Alas, the Lady Gaga hiatus is coming to an end

On November 15, 2011, “Marry the Night,” the fifth single from Lady Gaga’s second studio album, Born this Way, was released. Why is that significant? Because she has not released anything since.

For 623 days, the world has been relatively Lady Gaga-free.

But that will soon be over. In just 19 days (Aug. 19), the first single from Lady Gaga’s new album, Artpop, will hit the airwaves. The album will follow three months later on November 11, almost exactly two years after her last single.

Brace yourself. Because I think a lot of people have taken the absence of Lady Gaga for granted. Yes, there is a lot of shitty music on the radio, but for the better part of two splendid, marvelous years, we have not had to endure a Gaga song playing on every radio station every second of the day. There was a point in my life when I would check all of my radio presets, and a song of hers was playing on every single one of them.

That hasn’t been the case recently, though. I’ve been able to flip through my stations, not having to fear a Lady Gaga song blasting through my vehicle during my morning commute.

I’ve been able to peruse through the Internet, not having to see her picture on every website.

And I’ve watched award shows without seeing not only her, but whatever crazy, attention-seeking garb that she had on.

To be perfectly fair, it wasn’t really Lady Gaga’s fault. She is who she is. She’s flamboyant, artsy, opinionated, peacockish and, man, can she sing. And I’m not being sarcastic. Many singers out there rely on a schtick or a gimmick to gain popularity — Lady Gaga does not need to. She is an incredible singer that just happens to be weird as hell.

And as a result, the media — and pretty much the entire world — became infatuated with her. It also didn’t hurt that there was basically zero layoff between her first and second albums. The final single of the The Fame, called “Paparazzi,” was released on July 6, 2009. The first single off her next album debuted on February 11, 2011, however, in between that time, she released three singles from an extended play, including arguably her biggest hit to date, “Bad Romance.” So again, there was practically no time in between.

For the better part of three years, Lady Gaga was everywhere. Everywhere. It was her world, and we were just living in it.

Yet, as swiftly as she exploded onto the scene, it felt like she disappeared just as quickly. It’s almost as if the entire world took a collective deep breath and said, “Okay, that’s enough for now.” Although, with the departure of Lady Gaga came the emergence of One Direction. So one can certainly argue if the music industry has been better off.

For seemingly two years, we haven’t heard a peep from Lady Gaga. And again, it’s not that I hated her, I just couldn’t take anymore of the hoopla that surrounded her every freaking day. It was too much. So I was glad to see it tail off.

But that’s all going to change. The first single off the new album, “Applause,” will be here in two and-a-half short weeks, and may even dethrone Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” from its eight-week reign atop the Billboard charts. My prediction is that it will. She will make her live comeback six days later on Aug. 25 at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and you can damn well bet she will the top trending topic worldwide on Twitter that night.

And never one to do things the traditional way, she will also apparently be releasing a smartphone app simultaneously with her album, which, according to her, will “alter the human experience with social media.”

Oh boy.

Again, people will interpret her comeback in many different ways. Her fans will rejoice. Her detractors will reprehend. Some may even be indifferent.

All I am trying to do is warn you all that a firestorm is on its way. Because when Lady Gaga cometh, she does not do it quietly.

She was just born that way.

Guys, we have a cool pope

It’s been a slow news day today, so let’s talk about religion. Pope Francis, four months into his new gig, made headlines yesterday.

Normally when a prominent Catholic figure is in the news, it’s for pretty bad reasons. Not only because of the sexual abuse scandals that seem to pop up all too often, but elderly priests and pontiffs are often viewed upon as conservative, stubborn and simple-minded. They take the Bible too seriously, and their views are more in-line with traditional thinking of yesteryear.

But Francis made the newsstands for a more liberal and refreshing reason — his support for gays.

Aboard an airplane on his way back from Brazil, the 77-year-old expressed a very compassionate viewpoint. Here’s his full quote:

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge? You can’t marginalize these people.”

Wait a minute, so … what the Pope is saying is that people should not be judged solely by their sexual orientation, but by how they behave as people? That’s outrageous! That’s heinous! That’s — oh wait. That’s exactly how it should be.

The fact that this quotation is being so celebrated is an indictment on the Catholic Church, because what he said should be extremely obvious to everybody.

Most people aren’t too interested in the pope, mainly because he’s old and wrinkly, and out of touch with today’s youth. And of course, most people don’t care because not everybody is Roman Catholic. Well, it’s finally nice to see that there is a leader out there who just seems like a normal dude.

And you know he’s being genuine because there’s nobody that he has to pacify. Unlike an elected official, he doesn’t need to say the right thing to appeal to potential voters. A pope serves a life term. He answers to no one but the almighty itself. He could have responded to that question by urinating on the reporter’s face, and there would be nothing that anybody in the world could do about it.

People laud presidents — like Barack Obama — when they come across as “normal people.” A common phrase is that they are someone who you’d like to have a beer with. Well, when is the last time somebody said they would like to have a beer with the pope? Well, with a quick statement on an airplane, Pope Francis just bumped himself up a few notches on people’s beermate list. On my list, he’s now somewhere between Ringo Starr and Celine Dion.

So again, it’s refreshing to see the pope in the news for a positive reason. And a reason that will actually catch the attention of young people, at that.

Of course he spoke the quote in Italian, and not English, so he may have said something completely and totally different and it could have gotten lost in translation. For all we knew he was making a comment about hot dogs.

But what should also be noted is how good of a summer it has been for gay people. First you had Neil Patrick Harris killing it as Tony’s host in early June for the third straight year, then there was the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on June 26 that same-sex couples are entitled to federal benefits, and now this.

Will this matter in the grand scheme of things? Probably not. Will people be rocking “I ❤ the Pope” tee shirts while donning a camuaro? Highly doubtful.

But it’s still hopeful to know that we have people in high power in the world who get it.

Like me.

Eyelashes on cars: Stop. Stop this right now.

There are plenty of people who choose to be stylish when it comes to their automobiles. Between tinted windows, customized spoilers and rims, bumper stickers and corny license plate inscriptions, there are plenty of options out there for people to soup up their ride, or their “whip,” as some like to call it.

And if you pay thousands of dollars for your car, then why not spend a little more to give it a little more of an identity? There are certainly people who go overboard, or are too political or religious with their bumper stickers, but, hey, it’s their property, so who am I to complain?

If the Fast and the Furious franchise taught us anything, it’s that chicks dig guys with slick-looking cars. Well that, and the life lesson that as long as you can drive a car faster than 100 miles per hour, you are immune from all legal prosecution.

I personally am not someone who is ever going to decorate his vehicle. I’m more of a refined, let-the-car-speak-for-itself kind of guy. However, if people want to jazz up their own, then so be it. I won’t judge.

Until now.

An extremely disturbing trend has sprouted among drivers that simply cannot be ignored. In fact, even if it was not a trend, it would still be incomprehensible. Just having one person on the road committing this act is one too many.

And what is this act? Eyelashes on cars.

I’m sure you’ve all noticed it at least one time. I saw it maybe a few months ago for the first time, and I honestly just tried to pretend it didn’t exist. It was sitting in a parking lot, and I glanced at it, and I just tried to pretend like it never happened. Because I didn’t want to believe that it could be true.

But then I saw it again. And again. And again. And this nightmare string of terror culminated the other day when a Facebook friend of mine actually bragged publicly about the addition of eyelashes to her car. She purchased these hideous add-ons, attached them, snapped a picture, and then posted it on Facebook, under the pretense that she just accomplished something extraordinary.

That was the breaking point. I knew, right then and there, that I had to say something to stop this chaos. I understand that when you are staring at a car head on, the headlights can be construed as a pair of eyes, and that adding eye lashes accentuates that appearance.

But it’s just a complete and total abomination. Whenever I see this, I find myself sympathizing with the car. That’s right, this action is so deplorable that it actually makes me feel emotion for an inanimate object. But I can’t help it. I feel sorry for the car for having such an idiotic owner.

Even the stupid talking cars in the Pixar movie Cars didn’t have eyelashes! Think about that. Computer animators were given a task to enter a studio and do their best to humanize a car so that it shared similar traits as humans. They gave them personalities, faces and the ability to speak. And yet, they still chose not to give them eyelashes, because they knew how stupid it would look.

There’s a scene at the very end of the film The Bridge on the River Kwai when Alec Guinness hazily walks around shouting one word — “Madness,” because he is in such disbelief as to what he is seeing happening around him. That’s exactly how I feel whenever I see these car eyelashes.

It’s almost as bad as people who put sweaters on dogs. It’s unnatural, and you’re not only embarrassing yourself, but the entire human race. I actually feel like this is a pitfall to our entire existence. If aliens were discreetly sent to Earth to examine us, and make judgments on how we live, and they happened to stumble upon a car with eyelashes on it, how would you expect them to react? They would take the first red-eye UFO back to their planet, and deem us worthless to their superiors.

And where in seven hells does one even purchase these? I seriously can’t even think of the type of store to begin looking at if I ever wanted to purchase them. Certainly an auto shop would not endorse this?

In all seriousness, to those who impulsively purchased these carlashes, just remove them now. Like, right this second. And I’ll forgive you. We’ll forget this whole thing ever happened.

Because if this behavior doesn’t end soon, I’m going to lash out at somebody.

Just don’t hold a camera anywhere near you when you’re naked

What a week it has been. On Wednesday, the news “broke” that New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner was once again involved in a sexting scandal. 

The story goes that after he resigned from Congress, he was at it once again, posting nude photographs of his schlong on a website called The news is only coming out now, however, and will pretty much ruin whatever minuscule chance he had at winning the election. To add more mockery to whole thing, his username on the website was “Carlos Danger.”

All I have to say about it is this should not really change anybody’s opinion of the man too much. If you thought his actions were despicable the first time, then obviously your thoughts were only confirmed. But if you never really thought it was a big deal, then this shouldn’t faze you too much considering it happened over a year ago.

If this happened recently, then yes, the man’s an idiot. But by all accounts this latest “setback” happened well before he declared his mayoral candidacy. Either way, he’s not going to win, so it doesn’t even really matter. What does matter is that his wife is officially a fool, and it confirms my belief that political marriages are much different than normal marriages.

In traditional contexts, people marry out of love. Out of requited adoration for each other. In politics, people marry for power, and to benefit their own positions in the political game. His wife knows that without Weiner, she’s really nothing. I’m sure she’d be welcomed with open arms onto the panel of The View, or to star in her own Bravo reality series, but Huma Abedin clearly has greater political aspirations.

Hillary Clinton stuck with her unfaithful husband, and she was one black man away from becoming president. So that’s the lesson to learn here ladies, stick with your man even if he treats you wrong, and as long as there’s no black dude standing in your way, aim for the sky!

Also, if there really is a guy in the world with the actual name of Carlos Danger, his life will never be the same. Although it probably wasn’t too normal to begin with, either.

Manti Te’o really needs to teach a course about how to have an online relationship and not let it ruin your career. Because how he escaped out of that and ended up looking like the innocent one, I will never know. He could even teach the course online, and we’d never even know if the people who signed up for the class are real or not. Paradox.

The real, genuine lesson is just to not send promiscuous images of yourself over the Internet. It can only be a bad thing. Even if it’s to a girlfriend or boyfriend. People think they can send such images to their significant other, as if they will stay together forever. Let me tell you that one day, the two of you will fight, possibly break up, and out of anger, those images will be used as leverage.

In fact, if you plan to remove your clothing, then just remove all cell phones, cameras, iPads and iTouches from your room completely. Don’t even take the risk. Is that a little overly cautious? Maybe. But it’s the best way to ensure that your junk will not one day be plastered all over Reddit.

Snapchat isn’t even safe anymore, since all the tech-savvy folks realized that you could take a screenshot before the image fades away. Trust me when I say that there is not one single, beneficial or safe method on earth in which you can take a naked photo of yourself and expect no consequences.

I hate to say it but taking a selfie is much more safer than sexting. You’ll never see a politician fall from grace over a selfie scandal. Or will we? I mean, I wouldn’t vote for him, but at least he wouldn’t be shunned from politics altogether.

And if you think about it, sexting is really just taking a naked selfie.

And when you find yourself in life taking a naked selfie, there’s really no coming back from that.

Aight, someone tell me what is it with girls and pretend mustaches

We can all exhale. The Royal Baby has been named. Although I am going to miss calling him the Royal Baby.

Prince George Alexander Louis.

For regular Weinblog readers, this should come as no surprise, as just two days ago, I said that George was the predicted name for the child had he been born a boy. The predicted female name was Alexandra, and, look at that, the baby’s middle name is Alexander.

That’s just what I do here. I put you all immediately in the know, providing you with the most current information about relevant social topics. And make fart jokes.

Hopefully we won’t have to hear about the baby again until he grows up and gets his first DWI. So let’s put that story to rest.

Today I want to talk about something that has been bothering me on a subconscious level for quite some time, and only recently did I realize how much of a problem it is becoming. In the 23-and-a-half hours I spend on Facebook each day, I can’t help but notice a trend among girls.

And that trend involves them posing with a pretend mustache in between their lips and nose. You know, where mustaches typically are. The interesting part is that I have seen several different varieties of this behavior.

The common one is where the girl drapes her hair around her face and uses it as the “mustache.” Another variation is the girl having a mustache drawn onto her index finger, and pointing it under her nose. And then there are glass mugs that have a mustache on them, so it occupies the “mustache part” of the face when you drink it, making for a potential photo.

I see these all of the time. Girls apparently think it’s funny. But I don’t get it.

Obviously the humor lies in the fact that girls do not possess mustaches. Of course, all girls do have slight facial hair, and the particularly ugly ones make no effort to hide it, but no girl outside of Brittney Griner is really capable of growing a full-blown mustache.

And on the contrary, guys can. So If I were to guess, I’d surmise that it gives girls some type of solidarity and empowerment to pretend to have something that is a solely a man’s attribute. This theory could be validated by the fact that many girls who do the “pretend mustache” shot do it in groups. I’ve seen as many as eight girls in one photo pretending they have mustaches. It’s all about feminism and sisterhood.

But again, I just don’t understand it. It’s the least physically appealing portrayal a girl can give herself. And isn’t that the whole point of Facebook? To make yourself look good? So what the hell are you doing pretending to make yourself look like a dude?

Do other girls see these pictures and go, “Yeah, you go girl! You’re one-upping the man!” If girls are trying to hard to gain a psychological advantage over men, then why don’t they go around taking pictures of themselves pretending to have a penis? That’s another male part that we have that they don’t. So riddle me that.

I just really hope it stops soon. These pictures not appealing. They’re not funny. And it has no deflating effect towards the male psyche. They accomplish nothing. And it amazes me that some girls actually make the effort to draw a mustache on their finger just so they could do this. It’s a substantial amount of work just for one shitty photo.

Do girls think it is actually luxurious to have a mustache? They require regular grooming, they itch, and they can’t be too enjoyable for females when they kiss a dude who has one. So what gives?

Time and time again I try to delve into the female mind to try to psychoanalyze their behavior, only to end up more confused than when I started. If only I had an opportunity to read women’s minds a la Mel Gibson in “What Women Want,” but, as far as I know, Mel is the only one in recorded history to have such an experience. And look where that got him.

Oh well. For now, it’ll have to remain a mystery.

Before I go — I’m a little late on this, but John Stamos recently appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to perform a medley as “Jesse and the Rippers,” his old band from the show Full House. And it was as outstanding as you’d think it would be.

See, John Stamos gets it. he had no mustache, real or fake.

Note to the world: Seeing people cuddling online is equally as painful as it is in real life

There’s no way to prepare for it. You’re walking casually along the sidewalk, minding your own business, when you see it. A guy and a girl, hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm, face-in-face. They are smiling effervescently, serenely oblivious to everything that is around them. They kiss, they cuddle, they laugh, they caress.

It’s vomit-inducing.

No, this has nothing to do with with bitter people who hate seeing others happy. Unless you’re watching pornography on your computer, there’s no context in which seeing people snogging is enjoyable. Regardless of what you see in romantic comedies, the actual art of a guy and a girl kissing is actually pretty disgusting. The lack of space between the two faces, the exchange of saliva, the suction-like sound of lip-on-lip and the abhorrent moans that accompany it.

It’s like physically watching a caterpillar turn into a butterfly. The actual thought of it happening — similar to a kiss — is beautiful. It’s natural and liberating. But when you actually see it, it makes you sick to your stomach.

And notice how I said “guy and a girl” kissing. If it’s girl-on-girl, then you have my full and unabated attention at anytime, anyplace.

Why do you think that in movies, when the guy and girl protagonists kiss, it’s only shown for like two or three seconds? The characters either break it up themselves after that time, or the camera will either cut to the next scene, or to show the reaction of two secondary characters. It’s because no one likes to see other people kiss for more than a couple of seconds. Even if it’s Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Before they became a couple.

Think wedding kisses. There is a certain etiquette of how that embrace is supposed to go down, and it’s for the same reason. When I am at a wedding, and I see the happy couple kiss for the first time as a husband and wife, here is my reaction: “Aww, that’s so beautiful, I’m so happy for them… now break it the shit up so I can go to the open bar.”

And that is during a context where it’s expected and, as an outsider, you are forewarned. So seeing it on a street, or in a public building, is nothing short of torturous. It doesn’t even have to be kissing, either — it can be hugging, holding hands, necking, sitting on one’s lap, etc. There’s a time and a place for these things.

It’s so unwelcome that there is actually an abbreviation to describe such acts — PDA. Public displays of affection. When spoken aloud, it almost carries the air as if it’s an actual crime. And hey, peeing in public is a crime, so why can’t it be?

Unfortunately, we live in an era where PDAs exist in other forums besides an actual public setting.

The Internet.

Facebook — by virtue of the entire world being on it, is now public. While I sit in my bedroom, in my plain white tee and Spongebob Squarepants pajama pants while scrolling through Facebook, I am no longer in a private setting. I am observing people’s lives as they happen.

So when I see somebody posting pictures with their significant other, cuddling and nestling against each other’s body, it is equally as sickening as if I am seeing it in real life. In fact, it might even be worse. At least in public, I can turn away, or avert my eyesight. But on Facebook, it’s etched there permanently. It is inscribed on my computer screen, and will stay there throughout the aethers of time.

And I understand that there’s a grace period for certain contexts — newly-formed couples, newly-engaged couples, couples who are going on a trip together for the first time. For them, it’s perfectly acceptable to feel the need to cling to one another, and document it in time. But you only get like two or three pictures. After that, it’s no longer okay.

Again, it has nothing to do with the physical appearance of the subjects. Nor does it matter what specific life-state one must be in to perceive this behavior in such a way. Simply put, it’s just a natural instinctive reaction to not want to see a man and a female in a deep and cozy embrace.

So gals and gents, next time you’re in public, and feeling frisky enough to sneak in a quick kiss or two amid a crowd of people, stop and think. Think about that one guy, who unluckily happens to be in your line of vision, and will have a clear and unimpeded view of your makeout-fest. Think about him.

Actually, that sounds really creepy.

Nothing else in the world matters on days when royal babies are born

Today, at precisely 4:42 p.m. London time, the baby of Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and Princess Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, was born. He weights 8 lbs, 6 oz., and both he and the Royal Highness are in good health.

And for those scoring at home, 4:42 p.m. equals, uh, it’s… about, I-don’t-fucking-know-o’clock in the United States. Let’s just say it was sometime this afternoon.

But whatever time that was, the world stood still. Because if you think that the general public is fascinated by celebrities, well, that is nothing compared to their obsession with royalty. Give anybody a formal title, like Queen, King, Prince, Duchess, and they already become the most interesting person in the world. Even more than the guy in the Dos Equis commercials.

Throw in the fact that William and Kate are both attractive individuals, and well, I’m amazed there wasn’t a cameraman in the delivery room streaming the birth live to the world.

We all remember how highly and nauseatingly publicized the Royal Wedding was two years ago — and cue the “Holy shit that was already two years ago?!” thought bubble — and now we all get to celebrate another chapter in the two 31-year-old’s lives.

For all intents and purposes, the time period of A.D. no longer exists. We had Before Christ, After Death, and now this period onward may as well be called PRB — Post Royal Baby.

A name has yet to be revealed, so there is still some surprises to come. Bookmakers have actually spent valuable time out of their lives to calculate and pin odds on what the name might be. The top bets are Alexandra for a girl, and George for a boy, for those who were wondering.

I think it’s safe to speculate that we will not be seeing any Kanye/Kim fiasco-of-a-name like North. The one thing you can say about royalty is that they still pay their respect towards civility of a bygone era. Of course, I could always be wrong and they could end up naming their baby Speed Racer, or something.

But the news is so big that there are very few things that can trump it. A famous baseball player and former MVP in Ryan Braun was suspended for using performance enhancing drugs, and no one cared. George Zimmerman, in the aftermath of his polarizing acquittal, apparently saved the life of an entire family that was stuck in an overturned vehicle, and no one cared.

Heck, an earthquake could have probably happened in a major country today, and nobody still would have cared.


At least 75 are dead and 400 injured in a 5.98-magnitude earthquake that hit China early this morning. An hour later, another 5.6-magnitude earthquake erupted in the same area. For those (like me) who have no idea what earthquake measurements mean, the Richter scale says that a quake between 5 and 6 is “moderate.” And that may not sound too bad, but I’m guessing that a moderate earthquake is a lot worse than having no earthquake at all.

Any excuse to show Kate Middleton is a good one.

For clarity sake, someone who is having a “moderately bad day” is probably exaggerating and their day was actually fine.

Conversely, a “moderate earthquake” is still shitty.

And a moderate politician is even shittier. Make up your god damn mind!

Anyway, the point is, how many people actually knew about this earthquake? To be perfectly honest, I only remembered it because I saw it on my Twitter feed first thing this morning, and hadn’t thought of it again until now. The amount of seconds I have spent today thinking about the Royal Baby as opposed to this earthquake is about 50:1.

I don’t even mean that as a condemnation on our population. It’s just the way it is. Babies and royalty appeal more to us than death and destruction, especially when it’s more than 5,000 miles away.

I’ve heard people discuss how lucky the baby of Kanye and Kim is, considering she’ll never have to earn a cent in her life and will be rich and famous. Well, I’m much more envious of this unnamed Royal Baby. He gets to grow up around an environment full of dignity and class, and, by virtue of being born, is third in the line of succession to the throne.

I’d much prefer that life. I mean, you know you’re big time when you already have a Wikipedia page before your name has actually been publicly revealed.

I suppose it means it’s up to me to create an offspring who would be next in the line of succession to this blog. That’s equally as prestigious as becoming the monarch of the United Kingdom, right?


Controversial Rolling Stone covers and sad ESPY videos

I don’t really consider myself a very sentimental person. I cry very seldom. It’s not that I don’t have emotion, it’s just that I am very good at not showing it.

I’ve often heard that a solid cry every now and then can be beneficial, but, I’m a man. Sorry. I don’t cry. Crying murks my inner thug and there’s just no place for that.

I have, however, been known to tear up on occasion. And I will tell you what does it for me. It’s not the end of Titanic, or seeing a three-legged dog on the street. Even chopping onions does nothing for me. But what does get me — every damn time — are those manipulative, sappy six- to eight-minute segments that ESPN puts together about someone who has overcome adversity.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick wearing douchy sunglasses indoors at the ESPYs on Wednesday night.

I swear to God, anytime you mix sentimental music, an eloquent narrator who talks slowly and with conviction, and just the mere mention of any type of disease, I could feel the water collecting at the brim of my eyes. It’s my kryptonite. I’m not sure what it is, perhaps it’s just the inner sports fan in me. The only way that I could cry is if I am watching some sad story that is sports related.

ESPN is the master at these. And particularly Tom Rindaldi, a reporter who has worked for the network since 2003. He does nothing at ESPN except narrate these sappy videos. It’s like he spends all of his time searching for these devastating yet inspiring stories for him to report on. And by golly he does it well.

Put it this way, if Rinaldi ever contacted me and asked if he could do a story on me, I’ll know that I am in big, big trouble.

And these videos are really the only reason why I watch the ESPYs, which aired last night. It’s not because I need to see the rich get richer, and watch millionaire athletes like LeBron James and Colin Kaepernick win more awards. That’s the last thing I want to see.

But ever year the ESPYs distributes the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, and beforehand, they put together a lengthy video detailing the trials and tribulations of the recipient. In all my life of watching the ESPYs, never once has it failed to make me cry.

This year’s honoree was Robin Roberts, one of the pioneers for African American women in journalism, who joined ESPN in 1990, back when there were very few women — let alone black women — in the industry. But through professionalism and integrity, she worked her way up the ladder to gain respect, and later became a co-host for ABC’s Good Morning America. Her biggest challenges, however, came in 2007 when she developed breast cancer, and in 2012 after being diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood disease that required a bone marrow transplant from her sister for her to survive.

She’s a pretty amazing person, and ESPN struck gold yet again with its video. Watch it. Watch it now, and be prepared to shed some blue.

Sorry, I uhh, I got something in my eye…

It just goes to show that life is very long, and eventually, we’re all going to face adversity in form of another. The only thing we can do is to challenge it head on with a smile and as gracefully as Robin Roberts did.

If you’re in the mood for another, here’s the amazing story of Jack Hoffman, a 7-year-old boy with brain cancer who scored a 69-yard touchdown during a Nebraska college football scrimmage. It won “Best Moment” at the ESPYs last night, and ESPN made a video about it. It’s equally as powerful and will probably also make you cry. Watch it here.

Alright, enough sappy stuff. *Sniffles*

I wanted to touch on Rolling Stone magazine’s controversial decision this week to not only put together an extensive story on the surviving Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, but to also feature it on the cover.

The magazine has received intense criticism by people who claim that this publicity is glamorizing terrorism, and only serves to provide the attention that they are striving for when they commit their heinous deeds. Indeed, retailers like CVS and Walgreens already said they will not sell the issue within their stores.

After hearing the cries, Rolling Stone defended itself in a statement, saying, “The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens.”

Here’s my take: if it’s not Rolling Stone, its somebody else. The truth of the matter is, people are fascinated by murderers. By terrorists. By psychopaths. We want to know what went wrong, and how they got this way. We want to know the exact moment when they turned from a sweet, innocent kid into a monster. We want to know their heritage, where they lived, who their friends are, and mostly, we want to know why they did what they did.

Rolling Stone knows this, and they took advantage. That the magazine is being so highly discussed is already making their decision a commercial victory. NBC News predicts that the magazine’s sales will boost from this issue.

The magazine has never really been viewed as a tabloid. It has mass credibility, and it’s typically deemed an honor to grace its front cover. So I think that adds to the controversy. Had People Magazine done this, then the backlash would likely not be as harsh.

And that’s obviously the moral dilemma that Rolling Stone faced. Imagine a victim of the bombing, or a family member of a victim, strolling past a magazine stand and seeing the face of the person who gave them such great emotional pain.

But again, Rolling Stone is simply satisfying their reader’s insatiable need for information, and I can’t blame them for that. Another point of criticism is that the expressionless headshot with wavy hair and grizzly beard physically makes him look like a rock star, and I suppose the magazine could have maybe toned it down a little bit with that. But, at the same time, they committed to the story and I have to give them credit for that. The publishers made a decision and stuck with their guns.

If you’re not reading it here, then you’re reading it on Wikipedia, or watching old YouTube news clips from back when it happened. If anything, Rolling Stone just made it easier for everyone to get the story, and then that’s it. We won’t need to know anymore. The guy is not going to live a rock star life. He’s going to rot in jail, probably be beaten often, and will hate it. Every minute of it. There’s no glamorization in that.

And in six months from now, I await the ESPN video that recounts the successful comeback of a Boston Marathon victim who regained his or her ability to walk.

I’ll bawl my eyes out.

Man waits 38 years to own motorcycle, gets one, dies.

“Old man, turned 59, he bought a motorcycle, died the next day…”

This post isn’t meant to incite a debate as to whether Alanis Morissette truly did ruin the definition of “irony” for Generation Y. In fact, nothing I write here is actually meant to start any type of debates, because to ignite controversy you need more than six people to actually care what you have to say. But that’s neither here nor there.

Anyway, we all remember the iconic first line in Morissette’s groundbreaking 1996 song, Ironic — “Old man, turned 98, he won the lottery, died the next day.”

The irony in this, naturally, is attributed to the fact that it took 98 years for this man to have something extraordinary happen to him, and then had less than 24 hours to enjoy it. Whether that’s true irony or not is irrelevant. The bottom line is that it’s shit luck.

Well, something kind of similar happened a few weeks ago.

Barry Strang, of Casper, Wyoming, desperately wanted a motorcycle. So much so that he begged his wife every day for 38 years to convince her to let him get one, and even visited his local Harley Davidson shop every week. Each time, however, she refused, citing the extreme dangers associated with such bikes.

Finally, at the age of 59, she conceded. He got a motorcycle. What amazes me about that is how loyal he clearly was to his life. I would venture to guess that if most men wanted something that badly, they would purchase it without their significant other’s permission. Heck, He sailed right through his mid-life crisis twenty years earlier and still didn’t buy one.

But like a true and dedicated husband, he let it be a communal decision. Good for him.

Unfortunately, the purchase of the motorcycle turned out to be a death sentence. After riding for just three miles, Strang lost control of the vehicle and struck a tractor-trailer. And that was all she wrote.

And since we live in an age where it’s not just teenagers who like to humble brag on social media, Strang managed to post a photo of his new motorcycle on Facebook in the short time between the purchase and the final joy ride. The death was so sudden that congratulatory comments were still streaming in hours after.

Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

By the way, anytime I see that video, it always gives me an urge to embark on a road trip through the Swiss Alps.

But anyway, this death is obviously a lot different from the “old man who turned 98.” In the old man’s case, he had no control over his flight’s destiny (Unless he willingly boarded a plane piloted by Sum Ting Wong.) In Mr. Strang’s case, his dream purchase involved a high-speed vehicle that kills more than 4,000 people a year. Factor in that he’s 59-years-old and there you go.

If he had been desiring one for 38 years, it means he was 21 when he first received his speed bike itch. One thinks that Strang may have handled that bike as if he was still in fact a 21-year-old, and likely miscalculated the evolution (or deevolution) of his reflexes over the course of the next three decades.

Sometimes you just can’t make this shit up. It’s never becoming to make light of somebody’s death, but when the actual description of how you died is unique and significant enough to be picked up by a pop-culture blog, then you know you were just meant to die at that exact moment in time and there was absolutely nothing you could do about it.

I didn’t even need to come up with a clever or witty title to this blog post. Simply just saying exactly what happened speaks for itself.

But hey, as the article said, at least Barry Strang died doing something that he had been wanting to do ever since he was legally old enough imbibe alcohol. And that’s not something that many people get to say.

It’s also why I’ve become motivated to alter my goals to much safer, harmless activities. Like rolling in a pile of feathers. Having a pillow fight. Or petting a baby squirrel.

Basically, things that cannot kill you.

Oh, and I forgot cliff jumping. Definitely cliff jumping.

Wi Tu Dumb

At the end of last night’s post I touched on the moronic blunder by the San Francisco news station KTVU-TV after it read aloud four bogus names of the pilots who crash landed Asiana Airlines Flight 214 on July 6, killing three and injuring hundreds. Not only were the names inaccurate, but they all contained insanely obvious hidden meanings, and were very racially insensitive.

Since I had other fish to fry yesterday, I thought I could just mention it at the bottom and be done with it. I figured it might even be old news by today. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how impossibly dumb this mistake was.

And it most certainly deserves its own post.

By now, you should have all seen it. Anchor Tori Campbell reported that the network had retrieved the names, and that they had confirmed them with the National Transportation Safety Board. She then proceeded to read the names, completely unaware that she, and her news station, were the victims of a very obvious prank.

See for yourself, if you haven’t already.

What makes this so mind-boggling is that the names aren’t that cleverly disguised. Perhaps if you saw one of them by itself, you might be deceived for a moment. But the four together, even a 9-year-old should be able to see right through them.

These are like Bart Simpson jokes. One utterance of them aloud should have exposed the names for what they were, and they never would have been read on live television. Also, Mike Roch says hi.

But somehow, someway, a group of news producers and writers failed to see the humor that was embedded in those fake names, and they rolled with it. Shortly after reading them on air, the network issued an apology, and reaffirmed that the names had been approved by the NTSB.

As a result, the NTSB responded by claiming a summer intern was the one who confirmed the names. Because as we all know, summer interns are usually given very important responsibilities like that.

And if someone thought this story would simply go away, well they clearly don’t know how the world works. Asiana Airlines is suing KTU-TV for “damaging the airline’s reputation.” You know, because crashing a plane wasn’t damaging enough.

And here’s a brilliant joke that I can’t take credit for: To pursue the suit, they’ve retained the services of legendary local attorney Mi Su Yu.

Again, no words in the human language can possible explain how this all transpired. For a group of professionals to actually be hoodwinked by such an immature — yet hilarious — prank is nothing short of astonishing. What’s been lost in all of this, by the way, is how the station acquired these names to begin with? Clearly no one with actual credibility would have tried something like this, so it’s feasible that they simply received an anonymous email, and in their desperate desire to break the news, they actually took it seriously. Bravo.

Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the summer intern answered the phone, heard the names, and confirmed that they were real just because he or she thought it would be funny. I mean, if you’re an intern, who gives a shit if you get fired?

Stephen Colbert was all over this on his most recent show, and issued a hysterical three-minute diatribe in response to this messy situation. It is well worth the watch.

Does the network deserved to be sued? Who knows. Probably not. But do they deserved to be mocked and ridiculed for the remainder of time? Absolutely.

I must have watched the video about a dozen times already, and it gets funnier with each viewing. The way the anchor pronounces each name is almost too good to be true. It really is almost like the Simpsons sketches, when Moe Szyslak says each fake name perfectly so as to fully embarrass himself. Well that is exactly what happened here. And I love how she enunciates “Ho Lee Fuk” as “Ho Lee Fook,” as if her thought process was, “Well, I’m going to slightly alter the pronunciation of that name so as to not offend anyone.” Well, that backfired.

News outlets are often accused of being ignorant, fear-mongering, or politically or agenda driven, but it’s nice to see one in the spotlight for just being plain stupid. It’s quite refreshing, and I for one hope that the cast and crew keep their jobs so that they could provide us with more humor in the future.

Before I wrap up here, I must do my due diligence as a credible news blogger and close the book on Cory Monteith. Apparently the toxicology results were expedited due to great popular interest, and have already been released by the British Columbia coroner. Unfortunately, it’s what many suspected — a deadly mix of heroin and alcohol.

Which I guess means that the true marker of success in life is whether police speed up your toxicology reports if you accidentally overdose.

It is almost a little sad to know that Glee fans, who I would assume lie in the ages of 13 to 18, are suddenly exposed to this. When you’re young, you don’t expect your favorite actor on your favorite television show to die suddenly from drugs. However, it’s never too early in life to learn about the ill effects of such dangerous stimulants. So, if you’re looking for any silver lining — any at all — in Monteith’s death, it’s that maybe he’ll influence some young kids to stay the fuck away from heroin.

It’s that simple.