by John Walters


Starting Five

1. I’m Joe K., You’re Joe K. 

I know what you’re thinking because I’m thinking the same thing: Where do these Kennedy men keep coming from (when the previous generation keeps dying so young)? Joe Kennedy III gave the Democratic response to the State of the Union speech last night and for those of you trimming the family tree, he’s the 37 year-old grandson of Robert F. Kennedy and the grandnephew of JFK and I’m already nervous for him (he’s also the nephew of Cheryl Hines, Larry David’s TV ex-wife).


Joe. K attended Stanford and then Harvard Law, but we all know that Harvard Law never produces good presidents. Anyway, we were listening to the speech on the cab ride home and at first I didn’t know who was speaking so I just assumed I’d been time-warped back to an early episode of Mad Men.

As for the president’s speech, this says it all….

Joe K. spoke from Fall River, Mass., which is only 38 miles from Plymouth, where the Pilgrims first set foot on American shore (if you don’t count the part where they landed on Cape Cod first, which your 2nd-grade teacher probably did not tell you about), which was not a coincidence. His speech was inclusive. Inspiring. It was also, partially, in Espanol. Here, listen (or read)

2. James Harden: 60-10-11

Did the NBA All-Star Game begin 2 1/2 weeks early? Last night James Harden became the first player in NBA history to score 60 points AND net a triple double in Houston’s 114-107 win against the Tragic. The putative MVP was 19-30 from the field and 17-18 from the charity stripe. It pays to practice your free throws, kids.


I’ll take tweets that did not age well for $200, Alex.

3. Alex Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

The Kansas City Chiefs traded quarterback Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins in a move that was approved by both the NFL and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Smith’s exodus means that the Redskins will release Kirk Cousins (“Hello, Cleveland!”) while K.C. will likely start Pat Mahomes.

Worth noting that Smith, who did lead the NFL in passer rating this season, will sign a four-year extension with the Redskins as soon as he is able, March 14, for $23.5 million per year PLUS a $71 million guarantee. Meanwhile Colin Kaepernick, who once beat him out for the starting job in San Francisco, is three years younger and has won four times as many postseason games, will remain the fittest dude at my gym.

4. Whether Stormy

The Stormy Daniels interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live was a major letdown, kind of like renting Good Will Humping and learning that there’s no Casey Affleck. I’d throw most of the blame on this on Kimmel: he and his producers knew she wasn’t going to be able to discuss her Trump Tryst. It did not help that she is functionally inarticulate.

Melania shows up to the SOTU. First she stole one First Lady’s speech, now she pilfers another’s white pants suit???

Best Moments: During his monologue, when he rebuked S.E. Cupp’s criticism that he should have Monica Lewinsky on for equal time and he played back clips of her appearing on his previous show on three different occasions. That was sweet. Also, he was able to show that a press release apparently denying her assignation with Trump included a forged signature of hers. And she basically did a non-denial denial of the NDA. Finally, he did paint a picture that we had wondered about: the idea of Trump coming home from his SOTU, flicking on the TV, and watching her on JKL. Or at least of Melania doing so from another bedroom.

5. Running’s Latest Teen Phenom

Faster than you can ask, “What ever happened to Mary Cain?” here comes North Rockland High School sophomore Katelyn Tuohy of Thiells, N.Y. Eleven days ago she ran a national high school record 15:37 in the 5,000, lowering the existing mark by 18 seconds. In that race, which took place in Virginia and featured much of the top prep talent in the nation, the second-place finisher came in two minutes later.


Tuohy, 15, won the Nike Cross Country Nationals in December by 40 seconds. Again, that’s a ridiculous margin. Tuohy lives just west of the Hudson river, not far from West Point. She lives just 30 miles to the northwest of Cain, who is now an upperclassman at Fordham and has been hampered by injuries. Tuohy, who will run in the Millrose Games on Saturday, is U.S. running’s next great ingenue.


Today’s greatest reason the internet exists…


Goodbye, Super Blood Moon. We hardly knew ya’….

Music 101

Love My Way

The one 20th century musician who gets name checked in Call Me By Your Name? That would be Richard Butler, lead singer of the Psychedelic Furs. This 1982 classic by the British New Wave band makes two separate appearances in the film, which reminds us that the freshest new talent at Saturday Night Live is Heidi Gardner (“Okayyyy, random”).

Remote Patrol

Flyers at Capitals

8 p.m. NBC Sports Net

Hockey? Yes, hockey! The Caps lead the Norris Division and Alex Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals (30) and remains the most dominant player scorer on ice. He’s like Ronaldo or Federer with the strange difference being that he has never hoisted a major championship trophy in his sport (Stanley Cup or Olympic gold).

And Now, A Few Brief And Uncomfortable Words About Illegal Immigration (Because We Don’t Want To Put This On Twitter)

by John Walters

So let’s get this out there first: 1) If you read this site often, you know the animus I have toward our current president (to put it lightly, not a fan) 2) I work with more illegal immigrants than most anyone I know, more than most anyone who would be reading this, and I know from personal experience that they are the hardest-working folks I know, 3) let’s get beyond demonizing illegal immigrants as all being “drug dealers and rapists” but let’s also get beyond giving their offspring cutesy nicknames such as “dreamers.”

Okay, got that? Good. Let’s proceed….

So here’s what I don’t understand: Whenever Donald Trump or his White House oversteps or subverts what the other side believes is the Constitution or his executive privilege, the most popular refrain is, “We are a nation of laws.” And I agree with that.

So why is it that when we start discussing illegal immigration that the same folks who use that sentence as a battle cry no longer care about laws? Isn’t that hypocritical?

If you think we should change immigration law, great. If you think the sight of ICE agents deporting people who are here illegally, who have been within the U.S borders for years, even more than a decade, is heartless, that’s your prerogative. But you can’t beat back Donald Trump with “We are a nation of laws!” with one side of your mouth and then protest the deportation of people who are here illegally with the other unless you are willing to admit that you are a hypocrite. Sorry.

(I’m a Kimmel fan, but he lost me here, putting extenuating circumstances over the primary issue: Is it legal?)

I’m not sure why the Left allows itself to be morally co-opted so easily. I’m all for diversity, I’m all for people from Mexico and other nations coming here and making better lives for themselves. And we should probably make immigration for Mexicans especially more lenient, as the overwhelming majority of them are here to work and do contribute to the greater overall economic welfare of this country (also: taco trucks, yeah!). But as long as people are breaking the law, you forfeit the right to protect both them and your supposed sense of justice when President Trump obviates the law.

If I’m wrong here, please educate me.


by John Walters

Starting Five

McCabe is a former high school state champion in cross-country. His nemesis is a cheeseburger-eating, skirt-chasing slave to immediate gratification

The Gathering Storm

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, a triathlete who has been known to bike 35 miles to work and is married to a pediatrician whom the president called “a loser,” resigned yesterday. Let’s cut through the b.s. and discuss what this means:

–The president is being investigated for possible collusion with the Russians, in part because of meetings that no one denies took place, and in part because two men who worked for him during his campaign, Paul Manafort and Carter Page, had incredibly strong and financially lucrative ties to Russia. This is not in dispute.

Manafort: As dirty as dirty gets

–Almost immediately since taking office, the president has fought this investigation by obstructing justice. First he fired the attorney general of the United States, Sally Yates. Then he fired the director of the FBI, James Comey. He wanted to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller last June but did not when his own White House counsel, Don McGahn, threatened to resign if he did so. He is talking about firing Rod Rosenstein, the acting attorney general in terms of the collusion investigation, since Jeff Sessions has recused himself; and if that happens he might just fire Mueller or Mueller might resign.

Marty Barron: Basically, he’s Ben Bradlee, Bezos is Katherine Graham, and Lardass Trump is Nixon

–McCabe likely left a few months shy of retirement because 1) he was sick of being badgered by Trump on Twitter and 2) now that his boss, Christopher Wray, is basically a Trump apparatchik, he knew that anything he did was only going to be approved if it were in the best interests of Trump as opposed to the best interests of the nation. Moreover, 3) who wants to work for a president that continually calls your agency’s integrity into question when everyone knows that it is the president’s integrity that is wanting?

Pretty much what we’ve come to expect from this administration

–Trump has pretty much eliminated the FBI as a viable threat. If he sacks Rosenstein, he would replace him with someone whom Mueller has to report to, someone who would not only be able to tip Trump off as to what Mueller is doing but who could effectively curb Mueller’s efforts and compromise the investigation. At that point, why would Mueller remain on board?

–The #SecretMemo is the latest effort at obfuscation and distraction. The sole and primary question is this: Was Carter Page and/or Manafort acting in the interests of Russia and interfering in the election? The memo is going to try to distract the American public into the FBI’s surveillance methods, but the FBI secured a FISA warrant most likely because they demonstrated that there was an EXTREMELY LEGITIMATE REASON to surveil Page. In sports terminology, the argument is whether Page had both feet inbounds and the GOP is trying to tell you that the referee maybe shouldn’t have been allowed to be reffing the game.

–If Rosenstein and Mueller go, Trump has won. At least inside the government. The last bastion who would still be able to investigate him and bring him to justice is the free press. This is where it helps that one of the two newspapers who could illustrate his alleged treason is The Washington Post, which is owned by the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos. Its managing editor is the most incorruptible man in journalism, Marty Barron (the Spotlight hero; Barron’s journalism prof at Lehigh was my cousin’s dad, by the way).


–Donald Trump is not and has never behaved like a man who is innocent. He has always behaved like someone who does not believe in due process but as someone who simply wants this to disappear. That is why he is either bullying or firing everyone in government who could potentially bring him to justice. That is why he keeps repeating the mantra, “No collusion,” as if he believes that if he says it enough, that will somehow make it true. This is not a man who believes in normal discourse. This is a man who speaks in slogans and only says that which will abet his narcissism.

Meanwhile, the State Dept. is rolling back the sanctions on Russia (America is now as feckless as the IOC) because Trump, The Manhattanchurian Candidate, still needs to keep his part of the bargain, no, comrade?


–If that announcement doesn’t tell you where the White House’s true loyalties lie, what will? Meanwhile, men in power do nothing because Trump’s tax policy and deregulation has made the wealthy even more so, they don’t want to kill this golden goose. And the Koch brothers are going to spend a record-$400 million on this year’s midterm elections in order to ensure that the GOP controls both the House and Senate the next two years so that the gravy train will continue and that anyone inside the government attempting to find out the truth about Trump will be silenced. Or overruled.

–McCabe’s resignation leaves America fantastically vulnerable. Because Trump won’t stop. It’s not in his nature. Rosenstein is next, and if that domino falls, I wouldn’t blame Mueller if he threw up his hands in disgust and made his exodus. Or Trump still might fire him. Are there really any Republicans who’d stand up to Trump even then? No.

Devin Nunes deserves to be hanged. Seriously.

–A president is under investigation for treason. And he gets rid of every single meaningful person in the FBI or Justice Dept. who might be able to find the truth, even if that truth exonerates him. Are these the actions of an innocent man or are these the strong-arm maneuvers of a bullying despot?

–Finally, in a wonderful display of how petty and morally bankrupt Trump is, he actually phoned McCabe last year to admonish him for the fact that Comey, who learned he was fired while in Los Angeles (again, as the HEAD OF THE FREAKING FBI), was able to fly back to Washington on a government plane. At the taxpayers’ expense. This is a man, Trump, who has already cost taxpayers $49 MILLION in one year as president for his golf excursions alone.

2. And Now, Somoene Who Doesn’t Suck

Tom Hanks has signed on to play Fred Rogers in the biopic of everyone’s favorite sweater-wearing middle-aged American hero. Based on the marvelous Esquire story by Tom Junod, which is as good a piece as you will ever read (We still have that issue in case we are ever called upon to teach journalism somehwere).

3. Crypto Updates

In a sign of how much bigger the crypto market is now than it was just a couple of years ago, last weekend a record-sized cryptocurrency hack took place and the world sort of yawned. Four years ago the world’s first major Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, which handled 70% of Bitcoin, was hacked and lost $450 million. Mt. Gox soon filed for bankruptcy and it was thought to be the possible death knell for Bitcoin.

Last Friday a record amount of cryptocurrency, $530 million worth, was hacked and stolen from the Tokyo-based exchange Coincheck. Did you even hear about it?

Meanwhile in Oxfordshire, England, last weekend, an in-home burglary of crypto. From The Guardian: “Armed men broke into the family home of a cryptocurrency trader and are believed to have forced him at gunpoint to transfer holdings of the virtual currency bitcoin.” That means they literally made him get on his computer and transfer his Bitcoin holdings to an anonymous account. Now that’s genius. Criminal and miscreant, sure, but genius.

The lesson: Don’t brag about how much Bitcoin you’re holding…

4. Wahoo Serious?

Major League Baseball announces that the Cleveland Indians will discontinue the Chief Wahoo mascot after next season. Apparently we need an entire year of farewell tours for a purportedly racist depiction of a people whose land we stole?

Is this the Tribe’s next mascot?

We’ve plumbed this turf before, but let’s say that the Wahoo mascot illustration is racist or racially insensitive. Fine. Then what do you call naming the team “Indians?” Because that’s  a slur at worst and one of history’s great misnomers at best. And of course isn’t it a little disingenuous to be so concerned about a people’s feelings only now after you’ve stolen their nation from them? The Appaloosa is out of the barn, no?

So, yeah, we get it. But they’re still the Cleveland Indians. The name is still racially sensitive. Maybe they’ll be changed to the Cleveland Golden Knights, which of course is something that has never even actually existed.

5. Pyramid Scheme

Is this the worst blind date in like, ever? That’s the world’s tallest man, 36 year-old Turkish farmer Sultan Kosen, who stands 8’3″; and the planet’s shortest woman, 25 year-old Indian actress Jyoti Amge, who stands 2’1″, outside the pyramids at Giza. They were there to promote Egyptian tourism and I really hope he doesn’t fall on top of her.


This right here is why the internet was invented…



Tell me why Kenan Thompson and SNL did not think of this first…



Found this last night. Here’s the original cast of Saturday Night Live just a few days before their October 11, 1975 premiere episode spending a few minutes with Tom Snyder. Note that Chevy Chase’s healthy ego is already in full bloom while John Belushi does not say a peep. And Lorne Michaels cannot even name all the cast members yet…

Music 101

Bizarre Love Triangle

The British New Wave band New Order was cut out of the dying carcass of Joy Division, with some of the remaining members forming this band after vocalist Ian Curtis committed suicide. This 1986 song somehow failed to make the Top 40 in either the US or the UK, but it is one of the best songs in the genre and Rolling Stone rightfully put it at 201st in its 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list in 2004.

Remote Patrol

King Kong

8 p.m. TCM

In which a citizen of a sh*thole country is brought to the United States, in chains and against his will, and then treated like a public enemy for not playing along with the existing power structure. Or you can watch that other thing on tonight.


by John Walters

I have here in my hands the top ten list. There’s no easy way to do this, because with most of these songs I at one point or another have declared, “Now THIS is my favorite U2 song.”

Latest live gig….

Special thanks to Notre Dame official photographer and licensed pilot Matt Cashore who reminded me of the song below. When I think of All That You Can’t Leave Behind on a Top 40 favorite U2 songs list, this one totally belongs. So allow me to cheat a little and make it No. 10 1/2. It’s the closest the band has ever come to touching the face of God and that chorus near the end is reminiscent of a 60s flower child song, something you might have heard from The Mamas and the Papas or Donovan or even The Association. Just a beautiful tune and it’s a misdemeanor, perhaps even a felony, that this was left off The Unforgettable Fire.

Three Sunrises

Four men who’ve been together for 40-plus years, all because Larry Mullen posted a sign at his secondary school. As Bruce Springsteen noted, “Bands are started by accident, but they don’t stay together by accident.” One reason U2 has remained together so long is because they are a communion of souls. They take the music very seriously, but never seem to take themselves too seriously (seriously). Check it out:

Now on to the top ten list, this time going in reverse order:

  1. Ultraviolet (Light My Way)

Achtung Baby, 1991

No explanation for this, but the six-word U2 ear worm that infects my mind more than any other is “Baby, baby, baby/Light my way...” We Catholics know a thing or two about popular refrains, and this one is as popular as it gets.

9. Magnificent

No Line On The Horizon, 2009

My favorite U2 song of the past decade, it just rumbles across the plains coming at you  like a buffalo stampede. It would have fit perfectly on The Joshua Tree. In March of 2009 the band visited Dave Letterman’s show for an entire week to promote this album, and then on Friday morning played a show outside at Fordham University.

I doubt this song is on any of your Top 10 lists, but this list is all about you being true to your own feelings about the band’s oeuvre (“You know how to spell ‘oeuvre,’ don’t you, Holden?”).

8. Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?

Achtung Baby, 1991

In the winter of 1992, my roommate Fuder and I lived in a one-bedroom apartment with no TV. We were both pretty busy: She was going to law and business school, while I was teaching a high school science class before heading to work at SI (one of us made millions; I’ll let you guess who). Anyway, we spent most week nights at home studying or doing class preps, and we listened to two new albums: Nevermind and Achtung Baby. This song always reminds me of that period because my well-deserved nickname is “Spilly” and she loved to remind me, “You’re an accident waiting to happen.”

Also, you have to love at about the 4:09 mark where Bono wails for all he’s worth, “Come on now love, don’t you look back!”

Bono rarely gets credited for having a spectacular vocal range, a la Freddie Mercury or George Michael, but he can take it up a notch when he has to and his voice is so passionate and earnest that it has become one of the more formidable in rock and roll history.

7. Running To Stand Still

The Joshua Tree, 1987

Back when albums mattered, the sequencing of songs mattered. And no U2 album is better  arranged than The Joshua Tree. The grand opening of “Where The Streets Have No Name” segues into a trio of tunes that demand you get on your boots. By the fifth track you need a slow dance, and here we are. There’s nothing I can say about the song that the song itself doesn’t do better. It’s just quiet and powerful and the lyrics, “You’ve got to cry without weeping/Talk without speaking/Scream without raising your voice” are some Beatitudes-level sh*t.

I’m not sure if this is the only U2 song in which the title does not appear until the last line of the song. Maybe.

  1. Sunday, Bloody Sunday 

Under A Blood Red Sky, 1983

“This is not a rebel song, this is ‘Sunday, Bloody Sunday.’ The angriest U2 song was Bono’s “I Want You” Uncle Sam recruitment poster. You say you want a revolution? Well, you know, U2 wants to change the world.

  1. One Tree Hill

The Joshua Tree, 1987

You may consider this ridiculously high at No. 5, but this musical eulogy for a fallen friend is the band at its best: creating a mood through The Edge’s experimentation and Bono’s haunting voice. Somewhere Pope Francis laments that the rock and roll’s gain was the Catholic church’s loss

  1. I Will Follow

Boy, 1980

The first guitar riff that let us know change was in the air. U2 made this their second or third song at a show I saw in 2015 and the crowd, so many of us in our 40s and 50s, went bonkers. It’s teen angst exponentialized, but what I love about it is that bridge near the end where the band has the confidence to slow it down and indulge their lead singer (“Your eyes make a circle/I see you when I go in there…”). They were all 20 or 21 when they recorded this tune, but their self-assurance was remarkable.

Bono lost his mom when he was 14 and this song is mostly a reflection on the mother-child dynamic. Also, it’s the first track from their first album. They dove in head-first.

  1. Bad 

Wide Awake In America, 1985

I don’t doubt that this is many fans’ favorite U2 song, and that’s alright, that’s alright, that’s alright. Yes, if you were watching the band’s show at Wembley for Live Aid in the summer of ’85 you remember the moment when Bono clambered off stage to engage in a communion of sorts with the fans. This was Bono at his most charismatic and also, yes, most self-indulgent and pretentious. It was also the day U2 separated itself from all other bands that had come along since Woodstock.

Apparently, The Edge, Larry and Adam weren’t thrilled with their mulleted-crooner’s vanity-project theatrics, as his extended love-in forced them to drop a song from their set. This is like criticizing the Gettysburg Address for being too short. No one remembers the other tunes U2 played in this set. They just remember Bono hugging the woman as he slow-danced with her and Bono’s freestyling at the end as the band kept playing the refrain.

Years ago I had the good fortune to speak to Steve Lillywhite, who has produced albums for everyone from Peter Gabriel to The La’s to the Rolling Stones to The Psychedelic Furs to The Talking Heads, etc, etc. I asked him if any artist truly stood out among the tall trees and before I even finished the question, he said, “Bono. Bono is a genius.”

  1. Beautiful Day

All That You Can’t Leave Behind, 2000

Nine years! It had been nine years since Achtung Baby, since U2 had truly touched the sun. Most of my contemporaries and I feel that, like REM, U2 would always be one of our favorite bands from college and our 20s but that, you know, maybe the gas tank was empty.

And then this. U2 is the most Catholic and also the most catholic band in the world, and this song is their offertory. No U2 song, in lyrics or melody, better embodies their approach to their fellow congregants. When Bono sings, “It’s a beautiful day” is when I hear “Hosanna in the highest.”

Also, the band never gets enough credit for its videos, but this one is just phenomenal. I don’t know how they did that with the plane and the runway (I’m sure you can Google it; was it real or green-screen?) at Charles de Gaulle Airport outside Paris.

Mostly, this song is just an affirmation that U2 had something to offer on the other side of the millennium. Few bands come out with a song this energized in the third decade of their existence.

p.s. Every day is a beautiful day.

  1. With Or Without You

The Joshua Tree, 1987

In March of 1987 U2 released The Joshua Tree and there was just a general sense that they were about to be the biggest band in the world. The video for the first single was going to have a WORLD PREMIERE on NBC’s Friday Night Videos. My friends had departed for spring break, but as I was studying for the MCATs, I’d chosen to stay behind to study.

In the basement of Dillon Hall, I watched the video for the first time, all alone, at midnight. I put down my Biology book and paid close attention: Does Bono have a ponytail? Is that guitar just a prop? Etc.

It’s not U2’s greatest song, but the way it slowly builds to an orgasmic climax, like a 50-foot wave crashing (or like, well, you know…) is only part of its charm. Some songs just come along at the right point in your life and offer inspiration. This one nudged me into thinking that it’s better to do something you love doing and feel that much passion for than doing what you think you’re supposed to do. I realized that my studious approach to being pre-med was just a matter of running to stand still…

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed…


by John Walters

Starting Five

1. 20!

In Melbourne, Roger Federer beats Marin Cilic in five sets to win the Australian Open and his 20th Grand Slam title. Federer, 36, has now won three of the past five Grand Slam titles, with 31 year-old Rafael Nadal winning the other two. Those two men are the top two all-time in GS singles wins with 20 and 16.

Since the start of 2004, Federer, Rafael Nadal (16 Grand Slams) and Novak Djokovic (12) have combined to win 47 of the 57 Grand Slam singles titles. A triumvirate of tennis greats.

2. Mars Attacks!

Album of the Year: 24K Magic.

Record of the Year: 24K Magic.

Best R&B Album: 24K Magic.

Song of the Year: That’s What I Like.

Best R&B Song: That’s What I Like.

Best R&B Performance: That’s What I Like.

At the 60th Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden, Hawaiian native Bruno Mars stole the show, winning six awards. I don’t know who killed rock and roll, but last night Bruno killed hip-hop.

3. Eau No!*

*The judges will not accept “The Shape of Water”

In Paris, the floods are in Seine! The famous river has surged to a peak of more than 19 feet and your Evian water may be a little brown this spring.

4. Wynn Loss

After becoming the latest rat bastard outed as a sexual harasser, 76 year-old Steve Wynn steps down at Republican National Committee finance chairman. It’s amazing, isn’t it, that of all the powerful men who’ve been accused of sexual harassment in the past 18 months, that Donald Trump is the only one who was falsely accused. Wynn, for the record, dismissed the claims that the billionaire demanded naked massages and sexual intercourse from employees as “preposterous.” Of course.

Anyway, you may remember Moe Greene from The Godfather (You son of a bitch. Do you know who I am? I’m Moe Greene! I made my bones when you were going out with cheerleaders”), who was loosely based on Bugsy Siegel, the man who built Las Vegas. If that is Siegel’s legacy, then Wynn is the man who saved Las Vegas. Every bit the visionary that Siegel was, Wynn is the man who in the past 30 years made Las Vegas what it is today.

As for Wynn’s transgressions? As someone on CNBC put it on Friday, “It is Sin City, after all.” The good news is that he’s now free to star in Weekend at Bernie’s 3.

5. Hoops Whoops

0-13 for a guy whose best shot is a dunk?

I don’t know if it made SportsCenter (it failed to make the gamer), but Phoenix Suns rookie Josh Jackson shot 0-13 from the field in the team’s Sunday matinee loss at Houston. It’s not the worst shooting performance of all time—Tim Hardaway shot 0-17 in a game in 1991 and Hall of Famer Dennis Johnson shot 0-14 in Game 7 of the 1978 NBA Finals, but each of those dudes were five-time All-Stars. Jackson is a rookie who has had a disappointing season.

Send it in, Jerome! In front of Bill Raftery nearly 30 years to the day later, UVA’s Ty Jerome hit a 3-point dagger to seal the win.

Also worth noting in weekend hoops news: both Duke (by 2 to No. 2 UVA) and North Carolina (in double OT to NC State) lost at home on Saturday. The last time that happened was 1973.



Music 101

Message In A Bottle

The best song that is also a Nicholas Sparks book title, this 1979 single by The Police was their first No. 1 hit in the UK.

Remote Patrol

A Futile And Stupid Gesture


Do you know the story of Doug Kenney (played by Will Forte, left)? I did not. Kenney and his Harvard Lampoon pal Henry Beard (Domnhall Gleeson in a shagadelic wig, right) parlayed success at the Lampoon—they wrote a satire J.R.R. Tolkien tribute called Bored of the Rings—into the foolish courage to launch a magazine start-up, National Lampoon.

Kenny would go on to write two comedy classics, Animal House and Caddyshack, before a tragic and arguably accidental death in Hawaii at the age of 33. He actually was colossally wrecked over the “failure” of the latter film, as Airplane! was released three weeks earlier and got all the pub in that summer of ’80.

It’s a biopic, but it’s also delightfully silly: it ends with a food fight at a wake. And if that middle-aged blonde leading the studio tour near the end of the film looks familiar, that’s because she is: Martha Smith, who played Babs Jensen in Animal House.

U2 40: Part III

by John Walters

Before we begin Part III, songs 11-20 (now it’s getting serious), here are links to the first two installments:

Songs 31-40

Songs 21-30

For our third installment, we’re breaching the areas of all-time favorites. In the first two installments, there may have only been a couple tunes (“One,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”) where you thought I was bonkers not to have them in the top ten. There will be even more today.

No Moher hair: Few men have benefited more from surrendering to baldness than The Edge

Again, I’m going on how these songs have personally touched me, not how much airplay or adulation they’ve earned. And what I’d really love to see after today is for you to take a stab at what 10 songs will appear on Monday’s list in today’s comments. Either that or your own personal Top 10. I don’t need your money, but consider that the payment I’m requesting. Am I buggin’ ya? I didn’t mean to bug ya. Edge, play the blues (no, that song did not make the list).

And now on to today’s list, Songs 11-20:

  1. New Year’s Day

War, 1983

In his recent Rolling Stone cover story interview, Bono asks, “In the end, what is rock & roll?” He immediately answers his own question: “Rage is at the heart of it.” There’s only one U2 song that is angrier than this one (and we’ll get to it tomorrow). There’s a tendency to drop this song lower because we’ve all just heard it SO DAMN MANY TIMES, but let’s be clear: If you were a teenager or older in the early Eighties, you know that THIS is the song where U2 broke through, to use Bono’s words, “into the arms of America.”

At the time of its release, you were either New Wave (Duran Duran), American RAWK (Van Halen) or pure pop (Madonna, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Lionel Ritchie, etc.). No one quite knew what to do with U2, though they were originally and incorrectly placed in the New Wave bin. This song and this album demonstrated they were onto something entirely revolutionary, unless you wanted to call them Christian rock.

The song is a primal scream. It’s also got one of the more memorable Bono lyrical images (“Under a blood-red sky”) and it shows off The Edge’s versatility, as he plays piano and guitar nearly simultaneously. It’s a verifiable classic, and if it’s in your Top 5, I’m all for it.

  1. All I Want Is You

Rattle and Hum, 1988

The first of two tunes on today’s list whose title begins with “All” and end with “You.” If the next song is the perfect album opener, this is the ideal album closer. This is U2’s far less schmaltzy “I Love You Just The Way You Are,” (Billy Joel), “Beth” (Kiss) or “Babe” (Styx). Plus, “But all the promises we make/From the cradle to the grave/When all I want is you” is one of the best lyrics Bono has ever jotted down.

  1. Where The Streets Have No Name

The Joshua Tree, 1987

Yeah, this may be in your top ten. Or top five. This is where it fits for me. I love what the band had to say about it in Rolling Stone a few years back. They were going to leave it off The Joshua Tree because as much as they loved The Edge’s shimmering opening, they always thought of it is as nothing more than a song fragment, not an actual song. And that’s probably true. But it’s one of the great album openers of the rock era, and it let everyone listening to this album for the first time that the band was shooting for all-timer status.

  1. The Unforgettable Fire

The Unforgettable Fire, 1984

No band I can think of, with the exception of Pink Floyd, is consistently better at making their sound evoke a desired visual atmosphere (I’m thinking “Comfortably Numb” for Floyd). This song is, for me, the best example of U2 doing that. We’re in some northern Irish wilderness, maybe the Yorkshire moors. Someone’s lost. Or in trouble. But there’s hope. As I wrote a couple days ago, I’ve always wondered why they didn’t make this title track the lead track as well.

  1. Miracle Drug

How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, 2004

Simply put, the band’s loveliest, most ethereal song of this century. Bono is an avid reader of Old Testament psalms, and I think he took a stab at writing his own. Also love how the band takes it up to a crescendo near the end instead of just letting it drift away. Note how much fun The Edge is having: not only does he get to show off the chops a little, he even gets a vocal part. He’s the most underrated vocal sidekick this side of REM’s Mike Mills.

  1. All Because Of You

How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, 2004

A Sunday morning, December, 2004, in Tucson. I’m in the car and turn on the radio and hear this song for the first time, but I catch it midway through. Initial thought: that guitar sounds like The Edge but the voice is too young to be Bono. This is a U2 wannabe band, but damn, they’re pretty good. Once again: What do I know?

Along with “Vertigo,” “Beautiful Day” and “Magnificent,” this is one of the band’s four post-millennium kickass rockers. That piercing opening from The Edge? Next time you’re riding a subway in New York, as the train comes to a screeching stop, notice how it’s basically the same sound.  We’ll even forgive Bono for attempting to rhyme “your voice” with “tortoise.”

  1. In God’s Country

The Joshua Tree, 1987

The band is not as fond of this song as I am. Bono: “[My] lyric was really good, the tune is pretty good, and the hook is pretty average – thanks to the Edge.” Ouch, babe.

What’s not to like here? The song rattles along at a steady pace and, as I’ve stated before, few bands are able to evoke an atmosphere or mood or even sense of place better with their sound than U2 can. This song puts me on a long drive between Phoenix and Santa Fe with a wide open blue sky above. It just feels right.

  1. Gloria

October, 1981

I’ve often wanted to see the thought bubbles above Adam Clayton’s head while Bono performs as if the Holy Trinity itself is in the audience (Aw geez, here we go again). Here in an early indulgence and display of the band’s overt Catholicism, he segues into Latin (No, not “Unus, duo, tres, quattuordecim!”) to invoke part of the liturgical “Gloria, in excelsis deo.” Hey, Mr. Mister would come along just a few years later and have a monster hit with “Kyrie,” so why not?

There are two must-save anthems from the band’s first two albums, and this is one of them.

  1. Red Hill Mining Town

The Joshua Tree, 1987

By far the band’s most homoerotic video (I was waiting for Iceman and Maverick to appear in the background) and also worth noting the use of canaries (in a coal mine! Get it?) while The Police did not actually use any canaries in their video for “Canary In A Coalmine.” They used camels.

This song was inspired by a real miners’ strike in Great Britain and once again it’s incredible to ascertain how “woke” these guys were, writing and performing these tunes in their mid-twenties. Bono’s lyrics have always been weighted with imagery (“scorched the earth/Set fire to the sky“), and here it works well. As does that plaintive wail. If only the video had been less sweaty. This is both inspirational and perspirational.

  1. Walk On

All That You Can’t Leave Behind, 2000

This relatively hidden gem from All That You Can’t Leave Behind slips subtly through the door, the soft tamborine, Bono’s spoken word almost a whisper, and then suddenly we get that signature Edge riff and we know we’re headed down the spiral slide into another classic U2 crusade tune. Bono, who knows his Old and New Testaments better than most seminary students, is deft at writing prayers. This is another one. It is the band’s prayer for the faithful. It’s also a souped-up version of Gerry & The Pacemakers’ “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

I’m still not sure what “A place that has to be believed/To be seen” means, but we’ll let it go.


There are many people reading these rankings who have attended more U2 shows than your faithful scribe, but allow me the indulgence of listing my U2 shows:

Indianapolis Hoosierdome, November 1, 1987: The notorious Dalton Brothers show. Warmup act Los Lobos was delayed, so Larry, Adam, The Edge and Bono took the stage in disguise (beards, cowboy hats, dusters) as a country-and-western outfit. They played two songs, even though it was the same song (“Lucille”). Most fans had no idea it was them until during U2’s encore they played the song yet again.

December 20, 1987, Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe: The last date of the band’s exhausting and exhaustive 110-date tour across two continents took place literally a few yards away from the site of the first date (the ASU Activity Center). Tickets for the two final shows in Tempe were $5 apiece, as the band wanted to fill up the then 70,000-plus seat stadium because it was filming the show for an upcoming concert film that would become Rattle and Hum.

March 20, 1992, Madison Square Garden, NYC: The Zoo TV tour show, which was maybe the best one of all of them. Later that night my two Sports Illustrated friends with whom I attended the show, Tim Crothers and Steve Hymon, the three of us went to a now-defunct Lower East Side basement joint called Candy Be One, where an all-Korean live band was there to back you as you sang (that’s right: karaoke but with a live band). Tim and I did “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” as a duet, mainly so that we could say we performed live in NYC the same night U2 did.

May 6, 1997, Autzen Stadium, Eugene: The PopMart Tour. Craziest set to date, and a killer opening band in Rage Against the Machine, but the worst set list, as it was heavy on Pop!

July 20, 2011, MetLife Stadium, NJ:  Not much to report here other than that it was an excellent show.

July 19, 2015, Madison Square Garden, NYC: The most creative stage design I’ve ever seen at any show, and check out the first four songs on the setlist: “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone},” “Gloria,” “Vertigo,” and “I Will Follow.”

I’ll see you down the road at the next show….



by John Walters

Starting Five

You’re Fired?

Last night The New York Times broke a story claiming that Donald Trump tried to fire White House special counsel Robert Mueller last June, but that it never happened because White House counsel Don McGahn threatened to resign if he went through with it. Trump wanted McGahn to fire Mueller, McGahn said do it yourself, Trump apparently only likes firing people directly if it’s on NBC, and so it never happened.

The story had four sources, and it makes you wonder who’s leaking this stuff.

According to the piece, Trump tried to claim Mueller had a conflict of interest based on three reasons, one of them being due to a dispute over fees at the Trump National Golf Course in Sterling, Va. This is like the previous president attempting to get rid of, say, the Attorney General because he calls too many offensive fouls in the White House pickup basektball games.

Don McGahn: Bye, bye, Miss American Pie

For more than seven months the president and numerous leading Republicans have claimed that it’s hooey that Trump attempted to or wanted to fire Mueller. Kellyanne is on record on CNN last August denying he’d even discussed it. So let’s sum up: Not only is this very, very likely true, but Trump wanted to fire the Special Counsel only one month after firing the FBI director, James Comey, which puts him right down there with Richard Milhouse Nixon and the Saturday Night Massacre, and we know who was on the right side of the law on that one.

By the way, let’s  do a tale of the tape:

Donald Trump: five-time draft dodger in Vietnam, three-time husband.

Robert Mueller: Bronze Star and Purple Heart winner in Vietnam, J.D. from Virginia, married for nearly 52 years.


Meanwhile, here’s Sean Hannity doing the fastest and most amoral about-face in cable news history. The absence of any sense of remorse on his part is breathtaking.


2. Trump and The Other Morning Joe

If you were up at 6 a.m. Eastern and tuned to CNBC, you would have heard inveterate Trump rah-rah journalist Joe Kernen interviewing the president. You can read the transcript of the entire interview here,

My favorite Trump tear-and-share quote: “I’m a free trader, I’m a fair trader, I’m all kinds of trader.” (Or did I use the wrong spelling of “traitor?”).

I found this part of the interview, which is very near the end, rather remarkable. The question was about immigration:

The people want security and they want DACA taken care of. But more importantly, they want security, they want the borders strong, they want to have a strong border. They don’t want to have MS-13 coming into our cities. You know how many of these people were getting out? These are horrible, horrible human beings. And they came here as horrible human beings. And Joe, it sounds terrible. They don’t shoot somebody, they cut them up into little pieces because it’s more painful. I don’t want them – we are taking them out by the thousands. By the thousands.

On the other hand, these muchachos cannot wait to welcome Larry Nassar to his new home

There’s no doubt that MS-13 is a real and vibrant organized crime problem in the USA, but then again so was and is the Mafia. And Goldman Sachs (I couldn’t resist). Then again, even if there are 10,000 MS-13 members here, as some suggest, that would comprise less than 1/10th of 1% of Mexican immigrants. So why is Donald Trump focusing on them instead of the other 99.9% as the basis of his immigration policy?

Even Coco had a border crossing scene

Personally, I support the Andy Dufresne model: Instead of walling off the border of Mexico, we should be going there and creating more jobs (Red may have been Andy’s first hire, but maybe he expanded the fishing excursion biz?). Hear me now and listen to me later, but this problem will only be solved when we use our CAPITALIST wiles to economically invade Mexico and create more jobs there. This is a country with beautiful coastlines on both sides of it. The best way to curb illegal immigration is to make the home country more attractive than it currently is.

Doesn’t this president know anything about osmosis?

Meanwhile, I wouldn’t hold my breath on that East Wing screening of Coco.

3. Do You Know This Man?

Clue No. 1: He’s an actor.

Clue No. 2: He plays a major role in an Oscar-nominated film.

Clue No. 3: He was once the Cardinal mascot at Ball State University.

Clue No. 4: He’s 57 years old and 6’4.”

Clue No. 5: His name is Doug Jones.

Still not ringing a bell? He’s a contortionist who plays the role of the amphibious creature in The Shape Of Water, which has been nominated for 13 Oscars, including Best Picture but not including Best Amphibious Portrayal.

You’ve seen Jones before in another film by the same director, Guillermo Del Toro. He was the titular creature in the 2006 film Pan’s Labyrinth (which if you have not seen it, you should: it’s excellent!).

4. Calling Their Pine-Bluff

Martaveous McKnight (23), who leads the SWAC in scoring, poured in a season-high 39 earlier this week.

You can find a lot of stories just by looking at the most basic of statistics. That is often the starting point. For instance, yesterday we took a quick gaze at Division I basketball standings and noticed this anomaly: Arkansas Pine-Bluff is in first place in the SWAC with a 7-0 intra-conference record, but the Golden Lions are 7-14 overall.

That means, yes, Arkansas Pine-Bluff, though in first place in its conference, is 0-14 outside the SWAC. Moreover, their last seven games have been in-conference so, yes, the Golden Lions opened the season 0-14 and have since won seven straight. They’ll have to win their conference tourney, but then they’d automatically qualify for March Madness despite having lost 14 games in a row this season and having no wins out of conference.

All that said, you’ll hear ten times as many gripes about what’s wrong with how college football stages its playoff than about college hoops. Apparently all regular-season sins are forgiven as long as everyone is allowed to make the postseason.

By the way, this win streak won’t last. The Golden Lions have won their last four games by a combined 12 points. The luck will soon run out.

5. Welcome To The 20th Century, Harvard

Kunis at yesterday’s Hasty Pudding parade in Cambridge. Ah, when is the Sawx opener?

From The New York Times: — “The Hasty Pudding Theatricals, an irreverent Harvard theater troupe that has not cast women since it began staging productions in 1844, announced on Thursday that, for the very first time, it would encourage women to audition this year.”

In fairness to HPT, William Shakespeare did not cast women in his plays, either. Granted, he lived and worked in the 16th century, but he didn’t do it. Of course, the problem here as everyone including Tina Fey, Amy Pohler, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon know, is that women are not funny. This will be difficult to overcome.

As the story notes, when the HPT honored Amy Pohler with its annual Woman of the Year Award (yesterday they honored Mila Kunis), she wound up roasting them (as opposed to the normal routine of the honoree being roasted): “You know it’s time for a change when the Augusta National Golf Club has lapped you in terms of being progressive.”


Yesterday’s best tweet…



I think I’m in love….Look at the ittew putty kat!

Music 101

Love Song

I love Sara Bareilles. Love her because she was a college a cappella nerd (UCLA), because she can actually play an instrument(s), because she’s a Catholic Italian-American, and because she was  smart and clever enough to make her first  breakout hit a rebuke to the record company who told her what to write about. And the title of this 2007 song is so, so, SO misleading. Love it. The song went to No. 1, so take that, record company execs.

Remote Patrol

Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors

8:30 p.m ABC

The Dubs could be facing Kyrie for a fourth straight Finals

Look, kids, it’s Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals, four months early! The Celtics and Dubs have the best records in their respective conferences and Brad Stephens vs. Steve Kerr would be the all-time greatest matchup of nice people NBA coaches since the league began. Oh, and if Gordon Hayward is back by then, watch out.

U2 40: Part II

by John Walters

“How long to sing this song?” At least two more installments after this one.

Here’s one fan’s 21st through 30th favorite U2 songs, and if you’re looking for that Batman song on this list or even “The Sweetest Thing,” look elsewhere.

Timely tweet from this morning:

Here’s Part I from yesterday….

21. Vertigo

How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, 2004

Uno, dos, tres, quatorze! Bruce Springsteen had a few funny words to say about that lyric when he inducted the band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 (Did you really think we were going to get through this entire list without including Bruce’s insanely funny and incredibly insightful speech about the lads?)

The band were all in their mid-forties when they wrote this adrenaline shot of a song that possesses the LED-battery energy of a 22 year-old who plans on keeping the candle burning straight up until his boozy brunch the next day. Can you think of another band that has written as many nuclear-powered rock songs past the age of 40 as this band has? They’ve slowed down of late, but I can think of four such tunes off the top of my head (the other three are higher on the list).

22. Two Hearts Beat As One

War, 1983

“New Year’s Day” was the first U2 song that really blistered the FM airwaves in the really Eighties, but this primal scream embodied the band’s spirit better. A note: This is apocryphal, which is to say that I wasn’t at the show but I think I recall my high school buddies telling me about attending a Van Halen concert in the early Eighties. The opening band was U2 and the crowd booed throughout the entire set (although this was a thing Van Halen fans proudly did no matter who was opening at the time).


23. The Electric Co. (Live)

Under A Blood Red Sky, 1983

Short for “electric convulsion therapy,” this tune originally appeared on the band’s but album, Boy. This is textbook early U2: jangling, piercing guitar layered over a crusading Bono.

24. Trip Through Your Wires

The Joshua Tree, 1987 

How earth-shakingly great was The Joshua Tree? This throwaway harmonica foot-stomper doesn’t crack my Top 5 off that album, but it’s still on this list. This song is best listened to around a campfire while eating pinto beans off a tin plate.

  1. Heartland

Rattle And Hum, 1988

U2 loves its Memphis icons and then some. The band paid tribute to Dr. King twice on The Unforgettable Fire and once to Elvis. With this haunting tune they evened the score. If you can get past Bono wearing a leather vest over nothing, you can forgive the band’s greatest sin of the late Eighties. This is one of those U2 songs that was never a radio hit, but that is often on my internal radio dial. “In this heartland/In this heartland soil…”

  1. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (Live)

Rattle and Hum, 1988

The Edge in the Rattle and Hum film: “It’s a gospel song pretty much. It doesn’t sound much like a gospel song the way we do it, but if you look at the lyric, the basic music, that’s exactly what it is.” This is one of U2’s most popular (2nd-highest charting) AND most critically acclaimed tunes, but I don’t think they really got it right on The Joshua Tree. I think they got it right here, performing it at MSG with the Harlem-based choir, New Voices of Freedom. It’s far more uplifting and spiritual. If this song bugs ya’, I didn’t mean to bug ya.

Note: The lead-in tune on the above video is “Party Girl,” which I wish could’ve made this list. “I know a girl named trampoline/You know what I mean…”


  1. Pride (In The Name Of Love)

The Unforgettable Fire, 1984

The band’s unapologetic and earnest dive into politics and human-rights issues, a flag-waving, boot-stomping tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., on an album that already has a song titled “MLK.” And yes, it was not a Friday morning, it was a Friday afternoon, for all you “Well, actually” types. What saves this song (for many, it is beyond salvation), is that opening guitar riff by The Edge, but then again, how many U2 songs have his opening riffs saved, right? Larry Mullen’s drum intro is also solid:  If there’s one U2 song where you can imagine the band marching along to it like a colonial fife-and-drum corps, here is that song.

Believe it or not, this song is not even in the top 10 of U2’s highest-charting singles (it’s No. 11).

  1. Wire

The Unforgettable Fire, 1984

It’s a fair criticism: Too many of the songs on this album sound like too many of the other songs on this album. This tune, for example, and the title track are basically fraternal twins. That’s okay. Still love the song. “Such a nice day/To throw your life away/Such a nice day/Let it go!” Notes: This is not the highest-ranked tune with “wire” in the title nor is it the highest-ranked tune of four letters or less.

  1. Miss Sarajevo 

Original Soundtracks I, 1995

If you’re keeping score at home, that’s B.B. King and Luciano Pavarotti who’ve guested on U2 tracks. I chose this performance from Milan because here, in the seat of opera, Bono tackles the aria and he just freaking nails it! (4:04). Besides being a beautiful ballad, a “prayer” as Bono puts it, this song has a tremendous backstory: media journalist Bill Carter (The Late Shift) made a documentary film about a beauty pageant taking place in Sarajevo in 1993 the midst of the Bosnia-Serbia conflict and asked Bono to get involved. This song is part of the product.

The winner, Inela Nogic, was a 17 year-old blonde who four years later would be escorted to a U2 concert by the band. She now lives in the Netherlands.

  1. A Sort Of Homecoming

The Unforgettable Fire, 1984

Not unlike the studio version of “Still Haven’t Found,” this tune sort of rumbles along at the same pace throughout, but also has that one ethereal moment: “Ohhhh, Ohhhh, Ohhhh/On borderlands we ruuuuuuuu-uuuuuuhhhhuhh-uuuhhhhh-un…” Huge mistake to open the album with this song, as it doesn’t rev your engines. They should’ve opened it with the eponymous track . Low-hanging fruit, Bono.


by John Walters

Starting Five

“I Just Signed Your Death Warrant”

In East Lansing, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentences Dr. Larry Nassar to up to 175 years in prison and brings both barrels in a blistering 30-minute address. Collateral damage: Lou Anna Simons, the president of Michigan State University, resigns.

2. Amherst: 51 and Counting

Gromacki has built yet another women’s hoops powerhouse in New England

More than 25 years ago your trusted scribe was dispatched to Mitchell College in New London, Connecticut, to report on a women’s junior college basketball team that was in the midst of a 223-game regular season win streak. The engaging and funny coach was a man named Dan Mara, whose assistant coach was a Samoyed-and-collie mix named Pep and who sat besides him during games. Dan was and is a great guy.

Dan Mara

About seven years later I headed back up to Connecticut, this time to spend a season with a women’s basketball team from the University of Connecticut with an equally engaging and funny coach named Geno Auriemma. That coach would later put together an NCAA Division I-record 111-game winning streak.

Hard to believe, but true: There’s a women’s college hoops coach in New England who’s coached more than 500 games and has a better win percentage than Geno

Now, a little to the north and west in Amherst, Mass., the Division III women’s hoops teams at one of the premier liberal arts schools in the country, Amherst, has compiled a 51-game win streak. Two years ago the Lord Jeffs (Lady Jeffs?) had their 121-game home winning streak ended by Tufts. The only school ever to put together a longer home win streak was Adolph Rupp’s Kentucky squad in the 1940s and 1950s. And Amherst’s coach, G.P. Gromacki, has a record of 476-62 (.884),which in terms of in percentage exceeds Auriemma (1,101-135, .882).

Also, Amherst won their first national championship last season.

3. RIP, Warren Miller

If you ever took a shine to alpine skiing, it may have been because you came across a Warren Miller ski film in the 1980s or after. If you already loved skiing, then watching one of Miller’s 700 or so movies about the sport may have inspired you to take another weeklong getaway to Jackson Hole or Telluride. What Bruce Brown was to surfing—Brown filmed and produced Endless Summer—Miller was to skiing.

Miller passed today at the age of 93. It should be noted that Brown, who was 80, died just last month. Two major pioneers of outdoor lifestyle filmmaking.

4. Taking Stock

Sounding like a record where the needle keeps skipping (ask your parents), but consider this a friendly reminder that we are in the midst of one of the great bull markets of our lifetimes and if you’re not in the market, you are seriously missing out. And here’s the thing: IT’S NOT TOO LATE.

As long as 45 is running the show, this market’s gonna stay lit for awhile. And even if he were to leave, Mr. P isn’t going to alter any of his fiscal policies. It may be 70 degrees in Duluth in February and we may all be jailed for speaking out against Putin or Kellyanne Conway, but the stock market ain’t gonna be wheezing any time soon. Just a few companies, well-known companies, that you should have been in on the past four years (and which you can still buy today and make money owning).

All original prices are as of December 30, 2014:

Amazon (AMZN). Then: $388 Today: $1,366    Change: Up 252%

Netflix (NFLX). Then: $52 Today: $262 Change: Up 400%

Boeing (BA): Then: $137  Today: $339. Change: Up 148%

Your average checking or savings account is going to pay you LESS than 1% interest per year. Your REAL bank should be E-Trade or Charles Schwab, kids. HELP ME HELP YOU!

5. To Be Or Not To Be

Carole Lombard. A Hollywood knockout

Our roommate, a nine-pound feline, likes to watch TCM when we’re out. So early last evening we arrived home to find him watching a film that should’ve made our Remote Patrol below, a film we’d never heard of.

The movie? To Be Or Not To Be, starring Jack Benny, the luminous Carole Lombard and a young Robert Stack. Here’s why we’re sharing this with you. It’s a screwball comedy about a Polish Shakespearian troupe that outsmarts the Gestapo and Herr Hitler and saves the Polish resistance in Warsaw. But here’s the thing: the film was released in 1942!

Lombard, Benny and a swastika in the background

If you ever have the chance to see it, you’ll notice elements of The Producers, Inglorious Basterds and Shakespeare In Love within. In fact, even Hogan’s Heroes may have pilfered from this, as the bumbling captain who plays the henchman is named Schultz. Some of the jokes are just totally in bad taste (“What you did with Hamlet, Hitler is now doing to Warsaw”) and I’m just trying to imagine someone making an ISIS comedy today. Benny’s own father walked out of the theater when he saw his son wearing a Nazi uniform.

Now here is where we get all Paul Harvey on your ass. To Be Or Not To Be was filmed in 1941 (before Pearl Harbor), but released in February of 1942 (after Pearl Harbor). In betwixt the filming and the release, Lombard was killed in a plane crash. By the time To Be Or Not To Be was released, Lombard was already dead. One of the final scenes in the film has her aboard a plane.

The details of Lombard’s death? Her flight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles veered off course and the plane crashed into a mountain. She had been returning from a war bonds tour in her home state of Indiana and was accompanied by her mother. Lombard was only 33 and married to Clark Gable, who at the time was the king of Hollywood. It is said that he never got over her death and that when he passed 18 years later, even though he’d been twice remarried since, ol’ Rhett Butler was buried next to her.

Music 101

Living After Midnight

If they staged a contest between bands challenging them to describe the rock ‘n roll life in one four-line stanza, Judas Priest would win:

Living after midnight,

Rocking to the dawn,

Loving ’til the morning,

And I’m gone, I’m gone

Not to mention that that is one hell of a name for a heavy metal band. It tells you what lead singer Rob Halford and the rest of his mates knew that this tune was the second track of Side 2 on their 1980 album, British Steel. In 1998 Halford came out as homosexual, which may have miffed a few of the Beavis-and-Butthead type fanboys who’d been turning this up to 11 in their Chevy Camaros for nearly two decades.

Remote Patrol



Imagine True Detective in a seaside resort town on the southern coast of England and you have this crime drama from ITV. An 11 year-old boy is found dead on the beach, and it’s the job of a female investigator whose son was his best friend and an interloper from Scotland who knows what he’s doing but makes no friends while doing so to solve the case. Adding to the mystery: one out of every three sentences uttered you cannot understand unless you go back and watch Trainspotting again. Also: Look close and you’ll see Walder Frey from GOT in a supporting role.

U2 40: Part I

by John Walters

Longtime friend and fellow quasi-native Arizonan Dino DeMillo suggested, after Vulture did a worst-to-best ranking of all U2’s songs, that I take a stab at it. Dino knows U2 is my favorite band, knows I take pride in having attended the November 1, 1987 show in which they came out in costume as “The Dalton Brothers” and that I also attended the $5 shows seven weeks later at Sun Devil Stadium when U2 needed to fill up the venue for the filming of Rattle And Hum.

Asked by Wenner what he’d tell his younger self, Bono replied, “Stop second-guessing yourself. You’re right.” Is that not the Bono-est quote ever?

Two years ago I “met” Bono, which is to say that I stood in a red carpet line and asked him a question, which was not “Can I just give you a massive hug?” although that’s the question I wanted to ask. Anyway, the erstwhile Paul Hewson is on the cover of a recent Rolling Stone, if you want to read the interview with the magazine’s founder, Jann Wenner.

That tune is one of a few you’ve heard of that did not make my Top 40 list, along with “Desire,” “Lemon,” “Bullet The Blue Sky,” “Out Of Control”or “Van Diemen’s Land.” Let’s be clear here: this isn’t a list of U2’s 40 greatest songs, it’s a personal ranking of one fan’s 40 favorite U2 songs. When I told my musical soulmate and close college friend Randy McDonald that I was going to undertake this challenge, he quipped, as someone who also came of musical age in the Eighties, “So your first 1o songs are off The Joshua Tree…then what?”

In other words, your mileage may vary.

The list will appear in four parts. Direct all your outrage to me (or Dino at @dinodemillo).

  1. Until The End Of The World

Achtung Baby, 1991

I’ve always thought of Achtung Baby as U2’s Revolver: their first psychedelic album and the reason it works so well is because you can hear the band’s unshakeable confidence, if not outright arrogance, in every song. They know they’re exploring uncharted territory, but they also know they’re crushing it. This tune embodies that as much as any on the album.

  1. One

Achtung Baby, 1991

If this prayer of brotherhood is in your personal Top 10, I can’t fault you (if you have it ranked eponymously, I can’t blame you for that, either). These are some of Bono’s most intimate lyrics and it’s the Irish version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” That downer bass line by Adam Clayton, though. It fits, but it just bums me out.

  1.  City Of Blinding Lights

How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, 2004

“Oh…You…Look…So beautiful…toniiiiiiiight!” The lads used this upbeat, positive-vibe rocker as the show opener on the Vertigo tour and it won a Grammy in 2006 for Best Rock Song. Deserved.

  1. When Love Comes To Town

Rattle and Hum, 1988

I’ve never understood why critics slagged U2 so damn much for this album, but it was songs such as this that really, really got under their skin. Who do these Dublin blokes think they are, paying tribute to New York City, blues and jazz musicians? Hell, they can’t even get the names of our American towns right. This is just a fun song, though, and does anyone really have a problem with B.B. King getting to sing the chorus? Also, you can sub in “Angel Of Harlem” for this choice and I won’t mind. 


  1. The Refugee

War, 1983

Early, angry and idealistic Bono. This is when U2 sounded an awful lot like The Alarm and Big Country, but stood out just enough.

  1. Even Better Than The Real Thing

Achtung Baby, 1991

See # 31. 


  1. Hawkmoon 269

Rattle And Hum, 1988

This song evokes images of wide-open spaces, which fits, because the title purportedly comes from a North Dakota town through which the band passed while on tour. The problem is that there is no Hawkmoon, North Dakota. There is a Blackhawk, South Dakota, though. Blackhawk, 269?


  1. Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of

All That You Can’t Leave Behind, 2000

Bono wrote this song as a fictional argument between himself and his mate Michael Hutchence, lead singer of INXS, who had committed suicide a few years earlier. He’s said that he felt he owed it to Hutchence not to pay tribute with “some stupid soppy song.” It all came out of a gospel melody The Edge had been working on.


Mysterious Ways

Achtung Baby, 1991

I’ve never been a monster fan of most of the lead singles from most of U2’s albums (e.g., “Desire” from Rattle and Hum). This tune pushed “Staring At The Sun,” “Lemon,” “Numb,” and countless others off the list. And though the list is heavy on songs from this album and The Joshua Tree, I’ll make no apologies. It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright…

  1. 40 (Live)

Under A Blood Red Sky, 1983

Before there was “One” or “All I Want Is You,” this was U2’s emblematic slow-it-down anthem. The closing tune off Live at Red Rocks proved that the band understood how to slow your pulse while lifting your heart.