Friday, December 18, 2009

It isn't Yoo-Hoo

My father is quite fond of Jean Shepherd. We used to listen to him on the radio and later watch his show, Jean Shepherd's America. To this day, his voice is as familiar to me as any member of my family's. And one Shepherd bit has stuck with me for years - his ode to beer. It's funny because my father dislikes beer and so at the time I saw this, I would have disapproved of beer - it wasn't until many years later that I grew into my current obsession. But still, hearing Shepherd's voice over pictures of vats of frothy beer worked a hypnotic magic on me.

This is a great old clip - Shepherd really gets cranking in his patented style around 4 minutes in, when he hoists a glass himself and recalls his father's love of beer.

"This isn't just a drink," he said. "It isn't Yoo-Hoo. This is beer."

"When you look at that glass of beer," shepherd concludes, "you're looking at life itself. The mother of us all: Beer."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

There but for the grace of God...

Regret the Error is out with its annual Corrections of the Year list, which is always hilarious, though I have to post my usual disclaimer: I only laugh up to a point, 'cause God knows I have published my share of howlers. Epicaricacy is not an emotion journalists should indulge in too gleefully.

The corrections list isn't quite as funny this year, I find - in fact, some of them are just pathetic (like the endless series of corrections the New York Times had to run on the now-infamous Walter Cronkite tribute article).

But there are a few I enjoyed a lot and my favorites are both geographic:

Best Geographical Error

The Justice (New York University):

The original article provided the incorrect location of New York University’s new institution. It is in Abu Dhabi, not Abu Ghraib.

Runner Up

Canadian Press:

The Canadian Press moved a story April 3 that erroneously reported The Wilkins Ice Shelf was originally part of Jamaica. In fact the Ice Shelf, located on the western side of the Antarctic was originally the size of Jamaica.

I am knocking on wood.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Do bears really do that in the woods?

A hilarious send up of the pompous old Coors commercial that ran until a few years ago. This version is by Breckenridge Brewing. I am not wildly fond of Breckenridge, but they get points for a fabulous commercial:

Breckenridge Brewery - Lucky U IPA

Oh, and it is a lovely visual of where I'll be moving if I can sell this house of mine in Philly.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


Washington Post TV Columnist Lisa de Moraes has a wonderful column this morning about the now infamous White House Party Crashers and their inane statements and TV appearances so far (Jezebel has a really good rundown on this for those who haven't had enough). Lisa managed to pull off one of my favorite all time bits of attribution for a quote, in discussing how Michaele Salahi keeps saying the publicity has ruined her life:

"It's been really unbearable to go through," she wailed from the Four Seasons hotel in Georgetown, where she had arrived nearly two hours earlier so people could put on her perfect makeup and dress her spectacular hair.

"Our lives have been destroyed," she added blondly.

This reminds of one of my favorite bits of fiction writing, by New Yorker writer Ring Lardner, who wrote of a young man with his father, who obviously didn't know where he was going:

Are you lost daddy, I asked ten-

Shut up, he explained.

This space available

I got a number of positive responses from my post of yesterday, disclosing that I have never been compensated by anyone for any product plugs (Kraft Olde English Cheese is delicious, by the way). Several people offered to buy me a beer (Bear Republic products can't be beat). Even my old friend Charlie Puritano took time out from his busy schedule as a film-maker and part time Ninja to weigh in (PMG - look into it).

But sadly, I have yet to hear from my most lucrative potential client, Chrysler (buy a Jeep or I'll kick your ass. Seriously). You'd think they'd have a little gratitude since I have purchased not just one, but two Jeeps just this year.

Some day, I guess, I will learn how to monetize this Internet thing. Provided it isn't just a fad.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Full disclosure

The new Federal Trade Commission rules on blogger disclosure have finally put me in a very uncomfortable position. So today, the day the regulations become effective, I must finally come clean about my association with the many products and services that I have mentioned in my blog over the years.

I am not proud to admit this, but federal law and decency compels me.

The sad truth is that I got paid squat. Nothing. Not even a free paperclip. I have done all my fine work, written all my intricate and well-reasoned prose, for nothing. Nobody paid me a dime. Not that I wouldn't have been happy to accept a wee token. Free Beer? Yep. Money? Damned right. Even a little pat on the back and a few kind words from some ruthless running dog of capitalism would have been nice.

But nothing.

Thanks, FTC, for making me admit publicly that my work is worthless.