Thursday, February 19, 2009

In which we review what just happened here

Well it seems that Andrew Breitbart (the founder of the right wing blog Big Hollywood) and his band of goons have left me now, and I have to say it is not without some wistfulness on my part.

As you know, it all started with my now disputed recollection that Breitbart hung with a druggy crowd and was a bully in high school. This attracted the ire of Signore Breitbart and his crew of internet sycophants, leading to the most traffic I have ever had on this blog (!) and a whole lot of lawsuit threats/general right wing thuggery in the comments. All of those comments remain on this blog for all to see. The only one that I deleted throughout this whole thing was one that I wrote.

Let us now pause to review the lofty rhetoric that took place last week in the comments:

My personal favorite came from Annie Hamilton. Let me introduce her by quoting from her Blogger profile:

"After undergoing brain surgery everything about life changed for me, including the way I think. I've had to rethink, relearn and reprocess much information over the course of several years and I've learned that I'm not as liberal as I thought."

Okay, now come with the hate:

"So, back to the anonymous Pussy Obamatard - keep sucking down that koolaid, idiot. but don't think for a second that it makes your 'leader' an admirable person. 47 % of the country didn't vote for your New Muhammed. and your doofus Kenya born Black Jesus took the third biggest payout [blah blah blah]"

Annie, if you're out there, please come back and provide us more details about your brain surgery!

It turns out that I'm not the only one who is "anonymous" on the internet. From Anonymous #1:

"Stick to manual labor, bro. You do not belong in a thinking man's world. Your writing is pure emotionalism that speaks more of your embarassing lack of intellect than it does of your deep, grand insights. Seriously, see a shrink and leave all this hateful petty masterbation [sic] to your sad lonely private time with porn."

Plees leev my masterbation habuts out of this.

From Anonymous #2 (or more from Anonymous #1, we can't tell!), the first of many calls for the conservative, trial-lawyer-hating Breitbart to sue me:

"Wow glad I'm not you dude .. hope Andrew is a forgiving guy and doesn't ring his lawyer after that rant."

I'm kind of hoping he does.

From J.W., more lawsuit threats:

"I wish him and his lawyers well.
(Hey Annie- your comments were great- I couldn't even start to compete!)"

I wholeheartedly agree. Her comment was my favorite too! But our dear Annie is a humble sort:

"J.W., you did just fine! and there's plenty of us 'crazy' conservatives out here in southern california! some of us know how to say 'no' to koolaid!! I quit abusing chemicals a long time ago! lol...once you grow up, have a family and figure out that there is a 'world' beyond your 'hair' products and the day after tomorrow, you wake up quickly. that was...oh, twelve years ago?"

Annie, I am 'glad' that you are 'no longer' a drug addict and had brain surgery. It's all fixed now! But notice in the second paragraph the self-congratulatory "I work so hard and that's why I'm a conservative" bullshit we see in so many of the Breitbartian posts:

"truly don't understand the mentality of liberals - it's so self serving and hypocritical. If people focused more on working their asses off, focused on responsibility, accountability, traditional values and social compassion - none of it would even be a point."

But I like my ass. I'm not interested it "working [it] off". I would rather work less hard, rely on reasonable social programs and still have an ass.

But now Annie gets dark on me:

"you're an idiot. don't you have a freeway to play in?"

I'm sorry, but we mainly have parkways and turnpikes here.

I don't really understand whose side Anonymous #3 is on:

"Andrew is right about you. Your observational skills are sorely lacking.

He is NOT a bully. He is in fact a pathological narcissist, himself long victimized by left-leaning West-Los Angeles elitists who failed to enshrine him with the proper attention while he was growing up.

Once again, liberal tyranny has failed to see past itself."

Woah, you just blew my mind!

From Anonymous #4, the dark hat who supposedly tracked my IP address for some reason even though it would take about 5 minutes of reading my blog and following my various music links to figure out who I am. Good work!:

"Who needs a lawyer when you have someone (like me) who is a geek- and can capture IP addresses and find out who idiots are?
I love my work!

Thanks Nic Fic- have a joke, smoke and a TOKE-
And expect a knock on the door shortly.
You cannot think the internet will let you get away with this- there are laws.
And YOU have been caught!"

There are laws. I'm just not sure which one I have been "caught" violating or who would bother knocking on my door.

Anonymous #5 is advocating caution:

"Question for anonymous lawyer guy: Is it cool for ol' Andy to sick his followers on this person the way he has? Might that be considered bullying? I mean, we're spending 100 large to on that stupid Matt Damon dare. Andy's rich, even though he was adopted, but legal costs kind of add up. Should we just stand down on this one and go back to thinking up names to call Obama?"

Answer: it's completely fine for ol' Andy to sick his followers on this person. This person kind of misses them. But yes, it is kind of bullying. Now what about this "100 large to on that stupid Matt Damon dare"? Please provide details.

But now Robot #5 has rebooted and is awaiting orders:

"I'll stand down now until Andy tells me what to do next."

You do that.

Anonymous #6 wants to "prosecute":

"Probably should take the page down- from what I have read.
What a jerk!
I am sure that Breitbart has all he needs to prosecute."

Hey, don't bother. One of those Obamatard liberal prosecutors would probably just plea bargain down to probation.

At this point the commenters turn on each other and start recommending various cleanse therapies and colonics because they are so full of shit. I agree.

Thank you everyone. This has been fun.

-Bryan (aka Nic Fit)

Full comments

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Half off of $10 at Warehouse Liquors

Tonight I've been self medicating with a decent bottle I picked up at Warehouse Liquors for $4.99. Look for the Cantina di Montalcino Sangiovese in the bin at the left as you walk in.

Warehouse Liquors is located on Broadway and Astor Place in Manhattan.

(And to that conservative commenter who told me that because of my work ethic I will never enjoy a bottle of Chateau La blah blah blah, I think I'll live.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rhetorical Knots

So John Nolte (presumably Nick Nolte's less successful son and editor of, you guessed it, Big Hollywood) has his knickers in a twist today over some LA Times film critic claiming that long-dead (and largely forgotten) actor Randolph Scott was gay. The nerve!

Apparently Scott lived with (long-rumored light-in-the-loafers) Cary Grant for 12 years in Malibu, though both were very well-paid stars and could easily have afforded their own Malibu homes. But, hey, Nolte tells us, it was their bachelor pad. Okay, bro. He then goes on to "defend" Randolph Scott from this scurrilous accusation. Oh, and of course those of us on the left aren't allowed to question the idea that one's sexual orientation can be the basis of an "accusation":

Defending Scott against such charges can only mean one is anti-gay, right?

Well, how about pro-truth and pro-fairness?

The truth is that (according to Nolte's own post) Scott's and Grant's sexuality have been under dispute for years. Both men denied being gay repeatedly, which is not surprising considering that the alternative at that time was never working in Hollywood again. But, who knows, maybe they just liked having unnecessary roommates, like Chace Crawford and Ed Westwick.

But why is Nolte so worked up about an offhand assumption (which many people share) in some article about some early 20th Century actor?

Oh I'm sorry. I can't say that it's because Nolte thinks that being identified as gay is a bad thing. That would mean that I think that Nolte's "defending" against such "charges" is inherently anti-gay.

Yes, it would.


And by the way, at what point did the American right become sensitive about being called anti-gay? Wasn't that their official position for most of the 20th Century? What are you, a pansy?

I lowered the debate

Okay, so I picked a fight with Andrew Breitbart over his Big Hollywood blog and it turned into a big, ugly mess. While I still revile the blog's premise (Hollywood makes people liberal/stupid) and the opinions expressed over there, I should not have used personal attacks against Andrew to make my point.

I wrote in an earlier post that Andrew used to hang with a "rich/druggy crowd" in high school and often seemed high. Breitbart has commented repeatedly on this blog that this is false. I take him at his word, and have amended that post with a notation that Breitbart disputes my recollection.

More important, none of this germane to the debate. While I certainly grabbed people's attention, I took the low road. And I regret it.

What triggered my visceral response to Breitbart and his blog in the first place? I guess that when I connected the kid I knew in our privileged, predominantly white high school with the promoter of the me-first, screw-everybody-else-values of the internet right, I was stunned. What really pushed me over the edge, though, is the increasingly anti-Muslim bent on Big Hollywood. Although I realize that the Republican party as a whole is sort of devolving into fringe group united mainly by their animosity toward Arabs and "Muslins", bigotry really fucking bothers me.

So I lashed out. I took a cheap shot and started the net equivalent of a barroom brawl. And in the end I didn't like being in a personal war with some distant figure from my past.

So, Breitbart, while I still wholeheartedly disagree with the opinions expressed in your website, I am sorry I made it personal. That was an unnecessary distraction and a mistake that I won't repeat.

- Bryan

Monday, February 16, 2009

And what the fuck is this supposed to mean?

via (you guessed it) Big Hollywood

Democrats Have Bigger Teats

by Doug TenNapel

I’ve seen the old man make millions of dollars. He was resourceful, clever, thrifty and had the work ethic of an ant colony. This is the rich old man who passes on his life’s earnings to the next generation. The next generation didn’t learn to work, but lived in the comfort of the old man’s palatial estate. Giving the next generation money doesn’t multiply capital, because if they need it in the first place they don’t know how to make it.

That’s President Obama’s stimulus package and it’s also why the money borrowed from our children might as well have been burned…it’s the same tired spending of the last two years, eight years, thirty years, same-o same-o. (more…)

Okay, Dougey, is the rich old man giving to the next generation or borrowing from it? And if you hate spoiled inheritance brats so much, why do you conservatives oppose the inheritance tax? Big Hollywood is making my head explode every day!

The real reason I hate Andrew Breitbart's blog

Oh, hai! You probly know me because you've been threatening me for the last few days! Nice to meet you.

Now, I know you are a reasonable person, and I should love you. Let me explain to you why I hate what Andrew Breitbart does (via Big Hollywood):

Part of this is the ultra-PC mentality of Hollywood, which hates all religion but for Islam because so many Muslims share Hollywood’s hatred for America.

What The Fuck? I know that Andrew was a good, decent person at one time, so why do this? Why allow your name to be attached to this kind of nonsense? Andrew, we all used to listen to Prince together. Things were good. You don't have to do this.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Good wines for around $5

A big part of my unemployment adventure has revolved around getting drunk cheaply and in style. The economy is so bad the bars are practically giving booze away, and on top of that those of you whole live in downtown Manhattan have two great, cheap wine spots centrally located.

Trader Joe's Wine Shop is my personal favorite. Due to our bizarre repeal-era alcohol laws in New York state, they had to open two stores side by side: one for all of their incredible (and cheap) snacks and grocery staples, and one for their incredibly cheap wine. Don't go for the Charles Shaw (or Two Buck Chuck, as it's known, even though in New York they get $3 for it). It ranges from barely drinkable to sinkable. Go to the back and check out the South American reds and whites. I have found a wide variety of very drinkable to sublime varieties in the $5 - $7 range. Gold Rush is a pretty nice California red blend. The Panilonco Malbec-Merlot is fantastic at $4.99. The Mediterranian Red is a great second bottle at $4.99 as well.

For an entirely different selection, head down to Warehouse Liquors on Broadway and Astor Place. Unlike Trader Joe's they carry a full line of spirits as well at bargain basement prices. When you walk in, there is a bin on the left with reds and whites under $10. They give you pretty lengthy, accurate descriptions and everything I've picked up has generally been good. Check out the Domain Lapeyrouse if they have it. It's a hearty, unfiltered red and a steal at $5.99.

More $5 wine reviews to come...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Andrew Breitbart's big, angry "Big Hollywood" blog

Now that conservatives and Republicans are in full cry baby mode (they can't win elections, they can't influence policy, they can't hide their gay relationships...wait), the right is back huddled in the forest, talking to themselves and exploring new angles to answer the obvious question, "what went wrong?"

Enter Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood blog. Full disclosure: I went to high school with Breitbart and he was something of an oddball bully. He hung with a very rich, druggy crowd and always seemed mean-spirited but too high to really project it*. Later, I ran into him in New York in the early 90s and he seemed equally spaced out, but condescending and assholish.

Fast forward to a few years ago when he had become Matt Drudge's intern/bitch. Then he sets out on his own (doubtlessly with some of his rich parents' money) and starts a "news" website,, which seems to subsist on redirected traffic from the Drudge Report, presumably divvied up between him and Drudge. Fairly smart, actually. If all these know-nothing Republicans are going to look to intentionally distorted and misleading websites for their information, why not just make one up that gives them what they want? Why even bother redirecting to CNN or The New York Times, when you can paraphrase the stories with your own conservative slant and take the ad revenue?

Now the American right is in complete meltdown mode and scrambling for answers. Their worst nightmare has come true: average people (including people of color) are energized by politics. The country has shifted dramatically, the left has an enormously popular and charismatic leader in the President, and the Republicans look like a bunch of real-life Batman villains to most people. It's sort of over for them for a while.

But optimism (or whatever the right-wing version of that is) reigns and there are multiple silver bullet theories as to why they are so bad at winning elections lately. One of these is Breitbart's own: Big Hollywood (notice the blatant rip from the left's Big Tobacco label) is full of dumb liberals who influence an unwitting public through their wicked movie making. Never mind that celebrity endorsements in politics seem to have no discernible value and quite frequently hurt the people/causes they are meant to bolster. Never mind that issue films like "Fahrenheit 9/11", "Traffic" and "Syriana" completely failed to sway public opinion or subsequent elections. Ignore all that. It can't possibly be that the Republicans' ideas have utterly failed, damaged peoples' lives and hurt this country, finally leading people to vote differently. No it's just the fearsome influence of actors like Tim Robbins and Ed Begley, Jr. that has blinded the gullible American people.

You know what, Breitbart, you were always a bully, but I never thought you were particularly dumb. Things change, I guess.

* UPDATE: Breitbart has commented on this post and others and repeatedly denied doing any drugs in high school. I take him at his word.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Now to offend everyone...

Have you noticed when you hang out with people in their 20s, all of their stories revolve around people with bizarre names?

"Oh my God, Garnett was so funny that night! When Quinn walked in, he and Blaine couldn't believe that Blair was with Lompaul!"

Can't anyone just be named Mike anymore?

UPDATE: And get off of my lawn!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Christina Visca party at Webster Hall: Why so fucking loud?

I know that I am getting older, but seriously, clubs are getting louder and LOUDER. It is not uncommon now to walk into a nightclub with earplugs and still have to leave because the place is just too fucking loud.

What do we get from all of this volume other than audio fatigue and hearing damage?

For me a good DJ uses volume to balance the energy and size of the crowd with the dimensions of the room. This is not rocket science. Most people going to a club aren't looking for a Motorhead concert. They are looking for good, tight bass, non-harsh mids and treble and an overall good listening experience.

What they get instead is an A320 taking off in their ears.

Christina Visca, Tom Mello and others started their Sunday party this Sunday with what seemed like a great idea: David Morales, Little Louis Vega and Tony Humphries playing only 90s house. The 90s was a golden era for these DJs and house music in general. What could go wrong?

When I walked in the party was great. I'm not sure who was playing, but the system was set at a semi-reasonable volume and people were dancing and singing along to some great old hits like "Finally" by Kings of Tomorrow and "Lonely People" and "The French Kiss" by Lil' Louis and the World.

At some point though, the volume more than doubled, the music turned more repetitive/tracky, and I felt like I was trapped in a late 90s Tunnel hell.

Please, everyone, just turn it down!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Unemployment Blues

Fuck, I left my unemployment debit card at the straight trannie bar last night. Don't you hate when that happens?

Connolly's: FAIL

Thanks for nothing Connolly's shit Irish pub in Times Square. I hope you pricks go out of business fast. Thanks for treating my band like shit, not paying us and giving me a hard time when I asked about it.

Fuck you you fucking motherfuckers.

UPDATE from the door person:
"Hi Bryan,
good show last night man. I was doing the door and your draw was 27 as I told two of your band members, your female member and I believe the bassist (guy with ponytail). 19 were on the half price list which is why you didn't get paid (see Lee's email). Thanks and definitely book another show with Lee - I think you made a lot of new fans last night."

I'm still a little chapped about the whole thing.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Taking down "The Takeaway"

Fellow WNYC/NPR addicts know that there is a newer, hipper, more "conversational" morning news program called "The Takeway" and it is here to show you how new, hip and conversational it is.

Every weekday morning on WNYC (at 6 on the FM station and again at 8 and 9 on AM) overwrought alt-rock lead-in music pounds us awake with its John Bonham drums, a come-to-Jesus organ chord and right at the end, a little technical robot noise which we will hear over and over again to demarcate segments, bracket the sound bites and, you know, be cool.

"This is the Takeaway with Adaora Udoji and John Hockenberry and here's our clever theme for the day which brings us to a question that we want You The Listener to answer over the phone and on the website, because this isn't a news program, it's a conversation."

Then we hear Femi Oke (is anyone on WNYC allowed to have a normal name?) not only read the same headlines that we've been hearing all morning, but do so with a cute (and acute) British accent only to get interrupted repeatedly by Huckleberry with lame jokes and non-sequiters. Because this is a new type of show. It's radio 2.0. It's web-savvy. It's crowd sourcing and user generated content and a great big global techno convo.

And I think to myself, "Yay! I get to be part of a conversation! It seems that I never get to have those. And they want me to give them my take at So totally new and cool and web and awesome!"

Although I applaud WNYC's attempt to put together something so that I don't have to listen to the Morning Edition rerun hour, did it have to be this...thing? This new-media-crazy, consultant-conceived mess of every layer of newthink crap they can throw at the wall?

I know it's not going away, nor do I want it to, but maybe can they just, tone it down a little bit?

That's all.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

You're much more funny when you're making money

Since no one is paying attention here, I will say the truths...the mother fucking truths "You're much more funny when you're making money."

Oh, and another thing

Okay, I've admitted my blog sucks I'd like to add a non-sequiter:

How annoying is the Jim and Pam storyline on "The Office" right now? I mean it's been annoying for a while, what with their jilted love mumbo jumbo. But on the last episode we had a conflict involving Pam's parents breaking up because Jim told Pam's dad how he has never once questioned how much he wants to spend his life with Pam and that's what love is and blah blah blah. And Pam's dad realized he didn't really have movie/television love and dumped Pam's mom. And Pam was mad at first but then realized that she had movie/television/bad-pop-music love, and kissed Jim with all of the movie/television artifice this actress could muster.

Fourteen year old girls must have loved it. And Facebook probably lit up with "wall" postings. And since we have all collectively decided, as a world, that we are fourteen year old girls on Facebook, we smiled and sent flower and hug applications written by Ukrainian and Vietnamese identity thieves to our "friends".


Blog Silence

Hey, if anyone still reads this blog, my apologies. I guess I just have absolutely nothing to say right now. I've been in a weird paralysis due to the economy, unemployment, general shiftlessness, and anxiety about turning 40.

There have, however, been some excellent $5 and under bottles of wine at Trader Joe's and Warehouse Liquor on Broadway and Astor. I suggest everyone get down there and load up.