No One’s Nostalgic About This Crap

They had a Super Bowl yesterday, some watched the game, everyone watches the commercials and halftime shows. (btw I echo the sentiment that the SB should be coordinated so that it’s on President’s Day weekend.) During the halftime show with some people called Coldplay, Bruno Mars and Beyonce, that I think I’ve heard of, they showed clips of other halftime shows with Springsteen, the Who, Rolling Stones, etc.

They DID NOT wax nostaligic for this 1980 fiasco with Up With People.  Yes, in 1980 the NFL ran out Up With People, a group of clean cut white kids created in response to hippie subculture (even its creation was a decade behind reality!) with funding from companies like Halliburton (not even a joke, really!). They played at 4 Super Bowl half time shows between 1976 and 1986.

This was the NFL not wanting to reflect the actual culture, but trying to be as white bread and inoffensive as they could to the older, whiter culture that was going to elect Ronald Reagan later than year. Nobody under 65 sat through this kind of zombie WASP nonsense in 1980. They, like other institutions were in complete denial over what had happened in the country over the last 20 years. It was like the NFL thought “Happy Days” was a documentary about youth culture. You turned off the sound, went to the bathroom and didn’t come back to the couch until you saw the teams come back out on the field.

You may not like Coldplay, Bruno Mars and Beyonce, but they reflect the actual culture outside the stadium NOW!

Of course there are still people who would prefer pablum. Giuliani rips Beyonce’s Halftime Performance.  Somehow the Black Panthers were in the show. I missed it.  That was Cam Newton blowing the game, not Huey, right?



It’s New Hampshire Weekend

Polls show Cruz predictably tanking undecided beating him Christie, Carson and Fiorina. Rubio predictably rising, although Kasich making a respectable establishment showing as well.  Boston Globe poll:

Donald Trump————————–28.80

Marco Rubio—————————-19.40

John Kasich —————————-13.00

Jeb Bush ——————————9.80

Undecided —————————–8.00

Ted Cruz ——————————6.60

Chris Christie—————————5.20

Ben Carson—————————–4.40

Carly Fiorina—————————-3.80

They also asked about who the second choice would be and for that Undecided won with 19.35%.  Undecided is the most popular second choice going into the final weekend. That’s Undecided.

On the Dem side, nothing new in NH, but one poll indicates Clinton’s national lead has evaporated to a 44% to 42%.   This is the first national poll that shows the race that close. The national poll tracker still has Clinton over 50%. But if this poll is indicative of the direction of the race, we should see polls in NV and SC start closing too. And then it can be said that Sanders has legs. We could see a few more of the kind of terrific debates like MSNBC hosted in NH.






Friday Nostalgia

A bygone era in NY’s Washington Square Park, 1969. Photographer James Jowers.

I think those tables are still there, people still play.  Not sure you ever get this kind of spectator gaggle. Certainly not wearing suits, ties and fedoras. I smell cigars when I look at this, even though there’s not one stogie in the picture.

Washington Sq. P.

Washington Sq. P.


Happy Friday

Saw a kid shuffling through Penn Station this morning with no shoes, his socks half on half off his feet, going through the garbage cans. Couldn’t have been more than 16 or 17. Broke my heart.

Immediately thought, well, why does it not break my heart when it’s an older person? I pass a handful of homeless people who sit on the street a block from Penn Station everyday. They’re a mix of white and black, old and young, all bundled up under blankets on camping chairs with their signs out. I don’t even see them anymore.

But a teenager, so damaged to have no shoes in this weather, dragging half bare feet along the floors of Penn Station? Killed me.

What are we gonna do?

Assholery Defined

As Damaged Goods Christie’s Good Time Hour comes very close to its end there’s nothing left but to enjoy the credits running over some probably hilarious outtakes of the star dropping his lines or breaking up during dramatic scenes.  If only Dom deLuise were still around to play Christie.

Chris Christie’s a-hole oblivion: How the tough-talkin’ GOP gunslinger lost his mojo

This part just touched my heart.

Everyone in the GOP field is an asshole. Trump is an asshole, but he’s such a cartoon that it can be hard to tell what’s real and what’s shtick. Ted Cruz is an asshole, but it’s calculated assholery in service of his overarching goal to be president and his inbred belief in his true self as a superior being.

What stands out about Chris Christie is that he’s a basic, garden-variety asshole. He’s the guy who cuts the line at White Castle and then, when you say something, asks you what you’re going to do about it. He has all the humanity of a garden slug.

Just to double back on Cruz and his crummy minions, the special self-important Christian brand of assholery does need to be mentioned. His campaign mislead people in Iowa about Ben Carson leaving the campaign. They took the accurately conveyed news from CNN that Carson was going home to get some clothes (yeah, really!) and specifically twisted that into the misinformation that he was shutting down his campaign. They told Carson followers that Carson was out and they should now vote for Cruz.  That’s a burn in hell lie there buddy.

Cruz apologized to Carson for it, but kinda not.  They’ve never taken responsibility for the lie.  Cruz and at least one of his campaign spokesman, Bob Vander Platts, kept trying to say that all they did was not clear up the record and deflect the blame to the completely blameless CNN.  No, they fucking lied.

It’s shitty even for a political campaign.  Especially for a campaign being run by and for so-called Christians.  You will hear his followers claim that they are comforted by his “Christian values” and you will also hear his followers justify or excuse such political games, rather than hold their man and his campaign to a higher standard.

That’s assholery!


How the Super Bowl Could Be Bad For Your Health

Aaron E. Carroll’s Incidental Economist Blog notes that the Super Bowl can be bad for your health, especially if your team is one of the participants. The odds go up that you will die!


Not from a crazed guest at a Super Bowl party rooting for the other team or a crossed bookie.  From the flu.

According to a new study published in the American Journal of Health Economics, the death rate from the flu is appreciably higher among those whose home team makes it to the Super Bowl.

This seemingly puzzling finding actually makes some sense. The Super Bowl occurs during the heart of flu season and is the reason many mingle at Super Bowl parties. And fans with their team in the big game are probably more likely to attend one.

The flu virus can spread whenever a person with it releases droplets of saliva — by coughing, sneezing or even talking — within six feet of someone without it. At a Super Bowl party, people are mingling closely.

So that Super Bowl orgy is probably a pretty reckless idea.  Where would you keep the dip?

[Sad trombone]