Why Are Brown Men So Infatuated With White Women Onscreen?

There’s a scene early on in the new romantic comedy The Big Sick, where the comedian Kumail Nanjiani (playing a version of himself) is sitting next to his girlfriend Emily (Zoe Kazan), talking about wine. During their conversation, which begins flirty and fun but soon turns emotional, Emily looks at Kumail and suddenly says, “I am overwhelmed by you.” They’ve only been dating for a short while, so her admission comes as a bit of a surprise, but Kumail, looking into Emily’s eyes, unable to repress a smile, replies that he is also “overwhelmed” by her.It’s the kind of sweet moment, heightened by the levity that surrounds it, that exists only in the best romantic comedies. But what makes it especially notable here is the fact that Kumail is a Pakistani-American man, and when the camera cuts to his face receiving and then expressing love, it upends what we’re accustomed to seeing in most classic movie romances.For that reason, among others, it does seem like a small miracle that Nanjiani’s film, which he cowrote with his wife, Emily V. Gordon, and is based on their own lives, is finding its way to theaters this weekend (in limited release; it opens nationwide on July 14). Apparently, The Big Sick — which premiered at Sundance in January, was sold to Amazon Studios for $12 million, and has enjoyed an overwhelmingly positive critical reception — has found a formula for success in the still mostly white genre of romantic comedies. The movie’s release feels like the culmination of a transformative few months for Hollywood representations of South Asian–American Muslims in love. Following the May debut of its second season on Netflix, Aziz Ansari’s Master of None is the most talked about romantic comedy on TV right now. And The Daily Show’s Hasan Minhaj, who hosted the White House Correspondents' Dinner  in April, released his own widely praised Netflix comedy special Continue Reading

Online dating at the Jersey Shore: Match or hookup?

Lions are bountiful in the realm of online dating.The photo of the first potential suitor posed with the King of the Jungle evokes the image of an adventurous traveler, clearly on some sort of safari. Swipe right on your cell phone or table for yes. After three dozen or so similar pictures one gets the impression there must be some big cat petting zoo nearby. Or simply too many single men with too much time on their hands and mad Photoshop skills. Swipe left for no. Same too for the Ferraris. Because seriously? How many eligible 20, 30-something men actually own Italian sports cars? Swipe left. While the kookiness of the photos some people put on their online dating apps is almost a given, one thing is still left open to debate. Are all of these people turning to their smartphones and tablets here for a long term relationship or casual sex?In short: Do we swipe, ergo hook up? Her story: I'm having an affair with a married man How dating has changedThe realm of dating has been changing almost since it began. Gone are the days when you were betrothed to the man who gave your father a goat and three chickens. Meeting Mr. Right in church? Sure, for some, but increasingly that's the exception, not the rule — although sites like Christian Mingle do promise to help Christian singles "find God's match for you."So instead, some 38 percent of Americans who are single and actively looking are turning to the world of online dating, according to a 2013 study by the Pew Research Center.It's a $4 billion industry worldwide, $2 billion alone coming from the United State and North America, said Marc Lesnick, founder of iDate, the annual conference for the online dating industry. There's anywhere from 35 million to 40 million unique users depending on the season, according to a July report by comScore, an Internet analytics company. His story: Cheating goes far past sexIn the past year, mobile dating users became the largest subset of online dating. As of February, online Continue Reading

Trump, Xi and living the Mar-a-Lago dream: Christian Schneider

Oh, how delectable the food on Air Force One must be these days!President Trump, after all, has come to expect a certain quality of meal over the course of his life. Perhaps the family members all feast on well-done Trump Steaks doused with ketchup, then wash it all down with some Trump spring water. As Fox News buzzes away in the background, they all laugh the night away, taking turns regaling the president with tales of his preternatural wisdom and uncommon stamina. How lucky we all are to have bathed in the same river of time as this great man!As James Laver once noted, Britain's Edwardian age was "probably the last period in history when the fortunate thought they could give pleasure to others by displaying their good fortune before them." But what of the new Trump lifestyle, which demonstrates to the world, and this week to the president of China, the glorious buffet of riches that awaits all Americans?All Trump asks of us in exchange for this enticing representation of the American dream is the low sum of $3 million every other weekend so he can fly the first family to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Who cares if his Florida trips to date, six of them counting the meeting with President Xi Jinping, could fund the annual salaries of more than 400 elementary school teachers in America — without those teachers, those students will never be able to do the math! Problem solved!The Trump version of the American dream probably is not quite the one running through the head of an elderly black man sleeping in a chair at the Milwaukee Greyhound station, warm inside on a cold morning. His head is resting at an impossible angle propped up on his arm, while a black hood is pulled down over his brow.The bus station sits almost directly underneath one of the interstate highways. It is as if the city swept it under a carpet to avoid visitors from noticing it. The bus terminal shares a long, high-ceilinged waiting room with Continue Reading

Ricki Lake announces engagement to jewelry designer Christian Evans

Ricki Lake has a lot to talk about these days - or rather, a lot to tweet about. "Thrilled to share some happy news with you...I'm engaged! :)" the former talk show host excitedly told her followers. Lake, 42, included a photo of her mystery beau of one year and now-fiance, Christian Evans, in the post. Evans, 40, a jewelry designer, proposed to Lake during the couple's recent vacation to Barcelona and Ibiza, a source told the L.A. Times. The pair met through a mutual friend, according to Lake's rep. "There's no plan or wedding date because it is obviously so recent," the rep told E! News of the next step. Lake is mother to two sons - Milo, 14, and Owen, 9, from her previous marriage of 10 years to Rob Sussman. And according to People, Evans already has the all-important stamp of approval from her sons. "My little men love him," she told People in May. "My little one said the other day, 'Are you gonna marry him? I want you to marry him.'" Looks like her little man got just what he asked for. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Omarosa Manigault-Stallwort is back and has teamed up with Donald Trump to create new dating show

Donald Trump and "Apprentice" season one standout Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth have teamed up again for a new reality dating series, "Donald J. Trump Presents the Ultimate Merger." So, just how good is the Donald at doling out dating advice? "His dating advice is truly unique to Trump," Omarosa, who prefers to go by her first name, told the News. "He feels like playing coy doesn't work. You've got to tell guys what you want and how you want it. Be aggressive." "The Ultimate Merger," premiering tonight at 9 on TV One, features divorcée Omarosa putting 12 bachelors through the wringer in order to find the one for her. Her potential suitors range from lawyers to fashion designers to a former NFL linebacker and even a Christian rap artist. Omarosa will be joined by a series of friends and celebrity guest stars - including comedian George Wallace and Omarosa's former "Apprentice" co-star Katrina Campins - throughout the season to help her make some difficult choices. Omarosa says she was "completely turned on" by the idea of a group of successful men vying for her affection, and was glad to have Trump guide her along the way - especially when it came to a touchy subject: The prenup. With barely an episode under their belts, Omarosa, at Trump's urging, had each contestant sign a prenuptial agreement. "I thought it was a great idea. I wish I had one for my first marriage," Omarosa said. "Donald has a way of looking at love as serious business, and that really is what this show is built upon." Omarosa was one of reality TV's original villains. Since her time in the boardroom, however, ruthless competition and talking tough have become the norm in all forms of reality, from "Celebrity Apprentice" to "The Real Housewives" on Bravo, and even MTV's "The Hills." Regardless, she thinks she's still got what audiences want. "A lot of those situations are forced and, at times, are not authentic. The audience is too smart for that," said Omarosa. "The reason Continue Reading

View of the old boro, Sundays at 10 with ‘Mad Men’

I needed an escape. A time machine. I was nursing a summer cold, a nose that ran like an Olympian. My limbs ached, and I had less energy than the City Council, so I slid between the covers and clicked on the TV. Every channel made me feel worse. Click. Here was a 24-year-old with a Marvel Comics body displaying 14 gold swimming medals when I didn't have the energy for a hot bath. Click. The cable gashole shows were grading the performance of Obama and McCain in front of an evangelical snake oil salesman. Click. Great big argument about McCain violating the "cone of silence" being debated by Karl Rove, who was suspected of outing a CIA agent. Click. The Mets bullpen was collapsing like another American bank, blowing another late-inning lead in the middle of a pennant race. Click. Bernie Mac was dead. So was Isaac Hayes. The Reaper was gaining on me. Click. The Russians were bullying Georgia, and Condi Rice and Bush - who have about as much moral authority as Susan Smith and Scott Petersen - were braying empty threats. I needed a respite. I needed a rabbit hole to flee into, an escape hatch into the past. Then I remembered I have this cable service called On Demand. Click. Entertainment on Demand featured the first three episodes of the new season of AMC's "Mad Men," which is tied in my mind with "Dexter" for the best show currently running on TV. "Mad Men" explores the Madison Ave. ad biz circa 1962, where horny guys smoking cigarettes and swilling office whiskey still call secretaries in typing pools "sweetheart" and where the philandering press doesn't report on JFK's philandering ways. But "Mad Men" also features one of the coolest female characters on TV, a single Catholic girl from Bay Ridge named Peggy Olson, played brilliantly by Elizabeth Moss, who "works over in the city" at the Sterling Cooper Ad Agency where she climbs the ladder from omerta-observant secretary to a man's job of "junior copy writer" using old-fashioned Continue Reading

G-MAN DENIES ERRANDS FOR MOB. Pleads not guilty to charges he helped Mafia murder 4 men

AN EX-FBI AGENT PLEADED not guilty yesterday to charges he helped a Mafia informer carry out four murders - even as sources said he could soon be linked to more mob slayings. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes called the case of retired G-man Lindley DeVecchio "the most stunning example of official corruption I have ever seen." "Four people were murdered with the help of a federal law enforcement agent who was charged with keeping them safe," Hynes said after the indictment against DeVecchio was unsealed in Brooklyn Supreme Court. "The allegations are pretty shocking." DeVecchio, 65, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment, where prosecutor Michael Vecchione argued he should be jailed without bail. But a judge released him on $1 million bond after DeVecchio agreed to submit to electronic monitoring. DeVecchio is accused of giving the late Colombo crime family capo Greg Scarpa the inside dope the mobster needed to rub out his enemies. If a jury finds him guilty, DeVecchio, who spent 33 years with FBI, could easily spend the rest of his days behind bars. Hynes said his investigation was ongoing, including allegations that the DeVecchio took "weekly payoffs" from Scarpa - the agent's prize Mafia informant from 1980 to 1992, when he led an elite FBI-NYPD squad that specialized in the mob. In exchange, Hynes said, DeVecchio provided Scarpa with "detailed confidential information about law enforcement . . . and \[about\] criminal rivals." The murder victims were identified as Mafia moll Mary Bari, 31, shot dead in 1984; Colombo family cohort Joseph DeDomenico, killed in 1987; 18-year-old Patrick Porco, an suspected informant killed in 1990, and businessman Lorenzo (Larry) Lampesi, 66, a mob associate gunned down in May 1992. "Each rival presented a threat to Scarpa, to Scarpa's family and Scarpa's crew," Hynes said. Sources told The Daily News yesterday that DeVecchio could face charges in as many as three other gangland murders, two of them Continue Reading

Old man suggested ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ sex, pretended to be male model on dating websites: cops

His tastes are very singular, but Christian Grey he is not. A supposed 37-year-old male model in France, who promised sultry S&M sex along the lines of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” turned out to be a small, balding and overweight senior citizen, and he’s now being investigated for allegedly raping two women. The 68-year-old dishonest deviant, who called himself “Anthony Laroche” online, posted on several dating websites, hiding behind a picture of a Hollywood-level hunk, The Telegraph reported. His posts proposed blind hookup dates at his apartment in Nice, in southern France. After starting a steamy text conversation with one willing participant, he told her he wanted to “play a game like in 50 Shades of Grey to make things more exciting,” referencing the blockbuster bondage novel and film, La Parisien reported. That woman is now accusing the man, who has only been identified as “Michel,” of blindfolding her and having sex while refusing to turn the lights on. When she finally did, she saw “a man of around 65 with glasses, balding and all wrinkly,” she told authorities. “He didn’t correspond at all to the photo. I felt total disgust,” she said. A second woman is saying she had a similar experience, in which he refused to remove her blindfold during sex, but she said she still managed to see a silhouette of an “old, pot-bellied (man) with a big nose.” Michel is now under investigation for “rape by surprise,” The Telegraph reported. He has admitted to using a male model photo as a means of “maintaining my anonymity,” but claims both women consented to his bait-and-switch sex. “If she had asked just once if I was really the man in the photo, I would have told her the truth,” he reportedly said about one accuser. “Some women have a crazy side to them and like men who surprise them," he added. Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Gun-makers are hypocrites if they call themselves Christians

TURIN, Italy — People who manufacture weapons or invest in weapons industries are hypocrites if they call themselves Christian, Pope Francis said on Sunday. Francis issued his toughest condemnation to date of the weapons industry at a rally of thousands of young people at the end of the first day of his trip to the Italian city of Turin. "If you trust only men you have lost," he told the young people in a long, rambling talk about war, trust and politics after putting aside his prepared address. "It makes me think of ... people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn't it?" he said to applause. He also criticized those who invest in weapons industries, saying "duplicity is the currency of today ... they say one thing and do another." Francis also built on comments he has made in the past about events during the first and second world wars. He spoke of the "tragedy of the Shoah," using the Hebrew term for the Holocaust. "The great powers had the pictures of the railway lines that brought the trains to the concentration camps like Auschwitz to kill Jews, Christians, homosexuals, everybody. Why didn't they bomb (the railway lines)?" Discussing World War One, he spoke of "the great tragedy of Armenia" but did not use the word "genocide". Francis sparked a diplomatic row in April calling the massacre of up to 1.5 million Armenians 100 years ago "the first genocide of the 20th century," prompting Turkey to recall its ambassador to the Vatican. Continue Reading

ISIS’ apocalyptic endgame: They want to defeat Christian crusaders — Americans — in a massive battle in a town in northern Syria

This week, Americans were bombarded with unnerving images of ISIS at home and abroad. In Brooklyn, three men were arrested for allegedly plotting to help the radical Islamist terrorists. In England, newspapers at long last identified "Jihadi John," the masked figure seen on numerous decapitation videos, and published photos of him. Meantime, in Iraq, ISIS militants — in the midst of fighting with mostly Kurdish forces — not only filmed themselves taking sledgehammers to precious antiquities in Iraq but killed 15 Assyrian Christians and abducted hundreds more (no one knows exactly how many) in northeastern Syria. A video shot earlier this month in which Libyan militants line up 21 Egyptians on a beach and cut their heads off provides a window into the killers' motivations. This one, complete with dramatic music and images of the sea turned red from blood (it was likely shot elsewhere and manipulated to look like it took place by the sea) ends with one of the militants pointing a knife in the air and proclaiming in English: "We will conquer Rome, by Allah's permission." That boast is a crucial window into the minds of those who wage war on behalf of what they call the Islamic State. What motivates them is neither insanity nor political radicalism. They are driven by a powerful religious impulse — and a craving for a bloody, apocalyptic showdown with the West. To ISIS this means a showdown between Muslims and Christian "crusaders," likely Americans. The religious heart of ISIS's ideology, sadly, seems to have escaped the attention of American leaders. After the Libya beheading video went public, the White House delivered a statement harshly condemning "the despicable and cowardly murder of 21 Egyptian citizens." In that statement, however, there was no mention that all 21 of the victims were Christian, or that these murders were — according to a message broadcast on the screen during the video — revenge for the supposed Continue Reading