Thursday, June 28, 2007

Friday Porn: who knew John Steigerwald was so buff?


A little something for the ladies. It's John Steigerwald, current outgoing KDKA sports anchor. Twenty-six years after filming this awesome commercial, Steigey still sports the pornstache.

I've been using my time off from work productively, watching dozens of clips from Pittsburgh news yesteryear. Of all the promos displaying good humor, this Steigey montage was the most recent. 1981, people.

There's no jocularity in the modern news promo. Now, it's always weather and sanctimony.

Gravely-voiced announcer says: "Channel Four's DeNardo Weather Center uses the most advanced Doppler radar system in Pittsburgh. Channel Four's Doppler radar has recorded twelve kills in 2007. And Don Schwenneker's penis is twice as large as any other meteorologist's in the region. Just ask his wife [picture of hot wife]. Tune in at five o'clock for Don and the rest of the Channel Four news team, a-holes."

Listen, station director. You want to play up your civic pride and appeal to the hearts of Pittsburghers? Fine. Show off your precious news vans and your 50-person editorial department? I get it. It's a company scene like the first ditty in a musical. But is it too much to ask to show a little personality? May I suggest an act similar to this one, between golden era anchors Don Cannon and Paul Long?

Ah, to be inspired by Pittsburgh again. I have a deep fealty with my younger self when I watch this promo for the WPXI Nightbeat. Intense orchestral music coupled with steamy shots of Pittsburgh street life. Where did my innocence go?

Oh, and if anyone is pining for their acid-addled college days, watch this one. It's been outlawed in Japan. Too many child seizures. I'd like to have have a contest with this video. Please identify the figures in the comments. Person who correctly identifies the most characters will win a free case of Arn.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This Week in POG


Pittsburgh's anarchists - the dirtiest, smelliest and most nappy-headed in the Land of the Great Satan - will gather for a summer washing annual picnic at Schenley Park on Sunday, July 1. It's a potluck so be sure to bring your favorite anarchist dish.

According to the POG web site, the picnic will be a glorious celebration of corporate oppression and political imperialism, replete with merrymaking and grilling of tofu dogs. Sign me up now for Pin the Tail on the American Protectorate!

Last week, Pittsburgh's gay / lesbian / etc crowd gathered downtown to dress up like Paris Hilton and dance-out to Laura Branigan. The POGs, however, chose to turn Pridefest into another Bitchfest. From the POG web site: More and more, the debate arises whether or not queer people belong in the military and whether or not they not they should be allowed to serve openly. What is always left out of the discussion is the question of whether or not the military should exist. Why should queer people, an oppressed segment of society, go to fight and kill other oppressed people for the greater benefit of corporations and politicians?
There's nothing delusional or preposterous about the America-last crowd.

And our dear friend at the Yinsurrectionary Times has linked to us under "short fiction." Thanks, buddy! For terrifically lugubrious short fiction infused with "intellectual snobbiness" and dyspeptic remarks on Marxism, may I suggest this guy?

Doug-Out

Doug Shields is no fan of Luke Ravenstahl. The one-time Bobby O chief of staff was assumed a pal of Baby Luke; both being children of Pittsburgh's old-school politics. But not so. This of course isn't new news; ever since boy Mayor sent a catty e-mail to Shields', and Shields responded by putting a dead mouse in Ravenstahl's locker.

This week, Shields threw a wrench in Ravenstahl's plans to promote a couple of wife beaters into high-ranking roles in the City's police force. Have no doubts, gentle reader... Keeping this embarrassing in the news is a serious black eye for the boy-mayor.

Follow this up with Shields' consent amendment to the City Charter forcing Baby Luke to bring his temps before City Council. Ravenstahl asked for the resignation of 10 department heads, leaving open the possibility of limitless tenures for several temps. (Nota Bene: George Specter cited Scottish Common Law to show that he doesn't need to resign)

Nothing big, given, but this sort of nattering could portend bigger conflicts to come. Wait until something contentious comes along...

Monday, June 25, 2007

But what does Christopher Hitchens think of Islam?


Although no one on the eastern shore of the pond seems to care, we continue to follow the fallout of Salman Rushdie's knighthood [bonus: pic of Salman's babelicious wife at right]. And what would our facile commentary be without hearing from America's leading essayist/surly drunkard Christopher Hitchens?

Hitchens recently appeared on Britian's Question Time. Per usual, he wasted no time insulting a fellow panelist and the audience. Jump ahead to the one-minute juncture to hear MP Shirley Williams condemn the knighthood. At 1:45, hear Hitchens' rejoinder. Keep watching to hear Christopher's brother, Peter, say how this row has been blown out of proportion by both sides. Bombs away! [If the video begins at 9+ minutes, scroll ahead to 8:40 to hear Williams, 7:40 to hear Hitchy]



Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Sopranos Parroty

Saw this last weekend during the series against the White Sox. Much better than the Clinton campaign spoof. The PG has a story about the making of the final episode of The Parrot. Loyal Pirate fans will remember when the sixth inning tee-shirt toss was introduced by a video spoof of the opening credit scene of the Sopranos. The Parrot would drive around the city and pass notable buildings (I don't recall a cigar) to the tune of A3's "Woke Up This Morning." At the end of the song, the Parrot would pop the trunk and grab a bazooka.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Great Hive

Also, in case any of my friends are still reading the Darn News, I launched The Great Hive and my blog at www.thegreathive.com.

I'm eventually going to do a Group Reddit type thing, but for now it's just my egocentric blog.

Chef Claudio - Master of Pittsburgh Catering

Many of you here at the Darn News are familiar with Chef Claudio, master of Pittsburgh catering. I would like to announce the opening of Claudio's website, where he has lots of videos and recipes.

If you are ever in need of event-planning or catering in Pittsburgh, he's your guy.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A daily reminder that Islam begins with a capital 'I'. An 'I' for "Insane"


Happy Birthday, Salman Rushdie. Now it's time for you to DIE.

From The Times of London:

Eighteen years after the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to kill him, a government minister in Pakistan said yesterday that Rushdie’s recent knighthood justified suicide bombing...

Ijaz-ul-Haq, the Religious Affairs Minister, told the assembly in Islamabad that the award of the knighthood excused suicide bombing. “If somebody has to attack by strapping bombs to his body to protect the honour of the Prophet then it is justified,” he said.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Arafat's Gift

After all the fun filled POG bashing of yesterday, thought I'd retrench and write something slightly more meaningful. Not too hard a task, really. An overturned Port-A-John at Frick Park or jailing of Paris Hilton is of more consequence than the half-wit antics of POG, but I digress.

While the President of the United States spent the last four days staving off a meaningless vote of no confidence for his equally meaningless drinkin' buddy Al Gonzo, Lebanon broke into wider civil disorder and the Gaza strip fell to Hamas. Freedom is on the march... or something.

It would be hard to envision a more disastrous decade in Middle East history in terms of American interests and basic human rights. Hamas immediately imposed Shir'a Law, and started the typical procedures necessary to ensure a permanently failed state. Though more significant ideals and futures fell today, this collapse of control came mainly at the expense of Fatah.

Remember the Camp David Summt in 2000, where Slick Willy Clinton convinced Ehud Barack to create a Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza. Remember Yasser Arafat's principled stance against permanent peace; something about East Jerusalem being in Jewish hands. Witness now Yasser Arafat's gift to the Palestinian people; indefinite strife and radical Islam. Sadly, whether it be peace or 27 square miles of antiques and tourist traps, Palestine gets neither.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Attack of the Killer POG's


(From POG's a POG-sympathizer website): Local coffee shop opened by well meaning couple looking to spruce up abandoned building is actually a beachhead for rich white folks! To the ramparts, whitey is coming!!!

Who knew the left had a Joe McCarthy? Better question, wonder if the Black community knows about its' self-anointed protector, the POG, acting as the vanguard against economic progress?

Yeah, that's right you hippie jackasses, economic progress. I'm really hard-pressed to figure out how you sniveling bastards have the nerve to say that black communities shouldn't have coffee shops, or theatre, or art, or groceries, or anything. I understand your desire to get back at daddy Warbucks for your cul-du-sac childhood and college education, but why do you have to do it by keeping poor communities poor?

"Where will the poor live if they're chased out of Garfield?" Give me a break... when was the last time you've been in Garfield? 20% of the housing stock is vacant, and the average house sells for pocket change. There's plenty of affordable housing to go around in a dying city like Pittsburgh. Better question, why is it imperative to keep poor communities poor? Why is it so important to you to make sure that hipsters can't get a cup of coffee with a work-a-day Joe from Garfield. Or is your version of progress a stagnant ghetto, forever poor, forever segregated.

Bill Peduto can be a progressive, and liberal, and oppose you. After all, your version of a liberal quotes Lucy Parsons, whose maniac rants are the same that rally facist crackpots to arms in the streets of Gaza and Sadr City.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What's on tap, barkeep? Christ's blood...Mohammed's urine...Eh, I'll just have a beer.

Enjoy eternal damnation, infidels...

This post is not the early edition of Friday Porn, but another reminder how batshit crazy the faith of Islam is. The International Herald Tribune reports that an Egyptian religious scholar issued a fatwa stating a man could overcome his faith's objections to working alongside a woman through...breast-feeding. This decree is one of thousands issued every month by Muslim clerics, some of whom use fatwas to bridge the gap between the Islam and modernity, others to govern the daily behavior of their flock through strict literal interpretations of the Koran (i.e. martyrdom killings of non-believers, children, and innocents; subjugation of women, etc).

The IHT reporter also interviews Grand Mufti, the alternately progressive/retrograde scholar who decreed six years ago that Mohammed's disciples blessed themselves by drinking his urine. Mufti later said his fatwa was an interpretation not meant to encourage piss-drinking.

The breast-feeding opinion was roundly criticized and mocked by pundits - and its author eventually recanted his ruling - but this incident is just another example of Islam's bizarre occult rituals. Their religious leaders have created a backwards society that trails the rest of the world in human rights, personal freedom, and basic dignity.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Jeff Reed: Pittsburgh's Chia Pet


Steeler placekicker Jeff Reed has left the reservation. Check out these photos of Jeff clubbin' it. Might be time to mow your lawn, Jeff. I also found a blog dedicated to the douchebag dego who hooks up with hot chicks. After viewing pics of lascivious women wrapped around spiked-hair jackasses, you'll either laugh your ass off or cry hopelessly.

You may remember the tawdry incident when Jeff sent one lucky woman a photograph hinting at his monstrous junk. Enjoy, yunzers.

[Hat tip: Deadspin]

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Friday Porn: the Early Edition [Brandi Engel]


The very fetching Yunzer Skank of the Week: Brandi Engel

Here it is, pedophiles. The never-duplicated, often imitated Darn News' soft-core teen porn. Today's hottie is Brandi Engel, a future Hollywood starlet who hails from Mt. Lebanon and stars in the soon-to-be canceled premiering mini-series, Kill Point, on Spike TV.

I recently heard Ms. Engel (age 18, I believe) on the X Morning Show with Tim Benz. The beguiling Brandi deftly deflected the lascivious questions of Mr. Benz, an amusing troll-like libertine who used to smart it up with Mark Madden but now must make the funnies for the illiterate, angstified VAN-wearing teenager. Keep it smart, Benzy. It suits you.

So DN readers, you heard it here first. Off the record. On the Q.T. And very *hush * hush *

We're trying to be equal-opportunity offenders. So here's something for the ladies.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Stan the Man takes dahn Dan's Plan


Judge Stan Wettick might be accused of overreach; today, he issued a blanket judgment declaring all baseline assessments Statewide Unconstitutional. In his 94 page tome, Wettick's ruling puts in stark relief the absurdity of taxing property in the first place. Though Judge Stan's jurisdiction doesn't extend beyond Allegheny County, his wide-ranging judgment means Dan Onorato can't use his 'good for Westmoreland, good for me' argument any longer.

Brief history for those interested... we only tax property because Victorian taxation systems weren't sophisticated enough to fairly tax based on wealth. Consider it the first graduated income tax. If Henry Frick wants a 345 acre palace in Point Breeze, he'll cough up more coin than his hunkie employees living in rowhouses on the Southside.

Progressive, no? Well, we've been filing W2's since WWI, perhaps it's time for local government to get on board. Wettick declaring all baseline systems Unconstitutional may set up a Statewide challenge to baseline property tax systems, if the STOP people are cagey enough to cash in on this judgment. Unlike pressing Statewide concerns like smoking in bars, though, the State may not have the appetite to sort this mess out.