27 8 / 2011
So Dick Cheney wrote a book about the time he spent
slapping America with his penis being Vice-President, and the title sucks. ”In My Time?” That’s the most generic, non-descript, horribly boring title for a memoir ever. Why would he title it that? Isn’t the whole thing supposed to be an unapologetic look at how sometimes he let George wear the big boy pants? So why is the title so shitty?
To help unearth this mystery, I made a few phone calls (not true; I took a really long dump, but whenever someone asks me what I was doing after I take a really long dump, I say I was making a few phone calls), and about half way through my conversation I realised: he had to go generic. Because if the title was in any way descriptive of the content, it would be too awful to put on bookshelves (and the cover picture would depict Cheney “making a few phone calls” on the Constitution). So without further ado, the ten best rejected titles for Dick Cheney’s memoir:
10. I’m Not a Richard; I’m a Dick.
9. Guess How Much Haliburton Stock I Still Own and Never Disclosed?
8. How To Shoot Someone In the Face (And Get Them to Apologize).
7. I Never Liked New Orleans Anyways.
6. This One Time, I Let Bush Do Stuff.
5. I Never Sold My Soul to Satan, Cause I Never Got One.
4. Fuck You.
3. A Douchebag’s Guide to Rigging Elections.
2. I Wanted Voldemort to Win
1. Sorry Bro, I Fucked Up Your Country
02 5 / 2011
For me, this was the highlight of all the post-Osama being dead euphoria. The Today show interviewed Donald Rumsfeld this morning about the whole WE GOT HIM! thing that happened late last night. (If you didn’t know… we got him). Fairly standard news-stuff, I guess; important thing happens related to the defense of the United States, so you get a former Secretary of Defense to comment on it.
Unfortunately, that Secretary of Defense was Donald Rumsfeld. The man who will forever be known for two things. One: screwing up Iraq. Two: letting bin Laden go in the months after 9/11. Asking Rumsfeld about killing bin Laden is like asking a Cubs fan what its like to win a World Series. So what did Rumsfeld have to say?
When asked whether he was surprised that Osama was found near Islamabad: “This is an intelligence problem from the beginning, of course… we’ve been fortunate that that intelligence was forthcoming. It may very well have been partly a result of some of the interviews that took place in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.”
What a spectacularly delusional, self-absorbed, unapologetic… person. I’m trying to be polite. I really am.
So he says a couple of things here. One, by saying its an “intelligence problem,” he’s basically saying that if he had had the same intelligence Obama did, he could have gotten the job done. Well, Rummy, you did. You had him. In the caves. At Tora Bora. Remember? When we had him trapped? And totally could have killed him if most of our military wasn’t walking through hell in Iraq, which is 1500 miles away? It wasn’t a fucking intelligence problem. You screwed it up. And you still blame everyone else.
Two, he gives no credit to Obama. ”We’ve been fortunate that the intelligence was forthcoming.” Translation: Obama got lucky. No, Rumsfeld. Obama was smart, focused, and meticulous. Things which are the exact opposite of you when you were hanging out in the Pentagon.
Three, he is still trying to justify torture. Interviews In Gitmo aren’t job interviews. Unless simulated drowning is something that routinely happens in your job interviews (in mine they just pretend like they might hire me for awhile, then they don’t). What he’s saying, without any prompting or, you know, evidence, is that torture might have led to the killing of bin Laden. Which means he still thinks its awesome. So not only did US armed forces, partially under his direction, brutally torture captured Muslim men and women in both Iraq and Afghanistan (many times innocent men and women, but Rumsfeld never cared about things like “guilt” or “innocence” anyways), he’s still trying to justify it five years after the fact. With something that has absolutely nothing to do with torture, or Guantanamo, or holding people captive without any semblance of due process.
Fourth, all of this is totally unsolicited. He transitions into this from a sentence about how its surprising that the dude was near Islamabad, rather than in the mountains somewhere. He wasn’t asked about how he was found, or why Rumsfeld could never find him, or about Gitmo. He talks about how the location was surprising, then segues into excuses and veiled criticisms without warning or prompting.
In The Donald’s own words, “hindsight is 20/20.” Well Donald, in hindsight, you suck.
24 1 / 2011
It is rare for me to mean the word “hate” when using it to describe my feelings about another human being. Especially when it comes to sports. I might say jokingly that I hate Tom Brady, I don’t hate him, really (just his hair, his success, his supermodel wife, his paycheck, and the way people call him the greatest ever when he hasn’t won a Super Bowl without Adam Vinatieri). But this next sentence is absolutely, 100% true: I used to hate — hate — Jay Cutler.
I know I’m not alone. Lots of people hate Jay Cutler. John “Captain Fucking America” Elway hates Jay Cutler. Josh McDaniels hates him so much he traded him at the first possible opportunity. Almost everyone in the NFL has some amount of hatred for Jay Cutler. Rick Reilly wrote a column that, in hindsight, sounds like an attempted defense, except he came to the conclusion that Jay Cutler is ginormous douche who probably doesn’t deserve any defense at all.
There are certainly reasons for this. Jay Cutler comes as a strange combination of arrogant and impetuously insecure, like an eight year old playing four-square who thinks he’s the best fucking four square player ever, and when he doesn’t win he whines about it until everyone agrees its not his fault. He whines to refs, players, coaches, fans, everybody. You hear stories about how is is emotionally distant and refuses to connect with fans, teammates, or the media (as if he owes them anything); and you never hear anything like the (usually apocryphal) stories you hear about Brady or Manning, where they work so hard it inspires their teammates to be better. The stories you hear are people saying, “I mean, Jay doesn’t not work hard…”
Jay Cutler is also fabulously, astonishingly talented. Not like Manning, who might be the smartest quarterback ever, or Brady, who succeeds mostly because he never, ever messes up. Jay Cutler, while probably smart, is not a football genius. And he actually screws up fairly often (about once a game, he’ll just throw it right at someone on the other team).
What he does have is maybe the best throwing arm ever. People often compare QB’s arms to weapons, but if Brett Favre has a rocket arm, and Philip Rivers has a cruise missile, Jay’s is closer to the giant sky-laser from Akira. If he cared more about his public image, he could film a commercial where he hits a buoy in Lake Michigan about half a mile from shore with a ball thrown from the 100th story of the Willis Tower. Which, incidentally, is probably the reason he is most hateable. We assume that because he’s the most physically talented quarterback, he should be the best quarterback, and because he isn’t, he’s clearly a bad person.
You might be wondering why I chose today, of all days, to change my mind on him. Yesterday was far and away the worst day of Jay Cutler’s professional life. He played terribly in the first half, injured his knee, and didn’t play the second half. Players all around the league called him a pussy on Twitter (in so many words) for not playing through the injury. Michael Wilbon wrote a column about the “quarterback problem” in Chicago. And when I woke up this morning, there were five different videos of people burning Jay Cutler jerseys in Chicago. The enduring image from that game will be Jay standing alone on the sideline, not trying to help his backup win, not trying to exhort his teammates to greater things; just standing by himself, looking hurt. He’s not exactly having the world’s best Monday.
When asked after the game about the criticism, Jay issued a terse no comment, and tried not to cry.
I’ll admit, I felt bad for him. This is a guy who hasn’t really done anything wrong, per se; he comes off as a jackass, but I can’t think of any specific moment that would lead me to believe he’s actually a bad human being. He’s donated millions to charity, he manages to keep his private life private (despite dating a reality TV star, the bitchy girl from The Hills), and he never really insults everyone. Sure, he might be distant, and he absolutely refuses to engage with the media, but those aren’t exactly crimes, right? And I know he acts arrogant, which isn’t exactly commendable, but is he really arrogant, or is it just a byproduct of never wanting to engage with fans or the media? Basically, is he really so bad a guy? I say: no.
Many of his teammates have stridently defended him after yesterday’s fiasco. Brian Urhlacher basically told everyone who insulted Jay to shut up (and when that guys tells you to shut up… I mean, I would at least strongly consider it). Apparently, he wanted to play, but the medical staff wouldn’t let him. His coach vigorously defended him at a press conference this morning. The people attacking him for not being “tough” are people who have no idea why he left the game, how injured he was, and how vigorously he fought the decision of the medical staff. The people who do know these things have done nothing but defend him. So… that’s settled, then.
Jay does a ton of charity, but none of it gets publicized. None of it. And when asked, Jay refuses to talk about it. The media hates this (how dare you not answer my question! Don’t you know who the fuck I am? I’m RICK REILLY! I’M AN AWARD WINNING JOURNALIST!). But shouldn’t he be commended for it? If he does really good things for needy people but then doesn’t talk about it publicly, doesn’t that mean he’s doing it because he feels its the right thing to do, and not because he wants people to like him?
Jay refuses to engage with fans or the media. The fans mostly hate this, for reasons that are, I guess, understandable (they live and die with the team, they pay his salary by buying his jersey, etc etc). The media also hates it, for reasons that are less understandable (most media members are incredibly selfish jackasses, especially in the sports media. I mean, Keith Olbermann used to host Sports Center). They hate anyone who doesn’t talk to them, and they make sure that fans hate them too, by skewering them in columns and interviews. This is by no means Jay’s fault; I don’t know what he wants, but it clearly has nothing to do with the media or with making the fans love him. And honestly, good for him; there are plenty of Chicago Bears for the team to love, and the media needs to half their self-import be taken down two or three notches anyway.
Many young kids choose athletes as role models. And typically, they choose two kinds: people like Ben Reothlesburger or Tiger Woods who win (a lot), or people who are funny like Charles Barkley or Michael Irvin. Then they grow up, and they find out that Big Ben is probably a serial rapist, Tiger cheated on his wife somewhere between 100 and 1,000 time, Barkley has gambling and drinking problems, and Irvin has been arrested multiple times for cocaine and might have tried to slit a teammates throat with a pair of scissors. None of these guys has ever been so alienated by teammates and fans and the media as Jay has; on the other hand, none give so freely to needy causes with also publicizing it, and none managed to date a single person for a long period of time without cheating with them.
So if my (future) kid is picking a role model, and he/she goes with Jay Cutler… well, I guess I can’t say I’d hate it.