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Issue #66

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Features:

The 50 Most Loathsome Americans of 2004

DLC Mooseshit: A Letter to Marshall Wittman - Matt Taibbi

2004: The Year in Regret Timeline

Time Lies: "Person of the Year" Issue Shits in Your Mouth & Calls it a Chocolate Sundae- Matt Taibbi


Faux-tures:

Tsunami Offers Heartfelt Apology

Life Value Calculator

Giambra's Pets raise Questions, Concerns



Departments:

Buffalo in Briefs: Looking Back

BEAST-O-Scopes

I HATE YOU: Channel 2 News "On Your Side"

Local Book Reviews

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters




Movie Reviews:

Kino Korner

Sports:

Wide Right: Bills, Bledsoe Just not Good Enough - Ronnie Roscoe



Comix:

I Witless News - I. Gonzalez

Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth

Bob the Angry Flower - Stephen Notley

Perry Bible Fellowship - N!cholas Gurewitch



Issue #65

Download Entire issue (23mb PDF)

 

Features:

Christmas in Hell: No, Virginia, There is no Santa Claus- Matt Taibbi

Disinformation Age: America Loves a Good Liar- Allan Uthman

Power 1, Truth 0: RIP Gary Webb, Journalism - Michael Manville

Insane in the Ukraine - Matt Taibbi


Faux-tures:

Celebrity Holiday Greetings

Ridiculous Gift Guide

Tips on Buying Thoughtless Gifts

Giambra Admits Drinking Live Sea Monkeys

Area Child Expects Lame Christmas Gifts

Paris Hilton's What Hot & What's Not in 2005

Advice From John Ritter's Ghost



Departments:

Buffalo in Briefs

BEAST-O-Scopes

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters

I HATE YOU: The Senate, Slaves to the South

DJ's Notes from the Big House

The Straight Dope w/ Dr Rotten




Movie Reviews:

Kino Korner



Comix:

I Witless News - I. Gonzalez

Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth

Bob the Angry Flower - Stephen Notley





Issue #64

Download Entire issue (31mb PDF)

 

Features:

Happy Bhopal to You: The Disaster is 20 Years Young! - Matt Taibbi

Sleeping With the Fishes: Fear Not, Buffalo--Corporate Welfare Will Save You! - Chris Abbey

No Moore Dissent: DLC Targets Populism, Man-Boobs- Matt Taibbi

Drowning the Scorpion: Debating a Neocon- Stan Goff

Condoleezza Rice is Going to Lick Your Beaver- Matt Taibbi


Faux-tures:

Bush Refuses to Pardon Turkey, Execution Proceeds as Scheduled

Kmart, Sears Merge to Create One Big Failure - Josh Righter



Departments:

Buffalo in Briefs

BEAST-O-Scopes

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters

The Straight Dope w/ Dr Rotten




Entertainment:

Movie Reviews:

Kino Korner

Music Reviews :

Arcade Fire

MF Doom - Ketchup Samurai

Sports:

Wide Right: Bills Still Have a Shot at 5th Super Bowl Loss - Ronnie Roscoe



Comix:

I Witless News - I. Gonzalez

Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth

Bob the Angry Flower - Stephen Notley







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© 2004 The Beast


Local Book Reviews by Zoester Frye


Frank Thomas Croisdale, Buffalo Soul Lifters: A Homespun Collection of Inspirational Stories

Western New Yorkers like beer, football and fatty foods, but we love ourselves. If there's a reference to Buffalo on a hit TV show, we crowd around the set to bask in the glory. Nobody in town knows what Buffalo 66 was about because we were too busy saying, "hey, that's that place," and bookstore shelves are just crammed with pointless blocks of paper that get snapped up because Irv Weinstein's on the cover.

In 2002, alleged Niagara Falls journalist Frank Thomas Croisdale found a flaccid purple balloon near a creek. A note attached explained that it was sent aloft three days earlier in Utah, by a little girl who had just pledged to be drug- and violence-free. While Croisdale should have been inspired to write a book about irresponsible environmental damage, or at least to fire off a missive to the little girl about the shame of littering, he instead chose to keep the crap train rolling, squeezing out a literary turd packed with stories starring Western New Yorkers just like you and me.

Buffalo Soul Lifters ($12.95, WNY Wares) is a collection of over 30 "inspirational" tales including, of course, Buffalo Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly and his Hunter's Hope Foundation. While that story has inspirational appeal (as does any story of any family with any sick child), this reviewer couldn't stop remembering Kelly's stupid face mugging for the camera at the Republican National Convention, eagerly supporting a candidate who would gladly end stem-cell research and deny other families their own miracles.

Miracle. It's a word used plenty in the book. Only once is it justified, in the case of Roger Woodward, who was swept over Niagara Falls in 1960, and lived to tell the tale.

Though the book touches on some bona-fide inspirational stories, such as parents with sick kids, or people overcoming disabilities, it is overstuffed with fluff that seems included just to draw interest. Former WKBW news anchor Irv Weinstein is on the cover as a tie in to a story about the origins of the old "It's eleven o'clock, do you know where your children are" line, which, rather than being inspirational, illustrates how local media has been screwing over freelancers for over thirty years. Another segment concerning the Herschel Carrousel Museum is just tourist writing.

Beware any book that starts with two pages of acknowledgments and dedications. The late short story writer Raymond Carver dedicated his last book, the book he knew was his last and greatest work, to his wife with a simple "Tess, Tess, Tess...." Croisdale, whose dedication actually has paragraphs, also ends his book with a two-page sappy love note to his wife. An excerpt:

I could hire an airplane to write her name in the sky, but it wouldn't capture one iota of her best attribute, her laugh. Her laugh is bold where she is not. It is boisterous where she is meek. It walks on water where she refuses to dip even a temperature-testing toe beneath the surface....Will you be my valentine?

When you mop up after Croisdale's ego masturbation, you will be left holding the Kleenex and wondering, "This? This from a frickin' balloon?"

The balloon epiphany is hammered to death in an effort to wrestle a cogent inspirational metaphor from a relatively unremarkable occurrence, which Croisdale, of course, thinks miraculous.

According to the book’s promo write-up, “…Croisdale realized that the balloon symbolized the best qualities of all Western New Yorkers. It was resilient, determined and driven by fate." A balloon.

It gets worse: "...all the folks in this book share a common trait. In their unique ways, they are all purple balloons sent to remind us that hope is our lifeblood."

Is it possible to laugh and vomit at the same time?


Ed Vidler, Beyond the Awning

 So popular was East Aurora shopkeeper Ed Vidler's 2003 memoir "From Under the Awning," he has given his fans a sequel. Vidler, proprietor of Vidler's Five and Dime, an East Aurora retail landmark, has penned Beyond the Awning ($9.95, self-published, distributed by WNY Wares) a collection of 28 short takes on life in a small town and a career in retail.

While the stories are little more than vignettes that twist and turn on humorous details, they are not meant to inspire you, and Vidler has no intention of educating you. Rather, the book reads like stories an old neighbor might tell you out on the front porch. Sometimes funny, sometimes interesting, sometimes true.

Occasionally, Vidler's down-home delivery, which works so well with most of his simple tales of crazy customers or grandma's jawbuster cookies, leaves the reader perplexed. In a story called "Murder Confession at Wally's," Vidler recounts with whimsey a double homicide carried out by a mill worker. "The prearranged early whistle blew, " Vidler writes, "and the unsuspecting Hod went home to the sight of a delivery wagon in his yard and the aforementioned hanky-panky in the bedroom. With no apparent commotion, Hod took his shotgun and dispatched the offending parties." What a riot!

What readers will like best is the writing, which is crisp and devoid of the flowery dreck that infects so many self-published local books. A businessman, Vidler knows to just get to the point. Fun illustrations by Bob Fisk set the right comic tone for Vidler's tales.

Like Vidler's store, Beyond the Awning offers readers nothing they need, but there's no harm in poking around a bit, just for fun.


 

.. This Issue ...........Home............. Contact........Archives

The 50 Most Loathsome People in America 2004

21. Alan Colmes
Crimes: An angry conservative’s wet dream: an effete liberal dive artist. As a professional doormat, Colmes’ only tasks are to serve as a comforting aggregate of Republican stereotypes about Democrats and a target for the seething derision of his psychotic guests. Stands idly by while voracious green-blooded co-host utilizes Gestapo tactics against centrist Democrats.


Time Lies

Matt Taibbi

...What was great about Sullivan's "Year of the Insurgents" column last week was how beautifully it threw the rest of the "Person of the Year" issue into contrast. Here's Sullivan bitching about bloggers needing to stay on the margins where they belong; meanwhile, his "respectable" media company is joyously prancing back and forth along 190 glossy pages with George Bush's cock wedged firmly in its mouth.


[sic] - letters

TONGUE LASHING

Dear Vile & Dangerous Misogynists,

As a member of the Buffalo chapter of the Feminine Liberation Organization (no connection whatsoever to FelLatiO), I must tell you that I take great offense at your sophomoronic attempts at mocking the divine act of beaver licking. So what if our future Secretary of State engages in a periodic tongue lashing? Does it frighten your xenophobic male staff that a woman can satisfy a woman?


Disinformation Age

Allan Uthman

....The problem with the left is that our whole model of changing opinions—that contrary facts will alter people’s views—is inherently flawed. Mundane, oafish Americans, in a national competition to see how many $3.99 “support our troops” ribbon magnets they can fit onto the backs of their Suburbans, simply aren’t interested in reality...Let’s face it; there is a sizable chunk of the population who deny the validity of evolution—evolution. Who are we kidding, thinking we can make them see the errors in Social Security privatization?


DLC Moose Shit

Matt Taibbi

...Marshall Wittmann, the former legislative director for the Christian Coalition and also a veteran talking head of such excellent organizations as the Heritage Foundation and the Hudson Institute (which hypes him as "one of the nation's most quoted analysts"), offers himself as a candidate for the chair of the Democratic Party. Wittmann, you see, is now an operative at the Democratic Leadership Council—he got the policy operative spot that opened up when Al From and Bruce Reed were tipped off that their initial choice, Mobutu Sese Seko, had been dead for years...


Celebrity Holiday Greetings

Hey everyone! Aren't my tits great? Truly they are a gift unto us from the Holy Father. I'm so hot for Jesus!

Please buy Nick's album. He could really use the help.

 


Power 1, Truth 0

Michael Manville

On December 12th I opened my Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times and saw in the obituaries that Gary Webb was dead. More specifically, I saw that Gary Webb had killed himself. He had, it seems, shot himself in the head. When movers arrived at his house on Saturday they found a note on the door that said "Please do not enter. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance."



Sleeping With the Fishes

Chris Abbey

What do dying urban centers need to keep them afloat when everything and everyone has long since moved out to the suburbs? A gimmick, of course, like the Arch in St. Louis or, even cooler, a Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of fame like Cleveland has! Too bad those ideas were already taken, and the only thing our leaders could think of is resurrecting the long dead Aud and turning it into a massive Bass Pro outdoor shop, along with a hotel and restaurant.


Happy Bhopal to You

Matt Taibbi

THE BHOPAL DISASTER had its 20th anniversary last week, and so was duly (and briefly) commemorated in the inside sections of a few American newspapers.

It is unlikely, however, that any public figures are going to pay tribute to what happened 20 years ago this week. Which is too bad, because as far as America is concerned, the week of Dec. 9 to 16 was the more important week of the Bhopal disaster. That's when we got over Bhopal.


Drowning the Scorpion

Stan Goff

When I was first invited by Dr. Stephen Smith to speak at Winthrop University in South Carolina, I was preparing a trip to Haiti and I didn't give much thought to how I would handle the engagement. I'd just finished being pole-axed by a bout of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and it was everything I could do to just pull the Haiti trip together. So I didn't pay much attention to the person who would appear with me - one Patrick Clawson - to represent "the other side" in a forum/debate billed as "What Next in Iraq? A Post-Election Perspective."


The Top 10 Hacks of the 2004 Election

Matt Taibbi

10 - GEORGE WILL, NEWSWEEK: Will uses big words and pompous literary references to dress up what are basically the brutish and vulgar thinking patterns of a non-union meat-packing plant owner. He is a pig in a lace hat.



Pick of the Litter

Pat Ragpicker

It's 4am on a winter night, and I'm parked on a dead end street near Kaisertown. It’s a secluded corner of the city I found by driving around aimlessly. I'm new to town, and penniless after buying my van with $700 I squirreled away the last time I got a paycheck. That was 7 months ago. Over those months, I managed to live off a few hundred bucks while sleeping in a warehouse closet and helping some friends make a TV show to try selling to a network.



Too Cool for School

Al Uthman

In the decomposing cesspool of Buffalo's public schools, City Honors has long been regarded as something of a gem. In fact, it is widely regarded as the best school the city has to offer, with the brightest kids around.


Tortures-R-Us

Christopher Lord

Iraqis wondering what the next phase of the Republicans' invasion of their country will bring should consider El Aguacate airstrip in Honduras. In 2001, 185 bodies were dug up there: the victims were the 'terrorists' and 'enemies of democracy' of the day.




O Buffalo

Al Uthman

It's time to face some unpleasant facts, Buffalo. This country may not be the best place for us anymore. On November 2nd, we all bore witness to a terrible turning point in our history; a bad lifestyle choice, if you will. We had the chance to reject the increasing madness of our nation's leadership, their blind march to pointless war and craven desire to take advantage of us in every manner conceivable, and we blew it. America has spoken, and it said "duh."