Paul Wilson: How’s Your Scrotum Hangin’, Gentlemen?

Last week I was reading Cosmo

How about that for getting things going with a bang? All because your well-coiffed scribe needs to stay up with the most current trends. Anyway, I came across something that left me a little weak.

For years, men have been getting an increasing number of cosmetic procedures. A number that’s risen 355% from 2000 to 2015 – face lifts, alterations, Botox, all the standard fare. But just when you thought you’d heard it all….

Men have begun injecting Botox……into their scrotums.

I’ll give you a few seconds to catch your breath and remove your hands from your package.

Cosmo reports that “The procedure is called ‘Scrotox,’ a term made famous by a 2010 Saturday Night Live sketch.”

“Scrotox mimics the effect of a warm day: the balls appear lower and look smoother with fewer wrinkles.”

It was then I recalled how many times I’d thought, “I sure wish my testicles were hanging like they do on a warm day!” (said no one ever…)

The focus of the piece was a 29-year-old doctor who said that for he and his girlfriend – also a doctor – the determining factor was that Scrotox made his balls hang lower and looser, allowing for better contact with her skin during sex. Within a week, he felt his scrotum was more relaxed than before.

And as we all know, a relaxed scrotum is a happy scrotum. Continue reading

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Paul Wilson: In Memory of Harold Michael Bowman – March 24th, 1958-March 23rd, 2017

Life’s full of changes – you just never know…

Of late, change has been about the only constant for your well-coiffed scribe. After the firm where I spent the last dozen years folded – following a poorly implemented acquisition – another element of change visited in the form of unemployment.

When those times come, heavy doses of introspection always arrive with them.

What’s next?

What do I want to do?

How will this affect my retirement?

Do I really need that $25 cigar?

While my schedule’s freed me considerably since January 23rd, it’s also gotten so busy I’m not sure where I found time to work in the first place. But a constant mental health break has been sharing time with some of the guys at my cigar club. That’s where I went today for lunch.

On the coffee table, were parts of the Kansas City Star. Since I don’t read the endless, repetitively redundant articles by our illustrious blog editor about its pending demise (editor’s note, that’s the Pitch not the Star) I’ve not followed details of the Incredible Shrinking Star.  When I picked up the parts, I found out it was actually an entire paper.

Shocking…the flimsy fragments weren’t a Pitch, it was a Star!

A couple of stories in, I came to the obituary section. Obits are now a revenue stream for the Star as it squeezes every drop of blood out of a family it can, inch by column inch.

For a modest fee, you can print, “Bob Died.”

Anything more and you’ll pay dearly to extoll the greatness and memory of your friend or family member. It was then I noticed a whopping 14 inches dedicated to Harold Michael Bowman. A picture accompanying the obit indicated things were not exactly perfect with “Mikie.”

The authors, Mikie’s brother and sister, said he was finally “free of all the chains that had bound him during his stay on earth.”

Mikie lived a life of Down Syndrome, autism, epilepsy and psychosis.

But that isn’t what defined who he was.

His brother and sister described how they cared for him for all of his 58 years, 364 days, “amazed at the strength and determination with which he met each day. And, most of all we were awed by his joy and his zest for life.”

“At the end of a long agonizing day as we were waiting for the funeral home to come and take Mikie’s body, his nurse came in to “toe tag” him (for real), and said the funeral home wanted to know if Mikie had any valuables and if so, wanted us to take them home with us. We couldn’t help but be struck by the irony of this question. We told the nurse that Mikie never had a penny in his pocket, never had a key to anything, never a wallet – never anything. He never even knew if he had food or clothes (which he hated) or shelter. He just was. He spent his whole day smiling. He had a smile that could light up a whole room. He never had anything yet he was the richest man we ever knew. He had a huge heart and trusted that everything would be taken care of. He just took whoever’s hand was reaching out for him and went forward walking in peace and incredible faith.”

That one comment stuck with me…he just was.

It’s stories like Mikie’s that bring life full circle, back into perspective.

I’m watching a family member on my wife’s side, preparing to do battle with MS at 20 years of age.  My daughter’s mother-in-law, fighting cancer, just a few short years into a well planned retirement. And I’ve watched my wife battle multiple health issues over the past five years.

It was my wife who said, “If you sat in a circle with all your friends and everyone threw their problems into the middle of the room where you could see them all……you’d most likely pick up your own problems and go home…”

She’s right.

Rest in peace, Mikie.

I don’t know you; never met you, but your story touched me today in a real and profound way. It was the most important story in the Star since I don’t know when.

And to the brother and sister who dedicated 58 years and 364 days to Mikie’s care, you are the angels who walk among us.

God Bless you…

Posted in Paul Wilson | Tagged | 34 Comments

Glazer: ‘I Was Wong!’ Scribe Scowls

So much for KU being invincible…

The Kansas Jayhawks were a total no show last night in the Elite Eight against a good Oregon team. Pretty much nobody came to play for KU. Frank Mason was solid but couldn’t save his team singlehandedly. He tried. However even Mason was slowed down.

The Jayhawks looked like they’d been up all night before the game. No energy, no electric moves, nothing. This game was over in the first few minutes..

Put another way, Kansas was not prepared to play ANYBODY.

Why, we’ll never know.

I don’t think they could have beaten much of anyone halfway decent last night. UMKC or Missouri, maybe.

They stunk and seemed not to care, until the game was totally out of hand in the second half…but there was no fixing anything by then.

Will Bill Self take heat for the team’s poor play?

Obviously.

It’s his fault too. Self’s team was just not there – he did not have this team ready to rumble. They were  maybe ready to just get JACKED. And again, I didn’t see much if any interest in their faces…did you? Continue reading

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Hearne: Everytime KU Men’s Basketball Loses a Big One an Angel Gets Its Wings

I have a confession…

It may not come as much 0f a surprise to some, but here goes:

I like it when KU loses a basketball game – the bigger the better.

Here’s why.

Because living in Lawrence, Kansas the past few years has made one thing painfully clear; that KU basketball fans are so over-the-top in the tank for their team that virtually nothing else matters.

Let me restate that for emphasis:

Nothing in life is more important to KU basketball fans than winning.

Now allow me to back that off just a bit.

The murder of one’s loved ones and financial ruin still rule the roost.

However things like basic human values, morals and decency all take a distant backseat to whatever song and dance basketball coach Bill Self and the KU Athletics Department want to offer up in the way of pathetic excuses. Continue reading

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Paul Wilson: Health Care Reform – ‘merica Just Lost…Again

What a country…

On Friday Salon said, “Amid reports that Republican leaders have been frantically rewriting their Obamacare repeal bill so as to win more support, even as GOP voters themselves have only lukewarm support for it, there are now early signs that the Trump administration is pessimistic about the vote scheduled for later on Friday.”

How sad was that?

I’m a fiscal conservative, but I’m going to take this opportunity to speak to how Republicans have failed healthcare reform in a more egregious manner than even the Democrats.

Make no mistake, ObamaCare is a failure of Harvard Business Case magnitude. 

It was built on a flawed business model. The same business model any insurance plan operates from – that you must have more revenues coming in from premiums paid than outgoing expenses from claims filed.

From day one, this program based its success on hipsters and healthy young people – the ones who see themselves as invincible – buying policies in droves. All those revenues would offset older, less healthy users of the plans. However anyone who had a BUS101 course could tell you that was destined for failure – and fail it did.

That’s why so many providers have pulled out of so many states.

When my company closed in January, I had to turn to the AHC market. Prior to then, I had the best PPO plan money could buy. Office visits, drug cards, tiny deductibles, all you could ask for. For this I paid roughly $200 per pay period.

When I tried to buy a comparable plan, that price increased four fold.

After looking at all the limited choices available, the only thing I could afford was a plan that covered nothing for basic visits with a $6,000 deductible for me and my wife.

So for me, ObamaCare – Affordable Healthcare – was neither “affordable” nor “healthcare.” Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Rolls On With Self, KU

What did I tell you guys?

With another 90 plus point win – 3 in a row during NCAA Tournament – KU looks unstoppable. Who can beat them? Who can compete with their three headed hydra; Frank Mason, Devonte Graham and Josh Jackson.

Looks to me like maybe nobody.

Purdue was suppose to give KU all they could handle and perhaps end their run. Caleb Swanigan was too big and powerful to stop. He was the answer to Mason and Kansas too small defense.

NOT!

Kansas stopped Caleb and Purdue cold, 98-66.

Yes Purdue looked great for 15 minutes in the first half, then they got waxed.

After leading Kansas for 15 minutes, the Jayhawks took a seven point lead into halftime and then wore out the Boilermakers in the second half and simply destroyed them.

Mason and Graham had 26 points each. Kansas rained threes all night and outran and out defended Purdue as well.

Seems like nobody can stay with Kansas an entire game. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘WILSON’—An Offbeat Delight

Dude, where’s my life?

No, I’m not talking about the new POWER RANGERS or CHIPS movie.

I’m focused on WILSON, a movie based on a graphic novel by Daniel Clowes.

Here crusty, lonely, hilariously honest middle-aged blowhard Woody Harrelson sets out to track down his ex-wife Laura Dern.

So far, so good.

But now discovering that he is in fact the father of a daughter he thought was aborted 17 years earlier puts a whole new dimension into his insanely offbeat life.

Of course, he first has to find her—a task that turns from hilarious to touching on many levels as he tries desperately to connect.

You can imagine how everything is about to come to a boil. Continue reading

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Hearne: Will Kansas City Finds Its Way?


Is
Kansas City on the right track?

Think about it. In generations past the Cowtown had a lot going for it. The mighty Missouri River, the stockyards, Kansas City Board of Trade and Kansas City Southern Railroad for starters.

Moving forward, Hallmark Cards, Russell Stover Candies, AMC Theatres, H&R Block and more recently Applebee’s, Sprint and Garmin were the local big dogs.

Those are some of the iconic companies that helped put KC on the map.

Unfortunately most of those business icons have either tanked or are struggling to remain relevant.

Let’s count ‘em down:

The fabled stockyards – long gone – the Board of Trade – toast.

Even the vaunted Hallmark is fighting what appears to be a losing battle.

What’s left of Russell Stover sold out to the Swiss – AMC and Sprint to the Chinese –  and just about anybody and everybody from cellphone makers on down are eating Garmin’s lunch. It closed its flagship retail store in Chicago late last year.

Block soldiers on – bouncing from speed bump to speed bump – while nail biting about the possible arrival of a flat or simplified tax plan. Sprint is hanging on for dear life, waiting for a savior to put it out of its misery. Applebee’s bailed a couple years back for the Left Coast.

The $65 million question:

What companies will take these legends places?

Anybody? Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Drops ‘I told You So’ on Comments Crowd

A few years back Tom Izzo’s Michigan State beat Bill Self‘s  Jayhawks in the Sweet Sixteen…

Yesterday Self got his revenge.

KU defeated Michigan State 90-70. However the score doesn’t show how close this game was until the final minutes.  Kansas had a comfortable 11 point lead heading towards the end of the first half but Michigan State came back to close it to 5.

It didn’t feel good.

In the second half Kansas led the entire way but in the final minutes KU blew another big lead down to just a one point margin. Yikes.

Then Kansas led by Josh Jackson, Frank Mason, Devonte Graham and surprise defense of bench guy Dwight Colby went on a tear…a 14 point run and destroyed Michigan State in the final minutes ending the hard fought game with a 20 point winning margin.

Josh had 23 points against his former pals – he’s from Michigan, Mason had 20 and Devonte 18. Before he had to leave with 4 fouls, Landon Lucas scored 10 and was outstanding in his defense as well. It was a total team win.

” The game was moving so fast, hell they wouldn’t listen to me, the game was going too fast” said Self after the win. Continue reading

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Sutherland: Pembroke, The Hilltop, Cool Guys, Class Acts & Ruling Class Heroes (Part Deux)

Every school has what the alums regard as a Golden Age…

A period when students, faculty, and administration were working in unison to produce a good education for its graduates, with lasting memories and friendships as happy by-products of that era.

In speaking to Pembroke Hill grads, there’s surprising unanimity among them that the years 1955 to 1965 were a decade when the school – then known as Pembroke Country Day and still all-male – was enjoying such a time.

This is not to say that those who came before or after didn’t enjoy their experience there. It’s clear, though,that the disruptive and polarizing atmosphere of war and depression which marked other epochs was happily absent during that period. By 1965, when I started, Vietnam and the counter-culture were already on the horizon and the post-war consensus was beginning to fray.

I read an essay by the novelist Mark Helprin, in which he talks about his own time at a very similar prep school, where the curriculum was an equal mix of liberal arts and contact sports. His days there, during this exact same time frame, were given coherence and context because there was a “canon”-  a widely accepted body of knowledge – that one at least aspired to master.

By the same token, at Pem-Day the curriculum had been fixed since time immemorial, with the grade cards unchanged from the 1920’s because the course offerings were the same. This added to the sense of tradition and continuity, as did many long time faculty members and the beautiful Georgian architecture of the buildings. (Now, sadly, all replaced!) Continue reading

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Lefsetz: The Definitive Chuck Berry Obit

He was the father of rock and roll…

Oh, don’t talk to me about Bill Haley. Boomers were barely conscious at the time “Rock Around The Clock” was a hit, if they were alive at all. And Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis were vastly influential – especially in the U.K. – but the progenitor who pushed it over the top, made rock a staple, was Chuck Berry.

Not that we had any idea who he was either.

But we knew the songs.

Tutti Frutti” was already in the rearview mirror.

But not only did the Beatles cover “Rock And Roll Music” and “Roll Over Beethoven”

But the Beach Boys ripped Chuck off for their gargantuan hit “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” which was really “Sweet Little Sixteen.”

Chuck’s got a bad reputation.

As being an ungrateful SOB who demanded cash upfront and played with unrehearsed pickup bands. Keith Richards tried to give him a victory lap with that movie, but thereafter the Glimmer Twin testified as to Chuck’s bad behavior and I’m not sure if Berry’s reputation ever recovered. You usually only get one shot at a second chance.

But you’ve got to cut the guy a break, he was there at the beginning! Continue reading

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Hearne: Will the Pitch Dump Sex Ads?

Whaddaya think?

Kansas City’s former alternative newsweekly of record, The Pitch faces a highly uncertain future come April 1st. That’s when the once-venerable entertainment and news pub plans to go from newsprint to coated stock (magazine quality) paper and monthly publication.

Kinda like its big sister zine, The Nashville Scene.

Never mind that this move was reportedly slated to go down six years back when Pitch parent SouthComm Communications made the disastrous decision to take the alt weekly off the hands of Village Voice Media. The Village Voice – under its former name New Times – had bought it from local record store owner named Hal Brody in 1999.

Unfortunately what was left of the Pitch – which at the point that SouthComm bought it – had long been in steady decline. And it continued to shrink in size, revenue and stature, leading up the the recent decision to throw in the towel on weekly publication.

Throughout an extended series of death throes – and even prior to Village Voice taking over – the weekly had wrestled with the whether to keep the several pages of highly profitable cheesy, raunchy sex ads.

At one point the Pitch did away with its sex ads because hurt the mag both in terms of distribution in desirable locations where locals complained and scared off potential advertisers that refused to be associated with that type of content.

However, money was always tight and the sex advertisers were willing to pay top dollar for access to its readership. Kinda like the local strip clubs who used to advertise in the Kansas City Star sports section until publisher Art Brisbane pulled the plug.

It’s like this, not only does sex sell, it pays quite well. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: This Beast—A Magical Beauty

Say what you will about kids movies, this is Hollywood magic at its best…

Could BEAUTY AND THE BEAST be the best Disney (live) family fantasy film ever made?

Some people already think so—and you can include me.

The $64 million question: does this fabulous production favor 1991’s animated feature film or fall more in line with the Broadway stage play?

Frankly, I believe it combines the best of BOTH worlds.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’s show stopping production numbers and digitally enhanced gothic fantasy sequences are unlike anything we’ve experienced.

It’s really four movies in one.

On one hand it’s an action movie – but also a comedy.

On the other, it’s a romantic drama and a musical. Continue reading

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New Jack City: Just for Laughs

 

I’m often asked what my favorite all-time movies are…

But I have trouble coming up with a solid list, even though “DR. ZHIVAGO” and “ELMER GANTRY” continue to rank very high with me.

When it comes to comedies though, there are 10 titles that put a smile on my face.

Ten extremely funny movies that when I happen to come across them on TV, make me stop and watch them again–and again–and again..kinda like “Mama Mia.”

In no particular order here are MY favorites: Continue reading

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Lefsetz: Time to Put An End to Hate?

Should we blame the Internet or income inequality – the inability to rise above and get ahead?

Every damn day people tell me I’m an asshole online. And let me tell you, if I say something negative about you or your project, it’s open season. It doesn’t surprise me when you reach out and castigate me. But when there’s no nexus – I don’t know you and you don’t know me – why such vitriol?

Used to be society was divided into those who ruled and those who were ruled.

And we kind of liked this, because we had economic mobility.

We thought if we just put our noses to the grindstone we could get ahead. But then mothers were working alongside fathers and bills went up, income stayed stagnant and everybody started to scratch their head and say, “Wait a minute here.”

Now the paradigm’s been blown apart.

The elites think they rule but they don’t.

That  was the story of the presidential election. Those who knew better left behind those who supposedly didn’t, and those on the losing end decided to give the middle finger to the winners of society – the educated, the advantaged – even if it was against their best interests.

Because as the bard from Minnesota once told us, when you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.

And the artists are a black hole. Chasing a buck too. Anybody with power refuses to go on record in any meaningful way for fear of alienating a potential customer and the nobodies keep clamoring for attention, when they’re not hating online.

But now they’re tipping over headstones.

I want to know why this is the Jews’ problem.

Please tell me what my tribe did to become the most hated. Seems we’re decried even more than immigrants. But that bozo shot those Indians in Kansas and what’s even scarier is the nincompoops have guns. It’s like the wild west, if you feel safe…you aren’t.

What’s funny is those who feel most at risk aren’t.

Those red state denizens where the terrorists don’t go, because there aren’t enough people there. Believe me, they’re going to Oklahoma and Idaho last. But we must beef up the military for a perceived threat that doesn’t exist, when we can blow up the world many times over and we cozy up to the real enemy, Russia.

Makes your head spin, doesn’t it? Continue reading

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Hearne: The Trouble With KU Fans

I’ll make this quick…

A couple observations on the cult-like thinking and behavior of KU basketball fans from behind the Iron Curtain in Lawrence, Kansas.

To spell it out, with rare exception they’re in denial.

To be a KU basketball fan in Lawrence, your devotion must be blind.

Anybody who can find even the slightest wrong – such as players slapping around girlfriends or kicking the you-know-what out of a women’s car outside some bar late at night, is one of two things:

Either a jealous Missouri Tiger fan or someone who just doesn’t get the fact that with ultra rare exception, basketball coach Bill Self and the Kansas athletics department can do no wrong…

Where basketball is concerned, that is. Continue reading

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New Jack City: Weekend Staycation @ The Movies

Need an escape from the daily Trump tweets and subsequent media bashings?

Here are six cinematic big screen escapes—none of which are Trump related!

* “KONG: SKULL ISLAND” – (Iconic Kong re-imagined)

* “LOGAN” – (The Wolverine’s futuristic swan song)

* “GET OUT” – (Jordan Peele’s creepy, speculative thriller) Continue reading

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Hearne: Star Sticks It To Self / KU for Sexist Behavior

Give it up for Sam Mellinger and the Kansas City Star

Don’t rub your eyes, you heard me.

Because at long last somebody in the newspaper’s sports department reached down into their trousers, located something resembling an attitude and – voila – stuck it to KU basketball coach Bill Self and the almighty Jayhawks.

What hath God wrought?

Seriously, KC and Lawrence sportswriters and editors have been sucking up to KU basketball for so long it’s almost unbelievable somebody finally had the guts to do the right thing and call them out for kid glove treatment of male athletes and discrimination against women.

Hey, holding Self and the University of Kansas Athletics Department’s feet to the fire where ethical behavior and treatment of athletes is concerned is no small feat.

You won’t find anybody in Lawrence publicly manning up on that count.

And rightly, as noted by Mellinger,  a Title IX investigation into equal treatment of men and women athletes at KU is a no brainer.

“Four of the Jayhawks’ top seven men’s basketball players have gone off path: arrested, suspended, charged with a crime or found by the university to have likely committed domestic violence,” Mellinger writes. “Some outsiders view this as a sign that the program is teetering on the brink of chaos…”

“Many within the university and program feel the problems are misunderstood, even as school officials decline to clarify while citing privacy constraints and legal guidelines. None of this is productive. None of it is helpful. Worse, it’s a distraction from learning what is true and what is not.

“The athletic department’s bungling has left a cloud hanging over the basketball program as the Big 12 Tournament opens this week in Kansas City, the kickoff to a month when college basketball has the nation’s sports attention.

“Kansas athletics has, at best, allowed a significant image problem to grow and take hold based on slow action and administrative missteps.”

Some may be shocked to see me waxing positive about Mellinger and the Star.
Continue reading

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Glazer: Scribe Claims This Year’s KU Team Best Ever

I’ve watched KU basketball for years and they’re almost always really good…

Now they’re GREAT!

I think this is the best overall squad KU coach Bill Self has ever coached.

This team is dynomite, explosive and fast.

The 3 point shots come from everywhere, all the time – and they hit!

KU has likely player of the year Frank Mason and likely NBA No. 1 or 2 pick Josh Jordon.

What impresses me most is this team’s fearlessness.

They will shoot the 3 at the end of a game without hesitation or passing the ball. This Kansas team deserves to be ranked No. 1 in the nation and they ARE the No.  1, No. 1 seed for March Madness. Continue reading

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New Jack City: What’s This, A Gay ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Character?

Sometimes the media really gets to me…

Case in point: The current groundswell and utterly ridiculous targeting of the stunning new life-action motion picture adaptation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST starring Emma Watson that opens March 17.

For the record, I’ve seen the movie and find it to be absolutely terrific!

From the set design and story line to the showstopping production numbers, it’s ALL there in this fabulous (estimated) $160 million re-imagining of Disney’s 1991 animated classic by director Bill Condon.

Then I looked at Monday’s edition of USA TODAY where critic Brian Truitt agreed with my views in his glowing review headlined, “Rousing ‘Beast’ Is A Real Beauty.”

So far. So good.

However on page three of the entertainment sections less flattering headline:

“Gay ‘Beauty Character Sparks Backlash.”

So WHO is complaining? Continue reading

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