Monday, September 7, 2009

Prince Fielder Just Changed The Course Of History

Man walked on the moon and things were never the same again. First it was Moon Pies, then it was Lance Bass going into space and now I am writing to you from Pepsi Presents: Madonnatown Heights, the capital of the US colony on the Moon. It's a place where the astronaut ice cream supply is endless and Martian women are always stopping by for zero gravity booty calls. Oh, hey, a comet just passed by, but no big, it was like the fifth today. That's just what space-life is like. Jealous?

Anyway, I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I feel like we are on the cusp of something just as big as Neil Armstrong's first steps on my new home. Watch this video of Prince Fielder celebrating after a recent walk-off home run.

One giant leap for mankind! Baseball is not a sport where people like to have fun. Like, this was the most fun thing we've had in the last 15 years. And even that was aided by steroids. Because baseball, when it doesn't need a homer-supported spike in popularity, is a game built on keeping one's cool with occasional breaks for dip spitting. This was such a brave move by Fielder and the rest of the Brewers, but it totally shouldn't have been. Everyone's upset, he might get thrown at and Skip Bayless is probably going to rip all his hair out. That's unacceptable! Walk off celebrations are - sorry, WERE - so dumb. Guy points at dugout, high fives third base coach, throws off helmet, gets patted on head by teammates. YAWN.

Fielder stepped it up like eight notches. I'm excited to see where this goes next. I am almost certain we will determine future Hall of Famers not by whether they reached 500 home runs or 300 wins, but how they reacted in the face of change. Did they see this as a challenge or were they too scared to fight tradition? Only time will tell. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go put on my spacesuit so I can pull off a Frontside 3600° Indy on my board in this giant crater in my back-space-yard before the sun comes out and scorches the terrain outside my bubble home.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Do You Reminember When Eminem Was Scary?

Was Eminem scary because he was scary or was he scary because I was like 12 when he was popular and even Christina Aguilera was scary? I mean, in a vacuum, singing about kidnapping and killing your wife while you hate gay people is scary. But that all came from the same person who sang this song and this song. As much as he was this angry guy who had an incredibly hard life, it's hard to take people seriously when they're toeing the line between pop act and furious guy who hates pop acts.

Like, scary movies are far less scary when you think about how when Rob Zombie yells "cut," the lady with the blood coming out of her mouth and the knife in her back and the arm chopped off can pull her arm out of her shirt where it was hiding and join Mr. Zombie at the craft services table and laugh at refereneces to Hollywood hotspots (and notspots) while they nibble on little cheese cubes on tooth picks. It is hard to be scared by Eminem when you realize he has the backing of a huge record company and that he was on Crank Yankers.

On the other hand, you see Eminem's friend and D12 band mate Proof was shot and killed and that Eminem got addicted to pills and arrested on gun charges and you think: wait this IS scary! But this is not Rap, Sports, and People Magazine, so enough talk about his personal life. Here's my ruling on Eminem's scariness: gray area! Case dismissed.

And now we can talk about what I wanted to talk about before you asked me how scary Eminem was. He killed it on this new Drake track. I mean, Drake continues to show promise, Kanye kind of sleeps through it but at least it's not autotuned, and Weezy calls himself a Martian which is just the best. So if the track ended there, we'd have something really good. But then Eminem comes in from nowhere, like some kind of crazy situation where he entered a basketball arena and no one noticed and then he suited up and no one noticed and then he was subbed into the game and no one on or off the court noticed, and then after a missed free throw he ran in from the three point line for a put-back jam and only with that dunk did anyone in the entire arena realize he was there. And now that they've realized, they are flipping out. A DJ in the crowd screeches the record that he's playing. Guys are wiping their eyes with their fists and going, "huh? HUH?" Grandmas are fainting.

Sure, there's a lot in there that you could point out is a little Eminemblematic of everything we've grown tired of with Shady. Like when he calls himself Shady. Or compares himself to Hannibal Lecter. But that's all kind of secondary to the intensity - which seems real - and more importantly, the flow, which is just nuts. Quick, cocky, on the brink of off-beat. For the first time in a while, he seems like this real person who is a hungry rapper instead of just a character going through the motions. Finally we get to see the real Eminem again. It's no movie, there's no Mekhi Phifer! Go Eminem! Keep it up!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Never Uniforget, Volume I

Yesterday morning, in the span of an hour, I watched this trailer and saw some guy talking about cool new clothing trends for men on my local Fox affiliate. I couldn't find my remote and Regis and Kelly were just two channels away! So frustrating. But the point is that during that hour I was reminded yet again that fashion is seriously the dumbest thing. The worst. That said, I would like to introduce our new running feature: Never Uniforget, in which I take a look back at some of my favorite long lost uniforms and uniform trends. Let's "make it work," guys.

Well this man knows what's up. Today's Milwaukee Brewers uniforms are so lame. Whoever designed them sure "brewed" up something bland! (Don't throw your underwear at me and the brick wall behind me because this is a comedy club and I am killing it all at once, ladies.) Nobody these days rocks the classic blue and yellow. In 4,000 years, space historians and cyborg Mitch Albom will look back and remember regular old blue and yellow so much more fondly than this dark blue and gold business. Because the fact of the matter is: you can't do better than the best and you can't make a logo that has more hidden letters than this one. The glove is made up of an "m" and a "b," guys. Reassemble your exploded minds, please, we have more to discuss. Brewers Glove Cap: Never Uniforget.

The '90s: a fun time for the NBA. Dennis Rodman was dying his hair, Lil Penny was still on TV, Shawn Bradley still had a career. Today, everything is sleek and cool. Chris Bosh would not be seen in a cactus uniform. Even Marcin Gortat would not be seen in a cactus uniform. But back then, uniforms with cacti made sense somehow and that is a wonderful thing. Fans didn't just want the team name on their favorite team's jersey - they wanted a single, simple cartoon drawing that showcases the environment of their stadium's surrounding area. And they wanted it bad. I am blaming the 1999's lockout as the roadblock that kept this trend from really catching on. That year with no basketball was our last chance to add a doodle of a tree to the Blazers uniforms or a little snowflake to those of the T'Wolves. But when the league came back, it became important to stay cool so they wouldn't lose more fans. And just like that we are left with a trend that, like Freaks and Geeks or Melissa Joan Heart's film career, was terminated before its time. A beautiful corpse, indeed. Cactus Jersey: Never Uniforget.

Could you imagine if the Padres busted these out and started wearing them again full time? Everyone would hate it. They would say, "The letters are lower case" and they would say "There are no buttons on that jersey" and they would say, "No other team is rocking brown and yellow uniforms for a reason" and they would all just be wrong. I don't need a rebuttal. If you look at those jerseys and don't fall in love then we will never see eye to eye on anything. A lot of uniforms are so similar these days that either you want to stand out you either have to look to the future or pull from the past. The Padres would immediately become my favorite team, especially if they all decided to go with the white kicks and crazy hair. On one hand, they say those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it, so I almost want to say that we should forget these uniforms so that maybe they might come back into style, but a day without thinking about these beauties would be too awful and not at all worth it. The Early 80s Padres: Never Uniforget. No, never, never, ever, don't you EVER THINK IT.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We All Missed National Spumoni Day This Year. That Should Never Happen Again.

A young man rides his bike down a dusty dirt road. He sees a broken down car. "If you can fix her, you can have her" says a sign on the window. So he works. He cleans it, he paints it, he buys one of those little wheelie things to slide under it. He fixes it. Well, with the help of the good folks at Autozone.
Still, this royal pine smelling young man is a hero. He saw something broken down that used to beautiful, knew it could be beautiful once more, and MADE IT SO. Spumoni, everybody. If you can fix her, you can have her (more often).

Now, spumoni itself is perfect. But here's what needs fixing: right now, nobody's eating it. Sure, there are enthusiasts and Italians enjoying this tasty mix of cherry, chocolate and pistachio, but it is not the staple at supermarkets or local ice cream parlors that it should be. I mean, this dessert-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it or you can help the WORLD by promoting the cause. If more people know about spumoni, more people will want spumoni, spumoni will be more readily available, and I can live the dream of continuously shoveling spumoni into my mouth until I overdose on tastiness and my head explodes from brain freeze.

So how are we going to do this? We have 360something days until August 21, 2010, which is National Spumoni Day for some reason. Let's work out a game plan.

Phase One: Out of date knock off posters. I want these everywhere. And I want you using your color printer. Step it up, guys, come on.

Phase Two: Public viewings of this movie, every week. Your local theater, the town square, on the face of the moon, wherever. The legality of such a screening, the spumoni-related content of this film, and Donald Faison's strength as a leading man are all questionable, sure, but this is an important step. The word "spumoni" needs to be on the tip of everyone's tongue all the time.

Phase Omega: This one is so important, we're dumping the naming system we've established thus far. For Phase Omega we are all agreeing to wear pink shirts, brown shorts and green knee socks every single day until all the major ice cream companies make spumoni their number one priority. See below:

Look at how happy he is! Come on, I know we can do this. Hands in, everybody. 3, 2, 1, SPUMONI!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Let Me Teach You About The Future Of Rap

Wow, it's almost a new decade! This was a big one - successful in all the fields covered by this blog (all the fields that matter). Ice Cream plateaued a while ago but, from 2000-2009, did not get any less delicious. Sports are a little more steroidy but overall, still really fun. Rap music made the biggest jump. More than an early Elaine to late Elaine jump. More than a Season 1 of The Office to Season 2 of The Office jump. More than a...okay, I'm only thinking of NBC sitcoms, but the point is that the jump was big. It went from one of a few big genres to THE genre in popular music. Go rap go!

So as we look at rap's second decade as top dog, it seems like rappers are going to be classified by new standards. Guys (and ladies) looking to hit it big will be influenced more by the biggest stars of the 00s - the guys who kept rap on top of the pop charts - than angrier MCs from the 90s like Ice Cube or old school acts like Run DMC. So let's examine the three biggest, most important, soon-to-be-most-influential rappers this decade: Kanye West, Jay-Z and Lil Wayne. Each became massive by completely embodying a different, unique characteristic. Please direct your attention to the chart below:

I saw Jay-Z at All Points West and at one point he asked us all to put our diamonds in the sky. We did and he just turned around and faced the band. I saw Kanye on the Glow in the Dark tour where he was full of himself enough to think we would care about his one man show about space travel and we did. I haven't seen Wayne's live show but it probably involves scary drugs and his trademark ever-shifting cadence (cuh-raaazy!). Those guys are all the best at being themselves.

So what I'm suggesting is that we can place all new rappers somewhere along one of those purple lines. Few will fall on that cocky/crazy side, most will set up shop on the cool/cocky axis. Great rappers like TI and Jeezy all the way down toup and comers try to work with some kind of spin on what has become the standard cocky/cool image. So in the teens it's going to become a little hard to do something fresh on that side. That's why that third side is where things are going to get really interesting.

If this Drake plays his cards right, he could dominate that third side. I have faith in this guy! A year ago, if you told me some Canadian kid from Degrassi would be doing interesting things in 09, I would have said, "TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE FUTURE. DO I HAVE A GIRLFRIEND?" But once Lil Wayne took him under his wing, all bets were off. This could go anywhere. Rap is like some type of secret underground prisoner cage match battle royale: you never know what is going to happen when you throw a crazy person into the mix. Let's listen to "Best I Ever Had" (video's kind of NSFW, jeez). First of all, that video? HUH? But, the song: his voice change at 2:16? Awesome! That Andy Griffith line? This man could take us to strange new places.

Listen, children reading this blog, you will be tempted to tackle that cool/cocky angle. You think it will lead to women, to parties, to other things I am scared of. But if you want to really make your mark and influence rappers in the Roaring Twenties Part II, you are going to want to be a little crazy. Because you want to be rappers so you can get guys like me to write blog posts about you in between long rants about Ben and Jerrys flavors, right?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tarvaris Jackson Has Had A Tough Week

Oh man, everyone's talking about Brett Favre! I don't know about you (I know everything about you because I know all five of you readers personally), but I have gotten soooo many MySpace bulletins. Everybody's talking about how he skipped camp, how annoying all the coverage is, how John David Booty changed his number from 4 to 9, but no one is talking about how this is the second huge blow this week to former Vikings starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson.

Let me put this in terms you understand: in middle schools across this great country, young guys with their sleeves rolled up are teaching history classes and being crushed on so heavy by you and your friends who, like you, are 12 year-old girls. These guys are putting up posters of Bob Dylan on their classroom walls and playing CSNY's "Ohio" while you free-write about the Constitution. They are hitting on the new English teacher while you're waiting for the fire safety assembly to start. They are pulling up next to your minivan on the way to dance class, and you are mouthing to your mom, "Oh my God, it's Mr. Carnazza," but then you are noticing that the new English teacher is in the passenger seat, and you are devastated.

Well stop crying! That was not your last chance at love! And this was not Tarvaris Jackson's last chance at rocking the NFL with his blend of passing and running skills. But it feels like it, right? Now that does not mean you and Tarvaris shouldn't take some time to write angry diary entries. I just want you and Tarvaris to know you will come out of this with newfound confidence. Pain is sometimes necessary and in this case, it will lead to Tarvaris becoming more focused than ever and regaining his starting role next year and you mustering up the courage to ask Todd Lipschultz to the Winter Ball in between science and gym.

But if that wasn't enough (and that is definitely enough because what I am about to say is so dumb) Tarvaris took a tough break in the virtual world of Madden football when Michael Vick was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. I was all set for the Vikings to be my go-to team this year. As someone with no skill in the game, I really enjoyed sending all my receivers to the left and then scrambling to the right with Tarvaris. Oops, you could beat me now if we played online. Oh wait, only NERDS play online and I'm not a NERD, NERDS. I cannot win in Madden by calling smart plays, so I exploit all the holes I can find and stretch any kind of realism the game might have. Which is why Philly signing Vick blew my mind. Two running quarterbacks on the team, plus a great running back, solid defense and awesome new wide receiver all running some kind of kooky Wildcat offense? OKAY! Sure, there's some lingering discomfort and general ickyness about playing with Vick, who did things too horrible and serious to mention in a blog with "Ice Cream" in the title, know, actually, there's really no but. I feel kind of awful. Still: I think I'm going to be playing with the Eagles a lot. Sorry.

So here's where Tarvaris stands: not starting in real life, not starting on my XBox, probably sighing and frowning a lot while carrying the clipboard on the sidelines. Well I hope he keeps his chin up, secure in the knowledge that his cool history teacher is not the only fish in the sea. Wait, no, someone clear up that metaphor for me. I'm lost.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I Am Down With Big Brother As Long As It's Doing Important Things Like Watching Nipsey Hussle

On the school bus in elementary school, there was this big metal box hanging up by the driver next to the rear view mirror. They always told us it was a camera and that if we did anything bad, they'd have it on tape. I don't know if anyone really believed it was true, but it did make everyone hesitant to eat candy or take off their seatbelts or beat up the tiny kid in sweatpants who knew every name of every bounty hunter in the original Star Wars trilogy. As you could imagine, I liked that camera. I miss that camera. I want to create a similar camera that we can keep on LA rapper Nipsey Hussle.

He thinks nobody's watching him! I mean, let's be real, not that many people are watching him. But I've heard of him, and despite what people on the streets say, I do not have my finger on the pulse. If I know about you, you probably have been around so long you aren't cool anymore. Speaking of which, have you guys heard of this Eve character? So sassy!

But back to Nips. He thinks he can just go around stealing different things from different people, assembling those qualities into some kind of Frankenstein's Rapper, and nobody will notice. Let's run down all the things I noticed in his debut single, "Hussle In The House":

"Crazy motherfucker named Nipsey." Done before.

The name "Nipsey Hussle." Tweaked this.

That hairstyle? Taken from a classic.

That beat? Nothing new.

His whole persona? Come on.

Granted, I can't deny that the man has great taste in chapter books and Match Game contestants. Plus, the song is pretty good! So I'm not holding this against Mr. Hussle. But if putting some type of school bus camera on him will help him grow and develop as an independent, unique rapper, then let's make sure he thinks he's being watched. I hear he's been eating candy and leaving the wrappers under the seat, too, so let's just kill two birds, etc.