Thursday, October 28, 2004

Panzerkampfwagen Yourself

"It was only natural that one day my interest in Lego and in the German military would come together", writes David. Almost as good as the block structure porn, and certainly less disturbing than the concentration camp set that caused the kerfuffle a few years back.

Plus, David has lifelike renditions of Michigan landmarks, and our favorite soldiers of fortune, only somehow purged...

Link Wry

We dare say you would like the definitive report on San Diego from the asexual pan-omniscient being, and god of cultural observation, that is Gringcorp, but our wanderings consisted of a hurried meal in Pacific Beach, a brief romp through the Gaslamp/Gaslight district, which seemed to be a slew of sports bars separated by roads that were too wide to make the area human. By California standards we'd say it was quite cozy, but a Sloper would probably develop acute agoraphobia. The flooding capped our visit to the area, slowing our early-morning ride to the airport, and flooding the unlit parking lot at our hotel. Wet bum!

Two rather droll pieces of flotsam today. First, the Ashlee Simpson Karaoke Edition iPod. Second, news that a Floridian with a marine fixation tried to cure his girlfriend's Kerry leanings with a screwdriver. Proof that avoiding telly during the next week might be a very good thing.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

John Peel R.I.P.

The man who moved to America, and invented a Liverpudlian accent to charm the locals. The man who made a good living peddling obscure sh*t over the radio. The man who then assaulted the very centre of middle england with a show about very little. John Peel is no more. We shall not see his like again.

Monday, October 25, 2004

In Excelsis

Well, well, well, Gringcorp finally joins the tarterati, blogging via wireless from a hotel in San Diego. The day job brings us here, but we wanted to keep you all toasty. We have very little to say, though, except to note that we had a fine meal at Gia, one that was much finer than the linked review suggests. We might add that the staff, while not hugely attentive, were very polite, and the food makes a welcome change from the fine, if unassuming homely fare that crops up all over the borough. This was feisty as damn.

Anyway, Gringcorp is sharing a drink with an associate, so this is very antisocial. More on SD next time we're alone in a hot spot. We're not in the window of Gorilla Coffee, any more, Dorothy.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Love Guns

We are working rather sturdily on our day job, right now, but we couldn't help but note that Gumby Fresh is not the only place where you can hear threats against the rich and powerful.

According to Chris Suellentrop, John Kerry has fervently expressed the wish that he could shoot the president with a shotgun. Whether said gun would contain buckshot or rock salt, a favorite of Stacey Sutton, the candidate did not elaborate. But I think we can all agree that Kezza is one bad mofo.

Working on a masterwork on Colorado liberalism, but like most of our straight political posts, it will probably be abandoned. Probably not your loss.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Send Them Down The Mines

A lot of people ask us about our thoughts on the British monarchy, and we usually suggest that the overpaid parasites be sent into immediate exile in South Ossetia, the constitutional niceties be damned. And those that try and bring up the tourist angles are told that if the European experience suggests the opposite. If you want to increase tourist traffic to your historical places, one way to do this is to execute the current occupants so no-one will object when you guide a group of wealthy Japanese grockles through their loo. But again, and we might have to start running this alongside the right hand frame or something, Gumby Fresh Does Not Condone Killing Wealthy Or Powerful Heads Of State.

Diana's death clouded the issue, somewhat, if only because Diana behaved in a very royal fashion against the interests of the monarchy. There is every indication that Diana was much better at looking interested in the less fortunate than doing something about it, which may well have irked the hell out of her in-laws, who have consistently tried to achieve much the same feat. John Lydon(scroll down) recognised this, and ultimately decided she was a good thing, if only for her ability to annoy and discredit the monarchy, much as we were sneakingly grateful to George Bush for being the only man idiotic enought to try and remove the vile sadaam Hussein.

But we always have to be careful about the kids. Or, assuming, as we do, the prince's inability to empathise with members of his own, as opposed to our kingdom, the orphans. William and Harry, the Bill and the Glitch. We're genuinely torn. They've lost their mother. But they essentially resemble the ghastlier end of the social spectrum that we went to school with. They fancy girls called Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorp, ferchrissakes, and surround themselves with an army of large-lipped, floppy-haired no-marks.

And now Harry, the one who has been advised that the Army would be a sensible modern-day career choice for a resident of modern-day Briton, the one who isn't the product of an adulterous affair (not that the Other one is, but the smear is there, non?), the one whose girlfriend only has two surnames (Laura Gerard-Leigh, at least it was a while ago), the Ginger one, is now fighting outside nightclubs. Like 50 Cent, Christina Aguilera, and er, Brian Harvey. I do believe the little tinkers are finishing off their mother's work.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Yellow Doze Of Jersey City

Sometimes we feel truly blessed to live in America, especially when it affords us so many opportunities to laugh at misinformed Guardian columnists. Today's stinker comes courtesy of Jonathan Freedland, who went to a canned Bush rally in New Jersey, and was, like, really scared of the creepy religious dudes. Jonathan paints a slightly less vivid picture of the campaigning Republican crowd than Megadeth's Symphony Of Destruction video. We should note at this point, however, that that video ends with the candidate being shot, something we do not endorse, and that Jonathan Freedland Vs Megadeth will always be scored in the corner of metal. As far as can tell from the artwork to their new album, they will now take on Bush. Be very afraid - Megadeth are very casual users of words like Armageddon, Vortex and Crush.

Our other big beef against Mr. F is his suggestion that yellow ribbons are the sinister perversion by the religious right of the ribbons for AIDs and the like. Wrong. Dead wrong. By misrepresenting the yellow ribbon tradition, Freedland makes it very hard for us to take the rest of his observations from Middle America seriously. That Republicans are mean, focused, and not ones to be plagued by doubts, however, Freedland does well to note. Anything that gets people reading the Suskind article on the loopiness that has consumed the White House is by and large a good thing.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Antwan The Wan

So, the Red Sox came through, and provided NY1's Trick Daddy Dean Meminger a chance to parade his facial hair outside of Fenway this morning.

But first here's More! Culture! Sunday had us trooping over to BAM for the dress rehearsal of The Temptation of St. Anthony. The production is inspired by Gustave Flaubert's novel of the same name, which explores the nature of asceticism through a fictional rendering of the temptation of the founder of monasticism. Flaubert's book seems to be better examined as an insight into nineteenth century psychology and Flaubert's own thoughts than as a guide to the development of monasticism.

If, like us, you're curious about how a group of antisocial coptics morphed into the modern monastic movement (by modern, we refer to the organised communities that developed in the second millenium of the common era), the book is likely less useful. As an aside, our favorite temptation-in-the-desert book is Jim Crace's Quarantine, which fictionalises and makes more mundane Jesus's 40 days in the wilderness. Perfect for those who, like us, espouse that meally-mouthed brand of atheism that says that Jesus was a really great guy, just not divine. Beautifully written as well, so we can't recommend it highly enough.

But, as far as we can tell, the musical, which uses a gospel n' blues n' rock score composed by Bernice Johnson Reagon, goes gently on the metaphysics. The Robert Wilson set, lighting and direction made it look very Greek and minimalist, a little like Fellini's Satyricon. To our untrained ears the music sounded a tad like Hair, but then we were thoroughly confused throughout. It starts today, tix are 25 bux, and if the preceeding pressed any buttons, take a look.

We would only caveat that if you are above about 6'1" think carefully about your seating options. We had been swimming at the delightful Riverbank State Park, which has an olympic-size pool, nice views, and only moderately stroppy lifeguards. We were going to call it the only thing of which that worthless man George Pataki, can be proud, but it turns out that Pataki out-pandered Mario cuomo a year after it was built. But we got cramp at the pool, and cattle-class seating allowances did not improve things. Bad BAM! Bad!

More recommendations: The Animatrix, which explains things a helluva lot better than the films did. and finally, Dirty Pretty Things, which captures the seedy milieu of non-central London better than any Brit-flicks we've seen in a while, despite having no English people in its cast at all.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Bubby's Blew Us

Yes, yes, yes, it has been rather a long time - we have been struggling with achieving closure on our day job, and dealing with a low-impact, but distracting, little cold. And, of course, we have been leading the smug liberal cultural life that would make the proud denizens of Kansas hate our guts. That said, they apparently hate our guts just for being foreign and in command of an interest in the US electoral process, if some of the more intemperate correspondents assembled in this Guardian piece are in any way representative. The back story, we note, is this rather misguided project that the Guardian launched to convince voters in Clark County, Ohio, that re-electing George Bush would be insane. That even Tony Blair has about as much sway as Hilary Clinton over US foreign policy is lost on the earnest Islington liberals (yeah, we invented sneering at progressives, so there!). Below is a fairly representative example, except for failing, unlike most of the other hostile writers, to make a feeble dig at british dentistry:

Who in the hell do you think you are??? Well, I'll tell you, you're a bunch of meddling socialist pricks! Stay the hell out of our country and politics. And another thing, John Kerry is a worthless lying sack of crap so it doesn't surprise me that a socialist rag like yours would back him. I hope your cynical ploy blows up in your cowardly faces, you bunch of mealy-mouthed morons!

But we digress, although little enough to segue nicely into the first of our appraisals of cultural detritus - namely, Team America: World Police. which has a bunch of familiar targets, including liberal actors and Kim Jong Il. Where it raises its game is as a parody of Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer movies, power ballads, and as a rather long-winded way of pointing out that Americans frequently have very little clue how resented they can be, even when trying to help. The soundtrack is probably better than the South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut soundtrack, if only because it has a wider palate and swearier lyrics. Gringcorp's companion is still humming some of the verses.

That was Friday, and Saturday, we scoped out the DUMBO arts festival, or at least wandered around the area finding something to eat. Bubby's told us to get stuffed, so we spent all our cash money on grease at the mighty Front Street Pizza, which had a dancing slice-pimp outside. Nice. We went to very few studios, but were nicely surprised by the guys pushing "Art Appreciation Tonic" (root beer, we understood), and mental swirly-panel beating installation (Derrida, we are sure, would have approved of such a useless description). Final dig - the new Halcyon is like Britney Spears - pretty, but useless. But feel free to ignore us as the Sloper consumer goods-chasing scum that we are: we think West Elm is just soooper.

Coming up: early monasticism, the London immigrant underground, gospel, anime, and that disgusting hack Pataki, in one indigestible wad of text.

The Sox still haven't lost...

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Death To False Metal

We've been out of communication so as to finish as much of our day job as possible before skipping over to the Roseland for the Lamb Of God show. Some of you might be sceptical about our commitment to metal, and we understand that. Can one be a minion of Ted, and the Children Of Bodom at the same time?

Now, we are not saying that we are Of The Renaissance, but it is possible to follow metal simultaneously with less energetic genres, if only because of metal's extraordinary ability to absorb outisde influences without compromising its core principles. Namely, hella loud guitars and guttural screaming.

So, we had Finland's Children of Bodom first. We has assumed that the Bodom was an inaccurate transliteration of "Sodom", or part of the same unfortunate typsetting flaw native to metal that gave the Jewish-fronted Kiss an SS-inspired logo. But the 'Bodom, as we shall now refer to them, are actually inspired by Finland's Lake Bodom, where four teenagers were murdered in the 70s (more information here). Anyway, the 'Bodom's music is therefore about death and rebirth, and not about seeing how extreme metal can get while still including highly cheesy yet gothic synthesiser skronks. But they did have the tunes, as well as some inarticulate, curse-laden between-song banter in sing-song Scandinavian accents.

Fear Factory were much more to the point - brutal, fast, and utterly, pitilessly, disciplined. We remember, plugging their electronic remixes back in the late 1990s, and thinking that their Ministry schtick was very, very derivative but pretty effective. They lost Dino Cazares, who loved the beats, but Burton Bell's growling-to-crooning is still there.

Lamb Of God were utterly terrifying. There's a term used to describe some music, "mathy", that often connotes the aimless or inaccessible. In metal, it means you have no idea what is going to come next, and when it's good you'll be amazed and disoriented at the same time. Lamb Of God basically are the new establishment in metal, and when you hear Randy Blythe say that "nu-metal's dead, we're here to bring bad traditional metal", you realise how much room for growth in the genre there is.

In other news, Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds imediately decided to punish us for writing admiringly about his columns for the Guardian by writing a lamentable effort this week. Why don't the liberal journalists write about the good news? Maybe, dear Glenn, because your judgements about "good" and "bad" where elections are concerned should concentrate on fairness, stability, and potency, and not endlessly pointing out that no-one got blown up. It may be normal in Baghdad, but it shouldn't be.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The J-M It's OK To Hate

That's right, top electronic noodle-flange and music industry shill Jean Michel Jarre returns to China. The musical heir to Richard Nixon, he was one of the first to play in China, after the Communist despots realised there was very little subsance, let alone subversion, in his music. That was in 1981, and in Mr. Jarre's world, all you need are a few projectors and some synthesisers that Duran Duran won't miss, and you're still laughing. More worryingly, Mr Jarre was until 2000 the official spokesman for the IFPI, the record industry's trade group, at which point the Corrs, the only band to have succeeded in making more vapid music than J-M, and the only gang of hacks more dependent on the music industry to make themselves palatable to the general public, took over.

But, and we're still getting over this, he does play a harp constructed entirely from lasers. And that is one of the coolest things ever. We shall let him live.

The Real Furious George

We were browsing through the Guardian today, and checked in on the colummn that Kos has been writing there. By and large we haven't been that impressed, since it lacks the bite of his blog, and isn't half as well written as that of Glenn Reynolds, of Instapundit fame. In fact the disparity might be enough to make you believe that the Republican charge that Democrats have become incoherently angry.

So, this week, Markos decides to enlighten us on the origins and uses of the term "Furious George", which he says emerged from out of nowhere to become the perfect epithet for our enraged and simian Commander-In-Chief.

Au contraire, since Gringcorp has finally discovered a use for a dodgy past spent reading the New York Press. Because the NY Press has for several years been carrying the rather scatalogical punk rock observations of one George Tabb. Tabb, a sad old punk in the best sense of the word, was once in an angry punk rock band. The name? Furious George.

Proof positive that bloggers, like the rapt law student readers of Anonymous Lawyer, need to get out more.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Boss Headed

It is highly unlikely that the strains of Gluecifer's Bossheaded (a highlight of the mighty Sleazy Listening compilation) would drift through our head while ambling through a graveyard. Nope, if you're looking for Norwegian rock soundtracks for skipping through gravestones, Burzum would probably be better, or maybe even Opeth, if only they were from Norway, rather than from Sweden.

But Bossheaded is the pun of the day. For we spent Sunday ambling around Green-Wood cemetery. Green-Wood, which settled upon two words, despite the MTA's insistence on Greenwood, touts itself as the world's prettiest cemetery, and it isn't far wrong. Not that we're an expert, or anything. It doesn't appear to be designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, although it is possible that like Fort Greene Park, one of Brooklyn's gems, he had a consultancy gig around the margins.

Green-Wood, opened in the middle of the nineteenth century, was said to have been a tourist attraction almost as soon as it was open. And the Civil Way gave it plenty of business. There are quite a few former celebrities interred there, as this list notes. From the world of music, Leonard Bernstein and the Steinway piano family, as well as Charles Ebbets, former owner of the Dodgers, who we trust is duly spinning at how Ratner and his shills at the Times exploit his legacy to bring a monstrous stadium to Park Slope.

More interesting, as far as this modern-day student of municipal corruption is conceerned, is that is the final resting place of two if the central characters from Gangs Of New York - Bill Poole and Boss Tweed, and we had a bit of a compulsive moment by skitting around the place for ninety minutes looking for the Boss' headstone (Yay! The pun unmasked! If you think that's bad, you should consider that we were going to go for. "Do You Dig Graves? Yeah, they're alright." But educating you on the intricacies of Scandi-rock took precedence.)

We did not know that Bill Poole, the basis of Bill Cutter's character, was buried at Green-Wood until our morning's googling. We had assumed, based on the scene where Hamster-face DiCaprio buries Cutter well in view of a burning Manhattan, that he was laid to rest in one of the sprawl of cemeteries that covers the Queens-Brooklyn border. But, as the IMDB notes, Green-Wood is actually a top resting place for GONY characters, even though Poole died before the draft riots portayed in the film. The cemetery is also quite the treasure trove for Brooklyn street name geeks, since we spotted, among others, Bergen, Ditmars, Ditmas, Lefferts, and Fulton, as well as a buncha Smiths.

It's pretty heavy on English, French and Dutch names, with few obviously Jewish or Hispanic touches. The Italians are also very sparsely represented, except for the mausoleums which face out towards Sylvan Lake like so many Cabanas Of Death, all done out in new marble, and 90% Italian. We would have investigated further, but the cruel and unusual fish shops of Sunset Park's Chinatown beckoned.

Coming up, a hard-hitting, topical review of The Fog Of War, but we shall wait until El Presidente spouts some obviously untrue nonsense about his war.

Friday, October 08, 2004

A Night On Dan Mountain

According to Knight Ridder, young people are turned off by their favorite "pop" artists being "too political", like some gang of barely pubescent Dan Aquillantes.

All this "why can't you be good and brainless like that nice Britney Spears girl, or like we assumed the Dixie Chicks used to be?" from The Kids in Chapel Hill, NC, the home of Superchunk, for shame. Anyway, we're not going to single out too many of the quotes except for this talking point from Shawn Wilson, who bills himself as "the world's biggest Hootie And The Blowfish expert":

"A lot of musicians bash the current administration rather than forwarding a specific agenda".

Nicely nuanced take on the "how will you fix my mess" Bush subtext. We were lying about the Hootie thing, by the way. Next up:

"Top 100 (songs) are big on campus, but nobody probably pays attention to politics in them," said Courtney Richardson, 20, a geography major.

Well, you're missing out on the higher level of cultural awareness attained by Mr. Wilson, for a start, young Courtney.

From this we can probably infer that the childs of UNC are probably more concerned with where their next drink or sexual conquest is coming from than some stupendously asinine questions from one Adam Smeltz.

Masters of Whimsy

Ah, bless. Adorable kittens descend on MSG for the annual cat show. The highlight, two cloned tabby kittens named after Middle Eastern foods. The cloner? Genetic Savings & Clone. Even the Times knew that was horrible.

Talking of Middle Eastern cuteness, Chalabi has his last laugh on the oil-for-food front. Partly because the targets are located on the wrong side of the Atlantic, the US press is not looking at who's been named in the Iraq Survey Group deviation into the UN programme. Their inattention is also down to the fact that all the US names have been blacked out. George Galloway, as the Guardian notes, is already pursuing a libel action aginst the Telegraph for relying on dodgy documents that accused him of taking money from Sadaam. And Marshall suggests that Chalabi might have a hand in the oil documents.

The other interesting thing the Guardian notes is that UK civil servants expressly asked that Galloway's name not be blacked out, even though the US was prepared to extend the favor to a UK citizen. Now that's just plain vindictive. Best to concentrate on the lovely kittens, non?

Thursday, October 07, 2004


Looks like we may not have spotted young Jayson Blair in Union Square the other day, if this nugget from Lloyd Grove is to be believed.

We find ourselves worryingly close to agreement with the truly awful Dan Aquilante on the subject of last night's Wilco show. It did sort of lack bite, but the playing and music was really impressive. Possible that Dan was lying his incompetent ass off, though, and wasn't there, since he insists that the crowd only stood up towards the end. From where we were, we saw the entire ground floor stand up for the first note, and they stayed that way till the end. Very impressive sight it was too, although we have never seen such a white, male, sensibly-dressed crowd in our lives. If Nick Hornby had his own convention, this would be it.

It could be that Dan sent Deborah Orin, or one of the Post's other drivel-factories along instead, because at the end he starts babbling witlessly about Tweedy being political:

Unfortunately, Tweedy mucked up the music by bringing in politics.

During the encore, he urged everyone to vote, and then spoiled his sage advice by insulting and demeaning those who didn't agree with his anti-Bush stand as being "in need of therapy."

That mind-set derailed what was otherwise a good show.

Well Dan justed mucked up a perfectly awful review by soiling it with Michelle Malkin-esque nonsense.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

I Get No Red Hook

It looks like there's little danger of this turning into a blog that obsesses over transaltantic differences. Nope, we've seen the future, and it's a fatuous melange of nimbyism, godawful movies and C-list Brooklyn celebrities. So, it was with consideable glee that we spied the mighty Lou, owner of the Brazen Head on NY1 (link to Realplayer file), opposing the new Red Hook Ikea, approved yesterday.

We like Lou, even when he's being irrascible, and despite the fact that we got bladdered an entire year in his hostelry without him ever saying hello. Although we were somewhat taken aback by the sign outside the 'Head during the Antic saying "the customers and staff of the Brazen Head wish to congratulate Lou on his 60th birthday", which struck us as a mite totalitarian. If you switch "customers and staff" with "inhabitants of Mungo", and "Lou" with "Emperor Ming", you wouldn't have a note out of place.

But Lou was good on the telly, pointing out that Red Hook isn't designed for hordes of furniture hunting fiends. We had no idea that he put his feet up in the Hook, but would like to add that the main rationale for the project, bringing an Ikea to New York City, has been negated by the fact that its impossible to get to via public transport. If people have a car they might as well go to the Jersey store. Seems to us that the kindly Swedish corporation is much less interested in adapting to its surroundings than corporate America's own Home Depot, which opened a well-received Manhattan store providing what the denizens of the island want.

Ikea's old-school, nay Ratneresque, plan involves babbling unconvincingly about jobs while scheming to knock down some very beautiful dock buildings, as Bill Streuver notes. Meanwhile, the Long Island people will stick to the Hicksville store, the Manhattan people will still find Jersey an easier schlep, and the poor guys at the bus stop on Van Brunt have too deal with more idiots.

The only saving grace is that the New York Times, without much of a stake in Ikea's future, is being reasonably even-handed.

The headline? Rodney Dangerfield R.I.P. We were never fans, but it was good to have him around.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Neil Rosen's Severed Head

The movie roundup this week is in tribute to Neil Rosen, who still plies his trade on NY1, presumably in the same style with which he dashed out pieces for his high-school newsletter. This week, we decided to concentrate on two movies with no discernable plot, but visual thrills aplenty. And we didn't even get in to see Hero.

It would be highly amusing to compare our take with Mr. Rosen's, but Neil has decided to look at I Heart Huckabees this week. Huckabees has bought every single available banner on the Times, but we're still inclined to dismiss it out of hand as a whimsical mess that makes the Royal Tenenbaums look coherent and engrossing. And that's just after looking at the clips that adorn Neil's sidesplitting-yet-fair review. Actullly, we know we're going to get taken there by our too-beautiful-to-deny companion, but it's nice to fantasise.

So, Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow. Sky Captain had severely upset us by producing a stupid free flying game that took some time to download and then played like molasses. But the movie is utterly stunning. The actors have the strange luminescence of early black and white stars, while the machines and explosions are top-notch. The plot? Chasing after the villain's secret lair, via a succession of exotic locations. In this respect, the Bond/indiana Jones comparisons are quite fair. Ditto the Star Wars ones, although Sky Captain fetishises the Metropolis look far more thorougly. We're going to gratuitously add the lighting appears to be inspired by Guy Maddin's Cowards Bend The Knee, even though it's not true. Still, go and see it, since we haven't seen a movie this ambitiously silly since Dune, and we mean that as a very high complement.

The second was A Dirty Shame, the John Waters film that gained an NC-17 rating, while being surprisingly flesh-free. From what little we remember of previous Waters movies, this sort of high camp is fairly typical. So is the plot, which involves a gang of freaks gathering round a messianic freak figure before a final showdown with the uptight local citizenry. At least, we think that was the plot of Cry-Baby, but we weren't really concentrating. Anyway, if you put Patsy Cline on on Williamsburg jukeboxes or ironically like go-go dancing, you'll love this. Which is a pity, because Johnny Knoxville and Selma Blair were pretty good.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Garbage Men Demand Equal Time

The willingness of Labor Unions to bend their principles in the service of filthy lucre has variously explained the non-emergence of a viable Socialist party in the US, white flight, the emergence of a manufacturing middle class, and why Republicans still get elected.

But walking past the Giant Inflatable Rat on Park Avenue South (the result, presumably, of a some squalid landlord's corner-cutting), brought home the problems with the myopic movement. To wit, and with all due fanfare, the problems we have with the Westside Stadium project (Huzzah! At last! Wessssssside in the house!).

There was something deeply distasteful about the construction workers bussed in from all corners to protest the Westside stadium. Actually, being union men, and judging from the general streetside chaos that usually accompanies a building side, they probably drove in. But summoned to the rally they most certainly were.

The plusses from the Westside project are:

1) No use of eminent domain.
2) The Wesssside is a bit of a wasteland.
3) Would be nice to have a NY team playing in NY.
4) The greedy scumbags of Cablevision oppose it.

The minusses are:

1) These big-ticket projects rarely improve neighborhoods
2) The traffic will probably be horrendous, which is why these things tend to be built out of town, accessible mostly to pickup trucks.
3) The ginormous subsidy they want.

The DDDB crew seem to take an admirably consistent view that both the Westside and Atlantic Yards stadiums proceed from the same flawed view of development. And they work off the assumption that there is little qualitative difference between grabbing people's homes and snaring their tax dollars in the pursuit of dubious private projects.

They've also noted that the two common arguments are that the stadiums are needed for a 2012 bid, as if these things take eight years to build (as if Bechtel didn't exist), and that they both use nasty-looking railyards. But the fact that the Dolans oppose it does not alter our feeling that these projects need to be self-supporting before they shoulld be approved and, for that matter financed. As for Nuremberg-style brickie gatherings, we have to see construction workers as the locusts of urban blight, with a taste for work akin to Mao Zedong's taste in girls - they require a constant stream of fresh meat, the health consequences be damned.

Weekend rock roundup coming up later...