Celtics Choke Again.

DATELINE: Once More With Feeling

Boston Celtics used to be a subject we could write about with amusement. Not now.

Since the Great Bubble Experiment of the NBA where home court is a myth, you have the Celtics not playing home games on their notorious parquet floor. It used to give them a superstitious advantage.

Nowadays, home court is somewhere in Florida where alligators await being made in a sow’s ear. The Boston Celtics have fisticuffs in the locker room, and their vaunted stars (Kemba, Smart, Brown) are proving to be lesser lights.

Long live the Celtics. The team is dead for this year. There is one word you never hear in the Boston media: choke.

 We hear the strangulation gasps for air. We hear the air leaving the bubble.

The Celtics have epitomized the concept of choking under the pressures in big games during a series against the Miami Heat.

There is no other way to describe a team that is fighting amongst itself more than against the opposing team.

You have the great Kemba Walker not exactly performing well. Maybe there is a reason why he never played in playoffs all these years. Now in the playoffs, he is choking. He does not know how to play big games, with no experience.

Marcus Smart is dumb, and his insanity now is the noose choking the team. Jaylen Brown is playing chopsticks on his piano most of the game.

Jayson Tatum, Bird in waiting, is now proving that he knows not what a dagger to the heart means.

Bird did.

So, we have a team in disarray, in stress, playing poorly when they need to be their best. Something’s gotta give, folks.

Wait till next year may mean more than the Curse of Kyrie Irving.

Nobody gives squat about the Celtics anymore.

 

 

 

 

Fatima Revisited

DATELINE: New Movie Story

 Witnesses.

With another miracle at Fatima movie now released with a devout perspective for the religious followers, there seems to be a danger of facing a buzzsaw when you take on the topic with any skepticism. Fatima again tells the story of three children who experienced some kind of paranormal visitation from a beautiful lady in the sky during World War I.

We never flinch when hacksaws come at us. A few years ago, another documentary, was produced by the multi-million-dollar organization behind the Fatima story for 50 years, came up with a semi-doc something called A Message of Hope.  It wants to be an antidote to the recent Ancient Alien view that Fatima was another UFO encounter.

The original story of three children seeing the Virgin Mary in Portugal in the middle of World War I has been never fully told. Most people think a big crowd one day saw something in the sky. It was much, much more. The sightings were regular.

Actually, the children had visions for over a year: including a bunch with a male angel who gave them a bloody host literally to eat and drink the blood of Christ.

You might dismiss this as peasant-level superstition in farm country of a backward nation. Yet, there is something absolutely weird about a beautiful woman telling coming down from the sky and telling these kids that two of them will die soon and that they will face great suffering. Today we might think this is a kind of child abuse. It is creepy at the least.

It does not come across as kindly. And, then the political forces put them into jail (not Trump cages) and threatened to boil them in oil if they did not recant. They remained firm in their testimony.

One secret the lady told them and kept by the Vatican in espionage hiding for decades was that a pope would be assassinated. Well, it did almost happen decades later to John Paul II.

Some years later, the entire experience was hijacked by the Joe McCarthy anti-communist groups who created a Blue Army to counter the Red Army. The group led by an American of dubious character made millions off the miracle. They have their own 747 jet and huge monuments. The faithful gave them plenty of loot. Their PR is among the slickest in the world.

If anything, the anti-commie segment moved the HQ to the US instead of backward Portugal. This documentary is filled with piety and well-meaning religious people who argue that it is true and a miracle. It’s easier to believe it was space aliens.

The film plays to the believers of religion, though you may have a hard time telling them apart from a visit with Erich van Daniken. The new movie corroborates the Blue Army version. We expect to be under attack for questioning this topic.

Oh, My Gog! Not to Mention Magog!

DATELINE: Forgotten Classic? 

 Infamous Gog and Herbert Marshall.

Back in the early 1950s, one of the way-ahead-of-its-time movies was something called Gog (out of your Bible as a nasty evil force). The movie turned Gog into a “brain machine,” because no one dared to call it a computer back then.

Gog and Magog are robots with independent thinking skills. The computers must deal with out of control nuclear power where no man can go. Without much overt horror, this thinking man’s vision of the future went down the tubes with nary a fly-by.

More than a decade before Kubrick unleashed the HAL computer as villain on A Space Odyssey,Ivan Tors of Flipper fame turned his vision loose in a desert military base, top secret, a few years before the government created Area 51.

No wonder this movie in 3-D was a bomb. No one in the days of flying saucer mania believed in this stuff really would take over TV in the 21stcentury. The movie plot was years ahead of crypto-zoology and Artificial Intelligence with evil intent.

The movie starred Richard Egan, or is that Richard Carlson? You know any good sci-fi/horror effort in those years had to star one of them.

And, as the distinguished scientist, you had Herbert Marshall heading down the road that Vincent Price would later own.  This is a few years before Marshall had a big hit with an original shocker, The Fly. Marshall is also long-past the razor’s edge here.

Apart from the high-tech predictions, you have a great many silly low-tech, insipid notions, like a windshield wiper on the glass of a lab window—and steam radiation heat out of pipes.

Gog was a big disappointment to the drive-in audiences of the age, and its lost color and 3-D view on TV never helped it achieve any kind of post-release respect.

 

 

Social Skills Bite the Dust

DATELINE: Curmudgeon’s Perspective

Role Model: Heidi’s Grandfather

Leave it to the New York Times to write up a report that one hideous side-effect of the coronavirus is that social skills are biting the dust.

Yes, apparently people are not using their social skills and are losing the edge in dealing with other people in a variety of ways. They are cranky, depressed, short-tempered, and in fact are becoming Heidi’s grandfather, that old isolated reprobate who hated kids. The new paranoia mistrusts everyone.

As an old curmudgeon who has been bilious for years, this is amusing to no end.

Meeting new people has never been high on this writer’s list, but apparently many in society thrive on socializing. We can offer a few tidbits of advice to those who are snappy at stay-at-home children and grandparents: try to use good manners.

It’s a concept in short supply in the new century and has been endangered for decades. Intolerant, impatient, people have shrugged off etiquette in the 21stcentury like toilet paper they cannot find in proper quantities.

Your good manners may be more important than toilet paper or hand sanitizer.

According to expert psychologists, this is a biological problem because the species is a social animal. We think that rats trapped on Antarctica might also turn on each other. Psychologists have learned these lessons from studying hermits, like this author, and from isolated people in various self-imposed quarantine.

The world had better learn how to deal with fewer social skills if you plan to fly to Mars and live in an enclosed environment with a few colleagues for years on end.

We may, in fact, be preparing for the next stage of anti-civilization: when we are schizoid, alone with our thoughts, and must come to grips with philosophy concepts you avoided in college classes and Phil 101.

 

 

 

 Fright Night Revisited

DATELINE:  Vampire Classic from ’80s

Sarandon & Jeffreys

Has it really been 35 years since Fright Night rejuvenated modern vampires?

It was Tom Holland who wrote and directed it, looking like a B-movie for TV show of the week, apart from the nudity now and then. By today’s cable movie standards, this is rough, however still holds up as entertainment with a modern twist.

Two points of amusement remain unflappable: Roddy MacDowell and Stephen Jeffreys. They survive in name for sheer wacky performances. MacDowell plays an aging movie star who used to play vampire hunters in his heyday, and Jeffreys plays a teenage Jack Nicholson on uppers. He later reneged Hollywood to do gay adult films for a while, though that is now denied with a half-baked story that it was his evil twin brother.

The vampire is demure and stately Chris Sarandon, looking like he wandered into the wrong California suburb. Yes, the vampire has taken a house in a Leave It to Beaverpart of town where you can peer into the next-door windows. It seems like he’s asking for teenage trouble.

Stephen Jeffreys steals the big scenes: he becomes clearly the gay victim of Sarandon’s vampire. His two delicious scenes are with Roddy as they battle.

For MacDowell with his hair fake-frosted, this was a last grand role, and he makes the most of it. Director Holland was lucky to have the veteran star in his movie.

There is no scrimping on special effects at the finish, and you have a sunny California vampire tale.

The film was originally set to star Vincent Price, not McDowall, and Anthony Michael Hall, not Jeffreys. And, we still haven’t figured out what Sarandon’s boyfriend is supposed to be.

In the whatever happened mode, William Ragsdale is the star juvenile lead. He’s cookie-cutter good enough. Yet, he is thrown up against two scene-stealing actors who rob him of the movie. The film is considered a classic nowadays.

On the Offence with Sean Connery

 DATELINE: Endeavour Predecessor!

Back in 1972, Sean Connery did not want to play James Bond: to arrange for him to do another film on 007 romp, Connery insisted he be allowed to play a disturbed police detective based on a dark and depressing play called The Offence.

The movie showed off Connery as a powerful actor, but was a box-office fizzle. Audiences were not ready to see James Bond in a dubious psychologically damaged role. The film remains topical and fascinating: it deals with a police sergeant detective in London who cracks up while investigating another hideous child molester case (shades of Jeffrey Epstein).

With its disturbing lead character finally at wit’s end, his response is police brutality and murder that is ripped out of the headlines of 2020 without the racial angle. It’s directed by Sydney Lumet, no less.

The film mirrors Endeavour, the PBS series, set at the same time of early 1970s, now dealing with police like Fred Thursday at the end of their rope, having to face brutality and violence day-after-day. Endeavouris accurate for the feeling and style of police work in those days.

One may have sympathy for these benighted knights of crime, but they have lost the ability to make good decisions.

Trevor Howard shows up to match Connery in an interrogation scene as the chief constable of Scotland Yard. Their acting in tandem is remarkable, but the film is depressing and unpleasant as it details the reasons why the police sergeant kills a child molester while he is in police custody.

If this is to be recommended for its relevance, it is to be watched with a barf bag handy. You will likely be unhappy to see Connery’s license to kill, in this role, is not for espionage fun. This is a dark, stark, cruel movie.

 

 

Doubles and Fakers on UnXplained

 DATELINE:  Local Connection!

 Imposter, Not Tony Curtis.

Here is another fascinating subject, not usually covered in any depth by the spate of paranormal, mystery investigators. These are stories about near criminal impersonation.

The UnXplained came across with another winning episode.

If the show were worth its weight in truth, it had to deal with the most famous impostor and faker in my resident town:  yes, Ferdinand Demara stayed here a while in the 1950s, pretending to be a elementary school teacher with fake credentials. A neighbor was actually in his class that year—and she laughed he was no Tony Curtis (the movie star who played Demara in The Great Impostor).

This faker and poseurpretended to be a Canadian doctor and performed surgery during the Korean War. Yes, he operated on suffering wounded soldiers!  Caught, he was still deemed a hero for saving them. He went on to act out his fantasies as a Trappist monk, a lawyer, a college professor, and other stolen identities.

Demara’s life was always pretending, but did not much evil other than deception. He died a fat faker of 350 pounds, not pretending to be a health nut.

However, subsequent figures that Shatner’s show uncovered were increasingly sociopathic and homicidal. A French fake in the 1990s took over Hollywood as an investor and party-thrower, friend to stars. He was stealing their money and allegedly wanted to produce movies. He claimed to be Sophia Loren’s son.

Then, there was Clark Rockefeller, a German low-brow who went by several identities—and he was no Rockefeller. He was, it seems, a murderer with a yard with at least one victim—and another still missing.

These were the worst: the women were a brain damaged Polish peasant who convinced herself she was Czarina Anastasia. They made movies and plays about her fakery. And, given a short shrift was Billy Tipton, famous jazz pianist, who was found to be a woman upon his death.

This was another fascinating show, featuring rare clips, interesting insights, and the underplayed narration of William Shatner who knows something about playing roles.

Trump on Child Molester Again!

DATELINE: Defending the Indefensible? 

 Birdbrains of a Feather?

When Trump believes your crime is fake, you are golden.

Some people are dumb as rocks and never learn a thing about their bad behavior. Donald Trump is a twilight zone case in point. He has doubled-down on his defense of Ghislaine Maxwell, crony and accomplice of Jeffrey Epstein.

Trump has pulled out all the stops this time, giving her the shield of his own regular defenses against crimes and misdemeanors:  it’s a hoax of the fake news media.

Talking to an Axios reporter one-on-one, Trump went beyond his usual good wishes for criminals in jail—and questioned the charges (convicted in Epstein’s case takes away the ‘alleged’ term).

Trump has always been vocabulary-challenged and never sees the subtle difference between conviction and accusation. It’s all part of the same smear to him.

When the reporter raised sex trafficking among the charges, Trump was quick to pull the trigger: “Well, first of all,” Trump said, “I don’t know that.” The reporter tried to speak:“She has. She’s been arrested for that.”

Trump “implied that his well-wishes for Maxwell are due to the suspicion surrounding Epstein’s death, and the fact that she now finds herself in a similar situation.”

Trump then went beyond the pale: he questioned the suicide of Jeffrey Epstein, wondering who might be responsible for his murder. Well, Mr. President, fool that you are, YOU SIR are in charge of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It happened on YOUR watch during YOUR ADMINISTRATION.

Then came more horrific verbiage by the Commander in Chief of Idiots:  “Her friend, or boyfriend, was either killed or committed suicide in jail. She’s now in jail,” Trump said. “Yeah, I wish her well. I’d wish you well. I’d wish a lot of people well. Good luck. Let them prove somebody was guilty.”

If you support statuatory rape, then Trump is your man. He went on to the shock of sex crime victims everywhere:  “…such a big deal,” Trump continued. “But all it is, is her boyfriend died. He died in jail. Was he killed? Was it suicide? I do. I wish her well.”

He has a hard time saying the name, “Epstein.”

Here is your moral, silent majority: your president on sex crime, apparently nothing to punish. After all, Trump’s AG, William Barr, is son of one of Jeffrey Epstein’s friends and enablers, and one of Trump’s former cabinet members let Epstein serve a dormitory sentence for rape (let out during the daytime).

Yes, folks, vote for child molesting under the Trump umbrella. He likely will pardon Ghislaine if she isn’t murdered by one of his minions.

UFOs VERSUS Nukes on Unidentified

DATELINE: Nuclear Clearance

 Nowhere in particular.

 Malmstrom AFB in Nowehresville.

The series that consults only military sources, retired witnesses to UFOs, has a remarkable credibility. As hosted by two former government officials, you have a rudimentary sign of “official” interest.

Trying to engage senators and other elected people still seems almost impossible. They go to Washington, D.C., and suggest that high ups are not interested (Trump dismisses UFOs in one short comment).

They also consult with former Sen. Harry Reid, now ill with cancer, but a spearhead of investigation with AATIP a decade ago.

What we have here is” UFOs and Nukes”. But, the show is alarmist by saying it is UFOs versus Nukes. Is there a spy operation? A monitoring by some unknown force? The notion of UFOs seems fairly certain: ridicule aside, they are unknown flying objects. That does not mean little green men.

However, as one military expert said: they don’t obey the laws of physics, so you cannot expect them to follow the laws of politics.

There seems to be more danger from their ability to observe secret missile bases like Malmstrom in Montana. There, UFOs apparently shut down missile silos. If they can shut down your nuclear missile system, there is a problem, Houston.

And, they are also seen often around nuclear power plants on the Canadian border near Maine.

The show worries about all this, fearing something ominous. And, they ask, rather frightfully, who will be held accountable for botching this?

With more and more former military men willing to go public, this series becomes more important in the quest to determine what is going on in the universe, or right here in the U.S.

Trump’s New Doctor Expert

DATELINE: Demons & Dr. Stella

Dr. Stella Immanuel.

Before you can say that it proves he isn’t misogynist, you should look more deeply at the female pediatrician that holds a  license for medicine—and is now the expert Trump most trusts.

It seems that Dr. Stella Immanuel is going along with the hare-brained ideas of Trump. That’s enough for him. You know, he likes women if they are insane or child molesters. Just ask Ghislaine Maxwell, buddy and crony of Jeffrey Epstein.

When pressed at a news conference about her claims that there is a secret cure for COVID-19 and not to wear masks, Trump said he knew nothing about her personally, but she is an important voice.

He then walked away from the media, refusing to answer any more questions. It sounded a great deal like his support for Ghislaine, a woman he met hundreds of times, but of whom he knew nothing about her crimes.

In case you missed it, Dr. Immanuel has been re-tweeted by the Tweeter Bird in Chief without much concern for her other medical ideas. That’s demon sperm you must avoid. The incubus is among us.

Quackery is not merely consigned to the White House. Dr. Immanuel believes that warts are caused by dreams of having sex with the devil or demons.

More to the point, Trump’s expert on cornonavirus thinks that space aliens are directly responsible for many of the ills that are besetting humans. All this from a man who appeared on Ancient Aliens and Unidentified to dismiss the idea of UFOs invading our world.

There appears to be a disconnect in Trump’s world. Well, there is a disconnect in Trump’s brain. So, we should not be surprised that the stable genius is having stability problems.

Next time you hear a voice crying out, “Stella! Stella!,” it will not be Marlon Brando in Streetcar Named Desire, but a president in an Election named Catastrophe.

 

 

Maugham: Rain in the Face

DATELINE: Somerset

Willie Maugham was one of the most successful of writers in the 20thcentury. He wrote one short story, “Rain,” that made him over one million dollars in the 1920s. You could say he was the rich man’s Truman Capote.

A short documentary gathers together some rare photos and film clips of his high-living. It’s called Revealing Mr. Maugham. But it is mostly apologetic for his transgressions and motive to write for money.

Maugham suffered from a stammer that made him less media attractive—but like Capote, he wrote about the gossip he heard, transforming the mud in novels. He was no great writer, like many contemporaries (James Joyce, Virginia Woolf or even Noel Coward) but he made big bucks and commanded movie versions (The Razor’s Edge).

Being secretly gay, he never played out or up his personality like Capote. Yet, he was notorious in his world travels to seek gay pleasure spots around the world. His “secretary” was actually his lover and procurer.

Maugham learned about human nature at medical school where he studied with Dr. Bell, the model for Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. And, his understanding of sexuality was scientific and ahead of its time.

He was scarred by his brother Harry’s suicide over a homosexual scandal—and it may have sent Maugham into the closet for the rest of his life.

His companion Gerald Haxton helped him create Cap Ferrat, the idyllic “Fairyland,” that Edna St. Vincent Millay declared one visit. Her insight is not in the film. Nor does the film tell us of the monkey gland injections to maintain his masculine vigor in old age to host boys, boys, boys.

The documentary tries hard to give Maugham literary chops, but he was interested only in fame and money, whether as a playwright or as a story writer. Yes, he wrote spy stories before LeCarre and Greene, and he was an actual spy for the British government.

Yet, he became in senility a rather unpleasant, vindictive and manipulated old fool of his new “secretary,” who managed to steal everything through poisoning Maugham’s old mind.

The documentary shows how one can outlive his own standards.

Trump Wins Pedophile Voters

DATELINE: Well wishes for child molester!

 Trump & Dear Friend.

If he’s not encouraging assassins to shoot Obama appointees to the judiciary, President Donald Trump is sending his best wishes to accused pedophile procurers. His old friend Ghislaine is rotting in jail for procuring hundreds of girls for a sex ring with Jeffrey Epstein.

Yes, you heard him on national TV as he offered jailed Jeffrey Epstein co-conspirator his fondest (frankly) wishes for a bright future. You may wonder why. But Trump told us that too: he knew “them” in Palm Beach. They all lived there in cozy proximity.

Trump admitted he met “them” many times. So much for Clinton meeting them four times. Them, in case you are curious, usually refers to a couple or a married couple. Whatever Trump knows about their private lives, he knows Epstein and Ghislaine were a team.

He professed to know nothing about the pedophilia case involving hundreds of teenage girls. Yet, his Secretary of Labor was the prosecutor who let Epstein off the hook in Florida and was later rewarded by Trump with an appointment in the Cabinet.

When Azar resigned, he did so because of Jeffrey Epstein and mentioned it at a press conference with Trump standing next to him. Apparently, your POTUS has memory or mental acuity troubles.

A few fake investigative journalists like Mother Jonessaw nothing odd about this. We beg to differ (of course).

What dog whistle tune is he sending to Ghislaine Maxwell?  She is about to blow the whistle on Prince Andrew (Trump is like Sgt. Schultz, he knows nothing), and President Clinton. The third member of the jeopardized triangle is Trump.

He is sending best wishes to let Ghislaine know that a commutation is in the works if she keeps his name out of the shenanigans and felonies.

Oh, please, Trump has already commuted one felon (Roger Stone) and Ghislaine would sit pretty if she kept her mouth shut about certain famous, powerful people.

So, best wishes to child molesters from Trump. He needs their votes in the upcoming election. From Trump’s lips to every 14-year old victim.

 

 

 

Another Trump Supporter & Assassin!

DATELINE: Den Hollander

In case you missed it, another killer (Roy Den Hollander) is 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.

How many of these killers in the past two years seem to be working under the aegis of Preisdent Trump’s agenda. This anti-feminist shooter (the polite way of avoiding to say he was for Trump’s agenda) probably has a MAGA hat somewhere in his closet, but police won’ discuss his motives.

He killed himself, which may be the best solution for failed Trump fanatics. Usually they try to kill themselves by refusing to wear a face mask and trying to spread the corona virus.

You can expect Trump apologists will say he is not responsible for deranged followers. Yet, he sends storm troopers into Portland, Oregon, and incites racist rhetoric for Confederate causes. Well, that is hardly the work of independent followers. They are responding to the dog whistle, as apologists like to say.

How many more killers will attempt to subvert the Constitution, undercut the judiciary, and stop the next presidential election? You can bet your bottom dollar more is coming.

Oh, yes, the judge target, Salas, was also involved in Trump’s bank case (Deutsche Bank) where she found connections to the Jeffrey Epstein money laundering situation. They are all related, folks.

 

 

 

Junk Food Impresario

 DATELINE: President Goya, Not Artistic

 

When Donald Trump poses with junk food, you know in your heart he’s right of heart disease. Now, the burger king of hamburglars is posing with Goya beans.

Trump never heard of Goya the artiste, but he knows his hot sauce. The picture of a United States president with cans aligned is enough to put you off your feed.

You know he’s never eaten that stuff: too healthy.

The man with thumbs up on his empty Oval Office desk is tanking in the polls, but not in the hearts of taco lovers.

A few purists of integrity might claim that the POTUS has cheapened his job to that of a TV huckster. Well, he already consults with Chuck Woolery of game show fame for advice on science and medicine.

Trump only plays a president on TV. In real life, he is an escaped inmate from some madhouse of the 18thcentury. This is a man who knows haute cuisinefrom the back of his hand where he usually spills the ketchup. Gourmands of the world have a new pinup boy, the man who loves a can opener only as a last resort. He prefers to unwrap his lunch from cheap paper.

We seldom see Trump smile except when he thinks he is making a profit. The smile on the face of this man is so fake that it ought to become the yardstick for fake news.

If hunger pains are consuming you, your president is now a man strictly from hunger for supporters who refuse to remain distant (and how we wish they’d be distant) and only wear masks when they are about to steal your election and right to vote.

If Goya foods survive this endorsement, they will be using Nazi insignias on the next K-ration can.

If Trump plugging nachos is your idea of humor, you have been outside the box with Alexander Pope far too long.  Generic fish and chips would have been adequate to put us off our feed.

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.