Official Pomp Culture Superbowl Predictions

10:53 AM | Comments (0) | by T.R.

  • The Arizona Cardinals will defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers: 27-24.
  • Your Superbowl MVP will be Kurt Warner, though he will extend the trophy to God.
  • Larry Fitzgerald will make between 2-3 improbable catches.
  • Everyone will hasten their piss breaks so they don't miss any commercials, yet all of the commercials will inevitably disappoint, as they have for countless years.
  • Ben Roethlisberger will be concussed.
  • You will drink too much, and your wife will become upset with your antics.

Link Bulimia

7:39 PM | Comments (0) | by White Chili

Welcome to Link Bulimia, where purging never felt so good. This is your one stop shop for all the stupid, violent, and horrifying links that I stumble across during my weekly laps around the internets. If you happen to find something particularly jarring to where you'll never be able to "un-see" it, please pass it right along to linkbulimia@gmail.com. Enjoy and make sure to wash your hands afterward.

Someone please get me one of these right away.

Le Wrath di Khan

I've seen some pretty impressive last second shots in my day. Some turn-around jumpers, some tip-ins, etc...but I don't recall ever seeing a shot where the guy looks like he has no idea that he's even part of the play.

Roadside Ass-sistance: Who doesn't love all the terrible plot lines, bad camera angles, and awkward lighting of porn? Well here it is without the messiness of the sex. Probably safe for work...with headphones.

I really didn't think that Roger could up the ante any higher but wow, this is horrible. One of the few rules that I live by is that I'm the only dude that can rub anything on my boys. Roger seems to live life by a more relaxed code of ethics.

I knew those krazy Koreans were up to something.

I'm not sure if it's the trouble breathing, chewing, or speaking that is the most disturbing part of this. Pretty surprising from someone with a YouTube user account named "BigMastadon". Anyone have any good suggestions for what he tries to down next? I vote nails.

"So no matter where you meet a stranger, be careful if they are too friendly. One never knows when the homosexual is about." Wow, our country has quite a history.

Matt Damon does a pretty damn good impression of Matthew McConaughey.

What's a Super Bowl without a bunch of commercials that were too "racy" for TV?

And speaking of the Super Bowl, the good people over at Adult Swim have given Carl Brutananadilewski an opportunity to break down all the Vegas odds surrounding the big game.

59-0. He Gone! It looks like every trace of our former Governor was gone in a matter of minutes and "an employee standing nearby as the picture was taken away said, "Do we need someone to throw a shoe?"" Somebody give that guy a raise/senate seat! They could at least build him a monument like they did for the guy in the middle east.

A Rip Snorter of a Good Time

7:00 AM | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

Rip Snorter (adj): brilliant, great, fantastic

It's kind of a Dead Zone right now for sports. Most people don't watch the NBA (fools!), it's too early in the college basketball season, there is no activity on the baseball front, and most timely, there's a two week lull before the Super Bowl. It's especially eerily quiet since this has to be the least hyped Super Bowl since...I don't know, as long as I can remember. Luckily for me, I've been having some sleeping issues of late. You see, it's Australian Open time - one of the four major tennis tournies (Grand Slams) that's currently in its final week Down Under in Melbourne, Australia.

I like tennis. My brother and I played on the park's courses as kids against our old man with old wooden rackets and (I shit you not) WHITE tennis balls that had little life in them and surely dated back to the late Carter / early Reagan administrations. I even played a few years of JV tennis in high school and actually went to a costume party dressed as Bjorn Borg. Yeah, tennis is in my blood.

The drawback? The Aussie Open is shown live during the wee hours of the morning. Which means if you want to watch Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, or one of the countless female Russian players then you'd better get an early cat nap. The positive? It's entertaining, it's a major sporting event, and ESPN does a pretty damn good job of covering it.

Just like the US Open in New York, the Aussie Open is played on the hard courts - asphalt. This means the action is fast, not the slowed-down "specialist style" of the clay courts at The French Open, and because it's asphalt during the summer season in Australia, heat becomes another factor. Just the other day, defending champion Novak Djokovic had to quit from heat exhaustion and severe cramping. Temperatures have been reported to be near 110 degrees.

The key players left in the tournament are a good reason to tune in. It's a crazy mixture of different styles and personalities both on and off the court.

I don't know if Andy Roddick has shaken the stigma of being known more as "Mandy Moore's ex-boyfriend" rather than an accomplished tennis player. Either one isn't too bad when you think about it. After winning the 2003 US Open, Andy Roddick became the great US hope in the tennis world after the Golden Years of Sampras, Agassi, and Courier. Roddick might have been in the company of those names had there not been a player named Roger Federer. Roddick has lost 3 Grand Slam Finals to Federer (his overall record against Federer is 1-13). Maybe he's not putting out world class tennis right now, but he always can be counted on for a great quote. Check this doozie about Serena: "When we were ten, I had to literally run around in the shower to get wet. I was this big. She was bench pressing dump trucks already at that time (on losing a tennis match to her 6-1). "

Serena Williams
might be borderline manly and disgusting to look at in skimpy clothes, but there's no doubt that she's one of the best women in tennis right now. The media constantly attacks her and questions her dedication to tennis. Remember, this is a girl who grew up in Compton, CA by an obsessed dad who only let them focus on tennis. Yeah, maybe she spends way too much time dabbling in the fashion industry (Serena PLEASE have other people try on your designs), but she continues to put up strong showings in the Grand Slams. Currently, she's in the Semi Finals in both singles and doubles (with sister, Venus).

In an era of Curt Schillings, Barry Bonds, T.O.'s, and all the other shameless, self-promoting athletes, Roger Federer is a welcome change. Federer is one of, if not the most accomplished tennis player ever. His off-court demeanor is low key. While he does star in a few commercials, Federer, by and large, is content to stay behind the scenes in the world of glitz and glamor. On the court, his speed, power, accuracy and intellect is nearly unmatched. He's the guy your mom wants your sister to grow up and marry.

Rafa Nadal is easy to dislike when you look at him. You ask yourself, "Seriously, is that a guy wearing capri pants?" Sadly, yes, it is true. He sprints around the court with capris, sleeveless shirts, and sculpted arms. But if you take the time to listen to people talk about him and you watch his style of play, he's tough to dislike. By all accounts, his work rate is second to none and he's a classy guy. He's only 22 years old, but already has four French Open titles, all of which have been consecutive. Upset that people were labeling him a clay court specialist, he's worked hard at his all-around game and has won a Wimbledon Title on grass and an Olympic Gold Medal on the hard court.

There you have it. Now you're primed and ready to go. My advice would be to stay up and watch it until 5am. What else do you have to do the rest of the week? The way the economy is now, it's just a matter of time before your job is eliminated. Don't go down fighting, go down with a cold vodka and lemonade while sitting on your couch and watching the best duke it out on Rod Laver Centre Court. It's so much easier. G'day.

*Hilarious picture via www.downthelinetennis.com

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The Greatest Sandwich in the World

8:45 AM | Comments (0) | by Arcturus

My father was in the Air Force for the first fifteen years of my life. During that time, we spent a great deal of time in Nevada, Arizona, Germany, and Michigan. Every Christmas and summer, we would return to my parents' hometown, Streator, IL. It was there that I learned to appreciate the splendor that is the Pork Tenderloin. Until about 8 years ago, Streator was the home of a restaurant called Oogie's. (Oogie was the nickname of the owner's son. Oogie also dated my mom for a while in high school, insert your own joke here). Oogie's was a real drive-in, where you parked in a covered parking lot (the metal roofing was painted bright orange) and car-hops brought your food, which you ordered from your own intercom. Oogie's was known for their home-brewed rootbeer (I still haven't found one as mellow and fine), the world's worst fries (they were always soggy, but we ate them anyway-it was part of the experience), and for their pork tenderloin sandwich, a thinly sliced, breaded piece of pork that often was as big around as a paper plate. My family would make an Oogie's run as soon as we hit town, bringing a sack full of heavenly goodness back to my grandmother's. It was always a special treat for my brother and I, as at that time, we'd never been able to get a pork tenderloin anywhere else that we ever lived. It was a Mid-Western thing. even the years I spent in Michigan, if you mentioned "pork tenderloin", people looked at you like you were out of your mind. Sadly, Oogie's closed their doors in Streator and Ottawa right around when I began dating my wife. I really regret not being able to share such a vital part of my childhood with her.

Luckily for me, there are other restuarants here in Illinois where a pork tenderloin can be had. Hell, even Burger King offers one from time to time! I will present just a few.

1. Woody's-located in LeRoy, IL, practically across the street from my house, this truck stop diner provides bang for the buck. Their pork tenderloin sandwich is thicker than the marvel from my youth, but not as large in circumference. Dollar for dollar, Woody's has the best value, as a deluxe meal of sandwich, soup, and fries costs less than 7 bucks. Fuck McDonald's, come eat here. Being across the street hasn't helped the old waistline any, that's for damn sure. The food is surprisingly good, proving the adage that truckers know where the best food is. Extra points because their slogan is "Woody's-You Just Can't Beat It". Seriously. They sell T-shirts and everything. Stop by sometime. If you see a fat guy with a ponytail, it might be me.

2. That 50's Place-located in Dwight, IL. That 50's Place looks like a diner from the 50s, albeit one replete with life size statues of Elvis and The Blues Brothers. Like Woody's, their food is solid truck stop diner fare, reasonably priced. They get extra bonus points for not only having a pork tenderloin on the menu, but offering the option of serving it on a pretzel roll. If you've never had the pleasure of eating a sandwich on a pretzel roll, then you sir have not truly lived. The flavor of the pretzel roll and the pork tenderloin go together like two long lost lovers. Extra points for offering a side of cheese for your fries.

3. Tommy's-located on the Illinois Wesleyan campus, in the Hanson Student Center. This little restaurant on campus delivers prime pub food. They make a pretty tasty slab of pork on a bun, served with your choice of curly fries or waffle fries. Good stuff. After 8pm, you can even get beer here, which totally rocks. If only this place had been there when I was attending college. Maybe that's a good thing though, as the Freshman Fifteen would probably have been the Freshman Fifty. Extra points for being within walking distance of my office.

4. Schooner's-located in Bloomington, IL. As much as I loved Oogie's tenderloins, Schooner's has created the ultimate in breaded pork goodness. Their tenderloin is over 1/2 an inch thick and always as big around as a plate. They cut this greasy monster into 4 triangles and give you the option of purchasing extra buns. You're going to need those extra buns, because this monster is impossible to eat otherwise. The damn thing could feed a village of those starving kids you see on TV. Even if you eat like I do, you'll need three friends to help you out. Or save some for later. I like to hit Schooner's in the afternoon, eat a quarter of the tenderloin there and take the rest home. It's lunch and dinner that day for me and the wife. Beside being big, it tastes fucking awesome. The McRib? This thing craps McRibs, son. Extra points to Schooner's for also having the best fucking Buffalo wings I've ever had. Get a basket of wings and a tenderloin and make sure you brought your portable defibrillator with you.

War Criminal: Getting Hit In The Nuts

1:00 PM | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

I was going to come up with some witty opening for this piece, but I think it goes with the spirit of what I'm about to say if I'm blunt and to the point.

Getting hit in the nuts sucks. It's terrible. Outside of breaking a bone, being impaled or having a baby, it's gotta be the most painful thing that can happen to your body.

Getting hit in the nuts sucks. It's an unholy act from the depths of Hell that can strike at any moment, without warning, leaving you in a whimpering pile of broken dreams and shattered testicles.

Getting hit in the nuts sucks. It doesn't care what color you are, what kind of car you drive, who you voted for, whether you're a good person or who you voted for on American Idol (although if it was for Clay Aiken, you probably deserved it).

For our female readers, there's no way I can describe what taking a shot to the beanbag feels like, just as you wouldn't be able to convey to me what it would feel like to deliver a baby. It hurts, but in about 12 different ways, all of them worse than the last.

The most terrifying thing about the nutshot is that it can strike at any time from any place. You have just as much of a chance of getting hit in the sac jumping on a crowded trampoline as you do making yourself a sandwich at home. Out for a walk with your dog? He could easily go after a rabbit, pulling the leash in just the right way to make you go crotch-first into a mailbox pole. Driving your car? All it takes is one industrial-sized pothole to send you flying up out of your seat just high enough to arrange a brief meeting between your balls and the bottom of your steering wheel. Nutshots don't care if your mom is around or if you tipped well at dinner last night. It's coming for you, and you aren't going to realize it until it's too late.

But the unexpectedness of a knock to the cock is only the second most fearsome trait of the nutshot. The worst part is the delay, the false hope that, much like an episode of Full House, everything is going to turn out alright, right before everything in your life goes downhill. Fast.

See, for all of those who haven't taken a kick to the groin, there are a few seconds of shock right after contact but before 'Admiral Testes brings the pain'. Immediately after you get hit between the legs with a foot/broom handle/doorknob/whatever, you aren't in any discomfort for at least 3 seconds. This is more than enough time for you to allow yourself a fleeting moment of hope that you didn't take as bad a shot as you thought you did. For those seconds, you think to yourself, "Damn, I think I just got away with one" even though you know better. You've been down this road before, but you can't help feeling like no matter how many times you've faced this situation in the past, this time was going to be different.

It's not. It never is.

Slowly, things start to go black. Your testicles begin to throb with unbearable pain. And guess what? That's just the beginning, chief. Just like a school of salmon swimming upstream, this little situation is headed north. Slowly it feels like someone is squeezing all the air out of your stomach. Your abdominal walls cramp up and your body forgets how to do anything but curl up and die.

Your nuts are connected up through your midsection by a common nerve center. When you get hit in the nuts, this nerve center causes the abdominal muscles to lock up like a time vault at the bank. This causes your body to hunch forward, nature's way of protecting the family jewels. Another effect this has on you is the squeezing of the stomach, which can cause shortness of breath and nausea. The lack of oxygen to your system prolongs the pain between your legs. If hit hard enough, you can pass out. In very extreme cases, the shock to the system can potentially stop your heart from beating.

I'm going to say this again because of how scary it is: YOU CAN GET HIT IN THE NUTS SO HARD THAT YOU WILL DIE.

"Hey, how did Chaim die?"
"Someone at his league night knocked him in the junk with a bowling ball. He died just like he lived: hands down his pants, screaming and eating nachos."

I'd like to tell you not to let that be you, but I can't. Like I said, these things can strike from anywhere at any time. You can be as cautious as you want, but it's still gonna happen eventually. My only piece of advice is to stay away from children.

Yes, you heard me. It's my scientific belief that children cause more nutshots than all the skateboards and hyperactive canines and footballs in the world put together. I do note the irony that a child would cause so much damage to a place on the body directly responsible for its creation. Call it the Circle of Life. or Hakuna Matatta or something like that. For one thing, children are reckless, nothing but a moving mass of flying elbows and knees that would make Karl Malone jealous. Add to that the fact that most kids are just the right height to always have a groin shot, and you've got a recipe for disaster.

To a lesser extent, stay away from skateboards and camcorders. When the two of them come together, it's nutshot breeding ground. Take a look at the clip below. Skateboard + Camcorder = A kid hitting his nuts so hard his GODDAMN SHOES COME OFF!


So female readers, if you've ever hit someone in the nuts accidentally, apologize to them. If you ever did it on purpose, and it wasn't in self defense, never cross my path because I have nothing to say to you.

Gentlemen, please use the comments section to vent about the most memorable shot to the pills that you've had in your life. By writing it out and sharing your pain, you'll feel a whole lot better. Unless said nutshot shattered one of your testicles beyond repair. Then you'll probably still feel bad.

The most painful nutshot ever recorded.

Childhood Favorites: The Junior High Dance Edition

8:00 AM | Comments (0) | by ,

Most of us have been to at least one Junior High dance in our lifetime - maybe you went because your girlfriend/boyfriend dragged you, or because you promised your friend you'd be their middle school "wingman," or because your Mom said you needed to be more social. Or, hell, maybe you went to school dances because you actually enjoyed them. I personally didn't go to many dances while in Junior High. Why? Well, for starters, I had acne on my forehead, and the only way I could cover it up was to sport a giant wall of bangs. I also had a retainer that I was still getting used to, so I sometimes made the mistake of spitting when I spoke to people. I was also pretty tall, and a lot of the boys hadn't caught up to me height-wise yet. In short, no one wanted to ask Jolly Green Giant-bad bangs-acne face-"say it don't spray it"- E-Claire to the dance. Anyway, enough about my awkward adolescent years (I'll save the rest for my therapist)...The point I want to make it that when you went to school dances, you could usually count on hearing certain songs. So I polled the Pomp Culture Collective on the songs they always heard at their Junior High Dances, and here are some of the highlights...

C'mon N' Ride It (The Train) - Quad City DJs. The minute this song came on, naturally, everyone would form a train and start parading around the auditorium (or gym, or wherever the dance was being held). However, about a minute into the song, a chaperone would get on the mic and say "Excuse me! Please break up the train!" From what I remember, they thought forming a giant train was considered too "rowdy." Not quite sure why dancing around with your hands on someone else's shoulders was considered "rowdy," but whatever.

Macarena - Los del Rio. Even an uncoordinated jackass like me could do the dance that went along with this song. From what I remember, you basically moved your arms around and did a quarter turn when you heard "Eehhhh Macarena!"

Friends In Low Places - Garth Brooks. This was usually played to appease the country fans. However, since it starts out kind of slow, people would always assume it was a slow dance and grab their dates - only to be disappointed when it sped up. Suckers! (Side note: If you sing the opening lines of this song in front of Daft Funk, he'll get really irritated. It's kind of funny. I did it just now, and his response was "Oh my God I hate that fucking song!").

Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye. Is this really the message you want to send to a bunch of 12 and 13-year-olds with raging hormones?

I Swear - All-4-One. This song was usually preceded with something like "Ok - I've got one for all the couples out there..."

Mambo No. 5 - Lou Bega. In this sassy little number, the chorus basically consists of Lou Bega listing a bunch of girls' names. And at the dances that I went to, if you happened to be near a girl who had one of those names, they'd usually go ape shit. "Ohmigod! He said "a little bit of Erica by my side"and my name's Erica! Ahhhhhh!!!" Whatever, Lou. You didn't use my name.

Tubthumping - Chumbawamba. Holy smokes, if you wanted to get the dudes on the dance floor, this was the song that would usually do it. And who knew you could sing the words "Pissing the night away" so beautifully?

This Is How We Do It - Montell Jordan. I like how Montell Jordan takes time to "designate a driver" in this song. That's very safe and responsible. Good job, Montell.

End Of The Road/I'll Make Love To You/It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday - Boyz II Men. I bet these songs are still played at school dances.

More Than Words - Extreme. My friend and I tried to sing/learn this song on the guitar. We harmonized and everything. It was pretty awful.

Free Fallin' - Tom Petty. John Mayer has no business covering this song.

Blame It On The Rain - Milli Vanilli. Little did you know at the time that as you were lip-synching along to this song on the dance floor, so was Milli Vanilli.

Informer - Snow. This is what I used to hear when this song came on: Informer! kdlsflsjfksjfksdj sdjaskdjaskdjg...licky boom boom down!" However, I have a much clearer picture of the lyrics now that I've found this.

Lyrical Gangsta - Ini Kamoze. The chorus of this song went something like this: "Nah na na na nah...Nah na na nah na na na nah na na...Nah na na nah." Hmm...That might've been one too many "nahs"...

Summertime - DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. I don't think this song needs an explanation.

Ice Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice. Whenever I threaten to "wax a chump like a candle," I usually just get a funny look...

Humpty Dance - Digital Underground. I, too, like my oatmeal lumpy. (unless that's some kind of euphamism...If that's the case, maybe I don't like lumpy oatmeal).

Everybody Dance Now - C+C Music Factory. Dancing to this song usually made me tired.

Poison - Bel Biv DeVoe. Situation is serrrriiiioouuuuusssssss.....

I'm Too Sexy - Right Said Fred. The video for this song made mesh shirts hip again.

Anything by MC Hammer - Who could forget this classic? Or this one? And the hits didn't stop after "Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em!" After that, he became just "Hammer," and did 2 Legit 2 Quit. I could never do the damn hand movements that went along with that song. And just for fun, I'll throw in this song.

Iron Maiden vs. Barack Obama

12:00 PM | Comments (1) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

The world is an immense place, so immense that it requires a speed of 11.2 km/s just to escape its gravity. But Iron Maiden is an immense band, so immense that the earth itself cannot escape the pull of the Irons. Is there a force on earth powerful enough to contain these Monsters of Metal?

Only science can tell.

The Pomp Culture Foundation for the Study of Speaker-Melting Rock presents its current findings in today’s installment of Iron Maiden vs. The World.


Well, this has been a pretty good week for my former Senator. Apparently he handily won a popularity contest against the Emperor of the Skeksis last November, and is now The Illuminati Shadow Government’s First African-American Figurehead. That means two things:
  • 1) Woodrow Wilson is rolling in his racist grave.
  • 2) Obama is probably thinking he’s pretty damn awesome right now.
While I approve of item one (and if Maiden annihilated the UN last week, imagine how they would have torn through Wilson’s paltry League of Nations), item two is unsetting. I’m not too fond of hubris from my leaders. And while Obama is refreshingly humble compared to His Arrogance, George II, I’m think there’s at least a peg or two he could be taken down. And I know just the quintet to do so.

The Methodology:

A full summary of the methodology (including descriptions of the Five Permanent Categories can be found here. If you need to go there, I’ll wait.

So…for the rest of you…how do you like this feature so far? Do you think I’ll really be able to keep this conceit alive for more than 2-3 weeks? Do you…oh wait, they’re back…

Caught up? Good.

This week’s additional categories will be covered in the actual battle, because you know you’re already sick of me for stalling this long.

The Battle:

Intellectual and/or Literary Merit
Well, the Irons might actually start this at a disadvantage, as the Harvard-educated Obama has actually written a pretty well-respected book. And he wrote it long before his emergence on the national scene. The following obvious communists have some pretty nice things to say about it, as well (like all sophisticated reviewers, I gleaned the following quotes from Amazon.com, a bastion of scholarship in these dark times:

  • “Provocative . . . Persuasively describes the phenomenon of belonging to two different worlds, and thus belonging to neither.” —New York Times Book Review

  • “Fluidly, calmly, insightfully, Obama guides us straight to the intersection of the most serious questions of identity, class, and race.” —Washington Post Book World

  • “Beautifully crafted . . . moving and candid . . . this book belongs on the shelf beside works like James McBride’s The Color of Water and Gregory Howard Williams’s Life on the Color Line as a tale of living astride America’s racial categories.” —Scott Turow

  • “Obama’s writing is incisive yet forgiving. This is a book worth savoring.” —Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here
And while the Irons are no slouches in the book learning department, Amazon has this to say about their classic third album, Number of the Beast:
Throughout the 1980s, a damning generalization held true: British metal was
essentially working man's food, loosely descended from biker-meets and Northern
pubs; whereas, in the States, it was an outgrowth of stadium rock, which
traditionally subordinated substance to spectacle. Plug-ugly and cartoonishly
morbid, Iron Maiden were typical of the Brit effort, since they effectively
emphasized a driving, no-nonsense approach to the music.
Uh oh. “Plug-ugly and cartoonishly morbid” was the exact term Dorothy Parker used to savage the waitstaff at the Algonquin. Not looking good.

But wait…Bruce Dickinson has penned a screenplay (Chemical Wedding, later renamed Crowley)! Hmm…can’t find any reviews. While it’s probably safe to assume it’s hella awesome, it would be unfair to automatically credit Maiden for this achievement. I guess the challenger gets a point.

Advantage: Obama





Influence:

Obama should have this as a lock right? Wrong.

Sure, Obama is the ostensible Leader of the Free World, but what has he really done so far other than succeed in the (admittedly important) category of Not Being George Bush? Sure, he’s made a National Call for Service, but so far that hasn’t help yours truly much at all. I still have the same job, the same bills, the same health insurance, and the same haircut as I did under Bush. Okay, I just read he’s closing Gitmo, but I’ll believe that one when my Uncle Mahmoud comes home.

What has Maiden done? Well, I don’t know…they only redefined Metal as we know it. They only maintained an unheard of level of self-imposed quality control in their first decade - a decade where even Whitesnake could rule the airwaves. They only somehow managed to incorporate synths into Somewhere in Time and still ROCK BALLS. They only influenced about a thousand awful bands that no one wants to hear. They may or may not be responsible for the single greatest screenplay about Aleister Crowley in history. Oh, and while that one speech on race is pretty damn amazing, it’s never going to top the bone-chilling radness of Live After Death.

Sorry, Barry O. Call me when you’ve fixed America or something.

Advantage: Maiden




Image/Aesthetic:

The ubiquitous Eddie is one of the most popular images in the annals of 1980s metal. His grimly comic visage, created mainly in ballpoint pen, has graced thousands of Trapper Keepers, Social Sudies textbooks, and the occasional acid-washed denim pant-leg over the past 30 years (although there has been an admitted decline since roughly 1991). That’s a heck of a lot of blue ink.

However, Obama’s Shepard Fairy-designed campaign poster (and assorted parodies thereof) currently graces more Facebook profile pictures than there are actual people on earth. Even subtracting points for the exceptional lameness of the “O with a cornfield inside it” bumper stickers, Obama’s current influence on national aesthetics is indisputable.

Advantage: Obama




Pomposity:

Despite what the average Right Wing Rank’n’Filer might tell you, Obama does not actually seem to be too self important, much less have a Messiah complex. Most of his speeches are a heck of a lot more of the “we’ve got to make sacrifices and pull ourselves up” variety that Conservatives pretend they love to hear. And though he went to an Ivy League school so pompous that its graduates often hire servants for their servants to avoid accidentally rubbing elbows with the help’s help, it is only his ability to speak in complete sentences that separates him from most Americans.

Maiden, too, have their moments of humility, such as the following gracious statement from their official website:
"Iron Maiden's secret weapon is our fans. Anyone who's been to one of our shows
knows that they're the most passionate and devoted fans on the planet, making
the incredible atmosphere at our shows. To be nominated for Best Live Act at the
Brits is as much a recognition of them as it is of us. So for all of them, Up
The Irons!"
So very humble. And yet…maybe they still have a pretty high opinion of their powers:
“We have no doubt whatsoever that IRON MAIDEN is special to Latin America and
Latin America is special to IRON MAIDEN. Allow us to explain...

What was
achieved by both the band and their fans earlier this year in Latin America was
unheard of ... over 250,000 tickets were sold in less than a week, thus setting
box office records across the region. Within an 18 day time period the band
covered 7 countries, played 9 concerts and flew over 15,000 miles (25,500
kilometers). No artist, no band had ever done this before. Period. With their
incredible, high energy shows selling out well in advance and the insane
reaction from their fans to this very classic and timeless show...Somewhere Back
in Time, the question at the end of the tour was, "Should we do it again?".

And the answer from all sides was... DAMN RIGHT WE DO IT AGAIN! ... and
along with returning to some of our favourite places let's play some other
cities and countries too.

So in 2009 IRON MAIDEN and their fans will
once again make rock and roll history in Latin America by breaking some rules,
setting new records, and going to places that are normally off the usual touring
route. MAIDEN will embrace Latin America like none have before. This tour will
cross ancient ruins, the Amazon Jungle, The Andes and the Middle of the World!
MAIDEN will revisit cities played in 2008 in even bigger venues and a rev-ed up
show full of surprises. And together with their fans they will celebrate the end
of their incredible SOMEWHERE BACK IN TIME TOUR.”
That’s pretty darn pompous if I do say so myself. And that’s not including any concept albums, Coleridge poems, or mentions of Bruce Dickinson’s Operatic Training.

Advantage: Maiden




Rocking Your Face Off:

Perhaps you remember this list of Obama’s favorite songs that was circulating during the campaign:
  1. ‘Ready or Not’ - Fugees
  2. ‘What’s Going On’ - Marvin Gaye
  3. ‘I’m On Fire’ - Bruce Springsteen
  4. ‘Gimme Shelter’ - Rolling Stones
  5. ‘Sinnerman’ - Nina Simone
  6. ‘Touch the Sky’ - Kanye West
  7. 'You’d Be So Easy to Love’ - Frank Sinatra
  8. ‘Think’ - Aretha Franklin
  9. ‘City of Blinding Lights’ - U2
  10. ‘Yes We Can’ - Will.i.am
While there are a few gems on there (“What’s Going On” is an immense song, and “Gimme Shelter” rocks with sufficient fury), I believe Iron Maiden can rebut this with one word:

"Wrathchild."

Advantage: Maiden




Well, B. Hussein is finding himself in a bit of a pickle, as Maiden currently leads 3 to 2. Hopefully the following two special categories will come up in his favor or the Political Honeymoon is over…
Leadership:

Ok, this is a tough one to call. I mean, yes, Maiden has the advantage of not one, but TWO legendary frontmen. But Maiden has long led by example. Sure, they are the band of choice for the cognoscenti of Headbanging, but they aren’t out there offering solutions to the current Metal Crisis (I refer, of course, to the severe lack of headbangers in elected office).

Meanwhile, Obama has taken the reins of the Washington Generals of Politics, the Democratic Party, and somehow managed to beat the showboating Orange County Globetrotters of the Republican Party. That is, in and of itself, an achievement. This round goes to Dirty Chicago Politics.

Advantage: Obama





This brings us to the tiebreaker...

Experience:

Sorry, Barack. Had to pull out the big guns here. Community organizer? Everyone knows helping people is lame. Try spending three decades as the most massive metal band in the world. 30 years of pure integrity, passion, determination, and sweat. Oh yeah. Tons of sweat.Advantage: Maiden

Well, Barack Obama seems to be a pretty competent guy, and I hope he does well by us. But lets face it, the democratic process is flawed because Iron Maiden is President-for-Life of the United States of Rocking Your Lame Ass.

Iron Maiden: 2, World: 0.


Up next: Iron Maiden vs. A Mother’s Selfless love!




Know anyone or anything you think can beat Iron Maiden in a fair fight? Well, let me know, and I’ll write a long, rambling, poorly reasoned post about why you’re wrong, fool.

War Criminal: The Visor

6:19 PM | Comments (0) | by Arcturus

The visor is possibly the girliest fashion accessory I can think of. To me, it conjures up images of female athletes, tennis and volleyball being foremost in my mind. It used to be that you only would see men wear a visor on golf courses, in smoky poker games, and if they were weary newspaper copy editors. For some reason, the visor has entered a stage where it has become part of acceptable everyday attire. Personally, I blame Eminem and Jon Gruden for this travesty.

The visor is a bastardized version of that American classic: the ball cap. Why someone thought lopping off the top of said cap so one's messy hair can protrude through and be seen was a good idea is completely beyond me. No matter how cool you think you are, you look like an assbag in a visor unless you're holding a 3 iron, going for par. (And even Tiger wears a real ball cap). Trust me on this. What's sad and pathetic is that if you purchase a visor for your favorite sports team, you're gonna shell out as much as if you went the manly route and just bought the fucking ball cap. And I wouldn't have to look at your pouffy sheepdog hair, sweaty bristles, or gleaming dome. Be a man and buy a goddamn hat. Even a trucker hat is better than the abomination that is a man wearing a visor.

Even worse is that men no longer seem content to wear the visor as intended, with the bill facing forward. You know, so it shades your eyes from the sun. So you see hosers walking around with the visor backwards or sideways. And if you're a huge douchebag, there's no better way to advertise that fact than by wearing your visor backwards and upside-down. It's like a giant neon sign that says 'I'm a complete tool!'. Turning a ballcap around is a sign that you're rebellious and cool. You don't play by the rules. Fellas, it's impossible to look rebellious in a visor, no matter how you wear it. Look at the picture below if you don't believe me:


This picture says you're trying too hard. (Bonus points for the little hairstrip on the chin). Somebody please kick this guy's ass. I threw a chair through my office window when I found this picture, it made me so angry.

The last time I wore a visor, it had a little pizza logo on it and I was required to wear the goddamn thing. Anything that resembles clothing that you have to wear while working a crappy food service job should automatically be suspect. What's next, a really sporty apron? Guys, please, just buy a hat. You'll thank me later.

Pomp Culture Presents: 2008 Film Review

11:52 AM | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

The only thing more pompous than our 2008 Movie Lists is the fact that we are just getting around to posting them three weeks into January of 2009 under the assumption that you've been waiting with bated (garlic) breath. I mean, for the love of God, the Oscar nominations have already been released (The Reader over The Dark Knight?) and the Golden Globes are a thing of the past. These are about as timely as releasing "Milk" two weeks after the Prop 8 vote.

So disregard the films that the Academy would lead you to believe are good and just go see whatever is on The Hundley's list. Here they are, 23 days late, 23 dollars short and just as offensive as the
popcorn trick.

Daft Funk

These movies were all viewed on black market, Hong Kong-imported DVDS whose grainy quality is rivaled only by The Zapruder Footage.

1. Frost/Nixon: This one was much better than I thought. It wastes no time getting into the story, starting out with Nixon's resignation and going from there. Frank Langella's Nixon was pitch perfect and the last 20 minutes of this movie are so tense, you should go buy a chair so you can sit on the edge of it. Not an expensive chair, just something nice.

2. The Wrestler: As a straight male in the 18-30 age group, I don't use the word "heartbreaking" much. The Wrestler is a heartbreaking film, and Mickey Rourke is perfectly cast. This seems like a movie that would get better seeing it a second or even a third time.

3. The Dark Knight/Iron Man: The comic book nerd in me needed a change of pants for these ones. I loved them both equally and both were about as much fun as I've ever had at the movies. I feel a bit bad for Iron man though. Any other year, and it would have been recognized as the best comic book movie ever. But it's never a bad thing coming in second place to a movie that made $530 million.

4. Burn After Reading: A lot of people were down on the Cohen Brothers' follow up to No Country For Old Men. I loved it. It wasn't as laugh-out-loud funny as The Big Lebowski, and not nearly as dark as Fargo, but kind of met both halfway. Brad Pitt's dancing alone makes it a top 10 movie, although George Clooney's performance steals the movie. Just don't go down into his basement.

5. Gran Torino: If you ever thought to yourself, "Man, I wish there was a movie where Clint Eastwood was an old Korean War vet that just goes around being a badass for 2 hours while getting away with being a complete racist, but also really likable at the same time" then I've got the movie for you.

6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: The special effects in this movie were so good (especially in the first half) that it wasn't until hours after I finished the movie that I realized that I didn't have any emotional investment in any of the characters. I didn't care when people died or had their hearts broken or whatever. All that and I still enjoyed it? That's good direction.

7. The Foot Fist Way: Danny McBride tried his damnedest to cameo in every funny movie this year. He stole Pineapple Express. He was great in Tropic Thunder. But his best performance of the year was his lone starring role as a small town karate instructor trying to deal with an unfaithful wife and meeting his idol. Look, I can't explain it in any way that would convince you to see it, so just watch this clip, laugh your ass off, and rent it.

8. Milk: I never knew Harvey Milk and I was born after he died. But watching Sean Penn in this movie, I can just tell that he got every single nuance of his life just right. It would have been easy to make this movie solely about "the first openly gay man elected to public office" but Gus Van Sant made it more than that. It was about being a human being and giving other human beings the same right to live and be happy regardless of what life they live.

9. In Bruges: I've always thought that Colin Farrell could act, but just had bad decisions in the movies he decided to do. Hell, I thought he was fantastic in Phone Booth. Finally he gives a great performance in a really funny movie. Midgets? Check. Drugs and alcohol? Check. I hope Brandon Gleason and Farrell have another chance to work together int he future, because their chemistry was what made this movie so much fun.

10. Shotgun Stories: When Roger Ebert put out his Top 20 Movies of 2008 list, Shotgun Stories was on it. it sounded pretty cool, so I rented it and it really blew me away. It's the story about three brothers that get tangled up in a feud that erupts with their four half brothers after the death of their mutual father. Set in the cotton fields of Southeast Arkansas, the smaller the town you grew up in, the more you'll love this movie.

Honorable Mention- Revolutionary Road: This one doesn't make the top 10 because it wasn't that great a movie per say. The story was a bit rushed and jumbled, but the performances by Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio (and supporting actor Michael Shannon) will stick with you for days after seeing this movie.

Worst Movie of the Year - Semi-Pro: I didn't laugh once during this movie. Terrible on every level. Also, I don't want to see Woody from Cheers have sex with anyone. Ever. Sick.

One You Might Have Missed - Let The Right One In: It's a Swedish movie about a 12 year old boy who gets bullied on a daily basis. He finds comfort and confidence to fight back in his new friend, the girl next door. Did I mention that she's a vampire? Art-house vampire flick? And it delivers? Sign me up!

Overrated - Man On Wire: Critics fell over themselves trying to prise this movie (It has a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes). People all around the country raved about how suspenseful it was. I stopped watching it halfway through the movie. There was no suspense. Don't tell me about how you were scared of getting caught or falling off the top floor of the Twin Towers. I know you didn't fall to your death. You know how I know that? Because you're being interviewed in the first 5 minutes of this movie! The tightrope walk between the Twin Towers already happened, so why would anything about this movie be suspenseful?


Chaim Witz

This list erroneously thinks its better than you.

1. The Wrestler - A heart wrenching, bittersweet character study of one man's fall from grace. A tour de force by Mickey Rourke and a chance for him to dust off both his career and those sunglasses that he swiped at the 84' People's Choice Awards.

2. The Dark Knight - More than just a comic book movie, this was an epic crime tale where the hero just happens to wear tights. Nearly everything from the musical score to the use of the Chicago backdrop to the haunting performance by Heath Ledger was pitch perfect.

3. Slumdog Millionaire - Director Danny Boyle creates a rich, accessible fairy tale that leaps off the screen and tugs at the heartstrings. Undeserving of it's 'R' rating, this is the rare indie film that should appeal to nearly everyone.

4. Rachel Getting Married - Great performances and plenty of drama, minus the usual wedding movie cheese. Long, extended camera takes help suck you in and make you feel a part of the happening, ethnic and sometimes pretentious wedding reception. Top shelf liquor, top shelf film.

5. Pineapple Express - Hilarious stoner movie with mass appeal for the non-stoner set. Danny McBride is priceless as 'Red', in what is sure to be a career launching role.

6. In Bruges - Darkly comic, sometimes surreal hitman movie hits the mark. Midgets, drinking, bursts of random violence and Colin Farrell cursing. Sounds like most of my dates in college.

7. Role Models - Role Models doesn't reinvent the wheel, but certainly makes the wheel seem much, much funnier. Cursing little kids, Paul Rudd and a KISS-inspired finale all make for one of the funnier comedies of 2008.

8. Che - Certainly not a film for everyone, unless 4.5 hours (divided into two parts) of subtitles and the minuta that goes into jungle guerrilla warfare are your thing. Not knowing anything about Che besides the fact that many hipsters don his t-shirt, I found it pretty fascinating from start to finish, particularly Part I.

9. Wanted - Taken as a serious action film (see: Bourne), Wanted is fairly laughable. Taken as a live-action cartoon, devoid of any intelligence but full of testosterone, I suppose it's still laughable, but damn entertaining.

10. Wall E - Pixar does it again. The first 45 minutes, devoid of any dialogue, are pretty ballsy and pretty great.

Honorable Mention:
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist - A 'Say Anything' for the MySpace Generation.
Doubt - Meryl Steep and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in an acting smackdown.
Ironman - RDJ drinks scotch and flies around.
The Incredible Hulk - Better than it should have been.

Worth Seeing: Frost/Nixon (not as dry as you'd think), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (curiously flawed), The Bank Job, Definitely Maybe, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, American Teen, Burn After Reading (minor Cohens), Young @ Heart, Cloverfield, The Visitor

Worst Of:
1. Sleepwalking
2. 27 Dresses
3. Happy Go Lucky
4. The Secret Life of Bees
5. The Happening

Overrated: Tropic Thunder, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Four Christmases, Hancock: Proof positive that box office success does not always = quality.

Disappointments: Step Brothers, Quantum of Solace: Both of them have their moments for sure, but the bar was set high (Anchorman, Casino Royale) and neither could live up to their older siblings.

Best Performances:
Mickey Rourke: The Wrestler
Heath Ledger: The Dark Knight
Meryl Streep: Doubt
Danny McBride: Pineapple Express
Ann Hathaway: Rachel Getting Married
Russell Brand: Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Frank Langella: Frost/Nixon


Governor X

This list escaped from Guantanamo Bay.

1. Slumdog Millionaire – Director Danny Boyle is finally getting the accolades I've always thought he deserved and rightfully so. Slumdog Millionaire is a masterpiece taking two hours to go from one of the most depressing movies you'll ever see to one of the most uplifting. The Bollywood dance number at the end doesn't hurt either.

2. Gran Torino – If Clint Eastwood chooses to retire from acting after Gran Torino, at least he'll be going out on top. His portrayal of the bitter, racist Korean War vet who ultimately takes his young Asian neighbor under his wing is simultaneously infuriating, sad, and hilarious. In other words, he nails it. Easily his best movie since Unforgiven.

3. Religulous – No one shreds religion as well as Bill Maher. Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins make the same case (and so would I if I felt like arguing), but Maher does it in a way that comes off as funny and less abrasive. Quote of the century: Religion must die for man to live.

4. Che – If you didn't think it would be possible to make a movie about Che Guevara that wasn't incredibly slanted one way or another, I submit Steven Soderbergh's Che to you. Leaving the editorializing for historians, Soderbergh simply tells the story of Che during the Cuban Revolution and his ultimate downfall in Bolivia. Benicio Del Torro will almost certainly be getting an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the Argentine revolutionary.

5. Valkyrie – Tom Cruise ist ein Deutschlander? Ja. Valkyrie is an all around solid historical drama. While it struck me as odd at first, the decisions to have the actors not fake German accents proved to be the correct decision. It left the focus on the story rather than Tom Cruise or Bill Nighy trying to talk like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

6. Wall-E – Charming children's movie? Check. Scathing critique of sloth and consumerism in modern society? Check.

7. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – Any Indy fan who didn't like this needs to re-watch the original three. They were just as over the top. Its entertainment people! Speaking of entertainment…

8. Wanted is truly one of the most ridiculous films I've ever seen, but I can't tell you I didn't enjoy every minute of it.

9. In Bruges – Belgium sucks, and someone finally made a movie about it. Bravo. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson are brilliant as squabbling hitmen.

10. The Dark Knight – I really didn't want to include this because of all the hype, but it was too good to leave off. I don't think it's possible for a movie with Morgan Freeman in it to be bad. Wait. I take that back. Deep Impact sucked.

Honorable mention (in no order): Young @ Heart, Hellboy 2, Quantum of Solace, Hancock, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express


E-Claire

These movies will pay for your dinner, but expect sex in return.

1. Milk – Being from the Bay Area, I really wanted to see this movie. And I wasn't disappointed. Sean Penn was excellent as Harvey Milk. And James Franco, Josh Brolin, and Emile Hirsch give great supporting performances. I don't want to get too political, but I will say that the same types of issues they were fighting over about 30 years ago are still being fought about today...Which makes this more than just a biopic…The movie is as relevant today as it would've been back then.

2. Gran Torino – The first part of this movie could be called "Clint Eastwood is a racist and hates everyone." The second part could be called "Don't fuck with Clint Eastwood," and the last part, well, you'll have to watch. But I love Clint Eastwood, and I'm bummed that I hear this will supposedly be the last movie he'll act in. But at least he went out as a badass who growls a lot and tells people to get off his lawn.

3. Frost/Nixon – Frank Langella was very good as Nixon. I think he did a good job of humanizing the former president. The guy did a lot of bad things, but you still felt a little something for him in this movie…At least I did.

4. The Wrestler – I can't really comment too much on this movie without giving anything away, so I'm just going to say that Mickey Rourke was fantastic. There were some moments in the movie where he wasn't saying anything, but you could almost feel what he was thinking, and that really impressed me. I also hope Springsteen wins the Oscar for Best Original Song. His song "The Wrestler" really captures the essence of the movie – and not just because it has the same title as the movie.

5. The Dark Knight – I really liked this movie. The story was interesting, the acting was great (Maggie Gyllenhaal was kinda blah, though), and the IMAX shots were rad.

6. In Bruges – Hit men + midgets = comedic gold.

7. Iron Man – Robert Downey Jr. was great as Tony Stark/Ironman. And it's nice to see Gwyneth Paltrow do a movie where she's not moping around for 2 hours.

8. Role Models – I was a little skeptical about this movie because Stiffler from "American Pie" was in it, but it ended up being pretty damn funny. Just make sure you can handle an hour-and-a-half of that McLovin kid…He basically plays McLovin again, but this time he wears a cape.

9. Revolutionary Road – This movie basically seemed like a vehicle for Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio to flex their acting chops, but they both did a good job. I hope Kate Winslet finally wins an Oscar this year. I like her as an actress, and it seems like every year she turns in a great performance, there's someone else who's got the Oscar locked up. Maybe this will be her year.

10. Mamma Mia! – This movie was a lot more entertaining than I thought it would be – mostly because Pierce Brosnan can't carry a tune in a bucket. I also got a kick out of the guy in front of us who cried during one of the sappy scenes. I had to muffle my laughter. I'm such a jackass.

Movies that probably would've made my list if I had seen them: Rachel Getting Married, Slumdog Millionaire

Worst movie of the year: Seven Pounds. I'll agree with the critics who say the plot of this movie was way too pretentious. Will Smith, when you were handed the script to this movie, your response should've been "Awwww HELL Naw!"


Dave Thomas

This list would like to think that it speaks for itself.

1. WallE
2. Iron Man
3. The Dark Knight
4. The Wrestler
5. Milk
6. Slumdog Millionaire
7. Role Models
8. Pineapple Express
9. Appaloosa
10. Burn After Reading


Jordi

This list was diagnosed with full blown AIDS.

1. Wall-E: Explosions, social message, robots, kick-ass animation, and a feel-good story. Real actors are overrated.

2. The Dark Knight:Explosions, anarchy, subtle comment about order in chaos (i.e. Bush against Iraqi anarchists or Einstein vs. quantum physics), kick-ass terrorist techniques; for more, check this out.

3. Tropic Thunder: Explosions, humor, satire on warhawks, reliance on pop culture references hurts timelessness of movie.

4. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: Explosions, interesting story based on string/wave theory and alien conspiracies, could have been higher, but the Soviets were the most ridiculous and incompetent enemy Indy has ever faced.

5. The Incredible Hulk: Explosions, stuff, Liv Tyler, big green guy, etc.

6. Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Explosions, Jedis, Natalie Portman (animated), would have been higher if it was more of a Star Wars movie and not a silly 2-hour commercial for the Cartoon Network show. Also, the young girl jedi is the most annoying character in the Star Wars galaxy behind Jar Jar Binks.

7. Four Christmases: No explosions, but it did have Reese Witherspoon.


The Hundley

If movies were orgasms, you'd have to fake it with these.

Haven't seen that many movies this year. I'd rather read a book. That being said, I would have liked to have seen the new Bond, Pineapple Express, Hancock, Ben Button, Zohan, and Valkyrie. Alas, I didn't see any of those, so here is my best of 2008, and what a disappointing year for movies it was

1.Shine a Light - Martin Scorsese's documentary/concert of the Rolling Stones. I am by no means a big Stones guy, but this film was KILLER. The only one on my list that I wanted to (and did) see twice. It really helped that Shine a Light was only released in I-Max Theatres. The picture and especially the sound really made it seem like you were actually sitting front row.

2. The Dark Knight - I waited for more than 8 weeks past the original release date to see this because that's how long my little farm town took to get it at our I-Max. Great experience. I have to imagine it loses a lot of luster outside of a theatre. Visually this movie was cool, but I thought the story was a bit weak. Didn't quite understand the hype. Like I said, weak year for movies.

3. The Express - I'm a sucker for true stories, doubly so if it involves sports. Rob Brown does a solid job portraying Ernie Davis, a black running back for Syracuse in the 60's. That reminds me, send Chaim Witz an email and ask him to explain what "Rob Brown Drunk" is.

4. Hellboy II - A good action flick, cool effects, dry humor. Hellboy is a cool hero. I guess.

5. Tropic Thunder - Apparently it's chic to make fun of this movie, but I enjoyed it for what it's worth. I wasn't expecting to see anyone turn in a Larry Olivier performance, I was expecting to laugh. And I thought it had plenty of those. Bob Downey II was great.

6. Indiana Jones and Castle Grayskull - I flirted with the idea of going to a Halloween costume party as Indiana Jones. Chaim Witz told me I should have someone constantly following me around with a big green screen. And that's really funny...and sad. Sad but true.

7. Iron Man - Kind of a dud. Sometimes RDJ was good, mostly he was annoying. I also hate Gwenyth Paltrow-Coldplay. Sorry, didn't see many movies.

Honorable Mention - U23D. Wicked-cool experience, just wished it could have featured a band that I really dig.

Worst Movie - The Happening: Seriously, the storyline, acting, and dialog were akin to something you'd see on an After School Special. Just a horrible, horrible movie. And I'm normally a fan of M. Noche Shyamalan.


Arcturus

It was like pulling teeth to get him to make a Top 5 'non porno' movie list.

1. The Dark Knight-With all apologies to Daft Funk, the Dark Knight was freaking amazing. The points he made in his earlier post were valid, but I still believe this was the best movie of '08, regardless of it being a comic book film. Not just an action movie, the film deals with the dark side of humanity and the consequences of the choices we make.

2. Wall-E-More than just a kids film, Wall-E is at once a love story and a warning of the dangers of over-consumption gone wrong. The animation is amazing, the music is perfectly chosen/composed, and the story never seems forced or shrill.

3. Appaloosa-The Western returns with a bang in Ed Harris's solidly directed adaptation of the novel by Robert B. Parker. Harris and Viggo Mortensen make for believable purveyors of justice hired to clean up the town of Appaloosa. Moral dilemmas and sharp dialogue crackle around superb gun play in this character driven piece.

4. Quantum of Solace-Daniel Craig returns for his second go-round as James Bond in the follow up to the incredible Casino Royale. Craig's Bond is still badass, but the plot of the sequel doesn't quite live up to the standard set by Casino Royale. Despite the weaker storyline, QoS still delivers plenty of action and most of the film's appeal is watching Craig make the role of 007 his own. I can only hope that the next film features a tighter script, but as long as Craig is playing the title role, I'll keep coming back for more.

5. Doubt-Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep create sparks in this story of a priest accused of child abuse by a nun. The dialogue is well-written and the acting is simply amazing. An excellent fim that explores the nature of gossip and speculation, as well as the role of the church and its relationship with its parishioners. Outstanding.

Link Bulimia

9:23 AM | Comments (0) | by White Chili

Welcome to Link Bulimia, where purging never felt so good. This is your one stop shop for all the stupid, violent, and horrifying links that I stumble across during my weekly laps around the internets. If you happen to find something particularly jarring to where you'll never be able to "un-see" it, please pass it right along to linkbulimia@gmail.com. Enjoy and make sure to wash your hands afterward.


Is George Bush still the President?

I think when my senility finally catches up with my and I have a complete nervous breakdown, this is going to be what rights the ship. I could splurge and go for a choppa but I'd be dead inside a year and that would sort of ruin the point of having a MID life crisis.

I didn't know that our own Chaim Witz was moonlighting on his own food blog.

Everyone can kiss their jobs goodbye with this link. In no time we'll all be huddled under overpasses, covered in newspapers, and forced to subsist on canned fish assholes.

I had a feeling that Izhak was struggling in the cold.

At least three drops of pee came out when he completely left the face of the wall.

I'm not sure how to tell you this but...

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

Hillary Clinton seen mouthing along to the Presidential Oath.

99 Problems but a Bush Ain't One

You don't become the most powerful man in the land by letting society dictate how you run your life. You make your own rules! Hats off. Mr. President.

David Lee Roth can tell the difference between AHHHAAAAAYYYYEAAAAAAYAAAH and AHHHHHHHH YEEEEEEAAAAHHH

DO NOT hug this man.

From bad...to worse.

DAMMIT! Now I'm going to have to endure another few months of awful commercials and tests on my TV while I watch my stories.

And finally, for my bacon post of the week I wasn't sure whether to go with the bacon bikinis or the bacon martinis so I decided to let you decide. Now excuse me while I go towel off.

Getting Married? Read This:

2:00 PM | Comments (0) | by The Hundley

When you're preparing to be married it's astonishing how many things you need to learn. You'd think that it was just as simple as finding a church and finding a reception hall (or if you're really smart and ahead of the game, what time the Justice of the Peace opens up). Not so fast, Buster. It's a crazy, mad world that you enter. Suddenly questions are heaped upon you. You want to cower in the corner, but you know that you have to prove your role as Man of the House.

What about health insurance? Who's place will the two of you live in? Where in the hell do you put all of your stuff? What do you have to do to have her last name changed? What type of cookware is best - non-stick, stainless, cast iron? How do you do your taxes once you're married? Do you keep your bank accounts or do you make it a joint account? What are the names of her cousins again?

That's only the tip of the iceberg, man. Luckily there are plenty of websites and books out there that attempt to make this process easier for you. They provide an actual timeline and checklist that allows you to see what decisions you need to make and when you should have them done by. I can't tell you how great that is to have something like that. How did people even go about this in the 50's, 60's, and 70's? Oh yeah, weddings back then just involved you wearing whatever suit or military uniform you had, and a wedding reception (if you even had one) was nothing more than sitting in someone's backyard or garage with a pony keg of Falstaff, a few loaves of bread and a serving tray of ham and sliced cheese.

As helpful as those books are, advice from recently married friends is solid gold. Straight from the horse's mouth. The real deal. If it wasn't for a conversation I had with one of my married friends the other night, I would have missed out on this completely. Non of the websites I have visited or books I've read have mentioned this precious nugget of information at all - not a one. How they have overlooked it is downright inexcusable. Of course I'm talking about The Waiver.

Allow me to quickly describe how this came about. A few nights ago, I attended a Wild Game Feed at the local Knights of Columbus. I had known about this for a few weeks and told my significant other that I'd be attending with my friend. This was a guys only function and, for the most part, she understood. A horn honked outside my house at 5 as my friend had arrived to drive me there and I told her I'd probably be home around 9:00 or 9:30. Long story short, I ate some bear meatloaf, pheasant casserole, and a bevy of other "wild game" that was only edible when washed down by copious amounts of your standard fare American Macrobrew. As we got in my friend's truck to head home, it was 11:30.

I groaned, knowing that I'd take some heat, albeit minor, over the gross misinterpretation of time. My friend looked at me stupefied and said, "Uh, are you saying you don't have The Waiver in place?" I had to plead ignorance. I had no clue what he was talking about. What happened over the next 5 minutes was a lecture that should be given to all new husbands-to-be. If you haven't heard of The Waiver, luckily I'm here to recap the highlights. The genius behind it is that it's fully customizable to each husband.
  • If I say that I'm going to be home at 10pm, what I really mean is that I'll be home around midnight or a little after. A two and a half hour buffer is granted.
  • Fishing knows no laws of time. If the fish are biting, the two and a half hour buffer is waived, and it becomes "whenever the fish stop biting".
  • Unanswered calls during fishing time are not punishable.
  • While a game is going on during football season, I'll try my best to listen to you, but if I retain anything of what you said, it will be what I wanted to hear.
  • Just because the door is locked while I take a shower, it does not necessarily mean that I'm pleasuring myself.
  • Strip clubs and bachelor parties go hand in hand. Moral stances aside, it's something that happens. It's out of my control.
  • Trips to you parents house are not a problem, but shall be set at one per week. Any additional trips shall be decided on a case by case basis. This is also 100% reciprocal.
  • Fantasy sports are not for "kids". I don't know why girls aren't allowed at the drafts. It's just the rules.
I've understood that this waiver holds quite a bit of weight, and that's it's best to take it to your local City Hall to have it notarized. Perhaps having it matted in a plaque would be a good idea as well. Of course, she would have to sign it before you got to that stage. I'm still in the Awe Stage of things right now, I haven't gotten all that far. Hmm, I wonder what the best way is to present this to her?

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War Hero: Kurt Warner - Hall of Fame Edition

6:00 AM | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz

January 30th, Y2K. I rocked back and forth atop a dilapidated leopard skin couch, tugging nervously at the strings of my UNI hoodie. Former roommate and current bartender Brant Brown sat underneath a newly acquired St. Louis Rams blanket, meticulously eating Pringles and wondering aloud if the game would end before our wrestling pay-per-view began. Our heater was broken, but our spirits were not. That was because our rags-to-riches hero and UNI alum, Kurt Warner was marching the Rams down the field on the way to a wholly improbable Super Bowl victory. So began the fairy tale, and for me, the man-crush that has lasted nearly 10 years.

Over the next ten years, I would follow Kurt into the trenches. The good times, boy were they great. Dazzling displays of pinpoint accuracy, perfectly thrown deep balls and a five o'clock shadow that didn't know when to quit. This was sexy, captivating football played to near perfection. But it didn't last. Our hero, beset by injuries, mental fatigue and the kind of bad luck that sees you get displaced by not one, but two of the most hyped rookies of the decade, fell on hard times. As quickly as the bandwagon had filled up, it emptied twice as fast until no one remained. Well, almost no one.

For the next few years, I would trek to various sports bars every Sunday, watching our hero hand off to Tiki Barber and overthrow Ike Hillard's corpse. Calling places to ask if they showed the Cardinals, only to be told, "Baseball season is over man, and besides, this is Cubs country." Dozens of wings were left in my wake. More Diet Coke refills than any waitress should ever have to endure. Countless text messages to my brother in arms, Adam, who like me, sat alone, usually at a Bennigans in dusty San Antonio, suffering through the same highs and lows.

Last year, the tides started to turn once again. It was baby steps, but given the opportunity and the right set of circumstances, Kurt Warner began what has been a stirring comeback. After a remarkable year, he has done the impossible, taking arguably the most woeful franchise in professional sports (yes, worse than the Cubs) to the Super Bowl. The final chapter of his story has not been written, but a win in Superbowl 43 would be the perfect bookend to a remarkable story and a Hall of Fame career. That's right, a Hall of Fame career.

There has been quite a bit of talk recently of sending Kurt to Canton. In the past week he's received HOF endorsements from everybody from Chuck Klosterman to Joe Montana (and that was before the NFC Championship). On Tuesday, Pomp Culture stalwart Daft Funk eloquently argued on this very site as to why Kurt should not be in the Hall of Fame. He cited various stats, not once but twice invoking the name of Chad Pennington as a comparison, but failing to mention that the noodle-armed Chadwick has yet to even sniff the jock of a single Championship Game, much less three Super Bowls or any sort of postseason MVP hardware. Because I'm here to tell you folks, if you want to get into Canton without buying a ticket, the best way isn't through regular season stats. It's through the Big Game. It's through mythology, legend and aura. And over the past decade, there haven't been many football legends better than that of Kurtis Eugene Warner.

What do I mean by all this myth/legend mumbo jumbo? Glad you asked. The mistake a lot of people make when looking at Hall of Fame candidacy is to assume that all Hall of Fames were created equal. This is a critical error in judgement and I'll tell you why. Let's use Canton and Cooperstown as our examples.

Baseball is a sport built on numbers, on records. Numbers and statistics are what makes baseball so fun for the fanatics and so boring and impersonal to outsiders. Everything is baseball is predicated on statistics and that is how greatness is judged. What are this guy's career numbers and how do they stack up to his peers? Baseball is a pure sport that hasn't changed a lot throughout the years (a 95 MPH heater in 1949 is still a 95 MPH heater in 2009), so comparing stats from different eras remains both interesting and plausible. New stats like OPS are created seemingly every year, with baseball fans devouring them with a nerd-like zest usually reserved for Star Trek conventions.

Think about it. Everyone knows what the major baseball records are/were. (For the sake of keeping things simple, let's overlook the "steroid records"). 56 game hitting streak. Ted Williams .406 batting average. 755. 61. 4,256. I don't even need to tell you what those numbers equate to and you probably know what they are. The 500 homer benchmark. 3,000 hits. 300 wins. Stats, stats, stats! Notice how all of those stats are regular season stats too. Postseason glory has it's place in the Hall of Fame (it certainly helps if you're a Yankee), but the bottom line is that when the dust settles, you're judged on your bottom line.

Now let's travel Southeast to Canton, Ohio to the Pigskin Hall of Fame. What you have here is a whole different beast. Due in part to the nature of the sport, careers are more fleeting, the window for success diminished greatly. Numbers are great, but winning is better. In baseball, it's quantity over quality, where in football, it is reversed. Football greatness is in the mythology of it all, captured so brilliantly by NFL Films. Football records are nice to have but easy to forget. Emmit Smith is the all-time leading rusher, but with how many yards? You may know the Single Season Passing TD and Receiving TD marks, but if you do, its only because the Patriots broke nearly every record just last year. Career stats from the game's biggest luminaries are nearly impossible to recite, but no one blames you. No one is expected to remember football numbers. In baseball, the numbers are revered. In football, it's the mythology, often times born of championships.

It's easy to cherry pick number to support any argument, so I'll do just that. Let's take a look at the numbers of some NFL Hall of Famers, shall we?

-Joe Namath. Career record: 63-63-4 over 12 seasons. 173 TDS. (Warner has 182.) 220 INTS. 27,663 passing yards (Warner: 28,591 passing yards. Different era, yes, but remember that Namath was the first QB to ever throw for over 4,000 yards.) 3 playoff games...in his career. One Superbowl guarantee. Mythology.

-Lynn Swann. 9 seasons, zero with over 1,000 yards. Career year of 61 receptions. One famous catch and a member of a Steelers dynasty. Mythology.

-Troy Aikman. 12 seasons. 165 career TDS. 81.6 Passer Rating (Warner's passer rating for his ill fated year with the Giants: 86.5). Career Winning %: .569 (Warner: .570). 3 Super Bowl titles, Cowboys dynasty. Mythology.

-Terry Bradshaw. 12 seasons. 27,989 passing yards (less than Warner despite having over 400 more pass attempts). 210 INTS vs. Warner's 114. Steelers dynasty. Mythology.

I could go on. There are many, many players enshrined in Canton whose numbers aren't what you'd think they should be and whose careers were cut short (Gayle Sayers, Earl Campbell, etc) or hit the wall early. In some cases, if you don't have the mythology or postseason glory, then numbers do become important. A sort of 'Plan B' if you will. Dan Marino, Warren Moon and Dan Fouts come immediately to mind. Ideally though, the perfect candidate will combine solid numbers with a sparkling postseason resume.

Kurt Warner succeeds on both counts. 93.8 QB Rating, good for fourth All-Time. 1st All-Time in Passing Yards Per Game. (And given that his career winning % is higher than Aikman's, you can't really argue that those yards all come in garbage time losses). 2nd All-Time in Completion %. Highest percent of 300 yard passing games than any QB in history. Owner of two of the greatest single seasons (1999 and 2001) of any QB, ever. Sure, his cumulative stats lag a bit due to 'lost years', but cumulative regular season stats don't make the man in the NFL. Some would argue that he's only had 5 great seasons, and that's not enough. Go tell Earl Campbell you'll need his blazer back then. I dare you.

What about the mythology of Kurt Warner? I won't recite his background story here, as you're probably already familiar with it and will surely be getting reacquainted with it over the next couple of weeks. His story was great the first time around, and even better this time around. Everybody loves a good comeback story and he's given us two. After turning around the NFL's worst franchise of the 1990's (the Rams, who assumed the position again now that he left), he's done it again, this time turning around the NFL's worst franchise, ever. Their Superbowl run is the unexpected stuff of legend. Mythology.

I haven't even touched on the fact that Warner is seen as the consummate teammate (the fact that he willingly mentored Brother Eli and Fatty Matty is a testament to his character), family man and all-around good guy. Jesus shout outs aside, the guy is about as selfless and giving as they come, as evidenced by this recent piece that ran over the holidays. That kind of stuff probably shouldn't have any bearing on whether he gets into Canton, but it sure makes it hard to root against him.

Finally, if there was any lingering doubt, I would implore you to read the recent article from SI.com, titled, "Why Kurt Warner Is A Better QB Than Manning". The focus of the article is on the post-season, because, and I'll say it until I'm cardinal red in the face, that's what football greatness is primarily judged on. You need to read the piece for yourself, but for the chronically lazy, here are a few choice nuggets.

Warner's teams are 8-2 in postseason play. Manning's Colts are 7-8 in postseason play. In all of history, only Tom Brady (14-3; .824) and Bart Starr (9-1; .900)boast better postseason records than Warner.

Warner is also gearing up for his third Super Bowl start. The list of quarterbacks who have started more is short: John Elway, Terry Bradshaw, Jim Kelly, Montana and Brady.
Hopefully, come that first Sunday in February, Kurt can lead to the Cardinals to a Super Bowl victory, effectively shutting the door on any further debate over his HOF credentials. In my book, he's already there. He's just writing the last chapter to his story. The story of the NFL, as told by Canton, would be incomplete without it.