Frontiersmen of America, Episode 2

 DATELINE: Never Surrender

 Robert I. Mesa   Robert I. Mesa as Tecumseh

History Channel and Leonardo DiCaprio present the second documentary in the series, Men Who Built America: The Frontiersman.

This time, they take two storylines and entangle them for their parallels: Tecumseh (played by hottie Robert I. Mesa) starts off as a young man whose tribe is wiped out largely by smallpox, brought on by the American settlers flowing into the Ohio and Indiana territories after the Revolution.

The twin sides of the story feature Meriwether Lewis and William Clark being saved by their guide Sacajawea, who meets a long-lost brother and intervenes on behalf of her friends. Jefferson’s plan to have a peaceful settlement soon meets the reality of the greed of American settlers.

On the other hand, Tecumseh’s brother is a visionary who helps the Native American bring together tribes into a united nation. To that end, Tecumseh creates Prophetsville, a symbol of Pan-Indian unification.

The stories diverge from there. Lewis ended up committing suicide and Tecumseh’s village is wiped out in a genocidal attack by Tippecanoe Harrison himself, who parlayed the vile sneak attack into political capitol.

Tecumseh never trusted the British who tried to curry his favor, but the Americans were worse, convinced of their destiny to drive out the natives to settle the land from coast to coast.

The episode manages to bring the highs and lows of American roots into one trail, both of tears and joy. You cannot blame Tecumseh for wanting revenge whose power was enhanced the the New Madrid earthquakes—and an alliance with the British in 1812.

Yet, Tecumseh knew the quality of mercy is never strained. He wanted a diplomatic settlement to the war.




Tom Brady’s End Game

DATELINE:  End of the Time Bomb

smashing mirror

A month later, Tom Brady scraps his final TV episode to surge into a new phase of life: he makes a blitzkrieg of appearances on New York live TV interviews.

After discarding the previously filmed episode of Tom Versus Time which had Tom winning the Super Bowl, the Chopra re-telling has been re-mixed for a re-do.

It seems everyone was a tad overly optimistic, like treasure hunters on Oak Island.

Episode 6 in the saga of the oldest MVP quarterback in NFL history is more than the remains of the day. However, Tom is playing it like the last scene of Sunset Boulevard, ready for his closeup.

Everything is fine, if you don’t confuse Tom with Tom of Finland. They have the same interest in big men, but from different perspectives.

Let the parsing begin.

The bittersweet final episode of the sixpart series called modestly Tom Versus Time was short and bitter. You can slice it up any way you want, but it looks like Tom is considering whether he still has convictions to prove in football.

One of the first calls he receives is not from his wife that from Gronk. Perhaps they are both contemplating retirement to the WWE. Perhaps, too, we might see them his buddies in an action adventure movie. Tom is ready made for the movies and has already appeared in one of those Ted puppet movies with Gronk.

As for the finished series, Tom has suddenly taken to making appearances to plug the video audition tape. He chugged a beer with Stephen Colbert on late night. And he appeared on the Good Morning America show with show biz producer-partner Michael Strahan.

He and Gronk shared a laugh about Danny Amendola, which shows how close Tom and his tight end are. Within 24 hours Amendola was gone in free agency to the Dolphins, where Wes Welker began.

Gronk and Tom may want to go out in retirement, hand-in-hand, on to the Hall of Fame together. Or, maybe they will play one more season together.

Brady admits he’s closer to the end than to the beginning. This episode was a re-do because he really thought he would win another Super Bowl, which would’ve greased the skids into retirement.


Tom asks in the show: why are we doing this? He has no answer. All through the series, he has been sophomorically philosophical. He also admits that losing one’s conviction means you should look for another job.


Is Tom looking for another job? His wife, Gisele Bündchen, clearly admits the past two years have been difficult. She wants him to spend more time with the family. And, she holds all the cards—and all the money too.

Boone Starts Building America

DATELINE: History Channel Series

boone 1820   Daniel Boone, age 84

Leave it to the ever-sensitive History Channel to honor women’s history month with two new series. First on the docket is the Men Who Built America’s sequel: the frontiersman. The other is Kingpin, a series about four criminal thugs.

Don’t let that stop you from watching. The frontiersman series starts with Daniel Boone. It’s produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, probably based on his experience from playing The Revenant. No, Jeremiah Johnson is not among those to be studied.

As documentary dramas go, this is superb. It is an old-fashioned American view of rugged individualism. John Wayne would be proud, not to mention the Fess Parker. In the weeks ahead, the series will also tackle Davy Crockett, Kit Carson, Andrew Jackson, Lewis & Clark, and as a nod to political correctness, Tecumseh. That episode may be the most illuminating.

A few unusual commentators, like Gen. David Petraeus, offer their insights.

Boone was in parallel to the Shot Heard ‘Round the World in Lexington by defying King George and going out to settle territory beyond the Appalachian Mountains.

Boone was a superhero of the 18th century, running 150 miles in 4 days to warn settlers of an impending attack by Indians.

The show gives credit to the daughter of Boone, Jemima, who was heroic in facing kidnapping by Native Americans.

It appears the British put a bounty on American heads and gave the Native Americans rifles to take back their land. It was a losing proposition either way for them. The writing was on the fort’s walls when a rainstorm stopped the Native Americans from burning down the place.

Though it is basic American history, we suspect that most viewers will find it all new stuff. We are always grateful for intelligent TV viewing.

Yawkey Way: One-Way Street in Boston

DATELINE:  The Way in Boston

Which way?

When you say the word “racism,” in Boston, you better smile, pardner.

Yes, the birds of a feather are in a snit over the name change on Jersey Street. It was once called Yawkey Way in honor of the Hall of Fame owner of the Boston Red Sox. He died in 1976, and the city of Boston, found it in its heart to name the little bypass in front of Fenway Park after its Southern gentleman, Tom, who tried to buy a World Series in the 1930s by hiring the best players. He failed.

The Colonel, as it were, in baseball, a game for white gentlemen, as it was once called.

Yes, right in Boston, you had an owner who was never truly part of Boston. He never showed up until after the season started and then sat in his high-above-field box like Nero.

He was instrumental in keeping the Red Sox lily white until Pumpsie Green showed up to sit on the bench for a few seasons. He was used as a pinch-runner most of the time. The Sox were the last team in the majors to sign a black man to play.

Race, if it was in the forefront of that Georgian peach, Yawkey’s mind, was never to advance civil rights of black people. He made Ty Cobb look progressive.

The Yawkey Way is not to be confused with the Patriot Way, under an owner who is the epitome of billionaires in Boston.

Uncle Tom Yawkey kept it white for as long as he could.

We have a memory of attending a Red Sox game in the early 1960s when the only black face we saw in the stands was Bill Russell of the champion Celtics. The Red Sox were never world champs under Yawkey.

When the game ended with another hideous Sox loss, I was behind Russell who was tall, silent, and dignified. Why was he there? Perhaps to see the second black Sox player,  pitcher Earl Wilson. That is lost to memory, but Russell was the tallest man leaving the box seats. No one spoke to him, and we walked out of the park—and he went in one direction and I, the other way on then Jersey Street.

Wilson was later traded several weeks after complaining about racism to the Boston media.

We saw Russell at several games over that year, while Yawkey sat high above, looking down. In those days, celebrities did not join Colonel Yawkey in his perch, certainly not a black man.

We think now Russell showed up to make a point: he loved baseball and hated racism. He was the only black face in the crowd.

Imagine: 30,000 seats filled with white fans, and one black man.

And now there is a hulla-baseballoo because Boston wants to dump Yawkey Way in a place where black players were jeered just last season by racial taunts. The present owners want to change the name of Yawkey Way back Jersey Street.

It’s still Yawkey Way, no matter what you call it.


Ring-a-Ding-Ding for Tom Brady

DATELINE:  Bearing the Ring Bearer

scream up close Silent Screamer

It’s only been a year since Super Bowl LI. But for some Tom Brady palsy-walsy connection, the investment has been worth it in spades. No waiting for friendly profit when Tom Brady bankrolls you.

There are few things in life that return itself tenfold in value within one season.

Tom Brady’s authorized replica Super Bowl ring is one of them.

Like all Patriots, the players are allowed to have the team make slightly smaller, replica versions of the players’ ostentatious, tacky Super Bowl rings. That means it wasn’t quite as jewel-encrusted as you might expect if you played the game.

As a result, to hone this bejeweled ring took 10% off the original value. So, if you bought one of these items, or had it as a gift from Brady, it would only cost you (or him) about $30,000. We know from Tom’s video biography, that he gave one special ring to his mother.

We also know the ring-at-auction had Brady’s name etched into it: a dead giveaway of its giveaway.

We don’t know who, what, when, and where, other ring(s) may have gone.

We doubt that Tom’s mother’s the one who sold the ring for $350,000 this week.

We’ve been trying to rack our brains as to what Tom Brady connection or semi-close friend may have received a ring and sold it for 10 times its value. Parting is such sweet sorrow unless you make a quarter of a million bucks on it.

We keep coming back to the godfather of Brady’s child, Guru Alex Guerrero, Tom’s personal massage therapist and dietitian, not to mention Svengali And Mephistopheles.

If anyone has suggestions on which one of Tom’s friends sold his matching replica Super Bowl ring gift, please let us know.

We just don’t think members of the family would sell such an important memento. But, then again, Tom is out of the country. And those confounded mice will play while the Tomcat is away.

To make a quarter of $1 million profitability, we know we would sell it. But we are mercenary, cold-hearted, and ruthless. Can’t you tell from our blog?

The Second Shadow War!

DATELINE:  Sci-fi, murder mystery, and romantic fantasy combined!


2ndShadowWarkindlecover RECOMMENDED! A True Sequel to Rider Haggard’s She!

Now available on Amazon in both paper and e-book

Author Ralph T. O’Neal III is co-founder of BooksnBars for federal prisoners and knows something about the political and shadow government operating in the United States!

 Following the characters and situations raised by the first Shadow War about the conflict between MJ-12 and the Vatican, the Second Shadow War takes on the motives and conspirators behind the Kennedy assassination. It’s a concoction of alchemy, merging three genres into something totally unusual.

Ralph T. O’Neal III has done it again, throwing the JFK’s assassination into the mix of MJ-12 conspiracies.

An evolving series, the characters repeat their roles and become enhanced with familiarity. Central character is a mysterious teenage boy who is half-human and half-space alien, the work of black ops in the federal government.

According to reviewer Mal Tempo: “If Agatha Christie and Arthur C. Clarke collaborated with H. Rider Haggard, this book would be the result.”

It is not a graphic novel, but something like it –but special, using Foto-Footnotes or illos to annotate the text.

A stunning story and a shocking conclusion! Conspiracy buffs and feminists will come alive reading this tale about She Who Must Be Obeyed, never gone from Earth and back for more.


Another Day of Infamy in American School and Media

DATELINE:  Your Regular Massacre

Michigan J. Frog

The United States is now run by a bunch of singing and dancing toads.

While the History channel chose to show a series of violent TV episodes on Al Capone and gangsters like Bonnie & Clyde to celebrate Valentine’s Day, in Florida a real Valentine’s Day Massacre was going on in a Florida school.

Good call, History Channel. Set the tone for all of America.

In the real world, 17 students were killed by a gunman who once was expelled at the school for bad behavior. He learned his lesson, didn’t he?

President Lamebrain Trump offered empty prayers on Twitter, but lost interest when he found out the shooter was not an illegal immigrant.

Congressman Seth Moulton called on the President to get off his “fat ass” and do something about guns.

Donald  Trump, Jr., attacked a gay Olympic athlete for wanting to postpone meeting Vice President Mike Pence who advocates killing all gay people.

In Boston at an alleged sports news radio station, whose call letters are WEEI, but should be WDUMB, plan to have a day of sensitivity training for their yahoo staff of idiots.

This is the alleged sports news station that advocates attacking Tom Brady’s five-year-old daughter with insults, and offers Charlie Chan racial imitations of Tom Brady’s Asian lawyer.

This loathsome band of semi-talented buffoons typifies Boston sports, which typifies American politics, which likely spurred the Red Sox this week to call for action against the radio station.

Sponsors and advertisers are leaving in droves. On-air personalities are claiming they will be fired if ratings lag and are forced to act like fools for money.

Welcome to America in 2018. Happy Valentine’s Day.



Tom Brady Not Ready for Prime Time

DATELINE: The Arrogance Game

Rodin's thinkerThe Thinker, Fan-Version

If you are among the throngs (yeah, millions for defense, but not one fan for tribute) who await the final episode of the Tom Brady self-congratulatory TV series called Tom Versus Time, you have to wait longer.

It appears Tom and his producer Gotham Chopra have to scrap the final episode and come up with a new one. They finished the series with Tom winning the Super Bowl. Reality bites. His team lost, though he came close to pulling it out, but horseshoes is not football.

You may see a pattern of arrogance in the series that denotes Tom Brady as a wise, old philosopher, on the lines of another problematic Bostonian, Henry David Thoreau.

Gotham Chopra self-admitted their problem with a statement that puts a smiley face emoji on the situation. “Everyone keeps asking me about Chapter 6 of ‘Tom vs Time’ and when it’s going to be ready. The truth is we had a plan, but unconsciously, it was tied to the Pats winning the Super Bowl and, when that didn’t happen (congrats, Eagles!), I felt like we needed to pause and recalibrate.”

Yeah, losing’s a bitch. Having to re-interview Tom Brady for an hour to find bon mots is not pleasant. They had to re-calibrate Tom’s happy-go-lucky philosophy with a reality check. That’s the unfortunate side of “reality TV.”

Chopra ends his emoji apologia with: “So, Chapter 6 — ‘Coming Soon!'”  It sounds like the next chapter of Batman.

We actually would like to see the pre-Super Bowl, arrogant, mad-as-a-hatter Tom Brady. but that episode will be lost forever to history.  Please Note: we said  hatter, to all you haters who have trouble reading.

Hollywood Beckons Gronk

 DATELINE: Retirement Among the Movie Legends

say it ain't so

Those who have read our Gronk commentaries over the past few years know that we have advocated a Hollywood trade for the big lug. He has a face and a personality and a body that won’t quit, which is enough to become a film star.

Now we hear that Rock Dwayne Johnson and Rocky Sylvester Stallone have told Gronk to go west to the land of swimming pools and movie stars. You can die hard on the screen. Gronk hits his marks and learned a complex playbook from Belichick. He can certainly memorize a few monosyllabic lines and hit the bad guy in the nose.

He can make $10m in one movie and a few commercials without breaking a sweat.

On the other hand, though we love watching him as a Patriots star, know that CTE and a concussion are the end of the line sooner than later. We want the best for Gronk, and we cringe every time we see him hit on the field.

We want to tell him that John Wayne played football too, but he made his mark in adventure movies. Gronk has a flexible face, and he could be in comedy, adventure, westerns, or sci-fi as the good guy, the comic relief, or the imposingly big villain.

We know that Foxboro is not exactly Beverly Hills where movie stars, swimming pools, and big bucks in the sunshine can be had, but we’d urge him to consider how well he’d do in movieland.

We’ve seen Gronk interact with Bieber, Kyrie Irving, David Ortiz, and myriad others on the screen. We’ve heard him read Chinese war lord Sun Tzu’s philosophy, and we know that James Bond could use him as the next opponent.

We love Gronk. Movies are his calling card—and small-screen series too. Maybe Westworld needs a new automaton.

Go west, young Gronk. Go west.


Gronk Wuz Robbed!

DATELINE: Baddies Natasha & Boris Suspected

 Gronk in Strait Jacket

While away in Frostbite Falls for the Super Bowl, Rob Gronkowski’s palatial home in Foxboro was the object of robbery. That makes Gronk a two-time loser in one week.

The police report that Gronk’s five-bedroom million-dollar house was left unattended, and he discovered the thieves were there on Monday afternoon.

Police won’t say what was taken. In all likelihood, the idiots who tried to rob Rob likely couldn’t recognize the Matisse paintings on his wall—and left them.

Some are shocked to learn that Gronk has anything worth stealing. Many are equally surprised that he does not live in cold-water flat, three-story walk-up.

Apart from heavy exercise equipment, there is not much to be carted away from his estate. His coin collection of Lincoln pennies could be a target.

We suspect the robbers were looking for one of Tom Brady’s jerseys, which have been valued by Texas Rangers as worth hundreds of thousands.

Knowing Gronk’s fan base, we suspect they were after one of his moldy jockstraps, as online bidding for the item may grow as fermented as the scent.

Since Gronk is threatening to retire this off-season, he will not be living in Foxboro much longer, moving to Beverly Hills where the old Clampitt estate will suit him and his extended family of brothers.

In the meantime, Gronk is hurting, having been violated in the sanctity of his bedroom. We recommend that Gronk spend the money on a cheap video security system while he waits for his Hollywood contract to be signed.

Parcells & Belichick: Odd Couple

DATELINE: Two Bills & Lots of Sense

two bills

ESPN’s latest documentary is a look at the remarkable relationship of two NFL coaches who figure prominently in the conversation of greats.

Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick cannot merely be compared as winning NFL coaches. They actually have linked together and bonded in a variety of ways over 40 years.

To put them together at a table in the football Giants locker room and let them watch and listen to clips may actually be a device to give viewers fireworks, contradictions, and hostility. Nothing could be further from the actual event.

You may be surprised what a loud extrovert and a introspective quiet man have in common. They were never friends, but were always respectful colleagues—even at times when tense competition separated them.

What they do have in common is an irascible controlling attitude. It may boil down to the kind of relationship you’d expect between an elder brother and his over-achieving younger sibling. They were rivals, but under the skin shared too much to be anything but blood kin.

Parcells always regretted not being more diplomatic and less inclined to fly off the handle. On the other hand, Belichick admired the way his mentor could deal with the media and see the big picture.

It winds up being a mutual admiration society now that the days of fiery fights across the field have come to an end. They have played golf together and enjoyed dinner to reconcile their former differences after the Jets flare-up when Belichick declined to be drafted into a bad coaching situation, as the heir apparent to Parcells. A Greek chorus of football greats and witnesses to their flare-ups and cool-downs adds to the history lesson.

Owner Robert Kraft slips between them, owing to fancy editing by the director, and notes the complex troubles of managing difficult coaches. It’s business, not friendship. It’s living with a colleague for years and never socially.

The Two Bills is a fascinating portrait of hard-driven men doing what they love with people they grow to love.






Timely Episode 5 for Tom Brady

DATELINE:  An Affair to Remember

brady back

On the day of the ignominious Super Bowl that will live in infamy as the Last Hurrah of so many coaches, Tom Brady chose to release #5 of his Tom Versus Time vanity project.

What Brady never fully understood about his six-part documentary series is that all is vanity when his speaks about his personal philosophy like he was Henry David Thoreau facing a lockup for failure to pay taxes in Brookline.

Right from the get-go, he tells the audience he is tyring to find the deeper purpose of life and and live it in the episode called “The Spiritual Game,” which likely amused Zen-Buddhists everywhere.

Alas, Tom Brady comes across as self-centered in his egocentric universe. He is looking for miracles and magic and finds them only in pro sports. He has had a 27-year affair with football, and his wife approves.

The insights begin 8 weeks before the season in Costa Rica where Brady goes to surf, learning “not to fight Mother Nature.” His Argeninian wife loves it there, and it is tropical and quite in contrast to the coldest game he has ever played in during December.

Narrative jumps over 15 weeks in a flash, and Tom admits life goes by fast: but really, this fast?

Tom knows he is a public figure and withholds paying attention to those distractions. He cannot waste his precious energy on media trivia, except to make a documentary.

“I’m gonna determine what’s important for me,” he tells his fans. Clearly, everything else comes in second to self-importance.

Tom and Patriots lost Super Bowl LII—and the final episode has been withheld to deal with that ugly fact.

Tom Brady Wins Another One

DATELINE:  More or Less Tom Foolery

duke & duchess of Foxboro

Winning the MVP of the NFL 24 hours before you play in a Super Bowl has to take away some motivation for Tom Brady. More honor for the man, less honor than you can muster for any man who has done nothing life-saving, society-protecting, or civilization-advancing.

Brady is a man who uses slights, insults, demeaning treatment, disparaging disrespect to move him to greater heights. To win his third Most Valuable Player award, at age 40, undercuts and guts his psychological attack mode.

How can he use this to intensify his desire to win his sixth Super Bowl?

These are the conundrums of being the so-called Greatest of All Time, GOAT, that must haunt the man before he sleeps this night.

Were we all to have such worries, such issues, such difficulties to face in life, we’d all be happy campers.

Tom Brady cannot be happy about this award, which a few have said was won because everyone else was injured and fell out of contention.

Perhaps that insult is motivation to go out tomorrow and slam-dunk the Eagles.

With so much hype, so many distractions, so much tom-foolery in every story for the past two weeks, for the past twenty years, how can Tom Brady stand one more night of it?

In his ridiculous home movie reality series, he tells his wife Giselle that he wants merely two more Super Bowl rings. It does not compute for a man who has ten digits on two hands.

How will he sleep tonight before the big game? It’s all tom-foolery to ask.


Brady’s Tell-All, Episode Two

DATELINE:  A Shakespearean Life of Tom

 tom & julie practice

Tom Brady’s autobiographical miniseries, Tom Versus Time, continues to hit the hot airwaves in the days before the Super Bowl.

The problem with tell-all documentaries that don’t tell much is that friends are not viewers. Viewers are enemies, and they are looking for chinks in the armor, blatant deceptions, errors of judgment, and sundry revelations of the unexpected.

In that way, Brady continues to deliver the goods in the second episode of his self-indulgent rumination.

This show is about his mental game. He is on the down-slide of chess, not checkers. He must process and adapt it to a declining physical body. Tom House, the ex-Red Sox pitcher, advises him on the beach with Alex Guerrero and Julie Edelman doing the hard work (the only one shirtless and shoeless), catching balls.

Tom watches all day tape and film two or three days per week.  His book sits neatly on his desk, in one product placement silliness. He can watch game tape five hours at a time. It’s an addiction. He’s an addict. He sees his losses as a Gong Show with layers of scar tissue. Like an elephant, he lumbers to the finish line.

Brady tells how he often wants to kill Josh McDaniels, and vice versa. That’s love.

Few names or faces are identified because the only one that matters is Tom who struts and frets about being a poor player upon the stage, waiting for tomorrow’s game after a loss.

Tom House ruminates about aging and dusty death, and Tom regards past Super Bowl failures as a walking shadow. In between his tale of sound and fury, he films a commercial for a luxury car with his son at his side at his palatial feudal estate.

This stuff cannot be made up.

Time Versus Tom and Vice Versa

DATELINE:  Brady’s Life

movietone news   march of time news

The first 24-minute episode of the six-part series on and about Tom Brady revealed nothing and everything. It was the best of documentaries and the worst of documentaries. It’s called Tom Versus Time, and it is like watching the old chestnut March of Time in video newsreel format.

Tom Brady morphs into Charles Foster Kane.

No, Gotham Chopra is not Charles Dickens, and Tom is no David Copperfield. There is more of Dorian Gray here than gravy. The infomercial known as Brady’s life is like a bit of undigested beef. It just sits there.

If you want shock, Tom does not refer to Swami Belichick as “Coach,” his usual reverential term for 17 years. He calls him, heaven forfend, “Belichick,” and shares his notes from one of the Head Coach’s lectures. It is filled with laughable platitudes, and Tom keeps a wink in his hip pocket.

Brady also shows his four-game suspension letter, which he enjoys for its motivational impact. Tom follows in the carbon footprints of motivational charlatan Tony Robbins. They even did a vaudeville act together in Boston this year.

Tom allows quite an intimate picture of his children, which most celebrities avoid. It seems to follow his dictum that nothing matters but winning.

If episode one conveys any sense out of nonsense, it is that there is no straightforward narrative line here. We see clips from all over the year, piled on the previous with a little philosophical mortar to hold them together.

Gotham’s city of Brady may be a bit heavy on bats in the belfry. Director Gotham Chopra knows what idolization means. Off the field Tom Brady is clearly a koo-koo bird.

This is homage and paean to Tom, as directed by an adoring Boswell. You won’t find T.E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Fire here, only six. It is, after all, an infomercial.

Of all Tom’s thousands of player-friends over two decades, only two knights show up at the Round Table: Julie Edelman and Danny Amendola. There is no Tom in team Gillette, but we do see Alex Guerrero, the Merlin of football wizards, giving Brady a solid massage in this medium well-done documentary.

The star quarterback is entitled to his fair share of egomania, considering his impressive  accomplishments. Walking on water will do that for Lawrence of Arabia and Tom Brady. The adoring masses tend to confirm his warrior status, though he has no plan here to sell himself short.

More to come, like a Batman cliffhanger.