That's Just The Booze Talking

Thursday, March 10, 2005

‘Roid Rage

Seriously, this joke has gone on long enough. In 1998, when the obviously ripped Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were booming their way into the history books, baseball didn’t say a peep. The race to beat Maris brought the league some well-needed goodwill a few years after the strike almost crippled the game for good, and boosted ratings and attendance. Selig and the owners didn’t say boo. Nobody in the press voiced a single objection. Now, pressed by the dude whose baseball acumen led him to trade Sosa for a bag of popping corn and a rusty door hinge, everyone is in a ‘roids frenzy. But guess what: The fans don’t care. We like dingers. The long ball makes what’s often a moribund enterprise a hell of a lot more fun. (Boston fans, do not deny this: How much of a charge did you get from the Manny & Papi show last season? Thought so.)

For my money, baseball’s biggest problem ain’t steroids, it’s the lack of a salary cap. Have you taken a peek at the Royals’ roster lately? It looks like something from an unlicensed Super Nintendo game. If your drunk uncle bought you a bootleg copy of something called “Fun Time Happy Happy Baseball,” you’d pick the Royals as your default opponent whenever you wanted to pound a little humility into a few microchips in some kind of misguided allegiance to Gary Kasparov. The ghost of Dan Quisenberry would emerge from your sock drawer and ask you to show a little mercy toward his old team and you’d just say, “No can do, submariner.” Later, your mom will throw a cocktail party but the hors d’oeuvres will have all fallen to bits because U.L. Washington has stolen all the toothpicks.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Special Olympics

They won't put the matter to a referendum and no one's ever going to be allowed to vote for or against, but no matter how resolutely Mayor Bloomberg and his chums try to jam this Olympics business down our craw, New Yorkers won't be silenced. (Goes without saying really; we never shut the fuck up, not even for a minute, which is endearing in principle although not just a little draining. We're thinking specifically of the girl on the R train this morning who LOUDLY recounted a story about some "bitch ass" who wouldn't throw her a 14th birthday party, the bitch ass in question being her grandmother. Lovely child.) Anyway, as an adjunct of our grand tradition of never letting a moment pass without imposing our will upon it, we're happy to note that while the roar of the masses won't be heard outside City Hall, dissent is ringing through the five boroughs in the form of some rather clever anti-Olympics culture jamming. We're guessing that the people behind the NYC2012 campaign picked black with an idea to thwart defacement, not anticipating that our disgust for the proposal would lend itself to a certain ingenious inventiveness. Guess nobody in the Bloomberg camp has ever picked up a copy of Adbusters.

Also: The subway remains the greatest venue for ad graffiti, given its sheer volume of unpatrolled space, and while much of what's scrawled over movie posters and ads for the think tank that is the Interboro Institute tends to devolve toward the old spurting-cartoon-penis-hanging-from-the-ear trope, every now and again we run into some impressively revised copy. (We don't own a cellphone, let alone one with a built-in camera, so there are no pictures to link to, which means you'll just have to use your imagination here.) Best one we've seen in a while: At our Prospect Ave stop, for some dodgy plonk called Bolla Chianti. Superimposed on a sun-dappled Tuscan landscape are the words "Meet the New Italian in Town." Underneath, the annotation, He's already balling your wife. Funny that, but balling? Who wrote that, Norman Mailer?

Then there's this old favorite, which we can't believe is still making the rounds, given Puma's understandable discomfiture. We direct you to the puddle of genetic material cooling on the model's thigh.
Update: Meme First isn't allowing outside linkages, but this is a hop, skip and a jump away. For higher-res shots, click on the second set of links under the sub-head "Update."

And: Pretty comprehensive breakdown of the various issues in play can be found here and here.