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Rule Brittania

As a James Bond aficionado, you down with the new guy?


I'm cautiously optimistic. I like that he's more or less an unknown. Like that he looks tough yet refined. And, of course, good to see a blonde getting into the action.


Absolutely. Meanwhile, I think they should get a new "Q" as well, and I totally nominate that Dyson dude.


No shit! As soon as I saw the TV ad for the first time I was all "Must. Buy. Vacuum. Price. No. Object."


Yeah, the Dyson dude could be all "I've reinvented the shoelace," and I'd be like "Sign me up for that shit!"


Then you'd find out how much they are and your jaw drops but again you remembah the smooth clip of the Brit accent and "the proprietary Dyson designed tungsten aglets" and it's all, give me a dozen of those mofo pricey laces.


I wish the British played baseball just for the chance to have Major League managah with the accent and mannerisms. Can you imagine the postgame press conferences?


[In Brit accent] "I'm abashed at our utter lack of gamesmanship. But, tally ho, chaps, tomorrow we shall be brilliant. There you are now, right. Now be a sport and pass me the claret, would you?"


Only thing is I can't see an Oxford or Cambridge type willing to wear the declasse baseball uniform.


Are you kidding me? The Brits love crazy get ups. Their ahmy guys wear shorts and kneesocks fercrissakes. And their judges still put on those crazy wigs. And, hello? Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band?


[Laughing] Ah, so true. The nuttiah the costume the bettah for that lot.



Nice strip H.B. One question. What the hell does Mike keep looking at? Did he spill something on his tie? I guess that was two questions. Other than that I love the strip. It definetlty gives me something to look forward to in the morning.

Hazel Mae: the first broadcaster who doesn't lose suction.

Mike tends to stare at his shoes while pacing his apartment. He wonders, "Oh, how do I feel about my shoes ?They make me awkward and plain How dearly I would love to kick with the fray."

(Truth is in the original Word Clip Art set there is only this profile, eyes down view of that character, and we, me and the illustrator, are having a tough time coming up with a front on/eyes up face that looks sufficiently "Mikeish." I may reach a point where I have to come up with an entirely different looking Mike altogether. It'lll be like on Bewiched when the 2nd Darrin showed up.)

Prince Harry likes costumes too.

I'm afraid Mike's going to get a cramp if he doesn't move his neck.

Not sure if I missed this from an earlier strip, but for those of you who haven't seen it, I just cam across it today myself:


Look who's #1!

Congratualtions (again) hb. If all of this press you've been getting recently doesn't result in "Soxaholix: The Book" I will be a very sad panda.

Who is this lovely "Blonde on Bond," (with apologies to Bob Dylan) Mr. Brachen?

What superpowers does she bring to the "soxaholix" mythology? And can Theo bring her with him to the Yanks?


Bernie Silverstein
Yankee-loving Bastard Child of Susan Wentworth/Adopted Son of Marty Evil, Esquire.

PS - loved the whole "uniform" riff. reminds me of a line I recall from "Cheech and Chong": "If we all have to wear the same thing, can't we wear something different?"

Any of you James Bond fans might want to check out the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, books for youngsters about a British teenage Bond-like spy who has cool weapons built into his Gameboy and Walkman and stuff (the ones I've read so far came out before i-Pods). The first novel is called "Stormbreaker" and they're making a movie of it now. My son loves this series way more than Harry Potter.

And believe it or not, I actually like Alex Rider as a character better than Bond, because he's more conflicted in a Spider-Man vs. Superman sort of way. Like where James Bond is always in control and always wins and always gets the girl, Alex Rider has normal teenage-type problems with school and with the adult jerks who run the spy agency and boss him around and stuff. Anway, it's a really cool series and the books are not that long either. Definitely worth reading if you're looking for something on on a train ride or plane flight.

Listen to the Beatles' first few albums, then listen to the Everly Brothers from 3 years earlier: Ringo and Paul should be paying royalties to Phil & Don Everly. Guitar chords, vocal harmonization, it was virtually a wholesale transplant.

Sgt. Pepper's: The Beatles reaction to the really innovative album of the 60's, Pet Sounds. Recall that the Beatles and Beach Boys were in close competition for record sales through the 60's.

Brian Wilson's masterpiece spawned Sgt. Pepper's.

But alas, you don't hear this from the critical "elite" because the Beach Boys earlier surf/pop was way too red state, if you know what I mean.

The Beatles were not the only ones who borrowed or ripped off (depending on your point of view) songs from earlier artists. Listen to Surfin' USA and then listen to Sweet Little Sixteen by Chuck Berry. It's the exact same song. I don't think Chuck got any royalties from Brian Wilson.

the Beach Boys earlier surf/pop was way too red state, if you know what I mean

I don't think I do know what you mean. I think lots of people in every state like both the Beatles and the Beach Boys. That's why it's called POP music. Also the critical "elite" hated both groups when they were making that music. The only people who liked it were the kids who bought the records. Now some of those kids have grown up to become the critics, elite and otherwise, and so they argue about which group they liked best. I don't think there's anything very political about it at all. Neither group had any overtly political songs in the early '60s, except maybe for "Taxman" by the Beatles, and that's about as "Red State" as you can get -- except there were no red states or blue states then either. I didn't read anything about that dichotomy until the 2000 election.

Brian Wilson's masterpiece spawned Sgt. Pepper's. But alas, you don't hear this from the critical "elite" ...

Actually, that's pretty much common knowledge these days isn't it? I mean that is the conventional wisdom. McCartney himself spouts out his undying love for Brian Wilson a couple times a year.

Something that maybe gets less attention is how devoted Wilson was to The Ronnettes. He actually wrote "Don't Worry Baby" for Ronnie, but she couldn't record because of contract issues at the time.

It's rumored the Brian Wilson listened to "Walking in the Rain" the first thing when he awoke every single morning for years and years. Perhaps he still does.

Enough of the Beatles and Beach Boys. How 'bout some Jackson 5? This is from today's espn.com story about Torre and George:

"We want you back," is what Torre was told. Still, a meeting with Steinbrenner is its own moment of truth, and Torre needed closure on several key fronts. ....

"Trying to live without a ring gives me some sleepless nights./ Let me show ya George, that I know wrong from right./ Every new October I leave tear stains on the ground / another playoff loss, I can feel it all around. Oh Georgie give me one more chance. Show me that ya love me. Won't you please let me back in your dugout. (Forget about the cost) forget the games I lost....

To a guy as plugged in as you, hb, I would expect nothing less: your pop cultural knowledge to be encyclopedic

Of course I forgot to mention Revolver...The Beatles' true top ten LP.

BTW, speaking of the new 007, rent (or on demand) "Layer Cake" if you get a chance...good, hip British crime film that stays far away from the Guy Ritchie fluffiness.

You know you're in England when even drug dealers don't work weekends.

Jason, I agree with you that "Revolver" is much better than Sgt. Pepper, to my ears. But my all-time favorite by the Fab Four is "Hard Day's Night" -- maybe because of the movie. The guy who plays Paul's grandfather cracks me up.

"I'm abashed at our utter lack of gamesmanship. But, tally ho, chaps, tomorrow we shall be brilliant. There you are now, right. Now be a sport and pass me the claret, would you?"

My cuddly hosts are, as Frasier once pointed out to Daphne, the people who have the world soccer hooliganism. Very sporting.

Of course I forgot to mention Revolver...The Beatles' true top ten LP.

Absolutely agree.

Good point about the hooliganism, but that tends to be more from the blue collar/working class folks rather than the upper crust types who fill the positions of power or who'd be secret agents.

In the initial casting for James Bond they were really worried that Sean Connery, who was of a humble background, wouldn't be able to pull off all the refinement necessary for the role. In the commentary on the DVD for Dr. No they talk about how they spent weeks grooming Connery for all the proper high society mannerisms.

Almost had a Beatlesesque break-up in Yankeeland there. But it wasn't John and Paul doing the endgame bickering. It was George and Joe.

But in the end, despite the backstabbingYokos in Tampa, George and Joe decided to "Let It Be" for now.

Sing it with me from the rooftop now:

"Say you don't need another championship ring and I'll be satisfied,
Tell me that you want the kind of players that money just can't buy,
I don't care too much for A-rod, money can't buy Yankee love.
Can't buy Yankee love, love, no!"

The possibilities are endless here:

Sing it Joe and George!

"Help, I need somebody,
Help, not just anybody,
Help, you know we need Tori Hunter, help!

When Bernie was younger, so much younger than today,
We never needed a center fielder's help in any way.
But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured,
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the checkbook.

Help me if you can, here's Kevin Brown
And I don't appreciate him being round.
Help me, get Andy Pettitte back on the mound,
Won't you please, please help me?

And now my team has changed in oh so many ways,
Scott Brosius and Paul O'Neil seemed to vanish in the haze.
And when Tanyon Sturtze takes the ball I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need Duque back like I've never done before."

PSP: Sienna Miller was hot beyond description in that movie. Also good to see Chief O'Brien getting work.

Connery was the best JB, but Spy WLM is my fave movie. Additionally, I have played only Slazenger balls since I started with golf 10 years ago because of the golf match in Goldfinger.

And let's not forget:

I'm a loooo-oooser. And I'm not what I appear to be. I'm a looo-oooser. And I'm not what I appear to be.

For all the rings I have won, says the boss. There are five years we should never have lost."
I doled out two-hundred million my friend. I don't expect you to lose in the end.
An All-Star lineup he has given me. And now I'm Oh for the 21st Century.

And while the boys work out the lyrics to "While My Manager Gently Weeps" here's Joe with "Yesterday":

The Red Sox chances seemed so far away,
Now it looks as though they're here to stay,
Oh, how I long for yesterday.

We're not half the team we used to be,
There's a rally-monkey hanging over me,
Oh, yesterday came suddenly.

Why Clemens
Had to 'Stro I don't know, he wouldn't stay.
We gave him a Hummer, now I long for yesterday.

This was such an easy game to play,
Now our gloves and bats have hid away,
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Why Stottlemyre
Had to go I don't know, he wouldn't say.
George said,
Something wrong, now we long for yesterday.

Small ball was such an easy game to play,
Now our bullpen gives big leads away,
Oh, I believe in yesterday.


Jason, I'm on board for The Spy Who Loved Me, whose co-star went on to marry Ringo Starr I believe, speaking of the Beatles. That movie has my all-time favorite Bond car also, which is saying a lot since I love all the bondmobiles.

I'm sure every Bond fan already knows this, but anyway...the origin of the name James Bond is pretty interesting. Ian Fleming picked it because the real James Bond was a leading ornithologist. In other words, a "bird" watcher.

"Almost had a Beatlesesque break-up in Yankeeland there. But it wasn't John and Paul doing the endgame bickering. It was George and Joe."

Oh man, you just left this hangin'...

It was George and Ring-Joe.

Revolver is my favorite too.

I just watched the Peter Sellars/Woody Allen/Orson Welles/David Niven/Ursula Andress/William Holden/Terry Southern etc. send-up of Casino Royale a few nights ago. It's quite bad but it was a really heavy-hitting production (partly directed by John Huston), worth checking out just because. And probably better on psychedelic drugs.

Ah, look at all the lonely Yank fans
Ah, look at all the lonely Yank fans

Jason Giambi picks up the 'roids in the gym where Barryu Bonds has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window, wearing the face that he keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?

All the lonely Tank fans
Where do they all come from ?
All the lonely yank fans
Where do they all belong ?

Mr. Steinbrenner; writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear
No one comes near.
Look at him working. Losing to the Sox in a night when 55,000 are there
What does he care?

All the lonely Yank fans
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely yank fans
Where do they all belong?

Slappy McBlueLips, died in the playoffs and was buried along with his name
Nobody came
Slappy McBlueLips, wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from third base
Everone was safe

All the lonely Yank fans
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely Yank fans
Where do they all belong?

Take a bow, Ringo! (that's what we call Joe in Yankeeland, thanks to the four big rings he's delivered.)

Now here's Brian Epstein Cashman with "Fixing a Hole" - take notes, Theo.

"I'm fixing a hole where the runs pour in
to stop the Boss from wondering
where the wins go

I'm filling the cracks in the middle relief
to stop the Boss from wondering where the wins go

And it really doesn't matter if our farm is blight
We'll pay a lot all right
We'll pay a lot
See the GMs standing there
with no cash they never win
and wonder why they don't get in October's door

I'm painting my sox in a colorful way,
to stop the boss from wondering
where's Thee-oo, where's Theo

And it really doesn't matter if our farm is blight
with cash we'll be all right
our cash will talk all right
our cash will talk
Silly agents run around
their demands don't worry me because Scott Boras is always welcome in my door.

I'm taking the time for a number of things
that weren't important yesterday
like updating my resume

I'm fixing a hole in center field
to stop my boss from wondering
where the wins go
where the wins go
I'm fixing a hole in the middle relief
to stops the Boss from wondering
where the wins go

Anyone know where I can get an electronic copy of the WSJ article? I'd like to read it without buying a subscription. Thanks

Now an encore from Shea Stadium... here's Pedro Martinez with "Nowhere Man"

I'm a real nowhere Man,
Pitching in this Nowhere Land,
Making all these curveball strikes
for nobody.

I don't have a playoff team,
Know not who I'm throwing to,
Red Sox why'd you turn your back on me?

Blow Sox fans, please listen,
You don't know what you're missing,
Nowhere Man, the world series was at my command.

Theo's blind as he can be,
Just sees what he wants to see,
Nowhere Man do you remember me at all?

Schill is gone, don't worry,
I'm on the Mets, don't hurry,
Leave it all till Matt Clement
blows the big game

Francona has no point of view,
Knows not where Foulke's throwing to,
Isn't he a bit like you and me?

Blow Sox fan, please listen,
You don't know what you're missing,
Nowhere Man, the world series was at my command.

I'm a real Nowhere Man,
Pitching in this Nowhere Land,
Making all my playoff plans
for nobody.
Making all my playoff plans
for nobody.
Making all my playoff plans
for nobody.

Oh Markie, we hardly knew ye (good riddance):

"Bellhorn bolts: The Yankees announced Tuesday that infielder Mark Bellhorn has declined an outright assignment to Triple-A Columbus, instead electing to become a free agent.
Bellhorn hit .210 with eight home runs and 30 RBIs in 94 games with Boston and New York in 2005, hitting .118 with one home run and two RBIs in 17 at-bats for the Yankees.
He was released by Boston on Aug. 26, and he signed with New York on Aug. 31."

I didn't know you all had such talent for rewriting lyrics. I think Babe's "Help" rendition is the best though. I'll probably be singing those lines whenever I hear the real song now. Especially the verse with Kevin Brown.

Ah, fuck the idea that we let Pedro go. He wanted too many years for too much money. And he used Boston's offer to make the Mets up the ante. Glad he delivered before he left...not so sad he's gone.

I waver between Revolver and Rubber Soul. I think both are approximately perfect, and I listen to Rubber Soul when I want the listening to be a bit easier...not that it's really hard to digest "Here, There, and Everywhere" though.

Thanks, Illegit

Back during the Subway Series (2000, clap, clap, clap-clap-clap) I taunted Mets fans with a song called "You Shea You Want A Revolution"

The only line I can remember now is:

"You say you hate pitchers who throw splintered bats, (remember Clemens v Piazza?)
Well, all I can tell you brother is Zimmer's fat,
You know it's gonna be all right, Yanks are gonna be all right."

now, as then, my sincerest apologies to Lennon/McCartney.

just one more for the road, to the tune of "Hey Jude"

A-rod, don't take it bad.
Take a paycheck and make it better.
Remember Varitek's glove in your face,
Then you can start to make it better.

A-rod, don't be afraid.
You were made to go out and hit.
The minute you let Bronson's cornrows under your skin,
Then you begin to make us miss Aaron Boone.

And anytime you feel Buckner's pain, A-rod, refrain,
Don't carry the world upon your shoulders.
For well you know that it's a fool whose 5-tools fail him in October.

A-rod, don't let me down.
You have found third, now go and get first.
Remember to play with Brosius' heart,
Then you can start to make October better.

So slap it out and slap it in, A-rod, begin,
You're waiting for someone to perform with.
And don't you know that it's not just you, Sheffield what happened to you?
You guys played like Sisyphus rolling boulders.

A-rod, don't take it bad.
Take a paycheck and make it better.
Remember Varitek's glove in your face,
Then you'll begin to make it
Better better better better better better, oh.

Na na na, na na na na, na na na, A-rod! A-rod!

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Torre says to me: "Thirteen million dollars, let it be."

And in my hour of darkness, when I think of quitting the Yankees: "Thirteen million dollars, let it be."

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be. Thirteen million dollars, let it be.

When the Angels play the White Sox and I'd rather watch golf on TV. She says "Joe, here's your answer. Let it be."

For though you may be sick of George, he's still obliged to pay your fee. Thirteen million dollars, let it be.


Anyone want to compose an ode of joy for the departure of Dale Sveum, a man who managed to make Send 'Em In Kim look cautious and who today was named third base coach for the Brewers?

Addition by subtraction. Dale Sveum to the Brewers.

I'm not a soccer fan, but if you ever get an opportunity to watch Premiership Highlights on Fox World Net (it might actually be called Fox Football), do yourself a favor and do it. The highlights make an otherwise boring (at least to me) sport look exciting, but the best part is that the winning and losing manager each gives about a 30-second shpiel at the end. Each one is invariably a character. Some have been knighted, some speak with a Cockney accent that makes me want to take a shower, some are Scottish or Irish, and some are from outside the United Kingdom all together. All are hysterical, generally intentionally so but at the very least unintentionally.

the departure of Dale Sveum

Best news all day.

Sveum's gone? Sweet!

Fave Beatles LP here either is White Album, Magical Mystery Tour (best song ever: Flying) or Abbey Road - the short tunes on side two I am sure influenced Wire's masterpiece "Chairs Missing" (along with the first wave of 70's punk rock of course).

Bye bye Dale, don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

By the way, the rewritten Beatles lyrics here today made me laugh loud and hard - I am copying them and making a document of parody Beatles' lyrics to sing along to the real thing!

I got something to say; does Sveum rhyme with pain?
if I catch you sending Manny home again
I'm gonna let you down
and leave you flat
because I told you before, oh,
you can't do that

Well it's the dozenth time I caught you sending them in
if I have to tell you one more time I think it's a sin
I'm gonna let you down
and leave you flat
because I told you before
you can't do that

Everybody screams
'cause all the runners get thrown out
And if it's seen
the rally's been killed
it's making me ill

So please listen to me if you wanna coach
get on a plane to Milwaukee with your twirling arm approach
I know I'll let you down
and leave you flat
because I told you before
you can't do that

Sveum will be impaling Selig's beloved Brewers over in cheeseheadland... the only better outcome would be that he replaces Joe Torre as Yankees manager

Sve Ya! To the tune of "Day Tripper"

Not a good reason
for giving the easy out
Not a good reason
for sending the easy third out now

Sve was a bad tipper, a no way ticket yea
It took ya so long to find out,
but you found out

Baserunners wheezin, Sve sent him half the way there
Ump's an old geezer, ball beat him all the way there now

Tried to score one, only to get the third out
tried the next inning, runner got punched out again

Sve was a bad tipper, a sunday driver yea
Took em so long to find out, but they found out

Bad skipper
Bad tipper yea

Susan totally wants Mike. HB, make this happen!

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