Thursday 6 August 2020
I admit, when I first received this text, my first thought was, "So this is how he knows voter fraud is so widespread."
Further inspection seems to indicate that this has nothing to do with any political party but is actually a phishing scam.
Although, in this day and age, there still might be a political party behind it. Who knows anymore?
Monday 3 August 2020
Social commentary! Oh, yeah!
Saturday 1 August 2020
I'm currently rewatching The Rocky Horror Picture Show as I type this, and it's really hard not to type the dialogue I'm hearing. Damn it, Janet.
114. (1768.) The Women (1939)
This will be remade in the 50s as a musical called The Opposite Sex (which I did not care for). Talk about a time warp! The sexual politics involved here are practically paleolithic, but by taking all the men off screen, the film makes a more subtle — and frankly unflattering — commentary about the patriarchy's domination of American society. Much, much better than the musical.
115. (1769.) The Hustle (2019)
A gender-swapped remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (which was itself also a remake). I generally think con/heist movies work best when they play bait-and-switch with "reality," building the antici-pation before the reveal. Sadly, here you see the ending coming almost from the beginning. The spy training montage is the highlight. That Rebel Wilson really goes for it.
116. (1770.) Peeper (1975)
From the beginning, this movie presents itself as a parody of noir detective films from decades past. That ain't no crime. What is a crime is that it then proceeds to take itself far too seriously, as though it forgot it was supposed to be in on the joke. (I have to admit that my bias against Natalie Wood, here in the role of the femme fatale, may have played some part in my dissatisfaction. I just don't believe her.)
117. (1771.) The Swimmer (1968)
Burt Lancaster often *acts* too hard here, often calling attention to the very unreality of events. But as this existential nightmare of a warped American Dream gets more surreal, that works to its favor. I liked it a lot.
Dynamic tension must be hard work. Cool off with Coke!
118. (1772.) Hardcore (1979)
Written by the writer of Taxi Driver, this somehow fails to have any of that movie's depth, which I'd say owes more to Martin Scorsese's true talent as a director than any comparative value between George C. Scott and Robert DeNiro. Other than a very funny scene with Hal Williams as angry pornstar Big Dick Blaque (and a brief cameo by Reb Brown!), I'd say the rest should be avoided when possible.
There's no crime in giving yourself over to pleasure. And yes, I'm talking about Coke.
119. (1773.) The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover (1977)
When Eddie said he didn't like his teddy, you knew he was a no-good kid. Equal parts salacious and sympathetic, I suspect your enjoyment of this movie will be based largely on your preconceived notion of Hoover and his manipulations to maintain his place in — and his conception of — history. What a guy. Makes you cry. And I did.
Planet, Schmanet, Janet.
Thursday 30 July 2020
Tuesday 28 July 2020
Press Briefing by President Woodrow Wilson, issued on January 26, 1919:
MR. WILSON: Thank you very much. Thank you, everybody. Thank you.
We've had a tremendous week uniting the country in our fight against the Spanish virus. I have reminded people of the importance of masks when you can't socially distance, in particular. A strong message has been sent out to young people to stop going to crowded bars and other crowded places.
I wanted to come out again today to share some additional news with you: This afternoon, my political team came to me and laid out our plans for the Armistice celebration in San Francisco, California. It's a place I love. I love that state. The drawings look absolutely beautiful. I never thought we could have something look so good, so fast with everything going on. And everything was going well — a tremendous list of speakers; thousands of people wanting to be there — and I mean, in some cases, desperately be there. They wanted to attend. People making travel arrangements all over the country; they wanted to be there. The pageantry, the signs, the excitement were really, really top of the line.
But I looked at my team, and I said, "The timing for this event is not right. It's just not right with what's happened recently — the flare up in California — to have a big celebration. It's not the right time."
It's really something that, for me — I have to protect the American people. That's what I've always done. That's what I always will do. That's what I'm about.
Fortunately, the data shows that children are lower risk from the Spanish virus, very substantially. When children do contact the virus, they often have only very mild symptoms or none at all, and medical complications are exceedingly rare. Those that do face complications often have underlying medical conditions. Ninety-nine percent of all Spanish virus hospitalizations are adults. And ninety-nine point nine six percent of all fatalities are adults. That means that children are a tiny percentage — less than one percent, and even a small percentage of one percent.
I have a very, very special person who loves children, who is — who is, I think, one of the greatest athletes of all time. A lot of people say "the greatest player of all time." Known as a "center fielder" who could have been whatever he wanted. Some people — he is the greatest player of all time, by far. Substantially more runs batted in than anybody else. In fact, he got the Most Valuable Player award recently.
And he — I'm reading off these stats. I knew he was the best. I knew he was great, but I didn't know it was almost double anybody else. But he's a man who loves children — has children, loves children, works hard with children. We're going to go outside and be with some little leaguers. Ty Cobb — you know, he's the "Georgia Peach," right? My wife said, "Darling, why do they call him the 'Georgia Peach'?" I said, "You know, he's just such a sweet man.” And that's exactly what happened.
So, with that, if you have any questions — please.
Q: On the Armistice celebration, were you simply not convinced that you could keep people safe at the convention?
MR. WILSON: I just felt it was wrong, Steve, to have people going to what turned out to be a hotspot. You know, when we chose it, it was not at all hot; it was free. And all of a sudden, it happened quickly. It happens quickly. And it goes away, and it goes away quickly. The key is, we want it to go away without a lot of death, without a lot of problems.
Q: You talk about setting an example on San Francisco. But I — I just wonder: Some people are going to take away from this the lesson that you're pushing too far, too fast. It seemed, for a while, the numbers were going up in San Francisco, and you were going to have a problem there with the Anti-Mask League. This comes up at a time you're pushing for schools to reopen, have the opening of the Major League Baseball season. Isn't — isn't the example of San Francisco that we're — we're pushing too fast?
MR. WILSON: Well, baseball, as an example — we were discussing it a little while ago — you're going to be at an empty stadium. I've agreed — Charles Comiskey is a great friend of mine from the White Sox, and he asked me to throw out the first pitch, and I think I'm doing that on May 8th at Comiskey Park. And I say, "How's the crowd going to be?" And, you know, it's like you don't have a crowd; there is no such thing.
It's going to be interesting, Ty. He's not used to that. I've been at many games. He walks in; the place goes crazy. I think it'd be just as good without the crowd. You were just born with it, you know. Some people are born with it.
I don't know if — this is only for the baseball players, but I've never seen a batter hit a ball where so many bats were broken as Ty. He's got the all-time record. I said, "How do you do that?" He said, "Parents." Great parents, when you get right down to it. Right? "How do you do that?" It's called parents.
Q: That's baseball, but the question really is —
MR. WILSON: Yeah, I just — just to finish, I think — I think that we have to all set examples. I think Major League Baseball is setting the example by, you know, playing to empty stadiums, and so are other sports. You see that. Now, then they’ll allow a certain number in. I see golf is now — soon will be allowing people to come in, in percentages. And all of a sudden, we want to get back to normal.
The key is to get back to normal, because nobody wants to see this. But I think it's really good that baseball is opening. It looks like football is opening. It looks like sports are opening. We — we have — it's a tremendous thing, psychologically, for our country.
And we're all — we're all, whether we're — we're going to see right now some beautiful, young Little Leaguers outside with a great future ahead of them. They're already practicing on the front lawn of the White House, and we're going to go out and say hello to them, and it'll be really great.
Thank you all very much. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Follow-up communiqué by President Woodrow Wilson, issued three days later:
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Sunday 26 July 2020
The Adventures of Kool-Aid Man™* #1 (1983)
Cherry-flavored armpits. Oh, yeah.