Friday, May 24, 2019

THERE'S AN AP FOR THAT

I'm somewhere on the other side.
You never know, do you? You never know what piece of action leads to something not just unexpected, but wildly unexpected. 

Among the pieces I've written for Next Avenue was a darkly humorous essay about the travails of trying to find a job when you're considered over the hill. It was later reprinted by Forbes and some other outlets.

That was December 2015. About six weeks ago, I received an email with the eye-catching subject line reading, Interview Request - The Associated Press

Well, hell, what did AP want to do with me? And why wasn't UPI interested in me, too?

I was hoping the reporter looked like this.
Faster than you can say "Stop the presses", I opened the email, which was from a reporter named Andrew Soergel. He had read the aforementioned Next Avenue piece, along with a few others and my blog. Soergel was working on a piece about age discrimination in the workforce, and was interested in speaking to me telephonically. 

It took a few minutes of decision-making on my part. Several years earlier, an op-ed I had written for the New York Post led a radio interview with a local talk show host whose name escapes me. It lasted only a few minutes and, frankly, came off to me as rather dull. I didn't have much to say beyond what I had written. Would history repeat itself into unconsciousness? 

On the other hand, this was an AP reporter wanting to talk to me -- from Chicago yet! That would be quite a feather in my fedora, not to mention being an icebreaker at the next cocktail party I was invited to. 

Thirty minutes later our interview began. The next time I glanced at the clock, almost an hour had passed. This Soergel fellow (for he is a Fellow of Economics of Aging and Work at the University of Chicago) was good at getting information out of me -- information, at times, I had forgotten until then. It was definitely a more lively chat than my radio slog.

For once, when my wife came home and asked, "How was your day?", I actually had something interesting to share. Too, I mentioned it to our daughter during phone call later that evening. But since the invitation the cocktail party never arrived, I gradually forgot about it. 


After my wife saw this, she wanted
me replaced.


Then, out of the blue, I heard from Andrew Soergel again. The piece was ready to roll -- and, oh yeah, would it be possible to have one of the AP photographers take a few pictures of me to go along with it? 

Now, the last time I had stepped in front of a professional still photographer was during my character modelling days some 15 years ago. It was mostly stock photo stuff, used in greeting cards and print ads for various businesses. How my face didn't drive away customers, I dunno.

Unlike deciding whether or not to take part in the interview, this was a slam dunk no-brainer. For once, I wouldn't be required to look like an idiot. I only hoped it wouldn't come to me naturally.






I was hoping the photographer looked
like this.

On Wednesday, AP photographer Richard Drew swung by for the session, both in my living room and along the East River. Drew was friendly and professional -- which makes sense, since he's been doing this for a living for 50 years. 

But what really floored me was that he was one of the photographers at Bobby Kennedy's assassination and took the unforgettable "Falling Man" photo at the World Trade Center on 9/11. And here he was now, taking my picture. 

Like I say, wildly unexpected.

Yesterday, the piece went live on the Associated Press site, among others. Andrew Soegrel did a fine writing job -- straightforward, factual, concise -- while Richard Drew chose three photos to illustrate it. Even with what appear to be "casual" shots, you can tell when they're they work of pros, and Drew is up there with the best of them. All in all, an interesting experience.

I'm still waiting for the cocktail party invitation, though.

                                                  *****************************

Thursday, May 23, 2019

THE BILL COMES DUE

"How many times do I have to tell you? It's Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez!"
You've made it in politics when everyone knows you solely by your initials. FDR, JFK, RFK. Bush 43 was known strictly as W (pronounced Double-yuh). It's a sure sign that AOC is probably headed to bigger things even if people can't remember her first two names. 

So it's time to make room in the Initial Hall of Fame for the latest Oval Office Executive-wannabe, Bill de Blasio. But let me hasten to inform you that he isn't known as BDB. Nope, from my perspective as a New Yorker, de Blasio's nickname ought to be OIM -- short for Our Idiot Mayor.

Which is the bigger birdbrain?
Not that OIM hasn't been a total washout in his first six years in office. Pedestrian deaths in New York have dropped thanks to his push to drop the city speed limit to 25 MPH. Free Pre-K is available for all four year-olds. He made good on East River ferry service, and wants to bring it to the Hudson as well. And New York continues to be the safest big city in America. 

But because Democrats pointed to an overall national drop in crime when Rudy Giuliani was mayor, I'm going to say OIM has nothing to do with it, and see how he likes it. So that makes three things that Democrat Presidential Candidate #24 can point to as successes. Because if anything impresses participants in the Iowa caucus, it's ferry service. 

Unfortunately, this trifecta is outweighed by... well, where to begin? How
This kid encapsulates New York's opinion of OIM.
about with broken promises (replacing Central Park horse drawn carriages with Model T-style electric cars, for one); ridiculous ideas that will never come to pass (banning "inefficient" steel and glass structures); picking pointless fights with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the local press, and anyone else who doesn't recognize his genius; having a wife who "misplaced" $850-million in taxpayer money; dogshit on every block;and good old-fashioned corruption. 


For the latter, I direct you to the yeoman's work provided by a local news site, The City, which has been keeping tabs on OIM's activities on a page called The de Blasio Files. You don't have to read the details; all you need to do is look at the headlines to get the gist of OIM's administration. Imagine Boss Tweed with a multiracial family, and you get the idea.

The de Blasios put the "city" in "duplicity".
People in and outside New York positively marvel at our ability to have elected a hack like OIM after three terms of serious service by Mike Bloomberg -- and, for that matter, two terms of Rudy Giuliani (before he became the babbling, drunken consilergie for a crime boss President). It seems like 20 straight years of dropping crime rates, rising tourism, and clean streets was a bad thing. 

So when it came time to elect a new mayor, the 25% of New Yorkers who actually voted decided it was time for a change. As with residents of Biloxi, Mississippi who wouldn't vote for a Democrat if the life of their daughter-girlfriend depended on it, so will most New Yorkers treat Republican candidates as if they were, well, Republicans. (It was Staten Island, more than any other borough, that helped to push Giuliani and Bloomberg over the top.)

Even the groundhog wants to get the hell away from him.
And yet, nobody but nobody in New York likes OIM. Not the residents, his fellow Democrats, or even the New York Times. Which is why he's running for President -- he's tired of being trashed by everybody in his hometown, while clearly bored with his job. Perhaps he can get some of that 1% love in the cornfields of Iowa.

He sure as heck won't find it here. OIM is running for president despite being thin-skinned, corrupt, and angry, flailing around with ideas that even he knows will never come to pass, all the while being the titular head of an equally scandalous family. It worked for Trump!

                                                           **************************

Friday, May 10, 2019

STRICTLY ON BACKGROUND, PT. 32: "THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL"

Thanks to a recent large purchase, I qualified for 30 days of complimentary Amazon Prime streaming service. This allowed me to search for the episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel which I've worked on. Because I hadn't made note of exactly which episodes these were, I relied on shooting dates, memory, luck, and, most of all, the power of fast-forwarding.

By and large, I succeeded. Of all my appearances, there were only two that I either couldn't find, or never made the final cut. (My first time, on Maisel's pilot episode and initially free to all, was dissected here.) I'm particularly sorry that my second appearance was nowhere to be found because, as a 1950s Midtown pedestrian, I wore a great suit, overcoat, and of course, fedora -- an outfit that I was not only born for, but will probably be buried in.

But that was before I found my niche in the role of Garment Worker, which has been my Maisel bread & butter ever since. (Once you're established as a particular character, even in the background, it's yours for good.) Initially, we shot episodes in a real, old-school garment factory in Brooklyn, with many of its employees also in the scenes.

Me on the far right, stumbling to my work table while
trying to keep a straight face as Kevin Pollack barks
his lines.
My glasses were considered too contemporary, so I had to make do walking around while praying I wouldn't bump into any of the principal actors. Fortunately, rehearsals allowed me to wear glasses in order to get an idea of what the hell I was doing. 

Rehearsals were also handy in order for me to get used to Kevin Pollack's hilarious delivery, since I would inevitably laugh as he ranted at the top of his lungs in his role as Moishe Maisel, the factory boss. By the time we were ready to actually shoot the scene, I was able to play it straight.

"Is that an RCA record player I see?"

The only other scene I could find took place in Joel Maisel's apartment, which was shot at Steiner Studios in Brooklyn. The apartment is supposed to be located right off one of the garment factory's floors. This part of the faux-factory was incredibly realistic, right down to the dust on the floor, calendars, and an old list of nearby brothels tacked on the wall -- stuff you might not notice, but which really make you feel like you're working in a '50s sweatshop.

This scene was the first time on Maisel where I was clearly visible. In it, Joel Maisel has invited the workers into his apartment for a brief celebration. I played it like it was my character's first time in the apartment, as I admired the stereo just off the entry. (The prop people gave me non-prescription, era-appropriate eyeglasses to wear.)

On the left, in a faux-apartment that plenty of real
New Yorkers would kill for.
I made my way to left of Joel Maisel (or, rather,  actor Michael Zegen) as he made his celebratory announcement, and toasted the workers. Maybe I took the part too seriously, but I actually felt a class difference between the cool-looking, well-dressed actors playing Maisel's friends, and us workers, who were dressed in drab short-sleeve shirts (for men) and dowdy dresses (for women). I had to keep reminding myself, It's only a TV show. It's only a TV show.




The scene runs less than two minutes in its entirety, yet took two days to shoot, due to
Me on the right, toasting my good health.
the different angles required. Michael Zegen did a particularly good job on the second day, since he had come down with a cold (perhaps caused by the dust and herbal cigarettes permeating the set). That's the difference between a pro like him and a whiner like me. He can fake feeling good; I park myself on the couch and watch TCM while blowing my nose.

If you take a good look at the screengrab on the right, you'll see three guys in the left rear of the set. The one in the middle is my friend Sasha. We also appeared together in a scene of a previously-discussed episode of Madam Secretary as NATO diplomats. How far the mighty have fallen -- or how flexible background actors can be.

                                                        ********************




Thursday, May 9, 2019

KEYED UP

My life on a loop.
My wife would happily confirm that my leaps to conclusion can be positively Olympian. So when, during a recent gig, I appeared to have lost the chain that holds the keys to the locks on four doors, three storage lockers, a mailbox, a bike, and a few things I'm not certain I even own anymore, my life appeared completely upended. 

After taking stock of my situation (while accompanied by a severe case of tachypnea), I drew up a mental to-do list:


  • Get wife's keys copied. 
  • Buy new bike chain. 
  • Bust old bike chain. 
  • Buy new storage locks. 
  • Bust old storage locks.
  • Get replacement "senior citizen discount" grocery store tags. 
  • Make half a dozen copies of each key. 
  • Put new keys somewhere I'll remember them (a difficult task at best).
  • Walk around looking like a janitor with a jangly keychain on my pants' belt loop 24/7. 

No wonder why people tell muggers, "Take the wallet, just let me have my keys." When faced with the loss of money, credit cards and cellphone vs. that of keys, you learn what's really valuable. 

Buying new locks and getting the keys copies would be easy enough. But what about busting those storage locks? That would require outside help. Figuring that "busting" was a little declassee, I Googled "breaking locks near me." 

The most appropriate hardware store for me.
There appeared to be no end to businesses in my neighborhood devoted to breaking and entering. No prices were given, which lead me to think that a two-minute job would lead to a three-figure bill. It would probably be cheaper to rent a tool myself from a hardware store. 

I returned to the Google machine and typed the phrase "How to break open chains and locks." 

Of course -- a bolt cutter! Why didn't I think of that before? I've seen enough old crime movies to know a good criminal tool.

None of this proved to be necessary, since I found the keys after a more thorough look through my suitcase. Normally, this would be the time to say sonorously, "This case is closed". However, you've probably learned by now that there is nothing normal about me.

Not that Shazam (although it fits me to a tee).
The following day, I was listening to a podcast when an interesting, kind of goofy instrumental piece began to play. Needing to know what I was listening to, I whipped out my Shazam (a phrase that would have been used 40 years ago in a letter to Penthouse.) 

The song, Shazam informed me, was "Mindy's Playroom" by Deux Filles. It was worth a Google to learn if it was available for download... until the memory of the previous evening stopped me cold.

If it was true that certain words typed into search engines trigger red flags for investigative agencies, this is what my most recent trail would look like:

Breaking locks near me. 
How to open chains and locks.
Mindy's Playroom.

Gulp. Make that gulp to the tenth power. No way was I going to search for a song that would likely be the crowning event leading to a visit from the feds. If I'm going to download "Mindy's Playroom", it would be after things cooled down first.

Wait -- did I just type the phrase "download 'Mindy's Playroom'"? I better start Googling "cheap lawyers near me".

                                                 *********************

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

STRICTLY ON BACKGROUND, PT. 31: "BULL"

A not-so mild panic went through New Yorkers when the MTA announced a year-long shutdown of the subway's L train in order to repair flood damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. 225,000 people ride the L every day, making it the most heavily travelled line between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Of those 225,000 commuters, more than a few are background actors working on Bull, whose studio is less than a block from the subway stop in Brooklyn. The scheduled shutdown was still a few months away when I worked on Bull for two days in March.

Unlike, say, Gotham or Madam Secretary, my role as Courtroom Spectator was fairly straightforward. Show up on set, sit down, look interested, go home. Because the scene took place over two days, a wardrobe change was required. 

All in all, nothing special. But it was the first day of shooting that was a textbook example of the "hurry up and wait" style of work in TV shows and movie -- the kind of thing we're used to, but would drive anybody else crazy.

From blue shirt and gray sweater...
My memory of the day, aided by Google Timeline, was arriving around 8:30 a.m. The Bull crew had already started working on location in Brooklyn about 90 minutes earlier, but was expected back at 10:00 a.m. That is, if all went as planned. 

Which it never does, especially on that day, since they didn't return until roughly 1:30 p.m., followed by lunch about an hour later. 

Background was ushered on set approximately 4:40 p.m. After a brief rehearsal, we shot the final courtroom scene in one take. We wrapped at 5:00. 

To put it another way, I was at the studio eight and a half hours, on set 20 minutes, but "worked" about 180 seconds. It's a living! 

...To pink shirt and brown sweater.
The second day of shooting lasted much, much longer, although Bull star Michael Weatherly, as usual, kept it loose and funny. The actual shoot itself was memorable for the actor playing a high-class criminal from Texas. Take after take after take -- at least a dozen in all, probably more -- he was aces each time, his accent always believable, never wavering. But what caught my attention immediately was his character's name, McCandless.

McCandless? Where had I heard that name before? It was probably by take seven when I finally remembered -- McCandless was the last name of the characters played by Lionel Barrymore, Gregory Peck and Joseph Cotten in Duel in the Sun. They, too, were Texans. This is the kind of knowledge that has made me the person I am today.

As for the L train, Bull background has nothing to worry about. Gov. Cuomo cancelled the shutdown and announced a new technique to repair the line, one that will keep the line running on time, even if our shooting schedule isn't.

                                                 **************************


Sunday, April 21, 2019

BLOCKED AND TACKLED

Although I tried.
You may have noticed that I haven't written anything in three weeks. Or, more likely, you haven't, seeing that you probably -- definitely -- have better things to do, stuff on your mind, etc. This, I understand. 

For those who may have wondered what's become of me, well... Usually, I start to slack off as Christmas approaches, then pick up again in January. This year, however, I stayed slack. I find that I have hit the wall, creatively, at least for a while. 

In other words, blocked. 

Some writers say there's no such thing as writers block, that all you have to do is write your way out of it. To them I say, bully for you! Perhaps they can give me some of what they've been consuming.

When I started this blog, I wanted to make it a politics-free zone. What I meant by that was serious political writing. If there was politics to be covered, it would be goofed on, laughed at, knocked down, bounced out. 

Today, I find nothing going on in the news funny any more. And for someone who's supposed to be satiric of current events, that's a tough state of affairs. 

The blockage has spread to non-current events, even reviews of wacky, obscure movies. And family stuff. New York stuff. After close to seven years of fairly regular blogging, I appear to be need of a serious recharge.

To Gary, who sent me email from the UK, all I can do is apologize, and regret you discovered my blog at the worst possible time. To everyone else, thanks for reading. I hope to return.

For the time being, you can read my latest piece for Next Avenue here. For any Next Avenue readers who are here for the first time, feel free to browse around -- and if you want to know why I don't read comments on Next Avenue, go here. I definitely read comments left on this blog, however. 

Maybe I'll return sooner than expected. Until then, if anybody wants to know what the recent biopic Stan and Ollie got wrong, I'm happy to let you know. Just ask my wife and daughter. 

Aaaannnnd... That's a wrap.

                                                ***************

Monday, April 1, 2019

DEMOLITION DERBY

If the secret word really is something you find around the
house, then 29% of the population might as well quit
playing right now.
According to the most recent polling, 29% of Americans believe the Cliff Notes version of the Mueller Report exonerates Pres. Trump of all wrongdoing

If you're a pessimist like me, that number only confirms that over a quarter of our population lacks the reading and comprehension skills of your average first-grader.

But for you optimists -- and aren't you just darling! -- it means that potentially 71% are ready to elect a Democrat in 2020. But as we learned from the last presidential election, Democrats are really, really good at fucking up an alleged sure thing. Like choosing as their nominee their most unpopular presidential candidate ever. Maybe you fight fire with fire, but you don't fight despised with loathed.

So just what are their chances, come November 2020, of voters giving the heave-ho to the current Administration (a word which, quite appropriately, is also Mafia slang for the ruling body of a crime family)? Well, that again depends on how sunny your disposition is. This rundown will either set your mind at ease or have you purchasing a one-way ticket to Pago Pago. 


JULIAN CASTRO: I've been saying since day one that America wasn't going to elect someone who would be called President Castro. And you know who agrees with me? Julian Castro! His official campaign logo features his last name in letters smaller than those you see on the bottom line of an eye chart. Good luck, President Julian!




ROBERT FRANCIS "BETO" O'ROURKE: No candidate since John Kerry has tried so damn hard to capture the hoary  "Kennedyesque" mantle like O'Rourke. The teeth, hair, rolled up sleeves, Irish heritage -- hell, he's got the same first and middle names as you know who! And look -- he eats dirt with "regenerative powers"! He skateboards at a burger joint parking lot! He goes on a solo road trip to get out of his "funk" (while leaving his wife to take care of the kids)! But what does he say about health care and climate change? It depends on what day it is. He's our guy!



BERNIE SANDERS: The man who would be president (two years ago). But that bandage on the forehead -- due to an unfortunate run-in with a glass shower door -- makes the one-time maverick look like grandpa right before he's moved to an assisted living home against his will. But hey, gramps still has some good stories!



ELIZABETH WARREN: Is it sexist of me to confess that every time Warren talks, it sounds like she's on the verge of crying? Fine, I'll accept that. Is it sexist to point out that she was fucking a professor while she was married with kids? OK, whatever -- it would be dandy had she been a Republican male, right? But what about passing off "family stories" as proof of her alleged Native American heritage? If that's all that was needed, then I can claim that  I'm related to Sir Thomas Lipton! 





JOHN HICKENLOOPER: "President Hickenlooper"? I don't think so.







KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND: She's my Senator, yet the only thing I know about her is that she's a "young mom". How do I know that? Because she begins every damn interview with "As a young mom..." Gillibrand is 52; she had her first kid at 41. You know who else did? My wife. I was a year younger. And let me tell you, when we attended "parents night" at our daughter's schools, we were not young. And we're even less so now.


TULSI GABBARD: As I pointed out last year, Representative Gabbard should have been a slam dunk if Democrats wanted to win in 2020, since she was the diametrical opposite of Trump... until she won the endorsement of David Duke. That alone should interest some Trump voters who are looking for a new face. Yet unlike the president, Gabbard was aware of who Duke was, denounced his worldview, and rejected his endorsement -- thus, losing those same potential voters.

PETE BUTTIGIEG: Or, the candidate with the name that everybody has to copy and paste. Graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard College. Rhodes Scholar from Pembroke College, Oxford. Speaks six languages. Former Naval Intelligence  officer stationed in Afghanistan. As Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is well-liked by both Democrats and Republicans. All this disqualifies Pete from being president. When on TV, makes sure to appear without a suit jacket to look like he's not a Rhodes Scholar, and to drop the line "In 35 years when I'm the president's age", which was funny the first 50 times he said it. Openly gay and happily married, which will not please voters who prefer their president to be in a loveless marriage while fucking Playboy models and porn stars. 

Full/partial/after the fact disclosure: I've donated three bucks each to two of the above candidates. If my luck concerning campaign donations holds up, Trump voters will be pleased come election night, goddammit.

                                                        ****************

Saturday, March 23, 2019

THE MUELLER NON-REPORT

Now this was worth talking about.
The usual suspects were likely in full-throated force last night across cableland following the handover of Robert Mueller's investigation. I say "likely" because what was the point of listening to groups of people sitting on a panel, around a table, or stacked Brady Bunch-style in high definition discussing something they hadn't even read? Hell, I can listen to my own opinion, even if my wife isn't interested.

I don't care what anybody says. The last thing big mouths of all political views wanted to have happen was the release of the Mueller Report. Which sounds like the name of a 15-minute news program circa 1954. "Live from Washington, The Mueller Report. Sponsored by Viceroy, the cigarette that filters the smoke!"

Maybe so, but not enough to elect Hillary.
Nope, nobody really wanted to know what Mueller had to say because the expectation was always going to be so much more fun than the reality. For the left, it was the idea that the Trump criminal gang was finally going to be brought down like an old Las Vegas casino: fast and loud, to the cheers of spectators close by and viewers at home. 

People actually believed the First Family would be languishing in prison before the 2020 election. I wish I had a dime for every laptop jockey who used the phrase "orange jumpsuit" in connection with anyone named or connected to Trump. Why, I would be as rich as Trump himself! Which is to say, not a billionaire like he claims, but a lot more rich than I am now. 

He was crucified for this?
For the right, it was the belief that their God-given President-for-Life (fingers crossed!) was not only innocent of every charge ever made against him ever ever ever in his life, but he would emerge stronger than ever, ready to continue his priorities: building a wall, basking in the support of racists and Neo-Nazis everywhere, and finally locking up Hillary Clinton -- even if only one of those items has come to pass. You choose.

As long as Mueller kept up his "witch hunt", the Trumpezoids could put aside any possible chance that the Idiot-in-Chief was guilty of collusion with Russia -- which, other possible crimes aside, is what this whole thing is about. So what if a bushel and a peck of Trump's advisors have been indicted? Trump didn't know! And if he did so what? It prevented you-know-who from getting elected.

William Barr OKs the cover-up.
Yet, Trump sure behaved like he was guilty of something... until a few days ago, when he decided, yeah, let everybody read the report. How generous! Me, I took it to mean that Attorney General William Barr already told the boss, Don't worry, nobody's going to know nothing, allowing Trump to shrug his shoulders. Hey, I wanted it released, but we've gotta follow the advice of the Attorney General. 

The most likely outcome is this: Trump's stooges were in deep with Putin's posse... about something or other... but there's no hard evidence that the bleach-blonde bozo in the Oval Office was in on it. No smoking cell phone, as it were.

Result: Trump's deranged 35% will hail Robert Mueller as a patriot, while the Daily Kos folks will wail that he was in the tank for Trump all along. After all, he's a Republican, right? And former head of the FBI -- which, until recently, was the Left's number one enemy.

This will lead to Trump's re-election in 2020 no matter who the Democrat nominee is. But don't be surprised if we have a Nixon redux, when the President resigns midway through his second term. A prediction like that should get me an appearance on Hardball any day now.

And would someone please tell Jesus to keep his nose out of our elections?


                                                                          *************

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

DIPLOMAS FOR DUMMIES


The perfect combination: a young, stupid, ugly, Southern white woman.
It won't surprise you to learn (or re-learn) that I thoroughly enjoy when wide swaths of people live up to their stereotypes, like the young lady on the right. 

Many individuals would give me a mighty blowback for such an admission. But, speaking of admission, I believe those selfsame folks would heartily agree that, when it comes to getting into the best colleges, the game is rigged for -- and you know what I'm going to say -- the elite! 
The kids should have done it the old-fashioned way.

Finally, something that all of us truly agree upon! Rich people suck! Rich people suck! Rah rah rah! And to that, let's add another cheer: Rich kids are stupid! Rich kids are stupid! Sis boom bah!

How stupid? Some parents brought down in the college admissions scamalot had to pay as much as $6,000,000 to get little Buffy or Jared into school. That's a hella stupid right there, bub. Parents with that kind of dough could afford the best tutors in the world, and their kids still couldn't get into a decent school. 


Unfortunately, it didn't work for me.
And if they didn't have six million bucks under the sofa cushion, their conduit -- in this case William "Rick" Singer -- photoshopped the kids' faces onto photos of high school athletes in order to slide into college that much easier. They needed Singer to do it, because the kids were too stupid to do it themselves.

Even a scandal as juicy as this needs some recognizable names to goose it up to headline status, and here's where stereotypes come in handy again. Two of the people arrested, Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, are what the Fox News viewers describe as Hollywood libtards. Good work, ladies, now even libtards hate you!
Tell me you don't hate her. I dare you.

You know who else does? Your kids, for making all the world learn -- at the risk of repeating myself -- your kids are too fucking stupid to get into the colleges of your (not their) choice. 

Loughlin's little darling, Olivia Jade, made that quite clear when she admitted that she didn't care about getting an education, and was only going to school for the party experience  -- as if just being a rich Hollywood kid didn't provide her with enough of that.

But perhaps it didn't, for Olivia Jade shilled for Amazon Prime on her Twitter account, which has two million followers. You read that right, two million other idiots love, honor and obey a Hollywood rich kid who did nothing to earn an audience, other than being that most important of icons, an "influencer". That means two million other kids are going to cheat their way into college... and use Amazon Prime to ship new furniture to their dorm room.

Macy's just warming up the
jail cell for the little lady.

What I find most fascinating is that Felicity Huffman's husband, William H. Macy, wasn't arrested. There's no official explanation, but I figure it's probably as simple as letting wifey handle their little crime spree while he went to work on his TV series titled, appropriately, Shameless. Now you know why I let my wife handle our business affairs. You never know when the FBI is listening to your calls, and I want to make sure I've got plausible deniability. 

I'm not even sure why these parents risked a jail jolt sending kids to colleges that weren't going to do them any good to begin with. When your greatest achievement being a corporate pitchman, then a higher education is likely superfluous. 

Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin: from TV
stars to Google Image selection for "bribe".
These kids never had any intention of getting into medicine, science, or even professional sports anyway. This was all about the parents, who believed that a diploma from Yale (where the woman's soccer coach accepted $400,000 in bribes) USC (an administrator and water polo coach received over $1,500,000 in total), or the University of Texas (a paltry $100,000 for the tennis coach) would pave the road even smoother for their little bastards than it already was. 

Nice work! Now your kids risk being tossed out of school on their rich little asses. Which is maybe what the kids really want.

My daughter got into college on the strength of her grades, personality, and extracurricular activities. She graduated four years later with an A-average -- no cheating required. She and her lifetime friends want to change the world, not by being models or showbiz figures with famous last names, but by doing good things for others, whether it's through politics, environmental care, or making sure people have access to fresh, nutritious food. If only they were considered influencers. 

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

A KUSHY JOB

"That's between me and my epidermal esthetician, sucker."
As Democrats prepare to prowl through the administration's nefarious, criminal, and possibly treasonous activities -- otherwise known as "The White House on a Good Day" -- one target stands out: Jared Kushner. 

Because when the Congressional Oversight Committee gets its hands on certain financial records, America will finally learn the deepest, darkest secret of this whole mess: How much money does Jared Kushner spend on chemical peels?


Even before Trump was president, Kushner was putting
him on the front page. 
That would be the best outcome for the only person not named Trump to call the President "Daddy". Consider: we're talking about a schnook who, overnight, went from publishing a New York newspaper nobody reads to a diplomat engaged in the most delicate negotiations in the world. 

No, not keeping Trump's mistresses paid off -- that's a man's job -- but bringing peace to the Middle East. And if you think Kushner is capable of climbing that mountain, you must be an out of towner. When 85% of the digital traffic of a New York newspaper is from outside the city, as was the New York Observer under Kushner's reign, rest assured it's because we know a dilettante when we see one. A dilly of a dilettante. 

Clearly, there's more to Jared Kushner than we've been led to believe. And I'm not talking about how security officials believed that he was stupid enough to be manipulated by foreign leaders the way Michael Jackson did 10 year-old boys. 

Look at enough photos of that smarmy, punchable face -- which appears to be a job requirement for everybody working for Trump -- and three theories come to mind.


Theory #1: Jared Kushner is an illegal alien. I mean, a real illegal alien, from another galaxy. Granted, this might be a bit of a stretch -- but so was Donald Trump being elected president! And Republicans condemning the FBI while supporting Vladimir Putin!  When Jared said, "Take me to your leader", he went through the daughter first -- literally.





Theory #2: In order to infiltrate America's youth, Jared was cloned from Ralf Hutter of Kraftwerk. Or was it Florian Schneider? Nah, it was -- Oh, who the hell knows. He looks like all four of those krauts! Once Kushner was slipped into place on stage and disc, our youth was hypnotized with relentless synthesized rhythms, and the next thing you know, they're all showroom dummies!








Theory #3: Jared Kushner was a mannequin brought to life in a secret Russian lab in order to disrupt and ultimately destroy the United States government from within. In fact, you could say the same about Ivanka. Say, isn't "Ivanka" a Russian name?! We might as well start referring to the President's official home as the Red House. 

Thanks a bunch, Jared. Or does Ogromnoye spasibo sound more familiar, you Russian showroom dummy, you?

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