The Spectacle Blog

The Best and the Brightest?

By on 4.23.16 | 7:42PM

Check this little vignette of college students stammering over the question of whether thinking you are a different sex than you were born makes you whatever you think you are. If this doesn’t depress you, it should. Could it be that an entire generation of young people has been separated from their cerebral cortexes?

If I were conducting this dreary little exercise, I might have been tempted to ask: “Should a man who thinks of himself as a woman be considered, psychiatrically, any different from a man who considers himself to be Napoleon?”

Shakespeare Has Been Dead 400 Years, But His Works Are Very Much Alive

By on 4.23.16 | 2:08PM

Four hundred years ago today, William Shakespeare died three days shy of his 52nd birthday. 

It is remarkable that four centuries after his passing, his works are being mounted all in theatres all over the world. 

Can anyone imagine any contemporary playwright's work having such an enduring legacy? Will The Vagina Monologues be consigned to the scrap heap of history? While there might be individual plays that will endure for centuries such as Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman or Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night, but none of them was as prolific as Shakespeare.

Blue Jays Slugger Colabello Suspended 80 Games For Positive PED Test

By on 4.23.16 | 2:52AM

Chris Colabello of the Toronto Blue Jays has been suspended for 80 games as a result of a positive test for PEDs.

The positive test actually took place more than a month ago. For his part, Colabello denies knowingly taking PEDs and evidently appealed his suspension to no avail.

Up until now. Colabello has been something of a baseball feel good story. Colabello, a native of Massachusetts who spent much of his childhood in Italy, played for seven seasons with the Worcester Tornadoes in the independent Can-Am League before the Minnesota Twins signed him in 2012. He would make his big league debut with the Twins in 2013 at the age of 29. In 2015, Colabello joined the Jays and had a career year with a .321 batting average, 15 HR & 54 RBI in 101 games with the AL East champions. 

Trump Thugs Warn GOP Delegates: It’s Trump or Death

By on 4.22.16 | 2:23PM

Here's an excerpt from an article in Politico co-written by Eli Stokols & Kyle Cheney concerning the intimidation leveled at delegates to the forthcoming Republican Convention who see fit not to support Donald Trump:

First it was an email warning Steve House, the Colorado GOP chairman, to hide his family members and “pray you make it to Cleveland.” Then there was the angry man who called his cell phone and told him to put a gun down his throat.

“He said, ‘I’ll call back in two minutes and if you’re still there, I’ll come over and help you’,” House recalled.

Since Donald Trump came up empty in his quest for delegates at the Republican state assembly in Colorado Springs nearly two weeks ago, his angry supporters have responded to Trump’s own claims of a “rigged” nomination process by lashing out at Republican National Committee delegates that they believe won’t support Trump at the party’s convention — including House.

Saluting the Venerable Queen

By on 4.21.16 | 11:50PM

Queen Elizabeth II is 90 years old today. She appears to be in robust health, and could reign for many more years. (Remember, her mother lived to be 101.) Let’s hope she does, because her son Charles is a couple of kippers short of a full English breakfast.

To an American, the idea of a queen, or a king, is more than a bit strange. Eccentric even. But if a country is to have one, it’s hard to imagine anyone doing a better job of it than Elizabeth II has for more than 60 years. She’s smart, always dignified, knows when to put her oar in and when not to. When she gives advice it’s pretty good.

When Elizabeth II became queen in 1952, Winston Churchill was prime minister. The talent pool on the political side has deteriorated seriously since then. Granted I’m getting a look-in from a long way away at a system no American fully understands. But from where I sit it looks like Elizabeth represents adult supervision where it’s badly needed.

Speaking of adult supervision, she’s been a rock during all of the bad times, many of them self-induced, for her own family, many of whose apples have fallen a good distance from the solid tree. 

Jake Arrieta Tosses Second Career No-Hitter

By on 4.21.16 | 10:24PM

Jake Arrieta has done it again. 

The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner threw the first no-hitter of the 2016 MLB season and his second career no-hitter. This time Arrieta no-hit the Cincinnati Reds en route to a massive 16-0 victory for the Chicago Cubs. Six of the Cubs runs were driven in by Kris Bryant who homered twice in the game.

Arrieta threw his first no-hitter last August against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Interestingly, both no-hitters have come away from the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. In fact, Arrieta was on the wrong end of a no-hitter at Wrigley when Cole Hamels tossed one in his final appearance with the Philadelphia Phillies last July. In fact, it's Arrieta's only loss since the 2015 All-Star Break 

Arrieta is one of five active pitchers to have two no-hitters to his credit. The others are Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals who threw both of his no-hitters in 2015, Reds pitcher Homer Bailey, Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers and free agent pitcher Tim Lincecum. 

Chyna (a.k.a. Joanie Laurer), R.I.P.

By on 4.21.16 | 4:46PM

Former professional wrestler and actress Chyna (a.k.a. Joanie Laurer) was found dead in her home yesterday and may have dead for several days as she was last seen in public on Monday and had not responded to phone calls since. No cause of death has been reported, but she did have a lengthy history of substance abuse. She was 46.

Chyna was one of the most popular figures in the WWE (then known as the WWF) in the late 1990's and early 2000's. With her muscular physique, she was often booked into matches with male wrestlers. Her popularity was such that it transcended wrestling with appearances on shows like 3rd Rock From The Sun and a New York Times best-selling autobiography If Only They Knew which detailed a troubled relationship with her family including when her father took out $40,000 worth of loans in her name destroying her credit. It could be said that Chyna was the Ronda Rousey of her day.

ESPN Fires Curt Schilling Because He Thinks Men Shouldn’t Go Into The Ladies’ Room (So No More ESPN Sunday Night Baseball For Me)

By on 4.20.16 | 11:51PM

ESPN has fired former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling as a color commentator on its baseball broadcasts because he reposted this meme on Facebook:

LET HIM IN! To the restroom with your daughter or else you're a narrow minded, judgemental, unloving racist bigot who needs to die!!!

And because Schilling saw fit to post this meme, the left-wing media basically called Schilling a narrow minded, judgemental, unloving racist bigot who needs be fired by ESPN. Tonight they got their pound of flesh. He had been in the Left's sights since posting a tweet likening Islamic terrorists to Nazis last September which earned him a suspension from the network.

Conservatives Had a Very Good Night — In Manitoba

By on 4.19.16 | 11:39PM

It was a good night for conservatives -- in Manitoba.

The Canadian prairie province ousted the NDP government of Greg Selinger in favor of the Progressive Conservative Party led by Brian Pallister. As of this writing, the Tories are elected or leading in 41 seats, with the NDP reduced to 13 seats with three seats for the Liberals (although their leader Rana Bokhari has lost her seat). The Green Party appears to be shut out. 

The Manitoba NDP had the longest reigning provincial government in the country having been in power since 1999 first under Gary Doer (who would later become Canadian Ambassador to the U.S.) and then Greg Selinger. Support for the NDP severely declined after Selinger reneged on a promise to not raise the provincial sales tax from 7 to 8%. This would lead to a cabinet revolt and a departure of five cabinet ministers and a challenge to Selinger's leadership. While Selinger survived the challenge to his leadership, the writing was on the wall.