One of my classmates at UGA was an artist about a dozen years older than me named John Amoss. (Two "s"s. Not the actor). John was a fantastic printmaker and all-around good guy. (I'm sure that he's still a great printmaker. I hope he's still an all-around good guy.)

John once said that I reminded him of himself "before he got cynical about being cynical." That was over 15 years ago. I'm now older than John was when he told me that. Am I any less cynical?

Let's take the current ongoing federal government partial shutdown as a test case. We got here because the head of the executive branch said he wouldn't pass any legislation to fund the government unless it included $5 billion for his pet project, the border wall. His cronies in the legislative branch took the hint and have avoided giving him anything since. Meanwhile, many government agencies tasked with keeping the country safe are either shut down or forcing employees to work for free. That's the opposite of what our government is supposed to be doing. That's their job. Why aren't they doing it?

So long as it the government remains closed, the Democrats controlling the House can blame the President for refusing to give in negotiate with them. So long as it the government remains closed, the Republicans controlling the Senate can blame the Democrats for treating like the President like the baby he is leaving America's borders insecure. And so long as the government remains closed, the President can postpone lawsuits accusing him of violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution and eat mountains of fast food with football players.

Am I still cynical? Obviously. Am I too cynical? Sorry, John. There's no such thing.

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The only way to win is not to play

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July had to make an emergency trip to the vet today. Her breathing had been shallow since yesterday, and I thought it might have to do with a fall she had taken. (The old bones aren't they used to be.)

The doctor said that x-rays show "cloudiness" in her lungs. It may be the beginnings of pneumonia, so we're now on antibiotics just in case.

July escape plan: first learn to reach the door handle then we'll worry about that gas pedal.

I worry that the visit to the vet's office might be worse than the disease. She hates that place. It took two people to drag her back for her x-rays. That's pretty good for a twelve-year-old girl with no air in her lungs.

Get well soon, July!

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A) The National Safety Council reports that as of 2017, Americans are more likely to die from an accidental opiod overdose than from a car accident.

B) I don't take opiods, so I cannot overdose.

C) Therefore, I must not be an American.

That's called logic.

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Movies, movies, movies!

197. (1426.) Doctor Strange (2016)
Doc Strange's origin story has a pretty simple plot (and a very flawed hero). It also has Benedict Cumberbatch, who almost succeeds in making his character likable. Almost.

198. (1427.) Hearts and Minds (1974)
This anti-Vietnam War documentary is about as anti-war as any movie ever. There was so much film footage of moments I'd only seen in stills, I felt like I was watching a history textbook come to life. For the record, I'm convinced. Let's get out of Vietnam.

200. (1429.) Trolls (2016)
I wanted to watch something special for my 200th movie in 2018. Instead, I watched Trolls. I shouldn't complain. I was a kid once. I can be marketed to. I saw The Care Bears Movie in a theater. (What can I say? I've always been a sucker for Grumpy Bear.)

201. (1430.) Ma and Pa Kettle (1949)
This is actually the second in the Ma and Pa Kettle series of movies about The Beverly Hillbillies the misadventures of some country folk adapting to life in the modern world. It's enjoyable, and it's easy to see why they went on to make The Beverly Hillbillies six more. (Almost completely unrelated trivia: There is an auto mechanic near my house that calls itself Maw and Paw Kettyle. They do good work.)

202. (1431.) Love Actually (2003)
I heard so much about this movie over the holiday season that I finally watched it on TBS. Even though Martin Freeman was in the opening credits, none of his scenes appear in the edited-for-television version, so I re-watched Mom's DVD (because she owns every Christmas movie). His scenes were, amusingly, the most honest and by far the best. In other words, don't watch this movie on TV.

203. (1432.) Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
I turned the channel to TCM to wash down all that Love. Here Barbara Stanwyck is a lifestyle columnist (a 1940's Martha Stewart) caught in her own web of lies when her boss insists she host a Christmas get-together with a war hero. Good stuff.

More to come.

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Louis Vuitton is a well known French luxury fashion brand famous for their expensive purses like the Artsy MM:

a bag for your shit

That purse retails for $2,000, which explains why they are such a common target for counterfeiters. Therefore, the company is unusually aggressive about taking legal action against perceived violators of their valuable brand. That's why they sent MGA Entertainment Inc. a cease and desist letter over MGA's top-selling toy, the Poopsie Pooey Puitton.

a shit bag

According to Amazon.com, Poopsie Pooey Puitton contains 12 unicorn food packets. "Just add water to make a rainbow of poop!" Who wouldn't want that? Other than Louis Vuitton, I mean.

In response to Louis Vuitton's bullying, MGA has pre-emptively sued to defend their right for parody speech. The following is a real sentence in a real court filing, per Reuters.

The use of the Pooey name and Pooey product in association with a product line of "magical unicorn poop" is intended to criticize or comment upon the rich and famous, the Louis Vuitton name, the LV marks, and on their conspicuous consumption.

Make a statement about rampant materialism; buy your Poopsie Pooey Puitton today! (Did I mention this product is aimed at 5- to 10-year-olds?)

And that's where we are now. 2019. Year of the magical unicorn poop. At least until Louis Vuitton gets their hands on it. Or gets it on their hands.

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To be continued...

 

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