Tuesday, October 31, 2017

At Least 8 Killed in 'Terrorism' Attack in Lower Manhattan

The Daily News reports that at least eight people were killed and 11 injured Tuesday afternoon when a speeding Home Depot truck plowed down riders on a downtown Manhattan bike path in a "terrorist" attack, sources said.

Eyewitnesses told police the driver yelled “Allahu Akbar!” — Arabic for “God is great!” — after running down helpless riders from behind, their mangled bodies left scattered behind his runaway rental truck.

The driver, who NBC News reports is a citizen of Uzbekistan, was arrested after police shot him in the rear end following crash between the truck and a school bus in nearby Tribeca. Sources said he was waving an air pistol and a BB gun when cops reached the scene.

The truck jumped the curb near Houston St. at 3:04 p.m. and began bearing down on the unsuspecting bicyclists, sources told the Daily News. Video showed crumpled two-wheelers and four bodies left in the vehicle’s deadly wake.

Heartbroken for everyone involved.

I use scare quotes around the word terrorism because the guy sounds more like a pathetic lone wolf who rented a truck so he could feel like a tough guy, when in fact he has no support from any actual terror network. It's like the terrorist equivalent of downloading the ISIS app -- anyone can do it -- yet sadly far more deadly and nearly impossible to squelch.

Justin Trudeau Is One Super Man

Heartbroken for the victims of today's attack in Lower Manhattan. Wasn't up for the Halloween parade anyway, so this will have to fill my hunky costume quota for the night.

Sorry, Wrong Number

Something just happened at work that has never happened in my 29 years in a newsroom.

At the suggestion of another colleague, I called an editor (who I was told might be knowledgeable/helpful) to check on something in a story I was editing.

She answered the phone and I introduced myself, saying: "Hi, [redacted]. It's Kenneth Walsh on the Real-Time Desk."

Her reply? "And you're calling me becaaaaaauuuuuussse????????" in full David Spade character mode.

I was so stunned I could barely speak, eventually mustering up a "never mind" and hanging up the phone. I wouldn't talk that way to someone mugging me.

Remains of the Day (10/31)

Kitties of the Day: Cutest little vampire I ever saw!

And say hello to Brady the "lion"!

Tennis Tuesday

Damian and I recently finished off our beloved "Red Oaks" on Amazon Prime, which went out with a tennis bang featuring Jon Rudnitsky ("Saturday Night Live") as a pro at a competing club. (The scene was set to "Destination Unknown" by Missing Persons!) Although I'm biased given that the show is set in a racket club in the 1980s, I really think it's a sweet slice of life that anyone would enjoy. Craig Roberts is adorable as wannabe filmmaker David Meyers, a rare likable TV show protagonist. And Ennis Esmer and Oliver Cooper take characters that could have easily been annoying and over the top -- a playboy schlub of a tennis pro and a brainy stoner with a heart of gold -- and make them human beings you actually root for. Add in a great supporting cast including Richard Kind and Jennifer Grey as David's parents with their own midlife issues and Alexandra Turshen and Alexandra Socha as love interests and you've got the best half-hour show I've seen in years. A dozen more hot shots of Mr. Rudnitsky HERE.

Trick or Treat?

Happy Halloween from the cat, skeleton and astronaut on Tawas Court in Madison Heights, Michigan!

Song of the Day: 'Spooky' by Dusty Springfield

  Great Classics IV cover by the legendary Dusty Springfield. Had no idea this song came out the year I was born.

Morning Wood

Page 1 Roundup (10/31)

The Daily News: Paul Manafort pleads not guilty after he’s indicted on 12 counts in Russia collusion investigation

The New York Post: But I thought all cops were "good men"? 

The New York Times: Russian influence reached 126 million through Facebook alone

The Wall Street Journal: No Bones About It: Animal Skeletons are Hot for Halloween

Monday, October 30, 2017

Let's All Say It Together: 'Kevin Spacey Deserves to Die'

OK, I'm in the mood for a new asshole -- so let me have it. I have no appreciation for Kevin Spacey the actor -- I can only think of one film of his I've seen, which was nearly 20 years ago ("American Beauty") -- so I'm certainly not defending him as a fan.

I know he's a tiresome closeted queen and all of the negative consequences of that. But given this history, I feel like the attack on his belated coming out is another case of virtue signaling. (Yeah, we GET IT. He shouldn't have hit on a 14-year-old and should have come out sooner. YOU’RE REALLY NOT THAT BRAVE for saying that.) Given the circumstances, he had NO CHOICE but to address his sexuality because the allegation against him essentially outed him. Would it have been better if he'd still denied being gay while acknowledging responsibility for something he admits he probably did?

(My boyfriend PRAISED him for coming out now -- thinking he would dodge the issue again by pretending Anthony Rapp had "misconstrued" something he did. He didn't do that.)

Also, I'm a little concerned with the casual use of the term "pedophile." The high and mighty can call sex -- or in this case attempted sex -- with a 14-year-old pedophilia all they want. But anyone with a brain knows it really means sexual attraction to prepubescent children. The age of consent in many countries around the globe is 14 -- are you ready to call parts of the world "pedophile states"? -- and 14-year-olds can MARRY in the U.S. with parental consent. (So every straight guy who got turned on by Britney Spears's "Hit Me Baby One More Time" is a pedophile too, right?)

What's more, Kevin Spacey is 12 years older than Anthony Rapp, which means he was 25 or 26 when the alleged incident occurred, not 55. (My parents were 17 and 26 when my mom got pregnant with my oldest brother.) From what little I've read, I gather Rapp was at "theater business" party at someone's house. Do we know if Spacey knew how old Rapp was? And where the hell were Rapp's parents/agent/publicist to keep an eye on a CHILD at an adult party? (Spacey is the only one to blame here, but my sister wouldn't let my 14-year-old nephew go to adult parties by himself, so I ask out of concern for a minor.)

As for the notion that he is "conflating" pedophilia with homosexuality, nothing Spacey said does that. The people who choose to conflate the two already think all gays people are pedophiles, so there's not really anything we can do about that.

Spacey obviously made a mistake (and is rumored to have made many others since). But what's the value in piling on when he's tried to accept responsibility?

The debate is really heating up on my Facebook page. To join the conversation, add me HERE.

UPDATE: I've done little reading on this, but it's come to my attention that some people are actually blaming Anthony Rapp in some way. (I certainly am not and think anyone who does is vile.) But what is the incentive for people to not pull a Trump / trash accusers if they are going to be equally vilified either way? If it turns out he's done something like this -- with a minor -- more than once, then I'll be singing a different tune. But for now it just feels like proportionality is dead.

UPDATE 2: Not surprisingly, more men have come forward accusing Spacey of inappropriate behavior. The guy's obviously got a problem and like with Rapp, I'm glad people are calling him out. Unlike Rapp, these accusers so far are all of age, which bolsters my original thought that I felt that term "pedophile" was being thrown around loosely. For those who are unable to read or think, I have NEVER defended or tried to minimize anything Spacey did to Rapp. I merely said it seemed counterproductive to trash Spacey for both acknowledging he probably did behave grossly inappropriately with Rapp and for him to -- in a separate paragraph and thought from the apology -- to finally come out of the closet. If you think his coming out when he did was wrong, you're entitled to your opinion. But I vividly remember Billie Jean King being sued for palimony by a former female lover and watched her STILL NOT COME OUT -- instead opting to trash the woman in court, portraying her as a "predatory lesbian" who was trying to destroy King's happy (straight!) home with hubby Larry while Billie Jean was actually already with another woman at the time. This left a very bad taste in my mouth -- King didn't officially come out until 1998 -- so I happen to think it was better for Spacey to get it all out now. You don't have to agree with me.

UPDATE 3: Among the many new people to come forward since Rapp's story broke is a guy who says he was 14 when he had a "consensual" sexual relationship with Spacey. (He now realizes there's no such thing as a 14-year-old giving consent with an adult.) I still think sexual attraction to 14-year-olds and 4-year-olds is different. But when 14-year-olds are your pattern, you're obviously a very sick man.

Remains of the Day (10/30)

JoeMyGod: Court blocks Trump's trans military ban, says directive "based only on desire to disapprove of trans people"

The Washington Post: Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is charged with conspiracy against the U.S.; another Trump adviser admits to lying about ties to Russia

Cosmopolitan: Which guy was everyone obsessed with the year you were born?

Boy Culture: So many men -- and you've got plenty of time

Deep Dish: Muscle hunk dries his undies on the balcony rail

D-Listed: Colton Haynes and Jeff Leatham got married by Pimp Mama Kris

Vulture: All 73 Sade songs, ranked from worst to best

Towleroad: Tom Daley hopes his teeny Speedo will help him get a ride

The New Yorker: Annabella Sciorra, Daryl Hannah and other women explain their struggles with going public about Harvey Weinstein

ETOnline: "EastSiders" is coming back to Netflix on Nov. 28

Metro: Marines who exposed genitals and drank each other's urine avoid jail

Matthew's Island of Misfit Toys: Naked splendor in the grass

Back2Stonewall: Remembering the infamous Adonis movie theater in New York's sleazy Times Square

OMG Blog: Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers goes full frontal on a balcony

The Randy Report: Hillary Clinton at the Human Rights Campaign national dinner

The New York Times: This former Green Beret lost his job as an F.B.I. agent because of his low sperm count

Greg in Hollywood: Kathy Griffin goes after Harvey Levin and Andy Cohen in video that is mostly right; but that it always comes down to how things affect HER is a little suspect

Kitty of the Day: Who doesn't like a travel cat?

Good Hed, Bad Hed

Hyphens matter.

(Follow me on Instagram HERE.)

Weekend Tennis Roundup

Roger Federer won his eighth title in Basel on Sunday, battling back to defeat Juan Martin del Potro, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3 to clinch his seventh title of the year. With it, it appeared the 36-year-old kept alive the battle for the year-end No. 1 ranking, until he withdrew from Paris. (Damian will be VERY happy!) Federer still plans to play in the ATP finals in London.

Enquiring Minds Want to Know: Who's the hottie in del Potro's box?

Lucas Pouille was looking especially fit this week, claiming his first title in Vienna, his first Masters 500 title and his first win over countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. (He's also the first player to win titles on three different surfaces in 2017.) And did I mention how good he looked in his clingy blue Adidas clothing?

Worried about my little Dominic. He looked out of it losing the third set 6-1 to Richard Gasquet in the round of 16 in Vienna. (I see Dominic pulled out of Paris this week but then re-entered?)

Local qualifier Dennis Novak was pretty easy in the eyes, taking Kyle Edmund to a third-set tiebreak in the second round.

Posted without comment.

And in the women's year-end competition in Singapore, Caroline Wozniacki ended up going home with the trophy. (Sure, why not? The WTA's year-end No. 1 took home just one title, so what the hay?) She and her victim, Venus Williams, wound up having similar years in a way. Caroline lost six finals in a row before finally winning the Pan Pacifc Open last month -- and then capped the year with her biggest title of all. Venus, on the other hand, lost in three big finals this year, but was impressive just the same. 

Not to beat a dead horse, but year-end No. 1 Simona Halep won just ONE title in 2017 and lost in the FIRST ROUND of two of the four majors (Australian and U.S. opens). 

Mug Shot Monday

Don't be fooled by his handsome face. He and his colleague are monsters.

Song of the Day: 'Think About It' (demo) by Stevie Nicks

This demo of a song that was later an "outtake" from Fleetwood Mac's juggernaut "Rumours" (1977) and an album track from Stevie Nicks's solo debut, "Bella Donna" (1981), shows just how big of an effect a producer can have on a song. Anyone disagree that she nailed it in '77?

Morning Wood

Page 1 Roundup (10/30)

The Daily News: The family that does horse together, dies together

BuzzFeed: Anthony Rapp accuses Kevin Spacey of trying to seduce him when he was 14; Spacey promptly came out after the story broke, apologizing for “drunken behavior” he says he doesn’t remember

The New York Post: Prince Harry is personally training Meghan Markle to be a royal

The New York Times: "Bedlam" in Arizona as Jeff Flake drops out of Senate race

The Wall Street Journal: The Thrill of Victory in Welding, Baking and Bricklaying