"Totally coup, yo."

Comments Off

IT HAD NO SNAPPER

May

31

by

IT HAD NO SNAPPER

Hi guys,
I am writing in response to the posting at exile.ru about help with the new publications. I live in Brooklyn, NY; and being a long time eXile.ru reader, I would like to offer my help to your publication in Buffalo. My background is in IT.

Regards,
Dmitry Zuykov

Dear Dmitry,
We were going to say that if you really wanted to help, you could send us a picture of your girlfriend’s snapper. But since you’re in IT, you probably don’t have one. So we don’t know what to ask you.


THERE IS NO SPELL-CHECKER IN HEAVEN

Dear Matt,
I stumbled across your eXile article “God Can Suck My Dick” and am saddened to see such a thing. I thought I’d email to let you know that God loves you anyway … even with such blasphemous thoughts.

It’s your choice to turn from Him … He’s there with open arms anytime.

Eternity in hell is a long time, you might want to get things straight (with Him) before you die.

Your article suggests persuing an argument with witnessing Christians to basically annoy them … witnessing Christians seek you to try and help you, not annoy you.

Just because you decided to believe hell doesn’t exist, doesn’t make the reality of it go away. With all due respect, maybe you could set aside all of that smart aleck attitude and consider “absolute truth”.

It’s your choice, though … eternity is a long time.

Paddlehead
Tuskegee, Alabama

Dear Paddlehead,
Hell is nothing compared to what your wife has to go through every night. Fuck off and die. And please tell your creepy Christian friends to stop writing us. We have a whole new generation of hate-mail writers here in Buffalo to make room for.


NED GAVE US AIDS

Hello,
Saw the ad @ exile.ru. I’m in Buffalo and have been reading eXile for a year or so–&, in fact, used it as a vestige of freedom of the press in my most recent book (you can see some of my work @ amazon, loompanics.com, et al.). I also frequent strip clubs. What more can you ask? Let me know about your project.

All the best,
Ned Beaumont

Dear Ned,
Okay, so we called you after we got this letter, and made an arrangement to go meet you at the Anchor Bar. We get there at the appointed time, and–no Ned Beaumont. Fifteen minutes, a half hour, an hour pass. 20 wings later we’re sitting there staring at each other, faces covered in wing sauce, like a pair of jilted prom dates. Finally, we got up and left. We were so distraught that.. you know what we did? We drove to East Buffalo, scored three grams of smack, and shot dope all weekend. We’re addicts now. It’ll be virtually impossible for us to avoid AIDS at this point… And all because of you, Ned. We’re looking at twenty years of protease inhibitors because of you. Twenty years of waking up every morning and checking our ankles for Kaposi’s sarcoma. You think we need that shit? Fuck you, Ned. Fuck you and your books on amazon.com.


I’M A FAMOUS TROUSER PILOT

Dear Beasti,
Perhaps you remember the long boring tirade on Buffalo politics I sent you a few months ago. My interest has been piqued by your call for Exile readers from Buffalo. I’m a ‘respectable citizen’ and something of a public figure, as such association with your publishing project, either in Moscow or Buffalo could be damaging to my reputation and professional interests. If your new project is something the larger Buffalo community could appreciate I would be glad to help, even if it isn’t I might contribute. Either way I’m curious to know what you’re hatching.

Also, I recommend you contact [names prominent homosexual in the Buffalo Arts community] he’s a busy guy, but he knows his beat.

Good Luck,
Buffalo Bill

Dear Bill,
So you’re a public figure, huh? Sure. And we’re Chinese jet pilots. Write us back when you finish freshman year.


A HELPING HAND

Dear [sic],
i’d be quite interested in getting a better idea of what you’re cooking up in buffalo — even though i’m in NYC, maybe there’s something i could do for you…

bev

Dear bev,
Yeah, there’s something you can do for us. There’s this guy in Brooklyn named Dima Zuykov who hasn’t been laid in years. Give him a call, take him out for a cheeseburger, and then take him home and fuck his brains out. Then let him take a picture of your snapper, so that he can send it to us. Because right now, he can’t send us a picture of anyone’s snapper.


GO FORTH AND SUCK

Hi,
I’m on Long Island, about half an hour from NYC. Can I in any way help the new paper?

Sincerely,
Dan Palchik

Dear Dan,
Yes, you can. You can go online to www.artvoice.com, subscribe to ArtVoice, and then spread the word in Long Island about the mysteries of bus stop construction. Great tidal waves always start with a ripple. Be brave; be first. You have our support.


THAT’S NOT FUNNY

Dear Dickwads,
Heard through the grapevine that you illiterate losers were leaving Russia to come to my home city, of all places. What, is there no place to get back hair treatments in Russia? Did the local hookers there raise their prices to $20? You guys sell yourselves as these debonair sex kings, but I’ve seen your pictures, and the truth is that you’re just a bunch of sad middle-aged guys with receding hairlines. Just like every other guy in Buffalo. Good luck finding girls to be impressed by your blue passports here in the USA.

I was forced to read you guys for my Russia class in college, and I hated you then. Now that I’m out of school and back home, I still hate you. I’m looking forward to seeing you fail here. I’m sure a lot of women around the country feel the same way. Assume the position, dweebs. Get ready for a big dose of reality.

Loving this,
Pam

Dear Pam,
We can’t argue with that! Now that’s a letter, folks. Pam, call our offices today to claim a free BEAST t-shirt. U Deserve It, girl!


I AM HANDSOME AND YOUR FRIEND

Dear Beast,
handsomeSaw your ad on exile.ru calling for help in Buffalo. I live in Rochester, where I’m temping and don’t have a lot to do. Since I’m a guy, I don’t have a picture of my snapper, but I do have a picture of what I look like. I’m enclosing it here:

Do you think there might be a place for me at the BEAST? I don’t have computer skills, but I am willing to go out to clubs and “hit the town.” I’ve been a fan of eXile for a long time and think I could really help out.

Let me know,
Jason K.
Rochester

Dear Jason,
This is a joke, right? You don’t really look like that, do you? Get out of here, you nut! Send us your real picture! We’re not falling for any of that stuff! Whaddya think, we were born yesterday? Get out of town, U!


Comments Off

BEAST PHYSICS TIPS

May

31

by

BEAST PHYSICS TIPS
with Ashok Dibbawalla

Lesson #1:
Some Elementary Pressure Calculations Involving Water and County Executive Joel Giambra

Question:
What would happen if County Executive Joel Giambra were taken to the bottom of the ocean?

Answer:
Dragging County Executive Giambra to the bottom of the ocean would serve as an excellent object lesson on the difference between compressible and incompressible substances.

figure 1fig. 1

To simplify the equations, let’s start by placing County Executive Joel Giambra in a rigid vertical cylinder. If the cylinder has a diameter of ~44-1/2 inches, the ends of the cylinder will have an area of about 1 meter square. Let’s imagine that the bottom of the cylinder is fixed to the walls, and that the top can move up and down in the cylinder like piston. Like a piston, the top also has a gasket that keeps the contents of the cylinder sealed inside. (See figure 1).

Imagine what would happen if we were to pour water into the top of the cylinder. The weight of the water would move the piston down until there was an upward force on the bottom of equal magnitude. Could County Executive Joel Giambra provide this force? Let’s calculate its magnitude.

The product of the water’s density and volume gives the weight of the water. If we were to fill the top to a height of 0.25 meters (~10 inches), County Executive Joel Giambra would have to support the weight of 0.25 cubic meters of water.

figure 2fig. 2

Water has a density of 1000 kg/cubic meter. This means that to hold up the cylinder, he would have to support 250 kg, or about 550 pounds. (See figure 2).

Now, of course he can’t hold back the piston. But if this is true, one could wonder why divers aren’t crushed after diving down only a few meters? The force that holds back the piston is provided by the air trapped underneath. As the piston moves down, the air pressure under the cylinder increases. The upward force it exerts on the bottom of the piston is given by the product of the air pressure and the area of the piston. As we fill the top, the sinking piston sinks compressing the air underneath until the pressure rises high enough to stop the downward movement. (This compression also increases the temperature in the cylinder, but by adding water slowly and letting the system cool off, we can ignore this effect.)

figure 3fig. 3

At 10 meters (~33 feet), the pressure is about double the atmospheric pressure at the surface. That means that the volume of the cylinder has been cut in half! (See figure 3).

Each additional 10 meters will raise the pressure by one atmosphere. As we journey with County Executive Joel Giambra deeper and deeper into the depths, we notice a pattern. The air around him, in his lungs and in his body cavities continues to shrink, but the fluids that make up his tissues continue to occupy the same volume! We call such fluids “incompressible.”

figure 4fig. 4

After 1000 meters, the size of his fluids is the same, but the gases around him occupy less 1/100th of their former volume. Many of them have been dissolved into the liquids, like the carbon dioxide dissolved into a soft drink. By the time we reach the bottom of the Pacific Ocean at around 5,500 meters (~3.4 miles), we find County Executive Joel Giambra essentially liquefied. (See figure 4.)

All that remains is to calculate the volume of the bottom of the cylinder. It has been suggested that County Executive Joel Giambra weighs around 220 pounds, or about 100 kg. We’ll estimate that the density of his remains is about the density of water. Dividing his mass by his density gives 0.1 cubic meters. The bottom of the cylinder is 1 square meter, therefore the height of the piston is 0.1 meters, or about four inches.

Ashok Dibbawalla is Professor Emeritus at the Online University of Ft. Lauderdale. He now lives with his family in Buffalo NY.


Comments Off

Say no 2 Creed

May

31

by

Say No 2 Creed

no 2 creedSay no to Creed

1 (866) 272-7584* (pin#2080)
The 24-hour, Toll-Free NO-CREED Emergency Helpline!

Of all the abominations ever to come out of the foul state of Florida, perhaps none is as hateful and potentially dangerous as the lumbering, posturing pseudo-Christian rock band CREED. From their overwrought lyrics and downright amusical riffmanship to the constant shirtless posing and would-be-soulful moaning of frontman fansScott Stapp, this band constitutes one of the most serious threats ever unleashed by the mainstream corporate music industry on an unsuspecting public. But whether you or someone you know is afflicted by this group’s bombastic hard-rock stylings, the NO-CREED EMERGENCY HELPLINE is here to help.

  • Does your spouse play Creed records at high volumes to mask the screams when he beats you?
  • Does your son play in a Creed cover band–or, worse yet–play acoustic versions of Creed songs at open-mic nights?
  • Does your daughter scrawl the names of Creed band members onto every available space on her body using a pen, knife, or philips-head screwdriver?
  • Do you involuntarily hum Creed songs while stuck in rush hour traffic… although the radio is not even on?
  • Do you suspect a co-worker or someone else you know of being a secret Creed fan?

If you answered “Yes” to any one of these questions–or if you’re just troubled by the whole Creed phenomenon in general and would like to talk to someone about it–then call the NO-CREED EMERGENCY HELPLINE for expert, professional advice and intervention before it’s too late. From a touch-tone phone, just dial 1 (866) 272-7584, then enter then code 2080 when the recording asks for the pin number.

Call Now

* The NO-CREED Helpline is a toll-free call from anywhere within the Continental U.S. and Canada. Elsewhere, regular toll charges apply.


Comments Off

Five Day Misogyny Forecast

May

31

by

Five Day Misogyny Forecast


Five Day Misogyny Forecast cloud

Monday June 3
Partly angry in the afternoon, giving way to uneasy truce in the evening

order

Tuesday June 4
Bickering, threats, severe break-up; chance of afternoon restraining order



leer

Wednesday June 5
Sulking, leering in idling cars: shrine-building at night



noose

Thursday June 6
Incessant masturbation throughout the day, occasional phone calls from ex-girlfriends. Mute hatred, giving way to seething toward evening.



handcuffs

Friday June 7
Violence, stalking, and a 60% chance of police custody.




Comments Off

PRIZE SNOOZE

May

31

by

by Matt Taibbi

I’m new to Buffalo, but already I feel offended on the city’s behalf every time I turn on the news. No city in the country gets less love from the national media than Buffalo. And no city’s journalists get left out of the fun more. When was the last time you saw a TV reporter from Buffalo standing in a flak jacket in front of a burning tank? When was the last time you saw an overpaid Buffalo journalist (Tim Russert no longer counts) with a self-satisfied smirk on his face lobbing out softball questions from a panel at a Presidential debate? The answers in both cases are never and never– and the sad news, folks, is that that will probably never change.

Here’s an illustration of how bad things are for Buffalo. Just last week, when the remains of Chandra Levy’s body were found in a park in Washington, every major network in the country had a reporter in a jogging costume at the park within two hours. Fox TV’s Greta Van Susteren was there in 90 minutes. As I watched her doing her live shot, I thought there was something strange about the camera was set up. Van Susteren’s trademark masculine chin was just as freakishly cubical and convex as always, but the background in the shot looked fuzzy, remote. After a minute, I thought to myself: “Gosh, Greta’s pretty far off the ground. She’s gotten taller.”

But that was only the way it looked. In fact, Van Susteren was standing on top of Wolf Blitzer, Sam Donaldson, and 23 other bureau hacks from local affiliates all over the country. The journalists were standing in a pile there at Rock Creek. They were stacked so high that the networks had to shoot from crane-buckets and towers. But there was no one there from Buffalo, not even on the print side– in fact, as far as I can tell, there was no Buffalo reporter even in the city at all.

Buffalo’s best chance to get in on the feeding frenzy, the Buffalo News, mailed it in. Their front-page Chandra story the next day was a dull double-bylined offering by two out-of-house reporters, Steve Twomey and Sari Horowitz of the Washington Post.

The Levy story, frivolous as it obviously is, is a perfect illustration of how the structure of modern media fails smaller markets like Buffalo. Year after year, the Buffalo News attains some of the highest profitability margins of any newspaper in the country. Just a few years ago, Editor and Publisher magazine rated it as the most profitable newspaper in the country. It has a billionaire owner and seemingly limitless resources to pursue its own coverage of breaking news. Yet it doesn’t even have its own reporters in the nation’s capital to cover hot-button news stories. If a major city’s sole print daily can’t even cover Washington, what kind of coverage of the rest of the planet can it possibly get?

The owner of the News, hurrumphing billionaire Warren Buffet, has an answer to that question. As a director of the Washington Post and the owner of a 17 percent stake in that paper, he would naturally answer that, by allowing the Buffalo News to take advantage of the fine coverage of his other, more famous paper, he is doing the citizens of Buffalo a favor. And indeed, when Buffet bought the News, it was widely hoped that an owner with deep pockets and media connections would help raise journalistic standards in the city. At the time of the sale, Buffet issued a statement that was widely cheered and quoted: “I want to achieve business success in newspapers, but will be unhappy unless it is accompanied by journalistic success.”

But in fact what Buffet’s business acumen has meant for the city is a one-horse daily newspaper market, and a pattern of cost-cutting that has left the News itself utterly dependent on outside sources for non-local coverage. As for the efficacy of using material from the reputable and much-ballyhooed Washington Post, well… one need only look at this year’s Pulitzer Prize awards to see what that has meant for ordinary readers in places like Buffalo, who live far from the action.

The Post, as it does every year (the Post and the New York Times usually win about half of the Pulitzers overall and generally all of the important ones, while lesser papers like the Boston Globe are usually thrown a bone for things like sports coverage or editorial cartooning), won a handful of Pulitzers in 2002. One of the three awards that it won this spring was for National Reporting. This particular award is directly relevant to Buffalo, since most all of the articles submitted for the prize were also republished in the Buffalo News.

In lieu of having its own home-grown reporters cluelessly wandering the mall at Washington in search of dubious scoops, Buffalo last year had the privilege of reading storied muckraker Bob WoodwardWoodward’s celebrated insider bulletins from the Hill. The Pulitzer committee, which singled out stories like the October 21 “CIA Told to Do ‘Whatever Necessary’ to Kill Bin Laden,” (republished in the Buffalo News under the homier headline of “Bush Backs CIA on Killing of bin Laden”) for praise, deemed this a good thing. But upon closer examination, what the committee was really praising the Post for was its willingness to restrict itself to sources higher up in the ivory tower than a small-town reporter would likely have access to.

The Post’s National Reporting award was for “comprehensive coverage of America’s war on terrorism, which regularly brought forth new information together with skilled analysis of unfolding developments.” The Pulitzer Committee’s ruling was that the Post coverage of the most important story of this or any other recent year was the best that the country had to offer. Cities like Buffalo that relied on Post coverage, in other words, had no reason to complain of being uninformed about 9/11.

But get this: of the eleven stories the Post submitted to the Pulitzer Committee for the award, a full six relied exclusively on government sources, the vast majority of them unnamed. And as sportswriters say, this game wasn’t even as close as the score indicated. Even in those stories that didn’t rely entirely on government sources, the overwhelming majority of the information still came directly from anonymous employees of the state.

I actually went through all the articles and did a count. By my reckoning, 67 of the 78 quoted sources in the eleven Post articles were government sources. And again, the vast majority of those sources were unnamed.

It is hard to call reporting that relies solely on government sources real journalism. The Soviets did it, of course, giving prizes to Pravda and Izvestia journalists for their efficient clerical work in relaying official Communist party press releases to the masses. In the States, we confidently called that kind of reporting total bullshit for over 70 years. But when one of our own journalists does exactly the same thing, we can’t give him awards fast enough.

Here’s an example from the award-winning Post submissions– the December 9 piece, “U.S. Says New Tape Points to bin Laden,” written by Walter Pincus and Karen DeYoung. This is a piece that the Soviets couldn’t have done any better. In it, the Post reported that a “new tape” obtained by U.S. intelligence services offers offers “the most conclusive evidence” to date that Osama bin Laden was behind the 9/11 bombings. Unnamed government sources quoted in the piece claimed that the tape shows bin Laden bragging about the attack to associates, and noting that the damage to the World Trade Center was “worse than [he] expected.”

The story was reported as fact despite the fact that the journalists were not even allowed to see the tape, or even see a transcript. It ran it despite the fact that none of the sources in the piece were willing to go on the record asserting the tape’s existence.

Given the fact that the Bush administration’s failure to publicly release concrete proof linking bin Laden to the attacks had already been an international issue, this was extremely dicey journalism. A truly independent newspaper would have laughed in the White House’s face had it called up to say, “We have proof that bin Laden did it. It’s on tape. But don’t quote us on that.”

The right response there would have been to say, “Uh-huh. Show us the tape and we’ll think about it.” But the Post blew off all of these considerations and just ran the piece under a big banner headline on the front page. Again, if the Soviets had done this (and they did, over and over, for instance in the numerous Pravda articles claiming that the Soviet Union had been “invited” to invade Afghanistan), we would have laughed at any suggestion that this was real journalism. But Pincus and DeYoung now have a Pulitzer Prize on their resumes.

A quick note on Pincus. Since all news articles in papers like the Washington Post seem more or less exactly alike, few people ever bother to look at the byline to wonder who wrote them. After all, you don’t ask the name of the chef that cooked your Big Mac. But in Pincus’s case, the byline is worth a look. Among journalists, his name is one of the most notorious in the business. In an article he wrote for the Post shortly after taking a job there in 1967, Pincus admitted proudly that he had worked for the CIA, representing the U.S. at international conferences in 1960 under an assumed identity. The Washington Times, one of the most conservative papers in the country, referred to Pincus in 1996 as the “CIA’s house reporter.”

It’s well-known in the business that when the intelligence community has something it really wants to put over on the people, it gives Pincus a call. A good example came in the famous San Jose Mercury-News fiasco in 1996, when the small California paper published an expose that claimed that the CIA had sold crack to fund the contras. Pincus led a counterattack by the big dailies dismissing the Mercury reporting as groundless.

He was an old hand at dismissing Contra-hijinks allegations by then. In 1989, Pincus’s take on the Iran-Contra allegations had been, “Just because a congressional commission in Costa Rica says something, doesn’t mean it’s true.” Obviously, he doesn’t bring the same muckraker skepticism to statements by American officials… but who’s counting?

If you bother looking closely, you can see that the Post itself is uneasy about its reliance on unnamed sources. This is clear when you look at the tortured wording of the attributions in the pieces. There are a finite number of different ways to say “According to one unnamed government source,” but the Post somehow manages to use all of them, sometimes within the same article. Take the aforementioned Woodward piece, “CIA Told to Do ‘Whatever Necessary’ to Kill bin Laden.” Here’s a list of the attributed sources in that piece:

  • “Officials”
  • “One senior official”
  • “A senior official”
  • “The Vice President”
  • “Another senior official”
  • “A senior Bush official”
  • “Another senior Bush official”
  • “One official”
  • “Bush officials”

It takes some doing not to repeat any of those phrases within an article. I mean, you have to really be looking out for it. And in this case, you wouldn’t be looking out for it if you weren’t painfully aware of how embarrassing the whole thing is.

This is what having Warren Buffet running your only serious newspaper does for a city like Buffalo. Here you have a city that’s in the midst of a serious fiscal crisis, brought on in no small part by a shortfall in expected income tax revenue sent back to the region by the state. That shortfall is obviously mainly due to the blow dealt to the New York State economy by 9/11. The terrorism issue, and the federal government’s decision to allocate more of its resources to a military buildup than to aid to New York State, is directly relevant to this city.

But instead of getting the perspective of a local reporter, who might be inclined to ask if a dozen new school buildings in Buffalo might be more useful in the long run than one pilotless drone that the Air Force fires into the side of a mountain somewhere in Afghanistan, we get a bunch of Georgetown hotshot hacks with monster expense accounts feeding us feel-good war news from the anonymous White House pals their paper just treated to lunch. It might be the truth, but who knows? Would you be willing to bet your school system on it? All of this sucks, but that’s the way things work in the Warren Buffet era– it just costs too much to let the natives in small cities do their own reporting. We don’t even get to gawk at Chandra Levy’s skull with our own eyes.


Comments Off

THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR INTENTIONS

May

31

by

THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR INTENTIONS

WE’VE BEEN IN TOWN less than a month, and already the rumors are flying. One the one hand, this is something that we expected. It’s natural to assume that when a group of notoriously belligerent journalists from halfway across the planet move without any warning or obvious explanation to a place like Buffalo… well, questions will arise. What are these guys doing here? Why did they come? What do they have planned?

While this is not a question that we here at the Beast can answer easily, there is one thing that we can say for certain, and that is this: that those rumors that we have come here to blow up the HSBC tower, killing everyone inside and setting the whole downtown area ablaze, are absolutely unfounded.

We repeat: we have no plans to crash a small commercial jetliner hijacked en route to Toronto into the HSBC tower with the aim of destroying the entire downtown area, human population and all. It’s ridiculous even to think that we might. After all, we didn’t labor for five years in Russia to create a successful and critically-acclaimed newspaper called the eXile just to throw it all away in one last, desperate, suicidal act halfway around the world– no matter how much we might want to.

American Airlines can rest assured: there is absolutely no way that we will be travelling under assumed names on flight 1127, leaving Laguardia for Toronto, at any time in the near future. Furthermore, it is both slanderous and irresponsible to suggest that there is anything suspicious or out of the ordinary in the fact that several members of the Beast staff have have learned to pilot, but not to land or take off, a twin-engine passenger liner. A great many people take flying lessons; not all of them complete their studies.

Our response to all those questions about our strangely frenzied patterns of foreign travel in the last few months, including clandestine trips to and from uncharted moutnainous regions of Abkhazia, Chechnya and Georgia? We just throw up our hands in amazement. Have we as Americans become so paranoid that we can no longer accept as neighbors people who happen to have friends in heavily-armed extralegal territories within the Iranian sphere of influence? Have we lost the ability to live and let live– just because the guy next door sometimes wears a turban, a canteen, and an ammo belt, and spends his evenings unloading crates marked in Arabic from a panel truck with no license plates? Has it really come to that?

The last thing on our minds.
The last thing on our minds.

We at the Beast believe that tolerance is America’s, and Buffalo’s, salvation. While our president speaks of defeating enemies abroad, and uniting in vigilance against threats here at home, we believe that our primary responsibility as Americans is to love our neighbors. We believe that there are a great many ways in which even we here in Western New York can learn to achieve a greater sense of closeness with our fellow citizens.

We can, for instance, learn to better understand and appreciate the point of view of the practioners of other faiths– the Muslim, the Buddhist, and even (as Melville would call him) the Hindoo.

We can put ourselves in the shoes of the black and the brown, and genuinely try to imagine what the bite of our repressive white society feels like– the harrassment by police, the persecution by landlords, the cold stares of would-be employers.

And at at approximately 11:38 a.m. sometime between May 29 and June 17, we can allow ourselves to be momentarily distracted by a small and apparently inconsequential electrical fire that mysteriously breaks out in the corner of the air traffic control tower at the Buffalo airport. We can take off our headsets, leave our seats, and walk over to inspect the commotion, leaving the skies unattended for a crucial four-to-seven minute period.

These are just some of the things that we as citizens of Buffalo should do to make our world a better place in these uncertain times. One thing we must do, however, is learn to refrain from indulging in hurtful rumors and innuendo. We here at the Beast have already suffered because of our collective failure in this area. Our only purpose in coming to Buffalo was to come home and put out a newspaper that wittily blends nightlife and club reviews with incisive commentary and hard-hitting journalism. Our only thought, our only desire, is to serve U, the reader.

There is simply no truth to the rumor that our plans are any more involved than that– that they involve acts of catastrophic terrorism, outbursts of violent misogyny, or, say, the running of hideous lounge singer Tom Sartori out of town with a lead pipe and a four-foot cattle prod. Nothing of that sort has even been discussed in our offices. We’re your friends. Honestly. 


Comments Off

MAY: OFFSEASON HIJINKS

May

31

by

Sports Crimewatch

MAY: OFFSEASON HIJINKS

Anyone who still wonders why it is that foreigners complain that Americans don’t understand them need only look at the elaborate security preparations undertaken before this past week’s Indy 500. According to numerous news reports, security at the race was heightened “in the wake of the events of September 11,” and the city of Indianapolis even assigned a special “terrorism preparedness coordinator” named Peter Beering to make sure none of the 400,000 mullet-headed spectators hid boxcutters in their mayonnaise jars. After the race, which passed without arrests, Beering declared the event a security success. Fans apparently agreed with him; AP even quoted one patriotic race fan who raved about how fun it was to be searched. “Brett Eiler,” the agency wrote, “an airline pilot from Chicago, waited less than five minutes in line as security officials searched coolers and handbags… Searches at other large events should be so thorough and yet so quick, said Eiler, who was celebrating his 40th birthday with his wife and four friends in matching T-shirts and straw hats. ‘It was convenient, it wasn’t a hassle, it was great,’ he gushed.” Left out of all of the hullabaloo was the unanswered question: what self-respecting Arab terrorist would ever be seen at an Indy Car race? “Why the fuck would I bother with the Indy 500?” Osama bin Laden was quoted as saying by the Al-Jazzeri news service. “Who can stand to sit there for all that time watching those goddamn cars go in a circle? I’ve got enough problems…”

Authorities were not so successful, meanwhile, in preventing outbreaks of athlete violence in other areas. May is generally a slow month for athlete arrests: falling as it does between the traditionally arrest-heavy periods surrounding major league baseball spring training and the arrival of newly-rich NFL rookies at their training camps, it tends to be a time in which hardworking athletes in the NBA and the NHL carry out their season-ending quests for greatness in law-abiding dignity. Nonetheless, there are numerous subgroups of athletes who represent high May arrest risks. Chief among those are the veteran bench performers for NBA teams already eliminated from the playoffs. Knocked out for the season, hounded by fans and media for their failures, and generally pissed off over a season’s worth of unresolved playing time issues, the subs tend to find it hard to avoid jumping in the proverbial unregistered vehicle with the proverbial open container of beer.

One of the first hoopsters to get busted this year was Houston Rockets reserve forward Terence Morris, whose arrest for speeding and driving with a suspended license was in keeping with the steady downward pattern his career has followed over the years… Just a few years ago, Morris was on top of the world. After his sophomore year at Maryland, he was a first-team all-ACC player and a sure lottery pick. After his junior year, he was named to the second all-ACC team and looked like a low 20s draft steal. Senior year: honorable mention, near-certain undrafted status. Somehow he makes the Rockets and spends a year straining to get a look at the court over the afro of fellow benchmate Moochie Norris. Then, last week, with the Rockets out of the playoffs, Morris gets pulled over for doing 76 in a 60 zone; police run his license and find out that he’d failed to complete a remedial driving course in November. Sentence: $385 fine and further shame and disappointment. 76 in a 60 zone? Can’t a black man get a break in this country?

Portland Trail Blazers reserve forward Zach Randolph, meanwhile, caught the business end of another driving-while-black arrest. Shortly after being bounced from the payoffs by the superior Lakers, Randolph was pulled over by police in Marion, Indiana because his SUV “matched the description of a gang vehicle.” Police, apparently distressed at haven taken the trouble to pull over a black man only to not get an arrest out of it, decided to do a breathalizer on Randolph on the off-chance that he might score them a DUI. No luck; his blood alcohol level was less than half the legal limit of .08 percent. But give credit to the innovative Indiana police. They came up with something. Randolph, who came out for the draft early, was underage. Police arrested him for underage drinking, and the backup now faces a 6-month jail term if convicted. Incidentally, he averaged 2.8 points and 1.7 rebounds last year.

No offseason would be complete, of course, without the wayward fist of the odd NFL veteran making into way into the face of his wife— or, as she is usually called by the sporting press, the “mother of his child.” With behaviorally-erratic wide receiver Terry Glenn back on medication and making nice for his new team in Green Bay, it fell to other players to pick up the domestic abuse slack this year. The first to answer the call was San Francisco 49ers center Jeremy Newberry, who was arrested after apparently striking a woman for the perfectly understandable reason that her boyfriend had untied Newberry’s Ahman Greenboat from a raft of 15 moored vessels, causing it to float away. Newberry denied the charges, however. “She didn’t like the way I was talking to her boyfriend,” Newberry said. “Then she slapped me in the side of the head. My sister said, ‘What are doing putting your hands on my brother?’ And then (Jennifer) smacked her. I wouldn’t hit a woman anyway.” Police for some reason didn’t believe the story; the investigation is continuing.

Last but not least, Glenn’s Packer teammate, running back Ahman Green, was issued a protection order for making terrorist threats against his wife. Shalynn Green told police that her husband had beaten her up twice while she was pregnant. The sports-crime cliche quotient for this story was rounded out when it was reported that “Green’s agent and attorney, as well as the Packers, did not immediately return phone calls.” While they work their stories out, the case is pending and Shalynn has custody. Look for the veterans to take it easy on police next month while the rookies flood into their dormitories at camp…


Comments Off

BREATHE ON US, OH GOD!

May

31

by

BREATHE ON US, OH GOD!
By John Dolan

Praying for America
By Dutch Sheets
Regal Books, 2001

There’s a scene in the fourth “Living Dead” movie, Day of the Dead, where they capture a zombie and pen him in a subterranean lab. They want to examine a specimen in order to understand this mindless cannibal breed that has taken over the United States.

It’s a haunting scene, deeply sad in the way those Romero films are. It turns out that you can’t teach a zombie much. “Bud” the zombie learns to answer a phone, but that’s about it. Beyond that, there’s not much to him but pus and fangs. Something almost human looks out of his eyes now and then, especially when he sees an Army uniform– Bud was a soldier once, and he still remembers to salute. But it turns out you can’t trust those flickering vestiges of humanity. The only way to deal with the beasts is to kill them all.

And that pretty much sums up the findings of my recent experiment in trying to understand the Christians. I thought it might be interesting to read an American Christian response to the WTC attacks, see what the drooling zombies who have taken over my country have to say about this calamity striking God’s favorite country. I picked Praying for America off the Amazon lists because it looked relatively literate. This glossy pamphlet is the work of one “Dutch Sheets.” (I know, I know: nobody could be named “Dutch Sheets;” it sounds more like the punchline to a pubescent joke– and in a sense, it is– but it’s also the name of the author, pastor of a church in Colorado Springs, Colorado.)

Praying for America wasn’t very literate, actually; Dutch has a prose style even a social scientist would be ashamed to own. But it was informative. Above all, I learned that the rightist American Christians have mutated, gotten a lot better organized than they used to be. Dutch says many times that he speaks for “the Church in America.” This confused me at first, because I was raised to think “the Church” meant the Vatican; the Protestants were a disorganized rabble, a chaos of feuding sects. But that was long ago. The Bible-thumpers got smart and formed up. When Dutch talks about “the Church in America,” he means it. They march in step now. Dutch doesn’t even bother naming the particular sect he fronts for, because the militant Protestants are a single body now, far more united and a thousand times more powerful than the senescent Church of Rome ever was.

The Christians snuck up on us. We used to laugh at them– and then suddenly they were on us, hordes of grinning zombies. I used to prate about Whitman and the cadences of the King James Bible, Pilgrim’s Progress and Horatio Alger, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jim Swaggart, the Evangelical tradition in American literature, Stonewall Jackson, dying, delirious, murmuring “Let us cross the river and rest in the shade of the trees….” I used to refuse to indulge in Christian-baiting at Berkeley because it was, as I used to say, “unsporting.”

All that seems like self-indulgent campy idiocy now. “Unsporting”? What does “sport” have to do with it? It’s Romero time: hole up on the roof of a mall with a hunting rifle and pick them off one by one… you have to get them in the head, remember. They don’t go down unless you hit them in the head.

And when you read their tracts, and find out what goes on in those heads– believe me, shooting them is a mercy.

Where to begin? Well, take a deep breath, hold your nose, and dive with me into the rotting insides of Praying for America. It’s a slick little pamphlet, with good graphics and a good sense of strategy. It borrows many technique from that venerable American literary genre, the salesman’s handbook– but that’s nothing new. American evangelists and pep-talking sales guys have always slipped easily between their respective callings (e.g., Norman Vincent Peale).

Dutch is fond of epithets sales guys love: “Are you a history maker?” he asks. Along with “history maker,” you might want to be “cause-minded,” a “boat rocker,” a “crossing-over guy,” or “a life-changer, a rearranger, a cause producer.” He wants us all to be “circumcised”– but as he explains to his wincing gentile audience, “Our circumcision in the new covenant is, of course, of the heart.” A circumcised heart– not sure I’d like that, actually. One snip and the room gets an arterial spraying.

In Dutch’s theology, God is a sort of travelling salesman, impregnating farmers’ daughters (of either gender) as the mood takes him. Using the laughably bad attempts at Classical etymology which are another feature of his rhetoric, he underlines the fact that he really does mean “penetration” when he talks of God’s way with us sinners:

“Because ‘abar’ is a transition word, it also means ‘to penetrate,’ as in penetrating territory, or even the human heart. [Note the repeated switch from genital to cardiac zone, as in 'circumcision' above.] And not trying to be overly dramatic or graphic, it is indeed a word used to designate the physical relations between a husband and wife that results in pregnancy [Sometimes, Dutch, they don't even have to be "husband and wife"!]. Yes, ‘abar’ does mean to impregnate.”

Now we know what Dutch means when he says, “Several months ago, God began to grip me….” These divine rapes are confessed with pride, of course; to be so “penetrated” is a point of honor with the devout. Like a great deal of American Evangelical discourse, it begs a medical, rather than theological interpretation. There’s a name for people who talk to god and feel Him gripping them: “schizophrenics.”

And the match between Evangelical theology and schizophrenic symptoms is perfect. When a word comes into Dutch’s head, it’s from God. Take “Shechem,” the name of some town mentioned in the Old Testament– the ramblings, in other words, of an unmedicated Levantine schizophrenic two millennia dead. This is how Dutch explains the way “Shechem” came into his head: “… During that… October evening, the Lord deeply impressed into my heart the thought, ‘I am calling this nation to Shechem.’”

“But Dutch,” you ask in that annoying way of yours, “how can we know it was a truly Divine inspiration?” Dutch has an answer ready for such doubters: “Since everything else I felt during that encounter with the Lord has proved to be very accurate, I have great confidence that this thought is accurate as well.” And if that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

So Dutch is not at all shy of passing on his neurotransmitter-depleted epiphanies. Every time he has a dream; every time a place-name or set of numbers comes into his head; every time there’s a coincidence in his daily schedule; he takes it as a sign of God’s direct intervention in his mental processes. Sometimes Dutch’s sense of God’s tinkering with his mind (using the term loosely) is so much like textbook schizophrenic reasoning that you’re amazed the guy’s still walking around. He spends three pages detailing the series of coincidences involving the number sequence “222″:

“It began on a cross-country flight. I noticed that my departure time was 2:22, I was seated in row number 22 and the total travel time was 2 hours and 22 minutes.”

Well, if that doesn’t smack of direct divine intervention in the flight schedule of one Dutch Sheets, D.D., I don’t know what does. The only thing that worries me is that 222 is exactly one-third of 666. So if Dutch buys three tickets, does the plane go down?

Laughable as it sounds, this sort of paranoiac drama gives you a sense of why Christianity appeals to so many lonely Americans. Unlike the Catholicism I knew, this religion makes the worshippers the center of the universe. God, no less, is manipulating your very flight-times to give you the word about Satchmo, or Shinbone, or whatever it was. The Protestants are nice that way: they coddle their worshippers, set them up with plain, chubby, equally devout dates, and bring food around– Protestant food, with lots of casseroles and marshmallow things– when they’re sick. They make you feel important, in a pitiful sort of way. The Catholics had a simpler attitude: “You owe the Church everything; the Church owes you nothing.” And they wonder what went wrong!

One thing that went wrong for the Catholics is very clear from Dutch’s tract: the militant Evangelicals stole the best bits from the Catholic agenda. Tops on the list is abortion. Thirty years ago, abortion was a Catholic obsession. The Protestants didn’t give a damn about it, and associated it with Rome’s mad drive to swamp the Anglo-Saxon lands in a tide of brown babies. But the Evangelicals grabbed the issue somewhere along the line. Dutch can’t shut up about it. It’s perfect: a guaranteed source of sin, at which he and his fellow pastors can rail forever, licking their chops as they get the calculators out to tote up the ever-rising total of dead babies which can be laid against the sinners’ tab: “We have now killed over 40 million babies in what was supposed to be their safe haven of nourishment….”

What hits you when you read these denunciations is that Dutch’s churchgoing people loathe America, if only so that they can redeem and love it once more. It’s the whore they can’t resist, and that bipolar orientation makes for them an endlessly exciting ride. It’s like marrying a cocktail waitress: at least you won’t be bored.

But no other American sins are invoked in these lists. None of the horrors perpetrated in SE Asia, Latin America, or for that matter Chicago, show up on the lists. America must be denounced and despised for her sins, but only from the inside; America, when juxtaposed to any other country on earth, is right, period. All America needs is a president who stands with “the Church.”

And that, finally, turned out to be what this odd little tract was about: the election of George W. Bush. Little anti-Clinton jibes pop up from the start: “And speaking of partying, our former president did a lot of it.” It infuriates Dutch that no divinely directed lightning bolt slithered under the presidential desk to zap the presidential dick, as it tickled the Mon’s uvula. “God is capable of dealing with… wicked, ungodly politicians,” Dutch says. “When he doesn’t, we need to ask why.”

Well, not to give away the plot, but it turns out God inflicted Clinton upon us because there was a curse on the nation. Something about those McDonald’s-like abortion figures: “Over 40 million fetuses hosed!” Or was Clinton the cause, rather than the effect, of the curse? It’s not always easy to follow the logic of these people, but at any rate: there was a curse, OK? And there was only one magical cure: electing George W. Bush.

So when “God shared his passion for America with [Dutch]” in October 2000– just before the election– he, or rather He, told Dutch to start a “prayer alert for the upcoming election.” I’ll let Dutch himself tell it from there:

“This alert ultimately went to millions of people, resulting in a great mobilization of prayer for God’s person to be placed in office…. And then, even when the election was finished, the identity of the next president had not yet been determined. The high level of spiritual warfare was very apparent… we desperately needed a president through whom God could work.”

And with whom God could deal. See, you thought that slimy Florida banana-republic vote-scamming was all about payoffs and lawyers, but it was actually “spiritual warfare.” Well, that’s why we need people like Dutch, to explain the higher implications of these things.

Luckily, God’s candidate won:

“At that pivotal moment in our nation’s history, God’s people made a choice to cross over. As a result, God gave us a sincere, humble man who loves God and through whom He [God, that is] can work to accomplish His purposes.” This walker-in-righteousness being, y’unnerstan’, one G. W. Bush. Dutch goes on to recount his trip to the Inaugural. It was a great occasion, he explains– it was literally the lifting of a curse which had been upon the land:

“I watched and heard [GWB] end his swearing-in by saying with great conviction, ‘So help me God.’ Upon the uttering of these words, one well-known minister in attendance was heard to say, ‘The curse is broken off of America.’”

This is where the dates get interesting. See, if God had gone and lifted the curse on America when GWB was inaugurated, how come those planes slammed into the towers only eight months later? Dutch wrote this tract while still strutting with pride over getting out the vote for his God-endorsed candidate. The inaugural was held on January 20, 2001. At that moment, according to the unnamed “well-known minister,” “the curse [was] broken off of America.” Now, leaving aside the minister’s somewhat demotic phrasing, let us do the math. After all, Dutch has taught us all to look out for those zany little numerological omens the puzzle-addicted Deity so frequently lobs into our schedules.

And Dutch has also taught us to think of God as the great Penetrator, who when the mood takes him impregnates his followers– male, female, or otherwise. Now, the Lord has put a great and terrible thought in my head. For lo, I realized that the Lord had counted the days, and the days between January 20, 2001 and September 11, 2001, that terrible day of wrath when the Curse was very definitely reimposed on America, amounted to eight months, the length of a (slightly preemie) pregnancy.

Yes, when God gripped America from behind on that Inaugural day, he begot a spirit of destruction; and that spirit was born on September 11, and it took the form of swarthy men with boxcutters, who rode in planes numbered 676– only TEN NUMBERS AWAY from the very number of the Beast!

And the 676 times two struck the two towers, and subtracted them from two to zero, and caused to be burnt many a believer.

But not nearly enough of them.


Comments Off

Bledsoe Vs. Johnson

May

31

by

Bledsoe vs. Johnson

According to FCC statistics, approximately 4,386 hours have already been spent on talk radio in Buffalo in the month since The Trade debating this city’s new Eternal Question – who’s Better, Drew or Rob? The FCC also reports that not a single new point has been made since the 411th hour of the debate. From where we stand, it seems like the hometown crowd is failing to grasp the real issues… Maybe the reason we’re all at an impasse is that we’ve got the wrong Johnson. So the BEAST decided to ask: how does the Patriot Missile stack up against the star-crossed 17th President?

Drew Bledsoe Andrew Johnson

DREW

ANDREW

  • Benched by New England
  • Impeached by Northern Republicans
  • A “class act” whose teammates just didn’t respond to him
  • Considered an “honest and honorable man” who lacked political savvy
  • Self-described “trailer trash”
  • Grew up in a shack in North Carolina
  • Drop-back passer with great arm
  • Jacksonian Democrat with alcoholism problem
  • Fit, sober and professional for speech at Buffalo welcoming rally
  • Stone drunk and completely incoherent for Vice-Presidential inaugural address in 1864
  • Set single-game records for attempts and completions by going 45-70 in 26-20 win over Minnesota in 1994
  • Sponsored the Homestead Act as a Senator; privately hated black people
  • No. 1 overall pick in 1993 draft; passed for seven straight 3,000-yard seasons
  • Notorious for wandering the White House drunk, crashing into busts and portraits
  • After trade to Bills, took out ads in Boston papers thanking New England fans for their support
  • Lived out his days racked with guilt over the fact that he had secretly desired Lincoln’s death; privately thought Lincoln was overrated
  • Happily married to charming wife Maura, with whom he held hands throughout first visit to Buffalo
  • Impotent in marriage and reportedly vomited on wedding night; known for leering at children of both sexes from Oval Office window
  • Led Patriots to victory in 2002 AFC championship game with inspiring off-the-bench performance against Steelers
  • Presided over the restoration; shortly before death, went insane and began eating own feces
  • Had a cameo in “Jerry Maguire”
  • Corpse had an erection; was our “most maligned president”

Comments Off

ARTVOICE DEATH TOLL AT 7

May

31

by

 

We here at THE BEAST feel we should be honest. When we started scouting the competition here in Buffalo, we couldn’t be totally dismissive of ArtVoice. Sure, it’s duller than a Jet Blue in-flight magazine. Sure, it shamelessly blows all of its advertisers, and publishes poetry so awful you could use it to torture terrorist suspects at camp X-Ray. And sure, its publisher looks like a midget vampire, and sings agonizing covers of “No Woman, No Cry” in local bars.

artvoice ? save the childrenBut ArtVoice has one thing going for it: a nifty-looking full-color cover. No doubt about it: from a commercial standpoint, the full-color ArtVoice cover is definitely an advantage over the no less earnest, but certainly more modest 2-color Beast design. Advertisers like full-color papers, and we even hear that girls are impressed by the way they look.

But is full color really an advantage, from a moral standpoint? We called the Canadian press that prints ArtVoice, and asked for price estimates that would give us some idea of just how much extra money we’d have to spend in order to have a cover that looks like ArtVoice‘s. The sum we came up with, per issue, was $180.

It took just a few phone calls to find out that what ArtVoice wasn’t only buying a competitive advantage with that extra money. It was also, it turns out, buying the premature deaths of 15 children a month.

Here’s a partial transcript of our phone call to the Save The Children headquarters in Westport, Connecticut (203-221-4000), about the ArtVoice cover problem:

BEAST:   So in order to sponsor a child, we’d have to spend how much?

Save the Children:   It’s $24 a month.

BEAST:   Does that go directly to one child?

STC:   No, it’s pooled. It goes to the community the child lives in. But you get reports about the progress of the programs in the community, as well as information about the individual child. And you get a report once a year about the child’s progress.

BEAST:   Okay, so does that mean that the $24 figure corresponds to some real calculation as to how much it costs to actually feed a starving child? Or is it just a random figure?

STC:   It… I’d have to say it’s an actual figure. You know, we get audited. Yes, it’s an actual figure.

BEAST:   Okay, so the thing is, I work for a newspaper. We want to sponsor a child.

STC:   Oh!

BEAST:   Yeah, actually, we’re going to try to pressure other newspapers into cutting back on non-essential expenditures, so that there would be more money to send to worthy charities like yours.

STC:   That’s a wonderful idea!

BEAST:   Yeah. So for instance, you take a newspaper that has a full-color cover, it could easily go two-color, you know, and save some money. I mean, we’re saving like 180 bucks every two weeks.

STC:   Right!

BEAST:   The way we see it, that… Save the Children: That’s seven children a month!

BEAST:   No, it’s 15 children a month. The $180 figure is every two weeks.

STC:   Right.

BEAST:   But our competitors, you see, they’re spending that money. I mean, who cares if a newspaper has two colors or four? In the grand scheme of things.

STC:   Exactly. Exactly.

BEAST:   That’s like 15 children that will go starving. For a color cover.

STC:   Uh… I guess.

BEAST:   So how do we sponsor a child?

STC:   Just go online at savethechildren.com and fill out the form… Or you can send us a check. We’ll send you a photo right away.

BEAST:   We’ll be sure to do that.

STC:   Well, thank you. I think you’ve got a great idea there.

BEAST:   Thanks. What’s your name again?

STC:   My name is Greer.

BEAST:   Like Greer Garson?

STC:   Uh huh!

BEAST:   Thanks, Greer. Goodbye.

STC:   Goodbye!

We sponsored a child for this issue and will be receiving information in the mail about him before next issue. When we get updates on his progress, we’ll share them with U, the BEAST reader. As time passes, we will ask you to bear in mind that he is only alive, and well-fed, because we decided to forego a wasteful full-color cover.

Minor Celebrity MathArtVoice, meanwhile, can’t make that claim. Until they follow our lead, we’ll be publishing a weekly death toll. After two weeks, the body count is seven. Seven tiny little babies, starving to death. Imagine that the next time you catch yourself thinking, “Gosh, what a great ‘Reinventing the Bus Stop’ cover!”

SAVE HUMAN LIFE.
READ THE BEAST.


  • Archives


  • Warning: require_once(all_images/config.php) [function.require-once]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /nfs/c09/h03/mnt/134940/domains/buffalobeast.com/html/wp-content/themes/Beast/footer.php on line 28

    Fatal error: require_once() [function.require]: Failed opening required 'all_images/config.php' (include_path='.:/usr/local/php-5.3.29/share/pear') in /nfs/c09/h03/mnt/134940/domains/buffalobeast.com/html/wp-content/themes/Beast/footer.php on line 28