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    J.K. Rowling Defends Johnny Depp’s Role In ‘Fantastic Beasts’

    J.K. Rowling is standing by the decision to keep Johnny Depp on board for the next “Fantastic Beasts” film.

    The author has been criticized for allowing Deep to continue in the role as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald despite his history of alleged abuse, especially as many powerful men in Hollywood and the media have lost their jobs over reports of sexual misconduct. 

    Actress Amber Heard, Depp’s ex-wife, last year accused the actor of physically and verbally abusing her throughout their marriage. Heard initially filed for a restraining order, which she later dismissed. The couple reached a settlement in the domestic violence case in August 2016 and finalized their divorce in January.

    Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies. J.K. Rowling

    Rowling and others involved with the creation of the “Fantastic Beasts” series were “deeply concerned” by reports of Depp’s alleged abuse and considered recasting the role, Rowling said Thursday a blog post shared on her website. Then she shed some light on why they ultimately decided not to. 

    “The agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected,” Rowling wrote. “Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.”

    “I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role. However, conscience isn’t governable by committee,” she added. “Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing.”

    David Yates, who is directing “The Crimes of Grindelwald,” has also said that he believes Depp’s case is not the same as those of other alleged abusers.

    “Honestly, there’s an issue at the moment where there’s a lot of people being accused of things, they’re being accused by multiple victims, and it’s compelling and frightening,” Yates told Entertainment Weekend in November. “With Johnny, it seems to me there was one person who took a pop at him and claimed something. I can only tell you about the man I see every day: He’s full of decency and kindness, and that’s all I see.”

    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jk-rowling-johnny-depp-fantastic-beasts_us_5a2988bfe4b0b185e53a3000

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    The 4 Best Ways To Jerk Off (According To Science)

    Like monkeys and Pokemon, masturbation is evolving. Our ancestors used to put a stick covered in termites in their proto-dicks to get off. Nowadays, we have robots that will give us space-age handies with a kung fu grip and lube designed by NASA, I assume. The NASA security guys won’t let me snoop around, but I know what I know.

    As with all things, though, we must ask: Is newer better? Sure, if you’re dying of a terrible disease, you can go to a hospital for treatment with modern medicine, but some people still like the idea of using herbs to clear up a sucking chest wound. Who knows what might work? So with that in mind, I have decided to put my very body on the line to help you, fellow jackers, determine just what is the best method of wanking. Do the olden ways stand up to today’s modern superjackoffery? Science will tell us!

    #4. Handy Dandy

    I don’t have a degree in anthropology or dick tuggery, but I am an amateur in both. It is therefore my nonprofessional belief that the origin of masturbation is connected to the right wrist. Even for you lefties. Back in the day, you wouldn’t dare touch your precious genitals with your sinister devil’s paw. Only the right hand would do.

    Not that this stops them from masturbating into actual toilet paper, of course.

    So we can agree that masturbation probably first happened with a bare hand — probably well before the 1920s, if you can believe it. Maybe one day, our monkey ancestor was sitting in his tree, lounging under a palm frond, enjoying some delicious papaya, when some of it slipped and landed on his little monkey dinky. He reached for it, grabbed both together, pulled, and suddenly we had nuclear power, iPhones, and Hot Pockets.

    Behold, the missing wank.

    As it happens, I have tried this old chestnut myself once or twice, but for science, I did it again. So I hope that right now, you’re picturing me literally stopping my writing of this article right here, pushing my chair back a little bit, pulling out the mayo, and starting to churn my own butter. Try to imagine some sound effects, like a grunt of consternation, a chipmunk-like tittering, and the bass growl of a tired and hungry bear.

    Did you picture it? Monster. Anyway, I’m sure nearly all of you are aware that this is aces. It’s hard to beat the good cheer brought about by your own hand. It knows just what you like, and if you’re not too callused (or maybe you are and you dig texture), then it feels just fine, too. For you ladies, try to imagine something you really enjoy the feel of, repeatedly and rhythmically working your lady flower. I’m told by our research team that female masturbation is actually a thing these days as well, and has more fans than paddle boarding, so maybe imagine that.

    Girls: They can masturbate and use lotion for its actual intended purpose.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 squirts

    #3. Warm Meat

    As many fellows will tell you, about a year or two after you’ve mastered the hand technique, your mind starts wandering. Your hand is one thing in a world of many things. Probably, like, 400 things. What would those other 399 things feel like if they were jerking your gherkin? So you start experimenting. Maybe it’s Halloween and you have a pumpkin handy. Maybe your beanbag chair sprung a leak and has an appropriately-sized orifice barfing beans in your room. Maybe you have a slice of ham.

    You’ll be porkin’ the pork more than Kermit.

    I’m not saying there’s anything inherently sexy about ham. I’m not saying you can’t use turkey, or even tofurky, if you swing that way. I’m really just advocating the texture more than anything — which, upon rereading this sentence, is somehow even more gross. Still, an industrious-yet-lonely man with a boner is basically a sexual MacGyver.

    Anything to give this crap some flavor.

    If you’re not picking up what I’m putting down yet, allow me to elucidate. For this particular solo mission to Dribblesville, you need to take a slice of deli ham — and in this case, you don’t necessarily want it super thin — and maybe pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds. Maybe you want it in a piece of bread for added grip, I don’t know. I don’t want to be the conductor on this train to penile trichinosis; I’m just sharing information. Point is, you wrap warm meat around your cyclopean flesh carrot, and strum away like Clapton performing his final concert.

    This is a lot like regular masturbation, only the smell is much more off-putting. Have you smelled deli ham lately? Give it a try. Then rub it aggressively on your crotch for a few minutes. The porcine groin bouquet is a bit sweet and a bit musky — kind of like what you might expect from a corpse, or a Kardashian when no cameras are around. I can’t recommend it.

    If you want to experience this smell but not unzip your pants to do it, just visit your local Subway.

    Also, for safety’s sake, you may want to give the ham a few seconds of downtime before drafting it to the big game, since microwaves are all programmed to heat on the 10/70/20 pattern, whereby 20 percent is lukewarm, 70 percent is mostly what you had in mind, and 10 percent is a state of bubbling plasma that could burn through an engine block, or in this case, your dong.

    Rating: 2 out of 5 squirts

    #2. Fleshlight

    Fleshlight has apparently sold over seven million units worldwide. Heh. “Unit.” Each one is like that horrible monster that Coach pukes up in Poltergeist, only instead of a demonic preacher’s face, it’s a molded rubbery vagina or bumhole. There’s a reason Fleshlight hasn’t hired me as an ad man. That aside, the inside of a Fleshlight is soft, squishy, and textured with various nubs, swirls, and ridges. The basic goal of a Fleshlight was to make a vagina into a handheld device; an idea that will get exponentially creepier the more time you devote to thinking about it.

    It’s like if Ed Gein got into porn and collected just one body part.

    Patented in 1998, the Fleshlight was the answer to the warm meat conundrum: How can I rub my chub in a way that is more exotic and satisfying than using my hand, but will not leave a slime trail of salmonella bacteria on my sack? Many people claim the Fleshlight is even better than the real thing, at which point we’re left to consider whether by “real thing” they mean their hand — which of course they don’t mean — or an actual human vagina — which, sadly, they do mean. The existential sadness of anyone claiming that a disembodied rubber vag-sleeve is better than having sex with another person is something no Cracked columnist can dare take on without some serious alcohol to fuel the poetic ennui that will follow. I refuse the challenge, because I have masters to bate and a soul that still glows a little when you say nice things to it. Maybe one day, if I ever willingly take a nap on a back alley mattress and start agreeing with things Donald Trump says, I’ll be able to revisit this idea, but until then, no. No sir.

    Get this man some bags of sand, and he’s ready to party.

    Now, this isn’t to say a Fleshlight is an unpleasant experience. If you have the chance, you go ahead and pork that little rubber fun hole. It’s not bad at all. I would argue that a Fleshlight is to sex what Taco Bell is to a Mexican banquet. It’s not really in the ballpark, and sure, some snotty people who think they’re better than you will make fun of it. But you know what? When you’re drunk at 2 a.m., that shit is a godsend.

    The major downside to the Fleshlight is that it’s a lot like manual labor. Masturbating with your hand affords you that flesh-to-flesh connection. It’s not work; it’s personal grooming. You’re cleaning your pipes. But the Fleshlight in hand makes it a bit more like mixing a never-ending martini that you can’t drink — and instead of an olive, you’re garnishing it with man nectar that you need to hose out the end of a length of flopping, disembodied, pseudo-vaginal canal.

    At which point, your only hope is to become turned on by tapeworms.

    Rating: 4 of 5 squirts

    #1. The Autoblow 2

    I want you to put on your 3D glasses, hop on your hoverboard, and start eating astronaut ice cream, because the future of tugging on your tuber is now. The Autoblow 2 is the most advanced form of wanking mankind has to offer. After this, we can only design robot arms with gentle-yet-firm jacking motions. And you know after the preliminary trials, the whole project is going to be set back when one goes haywire and yanks some volunteer’s dick off with such force that it gets javelined across a room and embedded in a brick wall.

    The Autoblow takes the basic premise of a Fleshlight — a fake, semi-realistic vagina with a tail — and adds a new dimension of awesome that the old Fleshlight failed miserably at achieving. This dimension is, of course, autonomy. You can read a damn book while this thing grinds your organ. You’ll probably need to balance it between your thighs a little, or wedge it slightly between yourself and a pillow. But with only a little effort, you’re doing your taxes, you’re eating pudding, you’re braiding your hair, whatever. Sky’s the limit.

    Be mindful of which pudding you eat, however.

    The clear upside of the Autoblow is that it finally takes masturbation out of your hands. You just have to be comfortable with a Donkey Kong-esque barrel on your junk. It has variable speeds as well, so you can go from lazy Quaalude mumble-munch to Furious 7 Vin Diesel power gulp. The downside to the Autoblow, depending on how you feel about noise, is that it sounds like you’re being blown by the factory from the end The Terminator. Just a cacophony of churning, rumbling gears, and actuators slouching along towards Jizzrael.

    “Live with me if you want to cum.”

    The other issue here is one of balance. The Autoblow’s big selling point is that it saves you the dreaded carpal tunnel and wrist stress of all compulsive masturbators before you, but it’s still not entirely hands-free. It’s got girth — it’s like you’re trying to fuck a two-liter bottle of root beer that’s really into it — but you either have to hold it up or, as I said, find some way to balance it. Or as a last ditch effort, you need to stand and place it at wang level with something to weigh it down and just be there, in the moment. A dude with his dick in a blowie machine.

    At least you’ll always have someone to share a post-coital cigarette with.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 squirts

    Conclusions

    Has technology improved the wank? Have our advances in texturized rubbers improved our alone time? Is the handjob your grandfather’s handjob? After thorough consideration, weighing all pros and cons, I have to conclude that traditional, you-and-your-dirty-kielbasa-claw masturbation is still the best form. Why? Ease of use. It’s as simple as that. Sure, the Autoblow is an impressive sensation, but can you do that on an elevator with a hole cut in the pocket of your dress pants without anyone else noticing? Not at all. Are you taking a few minutes out of your workday to “go to the bathroom” and bringing a Fleshlight? Do you dare smuggle a ham sandwich into a movie theater?

    If you do, make sure to do it where no one will see you, like a matinee showing of Steve Jobs.

    Fact is, your hand belongs on your arm, so no one is ever suspicious when you have it. You never need to plan to bring it anywhere, and you never need to hide it or prepare it or sanitize it and put it away when you’re done. These other methods are like those kitchen gadgets they advertise in infomercials. Sure, maybe you could buy the Bullet home smoothie-making kit and use it a few times, but for the most part, you’re just filling a plain old cup with vodka and drinking that. It’s simple. It’s what you’ve been doing your whole life. It’s efficient, and at the end of the day, it does the job perfectly.

    So in a way, technology has indeed changed the way you jerk off — and maybe even made it feel better, or at least different. But did it improve it? Will it replace it? No. No it won’t.

    Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-mind-blowing-breakthroughs-in-jerking-off-tested/

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    Donald Trump will be the first U.S. president to deny the existence of global warming

    President-elect Donald Trump pumps his fist after giving his acceptance speech as his wife Melania Trump, right, and their son Barron Trump follow him during his election night rally on Nov. 9, 2016.
    Image: John Locher/AP

    If a Donald J. Trump administration acts on the president-elect’s view that global warming’s a “hoax,” the consequences of the presidential election may echo for generations. When he’s sworn into office in January, Trump becomes the only leader of a major industrialized country to deny the existence of human-caused global warming.

    This is a first for the U.S., considering that even former president George H.W. Bush signed a climate change agreement in 1992, when the issue was just emerging. Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have all pursued reductions to emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide.

    In the lead-up to the election, environmental leaders and climate scientists issued apocalyptic warnings of what a Trump presidency would do to efforts to rein in global warming, given that the Paris Climate Agreement only just went into effect on Nov. 4, and is still fragile.

    September 2016 global temperature anomalies.

    Image: NASA giss

    Now, some of these same people are shellshocked, but remain resolved to opposing attempts to slow the pace of emissions cuts, which climate science says is a crucial factor in determining how much the world will warm in the next several decades.

    No time to waste

    The U.S. and the world can’t afford to stall or slide backwards on climate progress, according to scientific research. Studies show climate change proceeding faster than anticipated, with a narrowing window to act in order to forestall the worst impacts of global warming, such as a catastrophic increase in sea levels.

    In fact, a recent U.N. report showed that if we are to have any hope of meeting the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, below preindustrial levels, emissions cuts need to become more ambitious.

    Global carbon dioxide levels surpassed 400 parts per million for the first time in 2016.

    Image: Scripps institution of oceanography

    The Obama administration committed to reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 25 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, and it’s expected to lay out a decarbonization plan by midcentury during the ongoing U.N. climate talks in Marrakech, Morocco.

    However, to achieve these cuts, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations on coal-fired power plants, known as the Clean Power Plan, would need to survive court challenges and be implemented by a supportive White House.

    During the campaign, Trump made clear he would dismantle those regulations and others.

    A Trump White House will have few checks on its power given that Republicans hold both houses of Congress, meaning that there could be significant rollbacks of EPA regulations and climate-related executive orders that could have ramifications beyond a single presidential term.

    A slowdown or halt in U.S. emissions cuts would shift the climate math in favor of more severe global warming impacts.

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump acknowledges the crowd after delivering an energy speech in Bismarck, N.D. in May 2016.

    Image: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

    Leading environmental activist and journalist Bill McKibben emphasized that issue when reached on Wednesday, telling Mashable that “… The results of this election may eventually be measured in inches or feet of sea level rise.”

    “Our job is to limit the damage, a harder job today than yesterday, but it wasn’t easy then either. Since physics is indefatigable I guess we better be too,” McKibben, a founder of the environmental group 350.org, said.

    Prominent climate scientist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, who leads the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, said the ramifications for global climate action are dire.

    The climate system doesn’t forget, and it doesn’t forgive

    “The U.S. de-elected expertise and will likely show a blockade mentality now, so Europe and Asia have to pioneer and save the world,” Schellnhuber said in a statement. “Formally leaving the Paris Agreement would take longer than one Presidential term, yet of course the U.S. could simply refuse reducing national emissions which would mean a de factoexit out of international climate policy.”

    Global five-year average temperature anomalies, relative to 1961-1990 for 2011 to 2015.

    Image: WMO

    He went on to say that the U.S. is “one of the world’s biggest economies, and even just four years of unbridled emission staying in the atmosphere for many hundreds years would make a substantial difference. The climate system doesn’t forget, and it doesn’t forgive.”

    Environmental groups unite

    Trump’s election may help unify the environmental movement in opposition to the White House, making opposition to new fossil fuel projects, anti-regulatory moves and other potential actions more intense and effective.

    “This is an undeniable tragedy, but of course as organizers, our job is try and forge some sort of way ahead,” said Jamie Henn, a spokesman for 350.org, in an email on Wednesday morning.

    Henn says the group will push the Obama administration to take fossil fuel projects currently undergoing review off the table, and then focus on flexing its muscles to oppose Trump’s moves.

    “We’re going to need a massive movement to defend the progress we’ve made”

    “We’re going to focus on building power. No matter how this plays out, we’re going to need a massive movement to defend the progress we’ve made and look for openings where we can,” he said.

    “We’ve shown the ability to hold up fossil fuel projects on the ground. States can still make progress. Other countries will need to charge ahead,” Henn added.

    Kate Colwell, a spokesperson for the environmental group Friends of the Earth, echoed these sentiments in a statement released on Wednesday.

    “We will have to harness our new energy, join together, and use every strategy possible to fight against hate and greed and environmental destruction,” said Colwell.

    “While I wish we had a different fight before us, we must fight the one presented to us. The future of our country and planet depends it.”

    Business interests could lobby Trump to see the light

    Then again, the Trump campaign’s opaque policy stances may leave the future administration with enough wiggle room to accommodate some of the environmentalist’s concerns, as well as listening to a more influential constituency: major businesses.

    Jim Davis kayaks through waters flooding Bowen’s Wharf after Hurricane Sandy in historic Newport, R.I. in 2012.

    Image: Dave Hansen/Newport Daily News/AP

    Business leaders who are moving forward with cutting their own emissions and planning for a future in which climate regulations are in place might find it in their interest to stage a climate intervention of sorts to persuade Trump to alter his policy positions.

    For example, tech giants such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook have been moving aggressively to cut their emissions and energy use, with many of them building wind and solar power projects.

    Financial firms and even oil companies have started hedging their bets on climate regulation, realizing it could impact their bottom line if they don’t take it into account.

    It’s also possible, though not likely, that he will reevaluate his position on global warming once he gets into the office and learns more about the science and economics of the issue.

    “Trump has promised to rebuild America and create jobs across the rust belt and beyond. Perhaps he’ll see the light and call for a clean energy revolution to revitalize our manufacturing sector? Who knows?” Henn, of 350.org, said.

    “For now the future looks pretty dark.”

    Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/11/09/trump-climate-denier-president/

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    WHO’S greedy? Bernie Sanders’ complaint about the Koch brothers is ‘mind-blowing’ irony

    With Harry Reid set to retire soon, Bernie Sanders is trying to prove himself worthy of carrying on the Koch brothers obsession:

    Hilarious, coming from a guy like Sanders. How about a little perspective?

    And the speed of that spending will only accelerate if Sanders gets his wish list. Why is the federal government so greedy, Sen. Sanders? How much is enough?

    Sanders is most interested in the word “free” when he’s talking about college or health care. And besides…

    Careful what you ask for, Bernie!

    Read more: http://twitchy.com/2016/01/04/whos-greedy-bernie-sanders-complaint-about-the-koch-brothers-is-mind-blowing-irony/

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    Holiday Movie Preview: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Daniel Day-Lewis Swan Song and More

    Well, weve made it this far.

    Nearly 10 and a half months into the Trump presidency, one marked by scandals, snafus, and snide tweets, and in the midst of a long-overdue celebrity creep purge, comes a unique holiday movie season. Tis a season devoid of Harvey Weinsteins cloying Oscar bait and one with precious little tolerance for petty bullshit. And there are plenty of must-see movies, too.

    If epic blockbusters are your thing, youve got Rian Johnsons supercharged Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which hopes to be the Empire of the new trilogy. In the mood for an expertly crafted prestige picture? Phantom Thread, the Paul Thomas Anderson-Daniel Day-Lewis collaboration about a 1950s couture designer, is just the ticket. And if its mindless laughs youre after, the Dwayne Johnson/Kevin Hart vehicle Jumanji should do the trick.

    So without further ado, here are the most anticipated movies hitting theaters this holiday season.

    THE DISASTER ARTIST (Dec. 1)

    The Room, Tommy Wiseaus 2003 passion project, is widely regarded as one of the best-worst movies ever made; a tone-deaf disasterpiece of hilarious proportions, but this film chronicling the making-of is the best comedy of the year, anchored by a cheeky, committed turn from James Franco (who also directed) as Wiseau. More so than last years tap-dancing La La Land, here is a tender ode to the ones who dream, foolish as they may seem.

    THE SHAPE OF WATER (Dec. 1)

    Guillermo del Toro (Pans Labyrinth) has essentially fashioned his own genre of cinema: gothic science fiction. A master of fantastical creatures inhabiting dark, phantasmagorical worlds, his latest is his sweetest film yet. Its a 1960s-set fairy tale love story between a mute cleaning lady (Sally Hawkins, wonderful) and a creature from the deep. Throw in Michael Shannon as a sadistic government agent, Richard Jenkins closeted artist, Michael Stuhlbarg as a compassionate scientist, and a scene-stealing Octavia Spencer, and youve got a recipe for greatness.

    WONDER WHEEL (Dec. 1)

    Vittorio Storaros lensing and Kate Winslet are exquisite in this Woody Allen fable, about a jaded wife (Winslet) in 1950s Coney Island who finds herself involved in a love triangle with a handsome young lifeguard (Justin Timberlake) and her stepdaughter (Juno Temple). But the film also, at times, seems to function as justification for Allens romance with his own much-younger stepdaughter, Soon-Yiin addition to, you know, the disturbing Dylan Farrow controversy.

    I, TONYA (Dec. 8)

    There are some serious tonal deficiencies in I, Tonya, which my colleague Kevin Fallon did a great job of summing up here, but Margot Robbie is absolute dynamite as embattled figure skater Tonya Harding, capturing her fears and idiosyncrasies with expert precision. She is matched step-for-step by Allison Janney as her chain-smoking terror of a mother. This would be a good double-bill with the excellent Lady Bird, showing two very different mother-daughter relationships.

    STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (Dec. 15)

    No members of the press have seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi yet, but really, what do you need to know? Its a freakin Star Wars movie that brings back the surviving cast of The Force Awakensincluding the legendary Carrie Fisher, in her final film performancealong with newcomers Laura Dern, Benicio del Toro, and Kelly Marie Tran. Oh, and Princes Harry and William cameo as stormtroopers. And its directed by the talented Rian Johnson, the man behind Brick and Looper. Who are you kidding? Youre gonna see this.

    THE RAPE OF RECY TAYLOR (Dec. 15)

    A powerfuland vitaldocumentary by filmmaker Nancy Buirsky that captures the story of Recy Taylor, a black woman who in 1944 was kidnapped while leaving church and gang-raped by six white men. The men were never indicted, a tragic miscarriage of justice which brought shame to the nation. The incident served as a precursor to the Montgomery bus boycott that occurred nearly a decade later. Taylor, by the way, is still alive at 97, and paid a visit to the White House in 2011, where she was greeted by the first black president.

    THE GREATEST SHOWMAN (Dec. 20)

    Bill Condon knows a thing or two about movie-musicals, having helmed Chicago, Dreamgirls, and the recent Beauty and the Beast, and here hes back with a sweeping musical inspired by P.T. Barnum and the renowned Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Hugh Jackman plays Barnum, and hes joined by Zac Efron (Hairspray), Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya. Expect plenty of fireworks and high-wire activity.

    JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (Dec. 20)

    This sequel to the 1995 Robin Williams flick is set 20 years after the events of the first film, only now, the swashbuckling board game has somehow transformed into a video game, and somehow sucks in four teenagers who then play the game as their avatarscoming in the form of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black. Pop star Nick Jonas also pops up as a supporting player, as does Bobby Cannavale as the Big Bad.

    ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD (Dec. 22)

    Theres quite a bit of curiosity surrounding Ridley Scotts latest because, when the sexual misconduct revelations came to light against star Kevin Spacey, the filmmaker took it upon himself to recut the film in a matter of weeks, replacing Spacey with Christopher Plummer. The film, meanwhile, dramatizes the real-life abduction of heir John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) and his father John Paul Gettys (Plummer) refusal to pay his ransom. The film also stars Michelle Williams as the kidnapped boys desperate mother, and Mark Wahlberg as a former CIA agent tasked with finding the boy.

    DOWNSIZING (Dec. 22)

    Every film by Alexander Payne is worth your time. After all, hes the man behind modern American classics like Election and Sideways. Here, he takes his first step into the realm of science fiction, envisioning a future world where environmentally conscious (and cost-efficient)humans choose to shrink themselves down and live in miniature communities in order to create less wasteand live in the lap of luxury. Unfortunately, when Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to get downsized, she backs out of the procedure at the last-minute, leaving him to navigate the world of little people alone.

    FATHER FIGURES (Dec. 22)

    This looks like a very silly holiday comedy, but hey, laughs are in short supply these days. It centers on two wacky brothers (Owen Wilson and Ed Helms) who, after realizing their mother (Glenn Close) lied about their fathers death, go on a cross-country trip to track down moms ex-suitors and discover who their real dad is. The suspects are played by the likes of J.K. Simmons, Christopher Walken, and Terry Bradshaw, and the cast is rounded out by Ving Rhames, Katt Williams, Harry Shearer, and Katie Aselton.

    PITCH PERFECT 3 (Dec. 22)

    The second Pitch Perfect was not nearly as good as the first, but for those who need some pitch-slappin cheer, the third and final installment in the a capella franchise sees the Bellasnow struggling looking for jobs post-collegeembark on a USO reunion tour. Plenty of hijinks, of course, ensure. Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and the gals all return, and are joined by newcomers John Lithgow, Ruby Rose, and the inimitable DJ Khaled.

    HAPPY END (Dec. 22)

    Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke is responsible for some of the finest films of the past 20 years, including Amour, The White Ribbon, and Cache. Hes reunited with his frequent collaborators Isabelle Huppert and Jean-Louis Trintignant for a bourgeoisie-skewering satire touching on issues ranging from familial dysfunction to the refugee crisis. And with Haneke at the helm, you can expect this one to cut deep.

    HOSTILES (Dec. 22)

    Filmmaker Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) has joined forces once more with his Out of the Furnace star Christian Bale for this period Western that traces the journey of a U.S. Army captain (Bale) in 1892 America who reluctantly agrees to escort Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi), a dying Cheyenne chief, and his family back to their tribal lands in rural Montana. The $55 million film also stars Rosamund Pike, Jesse Plemons, Adam Beach, Ben Foster, and It boy Timothee Chalamet, of Call Me by Your Name fame.

    THE POST (Dec. 22)

    Directed by Steven Spielberg from a screenplay co-written by Spotlight scribe Josh Singer, this timely political thriller casts journalists as real-life superheroes in telling the true story of The Washington Posts publication of the Pentagon Papers, which exposed the Johnson administrations various lies concerning the Vietnam War. The Oscar bait flick features the incomparable Meryl Streep as Post publisher Kay Graham and Tom Hanks as Post editor Ben Bradlee, alongside Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Carrie Coon, Bruce Greenwood, and Matthew Rhys as famed whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.

    MOLLYS GAME (Dec. 25)

    Marking the directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin, the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind The Social Network and the TV series The West Wing, it tells the real-life story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), an entrepreneur who set up a high-stakes private underground poker game for A-list celebrities, including Tobey Maguire and Ben Affleck, only to eventually have her game raided by the FBI due to its Russian mob ties. The film, boasting plenty of Sorkin-y monologues, also stars Idris Elba as Blooms attorney, Kevin Costner as her father, and Michael Cera as Player X, aka Tobey Maguire.

    PHANTOM THREAD (Dec. 25)

    Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood) may be the finest American filmmaker right now, and his latest may serve as the swan song for star Daniel Day-Lewis, who has claimed it is his final acting role. Day-Lewis is Reynolds Woodcock, a coveted couture designer in 1950s London whose exquisite dresses contour the bodies of the rich and famous. His precision and exacting nature, however, torments those in his inner orbit: sister Cyril (Lesley Manville, never better) and romantic partner Alma (Vicky Krieps, subtly magnificent). With direction, acting, and a score as fine as Woodcocks divine frocks, its truly a sight to behold.

    IN THE FADE (Dec. 27)

    One of the biggest surprises out of this years Cannes Film Festival was this gut-wrenching German drama by Fatih Akin (The Edge of Heaven). After losing her Kurdish husbanda former drug traffickerand their daughter in a bombing attack, Katja (Diane Kruger) slides into despair and decides to take her own life before changing her mind and pursuing justice, convinced that the authorities have it wrong when it comes to those who murdered her family. Kruger was awarded Best Actress at Cannes, and Akins film was selected as Germanys entry for the Best Foreign Film Oscar.

    FILM STARS DONT DIE IN LIVERPOOL (Dec. 29)

    The always wonderful Annette Bening stars as screen siren Gloria Grahame, who in the final years of her life engages in a passionate affair with a young Liverpudlian fellow named Peter Turner, played by Jamie Bell. Its a charming, lovingly crafted period piece, boosted by supporting turns from Vanessa Redgrave, Julie Walters, and Stephen Graham.

    Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/holiday-movie-preview-star-wars-the-last-jedi-daniel-day-lewis-swan-song-and-more

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    7 People On Social Media Who Are More Annoying Than New Moms

    New moms get a bad rap when it comes to social media activity, and, to be fair, posting endless photos of your toddler in various states of undress is a questionable choice at best. But just because they are perhaps the most notorious of the social media offenders does not mean that they are the most purely irritating. There are other, more nuanced forms of social media badness that exceed even the look at this thing I pushed out of me hysteria. And these are the seven biggest ones.

    1. Women trying to sell pyramid scheme weight loss crap.

    I dont know exactly when it started, but at a certain point, Facebook became less a place to share personal anecdotes for some people, and more a place to hawk your fat-binding wraps that magically shrink your waist by three inches. (I think this is called a corset, and I dont actually think it results in any weight loss, for what its worth.) Either way, this snake oil weight loss industry, that manifests in pills, wraps, powder, drinks, and even questionable moisturizers, seem like the 2015 version of Mary Kay. Except, instead of harmless cosmetics, some of these products seem like they result in irritable bowel syndrome or hives.

    2. People who engage in twenty-tweet-long conversations with you included for no reason.

    Maybe there was a reason to @ the person at the very beginning of this. But when you and your friend break off into a conversation about how much you need to hang out, or dumb pop culture jokes, or some sort of story only the two of you are aware of, do the right thing and stop @ing the person who hasnt been involved in the conversation for four tweets. Would you just continue talking loudly at a party with a person standing awkwardly in the middle of you? I hope not, I hope youd move to the snack table like a decent human. So dont do it on Twitter, either.

    3. Guys on Instagram who only exist to leave thirsty comments.

    Every time I see a guy leaving an absolutely atrocious comment on some random chicks vacation photo, I am overwhelmed with the urge to call their mothers. (To be fair, the same goes for the teenage girls who @ Ed Sheeran with things like spit in my mouth daddy, but they honestly seem more funny and less like they might actually murder the object of their affection.) At the end of the day, though, all of these people need Jesus.

    4. Men who search keywords related to feminism to argue in your mentions.

    Do they really have nothing better to do than repeatedly type in misogyny, sexism, or even women, only to pop up in the tweeters mentions to argue with them about the textbook definition of oppression? Actually, you know what, dont answer that. (But do answer why all of them have Twitter names like @WolfMind. Id love to know the creative process there.)

    5. Couples who dont know how to edit their online affection.

    No one wants 100 photos of your wedding, or your engagement story, or your honeymoon, or the time you made crock pot buffalo chicken last week. Take a lesson from Instagram and edit your presence. A few choice shots go a long way. (Besides, you always want to leave while the party is bangin, and I estimate that the Facebook love party stops being bangin around photo five.)

    6. People whose entire lives have become their new diets.

    I mean it when I say that Im genuinely happy for people when they find a new eating habit that provides more fulfillment and happiness to their everyday life and Ive even written on this very site about my own journey into eating better this year. But it does feel a bit unfortunate when said eating habit becomes a defining personality trait, and someone who was once posting a robust variety of content about various aspects of their life is now limited to talking about all of the thrilling ways cauliflower can replace chicken (it cannot).

    7. People who talk about the evils of social media while actively engaging in it.

    No one wants your long-winded status updates about why youre taking a pause from social media, or see your dumb comic strips about how technology is the worst thing to happen to humans in the past 100 years including the Holocaust, and how none of us are capable of experiencing real emotion anymore because were all caught up in our screens. If you dont like social media, leave it. And no need to make huge proclamations about how youre ~unplugging~. Just close the door behind you and get on with your life, just like all of the people who are capable of having a Twitter and also being a normal human who spends time with their family. If you cant multitask, no one else cares.

    Read more: http://thoughtcatalog.com/chelsea-fagan/2015/10/7-people-on-social-media-who-are-more-annoying-than-new-moms/

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    The Internet Lives in a Huge Hotel in Manhattan

    There is no shortage of cool stuff to see on the Internet, but the Internet itself—the networks and serversand cables tying it all together—is pretty mundane. Peter Garritano discovered as much when he went behind the scenes at some of New York’s big Internet hubs to see how it all works.

    Garritano always knew the Internet is as much a place as it is a thing, one where vast networks in frigid rooms move enormous amounts of data around the world. But he didn’t have a real understanding of how all that info moves from one place to another, and he wanted to find out. He’s spent the last few months doing just that, shooting at five“carrier hotels” where many networks converge to form a single, larger network. That’s why they called it the Internet. It allows an unlimited number of different networks to come together as one.

    At a carrier hotel, AT&T’s network can hook up with Verizon’s network. Verizon’s network can connect with Google’s network. And so on. Mostly, it’s a place for connecting big Internet service providers like AT&T and Verizon—the organizations that give homes and business their Internet connections—but increasingly, the companies that run massive applications over the Internet—like Google and Microsoft—are starting to run their own networks as well.

    Meanwhile, all sort of other companies that use the Internet can set up machines inside these facilities. That’s how they get their websites and other software to you and a world of businesses.

    Getting into these wired hotels wasn’t easy. Garritano pinged tech journalists for leads and spent weeks sending emails and making calls to arrange meetings. Two of the five carrier hotels in New York didn’t want to be named, but the otherthree are run byoutfits likeTelxandZayo. They provide a direct connection to Internet providers and businesses includingTime Warner Cable and Hewlett-Packard. Security is drum-tight, with security guards, security cameras, biometric security checkpoints, and even man traps.

    Get past all that, though, and the Internet is pretty boring: miles and miles of cables linking row after row of servers cooled by enormous HVAC systems. It’s tough to wrap your headaround the ideathat something so small as a fiber optic cable can move so much data so quickly. “It’s so massive but the individual cables themselves are no the thicker than your phone charger. In that sense,without appreciating the context of the space it can be kind of visually anticlimactic,” Garritano says.

    At least one escort accompaniedGarritanoat all times. Sometimes they let him linger as long as he liked, but other times they whisked him through so quickly he had to shoot from the hip—literally. On those instances where he had plenty of time, Garritano used a medium format film camera. He favored a DSLR on those occasions when he shot on the fly.

    Garritano suspects he is hardly alone in having never given the Internet much thought. He took it for granted, but has come to appreciate it. He hopes others do, too. “On a basic level, I hope this series can help communicate that reality and illustrate the various systems required for the Internet to function,” he says. “That is, the massive amounts of power required, the cooling systems, the enormously complex system of cable connections, and of course, the people who design and maintain these systems.”

    Read more: http://www.wired.com/2015/11/peter-garritano-where-the-internet-lives/

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    The Best ‘Bachelor’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Week 8

    I cant believe Nicks coming to my hometown! We cant believe it either, Corinne.

    If this season of were an episode of itd be called “The One Where Nick Cries Like a Little Bitch.” I wouldnt be surprised if before each scene the producers are like and make him watch like 5 solid minutes of so hes extra emotional. I also wouldnt be surprised if they did nothing at all and hes actually that fucking ridiculous.

    Nicks emotional quote of the night: I have so much love and respect for Kristina, but like not that much.

    Also, Rachel doesnt get kicked off this episode either which means that they announced her being the Bachelorette TWO whole episodes early. Where oh where have your ratings gone, ABC?

    Date With Raven In Hoxie

    Raven pulls up to her date on an ATV and their date in Hoxie begins!

    Raven: In Hoxie, whenever you have a meaningful conversation with someone you take them to this huge water plant and then you strangle them!

    Nick: It’s Ravens day to plan, and so far she’s shown me a giant metal tower and had police chase us off.

    Cop: So you don’t have ANY ID?

    Nick: I mean Im Nick, the Bachelor?? Hello?? Look at my Insta.

    Why do I feel like Im in ?

    Ugh Raven seriously has such a good body ::types while sitting amongst a pile of empty Hersheys kisses wrappers::

    First of all Raven wore a white T-shirt on purpose which was a great move. Thrusting in mud however, was not.

    Mom: And daddys cancer-free!
    Raven: Stahhhpppp itttttt

    Ravens family decides to dramatically announce that her dad is cancer-free, making Nick feel upset that the spotlight is taken off of him.Like he legit has noidea what to do in the corner.

    Nick: Good job man, on like all the chemo and health stuff. ::goes in for a pound::

    I hate how theyre forced to say I love you before Nick leaves their houses. But Raven couldnt pull the love trigger. Instead she said something like:

    Raven: Theres no hesitation on my end of what becomes of this.

    Wow they should put that on a hallmark card. Just beautiful.

    Date With Rachel In Dallas

    Whys Nick dressed as if Rachels taking him to meet her accountant?

    Rachel: I wanted to show Nick what a normal day for me is like and so Im taking him to church!

    If I ever had to show the Bachelor “What I do in NYC” I would show him how to sign up for an account on Seamless and then wed spend the next hour or so deciding what to eat trying while attempting to match the delivery time with how much time we think itll take us to pick something to watch on Netflix. Then sit on the couch watching it for 8 hours. Or how theyd say on Its the perfect place to fall in love!

    Anyway back to church Knowing ABCs track record, Im shocked that they didnt use this as a plug for a Tyler Perry movie: Madea goes on

    Somehow I can’t imagine the Temple Beth Shalom people receiving the crew as openly as this pastor did.

    Church was fantastic Earth to Rachel, Nick just came back from rolling around in mud with Raven in a white T-shirt. Church was meh at best.

    Nick gets to Rachels house and is put at ease when he sees a white man.

    For the next few hours Rachels entire family plays fun games like quizzing him on whats on his dinner plate and having him say black woman 8 times fast.

    Nick: I know that Rachel’s black, we don’t keep secrets from each other.

    SIGN UP: Our Bachelor emails are the only thing more scandalous than the Fantasy Suite.

    Date With Corinne In Miami

    WERE GOING SHOPPPPPPING!!

    Corinne was sick and tired of seeing Nick wearing exclusively Gap so she decided to him.

    Nick’s like, fuck Im gonna need to sell a lot of sugar bear hairs to afford this sweater

    Its a classic piece! Corinne is Cher Horowitz

    Nick: I love how Corinne doesnt take herself or 3K too seriously.

    At least we now know how much a sponsorship costs on .

    After their shopping spree, Corinne sits Nick down at a beautiful indoor-outdoor restaurant and tells him how she really feels:

    Corinne: I. (checks cue cards) love you?

    Question, are Corinnes parents mobsters because theyre talking like theyre in .

    Corinnes Mom: Raquel is part of our family, shes like my kids’ second mothah.
    Raquel: The second you stop paying me Im out your lives forever, assholes.

    Is Nick only into girls who call their dads Daddy? Like he asked both Corinne and Raven if they do a few episodes ago and like, look how far theyve gone. Soooo.yeah.

    Now we know why Corinne refers to herself in the third person since her dad also calls Corinne “Corinne” to Corinne.

    Corinnes dad: Are you okay with being the breadwinner after all of this?
    Corinne: Daddy you know I dont eat carbs.

    Why wont anyone acknowledge that its her dads money? Like Corinne has 300k Insta followers now, theres no way shes selling Epoxy Flooring Liquid or whatever the fuck her dad sells (actually you can find out what company they own here)

    But LOL Corinne, a girl who can’t even make it to the rose ceremony due to her intensive napping schedule, just claimed she is okay with being the breadwinner.

    Gist of dad’s talk: So if you don’t make like, a killing in fit tea sales, how are you expecting to afford $1,500 Tomas Maier sweat suits? And that’s just one athleisure outfit!

    Corinnes dad: No one puts baby in coach.

    Date With Vanessa In Montreal

    Does anyone else get really angry when they see Vanessa on screen? Like shes suchhhh a narc.

    Vanessa really knows how to show Nick a good time. First she takes him to school then makes him meet not one, but two of her families. This is even a step below church.

    Vanessa to her students: Since you guys made me a scrapbook for Nick, now youre going to help me make a scrap book of all of my dates with Nick. Heres one where Im making out with him in a bikini. Heres another one where hes just nearly caressing my breast. This is highly appropriate for a teacher!!!!

    The students are like,

    Ugh VANESSA. Like you need to get over yourself sil vous plait.

    Shes obviously testing him on all 600 of her family members names and every single word of the Italian language before he walks into the house. I wouldnt be surprised if she passive-aggressively sent him a gift certificate for Rosetta Stone after this date thinking itd be romantic.

    Mom: What do you like about Vanessa?
    Nick: Well, when she got out of the limo I was like DAYUMMMMM GIRL!
    Mom: Um yah not the answer I was looking for.

    Vanessa’s brother: So let’s say you move, what would you do job-wise?
    Vanessa: Obviously nurture the special needs community of Milwaukee. PSYCH. Imma sell sunglasses on Instagram.

    But really, why does her brother have a thicker Italian accent than her mom? Also are we sure that was her brother and not Seth Green? I feel like in high school, hes the guy I totally wouldve made out with on a cruise.

    I love how everyone is making Nick out to be a huge jobless loser. I LOVE IT.

    Vanessas mom: Nick better not break up with Vanessa because the family doesnt want to deal with her crying and shit again.

    This date is so heavy and boring which is indicative of what Nick and Vanessas relationship would look like. It would be so intense all the time. I feel like Vanessa is to Nick is what Nick was to Andi.

    Vanessas dad: So did you ask for the other fathers blessings too?
    Nick: In a way I ran it by them.
    SMOOTH.

    That was a fair question Vanessas dad, because he did and that was such a bad move that he totally deserved to be caught.

    I loved that Vanessa was trying to scope out their convo through her dad. Did he say he asked the other dads blessing too? Oh.

    Speaking of Andi, here she comes next week. She looks really good tbh but wow theyre pulling out all the stops to get these ratings up. And its Fantasy Suites week which means even more noises coming from the bedrooms. And by noises I mean Nicks sobs.

    Read more: http://www.betches.com/bachelor-nick-week-8-recap

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    When A Man You Love Is A Sexual Predator

    When Vanda was 20, her parents called her into the living room to deliver some bad news. Her mother proceeded to tell her, very matter-of-factly, that her father had been arrested on charges of sexual assault. Her dad, who ran a prison pharmacy in Southeast England and was home awaiting his trial, sat there stone-faced while Vanda, a music student at a Manchester college, sank into the family’s green couch in shock.

    “I just couldn’t add it up in my head that this person had done this thing,” the now-50-year-old librarian who lives in Ohio told HuffPost. “He was an authority in the local church and a respected person. Nothing in his life gave any clue to him being someone who could possibly go to jail for anything.”

    Even though her dad was later found guilty of forcing a nurse at the prison to give him oral sex twice ― and eventually sentenced to two and a half years in prison as a result ― Vanda, who asked that her last name be withheld to protect her privacy, desperately clung to her parents’ initial claim: that her father’s accuser was a liar. Even when his case appeared in the local news, she didn’t want to process the reality that the man she was raised to trust was capable of such disgusting behavior.

    Behind the many high-profile men who have been accused of sexual misconduct in the past few months are spouses, family members, colleagues and friends struggling to make sense of how the people they love could commit such heinous acts. Last week on the “Today” show, Savannah Guthrie shakily asked, “How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly?” hours after learning that her co-host, Matt Lauer, had been fired over allegations of sexual harassment. Gayle King asked a similar question after Charlie Rose, her former co-host from “CBS This Morning” was accused by eight women of sexual misconduct. Sarah Silverman said about the allegations against comedian Louis C.K., “Can you love someone who did bad things?”

    In cases of sexual misconduct, a victim’s trauma is always the most intense. In many cases, they have been preyed on by people they know and trust. But because sexual offenses often produce a ripple effect, trauma can also land on an offender’s closest friends and family (and in some celebrity cases, even their fans). These loved ones, commonly referred to as “secondary victims,” must grapple with whether to continue a relationship that now feels duplicitous.

    In 2000, when Maureen Farrell Garcia found out her then-husband had been sexually abusing her preteenrelative, she felt a mix of emotions. “I was enraged at and also terrified by the man who was my husband at the time,” said the 47-year-old, who teaches writing at a New York college. “I was also grieving because I recognized that everything I had believed was now in question and my whole life was going to be different after that point.”

    A church pastor convinced Farrell Garcia’s ex-husband to turn himself in to the police. She says the officers were sympathetic toward him ― he avoided jail time by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to probation and group therapy ― but he moved out of the housethey shared with their 8- and 10-year-old daughters. Even though Farrell Garcia despised what he did, through it all she felt conflicted about the man she’d met as a teenager ― the man with whom she’d shared decades of good memories.

    “You can’t just turn off having cared for someone for so long,” she said. “You’re in this place where you’re feeling two opposing emotions at the same time and it’s a horrible place to be.” Part of Farrell Garcia wondered if therapy could help rehabilitate her ex, but the other part of her thought, “I don’t feel like he can be fixed. I’m done.”

    You can’t just turn off having cared for someone for so long. You’re in this place where you’re feeling two opposing emotions at the same time and it’s a horrible place to be. Maureen Farrell Garcia

    Experts say it’s common for an offender’s loved ones to feel torn between love and disdain. “If your brother was accused of sexual assault or sexual abuse, how would you feel?” asked Brian Pacheco, the director of communications at Safe Horizon, a New York City-based organization that provides resources for victims of domestic and sexual violence. “It’s really normal in the short term for people to be confused and go back and forth between, ‘Oh they [are] a terrible person for doing this,’ and, ‘I want to continue the relationship.’ It’s important for people to sit with that and process. They don’t have to make a decision right away.”

    Ultimately, Pacheco says, a person’s emotions can change over time, a reality many psychologists and counselors would address in therapy. People might shift from feeling defensive of offenders to feeling anger and betrayal toward them. Frequently, a perpetrator’s loved ones go through an intense period of mourning their relationship with the accused.

    “It [was] like discovering that the person I knew didn’t exist at all,” Farrell Garcia said. “I found myself in a place where everything I believed felt like a lie. My whole life … felt shattered.”

    Spouses, family and friends also often feel complicit in their loved one’s offenses. In 2015, when Suzanna Quintana left her husband, whom she now describes as a sexual predator, she worried about her role as an enabler. When she found out he was fired as a restaurant manager for sexual harassment before they met, Quintana believed the colleague accusing him had lied. She accepted his apologies after he flirted with their 16-year-old babysitter and commented on the size of a young family friend’s breasts. When their 19-year-old tenant said she felt uncomfortable after he entered her apartment without asking, Quintana downplayed the incident.

    “I clinged to the man that I knew and made excuses for that other man who would show up half the time,” she said. “We had this history and this love. The threat of that being taken away was sometimes too overwhelming.”

    She filed for divorce in 2015, after her husband’s too-close relationship with a group of 19- and 20-year-old women made Quintana question his pattern of sexually predatory behavior. She remembers thinking, “I need to connect a lot of dots right now. How do I fit into this? Do I have blame and did I enable? I think that’s a natural reaction for women to be like, ‘How am I at fault here?’ Even though we’re not.”

    Al Pereira/WireImage via Getty Images
    Hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie on the set of NBC’s “Today” show at Rockefeller Plaza on Nov. 17. Lauer was fired last week over sexual misconduct allegations.

    Critics have denounced women like Guthrie and Silverman for not calling out their colleagues’ harassment sooner, accusing them of staying silent to protect their careers. While Pacheco maintains that a predator’s inner circle should condemn abusive behavior when they become aware of it, doing so can be a difficult process.

    “We really have to put the onus on the person who committed the act,” he said. “[People] feel powerless that they couldn’t step in and couldn’t change what happened … but part of it is knowing that it wasn’t your fault.”  

    Members of the entertainment world described the sexual misconduct of prominent predators like Harvey Weinstein and Louis C.K. as open industry secrets. But, often, offenders are very skilled at hiding their crimes.

    “Many of these guys are super charming and likable,” said Alexandra Katehakis, a Los Angeles-based sex therapist. “Everybody loves them and they are the life of the party.” 

    Though it might be more reassuring to think of sex offenders as monsters we can spot in plain sight, the reality is much more complex. Predators are also people who sit around family dinner tables with their children, celebrate anniversaries with their spouses and have close relationships with their siblings. As a result, partners and family members who feel attached to perpetrators might choose to stay in their lives despite criminal behavior.

    Ottawa-based psychiatrist Paul Fedoroff runs support groups for spouses and loved ones who want to have ongoing relationships with sex offenders. He tells them it’s possible to compartmentalize feelings of love and hate.

    “[They] have a right to feel different about the person than [they] do about the crime,” he said. “Being in love with your husband doesn’t mean that you are not acknowledging the crime he did is reprehensible.”

    Fedoroff says some perpetrators can attempt to reform their behavior and maintain healthy connections with proper treatment. “It’s a myth that sex offenders are unchangeable,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with loving a man who has changed and who is no longer offending. [But] that doesn’t mean they have to forgive the past offense or excuse it in any way.”

    In fact, Katehakis notes that it is helpful for perpetrators to have a support system in place when they seek treatment. Not every loved one, however, will want to stay in an offender’s life. As a therapist, she says her job is to “restore [a spouse or family member’s] self-esteem” so that “they can decide whether to stay or go.”

    Both options are valid, but Pacheco believes the process of reconciling your love for a person with your contempt for their behavior largely hinges on the offender’s willingness to hold themselves accountable.

    “[It] starts with an abuser saying, ‘I did something wrong and [I] need to change my behavior,’” he said. “It’s hard to move forward if someone [is] not taking responsibility for their actions.”

    Vanda has not been able to look past her father’s crime because he has never admitted his guilt. After going to therapy for the past five years, she came to believe his accuser, but when she tried to broach the subject with her dad over the phone, he shut her down.

    “He had no remorse for anything,” she said. “We were to see him as a victim and that was the end of the story.” Vanda no longer wants her father in her life, but says that “had he showed repentance at all, that would have been a conversation we could have had.”

    Farrell Garcia also decided to leave her husband after he abused her relative; they no longer speak. Being in counseling made her realize she could never trust him again, but it also helped her reach a place where she can see him for more than his crimes.

    “I do love him in the best capacity that I am able to, knowing everything that he did,” she said, adding that her version of love meant holding him accountable for his behavior rather than showing him affection and staying in the marriage.

    “It’s easier to think he is horrible, and he is horrible. But if he wasn’t also human and funny and charming and intelligent, he wouldn’t have been be able to get away with what he was doing. So we have to recognize that those are qualities of people who are abusive. He just used those qualities for bad things.”

    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/when-a-man-you-love-is-a-sexual-predator_us_5a257b93e4b0a02abe92d490

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