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Shrine Whine

Vice is nice: An example of MC Merv's Central Corridor signage.

Oh, how the worm's turned on the AZ 9/11 Memorial since this early bird first tweeted on the subject way before the freakin' thing was ever completed. See, this jaundiced blue jay was the first to jawbone about how the shrine — which resembles a humongo steel Funyun perched over a concrete ashtray — was a major boner in the making ("Monument Valley," August 3). Especially considering that of the nearly 3,000 victims of the Islamofascist attacks on 9/11, only one, Tempe's Gary Bird, was a resident of Sand Land.

Yep, before blogosphere wing-nutters began frothing over some of the 54 phrases cut into the jumbo Funyun at Wesley Bolin Plaza, like "You don't win battles of terrorism with more battles," and "Erroneous US air strike kills 46 Uruzgan civilians," this cockamamie cockatoo was pointing out the lameness of this pathetic shrine, its Hallmark sentimentality, and its cheap, lefty slant, which sounds like something straight outta Alec Baldwin's très liberal mouth ("9/11 Narcissism," September 21).

Since then, Republican goober Len "Premarital" Munsil has decried the Funyun's "moral relativism," and pledged to rip it down should he defeat Governor Janet Napolitano. (Er, don't quit your day job just yet, Len.) Congressman J.D. "I ain't no anti-Semite" Hayworth also demanded the memorial's eradication. Online sleazemeister Matt Drudge and OxyContin enthusiast Rush Limbaugh picked up the story. And PHX talk-radio jocks continue to crawl all over the item like a pack of alley cats on a half-open tin o' tuna.

So, how have the Funyun's proponents reacted to this symphony of Bronx cheers? Like Napoleon's army hightailing it outta Moscow. Governor Photo-Op, a.k.a. Napolitano, who 'til last week was taking full credit for the Funyun, calling it "unique, bold, educational and unforgettable," now denies she previewed its problematic sayings. And if you believe that load of horse biscuits, this cranky canary's got a bridge at Lake Havasu it wants to sell ya.

Napoleontano actually acted genuinely outraged when reporters at her weekly press briefing dared ask questions about the 9/11 albatross around her neck.

"Address those questions to the commission," Her Highness squawked. "The commission had hearings, the commission approved the memorial. Move on."

Sorry, Janet, your name's at the very top of the memorial's concrete dedication block, so the buck stops with you, bozo britches.

Democratic lapdog Billy Shields, chairman of the 9/11 Memorial Commission, tried to take the bullet for the Guv with a Friday press conference announcing that the Memorial Commission should reevaluate what's written on the Funyun, but, um, after November 7, natch. The gray-haired gadfly then denounced anyone who dared question the patriotism of those who erected it.

"Shame on anyone who would make political hay at the expense of the lives and the tragedies that have come from 9/11," intoned the bearded boor.

Billy-boy, both you and Janet were the first to make political hay out of the 9/11 tragedy by using this memorial for your own ends. The Funyun's $550K price tag netted Nappy a pre-Election Day publicity stunt, with bagpipes playing and F-16s soaring overhead during the unveiling, and, Billy, you got your name on the dedication plaque, not far down from the Guv's.

Now the whole thing's blown up in your face, and you're boo-hooing all over town, blaming the public for not adding their two cents before now.

Shields and Nappy should've taken that half-mil and donated it to those building real memorials in NYC, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, PA. That would've been a better use of the funds than building this ugly and unnecessary backwater boondoggle.

Operation BIGOT

One of the state legislators most critical of the 9/11 Funyun, Republican fossil Russell Pearce, took time off from calling for a special legislative session to remove the monument to stick his crusty foot all the way down his throat.

In an interview last week on KJZZ-FM 91.5, state Representative Pearce proved once and for all that he's a bigoted asshole by longing to bring back a 1950s Dwight Eisenhower program labeled "Operation Wetback," which removed, according to Pearce, "1.3 million illegal aliens."

PHX immigration activist Elias Bermudez told this beaker that those deported back then included thousands of legitimate residents and citizens. But that doesn't bother Pearce, who believes he's discovered the (ahem) final solution to the Mes-can problemo.

The Bird has its own wet dream in which boneheads like Pearce are deported back to the Stone Age via time machine. After all, who'd you rather see go — the up-to-20 million illegal immigrants who work their tails off doing all the shit jobs in this country or one Mormon blowhard from Mesa? (Try actually thinking about this before dashing off the usual lame-ass letter to the editor exposing yourself as just another racist peckerwood from Arizona.)  

Russ, this feathered fiend's got your ticket waiting.

Speedracer, Go Away

Three cheers for Sheriff Joe Alzheimer's! You heard correctly, this bombastic buzzard's singing the loony lawman's praises because he's threatened to roll out a tank and block the Grand Prix nightmare that the dunderheaded Phoenix City Council just approved over the objections of constituents.

This pigeon's praying Uncle Joe sticks to his guns and doesn't cave to Mayor Phil "Pipsqueak" Gordon, who along with six other council members voted in favor of further mucking up downtown with a three-day racing extravaganza while construction on the light-rail choo-choo tracks continues nearby. See, the PHX Grand Prix is scheduled to take place November 30 through December 2, 2007. And when will work on the choo-choo line be final? 2008, according to Metro spokesman Marty McNeil.

It's enough to make this pecker pluck out its noggin plumage!

Already, driving downtown is so effin' frustrating that this winged wordsmith nearly goes postal whenever it has to steer its T-Bird around and through orange barricades, detour signs, gaping ditches, blocked streets and one-lane construction zones. Great Odin's raven, you nearly take your life in your hands just driving down to Lux for a cup o' Joe. And now Mayor Weenie and his council collaborators want the Indy 500 downtown, too?!

This furious falcon thinks we should tar and feather Phil and his fellow scalawags, and then run 'em outta town on a light rail! Only council members Nancy Bilstein and Tom Simplot voted against the Grand Prix party. Maybe they recall the Formula One flop from 1989-1991, where promoters similarly promised the moon and million-dollar windfalls, only to pull a Dale Earnhardt crash-and-burn with the event because of sparse attendance.

The race is billed to feature Champ cars growling at speeds of up to 180 miles per hour around a course that includes Jefferson, Seventh, Lincoln and Madison streets, and First and Central avenues. That's the same Jefferson and Central that currently resemble war zones because of choo-choo chaos.

Dale Jensen, the garden tool responsible for the Champ Car race, along with businessman Brad Yonover, admitted the race is "obviously an inconvenience." Barriers and grandstands will start going up along the route a month before the event, and the tear-down will take up to three weeks. This according to Jensen, who's part-owner of the Phoenix Suns and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Sheriff Alzheimer's is pissed because the race threatens to be so bloody loud that it'll interfere with a 911 call center. The Phoenix Symphony's pissed because it figures folks would rather stay home than brave traffic headaches on the way to its annual Christmas show, to be held the same weekend. Residents and those who work downtown are pissed because they'll have to deal with the added annoyance.

Why can't our elected gomers wait a year or so for downtown to absorb the Arizona State University expansion and finish with the choo-choo before they foist this ass-pain on us? 'Cause greedy Phil Gordon and his civic booster bunch have their eyes full of dollar signs. And if you're further inconvenienced, well, "Fuck you, Phoenix!"

Now, only Alzheimer's armored personnel carrier can stop our dorky mayor's avaricious agenda. Roll it right over his scrawny ass, Joe!

Yuppie Vicelord

This eagle-eyed egret's spied some unusual-looking political signs lately at intersections up and down the Central Corridor promoting the campaign of a mustachioed mug named MC Merv. These hand-painted placards announce the mysterious MC's candidacy for the fictitious office of "Downtown Vicelord," and are emblazoned with such stirring slogans as, "Remove all public parks! — More lofts!"; "Style. Substance. Sleek mustache"; and "MERV: Con-Artist-Deviloper. ElectroYuppy Sex."

Merv bills himself as "the first and only white yuppie rapper," as well as a top-shelf real estate mogul in league with power-brokers like Jerry Colangelo. This urban oddity insists he's hell-bent on gentrifying downtown Phoenix, transforming chill spots like Bikini Lounge and Modified Arts into a landscape of condos and corporate chains.

After some sleuthing, The Bird discovered that the Mervalicious One's well-known at art-scene hangs like Willow House and Trunk Space, where the pale-faced P. Diddy makes unscheduled appearances clad in a frayed business suit, fake 'stache, baseball cap, aviator shades and kneepads. With a sample from Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" blasting from his boom box, the Merv man drops rhymes about urban redevelopment, sounding like an ofay version of Digital Underground's Humpty Hump.

The Bird soon scored a phoner with this pseudo Snoop Dogg, and asked him to explain this imaginary Downtown Vicelord gig for which he's campaigning.  

"I'll be in charge of all the confiscated drugs, pornography, prostitution, and real estate development in downtown," chirped the Merv. "I was asked by some very powerful people to run for this position."

Merv's platform consists of building lofts and eliminating public parks, particularly in light of the current kafuffle over downtown PHX's Patriots Square. Downtown activists have lobbied the City of Phoenix against turning over the park to Valley real estate developer Red Development, which aims to raze the little-used eyesore, transforming it into an upscale retail and living space.

The roguish rapper asserted that he's, heh, in bed with Red Development over the matter.

"Part of my plan for Parrot Park, or whatever it's called, is to build some sleek condos and a power golf course," maintained the Mervalator. "Lofts are so good for yuppies. They're so clean and safe and sterile."

Still, this curious kingfisher's heard whisperings that the bogus Biggie Smalls is actually one Alex Votichenko, an artist and turntablist better known as DJentrification.

Votichenko's active in the fight against Red Development and uses the Merv persona to lampoon his develop-happy foes. His Merv thus follows in the illustrious, comedic footsteps of Andy Kaufman's Tony Clifton, and Sacha Baron Cohen's Ali G and Borat characters.

Not surprisingly, when confronted with the rumors, Merv cried "foul" to this foul fowl.

"That DJentrifier punk keeps spreading those rumors because he wants to make fun of me. I don't care," Merv contends. "My lawyers are gonna get ahold of him."

Merv further stated that if local peeps want to put his name down as a write-in candidate for governor, that's okey-doke by him. And remember, folks, that's MC Merv, not rotund former talk show host Merv Griffin.

Diploma Dome

Pity the poor citizens of Glendale. They help pony up the dough to build their new stadium (an estimated $9.5 million out of a total cost of $455 mil), and lure the Arizona Cardinals away from Tempe to play there. And what town's moniker will the new stadium sport? That of its larger, more polished neighbor — Phoenix!

Last week, online diploma generator University of Phoenix inked a contract for a 20-year, $155 million deal for the naming rights, beating out the possibility of a Pink Taco Stadium, or this tweeter's suggestion: Pete's Fish & Chips Stadium (see "Juicy Taco Hell," August 31).

Wags are calling it Oops, Pee-Yew Stadium, or You Pee Stadium. And every time the Cards are on the tube, P-town will get the glory (this pigskin-lovin' pigeon uses the term loosely, after the drubbing the local bird turds got the last three weeks from Seattle, St. Louis and Atlanta. Pee-Yew!).

What The Bird wants to know is, why didn't they name it after UofP's parent company, the Apollo Group? Apollo Stadium's got a way-way-cool ring to it. Or if they made the new diploma dome the namesake of Apollo Group founder Dr. John Sperling, Sperling Stadium would work.

Though some might confuse the name with Sy Sperling of Hair Club for Men fame, and nickname it the Chrome Dome.

Whatever, Glendale's the Rodney Dangerfield of American towns. It gets no respect, no respect at all. Not even from the laughingstock Cardinals!


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