Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Scott Boras, Scumbag Supreme

Instead of enjoying the World Series, which, granted, was only enjoyable if you were supporting the Red Sox, Scott Boras, on behalf of his client, Alex Rodriguez, thought it more important to take media attention away from the players earning a championship and focused the attention on himself.

Boras announced during Game 4 of the World Series that A-Rod was opting out of his contract with the Yankees.

After getting what he wanted (the limelight), Boras apologized Monday evening:
I apologize to the Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies and their players, Major League Baseball and its players, and baseball fans everywhere for that interference. The teams and players involved deserved to be the focus of the evening and honored with the utmost respect. The unfortunate result was not my intent, but is solely my fault. I could have handled this situation better, and for that I am truly sorry."

Scott Boras has never been sorry for anything except failing to make more money. Boras is an ass and I don't believe he is sorry at all. If you think he is sorry then you are a bigger ass than him, and not only that, you must be a friggin' idiot.

Scott Boras is a manipulative prick who has been none too happy to escort major league sports down the road to ruin. His self-serving antics have helped make supporting major league sports a most unpleasant pastime.

Read about it here.

Dick Mac Recommends:

David Beckham

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Grizzly Bear

A grizzly bear walks into a bar and says, "I want a bourbon and . . . . . . coke"

"What's with the huge pause?" The bartender asks.

"I've had them all my life."

Dick Mac Recommends:

Rube Goldberg
Maynard Frank Wolfe

Monday, October 29, 2007

Georgia Court Orders Man Freed in Sex Case

In 2003, a 17-year-old boy, honor student, star athlete, was convicted of aggravated child molestation for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl. He was sentenced to ten years in prison. Adult prison. Convicted of rape at 17 for having sex with another teenager, and sent to adult prison.

Does this sound as insane to you as it does to me?

It sounded insane to the Georgia Supreme Court, too; who last Friday, even though it took them four years to address the issue, finally overturned the conviction and sentence as "cruel and unusual."

Genarlow Wilson is a free young man, whose life was destroyed by an overzealous prosecutor.

I pray that Wilson will be able to continue his education and rebuild a life.

October 26, 2007
Georgia Court Orders Man Freed in Sex Case


ATLANTA, Oct. 26 — The Georgia Supreme Court today ended the 10-year prison sentence of a man who was convicted in 2003 of having consensual oral sex with another teenager. The court said the harsh sentence violated the Constitution’s protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

In a 4-to-3 ruling, the court’s majority said the sentence was "grossly disproportionate" to the crime, which the justices said "did not rise to the level of culpability of adults who prey on children."

The inmate, Genarlow Wilson, who is now 21, was 17 when he was caught on videotape having oral sex with a 15-year-old girl at a drug- and alcohol-fueled New Year’s Eve party in 2003. He is expected to be released this afternoon.

Mr. Wilson, who is black, was convicted of aggravated child molestation for the act, a charge which carried a mandatory minimum prison term so harsh it shocked his jury and prompted an international outcry from critics who charged that prosecutors had been overzealous and racially motivated. The law, critics said, was meant to keep child molesters behind bars, not to curb teenage sexual activity. More . . .

The crazy law in the center of this miscarriage of justice has been re-written to hopefully prevent this from happening again. But, considering that it is Georgia, I hold no hope for anyone. If you live in Georgia, vote for liberals if you hope to have any chance of living in a civilized state.

Now is the time for Georgians to look at the Green Party and any other liberal-leaning option available to them. Even, God forbid, Democrats. Decent people throughout the South must work to remove conservatives from power, in hopes of avoiding further laws like this. It's really time to move into the Twentieth Century (I know I am asking too much to ask you to move into the 21st Century).

Dick Mac Recommends:

Stevie Wonder

Or download:

Friday, October 26, 2007

Tracking Transience

According to his biography at Creative Capital:
Hasan M. Elahi is an interdisciplinary artist with interests in technology, media, and their social implications. His research interests include issues of surveillance, simulated time, transport systems, and borders and frontiers. . . .

His project, Tracking Transience: The Orwell Project is " . . . a self-surveillance project. A former subject of an intensive FBI investigation post 9-11, Hasan Elahi is developing a network device, GPS tracker, and website that will make his exact location continuously available to anyone with access to the Internet. . . . "

That's right: this guy's entire life, all his movements, purchases, etc., are posted, in real-time, on the Internet!

In an article I read about him in Wired, he explained that he is providing this surveillance of himself, because law enforcement agencies who do surveillance often get their facts wrong. Even when they are standing there watching you.

Elahi, a Bangladeshi-American, hopes that by providing the government all this information, he will avoid being wrongfully shipped to Guantanomo Bay. He may be correct. If you can account for all your movements, then it is hard for the government to fabricate allegations of wrong-doing against you.


This will probably keep Elahi out of prison, but it raises questions bout what neo-conservatism has done to our nation. By de-funding and privatizing almost every federal agency in the past twenty-five years, the neo-cons have left us with a non-functioning government run on a bloated budget of money that is simply handed-over to private contractors who provide nothing that is promised. In this case: homeland security and protection of the citizenry.

Maybe we should all practice self-surveillance! We certainly can't count on the federal government to do it (or do anything)!

Creative Capital

The site. Visit.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Diamond Dogs - 30th Anniversary Edition
David Bowie

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Three Card Monte At Yankee Stadium

According to an article in the New York Times:
Tony Peña was interviewed on Wednesday for the Yankees’ managerial opening and a decision may be made as early as Friday between Peña, Don Mattingly, and Joe Girardi.

I started reading the Times sports page last night when Game 1 of the World Series became a Red Sox festival and the score reached 13-1. The muted drone of the television will draw me back if anything of import happens, which is unlikely. The sound of the fan is more exciting. Baseball is really now just inserted dialog between commercials, Fox television turns it into an orgy of faux-patriotism, and listening to Tim McCarver is sheer hell. Add to all of that the timing of the first pitch and the hours upon dull hours of "play", and I am not even sure why I bother.

I guess if it wasn't the Red Sox I would be waiting until a final game to watch, but having grown-up in Boston I have a passing interest in the result.

Living in New York, I enjoy watching the Yankee fans (who insist there is no rivalry with the Red Sox) go on and on and on about how they don't care who wins. Why do they squirm so much when they say that, and why do they go on and on if they don't care?

In reality, I don't care!

But the above-referenced article caught my eye. I am a fan of all three of the former players who are now candidates for the job of manager of the Yankees.

Tony Peña was a brilliant catcher and, like many catchers, moved easily into the ranks of coaching. Same with Joe Girardi. Don Mattingly is my second-favorite first baseman of all time (after Willie McCovey).

I would rank them like this:

For smarts, hire Peña.

For good-looks (so often important in New York City), hire Girardi.

For sentimentality, hire Mattingly.

I hope they give Peña the job, but it is impossible to predict what happens in the Yankees front office.

Good luck to all the candidates.

Dick Mac Recommends:

David Beckham

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Red Bull New York Prepares for Playoffs

The New York Times has increased their coverage of soccer, especially online. Tuesday saw an article about the amazing Juan Pablo Angel.

Juan Pablo Angel es Muy Atractivo
Red Bull New York (a/k/a New York Red Bulls) will meet the awesome and loathsome New England Revolution in the first game of the playoffs at Giants Stadium on Saturday. The teams will play two matches (home and away) and the winner is decided by combined score. So, the Red Bulls must win at home by as large a margin as possible if they hope to beat the mighty Revolution!

MLS playoffs are a bit of an embarrassment. There are really not enough teams in the league to merit multiple rounds of playoffs. There are not really enough teams to merit multiple conferences (East and West). MLS should mimic every other soccer league in the world, with a single conference awarding the championship to the team who ends the year on the top of the table.

Switching to a single conference would allow a logical schedule where each team could play every other team once at home and once away.

Following the NFL/NBA/NHL/MLB paradigm of multiple rounds of playoffs makes no sense.

But this is what we have and this is what I will enjoy.

The conference semifinals are two-game, home-and-away, total-goals series. A 30-minute overtime period will be played if the teams are tied after 180 minutes, then a shootout if the teams are still tied.

Fox Soccer Channel will carry both Red Bulls-New England games as part of its Soccer Saturday package.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Bend It Like Beckham
Imran Ali, Ameet Chana

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Living Will

Last night, my friend and I were sitting in the living room and I said to her, "I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug."

She got up, unplugged the TV, and threw out my wine.

Thanks to jendi for sending this along!

Dick Mac Recommends:

Stevie Wonder

Or download:

Monday, October 22, 2007

Innervisions, Stevie Wonder

This is the first in a series of articles I am writing as homage to the music of my life. Because I began listening to recordings in 1964, most of my experience is rooted in vinyl recordings (with occasional 8-tracks and cassettes thrown-in); and I am still surprised how the experience of digital media is so different from my memories of analog media.

I hope you enjoy these articles, and that they inspire you to remember the music of your life and celebrate the greatness that was the music industry.

* * *

Motown musicians were not on the vanguard of anti-war music, but they did record songs addressing the war, along with racism and its ancillary problems of poverty, projects, promiscuity and prison.

In 1973, Stevie Wonder released "Innervisions," considered by many, including me, to be his masterpiece, his most important recording. Comprised of songs about love, poverty, societal ills, racism, war, God, drugs, and politics, the album starts strong with "Too High," and rocks steadily through to the closing attack on Richard Nixon ("He's Misstra Know It All").

I was fifteen when the LP was released, and I purchased it immediately that summer, that magical summer of 1973. In those days, albums were released on LP, cassette and 8-Track. Some wealthy folks could afford reel-to-reel technology, but nobody I hung-out with. The LP meant that I was forced to listen to one side of the record, stop, flip the record and listen to the second side. I am certain I am not alone when I say that this meant I would choose one side to listen to more often than the other side.

"Innervisions," however, was a record that begged to be heard straight through. I probably favored side one, because it included "Living for the City" and I new all the words and all the breaks and it was so amazingly radical. But "Higher Ground" was on Side Two, which necessitated listening to both sides.

On "Too High," the opening keyboard riffs harmonizing with background vocals are poetry without words. The bass line is driving while the song remains relatively low-key. The lyrics are rhyming without being nonsensical, and like so many of his arrangements, the blend of harmonica and electric guitar is almost seamless. The song is about being high, getting high, staying high, living high, dying high, and never coming-down; pretty standard content for the times, but presented without being dramatic or obsessive.

"Visions" is a lovely, slow song that if released in 2005 would have been rapped, and would probably work well on a Jay-Z record. Again the lyrics rhyme, but without the tension of forced vocabulary trying to be witty. As a fan of Rodgers & Hart (even at 15 years old) I fell in love with the song-writing style of "standards." Wonder is blind (sight-impaired), sings simply over a couple of guitars, and uses the notion of vision easily and without irony, singing about colors and sights and beauty. "Do we have to find our wings and fly away to the vision in our mind?" "I know that leaves are green, they only turn to brown when autumn comes around." Simple, romantic, visual. Brilliant.

There is no gap before the bass line of "Living For The City" begins. Political songs can be tedious, but I am a fan. This cut is the story of a black family in Mississippi. They are poor, but they work hard. Their clothes are old and used, but they are clean. It is a long way to school, but they are educated and smart. The underlying themes of segregation, separate but equal education, racist labor practices, and an economy rigged against black people were not historical references; they were still very real in 1973 from Biloxi to Boston, from Los Angeles to New York. In the song, the son makes his way to New York City (" . . . just as I pictured it! Skyscrapers and everything. . . . ") where, on his first day in town, he is caught up in a police sweep of street drug users at Port Authority near Times Square. He is innocent, of course, but is arraigned, tried and sentenced (as most young black men are) to five years in prison. The bitterness in the song is engendered by racism in America. The song is not a fairy tale or an exaggeration, and in many ways is as valid a statement on the selective enforcement of drug laws in 2007 as it was in 1973. Though interrupted by the dialog of arrest and imprisonment, Wonder manages to get right back in the groove to bring the song to a tense, melodic crescendo. The song won a Grammy for best R&B single.

The tension of "Living for the City" is relieved by the beautiful love song "Golden Lady," and like the previous transition, there is no gap between the songs. A solo piano leads to a standard early-70s soul sound. The simple lyrics are a straight-forward love song. I never understood why this cut wasn't a charting single. Maybe if it had been sung by Lou Rawls, or another singer with a deeper soul sound, it may have garnered more attention. Wonder's is a pop voice, and does not really have the richness of the world's great soul singers.

The album's anti-war song, "Higher Ground" opens side two. A hit single that climbed to #4 on the pop charts, it has been covered by rock bands over the years and is totally relevant in the 21st century. This is a dance song whose message can be ignored by the ignorant, and can rock the socially conscious unlike most other message songs of the era. "Higher Ground" is one of my all-time favorite songs.

I never quite got "Jesus Children of America" in my teen years. It is an attack on religious zealotry, and then an attack the futility drug abuse.

Are you hearing, praying, feeling what you say inside?"

Are you standing for everything you talk about?"

Tell me junkie . . . Are you happy when you stick a needle in your vein?"

and then ends with the prayers:

Jesus died on the cross for you."

Mother Mary feels so much pain looking at him."

I need you Jesus."

In 1973, I was not a religious person, and I tended to shy away from music that was religious. Wonder is able to sing about God, Jesus, Mary, hope, drugs, desperation, dishonesty, and many spiritual conundrums without sounding preachy, Christian, or even religious. Is this his attitude, his tone of voice, or is it his song-writing skills?

Is "Jesus Children of America" a self-criticism, a personal plea for deliverance from the hell of addiction?

"All in Love Is Fair" is the weakest cut on the record. The lyrics are sophomoric and predictable, but the song is not unlistenable. It is leaps and bounds better than many other popular soul and R&B songs of the era. But when writers write about writers and their pens ("A writer takes his pen to write the words again that all in love is fair.") they have really gotten lazy. He can really turn a lyrical twist, but I find this particular attempt to be lacking. Some of the greatest songwriters write about writing, so it is not a crime against creativity, just a sort of cheap trick that has been used by some of the best. Unlike other cuts on the record, the precious poesy of this cut leaves me waiting for the next song to begin, which is easier to remedy in these days of digital media than it was when I had to lift the needle from the vinyl and find the groove that separated the songs.

"Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing" also placed in the Top 20 of the Pop Charts, making a final count of three Top 20 singles from nine songs. An impressive feat. Most recently, "Don't You Worry" was covered by John Legend. Opening with an amusing Hispanic rap replete with maracas, and a list of countries he's visited including "I-rock, I-ran," it is not the lyrics that make this a great song, it is the singing. Wonder shows-off his pipes and skills with pop-py scat singing and harmonizing; and the mixing of the background vocals is a precursor to the chaotic production of later artists like Lauryn Hill and other 21st century R&B artists.

"He's Misstra Know It All" almost doesn't fit on the record and almost seems like an after-thought, but it does work as a closing piece. It has always been said that Wonder wrote this song about then-President Richard Nixon, but most of the lyrics are generic enough that it could be about the Rockefellers, Bechtels, and Hunts of that time, or the Trumps, Waltons, and Romneys of today. The only real hint that it is about the nation's leader is this set of lyrics that reference our land and taxes:
If we had less of him, don't you know we'd have a better land, he's Misstra Know-It-All.

So give a hand to the man, although you've given out as much as you can, he's Misstra Know-It-All."

Nixon was an easy target in 1973, and Wonder's anti-homage ranks as one of the finest examples of popular opinion. It is probably second only to David Bowie's soulful lyric in "Young Americans" that asks us to remember Nixon and his connection to the state of our economy in the mid-70s.

Clocking in at 44:16 in its CD form (which adds tiny gaps between songs on "Side One" that had no gaps on vinyl), this is the fastest three-quarters of an hour in pop music history. The songs fly by and work perfectly one right after another.

The production is almost flawless, with my only complaint being the rough endings of some of the cuts on "Side Two" which were imperceptible in analog form but are irritating in digital form. I don't know if it is simple to fade-out a song, but it sure was a sloppy process on this record.

Innervisions won Album of the Year and Non-Classical Engineering at the Grammys, and "Living for the City" won for Best R&B Song.

If you have not ever owned this record, you are doing yourself a disservice. Buy it now and listen to it four or five times in a row. If you won't buy it, do yourself a favor and borrow it from the library. Everyone should hear this record all the way through at least once.

Track List:
Too High (4:36)
Visions (5:23)
Living for the City (7:22)
Golden Lady (4:58)
Higher Ground (3:42)
Jesus Children of America (4:10)
All in Love Is Fair (3:41)
Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing (4:44)
He's Misstra Know It All (5:35)

Total Playing Time: 44:16

Produced by: Stevie Wonder, Robert Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil

Recorded at: Record Plant (LA) and Media Sound (NYC)

Date of release: August 3, 1973

Label: Tamla

Stevie Wonder Bass, Harmonica, Piano, Drums, Keyboards, Vocals, Moog Synthesizer, Multi Instruments, Fender Rhodes, Moog Bass, Fender Electric Piano, Moog Bells
Ralph Hammer Acoustic Guitar
Dean Parks Acoustic Guitar
David T. Walker Electric Guitar
Clarence Bell Organ
Robert Margouleff Moog Synthesizer
Malcolm Cecil Bass
Scott Edwards Bass
Willie Weeks Bass
Larry Latimer Percussion, Conga, Background Vocals
Yusuf Roahman Percussion, Shaker
Sheila Wilkerson Percussion, Bongos, Gourd
Tasha Thomas Background Vocals
Jim Gilstrap Background Vocals
Lani Groves Background Vocals

All Music Guide
Official Stevie Wonder Site

Dick Mac Recommends:

Stevie Wonder

Or download:

Friday, October 19, 2007

Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry in Paris
I always say that one day I can play over there," Henry said. "I would love to. It's still early.

"Don't get me wrong, I just love the U.S. I don't know why. I love the way you live. I love American sports. For me, it's a dream to go to training and then see a game of football, basketball, whatever game. For me, New York is the best city in the world."

In an article in the New York Times, Thierry Henry discusses his love of American sports and his desire to play soccer in New York!

As a season ticket holder for the New York soccer team, this is exciting news. Juan Pablo Angel is currently our star striker; to add Henry up top with Angel would be a dream come true.

Sure, Henry is signed at Barcelona through 2011, but those things are negotiable.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Thierry Henry
Oliver Derbyshire

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Humor - Nice Ears

A man was in a bad accident and was injured. But the only permanent damage he suffered was the loss of both ears, which made him very self-conscious. However, he received a large sum of money from his insurance company.

It was always his dream to own his own business, so he went out and purchased a small, but expanding computer firm. But he realized that he had no business knowledge at all, so he decided that he would have to hire someone to run the business. He picked out three top candidates, and interviewed each of them. The last question of the interview was always the same.

"Do you notice anything unusual about me?" He asked the first candidate.

"Yes. You have no ears."

He quickly eliminated the first candidate.

"Do you notice anything unusual about me?" He asked the second candidate.

"Yes. You have no ears."

He quickly eliminated the second candidate.

"Do you notice anything unusual about me?" he asked the third candidate.

"Yes. You're wearing contacts."

Thinking he had found the man for the job he said, "that's correct. How did you know?"

"You can't wear glasses if you don't have any ears."

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Greatest Songs of the Seventies
Barry Manilow

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Turn To The Left (Fashion!) Turn to The Right

A few years back, David Bowie, the husband of international supermodel, Iman, agreed to endorse the new line of haute couture from Tommy Hilfiger labelled H.

I know, I know, it sounds oxymoronic: using "haute couture" and "Hilfiger" in the same sentence is absurd. But the tedious urban designer gave it his best shot and hired Iman to wear the clothes and paid her husband to endorse the line.

The line was a failure, and was finally put to rest in 2005, less than two years into its existence.

Would anyone with real money to spend on real fashion want to purchase anything made by a designer as tacky as Tommy Hilfiger? Really, there is no designer lower on the food chain than Hilfiger.

So, I was flabbergasted that a style icon like David Bowie would even consider an association with Hilfiger. For any amount of money.

It exposed Bowie and Iman as either completely lacking in style sense, or so sinfully avaricious that they couldn't see past their bank accounts. The latter is obvious, but the mere notion that the former could be true is upsetting.

I am a huge David Bowie fan and until that decision he WAS the most important male fashion icon of his generation. For decades! I rationalize his participation in this project by believing that Iman cut a bad business deal and Bowie went along for the ride to support his wife. But, of course, I will never know if this is true.

I often wondered if Bowie could ever present himself as a fashion icon again. How does one erase the H Hilfiger debacle from their past? Does that smell ever dissipate? How can a star recover from a failure like that and gain credibility among regular consumers?

Maybe you start from the beginning again. No, I don't mean to wear dresses at press conferences and leotards on stage. Start appealling to consumers. Regular people who buy things. Start at the bottom, with clothes the regular person can afford.

I know this is going to sound absurd, but I think it might work: put your name on a line of men's clothing that sells for discount prices at Target.

Wait! He has! God bless him!

Bowie by Keanan Duffty, exclusively at Target!

Now here is an endorsement that puts you in the eyes of an adoring public. Here is a line of clothing that can garner you new, young fans while amusing your old, old fans!

Target's press release says:
David Bowie, a prominent figure on the rock music scene for over five decades, is widely regarded as an influential innovator, especially for his musical work from the 1970s. Taking cues from a wide range of fine art, philosophy and literature Bowie has become one of the most iconic players in the music industry.

The limited-edition Bowie by Keanan Duffty collection will be available at most Target stores and October 14 through December 24, 2007. Keanan Dufftyís fall 2007 collection will be available at select Target stores and on in September. Read more . . .

Good move, sailor!

I may not be able to wear these clothes at my advanced age, but I will certainly buy some!

Dick Mac Recommends:

Diamond Dogs - 30th Anniversary Edition
David Bowie

Monday, October 15, 2007

500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art

This is rather lovely . . .

eggman913 (a/k/a Phillip, from St. Louis), published this remarkable video on

The music is Bach's Sarabande from Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 performed by Yo-Yo Ma; and the images range from "Archangel" attributed to the Novgorod School, Russia, 12th Century, to Picasso's "Portrait of Françoise," 1946.

boniyetta, another denizen, has identified each of the images at the website.

Thanks to both for this little web treat.

Dick Mac Recommends:


Friday, October 12, 2007

Doris Lessing, Nobel Laureate

The Nobel prizes have been awarded by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences each year for over a century. The foundation for the award was established by the last will of Alfred Nobel, whose biography can be found here.

Prizes are awarded annually for advances in medicine, physics, chemistry, literature, peace, and beginning in 1969, economics.

You can add Doris Lessing to the top of the list of Nobel Laureates in Literature.

Lessing was the writer who breathed the first breaths of life into the feminist dialog of the twentieth century, and at 88 has finally received the award for which she has been short-listed for decades.

Read her reaction to the award, which carries a $1.6 million dollar prize along with unfathomable presitge, in this article at the New York Times site.

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Golden Notebook
Doris Lessing

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pocket Shot

I have been in the business world, working in one ivory tower or another, for about twenty-five years. During that time many things have changed:

I am no longer allowed to smoke at my desk or in a smoking room or anywhere in the building, I cannot tell jokes lest I offend by crossing neo-conservative lines of political correctness that have taken the place of actual social change and justice, I cannot wear a suit and tie lest my slovenly colleagues shudder in fear that "casual" attire will be eliminated as a dress code if too many people dress-up, although alcohol is served in very controlled company situations there is no longer the three-martini lunch and it is unacceptable to have the smell of alcohol on your breath in the afternoon.

The list goes on and includes alleged sensitivities to groups of allegedly disenfranchised people. The lists of the disenfranchised includes conflicting, diametrically opposed concepts. Single, childless adults are disenfranchised as are married parents. Women and people of color are disenfranchised even when they are millionaires; but white men living at the poverty line are not. The young are protected and the old are protected, but the middle-aged population is pretty much fucked. White men who are homosexual enjoy more protection than their heterosexual counterparts, and the richer the white homosexual man the more protection he can afford.

Sure, I believe there are groups that need protection. People of color, women, homosexuals, the handicapped, children, and the elderly all need to be protected. A decent society protects these people.

We, however, are not a decent society and instead of providing actual protection to these groups, we have proscribed language and cultural phenomena and instead of changing we have learned to pay-off members of the protected groups who are offended by anyone at anytime.

There is no actual change, there is just proscription and pay-off. It's sort of embarrassing.

The group I think that is treated most unfairly is the active alcoholic. Alcohol, though controlled and addictive, is a legal substance that is easily obtained almost everywhere in America. Until the advent of political correctness, which (not coincidentally) coincided with the advent of neo-conservatism, an alcoholic could have a drink (or two or three) at lunch and not really suffer any consequences in the workplace as long as her work was completed. Drinking at lunch, however, is no longer acceptable in the business world and it is rare that you see martini glasses on a restaurant table during lunch.

I noticed this over the past few years as I watched the price of a business lunch remain the same even though no booze was being ordered. What has happened is that restaurants, in an effort to maintain receipts, has had to raise the price of the food to cover the loss of liquor revenue.

Unfair I say! When alcoholics were allowed free reign during lunch, the price of food in pubs and finer restaurants remained low. Now that drinking at lunch is frowned-upon, the food prices have sky-rocketed!

How can we increase drinking at lunch to reign-in rising food costs?

One company, Pocket Shot, is facilitating the consumption of alcohol by offering " . . . a brand new way to enjoy your favorite hard liquor."

Each Pocket Shot is sealed in a near unbreakable, flexible, squishable, pocket stuffable pouch making them perfect for active activities, outdoor adventures, and glass restricting venues.

Bring a nip to the office, the morning commute, the toilet, the ballpark, behind the wheel, any place where it has become difficult to bring an old-fashioned flask or half-pint bottle.

If more people start using the Pocket Shot it is possible that drinking-at-lunch might come back into vogue! If drinking-at-lunch returns, then the food prices at restaurants can stabilize and those of us who do not drink can eat far more cheaply!

C'mon folks! Drink up! Visit Pocket Shot and spend spend spend!

Dick Mac does not condone underage drinking. So don't get caught!

Dick Mac Recommends:

Essential Sly & Family Stone
Sly & Family Stone

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


There are many types of brushes with which to paint, and many non-brush instruments for applying paint to canvas, paper, and other surfaces. I often like the block-y look of paints applied to canvas with a trowel.

Not all paintings use paint, either. I remember a series of paintings I saw that included coffee as the medium used to apply the color brown. One artist some years ago did his paintings in house paint and now museums around the world are trying to figure out how to restore them because, well, house paint peels, even in the best conditions.

Educated at Oakwood Prep School, near Chichester, the Bembridge Public School, Portsmouth College of Art, and West of England Academy of Art, the artist born Timothy James Francis Patch (now known as Pricasso), lives in Beechmont, Australia, and paints with his penis.

He does nudes, primarily, which makes sense. Since he is painting with his penis, then everyone might as well be naked.

On second thought: If I am going to sit for a guy to paint my portrait with his penis, I think I want to keep my clothes on, thank you.

Pricasso refers to the location of his public school as the Isle of White UK. I can't find any reference to the Isle of White, but find listings for the same public school on the eastern tip of the Isle of Wight.

Is it common for former residents of the Isle of Wight to refer to it as the Isle of White? I have never heard of this.

Anyway . . . Pricasso has a website, and you can commission him to paint you with his penis. (Where I come from, that is generally referred to as prostitution, but now I am showing my age.)

What the hell . . give him a call. Have your portrait done and tell him Dick sent you.


Dick Mac Recommends:

I Am The President / Radio Free Nixon
David Frye

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A tough week at the office

Some weeks just seem like this:

This is one of those weeks!

Dick Mac Recommends:

Some Short Stories About Nasty People I Don't Like

Monday, October 08, 2007

Horse-Drawn Carriages

Sometimes animals in romantic situations can be positively uplifting. Elephants at the circus, sea lions at the zoo, horse-drawn carriages around Central Park, are all sights that New Yorkers take for granted.

I am not a fan of pets, nor a fan of animal abuse, but it never occurred to me until the last couple years that an entrapped elephant dancing in the circus is a prisoner, a slave. The sea lions performing tricks for their dinner have helped us learn more about them, but at what price? The horses pulling carriages down Fifty-Ninth Street are competing for road space with trucks and automobiles.

Although I love watching my daughter watch the sea lions, I get a pang of guilt as they bark and leap on command.

I love the zoo. One of our best outings this Summer was a day at the Bronx Zoo, and I look forward to going back. I love seeing so many different kinds of animals right here in New York City. But at what price to the animals?

I want to bring my daughter to the circus, but what is the real cost? It's not the hundred dollar tickets, it's the abuse of the animals. It's cruel.

My friend Eva directed me to the All Creatures website where I learned about the dangers of the quaint, romantic horse-drawn carriages in Central Park. Their Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn Carriages is making headway and working hard to educate people about the dangers of this seemingly innocuous practice.

Go to the site and read-up on the issue. It's important.

Thanks to Eva for sending this along.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Diamond Dogs - 30th Anniversary Edition
David Bowie

Friday, October 05, 2007


Republican Senator Larry Craig, who was arrested for soliciting sex in a men's room but pleaded down to a lewd behavior charge to which he pleaded guilty, initially planned to resign from the Senate, but has decided to rescind his resignation.

Craig is despicable. He is an anti-gay homosexual. He likes a little cock now and then but loathes men who are liberated from the constraints of last-century norms that required him to marry a woman. He can't live with his sexual feelings for men, so he torments and abuses men who are comfortable with those feelings.

The New York Times published an article about his recent decision. Craig Says He’ll Stay in Senate, Defying G.O.P. Wishes

What happened to Craig in a men's room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport is as despicable as the man himself.

Police entrapment of men soliciting sex with other men is as old as law enforcement itself. My experience is that it is usually the result of a corrupt prosecutor's office.

Having grown-up in Boston, I watched the antics of Garrett Byrne, the District Attorney of Suffolk County for over forty years. Each election year, Byrne would stage one fantastic bust after another, at which the media happily "reported" the heinous crimes of the alleged criminals. He prosecuted William Burroughs for "Naked Lunch," he busted the plays "O! Calcutta" and "Hair" for nudity. He created crime where there was controversy and he entrapped people whose lives were sometimes destroyed by his actions.

Sex was a favorite scandal for him, and in 1977, his fabricated "Revere Sex Ring" which resulted in the arrest and media-provided public humiliation of 24 men, was his undoing. When progressive media and community activists exposed Byrne's shenanigans, he lost his re-election bid.

An article about the sex scandal (that includes some inaccuracies) can be found at Free Market News.

The Suffolk County District Attorney's office was taken over by one of Byrne's senior assistants, Newman Flanagan, who tried to continue his predecessor's antics the following year with a series of arrests in the men's room of the Boston Public Library. I became involved in the defense and support of some of the men arrested in this episode, and the police were more than just a little bit embarrassed by the whole thing. Publicity of the event went against the D.A., and eventually charges were reduced dramatically or dropped altogether. And old-fashioned entrapment (like the methods used against Larry Craig) fell out of fashion in Boston law enforcement circles.

This sort of entrapment is reprehensible, uncalled for, unnecessary, and unconstitutional. Though I loathe Senator Larry Craig, as I hope everyone will, it is not because he likes to suck a little cock now and then, it is because he is a neo-conservative opportunist who will crush those most marginalized in our society for his own personal gain. He is a scumbag.

But he was entrapped, and that is a different conversation that we have to have.

Is it OK for police to sit in toilets looking for men who are looking for men, and arrest them? Is this the sort of enforcement of the law that taxpayers think makes the world a safer place? I don't think so.

The police might better serve America by arresting men who beat women and rape children and steal large sums of money and deregulate industry.

Entrapment like that that snared Larry Craig is not intended to make the world safer; it are intended to increase arrest numbers and garner publicity for prosecutors and police chiefs. It is politically motivated, and despicable.

And the ACLU thinks it is unconstitutional.

ACLU Says Secret Sting Operation Used to Arrest Senator Larry Craig Was Likely Unconstitutional (9/17/2007)

No matter what you think of neo-conservative senators, entrapment is worse.

And in this day and age, should be non-existent.

Speak-out against entrapment.

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Boston Sex Scandal

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Dogs Used as Shark Bait

I object to the enslavement of small animals for personal enjoyment. I know people like to refer to them as "pets." I refer to them as slaves. Cats and dogs trapped in homes while their human masters roam the planet at will.

It gets worse:

Dogs Used as Shark Bait on French Island

The story is shocking and the picture is gruesome.

Photo in the News: Dog Saved From Shark-Bait Fate

All animals deserve better.

Abusing animals is a crime. I wish enslaving them was a crime, too.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Diamond Dogs - 30th Anniversary Edition
David Bowie

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

New York Times Stops Charging For Its Web Site

Linking to articles from the mainstream media has been difficult because eventually they either remove the story after its shelf-life has expired (Yahoo!), or they move it behind a subscription wall (New York Times).

Linking to an article that eventually was hidden behind a subscription wall made it difficult to share information with my readers.

I know that some believe I am occasionally in violation of copyrights, but I acknowledge the copyrights and I try to link to the source. I never pretend that I have written something I am reprinting. And I am hardly profiteering off the published works of others.

Good news came a couple weeks ago when the New York Times, still one of the best papers available even in its current neo-con condition of having supported the invasion of Iraq and perpetuating the disintegration of our electoral process, disbanded its online subscription fees and made access to their daily a free site!

Well done, New York Times!

Times to Stop Charging for Parts of Its Web Site
The New York Times will stop charging for access to parts of its Web site, effective at midnight tonight.

The move comes two years to the day after The Times began the subscription program, TimesSelect, which has charged $49.95 a year, or $7.95 a month, for online access to the work of its columnists and to the newspaper’s archives. TimesSelect has been free to print subscribers to The Times and to some students and educators.

In addition to opening the entire site to all readers, The Times will also make available its archives from 1987 to the present without charge, as well as those from 1851 to 1922, which are in the public domain. There will be charges for some material from the period 1923 to 1986, and some will be free.

The Times said the project had met expectations, drawing 227,000 paying subscribers — out of 787,000 over all — and generating about $10 million a year in revenue. More . . .

Now when I link from an article here to an article at the Times, you will see the article!

Dick Mac Recommends:

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John Lennon, Yoko Ono, The Mothers

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Juan Pablo Angel es Muy Atractivo

People en Espanol, the Spanish-language version of the insipid English-language weekly, has released their list of Los Hombres Más Sexy 2007.

To my glee, they announced:
¡Que se cuide David Beckham, pues llegó Juan Pablo Angel! Con sus facciones ultra-varoniles, un bronceado natural y su tremenda musculatura, el delantero colombiano de 31 años, del equipo los Red Bulls de Nueva York, trae hipnotizas a las aficionadas del fútbol.

I'm not certain what it says, but I think it says something like: Juan Pablo Angel, age 31, with his extremely masculine features and bronzed muscular body, is much sexier than David Beckham.

I concur.

The magazine rates Juan Pablo number Three, from a list of impressively handsome stars.

Juan Pablo Angel es Muy Atractivo

Read more in an article at Red Bulls site.

Juan Pablo Angel es Muy Atractivo

Now, I would like Juan Pablo to be named MLS Newcomer of the Year, MLS Most Valuable Player, lead Red Bull New York to the MLS Championship, and be named MLS Playoff MVP!

That's not too much to ask, is it?

Dick Mac Recommends:

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Hope Solo and the Women's National Team

Hope Solo, until recently the starting goalkeeper for the United States Women's soccer team, ended a run of 300 minutes of scoreless matches, which included the following World Cup performances:

US 3-0 England
Nigeria 0-1 US
Sweden 0-2 US

How did this remarkable run of victories and scoreless performances come to an end?

You might think it was due to a loss, but it wasn't. Nor was it related to her sudden death and/or unavailability to play.


After winning three important matches leading up to the World Cup semi-final, coach Greg Ryan thought it would be a good idea to bench the goalkeeper who has led the team through these victories. Matches in which she allowed no goals.

The result?

Brazil 4-0 US

Brazil won to go to the World Cup final, leaving the US to play Norway for third place. The US won third place (4-1), and Solo was left off the squad for the match.

Third place is no consolation.

Germany took the World Cup championship.

Did the US have to settle for third place because the coach took Solo out of the semi-final match? We will never know. But I have to question the thinking of any coach who would take a winner off the team, and then watch the team lose.

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