Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sing Along With O.J. Simpson's Stabbed in the Hearts Club Band...

It was twenty years ago today
Police chased the Bronco driving O.J.
He’s been going in and out of jail
Couldn’t sell his Heisman Trophy for bail
So may I introduce to you
The back you cheered for all those years
O.J. Simpson’s Stabbed in the Hearts Club Band

We’re O.J. Simpson’s Stabbed in the Hearts Club Band
The Juice used to be an All-Pro
We’re O.J. Simpson’s Stabbed in the Hearts Club Band
He did his running in a Bronco
O.J. Simpson’s Stabbed in, O.J. Simpson’s Stabbed in
O.J. Simpson’s Stabbed in the Hearts Club Band
It’s horrible to be here
It’s like being a Buffalo Bill
Such a huge TV audience
He’d like to take you home with him
He’d love to stab you at home

I don’t really want to stop the chase
But Marcia’s gotta prosecute the case
And O.J.s fingers in the glove are too long
So the jury got the verdict wrong
So let me introduce to you
The one and only Orenthal James
And O.J. Simpson’s Stabbed in the Hearts Club Band


What would you do 'bout the lives led to ruin?
Would you stand up and render Guilty?
Lend me your ears and I’ll show you how wrong
You would be not to set me free

Oh, I get by with a little help from the Dream Team
Mm, I won’t fry with a little help from the Dream Team
Mm, gonna lie with a little help from the Dream Team

What do I do when my love’s cold awhile?
(Does it bother you that you killed her?)
How do I feel by the end of the trial?
(Where’d you like the price of your soul billed, sir?)
No, I get by with a little help from the Dream Team
Mm, I won’t fry with a little help from the Dream Team
Mm, gonna lie with a little help from the Dream Team

(Do you need anybody?)
I need somebody to kill
(Could it be anybody?)
My ex-wife and the waiter from Ill.

Would you believe that the glove is too tight?
Yes, I’m certain that it does not fit
Would you convict if the jury were white?
I can’t tell you but you must acquit
Oh, I get by with a little help from the Dream Team
Mm, I won’t fry with a little help from the Dream Team
Mm, gonna lie with a little help from the Dream Team

(Do you need anybody?)
I need somebody to kill
(Could it be anybody?)
My ex-wife and the waiter from Ill.

Oh, I get by with a little help from the Dream Team
Mm, I won’t fry with a little help from the Dream Team
Mm, gonna lie with a little help from the Dream Team
Yes, I get by with a little help from the Dream Team
With a little help from the Dre-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee-heem Team!

(Thanks to Drinkmore Pat for Photoshop guidanceGIF of chase copyright CNN.) 

Friday, June 13, 2014

It's Not a Nerd, It's Too Inane...It's Soviet Superman!

Pat e-mailed the rest of the Drinkmore crew this panel today. It’s from Superman: Red Son, a three-issue comic book produced in 2003 and premised on Kal-El having landed in Ukraine rather than the United States and grown up a Soviet “citizen,” fighting a never-ending battle for Josef Stalin and the Red Army rather than Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

Although I’ve never read Red Son, aside from the canon of the story, in which the Soviet Union apparently becomes the predominant superpower and the United States produces super-villains to destroy both it and Superman, it is readily evident just from this panel why the USSR ultimately failed in its goal of world domination: the Russkies were dopes.

Firstly, Soviet Russia officially adopted the metric system in 1918, almost immediately upon its inception. Now, I’m not saying that Tsar Nicholas II might have saved his and the Royal Family’s tsasses by going metric—after all, the Russian Revolution was more socio-politically than metrically motivated—but I am saying that the Tsar could have substantially improved life under his apathetic reign by standardizing the nation’s AAA maps both internally and to the rest of Europe, vastly simplifying vacation travel for serfs. Even so, why the hell was Superman calculating in “capitalist” miles instead of “communist” kilometers? Soviet Superman wouldn’t have made it past Russian elementary school—yet he’s the USSR’s ultimate weapon?   

Much more importantly than simple units of measure, look how utterly vague and scatterbrained is the hammer-and-sickle–chested Superman: In a nation that measured more than 6,000 miles east to west and nearly 3,000 miles north to south—an area of 14 million square miles—he’s “pinpointing” a destination more than 3,000 miles away from a known locale.

Three thousand miles west of Vladivostok, a coastal city in the Russian Far East, is just east of the Ural Mountains. However, the Urals stretch north-south for approximately 2,500 miles. Even considering Superman’s incredible flying speed, that’s still precious minutes wasted in a millions-of-square-miles wild-goose chase across the Soviet Union’s spine. How many people will die and homes will burn while the Man of Stoli searches for this chemical fire by needlessly zooming up and down mountainous wilderness of the Urals like Clint Eastwood looking for his refueling point in Firefox?

Considering that Stalin and Soviet Superman are surely in Moscow—4,000 miles east of Vladivostok and thus obviously much closer to the chemical fire than that cross-continental port city—citing Vladivostok as a reference point makes absolutely nyet sense. Why not use Yekaterinburg, a major city on the eastern slope of the Urals and approximately those 3,000 miles west of Vladivostok, as the reference point? It’s still almost 900 miles from Moscow, thus preserving the image of Superman heroically coming to the rescue from a great distance yet eliminating the asinine inexactitude that betrays his stupidity. After all, one does not summon emergency services by saying that an ambulance is needed fifty miles west of a town located fifty miles to the east…

That neither Comrade Kent nor Stalin—who also foolishly fails to demand a more-specific location—could not fathom such obvious logic displays the kind of flawed reasoning that led to the USSR’s demise. Would American Superman know to go to San Francisco if he were needed “3,000 miles west of New York”? Of course not—but, possessing the American penchant for individual thought and the free exchange of ideas, you can bet he would look into it, he would at least ask for directions. Little wonder the USSR never landed a man on the moon, conquered capitalism, or beat the Broad Street Bullies in 1976—those Soviets were such slaves to their own narrow-minded system, their overbearing Mother Russia, that they were utterly incapable of thinking even slightly out of the Bloc.

Not that the United States owns an unblemished heritage of geniuses at the helm—the US government atom- and hydrogen-bombed its own country more than a thousand times since the end of World War II—but at least our superheroes’ kryptonite isn’t common sense and our pizza deliverymen get their precious cargo to hungry mouths without empty-headedly basing their route on the customer’s distance from the Cumberland Gap.

(Superman: Red Son panel copyright DC Comics; map of Russia copyright npr.org.)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Abraham, Father of Nations...Abe Vigoda, Father of Patience

Abe Vigoda continues to astonish with his longevity—especially those who thought he died long ago. (The extremely veteran actor has been reported as deceased on at least three occasions over the last thirty years.) Born Abraham Vigoda in February 1921 to Russian-Jewish immigrants, he remains the highest-ranking Jew in the history of the Italian Mafia, enjoying the status of caporegime in the Corleone crime family until his forced “retirement.”

Now 93 years old—and having looked ancient for many decades; he was a mere 51 in The Godfather yet appeared easily to be in his sixties—I’m wondering if Vigoda can hold on to become the oldest Abraham in history. Vigoda passed Abraham Lincoln only two months into the run of his spinoff series, Fish, in 1977, and moved into the No. 2 spot in 1986, when he eclipsed Abraham Zapruder, who had proved not up to the challenge by dying, years before, at age 65. Since then, only the biblical Abraham has stood in Vigoda’s way.*

* We can endlessly debate where Abraham Simpson belongs on this list, but the fact is that his birth year has never been revealed. And with the timeline of his life continually in flux, a determination of his true age would be specious at best. Grampa Simpson is a World War II veteran, yet he also claimed to have fought in the First World War, as well as participated in the 1936 Olympic Games. His service in World War II is undoubtedly true—at least, he was certainly old enough to have served—but given Grampa Simpson’s penchant for meandering tall tales and his suspect memory, much of his background cannot be taken as gospel, even though we know he was of an advanced age when he fathered Homer in the mid-1950s. Yes, through flashbacks and glimpses of Simpsons future, we see Grampa and other Springfield residents at different ages, but because of strictly maintained canon, they never actually age—their age at the time of the series’ “birth” is the age that they have remained throughout the canonical run of the series. Therefore, Grampa, an 80-something when The Simpsons premiered in 1989, remains an 80-something today regardless of the fact that nearly a quarter-century has elapsed. So, even though Abraham Simpson once was likely much older than Abe Vigoda, Vigoda has long since reclaimed second place.

Of course, according to Genesis, Abraham lived to the ripe, old age of 175. Now whether you take the Bible at its literal word or dismiss the ages of its many incredulously long-lived characters as gross exaggerations, 175 remains the sole “official” age of record—and a target still so far away that the nonagenarian Vigoda is little more than halfway there.

Still, I believe Abe Vigoda can do it. The key to Vigoda’s long life thus far has been his languid, almost reptilian, movement. Whether shuffling gingerly through the Corleone compound or planted in fatigued misery behind his 12th Precinct desk, Vigoda’s patient, unhurried manner emulates the slow heart rate and conserved body motion of such long-living animals as the elephant, the whale, and the tortoise. Let’s face it: Vigoda even shares the same facial expressions as a tortoise…

Certainly, none of us will be around to see it, but I wouldn’t be shocked in the least if, early in the year 2096, a shriveled-yet-still-filled-with-vim Abe Vigoda quietly becomes the longest-living Abraham in human history.

After all, a 90-something who can take this hit isn’t going any time soon…

Besides, breaking the record is the smart move...and Tessio was always smartuh.

(Image from Barney Miller copyright ABC; image from The Godfather copyright Paramount Pictures; animated GIF of Snickers ad copyright Mars, Incorporated.)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Coupe Fit for a Pope—The Cordoba Could've Been a Holy Roller

What if the 1975 Chrysler Cordoba had seats made not from soft Corinthian leather, but from soft Corinthian letters—as in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians? Imagine driving in the plush comfort of parchmented scripture as you get to your destination in style and a state of grace...

I’m surprised Paul VIthe first pope to make formal appearances in a motor vehiclefailed to deem this his Popemobile. The 1975 Cordoba certainly was roomy enough to accommodate not only His Holiness, but a trio of his favorite cardinals as well. And with a three-speed, automatic, V8 engine, the Most Holy Father would rest assured that he’d get to his destination with all expedience. Paul VI could even have issued a papal bull re-designating his vehicle as a Chrystler Cordoba...perhaps also decreeing that something from First Corinthians become the brand motto...

Ricardo Montalbán: The new 1975 Chrystler CordobaAll things to all men (1 Corinthians 9:22).