DATELINE: APB FOR A&B (NOT ANTONIO)
Brady mask, life-size!
Tom Brady just lambasted the media for making up stories about his desire to leave New England. It’s just “hype,” according to TB12. It’s a bunch of horse pucky from people trying to make money off the Brady name and legacy.
You mean people like Robert Kraft? The NFL? ESPN? CBS? MNF? TNF? SNF? You mean corporate types like Under Armor?
Yes, we would concur that all of the above named are trying to make money off the TB12 brand—not to mention his trainer, his real estate agent, and sundry souvenir marketing gnomes.
It was the second assault and battery on the media by TB12 in a weak moment. Maybe his patience is wearing thin, but we aren’t sure why.
Deflategate never bugged him like rumors of leaving Bean-town half-baked if you want a dozen Super Bowl parades.
As for making money off Tom, we wish we could hook up to that choo-choo train, but the milk train doesn’t stop here anymore. Flora Tom Goforth is about to go forth. Just call us the Witch of Capri. Our name has once again been crossed off the guest list.
Of course, Tom—the man who hides the truth under a thickening layer of Botox—never directly responded to the notions counter item that he is selling his home and his contract is up after the season.
He did not give an answer that re-assured, like he wants to play in New England until the end of the line, or that he even hopesto be back in the area next year.
That hope was hung out to dry with his TV appearance that mocked his owner, beloved Kraft of massage fame. As Tom complained testily, you dastardly media are reading metaphors into fiction where similes will do.
Oh, Tom, you coy boy.
DATELINE: Last Days of Sodom?
Dafoe as Paso
Willem Dafoe tackles the infamous Italian director of the 1960s. Next to Fellini and Antonioni, Pier Paolo Pasolini is the darling of avant-garde cinema. His highly-charged political movies seemed to blame scandal and scandalizing on media and right-wingers.
The movie is Pasolini,about a man who was the ultimate socialist on film. His movies from 120 Days of Sodom to Teorema were puzzling allegories that combined sordid sex and overblown intelligentsia. He wanted to offend audiences with pictures likeThe Gospel According to Matthew and succeeded wildly.
So it is with Abel Ferrara’s version of the film-maker’s life. With multiple languages, and layers of story-telling, this is Cinema with a capital C.
Dafoe seems to be nearly as outrageous as Pasolini as he was as Nosferatu.
The film is blatant in its crossovers, using a fictional version of Pasolini in a “novel” he visualizes with his actual life. This technique spares your major star from doing embarrassing sex scenes.
Dead at a premature age, it seems even Dafoe might be a bit long in the tooth for the role, but Terence Stamp, another good choice who worked with Pasolini, was definitely too far along.
The film tries to extract the genius of a director out of the chaos of politics, anarchy, and religion, that made up post-war Italy. It remains chaos theory.
Pasolini was the victim of senseless gay bashing murder in Rome in 1975, though the movie is far less graphic than the real killing.
DATELINE: A Dark & Stormy Movie
Polidori, Shelley, and Byron, aka Spall, Sands, and Byrne
If you want to learn about the dark and stormy night in 1816 that resulted in the creation of Frankenstein and Dracula by Lord Byron’s pals, you might look elsewhere.
Ken Russell’s hothouse and nuthouse movie about Percy and Mary Shelley and Lord Byron is pure Gothicnonsense. As was the style of Russell back in 1987, you had a psychedelic version of biography and history. It is not satisfactory.
The cast is somewhat exemplary: Gabriel Byrne as lame Byron, Julian Sands as pretty Shelley, Timothy Spall as off-putting Dr. Polidori, and Natasha Richardson as demure Mary! Wow, you almost expect the acting alone will carry the film.
However, the director hijacks every moment and even has cast members chewing on rats. We thought the film turned into that rat-festival moviel, Willard.And, inexplicable pythons wrap around suits of armor. Yep, it’s Ken Russell.
Instead of a dark and stormy night where these highly creative people choose to write great books, we have a literal ghost story. The demons are really around every corner. You almost feel sorry for the servants who basically take a powder during the latter part of the movie to avoid these koo-koo birds.
The summer without sun inspired the writing of Frankenstein and Dracula. Byron took credit for Polidori’s work, and Byron couldn’t write prose. The stepsister of Mary is around for crazy moments in which the sexual peccadilloes of the characters is tested.
We have more than your usual homoerotic connections between the men, including some fairly passionate kisses, but Julian Sands was never prettier. Gabriel Byrne seems to have bigger breasts than the women stars. Timothy Spall is actually slim.
The film becomes increasingly erratic and difficult to watch, as befits what did in the style of Ken Russell ultimately. We had hoped to see something truly fascinating, but not quite on the level of a train wreck.
DATELINE: Who is the Bard?
Once again, a list of notable Shakespearean actors (Derek Jacobi among them) takes on the question of whether William Shakespeare was the man he claimed to be.
The film is called Nothing is Truer than Truth.
One theory continues to be pushed: Shakespeare was a pseudonym for Edward de Vere, a foppish bisexual Elizabethan favorite.
How could a country bumpkin who never left England write 40 plays about royal courts in Venice, Rome, and Greece? How could a man who did not have access to the greatest libraries of English nobility have done his research? As usual, the likelihood of genius never enters the equation. Even a genius needs a little knowledge (unless he is psychic).
One man fits the bill Shake-speare quite well. Edward de Vere.
With the use of mostly American experts, the documentary takes on a decidedly different tone than most of the British interpretations of the Shakespeare controversy.
Indeed, this approach takes De Vere on his travels to Venice, Palermo, Cyprus, and Milan, all spots with highly personal character references in the Shakespeare plays. De Vere met with Cervantes and Titian, and details about these men were not in libraries or generally known in England: but they appear in Shakespeare’s wortks.
So, the ultimate connection is whether Shakespeare and De Vere knew each other—had a literary and personal relationship that might account for the authorship being joint.
So many incidents are based on problems in De Vere’s life: from an unfaithful wife—to his odd bisexual hints in characters. His travels gave him insights into poison poured into a king’s ear and a noble with a younger male whispering in his ear.
De Vere had the attention of Queen Elizabeth (whom some hint) was a man in drag. He had married badly into the Lord Cecil family, but it didn’t stop him from burning through the equivalent of a million dollars in a year.
This excellent film ends asking us whether we have praised the wrong man for 400 years.
DATELINE: Defensive Defense
No More, Please!!!
A documentary to defend Michael Jackson against child molestation charges proves to be highly defensive in itself.
Chasing Michael Jackson is an odd bird, and not because the dead subject is a dodo bird who cannot defend himself, but because we can’t really figure out what the real motive is. Yes, there are some extremely close friends and relatives of Jackson who participate to discredit his accusers.
It is hard to know where the “journalist” behind this film comes from: he insists in his on-camera and extensive interviews that he is digging for the truth. He also takes great pains to discredit one “victim” for claiming he was molested in a part of the Jackson estate that was not built until three years after. Pictures prove that point, but never explain the other possible reasons for the discrepancy. We do hear charges that the victim is a perjurer who swore Jackson never touched him a decade earlier at trial.
One of the other key personalities is Mark Lester, the former child star (from Oliver!) and friend of Jackson as a contemporary. He too claims the victim and family were greedy and vindictive. Lester never mentions that he has since claimed to be the sperm donor for one, or more, of Jackson’s children.
The documentary takes aim at the “Me Too” movement, walking a tightrope about victim rights while trampling on selected victims.
One thing is right: this is all about money. Everyone is on the gravy train, cashing in on Jackson long after his premature death.
DATELINE: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and White Rice
Racist Tom at Kentucky Derby
If being an old codger in the NFL isn’t enough to create mockery, now a humbug New England sex professor is accusing Brady of the canard of a can of worms: the racist card canard.
Every time we try to extricate our reputation of being a Tom Brady critic, the forces of New England sports pull us back into the maelstrom.
Our latest laugh riot opinion centers on a University of Rhode Island Gender Studies professor who has written that Brady’s appeal is to white nationalist-types and typos.
If you know academia, like we do as a former don of the academic mob, you know this sort of “professor” has used gender politics as his bread and butter with jam topping.
Brady, guilty of deflating footballs and playing when he should be in a rocking chair, has now incurred the wrath of some transplant transgender New Englander who hates sports and loves gender misidentification. This sensation-seeking pariah now has taken aim at Brady’s Trump-loving demeanor.
It seems back in 2015, Uncle Tom expressed support for Trump and kept a MAGA hat in plain view that incensed Chicagoans like Jussie Smollett.
Now Brady is accused of fostering racism on his Kentucky Derby trips with many friends (nearly all of whom are, uh-oh, white in a sport that has 66% black players). As a crypto-Nazi sort, Tom-boy is always kissing owner Robert Kraft (who is Jewish) and Julian Edelman (who is lesser Jewish).
You may want to overlook that Brady recently invited black icon Antonio Brown to live in his home where his young daughter and model wife also reside. We have to complain that this is surely a coverup of his racism, unless you want tenure at URI.
Prof. Kyle Kusz sounds like a mixed bag of a political windbag variety.
Throwing a log onto the racist Brady theory encourages racist supporters’ fire-down-below is a low-blow even for an academic in New England unless he already has tenure and loves death threats.
DATELINE: Ghost of Ethel Meets Ghoul of Cohn
Streep & Pacino
The third episode of the miniseries Angels in America takes us to the hallucinogenic, paranormal world where Louis (Ben Shenkman) insists in his liberal way that there are no angels in America.
On the other hand, the evil Roy Cohn is the devil in America, dying of AIDS like the saintly Prior whose survival seems preordained by some supernatural force. He is to “Prepare” for an event of monumental proportions: this is foreshadowed when two ancestor ghosts show up in his bedroom to give him a Dickensian warning.
Emma Thompson is his down to earth nurse, but she speaks in tongues (only to the ears of Prior (Justin Kirk). He is also seeing Talmudic eruptions of Torah as he prepares for the descent (or is it an ascent?).
If you have held on to this point, you will be hooked by the mixed metaphors of paranormal and political messages in crossover.
The episode builds to one of the most astounding special effects dramas and ghost stories in American literature. And, however uncomfortable the sexual situations are, they are part of the political whirlwind of America. Roy Cohn was a hypocritical gay man who worked with Joe McCarthy, McCarthyism, associated with Edgar Hoover socially, and was responsible for the execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg…
With Prior Walter ghosts from the Mayflower setting the stage, we are also about to see an Angel in America. Yet, for our money, the highlight of any film has to be a confrontation between Pacino’s Cohn and Streep’s Ethel Rosenberg. It is hilarious and horrifying—as ghost and her ghoul banter nastily. An extraordinary moment in movie history.
DATELINE: American Supernatural Powers
Pacino’s Satanic Roy Cohn!
The second episode of the mini-series Angels in America again uses some clever cross-cutting from director Mike Nichols to counter-point the two young relationships on the rocks: the gay couple (Jewish boy & Mayflower Prior) and the heterosexual Mormons (calling each other inexplicably ‘buddy’).
The connections between Louis and Joe as lawyers puts them together on occasion. Joe’s pill-popping wife refuses to come to grips with her husband’s latent sexual interests. All in all, the two couples seem ready to do battle in what may be a ridiculous waste of energy.
If Louis has a friend (in the person of a flamboyant black nurse—Jeffrey Wright), then Joe (Patrick Wilson) relies on the back-rubbing seduction of Roy Cohn (in the person of Al Pacino).
Pacino has one satanic scene in this episode, but he is so dominant and frightful that he is unforgettable, even citing Mafia words like “familiglia” as his favorite. And, Meryl Streep makes her first of two role appearances at the mother of Mormon Joe. The best is yet to come.
Again, it is the political element from a drama twenty years old that resonates today: Cohn wants protection from being disbarred. He will place cute Joe into the Reagan Administration to give him an insider cover.
The talk is putting crypto-Nazi political plans of Cohn into place to last generations. It is sentient almost to a terrifying degree—as it predates Cohn’s protégé Donald Trump putting these plans into fruition.
So, the predictive nature of this LGQBT play-unto-movie from 2003 may be the most-telling soothsaying bit of political spin out of the 20thcentury. The story is set in 1985 when AIDS was the virulent killer with no cure in sight. Cohn is laying groundwork to control the presidency and Supreme Court with his kind of American well into the 21st century–and far beyond the grave.
DATELINE: Where’s My Roy Cohn?
We’re No Angels!
Can it be that 15 years after the Mike Nichols-HBO depiction of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America that it has new life?
Give credit to Donald Trump or damn him to hell for resurrecting his mentor, long-dead Roy Cohn.
The main character in Angels in Americais Cohn, as played by Al Pacino, in a fire-brand, brilliant performance while still in his salad days. In the first chapter he has only two scenes: one to start the episode, and one to finish. But he is what hooks you to begin the mini-series of an award-winning play—and his extraordinary scene with James Cromwell at the end will bring you back.
What’s in between is somewhat pedestrian gay: a Mormon couple (Mary-Louise Parker and Patrick Wilson) are in discord because he may well be a closet case gay man in 1985. Counter this with a Jewish law clerk Louis (Ben Shenckman) and his HIV positive boyfriend Prior (Justin Kirk). They are cute and tortured by their inner gay demons.
We give Nichols credit for playing this up with references to Wizard of Oz and Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast. It’s pure gay counter-culture.
The actors are transcendent with characters who are not. Yet, the openness of the sexual lives is bracing, even today. To combine two hallucinations of characters who don’t know each other is nothing short of brilliant, cross-pollinating the subplots.
Yet, we are drawn to the foul-mouthed Cohn, nasty and demagogic, and though we see no Trump, we see what feeds the monster. His final exchange with his doctor, indicating he has liver cancer, not AIDS, and that he is not homosexual, but only fools around with men.
It is the massive unapologetic denial, lies upon lies, to feed self-delusion and feed media attention with distortion and misdirection. Episode One sets up a compelling situation for the remainder of the series.
DATELINE: Clothes Make the Woman
Halston, Taylor, Minelli at Studio 54!
Fashion designer extraordinaire, Halston was part of a generation that self-immolated by 1990. Most of them were gone: trend-setting, pop culture icons: notably Halston (he only needed one name, like Liberace). A fascinating documentary aptly named Halstontells the tale.
The 1950s gave young talents like Halston and Warhol a youthful connection to fame, but it was by the 1960s they took charge of their lives. Halston was a gypsy of America, living in no true fixed abode. So, he was likely to be self-made.
He was ambitious and flamboyant, ready to take his energy and ideas into all kinds of creative realms. He was the pioneer who made Europe take note of American fashion, though he was later given rivals like Perry Ellis and Calvin Klein.
Halston tried to stay ahead of the curve, branching out into aesthetics like perfume with bottles as arty as popular. He melded movies and fashion together, finding that his association with people like Liza Minelli and Elizabeth Taylor were ways to grow socially and artfully.
It started to go wrong when he splurged into Studio 54 with Warhol, Capote, and the raft of disco dollies. It was, some said, the beginning of a dissolution.
The documentary never says much about his aging, but it’s there: clearly losing youth to something harder. He became as hard as his looks, or perhaps his looks took on his personality: moody, bossy, self-centered. It wasn’t pretty, when he started to be less pretty.
Others thought his greed was the deciding factor that led to his destruction: he sold out to J.C. Penney, going from class to mass appeal. It alienated his well-to-do friends and undermined his name. He actually sold his own name, and lost control of it.
The end featured more intrigue that Ancient Rome, as he was pushed out (literally locked out) of his own empire by locksmiths and Playtex bra people who bought his name. A few thought it was drugs that did him in, if not promiscuity.
It was the 1980s and the deadly virus that swept through art circles in theatre, fashion, music, especially in New York, took him too. Andy Warhol once said that he’d want Halston and Elizabeth Taylor as his chums because they were so nice.
This celebrity name-dropping documentary may stir memories in a generation grown old. Halston was loved by many people who felt he epitomized tragedy by the end.
DATELINE: Tom’s Time Runs Out
Mrs. Tom Brady.
|Reading Tom Brady’s tea leaves is pretty difficult, because he doesn’t drink tea!
Nevertheless, fans have requested that we look into the future of Tom Brady, as we have written several books on him and his general flakiness (See Tom Brady Swinging on a Deflategate, Amazon, paper and ebook).
It appears first that he has signed a large new contract extension with a raise that makes him the sixth highest paid player among NFL quarterbacks. Not bad for a GOAT.
Once again this year Brady gives the Kraft team more money to spend on other players or massages.
The big news is that he has put his house in Brookline, Massachusetts, up for sale for under $40 million buckeroos. Well, it is up and down. It appeared to be for sale, then it wasn’t. There’s no hurry as he intends to play for at least one more year in New England.
Patriot fans, who have come to think Brady may be a mere mortal after all, believe he may play just one more year and move to New York where he has bought a high-priced condo for his wife and children.
Like former teammate Gronk, Brady has loyalty to New England only as far as he can play as the team is concerned.
Gisele, one time model and actress, his wife, a billionaire in her own right, has other interests in the big city of the Big Apple .
These two are a Met gala power-couple with international ties who belong only to the money they have: no teams, no countries, no political groups .
Tom and his wife Gisele can do anything they want, and they will.
In the meantime, Tom has admitted that one of his great frustrations is that his second son doesn’t want to be an athlete like dear old dad. This young man is independent and wants to follow his own star, which may not be his father’s star.
All in all, the tea leaves say Tom, star of Tom v. Time, is headed for big changes in his ticking biological clock.
Ossurworld has written several books on Brady, including Tom Brady Swinging on a Deflategate. Available on amazon.com in print version or e-book for smartreaders.
DATELINE: American Experience’s Documentary
Pioneer Gay Fighters!
Was it ten years ago that American Experience produced its historical film, Stonewall Uprising, on the fortieth anniversary of the so-called gay riots in that gay mecca of the 60s, Greenwich Village?
This year some said five or six million marched in those streets for twelve hours of parading. Forty years ago, three drag queens walking down the street would constitute a riot.
Ten years ago some witnesses were aging, both as cops and gay patrons of one of those blue-collar, sleazy, unpleasant gay bars of the times. Yes, folks, those places were dubious if you had more professionalism and dignity.
Yet, it was those people who first stood up to undue harassment. The first 45 minutes of the PBS documentary recounts the hideous conditions of the 1960s when homosexuals were considered one step short of psychopathia.
Perhaps the interviews with “experts” trying to terrorize children that gay predators lurked on every street corner were the worst dregs of the era, yet these were the cornerstones of civilization. It is infuriating to see these people treat gay men and women with such cruelty. On the plus side, most of those creeps are now dead.
They were about to be shocked by the three days of rioting against a half-dozen belligerent cops who started a movement. They were barricaded in the bar in abject terror when thousands attacked in return.
The gay bars were the purview of the Mafia who ran them to rake profits off the benighted gay men and women on the outskirts of society. They gave gays a place to congregate but would soon lose their upper-hand to political awareness.
This documentary shows how the anti-war and civil rights movement simply transferred to gay rights overnight. Fifty years later, it is intriguing to see the roots of this powerhouse of politics. Millions of young marchers were not even born when the uprising started.
Those who still decry it may be better advised to watch out and watch this little film.
DATELINE: File Under “Help Wanted!”
Tom Hugs All Employees!
Yes, your golden opportunity is smiling down on you. Well, perhaps not so golden, as the pay is paltry, but TB12 in Patriot Place, Foxboro, is looking for a receptionist. In Tom’s bright world of euphemism, the job is Front Desk Associate.
You don’t need a pesky college degree (Tom barely finished with General Studies), but you do need all your teeth for smiling broadly no matter what happens. And, apparently, much stuff happens.
You will work for a “global company”, according to the description, but you do need to be an American citizen. Tom is a Republican, after all.
It’s a company with health issues, so you had better have super human strength to lift 50-pound bags of mail and answer it too. You should have a diligent work ethic—because you have to do it all part-time, including multi-tasking, fixing the computer, have a knowledge of health terms and bogus health issues, serve a diverse clientele that wants to meet Tom.
You need an iron ability to work with Giselle who probably doesn’t want Tom meeting any women. That likely includes any massage experts recommended by Robert Kraft.
Oh, yes, there are lots of interruptions at the front desk, according to the job description: like fending off crazed fans who want their money back. That’s probably why they’d like you to have a para-military or police background. Kung fu is not on the list of talents, but it may help.
TB12 is rapidly “evolving” as the ad states, because Tom is on the verge of retiring and may drop into the office more frequently. It also helps if you have an interest in transforming global health and botox treatments– and dealing with Julian Edelman and keeping Gronk out of Tom’s hair transplants.
Among the talents required: “Proven working experience” and “Exceptional verbal & written communication skills.” So, that GED will help after all.
If you want Tom’s autograph, it will only come on the paycheck.
P.S., YES, THIS IS A REAL JOB POSTED ONLINE!!!!
DATELINE: Them Bones, Them Bones!
Michelangelo Merisi went by the name of his hometown, Caravaggio, when he stormed the art world in the early 1600s. He was the James Dean/Charlie Sheen/O.J.Simpson of his age.
The Caravaggio Affair is an attempt to solve a 400-year-old mystery. They do not delve into his dubious sex life and appetite for young male models but do explain his use of prostitutes to serve as his saintly women.
Caravaggio was a literal back-stabber, and it didn’t sit when with the Viceroy of Naples or various Cardinals at the Vatican.
At the height of his fame, he was wanted for murder and had a bunch of bounty hunters coming after his head. Literally. If he wanted a pardon, he had to give all his paintings to a high-ranking and corrupt Vatican cardinal.
So, you find a half-dozen beheading of John the Baptist paintings among his masterpieces. The notion of being headless played on his mind. “Off with his head” was not an empty slogan.
Wherever he went, trouble followed. Until he disappeared from history. No one is quite sure if he were murdered, died from some septic illness and discarded in a pauper grave.
He may have also faked his death and took off for parts unknown. However, the scientist biographers in this little film disagree. They bring together history, genetics, archaeology, and geology to literally dig up the truth.
A cavern of bones under a church renders a handful to be tested for age (about 40), male, suffering from severe lead poison (all those paintings, about 1000 times the dose you’d expect from an average person).
Those conditions presented half a dozen candidates. And tests seemed to indicate which one was the painter. It seems he was growing increasingly mad as a hatter, likely from heavy metals. He was erratic, violent, and sick, growing worse.
Forty was not the start of life in 1610. If you reached it, you were not long for the world. So it was for Caravaggio who was attacked, likely caught an infection, and while waiting for a pardon in trade for a bunch of paintings, he collapsed and died.
It’s quite a research trip and fills up an hour with fascinating detail.