Saturday, February 25, 2017

A Little Bit Of This, A Little Bit Of That



First of all, the "Good-Luck-You're-Gonna-Need-It!" Award goes to the NYC Mayor's Office for Media and Entertainment for the One Book New York campaign. If you're so inclined (and I'm not,.just so you know) you can go to nyc.gov/onebook and vote for the book you think your fellow New Yorkers should read in March. New Yorkers are very different people and they like to read very different books, and furthermore, there's a document that protects the right to read very different books, and it's called the "Bill of Rights." "One Book North Korea" or "One Book Iran" would be a better name for this fiasco in the making! (I don't think there would be any dis-Putin "One Book Russia" either!)


I HAVEN'T seen "La-La-Land," (And I hope I don't get exiled to Devil's Island!) but I HAVE seen THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, starring the voices of Will Arnett (Batman), Michael Cera (Robin),Ralph Fiennes (Alfred), Zach Galifinakas (Joker) and Rosario Dawson (Batgirl), and Holy Blockbuster, if isn't the perfect parody of/tribute to more than eight decades of the Caped Crusader, I'll eat my Batman mask/cap! (It's too small to fit my head anyways!) About the only bad thing about this otherwise brilliant movie is the credit "Executive Producer: Steven Mnuchin." Now, don't get me wrong, I'm always happy for a fellow Steve if he makes it big in pop culture, but Mr. Mnuchin is a MAJOR exception to the rule since he is the current Administration's Secretary of the Treasury and, like many in this Administration, he has NO political experience whatsoever, but DON'T let THAT get in the way of your enjoyment of this fun two hours at the flicks!

To quote Mr. Reagan, "There you go again," Mr. Trump! He says the "fake news media" should disclose their sources. I have picked up packages from many companies for many companies, and many of those pick-up companies keep insisting I disclose MY sources (i.e. give a contact name and number), so I know where the media is coming from when they attack Trumpy for HIS attack! (I DO disclose my sources after I call the office, but I just hope CNN,the New York Times, the Daily News, and the BBC don't start doing the same!)

Dear SNL: PLEASE hurry back! America and all countries who love freedom need you!

Good luck to all the Oscar nominees, and if you don't  have anything nice to say about El Jefe, GO AHEAD AND SAY IT!

Good luck also to all the Daytona drivers, especially Danica Patrick and Dale,Jr!

Congrats to Judy Collins on knocking another show out of the park, or more accurately, the Metropolitan Museum of Art!

Bye, Buckaroos!
Steve

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Art Imitates Life, Love Conquers All, and Goodbye, Mare

Before I go any further, I would like to mourn Mary Tyler Moore. She  turned the world on with her smile, and Mary Richards, her most famous character, inspired many young journalists of both genders. Considering all the hurdles she had to jump, she really made it after all. My condolences to  her family and friends..

I was originally going to start with a recommendation to any and all Superman fans in the audience, and I know there are a lot. As you may (or may not) recall, when DC Comics rebuilt its universe from the ground up to celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 1986, it returned Clark Kent to the Daily Planet newsroom and changed his deadliest enemy, Lex Luthor, from a mad scientist to a power-mad billionaire who owned half of Metropolis and would later become POTUS. (Sound like anybody you know?) If you NEVER read "Lex Luthor: The Unauthorized Biography," a prestige format graphic novel with a cover that so cleverly parodies that of "Trump: The Art Of The Deal", fly faster than a speeding bullet to Amazon or Comixology and search to see that they still have it. Jocular Johnny Byrne and Marvelous Marv Wolfman, who brought The Man Of Steel into modern times, wrote a pulse-pounding, sense-shattering, and more often than not, wickedly funny look at one of the notorious bad guys in comicdom while respecting the Super-mythos created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, and it deserves a look, if, as they said on THE A-TEAM, you can find it.

If you want ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Trump or Luthor, check out A CINDERELLA STORY:IF THE SHOE FITS, a chick flick that even guys can enjoy with their favorite princess on Valentine's Day. Sofia Carson (DISNEY'S DESCENDANTS and its spin-off, WICKED WORLD) plays Tessa, a teen who aspires to a career as a pop sensation, but who labors as an "indentured servant" to her wicked stepmother Athena (Jennifer Tilly) and ugly stepsisters (Amy Louise Wilson and Jazzara Jaslyn) as the sisters audition for a Cinderella musical in Vegas. They do their dangdest to impress handsome Brit superstar Reed West (Thomas Law), but with the help of her "fairy godmother" Georgie, (Nicole Fortuin), Tessa captures his heart disguised as budding pop princess Bella Swan, (I originally thought this was going to be Hannah Montana with a British accent, but this movie, and Bella, surpass my expectations.) and much hilarity and pathos ensue.
This modern fairy tale, the fourth in a series, is brought to you by Warner Home Video (Log on to http://www.disneychannel.com or http://www.freeformtv.com for broadcast times.) and available from Amazon and all other major providers. No matter if you're 8 or 80, it's a "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo-"tiful way to spend a Valentine's Day!
On a personal note, best wishes to my buddy Patty Steele of WCBS-FM in NYC as she recovers from surgery. Hope you're back in the Air Chair soon, Pat!
See you soon with another mind-boggling, zero-defect, alternative-fact-free edition of this fine blog!


Bye, Buckaroos!
Steve


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

True Blue To The End

I may get in trouble for saying it, but it IS true: Blue Lives Matter. I would like to talk about one of those lives, that of NYPD Officer Steven McDonald, who famously forgave the cowardly gunman who left him paralyzed from the neck down. He had been on life support since mucus clogged his respirator,sending him into cardiac arrest on Friday, January 6, and last Tuesday, he died at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, Long Island. We had many things in common, other than the obvious first name: We were born roughly around the same time, (He was born in 1957 and I was born in 1958.) we loved New York, and we loved the New York Rangers, who, like the NYPD, are famous for their distinctive blue uniforms. He inspired the Rangers' "Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award," and asked nothing less than extra effort from children when it came to saying no to drugs and other bad influences.

Steven was a real life super hero, overcoming his handicap to serve New York's Finest as a detective, travel to Bosnia and the Middle East, and meet with South African President Nelson Mandela and the late Pope John Paul II, among others. He represented everything good about the NYPD, and, to a larger extent, New York City and America. As a loyal Blueshirt fan, I can imagine Officer McDonald is having a nice talk up in Heaven with another long-suffering Ranger supporter, my friend Ceil Saidel, a past president and long-time member of the Rangers Fan Club, who, tragically, was shot by a robber in her apartment building. No doubt they have a LOT of catching up to do!

Officer Steven McDonald leaves behind a wife, Patti Ann, a son, Conor,thousands of police officers and school children who looked to him as a role model, and two cities, the Big Apple, and a city-within-a-city called Rangerstown, all of which are paralyzed by sadness. Heart attacks do not discriminate, they can take any life, regardless of race, religion or national origin. What made  this one even more terrible was that it decided to take Officer McDonald, who, unlike another famous Ranger, did not wear a mask or ride a great silver stallion, but was as committed to justice as that one. (Like another famous Ranger,goalie Henrik Lundquist, he DID make a lot of saves for New York, and for that we are all grateful.)

A wake will be held Wednesday and Thursday at St. Agnes Church, Rockville Center, Long Island, and a funeral mass will be held Friday at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue in New York at 9:30 AM EST.

Happy Trails, Buckaroo.
Steve

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2016, You're Fired!

Happy New Year to all my readers around the world, and my apologies for forgetting the Naughty and Nice Lists and the Stevie Awards (our recognition of the best in country music), but I do hereby resolve to make it up to you as I see fit. (I know, I know, New Year's resolutions are made to be broken, but THIS one will definitely stick!)

At least I didn't make a fool out of myself on worldwide TV like Mariah Carey. You guys see this? If not, you didn't miss a thing. Anywho, she was the headliner on ABC's DICK CLARK'S NEW YEAR'S ROCKIN' EVE STARRING RYAN SEACREST, and she was supposed to lip sync to her classic "Emotions," but instead, she made small talk with the "himbos" who were supposed to escort her while she was lip syncing, messing with her hair and jewelry, and calling out the production team who she would later claim diabolically sabotaged her performance. Here she was, the mistress of the seven octave range, standing in Times Square, the Crossroads of the World, looking like the world's biggest dork in a see-through outfit. She once said she had a certain DJ in mind when she wrote her first ever Top 40 hit, "Vision of Love," and then asked jokingly, "Or was that 'Vision of Food Poisoning?" At first I thought Mimi (as she calls herself) was the former, but this travesty of a performance made her seem more like the latter.

On a more positive note...

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF NEWS!

One of the President-Elect's many frenemies, the lovely and talented Megyn Kelly, is jumping the sinking S.S. FOX NEWS for the good ship NBC NEWS, where she will host a Sunday evening news program that will give 60 MINUTES  the competition it so desperately needs, anchor a daytime talk show similar to THE KELLY FILES, and cover breaking news, and by "news," I mean REAL NEWS, not the Trump-boosting rabble rousing that has become a trademark of the so-called "Fair and Balanced" network. She reports, she decided, and 2017 is looking better already!

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SPORTS!

As many of you may remember, I started a blog dedicated to all things boxing, wrestling, and MMA, and I PROMISE, I will get back to it in the year to come, but for now, I would like to address the World Series of Fighting's maiden voyage at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on New Year's Eve 2016. While WSOF doesn't have the big names like Ronda Rousey, Brock Lesnar, CM Punk or Conor MacGregor, it DOES live up to its name by boasting a stable of fighters from all over, but, to be perfectly honest, it COULD have benefited from the over-the-top theatrics of WWE, for while there were a lot of Broadway-caliber performances, there were also a lot of boring matches that would look better in MMA's version of the straw hat circuit. Also, the St. Knicks played their first Christmas game in a year, but the Celtics left a YUGE lump of coal in their stocking, and on the official New Year's day off, the Magic made them disappear! (Any bets that the (National Basketball) Association will revoke their Christmas game NEXT year?)

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SHOWBIZ!

What on Earth were one of the stars and two of the creators of the funny (and edgy) IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA thinking when they decided to foist the very UN-funny (and over-the-edgy, if that's a thing) THE MICK on an unsuspecting public? For those of you fortunate to have missed the first two episodes on FOX, the series concerns Mackenzie "Mickey" Murphy (Kaitlin Olsen, who should know better), who, pardon my language, is a slut, for want of a better word, who moves to Greenwich, CT to care for the spoiled kids of her sister who flees to Mexico to avoid indictment. Flee to another network, and DON'T M-I-C THIS mickey-mouse show AT ALL! In other showbiz news, Disney's(I love THEIR Mick!) MOANA, with its Lin-Manuel Miranda score, great voices, and empowering story, and Illumination's SING, with its own powerhouse cast led by Matthew McConaghey as all-but-washed-up theatrical producer Buster Moon and a musical menu from Sinatra to Swift, are VERY animated hits for the young and young at heart alike and WAY better than watching the sick MICK!

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF STEVE!

Before I talk about my progress with my diet, I would like to stress that it doesn't REALLY matter how much you weigh, as long as you have a pleasing personality...that's 26 pounds thinner, which is exactly how much I've lost since I started Jenny Craig back in October! A few pounds from now, I officially go on maintainence, and I have the option to lose a few more Elby's (That used to be a Big Boy franchise I had the pleasure of visiting in Wilkes-Barre, PA when I was a little baby blogger.) if I so choose. I even told Santa Claus about it, and I just hope Mrs. C doesn't own a computer or other device because he told me he was trying to work off all that milk and cookies! Goodbye, old fat me! We WON'T meet again!

FINALLY...

Farewell, Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. I hope you wow them with your mother-daughter act up in Heaven.

That's all for now, but, once again, have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year, pray for the brave men and women protecting our freedom overseas and on our streets at home, keep the Founding Fathers' dream of freedom alive, AND...

Bye,Buckaroos!
Steve


Monday, December 12, 2016

"All I Want For Christmas Is World Peace"-Timbuk 3

First of all, I would like to apologize to the spirit of Casey Kasem, For the past two Christmases, I've been keeping his memory alive by counting down the naughtiest and nicest newsmakers of the past year by sharing information about those newsmakers in the good-natured style that was his trademark for nearly five decades, but, as I mentioned in my last blog, the events of the past year have made it impossible. When President-Elect Trump called TODAY after he was named TIME magazine's Person of the Year, he denied any responsibility for the division that has struck this country. Since he won, maybe "stole" is a better word, the Presidential Election of 2016, there have been incidents of protests against our uniformed officers, random shootings, attacks on people trying to stay true to their faith, even people walking up to people who are just doing their job, be it delivering food or packages or reporting news, and whispering something in their ear which is definitely NOT sweet nothings. (It could be something as comparatively benign as "stupid" or an F-bomb.) 

This is supposed to be not only the season to be jolly, but also the season of Peace On Earth, Goodwill Toward Man. Contrary to popular belief, this is not unique to Christianity, but it is also one of the tenets of ALL religions, whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, or Humphrey Bogart's birthday. We recently marked the 75th Anniversary of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, and the irony of it was that it was so close to those holidays that pray for the day when we all stand together as one. (Even John Lennon, who believed God was a concept by which we measured our pain, sang of the day when we were all united. Personally, I prefer Cee-Lo Green's version, "All religion's true.", but that's just me.) By his actions, Donald Trump is making Peace On Earth an even more unattainable ideal. 

Don't get me wrong, it's still the season to be jolly, so celebrate with those you love, but when you get a minute, use it to pray, whether to Adonai, Jesus, or Allah, for a world where people are not judged by what they wear on their head, their uniform, or profession, but, as Dr. Martin Luther King said, "the content of their character."  Peace On Earth does not have to be only a dream. No one man can truly Make America Great Again. First of all, America is already great because of those who challenge the status quo and share their ideas with the rest of the world, from the Wright Brothers and Thomas Edison to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, Secondly, and I know that this point has been made a million times, but hear me out, people are like snowflakes in that no two are 100% alike. (Since 9/11, I have been guilty of sizing up Muslims too quickly, especially when they take notes before boarding a New York City subway. TRUE STORY!) 

Right after 9/11, we proved to the world that we can truly be "one nation under God", but these days we've seemed to forget it. Well, we should remember it a little better. We should stop saying nasty things to people and return to the good old days when we used to say Hi, Hello, or "Nice day, isn't it?" 

Hillary Clinton would have been the right person to guarantee Peace On Earth as our POTUS, and, at this time, we need a motherly presence like that of the late, great Florence Henderson, or, as the world knew her, Carol Brady, so we nominate them the two Nicest Newsmakers of 2016, and we will make a 50-50 donation (Total $100) to the Garden of Dreams Foundation (The Madison Square Garden's non-profit organization benefiting New York City children facing obstacles such as homelessness) in each of their names.

Happy Holidays, and remember, by Peace On Earth, we mean ALL the Earth, and Goodwill Toward ALL Men and Women.

We'll back in 2017 with another pulse-pounding, sense-shattering Steve's Blog, but, in the meantime, stay tuned for the Second Annual Stevie Awards for Awesomeness in Country Music in Welcome To Steve Country and a few surprises in Steve's Book Blog and In The Ring With Steve as well as a Steve Special that will knock you for a loop! (You never know what I'm going to say next! And neither do I!)

I WILL honor Casey by ending this blog the way he ended his many radio and TV shows: "Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars!"

For now, friends, the blog is over! Go in PEACE!
Steve

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Merry Christmas, Mr. President-Elect, Ya Filthy Animal!

Two movies that have become Christmas traditions are the first two HOME ALONE movies, starring McCauley Caulkin as Kevin McAllister, a resourceful young boy who has this peculiar habit of being left behind on Christmas family vacations. The movie I would like to discuss is HOME ALONE 2: LOST IN NEW YORK (1992). As the movie opens, our Chicago-based hero is about to leave the Windy City for Christmas holiday in (OF ALL PLACES!) Miami with his family. His dad trusts him with his flight bag which includes his credit cards and a lot of cash, but as the plane begins to leave O'Hare International, Kev gets left behind and makes a mad dash for a plane which, like the one his folks and siblings are on, is American Airlines, but UNLIKE the McAllister family plane, is BOUND FOR NEW YORK! Recalling a coattail (a promotional consideration ad) for The Plaza, "New York's Most Exciting Hotel Experience!", he reserves a suite using Dad's credit card and creates the illusion that Dad is in town for a convention. Suffice it to say that Kev goes on to meet up again with the "Wet Bandits" (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) from the first movie, have a beautiful encounter with a bird woman (Brenda Fricker) who tells him of her love for Carnegie Hall, and get a present from a kindly old toymaker played by Eddie Bracken, but he also has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it meeting with the then-owner of the Plaza, a certain Mr. Donald John Trump who gives him directions. IRL (or, In Real Life for the social media challenged), the Donald bought the Plaza in 1988 and installed his wife Ivana as Chief Operating Officer, but in November of the year HOME ALONE 2 was released, he sold half of the hotel to a banking group led by Citibank as a prepackaged bankruptcy. With this bankruptcy, and so many other bankruptcies on his permanent record, it begs the question: How can he run the country successfully if he can't run a business successfully? I AM going to give him a chance for the first one hundred days, but still.

The highlight of HOME ALONE 2 happens when the hotel staff finds out Kevin has paid for his hotel room with a stolen credit card and the family flies to New York to set things right. Kevin has taped the sequel to his favorite (spoof) gangster movie, "Angels With Filthier Souls," and, with the help of his trusty Talkboy, (a tape recorder created by John Hughes and Tiger Electronics for the movie before it was made available to the general public), orders the ready-to-evict-him staff to kneel down and tell him they love him. They comply, and his tape recorder says, "I believe you...BUT MY TOMMY GUN DON'T! YOU BETTER GET YOUR CARCASS OUT OF HERE BEFORE I COUNT TO THREE! ONE...TWO...(BUDDA-BUDDA-BUDDA) THREE! MERRY CHRISTMAS, YA FILTHY ANIMAL!"

That last line could definitely apply to our PEOTUS. I'm sorry if I'm offending of my friends who voted for him, but anyone who boasts of his sexual conquests, insults important trading partners,criticizes everybody from Alec Baldwin to NBC's Hallie (or, as he calls her, Haley) Jackson (no relation to Michael, who called Trump Tower home), AND violates a sacred trust with China, deserves to be called a filthy animal. As he would say, "Believe it."

In a break with a longstanding Steve's Blog holiday tradition (See Naughty Lists for 2013, '14 and '15.) I'm going to cut to the chase and name Donald J. Trump the Naughtiest Newsmaker of 2016.

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal! (BANG-BANG-BANG) And a Happy New Year! (HOME ALONE 2: LOST IN NEW YORK, rated PG, is available from Amazon, Hulu and Netflix and also is scheduled to air on AMC and certain other national networks during the holiday season.)

Steve out!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Steve's Post-Thanksgiving Leftovers

ARE YOU SURE YOUR REAL NAME ISN'T BENEDICT ARNOLD?

Michael Che, who co-anchors SNL's Weekend Update, says Trump may be right about what the iconic comedy show says about him in an upcoming issue of GQ. Michael, fellow Rangers fan and comedy god, I love you and respect your opinion, but I'm worried your boss Lorne Michaels might use Don's famous catchphrase on you.

RIGHT GAME, WRONG TEAM

Last time, I told all CFL fans in Readerland to put the ranch on the Ottawa Red Blacks over the Edmonton Eskimos at the 104th Grey Cup presented by Shaw. Their correct opponent is the CALGARY STAMPEDERS! My sincerest apologies to the League and both teams involved. (And my apologies to Esky fans for giving you false hopes!)

HAPPY BLACK FRIDAY TO ALL...

and to all a good holiday weekend.