Daily Dose: 11/8/16
It’s Election Day — the most American day in our country
All right, this long national nightmare will finally be ending soon. After a while, we’ll be able to look back on these past 600 days with all the fondness of a paper cut and wonder how we got through it all. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both cast their ballots, and across the country, lines are wrapped around every corner for people to fulfill their civic duty. There’s a certain part of me that loves this day. It’s like a dozen Super Bowls at once if you like politics, but it’s also an emotional day for far more people than just those at the top of the ticket. Here are 10 storylines to follow.
Across the pond, the Brits are dealing with an interesting case of racism with the royal family. Prince Harry’s girlfriend is black. Apparently, this is an issue for quite a few people, who seem to believe that dating a black woman is beneath him. The media over there has been offering up all sorts of coded language about the fact that them being together is a problem, and Harry has had enough. To the point that he released an official letter from the palace, basically telling everyone to screw off and leave him alone. Good for him. ABC News reports.
I thought I had found the best mannequin challenge yet, but I’m told I might be wrong. The homey Aaron Dodson hipped me to this one that features an R. Kelly type scenario unfolding in a bedroom. Overall, though, this trend has completely taken over the country, and you can find a mannequin challenge anywhere from a classroom to a corporate boardroom, which is just odd, on a couple different levels. Some are good, most are decent. Viceland‘s Desus and Mero discuss just how far this trend has gone.
Wisconsin’s football team has had enough. The Badgers are the latest squad to take to social media to air their thoughts regarding racial issues on campus. If you missed it, someone attended a game dressed in a Barack Obama costume with a noose around their neck over Halloween weekend, which while an extreme case makes a larger point about how black players are treated on campus, as they see it. Wisconsin basketball player Nigel Hayes also let his voice be heard on the matter. ESPN’s Jesse Temple reports.
Coffee Break: While you’re turning out to turn up when it comes to voting, don’t forget that in some places taking pictures of yourself or your vote at the polls is a violation. You know who didn’t know that? Donald Trump’s own son, who voted in New York.
Snack Time: The How I Built This podcast from NPR is an interesting one, and this week, they got L.A. Reid to talk about how he constructed his massive music empire. It’s a fascinating listen from a guy who knows the game well.
Dessert: Smart move, Orlando. This is as classy as it gets.
Kevin Garnett wants you to get out and vote
But his camera skills need some work
Tuesday is Election Day, so folks of all sorts are encouraging their followers and fans to head out to the ballots and exercise their constitutional rights. It’s not a particularly long message, but it’s good to hear from the former NBA star and future Hall of Famer.
But what’s up with this camera angle? Clearly, my man was alone filming this on his own, because the sideways look is almost worse than a vertically aligned video that should be horizontal. He does curse once, which is understandable considering our political climate these days, but there’s one particularly funny thing that happens at the end.
“Stand for something, aight? Salute.” Cool, makes sense, right? Well, except if you look at it closely, it appears that he is sitting down. Unless Garnett has elevated his Bentley so high that the grill itself is at eye level, with a nearly 7-foot tall man. Also, if you look at the reflection of his glasses, it looks like the view of a kid getting ready to knock on the door for Halloween treats.
All jokes aside, it’s a good message. Down-ticket races, too.
You can shut down the #MannequinChallenge
This family pulled one off that is legendary
11:35 AMIf you’re not familiar with the #MannequinChallenge, what’s wrong with you?
For the past two weeks, droves of people have been executing the social media video feat, which basically involves a large group of people posing like, well, mannequins, while a person goes through the crowd filming everyone in their still poses. At its best, it’s an artistic composition that shows incredible stage blocking skills and creativity. At its worst, it’s a well-planned group activity that one person can ruin by either not knowing what’s happening around them or by not being able to hold their look. Either way, it’s way better than Ice Bucket Challenges or flash mob so-called Harlem Shakes.
They are literally everywhere. The New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys did some pretty memorable ones. These things lend themselves well to sports teams from the high school level on up, because No. 1, presumably people are athletic enough to do the task, and you typically have an environment in which a lot of random people come together to make a funny scene. This also works well on movie sets and the like, yet we digress. Pretty soon, entire music videos will be using this. The only real requirement, obviously, is that Rae Sremmurd and Gucci Mane’s Black Beatles be playing in the background. Sidebar: They pulled off their own fantastic version of the stunt, themselves. It started here, by the way.
Some of the better ones are truly glorious. This pingpong one comes to mind. But there is one that bested them all, and it’s not even close. Check this out. And watch to the end.
At first, this appears to be relatively bland. A dad/uncle/father figure on the couch, chilling, watching the game. No one’s around, so he’s lounging. Alas, down the hall, are his badass kids and whoever else they have over. The next 90 seconds are pure cinematic genius. Taking the medium to new heights, the video goes through a series of scene changes, while sticking to the mannequin poses. Beyond that marvel of direction is the actual storyline itself.
As he hears the kids wilding in the other room, he heads down the hall. But by the time he arrives, the children (hearing his footsteps, whooping belt by his side) have managed to all get back under the covers. This is a move that all of us, while staying at our cousins’ house, know so well. A whole lot of “quit playing” and/or “stop making all that damn noise” is met with a physical encounter with an authority figure. At which point, to avoid recrimination, it’s a team effort to show any semblance of order. Once victory is achieved, taunting behind the back of said opponent is a must.
All of that family ritual is perfectly captured in this sequence. This video deserves an Oscar.
ComplexCon excels in first year
Inaugural event brings together art, fashion, music, food and education
#ComplexCon is a real life twitter
— YoungKing (@Malique4k) November 7, 2016
When Pharrell Williams and Complex announced in May that they were launching ComplexCon, nobody was really sure what to expect. Of course, the superproducer and media site both hold separate and important places in society, but with the massive expansion of “cons” (conferences) in the past 10 years in other realms of culture, who knew what to expect. Done in conjunction with Williams‘ creative outlet “i am OTHER,” the two-day event in Long Beach, California, from all appearances, appeared to be a rousing success. They did it by sticking to their strengths in creating what Marc Ecko called an “intellectual discovery event,”described as Art Basel meets Bonnaroo.
Snoop Dogg headlined in his hometown, Skrillex performed and Kid Cudi made a triumphant return to the stage after checking himself into a mental health treatment facility and dealing with Drake’s low blows. The hypebeasts were out in full force to support their patron media saints’ inaugural affair.
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And there were sneakers upon sneakers upon sneakers. Speaking of Long Beach, their new prince Vince Staples also stopped in to do some shopping for kicks while he was there. Note the plastic-wrapped sneaks, which is just perfect.
It wasn’t all just fresh fashion and banger performances, the panels included a discussion about the future of our schools (which featured Pusha T and Jesse Williams) as well as a talk about the growing business of legal marijuana (featuring, unsurprisingly, Wiz Khalifa and Action Bronson, among others). WWE wasn’t left out, either. The ever-present generation gap in rap was up for debate, too.
Overall, this event was all over the TL with the aforementioned events, art installations, #MannequinChallenge feats and otherwise tremendous fanperson moments. With an historic election coming up Tuesday, it was the perfect antidote to the craziness of campaign season.
Daily Dose: 11/7/16
Janet Reno dies after battle with Parkinson’s
10:30 AMIf you didn’t get a chance to tune in on Friday to Highly Questionable, you missed a fun one. If you want the audio podcast, check it out here. Also, Miami is always a solid business trip, as Domonique would say.
A day before a momentous election, we have sad news from the executive branch. Janet Reno, the former U.S. attorney general who was appointed by former President Bill Clinton, died Monday morning. You might remember that she battled Parkinson’s disease for a long time, something that she revealed publicly while she was still in office. She was the first woman to ever serve in the position and her tenure featured a doozy of 1990s legal scandals, including Elian Gonzales, the Branch Davidian compound and Monica Lewinsky. She was 78.
There’s something especially troubling about people being shot and killed at funerals. But that’s what happened in Chicago over the weekend, at the hands of an off-duty police officer, no less. This story has all the trappings of the usual. An official in an unmarked car allegedly does something provocative. When called on it, the person indicates he or she is legally carrying. Things escalate, and a black person dies. All of this during a funeral procession. ABC News has the details on the latest shooting to produce demonstrations. Meanwhile, by the way.
If Hillary Clinton loses the presidential election, many people will blame James Comey. The FBI director who came out of pocket with a reckless letter indicating that maybe his organization might be reopening an investigation in to the Democratic presidential nominee’s emails, creating a real panic nationally. Then, he backtracked, offered up an awful “my bad” and basically made everyone extremely uncomfortable, very unnecessarily. FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver wonders: How much damage did Comey actually do?
For Brandon Marshall, things are getting better. The Denver Broncos linebacker who decided to start taking a knee during the national anthem before NFL games has decided that he’ll no longer be doing such, citing improvements, as he sees it. Marshall isn’t bugging; he’s not saying the problem is solved. He’s saying that in the time since he started his protest, he’s had meaningful conversations with Denver police that have allowed him to feel good about where things are headed. ESPN’s Jeff Legwold reports.
Coffee Break: Last weekend, in things people said that we wish they hadn’t, Dave Chappelle made some very unexpected criticisms of Hillary Clinton, which, as we see it, puts a major dent in the momentum he’d built up following the announcement that he’s hosting Saturday Night Live next week, with A Tribe Called Quest as the musical guest.
Snack Time: I haven’t watched The Simpsons in years, but it just got extended for another two seasons, pushing the total to 30. Thirty years is a record for a scripted television program, never mind one that’s animated.
Dessert: If you’re voting Tuesday, you might want to read this. What your ballot looks like matters.
Daily Dose: 11/4/16
Sorry, folks. You can’t bet on the election
10:30 AMHey, don’t forget. 4:30 p.m. EST today, Domonique Foxworth and I will be talking trash on ESPN2 with Papi as co-hosts of Highly Questionable. I’m expecting a fun ride, plus I got to go to the beach this morning, so I’m happy.
A sex scandal has roiled Oakland, California’s police department over the past few months. The short version is that a multitude of officers were sexually exploiting a teenage prostitute and most certainly using their positions with the force as part of said criminal activity. One officer killed himself last year after revealing his involvement with the girl. As the story goes, officers were basically trading undercover bust info for sex, among other things. ABC News reports that California prosecutors are expected to announce results of their probe Friday.
It’s been a rough year for Samsung. First, the company’s Galaxy 7 phone was recalled en masse because it was simply blowing up for no apparent reason, which is pretty much the scariest possible proposition for any handheld device, save it sucking your soul from the inside out while you use it, which it arguably may be doing anyway. That aside, Samsung is recalling nearly 3 million washing machines, and I’ll bet you can guess why. Yes, they’re exploding. These stories of the tops blowing clean off these machines are actually pretty scary.
Most people presume that you can bet on anything in Vegas. Alas, that’s not true. You can bet on sports of all types. You want to lay down some cash on a sporting event? Sure. But all those crazy prop bets you hear about regarding all sorts of wild events aren’t really real anymore. Which is too bad. It seems like betting on the presidential race would be a great way for sportsbooks to make cash. And strangely, somehow, important to our democracy. FiveThirtyEight’s David McIntire explains why sports are the only things moving lines in Nevada.
There are all sorts of theories as to why ratings are down in the NFL. There are people who legit believe that Colin Kaepernick of all people is somehow turning viewers away because of his kneeling protest (something that was never on TV before, BTW, so why people would miss it makes no sense). Others think that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are sucking up all the airspace. Others say that too many games are to blame. But Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has a more basic theory. The league ain’t fun and, thus, the games don’t entertain.
Coffee Break: Hamilton’s soundtrack went double platinum for the Broadway musical, and with Lin-Manuel Miranda stepping away from the production, there’s now room for him to do a lot more with the product. One such thing is a new mixtape based on the play, WHICH LOOKS FIRE.
Snack Time: Apparently, the fallout from that Beyoncé appearance on the CMAs went even more poorly than we thought. Turns out that they ended up scrubbing a whole lot of her from the show’s website as a result. What a mess.
Dessert: Tinashe dropped a new mixtape for your weekend. Check it out after you pick apples with bae.
Daily Dose: 11/3/16
Beyoncé shuts down the CMAs with the Dixie Chicks
2:00 PMWhat are you up to Friday afternoon? Nothing? Great. Then tune in to ESPN2 at 4:30 p.m. EST. Domonique Foxworth and I will be hosting Highly Questionable tomorrow. Yes, Papi will be there, too. Tune in!
When a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard runs for office in 2016, problems will arise when he speaks in public. That’s exactly what went down Wednesday night in New Orleans where David Duke showed up at Dillard University for a Senate debate. Mind you, it’s an HBCU. The protests turned quasi-violent, with demonstrators trying to push their way into the event hall past police. Why? Because the broadcaster decided that having people in the crowd at all was a bad idea. It didn’t go well for Duke, to say the least. ABC News reports on the bizarre night in Louisiana.
Don’t ever try to tell me that the Dixie Chicks don’t keep it real. Remember back when lead singer Natalie Maines had the guts to stand onstage and tell the country music world in 2003 that then-President George W. Bush invading Iraq was a terrible idea? Well, it got the group blackballed from the industry to an extent. So, on Wednesday night, when they were invited to sing Daddy Lessons with Beyoncé at the 50th anniversary of the Country Music Awards, people lost their minds. Lucky for you, Beyoncé dropped a CDQ on SoundCloud of the collaboration. ABC News details the fun.
Dave Chappelle once told a very funny joke about voting. The basic premise was that white guys will tell you anything about their personal lives, up to and including lewd acts, but will never reveal who they plan on supporting on the ballot. So, when you hear all these people talking about how undecided they are, it’s really just a dodge to see what someone else is going to say and basically deflect. Point is, in this presidential race in particular, most people have known who they plan to vote for. FiveThirtyEight’s Dan Hopkins explains that those choices haven’t changed.
Josh Huff is a wide receiver for the Eagles. Not exactly a star, he’s not the kind of player you care about a lot unless you have him in a fantasy league or root for his team. He was pulled over this week with a gun in his car. Alas, the gun is licensed in Texas, where he’s from, not New Jersey, where he lives. It’s been a marginal distraction for the team this week, but in explaining his situation, Huff made a rather interesting observation. He basically said, if you think most athletes don’t carry guns, you’re wrong. Then he took a swipe at former NBA star Gilbert Arenas. ESPN reports.
Coffee Break: If you haven’t caught up on all of FX’s Atlanta, you absolutely need to, fam. I can’t even explain how much I love this program. The writing, the characters, the somewhat faux reality in the context of surrealism, the dialogue, all of it. But perhaps most important is the music. The finale ends on a legitimately perfect note. Watch it.
Snack Time: Some people have a hard time understanding how a large social media presence can lead directly to making money for individuals. Well, if Instagram develops its shopping feature the way it wants, you’ll get it then.
Dessert: If you smoke e-cigarettes, you might want to be careful. They can basically explode at any time, fam.