Words from the Village Idiot

DATELINE: The World as You No Longer Know It!

It takes a coronavirus to see behind the masks. The world is now filled with covidiots.

The world has changed totally when the people you know change abruptly and completely.

Oh, that COVID-19, what a card to play! It seems perhaps that any crisis or panic of this magnitude would make the true character of people to emerge. Make no mistake. It has done so.

Of course, this is not just any crisis. It is a monumental game-changer, something not known since the Pied Piper went toot-toot-tooting along.

We have known people for decades—or thought we knew them. However, the frightful situation now facing so many states of being has made alterations to the basic attitudes of those we used to socialize with near and distantly. Six feet is not distant, nor deep enough.

Some friends have become skittish and unbearable to bear. Others have become insensitive louts who think they can lick any disease and care not one whit who dies, even themselves.

As the body bag toll rises, those who want to spread the word of God, fail to realize they are spreading the virus in God’s name.

The Pearl Harbor of our time, as one wag called it, will be dwarfed by Mother Nature not liking to be compared to man-made war, pestilence, and grief.

Some friends want to listen to New Age music, as if the age of Aquarius might be better than the age of Black Death.

Binge-watching junk like Exotic Joe and his tigers seems to be the escape du jour.Others are actually more dedicated to saving animals, as if that goodness might be less of an obsession and more of a humanitarian effort. All is vanity.

Who will feed those horses when the equestrian handlers are hospitalized or dead? Those will likely become the four horses of the apocalypse.

Oldsters are venturing out, without masks, several times a day as if to challenge the Death Wish syndrome, as if to prove they’ve lived their allotted time on Earth. Heaven help them.

If you are not sickened by the viral spread, you will be sickened by the political genocide advocated by some. Kill your enemies, or even your supporters, to prove a point.

The world is too much with us—for now.

TB 12’s New Abode

DATELINE: Home Sweet Home!

 Cottage On Bay.

Tom Brady has moved to Tampa Bay. TB to TB.

Brady is renting a mansion that belongs to Derek Jeter and has 9 bathrooms. We aren’t sure how many roommates Brady is taking in. Alex Guerrero, his business partner, may be among the freeloaders.

The price is a tad pricey: $70,000 per month. It is about 30,000 square feet, including a billiard parlor. The house had to be renovated with a higher security gate, which required town permission.

Davis Islands is a resort of sorts, that is sprawling.

Some wonder why Brady chose TB. We have learned that Tampa’s neighborhood is actually one hotbed of Trump support. Yes, there is a political angle to the Brady neighborhood.

As an old fan of MAGA (he has a red hat), Trump’s former golf partner may have selected this Jeter house because it is six miles from the Bucs stadium—but even closer to Trump RE-election headquarters.

We aren’t sure how many Trump fund-raisers will be held on Brady’s rental house, but he certainly has plenty of room for all his fellow Republicans to come by for a visit.

We understand the house comes with several Ring security cameras at the front door and facing the oceanfront where canoes may start sailing past with cameras at the ready.

 

 

Skinhead or Skinwalker Ranch Dressing

DATELINE:  More Lulus from History

 Desolate, but more?

Just call this one, “Spookyworld.”

The Secret of Skinwalker Ranchis supposed to be the gold standard of paranormal, or at least the vortex to another dimension. And, even if you never heard of it, it’s about to be the next big paranormal, supernatural, UFO twister.

Perennial mystery astrophysicist, Dr. Travis Taylor is brought on board by the usual cadre of tough guy male platoon. Arrogant billionaire Brandon Fugal (are there any other kind?) has spared little expense and travels in fast sporty car to a supersonic helicopter where his brother is the chauffeur. You may become a little unsettled when the pilot needs to say a prayer because he fears for his safety.

On ground, Skinwalker Ranch (named after the 200-year old legendary shapeshifter whose skin changes), the desolate location has been spared no expense with cameras, security, automatic rifle toting guards, barbed wire, state-of-the-art command centers, and so forth.

Considerable resources have been dropped onto the Utah property—and there must be some reason to throw such money around that usually the purview of black budget Pentagon types.

History Channel has done so many specials on this lately, we feel like it is a rerun.

The oldest, abandoned homesteads are known for the most peculiar, paranormal, UFO-centered phenomena. Travis Taylor is ready to dive in, though we are never sure why he is invited, except to be a TV host. His scientific methods could be handled by several people already on site.

When Taylor discovers that there are dangerous levels of microwaves floating about, he proposes doing a few experiments to map out the conditions and uncover the cause. One of the hard-nosed, non-scientific types, states there can be no digging on the ranch. It causes unspoken dangers.

Taylor seems miffed rightfully that stuff has not been revealed to him—and only with permission of billionaire Brandon Fugal can he be told why they cannot dig anywhere. This mystery sets the table for future episodes.

One of the ranch managers ignored this advice and had some nearly lethal skull damage that doctors could not explain. Travis does learn that radioactivity from nuclear testing in the 1950s might be a contributing factor.

It seems a big deal to digest when research methods are circumvented.

TB12 Knocks Coronavirus Off the Scorecard

DATELINE: Deflated at Last

Tom Brady is taking his football and heading south.

You can blame the Patriots for not wanting to invest in a man who claims he has found the Fountain of Youth. We recall from history that another gentleman of the old school went to Florida on his quest: Ponce de Leon also thought the elixir of eternal and immortal life awaited him in the bays of Florida.

Bill Belichick now will show he is the genius by winning another Super Bowl without Brady. Heaven help him if his team tanks.

As for Brady, he is trading Paul Revere for Jean LaFitte. He is a trader of the first order, heading for the world of Disney and smart dolphins like Flipper.

If you wonder if he will be motivated, you never followed Deflategate, which sent him reeling into a new stratosphere.

Some never believed Belichick would let it go this far, but that parallel universe: In Bill We Trust, now is on confederate tender.

The all-seeing eye of money is looking back at the Patriot Place and finding that TB12 is a franchise that will sell more jerseys with a new logo.

As for Brady in New England, it was NEVER his home, and if you think he won for Boston, you are deluded. He happened to win while in the Greater Boston area. He would have been just as elated to win in Tampa Bay over the past 20 years.

He never spoke a bad word about Aaron Hernandez, and we figure he will give Belichick the same courtesy.

Now, the curiosity factor will follow him, eyes moving across the gridiron looking for a train wreck.

No Coronavirus Test, What me Worry?

DATELINE: Walking Along the Dead Line 

The President of the United States is the New Alfred E. Neumann.

Donald Trump is prepared to kill himself with coronavirus—and infect you too.

We know that self-destructive behavior is the mark of people who think they are immortal demigods. So, it does not surprise us when Donald Trump deliberately fills his Air Force One and his winter home in Florida with people who have shaken hands with a man who died of coronavirus.

Madness is a relative condition, and flu symptoms are not usually associated with losing your mind. However, opening the barn door to let the microbes enter may be a first for a world leader who thinks he is part Ghengis Khan and part-Superman.

Without a flu shot and without a coronavirus test, Trump is able to leap over CDC doctors in a single bound.

Whether he starts to cough and then re-enacts the role of Von Aschenbach in Death in Venice may be the third act of his election campaign.

Ted Cruz has yet to respond to calls to infect his president, but others have taken off their gas masks and gone into the lion’s den. Next, they will stick their heads into the lion’s mouth, bad breath and all, to defy the medical advice of science.

Self-quarantine is for those who have humanity at heart, not for those who enter King Tut’s tomb before going home to Downton Abbey or Mar-a-Lago, or whatever that black hole of Florida is called.

 

 

Invaders from Skinwalker Ranch

DATELINE: Blue on Blue 

Skeptical Star as Dr. Hyneck

 If Project Blue Book knows what it needs to do to be renewed, it is playing a cagey game as we wound down for the season 2.

The latest episode seems to be a throwback to the old chestnut classic movie Invaders from Mars wherein a young boy is terrified by space aliens living under his rustic home. His parents are soon part of the delusional dream. You may recall the old William Cameron Menzies classic movie.

Then, we discover that the Utah setting for the family homestead is related to a new series that will replace Project Blue Bookat the end of the month!

If you watch the History Channel previews, you already know that the timeslot will be taken over, not by zombies, but by a close second:  The Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch, produced by the same folks who give you The Curse of Oak Island.

And a mysterious millionaire has purchased the property and is now opening it up for Dr. Travis Taylor. Gee, how do we figure out Marty Lagina is in the picture? Perhaps when he son Alex is part of the new show’s cast.

Yes, Dr. Hyneck and Captain Quinn are learning that the paranormal ranch is where Navajo saw shapeshifter and spirits. Nice segue, if not too obvious.

Yes, the dream sequence is caused by some neural gas being pumped in as part of an Air Force experiment. Well, at least they were not feeding the kid LSD, like the CIA.

On top of that, our two comic generals have discovered Captain Quinn’s Soviet agent girlfriend and they are immediately suspicious whereas Mike Malarkey’s pipsqueak officer is in the dark.

Mable Stark: Tiger by the Tail

DATELINE: Trainer Not Tamer

 Mabel & coworker.

For nearly 50 years, from the 1920s to the 1960s, one of the most fearless of tiger trainers was a woman out of the vaudeville, circus world. Her name was Mable Stark, and she was not the first woman to take on the task, but she revolutionized animal training.

This hidden gem of biography is called Mabel, Mabel, Tiger Trainer. She was a patient humanist and used gentle techniquest to control the animals. Move over, Clyde Beatty.

Mabel was not shy flower. She took on Sumatran tigers, considered the most ferocious of all. They have an unpredictable temper—and she had enough claw marks in her life to prove it.

She always said she expected, and wanted to die at the claws of her tigers.

Nearly as ruthless and dangerous as her animals, Mabel came out of the dusty world of dirt farmers. Her father was alcoholic, and her mother married a bigamist child-molester. No wonder she felt no compunction to face wild beasts.

She married the best “lion tamer” in the business—and took his place, refusing to be the usual pretty assistant to the Clyde Beatty-style macho man.

She could put her head in a tiger’s mouth and win even more accolades.

This marvelous documentary by Leslie Zemekis, Though it also features interviews with those women who followed Mabel into the cage, she is a pioneer. She’d tell you that these creatures might be smart, but they were temperamental too. One deviation in word, step, or approach, set them off the script.

She had contact tigers that she raised from cubs, but those were even more dangerous because they never knew distance or understood their size.

With tons of footage and photos from the circus world—and early TV where she made guest appearances often, the film is a record of something lost—a world when kids ran off to the circus and learned a lifestyle singular and outside the norms of society.

This one is sheer entertainment and an education too.

 

 

 

 

Shatner’s UnXplained On Oak Island

 DATELINE: Curses, Foiled by UnXplained!

 

Gary & Rick Guests on UnXplained!

Last week we had a special episode of Curse of Oak Island that featured William Shatner visiting and researching. Now, on his own History Channel show, Shatner gives us his conclusions and his perspective on the second season operner of UnXplained.

For openers, Shatner sneers at the thought of a curse preventing hunters from finding the treasure. Shatner is quick to point out that no treasure has ever been found, and that obsession seems to be the operative motivation.

History Channel provides its usual consultants to weigh in on the mystery. And, in fact, they even use the same re-enactments that are endlessly repeated on Oak Island series.

Shatner also spends some time discussing pirates who may have left treasure there—and an equal amount of time on the victims who died in the search, including Robert Restall and his son Bobby. It is reported that the gang of Lagina brothers have spent thousands of work hours—and millions of Lagina dollars on the quest.

This leads to the Knights Templar and evidence of their visits to Oak Island. In fact, Shatner’s show discusses Jacques Demolay and his curse placed on the Templar treasure. It resonates with every treasure hunter.

In fact, UnXplained  brings on a few psychologists who do not speak well of treasure hunters–and Ancient Alien  staples show up to confirm mythology lives on Oak Island.

UnXplained takes the position that the curse of Oak Island is the energy, and dark force, that it imposes on all treasure seekers. Is there paranormal stuff here? For the first time, Marty Lagina admits to having some frightful experiences on the island—which he has steadfastly denied on his own series.

Interesting take by one series on another. Our own relatives who lived near Oak Island a hundred years ago always said it was the treasure of Captain Kidd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shatner on Oak Island: Beam Him Down

DATELINE: UnXplained Star Visits 

 Shatner at Oak Island!

Well, if you travel across the universe and end up with the UnXplained,you will surely make a pit stop to visit with the Lagina Brothers on Oak Island. William Shatner, not slowing down at 90, is there to see what all the commotion is about.  One fan called this appearance “epical.”

He is there to interview each of the key people about what is going on: he is intrigued, but the people in the so-called War Room are in awe of Captain Kirk in their midst.

There will be no revelations, but there are insights into the past of key people like Gary Drayton who is not used to turning over the findings to the Nova Scotia government. He has a history of being a modern pirate: keeping the spoils.

Yet, Shatner is cynical enough to tell them that the metal of the lead cross, apparent Templar, that was dropped not 600 years ago, mined back then.

They show him the swages that likely made the massive structures of 1741 that indicate that no Europeans were not supposed there—but really were.

Shatner tries hard to find the logic of the mystery of Oak Island, but he needs the late Leonard Nimoy’s Spock to give him the explanation. Marty Lagina tries to play the role of the man explaining the UnXplained.

It will be interesting to see how the same interviews come out on the other History Channel show.

Shatner drives at the key question, what is the curse! But he believes that the Shakespearean manuscripts sounds most plausible, hidden by Sir Francis Bacon.

Captain Kirk digs hard at the notions of mythology and magic, and for that we give him much credit as a journalist. He is intrigued by their notion that the latest technology always renews interest in solving the mystery.

Tractor and big equipment operator Billy Gearhardt is quite eloquent in answering. His new found fans will be thrilled that he stands up to Captain Kirk in this cross-pollination of History channel hit shows.

 

 

We Like Mike & His Money!

DATELINE: Cost of Doing Business

High Priced Ticket?

Democrats are accusing Mike Bloomberg of buying the election. They seem to have missed the incident where Trump is paying money to black ministers and churches, through their local fund-raisers. Now that’s buying votes with cash.

Bloomberg is accused of spending his unlimited wealth ($61 billion is unlimited, folks) to purchase airtime on TV and opening offices, paying people to work for him.

That’s buying workers through a payroll. What’s wrong with that? Some people need a job. Who does not want to be paid for his time? Those other Democrats prefer you volunteer and receive no money for time.

There is a tinge of jealousy in these Democrat candidates, and it is understandable. These poor candidates cannot spend what they don’t have: and if Bloomberg were not a candidate, maybe he’d give that money to them.

The fact is that Bloomberg is well-positioned to beat Trump. And, that should be the name of the Democrat game. It isn’t. Small and poor candidates like Bernie do not care about anyone other than themselves. Isn’t that the bottom line? And how does Bernie differ in that way from Trump?

More than money, we have a problem with all these candidates pushing 80 years of age wanting to serve as a four-year president. It is arrogant. It is overly optimistic. It is a shade in the old-timer’s disease category.

Don’t call us ageist. We are there too. And we know our time limits.

 

 

Crosby in Search of a Crosby

 DATELINE:Haunted by Uncle Bing

The nephew and godson of Bing Crosby has been documenting his uncle Bingle for decades. Now, he has produced, directed, and written up, all his film records as he tries to uncover the truth behind the legendary crooner.

The film is not merely vanity; it serves a genuine purpose in dissecting a legend. Chris Crosby was close to greatness, and he documents it well.

And Bing has had his share of Mommie Dearest moments. His eldest son Gary wrote a scathing book about his father’s cruelty and bad parenting. A few think he added the worst to sell the book to publishers. Yet Bing was at heart a Daddie Dearest, and nasty too.

Chris Crosby is fairly even-handed, trying to learn how bad his uncle truly was. What he finds from his father Bob Crosby, and Bing’s friends like Bob Hope, Anthony Quinn, Mel Torme, Stewart Granger, Donald O’Connor, Terry Moore, Rhonda Fleming, and many others, is that he was exactly what you saw: an easy-going, charming person with a hard veneer. He was always friendly, but you never broke below the surface.

Like many celebs, he was smart with money, shrewd with people, and kept his foibles well-hidden. Oh, you will hear the stories of his womanizing, his drinking, and his sadistic treatment of his sons (two of whom committed suicide after his death).

You will hear he cut you if you did not adhere to his strict Catholic views. If you were divorced, you may have lost him forever. He went to church every Sunday, and he was secretly charitable to a fault.

Many show biz friends knew the image, and never wanted much more. He never gave more because it was generous in a cut-throat business. He meant it when he sang “White Christmas.”

He died on a golf course in Madrid, whistling and singing, one day after visiting a long-time friend after 20 years. It was spooky.

Chris shows the drickle down talent, watering by generation. He seems to be haunted, if not possessed, by Bing. His sister was less fortunate. When she chose to live with a man they disapproved of, she was kidnapped and given electro-shock treatments.

But, if you were a fan, or a friendly associate, that stuff never intruded on what you saw and knew. Bing was complicated, as they say nowadays.

Titanic & Night Wire Exposed!

DATELINE: Connections!

 Henry Ferris Arnold.

When I looked at the various reviews of “The Night Wire” on Goodreads, I felt it was my duty to add. what I have learned during research for my book, Titanic’s Forgotten Movie.

Yes, there is a creepier theme in the story that relates H.F. Arnold’s little horror tale to the infamous sinking of the luxury liner in 1912.

Published in the heyday of short story writing when magazines were devoted to the art, now basically lost to writers, were genre-periodicals as well as major magazines that published stories. Of course, in those days, you had H.P. Lovecraft, J.D. Salinger, and B. Traven.

Then in the 1920s, out of nowhere came a young writer graduated from a mid-Western college. He only wrote three stories in his life, all of the supernatural vein. You may well ask why.

Arnold’s background has been called mysterious and murky, some even questioning whether he used a pen-name. No, he was Henry Ferris Arnold. And, he went to Hollywood upon graduation from college to work in the publicity and movie advertising business. He was not necessarily a denizen of tabloid journals where he worked the graveyard shift in the Morgue (old newspaper term for the library).

He actually started out in the Goldwyn Studios and quickly rose to the exalted position as Sam Goldwyn’s Director of Publicity. He was also elected to various positions of importance at WAMPAS (Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers).

His sister Pauline Arnold, aka Polly, moved to New York in 1926 and became a pioneer woman in the advertising business—and the east coast tie-in with her brother. She founded a company called MRCA, and it was a press agency that handled people who wanted their name dropped into columns of Walter Winchell or Ed Sullivan.

Polly soon became partners with a man called Percy White, Jr.

What has this to do with “Night Wire” and Titanic?

It is the backstory.

Percy White’s father and brother died on Titanic in 1912. He was a man haunted by their ends. Polly then married Percy—and she told her brother about his family history.

“Night Wire” emerged when H.F. Arnold started to use details from Percy as the basis for a story that kept the family’s name out of it, but might be a sellable story to movies. He knew many people in movies who wanted to make a Titanic movie.

After all, one of the famous stories of wire operators centered on the two heroic Titanic men who sent out distress calls for two hours. It is the basic plot of the story.

Where are they? In a place called Xebico. If you are a cryptographer, you may have done your homework. Most have not. Xebico is an anagram for Icebox.

The fog washing over the victims might well be the frigid North Atlantic as the ship sank, becoming an icebox containing hundreds of souls.

The narrator observes the wire operator named John Morgan. IN some Titanic circles, one of the controversial figures is John Pierpont Morgan, who had a first-class suite on Titanic—and bailed out of sailing at the last moment. Some said he knew something bad was imminent.

So, that is a little background information.

 

Blue Book Kidnappings & Mutilations

 DATELINE: Date Night at Drive-In

 

Richard Carlson in a cameo.

If you wonder how realistic theProject Blue Book episodes are, you only have to watch Dr. Hynek and his wife out at the drive-in (without their kid who has disappeared in season 2).

They are watching Richard Carlson in one of those 1950s movies. She knows about which crash it is supposedly depicting, and he hardly watches at all. It is not exactly the kind of concentration you expect from the government leading investigator.

The show also features on this episode a trip to Area 51 that is under CIA control, though our heroes do not know what this agency is. When the captain in civilian clothes meets them, they are taken aback that he is a black man. It allows Mike Malarkey’s character now to display some classic 1950s racism, but muted.

As the black agent notes, the CIA picks people for positions that you would least suspect: and he was such an example taking Dr. Hynek and Captain Quinn into the fenced in desert with snipers everywhere.

Ths episode also features something beyond an alien abduction. One young corporal who has gone missing is found in a state usually reserved for cattle mutilation victims. He is eyeless, and has been eviscerated systematically.

We also have our traditional heroes finding a mountain open up and a base within, allegedly under the control of the Air Force. Trying to escape, they are pursued by orbs—and are pulled up into a craft with a beam.

Of this they have no memory, and it likely will be a plot device over subsequent shows. They are also summarily kicked out of Area 51.

In the meantime, the Russian spies are ending the show at the drive-in. This time it is not It Came from Outer Space, but a western with Brandon de Wilde called Shane. The Russians (or whatever they are are beautiful cold women). They are planning some dastardly stuff.

It’s not too often the guest stars on TV are Richard Carlson and Brandon de Wilde.

Butt-Slapping Reaches New Bottom

DATELINE: Hard Knocks?

 Culprit caught red-handed.

You know society has hit rock bottom when pro athletes now are being tossed out of games—and arrested—for going for the formerly acceptable cheeky assault.

We cannot recall when butt-touching went public in our sports arenas. It must be a carry-over from hauling ass around the gym. Once upon a time, it was considered a means of expressing male “affection.”

We are unsure if we have ever seen this activity in a gay bar, but we believe that it will now be forbidden even in the inner sanctums. Queer as Folk avoided such behaviors. But, Downton Abbey’syoung butler may be guilty.

A pinch on the cheek used to be quite continental, but continence has reached a new plateau when it comes to below the belt buckles with knuckles.

OBJ recently slapped the butt of a mall cop, or pardon us, arena security after a college game. It was the locker room and one can almost explain how these things become viral.

The alleged hard-ass cop took umbrage and wanted to sock OBJ, but held his piece instead. New Orleans used to be a place when Fat Tuesday meant any buttock passing was slugged. No more!

Now, former Celtic Jae Crowder was innocently standing at the free throw line, ready to cut loose when Tristan Thompson, apparently without Iseulte by his side, added insult to injury by shocking Crowder with a tap on the buttocks.

You’d think he’d been given an injection of penetrating flu vaccine. Crowdah jumped like he fell into a bowl of hot chowdah.

Tristan Thompson claimed it was a means of bonding between former teammates. Heavens, high fives and man hugs, all now chaste and robotic, are the new currency. No one is paying for their erogenous zone to be invaded, and short of a porno film, we don’t expect to see this impact on our cable television when we are not on the LOGO network.

We remember when a crime was committed if your fist hit the tip of another’s nose. Now, the blow is lower than the standard for congressional oversight.

We believe the five-second rule should be enforced. If your food falls on the floor, you can still eat it within five seconds of being retrieved from any dirty crevice.

We hold that a slap on the butt that does not linger or return for second helpings should be excused with heart-feltmea culpa.

Slapping a bun of steel of your pro athlete of choice may be injurious to your digits. And spare us a fist pump.

Pink at Heart for Grant Williams

DATELINE: In Romeo’s ‘do?

At least one Celtic player in the NBA wants his three teammates to be on the All-Star team.

There is some doubt that the Celtics will be able to muster Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown, on the team. It seems a glut of wealth may be the Celtics counterweight.

There is a great disbelief that the Celtics will have enough support to see their three hot stars in the All-Star lineup. It seems especially so since Tacko Fall holds more votes than almost anyone else.

Much to our amusement, fellow Celtic, the intriguing Renaissance Man off the court, Grant Williams, is making an offer we can’t refuse. No, this is not the Incredible Shrinking Man: this is the incredible, smart Celtic.

Grant is quite a genius, in case you are wondering, with a nerdy photographic memory, the ability to speak several languages, and play several instruments of music. His specialty de la Maison is the piano, but we have yet to demand a duet with the other piano player on Celtics: Jalen Brown.

But we are ahead of ourselves: Grant made a deal that if fans vote the three starters on the All-Star team, he will dye his hair pink for one month. Now, this is not so earth-shattering and may not be much of a stretch for the non-traditional Grant. We’d like to see Grant with pink hair regardless of the all-star vote.

So, vote often for the trio of Celtics. We love Grant in Pink. No, not Cary, and not Ulysses. We mean #12.