Give us our Garmonbozia!!!!!!!!


I could give a flying fuck-all who the goddamn Carver is, where he she or it is, what he she it is carving, and whether he she it is observing proper sanitary procedures.

But I do care about the Extended Edition of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.  Read about it here, and sign the petition to get it released here.


The Onion wrote a story about me.

Might as well be about me, anyway. 

Dope Just Galumphing Where Life Takes Him

December 14, 2005 | Issue 41•5

Another day in the life of directionless oaf Jeff Koegle.

SPIRIT LAKE, IA—On an ordinary day, amiable dim-bulb Jeff Koegle wanders into many places: his den, the bowling alley, maybe the local Spee-D-Kustard, which is only a three-block dawdle from his house. For as long as anyone in Spirit Lake can remember, this burly goof has schlepped along the road of life with neither purpose nor reason.

"I like to whistle sometimes when I'm going along," Koegle said. "Or maybe hum a tune that was on the radio last place I was."

Koegle added: "Once, I heard a meow outside by the dumpster by Hardy's. It was a box of kitties. They let me keep one. I named him Yellow."

In his 34 years, Koegle has plodded his way through high school, two homes, an eight-year marriage, a series of mindless jobs, and the occasional boat show. The easily distracted boob has left no lasting legacy, save for an occasional knocked-over cup or upset magazine rack.

"I accidentally slapped a guy's soda out of his hand in line at the movies once," Koegle said. "Now he's a good friend."

Koegle's aimless blunderings occasionally trigger major developments in his life, which isn't saying much, because if it weren't for sheer happenstance, he would have no experiences at all.

"Once, when I was getting off the bus, I saw some little TVs in the window of a store," said Koegle, his doughy mitts hanging limply at his sides. "I went into the store, and I had a nice chat with a salesgal, and she asked me out on a date. Now that gal's my wife."

Longtime friends and associates say Koegle's oafish good cheer is as constant as his characteristic outfit: a sweatshirt, jeans, and a Salem windbreaker.

"Sometimes Jeff will come by, hang out for a bit," said friend Dan Werner, who graduated from high school with Koegle in 1989. "We'll maybe watch hockey or go get a bite to eat if one of us is hungry. After a while, he'll say, 'Well, guess I ought to get going,' and he'll take off."

Local merchant Evan Rasmussen Jr., proprietor of Rasmussen Dime & Drug, sold Koegle gum throughout the '90s.

"[The lummox] wouldn't come in with any regularity, but once in a while he'd amble through," Rasmussen said. "When he'd grab the gum from the display, he'd muss up all the other packets of gum on the rack. I would always have to straighten them out after he left."

Eventually, Rasmussen asked Koegle to straighten the gum himself. Koegle has been working at Rasmussen Dime & Drug ever since.

Koegle's wife Jeannette, 30, shared a more intimate view of the shambling clod.

"Yesterday during breakfast, I told Jeff to try taking charge of his life more, because I know he has it in him to make it happen," Jeannette said. "I could tell he was considering what I said, but then he seemed to forget all about it when the potato pancakes were served."

At home on his recliner, Koegle said he is "just fine with" his directionless life. He added that he "pretty much fell into it."

"I guess I wouldn't mind working a few more hours at Rasmussen's here and there, but Jeannette and me are doing fine," Koegle said. "My cousin Jerry [Morris] wants us to move out to Wisconsin and work with him at the window-blind factory that's always hiring, and I think that might be nice, but to be honest, I don't give it a lot of serious thought."

Minutes after this confession, Koegle was fast asleep.

At the close of another day, the stumblebum once again failed to conceive of a single quest, great or small. Yellow in his lap, he remained on the recliner through the night, his unconscious mind doubtlessly dancing with images of found sawbucks and crab apples.

© Copyright 2005, Onion, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Onion is not intended for readers under 18 years of age.


The Greatest



What they meant by "Kill Your Idols"

These are not my idols. I once admired them, but then I found out that my parent's generational idols and ideals need not be my own. These people must be stopped, for their and our own good:

Billy Joel.

John Mellencamp.

Eric Clapton.

James Taylor.

Mike Love.

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watt, and whatsisname.

The list is endless.

These people will not go away, and frankly I bet they wish they could. I've seen Eric Clapton on TV commercials lately, but I'd be hard pressed to hum a few bars of his latest "tune." In fact, I'd be hard pressed to point out one truly significant, transcendent, or magnificent moment from this man's entire career since the dissolution of Cream. "Tears In Heaven," I guess. Yeah, it is transcendent, in fact, but christ, the man's kid fell out of a twenty-story window.

I just saw Billy Joel on Conan O'Brien, and it was one of the truly sad moments I've ever witnessed. Here's one of the most successful recording artists in history, pushing a "career-spanning box set" that, poor guy, has to compete with a three-volume greatest hits set that already exists. At one point he would have commanded the entire show, but tonight he got second billing to, umm, I don't remember who, although who was on only ten minutes ago...but anyway here's Billy Joel, more known these days for crashing ridiculously expensive and fetishisticly rare collector cars whilst hopped up on sleeping pills than he is for crooning "bottle of reds, bottle of whites." And he couldn't look more bored or aware of his own pathetic irrelevance.

A contrasting list.

Jimi Hendrix.

Janis Joplin.

Jim Morrison.

Richard Manuel and Rick Danko.

Brian Jones.

John Lennon.

Who knows how it would have turned out for them. But we're painfully aware of the decaying and declining arc that is the careers of their contemporaries. Really, people, just let it come to an end. Somebody has to fire the first shot. Retire. Quit. Get thrown in jail. Or....or worse things that I'd better not list here. This is the generation that wasn't ever gonna die, and by god, they sure as hell ain't dyin'. Although they are joining the American Association of Retired Persons. So there you go, retirement isn't just for old people anymore, O ye eternal youth. Go away, sip cocaine-laced mimosas in Santa Barbara. Allow us to miss you.

pps: Honorable Mention is served to Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Brian Wilson, and Levon Helm. Hell, even Neil Diamond. But Robbie Robertson can just go to hell.


Poor Kids!

NFL Discontinues "Take Your Daughter to Work Day"


In which all of your questions are answered.

Just kidding. I don't have an answer for anything. I've said it many times, all of the times I've given unwarranted advice to anyone who seemed remotely interested in gaining my opinion...I'm nobody's guru. I haven't even met my own guru yet, so I can't be anyone else's. That would be sick.


Hip Hop Violinist?

Ok, who in the hell's blunted ass thought releasing an album by a "Hip Hop Violinist" was a good idea? Kanye West, right? I know this guy was all underground and hip when he was just "blowin up," but now that he's bigger than Jay-Z doesn't he seem just as pointless as all of the rest of the cash money millionaires queefing thier craptastic hits all over the pointless-ass radio? I mean, what was there about this guy that was so cool in the first place? The record store he shopped at to find all the soul samples for his first album? The fact that he's probably read books? But a hip hop violinist? I just heard her playing on the Tavis Smiley show, and I'm sorry, the MC sounded hip hop, but this girl's violin had to be the least hip-hop sounding thing going on during the track. OK, scotch-tape some classical violin over a rap track and whaddya got? Something like that disco version of "Beethoven's Fifth," to my ears. Give me a freaking break. Where's the Wu Tang when you need 'em? Where's Chuck D? Where's Ice Cube for chrissakes? How come every hardcore MC straight out of wherever gotta turn into a bonehead millionaire muttering about his rims whenever he breaks big?



Sox Mania

Believe it or not, I do have better things to do than to be blogging right now. I know, it doesn't happen too often. I've got to go to the store and gather ingredients for my famous chilli, which for the first time ever will be vegetarian. I've got to, ahem, apply for jobs. But things are getting out of control, and good ol' Jeff, aka the person least interested in baseball in the entire world, has summoned me to wax expansive on one of my favorite subjects to wax expansive. Yes, I'm going to talk about the Chicago White Sox, and Yes, I'm going to talk about "the play." Or "the scandal." Or, "Oh my god, baseball is so screwed up, the world is coming to an end, run for your lives." Y'know, whatever the kids are calling it.

First, some background. Everyone knows I'm a Cubs fan. Even the FBI knows. You read my letter to Luciano, right? Well, you did, Jeff, and you're the only one reading this. So, what is my job as a Cubs fan? To hear most Cubs "fans" tell it, I'm supposed to feign total disinterest in the goings of the Major League playoffs. I mean, think about it, who am I supposed to root for? The Angels, I guess. According to popular opinion, there's no way I can root for anyone else: the Cardinals or the Astros, both hated division rivals of the Cubs, and the Sox, mortal enemies of all things Cub. There's this guy who writes for the Tribune, which, total disclosure, owns the Chicago Cubs, like "duh," who has compared rooting for the Sox to cheating on one's wife. So if I care at all about baseball, all I have are the Angels. And I do like the Angels; when the season started, I thought they had as good a chance as anybody to make the Series. Vlad Guererro is amazing with a bat, and he's the model of a superstar in baseball's brand-spanking new post-steroid era.

But call me a cheat, call me a philanderer, or whatever you want to call it, I'm pulling for the White Sox. I mean, I absolutely can't root for the Cards or Astros, but if pressed, I guess I'd rather the Astros to win, just because they aren't the Cards. But I live in the city of Chicago. I've heard about the Sox all season long. I know who every player is on the team, down to the guys in the bullpen who rarely take the mound. Even though the idiots on both sides of town are dismissing the "civic pride" concept as ridiculous sentimental junk, I think that there's no way you can live here and not have a rooting interest in the Sox' success. Unless you're so bitter, so twisted, so...well, unless you're a Sox fan, I guess. Yes, I can say for a fact that the Cubs didn't enjoy this kind of civic support from the southsiders in 2003, when they got within three outs of the fall classic. It's a fact that the majority of Sox nation that live in this city were wishing for worse than what actually happened to the Cubs that year. So along those lines, it's an eye for an eye and all that garbage, right? Well no, not only am I Cubs fan, more importantly I'm a baseball fan. Sox fans typified by the aforementioned Journal Star "columnist" will tell you that no such thing exists in the United States of Cub. But whatever. That's the kind of thing that makes most "normal" people think that baseball fans, or sports fans in general, are touched in the head.

So yes, damn it, I'm pulling for the Sox to go all the way. I think it would be neat. And if you want to lord it over the Cubs when you win, go right ahead. They'll deserve it, and perhaps it will convince the front office and the Tribune tower to start running the club as though it were a baseball team and not a marketing brand or a cartoon character.

OK, about that play. The ball hit the ground. It looked like the ump called Pierzynski out. Josh Paul, who it should be known is the Angel's third catcher and a career third catcher at that, should have tagged him out or thrown to first, no matter what. All that's at issue here is what the home plate ump called, and no matter what he called, Paul should have tagged the runner. Call it a third-string catcher's mistake. The right call was made the wrong way, essentially. The same thing happened when the Yankees were playing the Angels in the Division Series. Yank second basemen and Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Robinson Cano swung at strike three, the ball got away from the Angel catcher (one of those ubiquitous Molinas this time), and Cano ran for first. Molina's throw to first went wide of the first baseman, but Cano was called out because the umps said he was blocking the lane to first, hence "getting in the way" of a throw to first. Interference, third out.

So a lot of complete morons, i.e. the morons that were calling the Sox/Angels game, one of whom is Lou Pinella, who up until a few weeks ago was the manager of the Devil Rays, and that guy McCarver who's just an idiot period, look at this play and say it calls for instant replay in baseball. This is complete and utter bullshit. The NFL adopted instant replay and officially-reviewed plays some years ago, and many around the league still claim it should be removed from the game. Major League Baseball has no such need, and should forget about insant replay. This whole issue is being attributed to the vague call made by the ump, so baseball is already taking care of the problem by attributing it to an individual's error.

But any talk of this play "changing the game" is patently ridiculous. The last major change to baseball in the proceeding century was the implimentation of the designated hitter in the American League about twenty years ago. People still think the DH should be taken away from baseball. Putting instant replay in baseball would be the most egregious change to take place in baseball since the DH, and arguably would be worse. People thought that playing baseball under electric lights was scandalous, but all that happened is that baseball took place at night, when people could see it on TV, rather than during the day, like it's still done at Wrigley Field, who nonetheless installed a tasteful bank of lights above the grandstand. Technological changes like lights and TV cameras have not changed the game itself, but instant replay would be a direct encroachment on the game as a pure and unchanged phenomenon.

Bad calls have always been made, and there have been plenty worse calls and plays throughout baseball's history. This play is nowhere near as significant as Merkle's Boner, which by the way led to the Cubs winning their last World Series. Blown calls, scandalous plays, and just plain human error are part of the fabric of baseball's history. To our great benefit and pleasure, baseball is being played just the same way as it's been played since a bunch of Knickerbockers took root on Elysian Fields, and that's the way it should stay. If it were technically perfect and scientifically sound, then it wouldn't be baseball.


Would you believe?

RIP Maxwell Smart.

Catalog of maladies

Unfortunately it seems I've got carpal tunnel syndrome in my right wrist and hand something fierce. I have not gone to a professional medical practitioner to receive this diagnosis. Like all of my many maladies, this one is self-diagnosed. I've been feeling this for at least a year now; for the most part my hand feels sore, but when it contracts to any sort of mouse-holding posture, pain shoots up from my knuckles. Sometimes I can't grip things with this hand without feeling pain, like when I try to open the jar that I keep the cat's food in.

My other current maladies include:

Sore lower back,
Sore shoulders (both of them,)
Sore neck,
Sore achilles tendon (right leg).

So for the past couple weeks, I've been feeling like I spent my previous sunday playing free safety for the Chicago Bears. In actuality, I'd say that I'm more built like a fullback or a tight end, but no matter. I'm in pain. Though I occupy the body of a twenty-nine year old man, I feel more like what I imagine a seventy-nine year old man to feel on a daily basis. I might go dip myself in a vat of muscle relaxant later. Mmm, muscle relaxant.


From the Not-So-Guilty Pleasures department:

The new Gorillaz album, Demon Days, is really great. I mean it. Yeah, they're the cartoon band featuring the voice of Damon Albarn, among others. The first Gorillaz album was produced by Dan the Automator, but "Demon Days" was produced in full by Danger Mouse, the man responsible for the notorious Jay-Z/Beatles mash-up The Grey Album, which if you didn't download it for free from everywhere on the web, you should get it from whatever illicit location you can find it, 'cause it's freakin' awesome. Although I'm sure you've already heard it, Jeff, sophisticated fellow that you are.

Anyway, Demon Days is a highly appealing and effective amalgam of international spy soundtrack samples, ipod ready breakbeats, british indie pop croons, moog-happy hooks, and backpack-rap flow. It just works, and how can it not, if you think about it? I mean, if you're not caught right away by the David Axelrod-esque bass clarinet fugue that opens the album, you're probably not going to be impressed by anything on here, least of which the smooth glitch-groove-pop of "Kids With Guns" or the hot 'n' heavy neo-soul flow of "DARE," to say little of the heavily-loaded hook fest that is "Feel Good Inc." So go listen to some doom metal or something, or whatever makes you feel funky.

Note to Damon Albarn: if Graham Coxon doesn't want to rejoin Blur, you should just retire that group for good. And let's just concede the tired Blur v. Oasis battle to Blur, although I'm hopelessly biased. Gorillaz is infinitely more interesting than anything you've tried to do as a "straight" songwriter in the past decade or so. Although I can't deny the power of "Tender," the leading track on 13, which just shouldn't work, damn it, but against all logic it does. Oh does it ever.


Phil Luciano responded to my letter with one sentence: "Thanks for the note." It hasn't appeared in print yet. Oh well. The undeniable force of my unimpeachable logic will remain confined to this perhaps thankfully unnoticed corner of the world of information. Where only Jeff will subject himself to its power. Thanks, Jeff, for being my bestest imaginary reader ever.


On the subject of Jeff, let me take this opportunity to give shout outs to my some of my favorite bands currently in operation, and mysteriously most originate from good ol' Peoria, IL.

Super 88
Probably the best time you'll have with liquor and rock in about a week. So there you go, Jeff, go check yourself out. And get to work on that solo LP.

Two Girls
A group in possesion of insatiable heavy metal grooves and a voice that could wilt a hardy sunflower, all in the guise of one guitarist with three amps that all play something different, a drummer that makes his two arms seem like eight, and now an auxillary percussionist that makes the whole thing dance-ready. Like Kyuss jamming with Kraftwerk, or "ZZ Top on Mushrooms," (and there's Mr. Hyde again, Sir Ubiquitous).

Brief Candles
The hardest working shoegazers in the world. When that album gets done, whenever it gets done, it will make ears cry everywhere. They will actually cry.

Subspace Platform Recordings
Home of the Occupants of Six Accross, the Hushdrops, and the Migration, which sound like a cyberpunk ZZ Top. Who knew those guys were so influential? Pretty soon, I've been assured, you can go here for an archive of Dollface, Peoria's erstwhile favorite sons.

The Bugs
How can I neglect to mention this guy? I mean, he steps over from interstellar space to Peoria, and for what? To create perfect pop for the unwashed masses of Central Illinois? Get with a cult classic before everyone else tries to join.

OK, enough of stroking my friends' egos for today.


Rub it in...when you win

So there's this guy, Phil Luciano, who writes "opinion pieces" for the Peoria Journal Star, and he just wrote a piece about how Sox fans are better baseball fans than Cub fans. He writes this in Peoria, Illinois, where paradoxically a majority of the residents are Cardinal fans, and where the minor league team is a Cub affiliate. His arguments were the usual Sox vs. Cubs drivel, read it here if you haven't heard it all already. I just couldn't help but respond. I do this because I'm feeling good, really I am. I am good, I assure you.


Since you were kind enough to point out to your eager readership, if in fact such a thing exists, the characteristics typical of Cubs fans, at least from the addled, bitter point of view of the typical Sox fan, I find it necessary to offer this addendum. There's one thing about Sox fans that makes them easy to spot: no matter how bad or good the Sox are playing, their fans can't help but compare their joys and/or woes against those of their hated rivals, the crosstown Cubs. This would make sense if the Sox were enjoying any sort of success in comparison to the Cubs. But the truth of it is, in the last century or so, the Sox haven't won a heck of a lot more World Series than their hated rivals; in fact, the last time the Sox had a chance to play in the Fall Classic, they decided to throw it for about a grand a man.

If the Sox win, take all the lumps you want on the Cubs--you'll deserve it. But the Sox aren't winning much more than the Cubs, especially not now, nudge nudge, so who do Sox fans have left to hurl their spitballs at? Why, the Cub Fans, of course. Here we have the second easily-discernible trait of a Sox fan: if Sox Nation has an enemy worse than the Chicago Cubs, that enemy is none other than the United States of Cub Fandom. And considering that those fans make a considerable showing at any ballpark the Cubs play at throughout the country, one can easily determine that the U.S. of Cub is large indeed.

So what's wrong with this teeming mass? Well they drink beer, for one thing. Since we're playing apples and oranges, there's no way we can call Sox fans hypocrites, unless we admit that the each concession stand across Commiskey--excuse me, U.S. Cellular Field, sells a different kind of beer. What would a stadium full of teetollers need with such a wide variety of beers? Especially in the American League, which used to be known as the "Beer and Whiskey League" in the halcyon days before prohibition?

Before we try to answer that unanswerable, let's consider what else is wrong with Cub Fans. In the eyes of Sox fans, it's the cardinal sin: Cub Fans are way too loyal to their team. They just keep buying tickets and showing up at Wrigley Field every day as though there was some sort of notable public event going on there--like a Major League Baseball game or something. Only a Sox fan, the most bitter, hateful, angry lot one can possibly encounter in baseball, would utter such incomprehensible drivel as this:

"When the Sox play lousy, their fans say so - and stay away from the ballpark. That's how capitalism is supposed to work." Phil Luciano

You're right about that--the Sox can hardly give away tickets to their games, much less fill their man made chasm of a ballpark. They have to resort to all kinds of base gimmicks to get people through the doors: half-price Mondays, dollar-dog Thursdays, fireworks on Fridays, and the upper deck, or as most people call it, the ozone layer, still sits empty. I bet Jerry Reinsdorf or Ozzie Guillen don't think this way, but you can bet that the few Sox fans that do show up on a typical night, or at least the ones who aren't jumping onto the field and bum-rushing umpires or opposing coaches, are pleased as punch that there aren't a whole lot of people hanging around at their ballgame. Because normal people just wouldn't "get" their baseball team. They wouldn't "understand."

Maybe if there were more "baseball fans" showing up at Sox games, then maybe the people of Peoria wouldn't have had chip in their own hard-earned tax dollars to help build that intimate little hang-out spot on the South Side of Chicago, U.S. Cellular Field, which of course was built solely for enjoyment of those few sensitive souls that give a darn about the Chicago White Sox, that little team that apparently can't. Hey, even Cub fans had to chip in tax money to build your monstrosity of a ballpark--that's money that could have been spent on beer, something Sox fans wouldn't know about, or spent on a ticket to a Cub game, which would be an expression of loyalty to the team they love, ultimately putting uniforms on players and players on the field. But Sox fans wouldn't understand that sentiment much, either. Sox fans are far too mature and austere to feel unabashed loyalty for a matter as trifling as baseball, although unlike Cub fans, Sox fans are "real" baseball fans.

Anyway, these days, as the leaves start turning and the Boys of Summer start leaving for points south, Sox fans have bigger things on their mind. They're too busy consoling themselves with the fact that although their team is well on their way to completing what will soon be known as the most notorious and tragic choke-job in baseball history, at least they're not Cub fans. They're "real" baseball fans.

Bedheaded, Cub Fan
Chicago, IL


I Should Care

I should care a lot more. I should care about my appearance. Look at me. I'm almost thirty, but how old do I really look? Thirty-five? And I'm not upset about anything, I look like that all the time. People have often said, "you should smile, it's not that bad." To which I've said, "I am smiling." The older I get, the more pissed-off and consigned I look.

I should care about all that, and I think about it a lot, but damn it all, I just don't care about it. That camouflage hat I wear is my favorite hat. It cost me three dollars. It's comfortable as all get-out. But it looks like shit, and it makes me look like a redneck. Well, number one, let's not harbor any illusions, I am a redneck. I was born and raised in central Illinois. The smell of pigshit wafting over the cornfields surrounding my neighborhood was a familiar smell, easy to become accustomed to, and encountered regularly. I know redneck when I see it, for I know from which I come. Is this hat a flag, some sort of come-uppance to the polite society I've gotten used to as I've mellowed and grown sophisticated? No, it's just a comfortable hat. And redneck is not something I feel the need to defend and flaunt. I hate redneck. I am redneck. I have grown to accept both of these statements as fact. I cannot and should not hate what I am, but I can accept it and move on.

But damn, I should really care a lot more about all of it. Everything. But there's only so much that gets through, here in my comfortable ensconsment in this corner of hip urbanity. I should be maintaining myself better, not only for this time, which like it or not appears to be my prime. And there's a problem in itself. If this is my prime, why is it so goddamned disappointing and boring?


Requiem for Dino

You know what bothers me about Myspace? The uncanny feeling that I'm stalking people, coupled with the more troubling feeling that no one is stalking me in return.

Now that my internet empire is in ruins, I will turn here to satiate my neverending desire to hear the sound of my own voice. Even when it's in html, it still sounds the same to me.

I haven't updated my website or my legit blog in a long time, and at this point I feel it's best to abandon them altogether. I do feel that certain posts on my old blog lost me a few job interviews, if not a few jobs. So take a look at me now...just another empty statistic. Since I just can't make the voices in my head shut up, I'm going to have to do my blogging here for the time being. It feels safe and obscure here, as though no one could find me here unless they really tried, and if they did, then enjoy yourself, you deserve it. But a word to the wise: if you take blogging seriously (and if you do, don't worry, I won't look down my nose at you), whatever you do, refrain yourself from adding the link to your blog to your resume. 'Cause they'll check it out. You'll be asking for it. Remember above all that the you being sold in a job interview is worlds apart from the real you, which like it or not the real you is getting a fair showing on your blog. Like Kenny Rogers said, "You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em."

Have you ever listened to Dean Martin's music? Have you ever watched a Dean Martin film? Ok, have you ever seen the infomercials selling tapes of "The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast" or "The Dean Martin Variety Show"? I saw Regis Philbin hawking the latter when I got out of bed this morning. I have been tempted many times to bite on these offers, and of the million different infomercials out there, these are the few that I stop and linger on whenever I encounter them. But this morning I got to thinking, what is it about Dean Martin that endures, if in fact there is anything?

First the music. Quick, name some of his songs; "That's Amore," ok, "Volare," check. What else? Well those are at least two hits, and certainly he was no one hit wonder. Take a listen to those songs, and what stands out to you? Great voice? Well there's not much wrong with it, but to these ears there's not a lot there to take with you, though certainly I always know it's him when I hear him sing. But listen to "Volare" in particular and tell me he wasn't just phoning it in. And the contrast between the ubiquitous and barbershop-perfect backing chorus appearing on most of his songs next to his own half-interested croon is often creepy, if not cringe-worthy. If forced to identify Dean Martin, I daresay that most people on the street would identify him as a "singer," but as a vocation it seems that the music of Dean Martin is quick on its way to the obscure dustbin of history.

How about the films? I'm sorry, but I can't do much better than name "Ocean's Eleven" without cheating for others...oooh, other than "Cannonball Run" I and II unfortunately I'm lost. I've heard of a bunch of these, but barring a month-long binge of Turner Classic Movies in my future I'd have to say I'm going to miss out on a lot of these. And I can say definitively I've never seen anything of his apparently legendary partership with Jerry Lewis, but if anyone can recommend one to me, be my guest.

Yet Dino does endure, and it seems that the only explanation available is the fact that, well, he was Dean Martin. He was in the Rat Pack. He wasn't nearly in the same league performance- or talent-wise than fellow charter Rat Frank Sinatra, and let's face it, he was light years away from matching the brilliance of Sammy Davis Jr, and you better believe I'm not kidding about that. One need no more evidence than from the recording known mainly as "The Summit," but here you can probably get the best evidence of Martin's legend. Here are the three of them: Sinatra, the superstar; Sammy, the super-talent; and Dean Martin as himself. Dino holds his own, and the legendary nature of this set bleeds from the speakers. Watch "Ocean's Eleven," but "The Summit" is something you can keep.


All of this is over. Say goodbye.

Go on, see for yourself.

News Corporation to Acquire Intermix Media, Inc.; Acquisition Includes World's Fastest-Growing Social Networking Portal, MySpace.com; Intermix's Network of Sites to Join Newly Formed Fox Interactive Media

Now, somebody get crackin' and develop a new place for us to go and waste our time. We're waiting.