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Everything Has Become ‘Boiler Room’ Now

When I watched Boiler Room for the first time around its release in 2000, I never imagined that I’d still be thinking about it on a near-daily basis 22 years later. I don’t necessarily think that’s because Boiler Room is a landmark artistic achievement, though it is a pretty good movie — the kind of unpretentious genre thriller that Manny Farber would’ve called “termite art,” burrowing into its subject matter with a singular, relentless focus.

I remember it more for what it was about, and the fact that its relentless focus (the product of then 28-year-old writer/director Ben Younger) was turned upon a “pump-and-dump” scheme (though it also contains easily one of Vin Diesel’s best performances). I find myself constantly thinking about it because what was once a semi-niche financial crime, tailor-made for a slick genre thriller, seems to have gone not only mainstream in the years since, but nigh inescapable. The con that was once pitched over an aggressive phone call from a sweaty outer-borough pseudo frat house (the “boiler room” of the title) is now advertised during the Super Bowl. It’s discussed on late night television.

Boiler Room stars Giovanni Ribisi as Seth Davis, a comfortable suburban Jewish kid from Queens who gets drawn into the world of shady stock schemes, mostly out of a desire to escape his dull, predictable, upper-middle-class existence. He craves status. But, as he puts it, “I’m not a lottery winner. I tried ‘slinging crack rock’ and I never had a jump shot.”

Just as his home casino idea starts to become more trouble than it’s worth, Seth, in an attempt to “go straight,” gets himself a job at the intense, curiously low rent/high return brokerage firm “JT Marlin.” It’s there he gets a crash course in pumping and dumping — talking up a stock to rubes and whales to get them to buy in, thus artificially inflating the stocks’ value, so that those bankrolling the firm can then dump that same stock, which they already owned, having bought in for pennies. This inevitably sends the stock plummeting, wiping out their clients’ savings. Seth, and even his mentor, Greg Weinstein, are mostly ignorant of the latter part of this scheme, at least at first, having failed to question their own windfalls.

These days, JT Marlin doesn’t need Seth Davis. It has Larry David, Lebron James, Spike Lee, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tom Brady, and yes, Matt Damon, whose famous “fortune favors the brave” ad had the misfortune of coming out just before the price of Bitcoin reached its peak. Almost anyone famous who could read a teleprompter and cash a check seems to have shilled for cryptocurrency or NFTs at some point in the past year. Since its Damon-puffed peak (sorry, Matt) Bitcoin is down around 50%. Though it should be noted that I started writing this post when crypto was merely in a mild slump, and as of this paragraph it seems to be in a full-on freefall. I’m not going to predict where it will be when I eventually finish the last paragraph, or when my editor publishes this.

It was strange to watch a pattern I already recognized from a movie play out in real life, with uncanny similarity. Boiler Room not only presaged today’s crop of prestige TV, when almost every new show seems to be about a colorful, real-life white color sociopath running an inventive amoral scam — The Dropout, Inventing Anna, Super Pumped, WeCrashed — it’s also shocking the degree to which it, in all its termite-like burrowing, it nailed both the mindset and the method of this particular scam.

Don’t Pitch The Bitch

The first rule (and I stress, this was the FIRST RULE) Seth gets from his mentor is “don’t pitch the bitch.”

Even in the year 2000 (a particularly un-PC era, when you couldn’t turn on a television after midnight without seeing a Girls Gone Wild infomercial), Seth’s initial response to this question is something like “Whoa, buddy, that seems a little problematic, are you sure you mean what you say here?”

Instead, Greg makes it even more blunt. “We don’t sell stock to women.” (Ah, okay, I guess you did mean exactly what it sounded like, carry on).

“We don’t sell stock to women. I don’t care who it is, we don’t do it. Nancy Sinatra calls, you tell her you’re sorry. They’re a constant pain in the ass and you’re never going to hear the end of it alright? They’re going to call you every fucking day wanting to know why the stock is dropping and God forbid the stock should go up, you’re going to hear from them every fucking 15 minutes. It’s just not worth it, don’t pitch the bitch.” — Greg Weinstein, Boiler Room

It’s been hard, these past six months or so, not to think of this scene almost every time I turned on my television. After watching the Miami Heat take a run at the playoffs from the FTX Arena (the naming rights bought last March for $135 million), you can (still) catch a game break presented by Coinbase. After that, you can throw on a Formula 1 race or a UFC fight, both sponsored by (for $100 million and $175 million, respectively) — with a logo on every fighter’s post-fight shirt (they’re no longer able to have their own apparel sponsors like back in the olden days) and the side of every Octagon. If you’re a UFC fighter or a Sacramento King, you can even get your salary paid in cryptocurrency (though after the past few weeks I doubt many would want that).

Funny how you don’t see nearly as many Crypto ads during the Real Housewives or Below Deck Sailing Yacht. What could possibly explain this discrepancy? Easy: the world still has JT Marlins, and their trainees are still learning not to “pitch the bitch.”

Actually, it’s a little unclear whether there still are trainees. The crypto economy (or “web3,” if we’re being more inclusive here) seems to have streamlined the process. There’s no longer any need for a cold call or for the people who would make them. Now crypto billionaires can just hire Matt Damon and Dana White. The rubes probably don’t have landlines these days, but they do have TVs.

Maybe the sheer volume of money floating around should’ve been a clue. Why would companies spend enough money to afford Super Bowl ads starring the biggest stars on Earth to promote what was supposedly an investment opportunity? An investment with legitimate value probably wouldn’t need all that hype. But if it was an essentially worthless penny stock, like the ones JT Marlin was trading, and someone owned a bunch of them… well, if you’ve seen the movie, you know the rest.

Likewise, Boiler Room‘s brokers notably projected an air of legitimacy, of being financial industry insiders while working in an office somewhere out in the relative boondocks (“The office was a good hour away from Wall Street. Somebody forgot to tell the guys who worked there though,” Seth says in a voiceover). Should it have been a clue, in retrospect, that so many crypto companies were spending hundreds of millions of dollars to name American arenas and dominate its main cultural products while themselves being headquartered in regulation havens like Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Bahamas?

She Would’ve Done The Same To You

Boiler Room was released in a pre-2008 crash, pre-9/11 era when American institutions, at least compared to the ones millennials and zoomers and younger came of age with, seemed pretty solid. Seth’s craving for the high life could be blamed mostly on entitlement, on a desire to be “special,” rather than precarity or fear of scarcity (his father, notably, is a prominent judge). A lot of late 90s films took this tone. “We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars,” as Fight Club‘s narrator put it.

The 2000 and 2008 crashes, and years of seemingly solid institutions crumbling underfoot have only hardened the dog-eat-dog worldview espoused in Boiler Room among my own generation. One of its enduring scenes was Ben Affleck’s big speech to trainees. “You want vacation time? Go teach third grade, public school,” he memorably unloads, on a room full of awed trainees barely old enough to shave.

Affleck’s character is 27. “You know what that makes me here? A f*ckin’ senior citizen.”

The crypto economy was similarly youth and young-man driven. A profile of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was titled “Portrait of a 29-year-old billionaire.”

Surely the intention of the Affleck scene, as with Oliver Stone’s in Wall Street, was to depict these characters as amoral psychos. And just as with “greed is good,” almost as soon as it was released, Affleck’s “anyone who tells you money doesn’t buy happiness doesn’t fucking have any” speech, meant to satirize mindless grasping, was invoked as aspirational. It began to be used, basically, as a pump-up jam for brokers, cold callers, and multi-level marketers everywhere.

I spent some of my first post-college years in the pre-crash aughts, just after this movie came out, when its worldview felt fresher and less like an echo. When you felt like an idiot for not getting on board with the latest scam, slinging sub-prime mortgages or sketchy refis or whatever. A friend of mine at the time worked as a cold caller for an online college where the Ben Affleck speech was frequently sent around as a motivational tool. On one call, he eventually broke down and told a cautiously intrigued elderly woman that, you know what, she probably didn’t need to spend thousands of dollars of her savings learning how to sell things on the internet, which she didn’t even have at that point. At which point his supervisor, listening in on the other line took him aside. He demanded to know why he hadn’t taken her money when she was practically giving it away. The friend said he didn’t feel right doing it, because, essentially, it seemed cruel. To which the supervisor screamed, “She would’ve done the same to you!”

This, I think, is the worldview underpinning most of the boom-and-bust cycles ever since. I doubt many people who hyped crypto and NFTs genuinely believed they were promoting a societal good, or even that these investments had any intrinsic value. For people like Jimmy Fallon or Paris Hilton, who famously showed us their apes on late night TV, I assume they either got them at a discounted rate with the assumption they would talk about them publicly (which is illegal if it’s not disclosed), or had web3-optimistic business managers who did it. Either way, talking them up was all upside for them. Buying in low (presumably) they could only stand to benefit, inflating the value of a thing they owned (though I use the term “thing” loosely here).

Most people buying crypto and NFTs weren’t celebrities or insiders though. They were more or less gamblers, trying not to miss out on the latest quick buck. Can you really blame them? I think they probably saw it mostly for what it was: a scam, and they just wanted to be on the right side of one for once. To scam and not be scammed. In the absence of being able to produce anything worthwhile, this has become the new American Dream.

It was Seth’s dream in Boiler Room, only at some point he realized the error of his ways, spending the entire third act of the movie trying to get back a grocery store buyer’s life savings he’d grifted, as an act of penance. In retrospect, this might be the most Hollywood part of the story of all.

Vince Mancini is on Twitter. More reviews here.

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Sudan Archives Embraces The Colors And Textures Around Her In The Lively ‘Selfish Soul’ Video

Sudan Archives is getting into the swing of things in 2022. She kicked off her 2022 year with “Home Maker,” her first record in three years. The song arrived after she opened a number of tour dates for Tame Impala last year. After knocking off a few festival performances this year, Sudan is back in action with a new record called “Selfish Soul.” The song is a lively and fun one and it arrives with a music video that matches the track’s warm spirit. In it, Sudan dances and turns up with a group of Black women, plays the violin on a roof and upside down on a stripper pool, and much more.

In a press release about the new song and video, Sudan said the song is “about women and the celebration of hair. It’s about representation of different hair textures and embracing all colors and textures of it.” She added:

“I feel like there’s an American standard of what beautiful hair is, and I wanted to show in this video that’s not what all beauty is; to showcase different hairstyles and different types of women and their hair. I was inspired by India Arie’s ‘I Am Not My Hair’, one of the first songs I heard about this subject. She talks about extensions and weaves and natural hair and nappy hair, and that she’s not her hair; she won’t conform to the comparisons that would come up if you had a weave or sew-in or natural hair or Afro – that doesn’t represent her.”

You can watch the video for “Selfish Soul” above.

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The Warriors Dominated The Mavs In Game 1 Of The Western Conference Finals

The Golden State Warriors played host to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, and after the Mavs’ stunning Game 7 dominance against the Suns to knock the reigning West champs out, there was plenty of buzz about what they could do in this series.

However, all that optimism was quickly reminded of the reality facing them in the conference finals, as the Warriors jumped out to an quick 10-point advantage after the first quarter, led by stifling defense that held the Mavs to just 18 points in the opening frame. Draymond Green provided the exclamation point to end the quarter with a block in the corner, but the entire team put the clamps on Dallas, as Green, Kevon Looney, and Andrew Wiggins, tasked with being Luka Doncic’s primary defender, all provided terrific efforts.

On the offensive end, it was a likewise slow start from Golden State, but Jordan Poole came off the bench and gave the Warriors a spark, as he’s done all season, providing efficient scoring and individual creation against a Mavs defense that has been stifling through two rounds.

That boost was needed, as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson got off to ice cold starts offensively, but they were picked up by the “others” like Poole and Andrew Wiggins who scored 15 first half points to lead the Warriors.

Doncic would keep Dallas attached with 18 points to lead all scorers at the break, as he put forth his usual strong first half effort, including back-to-back threes in the second quarter to keep the Warriors from breaking the game wide open.

Still, despite the best efforts of Doncic, the Warriors were able to put together a little run to close the quarter and took a nine-point edge into the halftime break. The third quarter saw the Warriors runaway and hide from the Mavs, opening with a 10-2 run and pushing their lead out to 19 going into the fourth quarter as Curry and Poole got it going.

The avalanche continued in the fourth quarter, as the Warriors would push their lead to as many as 30 as the Mavs offense simply could never get out of first gear, while Poole, Curry, and the Warriors found their stride.

Eventually, the benches were emptied and the Warriors cruised to a 112-87 win, asserting their dominance early in the series. Neither team shot the ball particularly well from three, but the lack of alternative shot creation for the Mavs when nothing was falling was a telling sign that their only chance in the series is going to be if their three balls are falling.

Dallas hoisted 48 three-point attempts in the game and hit only 11 (that is a 23.4 percent rate), only attempting 38 shots from inside the arc. On the other side, the Warriors were just 10-of-29 from three (34.5 percent), but they dominated inside the arc, going 36-of-53 on two-point attempts as they punished the Mavs small lineup and took advantage of opportunities to get out and run in transition off of all of Dallas’ misses. It feels like those Warriors-Rockets series when Houston would put up 40-50 threes and hoped the shooting variance would win them four out of seven, but the problem is, long misses give Golden State opportunities to get out and run, negating Dallas’ strong improvement as a halfcourt defense.

Curry finished as the leading scorer on the night with 21 points, with Poole and Wiggins close behind at 19 each, as seven Warriors players reached double figures in the game. Doncic had just two second half points as he finished with 20 and there wasn’t a single Mav in the main rotation who shot over 50 percent on the night. Adjustments are needed from Dallas in Game 2, namely “make threes,” but also generating better shots and being able to slow Warriors runs with shots at the rim when their threes aren’t falling would go a long way in avoiding the long scoring droughts that let Golden State pile on and get the Chase Center rocking.

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Eli Derby And 6lack Question Their Partner’s Commitment In The Weary Video For ‘Lately’

Towards the end of 2020, Eli Derby made his debut as one of LVRN’s newest signees with an appearance on the label’s Home For The Holidays Christmas album. The young singer was a stand out on the project thanks to his rendition of “This Christmas” with Summer Walker. Derby would go on to release a few singles in 2021 before unveiling his debut project, Left On Read. The project arrived with five songs and a feature from labelmate 6lack who stands beside him for the duo’s new video for “Lately.”

The duo’s slow-burning single sees them share their grievances about their respective lovers who seem to be entertaining other people outside of their relationship. In the video, Derby and 6lack sing about their concerns while showcasing intimate moments with their partner. On Derby’s side of things, he depicts his lover laying with another man as she ignores a phone call from him.

Derby’s Left On Read project is also highlighted by “Skyfall” and “Go Home” which round out the five-track EP. As for 6lack, the new visual comes after he released “Rent Free” and “By Any Means” to close out 2021. He also collaborated with Saba on “Still” which also features Smino.

You can watch the video for “Lately” above.

Left On Read is out now via LVRN and Interscope. You can stream it here.

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‘Star Wars’ Honcho Kathleen Kennedy Says They’re ‘Moving On’ From The Skywalker Saga (After ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi,’ That is)

On Tuesday, Vanity Fair published a sprawling piece on the future of the Star Wars franchise. Short version: It’s mostly a TV thing now. There are lots of Disney+-bound shows en route, but a noticeable dearth of multiplex-bound movie theaters. Taika Waititi has some under-wraps project, but that might see the light until the other 10,000 projects on his pipeline are completed. And no matter what they are, they won’t star young actors playing established characters, as Solo: A Star Wars Story semi-infamously did.

The next day VF ran a solo interview with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, who went even further: They don’t want anything to do with the original Skywalker Saga, which is to say the nine-film, three-trilogy run of movies spanning from The Phantom Menace through The Rise of Skywalker (though, of course, they weren’t made in that order).

“Just staying within the construct of George [Lucas]’s storytelling, to keep chipping away at that, I think would be wrong,” Kathleen told VF. “It’s our job to step away now, but still have a connection to the mythology that George created. That won’t stop. But we are moving on from the Skywalker saga. That’s what’s taking a lot of time, discussion, and thought right now.”

Mind you, Lucas did create a whole, bountiful galaxy, replete with endless characters and peoples and stories. Kennedy and team don’t have to keep returning to the Luke/Han/Leia (or Annakin/Obi-wan/Amidala, or Rey/Finn/Rylo-Ken) well. Which is why they’re doing it at least one more time, with Obi-Wan Kenobi, the forthcoming show that catches back up with one of the most iconic characters from the Skywalker Saga. But that’s different from the Han Solo prequel because, a) it’s not a prequel and b) they actually did get the original actor (or, well, the second actor, in three prequels) to return.

“We also can’t go do something with Luke Skywalker that isn’t Mark Hamill. We’re not going to suddenly go try to do that,” Kennedy said. “The beauty of Obi-Wan Kenobi is Ewan [McGregor] desperately wanted to do this. He has been so engaged in the entire process, and our excitement and reason for doing this is that the real Obi-Wan wanted to tell this story. We got excited by the idea that Ewan McGregor wanted to come back, and Hayden Christensen wanted to come back.”

But if you’re lamenting the possibility of no new Star Wars movie anytime soon, or even ever, fret not: Kennedy also discussed taking Star Wars into different mediums, such as Fortnite. She rhapsodized on “the ability to immerse people in stories, building avatars around your character that could actually participate in some way.” In other words, it’s like the computer games Lucasfilm has been making since the ‘90s (or even the arcade games in the ‘80s), but, you know, next level.

In the meantime, Obi-Wan Kenobi begins streaming on Disney+ on May 27, starring the guy who likes the prequels now but wasn’t so sure about them while they were being made.

(Via Vanity Fair)

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Jalen Green Shouted Out Bill Simmons After Making All-Rookie First Team

The NBA’s All-Rookie squads were announced on Wednesday night with little in the way of surprises. The three finalists for Rookie of the Year — Scottie Barnes, Evan Mobley, and Cade Cunningham — were all unanimous selections to the first team, with Rockets guard Jalen Green and Magic forward Franz Wagner joining them. The only two other players to receiver first team votes were Herbert Jones and Josh Giddey, who headlined those who earned second team honors.

This year’s awards race across the NBA was as heated as its been in some time, as fans, pundits, and even players argued over who should earn postseason hardware. While the MVP race was the most contentious, there were some very strong feelings about this year’s rookie class as well, both in the ROY race and All-Rookie voting.

Rather famously, while stumping for Herbert Jones to make the first team, Bill Simmons said this about Jalen Green on a podcast:

“I put [New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones] first-team All-Rookie,” Simmons said, per SI. “I put him over Jalen Green. F*ck Jalen Green. I don’t care you’re scoring 40 points and your team’s 19–60. Congratulations. I’m sorry, I like winning players.”

After All-Rookie squads were announced, Green decided to poke fun at the controversy those comments stirred up by shouting out Simmons, calling him “my dawg.”

Simmons, naturally, issued a response of his own insisting he likes Green as a player and that he was taken out of context when his “joke,” in his words, became fodder for Rockets fans and led to Joel Embiid pointing to that as an example of the problems with media voting on awards.

Green’s comments seem to be in good fun and I’m sure he has a standing invite to join Simmons, Russillo, and, like Malcolm Gladwell or something, on a future podcast episode if he’d like to talk it all out.

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Migos Breakup Rumors Are Swirling On Social Media After Offset Unfollows Quavo And Takeoff On Instagram

Migos have blessed rap fans with memorable tracks and highlight moments since they earned their mainstream breakout with 2013’s “Versace.” From then to now, Migos has graced the world with hits like “Bad And Boujee,” which became their first No. 1 song, “Motorsport,” “Stir Fry,” “Walk It Like I Talk It,” “T-Shirt,” and more. They also have a discography filled with fan favorites like “Fight Night,” “Handsome And Wealthy,” “Hannah Montana,” and more. Nearly a year removed from their most recent album Culture III, it seems like Migos’ end could be near as many fans noticed Offset seemingly made a surprise move on Instagram.

It appears that Offset unfollowed Quavo and Takeoff on Instagram which shocked many as the move generally signals that a breakup has occurred. To make matters worse for Migos supporters, it was also revealed that Cardi B also unfollowed Quavo and Takeoff on Instagram which adds fuel to the breakup rumors.

The rumored rift in the Migos camp comes after Quavo and Takeoff announced that they are dropping a new single as a duo called Unc And Phew, which references their familial connection. According to XXL, the upcoming track is called “Hotel Lobby” and it remains to be seen if the record plays a role in Migos’ possible split.

You can view reactions from fans on Twitter in the posts below.

Cardi B is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial reveals a lot about how we abuse mental health terms

A recent (and fairly insensitive) sketch from “Saturday Night Live” said it best regarding the widespread fixation many have on the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial:

“It’s not the most pertinent story of the moment, but with all the problems in the world, isn’t it nice to have a news story we can all collectively watch and say ‘glad it ain’t me?’”

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Trial Cold Open – SNL

Schadenfreude, celebrity fascination and previously inaccessible information now being at our fingertips is a potent combination in this trial, making amateur lawyers and psychologists of all who feel compelled to unleash their hot takes. And though the right to converse and speculate exists, is it always in our best interests to do so? Especially when it means potentially spreading misinformation, or at the cost of empathy and compassion?

For example: Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a complex and very rare disorder; less than 2% of adults in the U.S. have it, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. And yet, since Dr. Shannon Curry’s testimony, where she diagnosed Heard with it, I have seen BPD used a number of times to angrily describe someone whose behavior was less-than ideal … usually a co-worker or a former romantic partner. Dr. Curry is a trained and experienced professional in the mental health field and she made her assessment through proven methods that she has studied and practiced throughout her career. The same can’t necessarily be said of the person making an impulsive judgment online.

Just because a person is displaying similar behavior patterns such as fear of abandonment and intense mood swings, it doesn’t mean that they have BPD. Just like someone who is often immature and self-centered isn’t necessarily dealing with narcissistic personality disorder (another rare and serious disorder thrown around somewhat carelessly).

When we oversimplify these nuanced psychological terms—especially when we use them as petty insults—it can help to further stigmas and ignorance surrounding mental illness. In some cases, it might even prevent people from seeking help. It’s wonderful that we can more openly talk about things like “trauma” and “PTSD” now that social media has made this terminology more common. But this trial reveals that perhaps most of us still really have no idea what the words we’re using mean. And we use them harshly.

I get that it can be healing to put a word to your suffering and the cruelties elicited by another. A very good friend of mine only recently discovered that her now ex-fiance was diagnosed with BPD. Though a painful truth to consume, ultimately it erased so much confusion she had about their relationship and helped her stop blaming herself for things not working out. It also helped her move on.

The traction that BPD has gotten through the Depp and Heard trial has certainly cultivated more mainstream awareness of the disorder, which might help others find similar solace. That is a great thing. It’s only when we overuse specific terms to generalize actions we find “bad” that it becomes problematic.

I have a feeling anyone who’s been called “the crazy ex” would agree.

Bottom line: The words we use matter. Overuse depletes real meaning. Misuse creates misunderstanding. In a time when it’s so easy to use default labels to criticize someone’s worst attributes, perhaps discretion is the best discipline.

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George W. Bush Made A Freudian Slip For The Ages When Talking About A Certain ‘Unjustified And Brutal Invasion’

Remember George W. Bush? Before there was You Know Who, the son of the 41st American president was progressives’ Enemy Number One. He oversaw an unjustified war bolstered by bogus intel. He trampled civil liberties. He let a major city get nearly destroyed by weather. He spoke bad. But nowadays, after four years of the guy who would almost certainly sell out his own kids to save his hide, he seems more like Mr. Rogers. He’ll even troll Trump — albeit on the anniversary of the tragic event that he once exploited for power. In fact, that pretty much sums 43 up, though he’s still not even in the same universe as 45.

Bush II’s contradictory nature was on fine display during a speech he delivered in Dallas on Wednesday. At an event looking at the state of democracy and the future of elections in a (possibly) post-Trump America, the former president strongly condemned Russia and its bloody but flailing invasion of Ukraine. But then he made a Freudian slip for the ages.

Bush was discussing how Vladimir Putin stifles dissent and imprisons dissenters. “The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq,” Bush said. Yes, he said Iraq. But he quickly caught the faux pas, telling the crowd, “I mean, of Ukraine.”

Almost 20 years ago, in the wake of the September 11 attacks, Bush and his administration claimed that Iraq was harboring weapons of mass destruction. They weren’t. But Bush claimed they were, and used the nation’s anger and trauma over the biggest terrorist attack in the nation’s history to justify a long and costly war, which led to somewhere between 150,000 and over a million violent deaths. He later became a painter.

Still, the George W. Bush story may be the most extreme example of “hey, it could be worse.”

(Via Dallas Morning News)

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Drake’s Son Adonis Mimics LeBron James On The Basketball Court In An Adorable Video

Drake is quite the basketball fan, which he’s made clear on several occasions. He’s been the global ambassador for the Toronto Raptors since 2013 and he can be found courtside at the NBA team’s home games. It was just a few weeks ago that Joel Embiid trash-talked Drake after the former’s Philadelphia 76ers beat the Raptors in a playoff game. He’s also placed bets in favor of the Golden State Warriors and Duke’s men’s basketball team. Drake’s love for basketball seems to be rubbing off on his son Adonis who was seen shooting some baskets at his dad’s basketball gym which is located in his Toronto mansion.

LeBron James Adonis Drake
Lebron James

What many may not have expected through the video is how Adonis is already catching on to the mannerisms of a certain active NBA great. After shooting a basket in a video that Drake shared on Instagram, Adonis can be seen tapping his chest a couple of times just like LeBron James has done in moments throughout his career. “Where is he getting the mannerisms from @kingjames (laughing emoji),” Drake captioned the video. LeBron reposted the video on his story and wrote, “My nephew really love the game!!”

While Adonis missed his first shot attempt, he absolutely sunk the second one for a total field goal percentage of 50% which should get him into the NBA Hall Of Fame if he keeps it up.

You can watch the adorable video of Adonis and see LeBron’s response above.