Saturday, October 30, 2010

Shocker: Angelina's mall fight was PR stunt

If you're not keeping up with your 'Jersey Shore'-related news, Staten Island's favorite serial-quitter of reality shows got into a tussle in the Hot Topic of the Staten Island Mall this week.

The biggest shock about this incident - besides the fact that Angelina shops at Hot Topic - was that the whole thing was a PR stunt (according to the Staten Island's intrepid mall cops).

Wow, didn't see that coming.

Radar Online got all the juicy quotes from Angelina's mom:  

"Angelina and her girlfriend got jumped at the mall by two teenage girls," said momma Trashbags. "The security guards did nothing to help them and told her, 'This is a publicity stunt, we have no time for this."  

Thursday, October 28, 2010

McMahon's karate stunt: neat trick or low blow?

The McMahon campaign has taken of the gloves, and kicked Mike Grimm right in the nut sack.

The Advance did some deep investigative work to find out that Mike Grimm's ex-wife was given a preferential front row seat in Tuesday night's Battle Royale debate between Grimm and Mike McMahon.
"Observers saw four Team McMahon placeholders, who had arrived early to stake out front-row seats, give them up just before the debate began to Grimm's ex-wife, Susan Kim, her father and two brothers. The four took seats directly in front of the podium at which Grimm would stand."
Add to the mix that the Kim family are taekwondo experts who own a chain of karate schools.

The apparent goal: to make Mike Grimm shit himself in fear.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The official Hipster Survey

Some people said that the hipster died with the '00 decade. And we said, 'Oh yeah? Prove it!'

Well thanks to the City University of New York now we can.

The departments of sociology and anthropology have combined in this painstaking effort to create a demographic profile detailing where, when, and if the hipster actually exists. It's all compiled in this neat little survey.

You see, unfortunately the U.S. Census does not have a category for 'hipster' under ethnicity so that whole ten-year data collection is basically useless.

This is the only way we can honestly quantify hipsters.

Here's the plan: gather enough data of Staten Islanders, compile it, hire a statistician, average it up, and presto. We have a hipster index for Staten Island.

We can then compare our hipster index with other neighborhoods in New York City by using the internets to survey those areas.

OK Greenpoint, let's see what you got? If everyone cooperates we'll email other blogs and get them to pony up.

Survey is below:

From Tottenville to Taliban

There's a Jihad on the South Shore.

A former Tottenville High School student was arrested in Hawaii on Friday on charges that he repeatedly tried to fly into Pakistan and join the Taliban.

Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, a 21-year-old guy from Prince's Bay, is being transferred to Brooklyn where he will face further proceedings.

According to the New York Times the case is "based on numerous statements Mr. Shehadeh made to F.B.I." concerning his intended travels to the Afghan region.

The feds implicated Shehadeh and "several other individuals in connection with a plot to travel overseas and wage violent jihad against the United States and coalition military forces."

He even tried to enlist in the Army at the Times Square recruiting station.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What has Mike Grimm done for Staten Island?

The midterm Congressional election on Staten Island is a competition between a politician who has served the borough for the past decade and a mystery man who recites Sarah Palin talking points.

Last night on NY1, Mike Grimm and Mike McMahon slowly devoured each other in a preview of Tuesday night's discussion at Wagner College.

Both candidates landed a few jabs, there was only a modicum of policy discussion, and the event set a precedent for the closing weeks of what is purportedly a battle for the future of Staten Island's soul.

But it's not. It doesn't matter. Tuesday's debate will likely revolve around the same nonsense that we were subject to in the NY1 preview: all spit and no substance.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mike Grimm overreacts to NPR debacle

This one comes thanks to the people at Rap Scholar.

Juan Williams, the always reliable Alan Colmes-ish liberal foil on Fox News, was fired from his NPR gig after saying some pretty ignorant and flat-out dumb stuff about Muslims, or Mooslims as they're called on Staten Island.

"When I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

Replace "Muslims" with "black people" and "plane" with "dark alley" and you'll see how far we've come with race relations in this country.

Anyway, NPR may have over reacted in firing Williams, but not as much as Mike Grimm, Staten Island's next Congressional representative (according to all the mail we're getting).

Grimm wants NPR de-funded by the government, so they can solicit ads from Goldline or something.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

CMJ: Punk's not dead, it's old and pathetic

It smells down here. I'm at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, in Brooklyn, downstairs at the bar - and it stinks.

It happens to be the venue where washed-up punks come to watch their favorite retro acts during the CMJ Music Marathon. It's between sets and their body odor is awful. I should get out of here.

Once an opportunity for college-aged independent rock bands, CMJ was the place they went to showcase their stuff for the industry folk, with the hopes of scoring a record deal. But that's not gonna happen.

Today everything is niche-ified. For the blog crowd. Wanna hear a one-man electronic act that sounds like four records played in reverse on an incessant loop while random projections run on a movie screen in the background? That's next door. But for now, we're at the '90s punk show.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Geeking out to 'The Social Network'

'The Social Network' - a Page 6 version of Mark Zuckerberg's rise from dorm room geek to billionaire baller – is a compelling, though highly clichéd, picture of Silicon Valley via 'Girls Gone Wild.'

The film chronicles the meteoric rise of the now-ubiquitous social networking site Facebook. Through its evolution, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (West Wing), along with director David Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac), have brought us a hackneyed morality tale - one in which the losers inevitably win, but at a cost that renders them impotent and alone.

Before they even role the opening credits, a smug and condescending Zuckerberg (a curly-haired Jesse Eisenberg) chides his girlfriend in a Cambridge pub until she finally relents to his overbearing verbal assault.

Girls won’t like him, she says, but not because he’s a geek. It’s because he’s an asshole.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wu Tang Clan covered across the Pond

Thanks to the good people at ACanofSoup for sending us this.

Below is a stellar performance of Wu Tang's "Protect Ya Neck" by a London street busker and one-man-band, Lewis Floyd Henry.

The Soup (a good read on any day) supplied a great critique of NYC busker culture:
"When I see La Suena del Inka on the L platform, rocking pan flutes and a baritone 12-string uke (!), something larger stirs in me. There’s a multiculturalism there that the dum-dums of the rat race aren’t likely to expose themselves to, even with the aid of the Internet – there’s a spirit, something beyond the tunes."  
Wu Tang put us on the map in the early '90s. Their brand of spitfire verses, and cryptic soul samples signified a culture of its own - specifically underground hip-hop in the boroughs including Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten. It was an untapped market of creative genius. And it's nice to think of an SI export as multicultural on a London street corner.

The 'culture' attributed to our borough in the past few years has been decisively exploitative and of the outer-boro whitebread (or tanned) variety. But this is a passing fad. The authentic will always outlast the artificial. They will know us for something other than our vapid guido aesthetic.


Reporter mistaken for psycho killer on Facebook

Oh, the internets.

This episode of epic fail is brought to us by a local "link farm" outlet, the Facebook page of Staten Island, New York.

The page, which is "not associated with, sponsored or authorized by, any County Government," has more than 11,000 likes and regularly posts random links about local news.

They are also heavily skewed to the right, sharing 'news' about: Sarah Palin, 'Obamacare,' and insightful nuggets about November's local Congressional race, like this one:
Election 2010: "Last week, the campaign for one-term incumbent Rep. Michael McMahon crossed that line from rough-and-tumble campaign tactics to bald-faced deceit."
Way to be non-partisan.

But the site really fucked up on Sunday, when the anonymous farm put up this story about Eric Belluci, the guy who (allegedly) killed his family and fled to Israel.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The tragedy of Brian Wilson's beard

What happened on the mound during Saturday evening's National League playoff game between the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants was a minor tragedy.

It was the 8th inning. A burly and intimidating Brian Wilson took the rosin bag. His performance didn't concern me. He was stellar. A 96-mile-per-hour fastball struck down the final four outs of the game. It was an exemplary performance for a closing pitcher - Mo Rivera territory - but something much more important was amiss: the state of his facial hair.

I sat watching the last two innings, as Brian Wilson dominated hitters, and couldn't get my mind off his prominent beard. It was long. It was heavy. A suspiciously dark hue. Something was off here. It was very neatly trimmed - manicured like the topiary on the Todt Hill estate.

It was just too damn pretty for baseball.

I consider myself a baseball purist. Not in the sense of designated hitters and dome stadiums -- these have been around since before my time. But there is a storied tradition of relief pitchers and facial hair. They somehow manage to sign a multi-million dollar contract and still look like the guy who changes your oil.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Carl Paladino's campaign rendered in animation

The good people of Taiwan (that island nation off mainland China, which is actually our ally) put together this CGI version of the Carl Paladino saga.

There's not much that can be said beyond that fact that it's awesome. They even included the fight with NY Post's Fred Dicker, except in the Taiwanese version they use automatic weapons (the media use baseball bats on Crazy Carl).

The animation pretty much sums up the entire campaign. No need to read the papers anymore. What would we do without Taiwan? Probably pay much more for animators from South Korea.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sun Ra Arkestra playing on Staten Island

Important Public Service Announcement:

This Saturday is the United Temple for the Arts Jazz Festival at Snug Harbor Cultural Center. The legendary avant-garde jazz group Sun Ra Arkestra will be performing under the direction of Marshall Allen.

The event is early: 2 pm to 7 pm, and $30 or $25 in advance if you go here.

Pre-show activities include a panel discussion on the future of jazz. Check the site for the full gamut of performers, but we will leave you with some old school Sun Ra.

He may be dead, but they still wear those wacky space suits.

Video, bump:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

NY Post exclusive with Staten Island streaker

Leave it to the New York Post to get an exclusive interview with the naked guy who got arrested at President Obama's Philadelphia rally on Sunday.

In this amazing YouTube piece, Staten Islander Juan Rodriguez explains why he performed the nude stunt, gives a history of streaking, and voices his approval for both President Obama and The Roots.

The incident was staged after billionaire Alki David promised $1 Million to anyone who streaked past the President with '' written on their chest.

Rodriguez claims he got "10 feet" from the President and says that Obama kept his cool.

"That shows that he's a great leader for this country." ---- huh?

He then gets into the history of streaking (graduations, Queen Elizabeth) in an apparent effort to legitimize the art form. According to Rodriguez, the first streaker is even in a museum!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Titone calls Carl Paladino mentally ill

Staten Island Assemblymen Matthew Titone came out with some heated words Tuesday for Republican gubernatorial candidate Crazy Carl Paladino.

The Island's first openly gay politician was responding to the comments Paladino made Sunday afternoon during a homophobic rant at a meeting with Jewish leaders in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Albany's Times Union had the full statement from Titone:
“Honestly, I swear to God, all morning I’ve been festering over this, while doing dishes — by hand. And all I can think is, there must be mental illness there, and I can’t be hateful. I think there may be some sort of mental illness with Carl Paladino that is completely un-addressed. He can’t help himself. He just simply cannot help himself. He’s attacked just about every person, every group, so far. I really think he just cannot help himself. He’s even attacked Italians! It’s one thing to be angry and frustrated, it’s another thing to be so myopic. I would hope the Republican Party re-considers their position with Paladino as well as what they would like to define themselves as. I’ve got to tell you, some of my best friends are Republicans, and they don’t think this way.”

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bullied for being Muslim

The Staten Island Advance first reported the story of a 16-year-old attending Port Richmond High School who was bullied and eventually beaten by classmates who yelled anti-Muslim slurs.

The boy, Kristian, is an American-born Trinidadian, whose last name is being withheld. 

The Daily News got the gory details:

"They punched me in my groin, and I fell to the floor. They started kicking me, and calling me 'You fuckin terrorist,' 'You fuckin Muslim."

Police have arrested four teens, three 14 and one 15, and charged them with a hate crime.

Was this an isolated incident, or a systemic problem not only in our borough, but in our country?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Staten Islander streaks at Obama rally

Staten Islander Juan James Rodriguez was arrested for public nudity Sunday after streaking at an Obama rally down in Philly.

Apparently, some really rich guy promised he'd pay $1 million to anyone who got naked at wrote "Battlecam" across their chest while running bare-assed through the Philadelphia rally.

"When I see the video and it's won't be a check [that Rodriguez receives], it will be cash," the rich guy told the Weekly Standard.

Rodriguez has been charged with indecent exposure, open lewdness, and disorderly conduct.

Go Staten! Video here:

Paladino's crusade against speedos

Carl Paladino is like your crazy uncle who gets drunk on his armchair and screams about how he would change the government - except he's actually on the ballot.

A day after Paladino's anti-gay tirade in Brooklyn, he went on the 'Today' show to make amends - sort of. 

Here he is on valium (?) trying to explain away his bigotry.

On gay pride parades:

"They wear these speedos and they grind against each other - it's a terrible thing" and later... "it's disgusting."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Why we vote: Tea Party Nazis

When it comes to political bickering, the Nazi card gets tossed around the blogosphere more than a Hacky Sack at Bonnaroo. But it's hard to avoid using the N-word when you have a candidate who actually dresses up and performs military re-enactments as a Waffen-SS soldier.

Meet Rich Iott, a Republican, Tea Party-backed candidate for Ohio's 9th district. Iott is a millionaire former-CEO of Food Town Supermarkets and Boy Scout. Iott also likes to play Nazis with his friends every so often.

The Atlantic's Joshua Green revealed the candidate's connection to Wiking, a group of World War II re-enactment enthusiasts. (Kind of like Comic Con, for old war nuts.) Problem is, they enjoy re-enacting the other side, specifically the 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking, an actual Nazi division that fought for Hitler's domination of Eastern Europe.

Oh, and there's pictures:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hipsters spar over Katy Perry

Every so often we travel over the bridge to that Disneyland for 20-somethings known as Williamsburg.

When the inevitable question of where we live comes up, the transplant scoffs derisively. Funny, we were born here, you just moved in from some podunk town in Western Pennsylvania.

So it's moments like these that give some reprieve. A passive-aggressive note left in an apartment hallway - actually more than a note, like a short story. An extremely anal retentive one.

Notice the different font sizes, four full paragraphs of specificity, and most predictably the peanut gallery scribbling of fellow Williamsburgers.

Thankfully, we don't live next to, or above, any of these people.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Homophobe jerk: I'm not sorry

Matthew Francis, the Staten Island gay basher who attacked a man at the Stonewall Inn, insists that he doesn't hate gay people, and that he was just breaking up a fight when he had Ben Carver pinned down and pummeled. Right...

"I'm not going to say sorry, because I don't know what I should be sorry for," Francis told the Daily News. "I don't hate gay people."

To bolster his defense, Francis is using the 'I have a gay friend' tact, in this case it's his sister Deanna Francis, a bartender at the Black Dog Grill on Forest Avenue.

"My sister's a full-blown lesbian," he said.

The attack happened at the Stonewall Inn, a bar synonymous with the gay rights movement.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Watch trailer from 'Bridge & Tunnel'

Everyone take a deep breath: It's been cancelled.

'Bridge and Tunnel' - the Staten Island-based reality show that was going to put 'Jersey Shore' to shame - has been axed by MTV execs because it was reportedly 'too similar' to the guido-centric reality show. (They say that like it's a bad thing.)

The show is pretty much what you would expect. Staten Islanders acting like assholes. Like real life, but 'acting the part' a bit more for the MTV cameras. It's sad to think that these people were hoping to achieve stardom, maybe one day be as famous as Charlie B. from 'True Life: I'm Getting Married."

Tip your 40 ounches tonight for 'Bridge and Tunnel,' the show that never was. And thank Jesus that your children don't have to grow up in a world where these people represent their home town.

Watch below:

Requiem for Trashbags

(When we all tune into this week's Jersey Shore, it will be missing our favorite character - Angelina. She left us again last week after a physical altercation with the little Chilean* girl from Poughkeepsie - video below. A look back at our muse. The boro's finest.)

To Angelina:

You came into our life with the emotional baggage of a pampered outer-borough Italian, and the actual baggage of laundry, packed into Hefty Cinch-Sacks.

Your self-appointed nick names (Kim Kardashian of Staten Island, Jolie) never caught on. Because they were terrible. Your colleagues came up with better ones - although we will not let you take ours.

From behind the receptionist desk of Dr. Flynn on Bard Avenue to a summer rental in Seaside Heights, you were destined to become one of the great reality stars of our generation. But something went horribly wrong.

You were - let's face it - a cold bitch. And made no friends. And weren't very interesting, except when you were yelling at people. Then, just like that, you left us.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

SI homophobes go berserk

A Staten Islander is facing hate crime charges after a blatant bias attack at an historic West Village bar early on Sunday.

Matthew Francis, 21, and Christopher Orlando, 17, apparently walked into a gay bar and got upset when they met gay people.

"Get away from me, f----t!" Francis yelled, according to Assistant District Attorney Kiran Sing. "I don't like gay people. Don't pee next to me."

He is now being held on $10,000 bail and charged with assault as a hate crime. Orlando got out after his mommy and daddy ponied up the $10 Gs.

What makes the incident so disturbing (besides the fact that it is 2010) was that it happened at the Stonewall - a bar is synonymous with the gay rights movement.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Staten Island has the best garbage

It's nice when other people find treasure in our trash.

Whether it's Tony Danza, Ed Hardy T-shirts at the Mall, or Angelina from the Jersey Shore: Staten Island is like one huge Curb Alert on Craigslist. You're not expecting to find anything good, but when you do you're surprised.

The following video was taken by the radio station WNYC (they know we can't see this on the radio, right?). Percussionist Magnus Lindberg (awesome porn name) is at a junkyard somewhere near the Bayonne banging on drums, tanks, rims, pipes, knick-knacks, do-dads - anything that will make a sound. 

The guys who own the yard must have thought he was out of his damn mind.

The Finish composer was looking for used scrap metal to bang on. He naturally came to the only borough that could deliver. Lindberg is gonna make a whole orchestra out of junk. Don't miss the premiere at Avery Fisher Hall

Watch around 2:20 when a guy goes all Max Roach on a bunch of junk.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Why we should vote: Jim DeMint

Politics is boring, amirite?

Sometimes we wonder what the hell those guys do down in DC, anyways. And the elections can seem like one ineffective milquetoast candidate against some old white, god-fearing 'patriot'.

We have our own competitive House race in Staten Island. And the Right-wingers have a huge boner over it. Normal people just want the trash picked up and maybe a job.

But every so often a story pops up that scares the bejesus out of us with the prospect of the GOP taking control of this country once again, and reminds us that we should probably head to the polls in November.

Meet Jim DeMint. A crusading social conservative. DeMint is a US Senator from South Carolina.

If the Republicans take over in Washington, it'll be guys like DeMint in charge, trying to repeal legislation and get us "realigned with our Savior.” Yeah, he said that.  

DeMint doesn't like gay people - or, women in general.

According to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, the guy went all stone-age at a recent 'Freedom Rally' in South Carolina:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Media Column: Newspapers

Once upon a time, every small town had their own newspaper filled with fun, exciting, and illuminating information.

But somewhere in the last 10 years the whole business model imploded leaving communities without news, or with an abbreviated version of it.

The industry is in dire straits, and nobody knows how to save it.

These traditional companies spend inordinate amounts of cash on expenses such as printing, advertising, sales, a bloated newsroom.

Readers have gone somewhere else (the internets?). Classified advertising has gone to Craiglist, real estate to Zillow.

Web sites have had a poor response to the changing climate and influx of readers. Popular sites like HuffingtonPost and Gothamist simply aggregate news from the old media and repackage it for the new - presto. 

This is not a way to build a sustainable business - on the back of someone else's crumbling one.


This won't help though.

Milhouse at some place called the Joint?

We found this video on YouTube.

It purports to be a heavy rock band called 'Milhouse' and the vid is taken from a Staten Island music venue.

It looks like it was taken with a cell phone camera, but the grainy-ness at the start implies some type of old-fashioned video camera.

The music is loud - sorta like early Arcade Fire, but with more screamos. Maybe this is what lo-fi sounded like in the 90s.

The crowd. They are all stoned. and drunk. just look at them. And we did some research - turns out they only eat fruit.

The venue. It's at a place called The Joint, which is supposedly on Staten Island - but we could NOT find it on Foursquare. So maybe they meant Long Island.

And there's no Wikipedia entry for Milhouse (band) so they might as well not even exist.

There is a fight at the end. Maybe the whole thing was staged to create a meme - like Antoine Dobson, or the double rainbow guy.

Video after the be-dunk: