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One of Jacksonville's local community theatres, The 5 & Dime, has begun a run of a new show: Laura Schellhardt's 2015, three-woman play, The Comparables. The well executed production brings to life two conflicting viewpoints on the struggle of women in patriarchal society, as well as the dangers of greed and manipulation, delivering its message with whit and humor, rather than over-the-top preaching.

The Comparables tells the story of 3 women working at a real estate boutique in New York City. The first is Monica (played by Kristin Livingston), a hard working, independent woman who has worked at the boutique for 10 years, and is expecting to inherit it as her aging boss' career comes to an end. The second is Iris (played by Milan Alley), a new hire for the boutique who brings her tactics of seduction and manipulation into the workplace, much to Monica's discontent. The final character in the play is Bette (played by Gretta Russe), the powerful and famous boss of the boutique who, though seemingly wise, often takes Monica's hard work for granted, eventually leading to a power struggle between the three women over ownership of the business.

The acting in this production is what steals the show, particularly Livingston's portrayal of Monica. Livingston does an excellent job of establishing Monica as a character who promotes female empowerment through independence and hard work. However, Livingston is also able to subtly show Monica's inherently timid personality buried beneath a layer of false confidence. As the play progresses, Monica begins to break down and abandon her beliefs for those Iris has put upon her. Livingston's acting range can be seen here, as she slowly turns Monica from a cooperative, happy-go-lucky employee into an angry, demanding one open to objectifying herself.

The performances of Alley as Iris and Russe as Bette also help to build highly dynamic characters with realistic motives and beliefs. Alley brings to the show an air of …   More

Flog Poll

Flog Poll (Escape From New York Edition)


The battle for New York is over, the frontrunners of both parties earning decisive victories in one of the most hyped primaries since that one that happened last week.

Feel The Bern Givin’ you the Feels?

To be fair, Sanders certainly outperformed expectations in his native state. Two weeks ago he trailed Clinton by double digits. Then he won Wyoming, got tickets to Hamilton and an invite to hang with The Pope (kind of). Momentum may be on his side.

Five Thirty Eight sees the race for the Democratic nomination tightening moving forward. While there are no numbers to back up the assertion that follows, Sanders seems to have benefited from a rather heavy-handed documentary (see:campaign ad) featuring the Vermont Senator walking the streets of his hometown, as actor/director/uber-Bernie Bro Mark Ruffalo tosses the candidate softballs and tries desperately to engage him in extensive periods of eye-contact, to no avail.

Enjoy the awkwardness below:


You Ain’t No Bern, You Bern

While Sanders had Ruffalo in his corner in New York, Hillary had the support of a half-dozen dorks at Columbia University. Also HRC got 6 in 10 Latino votes, 6 in 10 female votes, and two-thirds the minority votes in the NYC primary where 40% of registered voters are nonwhite.

Regardless, if your Facebook feed hasn’t yet made it clear, it ain’t cool to like Hillary. As I said weeks ago, Sanders is the perfect candidate for my generation: dug up like some old vinyl (a single like Lionel Ritchie’s “Hello” for example) by a demographic Hell-bent on coopting things from the past. “Authenticity,” the buzzword of the generation that gave rise to the hipster, is often used to describe Sanders’ appeal. Just replace reclaimed wood with Bernie’s speeches from the '80s and you have, in a nutshell, the soul of why he’s popular with the under-30 crowd in the first place.

So it’s not all that …   More

Flog Poll

Flog Poll (Jim Gaffe-igan Edition)

Trump counterpunches himself in the face

After a span of two weeks in which the Trump campaign was taking heavy fire, mostly as a result of the blathering idiocy of its own candidate for President, Cruz’s victory in Wisconsin may represent a turning point as it puts the delegates Trump needs to clinch the nomination outright virtually out of reach.

While Trump is busy sabotaging his own campaign with gaffes, Cruz’s people have trained their focus on John Kasich, who – if the siege continues – will be hard-pressed to continue his campaign (see: act) of aw shucks, hug-dispensing. Kasich earned 14% of the vote in Wisconsin. This prompted the Ohio Gov. to declare the race wide-open, proving that a long held Republican tradition – namely, an aversion to math – is alive and well.

Maybe just stop talking?

On the Democratic side, similar to the current difficulties Drumpf is having with his mishandling of… well… words, Hillary Clinton continues to do unnecessary damage to her campaign with her facehole. Though HRC’s diarrhea of the mouth was much more nuanced, the statement she made about the “unborn person” not having any rights was roundly criticized. After the Nancy Reagan AIDs thing, the Bernie standing right behind her deal, and now this, it may be time for HRC’s people to give their candidate a rest break, or, at the very least employ a seven second delay on her microphone. 

With the New York primary approaching, Bernie Sanders – who has seemed, up to this point, to be allergic to saying stupid shit – had some puzzling answers for the editorial board of the New York Daily News, stumbling over specifics of how he would follow through with many of his campaign promises. It also became clear, from that same interview, that Sanders will return to campaigning in New York City with a pocket full of obsolete subway tokens.


After beating HRC …   More

Flog Poll

Flog Poll (Zero Sum Edition)

Needing more than momentum

Bernie Sanders won all three states in play on Saturday, trouncing Hillary Clinton in contests in Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii. Sanders’ supporters have been saying for some time that Clinton’s inevitable candidacy is a creation of the media, while the media continues to argue on behalf of math (or at least attempts to before cutting things short in order to take yet another phone call from Donald Trump). But, the media (and math) may be right on this one. As FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver argues,

“…about 65 percent of the remaining delegates are in California, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland — all states where Sanders trails Clinton in the polls and sometimes trails her by a lot… Sanders will also need to gain ground on Clinton in a series of medium-sized states such as Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky and New Mexico. Demographics suggest that these states could be close, but close won’t be enough for Sanders. He’ll need to win several of them easily.”

Yet, momentum doesn’t seem to be the problem for Bernie, as everywhere he goes he finds more supporters, human and avian, alike. And there are strong arguments for Sanders staying in the race until the end (though none of them can realistically involve the Senator winning the nomination). On the other hand, The “Bernie or Bust” crowd finds Clinton to be an inauthentic, warmongering, Republican wearing a Democrat’s clothing. The longer Sanders stays in, the more fervently it seems his young, energetic, passionate, social-media-obsessed supporters seem to disavow Hillary Clinton.

A digression: How did this large swath of twenty somethings come to support a 74-year old curmudgeon in a baggie suit? Really, Sanders is the perfect candidate for this generation. He was sitting there in congress, his ideas about income inequality and social justice collecting dust, then Millennials …   More

Flog Poll

Flog Poll (Race to the Bottom Edition)


One of the more interesting developments of the post-Florida-primary week was The New York Times looking into the Republicans' “desperate” mission to stop Donald Trump from earning their party’s nomination. Even Mitch McConnell has joined the fight, which is surprising because the Senate Majority Leader’s priorities are typically as follows: reelection, stifle Obama, reelection, seek out a warm rock from which to absorb sun into his reptilian skin.

Speaking of reptiles: Rick Scott endorsed Trump this week and the Florida Times Union’s Tia Mitchell has some questions for the Florida Governor, one of which he failed to answer in a recent cringe-inducing visit to MSNBC’s Morning Joe.  

The Unpopular Crowd

OK, so the Republican establishment is willing to do whatever it takes to stop Drumpf. And John Kasich won Ohio. And he’s the most moderate candidate, right?

Kasich has balanced budgets. He has broad support among independents. He’s the Governor of the most important swing state. And he gives great hugs.

OK, Republicans: fall in line.

Not so fast… as it turns out, aside from all those previously mentioned qualifications, John Kasich is also a smug, ego-maniac with anger management issues, that nobody likes. And this makes him different from the rest of the Republican field, how?

Meanwhile, shortly after Ted Cruz locked up the Mormon vote in Utah, Jeb Bush went ahead and endorsed the guy whose own kids even find him untenably creepy. While we’re on the subject, if you haven’t seen this video of Ted Cruz’s campaign commercial outtakes, it’s definitely worth a gander, if for no other reason than to see what these assholes are willing to put their families through. 


A digression: Is it just me or does Heidi Cruz, especially under duress – which she appears to be in the above video – look and act a lot like Kathryn …   More

Flog Poll

Flog Poll (It's all over now, baby blue edition)

It’s not over, technically. Important questions remain. For example:

-With Marco Rubio bowing out, who has the right stuff to win the support of Donnie Wahlberg?

-Does John “who the hell is John Kasich” Kasich have a chance in hell?

-All but finished mathematically, will Bernie court super delegates?

-Do Super Delegates use their x-ray vision to look at candidate's undergarments?

-Speaking of super powers, is the Justice League movie really going to include Aquaman? Come on, he carries a God Damn trident!


-How did we end up with two candidates that no one likes?


Come one NYT. That’s a little harsh. Plenty of people like HRC. Some, like Dennis Rodman, even like Drumpf. Case and point, this graphic from last week incorporates census data and exit polls to find out what variables were correlated to a vote for Drumpf. Among the most highly correlated were being white and lacking a high school diploma, living in a mobile home, and a history of voting for segregationists, leaving little doubt as to who Florida Man supports.

But, in order to win the Sunshine state, one would imagine The Donald would need support beyond that of satirical Twitter handles and Wal-martivores. Especially with Little Marco Rubio being from the state. One would imagine.

Rubio, however, was DOA in FL. And it doesn’t sound like he’ll be throwing his weight (small and slight as it may be, according to Trump) behind his chief rival – at least from this concession speech.


Where was Bernie on Tuesday? What happened? With computers down in polling stations across Duval County, it can be safely assumed that most Millennials in the area stayed home. But, what about everybody else?

After winning Michigan, the Ohio loss on Tuesday has to be devastating for the Sanders campaign. And it wasn’t even close in Florida. Clinton earned 74% of the vote in Miami, …   More

Flog Poll



As I watched Sunday evening’s Democratic debate from Flint, MI, I was not alone in my being struck by how much actual policy and nuance was discussed, relative to the Republican debates, which focused more heavily on which candidate was more full of fallacies and which candidate had a tiny phallus. I was also struck by how pretty damn boring the whole thing was.

With Hillary Clinton’s commanding lead, most Dems seem content having the boring primary.

After Super Tuesday, many polls had HRC ahead by double-digit margins in both Mississippi and Michigan. Then, much to the chagrin of HRC supporters, we had to go and have  another Tuesday.

Sanders' Michigan victory surprised a lot of pollsters. And though Bernie was beaten, rather brutally, in Mississippi, his win in Michigan has given the Sanders campaign renewed hope that he’ll fare well moving forward… Or not.

Anderson Cooper will moderate as CNN and Univision host another boring ass debate tonight (Wednesday) from Miami.


After a sincere and potty-mouthed (for a stiff Mormon guy) scolding from ol’ Mitt,  Drumpfmentum was marginally slowed. The runner up from the 2012 Presidential election doubled down on his efforts to stop The Donald in the most logical way possible. He went on Jimmy Kimmel Live to read mean tweets.

My favorite has to be @VOTE4TRUMP_2016’s claim that he or she wished for a time machine so he or she could “go back and punch [Mitt Romney] in the throat.”

LOL, @VOTE4TRUMP_2016. Don’t we all? Wait… do we?


Speaking of Drumpf, he seems to be doing everything he can to keep the Hitler comparisons fresh in the minds of voters, as a pledge of support from a crowd of mouth-breathers turned into an (un?)fortunate photo-op for the Republican frontrunner (below). …   More

Something for Everyone

Upon entering a Jacksonville Giants basketball game, spectators are greeted with something unique for a minor league sports team: a professional sports experience.

In spite of not having players of the highest caliber, the team's play, orchestrated by head coach Kevin Waters, is fast-paced and exciting, as well as consistently better than the opposition.

The value of the event is increased substantially by the entertainment outside of the actual game. With top class dancing and cheerleading, big money giveaways, and hilarious fan-featuring contests, the Giants have put together a spectacle that has helped make them one of the most successful franchises in minor league basketball.

The Giants came to town in 2010 as an expansion team in the American Basketball Association, an 84-team, 14-division league whose diminutive size casts a semi-serious light on the franchise.

This wasn't Jacksonville's first attempt at hosting a basketball team, nor its first rodeo with the ABA. The Jacksonville JAM were founded in 2006 and played in the ABA through 2008, when they joined the Premier Basketball League and started playing games at the University of North Florida. The team had grandiose plans to move on to play in Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, but did not survive past the 2008 season.

Determined not to follow in JAM’s disappointing footsteps, when team founder and owner Ron Sholes brought the Giants to the city in 2010, he made a point of using a professional marketing strategy that included immediately signing a contract to play in Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

The team took very little time to become successful, winning the ABA Championship in 2012 and again in 2013.

This professional model taken on early by the team may be one of the reasons for their local popularity and success. They currently hold the record for the highest regular season game attendance in ABA history, have their home games broadcast on local television …   More

Folio Weekly Magazine's EXCLUSIVE Interview with THE PRESIDENT

You probably already know that the president was in town last week; but you didn’t know that Folio Weekly Magazine scored an exclusive interview. That’s right, we’ve got that kind of clout. Before you ask why it took us this long to post this because, like, that was so last week, we are an alt weekly, folks, not the New York Times (also our fact checker was on strike*).

Okay, we actually scored an interview with the co-president. 

This is our exclusive interview with the incredibly charming, energetic and word-and-world-wise Tatiana Saleh, co-president of the Spoken Word Club at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and community outreach coordinator of Élan literary magazine. We interviewed Saleh in the midst of the beautiful frenzy of creativity being showcased at the March Art Walk in Downtown Jacksonville.

We owe a special thanks to the Teen Advisory Board at the Jacksonville Public Library for serving our community by getting teens involved in their local libraries and for graciously helping us coordinate this interview.

(The interview is lightly edited for length and readability.)

Folio Weekly Magazine: Tell our readers a little bit about yourself:

Tatiana Saleh: I'm 18 years old, a senior at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. I'm the eldest of five girls. I’m half black, half Hispanic. Been at D.A. studying creative writing for the past four years.

FWM: How long have you been co-president of the Spoken Word Club? 

T.S.: I became a member last year, co-president this year.

FWM: How did you feel when you became co-president?

T.S.: Responsible in the sense that when I was just a member of the club, it was just about what I wanted to say… Now it’s about helping others say what they want to say… Before Spoken Word I was really nervous speaking in public; I credit the club with being able to speak in public.

FWM: What do you do at …   More

The Flog Poll

The Flog Poll (Tuesdays with Drumpf Edition)


After last week, we were left wondering if both South Carolina winners were destined to be the nominees. Republicans, for their part, were freaking out. In the venomous, yet incisive way that is his calling card, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi articulated the Republicans' conundrum (Republicandrum?) thusly:

“It turns out we let our electoral process devolve into something so fake and dysfunctional that any half-bright con man with the stones to try it could walk right through the front door and tear it to shreds on the first go.”

Facing the very real prospect that “a half-bright con man” might be their nominee, the Republican party establishment, now well aware of the fact that the electorate they spent the last eight years roiling doesn’t actually give a shit about Adam Smith or his Invisible Hand, were scrambling to get their guy Rubio to meet Trump on his own terms. At the CNN debate in Texas, the Florida Senator made valiant attempts to expose the real estate mogul as the huckster he is, taking Trump to task on the pyramid-scheme-ish sounding Trump University and suggesting that, if it wasn’t for his daddy’s money, The Donald would be “selling watches in Manhattan.” Rubio’s adopted insult-first-apologize-never strategy seemed to reach an inconceivable low when, at a rally in Virginia on Sunday, he hinted that his rival might have a small penis. Months ago I predicted in the pages of FWM, that Trump, while he wouldn’t win the nomination, would push the Republican party’s rhetoric in a much nastier direction. Hey, one outta two ain’t bad!


But, unsurprisingly to anyone who has seen an episode of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, the most prescient takedown of the Republican frontrunner for President belonged to comedian John Oliver. If you’ve been on the Internets at all in the last few days, …   More