The first gay athlete

As an almost-daily blogger who relies on current events to provide the majority of his material, there’s always that fear that one day the news is going to go stale, and that I’ll lack a topic to talk about.

Indeed, when I woke up this morning, I thought I may have been forced to discuss things like Reese Witherspoon, as well as the fact that not only is Hanson still a band, but that they actually have a new single out.

But if there is anything I’ve learned in my 3+ years of blogging, it’s that this entertaining world we live in will always deliver. And today, it delivered in historic fashion.

This morning, the news broke that NBA Player Jason Collins came out as the first openly gay male athlete still active in a major American team sport.

The news resonated not only across the sporting news world, but throughout all media and news outlets. Collins’s announcement was met largely with support, including congratulatory Tweets from current NBA superstars like Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, and even former President Bill Clinton voiced his approval.

And of course, on the opposite end of the spectrum, you had ignorant remarks from sports analysts, like this gem from ESPN’s Chris Broussard, who said on live television that “Being gay is an open rebellion to God.”

Of course, I know all that matters to everybody else is what my reaction to this was. And to me, I don’t know — call me liberal — but I’ve become so accustomed and so acclimated with the idea that no human being is better than one other due to any reasons such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender, that I just don’t think this news is as revolutionary as people are making it out to be.

Jason Collins deserves to be applauded. It unquestionably took a ton of courage to make such an announcement, knowing the ignorance and bigotry he’d face as a result. In addition to that, he is a 34-year-old free agent with no guarantees whatsoever in getting a chance to resume his career. He’s a role player, and the furthest thing from a star player. He made this announcement not knowing what impact it would have on his career during a pivotal time, and that — to me — tells me that he’s making this announcement to be a leader, with no other ulterior motives.

But again, honestly, I feel like this is something that happened already. When media outlets reported that he was the first to come out as an active player, I was actually surprised. With gay marriage being bilaterally legalized in states across the U.S., I feel like our country has already taken that next step towards embracing the gay and lesbian community.

Just look at the worldwide support that came about a few weeks ago when the Supreme Court was determining whether same-sex marriages deserve the same federal benefits as “traditional marriages.” Some of my friends still have an equal sign as their Facebook profile photo.

So I guess it just seemed like a long-time coming that an athlete would finally step up to the plate and come out.

And it’s just painfully obvious how hard the media is trying to make this seem like it’s a landmark moment in sports. And I’m not trying to downplay it — it is indeed a historic step, no doubt. But our world has changed. We accept people now. This isn’t Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier.

Just look at the sentence that I stole directly from the New York Times article. I’ll repost it: “Jason Collins, a 12-year N.B.A. veteran, has come out as the first openly gay male athlete still active in a major American team sport.”

Look at all of the distinctions they used to make it a headline.

  1. Openly gay
  2. Male athlete
  3. Still active
  4. Major sport
  5. American sport
  6. Team sport

That is six different things. Of course, there are dozens of athletes who are gay, but just don’t feel comfortable making it public. We Kobe Tweetalready know that some female athletes have come out, including Baylor star Brittney Griner, who will be a professional sports player in a few months if she gets drafted into the WNBA (If that league is still around, that is. I don’t mean any offense by that — I honestly don’t know.)

And I’m sure there’s a golfer or something who is openly gay, but doesn’t qualify because it’s not a team sport. And because golfers do enough ball-washing on the course as it is.

But the point I’m trying to make here is — the real news should be the fact that this isn’t newsworthy. Or at least top-headline newsworthy. When I heard that Jason Collins was gay, I thought, “Wow. Cool. Good for him!” and then I moved on with my day. People are gay. Lots of them are. The thought never even occurs to me whether I have to even think of them differently as anybody else. My brain just doesn’t function that way.

Again, Jason Collins does deserve to be acclaimed and hailed as a pioneer. Hopefully his bravery will pave the way for other gay athletes to reveal themselves.

In fact, you know what? I’m inspired. Jason Collins has motivated me to make my own confession that I have been holding in for quite some time now. Whew, I’m really nervous. I can’t believe I’m doing this.

But here we go.

Up until I was about 15, I still took the occasional bath.


Girls with tattoos frighten the ever-loving shit out of me

There are two people in this world — those with tattoos and those without.

And I’m certainly not categorizing that as good or bad, or right or wrong. In fact I don’t think anything in this world can be defined into simply “good” and “bad.” But that’s besides the point.

But I do certainly think that, for the most part, there is a stark contrast in personalities and lifestyles between those who are inked up and those who prefer to keep their skin in tact.

In my opinion, people who have tattoos tend to be a little more liberal, spontaneous, risky and adventurous. People who lack tattoos, meanwhile, live a little more of a conservative lifestyle. More straight edge. More safe.

Before I delve any further, it’s obviously mandatory for me to say that I do not possess any tattoos. I also must add that I am by no means against the acquisition of tattoos. If people want a tattoo, then that’s cool. I have no problem with it. And I’m certainly not among the “How dare thee desecrate thy holy skin” crowd.

I suppose the honest reason as to why I have never felt inclined to get a tattoo is because I have yet to believe in anything strong enough to want to get it permanently transcribed on my body. Which, now that I think about it, is kind of sad.

But that is one of the main reasons why people get tattoos. They get the initials of their loved ones. If a close friend dies, perhaps they inscribe their name, or date of birth. If they strongly believe in some philosophy or inspirational phrase, perhaps they get a heart, or a peace-sign, or some Chinese lettering that reiterates such. I have no problem with these type of tattoos. They are tattoos of emotion, of conviction, and they truly mean something.

And then there are people who clearly get tattoos just for the sake of getting tattoos. And to me, that is pretty stupid. They one day decide that they want to get inked up, and then they just pick the most appealing option to them at that time. I think that’s a giant mistake.

Like I said, it’s one thing to get a meaningful, personal tattoo, but it’s another to get a snake or a lion tattooed across your shoulders, or back, or arms. To me, those tattoos have absolutely one purpose — body image. People who get those tattoos do it so they can show them off. They want those tattoos to be the first thing that people see when they look at them on the street, and they want them to think that — because they have the tattoo — they are tough.

And it works. If I see somebody with a giant tattoo across their neck, I sure as hell am not going to start shit with that person.

So meaningful tattoos are cool. Large tattoos of carnivorous animals are foolish. And then there are those who get tiny tattoos in discreet locations, like the small of their back, or their ankle, or their hip.

Alright, so let me say what I think about this. Firstly, there are TATTOOS, and then there are tattoos.

Kat Von D has TATTOOS. Mike Tyson has a TATTOO. a three-centimeter-tall heart on your ankle is a tattoo. You don’t deserve to be grouped in the same category as those who get more revealing tattoos. I’m sure that little heart hurt when the ink pen seared your skin, but it’s not on the same level as somebody who has a full sleeve.

And speaking of Kat Von D — that brings up a whole new topic of conversation. Girls with tattoos.

I’m not talking about the baby heart tattoos, or the small-of-the-back tattoos also known as “tramp stamps,” I mean girls who have extremely noticeable tattoos up and down their arms. These girls scare the shit out of me.

When I see a girl like that, in any setting, I don’t even think of them as somebody who I would even dare trying to hit on. Not because I find them unattractive — but because I know that I am so ridiculously far from what a girl with tattoos is looking for in a guy, that there’s no point in even trying.

Not only is there no point in even flirting with her, but there’s no point of even introducing myself. Heck, there’s no point in even making eye contact. Our lives are so different that there’s really no purpose for each of us to even know that the other exists. It’s just a giant waste of time since it would clearly never work on any level.

Plus, tattoos come with a stigma for any gender. But for girls, it’s slightly less socially acceptable. And they know that going in. Girls are very well aware of the perception they’ll receive upon getting a tattoo, and some still get it. To me, that takes a lot of guts, and it means that the girl is extremely strong-willed and unafraid of being controversial.

And that frightens me.

Girls frighten me in general. So a girl who is rebellious, unyielding and defiant? God help me. Those girls live on another planet than I do, and more power to them. They are much stronger than me, and for that, they deserve somebody who shares those same characteristics.

Again, I would never say that it is out of the realm of possibility for me to one day get a tattoo. I’d bet against it, sure, but who the hell knows what is going to happen in our lives? Maybe one day I will find inspiration.

But what probably will never change in my life, is that I will most likely never befriend a girl with tattoos. Just watching the movie The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was as traumatizing to me as watching Bride of Chucky when I was 6-years-old.

But I did used to apply those animal tattoos that came on the wrapper of the Fruit Stripe gum.

That makes me kind of a badass, right?


Oh no! They’re canceling Fleet Week… how tragic!!!

Every year at the end of May, the United States Navy, the United States Marine Corps and the United States Coast Guard descend upon New York City shores, and their crews are given full reign to visit whatever tourist attractions they wish for an entire week’s time.

They’re hailed as heroes, and rightfully so. They’re welcomed into New York Yankee games, restaurants, parks, bars and onto the set of the Late Show with David Letterman. As long as they’re donning that white uniform and cap, they have full permission to pretty much do whatever they want, and whenever they want.

And they deserve it. These men voluntarily decided to put themselves in harm’s way, to spend months and months away from their loved ones, and to travel to the most belligerent places our world has to offer — just to protect our freedom. To say they deserve our respect is an understatement. They deserve a hero’s welcome to every room they step into — and during Fleet Week, they get that.

As a New Yorker, I have seen Fleet Week with my own eyes. Many times. I’ve seen it enough that I know how exactly Fleet Week relates to me. No I am not an enlisted military personnel, nor do I have aspirations to be one. I have never donned a white uniform, even for a Halloween costume, and the only war I’ve ever participated in involved the tugging of a rope.

So how does Fleet Week affect me, one might ask? Me, who is a perfectly regular, average, moderately in-shape guy who has no connection whatsoever to the Navy, Marines or Coast Guard.

Well here is what I see with my own eyes.

These sailors enter into Manhattan, donning their slender uniforms that perfectly accommodate their well-sculpted militarily trained bodies, with their clean-shaven faces, buzzed hair, and tall frame, and women practically drop their pants just at the mere sight of them.

Just like how a fat kid could hear the Mr. Softee truck from two miles away, a female can spot a sailor walking in her direction from that very same distance. I swear, they could be out of sight, two avenues and multiple blocks over, and girls will still have some type of SONAR that detects their presence.

And when they do spot them, all they need to see is that uniform, and nothing more. They don’t need to know the guy’s name, his hometown, his favorite color or his preferred brand of toothpaste. He’s a sailor, and that’s enough for themselves to absolutely throw their bodies at him.

As an aforementioned regular, average, moderately in-shape guy, there is nothing more discouraging to see how easy it is for a sailor to lure women. For us regulars, trying to attract a woman is like trying to navigate the obstacle course in The Legends of the Hidden Temple. While tripping on mushrooms.

But for a man in a uniform, it’s as easy as turning on a light switch. A light switch that not only ignites light, but elevates a women’s libido levels tenfold.

So needless to say, I dread Fleet Week each year. If I actually knew what exact week Fleet Week was each year, I would probably avoid the city altogether. But I don’t check such things, and thus, I don’t notice it until I’m in Manhattan and I have to criss-cross around sailors making out with perfect-10s in the middle of the sidewalk. It’s inescapable.

Until now.

Because of federal budget cuts, New York City Fleet Week 2013 has been canceled.

And I certainly mean no disrespect to our armed forces.

Again, I am forever appreciative for what you do for our country. People go on and on about how we should be “Thanking the troops,” and how you guys are heroes, but people like me can never truly thank you all for what you do. Your bravery and dedication to our country is what makes it the place it is, and rest assured that is something I do not take for granted. Because I know that you guys are out there defending my freedom, I make a concerted effort to be the best person I can possibly be.

But stay the hell away from our women.

This is something that sailors will never understand, since it is so easy for them to get girls. For us regular folk — who really have no outlying talents to offer to a woman — the stars have to align for us to attract females. The amount of things that have to go right in one given night for us to “hook up” is infinite. Trying to form a calculation for it would look something like a scene in A Beautiful Mind, when numbers are floating around Russell Crowe’s head as he develops an equation.

But when there are sailors anywhere near our vicinity, then the formula is pretty easy to tabulate. Because it’s 0. When I am in Manhattan, and I learn that it is Fleet Week, I don’t even say anything to anybody. I just turn around and make an immediate bee line to the next train and go home. Because there’s absolutely no point of trying anything else. Just give it up, go home and watch some porn.

And I actually feel a little bad for the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. I can’t imagine how much they must look forward to Fleet Week. Not only does it get them out of the high seas, but it brings them to the most lively city in the world, where woman are willing to lift their dresses at the mere sound of their footsteps. They must be heartbroken. Devastated. Forlorn.

I suppose there is only one solution. I guess, that, well… I’m going to have to take their place. I am going to have to be that guy who struts New York City streets like I own the place. Who believes he can unstrap a girl’s bra simply by looking at it. With no sailors around, somebody’s got to do it.

I will be that man.

The best and worst jobs of 2013

When you’re in your early-to-mid 20s, just having a stable job is a huge accomplishment. When we run into our old high-school classmates at the local 7-11, we don’t ask them what their job is, we ask if they even have one. If the answer is ‘Yes,” then we don’t need to know more. Because that means they’re doing well.

But a few years later, that question does evolve. Now, we do ask what their job is. The subtext to that question is really — how much money are you making, and can you afford your own apartment? It’s all a competition.

It’s like that old Chris Rock sketch, where he discusses the difference between having a job and having a career. Having a job is nice, because you’re making some cash. But having a career means your settled. You’ll never struggle to find work. You’re good.

Forming a career takes years. But you form one by taking job after job, and working your way up a certain industry. Of course, some industries are better than others. Heck, some industries are much, much better than others. But it’s tough to gauge sometimes because things are changing so damn fast. Computer science is the way to go now. That wasn’t necessarily the case 10 to 15 years ago.

Luckily, we have a wonderful website called CareerCast to keep tabs on things for us. CareerCast is just another one of those run-of-the-mill job networking sites, not unlike Monster, Indeed or Media Bistro. So I guess that makes them some type of authority, or something.

Well, the website went ahead and studied every job there is, looked at its potential for growth, its trends, the average salary, etc. By doing so, they managed to compile a best and worst jobs list for 2013.

Let’s take a look at it, starting with the best jobs.

  1. Actuary
  2. Biomedical engineer
  3. Software engineer
  4. Audiologist
  5. Financial planner
  6. Dental hygienist
  7. Occupational therapist
  8. Optometrist
  9. Physical therapist
  10. Computer systems analyst

It’s hard for me to really argue with any of these. Most involve either computers, science or medicine. So it seems pretty obvious that these would be the most prudent jobs to have.

Actually, I honestly don’t even know what some of these jobs do. Honestly, I have friends who are engineers, and I still don’t even exactly know what that means. I still think of it as in a train engineer. Like the guy who wears a hat and screams “All aboard!”

And an analyst? I know what a sports analyst is. Computer systems analyst, not so much. Do they look at a computer and then just tell people what they think about it, thus providing their analysis? Count me in for that, especially since the median salary is about $75k per year.

I’m not even going to delve into what an audiologist does, because even just looking at that word is intimidating.

But let’s look at the worst jobs. That’s the real fun part.

  1. Newspaper reporter
  2. Lumberjack
  3. Enlisted military personnel
  4. Actor
  5. Oil rig worker
  6. Dairy farmer
  7. Meter reader
  8. Mail carrier
  9. Roofer
  10. Flight attendant

Okay, this list just flat-out dumbfounds me. And I’m not even saying that because I personally behold the single worst job in the country. Not the seventh worst, not the third worst, the worst, according to But again, that is not even what comes close to bothering me.

Lumberjack. Oil rig worker. Dairy farmer. Mail Carrier. Roofer.

This is what bothers me. Those are five jobs that are absolutely mandatory for our society to function. These are necessary jobs that need to be completed in order to keep our world afloat. If no one was around to do these jobs — for even one single day — our society would flat line.

And yet, if an audiologist decided to take a day off — or shit, even a whole month off — I’m pretty sure nobody would notice.

I dare one of these nerds at CareerCast to approach a mail carrier after he just completed a 10-hour shift of walking house-to-house, delivering envelope after envelope, and tell him or her that they have the eighth worst job in America.

Come on CareerCast, send one of your brilliant employees down to an oil rig and have him tell all the workers that their job ranks fifth among the worst.

We owe these people a debt of gratitude for what they do — and yet, instead, we’re telling them their job sucks.

And military personnel? Are you shitting me? How does CareerCast even have the nerve to list that? Our troops protect our freedom so that we can even have the ability to possess jobs. While this list was being published, a Marine was probably just shot somewhere in Kosovo. But hey, their job sucks! I’d like to see someone at CareerCast spend one single moment of their lives being half as brave as an “enlisted military personnel” is every day.

I just can’t understand how these type of jobs can be even in the running as “the worst,” when they need to be done. I’m surprised that “house mom” wasn’t listed on there, considering they don’t actually have a salary.

God damn.

And again — I actually work for a newspaper. I’m the bottom of the totem people, according to this list. But that doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

In fact, when I look at the other jobs that share the list with me — the everyday workers who keep our society functioning, and the brave heroes who risk their lives to protect our freedom — I am absolutely honored to be in that same grouping.

Thank you, CareerCast.

The five media highlights from the Boston coverage

Let me preface this by stating the obvious — I am not attempting to make light of the Boston bombings in any way, shape or form. Even attempting to do so would be an egregious misstep in character, and considering the deaths, the injuries and the damage that the city of Boston experienced, it would be disgraceful for me — or anybody else — to do such a thing.

As the police zeroed in on the final suspect on Friday night, I found myself having an ongoing sense of anxiety as I watched the media coverage. I couldn’t help but fear that the dude was building up for one more grand finale before being killed or arrested, and I knew that Boston couldn’t take anymore carnage.

So I can’t even express the relief I experienced when the the Boston Police Department tweeted that they had the suspect in custody, and it was all over.

Of course, it will never truly be over. People died. People lost their legs. I watched the 20-minute speech Obama gave in a Boston church, and I got chills at the 10:35 mark when Obama tells the injured victims “You will run again,” and I absolutely teared up at the 9:35 mark when they show little 8-year-old Martin Richard holding a bright blue sign that reads, “No more hurting people. Peace.”

Just awful.

But when a tragedy like this occurs, where every eye in the world becomes glued to both their TV sets and their Twitter feeds to get the most up-to-the-second information, you’re going to have a lot of gaffes along the way.

I touched on this on Thursday, about how every outlet wants to be first. They want to reveal exclusive information. And in that rush to the top, you encounter an internal, philosophical dilemma — do you go ahead and ensure the validity of your information, or do you spit it out in the hope of attracting viewers? Because right or wrong, it will indeed attract viewers.

The New York Times picked on CNN for their coverage — but I’m sure that no network is faultless.

But anyway, not everything was necessarily a media highlight out of error — but because of stupidity or hilarity.

The point is, though, that unprecedented events like this teaches us as humans to view news through a critical lens. And on the flip side, I think the networks all learned something too — fact check, be patient, and always make sure the person you are interviewing doesn’t have a giant pink dildo within view of the camera.

Let’s get into it.

5) The New York Post being wrong about… everything.

I remember last week, just hours after the bombing, visiting different news websites to compare how they all were covering it. I clicked to the New York Post website (don’t ask me why) and saw that they had a few prominent lines of bullet points written over a picture of the bombings, and I couldn’t help but notice that everything they posted was incorrect.

They reported that 12 people were dead. Wrong.

They reported that a third bomb had gone off. Wrong.

And they reported that a suspect was in custody. Again, wrong.

Nobody is perfect. The news is going to get things wrong. Shit, I work in news, and I get things wrong all of the time. But reporters should hold themselves to high standards. Being right four out of five times should not be good enough. So being right zero out of five times… doesn’t even qualify you as a “news.” It’s just glorified rumors.

And how can we forget this?

Never change, New York Post. Never change.

4) The amazing uncle.

Similar to my reaction to the Sandy Hook shootings, I don’t even want to name or acknowledge the existence of the suspects. By doing so, you’re accepting them as human beings, which is something they don’t deserve.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge their awesome uncle.

People always like to say they have a “cool uncle.” Well, think of every trait that makes an uncle cool, and then multiply it by 10. You get this guy. If you watch this clip, this guy is not only humorous, but he’s level-headed, he’s clearly intelligent, he’s straight up blue-collar and he is eloquent.

Seriously. I’m not kidding when I say that this man should be put in front of a camera and hired to give his spin on current events. I’d believe him more than any one else out there. At the very least, Jon Stewart needs to make him a Daily Show correspondent.

Oh and I will say this about the suspects — the republic of Chechnya has officially entered national consciousness. Its existed for more than three decades, but I don’t think 19 out of 20 people could have pointed it out on a map before this weekend. And they probably still can’t. But at least they know it exists.

3) The dildo.

This was an actual still frame from an interview conducted by the BBC.

Jesus, I don’t even know where to start.

First of all, his name is Marcus Mumford. As in the same exact name of the lead singer of the band Mumford & Sons. Come on. That is not a common name at all. That’s like if somebody else in the world had the name Al Yankovic, and then just happened to be interviewed on live TV. I’m convinced that this guy was just trolling BBC by giving a fake name.

And yeah, the dildo. The pink dildo. I’m not one to judge what a guy does in his spare time — actually, screw that. I will. I certainly will. Marcus, why in the hell is a pink dildo sitting so prominently within the main foyer of your living quarters?

I don’t care if you share that apartment with three females. If it was me, I wouldn’t ever want to know if anyone that I live with owns a dildo. I could one day share an apartment with a Russian supermodel, and she can go to town every night with a dildo — but I don’t need to know about that. I don’t need to see the dildo. The place where I eat and sleep should always be a dildo-free territory. And yet, not only is the home of Marcus Mumford not dildo-free, but it’s sticking out like it’s a freaking centerpiece he wants to showcase for his guests.

2) Wait, she… she said… what?!

Just watch.

I actually physically hurt my head doing a vicious face palm after watching this. I almost gave myself a concussion.

Her name is Susan Candiotti, and given her age, I’m assuming she’s probably a senior reporter at CNN who has performed many famous interviews. But I don’t care. If CNN doesn’t fire her for insensitivity, they should fire her for incompetence — why in the world would you want somebody so mind-numbingly moronic representing your network?

I love how she actually took a moment to conjure up the perfect metaphor to describe the situation in Boston. She could have said anything else. Anything. She could have accidentally said something extremely racist, and it still would have been better than what she said.

Every time I rewatch this, I have to actually hold my hand with my other hand to prevent myself from doing another blunt force trauma-inducing face palm.

1) Our Commander-in-Chief, also our Consoler-in-Chief.

This one isn’t meant to be about humor. In fact, this one really was a highlight in every sense of the word.

Two hours after the last suspect was apprehended by police, Obama stood in front of the podium yet again, this time to try to put some closure to the weeklong ordeal. And he did. As I watched our president speak, I felt some sense of poignancy in his voice that told me I would remember this moment for a really long time.

If you recall the initial press conference just hours after the bombings, when Obama addressed the media for the first time — he divulged very little information. At the close of his remarks, and upon his departure, you could hear the media bombarding questions at him that they wanted answers to.

Well, this time, when he finished speaking, there were no questions. There wasn’t a peep. Because nothing more needed to be said.

And I can’t think of a better way of ending today’s post than by showing the footage.

Social media has changed everything, including… FBI investigations?!

Remember in those old mystery police thrillers, where they’d show the cop in a room surrounded by computers, and he’d be pulling an all-nighter with a cup of coffee by his side as he scanned computer footage of a crime scene over and over again?

He’d look dejected, having looked at the same images repeatedly, waiting for some type of clue to arise. But he’d only be able to access these images from this high-class computer room, where technology was so outdated that he had to click 13 buttons just get the screen to zoom in. And a square would appear over the spot where he wants to zoom, so he had to press 12 more buttons to enhance the quality the image.

Well that was old-school detective sleuth-work. Back when computers were still a luxury item.

Today, one no longer needs a badge to conduct such an investigation. Nor do they need high level security clearance. Instead, all you need is your laptop.

Since Monday’s Boston bombings, the Internet has been abuzz with people trying to track down the terrorists. And notice how I said “people” and not “police.” Yes, police — most notably the FBI — are doing that too, but so is the rest of the world. And that’s because with today’s world of open information, we actually have very similar access to similar footage that the FBI does.

That’s both a scary and kinda awesome thought.

Users on sites like Reddit and 4chan (which I still don’t even know exactly what that is) have been posting images of people who were wearing backpacks around the scene of the crime. Naturally, most eyes fall right onto the Middle Eastern people who were carrying backpacks. It’s just the way we think in the post 9-11 world.

And every day the public creates new suspects. Yesterday, it was these guys.

Middle Eastern? Check?

Determined mannerism? Check?

Backpacks? Check (it’s not noticeable here but in other images the two guys were clearly wearing backpacks.)

In fact, the New York Post even bought into the hoopla.

While these poor guys’ photos were surfacing all over the Internet, some Reddit users actually located one of their Facebook accounts, and posted a link to it on the site. The worst part? The kid’s profile was actually public. I went over to his page when this happened, and people from all over the world were commenting on his wall. It was crazy.

In fact, I knew the kid was going to privatize his account, so I took some screenshots of what I was witnessing since I figured it would not be around much longer. This was around midnight last night.


Click on it for a bigger image. And within minutes, comments on that status he posted were coming in droves. Some funny ones too, I must admit.


And sure enough, as of this morning, that Facebook post — and the subsequent comments — were all gone. And multiple news outlets also confirmed that this person is not an actual person of interest.

Nice job, New York Post.

It’s just insane to me that this happens now. The Internet can actually label you as a terrorist, and just like that, you become one. You don’t get the benefit of the doubt.

And today, there are new suspects.

And those are actually from the FBI website!

Not to bombard you with more photos, but here is another picture posted by a Reddit user of the kid that’s in the top right.


Look: far middle-left. White hat. Notice the missing backpack.

Heck, if you go to Reddit right at this moment (9:02 p.m.), the top three listings are all related to finding suspects in the images. It’s just nuts. On one hand, you have to admire the determination of people to bring these terrorists to justice. Between Reddit, 4chan and Anonymous, you have to think that some people out there actually being useful.

But on the other side of the spectrum, it just feels so wrong that this is actually the case. That anybody can be blacklisted by anybody. The FBI has actual evidence, video, eyewitness accounts, forensics, and other clues at their disposal.

The public has images. That in itself is not enough thoroughly investigate by any means. And yet, that’s not stopping the Internet world from doing everything in their power to uncover the truth. Call it persistence, call it a witch hunt. But whatever it is — it’s the world we live in now.

Although, when the alternative is websites that post nothing but adorable pictures of cats, I guess I shouldn’t complain.

zOmg it’s Superman!!!

It’s officially mid-April, which means that summer blockbuster season is right around the corner. At this point exactly one year ago, the world was excitedly anticipating the mega superhero flick The Avengers, which released on May 4 to colossal public acclaim.

Flash forward one year, and boy, how much things have changed. This time, the world’s taste in film has clearly evolved, because everybody is excitedly anticipating a … mega superhero flick.

Man of Steel is a reboot from the latest Superman installment, which occurred way, way back in 2006. And this time, Superman is being played a Brit named Henry Cavill. Which means all major American superheroes have most recently been portrayed by non-Americans. The Amazing Spiderman of course featured Californian-turned-Brit Andrew Garfield as the webbed vigilante, and the recently wrapped Batman trilogy starred Welsh actor Christian Bale as everybody’s favorite caped crusader.

It’s shouldn’t really be that surprising. What the predominance of European actors in traditional American roles confirms is what we already know — Americans just aren’t really that very talented.

But anyway, the point is that Warner Bros. released the third theatrical trailer for the new Superman flick yesterday, and now the Internet is absolutely smitten.

I don’t mean to sound pretentious (yes I do), but it’s funny to me track the public reaction to a film like this. Superhero reboots are extremely commonplace nowadays, so when a Superman reboot was announced about four or five years ago, the reaction was pretty predictable.

“Oh my God, another reboot?! How unoriginal is Hollywood becoming???”

And then Henry Cavill was selected to portray Superman.

“What? Who the heck is that? He’s British?? Why the heck didn’t they cast a real American like Colin Ferrell instead?”

And then it was announced that Zack Snyder would be the director.

“Hmm, this is the guy who directed 300? I did like that movie … but still. I don’t know…”

And then Christopher Nolan was announced as a producer.

“Oh wow. Oh boy. This might actually be good!”

Flash forward a few years and a few trailers later, and now everybody has a hard-on as they eagerly await this movie’s release. No more complaints about reboots, no more chastising Hollywood’s lack of originality and no more questioning of whether a Brit was the right choice to play Clark Kent.

Again, I don’t want to sound pretentious (I still do), but I just can’t bring myself to be excited about a superhero movie. I said the same thing about Dark Knight Rises last year. Every superhero film follows the same exact formula. Each time. And not only that, but since they’ve been rebooted about six times each, we already know exactly what is going to happen.

I’ll admit that the trailer is extremely well done. Sentimental music, nicely timed voice overs, and a star-studded cast including Russell Crowe, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner and Michael Shannon. There is a lot of potential there. A lot of potential.

But there’s no need to start reaching for the lubricant just yet, people. It’s only a three-minute long trailer. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

For me, the real movie season starts in October, when all the Oscar-bait films start being released. The summer blockbuster season just doesn’t do it for me.

Although, if there is any sequel I am excited about, it’s the recently-announced Pixar sequel, Finding Dory. I can appreciate a sequel when it is not rushed, and when the production companies actually wait for the right moment when everything comes together to get back to work. It annoys me when sequels are pushed so quickly just to make money. *cough*TheHangover*cough*

Look at Toy Story. Pixar waited 11 years for that sequel. They took their time, and look how that turned out. And when Finding Dory is released in November 2015, it will be an even longer 12 year gap between films. And that’s why I am confident that it will be a great success. Plus there’s a British person playing Dory. I’m kidding.

You know what? The day I finish blogging — for whatever reason — I’ve decided that I won’t actually be finished. I am going to stop for a long time, probably at least 10 years, and then the Weinblog will be rebooted, but its author will return in the form of a British version of me.

In fact, I’m going to buy a Rosetta Stone right now in preparation.

Wait a minute, that’s not how Rosetta Stone works, does it?


It’s always nice to have friends.

There’s nothing more important in life than having friends.

Friends are the people you can rely on. They’re the ones who are always there when you need somebody to talk to, and vise versa, you’ll always be willing to lend an ear when friends need you.

Will friends sometimes annoy and badger you at times? Sure. But that’s what makes them friends. It’s like having a cat that you love. You complain that your cat is always up in your grill, jumping on the dinner table while you’re trying to eat, or leaping onto your laptop and trying to smell your face when you’re typing something important. The typical human response is to tell your cat to “Shoo!”

But what would you prefer — a cat who always wants to be close to you, or a cat who never wants to be close to you? Any rational human would take the later 10 out of 10 times. The more annoying a cat is, the more lovable it is. Plain and simple.

The same goes with friends. They may Gchat you up every day, and blow up your phone when you’re in an important meeting at work, but that’s what makes them your friends. You’d much rather have them blow up your phone at an inopportune time than to never try to contact you at all. And yes, it just occurred to me how inappropriate it is to use the words “blow up” after yesterday’s events.

So friends are great. They may go away for a while when times get rough, but if they’re your real friends, then they’ll come back.

Oh wait, did… you think I was talking about friends, as in, real-life actual friends this whole time? Oh God. Oh dear. There has been a terrible confusion.

I don’t give a shit about my real-life, actual friends, I’m talking about these guys!

Rumors have been running absolutely rampant over the Internet recently about the possibility of a Friends reunion.

Next year, of course, would mark the 10-year-anniversary of when the show went off the air, so naturally, if there ever was to be a reunion — 2014 would make the most sense. Hence the rumors.

But so far, that’s all they’ve been. Rumors.

Today those rumors may have taken a slight notch up, as some entertainment website called Starmedia claimed that NBC not only confirmed a Friends reunion episode, but an an entire new season.

Of course, it’s hard to actually believe a website that you’ve never actually heard of before today, and it’s also hard to take them seriously when, in reality, NBC hasn’t actually confirmed jack shit.

However, the site’s claims did stir some chit-chat among the cyber world, enough so that the Huffington Post actually picked up the story. So that’s something.

It’s funny, last week I was talking about how a publication as popular and powerful as the New York Times has the ability to create truths simply by suggesting them in their articles.

Well, what if people could do that too? After all, the fans brought Arrested Development back from the dead, so why can’t they do the same things with Friends? If rumors continue to swirl, and people continue to be enthralled with the possibility of a reunion, then why couldn’t the network, the producers and the actors all sense the excitement and think, “Well, maybe…”

And come on, what exactly are they all doing that’s keeping them so busy, anyway?

Jennifer Aniston is still doing extremely mediocre romantic comedies. Matthew Perry has a new show that looks like it was created for the sole purpose of being canceled. Matt LeBlanc recently won a Golden Globe, but four out of five people probably couldn’t even name the show that he’s on. Courteney Cox is relying on her latter “Milf” years to stay relevant. Lisa Kudrow has an online show, and who knows what the hell David Schwimmer is up to.

Yes, for it to work, all six would need to agree. But if five of them voice their approval, then would the sixth one really want be known as the one person who prevented millions of fans from getting the reunion they so desperately wanted?

On a side note, it’s amazing to me that Lisa Kudrow is actually the best looking of the three women now. I basically went through puberty just by watching Jennifer Aniston on Friends in the late 90s, and then watched Courteney Cox blossom into a fine-looking woman.

But now they’re all in their mid-to-late 40s, and I honestly think Kudrow has the best natural look of the three. Just look to your left.

Jesus Christ, if my wife looks like that when she’s pushing 50, I’ll be a happy man.

People used to think it was cool to hate on Friends, because it was far and away the most popular sitcom of its generation. However, ten years later, I think all one has to do is examine the current state of today’s laugh-track sitcoms to appreciate just how quality of a show it really was.

As you can tell, I am very hopeful that this reunion will occur. I think it makes perfect sense. It’s exactly 10 years later, and we can jump right into exactly what Monica, Ross, Chandler, Rachael, Joey and Phoebe are up to in their lives. There’s no need for an elongated introduction. Just jump right in.

We don’t need a full season. That would be overkill. Just a one hour-long — maybe two hour-long — special is all we need to satiate our Friends fix.

Plus, it would finally rid us of the bad taste in our mouths that was Joey.

Oh well. Time to go listen to the Rembrandts on my iPod.

“I closed my eyes and I slipped away…”

About 99.9 percent of of the days of our lives are extremely ordinary and unmemorable.

Unfortunately, today was not one of those days.

Whenever something happens like what occurred today in Boston, it just gives you that dreary feeling. It’s a feeling you’ve only experienced a few times in your life — 9/11, Sandy Hook.

You try to pretend that these events don’t faze you, that justice will soon be served, that candlelight vigils will be held to remember the deceased, and that soon enough things will be back to normal and you can get back to your ordinary and unmemorable day-to-day life.

But somewhere in the back of your mind, you know — you know — that a slight bit of your faith in humanity has been detached, and is floating away towards oblivion, never to return again. I’m not saying that everyone in the world feels completely and utterly dejected, because some people do try to mask themselves from feeling sad as a means of protection. It’s how people cope, and that’s fine. However, even if you’re not dejected, you still have that feeling of hopelessness, even if it’s a small one.

And that is a real shitty feeling.

It’s hard to imagine that there are actual human beings who are responsible for this. When you think of the act and the devastation it caused, your mind thinks of some default, stone-faced villain that might appear in the movie Die Hard. It’s like you expect an actor who bears a physical resemblance to what a “bad guy” looks like to be the responsible party. But instead, it’s no actor, it’s not Alan Rickman — it’s an actual human who intended to kill as many people as possible. And that, to me, is inconceivable.

Inconceivable. Unbelievable. Speechless. These are words you hear time and time again when such a tragedy strikes, but the truth of the matter is, it did strike, and we all have to deal with it now. Any by “deal with it” I simply mean that we have to digest the knowledge that things like this happen. It’s the world we live in and stuff like this happens.

Patton Oswalt wrote a great piece on Facebook that best encapsulates any sense of positivism we could feel today, and you can read that here. So if you’re still a little bummed and in desperate need for a pick-me-up, I highly suggest you give that a read. It’ll help.

With today’s 24/7 social media world, tragedies like today’s events are covered in a way like no other. Pieces of information are thrown all over the cyber world, from one end to the other, reaching billions of ears along the way. And this is dangerous. Everyone expects to get the truth instantly, and feeling compelled to be the first to deliver it — media outlets will publicize any scrap of information they get their hands on, whether it has any validity or not.

By this point, everybody should know that within the first hour of any acts of terrorism, you should take everything you hear with a grain of salt. I just can’t help but wonder how differently 9/11 would have been covered had Twitter existed at the time. I seriously just cannot imagine it.

There’s not really much that can be done during times like these. Let the firefighters, the police and the National Guard be the heroes. It’s what they do and we should be grateful. What the rest of us need to do is simple — care.

It’s okay to be frazzled. It’s okay to be shaken. Or upset. Those feelings of emotion is what makes you you. You don’t need to fly to Boston on the next Red Eye to donate your time. You don’t have to contribute hundreds of dollars to the Red Cross Boston Chapter. You don’t even need to post a Facebook status or Tweet #prayforboston to show any of that.

People cared before Facebook. And they’ll care after Facebook.

It’s a lesson that we all learned when we were 4 years old and watched Care Bears as kids. But sometimes the lessons we learned when we were 4 hold the most inherent truth. And if people care, then that means more good is going to happen in this world than bad.

It’s that simple.

Swatting: The new and very illegal trend

Trends are very fun to follow. With the outbreak of social media, it seems like there is a new one each day. All you have to do is log onto Twitter and check the trending topics, scroll down your Facebook News Feed, or see what’s hot on Reddit, and bam, in a matter of seconds — you’re up to date on what’s popular right now.

For the most part, trends and Internet memes are pretty harmless. Doppelganger week. Tebowing. YOLO.

Are they annoying as hell? Yes. But do they actually cause physical harm to anybody? Of course not. They’re all just fun and games over the Internet, and they don’t make anybody’s lives any worse.

Until now.

There’s a new trend that has recently come about, and it is called “swatting.”

What does it involve? Swatting occurs when somebody — using an untraceable phone — fakes a distressing 911 call, and provides the address of a celebrity. The result, of course, are SWAT teams invading the homes of famous people, unaware of who actually lives there.

The victims of this new phenomenon include P. Diddy, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Ashton Kutcher and Ryan Seacrest, to name a few.

Aww, how funny! You see the joke? By making such a believable 911 call, you’re actually taking valuable police manpower and having them assemble at celebrities’ houses, wasting precious time that could otherwise be spent solving crimes and saving lives, all while wasting thousands of tax dollars on made-up emergencies! That’s hysterical! That’s hilarious! That’s —

The most fucking ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

First of all, calling this a trend is not correct. The only similarity this has to things like Tebowing or planking is that they end with “ing.” In actuality, this new “trend” is actually a crime. It’s illegal in every state in the U.S. to deceive police in such a manner. Calling this a trend would be like saying murder is a trend.

“Hey guys, look, I just killed this dude! Everybody’s doing it!”

I just can’t fathom what is going through the minds of these idiots who dial 911 and shamefully act is if they are in the middle of an emergency. If you watch the video on the link I posted, it plays one of these swatting 911 calls, and the dude who talks to the police tells that them he murdered his wife. That’s disgusting.

Obviously the rationale of the prank is to bring about an extremely large inconvenience upon celebrities, who live in luxurious mansions and are placed on a different level of society than those who are not rich and famous. Therefore, it must give people some kind of thrill to be able to ruin their day by “swatting” them.

Swatting has become such a problem that new legislation is currently being drafted to inflict harsher punishments against those who commit it. The law would require the perpetrators to reimburse the amount of money that the police spent responding to their mock call, which reportedly could cost as much as $10,000.

I have no problem with that. It would probably bankrupt anybody who is caught doing it, but hey, they’d deserve it.

But again, it’s just appalling to me that there are people out there who actually think this is funny. I bet the guy who made the 911 call on Ashton Kutcher actually hung up the phone and yelled, “You just got Punk’d, Ashton! Punk’d!” And then gave his buddy a high-five like he just accomplished something great.

And hey, don’t get me wrong, I understand how some people could be peeved that celebrities live so luxuriously, when a great number of our population is barely making ends meet. But this is not the way to go about it. If you’re unhappy with the system, then maybe send an angry Tweet to Justin Timberlake or Justin Bieber. Call them douchebags. That’s fine. But calling 911 and having SWAT teams deployed to their house does a hell of a lot more harm than good. If you can’t figure that out yourself, it means you’re probably pretty dumb, and will also soon be out $10,000.

Heck, if you need to get your swatting fix, then go slap Justin Bieber in the face with a fly swatter. That would still be identified as swatting, wouldn’t it? Now that is something I can actually get behind, because just imagining somebody approaching Bieber and smacking him in the face with a fly swatter is a hilarious image.

Or just make them watch the movie S.W.A.T starring Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Ferrell.

That would be punishment enough.