The Wit and Wisdom of Maria DeCotis

This is Mike Birbiglia. He tells a pretty good story.

Among his many credits, Birbiglia is a frequent contributor to This American Life. Within that framework, Birbiglia had a contest to select his “understudy.” This is a hilarious premise in and of itself as one would be understudying for his one-man show. Here he explains the contest to Jimmy Fallon.

As you may notice, this blogger has become comically besotted with a comic named Maria DeCotis, due to her presentations of outtakes from our Governor Andrew Cuomo. Before she started with the Cuomo stuff, she entered the Birbiglia understudy competition, choosing to do one of his most favored bits, “Scrambler.”

But she did it in Italian.

This performance made the cut, and she ended up performing for an audience and Ira Glass. It is hilarious.

Hey. Lorne Michaels. Are you watching this performer? Yinz should be.

We Can’t All Just Get Along

I remember it like it was only yesterday, March 1991. I was in Washington D.C. for a seemingly valuable semester-long internship experience provided by Kent State Universidad. Many of us gathered in our suite and watched a black man named Rodney King having the living shit beat out of him by officers in the Los Angeles Police Department.

When the curtain rises on George Holliday’s tape, King is struggling to his feet as one of four police officers commence to beating him with a nightstick. King stops trying to stand, and another cop seems to kick him in the head. After that, as King appears to try to commit the criminal act of “moving,” the other cops commence to treating this man like a piñata, there is kicking, there is more beating with the sticks. I’m counting like eight cops just in the frame, plus there is a helicopter noise somewhere, so you know, IF ONLY THESE GUYS HAD SOME BACKUP. Anyway, it goes on like that for a while, and King ended up suffering 11 fractures and other injuries.

That he survived this beating was rather incredible.

I was 22 when I witnessed this, the first instance I can comprehend of a citizen with a recording device capturing a horrifying instance of police brutality. It was a special event at the time. There was even a trial, you might recall. Three of the cops charged were acquitted, the fourth was a deadlock. The riots in L.A. following the verdict caused “63 deaths, 2,383 injuries, more than 7,000 fires, damage to 3,100 businesses, and nearly $1 billion in financial losses.”

So it’s 29 years later and what’s changed? The latest outrage comes to us from Minneapolis, Monday, when 46-year-old George Floyd was killed when a cop leaned on Floyd’s neck with his knee for five to eight minutes. He did this as several other cops looked on, as onlookers took video and begged the cop to let him go, and as Floyd himself begged the cop for his life with words tragically familiar to any of us by now: “I can’t breathe.” Oh, and the alleged charge?

The cops were trying to arrest Floyd for passing a counterfeit $20. (I am a former reporter who has covered a Secret Service counterfeit investigation, and you can trust me that this is not how it works.)

Oddly, in this case, accountability seemed to be immediately dispatched. Four Minneapolis cops were immediately fired rather than being put “on leave,” and a day after announcing this, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called for arrests.

It scares the living shit out of me that this mayor’s statement’s are such a notable exception. It downright pisses me off that, apparently, the only thing that has changed since Rodney King is that the format is digital rather than video.

day ten facebook ablum chlalenge

I have once again been nominated to do the whole album list thingie on Facebook, by world champion band-name mashup queen Liza Belmonte. You are supposed to post 10 album covers for 10 days that have affected your life, with “no explanation.” This is day ten.

There is no list of albums that I could possibly make without

A Margarita Recipe

For this recipe I am using the Vitamix S50 model and ice cubes made with the OXO Good Grips No-Spill Ice Cube Tray with Silicone Lid.

This makes a fresh, bright margarita at a pleasant chill with a satisfying froth.

Put into yer blender container:

2 oz. Tequila ( I am using Torada Gold or Silver, a quality yet bottom-shelf brand)

1 oz. Santa Cruz Organic Pure Lime Juice

1 oz. Orange Juice

1 oz. Triple Sec

3 ice cubes

Blend at up to 3.5 to 4.0 power until the ice is incorporated.

Pour and serve.


Day Eight: Le Fleur

I have once again been nominated to do the whole album list thingie on Facebook, by world champion band-name mashup queen Liza Belmonte. You are supposed to post 10 album covers for 10 days that have affected your life, with “no explanation.”

I Wonder If This Was A Setup

White House Press Briefing by Kayleigh McEnany, Friday, May 22

*Link goes directly to YouTube to a moment when McEnany, beset upon by reporters regarding Impeached Preznit Carnage Sippycup’s weird seeming proclamation that he’s opening churches unilaterally, calls on OAN correspondent Chanel Rion, who of course asks a weird-as-armpits question about the Impeached Preznit “pardoning” President Barack Obama.

Which leads McEnany to a audio-visual gaslighting so over-the-top it brings to mind the scene in Django Unchained with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kerry Washington and the blood and the ball-peen hammer. She uses a slideshow to poke the reporters to ask reporters about a batch of crap that has been already proven resolutely untrue, that even ignores the latest report that Mikey Flynn’s name was not even initially redacted in intelligence.

Then she just flies out of the room like a bat.

If I were in the White House Press Corps right now I would be so fuming angry at Kayleigh McEnany.