The Monday Morning Black Cloud 12.29.03

I hope you all had a happy holiday season. I know mine is getting better thanks to all of you.

It’s the end of 2003. Time for the Grutties!

THE PRESTIGIOUS GRUTTIES!

Top five lists! Yay, right? I mean, usually you get top ten lists at the end of the year but I put in half the effort.

Top 5 News Stories

5. Rush Limbaugh goes into rehab/Strom Thurman has half-black daughter- HYPOCRITES! LIARS! FATTY! DEAD GUY! I feel better. Another special mention to Rush for saying the media is behind Donovan McNabb because Donovan is black. Donovan responded by kicking the crap out of most of the NFL, making Rush look like a football novice. Fatty.

4. West Nile/SARS/Monkey Pox/Flu will KILL US ALL- It was apparently a good year to overreacted to basic diseases. High schools cancelled school days, people wore masks to baseball games and people stopped going to Chinese food restaurants. I hear they’re trying to pass a law to quarantine anyone who sneezes. “God bless you and GET AWAY FROM ME YOU KILLER!”

3. “Ladies and Gentlemen, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger!”- Actor. Bodybuilder. Theme restaurant co-owner. Groper. Governor. Arnold Schwarzenegger has done and groped it all. I thought the recall was pretty ridiculous but you know what? After that asshole who will never have his name in the news again finished buying himself the recall, the people of California seemed sort of happy to get rid of Davis. You can say that the political system was hijacked, but in the end it is the votes that matter.

2. The stories that weren’t reported on too much- Between Osama Bin Laden not being captured, Afghanistan getting the shaft from the US and the fewer and fewer stories about the lack of WMDs in Iraq which most of the American Public believed we had found, the “liberal” media sure dropped the ball on reporting their evil liberal lies by not making a big deal out of these stories.

1. The USA takes Iraq while the rest of the world boos- We went in claiming WMDs and didn’t find any. The French told us we wouldn’t find any and we didn’t, but those French guys are dicks, right? With a US controlled Iraq and a foothold in Libya, westernization is spreading in the Middle East and you won’t see me shed one tear. The entire region seems to be run by religious fanatics (except, oddly enough, the Saddam controlled Iraq. He was really digging the western lifestyle. The guy was a mass murderer and a dick, so screw him.) and you will never see me protest the spread of human rights. What those guys do to their women is a disgrace to mankind, and we should all be ashamed of ourselves for sitting back and letting it happen.

Top 5 Movies of the Year

5. The Last Samurai/Master and Commander- Both had great lead performances and both were fun. There really wasn’t too much to take from either of them except for a good time. Great battles.

4. Lost In Translation- Nothing much happens but everything happens. Bill Murray has gone from classic comedic performances in Caddy Shack and Ghostbusters to classic performances in Rushmore and Lost In Translation. Scarlett Johansson gave outstanding performance after outstanding performance this year. These two are at the top of their craft and this movie was the grandest experiments of the year.

3. The House of Sand and Fog/Finding Nemo- Girl loses a house and tries to get it back. Father loses his son and tries to get him back. Along the way, girl learns that a house is not as important as life and sometimes you have to let go of possessions. Along the way, father realizes that he cannot protect his son forever if he wants his son to live a good life and sometimes you have to let go. One has a very happy ending, one has probably the most depressing ending I’ve seen since Seven. Ellen DeGeneres made me laugh louder than anyone this year. Ben Kingsly made me cry. Two outstanding movies with a lot more in common then you’d think.

2. The School of Rock- Sister Act with kids and rock and roll but so much better. Jack Black is just so damn awesome.

1. LOTR ROTK- Except that it didn’t end (And I’ve already heard from LOTR fans that it had to end 100 times in the movie because it did that in the book and I still don’t like it) this was one of the best movies ever made. The three of them together is the best movie ever made. The reason that the trilogy never had a sour note is that all three were made at the same time with the same craft and care. Christmas weekend, 2004, make sure you have Starz and free up 10 hours to watch all three movies back to back. It’s an amazing experience, almost as good as LIVING YOUR LIFE!

Top Five Singles

5. Hurt by Johnny Cash
4. I Like The Way You Move by OutKast
3. Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes
2. Are You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet
1. Crazy by Beyonce

Top 5 Television Shows

5. The after death episodes of Seven Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.
4. Angels in America
3. Curb Your Enthusiasm
2. Carnivale
1. 24

Congrats to all of the winners! And now my favorite writer on the Internet Gloomchen with

Nihilism and Cupcakes

You wake up in the morning and you’re not sure whether you can get out of bed or not. You’ve gotten out of bed every other day, but today it just doesn’t seem possible. Within the next ten minutes, however, you figure out that it truly is your destiny and you rise from your slumber to face the day with open arms or closed fists. Or, at the very least, with ambivalence.

It wasn’t always this way. You remember that most of your days had always begun with constant chaotic thought, a way of invigorating every last firing neuron in your body. Whether it was looking to be grand fun or excruciating pain, either way it was a feeling. You could be shaken to your very core by love or hatred. The details, the differences, they don’t matter now.

For in your world, it’s just another day staring at blah.

*****

People, here’s a little insight, perhaps a little more information than you need to know about me or anyone else. The world is full of people who are all whacked out in the head. I know I’m pretty whacked out in the head. Chances are that if you aren’t, that at least you know someone who’s pretty whacked out in the head, too. We seem to be everywhere these days.

And chances are also pretty high that you or me or the other nutcase you know is on some kind of mood-altering medication. It’s okay, it’s not taboo. With the rate of which doctors are throwing around prescriptions to cure our neurotic tendencies, it’s no wonder how any of us are left to feel any real emotions at all.

For me, well, I’ve always been an insanely vibrant person. I’ve been known to make a complete ass out of myself for pure entertainment value. I’ve been known to do things that people with any sort of common sense would balk at — be it topless photos online, driving long distances for hook-ups, whatever. At the same time, my wild moments were met with screaming depression, high-powered anxiety, or anger that just couldn’t dissolve. So, yes. I’m an emotional powderkeg. And I handled it all just fine until last year when attacks of random anxiety would cause me to have tunnel vision and body-sized migraines, and I went and got me some drugs.

The last nine months, I’ve been stable. It’s nice to be stable. Rationality is a good thing. The ability to use my hidden common sense is incredible. But at the same time, tragedies have happened and I haven’t felt them hit me at all. Moments that should have resulted in squealing and bouncing around were met on my end with little more than a big smile.

It’s ludicrous; that’s not me. And chances are, it’s not you, either.

This is a call to arms. The world is not to be experienced by a neutral middle boring John Doe. We need color. We need vibrancy. We need stark contrast, raging psychopaths and fruity happy nutcases. We’re losing ourselves to pharmaceuticals in the name of sanity. Well, I’m looking back at the last nine months and wondering what the hell is so wonderful about being sane, anyway.

I’ll be fine. You’ll be fine, and the guy you know who is a bit nutty will also be fine. We’ve used crutches long enough. It’s time to get back out and ride the carnival rides of the world.

Gloomchen

Mad Cow Sent to Guam, Cow Becomes Even More Pissed Off.

I’m sure you’re all worried about the single case of mad cow disease that was found in the United States. Most of my friends have sworn off meat because of this. It came out that the meat from the diseased cow went to 8 states and Guam, but because the brain and spine had been removed the scientists say the meat is harmless.

I can joke around about the flu. I can make fun of SARS. Mad cow disease is no joke. This disease eats your brain. IT EATS YOUR BRAIN! Generally you need your brain to live. I’m still going to eat meat because I loves it, but I swear if I feel something eating my brain I’m going to be awfully pissed off.

Besides that, there isn’t much to say on the topic. One cow with mad cow disease was found. 19 cows are being recalled because of this. Scientists are saying that the harmful part of the cow was removed before the meat was prepare. Anything is possible, but I’d rather be afraid of the things I already fear than of meat that has a 99.9999% probability of being untainted. I eat meat. Meat doesn’t eat me.

Michael Jackson Says He’d Slit His Wrist Before He’d Hurt a Child

Wow! He must have slit his wrists about a hundred times.

Everyone’s favorite former popstar/freakshow gave an interview last night to 20/20 in which he swore he never molested kids but he still thinks it is okay to sleep in the same bed as them. I have a quote here from a part that was cut out of the interview.

Let’s say that you get an erection while you’re sleeping. We all get hard during the night, you know? And let’s say you roll over and your erection rubs up against the little boy’s hand. That’s not evil. That’s beautiful. That’s loving.

Jackson then thanked the interviewer for his time and went to go see the new version of Peter Pan.

The guy is not going to jail. He’s going to keep sleeping with young boys. He has learned nothing. He seems to be incapable of learning. When he sang, “Kick me, kike me,” and all of us Jews completely overreacted he changed the lyrics to the song. It was a song about intolerance and had nothing to do with hatred for Jews but he gave into public pressure and changed the lyrics. So why won’t he give into public pressure on the sleeping with boys issues?

The simple explanation is that Jackson enjoys sleeping with young boys. He enjoys it so much that he’s ready to go to jail for his right to do it. People do incredibly evil things, but they don’t do these thing with all of America watching them and judging them. If Jackson doesn’t go to jail, I sincerely hope his plea bargain involves going from door to door in his neighborhoods and informing people that he is a sex offender. He needs to understand what he’s doing is wrong. He thinks it’s right. It hurts my head.

Now here with sports, rising from his death bed, my own little me. Stephen Randle.

The Short Sports Report

Well, I’m back after a brief stay in the emergency room, and I’d just like to say thanks for all the cards and get well wishes I received when people found out I’d been taken down by the flu. I’d like to, but we all know there weren’t any cards. And I didn’t actually make it to the ER, since a four hour wait for antibiotics isn’t my idea of a good time. Anyway, you don’t care about my problems, you care about the destinies of multi-millionaire athletes who wouldn’t know you if you ran them down in your Honda. And I live to oblige your needs, so here we go.

– The NFL playoffs are set, which is good news for the 12 teams that made it, and bad news for everyone else. Playing the law of averages, I’d like to extend my condolences on your team not making it. Maybe next year, if they try a little harder.

– George Steinbrenner, Evil Genius and Billionaire Tyrant, reportedly fainted at a memorial service the other day. Word is that he had just received word of Jeter’s latest salary demand for his contract extension. Or he’d just been out partying too late with David Wells. Either way

– Speaking of people with way too much money, there’s A-Rod, who was nice enough to offer to give up part of the money in his contract in order to facilitate a trade that ended up not happening. I guess when you make enough to purchase an entire third world country, losing 9 or 10 million isn’t such a big deal.

– Just think: baseball is full of steroid junkies, football has convicted felons, and basketball’s got adulterers. Pro wrestling is starting to look angelic by comparison.

– Back to football, because I can shift topics whenever I want to, Priest Holmes broke the NFL record for touchdowns in a season, Mike Vanderjagt hit 41 field goals in a row to break another record, and Jamal Lewis in the late game had a shot at the record for yards rushing in a season. Oh, and the Oakland Raiders set the record for dumbest team in football. So, a season full of moments it was.

– Tampa Bay became the fourth team in history to win a Super Bowl, then finish the next season with a losing record. I saw tougher Buccaneers in Pirates of the Caribbean. The ride, not the movie.

– And with Philadelphia earning home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, many commentators felt a need to bring up Rush Limbaugh again. Hey, now Americans know what it feels like to listen to Don Cherry every Saturday. Except Cherry has an excuse: he’s old, and damned near senile.

– Speaking of hockey, the Leafs’ point streak ended at 16 games this Saturday. Two other teams have managed similar streaks in this millennium, the Devils and the Avs. Not to fire up the Toronto Media Bias (TM everyone who doesn’t like Toronto) too much, but both those teams won the Cup the year they did it. Sure, the season’s not even half over, but this is the life a Leafs fan chooses: faint hope against all odds, and eventual crushing disappointment. It’s fun, but I don’t recommend it for those with high blood pressure.

– The World Junior Championships are underway somewhere in Finland, and as usual, the same teams are dominant. Look, world unity is nice, but in hockey, if you aren’t from Canada, USA, Russia, Sweden, Finland, or the Czech Republic, your chances are pretty much miniscule. These places are hockey hotbeds. Well, and the USA, which just has the sheer numbers to make up for lack of a pool of natural talent.

And on that credibility-damaging note, I pause to realize I didn’t have any credibility anyway, so it’s time to end the sports report. Next week, I return to the friendly confines of my home arena, ready to bring you the sports you love to read. Oh, and my Sunday wrestling report, too. Read it!

Or Don’t

Because I’m off to have a Happy New Year. I wish the same to you and yours. On behalf of Gloomchen and her ex-husband Stephen Randle, this is Joshua Grutman hoping that your 2004 is better than your 2003. It has to be. Good God, it just has to be.