Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Music/Sex Study, or Why I'm Ashamed to Be a Former Pittsburgher Today...


See, goddammit? It's not rap music alone. Just the sound of Kenny G's lugubrious sax is enough to make this woman strip naked and dip her T-shirt in cold water! What the fuck?!?

The reason I'm ashamed to be from Pittsburgh today is because of this study, released by the University of Pittsburgh in which they interviewed 711 Pittsburgh City School kids, ages 13-18, and ended up drawing a link between the frequency with which kids listened to music containing derogatory sexual lyrics, and the frequency with which they have sex.

Basically, the study found "at least a simple" link between the two; apparently, as far as Pitt is concerned, the mere act of listening to the Ying Yang Twinz talking about "Beat the pussy up, beat the pussy up" is enough to make your average 13-18-year-old run out the door looking for the first set of available genitals.

This came on the heels of a September '08 study which "discovered" that modern musicians tend to sing and rap about sex a lot. Wow, REALLY?!?

The embarassing retardedness of that first bit of scientific genius aside, I'd really like to see the hard numbers on the music/sex study. My first beef is this: if they're talking City of Pittsburgh proper, then they're talking a disproportionate amount of a) black teens and b) rap music fans. Black teens historically have a higher pregnancy rate, and the 13-18 age group is the primary target for the majority of popular rap music. So of course there's going to be a "correlation." Doesn't hold up, though, if you ask me.

Regardless of the demographics, however, I think the "link" is really more of an indictment of the way sex ed is treated in this country. I don't remember specifically having "the sex talk" with either of my parents, but I do know that I ever had a question, I could always bring it to them. But I'm sure there are a lot of homes where it's not like that; where the topic is never even broached, or gets glossed over or joked around. But regardless of whether or not my parents were going to talk to me about sex, I still knew better than to take Snoop fucking Dogg's advice, and Doggystyle was one of my favorite albums at the time.

And our sex ed in school was fairly simple. After teaching the basic science, Mr. Krebs said we pretty much had three choices: abstain, practice safe sex, or be a total dumbass (he put it a little more eloquently, but not much).

Objectification of women in rap music, to my mind, stems largely from rappers' tendency to overexaggerate just about everything: their cash flow, their jewelry collection, their hustle, their sexual prowess, the size of their rims, etc., etc. That list could go on and on and on. And large percentage of men have probably been the victim of a woman who's only out for cash; in the poverty-stricken environment that a lot of rappers grew up in, probably more so. It only makes sense that they would take distrust of women to the nth degree like everything else. Just because your dad says "She's looking for a sugar daddy" and Too $hort just says she's a straight-up hoe, doesn't mean they're talking about different things.

Also, let's not dismiss the ever-popular notion among females that all men are pigs; that you should assume every guy at the bar is out to slip a roofie into your drink. The only reason you don't hear about it in rap music is because there are so few female rappers.

So negative, objectified attitudes about the opposite sex abound on both sides of the fence. 

When it comes to kids having sex at younger and younger ages, if ANYthing, I'd lay the blame at the feet of the companies (MTV, BET) which have contributed to the sexualization of girls at younger and younger ages. Don't get me wrong, as a senior in high school, the "Hit Me Baby One More Time" video was GREAT, but that doesn't mean it might not have been the most appropriate image to be beaming out nationwide at the same time every kid in the U.S. was getting home from school.

And rap music certainly deserves its share of the blame on that front. Before it went off the air, you could probably count the TRL rap videos WITHOUT video-hoes in them on about two fingers. MTV didn't have to agree to air those videos, though. This is one instance where capitalism works against the taut moral fiber of the Congressmen and crusading parents who are constantly trying to put a stop to all things they deem 'degrading,' which is the new 'obscene.'

And speaking of moral fiber (and to wrap it up, since this is getting a little lengthy), I have a mostly-unrelated-but-nonetheless-stimulating question: Walmart refuses to sell explicit records, but if you go five feet over to the next shelf, you can get any R-rated movie you want... wha... tha... fa...?

Monday, February 23, 2009

NEW BEAT DOCTOR MIXTAPE: 'The Executive Lounge: Beats from the Boardroom' **FREE DOWNLOAD**

'HELL, TRIPLE-BLAST AND DAMMIT TO HADES TWICE!'

For a while now, I've been brainstorming a mixtape based on some of the more low-key beats I'd created called The Executive Lounge. All of the tracks would share a certain sort of sound. I finally got it done, and to make up for the fact that I'm no longer doing straight-up remixes, I included skits between most of the tracks. (I do have a ton of acapella tracks I haven't remixed yet, but I've been plowing ahead pretty well in just plain old beat-crafting. I want to do an R&B remix disc, but that's gonna be a BITCH, I can already tell. You have to work around the melody and shit...)

Anyway, rediscovering a bit of Dr. Gregory House's past gave me the perfect counterpoint to the relatively serious beats. Hugh Laurie used to have a sketch-comedy show on the BBC from '89-'92, called A Bit of Fry & Laurie, with fellow Brit comedian Stephen Fry (he was the talk-show host on V for Vendetta). Most of the sketches are fucking hilarious, but one in particular, which ran through the first two seasons, worked perfectly.

Fry and Laurie play Peter and John, two "executives" at Durwent Enterprises. Over the course of about a half-dozen sketches, they're systematically forced into more and more menial jobs through boardroom power-plays by John's ex-wife, Marjorie (a corporation, a health club, a men's restroom, and finally, the Church of England). But what's really funny is just they way they talk, like they're heading up a company meeting 24/7.

I highly recommend the series, but I'm mainly looking for feedback on the beats. Click here to download The Executive Lounge mixtape, courtesy of YouSendIt. The link is good until about Feb. 27. It's about 50 MB or so, 20 tracks.

Lemme know what you think!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Quote of the Month

Bluetree602, commenting at HuffingtonPost.com re: Jimmy Fallon's staying power and the guests (Robert DeNiro, Van Morrison) on his first show as NBC's new Late Night host:

Fallon won't last two weeks. I don't care if his next guest is Jesus.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Obscure Music Spotlight: February 2009

Again, it seems that, while I started this blog to bring attention to slept-on artists and music from past and present, I've gotten sidetracked. Mainly by the greatess that is the sports scene in my hometown of Pittsburgh. Between the Steelers' Super Bowl win and Pitt's upset of No. 1 UConn (completed by DeJuan Blair's utter dismantling of Hasheem Thabeet, see below), I've been getting away from writing on music. So let's get to it:

Various Artists, Akom Ko: Ghana Highlife - Scratchy, old vinyl compilation of Ghanaian highlife music. Bouncy, folky, very traditional-sounding. You can find it at Likembe Blogspot, an awesome site for African tunes.

Harmonic 313, When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence - This is what what Wachowski brothers should have used for the Matrix soundtrack, instead of all that Propellerhead techno douchebaggery. He's an Australian-based producer who has also recorded as Harmonic 33, focusing more on organic instrumentals. When Machines... is his nod to the Detroit sound of producers like Black Milk, Zo! & Dilla, with a heavy dose of industrial glitchiness thrown in. Rough-edged, paranoid soundscapes, with a couple guest appearances by Motor City natives Phat Kat and Elzhi. Check Harmonic 313 out on MySpace.

Franziska, Action - I've heard Puerto Rican, Argentinian, Mexican, German and Japanese reggae music. I can now add Italian to the list, courtesy of Franziska's excellent blend of roots rock and modern dancehall. Action packs plenty of bounce while still staying close to the classic sounds that carried reggae to so many corners of the world in the first place. In the same way as German rockers Seeed (yup, that's three E's), Franziska, who hail from Milan, Italy, show a good ear for mixing the rocksteady reggae of Marley and Steel Pulse with the DJ-ing style of modern dancehall crooners like Sizzla and Alborosie.

Zo! & Asylum, Overdue Process - When last we heard from Detroit-based producer Zo!, he was rocking a 1982 jheri curl and recreating '80s tunes with Phonte from Little Brother - to great effect, in point of fact. His latest project, a collaboration with fellow Michigan native Asylum 7, melds the mellow jazz feel of Love the 80s with the electronic hip-hop sounds of his city's other producers, like J. Dilla and Black Milk. For anyone who heard the 80s EP, it should come as no surprise that Zo is no slouch on the keyboards. If there are any samples here, they're tough to spot. Angular lite-jazz guitar, lilting piano work and airy synthesizers wash against the crisp snap of the drums, as Asylum works the same nimble style that Zo noticed in the first place, when he heard the MC rhyming at a Michigan hip-hop club.

Tom Waits, Nighthawks at the Diner (1975) - I just discovered this record. I'm sure a lot of other people already know about it. But it's probably the best I've heard of Tom Waits. Growling, but still singing, in his prime, with a lazy loungy jazz combo backing his tunes of L.A.'s banality and freakishness. Easy to listen to, and hilarious to boot.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Enough About This Hasheem Thabeet Character... He Ain't No DeJuan Blair

'That's cool, you go ahead and be all 7'3" and shit... I'll just make you look like the Tanzanian Shawn Bradley..."

I'm sure it's intimidating to go up against Hasheem Thabeet, the Tanzanian Tower of Terror. I mean, damn, 7'3", had nine blocks the other night, that's not bad. But DeJuan Blair made him look like what he really is: a big lanky dude who's only been playing ball since 16. He made him look like a chump.

Blair posted 22 points and 23 rebounds, but his stat line also reflects the time Thabeet spent on the bench in foul trouble. When Thabeet was in the game, though, he was completely ineffective. Five points, five boards, one block (on  Blair, which he subsequently boarded and took right back in Thabeet's grill, right to the bucket). 

Blair took it straight to his chest, backing him down and pinning him to the floor. The only opponent close to Blair that Thabeet has really gone up against this year is Harangody, from Notre Dame. But Blair had a tougher time against Harangody. He just manhandled Thabeet.

So he might get Defensive Player of the Year, but when you start talking about some Hasheem Thabeet character as the NCAA Player of the Year (or hell, even the Big East Player of the Year), just don't forget about the time he got bitched by Big DeJuan Blair, a man among men in the Big East.

You wanna try reaching in on Blair in the paint? Witness the result:


I believe the technical term is "fucked the fuck up."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

200 or So of the Greatest Movies Ever

My contenders for top movie are in boldface:

28 Days Later

A Few Good Men

A Mighty Wind

Ace Ventura (only the first one)

Airplane!

Aladdin

Alien

Aliens

All the President’s Men

Amadeus

American Beauty

American History X

Animal House

Annie Hall

Any Given Sunday

Apocalypse Now

Army of Darkness (mainly for Bruce Campbell)

Austin Powers

Bachelor Party

Back to School

Batman

Beetlejuice

Being John Malkovich

Best in Show

Big Lebowski

Blow

Blues Brothers

Boogie Nights

Boondock Saints

Bourne Identity

Braveheart

Brazil

Breakfast Club

Caddyshack

Chasing Amy

Chinatown

Clerks

Color of Money

Cool Hand Luke

Dances with Wolves

Dark City

Dark Knight, The

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Dawn of the Dead (2003)

Dazed & Confused

Deer Hunter

Die Hard

Die Hard with a Vengeance

Do the Right Thing

Dogma

Don’t Be a Menace

Donnie Brasco

Dr. Strangelove

Bram Stoker's Dracula (Coppola remake)

Easy Rider

Edward Scissorhands

Election

Empire Strikes Back

Exorcist

Fantasia

Fargo

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Fight Club

Forrest Gump

Fox and the Hound

From Dusk Till Dawn

Full Metal Jacket

Full Monty

Gladiator

Godfather

Godfather II

Goodfellas

Goodwill Hunting

Grosse Pointe Blank

Half-Baked

Heat

How High

Independence Day

Indiana Jones (list three)

Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade

Interview with the Vampire

Jaws

Kill Bill Vol. 1

King of New York

Kung-Fu Hustle

Kung Fu Panda

L.A. Confidential

Lion King

Lock, Stock and Two Smokin’ Barrels

Lolita (Showtime version)

Lord of the Rings

Magnolia

Mallrats

Mean Streets

Memento

Monty Python: Holy Grail

Monty Python: Life of Brian

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Mystic River

National Lampoon’s Family Vacation

Natural Born Killers

Night of the Living Dead

Nightmare Before Christmas

Nightmare on Elm Street

Ocean’s Eleven (remake)

O Brother Where Art Thou?

On the Waterfront

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Ong-Bak: the Thai Warrior

Out of Sight

Panic Room

PCU

People Vs. Larry Flynt

Pirates of the Carribbean

Princess Bride

Psycho (1960)

Pulp Fiction

Raging Bull

Rain Man

Raising Arizona

Rebel Without a Cause

Reservoir Dogs

Return of the Jedi

Rocky (only the first one)

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Roger and Me

Rounders

Rushmore

Saved

Saving Private Ryan

Scarface

Scream

Se7en

Shawshank Redemption

Shawn of the Dead

Shrek

Silence of the Lambs

Slap Shot

Sleepers

Sleepy Hollow

Smokey and the Bandit

Snatch

South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut

Star Wars (original)

Suicide Kings

Superbad

Super Troopers

Swordfish

Syriana

Taxi Driver

Team America: World Police

Terminator 2

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original)

The Firm

The Game

The Hustler

The Last Boy Scout

The Rock

The Royal Tenenbaums

The Shining

Terminator

There’s Something About Mary

This is Spinal Tap

Time to Kill, A

Tombstone

Trainspotting

Transformers

Usual Suspects

 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Frank Discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian Situation

Is it maybe, maybe, just possible that it's a bad idea for a bunch of old white men (read: the United Nations in 1948) to decide, essentially based on a Biblical religious passage, to drop the nation of Israel smack dab into the middle of a group of Arabs who had already gotten plenty of repression and military rule throughout the centuries?

A brief history of the land known as Palestine:

1800-1500 B.C. - Canaanites, Hitties, several types of Semitic peoples, Greeks from Mycenae, Philistines and Hebrews settle the roughly 10,000 square miles of modern-day Palestine/Israel.
1000-61 B.C. - About a dozen different empires, from Alexander the Great to the Assyrians to King David to the Persians conquer and rule the area.
61 B.C. - The Roman empire conquers Palestine. Some Jews remain in Galilee, but many leave or are forced out.
600-1900 A.D. - Except brief periods, the longest being about 30 years, Palestine is controlled by Muslim armies, who put down attempts to take it by Christian Crusaders (you saw Kingdom of Heaven, Orlando Bloom is dreamy, Liam Neeson takes an arrow through the nutsack, Saladdin, etc., etc.), Turks and Egpytians. Throughout almost all of Muslim rule in Palestine, Jews are permitted to both live there and practice their religion.
1880 - Palestine is under the umbrella of the Ottoman empire, which places restrictions on Jewish settlement and immigration and encourages Muslims instead to emigrate there. Jewish population is 24,000 out of roughly 400,000.
1917 - After World War I, Britain issues the Balfour Declaration, the first time the idea of an official Jewish state is floated. Britain doesn't want France to get a hold of Palestine, so they form a power bloc with the U.S. to support the creation of Israel (read: a bunch of white guys got together and decided to screw over a bunch of brown guys, justifying it with a Bible passage about it being the Jewish promised land).

So we can both agree that, between centuries of being militarily conquered and occupied and the two major world wars, both the Palestinians and the Jews took some pretty horrible hits. But even as early as 1919, David Ben Gurion, who would go on to be the first Israeli Prime Minister, acknowledged that subdividing Palestine into two countries was not going to work: 
"But not everybody sees that there is no solution to this question...We as a nation, want this country to be ours, the Arabs as a nation, want this country to be theirs."
You also have a period of cross-cultural agitation, with politicians and religious figures on both sides inciting the other and generally reinforcing the principles of "the other." Then in World War II, as more and more Jews begin to realize that Hitler is, in fact, trying to exterminate them, they organize the first massive wave of illegal immigration to Palestine, prompting the British to close the borders. Eventually, the U.S. pressures the Brits to let 'em in, and we start serious discussion about a Jewish state. 

So okay, here's the map for what the Palestine/Israeli dual state was to look like, in 1947 (Palestinian land in pink):

All things considered, that seems pretty fair to me. In fact, Israel got more than half, 56 percent, in this original deal. Naturally, they had nothing but good things to say about the proposal. Palestinian Arabs rejected it. Almost as soon as the partition declaration is formalized, fighting and mutual antagonism breaks out. With such a retarded map, it's almost impossible for the UN to enforce all along the borders. Haj Amin El Husseini's Arab army runs incursions into Israeli territory, and the Jewish underground army, the Haganah, begins mounting operations into Arab land. Meanwhile, neighboring Arab countries "declare war" on Israel, but they're not really all that serious and half of them have their own agenda (Syria wants to annex the northern part of Israel, and the King of Jordan is negotiating with Israel's Golda Meir to simultaneously annex areas in the West Bank and block the creation of a Palestinian state). The occupying British, meanwhile, are just sort of standing around, watching the fighting and probably hoping that one side or the other will just win so they won't have to do anything. In the spring of '48, Israel declares independence, and the British leave.

Then you have a series of wars with Egypt in which the Israelis take and give back the Sinai Peninsula, some scuffles with Syria in the Golan Heights, and then leading up through the late '70s and into the '80s you have the formation of the PLO, Fatah and shit with Lebanon and Hezbollah in the mid-'80s.

It should be noted that, during all this time, Israel has really never gotten smaller. It's only gotten larger, and now controls 78 percent of the former area of Palestine (Palestinian area in green):


You also have the United States supporting Israel pretty much every single time, regardless of the situation. I'll grant you, it would not be cool to live there. But they have the world's second-best military, they're a nuclear power even if they won't come out and admit it, and their response to what are really minor attacks by Hamas militants is disproportionate to say the least. 

Israel is like a kid from the neighborhood who got picked on during high school (we're talking pre-Christian). **There really is no good, non-offensive analog in this metaphor for the Holocaust, so let's insert that here** Then, while he was at college, he beefed up and got his confidence up. He came back to town, had a few good ol' boys help him put the fix in to become mayor. When some of the locals complained that he really had no right to be mayor, he started bullying everyone around and acting like a dick. And his mayoral pal from the next town over - who just happened to have the biggest gun collection in the county - supported everything he did.

I'm just sayin'... when you offer blind support for Israel and condemn every Palestinian as a terrorist, you're not really looking at the facts. And you can't have a frank discussion about the whole situation without taking into consideration that its seeds were planted by a bunch of white guys trying to "better the world." (read: establish/force a Western-friendly presence in the Middle East with the convenient-and-better-yet-just benefit of achieving a homeland for millions of displaced, persecuted Jews, the underlying reasons for which also fit into a large segment of the world's religious ideology; it's really a beautiful political double-play if you think about it... it sowed the seeds for a lot of the religious extremism that led to the Islamic Revolution and 9/11, but hey...)

"Few do more harm than those who set out with 'good intentions'" - William S. Burroughs

Bob Knight: Fountain of Wisdom

"Steroids? STEROIDS?!?!"

On Mike & Mike this morning, re: the A-Rod situation: "Gatorade is a performance-enhancing drug. Every time I turn on the TV, I see another commercial for some new energy drink; that's a performance-enhancing drug, so I don't really understand who gets to decide what is and isn't a performance-enhancing drug."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Oscar Predictions, Fully Acknowledging That I Have Not Seen 80 Percent of the Films Nominated

'And the Oscar goes to... who the faaaawk?'

Strictly in terms of the Oscars, dying is probably the best thing that could have happened to Heath Ledger. It gives him a definite leg up on the competition for Best Supporting Actor... 

Okay, that was kind of a dick thing to say, but look at the history of the Oscars, the political nature of who wins and what pictures are up for consideration, and tell me it's not pretty accurate.

My AMPAS report card, having not seen about 80 percent of the films up for awards:

Best Picture: Milk, Benjamin Button, Slumdog Millionaire, Frost/Nixon, The Reader
Which ones have I seen: None.
What should win: Probably Slumdog Millionaire. This is just the kind of thing that Academy voters drool over. Ghetto kid does good, learns hard lessons from his past that somehow all come up in the course of a game show. Corny? Oh yeah. But I do like Danny Boyle's work.
What will win: Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Actor: Richard Jenkins, The Visitor; Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon; Sean Penn, Milk; Brad Pitt, Benjamin Button; Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
Which ones I have seen: None.
Who should win: Mickey Rourke. If him and Darren Aronofsky can somehow make professional wrestling interesting, they deserve a fucking Academy Award. We used to get together and watch "Raw" back in the day, but it was really just an excuse to order chicken wings from the Sunshine Inn and play video games and pool.
Who will win: Brad Pitt. Contrary to popular belief, Brad Pitt did not, in fact, lose weight and compress his body to play an old baby. They did that shit with CGI. This looks to me like a reverse, non-retarded Forrest Gump story.

Best Supporting Actor: Josh Brolin, Milk; Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt; Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight; Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road
Which ones I have seen: The Dark Knight, Tropic Thunder
Who should win: I'm a little torn here. Ledger outdid Nicholson hands-down with his mad-bomber, Lord of the Flies Joker, and that should be enough to earn an Oscar. But Downey Jr.'s "dude disguised as a dude playin' another dude" was easily the funniest thing I saw at the theater all year, and if he's not going to get any props for Iron Man, I'd like to see him get them here. I'll tell you who should not win, and that's the dude from Revolutionary Road. Sorry, Sam Mendes, but you fucking already made American Beauty, like, ten years ago. Don't need another melodrama about how suburban life sucks and we're all really freaks.
Who will win: Josh Brolin. Because leave it to the Academy voters to give an Oscar to a guy that kills a homo.
(also, re: Phillip Seymour Hoffman... isn't he the lead actor in Doubt? Are they shoe-horning him into Best Supporting Actor to give him the award. He might be my dark horse here...)

Best Actress: Don't really care about this category, to be perfectly honest. I'll go with Angelina Jolie, for The Changeling. I base this on absolutely nothing. Haven't seen it, probably will put it at the bottom of a very long Netflix list.

Best Supporting Actress: Marisa Tomei is bangin'... And she strips in The Wrestler. That's Oscar-worthy in my book. In fact, on that basis, I think Salma Hayek and Vanessa Ferlito should get post-dated Oscars, for their roles in From Dusk Till Dawn and Death Proof, respectively (to be fair, Ferlito didn't really strip, but she did do a stripper dance, and that's gotta count for something).

Best Animated Film: WALL-E, Kung Fu Panda, Bolt
Which ones I have seen: Kung Fu Panda
What should win: Downey Jr. was the funniest thing I saw in the theater in '08, but Kung Fu Panda was the funniest thing I rented. For animation, the kung fu sequences were pretty sweet, and Jack Black was hilarious.
What will win: WALL-E. That Short-Circuit-Johnny-5-lookin' motherfucker.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Video: Super Bowl XLIII

Some of my favorite moments, from the game, celebration and parade:


I think this is my favorite call from any of the Bill Hillgrove years on the game-winning TD: "Ben pumps... he looks-he throws... AND IT'S SANTONIO WITH A TOUCHDOWN! SANTONIO HOLMES! I DON'T KNOW HOW HE DID IT!! DOMINIC RODGERS-CROMARTIE DOESN'T KNOW HOW HE DID IT!! AND THEY RULE TOUCHDOWN!"










Monday, February 2, 2009

To the House, Bitches, Pt. Deux

"Look at me, byaatch... I'm faster than Larry Fitzgerald."

Yeah, I got a bad penalty late in the game. Not as bad as it coulda been though, if the ref had seen me donkey-punch that dude in the back of his head. But that shit don't matter. I rumble, humble, bumble, stumble right on into the end zone.

Larry Fitzgerald's Baby Mama Drama...

Apparently, Larry Fitzgerald went all apeshit on his baby's mama and she was bringing their kid to the Super Bowl to press the issue on a domestic violence beef.

I have just one question: shouldn't this have been bigger news, particularly during Super Bowl week, than Michael Phelps ripping a bong hit at a Columbia frat party? (Quick aside: if Phelps was an X Games snowboarder, it would be a non-story; they'd just laugh, pat him on the head and send him back to the ski lodge to puff some more).

One for the (Other) Thumb...

Three of my favorite people

God, I love me some Mike Tomlin.

Talk about unflappable. Larry Fitzgerald is running around in the fourth quarter like six bats out of hell, James Harrison is donkey-punching people in the back of the head, THE FUCKING CENTER IS HOLDING FOR NO GOOD REASON...

And then NBC shoots to the sidelines, and Tomlin is standing there like it ain't no thang. He appeared cool and confident throughout the whole game, and I'm already warming up to him as my favorite of the Steeler coaches (full disclosure: I wasn't around for too much of the Noll years. I think I was watching football for maybe the last two years of his coaching tenure).

I don't know why I doubted that the Steelers could drive all the way up the field in two minutes and change. It's what Roethlisberger's been doing all season (Quick aside... one of my favorite moments from the postgame... Ben to Steve Young: "You wanna know what the call was on that last TD, in the huddle? 'Scramble left, scramble right, uh, get open.'"), and it's what makes him so infuriating to try and bring down. While you're running around the backfield like a madman trying to get this big mofo on the ground, your whole secondary is shitting their pants because everyone's running everywhere trying to get open.

I'm sure Seattle fans are spitting in their Starbucks because of all the penalties against the Cardinals, but whatever, they were one of the most-penalized teams in the league during the regular season, and the only really disputable call was Dockett's roughing-the-passer penalty. The face mask call was on, and I mean, seriously, what kind of dumbass runs over the field-goal holder? (Seattle fans also tend to gloss over Jeramy Stevens dropping, like, 33 passes in a row in Super Bowl XL, and the fact that Matt Hasselbeck is really just a useless stat-monkey who's never won a big game in his life; really, the only thing worth mentioning about Matt Hasselbeck is his bangin'-ass wife, and after listening to her try desperately to drag Jeremiah Wright back into the '08 election, she's such a dumb bitch that she's not even worth talking about anymore)

And let me just say this now: Larry Fitzgerald is the best receiver in the NFL. I was about to jump out my boy's window when I saw how easily he just split the secondary and made them look like three-wheeled jalopies chasing a Ferrari, but I have to give Shoeless Ike Taylor some credit for putting three quarters' worth of clamp on him. You knew eventually he was gonna get his yards, but I thought that second TD was  the coffin-nail for sure.

Let me also address the Steeler Haters:

People think Steeler fans are annoying and cocky. And to some extent, I'd agree with that. My boy Bruno is the shining example of this. His position on football is that the Steelers are the favorites to win every year, and every other team is garbage. "LaDainian Tomlinson? He ain't shit. Willie Parker, bitches." That's Bruno, but you have to be able to view things objectively. I can easily root for the Steelers, while still recognizing that Larry Fitzgerald runs circles around all the Steeers' receivers, probably even Santonio Holmes. In fact, I was glad to see Fitzgerald have a good game, 'cause I'm a Pitt fan.

But here's the thing. Since the Super Bowl era began (roughly, 1960 onward), the Steelers have had 19 seasons with 10 or more wins, and another 11 seasons with nine. So in 30 of 48 years, the Steelers have played high-quality football, and they're almost always a threat in the playoffs (25 appearances since 1972). It doesn't matter what year it is, every time the pundits are listing favorites to go all the way at the beginning of the NFL season, they mention the Steelers. Every time they talk about what teams have the best D, the Steelers come up.

They've had THREE COACHES SINCE 1969. They're the most stable, high-quality franchise in football, and probably in all of professional sports. In an era of increasing parity, the Steelers have remained near the top of the crop. 

That's worth being a little cocky. Hate if you want, but you wish your team was built more like the Steelers.