Daily Dose: 8/5/16
All right, Rio — Let’s get this thing started
10:11 AMWilliam Rhoden is great, and Thursday night at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) convention I was more than honored to moderate a panel for a great film, Olympic Pride, American Injustice, with him and director Deborah Riley Draper. Most fun I’ve had in a long while.
You want a real hardcore look at what our justice system is? Go no further than Dylann Roof. The white supremacist kid that walked into a Charleston, South Carolina, church and opened fire after a prayer meeting, then got to eat fast food courtesy of the police. Yeah, well, he’s trying to get off from the death penalty by arguing that it’s unconstitutional, as cruel and unusual punishment. You don’t say. Also, some guy assaulted Roof in jail Thursday and people are giving him money for it.
The Donald Trump circus continues into the weekend. For his latest trick, the Republican presidential nominee is now describing things he’s never seen to wide audiences, claiming to have a firm grasp on their belongings. If you weren’t aware, the United States of America occasionally drops straight-up cash payments on people to settle scores. It’s kind of obnoxious but also respectable at the same time, lest you divest yourself from the reasons why it’s happening, which is near impossible. Anyway, the last time it happened, Trump didn’t see a video of the transaction. But, he says he did. Or something.
Full disclosure: Watching bears eat fish is a favorite pastime of mine. Seriously, I’ve got these live cams on deck of these ursine creatures standing in moving water and trying to snag these salmon. It’s one of the most bizarrely therapeutic, circle of life type things you can do. (If you’re counting, this is day two of bear news on this blog.) ANYWAY, here’s a question for you, in the form of a riddle from FiveThirtyEight’s Oliver Roeder. Should the grizzly bear eat the salmon?
By the way, the Olympics “start” Friday. I say that in such a way because multiple events have already gotten underway, but the opening ceremonies aren’t until Friday night. This is the part where I remind you that the person who popularized the Olympic march is a guy who also thought that genocide made sense. Yes, it was Adolf Hitler and the Nazis who created this tradition, so just think about that when you’re watching your favorite athletes parade through Rio de Janeiro. Also, here’s a great story about what athletes do with their medals after winning.
Coffee Break: This isn’t “news” in the truest sense of the word, but it’s worth noting that rapper Snoop Dogg is producing a new television series about two women who run a weed delivery service in California. Snoop, please never stop being you.
Snack Time: I’ve got a buddy who lives in Hong Kong. He’s the one who got married in Italy, which is why I was there. When I finally go visit him, I’ll stop at his place first. Then, I’m immediately going to this joint. Obviously.
Dessert: It’s the weekend. And Miguel’s got a new track out. You’re welcome.
What happens when you hoop it up with a deer?
A hot viral meme, that’s what
1:17 PMOn Wednesday morning, a guy who goes by @iAmTerrace on Twitter posted a picture of a dude trying to cross up a deer on a basketball court, somewhere in suburban America. The caption read “Deermarcus Cousins.” It’s funny because Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is a relatively intimidating defensive player, and well, how would you get to the paint against a ruminant mammal? It’s no “Fear the Deer,” but the meme is solid.
Deermarcus Cousins pic.twitter.com/jyNAlE5t4P
— yes (@iAmTerrace) August 3, 2016
Then, things went completely insane.
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For real, people started reaching deep into the recesses of NBA lore, which we’re here for.
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After that, we went full haywire.
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Finally, we have a winner.
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There are tons more that you can check for yourself. Never change, Twitter.
‘Suicide Squad’ is a perfect date movie
If you don’t consider yourself too cool for school
10:55 AMOnce high school started, my life with comic books pretty much ended. I was never a collector of much more than cards, but gladly read my friends’ copies and listened to them talk about characters in stories, while I was more than happy to trade cards and, in earlier years, watch cartoons and play with the toys.
For me, Batman is Michael Keaton and Superman is Dean Cain. The only reason I have a remotely basic working knowledge of the Marvel vs. DC Comics world is because it’s required these days to live in the world of people who even talk about movies. All this is to say: I am not a nerd (Star Wars notwithstanding) nor a comic fanboy, even in its newly weaponized subverted pseudo-popular definition. Which is perhaps exactly why I loved this film.
Forget what all the critics flooded the internet with based on early previews Tuesday, Suicide Squad is fantastic. And if you’re looking for a date night flick, the Warner Bros. production is a great bet. It takes itself about as seriously as it needs to. Don’t forget, this is not real.
For one, we get the best kind of Will Smith. Not “one-man band on the marquee” Smith, but the guy that we grew to love as a character actor that could shine around a solid cast. He’s funny without being overly comedic and the family tale surrounding his character is heartwarming enough. Teaching a kid geometry through ballistics? Sure, why not.
We haven’t even mentioned Viola Davis yet. Her role as Amanda Waller, an intelligence officer running the ship for this ragtag group of meta-humans, is completely on-brand considering her recent run as the star of Shonda Rhimes’ TV series How to Get Away With Murder. Davis is badass, end of story.
Most importantly, however, is that for a movie about superhero and alien forces, the love stories are as humanly real as anything I’ve seen from a comic book tale on the big screen in a decade. Are you the type who needs a large manly figure to protect his ever-so-fragile flower of a lover? That’s there for you. Perhaps you were in an abusive relationship and looking to atone? They try to tackle that. Or you are living on the edge with your slightly crazy lover whom you may share with other people from time to time more your speed? Got that, too.
From first date to a night out with the spouse, this film will remind you of a time when your heart ran hot for someone, whether they’re sitting right next to you in the theater or not. Jared Leto as The Joker and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is a combo that deserves its own movie and subsequent television series. Mix that in with a storyline that’s easy to follow for even the most basic of comic book fans, and action sequences that don’t subject you to tons of blood, and you’ve got a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Plus, the soundtrack is a super banger.
If you’re fun at parties, you’ll love Suicide Squad. If not, there might not be another date night, anyways.
Daily Dose: 8/3/16
Rolando McClain is having problems with the lean
Just when we you think he couldn’t do worse, he does. In the immediate aftermath of the fallout regarding how he chose to treat the parents of a soldier killed in Iraq, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump continued to undermine the sacrifice involved with military service by saying that a man gave him a Purple Heart as a gift, something he always wanted. Dude has zero shame. Trump also yelled at a baby. I have a friend with a Purple Heart. It’s not something you want. ABC News reports on how Trump himself managed to avoid military service.
If you know me, you know how I feel about The Bachelor. It’s a great television product with multiple shows. The Bachelorette ended Monday night, leaving way for the best part of the franchise, Bachelor in Paradise. It’s easily the best show of the three, because the format is the most ridiculous and the show takes itself the least seriously. That also means that people tend to get the most crazy, which is why it rocks. If you know who Chad is, you could have bet that he went nuts on the first night. You would have collected, ABC’s Lesley Messer reports.
Doping, as a practice for professional athletes, doesn’t particularly bother me. That’s somewhat of a hot take in some worlds, but I’m of the feeling that if you want to destroy yourself for athletic glory, that’s on you. The larger problems come when these drugs get into the hands of high schoolers. They are correlated, yes, but still not one for one comparisons. Anyways, since it’s Olympics season (just two days away, kiddos!), steroids are top of mind. Many get popped, but here’s a question: Can anyone ever really make it back after that? VICE‘s Mary Pilon investigates.
Remember JaMarcus Russell? The No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft? Well, he was not only not very good, but also had major drug problems and flamed out of the league in what felt like an instant? Well, he might want to be dropping a phone call to Dallas Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain. My man is suspended for 10 games from the league for drinking too much codeine. As ESPN’s Todd Archera and Jean-Jacques Taylor detail, this is nothing to laugh at. The man has a substance abuse problem.
Coffee Break: Playing NFL football in Los Angeles must be great. That lovely weather, laid-back lifestyle and you get to be a bit of a star, too. Except, since the team hasn’t had football in so long, people don’t even recognize Rams players. Their cheesy burger ads, though? Absolutely.
Snack Time: My man C.J. Wallis is an incredible filmmaker who makes music videos, too. His latest animated/motion graphics number for Currensy and Rick Ross’ Dope Boys is MEGA hot, though.
Dessert: Now, THIS is how you take someone down in an argument on television. Expert level.
All Day Podcast: 8/2/16
The crew welcomes back Justin Tinsley from the road
5:46 PMAfter covering both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions for two weeks, staff writer Justin Tinsley rejoined the All Day Podcast team this week, as he, host Clinton Yates and senior style writer Jill Hudson talked MTV’s legacy, Malia Obama’s weekend at Lollapalooza and Draymond Green’s Snapchat blunder.
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On Monday, MTV turned 35 years old, so the crew reflected on the contributions the network has made to American society, especially hip-hop culture, over the years. As Clinton recently wrote, MTV’s show Yo! MTV Raps is one of the greatest programs MTV ever produced. But don’t forget about its other shows, such as Real World.
Two of the biggest things to hit the internet last weekend were a video of President Barack Obama’s oldest daughter, Malia, dancing at a concert, and an unsolicited, and uncensored, Snapchat photo posted by the NBA forward Green (the topic of the latest episode of Locker Room Lawyer). Justin responds to the Obama video with a hilarious impression of how the president and first lady likely reacted to seeing it. And Jill has some interesting thoughts surrounding the question of whether Green’s photo helped or hurt his chances with the ladies.
Give it a listen, and if you have any feedback or show ideas, feel free to email us at email@example.com.
Kanye West is having a weird week
It’s one of those where he’s way more ‘Dad’ than ‘Yeezy’
3:53 PMAs the foremost creative genius of his time — in his mind, at least — every once in a while Kanye West still takes an L or two. This has been one of said weeks. First, he got dragged on TV by Kim Kardashian for not being familiar with the somewhat vulgar slang of “magic stick,” which her husband was saying in front of their daughter, North, on a recent episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Watch below.
Yeah, this is awkward. Furthering the “thanks, but no thanks” theme in his life, along comes IKEA. In an interview with the U.K.’s BBC Radio 1, he reached out to the Swedish retailer about an opportunity to collaborate. You might recall that he scored a nearly $1 billion deal with Adidas, so he’s used to shooting his shot in this regard. One problem, IKEA isn’t feeling it. And beyond that, the furniture company threw a little shade, too.
Now, it turns out the most dad thing of all time that he could be doing, “Carpool Karaoke” with CBS’ The Late Late Show host James Corden, is even creating problems. The comedian/talk show host told British GQ that Mr. West has canceled not once, but twice, leading you to wonder how first lady Michelle Obama fit this into her schedule before he could.
Anyways, the question here becomes, What do you play if Ye is in the ride? I imagine he’s not exactly very friendly about handing over the aux cord, but if it meant he knew he’d hear his own music, things would probably go well. Songs to go for: Heartless, Good Life (maybe with a T-Pain cameo, too) and Otis. Songs to stay away from: Gold Digger, N—– In Paris and definitely All Day.
Or maybe just a bunch of Taylor Swift songs.
Anderson .Paak, Mac Miller drop new video
‘Dang!’ combines classic L.A. sound with a neon candy cane look
1:53 PMThese two aren’t the most unlikely couple at all, but when it was announced that the Pittsburgh-bred artist would be dropping a project called “The Divine Feminine” it was a nice bit of midsummer news. When the first single with .Paak dropped with his Cali-soaked sound all over it, it was an instant classic for good vibes with that summer flame. Now the video is out, with a storyline that reminds you why maybe you split up during the hot weather to begin with.
We love Mac’s flowery jacket to match his neck tattoo and the rest of the visual vibe of this vid. Also, that dayglo windbreaker that Anderson is sporting ain’t bad either. Oddly, this song makes us really happy. (Although: NSFW language.)
Rex Arrow’s got another banger under the belt.
Locker Room Lawyer, Episode 2: Draymond Green
The NBA forward’s recent Snapchat mishap gives The Undefeated its latest case
9:37 AMIn this week’s edition of Locker Room Lawyer, Clinton Yates and Domonique Foxworth take the case of USA Basketball forward Draymond Green to The Undefeated courtroom.
In case you missed the pilot episode last week, Locker Room Lawyer is our new weekly video series in which Domonique, a former NFL cornerback, plays the role of attorney and defends the questionable actions of his fellow athletes.
Domonique takes every athlete’s defense no matter what — even if said athlete posts a picture of his private parts on Snapchat like Green did Sunday. As Clinton points out, it’s been a rough summer for the Golden State Warriors forward, from a loss in the NBA Finals to his arrest in early July and now this. But don’t worry, Draymond. Dominique’s got you.
Check out the video, and if you have any professional athlete in mind (past or present) who needs the Locker Room Lawyer’s representation, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with episode ideas. Also, check out our weekly All Day Podcast.
Daily Dose: 8/2/16
Yasiel Puig likely to be sent packing by the Los Angeles Dodgers
9:00 AMIn our latest edition of Locker Room Laywer with Domonique Foxworth, we tackle the tricky subject of what’s going on with Draymond Green. Needless to say, Fox thinks he might have won himself a few fans in the Olympic Village.
Just because you’re in the Olympics doesn’t mean you’re a full-time athlete. Not everyone has the financial luxury of dropping everything in order to achieve their dreams on the medal stand. It’s part of the reason why competing to win is so important. Snagging fame at an Olympiad could mean endorsement deals that might not necessarily change your life, but certainly makes things a tad easier if you’re pushing a 9-to-5 job. ABC’s Catherine Thorbecke chronicles some of the Olympians who also have day jobs.
The desperation in Donald Trump’s campaign has become painstakingly evident. After the Republican presidential nominee’s entire camp nearly unraveled over his inability to cope with a Gold Star family criticizing him, a terrible interview with George Stephanopoulos and then saying any national election with him in it would be rigged, things have gone off the rails. He even went so far as to call Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton “the devil” on Monday, which is just truly bizarre. Shocker, people aren’t really into that tactic and the polls show it, too. ABC News’ Ryan Struyk reports.
Rich people do wild things with their money. Forget about exorbitant expenditures on everyday items that no one really needs, or throwing money at powerful political causes, but some things feel particularly egregious. Like when a gazillionaire decides to leave an outrageous sum of money to, say, his or her dog. We all love and respect pets, but it’s hard to understand why someone would do that when he or she could also help so many humans. VICE‘s Jules Suzdaltsev takes a look at how that actually works in real life.
When Yasiel Puig first broke into Major League Baseball, his story was fascinating. The tale of his humanly trafficked journey from Cuba instantly became the stuff of legend and his personality on and off the field was as outsized as that trek across the water from his island home nation. He was driving a different car to spring training every day wiling on the basepaths, hitting homers and throwing guys out all over the field. Well, those days are over and he might get demoted to the minors. As ESPN’s Doug Padilla notes, it’s never a dull moment with him.
Coffee Break: Welp, Jordan Rodgers actually did it. He won The Bachelorette and is now engaged to be married to JoJo Fletcher. We’ve never really found out why he and his brother, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, don’t talk, but who cares? Bachelor in Paradise starts Tuesday night, which is the real gem program of this franchise, anyway.
Snack Time: If you’re not watching Stranger Things, you must be the only person in America with Netflix who isn’t. Check out this mixtape by DJ Yoda that features songs and music inspired by the show. (h/t @jackgoodson12)
Dessert: I’m not super into physical scare tactic comedy, but this is one very funny bit.
Black Lives Matter groups release demands
and the list includes reparations and eradicating the death penalty
4:00 PMBlack Lives Matter is not just a concept, but also a movement. It’s not only a hashtag, but also an organization trying to enact change on the macro level in the United States. Since the phrase took off as a rallying cry for various groups, the patchwork of causes and goals has been a challenge to put together in one place. On Monday, that happened.
“In response to the sustained and increasingly visible violence against black communities in the U.S. and globally, a collective of more than 50 organizations representing thousands of black people from across the country have come together with renewed energy and purpose to articulate a common vision and agenda,” the initiative reads.
The platform includes six tenets: end the war on black people, economic justice, divest-invest, community control, political power and, perhaps most importantly, reparations. It’s that last word that will likely get most people talking, but the simple tasks of coming together on this effort is quite the accomplishment itself.
The question of “Who runs the movement?” is one that’s been used to discredit and divide the civil rights movement since its inception. With a specific call to action in place that more than 50 groups have formed through a coalition, the catch-all criticism of, “You don’t even know what you want,” doesn’t hold as much water.
— we have nothing to lose but our chains (@katrinalrogers) August 1, 2016
Two years ago, when The Atlantic‘s Ta-Nehisi Coates released his opus magazine series titled “The Case for Reparations,” it rocked the nation because so many people who considered themselves allies, woke or at least slightly more self-aware or educated than the average person, didn’t have as good of an understanding of economic disenfranchisement as they thought they did.
Slavery didn’t happen then suddenly end in a vacuum, thus suddenly leveling a playing field that never truly existed anyway. It set in motion the concept of white supremacy, financial inequality and overall discrimination that kept black folks poor by design, not happenstance.
Do these demands released Monday seem practical? If you’re asking yourself this question, you’re not taking a fair look at the nature of the problem. The initial offenses and systemic bigotry created a scenario in which any change from the status quo will by nature feel impractical if you are not affected the same way as another.
“Our hope is that this is both an articulation of our collective aspirations as well as a document that provides tangible resources for groups and individuals doing the work,” the platform’s website reads.”We recognize that some of the demands in this document will not happen today. But we also recognize that they are necessary for our liberation.”
Also, if you need a refresher course on a larger level, the glossary is as real as it gets.
After 35 years, ‘Yo! MTV Raps’
is still the best thing the network has ever done
Mtv turns 35 today. (Confirmed: you're old af.) What was your fave Mtv show?
— Complex Pop Culture (@ComplexPop) August 1, 2016
With MTV turning 35 years old today, Complex posed an interesting question on Twitter. Shockingly, the choices did not include Yo! MTV Raps, a program that ESPN’s Bomani Jones referred to as “the single most important show in the history of the network.” He’s not wrong. It’s nearly impossible to overstate the program’s importance to the culture. Debuting in 1988 with Fab 5 Freddy as the host, it had instant credibility and was vital in the global branding of hip-hop at a time when it was still considered a niche genre.
The show ended in 1995, meaning it effectively spanned what many people call the golden era of hip-hop, in no small part due to the show itself. It was rebooted and rebranded in different ways over the years, but the original program (the Ed Lover era definitely included) was a vehicle for the art form that has never been replicated on a large scale since. There were not only incredible guests and performances, but also genuine moments of candor from artists that we so rarely see in a studio setting these days.
Events that were legitimately important happened on the show: going to Compton, California, to meet N.W.A., the Rockstead Crew’s 18th anniversary, a wildly intoxicated Ol’ Dirty Bastard showing up on set to everyone’s bewilderment and walking through Chinatown in New York City with the Beastie Boys, just to name a few off the top of my head. The series finale was one long freestyle session and it was amazing.
At the most basic level, MTV had the vision to see that hip-hop was not only marketable, but would eventually become a vital pillar of the music world. Of course, that took longer than it should have, but the show’s co-creator Ted Demme was about that life. A lot of journalists, fans and others often look back on certain eras of artistry with rose-colored lenses, but Yo! MTV Raps really was that solid from a consistency standpoint. It became a global brand that influenced a generation. After school, you watched Ed Lover and Doctor Dre. Period.
You want more? Check out this Rock Doc that VH1, also a Viacom network, did a while back on how the program was created.
“To have a show that shows some love for rap like that?” TLC’s Chilli said in the film. “I just thought it was the greatest thing they’ve ever done on that network.”
Daily Dose: 8/1/16
Miss Teen USA’s racist past won’t hurt her future
10:20 AMLast weekend was the last weekend until February that we’ll have without football. Just thought I’d put that out there for you to marinate on.
If you haven’t noticed, Donald Trump is involved in yet another row. The Republican presidential nominee is in a word fight with the parents of a Muslim soldier who was killed during combat in Iraq in 2004. What started off as moving speech at the Democratic National Convention from Khizr Khan has turned into a mind-boggling back and forth that has everyone in the GOP scrambling to not completely denigrate a Gold Star family. ABC News’ Brian McBride breaks down how this story has unraveled so quickly.
Beauty pageants are sort of an archaic concept, but they still have quite a bit of traction in many places. Girls are held to strange standards as they represent whichever sash and/or crown they’ve been given, so things from people’s past start bubbling up and creating controversy. But in the case of Karlie Hay, who won Miss Teen USA on Saturday, a few N-words on her Twitter feed won’t be putting her title in jeopardy. She did apologize for it, but it seems like maybe that’s not quite enough. ABC’s Joi-Marie McKenzie reports.
Worried about Zika? Florida might not be the place for you. The virus that’s been causing rampant fears all over Brazil due to the Olympics has now spread to the sunshine state, which is mildly terrifying. Particularly if you’re a woman trying to have a baby. However, there are some people who will tell you it’s not a big deal, but there’s no getting around the fact that some babies have been born with microcephaly as a result of the virus. FiveThirtyEight’s Maggie Koerth-Baker answers five enduring questions about Zika.
It’s been a rough summer for Draymond Green. First, his team lost in the NBA Finals after he decided that hitting LeBron James in the man region was a smart idea, and got himself suspended for a game, which proved to be the turning point of the series. Then, he got into a fight in his old college town, which is just a bad look. Now, in a situation that’s come full circle, he accidentally posted a picture of his own junk to Snapchat. Awkward. ESPN’s Calvin Watkins has the story.
Coffee Break: Frank Ocean either seriously likes messing with people’s emotions or has a real issue with completing tasks. This morning, he released a live stream of something, that most people presumed might actually be music, but alas, it wasn’t. Why would it be?
Dessert: Here’s some good news. New music from Earl Sweatshirt.
Baron Batch gets popped
for graffiti tagging all over Pittsburgh
7:00 AMBaron Batch is a cool dude. The former Pittsburgh Steelers running back does all sorts of stuff with his artwork that makes people smile in and arohttps://theundefeated.com/whhw//und Pittsburgh, and we appreciate him for that. But he also likes to get up, as the kids say. He’s a skilled artist and he does things like let people eat food and watch him paint at the same time, which is awesome.
He also genuinely enjoys the vandalism side of the game, which is unfortunate, but part of the lifestyle, if you’re a certain type of person. Anyway, he tends to also post his work on Instagram, which, very plainly, is a great way to get caught doing illegal stuff.
Unfortunately, he had to surrender to the police recently for his work along a certain bridge in Pennsylvania. Not a good look, but hopefully this doesn’t stunt his artistic career.
Let’s go skating in Cuba
Because that’s not a thing a lot of people get to do
7:00 AMCuba is a fascinating place. Not just in terms of the political and cultural atmosphere, but it is also an amazing place to look at, which means that any skateboarding happening there is automatically tremendous. There’s also a certain nakedness to the urban landscape that makes everything feel a bit more pure when it comes to kicking and pushing.
This trailer from VICE Sports for an upcoming documentary on skating in Cuba features the nonprofit organization Cuba Skate and shows you just how glorious the nation is, all through the eyes of the skateboard world, which is a tremendous lens through which to see the globe. Obviously.