Saturday, September 30, 2006


Jonathan Franzen, gang rapper

The run down:

Willy Clinton viral video: that's what I'm talking bout (and I'm allergic to politics)

Lupe's F & L: solid B grade and a disappointment, although a disappointment I expected (still a disappointment?). Puppy might contest this, let's see.

Salacious Swami Talk of the Town: tremendous

T.O.: might as well stop pretending to play football and start a tabloid about himself

Something Foley, that congressman who resigned after dirty emails sent to 16 year-old page surfaced (don't care enough to link or look up his name): good move bro, the game wasn't for you.

Jonathan Franzen's The Discomfort Zone: a memoir written because a famous novelist wanted to rediscover his inner elitist asshole...and write about birds and how he thinks Charlie Brown is a loser. not worth it. Write another novel for god's sake you asshole.

Laguna Beach Beard Kid busted again: I wonder if he was wearing a top hat at the time.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

S.P. News

Respect your son's real father. This movie kicks ass.

Jet Li says Fearless is his last Wushu movie. I guess now he's going to make regular action movies, and I'm not feeling too great about that. Jet Li is awesome.

El-P is dropping a new album soon, apparently. He posted an instrumental track from it on his myspace page, and it's niiiiice. He's also got a blog going, on which he posts about his mustache, smoking cigarettes, etc.

"My new name is Paisley Fontaine." Some douche from UCLA interviews Ghostface. Wu-Tang roll with a real Shaolin monk. That is SWEET. I think this is from the same show when Steve O whipped his phallus out on stage and said he was the new ODB, all while Wu-Tang was doing a tribute to Osirus. I think Raekwon had to be restrained from strangling him.

Forest Whitaker, y'all.

Foodmantooth ain't no political blog, yo, but witness the fitness of ya boy BC. Chris Wallace is a clown.

Friday, September 22, 2006


A required text in your syllabus

Hip-Hop vs. Post-Punk:

Just finished reading Jeff Chang's Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, and before that, Simon Reynolds' Rip It Up & Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984. Both of these are books written so that they can be taught in future graduate seminars, where Public Enemy and Public Image Ltd. are taught alongside fucking Kant or something. Reynolds does a much better job of presenting an actual history of a genre of music, even though the one he chose is impossible to define. Chang's "history," on the other hand is, like a menstruating nun: bloated as diggedyshit. He wants to give all of hip-hop a sociological/economic context, because, after all, Rakim's virtuosic wordplay and Dre's Funkadelic samples were obviously directly precipitated by Reaganomics. Also, there is very little about actual hip-hop music. We get Kool Herc, but Chang has to write 40 pages about Jamaican history first. We get Afrika Bambaataa, but not before a few chapters on Robert Moses building highways. Ice Cube and Chuck D get the most treatment in terms of rappers that are less than 50 years old, and rightly so, even though Chang is more interested in how they are "black leaders" or something. But instead of Biggie, Tupac, Wu-Tang, and the shit that anyone less than 30 considers the real heart of hip hop as it is today, there's barely a passing mention. Biggie is literally mentioned once. IN A FUCKING 350 PAGE BOOK ABOUT HIP HOP!! ONCE!!. Chang apparently thinks it's more important to talk about the editorial politics at The Source and Reginald Denny than about the best emcees who ever lived. I mean Chuck D is, well, Chuck D, but in terms of sheer fluid mic prowess if you think he can hold a candle to the next generation of NY rap (Biggie, Nas, Wu) you must be eating paint. The problem with this book is that, ultimately, Chang thinks hip-hop is about politics and race before it's about what it's actually about: music. I would still recommend this book just because there aren't any other histories of hip hop that as well researched as this (actually there aren't really any histories of hip hop at all), but seriously, where's the chapter dedicated to Ghost?

Reynolds, on the other hand, sticks to the meat and fries it (like a corndog). A lot of the postpunk bands ate more speed than an entire graduate math program, so they all had these hilariously high-minded conceits and manifestos. Luckily, he doesn't harp on them, because, you know there's some actual music that he might as well write about. Devo, Talking Heads, The Fall, Brian Eno, Wire--we get the full story on all the heavyweights, but perhaps more interesting were the more stridently avant garde bands that never blew up becuase, like, they insisted on throwing sheep viscera on the audience. Another fun part of this book is keeping track of all the genres Reynolds drops like babies from a stork's beak, if there was free overnight shipping on babies from A NYTimes critic catalogued the genres: "funk punk," "punk funk," "folk punk," "anarcho-punk," "Hi-NRG," "psychobilly," "angst rock," "trad rock," "death rock," "death disco," "mutant disco," "Teutonica," "Goth," "proto-Goth," "post-Goth," "Oi!" "New Romanticism," "New Rock," "New Americana," "New Pop," "electropop," "synthpop," "synthpop noir," "synthfunk," "avant-funk" and, deep breath, "neopostpunk." Holy fucknugget that's some taxonomical clintitude. But the book's good, esp. if you want to impress the girl with the bangs.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Shaman Work

Shouting out J Dilla is insultingly cliche, but this is the definitive retrospective mix.

Shaman Work is good shit. They're one of few labels putting out consistently solid non-mainstream rap music (make that rap music, period) right now. Pictured above is Shaman Work resident DJ 2-Tone Jones's R.I.P. Jay Dee mix, which is pretty close to flawless. It's the only thing I've heard (I have yet to pick up The Shining) since Jay's untimely passing that's a real testament to his legacy. I was sick of hearing Ebro (that guy from MTV2's Sucker Free who works at Hot97) and the squad of idiots they have hosting Rap City right now shout out Dilla without having anything to actually say about him, and this mix was a real breath of fresh air. It also knocks, which doesn't hurt.

SW is on some tight shit for a lot of other reasons, too, not least of which is the fact that they signed Edgar Allen Floe, who probably has the greatest name in rap. He's actually pretty good, and it would be sweet if he dropped a concept-mixtape series, Poe v. Floe or something. Ess Dub also has this dude named Wale Oyejide, who I think is from Nigeria and makes tight afro beats and sings well.

CL Smooth just released an album on SW, as well, which is the first rapper-from-the-past comeback record that I've heard work. American Me came out of nowhere for me -- it's funny that CL Smooth, who I never really knew as anything more than Pete Rock's sidekick, is still standing, while Rakim (in fairness, he is touring), Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, etc., aren't producing shit. It's improbable, I guess, but CL sounds way better than anyone else I'm hearing out of NY right now, and good for him -- Papoose and Murda Mook and Jae Millz and whoever else (I stopped paying attention, I'm sorry) need to study this.

Finally, I'm feeling Scienz of Life. Lil Scienz sounds like Breezely Brewin if Breeze sounded like Slick Rick, and I'm digging it. I got my hands on The Blaxploitation Sessions, and it's getting rotation. I guess I'd say I haven't felt this good about a label since Rawkus released Soundbombing II; as long as the people in charge as SW can keep their shit together a bit better than those characters, I see big things in their future. There was a time when independent hip-hop labels were bastions of quality, and I used to build my record collections around them. It's been a while since I've trusted any of them (Hiero, Def Jux, EC, Rhymesayers, etc., etc.), and I'm so jaded by all of it that Shaman Work still has some convincing to do, but they're on the right track. And that makes me happy.
Jim Noir - A Quiet Man

S. Puppy likes rap. And other stuff.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Killfuck Soulshitter

KILLFUCK SOULSHITTER is a nickname for any crazily overpowered magical attack in an RPG, either online or off. It dosen't have to be the game's most powerfull spell- just sufficiently powerful enough to ensure its target is totally screwed and without even a remote chance of survival. KILLFUCK SOULSHITTER usually involves fireballs or explosions, or both. I'm fairly sure I heard this used somewhere before, but I don't remember where.

A: Yo man, check out this spell.
B: Yeah, what's it called?

*nearby town incinerates*

That's from Blogger won't let me cut and paste the link. I don't know why.

My goddamn iPod just killfuck soulshitted all my music. I can't re-up because my computer is in New York. Now I have to live with the random-ass mp3s I get off of rap blogs. Like Gillie da Kid's (photo above) "Stuntin Like Ya Daddy." Gillie Da Kid says Lil Wayne stole his flow or something. I say Gillie Da Kid sucks at rapping. Steve Jobs is gonna catch a bad one.

Monday, September 18, 2006

S.P. News

There's one really great track on this album -- "Mama" featuring Trey Songz

Furman gets new lease on life, jumps for joy.

Keith Bloggermann

Chrome Kiddies

Friday, September 15, 2006


I didn't buy this because Timbo's juicin. The grammy should have an asterisk

New shit:

in a rash spending frenzy brought on by a recurring childhood trauma involving fish tacos, He-Man, and Daryl Strawberry, I copped both the new TV on the Radio and the new Yo La Tengo. TVOTR's is called Return to Cookie Mountain and its cover art looks like a sinister bird's nest or something. Kool Keith was obviously behind both decisions. It's poised to claim album of the year honors from people who still think indie rock is, like, the serious shit--just about everything I read about it when it came out in the UK a few weeks ago was slobbering helmet buff [1]. So naturally I had to have the actual cd to blast in my Altima (so that when I stop at a red light and some cornshit's blastin Timbuh (lake + land) I can yell at him: "these guys are black!") I've done all that and frankly It doesn't live up to critical hype. It is very good, but like the other TVOTR records, its is a cold, cold thing. I might be more into it if there were a few guitar solos or something, or a guest verse by Young Joc, but as it is, RTCM is a mass of grey fuzz and very high singing by the guy with the huge beard. Worth owning, but it's not like they just dropped Van Halen.

YLT's is called I'm Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass and it looks cool. Its red and shiny and shit. Me like shiny. My dream is that people who listen to rap realize that YLT are great, even though they sometimes sound like happyfuntime music, which makes XXL cover-scowls impossible. This might never happen, unless a Best of NJ album drops, with Redman and Joe Budden trading verses over a languorous YLT baile-funk track. Man would I ever listen to that. Anyway, INAOYAIWBYA starts out with 11 minutes of guitar noise, but there's a beat behind it, so don't get your My Bloody Valentine Thong [2] in a bunch. Plus, there are 15 tracks, you're allowed to masturbate lazily on one of them. There are a couple of bangers (relatively fast songs) in here, notably "I Should Have Known Better." Currently "Stockholm Syndrome" from I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One is the most played song on my iPod, but I can see "I Should Have Known Better" overtaking it. [3]

[1] This is the same thing that happened with last year's undisputed champion, Late Registration, which was so universally and inexplicably adored by critics. I bought it, liked it for a while cuz it after has fucking beats on it, but then I realized what critics willingly ignored: that Kanye is barely a mediocre rapper. And there was all this "oh it's ok that he's so cocky cuz he backs it up!" and "Kanye was so funny on The College Dropout but now he's gonna get serious and give us some heavy messages," such as the fact that the CIA obviously makes crack and floods the ghetto with it. Then he's on the cover of Rolling Stone as Jesus and not joking AT ALL. That would have been okay only if Lil Kim was also on there as the Virgin Mary. Now I can't listen to that album and I can't look at him without being desirous of a mace with which to bludgeon him ("Through the Wire" was a good song). Rockist critics just wanted sooooooo badly to embrace a rap album and call it a break through masterpiece. Funny they chose one that's barely decent.

[2] Two references to thongs in two posts! Someone needs to switch to hot pants.

[3] I follow my most played iPod list like HR stats. "Pavement hit two more this weekend, probably played the Royals;" "That GZA song hit one the other night, man that shit has been around since Julio Franco. Ha, he hit one too. Guy's 48! I repeat, 48!"

S.P. News

Bizarre, awesome. Apparently it's a trilogy.

Manohla Dargis doesn't like "The Black Dahlia." Scarlett weeps, leaves Hartnett, declares love for canine blogger.

I'm sure my boy Steve wouldn't have wanted to be commemorated like this...

Watch college football this weekend.

Peedi Peedi stands up for Jay-Z. Peedi Peedi is a good rapper.

I used to check this site back in the day for gear...apparently after I stopped paying attention they stepped their game up a bit. Just a bit.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

At Times I See the Mirror and Tell Him He Doin Good


Rap on the internet is weird. If you frequent the massive blogspace devoted to hip-hop, you probably encounter the same four or five basic threads over and over again, no matter where you visit. You've inevitably been exposed to the neverending rumor mill surrounding the potential release of a new Jay-Z album. You've heard of Lupe Fiasco, who is good, but I refuse to believe that this amount of hype was ever good for anyone. You've been informed as to who (whom?) Jim Jones is threatening to beat up this week, or who's the latest G-Unit affiliate who'll never release an album. I could go on and on; point is, very, very little room is devoted to actual music, and unless these bloggers cop on to themselves, I see the whole thing imploding in a mind-numbing maelstrom of shit like this. Ish like that (this?) seems harmless at first, but it's starting to piss me off. Shouldn't Raekwon be more worried about making sure that Cuban Linx Part 2 doesn't suck than about beating Mike Jones at golf? I was at the Wu-Tang show in Philly when Ghostface called out D4L for contributing to the demise of real hip-hop or whatever. That clip of Rae on the 'way, when you consider it in the context of Ghost's comments, is sort of troubling -- why did he feel the need to get on some bullshit XXL DVD to putter around a golf course? To be funny? Or is it a move he felt the need to make, in an age when it's nearly impossible for rappers to sell major numbers without marketing the piss out of themselves? I mean, literally -- like, marketing their piss. When the beat to "Laffy Taffy" came on at the Electric Factory in Philly, in a typical maneuver, I leaned into my best Fabo impression and paid little attention to what Pretty Toney was saying. Ghost was in the middle of his Fishscale promotional stuff at the time, and for the couple of weeks after the show, I kept hearing cats asking him about his comments. Unsprisingly, he took the diplomatic stance that he wasn't trying to hate, he just loves hip-hop so much, he thinks southern rap is cool, blahzy blah. I forgot about the whole thing until I saw that stupid golf video.

I'm not so ridiculous as to be in denial of the fact that tracks with simple beats and formulaic videos outsell more involved stuff 99% of the time. I was just unaware that someone like Raekwon would feel the need to jockey for screentime with the guy who made this song and signed D4L (and Tigger? Tigger from Rap City???). I thought the dudes from the Clan didn't need that type of exposure, thanks to nerds like me who check for Wu-Tang records like they check for the latest Woody Allen. What I'm saying is, when the nerds with the blogs are the ones not paying attention, it starts to look a little grim for our boys. It's not just Wu-Tang, either (but can we please get a second single off Fishscale? No? Thanks a lot. "Back Like That" really does the album justice); the new Oh No album, Exodus Into Unheard Rhythms, is really nice, and the new Ras Kass could be phenomenal. If you don't spend a lot of time in record stores, hovering over CD racks, you have no idea. The online press (not sure if bloggers count, but for the sake of this, I'm including them) has a responsibility to report on new music, for the sake of consumers and artists, and I'm not seeing it.

Time's come to stop talking empty shit. Furman P. Slothra and Sordid Puppy are dedicated to keeping it real. Foodmantooth will prevail. After all, I'm trying to get some cheddar so I can grab a pair of these...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Birdman and Lil Wayne - Stuntin Like My Daddy

It ain't even my birthday, but I got my name on the cake.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Beard by David Ortiz, soulpatch by Kevin Youkilis, mustache by Don Mattingly

Let's see what Slothra's been up to recently:

Being the resourceful, well-connected Slothra that I am, I parlayed my gaffer's collar-popper position on The Hills into a job in the mailroom at Teen Vogue, where I subsequently and inadvertantly (sorta) threw a Netflick (Cannonball Run II) into the eye of Blaine, the guy on The Hills who looks like that guy in Maroon 5 who hangs out with Kanye and tells him his lyrics are "as good as anything since Mase" [1] Canned unflinchingly by Blaine, I told him on the way out that "you probably made up your own name anyway" and then he hit me in the back of the head with what, when I first turned around, looked like a ball of multi-colored rubbber bands. I looked closer at the post-it note that was stuck to it. The post-it read "ball of LC's thongs." "Heidi was hotter anyway" I snarled after the door to his office was already closed and the fat guy from Fresh Meat who said he was "all taters" put his hand on my shoulder saying "sir you may never set foot in this office again." So fuck Teen Vogue, I thought, I'm gonna go freelance. For my first teen style report, I shall run through some new trends in the teen fashion world.

Spandex leggings:

Yo girls be totally wearin spandex, cuz after all, the 80s are the new 60s and the previously medium cool 70s are totally the new 30s (wide-waled Al Capone pinstripe has been out of fashion twice). Also, textile technology has crept into the sexy cipher. Feel free to compliment some tightly clad stems walking on by by saying: "yo girl, that stretch is fetching." Such linguistic dexterity and trendy cognizance will surely lead to slathering butter on her shoulders and sprinkling cinnamon on her ears. Knock-knees and kankles need not apply.

Primary-colored gardening clogs:

Someone told me these were actually for doctors, but we all remember the wearing-scrubs-but-you-ain't-got-no-MD debacle of '97, so I'm callin em gardening clogs for their own sake. They seem to be made of rubber or foam or one of those materials that kills rain forests and kids with allergies [2]. They are only sold in primary colors, like yellow, green and neon lavender (ha, totally not a primary color!). You can wear them on the way to buy cigarettes, to campus, or to a "Don't worry coffee makes me sweat too" support group. So its like casual footwear that makes people think that you don't care enough about stuff for bumperstickers.


Victorianism is cool again (replacing the Tudor period which is not cool anymore, except with regard to houses, because construction workers don't read Vogue and we can't hold them accountable), including the whole holding-hands-is-like-oral-sex thing. Heretofore a fetish/goth accouterment, the corset has gone mainstream, popping up at Hockey games, LFO (the Light Funky Ones if you forgot) and ELO concerts both (transgenerational trend alert!) and Family Reunions. The whole family can get involved in little Sally's aestheticized figure, as corsets can require as many as 4 people to tie up, sometimes involving complex ratchetng pulley systems. So like ties, its as much about the process as the product. The new ActiveCorset™ available from Nike, allows you ladies to maintain that 12" waist while playing team handball (or regular handball).


[1] Because Kanye, in the one of the more inexplicable statements of all time, told Rolling Stone a few years ago that Mase was incontrovertibly (he didn't use this word, he's not Moby, who used the word 'insoucient' on VH1 in reference to M and M and VH1 put a definition on the screen) the best rapper of all time, he was thereafter convinced (according to the supplementary matrix axiom) that he was now the greatest rapper of all time, despite Weezy being the best rapper alive, TI being King and Game being rap's MVP. Man, Rap should hang out with Boxing.

[2] I'm told that rubber comes from trees, which I'm not sure I believe. I mean, how can something so bendy come from a plant? If this is true, then part of that ball of LC's thongs came from a plant. I wonder if LC knows she's a raging hippie.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Skyzoo - Way To Go

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Dre Day

Andre Agassi's career as a professional tennis badass is officially over. He lost three sets to one to some guy named Becker who's not even this Becker (My aunt, a tennis nut, sort of coerced me into reading that book. It's terrible.). No, some upstart named Benjamin thought he'd come and ruin a legend's run at what would have been the greatest career-ending championship by any athlete that I can remember.

S. Canario is no hater, but this cachorro is just sad that his boy had to go out like that, beaten by some nobody in a match whose sets were tight but by the numbers wasn't really close. Andre was the last of a generation of great characters in tennis, one that included Goran Ivanisevic, Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker, Michael Stich, and Pete Sampras. Rivalries were strong, and personalities simultaneously bizarre and engaging. Sure, Sampras was sort of a bore and never had anything even passably interesting to say in front of a camera, but he was probably the best to ever play the sport. Becker was basically an asshole, but intensely entertaining to watch, and Ivanisevic a Croatian giant who came runner-up (or worse) like it was his job but remains legendary for his awesome serve. All the while, Agassi was the man, a real (Armenian-) American rock star come to piss off the easily pissed off.

Andre Agassi, you are hereby Foodmantooth Certified. Congratulations. Award ceremony to follow.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Hi, we are rock n roll dieties.

Sonic Youth is probably my favorite rock band of all time. Sometimes Pavement sneaks ahead, but that's only when I'm in a good enough mood to think non-sense is sense, and the Youth usually pulls back out ahead when I compare Malkmus' solo work with the last three SN albums. They've been around for about 25 years, they're all pushing 50, and somehow they're pretty much the most unimpeachably cool band around. Their last 3 albums are all among their best, which is saying something for a band that released their seminal shit in the early 80's. Plus, Chuck D raps in one of their songs. Remember, even though she hung out with Fab 5 Freddy, Debbie Harry had to do it herself. To add to the Youth's stellar post-millennial output, there came the (relatively) new full-length Rather Ripped, which is a conspicuously tight affair, with more hooks and little loops than Velcro.

The last and only time I saw the Youth live was a long time ago when they opened for Pearl Jam. My friends didn't even know who Sonic Youth was, and despite my insistence that they were much better than Pearl Jam, everyone was more concerned with getting wasted in the parking lot than catching the coolest band ever. So tragically, by the time I convinced my crew to get going, the Youth were finishing their set. So needless to say, when I saw they were playing the NY state fair, I was determined anew to actually see the beginning of a SN set (plus I was given an excuse to see "Big Norm" the prized 1600 pound hog). Well, I improved, and this time I caught part of the middle, and all of the end. And I wasn't alone. Everyone I knew at the show was there to see the Youth as much as the opener, The Flaming Lips. The show was set to start at 5:00, and the bill was The Magic Numbers (who gives a fuck), Ween (I don't like Zappa enough to be excited about them), the Youth, and the Lips. We got to the venue at about 6:30, which I figured was in plenty of time. But NooooooooOOOOOOOOoooooooooooo. WEEN IS HIGHER ON THE FUCKING BILL! WHAT THE FUCK? Ween higher then Sonic Youth. That's like batting a largemouth bass in front of Ricky Henderson (the bass has a bigger strikezone). So the Youth is playing when I get to the venue. I see then play three songs, the last, "Pink Steam" from Ripped Thurston introduces like this: "this song is about getting food poisoning yesterday in Allentown, PA." Half the crowd hadn't even shown up yet, it was still daylight, and besides a guy with a cowboy hat who was dancing around in paroxysms (who was later arrested), the crowd didn't have enough $4.50 beers in them to go nuts like they should have been. Three fucking songs. Fuck.

Ween is a bizarre band. The singer sings like an Axl Rose cartoon (which is saying something because Axl Rose is already a cartoon), and they try to play every genre of music at the same time, which I guess is a joke. Approximately 20 people in the crowd were singing along to ever song, which astounded my, since I didn't think there were 20 people in the world who knew all the words to a Ween song.

I have to give it to the Lips. They make better use of balloons, confetti and dancing female Santa Clauses than...a bachelor party at the North Pole. The set was OK, but the theatrics almost made up for it. Confetti shot out of these huge cannons at climactic moments, the biggest balloons I've ever bounced around in the crowd during the whole set, and the roadies were dressed like superheroes, Space Ghost included. Also, Wayne Coyne came out wearing these prodigious foam hands. The video backdrop showed the Teletubbies, some Asian game show involving what looked like a Gila Monster, and a naked chick dancing around. Awesome. Too bad Sonic Youth wasn't playing when all this was going on, instead of a band that asked me if I realize that everyone around me will die at some point. Duh!

Friday, September 01, 2006

S.P. News

*Excuse the above endorsement. The season begins this weekend. One time only: Go Big Red.

Oh hell yes. I hope you're all supporting this man.

A violent end for our commander in chief. On television.

A man after my own heart.

Bad F*&%in Move, I Reckon

I switched on the VMAs last night and found it a generally boring and characterless affair; Ludacris and Pharrell (who I'm sure was lip-syncing) performed a lifeless rendition of "Money Maker," which is a really shit song to begin with. I subsequently tuned out.

Deadwood may be the best television program I've ever seen. Earlier this week or last, I'm sure I called Homicide the greatest TV show of all time, and I stand by that. However, having seen -- no, felt -- the Deadwood Season Three finale the other night, it's definitely unparalleled. Except maybe by Homicide, that is...I guess I'd say that Homicide and Deadwood are the best TV show (singular) of all time.

It's with great sadness, then, that I report that Deadwood probably won't be back for a fourth go-round. David Milch, the genius behind the show, originally drew up the story in four parts, one for each of four seasons, but it now appears that his vision won't be coming to fruition -- at least, that is, not as he intended. Apparently he and HBO have come to an agreement to put out two two-hour movies on the network to wrap up the story; that would amount to one-third of the run-time that a 12-episode season affords. Some people have set up a website to petition HBO, but the odds of that working out seem slim. Ever since I fell in love with Deadwood, I've always wondered how many people it's been able to attract; my buddies who watch Entourage say it's boring and confusing. I say it's masterfully written and beautifully shot, its narrative finely crafted and its scenes packed with tension and energy.

An article I read describing this debacle descibes HBO as "behaving more like a normal network these days." That seems a bit off to me; shouldn't the normal networks be acting more like HBO, and not the other way around? In the past several years, shows like The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Entourage have made a TV with HBO a necessary accessory for college dorm rooms and frat houses. That's significant, because it's the original series, then, that have done most to give HBO the spectacular success that it now enjoys. Rome, Deadwood, and The Wire, HBO's recent dramatic lineup, are all ambitious and utimately risky projects that have helped round out the network's televisual fare, and they're all great in their own right.

When the HBO Original Series brand name became a force to be reckoned with, creatively and commercially, several years ago, I felt part of a new era in television, one where the consumer was empowered to pay a premium to view uncensored and commercial-free programming of a higher quality than practically anything else on network or cable TV. Slowly but surely, thought I, new networks and shows would crop up to compete with HBO, and the fracas would produce a steady stream of wholly original material that would make me pleased with my tube. Instead, Deadwood, the most creative of all, has been assassinated, and I wait to see what will take its place. As The Sopranos crawls agonizingly slowly towards its own resolution, it may be up to The Wire (are they making new seasons of Rome?) to carry HBO drama on its back. Maybe I'll just move on to watching Showtime's The Brotherhood; I've heard good things. Deadwood is gone, and I can't get over it; I haven't been this broken up since Ellsworth got capped.