Cultural Quick Hits, Thoughts and Other Stuff

Just Getting My Thoughts Down on Paper

We all have Opinions...

So I decided to get mine down on paper because, well, that's what writers do. We write. I'm as big a newsie as anyone and I'm a huge sports fanatic and fandom nerd. I watch the types of movies guys like but I also watch other movies because I've heard about them. I read comic books as a kid, I sell baseball cards, I work in corporate America, and have for nearly 20 years, I'm married, have two teenagers and live in NY, the media capital of the world.

So I figured, why not throw out some interesting tidbits and see if anyone else wants to talk!

Surprised? Really?

DEFLATEGATE: Because, you know, It's Only Cheating

Well I’m completely biased since I’m a lifelong, long suffering Jets Fan. That said, I think this punishment is more based on the seemingly need to cheat mentality of the Patriots. The fact that Spygate isn’t too far in the past and included the same cast of shady characters really forced the NFL to turn the screws on the Patriots this time. Suspending Brady for 4 games is fine. They should also suspend the kicker Gostkowski for not cooperating with the investigation as well. The fine is large but nothing for a NFL team and losing draft picks should be taken much further, in order to punish the whole team and not just Brady.

Look he’s a great quarterback (I HATE saying that but he is). He doesn’t need to cheat and neither does that hoodie-wearing Gollum-like creature they’ve named Bill Belichek. They are both really good at what they do. Apparently they aren’t really good at cheating. Also, the whole apology issue with Robert Kraft makes the owner look ridiculous. In the past, his team did shady things and he still seemed like the clean owner and I believe he still is. However, demanding an apology and then finding out your team was caught cheating makes you look foolish.

You Know Nothing Jon Snow!

Game of Thrones: Kill the Boy

I loved this episode. Jon Snow has to grow up, he has to kill the boy and become a man. Master Aemon is right. Dany fed her dragons, threatened the upper class of Meereen and now wants to marry one of them in order to connect with the people. Someone has to correct Dany before she makes too many MORE enemies. Sansa Stark is becoming a much better character and Tyrion is maintaining his Best character slot for now.

The fact that the show writers are going off book is not that big a deal. Look all you book-reading spoilsports, now you have a whole new story to follow. And you can’t ruin it for anyone else. I do hope, however, that the writers are not just following the huge fandom on the net. We can’t and shouldn’t be writing this for you, you should be writing it for us.

We Voted For This Guy?

One bad decision after another - what a mess...
One bad decision after another - what a mess...

NY Mayor Bill De Blasio

So he leaves a very messed up New York behind in order to push his national agenda. He HAS a national agenda? He can’t even figure out when to close schools on a snow day and he has a national agenda? He takes over and crime goes up. He takes over and a person who fails the physical part of the fireman test is still allowed to be a fireman? I don’t care if it’s a woman, if she can’t drag a 250 pound man out of a burning house in a certain amount of time, she shouldn’t be endangering herself or anyone else trying to do the job. Some jobs really are not about gender equality, they are about safety.

First Place Surprise

For the Mets, the biggest surprise is being in first place without David Wright and Travis d'Arnaud - both hitting over .300 when they got hurt
For the Mets, the biggest surprise is being in first place without David Wright and Travis d'Arnaud - both hitting over .300 when they got hurt

Baseball Surprises: Teams and Players

Hello Mets, Yankees and Astros. Where the hell did you come from? If you’ve read my hubs before, you know I’m a die-hard Mets fan but even I am surprised at their hot start. I’m even more surprised at the Yankees hot start and the Astros – well, surprised doesn’t cut it. At the same time what happened to the White Sox, all those moves and so far, not a good team.

And hello Bryce Harper. You were over-hyped when you joined the big leagues, often being compare to Mike Trout because of the timing but so far, not so Trout-like. That changed this past week as you crushed the ball. I mean it. From what I’ve seen and read, you are quite the cocky, jerky young player but you seem to be putting your game together and that I like to see. Likewise Michael Pineda who finally seems to have his head and right arm on straight because his stuff is absolutely electric.

The Whole Crew

Wait, the Olsen twins have a much better looking sister (Scarlet Witch)??
Wait, the Olsen twins have a much better looking sister (Scarlet Witch)??

Best Movie in Theatres: Avengers: Age of Ultron:

This was a pretty good follow-up to the original movie. I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this movie (as I thought I would) but some of the character development is a bit clunky. Love seeing Hawkeye’s family, that was very cool. Black Widow and the Hulk? Ummm, well that’s just a bit weird to me though Bruce Banner’s final move made the most sense in that relationship. It was strange, however, that he wasn’t Bruce at the time, he was the Hulk which made it even more poignant. I will not put in spoilers though, go see the movie!

Liam James was Great

Best movie you haven’t heard of – The Way, Way Back

I am not an indie movie fan. I never have been. I generally stick with movies I know but I found this on HBO late one night and love watching this movie. It’s not complicated and for an indie movie, this has a whole cast full of well known talent like: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph and Amanda Peet. It’s a coming of age story but it’s just done so well and it’s thoroughly enjoyable. No nudity, no big explosions or car chases, just great character development and a simple story everyone can relate to make this one a winner.

She's as Badass as Spartacus

This week’s crush – Katrina Law:

I have HBO and Showtime but I do not have STARZ so I completely missed the period drama Spartacus when it was on television a few years back. I bought Season One and watched the whole season in two days. I loved this show as this is right up my alley, though not for the faint-at- heart. It’s brutal, lots of gore, lots of violence and sex but great character development and a simple storyline made this a winner. To be honest almost all of the major female characters are fantastic on this show.

I chose Katrina Law as she has the unenviable task of comforting Spartacus after his wife is brutally murdered. She will never live up to the murdered wife but she tries and it's great to watch them interact.

The Fight that Wasn't

What a Huge Letdown!!
What a Huge Letdown!!

Mayweather-Pacquiao Super Fight

Nope, this sucked. My son wanted to watch this with his friends and I refused to buy it. So he promised to pay for it (he has a lucrative Newspaper route). He and his friends were bored throughout the fight. We kept waiting for Manny to do something. We kept waiting for Floyd to stop running away. That was the entire fight. Manny would throw a few punches and land one, Floyd would counter and run away. What a colossal waste of time and money.

Then to find out Manny was hurt really made the fight pointless. It was going to be difficult to win to begin with. Love him or hate him, Mayweather is a really good fighter. Manny would have to have been completely healthy to have any chance in this fight. That being said, Manny may have been beaten in this fight but only because he didn’t do more to win. Neither did Mayweather by the way. This was just a way for both fighters to make a boatload of money and hurt their industry. Would you spend a lot of money to watch another fight? I didn’t think so…..

Last Thoughts

There were lots of other really great things that took place this past week or so but I can't highlight everything. The one that stands out is Tina Fey's tribute on David Letterman. That was a showstopper...

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