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Old 04-23-2002, 09:47 AM   #91
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Here's an Early Cut Review of Star Wars Episode 2 from '', I have not read it, cuz I like to keep all that stuff secret from me until I see it.. But Maybe some of ya'll would be interested.


I saw Star Wars Episode Two: Attack of the Clones hours ago. The ‘how’ of that will be a thing of mystery buried in a passed piece of paper from my book signing with a hotel, a room number and a time listed upon it. You don’t want to know about that room or the person(s) in that room, you want to know about Episode Two.
Jar Jar Binks. Jar Jar has a 15 second StepInFetchIt shuffle speak routine he does as he goes to first let Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker into the Amidala’s quarters that is so offensively awful, that it will not only make you recoil in horror, but it will remind you of all of the worst aspects of his character from THE PHANTOM MENACE. I wanted to burn the film, destroy, maim and murder it at this stage. I was steeling myself from the impending incompetence, the horror of my childhood being molested. I was prepared to have a very bad time.
I found myself not liking Anakin Skywalker at all, he’s a punk spoiled brat… A snotty nosed ego trip, that angry evil high school football quarterback that wants the head cheerleader. He whines like a Mark Hamill squealing about going to Toshi Station to get some power converters. There is much anger in him. He’s impulsive, conflicted, out of control and a mass murderer. Everytime I saw him and Natalie Portman together, I wanted to tell her to run, fly you fool. But am I not supposed to feel that way?
So did George Lucas drop the ball? Did he rape our childhood? Has he turned into nothing more than flannel wearing toy salesman without a soul or an eye for storytelling anymore? Was I disappointed to such a state that I wanted to yell and scream and break my original 12 inch Boba Fett and defecate upon it in a ritualistic purging of all that was once sacred to my childhood?
To answer all of those questions…. THANK GOD NO!!! Lucas succeeds with the film beyond my wildest dreams.
I was scared and thrilled to be watching Episode 2. The entire time I was in that hotel room, I was convinced that agents of Lucasfilm were going to knock down the doors and I knew I was being set up for a fall. I mean, it isn’t possible to see STAR WARS early. I know that, but there I was watching it. Listening to the sounds of drunk SXSW revelers falling into the door outside.
After about 20 minutes of that awareness everything but the film ceased to exist. The lights in the room dimmed in my mind. The person(s) in the room shrank like Scott Carey into the microverse. Everything about me was concentrating upon the film. The movie was not complete. There were moments where the effects were quite rough, but the work that was finished, was beyond reproach.
How do I explain the success of ATTACK OF THE CLONES? First, I must say that this film makes THE PHANTOM MENACE a better film. In fact, I would have to say that not only does it do that, but suddenly you will realize with horror, exactly why Jar Jar Binks is in the series at all. Upon first viewing, in less than ideal circumstances, I must say that I feel that this is by far the most entertaining Star Wars film to date. It may not have that innocent sense of wonder for the first film. It doesn’t have that sense of intimacy that EMPIRE STRIKES BACK had, or that film’s desperation. However, it also doesn’t have the trivial frivolity of JEDI or MENACE. ATTACK OF THE CLONES is a turning point in the saga. The point of no return.
I love this film desperately. I want to continually watch it for about a week with my best friends. I want to see it digitally projected with sternum shaking sound. I want to watch as friends discover the twists that Palpatine/Sidious/Dooku have in store for us. I want to have the conversations about what this all means, the speculative conversations about how these elements will play out in the final chapter of the prequels.
What is great about the film?
Obi Wan Kenobi / Ewan McGregor. He just owns the role now. There is a moment in the Cantina/Sports Bar on the surface level of Coruscant, where he and Anakin have chased an assassin. As they enter this packed sci-yuppie-scum club, they realize they can’t seem to be able to see ‘the assassin’ anymore. Anakin wants to rush in, tear the place apart looking for the suspect. Obi Wan tells him to slow down or something then turns to head in a different direction, Anakin asks him, "Where you going?" to which Kenobi dryly responds, "To get something to drink." Kenobi is just that calm about things. He is the king of cool. He’ll get his suspect, but he’s going to get a drink first. Priorities. I was reminded of him telling Luke to let go and to trust his feelings. He doesn’t repeat that here, he simply lets go and trusts his feelings. We see it as an action, a path he chose. Then when he gets to that bar, leaning on it, sipping that odd drink, a drug dealer comes up to him and asks, "Wanna buy some deathsticks?" Obi Wan responds, "You don’t want to sell me death sticks." Drug dealer says, "I don’t want to sell you death sticks." "You want to go home and rethink your direction in life," Kenobi continues. "I want to go home and rethink my direction in life," the dealer says as he blankly turns and walks out of the club. Before he can get too smug about his little trick he senses the assassin behind him and he pulls the patented Obi Wan pivoting light saber at a bar strike that you’ve seen in the trailer. He gets his suspect and he’s never broke a sweat. He is the master. Kenobi is just plainly cool in the film. Watch how he handles things on Camino or the way he doesn’t betray a single thought in his conversation with Jango Fett there. He knows his game, his methods and his ways. He is confident and completely on the clock. Ewan is relaxed in the role, clearly having fun and is very very very good in the film. Contrary to Moriarty’s assertion that he would be more ‘Han Solo’ he is in fact much more Master Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun Fat from CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON) but without the romance.
Jango Fett – Boba Fett / Temuera Morrison – Daniel Logan -- I love this pair. I love them because they are the renegade Father and Son. They have their own set of rules, they are a self contained functioning unit. Jango wanted a son to raise his own way, that doesn’t mean he beats him and does evil things. He loves his kid. He’s training him to be a good Bounty Hunter like he is. There is very much a father/son – Master/Apprentice style thing going on here. And they have my favorite moment of the entire film, which is a tiny little moment between these two. Jango and Boba are headed to Genosia when they pick up that Kenobi is tailing them. They dive into the asteroid belt surrounding Genosia, Obi Wan trails behind them, not being lost. Jango tells Boba something like, "Prepare the sonic mines, we’ll give him…" something, I couldn’t make out… but Boba presses some buttons while doing what I can only describe as an evil giggle… a delighted giggle. Jango looks at him smiling, as if to say… "That’s my boy!" The moment is so honest and real. I’ve never seen a father – son moment like this in science fiction. Completely classic.
Anakin Skywalker - Padme Amidala / Hayden Christensen – Natalie Portman -- First Anakin is just an ass in this film. Like I said earlier, I can’t stand him. He’s like that boy in the TWILIGHT ZONE movie that has too much power and thinks about using it too much, but sometimes it goes terribly astray. Portman’s Padme in this film has mostly dropped the ‘high speak’ that she had from the first film…. Injecting into her character far more vocal variety than the droll monotone of the first film that killed the performance. Here she infuses the character with more of herself, which is a very good thing. I like that she doesn’t want to have anything to do with Anakin. That she constantly is aware of all the reasons they shouldn’t be together. Of the scandal. Of their careers. Anakin hates being told no. She can see all the reasons, but when they go through what they go through… When the emotional binding takes place between these characters through a brief adventure, a loss of a loved one, a decent into hell… When faced with certain doom, they realize that life is too short to worry about the ifs and buts… And when it happens… John Williams’ love theme kicks in. This really kicks in just as Anakin and Padme kiss before being taken out and strung up in the arena (you know the sequence when they are chained against the pillars.) It actually starts from the shot (which we see in the trailer - of the arena with all the Geonosis creatures seated and cheering - the long shot looking from high to low). It consists of maybe three instruments playing at first, classic violin, very sorrowful and warm. It almost sounds a little bit like the theme for the Incredible Hulk TV series with Lou Ferrigno. The intros are similar before other instruments join in. It also reminded me of Francis Lai’s theme from Arthur Hiller’s LOVE STORY. Although it is strikingly different from other parts in the film, IT FITS IN BEAUTIFULLY. Elegant but not soppy. Gentle but not melodramatic. Williams thinking differently (after all, a very different relationship from Han and Leia!) and succeeding. It starts to crescendo as the lovers are wheeled out into the arena (reminded me of the shot of Luke with the twin suns) - same type of crescendo. It continues through the cuts between Obi-Wan chained and them being taken over to the same place but changes into a military drum style (you know, the thumping dictatorship heavy beat - almost like the 'sacrifice has arrived'). This changes the whole tone as we realize their 'moment' has been intruded and they are in serious poodoo. The romance is handled in terms of familiarity and proximity. This is that sort of romance where one loves the other, but only at the point of an emotional precipice where the other could see that they shared that feeling and embrace it. I liked this.
Palpatine-Sidious – Count Dooku-Darth Tyrannus / Ian McDiarmid – Christopher Lee -- Wow. Ok, read no spoilers about all of this. I remember thinking that Lucas could be soft in the head for trying to fool the audience into thinking Palpatine isn’t Sidious. I mean we can see that in the credits. What the hell? Right? See that is so like a self-centered audience. To sit there and think they are the center of the universe. The Palpatine-Sidious thing from the first film… The trade dispute… All of it not only makes sense with this film, but the way it unfolds. As you see the point of the various guises and names… How Yoda and Windu sense no ‘disturbance’ around Palpatine… There are reasons for these things… Just because you don’t know them yet, doesn’t mean Lucas doesn’t know what he’s doing… Upon seeing this film, seeing how he handles these two characters being 4 characters… It is genius. Compelling Machiavellian positioning and deception. There are points in this film where I wanted to scream at the screen and say, "Palpatine is an evil Sith Lord! They’re conspiring to destroy the Republic from within!" That’s when Christopher Lee essentially tells Obi Wan the same thing… My god. The evil. The evil of using the truth, knowing it could only be interpreted as being a deception and a lie. The Devil uses truth to betray mankind, because he is expected to lie… and the truth sounds better, but will never be believed. Just wait till you see how the Death Star plays into this… You’ll friggin die! FANTASTIC.
Yoda-Dooku fight… HOLY GOD! Right now there is a lot of speculation about Yoda with lightning. It is on one of the soundtrack covers. When you look at that. When people described the ball of lightning in Yoda’s hands from ShoWest, I thought they were insane. I thought only the bad guys did that. When I saw the film, well… I can tell you exactly how that moment plays out. So far as I have seen that hasn’t leaked and it isn’t a huge spoiler. When Yoda and Dooku first set up to go at it, Dooku hurls lightning at Yoda… Yes, Chris Lee’s character is that strong. Perhaps the strongest character with the force I have ever seen in Star Wars history. He attacks Yoda with lightning, Yoda captures it, twirls it around, balls it up and redirects it back at Lee. When I saw this, I screamed like a little girl. I mean it was like Uncle Tony grabbed my pantied ass. I jumped about 12 feet up in the air and squealed. WHAT A THRILL! The Yoda – Dooku fight is astonishing. I can not emphasize that enough. I have been thinking for quite some time that there was no way on earth that Yoda with a light saber could look cool. Folks, not only does it look cool, but there will be a collective scream of HOLY SHIT when what happens happens. Yoda’s fighting style is… well let’s just say he could kick all your asses. Oh and by the way, Williams’ DUEL OF THE FATES was nothing in comparison to this. Remember Vader vs Luke in EMPIRE… How overwhelmingly powerful Vader felt in comparison to Luke. Remember how weak Vader felt in comparison to the Emperor? Now imagine someone with The emperor’s powers in a full on battle with a master. Here towers of metal are torn asunder with the power of the force. The ceiling ripped apart. Seemingly unlimited strength with the force. You will quiver, shake and scream. You are warned.
You have to understand something in going into this film. What you have seen in Star Wars movies before were skirmishes… incidents… Remember, The Battle of Hoth was small, a minor hiccup. In ATTACK OF THE CLONES, you have the first REAL Star War. It isn’t a space battle, but you understand the scale of things. The size and scope of a MAJOR OFFENSIVE. And unlike in PHANTOM MENACE, where Lucas decided to cut up the action by trying to intercut three consecutive arenas of battle, here he portrays the action linearly… basically following Obi Wan and Anakin and Padme… who all basically stick together, with Padme taking a roll in some sand to miss out on the Dooku battle.
After the film was finished playing I was just beside myself with glee.
Right now it is a very interesting time for Star Wars fandom. PHANTOM MENACE polarized the audience into the faithful and those that felt it had all gone wrong. That everything was doomed. With the introduction of MATRIX and LORD OF THE RINGS into fan circles, there began to be a real angry mix. Fights, screamings and hurling of ‘love it or leave it’ style rhetoric.
Watching the trailers for STAR WARS: ATTACK OF THE CLONES in theaters, the audiences seemed muted in comparison to the delightful screams of approval from the SPIDER-MAN trailers.
You know those guys that have been camping up in Seattle? The experience they are going to have in the theater upon that first showing… They will be so completely happy.
Now the cut I saw was still a bit rough around the edges, but folks… I can’t wait to see this on the big screen complete. To see what gets cut, what gets changed, what I notice when watching this movie the way Lucas meant for people to see it.
The source(s) that showed it to me were tired of all my LORD OF THE RINGS stuff. They were tired of all the rhetoric about Tolkien, all the focus I had on LORD OF THE RINGS. They wanted someone outside of the ranch, outside of the ‘circle’, someone that seemed to be straying from the fold to see what it was that Lucas had done. What Lucas has done, is to make a film that is so relentlessly entertaining and thrilling, that there will be no movie this summer that can stand against it. This is it.
This movie is the real deal. It is smart, beautiful (god digital photography is the glory and the future of the world of film, the palette is strikingly dramatically colorful), thrilling and electrical. Essentially it is a pure action adventure science fiction fantasy with a touch of romance. Line up now. This Star Wars is for real.
P.s. To the talkbacker concerned about Jimmy Smits... He doesn't really do anything major in this film. He is next to Palpatine though right before that amazing shot of all the Clone Troopers and those Star Destroyer things... So he's close to Palpatine, but I bet he betrays Palp in the next one (speculation) Oh, I'm off to Los Angeles, so I won't be doing talk back looking on this to answer questions, but if you come to the book signing at BOOK SOUP Tuesday at 7pm, I'll answer all NON-SPOILER QUESTIONS about Episode 2. In fact, I'll even do imitations of scenes and looks on faces. I'm so jazzed about this movie now! Can't wait to share, but not spoil!!! The gods of spies have looked out for me on this one.... That sacrificial Power Puff doll was worth it!

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Old 04-28-2002, 04:32 PM   #92
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Hahaha.. From NDTODAY.C O M a nice little post on the webboard about the upcoming season here at ND.. with teh Blue/Gold Game yesterday, and six inches of rain, in my twenty minutes there, I really can't report anything notable. However, Enjoy.. I think you'll especially like the part about academia Liberals.

By: MonkMalloySucks

Man, the national recruiting mags sure do love to inflate our annual rankings to manipulate our enormous fanbase -- you are kidding yourself if you don't realize our current roster is riddled with a bunch of extremely average athletes.

Thank God we hired a guy who will actually be able to recruit REAL talent. Willingham is an organized, intelligent tactician who will finally restore some credibility and respect back into our program, something we were gravely lacking during the Davie disaster. Man, I FUCKING HATE THAT DOUCHE BAG.

Anyway, here is a really brief overview of the roster:

Quarterback: Holiday is the only returning playmaker in our offense. He is the most exciting quarterback I've seen don the Blue and Gold since Tony Rice, and if developed properly, could be a star. Accuracy and decision-making cababilities are definite question-marks, but the potential is too great to give up on him just yet.

Tailback: Julius Jones. I gave up on him. Hopefully the coaches do too, because Ryan Grant looked good in limited play last year and could turn out to be a pretty productive power back.

Fullback: Mike McNair might finally earn the starting job if he can learn how to block -- he better, because the remaining options are terrible.

Wide receiver: MAURICE STOVALL AND RHEMA MCKNIGHT. These are the two signees who could turn the program around. Both of them should be instant starters from Day 1 (seeing that the rest of our receivers are pathetic, with the exception of maybe Omar Jenkins, but then again who judges a receiver's ability based on one single play they make against a horrible Stanford defense??), giving Holiday some dangerous targets in the passing game.

TE: Billy Palmer and Gary Godsey? God help us...

Offensive line: With the exception of Faine, this is a huge question mark. Will LeVoir realize his potential and get the nod at LT? Who's going to fill out the rest of the line? We will know a lot more about the condition of the O-line after spring and summer drills. Right now, I'm guessing this is going to be our 2nd weakest unit to none other than our perennially pathetic secondary.

Defensive line: Huge loss in Weaver, but we get a healthy Ryan Roberts back, who will provide us with a solid option at LE. Kyle Bud, while slow and undersized, has a huge motor and should turn out to be a serviceable RE. Veteran DTs Campbell and Big Ced, if they continue to progress, could provide us with a solid duo in the interior. Wild cards are Jason Sapp, Pauly, and true freshman stud Derek Landri (can anyone confirm or deny this BMX biking accident rumor???).

Linebackers: Could turn out to be a team strength. There is a considerable amount of depth here. Courtney Watson is the team leader and plays every down like it's his last. We need him to instill that winning attitude into the rest of the players. Brandon Hoyte is a stud and should develop into a playmaker when he earns a starting role this spring. CPA, Curry, Mayes and Goolsby are guys who could also bolster this unit. As for who is starting where, your guess is as good as mine.

Secondary: Disasterous. Painful. Pitiful. Hopeless. Embarassing. A lost cause. There aren't enough negative adjectives to describe our secondaries during the Davie era. Clifford Jefferson and Gerome Sapp -- the two most overrated prep players in the history of organized football. Our secondary was so bad last year that we had to turn one of the best tailback prospects in the country into a corner just to fill a glaring team need. That really pisses me off. At least Duff might actually turn out to be a shutdown corner before his collegiate career is over.

Shane Walton and Vontez Duff should be solid, but after that there is no depth. Beckstrom sucks. Bolen and Ellick are raw and apparently not close to being ready for a starting role. As for the safeties, Glenn Earl is a stud, but injury prone, and Gerome Sapp is nothing.

Ty Willie really needs to address this unit in the imminent recruiting campaigns, because we are hurting badly here.


The bottom line: will ND win 10 games next year? Possibly, but I'm not counting on it -- not with our current roster. Will we be a powerhouse again in 4 years? We are certainly capable of that if the right adjustments are made.

But the final decision lies in the clutches of Monk "The Hypocrite" Malloy, and his throng of evil, greedy, power-hungry, administrative cronies, who are all intent on turning ND into the Harvard of the Midwest.

Fucking academian liberals. Will the alumni please oust this bastard before he afflicts further harm onto our beloved football tradition?

Win or lose, I will bleed blue and gold until I die.

Go Irish.


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Old 05-01-2002, 03:40 PM   #93
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You Know what gets me.. It's the kids and sometimes adults who go to Church, and cannot hold their bladder or bowels for an hour.. God doesn't appreciate being interrupted by a roll or toilet paper being flushed down the tube... Or the Philipinos who roll in forces of 9 after the Gospel and clamor to get Chairs.. Enjoy part II..


The Things We Think But Do Not Say II

by Adley Stephens
April 29, 2002

So, I had something else to write about this week, but after a couple of nails-on-the-chalkboard-type experiences, I decided to put something out there that needs to be said. So, here it is: If you are a parent who takes your kid to church, bloody well tell him to sit in the god-blessed pew, close his yipper, and pay attention to the mass. Seriously.
Uh, uh, uh, now just wait a minute my well-intentioned child advocate friends...take a breath...this is not about babies or infants who cry instinctively and can’t distinguish a place of worship from the car from their playpen. You know exactly who I am talking about: I’m all about those jug-head parents who bring SCHOOL-AGED children to mass and then give them free reign to open and slam song books, play with the kneelers, turn around and stare at – or worse yet, touch – the people behind them, crunch through a mid-morning snack, and / or flap their little chops all through mass. Perhaps not a big issue in May 2002, but here’s where I’m coming from:

Good Friday of this year, my brother goes to a service at our church. He sits in an empty pew and moves down so that people can sit beside him. In comes a father with a kid that my brother estimates to be 5 or 6 years old, i.e., crappin’ old enough to behave for an hour in church. From the first Amen, this kid is having his own little party: jumping around, opening and slamming prayer books, and just generally proving himself a little cad. In the process, he makes the grave mistake of knocking against my brother a few times and even giving him a kick at one point. My brother swears he calmly tried to think the dilemma through, and then, poor misbehaved kid, something snapped and my brother flat-out told the kid not to touch him again for the rest of the service. Enter hellian’s Dad who is all defensive of his no doubt sugar-injected hyperactive child. His defense? “But, he’s just a kid”. Bullshit.

But, wait, here’s where it gets good. I accompany my brother back to mass at the same parish a week later. TWENTY MINUTES into the mass, we are disrupted as a family who apparently doesn’t own an alarm clock clamours into church and takes their seat right in front of us and damn if their kids aren’t climbing over the pews, yelling out loud, and creating a whole new circus act to distract the people around them. At this point, my brother suspects he emits an electromagnetic force that draws pew-climbing, tongue-flapping, six year olds (and their self-involved, ignorant parents)...or that God is really testing him.

My point? This kind of crap is not just about your child and church. It is about respect, perspective, and you not being a great big ass of a parent. Irrespective of why an individual chooses to go to church, he or she is there to have their space with God. You do not have the right to impose on that space because you can’t control your children. If your kids can’t sit through the mass, LEAVE THEM AT HOME. Hear me now: your kids DO NOT develop their spirituality by having free-for-all playtime during mass and, quite frankly, neither do you.

My mom told me that when we were little and she took us to mass, she would sit us on her lap and put her arms around us so that we had no room to fidget or move. We eventually learned that if we wanted to get out of mom’s death hold and sit on our own, we had to sit still and be quiet. A bit Pavlovian, yes, but my parents would be damned if their children weren’t going to learn respect for other people as well as for the sanctity of the church. Let’s be honest, it’s about giving your kids the slightest idea of how to be socially graced: there are times to be the life of the party and there are times to shut up and defer to what is going on around you. For the love of God (literally), grab some responsibility and step up and teach your kid a life skill or two. Trust me, you’ll be better off as a parent, your kid will be a better person for it, and, Lord knows, my brother will thank you for it.


Adley Stephens' article is written and published special for every Monday. Feel free to send any questions, thoughts or ideas directly to Adley at

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Old 05-01-2002, 09:13 PM   #94
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You know, it's weird; I had a really freaky dream about your douche-tastic poetry last night.
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Old 05-02-2002, 11:31 AM   #95
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The following was originally published in:
Health & Happines: A Newsletter for Better Living - Volume 4: No. 2


By Gerald H. Smith, D.D.S. - Langhorne, Pennsylvania, USA

A new era in dentistry is rapidly emerging as a result of the process of intelligent evolution. The transition between the purely mechanical phase (drill and fill) to the highly evolved biologic phase of dentistry has occurred slowly (over the past 150 plus years). As dentistry moves into the 21st century, it is providing a coupling of high tech materials, integration of techniques, and diagnostics with scientifically based research. Biologic dentists are focusing on biocompatible materials and their influence on the immune system, nutritional support for maintaining oral health, focal oral infections from root canaled and bone sites from previously extracted teeth, energy disturbances to the whole body, and the direct influence of the three dimensional relationship of the way the teeth mesh together to the stability of the spine and low back.

The inception of an organized biologic concept to the practice of dentistry had its origin in the late 1800's when the National Dental Association recognized the harmful effects of mercury fillings and mandated non-use by its members. This warning has finally been recognized and acted upon by several foreign countries that have either banned the use of mercury fillings or are in the process: Sweden, Germany, and Austria. The next major contribution occurred in the 1930's when a dentist, Weston Price, teamed up with an anthropologist, Francis Pottenger to document the link between tooth decay and bad bites to the processing of food (as presented in their well documented book: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration). This as well as other research provided the basis for biologic dentistry to utilize nutritional concepts in the treatment of oral disease. The 1940's witnessed the unheeded dental and medical communities' scientific warnings of the dangers of fluoride. After dismal results and many painful lessons 98% of Western Europe have banned the use of fluoride in their drinking water. Many other major countries have followed in their footsteps: Japan, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Poland, India and China. The third major discovery involved focal infections from root canaled teeth and cavitational problems (residual infections in the bone following tooth extraction) placing a burden on the body's immune system with direct targeting of organs. Additional discoveries that span the era of the 1930's to present, by numerous researchers have helped link the distress from imbalances in the craniosacral system and teeth. This latter connection will prove to be one of the most important discoveries in the history of dental medicine. This evolutionary transition has awakened a new consciousness and infused a high level of excitement among biologic dental practitioners worldwide. Biologic dentistry offers the dentist a golden opportunity to practice at the highest professional level and the patient the chance to resolve their health issues.

Edward Arana, D.D.S.
(As written for the Holistic Dental Association's Web site)

Biological Dentistry can be categorized as dentistry with a conscious. A consciousness of how the treatments of the teeth and jaws will affect the health of the individual and how it will affect the immune system. Will it be congruent and health enhancing or will the treatments be health stressors to the individual.

In the past only lip service was paid to the biocompatibility of materials used in dentistry. The material's compatibility was judged on a general basis and not on an individual basis that is required for biocompatibility.

The most tragic example of misstated biocompatibility is organized dentistry's position of advocating a known poison -MERCURY- in amalgam fillings just because it has been used for 150 years! In doing so, dentistry has been misled and the truth obfuscated concerning the fact that mercury does indeed cause ill effects when placed as an implant in the body even to the point of denying that a filling in a prepared tooth cavity is not an implant. Mercury and other heavy metals from dental fillings contribute to all chronic disease states as do multiple chemical sensitizing exposures. From environmentally ill patients there is clinical evidence that the heavy metals from dental fillings and multiple chemical exposures act synergistically to intoxicate and stress the patient, thus causing disease.

Biological Dentistry is an emerging new field of Probiotic (supporting life) dental medicine. It has been developing in Germany over the last 25 years. It is now being taught and practiced in the U.S., Austria, Germany, England, France, Switzerland, Australia, Taiwan, Sweden, and Colombia. Biological Dentistry is aesthetic, relatively nontoxic and individually biocompatible. It utilizes physiologic and electronic methods to locate chronic areas of disease that are difficult to locate by current standard methods. Incorporated in this field of biological dental medicine are the time proven healing methods of homeopathy, acupuncture, nutrition, physical therapy and herbology. The more modern sciences of neural therapy, hematology, immunology and electro-acupuncture are also incorporated. These methods are in addition to the many scientific disciplines, which encompass the field of clinical dentistry. The curative measures of biological dentistry are applied in accordance with the patient's natural abilities of regulation, regeneration, and adaptation and self-cure. Biological dental treatment removes the stress burdens that conventional treatment may induce. The first area of concern in biological dentistry is the toxicity of metals and their release from the fillings and replacement appliances (metal partials and crowns that have nickel) used in dentistry. These metal ions dissociate from their masses to diffuse, migrate and become absorbed in the tissues altering the electrochemical character of the immune system concomitantly changing the ratios and populations of the blood cells (decreased while count) and the cells of the immune system. In addition, these migrating metal ions stop or alter the function of the body's enzymes.

The next area of biological concern is the extent and character of the direct electrical currents generated by the disassociation of dissimilar metals in an electrolyte media (fluids and tissues of the human body). This is called "oral galvanism." These currents carry disruptive metal ions to the opposite poles in these oral galvanic batteries. How much oral galvanic power is necessary to change organic function, to change membrane permeability, to interfere with the power of thought or recall, or to initiate degenerative change? We just don't know! But we do know that it does change from electronegative to electropositive.

Is it possible that these metallic energy sinks are acting as blockades in the meridians or bioenergetic circuits associated with the teeth? Can these blockades cause dysfunction in their respective organs, endocrine systems, vertebrae, muscles, nerves and nerve reflexes? It is and it does! Should we view current existing dental restorations as toxic scars? With mercury amalgam implanted in the teeth, most definitely. With gold and other metal restorations for again a certain percentage of people again most definitely and with composite cements on an individual basis, again most definitely. With just about any restorative material used in dentistry there will be blockades by the body if the immune system is still functional because the tooth is an open and dynamic living organ. Biological Dentistry is concerned with treatment and therapies that cause the least disturbance to the immune system.

The next area of concern in Biological Dentistry is that of hidden or residual infection to include areas of necrosis and chronic inflammation. Collectively these areas are called "Dental Interference Fields or Foci." This is dentistry's most ignored area for meaningful and effective therapeutic contributions in resolving chronic disease. A focus or dental interference field is a diseased change in the soft connective tissue containing un-processable material causing the local and general defense reactions to be in a continuous state of active conflict. This can lead to abnormal distant effects far removed from the original source and is most often chronic in nature.

Biological Dentists utilize materials reactivity testing to individualize the biocompatibility of dental materials used in the reparative and restorative aspects of dentistry. A materials reactivity test is made from the patient's blood serum. It is a qualitative antigen-antibody precipitin observation type test. It indicates what materials may be suitable for the patient to utilize in the restorative aspect of his dental treatment. W.J. Clifford, M.S. developed this test. The other types of testing for the individual biocompatibility assessment for suitable dental materials are electrodermal testing as advocated by Reinhold Voll, M.D. and Fritz Kramer, D.D.S. and Applied Kinesiology muscle testing as developed by George Goodheart, D.C.

Using all the knowledge and skills of probiotic dental medicine, biological dentists strive to provide individual biocompatibility testing, aesthetic, comfortable, functional and enduring dental artificial replacements. Biological dental treatment has the possibility of a stress reduction so great the patient loses all or many of their distressing chronic disease symptoms, which encompasses many pathological conditions.

Biological Dentistry is the great contribution that Sir William Osler meant when he said, "The next great advancement in medicine will come from the dentists." Biological Dentistry will, out of necessity, become the dental medicine of the 21st Century.

A Biologic Approach to Root Canals
Conventional dental procedures offer a technique which does not take into account biocompatibility of the filling materials, potential injury to surrounding tissues due to the caustic nature of medicaments used and high percentage of residual bacterial contamination. According to research by Dr. Boyd Haley of the University of Kentucky, 75% of root canal teeth have residual bacterial infections remaining in the dentinal tubules. These lingering infections produce toxic wastes that enter the blood stream and can affect any part of the body. A dentist, Weston Price, brought this information to light in the 1940's. Unfortunately for patients and the dental profession his scientific documentation and views were pushed aside. To date there is no acceptable conventional therapy to resolve this issue.

Conventional dental root canal therapy uses several materials that are not compatible:

Gutta perch: used to seal the main canals after the nerves are removed. Gutta perch has cadmium, which is a toxic material.
Eugenol based cements: this material is used to cement the gutta perch cones into the enlarged canals. Eugenol has an acid pH were as the living tissues that surround the root have an alkaline pH.
Clorox and hydrogen peroxide mixture: this combination is used to "sterilize" the inside of the main canals, which housed the nerve. Clorox and hydrogen peroxide both will injure tissue. A biologic approach to root canal therapy is less injurious and more biocompatible than standard procedures. Also a non-invasive test is now available to determine if any existing root canaled teeth are contaminated with bacteria and a potential source for medical problems. This test is now available at our office. The cost is $85 plus $35 for the office visit, postage and handling.
Biologic dental root canal therapy uses materials, which are biocompatible:
Biocalex 6.9: this material is made from calcium oxide and zinc oxide; both are bactericidal and the material has an alkaline pH that similar to the surrounding tissues.
Sanum remedies: these are homeopathic remedies from Germany that work like antibiotics but without any damaging effects. Colloidal silver: this solution is used instead of Clorox and hydrogen peroxide. Colloidal silver is capable of killing over 650 different forms of bacteria, viruses, Candida, and molds.
Bio-frequencies: this technology was used in the early 1930's and was extremely effective in destroying bacteria, viruses, molds, fungus, Candida and parasites.
Our preliminary research has shown that this approach is the only effective means that has a chance of resolving long standing residual bacterial infections in old root canaled teeth. There is no drug, homeopathic remedy, vitamin or mineral that can effectively kill these tiny bacteria that live in the small tubules that make up the root. Only the use of bio-frequencies has the capability of penetrating the surrounding bone and root without any damage to tissues. The number of treatments needed to treat this infection depends on the severity of the contamination level. A protocol of eight treatments is recommended. Each treatment takes approximately 75 minutes and costs $125 per session.

Garlic: contains germanium, a mineral that has both preventive and curative effect on cancer. It also has sulfhydral groups which bind to heavy metals like mercury, cadmium, aluminum. It works like a diruetic, antibiotic, antispasmodic, stimulant, expectorant, and digestant. Successfully used for high blood pressure, asthma, gas, colds, and intestinal parasites.

Dental Foci of Infection or Irritation

When teeth become inflammed because of trauma, fracture, decay or contaminated with bacteria, the tooth becomes a focus of infection or irritation. In the 1930's, a dental researcher, Weston Price, implanted infected teeth into healthy rabbits. The rabbits came down with the same medical symptoms as those of its host. The rabbits exhibited heart, kidney, lung or other similar symptoms as manifested by the host. Dr. Price concluded that the toxins produced by the infected tooth found there way into the blood stream and was capable of causing disease within specific organs. In the 1940's, the medical and dental professions both recognized such problems as valid and provided the basis for recommendations of tooth removal. In recent years a French medical/dental physician and researcher, Agnes Koubie, discovered that even a tooth whose pulp became inflammed from routine dental drilling could serve as the source for far removed arthritic type pains. If the distant pain resolved after injecting a local anesthetic around the offending tooth, Dr. Koubie concluded that the tooth was the underlying cause.

Cilantro: A Powerful herb That Works Like A Chelating Agent Chelating agents are substances that bond to other substances. In nature sulfur has the ability to bond to toxins and heavy metals like mercury, cadmium, lead, aluminum and others. Animals instinctively seek out sulfur to heal themselves. When a dog gets sick it will eat grass. The young blades of grass possess high sulfur content and serves to neutralize toxins. Cilantro is an herb that is commonly used in Thai, Vietnamese, and Mexican dishes. In addition to its culinary benefits, it has recently been discovered to be a powerful chelating agent. Yoshiaki Omura, MD, director of medical research at the heart Disease Foundation and president of the International College of Acupuncture in New York, reported that after finding he had been heavily exposed to mercury, he accidently discovered that when cilantro is taken in a slightly cooked form it causes a massive secretion of mercury in the urine. Dietrick Klinghardt, MD, Ph.D also recommends cilantro as the best means to remove mercury from the brain. His clinical research has found that 5 grams (teaspoonful) a day is the minimum dose. Cilantro can easily be prepared by finely chopping one heaping teaspoonful of fresh cilantro and placing it in either chicken soup or boiled water and allowed to steep for twenty minutes. One can sip the tea through out the day.
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Old 05-02-2002, 12:09 PM   #96
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Excuse the previously posted Worthless ARticle..


[This message has been edited by Lemonite (edited 05-02-2002).]
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Old 05-02-2002, 12:27 PM   #97
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I thought this was pretty interesting and informative. Doubtless most of you will find problems with it, but that's what we're here to talk about...


Wednesday, April 10, 2002
By Radley Balko

A curious thing happened when I filed my income taxes this year. I discovered that I'm filthy rich.

How do I know? Because the deduction I’m supposed to get for the interest I pay on my student loans phases out for "top earners." This year, under former President Clinton’s tax code, that deduction began phasing out for me. This means I’m rich.

I'm rich! My first inclination was to call up every ex-girlfriend I've ever had and let her know she missed her chance. After all, I’ll be dating supermodels soon. I broke out the Cockburn's 20-year Tawny Port, poured it carelessly (I can afford to spill now!), and split a snifter with my driver. I told my chef to fire up some filets and invite his family over for dinner — on me. I lit a fresh Macanudo with a rolled up, flaming $20 bill. I can do these things now. Because I'm rich.

I'm kidding, of course. In reality, I just came out of forbearance on one of my student loans. I still rent my house. When I do have a driver, it's only for ten or fifteen minutes, and my limo is usually yellow, with a lamp on top. My chef is always asking me if I want to make that a value meal. Still, according to the tax code, I'm "rich."

A new study by the Tax Foundation casts some light on the absurdities of the concept of "wealthy." During the fight over President Bush's tax plan last year, Democrats, you may remember, harangued the president as a man too sympathetic to the wealthy. As it turns out, wealthy is a fairly relative term, and the reason why the wealthy get the brunt of most Republican-sponsored tax breaks is because — get ready for this — the wealthy pay the brunt of the taxes.

In 1999, the richest 1 percent of Americans took in 19.5 percent of the income. But they paid 36.2 percent of the taxes. The figures are similar for the top 5 percent, who made 34 percent of the money but paid 55 percent of the taxes. So much for rich people escaping taxes with sneaky loopholes, sleazy accountants and offshore shelters.

Want to bust more stereotypes? The income cutoff for the richest 5 percent is just over $120,000. In a good-sized city, a college graduate in his late twenties could probably expect to make about $60,000 per year. If two people making this much money get married, they'd find themselves in the top 5 percent of income earners — the filthy rich. These aren't trust fund babies. They’re Gen-Xers from the suburbs with a bachelor's degree.

The top 25 percent of income earners (and this would include those same two Gen-Xers if they didn't get married) pay a whopping 83.5 percent of U.S. taxes. In contrast, the bottom half of income earners — that's 50 percent of all taxpayers — bear just 4 percent of the tax burden, while earning 13 percent of the income.

Anyway you slice it, rich Americans are paying far more than their share.

So when Democrats say that the latest Republican tax cut "only benefits the wealthy," we need to do two things. First, we need to remember just who the wealthy really are. Wealthy no longer necessarily means the aristocratic Louis Winthorpe III, Dan Akroyd’s riches-to-rags blueblood in Trading Places. Today, wealthy, as defined by the IRS, probably means the 28-year-old public relations account executive sitting next to you on the subway.

Second, we need to employ a little logic. If the richest Americans are bearing a huge chunk of the tax burden, then any sizable tax cut will, necessarily, disproportionately benefit the richest Americans.

Opponents of tax cuts also usually include the poorest Americans in their figures, who pay no income taxes at all. A tax break for someone who pays no taxes is in some places called free money.

Another nasty figure from Tax Foundation study shows that the tax gap is growing. The richest 1 percent paid just 19 percent of the total tax burden in 1980. As noted above, they now pay 36 percent.

This is cause for concern. When 50 percent of Americans pay just 4 percent of the taxes, what sort of tax policies do you think they’re going to endorse on Election Day? Egged on by Democrat demagoguery, the tax burden will likely continue to shift to the upper brackets, which will create even bigger gaps. It’s possible that, in the words of Sen. Barbara Milkulski, we’ll keep "going and getting it from those who’ve got it" until we drive our economy straight into the ground.

This is the sort of majority tyranny factionalism our more thoughtful founding fathers feared. In summarizing the argument of those concerned with factions, James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 10, "... measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the fights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority."

For now, the majority’s interest is partially offset by the fact that wealthier people are more likely to vote. But as both parties fight for the loyalty of the middle class with tax credits, the tax burden will continue to climb the income ladder.

At the same time, politicians are wooing other loyalties with promises of more government services. Someone has to pay for all this. Increasingly, those people are our society’s most wealthy. And every dollar they pay in taxes is a dollar less they invest in job and wealth creation. It hurts them now. It’ll hurt all of us later.

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Old 05-04-2002, 10:54 AM   #98
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Just a thought on Affirmative Action.. I'm surprised more of you people don't have a problem with this.. That the blacks out there aren't'insulted, because that's exactly what it is.. It's a Racist Insult. As long as we have it, we will still have racism. Here's a nice quote I found....

"Affirmative action is an insult. Affirmative action is nothing more than a bunch of white liberals telling black people they're incompetent. They can't do it on their own without The White Liberals.. You Don't have what It Takes. In fact this is what all of liberalism is... Without Them (The Liberal Leaders), You Can't Get Anywhere on your own." ~EIB
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Old 05-04-2002, 10:59 AM   #99
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Originally posted by Lemonite:
I heard a funny thing today.. President Bush was out in the Adirondacks giving a speech on EARTH DAY, but it apparently had to be moved inside due to Ri Cock U Lous SnowStorms.. When one of the big fanatical issues of Earth Day is GLobal WArming.. Hahhaha.. What Jackasses..
global warming causes extreme weather, not constant warming, jackass.

--mr. ass

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Old 05-04-2002, 01:30 PM   #100
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Originally posted by Ass Hare:
global warming causes extreme weather, not constant warming, jackass.

--mr. ass

Hahaha.. Apparently there's a pole somewheres in ya.. It was just a funny on the surface contradiction.. 'The Earth is Hotter this year than Ever Before', Yet it was snowing.. That's all.. With your name, I assume you get such kind of jokes..

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Old 05-04-2002, 01:36 PM   #101
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Sports Guy opens an NBA Six-Pack!
By Bill Simmons
Page 2 columnist

Every artist -- and by artists, I mean musicians, writers, painters and Moochie Norris -- needs one vice that turns off much of his audience, just to keep things fresh. For instance, during the late-'80s, I attended a Boston concert at the Meadowlands for their "Third Stage" tour. You remember the "Third Stage" album -- had that sappy "Amanda" song and a variety of crappy songs? I'm gonna take you by surprise, and make you realize, Amanda? That song? Yeah, exactly. Still, it was Boston, for God's sake.

Well, they came out and played five of their classic hits in a row -- "More Than a Feeling," "Smokin'," etc. -- and we were going bonkers. It was the greatest concert of all-time. We were going crazy. It was like "Game 7 of the World Series"-level loud. After five straight classics with no dialogue, the lead singer finally stepped to the mike and gave us this one:

"Thank you very much. As you know, we have a new album out called 'Third Stage.' We're gonna try something different tonight -- right now, we're going to play the entire 'Third Stage' album, in sequence. We hope you enjoy it."

Well, you can imagine what happened. The ensuing stampede to the refreshment/concession stands left 35 dead and 145 injured. The band might as well have called in a bomb threat. But that didn't stop Boston from playing that entire album with the same passion and commitment to which they extended every other song, even if the stadium was only 25 percent full and people were coming up with reasons to stand in various lines ("Sure, I have a full beer, but I could always use another one").

Why is this story relevant? Because of the following announcement: Over the next 10 weeks, I'm writing at least one NBA column per week, a period of time that extends through the Finals and the draft at the end of June.

Yeah, some of you might consider it a "Third Stage"-type decision. And if you skip these columns because you don't like the NBA, well... no hard feelings. Seriously, I'll get over it. You'll just have to indulge me until late-June; the NBA is my favorite sport. And if you ever get the urge to send me a "Stop writing about the NBA!" e-mail, just remember that nobody's holding a gun to your head -- if you don't like the NBA, again, just skip those particular columns. It's very simple. Last time I checked, this column was free ... unlike that Boston concert.

One more thing: I need some sort of dopey gimmick to carry me through the NBA Playoffs, so I came up with the "Six-Pack." Basically, the column will be composed of six separate extended observations/thoughts about the NBA Playoffs as they drag on (and on, and on), allowing me to cover as much ground as possible (while relieving me of the pressure to write a single, coherent column). And if that's not enough, the gimmick allows my editors to give each NBA column a snazzy promo like "Sports Guy opens an NBA Six-Pack!" and "Simmons gets drunk on the NBA!" They're so easy.

Wait, one more thing: Thursday night's Nets-Pacers double-OT thriller was so wildly entertaining, after the game finally ended, I skipped down to my local Store 24 just to buy some Sour Patch Kids and tell Joe the Alcoholic Counter Guy about it. Let there be no doubt ... I love this game.

On to the Six-Pack ...
No. 1: Kevin Garnett
For months and months, I've been writing how KG was the greatest Second Banana of all-time, how he wasn't talented enough to carry his own team, how his pricetag ($20 million a year) made it nearly impossible for Minnesota to surround him with the supporting talent to help him in crunch-time (including a much-needed Go-To Guy). I even placed Dirk Nowitzki ahead of KG in my "Who has the highest trade value?" column last month, which generated a staggering amount of "What the hell were you thinking?" e-mails.

Well ... who's laughing now? Huh? Huh? Somewhere along the line, the whole "Is KG really a superstar?" debate became the Story Du Jour of these playoffs, culminating in a spirited discussion between Danny Ainge and the always-incoherent Magic Johnson after one TNT playoff game last week. As Red Auerbach would say, the proof was in the pudding. For the 37th straight season, Minnesota was bounced in Round One of the playoffs. And even if KG submitted his usual gaudy stats (a 20/17 every game), two things hadn't changed: He doesn't make his teammates better, and he can't create his own shot at the end of games.

Back to the Second Banana thing, which I never fully explained last month: Think of Tubbs and Crockett from "Miami Vice." Crockett was the star of the show. He was The Man, the Go-To Guy ... and everyone knew it. But we also knew that you can't carry a show by yourself. So Tubbs' job was to play off Crockett, cover his back, kick him in the butt, provide some laughs, pull off the Jamaican accent from time to time, hook up with any black actress who was appearing on the show, knock the Unintentional Comedy Rating through the roof every so often, and occasionally -- not often, but occasionally -- carry his own episode, just to mix things up.

Could Tubbs have carried his own show? Maybe. It would have been an OK show ... probably would have lasted two or three seasons, before it finally got canceled, depending on his supporting cast. And then Philip Michael Thomas would have been relegated to game shows and infomercials for the rest of his career, which is pretty much what happened, anyway. But at least with "Miami Vice," he was a crucial component of the greatest detective show of the '80s. It wouldn't have been nearly as good without him.

And that's Garnett, in a nutshell. He's like a more talented version of Tubbs. You love him to death, you want him to succeed, he brings a ton to the table ... but he just can't carry his own show. At least not a good one.

That's why, in my opinion, Garnett has a terrific chance to become the greatest complimentary player of the modern era (post-1970). Better than James Worthy (Big Game James, the most underrated player of his generation). Better than Kevin McHale (who would have become the best power forward of all-time if he hadn't broken his foot). Better than Scottie Pippen (whose underappreciated, misunderstood career deserves its own column at some point). Better than Andrew Toney (another guy sidetracked by foot problems). Better than Dave Cowens (who won two titles playing next to John Havlicek). And much better than Penny Hardaway (who would have been the first person mentioned on this list if he didn't come down with prima donna syndrome).

Imagine KG with Kobe, Iverson, T-Mac or Pierce? Hell, imagine him with Baron Davis? Garnett would be making every clutch defensive play, grabbing every rebound, firing the crowd up, keeping everyone's intensity up, tossing up a 20-15 every night, and occasionally -- not often, but occasionally -- carrying his own episode.

Just like Tubbs.

No. 2: John Stockton
During Game 4 of the Utah-Sacramento series, there was a moment in the final two minutes -- after the Kings extended their lead to six, and things looked grim -- when Stockton was dribbling up the court on a fast break ... and I'm thinking to myself, "Pull-up 3, he's going for the pull-up 3" ... and he dribbles over midcourt, like he's heading to the basket ... and Mike Bibby was back on his heels ... and then Stockton pulled up and launched his classic "My momentum is taking me forward, but somehow I stopped my body long enough to launch this baby" 3.

Swish. Three-point game.

And that's why I'm gonna miss John Stockton. After 17 years, you know him inside and out, you know all his moves, you know what he's doing before he even does it ... and he's still pulling it off. At age 40. Unbelievable. I still think Isiah was better in their respective primes, but Stockton's surreal longevity makes it a pretty good debate. I'd take Isiah, personally -- when in doubt, just count the rings -- but at least we're having this discussion. I wouldn't have even considered it four years ago.

Switching gears to guys I won't miss ...

No. 3: Patrick Ewing

My favorite dopey NBA playoff tradition goes like this: Every spring, one NBA star seems headed for retirement after the season, which means the announcers inevitably make a big fuss about it and say things like, "This might be the last time we see so-and-so in an NBA uniform!"

Of course, it doesn't matter if we actually care about the star in question. Remember when Jeff Hornacek was retiring two years ago? The announcers were breathlessly saying, "This could be the last chance to ever see Jeff Hornacek in a Utah uniform" and "If this is Jeff Hornacek's last game, what a career he's had." Jeez, I can't believe I forgot to cue up the VCR for that one. Wouldn't want to miss the chance to capture Hornacek's last game on tape. Just ridiculous.

We were subjected to the same crap this week with The Artist Formerly Known As Patrick Ewing, who has been stuck in that "15-Year-Old Poodle With Cataracts and Diabetes Who Starts Going To The Bathroom In The House and Needs To Be Put To Sleep" phase of his career for two years running. Besides, this wasn't Kareem on his last legs ... hell, it wasn't even Hakeem. Did Ewing have a Hall of Fame career? I guess. I also know there wasn't one season where we could look back and say, "Man, Ewing had it going that year" or "Nobody could handle him that season." As amazing as this sounds, the Georgetown version of Ewing was more memorable than the New York version.

Think about it. Ewing was utterly devoid of charisma. He never made his teammates better. He might have been the most overrated NBA player of the past two decades -- horrendous hands, unreliable at crunch-time, dubious rebounder, terrible passer out of the double-team, the whole nine yards. His prime coincided with an era when true NBA centers were few and far between, yet he never took full advantage of that window. He was so freaking slow -- because of his bad knees -- that the Knicks never really seriously contended until Pat Riley adopted that slow-it-down, thug-ball, rugby-style of play that catered to Ewing and nearly ruined the NBA as we know it. And during his only appearance in the NBA Finals -- which happened only because MJ had retired -- another center (Hakeem) pretty much destroyed him.

So for announcers to pull the "This could be our last chance to see Patrick Ewing" routine ... well, I find it a little insulting. Don't ask me to appreciate someone who I didn't appreciate that much in the first place, especially when he's been hanging on just to collect paychecks for the past two seasons.

And as Dennis Miller would say, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

No. 4: The Lakers

Game 3, sellout in Portland, must-win for the Blazers, four-point lead in the final 30 seconds, crowd going bonkers, and the Lakers have every reason to fold and regroup for Game 4. Nope. Kobe Bryant nails a 3. After the intentional foul, Portland misses one of two free throws. Now Los Angeles has a chance to tie. Tie? Screw that. They diagram a play in which Kobe drives to the basket, draws Robert Horry's defender, then kicks it to Horry in the corner for a 3 ... bingo. Game over.

We always glorify champions while they're winning the title, but to me, true champions are the ones who return for the following season and continue to play like champions. That's what the Lakers pulled off Sunday. It was reminiscent of a 1978 game that David Halberstam described in "Breaks Of The Game" -- the best basketball book of all-time -- when the defending champion Blazers thrashed a talented Atlanta team by 40 points. As Halberstam writes: "Afterward, in the (Blazers) locker room, which had been unusually joyous that night, Lloyd Neal had held up his hand with the championship ring and shouted, 'I guess we showed them that they didn't give us these rings by any f---ing mistake.' It was the way everyone on the team felt. They were the best."

For some reason, I always remember that quote whenever I watch a game like that Blazers-Lakers game. Just a classic "They didn't give us these rings by any f---ing mistake!" game. And as long as the Lakers keep winning those games from time to time, the road to the NBA title goes through them.

But you knew that already.

No. 5: The Dow Report

Whose stock rose and dropped the most after round one? A quick look:

Up: Baron Davis ... the best young point guard in the league, someone with a knack for making big plays when it truly matters (witness: the steal off Tracy McGrady in Game 1). He might even have a chance to be special before everything's said and done, and not just because he has more teeth than any NBA player in league history. We need to have an All-Choppers matchup between him and Mateen Cleaves.

Down: Karl Malone ... they officially rammed the salad fork into his back as he was single-handedly derailing the Jazz during Game 4 of the Sacramento series (14 points, three rebounds, a number of wince-provoking moments). Sad to watch. It's not like he always played well in the playoffs, but at least back in the day, he wasn't killing his team ... at least until the Finals. Let the record show that Karl Malone was an excellent player for an especially long length of time. And now that time is over.

Up: Andrei Kirilenko ... he's like a cross between Michael Cooper, Bob Horry, Dennis Rodman, and Fred Roberts after 12 cups of coffee. Just a lot to like here. Needs to play for a contending team at some point.

Down: Rashard Lewis ... apparently the WNBA season started early.

Up: Dirk Nowitzki ... how do you say "He's made The Leap" in German? Der frueilin leapschanazen?

Down: Everyone on Sacramento, other than maybe Vlade Divac. If you're a Kings fan, you have to be dreading Dallas in the rearview mirror right now. And just for the record, if the Kings don't figure out a master plan in crunch time sometime soon, it's going to be four-and-out for them. Seriously. They looked terrible against the Jazz. The only guys in playoff form for Sacramento were the towel-waving yahoos on the bench. Does anyone have a more supportive bench than them? Cleaves is really the Jack Haley of his generation.

Up: Keon Clark ... made himself a lot of money over the past few weeks.

Down: The Lakers bench ... Good God. Do you realize they're playing five guys right now? Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe, Horry, Derek Fisher and Rick Fox. That's it. Everyone else comes in just to give someone a breather. It's a debacle. The standby phrase "Shaq, Kobe and 10 nobodies would beat anyone in the league" will definitely be tested later this month. Other than Horry, there isn't another above-average player on the roster besides The Big Two.

Up: Jon Barry ... inspiring to watch at times. Except for Allen Iverson, there isn't a guy in the league who plays harder. Big year for the Barry family.

Down: Magic Johnson ... just go away. Please. We're begging you
Up: Jeff Van Gundy ... what's not to love? He was candid, insightful and funny; more importantly, he meshed extremely well with Mike Fratello, which was surprising since they never announced games together before this spring. You can't force chemistry; you either have it or you don't, and Fratello and Van Gundy have it. When Marv Albert returns this spring, they have a chance to become the best three-man booth in NBA announcing history. No joke.

Down: Byron Scott and Isiah Thomas ... watching these guys match wits in round one was like watching a chess match between Crackhead Bob and Joey Lawrence. Game 5 alone was filled with more mistakes than your average porn shoot. I haven't seen two teams guided that poorly since Gabe Kaplan and Bob Conrad were captains during the 1980 edition of "Battle of the Network Stars."

(Enough lame similes for you? You get the point? OK, good. But seriously, what about the Nets not fouling in the final five seconds of regulation of Game 5, allowing Reggie Miller to launch his game-tying 3? What about Isiah living and dying in Game 5 with Kevin Ollie? What about the Pacers being totally dumbfounded by the same play for five straight games -- the little high pick for Jason Kidd? Or the Nets not even considering a full-court press when the Pacers had Ron Mercer bringing the ball up during Game 4 and Game 5? Good God. That series could have made for an entire column in itself. Let's just move on.)

Up: Derrick Coleman ... unquestionably the surprise story of the season. Did you ever think you would see DC playing hard, making intangible plays, playing in pain, putting up 16/10's in the playoffs every night ... and doing it in the same series that included a rejuvenated Kenny Anderson? It's like meeting an attractive female in Boston. You just can't believe it's happening.

Down: Team Stern ... for not being intelligent enough to incorporate instant replay to decide buzzer-beating shots. Inexplicable. I can't think of a single reason why this wouldn't work.

Up: Mortgage commercials ... I like the one TNT always shows where the husband comes home with a new dog, and his wife is confused because he said that they couldn't have a dog until they bought a house, and then he gives her the smile and says, "We got the house." Good stuff. Always gets me.

(As an added bonus, the guy playing the husband was Joel Goodson's horny buddy from "Risky Business." You know ... That Guy? Good to see him still working.)

Down: The NBA ... for ruining that Lenny Kravitz "Once you dig in" song by ordering TNT and NBC to play it roughly 17,500 times over the past two weeks (for their playoff commercials). Once you dig in ... I'm going to bang myself in the forehead ... and once you dig in ... I'm slamming a fork into my eyeballs ...

Up: Iverson ... he misses the last 14 games of the season, comes back for the playoffs with his left hand in a cast, then proceeds to pour in 42 points in a do-or-die Game 3 (with more than a little help from the refs) and score eight crucial points in the final 73 seconds of Game 4. Remarkable. The best little guy of all-time.

Down: Team Stern (yes, twice) ... for the third straight season in which they staggered the first-round schedules to create as many NBC games as possible. None of these series had any flow -- teams were overprepared and out of synch, and nobody seemed to have any momentum other than the free-wheeling Mavs.

Up: TNT ... for their "Studio Cameos" by NBA players and former players, which can occasionally knock the Unintentional Comedy Rating out of the ballpark. Pau Gasol's night in the studio needs to be released on DVD at some point.

Still to be decided: Paul Pierce ... actually, this deserves its own section.

No. 6: Pierce
Here's a quick story ...

Last summer, right before Pierce signed his contract extension with the Celtics, I ate dinner with him and a few other people, just a standard get-to-know-you session (the details aren't really important). We spent most of dinner talking about the Celtics, the NBA, the season ahead ... and after a while, it became pretty obvious that Pierce wasn't just a basketball player. He was actually a basketball fan. At one point, I mentioned watching ESPN's "SportsCentury" show about Isiah Thomas that week and Pierce interrupted me.

"I saw that," Pierce said, his eyes lighting up. "Did you see the 'Behind The Glory' show about Chris Webber?"

I told him that I hadn't seen it.

"You should see it," he said, nodding. "That's a good one, too."

For some reason, I found the whole exchange intriguing. So I started doing some friendly digging. Turns out that Pierce is a basketball junkie. Watches all the playoff games once the Celtics get knocked out. Watches every NBA-related documentary on ESPN and Fox. Watches every old-school NBA game on ESPN Classic. Watches summer league games on ESPN2. Heck, he even coerced the Celtics into sending him game tapes of every Celtics game from the 2001 season, just so he could scout himself.

The guy simply loves basketball. Lives and breathes it. Better yet, unlike most of the guys in the league, he could pick Gus Williams out of a police lineup, he knows Andrew Toney had an unstoppable first step, he knows the Lakers wouldn't have won the '87 title without Mychal Thompson ... he's just a basketball fan who coincidentally happens to play basketball for a living. And he was sitting home last summer, night after night, watching all these games and documentaries, telling himself over and over again, "Some day, it's gonna be me ... some day it's gonna be me."

Anyway, I thought about that dinner during Game 2 of the Sixers series, after Pierce drained a clutch 3 with two minutes left -- the eventual game-winner -- one of those ballsy, breathtaking plays that only the great ones make. And we erupted. We just erupted. Ever since Reggie Lewis died and the Celtics fell apart, we had been waiting for another night like this, another game like this, another player like this. So Philly called a time-out, and everyone remained standing, getting louder and louder, going pretty much insane -- waves of cheers, almost like a Roman coliseum. And Pierce was standing in the middle of it, his arms raised above his head, pumping his fists, nodding and soaking everything in. His time had come.

And that brings us to Friday night. Game 5. Sixers-Celtics. Winner advances, loser goes home. A sold-out crowd ready to raise the roof again. And Paul Pierce standing in the middle of it all, ready to make The Leap, ready to become part of history, ready to shine, ready to realize a dream. Some things are just meant to be.

Bill Simmons writes three columns a week for Page 2.

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Old 05-07-2002, 09:56 AM   #102
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A Little more history on this Palestinian/Israeli Conflict


Mona Charen
About those refugee camps |
As the Jenin "massacre" takes its place alongside other Arab myths -- Mossad or CIA responsibility for the crash of Egypt Air Flight 990 in 1999, the suspicious "fact" that 4,000 Jews failed to show up for work at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, the Jewish practice of using human blood in their holiday cakes -- some on this side of the Atlantic and this side of sanity have been asking: "What's with these refugee camps? Why do people remain in camps 54 years after Israel's founding?"

This is key to understanding the conflict. The Arab refugees remain in camps because of the cynical decision by Arab governments and the PLO to keep them miserable and poor. Refugee camps are distributed among Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Only Jordan has offered citizenship to them. Before June 1967, when Egypt controlled Gaza and Jordan held the West Bank, neither nation gave the land to the Palestinians for a state because the idea was that they would eventually return to the real Palestine -- Israel. A Syrian-sponsored conference in 1957 declared that "... a solution of the Palestine problem which will not be based on ensuring the refugees' right to annihilate Israel will be regarded as a desecration of the Arab people. ..."

Who supports the Palestinians living in these camps? Mostly, the Europeans. We pay approximately 30 percent of the bill for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the U.N. agency that administers the relief. The Palestinians are the only people on earth who live on international welfare. In 1948, the United States contributed $25 million and Israel gave $3 million (though the identical number of Jewish refugees who fled Arab states got nothing). All of the Arab nations combined gave $600,000.

For the next 20 years, the United States provided two-thirds of the funds for the Palestinians. The Arab governments, who claimed that no issue was closer to their hearts than the "plight" of the Palestinians, gave a pittance. They increased their contributions somewhat during the 1980s. But last year, according to Fox News, the United States gave $83.6 million to UNRWA. Saudi Arabia gave $1.8 million. All of the Arab nations combined contributed only 2 percent of UNRWA's budget.

We are told repeatedly that the Palestinians are "desperate" and that Israel's act of self-defense will only create more suicide killers. This is doubtful. Weakness is provocative, and defeat can be a wonderful teacher. Besides, passivity in the face of daily murders is something no society can tolerate. Only the certainty that she would be universally condemned stayed Israel's hand for 18 months.

But this also raises another question: Why are the Palestinians desperate? Since the Oslo Accords of 1993, 97 percent of them have been living under the sovereignty of the Palestinian Authority, not under Israeli "occupation."

And what did Arafat and his brethren do with this freedom? Did they welcome investment, build the infrastructure, settle people permanently in Arab villages and towns, and in general begin to behave like a people eager for a peaceful state next to Israel? No. In fact they spurned many offers of development aid in favor of building breeding grounds for fanatics and terrorists, importing massive amounts of weapons and preaching jihad. The suicide killer has become a heroic symbol of Palestinian "struggle." Arafat's wife lamented that she had no sons to send to their deaths.

In this, the United Nations is complicit. At schools funded and run by the UNRWA, depictions of Jews as monkeys and Israelis as Nazis are common fare. U.N. employees have abetted the vehement anti-Semitism that is bread and butter to the Palestinian Authority. A few days ago, the U.N. Human Rights Commission voted (without the approval of Canada, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Germany or Guatemala) to condemn Israel for "acts of mass killings" (which never happened) and endorsed Palestinian "armed struggle" (i.e., terrorism).

The cruel decision by Arab governments to use the Palestinians as ticking time bombs against Israel has paid off more handsomely than they could have imagined in 1948. Their metaphorical bombs have become real. What a victory for their people.

Comment on JWR contributor Mona Charen's column by clicking here.

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Old 05-07-2002, 10:16 AM   #103
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Here's something I found.. I'm not sure how old it is, or what not, cuz the link to it is no longer there.. but It's an 'Anti Gay Hate Group' publishing a list of people they think deserves to die.. Geezus.. anyways, it at least provided a few good laughs for their morbidity after I got over my initial disgustedness...


THE LIST of people this group wants to die horribly:

D. James Kennedy, owner and operator of the traveling christohet supremacy sideshow called the "Reclaiming America for Christ" Conferences, as well as Florida's Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Evangelism Explosion International, Knox Theological Seminary, Coral Ridge Ministries Media, Inc., and Westminster Academy.

"D.J." deserves to experience a horrible death soon. He's earned at least terminal leprosy. "D.J." was just another of many money-sucking radio and TV evangelists telling his audiences whatever lies would get him as much tax-free cash as he could get the idiots to send him. Then he discovered that putting "Gays are after your children (of course) but we will protect your children and the country from those predators if you send enough money" in his fundraising letters could make him into a stinking rich political megalomaniac like his role model, Pat Robertson, at whose feet 'D.J.' grovels, and grumbles about being in second place. His now-perfected cash-to-feel-superior, cash-for-fear, pay-to-stay-ignorant system works especially well when followed closely with another letter, such as:

Dear Steve ("Mr. AOL") and Joan Case,
"Thank you for your donation of $8.35-million, but it's NOT ENOUGH! We need more money! The homos are coming! The homos are coming! They're recruiting in an elementary school near you RIGHT NOW, just as we taught you when you were students here! Look! We have an American flag in our church too! What's the matter with you?! Don't you love your innocent het children and your slice of J.C.'s country?! What are you, some kind of homos now?! Send more money or burn in hell forever!!

Yours in the mutually necrophilic embrace of my big fella, Jesus Christ,
'D.J.' Kennedy"


Donald E. Wildmon, Pres. American Family Association (just raised another $1.3-million in a "Spring Sharathon" via an AF Radio station near you.
Tim Wildmon, V.P. AFA
AFA P.O. Drawer 2440
Location: Tupelo, Mississippi (50 miles from Memphis)
Main office phone 662-844-5036 [ext. 218 Wildmon's sec'ty?]
Main office fax 662-842-7798
Pledge phone line: 1-800-844-8893
Personal info (on Donald, from the AFA website): "Bottom line, he's not out to impress anybody. In his words, 'I'm not profound, I'm a fighter.' ... Don Wildmon is an unlikely national celebrity. He is not a charismatic leader, per se. He does not turn heads when you walk with him into a restaurant. He does not wear Armani suits, and his shirts do not have stitched monograms, let alone duff links. He does not turn up the charm when he talks to the press. Wildmon is thoroughly unpretentious."


Ronald Reagan, ex-President, deserves to experience a horrible death soon, and is getting what he deserves. We're listing him as wounded because the way he is dying is horrible (Alzheimer's) and irreversible, even if he isn't aware of it anymore, and not soon enough we will happily add him to our Good Riddance! section.

As President, he couldn't remember to deal with the growing AIDS pandemic, couldn't remember to give some money to the Centers for Disease Control for drug treatment research, couldn't remember to authorize the publication of factual information about how the disease was being spread, etc. — all because he is a het supremacist, and the suffering and dying were "only Queers." Ronald Reagan is personally responsible for the long and torturous deaths of hundreds of thousands of gay men in the U.S.A. from AIDS. Today, he can't remember not to go to the bathroom in his pants, and he deserves worse, for the many other ways he has hurt millions of this country's people as well, such as poor families, and those who are mentally or physically disabled.


Jesse Helms can't walk anymore, so he qualifies as being a bit wounded, but unfortunately he is not suffering much. His age will catch up with him sooner than later.

Strom Thurmond, the oldest racist, sexist, homosexual-hating jerk in the Senate. Strom Thurmond is so old and useless he is nothing but a doddering shell — more of a joke now than he ever was — rotting to death while the nation watches and laughs. There are more betting pools going about the date of Strom Thurmond's long-anticipated death than there are about when Ronald Reagan's sour old body will finally follow the example of his Alzheimer's-addled brain and finish dying a justifiably horrible death.

Pat Robertson is the anti-Christ if there is one (there is no such boogey-man, in our opinion). There does seem to be no more greedy, prideful and arrogant person alive today. If there were a god who is kind, this metastisized televangelist would already be dead. All we can do is say he really has earned the horrible death that is wished upon him as soon as possible.

James Dobson, Focus on the Family (FOF), Family Research Council (lots more to come on this lizard)


Peter LaBarbera, founder of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality and The Lambda Report, now Director of the Americans for Truth (he dropped the words "About Homosexuality" to sound more mainstream in TV sound bites) Project of Kerusso Ministries, located outside Washington, D.C. LaBarbera is a true bottomfeeder, a scum-sucking weasel who is obsessed with Queer sex beyond all reason. Watch as he steps on the bodies of those he kills with his obsession and lies while he makes his career as a Queer hater and hunter. His death should be soon, our magic ball predicts, since he is rotting now from the inside out. Unfortunately, the 8-Ball of fortune-telling doesn't see him suffering as long as those he has harmed over the many years he's been operating, and continues to harm today.


Jerry Falwell - while the name says it all, there's more to come on the Ronald McDonald of evangelism.


Gary Bauer - more, more and still more on this guy. He's got as many dangerous "sharps" as Edward Scissorhands and he's nowhere near as nice.


Beverly LaHaye, Concerned Women for America - This is where it's hard to keep from going into X-rated language. It's too easy, really, but come on, she really does rhyme with the smallest of the litter.


Steve Baldwin California State Assemblyman (R) - Been watching this truly mean man for years, from our vantage point here in San Diego. When death comes to him, and we wish it would come soon, our hope ist that it shows no mercy, no quarter, for this merciless, cold-blooded shark.


Allen Trovillion, 74
Florida State Representative (R- Winter Park)
Capitol Office: Room 210 House Office Building
402 S. Monroe St, Tallahassee FL 32399-1300
Phone: (850)488-0660

District Office: 1360 Palmetto Ave, Winter Park FL 32789-4916;
Phone: (407)623-1355; SUNCOM: 334-1355
Serves as the chair of the Florida State Tourism Committee. He verbally attacked a group of Queer high school students during a previously announced "Lobby Day." This scum publically humiliated them and instilled within them a fear of their own representatives to the U.S. government.


Lou Sheldon, Andrea Sheldon and all members of the entire Sheldon family who are employed by the Traditional Values Coalition and its various camouflage organizations nationwide.


Paul Weyrich, head of the Free Congress Foundation


Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a speaker at "Love Won Out" "reparative therapy" christohet supremacy conferences, and president of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), which has been rupudiated by virtually the entire psychological and medical community.


R.J. Rooney, Jr., prolific propagandist
Verona United Methodist Church


J.C. Watts, legislator from Oklahoma


Patrick Kennedy, assistant pastor, First Baptist Church of North East
Church address: 43 South Lake St, North East, Pennsylvania 16428
Church phone: 814-725-4698

In case you haven't heard of this proudly supremacist christohet, on two recent occasions he thought it was a good idea to seriously warn the members of his church and the entire community against letting their teens patronize a lesbian-owned local restaurant which also functions occasionally as a teen dance club. His warnings were based on false Internet rumors about "gay" activity taking place there, like same-gender hand-holding by adults in the restaurant during dinner. Business was hurt dramatically, but fortunately some members of the town came to the support of the restaurant/club.

Patrick Kennedy's main warning was that Queers were going to try to "recruit" the town's heterosexual teenagers to homosexuality. Especially in a small town in rural Pennsylvania, this is an effective method to frighten the other christohet supremacists and increase donations to fight non-existent enemies.


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Old 05-07-2002, 10:50 AM   #104
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The most douchetastic thing I've ever seen:

Ozzy enjoying himself at President Bush's "roast" the other night.

P.S. Spiderman broke Harry Potters opening weekend box office record w/ totals upwards of $114 million.

Rock 'N Roll is the sound of revenge.
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Old 05-16-2002, 09:36 AM   #105
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Since we are all in the Graduation spirit at this moment, I will bestow upon you a bit of wisdom from one of the greatest thinkers of our generation as we walk down the tulip laden grotto avenue.


Conan's Address 2000
I'd like to begin by thanking the class marshals for inviting me here today. The last time I was invited to Harvard it cost me $110,000. So I was reluctant to show up. I'm going to start before I really begin by announcing my one goal this afternoon. I want to be half as funny as tomorrow's Commencement speaker, moral philosopher and economist Amartya Sen. That's the job. Must get more laughs than seminal wage-price theoretician. By the way, enjoy that. Bring a calculator. It's going to be a nerd fest.
Students of the Harvard class of 2000, 15 years ago I sat where you sit now. And I thought exactly what you are now thinking. What's going to happen to me? Will I find my place in the world? Am I really graduating a virgin? Still have 24 hours. Roommate's mom very hot. Swear she's checking me out. There was that Rob Lowe movie.
Being here today, on a sincere note, is very special for me. I do miss this place. I especially miss Harvard Square. Let me tell you, you don't know this, Harvard Square is extremely unique. Nowhere else in the world will you find a man wearing a turban and a Red Sox jacket working in a lesbian bookstore. I'm just glad my dad's working.
It's particularly sweet for me to be here today because--this is true--when I graduated I wanted very badly to be a Class Day speaker. Unfortunately, my speech was rejected. So if you'll indulge me I'd like to read a portion of that speech. This is the actual speech from 15 years ago. "Fellow students, as we sit here today listening to that classic A-ha tune which will definitely stand the test of time, I would like to make several predictions about what the future will hold. I believe that one day a simple governor from a small southern state will rise to the highest office in the land. He will lack political skill, but will lead on the sheer strength of his moral authority. I believe that justice will prevail and one day the Berlin Wall will crumble, uniting East and West Berlin forever under Communist rule. I believe that one day a high-speed network of interconnected computers will spring up worldwide, so enriching people that they will lose their interest in idle chitchat and pornography. And finally, I believe that one day I will have a television show on a major network seen by millions of people at night which I will use to reenact crimes and and help catch at-large criminals." Then I had a section on the death of Wall Street, but you don't need to hear about that.
The point is that although you see me as a celebrity, a member of the cultural elite, a demigod if you will, and potential husband material, I came here in the fall of 1981 and lived at Holworthy Hall as a student much like you. I was, without exaggeration--this is true--the ugliest picture in the freshman facebook. When Harvard asked me for a picture the previous summer, I thought it was for their records, so I jogged in the August heat to a passport photo office and sat for a morgue shot. To make matters worse, when the facebook came out, they put my picture right next to Catherine Oxenberg, a stunning blonde actress who was expected to join the class of '85, but decided to defer admission so she could join the cast of Dynasty. Folks, my photo would have looked bad on any page, but next to Catherine Oxenberg, I looked like a mackerel that had been in a car accident.
You see, in those days, I was 6 feet 4 inches tall and I weighed 150 pounds. True. Recently, I had some structural engineers run those numbers into a computer model, and according to the computer, I collapsed in 1987, killing hundreds in Taiwan.
After freshman year, I moved to Mather House. Mather House, incidentally, was designed by the same firm that built Hitler's bunker. In fact, if Hitler had conducted the war from Mather House, he would have shot himself a year earlier. Saved us a lot of trouble.
1985 seems like a long time ago now. When I had my Class Day, you students would have been seven years old. Seven years old! You realize what that means? Back then I could have beaten any of you in a fight. And I mean really badly. Like no contest at all. If anyone here has a time machine, seriously, I will kick your seven-year-old butt right now.
A lot has happened in 15 years though. When you think about it, we come from completely different worlds. When I graduated in 1985, we watched movies starring Tom Cruise and listened to music by Madonna. I come from a time when we huddled around the TV set and watched the Cosby Show on NBC, never imagining that there would one day be a show called Cosby on CBS. In 1985 we drove cars with driver's-side air bags. But if you had told us that one day there would be passenger-side air bags, we'd have burned you for witchcraft.
Of course I think there is some common ground between us. I remember well the great uncertainty of this day, the anxiety. Many of you are justifiably nervous about leaving the safe, comfortable world of Harvard Yard and hurling yourself headlong into the cold, harsh world of Harvard grad school, a plum job in your father's firm, or a year abroad with a gold Amex card and then a plum job at your father's firm. Let me assure you that the knowledge you gained here at Harvard is a precious gift that will never leave you. Take it from me, your education is yours to keep forever. Why, many of you have read the Merchant of Florence, and that will inspire you when you travel to the island of Spain. Your knowledge of that problem they had with those people in Russia, or that guy in South America--you know, the guy--will be with you for the rest of your life.
There's also sadness today. A feeling of loss that you're leaving Harvard forever. Let me assure you that you never really leave Harvard. The Harvard fundraising committee will be on your ass until the day you die.
This is true. I know for a fact that right now a member of the alumni association is at the Mount Auburn Cemetery shaking down the corpse of Henry Adams. They heard he has a brass toe ring and they aim to get it. These people just raised $2.5 billion and they only got through the Bs in the alumni directory. Here's basically how it works. Your phone rings, usually after a big meal when you're tired and most vulnerable, and a voice asks you for money. Knowing--you've read in the paper--that they just raised $2.5 billion, you ask, "What do you need it for?" There is a long pause, and the voice on the other end of the line says, "We don't need it, we just want it." (Sinister laugh).
Let me see--by your applause--Who here wrote a thesis? That's nice. A lot of hard work went into that thesis. And no one is ever going to care. I wrote a thesis--this is true, I don't lie--"Literary Progeria in the Works of Flannery O'Connor and William Faulkner." Let's just say that during my discussions with Pauly Shore, it doesn't come up much. For three years after graduation I wanted to show it to everyone, and so I kept my thesis in the glove compartment of my car, so that I could show it to a policeman in case I was pulled over.
What else can you expect in the real world? Let me tell you. As you leave these gates and re-enter society, one thing is certain. Everyone out there is going to hate you. Never tell anyone in a roadside diner that you went to Harvard. In those situations, the correct response to, "Where did you go to school?" is "School? I never had much in the way of book learnin' and such." And then get in your BMW and get the hell out of there. Go.
You see, kids, you're in for a lifetime of "And you went to Harvard?" Accidentally give the wrong amount of change in a transaction, and it's "And you went to Harvard?" Ask at the hardware store how the jumper cables work, and hear "And you went to Harvard?" Forget just once that your underwear goes inside your pants, and it's "And you went to Harvard?" Get your head stuck in your niece's doll house 'cause you want to see what it's like to be a giant, and it's "Uncle Conan, you went to Harvard?"
So you really know what's in store for you after Harvard, I have to tell you what happened to me after graduation. I'm going to tell it simply, I'm going to tell it honestly, because, first of all, I think my perspective may give many of you hope, and, secondly, it's such a cool, amazing rush to be in front of 6,000 people and just talk about yourself. It's just great. It's so cool. And I can take my time. You see, kids, after graduating in May, I moved to Los Angeles. I got a three-week contract at a small cable show. I got a $380-a-month apartment, a terrible dump, and I bought a 1977 Isuzu Opal, a car Isuzu only manufactured for a year because they found out that technically it's not a car. Quick tip, graduates--no four-cylinder used vehicle should have a racing stripe.
So I worked on that show for about a year, feeling pretty good about myself, when one day they told me that they were letting me go. I was fired. I hadn't saved any money. So I tried to get another job in television as best I could and couldn't find one. So with nowhere else to turn--true story--I went to a temp agency and filled out a questionnaire. I made damn sure that they knew I had been to Harvard, that I had written this thesis, and that I expected the very best treatment. And so the next day I was sent to the Santa Monica branch of Wilson's House of Suede and Leather.
When you have a Harvard degree, and you are working at Wilson's House of Suede and Leather, you are haunted by the ghostly images of your classmates who chose graduate school. You see their faces everywhere--in coffee cups, in fish tanks, you think you're going crazy, and they're always laughing at you as you stack suede shirts no man in good conscience would ever wear.
I tried a lot of things during this period. Acting in corporate infomercials. Serving drinks in a nonequity theater. I even took a job entertaining at a seven year-old's birthday party. In desperate need of work, I put together some sketches and scored a job at the fledgling Fox network as a writer and performer for a brainy show called the "Wilton North Report." I was finally on a network and really excited. The producer told me the show was going to revolutionize television. And, in a way it did. The show was so hated and did so badly that when four weeks later news of its cancellation was announced to the Fox affiliates, they burst into spontaneous applause.
Eventually, though, I got a big break. I had submitted along with my writing partner a batch of sketches to Saturday Night Live, and after a year and a half they read it, and they gave us a two-week tryout. The two weeks turned into two seasons, and I felt, hey, this is success, I'm successful now. Successful enough to write a TV pilot for an original sitcom. When the network decided to make it, feeling good, I left Saturday Night Live.
This TV show was going to be groundbreaking. It was going to resurrect the career of TV's Batman, Adam West. It was going to be a comedy without a laugh track or a studio audience. It was going to change all the rules. And here's what happened. When the pilot aired, it was the second-lowest-rated television show of all time. It is actually tied with a test pattern they show up in Nova Scotia. So I was 28 and, once again, no job. I had good writing credits in New York, but I was filled with disappointment and I had no idea what I was going to do next. And that is when the Simpsons saved my life. I got a job there and started writing episodes about Springfield getting a monorail or Homer going to college. I was finally putting my Harvard education to good use--writing dialogue for a man who is so stupid that in one episode he forgot to make his own heart beat. Life was good.
And then an insane, inexplicable opportunity came my way, a chance to audition for host of the new "Late Night" show. I took the opportunity very seriously, but at the time--I have to be honest--I had the relaxed confidence of someone who knew he had no real shot, so I couldn't fear losing a great job that I could never hope to have. And I think that actually that attitude made the difference.
I will never forget being in the Simpsons recording basement that morning when the phone rang. It was for me. My car was blocking a firelane. But a week later I got another call and got the job. So this, finally, was undeniably it. The truly life-altering break that I had always dreamed of. And so I went to work. I gathered all my funny friends and poured all my years of comedy experience into building the show over the summer. I gathered the talent, figured out the sensibility, found Max, found Andy, found my people. We debuted on September 13, 1993, and I was really happy, really happy, with our effort. I felt like I had seized the moment, that I had put my very best foot forward.
And this was what the most respected and widely read television critic, Tom Shales, wrote in the Washington Post. "O'Brien is a living collage of annoying nervous habits. He giggles and jiggles about and fiddles with his cuffs. He has dark, beady little eyes like a rabbit. He is one of the whitest white men ever. O'Brien is a switch on the guest who won't leave: he's the host who should never have come. Let the Late Show with Conan O'Brien become the late Late Show, and may the host return to whence he came." There's more, but it gets kind of mean.
Needless to say, I took a lot of criticism, some of it deserved, some of it excessive, and, to be honest with you, it hurt like you would not believe. But I'm telling you all this for a reason. I've had a lot of success. I've had a lot of failure. I've looked good. I've looked bad. I've been praised. And I've been criticized. But my mistakes have been necessary. I've dwelled on my failures today because, as graduates of Harvard, your biggest liability is your need to succeed, your need to always find yourself on the sweet side of the bell curve. Success is a lot like a bright white tuxedo. You feel terrific when you get it, but then you're desperately afraid of getting it dirty, of spoiling it.
I left the cocoon of Harvard, I left the cocoon of Saturday Night Live, I left the cocoon of the Simpsons. And each time it was bruising and tumultuous. And yet every failure was freeing, and today I'm as nostalgic for the bad as I am for the good. So that's what I wish for all of you--the bad as well as the good. Fall down. Make a mess. Break something occasionally. Know that your mistakes are your own unique way of getting to where you need to be. And remember that the story is never over.
If you'll indulge me for just a second, I'd like to read a little something from just this year. "Somehow, Conan O'Brien has transformed himself into the brightest star in the late-night firmament. His comedy is the gold standard, and Conan himself is not only the quickest and most inventive wit of his generation, but quite possibly the greatest host ever."
Ladies and gentlemen, class of 2000, I wrote that this morning. As proof that when all else fails, you always have delusion. I will go now to make bigger mistakes and to embarrass this fine institution even more. But let me leave you with one last thought. If you can laugh at yourself, loud and hard, every time you fall, people will think you're drunk. Thank you.

Lemonite is offline  

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