No Coronavirus Test, What me Worry?

DATELINE: Walking Along the Dead Line 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

UnXplained Takes on Precog

DATELINE: Shatner on the Future

Seeing the future, having vibrations, dreaming of some event?  Shatner’s cynical UnXplained gives him a chance to look askance at the camera yet again.

We love it. 

Starting with a British psychic or clairvoyant, he cannot tell you why or how he has the ability. It is something he grew up with—and then enhanced with study in India and mystics. Then, there is a short mention of Biblical prophets who had no training. You learned as you went along.

Of course, we end up with tiresome Nostradamus and his incomprehensible quatrains, which border on ridiculous. Shatner suggests he is either a fake or psycho, but the usual expert talks about Hister and the S in the name written like a Swastika.

 The real surprise of the episode was the footage of 9-11 and the discussion of many people having premonitions that they would die or experience something a WTC. It is chilling to hear of these incidents. The usual experts (Nick Pope, Dr. Kaku) claim it is intuition, a natural condition in all people who make sense out of patterns they see.

 The kicker for the show is the Universal memory somewhere out there: it is , you guessed it, the Akashic Record, where all past, present, and future floats in some distant dimension—and a few lucky souls have a library card.

 Not the best in the series, but still better than most!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oak Island Box Out

DATELINE: Wait till Next Year

 Inexplicable Log Boxes

They now have evidence from science that material buried in the cove dates back to 1620, around the time of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. With the end of the season rapidly approaching, The Curse of Oak Islandhas more mysteries and fewer answers.

The original Money Pit shaft has wood dating back way before the original searching. How many people were on an uninhabited island doing this engineering? And why? We may have to tune into the UnXplained to hear what Shatner states.

At Smith’s Cove they have found a bizarre wooden log box. It was either meant to be part of the flood booby traps or to circumvent them. Their digging nearly destroys the box. It collapses. However, it was not tied to the drain systems.

They are off to the next spot: the swamp. There, Gary Drayton finds another hinge or bracket. It was a match to one found last year that blacksmith expert said was 400 years old.

When Alex and Marty show up at an area between the cove and Money Pit, it looks like a war zone of a no man’s land from the Western Front excavation. That is how much work has been done on this small island. Millions have been poured into this money pit.

They never expected to find another tunnel, well-constructed and with no historical record. They had discovered another massive building project on a small island. It leads to conclusions that define historical mysteries of Arks of the Covenant and Holy Grails.

Carmen Legge joined in to identify various metals that he placed around the mid-1700s.  Who was making those tunnels?  He found it amazing that tunnel tools were in a swamp (or maybe it was not a swamp). He finds the strapping is from a sailing ship. He felt it was a ship from as early as 1710. Gary thought it was from a pirate ship, and Legge said the metal was in a big fire.

We are realizing that another season will be required. They are nowhere close to revealing the truth. But it may be worth the wait.

Close Encounters on Blue Book

DATELINE: Pointless Flash Forward

 Real Hynek On Set of Third Kind

We give the show credit for a sixth episode that is a little different than all the others. Here, Dr. J. Allen Hyneck is all gray-haired, in 1976, 25 years later than the other episodes of the series Project Blue Book.

And, here he is advisor for Steven Spielberg’s classic UFO movie,Close Encounter of the Third Kind—which of course was Hyneck’s rating system. He worked as technical advisor on this film.

So, we have the wizened, older Aiden Gillen talking to a reporter. Of course, this is old school flashforward. Gillen is wearing a white-haired wig, but has not truly aged. And, he will discuss publicly the CIA investigation of the Air Force Blue Book that ended ten years earlier.

What was the point of this? It’s not clear, except that there is a studio set-up and an unsatisfying interview with a journalist, circa 1976.

The CIA and Robertson Panel are clearly operating under some other power—and that is as acceptable to this series and its inconclusive set of “facts.”

The show continues to feature murderous Russian agents who also have fooled Blue Book—and Captain Quinn. Once again, an eccentric with alien connections proves that the koo-koo birds are the ancient alien preferables for abduction and mental telepathy.

 

Blue Maximum for the Blue Max

DATELINE: Chess in the Sky  

 Real Stars Fly High!

We missed this little forgotten gem back in 1966, and today it is just a delicious extravaganza from the over-the-top studio system on its last legs. It is another faux epic but it is as big as the sky.

Clocking in at nearly three hours, The Blue Max was an important war movie for the Vietnam era. It told the story of chivalry in Germany during World War I. There, a common infantryman rises to air corps—and is ambitious enough to rival Von Richtofen.

The film has the benefit of George Peppard as his most unpleasant rogue antihero. However, the picture does not take off for forty minutes. That’s when James Mason and Ursula Andress take to the air as a German general of some sort and his countess wife.

Suddenly the movie comes alive. And Mason and Andress steal every scene they’re in. Elegant, aristocratic, and disdainful, you could not have two more delightful actors to change the pace of a war movie.

When Mason calls Peppard as “common as dirt” and a hero for the masses, you have the new era of movies entering on a biplane that could only shoot down King Kong in the movies.

There are long stretches of dog fights between Peppard and British planes, which are spectacular, but we can’t help but think this is nasty combat and is meant to kill the other pilot, not merely shoot him down. It dampens the undercurrent of a fun war.

A large cast also displays ugly hand-to-hand combat with bayonets, interspersed with Jeremy Kemp and Peppard’s rivalry over their extra-marital interest in Kemp’s auntie Ursula.

Scenes of glorious air flight are contrasted with uninspired ground troop massacres. We know that the chess match between Mason and Andress will result in Peppard having his Blue Max match his blue eyes at any cost, but he will end up the patsy of the villains. It’s worth watching two great film stars (Mason and Andress) in full throttle.

More Lunacy: Whitey, UFOs, and MK-Ultra

DATELINE: Conspiracies Gone Amok?

Whitey as Man in Black

With more circumstantial evidence coming out about James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, you begin to think he will soon be the subject of Ancient Aliens as the Manchurian candidate of choice.

Yes, it appears that MK-Ultra, that mysterious CIA organization may have had more to do with LSD experiments on criminals and that could account for 16 years of missing time for Whitey when the Feds couldn’t find him.

Good heavens, can it be he was abducted by aliens who used him with the same experimental enthusiasm of our government agencies? After all, men in black have divided loyalties. Whitey would be the ironic Man in Black.

After all, Whitey was a split personality in his own way: preying off older gay men he picked up at gay bars around Boston in the 1950s, but also reserving the right to meet movie star Sal Mineo for some nefarious sexual purpose.

MK-Ultra is an off-shoot of the kind of occult UFO tie-in that the Nazis had with their notorious “Bell” project. You know, the one where the Nazis were experimenting with time travel with the help of ancient aliens living in Antarctica.

There are those who think Hitler and other high-ranking Nazis used the technology to speed away to another dimension, or through another dimension in their bell-shaped curve of time and space.

We once believed all this was fanciful and hallucinatory stuff coming out of the mouths of MK-Ultra victims who wanted an insanity defense at their trials.

Now we wonder if their fantasies and insanities correlate with other dimensional beings. Call us anything, but we haven’t done mind experiments with LSD. Our mind is more apt to be under the control of the Twilight Zoneof TV sci-fi.

You know those who know too much end up like Whitey, under federal prison protection, and assassinated. Only recently we saw the same scenario worked on Jeffrey Epstein. If you know too much, you are a sitting duck in a prison cell.

 

 

Special Celtics-Lakers Reunion

DATELINE: Yesteryear Lives Again!

KG in Rondo Jersey!

Return with us now to the thrilling days of yesteryear.

Oh, there was a time when we wrote about Rajon Rondo weekly in Boston. Now, he is a bench point guard wth Lebron and the Unibrow. His old friend Dwight Howard is there, and so is Avery Bradley. And, today, they are playing the Celtics.

KG showed up at the game wearing an old Rondo Celtics jersey!

It is something special for sure. Before the game Kevin Garnett and Rondo were yucking it up before the Celtics bench—and Jayson Tatum, new superstar, sat there and watched with mouth agape.

This turned out to be a special game, with special intensity. It showed off Tatum and Jalen Brown and Marcus Smart to great effect. Romeo Langford, a nineteen-year old rookie who is usually deadpan, was clearly caught up in the emotions.

We had to laugh at the sight of Kevin Garnett snickering when Lebron was charged with an offensive foul, and Garnett kept intense attention at Rondo’s series of steals of Boston balls. They will be together in Boston next year when Garnett’s jersey is retired.

Paul Pierce is a commentator, and he too will join them.

The game took on playoff intensity, as the cliché always goes. Yet, there was something marvelous at a game in Los Angeles with all those celebrities filling seats.

Rondo is not beloved in Los Angeles, nor likely is Bradley. They were once the sworn enemies of the Lakers. It’s a hard pill to root for them now. Yet, the former Celts played with vengeance.

Does it matter what the final score turned out to be? We want these teams in the Finals.

 

  Double Your Spies

DATELINE: Double or Nothing?

 Gere & Topher!

It only took us a decade to come around to The Double, a Russian spy infiltrates the CIA and/or FBI thriller. This one slipped through the cracks ten years ago, and we wondered why.

Perhaps the stars were box-office poison back then. Today, they look like classic performers, doing Hamlet.

You might be held back because of the smarmy leads: there is Richard Gere, in varying shades of white and gray as he plays himself in 25-year flashbacks as the ubiquitous CIA wrecking crew.

Then, there is the ever-irksome millennial Topher Grace as the research librarian turned field agent for the FBI.

They are forced to team up to find the former Soviet agent called Cassius who led one of the most dangerous murder groups out of Russia back in the 1980s.

You need only watch the trailer for this film, and you have a pretty good idea who the double is and how dangerous he may be. You will be on the road of the Red Herring.

Topher Grace’s analytical agent claims Cassius is not dead, not executed by Gere in his last act before retiring. They disagree, and then we begin to suspect that the double is the agent leading the hunt.

All of this is droll and clever until improbable meets impossible in the grand finale. We still aren’t sure who was supposed to kill whom for what government. Oh, Martin Sheen is along as head of the CIA. So, you can trust him.

As for the rest of these double agents, you sympathize at your own risk. Well, it was diverting.

Hot Time in Chile for Ancient Aliens

DATELINE: Move Over, Peru 

 Greetings!

Oh, don’t say you’ve been there, done that. Those Nazca Lines you’ve heard about for years are 500 miles north of the Atacama Desert in Chile. There, Ancient Aliens has found dozens more carvings into the bone-dry earth. This is the mother-lode of UFO messages.

Bigger and better, as they say. Missed by UFOlogists for years.

Rain hasn’t fallen there in centuries, and NASA uses it as a substitute for Mars. It’s just like home to those spacemen from Mars.

It also happens that Chile is the hotspot for UFO sightings in the world. More are seen per square mile there than anywhere else. It seems the ancient astronauts can’t go home. Chile is home.

This week for a change, none of the regulars make a vacation trip to Chile, which says it all. All commentaries are done remotely, and the local experts are brought in from local studios.

Erich van Daniken is around too for this episode, telling us the flat stone plates in the desert made for good landing spots. And nobody knows how they got there.

A few indigenous tribes were later wiped out by European settlers, and they may have had plenty of answers. However, the Chilean government is more than cooperative with Ancient Aliens and the bureau of tourism.

Of course, this is a three thousand north-south country, skinny with lots of desolate hiding places.

They bring in Dr. Travis Taylor for a visit to see some infra-red photos of a strange UFO invisible to the naked eye, but leaving some kind of exhaust trail behind. Could it be some kind of secret project out of Area 51? It’s enough to make Dr. Taylor a believer.

 

 

 

 

Area 51 Overexposed & Underwhelmed

DATELINE: Unrestricted Pabulum

A new documentary by the notorious director O. U. Krill may be snazzy and overproduced. It is beautifully filmed, down to the fake interiors of Area 51 Exposed.

The film does offer a concise history of the base going back to 1955, but intersperses this with open product endorsements for Bud Light and Arbys meat house.

The UFO stuff is secondary to the long history of Soviet aircraft captured and tested.

You will learn that the base started out with a volleyball court and movie theater for the schmucks stuck there all week. Buses and airlines out of Burbank for Lockheed employees brought top secret workers like Bob Lazar into the haven. Heaven forefend if you had a camera.

Restricted is the favorite word at Area 51. Airspace, ground-space, every space is restricted. If the government hasn’t got you covered in cameras and snipers, you may well end up one of those lost souls who enter the desert and are never heard of again.

Bob Lazar, sometime worker, claims that gray aliens have been injecting themselves in human history for at least 10,000 years.

If the secrecy seems a tad overdone, you may be onto something. There is more than a usual secure base here. Only in the past decade has it been acknowledged as existing, despite mountaintop photos of the installation.

Nellis or Groom Lake is described three times as 80 miles from Vegas, then 100 miles, and a third time as 150 miles away. It is farther away every time they mention it. The narrator also speaks of Bob Lazr’s “synonym” (he means pseudonym), and before you know it, you are off Area 51 and talking about Bernie Sanders offering to reveal gray alien info if elected president.

Groom Lake is also called Dreamland because time travel experiments are reportedly done there!  However, this useless documentary also takes us on sidetrips to New Hampshire.to talk of Betty and Barney Hill.

All in all, this is a disappointing waste of time and plain awful–so, save your rental money.

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Brady Offers Sadistic Photo to Fans!

DATELINE: Fake Promises

We’d like to call Tom Brady cryptic black and white photo walking away from football stadium a cheap trick. It probably cost Hulu a pretty penny to pay him. Tom doesn’t come cheap.

He said he’s not going anywhere while the moving truck emptied out his house in Massachusetts.

Having created a clamour and a firestorm, he has become a phenomenon like the coronavirus. We almost want to put him in quarantine until his free agency period passes. He needs Midol, not Hulu.

So, the photo shot over the bow of fans was meant to be a commercial teaser for a TV network. It had only a bit to do with football and his career. In his tones of a funereal march, he tells us that all good things must end.

So, switch to Hulu.

As for him, he’s not going anywhere. Even that is cryptic. You mean he’s not going to live it up like Elvis in Viva Las Vegas?

This commercial looks like a French art film.

They now say the Patriots plan to throw $30 million or more at his feat of clay, even as a young upstart witns the Super Bowl and likely will win six more in the next decade.

As for Tom, surround him is Hulu receivers and he will catch on like a pandemic. He expects to play until 50, and he will rival that Mahomely kid all the way. (By the way, the kid tends to flab; he does not have TB12’s regimen in his skill-set).

Tom’s here to offer sadism to his fans for a few more years.

 

Tom in a Tunnel, Sees the Light

DATELINE: Where is he?

 Lost in Art?

Whenever we have a chance to opine about metaphor, count us in.

Tom Brady posted a tunnel of himself, in civilian clothes, in a black and silver tunnel in an unknown park runway.

His wife is a model, but Brady is not.

He is house-hunting and taking his son around to check out schools in Nashville, Tennessee, today. That is hardly where he will retire. That is hardly where his wife wants to be, and his son loves hockey. We know that Tom talked to coaches in New England about hockey, of which he was ignorant, but doing a crash course to keep up with his son.

There is not much hockey in Vegas.

Retirement communities in Nashville and Vegas are popular, but Brady wants to play a few more seasons.

Ah, metaphor! No metaphor is perfect. But they are powerful tools to understand the world.

No one has mentioned Kobe and Tom. Has the death of a superstar ball player had an impact on his thinking? Yes, but not to the point of leaving the game apparently. He simply will go to a team where he can spend more time with his family—not training callow youth in how to play.

It is not the tunnel of death, nor the tunnel of love, where you are surrounded by those you know—especially at the end where you are at heaven’s gate. No, there is no welcome committee here, no wagon of goodies for his delectation.

Tom is a man who owes no one and will consult no one. This is his life alone.

Summit with Rat Pack

DATELINE: Ocean’s 11 History!

  Frank & Jack!

A bad, inconsequential movie seldom is a watershed of history. So, to find a film that provides a great context for politics, social life, entertainment, and cult of celebrity, you have to stand back and simply be agog at its temerity.

Ocean’s 11, the original 1960 movie, turned out to be seminal and a turning point in mindless fluff having serious impact. The Ocean 11 Story will surprise you.

This gang was called the Summit (and it’s a pinnacle of some lunacy). Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, Sammy Davis Jr., were denizens of the Las Vegas show world. That was the descendant of vaudeville—taken a turn toward Godfather syndicate crime and gambling.

These entertainers brought thousands to the desert to pack five casinos along a neon strip. They created a world of entertainment unto itself.

And, the mob was beholden. Their pranks, self-deprecating humor, and interjecting in each other’s shows became an act itself. They soon were joining forces: “maybe” someone else would show up and liven up the audience. Tickets were prized.

Sinatra’s mob connections (notably played out in the Puzo tale, Godfather) made him royalty. His friends like Sam Giancanna could guarantee a Hollywood career however he wanted it.

Then, his hostility to Lawford ended when the actor married into the Kennedy family—and JFK ran for President with Franks support. It was the first time a pop star turned his hit song into a campaign rally tune.

Ties between Sinatra, beautiful Hollywood starlets, and a Kennedy president, became legend: Marilyn Monroe was in there too.

A double-edged mob could protect Kennedy—or kill him.

And, the Rat Pack lived it up, never sleeping, making a cheesy movie with the casino help. It was a movie about robbing the casinos—and the mob loved it.

You could have High Hopes and a Kind of Fool as these loose show-stoppers unloaded on screen and off. They moved off second-banana status with Sinatra’s Oscar coming from here and going to Eternity, Martin’s break from Lewis, and a black man on equal footing.

The Summit of talent heckled each other—and brought in tons of money and popularity. They would never do more than one take in their movie—which was merely an extension of their stage shenanigans. They lacked self-discipline, but who needed it?

They made Las Vegas, and they made Kennedy president. They loved the danger of the Mob, and no one dared cross them. It was a golden age of promiscuity and booze.

This hour documentary turns out to be highly significant about how silly inanity could dominate a century.

 

 

Pink at Heart for Grant Williams

DATELINE: In Romeo’s ‘do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boys from Brazil: Where the Nuts Are

DATELINE: Hitler Clones 

 Peck as Mengele!

Back in the day, Ira Levin was one hot writer. He was knocking out Broadway and movie hits with aplomb, and writing novels too. He was entertainment and controversy, wit and delight. Apart from Death Trap, he gave us Boys from Brazil.

One of his least favorite set-pieces was the novel and movie about Josef Mengele. How short-sighted they were back in those days. The main criticism centered on Atticus Finch, the hero of all things American, being done up as a pasty and hideous looking Mengele. Yes, sir, that’s Gregory Peck in the lead role, horrifying.

He is magnificent, but back then he was stung by severe criticism. His performance may be one side of over-the-top , but when you ae playing one of the evilest fiends in history, it’s hard to pull back.

The cast is utterly astounding

Playing the old Jewish Nazi hunter whose efforts have gone past relevance is Laurence Olivier. Even Peck’s Mengele has no respect for the old-timer who warns young and hunky Steve Guttenberg to get out of Paraguay before there is one less nice Jewish boy. In an early role, Guttenberg is a sacrifice to plot, replaced by his clone John Rubinstein.

James Mason, who always accounted for Nazis of varying stripes, plays a Prussian aristocratic Nazi. Every nuance of his performance, especially with Peck, is a subtext of delight. And, you have to stand back in sheer horror at a gala soiree of Nazis in Paraguay in the 1980s.

Throw in a passel of well-known character actors—from Anne Meara and Uta Hagen to John Dehner and Denholm Elliot—and you have a hoot of acting. What other movie features two 70ish stars in a dirty, knock-down fight to death at the climax?

Yes, Ira Levin knew how to entertain and write a film that was 40 years ahead of its time.

What brought the fiercest criticism was the crypto-science of the age: genetic research! The public could not accept Mengele’s theories that he could clone humans—and create a new Master Race leader. How silly they were back then! It would only take 30 years to make the story less crypto.

The boys back in Brazil were hardly your run of the mill Nazi party members: Mengele was after the big fish. He had enough DNA from Hitler to make a bunch of them from now until kingdom come!

Today, that is cutting edge. It’s quite a movie.