Monday, March 30, 2009


In theory, nightclubs are good. On any night of the week in New York and other major cities, you can go out and drink, dance, celebrate, meet people of the opposite sex and listen to bad music. Instead of idly sitting at a bar staring at a television, you can move around and actively participate in the experience without being limited to one little swath of territory.

If you don’t like where you’re standing, you can go stand somewhere else. If you don’t like standing still, you can go dance. If you don’t like standing or dancing, you can go sit down on a couch. And there’s usually a dress code and a set of aesthetic requirements, so if you get in, you know people will look halfway decent.

It’s not a bad concept. Like everything else, though, it’s “the people” that ruin it.

There’s nothing profound about this, but after bouncing for as long as I have, my thoughts on this weekend’s stabbings can be distilled into one very simple idea – that 75% of the people who walk through the doors of a typical Manhattan nightclub on any given night are superfluous human flotsam who contribute nothing to society.

I anticipate two arguments to this point:

1. That I can’t possibly know this for a fact.

2. That I, too, contribute nothing to society.

My responses to these two arguments are as follows:

1. After watching this parade of “humanity” for several years, I’m convinced I’m not far off the mark here.

True enough, but unlike most clubgoers, I don’t inflict myself on society in a negative manner by running around in a drink and drug-addled state and stabbing people.

It’s almost to the point where I no longer have anything to say on this subject. This is what it’s like to be jaded. I hear about something like this and I know I can write the script for it because I’ve seen it a thousand times. I can even imagine the conversations the stabbers have with their friends – if they have any – in the months afterward. I’m too tired of this shit to even write in dialect anymore:

“Hey, I’m going to prison for seven years.”


“I stabbed four people.”


“Because they told me to go home.”

It’s all so fucking pointless. Really. You really don’t understand what a monumental fucking waste of time clubs are until you work in one for a few years. Everyone sucks.

• The customers suck. People who stab people over coats suck.

• The personality-free “administration” sucks.

• Bouncers who take this shit too seriously suck.

• Vapid, drug-addicted “superstar” bartender-types suck.

• People who pay other people $50 to walk them to bathrooms suck.

• Suburban white kids with tattooed forearms and Ed Hardy shirts suck.

If you want to know why President Obama is sitting at a Hold’em table in London looking at an unsuited 7-2 on the flop, just walk into a club and look around. What a fucking joke.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Face Book

I know better than to use the word “gay” as an epithet. Since this is the case, I’ll leave this first paragraph open to interpretation with regard to Facebook.

If you want to see what I’m taking about, “befriend” someone famous – or popular, at least – then watch what happens whenever they leave a status update.

Famous Guy is off to take a dump.

16 people like this.
• Go get ‘em, Famous Guy!
• I took a dump the other day and ran out of TP!
• I bet you take the best dumps, Famous Guy!
• Sounds like someone’s got a new book topic!
• You’re an inspiration, Famous Guy!
• wut u read on da bowl, famous guy ?

This is absolutely fascinating.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lazy Shit

I should know better than to read Newsday.

As I’ve said before, I’ve spent a good bit of time living on Long Island. This is unfortunate, but it’s fact. Newsday is Long Island’s daily newspaper. It used to have the best sports section in New York. That’s why I’d read it.

Now Newsday’s sports section is three pages long because they’ve laid off shitloads of staffers. It sucks. I don’t even bother anymore.

Yesterday I picked up a copy of Newsday and started reading. I don’t know why I did this. I really should know better.


Because this is an example of horrendously lazy reporting. You’re given an assignment to find a handful of bars where people can find St. Patrick’s Day promotions, so you think of all the bars on Long Island that have Irish names. You call the most famous one and ask them what they’re doing for the day.

They tell you they’re featuring corned beef and cabbage. Then they tell you a Billy Joel cover band is performing. Then, instead of realizing you can do better, you say to yourself, “That sounds like St. Patrick’s Day to me!”

Also, please stop calling it “St. Patty’s Day.” First off, the Irish shortening of Patrick, or Padraig, is “Paddy.” Secondly, none of you knew St. Patrick well enough to be so familiar.

Corned beef, cabbage and Billy Joel. Long Island fucking sucks, man.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I grew up in a household where there was no such place as Northern Ireland. Instead, we were, and still are, required to refer to the region as “The North of Ireland.” This is because my family’s Irish ancestry (much of it very recent) is rooted primarily in the North, in Derry and Armagh – two places not exactly known for a willingness to peacefully accept their lot as British subjects.

Admittedly, I haven’t paid much attention to Irish politics in a while. I went through the whole Plastic Paddy Republican Thing back in the 80’s and 90’s, but since 1997-98 – and especially since the 9/11 attacks in New York actually showed me what it’s like when things explode and kill people in my hometown – I, like most Irish-American posers, pretty much lost interest in the Troubles.

We’re Americans, after all, and we have our own f-ing problems.

Much of my family, however, is still in the thick of things, so the latest news from Ireland – a devastating economic meltdown and the killings of two British soldiers and a Catholic PSNI constable – comes as a bit of a slap. I think we’d been lulled into forgetting how irrational each side could be.

I’m hoping for two things here.

I can understand the Irish viewpoint that the fight’s not over until there’s one contiguous 32 county republic, but I’m hoping they have the awareness to realize that random acts of violence don’t go over quite as well as they used to when you’re trying to gather support, especially when you’re looking at things from an American perspective. Car bombs aren’t quite so glamorous when they start killing people you know. I’m as anti-partition as the next Irish-American-barstool-jerkoff, but cooler heads kind of need to prevail here.

More than that, however, I’m hoping that the past decade has tempered the British tendency toward overreaction in the North (see: Bloody Sunday, Easter Rising, et al). The British have always responded to a push with a punch, and a punch with a gunshot. I’m hopeful things have changed in that regard, too. The British are in the catbird seat here. They have the public’s sympathy and support as a result of the recent attacks, and they can hang onto that by not flying into a frenzy and sending in 10,000 troops to reoccupy the region the way many of us fear they will.

From the outside looking in, this is just shit I never thought we’d see again. I probably should have known better.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


The internet is like a giant cartoon place where delusional people give themselves nicknames and claim to do things they’d never do in real life, like this.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Ball

At the end of the night, everyone is real. It’s like how it is after sex, when you’re honest, and your voice is a little hoarse, and you just sit there and talk. That’s what happens when you work in a bar or a club, and it’s my favorite time for this reason, not just because I’m about to go home.

We sit in front of a TV when we’re waiting to get paid. Sometimes it shows silly, pretentious industrial-type stuff. I don’t know why places do this. Maybe they want us thinking we work in a Stalinist collective, like we’re on a five-year plan to meet their quota for dirty shit. Sometimes, on the good nights, they turn that crap off and we watch ESPN. That way, our minds click off and we can just relax and wait for the word.

When we watch ESPN, SportsCenter is always playing in a repeating loop with no sound. This means we get to see the Top 10 Plays of the Day, which is good because then we all sit and talk about them. Most of these comments can’t be repeated here, because that’s the way things are with a group of grown men. We say and do things that don’t jibe with what’s considered appropriate. I prefer it that way.

Last week we talked about how silly sports are, and how the highest paid government employee in Connecticut is a basketball coach, and how ridiculous that is because we’ve made it so important to be good at doing things with a ball.

One of the big plays on SportsCenter showed a college basketball player named Blake Griffin diving over the scorer’s table to save the ball before it went out of bounds.

“THE BALL!” we shouted. “SAVE THE BALL!”

This became a theme. On every highlight, we yelled about the ball. When we saw a player celebrating, we screamed, “I’M BETTER WITH THE BALL THAN YOU ARE!” When we saw someone fail, we said, “I can’t believe I didn’t get THE BALL.”

You should try this when you’re watching sports. It will put things in perspective.

Monday, March 09, 2009


It’s okay to hit on another guy’s wife in a bar, so long as you don’t know she’s his wife. If you know she’s his wife, you shouldn’t go over there. If you don’t know she’s his wife, and you start talking to her and someone tells you she’s married, you stop what you’re doing and leave her alone.

If she doesn’t tell you she’s with someone, I feel sorry for her husband because his life is hell.

What you can’t do is give anyone shit when they tell you you’ve drifted into the middle of something where you don’t belong. If the husband says, “Stop,” and he tells you why, you have to stop. It doesn’t matter how much of a dick he is, or how uppity he gets when he’s in your face and he wants to fight. You throw your hands up and walk away.

I don’t want to get involved in these things, but people fight because kids under the age of twenty-five need to be treated a certain way because they don’t understand the code of things, and the code of things says that when a guy tells you you’re talking to his wife, you can’t complain after that. When you complain after that, the husband will fight, even if he’s the littlest prick you’ve ever seen who hasn’t been in a fight since middle school.

So now you’re fighting the littlest prick you’ve ever seen, and you’re punching hell out of him in front of his wife, and it’s all because you can’t take no for an answer or because you’re so delicate that you need to make a federal case out of things even though everyone’s out of work and eating macaroni and cheese three meals a day.

And now me, who’s budgeting down to the damned penny and using spreadsheets to track what I’m spending on sticks of butter – I have to sit and listen to you tell me why this other guy’s wrong for letting you know it was his wife you were hitting on, and how you’re so delicate that you can’t take it and have to hit.

There’s no place for normal people these days because everybody’s so tough.