Tag Archives: Christie Brinkley

Matt Taibbi’s blistering new book is fabulous. The best ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” you’re going to see. And Billy Joel serenades Christie Brinkley (again).

Ferguson

**Just got home and am watching some of the disgusting and disturbing video of the Ferguson, Mo. police firing on peaceful protesters, arresting journalists (and tear-gassing them, above), and turning the town into a military state. What country are we living in, again?

Long, long ago there used to be a great newspaper tradition of the “muckraking journalist,” guys like Upton Sinclair and Mike Wallace who would expose corruption, fraud and the incredible double standards that exists in the law between rich and poor, black and white, etc.

Matt Taibbi is probably the best “muckraker” working today; he has written incredible stories for “Rolling Stone” and other publications for years, and his latest book, “The Divide,” has been on the New York Times bestseller list for months.

I finally got around to reading it this week, and it is sensational. It made me angry, sad, made me laugh and shake my fist, sometimes all in the same paragraph. This is a really, really important book.

Taibbi takes on several different topics in the book, including the appalling behavior of the police when dealing with minorities, immigration laws and discrimination, and the 2008 financial crisis that saw so many financial institutions commit crimes, yet no one went to jail.

What runs through every section is the incredible divide between the haves and have nots, that the same crime committed by a Hispanic man in Los Angeles will be punished differently than if it’s committed by a while middle-class professional in Chicago. The world poor people live in and rich people live in isn’t even in the same universe anymore, Taibbi argues.

Using personal stories that will shock you (the most shocking one comes at the end, involving a white musician and police brutality) and make you think, Taibbi’s reporting is terrific, and he breaks down complex financial crimes so that even non-money whizzes can understand them (his work on the Fairfax financial scam is the best part of the book).

It’s appalling how certain groups are treated in America. I knew it was bad, I knew as a white middle-class guy I had it pretty good. But this book showed me just how very far we have to go to achieve any sort of justice and equality for all.

You can buy “The Divide” here. Definitely recommend it.

 

**So this ALS Ice Bucket Challenge thing has gone viral super-fast; if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m guessing you haven’t been on the Internet this week, but a quick explanation: In a brilliant attempt to raise money and awareness of the awful disease (more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease), the ALS Association has gotten celebrities of all stripes to take the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” which consists of a person allowing another person to dump a Gatorade jug of ice and freezing cold water over their head.

Football players are doing it, actors are doing it, hell, some 9-year-old friend of my nephew’s at day camp did it too; the other part that keeps it going is that after you suffer the freezing cold, you challenge three other people to do it too.

This one I embedded above, though, has to be the coolest one yet; hockey player Paul Bissonnette on top of a mountain, getting glacier water poured on him, from a dude in a helicopter.  So great.

The ALS Foundation reports the challenge has raised more than $2 million already; if you would like to donate, please click here.

**Finally, it’s great to be Billy Joel sometimes. Last week the music icon was doing a concert at Madison Square Garden and spotted Christie Brinkley, his ex-wife and the woman about whom he wrote the song “Uptown Girl” back in the 1980s, sitting in the crowd.

So of course he then launched into “Uptown Girl” and had his video cameraman film her reaction (at the end you can see her). So, so cool.

And how the hell does Christie Brinkley still look so amazing at 60-plus?

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The SI Swimsuit issue is a relic of the past. An ode to a Latvian hockey goalie. And a funny video with balancing goats

SIswimsuitcover.2014

Just a quick and chilling reminder as I, and millions of others, enjoy the spectacle of the Olympic Games from Russia, about just what kind of country these Games are being held in: Wednesday, members of the band Pussy Riot were whipped and beaten in public while trying to hold a protest performance. Watch the video; it’s horrifying.

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue arrived in the mail on Wednesday.

And I shrugged. I’ll probably look through it in a couple of days, ogle a few of the beauties in it (Kate Upton is beyond gorgeous in my book), and then toss it aside, never to be looked at again.

It’s kind of hard to overstate how much teenage boys with raging hormones like me in the 1980s and ’90s loved and looked forward to the SI Swimsuit issue.  We had no Cinemax, no Playboy channel, no Internet porn. We had the occasional pilfered Victoria’s Secret catalog from a friend’s house, and we had the SI swimsuit issue.

My friend Andrew’s dad knew a guy who knew a guy who used to get the covers blown up into posters each year, and we thought that was the greatest thing ever, to have Elle MacPherson and Kathy Ireland staring down at you while you lay in bed.

The Swimsuit issue meant something to us, because it was a little dirty, yeah, but it was Sports Illustrated, which made it OK.

Now any kid with a modem and a free minute of time can see 47 naked women any time he wants.

It’s kind of anachronistic that SI still puts out a swimsuit issue, even one as “classic” as this year’s 50th anniversary (can’t wait to see how well Christie Brinkley and Cheryl Tiegs have aged).

The innocence has been long gone, but SI still trudges along.

0220-oly-arthur-hockey

**If you didn’t see the Canadian men’s hockey team’s 2-1 win over Latvia in the quarterfinals of the Olympic tournament in Sochi, I can understand you not caring too much about the game.

Canada is a much, much better team, they were expected to win, and they did, setting up a two-day festival of awesomeness of hockey, with America and our neighbor the north facing off Thursday for the gold medal in women’s hockey (noon on NBC), and the two nations facing off Friday at noon (on NBCSN) in the men’s semis.

But I want to write a few words about Canada’s win because of the amazing play of Latvia’s goalie.  Kristers Gudlevskis (above) is not anyone even hardcore hockey fans had heard of before Thursday, and he may never be heard from again.

But for one remarkable hockey game, he was as good as the best goalie in the world. Latvia had very little chance to win this game; they’re a tiny nation with only a handful of rinks, and it was a small miracle they even got this far.

And Canada pummeled Gudlevskis with 57 shots Thursday. Fifty-seven! That’s an enormous number. The Canadians came in waves, crashing shot after shot at Gudlevskis, but he kept stoning them and keeping the score tied at 1.

You saw Team Canada’s faces, and you saw frustration. Who in the hell was this Latvian goalie to ruin their Olympic dream?

The poor goalie was so exhausted they were giving him ice packs during stoppages of play, and he looked about ready to keel over several times. But he kept making save after save until finally, late in the third period, Canada scored to take the lead.

There are so many heroes who come out of any Olympic Games, and most of them are famous because they achieved glory.

But one of my enduring memories from Sochi is definitely going to be the little goalie for this little country, coming oh-so-close to giving Latvia their own “Miracle on Ice.”

**And finally, some mindless fun: A video of goats on a sort-of balance beam. I totally think this should be an Olympic event someday: