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More Fun With Barbaro Memorials

NBCPhiladelphia.com’s Dan Stamm, do you have anything to say about him?

It has been two years since the world lost Barbaro but he will never be lost in our hearts.

I dunno. My heart is a veritable maze, I have like 70 ventricles and 45 atriums. And don’t get me started on all my aortas and pulmonary arteries. He’s totally going to get lost in there one day.

Celebrating Barbaro, 2 Years Later [NBCPhiladelphia.com]
Thanks, RJ

Barbaro’s Brother Begins Career

Well, well! Today, the Daily News‘ Dick Jerardi reminds us today is a national holiday: It’s the second anniversary of the day Barbaro died! (If you’ve forgotten what a wonderful time that was in terms of Internet hilarity, please read the Field Guide to Barbaro Messageboard Factions. I can’t believe I forgot to submit it! I’m totally using that as an excuse.)

Anyway, the news is not all good on this oh so holy day. It turns out that Saturday will be the debut of Barbaro’s full brother, Nicanor. He’s in the eighth race in Gulfstream Park; Rockland, a son of Smarty Jones, is in the race right before him. Smarty Jones was the local horse the local media was obsessed with in 2004 (as opposed to 2006), but he actually began his career at Philadelphia Park (in Bensalem, of course) and won two races on the teevee instead of one. He did blow the Triple Crown after leading coming around the turn at the Belmont Stakes, but at least he’s still alive. (He is! I bet if you asked random Philadelphians if Smarty Jones was still alive, a majority would confuse him with Barbaro and say he was dead.) Jerardi writes that “something cosmic is at work here.”

Will Nicanor have the backing of God like Barbaro did? Considering how well that worked out for Barbaro, let’s hope not. But even if Nicanor is no good, don’t fret: There’s another Barbaro brother who’s about to start training.

Oh boy.

Barbaro’s brother Nicanor makingdebut at Gulfstream Park [Daily News]
Image by RNHurt used under a Creative Commons license

Buzz To Blogs: Get Off My Lawn!

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Buzz Bissinger — writer of Friday Night Lights, chronicler of Barbaro, inventor of high school football racism — was on Costas Now last night on a panel with Will Leitch (editor of Deadspin) and Braylon Edwards (Cleveland Browns wide receiver).

If you didn’t see it, Bissinger went on a rant about blogs, asked Will Leitch if he had ever read W.C. Heinz, called him full of shit and also said this: “This guy, whether we like it or not, is the future. The future in the hands of guys like you is really going to dumb us down to a degree that I don’t think we can recover from.”

Let me write about the W.C. Heinz reference for a moment. Heinz is famous for writing “Death of a Racehorse,” a 1,000-word piece about how a dying racehorse. In contrast, Bissinger’s column on Barbaro was 13,000 words. (Update: Hey, I made the comments of Fire Joe Morgan!)

I will say that I don’t — can’t! — believe that Bissinger was serious last night. This whole ‘blogs-vs.-newspapers’ debate is so, uhm, 2005, maybe earlier. By 2006 Phillymag (Phillymag!) had given my blog a B+ rating and that was back when PWD was even worse. Blogs are a medium: Most of them suck, some of them are good — just like newspaper columnists and TV shows and movies and penny-farthings and cheeseburgers. (The only two things that are mostly good are sex and pizza.) Right? Right?

Then again, maybe not. PW Music Editor Brian McManus was recently on a music panel with Tom Moon; the former Inquirer music writer read the Pitchfork review of In Rainbows and angrily ranted about it afterward. And this is another good ex-Inquirer writer!

It might just be as simple as what a friend told me this morning: “They’re all just bitter that they didn’t think of writing The Wire.” Well put.

Update 2: Jon Weisman has more on this. And Enrico has more too.

Take That, Barbaro: Better Horses Get Honor

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Zombie Barbaro must be pissed! The Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel in Franklin Square — that carousel is everything our founding fathers hoped and dreamed of — recently added replicas of two racehorses: Smarty Jones, who blew the Triple Crown on the backstretch, and Afleet Alex, who won the second two legs of the Triple Crown and cured cancer.

Did I hear that right? Two better horses — who won 66.7% of the Triple Crown races, instead of just 33.3% — got replicas and Barbaro is nowhere to be found? That’s what I’m talking about! Let’s get confirmation from Amy Needle, CEO of the carousel or something:

“These horses are made for us by our horse carousel-making company in Wichita, Kansas. We sent them pictures of the horses and these are exact replicas of racing carousel horses painted with Smarty and Afleet colors and numbers.”

It makes sense that there are only replicas of Alex and Smarty; unlike a regular racehorse, you can’t ride a carousel horse to its death.

Each carousel horse cost $30,000 of course, which in these booming economic times is no big deal.

Philly Carousel Gets Replicas of Local Winning Race Horses [KYW 1060]

The Onion For The Win

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Exactly one year to the day after Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was tragically taken from us before his time, an apparition of the beloved racehorse appeared in the morning sky to teach Americans from all walks of life about the true meaning of Barbaro Day.

The awestruck populace listened in rapt attention to the words of the great horse’s spirit as he urged the people to remove their metaphorical blinders and open their eyes to the world around them; to never put too much weight on their sesamoid and long pastern bones; and to remember that Barbaro Day is not just the day that Barbaro died, but the day that human beings learned to put their differences aside and treat one another as they would want a 1,200-pound racehorse to be treated.

Ghost Of Barbaro Appears To Teach Nation True Meaning Of Barbaro Day [The Onion]

Let Us Now All Honor Barbaro

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It was one year ago today that Barbaro, the horse people saw win a race on teevee once, was euthanized after breaking his leg entertaining rich people. Despite being dead, the soon-to-be-canonized noble steed healed several sick children just last week and also won the lottery. John McCain is considering him for the VP slot. Thanks to Barbaro, horses who race around an oval track no longer die all the time, global warming has been reversed and poverty has ended.

Thank you, Barbaro, for gracing us with your presence, if only for a short time. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that your mission only lasted three years.

A Lasting Peace [Daily News]
Barbaro’s Legacy [Inquirer]

Hideous Barbaro Statue To Grace NYC

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Hey, remember the attention whore controversial artist who did the Britney Spears giving birth sculptor as a “monument to pro-life”? Yeah, well, Daniel Edwards is back with a new sculpture called The Barbaro Memorial. Oh, the Barbaro people are not going to stand for this.

Edwards’ cause this time is mandating racetracks to report race-related injuries and fatalities so that people will presumably stop going to horse races. (Yeah, I think that second part already happened.) He wants a law called, uh, Barbaro’s Law, and even has an online petition. The statue is slated to be unveiled in Centrol Park on April 30, the week of the Kentucky Derby and will eventually be on display at the Leo Kesting Gallery.

Oh, yeah, and Barbaro is also viewed as a “champion for the right to die.”

The Associated Press reports the sculpture doesn’t have the support of Barbaro’s owner Gretchen Jackson, but she also says she doesn’t care. I bet, late at night, Gretchen Jackson sneaks down to the Internet and reads Barbaro jokes to blow off steam.

There’s this, also:

“We feel “Barbaro’s Law” is sympathetic to prior efforts in horse protection legislation,” said gallery co-director, John Leo. Queens Councilman Tony Avella drafted legislation that would ban New York’s horse-drawn carriages after carriage horse, Smoothie, died from running into a tree after being spooked by a street musician’s drum last September.”Tourists might decide to pass on a carriage ride after knowing the plight of the carriage horse,” added Leo, who said the gallery will also exhibit a memorial statue of the fallen NYC carriage horse by Daniel Edwards at their gallery in Manhattan’s meatpacking district.

Anyway, I fully support Daniel Edwards’ right to troll the public with his hideous, hilariously awesome Barbaro statue. I can’t wait ’til somebody files a lawsuit!

Barbaro Museum Defeated After All

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The news of the day: Local hero Barbaro, a horse who showed the world he could inspire Internet anger long after he finished everything on his bucket list, will no longer have a museum built in his honor.

His co-owner Gretchen Jackson says she is close to figuring out where Barbaro’s ashes will be buried. (She did not announce anything about a horse her and her husband Roy bred, George Washington, who was sent to stud before it was determined it couldn’t sire. The horse raced again and was destroyed after he broke down in the Breeders Cup.)

The museum idea is on ice right now, but there is going to be a big ol’ statue of Barbaro people will probably end up caring a lot about. If it’s life-size, could people get to pretend to ride Barbaro? Oh, man, that would be awesome! Barbaro is so much better in statue form.

Horses Are Doomed Either Way

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So a bunch of horse lovers got together and decided to try to get horses to not be slaughtered. They succeeded and slaughterhouses were closed in Texas and Illinois. The horses are now slaughtered in Canada or Mexico in far worse conditions, and the horsey people don’t know what to do. To be fair, horsemeat is disgusting and no one should be eating it. On the other hand, who wouldn’t want to have a Barbaro burger?

Meanwhile, I got an obviously fake Barbaro letter the other day and I’m posting it after the jump.

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Ron Paul: The Next Abraham Lincoln?

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Since I fell back on an old standby and made fun of Barbaro and somebody got mad at me (see comments), I figured I’d shoot at another fish in the barrel and make fun of Ron Paul.

I think people actually know who Ron Paul is now, since my mom says she likes his idea of getting rid of the income tax, which he apparently talked about on Meet the Press, and a bunch of other people knew who he was, too. This is the man who doesn’t believe in evolution, which probably has no bearing on a president but still sort of creeps me out since it’s, like, ninth grade science. Does Ron Paul not believe in Charlemagne from my freshman year world history class, too?

But nothing I can make fun of Ron Paul about is funnier than things his supporters write. Libertarians have been trolling the Internet since around 2001; Ron Paul supporters have just upped the ante by trolling real life with a blimp instead. Ron Paul supporters do not like jokes about Ron Paul. And Ron Paul supporters are dead serious about Ron Paul. Bla bla bla important presidential election whatever.

Fortunately, none of this will matter because some website reports there is a neocon plot to assassinate Ron Paul!

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