Saturday, June 26, 2010

20/20's Michael Jackson Broadcast: Slanted and Scripted

Readers, I have a question for you: is the ABC News Show 20/20 supposed to be objective news reporting or is it kind of tabloidy in nature? I mean the show has boasted some of America's most famous (and most respected) news people. Barbara Walters and Chris Wallace for instance. Here's why I ask. Last night I watched the 2-hour piece devoted to Michael Jackson, a year after his death. In my previous blog I wrote about my experiences the day MJ died, and I wrote that he's the greatest entertainer ever. I still stand by all that. But this thing they ran on 20/20 last night was probably the most insulting 2 hours of TV I've ever seen. No way a respectable news outlet could run that. What do I mean? Here's what I mean . . .

The show was done in six segments all devoted to Jackson. I'll tell you about some of the segments in the 2nd hour. The most insulting was when correspondent Cynthia McFadden was interviewing Jackson's 3 former wardrobe people, who also claim to have dressed Jackson for his coffin. Readers, what can I say: they were clearly actors. When recalling Michael, the blatantly fake tears were rolling on all three. At one point, the wardrobe woman said (through quivering lip) that everyday began with her and Jackson "crying and hugging and praying for several, several minutes." Really? Then the show would throw out a question about the way Jackson appeared in public or why he wore pajamas to court, or any other issue that America had with Jackson being weird. McFadden would toss these three wardrobe people softball questions about it, and they would describe how Jackson was really "normal" for wearing lip stick and eye liner, and how he was about being spectacular, and how there was nothing wrong with that, etc, etc. Every question was scripted and every answer was pre-rehearsed to combat questions about Jackson's wild ways. McFadden, not a single follow-up question. She was just like, "oh wow, that sounds so sweet," and "Michael sounds so great," and "America totally has the wrong idea about him." Ahhhhhhh! It was pathetic! The Jackson people were OBVIOUSLY controlling what was being put on TV.

The next segment was meant to combat questions about Jackson's parenting (i.e. the baby dangling incident in Germany and Jackson making his kids wear masks). So 20/20 dragged out some woman who claimed to be his cook, and she carried on about how NORMAL Jackson was at home and how GREAT of a parent he was, and how the public had it all wrong about Jackson and his kids, and on, and on, and on. After that the show went after the production company that was going to put on the THIS IS IT showcase in London. Basically 20/20 was allowing the blame for Jackson's death to be put on the company behind these 50 concerts. They (this A&G company) neglected Jackson's declining health. They pushed him too hard. They were cruel. Jackson was the victim. Jackson was the victim. Then his makeup woman shot down all the talk about his face surgeries and the fact that he had no nose. No, no she claimed, not true. Michael had a nose, he didn't have surgeries, that's all untrue. Come on, please! The show closed with Usher and Justin Beiber talking about how great Jackson was in every way. Look, I know the American public is largely dumb. I get it. I mean, most of you think Sandy Bullock is a great actress, and THE BLINDSIDE was a good movie. But come on. 20/20 can't think the American public is this dumb. Can they? It was like an SNL skit. The person I was watching with was convinced it was a spoof. CONVINCED! I was like, "no, it's 20/20. It's real. I think."

I love Jackson. But wow. This news piece was so slanted and over-the-top from start to finish. I just can't believe that 20/20 would let such an obviously pro-Jackson camp come in and kidnap this show to make Jackson's case as a normal guy to the American public once again. And, as a viewer, you could see that kind of crazy Jackson-family angle painted all over the whole broadcast. For instance, the Jackson family thinks that crying and praying and hugging would be endearing to the American public. I feel like every time they try to make Michael come off as "normal" they make him look even crazier. That 20/20 last night looked like a glimpse into a cult. It was so overdone and melodramatic. Shame on 20/20. In my eyes that show has zero respectability left. It was a phony playact of news.

My question: why can't the Jackson camp just admit what he was? Why all this insane PR mumbo-jumbo all the time? He was a super performer who was not a well-adjusted guy off stage. Period. This whole thing about him not having a childhood and always trying to reclaim it is just a story Jackson made up to cover the fact that he liked to engage with young boys. To justify or mask maybe. Furthermore, I think Jackson wished he was a woman like Princess Diana, and that's what was behind the face surgeries. This whole not wanting to look like his dad angle is crap. Look at pictures of him late in life. He looks like a woman. Literally.

I will tell you what is going to happen. The Jackson family is going to use this 20/20 as a springboard to sue the company who wanted to put on the London shows before Jackson died. It is going to be one last, pathetic attempt by this talentless clan to ride MJ's financial coat tails one more time. I set the figure at 150 million, and predict the charge will be neglect or cruel mistreatment that led to Jackson's death. They will lose. It will be humiliating, and hopefully Joe Jackson and co. will go away, and Michael's music will be the only thing left. I, of course, wish his kids well in the world of reality TV fame. But for now I am sickened by that 20/20 show last night. Don't believe me, click on the link below. It was a tragedy of journalism. OK, no more Michael Jackson blogs.

See the whole show yourself = http://abcnews.go.com/2020/meet-2020s-anchors-correspondents/story?id=6637057

Check out MTV's site about Michael Jackson = http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/jackson_michael/artist.jhtml

Brian Huba
6/26/10

Thursday, June 17, 2010

NBA Finals Game 7: Biggest NBA Game Ever!

Tonight is the first NBA Finals Game 7 in 5 years, 4th in 25 years! That’s big. How big? It is my belief that this game tonight (ABC, 9PM) is the biggest game in NBA history. Am I crazy? Nope. Am I just woefully unaware of the game’s history? Don’t think so. Why do I say this is the biggest? Here’s some history then a few reasons why.

First off if an NBA Finals game 7 between the NBA’s two most storied franchises the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics isn’t the biggest ever, what’s bigger? The nominees are: 1957, the first NBA championship in what was to become the Celtics dynasty. A hard-fought series against the Hawks. Jim Loscutoff won the game for the Celtics in double overtime in Game 7. That’s a good one, but I don’t think so. How about 1966 when Celtics’ coach Red Auerbach lit his “victory cigar” halfway through the 4th quarter of that finals game? Good story. Who cares about the game? To me Red A and all that era is just a lot of grainy, slow-going basketball. So I say: no. Game 7, 1970: The Willis Reed moment. OK, that was huge, but come on it wasn’t out of this world. I think it’s been blown up to be way more than it really was at the time. The 1976 3-overtime game between Boston and Phoenix is considered the “greatest” game ever, but not the biggest. Game 6, 1980: Magic plays center and scores 42 against the Sixers in place of an injured Abdul-Jabbar. Again, not game 7. Here’s a few more. When Michael Jordan beat Magic Johnson's Lakers in ’91, officially taking the torch as the next NBA great. Sure. But then again Jordan did it in 5 games. 1994: Knicks take a 3-2 lead to Houston and lose in game 7, all while the OJ Simpson White Bronco chase is going on. Honestly, I was more interested in Al Cowlings and the Juice. Chicago vs. Utah, because that was the end of Jordan/Pippen/Jackson, the end of Malone/Stockton’s run as well. OK, that was big, no doubt. The Spurs mini-dynasty? Nah. Boring. Nobody cared. The Shaq-Kobe Lakers? All those finals were basically bloodbaths. You knew who was winning before the ball even went up. I say tonight has the potential to be the biggest game ever.

How about the history of this particular series? Of course these two teams (Boston and LA) have played against each other in the Finals many times, with Boston going 9-2 against the Lakers in those series. Most recently Boston defeated LA in six games in 2008. You remember Paul Pierce’s pathetic attempt to recreate the Willis Reed moment. Bird vs. Magic was always big (Magic 2-1 over Bird head-to-head). The running hook shot by Magic. The towel whip by Larry Bird on the Garden sideline. Big socks and insanely-high shorts. All memorable moments of course. Chamberlain vs. Russell. The 1969 Championship, a.k.a. Russell’s last good run in green. I get it, the history is huge, and the rivalry is the greatest in sports. Between Boston and LA they have half of all the championships ever won in league history. Half! Translation: In the NBA, nobody matters except Boston and LA. But again I say tonight’s game is the biggest ever.

Right off the bat you have to realize that tonight, win, lose, or draw (wait, no draw, this isn’t soccer, there will be a winner), Boston's Big 3 of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen will be broken up. That’s just the nature of the game today. In fact, many reputable rumors (if there can be such a thing) place Ray Allen in Miami next year with Dwayne Wade. At season’s end, Pierce can opt out of his contract for more money, and all three of them are heading towards their mid-thirties. That’s old in the NBA. So for them, this is it, the last chance to take their place at history’s main table with 2 championships. Tony Allen, who’s a great Celtic role player, may have options around the league for a bigger role and more money. As for Boston head coach, Doc Rivers, he has made it known that he is leaning towards taking a year or two or three off from coaching to be with his kids. Yep, that old line again. Doc is young and can coach again anytime he wants. Many believe that his time in Bean town is coming to a close, win or lose. So Boston fans beware, your Celtics will look much different in 2011. Maybe even that big, clowny red-haired guy will actually get to suit up next season.

As for the LA Lakers, this could be the end of a 3-year run to the Finals as well. Of course Kobe and Pau Gasol aren’t going anywhere, and Odom is under contract. But the entire bench is at the end of its collective contract(s), Ron Artest is nothing more than a rent-a-player, and it’s not promised that LA will again sign aging point guard Derek Fisher, who has been a key ingredient in LA’s four championships since 2000. But the biggest ????? is head coach Phil Jackson, the most celebrated NBA coach ever (244 playoff wins, 11 championships if he wins tonight), the architect of the triangle offense, and the lord-overseer of Jordan’s 6 rings and Kobe’s 4. His contract is up and there’s no way he’s going to get a new deal at 12 million a year. Translation: He’d have to take a pay cut to stay on LA’s bench. Plus he's mid-sixties with a body that's breaking down. If the Lakers win I say Phil comes back and goes for the 3-peat. If they lose I say there’s a good chance he walks/hobbles away. But who knows. This very well could be the end of Phil Jackson in LA or anywhere. That in itself is gigantic.

And in the middle of all this chaos hangs the legacy of Kobe Bryant. I believe that Kobe is the greatest NBA player ever. That’s right, I said ever. Kobe is 12th on the all-time scoring list right now(26,000 points) and 4th all-time on the playoff scoring list (5,000). In the end, he may not be the all-time leading scorer, but he's going to pass Jordan on both lists, I believe. In the last 14 years Kobe has been to 7 NBA Finals. If your name isn’t Kobe, Shaq, or Tim Duncan, you haven’t mattered in the NBA since 2000. My 20’s are defined by watching Kobe play for a championship. Nothing has been more regular than seeing Kobe kiss his wife and kids in the tunnel after an NBA Finals game. Hell, he was at the top of the mountain when I was failing Statistics I at HVCC. That’s longevity, my friends. But, like I said before, Kobe cannot lose to the same team twice in three years and be considered the greatest ever. Translation: Kobe Bryant must win this game! It’s game 7, it’s in LA. He just has to win, simple as that. If Kobe does win, he will, at age 31, tie Magic with 5 rings as a Laker. He will come within 1 ring of tying Jordan’s 6 rings. He will move past Shaq and Tim Duncan, who each have 4. He will be in the top-top echelon of all-time players, with, I’d say, another six years to play, at least, maybe more. Hell they've been telling me for the last three years that LeBron James was going to pass Kobe as the NBA's #1. Umm . . . I'm still waiting. If Kobe loses this game, I think his legacy takes five steps backwards, fair or unfair, it just does. The naysayers will come out and the questions about his character will reemerge. This is a MUST win, career-defining contest in Bryant's world.

And if that’s not enough to convince you, here’s a few more. It’s BOSTON! It’s LA! It’s Game 7! It’s Kobe, Phil, the Big 3, Jack Nicholson front row! It’s the Mecca of the basketball world! It can’t, it doesn’t, it won’t get bigger than this game tonight! With all that said, I admit the game could be a clunker, of course. But, man oh man, does it have the recipe for one we'll remember forever. I predict LA wins it all. Kobe MVP! MVP! MVP!

Brian Huba
6/17/10

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's World Cup Time. Yawn

Well it’s World Cup time again. And I have one thing to say: Yawn.

I know. I know. I’m the big, dumb American who can’t understand that soccer is the world’s most popular game. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Sorry to say: soccer sucks, guys. Watching a bunch of grown men from Argentina and Spain kick a soft ball around some enormous field for, what seems like, nine hour matches is not my idea of entertainment. And it’s not yours either. Jesus, just admit it. Do I respect the players and the skill involved? Sure, I guess. But I can’t make heads or tails of the rules. Why are spectators always blowing those annoying horns nonstop during every match? What is with all these insanely weird celebrations after every goal? Oh my God, it’s terrible. It actually depresses me knowing that the World Cup is happening and every time I go on ESPN.com I have to deal with updated scores and stupid stories about this insanely-boring sport. Can all of us, for the love of God, just stop pretending we’re actually interested in this tournament? Nobody in their right mind, living in a first-world country, could actually care one bit about this crap. It’s the truth and you know it. “But Brian, it’s the most widely played game in the world.” Yeah because most of the world is dirt poor and all you need to play soccer are something round and your foot.

Before you write my rant off as ignorant, I tried to buy the World Cup mania. I did. I let the hype of USA vs. England get under me. Soccer fans were telling me how HUGE this game was, that some people had waited 4 years to see this game. So I was like, wow, OK, 4 years in the waiting. I said to myself: imagine waiting 4 years to see a Giants Superbowl or a Lakers Game 7. OK, I’m in. So we gathered around the TV and watched. Did I fall asleep 6 separate times during the game? Of course. It’s soccer. But I was up for the end. And boy oh boy, what an end. After 4 years of anticipation, this super-duper soccer match between the USA and England ended in a dramatic, oh so dramatic . . . wait for it . . . tie. A tie? Are you kidding me? I just sat through a 14-hour soccer match for it to end with NO winner. And now, for some reason, USA Soccer fans are calling this tie a win? Oh my God! Can somebody please make sense of this chaos for me?

It’s not just World Cup Soccer though, it’s the leagues they run right here in America that baffle me. Here’s what I know, or at least what I think I know about American Soccer. This guy David Beckham is like the Kobe Bryant of soccer, and recently he came to America to be a star here, I guess, and he hangs out with Tom Cruise, and he’s super HOT, and his wife looks like a prostatic doll but people still like her, and he’s a really big deal for some reason, except he’s always injured. OK, I think I got it. Anyways he plays for some American team, but occasionally gets traded back to some other team in some other country and plays there, I guess, even in the middle of the American Soccer season. I don’t know much, but I do know that Tom Coughlin isn’t trading Eli Manning to some team in Brazil in the middle of an NFC East title run, or Phil Jackson isn’t trading Kobe to Japan for a few weeks in February. Also, I guess there’s this thing called the Super League-a or something. Guys, I’ll admit it: I have no idea what the heck is going in with soccer. And I don’t say such a thing lightly. I am a sports freak, a veritable encyclopedia of sports knowledge, and I cannot, for the life of me, grasp this kicking-ball game. In fact, last Fall, I signed up to be a high school soccer ref. After two training class, I quit. It was complete gibberish to me. Now keep in mind: I have 3 college degrees, and I paid $100 to take the classes. I literally could not stand another second of it.

My point: the game is too complicated. Americans like things straightforward, at least I think so. And if asked why this game hasn’t caught on in this country that would be my answer. Even more so than how boring it is or how annoying the antics that go along with it are, it really is the difficulty in following the game and getting invested in the players and teams. I want to like soccer. I do. I tried to get into it when Roberto Baggio was around. I suppose that girls’ soccer run a few years back was fun. But the only thing I remember about that was Brandi Chastain tearing her jersey off. I could’ve cared less about why she did that or who even won. I just liked the jersey-tearing part. Thing is: when you have to wake me up 3 times during one game, I guess I got better things to do. I can't even sit down during a Giants game, in the preaseason! The other night I was screaming at the Lakers game. That's watching sports! Soccer? Come on. Life’s too short. So don’t try telling me how exciting this year’s World Cup is. I’ll know one of two things: You’re pretending to like it because it’s popular or you are WAY too easily entertained.

Brian Huba
6/15/10

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Word About Relationships

I’m going to enter TU Blogger Kristi Gustafson’s world for a bit, even though her stuff isn't really my bag. Maybe I’m just threatened because we’re the same height (6’0”), but for solace, I’m sure I would crush her in a pickup basketball game. Anyway, I’m going to talk about relationships. I assure you what follows won’t be brand new or groundbreaking. Just an interesting story. Or stories.

In the last two weeks my two best friends have ended long-term relationships. Both guys are about 30 years old. But that’s where the comparisons end. My first friend (we’ll call him Mick) lives in NYC. For the last two years he’s been dating a millionaire heiress, living in Manhattan, and rubbing elbows with Alec Baldwin and Mr. Big from Sex & the City. A real dream come true for a kid from Watervliet? Maybe. But he’s Ivy League educated and could make it to 57th Street on his own talents, trust me. And one day he will again, double trust me. Anyways, their relationship is over and he’s Queens bound on July 1. Sad? You’d think so. But Mick’s a positive guy, who’s dated a lot of girls, and he’s convinced the best is yet to come. He refuses to let a woman define him, and has always pledged to suck the marrow out of life. Selfish? Perhaps. So what. He reads, writes, travels, never says no to an adventure. Downside, he admits his relationships always grow stale, and when they do, he just let’s go. No tears or cinematic nonsense. He has no fear of ending up alone, despite the fact that most at his age get afraid of that, do anything to make sure it doesn’t happen. Mick’s good looking and makes good money. He sees the world for what it is. He knows the Sopranos is modern Shakespeare and Sarah Palin's a joke. He gets it. He’ll be alright in the end.

My other friend (Keith) lives outside of Troy. For the last two years he’s dated an older woman, who wanted Keith to act a certain way. She had a vision for their relationship, and that was that. Before her Keith had been divorced. When this older woman came along, he was convinced this was his chance to make a relationship work, to get it right. She became his world. Keith lived his life exactly the way she wanted him to. Did what she wanted, gave up habits adopted new ones, fought to keep her approval upright and rolling. In the end it wasn’t enough. She walked away over a minor misunderstanding, and Keith’s convinced she was his soul mate and he’ll never find another like her. He’s afraid of being 30 and alone and would do anything to avoid the pain that comes with a lost relationship. To him the hopelessness is too scary to think about, the loneliness that he believes will never end. Keith could have anything he wants in this world, but believes he has no identity without a woman. And the thought of testing the world’s waters is scary. Translation: He’s in Hell.

Someone once told me that nothing ends well, because if it was going well it wouldn’t end. All things end badly. I myself remember when I had to deal with a breakup. (You remember, the Chili’s waitress who made $150.00 a week and spent $500.00 on pedicures and purses.) I felt all those same feelings of fear and hopelessness that Keith feels now, and going on without her in my life was terrifying for a while. I was convinced she was my world, that I had no friends left, and would fade away without her. A few Alive at 5’s, Saturday nights on the loose with “Mick,” and trips to LBI and Virginia Beach, etc, made those feelings go away after a while. Then one day I woke up and the hurting was gone, which was hard because I had gotten used to the hurt, grew to like it, expect it, crave it. Soon after all that phony/necessary therapy, the real thing showed up. But no life can be defined by a relationship. It must be the other way around, or it isn’t right, right? It isn’t meant to be. Nobody should have to manufacture love or recreate who they are to appease their partner. When you’re with the right person, you’ll know that all the breakups, and bad luck, and broken hearts were what led you to that point and that person, led you to your best friend. And then you Thank God for it all. Wow, I just went way too Carrie Bradshaw there. If I start with the dumb puns you’ll know I’ve gone to the dark side for sure.

Maybe we’re looking for the same relationship our parents had because that’s what we’re used to and what we feel comfortable with. Maybe we’re looking for the exact opposite of what are parents had. Ask me: everything is parenting. My upbringing was a lot like the sitcom Roseanne. My dad was like Dan, my mother like Roseanne, and my aunt like the Jackie character. I kinda looked like Kevin Arnold from the Wonder Years. Money was always an issue and fun came from simple things: homemade pizza, movie rentals with microwave pop corn, fires in the backyard pit. Although it's sad, I love the last scene in the sitcom Roseanne where she’s going around the kitchen table telling viewers what became of all the people in her family, and the whole time her husband Dan is trying to get her attention by being goofy or waving his hands at her. But by the time she gets to him, his chair is empty, and she reveals that he had died of a heart attack years before. All that was left was his voice calling “Rosey, Rosey.” Ironically, that’s kinda how my parents’ relationship ended. My father spent his whole adult life holding my mother’s attention, and now that he’s gone, she still struggles to function without it, accept the fact that his chair at the table will be empty forever. She knew she loved him in '86 when she was 28 and went in for emergency surgery, so she says. She told me how he cried and cried as they wheeled her away to the operating room, and at that moment she would’ve been all right dying, because she would’ve died knowing she had been loved. I guess that's what I'm looking for, in some way. Nobody understands that. But I do.

The lesson from Keith's and Mick’s breakups? Easy. Neither relationship was right, that’s why it didn’t work. The guys are complete opposites and the relationships themselves were totally different. But in the end they both shared the same fate. When it’s right, it’s right. Simple as that. Whether it’s NYC or South Troy. I think both guys will be OK. My only fear? Don’t these things always go in 3’s? Uh-oh.

Brian Huba
6/13/10

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Man Who Mutilated Rabbits Deserves to Die

What a sick, twisted, disgusting piece of human garbage.

For those who have not read the sickening, heartbreaking story in the North Adams Transcript yet, it appears that on Tuesday night a man broke into a construction company called Berkshire County Construction in Mass., and brutally mutilated 5 pet rabbits after he was unable to steal away a company truck.

According to the Massachusetts paper, Public Safety Commissioner E. John Morocco said the suspect, caught on video by the company’s surveillance cameras, seemed to fly into a rage after failing to break into a truck. "Immediately after not being able to get into the truck, he basically attacked 15 rabbits in coops over there. As a result, five animals are dead -- four adults and a baby," he said.

How did he do it? Why? The man, angry that he could not properly steal the truck, decided to open a nearby rabbit hutch with a two-by-four and start beating and killing rabbits. He ripped off rabbits’ ears, tails, and hanged one by the neck from a chain. All this because he couldn’t pull off the attempted theft. What a first-rate, top-drawer loser.

"Material things are replaceable, but this is just unnecessary," company owner Tracey Duquette said. "These were our pets. We bring them home. I don’t know what I’m going to tell my 6-year-old daughter. I can’t tell her what really happened. I don’t want to tell her there really are monsters out there."

Wow, talk about someone who deserves to die.

And that’s what I propose. I say anyone who could do this to another living being, animal or human, deserves to die. That’s right. I’m playing God. Deal with it. I say strap him into an electric chair and cook him alive. I don’t care about his oh-so-sad past. I don’t want to hear about psychological issues, or some lousy life situation that left him desperate enough to do this. Any human that could literally rip apart a defenseless animal, as said animal(s) screamed and cried to be spared (as I’m sure these rabbits did), should not be allowed to live on this earth for another second. You take a life, ANY life, you deserve to die.

In my opinion animal abuse is the worst crime in the world. In fact, I feel worse for these rabbits than I do for that little girl that Joran van der Sloot killed in Peru. She had a chance to get away. She could’ve said anything, besides I know who you are and what you did, to get out of that hotel room. She wasn’t TOTALLY defenseless. But these beautiful animals? Like I said about that piece of trash, Michael Vick, and that deadbeat joke from Schenectady who tortured his girlfriend’s dogs: one torturous death deserves another. I wish we could lock all three of these degenerates (along with the thousands of other animal abusers) in a bomb chamber and blow them to smithereens. I’m a pet owner myself. And if anyone did something like this to my babies, their life wouldn’t be worth a bucket of spit. Take that for what it’s worth.

"It was brutal," said Sgt. Roy Sutton of MSPCA law enforcement. "I would call it a mutilation and a killing."

According to the North Adams Transcript, the suspect faces felony charges of malicious destruction of the animal of another and cruelty to animals and could face up to 2 1/2 years in state prison and up to a $2,500 fine, if convicted. He also would face local charges of breaking and entering in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony, wanton destruction of property over $250 and intent to commit a crime (larceny of a motor vehicle).

2.5 years? $2,500 fine? Yeah, OK. So what. Big deal. And, who cares about the damn motor vehicle that he didn’t even get away with anyway? I have a better idea, a more fitting punishment. As revenge for the rabbits, let’s take this sicko to Americade at Lake George this weekend. Let’s tie his legs to the back of one Harley and his arms to the back of another Harley. Then have the motorcycles race down Canada Street in different directions. And the 6 year old who owned the rabbits gets to be the girl who drops that bandana in the road to start the race, just like in those old drag cars movies. That’s my idea. It sounds crazy, horrible, I know. Almost as horrible as literally ripping defenseless rabbits apart then hanging one with a chain around the neck.

"This person has to be caught," Duquette said. "What kind of person could do this? This person had no remorse; no conscious. This was an act of violence -- meaningless and psychotic. What scares me is that this person is still out there. He could do harm to a person."

Sometimes I think it’s the end of the world, I swear. Between this BP Oil Spill, and Joran van der Sloot, and the wild weather, and that ridiculous flake from NYC who's suing Citibank for firing her for being TOO HOT to work with, and the fact that the stupidest, birdbrain politician in world history, Sarah Palin, is actually, unbelievably somewhat relevant, I just don’t know where we go from here. I guess I know now: breaking into construction companies and crucifying rabbits. I hope this guy dies a slow, brutal, bad, horrible death. That's my hope.

For the record: the suspect is described as a white male, 16 to 20 years old, 5 feet, 8 inches tall, weighing 140-160 pounds and of slight build. He was wearing black-and-gray camouflage pants, a dark hooded sweatshirt and a red-and-white baseball cap (red on the back and bill and white on the front). He was also carrying a black-and-white backpack.

Read more: http://www.thetranscript.com/ci_15266615

Brian Huba
6/10/10

Monday, June 7, 2010

Enough of the Sandra Bullock Love Fest

Sandra Bullock chose the MTV Movie Awards as her forum for a long-awaited return to public, after the oh-so earth shattering news that her tattooed hubby Jesse James had cheated on her with several different women, including Yale graduate and beloved heart surgeon to the blind Michelle “Bombshell” McGhee. I’m just kidding. Bombshell obviously didn’t go to Yale. Anyway, Sandra was the recipient of the “coveted” MTV Generational Award, which seemed to me something MTV just made up to give Sandra an award, because her husband cheated on her. After receiving an over-the-top standing ovation, the likes of which could be reserved for Mother Teresa or Queen Elizabeth, Bullock took the MTV stage in a black sequin dress with no back to accept her prestigious (made up) honor. From there the hyperbole went into high gear.

During his introduction of Bullock, Bradley Cooper told Bullock he hoped she knows "how loved you are ... You are once-in-a-generation talent." I love Bradley, but I must ask: What? Obviously old BC isn’t talking about Bullock’s performance in, maybe the worst movie ever made, ALL ABOUT STEVE. Cooper co-starred with Bullock on that train wreck, and it is to date, his only box-office bomb. If he was talking about DiCaprio or Streep or D-Washington then OK, I understand the praise. But Bullock? The star of MURDER BY NUMBERS? Come on. As great as HOPE FLOATS and FORCES OF NATURE were, to call Bullock a once-in-a-generation talent is a bit overblown. My opinion: Her inability to judge character and marry a man with the background and personal resume of a Jesse James is really unbelievable for a woman in Bullock’s position. And, quite frankly, I’m tired of feeling sorry for her.

Earlier this year when she won the Oscar for her massively overrated portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy in that awful, after-school-special movie, THE BLINDSIDE, her entire speech was about how great this guy Jesse James was, how he’s her rock, her strength, her reason, and on, and on, and on. Between the tears and praise for this cheating biker-husband of hers, I forgot she was even on that stage for winning an award for her professional success. On that night, she's the one who stupidly brought their broken relationship to the public eye with that barrage of love. So why should we feel bad for the backlash? I’m sorry but that kind of attention to a significant other on “your night” is an obvious red-flag that something larger is going on. A dependency issue or simply the fact that she knew he was unfaithful, and, in some weird way, she was begging him not to stray though her tearful speech.

Do I feel bad for her as a person? I guess. As bad as you can feel for a multi-millionaire actress who signed herself up for a wedding with this guy. In life you make your own bed. Right? Do I think she’s a great actress? No, I don’t. In fact, I can’t think of a single good movie she’s ever done. And the fact that she won an Oscar is unbelievable to me. Do I think Bullock is a bright person off-screen? No, I fear that she is probably a pretty vapid person and a bad judge of character.

Quick sidebar. Note to Oscar committee: any movie where a five year old coaches up the details of college football, or where a housewife interrupts a full-contact practice to explain how a football team is like a family doesn’t get to win major awards. Sorry. The movie was dumb, people. Come on, just admit it. Stop saying how great it was.

Anyway back to Bullock. Check out this hyperbole: Betty White, who last night was dubbed "the second-most-loved star of today," called Bullock "grace defined, and I adore you madly. Sandy, you are a national treasure." I guess White, who’s been on a super-annoying resurgence because she’s old and talks about sex a lot (I guess), is the second-most-loved to Bullock? So it seems. If that’s not irritating enough, how about the fact that White describes the LOVERBOY star as a national treasure. National treasure? You mean like Rosa Parks or Liz Taylor? And even Liz is a stretch. Because Bullock’s made a bunch of crappy movies and got publically humiliated by some dirt bag biker, she’s all of a sudden held in the same light as Jackie Kennedy? Recently when interviewed about his cheating on the great Sandra Bullock, hubby Jesse James described himself as the most hated man in the world. The world? Come on, people, enough is enough.

The fact is women are cheated on every day. Women are beaten and abused, and sometimes murdered by bad, bad men. The most hated man in the world! You dumb, stupid, self-absorbed idiot! Ask Natalee Holloway’s parents if reality-TV star Jesse James is their most hated man in the world. Ask Laci Peterson’s parents how many tears they’ve shed because the star of MISS CONGENIALITY had a husband who cheated on her! Ask the millions and millions of nameless, faceless domestic-abuse victims in this world if they really care when Sandra Bullock’s next overrated piece of crap is slated for release.

In her MTV speech, Bullock stated: "Speaking of what you might have seen or heard, I wanted to clarify some things: Number one, I'm not dead. Number two, everyone has cellulite, not just me." And the audience just laughed, and laughed, and applauded. Ah! Gag me!

After half-necking with Scarlett Johansson, in some sort of attempt to be funny, Bullock asked that all of us say a prayer for the people in the Gulf. Oh, how touching. I must admit (here I will be sarcastic) I was in tears as our national treasure made her way from that MTV stage, with her well-deserved (made up) award. I thought I’d never say this, but thank God for Tom Cruise and J-LO dancing to save the show.

Brian Huba
6/7/10

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Here's Some Headlines

I was so inspired by all your kind and supportive blog-comments yesterday that I went and had the word TATTOO tattooed across my forehead. Next stop: Bombshell McGhee’s house to hear her ideas on how to stop the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf. Don’t tell, but I say we shove her in the broken pipe, face first. Tell her it’s a hidden portal to cheap fame and fast money. Seriously though, thanks for reading, even if my rants enrage you. Always happy to hear what you guys have to say. Thank you Troy Record readers! Now here's some headlines!

Tonight the LA Lakers hope to move one step closer to claiming a second-straight NBA Championship. And in the process take revenge against a Boston Celtics team that destroyed them in 2008. Of course all the talk will be about the history between the two teams, all those championships. My attention will be on Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who I believe is the greatest NBA player who’s ever lived. Oh my God! Even better than King James? Way better than King James. I saw Magic, Larry, and Michael Jordan all play. I say Kobe’s better. But I admit he needs to beat this Boston team to ensure his legacy. No way an all-time great can lose to the same team twice in 3 years and be considered better than MJ. If Kobe wins this’ll be his fifth ring at 31 years old. I know many will say the first 3 rings were Shaq’s, and Kobe was along for the ride. But that’s just not true. When Shaq won his first ring he was 28. When he was traded from LA to Miami he was around 32, 33. By the time he took the court with the Heat four months later, he looked like he was suddenly 38, and it’s been downhill ever since. Wonder why. Kobe’s been the best for ten years. At this pace he will break all of Jordan’s scoring records and his record for NBA championships. He's already been to the finals more than Jordan (7). I say he’s the best ever. But we shall see. Speaking of seeing, Gov. Paterson has gone public with his NBA Finals prediction for this year: Orlando Magic in 6 games.

The community has come together to raise $65,000 to help rebuild the Lark Tavern that was ravaged by fire a few months back. I think it’s a good thing for people to help get back something they love. I know there’s some that think that kind of money could go to better use. But that’s nonsense, like feeding hungry kids in Africa. That sounds good, but come on, get real. I’ve been to the Lark Tavern a few times. It was always pretty good, and I was sorry to hear what happened to it. Hopefully this money will help the business get up and running again. It’s a city landmark. Besides if this bar stays closed, I’ll have to start hanging out at The Silver Slipper on Saturday nights. The last time I went there the bar’s regulars beat me pretty badly out back. One guy even shoved my pocket protector down my throat, while another ripped my underwear out of my pants. Then they took turns drawing funny things on my face with my red pens. But no way that happens again. Right?

Hey big news, HUGE NEWS, GIGANTIC NEWS. It’s official. The GOP has nominated the great Rick Lazio to be the next NYS Governor. New Yorkers, take a long sigh of relief. The hard times are almost over. How do I know that? Easy. He says really funny things like, “Let’s put an end to the status Cuomo.” Get it? It’s a pun. All he needs now is “The Queen of Fake Outrage” Sarah Palin’s script writer to come work for him, so he can say more cool things like “going rouge,” and “There you go again, Joe, I mean Cuomo.” The only thing I know about Rick Lazio: he got SMASHED by Hillary Clinton in the Junior-Senator election a few years back. My election prediction for Nov.: Cuomo 96%, the CEO of BP Oil, 2.3%, the Devil 1%, Rick Lazio, .07%. It’ll be a real barn burner.

Everybody’s favorite Dutchman is back in the news. Big Joran van der Sloot. You might remember him from the Natalie Holloway murder in Aruba, 5 years ago. He’s the one who basically admitted to the crime several times, but somehow has never been charged. Looks like JVDS has struck again, this time in Peru. Now it’s a 21 year old brutally stabbed. Peruvian newspapers report that Stephany Tatiana Flores Ramirez was found dead inside a room at the hotel Tac in the Miraflores district this morning. The woman had been stabbed and wrapped in a blanket. Family members of the victim say she was last seen with van der Sloot at a local casino. Here’s the kicker: the hotel room in which her body was found was also registered in van der Sloot's name, or as he’s known around the world: Sexual psychopath who murders young girls and gets away with it. It’s a long alias, but it works. Now he’s en-route to Argentina. Word of advice to pretty, blonde-haired, blue-eyed women everywhere, especially if you like to get wasted in really shady countries: Don’t hang out with Joran van der Sloot! Who? You know old JVDS. He’s the guy who’s been on every news channel around the world for the last 5 years, suspected of brutally murdering two of you already. Yeah, that guy. Don’t get drunk and go to a casino, or nightclub, or even a Rick Lazio rally with that guy. I just realized something: Now that this guy has hooked up with two girls, he’s two ahead of me. Must be his witty personality and killer charm. But I feel a big streak coming on for me! Fingers crossed.

The Gulf Oil Spill. This might end up being the worst natural disaster in modern history. Everybody’s railing on BP for this mess, and rightfully so, sure. But I say this: It happened there’s no way to reverse that. So before you bang on BP, I ask you: How would you stop a raging oil blow at 5,000 feet below sea level? By all means, step up, let’s hear what you have. And saying something witty like, "It's time to put an end to the oil spill-omo" just isn't going to cut it on this one. Sorry Lazio lovers.

OK, I admit it: American Idol was terrible this year. Even the always-solid Justin Beiber was a disappointment when performing. Lee DeWyze will be back at the paint store by this time in 2012. One big, giant who cares, right? I get it. I say next year, ten judges who know nothing about music, each judge critiques for two minutes each. That should bring Idol back to its glory. Bet we could plug the BP spill with that fallen FOX franchise. Both are about 5,000 below sea level by now.

Brian Huba
6/3/10

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I Don't Understand Tattoos

Every day as I leave work, I drive past a tiny tattoo parlor, where a few guys wearing wife-beaters and covered in ink are usually hanging out on the sidewalk, waiting for customers. And every day I think the same thing: I don’t understand tattoos. I recognize the fact that tats are as old as history itself, but I just can’t see any real reason for them in 21st-Century America.

Right off the bat, tattoos are insanely expensive, even the little ones. And removing them? From what I’ve been told the most painful thing you’ll ever experience. And, oh yeah, insanely expensive. For anyone who wants to get a tat, because it would be super-cool, I advise watching MTV’s episode of True Life that chronicles 3 young people who want to remove their body ink forever. It’s a brutally-honest hour of TV. But before we talk about removing tats, let’s talk about the stupid reasons why people get them. First, there’s no need for someone to get a Celtic Irish cross, Italian flag, or Puerto Rican colors stamped on their body because their genetic makeup happens to carry these particular nationalities in it. If you’re so proud of being part Irish, rather than maim your body why don’t you just visit the land of your quasi-origin? Guess what? You’ll come back happy that you’re American. What about the tat to remember a loved one lost? For anyone who has lost a loved one, I am deeply sorry for you, no doubt. But do you really need a bald eagle flying over a sunset painted down the middle of your back, and in small font the lifespan and name of said person? In what way is that an homage to that passed-away person? Why does your memorial need to be up in everyone’s face like that? Where’s the respect and discretion? And yeah, yeah, I know: people mourn in a million different ways. Spare me. I am not insulting it. I just don’t get it. The stupidest tattoo story I ever heard though had to do with a wedding party and matching tats. This joker, the groom, pressured everybody in his wedding party to get matching tats in order to always remember the BIG DAY. The truth: Nobody cares about your ridiculous wedding except you. Maim my body, the only body I’ll ever have, to remember this nonsense? No thanks.

Tribal bands around the bicep? As cliché as it gets. The full sleeve? Yuck. The sun-tattoo around the belly button. What a mistake. Those yellow-and-red tats that every biker-guy seems to have that don’t look like anything at all? Do I even need to add an adjective to this? How about tats on chicks? Nah. A butterfly on the ankle looks awful, a gigantic tattoo across the small of the back, even worse. You know, the Tramp Stamp? Any girl who has a Tramp Stamp is really as ridiculous as it gets. Hearing about ink in oh-so-secret places isn’t a turn on. Doesn’t make you any prettier. Sorry. Playboy bunny tats? Dumb, dumb, dumb. If you are 18 and thinking of getting a tat, because it would be cool, or because you think a dragon on your right leg would be cool, because you possess the spirit of the dragon, I beg you, plead with you to reconsider. At least talk to someone who is older and has a tat. Bet they try to talk you out of it. If I kept half of what I thought was cool when I was 18, I would probably be rotting away in an asylum or riding with the circus. Tattoos, I promise, will be a lifetime reminder of some stupid moment in your past that you can’t erase.

In society tats are seen as distasteful. Try getting a corporate job with a ten-inch tat of the Road Runner on your right forearm or your name in old English on the back of your neck. Never happen unless you keep them hidden. Our society is one based on prejudice and first impressions. Sorry, it’s the truth, whether you want to admit it or not. So unless you want to be viewed as a thug or some common criminal, don’t cover your body with bright ink-designs. These tats could do more to shape your future than any college degree you might have. And I promise 9 out of 10 times that shaping will be towards the negative. Now, I know there are many role models covered in full-body tats. Great guys like Jesse James (that’s the guy who cheated on that idiot Sandra Bullock), Dennis Rodman, Mike Tyson, and Tom Arnold, to name a few. Great guys. Am I being sarcastic? I am. Am I stereotyping? Of course. That’s what Americans do.

So I say if you want to practice self-expression, get a wild haircut and some crazy clothes. If you insist on everyone knowing about every aspect of your personal life, dump the design for the cobra-snake tattoo across your shoulder blades and update your Facebook page more often. You get one body in this life. No need to ruin it with a Kurt Cobain face on your chest.

Brian Huba
6/2/10