Hat Trick for Monolith

Popping Up like Daisy, Daisy

DATELINE:  Threesome

Like 2001 A Space Odyssey, we just keep running into these monoliths. The latest is not in Keir Dullea’s bedroom, nor have the Chinese found it on their latest Moon landing. It’s not running circles around Titan and Jupiter.

Like Davy Crockett, they seem to be born on a mountain top, though not necessarily in Tennessee, or have they looked at Cumberland Gap yet?

No, this one has suddenly appeared on Pine Mountain, a molehill in California.

These monoliths must have a monorail system giving them a tour of the highest mountaintops where they can bask in the sunlight for a few short days.

Yes, the monoliths live; they are the monoliths. They feel, they watch sunset glow. They reflect something peculiar. Could they be totems to ward off the corona virus?

Scarce heard amid the vandals below, they are the monos. Short days ago there were others, but now they lie in the field, felled by pushy monkeys.  They keep showing up at the darndest places with a shine and now a stainless steely grit.

The aliens appear to be working out the kinks. Alas, vandals may have more kinks than creatures from another dimension. We hear the Gregorian Chants.

The Monoliths seem to cry out: “We are the monuments to your folly.”  They are testimony to the age of viagra.

What are the odds this one bites the dust before the weekend? The money is on the monkey.

 

 

Monkey See, Monkey Do Another Monolith

Twin Mono Peaks

DATELINE: Next Stop, Romania

 More shenanigans have resulted in a second Monolith discovery, this time in the historic mountains of Romania, not far from the castle of Vlad the Impaler, we suspect.

We hate to cross pollinate A Space Odyssey with Dracula, but satire knows no boundaries.

The hacked version is not as aesthetic as the original, but it is still a hollow tin cup of mystery. This one is smudged with lettering in some foreign tongue spoken in Alpha Centauri.

We now see how easy it is to double your mono.

And, the Monolith (black only in its heart) is placed on lands protected by government fiat. Yes, we have another illegal parker, nosy or not. Romanian meter-maids are on their way with tow-truck in hand.

Our monolithic LSD trip now brings us to face Romania’s Mount Ceahlau, which locals call the Holy Mountain. 

So, what are we to make of monkey business that now includes international placement of Zarathrustrian proportions.

Are these things dropping from the sky, or simply being downloaded by UFOs? Beam us up and your Monolith too.

Art for art’s sake is now causing more monkey business than we can joke about.

Keir Dullea has still not tweeted his impressions of the biggest event of his life, waking up with a Monolith in his bedroom.

Stanley Kubrick may be laughing somewhere in the Universe, having taken the route of celestrial light with him. Or, perhaps, we are talking that signpost up ahead reading, “Twilight Zone.”

Monkeys Strike Back at Monolith

Vini, Vide, Da Vinci

DATELINE: Gone Too Soon

It came. It was seen, and it was stolen. Vini, vide, da vinci.

You knew that our pandemic age of value-less and soul-less humans would strike back at the giant tin Monolith discovered in Utah.

Mono is a sickness, and monolith is the side-effect. There is no vaccine for stolen property of artistic expression.

Indeed, not a week after it was discovered, visitors to the site found tire tracks and a missing objet d’art.

Yes, the hollow tin homage to 2001 has been hijacked and taken right from under our satellite image. It was illegally installed in Utah, and the likelihood that authorities will pursue the criminals who took it, is about as likely as the notion that the thieves did not wear face masks and failed to maintain social distance during their dastardly action.

Some imbecile scrawled the message, “bye, bitch,” in the area where the monolith once stood. Respectability was never a hallmark of small minds. Creeps continue to creep in the dark.

The item, standing twelve feet tall, but probably light weight was not guarded—and it did not take long for pranksters and people of bad will to come out in the dark to steal the phenomenon from others who were appreciative of its totem.

You cannot live in a world of lawless presidents and viral herds and expect anything less than vandals and desecration to be at your doorstep.

The strange Monolith that provided some escapist hope for many may yet be re-discovered as idiots thrive on shenanigans to parade their criminally empty heads. These idiots will likely brag about their drunken revels to other drunken revelers.

You cannot have a perfect crime in an imperfect world. May the Curse of Corona Virus beset these vile thieves.

 

Brady the Sore Loser Meets Trump the Sore Loser!

DATELINE: Great in Eye of Beholder

After Tom Brady’s loss on Monday Night Football, he was largely castigated for being a “sore loser.” It seems he left the playing field without shaking the hand of the opposing and winning quarterback’s hand.

Immediately a hue and cry from those conservative fans came about a bad image for children to see, and how Brady was not a GOAT in a country of MAGA.

You have to know Tom from 20 years in New England to understand his attitude. This man is acting out the same way his candidate for president has. Trump is Brady’s friend and president.

What’s good for the QB is good for the POTUS. You don’t hear these anti-Kaepernick fans castigating Trump for being a sore loser, for claiming his victory was stolen, for demanding that the whole game is rigged.

Like his mentor president, Brady left liberal New England with its social conscience and high taxes for a land of warmth and no taxes. He even brags he never wears a hoodie any more…take that, Belichick.

Bad losers are endemic to Brady and Trump. They are birds of a losing feather, just think of Deflategate and Mail-ballot-gate.

The tantrums you see from Trump and Brady are part of what you see as greatness in sports and politics, small-minded losers!

 

Kubrick Monolith Inspires Monkeys Everywhere!

DATELINE:  Ape Uses Bonehead?

With the news that the late Stanley Kubrick has sent a monolith to Utah, we have had flashbacks about the meaning for humankind.

In Kubrick’s movie, this led to rediscoveries on the Moon and on an orb going around Jupiter.

The heavy footed plodding of officials have muffed all chance of finding footprints or other characteristics of a forensic nature. We have some reports that the metal object is made with screws: no word on whether they are Phillips head.

It is interesting that the item is in a remote and difficult to reach place, presumably dropped there by chopper or UFO. We would have been much more impressed if the item had been found at the White House Rose Garden, or even in Joe Biden’s basement.

There is no word if this indicates we will have a cure for coronavirus soon, or whether it means the Dow will hit 30,000 for the first time.

We feel that it supersedes having Xmas decorations needed during a national crisis. The government should send everyone in the United States, who is eligible, a postcard photo of the monolith. It will replace stimulus checks.

The strange object is illegal, of course, but the meter maids have yet to stick a parking ticket on the shiny silver object.

We think someone has usurped the season’s findings at Oak Island. This monolith was supposed to be found by Gary Drayton’s metal detector next to Captain Kidd’s treasure.

The real impact of the monolith has been dulled because we do not hear the Gregorian chants emanating from its radio dial.

 

Death in Venice Part 2

Death in Venice and Washington?

DATELINE: Drips for Drips

Not since Death in Venice when Dirk Bogarde’s bad dye job melted during a pandemic have we seen such a just dessert.

Yes, that’s Rudi Giuliani playing the role of a lifetime: the man who catches the coronavirus while chasing young electoral college voters! In the famous Visconti movie, Von Aschenbach loses his youth to bad makeup under the unrelenting conditions of Venice at its worst.

Now, Rudi loses his cool to bad mascara dripping off his sideburns under the unrelenting conditions of Trump at its worst.

We did not realize that Rudi had been cast in a remake of the great classic tale of unremitting moral decay in the face of losing an election.

Trump has simply drained his hair of all color, and Rudi has not taken the cues properly. His master will not be pleased to turn his press conferences into streaming jokes with streaming bad dye dripping.

The other case of drips came when the Wicked Witch of the West stole Toto and was pressed by the Electoral College to return the mutt to a Kansas voting booth. 

All bad taste aside, when you’re paid $20,000 a day to represent the POTUS, you likely don’t have a potus to put hair dye in.

 

Beyond Oak Island, Beyond Belief

Jean-Boy

DATELINE:  More Oak Island Spin-offs

 Well, here’s another Oak Island series with the Lagina Brothers. If there is one thing you can count on, they do not share the limelight or the revenue. Anyone could have hosted this new series, but no.

Beyond Oak Island, a Lagina production could have become more than a commercial for their hit series, the Curse of Oak Island.

No, the Lagina brothers are interested in making another series that is merely a commercial and advertising for their brand.

So, as useless as it is, each show will start with the Laginas in their “War Room,” setting up some other international search for treasure.

Another callow hotshot pays homage to the Lagina team and explains he is after one billion dollars in gold from the lost Jean Lafitte treasure. It makes Oak Island look like a pittance, though the Oak Island case has far more interesting historical implications, whether you are talking Knights Templar, or Ark of the Covenant, or Shakespeare’s manuscripts.

This new series will have a strong overdose of Lagina-itus. But, our mission is to stick with it so you don’t have to. When Lagina water boy Matty Blake shows up, late to the party, we know what we’re up against.

The story of Jean Lafitte is compelling, and he was a faithful ally of the United States during the War of 1812. Rather than run afoul of America, he moved his pirate operation to Galveston and disappeared from history with a cool billion in booty. Pirates are also celebrated here as multi-cultural, politically correct people. Hunh?

The show actually improves when it moves into history of pirates and away from the Laginas. Voice-over Robert Clotworthy is perfect here. Alas, one segment does not a series make. If you think they find silver ingots at the end of the hour, you are the audience they play to.

Classic Game Show

Your New York Panelists

DATELINE: Whose Line?

If you want to see what high-powered cerebral entertainment appeared on Sunday nights in 1955 on your television, you can look up What’s My Line?  It is in glorious black and white, which is a shame, but technically that was its limit.

The show’s title has lived on longer than the show, as a punchline and as part of cultural heritage. We tuned in to a random episode from the first season to see what this upper-crust New York game show was all about. It was not for kids even back then.

We were not surprised in many ways. The panel is decked out in dress clothes, obviously out on the town in Manhattan earlier for dinner. They are also not your usual young, demographic and telegenic pretty airheads.

You have a fairly high-powered group: Bennett Cerf, a publisher, and Dorothy Kilgallen, a Broadway muckraking journalist. The other woman on the panel was Arlene Francis, whose career as a singer was long gone. They were joined by satirical Fred Allen. The show’s host was another journalist, John Daly.

The money given to guests is downright insulting. If the panel tries to guess the occupation, each “no” answer wins $5. Maybe it was worth more back then.

This is middle-aged fun for late on the weekend on your TV back then. The so-called lines of the guests are odd, always, and the highlight is a special celebrity guest who must use a fake voice as the panel wears masks.

This is not a dumb group, and they know how to frame a question and narrow done the selection of jobs. We cringe at what a modern version of this might be like! Back then, audiences were literate, older, more inclined to modest humor and good-natured ribbing. It’s a long-gone America.

It’s worth looking at if you’re a senior citizen wanting to have a nostalgic moment. Otherwise, you will be horrified and bored.

 

 

Hunting Hitler the Final Chapters

Oswald Keeper & Nazi Agent

DATELINE: Fourth Reich & Other Conspiracies

After giving up on the Bob Baer series several years ago, it’s suddenly back on History for the “Final Chapter.”

And it takes a big bomb to restart a big bomb. According to Bob Baer’s new research, the Nazis planned to send a bomb on a V-3 rocket to Manhattan as early as 1945.

The show now theorizes Hitler was building an atom bomb to drop on Manhattan to win the war.

 Yikes.  Okay, you have caught your audience with their pants down and their defenses even further down. Bob Baer has gone low budget: he shows clips from three to five years ago of his excellent researchers. But, now, he sits alone in his home office, on tele-conference with an occasional writer.

He really needs no one else when he has a dump of documents from the CIA that he can go through by himself. He lets us know there were 46 rogue U-boats that were shuffling around the world for months after the war was over.

 He seems oblivious that his theory (based on reports from the CIA trash bag_ that Hitler would drop an A-bomb on Manhattan conflicts with the full Madison Square Garden of Nazi American sympathizers. He needs his enablers.

Reports now surface of 20,000 Nazi accounts at Swiss banks (revealed in 2020!) and that the Nazis may have exploded a primitive nuclear bomb in early 1945 under test conditions.

He also begins to lay the groundwork that a Fourth Reich was started in the United States and South America, starting with a nuclear physicist from Germany who hoodwinked J. Edgar Hoover.

If Bob Baer has a breakthrough here, it is that he is able to tie together his Hitler series and his Oswald series. It seems that one Fourth Reich agent in America was George de Mohrenshildt who was Oswald’s caretaker. Yes, it would seem the Fourth Reich hoped the Kennedy assassination would open the door for the U.S. to become Nazi.

 Since today we have a bunch of crypto-Nazis parading under the MAGA caps, the Fourth Reich seems well ready to take over. Baer’s new series may be leading us in that direction.

 

 

Trump’s Stooges

Killers for Trump

 

DATELINE;  Waiting for Marching Orders

Dangerous followers of Trump are around every corner, armed to the teeth with automatic weapons. They parade in the streets and they congregate at places where votes are tabulated. Their intimidation is not a bluff.

Yes, the election is over and the evil caste of Trump racists and Nazis is upon us.

We should remind you of the past killers who have supported Trump. There is no joke here, only terror.

Over the past few years, you had Den Hollander, Nickolas Cruz, and Anthony Comelo. They are now either dead or in prison, but others await to take their place.

In case you forgot, here is a thumbnail sketch of each of these works of horror.

Anthony Comelo was another MAGA hat wearer. He considered any in America who were not born here as “invaders.”

The self-named Annihilator Nickolas Cruz put a MAGA hat on the urn of his dead mother as she was sent to her crypt; she was one who hated Trump. Her murderer son had the last word to belittle and defame his own mother. Now, there’s a real Trump lover.

Trump supporters are the salt of the earth and are genuine American citizens. Because the 19-year-old couldn’t buy a gun in Florida he went for an assault rifle. It’s much easier to shoot, buy, and use. He was partial to merchandise with American logos. Hence, he posted a photo wearing a bandana over his face with stripes on it.

Cesar Sayoc crying out his eyes that he wanted to blow up people for Trump. He regretted being caught.

Whether they are shooting at you from a high rise in Las Vegas, or in a nightclub in Florida, or a mosque in Christchurch, you can count on the fact that your killer and murderer will likely count himself among those who find Donald Trump the man of the hour.

Trump supporters are urging people to buy more AR 15s in case they are banned. They are preparing to go to the White House for a shootout if impeachment dares to rear its head.

They will start shooting media stars. How many lists of famed CNN TV personalities have found their names scrawled in the demented scribbles of killers and potential mass murderers? We are now at the point of having lost count

Den Hollander was another killer (full name: Roy Den Hollander) was a Trump supporter. The man who tried to kill an appointed Obama judge Esther Salas, but only managed to kill her teenage son and shoot her husband, was a Trump fanatic.

One after another, these believers in Trumpism (actually a synonym for racism) are dangerous, vile, and ready to engage in violence for the man who encouraged their mad obsessions.

 

 

 

 

 

Escape from Devil’s Island

co-star/co-author Jan Merlin

 

DATELINE: 1973 Blaxploitation Movie

 Jim Brown’s prison movie about the 1917 French island prison came before the prestige movie with McQueen, titled Papillion. They had overlapped during filming, but the speed of Roger Corman could not be matched. He was not interested in “art.” He wanted a product that might titillate audiences

I Escaped from Devil’s Island  had all those ingredients.

The film began on a high note: Jim Brown is dragged from his cell in the tropical prison to a makeshift guillotine. He is about to be beheaded before the credits even roll. No flashback was required because the sado-masochistic guards had set this up, knowing a general amnesty for all French prisoners had arrived and no one would be executed. It was cruel kindness.

Of course, this Roger Corman quickie was called a blaxploitation film, geared toward making black audiences approve of a black hero. It’s hard to realize Brown was really doing trail-blazing work, and perhaps the other shocking part of the movie was the open homosexual relationships in the movie. The gay characters are in eye-makeup and are called “fancy boys,” who have boyfriends like James Luisi and Chris George. Rick Ely played the pretty boy who has his nipples tortured in one scene.

Jan Merlin, in eyeglasses, played the leader of the political prisoners—and a communist, which was a true work of performance since Jan was a Republican. For him it was another character unlike his cultured, soft-spoken self,  playing at abrasive, uncouth villains. We must confess to be transparent that Jan co-authored many books with Ossurworld.

The “F” word is used surprisingly often for the first time in movies here, often just to discuss homosexual relations. And nearly every male to male encounter is fraught with both sexual and sadistic overtones.

Once the escape plan takes hold, the movie seems to peter out. Yet, films like this paved the way for leading men of the future like Denzel Washington.

The film deteriorates toward the end with a chaotic fireworks display in a city to help the escapees flee authority.

The best performance in this movie was given by Acapulco, the Mexican resort town, playing Devil’s Island.

Enola Gay Holmes Springer

 Cast of Enola.

 DATELINE:  Conan Doyle Rolling in Grave

The remnants of the Arthur Conan Doyle estate have scrapped together a lawsuit against the elements of Sherlock that are not public domain. These ten points of contention are the part and parcel of some post-feminist novels by one Nancy Springer.

We are more horrified by the endless string of ridiculous anachronisms the story seems to throw at history.

Netflix, ever the opportunist, has adapted the novels to a film on their ersatz network of third-rate shows, figuring a ripoff of Holmes fits right in.

It’s likely no mistake that the name of the airplane that dropped the atom bomb on Japan to end World War II is named “Enola.”

The lawsuit takes umbrage with the emotional turmoil when Sherlock must deal with a younger sister as well as a smarter brother. Talk about family troubles.

Throw in Sherlock’s mother as some kind of harpie, and you have the makings of a legal argument. We never had much faith in these family ties or family feud with Sherlock. We always suspected that Mrs. Hudson was his out-of-wedlock mother. She did refer to Mycroft once as a “reptile,” which surely is not motherly. Or is it?

Ignoring an upstart sister seems a fairly proper approach for Sherlock, but he had to put up with an obtuse Watson, mostly created for movie humor, but to give Holmes more emotion than Mr. Spock seems a stretch to the law offices of our solicitor.

We are now feeling emotional blackmail to tune into a Netflix series to give our usual slice and dice approach to all things un-Sherlockian.

To update Sherlock like he is one of the Ma and Pa Kettle movie series of the 1940s is enough to make us eshew the Poverty Row studios once and for all time. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lady Frankenstein

 Baron Cotten, we presume.

DATELINE: Great Actor Misused

The 1971 schlock version is one of those international efforts done on a shoestring budget, re-imagining rather poorly the better done Hollywood stuff of several decades earlier. This title was redone a few years ago, but the original starred Rosalba Neri, who never made it to Hollywood, and never made it much beyond bad movies in the title role.

The real draw of this film done on cheap film stock that has not held up is one of the foremost gentleman stars of Old Hollywood:  Joseph Cotten. Without his presence, we’d probably have shut this off well before his exit from the picture at around 40 minutes, not quite half the movie.

Cotten must have needed a paycheck, but he must have known his name would guarantee this drive-in drivel would be seen in the U.S..  No matter for him, his best roles were behind.

He never won an Oscar, despite working with Hitchcock as the Merry Widow Killer in 1942, or as a costar to Orson Welles many times, including Ciitizen Kane and The Third Man.  He even did a turn opposite Marilyn Monroe in Niagara. Here, the great star slums in his work with Mel Welles, not Orson, as director. Instead of respected classics, Mel Welles was known for low budgets like Little Shop of Horrors (again, the original).

There are no real names here, except Mickey Hargitay as the captain or constable of police. And, unlike the old Universal classics in which the aristocrats had British accents of the first order, here you have a mishmash of American and international accents that make the setting hard to fathom.

One villain, the Resurrection Man, is named Lynch, which is hardly Eastern European like the original Frankensteins. Here too, Cotten is both Baron Frankenstein and Doctor, though he seems to prefer Dr. His daughter is an early Suffragette of sorts, having done med school and is also a surgeon who will take over Dear Old Dad’s lab.

The Monster is disfigured by accident by lightning during the revival process, but his brain—as usual—was defective from the get-go. Oh, well. Better luck next time.

REAL VAMPIRES?

Unfortunate Victim Exhumed

DATELINE: Monsterquest Tries Too Hard

The Gold Standard of monster investigations is, of course, the series Monsterquest. So, when they chose to coincide Halloween with an examination of vampires, we were ready to dig in.

As the show is always attempting to find a fresh angle, the episode does not mention Dracula for almost fifteen minutes.

They do tell us about a strange burial or re-burial in one of the leading spots of vampires in America: New England. That surprised us, but to learn that the bones of a suspected vampire are now kept in government archives was even more interesting.

 

A couple of aficionados of the vampire lore want to see what was going on in Willington, CT, 200 years ago that led to a spate of vampire reports. They also note that Bram Stoker too had a clipping of vampire story out of the New England archives to help him with writing his Dracula tale.

Since it will take longer than the show can wait, we never find out if the bodies they suspect will be exhumed or if family will allow this. Another dead end.

Monsterquest contends that vampires are a love-hate fascination with immortality.

 

A great deal of effort is put into finding “unmarked graves” that could harbor people who died of consumption (TB) and were thought to be vampiric. There may be many reasons why family members are buried without markers, but the theory here is vampirism.

 

While claiming to attempt to prove vampires exist, the show examines several murderers who believed their vampire character allowed them to live outside law. There is almost a kind of sympathy for these creatures, according to witnesses.

 

There is also an emphasis on “psychic vampires” who simply take electro-magnetic energy from others to gain strength.

 

What we have here is another example of a bad episode more than any serious insight. Monsterquest keeps its track record of having every other episode be a doozy.

 

 

 

 

 

Boston Sinks in the Fenway Miasma

Gone with the Victories

 

DATELINE: Run Out of Town, Fast

Flush twice, Boston. It’s a long way to the bottom of the septic tank.

It would appear only two people recognized how bad Boston’s sports teams would be this year: the two stars who bailed on the town they never liked. We speak of Mookie Betts (World Series victor) and Tom Brady (another Super Bowl in Tompa Bay).

Every sports pundit and media expert in Boston failed to see the writing on the wall. Maybe they just can’t read Sanskrit or profanity.

Some are now casting blame on the genius Bill Belichick. Those people have clearly thought genius and hubris were synonyms. Belichck systematically disarmed Tom Brady over the years until the man ran off with Antonia Brown, deserting his Julie in the process. 

The Red Sox threw a boatload of money at Mookie and he gave them the finger, not the thumbs up. Some claim these Trump supporters hated Boston’s political climate—as does Belichick. And owners who poured cash into winning, now are extracting cash faster than you can say Trump Tower bankruptcy.

Only Robert Kraft who likes to kiss his players’ butt has been caught with his pants down. John Henry has become the Claude Rains of Boston We used to see him at Symphony Hall now and then with a beautiful young man in tow, but the pandemic seems to have put the kibosh on those tunes.

Now we have a Bean Town full of beans and no counters to the problem of no beanie balls.

We are headed back to the 1960s when Patsies played at Fenway to empty seats and the Sox played to the same group in the other season.

No one believes us when we tell them about the good old days  when you could go to Fenway on game day and find a box seat two rows back from the field. Maybe those days are coming baaaack.