Starbeams: Dancing with the Truth, Shuttlecock Blocked & Obamacare

hingWelcome to Kansas City where we went from drought season to flood season Friday night in about 2 hours.

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Ryan Lochte is confirmed as a contestant on the next season of Dancing with the Stars.  He won’t have a dance partner, he’ll just dance around the truth.

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Glazer: Cross Your Fingers, Buckle Up, Here Comes This Year’s Chiefs

tuckTalk is that the Kansas City Chiefs will win the division title this season…

That makes sense after finally winning a playoff game last year. Especially after head coach Andy Reid‘s team started out 1-5 and reeled off 10 straight wins to make it to the dance.

Nobody saw that one coming.

Plus the Chiefs did it without Justin Houston and star running back Jamaal Charles – both were injured. However ESPN placed them as the 16th best team going into this season with Denver – that lost its star quarterback – winning the division again and perhaps the AFC.

Fans are hopeful but as always not confident.

Everyone is on a wait and see basis.

The core stars on this team are seeing the window for a Super Bowl starting to close. Continue reading

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Glazer: Look Out, Here Come the Royals!

a9271ff731c0c7c80bd285920db66b88OMG it’s happening!

Almost nobody expected the Kansas City Royals to get back into the wild card race, let alone win their division. Just a minute ago they were seven games under .500 and looking completely done. Alex Gordon was a signing bust. Eric Hosmer was batting in the .270’s with 3 homers in two months and an under .200 average after the All Star break. Nobody was hitting but third baseman and Pablo Orlando. KC’s pitchers were giving up homer after homer with only Danny Duffey looking like a big time star.

NO MAS.

Yes, I counted the Royals out, so did the media including their home radio station 610 Sports.

We were all hoping for a couple good trades this fall and for the team to maybe play around .500 to finish off the season. HOLY MOLY, a 8 game win streak, all the starters look fantastic, our bullpen is now un-hitable again, even without Wade Davis. Alex Gordon has 5 homers in 4 games and his stroke looks like the second coming of Lou Gehrig!

Wow, September could be lots of fun. Continue reading

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New Jack City: Vacationing In America? Be Sure to Pack Toothbrush & HEAT!

iyrTravel advisories are a common occurrence during these uncertain times…

They’re usually issued by the U.S. State Department and deal with our safety when traveling to certain war-torn or disease ravaged areas around the globe.

But times are a changin’……

It’s now countries like Great Britain, New Zealand, France, Germany and Canada that are worrying. And they’re just a few of many foreign partner nations urging caution to their U.S.-bound travelers!

The reasoning for the warnings are numerous with listings of mass shootings, police violence, high crime metro areas, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT attitudes—not to mention the domestic outbreak of the Zika virus.

Another big deterrent is the gun violence in our country.

It’s a major turnoff to foreigners who just don’t get the lax attitudes of gun control in the U.S.—or lack thereof.

Let’s do some comparisons. Continue reading

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Starbeams: Tim, Who? KCPD Tweets, Royal Odds & Mark Alford

tim_kaine__official_113th_congress_photo_portraitVice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine was in town for a fund raiser in Brookside and stopped by Jack Stack BBQ in the Crossroads.  He was greeted by a long line of people at the host stand…who had no idea who he was.

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KCPD has begun Live Tweeting during patrol shifts.  It’s an attempt to show the public the challenges officers face every day. while keeping up on the latest marketing strategies from Shelly Kramer.

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Hearne: How to Succeed in Print Journalism (and How Not to)

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 2.53.23 AMAllow me to explain in part what’s wrong with big city, daily newspaper journalism and why the populace in the towns of Platte City, Parkville and Weston have it so good…

Let’s start with the Kansas City Star where for 16 years I had the highest read column in the newspaper – four to five per week, with four to six separate news items in each.

Once upon a time – like for a century or so – the Star had an effective monopoly on what passed for local news. And something like that can go to people’s heads. You know, power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Not surprisingly the editors and underpaid reporters at 18th and Grand grew to take it for granted that they knew what was best for people, readers, local and national officials – heck, for pretty much every Tom, Dick and Harriett who for whatever reason ever found themselves in the limelight/crosshairs. During those many decades, the axiom, don’t pick fights with people who buy their ink by the barrel prevailed and when newspaper editors said, “Jump,” the answer more often than not was, “How high?”

So it was that in the Star’s infinite wisdom it decided that enjoying that much power and influence required them to dial back in a “responsible” way, the reporting of news.

Stuff like leaving out details, such as the race of bad guys, street crime in places like the Plaza and other politically impolitic details…so as not to offend…anyone. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘Hell Or High Water’—Texas Crime Thriller That Rocks!

hell-or-high-waterI’ve said it many times before…

The most frequent questions I get are, “What’s good at the movies?” and “What movie do you recommend?”

The answer to both is, HELL OR HIGH WATER which opens in limited release this weekend.

It’s not a sequel or superhero franchise film but a gripping modern day, western thriller.

Shades of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.

The storyline has straight-laced divorced father Chris Pine and his ex-con brother Ben Foster coming together to rob small town Texas branches of the bank that is foreclosing on their family’s land.

That is until they find themselves in the cross hairs of relentless Texas Ranger Jeff Bridges who is looking for one last triumph before his retirement.

A collision of the old and new west. Continue reading

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Glazer: Donald Trump’s Last Stand?

Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump holds a plane-side rally at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport in Vienna, Ohio, Monday, March 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Not much good news for Donald Trump fans these days…

He’s under attack from most media, his own party, military leaders, world leaders, you-name-it, folks. Polls show Hillary Clinton ahead by 6 to 12 points nationally. In fact, the mainstream media has just about written Trump off as to him having any hope of being our next president.

Even with Clinton’s endless scandals and poor handling of everything from the Clinton Foundation to Benghazi, she appears comparatively bulletproof. And Trump’s attacks are now falling on deaf ears for the most part.

Even Trump seems shaken and acts as if he can feel the end is coming.

Sure, he’s still the main man on the tube. Clinton’s boring and gets far less attention.

However Hillary’s in the catbird seat. She’s better off not being in the news much. She has it won and why do anything to give Trump a new position?

Yesterday, Trump unveiled his Isis destruction plan. But all that no longer feels like it matters much, does it? The excitement over the debates coming up in September also seems to have quieted down. They don’t seem to matter much. Even if Trump runs her down a bit, it still feels like it won’t matter.

Not when the media and leaders in your own party paint you as a bit out there and as a man who won’t do his homework or listen to almost anyone.

That’s not good. Continue reading

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Starbeams: Chiefs QB Discovery, Dodging Zika & Mark Alford Measures Up

ec1f98e260b933632122754fafad2259A suspicious object was found at Arrowhead Monday afternoon.  No one at Arrowhead could identify what it was….so we’re guessing it was a decent quarterback draft.

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A new Associated Press survey finds the one issue that divides Americans more than abortion is climate change.  The good news?  We can all escape Zika by heading to tropical Canada.

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The actor who played R2-D2 passed away last weekend.  He was one of the few people short enough, and coordinated enough to play the roll.  On the flip side, this is great news for Fox 4 morning anchor Mark Alford. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: Good Riddance Huffpo, Arianna Huffington

vLoi4VJhHe not busy being born is busy dying…

Or, if you prefer your musical references via the UK as opposed to the US, as Dave Edmunds once sang, “Crawling from the wreckage, crawling from the wreckage, INTO A BRAND NEW CAR!

In case you missed the memo – and I doubt you truly care – Arianna Huffington ankled the Huffington Post, to focus on her wellness company. Which is like A-Rod leaving the playing field to become a Yankee advisor. He was toast and no one ever wanted to listen to him anyway; his expertise was doing his own damn job, at best.

And what is Arianna’s job?

Being famous and getting rich.

The HuffPo was a good idea that followed its initially hyped vision ever so briefly.

The HuffPo was gonna take back the dialogue from the right, was gonna own the web if not talk radio. All the liberals ingesting about Bush would have their own platform, where they’d write…for free.

Think about that, it wouldn’t go over today.

That’s a dead paradigm. We’ll cough up cat videos, post pictures of weddings and anniversaries, but those who provide content for a living – those who are writers – are on to the scam. They’re not working for free.

Not that there aren’t people who will.

Welcome to the modern web, where everybody’s posting but the caliber of writing is so godawful that no one is reading. We don’t even know if your ideas are half-baked, we can’t get past the headline.

And the HuffPo was all about headlines. Continue reading

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Edelman: Thought Provoking Theater Trumps This Summer’s Political Farce

Lady Day pic 1Turn off the stage antics of the Republican presidential nominee for a night or two…

Kansas City stages are offering up some serious, honest stories that will move you to tears

It’s not theater of the absurd but theater to be heard (and seen), created by some of our town’s most talented artists.

In LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR AND GRILL (now thru Aug 28 at the Living Room, 1818 McGee downtown), Spinning Tree theater co-founder Andy Parkhurst directs the winsome Nedra Dixon, one of our finest Broadway alums, in a 90 minute portrait of the celebrated Billie Holliday. Bereft of friends and wallowing in self-pity four months before her death, Holliday winds up in this tiny Philly club after a lifetime of abuse and disappointment that Dixon and Pankhurst make painfully clear.

But Billie keeps up pretenses, as long as she can, buoyed by a trunk full of great stories and the bottles of vodka placed strategically around the stage. Musical director Gary Green plays Billie’s onstage pianist and uncomfortable foil, trying to keep the over-the-hill celebrity on message (we’ve seen plenty of that this summer). Dixon channels Holliday wonderfully, bringing the singer’s unmistakable style to standards like “T’aint Nobody’s Biz-ness” and “Crazy He Calls Me”  and Holliday standards “God Bless the Child,” “Don’t Explain” and the eerie “Strange Fruit.”

In the end, we’re moved by the sheer weight of all Ms Holliday has had to bear to become Lady Day, beloved but misunderstood jazz royalty. Continue reading

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Glazer: Tragedy Strikes My Pal ‘Billy Lone Bear’

sonny-landham-as-billy-in-predator-1987My friend, actor Sonny Landham was in a car accident a few months back….

He lost his leg shortly thereafter. And a couple weeks ago they had to remove his second leg. I am just torn up over this tragedy. He’s been one of my closet friends since we met in 1981 in acting classes in LA.

Landham did so many nice things for me over the years. He was one of the few Hollywood folks to meet and hang out with and my King of Sting partner Don Woodbeck.

We all went out on the town many times in the early 1980’s until Woodbeck’s death in 1983. Later Sonny hung with me after my release from prison in 1988 and we worked out together. He even took me to my first academy awards show in 1989. Sonny is a member of the Academy. Later Sonny gave me a role in the movie Billy Lone Bear that he directed and starred in,  We shot it in Canada and I had scenes with Frank Stallone and Blade Runner/ The Player star, Brian James. The movie wasn’t the greatest but it was a fun experience to work on a picture with Sonny.

Later he introduced me to Sly Stallone when Landham worked in the picture, Lockup. Continue reading

Posted in Craig_Glazer | 114 Comments

Jack Goes Confidential: ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’—Bizarre Flashback

Florence1Is there ANYTHING she can’t do? Probably not.

In Meryl Streep’s latest cinematic opus she portrays delusional FLORENCE FOSTER JERKINS, a real life heiress who many consider to have been one of the world’s worst singers.

Set in the mid 1940’s Jenkins was a New York City socialite and opera buff whose greatest dream was to perform at Carnegie Hall—which she eventually did.

The singing voice she heard in her head was beautiful. But to everyone else it was just enough off key to make listening almost unbearable.

In a word: AWFUL.

Yet her husband (Hugh Grant) wisely shielded her from the rotten reviews, while the two lived separate lives , her in an apartment with another woman.

Television spots and trailers for the film would have you believe it to be a wacky comedy—which it is not.

There ARE reasons for Jerkins tragic disposition which I won’t spoil here. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘Sausage Party’— Taste The Raunch

5-things-that-make-the-sausage-party-trailer-awesome-891816In the mid-90’s the braintrust behind Pixar Animation Studios developed the concept of What If…

What IF the toys we grew up with had a life of their own? A concept that would only become reality when we were not around.

That, of course, sparked the hugely successful computer generated TOY STORY.

And earlier this summer a similar concept was applied to THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS which also became a major summer hit.

The latest in the genre comes from the fertile minds of Seth Rogen and longtime collaborator Evan Goldberg.

And while TOY STORY and SECRET LIFE OF PETS targeted family audiences—this latest effort does not!

SAUSAGE PARTY is definitely R-rated—and how!

Some at our screening felt that this raunch fest actually deserved an NC-17 rating.

But is SAUSAGE PARTY funny? Sure it is. At least for the first 20 minutes or so. Continue reading

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Hearne: Kansas City Star Last to Report Decapitation Story

IMG_1445Here’s why many people think the Kansas City Star appears to be on its last legs…

One of the first thoughts that crossed my mind Sunday after I read on Fox News about the Schlitterbahn tragedy was, that with the home court advantage, the Star would have the scoop on what really happened – you know, in explicit detail.

Was I ever wrong!

Oh they undoubtedly had them alright, but for some reason or other the newspaper declined to report that a 10 year-old boy who died on the ridiculously dangerous Verrückt water slide had reportedly been decapitated.

Too gruesome for the public to digest? Too extreme for the boy’s family to endure?

Hardly.

The grim reality being that we live in a world where public beheadings and all sorts of gruesome acts – things like small children being mowed down by trucks – are part and parcel of everyday life.

So in lieu of telling it like it is – which by the way, as I write this police have confirmed to People Magazine and even Wikipedia is reported the beheading. While Kansas City’s newspaper of record has yet to report the news.

Instead, the Star teased readers Tuesday with a huge, front page headline and nearly an entire page filled with photos, stories and graphs tiptoeing around the known facts under the headline, “Questions still swirl in boy’s death.”

That coupled with a lame column by one of the newspaper’s least savvy newsies, Mary Sanchez, scolding readers and other media for obsessing on the tragic news, as if that might lessen the boy’s family’s grief.

“Temper it, people,” Sanchez snapped, adding “social media has become a battering ram for the ethically challenged.”

Social media? 

How about legitimate news organizations worldwide from not just this country but England and Germany? Mainstream media that reported the decapitation story the Star had opted not to.

As if Sanchez and the Star were somehow taking the high road.

Fat chance. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: The Cold Reality of ‘Living the Dream’

13776708-standard-1The first person I saw was Arianna Huffington

On the east coast it’s the Hamptons. On the west it’s Malibu.

And if you haven’t been to either, you’ve got no idea that it’s even further over the top than you think it is, if you think of it at all.

Where I grew up, in Southern Connecticut, there was a ferry to Long Island.

I never took it. The Hamptons were only a hop, skip and a jump away, but this is when you yearned to go to the Cape…Cod that is. The hoi polloi went to Hyannis. Yes, where the Kennedys were. I remember going there as a child and then right before I started college, just after I’d purchased the Moody Blues‘ “A Question Of Balance.”

In reality, this was the turning point, from credible to repetitive, but I didn’t know that yet, I hadn’t fully immersed myself in the LP, which was packed up back in CT, there were no iPods, never mind Walkmen. And I would have liked the record to keep me company, because it rained three and a half of the four days.

But it never rains in Southern California. Certainly not during the summer. Sure, happens every once in a while, but your odds of experiencing it are only slightly better than finding Bigfoot.

Now it used to be that Nobu was in a shopping center. A mess of buildings near the city center. But then it moved to the beach.

But the ocean is not the star.

Right next to the restaurant is a structure that’s been unable to find its way. It recently became a Soho House.

Wanna know how someone’s a poseur?

They go there. Continue reading

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Chuck: ‘Pokemon Go’ West Bottoms Showdown

20160805_073044I don’t really get this Pokemon thing…

But here is a picture taken yesterday at 6:45 a.m. of Pokemon players in the West Bottoms waiting to get into some building. It looks like there’s a cop there. Jesus.

I read a book by Neal Stephenson recently called “Reamde“.  It was an excellent escape about a family, whose patriarch invents a computer war game (a la Call Of Duty) that becomes monetized and delivers enormous sums of money to the winners.

Which got me thinking about POKEMAN GO.  (Full disclosure, I have only a general idea of how to play it, certainly,but not why you would play it.  However,  I’m in my dotage and don’t understand why you can’t just meet a girl in the real world instead of on some dating website )

A friend of mine who works at a TRANE distributor, took this picture.  The 50 or so people in it are PIKEMAN GO players, waiting for the business at that address (The Foundation at 1221 Union) to open. She thinks they were trying to get in when it opened which apparently wasn’t until like until like 10:00 AM.

The TRANE people were pissed because the POKEMAN people took all their parking.  Continue reading

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Glazer: Royals Suck. End of Story

RamblingMoronsThe Kansas City Royals today are once again one of baseball’s worst teams….

From the penthouse to the outhouse, yep – from World Series to can’t win two games in a row. We have no offense at all; nobody is hitting. Pitching is MUCH better than the offense, with Danny Duffy and his 7-1 record being the only bright spot anywhere in sight (save the new third baseman.)

The biggest failure this season has been with our middle hitting lineup.

Eric Hosmer has fallen apart with a long, long hitting slump. He’s now batting in the .270’s down from well over .300 in May. He hits few home runs and never when it matters (and only three of them the last two months).

Sal Perez has also been absent for the most part.

It’s hard to win when you score only one or two runs a game for a two months straight.

In close games – like 2 to 1 or 3 to 2 – when we lead going into the 8th inning our formula is give up a game winning homer to the other team. Even horrid Tampa Bay trounced our butts. And they’re the only team with fewer runs scored in the league than the Royals.

Today it seems like ages ago that we were a fun, outstanding baseball team.

What happened? Continue reading

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 12 Comments

Lefsetz: ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’

i-want-to-hold-your-hand-single-denLast Saturday I went to the Levitt Pavilion to see Peter Asher, Billy J. Kramer and Denny Laine

However Billy J. had an infection, couldn’t travel and his place was taken by Terry Sylvester, of the Swinging Blue Jeans and Hollies. And Sylvester was…awful.

I know, maybe there was no rehearsal; maybe he couldn’t hear himself in the monitors.

It’s just that you and me could have done a better job. And it made me realize that not only is a whole generation of rockers fading away, so many of those still here are past their prime.

The truth is Paul McCartney – the tipper most of the topper most, with the best band in the universe – can’t hit the notes anymore. He’s the same guy but his pipes have corroded and contracted. You can say otherwise, but you know it’s true.

As for Bob Dylan, he hasn’t been able to sing in decades.

Never mind rearranging his tunes, did you listen to his covers record? Nobody else did either. You don’t have to, it’s execrable.

The greatest lyricist of the rock generation moved mountains with his songs, but if it’s a live performance you’re looking for, pass.

As for Roger Waters, at least he doesn’t sing much. Continue reading

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JACK GOES CONFIDENTIAL: ‘Suicide Squad’ Delivers—And then some!

maxresdefaultI’ll be honest with you…

I’ve never been much into superhero comics or the movies that have been based on them.

But I did like DEADPOOL (a lot) this past February!

Disney’s Marvel Studios seems to have the commercial lock on these characters of late.

Warner Brothers’ DC Comics? Not so much.

(The last example of that was their BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE which seemed to disappoint the faithful in March.)

But not to fear!

Warner Brothers unleashes its quirky anti-hero battalion this weekend—and these dudes are super bad.

They’re the SUICIDE SQUAD and there is really no need for a backstory to enjoy it.

The first act of the film pretty well takes care of that.

The squad is a group of imprisoned super-villains—the worst of the worst—recruited by a secret government agency to execute dangerous Block-Ops missions.

In charge of the secret operation is U.S. intelligence officer Viola Davis who offers a deal to these scumbags they can’t refuse:

The more they help—the lighter their sentences will be. Continue reading

Posted in Jack Poessiger | Tagged | 4 Comments