Long Island Press

732 POSTS 0 COMMENTS
The Long Island Press

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events December 31 – January 6

50 Cent The Emporium
50 Cent kicks off the New Year in style at The Emporium in Patchogue on Jan. 2!

[50 Cent kicks off 2016 in style at The Emporium in Patchogue on Jan. 2!]

Jack’s Waterfall
Jack Licitra has released eight CDs with his project, Jack’s Waterfall, performing with some of the best musicians in the world, including Levon Helm, Jimmy Vivino and Bakithi Kumalo, as well as opening shows for legends such as Richie Havens, Buckwheat Zydeco, Pinetop Perkins—and even playing for then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton! Come welcome the New Year by enjoying his truly amazing musical gifts and kick off 2016 in jazzy, soul-soothing style! Let Jack’s Waterfall flow over you! Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $25-$100. 9 p.m. December 31.

Jessie’s Girl
Break out the Converse, strap on a headband and dust off the jean jacket, because this Back to the Eighties Show will do everything short of taking you in a Delorean back to the decade when Men at Work, Flock of Seagulls and Debbie Gibson ruled the airwaves. That’s because Jessie’s Girl is more than just a cover band. They’re here to party like it’s 1989! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington.paramountny.com $25-$55. 10 p.m. December 31.

A Rat Pack New Year
Direct from Las Vegas, this spectacular show recreates one of the famous “Summit at the Sands” nights, when the swingin’ ring-a-ding group known as “The Rat Pack” was creating hipster legends with a free-wheeling, no-holds-barred nightclub act starring Vegas’ favorite good ole bad boys: Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin. The show features uncanny vocal recreations and unbridled humor. The men are backed by a smoking-hot orchestra that sends audiences straight back to the coolest time in history. Hits include “That’s Amore,” “My Way,” “Mr. Bojangles,” “Fly me to the Moon,” “My Kind of Town,” “New York, New York,” and many more! Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $60-$95. Times vary, December 31-January 3.

Badfish
Covering everyone’s favorite punk/reggae/ska/pop songs by Sublime is this very cool tribute band, named after the original’s classic tune. Bradley! Bradley! Long Live Bradley! Oops. Mulcahys Pub and Concert Hall: 3232 Railroad Ave, Wantagh. muls.com $10. 10 p.m. January 1.

Shiffley
This Long Island band’s indie/synth-rock beats have opened for several energetic and fun multi-band shows. Their latest hit album Anthem City was released back in August. Opening the show are The Serotones, The Como Brothers Band and Flid. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. clubloaded.com/events $15. 6:30 p.m. January 2.

Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot
This is the only Billy Joel tribute band featuring musicians, namely Mike DelGuidice, who have actually shared a stage with the most famous Long Islander, The Piano Man, himself. Big Shot schedules tour dates around Billy Joel’s monthly Madison Square Garden concerts. A true fan, DelGuidice guarantees a proper homage to his idol—and the performances are absolutely stellar! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington.paramountny.com $15-$35. 8 p.m. January 2.

John Ziegler
As a single, never married adult, John finds his humor in the world of dating and his observation of the married people he knows. In addition to being a self-proclaimed relationship expert, John also fancies himself an authority on the workplace. Growing up the youngest of six children in a Jewish family within an Italian/Irish Catholic neighborhood has given John a unique perspective, which has him happily confused to this day. Get ready to laugh, hard! He’s one funny man. McGuires Comedy Club, 1627 Smithtown Ave., Bohemia. mcguires.govs.com $17. 9 p.m. January 2.

50 Cent
His head-bobbing and sometimes-unsettling beats range from more than a decade of top-selling albums, but 50 Cent’s latest drop, The Kanan Tape, shows a matured, reflective, entertaining-as-ever veteran of the music industry—and the streets. His recent bankruptcy and Instagram wars aside, 50 Cent still has serious lyrical skills that set him apart. He’s also got another album, Street King Immortal, set to be released in 2016. With Funk Flex. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $25-$40. 10 p.m. January 2.

Bill Murray Movie Marathon
For the first time since the ’80s, catch Stripes and Caddyshack on the same big screen. Too bad the PGA couldn’t make Carl the Groundskeeper the ambassador of the links at the US Open. Laugh, giggle, roar—do what you will—this is Bill Murray, and he is king! Suffolk Theater, 118 E Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com Admission free with $20 food/beverage purchase. 6 p.m. January 3.

Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale
Obsession, redemption and spectacular performances are on the menu at the cinematic celebration that is this showing of The Bard’s timeless tragicomedy. Co-directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh following their triumphant staging of Macbeth in Manchester and Manhattan, expect a memorable evening of theatrical splendor with the fantastic re-telling of this absolute classic, featuring Judi Dench as Paulina and Kenneth Branagh as Leontes. Cinema Arts Centre, Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org Public: $12. Members: $7. Seniors (62+) & Students (w/ID): $9. Children: (12 and under): $5. 7 p.m. January 5.

Rocco DiSpirito
This celebrity chef and bestselling author will speak about his culinary mastery and sign his new cookbook The Negative Calorie Diet. In it, he explains how true health and real weight loss come from a whole-foods diet that is rich in negative calorie foods. Best of all, there is no limit to the quantity of negative calorie foods you can eat, because those calories don’t count! Gotta get us some ah that! Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington bookrevue.com Price of book. 7 p.m. January 5.

–Compiled by Chuck Cannini, Timothy Bolger & Zachary B. Tirana III

2015 was a Strange Year for New York Sports

 

 

 

Another sports year has passed, marking the fourth consecutive year that none of New York’s major professional sports team has won a championship. It’d be funny if NY’s futility weren’t so embarrassing.

Only one franchise—the Mets for Pete’s sake—made it all the way to the finals in its respective sport, and the Rangers, which boasted the top record in the NHL, fizzled in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, killing any hopes of consecutive Stanley Cup Finals appearances.

As for the Mets’ American League counterpart, the Yankees, well, the bombers depleted their already-anemic arsenal by the time October came around, stinking up the Bronx in a do-or-die playoff game against the up-and-coming Houston Astros.

NY’s hardwood franchises did not even put up a fight, with the Knicks amassing only 17 wins in an 82-game season, a historic low even by Jimmy “Guitar” Dolan’s standards. The Nets managed to slide into the playoffs but were ousted in the first round, making us all yearn for the days of Dr. J’s rocket-like pursuits to the basket inside Nassau Coliseum during the Nets’ glorious ABA days. On the ice, the Islanders couldn’t quite give NY hockey fans a dream playoff matchup against the Rangers, but what a magical season it was! The Isles had The Old Barn rocking again, reminding everyone why old, decaying arenas like the Coliseum hold a soft place in our hearts forever.

By the time September rolled around, Giants fans had high hopes that Eli Manning’s arm would be enough to win the lousy NFC east. A handful of last-minute losses coupled with an injury-ravaged defense had us in a Big Blue daze that we have yet to wake up from. Leave it to Gang Green to prove anything is possible by embarrassing the reviled Patriots in overtime last Sunday, setting up a must-win game against that blowhard Rex Ryan and his Buffalo Bills with a spot in the playoffs on the line.

Despite a mostly joyless sports season, Long Island boasted some highlights—none bigger than American Pharaoh’s dramatic Triple Crown-clinching win at the Belmont Stakes in June and a successful title-defending campaign for the North American Soccer League’s Cosmos, who have now won two titles in as many years. The Cosmos also engaged in a bit of soccer diplomacy, becoming the first professional sports team in the United States to play in Cuba since Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles in 1999.

Things weren’t all bad. The Mets—wait, was it a dream?—played their first MLB Championship since 2000’s Subway Series but were done in by the pesky Kansas City Royals.

Instead of wasting time on the losers that still get to call NY home despite their travails, we decided to honor the team from Queens. The Press enlisted our resident Mets fanboy, senior editor Spencer Rumsey, to genuflect over those lovable, maddening Metropolitans.

Here it is:

Finally, the “wait until next year” mantra was over and nobody could deny it. That’s right, New York. The Mets, of all teams, actually made it to the World Series in 2015. What a crazy season it was: full of agita, tears and miracles. From being no-hit by a no-name pitcher in July to sweeping the Cubs and winning the National League Pennant in October. Who can believe it?

But, to quote the baseball bard, Tug McGraw:

Ya gotta believe!

The bearded Daniel Murphy, our unpredictable second baseman, went on an amazing post-season streak: homering for six consecutive games and setting a major league record. One of his greatest contributions came when he stole third base against the Dodgers’ distracted ace, Zack Greinke, in game 5 of the NLCS. We’re gonna miss you, big guy, but can you do us a favor when you’re playing second base at Citi Field for the Nats next season and do that thing you used to do with your glove that would drive us fans to distraction? Just asking.

As for our fearsome young flame-throwers on the mound, not only did our pitchers live up to the hype, they set the bar even higher! The lanky long-haired Jacob deGrom was brilliant. “Thor” Syndergaard unleashed his mighty hammer. Long Island’s lefthander Steven Matz had his dream come true when the Ward Melville High School grad got to make his MLB debut with the Mets on June 28. He struck out six, went 3-for-3 (including a double), and got four R.B.I.’s that day, too. An achievement that made his grandfather a fan for the ages when SNY cut to the family’s jubilation in the stands.

This year, back from Tommy John surgery, Matt Harvey raised the stakes—and exceeded his pitch count when it mattered most to the team’s chances. The Dark Knight may have had his darkest night in the ninth inning of game 5 in the World Series—with the Mets holding a slender 2-0 lead over the Royals and desperately needing a win to send everybody back to Kansas City—when he bluntly told our silver-haired manager Terry Collins there was “no way” he was coming out so our closer Jeurys Familia could come in from the bullpen and get the save. It was probably the only move Collins made that didn’t work out the way we wanted it to.

Ah well, it’s only a game, but we’ll take it, and be grateful for the good times. For this happy recap, let us recall how great was it to have Bartolo Colon in a Mets uniform! Never a dull moment watching this 42-year-old athlete at work—especially whenever he came up to the plate to hit.

When the final scorekeeper in the sky comes to tally up the 2015 season, the chance to see our heroic captain, third-baseman David Wright, overcome his painfully debilitating spinal stenosis, which almost ended his season in April, and wind up playing fateful baseball in October is something truly special that Mets fans can treasure for a long time. What a year to remember!

 

 

Some final thoughts…

2015 may very well be remembered for what happened off the field. The Giants’ Jason Pierre Paul blew up his hands during a July 4th fireworks accident, forcing him to sit out the majority of the season.  The injury, which was very much avoidable, may spell the end of his career as a Giant since he’s a free agent next year. Knicks coach Derek Fisher reportedly got into a physical altercation with a former teammate whose ex Fisher is apparently dating. Perhaps the most embarrassing moment of the year came in Week 15 of the NFL season when Giants superstar receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., was penalized three times for physical altercations against agitating Carolina cornerback Josh Norman. It was a shame Giants coach Tom Coughlin did not pull Beckham from the game. Beckham’s stupidity cost him, as the NFL suspended the dynamic pass-catcher for last week’s game against the Vikings. Not that it mattered, the Giants were eliminated from the playoffs one day earlier when Washington claimed the NFC east with a win over Philadelphia. And to cap off the year, Knicks benchplayer Derrick Williams was robbed of more than a half-million dollars in jewelry, and fellow benchwarmer, Cleananthony Early, was shot in the leg and robbed by masked gunmen who surrounded an Uber car he’d hailed after leaving a Queens strip club. As for the Knicks, at least, they have something to look forward to with the arrival of Latvian sensation Kristaps Porzingis. The 7-foot-3 20-year-old is averaging 13 points and 8 rebounds per game in his rookie season, and appears to be the real deal. Keep it up, KP. New York is desperate for a winner who could go all the way.

Top 15 Long Island News Stories of 2015

15) American Pharoah Wins Triple Crown
Down the stretch no other horse could come close to beating this great American Thoroughbred. American Pharoah won the 2015 Triple Crown in terrific fashion, becoming the 12th horse in history to cross the finish line first at the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes—a feat that hadn’t happened in 37 years. The drought came to an end on June 6 when American Pharoah drew away from the pack to the roars of 90,000 fans packing Belmont Park and won the daunting 1½-mile race by 5½ lengths. Behind him all the way were his owner Ahmed Zayat, trainer Bob Baffert, jockey Victor Espinoza and Zayat Stables racing manager Justin Zayat. The three-year-old colt rode off into the sunset, so to speak, after earning more than $8 million in his racing career. “We owe American Pharoah everything,” said Ahmed Zayat. “He is a once-in-a-lifetime horse…He runs with his heart and he is brilliantly fast.”

14) Port Ambrose Sunk
Two years after Liberty Natural Gas, a company backed by a Canadian hedge fund, proposed building a liquid natural gas (LNG) port about 20 miles off the southern coast of Long Island—whipping environmentalists into a frenzy of opposition—Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last month he would exercise his veto power to kill the plan. Aside from the threat of a spill, critics were concerned that the estimated 45 LNG supertanker deliveries annually would be a target for terrorists, encroach on an area eyed for an offshore wind farm and would negatively impact the fishing industry. Alas, the Democratic governor followed the lead of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who had vetoed an earlier LNG port that the same company proposed closer to the Jersey Shore years earlier.

13) Drones Gone Wild
Call 2015 the Year of the Drone. Six reports of drones last year on LI quintupled to 34 for the first eight months of ‘15, bringing to at least 40 the number of increasingly popular radio-controlled unmanned aircraft reported by pilots, air traffic controllers and citizens on LI in the past two years. The local increase in drone sighting reports suggests that LI is outpacing the estimated nearly threefold national increase in sightings of drones and other such devices reported to the Federal Aviation Administration since last year. Although none of the drone sightings over LI indicate a close call with a plane, 16 were well above the 400-foot ceiling set by the FAA and four were within a five-mile radius of an airport, which is also a violation of federal rules. Suffolk and Huntington town lawmakers passed drone regulations this year, Nassau lawmakers are discussing a similar proposal, as are officials in the Town of Hempstead, plus the Village of Saltaire on Fire Island.

12) Common Core Uproar
The first “conscientious objector” on Long Island, Comsewogue teacher Beth Dimino, inspired a movement known across the land as #diminoeffect by refusing, with the support of her superintendent Dr. Joe Rella, to administer the mandated controversial Common Core exams this April. She called the tests “child abuse,” a claim she made to riotous applause at Ward Melville High School more than two years ago when New York State Education Commissioner John King (now the newly appointed Secretary of Education) was on stage. By refusing to proctor the tests, Dimino stood with the 20,000 children across Long Island who refused to sit for the exams. The LI-led “Opt-Out” movement has become an inarguably oppositional force to be reckoned with across the state, culminating with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (second) Common Core task force and state-wide concessions for a four-year moratorium to revise Common Core State Standards.

11) Cutchogue Fatal Limo Crash
The Long Island tragedy of the summer came July 18, when a Peconic man allegedly drove drunk and crashed his pickup truck into a limousine, killing four women and injuring six others who were touring the North Fork wine country celebrating a birthday. The fatal crash on Route 48 in Cutchogue came six days after an allegedly drunk driver crashed into a car on the Southern State Parkway in Bay Shore, killing a man and his two children. In the Cutchogue case, Steven Romeo, crashed into a limo that was making a U-turn, killing Brittany Schulman and Lauren Baruch, both of Smithtown; Stephanie Belli, of Kings Park; and Amy Grabina, of Commack. All were 23 except Baruch, who was 24. Prosecutors said Romeo, 55, told police that he drank several beers before the crash. He was charged with driving while intoxicated.

10) LI’s Lynch Confirmed as AG
Loretta Lynch, the former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, which prosecutes federal crimes on Long Island, was confirmed at U.S. Attorney General in April, five months after President Obama nominated her for the position. Lynch became the first black woman in US history to hold the title as the nation’s chief prosecutor. As has become the norm in Washington, DC of late, Lynch’s Congressional confirmation was often contentious as Republicans bristled at her support for Obama’s executive action on immigration. But Lynch’s resume was hardly in dispute. During her career she had overseen high-profile cases involving terrorists, corrupt politicians and gangsters. She replaced Eric Holder, who resigned in late 2014.

9) NYPD Officer Brian Moore of LI Killed
Tens of thousands came to St. James Church in Seaford to pay their respects at the funeral held for NYPD Officer Brian Moore, who had died in the line of duty in Queens. On May 2, the 25-year-old cop, who worked at the 105th Precinct in Queens Village, was shot in the face by an ex-con wielding a .38-caliber handgun stolen from Georgia in 2011. At the funeral, New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton posthumously promoted Moore to the rank of detective first grade. Coming from a family of police officers—his dad and his uncle are both retired NYPD sergeants—the young officer was still living at his father’s house in North Massapequa. Moore, who had made more than 150 arrests since joining the force five years ago, was patrolling in an unmarked police car with his plainclothes partner around 6:15 p.m. on a Saturday evening when they spotted a man suspiciously “adjusting an object in his waistband” and decided to question him. Their suspect turned out to be Demetrius Blackwell, 35, who allegedly whipped out his gun without warning, fired at them and fled.

8) Casino Wars
After the Nassau Regional Off-track Betting (OTB) Corp. nixed plans to build a video lottery terminal parlor—aka, a mini-casino—in Westbury last January in the face of intense public opposition, the Nassau OTB was slow to declare another location, but just this week it announced that Belmont Park racetrack in Elmont is Plan B. Another round of vocal grassroots opposition is sure to follow, but whether that community will be as successful as Westbury remains to be seen. Meanwhile in Suffolk, Medford residents continue to fight against a similar proposal by the Suffolk OTB to build an estimated $40-million, nearly 100,000-square-foot parlor on a vacant lot near the Long Island Expressway. Place your bets on whether either project can overcome LI’s odds-on favorite: NIMBYism.

7) Oyster Bay Scandals
First, Frederick Ippolito, the commissioner of planning and development for the Town of Oyster Bay, was arrested in March on six counts of tax evasion for allegedly failing to report more than $2 million in consulting fees over a six-year span. Six months later, Harendra Singh, a Syosset-based restaurateur, was arrested for allegedly bribing a Town of Oyster Bay official, inflating the amount of Sandy recovery aid one of his properties qualified for and perpetrating tax fraud, among other charges. Meanwhile, Newsday reported that federal investigations may lead to additional legal action regarding the town and related players. It was almost enough for longtime Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto to lose his bid for a 10th term in November, but the veteran Republican clung to his job with less than 100 votes in a race against a little-known Democratic challenger.

6) Madeline Singas Takes Over as Nassau DA
The career prosecutor cruised to victory over her better-known Republican challenger, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, in the race for Nassau County District Attorney in November. Singas, who had been serving as acting DA since her former boss, Kathleen Rice, went to Congress in January, was considered the underdog. But Singas managed to convince enough voters that her resume was superior to Murray’s, who had spent the last decade running Hempstead. Singas touted her prosecutorial experience on the stump and painted her competitor as unfit to oversee such an important office. Murray’s defeat was shocking to some political observers who thought the Republican machine that dominates Nassau politics would prevail against a novice campaigner. Come the New Year, Murray is out of elected office and Democrats get to keep the district attorney’s office—the only major political office Democrats currently hold in Nassau. But don’t cry for Kate, Nassau. The board of trustees at Nassau Community College have appointed Murray to handle “governmental affairs” as acting general counsel, which pays $150,000 a year.

5) Suffolk Conservative Party Chair Ed Walsh Charged
Ed Walsh, the powerful Suffolk County Conservative Party leader and Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department lieutenant, found himself facing the wrong side of a jail in March when he was indicted on federal charges of theft of government funds and wire fraud. He has pleaded not guilty. This case began when an FBI investigation looked into Walsh’s time sheets from 2011 to 2014 and claimed to have found that Walsh had been paid $80,000 for working while he was actually out golfing, gambling and doing party business instead. His lawyers say he’s always had a flexible schedule. As one of his attorneys reportedly said: “It’s not like he was a clerk at King Kullen.” His trial is set to begin March 15, 2016, just after the pension for his $121,000-a-year job will fully vest because he will have been on the county payroll for 25 years in February. It’s no secret that Sheriff Vincent DeMarco, a Conservative Party member, does not hold his own party leader in the highest regard: he’d suspended the lieutenant and tried to fire him too. But Walsh, 49, remains a formidable figure, still heading the largest Conservative county organization in the Empire State.

4) Altice Announces Purchase of Cablevision, Newsday
Qu’est-ce que c’est?! A French telecommunications giant made a $10 billion deal to buy Cablevision in September and suddenly Newsday employees are running around Melville practicing their high school French in anticipation of having new owners in 2016 who care nothing about the Knicks. Zut alors! Altice said it would offer the Dolans’ company $34.90 a share but the stock has done nothing but drop below the asking price as concerns have increased. Recently New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he might put the kibosh on the deal if he decides that it isn’t in the public interest. Altice is notorious for imposing drastic cost cuts after it acquires something new. It’s said it wants to find $900 million in savings and “synergies” here, which could involve curtailing customer service and slowing down upgrades in the future for Cablevision’s current 3.1 million subscribers. Plus there’s the prospect of draconian job losses, which doesn’t sit well with the Communications Workers of America, the union representing 300 Cablevision employees, let alone the hapless workers at Long Island’s paper of record. The city may not have a say in this deal but the state’s regulatory body, the Public Service Commission, certainly will. Whether Newsday is about to run its last word is another story.

3) Ex-SCPD Chief James Burke Arrested
Burke, who served as chief of the Suffolk County Police Department until his retirement in October, was indicted in December for covering up a retaliatory assault on a suspect who stole a duffel bag from inside his department-issued SUV. A federal district court judge held Burke without bail, calling “the corruption of an entire department by this defendant shocking.” The charges against Burke stem from the December 2012 arrest of Christopher Loeb, then 27, who was suspected of breaking into vehicles, including Burke’s. Burke went to Loeb’s house in St. James during his arrest and retrieved his duffel bag, which contained his gun belt, ammunition, a box of cigars and a number of other items, including sex toys and pornography, authorities said. Federal prosecutors allege that it was the porn that served as Burke’s motivation for beating Loeb inside Suffolk police’s Fourth Precinct. Burke has pleaded not guilty.

2) Isles Leave With Billy’s Encore
The Islanders could not seal their end of their deal and give hockey fans a dream postseason matchup against the Rangers, but they did give Long Islanders plenty to root for. And what a magical curtain call it was. In the final year of playing at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the Isles finished fourth in the Eastern Conference and had arena faithful partying like it was 1984. But the Cinderella story was not meant to be, with the Isles losing in Game 7 to the Washington Capitals. They now play in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and are in danger of skating to the bottom of the barrel in average home attendance. Despite the Isles’ loss in April, The Old Barn roared one final time when Billy Joel closed out the arena during a sold-out show in August. The Coliseum is currently going through a $261-million renovation, which developers hope to complete next year.

1) Ex-Sen. Dean Skelos Corruption Conviction
Former New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) was simultaneously the highest-ranking Republican in the state, one of the three most influential lawmakers statewide and arguably the most powerful politician on Long Island. That is, until he resigned his leadership post when he and his son, Adam, were arrested on federal corruption charges in May. The senator was expelled from office after his conviction earlier this month. Prosecutors convinced a Manhattan jury that the disgraced senator used his power to extort $300,000 in payments to his son for work Adam either didn’t do or was unqualified for over a four-year span. While potential candidates line up for the special election to fill the seat that Skelos held for three decades, defense attorneys for the father and son prepare to mount their appeal. And political observers are placing their bets on which lawmaker from LI the feds arrest next. As U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has said: “Stay tuned!”

-Compiled by Timothy Bolger, Jaime Franchi, Rashed Mian and Spencer Rumsey

Op-Ed: Donald Trump Is Our ‘Monster From The Id’

Donald Trump
(Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

By Arnold Dodge

“The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.” –Aldous Huxley

The 1956 classic sci-fi movie Forbidden Planet is considered by many the progenitor for all science fiction movies to follow. Nominated for an Oscar for best special effects, it is replete with spaceships, ray guns and a robot named Robby. Among many firsts for the genre, the thriller dabbled in psychology.

The Krell, an advanced civilization—centuries ahead of humans technologically and intellectually, the first inhabitants of a distant planet called Altair IV—perished 2,000 centuries ago but not before leaving a bizarre and destructive legacy. With all their brilliance, the Krell forgot to include one element in their master plan: “monsters from the id.” In the movie, the primitive, hidden and unstoppable power of the id visits destruction and death upon the characters. Only when the force of the id—a creation of the mind of the madman who controls the planet—is vanquished, does the terror subside.

For more about the id—and its companion elements of the psyche—we consult Dr. Sigmund Freud.  In brief, the id is not affected by reality, logic or the everyday world. It operates on the idea that every wishful impulse should be satisfied immediately, regardless of the consequences. The id engages in primary process thinking, which is primitive, illogical, irrational and fantasy-oriented. The ego, on the other hand, develops in order to mediate between the unrealistic id and the external real world. The ego works by reason, whereas the id is chaotic and totally unreasonable. The superego controls the id’s impulses, especially aggressive behaviors.  It also has the function of persuading the ego to pursue moralistic goals.

What does this have to do with Donald Trump?

Donald Trump is a fabrication invented by a portion of the public nostalgic for the “real America ” who crave a vision of the world which is simple, aggressive and hostile to those who are different. In short, the id unleashed.

To roar and chant and lionize their hero—and offer unwavering support in the polls—those who  feverishly hope, as Trump’s baseball cap proclaims, to “Make America Great Again” are irrational, illogical and fantasy-oriented, yet they are millions strong and growing. The driver for the movement is not affected by reality; the id will metabolize any idea that fuels its existence. How else to explain Trump’s drumbeat of obvious lies and distortions being swallowed whole by his minions?

Among many frightening aspects of the juggernaut is the parallel to George Orwell’s prediction that lies will become truths in the dystopian world of tomorrow. In Trump’s world, the crazier the lies, the more popular they become. And, acting on behalf of the “thought police” (another Orwell gem), Trump combs the media for calling him out and doubles down on the lie.

H.L. Mencken, one of the most influential American journalists, once observed: “There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible and wrong.” Nonetheless, the easier the solution offered by Trump to complex issues, the more excited the crowds. He quickly follows his remarks with the mantra: “I refuse to be politically correct.” What better way to grant a wishful impulse—regardless of the consequences—than with a short burst of fire-breathing one-liners?

The fever that consumes Trump supporters mystifies. How can seemingly intelligent people (although many may quarrel with that characterization) embrace his demeaning views of immigrants, women and blacks? How can they support his views on foreign policy, which include face-to-face confrontations with world leaders until they break down and cry under his imperious glare?

To insist that there should be a database to track American Muslims and to defend the take-down of those protesters who voice their displeasure with him at events is beyond the pale. Yes, beyond the pale even for Trump. To accept and support these views means that a large portion of the electorate is willing to destroy their constitutional rights in order to satisfy their lust for a champion.

But here’s an interesting twist on the “id” thesis. It is not Donald Trump that is the problem—for those of us who believe there is a problem. Instead, it is the vitriol spewing from the Trump acolytes that make the mission possible. Like the lightning bolts that sparked Dr. Frankenstein’s creation to life, the Trump followers have produced the heat that has created their leader.

It’s alive!

Latent paranoia and resentment have been building for years in certain precincts of American society. These people have watched their country “taken over” by minorities, gays, immigrants and women, and they have been longing for a hero. Their anger is boiling over. Their id-like impulses thirst for attention.

Finally they have found someone who understands. Trump, the perfect avatar, has been selected as the messenger. Raw, vicious, bloodthirsty and threatening, the monster has its marching orders.

Trump is a circus act. His buffoonery is obvious to any literate child over the age of 10. That’s why it is all the more distressing to see millions of adults whipped into a frenzy. Are they somehow hypnotized, forgetting their values, their lie detectors silenced, their common sense annulled?

Or is it something else?

Maybe they are writhing in pleasure as they release the constraints of public politesse. Maybe they have become disenchanted with the rational ego, mistrustful of the moralistic super-ego. It’s time for super-ID. A release of the pent-up anger, a catharsis for the disgust, a fantasy of primitive urges satisfied. And the liberation is legitimized—perhaps sanctified—when your spokesperson is a candidate for the presidency.

But what about the rest of us? Do we believe this is harmless bluster soon to go away? Are we bemused because we see this as a sideshow? Or are we too timid to push back, fearing that we will be the target of a menacing response?

Is it time to summon the best parts of our own psyche—dormant throughout the verbal violence of the Trump campaign—to challenge the unapologetic aggression visited upon our fellow citizens?

Before we answer, we may want to remember a time, not too long ago, chillingly described by Ursula Hegi in her 1994 novel, Stones from the River:

“Many thought that all this talk about Rassenreinheit—purity of the race—was ludicrous and impossible to enforce. Yet the long training in obedience to elders, government and church made it difficult—even for those who considered the views of the Nazis dishonorable—to give voice to their misgivings. And so they kept hushed, yielding to each new indignity while they waited for the Nazis and their ideas to go away, but with every compliance they relinquished more of themselves, weakening the texture of the community while the power of the Nazis swelled.”

So, will we become a forbidden planet? A place where primitive impulses destroy innocents? A place where the loud, the profane, the illogical rule? A world where lies are king and truth the enemy of the state?

While we have been paying attention to scientific and technological advances, have we forgotten that the id, left unchecked, will take up residence in a demon hell bent on annihilation?

It’s too late for the Krell. Their civilization was destroyed. If we act fast, we may be able to save our own.

Arnold Dodge, PhD, is an associate professor of education at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University, where he serves as the Chairperson of the Department of Educational Leadership and Administration. Dr. Dodge is a former teacher, principal and superintendent. In his forty-fifth year in education, Dr. Dodge’s particular interest focuses on the effects of high-stakes testing on schools.

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events December 24 – 30

The Roots Paramount
Acclaimed hip-hop/neo-soul band The Roots groove The Paramount on Dec. 26!

Acclaimed hip-hop/neo-soul band The Roots groove The Paramount on Dec. 26!

School’s Out! Holiday Camp
These full-day programs during school vacations get kids involved in hands-on science experiments and explorations with opportunities to explore 17 acres of natural wonders, see live animals, conduct experiments, and take part in science shows and demonstrations conducted by a staff of professional science teachers. Center for Science Teaching and Learning, 1450 Tanglewood Rd., Rockville Centre. cstl.org $55-$65 per day. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. December 24-31.

Holiday Ho-Ho-Ho Hike
Over the river and through the woods, a-hiking we will go! This 10-mile trek on Christmas day is just what the doctor ordered to burn off all that holiday fruitcake, eggnog and corruption cake! Take in the best nature sights Long Island has to offer as you traipse through wetlands and meadows, and yes, these trails actually do go over rivers and through the woods. Blydenburgh County Park, Smithtown. ligreenbelt.org Free. 10 a.m. December 25.

Evening Lighthouse Tower Tour
Is there anything more picturesque than a glorious moonrise over the lapping ocean waves viewed from atop the majestic Fire Island Lighthouse? No, there isn’t. See the last full moon of 2015 and all the wintertime constellations from a new perspective. Don’t forget your list of wishes–you want to be ready when those shooting stars streak by! Come early for a tour of the lighthouse, and bring your flashlight for the walk back to the parking lot.
Fire Island Lighthouse, Robert Moses Causeway, Bay Shore. nps.gov/fiis $15-$20. Sunset is at 4:31 p.m. December 26.

Patent Pending
Hometown pop-punk heroes are making the long drive from their native Mt. Sinai to Amityville for their latest show to remind all the emo kids to cheer up and smile. Warming up the crowd are This Good Robot, The Cavalry Is Us, Older Than Oceans, The End Period and Mint State. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. clubloaded.com/events $15. 6 p.m. December 26

Christmas Day Skate Party
Start this night off with laser-light skating before the DJ takes over at 9:30 p.m. to pump up your favorite jams for dancing-while-you-skate. Games, contests, prizes and more, this beats going to the movies on Christmas night. Hopefully you asked Santa to bring you new skates for Christmas! Man, that Skate-O-Saurus can move! United Skates, 1276 Hicksville Rd., Seaford. unitedskates.com $11 plus $5 rental fee. 6:30 p.m. December 25.

The Roots
These hip-hop neo-soul juggernauts from Philadelphia have been wowing fans and critics across the country with their irresistible style and infectious grooves. Many know the acclaimed group as Jimmy Fallon’s house band on Late Night and The Tonight Show, and expect them to severely rock The Mountler on this special night! Not to be missed. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $65-$110. 8 p.m. December 26.

The Gospel According to Jazz
Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum continues his annual “A Gospel According To Jazz Christmas” tour, bringing excellent holiday entertainment to all. This year’s celebration will feature Gerald Albright, Norman Brown and female vocalist Sheléa. Madison Theatre at Molloy College, 1000 Hempstead Ave., Rockville Centre. madisontheatreny.org $45-$75. 7 and 9:30 p.m. December 26.

Joe Devito
A veteran of more than 100 TV and talk show appearances, this comic’s dead-on timing, unexpected twists and sheer flights of lunacy make him a favorite at the top comedy clubs in New York City and across the USA. His performance at the prestigious Just for Laughs Festival was rated “9.5 out of 10” by The Montreal Gazette. Governor’s Comedy Club, 90 Division Ave., Levittown. govs.govs.com $17. 7 and 9:30 p.m. December 26.

Diary of a Deadbeat: The Story of Jim Vanbebber
Director Victor Bonacore will be presenting his latest film on the inaugural night of this new film series, Cult Cafe! The documentary follows his life from his early super-8mm films to his strange days in Hollywood. It features interviews with an eclectic group of artists, such as Phil Anselmo (Pantera), Richard Kern (Trangressive film director), Nivek Ogre (Skinny Puppy), R.A the Rugged Man, Heidi Honeycutt, Stephen Biro, Damon Packard, Jessie Sietz and many more. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave. Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $7 public, $5 members. 10 p.m. December 26

Thomas Gold
Touring in support of his latest drop, Thomas Gold vs Lush & Simon – Morphine, expect ultra-lush synths, uber-heavy bass, and a soundscape that simply washes over each and every audience member with mega-waves of all-cleansing, all-healing, melodic fury. Yes! The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $25-$35. 10 p.m. December 26.

Mrs. Claus Saves the Day!
Ever wonder what Mrs. Claus was up to on that foggy Christmas Eve when Rudolph became famous? This play tells the classic story from Mrs. Claus’ point of view. This heart-warming show will delight audiences of all ages. Bayway Arts Center, 265 E. Main St., East Islip. broadhollow.org $11. 2 p.m. December 26, 12 p.m. December 27.

Joe Roberts Trio
Sunday afternoons were made for smooth jazz tunes and sipping on Chardonnay. Or Cabernet. Or Pinot Noir. There’s plenty of choices at this award-winning North Fork winery and vineyard, so come chill out with Joe Roberts on piano, Dave Ice on bass and Rob Lamonica on drums. You won’t regret it! Martha Clara Vineyards, 6025 Sound Ave., Riverhead. marthaclaravineyards.com 1 p.m. December 27.

Kung Fu
This concert, billed as the “Save Montauk” event, aims to raise awareness of opposition to a federal beach project underway at the tip of the South Fork, and is a fundraiser for the eastern Long Island chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group. Aside from the nu-funk band headlining the show, opening acts include The Montauk Project and Soundswell. 89 North Music Venue, 89 North Ocean Ave., Patchogue. 89northmusic.com $17.50-$35. 7 p.m. December 30.

O.A.R.
The Maryland-based indie rockers headlining this show will play all their hits, undoubtedly including “This Town” and “Shattered (Turn the Car Around).” The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $29.50-$89.50. 8 p.m. December 27.

A Little Bit of Folk: From Activism to Lyricism
Join host film archivist Bill Shelley for a celebration of the incredible musicians and the powerful social messages that made folk music an inspiring vehicle for change. This program will concentrate on much-loved musicians and the social causes that informed their music. As 2015 comes to a close, let us always remember that the power of music can change this world for the better, a good reason to celebrate this uplifting genre. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10-$15. 7:30 p.m. December 29.

Candlebox
The Seattle-based hard rock band known for their hits “You” and “Far Behind” will play an acoustic performance. Opening the show will be The Infinite Staircase, Midnight Mob, Sharks In The Shallows and Year Of The Locust. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. clubloaded.com/events $15. 7 p.m. December 30.

Harlem Globetrotters
Those amazing, bedazzling b-ball-handlers extraordinaire, the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters, will hold court in New York during the holiday season, when Knicks fans could well use an extra bounce in their step. These legendary athletes and consummate entertainers have spread their skills and comedic timing around the world, delighting everyone from popes to presidents to paupers to people who don’t have a clue what a three-pointer is. The team will be sure to bring their A-game. But will the Washington Generals finally pull off an upset? Come on! No matter who wins, it’s a slam dunk everybody will have fun. Mack Sports & Exhibition Complex, Hofstra University, Hempstead. hofstra.edu $21-$104. 2 and 7 p.m. December 30.

–Compiled by Desiree D’orio, Timothy Bolger & Zachary B. Tirana III

6 Things About Homeland’s Finale That Went Horribly Wrong

Carrie convinces Qasim to intervene in an impending terror attack in Berlin. (Photo credit: Homeland)

On behalf of our respected readership, we three Long Island Press perpetrators—Jaime Franchi, Rashed Mian and Spencer Rumsey—would like to issue a public apology. When we collaborated to write our Squawkler about Homeland, we anticipated a thrilling–or at least coherent–season finale.

Obviously, we were going on bad intel.

The finale of Homeland fizzled out in a disappointing series of disjointed scenes attempting to reconcile the earlier plot points. Everything wrapped up, but rather than in a neat bow, we were presented with a horrid mess of hackfleisch. Very humbling to our hubris.

Let’s dig in, shall we?

1. Otto During: The president of the During Foundation, and Carrie Mathison’s former boss, Otto proposes. A business relationship? Marriage? We can’t be sure. It was totally creepy and utterly out-of-nowhere, especially since a few episodes back, Otto had confided to Jonas, Carrie’s German lover, that due to her instability, he didn’t even want her working for the foundation any longer. Now it looks like he’s offering her the keys to the castle.

2. The subway scene: After the buildup that was—we don’t know, almost the entire season?—the scene where Carrie foils the plot of evil terrorists to poison the Berlin subway station with sarin gas is resolved within the first three minutes of the last episode in such an unexciting, ho-hum fashion that Carrie has literally 2 seconds to convince the skittish Qasim to confront and shoot his own cousin while she sneaks upon them and opens fire. The bad guys die. She saves the day. The show goes on. For another 40-odd minutes.

3. Carrie returns to her apartment, takes a nap, and awakens to have sex with Jonas, the boyfriend who’d broken up with her earlier in the season when the shit started getting real, terrorist/CIA-wise. So that looked like a sweet righting of wrongs, a coming back home. Until we realized that Jonas still wanted to break up, suspects she was the mysterious blonde who singlehandedly saved Berlin, and so wants nothing more to do with her—a conversation that might have been better to have pre-sex, we think. At least, she gets a foundation sweatshirt as a parting gift. What the actual fuck, Homeland-writers?

4. Seeing the light: Carrie learns that Quinn is in emergency surgery due to a severe brain hemorrhage. Things look bleak. So she heads to the chapel where she is bathed in a supernatural white light that we guess was God? We don’t know. After we hear Quinn’s voice-over about how he doesn’t believe in horoscopes and fate, etc., which Saul interrupts (a great bit), the “Highway to Heaven” illumination appears again, just as Carrie bends over to snuff him out. Which would have been fine if the show hadn’t been so clear-eyed and reality-based up until now. We didn’t watch her beloved Brody go into the light. We saw his body jerking as his neck snapped and his airways closed as he was hung in an Iranian town square, both Carrie and Saul powerless to help. So why do this now?

5. Is it because: Carrie is “not that person anymore” as she tells her ex-CIA boss, Saul Berenson? Not the person who just saved mankind (or at least Berlin)? Not the only one (yet again) with the instincts and the talent to uncover insidiously evil plots that go unnoticed by the entire intelligence community? Not the one haunted by 9/11 and compelled to never let an attack of that scope and scale happen against her people ever again? Now that Jonas is officially gone and with him her sense and obligation to lead a normal life, why wouldn’t she take her rightful place at the throne of the CIA and just fix the world now?

6. Because of Frannie? WHEN IS CARRIE GOING TO CALL HER DAUGHTER AND TELL HER THAT SHE ISN’T DEAD AFTER ALL?

As season finales go, it was lame, padded and, worst of all, exhausted. What were we thinking? We figured this show had managed to capture the zeitgeist of all the western cultural anxiety about terrorism and repackage it into a provocative, profound program that would have something more to say! But these writers seemed like they couldn’t get it over with fast enough. Maybe the producers were being water-boarded by HBO at an undisclosed location. Showtime let us down big time. No adrenaline rush. No edge-of-your-seat suspense. And now, no Quinn—unless he pulls a Jon Snow from Game of Thrones and returns from the white beyond. Alas, that’s a different network. Can Homeland redeem itself in season 6? We’re hoping for much better intel.

(Photo: Carrie convinces Qasim to attempt to disrupt an impending terror attack in Berlin. Credit: Homeland/Facebook)

Roosevelt Field Mall Robbery, Shooting Probed

Roosevelt Field Mall Shooting
Nassau County police tactical and canine units patrol Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City after an unidentified man fired several shots during an altercation with a security guard at Torneau luxury watches on Dec. 22, 2015. [Rashed Mian/Long Island Press]

By Rashed Mian, Timothy Bolger & Christopher Twarowski

Nassau County police are investigating an armed robbery and shooting that occurred at Roosevelt Field Mall in East Garden City on Tuesday afternoon that sent hundreds of holiday shoppers running in fear for their lives.

At about 12:55 p.m. police received a call for shots fired in front of Tourneau, a luxury watch dealer. Oliver Lee, 21, of Queens, had entered and proceeded to the Rolex section, police said, where he scuffled with a member of store security, police said. Lee was charged with robbery, assault and criminal use of a firearm.

“He was struggling with the store security,” Nassau Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter told reporters during a press conference at the mall Tuesday afternoon.

His gun went off during the confrontation, police said, and a 67-year-old mall employee was shot in the shoulder. He is in serious but stable condition at a local hospital.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent mall employee,” said Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano at the press conference.

The shooting triggered hysteria among hundreds of holiday shoppers, eyewitnesses tell the Press, with many fleeing the scene and some taking refuge in nearby stores and shops.

Mark Smith, a 47-year-old from Roslyn, had been shopping in Bose electronics when he “heard a pop” and saw about 500 people running by.

Instead of sprinting for the nearest exit, he headed to the back of the store, where Bose employees brought him and several other patrons to its back office, locking both that door and the store’s main entrance.

Smith says those holed up alongside him remained quiet, with many texting their loved ones before service was interrupted. That’s when store employees then let them use office phones to make outbound calls.

“I just ran,” says Macy’s employee Ava Doshi, who describes the ensuing scene as a stampede. “People were just running. It was chaos.”

Roosevelt Field Mall Shooting
Nassau County police vehicles line an entrance to Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City after an unidentified man fired several shots during an altercation with a security guard at Torneau luxury watches on Dec. 22, 2015. [Rashed Mian/Long Island Press]
Oskan Gunes, who was working at the Talk N’ Fix kiosk near Starbucks on the main floor, says he heard three shots and witnessed “hundreds” of terrified shoppers racing toward JC Penny before turning right back around back toward the direction of Macy’s.

“People started running so fast–they actually started running toward the action!” the 19-year-old from Babylon says.

There was a heavy police presence and eerie silence throughout the mall following the shooting, with officers in tactical gear and police dogs patrolling its floors and many businesses closed. By 3 p.m., many had reopened though large drapes were positioned in front of both walkways leading to Macy’s, blocking access.

Never at any time was there an active shooter situation, authorities said, although Nassau police did respond as if there had been. Krumpter said police maintain a continued presence in the mall throughout the holiday shopping season. The police department has in the past also conducted drills with mall security in preparation of an active shooter situation, he added.

Outside, the Stewart Avenue and Zeckendorf Boulevard entrances to the mall were closed while investigators were on the scene, but also reopened.

A similar scene unfolded two years ago on Christmas Eve at the mall when shoppers fled en masse believing they’d heard shots fired. In that incident, a shoplifter resisting arrest had knocked over a display case, creating a loud crash mistaken as gunfire.

The Season 5 Finale of ‘Homeland’ Is a Big Freaking Deal

By Jaime Franchi, Rashed Mian and Spencer Rumsey

Here’s the deal, season 5 of Homeland, one of the best, most important shows on television today, is rapidly heading to its thrilling finale this Sunday, December 19. We think it’s worth talking about, and this is what we have to say.

The Heroes—and the Villain—Are Women in this Season’s Homeland

This season of Homeland—its unequivocal, unquestionable, inarguable best—saw the women rise yet again as beacons of strength in an unsteady, chaotic and increasingly terrifying world.

Season 5 condemned badass assassin Peter Quinn to damsel-in-distress status, with head CIA honchos Saul Berenson and Dar Adal outplayed and outwitted with every heart-pounding, hair-pulling, throat-constricting twist and turn.

These twists were facilitated by the brilliant (and brilliantly evil) double-agent Berlin station chief Allison Carr, superbly played by actress Miranda Otto, and counter-balanced by the heroically-savvy Carrie Mathison, performed with wobbly-chinned perfection by Clare Danes. Returning to season 5 is Astrid (Nina Hoss), Carrie’s German counterpart, both in the intelligence community and as a former and sometime lover of Peter Quinn. The only female weak link is Laura Sutton (Sarah Sokolovic), a thinly-veiled nod to Emmy-award winning documentarian Laura Poitras, of Edward Snowden NSA-document leaking fame. Laura’s lack of appeal could possibly be traced to the annoying actress portraying her or the fact that in real life Laura Poitras is such a rock star that a petulant, self-righteous portrait just rings false.

Season 5 arrived two years after the end of the season 4’s action and in a brand new locale: Berlin. Here we find Carrie enveloped in domestic bliss: a bicycle-riding, healthy, loving mom, engaged in a functional relationship with yet another red-headed gent. It’s the perfect contrast to the horror of last season, when terrorists infiltrated the US embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, slaughtering several people (including the heartbreaking Fara) and leaving Carrie and Saul’s relationship in seemingly irreparable tatters.

As fans of Homeland know, however, Carrie’s peaceful life couldn’t be long for this world. And, of course, it wasn’t.

By the end of the first episode, Carrie was summarily sucked back into the life she’d been trying to leave behind, plunged into the darkest depths of the CIA underbelly where evil and betrayal lie in wait in the form of yet another red-headed agent.

Season 5 takes its sweet time in revealing the vastness of Alison’s self-serving, ugly, survivalist soul.

She manifests it first in a cleverly placed assignment: a hit on Carrie by Agent Quinn.  Then, as the series races to its finale, we see the true dimensions of her evil when Allison is willing to let thousands of civilians get locked in a Berlin subway station at rush hour, and she does nothing to prevent the release of sarin gas and their imminent tortured deaths, something Quinn describes in chilling detail in episode 9, “The Litvinov Ruse.”

“Sarin is a fucked up way to die,” he tells a hesitant terrorist. “It attacks the respiratory center of the nervous system, paralyses the muscles around the lungs. You convulse, you vomit, your bladder and your bowels evacuate.”

Late in the season, viewers watch (full disclosure: I did not watch; I hid under a blanket until it was over) these exact symptoms take over Quinn’s body as he is subjected to sarin. He is saved, kinda, by the administration of an antidote by a sympathetic terrorist whose cousin is the ring-leader behind the upcoming attack. Acting like knights in shining armor Carrie and Astrid rescue him while he’s still barely alive and take him to a hospital where he clings to life in a coma.

It is only Carrie and Astrid who can see through the dark dealings of Allison, a double agent working for the Russians, motivated by a love of money, men and the best daiquiris on the planet. It is Carrie who connects the two attempts on her life to the Russians and the leaked CIA documents to Allison. She unwinds Allison’s intricate plot, and her sleuthing traces the planned sarin attack to its rightful place, the subway, not the airport as Alison had led her male bosses to believe. Saul Berenson and Dar Adal, on the other hand, spend the season three steps behind her, captivated by Allison’s duplicitous subservience and deceived by her quick-witted manipulation and on-her-feet thinking. Every time we think Allison is about to be caught red-handed and exposed, she slips through Dar and Saul’s thick, inept fingers.

This Sunday’s finale will find Carrie single-handedly confronting the terrorist mastermind in a dark subway tunnel—the last vestige of hope for the Germans (and the CIA). Allison has made a hasty exit, squirreling away from Saul yet again, leaving him to realize what Carrie had already concluded. How the plot wraps up will undoubtedly be a satisfying end to an exciting season. I would love to see Allison subjected to a lengthy stint in a federal pen, all privileges-like her diplomatic-parking pass-revoked, instead of a martyr-making shootout. For added fun, how about a drinking game: Drink a beer every time Carrie busts out her wobbly frowny face.

-Jaime Franchi

Russian double agent Allison Carr has been played brilliantly by actress Miranda Otto. (Photo credit: Homeland)
Russian double agent Allison Carr has been played brilliantly by actress Miranda Otto. (Photo credit: Homeland)

Behind the Eerie Coincidences of ‘Homeland’ and Real News

Part of Homeland’s appeal this season—its strong female characters and deft storytelling notwithstanding—is how it has essentially followed real-life news events with chilling accuracy. From an attack in a major European city, wannabe terror goons contemplating traveling to Syria, and the debate within government agencies struggling to deal with ISIS, the show’s creators have essentially predicted world events as they’re happening—and it’s actually pretty fucking eerie.

Just weeks after the horrific attacks in Paris, the fifth season began following a group of ISIS posers plotting to release a deadly nerve agent in Berlin—and authorities there were none the wiser until our beloved foam-mouthed Quinn was used as a lab rat to warn fear-stricken German citizens that, unless the United Nations recognized the Islamic State as a legitimate state, it’d unleash hell on Earth.

Speaking of Quinn, he was the man CIA officials called in to debrief them inside a dimly-lit room at Langley (we assume) at the outset of the season and was greeted by dumb-struck questioners who, despite their vast resources, were incapable of implementing their own anti-ISIS strategy. We don’t know if the showrunners’ were making a political point—Republicans have criticized President Obama for not doing enough to take out ISIS—but Quinn, as usual, answered their sophomoric queries with brutal honesty. Either send troops and an equal amount of elementary school educators to Syria, he advised, or bomb Raqqa—ISIS’ home base inside Syria—“into a parking lot.” In Quinn’s eyes, there’s no middle ground. You either win over hearts and minds by giving people—young people in particular—hope for the future with legitimate educational resources while simultaneously picking ISIS apart on the battle field, or you bomb the hell out of Raqqa until nothing’s left—civilian casualties be damned.

Let’s come back to real life for a second. Quinn’s suggestions are very telling because he’s giving American viewers a glimpse into how own government is confronting ISIS. There are many who believe that the real battle being fought is the one over ideology. ISIS has taken advantage of social media to expand its reach and has been adept at recruiting followers from Western nations by convincing them that the West is at war with Islam. So when presidential candidates like Donald Trump spout anti-Islam rhetoric and persecute an entire religion, experts argue, that prejudice plays right into ISIS’ hands. Once ISIS has sympathizers in its grasp, it convinces them that a prophesized apocalyptic battle inside Syria is upon us, pitting Muslims against the West.

It’s obvious that Homeland’s showrunners have done their homework.

In last Sunday’s episode, Carrie confronts a member of Hezbollah living in Germany so she can gleam information out of him about the terror cell threatening Germany.

“You’re soldiers involved in a political struggle,” Carrie tells the man, who doesn’t trust her. “These are zealots prophesying…a countdown to the apocalypse.”

“Like I said,” the man responds, “idiots, scum.”

For those who have covered ISIS’s meteoric rise, this obsession with the apocalypse is nothing new. But for many viewers whose only image of ISIS is of masked men beheading and immolating apostates, this apparent infatuation with a world-ending battle for the ages may come as a shock.

Americans, too, are infatuated with the end of the world, but that’s only during episodes of The Walking Dead, and shows and movies of its ilk.

To prepare for this prophesied battle, ISIS has gone as far as seizing an entire city they believe will be the site of this epic war with the West. (Do yourself a favor and check out these series of tweets by New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi to better understand ISIS’ strategy.)

“ISIS invested significant resources into taking the Syrian town of Dabiq last summer,” according to Vox. “Dabiq has minimal military significance, but figures prominently in some of the apocalyptic prophecies that ISIS uses in its propaganda.”

Homeland fans familiar with Fox’s post-9/11 thriller 24—also written and produced by Homeland’s Howard Gordon—would acknowledge that the writers never went this far to explain to its audience what truly drives the bad guys. But Homeland, at least this season anyway, has chosen to get in the minds of the fictional terrorists we’re watching on our TV sets. When you look deeper, you realize the ISIS they’ve created for our viewing pleasure isn’t fiction at all—and that’s why this season of Homeland is worth watching.

But it also begs the question: if Homeland is so effective at leveraging current-day issues to better inform its story, why did it allow itself to self-destruct after season 1?

-Rashed Mian

Peter Quinn has had a tough go at it this season. First he was enlisted to kill Carrie and then he was shot and poisoned with sarin gas. (Photo credit: Homeland)
Peter Quinn has had a tough go at it this season. First he was enlisted to kill Carrie and then he was shot and poisoned with sarin gas. (Photo credit: Homeland)

‘Homeland’ Has a Lot to Answer For in Season 5

This season of Homeland is embedded so deeply in the entertainment cortex of my brain that I can’t even remember the other four years without evoking some infuriating memories about characters I miss and those I couldn’t wait to banish (I’m looking at you, Brody, and your annoying daughter, too). But this year the show is riding a wave of intense political and cultural consideration that is so combustible it’s almost hard to talk about without igniting some heated argument.

And that’s just the backstory about Homeland’s alleged racism and bigotry. Subjecting all the plot concatenations to critical analysis is another sore point. Selling out the free world for the best daiquiris in the Caribbean? Come on! Make Allison a closet Marxist revolutionary cadre member with a fixation on Herbert Marcuse, not an aging debutante who longs to party on the beach with her renegade boyfriend at Banana Joe’s—unless the joint is really named after Joseph Stalin. Now that would be a twist!

Meanwhile, as the finale looms ahead, the Berlin U-bahn is about to become a sarin-gas oven—if the evil guys aren’t stopped in time by our intrepid duo of Carrie and Astrid (Nina Hoss, whose eyes seem to encompass Western Civilization if you stare into them long enough).

I’m worried about Quinn. That guy is my favorite CIA assassin ever. You know he suffers—and this season, oh my God, that pain runs deep down.

But he plays an important role in this show, always has. But I didn’t foresee that Quinn would be the one speaking truth to power in some Pentagon/CIA basement conference room when he was brought in from the hot zone to describe how our Syria campaign is all fucked up. As the Vanity Fair’s culture critic, James Wolcott, rightly pointed out, it is a great exchange of opinions. The comfortable bureaucrat asks him: “Is our strategy working?” Quinn replies: “What strategy? Tell me what the strategy is and I’ll tell you if it’s working.”

The other side, Quinn reminds his superiors, does have a plan: “They call it the end times… They’re there for one reason and one reason only: to die for the Caliphate and usher in a world without infidels. That’s their strategy and it’s been that way since the seventh century.”

He concludes that a few more pairs of special-ops’ boots on the ground might not be enough. More like a quarter million. Too bad the Republicans didn’t quote Quinn’s figures during their recent debate in Las Vegas, but then Homeland might be too liberal for their taste, especially when it was reported that President Obama watched it Sunday nights in the White House. Besides, they’re probably bigger fans of 24, the Fox thriller that came to an end when Jack Bauer finally ran out of time.

Emily Nussbaum, the insightful TV critic for The New Yorker, called Homeland the “antidote” for 24, which she described as “a well-made fun machine, a sleek right-wing dreamscape with just enough moral ambiguity to elevate it above a Road Runner cartoon.” Tellingly, Homeland’s creators, Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, both former writers of 24,took the idea for this series from Hatufim, an Israeli drama about prisoners of war. But these two show-runners have been taking some heat themselves for the critical choices they’ve made in Homeland. And I think it’s rightly deserved, but hypocrite that I am, I will watch every minute of it.

This summer when the show was being shot in Berlin a group known as The Arabian Street Artists got onto the set and added a slew of subversive graffiti on the walls of what was supposed to be a Syrian refugee camp: “Homeland is NOT a series,” “Homeland is racist,” “Homeland is a watermelon [aka a joke]” and “The situation is not to be trusted.” They were hired to tag the scenes with pro-Assad slogans. No dice. They did their work in plain sight, right under the eyes of the producers.

But, as the artists later explained in a statement, “Arabic script is merely a supplementary visual that completes the horror-fantasy of the Middle East, a poster image dehumanizing an entire region to human-less figures in black burqas and moreover, this season, to refuges. The show has thus created a chain of causality with Arabs at its beginning and as its outcome—their own victims and executioners at the same time.”

Gordon and Gansa conceded they were tricked but defended the show’s integrity and insisted their narrative wouldn’t recapitulate the same old stereotypes as the villains. Clearly that’s a bone of contention, depending on your point of view. Russians can’t be too happy with the story line.

But we’re all victims in the West, and we’re all complicit, too, especially those from the countries that divvied up the Arab world after 1917. In light of the recent Paris attacks, when Muslims were among the massacred victims at the sidewalk cafes, murdered for the crime of enjoying themselves on a Friday night, we saw once again how indiscriminate the killers could be in choosing their targets. I’m sure that it’s that added context of randomness which makes watching Homeland more than the usual escapist fare.

I doubt that Homeland is the “most bigoted show on television,” as some critics say, but I wish it had a better answer to appease them.

On the other hand, it seems to be the only program outside of a documentary on PBS that is even tackling these underlying themes in a compelling, intelligent manner for a mainstream audience.

“I don’t know if Homeland is the best show on television, whatever that means,” writes Wolcott in Vanity Fair, “but it’s the most important show on TV in 2015, and not just because of its powers of prognostication. It’s gotten under the anxious skin of the here and now with heightened realism rather than by raising a fantasy construct or adding ornate wings to its own mythology.”

On its theatrical merits alone, this season of Homeland reminds me of how I felt spending my Sunday nights watching the thrilling original CBS series, Mission: Impossible, which first aired in 1966. Instead of a dweebie NSA insider like Edward Snowden, the show introduced us to Daniel Briggs (Steven Hill), a tweedy professorial ring-leader in charge of a covert group of Americans carrying out top-secret missions with ingenious high-tech equipment, brilliant deception and old-fashioned derring-do. The original cast included Greg Morris as Barney Collier, the brainy wizard behind the gadgetry—going against the cultural stereotype, this genius was played by an African-American actor, although typical for the time, he was never allowed a love interest—plus Martin Landau as Rollin Hand and Barbara Bain (sigh!), as Cinnamon Carter.

Every episode was a riveting hour of adrenaline-pumping action full of intrigue and suspense. You knew they would win, they had to win or there would have been uprisings in the streets of suburbia across our great nation, but you could never guess how. The enemies were always either corrupt Communist villains from the Soviet Bloc or ruthless despots from South America, some with despicable Nazi ties. You never thought twice about their own cultural context, you took their two-dimensional characters as a given. It wasn’t heavy-handed, chest-pumping propaganda. I just never thought those villains were out there trying to kill us; I just worried about them killing Cinnamon, I mean, Ms. Carter and her team. And, of course, I occasionally worried about those nuclear missiles the Soviets had aimed at our house.

Now, in Homeland, we can rest assured that Carrie, Astrid, Saul and even that duplicitous Dar Adal will find a way to save Berlin. What happens to that treasonous Allison is another story. But whether a TV show can save civilization from itself is a burden no work of art, let alone mass entertainment, should have to bear alone. We shall see how it goes.

-Spencer Rumsey

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events December 17 – 23

The Bogmen Paramount
Long Island's own Huntington hellraisers The Bogmen hit The Paramount on Dec. 19!

[Photo: Long Island’s own Huntington hellraisers The Bogmen rock The Paramount on Dec. 19!]

The Slim Kings
This 4-year-old, Brooklyn-born band blends a soulful mix of old blues and classic rock. Consisting of veteran musicians who have recorded alongside Billy Joel and composed songs and soundtracks for popular shows such as Law and Order and Sons of Anarchy, these rockers are forever expanding from their supportive New York base to musical nirvana and beyond. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $10. 8 p.m. December 17.

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience
Like father, like son, that’s the essence of Jason Bonham’s critically acclaimed tribute to the music his dad, John Bonham, brought to millions as the drummer for The Almighty Led Zeppelin. For two nights, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience will let fans relive some of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll ever made. This show is more than a tribute—it’s a celebration. From their 1969 debut to Zep’s second, fourth, and Physical Graffiti masterpieces, plus a heavy serving of deep cuts and smash hits, this is a must-see, must-listen show. Jason Bonham has won respect as a drummer in his own right, too, earning a Grammy Award for his work on Led Zep’s Celebration Day, and he’s also gotten kudos performing for President Obama at the Kennedy Center. So “ramble on” over there, or take the stairway to you know where! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $35-$75. 8 p.m. December 17.

Joey Bada$$
This Brooklyn-born, Bed-Stuy-raised rapper will be dropping rhymes and groovin’ to some insanely catchy beats in support of his latest, B4.DA.$$. Not to be missed! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $20-$45. 8 p.m. December 17.

First Responders Fundraiser
Local hellraisers Milky White, A Day Amongst Martyrs, Typhon Rising, Dylan Ander, Dijon, Afterburn, and more will unleash a high-octane night of music in support of the FealGood Foundation, a 9/11 first responders charity. 89 North Music Venue, 89 N. Ocean Ave., Patchogue. 89northmusic.com $10. 6 p.m. December 17.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Ready your pumpkin wagon and transport yourself to the enchanting kingdom of dreams-come-true. Jaw-dropping music and inspiring performances retell this magical classic once again, from the wicked stepmother to the glass slipper to the masked ball. Just be home before the clock strikes 12! Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $27-$89. Days, times vary. December 17 – 27.

Dar Williams
A folk-rock-singer-songwriter and teacher to young aspiring musicians, Williams is an artist whose songs of deep empathy and social justice speak to thousands of adoring fans. Her ninth studio album, Emerald, was released back in May. Landmark on Main Street, 232 Main St., Port Washington. landmarkonmainstreet.org $32-$40. 8 p.m. December 18.

Badfish
Covering everyone’s favorite punk/reggae/ska/pop songs by Sublime is this very cool tribute band, named after the band’s classic tune. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue theemporiumny.com $15, $20 DOS. 8 p.m. December 18.

China Crisis
These new wave English pop/rockers will be unleashing their mesmerizing, ultra-addictive and uber-iconic ’80s sound, reminiscent of The Smiths and Simple Minds, in support of their latest drop, Album in the Neighbourhood. Opening acts include Whole Sum and Off The Grid. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville.  $20, $25 DOS. clubloaded.com/events 8 p.m. December 18.

A Very Scary X-Mas
If you’re looking to bring a tidbit of terror into your holiday season, this Long Island Christmas-themed haunted house is just the place! Naughty or nice no longer matters, as Santa has had just about enough! The lists have gotten longer, the kids are ungrateful, and somewhere along the way they took the sugar out of the cookies and put almonds in the milk! It’s enough to drive an elf crazy…matter of fact, drive ALL the elves crazy! So watch out as you stroll 34th Street, don’t jaywalk, and be extra-careful in the Toy Shop! This Holiday Haunt is bringing chills and thrills for its second year in a row. Chamber of Horrors, 1745 Express Dr. N., Hauppauge. chamberofhorrorsny.com $24-$40. 7-11 p.m. December 18, 19.

Annie
It’s a hard knock life for us, but everyone’s favorite orphan knows how to take it all to Easy Street for a night of sing-a-long nostalgia. Can you do her dance? You know which one. Tippity tap-tap a-tippity tap-tap tap-tap tap! Dance that special dance along to the show! Dance that special dance during lunch break back at the office, too! Islip Town Hall West, 401 Main St., Islip. ckproductionsnewyork.com $15-$18. Days, times vary. Through January 3.

State Champs
This 5-year-old band from upstate New York delivers a solid mix of old-school and new-school pop punk. Their latest album, Around the World and Back, was released in October. Opening the show are Transit, Broadside and Rarity. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville.  $16. clubloaded.com/events 5 p.m. December 19.

Dave Atell
Society failed as a whole when we were unsuccessful at bringing Insomniac with Dave Atell back to TV. Now’s the chance to redeem ourselves, as the Long Island native brings his one-of-a-kind hilarity back home. Atell’s fiery stand-up has been featured on Saturday Night Live, The Jon Stewart Show, The Gong Show with Dave Atell, and of course, Insomniac, when Atell would hang out all night with locals at their favorite dive bars after his gig. Don’t miss comedy’s favorite comedian as he brings down the house! Governors Comedy Club, 90 Division Ave., Levittown. govs.com $34-$64. 8 p.m. December 18, 7 and 10 p.m. December 19.

Theresa Caputo
Teresa Caputo has embedded her way into pop culture’s echelon with her hit TV show Long Island Medium. With her uncanny ability to communicate with the dearly departed, Caputo has helped thousands find closure with their lost loved ones. With a personality as big as her hair style, Caputo is an icon Long Island is proud to call our own. Will audience members have a better time than Press reporter Jaime Franchi did at one of Caputo’s past appearances? [Read “My Not-So-Psychic Experience With ‘Long Island Medium’ Theresa Caputo” HERE] We’re not making any predictions but we sure hope so! Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $59.50-$79.75. 7:30 p.m. December 19.

Michael Clayton Moore’s Silent Night
Performing the music of Trans Siberian Orchestra and other Christmas favorites to benefit Christmas Magic, a nonprofit providing holiday generosity and spirit to those less fortunate, this is bound to be a holiday celebration for the books! YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org 7:30 p.m. December 19.

The Bogmen
This wonderfully entertaining Long Island-based indie rock band first emerged from the wilds of Huntington when Billy Campion, Bill and Brendan Ryan, Mark Wike, P.J. O’Connor and Clive Tucker decided they had to rock out together. Signed to Arista Records in 1995, the Bogmen never quite became a household name that they deserved to be with their debut release Life Begins at 40 Million, but so it goes. And on they went. No matter what, they never let their fans get bogged down, taking their self-described “tribal, huntish” sound to every bar, club and retirement home in the Tri-state area. Over the intervening years, they’ve reunited many times to keep the thrills and spills alive. And that’s why this gig is such a great opportunity to enjoy the Bogmen at their very best. Not to be missed! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $25-$75. 8 p.m. December 19.

Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals Holiday Show
The band that defined “Blue-Eyed Soul” presents a special holiday concert, performing their hits, including “Good Lovin'” “Groovin (on a Sunday Afternoon,” “People Everywhere Just Gotta Be Free” and so many others. Suffolk Theater, 118 E. Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $50-$79. 8 p.m. December 19.

The Nutcracker Performed By The Eglevsky Ballet
The holiday season just isn’t complete without The Nutcracker, and the Eglevsky Ballet boasts the largest production on Long Island. Performed annually, this year’s version features an amazing all-new production created exclusively for the Eglevsky Ballet. Prepare to be wowed as guest artists from the American Ballet Theater and the New York City Ballet bring to life Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and the rest of your favorite holiday characters. Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, LIU Post, 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville. tillescenter.org $48-$78. 6 p.m. December 19, 1 and 5 p.m. December 20.

Christmas Spectacular, A Ziegfeld Holiday
This annual holiday celebration has a new twist this year: the elaborate theatrical production style of Broadway’s Zeigfeld’s Follies, designed by Broadway’s best talents. Throw in performances by Broadway’s hottest stars, and it looks like our Christmas wish just came true! Madison Theatre, 1000 Hempstead Ave., Rockville Centre. madisontheatreny.org $49-$55. 4 p.m., December 19. 3 p.m., December 20.

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
Performed live in the style of the old time-radio shows, this holiday favorite takes to the stage for a joyous holiday celebration not soon to be forgotten! Suffolk Theater, 118 E. Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $15-$30. 6 p.m. December 20.

Kenny Rogers
This Country Music Hall of Famer has charted more than 120 hits across multiple genres of music and remains one of the top-selling artists of all time. Expect a mix of classics and fan favorites, such as “The Gambler,” of course, and newer gems, spanning his more than half-century as one of America’s greatest song-storytellers. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $39.50-$49.50. 8 p.m. December 23.

Fat Joe
This Bronx-born Latin rapper will break out some of his hits, such as “Lean Back,” “Make It Rain” and What’sLuv?” entrancing all in attendance with his infectious grooves and style! The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue theemporiumny.com $15, $20 DOS. 10 p.m. December 23.

–Compiled by Desiree D’orio, Chuck Cannini, Timothy Bolger & Zachary B. Tirana III

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events December 10 – December 16

Nate Ruess Paramount
Fun frontman Nate Ruess brings his infectious songs and mesmerizing voice to The Paramount in Huntington Dec. 14!

[Photo: Fun frontman Nate Ruess brings his infectious songs and mesmerizing voice to The Paramount in Huntington Dec. 14! (Nate Ruess Facebook page)]

Night of the Nerds: Jedi Cabaret!
’Tis the season…for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to finally be released in movie theaters across our galaxy, or at least on the planet that we all know best. Revel in all the dorkery with fellow fans and the music of Geeks and Guitars, Felix, L.G. ThirlWell, BmO, Thee Terrible Ghosts and Crisis Crayons as well as burlesque acts by Miranda Raven and Madame Reaper (Ma Dame Reap) and standup comedy by Noel Rodney Jr.! The show will also include a cosplay contest as well as a video game tournament hosted by StreetPass Long Island! 89 North Music Venue, 89 N. Ocean Ave., Patchogue. 89northmusic.com $10. 7 p.m. December 10.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson: The Cosmic Perspective
The star of the TV series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, the New York visionary and astrophysicist extraordinaire once again wields his broad and unparalleled knowledge of all science sensations. Star formations, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the Milky Way are just some simple subjects expected for discussion. There won’t be a quiz, but some of this could end up on the final. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $74-$89. $10. 8 p.m. December 10.

Strange But Surf and Bunktown Falls
Long Island’s surf-rock bands return for another legendary night of inventive and expanding repertoire. Think catchy, high-energy, guitar riffs cascading atop seismic waves of melodic fury! The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com 8 p.m. December 10.

Grace Potter
The Nocturnals’ siren’s uber-gorgeous voice leads the band in experimental creations of electro-rock rhythms. Tracks like “Never Go Back” and “The Divide” flex the creativity and passion that is forever evolving in this uncompromising performer. Opening the show will be Oh Whitney. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $30-$65. 8 p.m. December 10.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Good grief! It’s been 50 years since the Peanuts gang and that scrawny fir tree became a holiday viewing tradition, but the dated special is still surprisingly fresh, minimizing Santa and toys, and emphasizing the generous spirit of Christmas giving. Snoopy come home! (Sorry.) NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $20-$25. 7 p.m. December 11.

Dustin Lynch
Despite his traditional country influences, right down to his skintight clothes and cowboy hat, this young artist brings a fresh edge to the genre, drawing ecstatic cheers and climbing Billboard stats. Opening acts include Chris Lane and Tyler Rich. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $25-$55. 7:30 p.m. December 11.

Glenn Miller Orchestra
It’s been a long time since teens danced cheek-to-cheek amid the smooth harmonies and swinging rhythms that took the Glenn Miller Orchestra to the top in the pop music of their day. The ensemble became more than a unity of magnificent sound; the band became a brand of its own, and that’s what the enigmatic creator, whose plane disappeared over the English Channel in 1944 as he was flying to entertain our troops, had hoped for all along. Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $25-$65. 8 p.m. December 11.

Albert Cummings
This great blues guitarist is a total blast. His songs carry vibes of rock ‘n’ roll and country, amped up to full-boom volume, and they shimmer and shake with so much feeling that his energetic fans wind up wanting more and more. He’s played with B.B. King, Johnny Winter and Buddy Guy, to name a few legends, and expect nothing less at this gig than soul-soothing tunes and memories to last a lifetime! YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $25-$30. 8 p.m. December 11.

Sinatra’s 100th Birthday Celebration
In a nostalgic journey through his timeless music, the all-star singer’s legacy lives on, thanks to the talented vocals of longtime friends and his legion of admirers, such as Tony Bennett, Adam Levin, Alicia Keys, Celine Dion, John Legend, Carrie Underwood, Seth MacFarlane, and many more. My, my! Ole Blue Eyes is gonna shine! Suffolk Theater, 118 E. Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $35. 8 p.m. December 11.

Long Island Gay Men’s Chorus
These guys sure can sing. Talk about their harmony! Come hear them rock the rafters. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $27. 1 p.m. December 12.

Andrew W.K.
The musician, singer and entertainer still intends to spread the holiday cheer in the only way he knows how: a high-energy, adrenaline-filled performance complete with spirited party anthems and other up-tempo, get-up-off-your-feet and dance-inducing hits. Known for such addictive titles as “Party Hard,” “We Want Fun,” and “Party Party Party,” Andrew W.K. comes raring to go—so you should, too. Warming up the crowd are Fresh Squeezed Lemonade, Persona, Space Camp Dropout, London Eyes, Save It For Later, Onto Carthage and Amboy. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. clubloaded.com/events $20. 8 p.m. December 12.

The Klezmatics Present: Happy Joyous Hanukkah
Bet you can’t name another klezmer band that ever won a Grammy! You know why? The Klezmatics are the only ones! For 20-plus years and 10 albums and counting, this amazing group of musicians based in New York City have been rocking the world with their “Yiddish roots” sound. Their music is wild, mystical, provocative, reflective and ecstatically danceable. Landmark on Main Street, 232 Main St., Port Washington. landmarkonmainstreet.org $32-$47. 7 p.m. December 13.

Chris Difford & Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze
Some call this pair of Brits the most talented pop-rock songwriters this side of Lennon and McCartney. Certainly their tenure in Squeeze, their great band that took the music world by storm some 40 years ago, has stood the test of time. Are you “Tempted”? What about “Black Coffee in Bed”? That’s how we like it, with a little sugar on the side. Squeeze has got the creative juices flowing again, too, as the band is out with its first album of original material in 17 years, Cradle to the Grave. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $49.50-$99.50. 8 p.m. December 12.

The Nutcracker Suite
Come experience this timeless classic in an intimate, welcoming theatre alongside fellow audience members who likewise wish to usher in this special holiday season in style! Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $25-$65. 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. December 12, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. December 13.

The Arcade Age
Learn about video arcade game history the way nature intended—in an arcade! The Cradle of Aviation will transform a section of the museum’s galleries into an interactive exhibit. Get a healthy dose of more than 50 unforgettable favorites, including Ms. Pac Man, Galaga, Space Invaders, Centipede and Donkey Kong. Featured exhibits will display the history of video games from the early pioneers in the 1940s, through the decline of the ’90s and into the groundbreaking technologies of today. Did you know that Long Island contributed to video game development? Learn all about it at this fun and educational exhibit. Cradle of Aviation Museum, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City. cradleofaviation.org $8-$10. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Tue.-Sun., December 12 to April 3.

An Intimate Acoustic Evening with Brent and Zach of Shinedown
These hard rock hellraisers from Jacksonville, Fla. have sold more than six million albums and converted fans across the globe. This is a rare, must-not-miss chance to catch them all intimate and stripped down. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $36.50-$65. 8 p.m. December 13.

Nate Ruess
Touring in support of his recent solo drop, Grand Romantic, the Fun frontman will be singing his heart out, transporting all those in attendance to those special, magical realms where life is “Nothing Without Love” and a “Great Big Storm” of love is a-brewin’! Damn these songs are something powerful. Don’t miss this gig! Special guests A Great Big World and Jeff LeBlanc. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $30-$49.50. 8 p.m. December 14.

Mac Miller
This 23-year-old from Pittsburgh, Pa. has been topping the charts and wowing crowds across the country with his raps and rhymes, and will be sure to transform The Mountler into a raging torrent of lyrical fascination, dazzlin’ and jazzlin’ and mesmerizin’ the whole night through! Wow. The GO:OD AM Tour with special guests Michael Christmas and EarthGang. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $27.50-$52. 8 p.m. December 15.

Peppa Pig Live!
Peppa Pig, star of Entertainment One’s (eOne) top-rated TV series, airing daily on Nick Jr., stars in her first-ever U.S. theatrical tour, Peppa Pig’s Big Splash. A fully immersive musical production featuring a dozen familiar and original songs, as well as an interactive sing-a-long, the live stage show will have fans laughing, singing, dancing and of course, jumping in muddy puddles too—just like Peppa. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $31.50-$51.50. 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. December 13, 5:30 p.m. December 15.

Robert V. Conte
This pop-culture consultant will speak about and sign his new book Star Wars: The Official Topps Trading Card Series Vol. I. This deluxe compilation includes the fronts and backs of all 330 cards and 55 stickers (originally sold one per pack), including movie facts, story summaries, actor profiles, and puzzle cards featuring all your favorite characters and scenes from the very first Star Wars movie. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Price of book. 7 p.m. December 16.

Remember the Night
Get into the holiday season spirit with Victoria Wilson, Barbara Stanwyck’s biographer, as she hosts a special screening of this off-beat, neglected Christmas gem—followed by a signing of her acclaimed book, in its gorgeous, brand-new paperback edition! Running the gamut from romantic drama to comedy and heartwarming sentiment—and with a slightly sloppy cameo appearance by Bossie the Cow—Remember the Night was scripted by the great Preston Sturges, who described it as having “a lot of schmaltz, a good dose of schmerz, and just enough schmutz to make it box office.” And so it was, with Barbara Stanwyck as a troubled shoplifter, teaming up for the first time with Fred MacMurray as a prosecutor too kind-hearted to leave her in the big-city clink during the Christmas recess when the court was not in session. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10 members, $15 public. 7:30 p.m. December 16.

–Compiled by Desiree D’orio, Chuck Cannini, Timothy Bolger & Zachary B. Tirana III