Daily Dose: 8/9/16
It’s official: Young Paulie is headed back to England
9:25 AMA cool thing happened when I was in Connecticut. I ran into the All-Star team from my kid brother’s old Little League in the hotel. The team was playing the next day, so I went and checked it out. Fun game. Got the win.
Polls are a tricky matter in politics. On the one hand, they’re one of the best ways we have to give the rest of the country any sort of indication of where things stand among presidential candidates. On the other hand, the math and science they use is not exactly airtight. Then, you have people who don’t understand how they work at all, and claim that if results deviate from the polls, then everything is somehow rigged. FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten breaks down how they aren’t skewed this year, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is just really skewed.
Beyond the sports, the Olympics have a ton of random features that you’d never know of unless you were there. One of those things is hospitality houses. Certain nations and companies set up side luxury sites, so that outside of the Olympic Village, athletes, their families and other VIPs have a place to chill, away from the apparently overly dangerous towns of, you know, the host nation. Anyway, while first designed to be a sort of gimmicky perk, they’ve evolved into behemoth operations. VICE Sports‘ Aaron Gordon reports.
The history of hip-hop has become its own big business. The unsealing of archives, creation of documentaries and serializing of origin stories have grown from what it once was, just a cottage industry for nostalgists. The Get Down is a new series from Netflix, created by Baz Luhrmann, that will explore what New York in the late ’70s was like. If you’re wondering how authentic this drama series is going to be, Nas wrote all the raps. Check out this interview with Grandmaster Flash about the series that launches Friday.
It’s official, Paul Pogba is headed back to Manchester United from Juventus. The well-coiffed Frenchman’s return to the English Premier League drew a record transfer fee of $116.4 million. What’s funny is that the announcement, which was long in the works, was leaked by rapper Stormzy, who is a huge Red Devils fan. So, instead of the usual pomp and circumstance, it happened in the dark of British night. Anyway, the midfielder’s signing is obviously the biggest news of the offseason. ESPN’s Arindam Rej reports.
Coffee Break: If you think income inequality isn’t real, you’d be very, very wrong. It’s hard for some people to understand a world in which at least something isn’t passed from generation to generation. But this report says it would take more than two centuries for black people to catch up to white American families.
Snack Time: When you play in the NBA, you get used to certain things. Like constantly having fresh towels and people at your beck and call. Team USA’s Paul George forgot where he was for a second while in Rio, haha.
Dessert: Here’s Usain Bolt dancing. It’s as good as you think it’ll be.
Hillary Clinton gets covered up
Australian artist then has to remove image entirely after legal threats
The nature of street art is temporary, by design. You paint something on a wall. Eventually, someone paints over it. The time of its existence is part and parcel with the satisfaction of the experience of creating it and looking at it. So when a provocative piece goes up, there’s the chance that someone either complains or buffs it entirely. In the case of Lushsux, an Australian artist, both ended up happening.
Earlier this week, a mural of Hillary Clinton in a bikini that was designed after an American flag made a lot of noise. On the surface, the so-called shock value was obvious. Of course, local government complained, so the artist made an adjustment. He covered her in a niqab. Smart, no? Makes a good point about how ridiculous not only censorship is, but particularly in the case of allowing women to be themselves. A provocative mural doubled down.
Oh boy! Street artist faced with council fine for provocative mural of Hillary Clinton covers her up with a niqab! pic.twitter.com/4lIemepMdz
— Fifi Haroon (@fifiharoon) August 2, 2016
Then, guess what? He had to cover it up altogether. The council deemed it sexist. According to the National Post, he answered back on social media. “This is no longer a wall of a supposed ‘offensive and near naked’ Hillary Clinton, it is now a depiction of a beautiful Muslim woman. No reasonable person would consider this offensive,” the artist wrote in a post.
Looks like the council wins. GG pic.twitter.com/oHtynW8v2Q
— LUSHSUX (@lushsux) August 2, 2016
The Brujas are about that life
Meet the all-female skate crew from New York City everyone’s talking about
Skateboarding attempts to be inclusive. The notion that your board and your skills are all that matter are major tenets of the philosophy of the genre, but it doesn’t always work that way in practice. So, what you get is, per usual, girls being excluded because a bunch of dudes just can’t handle the basic concept of say, equality.
No matter for the Brujas, though. They’re a skate crew mainly from the Bronx, New York, that is not here for the nonsense and uses its collective genius to empower sisterhood. That’s what’s up. And they’re getting a lot of love these days. Vogue, The New York Times and Dazed, to name a few.
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These girls are dope.
Chicago police release shooting video
Officers fire into moving vehicle during incident
Just after a minute into this video, you can watch Chicago police shooting into a moving vehicle. You then see an officer cursing at and chasing a suspect, and then pushing his head into the ground during an arrest. We’re not experts on police policy here, but this appears to be rather reckless, to say the least. The teenager died.
Policing is hard, scary work. This video shows you what it’s like when the guys with the badges decide that guns are the best answer. This video is courtesy of the Independent Police Review Authority of Chicago. The incident occurred last week. WARNING: Footage and language is graphic.
Paul O’Neal is his name. He was 18 years old.
2 Chainz delivers more heat
New Music? 2 Chainz drops 10-track mixtape
12:00 PMKendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Chance The Rapper and Drake.
This year in the hip-hop world, those four rappers have been dominating the conversation. However, while those artists have been the center of attention, Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz has quietly been having a strong year.
2 Chainz has had a busy 2016, to say the least. In January, the Atlanta rapper released a short, six-song project titled Felt Like Cappin. Then in March, he followed it up with COLLEGROVE, a more commercial collab album with Lil Wayne.
On Thursday night, fans were anxiously waiting for Frank Ocean and Travis Scott to release their projects (which they didn’t). While they were waiting, 2 Chainz decided to bless the internet with a 10-track mixtape titled Daniel Son; Necklace Don.
Frank Ocean:You drop first
Travis Scott: No you drop first!
Frank Ocean: No you!
Travis Scott: No you!
Frank Ocean: No you!
— Kaelen (@Kaelennnnnn) August 5, 2016
According to his Twitter account, the new project was released early by 2 Chainz to beat the bootleggers to the punch.
The drop came to the joy of 2 Chainz fans everywhere.
Not even worried about this Frank Ocean album because I got some new 2 Chainz to distract me
— Dragonfly Jones (@Swellificent) August 5, 2016
While people have been waiting a long time for this new Frank Ocean project (sorry Rhiannon), this is the third 2 Chainz project in just this year alone. Say what you want about El Chapo Jr., but the man delivers.
Frank Ocean ❌
Travis Scott ❌
2 Chainz ✅
Believe in the heroes that actually come through pic.twitter.com/n2tnpEV6Id
— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) August 5, 2016
no frank ocean album but 2 chainz got a mixtape out so I ain't mad
— March21 (@_PrinceMohamed) August 5, 2016
Yes, 2 Chainz songs haven’t been dominating the radio like he did in 2011-2012. But the man is still putting out bangers for the whip and has one of the funniest Youtube video series of all time.
Will we get a Frank Ocean or Travis Scott project soon? Only time will tell. But for now, 2 Chainz got us.
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.
Daily Dose: 8/4/16
Tiger Woods’ career is waning, and Nike Golf is suffering
I played spades Wednesday night. I just need you to know that, because it’s the most fun card game on Earth. That is all.
When the headline reads “Family of Bears Enjoys Outing at California Lake,” then it leads. Let’s take this to its logical conclusion: A family of bears woke up in the morning, deciding that day, they were going to take a dip in the glorious waters of Tahoe, as you do. Mama Bear said, “Cubs, we’re going for a swim. Don’t forget your trunks.” Then, when they arrived they bathed graciously, unlike many of the rude humans around gawking and talking. Just kidding, this is quasi terrifying but also mega cute and why we shouldn’t encroach habitats, folks.
Ikea, for all its greatness, brings out the worst in people. The absolute worst. If you’ve ever been there with a significant other, never mind your parents, you know what I’m talking about. And because it’s all open plan and public, when you disagree with bae about which side table fits better in the guest room: everybody knows. My god, it’s awkward, but it’s part of the deal. You will watch people fight when you go to Ikea. VICE‘s Yasmin Jeffery asked a psychologist to break down what we’re looking at when we see these pre-Swedish meatball disagreements.
Have you ever seen the movie Minority Report? It’s a sci-fi “tech noir” movie about people who can see the future and thus predict crimes before they happen. Crazy, right? We wouldn’t want a society in which people were assumed to be committing crimes and thus throwing them in jail or killing them, as a result, would we? Oh wait, we have that. The next step to that is giving people longer sentences for one crime, based on another that they *might* commit. Check out FiveThirtyEight’s investigation into what Pennsylvania is trying to do next.
So, Tiger Woods just sunk Nike Golf. This is mind boggling. Back when he was at the height of his powers, every new school kid on the course was rocking whatever Eldrick had on. This was proverbial par. If he was the one that got you into the game, you were about this swoosh life. His influence was wide enough to hold up an entire golf equipment business. I’d like to think that Elin smashed that truck with a Nike 5-iron, too. Anyway, ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports that the Beaverton, Oregon, retail behemoth is now out of that business. Wow.
Coffee Break: Old guy entry alert. Back in the day, I had a friend who was a subscriber to Nintendo Power. It was somehow better than him having an actual NES game system. It was the first magazine I remember genuinely being excited to read every time I saw it. And someone digitized an archive of it. Yessssssss.
Snack Time: The internet is telling me that Eminem has a beef with Drake over something said on a terrestrial radio station that may end up in a battle on Apple Music. Old guy rap sucks.
Dessert: This should be a fun show.
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.