Gene Wilder always reminded me of the opening line of the Rafael Sabatini novel Scaramoush: "He was born with a gift for laughter and a sense that the world was mad." No one captured that madness better than he.
Part of the unstated job description for a woman in sports seems to involvedealing with serious forms of online abuse—harassment that often extends well beyond the innocuous jab and into violent, misogynistic threats. It's a well-documented problem, but that doesn't matter. It's a near daily reality for far too many women working in sports.
A new video featuring Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro, two well-known professional sports reporters, brings the issue to the forefront. They gathered some of the tweets they had received on the job and asked a few men to read them back. Here are a selection of those messages:
"One of the players should beat you to death with their hockey stick, like the whore you are."
"This is why we don't hire any females unless we need our cocks sucked or our food cooked."
"Sarah Spain is a self-important, know-it-all cunt."
"Hopefully this skank Julie DiCaro is Bill Cosby's next victim. That would be classic."
The men in the video appear visibly struggling to recite the disturbing language other men have directed at Spain and DiCaro. "I don't think I can even say that," one man says. "I'm having trouble looking at you when I'm saying these things," another says.
The video ends with several of the men apologizing for having anything to do with bringing back the tweets. They are clearly taken aback with the material they've just read. As for Spain and DiCaro, they sit nearly silent; their familiarity with the experience didn't make it any easier to handle.
On Sunday, John Oliver focused his attention on Puerto Rico's paralyzing debt crisis and the fast-approaching May 1 deadline looming over the island to repay $72 billion—an amount the island's governor announced last June could not be repaid and was therefore crippling Puerto Rico's economy. The ongoing crisis has affected many of Puerto Rico's 3.5 million people and shut down schools across the island, while members of Wall Street have profited along the way.
In recent months, a growing number of politicians, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, have called on the US government to provide economic relief and the opportunity for Puerto Rico to restructure its debt. One of the most outspoken defenders of Puerto Rico has been Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and star of the Broadway musical "Hamilton." On Sunday, the newly-minted Pulitzer Prize winner appeared on Last Week Tonight to continue his plea for help, this time with a new rap song in hopes that members of Congress will rescue the island. It's a brilliant performance, so be sure to watch above.
Australia's Stephanie Craise, who records as Summer Flake, makes electric folk music that's both mammoth and intimate. Her sweet-and-sour combination of frayed guitars and dreamy, overdubbed voices has a bracing sizzle, with sentimental melodies tugging at the heartstrings to amplify the drama. If Hello Friends feels like eavesdropping on someone's aching reveries, it never achieves the creepy oversharing quality sometimes heard in confessional pop, thanks to Craise's vibrant sense of songcraft. Check out "So Long" and "Make Your Way Back to Me," both five-minute-plus epics that benefit from their extended running time by allowing her to slowly cast a powerful spell. Following last year's tantalizing, albeit tentative, Time Rolls By EP, this arresting album marks an exciting leap forward. Bravo!
Today, the world mourns the death of legendary musician Prince, the prolific artist who produced countless hits such as "When Doves Cry" and "1999."
Just a week before his death was reported on Thursday, the pop star played two sold-out shows in Atlanta, where he performed one of his most celebrated songs, "Purple Rain." The concert enforced Prince's long-standing ban on cameras, but one concertgoer managed to record a quick clip:
We weren't supposed to use phones at Prince in ATL last week, but I couldn't resist. Last performance of Purple Rain pic.twitter.com/6FjkJTksJO