In Las Vegas the Washington Capitals and Alexander Ovechkin at last broke their maiden, winning the first Stanley Cup game of Ovi’s fabulous career. The Russian scored one goal in the 2-1 win but everyone was babbling about net minder Braden Holtby’s game-saving save late in the third period. Series knotted at 1-1 as we return to the Capital aboard Ovi Force One.
Trump now claims that he did not fire James Comey because of Russia. That is a lie. Here’s the video of him admitting the opposite. This is dangerously Orwellian gaslighting aimed at degrading the concept of objective truth. pic.twitter.com/g9BEQXWgSK
His name is Juan Soto, he’s only 19, he’s been in The Show for less than a month and he’s already batting leadoff for the first-place Washington Nationals. Soto, of the Dominican Republic, is hitting .375 with an OBP of .459 and an OPS above 1.0. He won’t turn 20 until October 25, by which time he may be playing left field in the World Series.
5. The Walking Dead (Updates)
That’s Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, who was reported murdered by forces in the Kremlin on Tuesday and then showed up at a press conference in the Ukraine on Wednesday (now THAT is a commitment to duty). Babchenko staged his own murder story to, well, we’re not sure why, but we’re sure the Kremlin may be happy at a later date to amend this false narrative.
Lincoln, who is British, will no longer have to work on that slight Southern twang any more
Meanwhile, in other Walking Dead news, series star Andrew Lincoln has announced that he is leaving the show. We left it about two seasons ago when it became overly redundant and sadistic.
The Show Must Go On
In 1973 Leo Sayer, who co-wrote this tune, released it and would perform it live dressed as a French clown. Just a year later Three Dog Night covered Sayer’s tune and had a much bigger hit with it, peaking at No. 4 on the Billboard charts. That circusy jingle you hear at the beginning is called “Entrance of the Gladiators” and was composed in 1897 by Czech composer Julius Fucik.
You’ll notice that Sayer sings, “I won’t let the show go on,” while Three Dog Night sings, “I must let the show go on.”
Cavs at Dubs: Game 1
9 p.m. ESPN
Live look-in at the Cavaliers’ chances of winning
If we line these series up next to the Rocky films, isn’t this the one in which LeBron goes to Siberia to train? Livin’ in America, eye to eye, station to station….
A nasty tweet stating a former female Obama aide, Valerie Jarrett, was the progeny of the Muslim brotherhood and the Planet of The Apes. ABC acted swiftly, canceling Roseanne Barr‘s eponymous sitcom reboot. Now she’s blaming her tweet on Ambien…as our old friend @StevieCade tweeted, perhaps the Rockets should use that excuse for their Game 7 shooting.
2. Is Bryan Lyin’?
Last night The Ringerran with a story that insinuates that Philadelphia 76ers GM Bryan Colangelo operated perhaps five burner Twitter accounts that he used to spread gossip about the team’s own players and even share information that had not been made public. The Sixers copped to two accounts—the only two The Ringer shared with the Sixers when they placed their call of inquiry.
Colangelo, 52, is the son of legendary NBA exec Jerry Colangelo, who launched the Phoenix Suns, was president of USA Basketball (during its post-2004 resurrection), and who was installed as a sort of Mr. Wolf to the Sixers a few years ago to oversee “The Process.” Maybe Bryan never felt loved there because his pops got him the gig?
The bigger question is, Was this real journalism or not-fully-completed reporting? There’s a lot to suggest that The Ringer is onto the truth, but they have not actually proven their case, which a well-reported story is supposed to do. As Jason Robards famously told Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford, “You haven’t got it.”
3. The Good Shepherd
In a news room full of sycophants for Donald Trump, Shepherd Smith alone seems to get it (not that there aren’t a newsroom full of sycophants for Obama across Sixth Avenue at MSNBC, but there is more than a whiff of difference between the two presidents’ ardor for honesty). When the Great American Fact-Out finally ends, he alone will be able to exit the Newscorp. Building with his coif held high.
With a sunset to the west that seems perfectly situated between the skyscrapers followed shortly thereafter by a full moon rising from the east, this is an ideal week for celestial-bodies lovers to be inhabiting Manhattan. Sure, we cannot see many stars due to the sheer amount of artificial light emanating from our streets and buildings, but we do have this.
If you’re here, 57th or 34th Streets are the best roads on which to experience this.
5. What If LeBron Joined The Warriors?
He’s going to be a free agent (again) this summer and he’ll turn 34 in December and he can more than afford to accept a deal that won’t financially cripple a team’s roster AND he probably wants to win another NBA ring or two (which he most likely won’t do in the next fortnight, barring an injury to Kevin Durant or Klay Thompson). So why wouldn’t LeBron James, alias “Sweet Pea” on this site, join the Golden State Warriors (alias “the SuperVillains”)?
The Jazz may be the West’s best non-Dubs team that is not filled with divas.
The Boston Celtics would not want him. The Sixers are too dysfunctional (see No. 2). The Lakers and the Clippers are not headed to the NBA Finals any time soon. Gregg Popovich would not want the Drama. The Rockets? Maybe, but they already have two divas. We actually ruminated on this for awhile on Monday and our three best choices for LeBron, if he wants to at least return to the NBA Finals, are one of the two teams in this series or the up-and-coming Utah Jazz (who have the best rim protector he’d ever have played with in Rudy Gobert and a burgeoning, selfless All-Star in Donovan Mitchell).
But what if LeBron were to join Steph, Draymond, KD, Klay and Kerr and promised to just be himself and sign on for two seasons with an option for a third? And what if Adam Silver did not block it? If he really wants to play in the NBA Finals and, secondarily, live in California, here’s his golden opportunity.
Also, we are not just saying this to troll our most loyal female reader, but just to bring it to light: If Michael Jordan had never gone off to have a torrid but ultimately unsatisfying affair with baseball, he likely would have WON eight NBA Finals in a row. Not made eight NBA Finals in a row. Won them.
Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
Ezra Koenig went from growing up on the Upper West Side, to migrating to northern New Jersey, to returning to the UWS to attend Columbia, to teaching at a public school in Brooklyn, to fronting the alternative rock band Vampire Weekend. This was the fourth single off their monster 2008 eponymous debut album, which naturally appeared on the Columbia Records label.
Stanley Cup, Game 2
Caps at Knights
8 p.m. NBC SN
If the game is as entertaining as the Medieval Times on Ice pregame spectacular, you’re in for a treat.
Cleveland will meet Golden State in the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive time. That’s never happened in NBA, NFL, MLB or NHL history.
It didn’t come easy. The Cavs and Dubs both needed to win Game 7s on the road. While the HOFers on both teams displayed mettle, they got help from the upstarts. Boston went ice cold in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter and shot 7-39 from beyond the arc in Game 7 (Terry Rozier was 0-10). Houston, meanwhile, set an NBA record with 27 consecutive misses from beyond the arc in Game 7, shooting 7-44.
Still, credit both the Cavs and Dubs from overcoming 3-2 deficits and the Dubs especially for overcoming double-digit halftime deficits in both Games 6 and 7. In the second halves of both games, Golden State outscored Houston by a combined 58 points.
2. Gareth Bale-Out
Goal No. 1
The Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid was knotted 1-1 in Kiev after 60 minutes when the Spanish side decided to sub in Gareth Bale. In the match’s final 29 minutes he scored two goals and nearly got a hat trick in leading Real to its third consecutive Champions League championship.
Goal No. 2 (above)
Because Bale is Welsh and the Wales must qualify as its own nation as opposed to being part of Great Britain, you won’t be seeing him in Russia when the World Cup begins in a little more than two weeks.. That’s a shame.
3. Jakob’s Ladder
Norway is not renowned for producing great milers. Finland, yes (Paavo Nurmi). And yes, Grete Waitz was Norwegian but she was a marathoner.
Well, now it has. At the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene last Saturday 17 year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen crushed it with a 3:52 mile. Last year on this same track on this same weekend Ingebrigtsen ran a 3:58, becoming the first 16 year-old ever to crack sub-4 (legally) and also the first person born in the 2000s to do so.
A flash flood in Ellicot City, Maryland, about 13 miles west of Baltimore, caused major damage and swept away at least one National Guard member. Said Maryland governor Larry Hogan, “They say this is a once in every 1,000 years flood, and we’ve had two of them in two years.”
5. Will Power + Horse Power = Checkered Flag
After a crash with 12 laps to go in the Indianapolis 500, the cars went under the yellow. On the restart a few laps later Will Power, who finished 2nd three years ago with the Penske team, surged ahead and won easily. The 37 year-old Aussie was the runner-up in 2015 by just 1/10th of a second.
Day By Day
This hit from the 1972 musical Godspell was released as a single and reached No. 13 on the Billboard charts and every middle school talent show in the U.S.A. that year had two earnest girls performing it. In the single release, the vocal credits went to the cast of the show—lead singer Robin Lamont was not individually credited. She’d later go on to appear in the Seventies horror classic He Knows You’re Alone, then earn a law degree and become a district attorney in Westchester County (now we feel incredibly slothful).
Steve Martin & Martin Short
An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life
It’s hard to appreciate, if you were not around for it, what a superstar Steve Martin became in the late 1970s. His concerts sold out as if he were Taylor Swift and “A Wild And Crazy Guy” was an album you actually wanted to own (“Some people have a way with words; others………not have way“). Anyway, at about the same time Martin Short was making a name for himself as this quirky comic on SCTV, a Toronto-based sketch comedy show which would air on Friday nights late on NBC and which was in danger of upstaging SNL—so Lorne Michaels, a Canadian himself, poached Short from the cast as a two-fer. Anyway, here they are with their own two-man live show.
We’ll stop short of calling this the best sports weekend of the year, but it certainly may be the most eclectic. Just a few of the happenings: Champions League Final, Real Madrid vs. Liverpool, from Kiev (Saturday, 2:30 p.m., Fox), NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Semifinals, Albany-Yale followed by Duke-Maryland (Saturday, Noon, ESPN), Monaco Grand Prix (Sunday, 9:05 a.m., ESPN), Indianapolis 500 (Sunday, noon, ABC), French Open, opening round (Sunday, noon, NBC), Coca-Cola 600 (Sunday, 6 p.m., Fox), Major League Baseball (ESPN will televise back-to-back-to-back games Monday, beginning with Astros-Yankees at 1 p.m. with Justin Verlander on the hill), AND, beginning tonight and going straight through Monday if both series go to Game 7, Celtics-Cavs (Fri.), Rockets-Dubs (Sat.), Cavs-Celtics (Sun.) and Dubs-Rockets (Mon.).
Do try to step away from the television, though.
2. The “No Fun League” Becomes The “Now Fine League”
It was Neil Armstrong who invoked, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind (who was his writer?),” while it was Colin Kaepernnick who took one small knee for justice, but where will that lead? Yesterday it led to the NFL announcing that beginning this season, teams will be fined if players kneel during the anthem (our suggestion: Stand during the anthem with your back to the flag), but that players will be allowed to remain in the locker room during the anthem (out of sight, out of mind).
Of course, President Hypocrite praised the ruling, going so far as to say that those who kneel “should not be in the country.” Blind loyalty to the flag is the exact opposite of patriotism. Freedom is patriotism, and with freedom comes the ability to disagree with the majority, no matter how unpopular your stance (even if your stance is to not stand) may be, as long as you do so non-violently. Which is what kneeling is.
Anyway, our two suggestions for NFL players who want to protest now not just police killing of black men but overt submission via Roger Goodell: 1) stand, but do not face the flag or 2) write a note to the league office saying that you are unable to stand during the anthem due to painful bone spurs in your feet.
3. Judge For Yourself
Yankee slugger Aaron Judge told ESPN that he would not partake in the Home Run Derby during All-Star festivities this July in Washington, D.C., adding, “Pressure [on me to comply] won’t do anything.”
Bully for him. Last year Judge hit 30 home runs and was hitting .329 in the 84 games prior to the All-Star break. He then won the Home Run Derby. In the first 60 games after that, he hit just 14 home runs and batted .195. It was as if his bat was corked with Kryptonite.
Currently, Judge is batting .284 with 13 home runs and has the fourth-best OBP in the American League. Pen him in as a starting outfielder in the All-Star Game along with Mookie Betts and Mike Trout.
Yesterday afternoon on one of ESPN’s incessantly insipid gab fests (the one with Marcellus Wiley), they bemoaned this decision, and I believe Wiley said something like, “He HAS to do it.” He really doesn’t. And he really shouldn’t.
4. Harvey Weinstein: Lost In New York
Movie mogul monster Harvey Weinstein finally turned himself into police in Manhattan at the 1s Precinct this morning, was arrested, and charged with rape. He was then released on bail at $1 million.
Yesterday, to quote the site Mediaite, “The Department of Health and Human Services informed Congress yesterday that they had lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant kids the agency was responsible for placing with American sponsors.”
Oops. We suspect at least three of them are sleeping in Kramer’s dresser drawers, but where are the rest? Most of these children are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, so they have not likely been kidnapped by NBA draft scouts. But they may be pawns in a vicious game of human trafficking.
Quickly, because we have a 12-hour day of serving burgers and beers outside ahead of us (Do you people have ANY IDEA what I sacrifice for you each morning??? We know, we know, no one is forcing us): James Harden is 0-fer-20 from beyond the arc in Houston’s past two games and the Rockets have won both. Go figure…Amazon ($153.2 billion) passes Disney ($152.9 billion) in terms of total market cap. Let the paradigm shift begin.
Can’t Find My Way Home
If you ever have the chance, see the 1985 film Fandango, starring very young versions of Kevin Costner, Judd Nelson and Suzy Amis. It’s set in 1970 Texas and this song by Blind Faith closes out the film. That’s Steve Winwood, the song’s writer, on vocals.
Game 6: Celtics at Cavs
8:30 p.m. ESPN
The first of two times this weekend people may be asking, “Is this LeBron’s final game in a Cavalier uniform?” Unless you live in Maryland, and you may ask, “Will Sweet Pea ever shave his beard?”
Update: The Fighting Sweet Peas lost in Boston. We’ll return for Game 7 on Sunday. Til then, we’ll let Susie B. provide coverage in the comments. YAWN.
O’er The Land Of The Free
Two headlines, one right above the other, on ESPN.com this a.m.
“Trump: NFL ‘Doing The Right Thing’ With Anthem”
“Video Shows Tasing, Arrest of Bucks’ Brown”
First off, if Donald Trump can recite the words of the Star-Spangled Banner, much less tell us to what the song pertains other than “MURICA!,” we’d be shocked. Second, when a four-time draft dodger gets uppity about respecting the military, much less the flag, the only salute he’s worthy of is an old-fashioned Italian-American mo’fongu.
Third, the Sterling Brown incident is so commonplace these days that YouTube oughta launch a second channel devoted solely to “Black Men Being Pulled Over.” The issue isn’t the law in these situations; it’s control, it’s humiliation, it’s…dominance.
So now Roger Goodell, in all his wisdom, has bequeathed that if you don’t stand for the flag, referees will throw a flag. The players and the more enlightened owners (and even the refs) would demonstrate a great deal of understanding if players from both sides knelt during the anthem (offsetting penalties).
2. Death In Yosemite
We were incredulous after we took in this view at the cables on the base of Half Dome last August and learned that no one had died there since 2011 (understand, it’s a 9-mile hike one way just to reach this point). That statistic changed Monday, as a man fell to his death while ascending the cables in a thunderstorm.
Alaska: Thrilling, yes. Drilling, no.
We still love that national parks allow us to pursue adventure, sometimes to the point of fatality. It sort of makes a greater point about the planet we inhabit. Meanwhile, here’s a fantastic story in The New York Times about a couple that has visited all 417 U.S. national park sites (there are 60 national parks).
Which reminds us: We’ll take “America The Beautiful” over “The Star-Spangled Banner” every day of the week.
3. ALL CAPS
Ovechkin is not just a pretty face; wait, “is just not a pretty face.”
When the week began, Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals trailed 3 games to 2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Prince of Wales Conference final. But they won Game 6 at home and last night, in Tampa (Tampa Bay is not actually a city but rather a body of water), skated past the Lightning 4-0 to advance.
For Alex Ovechkin, the greatest player of his generation this side of the blue line of Sidney Crosby (arguably better: Sid The Kid, 411 goals and 705 assists ; Ove, 607 and 515, it’s his first Stanley Cup final trip in his 13-season career. It’s a great day for the NHL. Washington takes on Las Vegas and we don’t know which city more deserves the nom de place of “Sin City.” But we do know you cannot spell “sincerity” without “Sin City,” without even rearranging the letters.
4. It’s Over, Time (Inc.)
As a former Time-Lifer, someone whose first real post-college job entailed walking into the Time-Life Building on the corner of 50th and 6th each morning (the same building into which Don Draper strolled when Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce was formed), this oral history on the decline of Time, Inc., is a melancholy read. The building that once held Life, Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, People, Entertainment Weekly and Money is now a ghost ship, as are those very magazines.
You’d walk down to the second-floor cafeteria (“The Caf”) and stroll down a long hall way on whose walls were some of the most famous photographs of the 20th century (it was Life magazine that purchased the Zapruder film and then did not show every frame due to its graphic nature).
Every periodical has its period, we guess. If you’re a magazine nerd
5. Flake News
Photo taken in past 24 hours. This is the smile of a Republican legislator who hasn’t sold his soul to the president.
Outgoing Arizona senator Jeff Flake (GOP, but not MAGA) delivered an address to the graduates of Harvard Law school at their commencement yesterday:
I do bring news from our nation’s capital. First, the good news: Your national leadership is … not good. At all. Our presidency has been debased. By a figure who has a seemingly bottomless appetite for destruction and division. And only a passing familiarity with how the Constitution works.
This is, in the Eighties, what we’d refer to as a “Benetton ad.”
“Now, you might reasonably ask, where is the good news in that? Well, simply put: We may have hit bottom. Oh, and that’s also the bad news. In a rare convergence, the good news and bad news are the same: Our leadership is not good, but it probably can’t get much worse.”
The bad news would be if Flake is wrong. If we have not hit rock bottom. Time will tell.
Dance With Me
Some 70s songs, for worse and not for better, you will never be able to evict from your memory. This 1975 tune from Orleans, a band that was formed in Woodstock, N.Y. in 1972, reached No. 6 on the charts. The following year they’d release an even bigger hit (Can you guess it?) with….
…..”Still The One.”
Game 5: Dubs at Rockets
9 p.m. TNT
The TNT pre- and post-game crew is still riding a crest (that they’ve been riding for nearly two decades). As for the game, we probably should not watch as the laissez-faire refereeing will upset our anally-minded self too much. Suffice it to say that the Dubs blew a 12-point 4th quarter lead on Tuesday when they could have put this series on ice. Now they’ll have to win again in Houston.
Maybe it happened so long ago that you do not recall: 10 years ago this September began a massive Wall Street downward spiral that was precipitated by the naked greed of mortgage companies and BIG BANKS with the complicit acquiescence of federal regulators. It was the worst financial event since the Great Depression and it caused a few of us to become adept at asking “May I take your order?” while the very men who lit the fire took a $20 billion helping hand from Uncle Sam.
Oh, the bankers were very contrite but no one lost their home in Amagansett or Bridgehampton. Heavens, no. In the wake of this awful event Congress passed Dodd Frank, a measure aimed at protecting investment banks from their avarice, Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote Too Big To Fail, and American filmgoers got one fantastic, shoulda-won-Best-Picture film, The Big Short (based on the book by Michael Lewis).
And then a funny thing happened. The economy took off, the Dow Jones nearly QUADRUPLED in value (read that again), Sorkin created a popular Showtime series called Billions that basks in the glow of the post-subprime trough of wealth and only yesterday stories came out showing that U.S. banks had recorded record quarterly profits for the first quarter of 2018.
But also yesterday: news that Congress will soon pass the repeal of most of Dodd-Frank and that President MAGA will sign it. With Wall Street, too much is never enough. The Big Short II should be a good movie, though.
2. This Isn’t Basketball
No one is better at exploiting refs than James Harden, who for some reason here is hooking Stephen Curry as he drives past him
While much of Twitter was agog over Draymond Green being rejected on a dunk by the rim or by the fact that Kevin Durant passed up a final shot and the chance to be the hero, this scribe once more found himself turning away from Rockets-Dubs after every few plays because once again the quality of play just sucked.
The players don’t suck; they’re phenomenally gifted. The NBA has never seen more talented shooters or more sublime physical specimens than it now has. But they travel on nearly every play. They hold each other (off-ball defending) on nearly every play. Screeners behave like offensive tackles, moving defenders out of the way (I noticed screeners holding their forearms up at throat level last night). Dribblers palm the ball on nearly every play.
Props to The Big Lead’s Bobby Burackfor calling out the fact that the NBA has become a cult of personality and that the emperor is actually wearing no jersey right now, but it’s about more than the blowout scores in these playoffs or the incessantly childish MJ vs. LeBron debates. It’s about the fact that what we’re seeing out there right now only bares a passing resemblance to basketball.
Back in the Seventies, when we were growing up and before political correctness was discovered, we LOVED basketball. We’d play every single afternoon and if there was no one to play with, we’d play an entire full court game ourselves at a local church, pretending to be all 10 of the NBA stars on the court (and we knew all of them). We could go from mimicking Jamal Wilkes bizarre jumper to doing Kareem’s sky hook.
James Harden with the rare feat of casually traveling after catching the pass AND after he picks up his dribblepic.twitter.com/4tOBcwZ8Q1
During that same time, when we saw people playing basketball in the manner you’re watching right now, holding on defense or taking extra steps, we called it “Jungle Ball.” Go ahead and tsk tsk us, but it was the Seventies. Still, that was the term and it was meant in a derogatory fashion as if to say, “If you cannot play the game the right way…” (and sure, you may interpret that as, “If you cannot play the game the white way…”, but nowhere does it say that just because you can dunk means you can also defend your opponent as if you’re a linebacker).
Anyway, last October we had the chance to interview the NBA’s new (2nd year) President of League Operations, Bryon Spruell (a fellow Domer and a former Notre Dame team captain in football) for a profile on his life. At the end of the interview we asked him point blank, “Will you PLEASE do something about calling traveling?” He smiled and said they were working on it.
They’re not working hard enough on it. And yes, the NBA is very popular with the male 18-34 demo, and maybe they don’t care that they’re losing people like me. But they are.
One last note: A few seasons ago the Warriors ushered in the most beautiful style of offensive hoops we’d ever seen. The best since Magic started passing the ball around like a wizard in the early Eighties. And our theory is that gradually the NBA figured out that the only way to slow the Warriors down was to hold them as they made their cuts or slid off screens. This grab-ass defense is the league’s response to Golden State’s unstoppable offense. And the refs are just too unwilling to whistle a foul on every play.
3. False Flag Operation
The NFL is actually mulling a rule change that would make it a 15-yard penalty, to be imposed on the kickoff, for a team whose members kneel during the national anthem. We assume Roger Goodell and his Wealthy Old White Zombies Association (WOWZA) believe this would be an offensive penalty.
In related news, Johnny Manziel signed a free agent contract with a CFL team while Colin Kaepernick is probably still working out at Chelsea Piers.
Okay, we’ve already editorialized way too much this morning, but here’s the thing about old, rich billionaires: it’s not enough to get their way, they have to thumb everyone who dares oppose them into submission (hello, Iraq War), even when that face-down-position-knee-to-the-neck hold they put on you works to their own detriment. If they had just let this go the “movement” would have quickly subsided.
But, by drawing this line in the sand, by telling players that we will not only control what you do, but how you behave in our luxurious stadiums (paid for by taxpayer money), they’ve simply given the fire more oxygen. They’re almost daring the players to revolt against them in order to show them who’s boss. Have they seen the Planet of the Apes films? Don’t they know how this ends?
Here’s hoping players from both teams take a knee, and that a prominent quarterback or two, even a coach, joins them. Taking a knee, in this environment, is the best way to say that you love this country, because it is an homage to the very civil disobedience against unscrupulous authoritarian rule on which this very country was founded.
White people have such a short memory. Sad!
4. When Metaphors Show Up On Your Lawn
Outside the White House, a sink hole.
5. When Shera Met Donald
The problem with President Trump is that, among other things, he keeps cutting himself with Occam’s Razor. Which of these two scenarios is more probable/plausible:
A) California billionaire Elliott Broidy impregnates a former Playboy playmate, Shera Bechard, and pays her off to keep silent and to get an abortion, but instead of simply doing that, he has the money wired to her through a New York-based fixer of zero repute and pays her $1.6 million in eight $200,000 installments because no one knows who she is and no one knows who he is, and no one cares, so he’d want to keep this quiet, or….
B) California billionaire Elliott Broidy has a deal contingent with a pair of Middle East countries that could net him more than $600 million if he can demonstrate to them that he has Donald Trump’s ear. And just one day before he meets with Donald Trump (December 2, 2017) to close that deal, the president’s fixer offers him a tit-for-tat (“Sure, we’ll work with you, but you gotta take the fall if news of this payout to Shera Bechard ever goes public”).
Considering Trump’s well-known penchant for adultery and porn stars or Playmates, we’re going to go with Option B. As laid out here.
Released in 1975, this song was written by Stevie Nicks in a living room in Aspen, Colorado, as she looked out at the Rocky Mountains (Is that why it sounds so much like a John Denver tune?) and contemplated whether she should return to school or keep scuffing at this musical partnership she had formed with guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. The duo soon after joined Fleetwood Mac, put this song on their first album together (Fleetwood Mac) and after nine albums that did little, that album produced three Top 20 singles—none of which were this song.
The Thin Man
8 p.m. TCM
Every TV or film whodunnit comedy featuring a his-and-her sleuthing team—Moonlighting, Hart To Hart, Castle, etc.—they all took their cue from this fantastic 1934 film starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. You’ll see a lot of Roger Sterling (to be clear, John Slattery borrowed from Powell) in Powell’s portrayal of Nick Charles (this is a man who in real life was married to Carole Lombard and later engaged to Jean Harlow, two of the three or four most beautiful actresses of the ’30s [we did not forget you, Marlene Dietrich]). This film is effortlessly witty and fun, plus a decent mystery, and if you look closely, you’ll see the tall, dashing actor who would later play The Joker on the Sixties Batman TV series.
The life of a college football coach. Former head coach at the University of Montana, now an offensive analyst at Oklahoma State.
Say what you will about LeBron James (and one of our readers will surely say plenty), but at age 33 he is arguably having the best postseason of his career and now has the Cavs in a best-of-3 versus the Celtics to advance to the NBA Finals. Last night he put up 44 in a Game 4 win.
A judge in Oregon has ordered the 15 year-old minor who started last year’s Eagle Creek fire, which burned 48,000 acres of land in the Pacific Northwest, to pay a fine of $36,000,000. No joke.
The teen inadvertently started the blaze when he threw a firecracker in the woods, which is all kinds of stupid. But maybe they should have imposed a lighter fine, like cutting off the arm with which he tossed the incendiary stick. Either way, he’s willing to pick up any extra shifts at Panera all summer.
MH staffers checked the archives for the harshest punishment a teen has ever endured and the best we could come up with is when Richie Cunningham was “grounded for life” by Mr. C for taking dad’s car.
3. Deaths In America, 2018
We just thought we’d update you on dangers, real and imagined. All of these fatality statistics are for the current year, as up to date as we can make them:
By SHARK: ……………………………………………….0
By GRIZZLY BEAR…………………………………….0
By OPIOIDs………………………………………………. > 16,000
Of course we would not be responsible journalists if we failed to disclose the details of that rattlesnake fatality that occurred on Sunday, April 29. Barry Lester and his wife were driving some Oklahoma back roads to on their way to Keystone Lake to celebrate his 57th birthday. Lester spotted a timber rattler in the road and stopped to remove it.
Bad idea. When he picked up the snake, it bit him on his left hand. Then Lester moved the snake to his other hand, and it bit him on his right hand. He died on the way to the hospital.
And so, with one fatal rattlesnake bite every four months in the U.S.A., it’s easy to understand why states such as Texas and Oklahoma are well-known for their rattlesnake roundups. But with 5,500 gun fatalities in the same amount of time, GET YOUR FILTHY HANDS OFF MY GUN YOU ELITIST SNOWFLAKE!
4. Brandi, Show Us Your Bust
No, not that bust. The one they molded of you for your induction into the Bay Area Sports Hall Of Fame (BASHOF). Wow.
Brandi Chastain is one of the most beautiful athletes I’ve ever covered. How this became her plaque is a freaking embarrassment for BASHOF. Makes Cristiano’s look perfect. pic.twitter.com/hta6c0cmSo
They won’t allow gays in the military but they will allow this every spring. Yesterday at the Naval Academy they conducted the Herndon Climb, the scaling of a 21-foot obelisk on post that officially signals the end of plebe year, as they have every year since 1959. Plebe Shawn Chapman got to be man on tap and it only took 2 hours and 9 minutes an 23 seconds to do so.
Mike Pence recommends conversion therapy.
(Related: Does the Naval Academy need a few more African-American plebes? We bet they could cut this record in half.)
Our semi-frequent update on how Chesapeake Energy (CHK) is the most worthwhile yo-yo stock worth tracking (worth fracking?).
Price of CHK on May 3: $2.87
Price of CHK this morning: $4.75
That’s a 66% jump in less than three weeks. We regret to say we only took small advantage of this precipitous climb. But there will be a next time. There always is with CHK.
Walking With A Ghost
Calgary-born twins Tegan and Sara Quin are better known simply as Tegan and Sara. This 2004 album was later covered by White Stripes.
Rockets at Warriors, Game 4
9 p.m. TNT
Steph returned to form with a 35-point Game 3
13. 22. 41. It’s like watching one tennis match take place on two different courts. Or a horse race between two races on concentric tracks. The gaps in the final scores keep widening like a Kilauea fissure.
Houston police chief Art Acevado had some blunt words about “thoughts and prayer” in the wake of the murders of 10 people in an art class at Santa Fe (Texas) High School on Friday.
“I know some have strong feelings about gun rights but I want you to know I’ve hit rock bottom and I am not interested in your views as it pertains to this issue,” Acevedo wrote in a Facebook post. “Please do not post anything about guns aren’t the problem and there’s little we can do.”
Acevado singled out “the elected officials that ran to the cameras today, acted in a solemn manner, called for prayers, and will once again do absolutely nothing.”
I will continue to speak up and will stand up for what my heart and my God commands me to do, and I assure you he hasn’t instructed me to believe that gun rights are bestowed by him.”
By the way, has anyone noticed that when a white male teen massacres his classmates, he is “mentally ill” but that when a Muslim man kills a white man, he is “an evil doer.” I guess white kids cannot be evil? Is that it?
This is Italian actress Asia Argento and this could not have been easy to do.
3. My Kinda Lava
In Hawaii, on the Big Island, another fissure opens and sends plumes of lava skyward and then into the Pacific Ocean. Nature continues to amaze. Of course your news networks still cover this solely as a “danger to humans” story, as if, Boy, wouldn’t it be great if volcanoes did no erupt? as opposed to basking in the wonder of it all, or bothering to explain why volcanoes erupt (Because God wants them to, of course, or To punish evil-doers).
And so we return to the hubris of man based on some stories repeated around campfires a few millennia back that took on the power of dogma and have forever doomed man to thinking that, even if the earth does revolve around the sun (an admission man only came around to making a few hundred years ago), everything else still revolves around man.
It doesn’t. Get over yourselves.
4. Finally, Some Good Animal News
In Chad’s Zakouma National Park, the elephant population is making a comeback. The population had been reduced from 4,000 elephants more than a decade ago to some 400 as poachers massacred elephants for ivory and even killed seven rangers who were there to protect the magnificent beasts. Now Chad’s president, Idriss Deby, has rededicated efforts to protect them and the population is back up over 1,000.
Also, the black rhino, which had been rendered extinct in Chad, has been reintroduced there. These are where Nobel Peace Prizes should be awarded, not to tiny-fingered, orange-faced tyrants.
By the way, you may find this extremely difficult to believe, but do you want to know what the major threat to the continued existence of these incredible creatures is, besides man himself? If you answered GUNS, you are correct.
5. Viva Las Vegas
The Golden Knights of Las Vegas, who did not exist one year ago, have advanced to the Stanley Cup finals where they just might meet the Tampa Bay Lightning. Las Vegas is a city where you are far more likely to spot ICE than ice, but this is where we are at.
If you’re scoring at home, the Toronto Maple Leafs last advanced to the Stanley Cup finals in 1967.
Not that you care, but we are watching the entire series of The West Wingfor the first time (we’d seen scrambled episodes here and there before). This scene that we watched over the weekend is just loaded with outstanding writing and while Richard Schiff’s Toby is written as your least favorite character among the main ones (at least he’s mine), there’s no mistaking what a true pro he is.
After this moment, and I cannot find it on YouTube, Martin Sheen’s Jed Bartlet goes off on how important it is that they stress education, that being an “elite” does not make you a feckless wank but how education is the door through which all the disenfranchised and poor must walk in order to get ahead, or get their family ahead. I believe some members of the GOP heard this rant and immediately designed a defense plan against such a happening, and here we have Orange Alert as our president.
When Will I Be Loved
The year 1960 had a number of hits whose titles you may know better as a release from another artist (for instance, did you know that in that year Neil Sedaka had a big hit with a song titled “Stairway To Heaven”?). The Everly Brothers had a No. 8 hit with this tune in 1960 but 15 years later Linda Ronstadt rocked it a little harder and took it to No. 2 (she also had a hit a few years later with a cover of The Hollies “Can’t Let Go” ). What a powerful voice she had, no?
10:15 p.m. TCM
8:30 p.m. ESPN
If you’re, say, under the age of 40 (or under the age of dead) and you still have never seen Casablanca, do yourself (and the rest of us) a favor. Next thing you know, you may just realize that the world did not begin in 1980. Who knows? You may start running “Greatest 2-Sport Athlete” lists on your blog without putting in an “-after 1960” qualifier because, you know, having to go back and look stuff up is hard.
Hepburn, left; Babe looking on, right
By the way, there was film on TCM Saturday night called Pat and Mike that starred Kathryn Hepburn as a woman’s golfer (she did her own stunts; Kate was a magnificent athlete, too) and there’s an entire 10 minutes devoted to a match play championship between her character and the real-life, playing herself, Babe Zaharias.
Things I decided to say here so as not to subject it to Twitter followers. I’m just firing off these ideas in any old random way, as if my brain has a bump stock. Comment as you will.
The first and MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember in all of this: guns are the instrument, they are not the causation. I’m all for making guns far more difficult to obtain for persons under age 25 (and completely off-limits to anyone under 21), but guns are not the cause of the epidemic. They simply facilitate it.
Second: I’m 51. A younger person reading this may roll his or her eyes and shoot a GOML, but I’m willing to listen to them if they’re willing to listen to me. Being older doesn’t necessarily make you dumber. In some bizarre and remote cultures, older people are actually considered wise. So, to commence:
1. The Death of Community: In schools, in neighborhoods, everywhere. When a sense of community dies, individuals get left behind. First, they get lonely. Some get angry. And many no longer feel accountable to anyone else because they really don’t believe that anyone cares about them. Which leads to how community dies…
2. Let’s Begin With Your Smartphone and Your Earbuds: How many young people do you encounter who are just completely disengaged from the actual world in which they are taking part? I’m not blaming them; this is the technological world into which they were raised (in my era, our parents yelled at us for watching too much television).
Still, wearing ear buds more often than not or checking your smart phone when dining out with your family, as just one example, is yet another opportunity to build community that is lost. And finding “community” on line is no substitute for real community.
3. The Internet Has Made America One Big High School: Thirty years ago you cared about maybe being popular inside your high school. Now you post selfies of yourself on Instagram and crave a greater level of fame. It’s almost as if fame, or infamy, is the only satisfaction that will do.
4. The Internet Has Made Us All Narcissists: We’re far more interested in being praised or at least respected on line than we are by our physical neighbors. Again, a disconnect between humanity/reality and what we experience online.
5. The Amazon-ing of Things: You don’t have to go anywhere to get what you want, and you don’t have to have anything except exactly what you already know that you like. Americans, more than any other culture, live a Burger King (“Have it your way”) life style. That’s capitalism doing its job, but the residual effects are a more isolated, more insulated, more spoiled and far more arrogant culture.
We don’t share. We don’t play well with others. We quit if things don’t go our way right away. We care less about doing what’s right than about doing what we want. We’re frankly more selfish and far less compassionate. Again, the destruction of any sense of community.
6. Music: Oh, man, I really do feel old even suggesting this and I’m not even taking aim at rap and hip-hop. What I am suggesting is that music SUCKS now. I mean, the 10th-worst band of my childhood would be headlining any summer festival these days. Jack White (whom I love) is gonna clean up this summer but I guarantee-damn-tee you he doesn’t have one song off his new album that anyone will be humming to themselves a year from now.
Whatever happened to melodies? Whatever happened to music that wasn’t so self-absorbed?
So, yes, this post may put me into the Troglodyte Hall of Fame. But in my heart I feel that all of the above is true. And if you don’t know me and someone referred you to this post, please understand that I am as opposed to Fox News and all it stands for as anyone. And I’m happy to hear from you about this.
Two days ago Manhattan attorney Aaron Schlossberg went to a nearby eatery to pick up lunch and the next thing everyone knew he became an episode of Black Mirror.
Schlossberg went viral for a plethora of reasons, one of which is that he embodies white male privilege (no one posts videos of black men in Manhattan barking racist or sexist diatribes, but if you live here…). The other is that, as the YouTube search bears out, he has quite the history of hostile encounters with fellow New Yorkers. He’s as much a rageaholic as he is a racist.
And yet yesterday we found ourselves defending him on Twitter. Not what he had to say, but his right to say it. In New York a Dominican-born State Democrat, Adriano Espaillat, filed a grievance (presumably in English) against Schlossberg with the court system. He was joined by the Bronx borough president, a fellow Democrat named Ruben Diaz, Jr.
“We are sending this grievance to say that you cannot engage in xenophobia, bigotry, hate and get away with it,” said Espaillat. “Such behavior should never be tolerated.”
I’m sorry. You can get away with it and you should. Mr. Schlossberg was not speaking in an official capacity. I mean, imagine if he were the president and in an official meeting referred to those two Mexican employees as “animals.” Anyway, dislike what he said if you like, but defend his right to say it.
(We’ve lived in NYC nearly 30 years. Of course Schlossberg overreacts and is a complete jerk here. But as to the central point, he’s correct: you walk on busy NYC sidewalks the same way you drive, which is to say you stay to the right. Doesn’t mean he was justified in behaving like a jerk, but the man posting this video was not observing proper NYC sidewalk etiquette.)
Why? Because the First Amendment is not here to protect you for those times when you utter compliments (“Nice shirt, have you lost weight?”). It’s for when you say things that people, sometimes a majority of people, vehemently disagree with. And if you libel or slander a particular person, the law provides for pay back.
But when you say something that the majority of people within a certain vicinity strongly oppose (Mr. Schlossberg is probably already being asked to be a guest speaker at Liberty University) and based solely on the grounds that they don’t like it, they want to censor you? F___ that.
We understand the immigration (we’re sorry, ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION issue) issue is a third-rail topic. Truth gets lost in all the emotion. As a New Yorker who works daily with Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, I’m proud to work alongside them and more than a little aware of what great co-workers and people almost all of them are. They’re the engine behind any successful restaurant. But I’ll also defend Mr. Schlossberg’s right to be an arrogant and MAGA-esque jerk.
This is America.
2. Mike Trout Is Baseball’s Yanni/Laurel
Yesterday afternoon we were scrolling through ESPN mobile on our phone to see what time the Yankees would play (they didn’t??? That’s 4 straight nights without a final score?) when we came upon this headline that incited an involuntary shudder: “Mike Trout Is On Pace For the Greatest Season In MLB History.”
But then we read that Trout went 0-4 last night and is mired in an 0-fer-19 slump, the longest hitless streak in his career.
So which is it: Yanni? Or Laurel?
FWIW: Trout is batting .290 and is not in the A.L. top five in home runs, RBI or batting average. He is not having the greatest season in Angel history, much less MLB, and you may argue that teammate Shohei Ohtani is having a better season. So what does this say about the WAR stat?
3. “$885?? (Low Whistle)”
The French recently passed a law in which people may now be fined as much as $885 for wolf-whistling at or cat-calling members of either sex on the street. So be careful how you hail that taxi on the Champs Elysees, mon ami.
Meanwhile, they’re still burning rape victims in India. So, you know…
(The “til death do us part” part will be easy, but the fidelity part may be a challenge). It was a good run (and also a horrific one what with the genocide and the impaling and the slavery and the forced circumcisions, etc.), humanity, but I’m all for going extinct and ceding the planet to the wild creatures. A least they’ll take care of it better than we have.
5. Mind The Gap*
*The judges will also accept “Selfie-Assisted Suicide”
In western Australia, a 20 year-old Australian man died when he attempted to take a selfie atop this popular tourist stop, known as The Gap. He slipped and fell 40 meters and was washed out to sea. As you can see below, there is a man-made bridge that juts out from the plateau so that tourists may take wonderful photos, but this young man made the fatal mistake of wanting to make it a little more risky.
Okay, I probably shouldn’t go here, but I saw a tweet or two this morning on the Schlossberg Affair and without naming names or providing tweets, I wanted to address it.
To begin, I think I’m pretty well established here as someone who for nine summers has worked alongside Mexicans and Mexican-Americans (some documented, some not) and that I hold them in the highest regard as co-workers and friends. And here is the reason I say that: because while there are many racists who are doing the “I’m going to call ICE on you!” rant, and while Schlossberg may well likely be one of these people, the illegal immigration issue is not simply one of Racists vs. Non-Racists.
The same people who consume a non-stop diet of Chris Hayes/Rachel Maddow/Lawrence O’Donnell (and why didn’t he like Jed Bartlet, his own son, anyway? I love Jed Bartlet, but that may be because we attended the same university) and basically bow their heads whenever the term “Constitution” or “rule of law” is uttered are more than happy to look the other way whenever it is pointed out that people are entering the U.S.A. illegally.
Can you have compassion for them? Of course. Might the laws be relaxed? Certainly. Do Mexican and other Latino migrant workers make this economy go? From everything I’ve read, yes. Is cracking down on illegal immigration just a wet kiss to Dumb White America so that they won’t blame Wealthy White America for eliminating their jobs? Probably.
But with all that said, illegal immigration is still exactly that. As soon as this subject comes up, fierce Constitutionalists and “Rule of Law” types get all weepy and emotional and “They’re separating children from their families!” and if you dare ask why people should be allowed to enter this country illegally, you’re called a “Racist.”
That’s what the women in this tweet did this morning. And I know for a fact that she lives in one of the wealthiest communities in the U.S.A., one in which I’m certain the population is either White or NBA star/retiree or Movie Mogul. And so I wonder how this issue ever personally affects her.
It’s totally cool to believe that the immigration laws should be changed. It’s even true that many people believe the racist garbage that Trump spews and support him because of it. But it is possible to want to wade into the illegal immigration issue without being a racist. And the moment people like her decide that you can’t be inquisitive about it without being a racist, all you’re doing is ignoring the issue in favor of an ad homimen attack.
What I’d really love to do is camp out on her front yard until she calls the cops to have me removed, at which point I’ll call her a racist.
Gershon Kingsley originally recorded the version you hear above in 1969 on a Moog synthesizer (later popularized by the Moody Blues and Emerson, Lake and Palmer) but three years later a band named Hot Butter came along and turned this into an international hit. No one knows who was in the band Hot Butter, which is probably for the best for everyone involved.
The Wolf of Wall Street
7 p.m. FX
We’ll admit, we’ve never seen this, and we’re not especially dying to, and at 4 hours here there’s probably a commercial immediately after every sexist joke, but we thought we’d at least alert you to it.