We see that a TV graphic headline has been called “racist,” and we thought how terrible. Then, we saw what the offensive words were: They alluded to the Atlanta/Boston/Milwaukee Braves and the situation of losing a playoff berth. Now, we have for some time thought that naming teams after Native Americans—or, as racists call them, Indians, whether they are from Washington, D.C., Cleveland, or Boston (where the Braves originated) is dicey.
We were never sure what Indians they referred to in Boston. It could be that Braves are simply people with courage, though young Native American warriors were called Braves. It was sort of like ‘grunts” or “GIs” in another framework.
So, Indian and Redskin are harder to justify. If this seems like a hairy tale, you will be forewarned to avoid head-hunters.
Back to the point of the racist claim: it struck us as a play on humor and defeat. It is known that some brutal Indian raids resulted in “scalping” of victims. This was not necessarily an action limited to Native Americans but was a kind of trophy hunting.
To say the Braves were “scalped” seems rather oxymoronic. Who did the scalping? People who sell tickets to games outside a venue?
We seem to have entered a world in which words have either lost their meaning or have become metaphoric bonfires of the vanities.
If this full lobotomy assault continues on satiric wordsmiths, we shall soon be de-fanged, de-clawed, and shorn of our satirizing locks. In a crew cut mode, we may not again use Scalpicine on our collective itchy head. Sign language could also be offensive to Native Americans, to which we raise a well-placed finger in response.
DATELINE: New Trump Godfather Movie?
New Don Trump!
In a new Godfather sequel, Don Vito Trump makes an offer that a whistleblower cannot refuse. Yes, if the anonymous whistleblower reveals his identity, Russian mobsters will not only break his legs, he will be able to meet the man he accuses of criminal deals as he is fitted with cement overshoes.
If you ever wondered why whistleblowers are afraid, you have only to ask Fox journalists who liken them to “rotten snitches.” Yes, so much for the fair and balanced approach to someone reporting on corruption found in the Washington swamp.
Like calling his lawyer Michael Cohen, his mouthpiece of yore, a rat, Trump envisions the world in movie mob terms.
We now know that if you drain the swamp, you will find a slime-ball with orange hair lurking in the mud. The Creature from the Black Lagoon is now POTUS.
Don Trump does have a right to meet his accuser—in a court of impeachment in the United States Senate. And by then, it will be too late to have him executed—unless the Senate decides that Trump is really a king, not a president.
As of today, we have received another request from Trump to pay for his impeachment defense: his billions are not enough. Now the Don Trump is baking canolis filled with creamy poison for the American electorate.
We are not sure if the Don knows that this is not the Vatican where you can have the Pope replaced (as in Godfather 3). In this sequel, the mob plans to supply the voters with Ukrainian voting booths.
We have seen a preview of the film in which Don Trump’s grandchildren are dressed up like the Storm Troopers in the Star Wars series. In case you forgot, the Nazi Storm Troopers in white plastic suits were the bad guys who went against the forces of good.
In Trump’s world, life is like a box of chocolate movie sequels: all covered in Rambo Blood.
DATELINE: Kill Count Around 200?
Keanu with Anjelica.
We just had the pleasure of watching a film that is the epitome of political incorrectness in America after a half-dozen shootings in society. John Wick: Chapter Three Parabellum is a violent satire of gun use. At least, we think it is meant to be funny.
Para bellum is Latin for “prepare for war.” It is only one of several high-toned touches of art and culture in a brutal shoot’em up. We did not have our clicker with us, but we believe Wick kills over 150 people, one at a time. It causes the movie to run for a full two-hours and have credits that will feature keanu’s chef.
Keanu Reeves has now appeared in three of these sagas, his big money-making series. At 55 he is giving contemporary Tom Cruise a run for old age. We cannot imagine how he can run, jump, kill, and duck endlessly and never be out of breath. And, he is shot and stabbed on more than one occasions.
You know that Wick is dangerous when he kills an assassin in the New York Public Library—with a book. And then puts the bloody tome back on the shelf.
The film is a series of set pieces of mayhem. It seems everyone in the world is packing heat—and most of those are hired guns. No wonder we have shootings every week. It’s part of a movie fantasy world.
Among the high-brow stars is Anjelica Huston playing The Director, some kind of Russian oligarch balletomane who runs a dance company like she’s a female Diaghilev. Also on hand for chuckles is Ian McShane and Laurence Fishburne. Don’t worry about your stars being killed off: they will need to return for the fourth entry (yes, it is clearly coming).
In the meantime you can wonder about the brilliant choreography done by Reeves, and then there are outlandish set scenes like a swordfight on motorcycles.
We want to say the body count is quite high, but we think more panes of glass were broken than any other kind of vandalism. There isn’t a window in which someone does not put his head right through.
We also see plenty of blood splatter as heads are blown away with armor piercing bullets when a sword through the eyeball is not handy.
We haven’t seen this high a body count since Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood went Where Eagles Dare, killing Nazis.
DATELINE: Trump as Queen of Heartless
If you remember your literature, you know it was the queen of Hearts that constantly solved all royal court problems by shouting, “Off with their heads.”
It’s now the mantra of the Trump administration.
If you cross the President, he wants you fired. There’s nothing new in this as he made it his tagline on TV where he starred as a buffoon in an American business satire.
Now he has taken the royal pledge of vindication to new heights, or depths. He has now started to emulate the Queen of Hearts, sending out his Mad Hatter, Wilbur Ross, secretary of commerce, to threaten to fire weathermen for saying a hurricane is not imminent.
Imagine! You are fired for doing your job. “Off with their heads,” and their paychecks. It is nothing new under the rainy reign of Trump.
Thousands of Bahamians have lost everything in Hurricane Dorian that nearly missed Alabama, but Trump won’t give them aid or assistance. They have lost their passports, and now he wants their heads on a silver platter. Let them die in misery is his motto.
“Off with their heads,” we expect that slogan to echo through his campaign rallies to come. Political opponents? Off with their heads! Musicians wives? Off with their heads! Media journalists? Off with their heads.
We can hardly wait for the worm to turn, and have the Congress vote for impeachment while shouting, “Off with his head!” That would make us a wonderland of a banana republic, which seems to be Trump’s fondest wish.
DATELINE: Literate & Bloody Genghis?
Gold with Genghis?
Another superior French production marks the visit of three scientists on the search for the burial spot of the Mongolian leader known for his bloodthirsty strategies of wiping out populations.
The Lost Tomb of Genghis Khan is somewhere in the hinterlands of Mongolia but has been kept hidden by a cult of devout worshippers—even until today. Not one scintilla of evidence from the tomb has ever appeared since his burial in the mid-1200s.
It is thought he was buried with immense wealth in a desolate spot where his sons and grandsons also now are entombed, notably Kublai Khan.
No one is sure of the exact spot because the funeral cortege murdered anyone who saw it along route. They did not want anyone to know the great Khan was dead: it would undercut his divinity until he was safely buried.
So, even in death, his cut-throat, brutal tactics were in place.
Yet, Khan was also known as the first Mongol to codify laws and create a written language to solidify his people. Nothing like writing laws to ban murder while you cavalierly murder your way to top!
Genghis received more than bad press outside his homeland, but he was revered as someone special within.
By use of drones and mapping without touching the ground, three scientists risk their lives to go to the secret location. They travel through bogs and across rough terrain as tourist academics, never letting anyone know their real purpose.
Yet, when they return a year later, it is clear that the cult of worship has known of their appearance: the burial mountain has fresh totems in stone around the area. It makes for hair-raising research.
Rough editing seems to come out where commercial interruptions might happen, and there is one English-speaking American expert in Chicago offering his sage wisdom.
This is an intriguing hour of history.
DATELINE: Vimana Your Raft
Thor Mans Vimana!
This week Ancient Aliens went one better: they just blew Thor Heyerdahl out of the water. Yep, they claimed that Southeast Asians came to Colombia via vimana spaceships, not rafts.
By teaming up David Childress with Praveen Mohan, their new Hindu expert, sort of a Giorgio from Mumbai, you have some insights from 12,000 miles over the globe. The gold diggers of 3000 years ago worked for ancient alien “gods.”
Ancient Aliens starts off with a bang: blaming the Vatican and its auto de fe of the Inquisition for destroying the Mayan culture because it knew about visitors from the sky. In fact, they even go so far as to accuse the Vatican of still covering up the information stolen from the Mayan and taken to the Vatican archives where it still remains.
The other interesting bombshell has to do with the Hindi god from outer space whose name was, you guessed it: Maya. We see a similarity on History lately. You can blame it on two groups, it’s either the Masons or the Mayans.
Who knows? Maybe a future show will prove that the two groups share more than rituals and secret, lost knowledge.
It seems all those parallels between South America and India may have something to do with Vimana, the mythical spaceships of Indian legends and ancient texts.
Childress brings his Hindu counterpart to a remote area in the jungle of Colombia to show him the various statuary that resemble Hindi gods. It offers the theory that the South American location became a second city of Indian gods.
The newest cliché of TV documentaries is taking shots from above by drone: now you can see the topography of rivers and geoglyphs from the angle of ancient astronauts in their flying machines.
The Vatican now is catching up to the Masons as a suppressive group with secrets in their archives.
DATELINE: Not Music to Our Ears!
If you wonder about people in Havana being bombarded in the Embassy by mystery sound waves, or something else, you may have an answer in Mind Control: HAARP Conspiracy.
You may never want to hear about HAARP, or you think it is that real estate program to increase your mortgage. Wrong! It’s high density radio waves that can alter your brain—and it isn’t science fiction.
The disturbing Discordia comes from Mind Control: HAARP Conspiracy. A weak mind may be just as easy to disturb as a smart one.
The military has been working on it since the 1970s. They can bounce radio frequencies off the ionosphere, which can alter weather patterns on one level. Then, they realized you could target any kind of wave—certain music or radio stations, sending pulses to the audience to render them schizophrenic, frightened, or scatter people in an area.
Bio-effects are the newest weapon application, replacing bullets and bombs with a high-density shot of signals that can disrupt the brain. It is tantamount to the strobe light concept that has been used to pulsate people into madness.
If you can gear an audience to the sounds or lights, say Fox News, you can turn them into dribbling and violent automatons.
Needless to say, the CIA and NSA love this stuff.
Dr. Nick Begich, the expert who dominates the documentary, notes that United States citizens have been guinea pigs for years. But the true use is to make large armies turn coward and surrender without a fight.
We hate to harp on this, but our alphabet soup has just been poisoned by DARPA, HAARP, and now someone in the Pentagon has done something about the weather, sending tornados to Florida and other extreme climactic changes wherever they want from the base in Alaska.
DATELINE: Learning Curve Bends Light Waves!
The Internet seems to teach us the impossible is not improbable, Sherlock Holmes notwithstanding.
We just read that Prince’s memoirs will be published posthumously. You mean he is not a vampire?
Another article tells us that Twitter is not America. Well, we already figured that out when 33% of our followers on Twitter are from Turkey and apparently do not speak English.
A new study on the concept of BS has proven to be overblown. Rich guys tend to exaggerate their abilities. Having more money apparently still does not make up for having little confidence and less talent. We even wonder if self-designations like “rich” are suspect.
We also found a journalistic piece that states that Twitter fuels anxiety. Well, that is one explanation for the Twitter-storms of Donald Trump.
A business named “mailchimp” claims to make marketing easy. Monkey see; monkey may do, as long as you have the money to pay the monkey to dance to the organ grinder’s tune.
Some people believe that slave-owner and man who turned down Lincoln to save the Union, one Robert E. Lee, was a kindly soul and gentle man. We call them white nationalists, but General Lee is not just a motor vehicle in a hick TV series. He is down by the levee with Kate Smith, watching their statues be torn down by the new majority in America, the Minority.
After watching the History Channel TV series, Project Blue Book, the United States military has decided to junk the term UFO and call those flying saucers, “unidentified aerial phenomena,” but a rose by any other name will still be high-flying space creatures.
Low-income people are apparently more devastated by scams on the Internet than rich people. When you’ve got nothing to lose, you lose everything, according to experts.
The latest notion of pollution is microplastics, which seem to be so small that they are floating around cities and landing in lakes, though you can’t see them. It is no longer smoke that gets in your eyes.
Ten minutes on the Internet has undermined all knowledge you thought you had avoided in school.
DATELINE: Sleeping Trillion Bucks
More gold and art treasures hidden by a rapacious Japanese general? Yes, and this time it’s somewhere on an island in the Philippines where nutcases go hand-in-hand with gold-diggers. We did not see any Laginas associated with this History channel’s latest example of a series bit by the Goldbug.
The first episode is called “Death on the Mountain.”
The optimists at History Channel are calling this Season 1. Or, perhaps they are pessimists who expect multiple season frustrations. In any case, the betting is that we will have hit the mother-lode of ratings. So, gold in the logo is running downhill like lava.
General Yamashita of the Emperor’s army buried all kinds of goodies with booby traps that only American experts can discover and disarm. Well, if that isn’t hubris, then what motivates the diggers on Oak Island?
Ostensibly, there is a trillion dollars in modern terms of loot. In the first episode, they do find a tunnel and poison gas bottles ready to crack open with a feather’s touch. Previous treasure hunters unwittingly set these off and died.
The Lost Gold of World War II has only been missing for 75 years or so, unlike the Oak Island treasure that clocks in at 200+ years. Yet, there is clear evidence that the Luzon treasure is priceless.
The hunters of loot are Americans of different generations and races, but lifelong seekers who seem to know about something most Americans never heard of. They insist Roosevelt, Truman, and Churchill, all knew about it, as does the CIA.
They locate a “witness” named Grandpa, for the obvious reason he is ancient. He is the parallel to the late Dan Blankenship of Oak Island: Grandpa is a witness who saw the activity as a boy in the 1940s. He points to dangerous expanse that might take ten seasons to traverse, which is great if the series is a hit.
We are indeed in the territory of one proverbial needle in a haystack. The island has nearly 200 reported treasure sites.
Old film clips are nicely colorized, and there is much history here to learn, and that makes this program at least worth additional attention.
Action is fairly fast-paced initially, with modern equipment and technology enhancing the search: the cast also has a researcher at Stanford, finding old maps and matching to satellite views of the terrain.
This series looks like a goodie! We are hooked already.
DATELINE: Massage is the Medium
Another Happy Ending!
A funny thing happened on the way to the Trump Super Bowl party. Another funny thing happened at the Palm Beach massage parlor. We don’t mean funny in a humorous sense. It is distinctly odd.
Now it seems that Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, could not attend the Trump Super Bowl party because he actually was at the game, as part of putting the sixth championship below his belt.
Cindy Yang attended Trump’s shindig where she showed him a good time. Yank, oops, Yang founded the massage parlor game in Palm Beach, a kidney stone’s throw from Mar-a-Lago.
Joining Mr. Trump at his party was the one-time creator of the self-same parlor where Mr. Kraft was handed his arrested development warrant. You guessed it! Cindy Yank has the pull for an invitation.
You have got to hand it to Trump and Kraft. They know how to grab headlines. When you have billions, you can do fairly much whatever you want. The problem is that these handsome seniors have enemies. Yes, there are patrons of the law who blanch at women doing sex work for money.
We eagerly await the visit of Kraft to the White House where he will hand-off a MAGA jersey to President like it’s a Handi-wipe who will hand-out fast-food with and without pickles.
Trump likely feels this massage perk is owed to the super-rich who are now political kingpins, making immigration policy that allows Chinese women to be held prisoner, not in a fortune cookie factory where they might send out a message, but in a massage parlor where the medium is the massage.
The party-goer who owned the massage parlor is a big donor to Trump. She gives freely and often. The little lady deserves a big hand, but we aren’t sure if Trump or Kraft can afford to pick up the tab.
Septuagenarians are worse off than sexagenarians.
If you think there is something funny going on here in Palm Beach, we think the police agree and have a hands-on policy when it comes to a handshake and a smile.
If you think Congressional committees will put their paws on this one, you will have another Jussie Smollett moment on your hands.
Sex and politics are never strange bedfellows. Just let the Stormy days pass—you will have a big hand for the little lady.
Funny like a toothache.
DATELINE: Time to Call a Solicitor General
Known for Kissing His Players.
No, it’s not quite like receiving an invitation to a Super Bowl party, or even having a greeting from Santa Claus. You are accused of soliciting prostitutes, Mr. Kraft.
Owner and billionaire Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots has been charged by Florida police for entering a massage parlor and wanting more than a happy ending to the Patriots season.
At an age when most of his contemporaries are dead, 77-year old Mr. Kraft has shown a spark of life. We are not sure if we should wink and nod or congratulate him on enjoying whatever days are left to him. Another arrested user of masseuses is pushing 90, according to the published hit list.
Kraft apparently is using a service supplied by Chinese women who are essentially prisoners of the sex trade, kept under lock and key in a massage parlor to do the bidding of a stream of men.
Alas, the entire concept of sex workers is dubious. Unless there is criminal exploitation, we might well wonder why police haven’t found more important work than setting up candid cameras to catch your grandfather in flagrante delicto.
Are there no school shooters? Are there no gun nuts in the Coast Guard? Why are we focused on massage parlors?
Kraft was caught with his pants down on video apparently, according to some. In the tradition of Jussie Smollett, he is denying any transgression.
The massage parlor is only a few miles from the winter White House, and Kraft’s old pal to sex charges, the President of the United States, is even weighing in on the incident. We know Trump prefers to grab women’s crotches without paying by his own admission.
We may well scratch our head at why a billionaire septuagenarian would pay $75 for an hour’s dangerous liaison when he could have someone come to any private place of his bidding for a few more bucks.
We are of two minds: should we praise him and offer a medal for doing what most men his age can only wish?
Or should we prepare for the inevitable tombstone chiseling that will make this his last notorious act in a life of philanthropy and goodwill?
The ultimate profit goes to the media: this is not a game for gentlemen. Call your solicitor if you plan a trip to the massage parlor.
DATELINE: Beyond the Twilight Zone
Whose Acting Chops?
If you thought nutcase movies are here today, you are about 30 years off. Brazil is a movie aficionado’s fantasy and nightmare, defying convention and logic. You just passed the signpost of Ipanema.
Terry Gilliam (of Monty Python fame) went out of his way to make the Citizen Kane of kookoo-bird movies in 1985.
This was no small achievement as the film holds up as beyond modern and relevant. Its madness may yet to be realized in the future.
Like Blade Runner, the future is the past. There is an aura of 1940s film noir interspersed with superhero comic fantasy.
Jonathan Pryce is some bureaucrat by day and by night, in his dreams, some kind of flying circus performer out to save a damsel in distress. In the meantime, he works in mindless government agencies that are after Harry Tuttle (Robert DeNiro) in an early comedic performance as a heating engineer who is a wanted man for doing duct work without a license.
Pryce’s mother Ida Lowry is played by the youth-conscious Katherine Helmond in a face-stretching performance with Jim Broadbent, as her fey plastic surgeon, striving for tighter skin.
Included in the shenanigans are such familiar faces as Bob Hoskins, Ian Holm, Michael Palin, and Ian Richardson. If they wanted to kick off the unorthodoxy of their careers, this film is definitely the forerunner.
If you want a plot, you will fall into a black hole and likely be stretched to kingdom come.
You can ride the wave of this movie from one loony tune moment to the next, not bothering to connect the dots or the scenes. It’s like being in the Trump Administration: you just sit back and experience the Cinerama of movie magic to the mambo-jumbo notes of the song “Brazil.”
Heavens, or is that Land of Goshen?
DATELINE: Do You See What We See?
For those who have trouble understanding the definitive moments of history, science, and world politics, you witnessed on a hot afternoon in Miami in December the Fall of the Roman Empire.
Lest our metaphors shock you with their doomsday scenario, we will say it more simply: the New England Patriots have met catastrophe. Humpty Dumpty has fallen off the great wall and the Patriots cannot put him together again. Atlantis just sank into the ocean.
There will be those who say it is merely one loss on a long road of successes.
The cognoscenti will recognize that Tom Brady’s career will never recover. The team on which he plays has imploded. Its vaunted brain-trust has just been eaten by viral amoebas. You have just seen someone cough up his lung and his guts. King Kong has fallen off the Empire State Building. Satan has been cast out of Heaven.
A game that might have been won anytime in the past 20 years by the Patriots, was lost.
It is the end of the story when Cinderella loses her glass slipper, and the clock strikes midnight. It is the time you see a small, insignificant man behind the curtain who resembles Belichick in whom all New England fans trust, and he says he is not the Wizard of Oz and to ignore him.
Robert Oppenheimer said it best when the bomb when off and the clock ticked away: “I am the Bringer of Death.” Bring on a new generation of football stars and dynasties.
You cannot exaggerate too much what has happened in the world. Sometimes matters are puzzling and frightful. Here they are as clear as you can ever hope to see. Donald Trump stole the election and now you know.
Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead. The New England Patriots just sang the Swan Song of Football.
DATELINE: First Post-Apocalyptic Nuclear Movie
The 1951 unknown classic by Arch Oboler is called Five, about five survivors of a nuclear holocaust. It was way ahead of its time, but lost count somewhere in the post-apocalyptic shuffle. There are actually six survivors, including a black man, a baby, and a crypto-Nazi.
Director Arch Oboler was a radio writer and producer who went into movies. He was thought to be the poor man’s Orson Welles, and his movie productions were sporadic.
He used his Malibu estate to film the 1951 movie about a handful of people who come together to figure out what happened to the world. They actually surmise that it is genetic that they are immune to radiation, like those who were immune to the Black Death.
Director Oboler was a bit of a character, temperamental and an auteur who did what he wanted. His list of films is intriguing, but the real star of this low-budget film is Frank Lloyd Wright.
Yes, you got that Wright. Oboler had FLW build a mountain top aerie called Cliff House on his estate in 1941. Well, actually, they fought about it—and Eaglefeather became a truncated Wright home. Oboler filmed it from the backside to make it look smaller and more rustic.
The characters note that a rich man’s house is further down the Malibu coast: take that, Frank Lloyd Wright.
As you might expect, the film features Oboler’s particular political perspective. The villain of sorts climbed Mount Everest as a point of monumental ego, and the hero is a graduate of Harvard who specialized in literature. William Phipps has a recognizable face.
Susan Douglas is the innocent girl who goes back to the neutron bomb city to find her husband. She too is remarkable. But, the film has the feel of an early Twilight Zone episode. And, not surprisingly, Rod Serling loved Oboler’s films and used them for inspiration.
Called science fiction, the film is a character drama and low key with its racial angle and Transcendental approach. Fascinating movie.