Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Who wants a sledgehammer to the face?

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, allow me to ask you some simple questions…

Have you ever wanted to smash someone in the face with a sledgehammer?

Have you ever wanted to bring down a building, piece by piece, with that same hammer?

Forget the hammer, how about strategically placing mines around that building so you can take out the support system and make it fall on a bunch of dudes you were going to sledge hammer anyway?

Have you ever wanted to fire rocket launchers at chemical tanks and cause massive chain reactions blowing up buildings and killing dozens?

How about firing a gun that breaks down a person or object to its molecular bits and pieces?

I KNOW you’ve wanted to drive trucks, tanks and walking robots, arms swinging, through buildings... going back to finish off any survivors you missed on the first pass.

I imagine hunting for a series of objects to destroy and complete a mission would be interesting to you as well. How about a bunch of wind turbines? Maybe you’d like to place a charge on the side and watch it fall onto the head of that dude over yonder? Yea, I thought so.

Would you like a world that promises absolutely every man-made object can be destroyed, bit by bit, first the concrete, then the rebar, then the dude standing behind it?

Just go buy Red Faction: Guerilla then. I really can’t sum it up any better than this: Boom.

Score: 4 out of 5 Sledgehammers to the face

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Letting the kid have his tantrum

I am still pretty upset over the Red Wings losing the Stanley Cup. It is a hard reality to accept after you have seen your team win 4 of 4 over 12 years. As a fan base we grew accustomed to being the best year in and year out, countless 100 point seasons, multiple Presidents trophies to go along with the playoff success.

I think we still are the best team, and I would pick us over Pitt again next year in a heartbeat. The West will only get better through Chicago, but Pitt will have to fight Washington, Boston and Carolina to get back.

I think what stings me most is my hate of everything Pittsburgh stands for. I hate this city more than any other in the country. Living so close to the city and attending so many Baltimore/Washington versus Pittsburgh sporting events, I have never in my life encountered dumber or more obscene fans; many who frequent my Facebook experienced one such fan before she was removed. Now before I go further, I make no claim that this is unbiased, of course this statement is biased. This is an opinion based blog, duh.

Crosby was anointed king of the league when he was 17. It was not his choice, and I think he handled it well... at first. I think attention and media can consume you though, and it can blur reality. If I am a parent who just has kids, sure I’ll let them look at Sid as a role model and be content that this is a fine upstanding man who doesn’t do drugs and is a fine hero to have. If I am a parent of a young hockey player, I do not think as highly of him.

I expect a role model to leave the rink without chopping someone’s ankles. I expect him to not punch another player’s crotch, specifically a player who at the time was fighting someone else. I expect him to not complain about every other call. Yea captains talk to the refs, but it generally happens two or three times a game, not every stoppage of play. I think that has as much to do with his mentor as it does his own sense of self satisfaction though. There was one other great captain who was known as a fantastic whiner before Cros showed up, and that happens to be Cros’s current landlord, Mario Lemieux.

Beyond Cros is Malkin. As my brother so perfectly stated, the guy is a punk. He’s a very talented punk, but the dude can’t keep composure at all during a loss. Has he ever fought when his panties were not in a tizzy?

I think the Pens beat the Red Wings fair and square. I can’t blame fatigue or injury, the Wings didn’t show up in game six or seven, so good job Pens. I can say I hate the image Pittsburgh and its players with the cup, and I know I am certainly not in the minority on that one.

Enjoy it Sid, and get off the stage please, there are some much more dynamic (Ovechkin), composed (Zetterberg) and classy (Toews) players better suited for your “position”.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stop the greedy. Boycott Bono

Radio has been with you all your lives. Radio plays the Christmas music for you that you never buy. Radio introduces you to new artists you have never heard of. Radio keeps you up to date on the community you live in and connects you with the culture you belong to.

Radio plays the single from the new artist who then gains popularity, makes new music, and then goes on to be one of the biggest super stars in the world. A single radio station group pays hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for the rights to play this music; for the right to give FREE publicity to this superstar artist. Now this artist, along with dozens of others and the RIAA are pushing legislation on Capitol Hill that will force broadcasters to virtually DOUBLE the fees they pay to play music on air.

The super star artist I talk about is U2’s Bono, along with other big names like Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins and the R&B group the Black Eyed Peas. These artists would be flipping burgers without radio, not famous, unknown to you and your friends. They would not be at concerts held by radio stations in their honor or being primped and gifted at meet and greets.

This “Performance Tax” is pushed by the RIAA, artists and record labels as something they need to survive, something radio owes them. In case anyone didn’t notice, nearly every broadcasting company in this country is down in revenue in the past few years, some as much as 50%. Radio has been shrinking for more time than that. And they want stations to double what they pay? The artists need to be responsible and learn how to negotiate better contracts with their labels, not try to steal from a wounded ally who built them up.

See, there is a law called Payola. This law makes it illegal for labels to PAY RADIO to play songs. Hmm, why would that be illegal? Are you saying artists would give anything to get on the radio? That radio gives a competitive advantage to those who get on its airwaves? And yet by the artists’ claims now, radio should be paying even more for the right to play their song. It’s fucking bizzaro world.

I call on you to boycott U2. I call on you to boycott the Black Eyed Peas. I call on you to boycott the Smashing Pumpkins. I call on you to read the news on this issue and discover who else is trying to cut off music’s nose in spite of its face.

Call your legislator, tell them to support radio. Tell them you as a listener think fair is already fair enough.

If you don’t, one day soon you’ll turn your radio on and hear nothing at all.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Who even knew what a bucket list was before that movie?

So while Damman is talking about flowers, I myself have recently had deep and interesting thoughts occur in my brain goo. I met a girl recently who asked me questions I have not thought about in forever, the kind of stuff that makes you realize there is something going on between your left and right shoulder blade, slightly north of your food receptacle.

The topic of conversation drifted slightly to the mythical “bucket list,” but I always struggle with that term being so young still. I like to think of it more as a life to do list, and after the discussion, I went over this list again and again in my mind, really wondering what I needed to see before I melt away into the black. Well, I think this is kind of the start of a running “need to do before I am old” list… old taken into interpretation.

  • Visit three continents before I am 40.
  • Learn to surf.
  • Take at least one great trip with my brother before we both have kids.
  • Learn to scuba dive.
  • Visit every NHL arena.
  • Hike and camp in the Canadian Rockies.
  • Go shark fishing.
  • Take my Dad on one big hunting trip.
  • Attend E3.
  • See the Stanley Cup presented in person.
  • Help out in one grand philanthropic event.
  • Do something that absolutely terrifies me.
  • Take a professionally taught cooking class.
  • See the pyramids.
  • Brew my own beer, and make it not suck.
  • See the Australian outback.
  • Participate in some kind of triathlon.

I guess that’s a good start…