Friday, July 27, 2012

Grand Theft Wally!

So today Wally the Green monster, the kinda but not really beloved mascot of the Boston Red Sox was stolen.  It came out a few minutes ago that it was a ‘misunderstanding’ and the costume has been recovered, but I’m calling bullshit on that.  They’re trying to keep that under wraps.  To be honest, this is the most exciting thing about the Red Sox season this year.  This team sucks.  For the first time in my life I actually want them to lose and be embarrassed every single night.  Anywho, here is my list of the possible suspects of “Wally-Gate”.

1. Kevin Youkilis-  What’s the best way to get revenge on your old team, after becoming public enemy number 1 and accused of being the clubhouse ‘snitch’ by Josh Beckett when the story about the abundance of fried chicken and beer being consumed by our starting pitchers became public knowledge.  Youk had this planned the whole time.  Will Middlebrooks is gonna start over me?  Well I’m gonna take that stupid, pathetic excuse for a mascot and do away with him.  The Red Sox screwed over Youk, and this was his way of exacting revenge. 

2. Curt Schilling- What better way to earn some cash to start paying back the state of Rhode Island for his crappy video game company going bankrupt than holding Wally the Green Monster for ransom at gunpoint?  It’s a brilliant plan.  Sneak into Fenway, start talking to Wally, then get some of his 38 Studios cronies to grab him and throw him in the back of a truck.  I’m sure Schilling could have made this plan after watching a mixture of scenes from Taken, The Town and the hit tv show 24 in order to plot and pull it off flawlessly.  Upon his capture, Schilling would hold him at gunpoint in a room somewhere in Boston, sending Mayor Menino a livefeed of his prisoner, and demand millions of dollars to make up for all the money he screwed the taxpayers of Rhode Island out of.  Brilliant plan.

3. Bobby Valentine-  My thought here is that he has been looking for ways to get himself fired instead of quitting, and this was a surefire way to get fired, only it backfired.  He probably did it in this disguise as well:

4. Dave Roberts- I mean after all, he was pretty damn good at stealing bases.  Am I right, Yankees fans?  Dave Roberts, much like Cat Woman, made a name for himself by stealing things.  Bored by stealing just bases and retirement, he decided to spice up his life by stealing a mascot, and who better than stupid Wally?

5. El Pres from Barstool Sports-  Finally fed up with this team and giving himself the ability to get a huge scoop on the rest of the web and Boston media outlets, Dave Portnoy decided to take matters into his own hands and steal Wally.  Keep reading bitches. 

6.  John Lackey-  Just because I hate him more than anything on the planet.  Nothing good has happened since we signed him.  He has no soul.  He would steal a mascot that only kids kinda like.  What a dick. 

7. Nomar Garciaparra- Always a cranky bastard.  He always hated fun, and the media circus in Boston.  He’s been away from Beantown for a few years now, so what better way to toy with the Boston media than to steal something as ridiculous and comical as Wally?  He probably had Mia Hamm driving the getaway car. 

8. Theo Epstein-  Remember a few years ago when Theo was leaving the Sox to go save the world or something and he decided to evade the press by leaving Fenway in a Gorilla costume?  My guess is that he’s done such a shitty job with the Chicago Cubs that he was planning on doing a similar thing leaving Wrigley Field, but his creative juice just isn’t flowing as well as it did a few years ago.  Instead of a normal, nonbaseball-related costume, Theo went with the mascot of his former team, thinking it would be a good way to deflect attention from himself.  Boy was he wrong.  Hope he get’s someone good for Ryan Dempster or else he’s screwed. 

9. Matt Damon- He was so pissed off that he wasn’t cast in The Town that he just had to take matters into his own hands.  He channeled his inner Jason Bourne and singlehandedly made it into Fenway and captured Wally, with plans to throw him into the Charles River. 

10. Wally Himself-  It wasn’t so much a kidnapping as a cry for help.  He walked out of Fenway on his own terms because even he, a cartoonish green monster with orange eyebrows and hailing from the wall in left field, can’t take this current Boston Red Sox team and how pathetic they are.  Good job boys, you’ve been so lackluster and piss-poor that even Wally the Fucking Green Monster can’t watch you guys anymore.  You all should be ashamed. 

There you have it.  One of these scenarios had to happen.  My money is on John Lackey that asshole.  Hopefully this Grand Theft Wally will turn things around for the Sox, but let’s face it, we suck this year. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

California Dreaming Part 1: I Survived Comic-Con 2012

San Diego. Beautiful, lovely city. Home of the fictional yet much adored Ron Burgundy. A city with a mediocre at best baseball team. The city where the words 'bad' and 'weather' are never together in a sentence. San Diego. The home to Comic Con.

There I was, about halfway through the Kirwan family vacation. We started in Los Angeles and drove down to San Diego for three nights. Little did we know that we chose an interesting three nights to stay in San Diego, because during our stay, the world famous Comic Con was being set up, and the hoards of diehard comicbook lovers were coming to town. There I was, sitting alone in a bar in downtown San Diego my first night there, harmless really. Just me and my bottle of Newcastle, people watching at the bar and watching the latest on the Dwight Howard trade saga that is currently pissing off the world. My parents were in bed, my sister was underage, so there I was, a man in an unknown city with a good bar scene, during Comic Con. I was just there, thinking about the fact that I really needed a haircut, when all of a sudden someone sits at the bar to my right.  Being the friendly and sociable person that I am, I turned and looked at my new neighbor, only to be put in an utter state of amusement, puzzlement, sadness and shock.  Instead of the nice possibility of a gorgeous young woman, I laid my eyes upon a Storm Trooper.  You know, like from Star Wars?  The guys in the white costumes with the weird looking helmets.  There’s like a million of them but they couldn’t take down Harrison Ford, a jedi, a bear, two robots and Carrie Fisher.  Those guys.  Anyways, I’m sitting at this bar with this Storm Trooper next to me, who honestly looked sad.  I don’t know how since he still had his mask on, but I could just tell he was sad.  He was kind of hunched over, looking at his Storm Trooper boots, and he just looked sad.  Meanwhile, I’m too confused to look away, so I’m just staring at this poor guy.  He ends up ordering a drink, still with the mask on, and only lifts up his mask, letting it rest on the top of his head, so he can take a sip of beer, putting the mask back on as he is done with his sip of Bud Light.  It was one of the strangest moments in my life, but it was an important one. 

From the brief reveals of his face that he gave, he looked like a man in his mid 40’s, somewhat balding and with a goatee.  After a few minutes, another guy, dressed as C3PO, just kidding, he wasn’t really dressed as C3PO, just normal clothing, sat next to him and started chatting him up.  I couldn’t resist myself from listening in.  This is where everything changed.  The normal clothed man, after a few questions, came right out and said, “So, I just have to ask, why do you wear the costume out at night?  You don’t care about what other people think?”.  This question seemed almost scripted, but the response was brilliant.  Storm Trooper Joe says (and I’m paraphrasing this, but I do remember most of it) “No not really.  Comic Con gives guys like me a bit of hope.  It’s a place where we can truly be who we want to be.  I’ve been a Star Wars fan since I was about 10, and it’s been a big part of me.  This time of year is my favorite because it’s the easiest time for me to blend in, while showing off the real me, which is a giant Star Wars fan.  As for other people, like at this bar, they may see me and make jokes, but honestly I feel completely comfortable right here in this costume.  Here I’m a Storm Trooper.  I can’t say that when I’m at work or out at restaurants and stuff like that.  I get to be myself.”  Preach on Storm Trooper man, preach on. 

Before going on, just a quick explanation of what Comic Con is for those of you who don’t know.  Basically it takes place every year in San Diego at the Convention Center, and it’s a gather of all different sorts of comicbook, anime, TV and movies, along with the companies promoting them.  Over the past few years it has really taken off and more and more celebrities have been making appearances (for instance, Christian Bale was signing autographs, the cast of Big Bang Theory was there, previews and trailers for upcoming shows and movies were shown).  Essentially it is a huge fanfest nowadays with thousands of people showing up.  Many dress in costume, which were creepy/funny/awesome/dumb depending on the costumes.  Needless to say, San Diego was a zoo for the few nights I was there, and that was only the beginning of the convention.  Now back to the Storm Trooper’s wise words.  

To be very honest, I was taken aback at how awesome of a response it was that this man gave.  The normal clothed man liked it too and bought him his next drink.  I actually wanted to say something to him myself but I really didn’t know what to say.  I didn’t know much about Comic Con beforehand, and certainly not how big/popular it was.  But seeing these people in their costumes and seeing people truly love these various TV shows, movies, superheroes, comicbook characters, etc. really stood out to me.  I consider myself very big into music, but this made me realize that I am nowhere near as big into music as this Storm Trooper was into Star Wars.  This kind of made me happy for this guy.  This was his week to shine on and blend in with people who were just like him.  I will admit, it was odd seeing some of the costumes, some of which were awesome in their detail and design, and some were just laughable, such as one dude I saw with a Smokey The Bear costume.  If Smokey counts as a superhero, then he’s worse than that bitch Aquaman.  Anyways, it would be very easy to make jokes about how many of them lived in their mother’s basements and blah blah blah, but I’m not going to do that.  Instead, I am going to give a shoutout to Storm Trooper Joe, for making me and the normal clothes man realize that Comic Con may be a laughing matter to most of the world, but to some people, it’s truly a time that they cherish, and a place where they can feel like their true selves, without having to feel shame or nervous to do so.  I think that in a world today with so many people trying to be who they aren’t, we all need our own Comic Con at some point to just not care about what other people think, and to be ourselves. 

As for San Diego, it was a city that truly surprised me.  It was gorgeous, the people were friendly and it's a great scene down there.  Special thanks to Johnny Frese for taking me out on the town that one night.  Hope that tattoo came out alright man.  If I were you, I'd visit San Diego if you have the opportunity.  It's an underrated city with a lot going on.  This is part 1 of a probably 3 or 4 part series on my California experience, so please stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Saddest Overheard Idea Ever

Disbelief.  Anger. Shame. Disappointment.  These were my feelings the other day after overhearing a conversation on a train ride home from Boston.  Sitting in front of me on the train, and distracting me from reading my book with their nasally sounding/half-shrieking voices, were two girls probably 12 or 13.  Conversations were ranging from cute boys to gossip about some girl named Amanda who double crossed someone the prior week Mean Girls style.  Anyways, since I couldn’t focus on my book, I gave up and just spent time staring out of the window and listening to these brats talk about the daily struggles of a 12 year old, when a bombshell suggestion was dropped.  One prepubescent said to the other, “you know what would be, like, cool?” “What?” said the other.  “They should make a tv channel that just plays music videos all day long”.  “Yeah that’d be pretty cool”. 
Shock.  Awe.  Puzzlement.  Sadness.   How is it that these girls had no idea that MTV used to be mainly music television, known for showing music videos?  It just doesn’t seem possible.  I had to tune these girls out for the rest of the train ride, and I’ve been thinking about it for the past few days trying to figure this out, and some things have hit me.  First off, if my guesses were right and these girls were 12-13ish, then that would put them being born in the 1999-2000, which is frightening.  This being said, it makes sense with the unfortunate fact that MTV hasn’t played music videos (besides at 6:00 am for about 15 minutes) in years.  I mean even when TRL was still on, Carson Daley spent more time hogging the spotlight than showing music videos.  I can remember in the early 2000’s, when TRL was on the decline where I would become incredibly frustrated with the fact that TRL would only show 30 second clips of Sum41’s Fat Lip or In Too Deep videos.  What I’m saying is that it actually is hard to see music videos on MTV these days, so perhaps it’s not crazy for this idea to seem brilliant to these preteens. 

To be honest, it actually does seem like a pretty good idea.  Why can’t they just show music videos instead of reruns of such great television like Teen Mom and My Super Sweet Sixteen.  I mean yeah people for some reason watch that garbage, but to show repeats for hours on end every night is a bit much.  Can’t they just show some music videos?  Kids used to stay in some nights and just watch videos one after another, like it was a social thing.  Today you hear 10 second clips of songs inbetween shows, and that’s about it.  It makes me wonder if these two girls actually knew what MTV stands for.  I’d actually be willing to bet that they don’t.  I mean, I don’t know what UPN, CSPAN or G4 stands for, and I bet to them MTV is just a name with no meaning behind it.  This is one of those moments in time where I wish this blog was relatively famous and could just point out how far MTV has their head up their ass, because for a pair of 12 year old girls (isn’t this the age where crappy pop music matters the most?  Think of Britney Spears and *NSYNC back in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s) to not know the intent and original purpose of MTV, or that a music television channel even existed is pretty pathetic.  I would personally love to see some stats regarding the VMA’s this year, take all the nominees and artists who are up for, you know, music video awards, and get some numbers for exactly how many times their full length videos actually were shown on MTV.  I sort of have a feeling that if your name isn’t Rihanna, Lady Gaga, or Katy Perry then the numbers are going to be pathetically low. 

Now I don’t mean to rant about MTV, but it was this statement just stuck with me, and sort of bothered me.  I try to keep the blog focused around pop culture and what not, but to hear this girl say that they should create a television station that just plays music videos truly blew my mind.  I understand transitions, like when vinyl went to cassettes/walkmens, to cds, to ipods and mp3, but this is a television channel.  Besides HD, nothing much has changed, so for something so vital to pop culture to become an unknown entity to these teeny boppers is really saying something. 
In other news, I’m turning 22 tomorrow.  Shoot me.  Also, I will start giving $5 to people who start giving me quality, legit, pop culture-related blog topics.  This is not a joke.  I’ll seriously do it.

Finally, after ranting about a lack of good music, enjoy Belong by The Pains of Being Pure At Heart.