Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

31 July 2008

A.C. Bound

Sorry I've been a bit lax posting the past few days, but it's going to continue through early next week as 1) heading to A.C. to catch The Killers at the Borgata tomorrow night 2) only to return to a massive pile of freelance work that's hanging over my head. Check back after Sunday. Holla.

29 July 2008


Injustice is the only word that comes to mind when I hear that Teddy "It's Tubes" Stevens got indicted today. So, so sad. It's like the feds got a big truck and dumped all their indictment data into it and tried to push it through the internets, which my staff sent me yesterday.

28 July 2008

Dear Knee-Jerk Liberals...

Listen, I know Robert Novak is an absolutely vile human being. The dregs of the journalistic earth, and the epitome of hubris, to boot. But I have one thing to ask of you today, as you prepare to blog your "it couldn't have happened to a better person" posts about his being diagnosed with a brain tumor:

Don't do it.

It's the type of malady that you shouldn't wish upon your greatest enemy. (Maybe upon bin Laden or Omar Hassan al-Bashir. But that's about it.) Should you choose to do so, as I'm sure many of you will, you heard it here first: You're absolutely more vile than Novak is. Plus, there will be a special place reserved in hell for you.

Thanks for your time.


Public Service Announcement

It seems that The Doddering Old Coot Who Can't Walk Down a Supermarket Aisle Without Knocking All th Applesauce Over has decided to run some cheap-shot campaign ads against Obama. I know this because I got an email today from, in their effort to raise money to air one of their own ...

MTV just started accepting political ads. And the first political ad that millions of young people will see is a negative attack on Barack Obama—saying he's "worse than a flip-flopper" and accusing him of no longer being against the war.1 It's outrageous.
The Republicans' strategy is clear: kill the hope that's brought millions of new young voters out of the woodwork.

Here's a link to the commerical, complete with a way to donate some hard-earned coin to help get it on the air.
At the very least, check out the commerical. It's the right thing to do. Because, let's be honest:

1) Obama isn't a flip-flopper and
2) This country, and this world, can't afford another eight years of a Bush-smelling regime. Don't let them steal it again.

(Obama's biggest fan has a cold one at Krupa's, the best bar in the United States of America)

27 July 2008

Reading Roundup

The Sunday funnies were rather light this week.
From the Inquirer, an AP report that I can't believe I agree with. Specifically, now that New York has made assaulting a meter maid a felony, seems to me that they ought to do the same here in the 215. Yes, the Parking Authority is pure evil. I know this. But the men and women working the streets aren't. At least not all the time. So, in my humble estimation, slapping one of them around since they gave you a ticket -- I'm looking at you, Susanna Foo -- needs to be met with some charges with teeth. Verbal degradation? All day, all night, y'all. And the more inventively offensive, the better.

Interesting side note: When that Parking Wars show was on A&E, I was talking to one of the meter regulators out in Old City. She told me that, thanks to the portrayal of one of her peers hiding in a bush waiting to ambush not only landed some of the folks on the show in big trouble (and rightfully so), but everybody who writes tickets had to go through a bit of sensitivity training.

And from the Times, the start of an interesting series looking at whether this here Internet has dumbed down the world's reading ability. And, as a result, created a species of halfwits who think blogs could somehow replace the working print media as a source of information. I think this quote from young Nadia Konyk sufficiently answers the question, no?

Nadia said she wanted to major in English at college and someday hopes to be published. She does not see a problem with reading few books. “No one’s ever said you should read more books to get into college,” she said.

You know what else nobody ever said, kiddo? That you need to be able to read a book to write one. Guess they thought it went without saying. :)*

*emoticon used solely as comment on dumbed-down discourse

26 July 2008

Today's conversation at Eagles' camp

Coach Reid: "Oh, Lito. You can't believe everything you read. We always planned on keeping you here. You're a valued member of this team and I swear we're going to give you a little more money to keep you happy."

Lito Sheppard: "Oh really?"

CR: "Really. And believe you me, I'm not just saying this because Asante got hurt today. I Mormon-swear on Joseph Smith's grave."

State Supreme Court squeals like the pigs the middlestaters are

Good morning. Actually, good afternoon. Still dragging a wee bit from a late night of live Coldplay (really good show last night at the new Spectrum. They hit all the hits, and sounded very crisp and tight, though numerous times, I also caught myself wondering why they have a little U2-envy, and feeling that they didn't need to throw "Philadelphia" in the lyrics a few times to get love ala "Cleveland rocks!") Too late to check them out in Philly, but well worth catching them the next go 'round.
An interesting nugget in this morning's Inquirer though, about the state Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom, breaking out their old jug band and white hoods to strip Pennsylvania of hate-crime laws protecting, among others, gays, womenfolk and the disabled.

Now, I've never been the biggest fan of hate-crime legislation. Hate to see people's thoughts legislated. But Kooky Kreepy Kristian warriors like Michael Marcavage and his Repent America minions are wrong when they call this a "victory for constitutional government."
Wake up, white people: What it is is a victory for hate.
And ignorance.
And small-minded stupidity.

(Actual photo of one justice deliberating)

If you set out to solely harm someone because of their physical, religious or any characteristic, the charge should reflect that.
The irony here? Well, after reading the Inky's front-page piece about the Supremes' decision, head on back to page B2. Headline: "3 coal-region teens held in hate-crime killing."

According to a police affidavit, the defendants and three 17-year-olds were drinking alcohol in a wooded area of Shenandoah, then went to a block party. After leaving the party around 11 p.m., the group walked toward a park, where they encountered Ramirez and a teenage girl.
The youths goaded Ramirez and the girl, saying, "You should get out of this neighborhood" and "Get your Mexican boyfriend out of here," documents said. After Ramirez and the girl began walking away, someone yelled an ethnic slur at him, court documents said. He responded, "What's your problem?"
A fight ensued, during which police said Walsh punched Ramirez in the face. The victim fell and hit his head on the street, leaving him unconscious, after which Piekarsky kicked him in the head, police said.
The suspects fled. Ramirez underwent surgery but died about 30 hours later.
Crystal Dillman, the victim's 24-year-old fiancee, who is white and grew up in Shenandoah, said yesterday that Ramirez was walking her sister to a friend's house that night.
"He was just trying to be a good person, making sure she got [there] safe," said Dillman.

I would love to hear what the Marcavages of the world have to say about whether this is a hate crime or whether the Mexican boyfriend just shouldn't have been walking around in public. I mean, the nerve, right?

25 July 2008

RedLasso lassoed?

Well, I'm not quite sure how this will hinder my ability to pull clips onto the blog here, but word out of the Inky today has me a bit worried. To wit:

Redlasso shuts access to video clipping site

Redlasso Inc. today suspended access by bloggers to its video search site two days after some networks sued the King of Prussia company in federal court.

The company will continue to provide services to its business and radio customers, including Greater Media and XM Satellite Radio.

Here's what Ken Hayward, CEO of Redlasso, had to say:

We are very disappointed in the actions of select networks. We believe we have always acted within the law and have been respectful of the networks' rights. Unfortunately, they have forced our hand and are denying the blogging community access to the Redlasso platform that beneficially tracks the usage of newsworthy clips across the Web.

Hayward goes on to say that the company intends to continue talking with content providers in an effort to reach formal partnerships that "will be beneficial to the content owners and blogging community."

How'd they get to this point? You can read two previous posts here and here.

Posted by Mike Armstrong @ 12:26 PM

As a bit of news, I know this because I've been doing a little bit of freeelance online-video editing of late. Check the credits, yo.

24 July 2008

(Nude) Guys and (Plastic) Dolls

As I prepare to watch the Phils game -- not to mention having to work later this afternoon and all day tomorrow -- here's a final post for the week. This one comes courtesy of a poll asking for neighborhood horror stories.

I'll let commenter "buca" take it from here...

My neighbors in a small philly rowhome next door like to sit naked in their hot tub....only, my 11 year old daughter's bedroom window is right next to it, and looks down on their entire yard. Two weeks ago they had about 10 adults for a naked hot tub party. :( They haven't been around for me to talk to them yet, but I was advised by police that this violates public decency laws. They know my daughter's room is right there. Their deck is about five feet from my daughter's window, too, adn I have caught her out there in the buff, in full view of the street, too. I told her to go inside and she did, with a sarcastic smile. They knowingly do this in full view of children. Other than that, they are very nice. It could be worse, but this must stop! (please hold leering comments, it's not funny really)

Oh, c'mon buca, it's a wee bit funny, no? Fine, maybe not. But an email I received from the Hon. Rev. E.B. Webb in the ATL this morning was.

To wit:

Last night, I found myself watching "Love Me, Love My Doll" on BBC America -- dudes and their Real Dolls. I thought it would be pretty funny. It was true train wreck TV, the kind I usually enjoy, but it was just a little too creepy, to the point where I couldn't sit through the whole thing.
Still ... "Every few years I attempt to date organic girls."
This one guy introduced his real-life girlfriend to three of his eight dolls on his birthday. Initially (and on camera) she tried to come off as accepting of his kink even though you could tell she was, understandably, REALLY freaked out. Voice over: one week later she called it off.
I still feel pretty disturbed by the whole thing, so I thought I'd share.
You're welcome.

Just remember, Rev.: It puts the lotion on its skin. It does this whenever It's told.

Shame on me

I'm proud of many of the stories I wrote in my journalist days. I'm not proud of a few of them, too. So wouldn't you know that, thanks to the latest twists and turns in the Larry Mendte / Alycia Lane saga, one of the embarrassing pieces of writin' sits atop the top 100 most-read stories at the paper I used to work at. Why, you ask, am I embarrassed? Oh, just because these words appeared under my byline...

At last month's Philadelphia Home Show, dream rooms were designed for local-television figures and were displayed at the Convention Center. Dawn got together with Bonnie Richman of Karl's Furniture and dreamt up a room fit for her son. (We'd say Dawn and Larry did the dreaming, except hadn't the latter admitted the other day that "Dawn's been doing everything.")
There was a crib, toy box and dresser with a changing table custom-painted with boys and puppies to match the light, pastel upholstery of the glider and ottoman. On the back wall there were seven hand-painted letters that spelled out Michael's name.
It was, in a word, cute.

Well, I talked to Mendte the other day. Off the record, of course, since I'm not keeping a record these days. Suffice it to say, he was worried about the future, but still had some upbeat to him. But that was before the U.S. Attorney's press conference.

T- Minus one hour 16 minutes

Big game today in the "teams that aren't as good as the Mighty Destined-for-an-11-and-0-World-Series-Run Chicago Cubs" world of baseball. Following up on my stellar Euro 2008 picks, here's the Phils/Mets prediction:

Phillies 7, Mets 3.
WP: Moyer; 6 2/3 innings; 2ER; 4K; 2BB
HR: Burrell, Rollins
Tears: Many from Billy Wagner.

President Simmons?

I've long said it would take one hell of a candidate to get me to jump off the Obama bandwagon. Well, that candidate has arrived.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Fitness star and effervescence extreme Richard Simmons is on Capitol Hill today, tackling the issue of childhood obesity and pushing for increased school exercise programs. But as he testifies before the House Education and Labor Committee, the 60-year-old is nodding toward that celebrity siren song: political office. ...
During three minutes of follow-up questions, [Richard] Simmons displayed an almost Washingtonian flare for avoiding a direct position. "However I can be of use," he said, "If my country wants me, I'll be there for my country."
So has no plans to run?
"Well," he answered coyly, "I don't know. I may run for office. You never know."

"Effervescence extreme"? Solid.

Vince cries a river about reaping that which hath been sown, hope jury pool notices

Today's Daily News has a piece about a "wide-ranging interview" with outgoing scumbag, er, state senator Vince Fumo. By outgoing, I mean "going to prison" because of a ([an] alleged) level of hubris not seen since the days of the Greek guy who decided a word needed to be coined to describe the type of millionaire who will turn public office into a personal ATM machine.
My personal favorite part:

* Fumo said that he'd loved his 30 years in the Senate but that it had imposed a personal cost. "I've been through two divorces," he said. "I wasn't there for little league and that kind of stuff."

My personal second-favorite part:

* Of his September trial on corruption charges, Fumo said, "I'd be stupid if I wasn't scared. We're ready, and we're optimistic . . . I have no plans past September. I will be totally out of cash. I've sold all my investment real estate. I have one property left I'm trying to sell."

Aw. Wook at wittle Vinnie, all worried about money, forgetting that everybody who he's helped over the years can contribute to his prison-commisary account. Oh snap. Yeah, might want to tuck a few bucks away, bropiece. There ain't no heated sidewalks where you're heading.

Activist judges destroys right to name child Sex Fruit Hickey

Haven't thought much about New Zealand since, oh, three-ish years ago when all those groovy stories ran about how Lord of the Rings was being filmed there and whatnot. You haven't either, I'm sure. And we probably haven't missed anything. Until today...

A judge in New Zealand fed up with parents bestowing bizarre names on their offspring has given a girl named Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii the chance to change hers.
Judge Rob Murfitt has ruled that the girl, 9, become a ward of the court so her name can be changed. The girl was involved in a custody battle between her separated parents. In his ruling made public Thursday, Murfitt expressed concern at the "very poor judgment" shown by the parents in selecting the moniker.
"It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap, unnecessarily," said Murfitt. ...
In his ruling, Murfitt cited a list of strange names given to children in New Zealand.
He said names blocked by registration officials included Yeah Detroit, Keenan Got Lucy and Sex Fruit, while Number 16 Bus Shelter and Violence were allowed.

Granted, these fine Kiwis were only following Flavor Flav's lead in bestowing amazingly awesome weird names upon people.
But Number 16 Bus Shelter? Why didn't my parents think of that?
How can one accept Violence as a name, but not Yeah Detroit? (Fine, I know the answer to that one. Mr. and Mrs. Y. Detroit forgot to add an exclamation point at the end.)
And how, exactly, was Lucy gotten by Keenan?
So many questions. So damn many questions.

23 July 2008

Serena, you tramp!

From the Associated Press:

NEW YORK - "Gossip Girl" will get people talking. At least, that seems likely as the CW network brings to a boil its new campaign for the sexy prep-school soap.
The show's second season begins Sept. 1, following an August promotion to put viewers, um, in the mood. And here's a twist: The racy ads co-opt language from the very criticism of the show for being too, well, racy.
Alert surfers got a preview last week, when images of coupled-up "Gossip Girl" characters found their way onto several Web sites.
Item: Here's Serena van der Woodsen (series blonde Blake Lively) with eyes shut dreamily, mouth open, while a friend, his face buried in her tresses, nuzzles her neck.
Strongly suggesting the pair are just getting started, the headline, which quotes The Boston Herald, declares: "Every Parent's Nightmare."

22 July 2008


I don't think I've ever parted with 99 cents quicker than I did after randomly hearing this song the other day. A dolla bill. Yes, much quicker. But not 99 cents. I had to go with a live version, a damn fine live version, but a live version nonetheless, because, oddly, a lot of the links aren't embeddable. Is somebody in Styx watching this closely? (Clearly, it's whoever decided that the crowd needed to religiously be kept back off the front of the stage. Probably washes his hands everytime he touches a door knob.) If so, is it paying off? I'd certainly hope so. Because you will either 1) clap your hands at that part of the chorus which calls for a double clap or 2) think vividly about doing so.

Me? Didn't clap out loud. Actually did a double drum on the new desk. Regardless, I hope the youtube-inbed monitoring has paid, and will continue to pay, off in spades.

Win some. Lose some. All the same to me.

Buh doop bah doop.

21 July 2008

Lady fight!!!

Much will be said about this weekend's pit-row dustup between Indy-car racettes Danica Patrick and Milka Duno. All I'll say is this: Danica, Danica, Danica, all you accomplished was ensuring that the average non-Indy-car-race-fan (read: the world) now realizes that you are merely the second finest Indy-car racer in Indy-car racing. (To which I'd add, "Next time, throw a punch, beautiful babies. You need to tap into that whole goofy MMA fanbase, nahmean?")

20 July 2008

Reading Roundup

Wouldn't you know the week I mistakenly (read: ignored five letters advising me it was going to happen) let my New Yorker subscription lapse, they have their biggest cover controversy in eons. So goes life. But at least the Inquirer's Editorial Board had a good presidential piece to offer, comparing/contrasting Obama and Doddering Ole Man's stances on the environment. But why, oh why, oh why, was this lil nugget a parenthetical?

(Note: Recent McCain TV ads saying "Obama says 'No' to nuclear" are wrong. The senator from Illinois, the state with the greatest per-capita nuclear capacity as of 2005, has repeatedly said nuclear should be in the energy mix.)

That's a story unto itself (f'real, f'real, even though they likely just didn't want to turn the whole piece political).

Onto the New York Times Magazine which, this week features an interesting letter from Media Matters for America in response to the mag's compelling profile of Rush Limbaugh (who, I admit, I listened to while toiling in Florence, SC to, y'know, fit in a wee bit better).
Also, check the piece about how the Supreme Court's recent decision striking down race-based school deseg has opened the door to class-based deseg. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: This nation's biggest problems don't hinge on the color of our skin, but the depth of our bank accounts.

Around the country, school-district lawyers studied [Justice Anthony] Kennedy’s opinion and came to a rough consensus. In its amicus brief before the court, the Bush administration cited socioeconomic integration as a “race neutral” alternative to race-based assignment plans. Kennedy picked up on this, and no other justice wrote to contradict him. As a result, the school-district lawyers concluded that districts could assign an individual child to a school based on any kind of socioeconomic measure they chose — income, assets, parental education attainment. Districts could also be “race conscious,” according to Kennedy, when they drew school boundaries, chose sites for new schools and directed money to particular programs. But in these situations, they would usually be limited to taking into account the racial composition of a neighborhood rather than the race of an individual student.

Also, Grandmaster Flash takes to NYC, seems as if it's a busy time for the Blueberry Prince of New Jersey (as the fields of Hammonton are turning violet, Violet), and, in one of the more depressing pieces of the year, James Brown's belongings are auctioned off -- and I didn't get a cape or jumpsuit. Specifically a be-dazzled green one advertising, "SEX."

(2:37 - 3:03 is prime time)

Finally, on the local front, it seems that some place I used to work at has decided to pick an Internet fight with some guy I used to Internet spar with. I mention this because, God, I really don't know why. Um, because it's interesting? Nah, that ain't it.

19 July 2008

Back to the TV roots

We all have a few of those television moments that are indelibly etched into our brains when we're wee lads and lasses, and remain there forever. For me, it's the first time I saw David Byrne's shoulder pads, The Day After's melting cow and Gene Gene the Dancing Machine taking to The Gong Show stage.
Well, the Talking Heads are still here (at least on my iPod) and nuclear annihilation right around the corner, but Gene Gene (who sadly lost his legs to diabetes) was nowhere to be found when The Gong Show returned to TV the other night. What there was, however, was Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey ...

Not sure which was intoxicatingly creepier: Evil Monkey's face when Trixie Little stripped him down, or Andy Dick's pre-latest-mugshot face when he saw Evil Monkey's face when Trixie Little stripped him down.
I suspect my old pal Kenneth Keith Kallenbach would've probably made a run at the stage on this new show. But, sadly, Kenneth died in April. Here's the cause-of-death update from Saturday's Inquirer.

Yesterday's report indicated the manner of death to be "natural," brought on by cystic fibrosis with pneumonia and sepsis.
Kallenbach's family has alleged that he did not receive the proper medical treatment for his condition while in the county prison and that his health deteriorated dramatically.

18 July 2008

Die, Scott, Die

Say some guy slaughtered his wife and unborn child, got convicted of both murders and headed off to Death Row. You'd think justice was served, right? Well, you would unless you were one of those utterly shameless Kumbaya whistlers who think nobody should be put to death, no matter how horrific their crimes.
Thing is: We're living in a nation chock full 'o shameless Kumbaya whistlers. Even worse, a continent chock full 'o them, apparently.
Because this week brought word that the Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty was facilitating Scott Peterson's blogging from his deserved cell in San Quentin. His dead wife's mother -- which makes her the dead unborn child's grandmother -- talked about it on Larry King the other night. So, controversy will surely follow.
Now, I'm not going to say people on death row shouldn't have any contact with the outside world. I suppose it's OK that they do, if only to serve as a wound saltener. But what I am going to say is that people on death row should be put to death within, oh, I could even live with 10 years, of their conviction. But methinks the Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty, or NAMBLA, will likely use this as some sort of "Oh, look. He's suffering. Can anybody stop the horrors? The death penalty's bad. So, so bad." Watch. They will martyr this scumbag. And you hippies will fall for it, saying that we can't put Scotty down like a mutt with mange since there's a .00000000000000000000001 chance he's innocent.
All of which is to say, should this NAMBLA group continue facilitating Mange's blogging, I hope we get to the entry which reads ...

"I'm strapped to a gurney and they're putting a needle in my arm. Feeling very, very sleepy. Wait! Who's that? Is that you, Satan? Oh, wow, how great to finally meet you! I always knew we'd be together... [end]."

How do you say, "Big Perm, uh, Big Worm," in German? Now you know.

But do they actually sell Chili Fritos there?

17 July 2008

Absolutely priceless

From the Post-Chronicle, somewhere in Arkansas...

Whether he's Da Ali G, Borat, or Bruno, British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen likes to push the edge. This time, however, the major international superstar has really upset some people.
It seems the local police in Ft. Smith, Arkansas are trying to explain their way out of an embarrasing expose after it has been revealed they were "in" on the prank pulled by "Borat" star Sacha Baron Cohen.
A local advertising campaign promised a night of hardcore Mixed Martial Arts cage fighting and one dollar beers. Instead, the rowdy crowd got two men stripped down to their underwear and kissing.
"We had a contract for cage fighting. We were deceived," said Dwight Duncan, president of the Four States Fair Grounds which provided the venue.
"Borat" has not taken credit for the hoax, as a spokesman for Sacha Baron Cohen declined to say whether he was behind the prank.
But the comedy star is currently filming undercover as his latest creation, Bruno, a camp Austrian fashion reporter who just happens to be gay. The "Bruno" film is due in cinemas later this year.

Loose Fingers Sink (Access to) Bingers

So, how do I summarize this best for out of towners? Ok, some South Philly teens tend to be a bit rambunctious. You could even say delusional as to their lot in life.

Like Joseph Genovese Jr., for instance, who, after having run over two St. Louis women after a Cardinals/Phillies game a week or so back...

Police allege that Genovese hit Cindy Grassi, 43, and Sandra Wacker, 36, both of Missouri, when he ran a red light at Broad Street near Curtin while allegedly intoxicated. Police have declined to detail what substance they believe Genovese had consumed.

The women, in town to see their favorite team, the Cardinals, play the Phillies in an afternoon game on Thursday, were struck down while crossing the street. The two often took trips together to cities across the country to watch the Cardinals play, family members said.

... decided it'd be a good move to brag about his fast car, his access to weed and a purported need for speed on his MySpace page.

Genovese brags about how sexy he looks when he's high, and has posted pictures of himself smoking out of a bong.
"LOok AT ALL DATT WEeD!!!!" he wrote under one photo. "ahaha brought a POUNd just 2go 2pROM!!!!!!"
He also posted a picture of a sign, seen in many store windows throughout the city, that reads: "I proudly support the Philadelphia Police"
In the caption to that photo, Genovese writes that "i putt a dutch infront of the piggs posterr . . . "
A dutch, according to the Urban Dictionary, is a cigar wrapper that is typically used for rolling marijuana.
And, although he's been quoted on camera as saying that he's "not a drinker at all," there are at least nine photographs on his page in which he's pictured holding various types of alcohol.

Fast forward to this week, when Grassi died. (Wacker remains in the ICU.) Think Lil' Joey is still representin'?

According to one law enforcement source, Genovese was nowhere near as tough as he appears on his MySpace page when he turned himself in with his lawyer and family on Tuesday afternoon to AID.
The teen looked "pale-faced and kept throwing up," the source said.

The Problem with Awards Shows

I watch a lot of TV. A lot more than I should, probably. But when you have a satellite dish, and a DVR, you'd be doing the same. I mention this only to point out that whoever picks shows for Emmy nominations is a stark-ravin' moron. Because today, it was announced that the following shows were nominated for Best Drama...

Mad Men.
Boston Legal.

Now, I'm down with Dexter and Lost. F'sho. But what's wrong with this picture? I'll tell you what's wrong with that picture. The fact that "The Wire" only got a nod for best writing. Which it had (and you can see on full display over the next six installments of "Generation Kill" on HBO). But if you ask me ... go ahead, ask ... ok, thanks for asking ... Lost is the only drama that enters the conversation. For shame, Emmy nominating people, sheeeeeeeeeeeet.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

There are 2.59 million Google hits for the term, "Dutch Oven." (And, for what it's worth, 1.98 million for "dirty sanchez.") I mention the first part because, mirroring my oft-adolescent sense of humor, Cee Dub, the host of RFD-TV's "Dutch Oven and Camp Cooking" [insert Beavis laugh here] turned up on The Soup!'s latest weekly clip special.
For the record, I am not into horse packin'.

A funny clip in the proper context, yes. But it's safe to say that MTV's "From G's to Gents" will be papa's brand new bag of stories. There's a squirrel-like dude from A.C. A pure Guid (pronounced gweed) from Trenton. And a bunch of other G's who are trying to make the transition to Gent. Alas, a fine chap named "Pretty Ricky" from San Diego has already been voted off the show, which is hosted by Fonzworth Bentley. All Ricky did was, moments upon getting to the manse, was get mangled, piss on a wall, disrespect all the other haters and get evicted. For shame. I'd'a loved to see a few more weeks of Pretty Ricky, as I'm sure the world woulda. (The balls in the clip represent how many people voted to send him packing.)

Shine on, Ricky. Shine on.

16 July 2008

The Only Standings that Matter

So, the All-Star break is going, going and just about gone. What better time to point out ...

Cubs 57-38
Phils 52-44

Translation: 5.5 games back.

Cubs Baseball!!!

True Love: Blind to Copious Grits Injestion

Sometimes words aren't nearly enough. This is one of those times. Because to fully understand the beauty of a Waffle House wedding, one must watch the slide show at the bottom of this article. Still, I excerpt:

DACULA - As the famous twang of Hank Williams Jr. blasted from an SUV stereo Friday afternoon, about 30 folks socialized, sipped soda and puffed on cigarettes.
No, this wasn't a Fourth of July backyard barbecue. It was the run-up to a wedding.
In a Waffle House parking lot.
The lucky couple, George "Bubba" Mathis and Pamela Christian - both 23 and employees at the Dacula diner located at the Ga. Highway 316/U.S. Highway 29 interchange - wouldn't have it any other way.

Oh behave, Ms. Logan

This one's been a long time coming, and actually slipped my mind, which is why it's so late. But it's about Lara Logan, so I'm required by law to post. No, not because she done went and got knocked up by some dude with a wife. But because when Lara Logan talks, I doubt I'm the only one who automatically listens.

Furthermore, I will pay much attention to the happenings in Siam, Ceylon and Rhodesia. Now go get daddy a malted.

Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, you're not an easy man to hate. But you're a simple one to mock. To wit:

(CNN) – For the second time in two days, John McCain has referred to current events in “Czechoslovakia” – a country that officially ceased to exist in January of 1993.

“And I regret some of the recent behavior Russia that has exhibited, and I’ll be glad to talk about that later on including reduction in oil supplies to Czechoslovakia after they agreed with us on a missile defense system, etcetera,” said the presumptive Republican nominee at a New Mexico town hall Tuesday.

More than fifteen years ago, Czechoslovakia officially split into two nations – the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

On Monday, the Arizona senator made virtually the same statement about recent Russian moves that troubled him, citing that country’s attempt to reduce “the energy supplies to Czechoslovakia.”

12 July 2008

Reasonable Doubt

There are a lot of reasons I don't go to church much anymore. The fact that the people I'd be surrounded by in the pews are desperate enough to think that New York City tap water can cure cancer or jumpstart the economy? Yeah, that has to be pretty high on the list.

There are a lot of reasons I drink Miller Lite. The fact that Budweiser gives me a ranging headache? Yeah, that has to be pretty high on that list. But that doesn't mean it doesn't bother me that Anheuser-Busch is being bought out by a foreign company. Because it does.

There are a lot of reasons why the Bride wants me to start investing money. The fact that the Wall Street Journal's magazine, Smart Money, has deemed breast-implant companies a wise place to store some cash? Cest magnifique!

Also, check out tomorrow's New York Times for a piece about Square Pegs and another about a documentary trying to discern where the line between North and South (Jersey) is drawn. (I'm of the old 609/201 mind. If you were 609 in pre-cell America, you're South. If you were 201, you're my mortal enemy.

Mindblowing Television

On an odd Larry King run here, but when he does psychic kids and UFOs back-to-back nights, how can any of us resist? In this clip, a woman from Orlando absolutely blows my mind with a next-level time-travel question. She clearly blew Larry's too...

Ironically, it seems as if there's something to the report of odd aircraft in Texas, though my and Bride Hickey's money is on a military aircraft, what with the sighting being a wee bit from Crawford, TX.
Also, I take back what I said about Celebrity Circus (despite Mitch Gaylord) and Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal. I Love Money is the best show in television history. Poor Mr. Boston. Poor, poor Mr. Boston.

11 July 2008

Shame you didn't "vote like your life depend on it!"

I was thinking about Milton Street today. Probably because, in redoing the home office, I stumbed across his campaign literature which now sits inches from this keyboard upon which I'm typing, to remind me of what could have been: A Philadelphia with Milton in the headlines every day, fighting for you, and for me.
Alas, all we have is Larry Farnese. And he, sirs, is no Milton Street. And he, sirs, never will be. And I, sirs, have a right to be hostile. Because you, sirs, will soon figure out what campaign managing Brian was trying to say all along: A puppet does not a good legislator make.

The State of the Union, Political edition

From this month's Vanity Fair (also referenced in the next post about talking rabbits) is a fine summary of the philosophical ignorance that landed the Clinton Clan on the sidelines where it belongs...

Hillary’s campaign had failed to understand that America was in the midst of a national passage from the old-style confrontational politics of the boomer generation—a divisiveness perfected by both the Clinton and Bush administrations—into a new style of Netroots politics, open-sourced and inclusive, multi-racial and multicultural.
“By presenting her as the virtual incumbent, the insider who knew how to make the wheels of government work from day one, she was being inferentially positioned as running for the third term of Bill Clinton,” says a senior adviser. “We unwittingly set it up for Obama to play not only the anti-Clinton but the outsider, who was going to come in and clean out the gray-haired, patronage-laden gumshoes of Washington’s shadow government.”
Clinton’s people had no idea how excited a whole new cohort of voters would become by a youthful figure who tapped into their vital hunger for change from the ground up. Obama started cultivating these new voters at low-cost events. The turnout amazed even his own team. What began as I.M.’s and campus meet-ups developed into a genuine social movement.

All pols and their handlers would be wise to take these lessons to heart, if they have one, that is. Eddie Rendell, who is among those with a heart, though if he keeps stopping down the hill at Johnny Manana's for takeout when he's home in our East Falls 'hood, it could conceivably attack, is quoted in the piece. Dude's a sage.

... Hillary let it be known she was open to being promoted for running mate.
BET’s Bob Johnson delivered a letter to [U.S. Rep. Jim] Clyburn asking him to rally the Congressional Black Caucus to press Obama to take Clinton. But Clyburn and Rangel knew better.
Governor Rendell had to send a public wrist slap to Hillary: “You don’t bargain with the presidential nominee. Even if you’re Hillary Clinton and you have 18 million votes, you don’t bargain.”

Learn it. Know it. Live it.

The State of the Union: Culture edition

I'd never heard of Kat Dennings (pictured) before. That changed when I read this month's Vanity Fair, the one with Serena van der Woodsen on the "Hollywood's New Wave" cover. Without going down the Gossip Girls wormhole, again, I now know this: Ms. Dennings was in The 40-Year-Old Virgin (which was good, but not the seminal comedy some try to present it as) and will appear in the upcoming film, The House Bunny. I hear it's about a talking indoor rabbit. Or a stripper/nude model who does something presumably funny and, after some unexpected drama, uplifting and empowering at a house.
She also lists her hometown as Philadelphia in VF, which is reason enough for me to not only reference her here, but use her as a springboard into what I consider the best summary of the past five years of modern culture I've read in, well, the past five years. (It's in the article about the young kiddies who will either shave their heads and assault car doors or go crazy. Those are the only options. Seriously. World's wacked.) To wit:

It was the spring of 2003 — a more innocent time in America, comparatively speaking.
At Smashbox Studios in Culver City, California, Vanity Fair convened Hollywood’s most promising teen titans and twentysomethings to be polled and photographed for a glamorous yearbook spread in the magazine. Only a half-decade ago it was, yet it seems like a cultural eon.
A young star, fresh from the produce section, could still venture out at night without fear of being pecked to pieces like Tippi Hedren in The Birds.
Founded the previous year, the Web site Gawker, that celebrity garbage-disposal unit, hadn’t yet left its snot mark on the culture; its best worst years lay ahead.
YouTube hadn’t yet sprung into existence to provide a pandemic platform for every unguarded mishap and surveillance-cam video.
Nor had TMZ and its splattergun TV spin-off, where a bull pen of avid rookies lob chum at host Harvey Levin during the show (actual teaser: “Jamie Lynn Spears and Casey went to the Wal-Mart superstore yesterday … ”—pushing a shopping cart, no less!) as they all sip from their stupid cups of whatever.
HBO’s Entourage, tracking a merry band of moochers along the red carpets and velvet ropes of post-MTV Hollywood, had yet to hug it out, bitch.

I'm not gonna lie. I love me some Entourage. But VF is onto something with the rest of it, particularly Gawker (though you can substitute anybody who trades in snark here -- and if you think I'm looking at you, I am) leaving "its snot mark on the culture." I'm not being ironic here. Too much snot out there.
In any event, check the piece out. Not only are there pretty pictures of pretty people (and a video in which McLovin sings about doing dirty things to Christian Bale, but only in his bat suit), but it's quite a shock to sit back and realize how much has changed how quickly and how little of it actually has a lick of value. (My vote for the biggest success of the bunch is Amanda Seyfried of Allentown. Something about the eyes. And, of course, the talent shown on Big Love.)

They see dead people not named Willis or Swayze

Have you caught this new show, Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal on A&E yet? I have. (Fine, my tivo has.) And it's relatively rad. Not sure if I believe these kids see dead people. I'm not sure they don't, either. In any event, the show that dethroned Mitch Gaylord's Celebrity Circus on my pop-cult must-see list was the focus of the undead Larry King's program last night, complete with Jm-J-Bullock-esque host Chip Coffey. Here's an excerpt, courtesy of the fine people at RedLasso.

10 July 2008

Think piece

Yes, it probably will be a front-row seat to history, but is it tacky to turn it into a paid lottery?

Friend --

I wanted you to be the first to hear the news.
At the Democratic National Convention next month, we're going to kick off the general election with an event that opens up the political process the same way we've opened it up throughout this campaign.
Barack has made it clear that this is your convention, not his.
On Thursday, August 28th, he's scheduled to formally accept the Democratic nomination in a speech at the convention hall in front of the assembled delegates.
Instead, Barack will leave the convention hall and join more than 75,000 people for a huge, free, open-air event where he will deliver his acceptance speech to the American people.
It's going to be an amazing event, and Barack would like you to join him. Free tickets will become available as the date approaches, but we've reserved a special place for a few of the people who brought us this far and who continue to drive this campaign.
If you make a donation of $5 [buy a $5 scratch off or Wonka bar] or more between now and midnight on July 31st, you could be one of 10 supporters chosen to fly to Denver and spend two days and nights at the convention, meet Barack backstage, and watch his acceptance speech in person. Each of the ten supporters who are selected will be able to bring one guest to join them.
Make a donation now and you could have a front row seat to history.
We'll follow up with more details on this and other convention activities as we get closer, but please take a moment and pass this note to someone you know who might like to be there.
It will be an event you'll never forget.

Thank you,


David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Yep, still unsure.

The truth hurts Dallas fans

Photo swiped from presented with no additional comment necessary as the image clearly reinforces a fact about the Cowgirls' QB that we've all known all along.

Ryan Howard don't like big butts, and J. Roll cannot lie

In this week's Sports Illustrated -- the one that accurately deemed last week's Nadal/Federer Wimbledon final "the Greatest Match Ever" -- Dan Patrick interviews Jimmy Rollins. When asked who his favorite comedian is, J. Roll shouts Chappelle out. Then, he explains...

DP: Who's the Dave Chappelle of the Phillies?
JR: Probably Ryan Howard. He's always the referee when we go out and see something that's just out of whack, whether it be a guy dressed up crazy, a girl just way out of pocket. Let's say you got a girl and she has a stomach that's sticking out further than the rest of her body parts....

DP: Sort of like Ryan has?
JR: Yes, something like that. He'll literally blow the whistle, put his hands up; he'll be like, Offsides, too much leading in front of the pack. You're like, This dude is crazy.

Say what you will about R. Ho jamming up the fatties. But c'mon Jimmy, Chappelle gave us Ashy Effin Larry and Tron Carter pleading the "FiF." Sorry, MVP, that dude is crazy. Your first baseman ain't.

09 July 2008

The Hickeys hit the big time

So, I got home from Krupa's last night, turned on thee old tellie and what did I see? Oh, only my fictional kinfolk, ironically also from Camden County, dueling it out on the new celebrity version of Family Feud. God bless the Hickeys (even the fake ones on My Name is Earl)!

In other news, keen-eyed Blunt reader Christopher Reber, a Temple student, points out that I wasn't actually paranoid that the Parliaments in California were designed differently than the local stock. In fact, the local stock could soon be altered...

HARRISBURG -- Cigarettes in Pennsylvania are due to get safer, under legislation approved by the Legislature.
House Bill 1612, introduced by Rep. Timothy J. Solobay, D-Washington, would require all cigarettes sold in Pennsylvania to be "fire safe."
Low-ignition strength cigarettes are less likely to cause a fire if they are left unattended by careless smokers, said state Fire Commissioner Edward A. Mann, who praised the legislation.
"Fire-safe cigarettes are rolled with bands of less porous, slow-burning paper, so if the cigarette is left unattended, it will go out when it burns down to one of those bands, he said. "There have been too many tragedies caused by the careless use of cigarettes, and this standard is designed to reduce that risk."
The bill was passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate and will be signed into law by Gov. Ed Rendell, said spokesman Chuck Ardo.

08 July 2008

The Mysteries of Air Travel

So, I ended up taking the window seat on the flight to Cali last week. Usually an aisle guy. Not sure why. In any event, once we got around Rocky Mountains area, I took note of these weird formations on the ground. Circles. But seemingly man-made as they're grouped together. If anybody knows what they are (pictured here, blurrily, through a US Air window), by all means drop a line to brianhickey9 at hotmail dot com.

07 July 2008

Tha Return

Well, sorry about the false blog-alarm last week. Had a nasty head cold upon getting back from Sonoma and relegated myself to couch duty. Luckily, that tour included a full viewing of yesterday's epic Wimbledon final which, if you missed, for shame. It'll be reaired tonight at 7 on ESPN Classic. Because Nadal's five setter over Federer was indeed a classic. I shan't ruin the details in case you want to watch it clean, but suffice it to say, the back-and-forth action set a high bar for the U.S. Open and, sadly, made Andy Roddick more of an afterthought than ever.

Photo taken in a SF bathroom. Still not sure what kind of weed comes from a goat, but I'd be interested in finding out if anybody has taken the aforementioned product.

So anyway, I have to head down to the hell on earth aka the DMV to get a new license today. Will report back with Reaper-esque impressions of the fine Columbus Blvd. establishment. But in the meantime, here are a few stories that caught my eye over the week/weekend.

What's the significance of the number 33,000? Oh, that's just the number of exterminators that are being sent to Beijing in advance of the 08.08.08 Opening Ceremonies in order to, and I quote, "battle a locust infestation ... in the hopes of heading off a migration to Beijing during the Olympics." Ok, let's do a little checklist here: Natural disaster? Earthquake; check. Ominous signs from the sea? Yeah, the algae onslaught that has rendered water events questionable; check. My only question now is whether NBC will show the arrival of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse live, or wait until prime time in the states.

(Don't) let the swiftboating of Barack Obama begin.

Item: Why are West Philly's trustfund babies upset these days? Oh, because one of their buildings has been renamed after a NY Post Page Six editor, that's why. There's a witty line in there somewhere, but I'm just too tired to look this morning. All my mental energy has gone to brace myself for the DMV.

From the Injustice Files ...
Man using Taser in video is jailed
WAUKESHA, Wis. - A Wisconsin man who posted a video online showing him and his father shocking each other with a stolen stun gun has been sent to prison.
Paul Crowell pleaded guilty to possession of an electric weapon and was sentenced June 20 to two years. Documents say he stole a Taser from a police officer. He got it while sitting in a patrol car after his vehicle was found in a ditch.
The 22-year-old allegedly showed the online video to a girl, and she reported it to police. Crowell's father, Paul Dupey, also pleaded guilty to possession of an electric weapon. He is scheduled to be sentenced in August.
- AP

From the Injustice Files, Roxborough edition ...
A new meeting schedule and the imminent summer hiatus spelled a busy agenda for the June 19 meeting of the Ridge Park Civic Association as approximately 70 people crowded into the Fifth District Police Headquarters ... Most of those in attendance were present for one of three reasons: the proposed expansion of Shop Rite onto the former location of Epiphany Lutheran Church, concerns over underage drinking at a residence on Lodge Rd., and drug activity in the vicinity of Ridge and Paoli Aves. Although it was certain that the Shop Rite issue would dominate the agenda the meeting followed its usual order of addressing police-related concerns first.
District Commander, Capt. John Cerrone, accompanied by Community Relations Officer Charles Kline, told the membership that he had spoken personally to Lodge Rd. residents about drinking parties held by underage girls in the absence or apparent apathy of their father.

Methinks somebody's about to get a Dad of the Year mug!

And finally, fresh off the presses from my SF visit, an excerpt from The Onion's brilliant Gay Pride Issue, headlined, "Homosexuals: We Let Them Know How Gay Proud Of Them We Are." In this installment, columnist Bruce Heffernan tackles the age-old question, "Why Do All These Homosexuals Keep Sucking My C*ck?"
What is it with these homos? Can't they control their sexual urges? Aren't there enough gay cocks out there for them to suck on without them having to target normal people like me?
Believe me, I have no interest in getting my cock sucked by some queer. But try telling that to the guy at the beach club. Or the one at the video store. Or the one who catered my wedding. Or any of the countless other homos who've come on to me recently. All of them sucked my cock, and there was nothing I could do to stop them.
I tell you, when a homosexual is sucking your cock, a lot of strange thoughts go through your head: How the hell did this happen? Where did this fairy ever get the idea that I was gay? And where did he get those fantastic boots?

01 July 2008

Guess who's back. Back again. Yeah, me. Tell a friend.

... And with a really nasty sore throat from the airplane, methinks. Or the Parliaments in Cali which, I will maintain with zero evidence, are made differently so as not to torch acres when somebody tosses a lit one out of their car window. In any event, I have to go retrieve Charlie Dawg from Bride Hickey's family's house in Bucks, so look for a return to the blog tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy a camera phone shot of the Golden Gate, taken from a moving rental car and one of the sea lions off Pier 39 in San Fran.
Hasta manana, babies.

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