Tag Archives: Justin Bieber

A beautiful essay about the pain and joy of parenting. Justin Bieber’s music saves a man from a bear attack. And the scourge of “native advertising” skewered by John Oliver

There is so much beautiful heartfelt writing about parenthood that I’ve been reading lately that I feel like I could link to a different great piece every day.
My wife pointed out this one to me the other day and I thought it was painfully honest and excellently written, with heart and a little humor.

It’s from a blog called “Coffee + Crumbs,” billed as a “collaborative blog about motherhood,” and it’s by a woman named N’tima Preusser. She talks movingly about how difficult the first weeks and months of parenting can be, cutting through all the happy talk to describe what it could really be like if you have a difficult baby.

Here’s an excerpt:

The love you will feel is nothing like you have felt before. It will be foreign and familiar all at once. It will fill you to the very top of your heart, nearly spilling over. The thing about this kind of love, though, is that it can feel heavy. Disproportional. You may feel like you will nearly break in half from the top-heaviness. You will not be able to tell the difference between exhaustion and depression, and that darkness will rob you from what should be the most tender months of your daughter’s new life. 

Your baby will cry, a lot. Your days will both begin and end with the saddest screams you will ever hear. Your body will respond the way that it is programmed to – with panic. You will google everything from “dissecting baby poo” to “newborn who hates life.” And you will come up short. You will always come up short.

Your baby will only sleep in ten minute increments.
In a plastic rocking chair. (Don’t buy a plastic rocking chair.)
In the bathroom.
With the bath water running. 

You will feel like you are going mad, day after day, alone in that bathroom. Between the sound of the water running and her screams, you may feel like your nerve endings will be permanently frayed. 

At the endless ER trips that you take you will be written off as “The Paranoid New Mom.” (Press on.) They will give you pamphlets on “Colic,” and that just will not cut it. For awhile, nursing will be excruciating, and your baby will fight it, hard. Contrary to the laws of nature, Anabel will not come out knowing how to siphon milk from your body. Also, panic will flood your body when your milk lets down the majority of the time. Yes, breastfeeding induced anxiety attacks are a thing, and it will happen to you. (Hormones are jerks.)

Did I mention how depleted you will feel? 

And then toward the end, the essay takes a turn:

Though you may never have parenthood all figured out, there will be a day when you will find a way to wrap that love around yourself, instead of being buried in it. 

And though it is hard to believe, one day you will have a vivacious, smart, and unbelievably happy little girl. A girl that absolutely adores the world. And you will have clean hair, and time to make breakfast for yourself in the morning. 

You will.

I highly recommend reading the whole thing.

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**Next up, a story I think all people around the world can appreciate: How Justin Bieber’s music saved a man’s life.

Check out this story: A Russian fisherman was walking in the woods and was suddenly attacked by a bear and pretty much torn limb from limb.
He most likely would’ve been killed in a manner of seconds, until his cell phone rang, and the ringtone was The Beeb’s “Baby Baby Baby,” a tune that was put on the Russian man’s phone by his granddaughter, he claimed (yeah, sure!).

The bear was so scared it let go of the man and scampered away, leaving him looking like this (above) but still alive.

Justin Bieber, life-saver! Or, you know, this story is proof that even savage, attacking animals are repelled by his songs.

**And finally, John Oliver tackled a subject near and dear to my heart as an ex-journalist: Native Advertising, i.e., the scourge and increasing frequency of major newspapers allowing “paid content” to masquerade as news stories, hardly indistinguishable in look from actual newspaper stories. (Here’s a particularly noxious example)
It’s disgraceful and awful and sadly apparently necessary for newspapers’ survival, and completely blurs the line between news and advertising. Happily, John Oliver bitingly digs into it.

 

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Andrew Cuomo, I had such high hopes for you, but this scandal may bring you down. Seinfeld and Stewart getting coffee, hilariously. And Bieber can prevent cancer! (sorta)

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Two quick notes: One, I’m sorry the pace of blogging has slowed down a bit in recent weeks; I’m dealing with a pretty irritating thumb/hand injury thing that makes it painful to type. I’m trying to get rid of it through physical therapy but so far, not much progress (I just started so I’m not blaming Pat, my cool therapist dude). And two, I have many, many, thoughts about the Israel-Hamas ongoing carnage, but they’re nowhere near organized enough to turn into a coherent post. Still, I wanted to link to what I thought was a remarkable essay from a journalist in Israel named David Horovitz, about the price, in morality and lives, both sides are paying right now.

OK, on with the show…

I try not to put too much faith in politicians anymore. I’ve been burned many times before; as Billy Bob Thornton says in the brilliant and underrated movie “Primary Colors,” I too easy come down with a case of TB (True Believerism).

Bill Clinton disappointed me time and time again. Lord knows the hours and effort I put into John Edwards’ presidential hopes only led to heartbreak. And Barack Obama, as much as I still support and appreciate having him as President, has also made me angry/sad/frustrated quite a few times over the past 5 1/2 years.

But still, I can’t help myself. I start to believe that another politician might have the goods, the goods to deliver what I’ve always wanted in a President. A couple years ago, I started to think Andrew Cuomo might be that guy. Socially liberal, forceful leader, able to forge consensus on some issues, a little too conservative financially for my taste but a man who seemed to be Presidential timber to me.

I was happy he was elected Governor in 2010 of my home state, think he’s done a pretty good job overall so far, and I believe him to be one of a handful of Dems who I’m hoping and praying derails the Hillary coronation of 2016 (or at least, gives her a fight for the nomination.)

Yep, Cuomo was my guy… which made it inevitable that this would happen. On Wednesday the N.Y. Times unleashed a stunning and wholly damning article that found that Cuomo and his office worked hard to derail the work of an ethics commission Cuomo himself set up to investigate corruption in N.Y. state government, once that commission started looking into the Gov’s friends and allies.

It’s a piece of fantastic investigative work by the Times, painting Cuomo in an awful light, and will likely severely damage his 2016 hopes.
Sigh. I’ll fall in love with someone else soon, I’m sure.

**Next up, haven’t linked to an episode of Jerry Seinfeld’s great web show in a while, but this episode with Jon Stewart is just fantastic. Enjoy…

 

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**And finally, I present this without (too much) comment: Scientists believe that Justin Bieber’s original bangs haircut can help prevent skin cancer, if other boys wear their hair the same way.

Justin Bieber, you are the Dr. Jonas Salk of our time, my man. God bless you!

“42” a terrific movie, even though it’s simplistic. Justin Bieber makes another idiotic comment. And “The Daily Show” nails the NCAA

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Sometimes everything you read about a movie before you see it is wrong, and you have a totally different opinion than most critics (this happened when I saw “Trainspotting,” which everyone seemed to love but I thought was awful.)
Other times I come out of the theater going, “Yep, the critics nailed that one.”

The latter feeling hit me as I walked out of the new Jackie Robinson biopic “42” on Sunday afternoon.
Going in, the consensus seemed to be: good, rousing movie, but way too simplistic and broad, with very little nuance or deeper explanation of all that Jackie Robinson and Dodgers GM Branch Rickey went through in 1947, as they fought to integrate baseball.

The movie was good, really good. Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey was a whole lot of fun, Chadwick Boseman looked great as Jackie, and the supporting characters (I particularly loved “Scrubs” John C. McGinley, aka Dr. Cox, playing legendary broadcaster Red Barber) were all superb.

And if you had never heard of Jackie Robinson or knew just the outlines of his legendary story, you would have been perfectly happy with this Disney-fied, clear-cut black and white version of the story.

But for those of us who know a lot more about the Robinson story, a whole lot more could’ve been explored in this film. If only Spike Lee could’ve directed it (He tried for years to get a Robinson film made, but couldn’t get the funding).

For one thing, the movie shows ballplayers as only either “good” or “evil,” but none of the conflicted feelings of Dodgers teammates like Dixie Walker.
We also never saw Robinson’s struggles in day to day life in 1947; going into restaurants, hotels and on trains with his Dodgers teammates. The movie could’ve used a whole lot more of that.

I also found their depiction of Branch Rickey as moral saint to be a little over the top (frankly, I was surprised at how much Rickey was in the movie; I”m guessing once Harrison Ford got attached to the project they made Rickey the focal point, but he was in more scenes than Robinson was).

Still, I’m picking nits a little. It’s incredibly important that the Robinson story lives on and gets re-told; it was pathetic when a poll of baseball players in the 1980s found many of them had never heard of the Dodgers’ No. 42.

If there’s only going to be one Jackie Robinson movie told for future generations to watch, this movie is a worthy choice to continue that legend.

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I always love it when non-sports magazines or TV shows take a look at the NCAA and realize how ridiculous it is, in so many ways.
“The Daily Show” did a hilarious piece on the NCAA’s recent decision to bar University of Minnesota wrestler Joel Bauman from competing after a rap video he made showed up on YouTube.
Watch Jon Stewart and Co.’s knife go in slowly here.

**So I guess I’m not too surprised that a kid who’s been obscenely famous, an be worshipped by millions, for the past five years would be as clueless and disgustingly insensitive as Justin Bieber keeps showing himself to be.
The boy’s head has been filled with people telling him how awesome and wonderful he is, so I guess you can’t expect him to have too much perspective on the world and life.

But even though I usually cut him some slack, what he did on Friday while visiting the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam was beyond the pale.
Bieber was on tour there and he decided to visit the museum and learn all about the famous 1940s child who hid for two years in an attic before the Nazis found her and her family in 1944; she then died in a concentration camp in 1945.

After visiting the museum with his bodyguards, this is what Mr. Bieber wrote in the guestbook:

“Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a Belieber.”

Yes Justin, if only Anne Frank had survived the concentration camp and the two years of hiding in fear of her life, she could’ve enjoyed the sweet sounds of “Baby, Baby, Baby.”

I know, I know; who cares what Bieber says, he’s just a stupid famous singer. But it bothers me how completely detached from any reality this guy is.

Some thoughts on the AMA’s from a confused, out-of-touch fan. The Jets look like a real football team! And a Twinkie commercial from the ’70s

I know almost nothing about current music.
I follow it very little, and most of what I learn is from my fiancee, who has introduced me to cool bands like Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers, and my friend Bill Werde on Twitter (he runs Billboard magazine), who at least teaches me one or two things a week.

Still, I’m really naive and uninformed when it comes to current tunes. Yet, I have fond childhood memories of the American Music Awards, watching Paula Abdul (my all-time No. 1 childhood celebrity crush), Boyz II Men, and Guns N’ Roses perform.

So I watched a little of Sunday night’s show, and herewith, my snap judgments:

— Was Justin Bieber trying to look like Vanilla Ice Sunday, or was that just a happy accident? I get that he’s trying to be like Usher but man, he looked kinda silly in the backwards hat. And stop grabbing your crotch so much, son. Only Michael Jackson looked cool doing that.

— I thought Pink and her whole “performance art” thing was pretty cool, and the song “Try” is definitely one of the best on her new album.
–Really, Carly Rae Jepson gets “Best New Artist?” For her one song? Somewhere, even Milli Vanilli are laughing.
–Gwen Stefani still looks amazing, and her voice was as good as ever. Always happy to see her perform.
— Whereas Nikki Minaj makes Lady Gaga look like a shy, reserved wallflower.
— Finally, the AMA’s made me miss Dick Clark, who founded them. Great to see Stevie Wonder do a little tribute to the man who was so influential in music history.

**The New York Jets looked like a real football team Sunday, and that was only about the fourth-most surprising thing that happened on a crazy-exciting day in the NFL.
Proves you never can tell what you’re going to get in this league: At 1 p.m. it looked like a pretty bad slate of games, and yet at 3:55 p.m. I had my head on a swivel at the sports bar, watching three games go into overtime.
First, a few words on my Jets. It’d been 35 long days since they’d won. And thankfully, they were playing St. Louis, who isn’t very good, either.

But there were lots of good things for the green and white Sunday: Mark Sanchez played mistake-free, efficient football, they ran the ball well, and the defense, after the opening drive, was outstanding.
I still expect Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum to get canned after the season, and for the team to finish 5-11, but it was nice to see the Jets actually play a complete game for once.

Elsewhere in the NFL…

— Insane shootout between Jacksonville and Houston. Andre Johnson, you are an incredible football player. 273 receiving yards and the game-winning TD in OT? Beautiful. But that Texans defense ought to be ashamed, giving up 37 points to Chad Henne.
— Everyone in the bar was rooting like hell for Cleveland to knock off the Cowboys, and they almost did it before falling in OT. “Almost” is a word Browns fans have heard for a long time, but they really killed themselves with penalties in the fourth quarter.
— If I’m an Atlanta Falcons fan, I’d be really nervous right now.
— So glad the Steelers again wore the ugliest uniforms in the history of the world Sunday night (above).
— Finally, not NFL but a college football thought: So Kansas State and Oregon lost, and now Notre Dame and one-loss Alabama are the top 2 teams. Once again,   if someone can explain to me why one-loss ‘Bama is more deserving of a national title shot than one-loss Oregon, I’m all ears. College football is such a mess when it comes to determining a champion.

**Finally today, as you surely have heard by now, Hostess is going out of business, and the world will no longer get to enjoy the delicious goodness that are Twinkies.
It’s hilarious that people are buying up boxes of Twinkies and selling them on eBay, like they’re a real collector’s item.
Saw this commercial on the Web this weekend and made me want one more. Just one more, though, because as a grown-up I realize how gross they are.

Obama gets his mojo back in the debate. A haunting “Moth” story from the West Memphis 3. And a sick 4-year-old tries to meet Justin Bieber

Well hot damn and pass the popcorn, that was a hell of a lot better, Mr. President.

In Debate No. 2 of the presidential debate trilogy of ’12, both candidates actually showed up this time. And Barack Obama kicked some serious tushy. The President was feisty, he was aggressive, challenging Mitt Romney on so many lies and changes from his stated positions.
I thought Romney was aggressive too, and pushy, and interrupting of Candy Crowley and the President, and to me, while the Libya stuff (above) was clearly hugely important and a big blow to Romney, two other moments stood out even more:

1. When Romney interrupted Obama and said “You’ll get your chance in a moment, I’m still speaking,” it spoke volumes to the kind of bully Mitt Romney is. I really thought the two might come to blows during that exchange; (watch it here; Romney speaks the line I’m talking about at 1:40.) I really thought they might come to blows about 15 minutes in, and sadly, it’s big for Obama with white male voters that he stood up to Romney like that.

2. The other big moment I thought was very early in the debate, when Obama called out Romney’s economic numbers and said the math didn’t add up. (When Candy Crowley, who I thought did a pretty good job as moderator, asked about the numbers, Romney dismissed her, saying “Of course the numbers add up!”) It was exceedingly important for Obama to stand up and call Romney out on his lies.

Other quick takeaways:
— I thought Romney had a great shot to humanize himself at the end with that softball question about “what’s the biggest misperception about you?” and turned it into an attack on Obama.
— Man, I cringed when Obama talked about W., and basically praised him for not being as far right as Romney. Still too soon for me to think any positive thoughts, at all, about W.
— Great to see a gun control question get asked (but of course still nothing on climate change, or stem cell research). But as usual, both Romney and Obama wimped out. Politicians are so disgustingly afraid of the NRA and gun owners, it’s sad.

I have no idea if Obama will get a big poll bounce after this, but he did all he could do to erase the stench of the first debate. Tonight, I was proud to have voted for him and supported him.

**Every once in a while a story from “The Moth” radio podcast I listen to moves me so much I want to share it here.
Damien Echols is a member of the infamous “West Memphis 3,” the three teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of a 1993 murder, Echols was sentenced to death, but was released from jail in 2011 when new evidence finally cleared the men.

Echols, who has a new book out now, told his story at “The Moth” recently, and it was incredibly powerful. Listen to it here. or on iTunes.

**Finally, I thought this was pretty cool. A school in Wisconsin is trying to help a 4-year-old girl named Hailey Charlotte Roser, who is sick with a rare brain tumor, meet Justin Bieber when he comes to Milwaukee for a concer this weekend. So they made this very cool video to one of Bieber’s songs.

I hope someone shows this to Bieber and he makes this girl’s life just a tiny bit happier.