Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My Chance to be a Moron

I'm still amazed that people are falling for the African monarch/ businessman/ dung magnate e-mail scam that involves promises of millions in exchange for thousands of dollars up front.

Hell, Chris Hansen of Dateline NBC did an entire show about the sham.

But then you get an e-mail.

And a day later you get another one.

The first was from Koffi Rowlis. The second from Francis Annan. This isn't the first time I've received these, but to have two in quick succession - not to mention Francis Annan sent me a reminder a day or two later - was a bit disconcerting. Am I on some sucker scam list? Or have the Ghanayans just now gotten around to the RMcL's of the alphabet.

Either way, here's the message for anyone wanting to part with their riches. Damn it, someone help this poor bank manager.

  • From Koffi Rowlis
    TEL: +233 242182422
    Greetings to you,
    Before I introduce myself, I wish to inform you that this letter is not a hoax mail and I urge you to treat it serious. This letter must come to you as a big surprise, but I believe it is only a day that people meet and become great friends and business partners.

    My name is Koffi Rowlis, the present branch Manager of a bank here in Ghana. I write you this proposal in good faith, believing that I can trust you with the information I am about to reveal to you. Like I said, I have a transaction that will benefit both of us, as your assistance is required as a foreigner.

    I use to head the Accounts department in my bank head office, but last December I was asked to take position of a Manager of our branch in Kumasi who passed on, so that was how I became the present Manager and discovered a fortune. As I resumed duty, I discovered an account with total sum of $12,500,000(Twelve Miliion Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars)that has not been operated on for the past 4 years. From my investigation, I found out that this account belongs to one Late Mr. ANDREAS SCHRANNER a German great industrialist and a resident of Munich, who unfortunately lost his life along with his entire famillies in the plane crash of CONCORDE AIRLINE [Flight AF4590 ] which crashed on 25TH JULY, 2000. You shall read more news about the crash on visiting this site, which I got during my investigation;

    The account is escrow call account, a secret type of account in my bank and no other person knows about this account or any thing concerning it, the account has no other beneficiary. I have kept a close monitoring of the account since then and nobody has come forward to ask about the money as next of kin to the late Mr. Andreas Schranner, meaning that no one is aware of the account. I cannot directly take out this money without the help of a foreigner and that is why I am contacting you for an assistance to claim the funds and share it with me. As the Manager of my bank branch, I have the power to influence the release of the funds to any foreigner that comes up as the next of kin to the account, with the correct information concerning the account, which I shall give you.

    I am seeking your co-operation to present you as the next of kin to the account, so that my bank head quarters will release the funds to you. There is practically no risk involved, the transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of law. If you accept to work with me, I want you to state how you wish us to share the funds in percentage, so that both parties will be satisfied.

    Contact me as soon as you receive this message if you feel we can work together, so we can go over the details. Thanking you in advance and may God bless you. Please, treat with utmost confidentiality. I wait your urgent response. My phone number is +233 242182422 .

    Regards, Koffi Rowlis

These things exist for one reason - people are still f*cking dumb enough to fall for it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Where have you gone, Brian Bosworth and Ali MacGraw?

I've come to the conclusion that being unemployed is not fun. There are a couple hours each day when you can do whatever you like, but the rest of the day is spent wasting time, applying for jobs that you don't even want, and subsequently getting upset when you can't even get an interview for a job you don't want in the first place. It leaves you with plenty of time in the middle of the day to walk around downtown amongst the other unemployed in the city after the 24-hour news cycles have driven you from your apartment. Thus far, the highlight of my April was last weekend, when a friend offered me an extra ticket to see Kurt Vonnegut speak in Indy at the end of the month. Needless to say, my excitement was short lived.

When you don't have a job, you find yourself watching quite a bit more daytime TV. Today, during one of the rare breaks from the round-the-clock guesswork and hypothesizing coming out of Blacksburg, a CNN anchor casually mentioned that Iraq had one of its deadliest days today. This wasn't making me feel any better, and I started to wonder what it would take for troops to ever be able to get out of the Gulf. (I remember visiting the Gulf for work nearly three years ago and foolishly thinking that the soldiers I met would be home within months. I suppose time really flies when your engaged in a military clusterf*ck.)

Suddenly this morning it hit me. I know why this war isn't over. There hasn't been a theme song!

How is this possible? Operation Desert Storm had a shorter run than I'm From Rolling Stone, yet it inspired the brilliantly horrendous "Voices That Care" movement (also known as the retarded stepchild to USA For Africa.) USA For Africa was able to recruit names like Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Perry, and Jeffrey Osbourne. Voices That Care, on the other hand, was stuck with B-list counterparts Ralph Tresvant, Peter Cetera, Michael Bolton, Kenny G, and...Jeffrey Osbourne (seems that he and Kenny Rogers can't get enough of terrible benefit songs.)

I've watched this video 5 times consecutively this morning, and it hasn't grown old yet.

There's really almost too much to discuss when it comes to great moments within the video, but these are a few of my favorites:
  • Bobby Brown!
  • Nelson (referenced last year in my favorite videos post)!
  • Dominique Wilkins and Ahmad Rashad singing from a basketball court while looking like the star performers in a POW video!
  • Will Smith's insane jacket!
  • The super-random half-second shot of Wayne Gretzky at an undisclosed location!
  • Mike Tyson!
  • Mike Tyson's sweater!
  • The fact that some executive said "We need Jon Lovitz for this song!"
  • Gary Busey!
  • The guy singing at the end that nobody knows!
  • And also, once again, Gary f'ing Busey!
So the gauntlet has been thrown down - this war needs a benefit song! Fergie can spell out something insipid. Beyonce and Christina Aguilera can out-shriek each other. Kanye West can act indignant. John Mayer can whip out the constipated guitar-playing face. Conor Oberst can ramble and scream. And it goes without saying that Bono would put the whole thing together to show how important he is to the world and keep maximizing his face time. Let's make it happen, people.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

It's Oh So Plagiarized

Time for this week's music video update!!

First, I take you back in time, to 1995. Michael Jordan had just returned to the Bulls after awkwardly playing baseball, the WB network made its debut, paving the way for Dawson's Creek and The Wayans Bros., and Bjork released this video, reflecting the joy America was feeling, directed by Spike Jonze:

There's so much to love about this video. Jonze's slow-mo verses and real time chorus is spot-on, the sets and costumes are right out of a Broadway musical (the only other place that delivery men are that happy, and I dare you to put a dancing mailbox in a music video and have it not be awesome.

Well, apparently Feist shares my admiration. You may remember Feist from such bands as Broken Social Scene or the single from her solo album, "Mushaboom." Here's the video for her latest single, "1 2 3 4."

Alright. Same bleak intro contrasting with the color and energy of the rest of the video. Same haircut. Same crane shots. But I don't want to label this video a complete rip-off. I mean, though they both end with the focus completely on the singer, Feist's video is somehow able to hide all of the dancers behind her small frame. That's sort of cool. And it is one continuous 3-minute shot, which is always impressive, but haven't we seen that somewhere else?

Maybe it's Patrick Daughters, "1 2 3 4"'s director, that should watch his back. I just checked out the video he directed for the aforementioned "Mushaboom." Once again, it's the same fucking video!!!! And while I think both Spike Jonze and Wes Anderson have grounds for kicking his ass, Daughters better keep his eye out for a petite Icelandic woman. When Bjork hears about this, it's not gonna be pretty!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

God Gene Keady is my Co-Pilot

Purdue basketball coach Matt Painter and the man he replaced, Gene Keady, were each to give an address at the Easter Seals Crossroads luncheon in Indianapolis. Thank God, Gene Keady knows where the hell he's going.

Painter admitted in a phone interview from his car to WNDE's John Michael - with Keady riding shotgun - that he was slightly confused between the Hyatt and the Westin in downtown Indianapolis. Painter noted that he took the wrong MLK exit, but luckily enough Keady knew Indianapolis well and set Painter back on the straight and narrow.

Two interesting points about babe-in-the-woods Painter's little downtown adventure:
  • Coming south on I-65 from West Lafayette to Indianapolis there are two exits onto MLK, the first one is familiar to anyone who's seen Chris Rock's stand-up act, and the second exit two miles ahead is a bit closer to downtown proper - or propa! Painter must have taken the first exit.
  • Painter should be a bit more acquainted with the Westin. It's the same hotel that houses the NCAA Selection Committee, the same committee that put Painter's Boilermakers back into the tournament this season after a few years drought.

Again, you've got to hand it to Coach Keady for getting them to the luncheon on time for the Q & A with people doing the excellent work that is the hallmark of Easter Seals. And from Painter's remarks, it seems Keady has known for some time about Painter's abilities.

In a response detailing the 'Boiler Way,' Painter pointed out Keady's recipe for success back when Painter was tossing assists to Glenn Robinson.

“Coach Keady had the Boiler Way,’’ Painter said. “Go to class, do what you’re supposed and throw the ball to Glenn.’’

Painter does have one of the best recruiting classes in the country coming in after a well-received turnaround year. But Painter will have to give credit for today's turnaround to the slickback - over -around - under - and - through - haired legend Gene Keady.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Joe Tiller Hates You and Your Bullshit Blogs

That moustachioed man - the one on the right - is Purdue football coach Joe Tiller. He's fond of a spread offense, a defense built on speed, pocket passers and players who don't let 5' 2" 170lb women stab them in the chest.

He hates your blog though.

In response to what can categorically be called a bad week - one player stabbed, another picking up a DUI and subsequently being linked to the stabbing incident, team members not too forthcoming with evidence or guilt, and general low morale - Tiller has closed all spring practices and most likely all fall practices to the media.

Asked for an explanation, Tiller noted, "I'm tired of blogging and guys talking about our practices, and postings, and all that bullshit. All's it is is more problems than it is value."

At first I was hurt. Coach Tiller, didn't our hug mean anything? Yet, I've got to give it to Tiller. He's pulling in the reins on a team with tons of potential yet precariously at a tipping point that might end in disaster. Oh, and he skillfully avoiding bringing up the eBay or the internets.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Not Bad for a Bunch of Guys with Names like Tubby, Thad, Bo and Izzo

I'm sure the Big Ten Wonk could do a better job of this, but with the recent jostling of head coaches the Big Ten has given itself quite the coaching staff, especially when you look at the most recent post-season play.

Here's a run down of the 2007 post-season for next year's staff.
  • Thad Matta, Ohio State - #1 seed, took the Buckeys to the national championship game
  • Todd Lickliter, Iowa - took #5 seed Butler to the Sweet Sixteen
  • Bo Ryan, Wisconsin - #2 seed, advanced to the second round
  • Matt Painter, Purdue - #9 seed, advanced to the second round
  • Kelvin Sampson, Indiana - #7 seed, advanced to the second round
  • Tom Izzo, Michigan St. - #9 seed, advanced to the second round
  • Tubby Smith, Minnesota - took #8 seed Kentucky to the second round
  • John Beilein, Michigan - won the NIT with West F*ckin' Virginia
  • Bruce Weber, Illinois - #12 seed, eliminated first round

So there you have it. All nine coaches in the Big Ten will enter next season coming off of post-season play and eight of those had post-season wins.

Eleven what? Oh, yeah, them.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

You May Want to Get Your Things Together

From the "I Told You So" desk comes the news that an earthquake triggered a tsunami near the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

The Solomon Islands - which include Guadalcanal, site of a vicious WWII battle - were hit with a 10 ft. wall of water early Monday morning (as I live and breathe, it's not even Monday where I am. That's early).

I know you're thinking, "What's this tsunami have to do with me and my everlasting soul?" Well, as noted earlier, some nut predicted that a tidal wave would smack into the eastern seaboard of the United States on April 1, 2007 and thereby unleash a global cleansing of non-believers.

So, the tsunami turned out to be a few thousands miles and a couple oceans away, but it did nail a country most recently a British protectorate...sound familiar? Okay, maybe the prophesy was a tad off.

Currently four people are missing and smiting statistics are still inconclusive. Say a prayer just in case.