Thursday, May 28, 2009

A few things are on my mind:

1. There's a fascinating piece in the new york times today about Swiss rapper (!) Stress. Apparently he's caused quite the stir by taking potshots at the ultranationalist Swiss People's Party, which is the country's most powerful political organization. (Who knew?) They won 29 percent of the vote in the last election by demonizing immigrants, circulating racist propaganda and celebrating traditional Swiss cultural practices such as yodeling. In particular, Stress has cheesed off the party's leader, Christoph Blocher, who sounds like a monumental horse's ass:

“Blocher’s Switzerland is people in the mountains making cheese,” he said. “But you also have a Switzerland where people struggle to make ends meet. His party doesn’t represent the Switzerland where I grew up, which is made up of people who came to build the country, literally to build its buildings and streets. The Swiss People’s Party campaigns by using Osama bin Laden in posters about the threat of immigration. For me this is just unfair.”
2. Squirrels are lustily eying my vegetable patch. The fence doesn't deter them. They can invade by air via a tree that hovers over the garden. I just went outside and threw rocks at them for several minutes. Luckily the house next door is in foreclosure, so there's nobody around to wonder why I'm chucking rocks into their yard. But I don't think this is going to be a viable long-term deterrence strategy.

3. I've got an idea for a song. It will require a field trip to the notorious Palmer's Bar in the West Bank neighborhood of Minneapolis. Behind the bar is a collage of notes listing all the people who have been kicked out of that wretched den of alcoholism over the years. The notes are crass and politically incorrect. Shit like this: "Joe the one-legged Indian. 86'd for generally being an asshole." Just pile these genius bits on top of each other and slap a chorus on it: "Palmer's Bar, Palmer's Bar, they won't even serve me in Palmer's Bar." It's a sure-fire hit. Just like my last creation, "Dollar Store," which has already been covered by White Jimmy Gaines.

4. The two best teams in MLS square off tonight on ESPN2: Chivas v. Chicago. Every year I think Chivas is going to stink up the league. On paper they look pretty wretched, their only "Mexican" is some guy named Lillingston and they've once again been decimated by injuries. But they've got Paulo Nagamura (my pick for MVP so far this season) and Jesse Marsch bossing the midfield. Fat Zach Thornton has somehow discovered the best form of his career. And even without a single goal from their supposed main man Sacha Kljestan, they're torching the western conference. Chicago has the most formidable attacking trio in the league with Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Brian McBride and Chris Rolfe (when he can get on the field). The back line, led by the classy Gonzalo Segares and the thug-ish Wilman Conde, is equally impressive. There's been flashes of brilliance so far this season, but Chicago's struggled to keep it together for 90 minutes. We'll see if they can do so tonight.