GOP Racist Taunts

DATELINE: Pinocchio & OJ 

 

If you think Trump Republican senators are fair and without prejudice, we submit for your consideration: two examples of racism from Senators Lindsay Graham and David Perdue.

The two senators claim their offensive ads were created without their knowledge or approval. That alone should be enough for voters to dismiss these two nitwits for incompetence.

Perdue went after his Jewish opponent with a media image that distorted him in an anti-Semitic vein, and Graham went after his black opponent in similar fashion.

The trickery is subtle: image enhancement or distortion.

They gave the Jewish opponent a long nose (considered a stereotypic feature) and they made the black candidate look darker and more foreboding.

You can count on the fact that these ad agencies do not create images lightly: they are paid well to meet demographic ideas to win votes. It is a million-dollar operation.

If you think these candidates did not see the images beforehand, you are an idiot.

Now, we could note that the long nose on Perdue’s opponent may be reminiscent of Pinocchio, and calling politicians liars is no surprise, but the image is coupled with money references and another Jewish senator’s image (Chuck Schumer of New York).  Not exactly innocent.

As for Graham’s nasty racist baiting, he resorts to the old-fashioned trick we haven’t seen since Time magazine did it years ago:  you may not recall how they darkened the skin of O.J. Simpson to make him appear more sinister.

 Well, folks, the trick is back, and Jamie Harrison’s photo is blacker than a racist heart, and he is leering over the shoulder of a distressed white woman!  Yikes, indeed.

Trump Republican senators are Nazis in these two cases we have uncovered, but likely in many others too.

 

 

 

 

 

Trump’s New Doctor Expert

DATELINE: Demons & Dr. Stella

Dr. Stella Immanuel.

Before you can say that it proves he isn’t misogynist, you should look more deeply at the female pediatrician that holds a  license for medicine—and is now the expert Trump most trusts.

It seems that Dr. Stella Immanuel is going along with the hare-brained ideas of Trump. That’s enough for him. You know, he likes women if they are insane or child molesters. Just ask Ghislaine Maxwell, buddy and crony of Jeffrey Epstein.

When pressed at a news conference about her claims that there is a secret cure for COVID-19 and not to wear masks, Trump said he knew nothing about her personally, but she is an important voice.

He then walked away from the media, refusing to answer any more questions. It sounded a great deal like his support for Ghislaine, a woman he met hundreds of times, but of whom he knew nothing about her crimes.

In case you missed it, Dr. Immanuel has been re-tweeted by the Tweeter Bird in Chief without much concern for her other medical ideas. That’s demon sperm you must avoid. The incubus is among us.

Quackery is not merely consigned to the White House. Dr. Immanuel believes that warts are caused by dreams of having sex with the devil or demons.

More to the point, Trump’s expert on cornonavirus thinks that space aliens are directly responsible for many of the ills that are besetting humans. All this from a man who appeared on Ancient Aliens and Unidentified to dismiss the idea of UFOs invading our world.

There appears to be a disconnect in Trump’s world. Well, there is a disconnect in Trump’s brain. So, we should not be surprised that the stable genius is having stability problems.

Next time you hear a voice crying out, “Stella! Stella!,” it will not be Marlon Brando in Streetcar Named Desire, but a president in an Election named Catastrophe.

 

 

  Jack Arnold: Swiss Cheese at Last

DATELINE: Forgotten Co-Star?

John Saxon, d. 2020.

 One of the great 1950s sci-fi directors was Jack Arnold who gave us Creature from the Black Lagoon, It Came from Outer Space, The Incredible Shrinking Man, and a western No Name on the Bullet,that were astounding movies.

Alas, not every great director has the freedom to be an auteur. Arnold wound up in TV, directing some of the big TV shows from 1960 to 1990. It was all trash in the end.  Even directors have to eat.

One of his final theatrical movies was from 1976 in which he received a nice vacation to Zurich and Switzerland where he filmed The Swiss Conspiracy.  It has so many plot holes that even literate Jack Arnold could only give the stolen ice an ending on the ice of the Alps He was witty to the end.

The film is about blackmail over Swiss bank accounts. And, the cast is fairly stellar: Ray Milland as president of the bank, Anton Diffring as his vice president, John Ireland and John Saxon as assorted blackmail victims. It also happens to be a rare movie in which both Elke Sommer and Senta Berger appear.

If you have trouble telling them apart, this movie will help.

The star is benighted David Janssen, already looking worn out. He would die a few years later from his profligate living, but he was always busy in a role, mostly TV movies like SOS Titanic as John Jacob Astor.

Here he is some kind of retired federal agent who takes on a job to uncover a conspiracy of Swiss banking fraud. It’s a conspiracy because you will never figure out who was doing it and why everyone is murdered.

Perhaps the ultimate humor was to have as many plot holes as Swiss cheese. Jack Arnold does his best on this movie. He usually wrangles top drawer performances and makes the script literate, but even he had his limits. No wonder he turned to TV after this movie trifle.

As we watched this film, word came to us that John Saxon had passed away at his home at age 83. He was in seminal form for this movie, and gave many supporting performances of high quality. He was one of those patented movie/TV villlains of the 1960s. His death was forgotten, occurring between Olivia De Havilland and Regis Philbin in a 24-hour period.

Dubious Tribute to Olivia De Havilland

DATELINE: Worst Movie of Her Career

Caged Lady!

Leave it to Amazon Prime to honor the memory and career of Olivia De Havilland with the worst movie she ever made.  Long forgotten, Lady in a Cage,  is one of those 1960s hag horror movies made after Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.

This features Miss De Havilland who recently passed as age 104 in her attractive, dignified middle-age as a poet trapped in her million-dollar mansion in a private elevator. She is beset upon by a gaggle of horror creatures called in the trailer: the psycho, the wino, the hustler, the weirdo and the wildo.  No kidding. These low-lifes do not rescue Miss DeHavilland, but torment, torture, and drive her to the edge of insanity.

This passed for entertainment.

The following year De Havilland replaced Joan Crawford in the Bette Davis murder horror called Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte,a truly dignified and marvelous murder horror. This warm-up is a cold turkey.

In Ryan Murphy’s miniseries, Feud,about Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, there is a scene where Miss De Havilland tosses the script for Lady in a Cage into her trash. Apparently, she changed her mind and agreed to contractual terms. Did she need the money? Was the limelight as star so great that she tossed away all semblance of taste?

All we know is that she chose to make this horror, which horrified us.

The supporting cast is equally shocking: there is Ann Sothern, who had just come off ten years as a TV comedy sit-com star. She apparently had no scruples and appears as a fat, middle-aged prostitute. Another wasted actor was Rafael Campos whose career was playing Puerto Rican slimeballs in movie after movie. His talent was never treated properly, and in his movie debut, there is James Caan as the head monster, looking and acting like Marlon Brando. He is a young lookalike here, and ten years later ended up playing Brando’s son in The Godfather.

We do not recommend this travesty of movie shocks. If you are curious, watch the preview in which demure, attractive De Havilland as herself, talks about the message of the movie: apparently under the surface we are all animals.

Yikes.

Star Before Auteur: Hitchcock

The two late filmmakers met for a book in the early 1960s. At the time the French movie director Francois Truffaut was hotter than Hollywood, and Hitch was thought to be a TV star who made entertaining fluff.

Hitch was so famous for comedic horror that he had a TV series and his own theme, recognized around the world. He was not,  however, considered an auteur or artist.

Truffaut saw more and wanted to interview Hitchcock about each of his films. For a week they recorded the audio of their chat, through a translator, and began a lifelong friendship.

A book emerged in 1966, but a film record of their insightful movie self-critiques only comes in 2016, fifty years later!

For those who know only the dark humor of a TV host and his Psycho movie Doppleganger,the revelation may be how many contemporary film directors owe him everything. The smart ones study him, and the dumb ones try to copy him.

That means Brian DePalma is not consulted—though David Fincher and Martin Scorcese are in on the documentary. Put aside the two weird Hitchcock docudramas that featured Anthony Hopkins and Toby Jones.

There is much discussion over the visual impact of Hitch’s images throughout his career from silent to the 1970s era when he was thought to be old hat. Vertigo, Psycho, the Birds, The Confession, The Wrong Man, are consulted.

The film boasts two closing sequences of some length that show the utter genius behind Vertigo and Psycho. Only obliquely do we find psychoanalysis of the Master of Suspense. Interestingly enough he demands Truffaut turn off the tape recorder when he wants to discuss Jesuit influence on his philosophy of crime and punishment—and more surprisingly when he discusses the notion of directing scenes when expects the heroes (Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant) are having erections over their blonde leading ladies.

This is a fascinating movie for aficionados of Hitchcock—or those with more than a passing interest in great movie making.

 

 

Trump’s Sports Liaison

DATELINE: Last of the Ninth?

 Golf Duffer & Liaison.

Trump just canceled throwing out the first pitch next week at the Red Sox-Yankees game at Yankee Stadium. Is it going to be too hot? Or did Secret Service say that they couldn’t protect him? Trump joked last year that he needed a suit of armor for such an appearance.

Who is setting up these faux sports events for Trump?

You may be surprised or not: according to Abigail Hess, intrepid CNBC reporter, it is none other than Rudy Giuliani’s 32-year old son.

Yes, if you are puzzled  why Trump has had more sports involvement lately, you could look no deeper than Andrew Giuliani whose job, as special sports liaison, is to ferret out aging, dumb jocks who support Trump without question.

So, Bob Cousy of the Celtics receives a Medal of Freedom. Some teams are invited to the White House, and others are disparaged. Blame it on a Giuliani advisor.

Daddy Rudy claims there is no pay-off or pay-back to hire the son of the President’s personal lawyer at $100,000 grand per year. Rudy notes it is a “nice” job  to locate aged in the wood sports figures for Trump to play golf with (Brett Favre only this week), and sound them out for public statements of support.

NASCAR is no accident for Trump. He knows all about the Confederate flags on race cars because of Andrew Giuliani, and there is a safe spot and sport for Trump to canoodle with unquestioned stars of the past.

Next time there is a loser in the White House, you know he will look for victory in former sports winners.

 

Curses: Not Foiled on UnXplained

DATELINE: Another Gem in Series

 Cursed “Crying Boy” Painting!

A third installment of the Shatner series UnXplained came to us with a plethora of examples about cursed people, places, and things. Yes, they are nouns of a bad sort.

Shatner will never be upstaged by such shenanigans, and he is constantly looking over his shoulder as he hosts this marvelous series with another fascinating episode.

The smorgasbord of tales for the week include some stories well-known, and a few surprises.

First, there is Round Lake in New Jersey, a man-made reservoir that inundated a town back in the 1960s. It seems some of the late residents may be causing dozens of men to drown in the cold waters. A few intrepid realists suggest it is careless fishing or boating that causes the deaths. Shatner has an arched eyebrow, which is telling.

The most famous story of the night concerns the Hope Diamond, a cursed Indian jewel that glows red, not blue, when ultra-violet light is put on it. Blood red? No wonder Evalyn McLean kept it for nearly 40 years, despite family members dropping like flies.

Our favorite unknown tale concerned “The Crying Boy,” one of dozens of paintings by some Oscar Wildean Italian artist. These oils are covered in flame retardant for good reason: the houses in which they are hung in England tend to burn to the ground. Pass on the picture next time you see one in the flea market.

Shatner seems to snicker at the numerical curses of 13 and 27. It seems the Friday 13, 1307, could be the cause of the cursed day: Jacques DeMolay, Catholic hero or heretic, was burned at the stake and cursed his killers and the day of the week. It has lingered 700 years.

As far as 27 is concerned, it’s a club of dead rock stars. There is a litany of musical icons who died at age 27, including Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, et al. You can forgive old Shatner, at 90, not taking this one too seriously.

It all leads to his standard hilarious closing as he discusses charms to ward off curses at the end. It’s another must-see installment of the show.

 

Maugham: Rain in the Face

DATELINE: Somerset

Willie Maugham was one of the most successful of writers in the 20thcentury. He wrote one short story, “Rain,” that made him over one million dollars in the 1920s. You could say he was the rich man’s Truman Capote.

A short documentary gathers together some rare photos and film clips of his high-living. It’s called Revealing Mr. Maugham. But it is mostly apologetic for his transgressions and motive to write for money.

Maugham suffered from a stammer that made him less media attractive—but like Capote, he wrote about the gossip he heard, transforming the mud in novels. He was no great writer, like many contemporaries (James Joyce, Virginia Woolf or even Noel Coward) but he made big bucks and commanded movie versions (The Razor’s Edge).

Being secretly gay, he never played out or up his personality like Capote. Yet, he was notorious in his world travels to seek gay pleasure spots around the world. His “secretary” was actually his lover and procurer.

Maugham learned about human nature at medical school where he studied with Dr. Bell, the model for Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. And, his understanding of sexuality was scientific and ahead of its time.

He was scarred by his brother Harry’s suicide over a homosexual scandal—and it may have sent Maugham into the closet for the rest of his life.

His companion Gerald Haxton helped him create Cap Ferrat, the idyllic “Fairyland,” that Edna St. Vincent Millay declared one visit. Her insight is not in the film. Nor does the film tell us of the monkey gland injections to maintain his masculine vigor in old age to host boys, boys, boys.

The documentary tries hard to give Maugham literary chops, but he was interested only in fame and money, whether as a playwright or as a story writer. Yes, he wrote spy stories before LeCarre and Greene, and he was an actual spy for the British government.

Yet, he became in senility a rather unpleasant, vindictive and manipulated old fool of his new “secretary,” who managed to steal everything through poisoning Maugham’s old mind.

The documentary shows how one can outlive his own standards.

Triangulated Triangles: Identified

DATELINE: Unidentified: America’s UFOs

The use of triangle shaped craft by some entity seems to have gained traction on the series Unidentified: America’s UFO Investigations.

 

In the second episode of the second season, AATIP’s Luis Elizondo and Chris Mellen tackle the issue of mysterious black triangles now dominating the UFO scene.

For decades we have heard of saucers, then orbs, then tick-tacks. Now we find that the predominant military sightings are of silent, slow-moving craft of varying sizes, some as big as football fields. They are usually cloaked from radar. We can only note that most triangular shaped ships are designed by terrestrials here on earth.

Why would extra-terrestrials simply change their design in the past few decades? It’s illogical, if not unlikely. Of course, those saucers were crashing all over earth for decades. Perhaps the space creatures have smartened up and are designing safer space crafts.

Once again, notably, the witnesses are all highly reliable and credible military men who have retired and are now willing to come forward. It gives this show far more believability than so many others.

Mellen’s troubling conclusions are that, if unknown visitors are inspecting American territory, there is a big problem of national security and motives.

In the 1980s a massive sighting occurred over the Hudson Valley, not far from New York City. No one can fathom the legal and moral decision of the government to fly experimental craft over a populated area. It leads to a frightful conclusion: they are not US airships.

It is ultimately a distressing conclusion that these triangular ships could be like Cortes landing among the Aztecs. They had no idea how dangerous and deadly to their civilization this interloper would become.

Farewell, Marie Antoinette

DATELINE: Odd Sex Life of a Queen

Off with her reader’s head.

If you rely on the trailer for Farewell, My Queen,a French historical drama about the week the Bastille was attacked and started the French Revolution, you will think you are looking at some kind of Lesbian revisionist history.

Before rolling your eyes, you should give this film a view.

Of course, some believe the real Marie Antoinette was bisexual, and others think she was accused of this in an effort to try to denigrate her character. It was, after all, considered a moral leprosy to be gay a hundred years ago.

In fact, if you stick around for this film, you will be hooked into an intriguing study of the people who worked at Versailles, the underlings and minor functionaries, who received word their lives and livelihood were now in jeopardy with a list of beheadings of those associated with the monarchs.

By staying outside the riots and beheadings, this drama shows how people in the court were horrified and terrified of their own fates. Those who worked in person with Marie Antoinette are the truly endangered. One such girl is her librarian reader, a plain-looking young girl who finds herself devoted to the Queen to her ever-lasting detriment.

The depiction of a strata not usually seen is fascinating, but shows too how deadly it could be merely to be a servant of the King and Queen. Marie Antoinette’s haughty love interest is a woman of great beauty—and the ultimate order of the Queen to her reader is to be bait to help the royal mistress escape France.

You may find yourself riveted to mad decisions of Louis and Marie Antoinette to endanger themselves by refusing to flee when they had the chance. Others desert Versailles, and some commit suicide rather than be sent to sure death by the mobs. If you are intrigued by side stories of history, this film will be fully satisfying. In subtitles that caused us to miss the Austrian accent on the French-speaking Queen (Diane Kruger).

Trump Wins Pedophile Voters

DATELINE: Well wishes for child molester!

 Trump & Dear Friend.

If he’s not encouraging assassins to shoot Obama appointees to the judiciary, President Donald Trump is sending his best wishes to accused pedophile procurers. His old friend Ghislaine is rotting in jail for procuring hundreds of girls for a sex ring with Jeffrey Epstein.

Yes, you heard him on national TV as he offered jailed Jeffrey Epstein co-conspirator his fondest (frankly) wishes for a bright future. You may wonder why. But Trump told us that too: he knew “them” in Palm Beach. They all lived there in cozy proximity.

Trump admitted he met “them” many times. So much for Clinton meeting them four times. Them, in case you are curious, usually refers to a couple or a married couple. Whatever Trump knows about their private lives, he knows Epstein and Ghislaine were a team.

He professed to know nothing about the pedophilia case involving hundreds of teenage girls. Yet, his Secretary of Labor was the prosecutor who let Epstein off the hook in Florida and was later rewarded by Trump with an appointment in the Cabinet.

When Azar resigned, he did so because of Jeffrey Epstein and mentioned it at a press conference with Trump standing next to him. Apparently, your POTUS has memory or mental acuity troubles.

A few fake investigative journalists like Mother Jonessaw nothing odd about this. We beg to differ (of course).

What dog whistle tune is he sending to Ghislaine Maxwell?  She is about to blow the whistle on Prince Andrew (Trump is like Sgt. Schultz, he knows nothing), and President Clinton. The third member of the jeopardized triangle is Trump.

He is sending best wishes to let Ghislaine know that a commutation is in the works if she keeps his name out of the shenanigans and felonies.

Oh, please, Trump has already commuted one felon (Roger Stone) and Ghislaine would sit pretty if she kept her mouth shut about certain famous, powerful people.

So, best wishes to child molesters from Trump. He needs their votes in the upcoming election. From Trump’s lips to every 14-year old victim.

 

 

 

JFK, Jr:  the Final Year

DATELINE:  21 Years Later!

 

Hard as it is to believe, this July is now 21 years since the death of the prince to the Kennedy legacy. His demise in a plane crash completely shut down a direct line to the mythic Camelot of his father. The documentary is called JFK, Jr: the Final Year.

Of course, this is not an objective biography, but it is the result of research and memories of a teaching assistant who mentored young John at Brown University. He has access to people who have heretofore not spoken about the tragic, premature death of the hope of a family and political dynasty.

Kennedy died in 1999, and his mother in 1994. In that way, they never made it to the 21stcentury. Around the same time his mother died, his closest friend, first cousin Anthony Radziwell, son of his mother’s sister, contracted cancer and followed Kennedy in death too. Kennedy’s life was filled with personal loss, and yet he blew up at the press rarely—and may have been planning for a political career in the upcoming decade.

He had a parade of movie star girlfriends and was often called the sexiest man alive, which he accepted as part of his legacy, but he was also considered not too bright, failing the bar exam at least once. Yet, he surrounded himself with some bright people to start George, the magazine.

He was enough of an entertainer to know that the mix of politics and show biz was the future. He failed to cover the Clinton sex scandal and impeachment because it was too close to his own father’s behavior, and he begged the media to give him privacy. He made dumb decisions frequently. Bill Clinton is a major contributor to this film.

In those ways he was the Democrat version of Trump: not terribly bright. And he took risks with threats to his person all around him in New York City. His mother, during her life, mistrusted the Secret Service, and he eschewed protections.

As Dr. Steven Gillon’s film reveals, in mid-1999, his life was falling part in many ways, but he had the future still in mind. He was writing his cousin’s eulogy, but sickly Radziwill ended up giving a eulogy for John before he died two weeks later. It is another tale of hope dashed.

Another Trump Supporter & Assassin!

DATELINE: Den Hollander

In case you missed it, another killer (Roy Den Hollander) is a trump supporter. The man who tried to kill an appointed Obama judge Esther Salas, but only managed to kill her teenage son and shoot her husband, was a Trump fanatic.

How many of these killers in the past two years seem to be working under the aegis of Preisdent Trump’s agenda. This anti-feminist shooter (the polite way of avoiding to say he was for Trump’s agenda) probably has a MAGA hat somewhere in his closet, but police won’ discuss his motives.

He killed himself, which may be the best solution for failed Trump fanatics. Usually they try to kill themselves by refusing to wear a face mask and trying to spread the corona virus.

You can expect Trump apologists will say he is not responsible for deranged followers. Yet, he sends storm troopers into Portland, Oregon, and incites racist rhetoric for Confederate causes. Well, that is hardly the work of independent followers. They are responding to the dog whistle, as apologists like to say.

How many more killers will attempt to subvert the Constitution, undercut the judiciary, and stop the next presidential election? You can bet your bottom dollar more is coming.

Oh, yes, the judge target, Salas, was also involved in Trump’s bank case (Deutsche Bank) where she found connections to the Jeffrey Epstein money laundering situation. They are all related, folks.

 

 

 

The Other Son: No Sibling Rivals

 DATELINE:  Separated at Birth

 

If this were an American film, it would have been played for laughs. Instead, it is a French/Israeli/Palestinian production—and it is serious, but not deadly. It is literally a story of brotherhood.

The story is a tad unbelievable: two young men at age 18 learn that they were switched in a Haifa hospital at birth by mistake. One is a Jew, and one is an Arab. Uh-oh.

The film is in multiple languages, including English and French, and from that perspective is quite a pleasant and cosmopolitan movie. Even more satisfying, though it deals with religious conflict and prejudice, it is basically about nice and good people. So, it is moving to see how the two families must cope.

All the performers are charming, especially the actresses playing the difficult roles of mothers who learn they have the wrong son. The boys are delightful, and their interaction upon learning the true story is inspiring. If you like character drama that is not overwrought, this is your cup of tea.

Some may find it ridiculous that a Jew and Arab would have such trouble with their identities. In the United States, they’d simply chose to be whoever they want, and that would be the end. However, when you live in a country separated by a wall and hostile forces, there is a fly in the ointment.

The fathers of the boys seem to have more difficulty than the mothers, and the hospital that screwed up would be sued for millions in the United States, but there is not even a slight consideration of a legal case. But this is a human drama, and it is heart-felt and carefully directed by Lorraine Levy with all due sensitivity.

Though the two young men are totally unrelated, they become closer than twin brothers, sharing two sets of parents, and being caretakers of each other’s life. This gem is more than worth your time.

 

 

Biden’s Veep: Corona Virus

DATELINE: Don’t Call Her Corona Harris!

  in-joke!

It is a shock to the system when my friend, who speaks with a thick French Creole accent, insisted that he believed that Joe Biden would name Corona Virus as his Vice President.

I had to stop and to wonder if he were speaking metaphorically. And, he was agitated with me for asking if the question and answer were “rhetorical,” a figure of speech.

Some years ago when we were talking about how he liked to go to the local pond and feed the flamingos.  I pointed out at the time that there were no flamingos in the pond, and the area was not on the flamingo migration route.

It took some time to figure out that he meant “swans,” and who could blame him for improving his English vocabulary with a fancy word like flamingo. The birds were big, had long and curved necks, and were graceful. Yep, flamingo and swan, quite similar.

However, the notion that Biden might use Corona Virus as his mainstay to defeat Trump was intriguing too. It took some back and forth for the discussion to evolve from metaphor to actual person. He knew what former candidate for president was, in his parlance, Corona Virus.

When the light dawned, and the true person he believed would be the ultimate selection of Biden came clear, I was convulsed with hilarity. It was as if we had a premonition of what nickname Trump would place on the vice- presidential nomination of Joe Biden.

Who was the black woman candidate? You may have already guessed:  the name resonates with corona virus.

Well, she can be Kamala Virus or in some places she should be Corona Harris.  Yes, he meant Kamala Harris. Oi vey.