Monday, March 28, 2011

Why are we in Libya?

Does anybody know why we are in Libya or even care? Let me summarize what I know. Correct me if I’m wrong. Seemingly inspired by the grassroots push for democracy displayed by the Egyptians, the people of Libya became revved up and decided to kick over Gadhafi’s hornet’s nest and demand independence from his regime. When Gadhafi made it clear that was not an option then proceeded to start punishing the rebels, we had to step in because these rebels had no way of actually defending themselves. Am I right so far? Now the US is leading a ‘Coalition’ of countries towards the objective of overthrowing this ruthless dictator? By the way, when you hear Obama use the word coalition in regards to war, that means we do all the fighting, foot the entire bill, and France and England give us a big thumbs up from the safety of their own countries.

Now Obama is on TV trying to explain our role in Libya’s quest to liberate their citizens from this terrible, oppressive Gadhafi character, and quite frankly, I don’t really care. Of course I feel horrible for any people of the world who live a torturous lifestyle, devoid of basic human freedoms. But I just don’t understand why we have to go there. Is Obama trying to use Gadhafi to stay in office the same way Bush used Saddam Hussein? One major flaw with that reelection plan: Nobody cares about Gadhafi. He’s one of 1,000 other ruthless dictators around the world. Before last week, I bet 85% of Americans couldn’t pick Gadhafi out of a lineup if he was next to Lindsey Lohan and Homer Simpson. Is this occupation of Libya about the oil? Does Libya even have oil? If it’s about oil, I wish Obama would stop doing that thing where he says it’s about human rights and free elections, and just say, ‘Look, it’s about oil.’ At least then I would understand.

But for now our increasingly irrelevant president is going to hide behind words like freedom and patriotism and thank the men and women in uniform around the world. But the truth is we are never going to accomplish a thing in Libya. Free elections? A democracy? Are you joking? This is a 3rd-world nation, oppressed, cave-dwellers basically. They don’t understand democracy. In many ways they’re like animals. America has no business there, the same way we have no business in Afghanistan. I don’t even know what’s going on in Afghanistan either, to be honest. Are we still actually fighting a war over there? Is this still about Osama bin Laden and 9/11? Really? News flash America: YOUR GOVERNMENT MIGHT'VE BEEN BEHIND 9/11. THERE MAY BE NO SUCH THING AS OSAMA BIN LADEN. HE MAY NOT EVEN EXIST. Save all that USA bravado for the tractor pulls, demolition derbies, and Toby Keith songs. We are never going to get out of Afghanistan with a 'victory' against terror. Why? Because there’s no such thing. Now add Libya to the mix.

To be honest, as much as I love this country, our Armed Services haven’t ‘won’ a war in almost 70 years. Right? We’ve been successful in several conflicts, but nothing war-wise since WWII. At this rate though, it may not be too long before we get tested again, WW style. You can only occupy so many places at once before all H-E- double sticks breaks lose. The bible says the world will end by fire in the Middle East. Before all that I have to ask: Is this country still tough enough to fight and win a war like we did in the 1940’s? In our Facebook-15-minutes-of-fame society, does our Army, Navy, etc, still possess the wherewithal to put down an enemy and leave a world territory with undisputed victory? I ask this because we seem so quick as a country to dip our toes into every situation around the globe. But the thing is: Once you’re in a little bit, you’re in all the way. So I say this: If we go to war with anyone, blow ‘em right off the map or don’t go at all. Enough of this good guy, tap-dancing approach to conflict. Just do it or don’t do it.

For all you Americans who’ve lost their home, job, 401K, etc, be glad to know that your country is on the verge of dumping billions into a country you know nothing about to defend its people in a fight they started, with a dictator who looks like a Spanish Howard Stern. And once we take him out of office, create a vacuum of chaos that will force us to stay for the next ten years, we’ll leave Libya without accomplishing anything, and do it again in another country you don’t give a crap about. Like Toby Keith says, “’Cause we’ll put a boot in your ass/It’s the American way.”

Speaking of the American Way, now on Facebook @ the Cat's Pajamas

Brian Huba

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pardon Det. MIller

I was saddened to see that Albany PD Detective/Spokesman James Miller was arrested and arraigned for allegedly driving drunk Friday night through Downtown Albany. Obviously I understand why the arresting officer (who has a reported criminal history of his own) had to take action when he pulled Miller over for driving without his headlights on. And I understand that this arresting officer waited and watched Miller get behind the wheel and drive off, before pouncing on the detective. I get it. The law is the law and allegedly Miller broke it, although he did not submit to a breathalyzer, so there’s no way of really proving his condition now. But I’m not going to act like driving under the influence isn’t a pretty cut-and-dry situation. This is why I hate those horrible DWI Guy radio spots, with that awful jingle and those awful sketches. I don’t know how you get somebody out of a DWI charge.

What happened to Detective Miller stinks. It stinks from pretty much any angle you see it. It’s no secret that the crime in Albany is out of control and getting worse all the time. Good friends of mine live a few doors down from where an 80 year old was robbed and beaten in broad daylight. From Richard Bailey to Hudson Ave. on St Pat’s day to the baby gangs that knife each other over uptown vs. downtown, Albany is sinking into the abyss. But in the midst of all this nonsense and violence and crime, you had the strong, steady force that was Detective James Miller. Every time somebody was raped, pummeled to an inch of his life, or flat out murdered, Det. Miller was the steely-faced spokesman who addressed news reporters professionally, stoically, personally, and promised those responsible would face justice. There was a sense of trust with Det. Miller behind his desk. He was a figure of dignity and respect, and I always feared for the perp who crossed the crime-line on his watch.

Even if Miller was an APD figurehead at the end, he was still a source of consistency in a dept. that’s seemingly had anything but in recent years. Miller has been a cop for almost twenty years and his record is top-notch. Now this black cloud is hung over his head with one year left before he can file for retirement. And don’t think for a second that criminals all over the region aren’t celebrating the possible end of the James Miller era in Albany. Just hope this arresting officer has seen L.A. CONFIDENTIAL and heard of Edmund Exley. “I wouldn't trade places with Edmund Exley right now for all the whiskey in Ireland.”

Am I saying break the law? Of course not. But the war on crime is indeed a war. And when you’re in a war, you need an army. Now the Albany PD is going back into battle with one less general at the helm. Who’s really won? Which side is actually better off today than they were last Thursday? Like I said: It stinks from any angle.

Let me make this clear: I am not saying what Miller allegedly did was right. But what he did remains to be seen. And yes I understand he can’t be the Albany PD spokesman any longer. I get that. Whatever punishment the legal system decides for him, I would like to see Mayor Gerry Jennings, someday down the road, quietly pardon Det. Miller on this incident. I believe Jennings does have that power (I could be wrong). If he doesn’t, find someone who does. Perhaps the Governor. If Miller did mess up, which all accounts say he did, is it enough of a mess up that his two-decade time with the Albany PD should be forever blackened? Would I suggest this if an accountant or car salesman got stopped for this? Nope. But I will entertain the idea for a man who's spent 20 yrs putting his life on the line (in some way) for the City of Albany. For that guy, I would consider it an option. Do you have the guts to be a cop? How about this: Do you have the guts to be a cop with Arbor Hill a stone's throw away? That’s what I’m asking.

I’ve met the detective a few times. He’s always been a real gentleman. Not one of these cop-guys who act like total meatballs and drive 90mph in reverse because they’re cops and they can. You know exactly the kind of maniac I’m talking about. Every city and town has a few. That’s not who Det. Miller is, at least from my experiences with him. He’s a man who loves the city of Albany and seemed to me like someone who would’ve taken a blow to protect one of its citizens. I really liked the guy a lot. And I felt safe when he was around, no matter where we were. Isn’t that what a cop’s job is? To make the people feel safe? Miller messed up. I get that. He gets that. But today the City of Albany should feel a little less safe.

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

Brian Huba

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What is the point of an associate's degree?

What is the point of an associate’s degree? Why doesn’t some kind of college controlling body do away with the 2-yr degree? There really isn’t a single aspect or avenue of society that covets a degree of this level, is there? I actually earned an associate’s before earning my other degrees, and in many ways, I was less qualified for jobs with the A.A. than if I had obtained just a high school degree. It's a matter of finishing something you start, I think. No employer these days would ever look for someone with an associate’s. Honestly, it’s a bit strange to only have an associate’s degree, isn’t it? It’s kind of like playing a nice first half of football(to use the sports analogy) then deciding to quit at halftime, and just be satisfied with that. But for some reason, colleges reward students with this halftime degree. Why?

The only colleges that give associate’s degrees are community colleges, generally. This is another aspect of the college landscape that I don’t understand. Why do we have community colleges? Like I said in my last post: shouldn’t college be society’s farm system? If, for whatever reason, a student cannot earn acceptance to a standards-based university and/or college shouldn’t that be detected early on and an alternative post-secondary plan be given to that student? Isn’t community college in many ways just a glorified 13th grade that costs a student and/or his family money for courses, textbooks, etc, when in the end, all that money and time would be better invested? For some, community college is another chance to build up the resume for college. For others, it’s a way to save money and take core courses cheap before going to a 4-year college. I get that. But the dropout rate at HVCC is over 50%. That means that more than half the students who walk through the door in September, walk away with nothing, but unneeded loans and debt, albeit smaller than at the university level. So in the big picture, this path is failing miserably, because I don’t know any institution in any industry that is considered successful with those numbers.

What business would be allowed to continue functioning with a failure rate of +50%? Why do so many of these dropout factories remain open, allowed to take money for a product that doesn’t even result in anything half the time. Does keeping community colleges functioning cost NYS tax payers any money? I’d like to know that, because in the last decade they have dumped millions into HVCC. I want to know if tax payers have had to help pay that. If so, that’s outrageous. Again the whole + 50% thing.

And if these community colleges are feeder schools for 4-year colleges, why do they give an associate’s degree at the end of it? To me that makes no sense. To me that makes it kind of a competition or alternative to the 4-year college model. The goal for anyone who ever steps foot on any college campus should be a 4-year degree at least, and community college should be seen as the first step to that. That’s it. And community colleges should be held more accountable for this outlandish failure rate across the country. All I ever hear is how great HVCC is. How it’s one of the greatest community colleges in the country. What does that mean? +50 of the student population drops out! How can something be considered great with those kinds of numbers?

I have been thinking a lot about college this past week. And I guess my thoughts on the topic began when those U Albany punks rioted in the city last Saturday. I ask: Is it too easy to get into college, on any level? Has a college education become a right rather than a privledge? It shouldn't be that way. What good are jerks like that doing at U Albany? Even the armed services have a battery of psychological tests before entry, so that the person they bring aboard possess the moral makeup as well. What is really the point of bringing 10,000 kids onto the HVCC campus every fall, knowing that 5,000 of them are only delaying an inevitable path to the workforce or something that is not college based? Why can’t HVCC at least reject and accept?

Don’t we want our most elite students going into college, so that the degree earned is still in high demand and considered important? There’s just no selectivity left in college. Everybody goes to college! Everybody has a 4-year degree! If they can’t get in the traditional way they just back in another way (community college, etc). There are no jobs and a billion college grads. Now on top of this Mardi Gras of graduates, we have students coming out of community college with an associate’s degree. Great!

Why does everyone need a ribbon in this society? If you work hard and hit the books for 4-6 years you get to go to college. If academics aren’t your area, but you can fix an elevator or unclog a clog, let’s put you to work on that, sans the 12K in debt from HVCC. Believe me, I need more guys who can fix my brakes and repair my roof than I need people holding degrees in communications and psychology waiting tables at the Cheesecake Factory. It’s college inflation. The same way when inflation happens with money, people start blowing their noses with hundred-dollar bills. If there are too many degrees and too many kinds of degrees, people just stop caring. If you have a degree, I want to know you are the best of the best, a professional. I want to know you paid big bucks for it and studied very hard for it. I don’t want to hear about you having time to bust up cars on Hudson Ave. or deciding to stop your education at an associate’s. When that happens, all trust in the piece of paper is lost.

Speaking of nobody cares: Now on Facebook @ the Cat's Pajamas

Brian Huba

P.S. Heard U Albany faculty/students picked up garbage in the Pine Hills neighborhood last week. Great! Heard U Albany is canceling Fountain Day this spring. Ummm . . . Okay. Great! One question: When are you throwing out/dismissing the students who already turned themslves into police for rioting and destroying property last Saturday? That's what I want to know.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Send These Punks Packing

What happened Saturday morning on Hudson Ave. in the Pine Hills was absolutely disgusting. I apologize to anyone of our Capital Region Residents who someway or somehow were victimized by this collection of intoxicated trash. I applaud Albany Chief of Police Steven Krokoff and DA David Soares for their hard-line promise to deliver heavyweight retribution. Nobody treats our city like their personal playground. Damn right. But, after all that tough-guy talk, there’s a bigger story.

I’m talking to you, Albany State. Before the convictions hit the carpet, step up and toss these clowns off campus, sans degree. Goodbye and God speed. Prove for once that the SUNY system is interested in something other than collecting money and assembly-lining these degrees. You already validate enough kids with pieces of paper that deem them a professional of something or another. It’s an understood arrangement: these degrees are bought and paid for from day one. How do I know that? I did undergrad at U Albany. I saw it firsthand. But it’s not just SUNY, it’s every school. Our college campuses look like Vegas casinos while the cities and areas around them crumble in economic ruin. Have you seen U Albany lately? It’s Caesar’s Palace. Fact: Harvard has enough cash on hand to fully flip the next 200 Freshmen classes coming in. I'm no math major. But that's serious dough.

In my opinion, college is too easy and it’s too cheap to pay for. I know that’s the opposite of what you hear, but allow me to explain. College should be for the most elite and a degree, any degree, should cost 100K a year, at least. Why you may ask. I’ll tell you why. Quality not quanity. Right now everybody and their mother (literally) are partying their way through school on the government’s dime, sometimes beating up cars and private property after Kegs & Eggs, then earning a degree in some ridiculous thing that doesn’t parlay into a job out of school. How come? Because there’s NO jobs and a BILLION twenty-somethings with B.A.’s in communication and psychology. Everybody has a college degree, so don’t tell me about it being too expensive. You know what I did with my B.A.? Washed dishes at a nursing home in Albany. And I only got that job because two other college grads were hired then declined.

I have zero toleration for the sob stories about skyrocketing college costs when I see a bunch of drunked-up 'college kids' undress city streets in broad daylight and right on cell-phone camera. Smile wide so we can run this footage on the next TV spot when SUNY protests budget cuts. Doesn’t seem like the crippling costs of college, and the ‘elite opportunity’ to earn a degree, scared this motley crew too much.

College is supposed to be society’s farm system. Right? The contenders from the pretenders. What a joke. Trust me, that’s a joke. Step up, Albany State. Show the rest of the world that a group of kids so irresponsible and morally corrupt are not college material. Not here, not anywhere. Albany State’s President can shove his apology. Forget words. Action! Punch these punks’ tickets back to Long Island. You may say, 'Come on, Brian. They're just kids who got drunk and dumb. It happens.' I say:FORGET THAT!

I’ve been writing for a year on this forum about the outrageous and dangerous level of entitlement that young people possess nowadays. Read my most-previous post. They do what they want, say what they want, and never pay the price. Same way last year at the MAAC Championship when the Siena students rushed the basketball court after they were told NOT TO! They injured other fans by refusing to follow the rules then blamed security for dealing with them too harshly. And everyone felt so bad for the students. Get real. They were drunk, obscene, cursing in front of families and little kids. I was there. It was horrible. Not as horrible as Saturday though.

These St. Pat’s boozers: Take them down hard and fast DA David Soares. After that all we can do is hope that Albany State isn’t too cowardly and too worried about counting tuition checks to do the same. Throw the book at them. Then throw their unneeded college books out the window at them as they pack up and head back home. Like that cowboy says to DeNiro in CASINO. ‘You ain’t home. But that’s where were gonna send you if it harelips the governor.’

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Speaking of morally corrupt: Now on facebook @ the Cat's Pajamas

Brian Huba

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Come on, Mom

Hey, mom, do you really think it’s a good idea to take your nine year old to the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Downtown Albany? If there’s ever a single no-kids-allowed day, when people are going to get wasted in epic numbers, it would be that day and at that location. I just do not understand the thinking of a parent who brings their kid to someplace like that, where 10,000 people are getting loaded.

In case you hadn’t heard, in addition to the titanic number of people who populated the streets of downtown yesterday and poured in and out of the bars, there was a riot near Hudson Street in the city, where people were basically pounded to a drunken pulp by a mob of college-aged SUNY thugs, and property was detroyed all over the street after Kegs & Eggs ended. Did you just read what I wrote? A riot! When asked by Channel 9 news crews about the incident, one greened-out mother, holding her 5 year old, said she brings her kid to events like this then talks to him about how some people make good decisions and others make bad decisions. Huh? In the background, people were passing in packs, alcohol in hand, ready to let it fly. Yeah, mom, good place for junior.

First off, I’ve been to about a dozen parade days in Albany. Contrary to popular belief it is not a family event, regardless of how many fire trucks and marching bands come down State Street. It’s Woodstock with shamrocks and tall green hats. The mayor himself goes to McGeary’s and gets tipping. In my time, I’ve probably seen about 100 fights at or around this event. When I have kids, no way they’ll be down there on that day. I don’t care if it’s my tradition or something I’ve always liked to do. When kids enter the equation, all the rules change. If you’re a parent who had their kid down there yesterday, I really don’t know what in God’s name you were thinking. Stay home. Be a parent.

Maybe I just don’t understand this contemporary style of parenting. I really do believe that there are certain things and certain places a young person shouldn’t be. Case and point: Recently I was enjoying a nice dinner out at an Italian restaurant. It was late and it looked like a few of the regulars and/or people that owned the place had gathered to get some drinks and enjoy each other’s company. In the middle of all this 10.00PM adult time, a 12 year old girl was being allowed to rant, and carry on, and hold court in a really over-the-top way. It was endless in-your-face raving about how she would only accept a Lamborghini on her 16th birthday, and how she was going to Harvard, because she’d already been accepted to the college, and how she’d grown 5 inches in one year, before going around the entire room to measure herself against every single adult present. This went on and on and on. Never once did an adult/parent sit this child down or usher her off stage. Instead, an adult sent this child to the bar to get her (the adult’s) drink refilled.

My point: Children don’t always need to be the center of attention. There can be kid time and then there can be adult time. Children should be able to grow up and as time passes slowly be assimilated into adult situations, at the proper age and time. That’s how respect is established. If children are treated like adults too early they feel entitled and then never come to respect any adult. They consider themselves to be equal. Nobody wants to listen to a 7th grader carry on about Harvard and $200,000 cars at 10.00PM. It was unbearable. I had our dinners wrapped prematurely, paid the bill, and left. Enough was enough already.

I’m not ragging on anybody or making blame, but I feel uncomfortable when children are put in unnatural settings, whether it be the St. Pat’s Parade or something like the scene I just described. Today at the YMCA, I saw a five year old on a treadmill, with an I-Pod in, while a line of grown people were waiting to work out. On the next machine, her mother worked out, walking on the treadmill in 3-inch high heels. A treadmill in heels? I guess that’s the kind of thinking that would allow a child to hog a machine in an adult workout room with people waiting. If you think about it, isn't that kind of a watered-down version of those insane baby beauty pageants? A five year old on a treadmill, I mean . . . with an I-Pod in? And we all think that's disgusting, right (the baby pageants)? Doesn’t anybody else think this approach leads to huge and premature levels of entitlement in children? There has to be some hint of mystery about the adult world to make children respect those who inhabit it, right?

Maybe I’ll have a different attitude when I’m a parent. But I can’t imagine my child would have this kind of all-access pass to the places and events of my life. Parenting is everything, and if we as a society are interested in young people who understand respect, and the art of earning it, maybe this approach to child raising isn’t the right one. I don’t know. I could be wrong.

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Now on facebook @ the Cat's Pajamas . . . Moms allowed.

Brian Huba

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Everything That's Wrong with NYS Government

Yesterday is everything that is wrong with NYS Government. In Albany the NYS Highway Supervisors got together to discuss the fact that there is no money for roads, bridges, etc, because of the governor’s proposed budget cuts. Additionally, schools across the state continue to make painful cuts to programs and staff. What was Gov. Cuomo’s reaction/role in the midst of all this awfulness you ask? Could not be reached for comment. Why? Because he was hosting an all-day affair in regards to same-sex marriage. He actually had a lot to say about that issue yesterday, even releasing a PR statement about same sex to all the news channels to be plastered all over TV. What is my personal position on same-sex marriage? Who cares what my position is? What is my position on same-sex marriage today, when our roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and state agencies are crumbling? I could care less about same-sex marriage today, and I don’t know why our governor, in this economic state, is worried about it either.

You probably say, “Come on, Brian, it’s only one day, relax.” To that I say, “No way.” Perception is everything, and I want to hear that my governor can’t sleep at night because people are losing jobs and programs are dying on the vine. Is our governor using resources and time to fight for same-sex rights important? Sure is. Is it important right now? God no. Saving jobs, schools, hospitals, that’s important! Before you get the wrong idea, I do not dislike Cuomo. He came in like a F-18. But slowly and surely he is and we are reverting back to the same rhetoric and nonsense in and around state government. It never changes. Same-sex marriage? Right now? What?!

But it’s not just Cuomo. Right now we have a senior senator in Chuck Schumer who is seemingly only worried about going on a statewide blitz for the wine & liquor industry, a tax-paid blitz by the way. Huh?! His plan in this regard may be a fiscally-sound one, but I don’t care about that plan, because I don’t care about the liquor industry right now. Not even on my top 100 of priorities. Then there’s that absolute fool Kristin Gillibrand. Can anyone explain to me how this person got elected as our state’s junior senator? She is as useless as ski boots in Key Largo. Now, instead of fighting the fights that we need dealt with, she’s all over the TV, reading off her cue cards like the airhead she is, trying to get some version of a teenaged driving law passed, that’s basically been passed for twenty-five years already. No teens driving at night?! Wow, what a brainwave. Worst senator in America. Why is she doing that you ask? To look and sound good, and because she’s got nothing! Like I said before: She'll never dirty her hands with actual issues. Never!

All I heard on the news channels yesterday was Cuomo’s office couldn’t be reached for comment on all the state’s major issues, in between these three ‘who cares’ stories about same sex, wine & liquor, and teenaged driving. Let me bottom line this, geniuses: New Yorkers care about their job, their house/taxes, their financial/family security. That’s it! Fix that! Worry about this other crap when hospitals aren’t closing, bridges aren’t crumbling, and schools aren’t getting carved up. “Why do those things matter?” you may ask. I’ll tell you. If we don’t have public services, roads/bridges, and schools, this country's world standing is as dead as disco. That’s the facts.

Speaking of dead as disco, now on Facebook @ the Cat's Pajamas

Brian Huba

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Five Things

1.It might be time to start paying serious attention to Jake Gyllenhaal as a major Hollywood actor. The other night I watched a movie called LOVE & OTHER DRUGS, where he played a pharmaceutical rep, opposite Anne Hathaway, who played his love interest dealing with early Parkinson Disease. I will spare you the plot details. Hathaway was mediocre at best, what she always is, just a cute girl who misses the mark at every turn. But Jake, wow, he really was terrific, almost Cruise like in the role. The movie had 'another dumb romcom' written all over it, but Jake made all the difference. And a few years back, he was just as good, if not better than Ledger in BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN. This guy has a shot, I think, to be a serious heavyweight player. He’s got it all and he’s great on camera. He’s a lot like Ryan Gosling (LARS & THE REAL GIRL), another great actor. But we all know Gosling is more of a cult favorite, will never make mainstream breakthrough, but Gyllenhaal really can. Check him out if you haven’t already. I think he can win an Oscar. He’s movie star, plain and simple.

2.I may have this wrong, but is there another of these stupid, horrible, soul-eating reality shows that puts high-school-aged children in situations where they are being artificially bullied to see what they would do and what bystanders would do? And the parents are in on the setup? Is that really happening? Isn’t bullying an epidemical issue in schools across the country, leading in some cases to very serious consequences by the bullied? How is this mental abuse supposed to be entertaining in any way, shape, or form? If I have the details right on this, I am literally speechless . . .

3.. . . Speaking of reality TV, I saw a commercial the other night for some show called CELEBRITY APPRENTICE, and Gary Busey was about to fight Meatloaf, not the food, the singer. You know, 'Don’t be sad, Two out of three ain’t bad . . .' Anyway, I said to myself, 'Who in their right mind is still watching this garbage?' How many staged, scripted carnations of celebrities supposedly going loco have to be lazily rolled out before we have had enough? How long can this same thing be recycled for ratings? Guys, seeing Gary Busey ‘almost’ come to blows in a completely controlled/contrived situation is not that interesting anymore. He’s already been on 7 other reality shows, doing the same thing. I thought we hit the bottom of the barrel 5 years ago. It’s the same thing everywhere in the ‘Reality’ world. I can’t get through 5 minutes of IDOL anymore. Trying to watch 2 minutes of J-SHORE or KIM & KOURTNEY DO NEW YORK or KHLOE & LAMAR DO STUPID is akin to human torture. They are all fake, completely scripted/staged, and it’s the same thing over and over and over and . . . Is America really this stupid?!! MTV and E! are UNWATACHABLE! If this—any of this—actually entertains you, I hope Chris Farley comes back from the dead, reprises his role as Tommy Boy and hits you over the head with a tack hammer, because you are an . . . well, see Tommy Boy if you don't know the rest.

4.So let me get this straight: NYS is staring down the barrel of a 10-billion-dollar deficit, state workers are going to be ushered out at the tune of 9,800 layoffs, Medical/Health Care funding is going bye bye, education is getting $$$$$ crushed, and Sen. Chuck Schumer (whom I like a lot) is on a statewide campaign that has something to do with getting $$$$ for liquor/breweries? He even made a stop at Brown’s Brewery recently in regards to this quest. I admit I don’t know the details of the senator’s plan, but I must ask: Is this REALLY what we’re worried about right now? There is such a thing as perception, right? Forget health care and education, Schumer is trying to get Cuomo on board to find funding for the alcohol industry? Ummm, huh? I love the local bartender just as much as the next guy, and all his witty life-stores, but I rather put every ounce of energy into hospitals and children and the future. Money for breweries? Not even on the top 100 of my priorities as a New Yorker right now. Sorry.

5.OK, I have to admit it: Miley Cyrus was great on SNL last night. The sketches were all very funny, especially the ‘Other’ Black Eyed Peas skit, and she did just enough to get through the show, without a blunder or embarrassing overreach. I will say that the SNL cast gave her a lot of help, they all brought their A game last night, but still, she was good. The musical act: The Strokes, nonsense, but the show itself: Best of the 2010.11 season. I have a theory: I think guests with musical inclination somehow do better with the SNL concept than traditional actors. For instance Robert DeNiro was a grease fire on SNL but Justin Timberlake is considered one of the greatest emcees ever. But if you think about it, Timberlake never made a funny sketch, per say. That thing where he’s the singing egg isn’t funny at all, and the Gibb Brothers sketch is all Falloon. JT just sits there and says, 'No, no I don’t' every two minutes or so. He’s remembered for his SNL shorts, *&^% in a Box, etc. But isn’t that kind of like making a 'funny' music video? God knows he can do that. My point being, Cyrus didn’t do anything particularly funny or comically clever, she just did some singing and played back up/support in all the sketches. The episode was a winner, and I have to give Cyrus her respect. She knew her role and worked it.

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Brian Huba

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Duh, Winning!

I have felt pressed to write about Charlie Sheen all week, but have come up empty when trying to figure out a position on this issue. For once, I just don’t have anything original, alternative, and/or outside the box to say on this. Plainly put: Sheen is one of the most horrible people on the planet Earth. Horrible because he’s been blessed with everything and messed it up ten-fold, given every chance under the sun, and somehow kept a circle, albeit shrinking circle, of people around him who actually want to keep this train wreck maniac alive. I’ve had this sentiment on Sheen since way before this epic meltdown that cost him TWO & A HALF MEN, a huge hit, which may be the most overrated sitcom ever. I just . . . I don’t know.

My thinking on Sheen’s horribleness started about a year back when I watched his E TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY. Let me summarize the show quickly. It was one incident after the other where Sheen messed up, screwed somebody over, did drugs, beat up women, ruined lives, destroyed people and/or projects. In between every jaw-dropping story of selfishness, Sheen would just shrug his shoulders and say “Oh well” or “What do you want me to do?” Or “Don’t know what to tell you,” cue sly grin and cigarette pull. Those who know him best, family aside (Jon Cryer, Angus Jones, Michael Douglas, etc) HATE Him.

He's paying two women, his goddesses, probably around 25K a week to be his live-in girlfriends and worship him 24/7, and help him carry out his insane PR blitz. Family, friends won't go near him. Anyone who stops by (Sean Penn, etc) is just trying to see the madness first hand. Charlie’s a demented creep who doesn’t give a crap about anybody but himself. He wants to get fired from MEN, paid the balance of his contract, and then lock himself in a room and drug himself to death. He doesn't want to work anymore. Drugs have made him a mud puddle. He's forever that 23-yr-old H-Wood brat, even still rocking the backwards hat and funny t-shirts. His rants are Kinison like, his interviews Jackson-Family like. He's a cult leader now with those two 21-yr-old women he hired to play house with. He's a dead man walking. If you can’t see that, Stevie Wonder is probably cracking blind jokes about you.

I suppose one thing that makes me a bit angry is how much people seem to clamp on to this attention-hungry psycho. In less than 48hrs, Sheen has amassed a Twitter following of one million+. His show’s ratings are better than ever, and he’s the most searched Internet name. America loves this guy, in the same way we love the brain-dead Kardashians and those Jersey Shore morons. Love them in the sense that we watch them, follow them, put money in their pockets. I know it’s a car-crash thing, can’t look away, I get that. But remember Sheen thinks of you as little, insignificant people who live in little, insignificant houses. His words, paraphrased. Enter Sheen's infamous dismissive gesture, cigarette pull. Of course I’m not suggesting that we should take things these idiots do and say so personally, but I do wish that Charlie Sheen stories weren’t always the front-page piece in the NY Post and other such papers.

You (nor I) could possibly imagine what it would be like to spend 5 minutes with somebody like Sheen. It would be a nightmare of epic proportions. I suppose normal/Middle American people aren’t used to the shocking level of selfishness and narcissism you would deal with. I’ve known a small number of very wealthy/celebrity people, I mean seriously wealthy. And I didn’t know them too well. But from what I’ve learned they are just living/thinking on another planet than middle class people are. My honest opinion: They were off in the ways of actual problems and issues and nothing mattered but them and their problems, sorry that's what I thought. For instance, I bet, if you were hanging out with Kim Kardashian and you got run over by a mack truck, she probably wouldn't cry because that might ruin her just-applied makeup. That's what I mean. But that’s a little-guy perspective, I get that. I guess they were just so different I couldn’t even communicate with them. The overarching trait in the few I’ve come across: Selfish.

As for Sheen, he’s lower than whale dung, bet my life on it. It will probably be a good thing when he finally expires. At least then the people around him will have a chance at normalcy and will be able to sleep a descent night without worrying about Charlie--the kids will be better off. And by the way, a grown man who calls himself Charlie and has a Charlie Brown tat. Umm, OK. Am I too harsh? Maybe. But you’re talking about a man who brutalized a prostitute and trashed a hotel room in a drug-induced rage with his young children on the other side of the wall. And I don't mean drugs, I mean DRUGS!That’s who you’re talking about. Perspective, people. When he does finally go away, and it will be soon, I’m sure, what will that mean for all of us, you ask?

Duh, Winning!

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Brian Huba