Ithaca Sucks

A Journal of Humor and Verbal Anarchy

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

$$$Star Community News

IS is talking today to Joshua Wamscott, Gourmet Food Buyer at Greenstar Cooperative Market, Ithaca's own upscale emporium of natural food delights.

IS Josh, what surprises do you have for Greenstar's loyal customers this holiday season?

I am so glad you asked that question, Ez. By the way, your food basket is ready on the loading dock. Well, let me say that we are very excited to be the area's only outlet for Kopi Luwak coffee from Sumatra. You might not know this, but what makes this coffee so fab is that the palm civet, a cat-like mammal, consumes - among other fruits - coffee cherries. The civet digests the outer layer of these cherries and then excretes the coffee beans. This adds wonderful flavor to the coffee. Now, this is going to knock your socks off -- Greenstar is selling Kopi at a huge discount, only $300 a lb. but only while supplies last. Isn't that something? Aren't you thrilled. Ez, why is it that I smell cat litter on your sweater?

Josh, tell me about the rumor I've heard that you are carrying Royal Sevruga Caviar.

I'm so glad you brought that up, Ez. You sure that isn't cat litter I smell? As everyone knows, Royal Sevruga is the world's best caviar. You can't say fish eggs without saying Royal Seryuga. Try it.

IS You mean the caviar?

Josh Saying fish eggs....

IS Ok, now, if you had to choose among all the wonderful gift items in your inventory, what do you think every Greenstar member will want to put in their recycled paper shopping bag this holiday?

No brainer, Ez. Fondo di Trebbiano Balsamic Vinegar. Without a doubt From Medieval times, balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy is prepared in the ancient tradition. From the cooked must of the Trebbiano grapes blended with strong red wine vinegar, the vinegar is transferred through a succession of casks (oak, chestnut, cherry, ash, mulberry, and juniper, in this case) allowing for a rich flavor and reduced volume. 8 years, Ez, not a day sooner. The result is a brilliant dark brown vinegar with a distinct aroma and rich flavor. The consistency is dense; the product is spectacular served over any grilled meat or fish.

IS So, what would you expect to pay for a high quality balsamic vinegar like that, Josh?

Josh A mere $94.95 for an 8.5 oz bottle. What a steal! Look, Ez, I'm talking with my hands. Grazi, how do you say that? Like the godfather....

Monday, November 26, 2007
The IS X(Christ)mas Catalog (Because we all have choice!)

It is that time again! Whether you exchange gifts at the Co-op, or need to buy your administrative assistant something tokenish for the holidays, or have a same sex domestic partner that’s hard to shop for, the Ithaca Sucks X(Christ)mas Catalog has a gift got you..

Our buyers have scanned five continents, trading fairly every inch of the way. All of our trading partners pay their workers at least $14.00 an hour which will definitely help their local economy except when they figure out that we’ve paid in Ithaca Hours!!!

Now we know that you would never get caught dead in a Big Box or spotted cruising the mall of shops so you need to get on the stick to make sure your gift arrives before the holiday, that is, whichever form of a holiday you wish to celebrate, whether it’s a combined Christmas/Hanukah, very popular these days, or a Unitarian/Sufi winter solstice, or a Bahai/Muslim/Agnostic day in December or just a plain jane/jim Xmas, skip the ribbons and bows, thank you.

So, without further adieu, here’s our lineup of fab gifts this season.

A lawn sign cozy: Yep, your 2004 election sign has been up over 2 years now and it’s starting to get a little ragged, Every knows you voted against Bush but, perhaps in the spring, new folks will move in next door, so---why not treat yourself or someone close to a lawn sign cozy. Now you can keep your sign warm and dry all winter. Our cozies come in a variety of colors and patterns, and all are sewn by Fair Trade workers in the Rochina favelas of Rio.

Want something non-polluting to get rid of bathroom odors? For only $199.99 you can install an Ithaca Sucks Eco-Smell TwirlyWhirley. You will be the first to have pioneered use of an internal alternative energy source. And, if you’re feeling mighty liberal, hey you can always tilt with it, Ole! Take that, you dirty republican.

Last year one of our most popular gifts was the IS Portable Choir. DON’T preach to the bathroom mirror when you convert the converted. Comes AC/DC.

A favorite of ours and one that is sure to go over with almost anyone on your gift list is the IS Bush is a Nazi wall poster. Hey, unless he and Cheney declare martial law, he will be out of there one day and then who will you have to bitch out? Madame Clinton?

The perfect gift for your special Liberal? Yes, we are talking about the IS Band Aid Quick Fix Dispenser. Your arsenal of cures for almost any ill comes equipped with adhesive strips in every size. Fix racism in the schools, gang violence, potholes, you name it!

Give the ultimate gift this year! Give an insult gift certificate. That's right. Ithaca Sucks has them in 5 popular denominations. For $10, $20, $50, $100 and $150, you can have the person of your choice insulted on the Ithaca Sucks Daily Blog. At the $150 range an entire blog will be devoted to installing a new orifice in that special person care of Ez Kidder, CyberSanta TM.

Get these special gifts while supplies last. Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 25, 2007
the 'G' word

Ez has been reading the newspaper and he doesn't like what he is reading. Someone had the audacity to bring up the 'G" word.

And G rhymes with T which stands for TROUBLE.

We got trouble in Granola City. And trouble begins with the havenot's wanting what the have's have got. And Havenot's starts with H which doesn't rhyme with any other letter of the alphabet, just like R which stands for RACE.

Oops, did Ez say that?

Because Ithaca knows that it has a race problem. And Ithaca is a college town so we can study it because S rhymes with mess and that's what we have on our hands right here in granola city. Now granola starts with g which also stands for gangs so we come back to square one.

Impromptu, semi-spontaneous and very unsanctioned incidents of wealth being re-distributed on the streets are occurring. Groups of young street urchins making trouble, doing what comes naturally when the leaders hail from a broken, largely marginalized and dysfunctional part of the community --can you say ghetto which also starts with g but because we dwell in Ithaca and dwell rhymes with L which stands for Liberal, we can't use that word. The 'G' word, any g word for that matter. Except what you put in your cereal bowl.

Now, they've been studying this problem for decades. Gangs have existed since the beginning of time. Hey, didn't gangs of Neanderthals take down the woolly mastodon? And, gangs of slaves led by Spartacus caused all that trouble for Rome. Gangs of immigrants even provided material for a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio. But they haven't solved the problem of street gangs in America yet because the real problem is capitalism which starts with 'C" and rhymes with G which, as we all know now, rhymes with T. And that stands for trouble. Gangs or nations, what have you, folks just covet what other people have, like Mideast oil, or a pair of sneakers or a nicer cell phone or a sense of being powerful in all of its permutations, whether it's terrorizing the streets of Ithaca or building bases, maintaining huge standing armies and bullying the rest of the world under the pretext of safeguarding democracy. Capitalism fuels (no pun intended) the desire fow what's bubbling in someone else's backyards or the fancy dancy sneakers on someone else's feet.

To extend the discourse, when people resent being marginalized, stomped on, ignored, downtrodden, they do something about it. Terror, after all, is the weapon of the less powerful. That damn T word. Where it all starts again, if you trouble which starts with t, you need cops which start with c. And suddenly you have a police state. Police starts with P and that leads to a dimunition of D which, as we all know, is the first letter in the word democracy. But that couldn't happen here!

Now liberals think that they can apply a band aid to the problems of society but, here in enlightened Ithaca, the fault line between the have's and the havenot's has continued to fester despite the best efforts of do-gooders, social service agencies up the whazoo, and a hell of a lot of Talk which also starts with T but doesn't make the Trouble go away.

Because the problem of race in America started as a corollary to capitalism, plantation style, and you can't have one without the other. Which is a line of another song. And, speaking of songs ...

Ithaca should stop trying to recreate Oprah's reading list, what with all the community reading projects we do around here. What the community should be doing is reprising some street theater. Get the whole town involved in producing music rather than producing committee reports, just like Robert Preston recommended in the film, The Music Man. COnvert the streets into a musical stage rather than an asphalt jungle.

How about if the whole town got together and put on West Side Story? "Tonight, tonight, won't be just any night." Start tapping toes, snapping fingers.

"Officer Krupke, you're really a slob.
This boy don't need a doctor, just a good honest job.
Society's played him a terrible trick,
And sociologic'ly he's sick

We are sick, we are sick,
We are sick, sick, sick,
Like we're sociologically sick!"

Just imagine the gangs of Ithaca having fun with good old fashioned music. That will fix the problem. Hey, we don't need a drum circle as some snide smart ass suggested on the Ithaca Journal online comment board.

We'll find a new way of living,
We'll find a way of forgiving
Somewhere . . . "

YOu know, Ez thinks it's rather unlikely somewhere will be the place we know and love so well.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dan Duryea, Film Noir Heavy

If you logged in the thousands of hours watching B-movies that Ez did, you will undoubtedly recognize this Cornell graduate who, in film after film, recreated the spineless, slightly psychopathic, misogynistic, snivelling, blackmailing, deceitful, cynical slime ball of such classics as Scarlet City, The Black Angel, and Criss Cross.

According to film critic, Stuart Kaminsky, Duryea "brought out the emerging attitude of disillusionment toward the end of World War II and in the years after. In the 1950s Duryea's mocking image became less one to be faced and overcome by the hero than one which had to be accepted as part of the postwar world" He was the perfect "evil counterpart for the lanky heroes of the 1940s, particularly Gary Cooper in Along Came Jones."

Kaminsy goes on to make the claim that "he (Duryea) developed a repertoire of understated shoulder shrugs, slight raisings of the eyebrow, a twitch of the mouth, and an almost imperceptible "suit-yourself, take-it-or-leave-it" movement of the hand. He became a master of the small signs of character that the camera could pick up, and he wielded his reedy, high voice like an irritating, cutting scimitar."

Holy Cagney, Ez-man. You can walk into Simeon's or Madelines on any given evening and see people mimicking Mr. D. Hey, looks like everyone wants to break into pictures, and leave their palm print on the Boulevard .

Now, here's the clincher. In an interview once, Duryea was asked how he crafted the persona of a petty, woman-slapping, double crossing louse that he played on the screen. His answer is priceless so Ez copies it verbatim.

"At first it was very hard as I am a very even-tempered guy ... but I used my past life experiences to motivate me as I thought about some of the people I hated in my early as well as later life ... like the school bully who used to try and beat the hell out of me at least once a week ... a sadistic family doctor that believed feeling pain when he treated you was the birthright of every man inasmuch as women suffered giving birth ... little incidents with trade-people who enjoyed acting superior because they owned their business, overcharging you. Then the one I used when I had to slap a woman around was easy! I was slapping the over-bearing teacher who would fail you in their ‘holier-than-thou’ class and enjoy it! And especially the experiences I had dealing with the unbelievable pompous ‘know-it-all-experts’ that I dealt with during my advertising agency days ... almost going ‘nuts’ trying to please these ‘corporate heads’ until I finally got out of that racket!"

Well, he did spend four years in Ithaca, right? 'Know it all experts'? Sadistic dentists that would make Laurence Olivier in Marathon Man look like Mr. Rogers. And nasty trade people, Ez means nasty, galore. Was Now You're Cooking open in those days, doya think?

Ez salutes Dan Duryea for his ability to get more than a classroom education in Ithaca, New York.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Does eating turkey make you sleepy? had a piece on that same question this morning. Ez has often marveled how the guys who write for those web portals like MSN and Yahoo come up with all that friggin content day after day? Hey, we’re coming up on deadline, whatcha got for today? Ok, let’s see. Can wearing a St. Christopher medal for twenty years produce skin cancer? Does Victoria’s Secret market its bras in equatorial Africa? Hey, all those ladies in National Geographic sure could use a lift.

So, besides the fact that capitalism has eaten our brains away from inside and that most of the people you will meet in the mall today are not really people at all, they are mutants. Ez doesn't have a lot to blog about today. Oh yeah, he could blog about the fact that spell check on Windows XP doesn't recognize the word blog –that there is always one of those red line whatsamajiggers under the word, just like there is under the word whasma jiggers. Now that is pretty interesting. MSN doesn't own Blogger, their nemesis does. Ez has read far less interesting pieces lately on various web insider techie sites. Like all this shit on Google and android. Give us a break already. Like who gives a shit. What people really want to know is, will you one day be able to access the internet from your scrotum? Are they working on that shit, or are they not? And who came up with the word scrotum anyway? Is it taken from the Latin?

You see, Ez could really work for one of those pump out the daily content web portals. He has a panoramic mind, or people tell him that. How could anyone possibly write nearly 250 blogs about a hole in the wall town like Ithaca, New York. Hey, believe Ez when he tells you that it has been a struggle to come up with content for the blog. The fact that he has been able to blog every day since the end of October is no mean feat.

Steroids for the imagination. That is how. Ez is the Barry Bonds of blogging, all pumped up with them content-enhancing steroids that give you the edge when there is absolutely nothing but the dead and the dying to write about in your little town, credit to Paul Simon here. Ez loves that song. He’s visited that place over and over again.

Now Ez has had this great idea. What about if the big boxes and giant retailers programmed a computer in your car, sent all the blue light specials, winter circulars, news about white sales, etc to a little microchip in your Saturn? You know, no advertising every 5 minutes on tv, no pop ups on your pc, no billboards, no advertisements tattooed on people’s foreheads, just pump that shit right into your dashboard. Then, you’d wake up on Black Friday, have your Jimmy Dean sausage and egg mcmuffin or some shit like that and feel like good morning starshine, get in your car and head out to the mall or Planet Big Box on Rt 13. The GPS system in your car would automatically lead you to the best buys, take you wherever there are bargains thanks to Google Maps, and they could stop trying to program our fucking brains all the time.

Now, tell Ez, is that a good idea or what? Confess, does he deserve the Nobel Prize or what?

Anyway, did you ever wonder why the Friday after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday? How so, is it not true that the chiming of the registers brings happiness to retailers. Certainly happiness resides in the White House because the Chief Executive Consumer wants us to shop, shop, shop. Could the blackness refer to the darkness invisible of returning to a place where all of our material needs are met, where we are suckled through the umbilical cord connecting us to the Great Ocean of Stuff?

And so, stuffed with turkey, lullabied by advertising, we fall asleep on Thanksgiving evening, dreaming deeply of that ultimate consumer fantasy, a return to the womb where we can once again be truly happy and fulfilled, bobbing around again in the murky amniotic waters.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

So, the Republicans have finally managed, in a macabre twist, to merge Thanksgiving Day with the anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination. How bizarre is that? You can pig out on turkey and stuffing, then retire to the rec room to watch endless re loops of the Zapruder film and dissect the lone gunman theory.

How about combining Yom Kippur with Christmas? Or, even better, how about teaming Election Day up with April Fool's Day?

Ok, it's only fitting and right on this most American of holidays that we give thanks for all of our blessings. Ain't we all pilgrims on this earth, and haven't we all at one time in our lives felt like those Puritans stepping foot on a brave new world, the absolute unknown, as it were, without a signpost in sight outside of our own inner faith and our desire to make a better world? Ez, in this same vein, remembers the first day he stepped foot in Ithaca, New York.

And, you want to know his exact words at that moment?

"Shit, I must have taken a wrong turn somewhere! This place sucks."

Thank you, Ithaca, for providing Ez with four years' worth of material for a blog that he has felt compelled to write despite the fact that his time and effort would have been better repaid learning Esperanto.

Thank you for all the damage to his car from potholes and salt. Thank you for all the tens of thousands of dollars he didn't earn living here because your economy sucks and Ez didn't have the graduate degree needed to bus tables at Moosewood to supplement his meager income at Satan Industries.

Oh, and thank you, Ithaca, for providing Ez's cats with fours years of newsprint for their litter boxes courtesy of the Ithaca Journal and Ithaca Times.

Thanks for destroying any vestige of confidence that Ez had in the American political system. Only in Ithaca has the political process imploded to the point that, if you thought the two party system was broken, you could have come to Ithaca and discovered that one party rule was even less effective. As anyone in Albania or the former Soviet Union could have told you.

Can you spell Liberal Hegemony?

Thank you, Ithaca, for your snobbishness and snottiness, your ivy league pretensions, we are so much holier up on the hills attitude Cornell U.

Oh, and Ez shouldn't forget to thank Ithaca for exposing the hypocrisy of 'green capitalism.' He's talking about the yuppie quasi-socialism of places like Greenstar, the sheer effrontery of Ten Thousand Villages, friggin' fair trade, Ez's ass. Like who's the dupe?

Well, Ez could go on and on, but you get the point.

Ez didn't want anyone to think he wasn't thankful.

Oh, and thank you for the Comfort Inn.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

As shoppers crowd into malls and big boxes Black Friday to jump start the holiday celebration, some Ithacans are more intent on taking the Christ out of Christmas.

DeeDee Swanfeather, self-styled head of Ithaca's pagan community, doesn't want us to forget that the Puritans systematically banned the celebration of Christmas. In point of fact, 1644 was the year that the English Parliament actually outlawed the holiday, declaring the ritual consumption of plum pudding a heathen practice.

"The holiday predates Christianity," DeeDee scolds, "It's part of much old belief system that commemorates among other things the coming of the winter solstice. Leave it to those damn Christians to co-opt everything. It's not nice to turn your back on Mother Nature."

And DeeDee, as she delivered this rant, had no intention of turning her back on Mutter Erde, as she and a group of fellow pagans huddled in the cold woods around a giant pentagram etched out of the first light snowfall of the season, chanting away, exhaling clouds of frosty breath. Maybe were they welcoming the new Sun Child, or was this coven of modern heathen collectively thinking about having a warm latte at the mall and the cruising bargains at Target? A caravan of late model Saabs and Volvo wagons was waiting near the road to whisk the worshippers away to those more civilized pursuits.

Later at Juna's, a name which DeeDee reminded us is a feminized form of Juno, Queen of the Gods, she explained how the solstice was all about burning the oaken yule log in a sacred fire, celebrating peace and the dawn of planetary consciousness, not to mention recognizing all the manifestations of the great goddess. DeeDee was coming across more and more all the time like a pagan Martha Stewart. That suspicion was confirmed when she pulled out of her moon shaped knit bag a copy of her latest book which she delighted in mentioning had dozens of recipes for yummie pagan treats like chocolate cinnamon pentacles, and great ideas for decorating like a modern goddess.

"You can buy it at the Bookery or order it through Amazon," DeeDee chirped. A glint in the corner of one eye suggested that the price of not buying her book might be a trip down Buffalo St. without brakes.

Seems like it always comes down to the ole' cash nexus and the hard sell whether you put the Christ in or take it out, ain't that the truth?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The growing legions of the homeless in Ithaca, according to one recent study, may have a lot less to do with economics and much more to do with the lively cultural and educational scene here in I-town.

Sid Beemer, an intense young man in his late 20's, was, at the time we caught up with him for this interview, practicing scales in Dewitt Park. A P&C shopping cart filled with Sid's worldly belongings along with his tuba case, was parked off to the side.

"There's a big rehearsal tonight." He explained. "The Ithaca Homeless Men's Chorale is doing selections from Handel's Messiah. I wouldn't be caught homeless in any other college town. There is so much to do here. On Monday I sing, Tuesday there's Homeless Contra Dancing, Thursday there's TM, and on Friday Cornell Cinema always shows a couple of classic films. Last week they showed Ninotchka with Garbo, one of my favorites. I love Garbo, and with von Stroheim, oh my god. What an amazing combo!"

According to the study conducted by Cornell's School of Ecology, 2 out of 3 homeless people interviewed in Ithaca are either involved in a choir, theater project or some other small group activity, or are taking at least one class at IC or TC3.

"I sold fire insurance for 30 years, then the company burned down." Fred Carbuncle, a grizzled 60 year decked out in his Catholic Charities best told us. He was just putting the finishing touches on a ceramic bowl he had been working on at the Homeless Potter's Workshop in the basement of St. John's. Another homeless man could be seen carefully removing his work from the kiln.

"Now I'm in the process of retooling, you might say." Fred continued. "Living out in the street, you know, can be pretty tough. I have to collect a lot, I mean a lot of, cans and bottles to pay my tuition. I take this computer course in HTML at TC3. But, things could be worse. There's the soup kitchen, my Homeless Person's Support Group, the Homeless Actor's Guild workshop --hey, did you know I'm playing Willy Loman in Salesman this season at the Kitchen? So I get by, you know, you gotta do what it takes to survive. Maybe one day I'll leave Ithaca and go somewhere where I can get a job. But, for now, things are ok. And, yeah, I'm keeping a journal."


Monday, November 19, 2007

Ithaca's recently appointed School Superintendent, Lucius Quincy Culpepper, 3rd told parents, faculty and students gathered in the Ithaca High Auditorium tonight that it was "time to heal the wounds of the past" and promised "a fresh start" in the history of a troubled Ithaca school system.

Culpepper, a veteran educator with broad experience as a teacher and principal, and most recently superintendent of the Walker School District in Alabama, was chosen by the embattled ICSD Board to replace Judy Pastel, who critics claim had been insensitive and 'unresponsive' to numerous incidents of racial tension in the schools.

The Board itself had come under fire in recent days for not moving quickly enough to investigate allegations of stonewalling and coverup on the part of school administrators who, according to critics, had failed to respond immediately to reports that minority students had been harrassed or physically threatened by their white peers.

"We'se been thro' that awwl in Alabamey, " Culpepper told his audience. "Done tha' , been ther'. It's time to put it awl in th' past. One big happ'y family, that'se mah motto."

Culpepper, hailing from a school district that is 98% white, has long been a proponent of busing, a practice that has been criticized in Ithaca for failing to redress social and economic inequities in minority neighborhoods.

"Ah'se sent chil'un right over to th' next coun'ty and it works, let me tell ya, it works." Culpepper assured parents in his warm, rich Alabama drawl.

In an interview he gave to IS after his address, Culpepper told this reporter that his favorite hobbies include participating in Civil War re-enactments, snipe hunting and hosting Southern style barbecues.

"Ah'se particularily like recreating the battle of First Manassas, don't mind tellin' ya. Like to play old'se General Beauregard when he beats the tails off those damn yan..., Ah beg yar pardon, Ah mean, won a great victoree agin' his ah-ponents."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

In a decisive step aimed at insuring that Ithaca will have a well educated workforce as it faces the challenges of the 21st Century, the City today sealed its borders with Trumansburg, Dryden and other communities, and stopped admitting non-college grads. At checkpoints along the major arteries leading into Ithaca, border guards have begun verifying college transcripts and administering spot GRE's.

Mayor Carolyn Peterson, in an early morning press statement, outlined the City's position. "I have been concerned about the number of barrista and wait staff jobs that have been lost over the last several years to college drop outs. Ithaca needs to protect its educational purity and make sure that the best jobs go to the best people. It's just not enough to say that we have more MA's and PhD's per capita than any other comparable size community in the United States."

Peterson was visibly moved at one point in her remarks, "It's tough watching a bright, enthusiastic young person who just spent $160K on a first rate ivy league education walk in and get turned down for a job busing tables at a downtown coffee shop. It hurts, it really does. We owe it to our college grads, to our downtown merchants and business owners, to our visitors, to the City itself to correct this problem."

Shortly before dawn this morning, members of the IPD Swat Team began an intensive house to house manhunt for non-college graduates. Mobile transcript checks were hastily set up at various points in the city to verify graduation data, and review grades. Large unmarked vans could be seen lumbering through Ithaca towards a temporary detention center set up in Stewart Park to process dropouts and non-achievers.

Reliable sources also indicate that the City Council Budget Committee has begun discussing a more permanent solution to the attainment gap, possibly a barrier similar to the one that Israel has built to keep out the Palestinians.


Saturday, November 17, 2007


(excerpt from Cornell Alumni Magazine)

An unverified source in the Greek capital, Athens, reports that a group of disaffected playboys led by Achilles Arindopolos, ’97 seized power today in one of the cradles of civilization, a country also considered to be the actual birthplace of democracy. The Greek embassy in Washington would not verify or deny this report.

Arindopolos, who graduated with a BA in international relations from Cornell’s Mario Einaudi Center, is heir to a major Adriatic shipping fortune. Classmates describe him as a "serious student of Machiavelli” but also a world class partier who was known for throwing lavish gatherings on his yacht The Prince while he attended Cornell.

“Achilles liked to be in charge of everything down to the smallest detail. He felt he had to decide everything -- from where what videos we rented down to what girls we invited to our frat parties. I think it bothered him that he had to go back to Greece and just be an ordinary businessman, you know, expected to date beautiful women, drive expensive sports cars, and just sail around in his yacht. He really wanted to run a country. That’s my opinion. He was always borrowing books on Mussolini from Olin.” A former roommate told this reporter in a phone interview.

Arindopolos has been linked romantically with a number of high profile Hollywood starlets like Jessica Alba and Eva Mendes. Last year he was seen squiring beautiful Eva Longoria to a screening of the film version of the Battle of Thermopylae, the famous clash in which 300 Spartans went to their death defending a strategic mountain pass against the Persian army.

“Achilles was always fascinated by power.” Prof. Howard Smirk, Arindopolos’ senior advisor, remembered. “He wrote his thesis on how Mussolini used Machiavelli in his doctoral dissertation.”

Witnesses of the early morning coup recall seeing a number of shiny black Lexi loaded with what appeared to be partygoers pull up to the Greek parliament building and other strategic centers in Athens, followed by a busload of uniformed private militia wearing armbands feauring a red swoosh.

A Cornell professor and authority on Balkan politics, Demetri Rassikilov, told the Magazine, “It’s not yet clear how what’s being dubbed as The Playboy Revolution will effect US/Greek relations. Arindopolis is well connected socially with people who know people in Washington. .”

Friday, November 16, 2007

In a series of bizarre experiments that even the most imaginatively far out sci fi writer would have trouble conceiving, Cornell geneticists today announced that they have successfully crossed turkey genes with a new hybrid variety of soy bean.

"It started out as a practical joke. I mean, which scientist in his right mind would have even started down the road of splicing animal and non-animal genes. You'd have to be on serious drugs to even consider an experiment like that. But, we had this new departmental secretary who was a vegan so we joked around about producing a turkey she could eat. And, then the results we were getting started to look more miraculous all the time," Dr. Fleischman van Derk told reporters this morning at the Cornell Gene Lab.

Rita, as the first laboratory produced Galliforme was dubbed, stands two feet tall and resembles a cross between a turkey and a duck but exhibits no other signs of fowl behavior. She doesn't gobble, doesn't get aggressive around other birds or people, nor does she have the characteristic snood protruding from her beak. In fact, Rita does very little except look edible.

Greenstar, Ithaca's natural food grocery, has signed an exclusive marketing agreement, pending USDA approval, with the University to distribute what will no doubt be a milestone product rivalling Spam or the Tofu Pup. The first packaged Soybird, the name chosen for the new mystery meat so to differentiate the feathered un-turkey from Tofurkey , another popular veggie product on the market,will hit the market in time for Thanksgiving 2008. The demand for the Soybird could eventually create a $150 million market as vegetarians and vegans discover the potential for a more credible and tasty alternative to dispatching Tom Turkey.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


What Ithaca needs downtown is a real draw, a bona fide crowd pleas er, bring 'em in from the hills and hollers type of night out. Ithaca needs wrestling.snorting, sweaty overweight male bodies charging at each other like raging bulls, drama, hyperbole, you know, farm boys masquerading as caped crusaders with 30 ft. high egos, flashy monikers like The Crusher,and the Dynamite Kid.

Some smart promoter needs to turn that empty Masonic Temple, former night spot, on the corner of Seneca and Cayuga into a tourney hall for today's knights of the ring.That's what needs to happen to turn Ithaca from a sleazy one night stand kind of city with it's old hat, give me a break already , nickel plated snob appeal, you know, bevy of art galleries, craft co-ops, highfalutin French restaurants and expensive rag shops into a pulsing, vibrant boys' (and ladies', they ain't chicks no more) night out kind of place with strip clubs, pool halls and yes, a venue for world class wrestling. No more punk college kids puking against parking meters at the end of 10 Jager Bomb evening.

People need something larger in their lives than a nine to five job, the usual weekend rounds of farmers' market, shopping trips to Wegmann's, apple picking, leaf raking and assorted drudgery. Even a war in the ancient breadbasket of civilization doesn't cut it the same way as watching the sweat and blood fly as two quarter ton stallions of disaster have at each other under a canopy of bright lights. As Roland Barthes, a dude who could really read the signs, would say, it's not what you think, it's what you see.

Hey, maybe we should put Gary Ferguson, the czar of Ithaca Downtown Partnership, ice sculpture extravaganzas, apple harvest festivals, and related snob fests, in tights and see what he can do in the ring against some able opponent like Ripper Collins.

Let's rumble.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Virtually Yours
Imagine, if you can, this scenario. Ez dresses up in his best interview duds, goes down to the Chamber of Commerce, applies and lands a job promoting Ithaca, New York, the place you know and love so much.

It wouldn't be easy sailing by any means. There's the Ithaca Sucks tattoo on Ez's forehead that he ill-advisedly talked himself into after a night of boozin' at the Chanticleer. That's been sort of a liability ever since. Well, maybe Ez could do a phone interview.

So, after landing the job, imagine that Ez is assigned to do a website, you know, a virtual tour of Ithaca for folks who are moving here -- people still do that, sad to say, despite the fact that there are 23 million google hits for the words Ithaca and Sucks.

So, here goes.

Welcome to Paradise on Earth, a green community nestled in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York.

Ithaca has something for everyone no matter what the season.

Its world-renown colleges and universities attract students from all over the world who come here for the combination of serious scholarship and the endless variety of recreational activities.

Ithaca is at the forefront of the environmental movement. The City of Ithaca's recycling and conservation programs have earned Ithaca the right to proudly call itself a 'green community.'

But, there's a lot more to do in Ithaca than study and recycle. Ithaca has a variety of world class restaurants, a serious theater scene and lively nightlife.

And, Ithacans have always been politically engaged ever since the tumultuous 60's.
. Whether you like to shop, study or agitate, Ithaca is the place for you. Who knows, you might never want to leave.

How did Ez do?