“resident says bear likely got in through open door”

our hero has returned from a week of work-related training where he was forced to rise beyond early and sleep at an unreasonable time (before midnight, even), and in order to take it easy (which is to say, slightly harder than just NOT writing a post, but easier than writing a solid one that’s published on schedule), is just going to post some random links and mock them or comment on them or whatever it is that i do to earn my paycheck around here.

Vladimir Putin, with motorcycles
luckily, no one forgot to bring along a ridiculous flag-carrying biker to go along with all that Putin

brief update on our favorite topics #1: Putin’s latest shenanigans

so as well all know, the ridiculous antics of Vladimir Putin are a longstanding source of joy for me; he’s not utterly ridiculous like some politicians and dictators out there, but he always mixes in some craziness regarding bears or miniature submarines or camping to keep his administration/reign of glorious terror fresh, and now we have “additional motorcycles” and “karaoke with spies.”

so first, we once again have Putin involved in biker-related adventures; this time, he was apparently rocking black fingerless gloves and taking part in some sort of “international bikers convention.” it’s a little weird for me to picture bikers having something as formal as an international convention or to picture the prime minister of a real country wearing fingerless gloves, but these things seem more reasonable than either arguing the above-pictured motorcycle is a “tricked out bike” (i’m not going to argue with Putin, so i’ll just throw his description out there) or making this quote:

“Putin delivered a speech before the bikers, calling their means of transport “the most democratic.” “The bike is a symbol of freedom,” he said.”

actually, the latter one makes some sense, but how is a motorcycle the “most democratic” form of transport? cars are easier for the average person to drive, and seriously, we’re siding with motorcycles against history’s finest automobile manufacturer, the Yugo? garbage.

bears doin thangs
you can tell this is a much more normal bear, because it seems foiled by doors

brief update on our favorite topics #2: bears doin’ thangs

at this point, i have to admit that it probably seems like any time a bear does anything in North America, i consider it to be important, breaking news; frankly, i would not dispute this assessment too much. bears are awesome! the things they do are awesome! granted, if they’re bursting into campsites and destroying people’s lives, okay, that’s not that awesome, but when they’re just getting up to fun and games, what’s not to like? enter this story (“Bear Raids Laconia Kitchen, Takes Stuffed Bear”), which starts off strong from the subtitle:

“Resident Says Bear Likely Got In Through Open Door”

this is seriously a top-ten unnecessary observation, because let’s be honest, there’s two ways a bear gets into your house: it smashes its way in, or a door is open. they’re bears, they’re not bringing lock-picking equipment or leaping from rooftop to rooftop to surreptitiously steal your jewels.

“A New Hampshire mother said her two young sons learned an important lesson about leaving the outside door open after a black bear walked into their kitchen and ate two pears and a bunch of grapes and took a drink from the family fishbowl. On its way out of the Laconia house, the real bear grabbed a stuffed bear … The stuffed animal was found in the family’s back yard, next to a box of Goldfish crackers.”

now, i like to picture a random bear spotting this stuffed bear, getting emotional and trying to rescue it, and then coming to the realization that this stuffed bear isn’t showing it any kind of appreciation for the work being done on its behalf. but even if you DON’T want to indulge me in my flight of fancy, this is still a pretty random bear pillaging. two pears and a bunch of grapes? and maybe some crackers? and here i thought bears just quested for beers.

“Several days ago, a homeowner caught video of a black bear close by. That day, Laconia police said neighbors reported sightings. “Just in the area, maybe a block away, there was a report there was a bear running from that area,” Sgt. Rick Simmons said.”

it will never fail to amuse me when people are describing bears “running from that area” or some other random perpetrator description. NEVER. “and what did the suspect look like, ma’am?” “mostly like a bear, mostly. and he was stealing my pears!”

possibly the most disappointing Final Jeopardy i can remember

now, i really do enjoy the show Jeopardy, both as a concept (it’s just a well-designed and implemented show) and personally (i am pretty good at Jeopardy in the sense of sitting around with hooligans and guessing the answers), and i generally find that final question to be the least fun: it’s always decently hard and seems to always come from some category i don’t know shit about. you’ll have a whole episode that’s filled with historical trivial that i can totally lock down, and then the final jeopardy ends up being about something like tulips or female problems. so i am disappointed here for two different reasons:

01. the final answer was “as of 2010 it’s the only current NFC team that has never played in the Super Bowl.” this is a ridiculously easy question if you know anything about football; even if you lock up mentally under the pressure, you can walk yourself through the 16 teams in the NFC until you get to the Detroit Lions. now MAYBE this is because i know a little about football, but it strikes me as disappointingly easy;

02. i am disgusted with the contestants. seriously, guys? okay, the third place person ($6000) wagers $5999 on the Detroit Lions and comes up with $11999. so far, so good. but then this second place goober ($10200) wagers $5000 on “??” and drops to $5200. now, at least he stands there stoically and accepts the embarrassment, but come on, how do you not at least guess? someone that didn’t watch football could be excused for guessing the Minnesota Vikings or something. worst of all, though, is the first place woman ($13900), who guesses wrong (“Jacksonville Panthers”) but wagers smartly (only $1000, so she ends up at $12900) … but HAS to start muttering “i don’t actually care” and snorting smugly about the whole thing. ma’am, you KNOW you’ve won by this point, so would it kill you to not be so fucking defensive? pathetic. also, ma’am, things you know and/or care about are lame and stupid, like you are.

ground zero mosque protests
there is such a wide range of emotions present in this photograph

slight continuation of the choose-your-own-update adventure: now with 100% more ADL

i don’t really want to dwell on last week’s topic – my general disgust towards the tone of the “ground zero mosque” protests – but then this statement from the ADL came out, and i threw up into my mouth a little, and now we all have to suffer! the closing portion of that statement:

“Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam. The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right.”

so… if i am reading this correctly… the ADL is saying that it’s wrong for people to oppose them building this center simply because of their religion… but because of their religion, the ADL opposes the building of this center. does that sound right? because it sounds a little fucked-up to me.

alright, that’s enough, let’s call it a day.

J.Miles’ Choose-Your-Own-Update Adventure!

recently, given that the week ending in 07.23.2010 was somewhat truncated by people’s birthdays and/or the consumption of a reasonable amount of alcohol (not a heroic one, a feat that, while impressive, is limited to certain times and locales), myself and my colleague J.Miles were talking about this week’s update, and i came to the conclusion that there were two easy, mediocre options i could run with for the week, and that he could choose between them:

01. a continuation of last week’s “13 greatest white rappers of all time” update, wherein i culled some choice video selections to make my point about the quality and/or ridiculousness of said rappers;
02. a fairly unoriginal “ripped from the headlines” open letter update based around this whole “ground zero mosque” ridiculousness, which was bound to feature me being disgusted at some point.

in either case, i figured there would be a point where i would tire of BOTH concepts and that only one of them would ever get written, so i let the choice be his. and after some deliberation, J.Miles made his (perhaps unsurprising) choice:

and now, janklow with an open letter to all those people protesting the “ground zero mosque.”

ground zero mosque protest
fuck you, man(s), fuck you

well, why do you do it? are you all some sort of jerks or something? actually… let me pause here and have some background. this is the basic scenario in question: there is talk of building the Cordoba House, a community center that would basically be the Islamic version of a YMCA or Jewish Community Center, and it’s going to include “prayer space” (which let’s just assume is a political way of saying “mosque”). and it’s going to be located in New York City, where terrorism was once perpetrated by some Muslims, and now people are INCREDIBLY agitated about this. and this is where i say “America, what the fuck is your problem?”

now, granted, i am sure this taps into some very real emotions for people; a lot of the argument that’s getting ignored is logical, “let’s proceed based on the foundation of free speech and religious tolerance that this nation was supposedly founded on and continues to extol” stuff, but when people get emotional, they tend to forget that. but see, that’s when the politicians and commentators are supposed to keep a level head and NOT get caught up in all the raving about Muslims, something they’re clearly not doing because it’s much easier to score cheap political points.

there are already mosques in New York City; there are mosques as close as four blocks away from ground zero RIGHT NOW. a mosque in and of itself doesn’t have shit to do with a terrorist attack; neither does the average Muslim. as my dear friends at the classy Economist pointed out, “what about the hearts, and for that matter rights, of Muslim Americans? Even George W. Bush, for all his verbal infelicities and one unhappy choice of the word “crusade”, understood the importance of drawing the sharpest possible distinction between Islam and a murderous terrorist organisation that claims, but has no right or mandate, to speak in its name.” granted, they still don’t know a damn thing about gun rights, but they’re right about this.

this mess also led us, of course, to Palin’s “‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up,’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too.” look, Palin, here’s the deal: all those words/phrase suck ass, aren’t worth coining, and aren’t worth using. and if you’re equating yourself to Shakespeare… well, i don’t know where the fuck to begin with THAT one. this is a bit of a tangent, but goddamnit, can a person not just say “whoops, mistyped that” instead of pretending some intellectual-while-anti-intellectual gambit? fuck that nonsense.

the only thing i take issue with on the pro-mosque side that i can think of was a random note from a New Yorker that “the people of New York [were] the ones actually attacked on 9/11.” one, it’s legit to take an attack aimed at America that happens to strike New York City as an attack on America; two, people on the planes, in this area at the Pentagon, and from other nations (and thus probably not New Yorkers specifically) also got attacked and killed, so spare me the fucking “only New Yorkers can get emotional about 9/11” nonsense, dude, even if we agree about the mosque stuff.

also, if i may, i’d like to add two additional, brief open letters:

01. to the guy that came perilously close to hitting me in the face with an office door: hey, it wasn’t a big deal, because it wasn’t on purpose, and you didn’t hit me… until you shot me this disgusted look after you wildly swung the door into a hallway and almost hit me. YOU almost hit ME, you raging asshole, so you can spare me the fucking look, okay? i would say “go die in a fire,” but i gather that’s a little cliche on the internet at this point, so go die in a bear attack.

02. to the men and women that were merging like spoiled, bratty children on Route 97 today: i expected no less worse behavior than i got, but i am boiling with anger nonetheless; at some point i expect everyone to admit we’re living in a society! and we’re supposed to act in a civilized way! eh, again, i know the drill, everyone’s in such a fucking RUSH that they can’t work together to keep the traffic flowing, but i can’t help being disappointed; i suppose i’m just a hopeless romantic. guys, just try to keep in mind what Ray Liotta said in Cop Land: the goal is perpetual motion.

this is literally the only blog post to reference “Mambo Italiano” in 2010

DISCLAIMER: we’re going to get into some high-speed, low-drag conversation about rap albums here, so J.Miles, you may want to come back next week. frankly, i admit it’s poor business for me to alienate 50% of my readership here, but it is what it is. if i don’t occasionally do this, it becomes difficult to produce the 52 updates i manage to in a year.

periodically some new rap artist comes out and releases an album or a mixtape or whatever, and it’s a big deal because they’re white, and thus possessed of an evil nature and inability to rap, or so the internet would lead me to believe. and then, for years/months/days to come, we’ll debate their merits in a manner that always references this context, and overrate or underrate them accordingly. frankly, this is inefficient, so i think what i’ll do to save you, the internet, time is to simply tell you who the best 13 white rappers of all time are, and then we won’t have to worry about the debate. if they’re not on the list, they’re not on the list!

also, i’m going to try and add some feedback from some non-white guys i know who love rap music, because they tend to vary from the usual white guy analysis of “this other white guy that looks like me is the best ever at rapping.”


dishonorable mention: Snow (if only for “Informer” supposedly being a hit song); all the random white guy celebrities who decide at some point they’re rappers now and trick someone into releasing an album based on their whiteness (Kevin Federline, Brian Austin Green, and so on).

Paul Wall
he’s got the internet goin’ nuts

13. Paul Wall (also of the Color Changin’ Click, Expensive Taste)
Paul Wall is, shall we say, not the most talented guy on this list; we could make any number of jokes about non-lyrical southern rappers (and man, do i love to do that), but the fact of the matter is that he’s not America’s finest lyricist. but he knows how to work his strong suits: his likability, his region’s desire to keep their local stars successful and well-fed, and not constantly referencing his skin color as a selling point. the latter’s refreshing, and ultimately i can’t hate on the guy.
best album/mixtape: well, i suppose it has to be the album The People’s Champ, which was the most successful and features some catchy tunes.
random non-white guy opinion: “what’s Paul Wall posted up on the block like in this song? he’s always posted up on the block like SOMETHING.”

12. Everlast (also of House Of Pain, La Coka Nostra)
Everlast has to show up as a representative of the Everlast/Kid Rock school of thought wherein a guy raps for a while and then just becomes a rock guy; i grant that Everlast always kind of rapped (but then again, Kid Rock did the same even after he stopped being a rapper) and that he still does with La Coka Nostra… but still, you know how you remember him. he’s the guy that made “Jump Around” way back in the day and then started playing the acoustic guitar or some shit like that.
best album/mixtape: well, “Jump Around” was on House Of Pain’s eponymous album, so i guess it’s that one.
random non-white guy opinion: “white people really do love “Jump Around,” i guess that song’s alright.”

11. Bubba Sparxxx
you may remember Bubba from that time when it seemed like since Dr. Dre had his token white protege, Timbaland was going to have to get one himself… and he got Bubba Sparxxx. (i’m not saying this isn’t a bit of revisionist history, but it’s the way many dudes i know recall it) anyway, Sparxxx was alright and that video for “Ugly” is about the most ridiculous celebration of white trash ever filmed, so he’s got to get a bit of a mention here, and, after all, he didn’t choose to rhyme, rhyming chose him. given his post-success output, i also have to acknowledge he’s a more serious devotee of his music than he probably gets credit for.
best album/mixtape: well, Dark Days, Bright Nights was the album with the hits that did well and it’s probably the best, but critics often want to argue that Deliverance (which just missed going gold like DDBN) is a much better album; they’re probably tied.
random non-white guy opinion: “Bubba Sparxxx! i liked that guy! wait, he still makes records?”

10. Hush (also of Da Ruckus)
so i sort of didn’t include Hispanic rappers (who are essentially white) on this list because they don’t get SEEN as white rappers, and i wanted to focus the list on the perception rather than have a semantic battle about Hispanics (who are essentially white). that said, i’m including Hush (who’s of Lebanese/Italian descent and thus occasionally is called non-white), because he’s white AND from Detroit and i guarantee that’s why he briefly had a record deal. it’s a shame because he’s a quality rapper, but no one knows who the guy is.
best album/mixtape: it would probably have to be his sole major label, Bulletproof, which is a solid record and you should check it out.
random non-white guy opinion: “who the fuck are we talking about? that comic book Batman villain shit?”

that Necro needs drugs will never be in debate

09. Brother Ali
long story short: Brother Ali is an albino white guy who was rumored to be an albino black guy (because he raps, you see) but who is actually an albino white guy who just relates to black guys more because white people were mean as hell to him as a child. regardless, the guy can rap (that song with Jake One, “The Truth,” remains undisputedly awesome) and he’s confirmed to be white, so, guess who’s now appearing on this list?
best album/mixtape: white dudes probably most remember him from appearing on the Madden 2008 soundtrack with “Whatcha Got,” but actually, that works out because the song rules and the album it’s featured on, The Undisputed Truth, is his best.
random non-white guy opinion: “so he’s NOT a black guy? huh.”

08. JoJo Pellegrino
this may be the highest-ranked guy on the list it’s possible no one reading this will ever have heard of; there’s some other semi-obscure entries below, but i’m guessing JoJo wins that prize. he’s a salty Italian guy from Staten Island who kind of sort of seems like a cliche (if black guys can reference mob movies, it’s even more logical for Italian guys, right?)… but who can actually rap. he’s Wu-affiliated as well, but it still hasn’t done much for him at this point. seriously, though, listen to “Mambo Italiano” and tell me you don’t like it.
best album/mixtape: well, JoJo never had his album released (Violator and Loud slept on this guy), so let’s go with his Hitman For Hire mixtape.
random non-white guy opinion: “JoJo Pellegrino? i fucking love that guy! it’s fucking ridiculous they never put his album out!” (note: i think i know the only guy –white, black or otherwise– who is an actual JoJo Pellegrino fan)

07. Non Phixion/Necro (also of La Coka Nostra)
this entry is meant to encompass everyone that fits under the above headings, because they’re so interconnected: Non Phixion’s Ill Bill is Necro’s brother, and they both spit the same kind of ridiculously over-the-top death rap; this can also serve as a placeholder for Slaine (who you may remember from such films as Gone Baby Gone) and who might actually be the same exact guy as Ill Bill and Necro. i think they’re ALL the same guy, actually; attempts to prove otherwise have been unsuccessful so far. anyway, they’re like the extreme end of all that horrorcore shit, so enjoy!
best album/mixtape: Non Phixion’s The Future Is Now is probably the best; it has some songs (“Rock Stars,” “The C.I.A. Is Trying To Kill Me”) that are clearly awesome. Necro’s solo shit is not really my cup of tea, although i will forever give him credit for producing “Gihad” on OB4CL2.
random non-white guy opinion: “seriously, i cannot listen to this shit in my car driving around. it’s ridiculous.”

06. Shawn Wigz (also of Theodore Unit)
Shawn Wigz fills several functions on this list: he’s Ghostface’s protege (hence his placement in Theodore Unit), he’s Wu-affiliated (JoJo is too, but Shawn Wigz seems to have more defined credentials in that regard), and he’s got the most ridiculous name of all time. also, he’s filling the spot for every random white dude a black rap crew/label picks up as a status symbol (like, say, Lil’ Whyte). Remedy would also be located here based on his Wu-affiliation, but Shawn Wigz beats him… and come on, he’s co-signed by Ghostface! okay, maybe i ranked him too high.
best album/mixtape: i suppose it has to be the Theodore Unit album 718, because i highly doubt anyone’s giving Shawn Wigz the opportunity to front an album all by himself.
random non-white guy opinion: “what the fuck is a Shawn Wigz?”

Beastie Boys
if i was an evil genius with minions, this is what they would dress like

05. Beastie Boys
they’re also at the point where they’re not really seen as a rap group (some guys are going to claim they NEVER were, but that’s just being difficult), but that’s a bit unfair; the Beasties have always been rapping with various degrees of success, Licensed To Ill is legitimately a landmark in the history of rap albums (despite it not being very good, but that’s neither here nor there), and album’s like Paul’s Boutique are much-adored from a production standpoint. plus, there’s that over-the-top Sabotage video and their appearance on Futurama to think of! none of this will stop me from saying “fuck Mike D” to reference an ancient inside joke, however.
best album/mixtape: the Beastie Boys have always had some good songs on every release, but i have to admit i’m partial to Ill Communication, which is just a cool-sounding album. when an album opens with a dog barking “i love you,” what’s not to like?
random non-white guy opinion: “why does ever frat boy think Licensed To Ill is cool? that shit was terrible!”

04. Vinnie Paz (also of Jedi Mind Tricks, Army Of The Pharoahs)
so if you ever heard of the group Jedi Mind Tricks, you know it features this hilariously furious Muslim convert Italian who basically raps about killing people, killing people and killing additional people. but like some on this list (say, Paul Wall), he knows what he does well (angry rap), he sticks to that successfully and he makes eclectic friends (see also: the guest appearances on his solo work). and i’ll admit it: i love angry rap, always have, always will. so he’s got to place well.
best album/mixtape: well, he’s only got one solo album, Season Of The Assassin, and it’s crazy but crazy good, so let’s go with that one.
random non-white guy opinion: “this guy is so angry. this is the angriest album of all time”

03. Yelawolf
so Yelawolf is this country-fried white kid from Alabama; at first i wrote him off as a bit of a gimmick (this is how i handled that whole Asher Roth nonsense), but on closer inspection, the kid’s got a random but cool flow and can rap, and hopefully by being signed to Interscope he won’t end up being another label’s “answer to Eminem” or some shit like that. and like other Southerners before him, he’s got a nice regional sound and can probably continue to make local dollars once the machine is down with him. wow, that came out sort of depressing.
best album/mixtape: the Trunk Muzik mixtape, which a colleague of mine is a huge supporter of “Box Chevy Pt. 3” from; it’s not my favorite track, but it’s the best of his mixtapes.
random non-white guy opinion: “at first, when i listened to this, i was thinking “this is some bullshit,” but then i realized this white kid can, like, really rap!”

02. Eminem
Eminem is, of course, the lyrically-gifted white guy who’s probably the only white guy in contention for “greatest of all time”; given this fact, his race is probably more divisive than anyone else on the list (white guys defend poor-quality Eminem work because of it, black guys that are jealous of him being better than their favorite rapper downgrade him because of it) and has always been a big part of the conversation about him… which is a shame, because he’s just a straight-up excellent rapper, and at his best, there’s probably no one that can touch him. he’s just prone to taking it easy and using lame accents, that’s all.
best album/mixtape: people always claim one of his first two major label releases as his best work (sometimes saying “Eminem hasn’t made a good album since MMLP), so i like to be difficult and claim The Eminem Show has his best.
random non-white guy opinion: “yeah, okay, Eminem is top 5 of all time.”

R.A. The Rugged Man
not pictured: him ripping your cunt out with spoons

01. R.A. The Rugged Man
and this is why i said “probably” above, because R.A. is possibly the illest MC ever; no less than the Notorious B.I.G. alluded to this fact. of course, he’s had the misfortune to suffer ridiculous label politics (fuck those crackers at Jive), personal problems (R.A.’s fucking insane as hell) and seems to have gotten pegged as just another underground white guy. but the guy’s lyrical as hell, has a foul sense of humor (see also: “Cunt Renaissance” featuring the Notorious B.I.G.) and can claim to have spit the greatest verse of all time: his appearance on the Jedi Mind Tricks track “Uncommon Valor.” seriously, listen to that and NOT say “well, damn.” i rest my case.
best album/mixtape: well, Die, Rugged Man, Die is probably his best ALBUM, but his best-of collection Legendary Classics Vol.1 is wonderful and probably even better … and features the aforementioned “Uncommon Valor” track.
random non-white guy opinion: “R.A. The Rugged Man? who the fuck…” (i explain his appearance in the “Old Man” video, which is my usual “this is what R.A. looks like” go-to) “oh, THAT fucking guy! he raps?”

so that’s the list. anyone else not on it sucks. that’s all there is to it!

going with the rap theme, i should entitle this section “pump it up” or “riot starter”

as always, it’s that time of the year (and by that, i mean a time of the year that happens often) when i pick up a new friend:

Norinco Model 97

it’s not, you know, a REAL Winchester 1897, because i’m not one of the richest five kings of Europe, but instead, a mere Norinco copy of the riot gun model of that gun (like the kind that Josh Brolin chopped up delightfully in No Country For Old Men), albeit a fine-looking one that should still have the slam-fire feature … a feature i hope to test out on a whole pile of L. Ron Hubbard books.

the week in which janklow starts acting like Miss Manners Junior regarding classy wedding attire

readers of this site may remember a time, some years ago, when the travelogue of a journey by myself and J.Miles “out to the Midwest for the wedding of a colleague who’d moved out there to go to school and then, apparently, get married.” although, since by readers, i usually mean “J.Miles,” i should probably just say “hey, J.Miles, remember the time we took that trip to Ohio? i am going to reference that now.”

seriously, what?
there was also a lot of talk about mysterious graffiti during that trip

but i digress. the main point of today’s discussion involves my attire at said wedding. you see, upon arriving in Ohio, i realized that i had a) forgotten my tie and b) was no longer conveniently located near my collection of black ties at home. now, i took this very casually: i declared it was no big deal, as i still had my suit and all the rest, and that since i wasn’t IN the wedding, i could attend it without a tie. J.Miles vehemently disagreed, declaring something along the lines of how trashy it would be of me to attend a wedding without a tie, and insisted i buy one. i demurred, given that i already own too many ties (i mean, how many solid black ties does a man need); he again repeated the point. and since he’s a lot larger than me, i bought a tie.

so we go to the wedding, i’m wearing the tie, whatever. and after the ceremony, while we’re waiting for the wedding party to form up and leave, we see this other guy, who’s wearing (i guess) a sport coat and dress pants… without a tie on… and with his shirt open to roughly his navel and a massive burst of chest hair shocking our senses. and J.Miles taps me on the shoulder and says “that’s why you wear a fucking tie to a wedding. so you don’t look like that guy.” and you know, he was right (although i suppose i would have had my shirt closed respectably). ironically, i always seem to wear that Ohio tie now.

and thus began our obsession with appropriate attire at weddings.

shirt open to roughly his navel and a massive burst of chest hair shocking our senses
this look is never acceptable wedding attire

since that time, there’s only been a couple of severe violations that i’ve witnessed, but let’s just cover them so that, like the tie issue, you guys will understand what you should NOT be doing at weddings:

01. at another colleague’s wedding where both J.Miles and i were in attendance (we’re just wedding groupies, i guess), we witnessed a portion of the bride’s family cruise into the reception very late… and clad in jeans and other casual dress. now, i’m not going to criticize the late arrival, for while i might SUSPECT that it was done to dodge the ceremony and other events and cut right to the open bar, i don’t KNOW that’s what happened, even if i assume the worst of those i see dressed like white trash. i myself have almost been late for weddings before; i also understand that some people don’t want to walk into a wedding once they’re notably late. better to just head for that open bar and make your amends there.

but that said… even though a reception is a more casual time than the wedding itself, that doesn’t mean you can walk into a room full of guys in suits and ladies in dresses in your fucking soiled jeans and your t-shirt. in fact, that’s why i’ll assume the worst of your arrival time: if you dress like a bum, i assume you had the worst possible motives for showing up late.

02. even better than the last: i’m at the wedding of a younger cousin of mine; it’s in a very fancy Catholic church and everyone’s dressed up nicely… and then i see a middle-aged couple arrive in jeans and sit right up front. fucking jeans again? at the ceremony? and this gentleman (we’ll single him out, since he’s the one i noticed best) is rocking a moderately casual denim-colored sport jacket, fucking jeans, and boots. but since there was no bride-and-groom sides, i didn’t know who this guy was… until i later discovered that he was a relative by marriage from… wait for it… West Virginia.

now, i get that not everyone has a wide range of nice clothes (i don’t own THAT much past my suit myself, although i have a massive amount of ties), but everyone has to own SOMETHING that’s more socially acceptable to wear to a wedding than fucking jeans. at the very least they ought to have some khakis and a button-up shirt.

03. i wasn’t there for this myself, but J.Miles knows a story about a guy rocking jean shorts at a beach wedding. now, he and i have some very differing opinions on shorts: i think they’re never acceptable, whereas he seems to think you can wear shorts 365 days a year. and if he and i were professional guys-that-save-people-from-blizzards, or some similar in-the-snow-and-rain-and-cold job, he’d probably wear shorts on duty. all that being said… to hell with jean shorts EVER being acceptable.

to hell with jean shorts EVER being acceptable

summation: jeans are not “classy wedding attire.” not even your REALLY NICE jeans are “classy wedding attire.” in fact, if i was independently wealthy, i and J.Miles would travel the country full-time, burst into random weddings (or possibly, like the A-Team, into weddings where people have notified us of the fashion problems), locate the guys not sporting what we determine to be “classy wedding attire,” and beat the hell out of those guys until they buy ties, close their shirts and/or trade in their jeans for classy pants. you’ve all been put on notice just in case a wealthy old woman leaves me her fortune in her will… which i admit i’m kind of angling for with the whole “Miss Manners” thing above.

“this was a private incident between me and a bear”

i’ll just keep this introduction short and sweet and note that there are a couple of things that are guaranteed to show up here should i happen to notice them while reading through general internet news: shenanigans involving bears (which i think has been established several times in the past) and shenanigans involving JaMarcus Russell (and good riddance to THAT waste of 13000 pounds of flab and sadness). i mean, there’s other stuff i love to post about (guns, elephants, guns, Joe Pantoliano, guns); these just happen to be the two big topics for the week. so here we go!

just a bear
bears: continuing to be doin’ thangs

bear in first recorded Kentucky attack still at large

so i suppose it’s not really a weird story for guys messing around in the woods to get “bit and shook” by bears; bears are pretty much going to do this kind of thing (when they’re not cooling out in a beer cooler, anyway) as they see fit, and they probably consider it payback for all the times they see their compatriots on television playing hockey or driving a car in a circus or whatever. but there’s still some weird elements to this story, if you ask me.

“Scott said he yelled and dropped his belt bag, hoping to distract the animal. The bear just sniffed the bag and continued approaching Scott, who grabbed a rotted branch and hit the bear.”

look, i get that some people don’t want to carry a gun when they hike (or do whatever) and some people, even armed, wouldn’t really want to shoot a bear. but my theory is that if you’re going to hang out in “bear country,” you should at least be prepared, right? at the very least, have a knife to stab it with; this “rotted branch” nonsense is just pathetic.

“Alone, Scott hit the bear with the flimsy branch, but the animal kept coming. “It was literally disintegrating as I was retreating,” Scott said, describing his encounter in matter-of-fact terms.”

of course it did, you fucking hit it with a rotten branch! that was DISINTEGRATING. that’s bear code for “please, wreck me with your bear claws.” i also find the the “matter-of-fact terms” part unnecessary, although i admit that if this had been me, i would have refused to describe this bear attack in matter-of-fact terms. it would have been NOTHING by hyperbole.

“Scott said he tried to think of ways to fight the bear off, reaching into his pocket and finding his 3-inch pocket knife. He was preparing to stab the bear in the eye, not sure what the animal’s reaction might be-“

well, here’s a hint: BEAR RAGE.

“Gobel said his group was able to chase the bear away from Scott. “Once there was enough space between the bear and Mr. Scott, I got between them. He was pretty upset with me and lunged at me.” Gobel swung his pack. “I hit him as hard as I could,” he said. “I think it just stunned him. He wasn’t ready for anything like that.””

oh, well, someone hit the bear with a BACKPACK. and then felt very satisfied about it! these are seriously the worst bear-fighting hikers i have heard tell of… or, at least, the worst surviving bear-fighting hikers. i’ll grant they come off well compared to people bears have actually killed.

“Scott, an avid hiker who has a property management company in Lexington, said he supports efforts to repopulate the woods with the animals, and he doesn’t want people to think all bears are bad. “This was a private incident between me and a bear,” he said.”

i can respect the part where he takes a big picture view of the bear population despite this incident… but “a private incident between me and a bear?” this absolutely gives me the wrong impression about what went down in the woods of Kentucky.

JaMarcus Russell
well, at least now this wardrobe is starting to make some sense

ex-Raiders QB Russell arrested on Alabama drug charge

oh JaMarcus… i am so conflicted as to how i feel about this story. on the one hand, i never really want to gloat about another man’s personal problems and/or criminal issues; on the other hand, fuck JaMarcus Russell, who apparently “has been charged with possession of a controlled substance—codeine syrup—after being arrested at his home in Alabama on Monday, authorities said.”

actually, the best thing about this is the drug in question — codeine syrup — being absolutely PERFECT for the fat waste of an athlete that Russell has proven himself to be; he obviously never had the energy level a cocaine addict would have, and despite that one ridiculous photo of him with that rainbow shirt, he never seemed to have a real hippie-like pothead mentality. but with him being a) southern and b) a fat, lazy disgrace, a cocktail of codeine and promethazine is the perfect thing for his bloated body to be filled with. well, codeine, promethazine and Skittles.

honestly, the pleasure i feel at this really has more to do with Tom Martinez claiming that Russell’s failure is basically the Raiders’ fault; Martinez seems to feel that Russell’s failure was more about him being “never wanted there by any of the coaches” (which just makes him seem that much more pathetically about his self-esteem than any good QB should ever be). this is a guy who watched Russell’s massive hold-out (which i think we can all agree fucked up his career to a large extent), and then claims Russell should STILL have been played right anyway (which just makes no damn sense). he goes on to blame further problems on a bad offensive line and bad receivers. now, look, i won’t even dispute some of that (Oakland certainly did not have a stellar offensive line or collection of wide-outs at any point in Russell’s tenure) … but at the same time, it’s pretty striking when you can list a litany of reasons why everything EXCEPT Russell is the problem.

that being said, it’s a moot point now with Russell catching this charge; he might not see a severe penalty, but it’s definitely going to make any NFL team that was at all considering bringing him in to warm their bench (and presumably eat all their Skittles) think twice. time to get yourself ready for the CFL, JaMarcus!

also, seriously, a millionaire in Alabama can’t find a country doctor willing to write him a prescription for codeine syrup? sad.

dog fetches beer

okay, it’s not like there’s a massive shortage of “dogs doing things” videos on the internet, but this is a pretty solid one:

reminds me a little bit of my deceased dog associate (and this site’s mascot); he wasn’t the most adept at fetching bottles of beer (them being a little too big for his jaws to manipulate easily), but he was absolutely a door-closing machine. you could send that dog to lock himself in his room. still, this dog is pretty cool as well.