Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Shirts 'n' Skins at the U.S. Open

Guess WHO?

He's No Meathead

From HERE.

UPDATE: And yet another bald-faced lie from Donald Trump.

From HERE.

Tom Brady's Back-to-School Look

Tom Brady's new 'do has been compared to Megyn Kelly, Matt Damon in "Good Will Hunting," Jonathan Taylor Thomas, soccer player Megan Rapinoe and more. What do you think?

From HERE.

A Walk in the Park With Nick Sandell

I wouldn't kick him out of the park for wearing boxer-briefs, but this is the look I'm counting on for Chelsea.

Nature's Wrath


Casting a Pall Over Timothy McNeil's 'Anything'

Matt Bomer's got amazing tits. But that doesn't mean he should be playing a transwoman sex worker. Read HERE.

Song of the Day: 'Tears Are Not Enough' by ABC

Inspired by this genius tweet by Patton Oswalt, although I'd already used "Be Near Me" as song of the day!

Morning Wood

Page 1 Roundup (08/31)

Anthony Weiner bragged about using his kid as a 'chick magnet' / Read HERE.

Cops release sketch of man seen leaving spot where Karina Vetrano was slain in hopes he can help nab killer / Read HERE.

My pal Erik Piepenburg gets a Page 1 refer for his story on the ascent of the veggie burger! Read HERE.

At Cosmetics Stores, Makeup Moochers Take Sampling to a New Level / Read HERE.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


   Archie Andrews is ready for HIS CLOSE-UP.

Shirley MacLaine and Jessica Lange Are Sowing 'Wild Oats'

The most delicious duo since "Grace & Frankie." But will it be better-executed? Details HERE.

Milos Raonic Rings New York Stock Exchange Opening Bell

From HERE.

Does the big "Canadian" ring your bell shirtless?

Smiley Smile

From HERE.

Adoption Ruling by New York's Highest Court Opens Doors for Same-Sex Couples

Hooray! Now this is what I call trickle-down social change:

The Wall Street Journal reports:
New York’s highest court Tuesday upended how the state legally defines parenthood, reversing course on a 25-year-old ruling that had blocked many same-sex couples from seeking the court’s help in custody disputes. Until now, New York only recognized as parents those with a clear adoptive or biological tie to a child, shutting out those who otherwise may have played a key role in a child’s upbringing. Tuesday’s decision by the New York Court of Appeals said society has changed in recent decades and that families formed by gay couples need to be protected. The court ruled that going forward, a partner can seek visitation and custody if it’s shown “by clear and convincing evidence that the parties agreed to conceive a child and to raise the child together.” The court recognized that some people could even deserve custody if they came into a child’s life after the birth, but said today isn’t the day to set a rule for such situations. Gay rights advocates cheered the decision, saying it moves New York into the modern day alongside dozens of other states that already have a broader scope of parenthood. “Finally, New York is bringing its law in line with the reality of thousands of children who need protection for their relationships,” said Susan Sommer, an attorney at gay-rights organization Lambda Legal who was involved in the case. “No longer is there some harsh absolute bar.” 

His Father, Ronan Farrow, and That Other 'Unasked' Question

Read HERE.

In May, Ronan Farrow wrote what I believe to be the flimsiest thing I have read to date about the incredibly sad situation involving his family, trying to incriminate the press for "covering up" the alleged misdeeds of his father, Woody Allen, likening the situation to 60-times-accused Bill Cosby. Ronan's obviously a smart young man, yet the more I read the more I found myself actually embarrassed by his complete lack of reasoning and critical-thinking skills. Perhaps the subject was literally just too close to home for him to think straight. Still, I've been reluctant to even react to it for a number of reasons. For starters, I feel for Dylan Farrow and would not want to cause her any further harm. I've also briefly met Ronan, whom I found to be as charming as he is bright. I'm also a longtime fan of their mother, Mia Farrow, who has appeared in many of my all-time favorite films. On top of all that, I have witnessed a similar situation of sexual-abuse allegations involving a father and daughter in my own life. It's agonizing. 

Read Robert Weide's response HERE.

There were several similarities between the scenarios. Both involved allegations that were only introduced after the mother became aware of infidelity. Both did not ring true to many of the principals when details of what supposedly happened were brought to light. (In "my" case, the police were not even involved.) And both have left nearly everyone involved deeply divided between camps. Rather than personally try to persuade anyone that Woody Allen did or didn't molest Dylan Farrow, I wanted to point you to a little-seen response to Ronan's piece by Robert B. Weide, an Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker who made a documentary about Allen in 2012. Whether you believe Allen is guilty or not, your jaw will be on the floor after reading Weide's opening paragraphs. And just as Maureen Orth's Vanity Fair piece doesn't look good for Allen, Weide's piece makes a strong case for Allen's innocence, while also destroying Ronan's thesis about how the media -- as well as everyone who has ever worked with Allen -- is complicit in sweeping his alleged behavior under the rug for not asking the "hard questions." Weide writes: But what questions do you have in mind? “Did you molest your daughter?” He’s answered this question countless times, in and out of a court of law, on and off camera. How many times is he supposed to say “no?” Do you think if he’s badgered enough, he’ll suddenly remember things differently? For those who believe your father is being truthful, is it reasonable for them to continually hound your sister with the expectation that she’ll suddenly recant?

If you've gotten this far and have read Ronan's piece and Weide's response, then you might be interested in a couple other points I think are also worth considering.

1. Is there such a thing as a onetime pedophile? (I'm asking for real.) I'm not a psychologist, but because of my first-hand familiarity I have read quite a bit about the subject. Everything I've seen suggests that pedophilia is a compulsive behavior that is virtually untreatable. Ronan tries to compare his father to Bill Cosby, but that only raises the obvious question: Where are Allen's other accusers? (I've never heard of another one-off situation. Almost always there are dozens, even hundreds of victims before a pedophile gets "caught.") If any pedophiles have ever successfully re-entered society, it's been by keeping away from children. What has Allen done since taking up with Soon-Yi Previn? Adopted two more young girls. Have there been any other allegations -- old or new -- since he was accused of molesting Dylan? What's more, you would have to believe Allen decided to sexually abuse a 7-year-old girl while he was already under intense scrutiny from the media and his former girlfriend for having already begun a scandalous (consensual) relationship with the woman's 22-year-old daughter. (This seems highly unlikely to me. But perhaps once you've been as inappropriate as Allen was for taking up with Miss Previn he thought he had nothing to lose?)

2. What motive would Dylan and Ronan's older brother Moses, now a licensed marriage and family therapist, have for completely discrediting even the most basic details of the day and location of the alleged assault? Moses was 13 at the time of "the day in question" while Ronan was 4. Precocious or not, the memories of a 13-year-old are inarguably more reliable than two small children.

If you didn't click through, Moses said:
"Of course Woody did not molest my sister. She loved him and looked forward to seeing him when he would visit. She never hid from him until our mother succeeded in creating the atmosphere of fear and hate towards him. The day in question, there were six or seven of us in the house. We were all in public rooms and no one, not my father or sister, was off in any private spaces. My mother was conveniently out shopping. I don’t know if my sister really believes she was molested or is trying to please her mother. Pleasing my mother was very powerful motivation because to be on her wrong side was horrible… Our mother has misled the public into believing it was a happy household of both biological and adopted children. From an early age, my mother demanded obedience and I was often hit as a child. She went into unbridled rages if we angered her, which was intimidating at the very least and often horrifying, leaving us not knowing what she would do."
As for Dylan's recollection of being sexually abused in the attic of Mia's Connecticut farmhouse, while looking at a toy train set:
“I assure you, there was no electric train set in that attic. There was nothing practical about that space as a place for kids to play, even if we wanted to. It was an unfinished attic with exposed fiberglass insulation. It smelled of moth balls and there were mouse traps and poison pellets left all around. My mother used it for storage where she kept several trunks full of hand-me-down clothes, that sort of thing. The idea that the space could possibly accommodate a functioning electric train set, circling around the attic, makes no sense at all. One of my brothers did have an elaborate model train set, but it was set up in the boys’ room, a converted garage on the first floor. Maybe that was the train set my sister thinks she remembers.”
3. How can Ronan Farrow say with a straight face that the media -- and Hollywood -- is guilty of not asking tough questions? All anyone has ever talked about for the past 24 years is that Woody Allen is a child molester who also "married his daughter." Every profile mentions it -- just this week he told The Guardian that he "gets harassed all the time" about it. It almost sounds like he's condemning the public for not boycotting his father's films.

4. What does it say about a woman [Mia} who, according to court documents, pleaded to have a child with a man [Woody] who "viewed her [existing] children as an encumbrance" with whom he wanted "no involvement" and had "no interest"? A woman who begged to be impregnated by a man who only agreed to do so after she "promised that the child would live with her and that [he] need not be involved with the child's care of upbringing"?

No. 4 obviously makes me sound like I'm attempting to discredit the accuser -- or in this case, the accuser's mom. But if Woody Allen did not molest Dylan Farrow, then the only other scenario that can be true is that Mia put her daughter up to this.

I've never called Mia Farrow a liar. I just don't know if Woody Allen molested Dylan Farrow. But neither does Ronan. My general take on these types of accusations is to believe the accuser until I have reason to not. But in this case, there was a very strong motive to smear the "perpetrator" and many details did not add up. If nothing else, surely we can all agree that the only thing as depraved as a parent sexually abusing a child is a parent brainwashing a child into thinking she had been sexually abused by a parent. For decades fans and critics alike have struggled with what it would mean about Woody Allen's art if it turned out he had molested his daughter. We've all asked this tough question. (I, for one, think you can separate people's private lives from their public works.) So if Ronan Farrow really wants to ask a tough question that has been dangerously ignored, perhaps he should ask what it would mean if a mother were so vindictive and self-serving that she would be willing to destroy her daughter's life in order to try to save face in what was arguably the most humiliating breakup in Hollywood history? (If people think Mia is lying, should they no longer like "Rosemary's Baby" or "Alice"?) I'm not convinced that's what's going on here. But as far as I can see, it's truly the only "unasked question" left.

As for me, the man I know who was accused of molesting his daughter died in recent years after having been imprisoned for other misdeeds of a slightly different nature. Suffice to say, it didn't bolster his case for innocence. 

Song of the Day: 'Wonder' by Natalie Merchant

Truly one the finest singles of the '90s.

Morning Wood

Page 1 Roundup (08/30)

Anthony Weiner is a dick and of course it's Hillary's fault. Read HERE.

Anthony Weiner ‘crossed the line’ with sext featuring his son / Read HERE.

Hillary Clinton Piles Up Research in Bid to Needle Donald Trump at First Debate / Read HERE.

Bazookas! Sinks! Aggressive Doves! Nobody Loves Silly Metaphors More Than Central Bankers / Read HERE.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Actor Gene Wilder Is Dead at 83

Sad to read that Gene Wilder, star of "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory," "Silver Streak" and several Mel Brooks comedies, is dead at 83 from Alzheimer's disease. May he and his fellow comedy genius wife, Gilda Radner, forever rest in peace together.

"Silver Streak": The first of three films opposite Richard Pryor.

He was kinda great in "Will & Grace" too, which was apparently his last screen credit.

Report: Tim Tebow Goes Both Ways

The Jesus-loving gay uncle apparently doesn't just play football -- now he's about to try out for Major League Baseball.

Everything you need to know about his audition HERE.

Gay Writer/Comedian Bob Smith Enters 'Treehab'

Some good news about writer/comedian Bob Smith -- whose brand of humor I fell in love with at the 2007 NLGJA conference -- shared via his writer/comedian pal Eddie Sarfaty:
So proud of my pal Bob Smith. His new book, entitled "Treehab," comes out in a few weeks. For 9 years, he's handled having ALS with dignity and humor, and he's refused to give in to the horrible illness, Bob wrote the entire book, typing with one finger on an iPad!!! He's been in the hospital for months but he's almost ready to be discharged, which means he'll definitely be out in time for the book's launch!
Order HERE.

In this bitingly funny and often surprising memoir, award-winning author and groundbreaking comedian Bob Smith offers a meditation on the vitality of the natural world—and an intimate portrait of his own darkly humorous and profoundly authentic response to a life-changing illness. In "Treehab"—named after a retreat cabin in rural Ontario—Smith muses how he has “always sought the path less traveled.” He rebuffs his diagnosis of ALS as only an unflappable stand-up comic could (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease? But I don’t even like baseball!”) and explores his complex, fulfilling experience of fatherhood, both before and after the onset of the disease. Stories of his writing and performing life—punctuated by hilariously cutting jokes that comedians tell only to each other—are interspersed with tales of Smith’s enduring relationship with nature: boyhood sojourns in the woods of upstate New York and adult explorations of the remote Alaskan wilderness; snakes and turtles, rocks and minerals; open sky and forest canopy; God and friendship—all recurring touchstones that inspire him to fight for his survival and for the future of his two children. Aiming his potent, unflinching wit at global warming, equal rights, sex, dogs, Thoreau, and more, Smith demonstrates here the inimitable insight that has made him a beloved voice of a generation. He reminds us that life is perplexing, beautiful, strange, and entirely worth celebrating.

HBO Unveils Poster for Sarah Jessica Parker's 'Divorce'

The TRAILER left me kind of cold, but I don't see not watching an HBO show with Lowell and Molly Shannon! "Divorce" premieres Oct. 9 at 10 p.m. 

Sweat Equity

My wrestling fetish grows by the day.

Song of the Day: 'Here Comes the Sun' by Sheryl Crow

Was reminded this may very well be the best Beatles song ever -- sorry, Paul and John -- but Apple Records isn't about to let a copy of it appear on YouTube. Instead, here's a sweet version by Sheryl Crow. Not nearly as good as Susanna Hoffs's version, but sweet nonetheless.

Morning Wood

Or do you prefer him in his red Calvins?

Page 1 Roundup (08/29)

Anthony Weiner's wife just announced she's leaving him as a result of his latest shenanigans. Now can we never talk about him again?

Ithaca College student from Brooklyn fatally stabbed during fight on Cornell University campus / Read HERE.

I'm going to the U.S. Open on Labor Day. The Times's tournament preview HERE.

They Shoot Horses (With Birth-Control Darts), Don’t They? / Read HERE.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

White Like Me

Racism in the workplace: What you can do to protect your white employees from hearing about it.

Speedo Sunday

The winning Speedo-ginger COMBO!