by John Walters

Tweet Du Jour


Starting Five

 It’s Zagitova Time

Like matryoshka dolls, Russian skating phenoms pop out one after the other—and as they age, they become German citizens to retain Olympic status. Last night 15 year-old Alina Zagitova skated to gold in ladies’ free skate for (Olympic Athletes from) Russia while her 17 year-old training partner, two-time defending world champ Yevgenia Medvedeva, earned silver. Last week Aliona Savchenko, originally of Ukraine, was half of the figure skating pairs gold medal duo that won gold in their event.

Zagitova grabbed OAR’s first gold of the Games.

Zagitova and Medvedeva each scored 156.65 in the free skate. The tie was broken because Zagitova scored 1.31 points higher in component scores, which may be the same thing as we used to call “compulsory figures,” which the MH staff is too lazy to look up because, let’s face it, it’s going to be four years before most of us care about this again (which is our way of saying Susie B. will clear it up in the Comments).

These racing snowmen would find themselves in abominable conditions

What’s left in the Pyeongchang Olympics? Men’s hockey gold medal game, four-man bobsled and the women’s 30 km mass start cross-country ski race. We’ve got an idea for an event that could be added to the Winter Olympics final weekend: an arctic ultra event, sort of like the existing Yukon Arctic Ultra. Racers would begin on Friday morning and need to traverse 100 miles using only themselves as locomotion. No stages. No skis or snowshoes. You tote your own gear. It would be like the Summer Olympics marathon, only with a greater likelihood of frostbite.

2. Bloodbath And Beyond*

Wayne LaPierre: a bad guy with a gun lobby

*The judges acknowledge that we pilfered this from an episode of The Simpsons

It occurred to the MH staff that maybe we should start measuring time in terms of mass shootings: “Why, I haven’t seen you since before Sandy Hook” or “We got married shortly after Columbine.” Anyway, here’s what happened in the world of gun nuttery yesterday:

—otherwise sane “legacy media” such as CNN and MSNBC had on guests to honestly debate whether or not we should arm teachers (excuse us, ADEPT teachers), which is like debating whether or not McDonald’s cashiers should also perform appendectomies.


—The dude who was armed and whose job it was to provide security at Douglas High resigned. Turns out he wanted no part of confronting an assailant with an AR-15 with his puny service revolver and thus never proceeded toward the shots. Honestly, can you blame him (okay, just a little; it was his job…but it was also a suicide mission). Anyway, that seems to be an answer to the aforementioned debate.


The answer to safer schools is not a campus version of Paul Blart: Mall Cop

—at CPAC, NRA CEO (that’s a lot of capitalized letters in a row, sorry) Wayne LaPierre, whose salary runs north of $5 million per year, blasted the “elites” of the nation who want to take away your guns. LaPierre, it should be noted, receives numerous deferments to avoid service in Vietnam due to a “nervous condition,” which afflicts anyone who heads into a jungle to face the Vietcong, but whatevs.


—In presidential tweets, the same person who had scribbled in his notes a reminder of “I hear you” accused CNN of scripting questions in its Tuesday night town hall, but then this guy never accuses people of something without all the facts to back up such accusations, so we should probably totally believe him.


This article in The Atlantic by Heather Sher, a radiologist who was working triage after the Douglas High shooting, on how the AR-15 causes relatively catastrophic wounds, is essential reading.

There’s so much more, so much more, but let’s move on (Susie B., you can put addenda in the Comments).

3. Making Fascism Fashionable

Turns out you were always here (if you’re white)

In an email sent to staff members Thursday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director L. Francis Cissna announced the agency’s new mission statement. The notable difference between the old and new mission statements is that the phrase “a nation of immigrants” has been deleted.

4. Jen’s Back! (Auggghhh!!!!)

Last week in our essay on clickbait, we used Jennifer Aniston on the cover of magazines to demonstrate that before there was internet clickbait, the hardcopy version of that was putting hot mess celebs with good figures on magazine covers. As if to to affirm our assertion, the editors of both US Weekly and People have Ms Aniston on the covers of their mags this week. Reason: She split with hubby Justin Theroux and hey, isn’t Brad Pitt available again?

Remember this cover? Oh wait! Are we being hypocrites???

Meanwhile, we dare you to Google Image “Jennifer Aniston magazine covers.” You’d think she was the best actress in ever just by the volume.

5.  Drexel Comes Back!

In the largest comeback in Division I men’s history, the Drexel Dragons overcame a 34-point deficit to defeat Delaware, 85-83. The Blue Hens led 53-19 in the first half, but then apparently let Drexel charge forward as if they were Washington crossing the Delaware Turnpike (“we all have places to go!”).

For what it’s worth, both teams are now 12-18.


The most popular company in terms of hedge fund ownership of its stocks? Amazon. No surprise.



We recommend this New York Times piece on Trump and empathy. A Douglas High shooting victim whom he visited in Florida said, “I’ve never been so unimpressed with a person in my life.”


If, like us, you enjoyed School Ties and Bedazzled, here’s a Where Have You Been? piece on Brendan Fraser in GQ that you might enjoy.

Music 101

Have You Seen Me Lately

Counting Crows: The Berkeley band’s sophomore effort, Recovering The Satellites, dropped when they were America’s band you-most-wanted-to-punch-in-the-face: white lead singer with dreds, America wasn’t ready for that yet, and then he had to be so pretentious with how he changed the phrasings of the song live (that’s why we’re using the album version here; it’s the best version) and also committing the cardinal sin of dating Courteney Cox. Anyway, Adam Duritz can be a little much, a little affected, but he’s got a stupendously good voice and writes wonderful lyrics. Van Morrison-wannabe? Maybe. There are worse things.

Remote Patrol

Winter Olympics

8 p.m. NBC

The final weekend night of the Games. Enjoy your four-man bobsled and if you have enough to drink and are out with friends, try to replicate four bros jumping into a tight space in your nearest booth.

6 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Aww come on jdubs, you see a problem with millions of underpaid, overworked teachers being given yet ANOTHER duty they are supposed to perform for – how exactly did The Sociopath word it – “a small bonus”? Step right up, Mr & Ms Teacher, strap on, lock & load, your time is finally here to ask “ARE YA FEELING LUCKY, PUNK?” & not lose your job! Every teacher’s dream come true!

    Plus, now all those Oklahoma teachers who can only work/teach 4 DAYS A WEEK because the STATE CAN’T AFFORD TO PAY THEM FOR A FULL WEEK & have to toil at Walmart to make ends meet can now get an employee DISCOUNT on the guns they’ll need for the classroom! How’s that for synergy!

    I’ve been preoccupied by the Olympics, but are you sure this isn’t a Saturday Night Live skit run amok? HOW can ANY SANE HUMAN BEING actually propose that the solution to gun violence is to ARM MORE PEOPLE?

    Plus, look at the logistics! Public schools are DESPERATE for money NOW for pesky things like books, computers, maps, desks, HEAT & ELECTRICTY in the schools so hell, yeah, let’s spend hundreds of millions on GUNS! And training, shooting practice at the range, licenses, insurance, eye exams & psych exams for the gun-totin’ teachers! (One query – if an appointed teacher is out sick, does the substitute teacher also need to be ‘weaponized’? Oooh boy, can’t wait to tell my older substitute teacher sis!)

    Unfortunately, not all mass-shooters will be as god damn dumb as the assholes who advocate the arming of our public schools so what’s next – restaurants, malls, theaters, arenas, stadiums, train stations & trains themselves, etc, etc. America will become a police state except the “police” are anyone who “volunteer” to walk around with ASSAULT WEAPONS. Quick – close your eyes & visualize a locale & time when a large segment of the population walked around with guns? NAZI GERMANY.

    I do confess that I did laugh to the point of almost not making it to the potty the other night – while waiting for the Olympic Primetime show to begin, I was half-listening to the news & there The Sociopath was – TRYING to emulate empathy. O.M.G. Have you EVER heard anything so pathetic? I’m assuming his “coach” told him to pretend he was sick, look sad & talk slow. This piece of shit has never felt empathy for another human being in his entire freakin life so he had to FAKE IT. No wonder he is obsessed with the work “fake”, everything about him is FAKE.

  2. The Component score is mostly what used to be called “the artistic score” – a skater’s choreography, how they move & interpret the music, the BALANCE of their program (more on this one in a moment) is all judged. Basically, this is where the judges can still FIX the end result of who actually wins. The Technical score is made up of pre-assigned values for the various elements – for example, each type of jump is allocated so many points (the more difficult jumps have higher base values) & a judge can only mark it up or down 3 points based on the execution. But the Component score is not hampered by such pesky things as pre-assigned base values.

    I HATED last night’s ‘”Ladies” figure skating “competition” & not just because the USA had its WORST OLYMPIC RESULTS IN HISTORY. It was not a shock that an American woman once again did not stand on the Olympic podium (3rd in a row now), that was expected, what was feared only as a nightmare scenario is that we’d finish 9, 10, 11. Who’s to blame? I’ll tell you who – USA Figure Skating! They SABOTAGED the one chance we had of getting a woman on that podium by LOWBALLING Ashley Wagner’s, wait for it… COMPONENT SCORES at the US Championships & thus, she was left off the team.

    As for who did land on the podium (told you last week it would be Ruskies 1-2), it was a TRAVESTY. The “winner” backloaded her program so that ALL her jumps were in the 2nd half (she did this for both the Short & Long) & you get more points that way. That means her programs were the OPPOSITE of BALANCED & yet, her component scores were thru the roof. Plus, I hate all the jumping with the arms over the head (also more points). Why is any of this allowed? LOOPHOLES! The stupid ISU (International Skating Union) never foresaw that anyone would backload their programs so they didn’t write it into the rules (& there are TONS of rules of what is & is not allowed). I was actually most impressed with the Canadian who got the Bronze – it was the 1ST time I’d ever seen her perform 2 great programs in the same competition, plus she skates with more speed & her jumps are higher than the Russians’. Both of those qualities are SUPPOSED to garner high numbers in the Component Score but if the judges decide they want someone else to win, it doesn’t matter.

    One more thing – re: the aged Italian Carolina Kostner. For the past couple years the international judges have been giving her INSANELY high component scores. And did so again last night, but she skated so poorly that even they couldn’t prop her up onto the podium. Also, not once during the Olympics on NBC or NBCSN or the Olympic Daily show on the Olympic Channel did anyone mention that Kostner had been SUSPENDED from the sport for LYING to investigators about her then boyfriend’s DOPING (he was also an athlete). She was supposed to be out for 2 years but soooprize, sooprize, the Italian skating org cut it back.

    And almost forgot – Nathan Chen ‘Lysaceked’ it in the men’s Long program! I nailed that like a triple, triple, triple! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. OH & another thing! If you watched any of the men’s competitions, you heard the word “quad”. QUAD, QUAD, QUAD, QUAD. A quad is a 4-revolution jump & gets LOTS more points than the triple-version of the same jump. EVEN if you fall on your ass. This ticks me off no end. I heard on OI the other day that they “must” give more points for the attempted but failed quad jumps so that the sport will keep “progressing”. I call BS. You know what sports have PROGRESSION in their DNA? The “Extreme sports” of snowboarding & freeskiing & you know what happens to your score if you land on your ass in their events? The entire run is considered a FAILURE & you get very low points (as in 20 points out of 100). Heck, you only have to drag your hand on the snow & you get dinged big time. But in figure skating, viewers now have to sit thru fall after fall after fall & clap for the winner who fell 1-3 times. The average viewer may not know when a jump is “under-rotated” but they can damn well see when a skater is on his ass AND that it RUINS the program!

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