The Green Screen Side Of The Moon

One minute I was pondering how we got here from there, and the next I was arriving at the intersection of Jesus and Caramba. The someplace else I dialed back to was 1980. Okay . . maybe it wasn’t the age of innocence. It was inside a time where disco was on life support. We staggered over the edge of a decade replete with post-moon landing meh, and life without torch song heroes named King and Kennedy and life with Nixon. Before Watergate sent him away in a helicopter. And Vietnam. And Kent State and the hostage crisis and inflation and race riots . . .

But if you were to fix 1980 into a lineup of comparables, welp . . 2020 would be the El Chapo to their Sonny and Cher. We took their Paradise Lost and we doubled down into a Full House of Horrors. Their dearth of heroes became our reality television. Their Watergate became our daily trend, where “gate” gets caboosed to the latest scandal as if it were a wicked smart ensemble piece. Their Vietnam became our patriotic mission to spread truth, justice and the American way by co-opting the best laid plans of our Founding Fathers into a drive through dominion where branding is our inalienable right. Kent State became Columbine and Flint, Sandy Hook, Marjorie Stoneman and Las Vegas, and then things got worse when those days no longer shocked us. Their hostage crisis became our Oklahoma City and September 11th, and Boston. Their inflation became our great big heist. Their race riots, well . .we kept that tradition going.

There was plenty of promise to the way things started off, with a bunch of college kids beating the Russians in ice hockey. We couldn’t have imagined that our sports would morph from that quaint little Norman Rockwell moment into a bread and circuses cinema. And then Reagan lied to us about a shining city upon a hill. And George H. had us focusing on a thousand points of light instead of the stupid economy. Or is that the economy stupid? We got lost in the shroud of the cigar smoke from the Clintonian Era, and while we were busy trying not to inhale, an election went into overtime with the Supreme Court serving as referee. And then W became a four letter word before stepping up inside the darkest days . . before turning back into a four letter word.

The rear view tells me it’s been a hot minute since those days were busy happening. And here we are, the numb OG’s of a feckless age where the modern day proverb- Shit Happens- is mired in the muck of our everyday existence. And this isn’t to say that our mast is hurtling to the edge of the world and that all hope is lost. But . . . . damn!

So this is where the voices in my head make their money. Because yanno . . the questions I get to cooking up possess the kind of riptide that circumnavigates all the logical conclusions we’ve been taught to abide to since grade school. And either I’m Randall McMurphy on a stick or there is something happening here, even if what it is ain’t exactly clear.

Because I really don’t know what to make of this place we currently reside inside of. Are we a miserable scrum of beastly conclusions to which there is no honest to goodness fix, outside of a runaway meteor? Is the global script we’ve been reading from ever since fire led to the invention of the cheeseburger one big lie?  Is this nothing more than one great big romantic tragedy in which the lovers (that’s us) are destined to lose in the end?

When Higgs met boson inside that celestial tryst and then mass showed up nine months later, was Trump destined to be President from that very moment? Was race supposed to be the great divider in perpetuity? Was Joe Exotic supposed to be the elixir to a global pandemic? And is it too late to call for a cosmic rewrite?

Hunter S. Thompson called.

He wants his fever dream back.

Sorryless Letters

Dear Sorryless,

I used to be the life of the party until this virus changed everything. Now, nobody seems to want anything to do with me. What gives?

Signed,

Depressed in D.C.

Mr Trump, just do what you always do. Inflate the numbers and conveniently ignore the facts. 

 

Dear Sorryless, 

Am I really as perfect as I think I am? 

Signed, 

Little Miss (Yes!) Perfect

Dear Miss Ripa, 

I’m not sure what world you’re living in, but umm . . . you probably want to stay there. 

 

Dear Sorryless, 

I can’t seem to do anything right! My bosses pull me in one direction while my employees pull me in the other, and everyone else just thinks I’m a talking head. And my dog isn’t even talking to me right now . . .

Signed,

Unsafe at Home

Dear Mr Manfred,

Being the MLB Commish means never having to say you’re sorry. You followed a guy in Bud Selig who pretended that sluggers were getting stronger on fairy dust. And then he followed that up with that “gift for the fans” that keeps on giving in inter-league play. Which is really a gift to the owners, since they get to charge premium prices for regular season games. If you ask me, you’re simply following in his dubious footsteps . . overlooking the pinball game that MLB has become whilst never minding the fans who ain’t getting refunds for the games that were never played. And now you’re pushing through a sixty game season, which would make Joe Dimaggio crap in his dead pants. Yanno what? Give yourself a raise. 

 

Dear Sorryless, 

I feel as if I am trapped inside the Rockwell song “Somebody’s Watching Me”, and when I tell anyone about it, they just shrug it off and tell me it’s all in my head. I know I’m not paranoid, but how can I prove it to everyone else? 

Signed,

Holed up in the Hills

Dear Mr Phoenix, 

Are you aware that some of the most brilliant minds in the history of the world were . . how do I put this gently? Bat shit crazy? Also, not for nothing but you really shouldn’t be eating mayo sandwiches at three in the morning. 

 

Dear Sorryless, 

What in the blessed fuck is up with people? Is it a lot to ask that you wear a fucking mask when you go out in public? For fuck’s sake, I have to wear a glorified house dress all the time . . and you don’t hear ME bitching about it!

Signed, 

Riled up in Rome

Dear Pope Francis, 

I know, right? I guess they really don’t think there’s gonna be a second wave (Already happening) and a third . . . and who knows what after that. But on the positive side of the equation, I don’t have to fake a smile these days.

Hey, it’s something!

 

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week! (Lampoon Edition)

Top 10 Funniest Superheroes and Villains | WatchMojo.com

This has been the year of living dangerously, and we’re only at halftime. So I thought you kids might appreciate a variant on the tried and true Friday episode. So Imma kick it up with satire, because it’s my middle name. Maybe not my mama given one, but hey . . it still counts.

And now for our . . . umm . . . heroes?

Workers repair the cracked glass panel on Gatlinburg's SkyBridge on Tuesday morning.

Clueless Joe- As I mentioned in my last post, I’m not missing sports all that much. It would be nice to catch an occasional game or have something to talk about . . but the diversion was answered with a Johnny Come Lately of new kid in town alternatives. And besides, you know what I really don’t miss? Fans. Because more often than not, they’re doing stupid shit. And so of course we had an example come to us from Gatlinburg, Tennessee this week . . and he’s a baseball fan.

I’m guessing he’s a baseball fan by the slide he attempted into home plate. Which may or may not have been Soto, but for the fact he wasn’t on a baseball diamond when he did it . . . he was on a glass sky-bridge. Because I don’t know about you but I always wanted to throw my body onto a piece of glass that sits a hundred and fifty feet above the ground. So of course the slide cracked a glass panel and the bridge was closed for repairs as a result.

If this schmo had been a football fan, the Darwin Awards would have been crowning another champion right about now.

Mannequins are placed in spectator seats to cheer South Korea's football club FC Seoul team during a match against Gwangju FC, which is held without fans due to the coronavirus disease

Take me out to the Doll Game- The next story is a month old, but it’s the gift that keeps on, uh . . . giving.

The South Korean soccer team- FC Seoul- was issued a red card in the form of an $81,000 fine for filling their fan-less stadium with sex dolls rather than mannequins. Sex doll , social media users noticed the substitutions, after which the team claimed it was all a “big mix up”. The team’s soccer league responded by claiming the team “could have easily recognized their use using common sense and experience”. And I really wish the team would have responded to the league’s statement but I guess it would have been too easy.

Reports that thousands of single guys converged on the stadium upon hearing about the fans in attendance could not be confirmed . . .

Cruz engages in flame war with 'Hellboy,' in tweetstorm that ...

Ted and Hellboy’s Excellent Adventure- Remember the good old days when the idea of Ted Cruz in the Oval Office was the most frightening prospect imaginable? Yeah, I know the current occupant makes it difficult to remember much of anything, but rest assured that Ted is always happy to remind us.

Senator Seuss decided he was going to chirp in on a Twitter battle between a Florida congressman and actor Ron Perlman. Predictably, the shit got stupid

“Listen Hellboy,” Cruz wrote, “You talk good game when you’ve got Hollywood makeup & stuntmen. But I’ll bet $10k – to the nonpolitical charity of your choice – that you couldn’t last 5 min in the wrestling ring w/@Jim_Jordan w/o getting pinned. You up for it? Or does your publicist say too risky?”

That would be the same Jim Jordan who has been accused of covering up sexual misconduct allegations against Ohio State wrestling team physician Richard Strauss while serving as the assistant wrestling coach for the Buckeyes back in the nineties. The fact that Jordan is a U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 4th congressional district these days is not a shocker. Neither is the idea that Cruz would tag team Perlman by referencing a guy who was involved in a scandal involving sexual misconduct.

The two went back and forth before the former Beauty and the Beast star pinned Cruz down by telling him to leave Jordan home and include McConnell in the steel cage match instead. “All we need is a time, place and a few EMT’s standing by . . .” He tweeted.

Hey, what’s Perlman doing in November?

(If you’ve got a minute, read this piece by Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.)

Two things about the video above, and I’m really kinda serious. For one, why isn’t this a sport? I would definitely watch it on TV for a good three to five minutes. And for another thing . . . the world record is sixteen ping pong balls bounced into a pint glass in one minute. I think I could do this.

Hell, it’s as close as I’m ever going to get to challenging a world record, so there’s that.

Conversely, here’s a world record I have absolutely no chance of breaking . . .

Daniel Thorson outside the cabin where he just finished a 75-day silent meditation retreat at the Monastic Academy in Lowell, Vt.

In my best for last, Daniel Thorson gets the Capo di tutti Capper slot this week for doing absolutely nothing and being oblivious to what is going on in the world. And no, he ain’t running for office . . .

Thorson decided to go all Walden Pond on the world back in March by venturing up to a remote Cabin in Vermont for seventy five days. During which time the world was placed under house arrest, toilet paper replaced gold and platinum and face coverings became haute stuff.

When he made his way back to civilization on May 23rd, he took to Twitter with a query that has become a charmingly inimitable punchline for his friends and family.

“Did I miss anything?”

I know there are those among us (yours truly) who envy his blissful ignorance of our COVID-19 encrusted world. Because it speaks to the peace of mind that was ripped away from us all the way back there. After which the universe got busy reminding us that the the simplest conclusions are oftentimes turned into monolithic equations. And so yanno, taking a deep breath and just being? It’s a priceless commodity.

To borrow from the rock band Sublime, I don’t practice Buddhism and I ain’t got no crystal ball, but if I had a million dollars, I might just spend it all on the rent up at Thorson’s cabin. Tucked into the deep embrace of a Vermont landscape where the amenities possess that thing we need most of all right now.

Peace.

 

The Struggle is Teal, Duct Tape Politics and The Coolest Cat in the Room

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If you Google the color teal, you’ll find that it dovetails nicely with such peaceful propositions as clarity, inspiration, communication and perhaps most importantly of all, healing.

Inside a year where we have lost so much, Imma go with peaceful propositions for the much needed return they’ll supply on the investment. I mean, you really don’t even have to walk out your front door to get sushi rolled. All you have to do is turn on your laptop, log into WordPress and boom . . .

“The New WordPress Editor is Coming” . .

To which my reply is always a succinct Fuck you

I like to think Herman Melville would smile at such a response as that. After which he’d reel in a couple dozen words that say it so much prettier. He was brilliant like that.

I’m simply singing off the sheet of music 2020 handed out. It’s a song sheet that, to borrow from the treasure trove of Yogi (as in Berra) Isms, got late pretty early on. What with the one hundred and one Democratic candidates for President that led things off by punching holes in their own ship. To casualties of a novel virus that held the world hostage. To protests and politicization and a country so polar opposite in its opinions and beliefs that we may just have to get a big old roll of duct tape and pluck it right down the middle of the country.

All you have to do is fire up your electronic device in order to get questions to all the many answers. But wait! There’s more . . .

  • Like, does the MLB understand how repulsive it looks? A multi-billion dollar industry is once again at a loss as to how it seasons its stake while millions of people worry about how to make ends meet. And if there ends up not being a baseball season after all this? Well, let’s just say that if they thought the fan revolt was bad after their impasse canceled the World Series in ’94. Oh . . just wait.
  • And uh . . I don’t miss sports nearly as much as I thought I would. There, I said it.
  • I do miss eating out, which I did for the first time in months last Friday with my kids. Outdoor seating, retrofitted engagements . . but still. I liked not having to think up my dinner for the first time since March happened.
  • Don’t tell anybody, but there’s a Presidential election five months from now.
  • I’m on the fence about starting a food blog. On the fence because it would mostly be me re-blogging real food blog posts. I would contribute my own dishes from time to time as well. And it would all take place off my old blog, Drinks Well With Others.
  • As for my exercise regimen, that’s what I focused on over the last few months. When you suffer from depression and are plenty fine with not being around people . . . but you’re not so fine being told you can’t be around people . . . well, I needed a strategy. So six times a week, I’m going strong with some form of exercise- stationary bike, running, weights, Rob Zombie workouts . . . and it’s gotten me to a better place. Physically, sure. But even more importantly, my brain is being fed some positive chow.
  • Which means that junk food has become that player at the end of the bench. I summon it on “Cheat Day” but otherwise it ain’t got a regular spot in my daily lineup.

And then there’s this. Because 2020 has been the rainy season that keeps on taking. We lost our beloved black cat Mr Speaker a few weeks ago. And for most of the time since then, I thought about all the parts of me that he took with him to the great beyond. His little life was so much more to us. It was big and bold and it spoke countless millions of words in the language of purr. And this magnificent beast will always be the coolest cat in the room to me.

So to this, I had to figure out a way to shake the yesterdays we left behind. And then these two brilliant little messes showed up. My daughter is in Wyoming through July visiting her mother. I plan on surprising her with the dynamic duo in a video call this week. I’ve named the boy Jack, an homage to Mr Speaker. She gets to name the girl.

And as Vonnegut used to say, so it goes. That we move forward. Carrying the things we used to know and love inside this good long while of a life. These things that make us laugh and cry, and think and pray and dream to the stars up in the sky whose lives we used to share.

Good night, sweet prince.

 

 

I Ain’t Down With This Block Party

ROCK 'EM SOCK 'EM ROBOTS Game $14.97! - AddictedToSaving.comThe more things change, the more expensive they become. As a creature of ritual habitual, I insist on the ‘Lemme Be’ style of writing/bitching/editing/moaning for my WordPress posts. Which means to say, don’t call me with a change . . . Imma call you. All I ask of this place is to not fuck with my shit, which is all I ask of my government, come to think of it. On both counts, I’m usually getting value subtracted ‘bargains’ that I didn’t ask for and most definitely do not need in my life. It’s like loading up on clearance tchotchke at Target, only without the opportunity to unload it on an e-commerce site.

So when WordPress started talking up their new Block Editor last year? I did what any responsible blogger would’ve done with the information. I completely ignored it. And so for the past six months, the home office has been marching to this idea that a full scale, highly customizable change is coming . . whether we like it or not.

Not wanting to be uprooted from my humble blog abode, I did some research. I sat through three and a half minutes of a fifteen minute instructional video on the Block Editor (Or Gutenberg- an homage to the Renaissance era inventor of the printing press) and I was proud of myself for having made it that far. For one thing, the video feels as if it was made in a subterranean business suite sharing space with a dark web massage parlor. For another, it speaks to the curious state of our existence that there are a proliferation of videos on the topic that run even longer than the one I watched. For perspective, the soldiers who landed on the beaches of Normandy were given a couple minutes worth of do’s and don’ts before their introduction to hell.

If you go on the official WordPress site, this is the starched jingle to their forced mingle.

We call the new editor Gutenberg. The entire editing experience has been rebuilt for media rich pages and posts. Experience the flexibility that blocks will bring, whether you are building your first site, or write code for a living.

As a veteran of WordPress, I’ve seen the platform go through more wardrobe changes than Elton John doing Rio. As a writer, this Block Editor doesn’t feel like a match . . in the least. Not unless I was planning on doing shit other than writing. And it’s not like I have a problem with any of it . . . unless they insist on me switching. Which is where my angst comes in, because it’s obvious that the universal theme to their newest scheme is that yeah . . at some point we’re going to have to drink the not so cool aid.

Which means Imma have to get to my bunker and fetch the old school admin page once this happens. And I really ain’t digging the fact that WordPress is going all Sheryl Crow on my ass by insisting that a change will do me good. But okay . . fine, let them think they have my best interests in mind. So long as my annual subscription doesn’t ask for a Congressional raise this fall in order to offset the small fortune they’ve spent on their ad campaign.

Hey, I’m no blockhead.

We’re All In This . . .

I forget why I came here in the first place.

Which is what I think WordPress should really be called, because it’s a modern day version of Rousseau’s theory as far as social contracts go. The sort of place where you plate your propers in whatever kind of gratin you so desire. And for me, it’s been the gamut for the last how many years? Many.

So what have I learned in all that time? Well, I can’t think of anything off the top of my head but I’ll get back to you on that . . .

As you can infer, it’s a fluid list with palenty of hits and misses and even the occasional bruising. But to my way of thinking, if something serves a purpose? That means it has one. And so it goes with our current state of residential purgatory. Where it seems there is a constant onslaught of “We’re all in this together” reminders.

Well, what if we’re really not? What if that bumper sticker sentiment belies the fact that we have myriad ways of looking at this most unique of times? Would it really be so bad to say, you know . . we’re really not in this together but that’s okay. Because that fact is actually a strength and uh, not a weakness. 

Yeah.

It’s kitschy to fuse ourselves to a hypothetical common ground but it’s important to note we are, in essence, divergent beings whose push always resorts to shoving matches when it’s a matter of us versus someone else. When dealing with any sort of collective embrace, it’s best to wear sneakers rather than concrete boots is what I’m saying. Be a part of the team, by all means. But understand the most implicit of obligations is to yourself, which doesn’t mean to say that your stomach and your ass need to be full and wiped over all other considerations. Because looking out for number one means so much more than that.

And guess what? That’s more than just okay. It’s healthy, in fact. Because to marry yourself to a creed without an out clause is like saying Joe Paterno was innocent because you happen to be a Penn State grad. Abject deference to creeds and totems are built on quicksand.

So I tend to treat this time the same way I consider WordPress. We’re all individuals, whose journeys are wholly separate ones. All I know is that we’re all in this and that there was a reason to here and from here. Bumper sticker sentiments aren’t going to get me or anybody else through this time. There’s only one commonality that really gives me the warm and fuzzy feeling of togetherness. And so what if it involves adult beverages.

It still counts.

 

 

 

Joe Pesci Movie Review: Siberia

So I gotta start by saying what the fuck?! Keanu Reeves is a Canadian? I mean, when in the fuck did that happen? Because when I watched him in dose Matrix flicks, he was an American. And that movie about the bus where he ends up banging Sandra Bullock at the end? Yeah, I’m pretty sure he was an American in that one too . . .

Anyways, Marco asked me to do a movie review for Siberia, and it’s about time he asked me back . . da stupid prick! But he wasn’t doing me any favors as things turned out, because this movie was a more worthless piece of shit than my Uncle Tony.

Things start out okay, because here I was thinking it was a John Wick movie where someone kills his dog at the beginning and then he ends up taking out half of Russia. But no, this ain’t that. At all. It’s . . . what would Marco call it? It’s got more of that nuance shit that he eats up . . that happen to find more pointless than patchouli, but be that as it may. I kept watching because I’m an asshole or something . .

Reeves plays a diamond merchant named Lucas who travels to Russia, because da guy can’t find a movie role that doesn’t involve fucking Russians. He’s in St. Petersburg . . . da other St. Petersburg, where he’s supposed ta hook up with this degenerate named Pyotr. But the guy ain’t nowhere to be found.

So now . . there’s this Russian gangster, which is fucking redundant since every Russian I ever met is a gangster. His name is Boris . . again, redundant. And he’s pissed ya see? Because Lucas, the dumb prick, got screwed ovah by Pyotr and so he aint’ got da diamonds . . and now Boris is gonna cut his balls off if he doesn’t fix this shit. Again . . redundant.

Lucas goes to Siberia to find this Pyotr douche bag. His first night there, he gets in a fight with some Russians that doesn’t go well, because he’s no John Wick. This hot numbah of a waitress named Katya, of fucking course, tells Lucas that her broda thinks they’re sleeping together so get this . . she asks him to bang her. Which he does because he’s not a total schmuck.

And dat’s it! Da rest of this fucking movie is Lucas looking for Pyotr and him banging Katya. Oh yeah, da wife of this Lucas guy? Molly fucking Ringwald . . . and I had no idea! Because you see her like once, and then she’s like, well go bang dis Russian chick if that’s what you wanna do, ya stuttering prick, see if I care! So Lucas bangs her . . like twenty times over the next howah. Evidently, he’s looking ta see if maybe this chick tucked the diamonds up her ass or something.

So Lucas’s trip to Siberia consists of banging Katya and going bear hunting with the guys who kicked his ass earlier in the movie. Fucking genius . . . I mean, who da fuck goes bear hunting with Russians . . outside of Dick Cheney?! And at some point, he finds out that Pyotr fucked him over and sold the diamonds.

Later on, Lucas decides to sell Boris some fake diamonds while wearing a wire because he figures it’s the only way he’s getting out of Russia. Of course, the only good ideas dis guy has are coming from his other head. He does end up finding Pyotr . . dead on a toilet. No diamonds . . .

In da last scene, Lucas gets into a shootout with a piece of shit rifle and somehow is able to kill all the guys who are afta him . . except the one guy he shoulda killed first, because he ends up killing Lucas. Which means he ain’t gonna be banging Katya for da hundredth time inside an howah and a half . .

Thank God

 

Truth isn’t just stranger than fiction, it’s dumber too

You know that scene in every other action movie, where the protagonist turns to no one in particular and says “You just don’t get it, do you?”. After which a terminally ill sounding musical score draws the curtains on a formulaic ending? That’s how most of us are low riding this pandemic through the springtime, as we ponder how in the hell some people can fuck up a glass of water’s worth of logic.

Oscar Wilde once said of the truth that it’s never pure and rarely simple. Hell if he wasn’t onto something . . . .

  • Social distancing equals six feet. It does not mean you ride up on my ass in the grocery store checkout line. I mean, if you’re gonna get that close to me? I need flowers and a nice dinner first.
  • I haven’t watched the wildly popular The Last Dance on ESPN yet, because I cut out cable in January. But I have an idea for all the sports ‘journalists’ opining on whether Jordan would make it in today’s game or if LBJ would make it back in the ’90’s. Pray for live games, because y’all can’t figure your way out of a paper bag without em. Jordan and LBJ would excel in any era, because they would be products of . . that . .  time. Greatness is an adaptation,  so please stop snow-globing these hypothetical scenarios.
  • The vacuum of leadership in Washington got me to thinking on Doris Goodwin Kearns’s book, Team of Rivals. And so when I read how Mitch McConnell wants the Senate to get back to business so’s he can hold confirmation hearings for federal judges, because he wants to lay conservative brick? While at the same time bemoaning his lack of suction in the most recent virus-response bill? Well now, M&M doesn’t have a clue as to how out of touch he looks. What I would give for Abe Lincoln to get five minutes in a room with this guy, just so’s he can set him straight on what strength and vision is supposed to look like.
  • So we’re straight on this “opening the country” business. There’s gonna be some deft maneuvering necessary by state and local leaders. One researcher told the New York Times that if the pandemic were a baseball game, “it would be the second inning”. So yanno, plan accordingly.
  • And because we don’t have enough to worry about, now comes word that Asian giant hornets have landed in the states. Also called “Murder Hornets” (how charming), these winged fuckers decapitate honey bees and pose a serious danger to humans. I mean . . . what’s next?
  • Nicolas Cage is going to play the Tiger King himself, Joe Exotic, in an eight episode series coming soon. I have two questions: Number one, do we really need this shit? And my second question is, where can I watch it?
  • Kate Beckinsale is in love. Get back to me on Friday with how it works out.
  • It appears Fifty Cent and Oprah are feuding. And apologies to Mr Fifty, but I highly doubt Oprah is aware of it.
  • Todd Bridges was trending on Twitter over the weekend, and no . . not because he’s dead. It seems his role in a Little House in the Prairie episode like, a hundred years ago, captured the imagination of the Twitterati. Which has me wondering, when they were trying to come up with a name for the site, why didn’t they just call Twitter “Slow News Day”? Makes more sense.
  • I don’t know what’s more concerning to humankind: COVID-19, or the fact that Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler are parents.

And coming up in next week’s news cycle of What in the Blessed Hell . . .Trump insists he uses Cialis for high blood pressure. Fox News touts heroin as a possible COVID-19 wonder drug. And the New England Patriots are decommissioned by the NRC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Stream in Technicolor

I was thinking of posting one of those “How To Watch . . .” pieces for you in reference to my current streaming crushes, and then I remembered something. I hate those fucking pieces. So instead, I’ll call this short little trip “What to Watch Before you Die!”. Which is some seriously dramatic sounding shit come to think of it, so never mind on that one.

Let’s just call this list, Stream a Little Stream or A Big Streaming Bowl of Shows! or Stream Weaver or Stream On or . . . okay, I’ll stick with the title I came in on and just get to dishing up this month’s fare.

Unorthodox- It’s the first Netflix series to be primarily in Yiddish. This four episode miniseries follows nineteen year old Jewish woman Esty, who decides that Ultra-Orthodox life just ain’t for her. So she flees to Berlin. And while I’m not completely enthralled after one episode, it has a “chase flick” feel to it, what with the community elders ready to send their posse after her.

Goliath- I must’ve bypassed this Billy Bob Thornton show on Amazon Prime a thousand times, seeing as how it’s stuck to my main screen. Welp, I’m glad I finally decided to check it out because it’s snarky and smart and Billy Bob knows how to play down and out genius like few others. Double B is a lawyer who no longer needs to pass the bar, so he hangs out in one instead. And then along comes a huge enchilada of a case that will pit him against the platinum revolver law firm that ditched his ass. What’s not to love?

WACO- This miniseries appeared on something called the Paramount Network a couple years ago, but it has caught fire since being picked up by Netflix. I devoured the six episodes in no time flat, because nothing grabs my attention quite like a bunch of gun toting Jesus cultists holed up in a Texas compound. The performances- including Michael Shannon as an FBI negotiator- are great, but I warn you . . if you aren’t up on this fifty one day siege, read up before you watch. The ending marks one of the darkest days in the history of the US government.

Narcos: Mexico- Another show I came in on late, but just in time. As a huge fan of the original show, which followed the rise of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar in Colombia . . I didn’t give Mexico much chance of matching it and I was right. It surpasses the original. Diego Luna plays Felix “El Padrino” Gallardo, the former boss of the Guadalajara Cartel, to such stone cold perfection, he’d make Michael Corleone shiver in his three piece. When did Netflix become this kind of money?

Tiger King- Okay . . so who didn’t check this one out?

Hunters- Comic book shtick writing, seventies fashion and Nazi hunters? How could I go wrong? Well, the show gave me the time release answer to this question. Because in spite of a solid cast and coo soundtrack . . the ending pissed me off so much that I have to move on to the next show.

The Wire- Best one last, and of course it follows my MO in that I came to this show late. As in more than a decade after its last episode aired late. And you know what? That’s okay, because to see a baby faced Michael B Jordan was worth it right there. This show is first ballot Hall of Fame, pulled from the front pages and police logs stuff, with writing that is second to nothing else I’ve seen. There’s really little need to give any more props to a show many consider the greatest ever made. So Imma get back to watching instead.

 

All That Flitters Is Not Gold

I think it’s important to see the good in things. But it’s not a spiritual deal breaker if you can’t bring yourself to do so all the time. Because as with everything in life, there is context.

Take for instance, Trump’s daily press conferences, which feel as if they’re being underwritten by the WWE. COVID-19 has King Minus back at the podium after an extended break, because yanno . . the pandemic didn’t have enough polarity as it was. I call it Kerosene Theater, because to call it absurd would be a disservice to Samuel Beckett. Tuning in will kill your brain cells faster than a batch of OG Kush, unless Anthony Fauci happens to make the scene. I only wish word bubbles were a real thing, because Fauci’s thoughts must read like a George Carlin skit. 

If you’ve been in a coma since 2016, check out one of these pressers, because it will let you know what’s been going on in a nutshell (emphasis on nut). When I think about where we are as a country, the Janis Joplin song Me and Bobby McG gets to stepping through my brain . . .

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. 

No shit JJ.

Seriously, if the Declaration of Independence were signed in 2020, it would happen in a shopping mall. Such is the skewed variation of truth we’ve come to accept. Not to mention an indivisible pledge that once promised liberty and justice for all. Truth got sample sized in the Clintonian Era, Liberty became incorporated in the W years and Justice is currently getting bumper stickered into obsolescence by brand-mothers and freedom fighting fathers who are on a mission from God. No, not the God mentioned in The Blues Brothers- who was all about R&B, car chases and lying to your hot girlfriend. Nope, these new age defenders of the constitution believe in wearing their guns and developing a portal that delivers them back to 1955, tout de suite. Their plan is to bottle up all the great shit that was going on back there and bring it here, after which they’ll crop dust the fuck out of us.

So it’s no surprise, given the political climate change we’ve experienced over the last three and a half years, that we have groups like Ammon Bundy’s Liberty Rebellion rising up through the cracks, everywhere. From Idaho to Islip and the Twin Cities to Tampa Bay, these peeps are storming government buildings with the goal to take back their freedom of movement, coronavirus be damned. And so what if the US has three quarters of a million confirmed cases and more than forty two thousand casualties. Give us beaches and Applebee’s or give us death!

They vow to go all Rambo on COVID-19 with a game plan that’s simpler than Paris Hilton’s diary. They insist that we must get back to business as usual . . or the virus wins. Mind you, it ain’t gonna be easy to win this particular war on terror since the virus doesn’t have an accent or run a convenience store. Hell, we might actually have to depend on science to see us through.

The protesters are trying to high-jack common sense by insisting that our freedoms are in great peril as a result of the quarantine, whilst never minding the grim tote board. They’re a blight to the legacy of founding fathers who endeavored for the greater good and understood that democracy is not a win at all costs theorem. It’s actually much more advanced than that kind of box-score logic. Because it asks us to aim our differences in a general direction, so that we may arrive at an eventual consensus.

Instead, these peeps shout down the truth of the matter, which is that the quarantine works. They ignore the fact that when large groups have gathered together since the virus began to spread, bad things followed. And not for nothing, but quoting Jefferson in relation to the current pandemic is akin to slapping a number on the side of a team of oxen and thinking they could win the Daytona 500.

If you come across one of these Fox News patriots, ask them to double down on the six foot social distance rule. And then be sure to let them know the man who penned the Pledge of Allegiance- Francis Bellamy- was in fact, a socialist.

Marty McFly called. He wants his time machine back.