Archive for DA today

I Understand

Well, look at it this way…
Sure, Ryan Lochte got drunk with his team.

Sure, they peed on, and wrecked a local gas station bathroom.

Sure, he devised a ridiculous cover-up story to try and hide the fact that he and his crew were guilty of vandalism.

Sure, he lied to the police, blamed the citizens of Brazil (including an indirect swipe at the police), causing an international incident, rife with political distrust and tension. And then, made his mama part of his alibi. Then promptly, got on a plane and left behind his boys to clean up the mess.

But, it could have been worse.

He could have stood on a podium and NOT put his hand on his heart, during the National Anthem. 

Or, he could have been sitting in the stands watching his teammates and looking… less than enthused.

I mean, what he did was bad, but… it wasn’t Stank Face Bad.

Or, he could have been on an international stage, performing at his peak, and had his hair out of place. I mean, yeah it was blue, but it wasn’t “unruly.” That would just be nuts. He must have had a styling comb, tucked into his speedo. Made sure them edges was tight.

I mean, what he did was illegal, and disrespectful and 50 Shades of Shady to his co-thugs, I mean cohorts. But, they were just boys being boys. One can understand youthful mischief, in the face of being away from home the first time. Okay well, it’s not the first time. I mean, there was that time in 2008. And 2012. And, I imagine he’s been abroad a few times. Possibly, even some travels before his 30th birthday. But, he’s young! It’s not like he disappointed the country by not… smiling enough. Cut him a break!

He’s a boy! He’s a champion! Can’t we talk about something else? Anything else? This is SO not that important. Certainly not worth more than a day of scrutiny. Who’s going to spend any more than that, dissecting the misdeeds of an Olympian? They’re entitled to a little fun, ’cause that’s what the Olympics are all about: fun! And winning. And looking perfect. And, of course, endorsements. But, fun, of course!

He’s entitled to mess up. He’s TOTALLY entitled!

Isn’t he… entitled?

What Would You Do?

There’s a kid in his high school, who’s having some difficulties. A bunch of guys start ragging on him about his learning disability and what they’ll do to him. He is hit, and mocked and demeaned every day. Every day for MONTHS. He starts to get depressed. He loses weight. His school seems… unwilling to provide a way out. His mother is worried and there seems to be no course of action for him. So, this kid in Pennsylvania catches his bullies in the act with the power of technology, and the school charges the victim with wiretapping.

ReallySNLImage

Okay, somebody explain this to me. The kid and his mother approach the school, saying he’s being bullied. School says they need proof. Kid GETS proof in the class, presents it with parent to the school and the school charges HIM with disorderly conduct and wiretapping. Is it just me, or does that pretty much entrap him?
He has no evidence, he can’t stop the abuse. He presents evidence to the school of said abuse happening on campus and he is ordered to erase it BY the school and charged with a felony on top of that.
Am I crazy, or does that sound like the school board is protecting the aggressors? Or, are they just trying to pretend that this kind of behavior does not happen on their campus?
I’m really trying to get how attempting to protect himself has somehow landed this kid in WAY hotter water than the jerks who’ve been abusing him. This is the very definition of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

Pennsylvania law says that all parties of the recording must sign off on being in the recording to be admissible. Umm, am I wrong in assuming that a bunch of teenagers know enough to say one thing and do another, if presented with this option? Who’s going to co-sign this and then proceed to torment the kid, same as any other day? Who came up with this rule?!

Perhaps this hits a little too close to home for me. Like most kids, I faced my share of bullies, but back in the day, everybody was at fault.
If they hit me, they were in trouble for hitting. If I hit back, I was in trouble for not coming to the school and everybody’s parents would get called.
And you fought. You fought back, because your only other option was just to let it continue to eat away at your soul. My mother was a big proponent of, “if someone hits you, you hit them back.” Then again, my mother also knew that when she was in school, anybody messing with her would have to answer to her mother, father and 11 siblings. When you have a baseball team readily available to defend you, you don’t really worry about support too much. Current schoolyard policies prohibit that behavior, big time. So, what is this kid supposed to do, huh?

My father, on the other hand, was more of a “Daddy’s going to HANDLE THIS” sort of guy. He was a very hands-on protector. When he found out I had become afraid to walk to school because of a bunch of boys, he was all over that. This was not a man concerned about litigation. He just had to come to my rescue once.
ONCE.
Word got out quick.

Wait till I tell my daddy on you.

Wait till I tell my daddy on you.

 

But, those days are long gone. Were I in the same position as a teen now, not only would my dad be on trial for threatening a minor, all my business would be on line for random strangers to join in on the feeding frenzy. Hitting back would mean I and my mother would be sued by the parents and the school administration. It’s looking more like these rules are being put in effect to protect the abusers, not the abused.

So, what exactly do you do when no one’s there to protect your back? That’s the kind of thing that pushes kids to do some serious damage to themselves as well as others. And then everyone else stands around, going “What went wrong?”
If someone could tell me what he was supposed to do, I’d really appreciate it.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Welcome to the post-holiday edition of:

DUMBASS of the WEEK (week, week, week)*
Got a lot to talk about, so I’m just going to jump right in.
Oh yeah, Happy Christmas, Merry New Year, I missed you, too, every holiday trope, ta-da.
Now…

Chris Christie
Okay, so it’s like this.
I no longer live in New Jersey, but for nearly all of my formative years, that was my home.
Only certain aspects of it do I miss, and I am not anxious to head back anytime… at all.
However, I cannot deny that through it all, I am a Jersey Girl.
I was raised in Jersey City. I went to high school in one of the all-girl Catholic schools in town. If I’m not mistaken, the rivalry betwixt the two continues to this day. (What up, Snob Hill!)
Like it or not, we are Jersey, and all that title encompasses.
Loud, opinionated, explosive, just a little crazy, with a touch of hood rat, and if you mess with Jersey, it WILL come back to bite you in the ass.
So, in light of Gov. Christie’s intimidation tactics, I need to see a little retribution come his way.
For him to say that he was “outraged” was expected.
To see him fire his scapegoats, uh, staffers, was textbook. He wants to be President and someone has to take the blame.
But, to announce to the state and country that he is quote, “Not a bully,” when there is overwhelming evidence & documented footage, showing him being precisely that, is beyond ridiculous.
Boy, please. You revel in tussling with people. Not just reporters, but teachers, soldiers. Hell, random people on the street are not exempt to your forked tongue.
They’re not quite bon mots, but you try. Bless your heart.
You thrive off of this. You have cultivated your own reputation of being the guy who tells everyone, “Sit down, shut up, you’re a moron.” Now, you’re trying to tell us that not only did you not know about the bridge closures, you were hurt that your trust was misled and that someone in your administration would employ such tactics, fueled by pettiness and vitriol.
Where could they have picked up such nasty habits?

GIFSoup

Gray’s Papaya
Strangely, the Christie mishegoss doesn’t make me as angry as this does. Maybe because the Christie thing wasn’t a surprise.
As a Jersey City teen, when I wanted to go out with friends, we hopped on the PATH on weekends and headed straight for 9th St. Back in the day, when the Village had all of the shops your parents would be loathe to know you frequented. Trolling up and down 6th Ave. to Astor Place and back. To the bookstores, the vintage clothing hangouts and the displays of pure Shoe-topia. (Loved walking into Funhouse.) And when you’re young, broke and hungry, only one place could help you out: Gray’s Papaya. When you’re a starving artist, meeting with others of your ilk for a brain-storming session, you scrounge up $3.00 and get yourself a couple of dogs with the onion sauce & some mustard. When you have been out clubbing with your friends, it is 2:00 am and you feel like splurging, you get the recession special with the pineapple or papaya juice (those cost a little extra.)
GraysPapaya

So, to suddenly be blindsided (Sorry, Christie) with the news that the institution that is Gray’s Papaya on 6th Ave. closed, was devastating. I couldn’t possibly count the number of hot dogs I have devoured there in my youth. Were they healthy? NO! But they were the perfect cure for hunger pangs.
And now, it’s gone. No warning, no nothing, it’s just… gone! A New York landmark, for crying out loud. To be replaced by a juice bar! It hurts me. There’s only one left now, the original location on the Upper West Side. And according to EaterNY, we can thank their landlord for deciding for hike up the rent to the point where they simply could not stay. Yes, it’s prime real estate, but this is a stand alone, authentic NY experience. For the natives, it’s a comfort. For the visitors, it’s a welcome. For the kids who dream of one day living in the Village, it’s a rite of passage. And now, it’s gone, thanks to possibly the (new) greediest jerk in the city.
P.S. Yes, all of New York hates you.

Christian Stoners
But of all the things that have ticked me off in the news this week, this is without a doubt the most sickening.
Pastors Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner of Colorado were on their Generations radio show, bemoaning the decision of Rose Bowl parade organizers to incorporate a gay wedding on one of their floats.
I understand that they are homophobic pastors and that’s what they do, but dude…
It’s a parade.
The entire thing is all about fabulous design and stunning floats, mainly comprised of flowers. Did you really think gay people were not involved before this year?
But instead of letting it go, they take it 9 steps further by musing about how the committee and audience would feel if they introduced a float in the parade, staging a gay person being stoned to death.
Well Kev, I’m guessing they’d feel the same way anyone would feel about ANYONE BEING STONED on live television. HORRIFIED.
It’s statements like this that reaffirm my belief that the “War on Christians” is complete bunk. You don’t hear gays and transsexuals discussing stuff like this in private conversations, let alone on the air. “You know what would be fabulous for Pride? If we got a random, devout Christian and hanged them in the middle of Christopher St.”
THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN!
Then, for some reason, they tried to “cushion the blow” by suggesting they just re-enact a stoning by throwing flowers at them.
How many times have they seen “Jawbreaker?” Just wondering.

courtney-julie

Look, if you have not gotten the message yet that gay and lesbian people are human beings with the sole agenda of being able to live their lives without shame, denigration self-hate or I don’t know, the constant threat of DEATH hanging over their heads, then I don’t know what to tell you.
They’re not out to get you guys, okay? First off, pastors like you rejected these kids ages ago. They’ve mostly learned to accept themselves for who they are, and your opinion of what God wants them to be has been taken into consideration. It won’t dictate their lives, but they don’t bother with you or your indoctrination. You don’t understand them, you won’t accept them. They know that, they’ve made their peace with it.
Second of all, no offense, but you guys are not hot enough for them to want you. In any sense of the word.
kevin_swanson_adavid_buehner

 

 

 

Gay men and women are not minions of the Devil. Move on.
Now, of all these dumbass moves of this week, Christie is surely one of the dumbest. No one believes he was “unaware” and in the grand history of NJ political strong-arming, this deal is relatively tame.

But I have a feeling this is just the tip of his Iceberg of Stupid, so I’ll wait until it all spills out.
No, this week, I award the crown to our biblical stoners.
Good job, guys.
Way to make Christians look unreasonable and ultra-violent.

Oh, and special honorable mention goes to the pastor in West Africa who proclaimed himself capable of walking on water (just like Jesus) and taking his congregation to the beach to watch him do it.
Yeah, that did not end well.

* My echoes need work. I realize that.

You AGAIN?!

Amazing.

Y’all remember last year, when a friend of mine was twitter-abused by a bitter actor?
He’s back!

He’s posted a tumblr page about my playwright friend and labeled it king duncan the douchebag.

WOW.

No, I will NOT be posting the tumblr page and giving this fool traffic.

I took a look at this, because Duncan just finds this funny as hell.
I, however, am puzzled.
How are you going to think to yourself, “what I really need to do for my career, is fixate on one rejection from a year ago and make as much of a show of it as possible?”
And he tries to turn it around and blame HIM. “He took it the wrong way,” “It was innocent”, “I was being jocular and facetious.”

No, you’re just being redundant and, well… infantile.

Are you reading the same exchange I’m reading?
Because I’m reading someone trying to get a reaction out of the playwright.

YOU started the exchange.

YOU started the name calling.

YOU begin several attempts to bait him, justifying the original decision to stay as far away from you as possible.

And YOU claimed to have better things to do, yet after a year, you posted this page.
I’m pretty sure actors who are that good and that busy, don’t have time to do this mess.
The playwright, I’m sure, had forgotten all about you.

Oh, but that’s the point, isn’t it?

Let me guess: that week when your posts were everywhere in what NOT to do as an actor was the most popular time of your life, wasn’t it?
Your name and Twitter action was at the top of many lists, and you thought doing this would get it going again.

Well, congratulations, Pumpkin.
I’d never seen an actor sink so low and honestly thought you’d hit rock bottom.

Clearly, I underestimated you.

I am ashamed that THIS woman is so simple

Y’all knew I couldn’t let this fool woman get away, right?

Dear Jodie Laubenberg,
You have NO. CLUE. as to what this is about, have you?
You get on the House floor, you object to any and all exceptions regarding rape and incest and you defend that by claiming the exemptions are not necessary since when you go to the hospital, they give you a rape kit, that “cleans you out.”
Yes, apparently, they just attach a hose to a pump and flush all of the icky stuff right out. Easy, peasy.
Because after all, since YOU have never been raped or been the victim of incest, YOU are the standard by which all women should be measured. And since YOU couldn’t possibly EVER get yourself into a situation like this (because after all, these women really brought this on themselves, didn’t they?), EVERY woman should be just. like. you.

Well, that’s a very… interesting sentiment, Ms. Laubenberg.
Tell me, when they covered things like rape and sexual assault in your human biology or sexuality class, were you absent?
Did you skip that day in class?
Or maybe you sat in the back and didn’t actually pay attention because, hey, these scenarios didn’t apply to you.
Maybe you just opted out of class or, you know, the past 50 years of human development and you just didn’t know.
It’s possible.
It’s also possible that you just metaphorically stuck your fingers in your ears and blocked out all communication about the atrocities “other” women face.
But see, those “other” women didn’t have that luxury of blocking it out when they were being raped, sodomized or generally assaulted (over 200,000 per year). After the attack, only a tiny portion of those women actually work up the guts to go to the police to report it (46%). The “rape kit” is put together for the sole purpose of gathering evidence to identify their attacker (only 3% of which ever see the inside of a jail cell). It’s used in the prosecuting case, if the case ever makes it to court and the victim does, in fact, decide to prosecute (9 out of every 100).
And if they then are in the horrific position of being reminded of their attack every. single. day with a pregnancy (5% of victims), YOU want to subject them to further shame and scrutiny and tell them they can’t choose their own fate, no matter what.
But YOU never had to do it, so YOU speak for ALL women of Texas. Isn’t that right?
My guess is, you were trotted out by your male constituents to say, “See? It’s not just us. This woman speaks for YOU and YOU want the same things SHE wants.”
I can’t even bother to be glib about this atrocity.
Rep. Laubenberg, you’ve helped sell out all of the women in your great state, without knowing a blessed thing about what they have to go through.
Hope you can sleep, knowing that.

Smug Jerk Under Glass

So lately, everybody’s been talking about waiters and what patrons feel they should have to tolerate, much less pay.
Well, just last Friday, I had quite the dining experience.
Before picking up my Little Man from school, I was in the mood for sushi and found a place three avenues down.

I walked in, sat down at the bar and had to wait for the waitress to hand me a menu. And it wasn’t even a laminated one! I was annoyed for a moment, thinking, “Is it me?” But I let that pass.

And then, I was waiting for maybe ten minutes before the waitress even looked in my direction to ask me for my order.
I was so frustrated, I nearly threw my hands up in exasperation and thought, “What is going ON?! Geez! Can’t someone else handle…?”
But before the thought even finished in my head, I take a cursory glance around the room. That’s when I realized that no, someone else can’t handle

You see, she was alone.
And she was bringing water and tea and food and napkins and everything to approximately 9 separate tables, not including all of the people at the bar. All during the lunch rush. Small as the place was, she was on her own and trying to make sure everyone was happy and she was doing her job. So, I thought it might be best if I NOT be a crybaby and simply wait my turn while she does her work.

Which brings me to the Dumbass of the Week.
Yes, I realize the week just started.
But Kyle Smith of The New York Post made it pretty clear that he’s bucking for the #1 spot. And since there are TOO many people to blame for the sequester fiasco, we’ll just start with this guy.

His smug, dismissive take on “waitrons” that are too nice or accommodating for his taste just set me off.
Mind you, I haven’t done food service since my high school days, so I couldn’t possibly have an inkling as to how rough it is for the actor/waiter who works shift after shift to make enough tips to keep a roof over their heads and has to squeeze acting classes and auditions and workshops in between those shifts so that they can do what they came to New York to do. Hint: They didn’t come to New York to tolerate your ignorant, entitled butt.

I’m so glad that you love the wait service and “hands-off” approach they have in France. Yes, they let the food speak for itself. You know what else they do? Pay their employees enough off the top so that wait staff doesn’t have to depend on YOU to make sure they EAT. It’s different here.

I get it. You don’t need to do this menial job, but try to remember every now and then that plenty of people do need to do this job. And unless you plan on cooking at home a lot more, figure out a way to respect the people killing themselves to get you your service with a smile.

Oh, and one more thing:
They’re servers, not “servants.”
You don’t own them. It’s not your palace.
Stop. Watching. Downton Abbey.

Call me when the Stupid runs out.

Tennessee senator proposes cutting assistance to low-income families with school children, because the parents just aren’t trying hard enough.

I honestly cannot think of a more asinine concept than this.
If you are in a low-income family, just barely scraping by, and your child is doing poorly in school for whatever reason, this guy wants to let the government punish you by holding back Temporary Assistance for Needy Families by 30%.
Okay, I’m going to need someone, ANY one, a teacher, a parent, anything to explain to me how this will work.
Not, HOW it will work, but how it will WORK.

The senator has explained this concept on his blog.
No, really.

And while he explained that his plan has been used successfully in 40 other countries, he neglected to mention that HIS plan is not quite the same as the plan that, apparently, is closing the income inequality gap in places like Mexico and Brazil.

Where their government is giving low-income families the minimum already and adding incentive when their children stay in school and maintain good grades, and the parents participate in workshops to improve their health and education, Sen. Campfield believes that they should be inspired by the idea that the government will take away what little assistance they’re getting in the first place!

I am asking, imploring, SOME body tell me how this man has come to the conclusion that this is a plan that will help poor families.

I’m so done with politicians right now.

What You don’t Know about Women

I do not understand men.

Strange, random men, who need to use the worst pickup lines on women.

This morning, after dropping off Little Man at school, I had to make a stop at the supermarket.

Now, mind you. It’s 8:00 AM, man. I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep over the past two days. I’m not in my everyday glammed-up (HA!) version of myself.

I’m not expecting some random dude to come smiling up to me, while he’s unloading stacked produce.

What’s worse, it wasn’t even good. You seriously trying to mack on somebody at 8:00 am and you’ve got nothing better than,”How about you give me your phone number, so I can call you?”

Yeah, how about I snatch that dead caterpillar off your face and make you eat it?!

I got a little too New York when he did that, because I just turned around with a look of disgust and went, “SO. MUCH. NO. How ’bout ‘HELL NO?!'”

I felt like I needed a shower.

Now, there are some who will say this was the wrong approach. It’ll only encourage him, because he got a reaction out of me.

Yeah, well. Guess what?

There is no “right” approach. Not if that’s how you look at it.

If I say something, I’ve given him the attention he wants. If I ignore him and walk by, he takes that to mean I’m affected by him and it just encourages him to do it again to the next woman. Insulting him will just piss him off, maybe.

Any way you slice it, if you’re a woman, the onus is on you.

“You shouldn’t have…”

“You can’t do that…”

“You’ll just provoke him.”

What about, stop acting like a jackass?! No woman appreciates that caveman bull. And if you DO approach a random woman you don’t know, if you’re so compelled by her beauty to talk to her, you’d better come up with something way more respectful and more creative than, “gimme yo numbuh.”

Good rule of thumb: If you heard it on an old episode of “Fresh Prince,” don’t use it.

Man, sit yo ass down!

Did you say something, Maggie?

Oh!

So, a friend of mine had an extra ticket to a Broadway show.

Free matinee. Whoo!

She took me to see Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, with Scarlett Johanson.

Hmmm…

Yeah.

Now, I don’t claim to be any kind of expert on Tennessee Williams.

However, one thing that I’ve noticed is that in a Williams play, there always seems to be another, unseen, ever-present character. The Heat.

The Heat of the South.

The Heat of the Moment.

There is always Lust, with a capital L, in the air.

And from what I understand, the tumultuous relationship between main characters Brick and Maggie, must be fraught with chemistry. Lots and lots of chemistry.

Kids,

I’ve made baking soda volcanoes that had more chemistry than those two.

It was… bad. Wow, was it bad.

If your performance is being outshone by the set design…

Holy cats! You got a problem, son.

There was no there there.

In all honesty, I found the production no good. There were some moments of saving grace (God Bless Debra Monk), but overall, you could see the edits, revisions and how they left holes in things left and right. Things that were added in just did not help, they were hindrances. I won’t give details in case you do see the show, but I will say this. 

I went in with the pre-conceived idea that Johanson would disappoint.

I’m kind of sorry to say, I was really, really right.

SHE’S TOO YOUNG!!

She’s too young to play Maggie the Cat, plain and simple.

There’s no tension, there’s no fight in her.

And, how can one do the entire opening monologue in a Tennessee Williams play in a slinky, silky slip and not be sexual. At. All?

And half the time, with her husband in the room (that she supposedly begs to have sex with), she talked as if she had no connection with him, whatsoever. I asked my friend “Does she know he’s there?”

But it wasn’t just her. If only it were that easy.

It was bad across the board.

No malice, no bitterness, just disappointment.

Oh! And why is the lady sitting next to ME the only chick in the theater that has no idea how to turn off her iPhone?

No, seriously.

It went off during the first act and when she sat there fumbling with it during both intermissions (yes, I said, both), I came within a hair’s breath of snatching it out of her hands. AHHHHH!

Okay, I’m done.

Good night.

Every Day a Little Death.

You know that old theater joke about a production of “Anne Frank” so horrendous, that when the Nazis show up, audience members tell them where she’s hiding?

Yeah, “Liz & Dick” was kind of like that.
Never heard so many people pulling for a successful overdose.
Yikes.