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Are we ready to drool over Spanish-speaking Joe Kennedy? Because he’s literally drooling for us

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Trump’s State of the Union address held no surprises for me. It was the same old chest-thumping he’s been serving at all his rallies, but with slightly more subdued jabs at the NFL, Obamacare, the Dreamers (“Because Americans are dreamers, too”) *eye-roll,* and all the other shit he pretends to hate.

I say “pretend” because I don’t actually believe the Cheeseburglar, Trump’s secret identity, hates all the things he says he hates — or suddenly believes in, like God. Probably because most of my generation knows him as an actor who plays a businessman, instead of an actual businessman.

To make fun of his thespian background, Gore Vidal used to call Ronald Reagan “The Acting President.” It’s fun to imagine what Vidal would call Donald: The Faking Newsident? Emoting Hump? The Concocter in Heat?

Ronald Reagan feeding a monkey in Bedtime for Bonzo [1951].

Sorry, Gore. Ima leave you alone because you’re trying to rest peacefully in you’re gave, and I’m just using your great name in vain.

What I really wanted to see after Trump’s long-ass rant — one of the longest State of the Union speeches ever, supposedly — was Joe Kennedy’s speech. The handsome redhead, apparently chosen by Senator Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to LEAD LIBERALS TO VICTORY — or something — basically told his audience he stood against everything Trump patted himself on the back for.

The 37-year-old even broke out his high school Spanish:

It turns out these post-State of the Union rebuttals are the equivalent of a Twilight Zone or a Black Mirror episode: It may seem like you’re gaining something, but you’ll ultimately be humiliated in some ironic way. It happened to Marco Rubio, among others, and in Joe’s case, he’s speech will henceforth be remembered as “droolgate.”

The House Representative for Massachusetts’s 4th congressional district already told Good Morning America he was not drooling, and that his Wet ‘n Wild gloss had its on speech to give, but on the side of his mouth:

Yes, Canelo Kennedy said many pretty words post-Trump’s State of the Union address. But Michael Steel, John Boehner’s former press secretary, brought up some cogent points as to why Joe might not make the best Democratic poster star, even if his famous last name still provokes wet, drooling dreams among the blue party:

“Memories of President John F. Kennedy’s term in office — a time when Democrats did represent working-class dreams and aspirations — are faded. A 10-year old child who witnessed Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 is now 65 years old. Around half of all U.S. voters are under the age of 45…

To be successful, Democrats will need voters who are young, multiethnic, working-class, and living in swing districts. Schumer and Pelosi have chosen a white son of privilege from the most famously liberal state in America. Deeply dissatisfied voters today reject political dynasties (as my old boss, Jeb Bush, found out in 2016) and loathe Washington insiders. But Kennedy brings no qualifications beyond his gilded pedigree and status as an elected official in Washington.”

What say you, fellow minorities? You willing to let a Kennedy slobber all over you, like a brown Marilyn Monroe? Or you gonna wait for, I dunno, Julián Castro’s wet kisses?

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Andrés Cantor, the most important sportscaster of a generation, liked my Tweet

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This past Sunday I logged on to Twitter to see what 45 was up to, and a friend had tweeted a video clip of Andrés Cantor, the Argentine sportscaster, belting an elongated “gooooooool” after Colombia had scored against Poland. I immediately replied with a simple innocuous response acknowledging I grew up listening to him, and his emotion never gets old.

Monday morning I woke up with a notification on my phone: “ANDRES CANTOR liked your reply.” Having worked around celebrities in a previous life, something like this wouldn’t make me  giddy, but this was different. I remember Andrés, along with Norberto Longo, announcing the Italia 1990 World Cup matches on Univision.

At the time, Univision was the only broadcaster airing all the matches, so non-Spanish speakers also got to experience Cantor’s signature phrase.  He made watching the matches so much more exciting. It wasn’t just his particular enunciation, but his narration, which adds nail-biting suspense, and has a way of scrambling one’s feelings.

He knows his audience very well; just this week, during Mexico vs. Sweden, in the last minute of the match, he began to narrate the results of the match, which allowed Mexico to advance to the next stage. His energy matched those of the stadium, as he announced in Spanish: “Korea takes out the champion (Germany), Korea advances Mexico!

OH. MY. GOD. How can you not get caught up in the drama?

It’s not the same, but there have been some improvements with soccer matches called in English. Fox’s F1 has the English language rights for the world cup. They had two Latinos with thick accents announce Mexico vs. Sweden, and they added their own flair with dramatic cadences in English. But it’s Andrés Cantor who has laid the foundation for dramatic futbol game calling.

I remember during the 1998 World Cup, when Mexico played Germany in the round of 16, the match was tied 1-1. Pavel Pardo tried to do some fancy footwork against a German player, and Cantor quickly commented to stop it and not to do this against Germany. I was thinking the SAME thing — what an idiot! That match had me on the edge of my seat, and Cantor read my mind. Mexico ended up losing the match and getting eliminated.

I heard Andrés for the first time during the 1990 World Cup, but it was in 1987 that he was hired at Univision to call the matches for the Liga MX. For most, it wasn’t until the 1994 World Cup that Cantor came into the limelight. He was recognized with several awards, including a regional Emmy and a National Career Achievement Emmy, for his work during the tournament. He even made an appearance on the David Letterman show.

From a 1994 interview in the LA TIMES:

He said his ‘Gooooooaalllll!’ call isn’t really a trademark, and not even unique. That’s the style of the announcers he listened to as a youngster in Argentina.

Andrés Cantor is very much the voice of soccer in the USA. He came up a time when there was only one network broadcasting the World Cup, and he called the matches like the announcers from his childhood. Ultimately he’s written the announcers playbook, and many who’ve come after him have been influenced by his style. Yes, Cantor’s booming voice has become an unmistakable trademark, but for me his observations are just as important. He’s always saying what I’m shouting at the screen, and, apparently, liking my tweets.


Tizoc Schwartz co-wrote a short film on the word ‘Chingar’ and has written other stuff you’ve never heard of.  He’s a carb enthusiast, and dislikes social media.


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Drunkards in the night: A hallway, two keys, and one lasting memory

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Last night I met a student from upstate New York. She was drunk and locked out from the apartment across from mine, which she leased through Airbnb. She was given two keys; one unlocked the front door of the building, the other one unlocked her anxiety, frustration, and some other door elsewhere, but not the front door of her leased apartment.

I asked her if she was okay and she said “yes” with plenty of confidence. I entered my apartment only to be distracted by her weeping a few minutes later. I don’t know my neighbor — I mean, I’ve seen him, we wave at each other. But I don’t know his name and definitely don’t have his number because, well, it’s New York. Not having to speak to your neighbors about pleasantries — or at all — is one of the perks of the city.

I walked back to the hallway and asked the woman, who was in her early twenties, at most, if she had my neighbor’s number. In her state, my question barely registered, so instead I asked for her name, and to unlock her cell phone, which she was fumbling with. “Nawn…cie. Here.” She handed me her phone where, coincidentally, a group text was blowing up on the screen.

I got in on that: “This isn’t Nancy, but a stranger who found your drunk friend in a hallway in the LES. Someone should come get her. She’s locked out.” I offered her a glass of water, but instead she bolted inside my apartment, ran directly towards the toilet, and threw up. She figured out the layout of my place almost instantly, which was very surprising considering her altered state.

After handing her a wad of napkins and the glass of water, Nancy crawled towards the living room. “Sorry. You’re so kind, and decent, I think. I’m from Ithaca. That’s not relevant to this situation, but yeah, I’m from Ithaca,” she explained while climbing on top of an office chair (I don’t have real living room furniture).

Her friend, Rachel, texted back: “OMG. I’ll be there in 20 minutes! Please take care of her.” I relayed the information to my sudden guest. “Well, Nancy. I guess Ithaca rolls pretty hard on Monday nights,” I quipped. “Naw. Just me,” she replied, before adding that she’s a “computer science student.” “Is that relevant to this situation?” I asked. “Yes. There’s nothing wrong with computer science, actually, but my dad forced me to study that. I’m not good at it, so I’m always getting wasted.”

Nancy’s struggle was all kinds of endearing, but it wasn’t my place to dish out advice because 1) she didn’t ask for it, and 2) she already knew shit was wrong, but simply decided to deal with it in an unhealthy, self-destructive way, just like most young people. It’s actually an important stepping stone in youth, the kind that simply needs to play out.

Rachel finally showed up, adding: “Thanks for taking care of her. We didn’t think she was this drunk when she left the bar.” Still woozy, Nancy looked in my general direction before she left, and mentioned a parting gift. “It’s next to your toothbrush. Thanks, dude.”

She left a memory — yeah, figuratively, but also literally. A 4 gigabyte Samsung DDR3 RAM laptop memory module.

Nancy’s funny. Nancy’s gonna be alright.

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