Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ban County Council and other nebby forms of government

That august body, the Allegheny County Council, would like to ban smoking in all public areas, including taverns and restaurants. I hope our council representatives not succumb to such effrontery of American freedom.

Not only would they ban smoking inside, but also within 15 feet of entrances. Given that the South Side is one giant bar with 100+ entrances, it could be impossible to smoke. Walking down the sidewalk with a bog between your lips could earn you a $250 fine.

As a young man-about-town, I do enjoy partaking in the region's nightlife. And while not a smoker myself, I respect the innkeeper's right to decide whether to permit such a vile habit in his/her establishment. The smoke-encrusted clothes and hair is a small price to pay after an evening out, especially when weighed against the hours of enjoyment one has when sharing a few brewski's with his pals.

The people agree with me. Smoking is neither wise nor glamourous in today's society, but it's a personal choice that everyone from the patron to the barmaid makes when visiting/working in a smoking venue.

It will be a sad day in Pittsburgh, Penna, the city with the well-deserved reputation as the 'Smoky City' when such freedom is restricted.

Write your councilman, Americans. Crush this communism now!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Nerds for Charlie Batch

Bench Big Ben Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh's a blue-collar town that doesn't take too kindly to some hot-shot quarterback who becomes too big for his britches. Big Ben mistook ego for invincibility.

No helmet, says Ben.

No rest with a 104-degree temperature, says Ben.

No open receiver, says Ben.


I say that Big Ben can take his showmanship and shove it. We don't need no stinkin' South Side Dandy quarterbackin' this hard-nosed football club. Get lost, Ben.

There's only one quarterback on the defending Super Bowl champs who is undefeated this year. And he just happens to be from Pittsburgh. Here we go, Charlie, here we go.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Band Much More Talented Than Yours Drops Yet Another Album

Hardcore prog rockers The Mars Volta released their latest wall of sound and fury, "Amputechture," last Tuesday. It's great. Forget the haters on Amazon -- go buy it and make that cute record-store clerk in the Drive Like Jehu T-shirt notice you, finally.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Oriana Fallaci Dies

A good writer and a great polemicist is dead. Who's gonnna ridicule organized religion now that Fallaci's no more? Oh, right.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Morning rant: Does American Eagle suck?

The clothier who turned damaged jeans into high fashion for high school has a new idea sure to make you vomit. American Eagle Outfitters (AeCo) is launching a new hip and trendy "experience" that will provide the young adult who eschews knee-length polo shirts and rugbywear in favor of clothes that are actually comfortable and form-fitting.

Say hello to Martin + Osa.

In giving the store its appellation, AeCo followed the retail industry's annoying penchant for naming stores after people you've never heard of. According to AeCo, Martin and Osa Johnson were husband and wife team from Kansas that liked to travel in a rugged, explorer kind of way. Whatever.

Thankfully, Martin + Osa can be converted into an acronym that reminds the 25-40 crowd of other stores they like to visit, such as H&M. Score one for the clever marketing hacks at AECo.

A NYT reporter recently sat with the husband-wife team that designed MO.

My theorem: personal taste changes with age. The 25+ crowd is looking for designer duds they can wear to the club of the office. If it's going to be expensive, it's going to sharp-looking. Fashionistas Michele and Charles Martin at AeCo, however, believes my generation wants cashmere tee shirts and $120 hoodies.

A brief recap of the major flaws of M+O based on my reading of this story and hatred for all things mall-related:

1. Michele and Charles assumed that their target market once shopped at those style-less stores like Abercrombie and American Eagle.

The message to consumers ages 25 to 40 could not be clearer: It'’s time to grow up.

"“We don't want them to throw out those old clothes," said Mr. artin, dressed in a crisp blue blazer, a brown tie and pair of jeans, "“but we want to upgrade them."

"Upgrade them?" Shut up.

2. These morons assume that the 25+ something crowd still shops there.
Those stores [American Eagle, Abercrombie, Pacific Sunwear?] have become a default shopping destination because style-conscious consumers in their late 20’s and 30s tend to avoid department stores (like Macy's), do not identify with baby boomer retail brands (like Chico's) and, until now, have had no store to call their own.

I've mever met someone in the 20+ crowd who has a penny of disposable income or a pound of fashion-sense that would even walk into one of these awful dungeons of haberdashery. Granted, my friends are all aging hipsters, ne'er do-wells, and angry young urbanites, but my point still stands. These stores never sold anything but sex and conformity.

3. And the proof that this husband-wife team is mentally disturbed:
"“We are going after a customer whose closet is overflowing," said Ms. Martin, who shortly after entering a room for an interview asks if she can turn on mood-setting music. "“She does not need a T-shirt. She needs an experience."