The Spectacle Blog

Thoughts on Shoshana Edwards & That “Verbal Street Harassment” Video

By on 10.31.14 | 9:49AM

You are probably aware by now of that video showing a woman named Shoshana Edwards walking through the streets of New York in silence for 10 hours and the reactions to her appearance. Well, not quite 10 hours. Try about two minutes worth. In any case, these comments are characterized as "verbal street harassment". The video ends with a solicitation to end "verbal street harassment" by giving money to an anti-street harassment organization called Hollaback!

The video has prompted a backlash because a majority of those who were shown speaking to Edwards were racial minorities and dressed in street clothes. The director of the film, Rob Bliss, regrets the "unintended racial bias."

Some of the comments she gets are crude. The most unsettling instance in the video occurs when a man walks beside her in silence for five minutes. If a complete stranger walked beside me for five minutes I would most certainly be uneasy.

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Kevin Youkilis Announces Retirement

By on 10.30.14 | 10:32PM

After 10 seasons in the big leagues, Kevin Youkilis has called it a career. Youk spent the bulk of his career with the Boston Red Sox and also played with the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees before playing briefly in Japan last year.

Youkilis was known for his intensity and his ability to get on base dating back to his time as a minor leaguer when he earned the nickname "The Greek God of Walks". Despite the nickname, Youkilis is actually Jewish.

Youkilis made his debut with the Red Sox in 2004, but had a very minor role in the team's first World Series title in 86 years. Originally a third baseman, Youkilis moved to first and became a regular in 2007 when the Red Sox would win their second World Series title in four years. He would earn a Gold Glove that season. His best offensive year came in 2008 when he hit .312 with 29 HR and 115 RBI. Youk would finish third in the AL MVP balloting behind Minnesota Twins slugger Justin Morneau and his teammate Dustin Pedroia. 

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All that Golf Hasn’t Helped Obama’s Golf Game, Says Michael Jordan

By on 10.30.14 | 4:44PM

Michael Jordan has never played golf with Barack Obama, but when Ahmad Rashad asked him who his dream foursome would be, Jordan left out the President. His reason? Despite the cool 200 rounds of golf the President has played during his term in office, his game hasn't improved enough to pose a challenge

Michael Jordan was not subtle on that point, at least.

Michael Jordan was interviewed by Ahmad Rashad recently. Rashad asked Jordan who his dream foursome would include, and Jordan said President Barack Obama isn't getting an invite.

"I've never played with Obama but I would," said Jordan. "But no, that's okay, I'd take him out. He's a hack, it would be all day playing with him.

"Do you really want to say that to the president of the United States?" asks Rashad.

"Don't worry about it," said Jordan. "I never said he wasn't a great politician, I'm just saying he's a sh---- golfer."

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Tom Menino, R.I.P.

By on 10.30.14 | 3:02PM

Former Boston Mayor Tom Menino passed away today of cancer. He was 71.

Menino, a Democrat, was the mayor of this city for two decades (1993-2013) and thus the longest serving mayor in the history of Boston. In all, Menino was elected five times. Menino's health began to decline during his fifth term and decided against running in 2013. He would be succeeded by Marty Walsh.

It is true that Menino had an autocratic style (as demonstrated with his refusal to grant Chick-fil-A a licence to open a restaurant due to its opposition to same-sex marriage). His public speaking style earned him the nickname Mumbles. I remember Menino appearing in a public service ad with Red Sox legend David Ortiz and it was so much easier to understand Big Papi had to say in his second language than Menino did in his first.

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Poll of the Day: Cory Gardner Up 7 on Mark Udall

By on 10.30.14 | 1:48PM

Yesterday, the news broke that Scott Walker had pulled way ahead in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race, as either independents broke for the Republican or Wisconsin simply gave up on believing Mary Burke was ever a viable candidate, given that even her family tried to oust her from a position of leadership in their own company. Today, comes news that upstart Republican Cory Gardner may finally break the back of The Blueprint - the plan by high-level Democratic donors to turn Colorado blue and keep it that way - as he pulls seven points ahead of Sen. Mark Udall in the latest Quinnipiac poll.

The clock is ticking on Democratic incumbent Mark Udall as another poll shows him behind Republican challenger Cory Gardner in Colorado’s important U.S. Senate race.

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My Scott Walker Article Discussed on Wisconsin Public Radio

By on 10.30.14 | 1:25PM

My article from earlier this week in which I argued that Republicans should nominate Scott Walker as the GOP standard bearer in 2016 should he win re-election next week was discussed on Wisconsin Public Radio on Tuesday.

The program in question was The Joy Cardin Show. Cardin was discussing the Wisconsin gubernatorial election with her guest Mordecai Lee, a former Democrat state legislator who is a Professor of Governmental Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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Michael Bay Might Make a Movie About Benghazi

By on 10.30.14 | 12:41PM

Fresh off the latest Transformers movie, Michael Bay, it seems, is looking for a more serious film project. Thankfully, a serious project is in the works at Paramount pictures: a movie about the Benghazi incident that left four Americans dead, including the ambassador to Libya, based on Mitchell Zukoff's book 13 Hours

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Michael Bay feels he's up to the challenge of turning a complex political event that deserves the utmost respect into a major motion picture blockbuster, mostly made up of giant explosions strung together with a mediocre plot.

In a massive change of pace, Michael Bay is going from toy tentpole to a Benghazi political drama.

Bay is in negotiations to direct 13 Hours, the adaptation of Mitchell Zuckoff’s book about the attack on an American compound in Libya that left U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens dead.

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Cosmo’s Male Models Will Escort You to the Polls

By on 10.30.14 | 11:37AM

Cosmopolitan, clearly NOT content to keep their #CosmoVotes initiative squarely within the two-dimensional realm, has expanded their Get Out the Vote campaign to include a party bus full of shirtless male models who, because there is clearly nothing less insulting to the female intelligence, will escort North Carolina's women voters to the polls

Because, obviously.

Women’s magazine Cosmopolitan is sending a “party bus” with models to North Carolina State University next week to take students to and from the polls on Election Day.

The bus is part of a contest won by the university, and the latest in Cosmo’s foray into political coverage. This year, the magazine endorsed candidates in 10 races — all Democrats — based on their views on abortion, contraception, and equal pay.

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Bumgarner Pitches Giants to 3rd World Series Championship in 5 Years

By on 10.30.14 | 12:02AM

The San Francisco Giants have done it again. They beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series. The Giants also won World Series titles in 2010 and 2012. This is the first time a National League team has done this the St. Louis Cardinals pulled it off in 1942, 1944 and 1946. 

Two days removed from throwing a complete game, four hit shutout, Madison Bumgarner came on in the fifth inning and threw five more shutout innings. The Royals did make it exciting with one out remaining when Alex Gordon singled and advanced to third on a error by Giants center fielder Gregor Blanco. But Bumgarner got Salvador Perez to pop out to Pablo Sandoval to put an end to the Royals' Cinderella season. Could this be Sandoval's last moment in a Giants uniform? He will be a free agent and would look good in a Red Sox uniform. 

But the night belonged to MadBum who earned three of the four Giants' wins. He only gave up one run in 21 innings pitched. Although Hunter Pence went 12 for 26 during the Series, it was a no-brainer to name Bumgarner World Series MVP. MadBum, of course, also won the NLCS MVP. 

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Walker Surges to Seven Point Lead Over Burke in WI

By on 10.29.14 | 4:43PM

Over the past several months, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his Democrat challenger Mary Burke have been in a dogfight. Two weeks ago, a Marquette poll had the two tied at 47% apiece among likely voters. But now the latest Marquette poll has Walker leading Burke by seven points (50% to 43%) with the election less than a week away.

This is because Republicans are more likely to turn out for Walker than Democrats and independents are for Burke. This is a consequence of Burke's unfavorability rating going up.

Could this poll be an outlier? Maybe, but as John McCormack of The Weekly Standard explains:

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