The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Did You Know?

Posted on: May 3, 2018

This week my post will be non Dump related. Our comments will follow the latest news, but I thought I’d do something a little different to take our mind off the bananananity of our lives. It’s a “Did You Know?” of interesting facts you may not know about. So let’s dive in and maybe learn a thing or two (I didn’t know any of these things.)

Did you know that Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is estimated to be worth about $780 814px-Leonardo_da_Vinci,_Salvator_Mundi,_c.1500,_oil_on_walnut,_45.4_×_65.6_cm.jpgmillion? (Seems cheap, no?) But since it’s not for sale and never will be it’s unclear how much someone would actually be willing to pay for it. I’m sure an auction would bring the price into the billions. The most expensive painting ever actually sold and bought is da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, painted in around the year 1500 of our lord. It sold in 2017 for $450.3 million. The seller? Dmitry Robolovlev. Yes, the same guy who bought Trump’s worthless Florida house for tens of millions more than it was worth…

Did you know that the German chocolate cake is named after an English-American baker Sam German, not the country??

Did you know that the chainsaw was invented to aid in childbirth. Think about that for a minute. The instrument of horror in horror movies was invented in 1830 by a German (naturally) orthopedist Bernhard Heine. Heine made a prototype for cutting bone and by late 18th century two Scottish doctors revised the instrument to aid in symphysiotomy (widening of the pelvis to help the baby move out.)

Did you know that the last letter added to the English alphabet was the letter J and it is located next to the letter I because it looks almost the same?

Did you know that the Citicorp building in Manhattan, built in 1977 and designed by IMG_4597-copy-3-1024x768.jpgWilliam J. LeMessurier, was destined to be blown down by the wind if Diane Hartley, an enterprising architecture student, didn’t notice the flaw in its design? The building has an unusual structure – its 9 story columns stand in the center not the corners of the building to make room for a Church that was there first. It looks cool, right? Now think about winds: there are two types of winds – winds that blow at the corners and winds that blow directly at a wall, and all buildings take into account strong winds, so the building doesn’t collapse in a storm. LeMessurier accounted for the winds by installing a gigantic weight at the top that would swing in the opposite direction of the building in a storm and keep it balanced. After this Citicorp building was already opened and occupied, Mr. LeMessurier got a phone call from an assistant who had a phone call from a young architecture student (Diane Lee Hartley) writing a thesis on the building and she noticed that LeMessurier did not account for the winds that would blow at the corners of the building. Typically buildings are strongest at their corners, so it wouldn’t be an issue. But this was not an ordinary building. It had no support at the corners which would have made it vulnerable to strong winds blowing at the corners and there was a high chance (1 in 16) that the building would eventually collapse from a storm. And there was a

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Diane Lee Hartley in 2014

Hurricane Ella making its way towards the island! In the middle of the night, in secret to prevent panic, the architects worked to fix the mistake, and the NYPD and emergency services coordinated an evacuation plan within a 10 block radius in case the building collapsed. 2500 Red Cross volunteers were on stand-by. The good news is that Hurricane Ella never made it to Manhattan and the building was reinforced without its occupants even knowing they were in danger.

Did you know that “a buttload” is an actual measurement of weight?

Did you know that opening a barrel of whiskey is called “drilling the bunghole?”

And if I were to ask you what is the most perfect day in the history of the world, what would you say? I’m beginning to think that the most perfect day in the history of the world was April 18, 1930. Why? Well, it was so perfect that there was literally no news to report. A BBC News announcer came on the air at 20:45 and said: “There is no news.” And with the remaining 15 minutes of the broadcast the BBC played music.

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GREETING WIDDERSHINS! (Philadelphia Eagles Green)

So if you’re a fan of professional football, this is the ultimate weekend and game for you; the Superbowl.  Many times, the game itself has been a dud, just not that interesting.  Other games have been very exciting  with the lead changing several times over the course of the game. However, one thing is almost always great and that’s the commercials that air during the Superbowl.  And they had better be great, considering the cost of a thirty-second commercial.

The cost of a 30-second Super Bowl commercial continues holding at a premium level this year, with NBC drawing in excess of $5 million for a 30-second spot for Sunday’s showcase.

So with that let’s take a look at a couple of the 2018 commercials and some that have been favorites of mine from previous years.

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(1) Amazon Alexa loses her voice (Will Apple’s Siri offer help?) (2) Martha Stewart gets slammed by Jack in the Box? (3) Chris Pratt 2018 Michelob Ultra Beer  Commercial (4) M&Ms commercial with Danny DeVito (5) Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage, Mt. Dew/Doritos Commercial

Some Oldies

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And this one always cracks me up: There ya go Widdershins; a plethora of Super Bowl commercials. Now I understand some of y’all don’t have teevees and won’t have seen any of these or other S.B. commercials.  For those who have, feel free to put some in the comments below. Open thread of course. Oh, and: GO Iggles! The Patriots have won enough.      

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Good morning Widdershins,

There’s a storm coming, so I hope anyone being effected is prepared and staying warm! I think it’s supposed to come to NYC as well, but honestly, since I’m working from home I’m not too concerned. Although my dog might not enjoy blistering walks (he likes snow.)

Speaking of storms, category 6 Hurricane Bannon hit the Dump White House yesterday. Excerpts from a new book by Michael Wolff, “Fire and Fury,” were published in The New Yorker. (The book is already #1 on Amazon’s best seller list.) Whether or not it’s true (and there are reasons to question Michael Wolff’s often imaginative imagination) isn’t even relevant. I’m sure some of the stories are true and others are true in part. And it’s not the stories themselves that matter, it’s the fact that Steve Bannon told some of them them, Michael Wolff put them in a book, and Donald Dump thought they were true enough to release a blistering attack on Bannon (on official White House letterhead via Sarah Huckleberry), calling Bannon insane. Don Junior activated his attack mode and called Bannon a lying, backstabbing ingrate on Twitter.

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Rebekah Mercer

Rebekah Mercer, the former actress (whose credits include “Xena: Warrior Princess) and evil billionaire who has been funding Bannon’s Breitbart and the Dump campaign has, supposedly, severed all ties with Bannon. Which part of all this is not living up to Mercer’s expectations, I don’t know. I suppose she may have expected loyalty from a man she gave so much money to. Perhaps she expected honor among thieves? Dump doesn’t have any; he has destroyed more people than one can count. But it will be interesting to see what happens in this angry divorce between Bannon and Dump. So much of their followers are the same people: alt-right, white supremacists. Arguably they were Bannon’s first. He gifted them to Dump. Now they will have to choose sides. It’s a real pickle they find themselves in… Who do you think they will choose?

 

And what does the GOP think about all this? Well, Mitch McConnell’s official Twitter feed posted this creepy gif:

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Draw your own conclusions. Everybody else has been strangely quiet. (But we can imagine their responses. For example, when asked about Dump’s tweet threatening nuclear annihilation, Susan Collins said … “I’m going to vote” as she stormed away to vote on something. Bob Corker laughed and said he hadn’t seen the tweet, but Trump will be Trump. LOL.) So as a Civil War breaks out in the GOP – what do we think Widdershins? What is Bannon doing? We know his real desire is to destroy everything. So are his opening shots at Trump a surprise? He built Dump and he will destroy him. What will Dump do in response? He’s certainly going to do something… What will McTurtle do besides grin? Is this war good or bad for the GOP? And how will Democrats screw everything up?

I know only one thing: in 2020 Bannon will endorse Bernie Sanders for President. Mark my words.

 

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Happy weekend Widdershins!

This week has been a cray-cray rollercoaster. Dump continues to Dump, but we did get further confirmation that everything he touches dies. He has not been good for the GOP. And I don’t just mean that he has corrupted them (in fact, we all know Dump didn’t corrupt them. This is how they’ve been for a long time. Dump is a symptom, not the cause of the infection.) He is bad for the GOP because he is causing “minority flight.” It’s like white flight, but the reverse: non-white people are fleeing. Except by fleeing I mean running to the polls. We have witnessed stunning upsets in elections all over the country, locally Democrats are taking government seats previously occupied by Republicans in deep red places like Oklahoma. And nationally we have seen two stunning upsets for the GOP: Virginia and Alabama. Democrats actually won a US Senate seat in Alabama. And Doug Jones didn’t do it by running as a conservative Democrat. That has been one of the remarkable features of his campaign. He didn’t waffle on choice or gay marriage. He didn’t run by blasting Pelosi or Schumer. So by Alabama standard Doug Jones is a far-left nut job. Except he won the election anyway. He won because black women (and black men) came out in higher than expected numbers and voted. Even though GOP tried their darnedest to stop them. Many irregularities were reported all day. And still, they came out to vote. White men and white women chose the accused pedophile. But it didn’t matter: non-white voters came out to vote. They have lived for a year under the horror of Dump. And this is what happens when Democrats bring out their base to vote: Democrats win. If Democrats managed to win a seat in Alabama, every state should be in play in 2018.

The fact that Roy Moore refuses to concede the race is irrelevant. He will have to exit the stage regardless. There are speculations that Bannon’s reputation is greatly damaged because he went all in on Moore – as did Dump. And Moore losing is a humiliating defeat for Bannon and Dump. So let us imagine for a minute that this is the beginning of their grand exit off the stage too.

Omarosa is existing too. Actually she was escorted out.

So many exits this week. Let’s wish some of these people good riddance.

 

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In Brief

Posted on: October 18, 2017

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Hello Widdershins,

My apologies for being an absentee poster. I run out of hours in the day and have no computer at work. Only a very weak signal on my iPhone. But I’m sure the news keeps everyone busy. I’ll be back to my regular schedule in a week!

The worst thing I read all day is Dump’s awful phone call to the widow of slain U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson. After ignoring the 4 American soldiers killed in Niger for weeks (he golfed though), he finally brought himself to call a family. And he told the pregnant Myeshia Johnson: “He knew what he signed up for.” There truly is no end to Trump’s depravity. But we should read the names of the 4 soldiers killed and a hold a moment of silence because our president doesn’t care.

From one kind of depraved to a very different kind of depraved, the story of Harvey Weinstein is continuing to reverberate in the entertainment industry. There are now at least 47 women who have accused Weinstein of harassing or assaulting them. Of the well-known actresses the most recent story comes from Lena Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister on the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones.” The story, of course, is bigger than Weinstein. The singer/actress Björk, who has starred in only one movie, critically acclaimed “Dancer in the Dark,” wrote a letter in which she referenced being abused by a Danish director. Since she only appeared in one film and that film was made by a Dane, the unnamed director is Lars von Trier. Von Trier makes controversial films (I personally detest each and every one of them). In 2011 he stunned the Cannes Film Festival when he announced during a press conference:

“I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family were German. And that also gave me some pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler…I sympathize with him a bit.”

Molly Ringwald has also said she’s had “plenty of Harveys of my own.” She says she was first assaulted when she was 13. Reese Witherspoon says she was sexually assaulted by a director when she was 16. And America Ferrera said that she remembers the first time she was assaulted was when she was 9.

On Monday I went out to grab a Starbucks while at work. Crossing the street on 49th St and Park Avenue (a short distance from Grand Central station), I saw an SUV almost run over a young woman. He was backing up against his light and not paying attention. He side-swiped this woman (she was not breaking any laws), and only reason he didn’t actually run her over was because she jumped out of the way in time. So she started yelling to him to watch it, he hit her with his car. This man, big man, in his late 40’s, looked out of the window and said: “Oh did I hit you? Let me see. Where? In the back? Show me. Turn around baby, let me see you from the back.” As she began to turn to show him…she froze. I think all the witnesses did. It became obvious he was literally trying to see her ass. He was sexually harassing woman in the middle of the street that he just literally hit with his car… You could see her face changing as she realized what was happening and that dumbass grinned at her. It was truly breathtaking.

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To make you feel maybe 1% better about all this insanity – there is the story of the immortal Carrie Fisher. After being told by a friend, screenwriter Heather Robinson, that a studio executive sexually assaulted her, Carrie Fisher took matters into her own hands. She personally delivered to the executive a Tiffany box. Inside the box – a cow tongue. And a note: “If you ever touch my darling Heather or any other woman again, the next delivery will be something of yours in a much smaller box.”

And finally, if you follow reporters on social media you may have noticed that a few voices have been oddly missing for several days. New York Times voices. The normally rambunctious Maggie Haberman has been MIA. Glenn Thrush quit twitter altogether. And then we found out why. The bosses have slapped down their on-line behavior. Dean Baquet (a man who has a lot to answer for as far as the 2016 coverage) announced new social media rules for his reporters. And poor Maggie and Glenn, their entire gig is up. The stuff they are best at – snide condescension and sarcasm are discouraged. I think these rules broke Maggie.

So what’s on your mind Widdershins?

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Harvey Weinstein is a very important man in Hollywood. As the co-founder (with his brother Bob) of the film production company Miramax in the 1980s (named after their parents Mira and Max), and then of The Weinstein Company in 2005, they (with Harvey as the real creative force) have produced and/or distributed some of the most recognizable and prestigious films of the past 30 years. The list is extraordinary for just two men from Buffalo: The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, Cinema Paradiso, The Piano, The Crying Game, Good Will Hunting, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Queen, The King’s Speech, Pulp Fiction and every other Quentin Tarantino movie, Scream, There Will Be Blood, No Country For Old Men, Aviator, Chicago, Muriel’s Wedding, Madonna: Truth or Dare, Amelie, My Left Foot, Vicky Christina Barcelona, Bullets Over Broadway, Clerks, Bridget Jones’ Diary, The Hours, Sling Blade, Life Is Beautiful, Fahrenheit 9/11, Dogma, etc. He also produced Broadway shows like The Producers, The Color Purple, La Cage aux Folles, Bernadette Peters’ Gipsy, The Addams’ Family, Al Pacino’s revival of Glenngary Glen Ross. And one of TV’s most famous shows: Project Runaway.

Look at that list! It’s understandable why this story has become so huge in the news and entertainment industry. Harvey Weinstein is a cultural giant. Whether or not anybody outside of the entertainment industry truly cares is a different matter. The larger story of a powerful man sexually abusing women for decades (famous women to boot) and getting away with it is an important one. Coming on the heels of exposure and falls of Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly, Weinstein is another reminder that these men have existed for many years – and continue to exist now. Perhaps Louis CK will be next, who knows. These men exist in every industry, not just entertainment. Does this put the fear of god into any of them? I don’t now… I fear not. Beyond the reaction to Weinstein himself, the reaction to the women has also been shocking. The media’s demand that Hillary Clinton comment, and that Meryl Streep’s comment wasn’t good enough, is a perverse cycle of blaming victims. The story has stopped being about Weinstein abusing women and now it’s more about “what do famous women think about Weinstein abusing women?” It’s sick.

I worked at Miramax back in its heyday of 2000 in a very unimportant position. Shakespeare in Love was in production (code name: Project Plague.The Lord of the Rings (code name: Jumboree) was just a script collecting dust in the closet, soon to be sold to a different studio, though the brothers retained their producer credit. What everybody knew about Harvey then is that he was an awful bully. His emotional, verbal and sometimes physical abuse of employees (throwing things, like a phone or a book) was known to all. In the 1990s Premiere magazine (now gone) published an article about the worst people in the industry to work for. Harvey competed for the top spot with producer Scott Rudin (also producer of some of the best films of the past few decades like Clueless, Regarding Henry and Wonder Boys; as well as huge Broadway shows like The Book of Mormon.) Rudin is gay and I have no doubt there are many demons there which perhaps some day will also land on the front pages of newspapers. But Harvey did more than just produce big movies, he dominated the industry in a way no other film producer had in decades. He inspired awe and fear from other studio heads because of his knack for picking remarkable films and turning Oscar campaigns into both an art form and a brutal contact sport. He was a throwback to the old, golden Hollywood age when studios developed, nurtured and made stars, and then reaped the rewards: people like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Gwyneth Paltrow and Quentin Tarantino were synonymous with Miramax, and they owe big parts of their careers to Harvey. Without Weinstein turning Good Will Hunting, Shakespeare in Love and Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction into cultural phenomenons, it’s very likely they would not have turned into the superstars that they are today.

While Harvey’s explosive temper and rage were known by all, his sexual deviancy was better hidden. I had heard jokes about prostitutes. But anything beyond “paid companions” was not widely discussed at the time. So Meryl Streep’s comment that she didn’t know – which so many have attacked her for – is quite credible to me. One must also realize that celebrities – often through no fault of their own – live in a bubble. There are people in their lives who protect them and make sure they are uninformed. One example: One day Ben Affleck came to the office and the producer I was assisting who had an Israeli poster of Good Will Hunting on his wall. The writing was in Hebrew. Affleck said: “Oh that’s so cool! I’ve never seen that!” When he left 20 minutes later all hell broke loose as about 5 assistants spent two days trying to find another copy of that poster. Affleck didn’t now, he didn’t especially want it, but we turned the place upside down looking for another copy of the poster because Ben mentioned in passing that it was cool. Taking care of celebrities this way is an entire industry in entertainment. When I hear about celebrities being difficult I almost don’t blame them. Can you imagine what being treated this way can do to your brain?

As the media descends on the women in the industry, it’s obvious why people like Gwyneth Paltrow didn’t speak out against him in the first place. It wouldn’t just be a matter of telling someone and it’s over. No, look at the way Harvey’s victims are being treated by the press. They are torn to shreds. I wouldn’t have said anything either. Paltrow describes how Weinstein abused her before she became a star and it seems that only the interference of her then-boyfriend Brad Pitt saved her.

When Mr. Weinstein tried to massage her and invited her into the bedroom, she immediately left, she said, and remembers feeling stunned as she drove away. “I thought you were my Uncle Harvey,” she recalled thinking, explaining that she had seen him as a mentor.

After she told Mr. Pitt about the episode, he approached Mr. Weinstein at a theater premiere and told him never to touch Ms. Paltrow again. Mr. Pitt confirmed the account to The Times through a representative.

Soon after, Mr. Weinstein called Ms. Paltrow and berated her for discussing the episode, she said. (She said she also told a few friends, family members and her agent.) “He screamed at me for a long time,” she said, once again fearing she could lose the role in “Emma.” “It was brutal.” But she stood her ground, she said, and insisted that he put the relationship back on professional footing.

Even as Ms. Paltrow became known as the “first lady of Miramax” and won an Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love” in 1999, very few people knew about Mr. Weinstein’s advances. “I was expected to keep the secret,” she said.

Besides Paltrow, other actresses openly accusing Weinstein of assaulting them are Angelina Jolie, Rosanna Arquette, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Mira Sorvino, Asia Argento, among others.

Though she never mentions Weinstein by name, Tori Spelling wrote in her book in 2009 that a refusal to do a nude scene in a Miramax film led to the studio nearly cutting her out of the film altogether, and turning her starring role into a cameo.

It’s also important to note that while the NY Times might claim to have brought Weinstein down (along with a near-contemporary report from The New Yorker, which includes an audio recording of Weinstein harassing an Italian model; Ronan Farrow wrote the story for New Yorker because his bosses at NBC refused to air it), Times are also the paper that helped keep Weinstein in power for so long. They killed a story in 2004 about Weinstein, as detailed by the author of that story and founder of The Wrap, Sharon Waxman.

I also tracked down a woman in London who had been paid off after an unwanted sexual encounter with Weinstein. She was terrified to speak because of her non-disclosure agreement, but at least we had evidence of a pay-off.

The story I reported never ran.

After intense pressure from Weinstein, which included having Matt Damon and Russell Crowe call me directly […] the story was gutted.

I was told at the time that Weinstein had visited the newsroom in person to make his displeasure known. I knew he was a major advertiser in the Times, and that he was a powerful person overall.

But I had the facts, and this was the Times. Right?

Wrong. The story was stripped of any reference to sexual favors or coercion and buried on the inside of the Culture section, an obscure story about Miramax firing an Italian executive. Who cared?

The Times’ then-culture editor Jon Landman, now an editor-at-large for Bloomberg, thought the story was unimportant, asking me why it mattered.

So now the fallout is: Weinstein has been fired from his company. The company just announced that they will have a new name shortly. (And if anybody knew everything – it would have been his brother Bob.) Weinstein’s wife has also announced that she has left him.

There are a lot of powerful people in Hollywood afraid tonight. Hopefully there are a lot of powerful men in all industries taking note of how quickly and how hard they might fall.

What’s on your mind Widdershins?

 

Happy Saturday (and Sunday) Widdershins.

We have survived another week. This week was off to a rough start because Hillary Clinton’s book about the 2016 campaign, “What Happened,” was released and before its4c498a1fa3498d0d740dfb69e25bea87--american-life-time-magazine.jpg release virtually every pundit on TV and Twitter had a meltdown about it. How dare Hillary say anything? People have been talking about her publicly for 30 years, but at this point, they said, she needed to go away. But an odd thing happened as the week progressed: as people actually read the book, they found they liked it. Ok, so maybe not the usual pundits. Those have a case of Clinton Derangement Syndrome so strong that nothing would appease them. (No really: Slate wrote an article questioning why Hillary isn’t angrier… like really, this happened.) But the more reasonable types found themselves not unhappy. And Clinton gave a number of remarkable interviews, everyone from Vox (Ezra Klein) to Rachel Maddow to The View. Turns out what Hillary has to say is not only interesting, a lot of it is important. Like the discussion about Republicans potentially working their way to a Constitutional Convention. This needs to make bigger headlines.

So, we found ourselves lifted up by Hillary Clinton once again. She may not run for office, but she herself said that she is not retiring from public life and from politics. Things are too important and too dangerous to step away from.

So, like Hillary, we will continue to fight.

Our weekend fight: Trumpcare is back folks. It’s back, like a zombie that will not die. Republicans are trying to repeal the ACA again. This is not a drill and not a joke. Start telling your friends to call their Senators and Representatives again. It is important. It is happening. Start calling 202-224-3121.

And for our weekend musical theme, the theme is: Fight. Fight. Fight.

What’s on your mind Widdershins?

 


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Blog Archive

May 2018
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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

So similar

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
2.7 years to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan

Heroine of the Resistance

B-I-N-G-O!

Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Perfect Name For Him h/t Daily News

Scary a.f.

Rudy: oh shit the pee tape IS real!

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