by John Walters

A Medium Happy 50th to Iron Mike Tyson

Starting Five

Salazar won his 6th straight, the Indians their 12th

1. Danny for the Dozen

The Cleveland Indians win their 12th straight, one shy of the franchise record for longest win streak, with a 3-0 shutout of the Atlanta Braves. Danny Salazar pitched the five-hit shutout for his sixth consecutive win. The Tribe still have not lost since the Cavs won the NBA championship and the sports folk of Cleveland are really, really going to hate saying goodbye to this month of June.

On June 1st the Indians were 26-24 and the Cavs were heading toward the NBA Finals. Cleveland embarked on a six-game win streak on that first day of June and now have a victory string twice that long heading into the final day of June. With a 47-30 record, they’re 21-6 this month.

Salazar, meanwhile, is now 10-3 with a 2.22 ERA, 2nd-best in the American League.

2. Gone Girl

Williams is still only 26

The last terrific hire from the Jon Stewart era of The Daily Show, Jessica Williams, announced that today will be her final appearance. The correspondent was hired out of L.A. four years ago when she was only 22. At least there won’t be a prolonged farewell tour. Williams is going to remain with Comedy Central as opposed to just showing up at the Friars Club at 4:30 p.m. for the early bird specials.

3. The Five-Timers Club

Phelps will head to his fifth Olympics on his fourth continent

Meet Michael Phelps, who just qualified for his fifth Olympics by winning the 200-meter butterfly at the U.S. Olympic Trials.. Oh, by the way, today is his 31st birthday. He’s also a dad now (son, Boomer, was born in early May) and is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, former Miss California Nicole Johnson. You want to root for Phelps, but he spent all that time in Ann Arbor and then married a USC alum.

Phelps has won 18 gold medals at four different Olympics. In Sydney in 2000, when he was 15, he failed to win a medal but did advance to the final in the 200 butterfly.

4. The Prince of Endurance

After running 100 miles in a little over 15 hours, Miller wonders why no one can find him a more comfortable chair, or at least a second folding chair on which to prop up his feet.

This is Andrew Miller, 20, who last weekend became the youngest person to ever win the Western States 100, the granddaddy of endurance runs, in northern California. Miller, who has never run on a high school or college cross-country team (or in track) completed the 100 miles from Squaw Valley to Auburn, Calif., in 15 hours and 39 minutes.

For much of the race Miller, a sophomore-to-be at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff (move there before everyone discovers how great it is), trailed 26 year-old Jim Walmsley, also of Flagstaff. Walmsley was on a record pace for the 43 year-old annual race when he took a wrong turn on Mile 91 that took him three miles out of his way. Walmsley would finish 20th, in 18:45, whereas he had been on pace to run a sub-15.

Insert tortoise-hare analogy here.

5. CNBC’s Brexit Babe

People who talk finance in a British accent just sound more as if they know what they’re talking about. As compared to say, Darren Rovell.

Perhaps the best thing to come out of England’s departure from the European Union is more air time on CNBC for Julia Chatterley, who looks and sounds (and has an appropriately British surname) like someone Mike Myers dreamt up for the yet-to-be-filmed fourth Austin Powers film.

To be gender-neutral, another Brit and an Oxford man, Wilfred Frost,  has also received a copious amount of air time lately covering Brexit for CNBC, and yes, his father is the late David Frost, of Frost/Nixon fame.

Frost: Jolly good show

Music 101

It’s Too Late To Turn Back Now

This tune, by the Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose, hit No. 2 on the Billboard charts in the summer of 1972. Eddie Cornelius, who wrote the song, is now an ordained pastor in south Florida.

Remote Patrol

Euro Quarters: Poland vs. Portugal

ESPN 3 p.m.

The most popular Pole since Lech Walesa

Tune in to see if Portugal loses and its pouty potentate, Cristiano Ronaldo, retires from international play. The underdog Poles will be the crowd faves in Marseille and keep an eye on their striker, Robert Lewandowski.


by John Walters

A Medium Happy 45th to the Egg McMuffin. How can something so wrong taste so right?

Starting Five

1. Ataturk

41 dead in Istanbul after three suicide bombers struck, also using rifles.

A few thoughts: 1) Syria is roughly the size of North Dakota. 2) Syria is embroiled in a civil war and it is a largely lawless place. 3) ISIS benefits from operating out of Syria, but there are no defined bases, military installations, etc. 4) It’s pretty clear that in order to wipe out ISIS, at least quickly, you’re going to have to put troops in Syria….However, 5) If you study the lessons of Vietnam and Iraq, you’ll remember that putting American troops in nations that have zero political stability does not neatly solve the problem. After all, you have to remember 6) that the average Syrian or Kurdish teen isn’t reading the opinion pages of The New York Times or Washington Post. It’s pretty easy to convert someone who looks like you and prays to the same God as you to your side of a military squabble as opposed to him taking the side of the invaders, the “infidels,” who do not worship Allah. And so by attacking the hornet’s nest there’s the very real chance of exponentially increasing its numbers.

So, 7) good luck turning the truth into a political sound byte to your advantage. Anyone can say, 8) “We have to wipe out ISIS.” How you do it and introduce stability to a crazed region is another question, because, sure 9) 41 dead here, 82 dead there are awful numbers, but thousands of U.S. troops dead somewhere else without any victory (see Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, with more than 80,000 dead and little to show for it except a a 12-figure expense report) is not advantageous, either.

2. Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way Out

The judges will also accept “Will and (Dis)Grace”

Leftover from the weekend, but George Will quit the Republican Party over Donald Trump. Characteristically, Trump called the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist a “loser.”

Of course, the Trumpets have as much as called Will a poofta for abandoning the GOP, not quite appreciating that Trump has hijacked it. At day’s end, Trumpets are nothing more than FSU Twitter while men such as Will and Mitt Romney are just trying to say, “Can’t we just win without abusing coeds?” Yes, this means that Paul Ryan is Jimbo Fisher.

3. Johnny Foosball

Look up “sybarite” in the dictionary

If you ask me who Johnny Manziel reminds me of, it’s not a football player. It’s Sean Parker, the dude who became a billionaire before he was 21 by inventing Napster and then became an incorrigible party boy. Tim Tebow, meanwhile, is leading prayer groups on trans-continental flights. Manziel earned his money and how he wastes it, or his life, is really none of our concern as long as he isn’t smacking up females, is it? I mean, it’s not an inspirational tale, but it’s his life. And he’s never returning to the NFL, anyway.

4. Benghazi, Trey Gowdy

Gowdy’s report was 800 pages so, not curt

This is Trey Gowdy, who oversaw the 800-page report on the Benghazi investigation and who only looks like every villainous lawyer from a John Grisham film. I don’t have much more to say than that they didn’t appear to find a smoking gun on Hillary (it was in the hands of Zurlon Tipton, apparently) and that maybe if George R.R. Martin is still suffering from writer’s block, he should just hand in the report as his next manuscript and see if anyone notices.


5. Sharon Tate

So Valley of the Dolls is on NetFlix and I’d never seen it (and I still haven’t watched it all the way through), but it’s very racy for 1967 and I can confirm that Sharon Tate, who was slain in the Manson Family murders in August of 1969, was quite the ethereal beauty. I was reading up on her grisly end and learned something very strange: on the afternoon of the night that she died, her younger sister Debra phoned and asked if she and their other sister, Patti, could come over and spend the night. Sharon said no and told them they’d have a sleepover on a later date. Saved their lives. My Paul Harvey moment for the day.






by John Walters

He’s not Better Off Dead, after all. A Medium Happy 50th to John Cusack.

Starting Five

England: Mood

1. London Has Fallen*

The judges will also accept “Ssons of Anarchy”

Just four days after the Brits gave the rest of the continent the old, “It’s not me, it’s EU” breakup talk, the soccer team from Iceland, population 330,000, eliminates England, population “We Invented the Game,” from Euro 2016. Call it Brexit 2: Wayne Rooney Boogaloo. This was the Free Folk defeating the Lannisters. The past five days for England have just been one long, lubgubrious Morrissey song.


Hell, England Dan has left John Ford Coley. Madonna isn’t even speaking with a British accent any more. Your local apothecary suggests one healthy dose of “Fix You” and call me from under an umbrella.

2. Westerosi Final Four

Dressed To Kill: “I’m a survivor/Not gonna give up/Not gonna stop/I’m gonna work harder!”

I went back and watched the first half hour of the Game of Thrones season finale last night and now I feel quite certain: that was the best episode in the show’s history. The opening sequence, accompanied by piano and cello and culminating with that dramatic shot of Tommen‘s flying leap (in a way, the second boy Cersei was responsible for pushing out of a tower), was as dramatic as any scene from Free State of Jones (I know, I’m a heretic). By the way, contrast how Cersei (Lena Headey) finished last season as compared to this one. Quite the payback. I’ll have more on all of this later, or tomorrow, but for now, let’s talk about how all of this sets up.

People will say they’re in love….

After six seasons, the Road to the Iron Throne at last has a Final Four: Cersei Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, the Starks of Winterfell, and the Night King and his crew. I’m not saying they’re all working against each other (Khaleesi and the Starks are a natural alliance), but those are the four major forces.

Do not even….

There remain, however, a few wild cards. Disruptors, if you will: Petyr Baelish, Ser Jorah Mormont, the Hound, Arya Stark (she’s a Stark, but I see her more going on a murderous spree as she binge watches episodes of Dexter on her down time), Melisandre and Euron Greyjoy. I figure we have two seasons left at most. They could pull a Mad Men and stretch it out to a pair of half seasons. We’ll see. Meanwhile, Lady Mormont is gonna be quite a handful once she gets a driver’s license

3. RIP, Pat Summitt

Summitt: 1,098-208, for a career winning percentage of .841

Simply put, Pat Summitt was the most important coach in women’s basketball history. She took over Tennessee at the ripe old age of 22 in 1974 and would remain there 38 years, leading the Lady Vols to eight national titles. She was aptly named, as her team represented the peak of the sport for more than a decade and it was that Lady Vols’ supremacy that Geno Auriemma aimed for. Their rivalry catapulted the game into a previously unforeseen visibility.

The few times I spoke to her, she was humble, thoughtful and incredibly sincere. Oh, that GLARE was something else; Pat Summitt was a tremendously intense competitor but off the court, she was a decent sort who was compelled, somewhat by the times and the region where she lived, to live a private life that was somewhat in the shadows. That naturally made her a little more guarded than she might have had to have been.

4. The Shallows vs. The Deep

Blake Lives Matter takes on a shark….

This needs to be a double feature at your local art house cinema soon: The Deep, starring Jacqueline Bisset, from 1977, and The Shallows, starring Blake Lively, from this week.

….while Bisset takes on a director who probably was obsessed with the Cheryl Tiegs layout in the SI Swimsuit Issue from a couple years earlier

5. The Sheats Hit the Fan

Seats shot both of her daughters dead in cold blood, and even hunted one of them down to put a few more in her

*The judges will also accept, in fact should have used, “Double Momicide”

This is 42 year-old Christy Sheats, who looks like your local Live at 5 anchor (at the very least, she does weekends in Amarillo), but sadly had a history of mental illness. On Friday, her husband Jason’s 42nd birthday,  Sheats called a “family meeting” and then pulled out a gun and shot her two daughters, Taylor, 22, and Madison, 17. Both died. Jason escaped. Cops later fatally shot Christy when she refused to drop her gun. Taylor was scheduled to be married yesterday—who gets married on a Monday, but what isn’t bizarre about this story. Texas, you’re totally Florida-ing us this week.

Music 101

It’s Oh So Quiet

Pouring one out for Iceland, courtesy of the country’s gift (?) to pop music, Bjork. In the early ’90s she was a budding alternative music siren, and then she just decided to release a Fifties-era Broadway musical number. The song sounds like a remake because it is: Betty Hutton, who starred in the Preston Sturges classic, The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, released it in 1951.

Remote Patrol

I Am Chris Farley

9 p.m. Spike

“Fat man in a little coat….”

I saw this documentary last summer and highly recommend it. Great interviews with performers who knew and loved Saturday Night Live‘s wrecking ball of humor, including Bob Odenkirk, Adam Sandler, David Spade, Mike Myers, Tom Arnold and Christina Applegate. If you loved Farley (how could you not?), you’ll love this.

The Film Room with Chris Corbellini

Blake Lives Matter!

The Shallows

** 1/2

by Chris Corbellini

Just once I’d like to hear the shark’s feelings on all of this. All that persecution and death through the years in Hollywood — does the species not have feelings? Where’s the love for the best supporting actor in horror – the bad-ass, shit-kicking shark?

What you will always see is a shark’s point of view. The b-movie master himself, Steve Spielberg, perhaps swiping the POV shot from The Creature From The Black Lagoon, made it famous in the opening minutes of the summer all-timer Jaws, with the death of poor, doomed Chrissie, the camera pulling close to the nubile woman’s legs.

And he does it again with the Kitner boy and his raft. That blockbuster is middle-aged now, 41 years old, but these moments are still unspeakably scary. When treading water in the ocean, we are not an apex predator — we’re flailing prey. And yeah, you better believe we see that POV shot in The Shallows, sometimes as a misdirection moment, and others, as a dinner party with a very hungry local.

The Shallows swipes elements from other movies as well—Blue Crush at the start, the original Alien at the finish, and the island survival flick Castaway in between. Taking another step back, the script is basically an aquamarine Halloween, with a hottie on the run from a killer and finding the strength to survive as the body count rises.  Replace Jason Voorhees with a great white and sprinkle in some lovely scenic shots, and you’ve pretty much nailed the story. It’s a copycat flick from start to blood-soaked finish, but it does look pretty in the spray and sun.

I raised the movie ½ star due to degree of difficulty for its lead, Blake Lively. Like a young Sigourney Weaver in Alien, Lively is dealing with/fleeing from a really nasty something with razor-sharp chompers, all the while wearing something skimpy and somehow not making it look gratuitous. This forces an actress to emote with her entire body and though special effects artists CGI’d her face on another young blonde during the hard-core surfing scenes (hello, Blue Crush), it really is Lively everywhere else and she holds nothing back.

This is an entirely different Deadpool altogether (“This is an entirely different Deadpool”)

You can’t say Lively doesn’t test herself here as a performer. Whether shivering on jutting coral for a long stretch or fumbling desperately in the salt water for shells of a flare gun, she is the focus of almost every shot, every scene. Other deaths are captured from her vantage point (a close-up of her terrified face, for example) and she does a fine job keeping it interesting while stranded in one spot for most of the running time. And here’s the Captain Obvious confession: from the trailer I expected to appreciate her physical attributes (I did. It’s impossible to miss. You see her body from every angle), but I walked out of the film thinking there’s much more to Lively than a yoga-tight bod if she picks the  from here on out.

I suppose you’d like to know the plot now. I waited this long because it really isn’t all that necessary. Lively plays a medical school student named Nancy who is running away from feelings of helplessness about her recently-passed mother. Backstory? Check. Nancy soon finds a beach in Mexico that her mom once loved, and after a few well-edited surfing montages (there’s some nice sound design of a hip, montage-y song playing, then the sound dips out when Lively duck-dives underneath some massive waves.), well, she went out too far. Check II. It’s getting late. Check III. What’s a whale doing here? WTF? Check IV.

And then … oh shiiiiit!

Shark time.

That’s basically it. Checkmate.

I mentioned Castaway earlier because like the Tom Hanks character, who is established as an award-winning sailor quickly, it’s understood that the Lively character has the medical background to survive a bite or two from Mr. Wide Mouth. Like the Hanks character, she is inventive enough to handle the life or death circumstances she can’t quite swim away from.  There’s even a Wilson the Volleyball figure in The Shallows, played this time by an injured seagull, who Lively talks to in moments of desperation and humor.

That cute bird, I’m sure, is now reading scripts and fielding calls from rival agents while seated at a corner courtyard table at the Chateau Marmont.

 And what about the big fish? Does Mr. Big Stuff deserve representation for his or her acting in The Shallows? I say yes. Another CGI-construct, this great white was sleeker, faster and hungrier than the rubberized figurine Spielberg stuck in the Atlantic off Martha’s Vineyard 41 years ago. Was it scarier? No, of course not. You can’t beat the king. That piece of not-quite-waterproof rubber deserves a lifetime Oscar. But it’s still frightening enough on a big screen to keep things tense.

Spielberg and his big star

I won’t knock the totally implausible ending of The Shallows, because the ending of Jaws was just as ridiculous. And a movie review is no place to champion the real-life scientists who spend their professional lives quite rightly trying to debunk these films and show the public that great whites are actually awe-inspiring, mysterious and misunderstood.  I’m sure those big brains realize like the rest of us that if it bleeds, it leads in horror – a very lucrative business in the land of make believe out there in Southern California. That may never change.

What should change, I kid, is this: shark typecasting! They continue to be the most typecast characters in Hollywood. Where’s the part where these creatures use their jaws to kiss — not to chew on unlucky co-stars?


by Katie McCollow

Editor’s Note: This should have run a few days ago, but the MH Grand Editing Poobah dropped the ball. It’s still fresh because, of course, Katie typed it, but my apologies for letting it ripen a few days. 

Weeeeelllll, now that the NBA Finals are over, you might possibly be in the market for something to do. But you’ve emerged from your cave blinking, frightened, feeling lost and afraid…there are an overwhelming amount of choices and you’ve forgotten how to enjoy anything that doesn’t involve stuffing balls into things.

Lucky for you, I have some suggestions to keep you occupied before the ’16-’17 basketball season starts next week.

Watch Difficult People on Hulu

OH MY GAWD. I signed up for Hulu so my girls and I could watch The Mindy Project, a show my oldest daughter and I already watched and loved when it was on Fox.

I knew my youngest would love it too since, just like one of her previous favorite shows, Hart of Dixie, it involves a cute young lady doctor with a killer wardrobe who is always finding herself in hilarious scrapes.

How come we aren’t friends, Mindy Kaling?


The three of us have been enjoying the hell out of Mindy, but youngest child is also a rabid basketball fan (she was rooting for Golden State—sorry, Susie B.!) so she had to take time off to hang with her dad in the basement while all that was going on and Mindy was put on hold.

(Editor’s Note: We know her dad. He’s a wonderful guy. We’re fairly certain he does not live in the basement full-time, like that pet from The Munsters, but then again, we’re not sure. We haven’t visited in more than a year.)

Oldest daughter and I were browsing our Hulu options in the interim and came across Difficult People, a show smack-dab in the middle of her particular wheelhouse: whip-smart, gut-bustingly funny cynicism (she wouldn’t watch Hart of Dixie for a petting zoo, and routinely mocks her sister and I for our ‘Countdown to the Gilmore Girls Reunion’ Calendar—thank God we can find common ground like The Mindy Project and Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt.)

Difficult People stars Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner as Billy and Julie, two besties trying to make it in comedy in NYC. They are bitter and jaded but (to me, anyway) lovable and freaking hilarious.

Watch it!


Sample line from Billy, after another fruitless audition: “I hate it when they say they ‘don’t know what to do with me’. Oh, you’ve got Peter Dinklage figured out but you don’t know what to do with me?”

Get My Cat to Stop Ruining My House

I’m a relatively new cat owner, as I’ve discussed here at the MH a few times. It’s not illegal to declaw in my state, I don’t know if it is in any other states, but it’s not here. We still didn’t do it, because it’s barbaric and we love our cat even though she’s a full-tilt jackwagon (according to some).

She loves the five of us, but she is seriously menacing to anyone who isn’t one of us—when my niece comes over, she chases her into corners and hisses and bats at her.

My sister came over the other day with her three kids, ages 8, 6 and 8 months, and my cat acted like she was cool with everything until I left.


I’m completely cool with you being here

“Go out the back door and lock up behind you,” I told sisty, as I had an errand to run and couldn’t wait for her to re-diaper her messy, loud baby. She called me a few minutes later in a panic.

“Your cat won’t let me leave,” she said nervously. Her two older kids were outside already, but the cat decided to hold my sister and the baby hostage; she was guarding the door, all fat-tailed and hissy, swatting at my sister’s ankles every time she tried to take a step.


Obviously this kid is the problem

We think it’s adorable, of course, but everyone else is afraid of her.

Anyway, yes, she does do some things that even I would categorize as…how to say this delicately…dick moves. She has a scratch post the size of the Eiffel Tower that stands untouched next to the TV. She walks past it, looks right at me and digs her claws into the couch or chair for a long, satisfying scratch session.

“Toony no!” I yell, and she stares at me and scratches away. I even sprayed this stuff called ‘No Scratch’ on the things I want her to leave alone, and it just makes her laugh (she laughs!) and dig in harder.

My couch

You guys, I’m gonna sound super douchey for a second (you: some wisecrack about how that ship has sailed—I get it) so bear with me and try not to judge. But I have two Stickley “Leopold” chairs in my living room–my only real, grown-up furniture that I actually ordered and had custom upholstered; every other piece of furniture in my house is either a hand-me-down or from a garage sale or Craigslist (something I’m actually quite proud of, honestly—I’m one of those people who, if you compliment my outfit, will tell you in detail how I only paid two dollars for it or how I found it in a dumpster).

Thanks! I love it, too.

Anyway, of course the cat decided that my fancy, sophisticated chairs would be her beds, so now they are draped with ugly fleece blankets and look like something you might find on the porch of a frat house. They’re so hairy and smelly at this point even she finds them uninhabitable, so guess what? She’s set up new sleeping quarters in the white denim cigar chair by the fireplace.

I thought cats were supposed to be clean animals. My cat spends whatever time she isn’t throwing up in the basement and intimidating my relatives escaping out the back door and rolling around under the deck.

Naturally clean

I adore her, don’t get me wrong. I’m just saying, if anyone wants to talk some sense into her, I’m into it. You could be like her cool aunt or uncle who doesn’t judge her for smoking and takes her to the free clinic. Maybe She’ll listen to you.

Learn All The Words to “Guns and Ships”

And then rap them convincingly. Auditions are happening as Hamilton readies itself to launch an extended run in Chicago and a tour beginning in San Francisco. You still have a chance. And yes, I’m talking to myself.

Are you ready? 

Plan Your Fourth of July Menu

When I was a kid, we used to go out to the home of my folks’ friends with some other families for a day-long picnic. Such fond memories…once, one of the other kids (from a different family, not mine) pushed me into the pond behind the house.

The pond was covered with that yucky green algae—you know, the kind that grows so thick on the surface it looks like day-glo Astroturf so you have to throw a rock at it or maybe push a small houseguest into it to make sure there really is water under all that muck? Because that’s something you should really be sure of, especially at a party.

Let’s just make sure it’s not actually a solid


I don’t remember if that was the same year one of the other boys also instructed a smaller kid to hold a lit firecracker for a dangerously long time, but it might have been. Good times. My point is, there was always fried chicken, and it was delicious.

You probably think I’m about to present you with a recipe for fried chicken, but I am not—ahhh, the old switcheroo! I can’t actually eat fried chicken anymore, because I would be doubled over before the second bite, but enough about my digestive issues—we don’t want to poach from next week’s column.


]But here’s a different recipe I love. It goes great with any grilled meat or fish and is also yummy all by itself.

Orange Jicama Salad

Peel and chop up 3 or 4 oranges. Peel and chop up a jicama. Chop up a bunch of cilantro until you have 2-3 tablespoons. Mine up about half of a red bell pepper. Mince up a few slices of a red onion—until you have 1-2 tablespoons. Throw it all together, add three extra tablespoons of orange juice, some salt and pepper, maybe a squirt of lime if you have one sitting around, maybe a shake of red pepper flakes if you like that. Stir and done. Tell all your friends you made it up and it is not from Emeril Lagasse. This is the most important step.

BAM! He had nothing to do with it

Watch This Video

Whether it's your 1st Father's Day or 50th, thanks for being Dad.

A video posted by Uptop Films (@uptopfilms) on

Because it was made by some friends of mine, a group of very cool people doing very cool things. It was made for Father’s Day, which obviously was last Sunday (percentage of you MH readers I imagine just panicked because you forgot: 100) but it’s still worth your time. These folks are putting goodness out there, and I dig it. Go here to get the full flavor:


by John Walters

Starting Five

Europe is bae and England’s all like, don’t play me no more

1. London Crawling*

*The judges will also accept “Where, Wolves of London?” or “Children of Mendicants” or “We’re Out of the European Union, Jack!” or even “Finding Tory.”

Have you heard about the new Brexit Diet? Swear off the European Union and watch the pounds disappear!

Boris Johnson champions MEGA: Make England Great Again!

I am not astute enough to understand all the nuances and ramifications of the vote in which the British decided to exit the EU, but I do know that this dude, Boris Johnson, is the pol who championed the “LEAVE” movement, and if he does not remind you of somebody stateside, well….

Maybe watch this video:

Damn, that female “presenter” is brilliant. Jolly good show!

Meanwhile, for us Yanks, I kind of see Brexit as the mild heart attack we had as our own election looms. Will we swear off the double cheeseburgers or will we just pretend that our heart will never explode as we make choices based on instant gratification?

2. Dunn Deal

Dunn is that rare rookie who played four years of college and was still drafted in the Top 5

Did anyone behave with more sagacity in last night’s NBA Draft than the Minnesota Timberwolves (no, you don’t need glasses; I actually typed that). First, the T-Wolves selected Kris Dunn out of Providence, who may not have Ben Simmons’ or Brandon Ingram’s talent, but he probably has the most NBA polish of anyone left.

Second, they did not trade any of their young nucleus, specifically Zach LaVine, for Chicago’s Jimmy Butler. Again, wise. I know Butler is an All-Star and in his prime, but if you watched Minnesota a year ago, they have a bunch of barely legal guys who like one another and are growing up together. They TRUST one another (Lavine, Andrew Wiggins, Shabazz Muhammad, Karl-Anthony Towns) and it shows. If you watched them beat Golden State on its home floor this season, one of only two teams in the regular season to do so, you saw that. This is  a playoff team next year and if they can stay together, are going to go far.

“Glory Days, hey, they’ll pass you by, Glory Days…”

I see a lot of potential for the 2012 OKC Thunder in these T-Pups. That squad had Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka. Then they decided that they could not pay them all, and perhaps they were right, but none of those four guys have a ring and maybe they never will. Cue Al Green: “Let’s stay together…”

That’s all for now, kids. We’ll try to post more later….

3. Lithe and Lively

And you’re telling me there’s also a plot?

The Shallows: Sort of a fish-out-of-water involving a Texan on a remote Mexican beach being terrorized by a malevolent shark.

Finding Dory: A fish-in-the-water-out-of-water story involving a tiny fish who just wants to find her family.

Hope and Dory

The difference is that Blake Lively in a bathing suit versus Ellen Degeneres as a pixilated regal blue tang. So, you know…

4. Now He’s on The Tonight Show

Two weeks ago my friend Tim Ring, the best sports anchor in Phoenix, sent me a YouTube video of his close friend’s son, Jack Aiello, masterfully impersonating political candidates in his 8th grade graduation speech from Thomas Middle School in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Two nights ago, with Tim’s help and that of a few others who made sure to get that video in front of the eyes of Tonight Show producers, Jack made his network television debut. I honestly don’t know of any professional comic, including those on Saturday Night Live, who can do all five of those voices (Trump, Sanders, Cruz, Clinton and Obama) any better. That may not be the last late night Aiello works at 30 Rock.

5. The Death of Vinyl (Not Again)

The show itself had a personality crisis, but it was still terrific

No, Vinyl was not the next Breaking Bad, Mad Men or Game of Thrones. But it was a good show that took some ambitious steps (occasionally overreaching, sure) that was extremely faithful to the New York City of the early Seventies that I remember as a boy, right down to Max Kinsella’s cheesy outfits.

It dropped real-life music history references and dared you to fact-check them online for accuracy (yes, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Marley actually did play the same night at Max’s Kansas City in July of 1973) and it introduced us to fantastic young actors such as Ato Essandoh.

One of its better moments….

Then again, True Detective lasted but one season (I know, I know; that’s my point), and you can’t take Rust Cohle and Marty Hart away from me. So I guess I’ll just have to think of the gang from the record company whose logo resembled a toilet bowl that way. RIP, Vinyl. Godspeed, Richie!


by John Walters

A Medium Happy 39th to the wizard of oohs and has and fa la la’s, Mr. A to Z

Starting Five

Someone, fetch a guitar and a Joan Baez song book, pronto!

Periscope (and a Likely Need for Scope Mouthwash)

The Democratic sit-in in Congress over gun control extends into its 22nd hour as I write this. The Republican hold-our-breaths-and-do-nothing-til-Obama-leaves-office extends into its eighth year.

2. Insane Bolts*

*That one judge who pines for MTV’s “120 Minutes” suggested “Lightning Crashes,” but he was overruled.

Earlier this week, at least 100 people in India were killed in separate lightning strikes in four Indian states. According to the Indian government, “lightning is the leading killer among natural disasters in India. In 2014, at least 2,582 people died in lightning strikes.”

There are plenty of monsoons in India, and there’s plenty of lightning. But there’s also a whole lot of people, too, many of whom live in highly exposed conditions.Very roughly, India has about four times as many people as the United States living in one-third the geographic area. Think about that the next time you (rightfully) moan about traffic.

3. Brexit Polls

I haven’t done enough research to know whether Great Britain should remain in the European Union. I only know that 1) it would be bad form to leave just as two three U.K. sides (England, Northern Ireland, Wales) advance to the 16-team knockout stage of Euro 2016 and 2) that at least there are some homegrown hooligans who a long time ago wrote the perfect theme song for this dilemma. “Indecision me molesta….”

The vote is today.

4. Ben A’f**k

Either Ben Affleck was the first Bostonian guest on Bill Simmons’ HBO premiere of Any Given Wednesday or he was doing a line reading from Glengarry Glen Ross. I counted 20 26 (I stopped early, then listened til the end) F-bombs or uses of the word “shit” in his 3-minute rant on DeflateGate after Simmons lobbed the pitch in.

I liked the show enough, although the last thing Simmons needs is guests such as Affleck: people from the same place as him who think like him. Who’s next, Katie Nolan? The Savage Brothers? Conflict makes good theater. Ask Bill Maher.

5. Rose Garden

Lynn Anderson had a country hit in the early Seventies with “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.” But now Jim Dolan, New York Knicks Chief Executive of Screwing Things Up, has. The Knicks traded for Derrick Rose yesterday, the Seabiscuit of basketball. Love Rose, the former MVP, and he’s in the final year of his contract. But is he washed up? And will Dwight Howard join him? And will Carmelo ever pass the ball?

Music 101

Look What You’ve Done To Me

Somewhere between Saturday Night Fever and the launch of MTV, the film Urban Cowboy was released. It starred John Travolta and Debra Winger, and was basically a mash-up of their most successful films, SNF and An Officer and a Gentleman. But it also worked because it had infectiously good tunes, even if you didn’t listen to country and western. This slow-dancer from Boz “Lido Shuffle” Scaggs was its breakout, crossover hit, and got monster air play in the summer of 1980. It reached No. 4 in 1980 as everyone was racing to buy cowboy boots and learning how to two-step.

Remote Patrol

NBA Draft

7 p.m. ESPN

In February, everyone loved Buddy Hield. Then they didn’t. Is he going to make some team look smart, or dumb, by taking him in top 7?

Is it just me or do the Philadelphia 76ers have the Number one overall pick for like the 5th year in a row? Actually, this is their first No. 1 overall pick since 1996 (Iverson), but it will be their third top three pick in as many seasons. Maybe they’ll get this one right.



by John Walters

A Medium Happy 67th to Meryl Streep….quit acting like you’re not happy about it

Starting Five

Messi and his amigos walked all over the Americans, but at least they had a chance to face the best soccer player of their time

Don’t Cry For U.S., Argentina

In the Copa, Copa America semi-final, Argentina defeats the Yanks 4-0 in Houston. Lionel Messi scored a goal on a free kick, his career record-breaking 55th for his country. Argentina will face the winner of Colombia-Chile next Monday at Met Life Stadium. Messi’s five goals lead this tourney. He’s very, very, very, very good.

2. This Tower Trumps All

Currently, the world’s tallest building is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (which is 2,717 feet tall; not to be confused with Wiz Khalifa, who’s about 6’4″ but is often just as high) but officials have announced that The Tower (working title) at Dubai Creek Harbour, now under construction, will be taller. I guess now that everyone has access to interpreters, no one in that part of the world gets freaked out by those Tower of Babel tales any more.

Burj Khalifa

The Tower, which reportedly cost $1 billion, is set to be about 100 meters taller than Burj Khalifa and to be completed by 2020. It will have a hotel on the upper floors and it should totally have a zip line stretching across the Red Sea to Cairo. How cool would that be?

3.  Lynx Top Sparks

Everyone’s favorite spurned Olympian, Candace Parker, led her squad in rebounds and assists but shot just 3 of 13

You would not know it from perusing the or headlines, but there was a pretty big WNBA contest yesterday. The Minnesota Lynx (13-0) topped the Los Angeles Sparks (11-1) in a game that began at 12:30 p.m. local time and reportedly had 9,112 in attendance. The Lynx stayed perfect despite shooting just 3 of 15 from beyond the arc.

If the WNBA needs to downsize after this season, these two franchises should merge and be known as the Spanx (“waka waka waka”).

4. Enter The Dragan

Bender, who will not turn 19 until late November, will draw countless comparisons to Kristaps Porzingis

Anyone who watched the New York Knicks play this season (and Brad Stevens, the NBA’s best coach who never was employed by the San Antonio Spurs, did) knows you can do worse than a European seven-footer, while anyone who watches Game of Thrones understands what an indispensable weapon a dragon, or a Dragan, could be.

Enter 7’1″ Croatian teen Dragan Bender. I’m praying he’s available at No. 4 for the Phoenix Suns, but I fear that the Boston Celtics, picking at No. 3, are going to pluck him first (Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram go 1-2). C’mon, guys, a little pay back for the Dennis Johnson-Rick Robey trade, please.* **

*Chances that Bill Simmons discusses whom Boston should take on the series premiere of Any Given Wednesday tonight? 100%.

**This is not my first “I Hope The Suns Get Bender” item I’ve run in MH, but I figure if I keep saying it, it just might come true.

5. Stump Tower

Faux Young and Neil Young (L to R)

This is what Jimmy Fallon does best. He’s a terrific musical performer and mimic. So why not “Two Neil Youngs on a Tree Stump?

Music 101

No One Is To Blame

In 1985 Howard Jones released Dream Into Action and Side 1 (ask your parents) was nothing but hit after hit. This was his power ballad and if it sounds a little Phil Collins-y, that’s because the ex-Genesis drummer produced the single version of this song a year later. It peaked at No. 4 in the U.S. in the spring of ’86.

Remote Patrol

Any Given Wednesday

HBO 10 p.m.

Yeah, he kinda does look like Ellen….

This is the show that my friend Steve Rushin should have hosted, but, oh well. Bill Simmons, we’re ready for your closeup and let’s just remember that Simmons, 46, is the first person to connect sports with (wanking) pop (motion) culture. He’s a genius.

Okay, I sound a little bitter (why should today be any different?), but I’m incredulous that Simmons gets the credit for this when a plethora of writers, including every millennial’s favorite pin cushion, Rick Reilly, were doing this years ago. Simmons’ legacy is not the pop culture-sports connection, but rather being the outsider who wrote from a fan’s perspective and was very funny doing so. Now that he’s an insider, that part of his act is gone.

Guests: Charles Barkley and Ben “I Guess You Were Unable to Book Matt Damon” Affleck.



by John Walters

A Medium Happy 36th to Richard Jefferson, who started celebrating about 33 hours ago

Starting Five

Bale needs to get his man bun back to the U.K.

1. Bale-yhoo

We are almost through the group stage of Euro 2016, and the star of our show thus far is Gareth Bale of Wales (registered Medium Happy man crush), who has one goal in each of his country’s three games. The Welsh defeated Russia, 3-0, last night and will advance to the knockout round.

The Bale I’ve watched the past 10 days is the one I recall playing for Tottenham Hot Spur: lightning-fast, dynamic, joyful, charismatic. The one I see playing for Real Madrid, one of the top clubs in the world (they’ve won Champions League two of the past three years), is subdued, due in part to the fact that he’s teammates with someone who in Spain will always out-Bale him: Cristiano Ronaldo.

A British Gareth of lesser renown

I’m happy for Gareth that he’s raked in so many Euros, but this non-currency Euro is proof that he belongs in the Premier League, back home. It’s only the most widely watched soccer league in the world and the day he returned he’d be its most captivating player.

2. “You’re Fired!”

Will Scott Baio now take over as Trump’s right hand man?

Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski goes the way of Omarosa and Ian Ziering as he is fired, reportedly after the Trump kids persuaded pops to can him. No forearms were bruised in the carrying out of Lewandowski’s exit from Trump Tower, although a feeling or two may have been.

3. The Right To Bare Asses

What I hear mostly from 2nd Amendment fanatics (and yes, that is the word I mean to use) is that this is the Constitution giving them the right to defend themselves. So if I take them strictly at their word, a gun is a utilitarian object. A gun serves a defined purpose and a singular purpose, one that is essential to their general welfare.

I get it. Kind of like a toilet. Nobody is thrilled by toilets, but every home needs at least one (I’d go with three, especially if you are a fan of Indian food).

Except that’s not what these people are truly about. Too many of them attend gun shows, show off their guns with pride, maybe even subscribe to Guns & Ammo. And there’s nothing illegal about any of that, it’s just that they never tell you the truth: they LOVE guns.

Remember when he used to just tape a hand gun to the back of a toilet?

And so I have to ask, Why? Guns kill things. Creatures or people. I understand if someone is breaking down your door, coming to kill you and your family (an every day occurrence), but I don’t see you going to dead-bolt lock shows, either, and those offer a modicum of self-defense in such a situation.

You love guns. You love guns more than you love public safety. I just don’t get that. And for all that “armed militia” stuff I hear, well, you’re going to need a little more than that if the U.S. Army ever really wanted to seize your property. Maybe you can launch a toilet at them.

One last thing: I’m not saying they don’t exist, but I’ve never had a female defend the 2nd Amendment to me on Twitter. Not once. So I wonder what so many males are compensating for with their love of guns.

And I’m not anti-2nd Amendment. I’m anti-insanity, which is what assault rifles and AR-15s being available for public consumption happens to be.

4. “Choke” Hold

On one side, according to Twitter, you have my friend Jason McIntrye and likely many others. On the other, you have Scott Van Pelt, Chris “Bear” Fallica and myself (and maybe a few others). The question: Did the Warriors “choke?”


I guess the first thing that I know I find kind of offensive (relatively; it’s just sports) is a bunch of yokels who can’t even go left on the dribble being so judgmental and disdainful of athletes who just gave us a show like the one Cleveland and Golden State did. Can’t people be just a little grateful about what they were given? You and I, let’s remember, did nothing to deserve this other than subscribe to cable or buy a 12-pack of Coors Light.


But, beyond that, there’s the term choke, which I’ve always interpreted to mean as when one side only needs an uncontested layup, figurative or literal, and blows it. That’s choking. A few years ago Western Kentucky led a Directional Michigan (Central? Western?) 49-14 at the start of the fourth quarter in the Bahamas Bowl and they came within a two-point conversion of losing on the final play. They won, 49-48, but had they lost, that would have been a massive choke.

Having a commanding lead in the first half of a game, or series, and then losing is not a choke. That’s called an ENTIRE game or series. I see this every autumn. Texas A&M goes down 14-0 early to Rice (?) in 2013 and Twitter was breathless. As if the first team to a double-digit lead is ensured victory. Nope. Aggies won, 52-31.

Surrender Cobras are susceptible to choking

And one more thought on this: I notice a lot of the people who yell “CHOKE” are folks who gamble daily or almost daily. And so they’re pissed that they lost. Also, when you gamble, you take it personally if your projected win is ruined by another team’s comeback. You’ve got Golden State to win the series and they go up 3-1 and you’re already counting your money. And then you’re pissed when they lose and it cost you and maybe you want to blame someone. So you say, “Choke.”

I don’t know if this is what happened to Jason. I do know that Bill Simmons, Clay Travis and Jason all wager on sports often. Or at least they tell us that they do.

5. RAAM Tough

In a world with ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FS1 and NBC Sports Net, somehow the Race Across America (RAAM) remains untelevised. Now in its 35th year, RAAM’s premise is simple: A one-stage bike race from one coast to the other. Beginning in Oceanside, Calif, and ending in Annapolis, Md., riders pedal west to east, 3,069 miles, while deciding on their own when they want to stop and for how long. 

Cycling talent, hence, is only part of the deal. Stamina also plays a huge role. And sure, it’s dangerous, since roads are not marked off and top cyclists are operating on insufficient sleep. The first year I covered it, 2002 or 2003, a cyclist died when he stopped for the night, did a U-turn to meet his chase team on a two-lane highway, and got  slammed by an 18-wheeler coming the other way. 

This year’s RAAM began on June 14th. They’re still out there, somewhere (beyond the halfway point, likely in Missouri). A few days ago Julia Buhring, who holds the world record as fastest woman to cycle around the globe, pulled out as she began coughing up blood.


Music 101

Summer In The City

And babe, don’t you know it’s a pity/That the days can’t be like the nights/In the summer/In the city/In the summer/In the city….That’s John Sebastian, lead singer of The Lovin’ Spoonful, who people of my generation know better as “that dude who sang the ‘Welcome Back, Kotter’ theme song. The song was released, fittingly, on the 4th of July, 1966 (pop music’s greatest year), and went to No. 1 for three weeks in August of that year.

Remote Patrol

USA vs Argentina

FS1 9 p.m.

“At the Copa, Copa America/The hottest sport north of….South America?” Anyway, the Yanks have advanced to the semi-finals, but now they will face the greatest player in the world in Lionel Messi and a team that advanced to the 2014 World Cup final, Argentina. What a time to be alive….


by John Walters

A Medium Happy 74th to a musical genius, Brian Wilson

Starting Five

LeBron’s block of last year’s NBA Finals MVP may go down as the signature play of his career

The Promise Keeper

He left. He returned. And he kept his promise. LeBron James silenced the doubters (raises hand) not just in last night’s Game 7, but all week as he led the Cavs back from a 3-1 deficit and Cleveland to the NBA championship (remember, the Cavs were 33-49 without him just two years ago).

In the end, Cleveland had just more stones than Golden State did. And beat them at their own game. Down 87-83, LeBron got fouled by Festus Ezili after fooling him into leaving his feet, getting three free throws. Then LeBron hit a three. Then Kyrie Irving, who was nearly every bit as valuable as LeBron in the past three games, hit a three. Meanwhile, in the last six minutes Stephen Curry went 0 for 4 from beyond the arc and threw away a behind-the-back pass out of bounds. The Dubs scored TWO points total in the last five minutes.


And yes, who knows what might have been if Kyrie had been healthy last June? Or if Draymond had been able to play in Game 5, but remember, that was a one-game suspension six weeks in the making. A story of character eventually coming to the forefront. Questions you can ask, but answers will always be pure conjecture.

Haven’t seen two teams completely switch identities quite like that midway through a series since the 2004 ALCS between the Red Sox and Yankees, which also ended a long championship drought (that for a team, this for a city).

Meanwhile, The Block happened with 1:50 to play and the score tied at 89. Golden State never scored again. At the time the series was tied, in terms of scoring, 699-699. It would end at 703-699.

Finally, The Block is the signature play and deservedly so. Cleveland won this series because they played outstanding perimeter switch defense on Golden State’s three-point marksmen. Even from 27 feet out, the Splash Brothers rarely got an easy look in the final three games.

2. The Promise Keeper (Distaff Version)

And she’s doing it all without the aid of a dragon or being invulnerable to fire. Well done, Sansa

Sansa Stark, with a timely assist from Petyr Baelish, to the rescue. Sansa tells Ramsay Bolton (her ex), “You will die tomorrow” and she, too, keeps her word.

Critics will ask, “Well, if Sansa already had that cavalry, why did she not tell her brother about it the evening before?” Two possibilities: They hadn’t arrived yet or two, she needed to keep an element of surprise for Bolton because her brother, brave and righteous as he is, is easier to read than a book that Samwell Tarly has his nose in.

Have you noticed that Game Of Thrones is becoming a Beyonce power anthem (“Run The World [Girls]“). Sansa, Daenerys, Yara Greyjoy, and soon, quite possibly, Margaery Tyrell/Lannister. I wonder whom Benioff and Weiss are voting for in November….

Maybe run a hitch pattern instead, Ricon? Learn the route tree….

Favorite battle-scene death last night? The dude who got trucked by the horse. Also, Ricon, if you can only run one pattern (“Go” route), you kinda deserve to die. Didn’t you watch Apocalypto?

By the way, kudos to Erik Kain of Forbes for noting that “Battle of the Bastards” aired on Father’s Day. And kudos to one of my tweeps for noting that the episode involving Jon Snow’s conception aired on Mother’s Day.

3.   Tinker, Taylor, Twosome, Tom

Their relationship, ironically, is not on the rocks….

That’s Taylor Swift, last week, canoodling on the Rhode Island shoreline outside her home with Tom “The Night Manager” Hiddleston (I guess millennials know him as Loki). I’m more fascinated by the rock sculpture in the foreground. Will it last longer than this relationship? It’s nice to see our girl dating 1) someone outside the music business who 2) graduated from college, much less Cambridge.

If you saw The Night Manager, this is the second tall, waifish platinum blonde Hiddleston has stolen this spring (and I only say that because this scene occurred two weeks after T-Swift dumped Calvin Harris). I have no idea if this can, will, or should work, but the girl has finally found someone closer to her league.

4. Doin’ Alright

Golfer Dustin Johnson now has an actual trophy to go along with that….Paulina Gretzky. Johnson won his first major, the U.S. Open, yesterday at Oakmont and apparently there was some ruling decision by the USGA yada yada yada but I’m just happy the darn thing ended before Game 7 tipped off.

5. What Part of “119 Degrees” Don’t You Understand?


A lovely hike…in March

You know what you don’t do when temperatures in the area are going to soar to 119 degrees? Go for a day hike. A 25 year-old Phoenix man died over the weekend after he and a buddy decided to hike the Peralta Trail in the Superstition Mountains east of the city. They set out at 7:30 a.m. but soon ran out of water and, well, one man died. The other was rescued.

Music 101

I Ran (So Far Away)

One song, or at least one opening riff, to embody the New Wave era? I might have to nominate this one from A Flock Of Seagulls (whose band name and lead singer’s coif are also signature types of this era). These Liverpudlians were led by lead singer Mike Score, who actually was a hairdresser. No band owes more of its success to MTV than this one, as this song got plenty of rotation from the veejays in 1982. It was a top ten hit.

Remote Patrol

O.J.: Made In America, Part 4 & 5

6 p.m. ESPN2

Did The Juice also invent side-eye?

If you have not seen the final two installments (I’ve only seen Part 4), I know Part 4 is chilling and I hear Part 5 is just as haunting. I’d never seen the crime scene photos of Ron and Nicole before and I wonder how America would have reacted if they were shown on TV back in 1994 and ’95. It really was a defining moment in American culture.