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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


Happy New Year!

2004: it came and went so fast, like a CIA-trained paramilitary death squad. So much has changed, yet it all seems somehow the same. We've faced adversity, shared in witnessing the joy and horror around us and now again we hunker down for winter, muttering bitterly to ourselves that we're not going to be here next year. But before we move too far into 2005, we should reflect on the year and all that's happened-the good, the bad, and the traumatically hideous.

The year started under a state mandated control board in the city of Buffalo and many gunshots rang out near Sensation'z Nightclub, an ominous foreshadowing of more shootings, gang fights, and violence across the political, social, and economic spectra. In March the city rejoiced as Warren Buffet and the Buffalo News handed down a "New" Buffalo News, which was actually just the same old crap in a slightly smaller package. Baby Joe Mesi kicked some serious Russian ass in a stellar fight where his head got used as a pinata during the final two rounds, jeopardizing his future as a crowd-drawing punching bag. March also saw Buffalo Schools go to war with Charter Schools, doggedly protecting funding for their corrupt failure of a system. Meanwhile, Buffalo children regularly scored slightly higher on scholastic tests than rocks.

April came in a still-cold flurry, with plenty of folly and fun for the month. First, a fat cop sued Kenmore for making him lose 100 pounds and slim down to 300 before slapping on a badge and patrolling the streets again. A minor story barely touched on by local media happened when HSBC announced they were moving their corporate headquarters from Buffalo to Delaware, a minor loss unlamented by any of Bob Wilmers' "friends" in key leadership positions throughout the city and county. The NCAA tournament passed through town and thousands of visitors were amazed to find only one restaurant near the HSBC to accommodate a lucky few. George Bush came to town and Mayor Masiello snubbed him good, reaffirming that he couldn't choose the right ass to kiss if it brushed up bare naked against his face. "American Idol" fever kicked into high gear as Amherst geek John Stevens' sorry warbling worked some sort of strange magic over America, or at least a dozen East Amherst girls with multiple phone lines and speed dial. The month ended with the unraveling of a Seneca Casino in downtown Buffalo when the Indians flatly refused to be forced into an unsightly, ancient building (the Aud) that needs many millions in refurbishing, especially when the guy who's suing them (Carl Paladino) stands to benefit heavily with the increased revenue his parking lots and buildings will make.

May was a quiet but still infamous month with the "sale" of ECMC. It wasn't so much a purchase as a reshuffling of legal designations which allowed Giambra to mortgage the hospital in order to cover gaping county budget holes and saddle taxpayers with a humongous debt. At state budget deadline time, surprise, surprise, no state budget was even close to being ready! It would be a record number of months before the yearly farce played out in typical crooked Albany style. In the most bizarre local story of the year, UB Professor Steve Kurtz became the target of a federal terrorism investigation after his wife died at home and authorities found suspicious containers full of germs. Kurtz wound up getting charged with mail fraud, but the Critical Arts Ensemble made out like bandits, scarfing up donations from around the world in a true victory for the arts.

Things started heating up in June, and that's not counting all the gang murders and street wars all over Chippewa and the East side. Taxpayers were treated to County Comptroller Nancy Naples' report detailing how Joel Giambra's buddy Jim Spanos and Buffalo Office Interiors ripped off the county to the tune of $500,000 on overpriced furniture. This bombshell came during the criminal prosecution phase of the Aurora Highway Department, run in typical shoddy, illegal fashion by Giambra cronies. Buffalo capped off the month by dumping the entire Olmstead Park System into the county's lap in a mega-budget slashing move that ended over a 100 years of city history and tradition.

July was a Court TV lover's delight. The Rigas boys were convicted of being piggish with corporate money and were sent off to jail. In their prime, they spent more money in a single month than you, your family, friends, and co-workers combined will spend in a lifetime, flying Christmas trees around the country, building family-only golf courses, and wooing hot actresses. July also saw some places finally get smoking ban waivers, even Jimmy Mac's, though it only lasted a week. Owner Rick Naylon took a vocal, in-your-face approach to fighting the Smoke Nazis, and it cost him his business.

Nothing but lowlights for August, starting with National Fuel being exonerated by state watchdogs for freezing a poor old woman to death like the heartless bastards they truly are. The Control Board clamped down on public employees, forcing them to agree to a single health insurance carrier. The horror of saving taxpayer funds was too much for some, especially teachers who got their wages frozen and firefighters facing massive layoffs and station closings. Bob Wilmers showed a briefcase full of money to the Buffalo School Board and they happily agreed to let him bankroll the search for a new school superintendent, proving just how handy piles of cash can be and assuring everyone this man will install a puppet to rule over our children for him. A state budget was finally passed, and citizens retched in the streets, sickened by the awful stench of the inept, bloated pigs who "represent" us in Albany. If that wasn't bad enough, Rick James up and died, bitch! The only light moments of the month were provided by Spencer Tunick's Traveling Nudie Revue holding court in the carcass of the old train station and the start of a mammoth, multi-billion dollar hurricane season in Florida.

The beginning of September saw the final passing of Sensation'z, finished for good after a record-breaking shooting season. If that wasn't tragic enough, La Nova burned down, leaving lazy, starving city dwellers high and dry for their favorite gut bombs for way too long. There was a brief chuckle when the state legislature decided to take the millions in fine money municipalities collect on speeding tickets, only to turn around and repeal the measure lightning fast when they realized there would no longer be any incentive for local cops to ever write speeding tickets again. Pano's tried to expand, only to be stymied by feverish preservation ninnies who somehow managed to block the restaurant from bulldozing a beaten building. Across town, Jacobi's Restaurant owners were rounded up for running a massive methamphetamine operation, proving again that all Italians are criminals.

Great sports news came in October: The Bills went 0 and 4 and looked like the most pitiful bunch in the league, despite losing by slim margins and awful officiating. Even worse was the brutal reality of an NHL lockout; there will be no season at all. It'll really hurt when football season ends and there's nothing to watch but predictable, tedious basketball games. In school affairs, "custodial engineers" were outed for stealing up to $35,000 cash apiece on top of their high salaries by cheaping out school maintenance and pocketing the budget surplus. They've been making out like bandits since the Civil War and defended the practice as being "historical", making them the only city department turning a profit. Two favorites also burned to the ground before our very eyes, Chick's Barber Shop and Coffee &. No charges filed as of yet.

November just pissed us off in general, right from the get go. We had this thing going describing misdeed after misdeed committed by our crooked politicians, but nobody listened. When it counted, nobody cared, and 99% of the incumbents were re-elected. It was shameful, a horrible waking nightmare which never goes away and only gets worse and worse, just like the time you and your buddies all agreed to streak through the quad and you were the only dipshit who actually showed up and followed through. There's really no talking to you people.

December, a final fitting month to serve as a preface for the inevitable ebb and flow of 2005, where hopes and dreams will come true for some, wither and die for others. Bass Pro became a fishy reality, at least the announcement of a preposterous deal, beyond that, we'll have to see what happens but it should prove to be a predictable black hole for taxpayer dollars. The county budget was no piece of cake either, passed at the last possible second without any logical thought in a mad scramble to raise the sales tax to almost a dime and protect valuable perks and patronage positions. The only bright spot in the whole month, our suddenly-decent football team, turned to dust before our eyes as they choked in their traditional manner against Pittsburgh's second string. At least we didn't get hit with a tsunami.

So we say goodbye to 2004, one more horrid year in the life of Buffalo and the rest of the planet. Look forward to new horrors in 2005, punctuated by the wicked deeds of kings and tyrants, crooked politicians, civil wars, gang wars, labor strife, fiscal irresponsibility, crazy people committing crazy crimes, and lots of head shaking as you contemplate what a twisted place we live in. It just goes to show there's only one person you can count on in this world: Mother Nature. We're counting on her to once again terrify us through the coming year with earthquakes, volcanos, hurricanes, tornados, tsunami's, wildfires, mudslides and any other cataclysms she can throw at us where the damage is huge and the bodies pile up like cordwood.

Happy New Year from the Beast!!


 

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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."