Chasing Rushmore: Women’s Edition!

So me and Q were having a beer debate on favorite all time female comedians, and it was feeling every bit the same way as when you go shopping at Target. Yanno . . . you go in for a travel sized toiletries bag and some condoms, and you walk out with a High Def TV, a six month supply of cheesecake bites and Joanna Gaines’s cell number? You know exactly what I’m talking about . . unless you were born yesterday. In Canada.

The debate as per the funniest female on the planet runs longer than a red carpet show on the planet Venus. And truth be told, I’ve always been a fool for the the double X chromosome way of doing funny business. There is nothing quite like a dame who can steal the keys to your smile. And the double down comes when she cashes in your smile for a laugh that hurtles the planet Mars.

If you were wondering what a ‘beer debate’ is all about . . it’s really quite simple. Drink beers whilst texting a favorite comrade, and then throw a fun and sexy debate into the mix. I assure you, it beats the hell out of most any other debate you’re ever gonna involve yourself in.

So we debated our Mount Rushmore of female comedians as I was venturing into the first couple minutes of The Long, Long Trailer on TCM, with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. If you’ve never seen it, get to stepping . . like right now. Because it’s an hour and forty three minutes worth of the most wonderful science experiment known to humankind. These two kids from different sides of a ninety mile train track worth of oceans, they were a brilliant complication whose arrangement nested into our hearts and stayed put.

So Lucille Ball is my George Washington of a Mount Rushmore arrangement of female comedians. Q had no problema with that assessment. What’s not to love? Lucy was sexy and beautiful with comedic timing that could have talked Dante Alighieri into writing the best Goddamn sitcom ever.

So from those heights, we chiseled out some more of this rock of funny sages and we came to an agreement on Carol Burnett (That was Q’s get). Burnett’s comedy skits were of an age that hasn’t even arrived here quite yet. She introduced me to the kind of drug I’ve been in the market for ever since.

We arrived at the intermezzo with one hell of a situation on our hands. Because the talent that was spilling out of our texts was akin to a garden hose inside the dog days of summer.

Next up, I went for Ellen. Because I remember some of her early stuff, before she got ABC. And lemme tell you, I would have been her groupie if that had been her thing. No questions asked. She hit me that way. Hard and sublimely. I still quiver, yeah . . it’s like that. But man, the brilliance of her stand up act was worth a mighty intoxicating platter.

So here we stood, ninety feet from home plate with a harem of laugh makers that had to be cut. Which is why you choose beer for such a debate, kids. For the hops it gifts you.

We had Joan Rivers, whose balls were mighty and whose sacred cows were always missing in action; because she spared no one and nothing, ever. And damn if that isn’t what comedy is supposed to feel like. There was Tina Fey, whose politics were so fucking smart that she made you feel as if she was swimming three olives inside a perfectly constructed martini. And so what if Amy Schumer can’t be political to save her life? She does everything else spot on, including vagina (pun intended).

Lily Tomlin is first ballot Hall of Fame, and if you go with her . . you gotta bring Bette Midler along, because she is mirror image (Big Business reference). And speaking of mirror besties, you can’t leave Vicki Lawrence out of the Carol Burnett discussion if you stayed up to watch those two light up the screen. And if you were of that certain age, you watched Betty White, Phyllis Diller and Mary Tyler Moore do the same damned bit of wonderful. And then you watched Goldie Hawn make fun of the armed services without so much as a trip to the President’s office.

And of that certain age, when Saturday night at home wasn’t a complete waste of time because of SNL . . you remember Jane Curtin and Gilda Radner. Mightily. After which Amy Poehler, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Kristin Wiig did the seats just fine.

And Whoopi did stand-up with the kind of hold you can’t teach, and then she doubled down on a cinematic career whose carom made Ghost one of the best movies. Ever. And there is Kathy Griffin, who seems a bit lost in space excepting for those NYE installments with her girlfriend Anderson (They are one of my favorite couples). But she is still all that, when she’s not beheading Trump. And speaking of women who don’t need a dude prop, Melissa McCarthy. Why she ever did that sitcom with the unfunny guy? I’ll never understand.

So me and Q debated ourselves into one last round as Lucy and Ricky gave way to Bing Crosby in Top ‘O The Morning before Q hit oil with a winner.

Wanda Sykes. Of course.

The gal throws the kind of heat that will leave you shuddering. She has worked with so many of the very biggest in the biz; from Larry David and Eddie Murphy, to Chris Rock and Homer Simpson. And her talent never played second fiddle, to any of ’em. You just can’t upstage a five alarm fire such as hers. And not for nothing, but she’s a masterful comedic writer to boot. Signed. Sealed and delivered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

The world can be a mean and torturous place. It’s full of thankless and feckless and shameless souls who would like nothing more than to punch the light out of us. And I didn’t help myself any with my reading fare this week. The breaking news I coughed up might as well have been served to me in a beaker full of toxic waste. And the stuff I bookmarked to read later? Hells, it would have been better served as wallpaper in Edgar Allan Poe’s crypt, if the salty bastard had a crypt.

There were plenty of zeroes on the board over the past week and change, and I’m not referring to Bryce Harper’s 330 million dollar signing with the Phillies either. I mean, inking that check on a .250 hitter is enough to make Mickey Mantle crap in his dead pinstripes.

And while I’m on the subject of crap, it’s the entree being served up at 1600 Pennsylvania these days. This administration is offering up more denials than the executive producers of Real Housewives. 

Michael Cohen went before Congress and pulled Sammy Gravano out of his ass. Maybe it’s my old neighborhood talking, but I hate a rat. Even if this rat dished on some damaging shit that might come back to bite Trump. My thing is, Cohen was plenty fine working for this guy until he wasn’t. And I’m sorry, but principles ain’t like instant grits, so he can kiss mine.

As for the Dems choosing to have their coffee kaffeeklatsch with Cohen whilst El Comandante was in Vietnam breaking bad with the North Korean Supreme Leader formerly known as Dennis Rodman’s bestie? Welp, it’s not hero or zero . . it’s just shitty timing. Because Trump blamed the Cohen hearings for his epic fail of a summit. And the peeps who fall in line with him are plenty fine with this narrative, which makes it a fucking shame. Because if the House Oversight Committee had waited another couple weeks, Trump’s marshmallow retreat could have failed just the same . . and then they would’ve had a brutal one-two-three punch to dovetail that with. Consider this. The summit fizzles last week, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort gets sentenced this week . . and then Cohen. Three weeks . . three different news cycles.

I know I keep beating this drum, but we’re a year from pitchers and catchers as per the 2020 primaries. It’s time for the opposition party to work its long game.

That’s nuance, and it’s in shorter supply than iron chins in big time sports. If it ain’t Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant bitching about how everybody’s picking on them, it’s Kyler Murray’s agent, Erik Burkhardt moaning about all the shade his client is catching. As far as Irving and Durant are concerned, they want to be The Man but they don’t want to bear the cape. Sorry dudes, you work in a billion dollar industry that is gonna speculate and propagate on anything and everything. Addressing these questions IS part of your job. If y’all don’t like it? Go sell insurance. And to Burkhardt, I’d just say . . chill. Criticism is part of the process and not every scout is gonna kiss the kid’s ass. That’s life. Instead of bashing the messenger, Burkhardt should simply let Murray read the following scouting report on a quarterback out of Michigan.

Poor build, Skinny, Lacks great physical stature and strength, Lacks mobility and ability to avoid the rush, Lacks a really strong arm, Can’t drive the ball downfield, Does not throw a really tight spiral, System-type player who can get exposed if forced to ad lib, Gets knocked down easily

This was none other than Tom Brady’s report card in the lead up to the 2000 NFL draft. And yanno . . he did okay.

And speaking of okay, I got way better than that in the form of a dynamic duo of bloggers who bring me the sunshine on the rainiest days. Dale from A Dalectable Life and Cincy at A Frank AngleWhen these two ain’t making trouble, they’re actually digging for gold. And finding it. 

Frank shared the story of Sister Rose Ann Fleming. She was eleven when her mother passed away. Rather than crush her faith, it strengthened it. So much so that she knew she wanted to be a nun by the time she made it to high school. Her life became one of purpose and perseverance from there.

After graduating from Mount St. Joseph University in 1954, she traveled across Europe before entering the Sisters of Notre Dame convent. With a voracious appetite for knowledge, Fleming moved up the academic ladder quickly. From teacher to Superintendent to University President. Over the years she has accumulated three master’s degrees, a doctorate in education administration, as well as a law degree.

No one would have blamed such a brilliant soul if she would have gone another way with all her many accomplishments. But Fleming was always steadfast in her passion for teaching kids and representing those in need. She’s a literal Swiss Army knife at Xavier University- teacher, academic advisor, and special assistant to the President among her many titles.

Fleming was recently named a Great Living Cincinnatian by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. Lucky for them she kept her talents in Ohio . . .

Dale over at A Dalectable Life shared with me the story of twelve year old Thomas Moore. And lemme tell you, he’s the kid superheroes could be modeled after. He’s got the heart, the soul and a terrific head of hair.

When Moore was seven years old, he watched a video with his mother which featured Kyssi Andrews- a five year old girl who would eventually lose her battle with cancer. Thomas’s mother explained to him the ravages of chemotherapy, and how it oftentimes results in hair loss. That was all he needed to hear.

Thomas Moore, all seven years worth of kid, decided he was going to grow his hair out. Enough for two wigs is the way he figured it. And so for two years, he kept to the promise he’d made that day . . never minding his tender scalp or the pain he endured when he would have it braided. Until the day came to donate his labor of love, and it’s when he learned that two wigs? Wasn’t gonna happen, nope. It turns out, he had grown enough of that terrific hair of his to donate three wigs.

From the mouths and manes of babes come the answers to all the most important questions. And maybe all the smart guys and gals can take their cue from this super kid as they navigate all the trials and testimonies of this fiery age.

Let’s face it, the kid’s got a kick-ass long game.

 

 

 

Heroes of the Week!

Piano On the Moon

In this week’s edition of Heroes, Imma continue tinkering with the format. I’m ditching the top 5 of the week and just going with whatever articles of inspiration I come across, to the good and bad whilst leaving out anything that hints at indifferent.

Soooo, as the great Jimi Hendrix used to say . . All I’m gonna do is just go on and do what I feel . . . .

When I heard the news about Bob Kraft, I didn’t derive any satisfaction over the idea that the Patriots had suffered a missile strike in their dynastic complex. My first thought was of Alyssa Silva, the young lady whom I featured in a Heroes post along with Kraft earlier this month. Silva and Kraft are friends, and it hurt me to think how disappointed she must have been to hear the news.

A couple weeks ago, I learned that Alyssa Silva had read that special edition of Heroes I posted in honor of her and Bob Kraft. She said that my words helped her to break through a terrible rut she had been going through. The idea that a complete stranger might sing her praises as if a long lost friend provided her with inspiration when she needed it the most. I think of Alyssa and it reminds me there are no winners in this story.

People are going to whoop it up to the news about Kraft losing his happy ending to a dragnet, as if the details involved X’s and O’s rather than young girls. Their reaction to this episode speaks to the ignorance many Americans possess when it comes to the world of sex trafficking. As for Kraft, his arrogance is borne of power that makes him believe he can get away with just about anything. Sadly, Kraft’s brand and the headlines it garners will shield other big name power brokers who were involved in the investigation as well. Absolute power corrupts?

Absolutely it does.

That’s how power works, it’s a fluid dynamic whose symmetry is an illusory sustenance. Which is what LeBron James is learning right about now as his T-Minus is showing some cracks. After eight straight trips to the NBA finals, James’s team is currently in danger of not even making the postseason. It would be an extraordinary development, considering the expectations he brought with him from Cleveland.

He doesn’t ever have to win another playoff game to go down as the best player of his time. But umm . . he kinda branded himself the heavyweight champ of all time recently.

Nah.

Forget titles, scoring records or MVP’s . .  that ain’t why I won’t put James on my Mt Rushmore of the NBA. Nope, the reason he ain’t getting in there is because of his preening and moping and piss poor handling of coaches and teammates alike. When called on to lead, he hasn’t. When called on to finish, he can’t. He joined a young team with lots of potential, and he has them going in reverse.

He’s got a platinum brand, but Michael Jordan’s title is safe.

I’m sure if Richard Pryor were alive and reading my blog, he’d probably leave the same comment to every Heroes post I wrote up. He’d tell me that a hero ain’t nothing but a sandwich. Which would provide me with the perspective that was needed to keep on getting something out of the nothing of too many news cycles.

And sometimes, I wouldn’t have to look in order to find. As is the case with this walk off homer of a sendoff gifted to me by the lovely Dale over at A Dalectable Life.  I was bitching and moaning (I’m really good at it) about having bupkis in the brain for this week’s installment when she snuck me in some contraband from north of the border.

“It’s just a small Montreal story . . so I would understand if it didn’t make the cut,” She said.

Welp, this local story puts Kraft and LeBron and all their merry bands to shame with enough heart and soul to fix the planet up in neon, and send Timothy Leary in search of his Ray Bans. Because that’s what heroes do, they light up the darkest spaces.

Carey Price is a goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens, and if you’ve never heard of him before, you’re probably an American. And that’s alright, because Price is doing his thing without our help. He’ll never be the owner of the Patriots, or an NBA mogul. But he’s writing checks to a constellation that never minds all that jazz, so it’s all good.

Thanks to Montreal Canadien officials and the family of a boy named Anderson, dreams came true during the team’s morning skate recently. The boy’s mother lost her battle with cancer last year, but her echoes reverberate still. Because within these echoes, a promise was made from mother to son; a promise that she would arrange a meeting with him and Carey Price. The fact that she was taken from the world much too soon didn’t silence the heartbeat of that promise.

And so it was that Anderson met his boyhood idol, and in so doing they shined a light into that darkness. Price signed Anderson’s hockey sticks and hockey pucks and his hockey jersey and he gave the kid a hug. And if there is a sporting event known to man that feels as good and as compelling and as worth it as this minute and a half video of a kid and his hero? I want tickets . . front row.

To promises kept.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

Warhol Superman

Walking the Talk: I checked out a Vlog piece on Yahoo featuring former Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman. It’s a worthwhile education she lays down, in which she covers her sexual abuse at the hands of Dr. Larry Nassar; how the system treats victims of abuse and how some people feel that she should just stop talking about it and ‘move on’; as if this were a speeding ticket.

This young woman’s message struck such a chord with me that I actually tweeted her some encouraging words. Me! The gist of it was to keep talking about it, and to never stop talking about it. Because her courage is an inspiration to so many of the victims of abuse. And for those who don’t get it, well, they’re just never going to get it.

Aly was one of the greats of her sport. But as a human being, she has far exceeded all of her many achievements. By being true to herself and the countless others who once lived in the dark, she has provided a light. What a hell of a young woman, and a true hero of any week.

LeBron James ain’t getting Anthony Davis. Or Kyrie. Or Durant. No more team building and very likely, no more title runs for King James.

The Empire Strikes Hack: The big zero of my week is Jussie Smollett. The former star of Empire and any other gig in the foreseeable future.

I feel badly for this kid, who made an absolutely horrible choice and in so doing, has basically thrown away his career. But he did this to himself. And while he may not have stopped to consider the damage his stunt would incur, it’s quite evident. Because the world is divided enough without made up stories of racial attacks. Smollett has affected the wrong kind of change, at a time when we need the right kind, desperately.

His story had me shaking my head as soon as the MAGA stuff came out. I mean, show me the white conservatives who are hanging out in Chicago with rope and bleach at that hour. And please, show me the white conservatives who even know what the show ‘Empire’ is about. Puhleeze. When Al Sharpton chimes in by saying Smollett should be held accountable for making up a racially charged story, you know this thing has become a dumpster fire.

Roger Stone is a meme wrapped in a vine, inside a forgettable joke scrawled on the wall in a men’s restroom. 

Me, Myself and Why?- The ultimate diva Antonio Brown just keeps digging himself into a bigger hole. He’s ruined any chances of reconciliation with his current team, and now he’s laying waste to the field as well.

I was willing to give Brown the benefit of the doubt when this whole episode began. His quarterback does come off as a phony, not to mention a diva himself. And his coach does tend to run a loose ship. But Big Ben and Coach Tomlin can’t be blamed for most of the shit Brown has pulled before and since his trade demands. That’s on AB. Brown might yet luck into a marriage with Aaron Rodgers, in spite of himself. But my lasting image of the man has nothing to do with his achievements on the field. Nope, I’ll best remember him for how he accorded himself off it. What a dolt.

Did I dream that whole thing about El Chapo scoring the gig as host of the Oscars? 

And finally, a doubleheader to finish up this week’s installment of Heroes. Because the MLB doesn’t offer up the antiquated two games for one ticket price any longer, and it’s one of the many losses us fans have to bear.

Because in the span of a couple weeks, the game lost two of its stalwart members- Frank Robinson and Don Newcombe.

Frank Robinson hit 586 career home runs, which currently places him 10th on MLB’s all time list (7th on mine). He won Rookie of the Year with the Cincinnati Reds in 1956. He won an AL and an NL and a World Series MVP. He was a Triple Crown winner, a Gold Glove winner, a 14 time all star and a two time World Champion. In 1974, Robinson became the first black manager when the Cleveland Indians named him their player/manager. After his playing days, he went on to manage the San Francisco Giants and then the Baltimore Orioles, where he won AL Manager of the Year honors in 1989. He was a first ballot Hall of Famer in 1982.

Don Newcombe began his career with the Newark Eagles of the Negro League before being released from his contract in order to sign with Branch Rickey’s Brooklyn Dodgers. Newcombe made his pro debut in 1949, becoming the third black pitcher to pitch in the majors. He proceeded to win 17 games while leading the league in shutouts while helping the Dodgers win the pennant. He won Rookie of the Year honors for his efforts. Newcombe was an integral part of Brooklyn’s first and only World Championship in 1955, when they took down the mighty Yankees in seven games. A year later, he would win twenty seven games and the Cy Young Award.

Newcombe could turn a baseball into a vitamin and make the fiercest hitter swallow it whole. While Robinson could take a one way ticket fastball and quickly turn it into a round trip. Their talent resulted in plenty of hardware, and an abiding respect among their peers. But their baseball lives didn’t stop there. The two men remained inextricably linked to the game they loved until their final days. Today’s players owe a tremendous debt to these two men, one that could never be repaid. Robinson and Newcombe always played down their struggles as young players in a racially divided culture where many still considered them outsiders. They overcame every obstacle and they changed the game for the better. Theirs was the power of dreams come to life. And the passing of these two giants brings to mind a quote by Homer. And what he greatly thought, he nobly dared. 

Says it all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Sacrificing Everything Gets You Paid

Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers

How ironic is it that in a league that tinkers with its overtime rules in order to minimize the chances of a tie, its biggest story becomes just that. Because that’s how I’m feeling after the Kaepernick/Reid settlement with the NFL. It feels a hell of a lot like a tie to me, and here’s why.

On the one hand, the dudes got paid. And by virtue of the gag order attached to this, the NFL has admitted to some form of collusion. Granted, we might never know to what extent and who the major players were, but still . . the league lost.

Or did it?

Because this settlement shakes out to where each owner will pay out about a million and a half bucks a year. That’s sofa cushion money in a league where the average franchise is valued at more than two and a half billion dollars. Chalk it up as a loss for the league owners, but call it what it is: Hush money.

The league doesn’t lose high profile cases very often, not without means that protect their rear ends they don’t.

In 1982, Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL when they blocked his proposed move to LA. Davis won the suit and moved his team to LA, after which he kept right on going after the NFL. Davis sued for LA market rights, after which he sued for the right to move everywhere from Sacramento and Inglewood to Kilimanjaro. He lost every time and eventually became an eccentric ‘renegade’ millionaire while the league just kept getting bigger and stronger.

The NFL is an entity that has navigated every kind of shit storm, and has always come out smelling like a rose. Consider . . .

  • Gun scandals (Plaxico Burress, Adam Jones, et al)
  • Political scandals (Eddie DeBartolo)
  • Spy-Gate (Patriots)
  • Bounty-Gate (Saints)
  • Michael Vick dog fighting ring
  • Ray Lewis’s obstruction of justice plea in a murder trial
  • Ray Rice arrest on assault charges
  • Ben Roethlisberger suspension on alleged rape charges
  • Aaron Hernandez murder conviction
  • CTE

Those are only some of highlights of the league’s off the field ‘business’ since the turn of the millennium. And yet, league revenue is at an all time high with expectations that legalized gambling will send profits into orbit.

If a league can’t be tarnished for covering up brain injuries, do you really think it’s losing sleep over a national anthem protest? Me either. The NFL has already paid out more than half a billion dollars in its concussion settlement, and nobody is talking about it. So this anthem protest settlement is all about sating Kaepernick and Reid without having to divulge more sensitive information. An insurance policy, if you will.

As for whether Kaep gets another shot in the NFL, that’s as much on him as it is on an NFL owner. If he wants to be a starter who demands starter money, it’s going to be tough sledding. In his last season, he finished with 16 touchdowns to just 4 interceptions. His quarterback rating, however, was only 49 percent. Rival coaches and GM’s believed they had figured him out.

Two years ago, I argued that my Dolphins should have signed him. Instead, they blew 10 million on a washed up QB. At the time, owner Stephen Ross claimed that to sign Kaep would have been an affront to the city’s Cuban population. This was in reference to the quarterback’s glowing opinion of Fidel Castro and Che Guvara. But what of the ticket paying population who were laying down big league money for a minor league product? Spare me the politics and give me some sizzle, not to mention a halfway decent shot of being competitive.

Again, what happens from here is mostly up to Kaepernick. His compadre in the anthem protests, Eric Reid, has an NFL job. If Kaepernick really wants back in, he would be wise to invest that settlement money wisely whilst being reasonable as per his value to a team at this point.  I don’t doubt a team would sign him, if he was willing to take less money and maybe even go in as a backup. Get in the door first, then show them what you got.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a team like Washington or Carolina signed him as a potential starter or integral backup, respectively. And don’t count out the Patriots, who ain’t afraid of controversy. The particulars of a Kaepernick contract are almost as fascinating as finding out whether he has anything left on his fastball. Would it be incentives heavy? Would an owner dare put a no kneeling clause in his contract? The possibilities are endless.

Personally, I didn’t have a problem with a peaceful protest in which Kaepernick consulted a Green Beret on how to go about it. I wanted my team to sign him, not because I’m all about social justice, but because I honestly believed his talent far outweighed any off the field criticisms. I wasn’t down with his take on butchers like Castro or Guavara, but I respected his right to feel that way. And I sure as hell wasn’t in agreement with his support of Assata Shakur, a convicted cop killer.

When the anthem protests and resultant backlash began to reach a boiling point, I wrote about how Kaepernick was just a kid who didn’t understand the gravity of the cause he was undertaking. I felt he was skimming his toe in the pool of social progress, rather than diving in. I cringed at the idea that he was being mentioned in the same sentence with names such as King and Ali. His decision to take the NFL money proves I was right to think the way I did. That whole Nike ad campaign about sacrificing everything didn’t include taking over a hundred million dollars in sorry money from the NFL. King didn’t do it that way, and neither did Ali. Kaepernick isn’t a civil rights icon. He’s just a kid with cool hair who may or may not have something left in the tank.

And maybe he’s not who his most fervent supporters thought he was. But he’s also not stupid. Because a hundred million bucks is a hundred million bucks. And he has a right to have any fucking opinion he wants to have, even if I don’t agree with it. And a league full of billionaires who made their bones by taking risks should grow a pair. Talk to him, give him some what’s what. Sign him. Because right now, this whole episode has no winners.

And I hate ties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heap

The memory of that tricycle, abandoned on a grassy hill. For days on end, it lay in a red blanketed tumble. A perfect heap, its wheels fluttering in a lonesome song whose lyrics dreamed of painting the ground in a million years worth of someone’s childhood. Pristine in its sculpted image, nestled in between the living and the dead.

And then one day I passed that grassy hill and found the tricycle bent and broken. Its entrails spewed across the earth, its melody stolen. And I remember thinking it a tragedy of the highest order, and blaming the whole world and Jesus Christ.

I might have approached it, before it became too late. I could have turned it on its wheels and taken it home to my little sister. But then the lesson, and that image I carry to this very day would not have come along with me. Because when I remember back to that broken tricycle, I remember everything else.

They said it was a bad thing. To remember. To tuck myself into those horrible bed time stories. But I do not believe they were right. It is a gift wrapped inside a curse; A talisman whose resonance speaks to me from shallow graves and long lost stars. It helps me to understand the horrors and the beauty of this world are interwoven scriptures. I will neither concede nor abide to its testimony, but I must respect it.

The memories become a hum in the fading moonlight, a flicker in the stained glass sun. Reminding me of the yesterdays that sleep as if sunken vessels in the deep blue sea. Provoking me to close my eyes and heed the torturous lessons risen from the proverbs of Francisco Goya while Canaan sends me postcards, wishing I was there. I embrace the darkness and the light because to run from either one is to succumb to the villainy of both.

That tricycle was an angel, fallen into a new born snow. The memories are a bleeding horizon of lost and found places, whispering in the breeze from all the way back to that twisted wreck up on the grassy hill.

Promising forever, until the wolves came home.

Top 5 Heroes Of The Week

Remember the old Rolling Stone double issues that used to take you a week to read? And longer than that if it was summer and you were perpetually high? Welp, that’s this week’s Heroes installment. You’ll notice I’ve tucked some news squibs in between the Big Five. It’s just me, tinkering.

Now let’s get on with it.

Romaine-tic Comedy- Country music singer Miranda Lambert (Should I stop there? Is that enough of a punchline? No . . you sure? Okay, I’ll continue . . ) is bringing whole new meaning to her salad days. And believe me, I ain’t dressing this up.

Lambert made headlines (again) for all the wrong reasons (again) when she dumped her salad on a woman who was provoking her. The lap dance tantrum happened at a Nashville steakhouse where Lambert was dining with friends and family. And it just makes me sad.

Once upon a time, country music’s preferred method of payment when it came to altercations were baseball bats and whiskey bottles. Now . . it’s lettuce and cherry tomatoes with julienne carrots in a balsamic vinaigrette (speculative editorializing). The legends of country music didn’t even know what the fuck a salad was! The current generation of stars has weaponized it.

Ted Cruz wants to use El Chapo fortune to fund border wall. Because our government has never, ever used blood money before . . .

Ice Cold Stove- Two of the biggest stars in the game- Bryce Harper and Manny Machado- remain unsigned. Pitchers and catchers time has arrived, and these two big ticket items of the hot stove league remain on the shelf. Which says everything about the blah quality of the league. Call it collusion by the owners or call it a deluded MLBPA, but the bottom line is, the game is suffering from an alarming lack of sizzle lately.

Cancel out collusion, because offers have been made and stupid contracts (See the Nationals signing of Corbin) have been inked. As for the player’s union, they’ve got to pipe down on any claims of owner conspiracy, what with the average MLB salary sitting at a cool 4 mil a year. They need to get their shit straight for sure, but worrying about their players getting paid would be the wrong pony to ride. Listen, owners see players like JD Martinez of the Red Sox kicking ass at a fraction of what Harper/Machado were asking for. They want bang over bloat, and I don’t blame them.

But the MLB has got to do something about this hot stove of theirs, which has gotten its ass kicked by the NFL and NBA trading deadlines and signing periods over the last calendar season. Baseball used to own its off-season, but that is no longer the case. Where have you gone Reggie Jackson? . . .

Grammys

The Grammys- Who. Fucking. Cares.

I ain’t got much to say about an awards show I haven’t watched in forever, but what I do have to say isn’t pleasant. And yet . . it’s a hell of a lot more pleasant than what these peeps are dealing. Reading up on the postscripts to the show is akin to checking up on the first grade choir. It’s a bunch of musical talent wrapped in elementary school clothes. They snipe, they curse and they hate on each other with Styrofoam vitriol; which means to say, it’s marshmallow four lettered banter, delivered up by musical brats who couldn’t hold Prince’s luggage.

And this isn’t some old dude pissing on the music of the day, because there’s plenty of new stuff I dig on. And I also happen to believe we should leave Cardi B alone when it comes to that Tom Petty gaffe. Truth be told, there are times when I have to think about which Beatles are left . . and I am guilty of not knowing whether Steven Tyler was dead or alive (He’s alive). Nah, Cardi B is a kid who ain’t down with yesterday’s music, and that’s no crime. But the way her peers trashed her after she won for best rap album is just sad. And proof that I ain’t missing anything by skipping this show.

Kylie Jenner is into condom artTo paraphrase the great Andy Warhol, in the future, everyone will be famous for three and a half minutes . . . 

Sarah Sanders Stars in ‘God Squad’-White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says that God wanted Donald Trump to win in 2016. And a quarter of Fox News poll respondents agree with her. In another Heroes first, I’ve linked to a Fox News poll for shits and giggles. If you insist on sending me hate mail, please forward it here. Rather than doing a post-oped, Imma dish up a semi-fictional rendering of how this might have gone down.

Somewhere in Malibu . . . 

The phone rings. 

“Challo?”

“God, hey . . it’s Lucifer,”

“Hey Lu . . what’s going down?” God chuckles.

“You remember anything about last night?” Lucifer asks.

“Well . . I remember we were playing poker. Moses was bragging about his Red Sea vacation . . Noah was telling fish tales . . and then Lot brought the Patron and we all started doing shots and . . .”

“You went all in when I said you had to elect Trump if you lost your pot,” Lucifer informs him.

“Prove it,” God demands.

His phone chimes to life with a text message containing a video link of him losing the bet with his arch-nemesis.

“Jesus!”

“Yeah Pop?” Jesus says as he moves into the living room to grab his sandals.

“No, not you. Umm, where you going?” God asks.

“Me and Jerry Garcia are gonna work on the van,” Jesus says excitedly.

“What about that job interview you have at Lowes?” God asks.

“That’s manana, and don’t worry . . I’ll pass the drug test this time. Gotta go old man, peace out . ..”

“Lu . . you still there?”

“That kid can’t hold down a job to save his life,” Lucifer says.

“Preaching to the choir, Lu. But hey . . you can’t hold me to this Trump thing,” God says.

“You bet your cloud surfing ass I’m gonna hold you to it,”

“I gotta say, this is low . . even for you,”

“Tuesday, November 8th, Boss. Mark the date,” Lucifer says before hanging up.

If you insist on sending me hate mail for this sacrilegious skit, please forward it here.

Bob Ross Flash Mob- Seriously, that sentence is enough to put a smile on my face. But it gets better. Thanks to middle school art teacher Brady Sloane of Abilene, Texas . . it gets a lot better. Textbook smarts get you in the door, but outside the box thinking opens the doors you never knew existed. And Sloane, supplied. She noticed how her students were stressing over their work load in advanced placement classes and so she organized a cool little activity in which they would all don Bob Ross costumes as they painted.

Sloane used monies from a fundraiser to buy the paints, and then her students helped her make the costumes. And this story is just so damned peach on top of my Heroes cake, that Imma stamp it in place of my usual musical spill.

Zen is what real winning looks like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Gates slams AOC’s 70 percent tax plan? No. Shit.