Monday, December 24, 2007

Non Sequitur of the Day: #19

Christmas cookies.

"Shwetty balls."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame: Still No Fun in The D

Madonna's in. That's cool. Gotta sell tickets, y'know.

Even though the MC5 should be in, I think they're too local to make it.

But no Iggy? The Pistols and Ramones are in, but he only invented punk.


Share your thoughts.

On the Steroid Report, or Lack of Perspective is on the Juice

For everyone who is tut-tutting about how steriods have skewed the record book of baseball, or how the "steroid era" should have an asterisk beside it, I'm fine with that. The can put that asterisk in with all the other asterisks for the cheating era, the only white guys are good enough to pitch to Babe Ruth era, the uppers era, the cocaine era and the Astroturf era. Baseball is a reflection of society, and if you parse one era, you gotta parse all the other eras. Really, for baseball management to have been shocked, SHOCKED!!! by steroid use is disingenuous, while the long ball was helping restore baseball in the public's interest after their '94 lockout. Also, funny how neither McGwire or Sosa showed up on the list, isn't it? Finally, shouldn't owners during the time, who raked in the bucks generated by their players during the unprecedented home run binge, be brought to account? Go Rangers.

Non Sequitur of the Day: #17

"Fifty thou a year -- buys a lot of beer"

Friday, November 30, 2007

Detroit Hack City: Boy Howdy Should Be on the Side of a Milk Carton

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Detroit and its music history, especially Creem magazine. Once upon a time, I had an option to buy the IP rights from Arnold Levitt, who had bought them from the estate of founder Barry Kramer. I couldn't get financing and let the option lapse, which ultimately allowed fringe freelance photographer Robert Matheu to do a deal with Levitt to start a poor web-only representation of what was a legendary magazine and Detroit institution. Of course, Matheu's taken the Creem legacy nowhere (which is why I won't link there), and apparently screwed other people who care about it, most notably Barry Kramer's son, J.J. Now, Matheu's written his version of the Creem story, which some friends of mine who I respect -- and Creem notables -- like Dave Marsh and Sue Whitall and Connie Kramer have called bogus. Even if I didn't believe them -- which I do -- I personally know enough of Creem's history to agree with their positions.

So, do not buy Matheu's book. Seriously. Promise me.

Then wish and hope and pray that the real Creem principals will someday lay down their arms, tone down their egos, bury their mutual grudges and get together to write The Creem History the cries out to be written. Hell, Cameron Crowe will do the movie. See, if there's one cautionary tale to come out of this unfortunate train wreck of personalities, it's that Detroiters in the music scene regard it as a zero-sum game; I can't get over unless I take you down. As if there isn't enough for all of us. There's no rising tide lifting all boats mentality around The D, I tells ya.

Back when I was looking for money to re-start Creem (think the original Creem, plus Mojo meeting Spy), I got blowback from some Creem alums suggesting I was an interloping dilettante, and who was I to invite myself into the Creem fraternity? It's similar to the carping about Matheu's book. Hey, guys, if you have the true story to tell, and want to smack down Matheu, go write your story -- the true story. Pretty please? It's not like there aren't any qualified writers involved in this sad, unfortunate nightmare.

Bringing a Whole New Meaning to "Political Hot Air"

While I enjoy hearing some of his ideas (though not the slightly paranoid North American Union hoo-ha), and I am crushing on the Ron Paul backwards-Love logo (worked into his "Revolution" positioner, the blimp idea, IMHO, definitely falls into Wingnut-ville. Let's see Homeland Security sign off on that baby circling a few BCS games. Not.

R.I.P and Me

If you're Roger Smith, who had the bad fortune to die the same day as Evel Knievel, and you're reading your obits, it would have to suck to be you. . . perhaps even slightly worse than being dead. Because in addition to being called a "greek tragedy" and, basically, a failure, they dismiss your towering achievements like the Cimarron and other accounting-driven feats of badge engineering. And then, to be someone who I imagine was a good Oakland County Republican, to have Michael Moore -- who started his career literally on your back -- mentioned in the lead of your obits? Poor guy will be corkscrewing his way to Japan, perhaps bumping into a rusted-out '86 Nova (above) at the end of the trip.

The Baptist Minister Wasn't Conservative Christian Enough, So Republicans Had to Beg a Divorced, Tom-cattin' Hollywood Actor to Run?

People (or Republicans) who are surprised by Mike Huckabee's recent bounce in Iowa must be enormous narcissists. Huckabee's been in since the beginning of the GOP campaign, and he's always been an affable Southern Baptist preacher with a pretty good story of personal salvation (with his weight loss). Yet, the so-called Christian conservatives kept looking for a candidate, and got themselves Fred Thompson, the Tennesee Stud," divorced with a track record of being Senator PUA (aka Fred Mystery), with a trophy wife (or not) to boot. And all along they had Huckabee, from the same home town as Bubba, who used to be fat, spoke their language while really believing it, but whose name sounds too much like "Hickabee." He just didn't look good enough to them. Hello, nacissism. For God's sake -- literally -- the guy's a Southern Baptist minister who doesn't believe in evolution -- how much more Christian or conservative could you get? It makes one wonder what Republicans want -- or if they even know what they want. One thing to remember, though: vanity is a sin.

Non Sequitur of the Day: #15

The world is football-shaped.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Non Sequitur of the Day: #14



Detroit Rock City

Cheers to Metro Times and whoever else I still know down there for their outstanding piece last week, the 100 greatest Detroit songs. You must check it out. For me, however, two things. One, everyone will have a favorite left off, and mine is the great and hyper-political "Ball of Confusion," by the Temps (above). (Also memorably covered by Love and Rockets.) Two, why didn't they ask me to vote? :-(

Monday, November 26, 2007

If you vote for the baseball HOF, vote Alan Trammell

This year's ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame has been released. There are no first-ballot slam dunks like in the past few years, though I have never understood how first-ballot entry is somehow better than getting in later. Being a shameless Detroit homer, but also with a strong sense of justice, I cannot understand how the '84 Tigers have no one in the Hall of Fame. They were a dominant team of that era, and if how a player stacks up against his peers in their era is an indicator of Hall-worthiness, Trammell, Jack Morris and Lou Whittaker all should be in. Other than Ripken, which of their contemporaries is better? Sweet Lou got the ziggy after only one ballot, and while Morris is still on the list, his career-long penchant for telling sportswriters to screw off has understandably hurt his chances. But lots of folks think Trammell is an all-time Top 10 shortstop, except those who vote. Really, would HOF SS Ozzie Smith, with comparable defense and lesser offense, be in if he wasn't a good interview who did snappy round-offs going to his position? And should the fact that sportswriters remember Bubba as easy column fodder better than Trammell's great career in a lesser market keep Trammell -- as well as, hopefully, his two teammates -- from getting a HOF ticket punched?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Non Sequitur of the Day: #13

The Grey Cup, eh?

Geez, even their Lions lost.

60 Second Prediction: U-M will not hire Les Miles

This morning's Free Press did the historical primer to the supposedly obvious conclusion: that Bill Martin will hire Les Miles as the new football coach. First, remember, all coaches have their downs and ups and downs and downs. So, to quote Mr. Spock, be careful what you wish for. Secondly, I doubt Bill Martin will hire someone from a school that is an approximate peer to U-M, which would rule out a current head coach from the SEC, Big 12, Pac 10 or Big 10; the philosophy is that U-M can find its own guy, we don't need to take someone from someplace else. And really, instead of just wanting a "Michigan man," they more importantly want someone who will become a Michigan man (like Bo and Fritz and Bennie), with no comparable past to measure it against, whether for better or for worse (which would be, ewwww, very Saban-like). Finally, Coach Miles this past week pronounced yesterday's opponent "Ar-kan-zes," instead of "Ar-ken-saw." That has kind of a John L. Smith vibe, which is definitely not the vibe anyone at U-M, in A2 or among the largest living alumni body in the world would ever buy. Remember: style is just as much a part of this job description as wins, if not more. I'm digging on Brian Kelly, myself. Go Blue.


Just finished doing my regular Sunday morning watching of Meet the Press, and they did the political consultant gaggle with Carville, Matalin, Murphy and Schrum. I always wonder, why Schrum? What campaign win has he ever QBed that improved the Dems' position? He's even taken his stumbling pan-Atlantic.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Non Sequitur of the Day: #12

The Lovely Dawna mentioned today how the phrase "Black Friday" has become part of the American vernacular. While it's common that industry terms occasionally work their way into the layperson's vocabulary, the thing that's uniquely American is how we now have an unofficial holiday dedicated to shopping. Yikes. And stand-by for the mother of TV news cliches: the mall stand up telling us how bad the traffic is. Oy.

Non Sequitur of the Day: #11

"Gobble. Gobble."


P.S. Cheers to, who are celebrating U.S. Thanksgiving in their own way, by referring to it as "Thursday."

Detroit's Most Dangerous City + Key to the City to Santa = ???

One year, then, shouldn't Santa get the hot wire to the city?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Saint Nick, my ass

Boos rain down on Alabama football team after embarrassing loss to Louisiana-Monroe

I and The Lovely Dawna have friends in Monroe, Louisiana, so I always keep an eye on the Louisiana-Monroe scores. So, in light of their defeat of "Saint Nick" Saban's Crimson Tide, may I say:


How 'bout them Warhawks?!

Non Sequitur of the Day: #8

"Woody is tails."

Lloyd Carr was/is awesome

When the U-M football team started the season 0-2, people who didn't know better were calling for Lloyd Carr's mid-season firing or resignation. For people with no sense of history or perspective (neither was ever going to happen), that was a classic knee-jerk, 24-7 news cycle response -- we have airtime to fill and, lacking facts (or a desire to discuss them), we will fill the airtime with opinion. Of course, paying attention to his assistants' contract extensions was a good indication of what truly was up. But, seriously, my response in mid-September was two-fold: those losses doesn't count more than any other loss (as non-conference games, perhaps less), and who would you get who's better? How many other active coaches have won a National Champtionship? Have as many 10-win seasons? Be in 4 out of 5 BCS bowl games? Has a 4-2 bowl record v. the SEC? So, they ended up one half-way decent offensive showing short of the Rose Bowl. . . and, in an unrelated move, Lloyd Carr retired today. The guy is truly unique as an academic football coach, hanging with Russel Crowe and quoting Pakenham Beatty at the top of his resignation press conference. How cool is that? As for his successor, I'm not the only one not sold on Les Miles, who has been a bit indiscreet in his comments and actions toward his alma mater's football team, even admitting to selling them out in last year's polls for an SEC team. It's easy to pine for the bright, shiny present like Miles; being able to find the overlooked gem with value -- like Bo in '69 -- fits U-M's culture. As for my favorites, if either can get out of their deals, if you want to go insider, I like Jim Harbaugh; if you want to go outsider, I always liked the great job Brian Kelly did at Grand Valley -- he could be very, if you will, Tressel-esque.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Modest Proposal: Detroit's Convention Hall

This past week's article in Crain's gives an update on the provincial brinkmanship preventing anyone from resolving the region's (alleged) need to expand its convention facility, most notably for the Auto Show. Cobo's footprint is too small -- remember when Coleman wanted to building out over the river? So, may I suggest starting from scratch? There's a whole bunch of assembled land over in Rivertown for the casinos that were never clustered there. It's a blank slate, so why not build a brand new one-level facility which everyone agrees is optimal, like Chicago's McCormick Place (top) and NYC's Javits Center (bottom), both of which are off the beaten path, away from the heart of their respective downtown. Building a new Cobo in Rivertown would justify adding spurs off of both 375 and the People Mover, and could even rejuvenate the railroad tracks which pass under Jefferson by allowing people to take a train downtown from Oakland County (which might help sell Brooks). Development would fill in to the east of the RenCen and, as a bonus, you could re-develop the current Cobo site. As for who owns what, why not create a commission like the Port Authority, with voting reps from each investing/stakeholder: each county, the City and the State. If they don't trust each other enough, they could create a 425 zone, where all the stakeholders actually own the district. And with the authorizing legislation, why not toss in a provision for another casino/hotel to help pay for the thing?


Non Sequitur of the Day: #6



Friday, November 9, 2007

Non Sequitur of the Day: #5

"Since OJ had Isotoners. . ."


Adventures in Civics: Water Bill Veto Override

Right now, somewhere deep inside the bowels of the White House, I imagine there is a 26-year-old General Counsel-slash-Under-Secretary of the Interior (an undergrad of Liberty Unversity and a DKE, as well as Regent Law School), frantically trying to figure out a question of first impression: how the president can undermine the veto override with a signing statement. BTW -- all of Michigan's representatives voted to override, even the Republicans (which includes Knollenberg)! The batteries in their discipline collars must've run out.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Non Sequitur of the Day: #4

"...pretty persuasion..."

"Take off your uniform" WTF?!

Let's recap: Musharraf already was a general who overthrew an elected government. He never resigned his commission, but he did take the uniform off to self-appoint himself as "Chief Executive" and then "President." He's held fake elections, but his biggest prop-up came from the U.S. post-911 under the classic "(alleged) enemy of my enemy is my friend" approach. So now that the civilized, pseudo-democratic suit-wearin' president thing hasn't been working out, he does a re-coup, v2.0. And the best W can come up with is, "Take off your uniform?" From a classic recovering narcissist with a fondness for uniforms, it's sadly not surprising.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Non Sequitur of the Day: #2

"negative campaigning."


A Modest Proposal: Re-purpose Tiger Stadium

So, it appears that Tiger Stadium is finally, maybe, circling the drain, with the bid proposals out for demolition. Not having heard much lately from the Ernie Harwell group, I ask: Why can't Tiger Stadium be the new home of the Red Wings? Gut the interior, build whatever you want on the inside, create a bunch of parking decks around the outside (all the better to capture revenue with), and you might have yourself a west anchor for development between there and Comerica Park. You could even move the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in to create some year-round revenue. There has to be a bunch of redevelopment tax incentives laying around that would make it work. A crazy idea, you say? Perhaps, but what a statement it would make. For some reassurance, check out how they built an oustanding spaceship of a football stadium inside the teeny footprint that is Chicago's Solder Field here and here and here. Discuss... or is it too late?

It's the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. . .

. . . which makes it Election Day. The flag is out, I've done my time at the polls in the seasonally horrible weather, so I get to write about our dysfunctional little city one more time. (Why couldn't the global warming have held out for another week?) I've been doing some writing elsewhere on the Internets with my takes on the election: here on the Birmingham Buzz, and here in the Eccentric (toward the bottom of the page). If you couldn't figure it out amidst my dense, yet persuasive, political prose, I urge you vote for Shelli Weisberg, Gordon Rishchler, Scott Moore and Tom McDaniel. GOTV, people.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

WNIC 's Christmas Music Format Change

Dear God, I saw my first billboard for WNIC's annual Xmas flip tonight, on I-94. Before Thanksgiving is too soon, IMHO, but it makes for killer ratings and revenues, so God bless 'em, they should go for it. I'd go for it. What's the over-under on this year's flip date? Discuss...