Monday, February 29, 2016

What Sucks...The Reaper

Colorful character actor, George Gaynes, whose memorable turns as Soleil Moon Frye’s step-dad in the 1980’s sitcom “Punky Brewster”, as well as Dustin Hoffman’s would-be suitor in Tootsie, died this month at the ageof 98. 

Gaynes, who was also a veteran Broadway stage actor as well as a trained opera singer, will unfortunately be remembered for a disastrous run as a high ranking New York City Police official that started in the mid 1980’s. 

As “Commandant”, of the Police Academy, Gaynes was at the center of a controversial program, designed by the city’s first female mayor, to increase police recruitment by lowering academy entrance standards.

While some may say the experiment was bold in nature, few dispute its failure.  Tasked with the unenviable position of implementing the program, Gaynes struggled to maintain discipline within the Academy from the beginning, and his tenure was marked by scandal after scandal. 

A city-wide riot, many say actually caused by a careless and clearly under-trained police cadet, lead to near disaster as criminals brazenly held police as hostages at gun point with their own weapons before being overtaken.  Any chance of goodwill being generated by the relatively safe outcome of the riot however was short-lived when it was revealed at the Academy’s graduation ceremony, a well-known prostitute was hired to sit under a podium and perform oral sex on a cadet who was giving a speech at the event. 

George Gaynes is survived by a wife, daughter, granddaughter and two great grand children. 
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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

What Sucks…The Reaper

Well, it looks like the Reaper has decided to be a real asshole this week. On Monday, he took the great Bowie, then, the next day, he took one of the great “that guy” actors of his generation,David Margulies.  You’ll remember Margulies as the Mayor in Ghostbusters.  It’s his “Lenny”, whose non-verbal as Bill Murray’s confirms that William Atherton (another great “that guy” actor), is “dickless”, that really cements that scene.  Add to it that Margulies also has to take in Ernie Hudson telling him he’s seen “shit that would turn you white”, followed by the “dogs and cats living together/ mass hysteria” rant, and you’ll forget that he’s the guy in the scene who’s NOT recognized as a American Comedy legend. 

You’ll also recognize this guy as Tony Soprano’s lawyer. 

RIP, Mayor Lenny, and thank you for saving the lives of millions of registered voters. 
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Monday, January 11, 2016

What Sucks…The Reaper

There’s not much to say here. David Bowie was a giant creative force for good in the universe and his loss makes this planet a much less cool place. The man has been responsible for a tremendous output of art over the course of his life. I can’t even keep a blog going. All I’ll say is this- don’t focus on him being gone, as much as should focus on everything he left behind. The guy was an alien sent from a very cool planet, we were lucky to have him.

Here’s Blondie doing Heroes. Followed by Nico doing Heroes. Followed by The Wallflowers doing Heroes. Followed by King Crimson doing Heroes. Followed by the man himself doing an acoustic version of it.

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What Sucks…Subway Performers Who Suck: A What Sucks Investigative Report! Part 2: The Steel Drum

Picture yourself on a beach in the Caribbean.  You are surrounded by beautiful flowers, a delicious frozen drink in your hand.  Your feet feel the fine, pink sand under them as a light breeze blows.  You look out into gorgeous crystal-blue ocean and begin to walk toward it.  Everyone in your line of vision is smiling and yes, behind it all is the subtle sound of a man using mallets to hit a steel drum.  How can this scene possibly get any more relaxing? 

Now picture yourself in a subway. You’re surrounded by crazy people anxiously awaiting the arrival of their train.  They need to get home, they’re late, they DON’T WANT TO BE IN THE SUBWAY and either do you.  Then, a person, begins to hit a mallet on a steel drum and you begin to vaguely make out John Lennon’s “Imagine”, but only one note at a time, and without any of the resonance the song carries with it.  Also, it’s really loud, and the pitch of the drum rips apart your ear as there is no large open area (the beach) or giant ocean to absorb the sound.  And the man hitting the drum is not smiling, he is not wearing shorts, or a colorful hat or a tropical styled shirt.  You almost long for the sound of the screeching wheels of a subway to drown out the clang of his drum, but its is still audible and he’s done with “Imagine” and moving on to “New York State Of Mind” by Billy Joel.

There is no way to confuse a tropical beach with a subway platform.  Everything about the two is different.  Sights, sounds, smells…tastes.  It is a place where Steel Drums have no earthly place.  No one hears a steel drum in the subway and says, “Oh yeah, this reminds me of a fucking tropical paradise.  This makes riding this underground train/ bathroom much better.” 

Also, let’s not forget this- the steel drum itself sucks.  It’s clangy, awkward and the opposite of soothing.  Matter of fact, and I am sure I will upset some of the “steel drumpurists” who regularly stop by my blog, but, I’d venture to say the tropical paradise setting is the only reason we tolerate the steel drum in the first place.  In an unscientific study I am conducting on Spotify right now, no one outside of the dude who runs your local “Cheeseburger In Paradise” shithole, is streaming anything with a steel drum in the continental US.  I’m sure many of us would move to stop a steel drum player ruining our day at the beach, if we weren’t immediately distracted by beach chair and a drink on our way over to kill him. 

So, get the steel drums out of the subway.  Subways are a place for rats dragging pieces of pizza, or bodies of other dead rats.  Having a steel drum on a subway platform, or having a subway train at a Caribbean beach for that matter, defeats the purpose of having a subway platform or a Caribbean beach, respectfully.  They can’t and shouldn’t exist in each other’s universe.   It’s like going to a public restroom, where they serve fine French cuisine. 

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