Jimmy Kimmel vs. Aaron Rodgers & Mark Cuban vs. Elon Musk
FL Surgeon General Trying to Kill Floridians, Hollywood Studios Forgot They Promised to Hire More Women, Conservatives Upset That a Woman Will Director the Next Star Wars Movie, Seals & Croft Sing
What I’m Discussing Today:
Kareem’s Daily Quote: A movie quote reveals the joys that can come with losing.
Jimmy Kimmel Slams Aaron Rodgers’ Claim About Jeffrey Epstein Connection: ‘Your Reckless Words Put My Family in Danger’: Rodgers hasn’t learned anything about responsibility, accountability, morality, or logic in the two years since I first wrote about him.
Mark Cuban hits back after Elon Musk criticizes business diversity initiatives: Two billionaires in an intellectual cage match. Only one emerges with dignity.
‘Scientific nonsense’: experts dismiss Florida official’s Covid vaccine remarks: Florida’s Surgeon General and DeSantis sock puppet is still promoting debunked science that puts Floridians’ lives in danger.
Major Studios’ Pledges to Hire More Female Filmmakers and People of Color Were ‘Performative,’ Study Finds: Not sure why conservatives continue to call Hollywood woke when they are so averse to true diversity.
Conservatives Melt Down Over Feminist ‘Star Wars’ Director: I still can’t figure out exactly what they’re worried about. Tampon-shaped lightsabers? Wait, we already have that.
Kareem’s Video Break: James Taylor hilariously spoofs “Fire and Rain.”
Seals & Croft Sing: Beautiful harmonies from one of the seventies’ most popular duos.
Kareem’s Daily Quote
Thomas: “I can’t win.”
Tavita: “Then lose. But don’t lose alone, lose with us.”
Next Goal Wins
The context for this quote from Taika Waititi’s recent soccer movie Next Goal Wins is that an American coach is being punished for his on-field outbursts by being assigned to coach a team from American Samoa that not only has never won a game but never scored a single goal. The hard-drinking loner lost in grief for his dead daughter is soon welcomed into the local community where their warmth and love heals him. At one point, the coach tells the local man who has helped him understand the Samoan way of life that he can’t win the game. The man’s response: “Then lose. But don’t lose alone, lose with us.”
I’ve been a member of a team since I was a little kid. Well, I was never little so let’s just say since I was in middle school. Whenever the outside world seemed too harsh and unpitying, the comfort of the team made me feel safe and necessary. The thrill of scoring points was matched by the thrill of feeding the ball to someone else who scored. So, when Tavita says, “Then lose. But don’t lose alone, lose with us.” it makes me fondly remember how sharing in victory heightened the sensation while sharing in defeat blunted the pain.
Losing is inevitable. We can’t control that aspect of life. But we can control our preparation for it. We are all grieving from loss—whether the loss of people we love or hopes we had about our lives. We are all loners looking for shelter from the storm. Community is that shelter, which is why people belong to religions, book clubs, and pickleball groups. We seek the company of those with similar interests who might better understand us and therefore care about us.
In the Middle Ages, grand cathedrals were constructed throughout Europe and filled with the most ornate fixtures and divine art. Part of the reason for such opulence was to present a representation of heaven on Earth so the believers would be inspired to continue their faith. Basically, they were like lush model homes in a planned community that hadn’t been built. You’re buying the promise, the dream.
We build those same model heavens in our movies about small towns from Mayberry to Northern Exposure to Gilmore Girls to every Hallmark Christmas movie. If heaven were to exist, its main feature would be unconditional love for each other without any hurtful human conflicts.
That’s what makes today’s quote so poignant to me. Winning/success is a way of proving our worth to others, and that we deserve to be part of the community. On Survivor, people are always trying to demonstrate how invaluable they are at catching fish or making fires so the tribe won’t vote them off. That rarely works. In the end, people often choose based on how much they want to be in that person’s company.
That’s the essence of the quote: We don’t have to prove our worth by winning—whether it’s a game or money. We want you in our community because of who you are, not what you do. We’re all going to lose, but losing with a loving, compassionate group feels a whole lot like winning.
This Week in Celebrity and Political Duncery
Jimmy Kimmel Slams Aaron Rodgers’ Claim About Jeffrey Epstein Connection: ‘Your Reckless Words Put My Family in Danger’ (Variety)
SUMMARY: Jimmy Kimmel has responded to Aaron Rodgers‘ comments about the late-night host’s potential connection to the list of Jeffrey Epstein‘s associates.
During an appearance on the “Pat McAfee Show” on Tuesday, the New York Jets quarterback suggested that Kimmel was among those named on the Epstein list, saying, “There’s a lot of people, including Jimmy Kimmel, really hoping that doesn’t come out.”
The names of over 150 associates of the late sex offender Epstein are set to be revealed following a court order from a federal judge in December.
“I’ll tell you what, if that lists comes out, I definitely will be popping some sort of bottle,” Rodgers added.
Kimmel took to X/Twitter to dismiss Rodgers’ claim about his connection to Epstein, writing, “Dear Aasshole: for the record, I’ve not met, flown with, visited, or had any contact whatsoever with Epstein, nor will you find my name on any ‘list’ other than the clearly-phony nonsense that soft-brained wackos like yourself can’t seem to distinguish from reality. Your reckless words put my family in danger. Keep it up and we will debate the facts further in court.”
MY TAKE: The sad thing about Aaron Rodgers isn’t his refusal to apologize when he’s made a bone-headed mistake, it’s his inability to recognize when he’s made a mistake in the first place. Not apologizing is arrogant and childish. Not recognizing the mistake after repeatedly making it reveals a lack of cognitive ability.
Aaron Rodgers has rightfully taken heat for his lies about being vaccinated for COVID-19 when he wasn’t and then exposing others (which I wrote about in “Aaron Rodgers Didn't Just Lie” in 2021). Worse, he promoted vaccine hesitancy in the heart of the pandemic which could easily have led to deaths. That was more than two years ago and there’s been no intellectual or moral growth in the man. This time, he’s made accusations that could easily put a target on Kimmel and his family. (FYI: Rodgers gets paid more than $1 million to appear on McAfee’s show.) When the Epstein-related list of names was released a couple of days after Rodgers’ smug and smirky remarks, Kimmel’s name was not on it. Rodgers’ response: None. Predictable.
Celebrities wield a lot of influence among the young, which they can handle in one of two ways. First, they can accept that responsibility with fear and trembling, making sure that when they offer an opinion it’s well-reasoned and supported. Second, they can forge ahead with arrogance and ignorance, issuing irrational opinions that would make a third-grader blush. In the case of Rodgers and his illogical ilk (Kid Rock, Jason Aldean, Travis Tritt), they are like a leaky metal drum filled with toxic waste that’s been dumped into the cultural lake where the kids swim. It slowly poisons the community until the most vulnerable are so sick they can’t think straight—just like them.
That’s why we have to monitor these drum heads and haul them from the lake whenever we recognize the clown face logo stamped on the side.