Predicting the outcome of sporting events is hard work. Nonetheless, your ever humble Saladeers have managed to be correct exactly fifty percent of the time, predicting that the Chicago Bears would lose last year’s superbowl and the Colorado Rockies would lose the World Series. Of course, these predictions have to be balanced with our predictions that the Indianapolis Colts would lose and the Boston Red Sox would also lose. Sure one could argue that Yesterday’s Salad has the moral convictions of one Mitt Romney, changing positions whenever its advantageous. But such an argument would neglect the fact that America is ready for CHANGE and only a Washington outsider like Yesterday’s Salad can deliver! Besides, prognosis depends upon gnosis, and YS, after the supreme disappointment of Matrix Revolutions, decided to renounce gnosticism once and for all.

So in the name of normative religion, let us now praise famous men and the fathers that begat us, and give voice to the reasons that New York will not stand to fight another day.

1. Nation, Narration, Landedness: Where do the New York Giants come from? What are the origins of this strange identity? This past week, the New York Times printed two articles (shades of the sushi scare) about the Giantss actual home, East Rutherford New Jersey. One focused on the differance of East Rutherford, on the way its status as Giants hometown is elided by the media. As the article put it, “Any TV watcher knows that when the Giants play, the networks usually sprinkle in shots of the Manhattan skyline and Times Square, not the low-slung shops on Paterson and Park Avenues, which is where Noel Figueroa, a hair stylist, can be found.” But this article is relatively friendly compared to the Times’ other piece on the political implications of the Giants’ situation. The article begins with the regional politics (the New Jersey governor claim the team for his state/Ed Koch refusing to recognize the “foreign” players) before situating the conflict in its geo-political context. Not only does the article detail the way the first Gulf War impacted the team (with the outbreak of Operation Desert Storm no celebration was held for the Giant’s Superbowl victory), it likens the situation to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis: “So, yeah, this New York Giants business gripes some people on the West Bank (of the Hudson).” It would seem there are some parallels; the giants lay claim to another “New York” from the periphery. At best it can be said that the New York Giants form a kind of imagined community, and it remains to be seen whether or not a stateless team can defeat a stated one.

2. Mobility: Prior investigation has revealed that the city with the superior transit system is more likely to win than the city that largely relies on internal combustion engines. While conventional wisdom would posit that the NYC Subway is vastly superior to the MBTA, it is clear that more inquiry is required. For argument’s sake, let’s try reading against the grain. The claim that the New York City subway system is superior is largely based on reactionary pastism, the fact that the current system is the largest in the world (as based on track mileage). But what if we direct our view towards the future? What we see is not so pretty: the excellent transit blog Second Ave Sagas has recently documented countless problems with the MTA’s largest capital projects. The MTA has had to scale back their ambitions, decapitating the Fulton City Transit Hub, and removing a track from the Second Ave. Subway. Echoes of past second ave failures abound, and this correspondent can’t help but worry that the line will never be built. Meanwhile, politicians continue to bicker over congestion pricing while Bostonians are finally reaping the benefits of the big dig, and political pressure may force the Patrick administration to actually bring the T to medford and East Somerville. If we reverse Benjamin’s Angel of History and direct its focus towards the future, the blows we call progress are surely more damaging on the New York side. [Ed. Note: YS does not actually believe that the MBTA is superior to the MTA, in any regard except theme song.] More damningly, if we change our mode of transport to air travel, we see that New York is responsible for 75%(!) of the Nation’s air travel delays. Advantage Boston.

3. The Tom Brady Factor: While Eli Manning continues to suffer from the Anxiety of Peyton Manning’s influence, Brady has almost violated the immutable law of genre. Brady has transcended the definition of Football Star and become a media star like no other athlete. Not only has he become a staple of Celebrity gossip, he has changed the nature of that gossip: TMZ now reports on possible injuries to Tom Brady rather than his dalliances. It is hard to imagine how this unprecedented situation can manifest in anything other than a Pats victory. Read the rest of this entry »

A special (midnight!) thank you to girlfriend of ibiteryoureyes for pointing out this injustice – Time Out New York’s latest magazine issue that calls for hipsters to die.

You know, TONY, I have two beefs with you.

  1. While falling short of stealing my idea, you stole my hipster hatin’ thunder (the sort of thunder that likes loose fit jeans!), and that upsets me because…
  2. You pulled a goddamn hipster-ish stunt in doing it. I scanned and skimmed and perused your articles, TONY (not Soprano). And I noticed something that seemed interesting – they’re all silly articles that seem to say even less than they weigh. You know, like a hipster’s clothing, a hipster’s tone of voice, a hipster’s art, a hipster’s sister (hipsta sista!). So, like, in calling attention to these silly willies, you, uh, kind of implicate yourself in their…silly willy ness. Silly, silly willy illy TONY.

Here’s the thing and there’s its shadow – by paying so much attention, and devoting an entire issue to these peoples, you are giving them exactly what they need and want. You know, attention, something that they didn’t get in high school. Especially not from your writers, who at the same spot on the ol’ maturation timeline, were too busy writing everyone’s yearbook profile, or writing an investigative in-depth feature article column about the girls’ soccer team.

That’s right. You were looking for cool, TONY, and you found it. Everyone at Yesterday’s Salad is cooler than you, cooler than all the hipsters, and every girls’ soccer team everywhere.

That’ll teach ya to steal muh thunda.

TONY? (Not Soprano!) …like a close-up picture of yo mama and yo papa bumpin the boogy…

ibiteyoureyes.

Some of you may have noticed a lacuna in my divination vis-a-vis the Colts demise last week: the hip-hop boast. while I railed against the inglorious nickname “naptown,” i failed to mention that the only reason I know about said moniker is last year’s legendary Colts boast, “Superbowl Bound,” performed by that pre-teen hellion Lil’ Ronnie.

Seeing as the Colts did not actually go on to win last year’s Superbowl, folks on the internets (correct Yiddish) turned against Lil’ Ronnieronniesample.jpg, calling him a jinx, a swindler, a benedict arnold, a subaltern, and a Lil’ Subversive. Innocence was lost, and Lil’ Ronnie disappeared into the ether.

Or so it seemed until our hero returned! Armed with a new black Colts Jersey, Lil’ Ronnie quietly dropped a 2007 remix of “Suprebowl Bound” on his label’s myspace page (stream here).

Not to be outdone, some intrepid, yet obscure Chicago rappers decided to release their own Superbowl song. Southsider, Franz Ferdinand fan, and up-coming star of a situation comedy, Kayne West enlisted the help of his friend Common to record his own musical proclamation of Superbowl victory.

kanye and common “southside superbowl” (yousendit link)

Kayne’s jocular pretensions are nothing new to the city of wind. the Superbowl hip-hop boast was invented by the Bears (the Packers having long-ago recorded the country smash, “Wanna Win the Superbowl (But it’s the Lord’s Day)” ), who, in a tremendous act of imperial hubris, recorded the dance-smash “Superbowl Shuffle.” They also followed that up with victory, something that, alas, neither Lil’ Ronnie nor Kanye/Common will be able to do.

I had once again hoped that ‘designed’lateral would write this piece. I tried to call his cell phone, but it did not ring; I sent him e-mails, but they bounced back; I sent him post only to receive a notice from the Postman that Mr. Lateral would only accept mail in Latin. Finally, I called the main switchboard of Le Monde Diplomatique, where Mr. Lateral writes a weekly structuralist analysis on American Football called, “Barthes’ Barbaric Extra Point,” and they informed me that he was off the grid, trapped in the Burmese mountains trying to find the last vestige of proto-football. They say they occasionally receive notes from him via semaphore, each more brilliant than the next. We all hope he lives.

But the show must go on, and someone must explain why the Indianapolis Colts will not be victorious, why the modern monsters of the midway will defeat their rivals. There are many reasons, but, once again, here are four.

1. The Obama Factor. Is it just a coincidence that Barack Obama’s campaign has skyrocketed at the same time that the Bears have managed to crush their playoff foes? Of course not! Once the media has a theme, they stick with it. Right now Illinois is in (perhaps its time for Sufjan to record an Illinois 3?) and Indiana is out. Barack Obama is on the ascent, and Senator Lugar is on the decline, losing the chairmanship of the foreign relations committee to our beloved Joe Biden. Even if the Bears somehow lose the game, the media will somehow spin the story into a Bears/Illinois victory. I’d stake my pulitzer on it! Read the rest of this entry »

In an effort to carpetbag on the success of our water-cooler fixture, “2008 Watch….”, and to make up for the defection of resident football columnist designedlateral to the sports pages of Le Monde Diplomatique, I have decided to offer my own prognostications and fore-chronicle the eventual fall of the People’s team, the Chicago Bears. It’s been quite the run in Chicagoland, but, sadly, like Arrested Development, Profit, and So NoTORIous, all good things must come to an end (but, to quote Destroyer, “the bad ones just go on forever”). Although there are myriads, torrents, nay, a plethora of reasons to discount the monsters of the Midway, I will name 4.

1) Chicago’s rail infrastructure is crumbling. Crain’s just put out a devastating report on the state of the CTA, truly providing American cities with a warning about the dangers of un(der)funding routine maintenance. Why is this important? Well, after running a regression analysis, the Saladstats division of SaladCorp ‘R US has determined that the city with the better transit system has won the Superbowl 7 out of the last 10 years (they’ve also determined that Americans like avocado and cherry tomatoes in their salads). Though naysayers may indeed say, “nay! surely the CTA is better than our rinky-dink Indianapolis brethren!” the Crain’s report indicates that the CTA is really better than no-one at this point. Futher, Indianapolis has a shockingly low traffic rate for a city its size. Unlike the Bears, who waste countless hours of practice time stuck in Chicago traffic, or crawling through CTA slow zones, the serene Colts zip away to work where they study game film in the peace of knowing that their economy has not lost tens of millions of dollars in congestion related tardiness. There’s also a far more serious reason why the Chicago infrastructure deterioration effects the Bears. In a ***YS EXCLUSIVE***, we’ve learned that Bears coach Lovie Smith has decided to travel to Miami via boxcar as a team-bonding exercise. Unfortunately, because of the failure of Denny Hastert (he of the most pork filled congress ever) to provide funds for CREATE, the Bears UP train is caught somewhere between Chicago and St. Louis, and they aren’t expected to arrive in Miami until Superbowl double-eve. While the team has plenty of time to study Manning’s tendencies on their PSPs, experts predict that the lack of physical practice will indeed be a bad thing.

Read the rest of this entry »

like itchie and scratchy always confused by the absence of poochie, some of you taking a gander at Yesterday’s Sald might be wondering “where’s dailysalad?” well, unfortunately the truth is quite lame. rather than engaging in his standard thursday routine of baccarat at the trop, dailysalad’s been stuck in the library writing a paper (in hebrew) on the image of the native american in american hebrew poetry. i really wish that were a joke. still, it’s good practice for the next paper i’m going to try and write in Hebrew: amanut ha-sippur be-“ultimate annie swanson”: nituakh be-ofen Bakhtin (or, “Storytelling in Ultimate Annie Swanson: A Bakhtinian Analysis.” btw, there’s really no point in writing a literature paper if it doesn’t in some way reference Bakhtin.

anyway, before I get to the word of the day, i decided i’d try and keep my readers abreast of what’s in and what’s not in the salad world.

in: arguing over dutch cinema. is “turkish delight” really better than “soldaat van oraanje?” was rutger haur superior in his dutch roles, or in america? the questions are endless.

out: nederlandish proverbsnp.jpg

you heard me, Bruegel.

in: french bands that sing in english. phoenix’s last album was great, and the new remixes are just incredible. besides, who doesn’t tear up at air’s “playground lover”?

out: polish pop music. not even ewa sonnet can restore polish pop to its glory days.

in: tom vilsack, insurgency candidate. when did the democrats ever enter an election with not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 electable, popular candidates? for reference, they are: barry obama, hillary clinton, joe biden, and lieutenant general olver “daddy” warbucks. if there’s one thing democrats hate it’s a front-runner. look for vilsack to clean-up with the deaniacs.

out: john edwards, populist parent of leggy lawyers in waiting. why vote for someone with a full term in the senate when you could vote for someone who wont even have that?

in: the proletariat. making a comeback in ’06!

out: bill simmons. no updates in a week? no mailbag since i sent a letter? i only hope you’ve been busy researching an answer to my question.

in: complaining about pynchon’s hebrew translators. really, rendering the crying of lot 49 as “ha-ze’akah” (the scream)? how can you translate english when you don’t know the language. the “crying” refers to an auction. i mean, it’s in the book.

out: reading pynchon (except on the salad, of course). 1100 pages? uh…

in: homophones. here’s a good grouping: miner, minor, mynah. and if you don’t believe these are homophones, just remember, australian is the only pure form of english. also, since i probably wont write another column tonight (zay mir moykhl!) a mynah is a type of grackle, and a grackle is either a type of bird or the artificial fly used in angling.

and since i can’t stop talking about words…did you know that the OED entry that immediately follows mynah is

“my-ness”:  The fact of being individual; separateness of the self; (esp. in Indian philosophy) personal interest in or attachment to something. Also: the fact or state of possessing something; ownership; possessiveness.” ?

my-ness’ first recorded appearance is from the 17th century, and it was considered rare up until the 20th century. while i’m all for bringing back old words, something tells me that “my-ness” might not have been the battle to pick. why don’t we spend our time trying to bring back “hake, v-2” with its two pretty much contradictory definitions:   1. intr. ‘To go about idly from place to place.’ and 2. intr. To go, advance; ‘to tramp, trudge or wend one’s way: the act implies considerable exertion or endurance’ can one really be walking idly from place to place if one has to exert a lot of effort?

out: synonyms.

in: ascots

out: pocket squares.

and that’s what’s hip in the world. absolutely everything that’s cool was mentioned on this list.