I took part in Buffalo’s Sky Ride for the first time last year. Ignoring a fear of heights to get a new perspective was a real thrill so signing up for another go was automatic.
All I’m Thinking ‘Bout
Facebook reminded me that it was on this day (June 11) in 1970 that the Buffalo Sabres selected Gilbert Perreault. 35 years since his last game, he remains my favorite Sabre player. The way he played, it locked me into what remains my favorite sport to watch as so many games were just clinics in beauty of the game. All these years later, with the Sabres a decade away from the post season, I hear some folks squawk that we have squandered time with Jack Eichel. I am more concerned that we have squandered Rick Jeanneret. I grew up listening to the Sunday night games with Ted Darling calling the play. He was just as great. It took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize that when Ted said a puck went over the glass to a “youngster from Sault St Marie,” that he was making that part up. He was so good, you didn’t mine the poetic license.
He was fun.
There was a lot written in recent days as it has been three years since the death of Anthony Bourdain. I’m not going to lie. That did hit hard. I liked the way he wrote, made television and the perspective he maintained in his enviable travels. Despite the omnipresent snark, he didn’t condescend or act like the conquering white man discovered something, he just afforded everyone from michelin started chefs to fishmongers to brewers to grandmas respect. He could wax poetic about a meal at La Bernadin as easy as he could Waffle House.
In other news, no immigrant has taken your job. You were laid off by a capitalist who took advantage of that immigrant to increase their profits. Nothing makes the capitalist happier than you blaming the immigrant and not the capitalist.
Also, I’ve found that the level of people afraid of the word “Socialist” is very high and the number of people who can define it very low. Roosevelt would have a tough time dealing with that dichotomy. Pure isms or ists are tough but we all need to realize that no elected official should get everything they want. But all the socialismphobes need to realize social security, the police and fire departments, paved roads and pretty much every program of the New Deal (you know, that little program that yanked the country out of the Great Depression, All programs of socialism without the involvement of Trotsky.
Not coming for your guns either. Figured it couldn’t hurt to add that.
People picketed outside last night’s (June 27th) reopening of Springsteen on Broadway as well as the Foo Fighters’ Madison Square Garden show last week for both venues insisting on Covid vaccination as that rule goes against their choice not to be vaccinated. Apparently those anti-vaxxers aren’t getting that the venues have their freedoms as well. Having a rule was not intruding on your freedom. The venues were exercising theirs as they are allowed to do. Want to see the show, get a shot. Seems simple. Don’t know what is in the shot as your objection? Break down the ingredients on your flu shot for me.
Keeping a thought of thanks (back to the Sabres theme for a moment) for Rene Robert who passed away this week. As the right wing on the French Connection line in the 70s, he was a pretty thrilling player to watch. He was a favorite who never phoned it in.
Drive – mental mcnuggets from a lengthy commute
When you have a lengthy commute to work as I do, it gives one plenty of time to sort out a myriad of issues that might creep into the cerebral cortex and not leave…
I notice Amazon isn’t taking the bait from the President. I think he is attacking the company because the owner also owns the Washington Post. The Post covers news. The President is frequently is in same. He doesn’t appear to like that. Maybe he shouldn’t have run. Pretty sure that when a public figure runs down a public traded company that it is a form of securities fraud.
Different towns in Western New York have decidedly different approaches to snow removal. When you cross through a variety of townships, the care and patterns do shift a bit. I guess that is a good thing, keeps me alert during the drive.
Everytime one of our weatherforecasters has said a storm is “nothing we can’t handle,” I see multiple evidence the next morning that we apparently cannot. From spinouts to rollovers, this winter has seen them all.
Is there a right way to protest? That seems to take over debates than the actual matter being debated. A tv show host busts a student advocate about getting rejected from colleges instead being at all concerned that he got shot at. He’s too wrapped up in her and is losing site of his original cause, noble as it was. I say was because it sure looks like nothing is really going to change, except for Stoneman Douglas will take a few elements of high school that are already prominent in many urban schools already.
What should change? Hey, glad you asked. Make all gun transactions the same. Make background checks universal. Let ATF databanks be electronic so they digitally track potential trouble spots so it can be a little more difficult for a whackdoo to be an armed whackdoo. That’s a pretty decent objective, no? The fact that we might never completely eradicate doesn’t mean we need to necessarily not try anything. Responsible gun owners lives don’t change at all. And, oh yeah, let the appropriate agencies full enforce what is already there on the books. That would be good. See, simple, let’s move on.
Good of the guy in graphics to be on top of what we truly need to know.
Last guy to perpetuate such a relentless and pointless press attack was Nixon. That worked out well.
We have become so touchy about issues, especially ones involve political figures or ideology that we don’t necessarily agree with. When Roger Waters and U2 played shows in the region, people groused on Facebook about those acts “turning political.” It makes me wonder what they’ve been listening to as both artists have always had a concern in the political arena.
The restart of “Roseanne” has people talking about politics and of all people, Kareen Abdul-Jabbar has it right. Check out his article on what is really playing out: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/kareem-abdul-jabbar-dont-be-fooled-roseanne-is-tvs-anti-trump-show-1099170?utm_source=twitter
If you are taking your cues from a sitcom character, that might be an issue. That’s never been good, be it Roseanne or Archie Bunker. Can they spark debate and thought? Sure, and we can certainly use more of that.
I wonder if more folks are going to the final home Buffalo Sabres’ game for the Dominik Hasek bobblehead than the actual game. They are and always will be my team, but my team is broken.
The Cuban flag dates back into the 1800’s and is not symbolic of Castro and Communism. It needed to be said.
I really liked the NBC production of Jesus Christ Superstar. It had a few flaws but as a whole was pretty great. I enjoyed Alice Cooper as King Herod, but a friend of mine posited how cool it would have been to see what David Bowie could have done with that assignment. That would have been something to see.
This was pretty good, however.
So a local congressman is afraid to meet with students out of fear they might not agree with him? What a world. That’s how you win over voters, by showing up. That’s how a grownup behaves, or do those kids not matter until they are donors?
Social Security and Medicare? We’ve been paying into them all our working lives. Left to their own devices, the programs are self-maintaining. Don’t be fooled when they are talked of as entitlements. It’s a misleading word. These are programs that literally have been funded by taxpayers, our money that is getting mismanaged and is under assault by those who don’t represent us.
I wish the Sabres weren’t so terrible.
Time for a walk.
I Will Follow
So, a few buddhas of my youth have been touring on their laurels a bit. Both Bruce Springsteen and U2 celebrated or are celebrating albums from 30+ years ago. Initially I was of mixed emotions about this. Both are quite capable of putting out worthy brand new music and have new records in the can, but chose victory laps for highly regarded records from sometime in their past.
While initially I was in the “but the new record…” camp in both places, I’m shutting up. If a band can play like they mean it, I guess we should sit back and enjoy that. If the passion is there, it remains a sight to be seen. It’s our classical music. I mean nobody is upset that there isn’t any new Beethoven floating around.
When Bruce announced a tour to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the release of “The River,” I thought fine. The companion album of outtakes from one of the prolific periods of Bruce and E Street Band was a nice treasure and musically the band hasn’t lost a step. The steeple chasing spectaculars are definitely a bygone era for understandable reasons but these cats can play. The show wound up being a top to bottom playing of the River, an introductory outake and a mix of other stuff. I was fine with that. They were great. Treated myself to another show, and it was more historical as Springsteen released his autobiography. It’s a good book and again, hearing songs that don’t get much airplay get well played was great.
But….you get a little further away from new music.
I guess that is okay, as the group owes its fans nothing, having given their all for decades. Bruce’s upcoming Broadway (and likely West End) solo offering makes you think the end is in site, but you know he’s got more to say. The selfish fan hates to admit it, witness everybody calling into E Street radio to grouse. You hate to see the fear that the mass audience of the 80s might not be there be the reason. As the man himself said “what’s to be afraid about playing the new stuff? They’re not going to clap as much?”
I remember thinking, watching a show in Pittsburgh on this tour as Bruce and the band started “Incident on 57th Street,” that there was a noticeable increase in beer aisle activity. I thought if those philistines leave during “Incident” to get overpriced beer, they deserve to be stuck in line for the “Rosalita” that followed.
Stevie Nicks was quoted in Rolling Stone as not being interested in making a new Fleetwood Mac record because she is afraid nobody would buy it. I say if you have the muse, turn it loose.
This brings me to U2. I first saw them in 1983 on their tour for the “War” album. I “blame” their current tour on the success of the River tour. They are also celebrating a record I’ve purchased in many formats with “The Joshua Tree.” It is a great work. There is part of me that wants to go see them just so I can hear “One Tree Hill,” a long time favorite song of mine. They have always taken a long time between albums, so it was a little maddening that this victory lap was undertaken, but ever was it thus. A new record is coming. While I’m still deciding what I think of “The Blackout,” I’m happy they got a new record ready and when it is released, I’m sure I’ll snag a copy.
When Bruce puts out any of the finished records fans have heard about, I’d snarf that up as well.
People talk of nostalgia or greatest hits shows like they are bad things and I guess the shows shouldn’t be seen that way. Billy Joel tours regularly but hasn’t put out a new record in 20 years. Because he has such a vast catalog and plays like he means it, folks go to the show and have a grand time. I guess that would kind of be the point, wouldn’t it.
It’s our classical music to be sure. The seemingly endless supply of music related deaths over the past year or so makes a rock fan feel his mortality a little bit, that some of things that have always been there from when you first started looking in the racks at Twin Fair, National Record Mart, Cavages and the mighty Record Theatre are always going to be there in the mass quantities that they were. Even the music stores are going by the way side.
You feel your own musical mortality a bit as a rock fan when one of your heroes takes up a 12 week Broadway residency so he can go home each night. I can’t blame him. I just hope we meet again along E Street as Broadway is a little too pricey for this working stiff.
So hopefully U2 has a great show tomorrow, I’ll look forward to the bootleg, er, the download.
Can’t swing the proverbial dead cat without hitting some.
-The President Elect didn’t save jobs from Carrier. The state bribed them with tax breaks to not take them all. This is a strategy that worked out really well for Carrier in New York State where the only thing still functioning with the name Carrier on it is the dome.
-Saying you are “Draining the swamp” doesn’t preclude from the fact that you might just fool around and refill it.
-Coal jobs aren’t coming back. With wind and solar getting to be cheaper, it’s one of those industries that won’t dominate as it once did and for somebody to magically promise, without substantiation that the jobs are coming back is both exploitive and sad. But then again, so is believing that somebody.
-Did anybody ever take a more pained dinnertime photo than Mitt Romney? Whoever lit that table was editorializing in their own way. You can almost watch his soul leave.
-New York Times contributor Paul Krugman noted on Twitter that “Another metric: Trump would have to do one Carrier-sized deal a week for 30 years to save as many jobs as Obama’s auto bailout.”
-So the NFL decided to bust the Bills’ Offensive Lineman Seantrel Henderson for using medical marijuana…to treat Crohn’s Disease. First, just legalize it already. Look at the revenue that Colorado is reaping. Second, NFL? Really? Seriously? It’s not a performance enhancing drug, it’s a medical regimen. Good thing he isn’t beating anybody up. Oh, wait, you’re cool with that.
-The Affordable Care Act is a noble idea, but a flawed law. I think Congress wasted all those votes on repeal because they didn’t have to actually deal with the consequences of “what’s next?” Well, guess what, time to shine, obstructionists!
-Cutting Social Security and Medicaid, this confuses me a little, as they are things that we pay into, why would payouts need reduced? Oh yeah, because that pot of money keeps getting borrowed for other things.
-I’m not certain that Bernie Sanders would have won, but I’m glad the grumpy old man isn’t going gently into the good night.
-The recount efforts won’t change anything, but there is no harm in letting the process play out. I mean, unless you think it might not go your way, then panic on twitter.
-Nobody, and I mean, nobody ever gets everything they want or promise done once they get into office. That said, despite not being the most natural campaigner, Secretary Clinton was a pretty capable Senator.
-It would be good for our current President to take some action on Standing Rock, any action. And place his nominee on the court as a recess appointment. The court would be fully stocked for a year, while the obstructionists in congress publicly obfuscate, squirm and talking point their way around a nominee who actually meets their criteria.
-Steven Colbert was right, we are overpoliticked with the election. One of the worst mediums ever is the public comment sections of newspaper and tv websites. Laden with digital ninjas whose sole human contact is their moms yelling from upstairs to come up for breakfast, that style of uninformed, meme-posting, if you don’t agree with me, you must be a moron discourse is all over social media. I suppose this essay falls into that category, but it’s okay to disagree with me and I don’t live with mom.
-That said, everybody’s history has some poison in it. Every race, creed, color has a list of do-overs and we haven’t always come to grips with that. The naysayers who have issues with Black Lives Matter miss the point. All lives do matter and should matter, but the central point to me is that some lives haven’t mattered as much and correcting that takes time, time and recognition that a lengthy history of abuses, misconceptions and prejudice affects all involved and doesn’t magically go away. So, standing up for that is a good thing and that reminder very good.
So, another transition.
-The Buffalo Bills have me concerned. They had trouble with the 2-8 Jaguars at home and are going to play the Raiders, in Oakland, and the Raiders are pretty good again.
-It’s great that Jack is back, but should one guy….
It’s that time of the year where we act, mostly, like we should all year long. Let’s strive for less idiocy and realize that differing views don’t make the opposing parties morons. We can learn beyond facebook bickering.
The Wearing of the Green
As a lifelong irishman, I should be offended, but this is pretty funny.
But before you raise a pint, okay another…
But there is some good songs out there for the actual celtic folk. This is my personal favorite.
I laughed a little to myself that my culture can get reduced to green bagels and to me picking them up, which in the department of counting your blessings means that I got first pick. See, silver linings everywhere.
In the company of a dear friend and actual guinness, (No green beer, got to draw the line somewhere), I rang in the weekend with some genuine celtic tunage that DIDN’T involve anything from U2.
Short Attention Span Theater
For a little extra cash (and to not work overly hard), I’ve taken up ushering, first at the stadium and the arena/center downtown. Last night was the first time I ever helped oversee a studio audience as the biggest professional wrestling corporation staged a show, primarily for cameras but the assembled masses seemed happy.
Part of what fascinates me is seeing what goes into actually staging an event of this magnitude, being part of a large event as it comes together. The variety of reactions and interaction is fascinating stuff. The WWE was something to behold, turning the entire First Niagara Center into a tv studio. What are usually nondescript hallways were suddenly sets.
An interesting transformation, although still a little scary to what crowd reaction, but as you could imagine, the people watching was pretty choice.
Elmwood Festivus for the rest of us
Don’t Drink the Water
My lovely daughters like to tease me about multiple versions of songs they find in the Itunes on my computer. The eldest complains “just how many versions of this do you need?”
Kid is way to uptight to understand some groups, but sometimes choice is really good, like this from Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds