The Spectacle Blog

Hillary Clinton Says She’ll “Just Talk to White People” About #BlackLivesMatter

By on 8.18.15 | 3:13PM

Someone needs a nap

Hillary Clinton had been ducking the #BlackLivesMatter protesters who are dogging Bernie Sanders, but they finally caught up to her after a speech in New Hampshire on August 11. While they didn't manage to throw her off her game during a speech (she had apparently agreed to speak with them in private after the event if they didn't disrupt her), they did manage to get on what seems to be her last nerve, questioning her about her role in the 1994 Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act, which provided tons of money to prisons, and led to mass incarcerations. The video, which #BlackLivesMatter released yesterday, shows Hillary Clinton snapping at their leadership in a very undemocratic way.

These Black Lives Don’t Matter to Black Lives Matter

By on 8.18.15 | 10:26AM

I just read a piece in the Baltimore Sun by Adam Marton that reveals the following:

Homicides are up 60% and shootings are up 105% year-over-year and the crimes follow predictable trends. Violence is concentrated in neighborhoods that are predominantly African American, and have high rates of poverty and unemployment; other areas remain largely unscathed.

Marton then offers a number of maps that show the concentration of homicides and shootings in African-American neighborhoods.

All of which prompts me to ask this question. Does Black Lives Matter give a damn?

I say they don’t. All they want is to have the heads of the six police officers charged with killing Freddie Gray on a stick.

By all means, please investigate the six police officers and if the evidence supports murder then fine. I only ask that we stop pretending this is only about race. After all, three of the officers charged are African American.

BDS Movement Forces Spanish Festival Organizers to Kick Matisyahu Off The Bill

By on 8.17.15 | 11:08PM

If you've never heard of Matisyahu, he is a Jewish hip hop, reggae artist. He was an Ultra Orthodox Jew who would not perform on Friday although over the past couple of years he has taken a more secular approach to his music.

Whatever his approach, Matisyahu performs all over the world. He was scheduled to perform at the Rototom Sunsplash Reggae Festival in Benicassim, Spain this weekend. However, organizers pulled the rug out from under Matisyahu by abruptly cancelling his performance.

The local BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions) demanded Matisyahu issue a statement denouncing Israel or cancel his performance. Organizers issued the following statement, "Rototom Sunsplash, after having repeatedly sought dialogue in the face of the artist's unavailability to give a clear statement against war and on the right of the Palestinian people to their own state, has decided to cancel the concert."

Bob Johnston, R.I.P.

By on 8.17.15 | 9:45PM

Record producer Bob Johnston passed away on Friday at the age of 83.

Johnston produced a who's who of rock and country acts including Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Simon & Garfunkel, Marty Robbins, Flatt & Scruggs, Leonard Cohen, Michael Martin Murphey, Hoyt Axton, Jimmy Cliff, Alvin Lee, Patti Page, Willie Nelson, Carl Perkins, The Byrds and The New Riders of the Purple Sage. 

He would produce six of Dylan's albums - Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde, John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline, Self Portrait and New Morning. 

He wasn't a household name, but I knew about him because of Nashville Skyline. On the intro to the track "To Be Alone With You", Dylan asks, "Is it rolling Bob?" The Bob in question was Bob Johnston and the answer is yes, it was rolling.

Only 2% of Americans Think Hillary Clinton Told the Truth About Her Email

By on 8.17.15 | 5:14PM

I don't really know how you get a poll result this low. Even when you're using Gallup to conduct a poll of unmentionables - say, the approval ratings for things like zombies, pond scum and members of Congress - you get at least a 5 - 10% favorability from any given group of registered American voters. 

But regardless of general expectations of the American public, according to a Fox News poll of registered voters, only 2% - two percent - of Americans believe that Hillary Clinton was telling the truth when she said that no emails containing classified information ever passed through the hallowed walls of her ClintonMail server in her Chappaqua basement. The poll sample, which leanded somewhat Democratic by a few points, demonstrates pretty confidently that when we say "literally no one actually believes Hillary Clinton," we're not even being metaphorical.

 

James Harrison Calls Time Out on “Participation Trophies”

By on 8.17.15 | 4:47PM

Nowadays, we aren't allowed to offend anyone's sensibilities with things like intellectual banter, or an offhand reference to a vague gender identity we may have been given at birth. Everyone is a very special butterfly, a unicorn worthy of adoration and praise. Differences are only to be celebrated when they confer an added benefit on a government reference chart, or when their very presence helps an entity qualify for additional grant money.

And so, was birthed, the "participation trophy." I didn't have these when I was a kid, but they've become wildly popular in the last decade or so, culminating, even, with the disbursement of a Nobel Peace Prize for "potential." Now, at least one parent - Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison - is fighting back. When his sons brought home "participation trophies" for their work as part of a sports team, he made them give the trophies back...but only after he wrote about it on Instagram.

Let “DJ POTUS” Soundtrack Your Summer

By on 8.17.15 | 4:33PM

Technically, summer's over. I mean, my Facebook timeline is packed to the gills with "back to school" photos that children clearly don't want to take but their parents see as necessary to catalogue, lest the kids one day require proof they went to third grade. But the boundaries of reality are never enough to stop President Obama from doing things like, inking nuclear deals with Iran or buying high-waisted denim, so why shouldn't the President's Spotfiy playlist be released on the last full weekend of beach season?

Hillary Clinton Meets With President Obama as FBI Seeks Backup Server

By on 8.17.15 | 1:37PM

The Clintons were in chatty moods over the weekend, as they took a break from the grueling Iowa State Fair routine to catch a little R&R in Martha's Vineyard. After all, there's a limit to how much "folksiness" even Hillary Clinton can stand, and she'd spent all weekend pretending to eat corndogs, dressed like Martha Stewart in a cute wide-collared blue gingham shirt, designed to coordinate with the ribbons on the pies she'd never even consider touching for fear of "proletariat cooties" (she was upstaged there by Trump, who was giving free rides in the helicopter he came in).

The Big Screen Version of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is Better Than I Expected

By on 8.15.15 | 7:55PM

When I sang the praises of the original The Man from U.N.C.L.E. TV series the other day, I had very strong misgivings about the movie.

This afternoon I saw the big screen version of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. While I still prefer the original, the movie is better than I expected.

Both Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer were good as Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, respectively. I didn't quite like the backstory they gave Solo though. He was a black market war profiteer turned art thief. With that background, Solo reminded my roommate and I of Neil Caffrey on the USA Network TV series White Collar. That Cavill bears a remarkable resemblance to Matt Bomer (the actor who played Caffrey) was not lost on either of us. Nevertheless, Cavill and Hammer had good chemistry with each other and Hugh Grant was his usual charming self as Alexander Waverly albeit with limited screen time. 

Pages