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Month: May 2016

wayward pines S2 : the worst TV you’re never going to need

wayward pines S2 : the worst TV you’re never going to need

Writers note: was once told over dinner, within six months of graduating college, “oh, you’re a writer, so you hate your life?”  – this is a pretty accurate depiction of that  kind of question.

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Director M. Night Shyamalan poses for a portrait during a press day promoting his new film "The Happening" in New York June 9, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES) - RTX6P8Q

 

Up there, yeah, yep – that’s the faithless, elusive – M. Night Shyamalan who, to an innocent bystander probably just looks like another random indian man. Albiet a well dressed one, exuding some modes of self confidence, with the budget for a real high res photographer. Point is that – he’s an artist and, weirdly enough, a really well known one. We all know why.

Totally, sure thing you fucking dumbass, (this is thousand percent biting me in the ass whenever I have kids) I see dead people too. Point being – as a film maker, Shyamalan is a one hit wonder who, weirdly, most folks 20-26 as it stands right now are really willing to pull for. I think it’s a direct result of The Sixth Sense and no I don’t know why, I don’t call film cinema and I won’t stand to give “cultured” reviews like some cheese eating non tip leaving asshole who forgets to tell you his father doesn’t have a trust fund but – you know, these are movies, and he made an impression.

The world is kind of weird these days and I stand by the fact that Shyamalan capitalized on what’s now an easily perceived lull in the film industry in general, with horror films of non – epic proportions. You know, Lady In The Water, The Village, all that shit – I’m listening to Drake as I’m typing this and his tone feels regal relative to what I’m writing about – that should tell you all you need to know about our little Night.

Anyway – Shyamalan has dipped into T.V. recently – probably unbeknownst to you and…spoiler alert….it’s not that good.

Wayward Pines is the FOX adaptation of author Blake Crouch’s bestselling trilogy Pines (wether or not it was bestselling prior to the shows premiere is unclear) by none other than executive producer M. Night Shyamalan.

Wayward Pines is legitimately the worst fucking show I’ve ever watched start to finish and as I sat last summer vomiting through the final clips of the finale I was sure as fucking shit that I’d never see this show again. And then…

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 10.56.23 PM

Oh, who’s that? The secret male agent (they’re both secret agents – WOW! CRAZY!) who goes to Wayward Pines to search for his lost female partner (spoiler – they were fucking while not married oh my fucking god no fucking way !!!!!) before realizing that Wayward Pines isn’t what he thinks, and that, he might have to fight to get out alive.

Nothing really happens save a consistent running from Michael Meyers feeling and dialogue sequences like :

“NO BEN! You can’t go outside, we don’t know what’s out there!”

“But mom, there’s no food in the house – “

“Ben n-“

“Dad’s ex mistress is here too.”

“Ok let’s go kill the sheriff and leave.”

That’s not really what happens but yeah Terrance Howard the sheriff gets run into a fence by a truck at the end of episode three before dude secret agent turned sheriff (you know, because he killed him so he got his job) gives up the town because he won’t follow the big brother rules and he inadvertently gets his kids girlfriend killed (dick) and blows a bunch of other shit up before the season ends with a bunch of revolutionary adults hanging from light posts the morning after the apocalypse zombie things get inside.

wayward-1.1-ice-cream

Did you say apocalypse zombie things? Oh, right, that’s the point – all the people in the town are a science experiment some 2000 years (absolutely pulling this time frame out of my ass) after the end of human civilization save this weird sub-sect of zombies with fangs and the build/vertical of Lebron that (shocker) wants to kill everything? Anyway that’s the point of wayward – that the people running it are supposedly acting in altruism by waking up cryogenically frozen humans in waves to try and make the town work x.no of years in the future before they’re like FUCK THIS I’M OUT and die or revolt or something and another wave has to happen.

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Does this show sound fucking horrible? Good. Because it is. But somehow, some way, it got renewed for a second season. I haven’t watched it yet – but like the car crash you can’t stop staring at – you can bet I will be. Wayward Pines waits for no man, just because you don’t want shit television doesn’t mean you don’t need it.

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today in Friday is now ‘chance the rapper appreciation day’

today in Friday is now ‘chance the rapper appreciation day’

 

MY FACE HURTS. MY HEART HURTS. STOP GIVING ME REASONS TO SING YOUR PRAISES I CAN’T TAKE IT WHY IS DJ KHALED IN THIS VIDEO THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING REASON FOR DJ KHALED TO BE IN THIS VIDEO EXCEPT FOR EVERY REASON ON PLANET EARTH I NOW KNOW I ALWAYS WANTED DJ KHALED IN THIS VIDEO FUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.

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Another one? No. Another ten fucking million.

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GUCCI MANE IS FREE!!!!!

GUCCI MANE IS FREE!!!!!

 

 

If you need help singing along to the chorus:

 

Chorus

Burr, Burr, Burr, Burr, Burr
Burr, Burr, Burr, Burr, Burr
Burr, Burr, Burr, Burr, Burr
Burr, Burr, Burr, Burr, Burr

gucci

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A League of Their Own — ALL NBA Teams Announced

A League of Their Own — ALL NBA Teams Announced

Connecticut has finally welcomed the arrival of summer weather and yours truly could not be happier. Our one amusement park, the diaper haven known as Lake Compounce, will make headlines again for some random death. Our beaches will cement their status as the worst on the East Coast. Choate students will overstay their welcome, as their parents reward them with a “summer yacht” for their 3.24 GPA. It’s also time for my yearly Dairy Queen freak-out: I become furious when they run out of cherry dip, settle for a brownie earthquake instead and then question why I even made the trip, considering gas prices reach numbers akin to the Choate kid’s GPA. So, with all this goodness to look forward to, how could I possibly be upset?

The NBA did it again, guys.

The All-NBA teams were announced today, with the usual suspects finding themselves on the list. I must admit, I am a little confused here. There are some consistency issues with the awards, their criteria, and the voting.

For example, the MVP award goes to the player that had the best season (Chef Curry). There are players more valuable to their team (see Bosh, Chris or George Paul) but, this is not what the award is truly about. Best player, best season. I like it.

Now juxtapose this with the All-NBA team selection format. There are two guards, two forwards, and a center. This makes just as much sense as a racist reality star running for president. Imagine Luke Walton going to his brand new Lakers team next season and saying “Okay Russell and Clarkson, play guards. Randle and Simmons be the forwards and…shit who’s our center?!” Then Larry Nance Jr. shyly reminds Walton that the NBA has five positions, not three. But for some reason our All-NBA team has only three positions…

 

If the All-NBA team was chosen with one of each position, it would look like this:

Center: Deandre Jordan

Power Forward: Draymond Green

Small Forward: Lebron

Shooting Guard: Klay Thompson

Point Guard: Steph Curry

 

Those assignments are not subjective, folks. I took them from the All-NBA teams and the voting totals. To clarify, Lebron got the nod over Kawhi because he got more votes. I had to go all the way to the 3rd All-NBA team to find the first and only shooting guard who made a team, Klay Thompson. Green rose up from the second team.

Do I like this system? Yes and no. I do like it because it forces voters to pick the players that had the best season as that position. Voters have to choose between Lebron, The Claw and KD to see who was the premier small forward for that season. These forces columnists to make concrete statements that are sure to be controversial and edgy. I don’t like it, however, because this system does not represent the five best players in the league for this season. And I believe it should.

I’m a huge Billions fan. Not the money, the TV show.  Well the money too. I was hooked and then at midseason, they gave the show a one week break. I was livid and I imagine that’s how Kevin Durant must feel today.  Dude put up 28, 8 and 5 while coming inches away from the 50/40/90 club and having the best defensive year of his career. Yet, Deandre Jordan can tack the 1st team All-NBA on his résumé. I like DJ but, he has zero offensive game and defensively did not crack the top ten statistically in any rim protection category (according to analytic site Nyloncalculus.com). What am I suggesting here? Follow the MVP criteria. Give this award to the 15 players that had the best season this year. A positionless list.

Here is what mine would be:


1ST TEAM

Lebron

Steph

Draymond

KD

Westbrook

 

I bump up KD for the aforementioned reasons. Draymond also moves up. Recency bias would see him shift to the second team. Yet, his two game slide against the Thunder only proved how valuable he is to the team. He was the facilitator of the best offense to ever play roundball. Curry was the benefactor. The assist numbers suggest that. Also, The Claw got booted from the list. When considering the playoffs and regular season as our body of work, KD and Draymond had better seasons than Kawhi. Not by much, but they did.

 

2ND TEAM 

Kawhi

CP3

Klay Thompson

Dame

Boogie

 

Chris Paul had a helluva year leading the Blakeless Blakes to a ton of wins in a killer conference. Klay Thompson is one of the top ten best two way players in the league. How many times did he cover for Steph on the defensive end of the floor? Lilliard stays where he is on the list, as well as Boogie. DMC’s numbers cannot be ignored.

 

3RD TEAM

Aldridge

Paul George

Lowry

Harden

Millsap

 

LA and PG13 stay put, as well Lowry. Harden makes the jump from “also receiving votes” to 3rd team. I know some are starting to view him as a cancer to his team but, his numbers are crazy. His team ditched their coach midseason and failed to put anyone of significance on the court around him. Harden gets a pass here because he is still one of the top three scorers in the game and demonstrated that this season. Millsap also made the jump. He may be the most slept on player in the league and deserves some recognition. Despite the sweep suffered at the hands of the Cavs, Millsap put up some elite stats. Note that there is only one center on this list and in due time he too will shift to power forward.


Bonus: Who Says No?

Boston receives Derrick Favors and the 11th pick

Utah receives Amir Johnson, James Young and the 3rd pick.

 

Utah has redundancy with The Stifle Tower and Favors. Both are great rim protectors but neither of them stretches the floor. Utah can move on from Favors while adding their stretch 4 in Bender. Young is also a sweetener in need of a change of scenery.

Boston gets the shot blocker and post scorer they desperately need. Also, this allows them to compete now instead of waiting for Murray or Bender to develop. Slide Favors to the 5 and start Olynyk/Jerekbo/Sully at the 4, with Crowder, Bradley and Thomas filling out the rest. With the 11th reach for a shooter like Malik Beasley or Valentine. They get also get to consolidate by shipping Young.

 

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A Game of Two Halves: USA v Ecuador

A Game of Two Halves: USA v Ecuador

by Michael H (@timhalpert)

It’s difficult to remember a USMNT soccer game when the first half and second half stood in such opposition to each other. The USA took on Ecuador in their second Copa America Centenario warm-up friendly on Wednesday night in Frisco, Texas. In the first half, the Yanks were flat, lifeless, vapid even. In the second half, after an injection of fresh blood off the bench, the US appeared lively, active, and, at the very least, interested. They finally found the breakthrough, a 90’ minute strike from substitute Darlington Nagbe, to come away with a win against a decent South American opponent.

There wasn’t much to get excited about in the first half. Both teams passed the ball between their defenders, trading possession in the midfield without much effort to get into the attacking third. The best chance of the half for the Yanks came through Gyasi Zardes. He took a long ball over the top into the Ecuador penalty area. Unfortunately, his first touch was atrocious and possession was immediately lost. He and the equally disappointing Kyle Beckerman would be subbed off at the half. For my money, the USMNT would be better off if these two never put on the US jersey again.

The second half began with two USA subs: Nagbe for Beckerman and Bobby Wood for Zardes. The impact was immediate. It’s not so much that the Americans generated shot after shot, but that they moved with purpose, putting together passes that led somewhere and had intent. The introduction of wunderkind Christian Pulisic and Ale Bedoya in the 63’ completed the transformation. The Yanks appeared to actually be dangerous. Quite a few chances came down the left side with Pulisic, Nagbe, Fabian Johnson, and Michael Bradley all stringing together passes and making runs to open up the Ecuadorian defense inch by inch. Wood also played an integral role in the center forward spot after Clint Dempsey made way for Pulisic. His being more active than Deuce goes without saying.

The winning goal, however, came from a broken play. Nagbe found himself inside the box as a DeAndre Yedlin — who shook the soul out the defender trying to mark him — cross was headed upwards by a Ecuador defender. Bobby Wood settled under it and headed it back across the box to a waiting Nagbe, who took it off his chest and volleyed low and hard past the Ecuador keeper from 8 yards out. With that, the USMNT came away with a surprise win and confidence boost as they head into Copa America.

 

Hopefully Jurgen Klinsmann learned from this match (he usually doesn’t). Starting with a midfield three of Beckerman, Jermaine Jones, and Michael Bradley in a 4–3–3 is never going to work. After the second round of subs, the Yanks went to a 4–4–2 with Bradley in the number 6 position. The difference this change made was apparent right away. The days when MB90 the destroyer and pin-point long passer roamed in front of the back four had returned. Letting our younger, quicker, more talented players get some quality playing time against a decent opponent really highlighted the need for some of the old guard to sail off into the sunset. Sadly, I don’t think anything will break Klinsmann of his Michael Orozco obsession.

Nagbe was phenomenal. Pulisic is making it hard for Klinsmann to keep him out of the starting lineup. John Brooks all but locked up the starting left center back position. Dempsey, Beckerman, and Jones looked old and tired. It will be interesting (read: terrifying) to see what kind of decisions Jurgen makes after processing this information.

 

Man of the Match: Darlington Nagbe — 1 goal, 33/33 passes.

 

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i love this british man more than my entire family

i love this british man more than my entire family

I have no idea what nationality this guy is relative to the UK and I don’t care. It’s definitely too soon – but it’s 10 am and it already looks like a good day to love the internet.

I’m still not crying.

P.S.

Pasted image at 2016_05_24 03_29 PM

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USMNT and the Copa America: Klinsmann is Consistently Baffling

USMNT and the Copa America: Klinsmann is Consistently Baffling

Michael H. dives into Copa America 

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160521 MNT copa roster final

The United States will be hosting the Copa America Centenario this summer – it’s the first time a country outside of South America has hosted the tournament in its 100 year history. It starts June 3rd (what a perfect gift to my wife for our 10 year anniversary) and will end on June 26th. 16 teams from North, Central, and South (mostly South) America will compete to be named the best team of the Americas. Messi will be there. James will be there. Alexis will be there.

 

The USA will be there; in a group with Colombia, Costa Rica, and Paraguay, which, first, ouch. And, second, surviving into the knockout round will be a tall task. USMNT manager, Jurgen Klinsmann, called in his chosen 23. As usual, there are a handful of picks that are making everyone lose their goddamn minds, including me.

 

WONDO OVER MORRIS

Let’s get right to this Chris Wondolowski over Jordan Morris thing. I love Wondo, I really do. I appreciate his talent for poaching goals. He gets into the right places at the right times. He scores a lot of MLS goals (he currently has 7 on the season). He’s scores a lot of goals against subpar CONCACAF competition. And who are we playing in Copa America? NOT subpar CONCACAF competition. Wondo works hard, but he is slow. He gets in good position, but needs a lot to go right to get his goals. He can’t create his own shot.

 

If only there was a speedy, physical young goal-scorer who is up-and-coming and already scored against Mexico. OH WAIT THAT’S EXACTLY JORDAN MORRIS. There is no defending this pick. I’m sure Jurgen will cite experience and veteran leadership as reasons for leaving Morris at home (Morris, for his part, handled the exclusion with class). It comes nowhere close to making his decision the correct one. If Wondolowski gets free late in a game and scores a game winner I’ll be among the first to tweet “WONDOOOOOOO” but I wholeheartedly disagree with this pick.

 

OROZCO OVER OMAR

This might even be worse than Wondo-Morris. Omar Gonzalez has been playing well since moving to Liga MX. And talk about experience: Gonzalez has played in some huge games and, occasional blunders aside, his size alone should make this an easy decision. Add in Orozco barely playing for Tijuana in Liga MX (started the last three games of the season, basically nothing before that up through January). Klinsmann’s Michael Orozco obsession is extremely odd, but must be the result of the defender being able to play multiple positions along the back line. But does that versatility really matter if he isn’t that great at any of them?

 

ZUSI OVER FINLAY

This is the lesser of Klinsmann’s transgressions, but serves to highlight a problem the USMNT manager has with letting some veterans go and getting some younger guys field time. Graham Zusi is a fine player. He is dependable, works hard on defense, and can whip in a decent cross. Ale Bedoya does all of these better than him and is already on the team. Ethan Finlay is a very promising talent and the purest winger the USA has maybe ever had. This tournament would be perfect for him to get some reps against high level competition. Imagining him coming on with fresh legs late in a game, blowing by people and serving balls into the box, is very tantalizing. We do not get to be tantalized in this way at the Copa America.

 

THE LEFT BACK / FABIAN JOHNSON SITUATION

Regarding the left back part of the above heading, well, there aren’t any on the team. That means either (a) Jurgen will play Timmy Chandler there (i’m starting to sweat already), or (b) Jurgen will play Fab there. He is our best wide midfielder by a decent margin at the moment. Fab plays as a winger in the Bundesliga and Champions league. Where is Eric Lichaj or even Tim Ream or EVEN Edgar Castillo? How do you bring a squad to the the bloody Copa America without a left back? Unless, of course, you plan to play your best attacking midfielder there. I could spend the rest of this article just typing curse words and it wouldn’t adequately express how mad I will be when Klinsmann does this. I will take option (a) all-day everyday over Fab at left back.

 

IDEAL STARTING XI

No amount of bitching and suggesting will change this roster’s make-up. Here is my ideal lineup with what we have available:

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 7.14.48 AM

Yedlin will get forward to help with the attack. Chandler will stay home. MB90 and JJ will boss the midfield. Hopefully Wood stays on fire and Deuce will do Deuce shit.

My top 3 subs:

 

  1. Nagbe for Deuce or Fab
  2. Pulisic for Wood, Deuce, or Bedoya
  3. Kitchen for Jones

 

FINAL NOTES

  • Zardes makes me insane in front of goal. His recent form for the Galaxy is a little encouraging, but I wouldn’t be upset if he didn’t see the field.
  • Beckerman is another ‘experience’ guy. I really appreciate his service to the national team. It’s time to put him out to pasture IMO. He cannot handle competition above Jamaica-level.
  • Really looking forward to experiencing Pulisic in a tournament setting. I think he will be used as a supersub at the outset, but wouldn’t be surprised if he is starting if the USA manage to make it out of their group.
  • The goalkeepers: Tell me when it’s safe to open my eyes. Maybe give Horvath some time?

Good or bad, the USMNT usually keeps it interesting. Let’s hope for a few positives to take away from this Copa America Centenario.

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