Welcome to this week’s edition of What’s Going On? — a completely biased take on the week’s biggest pop-culture stories, told through numbers, odds, and props because this is Vegas after all. Here I’ll fill you in on (my version of) the best and worst from all of your (my) favorite celebrities, musicians, and even politicians, plus a few stories that are just begging to be shared. This is the stuff the group chat will thank you for. Or, at the very least, not kick you out for.
Oh, friends. Where does one start after a week like this? The catastrophic situation facing Puerto Rico and the insanity of what happened in Las Vegas this weekend have been weighing heavily on me as I sit here, attempting to sort my thoughts for another week’s post. The tremendous gravity of it all put my weekly foray into pop-culture predictions into a stark new perspective. But hopefully this can be a light-hearted distraction in otherwise miserable times.
I also wanted to make clear why the Las Vegas massacre is not listed below under “The Worst of the Week.” It’s not just that the shooting extends well past the world of pop culture; it is primarily because the situation demands more than a “Worst vs. Best” feature.
For the most part, this article features stories that make me either smile or simply shake my head, bewildered yet amused. And the news this week featured some of those stories, as well — they’re just not the easiest to see (or remember) when tragedy strikes. But let’s take some in, and remember that there are still wonderful and weird — so, so weird — things happening all around us.
Like, Mike Tyson-raising-pigeons weird.
Oy, ok, so I know I promised lighthearted, but we’re starting on a more serious note. I apologize. Oakland Raiders cornerback Sean Smith pleaded not guilty in court this week for the beating of his sister’s boyfriend. Officials say the victim was found beaten and bloodied in the streets of Pasadena, early on the morning of July 4th. His condition was so severe at the time — the victim sustained five facial fractures after having his head stomped on — that he was hospitalized in critical care, requiring major reconstructive surgery, including a metal plate.
Though Smith was not present at the scene when officials arrived, multiple witnesses pointed to him as the assailant, and he was later arrested and charged with felony assault. If convicted, the cornerback — who signed a $40 million contract in 2016 — would face up to seven years in state prison.
Smith doesn’t seem to dispute that he was the assailant, but claims that he only attacked the victim in defense of his sister (who had been dating the victim for several years). I’m not a lawyer, nor an expert in self-defense, but I have a feeling that, when a fight gets to the point where your opponent’s head is on the ground, ready to be stomped on, you’re crossing the line into assault if you decide to go ahead with said stomping. The law only affords the use of “reasonable force” when stopping an imminent attack, and this certainly sounds like it went way beyond that.
Yet, according to Smith’s lawyer, the NFL player will continue to fight the case.
Odds that Sean Smith is convicted of assault: 3/5
If I had a dollar for every time I was 100% sure how a court case should be decided, I would be a very rich woman, indeed. It always seems so simple to me. Though I am very aware this isn’t really the case. It’s just that when you have multiple witnesses and very clear physical evidence (i.e. a busted-up face that needed a metal plate put in it), I don’t really see what is left to debate. But I suppose that’s why I am an entertainment writer and not a lawyer.
It seems that everyone, other than Sean Smith, says that Sean Smith attacked his sister’s boyfriend with extreme force, beating him to an unreasonable extent. Can we all just agree that if Smith is not convicted it is not proof of his innocence?
Which is actually saying a lot when you consider that her album Come On Over became the top-selling country album of all time (going over 20x platinum) and that she lost both her voice and husband in one fell swoop about a decade ago. (Right as Twain learned that she was suffering from dysphonia — a condition she attributes to Lyme disease and stress that caused major changes to her voice — she also learned that her husband (and producer) had been cheating on her with her best friend.
The new album sounds markedly different from her past efforts, which I worry will turn long-time fans off initially. The most obvious difference is her voice. Even the quickest listen reveals a deeper, at times flatter, voice than what we are used to. The music has also deepened, inevitable considering some of the hells Shania has had to live. And yet an umbra of the old Shania remains — the vibrant, hear-me-roar personality we fell for in the 90s. To me that is the most impressive part of her comeback. Through all her trials and tribulations, she’s kept her essence intact.
Odds that Now goes platinum: 20/1
The road to platinum is a long one, and fans can be fickle when something doesn’t tickle their nostalgia bone quite right. Critical reviews of the album have been positive, though conservative, and I imagine public reception will be quite similar.
Sorry, I should try to be less hyperbolic. Hart and Parrish threw a $117,855 Lion King-themed baby shower at the Casamigos Beach Club this past weekend. The couple did manage to stop short of bringing in real lions, dressing up their golden retrievers to play the part. The lavish celebrations not only served to announce Baby Hart’s chosen name (Kenzo!), but also as a united front for Kevin and Eniko amidst this sex-tortion scandal.
If the plethora of #LiveLoveandLaugh and #HARTS hashtags being used by the couple lately are any indication, the Harts are determined to make things work — or they are determined to make sure we see them making it work. Hart posted images of his family at the Museum of Ice Cream just this Saturday, captioned “#Harts #TheseAreTheOnlyOpinionsThatMatter #WeChooseToLiveLoveAndLaugh #TheOnlyOnesThatMatter #HappySaturday #DopePic.”
That really tells us all we need to know, doesn’t it?
Odds that Kevin Hart and Eniko Parrish split up before Kenzo’s first birthday: 2/1
Call me naive, but I’m buying their efforts at reconciliation. Hart has been quite open about his past infidelities, and appears to be honest about his most recent ones. If he and Parrish have chosen to move forward together, it is hopefully without secrets. That being said, learning — and choosing — to trust someone after cheating is no easy task.
O/U number of times Hart uses #LiveLoveandLaugh in the next week: 6.5
Can someone actually just let him know that we see it, and we get it?
Some things really are stranger than fiction. For instance, some time ago, Mike Tyson’s personal barber put a bunch of stuff into a storage unit, then proceeded to default on the payments. The storage unit was sold off (à la Storage Wars) to a thrift store in Fayetteville, North Carolina, which in turn sold the contents to a man named Richus Allen. And now, Richus Allen would like Mike Tyson to know that he has his stuff — you know, just in case Tyson would like some of it back.
What kind of stuff was in this storage unit, you ask? Fantastic question! According to TMZ Sports. Allen is currently in possession of quite the assortment of goods, including: autographed porn covers, personal photos with other celebrities like Eddie Murphy, legal documents (so many questions about why Tyson’s barber had these to begin with), old clothing (most notably a pair of black briefs emblazoned with “BE REAL”), and my personal favorite: so many photos of his pigeons.
I’m not joking. If you didn’t know, Mike Tyson has loved pigeons ever since he was a child. In fact, the first fight he ever got into was over a pigeon. If you’ve never actually spent any time or energy researching this fascinating information, maybe you should let today be the day. Honestly, it’s the most interesting rabbit trail I have followed in ages.
Odds that Mike Tyson already has his pigeon photos back: 5/4
I’ll be straight with you on this one, guys. As much as it might shock you, I don’t actually have much insider info regarding the comings and goings of Mike Tyson. My educated take is that Tyson has people talking to people at the moment, figuring out a way to get his miscellany from Fayetteville to Las Vegas.
Odds of Mike Tyson appearing on Pawn Stars to sell his memorabilia: 20/1
Do I think this would be a fitting end to yet another bizarre story involving Mike Tyson? Yes I do. Do I think that he will quickly part with these items now that they (presumably) are back in his life? No I do not. But, have stranger things happened? Absolutely they have.
That’s right, you guys. Both Kylie Jenner and Khloe Kardashian are reportedly pregnant, and due only one month apart. If someone would like to try and explain this to me without the suggestion of witchcraft and/or supernatural interference, they are more than welcome to try. Until then, I remain firmly rooted in my theory that Kris Jenner is one of the most powerful beings walking the Earth today. Two of her four daughters are pregnant literally moments before the 10th anniversary of their TV show, and I’m supposed to believe it was coincidence? #notbuyingit.
Of course, the rumors are not confirmed — a magician never reveals her secrets, you guys — but, I am sincerely hoping and praying to Mother Kris that they’re true. Khloe has been upfront about her struggles with infertility, and about the fact that she and boyfriend Tristan Thompson would like to start a family, so this would truly be a #blessing for the couple.
Odds that Khloe is actually pregnant: 2/7
Not only do I very much hope Khloe Kardashian is pregnant, there have been zero denials from any of the Coven and that’s just about as good as a confirmation, if you ask me. Also, my baggy clothing theory stands: just like Kylie, Koko has been seen out and about wearing much more loosely-fitted clothing than normal. What else on earth could that mean?
Odds of Kourtney announcing she is pregnant sometime this month: 50/1
If she does though, can we all agree that I was right about Kris Jenner?
Featured Image: Mike Tyson (shelbysdrummond (flickr [CC License]))
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