Kick to the Groin by Patriots

DATELINE: Brady Boys Up a Tree

New England’s Patriots have done the near impossible: they have kicked themselves in the keester after a cramp nearly decapitated them of a head below the belt.

Bill Belichick has reached a stage of joking.

This week he thought about recalling Wes Welker out of retirement to be his emergency kicker. You know this idea did not emanate from Tom Brady—or it would have been seriously dead on arrival.

Welker is now coaching Jimmy G in San Fran where the Pats’ true heart is in little cable cars, halfway to the stars.

Brady himself pulled his foot out of the kicker sweepstakes by claiming his boot is in Denver. It may be where he ends up playing for the next five years.

With appendectomy, halitosis, and assorted ills, every kicker in the Patriot backfield has found himself unable to lift his leg to do more than pretend to be a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall for the holiday show.

Can a team go to the Super Bowl without a man with the kick-ass power to kick ass?

Julian Edelman may want to consider his role as slot receiver unfulfilled when word filters out that slot receiver and former Brady favorite Welker holds a record of sorts for kicking while catching.

So Julie may need to catch Welker while he can.

Practice makes perfect, but a full-blown rehearsal may be needed.

Can it be the Patriots are ready to lose every game for the remainder of the season? Can it be they will be out of the playoffs sooner than later?

Kick the Patriots in the scorecard and maybe they will wake up with their boots on.

 

Miguel Dieppo: Memoirs of a Penitent Heart

DATELINE: A Lost Generation  

You may never find a more flattering sense of duty and obligation than to have a niece who barely remembered you as a child make a documentary of your life 30 years later. The little documentary is called Memoirs of a Penitent Heart.

Cecilia Aldarnondo was on a mission. Only after making her film did she seem to have second thoughts about letting the dead stay dead. She uncovered more than the tragic death of an uncle who passed away from AIDS during the height of the epidemic.

She tracked down his lover, a former priest who spent twelve years with the young Puerto Rican transplant to New York. They might have been an odd couple, but the family of Michael had no use for him, never followed up on his whereabouts, or even his name. It was for a niece to dredge it all up: to discover an old man who still carried the flame for his lost lover.

Father Bob had saved everything; the love of one’s life is like that.

 

What Cecilia discovers is the fanaticism of religion and how it set up terrible and irreconcilable conflicts between mother and son’s lover. She even tells him on his death bed to remove the friendship ring or he will be denied entrance to heaven.

The director sticks it to her own mother for abandoning her brother Miguel. No one is spared from the hook.

This is a personal film, showing conflicts between gay and straight, between living la vida locain Puerto Rican and immigrating to New York. It shows the genetic horror of learning about a parent’s own sexual secrets.

The film may seem irrelevant if you are not a Catholic, a Puerto Rican, gay, or even promiscuous. Yet, it is relevant and it is moving. The past is always with us, ever changing—and the future is immutable. It’s called irony.

 

One Last Addendum for Quinto’s Season

DATELINE:  Voice-over Satire? 

 …of a Big Paycheck!

 

Sometimes you see or hear celebrities in the least expected places—or exactly where you thought you would hear one.

While watching the Celtics play a game on the local sports channel, we thought we saw a commercial for the Quinto series In Search of…

Apparently we were ignorant of the fact that Zachary Quinto is a frequent endorser of products, often in voice-over. However, we think he has not done such an overt parody of his own TV host persona.

Yes, those dulcet tones were talking over the image of an asteroid heading to Earth. Quinto spoke with his deadpan authority about how the world likely was to end around 2023 with doomsday because of an asteroid. Only a week earlier he had hosted the final season episode about the subject.

However, as we watched an asteroid hurtling toward the planet, Quinto reveals that we can buy furniture –all interest free until 2023 or the rest of our lives!

Stunning.

Apparently you can watch sports events not only to see your favorites sitting in the stands, or courtside (Gronk was there enjoying the game, and not dancing with the Celtics cheerleaders).

Watch and listen carefully for what you may hear and see.

 

  

 

 

Just Wright, You Cannot Go Wrong!

DATELINE: No Salad Eating Chick

  Queen & Commoner

We may be catching this about ten years too late, but better late! Hundreds of views on Amazon Prime say how much they love this movie. Queen Latifah is perfect, not Just Wright.

As one of the few oversize women in starring roles, unabashed, she steals every scene with her genuine sweetness in the face of life’s adversities.

She plays a physical therapist who has a chance encounter with an NBA star (Common). From there, the breaks seem to go every which way. Phylicia Rashaad plays Common’s mother, and Pam Grier plays Latifah’s mother. We have something going on here.

We were mostly bowled over and amused to find another Boston icon in the movie: Latifah starred with Tom Brady’s wife in one picture, and here in all the basketball scenes is former Celtic, Rajon Rondo.

This romantic comedy with a basketball setting has all the wrong turns and twists of fate you might expect that throw the crossed paths of Latifah and Common back together repeatedly.

Because Queen Latifah is not your standard trophy wife of a pro athlete type, this film takes on more gravitas. Common is a tad short for the NBA but is likeable and good-looking. But Rondo is a better actor, but Dwight Howard has a bigger scene.

The inevitable twist of fate brings the physical therapist into physical contact with the superstar in contract negotiations, and the big pay-off must satisfy the audience.

This is sheer fantasy, as any fan can tell you. Players are never thrown into a big game full-time after a career injury, but spend weeks acclimating. But this is a movie romance.

Queen Latifah even hums a few bars from “The More I See You,” in one scene as a throwaway to her old musical career. She’s billed as musical consultant. Don’t be fooled: this is still a jazzy gem.

 

 

 

 

 

Captain Kidd Returns to Upstage A&C

DATELINE: Unexpected Slapstick

  Laughton & Costello!

Almost ten years after his low-budget pirate on the bounding sea as Captain Kidd and 20 years after Bligh’s Mutiny on the Bounty, Charles Laughton jumped at the chance to reprise Captain Kidd. He had also the opportunity to reprise Henry VIII in a movie with Bette Davis as his daughter, Queen Elizabeth. They famously greeted each other as “Father,” and “Daughter,” off screen too.

Now, the irascible Laughton would poke fun at himself and his performance as Captain Kidd confronting scene-stealer emeritus Lou Costello. Perhaps that was the true challenge for Laughton and his Oscar-level talent. He was about to show he could play vaudeville with the best of them.

Abbott & Costello Meet Captain Kidd was another in a long series of features in which the comic duo came across monsters of cinema, historical figures, and pratfalls of comedy.

Dignity knows nothing of being a performer with an audience eating out of their backhand of talent. Laughton was a comedian at heart and could steal a scene before Costello could roll an eye.

We were surprised at how many pratfalls Lou Costello gave. Any barrel he hid within was blown up. The big surprise was Laughton: he took the falls without a stuntman. Chairs were pulled out from under him and he plopped onto the floor, and he fell face first into sand in another. It was noteworthy.

If ever there was something unseemly, it was that this comic version of 1953 was in Technicolor, which was never the case for the earlier Laughton masterpieces. If there was a silver lining on the silver screen of the 1950s, it was that garish color fit the bill. There were plenty of explosions among the song and dance routines.

If ever there was a chance to make a side-trip to Oak Island and bury a treasure, this little pirate satire gave us a vision of outright lunacy. A map in the opening credits could be Oak Island.

You start off with a musical introduction to Laughton as the crew sings and dances on their ship, and Kidd sneers at the mention of women. Yup, Laughton had to love this.

We were mostly appalled.

 

 

 

 

 

Hitler Steals the Beetle

DATELINE: Ganz & Losses 

 Photo of Hitler by Ganz.

Joseph Ganz never received the credit he deserved: as a Jew in Hitler’s 1930s Germany, he had his ideas stolen and barely escaped with his life.

Born in Vienna at the turn of the century, he likely walked the same streets in pre-World War I as Hitler. Both served in the German army, and Jew Ganz believed in his homeland, perhaps he was naïve.

By the 1920s he was a happy, creative engineer. As this documentary gathers together two young researchers: one a German journalist and the other a Ganz descendant. They share a love of the Beetle auto and a fascination with Ganz’s genius.

By 1923, Ganz became editor of an automobile magazine and advocated cars for the people. IN Europe of the age, cars were Mercedes, BMW, and Porsche, made for the elite. He wanted an economical car for the people.

Ganz studied car accidents, chasing them down, concluding where they tipped over, what broke or was inadequate. He incorporated all his findings into creating a small, lightweight car. He wanted an economical and streamlined.

His design and prototype model is clearly recognizable as a Volkswagen. It impressed Mercedes and BMW to hire him as a technical consultant. By 1932 his star was rising, but it may have been a fool’s world of success. He took on the rising Nazi who has libeled him in one of their magazines. He sued and won: it did not endear him after he won the lawsuit.

Hitler took power in 1933 and ordered a German car show in Berlin. He admired Ganz’s people’s car, and in fact, Ganz took photos of Hitler looking at the prototype. By March of 1934, he was fired by BMW, under government orders, and his name was erased from documents.

Hitler gave the ideas to Porsche who suddenly was designing Ganz’s Volkswagen. Ganz was arrested and held for a month. Upon release, he left for Switzerland and never returned to Germany.

How he ended up living in Australia after 1951 is both sad and infuriating. He saw his car start to become an icon of the hippie generation—and help Germany recover its post-war economy.  This documentary by Suzanne Raes is impressive.

 

 

 

 

  Did We Do This Before on Oak Island?

 DATELINE: It Only Feels Like a Rerun

Why do they keep drilling down when it is hit or miss? The Curse of Oak Island never really answers their alleged waste of money. They finally decide to do seismic testing.

The War Room gang entertain another historian, but this one is labeled a real expert by Marty Lagina: he is Chip Reid from Anapolis. He tells them the French likely built “water batteries” on Oak Island, which explains what the structures found in Smith Cove.

Reid, author and highly respected, tells them that there were several treasures dropped off over hundreds of years because secret Tempar knowledge shared the hiding spots for future protected items.

They also have another circus ring going on with GPR seismic imaging over at the original digger and discoverer, Daniel McGinnis whose ruins of a house are a national treasure. It now appears he had a secret cellar under the foundation.

They also refer to Dan Henskee as the new dean of the past and his information leads them to another spot that could direct the search to the Money Pit.

Oddly enough Henskee does not appear in the show. It is troubling about his health or condition.

As usual too, it is Gary Drayton who finds more stuff: this time he locates a chisel on the McGinnis land that indicates the original teenager who found the Money Pit was mining on his land back in 1800.

This was a holding pattern episode to set us up for something bigger and more shocking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patriots Hit by Flu & Zombie Apocalypse

 DATELINE: End of an Era?

 Patriot Apocalypse!

Football fans of the New England Patriots have asked what’s going on!  Is it the zombie apocalypse? We have bad news beyond two feet of snow burying us.

After seeing Zachary Quinto discuss the fall of civilization and the end of empires on In Search of,  has it come to the Patriots like the Rapa Nui and Mayans?

We can only add two cents, after ten books of blogs on the Patriots. No, it is not the apocalypse. It is more like the inevitable enemy of mankind:  a bad case of the flu.

No expert dared to cite that nearly half of the team came down with the flu this week. The miracles of IV drips and antibiotics, and the prodding of Captain Bligh Belichick, made no man look at illness as an excuse.

There were two planes: one for the lepers who needed to avoid being cast out and cast off at 37,000 feet without a parachute. We can only imagine the Belichick cure-all.

We now have a view of the bleak future: based on the fact that on top of the plague, the Patriots have sent every decent receiver reeling out of Foxboro in a uniform of tar and feathers, with better contracts elsewhere.

Tom Brady is adrift and out to sea like the victim of an iceberg hitting the unsinkable Patriots. There was no room in the lifeboat for such a thing as Tom’s receiving corps.

Like the band on Titanic, the team played on while sinking with the franchise.

Can the Patriots recover? Not this year, and maybe not for another decade. This loss will hasten Tom’s departure to another team next year: one that will give him joy of playing for the few years he has left in this world of football.

As for the Patriots, the zombie apocalypse may be settling in at Foxboro. Remember the good old days when the Pats stunk up a storm? NO? Well, history is about to show you what it was like back before six Super Bowls, Brady & Belichick. Return with us now for the Keystone Kops aka Patriots.

It happened to the New York Yankees of the 1950s & 1960s, and now it is the Patriot turn of events.

Waiters & Other High-Flying Panic Attacks

DATELINE: NBA Twits

 File Under Inept Waiters!

Now and then we follow NBA nitwits on and off the court. We seldom follow Miami Heat anywhere, but when Dion Waiters criticized coach Spoelstra and ingested designer drugs making for a panic attack whilst flying with the team, we took notice.

He’s coming to Boston to play after a suspension worth a couple of million bucks. Maybe he can earn the money back by waiting on tables and receiving tips.  We offer our tip right here.

Dion sang an apology to teammates and coaching brain-trust that sounds all the world like a statement from his agent/attorney axis. After all, fines and suspension took money and food out of their wallets and open mouths.

We know from the spellcheck that Dion Waiters never wrote that apology. Some low-paid minion earned his keep.

No one wants to provide real details about imbeciles, lest they be accused of discriminating against drug users and people with bad judgment. We are fearless in that regard.

When we meet a body walking through the rye, we know it’s a kind of Scottish whiskey on his breath.

We doubt that Waiters would be a winner on a team that contained players Bron, Wade, and Bosh. When you put a fly in the oinment, you mainly change the chemistry.

The rain in Spain does not always fall on the plain, no matter what apology/tune Dion sings, and we think as an ordinary waiter Waiters would spill our wry rye all over our spellcheck. Especially at 37,000 feet above the court at American Airlines Arena. It’s no slam dunk from outside the arc/ark.

In Search of…. The End of the World

DATELINE: End of Second Season

 Watching the Sky! 

Well, Zachary Quinto’s fascinating show must be at the end of the season by looking at the end of the world.  There may be an asteroid out there with your name on it. The end is coming.

You know they may have trouble keeping up the usual high quality when the final episode of the second season returns now to the trite and vague quatrains of Nostradamus. But Zachary Quinto uses his ominous tones to describe Doomsday.

Not everything can end on a high note, but we seem to be trumpeting Gabriel’s last call with a sour horn that even Jack Benny would run away from in his movie The Horn Blows at Midnight.

According to the episode ending the season, both the Mayan and Rapa Nui suffered conditions that caused their demise. It seems the Mayan created a calendar that provided the infamous and incorrect end of time in 2012, but that was merely a jumping off point.

The In Search of people dig up some mathematics from Nostradamus that put the end of the world at 177 years after that date. It coincides with asteroid Bennu that may impact Earth in 2190 (April on your datebook). Can it happen? We don’t expect to give witness and lose any sleep over this one.

If Quinto wanted to go out with a bang on his season ender, he has provided some strong evidence that they are on the money, but we doubt you will be collecting your winnings (or paying off your loss) on this bet.

The series has provided a big bang for our time watching.