RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Wednesday, September 30

NFL WEEK 4: North Division teams

At this point in the NFL season, early on, with trends starting to develop but still fuzzed out (that's photographical knowledge, but we live in a digital age, so I am obsolete, yet not obtuse), we move onto checking out the North division teams. These two divisions have the reputation for being blue collar smashmouth football, probably due to the industrial heritage of their home cities. Here is them, as they stand, according to my nerd formula bullshit, which really doesn't take good solid shape until after five weeks, and usually is busted by the playoffs, meaning I should tweak the mathematic formula probably, but I am a lazy nerd...

#1: BALTIMORE RAVENS (3-0, 4th overall) - The Ravens seem to be good again this year, with Joe Flacco not being a one-hit wonder, and that defense plugging along as always. This doesn't seem to be like the 13-3 Steve McNair aberrations type years, or even like the Trent Dilfer Super Bowl year. (Man, Trent Dilfer sounds like a dude you could really trust on the ESPNs, doesn't he?) Ozzie Newsome may be the most solid GM in the league, not getting his proper credit because in a league that's just now starting to accept black head coaches, the idea of a black guy in charge of personnel decisions should best be left unpublished, before them uppitty negroes start wanting houses in the nice neighborhoods and college educations for their childrens (multiple mothers, am I right?) that don't involve athletic scholarships. The only real fault I can find with the Ravens right now is mayhaps they are peaking early, but that is a fault most NFL teams would love to experience.

#2: MINNESOTA VIKINGS (3-0, 6th overall) - Holy fuck, the Ol' Gunslinger showed a ridiculous highlight moment of ol' gunslingerocity last weekend, didn't he? When I think about Adrian Peterson and Brett Favre and the Vikings defense, it makes me want to talk like the old guy in Dazed & Confused who was talking to Randy "Pink" Floyd outside the little league baseball game. "Lookin' good, loooooookin' good." Jared Allen is still a chump ass though; and that's coming from someone who was born 1000% genetic white underclass, so it ain't no white trash hating going on. It's real recognizing fake, because real recognizes real, which is commonly accepted in the streets, and thus, real also recognizes the unreal, which is better described as fake, because it's actually real, but just a pussy assed form of real.

#3: CHICAGO BEARS (2-1, 7th overall) - Jay Cutler has, for two weeks in a row, disproved the pussy assed bitch allegations that would naturally surround a dude who wears a haircut like Jay Cutler does and throws more interceptions than playing Madden against your down's syndrome cousin and not letting him win until his mom peeks in on you and gives you that look. The Bears are appearing to be good, except they're not. Devin Hester is a Cinderella coach waiting to turn back into a pumpkin wearing an alternate orange jersey. And their defense should eventually crumble due to regular wear-and-tear, considering the heavyweights they've lost already this season. But Bears fans are an abundant lot, and also amusing, so enjoy it, and then get miserable again, so I can enjoy it.

#4: CINCINNATI BENGALS (2-1, 14th overall) - I will make a bold contentious statement and say that if Carson Palmer had lived an injury free NFL career, he would be regarded as second only to maybe Peyton Manning or Tom Brady in the NFL, and perhaps on the same level. It seems when he is healthy the past few years, this team overperforms, and when he's hurt, they are the Bengals we have all come to expect. And Chad Ochocinco is still the most obviously closeted dude in the NFL. And the one non-Redskin jersey I want more than any other is that big longhaired Samoan DT dude for the Bengals one. He seems like a straight up bro to me.

#5: PITTSBURGH STEELERS (1-2, 16th overall) - The Steelers have struggled, and I don't know how long Polamalu is out, but Willie Parker picked up his pace this past weekend, and they're still the Steelers. Even if they stumble throughout this year, worst case scenario, they miss the wild card by a game. Plus, within three years, they'll be back in the Super Bowl. No one can win it every year, and the Steelers seem a little off their violent swagger this year, but it's a long season with time for corrections so long as you don't fall too far down. And 1-2 after three weeks is not too far down, although the loss in Cincinnati was strange and demoralizing.

#6: GREEN BAY PACKERS (2-1, 19th overall) - You know what? I don't give a fuck about the Green Bay Packers. I would like too, but after Brett Favre through that amazing TD pass to win the game last weekend, I realized I didn't love the Packers, I loved their farvy style.

#7: DETROIT LIONS (1-2, 20th overall) - Everything is uphill for the Lions. They don't have to win their first game ever in recent memory of the ADHD Generation anymore. Now, they can cut loose, take Calvin Johnson off the chain, and grab some confidence. Matt Millen is gone. Fords are starting to sell again, little by little. We're almost due for another crappy Kid Rock made for multiple formats of radio payola hit. Perhaps now we can stop wondering how we sposed to keep da peace.

#8: CLEVELAND BROWNS (0-3, 30th overall) - The Browns seem a popular pick to perhaps repeat the 0-16 feat, which I think is naive. You know how much luck in the negative way you have to have to actually not win a single game? Even more depressive to me is Brady Quinn. Dude actually had some national commercial endorsements, as he was a QB golden boy. But he got benched for stupid Derek Anderson. Eric Mangini is only three games into his stint as the Browns coach, and is already potentially to be fired. What a fucking mess. But most important to me is that Joshua Cribbs' gangsta ass get some return yards to help my fantastical dorkball team.

Buffalo Bill's Brewery Orange Blossom Cream Ale

AFFORDABILITY: Buffalo Bill is some left coast bullshit, and like all things west coast glorified, by the time it gets to my dumbass in rural Virginia, it is overhyped, costs too much, and damn, we don't make no money here like y'all reading ass fools do in Berkeley, Librulfornia. 1 out of 5.
DESTROYABILITY: Sweet and fruity. That type of thing destroys you, but slowly, like an STD. 1 out of 5.
LABEL AESTHETIC: The label looks like a poster you'd see in the women's bathroom of one of those old school movie theaters that play the economically-priced second-run flicks and all the girls that work there dress like flappers. If I was looking to lick Georgia O'Keefe's yoni, it might be cool and all, but mostly it's like whatever, because I'm a straight up solid dude who likes to drink beer and grow my beard (no homo) and carry a chip on my shoulder with a smile and kick up some dirt to leave marks but no scars. Hopefully I can get rich and have a big house with extra rooms I never really go into and we can decorate the walls of those rooms with things that I would've thunk were fucking gay ten years ago. Even if that happens, this label, if painted onto tin, would not get hung on my fourth bathroom wall with desert sunset eggshell finish trimmed out with some bone white semi-gloss. 0 out of 5.
CORPORATE MASTER: A Hayward, California, brewery, brewed and bottled by Pyramid from up in Oregon, so it’s mad left coastery going on. I was driving a road home the other day from Goochland, and some dude had a sign in front of his yard, homemade, and I guess he’s running for some sort of local office, saying “FIGHTING LIBERALS SINCE 1943”. The whole crazy paranoid old people brigade that has made a mark in American politics recently, as rallied by AM radio, it bothers me, but not because I disagree with them (although I probably do half the time). It’s because once the Baby Boomers get older in 20 years, there’s gonna be even more of them, as delusional and batshit crazy as any old people ever, but in a way larger abundance. It means probably really retarded things for our American future. It is amusing to me how people are all like, “Oh my evolution! How could someone not want their kids to automatically listen to our beloved Barack Obama speak at the children?” when they’d been bitching and moaning for the last eight years about how much George Bush was stupid and no one should ever listen to him. Basically, that’s what we’ve gone down to in our American politics. Fuck it though. People who care about politics are people who don’t make sense to me. But I do know that just because something is liberal-minded and a corporation, it doesn’t mean it’s not evil as fuck. Whole Foods is full of scowl-faced rich fuckers who are just as bad, and probably less likely to invite me into their fancy houses as a tribe of Limbaughs would be, to fix something or paint an accent wall or some laborous bullshit like that. 2 out of 5.
OVERALL AMBIANCE: Simply put, this beer sucked. My wife is more frou-frou than me when it comes to beers, and she thought it sucked too. This was a purchase by me because we love the pumpkin ale by Buffalo Bill’s, and I thought it would be a super treat. But it was terrible. Terrible. Even hippie girls chasing String Cheese Incident shows around the map would hate this beer. Negative 2 out of 5.

Tuesday, September 29

Estrella Damm Lager

AFFORDABILITY: Allow me to play Mr. Consumer here... at the grocery store the pricetag as it sat on the rack said like $9.something per six-pack, but then it had that hang low part in yellow that major grocery store chains do, dropping the price to $6.something or other. Even though this is a chain grocery store that had labels printed beforehand to put on their shelves, exactly on a Wednesday to coincide with newspaper circulars that nobody gets anymore, and there I was, a fucking chump ass dude, with a fresh deposit in the bank account, spending some of my food stamp money on some bok choy and daikon radishes, looking to drop a little extra on something for my lay-back. So I did. It's stupid when I overanalyze it, yet it felt perfect. 7 out of 5.
DESTROYABILITY: The Estrella Damm put me on tilt, straight up. It's hard sometimes to tell because I've been on this get up early as fuck kick, drinking coffee for like the first time in my life on a regular basis, and I don't really eat. So my body is all warped on it's intake, and sometimes I forget I haven't eaten most of the day and slim through dinner and then drink a few beers, and will be all tilted across the surface of a crooked ass world, and there's nothing scientific about it, which makes these ratings things subjective and ultimately lacking. But I live my stupid life not based on science and factual calculations but mostly metaphysical deliberations that often times have no explanation. The unfortuante thing about the Estrella Damm is that I copped it at the Kroger in the soulless void that is Short Pump on the eternally sprawling western end of Richmond, and I haven't seen it in my more local travels since then, so where the fuck shall I find this fine ale again? Still though, 4 out of 5.
LABEL AESTHETIC: A beautiful propaganda-like looking label, one that Shepard Fairey would be more than glad to co-opt for his nefarious pretentious white man purposes. Gold stars on a muted red label is always going to be tight and make me think of warm weather dictators who allow frenzied music festivals where big assed women shake themselves free of oppression one weekend out the year. Really, I’d give up all this supposed democracy to have American women not be so scrawny and jogging and yoga pilatesing away their ample asses. It seems we are either fat fucks with gross factor or string bean chicks with shaved yonis and the ass of a six-year-old boy. The label makes me imagine a chick named Estrella (great Spanish stripper name I would imagine) and going “Dammmmm!” as she walked by, looks over her shoulder smiling... oh man. Also of note is there’s some strange impressions on the bottle, and the label’s in weird Battlestar Galactica shape with no corners. 6 out of 5.
CORPORATE MASTER: It is owned by some Spaniards, and I have no opinion, negative or positive, of the Spaniards. I know they decimated the indigenous peoples of the Americas, but got some big dooky gold chains out the deal. They also sent a hot ass chick to my high school as an exchange student back in the day, who looked good with natural beauty, no make-up. So I’ll give them benefit of the doubt, these Spaniard beer owners. 3 out of 5.
OVERALL AMBIANCE: I am not a plane rider, not once in my life, so most of my worldwide Lonely Planet Globe Trekker fantasies involve the long rides through North America into Central America and across a ferry on the Panama Canal into South America. Estrella Damm makes me think of what I’d be drinking in strange towns 5000 miles into a shitty cheap Subaru’s transmission’s cross-continent trek, with brown-skinned women serving me brown meats not from a growth hormoned cow, but a backyard chivo extraordinaire, and Estrella Damm wouldn’t be a cheap glossy poster by the glass door beer refrigerator, but a hand-painted tin sign by the reach-in beer cooler, where you slide up the top and dig down. We should all dig down more. We are all a bunch of easily recycled pussies. I guess recycling is good, ultimately, but at the same time, fuck there being anything like me ever again. 5 out of 5.

Monday, September 28

100 VINYLZ: #57 - Street Survivors LP by Lynyrd Skynyrd

(1977, MCA Records)
I have two copies of this recording. One is the regular one I accumulated during my initial post-small town, college-age, “Oh yeah, Lynyrd Skynyrd is like the Buddhism of the South” stage. The second copy was a gift from a gay friend, and it was the flaming cover version that was deleted and cancelled once they crashed a plane and killed off the original band. At the time, I had no idea that cover was so rarified, and even to this day, even though I do a big fat internet dork list of “My Most Important Records Ever In My Ridiculously Expansive Collection” list, I took the flaming Steve Gaines the dead guitarist from the plane crash cover, and have it tacked up in the camper behind my house, half bent sideways to fit the curve of the fake wood cabinetry, because it’s an awesome cover, and not just for ironic dead guitarists eye closed engulfed in flames bullshit. It is an awesome cover. My grass is blue too, Artimus Pyle, no doubt about it, at least once you get past the top foot of it.
Lynyrd Skynyrd is really underrated as an awesome assed band, due to two reasons. The first is because they suffer from the whole “FREEBIRD!” dilemma of retards liking the one song. I actually saw a dude in a busted ass Firebird today with license plates that said FR33BRD today. And the second factor working against the Leonard Skinner Overdrive is the fact that once some main members died, the leftovers kept going strong. And then some more died from that bunch, but what was leftover from that kept going, sort of strong, to the point it was eventually watered down so goddamned bad that you can still Lynyrd Skynyrd play tomorrow in four different cities, like they were a 1950s R&B band owned by a Jew.
But don’t front through reverse close-mindedness. Lynyrd Skynyrd was some for-real type shit, all stereotypes aside. And this, as well as most of their studio albums, is a great fucking record. The flaming cover version given to me by my flaming friend just makes it better. Odd thing is, I asked that dude if he was gay before he told anybody, dressed as Willie Nelson at a Halloween party of three, with the gay dude, me, and my other roommate dressed as Charles Manson in orange jumpsuit and swastika forehead. Memories, bros, nothing but memories. That’s what owning records is all about.

100 VINYLZ: #58 - Apocalyptic Raids EP by Hellhammer

(1984, Noise Records)
Celtic Frost has the thrash metal respect from the past, but I’ve never liked anything Celtic Frost did as much as this Hellhammer EP. Tom G. Warrior sounds menacing, but is nothing compared to the stage name Cryptic Slaughter. I had this on tape from a school trip to NYC as a young high school kid where me and another dude bailed out on everybody and everything and went to Times Square area to buy bongs and music. But a while back, my man Ryan Muldoon (I hope you google this of yourself bitch) had this gimmick where he was giving me old metal albums with old wrestling magazines tucked inside whenever he saw me. It might be the most amazing continual thing that happened, giftwise, for me. But the All-Star performance of such an All-Star gesture was the time, I think in Fredericksburg at some shitty ass wrestling show, where he handed me Apocalyptic Raids on vinyl, with a Pro Wrestling Illustrated with David Von Erich on the cover inside, while we were drinking beers in a parking lot that was tall grass with a mesh fence. We were with wrestling nerds, the both of us, so mostly we did the drinking while they did the reminiscing of things Japanese or Murdochian or whatever the fuck, and we got drunk and yelled questionable things at questionable wrestlers. But the Apocalyptic Raids still gets major play in my camper aka the Compound Cave. And we are entering the fall season of this ride around the sun, and I am a family man now, where I dress up in white camouflage pants and an ugly as possible ghetto print button down shirt as the Duke of Hawaii to my daughters’ delight. But there was a time, and a part of my mind is still there, where I’d loop some old Geto Boys, mostly the We Can’t Be Stopped album, with “Triumph of Death” from this EP, and take some acid, and go wandering on a mountain trail with a couple of 12-inch Kabar knives, just to see what unfolded.
But suffice it to say Ryan Muldoon has given me great joy in my adult life. You should all, if you come across this through internet searching, give him whatever job, loan, or sordid affair he is looking for. He is loyal beyond reason. And he is a family man, meaning he’d do anything for his family. Except he regards even casual close acquaintances as family, which makes the whole “family man” compliment far more wide-reaching that it would be for the regular shut-in you’re looking for who wouldn’t stray from his career responsibilities. Ryan Muldoon won’t stray from responsibilities, but his influence and correctness will stray far and wide. Small towns should hire dudes like him to just sit around on a bench in the middle of town to keep things chill.

J.J. Krupert Top 13 Countdown - September '09

So, in case you didn’t know, I list off the top 13 most played jambos on my little 2 gig iPod shuffle aka the J.J. Krupert gaypod. But I don’t just do it straight up how many times it gets played; I subtract the skip count to have a solid hockey-style plus/minus number, but only one listing per group per month, and then I never talk about it again in this format. Mad internetty of me, I know. Here is the September Top 13 J.J. Krupert Gaypod Countdown, although I don’t count them down so much as list them and then say stupid things...
#1: (unknown title to a beat) by Blue Globe Beats - I dug out all my old Boogie Brown Blue Globe Beat CDs to splash all the instrumentals into my laptop and write some concept albums to do out in the camper with, so I don’t even know the real names of the songs because I gave them all my own titles for whatever I had in mind when I was putting this together one weekend. This beat will be called “World Keep Spinning” once I finally do something with it, and it’s a nice ass mellow yet thumpish beat. I spent a few years making music with another dude, and had gotten pretty wrapped up into that, maximizing the creative possibilities, but then it flamed out. And it’s funny getting back to listening to Brown beats and hearing how they layer into each other, like actual music, even if it is using samples. I think with the computer programs a lot of people use today to make beats, they get caught up on that grid system where you can lay out your samples and drum beats and everything to hit on time. But the thing is, real quality music deviates from that rigid structure, and once it gets more fluid, it starts to find the type of grooves that get you going. Brown is an off-the-grid type of producer, in fact, we both geek each other up over the negative influence of robots and cybertronic forces and the unlounging realm of the computer world (like this!). I have been blessed to have Brown as a creative conspirator for like fifteen fucking years now.
#2: “Give It Up” by J-Live & R.A. The Rugged Man - Odd pairing of two of the great underground MCs. J-Live is that old boom bap era super-syllabic, library-friendly conscious rapper, and honestly, even though I find a lot of that genre played the fuck out and self-pimping an intelligence level that isn’t necessarily there, I do wish the world could’ve gave J-Live a little more love. He is like CL Smooth for contrarian types who don’t like to like things normal people know about. And R.A. has for a long minute been my favorite obscure rapper, though it’s getting to the point I’d like to see something else come out by the dude. Although I guess he’s got writing gigs for assorted magazines (including Vibe and King, which is a nice set-up for a whiteboy), plus some hip hop legend status for being banned from performing in a lot of places and having Biggie Smalls call him one of the illest MCs ever, which, with most rap fans being white people, and R.A. being a white dude, that makes people feel good. Why spoil his legendary MC status, when he can probably make more money freelance writing? It’s not like people making CDs actually make money anymore anyways.
#3: “Get On Home” by Prolo - This is a new Prolo song (can be found at our stupid cybertronic unlounging myspace page though) full of some Boogie Brown country melodies and mellow git-picking with a middle of the song verse by me, only one, allowing me to channel my inner Khujo Goodie, which is all I want to really do anyways.
#4: “Walkin’ Bum” by David Allan Coe - Previously in life, most of my David Allan Coe knowledge sprung from the For The Record greatest hits package, and blossomed out from there. But at some point this year, I downloaded a couple of his earlier records where David Allan Coe was still on some bluesy Jerry Lee Lewis wannabe wildness. It is the greatest shit ever. “Walkin’ Bum” is probably my favorite song from that era, and I consider it my theme song right now. But that era of David Allan Coe stuff, late ‘60/early ‘70s, there’s great shit throughout. The top two records on my list of wanted vinyl to magically find on the cheap by accident right now are Buckstone County Prison and Penitentiary Blues.
#5: “Lacville” by Devin the Dude - Devin the Dude is more potential than delivery throughout his career, but when he hits, he hits. This is probably the best Devin track, because it’s all probably true, as his love of his piece of shit old Cadillac is well-documented.
#6: “Alabama” by Jhi-Ali featuring Cooley Da Dude & Big P.O.P.E. - Another banger off of the Fear & Loathing in Hunts Vegas mixtape by Paper Route Gangstaz and hipster extraordinaire Diplo. I’m a big fan of country ass rap songs talking about your grandmother hooking up some collard greens. If you haven’t stolen the PRGz mixtape from last year yet, you should, since it’s free. It got them a record deal, and from the sound of that “Keyshia Cole” song that came out recently, their bonafide record is gonna fucking suck. So jump into this before your ears - and opinion - gets polluted by the bullshit they’re doing now.
#7: “More Rhymin’” by MF Doom featuring Kurious - The DOOM CD is still my favorite actual record label released CD of the year. I can’t get into a lot of the other shit that’s supposed to be good today. Raekwon and Jay-Z sound sort of bored to me, and I can’t get hyped for someone who’s bored. The Doom CD is nothing new, but it’s solid, and a great soundtrack for my continual stumbling through a mediocre life. Plus, it’s got Kurious, a true hip hop classic artist. “I’m Kurious...” man that shit was the shit, back when I actually smoked blunts instead of bowls.
#8: “Knockin’ Pictures Off The Wall” by Yungstar - Another screwed and chopped classic, and probably the best big money bragging song from that genre. “White tigers on leashes...” Yes indeed Yungstar, yes indeed. I wonder where this dude is now. Houston rap is a big scene, so he might still be coasting off the strength of this one classic jam to this day. Or he might’ve gotten shot in some ghetto ass dramatic fashion like Hawk. Or overdosed like Screw. Or had a heart attack with his fat ass like Big Moe.
#9: “Falso Amor” by Los Tigres Del Norte - This made the monthly countdown, but honestly, I think my norteno phase might’ve passed for the year, especially after jacking a bunch of Bhangra music and Gypsy breakbeats from inside the internets. I only have a tolerance for so much world music in my life, quotas I guess, limiting how much foreigner shit I can have clogging up my small-sized gaypod.
#10: “Atlantis” by Donovan - Awesome fucking song. Donovan is some great psychedelic folk music for your drug-addled asses to get all old school with. This song plays like a history lesson for the underground city of Atlantis, but gets all wacky as to be expected, and finally has a long repeating chorus to drive it all home.
#11: “Paradox” by Hawkwind - Lemmy-era Hawkwind is quality psychedelic rock-n-roll music, and once they broke apart in separate ways, because of Lemmy’s drug issues (he liked cocaine, which didn’t jibe with his hallucinogenic brethren so well), Hawkwind lost their edge. I probably listen to Hawkwind way too fucking much actually.
#12: “Uncommon Valor” by Jedi Mind Tricks featuring R.A. the Rugged Man - I snuck a second R.A. song in because he’s only featured on this one, but if you’ve ever heard this song (I think I had it on a mix on here at some point), it really shows you how great he is. It also makes Vinnie Paz look bush league by comparison.
#13: “Leading the Parade” by Corntooth - My man Matt Conner and his ol’ lady and Mark from Lamb of God and assorted other Richmond peoples of differing levels of musical fame, making some country ass music. This is shit-stomping, beer-guzzling, good shit, and it’s a shame that more of the world didn’t know about Corntooth before their musical demise.

Sol Cerveza

AFFORDABILITY: Sol tends to be the cheapest of the Mexicanola beers in my local gringo grocery spots. I have often thought of Corona as Mexican Budweiser in that it's not really any different than anything else but it has lots of commercials and it sponsors Nascar (well, Corona sponsors lucha libre, which I like to assume is Mexican Nascar to help me perpetuate this myth in my head that Mexico is a magical, wonderful creature). Mexican beer, it has seemed to me, does not have the natural alcoholic content to get you drunk in all environments, but when it's hot as fuck the skunky nature of the Mexican beer, when properly tinged with some fresh lime (none of that pre-limed bullshit they sell nowadays), is some most proper shit. Which of course, as I thought that, begs the question why the fuck am I drinking it in the middle of September when it feels like the middle of October in central Virginia? Probably because it was stacked up in a center display and was one of the cheapest 12-packs that fit my retarded constantly shifting parameters of what's acceptable and not acceptable. A solid quatro out of cinco. (That’s 4 out of 5, para los gringos.)
DESTROYABILITY: Again, the delivery of drunkenness by Mexicanola cervezerias is questioned by me, but just as I thought that, some cumbia rebajada came up on my shuffle machine, and I realized that fuck it man. If you are already destroyed, beer doesn’t need to overdo it on top of that. Perspective, bro. I am naturally comfortable sitting on a milk crate or driving a vehicle with broken tie rods and mismatched fenders 200 miles with a empty gallon bottle of wine full of nickels and dimes for gas money, so I don’t need the supersonic alcohol content. My brain is probably firing up at around a 0.05 naturally. 4 out of 5.
LABEL AESTHETIC: It is a simple and beautiful bottle, clear to see the piss-cohol contained inside, with a nice white sunbeam dooda thing going on, and that bright red SOL kicking it as well. As a teenager, I did a bit of acid catfishing at night drinking Sols like crazy, so I've studied this bottle with an abundance of hazy attention, by firelight underneath a full moon with the stars above charting my future just I've never learned to read them correctly. Plus they were blurring around under the influence of the blue unicorn four-panel blotter, so I couldn't have deciphered their meaning even if I could have focused and read it like the ancient mariner. So staring into a Sol's clear glass, I not only see the simple Mexican label on a sturdy bottle, I see those memories, of my carefree and reckless youth, which some of those forks left instead of forking right at certain crossroads, they may not have been the best choices. But they got me here, with a mind full of strange thangs, a quiet house with three beautiful daughters of assorted ages sleeping upstairs in the cool fall air from the open windows that need reglazing anyways, and a yard full of country - chickens and horseshoes and tall grass and some broken things and stacked things and packratted things. Thus, whether good or bad, it is what it is, and that's as close to perfect as I can get. 7 out of 5.
CORPORATE MASTER: Sol is Mexican, and brought to America by probable Mafiosos. One thing I dig - and this should’ve been mentioned above under label aesthetic, but I don’t go back bro, straight ahead, always and forever - is the list of countries with it written in that language. That means it’s a worldly company. I hope that with the rise of the Mexican drug cartels, them dudes can at least launder themselves into the corporate world, although I guess you don’t really need to launder money in a semi-lawless land. But judging by the great choices on the La Tienda store shelves, I would assume the Mexican corporation is far superior to the American corporation I am used to dealing with. Hell, it might be making wires hooked up to lead paint with a battery to light up a Rudolph nose as a Christmas ornament. Or it might be making Coke use real sugar because corn syrup is for zombies. 5 out of 5.
OVERALL AMBIANCE: Sol makes me feel good. I am not completely ignorant; I understand that “sol” is Spicanese for the sunshine. But it is no coincidence in my mind that “sol” be sounding like “soul”. From remembering night time acidhead catfishing escapades to meandering down the Rapidan River with my old boss in his inflatable fishing boats after good rains put it all to flood stage, Sol beer is a good-timed beer, pumping up the heart of a good-timed man. 9 out of 5.

Sunday, September 27

100 VINYLZ: #59 - Greatest Hits LP by Al Green

(1975, Hi Records)
I do not know how exactly I got into Al Green, because my folks’ soul explosion mostly was limited to Stevie Wonder vinyl and a few Rudy Ray Moore 8-tracks. But somewhere along the way, I ended up a huge fan of Al Green through this Greatest Hits LP, where the two halves of the record sleeve have long separated, been taped together with regular tape, masking tape, and finally blue painter’s tape. Even that has broken on two ends so that I can stuff the album back in on all but one side, slap it together like a sandwich, and stuff it between some other albums to keep it in one piece. Al Green brings to mind two memories for me.
One time, I hung out with some bald-headed chick, and we wandered the city wild, me drunk, her tolerant, and we went back to her place and she showed me her shotgun, left me in my boxers but we slept together, actual sleeping not sexing it up euphemisms. The next morning, my drunk was gone and I woke up and was like, “What the fuck?” Nice frilly bed, by myself. I pulled on my jeans, went downstairs, and the chick was frying potatoes up for breakfast with Al Green playing. At the time, I was a directionless, shiftless, drunken degenerate, but I knew I could love a woman like that. I did hold an infatuation for her for a while, but my real potato-frying, Al Green playing woman had a much better ass, long hair, and was a few years into my future still.
The second thing that comes to mind is this older black dude named Reggie I worked with at this veterinary clinic in Richmond. We were the two guys who cleaned up the shit, literally. It was fun becasue we’d spray the Jack Russell terriers with a hose to watch them jump like crackheads for ten minutes at a time. We became good friends, hiding joints for each other under the radio, especially if you had weekend clean-up when none of the authoritative types were around (or the chubby redneck lady anesthesiologist bitch, who acted like she was on her way to a Nobel prize for her veterinary assisting bullshit duties, thus someone to not be cool with, as she was a born snitch). Reggie was a solid dude, and his wife worked there too, and I kicked it at their crib a couple times, nice Northside upwardly mobile dual income middle-aged black family, but 420-friendly, it was like the Huxtables but for for-real folks. Anyways, one day me and Reggie were doing something or other, and an Al Green song came on the radio (he kept it on the urban jams station, usually back then it was called Power whatever the number was, but now is whatever the number is The Beat), and I was like, “Yeah man, I dig some Al Green.” Reggie tells me, and Reggie always talked kinda sideways through his eyes, to where you knew he was cool but there was a sketchiness there too, so don’t flash too much around him, whether that be big cash or a big-titted girlfriend. But he was talking sideways like that and told me, “Yeah Al Green was the shit back in the day. Everybody loved him. All the women loved him, and all the dudes thought he was a fag, so it was cool.
On the last Solaris Earth Pipeline CD we did, I had PSY/OPS use the horn start to “Tired of Being Alone” because that’s always been my favorite Al Green song, and it’s always, for some reason, sounded like all the bugs and cicadas and frogs and everything drumming up their summertime crescendo that builds up into a chaos of forest noise, then dies completely out, all at the same time. Then it builds back up. I’ve always wanted a beat that mimicked that, and the “Tired of Being Alone” sample is the closest I’ve ever heard. The song we did was pretty cool too, some crazy long-winded lyrics, but of course the ambiant producer extraordinaire had to weaken it down with some swirly ass flange bullshit on the chorus.
Haha, when I worked with Reggie and he kept it on Power Whatever the fuck, that “it’s just one of them thangs... a girl goes through” song by Monica or Adina or whoever was always getting played, and I was living with a stupid crazy secret biyotch bitch, so I’ve always loved that song. But that’s not Al Green.
Another time, when they were playing old Soul Trains on the television late on Saturday nights, before the stupid digital TV conversion, and there was an episode that was pretty much nothing but Al Green performing five songs and taking questions, and he had a broken arm with a cast from getting mobbed after a show. I think me and my wife - the potato frying Sunday morning queen of my life - had been getting dirt nasty on the living room floor, and were watching that with our wind-down beer, being like, “Damn, why can’t we have this to watch any time we want?” It made you think this was gonna be the best show ever, late night syndication style, but then the next week it was like from the ‘80s with Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam or some stupid weak ass shit.

Friday, September 25

S14: The Ultimate Fighter Season One

Just finished watching the first year of The Ultimate Fighter, which I guess became a really popular show at some point in it's history, making MMA The Next Big Thing for like the second or third time in its existence. I am not normally a fan of the reality television genre because honestly I don't like people. So why would I want to hang out and watch a bunch of assholes I don't like live in a house I don't have doing things I don't approve of? Anyways, I decided to watch the whole batch of The Ultimate Fighter, beginning till end (or as far as Netflix lets me go to this point), and after each season, I'd rank the top 14 characters from the show, a listing of the most notable people, from best to worstest. Minor people who didn't register much of a blip on my personal care-o-meter didn't make the cut, because isn't the point of reality TV for me to care, not to be bored to death by boring ass fuckers? Well, here is my opinions for you on the people, characters, events, and circumstances of Season One of The Ultimate Fighter.
#1: FORREST GRIFFIN - You know, the very fact I never heard about this guy from the first season of TUF (internet-favored acronym for The Ultimate Fighter series) shows you how off-the-radar pop culturally UFC and MMA was. I am a white dude with questionable moral decency and occasional discretionary income between the ages of 18 and 40, so I am always on the mental hunt for retarded shit to love upon. Forrest Griffin is young, from the South, and a drunken retard. He should've been huge, like Pepsi commercial huge. He was so big and facially chiseled like bad guys from Sgt. Rock comic books that I thought he was some sort of eastern Euro dude at first. But it turned out he was just awesome. And the finals fight between him and Stephan Bonner was a great fight, although it did little to quell my personal verdict that MMA really isn't anything more than human cockfighting. Of course, I like cockfighting, as well as dogfighting, and even snake and mongoose fighting, so this personal verdict is no condemnation. It just makes me feel skeevy. I want to hire Forrest Griffin to be my personal head of security.
#2: RANDY COUTURE - Such a mellow dude with such a grappling heart. He's just such a chill guy, it's hard not to like him, when you consider what he does. I have read the pro wrestling/MMA dorkletters enough to know there's been drama between him and the UFC, and that he's an old ass dude by MMA standards. Yet he still goes, obviously because he's so chill. Watching this show made me want to chill with Randy Couture, maybe go for a hike, hit up a pick your own apple place, drink some ciders, just chill.
#3: CHRIS LEBEN - He was obviously a basket case, but reminded me of like 3000 people I've known who work the door in the meat market bar district of any city. They are good people to know because you get in for free and if you smoke them out sometimes, they'll get the bartender to hook you up because you're their boy. And for all his emotional wreckage, I probably rooted for him more than anybody else early on in the show.
#4: WILLA FORD - Well, not so much her as her breasts, especially when wearing airbrushed t-shirts.
#5: NATE QUARRY - Nate also seemed like a chill guy, like a Randy Couture understudy. Good actions return tenfold, just like my Hindu grandmother used to say, which is why it was just so sweet of UFC to let him stay on as a coach after he twisted up his footbones.
#6: STEPHAN BONNER - Really, Bonner's a young, goofy, beer-friendly oddball, who probably would've stood out as the most awesomest dude on the show had he not been overshadowed by the even goofier, even more beer-friendly, oddballer of Forrest Griffin. Bonner's goofiness was more deadpan and low key, like Stephen Wright, so not as easily entertainable as Griffin's overgrown monkeyboy style. Still, their finals fight was fucking awesome, and it was great to see them both get rewarded financially by UFC for bludgeoning each other so willingly for the chance.
#7: PETER WELCH - He was the boxing coach, and I build up all these stereotypes in my head, but not as judgements so much as the creations of scenes where all these predictable (to me at least) stories play out, and a boxing coach with the last name Welch talking with a Boston accent and looking like a mug of Guinness plays right into those internal stereotypes. I already know Peter Welch has an aunt who can hook up a hellafied batch of meatballs using like five different types of meat, and Welch plays rugby on Sunday afternoons with a bunch of cops in the park and those guys have kept him out of jail on more than one occasion. Also, Welch's biggest fight when he was still fighting professionally was two steps away from a title fight, but he lost a questionable decision to a Puerto Rican in New Jersey, probably due to a fixed result with two of the judges.
#8: CHUCK LIDDELL - Liddell is one of the UFC's biggest stars to this point, and there's really nothing wrong about him, I just don't trust dudes who regularly rock the Travis Bickle haircut, or with a "KENPO" tattoo. Not dissing or anything, it just reminds me too much of guys who were in the Marines and hang out like they're alternative and chill, but then one night after a heavy round of bong hits, they get all alpha male and pushing somebody around and next thing you know somebody's paralyzed from falling off the second floor deck out back.
#9: DANA WHITE - I had only heard radio interviews with White before watching this show, so didn't know he was such a sleepy-eyed little polebean-looking cat. He has a pretty chill attitude too it seems, though he could display his bossman tailfeathers if necessary. You have to be happy for the guy, because in this age of Facebook accumulation of high school memories, the dude's living the dream of having known some guys who got rich and then they pay him tons of money to run this thing they own now. Too bad I came from a piece of shit place where everybody who got rich from there is probably middle class at best by world standards. Actually, that's not too bad. I is what I is, and got no gripes, except I wish my penis was thicker.
#10: MIKE SWICK - He sort of hung around in the background, with his sculpted beard, looking like eventual fodder for something or another. And then he just went away. In fact, he wouldn't have even made my final list if it wasn't for his goofy facial hair stylings, which is good, because if you have like six or seven guys that don't stand out and take up the background space, they need to look different at least. That's what Mike Swick did.
#11: LODUNE SINCAID - You knew he'd be gone quickly, but his questionable behavior, flaunting around and bending his ass over in front of other guys, that was some good shit to see in a house full of alpha males. I'm sure if he stayed in MMA, he had a tough time living that down. Or maybe he didn't. Perhaps it opened up a whole new world of happiness to him. Hell, for all I know MMA is just as rife with closeted, degenerate-types of homosexuality as professional wrestling is.
#12: ALEX SCHONAUER - Another of the anonymous background guys, but he had that good fight with Forrest Griffin. Unless it was the other anonymous Alex guy. I can’t really say for sure, even after looking at Wikipedia. But whichever Alex was from Brazil or whatever and had that fight with Forrest, that dude was completely indistinguishable during the entire series, and then was awesome for like four minutes, then gone from the show. That’s how you do a reality TV show without embarrassing your family.
#13: JOSH KOSCHECK - Mulatto guys with blue eyes should never be trusted. They have received all of Dr. Yakub’s evil genius through the sexual desires of their own god and earth-like ancestors. It is the twisted realization of the pollution of the human race with greed and devilry. And watching that show, Koscheck was the most devilish character there. Even without watching the show, you can see it in his eyes.
#14: DIEGO SANCHEZ - This guy’s a tool, straight up. Like, you can tell mentally he’s not that smart at all, yet he’s been trained as an MMA fighter, and he loves Jesus. That would be funny if it were a quip on The Family Guy, but it’s a for-real human being walking around breathing oxygen and in all likelihood procreating with an equally stupid human being. Diego Sanchez made me sad for the future.

Friday Love/Hate

I love chickens starting to lay some eggs. Both leghorns are kicking it daily now, and the americauna one drops one every now and then. Two of my reds are sniffing around the boxes like mad, and something, probably one of the reds, laid a shell-less egg the other day, which freaked me out and looked like some alien nonsense that I immediately through into the edge of the woods like we used to do with strangely born things back before we got so goddamned civilized. It makes me want to get more little ones, like the black stars they have over in Fork Union at Chicken World, but I need to wait till I get my stupid guineas situated on the other side of the compound, away from the chickens, so they don't tear shit up like the were. Man, as dumb as people explain guineas to be, they are like ten times stupider than you could even imagine.

I hate the haze right now. Trying to clear it up, but the grass has grown thick around the edges of my mind frame's membranes, and it's gonna take more than a one hour hike through the woods to get my spiritual spinal cord realigned. Less clutter would probably help, but shit, the electronic clutter in the clear air is pretty high right now, I'm amazed anybody can get it together. But my clarity is certainly not the clearest it's ever been.

Thursday, September 24

Redskins 1-1 Positives/Negatives Metasciences Recap

Taken from The Armchair Linebacker blog, as part of my meanderings upon my begrudgingly loved Redskins.

(he is sad because Redskins no score big touchdown)
Even though the Redskins won, I will not be moving the positive/negative scale upwards, because 5 times in the red zone for 3 field goals is some weak ass shit. Beating a team that's lost 16 out of 18 by 2 points at home is some weak ass shit. Now, I'm not all on the tip like fans booing the team at the end of the game, because they did at least win, but I'm all with everybody booing with the predictable offense and fucking lackluster performances almost all around. So it will remain three positives, one even steven, and five negative nancy pants boys, yet again. And it goes a little something like this...
3RD DEGREE POSITIVE - CHRIS COOLEY. I’ll start out by apologizing to Chris Cooley for all the disparaging things I said (except for his t-shirts on his website, which are ugly as fuck). Who am I to say a man has changed in a bad way by settling down? I mean, I used to do acid and break into houses, and now look at me, coaching youth soccer on Saturday mornings, master of duck duck goose. Who could’ve thunk it? Why does it fall on Cooley’s shoulders to remain a modern day Riggins just so I can live vicariously through him? And really, watching the Redskins the first two games of this year, the most obvious thing on the offensive side of the ball is that, even though they sent Clinton Portis and Chris Samuels and Mike Sellers to Hawaii last year too, Cooley is the only true Pro Bowler on this team. That’s not to knock those guys, but true Pro Bowler, true NFL hard rock mode, that means when the other team knows what’s up and double teams you or makes plans to stifle you, you still get your’s. That is Cooley. The other team can know in their mind and watch film all week long thinking, “#47 is their go-to guy and we are going to fuck that up for them.” Yet Cooley still makes noise offensively, regardless. The guy is a straight up workhorse on Sunday afternoons, so I can tolerate all the blogospheric masturbatory activities he engages in the rest of the week he wants to. To be completely honest, if I hit the numbers tomorrow, and I had some set aside for one nice Redskins jersey with the stitched numbers and letters instead of the iron-on kind, I’d get a #47. Can you get customized embroidered ones? Because I’d like the name to read CHAOS. Captain Chaos, I know you dick around on the internet all the time, so if you happenstance upon this, I am cracking this cold ass Yuengling to you bro. Also, did you ever rock out to the first L.A. Guns record? That shit’s great. It’s the self-titled one, you should take it. I think “Show No Mercy” would make a great motivational song for you.
2ND DEGREE POSITIVE - CHRIS HORTON. Last year’s 7th round draft pick surprise, proving even a blind squirrel like Vinny Cerrato can find a nut in the NFL draft. He was solid last year, and he’s solid this year again, proving it was no fluke. A crushing play where he concussed the ball out of Donnie Avery’s hands to end a drive inside the Redskins red zone was his big play, and some timely stepping up on the Rams last drive made Horton a guy who stood out on what was a pretty solid defensive performance by the Redskins. Apparently, reading the paper today, that one long run Steven Jackson busted was Horton’s fault, but honestly, if a dude can be a headhunter as a safety, but not get so caught up in that he loses track of his regular responsibilities at times (ala Laron Landry), I’ll let the guy make a big mistake now and then. It’s also pretty telling in a secondary full of first round draft picks (including three guys who were top 10 overall picks in Landry, DeAngelo Hall, and Carlos Rogers) that a 7th round guy is making a name for himself. It’s that hard-working mentality, as Horton has a reputation as a guy who breaths game film during the week, to complement his athletic gifts, which might not be as gifted as others. If I hit the numbers tomorrow night, I’ll probably get a #48 jersey too. Skins fans need to start rocking those in the crowd, so that stupid ass Dan Snyder knows not to let the dude go in favor of some overrated, high-priced free agent strong safety.
1ST DEGREEE POSITIVE - ALBERT HAYNESWORTH. People be jocking Haynesworth because he’s always sucking wind and having to take plays off, but seriously, dude is 350 pounds like the fat Samoans that usually play defensive tackle, yet he is a cut ass black dude with speed. He’s gonna need to breath heavy to keep his genetically freakish body from having internal organ failure due to extreme physical exertion. And if you watch the games, he ties up the middle of the offensive line, whether it be the Rams or the Giants. When a guy can regularly push two big fucking goon O-linemen backwards and clog up running lanes or the QB’s view of the field, I got no gripe. I know Dan Snyder probably overpaid him, and there’s a history of high-priced failures under the Snyder regime, but give Haynesworth a break. The guy could cripple both Tony Romo and Eli Manning, and just because he’s making a gazillion ear dollars, people would be hating on him because he didn’t cripple Donovan McNabb against the Eagles. Give the guy time. He’ll cripple them all. And hopefully stomp on the bare forehead of Dallas Cowboys players with his spiked cleats, too.
EVEN DEGREE - CLINTON PORTIS. Portis doesn’t dominate with speed like he did a few years back, but he’s a smart player, way smarter than you’d expect from such a street-talking ruffian black man with an expensive fashion sense. I got nothing but love for C.P. and if the Redskins had more going on around him, he’d be getting positivity points from me. I do not understand why a professional football team in 2009, when some offenses are actually moving to the triple threat backfield of halfbacks, sits pat with one solid halfback (Portis) and what is basically a stripped down bare bones lesser version of the same year model (Ladell Betts, just as old as Portis, which is Portis’s alleged shortcoming, which I do not deny, as he does not have the long distance breakaway speed anymore... a 35-yard gain is gonna be about it for him, and he’s gonna need an injection of oxygen afterwards). Most teams have the sense to get some variety going on.
1ST DEGREE NEGATIVE - JASON CAMPBELL. Everybody’s throwing Campbell under the bus as well, but I think he did pretty damn good this week. After the stupid staying in the pocket too long against the Giants that resulted in a strip/fumble recovery/touchdown for the Giants trifecta, Campbell had the sense to bolt once he’d been in the pocket for 3 or 4 seconds this week, resulting in some nice runs. I think people forget he’s a black quarterback sometimes and black quarterbacks are the greatest rushing quarterbacks civilization has ever seen. For some reason that is seen as a latently racist thing to say, but if I were a black quarterback, I’d be more than stoked to proclaim how I’m a superior rusher if I need to be, and plus I’m way smarter than stupid white people from 1948 thought possible, so I am the ultimate quarterback, so take your tired ass A.J. Feeleys and Jeff Garcias and ram them up your racist asses.
2ND DEGREE NEGATIVE - SANTANA MOSS. I have had it up to here with Santana Moss acting like an arrogant fool when he makes one of his 3 catches per game for a first down. And at the same time, I can’t really hold it against Santana Moss too much, because he’s a tiny dude that is getting asked to be the #1 go-to guy on a team without a bonafide #2 receiver. Neither of last year’s alleged superstars-in-the-making have done jackshit, even after another training camp of newspaper article hype and coaching quotables of hope. In fact, fuck it man. Randle El is best as a #3, and Moss needs something to help him try to be a #1 instead of having his tiny little ass double teamed into obscurity, but Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas ain’t doing shit. I should give them negative degrees, but it’s hard to even really consider either one of them part of the team yet. Neither has made a mark, at all, other than as a pair of textbook examples of “Hahaha, Vinny Cerrato is a dumbass.” We spoke of Chris Horton above and how he was a shockingly good player from the 7th round. Put Marko Mitchell in there. He showed more passion and heart this preseason than Kelly and Thomas have in two years combined. Yeah, he’s only a 7th rounder that made the team as the 5th and last wide receiver, but fuck it man. Something has to be done. He’s a big dude who could maybe catch an alley oop in the red zone (meaning touchdowns, which is what most teams score in the NFL). Plus he’s a hungry ass late round draft pick. There’s too much entitlement with these Redskins, which I guess is to be expected from amassing a hodgepodge collection of high-priced, high-profile, high-promise players. You hear all the time with this team the last two weeks about how “with the talent we have we should blah blah blah.” Guess what? It’s the NFL, every fucking team has a ton of talent. This is not the NBA where being talented can put you in the playoffs. Dudes need some fucking heart, and they need to do the little bullshit, the dirty work. High-priced, high-profile, high-promise motherfuckers don’t like to do the dirty work a lot of the time. So fuck those other dudes. If they can’t make some noise against the Rams, and don’t do it again against the shitty ass B-level Detroit Lions defense this week, fuck them both. Put them on injured reserve for trivial injuries, start Marko Mitchell, and sign some guy from UPS or the CFL to round out your receiving corps. Except Snyderratto would sign some washed up dude with a big name. Is Jerry Porter out the league? If so, then that’s who they’d sign probably.
3RD DEGREE NEGATIVE - ROBERT HENSON. He’s an obscure linebacker who made some negative twitters about fans booing the Redskins at home, saying they worked at McDonalds and shit like that. First off bro, fans were booing because they were drunk and the collective entity known as the Washington Redskins were harshing their buzz rather mightily. It’s a natural reaction of the inebriated mind. So don’t be so prudish. Secondly, fuck NFL players who twitter. Fuck people who twitter. That’s the dumbest shit. Fuck me for listening to gay ass Mike & Mike on ESPN Radio interview Ashton Kuchar and him talking about how he has built his twitter audience up. IT IS NOTHING AND WILL BE GONE BY LIKE NEXT JULY except for people’s moms and shit, showing up with their late pass. Also, once twitter does run its course, hopefully somebody create a similar forum for N.O.R.E.
4TH DEGREE NEGATIVE - DAN SNYDER. The Redskins have been with me my whole life, and a great influence on my younger days. It’s like my grandfather except it kicked more ass than my grandfather. (My grandfather was a mellow dude, and my mom just relayed a story her cousin told her about the dude when he was in the hospital towards the very end. The nurses said he had put on his hat, took out his own IVs, jacked a walker from the old guy in the next room, and started leaving the hospital. Except he had no clothes on. So they gave him like double sedatives but he wouldn’t pass out because he was intent on going home. My mom’s cousin - which I guess is like my super uncle or second cousin once approved or something - was asking him what was up. Well, my grandfather had almost died, like for real though. Super uncle second cousin asked him if he saw a light or anything, and my grandfather answered, “Well, it wasn’t hot. I should’ve chased more women.” And he reached over and pinched the nurse on the ass.) Well, Mr. Dan Snyder, ten years ago my ass-kicking fake grandfather got sick and was put in a home, and you came along, sedated him, and raped his limp carcass, for your own profitable pleasure. I hope all your overpriced parking passes and obstructed view seats and lawsuits against 72-year-old ladies will comfort you once you run this team into oblivion, you little-dicked piece of shit.
5TH DEGREE NEGATIVE - JIM ZORN. The verdict is still out on Jim Zorn - Head Coach. This team lacks an overall intensity, and that’s probably his fault, with his “Stay Medium” Phil Jackson of the NFL ass mountain biking zen mantra mentality. But the verdict is definitely in already on Jim Zorn - Offensive Coordinator. He sucks. This offense doesn’t falter because all the players suck so much as the play-calling sucks. It’s like playing Madden football against my 9-year-old cousin, and you sneak peeks at him calling plays, since you know he’s going to call one of the 4 plays he knows how to do. And then you crush him, short of the first down marker on the fucking regular. I feel bad for Zorn because he was obviously a fill-in choice by Snyder who was thrown in way over his head. But still, the shit falls on him. His brand of the west coast offense is the most impotent, easily predictable crap I’ve ever seen. At least when Joe Gibbs predictably called the same four plays, he instilled in the team a smashmouth mentality that encouraged you to force those plays on the opposing team. This is an unintense team doing predictable bullshit, which is why they got inside the 10 yard line five times against the Rams and only got 3 field goals out of it. The 10 yard line is not even Red Zone offense, that’s Platinum Club. 5 trips and 3 chip shot field goals out of it. Fucking pathetic.
ACCUMULATED INFLUENCES UPON THIS FRANCHISE 2009, BEST TO WORST (ties broken by my personal opinion): TE Chris Cooley (+5), MLB London Fletcher (+3), SS Chris Horton (+2), DT Albert Haynesworth (+1), P Hunter Smith (+1), HB Clinton Portis (even), WR/PR Antwan Randle El (even), CB DeAngelo Hall (-1), FS Laron Landry (-2), LB Robert Henson (-3), QB Jason Campbell (-5), WR/PR Santana Moss (-5), Coach Jim Zorn (-5), Owner Dan Snyder (-9).

That's So Raven! #002

By the time you read this I will probably already be a multi-millionaire. Life has reduced me in recent months to paying my ignorance tax by shelling out a couple dollars, when I have actual cash money and not just fake plastic one world general store script, and getting the Megamillions tickets. At one point when I started, I'd be all hazy-brained, fantasizing about spending millions, but really, to be honest, I am so beaten down at this point that I'd be stoked to score a quarter million, pay off all my debt, set everything on fire, and basically hit a reset button.
Well anyways, I usually either get my lottery tickets at the Food Lion self-serve machine or at the country store at the end of the road here. I had picked up my oldest kid from homeschool philosophy club, and I further schooled her (Ice Cube in Boyz-n-Tha-Hood style schooling) on the Socratic method, and promised to dig out my copy of The Last Days of Socrates, which was my jam back in high school, and we hit up the dumpster for some veggies for the chickens - nothing much there, a couple of packages of organic lettuce and a couple heads of cauliflower, dropped off a Netflix at the post office, and headed home. They just paved the area back roads, but obviously budget woes have hit the state hard, because rather than the actual paved road they use for primary back roads, they used the weird loose gravel paving method usually reserved for secondary back roads like we live on proper. Makes me wonder if someone logs on our road and it starts chunking up if they'll even fix it. There's a busted guardrail half a mile from here that's had bright orange safety barrels for nine months now.
At the end of the road, I stopped into the country store, leaving my daughter to enjoy some instrumental Mastodon in the truck, to get three tickets for the $62 Megamillions. This laid back little short pit bull build redneck dude works there, which usually in my experiences means he's gotten too many DUIs, lost his license, and can't drive to a for-real job. Country stores usually don't have regular dudes working them. There might be the one sort of 100 mph recovering cokehead guy who usually owns it or manages it for his grandma or something, but not regular laid back and wasted redneck dudes. I told the guy I wanted three easy picks for the Megamillions, and I noticed on his right forearm a rough tattoo I'd not noticed on holmes before, of a leprechaun smoking a joint.
"Alright to put 'em on the same ticket," he asked me. Sure. So he does his computerized ignorance tax payment thing and gives me my slip. As he's handing it to me, I notice on his left forearm a sexy slut leprechaun lady wearing an outfit like Elvira but green, and really short, showing off a nice amount of cartoon tattoo legs. Little pit bull redneck guy says to me, as I take my ticket, "Best of luck to you."
Obviously, this was one of those magical moments that changes one's life completely, blessed by this spritely yet stocky Southern leprechaun-spirited man who sold me my lottery tickets. I'd like to think I'd give him $100,000 once I cash in my ticket later this week after it hits, but I'm sure if I went back there, he'd be gone. And I'd ask the chubby, loud-mouthed lady who works around lunchtime since she the only one that knows how to use the pizza oven, and she'd say, "No one like that works here." And I'd press because he's worked there for months now, and she'd go, "I wish I had some of what you been smoking!" and she'd laugh, looking at the guys from the logging company waiting for some chili dogs, and I'd walk out, bewildered.

September O.C.D. #3: Madden Football

Usually as professional football seasons starts up, I dig out whatever Madden variety I have to fool around with it's time-wasting foolishness. Used to be Madden 01 had a solid run for half a decade, because usually I buy last year's game when this year's comes out. But Madden 08 (Vince Young's career was ruined by the cover) has been pretty enjoyable, so I probably won't even look for Madden 09 this year. My involvement with Madden though, is probably about as minimal as possible, because I don't like spending an hour per game to actually play the shit out. At one point, I had reduced myself to only being the GM and picking the players every year or signing free agents, and all I'd do is let the game sim any playoff games the Redskins won and watch them in the background as I worked on other projects on my laptop. But this time, cranking up the game, I decided even that was too much, so all I did was sim seasons, and hire the coaches, and let any Redskins playoff games sim in full while I half-watched and worked on other projects on my laptop. Oddly enough, I've found this highly enjoyable, most likely because fake computer Redskins, about 20 years into my franchise, became a very successful organization, continuously contending for the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, in real life, it's more of the same Dan Snyder-related frustrations, with no sign of ever getting better since he's a very wealthy man and has access to finest health care around and will in all likelihood outlive me, making my adult life of football emotional attachment a complete waste of my time, and actually shortening my lifespan honestly, considering how worked up I get.
I have to say, after a few NBC games this year of the NFL, I miss John Madden. I'm not joking either. I think his reputation for saying stupid shit was overblown, because he always said stupid shit. I think what killed Madden off was not so much Madden becoming more senile but him not working with Pat Summerall anymore, who had that deadpan play-by-play style of a golf announcer. Once Madden was paired up with Al Michaels, it was over, because Michaels believes his own P.R. too much about being an all-time great, which he used to be, and he's always making corny ass jokes or telling stories that really aren't all that interesting. This was what killed Madden, because when playing off some schmoozy asshole telling corny jokes like a wedding reception, Madden seemed forced and cornier by attachment.
I saw him sitting there at the Cowboys game with former President Bush though. You know them dudes were talking about some food. Plus, what a fucking dumbass Jerry Jones is.
Oh, in my Madden interactions this time, I am in year 22 or so of the 30-year maximum, and after that runs it's course I'm sure I'll think up some other dumb, time-intensive, obsessive-compulsive way to use the game to kill off my life. I could list a few other "ideas" I've done through Madden football, but it kinda embarrasses me to think about it, much less admit it to computerized strangers.

Wednesday, September 23

NFL WEEK 3: West Division Teams

We go through the wild western division this week. I try to do the four directional sections according to collective record, worst to first, which is why the South went first last week. The west and north are actually both sitting at an even 8-8 the both of them right now, but I chose the West division because everyone knows they are the shittiest two divisions in the NFL. But let us visit them, more in-depth, through the hazy and grassy-edged brain of a foolish foolish man named Ravne McAllen...

#1: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (2-0, 6th overall) - I fully support anything Mike Singletary does as a coach, and even though he has a shitty offense that will eventually not be able to count on the “Let’s hope Frank Gore gets 200 yards rushing” factor once other teams stack the box the fuck up, he can instill a powerful and menacing defensive spirit on this team, that usually carries over to special teams since that’s head-cracking blue collar style play like defense, maybe even more so. In other words, even without a quality offense or Michael Crabtree’s simple ass, the 49ers could win their division. It does not mean a return to the glory days, but it’s a helluva lot better than what they’ve been doing ever since salary cap blew up their whole organization once Bill Walsh was five years down the road towards the Hall of Fame with his old white ass.

#2: DENVER BRONCOS (2-0, 14th overall) - This is probably the worst 2-0 team in the history of the NFL, who won their first game on a fluke play of the flukiest proportions, compounded in its wackiness by the dude running sideways across the field at the goal line to waste time. That being said, they also play in the AFC West, where everybody other than the Chargers suck, and the Chargers are coached by Norv Turner, so maybe... just maybe... the Broncos could win their division. Of course last year they experienced an end of the year meltdown of such Norv Turner proportions that Norv Turner himself actually led a team to the playoffs in a rallying and emotional fashion, which is grounds enough to fire any coach, even one who won a couple Super Bowls with a talking horse.

#3: SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (1-1, 18th overall) - The most notable thing for me is I did not realize what a fruit Shawne Merriman was. I thought he was Mr. Lights Out super intensity gangsta ass linebacker. But then he’s all trying to stop Tila Tequila from drinking and driving (which was chumpy of him - drinking and driving is awesome because you get to get drunk and you wake up at your own home in the morning), and then all the pics of him have him sporting one of those highly questionable black guy mohawks that make him look like he’s the bodyguard/life partner of the fake Indian dude in Black Eyed Peas. On top of all this, L.T. suddenly looks to be more Terrell Davis than Barry Sanders, and of course Norv Turner is still the head coach. This could be a hilariously painful year for the Chargers.

#4: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (1-1, 19th overall) - Like half their team got injured last week, including like the 3 of the only 5 good players they actually have. They are a boring, ugly team, and can not lose enough for my tastes. The fact they are in the NFC West where even a pack of retards and a handheld football game from the ‘80s for a playbook could win 5 games doesn’t make it easy for them suffer enough. But whatever, finishing below second in the NFC West again for the second year in a row (and hopefully the start of a long count of such seasons) is suffering enough I guess.

#5: OAKLAND RAIDERS (1-1, 20th overall) - Amazingly the Raiders have not looked completely retarded this year. They played the Chargers well, but lost. And then they played the Chiefs shitty, but won. I still can’t figure out why they got rid of Jeff Garcia though. I guess Jamarcus was getting talked up by Al Davis sitting in his golf cart at the practice facility, and Jamarcus was like, “I’m worried you might want to give up on me, Coach, with Garcia on the team.” Everybody knows the deal and calls Al Davis “coach” when Tom Arnold’s not around. Well, Al gets to thinking about it, and doesn’t want Jamarcus to worry, because he sees a lot of a young Plunkett in Jamarcus. Plus, why does Jeff Garcia have a Mexican last name? He’s a white dude - a small, whiny voiced white dude. So I guess Al cut him to make Jamarcus feel better. Pretty good move too, considering Russell was like 4 for 21 last week or some similarly retardedly bad shit that I don’t feel like looking up because this isn’t ESPN Page 2, it’s just some stupid blog that only seven people read.

#6: ARIZONA CARDINALS (1-1, 22nd overall) - I like Tim Hightower. I like Larry Fitzgerald. I actually have an irregular Antrel Rolle jersey that I like sporting fairly often. Anquin Boldin seems like a pretty good dude, so far as guys from Florida State go. But Kurt Warner is the most annoying piece of shit in professional football, and I actually rooted for the Cardinals stellar run last year just so it could end in a loss on the grandest stage and Warner could flame out even harder to end his career. Although I guess he got 91% pass completion last week, setting an all-time record. OR DID JESUS SET THE RECORD?

#7: ST. LOUIS RAMS (0-2, 29th overall) - They really fucking suck, and they almost beat the Redskins. That means the Redskins, my favorite sporting entity on all the earth, almost really fucking sucks. That Steve Spagnuolo dude seems a little too weaselly to be a successful head coach at this stage of his life. Then again, Brad Childress looks like a child molesting boy scout troop leader, and he’s 2-0, so maybe times have changed for the NFL. Man, it used to be I’d be like, “Well, there’s still this many players older than me in the league.” Now there’s coaches in the NFL younger than me. My time is short Dan Snyder, get your shit together. Please, for my sake.

#8: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (0-2, 32nd overall) - They’ve had like 19 first round picks the last five years, you’d think they could at least stumble into a win or something. I heard a guy on the talk radios do this, and I liked it and I encourage you all to do the same, but Matt Cassell’s last name should be pronounced like Sam Cassell from the NBA, so that it rhymes with Hyundai Excel. If we all do this, it would be a thing.

September O.C.D. #4: Haiku/Renga

I have started writing the haiku again, on the regular, actually doing tankas with myself since I don’t really remember what I wrote three days later, so I guess it will work. If the weather is nice this weekend, since I will be home with the kids as the wife is studying elsewhere on some herbal doctoring tip, I may try to finish polyurethaning the original 12-pack haiku boxes project so that I can get some more grommets and brass chain and finish that shit completely. I find haiku to be a great form of writing because it’s quick blasts of observation, like a sample in music. But it’s also a form of writing chock full of pretentious assholes and fake ass organic food eating pseudo-Zen Buddhists mad adept at studying the fingertip instead of the reflection of the sun upside the moon’s head.
By the way, if you are a Yellowman Poetry Dork like myself, you probably know about Han Shan and how he’s like the MF Doom of the T’ang Dynasty. Well, I’d like to tell you that Red Pine’s translation of Han Shan’s shit smokes pretentious asshole fingertip studying Gary Snyder’s translation. Also, Red Pine’s The Clouds Should Know Me By Now compilation is pretty tight too.
I wish there was more
to say, but it's late. I'm drunk.
Work is in five hours.

Tuesday, September 22

September O.C.D. #5: Netflix Indulgences

Netflix is a great tool for dorks like me who want to absorb themselves in some sort of very specific nonsense. Starting early this year when me and the wife re-watched the entire Sopranos, I've dug completely dropping myself into a series of video zombie entertainment to brainmerize myself for long periods of time, and dull the creative process wilting inside. As of late, I staggered my Netflix queue to have nothing but The Wire, start to end, and The Ultimate Fighter, which I had never watched before. It's a strange pairing, The Wire as internet nerd writer's ultimate television show ever, and The Ultimate Fighter, human cockfighting reality program.
In rewatching The Wire, oddly enough, I don't think I even caught how good it was the first time through. The second season at the docks I playa hated the first time around, but damn, it was actually pretty good. I think maybe I was too caught up in that gangsta jive vicarious living of the first season that whiteboys like myself love so much. (I'm surprised poverty tourism isn't bigger here in America yet.) And it stays good.
The Ultimate Fighter, though really enjoyable, sort of proves the point my wife always makes about MMA after me making her watch the Kimbo Slice vs. hack dude with big ears fight on CBS that one time... that it's a brutal and pretty much unjustifiable sport. I mean, if you're accepting the fact that we have an elevated status on the planet as civilized animals, that is. I sort of feel we're no better than anything else, just more talented at reshaping everything for more personal enjoyment, so fuck it, let dudes fight and brain paralyze each other if necessary. I am only almost through the first season, as none of these have been in my local region, so Netflix drags their feet, skipping the next DVD, until there's a backlog of a couple of the TUF series, and then they send me something else at the same time as the TUF disc, which is a nice plus, but goddamn, I'm getting like 3 Wires for every one TUF.
Anyways, there's not much else to say, other than dorky fucking complaining about Netflix. Man, what a fucking cushioned life chump I am nowadays... no hunger, no passion. The only reason I made myself do this is because it's almost the end of the month and I haven't started a top 5 ADHD list yet. I guess maybe even my self-diagnosed ADHD is waning.

Friday, September 18

Friday Love/Hate

I love the fact my chickens have finally started laying eggs. Well, one of them has started, this week, and it was one that of the few on that questionable hen/rooster fence. I thunk hen, but my wife's friend, who has mad chickens, was like, "that's a beta rooster" or some shit. Nope, straight little gangsta ass white fucking hen, clucking at everything all day long the past couple weeks because of an urge to express unfertilized eggs out to the world. The trigger of actual eggs now makes me want to get up on a few more to add to our flock, as the store down the road opened something called Chicken World, and has a bunch of black stars, which are high on our list of wants (so we can name them Ghana and Nigeria and Senegal and West African shit like that, although I guess only Ghana truly reps the Black Star High Life movement). Also, having just taken the kids to this living history spot we go to on the regular, I am enamored to Polish hens, because they look like punk rockers from Jackie Chan movies. I think I be needing some chickens like that.

I hate soul lethargy. It runs thick lately, and I feel a paralysis of my dreams and hopes, relegating myself to acceptance of shitheeldom until death, which sometimes wish would help me retire from shitty job after shitty job before I'm 60. That's a weak ass attitude, but man, sometimes it all is such a fucking shackle as soon as I wake the fuck up in the morning. I find myself drinking more lately, which usually helps the lethargy blossom. I think I need a week or two of lemonade cleansing again, or something. Maybe I need to take some shrooms and go camping at Crabtree Falls. Who the fuck knows? If you figure it out though, give me a holler. I'm trying to pretend like I know what the fuck is up for my kids, and it'd be nice to explain the real deal to them before they get stuck with my bullshit brainurhythms.

Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale

AFFORDABILITY: Sammy Smith is never that affordable, even when it is on sale at the Kroger in it's big ass bottles for twenty cents less per bottle. Twenty cents out of four dollars don't even buy a stamp to mail my old girlfriend a postcard reminding her why she a bitch. 2 out of 5.
DESTROYABILITY: The taste of a nut brown gives you a properly fuzzy head, but the grass around the edges of my brain ain't tall enough to be worth the expensive seed being sown. Iffin's you're looking to get fucked up drinking the Sammy Smith, you're gonna need to buy a ton of them, at least a ton of coin. I think they get by on the fact most of their steady clientele are hippie girls who make the Nut Brown Ale a part of their perfectly balanced wake-and-bake breakfast with some blueberry kush or whatever the fuck hippie girls be smoking nowadays. Hippie girls always dazzle me with their colorful skirts and lack of underwear. 1 out of 5.
LABEL AESTHETIC: Plenty of Old English style (sans malt liquor) and a flowery thing that looks like this vagina I dreamed about one time that freaked me the fuck out and had me nervous for a couple days that one day I'd actually have to see a vagina like that. 1 out of 5, simply for the earth tones, because the vagina nightmare thing is like negative 3.
CORPORATE MASTER: As far as I can tell from the label, there is no bullshit multi-national corporate master for this here Sammy Smith dude, although he's a redcoated Brit, so his wealth probably pre-dates the entire existence of evil corporate conglomerates. He probably adopts African children and eats them and no one investigates the disappearances but if they did he'd blame it on Al-Qaeda recruiting African children using his new media purchases to perpetuate the bullshit. 3 out of 5.
OVERALL AMBIANCE: Sammy Smith’s Nut Brown Ale is surrounded by an aura of hippie girl vagina love, wispy hairs in abundance, no underwear, thrift store blue jeans slung low on underwearless hips. It is a festive beer where the rhythm method is encouraged because condoms are inorganic feeling and lack the proper energy. It is a wonderful beer to be drank with blueberry pancakes on a late Sunday morning breakfast, doing the samurai sudoku or crossword together, and you pretend that Dave Barry’s not a fucking idiot doofus, because there’s nothing better than tapestry fabric curtains blowing in the spring breeze with the windows wide open, feeling the air on your skin as you lay around having good fun intertwining sex all day. In fact, call it making love, because it feels like those old Al Green songs, and you wish Sundays were forever. 9 out of 5.

Thursday, September 17

Redskins 0-1 Positives/Negatives Metasciences Recap

Taken from the Armchair Linebacker blog, as part of my coverage of my dreaded Redskins.

(pic is Laron Landry's lime green Lamborghini, just because)
This year... or at least this week... I'm gonna do a Positive/Negative listing in between Redskins games. I started the year with an even 4 positive, one even, and 4 negative, and will shift it up or down a notch or two to reflect positivity or negativity as I deem it necessary due to the internal turmoil and Sunday soul frustrations this team causes me. Football is passion and heart, yet scientific. Actually, it's all metaphysical too, because if every Redskin fan had faith, they'd win more often. But it's hard to maintain faith if nothing is there to validate it. In other words, Redskins fans are beyond teetering and actually fallen over into the chasm of Football Atheism, where we don't believe in shit no more. But I digress. Here are the 9 points positive or negative in descending order for this week, sliding south to 3 positives/the even center/and 5 negatives...
3RD DEGREE POSITIVE - LONDON FLETCHER. I never posted my defense preseason preview, but London Fletcher is the guy on this team I highly tout. He's a small-sized MLB, and often gets beat when he gets stuck covering a faster TE on plays. But dude is a fucking workhorse, can take over games if he feels it, and had 18 fucking tackles against the Giants. That's not great because it would've been nice for Albert Haynesworth big ass to take a handful of those tackles before it got to the second line of the defense, but whatever man. Fletcher is a wily veteran defensive quarterback, and if the Redskins have any sense whatsoever, London will play here until he retires, and upon retirement, he shouldn't have to carry his box of locker possessions far, because they ought to be cleaning up a desk in an assistant coach's office for him to move it to.
2ND DEGREE POSITIVE - CHRIS COOLEY. I've been down on Cooley this year, as he seems to be too caught up in himself. That won't get easier with his wife being on the stupid VH1 Footballer's Wives program or whatever it's gonna be. But the fact of the matter is when the rest of the offense is sucking ass, Cooley is there to make a stumbling, bumbling 12 yard gain for a first down when it looks like everybody else has half thrown in the towel. Cooley plays hard, and maybe I forgot that a bit due to him being Mr. Blogosphere and taking pictures of his dick for no reason, plus selling some ugly ass shirts on his website. But if he can instill his fire into some other motherfuckers around him, maybe we can go 9-7 this year.
1ST DEGREE POSITIVE - HUNTER THE PUNTER. Yeah, the fucking punter. But honestly, on the fake field goal where the Skins scored their first touchdown of the season, there's a lesson to be learned. Hunter Smith took the snap, and instead of just jumping up and dashing off to get trampled by Giants special teamers, he moved the ball down as if to set up for a kick, and in that small important detail of execution, Giants special teamers actually went into their diving motion, so that as Hunter spun all the way through backwards to take off hilariously with the football, high stepping it like an 8 year old whiteboy pretending to be Deion Sanders, there was no one standing there to fuck the trickery up. Execution. There's a lot of Redskins players that don't seem to realize that every little thing fucking matters, and if you don't do the little shit, the bigger shit never falls into place. I guess that probably comes from the top down in Redskins Park though.
EVEN DEGREE - ANTWAN RANDLE EL. My boy Carter was with me watching the game, also a Redskins fan, and I was very quick to talk shit about Randle El as much as possible. But he got more yardage receiving than almost anybody in the league last weekend, probably because most everybody thought he was a really good 3rd receiver anyways, so the Skins moving him back to the slot sort of allows him to thrive. However, he was still going 49 yards sideways to get 3 yards forward on his punt returns. And that first hand-off to him for a rollout pass, man, he telegraphed that shit immediately. Again, execution, or selling the small details to fake out the defense. People have gotten sloppy in this team.
1ST DEGREE NEGATIVE - DEANGELO HALL. He had the one interception almost come back for a TD, which is what I'm expecting from him this year. If the defense can't put up 10 easy points on their own and with the offense kicking in chip shot field goals to finish a turnover off, then this team is fucked anyways, because the offense is a four-cylinder one at best. But man, what the hell is up with Hall's soft ass coverage? I mean, I understand if you're worried about the deep threat on a play you play off, but goddamn, he was giving steady ten yard cushions all day long, and stupid hick Eli Manning was whipping out the easy third down conversions left and right. I worry about how much this secondary will lose it's hunger and heady play with Shawn Springs gone. I hate the salary cap sometimes, because Springs is the type of player you keep around till he's done too, and move him to a coach's office as well. I can't exactly see Albert Haynesworth being a field coach like that.
2ND DEGREE NEGATIVE - LARON LANDRY. At times I really feel for Landry. He came in and it was supposed to be the greatest safety combo the NFL had ever seen, him and Sean Taylor. And then Taylor gets ripped from us too early (Heaven needed a Manimal) and everybody quietly starts trying to have Landry replace Taylor. No one is ever gonna replace Sean Taylor. That was one intense ass dude, who scared people, even at the NFL level. T.O. never got T-Rex arms as easily as he did when Taylor was lurking. But at the same time, Laron Landry was like a #6 overall pick, and he ought to have turned a corner by now. Actually the same can be said, but even more so, of Carlos Rogers. These guys are supposed to be gamebreakers back there in the secondary, but instead they get stupid penalties or can't catch even easy interceptions. If this team's defense is going to turn it up and not just be solid but actually intimidate motherfuckers and turn games around so that easy Ls become crushing Ws that destroy the psychological outlook of opposing teams, guys like Landry and Rogers need to step the fuck up. But Laron Landry doesn't have to be Sean Taylor, because he never will be. Just keep your head in the game. And like Sean Taylor, if you're gonna get a stupid unsportsmanlike penalty, make sure it rattles some bones and is worth the 15 yard investment, and not just a stupid lack of focus.
3RD DEGREE NEGATIVE - SANTANA MOSS. When Moss does good, he can make you proud he's a Redskin. But when he's not having a good day, it's a little too obvious. His off days are really off, like 2 catches for 9 yards, and one of those will be that stupid quick slant dump to him the Redskins always do that never gets a fucking yard anymore. Santana is a likeable guy, but he's never really set himself up as the go-to man. If no one else is playing up that day, he'll get boxed in with double teams or whatever, and next thing you know his helmet is getting ripped off and he's pouting his way back to the huddle. I almost feel bad talking shit on him, since he is such a likeable player, but fuck man, if you're gonna be the #1 receiver on an allegedly promising offense, you've got to be able to get open more often, even in double teams. Use some of that fire that makes you so pissed off standing around after a play to adrenalize yourself during the plays.
4TH DEGREE NEGATIVE - JASON CAMPBELL. I don't know man, he's one of the nicest guys ever, but sometimes he looks fucking lost out there. And usually I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and blame it on a coaching staff that won't take the reins off him or let him have a little more freedom on the field. But then something like that first interception in the Giants game happens. He was a good three yards over the line of scrimmage when he threw the INT. THREE FUCKING YARDS! I mean, sometimes a QB might be right at the line and make an illegal forward pass and you can understand it. But if you are supposed to be the main guy on the field, completely into the game and aware of all aspects so that shit runs smoothly, how the hell do you go three yards past the line of scrimmage and still think it's okay to heave a pass down the sidelines. The interception wasn't even the bad part. It just showed a real lack of awareness on his part (as did his fumble returned for a TD by Osi Umenyiora later in the game), and for a guy who has had to defend his grey matter ability this offseason, you think he'd be trying to step the cerebral aspect of his game, not regress.
5TH DEGREE NEGATIVE - DAN SNYDER. I actually looked at a Redskins fan message board this week, and was amazed to find people - lots of them even - defending Dan Snyder, saying he had nothing to do with this team's poor play. Dude has been a meddling influence from day one, and if star players know they have a back door to the owner's office, how the hell are they gonna be afraid of answering to their coach? And if they're not afraid of their coach, why will they try to execute every fine detail of every play? And if they don't execute every fine detail, then they look sloppy, and fail ultimately. It all falls on Snyder. Any success this team has will be in spite of him, not because of him, and you know he's already got Cowher and (fuck) Shanahan typed into his cell phone if things get worse. I feel bad for Zorn, because he's in over his head at times, which is understandable since he was never anything more than a QB coach before. But I almost feel like once Snyder knew he couldn't get a top-tier coach, he moved Zorn up to head coach to buy some time till the next coaching carousel cycle. Except Zorn started really strong last year, strong enough to not be able to justify him getting fired after one year. If I was Zorn, I'd coach this team like that dude did in Major League, pitting Snyder the owner as their enemy who wants them to fail so he can get new guys in who will make more money and they'll pull the 3 Lombardi trophies out the cabinet again and set them in front of a podium for someone else to come along and make Snyder's little dick hard yet again. That's how Zorn should be hyping his team, win to piss the little owner fucker off, and then if he won't waste more of his stupid money on you, someone else will be more likely to with you having some success in such a shitty environment. Then do a hip hip hooray, and hand out Zen meditation books or some shit.
ACCUMULATED INFLUENCES UPON THIS FRANCHISE 2009, BEST TO WORST: MLB London Fletcher (+3), TE Chris Cooley (+2), P Hunter Smith (+1+), WR/PR Antwan Randle El (even), CB DeAngelo Hall (-1), FS Laron Landry (-2), WR/PR Santana Moss (-3), QB Jason Campbell (-4), owner Dan Snyder (-5).