Friday, April 28, 2006


Well, that last post was ridiculously long. It took me about 4 hours to write. That won't do. I'm trying to get stuff done here, people. Today's post will be a bit shorter. It will also be the first in a new series of monthly updates on the Bronx Bombers in 06. It's kind of pointless to try to do any serious analysis on the baseball season this early, but that's part of the joy of baseball. I haven't worked out a format for these updates yet, so I'll just start rambling. Despite Wednesday night's disappointing loss to the Devil Rays in which the Yanks failed to take advantage of getting the leadoff hitter on base in the first 8 innings and getting 14 walks, despite major inconsistency from the pitching staff in the first month, despite Randy Johnson's idiotic insistence on pitching to Kelley Stinnett, despite these things, I'm fairly happy with the way the Yanks' season is shaping up. Jeter is batting .408. The team's OBP is an absurd .392. And their starting pitching has been effective recently. According to, "in their last five games, Yankees starters have allowed five runs over 34 1/3 innings, a 1.31 ERA." If Small, Pavano, and/or Dotel can come in and be effective, I like the looks of this staff. Last night, they won the rubber match against a scrappy tough Tampa Bay team. That brings me to this nice little piece by the kids over there at the Bronx Banter blog:

The three-game series is baseball's perfect package. It exposes enough of each team's pitching to prevent any single hurler from dominating the competition, but doesn't go on so long as to overstay is welcome. Five games may not be enough for a postseason series, but they are way too many for a regular-season confrontation, particularly when a team such as the 2006 Royals, Orioles, Mariners or Devil Rays is involved. Two games are unrewarding, over too fast and often without exposing the true nature of the teams involved. Baseball is a game for people who savor the moment and chew their food before swallowing. Until recently it wasn't uncommon for teams to have two games scheduled on the same day. A two-game "series" is as big an affront to the game as artificial turf (which may be why the Yankees always seem to play two against Toronto). Four games are fun for marquee matchups, such as when the Red Sox come to town, but the possibility of a 2-2 series split just doesn't belong in a game that refuses to end in a tie. Indeed, it's the fact that a three-game series must have a winner that, above all else, makes it baseball's ideal regular season sample size.

Tonight we start a 3 game series with Toronto. Sox on Monday and Tuesday. Not a 3 game series, but it's Yankees-Sox.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Warnock's Dilemma

File Under Internet Neuroses:

I had been planning on writing a post on Warnock's Dilemma for a while, and then I came across this post from, which summarizes it so nicely that I'm tempted to crib the whole thing. But I guess I should do my own work (or at least crib from the original perl post by Warnock). Warnock's Dilemma is basically the problem that bloggers, posters, internet chatters, etc, come upon when they receive no comments or reactions to their posts. It can be disturbing as a blogger, but it can be downright ego-shattering in other community posting situations. It was, in fact, the impetus for my first community creation in Orkut (the friendster/myspace-esque social networking website that Google created in response to the aforementioned sites and was actually much more entertaining - "was" because it gradually became a mere carbon imprint of a shell of itself). The community was called Thread Killers and the community description was "Do you find that your name/photo is the last in a thread a disproportionate amount of the time? You're a Thread Killer. Come practice your art here." The first six months of TK's existence were pretty glorious, with an assortment of oddball outcasts coming together to create some hilarious and bizarre threads. As all good things must come to an end though, TK eventually filled up with hundreds of truly boring people without a shred of comic sense. I wouldn't soil the VTK with examples of the type of drivel that passes for conversation on the TK these days. It's like watching your child grow up to become a child molester. or Tony Danza.

But I'm digressing. The point is that Warnock's Dilemma is a real phenomenon originally described by Bryan Warnock in this perl post, as follows:

The problem with no response is that there are five possible

1) The post is correct, well-written information that needs no follow-up commentary. There's nothing more to say except "Yeah, what he said."
2) The post is complete and utter nonsense, and no one wants to waste the energy or bandwidth to even point this out.
3) No one read the post, for whatever reason.
4) No one understood the post, but won't ask for clarification, for whatever reason.
5) No one cares about the post, for whatever reason.

Most of the time, there's not even a group consensus on the reason. It has to do more with the individual psyche than anything else. (For instance, I tend to take no replies to my posts as #5, #4, #2, or #3, in that order.)

The real issue is that the problem may not go away. Most of time, the #2s and #4s of the world don't realize why they're being stupidiotic, and how to best unhork themselves for all's concern.

To slightly contradict something Larry posted earlier, there is oftentimes help in a message as simple as, "No."

Wikipedia offers a few additional explanations for the non-response:

perhaps writing a good reply would require doing research that the reader lacks the time to undertake. Perhaps one has a mild interest in the topic raised but doesn't feel qualified to comment. Or perhaps an overly insightful reply would commit one to additional work (common on software development lists, where the people who display the most knowledge about a feature often find themselves volunteered to implement it) but the reader doesn't want to get involved.

The reason it's elevated to the level of a dilemma is that not knowing why no one is responding creates an unsettling and irrational insecurity. The lack of response could represent multiple and opposite realities and this fact causes a psychological dilemma for the poster. This insecurity of blogging is also analyzed nicely by the nonist, in the post Frailty, Thy Name is Blog, which I posted to VTK back when it was just a drooling infant. In it, the nonist discusses the broader problem of le raison d'etre du blogue, the nature of the relationship between blogger and blog readership, the nature of creativity, the legitimacy of blogging and "digital arts" within a perceived continuum between high and low arts. Some excerpts:

"blog-life crisis [is] different from [its] counterpart in a human life, the mid-life crisis, mainly because a blog’s life span is indeterminate, and so a blog-life crisis must present itself more frequently as not to miss it’s mark...

creating physical art leaves you with an object but guarantees no audience. creating a websites offer you an audience but guarantee no substance. if in fact as i believe “you create for no one but yourself” then one method seems much more straight forward and to the purpose wouldn’t you say? but then their is this to consider: i love the nonist somehow. why? to what purpose? i can’t say. is it a vast off-white and orange self portrait? i hope not. is it self absorption manifest? i certainly don’t want it to be. is it art? no fucking way...

an interesting fact about blogging- a blog is like a child. your own child. you pass your dna on to it. it has your strengths and your weaknesses. i’ve found that all the over analyzing i do in regards to my own function and purpose, i now do to the the nonist as well. i worry about it. i am disappointed by it. i admire it from across the room. the site is often depressive like it’s father. also as it gets older, as possibilities narrow each day and it becomes itself, i find it harder to control. as it has grown and brought in more readers i have had a harder time with it. a harder time understanding it. a harder time guiding it. i’ve always wanted it to strike out on its own, but it remains the strange, uncommunicative child who lives in the basement, drawing it’s allowance but rarely confiding in me.

...years of doing art in a vacuum have cured me of the pathological need for an audience. those same years in a vacuum though have fostered a desire for community. it’s a weakness i suppose, but there it is. the truth. if art is done for me alone, and a blog is not art, then it must have a different operating principle. and it must! because i certainly don’t see any value anymore in maintaining this sort of thing for no one but myself.

so there’s the source of the angst i suppose...

...i find myself wishing the site didn’t exist. wishing i weren’t so prideful as to keep it going just out of spite. wishing no one read the site at all so i could just update once a century. wishing it were better and brought people forth from the anonymous crevasses of the web to do more than look. wishing i had two lives to accomplish everything i’d like to. wishing i could paint and shoot and blog at the same time. wishing i lived in a shack on a mountain and never heard of the internet. wishing that my efforts to reach out were more successful. wishing any number of silly thing really..."

Now those are the cries of a blogger wracked by Warnock's Dilemma. Fortunately, VTK is not as big as the nonist, so I don't suffer to the same extent as this poor non ist. (should anyone else out there find themselves suffering from Blog Depression, you might take solace in the nonist's illustrated pamphlet, What Everyone Should Know About Blog Depression) I just can't allow myself to go that far down. I mean, it's just a blog fer chrissake. right? right? right? Answer me, damn it! oops. There I go again. So anyways, what is to be done about this Warnock's Dilemma? Thread Killer attempted to create community out of alienation, but that eventually collapsed under the weight of idiots. Or under the weight of it's own nothingness. The Dadaists abandoned Dada once they realized the true meaning of nothingness (Tzara at least). What about confronting WD? Well, (and justblog) launched a grassroots campaign to stamp out Warnock's Dilemma back in 03, but as far as I can tell, it consists of commenting on their post and posting this image:

which I'm happy to do, though I don't really understand how this is supposed to stamp out the dilemma. It seems to me that the dilemma will exist so long as human insecurity exists. Because, it's not really a dilemma if you don't give a shit if anyone comments or not. The question of why no one commented lacks meaning if you don't ever get to the point of wondering why. But that I guess is another branch of the same dilemma. Figuring out how to not give a shit is probably as daunting a task as to figure out how to ascertain why no one responded. Warnock's Dilemma is truly an existential quagmire. Maybe Bob Pollard had it right:

When you clean out the hive
Does it make you want to cry?
Are you still being followed by the Teenage FBI?

Someone tell me why.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Dan. Throw It Away.

That was my mantra yesterday as I did a final sweep through the old apartment to grab the remaining items, papers, knick knacks, etc. - the remaining items which filled 10 paper shopping bags. It's totally ridiculous. I cannot seem to throw anything away. It's starting to reach take-a-long-hard-look-at-yourself proportions.

On another note, if anyone has access to a kitten which I can borrow for an afternoon, I'd be willing to pay up to ten American dollars. The kitten will not be harmed; it will be exposed to a mild, non-chemical, psychadelic experience, which it will most likely enjoy. I don't anticipate any residual psychological trauma. Thanks!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Moving Day

Well, it's tomorrow, but I figure I'll be busy and there's a Robert Pollard show directly following the move so I figure I'll be out of commission for a while. I'm at that stage of packing where you're like - fuck. I did not realize how much shit I had packed away in here. What a pain in the ass.

I talked to the super yesterday about logistics of the keys and the security deposit, etc and I asked him what happened to our old pal Jazzy McGee. He said that he thinks he had a nervous breakdown or something. He didn't mention how he knew this, but said it was really weird, that he was a music teacher at Harvard, that his parents were really nice and the super was in contact with them regarding his rent or they handled all his affairs or something and that he just sort of had a breakdown. Kid. Who did you think you were fucking with? Did you really think you could hang with this? Go home to your mommy, bitch.

Of course, I am moving partially because of him, so I shouldn't really be that cocky. But that never stopped me before. Anyways, I'm out of here in 24 hours so he's free to come back and raise hell day and night again until his feeble pathetic head breaks down again. I ran into his other neighbor (who I'd talked to about him before) on the street yesterday and we had a good laugh about what a douchebag Nellie Nervous Breakdown is.

Well, back to packing.

I shaved my head this morning in a ritualistic goodbye gesture:

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Bring Back Sons and Daughters

Now I know that many of you VTK readers may not have gotten the opportunity to see the show Sons and Daughters, that I touted a few posts back, but please sign this petition anyways to ask ABC to put it back on the air. Just trust me on this one. This show is very funny and I seriously hope that it won't go the way of Arrested Development. The AD petition kept them on for at least a second season even if it didn't save the show for longer than that. According to the creator, "The numbers were not good so we won't be returning on the merits of the ratings. Another chance to catch on could very well be in the cards for us but I won't know for sure until around the first week of May."

I really think that Americans need this type of comedy to be shoved down their throats until they realize that it is infinitely more funny than Hope and Faith and Less Than Perfect, which are taking it's place tonight. So wrong. Ugh. It's really depressing. People are starting to buy it with the American version of The Office, which is in the same general comedic neighborhood (though, as I said, S&D is more of a Middle American Woody Allen feel to it (to me anyways)). Maybe this stuff will catch on eventually.

And for those of you that were fans (and hopefully will be more in the future), here's a link to the creator's blog (which is on so will probably be pretty ass-kissy).

Easter Pub Crawl

This year, my Jesus year, I celebrated the resurrection of the Big JC like an Irish Catholic who gave up drinking for Lent (which I did not). Went on an Easter Pub Crawl. The original idea was to hit the fine pubs of the Inman Square region of Cambridge in order – Thirsty Scholar, The Abbey Lounge, The Druid, Bukowski’s. But, as is the case with many pub crawls, we got a little off track. For instance, the Abbey was closed (!?!??!?!?!), so we drank a beer in the park across the street instead. Or another example would be after we had a few beers at the Druid, and we drove to Cape Cod instead of going next door to Bukowski’s. Yes, the pub crawl is an organic thing. You’ve got to be flexible. But for you non-eastern-massers, the Cape is over an hour away. Ridiculous. But god forbid we be called pusillanimous, so we went for it. Several hours, much fun, many pitchers of mudslides, and consecutive viewings of High Fidelity later, we were floating in a hot tub with a giant bowl of french fries. Needless to say, yesterday wasn’t very productive. Good times though. That one was for you Father Murphy!

On a related note, The Easter Bunny Hates You.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Democracy Now ! – Village Voice

I’m back on the Democracy Now! tip. I first started listening to the Pacifica radio network show run by Amy Goodman back in 98 or 99 when I was living in Florida and listening to Tampa Bay's great community radio station WMNF. It purged me of my apoliticism and got me interested in the progressive topics of the day, such as globalization, Democratic Party centrism, military and prison industrial complexes, etc. When I moved to Cambridge in 00, it wasn’t being broadcast on any of the local media outlets, which was disappointing considering it's such a liberal area. I would check the website and follow along as best I could but my progressive hankerings soon found satisfaction in other sources. When I freed myself from the Nine to Five Gulag a few months ago I started listening to WZBC Boston College radio every morning and early afternoon to try to establish some regimentation to my days so that I would feel compelled to get some work done rather than let this spat of unemployment (or self-employment, as I’m trying to train myself to say) become an 8 month lazy party. And they play the hour long Democracy Now! show from Noon to 1. So I’ve been listening to it every day and it’s helping to purge me of my millennial liberal defeatism/apathy. I’m going to have to break out my “Exception to the Rulers” t-shirt again.

Today’s program was about the recent purchase/takeover of the Village Voice by libertarian/conservative media monopolists, New Times Media. They are apparently trying to strip the VV of its political editorialism and leftist spin. Isn’t that the point of the paper? Apparently the point of the merger was to try to suffocate the liberal Voice. According to this DN! Report, they own 17 local weekly alternative publications around the country, and their goal is to make them all in the same mold, the same voice as the libertarian Phoenix paper. While it’s sad that these people can buy up and strangle the liberalism out of lefty media, it’s encouraging to remember that papers like the Village Voice emerged to prominence out of a demand for alternative media in the first place. So, let them buy up and sterilize the lefty rags. We’ll just stop reading them. And start reading, listening to, watching, surfing, blogging, rss-ing, etceteraing the new forms of alternative media that fulfill our needs. The people, united, will never be divided.

(thanks to and for the photo)

Baseball - The Pulse Of The Nation

You have probably heard about this, but in case you haven't seen it, please enjoy this footage of Dick Cheney getting loudly booed as he threw out the first pitch at a Washington National's baseball game.

ha ha, Cheney, you suck. This isn't the first time Dick has been booed at a baseball game (Yankees Stadium thank you very much), but it's a tasty treat nonetheless. It's the national pastime, Dick, and you're the national asshole. And lest I be labled as less than fair and balanced, check out the Fox News coverage:

Sounds like they had some audio difficulties during the middle of the broadcast. go figure. "Not a bad pitch. Seemed like it was over the plate. A little low. Bit of a bounce before it hit the catcher's mitt. Pretty good for the Vice President." Not bad coverage. Seemed like it was mostly correct. A little wrong. Bit of an attempt to totally mischaracterize the facts. Pretty good for Fox News.

In other baseball news, my good friend and baseball rival, dewy24, has hooked me up with access to MLB Gameday Audio online so that I can listen to the Yankees' radio announcers call the Yankees baseball games all summer. Good on ya, dewy24. I knew Sox fans weren't all bad. Go Yanks! They're up 4-0 after 2 right now. And Kelly Stinnett catching Randy Johnson instead of the all-star catcher the Yankees have in Jorge Posada. What? No, I'm not irritated at all about this. No, it doesn't bother me at all. I don't think it's an obnoxious insult from a deadbeat redneck, at all. Go Randy (you fucking piece of shit you better win every single game that Posada doesn't catch you beanpole craphead)!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Von Trapp and Trapper Keeper Updates

Our Von Trapp update comes from yesterday's New York Times in an article titled A New Bunch of von Trapps, as Alpine as Sushi and Apple Pie. They're young, they're hip, they're the Von Trapp kids! These aren't your father's Von Trapps. I'm not sure if they really convey effortless elegance, but they did come from Maria Von Trapp's meadow, and I feel a certain obligation to report on anything associated with that.

As for the Trapper Keeper update, if the following photo montage doesn't capture the essence of austere functionality, then I don't know what austere functionality is. And I think I do. Check out this bad boy which first saw action in Attleboro circa 1985:

(cheers, P)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Lobstahfest 06

Dewy24, CJ, and I headed up to Friendship, Maine for the weekend to visit with our old friends P & E and the new edition to their family, A. And let me tell you, folks: the kid is cute. She wasn't sure about me at first, but P pointed out that he's known me for 15 years and isn't sure either, which was an excellent point. She came around eventually.

The weekend consisted mostly of stuffing ourselves with delicious food and drink, with occasional breaks to walk around the beautiful coastal Maine town, watch/listen to our respective baseball teams, play with A, and even an opportunity to do a guest blog entry on P's blog, which is into it's 5th year. Now that's blog cred. The food and drink list was extensive and impressive, but the big highlight was the massive, heaping pot of delicious, steamed lobsters on Saturday night. I think I overdid it with the butter dipping but it was exoskeletal ecstacy. There's nothing like stuffing yourself with lobsters at night and then having lobster rolls for lunch the next day.

Von Trapper Keeper Reader Done Good

Von Trapper Keeper would like to extend our congratulations to long time reader, lc, on her acceptance to the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia. Well done, lc. Kudos. And kudos again.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Screenhead Score!

Dude v Cart has hit the big time. It just got published on, "an online review of funny shit" and part of Gawker Media's blog consortium. Screenhead gets 9700 visits a day. They billed the DvC as "an oddly loving bit of film detailing man’s eternal struggle against man’s self-destroying nature, here symbolized by a shopping cart."

As I was poking through Screenhead this morning, I was tipped to this little beauty: The Museum of Depressionist Art. My personal favorites were The Big Bruise by Mark Rotko, After the Pequod: Moby Dick's Later Years by
Sri Rhadapadaman Padarhadamom, The Picky Eater by Claude Moanet.

In other news, I locked down a show at Spiritus Pizza in Provincetown for 3 weeks in May. I probably won't sell anything at this show but it does allow me to keep my naming convention for the summer tour: Pan-Mass Portraiture: P-Town to Pittsfield. I'm working on the flyer/postcards now.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


ok, how about Lost? Anyone watching Lost? Please someone answer me because that schizophrenic solipsism episode I just watched is really fucking with my head.

Sons and Daughters

Is anyone else watching Sons and Daughters, the sitcom on ABC on Tuesday nights? Pretty hilarious stuff. Super dysfunctional family. It's got a little Arrested Development to it, but it's probably more like a suburban Woody Allen thing.

The Centromatic Incident

You'll have to bear with me on this post (or skip it) because it's a little convoluted in my head. But it's still bothering me a little so:

Setting: Monday night at Great Scott in Allston Rock City.
Background details:

1. The conversation - Earlier in the evening, I was talking to Gail and Rich about how ignorant many Americans are about Latino immigrants (Gail and I have both worked in kitchens where we met Latinos who quit their jobs as teachers and left their families to come to the US and work as dishwashers, where they were then treated like shit by idiot white kids who thought they were dumb because they didn’t speak English).
2. The band - Centromatic is an indie rock band from Texas with a little alt-country edge, that ranges from minimalist mellowish to rocky rock. I met the lead singer a couple years ago and he seemed nice.
3. The crowd - During the super soft sensitive opening band, I had to present written apology notes to little indie rock fucks who took issue with me whispering excuse me and trying to get past them to the bathroom.
4. The tequila – I was coaxed into 3 tequila shots over the course of the night to go along with a few beers, so I had a nice little tequila tinged buzz going on, but was by no means really hammered.

Centromatic was playing a pretty good show for about a hour. I was standing off to the side of the stage so I had a good view of the band and the crowd. Then these two young Latino guys stood in front of me to watch the band. They didn’t exactly fit in with the white hipster crowd (wearing a Houston Texans cap, dancing, not matching the cultural norm, I don’t know how to explain this I guess). Based on their appearance/behavior, I’d make an educated guess and say they were immigrants from Mexico/Central America. They were having a good time, not bothering anyone, just checking out the band. One guy turned to me and gave me the little head nod of approval and cheers clink of the beer. Then Centromatic played a slower song and they appeared to be into it and, in what appeared to be a pretty sincere move, the one guy went and put a dollar on the stage and when he didn’t get any response he said “hey buddy” (not too loud) and raised his glass up in cheers. Some people around him started laughing. I felt bad, so I tapped him on the shoulder and gave him a little cheers clink of the glass and gave the other guy a thumbs up. At the end of the song, some guy said “I’ve never seen that before in my life” and laughed. And then the band started joking about it, saying “someone just gave us a dollar. Someone just threw a dollar up on the stage. I guess that’s what we’re worth. A dollar.” Everyone laughed (most people, anyways). And the two guys stood there for a minute and then walked out embarrassed. Then I left in disgust and waited at the back of the bar for Gail and Rich. I wasn’t sure what to make of the whole thing, and I’d had a few drinks so I wasn’t going to say anything, but I also wasn’t about to stand there with the privileged class mocking the sincere gesture of the minority class (especially considering the minority class is currently being disrespected to historic proportions by the government of this country and the non-immigrant people that they’re pandering to with this new anti-immigrant legislation).

Did the band see him put it up there and just decide to make fun of him? If so, were they just clowning around and not being racist/classist/culturist/whatever? Was it all a misunderstanding where they thought he did it sarcastically and decided to throw it back at the heckler type of thing? And even if they were just clowning around, isn’t that incredibly crass to say “oh, thanks for your little dollar, I really want your one dollar” to a guy who likely valued that dollar more than they did? Or am I making prejudiced assumptions about the guy’s financial situation based on him being an immigrant (or at least a non-native English speaker)? Did they not see him put it up there or hear him say “hey buddy” and toast them? There weren’t that many people there. It’s hard for me to imagine, but it’s possible. I wasn’t on stage, playing a show.

When Gail and Rich came back and I mentioned it, she said she felt really uncomfortable about the whole thing too, so at least I know it wasn't all in my head. Rich didn’t see it and was therefore willing to give the band the benefit of the doubt. Which is fair. I still don’t know what the situation really was. I just felt nauseated by the whole thing because at a bare minimum, a bunch of white hipster Americans definitely saw it and definitely laughed at them and definitely did not seem to have any remorse about making these guys feel like shit and leave. Fucking pricks.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

All Quiet On The Northern Front

On Thursday, I heard some rustling upstairs from the McGee. The unmistakeable clomping and chair moving. No music or woos though, it stopped after about a 1/2 hour, and I haven't heard a peep since. So with the exception of that 30 minutes of reasonable noise, it's been total radio silence for close to 13 days now. deeeelightful.

The liquor store put their sign back up this weekend. Mojo's officially closed now. The Plough and Stars is fully reopened and having live music again. All sorts of changes on the block.

Day 3 of unemployment. Not too shabby. There is a little void in my left pocket where the blackberry used to be. That'll take some getting used to. My old co-worker Carol gave me a paring knife as a goodbye gift. I don't know if she planned it or not, but it made for a few good stick-it-to-the-Man-on-the-way-out jokes.

It's also worth mentioning that today is Opening Day for baseball (technically, the season started last night when the World Champion Chicago White Sox beat the Cleveland Indians but today is OD for the rest of the league). Seems like just yesterday that I launched Von Trapper Keeper with a post about the White Sox winning the World Series. I was all prepared to end this post with a photo montage poking fun at Curt Schilling, culled from the hilarious photoshop prankster Yankee fans at, but why start out on a note of negativity. There will be plenty of that this season as Sox fans watch their team wallow in 4th place and try to take it out on me. GO YANKS!!