Wednesday, July 23, 2008

America's Drunkest Cities

From WebMD. How did your city do?

New Year's Day 1916 was rough for Colorado residents looking for a little hair of the dog. On that Saturday, the state stopped all liquor sales, predating Prohibition by 4 years.

Today, Colorado once again leads the nation in its attitude toward alcohol--but now, the mandate seems to be "drink till you drop."

In our second ranking of urban inebriation, Aurora comes in 82nd, Colorado Springs finishes 98th, and, once again, Denver is Most Dangerously Drunk. We looked at annual death rates due to alcoholic liver disease, as well as who's headed there by regularly downing five or more drinks in a sitting (CDC).

Next, we factored in drunk-driving arrests (FBI) and the percentage of fatal accidents involving intoxicated motorists (U.S. Department of Transportation).

Then, after tallying the MADD report card of state efforts to cut down on excessive drinking, we had our ranking and, for the state of Colorado, an invitation to AA.

Ranks and grades:

100. Denver, CO (F)
99. Anchorage, AK
98. Colorado Springs, CO (F)
97. Omaha, NE (F)
96. Fargo, ND (F)
95. San Antonio, TX (F)
94. Austin, TX (F)
93. Fresno, CA (F)
92. Lubbock, TX (F)
91. Milwaukee, WI (F)
90. El Paso, TX (F)
89. Spokane, WA (F)
88. Washington, DC (F)
87. Columbia, SC (F)
86. St. Louis, MO (D-)
85. Bakersfield, CA (D-)
84. San Diego, CA (D)
83. Cheyenne, WY (D)
82. Aurora, CO
81. Houston, TX (D)
80. Portland, OR (D)
79. Seattle, WA (D)
78. Boise, ID (D)
77. Tucson, AZ (D+)
76. Dallas, TX (D+)
75. Jacksonville, FL (D+)
74. Toledo, OH (D+)
73. Madison, WI (D+)
72. Oakland, CA (D+)
71. Modesto, CA (D+)
70. Billings, MT (D+)
69. Fremont, CA (D+)
68. Oklahoma City, OK (D+)
67. San Francisco, CA (D+)
66. Sacramento, CA (D+)
65. Los Angeles, CA (D+)
64. Phoenix, AZ (D+)
63. Albuquerque, NM (D+)
62. Chicago, IL (D+)
61. Providence, RI (D+)
60. Fort Wayne, IN (C-)
59. Manchester, NH
58. Charleston, WV (C-)
57. Burlington, VT (C-)
56. Lincoln, NE (C-)
55. Corpus Christi, TX (C-)
54. Des Moines, IA (C-)
53. Indianapolis, IN (C-)
52. Pittsburgh, PA (C-)
51. Honolulu, HI (C-)
50. St. Paul, MN (C)
49. Tampa, FL
48. Greensboro, NC (C)
47. Las Vegas, NV (C)
46. Baltimore, MD (C)
45. Riverside, CA (C)
44. Norfolk, VA (C)
43. Detroit, MI (C+)
42. Arlington, TX
41. Grand Rapids, MI (C+)
40. San Jose, CA (C+)
39. St. Petersburg, FL (C+)
38. Nashville, TN (C+)
37. Charlotte, NC (C+)
36. Wilmington, DE (C+)
35. Orlando, FL (C+)
34. Minneapolis, MN (C+)
33. Kansas City, MO (C+)
32. Fort Worth, TX (C+)
31. Tulsa, OK (C+)
30. Anaheim, CA (B-)
29. Wichita, KS
28. Lexington, KY (B-)
27. Philadelphia, PA (B-)
26. Montgomery, AL (B-)
25. Rochester, NY (B-)
24. Raleigh, NC (B)
23. Cincinnati, OH
22. Louisville, KY (B)
21. Bangor, ME (B)
20. Memphis, TN (B)
19. Boston, MA (B)
18. Hartford, CT (B+)
17. Sioux Falls, SD
16. Birmingham, AL (B+)
15. Baton Rouge, LA (B+)
14. Columbus, OH (B+)
13. Cleveland, OH (B+)
12. Atlanta, GA (B+)
11. Newark, NJ (B+)
10. Jersey City, NJ (B+)
9. Richmond, VA (B+)
8. New York, NY (B+)
7. Little Rock, AR (A-)
6. Salt Lake City, UT
5. Yonkers, NY (A-)
4. Jackson, MS (A)
3. Buffalo, NY
2. Miami, FL (A)
1. Durham, NC (A+)

Someone Mentioned Celine

And anytime someone mentions Celine, I have to run this video again. Enjoy!


SNL Classic Of The Day: OICMP

100% vapid. And, as a special bonus, fetid, too.


QOTD: What You Like About You

What's your single best quality?

Are you brilliant? Loads of fun? Passionate? Compassionate? Honest? Or maybe you just have hot feet, great eyes or a nice set of taters.

Go ahead, toot your own horn. You have my permission.

Just one, please. Otherwise you'll look like an egomaniac.

20 Most Overrated Movies

From Premiere magazine. You won't like some of these. I don't agree with them all, but thank god they included Mystic River. I wanted to like that movie, but hated it. In fact, I think many of Clint Eastwood's (directed) movies are overrated. Some, like Absolute Power and Blood Work, are just plain awful. I tend to feel the same way about Ron Howard's films (A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code, Ransom).

The initials after each blurb are those of individual Premiere staffers who chose the movie and wrote the copy.

At least one of the blurbs contains spoilers, so proceed with caution.

My own list of overrated movies includes The English Patient, Rushmore, Crash, Reservoir Dogs (I abhor that film), and anything by M. Night Shyamalan, including The Sixth Sense, which was fine the first time, but once you know the twist, there's not much to it.

American Beauty (1999)

Hey, I dug Kevin Spacey, Conrad Hall's cinematography, and the reach of Alan Ball's script. But under the winkingly parodistic role-playing (frigid wife; unhappy Willy Loman character; Lolita cupcake; homosexually panicked marine; alienated daughter), there's more than a whiff of TV sitcom. Chekhov said if you bring a gun onstage, you'd best fire it before the play ends. Here, when the shot rings out we don't quite know who fired it—a bit of stagy misdirection that may have more to do with the original plot, framed by courtroom scenes, than dramatic necessity. —P.H.

Chicago (2002)

The sequins must have blinded Oscar voters in 2003, when Chicago racked up six awards, despite its blip of a story—jazz killers charm a nation, or something—and uninspired staging; its song-and-dance numbers leapt off the Broadway stage and onto. . . a stage, set in Roxie Hart's limited imagination. A sly celebration of duplicity, Chicago does some fooling of its own, editing furiously to cover the subpar hoofing of RenĂ©e Zellweger and Richard Gere (who sing as if under the spells of asthma and Ethel Merman, respectively). —Kelly Borgeson, copy chief

Clerks (1994)

Kevin Smith's Clerks is a little funny and a lot boring, just like Dante Hicks, the convenience store cashier it follows for one long, pointless day. This trifle's lame acting and anemic plot were celebrated for their street cred because the slackers among us could relate and the critics all wanted to seem cool. So, sure, a cornchip shark in a salsa sea is funny when you're drunk. But a movie shouldn't require beer goggles. And moving the camera occasionally or hiring unknown actors who can actually act doesn't cost any extra, even if you've only got $27 grand. —J.L.

Field of Dreams (1989)

In Roger Ebert's four-star review of Field of Dreams, he dismisses its detractors as "grinches and grouches and realists." Call me all three, but every element of Dreams is just too on the nose: James Earl Jones's authoritative presence, the sweetness of Ray Liotta, Kevin Costner's boyish gait as he wades through corn. Furthermore, the movie's fans mistake Dreams for a well-constructed fantasy, failing to recognize that it fouls into an illogical realm, hoping to coast on its fuzzy sentimentality. What am I to make of inconsistencies like Ray Kinsella's sudden ability to travel through time? To achieve the status of a classic, a movie should do more than play to America's love for the game. It should also make sense. —C.L.

Good Will Hunting (1997)

That Will is an MIT janitor as well as a math genius is the kind of forced premise that would get laughed out of the lowest-tiered undergrad fiction-writing courses. So why did so many fall for Good Will Hunting? It had less to do with the value of the movie's Cinderella story line than it did with the parallel tale of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's rise out of Boston obscurity. Figure in a canned performance by Robin Williams as a nonconformist role model who is, coincidentally, a fellow underachiever, and you've got the kinds of symmetries that, in a movie, are just plain derivative. —Ryan Devlin, associate editor

Forrest Gump (1994)

Being There, done that — only not quite as well. Gump makes a big, sloppy show of adoring its puerile hero to the degree of adopting his idiotic notion that whatever life gives you—be it the growth of your Apple stock or the death of a spouse from AIDS — is like a chocolate bonbon. The film is just a short-bus joke wrapped in cloying nostalgia and faux empathy. Robin Wright Penn's Jenny is redeemed by marrying the pure Forrest, but the junkie whore still must die, a plot contrivance that reveals the film's misguided moralism. —Sara Brady, associate editor

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

PR can be a real bitch. On the one hand, it's partly because of Universal's relentless pre-Oscar campaigning that Ron Howard's biopic of Nobel Prize–winning mathematician John Nash became heralded as such a prestige pic. Too bad the film didn't leave nearly as memorable of an impression as the nasty battles surrounding it during awards season. I'll try not to dwell on how the film skirts inconvenient subjects like Nash's illegitimate son or his rumored homosexuality, which he has denied. Nah, I'd rather point out the ridiculously manipulative exploitation of schizophrenia as a plot device in a film that adds up to little more than a Disneyfied version of an entry in the DSM-IV. —Brooke Hauser, writer-at-large

Monster's Ball (2001)

Everyone loves seeing pretty people in desperate situations, but this southern drama is so tragic, it's absurd. Pity Leticia Musgrove: First her husband is executed. Then her son, who in addition to being saddled with being chubby, gets killed in a hit-and-run accident. Fortunately, Musgrove finds refuge in the arms of Hank, whose father is an alcoholic racist and whose son commits suicide. Enough! Maybe with a more plausible leading lady (say, Angela Bassett), this sobfest would have gained some credibility. But a few sweat stains and exposed breasts weren't enough to transform Halle Berry into an actress worthy of Oscar. —B.H.

Mystic River (2003)

Clint Eastwood may be one of our most important directors, but even masters can fail. River's pacing feels like an overproduced episode of an underwhelming TV cop drama. What's with the ridiculous coincidences? Dave (Tim Robbins) just happens to kill a child molester the same night Jimmy (Sean Penn)'s daughter is murdered? Or how about subplots that should have been cut from the screenplay: The relationship between Sean (Kevin Bacon) and his wife may have been fully fleshed out in the novel, but here it feels like she's prank-calling him. And what's up with Laura Linney's totally offbeat Lady Macbeth moment? River just doesn't flow right. —R.D.

Gone With the Wind (1939)

The only excuse for the adoration of this bloated, nearly four-hour epic about a spoiled southern belle and the passing of the Old South is uncritical nostalgia. Yes, Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable do a swell taming-of-the-shrew routine, but the movie's once-spectacular moments — the burning of Atlanta, the crane shot of wounded soldiers — look uninspired today, and its depiction of a feudal, racist society from the point of view of a victimized aristocracy is (at best) embarrassing. Even if the Max Steiner score and Technicolor cinematography are sublime, frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. As a symbol of Hollywood at its height, Gone With the Wind is more kitsch than classic. —H.K.

For the rest, see the full article at


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