Varner outs Zeke: the outrage is reaffirming

A gay man’s assault on a transgender fellow player was stunning. The response by the tribe, the host, the audience, and most importantly the target, gives a little hope to those of us losing faith in our fellow humans.

On last night’s episode of Survivor, Jeff Varner, who was fighting for his life in the game, turned to fellow contestant Zeke Smith during tribal council and asked him, “Why haven’t you told anyone you’re transgender?” It was like someone had dropped a bomb on the place. Ten seconds of staggered silence gave way to a deluge of outrage against Varner, with members of the tribe shouting over each other in a moment unlike anything in Survivor history. It was a beatdown of unprecedented proportions and it was richly deserved. A Google search for [zeke smith jeff varner] is currently returning ~82,000 results – stories, tweets, videos, you name it, so feel free to sample for yourself the public response.

Continue reading “Varner outs Zeke: the outrage is reaffirming”

Ghost in the Shell: a 2-minute review

The 2017 remake of the manga classic is marvelous to behold, but not especially filling emotionally.

Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell

Went to see Ghost in the Shell the other day. In IMAX. IMAX 3-D, to be precise. Initial impressions:

1) It’s just fucking gorgeous. The designers have studied the classics, from Blade Runner on down, and they create a world that does justice to the genre. This flick ought to win all the technical Oscars.

2) The story itself works well. Continue reading “Ghost in the Shell: a 2-minute review”

Michelle hearts Dubya: the well-timed rehabilitation of George Bush

Bush Michelle ObamaPresident Donald is doing a great job of making America miss George W. Bush. And now Michelle Obama and the “liberal” media are chipping in. Barf.

First there was the hubbub back during the election that nobody in the Bush family could bring themselves to vote for Donald. Then more recently it was former President George W. standing up to Donald and defending the importance of a free press. Then we saw Dubya on Kimmel laughing at Trump jokes. Dubya says he doesn’t like the racism. Former first daughter Barb is on the podium defending Planned Parenthood. And any number of former Bush aides and staffers suddenly have the knives out, like here, where a former strategist marvels at how poor the Trump team’s collective memory is when it comes to remembering all those meetings with all those Russkis.

Now the coop de Gracie: my news feed can’t get enough of the tender love affair between Bush II and Michele Obama. Continue reading “Michelle hearts Dubya: the well-timed rehabilitation of George Bush”

Trump's Mainstream Media Accountability Survey will leave you speechless

fauxnewsThis methodological tour de force is a triumph in honesty, objectivity and good faith. Bigly. You should reply in kind.

I’ll keep this brief. Donald has a poll up asking for your honest opinion on a series of  completely fair, unbiased and objective questions about “the media.” The Mainstream Media Accountability Survey asks questions like:

10: Do you believe that the mainstream media does not do their due diligence fact-checking before publishing stories on the Trump administration?

And:

13: Do you believe that political correctness has created biased news coverage on both illegal immigration and radical Islamic terrorism?

Here’s the best one, though: Continue reading “Trump's Mainstream Media Accountability Survey will leave you speechless”

Remembering 2016: the year when everyone died

No, famous people won’t stop dying on January 1. But we lost too many bright lights this year and we hope that 2017 will be better. Here’s a list of noteworthy people who died in 2016.

For the past several months a lot of us have been saying we can’t wait for this damned year to be over.

2016 gave us the worst election season I can remember, and every ten minutes or so another beloved artist would die, it seemed. Any year that gives us Donald Trump and takes Muhammad Ali, David Bowie, Prince in return has done more damage than some decades.

No, people aren’t going to stop dying at the stroke of midnight tomorrow. Continue reading “Remembering 2016: the year when everyone died”

Translating Ryan Lochte's bullshit into English

Fake apology. Fauxpology. Unpology. Non-apology apology. It’s all bullshit and you’re an idiot if you play along.

I’ve spent decades in the corporate world, and way too much of that time has been dedicated to crafting artful PR bullshit. I’m not proud of the fact, but truth is I’m good at it. And when making the language behave unnaturally is your stock in trade, you get really, really good at spotting it when other people start force-feeding perfectly honest words into the sausage grinder.

Which brings us to the much-discussed Ryan Lochte “apology.” Which, by the way, was written for him by some weasel in his agent’s office. Said weasel understands the basics, but sadly has all the grace and nuance of a hyena on a Cialis bender.

Didn’t work, though. See the fat, middle-aged guy with an open sore on his mouth loitering by the edge of the dance floor? That’s Lochte. See all the sorority girls easing away from him? Those are his former sponsors.

Anyhow, here’s Lochte’s fauxpology. Continue reading “Translating Ryan Lochte's bullshit into English”

Does Trump actually want the job?

If Donald Trump really is running for president, he’s doing it all wrong.

trump-hillaryNew poll this morning:

In new poll, support for Trump has plunged, giving Clinton a double-digit lead

Support for Donald Trump has plunged as he has alienated fellow Republicans and large majorities of voters overall in the course of a month of self-inflicted controversies, propelling Democrat Hillary Clinton to a double-digit lead nationally in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

For pure political theater, there simply hasn’t been anything like this in my lifetime. Continue reading “Does Trump actually want the job?”

Big Bang Theory presents: top ten reasons men should pursue careers in the sciences

Hey boys – what should you be when you grow up?

I know a lot of young men out there are trying to decide what to do with their lives. Fireman? Policeman? CEO? Doctor? Lawyer? Low-level marketing manager?

Great ideas, all, but here in America it’s important to take your cues from our alpha arbiter of social possibility, network television. So, let’s have a look at what CBS has to say on the subject.

First: this is a scientist.

Now, here are some reasons to be a scientist, based on his experiences over the past few years of his life: Continue reading “Big Bang Theory presents: top ten reasons men should pursue careers in the sciences”

Hypocrisy Watch: FOX reporter cares deeply about the liberty of those who agree with him

Donald Trump, Kim Davis and Cook Out: because the Constitution guarantees redeemed sinners the right to fast food.

First, the headline:

‘Hell No!’ Cashier refuses to serve Trump backers

Shannon Riggs and her cousins were famished after attending a Donald Trump rally last week in Richmond, Va., so they decided to drop by Cook Out – a regional restaurant chain known for its tasty burgers.

The group was decked out in Trump swag – from T-shirts to those iconic red hats emblazoned with the campaign’s slogan: “Make America Great Again.” Continue reading “Hypocrisy Watch: FOX reporter cares deeply about the liberty of those who agree with him”

Big Bang Theory band names, pt 4 (Saturday Video Roundup)

Thor and Dr. Jones LIVE!

And we arrive at the final installation in our series of lines from The Big Bang Theory that would make good band names. I love the first one.

Liquor and Poor Judgment

The Unified Theory of Comedy

Malibu Koothrappali and His Totally Bitchin’ Dream House

The Wolowitz Coefficient

Tangy Bowl of Cheerios Continue reading “Big Bang Theory band names, pt 4 (Saturday Video Roundup)”

Joanie Laurer, RIP: the sports entertainment machine spits out another dead body

#RIPChyna – former WWE superstar becomes the latest victim of an industry where people are disposable and life is cheap (because that’s what’s best for business)

chyna - Joanie Laurer.png
Joanie Laurer: “Chyna,” the 9th Wonder of the World

I woke to the news this morning of Joanie Laurer’s death. Known to professional wrestling fans as Chyna – “the 9th Wonder of the World” – Laurer was only 45. Details aren’t available yet, but if you follow the industry you’re not going to be surprised if it turns out to be drug-related. And if you have followed Laurer at all, you might immediately wonder if this is was suicide.

Laurer was a groundbreaking performer. There was nothing diva about her. Continue reading “Joanie Laurer, RIP: the sports entertainment machine spits out another dead body”

What you need to know about Bernie Sanders and mainstream media in one Washington Post headline

This is what passes for reason inside the muted corridors of serious establishment “journalism.”

Flipping through the morning’s news and I came across this:

Washington Post Bernie headline

I really know dick about Collum Borchers (or the editors who write his headlines), but a quick look at his archive page suggests a faint whiff of Beltway/Village wankery. Continue reading “What you need to know about Bernie Sanders and mainstream media in one Washington Post headline”

Big Bang Theory band names, pt 1

I love The Big Bang Theory and have watched all the episodes multiple times (some I’ve probably seen 20 times or more). I noticed that sometimes the characters say things that would make good band names. Or at least, perhaps, entertaining bands names.

I have written some of them down and will present them in a series, ten at a time. Here’s the first batch.

Anne Frank Above a Bowling Alley Continue reading “Big Bang Theory band names, pt 1”

Star Wars, The Revenant, and The Hateful Eight: is original film making dead?

Hail Caesar! was great, but it’s badly outnumbered by formulaic Hollywood rehashes.

Back in the day I used to travel. A lot. As director of international strategy for a major corporation, I spent much of my life on planes. I actually once flew from Chicago to Milan for a one hour meeting, flying a red-eye out and the Concorde back. On those rare occasions when I was home, my wife and I’d watch a rented movie together after bedding down the kids. Much of the time, about halfway through the movie I’d realize I knew what scenes were coming next, even though I hadn’t seen the movie before.

Eventually, we figured out what was going on. Continue reading “Star Wars, The Revenant, and The Hateful Eight: is original film making dead?”