Thursday, May 31, 2007

George Bush: A Real Fucking Asshole*

The Washington Post reported today that George W. Bush is finally jumping on the environmental bandwagon. This is utter horseshit, and the guy that lives in the White House is not going to get a free pass from McBone just because he pays lip service to possibly the greatest calamity that humankind has ever faced. As I recall, he became president in 2000--when it was pretty well known that we had to start reducing the amount of poison we were pumping into the sky--and promptly refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol.
So, what exactly did he say? Oh, something about setting a long term goal by the end of 2008 to curb greenhouse gas emissions on an international scale. So basically the first thing he lets us know is that he plans on waiting until the very end of his presidency before even bothering to set a goal. In other words: let someone else deal with it, because I won't.
This fucking asshole spends 7 years catering to the energy industry and now we're supposed to swallow this tripe?** He spends 7 years alienating our international neighbors by balking at proposed emissions standards, and now we're supposed to believe he's leading some kind of environmental crusade? Sorry Mr. We-Need-To-Do-More-Research-On-Climate-Change, you have never cared about the environment, and you still don't. We are not fooled.
George Bush, you love fossil fuels. You are warring for them. You can't say things like: "We're the world's leader when it comes to figuring out new ways to power our economy and be good stewards of the environment," and expect to get away with it. Good stewards? The US produces 25% of the worlds carbon emissions!!! Piss off, Bush, and please die while you're at it.
McBone urges all McBoners out there to sign this petition from the Environmental Defense Action Fund if you're serious about stopping global warming. Time to stop talking about opening doors to beginning the process of setting goals. Let's get this done.
Oh boy, I am mad! Coming soon: More on how Bush has screwed the environment!
*McBone endorses the use of foul and defamatory language to describe George W. Bush.
**I like tripe.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cavs Even Series 2-2!

It's 5:35 AM in France, and the Cavs just beat the Pistons 91-87 in game four of the Eastern Conference Finals. The sun is coming up and I'm going to bed. No matter what happens now, even if the Cavs lose the next two games by 1,000 points, I will always have the following wonderful memories from this series:
1) LeBron James dunking in Rasheed Wallace's face in game 3:

2) Drew Gooden draining baseline jumpers over Rasheed Wallace in fourth quarter of game four.
3) Frustrated Rasheed Wallace flinging off sweaty, stinky jersey in tunnel after game four loss, and nailing unsuspecting, suit-wearing bystander:

4) Hating Rasheed Wallace.
Thanks, LeBron, Daniel Gibson (rookie scores 21 points off the bench!) and Drew Gooden for making game four one of the best basketball games I've ever watched.
It's not over yet. Can't wait for game five!
Go CAVS!!!
By the way, can someone please explain to me how Geraldo Rivera was allowed into the arena? Talk about bad luck.

Grand Opening: The Creation Museum!

How, how, how is it even possible that we are having this discussion in the year 2007? We are moving ever deeper into the 21st century and yet some people, a lot of people actually, refuse to let go of the good old days, the days before Darwin, before the enlightenment, before science made it possible to stop using the Book of Genesis to explain the existence of the universe. You know, those happy times we call the Dark Ages.

Yesterday, May 28th, the Creation Museum opened in Petersburg, Kentucky. The museum was founded on the principle that the universe was created by god in 6 days, as written in Genesis, approximately 6,000 years ago.

My brother equated this to believing in the Tooth Fairy. Pretty much, but I digress...

Most unbelievably, the museum asserts that dinosaurs and humans coinhabited the earth. They even have animatronic models to prove it! Check out this video, featuring Ken Ham, whose ministry, Answers in Genesis, was the driving force behind the museum's construction.

Dinosaurs! This is all so easy to ridicule, and it deserves to be ridiculed, but that's not the point this time, even if it definitely should and probably will be the point by the time I'm done writing this. Nor is it my purpose here to argue in favor of science. To my mind there is nothing to argue. Science is science and the bible is a collection of myths. I believe that people have the right to believe whatever they want, and I would fight to protect that right. I also think that if people want to throw their money away on a museum that propogates nonsense, there's not much anyone can do about it. But it is creepy, isn't it? And when creationists try to force a creationist belief system (or intelligent design or whatever b.s. name they're calling it today to trick us) into a science class in a public school system, that's when I draw the line on creepiness. Science class is for science. Beliefs are for church. Unless your theory stands up to the rigors of the scientific method, keep it out of the schoolroom.

State and federal legislatures have an obligation to maintain a separation of church and state, and that includes keeping religion out of public schools. I sure as hell don't want my hypothetical children attending a school where they learn that the Flintstones were historically and scientifically accurate.

I would also like to point out that not much intelligent design went into that one kid's hairstyle.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

You're Off the Hook, Jose Mesa

Chief Wahoo is smiling at me. Smirking actually, with that toothy, gloating grin and the bright, all-knowing gleam in his eye. If you’re a baseball fan you know him well: beakish nose, pronounced cheeks, skin an impossible shade of boiled lobster.

I’m still here, he’s saying. Still smiling. Smiling maybe, but he doesn’t make eye contact. His eyes dart off to the side. He’s shifty like that.

I remember summer days in the early eighties, an eight-year-old boy having come up I-77 from Akron to Cleveland to catch a meaningless Indians game in another, inevitable 68-win season. How glorious it was, just me and Dad and an afternoon of Andre Thornton, hot dogs slathered with that famous brown mustard, and a stadium that wasn’t big, it was oceanic.

To me, Municipal Stadium was never ugly, and it was certainly no mistake. To me it was big, brown and beautiful. I loved how a bird’s-eye view revealed its shape—a giant “C” for Cleveland. And how thrilling to pull into the parking lot and be greeted by the full-size, fully-uniformed Chief Wahoo perched atop the Cleveland Indians sign, smiling a smile of infinite baseball bliss.

How I loved him. Bat gripped tight, leg cocked, ready to send a Yankee fastball sailing over Lake Erie. I can still see the cleats on his shoes, and those pointed eyebrows raised high and sloping down dramatically. This one is crushed, he was thinking. I could imagine him rounding the bases, that single feather standing tall and proud.

I was probably ten when I realized how offensive he is. OK, maybe eleven. The point is: I wasn’t that old. I was considerably older when I put the pieces together and figured out why the Indians simply cannot win a World Series.

Do I believe in curses? Not at all. Not unless they’re sports-related. And I believe the Sports Gods are offended.

Chief Wahoo was born in 1946 (the early incarnation to the right was replaced by the modern Chief in 1950). In 1948 the Tribe won it all, handling a rival tribe, the Boston Braves, in six games. A vast desert lay between then and now, with only a few near misses providing any kind of oasis

So whose fault is it? The owners? Decades of penny-pinching and mismanagement definitely haven’t helped. The players? Sure, you can reason that Jose Mesa could have closed out the ’97 World Series if he hadn’t suddenly stopped trusting his fastball. But I believe there are more sinister forces behind this drought of six decades.

Consider that after ten years of prosperity the Indians began a precipitous downfall in the late 1950s. The Civil Rights Movement was in full swing. Political correctness was in its infancy, already working to tear down stereotypes. In 1954 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the desegregation of schools. Three years later, national guardsmen enforced it in Little Rock, Arkansas. More and more it was becoming unacceptable to differentiate people in terms of color.

With racism being countered, doesn’t it seem like the Cleveland Indians, somewhere along the line, might have taken the chance to phase out their own relic of discrimination? The warnings were there, in the newspapers, on the airwaves. You could hear them in the speeches of Dr. King and Malcolm X. You could see it in on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, where a seamstress refused to give up her seat. Later the warnings were in Watts, in Detroit. There sure as hell was a warning, and it was getting louder and louder.

Did we listen? Well, since that last championship, almost 60 years ago, Chief Wahoo can still be seen on the pitcher’s mound at Jacob’s Field. He’s still in the outfield, the batter’s box, the dugout, the stands. He can be found in the stadium’s souvenir shops, in malls, all over Ohio, the US, abroad. Look for him online—he’s there, floating out in cyberspace. Look hard enough and you can find him just about anywhere. For a price, you can have him too. Ah, and there’s the rub, isn’t it? Those hats, jerseys and pennants sell, don’t they?

Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking, and you have a point. The Indians in a way were ahead of the field in civil rights, at least in terms of American sports. In 1947 Larry Doby became the first black player in the American League. One year later, he helped the Tribe wipe out the all-white Braves in 6 games.

But racism and civil rights are more than just black and white, more than who sits where and who eats where and who goes to what school. It doesn’t take much knowledge of American history to know what kind of a deal Native Americans got. Any dope knows that they were here first, and that when the Europeans arrived, when the land was ripe for stealing and plundering, they stole and plundered. What did our native people end up with after all the robbing and killing? Not much. Somehow there is a whole demographic out there that is still routinely ignored, marginalized and, as Chief Wahoo demonstrates each season, made fun of.

But what about Larry Doby? As to that, the Hall of Famer himself once remarked that Wahoo reminded him of minstrel shows.

The Cleveland Indians is not a racist organization. Look at this year's roster and you’ll find whites, blacks, Latinos and Asians. But Chief Wahoo remains the single ugliest, tackiest, most cartoonishly offensive and, above all, racist logo in all of professional sports. His existence anywhere other than a museum is a slap in the face of any minority group that has ever struggled to gain equal footing with the privileged. Why, when other offensive logos have been phased out or, at the very least, changed to fit the times (see Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben), does he endure? Is he really necessary? Does he move so much merchandise that he is indispensible to the organization? If our ball club insists on calling itself the Indians, can't we at least come up with a symbol that does indeed honor those who were the victims of a centuries-long genocide? Can we not extend a single gracious gesture to a people we have spent hundreds of years oppressing by turning Chief Wahoo into a distant and dark memory? I’m willing to bet that, with the Indians having a solid team and popular players, a new logo would prove a financial boon.

The point is: a whole lot of courageous people went through a whole lot of crap to make the United States a less racist, more tolerant country for everyone to live in. I love my Indians. I hate Chief Wahoo. I would love nothing more than to see a victory parade in Cleveland after an October triumph. Until Chief Wahoo is given his walking papers, I don’t believe that is going to happen. Until he’s gone, until the curse is broken, until someone wipes that hateful smirk off the face of the organization, we don’t deserve it.


PS: Change the name, too.

Bob Dylan: Coolest Person in History

This video is just further proof that Bob Dylan is the coolest musician that ever lived. Go on, post a comment saying he can't sing. I dare you.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Morning After Pill

Is there a morning after pill for heartbreak? Anything that will help this sick feeling in my stomach? I watched my team fight, scratch and claw for 48 minutes last night with all odds stacked against them. In the end they came up short and once again I dealt with a sleepless night fighting off the urge to smash in someone's car windows.

It was not because I was left with the feeling that we were simply playing a superior team. Nor was it that I thought the Cavs did not play as hard as they could have. It was a familiar feeling for a Cleveland fan that simply we were screwed over once again. Lebron James was "mugged" as Hubie Brown put it and there is absolutely no excuse for not calling a foul in that situation. He has been beaten, hacked, pushed, held and smacked around in not only this series but the entire playoffs. He has received no calls. He goes to the hoop gets fouled and the officials refuse to call the obvious blatant hacks. Teams are fouling him on purpose because they know he will finish, (recently voted the best finisher in the NBA by the coaches) but yet they deliberately let him be abused. For all you IDIOTS that said he should have taken that last shot in game 1, last night is EXACTLY WHY HE DIDN'T! You think you are smarter than Lebron James? You think your basketball IQ is higher? He knows he isn't getting the foul calls and he went with a wide open shot instead of a contested floater with five guys hacking him. Have you ever shot a basketball with a 230 lb. human being hacking your arms? No you haven't and that is why you should shut the fuck up when you are talking about what he should or shouldn't do. Lebron knows more about playing the game of basketball than all of you dumb fucks combined.

Lebron James was fouled on that play and I don't care what any of you detractors say. I may be a homer, and actually I most certainly am, but I know basketball as well as anyone. I have played basketball for 22 out of 25 years in my life. I have officiated. I have coached and I have watched the Cavaliers since I can remember. I know a foul when I see one. You honestly believe Richard Hamilton can stop Lebron without fouling? He is 6'4 185 lbs. Lebron is 6'8" 250 lbs. and is the most skilled basketball player since Jordan. It is a complete joke.

Now I know some of you will say I am crazy. Here will be your arguments. Larry Hughes should have hit that 7 footer anyway. Yes he should have. The Cavs lost the game in the 3rd quarter by keeping in a lineup that did not match up well against the Pistons personnel. Yes that is true. The Pistons have a far superior head coach who put them in a position to win. Indeed Mike Brown is costing the Cavaliers big time in this series. You can't call a foul in that situation. I know this will be someone's argument and I won't even acknowledge that ridiculous statement. Other than to say that is what it is, ridiculous.

All of those things may be true but the fact remains that LBJ was fouled. A foul is a foul no matter what the circumstances. If you are hacked on the arm there is no grey area there. It is a foul. For reasons I will never truly understand, the NBA officials have decided not to respect Lebron. They have decided to let teams foul him in the post season and not call it. Is it because he is so strong and doesn't flop around when he gets hit? Is it because he can still get the ball to the rim after being mugged? Is it because the NBA is against anyone ever becoming greater than the legend of Michael Jordan? Or is it simply because he is from Cleveland? I don't have answers for any of those questions. All I have is the frustrations of watching another team lose a big game.

All bias aside I want everyone who watches basketball consistently to ask themselves one question. Look at yourself in the mirror and answer the question honestly even if you hate Cleveland. If that had been Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Michael Jordan or any other superstar for that matter, would that foul have been called?

The answer is yes. Please pull out game film from the Miami Heat's playoff run last year and my point will be proved.

For all you Cavalier fans out there looking for a light at the end of the tunnel. Although it appears the Pistons will be allowed to man-handle the Cavaliers, this series is not over. They still have to come into our house and play in front of our fans. This arena will be the loudest venue that have played in all year. Sunday night in this arena the Pistons are going to find out what a playoff croud is supposed to be like. The fans will rejuvinate our bruised and beaten warriors lifting them to a statement victory. The Cavaliers are the better team in my mind. We have outplayed them all series. A few bad breaks, terrible officiating and coaching mistakes have cost us. Luckily a seven game series is just that. Seven games. This isn't over.

If nothing else you have to believe. Otherwise what are we left with other than anger and dispair. Just remember, Michael Jordan and the Bulls lost to the Pistons three times before finally beating them in a playoff series. This is a process and we are right on the brink of becoming what Cleveland has been dreaming about for decades. A champion.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Make or Break Time for the Cavaliers.

As the hour approaches of what could be the biggest game in Cavaliers history, many thoughts have passed through my mind. Will this be the night one of my Cleveland teams finally breaks through for an important win? Are the Cavaliers as good as I think they are, or is just the overwhelming bias I have for Cleveland teams talking?The answers to those questions will be realized very soon but one fact remains true: I want the Cavs to win so bad tonight that it hurts inside. The pain I will feel if the wine and gold loses tonight will rival that of losing a family member, breaking up with that first true love, or that vicious throbbing pain when you hit your head on the corner of a table.

As I sit at my desk struggling to focus on anything other than the epic battle at hand this evening; I wonder what it would feel like the next morning if one of my teams actually wins a game of this magnitude. Some of you might say this is only game 2 and there is plenty of basketball to play. Others might argue if the Cavs take them to 6 or 7 games it will have been a successful season. Maybe, but I say I am ready for one of my teams to win a big series RIGHT NOW. Not next year, not the year after and not 40 years from now when I have sports fanatic children of my own. I have earned the right to see the Cavs win this series. I don't care if they lose in the finals 4-0. A win against the Pistons would do so much for this city, for the organization and for the psychological health of all those diehard fans out there.

So please, please Lebron, I implore you to do this for me and everyone else out there who feels the way I do right now. Throw it in the faces of all these idiots who doubt your ability to become the greatest. I know you have an uphill battle ahead of you and the pressure on your shoulders is enormous. Keep playing your brand of basketball and trust your teammates. You and I know this is the only way for this team to win.

The Cavs could do something special in the next week and it starts with winning tonight. Dan Gilbert has asked everyone out there to "Rise Up" and support the Cavaliers in their journey through the playoffs. One team, one city and one goal. Pour a martini, put on your cavaliers colors and LETS GET A FUCKING WIN!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

You Know What, Seda Moon? Whatever!

Fine. Whatever. I don't really even care anymore, Seda Moon Bowler Tunick. If you prefer Uncle Jeff to Uncle Nate, that's a-okay with me. I'm over it. I really am.
Because by now it's pretty clear who you like better, and you know what? That's your prerogative, dude. I'm not going to lose any sleep over it, and I'm not going to waste my time groveling to someone who couldn't give a flying f---. Pardon my French, but did you plan on ever learning my name? Or was this crap going to go on forever? I mean, I can take a joke as well as anyone, but did you ever hear the expression "enough is enough?" Apparently not.
I mean, is it really that funny? Is it some kind of hilarious gag to you, or do you really not know my name? Either way I find it pretty insulting that you keep calling me "Jeff." It's so obvious to everyone else that Jeff and I are completely different people. Why can't you seem to get it? My guess is that you do get it, and you just can't be bothered to acknowledge me. If that is the case, I wash my hands of it. You remain my niece, but I'm done sucking up, honey. If any ass-kissing is going to be done, it's you who is going to be doing the smooching, not me, so pucker up, sweetheart.
And now that your sister Isla Sun has been born, I don't have to worry about it anymore. I'm sure she'll be perfectly happy to have an uncle like me, an uncle named Nate. That's NATE! As in N-A-T-E. How do you like that, kid? Huh? Not so funny now, is it, Miss The-World-Loves-Me-Because-I'm-An-Only-Child? No, those days are long gone, and I, for one, say good riddance.
So go ahead, you little so-and-so. Keep calling me Jeff. Call me Jeff till the cows come home, for all I care. I'm past it, on to bigger and better things. You won't catch me complaining ever again. I'm not jealous and I sure as hell am not bitter. Nope. You'll get no such satisfaction from me.
Uncle Not Jeff!!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Forget Terrorism and Focus on the Real Threat!

WMDs, Orange Alerts, Duct Tape, Homeland Security, preemptive attacks, Iraq-Al Quada, yellowcake uranium, "the world changed after 9/11," and so on. Is it just me, or does this administration come off as the slickest, slimiest type of used car salesman? I mean, how did they do it? How did they convice the vast ocean of red that is heartland America that it was time to batten down the hatches? Protect your family! they warned. An attack is imminent. Stock up on supplies: bottled water and, that true saver of lives, rolls of plastic sheeting.

Don't get me wrong. I had front row seats to the deadliest attack in U.S. history, so I'm not dismissing terrorism. I'm simply suggesting there is a far greater problem out there, and with this one the States can't take the typical, worn out "us vs. the world" attitude that has so endeared us to our international neighbors.

You guessed it: I'm talkin' global climate change. It's real and the United States, responsible for 25% of the world's total carbon emissions, is Public Enemy No. 1. Yes, there are still doubters and denyers out there, though this is a shrinking minority, and, yes, the auto and energy industries continue paying our politicians to ignore the problem, but pretty much anyone with a grain of sense would be disturbed by the city-sized sheets of ice that are regularly sliding off our polar caps.

Now, there are a lot of reasons why George W. Bush is a complete motherfucker, many of which have already been highlighted by McBone, but his assault on our natural world is perhaps the most heinous act of evil since taking office in 2000. And his wrongdoing goes far beyond his refusal to acknowledge climate change. He has actively sought to roll back environmental protections that have been in place since the 70s! So how is any of this going to change? Everyone knows he is in bed with the energy industry, that he is an oil man himself. Nothing is going to change until he is out of office.

Fortunatly there are activists working to reverse trends that make us fight immoral wars and keep us pumping poison into the air. Some of the more obscure names include:

Former Vice President Al Gore. Since having the election stolen from him, the world's biggest environmental superstar (I will refrain from calling him the Michael Jackson of global warming) has been working ceaselessly to raise awareness of climate change, and that is exactly what is happening. His film, An Inconvenient Truth, has transformed a somewhat abstract threat into award-winning pop culture. This is no whim for Gore. He has been working to curb greenhouse gas emissions since the 1970s!

Former President Bill Clinton. The ex-pres has jumped on the bandwagon, leading a movement to make buildings in the world's largest cities more energy efficient. Yes, he could have done more as president, a lot more, but better late than never (sorry Bill, still not voting for Hillary in the primary).

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. The leader of Americas biggest big city (and the city that was attacked by terrorists, incidentally) is making sweeping transportation changes to make New York greener. The city's fleet of gas-guzzling taxis will be replaced within five years by hybrid vehicles. By the way, Bloomberg is a billionaire republican, if you're still thinking that environmentalists all smell like patchouli.

Environmental catastrophe is a real threat, and denouncing and dismissing activists is not going to make it go away. This problem is a cancer that threatens every life (and not just human life) on the planet in a way that makes terrorism seem like a bad rash by comparison. Fortunately, it is a challenge that can be a true galvanizing force. By taking the lead in curbing greenhouse emissions, the U.S. can go a long way in repairing its international reputation.

So, what can we do as individuals? Start by supporting a candidate who is committed to this issue (run, Al, run!). Let's get these negligent, oilmongering bastards out of office and get to work. Then, spend some time on the climatecrisis website. Find out how much carbon your household produces per year and how to reduce your own carbon footprint. The site also provides easy ways to add your voice to the issue.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Sun Has Come Out!

The sun came up early Sunday morning New York--3:00 AM to be exact. McBone would like to welcome the latest member of the McBone community, Isla Sun Bowler Tunick, to life outside the womb. After nine long, agonizing, excruciating months of unimaginable pain, otherwise known as pregnancy, McBone sister Krystl, without the use of painkillers, jettisoned her eight pound load into the world, where she was received by big sister Seda Moon, daddy Spencer, grandmothers Jean and Patty, and grandpa Mike. Now safely home, Isla is reportedly sleeping between periodic milk binges. By all accounts she is healthy and defect-free.
Official baby statistics (McBone certified) as compared to the actual sun:
Isla Sun
Length: 22 in.
Weight: 8 lb. 1 oz.
Actual sun
Diameter: 865,000 mi.
Weight: 4,400,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 lb.
Isla, your uncle Nate would like you to know that, while I love you unconditionally, respect must be earned, and it could be decades before I ever come to really trust you. However, considering that you lack the ability to talk or walk or even hold your head up, I am willing to give you a free pass until the age of three. Just remember, as of now you've got absolutely no street cred.
No, for real though, Isla, you know I'm just jiving you. I love you like crazy, even from way over here in France. Sure hope I can meet you soon, baby girl!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Nate Bowler's Eastern Conference Finals Preview!

Right, then. The Cavs have done exactly as they were supposed to, and if you check back, they did exactly as I predicted in beating the Nets four games to two (McBone knows basketball). So now we are treated to a serious postseason series in the east, a rematch of last year's second round, when the Pistons squeaked by the Cavs in seven.

This year you can expect more of the same: a lot of close, low-scoring, grind it out games from two defense-first teams. If you are a real basketball fan, you know this is the kind of b-ball that gets you deep into the playoffs. Unfortunately, I think the Piston's more sophisticated offense is going to be the difference maker here, and my official prediction is Pistons in seven games. However, I would like to point out that I think the Cavs, who have the best player on the floor in LeBron James, could prove me and many of the experts at ESPN wrong. Remember, the Pistons won only three more games than the Cavs this season. Naturally the home court advantage in a series like this is a big factor, just as it was last year, when the Cavs were stuffed in Detroit after frittering away game six in Cleveland.
Keys to the Cavs winning this series: obviously they need to maintain their defensive intensity. This shouldn't be difficult, with the Cavs are playing perhaps the best defense in the history of the franchise. Still, the Pistons have many more weapons than the Nets, so the Cavs have their work cut out for them. On offense, the Cavs need more of what we saw in game six of the semi-finals. More passing, more lineup changes, and more of LeBron attacking the defense. Look for Larry Hughes to be more aggressive too, or else you can expect to see more of Daniel Gibson and Damon Jones, who can at least stroke the jumpers that Hughes has been clanging. Overall, more Cavaliers getting touches will keep the Pistons honest.
Cavs X-factor 1: Age. The Pistons have a lot of dinosaurs on this team, lot of creaky knees slowing them down, especially in the frontcourt. It was a huge factor last year in the ECFs against Miami, when Detroit has nothing left in the tank after the semis.
Cavs X-factor 2: No Ben Wallace. Chris Webber is infinitely softer on D than Wallace was, which should make things easier for Z in terms of hitting the offensive glass and scoring.
Player by player analysis:
PG: Larry Hughes vs. Chauncey Billups. Last year the Cavs did a good job exposing Billups' weakness: driving to the hoop. Larry can't give him any seams to shoot his clutch jumper. On defense, Larry can't let Billups off the hook by taking and missing a lot of jumpers. Take him off the dribble! Advantage: Billups.
SG: Sasha Pavlovic vs. Richard Hamilton. Sasha is going to get a real test here, a much bigger test than Vince Carter was. Hamilton is constant motion and is one of the craftiest scorers in the league. Sasha needs to keep his eye on him at all times. Advantage: Hamilton.
SF: LeBron James vs. Tayshaun Prince. Tayshaun has been one of the more successful players in the league at guarding LeBron, although LeBron seems to have solved him in more recent times. LeBron must again be aware of all the help defense he is going to be seeing. If he stays intense, Prince will not be a scoring threat. Advantage: LeBron.
PF: Drew Gooden vs. Rasheed Wallace. Drew needs to keep Wallace from killing the Cavs with three pointers, as he has done so many times before. Be active and aggressive on the boards and try to get Wallace into foul trouble, or better, technical foul trouble. If Gooden uses his energy, he can take advantage of Wallace's age. Advantage: even.
C: Zydrunas Ilgauskas vs. Chris Webber. This matchup could be Cavs' ace in the hole. Webber's career is one playoff meltdown after another. At this point Z is the better scorer and rebounder, though Webber's true strength is his passing. Advantage: even.
Bench: Cavs have the true 6th man of the year in Anderson Varejao. Pistons counter with Antonio McDyess, who has killed the Cavs. Cavs shooters include the three "Ds" Daniel Gibson, Damon Jones and Donyell Marshall, all of whom can get hot at any time. Pistons have only the ancient Lindsey Hunter to bomb off the bench. Otherwise, Carlos Delfino and Ronald Murray are the only other non-starters getting more than 10 MPG in the playoffs. This bench, also featuring Dale Davis is old and unimpressive. On the other hand, look for Eric Snow to really ground the Cavs' offense at times. Advantage: Cavs.
Coach: Mike Brown has had a lot of early success, and this series will be the biggest one yet. Has a team of scorers convinced they should play defense first. He must prove he can improvise on offense as he did in game 6 against New Jersey. Flip Saunders has proven nothing with a crew that had been to the finals twice before he arrived. Still, these are two competent coaches who will be well-prepared. Advantage: even.
In the West: With the runners and gunners duly eliminated, two real teams remain standing in the west. While I respect coach Sloan and believe he has a lot of talent on his roster, the Spurs' experience is going to prevail in this one. Spurs win 4-2.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Wal-Mart and Election '08

Ok, by now there remains little doubt that Wal-Mart is one of America's truly evil corporations. The nation's largest retailer employs hundreds of thousands of workers at rock-bottom wages, sells products manufactured in overseas sweatshops**, avoids providing insurance to its hourly employees, and, at all costs, squashes any and all traces of union activity when it sprouts up weed-like in Wal-Mart's garden of exploitation.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Blah, blah, we know. What's this got to do with the election?
Did you know that Hillary Clinton served on Wal-Mart's board of directors from 1986-1992? Well, she did, and you can read all about it in the New York Times. What's more, at the time she was the only woman serving on the 15 person board.
Now what the hell are we supposed to do with this?
OK, Let's try to work through it. My gut tells me that this is another reason to not vote for Hillary in the democratic primary. I HATE Wal-Mart and what it's done to local economies and small retailers across the U.S. Why, I ask myself, would Hillary, a career democrat and Arkansas' first lady at the time, associate herself with a company with such, shall we say, dubious labor practices?
But, of course, it would be too easy (christ, politics are so god-damned dirty) to just condemn her. So I'll control my emotions for a second and look at the bigger picture. So Hillary was on the board of directors of a company that makes no effort to conceal its contempt for its bottom rung employees. Didn't this give her ample opportunity to stick her nose in and try to clean things up? This is no handful of minimum wage earners trying to organize; this is the governor's wife in a real position of influence.
So, who and what did she champion? First and foremost it seems she pushed to have more women hired at the management level. That's great, even if it seems her success was modest at best. After that? There was an effort to make stores more eco-friendly that can be traced right back to Hillary's tenure. Can't argue with that, either.
And yet, yet, where was HRC when the hourly workers needed an advocate? Silent. Why? One could argue that there was only so much she could do, that, being a singular voice in a deeply conservative company, she had to pick her fights. Perhaps labor was too big a bite to take at the time. Perhaps she had to set realistic goals for herself while she had this rare opportunity to initiate change.
But still, if she had to join these vultures, doesn't it seem like she could have done a bit more? I'm not talking about a major overhaul of the company here, but what about health care, for example? This is an issue dear to Clinton's heart. It must have at least bugged her a little that she was being paid $15,000 per annum by a company that would prefer its most vital component--the people who actually work in the stores--live without insurance.
I say she picked the wrong fight, and I find it curious that Hillary, at least according to the Times, is distancing herself from Wal-Mart, even returning campaign donations. I think if I sparked even slight reforms in such a backward corporation, I might put it on my resume. Does this mean the senator feels she should have done more in six years on the board, or is she finally embracing a hardline stance against borderline slave-drivers by treating them like the plague they are?
Who knows? However, in my quest to find the least dirty candidate out there, I'm gonna say that this is a strike against the former first lady, and it nudges her back another notch in earning my endorsement.
PS: The $15,000 that she earned was for roughly 4 meetings per year. How much do you think a cashier earns working full-time? Considerably less, I can assure you.
**There was an video feature in today's NY Times (5/24/07) in which Nicholas Kristof debunks some American notions (mine included) of working conditions in Chinese factories.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Mikki Moore Must Die!

Is anyone else here sick of Mikki Moore? Are you as tired as I am of seeing him pop uncontested 18-foot jumpers and throwing down dunks when a Jason Kidd or Vince Carter pass finds him utterly alone in the paint? Drew Gooden, Mikki Moore is your man! How can it be that this journeyman, playing for his seventh team in nine seasons, a career 5.5 point scorer, is picking you apart? In games one and two, you utterly destroyed him. He may have thrown in a few shots, but what you did to him on the boards was nothing less than humiliating. What the hell has happened since then? Sure, he has a couple of inches on you, but your extra 20 pounds of muscle and your superior athleticism should be making short work of this walking popsicle stick. Instead, he has neutralized your rebounding (just over 7 per game over the last three compared to a hearty 14 in games one and two) and taken you completely out of your offensive rhythm. Meanwhile, he is shooting an outrageous 62% from the floor, compared to your measley 39%.

Drew! We Cavs fans forgive your occasional sleepwalking sessions during the regular season, but this is not acceptable in the playoffs. Snap out of it, and show us the monster who can take over a game on both ends of the court--you know, the power forward we saw against Washington. Give LeBron and Z a hand on offense, and please, for god's sake, spare us seeing Mikki Moore's stupid grin as he throws down another two handed slam. Tonight you can send Moore and his fans home unhappy. Let's polish off the Nets so the real playoffs can begin.

Are you listening Anderson Varejao? I'm talking to you too.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Corruption of Our Youth

The following mayonnaise propaganda reminds us of the many dangers lurking within seemingly wholesome American households:

Notice how the younger sibling imitates big brother's every move. He makes his sandwich exactly the same way, right down to the last critical moment when the offending condiment is applied (notice too the sheer quantity of mayo that is plopped--not spread--onto the sandwich). The message: children are impressionable, so get them hooked early. Hundred of our precious innocents are corrupted this way every day, and millions have already developed a dependency that only years of counseling and abstinence can correct. The damage done by this thirty second commercial cannot be calculated.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wake Up Larry Hughes!

Larry Hughes owes one to Cleveland. He should give every cent back to every fan who came to the Q hoping to watch the Cavs beat the Nets to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Instead, loyal Clevelanders were treated to a 3-17 shooting performance by our starting point guard and a 83-72 loss. Seven points, four assists, three rebounds, two turnovers, one missed free throw attempt, in forty minutes of play. When your "second best player," your point guard no less, is shooting one free throw in an elimination playoff game, something is seriously wrong. "I laid an egg," Hughes said. Quite right, Larry. Everyone else seems to know you are not a jump shooter. Why can't you figure it out? The Larry Hughes I remember was a guy who slashed and attacked and caused problems on both ends of the court, often against the Cavs. Wake up and get yourself to the line!
And then there is the defense that Hughes played on Jason Kidd. Kidd is a notorious bricklayer, and in New Jersey's three losses, Hughes has forced him to be just that. Last night's effort, however, was nothing less than atrocious, with Kidd scoring 20 on 8 of 14 shooting. In the Nets' two wins, Kidd has swished 16 of 26 shots. In three losses? Try a rim-rattling 10 of 33.
But there is plenty of blame to go around. Drew Gooden took the night off. His bizarre replacement, the beached whale that Donyell Marshall has become, is so fat that he apparently can't dunk anymore or even jump. He shot 0-7, missing many layups, and none of the shots were even close. LeBron decided to attack in earnest only in the fourth quarter. To be fair though, LeBron set up his running mate Hughes with one open jumper after the other. If Hughes had made just a couple more shots, kept the Nets just a bit more honest...
And you, Mike Brown, you're not getting off the hook. The Cavs lost by 11 in spite of giving up 6, that's SIX, points to New Jersey in the fourth quarter. Had they applied any defense in the third quarter as well, the series would be over. I said before this game started that the Cavs might benefit from an extra pass or two. Today, the Akron Beacon Journal's Terry Pluto echoed that sentiment in his column. Mike Brown's offense is now nonexistent. This is a team with too many gifted scorers to be notching 72 points in any game. Find a way to get open shots for Gibson, Gooden, Z and Pavlovic. These guys all can score in bunches. And where the hell is Damon Jones when you need some offense? Why not get him a look or two when the shots aren't falling?
Let's be serious though. This one is on Larry. Everyone, including Hughes himself, knows that he has to give his team more if they want to get into the next round.
N8's Random Notes:
Joe Tait celebrated his 70th birthday last night. He has been with the Cavs since the very beginning. He was watched more bad basketball in his life than anyone in the universe. As a reward, he got to call last night's debacle. Happy birthday Joe!
I think Lawrence Franks is a hell of a coach to get this crew into the playoffs, let alone the second round, because they really suck. Their "big three" is pretty much a myth, as far as I can see. Jason Kidd could carry a high school team into the postseason. Imagine him on the Cavs.
Eric Snow's hustle at the end of this game showed me a lot. His willingness to attack on offense was refreshing, even if the results weren't spectacular.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Toodles, Jerry!

The Reverend Jerry Falwell (1933-2007), founder of the Thomas Road Baptist Church and Liberty University, passed away yesterday in Lynchburg, Virginia. Reverend Falwell dies without ever having been named or nominated for McBone's Hero of the Week Award. It is safe to say that his death will not garner any postmortem recognition from the committee.
Some of the most beloved people in my life are gay. How could I possibly be sad that this intolerant boob is pushing up daisies? Can't say I appreciate his support of Bush, either. Or of Bush Senior. Or of Reagan. Unfortunately, Falwell's children are already positioned to continue spreading his anti-gay, anti-semite, anti-muslim brand of gospel.

A vintage exchange between Falwell and friend Pat Robertson, broadcast shortly after 9/11. Enjoy!

I Forgive You, Eric Snow

I'm guilty. I've been bashing Eric Snow all season. It's easy to do if you watch him play day in and day out. He slows the offense, misses wide-open jumpshots and routinely gets beaten off the dribble by quicker guards. I still believe a better point guard would have been worth about ten extra wins this season. No disrespect of course. This guy has had a hell of a career. He was the starting point guard on an NBA finals team and is a 12-year vet. Most nights, though, it looks high time for him to make the transition to the coaching staff.
But there is one thing that Snow still does better than anyone else on the Cavs, and that is defend the post play. Did you watch last night's 87-85 game 3 victory over the Nets? Did you see Vince Carter trying to back Snow down in the Nets' final possession? He might as well have been trying to back down Mount McKinley. When Carter realised he wasn't getting any nearer the basket as the clocked ticked down, he panicked and dribbled the ball out of bounds. Game over.
So, this McBone Post is for you Eric Snow. You made the stop of the game and have put the Nets in 3-games-to-1 hole I don't think they can climb out of. That makes up for a lot of bad basketball this season.
N8's Random Notes
Don't be fooled by Mikki Moore's 25 point game, or the fact that he led the league in field-goal percentage. There's a reason nobody guards this guy, and it's not because he's a potent offensive force. With the Cavs leaning heavily on Kidd, Carter and Jefferson all game, Moore was left alone most of the time for easy dunks and wide-open jumpers. Still, it was frustrating to watch this scrub pile up points.
I'm sure I'll get burned for this later on, but it's hard to believe now that Vince Carter was ever considered Jordan's heir-apparent. Everything from game to guts to effort throughout his career has been a far cry. I hate players that give less than 100% because they don't like the team they're on (see Chris Webber). Carter should still be a Raptor.
I'd love to see Cavs make an extra pass or two on most possessions, especially down the stretch when it's been LeBron and Larry firing contested 18-23 foot jumpers late in the shot clock and usually missing.
Somebody is going to kill Anderson Varejao someday. He's the closest thing to Dennis Rodman in the league right now, driving opponents nuts.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Ben and Dick

Just two quick things that recently made me puke my guts out: Pope Benedict's visit to Brazil, and Dick Cheney's trip to Baghdad.
The Pope spent much of his trip, his first visit to the Americas, railing against Marxism and Capitalism. Fine. Whatever. Go for it.
Perhaps slightly more problematic is what he had to say about the evils of abortion and, for crying out loud, contraception. Laws that legalize these practices, he said in a nutshell, threaten the future of mankind. So our problem, in other words, is not overpopulation, but underpopulation.

Is this man out of his mind?!? Exactly how many impoverished children does he think will be too many before he changes his mind about...OK, he's not going to advocate a woman's right to choose anytime soon, or ever, but CONTRACEPTION? Jesus H. Christ, if he's playing that "we must people the earth" card, I've got news for him: it's peopled--6.5 billion and counting. And he was right there in Brazil, where there's no shortage of the things.

Maybe next time the cardinals will see fit to elect someone willing to make reforms to a hopelessly antiquated stance, someone slightly younger and with a more modern perspective, preferably someone too young to remember the industrial revolution.
Then there is Cheney, who has been doing his part in controlling the world population. I don't have much to say about the draft-dodger's surpise pop in, except the obvious. How dare this lying mass-murderer show his face to the troops? How dare he talk to them? How dare he touch them? Still waiting for that one last heart attack to rid us of this bastard.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Yes, This is Our Brother-in-Law

As the years go by I find that I begin to take for granted that I have a brother-in-law who is known around the world for taking nude photos of thousands of people. For me it has become less about numbers and more about the installation itself and what he's doing with his (to me) three mediums: the human body, city landscapes, and a camera. From time to time, however, Spencer does something that really snaps me out of it, like when he gets 7,000 people in Barcelona to disrobe in 2003, or the 2,700 he got to pose for him in Cleveland in 2004. The beautiful thing is not the record-breaking, but that, in doing something that is unprecedented in history, so many people get to participate in a unique creative process and vision.

I was eating lunch with two of my colleagues at school the other day when one of them suddenly remembered seeing something about Spencer in the news. Something about 18,000 people in Mexico City, and did I know anything about it? No, I did not, I answered, thinking she must be wrong, that it must be 1,800. Of course I should have known better.
So, the real trick is not getting 18,000 people together. Concerts and sporting events routinely attract that many people and more. But to get 18,000 people to disrobe in public is something else. This week, I'm going to let the number amaze me.
Click here for further reading in English and in French. Also take a look at Spencer's website.

Friday, May 11, 2007

What Do These Men Have in Common?

Don't let this happen again!

I know what you're thinking. You're pissed off, and with good reason. Believe me, It really gets my goat too that Rutherford B. Hayes won the presidency in 1874, in spite of the fact that Samuel J. Tilden won the popular vote by a whopping 250,000 votes. I'm only slightly less angry that George W. Bush won the presidency 126 years later, even though Al Gore received 543,816 more votes.

Why do these circumstances always fall in the republicans' favor?
The electoral college is a centuries-old slap in the face. It says to the American public that it is not competent to select its own president. The election of 2000 represented the 4th time that the majority of american voters was thwarted by a minority of politicians. There are now over 300,000,000 people living in the United States. Why do only 538 of them get to cast a direct vote for president? I believe the electoral college suppresses the strength of third parties and shifts a candidate's focus to winning important states rather than individual votes. I urge all McBoners out there to take a look at The National Initiative for Democracy, Senator Mike Gravel's proposal to put lawmaking power into the hands of the people. Getting rid of the electoral college is just one of the many perks that could be realized if enough people support this grass-roots initiative.
P.S. Apologies to the 19th president for comparing him to Bush.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

What the Hell, Why not Gravel?

Is anyone else sick of this shit? How have we gotten to this point? How did the U.S. become a nation run by corporations, churches and homophobic, dogmatic, warmongering politicians? Why are politicians having to scare people into voting for them? How did these neocons manage to trick people in Nebraska into being afraid of Muslims? And did last year's shift in power really constitute a real shift? Is there any difference between the two parties anymore? Let's see who the democrats are trotting out this time. Right, I get it: on the surface, they seem to be a refreshing batch. A woman, a relative upstart from the south, and that rare black man without the title "reverend" attached to his name.

Would it be cool to have a black president? Sure, if he's a good black president. I want to root for Barack Obama, is the thing. But listen to him. Doesn't he sound like just another glossy politician? Actually he sounds almost like a hypnotist after listening to George Bush struggle with subject-verb agreement for 6 years. Where does he stand? people ask. Well, read his goddam website. He stands pretty close to the center (although I salute the recent tongue lashing he gave Detroit automakers). And Hillary? Christ! She voted for the war! And can't we spend just one presidential term without a Bush or Clinton in office? John Edwards? Already seems like a retread, doesn't he? He also voted for the war. Joe Biden? Voted for the war. Chris Dodd? Voted for the war.

There is a maddening tendency for candidates who stray away from the center to be instantly labeled an eccentric or a wacko. People treat Dennis Kucinich like he's some sort of circus attraction, as if his sole purpose in politics is to amuse us. Does anyone actually pay attention to this man? To me he seems about as eccentric as a jug of milk. He supports gay marriage? WOW! Only some sort of wingnut would want these sexual deviants to have equal rights. He wants to clean up the environment? Well what kind of wack-a-doodle-do would want to breathe clean air and drink uncontaminated water and make sure the earth remains inhabitable? Then there is my new favorite: Mike Gravel. I cannot claim to have been aware of this man until a couple of months ago, when I was reviewing the list of Democratic candidates. Even then, when I read it was his goal to empower the public, I gave him little thought. No name recognition. No chance to win.

Mike Gravel has no chance to win. Is this why he is able to speak his mind? Of course. He is the bizarro candidate who truly wants to empower be influenced by the U.S. citizenry. Yes, he got a little riled at the debates a couple of weeks ago. Good! Thank god. Who wouldn't be riled? I've been riled for the past 6 years, waiting for my outrage (I sure as hell am not the only one) to be represented in our government. Show me some real outrage, because that is what is needed in times like this, when we have a mass-murderering dumbass oil baron zealot running the show. Check out the video below (I know I'm a bit tardy), and then check out Mike Gravel's website. He and Kucinich are the only candidates who stand adequately left of center for my taste.
Do you like what you read about Mike Gravel? Do you think an active lawmaking citizenry is a good idea? Think getting rid of the electoral college, in light of who won the majority vote in 2000, is a really, really good idea? Well, take a look at the website for the National Initiative for Democracy.

Voting for John Kerry in '04 felt like an act of desperation. It just seems so inevitable that it will happen again. I still wish Al Gore would enter the race. This angry message felt good to write, thank you.

The NOML fully supports candidate Mike Gravel, but regrets that he shaved off his moustache.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Cavs in the Second Round!

I have to admit, this series frightens me. Yes, I see the obvious: a Cavs team that won 50 games and a New Jersey squad that had to scramble just to be .500 and make the playoffs. The Cavs have so many advantages over this team, including depth, post play and, of course, LeBron.

So why does this series, one that the Cavs should sweep, scare me? Well, for starters there is Jason Kidd. He is playing the best ball of his career, averaging a triple double for the playoffs so far. He has been to the finals twice and is veteran winner. Another factor is Vince Carter. I hate Vince, primarily because he couldn't be bothered to play hard for the Toronto Raptors. He is one of the most underachieving talents in recent NBA history. That aside, VC always seems to kill the Cavs. He hits impossible shots against us and seems to save his best for when the wine and gold are on the same court. Then there is Richard Jefferson. I can't decide if this guy is really good or if he just plain sucks. The Nets seem to go as Jefferson goes, so I have to hope that LeBron will continue to humiliate him like he did the last time they matched up.

My prediction: Cavs win in six. My logical mind is going to win out over my trepidations. With Nenad Krstic out, the Nets will have no answer for Z. Two of their starters are career scrubs in Mikki Moore and Jason Collins. The bench features hot-shooting Bostjan Nachbar and little else. They should be run out of the playoffs in four, but I will give them two Kidd-fueled victories.

Position by position analysis:

PG: Larry Hughes vs. Jason Kidd. Larry will have his hands full containing Jason Kidd, and vice-versa. Both are streaky shooters. Larry is the better scorer, but Kidd is the superior ball handler. Both rebound well at the guard spot. Advantage: Kidd.

SG: Sasha Pavlovic vs. Vince Carter. Obviously, this is a major challenge for Sasha, in spite of his superior size. Vince will get his points, but Sasha must be physical with him and be active on offense. Make Vince work, which he doesn't like to do, especially in the playoffs. Exploit the fact that Vince is not a champion. Advantage: Carter.

SF: LeBron James vs. Richard Jefferson. LeBron is better than Jefferson at everything. He is even way better looking. LeBron must react wisely to double, triple and quadruple teams. Advantage: LeBron.

PF: Drew Gooden vs. Mikki Moore. Moore is a journeyman, scrappy type player who has no business starting on a playoff team. Shoots for a high percentage because he only shoots when he can't miss. If Drew brings his energy, he will destroy Moore. Advantage: Drew.

C: Zydrunas Ilgauskas vs. Jason Collins. The only thing Collins does well is be tall, and he is 2 inches shorter than Z. Can't shoot or defend. Second biggest mismatch in Cav's favor. Z must exploit a player who is only out there to take up space. Advantage: Z.

Bench: Cavs bench brings shooting: Daniel Gibson, defense and hustle: Andeson Varejao, and, ugh, Eric Snow. New Jersey brings a shooter named Nachbar and that is it. Complete band of no-name scrubs. Advantage: Cavs.

Other series around the NBA:

Chicago vs. Detroit: Detroit 4-3. The Bulls rely too much on jump shooting, though
the Pistons rely on Webber, who is a playoff meltdown or injury waiting to happen.

Phoenix vs. San Antonio: Spurs 4-1. The Suns are a great regular season team. Watch those 124 - 110 victories vanish into thin air against a real team.

Utah vs. Golden State: Utah 4-2. Battle of coaching that I believe Sloan wins over Nellie. Plus the Warriors have the decided disadvantage of depending on Stephen Jackson, who somehow managed to get ejected from TWO first round games.

P.S. I have very lovely memories of the Cavs beating the Nets in the playoffs twice in the early nineties. That's when the Nets had the biggest asshole team in the NBA, featuring Derrick Coleman (taught Webber how to underachieve), Kenny Anderson and the late Drazen Petrovich. Brad Daugherty annihilated them.


Friday, May 4, 2007

Welcome to Falling Rock National Park!

Hello friends. If you're anything like me, you love comic strips. I'm not talking about the shitty ones like Garfield, Beetle Bailey or, worst of the worst, Family Circus. No, I'm talking actual, funny comics, the ones that make you laugh. Or better yet, make you laugh and think. The Far Side, Doonesbury, Get Fuzzy, This Modern World and Calvin and Hobbes are more along the line of what I'm talking about, and so is Welcome to Falling Rock National Park.
McBone is proud to give a McBone shout-out to Josh Shalek, creator of the daily strip, Welcome to Falling Rock National Park. I first met Josh when we were both slumming at the Boulder, Colorado Barnes and Noble, and, seeing that we shared so many common interests (pirates, robots and radioactive spiders to name a few), we formed a fast friendship. It was then that he introduced me to his strip, The Family Monster. I loved it, and have been a devoted reader of his work ever since.

The Family Monster has since been retired, but with WFRNP Josh has taken his art to new heights. WFRNP takes place on a national park in the American west and revolves around the adventures of five characters: Ernesto, an abnormally large lizard who wears a baseball jersey; Carver, a grumpy, self-righteous owl; Melissa, a sometimes vicious but more often languid mountain lion; Pam, a chain-smoking, retired school teacher javelina; and Dee, the park ranger (if you are familiar with Josh's work, you know Dee quite well already).

WFRNP is philosophical, political, poignant, irreverent, absurd and always funny. It pokes fun at all things in life that take themselves too seriously. There are guest characters (one of Josh's most effective trademarks), improbable situations and wonderfully drawn characters and desert landscapes. Perhaps his greatest talent as a cartoonist, though, is that his strip is never repetitive and always pushing its own boundaries.
But enough of what I think. Check out the two strips I've posted here (just click on the image to enlarge), and then spend a while on Josh's website. I suggest visiting his archive and reading a couple of week's worth of strips. Get to know the characters and the park and afterwards you too will be wondering why, when there are artists like this out there, must we put up retreads like Hagar the Horrible, Blondie and Hi and Lois, day after day after day.


Thursday, May 3, 2007

McBone Recipe of the Month: Eggs Benedict!

Holy Christ, this eggs benedict turned out great! So great that I feel compelled to share the recipe with you. For two servings you will need:

Good ciabatta bread, 4 slices. Don't skimp here. Good bread, I have learned, makes good eggs benedict. Why waste all the effort and ingredients on some crummy, soggy Thomas' English Muffin? 4 slices of Canadian bacon or nice, thick-sliced ham. 4 eggs to poach. A little butter. For the hollandaise sauce: 4 egg yolks. 1 lemon. A stick of salted butter. Salt.

Toast the ciabatta bread in butter on the stove. So much better like that. Fry Canadian bacon or ham. Bring water to a gentle boil and poach eggs. DO NOT HARDEN YOLKS, for mercy's sake, just don't. If you do, feed ruined eggs to the dog.

For the hollandaise: I have found over 2.6 billion hollandaise sauce recipes, most of them with the word "easy" attached to them, but the only way to make hollandaise is to practice over and over until you are comfortable. It's so easy to make, yet so easy to screw up. However, here is my favorite easy-ish recipe that doesn't involve cheating with a blender: bring water in double boiler to a rolling boil. Melt a stick of butter. Squeeze in juice from lemon. Beat egg yolks and add to boiler. REMOVE FROM HEAT OR EGG WILL CURDLE. Stir until it thickens. Don't stop stirring. Add a teaspoon of boiling water. You are still stirring. Add salt to taste. Delicious. Pour over waiting ciabatta, ham and eggs. Wanna garnish? Parsley and a dash of cayenne or paprika is nice. Now eat before it gets cold! Die from pleasure. You will not lose weight with this high cholesterol* dish. Best devoured with a mimosa made with equal parts champagne and freshly-squeezed orange juice.

Good luck! As always, McBone welcomes questions and comments about our recipes.

*McBone endorses the consumption of cholesterol.