Sinatra in Palm Springs

DATELINE: 50 Years in the Desert!

 1948 Home!

One of the least frequently used ways to examine a life biography is to study the place called home. For Frank Sinatra, that place was not New Jersey or Las Vegas: it was Palm Springs where he first moved in the late 1940s and fell in love. He was one of the self-professed “desert rats.”

When he commissioned a house, it became a sleek modern style that so fit the area. It soon became a compound, and with his marriage to Ava Gardner, she took over much of its design, including a recording studio within for when he had the urge to sing.

Before long, the social and gregarious Sinatra had many of his show biz entourage there. It was an exclusive place which did not cater to his Jewish friends, and with Jack Benny and the Marx Brothers, they built a golf club that was open to all, especially celebrities. Even Bob Hope soon moved to the Springs area.

The home was the site of famous fights between Ava and Frank, resulting in damage that is now part of the legendary design. After their divorce and Sinatra’s resurgence after From Here to Eternity, he moved about ten miles across town to Rancho Mirage where he stayed for the rest of his life. He is buried in the Springs as well.

Sinatra even allowed his home to be used for Joan Crawford’s house in The Damned Don’t Cry. Later, his new compound had many guest houses for his frequent gatherings. He loved to entertain and be entertained. Only his mother’s death in 1977 in a plane crash on her way to be with him seemed to be a bad time.

Sinatra loved to drive around at night—and frequented many of the well-known restaurants of the area, from the Doll House to Melvyn’s. He had his own table in many—and he owned the town. If he came to your restaurant or bar regularly, you had it made.

In the early days of Palm Springs, celebs could walk around unbothered by fans. It was an increasingly cosmopolitan place away from the business centers of Hollywood, and the Racquet Club was part of Frank’s world.

The word most often used to describe Sinatra was “generous.” He was charitable beyond his moodiness or occasional blowup. Most called him a pure gentleman.

His entourage was not only the Rat Pack, but many stars from different films who vied to be part of this Vegas legend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four Little Letters at ESPN

DATELINE: Idiots from the Show-Me State of Mind

 Imbecile at Large!

 The limits of telling off an elected official have now reached critical point. A fairly well-known sports journalist has been suspended by that bastion of free speech, ESPN, for telling a closet-idiot senator known for his Trump edge to go “f” himself.

We’ve heard worse diatribes aimed at immortal beings. It seems many in the NBA (whom the un-pronounceable journalist was defending) have come to his aid and comfort.

Billion-dollar corporations and billionaires are now defended by a gaggle of ungagged neo-racist fools and idiots. Josh Hawley is a 40-year old exploitative politician who wants to make hay fast. He is also from the “Show-Me” state of Missouri.

We’d love to show him total disrespect due his rank smell.

The notorious Sen. Josh Hawley is the bright light of the dim GOP and may well be a candidate successor to Donald Trump when the present presidente is sent packing to a Moscow address after the next election.

You cannot use four-letter words in an email at ESPN. To argue our usual line of thought, a good writer need not stoop to profanity. Isn’t the education of a wordsmith that he can express his exasperation without four letters being the custom of boobs and thugs?

We certainly understand the need for a Republican senator of the United States to perform an impossible sex act on himself. However, we might couch it on the couch with more genteel verbiage.

Part of our divided America is that those who have intelligence and education must not stoop to conquer the profane idiots of the crypto-Nazi field, like Senator Hawley, a near-Cro-Magnon Republican stalwart.

Churchill Unwrapped but Parboiled!

 DATELINE: Interesting Take on Great Briton!

 Cox as Churchill.

Every actor appears to want to sink his acting chops into one of the most melodramatic and imperious roles you can face. Heavy, middle-aged men are particularly apt to apply their skills to the role of Winston Churchill.

It is something off the track in 2017 with Brian Cox in the title role: Churchill.At least one critical judge called it a “hit job.” We are not prepared to go that far, but this is a meddlesome, troublesome, cantankerous version of Churchill in the hours before D-Day. It is not his finest hour.

There is no doubt he was opposed to the timing and the action as planned by others. This film attributes his motive to the catastrophe often linked to his name: Gallipoli where thousands died needlessly. Here, Winston becomes a first-level pain for everyone with his opposition to the landing on Normandy. He feels it is history repeating itself, and he does whatever petty temper tantrums to prevent this.

In this version, Churchill tries to pray and ends up ordering God, much to no result. Cox emotes, confabs, and blusters through every scene with smoking cigar and scotch in hand. He throws more than a few dinner plates off the table in arguments with Clem (his wife as played by Miranda Richardson).

No one can control him, and he is diminishing as leader and hero by the moment, not the same man who led the country through the Blitz. And, the country would soon turn him out of office as if it knew all these behind-the-scenes actions that seem fanciful and imagined.

Not Eisenhower, not Montgomery, not his wife, can make him listen. It takes a visit from the King, half-stuttering, to remind him his duty is not to fight or make military strategy. He is a mere symbol.

Though some purists and devotees of Churchill may take umbrage, toward the end of his term in the War, he was growing more marginalized and ultimately dismissed by voters. Director Jonathan Teplitzky takes a chance tacking an icon in an unfavorable light.

This film is an emotional upheaval, perhaps inaccurate but perhaps not. Cox chews the scenery and the role often puts Churchill alone, a small figure, in big landscapes and big halls with nary a security guard. There is no mistaking the message.

Absolutely interesting take on Winston.

 

 

 

Racist? Not According to Hoyle or Trump!

DATELINE: A Rose by the Name of Racist?

 aka Karen?

Yes, you can be a virulent Nazi-styled genocidal racist, but just don’t let it slip out. For years, these closet racial purists have kept mum. Now they are emboldened to strike out at coronavirus masks and the old ladies who wear them.

We don’t share Harvard birder Chris Cooper’s charitable view that Amy aka Karen, the racist, has suffered enough.

These so-called “Karens,” (what an oddly almost-innocent sounding term) are ready to call the police on their smartphones and accuse any black birdwatcher of attacking and threatening.

You have these people filmed by witnesses, which is fairly damning, but they immediately issue an apology (through legal advice we suspect) and pronounce this aberration is not proof they are racist.

But they are!

We seem to be in a world where self-knowledge is about as far-fetched as Trump’s SAT scores. Deny, deny, deny, and then claim the Nazis are those who don’t want to die of coronavirus and want people to show some humanity.

In America in the 21stcentury there is no educated redneck. They are illiterate slobs only interested in the next beer and football game. These are all civil libertarians ready to defend their freedom against science, medicine, and common sense.

You may have a sense that the Black Death was perpetuated by the same idiocy—but the world of the United States is a special location in history that may self-destruct owing to its own hubris.

So, next time a Karen or Ken mouths off some vile race-baiting hate, you know they are part of the effort to destroy the greatest experiment in liberty and freedom in the history of the world. And, their fearless leader is the one who thinks he belongs on Mt. Rushmore with a couple of other slave-holders, a monument created by a KKK sympathizer (sort of like Trump’s father).

 

 

 

Dark Dirk’s Shadow

DATELINE:  British Murder Mystery

 As a Charming Killer!

Of course, Janet Greene is no Agatha Christie, but English female mystery playwrights were big in the 1950s. Her big play has more sociopathic psycho than most.

So, the big cheese to play the role was a perfect choice.

From light comedy to darkest character drama with sociological implications, Dirk Bogarde stormed onto the scene in British, arty films in the 1950s. He could play a charming medical students in the film series, Doctor in the House,or he could be a dangerous sexual predator as in Cast a Dark Shadow  all within the same year!

No actor in the Hollywood system could do that sort of range.

In 1955, he managed to play one of his creepier wife-murdering fortune hunters, cast as the darkest shadow, Teddy Bare who is married to oldster Mona Washbourne. Her name is Moni, but it sounds like Mommy when Dirk speaks.

Moni makes a will, against Teddy’s wish. With no will, he receives all her money. He is forced to dispatch her immediately and must find another wife/victim.

In some ways, the young man after old ladies is not credible, but the idea of a young man hustling an older man was not feasible in 1955, but we give Bogarde credit for his unspoken suggestion. In one scene he is reading male health magazine with men in bikini photos.

That was about as blatant as you could be to send a gay message in 1955.

In glossy black and white, the film is a beautiful production with sharp sets and lovely photography from director Lewis Gilbert. The other women victims are younger and more apt, Margaret Atwood and Kay Walsh.

This is a lost gem that now is found on streaming services.

 Go West, Young Voter!

DATELINE: IQ Not a Barrier!

 

If you did not already believe that any idiot can become president of the United States, Kanye West is the example to prove the point.

His campaign motto shall be, “Go West, or Go to Hell,” and voters of an ilk will likely respond. He doesn’t need the senior vote, and has no intention of putting the Pointer Sisters into his cabinet.

Yes, this musical maven has announced he is fit and ready to be your next president. Despite being a Trump lackey, he has found the limelight too much to his liking.

He first big donor has lined up: another half-wit billionaire by the name of Elon Musk. He’s the guy ready to send you to Mars with no return ticket. And now, Mark Cuban who famously was called out by his player, Kevin Durant, with the words, “Cuban is a idiot.”

Spaceshots are already clamoring to be president of Mars. No mail-in ballots will be allowed on Phobos.

It’s now clear who has been abducted by space aliens and who is the pilot of your local UFO. Kanye will hold his convention and nomination rally at Area 51 where long runways and reverse engineers are preparing his Oval Office décor.

To balance the ticket, Kanye needs to find the right Veep and Justin Bieber may be a tad young, but he won’t be in line to succeed for eight years. Justin Timberlake is too far left. Taylor Swift has turned him down.

Kayne West already will tell you his black life matters more than others: he makes big money and has a famous wife. Kim Kardashian may not be Jackie Kennedy Onassis, but she certainly will give her best imitation. Jay-Z is set to be campaign manager. And Drake has promised to bring in the LGBT vote.

By the way, the Federal Election Commission is investigating Kanye for false filing information. The joke will be over soon enough.

 

 

Yes, We Have No Trump Bananas!

DATELINE: Accused Felon

Trump with recently arrested harridan predator.

Fox News, that bastion of journalistic integrity, has now taken to cropping any photo of Jeffrey Epstein with Trump so that the POTUS is MIA. They forgot all the pix of Ghislaine Maxwell with him.

This is almost identical to sticking your head in the sand, if you are an ostrich. If you don’t show it, it never happened. A Trump supporter went for our throat recently when we sent a picture of the president and Ghislaine. She foamed rapidly that it was “photoshopped,” but did not feel any picture of Bill Clinton might be equally photoshopped.

Of course, the nervous nellies of Fox are photoshopping Trump out of the images because the summertime heat is increasing. It seems the prosecutor’s office may be looking at a tie to “public officials.” Hmm, that means you, Trump.

 

 

It could mean AG Barr too, whose father was an early Epstein enabler at the Dalton School, a fancy prep where words like rich and scandal never are put in the same sentence.

 

Sexual predators seem to travel in packs.

 

Fox News clearly is thinking that their news watchers who are Trump supporters do not need to hear how their brazen leader knew and supported the child abuse of Ghislaine and Epstein. Heavens, no!

 

The problem is a pattern of sexual abuse and accusers over many years around the President. The problem is that Ghislaine’s father (and her friend Epstein) may have been selling video, audio, and bugged footage to Vladimir Putin over the years. Yes, Epstein was a salesman who met death from the business of selling images of  famous politicians in compromising positions.We do not use “positions” lightly.

A cold steel dossier on Trump would surely mean his cooperation. Putin has that.

Of course, some Fox intern left Melania in the original picture, apparently not recognizing her in her pre-First Lady coquettish days.

Fox News may switch its theme song to “Yes, We Have no Bananas.”  It’s fitting for those going crazy and living in a banana republic like Trumpworld.

 

 

 

Next Step in the Epstein Investigation?

 DATELINE: Costume Ballers

 Weinstein/Epstein/Maxwell.

 What a trio!

When Prince Andrew threw a costume ball, Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein joined Harvey Weinstein for fun and games.

Word is now filtering out of the Southern District of New York federal prosecutor’s office that the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell is opening up a Pandora Box. They may be looking at an investigation into public officials tied into the Jeffrey Epstein case.

You have political types jumping up and down on both sides of the aisle:  Republicans think Bill Clinton is under the gun, and Democrats think Donald Trump is the person of interest.

The term “public official” certainly rules out Prince Andrew, the son of Queen Elizabeth and a royal slime-ball of another country’s color.

Trump’s firing of the US Attorney Geoffrey Berman last week indicates that he was attempting to de-rail any investigation into Rudy Giuliani or Alan Dershowitz, two Trump allies with connections to Epstein’s unsavory sexual history. Bill Gates and Elon Musk have taken to the powder room to keep dry.

Everyone denies their culpability, but the rumors for years of loose morals among these people can be uncovered on many websites and news feeds over the past decade or so. Like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, all seem to be connected to each other, crossing paths or socializing with no distance too close. Ghislaine’s photo with Kevin Spacey from 2002 has been unearthed, and pix of Weinstein with Epstein are also now easy to find.

If you want to believe in a network of sexual predators, you don’t have to stretch the mind too far. Nearly all these people were flight risks on the Lolita Express, Epstein’s aptly named jet to perdition.

Some experts think Ghislaine will talk a good game to escape a long prison term; others believe she will never make it to trial. Accidents do happen when you cross billionaires and political power horses.

 

 

 

 

 Not Birds of a Feather: Birders

 DATELINE: Central Park 

 Cooper, Starr with director Kimball.

 

If you want to escape viruses and racial problems, you may go to Central Park in New York City where over 200 varieties of birds come to spend time each year. The film is from 2012 and is called Birders: the Central Park Effect..

Seasonal birders are bird-watchers who come in spring or fall to see the most friendly and unusual birds ever to congregate in a small urban space.

One of the most charming of people in this documentary is Chris Cooper, a gay African American man who calls the art of birders “a treasure hunt,” and explains he disappears for a month of delightful fun every spring. He compares birding to stamp collecting.

You may recall the incident (not in the movie) about the white woman (clearly a racist who could never apologize with a name, only calling her victim “that man”) who called police on Cooper who complained her dog was not on a leash and was frightening the birds. Her attack on Cooper went viral.

That shows how even birdwatching has become dangerous in our racially charged world lately.

What a shame about the racist attack on Cooper, but it draws attention to how real the problem is—even when we try to escape the horrors of our society lately.

Cooper is articulate, intelligent, and a marvelous birder to introduce the artful hobby that entails The Central Park Effect on birds.

Other birders in the film include an old woman named Starr Saphir who charged a few dollars to lead people on watching tours. She usually finds a dozen birds, identify them, and give their history. She kept records for each year for decades before her passing in 2013.

Another character in the story compares birders to those seeking movie stars. The stars are not pigeons or geese, but rare birds you may know from books and pictures. To see one in person is like meeting a movie star, according to Jonathan Franzen.

The film now resonates in ways never intended, but it remains a delightful study of human nature in natural setting. If there is bad news, the number of birds is declining everywhere.

 

Any Cost for the Race to Victory

DATELINE: World War II & Big Three

Leave it to History Channel to bait and switch its viewers yet again.

It seems after weeks of calling Race to Victory  a three-part series, it now appears it is multi-part series. Worse yet, History Channel simply tagged on the nextepisode after the third (now penultimate episode). But, wait, there’s even more!

Events superseded individuals in the first two episodes, but we wanted to see more about the interpersonal and psychological ties between the Big Three. This is a glaring omission in an otherwise excellent series. Now it appears this may be coming in the unknown fourth and fifth episode of the show.

We still have no idea what the “race to victory” of the title means. No explanation seems to have been offered, and self-evident strikes us as ridiculous.

 

This is still fascinating stuff: starting with Germany trying to break up the new alliance of Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt, by revealing mass graves of Stalin’s victims. It didn’t work because the Allies needed the lesser of the two evils.

The first meeting of the Big Three didn’t happen because Roosevelt was too sick to travel to Asia where Churchill and Stalin actually became friendly. Stalin wanted aid to Leningrad, but Churchill was set on fighting in Africa to protect the Suez Canal.

 

The States were also preparing to take on the Pacific campaign to regain Midway. Both Brits and Americans were breaking Axis codes—and that was the real turning point, but it didn’t hurt to have General Patton show up to give the Nazis a headache.

There are likely many tidbits in this series that only diehard buffs of World War II will know. For the rest of us, this is illuminating and intriguing.

 

 

 

Orange Hair is the New Blackface!

DATELINE: All Lives Anti-Matter!

 Upside Down to an Illiterate?

There goes the neighborhood! That is Trump’s reaction to having a giant sign that says, “Black Lives Matter” in front of his New York Trump Tower.

Apart from thinking that a peaceful movement is a “symbol of hate,” he believes that people who share that view are likely terrorists. He is concerned that the valuable property on Fifth Avenue will never have a white Easter parade again.

This revelation from a man who touts supporters who cry out, “White Power,” and brandish weapons aimed at peaceful marchers, is typical of a man who is going down to Fifth Avenue, with a gun where he famously announced he could shoot someone and never lose a vote.

We now know the people he prefers to shoot are likely black people.

 

The real symbol of hate in 2st century America is sitting in the Oval Office, fielding softball questions from Sean Hannity on TV. And, even then, he cannot answer a question directly—like what horror of genocide will he perform if re-elected.

We do know that in Trump’s world, Robert E. Lee enjoys more protection than a young black man under surveillance by your local police.

He is fighting mad and fighting like hell you never read a book about him, as he is desperate to stop his niece’s unsavory details about a man who put money before family.

Then, again, when your father marches in KKK rallies back in the 1920s, you may be justified in taking his money away from him when he reached the Alzheimer stage of old age. He probably thought black lives matter.

Epstein’s Murder Will Out

DATELINE: Prime Suspect.

Alex Acosta & friend.

Maybe we will learn what really happened to Jeffrey Epstein, but not while William Barr is AG and Trump is POTUS. The only prosecutor prepared to go after Epstein and his co-conspirators was fired by Trump recently.

Yes, Geoffrey Berman did what Alex Acosta would not, and Trump has dismissed him. Acosta was paid off with an appointment to Secretary of Labor, but resigned two days after Epstein’s death. Trump praised him, and he ignored victims of child abuse.

Why would a man be taken off suicide watch in the federal prison? Have his Bunkie removed? And be given dozens of sheets and extension cords? Someone certainly made sure he had a message to kill himself.

Who is ultimately in charge of the Federal Bureau of Prisons? None other than the man whose father was a pal of Epstein, William Barr. And who is Barr’s superior? The man who was a close friend of Epstein, Donald Trump.

All the dots are there in this series, but no one dares to connect them. It’s dangerous, and Ghislaine Maxwell has her helicopter pilot license and is off globe-trotting. Epstein put his will into the Virgin Islands legal system, an irony for the owner of the Lolita Express jet. It is also a means to deny anyone access to his estate for at least a decade.

Murder or suicide? Both Michael Baden and Cyril Wecht, America’s two most prominent pathologists, will give you an answer that is disturbing.

Trump’s Confederate Roots

DATELINE:Pass the Buttersworth!

Is there an official tally somewhere?  Just how many slaves does Donald Trump own?

Trump will miss Aunt Jemima when she’s gone.

Based on his vehement defense of Confederate generals, flags, and plantation mentality, we presume he is the last slave owner in America. Or, are we mistaken? Those people surrounding him are zombies, not slaves.

Maybe it was Fred Trump, the KKK wannabe wizard, who owned the slaves or treated his workers like slaves.

The brain dead seem to gravitate to the man whose billions of dollars may well be in Confederate currency.

Throw anyone in jail who dares to malign Gone with the Wind.

Donald Trump may be the only person in the United States who is standing on the dock awaiting the arrival of  Mississippi gamer boat, Waiting for the Robert E. Lee, of Al Jolson fame.

No doubt Trump prefers Jolson in black-face singing, “Mammy,” as he pours Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup on his Uncle Ben rice.

He likely hums “I Wish I Were in Dixie,” before going onstage for his notorious political rallies.

Jeff Davis would be proud. John Wilkes Booth would not shoot Trump.

Jerry Jones & Bill Belichick: Birds of a Feather

DATELINE:  Systemic Problem in NFL

The two foremost social thinkers of the 19thcentury remain powerful symbols of racial injustice:  the NFL now claims it did not listen to those uppity black players who believe they are living in an unequal and unjust system of police rioters.

The two biggest symbols of the NFL –Jerry Jones and Bill Belichick—have maintained their deafening silence on the subject of George Floyd and racial brutality.

Their defenders claim that, in private, both are dismayed that their black players are not happy.  But, they are not moved much more than Trump on the scale of justice. Oh, yes, they are both MAGA men.

In the Massachusetts senator debate last night, Joe Kennedy, grandson and great-nephew of Robert and John Kennedy said the Patriots ought to sign Colin Kaepernick. Fat chance: that white snowball in hell belongs to the NFL.

Oh, yes, Robert Kraft is a Trump supporter too.

Defenders of the symbols of NFL victory lappers will never come out and admit their worlds are backward and their views are racist.

It’s hard to draw any other conclusion in the face of such rampant ostrich head burying.

There are those rednecks who line the streets holding automatic weapons as a show to intimidate peaceful demonstrators. There are those resemble the Boston Strangler who put a knee to the neck of the helpless victims but wear police uniforms or NFL neckties.

85% of America think the country is out of control. Among the minority here are Jerry Jones and Bill Belichick: they are always in control, even if your civil rights are thrown out the window.

These are members of the Orange Pips.

Acorn Falls from KKK Tree

DATELINE: KKK and Fred Trump

New York March of the KKK on Memorial Day, 1927!

President Trump practically gave himself a hernia in his latest apoplectic denial to the Twitterverse. He denies vehemently that his father attended and may have been arrested at a Klu Klux Klan rally (one of those big events Trumps appear to like) in Brooklyn in 1927. It came only a few years after KKK burned down a black neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the notorious Wall Street Massacre.

Trumps like to repeat history.

Police are pictured above rounding up the usual suspects.

Donald Trump may deny till he is blue in the white hood, but there was a parade of Klansmen on Memorial Day in 1927—and police took five or six stalwart marchers aside. The big issue is whether Fred Trump was detained, or simply arrested.

We also don’t know if he had a deluxe Klan robe.

Whether the President’s father’s wizard-style caused him to be detained or arrested is a matter of, you guessed it, inflammatory semantics. They didn’t have stun guns back then, or Fred Trump might have been knocked on keester. Fat keesters also run in the Trump family.

Apparently, to be detained by police, your questioning must be “brief and cursory,” and after that, if you seem to be suspicious, they can arrest you.

Whether there was probable cause is the big issue. Knowing the Trump family, we suspect that “probable cause” is their middle name.

Police records are not being provided to the media from the arrest, but newspaper accounts are rife from the era. We provide one picture here from the Brooklyn fake news media.

Twenty years before the President’s birther records were faked, his father was one of six dubious marchers who were pulled aside for belligerence and racial intolerance (that’s the suspicion).

Whether Nature or Nurture, we now have more evidence, however circumstantial, that the acorn does not fall far from the Grand Wizard’s old oak tree.