Thursday, February 24, 2011

What Would Jesus Do?

I think this Catholic professor from Detroit calling out Gov. Cuomo because he lives with his girlfriend, Sandra Lee, and takes communion, is disgusting. I know that Howard Hubbard disagrees with what this professor said, and supports Cuomo’s right to accept communion, but it still makes the Catholic Church as a whole look ridiculous, out of touch, and a bit of a bully. Oh by the way this laugh-out-loud news story comes one week after Hubbard had to apologize to capital District Dioceses for the number of sexual misconduct claims that have come against church members as of late.

I am Catholic and have been confirmed in the church. I am not anti-God or an atheist or any such thing. But yes, honestly, my interactions with the church have always been a little weird. When I was in 1st and 2nd grade I went to Holy Cross catholic School in Albany. While there I was physically assaulted by a teacher and principal (I remember every detail to this day), then both teacher and principal (head nun) lied to my parents about the incident(s), wielding the power of God at $2,500 a year to quiet a young mother. Holy Cross: Worst experience of my life. Later on when I was getting confirmed through St. Jude’s I had to go to this old man’s house every Tuesday night and talk about the bible with a group of kids. Good guy, God rest his soul, but awkward, no doubt. Then we had to go on these strange retreats into the woods. So, yes, I can say that my time with religion has been a bit off center, but I don’t think my outlook on this topic is. I’m clever enough to separate the two.

This kind of attempt to embarrass our governor by a man who must’ve been motivated by someone/something is disgraceful. Not only does this attempt to slash at Cuomo’s moral makeup, it attacks anyone who has had a child out of wedlock or has decided not to accept the sacrament of marriage. I know the more religious ones will cite a book of rules that was written thousands of years ago as the guide for how we must live our lives, in the same sense that these Tea Party whackos keep talking about what our forefathers would say and do. People: it’s 2011. The world has changed. Our forefathers’ heads would explode at the sight of airplanes and flat screen TV’s. So no way should mythical figures from 250 years ago be the compass for how we conduct ourselves. Right?

My point: I don’t think an institution (or any accredited member of said institution) should attempt to humiliate a public figure with such a frivolous complaint when that institution itself admits to setting aside a percentage of its donations/profits to defend against sexual misconduct claims. What’s worse? Who’s morally correct? Our last governor was an SNL sketch. The guy before that was trafficking in prostitutes. If Andrew Cuomo wants to go to church with his girlfriend and accept communion, I say God bless you, Gov., and good for you.

The church, like everything else, is a business. It depends on membership and money to survive. I’m not suggesting that’s right or wrong, or that the church is heading for Chapter 11 anytime soon. But when a business loses its mission statement, the trouble and confusion start. I was always taught that the church and state were separate entities, that the church was a welcoming place for anyone that wanted to be a part of it, regardless of political beliefs or past discretions. I just can’t understand what is to be gained or what political victory is to be had by airing something so negative, that nobody in their right mind is going to agree with.

So I ask: What would Jesus do? Is this the type of press he would desire as the leader of a religion? I don’t mean that to be offensive or glib, I just ask, because it seems that so many Catholics can stand on a soapbox and quote Jesus, dictate these moral laws of life, which is fine. But two things 1) Does it always have to be done in such a down talking, superior way? 2) He who has not sinned, cast the first stone, right?

Read more:

Get some religion on Facebook @ the Cat's Pajamas

Brian Huba

Friday, February 18, 2011

Behind the Scenes of America Idol

Below is one person’s account of their experience trying out for American Idol in New Jersey last summer. It’s an interesting look at the underbelly of the world’s biggest show. Give it a read.

Okay first off I'd like to thank my dad for dragging me out to New Jersey. My mom for being there. My grandparents. Everyone who supported me. And Billy for giving me confidence. I did not make it but let me tell you something: that was the hardest thing I've ever had to go through in my life.

What I did on Sunday was go ALL the way to NJ and waited in a never ending line just to get a wrist band. Pushing, screaming, cameras, butting (jerks), singing, etc. All in a day in which we weren’t doing anything ^_^ Haha. In this day a camera guy came up to me and said "Are you from Jersey?" I answered no. "Oh...must be the hair" XD Hahahahaahaha!!!!!!!!

So anyways, you finally get through the herd of people (like a herd of cattle) and they put a wrist band on your wrist, also they give you seat #'s. Then you leave. Then today came. Once again we got into a never ending line which made no sense to me because no matter where you are you’re still getting in the same seat #. You sat outside, talked and what not. Then the producers had everyone go to the front of the Izod Center and do the opening of the season. 40 different takes -_-// They had us fist pump (NJ people HATE FIST PUMPING!! They say it's not Jersey, that’s Jersey Shore and most of them aren't even from Jersey. They were pissed!) They had us say stuff like "We're the next American Idol WOooooooooo!!!" Or " Welcome to NJ WHhHoooOooOoo" all that crap -_-// Then they had us file inside and get into our seats.

First, one past Idol came out and talked to us. Then they explained the rules. Then they had Ryan Seacrest come out and do the opening of the episode. (gotta hand it to him, he was really nice. Unlike most stuck up celebrities. Probably 5'4"). Then they set up black curtains (no point too, everyone can see/hear you anyway) and there was 12 different stalls. Each has 2 different Judges in them. They would call you up by sections and they would have you go to one of them. (I got the mean guy -_-//). 4 people would go into one stall at a time and each get a shot at singing. After they will either ask you to sing another song or they will just call all of you up. If you made it, you stay with your judge for about 5 mins answering questions, then you go with your yellow ticket to the winning circle. If you don’t you get your wrist band cut off and you go out the "none" winners circle. They said no one is a loser <_<">

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Bud Light Bandit

I am offering a reward for the revealed identity of the elusive Bud Light Bandit.

About a year and a half ago, I moved into the development off of Clifton Park’s exit 8A. Go in, take a right, up the hill, and you're almost there. Anyway, I have noticed something very strange ever since I planted my flag here. Regardless of season/time of year, the streets around my house are always littered with empty, discarded Bud Light cans—the blue-tin 22 ounce cans. They’re left in rain gutters, at the end of driveways, on manhole covers, in the middle of the road, on lawns, in snow banks, below mailboxes, in low-growing shrubs and bushes. Needless to say this looks terrible. I have probably myself recycled 25 of these same cans in the last year and a half. Yuck, I know. So please, people, I beg you: If you know of this development and have seen these same cans, help me find the Bud Light Bandit.

First of all: Who in their right mind is walking/driving around this neighborhood all the time, sucking down these Bud Lights like water then tossing them to the street and cracking another then doing it again? Who does that? Why do they do it? I can say the following pretty safely: If you drink cheap, light beer from 22-ounce cans then just heave them to the streets you’re pretty trashy for a whole spectrum of reasons really. Now you may say, “Brian, maybe it’s more than one person.” Maybe. But I have a hard time believing that there’s a team of these idiots endlessly using my residential road as their personal recycling box of empty beer cans. You may say, “Brian, it’s probably just kids.” So what? Why does being a kid make this environmentally-unfriendly level of dirtiness acceptable? I’m not trying to get all “peace and love, peace and love” on you with these eco-friendly talk. But come on? Who does this? Today I was driving home and passed two more of those blue cans within 50 feet of each other. Who is the Bud Light Bandit?

You may say, “Brian, maybe it’s just a coincidence.” Yeah right. I suppose it’s also a coincidence that Jennifer Aniston’s latest rom-com earned some of the worst reviews in motion picture history, again, for the 100th time. Why am I bringing up a middle aged and possible mentally ill actress? The point I’m making is simple: It happens once, twice, three times, OK, a coincidence. But time after time after time, makes me say that it's a trend. That there's someone who has actually made habit out of this ridiculous behavior. I swear to God, sometimes people just amaze me to no end, I swear they do. This is really A-1 disgusting.

With all that said, I am offering a reward for the revealed identity of the Bud Light Bandit. For anyone who can furnish information leading to the revealing of this maniacal litterbug's identity, I will offer: A case of Coor's Light 22-ounce cans. That’s right 12 full cans, ready for someone to suck down then (oh wait, maybe a bad plan) toss in the streets of my Clifton Park neighborhood. Or maybe, here’s a brilliant brainwave, recycle them like a halfway civilized human being. Some people, I swear.

Is there a Bud Light Bandit in your neighborhood?

Now on Facebook @ the Cat’s Pajamas; Homepage sponsored by Coor’s Light cans--100% recyclable

P.S.: Did you know the Capital Region is one of the only places in the world where Coor's outsells Bud?

Brian Huba

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

TV Innuendo: Too Much

This may sound like a stupid question: When did Primetime TV become SO saturated with innuendo? You’re probably saying to yourself, “Brian, have you been living under a rock since Carroll O’Connor and the Fonz?” You may be saying that, but nevertheless hear me out on this one.

In the early 2000’s, I loved watching Thursday Night’s NBC lineup of FRIENDS, then the walk the dog show, then WILL & GRACE. FRIENDS was on at 8PM, and they absolutely, no doubt dealt with relationships and sexuality. But it was done with a slight-of-hand approach. We knew exactly what Ross and Rachel meant by that joke about what they did last night, wink wink, ha, ha, cue the applause track, but nobody ever came out and said it. Never came out and said it. At 9PM, WILL & GRACE was rolling, and the innuendo was turned up a notch, and the jokes became a little more obvious (raunchy) in this regard. But that was OK. It was 9PM. The kids should be on their way to bed by then and adult time was starting for the evening. It was a mature program for a mature time slot. And, if I remember correctly, the show was prompted by some kind of rating on the screen that let mom know it was time for little Timmy to go and get his PJ’s on, because Jack and Karen were going to be tackling subjects not meant for little boys and little girls.

That was then. This is now.

Last night, I did what I do every Monday night: Watched HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER on CBS. You guys know how much I love this show. I think it is the second smartest sitcom on TV (30 ROCK), and it is full of heart and is hugely funny, and the writing/acting is A++. I thought their episode GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS last month was a 30-minute masterpiece. But the innuendo is out of control in EVERY episode. Keep in mind this is an 8PM show that runs in syndication at 7PM and 7.30PM. Translation: It’s always on. The first 5 minutes of the show last night, entitled DESPERATION DAY, was littered with blatant, in-your-face innuendo about the most graphic areas of sexuality you can imagine. There was no wink, wink, ha, ha here. This was a Mike Tyson uppercut to Kourtney Kardashian’s jaw, again and again.

The plot was as follows: Barney declares February 13th "Desperation Day," a holiday for desperate women. Meanwhile, Lily surprises Marshall for Valentine's Day, Ted and Zoey continue to figure out their relationship and Robin bonds with her single girlfriends. Here’s a few cracks that came on the sunny side of 8.05PM. “She wants me to come over and bake cookies,” Ted tells the gang, to which Robin says, “Translation, booty call.” “Private Booty, reporting for duty,” Quips Lily. “A woman invents an elaborate excuse to mask the fact that she wants to get stuck real good,” Robin informs. “Before you know she’s bent over the marble island and you’re spanking her with a rubber spatula and she’s crying stop, stop, but that’s code for harder, harder!” retorts Lily. OK, take a breath.

The innuendo stayed in high gear for the rest of the episode, but it was this joke at about 8.25PM that inspired me to write this recap. At the bar where the whole gang hangs out, Barney and Robin are left alone, Valentine’s Eve has passed and neither has had a date or hooked up. At this point Robin says to Barney, “It’s past midnight, desperation day has come and gone and you’ve neither gone or . . .” Well you know the rest.

I am a pretty liberal guy. But I’m sorry that’s way too graphic, and obvious, and in your face for 8.25PM. I was actually a little uncomfortable watching, and would’ve crawled into a ball and died if I was watching it with my mother or great aunt, etc. I don’t have kids yet. But when I do what’s 8PM TV going to look like? Are the actors going to actually perform the innuendo? Sound crazy? They’re a small step from doing it at this point. There is an art to being a bit subtle, every once in a while. Bottom line: It’s too much.

Maybe I’m just getting old and grouchy. Maybe the music is getting too loud. Maybe quoting old rockers from the 60’s and 70's to sound super-smart and super-hip isn’t super-smart or super-hip anymore. Maybe, in the words of Bob Dylan, “The times they are a changin’.”

Watch the episode yourself:

Speaking of too much: Now on Facebook @ the Cat's Pajamas

Brian Huba

Friday, February 11, 2011

I Wanted to Hate The Social Network

God I wanted to hate the Social Network. I really did. But after seeing it, I have to say: It was awesome. It was fun, funny, emotional, maybe the most important movie of our generation. For those who don’t know, The Social Network is a ‘version’ of the story behind the founding of the hugely-popular Facebook brand, based on the book The Accidental Billionaires. I’m not going to do a plot summary here, just, please, please, please, see it. It was a brilliant piece of movie making, and that’s coming from a guy who really wanted to hate it.

Jesse Eisenberg played the part of Mark Zuckerberg, the man who started Facebook from his dorm room at Harvard. I saw Eisenberg on SNL before seeing this movie, and he was a complete non factor in that forum, so I was sure his shot at playing Zuckerberg had been massively overrated. I was wrong. He was pitch-perfect. We must not forget SNL is a whole different animal. I mean DeNiro made a fool out of himself on SNL and he’s a great actor. The rest of the cast was super-cool. Andrew Garfield was great as Zuckerberg’s sidekick/CFO, Eduardo, who gets ‘screwed’ out of the Facebook brand. Rooney Mara played the part of Zuckerberg’s reverse-muse, Erica Albright to a tee. Let’s talk Justin Timberlake. People, I really wanted to dislike him doing this movie, I really wanted to write him off as lame, and move on with it. Can’t do it. And I am left asking the same thing I’ve been asking for the last ten years: Is there anything JT can’t do? He was electric as Napster bad boy Sean Parker. Electric! When he was pitching his vision of Facebook’s future over Appletinis, I was hypnotized. What can I say: He was the man!

I won’t give away the ending, but I will talk about the last scene. It was awesome. After becoming the world’s youngest billionaire and achieving all the success one could ever dream of, we see Zuckerberg sitting alone at his laptop computer, ‘Friend Requesting’ the same Erica Albright who blew him off in the movie’s first scene, hence inspiring his Facebook idea. In the end, it’s still all about the girl. She is the love interest, the fuel that drives Zuckerberg, even though she is largely off stage the whole movie. As he’s sadly sitting there at that empty lawyers’ conference table, hitting the refresh button again and again, hoping she’ll finally accept him, the screen reads that Zuckerberg is the world’s youngest billionaire and Facebook is worth 250 billion. But he has this look on his face that says: Who cares. It reminded me of the final episode of the Sopranos when Tony tells a mummified Uncle Junior that he once ruled North Jersey, and Junior looks up at him with dead eyes and says, “Oh, that’s nice.”

The movie makers handed this idea to five young actors and a music man and they knocked it out of the park. The movie breaks a lot of rules, but it works. In the end I was left happy, sad, motivated, and defeated at the same time. That’s what a great movie is supposed to do. It supposed to make you examine the value of your own life. It supposed to make you stand up and look in the mirror, awaken something inside of you. It did that for me. With the hugeness of Facebook I have to say: I think it’s the most important movie of our time, what Philadelphia was in the early 90’s.

I predict that Oscar night will belong to the King and his speech, but the Network was the movie that made me think the most about who I am and what I’m doing in this life. And, to me at least, that’s far more important than a bronze statue and two-minute acceptance speech.

Speaking of the Network: Now on Facebook @ the Cat's Pajamas

Brian Huba

Monday, February 7, 2011

Second Annual Superbowl Roundup

The 2010.11 NFL Season is over. It was good to see Aaron Rodgers and GB bring the Lombardi Trophy back home. The game was OK, the end was pretty exciting, and that’s about it. As for everything else, X-Tina’s 11-minute National Anthem, filled with her overbearing style of singing was brought home by bellowing out the wrong lyrics. Cringeworthy! The halftime show was AWFUL!!!!! This Fergie person in Black Eyed Peas is a horrible, dreadful, ridiculous singer. Was she trying to mimic Axl Rose at one point? Ouch. It was just another nowadays performance: lots of lights and distractions but no substance and/or product. The only thing missing was a Diddy Dirty Money cameo. Of course Usher is always good, but the Black Eyed Peas: Enough already, please. As for the commercials, at 3 million per 30 seconds, nothing to get too worked up about. Here’s how I saw it.

The Good:

The McDonald’s bears shaking the family out of their parked car so they could get the golden French fries. Very funny.

The Chevy Truck playing the part of Lassie the dog, always telling its owner, through beeps and flashing headlights, about kids trapped in wells, a volcano, etc. Neat concept.

The Bridgestone Tires “Reply All” Commercial, where the guy races around to stop people from reading an embarrassing email he had hit reply all on. But in the end, his co-worker had misspoken, and it was all a waste. Who doesn’t fear that?

The Volkswagon/Darth Vador commercial, where the father remote starts the car to make his kid, dressed as DV, think he started it with Star Wars power.

Richard Lewis and Roseanne working on a log-cutting site and complaining until they got Snickers to satisfy their hunger. the monkeys parking their cars and boxing/crashing the businessman and his fancy car in.

Coca Cola: Line in the sand between the two Civil-War looking soldiers, until a tasty Cola brings them together.

Best Commercial of the Night: Chrysler 200/Eminem in Detroit talking about how Detroit is really a great city, with “Lose Yourself” playing in the background. Loved it.

The Bad:

Doritos commercial where the Pug dog rushes the backdoor because the man was tempting him with chips. Then the Pug busts right through the glass door. Been there, done that, haven’t we?

Motorola Xoom: In the future, boy gives cute girl co-worker flowers on the computer instead of in person then stares at her through the office window. It was the most depressing commercial I’ve ever seen. Talk about taking out all the romance of the approach. Sometimes futuristic technology goes too far.

The Chevy car that can give instant Facebook updates. Oh My God, enough is enough with the technology. Please. Just stop. What happened to good ol’ fashioned just driving?

Enough of the E-Trade babies! Weren’t funny a year ago, aren’t funny now.

Ozzy/Bieber/Best Buy: It wasn’t that bad. I just didn’t like it that much.

Worst Commercial of the Night: Kim Kardashian wearing Shape-Ups for Skechers sneakers. It wasn’t that bad of a commercial. I’m just left to wonder if this I’m-so-dumb Kim Kardashian thing has run its course yet. From the blatant, in-your-face scripted/staged ‘reality’ show to the nonstop Tweets to all the other nonsense that comes with making someone with no talent into a household name. I just can’t stand anymore of this Kardashian stuff. It’s no longer funny or hot or appealing. In fact, it’s getting kind of insulting.

More commercials @

Now on Facebook @ the Cat's Pajamas

Brian Huba