Sunday, May 09, 2010

Lena Horne: ageless and seemingly immortal wonder passes

RIP Lena Horne. There are people and then there's Lena Horne. A major part of the Zeitgeist, Lena Horne is an actress that to this blogger seemed ageless and superhuman. A National Treasure.

The Washington Post's Adam Bernstein wrote that Lena Horne was the first black actress studios had to take seriously beyond her race. Well, the reason was simple: Lena Horne was so beautiful anyone who dared exclude her because she was black was considered psychotic. Lena Horne was the gold standard of beauty when I was growing up.

The very idea that Ms. Horne is no longer with us is so shocking I could not blog about it when I saw the news.

To understand why you have to see Lena Horne. This is Lena Horne singing "Stormy Weather":

This is Lena Horne singing "You'd Better Love Me" in 1967:

Lena Horne ushered in the era of what Harold Cruse would derisively call the "Black Bourgeoisie" in the classic The Crisis of The Negro Intellectual, and I point to because I long disliked that Cruse essentially sent a message that blacks should not want to pursue the American Dream.  

That was the 1960s: a time not just of civil rights breakthroughs, but of many questions of what it was to be black.  It formed the idea I have today: that being black is not what others say I should be or should do, but what I say I should be or should do as a person.  You have to deal with me, not the other way around.

Lena Horne's existence was a guide for me.

Lena Horne was the American Dream as reality. A perfect counterpoint to Cruse's claim that it "did nothing for the economic development" of blacks.

Lena Horne opened doors just by being Lena. Lena Horne made it OK for people like me to be who we are today.

Lena Horne appeared on Rosie O'Donnell's show in 1997, and to talk about helping entertainers who were in ill health, the singing legends she knew, and her 80th birthday bash.

God bless Lena Horne.

Elena Kagan: Obama's safe yet daring Supreme Court pick

Elena Kagan 
Near the end of Mother's Day, it was announced that Elena Kagan, currently the Solicitor General of The United States under President Barack Obama, and Professor of Harvard Law School (on leave), and Dean of same is now Obama's pick to be Supreme Couty justice, replacing the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

Elena Kagan, who would be the third woman on the Supreme Court of The United States if confirmed, and the fourth in history, is also only the second solicitor general to be named to such post after the legendary Justice Thurgood Marshall. Kagan, is a safe pick and yet daring at the same time because Kagan has no bench experience yet is widely regarded as a brilliant legal mind who has argued cases before the Supreme Court.

Kagan is a choice right for this time in Obama's Presidency: in the middle of a hot mid-term election season made all the hotter by economic, ethnic and racial tensions, Obama could not afford another controversy to deal with. Kagan gives her opponents little to attack that would not make them sound sexist or homophobic in the process. Have doubts, let's look at the attacks that have already been issued as evidence.

Michael Roston at True/Slant points to Kagan's status of not having children as a liability:

Certainly there is no requirement that every Justice sitting on the court be a parent. But on a powerful body full of fathers, is it too much to ask that we have one mother as a member of the Supreme Court?

Roston goes on to charge that Kagan can't really understand a case from a mother's point of view because she's not a mother. But nowhere in his blog post does he mention that it's equally important for a someone to be able to understand the plight of women who for various reasons aren't able to have kids.

While I'm the last person to take away the value of motherhood, the reality is that it's not a viable choice for a growing number of women at certain stages of their lives. But even with that, the status of "single woman, no kids" is looked at as if it were some kind of crime, when it's not.

Any Republican attacking Kagan on that basis would immediately feel the impact of the loss of the "single woman, no kids" vote come November. Especially if that groups was angered enough to come out and vote against the GOP politician foolish enough to attack Kagan and them.

Also, Kagan has no record of opinions, which means there's nothing that can be used against her. That's dramatically different that the situation with Justice Sonya Sotomayor, who's statements in past cases were used to gin up White Male anger during her Senate hearings.

Kagan has no such problem.

There's also a rumor that Kagan may be Lesbian. My goodness, I hope she is. While it should not be an issue, it would give the Supreme Court an appropriate diversity of thought that would carry America well into the 21st Century.

Sandra Bullock: Happy Mother's Day!

A quick "Happy Mother's Day" to the great actress Sandra Bullock, and yes this should have been done before Mother's Day, but there's no time like the present.

Sandra Bullock has been through a lot this 2010 - from the high of an Oscar win for her role in The Blind Side to the low of the very public problems with her marriage - and deserves to enjoy and be feted for her new status of "Mom."

For those of you living under a rock, Sandra Bullock adopted a lovely baby boy Louis Brado Bullock, now three-months-old, and after a process that started four years ago with her husband Jesse James.

Now, Sandra Bullock and Jesse James are no longer a couple, they're divorcing.  Jesse James was exposed as cheating on Bullock with four and perhaps as many as five women.  Both have agreed to dissolve their marriage.

Sandra's announced she's going to raise baby Louis as a single mother in New Orleans, moving out of California.

The best of luck to Sandra and Baby Louis!

Dallas Braden gets 2nd Oakland A's perfect game in 42 years (video)

Dallas Braden 
The Oakland Athletics Dallas Braden became the 14th player in Oakland A's history to throw a no-hitter or a perfect game, and just the second A's player to pitch a perfect game - the other being Catfish Hunter in 1968.

Braden led the A's to a 4-0 win against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in Oakland on Mother's Day.

Now lost in all the celebration is what a "perfect game" in baseball is. It's not a "no-hitter"; it's beyond that. It's a game where no player from the opposing team gains a hit or gets on base in any way, even by a walk or a hit batter.

Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.

Here's the video:

That's what Dallas Braden did today. Braden's the first Oakland A's pitcher to throw a perfect game in 42 years. That's incredible.

Much has been made of Braden's feud with The New York Yankees' Alex Rodriquez, who's behavior has been rather salty since he was dumped by Kate Hudson after she learned A-Rod was allegedly cheating on her.

When the Oakland A's last played the New York Yankees, A-Rod crossed the mound that was manned by Dallas Braden. Braden took offense to the action and said that A-Rod did not understand baseball etiquette and their "would be repercussions" if he did it again, as this video shows:

The Yankees and A's face again July 5th, 6th, and 7th, in Oakland. Oaklander's, let's make those games sellouts!

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell protects NFL Brand - Draftnik

Protecting the Shield ?
By Ralph Garcia-Sr. Writer Southeast Region-Football Reporters Online
It’s 2010 and the new sheriff in town has made it clear that if you embarrass the shield you pay. He showed that if you do wrong, you will pay, even if the laws of the land don’t make you pay. We have seen so many examples like Pacman Jones to Ben Rothlisberger. It is a good thing that the NFL has a man in charge that wants to keep the integrity and respect of the game. The problem is we still don’t understand the lines that can be crossed.

When the Tennessee Titans used the number six pick to take Pacman back then, fans sighed from the point of the pick. Some asked why him instead of another DB. The question of course was his character at the time. Turns out that Tennessee made a bad pick and now Jones is sending text messages to coach Schwartz to let him know he is willing to play in Detroit. No kidding Adam?

The Cincinnati Bengals have been known to take players in question. It has become a feeding ground for writers of all likes that want a story in between stories. Chad Ochocinco has given plenty of food for thought through the years. No matter the story we will cover it so long as it is a story.

We have seen plenty of instances in all sports that have made us wonder what the hell is going on. What will it take before some owner or organization puts integrity for the sport first instead of just money. Now these incidents are happening. No longer, thanks to technology, will you be able to hide what is really happening.

There are two stories that moved me to this article. The first one is the drafting of Myron Rolle by Tennessee. There were the likes of Tony Dungy questioning his commitment to the Tampa Bay Bucs asking him why he abandoned his teammates at Florida State to get a Rhodes scholarship. We speak of commitment to the game and the league, yet we look at out NFL criminals like stars. Forget the fact that you have smoked pot or did a few lines of the other. Let’s not even take into account that you may have beaten your wife or significant other. Hey if you show the NFL that you drink too much they will punish you by letting Peyton Manning call you an idiot kicker.

Rolle was able to finish school early, excel at football and then became a scholar. When he came out of high school he was the number one recruit in the land. Did that not take commitment on his part? He finishes college in less than three years and his commitment is still questioned? Then instead of hanging out at school and playing football he goes to get an honor only a handful of students are afforded. Has the commish come out and thanked this kid for the positive he gives to the SHIELD? Since I cover the Titans I will say clearly that you all must watch this guy. He is more intelligent than those he will be around.
The next story was the one where the Dolphins GM asked Dez Bryant if his mamma was a prostitute. Nice going NFL and its representatives. In a time where the world is trying to promote positive why not take this opportunity given to make a point. The point is the NFL will not only punish those for crossing the SHIELD, they will not acknowledge the good for the SHIELD as needed right now.

Some have argued that the question about his mamma was legit. They say that if you are an organization investing millions in an athlete you have the right to ask that question. WRONG PEOPLE. The NFL draft is about homework and investigating the players you want. You scout the player to see if he fits into your system and the needs of the team. If you need some info outside of football you go to his neighborhood and ask questions. Now if you want to know if a person addicted to crack is a prostitute you went about it the wrong way. It is well known in the streets that if you're a crack head you will give it up to supplement your habit. Prostitution is the form of work where you sell your body for cash. Trust me folks, a crack head is not trying to sell the body. They are selling their souls because they know no better. So why would you ask this kind of question if you knew how to do your homework?

So with all of this information why doesn’t the commish punish Miami for the colossal mistake it made. How can anyone argue that the move was an absolute embarrassment to the integrity of the league? Why is it that we want our players punished but instances like this have yet to be addressed?

Some former players have hinted that it is easier if the league and your team knew that you had no way out after football. This way they won’t question your commitment because you have no avenue after your done. The point was brought up that a player with that kind of intelligence might even threaten how a coach coaches him.

Lastly is the story of Caleb Campbell, the U.S. Army 1st. Lt. who has just completed 2 years of active duty and is now allowed to play football again. He was all ready to play for what turned out to be the 0-16 Lions two years ago. He said on Nashville radio that he still does not understand the rule that kept him from his dream. He will be moved from S to LB and the transition won’t be easy.

Just a few stories that tell and show the good side of the shield. Stories that are not told to the public, that need to be told. Players like these are not as rare as one may think but with no mention of it, they remain hidden in all the other stories. Stories that make us say…this is not my dad’s NFL anymore.

Violence in Youth Sports: A growing trend? - Draftnik

Violence in Youth Sports: A growing trend? A downward spiral, and a young man’s brutalization- an editorial commentary by Dr. Bill Chachkes-Managing Partner/Executive Editor-Football Reporters Online

It is becoming more prevailing in our society, the “win at any cost” mentality. Sure, that’s what competition is based on at any level. As coach Herman Edwards once said “you play to win the game.” But when is that mindset “Overkill?” At the professional level we expect athletes to give 110% all the time because it’s their profession. At the college level we expect the same for a variety of reasons, mostly because most college players desire to play professionally if they can get the chance, and because they should be playing their “hearts” out for the school colors. At the high school level, there is an inordinate amount of pressure to be successful, both for the players and for the coaches and school officials. For players it’s to be accepted, to be a “part” of a winner. For the adults again, it’s a variety of causes that keep them “in the heat of the pursuit.” of athletic immortality, and financial security for their families and their schools’ athletic programs. As a moral society for the most part, we expect athletes to give their best all the time, just as workers are supposed to do their jobs to the best of their ability all the time. We also expect them, their coaches, and the fans to follow the rules at all times, and we decry anyone who does not put their best effort into whatever they are doing.

But what about youth developmental programs, and why does it matter? Every football player gets their start in “Pop Warner” youth style football, much like baseball players get their start in “Little League” play. It’s supposed to be a place where, like school-based programs, learning takes place. Learning about the sport and it’s proper play in a safe environment where basic fundamentals are taught that will, we hope, carry the student athlete through the rest of his/or her life. Integrity, honor, sportsmanship, respect for each other and the rules of the game, and above all, fair play. At least that’s what my contemporaries and I were taught growing up in the 1960’s and 1970’s. So why should it be different now?

Incidents of a violent nature at youth sporting events is not new, but has always been isolated to a few “bad days” here and there. Or is it? Is there a growing trend here, among the communities of our country? Are parents pushing their kids too hard to “win” at any cost? And who should take responsibility and control? We expect ourselves to hold each other to a high standard of behavior, but what about when that standard breaks down? If we are as a people, going to police our own on this, we first have to be aware of the danger signs. When a parent or a coach tells a player to “Get That Kid” at the top of his lungs, is he really saying “cover that kid” or “Stop that kid from beating us at any cost”? Where does the rage come from? Is it simply from being outplayed, or is the desire to please the parental figures in a youth athlete’s life pressure them to “win at any cost,” even if the rules are broken.

An ongoing study project at Rutgers University’s Youth Sports Research Council asserts that while there is still no evidence to support “Sports Rage” as an out of control “epidemic” situation, the instances are happening more often and leading to serious injury among those involved. The research at Rutgers points to two different areas: fan violence at events, and instances on the field of play. On Field instances are broken into three different incident types: athlete on athlete, violence against officials, and other situations such as assaults on coaches by parents and other bystanders. The following is quoted from a finding by the council, led by Professor Gregg Heinzmann, the council’s director, on the topic of parent behavior at youth sporting events (in larger type):

Why Do Parents Misbehave?
To date, many of the explanations given for "why rage occurs" have been too shortsighted to be of any practical value. For example, in response to the important and legitimate question, "why do some parents behave so poorly at their child's sporting event," the often parroted answer has been, "because no one told them they couldn't." Such simplistic analysis fails to provide direction for reforming youth sports, in terms of preventing sports rage, because it doesn't address the underlying reasons for poor parental behavior.

To our credit as a society we have tried to do better in this decade, but it seems we still have a long way to go in some areas of policing our own behavior at youth sports events.
Still, when there is a connection between an overzealous parent shouting at his child or children to “get that kid,” and an incident that leads to serious injury of a youth athlete that was sparked by actions on the part of parents or coaches, we as a society have a moral obligation to prevent it from getting out of hand. Regardless of the fact that laws are in place or not, we should feel a duty to protect our youth and place a binding code of conduct on athletes, coaches, parents and fans of ANY youth sporting event at any level, with serious punishment to those that violate the code of conduct and the law.

There also has to be a concern that behavior of this type if allowed to go unchecked, leads to far worse incidents of violence as the athlete grows up, along with an increase in anti-social, and even possibly sociopathic action on the part of some. While we always commend the athlete for having a “winning” attitude or a great “game” face and playing with emotion, there is a clear line between what is acceptable and what is not on the field of play. While no clear relation exists between a youth athlete who gets into trouble for taking things too far on the field and the excesses of some current professional athletes and their behavior and “Self-Entitled” way of life, it’s not too far off base to surmise that poor sportsmanship and behavior on the part of youth athletes that aren’t “behavior modified” can lead to far worse actions in later life. The police blotters across the country are filled with current and ex-pro athletes running amok and tarnishing their reputations and the great game of football. The only way this can be combated is through early intervention on the part of parents, coaches, and administrators.

Not long ago a parent reached out to me to get my feelings on one such incident that took place last fall in a Denver suburb. My first thought was “these things happen all the time” but once I viewed the video (attached with the families’ permission at the end of this article) you will see that this is not the kind of thing that should be allowed to be explained away as “just football” or “it happens all the time.” I was compelled to get involved because of my background in football, and a moral standard I adhere to.

It’s because of an incident like this, where a young man could have been crippled for life, or worse, died on the field from a broken neck, that assurances must be granted that no incident goes by without an appropriate reaction from a league’s administrators no matter what the level. Youth football is about teaching skills. It’s about learning what a 2-5 sweep is. It’s about how to hold and carry and throw a football. What it is not is your coach or your dad telling you to “Get that Kid” and you punch him 4 times in the head and through his facemask and then grab him by the mask and twist his neck and head like your taking the lid off a jar, then walk away sneakily hoping you don’t get caught when most everyone clearly saw what you did. There is just no just excuse for this on any level. Not “its just football” or “it was in the heat of the game.” In the state where I live, what you are going to see on this video would be classified as a violent felony (assault and battery to be exact), which would and should cause anyone tried as an adult for such crime and convicted be jailed for said crime. Clearly we can’t do that in the case of a 10 or 11 year old child, but steps must be taken to make sure this never happens again, and proper behavior is reinforced at all times on the field of play.

This past week on our radio show we brought this situation to light by having the parents and coaches of the injured player join us for the last two segments of our show, along with their legal counsel, to take questions on air from myself and my team of co-hosts. We can’t believe for the life of us how these parents are in the minority in their feeling that something is wrong with this situation, and that there is the possibility of a “cover up” of some sort going on here, especially when I receive a reply via e-mail by way of a “statement” from the current president of the league where this incident took place the next day.

In this e-mail I was given a detailed account of the league’s sincerity and that “Trust me.
If we have the video, and it shows what it purports to show, swift, direct and appropriate action will be taken by me.” That is all well and good intentioned, and we are glad that it’s possible that common sense could win out here. But it should have been done when the incident took place, not six and a half months later, and only because the mother of the athlete involved came on my show because her and the few parents supporting her could not get any supportive action from the league’s administrator’s at the time of the incident and felt they had no other recourse to get assistance. That being said, I’m happy the current president of this league wants to move forward and get this rectified in a proper manner. In the interest of fairness I have invited him (and the league’s legal counsel if he feels threatened by the truth of this situation) to come on our show as guests two weeks from now, to explain what steps will be taken to make sure this never happens again.

These parents also feel that much as been done to smear them up until now, that they have been painted as “crazy malcontents” bent on destroying the league. I have been personally accused of “ getting involved in something that is none of my business” and “doing this to get the ratings of my show up.” As a matter of fact, while we were conducting the show this past Thursday night I was getting support from a few people in our show’s chat room. At the same time I was being harassed by someone via instant message telling me “what do I care about a few crazy parents for” and “since when does the “New York Based” sports media even care about youth football in Colorado.”

My Answer to these people is plain and simple: Any time anyone tarnishes the great game of football by their actions or lack there of, it’s my business. No matter where it is, New York, Colorado, or anywhere else, and I will stand up for these parents and their children until justice is done. It’s not about my show ratings. I get plenty of good guests, mostly retired NFL players, current college players or coaches, player agents, and fellow football media. I don’t need a story like this to get up my ratings. This story needs to be told and the issues addressed. No one is looking to keep these kids from playing football. That’s the last thing we want. But we want the athlete who was injured to never have to worry about getting hurt like this ever again because an opponent took it a little too far, or because a parent of the opposing player pressured him into beating up an opponent for no reason other then he was frustrated over being outplayed at that moment or because he didn’t like the way he was blocked. Anyone who needs to question that shouldn’t be involved in sports.

Betty White's Muffin a hit Saturday Night Live and Twitter

88-year old actress and comedian Betty White was a hit on Saturday Night Live last night, and while her appearance may have some detractors, the vast majority of people on Twitter loved her performance. 

White's SNL appearance started with a Facebook campaign that gained a half-million supporters.  NBC and SNL paid attention and the result was the special Mother's Day Saturday Night Live show.

Many on Twitter point to a segment on "Betty White's Muffin" as the signature work of her SNL sig. If you haven't seen the full episode, here it is:

EOnline's Jovie Baclayon wrote that Betty White "killed it" and reported that White was in every SNL skit "without missing a beat." Here's Betty White's opening opening monologue where she thanked the Facebook community for making her SNL host gig a reality, but hilariously said Facebook is a "waist of time:"

Betty White's getting a well-deserved weekend fest. Just the thing to top a six-decade career.

Rock the Casbah!

Iron Man 2 review by Suzannah B. Troy

Mickey Rourke wore his soul on his skin in his comeback film "The Wrestler" and he was breath taking in his first few minutes of Iron Man 2 when he actually has dialogue.  Rourke is superb but this was not a script heavy movie and he doesn't get much dialogue or screen time but he is riveting when he does get to speak and I loved the head to toe Russian Mafia tattoos.  If you haven't seen Eastern Promises, a serious film not a cartoon movie, than rent this memorable film about the Russian Mafia in England. Iron Man 2 is fun.  The critics were less than enthusiastic and for good reason but the movie will do really well at the box office.  There is a superb supporting cast including the sexy siren Scarlett Johansson, John Faurvre not sexy but fun,  who also directed the movie and although Samuel Jackson has a very small role he is super!   There are plenty of cameos including Christine Amanpour for global news buffs, internet billionaire Larry Ellison as well as an amazing retro-car with hand painted flames that I would love to go for a ride in!  I was bored to tears in the over the top fight scenes that were techno-extreme fighting meets professional wrestling and maybe it's just me...if I have to see fighting than I would rather see be hunky guys in the flesh not cartoon like machine.  At this point in my life over the top special effects are too much for me and I would have preferred to read a good book during those scenes.  Even the coming attractions were over the top over, stimulating tech heavy, leaving me longing for small films like Crazy Heart.

The movie is fun and will make big bucks at the box office. Also for New York lovers Queens is also a star in Iron Man 2  as well!!!!! I am obsessed with "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo".  There is a tattoo scene in this film that is unforgettable although the film is too violent for me.  I am reading the book and even got the poster in Swedish. For tattoo buffs -- The NYC Tattoo Convention 2010 is this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I special shout out to Clayton Patterson who helps put on this convention because he had my art in the window of his Outlaw Art Museum!

Happy Mother's Day to everyone!

Suburban Atlanta, GA - Happy Mother's Day everyone! I can't remember missing celebrating Mother's Day and it was vitally important for me to give my Mom the gift of my help here in Georgia. See, my Mom still insists on working, and I see that as a personal failure on my part because I believe if I made enough money she would not have to work. I give her money each month, as of this writing it helps but not enough to compel her to just stay at home.

Yet as I write this, i'm not sure that would keep her at home cooking and tending garden. While she does do that - tend garden and cook - I really think working around people is Mom's way of staying connected. She's a United Airline retiree but if United called, she'd answer it in a heart beat.

Mom's tried working for me but following Internet trends can be boring if you really like being out and about with folks. Not that I don't, but that's my Mom. It's good therapy for the passing of friends over time.

The one curse of old age is that your friends die. While the logical and uncaring mind would say "just make new ones" it's also a young mind that would form such a thought. Friends are supposed to be and are special people in your life. Friends know you. They're the people who have license to open your door without knocking or tell you what they think because it's for your own good.

Friends are people who borrow money from you and pay you back. They keep your secrets, well, at least the ones that are worth keeping. When you lose friends you lose a part of you. (And while I'm thinking about it, for those who are dating and hear the words "let's be friends", anyone who says "we're friends" and does not meet the criteria above isn't a friend. Don't kid yourself. In my experience, real friends come with benefits. But enough about that for now.)

I think if I were married with kids that would keep Mom at home because kids are the center of her life. It doesn't matter who you are, if you're around my age, your my Mom's kid and she talks to you that way.

I remember a neighbor of mine mistakenly and she will tell you stupidly poured gasoline on the side of the street in full view of my Mom, who was visiting. Well, she got it from my Mom. And while I didn't know her well at the time, and do didn't know what to expect as a reaction, I realized Mom has a way of putting things such that people know she cares and isn't being malicious. She has that way about her.

But fortunately, even though I'm not a father and believe I'd be an incredible one, I'm also not suffering through a divorce or discovering that my wife's cheating on me, either. So, I suppose there's a bright side too.

But I digress. I'm here for my Mom, who I love very much and always will. From the practical perspective, she's my only remaining family and I'm the only child, so I travel here each month to help her. But even if that wasn't the case, I'd be here anyway!

Happy Mother's Day! Give your Mom a kiss if she's near by and a call if she's not - even if you argue with her, at least enjoy that you're able to!

Lawrence Taylor says his golf game is always good

LT. talks about his golf game
This NFL Draft installment (thanks to the Inn at Irving Place, part of the Small Luxury Hotels of The World brand) comes from The NFL Draft Red Carpet - New York Giants and NFL Legend and Dancing with The Stars star Lawrence Taylor was trying to flash by the media at the NFL Red Carpet at the 75th NFL Draft, but this blogger managed to halt his stride with a question about his golf game.

Lawrence Taylor is known for his love of the game, and of late he was playing in pro-ams with celebrities like Donald Trump. L.T., the center of a joke by NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice that he'd better leave because "L.T's coming," stopped to directly inform me that his golf game was "always fine."

Little did anyone know that could mean his talent for scoring hole-in-ones didn't apply to just the links, or that Jerry Rice's playful run out of the picture might have a double meaning. Lawrence Taylor was charged with 3rd-degree rape in a bizarre case that Taylor first claimed was set-up and that he never had sex with a 16-year-old runaway girl under the control of a pimp, and is now saying there was "some contact" and he was told she was 19 years old.

If that was the case, and The Huffington Post reports that it is, then from that narrow perspective, Taylor was set up. But only to have sex with someone he thought was of age. Beyond that, the picture looks bad and opens a ton of questions, but the main one is this:

Why was L.T. even of the mind to pay for sex with a young girl considering he's got a wife at home and was dancing with an enormously beautiful woman on Dancing with The Stars?

What kind of mindset does L.T. have? If the teenager was beaten by this Rasheed Davis pimp from The Bronx before she had sex with Taylor, did L.T. even notice that she was hit by someone? Can't he tell a teenager when he sees one? Also, did L.T. just have to have a young girl to be with? Why?  And I'm not buying the sexual addiction excuse.

And the most pressing question is why would Lawrence Taylor place himself in such a low-life position, laying down with people who live a kind of life that keeps them in trouble? Look, if he was going to do that, why not a high-class escort in her 30s? How about a New York Knicks Cheerleader?  Why not an Upper East Side socialite?   How about a Columbia law student?

If he was of a mind to fool around, New York's teaming with lovely, smart, successful women single and married and all well over 21.  But then with a wife as devoted to a man as Taylor's is, publicly stating her support for him, L.T. should have just took his rear-end home.

What the hell's wrong with him?

Stay tuned.

Mr. Hudson and Jay-Z sing Forever Young on SNL (Saturday Night Live)

The last time we heard Hip Hop Super Star Jay-Z singing, or more appropriately enabling a singer of the song "Forever Young" it was Jay-Z with his wife Beyonce at the Coachella Music Festival. It was a moment that was the talk of that event then and is still searched for online today.

Mr. Hudson 
This time Jay-Z's with someone named "Mr. Hudson" who sounded like some guy who just popped onto the stage from the Saturday Night Live audience until his pipes got warm. The performance was a kind of tribute to the suddenly ever-present actress Betty White, who was the host of SNL tonight on Mother's Day eve.

From all accounts, the 88-year old actress was excellent in something that started as a Facebook campaign and evolved from the dream of a few to a reality for Betty White.

And it's really heart-warming to see that through New Media we can make sure people who've been such cultural treasures as Betty White continue to be remembered and not forgotten.

But I digress. Who the hell is Mr. Hudson?

His real name is Benjamin Hudson McIldowie, and he's a British Hip Hop artist signed to Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music, according to Wikipedia.

But the reason he's not well-known until now is he just hit the scene last year with his first album, Straight No Chaser, which was released on my birthday, August 4th.

It's amazing how fast these artists are introduced today. MGMT just his the scene five years ago. American Idol's popping out stars faster than one can keep up with, and each new one serves to throw a PR blanket over the last ones.

It's almost as if we're saturated with new musical talent. When do we reach the point of over-saturation?

But I digress.

Happy Mother's Day Betty White!