Scott Stapp Is No David Hasselhoff

The Marlins commissioned former Creed lead drinkersinger Scott Stapp to create an inspiring theme song for the team. Instead, he gave them this:

On the unintentional comedy scale it's not a bad effort at all. The mental image of a three-quarter ton fish soaring gracefully through the air is hella stupid, and Stapp's We Didn't Start the Fire-esque litany of random baseball terms in the second verse makes you wonder if he's ever actually seen a game of baseball, or just did a Google search.

But what's with the video? So disappointing. At the very least, I want Stapp green-screening himself into some footage and hitting a home run or making a diving catch. Or better still, being the first guy to run in and hug Josh Beckett after they won their second World Series. I mean, he's already got the jersey with 'Stapp' on the back.

Scott, buddy, if you want to be taken seriously as an ironic rock icon (and let's be honest, that might be your only remaining shot at staying relatively famous) you are really going to have to step it up a notch.

The Market Has Spoken

Saw this over at BooMan, and didn't think it was that big a deal. And when I started reading the article, I felt that way even more strongly. For one thing, the SEC's suit against Goldman Sachs is civil, not criminal. It's just window dressing in advance of the financial reform bill, I said to myself, and won't really mean much in the end.

Then I got to the punch line.

In the half-hour after the suit was announced, Goldman Sachs’s stock fell by more than 10 percent.

A 10 percent drop in 30 minutes??? The jig is well and truly up, boys. Pick your favorite metaphor: rats fleeing a sinking ship, gangsters trying to get out the back door while the cops raid the speakeasy, whatever.

Even if Goldman successfully ducks the court case, their run as Wall Street fraudsters-in-chief is done.

I wonder who will rise up in their place?

Slow But Steady

Here's someone I never thought I'd be linking to, but what the hell: even Glenn Reynolds likes Obama's new space exploration policy.

Note the "I’ve surprised a couple of talk-radio hosts recently" statement. Mindless, reflexive dissent is still the rule of the day on the right, but the more Obama governs like a responsible, sane grown-up and not like the crazy Marxist they wish he was, the harder it's going to be to keep that rhetoric going.

It's like watching time-lapse video of the tide eroding away a stone. Every time someone likes Reynolds says, "Well, he made the right decision on this", it undermines the narrative just a little bit more.

Summing Up Futility

The Washington Nationals are entering their sixth year of existence. They just cut loose a pitcher, Jason Bergmann, who's been mediocre at best and awful at worst for his entire Nats career.

He's also the franchise's career leader in strikeouts, with 299.

Two Birds, One Stone

Bolivia extends a giant middle finger to American corporate interests and the Drug War simultaneously. Nice.

I'm not sure a carbonated beverage with a red label named 'Coca Colla' is going to survive a court challenge, or have any chance of being exported internationally, but it's still funny as hell.

The Wrath of Dodd

Despite his history, I said a while ago that Dodd was the best guy to take point on a financial reform bill, because as a guy who knows he's got almost no shot at re-election he had no reason to play it safe.

With that said... damn. You go, girl.

(via BJ)

Scratch One Off the Bucket List

Last night, the most amazing thing happened. Someone actually tried to pull the 'keep making change until the other person screws up' con on me.

If you watched Cheers back in the day, you know the routine. Guy came into the store and bought the smallest thing he could find, a little windup toy, with a $50 bill. For his kid, donchaknow. After I gave him his change, he apologized and said he just realized he had small bills after all, and could he get his $50 back. He then slowly counted out a pile of $5's (slowly, because he'd had a stroke, donchaknow) and handed them over. I put the $50 on the counter next to them and counted the pile. It came to $45.

Oh, I'm sorry, he said. I had a stroke. He added another $5 to the pile, then stacked them on top of the $50 and quickly said, hey, why don't you just give me five $20's for the whole thing?

It was all I could do not to laugh at him.

I've had plenty of people try the "my car broke down just over that hill there and I need bus fare and it's getting dark and scary and there are wolves chasing me" routine before (to the point that I even critiqued one guy's performance, since he seemed really nervous about the whole thing. I don't think he appreciated it), but never that classic short-changing scam before. I feel like I can retire now.

For the record, the $50 bill (which is what I ended up with) did not seem to be counterfeit.

By the Hairy Hosts of Hoggoth!

I'm finally pulling the trigger and getting my hair cut short. Appointment booked for Thursday.

This is a Bidenesque BFD. I've had long hair forever. I enjoy having flowing rock 'n' roll locks, and feeling the breeze blow it back. And my head toss to get the bangs out of my eyes is legendary in Toronto karaoke circles.

But I've also got gray creeping in at the temples, and that's as good a sign as any that it is time to put away childish things and get a more grown-up 'do. I mean, long hair and gray temples together is just douchey. I'd feel like a Bruce McCullogh character.

The funny thing from my perspective is that anyone I've mentioned this to just says, "Well then dye your hair", as though I'm worried about going gray. I've got no problem with going gray. In fact, I'm looking forward to rocking the Dr. Strange look (although, since I don't do mustaches or capes, maybe I should call it the Reed Richards look instead.) I just can't do it and have long hair at the same time.

What this means for the rest of the world is that long hair is about to make a big comeback as a respectable hairstyle. I am almost always completely out of synch with prevailing trends.

Swelling the Ranks of the Uninsured

Apparently, the portion of the HCR bill dealing with the Congressional health care plan was so poorly drafted that Congresscritters and their staffers may have been booted off their cushy plan the moment Obama signed the bill into law:

The law apparently bars members of Congress from the federal employees health program, on the assumption that lawmakers should join many of their constituents in getting coverage through new state-based markets known as insurance exchanges.

But the research service found that this provision was written in an imprecise, confusing way, so it is not clear when it takes effect.

The new exchanges do not have to be in operation until 2014. But because of a possible “drafting error,” the report says, Congress did not specify an effective date for the section excluding lawmakers from the existing program.

Under well-established canons of statutory interpretation, the report said, “a law takes effect on the date of its enactment” unless Congress clearly specifies otherwise. And Congress did not specify any other effective date for this part of the health care law.

Thanks for this bit of comedy go to Chuck Grassley, who introduced the original amendment, and Baucus' Finance Committee as a whole, who tinkered with it. Bravo, folks! Well done!

While I imagine we'll get rote wailing of "They don't even know what's in the bill!" from the usual suspects (EDIT: I don't need to imagine it) I for one am thrilled with this development. No one should have been under any illusions that the bill would require tinkering down the road after it collided with reality, and its actual effects were revealed.

A screw-up like this should hopefully give Congress a bit of incentive to stay on top of it, and make those necessary tweaks in a timely fashion.

Michael Lehmann Syndrome

I see that one of the most dread diseases in Hollywood has claimed another victim, with Neil LaBute's Death At A Funeral hitting theaters. Yes, that's right -- the guy who burst onto the scene with In the Company of Men and Your Friends & Neighbors a decade-plus ago is now reduced to directing wannabe Tyler Perry comedies.

What the hell happened to LaBute? Oh, right, Nurse Betty and the gawd-awful Wicker Man remake, that's what. Two well-received indie flicks get you some attention, but two certified big budget bombs get you cast into the abyss and make sure you don't get another shot at doing something edgy or remotely interesting.

I call the disease Michael Lehmann Syndrome because I consider his the most tragic case. Going from Heathers to the awesome-but-ignored giant bug comedy Meet the Applegates to one of the most notorious flops of the modern era, Hudson Hawk got Lehmann consigned to directing tame dreck like the Truth About Cats and Dogs and Because I Said So in the years since. He's since carved out a nice career for himself on cable TV (directing episodes of the Larry Sanders Show, Big Love and True Blood, among others) but the chances of him being allowed to make another odd little movie gem are almost nil.

The Third Leg

Ezra and Markos jump on board the "immigration reform = better Dem voter turnout in the midterms" bandwagon, something I've been suggesting for a while now.

Village Idiot Wisdom still says the Dems are going to take a pounding this fall. And we all know that Village Idiot Wisdom is never wrong...

Good For a Goosing

So, if two relatively insufferable twats like Hitch and Dawkins can get their shit together enough to try to get the Pope arrested, surely Michael Moore or somebody on the American left can produce some arrest warrants for Cheney, Yoo and the rest of the Bush-era torture architects, right?

This is national pride at stake here. Are we really going to let the Brits take the lead in bringing notorious international criminals to justice despite the veneer of authority and respectability they used to disguise the nature of their crimes?

Being John Malkovich Was Right

Thanks to Twitter, now everyone in Hollywood really is friends with each other.

I hope someone corrected Aimee Mann though, and let her know that Twitter is actually her and four million other dorky friends ragging on TV stars.