Day Two of Our Columnist Auditions
All kinds of pleasant surprises from Day One.
Quality columns from our final four.
Lots of interest from the readers.
And all kinds of feedback on the site in the comments section, Facebook, Twitter, and my email account.
Everyone had supporters. Many were passionate.
Brief disclaimer: if you’re friends or family with one of the writers, feel free to throw your support behind them. But, it’s a bit of a turn off to see someone attack other candidates when they’re clearly biased.
However, you’re welcome to express your opinion in whatever manner you want. Just know some of that shit is quite transparent…and “votes” don’t mean a damn thing in determining who we hire.
And, for the readers seeing all the comments under an article, be well aware that many of the comments are friends/family doing what friends/family do for their friend/family. In other words, just because a columnist has 20 people verbally fellating him, it doesn’t mean that---despite the fact that I am rather clueless---we’re all sitting in the offices going, “Man, so and so sure has a lot of fans. We best hire them.”
Now that that whole deal is out of the way…
…let’s talk about the columns/process/whatever you want to call it.
Day One is one thing. Day Two and Day Three are different.
The ability to come up with a new angle…on something topical/relevant/of interest to the insideSTL audience…is a task.
Sometimes I feel like I have to write a column, and then when that’s the case, I turn out a piece of garbage.
The ability to write…stimulate, entertain, get people to read…that’s one thing. But, coming up with the story ideas…that’s another element.
So, I’m quite anxious to see what we get today and tomorrow.
Just like yesterday, please post your comments giving your feedback on the columns/columnists…or feel free to email it to me at email@example.com.
Ladies and gentlemen…Day Two:
Make Sure You Buy Bread And Milk Today
by: Andy Portico
As I compose this piece this morning, the National Weather Service is predicting a high of 108 today followed by scorchers above 100 through Monday. And is always the case when weather gets the slightest bit ominous in St. Louis, the local meteorologists piss themselves to scare the living hell out of the television viewers. For example, a few weeks ago KMOV Chief Meteorologist Steve Templeton (no relation to Garry) was letting viewers know that a bad storm was headed towards the area. I think Templeton is the only meteorologist in meteorology history who actually gets sexually aroused over the prospect of bad weather. That’s what a good weatherman does. Templeton took it one step further. He informed the viewers that if they were in a downtown restaurant or bar, to stay where they were at, because a shitstorm was headed their way. Now I don’t know about you, but when I am at Morgan Street on Laclede’s Landing, I’m not asking the bartender to turn off the Cardinals game so I can watch Steve Templeton run around the 4Skin Weather Center (or whatever the hell it’s called) with his suit coat off and his sleeves rolled up telling me that I should buy a cemetery plot because the end of days is coming in the form of an inch of rain and some lightning.
What I love about meteorologists is how they always seem to state the obvious. Many times over the next few days, you will hear things like check on the elderly, check on your neighbors, check on your pets, check on your plants, and check on the guy who is cooking meth in the back of the abandoned Venture store up the street. Checking on the elderly is a given, but what if the elderly person you are checking on has lost his mind? You go into the house to check on good old Saul, and the next thing you know you are running down the street because Saul has grabbed his Colt 45 because he thinks you are Ho Chi Minh. What about your neighbor next door? Again, what happens if your neighbor is like the zombie apocalypse guy that ate the guy’s face in Miami? You are just doing the neighborly thing by making sure Rudy Eugene is ok, and damned if he isn’t running after you naked trying to pour A-1 sauce on your ass because he thinks it’s a New York strip.
We will also be inundated with mass hysteria as the local weatherfolks here will tell us that the wheels are falling of the car that is St. Louis. They will inform us that there is an ice shortage and how a local Jefferson County resident has taken to freezing his own urine and selling it as popsicles to the townspeople so they don’t die of dehydration. In order to get ratings at channel 5, Mike Roberts will crap on the roof of the KSDK building, put it to his ear and tell the viewers whether or not he can hear the ocean. At the 2 Fox, Dave Murray will show us how fast his wife Janis’s ice sculpture of Greg Gizinski’s mustache has melted since the massive heat wave started. The only good thing about summer in St. Louis is that it’s not winter. At least I don’t have to endure Roche Madden playing with snow on the Tamm Avenue Overpass or Tim Ezell dry humping some snowman in the middle of Forest Park.
Day-2 of Columnist Training Camp and I’m hoping to survive the cut. Honest feedback can be harmful to the ego but then I remember I’m still here at least taking a stab at failing. I could tone it down and try to please a few outspoken critics, but that wouldn’t be the genuine me. I’m genuinely an asshole and, should I not land this gig, I’d rather go down in my stubborn flames than bow to some hypocritical opinions and suck the cock of political correctness.
This is insideSTL.com, peruse around before you tongue-lash, fools. You can find straight laced sports reporting and nuns farting rainbows down the web-dial at numerous newspaper outlets or…well, I don’t know that you’ll find nuns farting anything, anywhere…but let me know if you do.
The 2012 Summer Olympics are right around the corner with London, England playing host to this year’s festivities. Ah, yes – London, England. The weather of Seattle, the accent ear-pollution of New Jersey and the advancement in dental hygiene on par with High Ridge. Who wouldn’t want to go?
The inviting tourism aspect aside, who really pays much attention to the Olympics anymore? There are Olympic moments I’ll never forget. U.S. Hockey gold, Mary Lou Retton and the original Dream Team, with the latter being probably the last that most people can recall with any great accuracy or enthusiasm.
In 1980, and uncle and I played along on the kitchen linoleum as Jim Craig and Mike Eruzione led USA Hockey to an unbelievable win over the Soviet Union on their way to gold in a more forgotten match with Finland. In 1984, my cousin, my siblings and I did our own gymnastics routines in the yard and scored each other accordingly. I could name the entire gymnastics squad at the time, which had more to do with my raging 13-year old hormones than my love of the actual sport.
Moving on to 1992, the entire country tuned in to see what our actual “best” could do against the world’s best on the Olympic basketball court. The Dream Team would thrill us all, looking like men amongst boys, and trounce the cream of the foreign crop. They would also affectively end our Olympic enthusiasm.
Over the years, we graduated from knobbed TV’s with 6-channels to cable boxes with 150. We were exposed to far more sports, on a more regular basis and at a much higher level. We realized that, while other countries were sending their best, this just wasn’t true in the United States.
A child’s aspirations of wearing the Team USA jersey and donning a medal on the Olympic podium, possibly leading to a comfortable post-Games income based on endorsement deals were replaced with aspirations of getting out of “the hood”, not getting shot and leading to professional earnings that could feed generations of their struggling families, not to mention half the goddamned countries they could “compete” against on the world stage.
Combine that with the increasingly obvious fact that these are not “true, clean” athletes that we’re all seeing and the glamour fades even more. Sure, the Chinese slipped some cock and balls into some women’s tights and the Russians and Germans have always fucked with the human genome, but when Bruce Jenner was gracing the TV-set, along with the Wheaties box, we bought it. Now, even our bracelet wearing, uni-balled hero cyclists can’t be relied on to piss cleaner than some Jeff County meth head.
The Olympic spirit has died. Sure we’ll all jump on board in our bandwagon fashion if a surprise story rises out of the London muck, just as we pretend to overwhelmingly support that gawd-awful sport of shin guards, “nil” scores and flopping pansies anytime one of their national squads sniffs a semifinal, when, in reality, the 3-seconds of that broad ripping off her jersey was FAR more stimulating than the previous 3-weeks of “action”.
Look at the fact that the most compelling story of these upcoming Games is whether aspiring U.S. hurdler, Lolo Jones, returns from London with her precious cherry still intact, or if it exits Olympic Village on the sweat towel of an Australian hammer thrower. And that’s not just in my crude-ass mind. Read a magazine or watch a talk show if you don’t believe me.
My easiest argument is this: Baseball is no longer an Olympic sport…please. Quick, name 5-current aspiring American Olympians who aren’t in the NBA. Now, name 5-Kardashians, and I’ll spot you the one I listed above on a technicality – I rest my fucking case.
I once again attempted to “use profanity as a crutch for my less-than-stellar vocabulary” and also “made my family fucking proud”. But guess what, Scott and Phil; this is partially my platform for 3-days, so GFY.
Now, decide whether to reply, thus admitting your hypocritical ass still reads my horseshit, or sit behind the computer stewing the fact that I’m actually doing something you were incapable of…KMFP-out!
by: ANDREW AHR
“Writing is a lot easier when you have something to say” – Sholem Asch
I must say I was surprised last night. I thought there would be more than just 27 comments, regarding the columnist tryout, by the time midnight rolled around. I loved reading all of them. There was a lot of passion and definitely strong opinion put in most, while others were straightforward and simple. I think it would be safe to say that you could compare my writing style the latter instead of the former, but that’s just who I am I guess. This column in particular will be the sixth one I have written for this competition and when I finish my final tryout column for Friday it will have been three weeks since this little journey started for me.
So here I sit staring blankly at my computer screen with five hours to go before I must turn in such an extraordinary piece of literature that all that read it will be stunned into utter silence, filled with such emotion, sentiment and pride that they forget about the other three columns, demand I be crowned the victor and protest at the top of their lungs if I am not proclaimed a genius on the level of Shakespeare, Twain, Hemmingway, and Fitzgerald.
Well, folks I am sorry to say that I don’t see that happening in the next four hours and fifty-two minutes. I do not have a clue as to what I want to write about. Right now I would think it would be easier to be a beat writer or be handed an assignment. That way I would know the organization or topic I would be writing about. However, here in this Darwinian experiment of Mr. McKernan’s design, we four are charged with the task of coming up with our own topic and make it entertaining enough to please you, the faithful masses.
I don’t feel like writing about the Cardinals. The Blues, Rams and Mizzou are all out of season and even though I spent six wonderful years of my life living in Miami Beach, and therefore a Heat fan, I really don’t feel like wasting your time with the NBA. I don’t feel like commenting on Michael Phelps’ win in the 200 meter freestyle at the Olympic trials. I could care less about how the WTA is looking to control “excessive grunting” during matches. I am not even going to ponder what the ramifications of Spain’s win over Portugal in penalty kicks will have on the stability of the Euro and the financial bailouts in Europe. I seriously cannot imagine what this will be like for the eventual winner in two weeks, the dreaded worst week of the year for sports, when MLB takes a break and there is absolutely nothing going on in the sports world other than watching Chris Berman continue to solidify his position as the biggest grandstanding blowhard in all of sports journalism by rattling off “BACKBACKBACKBACKBACK” when calling the Home Run Derby during the MLB All-Star festivities.
So sports are out for this column, which leaves me with politics and pop culture. I want to save politics for tomorrow because it’s going to be too easy with the Supreme Court releasing their ruling on Obamacare. Of course you will have the President blaming the Republicans if any part of his sweeping Health Care measure is struck down and of course at the same time you will have Republicans claiming victory, even though neither had anything to do with it because it was the nine non-partisan justices of the Supreme Court that come up with the ruling. Add to that you will have President Obama using any ruling against him as a campaign fundraising point to rally his supporters for more money. Here is a man who is trying to put himself once again in the underdog role by emphasizing the fact that Gov. Romney has raised more cash recently. This is the same Obama who out-raised McCain $779 Million to $389 Million just four years ago. In fact it has gotten so desperate for Obama that his campaign is even sending out notices to supporters asking them that if they are having a wedding, anniversary, bar or bat mitzvah, or birthday they should encourage their guests to forgo giving gifts and instead contribute to Obama’s re-election campaign. Seriously?!? But hey let’s leave all of that for tomorrow.
So I am left with Pop Culture as a category to blow your mind, touch your heart and caress the deepest depths of your soul. Well in the immortal words of my friend Carlos Adolfo Vegas in the aforementioned Miami Beach: “Nada, Papi!” This is loosely translated into “There isn’t much going on.” Of course I can skim through TMZ, The New York Post, and the Drudge Report looking for interesting tidbits on all of the celebretards that find new and interesting ways of gracing the covers of countless magazines and getting their picture posted on an even larger number of websites. Sure, let’s go ahead and see who Mel Gibson has gone off on today. Is he still asking people “Who wants to eat?” How about Charlie Sheen? Has he gone off the rails again? What is that you say? There is a report that he hosted booze and drug fueled party with prostitutes in his hotel suite at the Ritz in NYC? Oh wait, just a false rumor, nothing to it? Damn! What about Lindsay Lohan? She is always a go-to for good copy. Has her probation been revoked yet for lying to police about her accident on the Pacific Coast Highway where she boofed an 18-wheeler? Nothing on that yet huh? Ok, so all we have is a firsthand account on the ITD Morning After about how Nadya Suleman and her agent were maliciously treated on a Virgin America flight? Super! Let me throw something together about that and add in a little something about the fact that while this mother of fourteen has been celibate for thirteen years and plans on remaining celibate for another fifteen years when all of her children have reached the age of 18, she thinks she will be able to land a man. Of course she will then be 52 years old, still with 14 kids and will not have had “sexual relations” in 25 years. What guy wouldn’t want to tap that keg at that point?
Oh well! I better get started on writing this thing. I have 2 hours and fifty-three minutes to bang out a polished gem of a piece. But it’s just like what that great 20th century Polish-American Yiddish writer, Sholem Asch, once said: “Writing is a lot easier when you have something to say.”
The Real Magic in “Magic Mike”
by: Chris Reed
This weekend, thousands upon thousands of women across these United States and around the world have simultaneously scheduled a Girls’ Night Out. Not every woman will participate, but by now damn near all of them have heard the reason for this High Holy Day from one of their friends or the pages of a Hollywood gossip magazine.
Friday night marks the release of “Magic Mike,” a movie about male strippers that stars Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey. Just mention the title of the movie in the presence of most women and thighs will begin to quiver. Don’t believe me? Do a quick search on Twitter or Facebook. Poll some of your female friends. This thing has women everywhere drooling like an Arizona cop who just pulled over someone with a tan.
Basically, the plot of “Magic Mike” goes something like this: Tatum plays an exotic dancer who has loftier goals than parading his ridiculously perfect body around half naked all the time. He meets up with McConaughey, who is the emcee at a male review. Together, they…you know what? Fuck it. The plot of this movie is completely irrelevant, because anyone going to see it isn’t going in order to gain an appreciation of the finer points of American cinema. The characters on the screen could reveal the cures for cancer and AIDS, solve the national debt crisis, and bring the terrorists of the world to justice…only no one watching would care. The audience will be full of women going to gawk at the hunks of meat gyrating in front of them to the point of saturating their theater seats and wondering how they ended up with the not-quite-as-good-as-what’s-on-the-screen whomever it is they have waiting for them at home.
Sound familiar? It should. It’s what men do for every other movie containing strippers, because movie strippers are usually women. Many times our reactions result in eye rolls, verbal jabs, and maybe even the occasional smack from the women in our lives. This time however, the shoe is on the other foot. Because now—and maybe for the first time ever—the playing field has been leveled. “Magic Mike” is eye candy for the ladies, and nothing more. It’s “Showgirls” and “Striptease” and “Flashdance” and a dozen other similar movies all rolled into one big sausage fest. Now, when their wives, girlfriends, and any other women start clucking or Tweeting or whatever about “Magic Mike,” guys can collectively look the ladies straight in the eye and say, “Ha! You’re perverts just like us! Maybe worse!”
Gentlemen, this is a good thing. If the woman in your life has made plans to go see this movie with her friends, you’ve been granted license. Go to a strip club the same night; what is she going to say? Or better yet, make a little game out of it. Invite the guys over and have “Showgirls” playing on the biggest TV you own when she comes home from her “Magic Mike” clambake. You don’t even have to watch the whole movie…just make sure it’s on when she walks in to see if you get a reaction. Because, in all likelihood, even the staunchest critic of the great Elizabeth Berkley’s opus of a film couldn’t possibly even sniff at it or you after the thoughts that just ran through her head while conspicuously crossing and re-crossing her legs as she watched “Magic Mike” and company shake ass for a couple hours on a 20 foot widescreen.
And ladies, I’m not picking on you here. I’m welcoming you to the world of perversion with open arms; after all, we guys have been here a long time. The only requirement you have to fulfill is to own it. It is most definitely Channing Tatum’s oiled-up pecs making you tingly in all the right places, not cuddling or hearing he’ll take care of you forever or him “really listening this time.” It’s OK to be a lecher once in a while. Enjoy “Magic Mike” for what it is; you deserve it.
Just do the guys of the world one favor and remember that when you see or hear us babbling on about this actress or that actress and the ever-present hope for T&A in almost every movie we see. After “Magic Mike,” you’re no longer looking at a typical guy response. You’re looking into a mirror. Pervert.
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