Tag Archives: Felicity Huffman

Thoughts, many thoughts, on this Felicity Huffman/college bribery scandal. A Maryland basketball player proposes on Senior Night. And finally, an answer to the age-old toilet paper question: over the top or under?

OK, OK, I’ll admit, my first reaction to this bizarre, huge story that broke Tuesday about the arrests of 50 people involved in a bribery and cheating scandal to help kids of celebrities and wealthy businesspeople was this:

“No, not Aunt Becky! Not Jesse’s girlfriend from “Full House!” How could she?”

But yes, it was true, Lori Loughlin, the actress from that iconic (and truly awful, if we’re honest) show from the 1980s and 90s, was one of the many, many people arrested and charged in this investigation. (Famous “Desperate Housewives” actress Felicity Huffman was also arrested).

So many thoughts, so many thoughts on this weird and disturbing story. I’ll try to make a few quick points here:

— First of all, as someone who got into college without the benefit of wealthy parents or celebrity connections, it appalls me that so many famous and/or wealthy people tried to game the system by bribing university officials, having professional test-takers take exams for their spawn, and even have testing company employees change answers on SAT/ACT tests.
Kids of celebrities, or kids of business tycoons, ALREADY have so many life advantages, and in the case of celebrities, often have colleges who would love to admit them just for publicity sake of having a famous Mom and Dad on campus. The idea that they would go to these extremes to get their already-privileged kids into Yale and USC and wherever repulses me.

— Also? It really doesn’t matter nearly as much as it used to where you go to college. You can become a brilliant success story from anywhere, as the democratization of educational choices has drastically improved odds for most people. But that said, it’s even more infuriating that college, because of cost or inherent societal/class disadvantages, is still out of reach for so many.

— Best Tweet I saw on this matter was this one, from @kalebhorton, regarding William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman’s husband, being involved in the scandal:

“Pretty crazy that William H Macy has a good shot of getting arrested for something every single William H Macy character would get arrested for.”

— Another part of this story that’s not getting a lot of play is the bribery involving parents to college coaches, often using phony athletic accomplishments. A girl ranked No. 207 in California in tennis as a kid was billed as a “Top 50” USTA junior.

“According to this story, officials say that parents looking to get their sweeties into esteemed institutions paid bribes to Singer, who then paid coaches at the given universities. Those coaches allegedly then informed the schools that the students were on their list of recruits, thereby gaining them entrance to the school. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the schools were unaware of the ruse.”
Umm, college coaches, have you heard of this thing called the Internet? Anybody who’s so good at a certain sport as these “officials” allege would have some kind of trail of their goodness on the Web.

— I hope the book gets thrown at ringmaster Singer and everyone involved. Again, wealthy and celebrity kids already have SO many advantages. So disappointing that they were getting even more of a leg up.

 

**Next up today, I have no love for the sports teams at the University of Maryland (a rival of my beloved Duke), but I have to admit this was a super cool move pulled off by men’s basketball player Ivan Bender on Senior Night.

If you’re not familiar with Senior Night in college basketball, it’s awesome. Each senior player gets introduced before (or sometimes after) the final home game of the season. Their parents or girlfriends are with them, they get a big ovation from the crowd, and it’s a whole nice little thing.

Well, this year Bender decided to make Senior Night even more memorable than usual. As his longtime girlfriend, Andrea Knezevic, walked on the court with him, Bender got down on one knee and popped the eternal question men wonder: “Why does it take so long for ladies in the bathroom?”

No seriously, he asked her to marry him, and she said yes. My favorite part of this awesome clip is how excited the Terrapin Turtle mascot is in the background. Very very cool.

I hope they get married at midcourt during a game.

**And finally today, we have resolution on an issue that has roiled friendships, ruined romantic relationships, and torn families apart. No, I’m not talking about if a hot dog is a sandwich (It most certainly is NOT, and I will fight to the death anyone who says differently).

No,  I speak, of course, about the all-important issue of the correct placement of the toilet paper roll: Have the 2-ply tissue roll over the top, or curl underneath?

In my opinion the only correct answer here is over the top: It’s easier to unfurl and rip off that way, takes less effort, and just is nicer to look at.

But not everyone agrees with me, so the debate has gone on for ever. But finally, we may have an actual “right” answer. An Australian magazine named Choice has uncovered a remarkable patent for the original toilet paper roll invention, from 1891.
And the patent, from September 15, 1891, contains a detailed graph showing the paper going up and over the roll, not under.

So there you go. Debate solved. We now can go on to studying other important world issues, like why you drive on the parkway and park on the driveway.

 

The Golden Globes entertain me once again. A crazy NFL weekend capped by Giants upset. And an update on MJ’s coach

The Golden Globes were Sunday night, and I love a good Hollywood awards show (go ahead and threaten to take away my “man card,” I don’t care.) The Globes this year weren’t all that terrific, but that didn’t stop me from having some thoughts; some nice, some not so nice.
— Ricky Gervais wasn’t anywhere near as mean as last year. But he also wasn’t that funny. He had one or two decent jokes in the monologue but nothing memorable.
— Is there a better Hollywood couple than William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman? Their intro was very cute.
— Great seeing Madonna, but her arms looked really scary.
— So happy that “Homeland” cleaned up, with Claire Danes winning best actress and the show winning best drama. I’ve said it several times before: Watch this show if at all possible.
— Harrison Ford, God bless him, looks like death warmed over.
— Reese Witherspoon (above) and Charlize Theron looked amazing.
— Seth Rogen got the biggest laugh by admitting, standing next to Kate Beckinsdale, that he was currently “hiding the biggest erection.”
— Wondering how a silent movie like “The Artist” can be nominated for best screenplay. There were no words!
— Very tough call: Which role will Morgan Freeman most be remembered for? “Driving Miss Daisy” or “Shawshank?” I say “Shawshank.”

**Wild, wild weekend in the NFL playoffs. Lots to digest, so some quick-hitting thoughts on the games from a man who was once again reminded to never, ever, ever wager money on the outcome of a football game:

— Shockingly dominant win by the Giants. Big Blue did whatever they wanted to Green Bay’s putrid defense, which isn’t as shocking. But the fact that they forced three Packers turnovers and held Aaron Rodgers basically in check was pretty stunning.
Amazing that the Giants were basically given up for dead at 7-7 in Week 15, and now are 60 minutes from the Super Bowl. It’s looking very much like 2007 all over again.
— Insanely exciting finish to 49ers-Saints Saturday night; I got home from dinner just in time to see the fourth quarter. Four TDs in a the last five minutes? And who knew Alex Smith had such clutch play in him? There should be NO hands up, since the football world had long since given up on him before this year.
— Very surprised that Baltimore struggled so much with Houston; thought that one would be a blowout. I’m not so sure the Ravens offense can keep up the the Pats’ juggernaut next week, but it should be a heck of a game.
— I don’t want to hear the name “Tim Tebow” for a while now. That’s agreed upon by all, right? He was a great story but even Tebow-lovers have to be sick of him by now.

–On a personal note, if the Giants win next week that’ll be 5 Super Bowl appearances by them in my lifetime as a Jets fan. Appearances by the Jets in my lifetime? Zero.
Yep, I definitely chose correctly back when I was 6.

**So a few days ago I linked to a great story by Sports Illustrated writer Thomas Lake on Clifton “Pop” Herring, who in the early 1980s coached Michael Jordan at Laney High School in Wilmington, N.C. It was a great story because it once and for all punctured the crazy myth that MJ was cut from his high school team. Herring, who has suffered from mental illness for years, finally was vindicated.

Yet, the same week Herring’s story was finally told to a national audience, he’s dealing with fame for a very different reason. This is bizarre, but Herring was arrested Friday after a dead body was found at a home where he was living. Herring isn’t being charged with murder, but with resisting arrest.
As of now the facts are still unclear, but it doesn’t look good for Pop.

Crazy to think that a week ago, this guy was still basically anonymous. Now he’s been in two major news stories in the span of a few days.

The cowardice of Hollywood, as seen in “Desperate Housewives.” And Florida cops love Wii bowling.

housewives

Let me say that it’s entirely possible that this is a wild overreaction by me. Sometimes things just hit you at a certain time and make you so annoyed.

However, I don’t think this is one of those things.

So I’m watching the season premiere of “Desperate Housewives” Sunday night. I know it’s a silly show with ridiculous storylines, but the writing is awesome, Eva Longoria Parker is just smoking hot (as is Teri Hatcher, still), and it entertains me.

So one of the new plot points this season is that Lynette Scavo, Felicity Huffman’s character, is pregnant with twins. Lynette has four other children with her husband Tom, and she’s somewhere in her early 40s. She and Tom have, like, no money; their pizzeria cost them a ton, and now Tom’s in school while Lynette is the only one working.

So the episode starts and Tom and Lynette are talking about the craziness of having more children. Tom (whose character has always been the weakest on the show, IMO)  tries to reassure Lynette, tells her everything is going to be fine. For most of the episode, Lynette is depressed and worried and not really at all interested in having more kids.

And yet, never, ever, ever, in the entire episode, is the subject of Lynette having an abortion even implied, hinted at, or even brought up as a topic between Lynette and Tom.

OF COURSE she’s going to have the baby, because everyone wants babies! Even if you’re in your early 40s, have four kids already, have no money and are drowning in debt, it’s still awesome to have two more kids. Yippee!

Why is abortion never even brought up? Because, my friends, it is apparently still considered such a toxic issue that no mainstream show dare go near it. My goodness, ABC might lose some advertisers, draw protests, inflame the right wing who could boycott the show.  A woman even discussing having an abortion on a show? We can’t have that. No, no, no. We must present reality only one way, and avoid offending anyone, anyone out there who may watch us.

Never mind the fact that abortion is legal in this country. Never mind the fact that Roe vs. Wade is almost four decades old. Never mind the fact that for millions of women each day, a decision on whether or not to abort a fetus is a heart-wrenching, real-life issue.

Look, I’m not sitting here advocating abortion, though I am definitely pro-choice. And I’m not saying the writers of the show are stupid for not making Lynette have one.

I just think it’s remarkably pathetic and cowardly that shows like this completely ignore this side of the discussion, and quite frankly treat the audience like morons by ignoring that elephant in the room.

This is why I laugh riotously when people are always accusing Hollywood of being “liberal.” The people in Hollywood may be liberal, but the shows? So far from it.

Anyway, this annoyed me.

*** Here’s something awesome: Apparently police in Lakeland, Fla. did a little Wii playing while performing a drug raid on a house (As my wife would say: Why does this stuff always happen in Florida?)

My favorite part of this is the sheriff trying to justify things. Brilliant.