For the France President market, does the first round of voting count? Seems like everyone is betting based on that. Polls show a close 3 way race with Le Pen, Macron and Fillion running neck and neck, but......
In the 2nd round, every poll shows Le Pen getting killed by 20-30+ points. Its been extremely consistent for the past year. This is not comparable to Brexit or Trump since most polls werent that far off. Marine Le Pen is a neo nazi. She cant gain any new sane voters. Its a fringe voting bloc. Voters who dont support her now will vote for anyone but her.
A not-so-brief rundown of the letters N-Q in Jeffrey Epstein's 'Little Black Book'
Below is a rundown of the letters N-Q under Epstein's contacts. Last year, I wrote about letters A-C. You can check that out here (https://www.reddit.com/conspiracy/comments/cpis3n/a_brief_rundown_of_the_first_ten_pages_of_jeffrey/). I also wrote about letters D-F on July 5, 2020. You can check that out here (https://www.reddit.com/conspiracy/comments/hlrba8/a_notsobrief_rundown_of_letters_df_in_jeffrey/). I posted letters G-I on July 13, 2020. You can check that out here (https://www.reddit.com/conspiracy/comments/hqko0y/a_notsobrief_rundown_of_letters_gi_in_jeffrey/). I posted letters J-L on July 15, 2020. You can check that out here (https://www.reddit.com/conspiracy/comments/hrq9bg/a_notsobrief_rundown_of_letters_jl_of_jeffrey/). I posted letter M on July 20, 2020. You can check that out here (https://www.reddit.com/conspiracy/comments/huw0yt/a_notsobrief_rundown_of_the_letter_m_in_jeffrey/). There are some misspelled names. Epstein entered their names like this. I have bolded some of the more interesting connections and information, but there could be much more that I overlooked. I hope something here strikes an interest in someone and maybe we can get more investigations out of this. Please, if you know anything more about any of these people than what is presented here, post below. I am working off of the unredacted black book found here: https://www.coreysdigs.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Jeffrey-Epsteins-Little-Black-Book-unredacted.pdf N Nadler, Emanuel: Businessman involved in mortgage companies. Nagel, Adam: Works at W Nagel, broker and advisor to premier diamond manufacturers, such as De Beers. Nagel, William: Chairman of W Nagel. Diamond merchant. Nardi, Dott M Jacope: No info found. Nastasse, Ilie & Alex: Ilie was one of the best professional tennis players in the ‘70s. He has been accused of inappropriate behavior by Maria Shriver and others, although this refers to classless comments not physical abuse. Ilie is also well-known for his sexual exploits, as it claimed that he has slept with anywhere between 800-900 women. Alexandra is Ilie’s 2nd wife. They were married for 17 years. Negrete, Jelitza: A Countess and descendant of European nobility (http://www.almanachdegotha.org/id197.html). Her family name is Karolyi. I couldn’t find any more info. Neil, Andrew: British journalist and broadcaster. Founding Chairman of Sky TV (owned by Murdoch). Also served as Editor for Rupert Murdoch’s The Sunday Times from ‘83-’94. Later became a contributor to The Daily Mail and just recently had his political program cancelled by the BBC. Neil, Andrew: Same as above. Newman, Hetty: Second wife of the 7th Earl of Caledon. Now divorced. Newman, Mr & Mrs John: John is Hetty’s father. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant in the Royal Horse Guards. He later became a businessman and was director of several companies. Ng, Clive: A media financier and executive. Niarchos, Constantine: Billionaire son of shipping magnate Stavros Niarchos. Was once married to Alessandra Borghese of Italian papal lineage (and black nobility). He was also romantically linked to Koo Stark, Trinny Woodhall, and Kerry Kennedy (daughter of Bobby Kennedy), all of whom are in Epstein’s ‘black book’. Constantine died of an overdose with enough cocaine in his system to kill 25 men (https://www.theguardian.com/theobserve1999/oct/17/life1.lifemagazine7). Nickerson, William & Jayne: William seems to be an architect and interior designer. Jayne is a fashion editostylist who is friends with Naomi Campbell (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7645409/Jayne-Pickering-asks-expert-designer-wardrobe-actually-nest-egg.html). Her and William are now divorced. Nishio, Yoshi: Former Goldman Sachs trader. Noel, Alix: Socialite married to a wealthy banker. Friend of Allegra Hicks, who has constantly popped up among Epstein’s contacts. Noel, Hon Thomas: Son of Anthony Noel, 5th Earl of Gainsborough. Noel, Vanessa: Luxury shoe designer, hotelier, and gallery owner. Many celebrities are clients of hers. Noha, Cecilia: Possibly meant to be Cecilia Noah, former Miss Sweden (1978). Noonan, Tim: Tax lawyer. Nuttall, Harry: Former Formula One driver turned sports marketing entrepreneur. O’Donnell, Mr Carletto: Financier. Friend of Princess Michael of Kent (King George V’s grandson). O’Neill, Louis: An American diplomat and attorney. Has worked for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Obama administration, the State Department, and as Special Assistant of Russian Affairs for Colin Powell. Oates, Simon: British actor who died in 2009. Oates, Tom: Former investment director at BlackRock, an investment management company. Ojora, Yinka: CEO and/or Director of a number of investing groups in Nigeria. Olsen, Camille: Friend of Ghislaine Maxwell (https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/leilani-johnson-donna-dcruz-patricia-vel%C3%A1squez-ghislaine-news-photo/1169681661?adppopup=true). Don’t know much else, but she has been photographed at these high society parties fairly frequently. Omar, Ralph: No info found. Ong BS & Chritina: Christina is a Singaporean hoteliebusinesswoman who is heavily involved with Club 21 (a luxury fashion brand) and COMO Hotels and Resorts. She runs all of the Armani outlets in Britain, as well as the franchises for Donna Karan, Prada, and Bvlgari. Christina and her husband, Beng Seng, are worth $1.9 billion. Ong, Melissa: Christina and BS’s daughter. Oppenheim, Mr Laurie: Oppenheim worked as an executive at Marks and Spencer, a British retail chain, for nearly 30 years. Oppenheim has also served as a Trustee for a children’s charity called… The Honeypot Children’s Charity (https://www.honeypot.org.uk/what-we-do/meet-the-team/#our-trustees) since 1998 (https://uk.linkedin.com/in/laurie-oppenheim-22ab7512?challengeId=AQGP2jc2VAYQXwAAAXN6h0UrQXFHXyzrAP28ks5TK1rXMSHM5kNgtLMIfKERVP65UG0_eg9Az_1EjABS1pQqIpz9a69ZXhKpVw&submissionId=2923537f-6250-2416-4d31-f9585e45dc7b). I wish I was kidding. That’s the actual name. Oppenheim was also one of the attendees of an auction for the children’s charity, KIDS (https://www.tatler.com/gallery/wallace-collection-fundraiser), which is populated with Epstein contacts Rosa Monckton and Liz Hurley, and other high profile people such as David Cameron, Elton John, David Furnish, Cherie Booth, and Cathy Newman. The auction was led by Jacob Rothschild. Other attendees that also appear in Epstein’s contacts include Lady Forte (Allai Forte) and Arpad Busson, one of the potential pedophile ringleaders who I wrote about last year (https://www.reddit.com/conspiracy/comments/cl34ju/arpad_busson_billionaire_businessman_or_possible/). Oppenheim, Ms Marella: This likely refers to the documentary photographer and former journalist of The Guardian. Orchard (Vaughn-Edward), Katie: Catherine is a very close friend of Ghislaine Maxwell’s. She allowed Ghislaine to use her address as the business address for the TerraMar Project, a charity that Maxwell created. Catherine also served as Trustee and co-director of the charity (https://www.tatler.com/article/where-on-earth-is-ghislaine-maxwell). Orlando, Fabrice: CEO of Cocoon Events Management Group, a luxury event planning company based out of Morocco. Osbourne Rachel: British businesswoman who has served as director for several companies. Oswald, William & Arabella: William co-founded Twins (https://twins.org.uk/governance/), a children’s charity that “links UK schools with schools in areas hit by natural disasters and/or need, both for practical support and for cultural understanding” (https://twins.org.uk/). William works as a director at several companies, including Keyspace Self Storage, Bluepod Media, and SG Capital Partners. William’s father is the National Hunt racing adviser to the Queen, and before that, the Queen Mother. Arabella is his wife and the daughter of the 6th Marquess of Exeter. Otto, Beo & Edvige: Not positive. Seems that Edwige works in stock trading in France (if I have the correct person). No info on Beo. Owen Edmunds, Tom & Kate: Kate is a novelist. Her ex-husband, Tom, is a photographer. Oxenberg Christina marc Yaggi: Christina is a writer and fashion designer. Her mother is Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia. Her grandparents were Prince Paul of Yugoslavia and Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark. Due to all of the inbreeding between European royals, Christine is a cousin of the Royal Family. Oxenberg used to attend dinner parties at Epstein’s and was also friends with Ghislaine (https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a30222833/christina-oxenberg-instagram-patreon-memoi). Oxenberg intends to talk to the FBI about Epstein and Maxwell (https://www.tatler.com/article/christina-oxenberg-speaks-to-fbi-about-ghislaine-maxwell-and-jeffrey-epstein). Marc Yaggi is Executive Director of Waterkeeper Alliance, where Oxenberg was once a writer. Paini, Nicole: Nicola is a Managing Partner at Rothschild & Co (https://app.mergerlinks.com/people/nicola-paini). Palau, Marcia: No info found, although her address indicates that she is wealthy. Cheyne Walk is a street that politicians, musicians, and celebrities have all called home. Palmer Tomkinson Tara: Socialite and TV personality with tons of A-list contacts. Her family is very close with the Royal Family. Tara was a cocaine addict who eventually died of an ulcer in 2017. Prince Charles was her godfather. Palumbo, Mr James: Baron Palumbo of Southwark is an entrepreneur and a member of the House of Lords. Co-founder of Ministry of Sound nightclub. Major donor to the Liberal Democrats political party. Palumbo, Peter: Father of James (above). Baron Palumbo is a property developer who sat on the House of Lords from 1991-2019. Former polo teammate and close friend of Prince Charles until they had a falling out. Confidant of Princess Diana. Godfather of Princess Beatrice of York, the elder daughter of Prince Andrew. Peter denies ever having met Epstein. Panah-Izadi, Nader & Brigitte: Nader is an investment manager. Brigitte is his wife. Couldn’t find anything else. Pank, Ms Victoria & Alby Carto: No info found. Parker, Jackie: Management consultant who sits on the board of several companies. Also the head of global philanthropy for General Motors. Parsons, Carolina: A Chilean model and model scout who has worked for big name designers. Here she is with her friend, Naomi Campbell (https://twitter.com/caroparsons/status/605883012492886016/photo/1). She can also be seen in a picture with Harvey Weinstein at the bottom of this article (https://www.biobiochile.cl/noticias/espectaculos-y-tv/notas-espectaculos-tv/2020/06/01/carolina-parsons-niega-tajantemente-conocer-a-epstein-tras-aparecer-en-supuesta-lista-de-contactos.shtml), which posts her claims that she never knew Epstein. Paschan, Elise: Famous poet. Pashcow, Joel: Real estate magnate. He is a past trustee of the Children’s Medical Center at Long Island Jewish Hospital and trustee at ACLD, a charity for developmentally disabled children and adults. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Palm Beach police and fire foundation (https://www.palmbeachpoliceandfirefoundation.org/joel-m-pashcow-bio). Pashcow has flown on Epstein’s jets (https://i.redd.it/hcfoxsb8feb51.png) and has been to pedo island. In fact, Pashcow appears 8 times(!!) on one this released flight log, including once with his wife (https://archive.org/stream/EpsteinFlightLogsLolitaExpress/Jeffrey-Epstein-Flight-Logs-in-PDF-format_djvu.txt). Epstein has 19 entries for Pashcow in his ‘black book’. Here is Pashcow at the Policeman’s Ball, which Trump frequently hosts at Mar-A-Lago (https://westpalmbeach.floridaweekly.com/articles/10th-annual-policemans-ball-mar-a-lago-club-palm-beach/). Pashcow is a ‘Crystal Sponsor’ of the Palm Beach Police Foundation alongside Donald Trump (https://trustedpartner.azureedge.net/docs/pbpolicefoundation2017/news/PBPF_Newsletter_Winter_Spring_2015_TGOFPNMX.pdf). Pashcow, Stacey: Joel Pashcow’s daughter. A luxury real estate agent for The Corcoran Group. Here’s Stacey at a Valentino-hosted luncheon. Ghislaine Maxwell was also in attendance (https://guestofaguest.com/new-york/fashion/valentino-whets-appetite-for-food-and-fashion-at-fallwinter-2009-capsule-collection-preview-luncheon). Pastrana, Andres: Former president of Colombia (1998-2002). His father was president of Colombia from 1970-1974). Pastrana was forced to admit flying on Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’ after the flight logs were released (https://colombiareports.com/colombias-former-president-on-jeffrey-epsteins-lolita-jet-flight-logbook/). According to this article, Ghislaine Maxwell claims to have flown a Blackhawk helicopter in Colombia and fired a rocket into a terrorist camp (https://observer.com/2002/11/vikram-chatwal-turban-cowboy/). There is no time period for when this supposedly occurred, but it could have happened while Pastrana was president. Patricof, Alan & Susan: Alan is an investor, venture capitalist, and private equity magnate. Patricof served as the national finance chairman for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign (https://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/us/politics/20donor.html?scp=19&sq=alan%20patricof&st=cse). From 1990-2016, the Patricofs donated $1,152,637 to Hillary’s campaigns (https://www.opensecrets.org/pres16/bundlers). Alan is also a trusted friend of Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law (https://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/29/jared-kushner-inner-circle-confidants-240116), proving once again that PARTISANSHIP IS BULLSHIT. THEY ARE ALL CONNECTED. Susan is his 2nd wife. Her brother, Craig Hatkoff, appears in Epstein’s contacts under ‘H’. Alan and Susan’s son, Jonathan, is President of Tribeca Enterprises, the company that owns and operates the Tribeca Film Festival. Their other son, Jamie, is a TV and movie producer. His wife, Kelly Sawyer Patricof, is the co-founder of Baby2Baby (https://baby2baby.org/who-we-are/#team), a children’s charity that helps children (0-12) living in poverty. Paulson, John: Billionaire hedge fund manager. Pavoncelli, Cosima & Riccardo: Cosima is a socialite and the daughter of Claus and Sunny von Bulow. Her husband, Riccardo, is an Italian banker. Pearson Hon Charles: Son of the Third Viscount Cowdray and owner of the 53,000 acre Dunecht estate. Pease, Simon & Clem: Simon was a successful custodian of the family’s Underley Estate. He was also a High Sheriff of Cumbria. Passed away in 2007. Clementine was his wife. Pedrini Lorenzo: President and co-partner of Fashion Model Management. Pedrini is former Co-President at Next Management, where he was a partner along with Faith Kates and (alleged) pedophile/accomplice/supplier, Jean-Luc Brunel (https://www.thedailybeast.com/jeffrey-epsteins-ties-to-the-modeling-industry-go-much-deeper-than-victorias-secret). Pedrini Tito: Jeweller. Pekeler, Marcus: Communications consultant in Switzerland. Peltz, Harlan: Co-founder of iBorrow, a private commercial real estate lender. Literally lives around the block from Epstein’s NYC mansion. Pennell, Mark: Australian movie produceactor. Perelman, Ronald: Billionaire investor. Perelman hosted a dinner party with Epstein, Bill Clinton, Don Fowler, Don Johnson, and Jimmy Buffett all the way back in 1995, when Clinton was still president (https://www.ntd.com/bill-clinton-dined-with-jeffrey-epstein-in-1995-predating-public-timeline-report_355103.html). Perelman is also a good friend of Donald Trump and has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaign. Lives about a half mile away from Epstein’s NYC mansion. Petangi, Helsius: Son of Ivo Pitanguy, plastic surgeon to the stars. Peters, John: Movie producer and former hairdresser. He produced Superman Returns (2006), which was directed by (alleged) sexual abuser Bryan Singer. In 2011, Peters had to pay a former assistant $3.3 million after finding that she was sexually harassed during production of Superman Returns. Peters married Pamela Anderson earlier this year, but they separated after 12 days. Peterson, Holly: Journalist, novelist, and producer for ABC News. Friends with CNN host (and brother of Governor Andrew Cuomo) Chris Cuomo’s wife (https://pagesix.com/2014/08/22/more-than-1m-in-jewels-on-display-at-hamptons-tea-party/). This is the 2nd connection to the Cuomos in Epstein’s contacts. He has Andrew Cuomo and ex-wife Kerry Kennedy listed as well. Ghislaine attended a party to celebrate one of Holly’s books (https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/ghislaine-maxwell-caryn-zucker-peter-brown-and-barbara-news-photo/1169681635?adppopup=true). Peterson, Riki: Not enough info. Best guess is an investment banker of the same name. Pham Linh-Dan + Andrew: Linh-Dan is a Vietnamese actress. Her husband, Andrew, is an investment banker. Picasso, Olivier & Alice: Olivier is the grandson of Pablo Picasso. Alice is an actress and Olivier’s former fiance. Picciotto, Michael: Vice-Chairman at Engels & Volkers AG, a real estate firm. Former head of global financial activities for UBP, a Swiss private bank owned by Picciotto’s family. Pickering, Jane & William: Jayne is a very famous fashion editor. William is her ex-husband. Pignatelli, Frederico: An Italian prince whose family has “aristocratic ties to Pope Innocenzo XII” (https://federicopignatelli.com/). President, owner, and founder of Pier 59 Studios, the world’s largest photo studio complex. Federico was once accused of sexual harassment by his former assistant, but he was acquitted (https://nymag.com/intelligence2010/08/photography_studio_head_federi.html). Pignatelli also has his own modeling agency which is headed by Brunella Casella, the woman responsible for launching the career of scumbag Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, and others (https://wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-scoops/industry-model-management-new-york-office-10505934/). Pigozzi, Jean: Heir to the CEO of Simca, a French automaker. Pigozzi is also a photographer and fashion designer. Pigozzi regularly attends The Billionaires’ Dinner (https://www.edge.org/the-billionaires-dinner), where he has been pictured with Paul Allen and Princess Olga of Greece. Other regular attendees include Jeffrey Epstein, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Sergey Brin, John Brockman, Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons and pervert who received a foot massage from 16 year old Virginia Giuffre), and Rupert Murdoch. Pigozzi lived about a mile away from Epstein in NYC. Pigozzi is also a good friend of Ghislaine Maxwell’s (https://www.patrickmcmullan.com/photo/1539229). Pittman, Bob & Veronique: Robert is a co-founder of MTV and CEO of MTV Networks. He has also been CEO and/or COO of other big companies such as AOL Time Warner, Clear Channel, iHeartMedia, Six Flags Theme Parks, Quantum Media, and Century 21 Real Estate. Pittman has partied with Ghislaine Maxwell, Katie Ford (read my D-F thread for more on her), and Andre Balazs (https://pagesix.com/2007/04/28/arboreal-fashion/). Pittman has also been the Director of the One to One Foundation, a charity that works with underprivileged children (https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/business/1998/02/15/aols-man-with-a-mission/2e4d88f1-288e-4aa5-86b4-acf68b353954/). His home address and work address are both about a mile from Epstein’s NYC mansion. Veronique is his wife. Pittman, Sandy: Former wife of Robert Pittman (above). Sandy is an avid mountain climber. She is allegedly responsible for the death of eight people while climbing Mount Everest, as depicted in the Jake Gyllenhaal movie, Everest (https://nypost.com/2015/09/17/socialite-everest-climber-speaks-out-im-no-villain/). Sandy supposedly refused to stop climbing until they reached a top. A blizzard blasted the mountain, killing eight members of the party. Plepler, Richard: Former Chairman and CEO of HBO. Good friend of Peggy Siegal, the well-known publicist who acted as Epstein’s plug. More on her at a later time. Plouvier, Diane & Denis: Denis is the owner of Trousseau linen company (https://www.denisplouvier.fblank). No info found on Diane. Podolsky, Jeffrey: Writeeditor of such publications as Tatler (again!), People Magazine, Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Magazine, and George. Lives about a ½ kilometer away from Epstein’s NYC mansion. Has been photographed with several Epstein associates (Peggy Siegal, Carol Mack, India Hicks, and others. Polk, George: Financial analyst who served on the Council of Foreign Relations with Epstein. Polk is also a member of the World Economic Forum. Polii, Edoardo: Powerboat champion and textile entrepreneur. Polu, Emmanuelle: Financier at La Nef. Ghislaine Maxwell’s cousin. Polu: Isabelle: Former head of marketing at Microsoft. Became a translator specializing in psychology. Sister of Emmanuelle and cousin of Ghislaine. Polu, Clary: “Marketing director of Lycos and Meetic, wife of the "startup" Christophe Schaming, co-shareholder of Winamax, the online betting company co-founded by the mysterious passenger of theLolita ExpressNicole Junkermann” (http://faitsetdocuments.com/articles.html). Porrin Ivanisevic: No info found, but the work phone number listed traces back to Globana Media Group, a printing, publishing, and multimedia group. Porter, Pliny: Movie producer. Close friend of Julia Roberts. Porthault, Emmanuele: No info found. Porthault, Mr & Mrs: Marc Porthault runs the family linen business, D Porthault. Marc’s parents founded the company. Clients include Bill Gates, Woody Allen, the Mellons, and the Kennedys. Marc’s wife, Isabelle, is the head of human resources of Chanel in Europe. Porthault, Pascal: No info found. Porthault, Remi & Isabel: Remi is the marketing director and president of the U.S. subsidiary of D Porthault linens. Poster, Meryl: Former President of Television at The Weinstein Company. Before that, she was Co-President of Production for Miramax Films. A phone number connected to Meryl Poster was found in Epstein co-conspirator Sarah Kellen’s phone records on October 3, 2005. The call lasted one minute (https://www.thedailybeast.com/jeffrey-epsteins-hollywood-pipeline-ran-straight-to-harvey-weinstein). Meryl is pictured here with Ghislaine Maxwell (https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/ghislaine-maxwell-meryl-poster-and-caryn-zucker-attend-news-photo/1169681625). Potter, Muffie: Socialite and former executive at Van Cleef & Arpels, a watch company. Married to famed plastic surgeon, Sherrell Aston. She has been photographed with Ghislaine and Peggy Siegal at various events. Prestin, Electra: Former vice president of merchandising for Ralph Lauren and co-founder of Adam & Eve clothing company. Her father, Lewis T. Preston, was chairman of J.P. Morgan and president of the World Bank (appointed by George H.W. Bush). Her great-grandfather was newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer, whom the Pulitzer Prize is named after. Another great-grandfather of hers was a partner in the Standard Oil Company of John D. Rockefeller. Prevost, Catherine: Fashion designer. Price, Charles H. II: Banking CEO who served as U.S. Ambassador to Belgium (1981-1983) and U.S. Ambassador to the U.K. (1983-1989) during the Reagan administration. Price was also on the boards of The New York Times (1989-2002), Texaco (1989-2001), Sprint (1989-1995), British Airways (1989-1996), and other companies. Price, Judy: Founder of Avenue, a magazine about New York City. Princess Firyal: Jerusalem-born Jordanian princess who was once married to Prince Muhammad bin Talal. Firyal was named an UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 1992. Princess Firyal launched the International Hope Foundation in 1994 for the benefit of homeless and street children. Firyal holds positions with several museums (The Louvre, The Tate, MOMA, and Guggenheim), as well as positions with Columbia University, New York Public Library, United Nation Association, and International Rescue Committee. Pritzker, Nick: Real estate and venture entrepreneur. Comes from a massively wealthy family who made their money in chewing tobacco. Former president of Hyatt Hotels. Major investor in SpaceX, Tesla, and Uber. Cousin of Thomas (below). Pritzker, Thomas: Billionaire heir and executive chairman of Hyatt Hotels. Cousin of Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois. Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre named Pritzker as one of the men she had to have sex with (https://www.tampabay.com/breaking-news/jeffrey-epstein-is-gone-but-allegations-against-powerful-associates-linger-20190810/). Pritzker’s name appears twice on Epstein’s flight logs (https://archive.org/stream/EpsteinFlightLogsLolitaExpress/Jeffrey-Epstein-Flight-Logs-in-PDF-format_djvu.txt). Pritzker is listed as one of the people who has knowledge of Maxwell and Epstein’s sexual trafficking conduct and interaction with underage minors (https://www.the-sun.com/news/778758/jeffrey-epstein-enablers-named-sex-trafficking-underage-victims/). Epstein has 12 phone numbers - including an emergency contact number - and two home addresses listed under Pritzker’s name. What’s even creepier is that there is a subtitle under his name that reads “Numero Uno”. Usually when Epstein adds a subtitle under someone’s name, it indicates what company they work for or a relationship of some kind (ex: X’s husband or Y’s friend). The fact that ‘Numero Uno’ is the subtitle under Pritzker’s name is unsettling, to say the least. Propp, Rodney: Real estate tycoon known for holding onto properties until neighborhoods gentrify. Prunier Christy & David Doss: Doss, David & Christy Prunier: David Doss has worked as producer and/or executive producer on NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Oprah in Africa, Primetime (with Diane Sawyer), Anderson Cooper 360, and Live PD. Doss now serves as senior VP of news programming for Al Jazeera America. Christy Prunier is a former Hollywood exec and founder of the Willa brand of beauty products. Pucci, Laudomia: Daughter of fashion icon, Emilio Pucci. Works as Image Director for the eponymous company. Puig Marc: Chief executive and president of Puig, a fragrance and fashion company. Puig Taria: No info found. Puopolo, Sonia: Author and inspirational speaker. Former communications director ofHaute Living, a luxury lifestyle magazine. Her mother died on 9/11 when the airplane she was on crashed into the World Trade Center. Her mother’s close friend, Hillary Clinton, read the eulogy at her funeral (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2497916/Wedding-ring-9-11-victim-Clinton-family-friend-1-6-million-tons-Ground-Zero-rubble-provide-hope-daughter-died-hit-run-decade-later.html). Puttnam, David: British film producer, educator, and member of the House of Lords. Puttnam was friends with Princess Diana before her passing. Pymont, Chris: One of the top lawyers in Britain. Quartucci, Alan: Founder of North Shore Bloodstock and North Shore Insurance, thoroughbred bloodstock companies that provide equine insurance, consulting services, racehorse management, and more. Quinn, Topper: Investment banker who founded a couple of consulting firms.
News Heading into Monday July 27th 2020 NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT YOLO THE VARIOUS TICKERS WITHOUT DOING RESEARCH. THE TIME STAMPS ON THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES MAY BE LATER THAN OTHERS ON THE WEB. THE CREATOR OF THIS THREAD COMPILED THE FOLLOWING IN A QUICK MANNER AND DOES NOT ATTEST TO THE VERACITY OF THE INFORMATION BELOW. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR VETTING YOUR OWN SOURCES AND DOING YOUR OWN DD.
TCRR ($14.10) TCR² Therapeutics Announces RECIST Responses with First TC-210 Dose Tested in Advanced Mesothelin-Expressing Solid Tumors
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ACOR ($0.78) Form 8-K: Notice of Delisting or Failure to Satisfy a Continued Listing Rule or Standard; Transfer of Listing. On July 23, 2020, Acorda Therapeutics received a deficiency letter from the Listing..
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CEL Cellcom Israel Announces Changes to Compensation Policy and Indemnification and Exemption Letters Included on Agenda of July 27, 2020 Annual Shareholder Meeting and Postponment of Annual Shareholder Meeting to August 12, 2020
Equity bulls believe everything is fine. The bond markets know better
Global bond markets refuse to ratify a V-shaped economic recovery. Futures contracts in fixed income derivatives are even more bearish, signalling nothing less than a worldwide deflationary slump as far as the eye can see. "If markets are pricing a 'V', they're going about it in an odd way," says Andrew Sheets from Morgan Stanley. It is simply not true that investors are ignoring the massive economic shock of the pandemic. The picture is being distorted by equities, and within that by a clutch of US tech stocks in the grip of a parabolic spike all too like the final phase of the dotcom bubble in 2000. But debt markets are three times bigger and ultimately matter far more. Yields on 10-year US Treasuries have not rebounded as you would expect if the economy is genuinely healing. They are trading at 0.62 per cent, close to their all-time low during the panic flight to safety in late March. You can perhaps rationalise such low yields on the grounds that the Federal Reserve has repressed the Treasury market with its $US3 trillion ($4.3 trillion) blast of pandemic QE, although be aware that the Fed balance sheet peaked at $US7.2 trillion in early June and has since fallen by $US200 billion. What you cannot so easily rationalise is the long-range pricing of futures contracts. They imply that yields will remain pinned to the floor until the mid-2030s and that the Fed will not come close to meeting its inflation target by the middle of the century. Fixed income funds are telling us central banks will fail to generate more than a flicker of inflation despite heroic efforts. It is the portrait of a truncated recovery with corrosively high unemployment. Swathes of the US stock market remain in distress. David Rosenberg, from Rosenberg Research & Associates, says the sectoral tally is: auto stocks (minus 23 per cent), advertising (minus 34 per cent), energy and regional banks (minus 37 per cent), hotels (minus 43 per cent), and airlines (minus 55 per cent). I notice a growing unease among the equity gurus at the big US banks. JP Morgan says the risk no longer justifies the reward. Tobias Levkovich, from Citigroup, says his "panic/euphoria" model is now signalling an 80 per cent chance of an equity correction. He has cut his year-end target for the S&P 500 to 2900, a 10 per cent drop from current levels. Citigroup estimates that global profit forecasts for the next year are 30 per cent too high. Wall Street is being held up by a diminishing handful of equities. Microsoft and the FAANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google/Alphabet) added half a trillion dollars in capitalisation over the six trading days up to the end of last week. I can appreciate Tesla's first-mover advantage in electrification but I do not believe that it is worth more than VW, Daimler and BMW combined. This tech surge has pushed Wall Street capitalisation to a record 152.2 per cent of GDP even as the pandemic spins out of control across the US Deep South, with a similar pattern building up in the Mid-West. Total hospitalisations in the US are back near their peak in early May. "Not to be hyperbolic, it really is the perfect storm," says Anthony Fauci, the US pandemic tsar. And remember, he warns us, this is still only "wave one". The FAANGs and Microsoft make up a quarter of the S&P 500 index by value, and 8 per cent of revenues, but employ just 1 per cent of the American workforce. Leaving aside the obvious point that a significant bloc of their customers is in difficulty, American society will not allow these companies to attain monopolistic supremacy for long. They will be broken on the democratic wheel. The monetarist view is that the sheer scale of QE and money creation by central banks trumps all else. We now have a perverse situation. The worldwide shock from COVID-19 is getting worse. The IMF has slashed its global growth forecast to minus 4.9 per cent for this year, from 3 per cent in April. The OECD has come in even lower. Its forecast for Europe is catastrophic, with figures ranging from minus 11.4 per cent to minus 14 per cent for France and Italy, and minus 11.5 per cent to minus 14 per cent for the UK, depending on the outcome of the pandemic. Equity bulls are betting that the combined fiscal and monetary stimulus is large enough to overwhelm the damage of the pandemic with all its long-tail consequences. But is it actually big enough if the crisis drags on for months in a messy fashion with fresh lockdowns? Emergency relief in the US and Europe was designed on the assumption that COVID-19 would be done and dusted by now. America has been running through the $US2 trillion injection of the Cares Act at a terrific pace. The Economic Policy Institute in Washington estimates a 10th of the US workforce will never regain their previous jobs. Nor have the job cuts ended. I find it hard to believe that there will be a surge in pent-up spending in this atmosphere of pervasive angst. It is more likely that large numbers of people will save frantically in self-defence, and this will combine with efforts by thousands of over-leveraged companies to pay down loans taken out during the crisis to stave off collapse. It will take years to rebuild damaged balance sheets. Nor is the European stimulus large enough or fast enough. The fiscal component of the recovery fund does not kick until next March at the earliest. Until then it is a patchwork of national plans, vastly differing in intensity. The monetarist view is that the sheer scale of QE and money creation by central banks trumps all else and will drive an explosive surge in activity almost by mechanical effect, probably culminating in an inflationary boom in 2021. I do not rule that out. But the monetarist premise, anchored on the theories of Milton Friedman, is that the velocity of circulation will return to normal over time and ignite this reservoir of monetary jet fuel. If they are wrong on that core point, the monetary expansion could prove to be inert. Nobel economist Myron Scholes told me over the weekend that the monetarists were likely to lose their bet this time. I pay attention because he cut his teeth under Friedman in Chicago before going on to master the arcane world of financial derivatives. His view is that the pandemic shock has broken large parts of the American economic system and accelerated the "death of Thatcherism" as dirigiste ideologies come back into favour. It will be a very long time before the process of creative destruction unleashes fresh growth. Specifically, he predicts that velocity will keep falling and the extra money created by the Fed will accumulate in idle excess reserves. "Milton Friedman was wrong; velocity can keep on falling," he said. "The banks cannot figure out how to lend in this environment and the multiplier only works if there is an opportunity to lend. You can bring a horse to water but you can't make it drink." https://www.afr.com/markets/equity-markets/equity-bulls-believe-everything-is-fine-the-bond-markets-know-better-20200715-p55c4g
I Read It So You Don't Have To: Little Kids, Big City (by Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen)
Inspired by the overwhelmingly positive response to my previous 'book report' on Ramona Singer's Life on the Ramona Coaster (seriously, thank you all -- truly supporting other women 🙏🙏), I decided to try my hand at writing up yet another of the embarrassing number of Housewives books in my personal collection: Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen's Little Kids, Big City: Tales from a Real House in New York City with Lessons on Life and Love for Your Own Concrete Jungle. After reading just the title of this book, I'm already exhausted. It's pretentiously long and awkwardly phrased while somehow still managing to be entirely devoid of meaning. In other words, a perfect encapsulation of Simon and Alex. The summary on the back cover describes the pair as the "breakout stars" of RHONY, an assessment that I would charitably call 'debatable,' before going on to inform me that I can look forward to "informative and often hair-raising stories of life in the urban jungle," and that "Alex and Simon use their own hard-won experience as a springboard to discuss a host of parenting topics." I anticipate that this content will be quite useful to me, the guardian of four cats that I spoil endlessly and treat like my actual children. One of the pull-quotes on the back cover allegedly comes from our very own Bethenny Frankel. I say 'allegedly' because I refuse to believe that the following passage would ever come out of Bethenny's mouth (or keyboard or whatever):
Alex and Simon don't take themselves too seriously, which seems to be essential to parenting. Their fresh 'he said, she said' perspective on parenting is both humorous and insightful!
Please, take a moment and do your very best to picture mention-it-all, betting-on-horse-races-at-age-five Bethenny unironically using the phrase "fresh 'he said, she said' perspective." To describe Simon van Kempen and Alex McCord. Right, didn't think so. My experience reading Little Kids, Big City started on an unexpected high note when I opened the front cover to find that my copy (purchased used through Better World Books for the low, low price of $5.31 with shipping) had been signed by Ms. you-are-in-high-school-while-I-am-in-Brooklyn herself, Alex McCord! Truly a gift I do not deserve. Samantha and Debbie (whoever and wherever you may be), thank you for your service. I am forever in your debt. Unfortunately, as would soon become painfully clear to me, after starting off on such a promising note, I would have nowhere to go but down. The book, which is written in alternating passages from Alex and Simon, begins its introduction with a chronicle of Alex's "fashionably nomadic" early adulthood. Ever the proto-edgelord, she recalls, "I did all those things our mothers warned us about and had fun doing them." We switch to Simon's perspective to hear the deeply embarrassing story of the couple meeting through a dating app while Simon was on a business trip in New York City. No, there is absolutely nothing embarrassing about meeting someone on a dating app. But there absolutely is something embarrassing about using the profile name "Yetisrule" to meet someone on a dating app. To clarify, this was apparently Alex's username, and I remain hopeful that we will get a more thorough explanation of her connection to the elusive Yeti as this book continues. Alex tells us that, while she and Simon hadn't initially planned to have children, they eventually started to have "clucky feelings." I have never heard this phrase in my entire twenty-five years of life, but based on context clues and also a Google search, I learned that it means they wanted to have a baby. Don't worry, though! As Alex tells us, "You can be eight months pregnant and wear a leather miniskirt." Personally, this is life-changing news -- I had always believed that I couldn't have kids unless I was willing to compromise my 90s goth aesthetic! Maybe I'll rethink this child-free thing after all. The next bit of advice seems like it actually could potentially be sort of helpful. "No one is a good parent all the time -- nor is anyone a bad parent all the time," they reassure the reader. "You can become a parent without losing yourself." Unfortunately, as soon as I catch myself nodding along, the modicum of goodwill I'd built up is promptly trashed by a gag-worthy line from Simon: "If you take nothing away but a wry smile after reading our little tome, then we've done our job." I immediately vow not to smile until I'm finished reading this book. Excuse me, this little tome. The book starts in earnest with Chapter 1: "Does a German Shepherd Need a Birth Plan?" To be perfectly honest, I was not expecting a riddle at this juncture, but I am nevertheless excited to hear Simon and Alex tell us "why childbirth is not an intellectual activity." First, however, we get a passing reference to "Park Slope, home of the ParkSlopeParents.com message board made famous in 2007 with a so-ridiculous-it-got-headlines discussion on gender-specific baby hats and where feminism can be taken to extremes." And despite the lame alarmist allusion to ~*XTREME feminism*~, this line did manage to lead me down an interesting Internet rabbit hole, so thanks for that, I guess? Jesus Christ, I am on PAGE 4 and I am already so done with Simon. Presented without comment:
With the Park Slope OB-GYN, we had the first sonogram and saw the little blip on the screen -- our child-to-be. They say seeing is believing and as nothing was happening inside me, seeing confirmation on the video monitor that indeed my spermatozoa had penetrated and infiltrated one of Alex's ova made me aware that my days as a footloose and fancy-free guy might be coming to an end.
Y'all, I am currently working on my PhD in Molecular Biology. Which, if you were not previously aware, gives me the authority to decree that Simon is never allowed to use the word "spermatozoa" ever again. And so it is. I was about to say that Alex's passages are at least more tolerable, but it appears I spoke too soon.
The stats they quoted referenced a 40 percent cesarean section rate in the city, and I wonder how that can be acceptable? Are we heading toward Brave New World, where babies are scientifically created in petri dishes and gestated in artificial wombs? Oh wait, we're already there. Are we heading towards a Wall-E existence, where we ride around in carts everywhere and do nothing for ourselves so that our bodies break down and we're all fat, oozy blobs drinking protein from a straw? Somebody slap me, please!!
Truly, Alex, it would be my pleasure. As a Type-A person, just reading the story of Alex's first pregnancy and delivery gave me anxiety. She says that she just never really "felt the need to establish a birth plan" and that she "gave in to any craving [she] felt." Don’t worry, though -- "If I had suddenly craved chalk, ecstasy or Elmer's Glue, I'd have thought twice." I feel like there is some symbolism here to unpack (Could the Elmer's Glue be a metaphor for the childlike spirit of connection and unity???). Simon describes himself as "a learn-on-the-job guy" and tells us that he and Alex "failed to attend the last couple of [birthing] classes as by then we both just wanted to let instinct take over when the time came." As someone who has never trusted my instincts even once in my entire life, I cannot relate. Twelve days after his due date, baby François is born. Except it turns out that he actually was born right on time, but Alex "didn't keep regimented track of [her] periods" and miscalculated. What a bummer that modern medicine hasn't advanced to the point where doctors can guide you about that sort of thing. I don't even know what to say about this next bit, but God help me, I still have 215 more pages of this book to go.
Although the final stages of labor were very, very painful, I [Alex] never used our code word (tin can) for "game over, give me drugs." I definitely recommend using a code word, because it was kind of fun to scream, "I want drugs, give me drugs" through a contraction and have the midwife, nurse and Simon all know I wasn't serious. Once he [François] was finally out of my body, I experienced a tsunami of endorphins that was almost orgasmic, and I understand completely the stories other women have written about ecstatic birth. Simon was sitting behind me at the point of birth, and later when we untangled ourselves he discovered he'd actually ejaculated though hadn't felt any of the normal lead-up to that. It may seem distasteful to some, and definitely neither of us was thinking of sex at the time, but with the rush of emotion and my lower nerve endings going crazy, it's not too far a stretch to say that it's a profound experience.
Johan is born two years later, although it's unclear from the text whether either parent reached orgasm during the event. The chapter ends with a top-ten list entitled "10 Things We'll Remember That Happened During Pregnancy." These include useful tidbits like
Best advice I heard: men's genitals grow and change shape regularly, then go back to the way they were before. Don't worry about your female delicate bits being able to retract.
Which is…a lovely sentiment. But one that is slightly undermined by phrasing the first part in the grossest way possible, as well as by the use of the phrase "female delicate bits." I do like the idea that they "retract," however, because I think it's very cool to imagine the vagina as an SUV sunroof. By the grace of God, Chapter 1 comes to a close. In Chapter 2 (titled "No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn, What's My Name Again? and Who is This Alien?" -- seriously, were they padding their word count with chapter titles?), we get more questionable parenting advice from the McCord-van Kempens. They glibly dismiss concerns about co-sleeping ("Simon and I both slept with cats and dogs our whole lives without squishing them"), which I honestly would be more annoyed about if I hadn't immediately gone on to read Simon's account of "the midnight race to the 24-hour pharmacy to buy a breast pump as Alex's breasts were seemingly engorged with too much milk and she thought they were about to explode and fly off her chest." As it stands, I'm truly too defeated to care. Again, just to be perfectly clear: no shade to having issues breastfeeding, all shade to using the word 'engorged.’ And also for giving me the mental image of Alex's breasts desperately struggling to flee from her body (though to be fair, who could blame them?). Proving that she does not inhabit the same world as the rest of us mortals, Alex tells us that she expected that her state of sleep-deprivation as she raised two young children would "spur [her] creativity with graphic design." For some reason, this does not seem to be the case. Alex is puzzled. Finally, we've come to this chapter's top ten list ("Top 10 Memories of Random Things We Did While in the Post-Birth Haze"). While these lists have so far been utterly irredeemable, they also mean the chapter is coming to a close, so I can at least take some solace in that. This particular list ranges from the irritating…
We subversively took sleeping babies to as many non-child-friendly places as possible to prove the point that children can be seen, not heard and not bothersome, such as dinner at the Ritz in London, the Sahara Desert, shopping on Madison Avenue, Underbar in Union Square and film festivals.
…to the truly unnecessary.
While changing François' diaper on day one or two, we both stood mesmerized by the changing pad as meconium oozed out of him. It was really the most bizarre and fascinating thing I'd seen to date.
With the couple's general backstory and credentials now under our belts, Chapter 3 ("The Screaming Kid on the Plane is NOT Mine! (This Time)") focuses on advice for traveling with children, which Alex admits "can be a complete pain in the you-know-what." I cannot describe the rage I feel at the fact that she has -- in no fewer than 50 pages -- forced me to read about both her newborn son's excrement and her husband's ejaculate, but cannot bring herself to use the word "ass." Alex, we're really far beyond that at this point, don't you think? Not to be outdone, Simon shares a conversation he had with François that is remarkable not for its content, but for the fact that one of Simon's nicknames for his son is apparently "F-Boy." Thanks, I hate it. This chapter's list ("Alex's Top 10 Travel Memories") includes the entry:
Both boys charging down Saline Beach in St. Barths like something out of Lord of the Flies.
So, like a horde of primal sadists? I'm wondering if Alex and Simon have inadvertently confused Lord of the Flies with the hit 2007 reality show Kid Nation. I really hope that's what's going on here. Chapter 4 ("'Mommy, Johan is Gone!'") promises to teach us how to handle accidents. I'm not sure how comfortable I feel taking emergency advice from the authors of this particular book, but (in large part due to the fact that I have slept since reading the previous chapter, giving the pain a chance to dull somewhat), I am willing to at least hear them out. After relaying a story of François needing emergency surgery after a foot injury, Alex tells us that at one point, she and Simon realized they had spent "nearly $5000 on Indian takeout" in the past year. For the mathematically averse, this works out to a monthly budget of roughly $100 worth of Indian food per week, making my quarantine Uber Eats habit seem downright quaint by comparison. The chapter-ending list walks us through the "Top 10 Things We Do in a Crisis," and fortunately, the tips seem pretty benign.
Knowing what calms the children down, such as making silly faces or reciting Shel Silverstein poetry backwards.
Wait, hang on. What?
reciting Shel Silverstein poetry backwards
I'm sorry, please forgive me if I have missed some recent, paradigm-shifting development in the field of early childhood education, but what?? As in, "ends sidewalk the where?" "Sdne klawedis eht erehw?" I am truly befuddled. Maybe the next chapter ("'Is Today a Work Day or a Home Day, Mommy?'") will have some applicable wisdom for me, as I will, in fact, be working from home every other week for the foreseeable future. And, I cannot stress this enough, I am a psychotically overinvested cat mom. Alas, we are instead treated to an unnecessarily detailed breakdown of how important it is to delegate, and specifically that Simon cleans up vomit and Alex cleans up "feces in the various forms that come out of children's bottoms at appropriate and sometimes inappropriate times such as the middle of Thanksgiving festivities." As if we needed another reason to consider Thanksgiving problematic. The chapter takes a brief commercial break…
When an everyday product can do double duty such as Dawn Hand Renewal with Olay Beauty, a dish soap that seals in moisture while I'm tackling cleanup, sure, I'll buy it.
…before closing out with a list of the "Top 10 Things We Do Because We Were Here First." I am happy to confirm your worst suspicions and tell you that item number one is indeed "Have passionate sex." In Chapter 6 ("I Saw Your Nanny…Being Normal?"), I find myself actually sympathizing with Alex for the first time in this book. Which is mostly just because the chapter starts by talking about all of the awful, catty parental competitions that seem endemic to a certain crew of white Manhattan moms, and it makes Alex come off at least slightly less irritating in comparison. That is, at least until a few pages later, when she starts to complain about a previous au pair:
She was sullen, melodramatic and kept a blog about how she hated Americans, hated France, hated us and the children but loved New York. I think she must have thought we were idiots, and when she asked us to leave early we were only too happy to get her out of our home.
I would love to meet this woman. I think we could be great friends. This chapter's list is even more difficult to parse than previous ones, because while it's titled "Top 10 Things Caregivers Have Inadvertently Done to Amuse, Annoy or Thrill Us," it's not at all clear which descriptors apply to which points. When a babysitter "accidentally used a household cleaning wipe when changing a diaper," were the McCord-Van Kempens amused? Annoyed? Thrilled? The world may never know. In Chapter 7 ("'Putting To Death Is Not Nice,' a Duet for Two Boys and A Guitar"), Alex and Simon share some of their hard-earned childrearing wisdom with us. Which basically amounts to Alex telling us that, while normally misbehavior from the kids incurs a warning followed by a time-out, she has also developed an ingenious new strategy where she actually steps in to intervene when the stakes are higher. Let's listen in:
A third permutation is when there's a behavior that has to stop immediately, say if Johan has a big blue indelible marker and is running through a white hotel suite. I swoop in and grab the marker as to risk a three count [warning] would be to risk decoration of the sofa.
Take the marker from the toddler immediately instead of trying to reason with him? Groundbreaking. Side Note: At this point in my reading, I am incredibly satisfied to report that I have discovered my first typo in the book, and in one of Simon's sections no less! ("These toads secret [sic] a poison…"). This is wildly pedantic of me and proof that I am a deeply sick person. We run though a list of "Top 10 Things We Never Thought We Would Have To Explain" ("10. Why hot pizza stones do not like Legos.") before moving right along into Chapter 8, "Don't Listen to the Well-Meaning Morons." Strangely, I have a very vivid memory of Alex saying "I have a chapter in my book called, 'Don't Listen to the Well-Meaning Morons" in some distant RHONY episode or reunion. I guess she was telling the truth. The chapter opens with a series of passages in which Alex and Simon respond to various comments that have been made about their parenting over the years. I think this device is supposed to be a bit of lighthearted snark on overbearing strangers, but instead just comes off as weirdly defensive and passive-aggressive. A few examples:
"My daughter is perfect. Her table manners are excellent, she never speaks unless spoken to and we've always had white sofas at home since she was a child, with no staining." -A woman with one preteen daughter, no sons Your daughter sounds boring. I wouldn't want my sons to date her..
"Why are you outside?" - A bagel seller in Montreal, in February I'm hungry and the stroller is well protected under the plastic cover. Johan is warm and cozy, the others are asleep in the hotel and I'm going stir-crazy. Is that enough, or should I buy my bagel from someone else?
"Excuse me, your baby is crying." -- Someone said to Simon as they peered into the stroller to try and determine the cause of said noise. You don't say! Do you think, you stupid idiot, that I don't hear that? Do you think I think it's just loud music? Do you think I don't want him to stop and that I like it???
Sorry, did I say 'passive-aggressive'? Let's change that to just 'aggressive.' But despite bristling at being the recipient of unwanted advice, far be it from Alex to shy away from giving her opinions on the shortcomings of other parents.
There was a mom at another table who wore all black and told her hyperactive daughter that they had to have a family meeting to decide what to do next. The type of woman who might ask her daughter to "process her feelings" about which color to choose. The type of woman who wanted make [sic] a big huge hairy deal about including her daughter in the decision-making process and "negotiating" the next best step for the family to take in the pottery shop. Pardon me while I shoot myself.
I'm sorry, but I just cannot respect this take coming from a woman who calms her sons by reciting comedic children's poetry backwards. We next learn that there are "many websites out in cyberspace," some of which offer child-rearing advice. Simon summarizes their useless "vitriol" as such:
They say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, whereas for the 21st century surely hell no longer hath fury, as it's all been hurled at the belittled and scorned Internet mom.
I'm honestly not entirely sure what this is supposed to mean, and my confusion continues all the way through this chapter's "Top 10 Ways We Make Ourselves Feel Better When It's All Getting To Be Too Much." We begin reasonably enough…
Check to see whether the person offering advice has children. How old are they?
Do they have a point? Are they right? It is entirely possible.
…before quickly losing all sense of self-awareness and flying completely off the rails.
Will we ever see this person again? If not, can we get away with unleashing our fury on them? Note, if you're reading this and decide to try it for yourself, go big or go home.
The last few chapters have been a bit Alex-heavy, but never fear -- Simon pops back up in Chapter 9 ("If I Wouldn't Eat That, My Kid Won't Either") to tell us a charming story about how the family refers to his Bolognese sauce as "Dead Cow Sauce," and this is because his children are incredibly enlightened and understand the circle of life and where food comes from. Or something along those lines. This chapter also provides a lot of really incontrovertible proof that, even though you may swear that your kids say the most hilarious things all the time, you are wrong. I love kids. I can play cool aunt with the best of them. But this "recipe" for "Johan's Concoction" tries so hard to be cute and funny ("whisk violently -- making sure to spill a little out of the top") that I could barely stifle my groans. For anyone who happens to frequent RebornDollCringe, I am strongly and inexplicably reminded of Britton. A list of "Top 10 Things We Don't Like About Children's Restaurants" culminates with
Where would you rather be? A bistro devoted to race-car driving, with 1950s toy cars on the walls, or T.G.I. Friday's?
Excuse me, ma'am, you must be unfamiliar with the concept of Endless Apps®. The title of Chapter 10 is "You'll Give in Before I Do!" and although the subtitle lets me know this is referencing "the art and warfare of bedtime," it's hard not to take it as a personal taunt from the authors. Most of this chapter is just transcriptions of 'cute' things François and Johan have said to try to avoid going to bed, but we do get this gem:
Slaying the dragon is our family euphemism for using the toilet (drowning the dragons that live in the sewer) and is fun for the boys to talk about, though probably not forever.
Before giving us a chance to adequately process this revelation, Alex goes on to reflect:
Hmm, perhaps I should delete this -- I don’t want obnoxious classmates getting hold of this book in 10 years and asking the boys if they need to slay the dragon in the middle of geometry class.
Alex, I assure you, you truly have nothing to worry about. Any self-respecting bully will be far too focused on the fact that Simon ejaculated at the moment of his son's birth to pay this comparatively trivial factoid any attention. The authors shake things up and end this chapter with lists of both "Top 20 Bedtime Stories" and "Top 10 Lullabies," both of which are thankfully inoffensive. In Chapter 11 ("Children Like Shiny Objects"), we follow Alex and Simon as they purchase the townhouse we see them renovating on RHONY. Although other (read: lesser) parents might store breakables out of reach or limit children's toys to playrooms and bedrooms, Alex and Simon were blessed with two boys whose aesthetic sensibilities are already quite developed:
One kind of funny thing that I noticed recently is that the toys the boys tend to leave upstairs in our red and black living room often tend to be red and black as well. I'm not sure whether that's intentional, but it's funny that the room always seems to match regardless of its contents.
The list of "Top 10 Craziest Places We've Found Objects" is mercifully absent of any orifice-related discoveries. After reading just the title of Chapter 12 ("Raising Baby Einsteins"), I'm bracing myself for the self-satisfied smugness to come. This preparation turns out to be duly warranted. Baby sign language is dismissed as "a scheme dreamed up by ASL experts who wanted to sell classes to easily influenced new parents," Mommy and Me classes are "not really for teaching anything," and we learn that Alex and Simon have instituted a bizarre family rule that "if a talking toy came into our house, it had to speak a foreign language or speak English in an accent other than American." We learn that Simon apparently does not know what antonyms are (for the record, Simon, the word you're looking for is homophones) and that New York City is replete with "wailing, nocturnal, type-A obsessed harridans willing to sleep with persons not their spouse if they think it will help their child get into THE RIGHT SCHOOL." Uh, yikes. After a tediously long description of François' pre-school admissions process, Alex informs us:
As a former actor, I've always gotten into play-acting and dressing up with my children. Perhaps a little too much. But I've taken the opportunity to show off a few old monologues, complete with bounding around like a puppy. If you have knowledge, why not share it? If you happen to know Puck's speeches from a Midsummer Night's Dream by ear with tumbling and staged sword play, why the heck don’t you share that with your boisterous boys, who love it and run around shouting, "Thou speakest aright!"
I am suddenly compelled to call my mother and thank her profusely for never making me put up with anything like this. Maybe I'll also get her thoughts on one of the tips listed in "Top 10 Favorite 'Developmental' Things To Do": "if they want something that you want to delay giving them, make them ask in every language they can before giving in." To me, this seems like an effective way to encourage your children to learn how to say "Fuck you, mom" in French as early as possible. In Chapter 13 ("Urban Wonderland"), Alex and Simon promise to share their unique perspective on "taking advantage of raising a child in the urban jungle." But mostly, we just get a rant about how everyone thinks their kids have weird names, and that makes Simon mad. This chapter's "Top 10 Reasons New York is the Center of the Universe to a Kid" list reminds us what truly matters: "there are more songs with NYC in their titles than any other city." Immediately after telling us how great it is to live in a city (excuse me, urban jungle), Alex and Simon switch tack and spend Chapter 14 ("'Daddy, a Cow! And It's Not in a Zoo!") expounding on the importance of exposing kids to nature. Sounds great, I'm on board. Unfortunately, we almost immediately take a hard left turn into a story from Simon's childhood where he and his brother are "befriended by this old guy, Dick, who lived on the outskirts of town in a small tin shed." We hear that Dick "occasionally pulled out an early Playboy magazine back from the days when the lower regions were airbrushed out," and that "there had been pretty strong rumors of pedophilia," before promptly returning to the main narrative with no further explanation. I can only describe the transition as 'jarring.' I can tell how exhausted I am at this point in the book by how hurriedly I skimmed the list of "Top 10 Differences We've Noticed Between City Kids and Country Kids." To be honest, I'm almost annoyed when a particularly bizarre quote manages to catch my attention, because that means I have to think about it for the full amount of time it takes me to transcribe from the page. I'm beginning to think that my initial hope that I could glean some useful cat-rearing advice from this experience may have been overzealous. Chapter 15 ("You're Such a Great Parent, You Should Be on TV (LOL)") is the only chapter to directly address the family's time on RHONY. It starts with this (attempted) comedy bit in which Alex and Simon pretend to be hilariously self-aware and self-effacing (Alex: "Look up 'Mommylicious' in the dictionary and you will see a photo of me in a ball gown, breast-feeding an infant while making Osso Buco and directing carpenters to build a bookcase for my Dickens and Shakespeare."). This posture would be infinitely more believable if I hadn't spent the previous 205 pages watching these two take themselves deadly seriously. But rather than share any juicy behind-the-scenes tidbits (or, indeed, convey anything of substance at all), Alex and Simon spend exactly 3.5 pages blustering about how it wasn't harmful for their children to be on TV before giving us a list of "Top 10 Hilarious Things The Boys Have Done While Filming or at Photo Shoots." Spoiler alert: none of them are 'hilarious.' Chapter 16 is literally titled "The Light at the End of the Tunnel," which makes me feel like this whole experience may have just been Alex and Simon playing some sort of twisted game with me. Alex tells us this is "the chapter of hope," but given that she then tells us about a time when she "spent one full hour discussing why magic markers cannot be carried around with the caps off, particularly in a hotel suite with white couches and walls," I'm not sure exactly where this hope is coming from. Also it seems like this markers-in-a-hotel-room thing happens weirdly frequently. We are then treated to Alex and Simon's "Top 10 Moments of Getting It,'" which includes
Apropos of nothing, Johan said, "You give us time-outs because you are teaching us to be good grown-ups."
This is a thing I'm sure Johan said completely organically and not in response to hearing his parents say "we're giving you a time-out so that you learn to be a good grown-up" approximately seven zillion times. This brings us to the book's Epilogue (a mercifully short two pages) featuring the line "If you made it to the end of this book, we salute you." Honored to accept this hard-earned accolade, I can finally close the book and start figuring out a way to erase the memory of Simon busting a mid-childbirth nut from my aching brain. Wish me luck!
Live Action Cybersix Interview From Comiqueando (plus some hopeful news)
So I was doing a thing yesterday that lead me to looking more closely at the scans of the Spanish version of the comic that were published in Comiqueando Magazine. I noticed that some of the files floating around online were missing the cover of some issues of the magazine some of the chapters were published in. I went looking online and found a bunch of covers from the year the comic was published (and FYI, there's a cover that has Cybersix on it that's missing from the wiki). I looked at some of the issues that were published a few months after the comic stopped appearing and found this from May 1996. Now, "Cybersix" + the words "TV + before 1999 clearly meant the live action tv series. I searched to see if I could download this issue somewhere, but came up with nothing, although I did learn a few things. On the Spanish Wikipedia page for Comiqueando it mentions how some of the issues have "alternate covers" which are just the back covers of the magazine if you turn it around and flip it upside down. These alternate covers don't usually turn up in image searches or on online resale sites. But I did find the alt/back cover for May 1996 and it was this. I noticed on the Wikipedia page there was a link to Comiqueando's Facebook page, which is not only active, but says they respond in an hour. I sent a message in Spanish asking if their back issues were online because I'd like to read a specific issue for an interview and that I was trying to learn more about the live action series. They responded in English saying they used to be available, but aren't anymore, but they found the text file for the interview and sent it to me. This is the text file this beautiful, kind soul sent me. And this is the translation I spent a day doing. It's long and reveals a ton of stuff. I was super excited to get this done to share it, so if I made any mistakes in translating, please mention it. There was a lot of what looked like local phrases, slang and idioms. Also, words like "issue", "chapter", and "episode" didn't seem to be used the same way they would be in English. CYBERSIX SUPERSTAR by Andrés Accorsi A NIGHT IN MERIDIANA We’re in an alley in Meridiana. It’s not really Meridiana, but a place in Buenos Aires that doesn’t look like Buenos Aires that Cybersix’s production talent transformed into Meridiana. The truth is, for a dark and dangerous alley, there’s too much activity here: three cameras, several microphones, lights everywhere, a van from where you can monitor everything the cameras film, makeup artists, costumers, actors and even a special effects team. An episode of the Cybersix series is being filmed. Production began* in the second half of February in Carmelo, Uruguay, where the scenes of the escape of Cybersix and Elio**, the black servant who saved her from the massacre of the entire Cyber series, ordered by the ruthless Dr.Von Reichter, were filmed. Meanwhile, in a Telefé studio and in this place that doesn't look like Buenos Aires (Excuse me, but I've been asked to keep it a secret. I can only tell you that, traveling by subway, it's just 20 minutes from the Obelisk***), the set team created several sets of Meridiana, with spectacular results, with almost nothing to envy to the Gotham City of Tim Burton's movies. A cinema, businesses, alleys, rooftops and even a television channel come to life thanks to the impressive production team that the series has. "It worked as it should work - said the director, José Luis Massa (see box) - as if we were making the Batman movie, bridging the gap. And we work with the Batman movies, with the drawings of (Carlos) Meglia, with photos of structures from Rome, which he uses a lot for his drawings. We worked a lot. With respect to the aesthetics of the series, nothing was left to chance". But my tour of the Meridiana on TV is quickly interrupted. The special effects team warns us that they’re about to blow up a car and that we have to move so we’re not in danger. In charge of the FX Stunt Team (and also responsible for the risky scenes and explosions on Poliladron)) is Marcelo Firmano and a well-known ex-cartoonist: Fede Cueva. "We're really betting everything that this will be a success," says Fede. All kidding aside, in Argentina there's never been such a careful production and with so much respect for the comic of Trillo and Meglia". Then, another of the doubles, now dressed as Cyber, jumps a motorcycle over a car that just a second later explodes in a flash in the best Hollywood style. But it's not Hollywood, we’re still in Meridiana. Among the group of astonished spectators, the figure of a lady in her twenties, brunette, tall, incredibly similar to Cybersix, draws attention. It's Carolina Peleritti and she agrees to speak to our little tape recorder. Go on, mobile one, from the outside.+ A tête-à-tête WITH CYBERSIX -How did you discover the character and why did she hook you? CP: I discover her last year, in July. I received an envelope with a Cybersix comic, the first one, which told the whole origin. José Luis (Massa) sent it to me. When I looked through it, I saw a woman who was strong, busty and naked on a lot of pages and I said "Wow, no! Another person who wants me to play a prostitute!". But when I started reading it, I really ate it up. I liked the comic, I'm not a big fan, but I liked it. And the story of Cybersix grabbed me a lot, I got caught up in the character. She's a very interesting character, even beyond the powers and being a heroine. Her story, her origin, everything seemed like a nice character to do. I realized that she's a difficult, complex character, with a lot of psychological burdens and contradictions. But of all the roles I've been offered recently, this is really the one that caught my attention the most. -What is more difficult for you? To play a heroine, vampire, android or transsexual? CP: The character has a little bit of all of that. When you take Cybersix you take a character that has all these characteristics. But it’s a denser story than that of other heroines, there's the background of being a laboratory creature, of being linked to the subject of the Nazis... she's much more than a woman with powers, that sucks substance and has a dual personality. That dense background is what makes it more difficult for me. The rest ... are different components of the character herself. -I find it striking how easy it is for you to play Adrian Seidelman, especially since he's your polar opposite. You're a woman who -at least at first glance- takes the world ahead of you, and he's a shy man, full of insecurities. They’re exactly the opposite. CP: For me, playing Adrian is a challenge, not only because of the body, but because of what happens to Cyber when she's forced to play a man. She knows that she's not a man and she has a very special complicity with the public that sees or reads her. She dresses as a man to hide and puts up that shyness as a barrier so that nobody can get in and nobody can discover her. This is the most interesting thing about Adrian’s character. And I really like doing it because in the character of Cybersix one has to enhance all that heroic stuff, of strength and powers... and I don’t have powers, for me it's more extreme to rise to the powers of Cybersix. Besides, to play Adrian, I find it less laborious to change and get into it. When I do Cyber, between the hair, the costume and the flying harness, it takes an hour. -Do you like the way the program turned out? CP: I'm very satisfied, I'm happy. We're doing something difficult, because putting a comic on television isn't easy, neither with the books nor with the image. We're doing our best and, being something new, something different, it's logical that it has to progress and grow so that, over time, not only the public, but also us, adapt. What you do in the first chapter isn't the same as what you do in the fourth, at least in my case. -In some reviews they hit you and your performance very hard, even more than necessary... CP: Yes, but I think that the criticism is a bit hasty and that they're not seeing what's being done. They hit me for what I bring, where I come from and they're not attentive to what's being done, they're thinking of something else. And I’m thinking about this, working, and I’m really happy with what I’m doing. The subject of criticism doesn’t really concern me, because I know it comes from people who don’t allow change, who don’t want new things. For me the important thing is to be doing it. And of course you can't conform to everyone. Forget it. Especially with something that’s meant to be fun. -Are you afraid of typecasting? Because hitting it big with a comic book character is usually a double-edged sword, like Adam West, who's in his sixties and is still referred to as Batman. CP: Yes, we'll have to see what my next job's like. There’s still no big identification with Cybersix, because this job's just getting started, so it'll depend a little on what happens. But I’m not afraid of typecasting, because I think that as you take things you also leave them. Besides, I’m not the owner of the character, Cyber’s parents are Trillo and Meglia, so even if I don’t do it anymore, this character's going to continue selling and touring the world. THE CITY OF BALLS The Meridiana of Telefé is much smaller than the one in that place that doesn’t look like Buenos Aires. A few scenes are recorded in the Ball Channel studios++, including those in which Cybersix leaps across city terraces. That is done with a blue background called a chroma-key, which is then not seen on the tape. That’s why it’s easy to superimpose the image of Cyber jumping on sets that're painted or filmed outdoors. The staff of the series exploited the chroma-key technique to its maximum in the episode in which our heroine faces Friar Moon+++, a sinister children’s show host, played by... a doll. Yes, the magic of television and the talent of a group of puppeteers turned a doll into a living being and the fearsome villain of one of the episodes. After first filming Friar Moon acting alone against the chroma-key, the doll was then superimposed on other sets, from previously recorded scenes. But the Frair not only interacts with sets, but also with people, in a trick of impeccable design. Another presence that concentrates all eyes every time he arrives at Telefé is Data, the Cybersix panther, here played by a puma dyed black. Thank goodness, the parrot was just a funny little joke.# Far away from Telefé, in a well-known industrial school, the laboratory of Von Reichter, the office of Lucas Amato for The Independent newspaper and the classroom where Adrian Seidelman teaches are located. There, during a break in filming, we sat down to chat with José Luis Massa, director of the series, primed for the comics and an assiduous reader of this humble magazine. THE DIRECTOR, A MASS -How did the idea of making a TV series based on the Cybersix comic book come about? JLM: It was one day, three years ago. I was on vacation at the beach and didn’t know what the hell to read. I went through a kiosk and saw the complete volume of Cybersix that Puertitas put out and, as I found it entertaining, I kept it to myself. I was making La Mujer Yogur with Gasalla and it seemed to me that this had things that could be applied to the rhythm of TV and at the same time could be something different from what's normally done on television. On the other hand, being a fan of comics always appeals to you and I also always liked the story of Cybersix. I think it’s lovely, interesting as a fictional story, with this action stuff, reflection stuff, with that hilarious vibe that the bad guys have... what do I know, I thought it was funny. -And from that idea to this reality there was a great deal of work involved. How was it? JLM: Hard. Actually at the production level, there must not have been many precedents in the country to have faced a production like that of Cybersix. The truth is impeccable. The producers, both Patagonik Films and (Gustavo) Yankelevich de Telefé, put everything here. -Who chose the actors? JLM: Me. It seems to me that casting a comic isn't the same as casting a movie. Because here you had to respect certain figures that came from the comic and that already have life. Although TV has a massive audience and we comic fans are five or six cats crazy, we still had to respect some figures. -Did you opt for lesser know actors due to a budget issue or because they're the ones that, according to your criteria, best fit in the roles? JLM: I felt that the project was strong and didn't require big names. Later, when the channel started selling Cybersix, I think they made a mistake. They don't say "Michael Keaton is Batman". Batman is Batman. And here the series began to be sold through the figure of Carolina Peleritti and this idea that I had of making a closed product got distorted a little, where history prevailed and where the names of the actors, producers, director and others were anonymous. I feel that in a story like this they must be anonymous, otherwise it's distracting. But hey, these channels have a habit of promoting things through the figures and "more at nine o'clock tonight night". -Do you choose which Cybersix issues get adapted for TV? JLM: Yes. Adaptation is quite difficult. First, it's hard to meet professionals who're in television and who're fans of the comic. It's very rare that people who write for TV are also comic readers. I, for example, learned to count through comics. When I started telling stories in the videos I made, I always turned to comics. What helped me the most was having read comics and having acquired that mental gymnastics that reading comics gives you. Good cartoonists could easily direct and edit a movie. And when it came time to adapt the comics, I suffered a lot, because I wanted to respect the way of speaking and narrating in the comic, but TV demands a linear story. In a comic, you go from one panel to another, and then the second panel has nothing to do with what you’ve been reading. Here you can't take those licenses, because I found that people don't understand. And I'm not criticizing anyone. I’m saying that people who’re used to reading comics are used to jumping from one thing to another, then going back, and that’s not allowed on TV. -What other criticisms did you encounter? JLM: Ufff, a lot. Actually, I had more criticism than I expected. Many people are amazed with the performance, the lights, the sets, the music... But I was struck by the ruthless way the press hit us. I always believed that we were at least trying to create a different kind of show. Because the interesting thing about this is that you sit down to watch a story. If you miss the first half, the second won't be easy to follow. And it seems that on TV, at nine at night, that's a lot to ask. Maybe I'm wrong, I thought it would be nice to loosen up while channel surfing and sit down and see something different and entertaining. On the other hand, I found people who really didn't understand anything they saw. And there you may have made a mistake in the scripts. But the problem is that I still like it and I still understand it. And another thing that caught my attention in the press is that, at a time when there's so little work, a team of 40 guys who don’t exceed the average age of 30 have been hit so hard. Mostly they hit Carolina hard, comparing her to Andrea del Boca or other actresses... I don’t know, I thought it was weird. Because television has certain licenses for certain actresses that in my opinion are terrible. We’re not going to ask Carolina to be a fucking actress, but in a short time she's made a journey and an apprenticeship that... I don’t know how many actresses can play a heroine, a man, a woman, take punches, hang themselves from that harness... I don’t know if it’s easy. I thought we had all those licenses, but they hit us really hard, crazy... -How are you doing ratings wise? JLM: Not as strong as the production expected, but you have to grow it little by little. It's a big risk, the episodes have a very high cost. And more because it's an unexplored genre, especially in Argentina. We've never seen such a thing here. And another thing that makes it difficult is that we always work on the verge of parody. People don't get it, they think that the actors are bad, that they're fucking up. But this is hard for any actor. Parody is one of the most complex genres, because if you move to one side you go to comedy and if you go the other way you're left as the asshole. Here people are used to the joke, to hell with the punchline. So it's difficult. And another thing that’s hard to understand is that Von Reichter, Krumens and José are crazy guys. Really crazy. I find the character of Von Reichter interesting because he represents a dictator as he is. And what's more associated with our generation, the generation of the '80, than a dictator? I talked about this a lot with Trillo, who, being the father of history, could contribute a lot and we agreed that Von Reichter has to be ridiculous. If we make him really bad, we'd have to leave out some very nice things about the character, which are very typical of the dictator, like when he tries to be like God and walk on water. You see that and it already seems ridiculous, it's no longer so bad. With Von Reichter the idea is to take down information on what a world could be in the hands of a dictator. The guy orders to kill and then cries about the killing. It seems contradictory, but in fact it's true. Dictators are like that. The reality is more painful, but it's true. -What audience do you have in mind when working on the show? JLM: It's for kids who're six and kids who're forty. In France, I know that Cybersix comics are read by college students, in fact I think Trillo writes for college students. But you can't count on the audience of the comic because it's so small. In fact, I thought the comic boom in Argentina was stronger, but hey, we have to get an audience elsewhere. In a review that appeared in News, they said that we would have to focus decisively on kids and do something like the Power Rangers. No, that's crazy. As a kid I ate up a lot of shit that the TV gave me and it would hurt my soul to change this project to look like the Power Rangers. And no matter what happens, I think you have to finish the game with your shirt muddied, your profanities and with torn shoes. Don't do what's usually done on TV every time a program isn't going well, they grab and invite ... Valeria Mazza to show her ass. We're going to remain faithful to the comic and the language of the comic, improving and listening to those criticisms. ANOTHER STUDIO Now much closer to the Obelisk, without so many lights and without the possibility of Fede Cueva and his team blowing up a nearby wall, is the studio of Carlos Meglia, one of the creature's parents. I find him completely mesmerized, coloring on the computer an impressive page of his new creation: Livevil. "It’s an old idea we had with Carlos (Trillo)," says Meglia. "It happens in the future, but it's a future in quotes, which could be two months from now. And it’s weird. There’s a big corporation that runs everything: the police, everything. It's commanded by a tyrannical, racist, horrible woman, who is a kind of myth, because many times she's been the target of murder and people who have shot her couldn't kill her. In reality, the woman is a hologram, who is characterized and has at her service a lot of strange types that can transform into rats or shadows, who are continuously around you without you realizing it, controlling everything. In response to this there are five boys from an orphanage and a cat that, for strange reasons, when they feel cornered or desperate, merge into a monster, Livevil, who fights against this woman. It’s a very interesting series, with all the vibe of a cartoon. I’m making it in color, but in Italy it’s going to be published in black and white". Meglia made the first pages of the storyboard of the first episode of Cybersix (aired as a second episode by Telefé) and currently colors on his computer the bullets points that serve as separators between the different scenes of the series. Meanwhile, he oversees the team of cartoonists working on Cybersix's 42nd 96-page graphic novel##, for publication by the Italian publisher Eura. But invited to chat about the Cyber series, he hangs up the computer for a while and, with coffee in between, answers these questions. -How did you meet the people who approached this project? CM: Through Andrea Ronco###, one of the producers, who's been a friend of mine for many years. One day he asked me for all the Cybersix stuff. I said "What for?", "You leave it to me, I’ll call you in two days". I gave him all the books and after two days he called me and told me that José Luis (Massa) and Fernando Raskovsky wanted to do something for TV. And they had been looking for a year, but they couldn’t find an idea they liked and they liked this. Carlos and I gave them the okay and they were in charge of moving all the contacts, of getting the money... and the thing snowballed. They moved so well, talked to the right people and what we thought was going to be a pilot ended up on Telefé. -What's your contribution to the series? And, they rely heavily on the comic for things, especially in the scenes of Meridiana, Adrian’s apartment, that bring it out equally. And there are things that aren't, that are done according to what the director needs. -Did Trillo or you recommend some issues that you'd like to see adapted? CM: We’ve talked about that a couple of times, but we haven’t come up with anything concrete. They have all our material in their possession: the 4000 pages and the 40 books. And they're choosing, putting together an order. We don’t get too involved, it’s up to them now. We can’t be in the way. Also this is a process, we have to let it evolve. So if I look pale, I don't tell them. I can tell you something only in the sixth or seventh episode, when the series already has a defined profile. But now I’d rather highlight the cool things. -And what do you like the most? CM: The aesthetics. I think it’s quite the discovery, I love it. It grabs a lot of attention. If you’re flipping through channels, it sucks you in. I like it so much that at some point I even thought about doing a kind of photo-novel with the frames of the series, because it can do anything. -And you, who's worked in both comics and cartoons, would you start directing a film or TV adaptation of another of your characters? CM: Sure, I'd dive in head first. But I'm a pain in the ass, I don't know if they'd back me. In fact, I've thought about it several times. Because there's not much of a difference. Look at someone like Cameron: the guy drew comic strips and then started directing movies. Spielberg, if he had the ability to draw, would draw comics. It's complicated, but with good supports, surrounded by cool people... if you have an armed team, you can carry it forward. BACK TO THE BACKSTAGE And we ended up in the Tosquera de Benavídez, now converted into a minefield by the work and grace of the FX Stunt Team. It's the seventh episode and Cyber works precisely as a stunt double actress does the more risky action scenes. Between one blast and another, I was left with a phrase by Fede Cueva, which isn't bad to close this report: "Beyond genres and aesthetics, I wish all TV programs were made like Cybersix". \It's hard to tell from the context, but I think they meant production of this particular episode and not the entire series.) \*I'd heard before that Cybersix's dad's name was Elio.) Frundock said it on his website.If anyone knows where in the comic his name is said, please let me know. I'd like to see if it's consistent across all the different languages. I guess this is confirmation of his name though. BTW, it's a Spanish name derived from the Greek sun-god Helios. A very nice, noble name for such a good character :) \**) This thing + I have no clue what that's supposed to mean. I don't know if he's talking to whatever recording device he's using. ++ I don't know why it's called the Balls Channel Studio, or if it's supposed to be named something else, but if I had to take an educated guess, it might be a reference to the logo for Telefe, which are three coloured balls thatsometimes get anthropomorphized in commercials or stingers for the channel. +++ In the article he's named Fratello Pippo, same as he was in the French version of the comic. # No clue what that's referring to. Maybe there are pictures to go along with the magazine that will make it make sense. ## This has to be a typo, because the 42nd issue was published in 1998, two years after this magazine was published. The 32nd issue would have been closer, being published in November 1996. ### This is a typo. The producer's name is Andre Ronco. Something I noticed was that this issue is from May of 1996 and in the interview the TV show is clearly still being made and appears to be filming it's 7th (out of what would become it's 8th) episode. This's odd because the show premiered in March 1995 and was cancelled soon after. While doing this translation I sent a message thanking them and also wondering if by chance they could clear it up. Their answer did, And they also revealed the best news I've ever heard. This show apparently exists on DVD.
Does anyone remember a TV channel called ‘Beneath the Static’? (Part 4)
It’s been a long, long month. Where I’ve been doesn’t matter so much as WHAT happened. This is the last part before we reach the Day of Separation and… well, to be truthful, I’ve not been fully honest with you all. I’m not who I say I am. We’ll get to that next time, I’m still trying to find the place to explain it all, but I hope you’ll forgive me. After the last entry went up, my night terrors increased exponentially and I almost could not function. Sleeping became the biggest chore imaginable, and I was close to mentally breaking until last week when a message popped up from an old friend. They want to meet, and with travel restrictions lifting, they’re aiming to come out soon. They want to “resolve this once and for all” and I’m inclined to let them. We’ll be doing a reunion soon, and I guess I’ll keep you posted on that. The Day Of Separation affected us all differently… I appreciate the well wishes and voices of concern, but my part in this isn’t so relevant right now. What I want to focus on is the matter at hand. These don’t get any easier as time goes on. As always, if you have memories of the TV Network “Beneath The Static” PLEASE let me know, I’m collating all the information in the comments as it’s the easiest for my anxiety to deal with. I hope you understand. Mantis Reach was The Sage’s old hangout before we migrated to the basement. Something did happen up there, something I don’t think any of us then or now have fully come to terms with or accepted our part within. I’ll say this much though; There weren’t always Six Sages, and we didn’t always have such a dysfunction within our group. Before what happened that warm July evening, when everything began to fall apart… There were seven. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 5 There was no real fanfare prior to our meeting this week, Fay was having nightmares and didn’t seem ready to discuss it, drawings were kept secret and I didn’t want to push the envelope on an already tense situation. Each week we do this, I feel us gradually growing apart both as siblings and as a unit. I know many of you have said “why are we doing this?” and questioning the logic of wanting our secrets laid bare. But the truth is, it’s already happened and to explain our mindset then is almost impossible to discern now. All I can say looking back is that it’s very akin to browsing gore sites with your friends; you want to stop, but you can’t because everyone else is still invested and nobody wants to back out. Everyone shuffled in on their own, their idiosyncrasies diluted down to nothing more than some choice phrases and clothing options; Mathias repeatedly unlogged his glasses and was nose deep in a tech magazine, Warren had an earphone in blasting Bad Religion and giving a lazy fist bump, Millie shook my hand gingerly with the Cats Paw and Preston mumbled something between huge swathes of Doritos shovelled into his mouth. If I said it felt like the old gang was back, I’d be lying. We sat in an awkward malaise as the show counted down. The conversations were brief and muddled in anxiety. It seemed we didn’t really come alive until the show actually started, but Mathias was the only one to probe the question on everyone’s minds as the countdown for the show’s starting began; Mathias: Do any of you think this is related to what JJ said at the end of the last show? Fay: You mean Mantis Reach? There was a long pause, shuffling seats, and even Preston stopped eating to contemplate. That stormy night in the clubhouse, the fight, the incident, the promise. Mathias: It just seems like we’re not acknowledging the Elephant in the room here… Warren: It’s a big fucking Elephant and I’m content to keep it as far the fuck away from me as possible. Fay: Problem is, we can’t do that forever, not if JJ or whoever this is knows everything. Preston: But why would he use that info against us? What happened up there was- Millie: Don’t. We know what happened with Livewire; we don’t need to go into it. Tristan: I’m not sure who or what JJ and this network is. But we keep coming back every week, and we keep waiting to see who’s next. Something is drawing us here, and honestly? I think it’s our own desire for truth intermixed with something else… The group pause and wait for me to finish, but I’m certain that the same word ran to everyone’s minds before I even finished uttering it; Tristan: Guilt. “Welcome to Beneath The Static. Tonight’s special documentary “Life Out of Death” will be presented by Sir Barclay Wigbert.” 0:00 - A sweeping shot of an orchard with beautiful orchestral music begins the show. This is by far the most high-definition concept we have seen out of them so far. As the innumerable trees pass over the stretch of land, we have shots of small animals and insects surviving and foraging as the narrator speaks. He sounds so much like David Attenborough that if I’d not seen he was a middle-aged man from Japan, I’d have been convinced they paid him to appear. “Our planet is filled with an innumerable amount of remarkable creatures. It has been my life’s work to catalogue these strange, remarkable and potentially deadly creatures. But of course, we mustn’t forget our own place in this ecosystem. Our journey will look through some of the most unique members of the animal kingdom and our role within. I’m Sir Barclay Wigbert and this is Life Out Of Death.” Tristan: Hey, you never know, this one may actually be normal for once. Millie: Anything with animals and soothing British voices is a good start. But… Warren: But this isn’t a normal fucking station we’re dealing with. Fay: Well, then we have to ask the question that none of us wants to ask, let alone answer… Preston: Who’s next? 0:02: Our eyes turn back to the TV screen as the shot turns to a lush green forest; fauna and flora adorning the undergrowth, plants of shapes and sizes I’d have never guessed could possibly exist. Innumerable bugs crawling along the moss stricken logs, great-winged insects expertly darting through the air to avoid larger predators while small spindly rodents littered the ground, forever on the hunt for their next meal. It was a veritable menagerie of strange creatures, both familiar and unfamiliar. The scene shifts to Barclay standing by a large tree branch, the lights dimmed low and the undergrowth looking almost an indigo rather than the usual emerald green. “We’re here today for a special look at a few of this great realm’s most fascinating creatures. Starting off with Ampulex compressa…” The shot cuts to a closeup of an iridescent wasp, cleaning itself with its front legs and the shimmer of its abdomen bursting through the screen as a soft drone played in the background. Something indecipherable whispered underneath. As soon as Barclay spoke the name of the creator, however, we heard a voice in the room call out at the exact same time. Not full of confidence, knowledge and price like his, but fear and pain; it was Millie. “Behold: The Emerald Cockroach Wasp.” He said proudly as it crawled around its enclosure, Millie staring wide-eyed and a tear falling down her face. She was someone who refused to show extreme emotion or vulnerability unless it was forced out of her. This unsettled us all, but we didn’t say anything. 0:05 - The camera takes a wide angle approach to the behaviour of the Emerald Cockroach Wasp as it highlights the body structure, hive and prey. As it goes through the motions of capturing a helpless cockroach, stabbing its underbelly and dragging it into a burrow to lay an egg inside it. Sharp, loud static sounds would ring out as the scene rapidly progressed through the gestation process; each of us jumping in our seats from the sounds of crunching, gnawing and chewing of this larvae, eating the host alive with shots of pearly white teeth and cracked flesh appear momentarily. Warren: This sick fuck is enjoying watching us…how long are we going to keep playing his game? WHY are we still doing this? Fay: Because he knows about Mantis Reach. He knows about all of us and… Warren: And what? He didn’t know about that shit until last week and we STILL came back. Fay: I don’t know, I just feel there’s more to this than that. If he knows all this, why doesn’t the rest of the world? Why haven’t we been approached by anyone? Mathias: Probably limited viewership. We could be the only ones watching. Preston: Maybe they don’t know it’s us? Maybe they’re being told their own secrets, and that’s entrapping them? Warren: Bullshit, Preston. That was YOUR brother, YOUR family. What the fuck are we still doing here? Millie: Then why haven’t you gone? We turned to look at her, clutching her lucky cat’s paw and eyes wide with fear as she stared at the tv screen, tears flowing down her face and her lip bitten so tightly that a trickle of blood still flowed even when she spoke. Millie: Clearly, there're reasons we all have to go and far more to stay. Everyone has a secret they keep, everyone has a face they never show. This fucking station exposes that and right now…right now, I’m the one in the spotlight. Tristan: You know, we could just switch it off and be done with it, I can turn off the TV, close this laptop and we could just wash our hands of it all. Fay: Yeah, we could maybe hook up some Mario Kart and- Millie: Fuck that…fuck that… FUCK THAT. We stared for a moment. She stood up and had her head bowed. Millie: It’s better this way, so let’s just do it, okay? If this is gonna come out… I want it to MEAN something. Not just be useless shit that continues to fuck me up as I get older. I want to be better. 00:08 - I nodded, and we turned back. The devouring of the cockroach now finished and Barclay walking through the underbrush as multiple shadowed insects I couldn’t identify ran for cover. He stopped by a small clearing and knelt down near the burrow of one of the cockroaches and grinned. “Now, if we’re very lucky, there should be a victim in here… right at the end of its gestation period. Let’s see if we can get a good look at the specimen.” He reaches in and pulls out a small, emaciated digit. The skin melting away and exposing necrotic tissue, bone and sinew underneath. He pulls it up towards the camera and then sniffs it like a cigar before biting down hard and chewing it, in full view of the camera. “Delightful, a small morsel to satiate the pallet before the main course. The Emerald Cockroach has a remarkable ability only recently discovered by scientists, you see. It is able to-“ Millie: Secrete acidic juices from the abdomen that will allow for prey to be easily digested, no matter the size. We stare over at her, clutching her lucky cat’s paw and wide eyed with horror. No time to pause or give thought, Barclay continued on, walking through the underbrush to a larger burrow. “You see, many creatures have hidden talents that permit them to go beyond their usual hunting patterns, base instincts and feeding habits. This is not only a mark of evolution, but survival of the fittest. We see this in multiple species across the animal kingdom, but no more so than in the insect kingdom.” He pauses, still chewing the sinew and fat from the finger, the entirety of our room hoping it’s either a prop or some kind of strange looking larvae. 0:10 - The camera pans in closer as he stands there chewing, a solid 30 seconds of nothing else as his eyes roll back, he moans and savours every bite. Drool and blood dribbling down his lips as the crunching sounds become louder. Eventually, the footage begins to inter splice with varying forms of predators taking down and devouring prey. Bear grabbing fish from the streams, cheetah’s at full speed taking down gazelle and Crocodiles pouncing on unsuspecting Zebra, each bite the predators jaws producing an ear-splitting screech from the television, flashing images over the look of ecstasy on Barclay’s face. The whole sequence growing progressively faster until they melded into one and the eyes rolled down to look directly at the camera lens. Mathias: This one seems to have very little point to it, I’m almost wondering if this is an anti-meme… you know, where its entire point is to be something nonsensical and unstructured. Kinda like some of the more avant-garde German or European shows of the heyday… Fay: The flashing images just make me feel ill, though the animal takedowns aren’t bothering me too much, just might not have any meat for a while. Tristan: I give it 2 hours before you beg me to take you to Taco Bell because you either got the hunger pangs or need the energy to draw all night. Fay: Hey man, when you have a craving, you have a craving. Right, Millie? Millie hadn’t stopped staring, we knew she hadn’t. But we were desperate to bring normalcy to the group, knowing we needed to DO better to support one another when our “turn” came around, especially since we were now resolved to see this through. Her free hand was picking at the skin on her fingers so aggressively that blood was pooling down her wrist. If she was in pain, she didn’t give any notion to us. Instead, she stared ahead, nodding rhythmically with some unheard beat. Preston: What is she… Warren? Tristan? Are you guys just going to let her do that? Shouldn’t we… I dunno… intervene? Warren: No. Millie ain’t the type who’ll appreciate a handout. You guys didn’t stop me and even though that shit was scarring, I’d rather feel it and experience it. Otherwise, it’s just unresolved. All we can do is be there when she falls and catch her. Fay: Wow, that almost sounded poetic, Warren. Warren: Fuck off, I ain’t that type. Musician? Sure. Poet? Fuck that noise. Fay: They’re the same thing, y’know… 0:20 - There was a loud thump, and the scenery distorted back to the sprawling landscapes and diverse undergrowth of creatures both recognisable and not so. Stag beetles with a bioluminescent carapace, diving from the air to impale rivals or small black caterpillars that leak acidic juices. A trapdoor spider the size of a dinner plate with the exact skin tone and camouflage to match a black human hand adeptly snapping out of a deep burrow in the ground to ensnare a shrew, fangs the size of nails piercing clean through and dragging it back underground in an instant. Lastly, the image settles on that of a leaf swaying in the wind on a thick log, a rhesus monkey off in the distance, smashing rocks together. Barclays soft, pleasant voice dripping with sinister undertones as he speaks over the scene, a darkness falling around the undergrowth; “Do you know what else has a remarkable adaptation to taking down its prey? Humans. We are so good at manipulation tactics, both direct and subversive, that often times our prey simply walks right into the trap without knowing it!” The leaf sways and the camera pans back, each one of us recoiling in horror as Millie breathes heavily, saying “no” over and over under her breath, I half expected her to have a full-blown panic attack. The “leaf” was far larger than the shot made it appear, the size of a small man, and it was steadily moving towards its intended prey, the “monkey”; A child no older than 7 with a large brown hoodie on and a Totoro backpack. The “leaf’s” arms were pointed at the ends with spikes adorning the underside, the head tilted at a 90 degree axis and perfectly still, each of its legs gently moving its body forward until it was within striking range. Everything about the scene felt wrong. We knew we were being lead into something far darker than all the others, but we couldn’t look away. None of us could. “Yes, that’s right. Not every creature is as it seems. The undergrowth, much like the average suburban neighbourhood, carries all manner of unusual, violent and disturbing secrets within it. It’s just a matter of time until they’re revealed. But, of course, many of our young viewers are aware of these encounters. Especially those of us with guarded emotions and a propensity to the macabre…” 0:25 - The screen flashes again and we’re greeted with images of tribes going to war, Chimpanzees ripping each other’s limbs off for fun and devouring the young of an enemy troop, executions by the guillotine in France, nuclear bombs going off in Japan and tragedies I swear hadn’t happened by that point. As each one appeared, one of us flinched and felt it hit their innermost fears; drowning, burning, buried, eaten alive, torture. One by one we felt our energy sapped, and we were powerless to stop it or to stop watching. Imagine the sensation of not being able to look away from a car crash amplified by a thousand. We were in whether we wanted to or not. Millie: I know what’s going to come next, please don’t hate me for what you see. Please. Millie was holding her arms at the shoulders and rocking slowly in place, unable to control herself. Warren: How in the hell could you know… What is-Tristan: Not the time, dude. Don’t worry, Millie, we’re with you. The group nodded sheepishly, though everyone was wondering the same thing as Warren. We never knew how this played out, but I’m sure the group who’d been featured so far at least knew their darkest secrets and fears, so it at least made sense on what would be shown. But as it seemed the scene was reaching its apex, the camera cut to Barclay and a sherpa who were both grinning ear to ear, genuine joy displayed across their faces. “Before we get to the finale of this exciting expose on predator & prey, I must first bring you a spectacle like no other; The Suffering Tree.” They walk off screen and footage of their trail through the jungle and towards a large clearing plays as Barclay continues to talk. “The Suffering Tree, or The Ouroboros Tree as it’s known to the locals, was once thought to be that of a legend until famed explorer Archibald Maitland Williams discovered it during his 19th century expedition to the new world. He had little interest in it, save for a remarkable Tortoise that’d survived in the fields nearby, but he reported it in his exploration novels nonetheless and provided the next generation of westerners the tools to study it and bring their troubles to its roots.” As Barclay finishes, the shot of them walking into the clearing pans 180 degrees to show what they’re looking at; A gargantuan oak tree towering higher than anything I’d ever seen, the black roots digging deep into the ground and the branches sprawling across the forest. This was like some kind of mother tree but the size of a skyscraper, the tops of its branches impossible to see. Barclay puts his hands on his hips and sighs before mopping his brow and turning to the camera, Millie still shaking with fear. “The Tree gets its name not only because of its life affirming properties, but because of HOW it amasses such properties. It is provided through the will of its believers. For when they discover it and provide a darkness from their lives that is more potent and insidious than any other, the tree will do its part to excise it. So long as the user gives up a life it loves to take, a life it hates, there will always be a place within this tree’s branches for that hatred. Allow me to demonstrate.” Millie chokes on her sobs and begs it not to show, but Barclay pulls at one of the branches and a fetid growth descends from up high like it was waiting to be greeted. A thick, black and red tendril pulsing with power and bile ends in the spine of an extremely decayed man; his nude body twitching and necrotic tissue apparent all over him. Large holes where pustules had recently burst riddle his abdomen, thighs and even his head, one bursting right below his neck as an Emerald Cockroach crawls out, stinging him in a fresh spot before flying off to continue its cycle. The mans eyes are wide, his jaw open in an almost scream, save for some low gurgling moans and grunts. “This man was one of the more vile creatures accepted into the tree. His sentencer was a victim of years of painful abuse and he repeatedly told his religious family that it was HER fault for how he acted. Because, after all, if she hadn’t dressed that way or behaved so capriciously, he wouldn’t have had to do what he did…” Barclay spat on the man and dug his finger into one of the wounds, letting the digit sink all the way into the wound and black blood spilling onto his hand. “We may be monsters by your perception, but I assure you, we can be just in our behaviours. We even took measures to ensure this man NEVER forgot what he did for the remainder of his natural life.” The camera pans down and shows his lower half, mutilated and filled with parasites. Warren vomits and Millie collapses to the floor, screaming as we all struggle to comprehend what we’re seeing. “Surely, she would say it was her fault, that she was to blame. But, such is the nature of a victim, and our network deduced the only way forward was to rip the bandaid off entirely. We are not monsters, but arbiters of true justice. Through our programming, we wish to ensure every member of our esteemed audience knows that Beneath The Static, there is a truth and we will expose it to ensure you are bettered for it. With that being said…” Once more, the scene shifts back to the scene of the leaf man and the child. Something attracts the child’s attention and they dart off screen, though at this point I believe I’m the only one watching. Preston is standing in the corner looking at the wall to calm himself, Warren is cleaning up his vomit and Mathias and Fay are tending to Millie. The leaf man turns towards the camera, his head still tilted but the bug eyes and mandible’s catching my attention immediately. His cracked skin, neat brown hair still apparent underneath his camouflage as his mouth parts click and hiss. “Only two more to go and we’ll know what you did. There is an ebb, a flow, and a truth to what we do. Soon, you will know what Ouroboros truly means. Soon, you will all be exposed.” JJ leans in closer, this malformed mantis monstrosity boring its way into my skull as I feel my eyes burn, repeating back the exact same thing I’d seen in Fays drawings weeks before, the same thing in her- no, OUR nightmares. “YOUR TURN.” It was an hour after the show had ended; the TV was switched off, and we turned our armchairs to form a makeshift circle that Millie told us what had happened. We knew she was born into a very strict Mormon culture and while none of us, save for Preston, had any real religious views. But, in her culture, family and god were absolute and there was a hierarchy to be respected. Her brother being far older than her was often left in charge and, in his own words to Millie, said she “developed at a remarkably young age” and so felt it necessary to “purge the sin out of her the way only a man can”. I won’t go into the particulars, but you get the picture. When Millie was 13, she fell pregnant by way of him and was determined to get rid of it. But, after finally finding the courage (and necessity due to the pregnancy) to out her brother to her parents. They elected to side with him as the “good boy tempted by the she-devil”, casting her out and forcing her into foster care. Broken and devastated, she aborted and put up her guard over the next several years, becoming the person she always wanted to be while also striving to shed herself of that time in her life. To the surprise of nobody by this point, her brother and parents had gone on a missionary trip to South America the year prior, though Millie kept no contact with them save for knowing they were nowhere near her. The entire family went missing, and it was expected they succumbed to the elements, that natural predators lurking in the jungle or a native tribe had killed them. This brought small comfort, but some degree of catharsis, she admitted. That being said, JJ had a remarkable way of pulling out our innermost shame, our darkest secrets and laying them bare. We just didn’t know why. One by one, we all talked about how we were feeling up to that point, our anxieties over what had been said, our fears over what WILL be said and our resolve to finish this. Fay: I’m not stopping, there’s nothing he can say about me or Tristan that’d make us wanna quit, right? Tristan: Yeah, I’m with you. We’ve done some dark stuff, but nothing we’d ever wanna hide from you guys. Plus, we’d feel shitty if we dropped out now when you’d all gone through it. That ain’t the Muldoon way. Warren: I wanna smash JJ’s face in, I don’t know HOW we’re gonna find him, but we will. Because once the next episode airs and he’s done with all of us, the fuck is he gonna do then? My bet is he’ll want a face to face, settle the score. Mathias: Well, this… man, monster, whatever… has abilities we don’t fully grasp. He’s clever, has people around him who he can manipulate and knows SO much about us. I think we need to do some research ahead of next week’s meet, finally get our heads out of our asses and fight back. Right? Preston: mm, I’ll join you, you need someone like me to keep you on track and stop you overthinking too much. Mathias: I do NOT overthink too much. Fay: Remember when you had an anxiety attack over black holes? Tristan: Oh yeah, you hyperventilated thinking about being sucked into one and the “absence of nothingness” Fay: Local man is terrified of becoming space spaghetti. There was a smatter of laughter around the room and for the first time in a long time, we felt better. Mathias: It’s a normal reaction to something so fucking horrifying, okay? But sure, Preston, I’d appreciate the help. Millie: Whatever you decide, I’m in. I wanna prove that I’m not that girl anymore. We put our hands in, each one of us determined to make sure that we held up our end of the bargain. Of course, you know how this ends. The next time we met was The Day of Separation, the worst day in our lives and one that was permanently etched into our collective memories for 10 agonising years. Because, if I’m being truthful, the name wasn’t just to imply we broke up as a friendship group. Nor was it a way of explaining what happened at Mantis Reach. It was the day one of our group members was taken from us. By the network. By JJ. We watched them on air as they were stolen away. And 10 years on… we don’t know how to get them back.
What's Next For The Atlanta Hawks? Part 2: The Draft
In a year where the Hawks 20-47 they find themselves, yet again, atop the lottery with a high chance of snagging yet another top prospect from the draft. In a year with no clear standout studs above the rest, this draft could go a multitude of ways. A player like James Weisman could be drafted with a top 3 pick or he could just as easily slip to the end of the lottery. There's no saying what will happen with this year's draft. We can, however, look at the top prospects and see how they could fit in with this young, burgeoning, Hawks team. Team Needs:
Lots of Defense!!!
So without any more delay, let's talk some draft... Lamelo Ball: One of the top prospects in this year's draft Ball can play make like no other prospect in this draft. His elite court vision, feel for the game, and ball handle should allow him to be an effective playmaker and scorer at the rim. His large frame and size point to a high defensive upside yet he still had some struggles on the defensive end overseas. His shot looks pretty funky (not unlike his brother) plus he’s had a hard time scoring efficiently from behind the arc. Ball would be a very interesting fit for the Hawks. On one end I like it because he would provide a much needed secondary playmaking presence for the hawks. He could run the offense on some possessions allowing Trae to play off-ball more, creating an interesting offensive dynamic where the Hawks would have two elite playmakers on the court. He could also help run the second unit while Trae rests, that way the Hawks always have a high-end playmaker in the game at all times at one of the guard positions. If Ball figured out his defense, he could be a very nice fit next to Trae and the rest of the Hawks measly defensive roster as well, plus he could help grab some of the boards the team will miss out due to Trae’s poor rebounding. It’s not all sunshine and roses with Ball though. His jerky shooting motion as well as his inefficient scoring make me worry about his upside as a secondary shot creator (something the Hawks desperately need). It’s cool that he could potentially be a playmaker and serviceable defender but the offense will continue to be limited without another shot creator. There’s also some reason to worry about whether or not Trae and Lamelo’s skill sets are too similar. Trae is already one of the league's best passers and I'm not sure you want to be taking the ball out of his hands as much as you would be with Lamelo. With the two of them playing together you would likely be forced to give Lamelo the majority of the playmaking opportunities since he doesn’t look to be an effective off-ball player (other than as a cutter). I like Lamelo and his skillset but I’m not sure he’s the right pick for the Hawks. Fit Grade: C+ Killian Hayes: Arguably this year's top shooting guard prospect, Killian Hayes has a lot going for him. He’s a 6’5, 215lb guard out of France that’s shown to have high upside as both a shooter and facilitator. Hayes may not make the same electrifying full-court passes that Ball does but he’s not super far behind him as a playmaker. He has the ability to hit open cutters and shooters along the perimeter with pinpoint accuracy as well as a lethal jump shot to keep opposing defenders honest. This shooting ability along with his solid handle point to him having lots of upside as a shot-creator. Hayes lacks the athleticism of some of the other top prospects but he makes it work with his natural feel for the game. He knows how to attack passing lanes and is always a threat to intercept an opposing player's pass. His size also makes him able to guard opposing wings as he will not easily be overpowered. Hayes’s biggest flaw is simply his lack of athleticism. He lacks the burst to blow by quicker defenders which could potentially limit his scoring abilities on the interior. His handle, while adequate, could use some work as can sometimes struggle to create enough distance to get his shot off. Overall I like Hayes and his fit with the Hawks. I think he could fill the team's needs of a secondary playmaker and secondary shot-creator (as long as it tightens up his handle). He looks to be an above-average defender at the shooting guard position which could greatly benefit the Hawks. His shooting ability would allow him to play off-ball and further solidify the Hawks as an above-average shooting team. The biggest knock I have on Hayes is that he lacks some of the upside of other prospects due to his limited athleticism. It also doesn’t help that Hayes, while being a good defender, would not help solve the Hawks defensive woes as much as some other prospects. In the end, I think Hayes would be a really good fit on this Hawks team as he could spiff up their offense while also helping them on defense. Fit Grade: A- Anthony Edwards: You want athleticism? Say no more. I present to you Anthony Edwards, a 6’5, 225lb shooting guard with a 6’9 wingspan and enough hops to jump out of the building. Edwards shot up onto the scene this year with his herculean dunks and jaw-dropping athleticism. Edwards, in his lone season at Georgia, has shown to be a dynamic ball handler with the ability to create space and hit shots around the rim. His elite athleticism and burst allow him to blow by defenders and his 225lb mold allows him to score through contact. He has tremendous upside as a defender due to his frame as well as his size and agility. Edwards isn’t always a lockdown defender despite his physical traits. He often loses focus when defending off-ball and sometimes simply lacks effort. The same can be said for his offense as when he’s not playing with the ball he can be a bit lackadaisical at times. Edwards is an alright passer but he’s not going to be constantly creating opportunities for his teammates. Edwards would certainly be interesting on the Hawks. I think his ability to create shots and get to the basket could do wonders for the Hawks offense. His defensive potential is through the roof and if he figured it all out he could one day be an all-defensive type player. He does lack the shooting and passing abilities you’d want in a shooting guard however playing next to Trae Young would help alleviate some of those problems. Despite not being much of a playmaker, I love Edwards fit with Atlanta. He has monumental upside as a scoreshot creator and could be a huge asset on the defensive end (as long as he can stay locked in). The only thing keeping Edwards from getting an A+ fit grade is his lack of playmaking. If the Hawks find themselves with a top pick, don’t be surprised if Edwards ends up staying in Georgia. Fit Grade: A Tyrese Haliburton: And we're keeping it rolling with the guards. Haliburton may just be the least exciting of all the top lottery picks. He lacks elite athleticism and wow plays but he makes up for it with his playmaking and off-ball defense. Haliburton is one of the most gifted passers in this class. He seems to always make the right play and can launch the ball to cutters and shooters. He’s not all that athletic but his handle as well as his ability to fake out defenders allows him to create some shots for himself. His shooting was solid but not spectacular in his two years at Iowa State. On defense, he thrives off-ball where he uses his basketball IQ to attack passing lanes, make rotations, and disrupt plays. On the ball, it's a different story. Haliburton lacks the burst to keep up with quicker guards and his 6’5, 175lb frame makes him prone to getting bodied by opposing bigs and forwards. His shot creation is also a concern as he may have a hard time creating separation in the pros. Haliburton seems more like a complementary piece than anything. Frankly, I think the Hawks would be making a mistake taking Haliburton. Yeah sure he would serve as a solid secondary playmaker and play some good defense but I don’t know that he does either of those things well enough to warrant the Hawks selecting him with what will likely be a top-five pick, I simply don’t think he has enough upside (now watch him be a 15-time all-star). Fit Grade: C Onyeka Okongwu: Defense! Defense! Defense! That’s what Onyeka Okongwu is all about. Okongwu has the unique ability to guard bigs on the interior while also being able to keep up with the quicker guards. His hustle paired along with his insane 7’1 wingspan make him a top-notch shot blocker and transition defender. His positioning is well ahead of his age and he’s almost always in the right position to snag a rebound or contest a shot. At USC Okongwu also showed himself to be an elite interior finisher. He can throw down some monster lobs while also being able to softly lay it up when in transition. He has an arsenal of post moves that he uses to score down low. He also finds ways to be useful off-ball as he is a smart screen setter. His passing is also impressive for a big as he is more than capable of making outlet passes to shooters when working in the post. He’s also got a pretty solid handle for a big man and can get to the rim on some defenders. The biggest drawback Okongwu has is his inability to shoot. His mechanics are less than ideal and I’m not too high on him as a shooter. He also can foul a bit much and chase on blocks that he really shouldn’t. If it weren’t for Clint Capela finding his way to Atlanta this last season I would have urged the Hawks to take Okongwu if they got the chance. He checks a lot of the boxes. He can be an elite defender, check. He can act as a secondary playmaker, check. He can create his own shot, kinda check. I just worry that his playstyle would overlap too heavily with Capela which is why I don’t see the Hawks going and getting him. I love Okongwu as a prospect (he’s my favorite in the draft) however I can’t deny the overlapping skills he has with the Hawks roster. Fit Grade: A- (without Capela), C- (with Capela) Devin Vassell: If the Hawks are looking for a 3 and D wing, Vassell might just be their guy. Vassell saw great improvement from his freshman year to his sophomore year at Florida State. In his second year at the university, he put up 12.7 points on 41.5% three-point shooting. His overall scoring wasn’t mind-blowing but his efficiency sparked many scouts interest and put him in a place to be a lottery pick in this year's draft. Vassell showed some ball-handling chops in College but largely struggled to get to and finish at the basket. His passing was solid but he’ll likely never be the lead initiator of an offense. He’s much more suited to being a secondary playmaker. On defense, Vassell is an absolute dog. He hustles for open balls, interrupts passing lanes, and uses his length (6’7 with a 6’10 wingspan) to disrupt bigs. Despite lacking burst Vessel often uses he’s defensive IQ to attack passing lanes and come up with the steal (1.4 steals a game in college). He can effectively guard most guards and wings while also displaying food off-ball defense. He could use a few extra pounds on him since he isn't quite big enough to hang with most bigs in the post. I think Vassell is one of the surest things in this draft class. He seems like the type of player to find a way to be impactful regardless of his role. I don’t see a way this guy could be a complete flop of a draft pick, he just does all the little things so well. In terms of his fit for the Hawks, he is pretty interesting. I really like his defense and shooting for the hawks. His solid playmaking could make him a quality secondary playmaker for hawks. I’m just concerned about his ability to create his own shot. He has shown some craftiness and ability to create space despite his lack of athleticism but I wonder how high his ceiling is in that aspect of the game. It’s also not that assuring that he struggled to finish at the basket in college. I think he will become better at creating his own shot, I just don’t know how much better. It could very well be the difference from him becoming a star or him just being another solid 3 and D wing. There’s also some concern that his game might just be too similar to Deandre Hunter but in my opinion, you can never really have too many good wings. If the Hawks are looking for more of a surefire bet of a prospect I think Vassell should be atop of their list. Team Fit: B+ Obi Toppin: Toppin was a pleasant surprise this year at Dayton. After being a red-shirt his freshman year Toppin burst onto draft boards when he led Dayton to a top record in college basketball. Toppin made highlight plays with his ferocious dunks and ability to swat balls away at a high level. Toppin was a huge transition threat in college due to his galvanizing burst and surprising ball-handling skills. Toppin was able to be an effective interior scorer, despite not having a deep bag of low post moves. He was able to do this because of his monumental strength and burst, oh yeah, also because he’s 6’9 with a 6’11 wingspan and a hulking 220lb frame. Toppin even flashed some playmaking abilities, leading some scouts to believe he could act as a playmaker from the post, kicking the ball out to open shooters. Toppin was also a very solid shooter in his one year at Dayton. He shot 39% on 80+ three-point attempts in his shortened season at Dayton. It is a bit worrisome that in his two seasons at Dayton he never shot better than 71.3% at the free-throw line. But overall I have lots of faith in his jumper as it looks good and his percentages have overall been good. Now let's get onto the less positive side of Toppins game. Toppin is, quite frankly, a catastrophe on defense. His interior defense isn’t that good despite his physical gifts because he lacks lateral quickness. Opposing players can blow by him and get to the rim before he can get up for the contest. Yes, he’s a good shot-blocker when set but the problem is that he doesn’t position himself effectively. His high center of gravity makes him prone to getting bodied by shorter, more bulky wings/guards despite his physical gifts. He tends to get lost on defense and doesn’t always seem to know what to do. He doesn’t have a good sense of what opposing offenses are doing and has little awareness of screens. It doesn’t help that he simply lacks effort on defense. On offense I love Toppins fit with the Hawks. Problem is that he is, in many ways, a spitting image of John Collins. He struggles in many of the same ways and they fill a similar role. Toppin is an absolute nightmare fit for the Hawks defensively. He is simply atrocious on that end and doesn't show much room for improvement on that side of the game (other than maybe his shot-blocking). Toppin is too similar to Collins and too poor of a defender to be selected by the Hawks. Fit Grade: C Deni Avdija: The top international prospect this year, Deni Avdija is a polarizing prospect. He’s a 6’9 wing with guard-like skills. He is a strong passer and playmaker who uses his basketball IQ as well as his solid ball-handling skills to find open shooters in cutters in both full-court and half-court situations. His handle allows him to get to the rim where he finishes more often than not. He’s a crafty interior player that can use a combination of fakes and post moves to score. It’s also worth noting that he can score effectively with either hand making him an even more versatile interior scorer. Deni likes to avoid the mid-range and prefers to take shots along the perimeter or at the basket. His shooting overall hasn’t been too impressive. He really struggled from three and from the line prior to the league's suspension, however, since they’ve come back Avdija has been shooting much better which gives me hope for his shooting in the long term. Defensively, off-ball is where Avdija shines. He positions himself close enough to his defenders so they’re never fully open while still roaming passing lanes in the hunt for a steal. His on-ball defense is less prolific. Avdija simply lacks the lateral quickness to keep up with faster wings and guards, despite putting in lots of effort on that end. He’s also not quite strong enough to stop bigs in the post. His ball handle could also use some improvement as it’s good, not great. So what do we get with Avdija? Well, we're getting a player that can play make, score at the buck, play off-ball defense, and defend off-ball effectively. We’re also getting a player who struggles to defend quicker players as well as bigs, limited athleticism, suspect shooting, and somewhat limited shot creation abilities (though he could very well improve at all these things). I like Avdija’s potential, if he just put on some pounds and did some agility training he could very well be an effective defender for the Hawks. If he worked on his handle his shot creation abilities could also take some strides. I think he could fit nicely on the Hawks. Fit Grade: B+ Isaac Okoro: To round out the list we have Isaac Okoro from Auburn. In his one season at Auburn Okoro flashed the ability to drive and finish at the rim at a high rate. His handle is pretty strong and when paired with his ability to finish with either hand makes him a tough player to guard down low. He often uses a variety of spin moves, fakes, and misdirection to throw defenders off and get shots off at the basket. When he does get to the basket he’s shown to be good at drawing fouls. When he meets opposition when driving to the basket he will often find an open shooter instead of forcing up bad shots. Okoro also thrives on defense where he can play effectively on-ball and off-ball. His high motor paired with his high defensive IQ makes him a menace to go at on offense. He rotates well, fights past screens, and stays with cutters at a high level. He’s also strong enough to stand his ground against bigger players. Okoro has shown to be a poor shooter thus far in his basketball career. He shot just 28.6% from three in his one year at Auburn while also shooting a measly 67.2% from the free-throw line. This leads to him not being very good at creating his own shot along the perimeter and from the midrange. On the bright side he’s not the type to force up shots he’s not good at (cough* cough* Russel Westbrook). There are some questions about how his athleticism will hold up when he gets to the NBA, he has adequate burst but there’s a chance it won’t be good enough to get past higher level defenders. If the Hawks were to end up with a later pick I definitely wouldn’t be mad if they selected Okoro. I see him as at least being a solid NBA defender with some upside as a shot creator and secondary playmaker. His shooting is pretty worrisome but he would be paired with one of the best shooters in the league in Trae Young and a strong shooting supporting cast. Okoro’s transition into the NBA may not be flawless but I think he could blossom as a player in Atlanta. Fit Grade: B+ Side Note: I avoided talking about James Weisman as I don’t see a situation in which the Hawks draft him due to their acquisition of Clint Capela. Join me for part three next week when we will be discussing possible free agents the Hawks could target to help lead them to contention. Thanks For Reading! Any feedback is greatly appreciated!!!
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