The Spectacle Blog

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper, R.I.P.

By on 8.1.15 | 12:11AM

Professional wrestler and actor "Rowdy" Roddy Piper died in his sleep of a heart attack on Thursday night. He was 61.

Although Piper's wrestling career began in his teens in his native Canada, he would reach prominence in the mid-1980's as Hulk Hogan's arch rival at the first Wrestlemania. After years as one of wrestling's most hated villains, he would become one of its most beloved stars. Heel or face, Piper had no rival on the mike with his Piper's Pit show.

Piper also occasionally acted in TV and in movies most notably in the 1988 cult horror flick They Live. 

A decade ago, Piper was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. But he continued to periodically make appearances with the WWE. 

Here is Piper being interviewed by Arsenio Hall back in 1989. Where has all the time gone?

Wilmer Flores Now Sheds Tears of Joy

By on 7.31.15 | 11:32PM

I got home late tonight and was surprised to see the Mets-Nationals game in the 12th inning.

Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores hit a walk off home run in the bottom of the 12th to give the Mets 2-1 win and bring them within two games of the Nats in the NL East. Flores drove in both runs for the Mets and made a spectacular play which prompted a standing ovation. As he ran the bases, Flores cried tears of joy.

Forty eight hours ago, Flores was inconsolable when he learned that he had been traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Carlos Gomez only to have the deal nixed. What a difference a couple of days makes. 

Two days ago, Wilmer Flores was a face in a crowded city. Now he is for the moment a New York folk hero.


Mets Land Cespedes Plus Other Trade Deadline Deals

By on 7.31.15 | 5:09PM

The trade deadline came and went about 20 minutes ago.

Minutes before the deadline, the New York Mets acquired outfielder Yoenis Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for two minor league pitchers — Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa.

In 102 games for Detroit, Cespedes was hitting .293 with 17 HR and 61 RBI. This more than makes up for the Mets not getting Carlos Gomez from the Brewers who has since been traded to the Astros. The Mets were reportedly trying to get outfielder Jay Bruce from the Cincinnati Reds for Zack Wheeler, but that didn’t come to fruition. I’m guessing no tears were shed.

This is Cespedes’ fourth team in a year. At last year’s trade deadline, the A’s dealt him to Boston for Jon Lester and the A’s haven’t been the same since. Despite being productive for the Bosox, he was dealt to Detroit for pitcher Rick Porcello, who isn’t being mistaken for Pedro Martinez. Cespedes will provide protection for Lucas Duda in the middle of the order. He also has a cannon for an arm in the outfield. This should make this weekend’s series against the Nationals interesting. The Mets are currently three games back of Washington in the NL East.

More Double Standards on Israel From UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon

By on 7.31.15 | 4:27PM

Let me begin by stating that I do not object to the UN Secretary General condemning the act of arson by Jewish settlers in the West Bank that resulted in the death of an 18-month Palestinian child nor do I object to him characterizing it as a terrorist attack.

But I do dissent with Ban’s condemnation in two respects.

First, I object to his rationalization:

The absence of a political process and Israel’s illegal settlement policy, as well as the harsh and unnecessary practice of demolishing Palestinian houses, have given rise to violent extremism on both sides. This presents a further threat to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for statehood, as well as to the security of the people of Israel. The Secretary-General urges both sides to take bold steps to return to the path of peace.

Boston Beats Beijing in Olympics Contest

By on 7.31.15 | 1:49PM

News comes this morning that Beijing has been awarded the 2022 Winter Olympics, beating out Almaty, Kazakhstan. Which touches on a point I made in this morning’s Boston Herald

Columnist Anne Applebaum predicted a year ago that future Olympics would likely be held only in “authoritarian countries where the voters’ views will not be taken into account” — such as the two bidders for the 2022 Winter Olympics, Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Fortunately, Boston is not such a place. The voters’ views can be ignored and dismissed for only so long.

Indeed, Boston should be celebrating more than Beijing this week. A small band of opponents of Boston’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics beat the city’s elite — business leaders, construction companies, university presidents, the mayor and other establishment figures — because they knew what Olympic Games really mean for host cities and nations:

Pinkwashing Is Just Plain Eyewash: Thoughts on the Stabbings at the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade

By on 7.31.15 | 12:04PM

Yesterday, six people were stabbed at Jerusalem’s Gay Pride Parade by an ultra-Orthodox fanatic named Yishai Schlissel. One of the people is in critical condition. In 2005, Schlissel stabbed three people at the same event.

While a majority of religiously observant Jews in Israel oppose homosexuality, it is clear that this majority also abhors what Schlissel did, including the Chief Rabbis of both Ashkenazi and Sephardic Judaism. Religious objections aside, one cannot have someone wantonly stabbing people. Schlissel is clearly a public menace and must be jailed for a very long time.

Carlos Gomez Traded This Time For Sure Plus Other Deals

By on 7.30.15 | 10:36PM

Twenty-four hours ago, Carlos Gomez was supposed to be returning to the New York Mets. But after Wilmer Flores shed some tears and the Milwaukee Brewers evidently refused to shed some dollars the deal was off.

Tonight, Gomez is a member of the Houston Astros along with starting pitcher Mike Fiers. The Brewers get minor league outfielders Brett Phillips & Domingo Santana and minor league pitchers Josh Hader and Adrian Houser. 

Gomez will like going to Houston even better than New York. Last night, the Astros climbed back into first place in the AL West.

Washington Post Exposes Marco Rubio’s Scandalous Local Government Job. Or Something.

By on 7.30.15 | 4:33PM

Media Matters paid for their researcher to comb the depths of Miami's city council records looking for evidence that Marco Rubio was a terrible human being, and by golly they got their money's worth.

Now that their pitches are probably no longer welcome at the New York Times, whatever opposition researcher firm is currently devoting way too much time to destroying Marco Rubio took their latest "exposé" to the Washington Post, which on Thursday published a breathless article about all of the long and horrendously boring West Miami City Commission meetings Marco Rubio had to endure at his first level of government — a level that the Post finds to be suspiciously "low rung" of elective politics.

From April 1998 until his February 2000 debut in the Florida legislature, Rubio endured hours of monotonous debates about car wash regulations, inadequate bus stop benches, the relative merits of oak vs. black olive trees, and what snacks should be allowed in city park vending machines.

Of Rotten Eggs and Guilty Minds

By and on 7.30.15 | 4:09PM

It isn’t every day that a person can go to his or her job, work, not participate in any criminal activity, and still get a prison sentence. At least, that used to be the case: the overcriminalization of regulatory violations has unfortunately led to the circumstance that corporate managers now face criminal—not just civil—liability for their business operations’ administrative offenses.

Take Austin and Peter DeCoster, who own and run an Iowa egg-producing company called Quality Egg. The DeCosters plead guilty to violating certain provisions of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because some of the eggs that left their facilities contained salmonella enteritidis, a bacterium harmful to humans. They were sentenced to 90 days in jail and fined $100,000 for the actions of subordinates, who apparently failed, also unknowingly, in their quality-control duties.