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Holy shirt.

In Annie they sang, “you’re never fully dressed without a smile.” I guess by those standards I’m naked.
Since the pandemic began – what my daughter and her boyfriend call “the ‘rona” – I have kind of let myself go. In the beginning, communications about the whole COVID thing were fast and furious, and I was sitting at my dining room table trying my best to keep up while my newly expanded family swirled around me. You can get a flavor for that moment in time in my earlier blog post.
It was 7 days a week, 12-plus hours a day, for a while – a few weeks at least. And I was focused on the work, plain and simple. Hunched over my laptop like a gargoyle atop Notre Dame, ultimately consigned to a bunker I built in my basement. (Public gratitude to my wife and kids for their help excavating.) 
I didn’t much care what I looked like. I was shaving every three or four days. I had doubled down on T-shirts and basketball shorts. I didn’t wear socks for a month, maybe more. I was working on a Miami Beac…
Recent posts

Say it ain't Moe

Is it too soon to worry about going too far?
Despite Broadway being known as “the great white way,” Hollywood has always been pretty pale; and pretty tone-deaf when it comes to pushing white actors and actresses into roles that were originally written as something other than white. Remember, Tom Cruise was The Last Samurai. Yep, that happened.
When Doctor Strange came out, people lost their mind because Tilda Swinton was cast as the The Ancient One. Similarly, when The Mandarin debuted in Iron Man 3, everyone screamed: Ben Kingsley??! But wait, (SPOILER) he’s not the real Mandarin, he’s a down-on-his-luck actor hired to PLAY the Mandarin. So that’s OK. Whew, dodged a bullet.
I was not a comic book guy growing up, though I very much like the MCU, and so these slights didn’t bother me at all. I also was not a person of color growing up, but I nonetheless understand the pent up anger and frustration surrounding the number and quality of black roles – any ethnic roles, really – outside of co…

In defense of Karen

The headline pulled my eye because it said those two magic words: Trader Joe’s.
Yes, Trader Joe’s, the mecca of suburban privilege, my flat-out favorite grocery store (sorry Wegman’s, I love you, but if both you and Trader Joe’s fell in the water and I could only save one of you, I’m just saying you’d better start treading water). The next words said, “customer goes nuts,” in that precise order, which made the story absolutely irresistible! I had to know.
Forget that the news organization was TMZ; I will take that hit. But there was cell phone footage and a woman going ‘nanas because she would not wear a mask and they had asked her to put one on or leave. And she did not like that one bit! It’s priceless, view it here.
Now, before I get to the real point of my post today let’s just agree that this woman is the worst. She allegedly wore a mask to enter the store, because it’s the law in California. I go to my local TJ’s once or twice a month and they definitely make it easy for you to fol…

Lord and Lady Kardashian

Explain something to me.
Who gives one flying crap about Ex-Prince Harry and Ex-C-List Actress and Princess-for-5-minutes Meghan Markle?
I mean, OK, I get why British folks would care. Here's this uber millennial who grows up royal, dips his quill in the global mainstream pool, likes it, marries a starlet (kinda), then abandons his legacy and birthright (and country) to go live the Suite Life of Meg and Harry in the Colonies. I would be peeved too, if I were from the UK.
But I would like to think that if I were from the UK, I would be peeved for a hot minute, and then these young a-holes would be dead to me. As long as my tax dollars weren't supporting them anymore in their little vision quest, God bless 'em and don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.
But what about the rest of the world? 
According to the Los Angeles Times, "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who are settling into life in Los Angeles, have signed on with the New York-based Harry Walker Age…

Taylor Swift cuts to the chase

OK, OK, I'm a fan. I'm pretty sure I've copped to that before, even in writing. I'm the teensiest bit embarrassed, being a 57-year-old man, but I'll live.
I like her old stuff, when she was a teenager and an absolute beast of a songwriter. I like most of her newer stuff - again because I find her writing exceptional, her overall lyrical sensibility refreshing and genuine, and you can typically enjoy her music while you're doing other things. Her music is like french fries: it goes really well with pretty much everything.
Lately TSwift (my daughter swears that's a thing) has been as much an activist as she has been a musician. I confess I typically don't like when celebrities take up political causes. I watch TV and movies and listen to music to escape, generally, not to double down on all the crazy going on around us.
But I have to admit I like most of what she says, and the fact that she puts her time, effort and money where her mouth is. Walk the walk, t…

On Leadership: There is no spoon

Dear Diary:
It happened again today. I was reading the news on my big, middle-aged guy computer monitor and eating a huge salad that was too late for lunch and too early for dinner. So many things to think about, so many pressures to write. Like: The Supreme Court upheld DACA. That’s two times in one week the Supreme Court that Donald Trump front-loaded has flipped him off. Are they insane? Impaired in some way? Being extorted by radical liberal interests? Or are they just doing their job, as the founding fathers saw it, and balancing executive (and legislative) power with impartial judgment? I have my suspicions, but we may never know. After all, why would a group of nine men and women vote to do the right thing, just ‘cause? John Bolton is trying to publish his book. Two problems with this: One, he’s a piece of crap. He had an opportunity to do the right thing, but he didn’t. Then he had an opportunity to tell his story, but he declined. Then he wanted to tell his story, but his forme…

Harry Potter and The Enraged Trans Community

I’m exhausted. 
I’m exhausted by the inescapable negativity, the sheer venom, that’s everywhere. I stay away from social media to avoid it. I hold my tongue to avoid invoking it. But nothing I do seems to shield me and I feel it wearing on me, scraping away any protective covering I may have had at birth.
Everyone has a reason why their rage is justified under the circumstances. Assessing them is an impossibly slippery slope. Black Americans have the slavery card, and generations – no, centuries – of systemic social and governmental policy that has sought to marginalize them, and worse. That’s fairly compelling as justifications go.
Others are less compelling and it’s hard to know where to start to call “bullshit.” 
And then there are the Jews. Worldwide they have been exiled, concentration camped, bombed, kidnapped and slaughtered for millennia, not centuries. Tens of centuries. But when a thousand Jews get together to raise a ruckus they call it the Oscars.
Okay maybe that’s not funny or…