue-ish black hue and he was coughing up the shitdust; Royce speculated that he had fallen into one of the burning manure piles the Hounds huddled around for warmth on cold nights. One whiff of his breath and it was clear he had fallen off the wagon and was back to guzzling gasoline for a buzz; I’d estimate he easily had a gallon of that beggar’s bourbon coursing through his veins. Back in the day Rex could guzzle more gas than a ‘76 Caddy, and shame on us for thinking he was past all that. But this time was much worse. In the past, when we found him like this, he would cling to what little dignity he had left by insisting he only drank the top shelf stuff — Premium Hi-Test — but this time it looked like he was just taking whatever the siphon offered.

He told us that he abandoned his truck in the fast lane of Rt. 46 West in Fairfield a week prior, and getting the customers their beer was his main priority. Ladies and gentlemen, Rex was back. I asked if he wanted to hook a hose to my tank as a final gesture before returning to rational society, but he just scoffed and mumbled something dismissive about diesel being the malt liquor of gasoline and he may be down and out ‘but not that fuckin’ down and out.’ Fortunately Royce knew this state well, and brought us to an old farm a few miles south in West Milford that had a can of leaded gasoline hidden in the weeds behind the shed. Rex’s eyes lit up as if we poured him a glass of aged scotch and he polished the can off faster than me and Royce could kill our handle of Early Times. We waited for him to pass out behind the shed so we could finish his route, but he still managed to find a way back to do the last five deliveries by himself. He gave it his best, but after 24 years of delivering you think he’d know by now that he’s never getting out of this place alive.

PREVIOUSLY: How I Came To Know Lance Doily

PREVIOUSLY: The Auspicious Debut Of BLOTTO

PREVIOUSLY: The Second Installment Of BLOTTO

PREVIOUSLY: The Third Installment Of BLOTTO

PREVIOUSLY: The Fourth Installment Of BLOTTO

PREVIOUSLY: The Fifth Installment Of BLOTTO

PREVIOUSLY: The Sixth Installment Of BLOTTO

PREVIOUSLY: The Seventh Installment Of BLOTTO

PREVIOUSLY: The Eighth Installment Of BLOTTO

PREVIOUSLY: The Ninth Installment Of BLOTTO

PREVIOUSLY: The 10th Installment Of BLOTTO

PREVIOUSLY: The 11th Installment Of BLOTTO

PREVIOUSLY: BLOTTO # 12: Rehab Is For Quitters

PREVIOUSLY: BLOTTO #13: Kick Out The Jams, Motherf*cker

PREVIOUSLY: BLOTTO #14: Tommy, Can You Hear Me?

PREVIOUSLY: BLOTTO #15: Now I Wanna Be Your Dawg

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ARAB SPRING BREAK: U.S. College Students Cuffed, Beaten And Scared Sh*tless By Egyptian Popo

Monday, November 28th, 2011

CBS NEWS: Of his treatment by Egyptian authorities during his detention, Sweeney said, “The first night, we weren’t really told anything as to what was going to happen to us for a long time, for several days. “But the first night, we were hit several times in the face, in the back of the neck, and we were forced to sit on the ground in the dark with our hands cuffed behind our backs, and there were a number of Egyptian policemen behind us with guns telling us that if we moved, we would be shot. We were there for about seven hours.” MORE

PREVIOUSLY: HOT DOC: The Survivor’s Guide To Tahrir Square

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Monday, November 28th, 2011

RELATED: Snowmine, a Brooklyn-based five-piece, is keyboardist Grayson Sanders, guitarists Calvin Pia and Austin Mendenhall, bassist Jay Goodman, and drummer Alex Beckmann. The band’s lush indie-pop songs are generated largely by Sanders, who recently turned his attention from composing in the New York classical music scene to become the principle singer and songwriter for the group. For the session, Snowmine chose to record the song “Curfews.” Sanders said: “It’s a song about being a slave to your work. The first line is: I might not earn it but its what I deserve […] It’s the relationship you have being validated by your work, which I think a lot of artists experience.” Snowmine record “Curfews” over a weekend recording session at Philadelphia’s Miner Street Recordings in October 2011. MORE

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ENDGAME: Did The Homeless Sink #OccupyPhilly?

Monday, November 28th, 2011


PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY: An Occupier named Dan, waiting at the edges of the Occupy camp on Monday night for the GA to begin, says that his patience quickly wore thin—he says he camped at Dilworth for the first two weeks of Occupy Philly until homeless people made things “sketchy.” “I feel bad for people who are homeless, but nobody really wants to admit what happened,” he says. “The homeless basically ruined Occupy Philly. They took it over and brought a lot of negativity down on us, and they pushed out a lot of the original Occupy Philly people that didn’t want to deal with all of that or be responsible for all of their personal shit that had nothing to do with what we were out here fighting for.” MORE

RELATED: Police had no plans to evict anyone, Chief Inspector Joseph Sullivan said about 6:30 p.m. “We look forward to working with Occupy Philadelphia and a resolution of the problem. Confrontation is never good. Anyone who is being fair would have to say that there is a big difference between the police reaction to Occupy Philadelphia than in other cities,” he said. “I definitely, definitely want to really stress that the vast majority of people participating in this movement have been cooperative, nonviolent, and very respectful,” he said. MORE

RELATED: Pre-Occupied

RELATED: This is the home of the Metzger family. Arielle,15. Her brother Austin, 13. Their mother died when they were very young. Their dad, Tom, is a carpenter. And, he’s been looking for work ever since Florida’s construction industry collapsed. When foreclosure took their house, he bought the truck on Craigslist with his last thousand dollars. Tom’s a little camera shy – thought we ought to talk to the kids – and it didn’t take long to see why.

Pelley: How long have you been living in this truck?

Arielle Metzger: About five months.

Pelley: What’s that like?

Arielle Metzger: It’s an adventure.

Austin Metzger: That’s how we see it.

Pelley: When kids at school ask you where you live, what do you tell ‘em?

Austin Metzger: When they see the truck they ask me if I live in it, and when I hesitate they kinda realize. And they say they won’t tell anybody.

Arielle Metzger: Yeah it’s not really that much an embarrassment. I mean, it’s only life. You do what you need to do, right? It’s life for a lot of folks.

The number of kids in poverty in America is pushing toward 25 percent. One out of four. Austin and Ariel usually get cleaned up for school at gas stations. They find its best to go to different ones every day so the managers don’t get sore. Before the bell, they blend in with more than 1,100 other homeless students in the Seminole County schools. At Casselberry School we met 15 kids who’d been living in cars. MORE

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Monday, November 28th, 2011

ROLLING STONE: When David Bowie appeared on Bing Crosby’s 42nd and final Christmas special, it was his attempt to make his arty career more mainstream, more normal. Instead, the glam-rocker’s duet with the legendary crooner Crosby resulted in one of the strangest moments of both of their careers. In September of 1977, Bowie taped his only appearance on Crosby’s family-friendly Christmas variety show; the pair sang two songs, “Little Drummer Boy” and “Peace on Earth.” They reportedly spent less than an hour rehearsing both songs – during which Bowie reportedly begged in vain to sing anything besides “Little Drummer Boy” – and on camera, Bowie followed up the duet with a largely impromptu take on his own “Heroes.” Bowie and Crosby’s “Little Drummer Boy” has become an enduring cult classic due to the pair’s bizarre on-screen chemistry: saccharine and straight-laced, replete with banter about John Lennon and fleeting expressions of consternation crossing the Thin White Duke’s face. Sadly, Crosby died one month after filming, but the single has been a staple of British holiday radio ever since. MORE]


PREVIOUSLY: The Man Who Fell To Earth

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RIP: Ken Russell, Fever-Dream Fabulist, Dead At 84

Monday, November 28th, 2011

THE GUARDIAN: Ken Russell, the director behind the Oscar-winning Women in Love has died aged 84. Russell died on Sunday in his sleep, according to his friend, the arts writer Norman Lebrecht. Known for a flamboyant style that was developed during his early career in television, Russell’s films mixed high and low culture with unusual deftness and often courted controversy. The Devils … a religious drama that featured an infamous scene between Oliver Reed and Venessa Redgrave sexualising the crucifixion – was initially rejected by Warner Brothers. It will finally be released in its entirety in March next year, 42 years after it was made, when it will form part of the BFI’s centenary celebrations. Women in Love, released in 1969, became notorious for its nude male wrestling scene between Alan Bates and Oliver Reed, while Tommy, his starry version of The Who’s rock opera, was his biggest commercial success, beginning as a stage musical before being reimagined for the screen in 1976. But Russell fell out of the limelight in recent years, as some of his funding resources dried up and his proposed projects ever more eclectic. He returned to the public eye in 2007, when he appeared on the fifth edition of Celebrity Big Brother, before quitting the show after a disagreement with fellow contestant Jade Goody. MORE

RELATED: Final Interview

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SH*T MY UNCLE SAYS: A Man For No Reasons

Friday, November 25th, 2011

BY WILLIAM C. HENRY “Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The phoniest, pettiest, most hypocritical politician to ever ply the trade has proclaimed he wants to become your President.” Such is the headline that should have blazed across the front page of every newspaper and online news source in America on May 11, 2011, the day Newt Gingrich became convinced that the passage of time had obscured his true persona to the point that he just might be able to pull off a run for the highest office in the land. And, although the aforestated somewhat uncomplimentary hyperbole could probably attach to an all too forgettable number of elected representatives past and present, Newt appears to be the only one considerate enough to have left a veritable treasure trove of incontrovertible proof behind for us to savor. So, without further ado, I present the career highlights of an altogether lowlife who deems he should be king (and, yes, this is the same guy that 24% of Republicans currently say they want to see seated in the Oval Office):

The MORALS thing: Newt claims that the reason he decried Clinton so for his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky was that the President lied about it under oath. Obviously all such scruples went out the window when it came to lying to his God and especially his conservative Christian constituency about his own adulterous affairs: a) sleeping with his then to be second wife while still married to his first, and, b) playing house with his then to be third wife while still married to his second. Who knew that  “love of country” was such an aphrodisiac?!

The AIR FORCE ONE thing: Back in ‘95 Newt found himself seated in the rear of Air Force One on a trip to Israel as part of the delegation selected to attend the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin. He didn’t like the view. Said Clinton passed by seat and barely said a word. Final straw was having to exit through rear door upon return to Washington (it’s the wee hours of the morning, you’re seated in the back of the plane, you exit through the rear door, get it?). Triple whammy. Went into deep funk. Decided that such a “snub” was more than sufficient reason to shut down the government. That really happened. Later confided that his behavior was brought on by “chafing from a soiled diaper.” That’s probably just a rumor.

The ETHICS thing: By early ‘97 most of his fellow Congressmen had finally had enough of their Speaker’s “ethics.” He’d been flouting the rules for years to such an extent that they hit him with $300,000 fine and severe reprimand. It was the first time in 208 years that anything even approaching that had been forced upon a Speaker of the House. By late ‘98 Newt’s “ethics” had become such a millstone around the neck of his party that he was forced to resign from not only the Speakership but, for all intents and purposes, Republican politics in general. To put it bluntly, no one wanted anything to do with him. But, hey, this is America, land of opportunity. Relieved of the limelight but knowing none the less how to pick a political pocket or two, our Mr. Gettingrich was about to get a whole lot more so “teaching” Fat Freddie Mac some table manners.

The HISTORICAL CONSULTANCY thing: For months Gingrich has been harshly critical of those who worked with or for Freddie Mac, the semi-autonomous federal mortgage giant who was up to its thieving teeth in the financial meltdown and, like the rest of its ilk, required a healthy government bailout. A $72.2 billion dollar one (and counting) to be precise. In fact, Newt even went so far as to say that Democrats like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd (who he said were close to lobbyists for Freddie) should be jailed. Whoops! Turns out it’s none other than the happy hypocrite himself who’s been Freddie’s highly paid go-to man in Washington for years. $1.8 to $2 million high actually. And, it’s OK, because he’s not a real lobbyist, he just plays one on TV!

The FAITH thing: It has always amused me how a guy who flaunts his religiosity so often and so intensely can so regularly and so disdainfully throw basic tenets to the wind. Be it his remarks about gays, women, blacks, Muslims, a rather special Latina, children, or the poor, Newt has been pretty much the poster child for two-faced faith proponency from the beginning. But it’s his stated feelings about who’s is the “true” religion in a Constitutionally mandated freedom-of-religious-choice (or entirely not, if one so chooses) distinctly-separated-church-from-state nation such as ours that should give everyone real pause when it comes to installing a man like Gingrich at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Here in his own carefully couched words delivered to the faithful at John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church is an oppressor in the making: “I have two grandchildren–Maggie is 11, Robert is 9. I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they’re my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.” He went on to hold up his own Catholic faith as proof of his own undying patriotism. He lashed out at the college professors and mainstream media he says are seeking to wipe out the Founding Father’s Christian values. And he also targeted judges who he charges are effectively re-writing the Constitution. Never forget that one of the most proudly professed Presidential pray-ers of the modern era got 4,801 of our bravest young Americans needlessly dead, and 32,200 severely wounded. So, all things considered, if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, maybe it’s not a duck. Maybe it’s a newt.

And maybe you can tell a lot about a political party by the company it keeps. In any event, it’s a very sad state of affairs indeed when you learn that this man plus a chronic panderer, a blathering idiot, a sexual harasser, an anarchist, and a serial killer–can you guess who’s who?–are the very best the one with the elephant logo has to offer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fed up early stage septuagenarian who has actually been most of there and done most of that. Born and raised in the picturesque Pocono Mountains. Quite well educated. Very lucky to have been born into a well-schooled and somewhat prosperous family. Long divorced. One beautiful, brilliant daughter. Two far above average grandsons. Semi-retired (how does anyone manage to do it completely these days?) and fully-tired of bullshit. Uncle of the Editor-In-Chief.

1,845 = The number of Americans killed in action in Afghanistan
18,342 = The number of Americans  wounded in Afghanistan

0 = The number of financial industry kingpins indicted for having committed the most massive FRAUD in American history and wrecking the global economy, plunging untold millions into lives of misery and deprivation.

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SIDEWALKING: #Occupy The Campaign Trail

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

President holding note passed to him by #Occupy protester in New Hampshire by Charles Dharapak/AP

RELATED: The Occupy movement trailed President Obama to New Hampshire today, where protestors briefly interrupted his jobs speech at a Manchester high school. Using the so-called “human microphone” method, protestors shouted Obama down just minutes into his speech, calling attention to the arrest of peaceful protestors at Occupy movements around the country. MORE

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Free Parking Is The Opium Of The Masses

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
CHURCH PARKING FOR ATHEISTS: This site allows you download parking placards that are used by some church-goers to park in otherwise illegal No Parking or No Stopping Zones, during services or other church events. This service is provided for entertainment purposes only. Any unauthorized use of the materials contained herein is not sanctioned. This is not an endorsement of parking illegally on sundays to go to brunch or engage in any other secular activities. MORE

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HOT DOC: The Survivor’s Guide To Tahrir Square

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011


AMR BASSIOUNY: Many people are either new or relatively inexperienced to violent protests, and considering what is happening these days, you might want to get close to the action and see what is happening or maybe even join the fighting yourself.  Before doing so, it’s essential to know how to do it right.  If you take it lightly, you could end up seriously injured, incapacitated or even dead. In this post I will go through how to prepare and protect yourself from attacks by the Central Security Forces (CSF) and the Military forces, as each uses different weapons and strategies. Before entering a protest or battle you need to have the following things:

Pre-Protest Preparation

  • Essentials
    • Scarf (palestinian-style) – To protect your neck and to coveryour face if needed.
    • Fully charged phone – Expect the worst
    • ID – In case you are injured or dead, people can identify you
    • Jeans/heavy pants – Protection for your legs/crotch
    • A thick jacket/top – Protection for your upper body
    • Something to cover your head such as a hooded shirt or beanie – Protection from rocks, batons or rubber bullets
    • Running shoes – You will run
    • Gas mask -Protection from deadly effects of tear/nerve gass.  Full mask recommended or add swimming goggles to protect the eyes from gas, rocks and rubber bullets
    • Tissues
    • 1 glove – To hold and throw gas canisters back at police without burning your hand
    • Small water bottle
  • Additional items
    • Spray paint – To spray the windshield of police/military cars or even in the face of any attackers
    • Coke/pepsi/other alkaline solution  – To neutralize burning effects of tear gas
  • What not to do
    • Don’t wear contact lenses, make-up, moisturizers or vegetable/mineral oil-based cream, it will bind the CS on skin and can boost up the skin irritation.

Before you enter the fight

  1. Plan your escape – Look for easy exit routes where you can run freely without getting stuck.
  2. Plan your steps – Look around for areas where you can take cover and where people are getting hit to avoid ending up in the same place
  3. Find the direction of the wind, this will be extremely useful when tear gas lands near you
  4. Put your gas mask on, secure your scarf and clothes and go ahead
  5. MORE

MUST SEE: Takin’ It To The Streets

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AP TICKER: To Protect & Serve Who?

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

AP weighs in on the brutalization of OWS protesters across the country by police, quoting from former Seattle police chief Neil Stamper’s piece in The Nation about the militarization of the police in the wake of the War On Terror and The War On Drugs.

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Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

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Via BuzzFeed

Cost of the War in Iraq
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