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I Hate You: Mary Kunz, Vessel of Mediocrity - Donnie Dobovich

Do the White Thing: Is the BEAST Racist?

Rick James' Death: "Disappointingly Normal"- Josh Righter


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© 2004 The Beast


Freezing Your Gas Off - Ahh, National Fuel, you heartless, monopolizing bastards! Profit is your only objective if you’re willing to actually shut off the gas supply to an old, blacklady on welfare in the middle of a frigid February 2001, forcing the poor woman to freeze to death in her apartment. Hell, as far as you’re concerned it’s not even a public relations nightmare. The county social service workers who cut off her heating assistance and the National Fuel employees and management who denied her repeated requests to restore service after getting a HEAP grant all sat back and went about their lives like it was nothing at all while Velma Fordham got so cold one night her 58-year-old heart stopped beating. You people really fucked up and hopefully that weighs heavily on your conscience, but what the hell, rules are rules, it’s not like a whole family with little kids died, just one old lady who couldn’t pay the bill—a deadbeat, really. The state Public Service Commission thought likewise in settling the three-year-old investigation, absolving National Fuel of any wrongdoing. Instead of a $19 million fine, National Fuel will kick down a scant $1.5 million to create the CARES program (don’t worry what the acronym stands for, it’ll only piss you off) to assist people who lose their public assistance funding. Company spokeswoman Julie Coppola Cox said, “I think what’s emerged... is a program designed to help folks who are in a vulnerable situation with a safety net that wasn’t previously there.” What a piece of work this robotic bitch is, talking about helping us “folks” with a straight face. Rest assured, there’s a special room in hell for public relations shills where they eat shit for eternity. Great social service work we have here, instead of getting all the money to help out people suffering through the next Buffalo winter without heat, they let National Fuel off with barely a slap on the wrist. We hope the daughter collects every penny of her $110 million lawsuit. As part of the settlement, National Fuel is putting together a handy pamphlet entitled “How Not To Freeze To Death When We Cut The Gas,” full of helpful tips culled from survival manuals about seeking shelter, foraging, making fire, and enjoying your misfortune with a positive attitude.


Wilmers Seeks School Board Puppet - Kindly Bob Wilmers, M&T Bank President and civic-minded Nazi, in all his beneficence, offered to pay the expense of finding a top-notch school board superintendent and even pay their salary if necessary. The search has gone national, which must mean there isn’t a single person within a thousand miles of Buffalo with the qualifications, drive, or ambition to do the job. The broken logic here is that we need to pay some outsider $200,000 a year to run our atrocious public schools, otherwise qualified candidates will go on to better-paying markets, but the real problem is no credentialed educator worth a damn wants anything to do with the nightmare that is Buffalo. Our school system is in such a financial rut and the classrooms are so horribly inefficient and unproductive we’d be better off hiring a prison warden at half the salary for twice the results. Bob Wilmers and his bank do more than a lot for Buffalo, but at the price of letting one man lord it over the rest of us. He already owns people like Masiello and mustachioed scumbag Andrew Rudnick, who’s never done anything with the Buffalo Niagara Partnership besides build himself a nice little fiefdom. Whatever happened to a good old Chamber of Commerce like every other municipality in the country has? Wilmers also sits on the state control board overseeing our finances; he wields the kind of power Castro would envy. Nothing ever changes in Buffalo because powerful people like things just the way they are; it’s good for their profit margins. So thanks but no thanks, Bob, we’ll find our own incompetent nobody to run Buffalo schools further into the ground, you just concentrate on expanding M&T.


Grand Theft X-Box - What do you do when some bitch who owns the abandoned crack house you’re squatting in locks you out and takes your X-Box? Well, if you’re a 27-year-old brainiac who’s spent eight of the last eleven years in prison, you round up some punks with baseball bats and you beat that bitch and five of her friends into such a bloody mess that dental records are useless in determining whose dead body is whose. How many direct blows to the face with an aluminum baseball bat does it take to obliterate your teeth? Way too many to count. Thankfully this insanity happened down in Daytona Beach, a true shithole once you take away the sand, the ocean, and the sunshine. Buffalo crime pales in comparison; the last horrific murder we had was the psycho who cut off his girlfriends’ head. This is six people bludgeoned and stabbed to death over a fucking video game machine--it’s as if the crime was specifically designed to be used by Christian moralists in their holy mission to make video games suck.

Apparently, the girl’s grandma owned the abandoned house up the street, so she and her friends told the crackheads to beat it, clearing out their crap when the squatting continued. The two women and four men that got murdered all reported being harassed by the assailants, who obviously went beyond insane at the loss of their precious X-Box. They kicked in the door commando-style late at night while everyone was sleeping and commenced batting practice (forensics indicate some of the victims never even woke up and none put up a fight), leaving a crime scene the likes of which even Ted Bundy couldn’t achieve on his best (worst?) day. This is the kind of shit Sicilians used to pull a hundred years ago back on the island, sneaking into houses and slitting each others’ throats in the middle of the night over petty points of pride. Good thing Florida is second only to Texas in sending death row inmates to the gas chamber because these vicious killers deserve express sentences.


Voting Hurts – We told you those voting machines were dangerous: Amherst Town Clerk Susan Jaros came up with a brilliant money saving idea last year when she decided it was too expensive having the Highway Department transport and setup voting machines for the town, so she canceled the arrangement. The Highway Department filed an official grievance claiming they have exclusive rights to moving the equipment, they’re still waiting for a resolution, but it looks like God took care of the problem. When Jaros and her assistant attempted to load a 700-pound machine for a training session onto a truck, the hydraulic lift “malfunctioned,” throwing all three to the ground with concussions, cuts, bruises, and dents. The highway employee’s union belly-laughed at this turn of events, and Jaros has seen the light and will go back to letting the Highway Department transport these dangerous democratic machines from now on. Wonder what sort of lawsuits these two plan on filing but they should be fairly substantial considering the gray legal area of “chronic back pain,” “blurry vision” and “migraine headaches.” So, ladies, there’s a lesson here, one you should have learned by age ten: leave the heavy lifting to the men; it’s what we’re here for.


Dead Killer - Everyone loves Marineland, right? Everyone except the inmates, that is, as veterinarians struggle to explain the sudden death of a 12-year-old female killer whale named Neocia, the fifth whale to die there in as many years. Maybe it’s because Neocia, who was born in captivity and should have lived to see at least age 25, got sick of being a sideshow freak jumping through hoops, begging for treats, and having to suffer the indignity of three shows a day, rain or shine. That and having some jacked-up marine biologist ride on your back all the time aged her immeasurably. This is why we hope there really are aliens out there abducting humans for the sake of terrifying, incomprehensible experiments. We deserve it for treating this planet’s greatest creatures like assholes. It’s a safe bet Neocia’s life sucked shit through a straw and death was a welcome blessing. But don’t let that discourage you from trucking the kids up over the border to Marineland; it’s all good clean fun, right?


I’m Dead, Bitch! - In 1978, an unknown funk singer from Buffalo hit the national airwaves with a tune called “Mary Jane,” a glorious double-entendre about smoking weed. Rick James loved to party, no doubt about it, and his music was up-tempo and sexual. He had a powerful, commanding voice that made you pay attention when he sang. A few years later, upon the release of “Superfreak,” a star was born, and Rick James, with one song, ignited a fire that still burns today. From the moment you first heard that tight opening bass line you were hooked, “Superfreak” crossed musical and racial lines with the statement that it’s okay to be crazy and the public snorted it up like fine Bolivian Marching Powder. Album sales went through the roof and he won a Grammy in 1981, enjoying all the rewards success in the music industry bestows.

In 1983, two twelve-year-olds going to the gas station at Delaware and West Delavan were shocked and amazed to see the man himself striding out of the store, braids flowing, wearing wicked brown leather pants with a matching leather jacket, no shirt, chains adorning his bare chest. We knew he lived in the neighborhood, but until that moment it was only a rumor. He had a pack of cigarettes in one hand, walking to his car and we called out his name, astonished to be two feet from the Man. He smiled and gave an enthusiastic “Hey, guys,” knowing it made more than our day. He had presence; a pimp style that was cool, not over the top. Rick James was without a doubt the coolest thing Buffalo has ever produced.

But all the excess sapped his creativity while rap and hip-hop took over in the late 1980s, leaving Rick strung out in LA. There was a brief cash reprieve in 1990, when MC Hammer sampled “Superfreak” for the crappy retread your grandmother danced to at your cousin’s wedding. The unexpected royalties kept the party going, but his career was squandered. James endured the obligatory busts, did a two-year stretch for a bullshit assault charge and came out of prison with serious health problems. He died of “unknown causes” at 56 out in LA, where those crazy, heartless bastards sucked up his soul. But we’ll always have the memories and we’ll always have “Mary Jane” (dealer willing), “Give it to Me Baby” and “Superfreak.” Now he’s among the Legends, a true native son the city of Buffalo would be wise to enshrine in some honorable way.


Latest Budget Ever! - Were we bitching about not having a state budget? Now that’s it out, we wish it were still a mystery because it’s heinous: $101 billion total; $851 million in tax and fee hikes; a $450 million slush fund the Legislature will have every municipality begging like starved dogs for a scrap of. In true Albany style, all the pork projects were lumped together as a sum, not a list, so there are no details, just a price. Even used car salesmen have to spell out everything on the sticker of a lemon, but not our state government. Billions of dollars in debt have been spread out over the next 30 years, so if you’re wondering when things will get better in New York, it’s at least 2034. There is some good news however: the Legislature overrode Pataki’s veto of raising the state minimum wage $2 by 2007, and liquor stores will be allowed to operate seven days a week! No need to scramble anymore to spend your last three bucks on grape MD 20/20.

The budget is more than four months late, due to the incredibly asinine shenanigans of the useless shitheads charged with running this state. Of course, equally useless shithead Governor Pataki is planning to veto the budget, because his office projects different numbers. Pataki predicts a budget shortfall of $6 billion next year, while Senate Majority Jerkoff Frank Bruno says it’ll be $3.5 billion, which apparently is just hunky dory. "This budget spends too much and reforms too little," the governor said. But what “reform” really means in Pataki-speak is further raping of our education and basic services, and the installment of digital gambling kiosks in every available spot in the state. Pataki’s lottery/casino plans amount to a regressive tax on the terminally dumb.

On the other hand the legislature is full of crap, too, and nothing made that clearer than the report the Brennan Center for Justice released naming New York as the least effective governmental body in the entire country. Worse than corrupt places like New Jersey and Nevada, and we won by a mile. This is how communism worked in the Soviet Union; the political elite lived enchanted lifestyles at the expense of terrified peasants desperate to avoid Siberian work camps. There is no debate, no review, and everything gets arranged behind closed doors, so there is no democracy in New York, except for the two minutes the commoners take to vote. There is an effort at reform on the horizon offered by the Brennan Center, focused on January 2005 when the government convenes. But before the odd-year legislative session can commence, the Senate and Assembly must vote on adopting new rules. It’s a gigantic If, but If the respective bodies follow the Brennan Center’s recommendations and revive the frozen committee system, open up issues for actual debate, especially popular ones, and institute mandatory conference committees so similar bills working through both houses get ironed out before being voted on instead of languishing to die, we might actually be able to call it democracy again. This is a long shot; pressure must be brought to bear on every single legislator in the state. If you know anyone at all connected to Albany, it’s your civic duty to scream in his or her ear to do the right thing now, not 30 years in the future. Hell, has anyone tried just bribing them into doing the right thing? Our strong suspicion is that nothing will change, ever, but we are cynical bastards—who’d love nothing more than to be proved wrong.


Republicrat Shows True Colors - We knew Jack Davis, the “Democrat” looking to unseat the admittedly evil Tom Reynolds in the upcoming congressional elections, was kind of an idiot, but to have him display it so readily really comes as a surprise. In a piece we read on politicswny.com, Davis was doing pretty good, making sense for a while as he railed against Bush’s fuzzy math concerning job creation, and the obvious evils of unregulated free trade (pretty strange for a guy who actually gave Bush/Cheney 2004 the legal maximum donation when Pricky Dick came to town last year).

Then the subject moved to the war in Iraq, and Jack took Bush to task for his lies regarding WMDs and links to 9/11. “It turns out that none of that was true,” said Davis. Hey, we’re starting to like this guy almost. Then he went on:

 “Now we are told that the purpose was to bring democracy to Iraq. That simply can’t be done because these people are barbaric. You can’t have democracy in a country whose people are so barbaric.”

Way to remind us what a bigoted shitbag you are, Jack! Hell, even the Republicans aren’t saying anything that fucking stupid. If only Fallon could have gotten his signatures without being “disappeared” by DNC thugs and replaced with an exact duplicate.



 

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