From Sunset Boulevard to New England

DATELINE: Gloria Swanson’s Late Career as Artist

swanson4

This year’s holiday treat was to discover a 1974 painting done by legendary screen actress Gloria Swanson, hanging in the parlor not far from our Thanksgiving dinner table.

If you recall, Miss Swanson made one of the all-time comebacks in movies when she starred in 1950 with William Holden in Billy Wilder’s classic tale of Gothic Hollywood, called Sunset Boulevard.

Her final scene remains chilling and pathetic, as she descends the grand staircase of her old Hollywood Hills home in final madness and tells the director, “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.”

swanson2

Who knew that nearly 25 years later, Norma Desmond was painting acrylic oil scenes as a hobby?

We encountered her 1974 rendition of an old, faded gray barn on this holiday 43 years after she painted it, hanging proudly in the home of an art collector and movie fan where we enjoyed an invitation to dinner.

How intriguing that the creative juices of Swanson, a macrobiotic diet advocate, emerged from this sad landscape. It is a giant picture, three feet in height and four feet across. The colors are muted, like a silent movie depiction.

Dilapidated in the snow, fallen in disrepair and probable despair, the old barn stands proudly alone. Its carriage door is ajar, broken open, letting whatever creature wanders by to enter its cold and empty interior.

It seemed to us to be a place along the “Road Not Taken,” that lovely poem by Robert Frost who lived a few miles away in New Hampshire. Miss Swanson presents us with a scene that comes right of out Thornton Wilder’s Our Town (which was also set a few miles away, in fictional Grover’s Corners).

Miss Swanson’s picture, painted while she lived in New York, a dozen years before she passed away, now has a special place in the home of a long-time fan. We think she would be happy to hear how much this work from the last days of her life, largely unknown, is appreciated.

We felt privileged to stand before it to reflect on life and the passage of time.

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Oak Island: Curtains to Curses

DATELINE:  Weekly Update #3

Rick lagina

Time for Just for Men?

As season five progresses, the series Curse of Oak Island seems in jeopardy.

From the off-season storms that decimated roads and other parts of the island, to the tragic death of the 17-year old son of Craig Tester we have had already sufficient warnings and dire omens.

The latest episode begins optimistically enough with the discovery of coins from the 1600s in a pile of dirt uncovered 60 years ago and never searched with a metal detector. We almost feel that the show will conclude successfully this season.

However, the good news became muted when the Canadian government sent a “cease and desist” letter to the Lagina operation, claiming they were vandalizing cultural artifacts after five years of digging.

After 400 years of hunters and hiders tunneling and bulldozing, and ravaging the little Nova Scotian island, this johnny-come-lately interference from some nitwit cultural ministry of do-gooders seems a day late and a dollar short.

In order to assuage the governmental cretins, the Lagina brothers agreed to hiring an archeologist to oversee their work. He promptly stops their digging when they overturn tree stumps and find indications of an old settlement.

We thought the troglodytes of do-good deeds only hid in the bowels of the US government, but the virus has spread to Canada’s guts for real adventure.

Rick Lagina seems crest-fallen. He might have to take that job with Just for Men for Beards. His jet-black hair mismatches his white beard—and he could make a fortune coloring both for an endorsement contract. He can draw on a big gay market, based on the number of people who ask us to find out if he’s gay.

Our other solution is far simpler. We suggest that Rick Lagina sacrifice himself by jumping head first into the Money Pit. This will end the curse instantly by giving the Island its seventh victim and reveal the treasure instantly—in our humble opinion.

 

 

Ray Allen: Gone Fishing for Compliments

DATELINE: Mysterious World of Cat Fishing

on the DL

If you haven’t heard of cat-fishing, you are out of touch with today’s Internet.

Former Boston Celtic Ray Allen is giving us a crash course in something to do with scams, sexual harassment, and online game players.

He is now counter-suing a young man who pretended to be a woman (actually several women) and lured Mr. Allen into online relationships.

It appears there is more than meets the eye to your online pickup lines.

Allen allegedly started stalking his tweeter. Well, how can you stalk a man who pretends to be a woman without finding out that the stalk is off-kilter?

In the world of retired sports stars with time on their hands, you discover that it was a two-way stalking. The young deceiver may have had incriminating evidence and was a threat to reveal it to the family of Mr. Allen.

This gives new meaning to the term “on the down-low.”  Yes, sports fans, in the world of sexual stalking, being on the DL is not always the disabled list.

We might wonder if former movie star (He Got Game) and 3-point champ Allen was light in his sneakers when he took all those jump shots.

We recall vividly his inexplicable feud with Rajon Rondo when they were on their championship NBA treadmill nearly a decade ago.

All the Celtics teammates blackballed Mr. Allen when he jumped ship for an NBA ring on another team. Perhaps teammates already were separating themselves from the DL list.

So, Ray’s best defense is now that he was cat-fished, the colorful term to describe a sexual peccadillo.

 

Trump’s Blatant Racism

DATELINE: Inexcusable Lapses of Judgment

Michigan J. Frog

If you need more than one example to prove that Trump is a fetid racist (on top of a dozen past examples), we have compiled a list of the latest evidence that Donald Trump is unfit to be president of the United States.

He is a blatant and unremitting in his bile. Perhaps he is not a white supremacist, as that entails belonging to a set of social pairings that he has avoided.  However, he has shown a disdain for anyone who happens to be a person of color. We will ignore all his obsessive, continuous, illogical attacks on Barack Obama.

Case in point number one: this week he managed to show his lack of humanity (perhaps another disqualifying characteristic) by suggesting he should have let three college basketball players rot in a Chinese jail for ten years because no one wants to kiss the ring of the reigning monarch.

On top of that, he took on the notorious imbecile LaVar Ball in a battle of twitter -tweetie bird brains. Suffice it to say, there is no honor in bashing LaVar Ball. It’s like kicking a dog with three legs. If Trump wanted to illustrate that he is a vile human being, comments such as this do it.

Oh, please, to those who cry it’s only Twitter. It creates a social condition among the uneducated and dumb supporters of racist notions

Next, Trump is calling for the complete suspension of Dallas Cowboy player Marshawn Lynch. Here is another least popular figure in sports who happens to be black. Lynch sat in Mexico City during the American national anthem, but stood for the Mexican anthem. He hardly seemed to be protesting much of anything. Another imbecile to equal Trump’s IQ on patriotism.

And, finally, there is Steph Curry, a basketball champion who was disinvited from the White House for not supporting Trump. Some have defended Trump by saying that the President did not even realize Curry is “high yellow” (a light-skinned black person).

The only high yellow Trump approves is in in his hair and the streak running down his back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patriots Romp: ‘Yo Soy Fiesta en Mexico’

DATELINE:   Pats Play Bums of the Week

tom-brady-as-gunslinger

Other than Gronk claiming he was about to have a fiesta, when in fact he actually seemed to enjoy a siesta, Gronk didn’t do much up in that rarified air. Many players were cramping and gasping for oxygen, likely having a locker room IV and banana.

The big news of the game was that history repeated itself. Way back in 1960, Ted Williams was pulled out of left field in the ninth inning and replaced by Carroll Hardy, a rather ignored utility player.

In Mexico City, Tom Brady was replaced with two minutes left in the game by Brian Hoyer, his long-time second banana. Belichick came to the conclusion that the thin air was not helpful to his most senior citizen on the team.

Hoyer has taken the chosen seat on Brady’s right hand on the bench during the game. Vacant since the loss of Julian Edelman, it seemed a natural for place for Hoyer. Not only that, no one ever deigns to talk to Brady during the game—excepting his personal coach Josh McDaniels.

There, for all to see, Brady was chatting with Hoyer during the game! It was definitely record-setting.

It was the most notable moment of a lackluster game. The Pats played, if memory serves, something akin to the Las Vegas Raiders with blue-eyed Derek Carr.

Other than that, the game was notable for a 62-yard field goal in the vacuum of mountain atmosphere, sort of like punting on the Moon.

The other notable gaffe was that NBC had the temerity to pull the game off the air in Boston. This resulted in a nasty reaction that caused NBC, gutless at best, to hastily return the rout telecast back on the tube for Patriot fans.

 

Montezuma’s Revenge on the Patriots?

 DATELINE: Over Trump’s Wall

 smashing mirror

All this week the New England Patriots have been in Mexico City, preparing for the big game on Sunday. Coach Bill Belichick is in heaven: he has avoided the New England media all week while in Mexico. For all we know, he may have been in Puerto Viagra, enjoying the sites.

It’s possible but coach Bill Belichick is worried about Montezuma‘s Revenge, which bears a strange resemblance to Roger Goodell’s Revenge. At the very least the Oakland Raiders, the opponents of the Trump Patriots, have played in Mexico City last year and may have a very large fan base among those on the wrong side of the Trump Wall.

We look with great expectation to see if the enormous crowd is that greeted Julian Edelman and Danny and Mendola this summer in the public relations video movie are indicative of Patriots’ support south of the border. Edelman felt like one of the Beatles, but he will not be on the field and has not made the trip.

As far as eating the local cusine, we know the Patriots bring their own boxed lunches wherever they go. You can never predict when the locals or illegal immigrants will poison the Trump supporters.

We hope none of the players and brush their teeth with tapwater. That’s only one of the problems when you’re 7500 feet up in the air.

We do expect Tom Brady to throw a lot of long balls There’s no need for deflation of the ball because it will go further even fully inflated in the super light air.

By flying in their own private jet, we have no worries that ICE troopers and Homeland Security Nazis will be bothering the Patriots. On top of that, you can count on the fact that they have a presidential pardon to escape customs and over those Trump Walls they will fly.

No wonder Jerry Jones is jealous of Robert ‘P***y’ Kraft.

Fill in the Blanks for “P***y”

 DATELINE:  Vocabulary Lesson for Jerry Jones & Media

3some

This week Jerry Jones has tested our ability to play both Scrabble and do crossword puzzles. The owner of the Dallas Cowboys, mired deeply in a feud with Roger Goodell, reportedly called fellow owner Robert Kraft a mysterious name in regard to the Patriots owner’s inability to stand up to Goodell on Deflategate.

The media has given us a maddening clue by leaving out key letters of the word.

The media has also plastered the word over the airwaves, cable wires, and water-cooler discussions for men who live dangerously around women nowadays.  For those who are fans of President Trump, the word may ring familiar, as he used the epithet (if that’s what it is) during his campaign against women.

In case you are wondering what the cryptic word is, we have gone to our cryptologist’s handbook to discern “P—y.”

In some more colorful stories the spelling is “p***y.”  We always opt for the asterisk over the hyphen as part of our training as a literary critic.

We didn’t have to run to our crossword puzzle dictionary for the Sunday New York Times to be able to figure out what Jerry Jones and President Trump have said.  The options are clear.

It is likely that Mr. Jones called Kraft “pasty.” This is ironical, if only because Jones is even more sun-deprived than Kraft, playing as it were mostly indoors at his stadium. We think Kraft is fairly pasty on his own too.

Another option is “puffy.”  We have heard Sean Combs has discarded this sobriquet lately—and it is available to be put on Kraft who takes a paternal interest in his players, hence “Puffy Daddy.”

However, we realize soon enough that the best likelihood is another word: “Putty.”  Yes, Kraft was putty in the hands of Goodell, and is pliable to the whims of the fans.

You say tomato, and we say “tomahto.” You say “P***y” and we say, “Putty.”  Let’s call the whole thing off before our vocabulary descends into the tone-deaf style of NFL fans in general.

Jaylen Brown as the Green Lantern

DATELINE:  14 Ducks in a Row

Green Lantern

While everyone thinks of Kyrie Irving as the Masked Marvel, Jaylen Brown has escaped notice as the chess-playing version of the Green Lantern.

In the early match-up between the evil Empire of the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics, Kyrie Irving shed his mask when the game looked bleakest. It was reminiscent of Superman removing his Clark Kent disguise to help propel the Celtics from a 17-point deficit.

However, he could not work alone he needed help from Jaylen Brown. Playing under unpleasant circumstances, reminiscent of what Isaiah Thomas in last year’s playoffs, Brown turned on his Green Lantern powers. Perhaps he looks skyward to the banners from where all Celtics gain their magical powers.

It’s more than possible that he drew upon the spirit of his recently passed friend. He almost did not play, in deference to the sudden death of a close friend. Whatever the motivational issues, Brown turned into the Green Lantern and transformed into a champion before our eyes. He has become now in his second year the Guardian of the Celtic Universe.

Oh, his deputy may be the Robin Second Banana, named Tatum, but the sudden emergence of Brown as the Green embodiment may be a bigger revelation that the expected superhero status of Kyrie Eleison Irving.

With a 14th victory in a row, and the Celtic record at 19, you need not look any further: such starts mean a team seldom falters in March. The lead will be too insurmountable.

In one game in November, coming from behind, vanquishing the World Champs, these new Celtics have stepped into the realm of Celtics Past.

Down with Men

 DATELINE:  All Men are Dogs

ALF

Just today we heard that Senator Al Franken and Sylvester Stallone have joined the sexual assault parade. There isn’t a man to be trusted.

In regard to Man, that generic sexist pig, for years we used to say, “Don’t shoot all the dogs just because one has fleas.”

We now admit that we were wrong. It’s time to shoot all the dogs. They cannot be trusted around women. They cannot be trusted in any kind of polite society. Straight men are Deplorables. Even Trump is one of them.

They should be isolated like some virulent pestilence. Clearly it is time for Amazon society. We don’t mean the buying Internet giant. We mean a society of women without men.

Why, heavens to Betsy, gay men cannot even be trusted around other men. The last month or two has proven the point. Men are dogs. They should be kept in kennels, if not euthanized.

It’s the only way to keep women safe. Even if we put them in prisons, we know they’ll go to their own kind. They are like cannibals. They have voracious sexual appetites.

So sorry to say, women will be better off with women in all leadership positions. Women should have all control over everything related to men. Then, only women will assault other women.

The grand experiment of male domination has now proven to be a complete and utter failure.

Why hang on to the old way? Out with the ganders and in with the geese. Out with the buck and in with the doe.

Castrate the dogs and let the mangy Curs keep to themselves in dog pounds.

Best and Worst in Boston Sports History!

DATELINE:  Great Rivalry about to be Born

                         Jayson  Curry

                                                    Jayson Tatum & Steph Curry

Are we talking a new major rivalry? Boston and New England has had its fair share of giants in sports history. We have seen loyal opposition, and red coats.

In Boston, some fans believe it is happening again.

We are looking at something special on the famous Garden parquet floor under the green banners.

We can remember Bird & Magic. We know about Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio. Recently there was Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Some oldsters even remember Bobby Orr & Brad Park. How can we forget Thurman Munson and Carlton Fisk?

We aren’t sure if David wore a Boston jersey when he took on Goliath on the Boston Common.

Yes, Yankees and Red Sox. Lakers and Celtics. Patriots and Broncos. Bruins and Rangers.

Tonight, we add Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics for this generation. We hope Steph Curry and Kyrie Irving can elevate us to sports Nirvana, even if Kyrie looks like the Masked Marvel for this game.

No doubt about it, the thought of a new Boston rivalry makes us giddy.

Throw in Kevin Durant, the man who didn’t like Green shorts. Throw in Jason Tatum, a phenom teenager who is the new Larry Bird.

We cannot emphasize that hyperbole is an understatement in anticipation of this benchmark game in legendary lore.

Yes, Charles Dickens said it best: it was the best of times; it was the worst of times. We had Trump; we had Brady. We had black lives mattering; we had white supremacist dolts. The times are a mess.

We pray that the worst of times will transform this sports moment into the best of times during one little basketball game, Golden State Warriors versus the Boston Celtics. Yummy.

 

 

Not Much Ado on Oak Island S5, E2

DATELINE:  Slow Week

heartthrob Alex Lagina

Heart-throb Alex Lagina

 

At this point, the biggest curse of Oak Island may be its tendency now to catalogue every tiny point, ad nauseum. As a result, even the Lagina Brothers are having a hard time showing enthusiasm for minor details that would have sent them into ecstasy two or three years ago.

 

So, when Gary Drayton finds a bit of coin from the 1600s, they smile and try to muster exuberance, but the big fish still eludes them.

 

If the second show of the season had any excitement, it was in the dating of a large spike found 170 feet below the surface. If it dates to the 1600s, it might be part of the original Money Pit. Who put it there and why remains elusive.

 

At a local university on Nova Scotia, the brothers and their partner take the spike to a couple of metallurgist professors who put it under a microscope.

 

Sure enough, the spike is of the type manufactured in the 17th century. Small steps lead them to the firm belief that there is something hidden on the island that was not “officially’ settled until the late 1700s when treasure hunters descended upon Oak Island.

 

Heart-throb Alex Lagina takes a side-trip to a descendant of one of the land-owners in 1788 renders a dull search of a sea chest with papers stowed away that indicate the captain of the Betsy was charged with treason by Virginia’s Governor Thomas Jefferson before he became President.

 

The other tie-in is that we have yet another member of the Masonic Temple, which always leads to the next jump of logic that he must be tied into the Illuminati, the Knights Templar, and in on the secret of Oak Island.

 

On top of that, continued drilling causes tunnels to flood, yet again, like in so many previous searches over two centuries. The treasure hunters have grown accustomed to the delays and set-backs.

 

We are not sure if the audience will continue to exercise patience at the snail’s

Danny & Julian Go Global with Their Song & Dance

DATELINE: Bubbling Juices

Road to OblivionLike Watching Home Movies of Your Cousins

Notable YouTube videographer Julian Edelman was at it on the NFL Network this time.

During the summer, the NFL and Patriots decided to send two Abbott & Costello-style players to Mexico to pave the way for this week’s big international game South of the Border.

Who might better represent insanity in sports than Julian Edelman and his partner in crime Danny Amendola?

One of them might be sufficient, but two is a handful. It was like watching the reincarnation of Hope and Crosby on the Road to Oblivion.

As would-be media stars and Internet splashers, the twin Patriots chose to direct a short film of their experiences. Alas, for Julie, an injury in preseason has knocked him out for the year. Yet, he was the right man for the job of public relations in Mexico with his other slotty receiver/Zoolander model wannabe.

A giant crowd greeted them like conquistadors, and Julian noted he felt like a Beatle.

They bickered about what to include in their four-day sojourn on NFL Network’s home movie—and decided on failed pranks on each other, a bout with professional wrestlers, visiting restaurants and eating crickets, as well as taking a balloon ride over the City of the Gods, ruins of pyramids.

Perhaps the greatest wonder is that Edelman managed to finish the entire film without once mentioning Tom Brady.

He and his comic partner, often referred to as Nofundola, seemed to have more fun than a honeymoon couple deserves. Julian even sings while Danny strums on the guitar.

In one episode, Edelman was reluctant to enter a lion’s den with Amendola and would have preferred, he said, to pet a GOAT—was that a sly reference to Tom?  Amendola dominated his matchmate and has his bucket list fulfilled.

At one point Julian noted his “juices were bubbling” in a wrestling match with Danny.

At another event, they seemed about to crash their mile-high balloon, and Julian was a tad uncomfortable that the hot air had no control. They also raced up the stairs of ancient pyramids where people had their hearts cut out, oblivious to history.

The best moment came when Danny ate a cricket appetizer and notes its good taste, but Julian looked like he would like to spit it out, but the camera was rolling.

Casting Celtics around Batman Kyrie Irving

DATELINE:  Colorblind Mask

 Masked Kyrie Kyrie, Eleison

Kyrie Irving, now playing the Masked Marvel, led the Celtics to their 13th victory in a row. It qualified them to meet the reigning dynasty next in the matchup of the year.

Yes, Golden Boys from California are next on the list to become the Golden Fleece to the Celtics.

Irving won national attention for wearing a mask to his game in New York, not a late Halloween gag, but a medical necessity after a small bone in his face was cracked by a teammate’s elbow. He told Aaron Baynes not to send a fruit basket.

Everyone awaited to see the black mask he wore several years back with Cleveland—but Irving wasn’t in the mood to play the Lone Ranger. Black was out, which seemed ironic, but he explained that the black mask limited his peripheral vision.

Even teammates had to relent: they want a victory and a happy camper in Kyrie, even if he failed the Bruce Wayne as Batman contest.

Fake news expert commentator Brian Scalabrine, redundant in his new fake hair from Dr. Leonard, made the off-hand comment that the NBA had stopped Kyrie from becoming the man in the black iron mask. But, that was untrue. Nor did he wear a high yellow mask for racist Boston fans.

Instead, Irving wore clear plastic with thick black bands. It was not a look or feel he enjoyed, constantly adjusting it and removing it. He even left it on the table before Scalabrine during the game.

Like it or not, Kyrie is the Boston Batman. His Robin is clearly Jayson Tatum, and his Alfred the Butler is the tall drink of water known as Al Horford. Commissioner Gordon Hayward is out with a broken ankle, and Jalen Brown may take on the role as the team joker.

Whatever the facial remedy, short of Tom Brady’s Botox mask, the Celtics went on to victory: setting up the hoop dream as their best team in a decade goes after Steph Curry and Kevin ‘I Don’t Look Good in Green’ Durant.

Alabama: Home of Vixen Lolita Teenagers

DATELINE: Roy Humbert Humbert Moore

Lolita

Actress Sue Lyon as 14-year-old Lolita in 1962

You have to feel sorry for Judge Moore: he was constantly being tempted by a series of Alabama-style Lolita temptresses.

Alabama has once again thrust itself into the laughingstock of the United States. Not since George Wallace tried to block little girls from going to school have we seen such paleo-imbeciles, excepting Jeff Sessions testifying in Congress.

Are they all so backward as Judge Roy Beanbag Moore, the crypto-Nazi who disdains every scandalous sin except his own?

Alabama has thrust itself to the forefront of backward backwoods people—sort of like Afghanistan politics in America.

We knew for sure that you might find someone standing in the doorway, blocking the schools in Alabama, but we never suspected that Judge Moore was sizing up the undergraduate sophomores in the high school as potential “dates.”

Yes, a man who wants to be in the US Senate has a past worthy of a man in the Roman Senate 2000 years ago when emperors and senators could buy teenagers for sex without recrimination.

Alabama might serve as the headquarters for pedophiles in politics. At the least, it is the newly discovered capital of Nabokov’s Lolita-ville.

We did not know it was still possible in Alabama to hold court like a combination of Roman emperors and Ozark hillbillies.

However, Judge Moore has drawn parallels to himself and the Holy Bible. Alas, he missed the point that the man interested in young nubile girls was Herod Antipas—and his intended was step-daughter Salome. Now that might better serve as the metaphor of choice for Moore supporters.

The price this time for victory may be Trump sending Sessions back to the Senate, appointed by the Alabama governor, payment for creating a special prosecutor to investigate and to jail his political enemies. It’s the price of good people doing nothing.

Those paragons of virtue and defenders of morality at Breitbart News have sent undercover operatives to dig up dirt on the accusers, or make up dirt if that is the only other alternative.

We have already recommended Alabama as the Neanderthal’s vision of making America great again. Welcome to the new America that starts to resemble Nazi Germany.

 

 

Mile High Has Enough Air for Patriots

 

DATELINE:  Like Peaches & Herb, Brady & Bennett Sing

Peaches & Herb

What used to give the Patriots the bends is now like air from a deflated football.

Denver used to send chills down the spine of their quarterback; now Tom Brady seems as home in the stadium as Peyton Manning where noise in the clouds hinders most.

With a convincing victory, it’s on to Mexico City where the air is half a mile thinner at 7000 feet. Thank you, Roger Goodell, for such a schedule. You deserve $50million per year and a private jet for life.

Now see if Jerry Jones has any intention of giving you anything more than the air out of a Tom Brady football.

The Pats seemed like their old selves in both defense and offense.

In terms of offense, despite the curse of the broken mirror, the more things change, the more it seems like last season. Why, bless our pointed heads, fans, but there on the field was Martellus Bennett, the original black unicorn.

Though facing surgery in Frost Bite Falls with the Packers and embroiled in legal issues, he was able to catch several Brady passes for great yardage, giving Gronk all he wanted for Christmas.

Von Miller, vaunted Denver defender, might exchange Instagram challenges with Tom Brady, as they did this week, but when push comes to shove, millennial photos on social media are not enough to sack Brady.

In terms of the dangerous seat next to Brady on the bench, vacant often this season since the disappearance of Julian Edelman, like the kidnapping of a Getty grandson, it found a new occupant.

Fearless of curses, and familiar as an old shoe, Brian Hoyer thought nothing of sitting next to Brady while the Denver offense sputtered on the field with their former great Manning replacement having returned to no avail and little consequence.

When it comes to homecoming reunions, no one does it better than the Patriots and Marty Bennett.

On to the deflated atmosphere of earthquaking Mexico City.