The Spectacle Blog

Yvonne Craig, R.I.P.

By on 8.19.15 | 11:21AM

Actress Yvonne Craig, best known for playing Batgirl in the Batman TV series, died of breast cancer on Monday. She was 78.

Craig had a background in ballet and joined the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo at the age of 17. During this stint, she was discovered by Patrick Ford, the son of film director John Ford, who cast her for the lead in the film The Young Land. These skills would be put to use years later when she was cast alongside James Coburn in the spy spoof In Like Flint. She also appeared in two movies with Elvis Presley — It Happened at the World's Fair and Kissin' Cousins — and then subsequently entered into a relationship with him.

ISIS Beheads 82-Year-Old Antiquities Scholar

By on 8.19.15 | 9:56AM

ISIS continues to outdo itself in the field of barbarity. Yesterday, they saw fit to behead Khaled Assad, an 82-year-old scholar of antiquities because he refused to tell them where the treasures of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra were hidden. After beheading Assad, they strung up his body on a column in the town’s main square. Assad had been in charge of the artifacts in Palmyra for more than half a century.

Palmyra was captured by ISIS last May at which time Assad was taken captive. While ISIS has a tendency to destroy ancient artifacts because they deem them to be unIslamic, they also sell them to finance their operations. There was also speculation that there could be gold among the artifacts.

Red Sox Name Dave Dombrowski New President of Baseball Operations; Cherington to Step Down as GM at Season’s End

By on 8.18.15 | 10:13PM

Boston Red Sox play by play man Don Orsillo just announced that the team has hired Dave Dombrowski as its new President of Baseball Operations effective immediately. Orsillo also announced that GM Ben Cherington had declined to stay on board and will leave the team at season's end.

It was only two weeks ago that Dombrowski abruptly left the Detroit Tigers where he had served as President & GM since 2002 only days following Lucchino's announced departure (as it turns out Sam Kennedy has been named the new President of Red Sox, but is not directly involved in on-field decisions). It was immediately speculated that he could join the Red Sox as he had previously worked for principal owner John Henry when he owned the Florida (now Miami) Marlins. So I'm not surprised Dombrowski got the job, but I am surprised it is happening now.

Trump Says Heidi Klum “No Longer a 10”

By on 8.18.15 | 3:44PM

Never mind the immigrants, the latest person in Donald Trump's sights is Heidi Klum. 

According to a New York Times interview the Republican frontrunner did with Maureen Dowd (for some inexplicable reason), Donald Trump believes that Heidi Klum, a former Victoria's Secret angel and one of the world's most beautiful women, has lost some of her luster as of late. According to Donald, "she's no longer a 10."

Heidi, of course, thinks differently, and responded on Twitter...sans most of her shirt.



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.