Sunday, August 2, 2009

Of Mob Museums, Beyonce and Pizza

Some thoughts and stuff from the weekend papers...

* I'm now officially not the only media cheerleader for the planned downtown Mob Museum. Welcome, George Knapp, to the cause.

* We thought Sen. John Ensign's affair and payoff scandal had little relevance to anything other than his own career, but evidently Kansas gaming officials may disagree. Y'see Ensign had his father, former Mandalay Resorts honcho Mike Ensign, pay his mistress's family $96,000 as "severence" or somesuch. And now the Kansas folks are wondering if they should let Ensign the Elder be involved in a casino deal near Wichita. Ut-oh. (Cartoon credit: LtSaloon.Org.)

* It saddened me to learn that Dina Babbitt has died of cancer at age 86. I was instrumental in her fame thanks to a large New York Times piece in 2006 about the Auschwitz prisoner who was forced by Dr. Josef Mengele to draw paintings of Gypsy inmates to survive. She didn't know that the paintings even survived until the 1970s when a museum in Poland asked her to authenticate them. She expected them to let her have them back. They never did.

* Is it me, or is it odd that the press photo of Michael Jackson's personal chef Kai Chase seems to have come from Glamour Shots? (See right.)

* In an important reminder that extreme feminism is not quite dead yet, check out this cover piece in this week's Las Vegas CityLife by Rebecca Zisch. I'm a strong advocate of legal abortion -- my own great-grandmother died of a self-inflicted, illegal abortion -- but Planned Parenthood peeps urging a boycott because a coffee shop is hospitable to anti-abortion protesters? That's more offensive than whatever the perceived slight was they suffered. I'm a little surprised, frankly, they didn't call for a girlcott. If the cause of abortion rights can't handle a cafe owner selling lattes to those who oppose them or even -- God forbid! -- providing them seating on a hot Vegas day, they're in a lot deeper trouble than they think.

* Sonya Padgett's piece in the R-J on ticket prices in Vegas offered some good analysis and tips on how to save some money.

* Speaking of CityLife, mortal enemy of my the weekly for whom I write a column, I relied on CityLife editor Steve Sebelius for some snap political analysis of this odd move by President Obama for my piece yesterday in the New York Times.

* I'm stunned that a veteran show reviewer like Mike Weatherford would not notice that Beyonce clearly had tracking assistance during her Wynncore appearance on Friday. Yet his B+ review today claims, "It's great to have a pop star who can actually sing without technological trickery." Most of the show was real, sure, and I don't disagree with the grade, but the last third when she's dancing like crazy? Come on, now. You think she's going to leave that shit to chance? Also -- and I'm sure this wasn't Mike's doing -- but for the R-J to file his preview piece under the bold-faced "INTERVIEWS" header is a total lie since he wrote in the fifth paragraph: "The singer declined an interview, ... ."

* This NYT piece is why I decided Miles and I were ordering a pizza last night.


Michael said...

While I know Vegas typically has bad pizza, you should give Caesar's SLICE shop a try if you are in the area one day while working. Best pizza I've had on the strip.

Anonymous said...

Steve, have you tried Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza at Town Square yet? C'mon, support a South Florida company.

not surprising said...

ensign is a first class douche. at fist i just speculated this based on his appearance and tendency to be a complete yes man. he has since confirmed my suspicions. score one for instinct!it seems that with politicians and corporate executives, the nicer the hair, the whiter the teeth, the tanner the skin and the prettier the smile, the more crooked and snakey they tend to be. prime example: just look at the gibbon we have in the governor's office.

one thing i will give to ensign: the strategy of an early admittance of guilt regarding his adulterous ways may end up benefitting him.

gibbons, on the other hand, has drunk the kool-aid, gone back for seconds, and upon learning that the thermos was empty, cooked up another batch for himself and consumed it all in one setting. the man is absolutely delusional to seek re-election.


Anon: Town Square is really far from our house. Maybe if I'm down that way, I'll give is a whirl. This time, we took out from a yummy place around the corner. Thanks for the idea, tho!