Racist? Not According to Hoyle or Trump!

DATELINE: A Rose by the Name of Racist?

 aka Karen?

Yes, you can be a virulent Nazi-styled genocidal racist, but just don’t let it slip out. For years, these closet racial purists have kept mum. Now they are emboldened to strike out at coronavirus masks and the old ladies who wear them.

We don’t share Harvard birder Chris Cooper’s charitable view that Amy aka Karen, the racist, has suffered enough.

These so-called “Karens,” (what an oddly almost-innocent sounding term) are ready to call the police on their smartphones and accuse any black birdwatcher of attacking and threatening.

You have these people filmed by witnesses, which is fairly damning, but they immediately issue an apology (through legal advice we suspect) and pronounce this aberration is not proof they are racist.

But they are!

We seem to be in a world where self-knowledge is about as far-fetched as Trump’s SAT scores. Deny, deny, deny, and then claim the Nazis are those who don’t want to die of coronavirus and want people to show some humanity.

In America in the 21stcentury there is no educated redneck. They are illiterate slobs only interested in the next beer and football game. These are all civil libertarians ready to defend their freedom against science, medicine, and common sense.

You may have a sense that the Black Death was perpetuated by the same idiocy—but the world of the United States is a special location in history that may self-destruct owing to its own hubris.

So, next time a Karen or Ken mouths off some vile race-baiting hate, you know they are part of the effort to destroy the greatest experiment in liberty and freedom in the history of the world. And, their fearless leader is the one who thinks he belongs on Mt. Rushmore with a couple of other slave-holders, a monument created by a KKK sympathizer (sort of like Trump’s father).

 

 

 

  306 Hollywood Avenue: Archaeological Digs

DATELINE:  How a Life Matters

 Grandma as Empress!

One of the most original documentaries and fascinating undertaking belongs to a film by siblings Elan and Jonathan Bogarin. When their grandmother dies at age 93 in New Jersey, they undertake to deconstruct her life though the house she lived in for 67 years.

Grandma Annette saved everything and they, at first, plan to shred documents and toss everything out for a quick sale. However, strange evocations in the house lead them to stop everything. Even the undertaker tells them her spirit may be in the house for up to 11 months.

Whereas most of our possessions are trashed in a bin immediately, like her lifelong collection of paperclips, the grandchildren now want to sift through her ordinary life like it is the pyramid of a great personage. The result is astounding, heart-rending, and illuminating. You must look at how our lives end up in a trash heap that no one wants or cares about. It could be your address or anyone you know.

In one segment, they visit the archivist for the John D. Rockefeller house, the saved heirlooms and collectibles of the rich family. They have the resources to do what middle-income people cannot—and they have selected what will survive to prove the Rockefeller legacy.

They then ask the archivist about his family. He has saved his grandmother’s cookie recipes and her log of making dozens for her children.

As Annette made dresses, beautiful copies for herself too, they have an interesting take on the fashion as icons. A conservator tells how she can feel the spirit of the owner in the clothes, and physicist Alan Lightman talks about how molecules and atoms never die, but become disarranged: the dead person is no longer assembled, but parts float around the universe.

They keep the house for six years until Jonathan hears his grandmother call his name. As Alan Lightman states, houses are universes, and like the universe, they can be reduced to fit into a thimble.

Dark Dirk’s Shadow

DATELINE:  British Murder Mystery

 As a Charming Killer!

Of course, Janet Greene is no Agatha Christie, but English female mystery playwrights were big in the 1950s. Her big play has more sociopathic psycho than most.

So, the big cheese to play the role was a perfect choice.

From light comedy to darkest character drama with sociological implications, Dirk Bogarde stormed onto the scene in British, arty films in the 1950s. He could play a charming medical students in the film series, Doctor in the House,or he could be a dangerous sexual predator as in Cast a Dark Shadow  all within the same year!

No actor in the Hollywood system could do that sort of range.

In 1955, he managed to play one of his creepier wife-murdering fortune hunters, cast as the darkest shadow, Teddy Bare who is married to oldster Mona Washbourne. Her name is Moni, but it sounds like Mommy when Dirk speaks.

Moni makes a will, against Teddy’s wish. With no will, he receives all her money. He is forced to dispatch her immediately and must find another wife/victim.

In some ways, the young man after old ladies is not credible, but the idea of a young man hustling an older man was not feasible in 1955, but we give Bogarde credit for his unspoken suggestion. In one scene he is reading male health magazine with men in bikini photos.

That was about as blatant as you could be to send a gay message in 1955.

In glossy black and white, the film is a beautiful production with sharp sets and lovely photography from director Lewis Gilbert. The other women victims are younger and more apt, Margaret Atwood and Kay Walsh.

This is a lost gem that now is found on streaming services.

 Go West, Young Voter!

DATELINE: IQ Not a Barrier!

 

If you did not already believe that any idiot can become president of the United States, Kanye West is the example to prove the point.

His campaign motto shall be, “Go West, or Go to Hell,” and voters of an ilk will likely respond. He doesn’t need the senior vote, and has no intention of putting the Pointer Sisters into his cabinet.

Yes, this musical maven has announced he is fit and ready to be your next president. Despite being a Trump lackey, he has found the limelight too much to his liking.

He first big donor has lined up: another half-wit billionaire by the name of Elon Musk. He’s the guy ready to send you to Mars with no return ticket. And now, Mark Cuban who famously was called out by his player, Kevin Durant, with the words, “Cuban is a idiot.”

Spaceshots are already clamoring to be president of Mars. No mail-in ballots will be allowed on Phobos.

It’s now clear who has been abducted by space aliens and who is the pilot of your local UFO. Kanye will hold his convention and nomination rally at Area 51 where long runways and reverse engineers are preparing his Oval Office décor.

To balance the ticket, Kanye needs to find the right Veep and Justin Bieber may be a tad young, but he won’t be in line to succeed for eight years. Justin Timberlake is too far left. Taylor Swift has turned him down.

Kayne West already will tell you his black life matters more than others: he makes big money and has a famous wife. Kim Kardashian may not be Jackie Kennedy Onassis, but she certainly will give her best imitation. Jay-Z is set to be campaign manager. And Drake has promised to bring in the LGBT vote.

By the way, the Federal Election Commission is investigating Kanye for false filing information. The joke will be over soon enough.

 

 

  Mae West: Dirty Blonde

DATELINE: Way Ahead of the Curve!

 Mae in Lion’s Mouth!

When PBS Masters finally recognizes Mae 100 years after her astounding Broadway run, you know she is still years ahead of the rest of society. How did this woman whose first plays were called “garbage,” or “lewd” or worse, manage to transcend Sexand The Dragto become a sotto vocecomic?

She was hardly a dirty blonde, but she was stunning to behold.

Her first play about a sex worker resulted in a week-long jail sentence that became the best publicity stunt New Yorkers ever saw. Her second play, she scoured the drag queen bars of the 1920s to find 60 gay men and women to do her ground-breaking shocker about homosexuality!

It took her thinking about why few women attended her plays (she wrote, directed, and starred). So, she came up with Diamond Lil, in hour-glass dresses, fancy lingerie, and big hats: add a few off-hand jokes, and she was Mae West forever.

You could say she saved Paramount Studios with her astute performances: she was in charge of everything and made $1 more than the highest paid executive. She insisted on black performers with billing in her movies, and she gave Duke Ellington his first Hollywood exposure!

Mae hated negativity—and she liked to be in control. Slowly she evolved into a real version of her creative version. She was forty and overweight when she made her first movie, and she was run out of Hollywood by censors. By the 1950s, she was considered a man in drag herself–and she was ripe for parody everywhere.

In the 1970s in her 80s, she made a comeback as a sex symbol, a shocking parody that was hilarious inSextette  and Myra Breckinridge. With her half-baked singing, shimmy, and snide overcurrent delivery, she was a striking original.

 

 

 

Yes, We Have No Trump Bananas!

DATELINE: Accused Felon

Trump with recently arrested harridan predator.

Fox News, that bastion of journalistic integrity, has now taken to cropping any photo of Jeffrey Epstein with Trump so that the POTUS is MIA. They forgot all the pix of Ghislaine Maxwell with him.

This is almost identical to sticking your head in the sand, if you are an ostrich. If you don’t show it, it never happened. A Trump supporter went for our throat recently when we sent a picture of the president and Ghislaine. She foamed rapidly that it was “photoshopped,” but did not feel any picture of Bill Clinton might be equally photoshopped.

Of course, the nervous nellies of Fox are photoshopping Trump out of the images because the summertime heat is increasing. It seems the prosecutor’s office may be looking at a tie to “public officials.” Hmm, that means you, Trump.

 

 

It could mean AG Barr too, whose father was an early Epstein enabler at the Dalton School, a fancy prep where words like rich and scandal never are put in the same sentence.

 

Sexual predators seem to travel in packs.

 

Fox News clearly is thinking that their news watchers who are Trump supporters do not need to hear how their brazen leader knew and supported the child abuse of Ghislaine and Epstein. Heavens, no!

 

The problem is a pattern of sexual abuse and accusers over many years around the President. The problem is that Ghislaine’s father (and her friend Epstein) may have been selling video, audio, and bugged footage to Vladimir Putin over the years. Yes, Epstein was a salesman who met death from the business of selling images of  famous politicians in compromising positions.We do not use “positions” lightly.

A cold steel dossier on Trump would surely mean his cooperation. Putin has that.

Of course, some Fox intern left Melania in the original picture, apparently not recognizing her in her pre-First Lady coquettish days.

Fox News may switch its theme song to “Yes, We Have no Bananas.”  It’s fitting for those going crazy and living in a banana republic like Trumpworld.

 

 

 

Stone Monuments & Rocks in Trump’s Head

DATELINE: Trump Version of Disneyland

Mt. Rushmore or Less!

The so-called Garden of Monuments proposed by Trump will be nothing less than an ode to Hollywood versions of American heroes. A close look at Trump’s selection of heroes features a good number of 1950s TV icons—from Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett, to a plethora of Walt Disney depictions.

 

We suspect in Trump’s rock head, the faces of Boone and Crockett will belong to Fess Parker.

You may have noticed war hero Audie Murphy on this list, but not war hero Alvin York. York’s movie came too soon for Trump, but you can count on the fact that when Lou Gehrig is included, he will look like Gary Cooper.

Oh, in a show of good faith and black face, Trump includes the ubiquitous Martin Luther King, Jr., and Harriet Tubman (she’s good enough for the $2 bill but not the $20).  We expect there will be a lot of Confederate money tossed about: though he does not mention Jeff Davis or Robert E. Lee, they will have a spot in Trump’s American heritage.

 

You can put the monument park next to one of his golf courses, thereby raking in more money to the Trump Organization.

You should include George Patton (in the likeness of George C. Scott), but forget Ike. For that matter, you should include the movie star president, Ronald Reagan, but forget the Democrats like FDR or JFK. Not invited.

 

We expect there will be a spot on Trump’s Rushmore for Nixon.

 

You can find Wilbur Wright on this list, but no Neil Armstrong.

 

You can find a few foreigners like Columbus, but don’t look for any Native Americans like Sitting Bull. The only bull here is Trump.

 

 

 

 

 

Next Step in the Epstein Investigation?

 DATELINE: Costume Ballers

 Weinstein/Epstein/Maxwell.

 What a trio!

When Prince Andrew threw a costume ball, Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein joined Harvey Weinstein for fun and games.

Word is now filtering out of the Southern District of New York federal prosecutor’s office that the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell is opening up a Pandora Box. They may be looking at an investigation into public officials tied into the Jeffrey Epstein case.

You have political types jumping up and down on both sides of the aisle:  Republicans think Bill Clinton is under the gun, and Democrats think Donald Trump is the person of interest.

The term “public official” certainly rules out Prince Andrew, the son of Queen Elizabeth and a royal slime-ball of another country’s color.

Trump’s firing of the US Attorney Geoffrey Berman last week indicates that he was attempting to de-rail any investigation into Rudy Giuliani or Alan Dershowitz, two Trump allies with connections to Epstein’s unsavory sexual history. Bill Gates and Elon Musk have taken to the powder room to keep dry.

Everyone denies their culpability, but the rumors for years of loose morals among these people can be uncovered on many websites and news feeds over the past decade or so. Like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, all seem to be connected to each other, crossing paths or socializing with no distance too close. Ghislaine’s photo with Kevin Spacey from 2002 has been unearthed, and pix of Weinstein with Epstein are also now easy to find.

If you want to believe in a network of sexual predators, you don’t have to stretch the mind too far. Nearly all these people were flight risks on the Lolita Express, Epstein’s aptly named jet to perdition.

Some experts think Ghislaine will talk a good game to escape a long prison term; others believe she will never make it to trial. Accidents do happen when you cross billionaires and political power horses.

 

 

 

 

 Not Birds of a Feather: Birders

 DATELINE: Central Park 

 Cooper, Starr with director Kimball.

 

If you want to escape viruses and racial problems, you may go to Central Park in New York City where over 200 varieties of birds come to spend time each year. The film is from 2012 and is called Birders: the Central Park Effect..

Seasonal birders are bird-watchers who come in spring or fall to see the most friendly and unusual birds ever to congregate in a small urban space.

One of the most charming of people in this documentary is Chris Cooper, a gay African American man who calls the art of birders “a treasure hunt,” and explains he disappears for a month of delightful fun every spring. He compares birding to stamp collecting.

You may recall the incident (not in the movie) about the white woman (clearly a racist who could never apologize with a name, only calling her victim “that man”) who called police on Cooper who complained her dog was not on a leash and was frightening the birds. Her attack on Cooper went viral.

That shows how even birdwatching has become dangerous in our racially charged world lately.

What a shame about the racist attack on Cooper, but it draws attention to how real the problem is—even when we try to escape the horrors of our society lately.

Cooper is articulate, intelligent, and a marvelous birder to introduce the artful hobby that entails The Central Park Effect on birds.

Other birders in the film include an old woman named Starr Saphir who charged a few dollars to lead people on watching tours. She usually finds a dozen birds, identify them, and give their history. She kept records for each year for decades before her passing in 2013.

Another character in the story compares birders to those seeking movie stars. The stars are not pigeons or geese, but rare birds you may know from books and pictures. To see one in person is like meeting a movie star, according to Jonathan Franzen.

The film now resonates in ways never intended, but it remains a delightful study of human nature in natural setting. If there is bad news, the number of birds is declining everywhere.

 

Any Cost for the Race to Victory

DATELINE: World War II & Big Three

Leave it to History Channel to bait and switch its viewers yet again.

It seems after weeks of calling Race to Victory  a three-part series, it now appears it is multi-part series. Worse yet, History Channel simply tagged on the nextepisode after the third (now penultimate episode). But, wait, there’s even more!

Events superseded individuals in the first two episodes, but we wanted to see more about the interpersonal and psychological ties between the Big Three. This is a glaring omission in an otherwise excellent series. Now it appears this may be coming in the unknown fourth and fifth episode of the show.

We still have no idea what the “race to victory” of the title means. No explanation seems to have been offered, and self-evident strikes us as ridiculous.

 

This is still fascinating stuff: starting with Germany trying to break up the new alliance of Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt, by revealing mass graves of Stalin’s victims. It didn’t work because the Allies needed the lesser of the two evils.

The first meeting of the Big Three didn’t happen because Roosevelt was too sick to travel to Asia where Churchill and Stalin actually became friendly. Stalin wanted aid to Leningrad, but Churchill was set on fighting in Africa to protect the Suez Canal.

 

The States were also preparing to take on the Pacific campaign to regain Midway. Both Brits and Americans were breaking Axis codes—and that was the real turning point, but it didn’t hurt to have General Patton show up to give the Nazis a headache.

There are likely many tidbits in this series that only diehard buffs of World War II will know. For the rest of us, this is illuminating and intriguing.

 

 

 

Live Free, Ghislaine’s Motto

DATELINE: NH Hideaway for Child Molester

 Home Sweet Home!

A new episode of Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein is now required! In the past two weeks, Trump fired the prosecutor responsible for the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell, notorious pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s eponymous procurer for a couple of decades.

Apparently she believed the motto of New Hampshire: “Live Free or Die,” as the FBI arrested her in Bradford, NH, in the foothills of Mount Sunapee. There, she lived like Prince Andrew’s consort in exile.

She was not exactly living free:  in December she bought a beautiful one-million-dollar mansion with cash. Miss Maxwell has more loot than you could count. Her hideaway was in the heart of Trump country: most of the locals thought a reclusive movie star had moved into the neighborhood, as the buyer was anonymous.

No, she was simply on the run from federal authorities, and she lived like a star.

The manse, located in cell phone free zone, had a breathtaking window wall view of the mountain. You couldn’t be reached by modern inconveniences. This little house required servants and caretakers, and so you can assume that Ghislaine had her enablers. They were either locals or flown in to do the dirty work.

Maxwell’s father was Robert Maxwell, the notorious tabloid dirt collector. Some claim he worked for Putin, providing photos and grist on political leaders who ended up in the blackmail pile.

Ghislaine procured for Jeffrey Epstein, not for money or love, but because it was a hobby she enjoyed. She ‘d choose and groom those 14-year-old girls for Epstein. She likely whistled while she worked. The British socialite could have fled the US and hidden in one of Prince Andrew’s castles in Scotland (they’re old buddies, or old something). Instead, like most arrogant people, she flaunted her money and lived the high life.

She had a helicopter pilot license and could have fled, but chose to challenge the FBI.

Now her residence of six months in Bradford will be on the market before you can say “child molester.” They better watch her closely in her cell, lest she be dispatched before being deposed.

Claire Denis: High Life Tumbles

DATELINE: Pattinson Finds His Spacesuit! 

 Rocket Man, Not !

The latest film by auteur and brilliant director Claire Denis is not her best, but it is original, bizarre, and will find admirers among the critical set. High Life sets a tone and standard for sci-fi that seems sci-unfit.

However, High Life is more original than your sci-fi audience may want. This is not on the level of Kubrick tackling the topic. It is anti-science fiction: philosophical and idiosyncratic. Forward is going backward from Earth.

 

If Robert Pattinson has selected it, you know you are in for something different. He knows how to pick unusual movies.

The narrative storyline is something about a father raising his infant daughter alone on a spaceship hurtling toward a black hole.

You know you are in arthouse territory when the title of the film flashes 18minutes into the story. We slowly discern the rest of the crew is dead—and therein is the tale of sexual tension with malcontents on a ship going nowhere at nine-tenths the speed of light.

Somewhere around half-way into the movie, we find the kink foundation and disturbing fact that these are actually delinquent prisoners unethically sent out as guinea pigs with no hope of return.

Their fate is not exactly happy, and their problematic lives merely make the inevitable tragedy. In the meantime, Pattinson is a curio, ageless and aging as his daughter grows up. Their goal of a black hole is referred to as an alligator eye, but it is the bullseye of bull. This dark, dour film has convinced some it is a masterpiece.

For others, it is simply so far out there that it defies comprehension. Critical reaction is all over the landscape and under the sun.

Orange Hair is the New Blackface!

DATELINE: All Lives Anti-Matter!

 Upside Down to an Illiterate?

There goes the neighborhood! That is Trump’s reaction to having a giant sign that says, “Black Lives Matter” in front of his New York Trump Tower.

Apart from thinking that a peaceful movement is a “symbol of hate,” he believes that people who share that view are likely terrorists. He is concerned that the valuable property on Fifth Avenue will never have a white Easter parade again.

This revelation from a man who touts supporters who cry out, “White Power,” and brandish weapons aimed at peaceful marchers, is typical of a man who is going down to Fifth Avenue, with a gun where he famously announced he could shoot someone and never lose a vote.

We now know the people he prefers to shoot are likely black people.

 

The real symbol of hate in 2st century America is sitting in the Oval Office, fielding softball questions from Sean Hannity on TV. And, even then, he cannot answer a question directly—like what horror of genocide will he perform if re-elected.

We do know that in Trump’s world, Robert E. Lee enjoys more protection than a young black man under surveillance by your local police.

He is fighting mad and fighting like hell you never read a book about him, as he is desperate to stop his niece’s unsavory details about a man who put money before family.

Then, again, when your father marches in KKK rallies back in the 1920s, you may be justified in taking his money away from him when he reached the Alzheimer stage of old age. He probably thought black lives matter.

Epstein’s Murder Will Out

DATELINE: Prime Suspect.

Alex Acosta & friend.

Maybe we will learn what really happened to Jeffrey Epstein, but not while William Barr is AG and Trump is POTUS. The only prosecutor prepared to go after Epstein and his co-conspirators was fired by Trump recently.

Yes, Geoffrey Berman did what Alex Acosta would not, and Trump has dismissed him. Acosta was paid off with an appointment to Secretary of Labor, but resigned two days after Epstein’s death. Trump praised him, and he ignored victims of child abuse.

Why would a man be taken off suicide watch in the federal prison? Have his Bunkie removed? And be given dozens of sheets and extension cords? Someone certainly made sure he had a message to kill himself.

Who is ultimately in charge of the Federal Bureau of Prisons? None other than the man whose father was a pal of Epstein, William Barr. And who is Barr’s superior? The man who was a close friend of Epstein, Donald Trump.

All the dots are there in this series, but no one dares to connect them. It’s dangerous, and Ghislaine Maxwell has her helicopter pilot license and is off globe-trotting. Epstein put his will into the Virgin Islands legal system, an irony for the owner of the Lolita Express jet. It is also a means to deny anyone access to his estate for at least a decade.

Murder or suicide? Both Michael Baden and Cyril Wecht, America’s two most prominent pathologists, will give you an answer that is disturbing.

WW2 Race to Victory: Second Episode

DATELINE: No Re-enactors!

 

  FDR & Winnie

History Channel’s new series Race to Victory  started off shakily in the second installment by suggesting that both Stalin and Roosevelt were surprised by the attacks on their countries. Putting the drunken bender of Stalin in line with philatelist FDR. It seemed bad taste, and outright preposterous.

The excellent photo footage is most remarkable in its selection and usage. The second episode began in early 1941 well before Pearl Harbor to show how much Churchill tried to entice FDR to give up isolationism and convince America to fight with the British Empire.

FDR was a capitalist against empires, and Churchill was the epitome of the colonial mentality. Though they met and personally liked each other, there was no agreement on this sticking point. And, both were reluctant to accept Stalin, but his massive country was important if they were to stop Hitler.

The series skips with balletic care the idea that Pearl Harbor was a deliberate set-up to bring America into the war. However, we know from our father, a Naval officer in the war, that he and others believed it firmly.

The end of 1941 was Hitler and Japan’s run to victory on both fronts. The Japanese immediately took hold of all the key ports of the Pacific, making America’s requirement for two fronts. It undercut Churchill’s plans for the US to fight strictly in Europe.

However, this compelling series manages to pull together extraordinary historical film and pictures to make this a a refreshing and powerful series that depicts the Big Three in ways you may not expect.