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It’s not an exaggeration to say I idolized Michael Jackson as kids. There’s no movie star, athlete or musician even close to his level now. So I’ll start there and add, my head hurt watching this, and I’ve seen/heard enough of the stories calling the centerpiece of this documentary an opportunist and a liar. I can’t prove anymore than you what did or didn’t happen so I’ll take the Oprah route and try to talk about this ‘one step removed’…

The artistry is one thing obviously, but for us reclusive, creative types, the way Michael carried himself was in some ways equally as appealing (for a while). Depending on where your biases lie, you have fun with some of the rumors you hear about yourself. Is he gay? No? Well, is he interested in black women? (I’ve had my own dances with these ‘false but no harm really done’ misdirections.)

But if you have people asking ‘Is he a pedophile?’ See… that’s WAY too far over the rumor line. That should never be something the people who like you/love you/want to believe you should have to wrestle with.

Next…

I’ve had over the course of my life, more than a handful of women confide in me their own stories of sexual assault.

(Taking a moment to let that number and that statement sink in.)

Every story is unique but there are some definite patterns. The power play taking complete precedence over the actual need for pleasure. Someone very familiar as the perpetrator (although the ‘complete stranger in a dark alley’ scenario does happen, but by percentage maybe not nearly as much as we (men) think). And because the perpetrator is familiar and more powerful, the no win situation: people don’t believe you and your self-value is crushed, or people believe you and multiple relationships are permanently altered in a negative way (and the guilt that comes with that.)

Washington and Me Too and Corporate America. I think most of us who are self aware have a better vocabulary for this now. Again, I don’t know what happened either way, just speaking to patterns I recognize.

Now the music. We’re talking the Jackson 5, the Jacksons, all of the solo stuff. I think Michael is just way too big and too iconic to ‘cancel’. If I had to make an educated guess, I’d say we’re looking at a Roman Polanski/Woody Allen situation: this is some of the best art of a generation but now there’s a moment where we wince or at least have to think about things we didn’t want to think about it before when we experience it.

So no one wins.

‘Finding Neverland’ is hard to watch but worth the conversation we’re having…

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The more, the merrier I say. The more, the merrier…

Have a good weekend everyone!

Enjoy!

The next building block we’ve been working on is putting some of my more serious clips together in a highlight reel. So here it is.

Major credit here to my brother Jesus for putting this (and the other clip reels together.) Any TV or film actor worth a damn will tell you the editor can make or break a performance. My guy has been doing that for me the past year.

Feels like all the old work is organized now. On to the future…

Meanwhile, enjoy!

Truth be told, I’m kind of over making jokes about the R. Kelly situation. And I’m not remotely ready to deep dive Michael…

But this? This is funny…

Go ahead and give Leslie and Kenan the Emmys.

Enjoy!

So who’s ready for ‘Endgame’?

There are plenty of major and minor twists in ‘Captain Marvel’ so as usual I’ll try to stay away from talking about those for anyone who hasn’t seen this yet. But I liked pretty much every turn the story took.

A few other highlights:

Mendelsohn is, my guy. It’s not even Character Actor Envy, it’s admiration. Maybe our best ‘That Guy’ working right now. Even (especially) the humor they gave him worked.

The third act fight scene is par for the course now, but for the millionth time in the past twenty five or so years I thought, ‘And we still can’t get another entertaining Superman film?’ Hell, even ‘Shazam’ is tracking to be fun. What a shame…

Annette Bening, Djimon, Gemma Chan… you could make a damn good smaller film with those three as the leads, they’re all further down the call sheet on this one. Marvel really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Recommend of course. The hits keep coming with this Universe.

The weekend is upon us!

In 2019, I could see an ‘appropriation’ conversation going down…

But in the early days of rap, man, there was nothing to be said, the Beasties were as funky as any mainstream act.

‘Paul Revere’ is still one for my favorite jams of theirs. This is easily number two.

Have a good weekend gang!

A day of a Beatles playlist, and rehashing old stories with the homies that made me laugh myself to tears three different times, and now I’m out of tears.

In a ‘We Are the Champions’ mood.

So let me go backward one more time for this one. Very smart producing choice to get the people in the crowd warmed up to open the show. And maybe this year was the anomaly with so many good movies people liked but…

(Not sure if the Oscars really need a host now…)

Anyway, enjoy!

Mardi Gras time.

Haven’t been to New Orleans since pre-Katrina so it’s been awhile.

Many of you know my roots are in Louisiana. Need to plan a trip back there for non-funeral reasons.

Beautiful version of this song by Dianne Reeves, from the Treme finale.

Enjoy.

So I think this dropped right before the Oscars…

But, very tragically, one of the trailers that played before the movie I saw yesterday was ‘Sam Rockwell is the leader of the local Ku Klux Klan…but he has a heart of gold!’…

So to say this is an evergreen joke is all too real…

Brilliant.

Enjoy.

My annual wrestling post takes on a new form this year; there’s actually a decent movie in theaters right now.

‘Fighting with My Family’ dramatizes the real life story of WWE wrestler Paige (whose been forced to retire at 26 since the production of the film). Born into a family of indie wrestlers, real name Saraya is the baby of a family that falls deeply into the stereotype of wrestlers and their fans as a group of gypsies. Lena Headey from ‘Game of Thrones’ plays her mother, it’s fun to see her play a character that’s probably closer to her real life personality than the Queen we all love to hate right now.

The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment is the force that brought this project to the big screen. The product of a wrestling family himself, it’s easy to understand why the Rock was drawn to this. He plays himself in the most literal way here: both as Dwayne Johnson, the amiable big guy everyone loves, and the outsized personality the Rock (and his explanation for finding the way into your wrestling character is one I’ve always loved and found accurate).

Genuinely enjoyable small flick. The film’s story doesn’t connect with WWE storylines until the last ten minutes, so you legitimately do not have to be a wrestling fan at all to enjoy this.

Recommend.