Apologies to Oak Island Treasure Hunters

 DATELINE: Revising the Original Review

Unlike a bad penny, the Oak Island treasure never turns up.

When last we reviewed Curse of Oak Island, we were in a less than kind mood. The onerous tones of the opening remain, telling us that six men have died searching for the pirate treasure in Nova Scotia. And legend insists that a seventh will die.

We now suspect the seventh victim will be the audience, dying of old age.

Yes, the show remains intriguing. We feel like an addict, called back to the bad stuff by enabler Rick Lagina.

The best parts of the show always are the detective work, often leading nowhere. Don’t let that stop you. But most of all, we enjoy the old-timers who were there 50 or 60 years ago—and still are caught up.

Dan Blankenship is now 93 years old, but is spry, witty, and the best part of the series. He lives on Oak Island and brings a unique perspective to the American searchers.

The Lagina brothers have always been smarmy, but this season Rick is overdone by his younger sibling. Once a tightwad, Lagina is now prepared to dump millions into digging up the money pit.

The show must be reaping more revenue than we suspected. The real treasure is cable TV ratings.

We must confess we are hooked. Bring on the snake oil. Show us another murky video of gold glimmering 150 below the surface. We have signed on for another season, enjoying it like a return to boyhood.

 

 

Val Kilmer’s Last Decent Movie

DATELINE: Mamet Strikes Again

kilmer

The last decent movie made by Val Kilmer was about a dozen years ago, called Spartan (2004), directed and written by David Mamet.

It’s one of those double cross, double agent stories about how sly and violent the real national security people are. They have nothing compared to Kilmer who made this movie looking rather beautiful. Of course, he had his own make-up artist, two personal assistants, and a driver. Even his leather jacket received billing.

As for the movie, it did not portray the world in any kind of favorable light, being the epitome of cynicism. It was made a dozen years before Mr. Trump won his election—but it’s a world that his supporters would likely point to as the reality.

Kilmer is so tough as nails and coldly professional as a killer that his loyal aides will die for him. What’s more the movie is filmed mostly in Boston to show liberals how they are being used.

A smart cast includes Derek Luke, Bill Macy, and Ed O’Neill, as various levels of national security snarks.

If you can’t tell the good guys from the bad, you have a sense that Jason Bourne may be the new rule as far as government conspiracy is concerned. Yes, this film seems to want to be in that mold—giving Kilmer a franchise.

Alas, this one never caught on—and worse, fell through the cracks of espionage-up-the-kazoo. What a shame. Its natural dark element does turn it up a notch over cartoon superheroes.

The film was once titled, “Ranger,” because everyone thought Spartan was an epic by Sophocles. They should have stuck with Ranger.

Red Sox Fire Upon White Sox: Take Sale on Black Tuesday

DATELINE:  Hot Stove Sale

 Future IV Coming Soon?  Dave Dombrowsky on Sale

Those pesky Red Sox have struck at the heart of Patriot/Celtic/Bruin season in Boston, knocking their fellow sporters off the sports pages.

Dave Dombo has traded for Chris Sale, top notch lefty from Chicago. This is the kind of trade we had thought would come from Celtic mover and shaker, Danny Ainge, but no soap from Danny Boy.

This is the kind of move that is the antithesis of Swami Bill Belichick’s sending of superstars out of town on a rail, tout suite, from Collins to Jones

Dombo brings’em back alive.

The Red Sox now have a plethora of riches in the starter department:  put together with recent Cy Young winner Rick Porcello, frequent Cy Young winner David Price, you now add potential Cy Young winner Chris Sale.

To bring this prize to the crackerjack Red Sox, the team sent off a couple of pitching prospects: one was known for breaking his hand on the jaw of a roommate.

Chris Sale is the prize, if you overlook his slice and dice history of savaging the White Sox old-time throwback uniforms. After he took a machete to them, the rags were not suitable for the rich Sox.

Now, he likely will have no problem with a throwback Red Sox uniform, even when it is green on St. Patrick’s Day.

The new Sox rotation with stirred with a swizzle stick Clay Buchholz who may or may not be on his best mound during the upcoming season. No matter, because the Sox just bought themselves a couple of pennants over the remainder of the 20-teens.

Westworld’s First Season Ends on Edge of Apocalypse

DATELINE: Where Have All the Robots Gone?

 westworld

At the end of season one of Jonathan Nolan’s HBO series, Westworld, the computers cash in their chips.

We dare not predict who will be left standing for next season**, but there is a likely chance that few of the regulars from this season will return. Nolan himself in his closing teaser promises that next season will bring chaos.

The robots have discovered even their revolt is the masterwork of a programmer.  The enslaved robots dream of violent pasts, and we learn that their life spans end in malfunction that we might call “insanity”.

The series has certainly enjoyed many moments of delight—from the motif of Debussy’s Reverie playing on everything from a player piano in a saloon, to a crank cylinder—to the image of Yul Brynner’s Gunslinger from the original movie shut away in the shadows of a backroom.

The series ended with considerable mumbo-jumbo, the sort of stuff that passes as philosophical insights in pop sci-fi, but that merely makes the experience more maddening.

Because the reveries of the damaged robots seem to flicker in and out of their consciousness, the last episode of the season either ended characters—or nothing ends. This was the hallmark of Jonathan Nolan’s other fascinating series, Person of Interest. Flashbacks meant dead characters returned to fulfill their past lives.

All this leaves us anticipating what may happen next year without having one of those cliff-hanging, manufactured endings.

Week after ten weeks, we have seen brazen, but throwaway, nudity among the robots as they are prepared—and abused by their caretakers. The violence and orgies no longer need to be suggested on cable television; there is no subtlety in the brave new world of Westworld. And, the brave new world of acting demands you better have a good-looking body because the script won’t allow for shy actors to overcome their modesty.

We had to wait a year for a few episodes of Downton Abbey—and now we will wait for the five-year** run of Westworld, one season at a time.

** Jonathan Nolan revealed that the second season will likely not air until 2018 at earliest.  Yikes. We are not ageless, like robots.

 

Brady Wins #201, Playing GOAT against Rams

DATELINE:  201 Notches and Counting

tom-brady-as-gunslinger

 

That Fishy Jeff Fischer, coach of the Rams, gave Tom Brady #201 on a silver platter.

Yes, the man who epitomizes NFL mediocrity couldn’t find his red challenge flag during one play—and had to beg the pardon of the referees.

It was that sort of game. Brady played with his usual fire—jawing at one Ram after he was unceremoniously butted. You don’t do that to a man twice your age who is about to set a record.

There is no reason to believe that Roger Goodell called Tom to extend best wishes. He may have asked to have the game ball checked for air pressure, however.

This was a game without Gronk, and some felt it was a test of what kind of receiver Tom would knight. This was like asking the members of the Round Table to genuflect before King Arthur. You know each one of them is likely to bring back to Holy Grail.

Since Tom has thrown to hundreds of receivers and tight ends, he was hardly non—plussed by the absence of his jolly big guy.

The other issue was whether the defense of the Patriots could stand up to the worst offense in the NFL. The Rams started a rookie quarterback, usually an appetizer for Belichick coached teams. Indeed, it was standard operating procedure: the Pats toyed with the kid named Goff, whose game was off.

If the defense couldn’t look good against the Rams, you know that absent Gronk is not the problem. The Patriots feasted on the Ram that looked like a sheep in Ram’s clothing.

This was a tune-up for a couple of tough games forthcoming, but as Alfred E. Neumann often states, “What? Me worry?”

 

High Finance Movie for Average Investors

 DATELINE: Who’s Got Algorithm?

money

 Money Monster is a satiric poke at high finance. At least we think that was its intention.

With the convoluted antics of billionaire investors, it’s hard enough to follow the stock market machinations with any sense of trust to the media. And, this film depicts a TV show called Money Monster, featuring dancing girls and a glib host (George Clooney) who is taken hostage on air.

The network hosts are a combo of CNN and Fox, though the real culprit of this phony journalism is likely MSNBC. In fact, the terrorist is a typical investor with a bomb vest and gun. Audiences can’t tell a joke from reality.

Julia Roberts plays the TV director of the show with her finger on a bunch of humorous clips that completely undercuts the severity of the situation.

Though this appears to be an action thriller, it is directed with aplomb by Jodie Foster. She manages to give the tale a mixed message, which may lead viewers into wondering just what is this movie trying to accomplish.

Make no mistake: it is slick, well-produced, with capable acting performances, and a fascinating premise. We grew more skeptical about the message of corruption among the big game players in high finance.

The script plays up every angle of popular misconception and legendary fears. With the election of a billionaire president and a cabinet of money monster secretaries, we think there is something decidedly anti-Trump in this movie. We just can’t put our finger on it, but found it highly entertaining.

Gronk Takes Our Last Laugh to Injured Reserve List

DATELINE:  Hope in a Straitjacket

 Gronk in Strait Jacket

From here onward, every humor piece on the Patriots will be an exercise in whistling past the graveyard. Gronk is not yet Marley’s ghost, but he is the Spirit of Super Bowls Past.

Gronk is gone, out, lost, for the unforeseeable future.

Every Patriot talks like another man will step up. They always do. Swami Belichick seemed as dour as usual, alluding to Gronk’s work ethic. The Grim Reaper seems to be hovering near the Patriot locker room.

Do some fans think he will return for the Super Bowl?

If he does, he should be fitted for a strait-jacket. The man’s health and future take precedence over the entertainment of the masses. We have left that kind of sadistic athleticism back at the Roman Colosseum.

Gronk may look like a gladiator, but he is not some slave to the NFL. As much as he loves the game, he cannot be allowed to make childish decisions against his own future.

When you talk about game changers, this will now top the list and trump Brady’s revenge tour. Tom’s aide-de-camp in overturning Goodell has now been relegated to the recovery room.

Shall we preface every light-hearted piece with the funeral tones of a cortege? We have lost our humor heart—and it may take some time to recover it.

If Scrooge Belichick ever needed a Christmas carol, now is the time. We believe for the first time, we shall cancel the annual Belichick Christmas Show that we have provided to readers for the past few years.

Celebrating would be like break-dancing with a bad back.

Babe in Toyland: Julian Edelman

DATELINE: Paternity Duds

 Bill Edelman:Julian Belichick

This week’s doomsday-sayers were not pontificating about Gronk’s terrible fate, but about Edelman.

Julie E has been somewhat of an absentee receiver this season. His pinned foot allegedly has made him into a slewfoot for gossip.

So, when he was not seen at practice this week one day, the murmurs and whispers reached a cacophony of snickers—and we don’t mean candy bars.

Of course, leave it to Chris Hogan, the wide-eyed long-bomb target of Tommy B this season, to let us in on the scoop. He almost appears to have taken the place of Julie in Tom’s playbook heart

Now, however, if Chris Hogan is to be believed, Edelman was in California on family business. How well has he kept us in the dark about the family way? For a greater part of this season, surely. It appears Edelman is now a proud papa of a baby girl named Lily.

No word on the mother. We can only speculate that nuptials are not in Edelman’s near future, as he is a dog star. Nor will changing diapers be high on his nightly workload. With a baby on the West Coast, and Edelman snowed in on the East Coast, he will be sending Pampers strictly by mail order.

It’s close enough to the big doo-doo for him. With his pal Gronk now under the knife and in traction and backing out of future wild and crazy antics, it would appear that Danny Amendola has moved to the front burner.

We saw Danny sitting next to Julian, sitting next to Tom on the heated bench, this past week during the Jets game.

As those two were exchanging recipes for finding loopholes in paternity suits, we noticed Chris Hogan slip into the mix and monopolize Tom over on the other side of the bench.

You never know what plots are afoot on the Patriots. It’s like monitoring the court of Henry VIII. You know a beheading is right around the corner where the hatchet man is named Belichick.

Babes in the woods are not withstanding.

Gronk’s Latest Injury

 DATELINE:  A Plaintive Plea

Gronk T Edelman shirt

 

The hoary, old joke about how long you’ve had a weak back seems rather unfunny today. “About a week back.”

Rob Gronkowski will have back surgery for his herniated disk, apparently from another brutal double hit he took early in Sunday’s game. He left almost immediately, and he walked tall and unassisted off the field.

Our heroes are like that.

However, a bad back in football is tantamount to a glass jaw in boxing. We do not like the sound of it, and we worry for Gronk’s future. A few nitwits were trolling that he’ll be back in two weeks. No, not with a weak back. It won’t be a few weeks.

He’s had these problems since college—and his medical history played into his draft selection.

We will become our usual alarmist self when looking at someone we really care about:  Gronk could be out for a long time. We fear he will try to come back too soon. This is not the concussion protocol. This is a weak back, perhaps a genetic situation.

Gronk has shown his infectious humor and bonhomie will make him a talk show star, or a movie star of adventure/action fantasy. We’d urge him to consider going there as an option. Don’t play around.

Though we love his camaraderie with TB 12, even his dressing up like Santa Claus last holiday for an anonymous visit to Brady’s kids, he is too much to be cherished as a healthy specimen.

If it means leaving the game that has brought him fame, it’s better to walk away than be wheeled off the gridiron on one of those ugly golf carts to sympathetic and pathetic cheers.

The cheering will never stop for Gronk, even if he moves to another, safer venue.

We cast our vote to have Gronk whole and healthy over playing again in a dangerous situation that could end in true tragedy.

Aaron Hernandez Speaks with Forked Tongue

DATELINE:  Talk is Cheap

 gonads

Aaron Hernandez dialed M for murder—and now he is suing Suffolk County jail for letting his private phone calls be hacked. His tongue may be forked, but you fork with him at your own peril.

Yup, someone was on the other end listening to his privileged info. He believes life without parole sentence was the result of eavesdropping—a crime worse than murder in his eyes.

You have to have a real mole to dig into phone records of a sociopathic killer.

Hernandez firmly believes his discussions with pals and lawyers about how to commit murder and get away with it should be considered off the record.

Jose (Don’t call him Joan) Baez, now leading the killer law team defending notorious slimeballs, may be looking for any USB port in the murder trial. He is actually suing Securus, an independent contractor for phone records. Leave it to the phone company to put its dirty work up for bid.

The Suffolk County sheriff insists that lawyers and clients have privacy privilege—but Hernandez’s calls may have entailed chats with unknown sex sites, which are not covered by lawyer privilege.

We can think only of a couple of dozen news media networks that would hire a hacker to steal Aaron Hernandez’s private phone calls. They probably thought it was sexting on another line.

Hernandez has a new motto: millions for defense, but not one cent to the phone company. He has sought an injunction against Securus to keep them from putting his hacked calls into the Edward Snowden Memorial hopper.

Most of Hernandez’s calls seem to entail heavy breathing and dirty talk, but you never know when a bot mot may cross his lips.

Decent Al Horford Attacked for Paternity Leave

DATELINE:  Vile Radio Blabber at It Again

al-in-pastel Al in Pastel

Now we have heard it all.

During Monday’s Celtics game, we noticed that Al Horford was not there. DNP. We feared he had relapsed on his long suffering concussion, but no.

His wife gave birth to a daughter, his second child. He chose to be with them at this particular moment. What? You mean he gave up playing a regular season game and took the huge salary (which likely goes into a college trust for his new born child).

Yet, some rabid media radio hacks have attacked him for being insensitive to his contractual obligations—and the young men to whom he is an idol, a leader, and chief bromancer. That is, his teammates.

Quite frankly, we were surprised that cultured, well-spoken, charming private Al Horford was even married. He is a breath of fresh air among today’s denizens of the basketball court.

To give up a game (and take the money) for reasons that are not business has confounded media whores. We were reminded briefly of the day when Sandy Koufax declined to pitch a World Series game because his faith required him to attend to Yom Kippur.

Imagine that? The game that puts food on the table is secondary to “other things.” What would Lawrence of Arabia say to that?

We have come to enjoy every second of Al Horford on the parquet. He looks good even in pastel green, as well as shamrock green. He makes it look easy and is in full control. We are sad when he misses even a moment of a shift, but we do think there are indeed loyalties in life to “other things.”

Clinton Supporters Blackball Their Friends Post-Election

DATELINE:  Unpleasant Discovery

batman-versus-superwoman

Thanksgiving is over, but not the political brawls.

Though many wanted to avoid politics during the traditional dinner, it was truly unnecessary. Offended parties likely avoided breaking bread with the newly minted, newly hated enemy: Victors of the Trump campaign.

We found that this number of indignant and raging sore losers were all Clinton supporters. They demonized anyone who voted for Trump as a racist, homophobe, and misogynist. This turn of events only occurred after the votes were counted.

They were prepared to continue to be your hypocritical friend if Clinton had won—and gloat over your support for Trump.

If Hillary had won, they might have been more tolerant.

Friends of long-standing now have unfriended Trump supporters and blocked their calls.  If you had exchanged birthday cards for decades, or helped a friend through a crisis or two, you now learned that your vote for Trump made you anathema. Excommunicated.

It is certainly bracing to learn that people you liked and trusted for years really harbored a contempt for your politics that they could no longer forgive.

Not everyone who voted for Trump is racist, but Clinton supporters have broadened the definition to include anyone who didn’t agree with Hillary.

We find it interesting that the people who decried hate and haters turn out to be the worst offenders.

If you expect to call your former friends and Trump supporters with an apology, it may not work this time. And if you expect your quondam friends to recant their votes, that too is unlikely.

Perhaps it is indeed a time for giving thanks for finding out who your true friends are. Life teaches many unpleasant lessons and is patently unfair often—but finding out those you believed to be your friends are miserable and unfaithful is definitely a shocker.

Sweet Tasting Turnovers Propel Patriots

EINSTEIN'S PICK

DATELINE: Super Nova Puff

Whatever can you say about the Patriots beating the Jets?

Did they deserve to win?  Probably not, if you based the game on the first three quarters. Alas, for Jet fans, the game must be played to its full conclusion.

Without Gronk, mystery injured in the first quarter without a yard to his name, the team looked like Bambi in the headlights. And Harvard passer Ryan Fitzgerald looked like he had just studied string theory. He pulled Brady’s third string defensive line.

As for Tom Terrific, he looked like a man who had missed his gold-dust capsule treatment usually washed down with icy mineral spring water. He seemed gimpy and stiff, missing on third down passes often.

However, despite the problems, something returned that we had not seen all season: raspberry turnovers.

Yes, the Patriots have feasted on turnovers for a dozen years—until this season when a diet seemed to omit the tasty turnovers. Now, we had three turnovers: one of every variety and stripe, from stripped balls from the quarterback to fumble recoveries.

Oh, how tasty indeed the turnover menu makes palatable a so-so game. It was so delicious that it inspired Brady to turn on his youthful energy in the final ten minutes. It certainly meant he would tie Peyton Manning for 200 victories, a milestone amid the gall stones that the Jets forced down Tom’s disrespected urethra.

And we don’t mean Urethra Franklin. But you know how to spell R—E-S-P-E-C-T, N-F-L.

In the weeks ahead, the W in the victor’s column will not have any asterisks nearby. It will simply be another notch in Tom Brady’s gun-belt.

Fake News Finds a Home in Boggy Blogging

 DATELINE:  Wiki-poop Dumps on Wiki-leaks

Mr. Mucus

 

Fake news is putting satire out of business.

Yes, people hate satire because, unlike stand-up, you cannot pin down satire.

Just ask the Huffington people, or our favorite form of satire: Wikipedia, which is satiric history on an encyclopedic level.

Then again we frequently confuse Wikipedia with Wikileaks. This had led us to once consider calling our blog Wikipoo, an unauthorized version of the truncated and abridged  Wikipoop.

There is a saying that you cannot satirize humor, though we have proven that false for years by becoming a conspiracy theorist.

In our estimate, Pizzagate is a conspiracy against anchovies. However, false news reports apparently mean it is something to do with children abusing delivery pizza joints.

If we were to give it the Wikipoop report, you’d find it something akin to Whistle-gate, our indictment of the NFL for calling pass interference at the drop of a ball, or our personal creation, Deflate-gate, created to sell Tom Brady more than Peyton Manning as a spokesman.

All in all, we are all for fake news. Why should the media be treated any different than the journalists who regularly appear on Ancient Aliens and Hangar One? If you disbelieve fake news, you may find yourself taken away to Area 51, America’s name for a gulag. Of course, you may just find yourself the victim of missing time.

As we grow older, we think the idea of missing time is part of the Alzheimer’s conspiracy— fake medical news designed to prevent wizened old wiseguys from making jokes.

Reddit will probably refuse to run our satire today because we never mentioned Trump. Fake news, you gotta love it.

Back in Time Movies: Final Countdown Wins

DATELINE: Past Tense

 kirk-douglas-counts-down

A couple of time travel movies caught our eye for the Turkey Day film festival, and only one turned out to be a turkey.

We went back in time to see 11/22/63, based on the Stephen King novel about a time traveler who intends to stop Lee Harvey Oswald from killing President JFK, and in The Final Countdown, a modern aircraft carrier is transported back to Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

Both films debate the conundrum and moral dilemma of changing the past—but actually both films are ersatz Twilight Zone episodes. One is about nine hours and the other is about 90 minutes. Can you guess which one has more suspense?

James Franco, looking worse for the wear, is the history teacher who finds a time portal in a diner that returns him (repeatedly, it seems) to a day in 1960. We can say the cars used in all those scenes of the early 60s were stunning. And, if the best you can say is that the old cars made the movie interesting, you have a problem.

Without knowing all the minute details of the Kennedy conspiracy, you might be a bit lost. To top it off, most of the film forces us to bear a tiresome love story that is supposed to give us a poignant ending.

And, time in 11/22/63 looks like it learned its fateful tricks that the past does not want to be changed—and resists. Of course, the USS Nimitz learns the same lesson about changing the past. Both stars (Douglas and Franco) used their production companies to make the movies.

The better movie of 1980 features Kirk Douglas, with fresh face lift, Martin Sheen, and Charles Durning as a troublesome senator from the past who causes most of the problems. Lucky for the script, there is an amateur historian on the ship who knows all the details about the Pearl Harbor attack and can fill us in to move the story along.

Nonetheless, the Final Countdown is a pleasure to watch—nothing out of date really, except the concept. The movie about one day drags on for three years and endless episodes, including the usual odd antics of Franco and his male costar.

Countdown seems to have been overshadowed by The Philadelphia Experiment in the time travel sweepstakes, but don’t count your chickens before they jump off the bridge of time. Kirk Douglas on the Nimitz beats Michael Pare on the Eldridge every time.