By C.J. JANOVY
Oh, Kathleen. As such a widely considered “rising star” in the Democratic Party, couldn’t you have given a more exciting response to George Bush’s State of the Union address?
You had such a great dig, there at the beginning, for media hacks like me who were watching you oh-so-closely:
“Right now, tonight, as political pundits discuss the President's speech, chances are, they'll obsess over the reactions of members of Congress. ‘How many times was the President interrupted by applause? Did Republicans stand? Did Democrats sit?’ And the rest of us will roll our eyes and think, ‘What in the world does any of that have to do with me?’"
Sebelius looked better in the pages of Vogue.
You know what? I watched your speech with a dozen people at a coffee shop in Quindaro, in the poorest neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas. The man sitting next to me made note of how many times the president was interrupted by applause and how many times the Republicans stood and the Democrats stood. He wondered how you’d teach a civics class these days and explain to school kids how a president could be giving the most important speech of the year and half the room would snub him. What in the world does any of that have to do with him, you ask? He was disgusted by all the lies that had spewed out of George W. Bush’s mouth (rising test scores thanks to No Child Left Behind? “He ain’t been to Missouri,” my fellow SOTU watcher snorted).
And that thing you said, Gov. Sebelius, about Greensburg rebuilding green after a tornado wiped it out?
You talked up your environmental record, saying, “Greensburg is not alone. You and I stand ready to protect our environment for future generations and stay economically competitive. Mayors have committed their cities to going green; governors have joined together, leading efforts for energy security and independence; and the majority in Congress is ready to tackle the challenge of reducing global warming and creating a new energy future for America. So we ask you, Mr. President, will you join us? It's time to get to work.”
You weren’t exactly leading environmental efforts back when The Pitch published this story about those coal plants in western Kansas, governor. We’re glad your administration at least came around to the 21st century on that one.
Anyway, guv, you may be the most stylish and attractive governor in the country right now, but you gave the most boring speech ever. At least pull that cob out, will you?
By CHRIS PACKHAM
• People of a certain demographic say that the age of civility is over. Specifically, thedemographic that enjoys A Prairie Home Companion, going down to the drug store for a chocolate phosphate and "liking Ike" — the elderly, is what I'm saying. Kathleen Sebelius demonstrated old-fashioned civility in last night's Democratic response to the President's State of the Union address by politely and graciously overlooking the fact that George W. Bush is just running down the clock. Totally checked out last summer. Sebelius said, "There is a chance, Mr. President, in the next 357 days, to get real results and give the American people renewed optimism that their challenges are the top priority." Adorable. And polite!
• Oh, yeah: Embarrassing douchebag upstages mom with prison rape-themed board game. I guess those Garrison Keillor fans down at the Don Bosco Center are right about all the civility.
• KU's Costco bulk-quantity coach Mark Mangino was hospitalized yesterday for "tests." The school's associate athletic director, Jim Marchiony, told The AP that he did not think the situation was a medical emergency, though to my untrained nonmedical eye, Mark Mangino kind of is a medical emergency. And a really good coach, obvs., totally goes without saying. But if Mangino isn't admitted to intensive care as a regular part of his annual physical checkup, his doctor is guilt of medical malpractice.
• Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton sews up the coveted boring diabetic-blues-guitarist endorsement.
Now that the parks board lacks representation by white gun-carrying border-patrol interest groups, you might think that Kansas City civil rights leaders would turn their attention elsewhere, but just like the time you thought there was absolutely no way that nice Mr. Carlson from WKRP in Cincinnati could possibly be molesting Arnold's pal Dudley, it turns out you were totally wrong. Look, take the fight wherever you find it — back in the '60s, they fought The Man in the street, because that's where he was doing all his oppressing. I wasn't aware that The Man was now crushing Kansas City parks under the heel of his Shiny Wing Tips of Injustice, but that's why I read the newspaper.
• The Kansas City Star has discovered that Guitar Hero, a button-pressing game, isn't a total-immersion flight simulator for budding guitarists. At first, I thought the FYI section was revisiting the disconnect between video games and reality that we dealt with during the whole Sonic the Hedgehog craze, when parents were worried that their kids might start rolling up into blue balls and zooming through roller-coaster loops for golden rings. As it turns out, FYI is helping spread the word that Guitar Hero and playing the guitar are two different things. Also: You might have heard recently that a giant monster destroyed Manhattan, which is a totally not-true thing made up by persons in Hollywood.
Someday, FYI section of The Kansas City Star, we will have a farm. And on that farm, there will be rabbits. Until then, this kid's hands and eyes are still better coordinated than Wolfgang Van Halen's:
By CAROLYN SZCZEPANSKI
Gonzalez: Sailing toward veganism.
After TV announcers boasted this season that Chiefs' player Jared Allen had gone vegetarian, I took a trip to Arrowhead Stadium to chat with the hulking defensive end and see if his new diet was the reason for his standout season. It turned out that sportscasters' claims that Allen had given up meat were greatly exaggerated. But the 2007 NFL sack leader was happy to boast about his new, lean diet — and the washboard abs he had to show for it.
Allen asks an opponent about his diet.
Last week, Gonzalez's dietary adventures made the pages of The Wall Street Journal. Like Allen, he's eating a more plant-based diet and enjoying the benefits. But don't expect him to be out picketing with PETA any time soon.
In case you don't know who Little Steven is, here's a primer.
Steven Van Zandt is a badass. Here he is, playing "London Calling" on a Joe Strummer tribute show with Dave Grohl, Elvis Costello, and Van Zandt's E-Street Band mate, Bruce Springsteen.
And here he is on The Sopranos, flipping out over cheese at his feet at a poker game.
Van Zandt also has his own record label, Wicked Cool Records.
This morning, said crossdresser, Dave "Chilidog" Crawford, aka Kandi Kanabi, sent out this MySpace bulletin.
Subject: Actual "compliment" paid to me at Sex Police show
Me: "hey how are you doing"
Drunk Acquaintance: "man it's crazy in here. I liked your band better. It was easier to find a place to park."
Switch Hitter: What's not to love?
The Mars Volta
Friday, January 25, 2008
The Beaumont Club
By ANDREW MILLER
Back in November 2001, the Mars Volta rolled into El Torreon as an unknown At The Drive-In offshoot, positioned on the bill between flaky indie-pop croissants Mates of State and The Anniversary. The group’s high-volume soundcheck, all burly Zeppelin riffs and brazen slap bass, so offended my date that we left immediately, freeing me to watch a delicious Yankees loss in the World Series clincher. I felt great about this decision until June 2003, when The Mars Volta’s debut disc De-Loused in the Comatorium arrived, announcing a heavy-prog act I’d favor over any sporting event.
The Mars Volta has since ascended to heights unfathomable for such an aggressively esoteric outfit. On Friday, the band’s rabid local following queued up for hours in frigid temperatures before the Beaumont doors opened, waited for another hour upon entrance for the music to begin (there was no opener: It was “an evening with Mars Volta”) then shouted along with non sequitur lyrics such as “exoskeletal junction at the railroad delayed” during the 18-minute Comatorium-plucked set starter “Roulette Dares.”
Fan footage from the show by thereisnotruth:
By ANDY VIHSTADT
"This milkshake won't bring anyone to the yard."
N.E.R.D. will be releasing N.3.R.D. sometime this spring. After an unfinished version of “Everyone Nose” was leaked, the group decided to post the final studio mix on its blog. The song brings the war on drugs to the club scene, calling out female cokeheads and unintentionally embarrassing those of you who legitimately need to use the ladies room.
The Arcade Fire seems to be reinventing the music video. “Black Mirror” is the second interactive vid from Neon Bible and this time around, users can remix the song in real time using the numbers on a keyboard. Check it out here.
By CHRIS PACKHAM
As the cliché-prone Kansas City Star editorial board might be inclined to say after ahalf-hour of staring at a blank Word screen, becoming distracted by the smell of Monica Watrous' microwave popcorn, wandering off to the break room and then hastily cranking out the day's copy right before deadline, race issues sure "loom large" these days. I wound up with a handful of links to various race-related stories, and the M. Night Shyamalan surprise twist ending to this paragraph is that they're all kind of creepy!
• A University of Kansas linguist reported last year on the growing use of the word "Canadian" among white Southern racists to denote African-Americans. Apparently, it's really catching on. So far, the linguistics Listserv boards are silent about my new term for white Southern racists: "pedophiles." It's great, because you can say any filthy thing you want about pedophiles right to an Alabama Klansman's face, and he'll laugh and agree with you like a stupid-ass pedophile.
• Bill Clinton campaigned for Hillary Clinton in Independence over the weekend. In response to a question about Barack Obama's South Carolina primary win, he said, "Jesse Jackson won South Carolina twice, in '84 and '88." For Christ's sake, at least the Republicans bring a little subtlety to the operation.
I'm not saying it's time for Bill Clinton to "diminish and go into the West," like some kind of fat Galadriel — oh, wait. I totally am saying that. Bad weekend for Bubba.
• Just in case anyone in the Clinton camp tried to smuggle anything like class or dignity out of South Carolina, an unnamed Clinton strategist told the AP that "the fallout has had the effect of branding Obama as 'the black candidate,' a tag that could hurt him outside the South."
• Gawker rated American newspapers via LexisNexis hits for the N word, the waning star of racist invective, now supplanted by cheeky, disgusting upstart "Canadian." The Kansas City Star ranked 15th out of 27. Not bad!
• Via the excellent Crime Scene KC blog, apparently Missouri Rep. Brad Robinson (D-Bonne Terre) was driving the car in a hit-and-run accident. Surveillance video taken a few minutes later reportedly shows him swapping seats with his wife.
• First bank closure of 2008: Douglass National Bank in Kansas City, Missouri. The pop you just heard was an explosion of FDIC confetti showering on account holders.
• There's a caption writer at The Kansas City Star who's convinced that you can't tell which woman in this photo just won the Miss America pageant:
• Like the end of every single short story written by H.P. Lovecraft, we'll leave Monday's Daily Briefs on a note of sheer, otherworldly terror by asking: What, exactly, does the Washington Post know that we don't?
For years, President Bush and his advisers expressed frustration that the White House received little credit for the nation's strong economic performance because of public discontent about the Iraq war. Today, the president is getting little credit for improved security in Iraq, as the public increasingly focuses on a struggling U.S. economy. That is the problem Bush faces as he prepares to deliver his seventh and probably final State of the Union address tonight. (TERRIFYING EMPHASIS ADDED).
By JUSTIN KENDALL
Eleven days before her death, Jackson survived a bombing at the house where she was staying in Leavenworth.
Earlier this morning, I looked up Fox’s and Jackson’s MySpace pages.
Fox’s page, titled “Only The Strong Shall Survive,” features images of slain rapper Tupac Shakur.
Fox has posted a family portrait.
He’s also uploaded pictures of him with his “homies.”
Jackson’s MySpace page cryptically reads “Only God Shall Judge Me.” The expectant mother added sparkly slogans such as “Pregnant with a Princess,” "Pregnant with my first” and “Expecting a baby girl.”
But Jackson poured her heart out in a couple of brokenhearted blog entries. In a post titled “Do I ask for too much …” on September 13, Jackson wondered if she expected too much of her baby’s daddy.
“Is it too much to ask that someone would want to commit themselves to a relationship with me, and look forward to the future together. To raise a child with me? To want to fall in love with me...,” Jackson wrote.
“I'm so mad at myself for getting myself in this situation...i feel so lost, i don't know how to not care about the guy that i'm going to have a child with. I've been so understanding, forgiving, and caring. Even if he doesn't want a relationship, i wish he would be honest about it...i have no clue what he wants, how he feels about me.
“I hold on to my one day, that i will know how it feels to be loved and cared about by the man i want to be with. They say good things come to those who are patient...i am trying to hold on...”
On Fox’s page, Jackson commented five times with flirty messages that referred to Fox as “hooker.” Jackson’s last public message to Fox was a “get well soon” greeting with the image of a teddy bear on July 19. Jackson wrote: “Thought this was cute...i almost sent you a cute lil kitten one, but you dont like cats...cuz your mean...but i do hope you start feeling better sweetie!!”
On October 17, 2006, Jackson tried to get Fox’s attention with this post: “hey hooker...why you gotta be shy...can't call...write...damn im not feeling the love anymore...haha talk to you later cutie”
A month later, on November 26, 2006, Jackson blogged her scorn and warned heartless guys: “stay the fuck away from me. i don't have time for the bullshit, the lies, the fuckin head games.”
“at least have the maturity to talk to me about it and tell me whats going on...i'm a big girl and i'm not a crazy bitch that's gonna stalk you and make your life hell...i'll leave you alone or whatever but you have to fucking tell me what is goin on in your head...not a mind reader here!!”
Jackson also posted ultrasound photos of her baby in an album on her site.
By CHRIS PACKHAM
• Justin Kendall looked at the economic impact of sports teams on their respective cities.
• Fake boobs — you can’t even give 'em away. Wide Open magazine tried, but only a handful of women entered the drawing. Our own Peter Rugg looks at this issue, along with the El Salvadoran labor crisis, the WTO’s new green initiatives and a profile of World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick, next on The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.
• Justin Kendall wrote about Phags for Phelps, a group that embraces the brand of cartoony, over-the-top homophobia practiced by the Westboro Baptist Church as a useful counter to more pernicious Republican Party-sponsored forms of homophobia that have an actual legislative impact.
• Speaking of which, you just knew this was coming.
• When Jason of KRBZ 96.5 (the Buzz) suggested that somebody needed to write a science-fiction alternate history in which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. survived his assassination attempt, Nadia Pflaum whipped out this YouTube clip of Aaron McGruder’s The Boondocks, which portrays that exact scenario. Then she did traffic on the nines and a half-hour commercial-free block of your favorite alternative hits from the '90s.
• Frances Semler stepped down, saving us the trouble of writing a lengthy blog post by composing an angry letter of resignation. We will show you it!
On the Wayward Blog
• On Monday Music Junkie, Andy Vihstadt listened to tracks by the Rosebuds, Red Dawn, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Nick Cave, Hair Plugs — and so goddamned fucking many more!!!
• Richard Gintowt reviewed Yo La Tengo’s performance at Randy Bacon's Gallery Sounds in Springfield, Missouri, home of Bass Pro Shops, birthplace of Springfield cashew chicken, and the world headquarters of the Assemblies of God church. Visit beautiful Springfield, where all the men wear ball caps and all mud flaps feature Yosemite Sam saying, “BACK OFF.” Oh, apparently the band puts on a good show.
Cut the portions in half...doesn't he know this is Kansas City?
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