Hunting for Zodiac Killer: History (s1) for Openers

DATELINE: Armchair Detectives

 zodiac killer Purported Zodiac Killer

Whether you’re hunting for Hitler or cursing Oak Island, you know you must have clicked onto the streaming History channel.

Their first season of Hunt for the Zodiac Killer delivers exactly what you come to expect from the cable TV’s pop history purveyors. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if you like your reality stars always self-congratulating each other for their brilliant detective skills.

If The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer sounds like one of those fake news documentaries, you probably would be right. Yet, it is a cold case and being insoluable should not mean it is not ripe for re-examination.

Fifty years after the legendary1960s serial murderer unofficially killed 37 innocent people and left a calling card of cryptological taunts with a unbreakable code, the network has assembled a reality show with a formula that can’t miss entertaining fans of psycho monsters running amok.

These researchers give Zodiac his due—and find even more victims to offer History Channel and history buffs.

When you put two retired homicide detectives in the field doing legwork like Sam spade and Philip Marlowe, then match them with a couple of cryptographical scientists and nerds with computers, you stir deliberately.

You have suddenly a fascinating show.

The gum shoes and the nerds play ping-pong with the clues. We keep telling ourselves that a supercomputer that has been programmed to think and act like a serial killer is not a good idea.

We keep wondering when the computer will turn into the Forbin Project supercomputer  or HAL from 2001. Then again, the Zodiac maniac seems even brighter than Carmel, the computerized serial killer finder.

Before you know it, you may be hooked on the revelations. Several police departments refused to cooperate, at their own peril. They look like impediments to the crime solving.

By turning the zodiac killer into a mad genius, the show has a winning formula – and a frightening one.

 

Advertisements

To Goggle or Not to Goggle, Jaylen Brown!

DATELINE:  Jaylen’s Wear Daily Reports

 clark kent

Jaylen Brown’s eyes don’t have it. Goggles don’t make his brown eyes blue. Goggles have given him a headache and a black eye in the fashion world.

Brown’s fashionplate goggles have bitten the dust in Jaylen’s locker. We are back to contact lenses, limited to two to three hours per day. Jaylen has decided those hours are game time.

Apparently the intellectual look is not the best way to see eye to eye with the basketball. The Brown Green Lantern has tried three options now, and finds he prefers contact lenses, no matter how encrusted his eyelids may become after inflammation.

We first recommended cleaning the lenses regularly, or perhaps wearing a new, fresh pair of eyeballs. That can only occur after the infection heals.

Jaylen, a 21 year old smarty pants, is worried about the windows to his soul. If you look at those those big brown panes, you may see a young man in pains.

At first he claimed the goggles were constrictive, or perhaps he simply was intolerant about giving them a chance. Then he had a second pair made, that were too tight around his egghead. Loose straps mean more traps.

He ripped off the goggles and played with bad eyesight for most of his worst game of the season. It seems he could not see much—his vision being a big blur without corrective lenses.

Yes, we recommend playing with corrected vision, Jaylen. He barely could see the hoop the other day when he threw out all lens assistance.

Old habits die hard, and contact lenses are here to stay. If Jaylen cannot accept goggles, we won’t judge him too harshly. Even the Celtics Yoda, Tommy Heinsohn, said that Jaylen Brown played better without goggles.

The Green Lantern of Brown has bats in his belfry and a pointed noggin when it comes to the notions counter of goggles-to-wear. He has batted his big beautiful eyes once too often.

Fashion and taste are all important in basketball, if you ask the young man who likes to wear short shorts against the grain of fellow players.  Jaylen has so far resisted the urge to ask the advice of Jayson Tatum, his nemesis.

Open Season on Trump

DATELINE: A Cartoon President

 

bugs & daffy

On those old Warner Bros. cartoons, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck can hide with alacrity from Elmer Fudd once hunting season was open. They always led the old fool on a merry chase.

Trump is about one cut below Wile E. Coyote.

With the defeat of Roy Moore, Neanderthal candidate for US Senate, we now have a call to hounds.  Hunting season is open now on the biggest game, the most dangerous game–and the fox in question is hiding in the White House.

Sound the trumpets. Mount the steeds. They’re off.

Today Open Season has begun on another cartoon character named Donald Trump. Yes, they are going to start to come after him ruthlessly. The ignominious defeat of Judge Roy Beanbag Moore, notable child molester and poster boy for chasing little girls, is the sign post and clarion call to remove Trump from office.

If Trump has any awareness, he knows that his Exit is up ahead on the Twilight Zone highway.

The cartoon will begin with calls for Trump to resign. It will begin with Republicans challenging him with no fear. It will continue with others in line after the benighted moron of Rex Tillerson. It will continue with women marching to dump Trump.

The clock is tolling—and it is tolling for you, Mr. Trump.

We suspect President Trump is no Bugs Bunny (not quick enough mentally or physically).  He will have a hard time hiding in and the hunters will soon close in by following the trail of fast food cartons for McD Fries.

Trump’s medical examination next month, with its promised release of every detail, will provide a grand opening for the president to resign– owing to health issues.  No one will say openly that it’s mental health at issue, but they don’t call him Daffy Duck & Dodge Trump for nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

Say It Ain’t So, Gronk!

DATELINE: Rematch With the Pats & Bills Coming Soon!

say it ain't so

The good-natured bon vivant Gronk has transformed suddenly from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde.

Beloved by children, and deemed safe for children, he has now taken on the mantle of being dangerous and locked away from those supporters. He may find himself the object of parental controls on the cable remote.

On top of all this, he may lose $2 million in bonus payments under his Patriot contract.

Whether coffee chain, Drunken Dognuts will keep him as a spokesperson may be a bigger issue now on the breakfast table and a test of Gronk’s viability and survivability.

We do not believe he has reached the Kevin Spacey level where he will be CGI removed from future Patriot games, but Belichick may give him more distance in the off-season.

Gronk’s new sudden unpopularity may win him an endorsement from President Trump, a man who likes crypto-Nazis who go against the grain. He has now membership in the ICE-colored storm troopers of Trump.

In an age of racially charged tension, Gronk has gone from the great white hope to a man with a black hearted soul. He has become another white man assaulting a black man. He goes to the top of the Most Wanted List by Black Lives Matter with one pile driving splash.

Gronk has always had carte blanche from the Patriots, and they like to paint themselves as the victims of every scandal.

Like his best friend and teammate Tom Brady, Gronk is challenging the legal determination. Unlike his friend Brady, Gronk has already and quickly admitted his guilt.

Confession maybe good for the soul, but it may not help with followers on Twitter, Facebook, and other childish social media.

Gronk has always been perceived as a big dumb lout, but fun and likable. He has now crossed for thin red line in a year in which football fans are dropping like flies over trivia.

Like the NFL version of Scrooge, Gronk has given a concussion to another player during the season of giving. He’s liable to find himself the recipient of many unhappy returns.

 

George C. Scott as Scrooge

DATELINE: Holly Not in His Heart

scrooge

Each Christmas season we are inundated with a variety of the myriad movie versions of the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol.

Each season we are invariably asked for our recommended choice for viewing. But, we must defer: our taste in Scrooge performance is sympathetic to the eternal curmudgeon that dwells in every movie critic.

Since we live in a haunted house where ghosts stay with us every day, not merely on holidays, we are less intimidated than most by spirits.

With that in mind, we must offer the best version of Ebenezer Scrooge was by the man who brought General Patton to life:  notable contrarian George C. Scott.

His miserly Scrooge seems unrepentant. He is some fearsome in his role that he never defers to the ghosts, but dares them to change him. In that, they barely succeed.

If you like your Scrooge undiluted, George C. Scott gives you a dose for the ages. The unremitting mood of the Dickens London in this movie is dank and unpleasant—and even when Scrooge tends to give quarter, he seems to be mindful of the world he lives in. Scrooge is only slightly moved by pathetic Tiny Tim.

It is the best Scrooge performance ever.

What you see is what you get: there is no fancy makeup on Scrooge, as the only American accent in the cast. Even that is perfect to show a man out of touch with his time and place.

The film remains faithful, almost in every detail, merely cutting away some plot points, though sticking to the original dialogue.

Made in 1984, this Carol is often lost in the Hollywood or Disney extravaganzas. But, we would put our miserly money on this version as the one to scare the holiday spirits out of your classically, mis-remembered moments from the original novella.  It’s a treat, and not a goose or turkey production.

Ray Allen: Gone Fishing for Compliments

DATELINE: Mysterious World of Cat Fishing

on the DL

If you haven’t heard of cat-fishing, you are out of touch with today’s Internet.

Former Boston Celtic Ray Allen is giving us a crash course in something to do with scams, sexual harassment, and online game players.

He is now counter-suing a young man who pretended to be a woman (actually several women) and lured Mr. Allen into online relationships.

It appears there is more than meets the eye to your online pickup lines.

Allen allegedly started stalking his tweeter. Well, how can you stalk a man who pretends to be a woman without finding out that the stalk is off-kilter?

In the world of retired sports stars with time on their hands, you discover that it was a two-way stalking. The young deceiver may have had incriminating evidence and was a threat to reveal it to the family of Mr. Allen.

This gives new meaning to the term “on the down-low.”  Yes, sports fans, in the world of sexual stalking, being on the DL is not always the disabled list.

We might wonder if former movie star (He Got Game) and 3-point champ Allen was light in his sneakers when he took all those jump shots.

We recall vividly his inexplicable feud with Rajon Rondo when they were on their championship NBA treadmill nearly a decade ago.

All the Celtics teammates blackballed Mr. Allen when he jumped ship for an NBA ring on another team. Perhaps teammates already were separating themselves from the DL list.

So, Ray’s best defense is now that he was cat-fished, the colorful term to describe a sexual peccadillo.

 

Mile High Has Enough Air for Patriots

 

DATELINE:  Like Peaches & Herb, Brady & Bennett Sing

Peaches & Herb

What used to give the Patriots the bends is now like air from a deflated football.

Denver used to send chills down the spine of their quarterback; now Tom Brady seems as home in the stadium as Peyton Manning where noise in the clouds hinders most.

With a convincing victory, it’s on to Mexico City where the air is half a mile thinner at 7000 feet. Thank you, Roger Goodell, for such a schedule. You deserve $50million per year and a private jet for life.

Now see if Jerry Jones has any intention of giving you anything more than the air out of a Tom Brady football.

The Pats seemed like their old selves in both defense and offense.

In terms of offense, despite the curse of the broken mirror, the more things change, the more it seems like last season. Why, bless our pointed heads, fans, but there on the field was Martellus Bennett, the original black unicorn.

Though facing surgery in Frost Bite Falls with the Packers and embroiled in legal issues, he was able to catch several Brady passes for great yardage, giving Gronk all he wanted for Christmas.

Von Miller, vaunted Denver defender, might exchange Instagram challenges with Tom Brady, as they did this week, but when push comes to shove, millennial photos on social media are not enough to sack Brady.

In terms of the dangerous seat next to Brady on the bench, vacant often this season since the disappearance of Julian Edelman, like the kidnapping of a Getty grandson, it found a new occupant.

Fearless of curses, and familiar as an old shoe, Brian Hoyer thought nothing of sitting next to Brady while the Denver offense sputtered on the field with their former great Manning replacement having returned to no avail and little consequence.

When it comes to homecoming reunions, no one does it better than the Patriots and Marty Bennett.

On to the deflated atmosphere of earthquaking Mexico City.

 

 

 

Fake News in Sports & Politics Explained

DATELINE: New Criticism in Old Bottles

candidates2 A Couple of Old Fakers

President Donald Trump and his best bosom buddy Head Coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots have something in common. They both despise fake news and see it everywhere they look in the media. And, each one wonders where the stories come from.

Let us explain.

In the old days before integrity in sports and politics waned, speculators were limited to the stock market and the racetrack. Today speculators are in blogs and in the national news media.

It’s a cottage industry to second-guess through analysis.  It’s also an old trick of literary analysis, thanks to our mentor and creator of the New Criticism, I.A. Richards, who wrote the ever-clever book, How to Read a Page. You look for repetitive motifs in a storyline.

That’s where you make logical deductions. That is not news, but it does provide insight.

Most of us no longer do the I.A. Richards analysis of literature because no one reads books. Richards used to be a well-respected literary Analyst.

However, these talents we learned from our PhD program years ago serve us quite well in both sports and in politics.

So, Trump and Belichick have to forgive us for taking their words and counting up references to draw a conclusion. It’s a time-tested insight. It’s better than reading Tarot cards and more accurate than trying to define brain waves, especially if the subject is brain-dead. That’s speculative analysis based on Donald Trump’s remarks.

For our part, we plan to continue to do our best analysis through fake news every chance we can to irritate people in sports and politics, which have become incestuous sides of the same coin. In Bill We Trust, kneeling or not.

 

35% of Americans: What a Fox News Poll Never Told Us!

 DATELINE:  When 35% is a Majority 

According to Foxy News, 35% of viewers know their bastion of fair and balanced news is fake most of the time.

“Oh, let’s call a spade a spade,” is the motto of 35% of Foxy Americans when it comes down to racial epithets.

35% of Americans seem to think nuclear obliteration is a viable option.

35% of Americans agree that they learned nothing in school and don’t believe their teachers knew much anyhow.

35% of Americans think experts are overrated.

35% of Americans believe anything they read on the Internet.

35% of Americans think hurricanes are God’s punishment for opposing Donald Trump.

35% of Americans want to have another Civil War with East and West Coast against the Middle to have better balance.

35% of Americans think the US Constitution sank during the War of 1812—and it just doesn’t hold up in the 21st century court system.

35% of Americans think satire is evil.

35% of Americans believe Donald Trump is as sane as they are.

35% of Americans, more or less, believe rational behavior is not normal.

Around 35% of Americans believe “white supremacist” is a kind of Cool Whip topping.

35% of Americans think the word “immigration” means birds fly south for the winter because of global warming.

35% of Americans believe “lethal injection” is covered under pre-existing conditions in Obamacare.

35% of Americans think black flies matter during the summer when you go camping.

35% of Americans believe sexual harassment is as American as apple pie and baseball.

35% of Americans firmly believe “morons” should have unlimited access to the Oval Office.

35% of Americans believe the President has the right to shoot people in the street, regardless of national origin or race, but mostly because of national origin and race.

35% of Americans believe you can kneel during the National Anthem while in church.

35% of your fellow citizens believe shutting off TV news is the only way to deal with fake news.

35% of Americans think missppelling and ‘grammer misstakes are covered, under freedom of speech:

35% of Americans think polls are polarizing and should be banned from media reports.

The preceding blog is often called satire, but is usually misunderstood by readers who believe 35% of smartphones know too much.

Making of a Shower Scene: 78/52

DATELINE:  Psycho Freshly Showered

78:52

A documentary about one of the most influential films of the 20th century may be simple and surprising. After all, how much can you say about about 2 minutes of a shower scene in Psycho? There were 78 set ups and 52 cuts, making for the title.

The title numbers refer to the numbers Alfred Hitchcock needed to create the horror of a notorious film murder.

You will be definitely surprised at what you learn here. Out of the entire movie, the impact can be boiled down to Hitchcock’s brilliant construction of this scene that brought a culture to a turning point, created a slasher genre, and has become endemic to horror and fate.

The film gathers together a group of interested parties who seem to be at some seedy hotel, their comments filmed in black and white, appropriately enough.

Oh, there are enough clips of Hitchcock speaking for himself: but the film also finds the body double of Janet Leigh, now an old lady, who for seven days, endured the shower scene’s filming. Marli Renfro also was a Playboy bunny cover girl.

Also gathered are various film editors, sound editors, and directors to comment on the script, storyboard, and constraints offered by Hitch.

The film also interviews Osgood Perkins, son of Anthony Perkins, and Jamie Leigh Curtis, daughter of Janet Leigh. As a bonus, there is a montage of the many satiric and homage film clips to the most infamous shower scene in movie history.

You will be impressed by the details that the Master of Suspense considered while making this sequence, down to the selection of the painting over the Peeping Tom hole made by Norman Bates to watch Marion Crane.

For those interested in history and art, this film is quintessential Hitchcock to be added to your knowledge and collection.

 

Be sure to read ebook Hitchcock Freshly Showered for a study of the complete oeuvre of Hitch. For smart readers on Amazon.

Thane of Cawdor Trump! Out, Out, Damned Spot!

DATELINE: Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Julius Trump?

With local officials resigning from their jobs after posting their racist views on Twitter, we think President Trump is doing a helluva job influencing citizens.

In Brockton, Mass., a third-rate parks commissioner tweeted that the protesting black players of the NFL were monkeys.  He even told the newspapers and media that he was not a racist and that was not the intent of his comment. He regretted people took his words literally.

It just goes to show the people who make these comments have no idea they are racists. This is reminiscent of anyone who hates Obamacare because a black man’s name is on the health insurance. That means you, President Trump and arrogant members of Congress.

Thanks to the great example set by the Thane of Cawdor/Thane of Glamis, Our Trumpeting Lord of the Flies, Donald Trump is causing more racial divisions than Jefferson Davis.

When will the dimwits realize?  The protest is against police brutality toward black people. This is not a protest against America or against the flag.

Out, out, brief candle! The thane of Cawdor and Lord of the flies fails to see this. Like his role model Macbeth, Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.

If Melania wants to get rid of any dark spots, she should start with the big ugly spot on the carpet of the oval office in the White House.

Out out, damned spot!  It’s a problem caused by the Lord of the Flies. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Citizens should expect life to creep in this petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death.

Out, out, brief candle! Out, out, damned Trump!

While the nation awaits on the Trump White House for tomorrow, tomorrow, and tomorrow, and a new election day.

Trump Takes on Superstars of Sport

 DATELINE:  Trump Begins to Rival Dumb & Dumber

Dumb America    King Trump Wears the Crown Well

As one of the Deplorables who voted for President Trump to be our leader, we are frankly becoming more alarmed and embarrassed by our selection.  

Once again at one of the Nazi-style Putsch rallies, Mr. Trump called out and called for firing of any NFL athlete who takes a knee during the National Anthem.  He also slandered private sector workers by calling the knee-jerk protester:  “a son of a bitch.”
 

We are not fans of this particular choice of protest at professional sports events, and certainly not a fan of Mr. Colin Kaepernick, the main instigator. However, we do tend to believe that people have a right to vote and speak freely.
 

If you’re keeping track, this is yet again another case of Mr. Trump calling for a private citizen to be fired from his job for political speech. Not coincidentally, all of these people are black or people of color. That strikes us as disturbing. That does tend to put a dark hue on the President’s darker feelings. Whether you work for ESPN, or the NFL, you have a right to express yourself. 

Trump also denigrated basketball champion superstar Steph Curry by rescinding an invitation given to visit the White House. Curry is what you might call “high-yellow,” the lightest form of being a person of color. Trump did not rescind an invitation to Tom Brady who also did not attend the White House rally. 

Trump’s tirade has caused strange bedfellows to join hands: Roger Goodell has called the President divisive and ignoring all the good done by NFL players. And LeBron James, on the NBA, had more choice words for the leader of the world. 

We are beginning to become worried that the President of the United States wants to dismantle the US Constitution.  

And, as someone who claims he is against white supremacy is he certainly is the pin a boy for that philosophy. 

We suspect we’re not the only ones who were horrified when the president of the United States refers to American citizens as “sons of bitches.”  while advocating firing these concussed people of color who work outside the government. 

Pardon us for saying “yikes.” 

Classic Tale of Hockey Returns After a Long Hiatus

DATELINE:  Sordid Sports Fiction

kindlerinkrats

After twenty years and a long time out of print, the best novel on the sport of hockey has returned for readers, new and old. Rink Rats is a shocker still. It’s now an e-book and will be available in paperback soon.

Based on life during one college season during the 1990s, Mike Tortorella’s story continues to be controversial and revealing.  Mobie Monaco, the erstwhile captain of a rag-tag bunch that follows his lead into depths of depravity, narrates his life-story.

With hockey players enjoying a long-established reputation as the wild men of sports, you can certainly expect an adult tale of moral turpitude. Tortorella’s tale is a spiritual journey above all else, whether it is a quest for a championship, or a test of one’s moral character.

The story is built around the effort to commit every deadly sin they can encounter and break every Commandment that is set in stone. All the time there is an interesting parallel to Melville’s voyages. Far more metaphoric, the characters are like rats leaving a sinking ship, but are more familiar as the young players who hang around hockey rinks and become enamored of the lifestyle. This is NOT a young-adult novel.

The original story keeps its freshness and provides insights into the daily life, practice, and play on and off ice that can only come from someone who was there.

You may think the novel will only appeal to a certain fan of a political stripe, but self-knowledge is indeed a dangerous avenue to pursue. We aren’t sure how much of the tale is completely true—and how much of it is so unbelievable as to be utterly true.

These rough-and-tumble players are not figure skaters guilty of icing, but you will experience their notorious escapades. In the final analysis, as Tortorella’s book states, “The great shroud of the ice age rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.”  The human condition is indeed timeless as seen in one breathtaking season at a New England college.

 

Twin Peaks at a Crossroad, or at a Dead End?

DATELINE:  What Year Indeed

If Trump were president of Twin Peaks, and not David Lynch, we think all of those dead characters would’ve been sent back to purgatory tout suite. There is no place in this world for Dreamers, unless it is the sunny side of the Twilight Zone.

Most of the final episode is spent in Purgatory, or driving on desolate roads through Texas. We couldn’t tell them apart.

We saved our best for last. Unfortunately, David Lynch did not. So, we have watched the final episode, and there is less to report than usual. There is, however, more than meets the eye.

We love an aimless road trip. Call us a sucker for Waiting for Godot. We still are waiting. Now we have been joined by Laura Palmer and Agent Cooper.

Call us sympathetic: we understand that Agent Cooper and his assistant Diane have not seen each other in 25 years, and it is only natural that they spend a good portion of the last episode in bed having sex. However, based on her final reaction, it was unsatisfactory to her too.

This left Agent Cooper in a quandary, not to mention all the long-suffering viewers. He walked fast between those long red curtains to visit a one-armed man, Leland Palmer, and trees with a talking head.  Therefore, it’s only natural that Cooper and Laura, end up together, driving to nowheresville fast. It’s a dream couple.

In an effort to save Laura Palmer, who now has amnesia to go with her middle-age, she and Cooper end up in an unrecognizable Twin Peaks.  Cooper tells Laura that it’s in Washington state, not D.C.

As the clock winds down, Agent Cooper now is as befuddled as the rest of us. He asks Laura Palmer what year it is. Her response is out of the Fay Wray school of screaming responses.

Is it lights out finally? Will we have to wait 25 more years to find out that everyone is dead and no one cares much anymore?

We love Twin Peaks.  Next time we will bring a picnic basket.

Penultimate Twin Peaks

DATELINE: Down to the Finish Line

peaked

We’re going round the bend, literally, and figuratively, on the new David Lynch marathon in surreality, Twin Peaks.

For sixteen hours we have seen Dead People, People from Another Dimension, Weirdos, and maddening loose ends as well as standard plot holes. That’s the bargain with Lynch.

The recent show has started to blow up loose ends and loose characters, thankfully not waiting until ten minutes before denouement to drive the entire cast off one of the twin peaks of the title. So, Kyle MacLachlan has snapped out of his doldrum-idiot Doppleganger Dougie, and evil D.B. Cooper has dispatched his illegitimate son with electrifying alacrity.

In the meantime, Lynch has discovered a new star, Eamon Farren. Let’s hope he fares better than Dana Ashbrook or James Marshall in the next 25 years.

What more can be expected? Oh, Cooper’s assistant, long lost Diane turns out to be some kind of spirit from beyond, her connection to Dougie’s wife, Naomi Watts, now ignored in a puff of smoke and gunfire.

We saw Don Murray, formerly the leading man for Marilyn Monroe in Bus Stop, looking spry as he pushes 90 and thanked by Cooper for lending his old Hollywood fame to the tale.

There was a shoot-out in one of those foreclosed Las Vegas communities that didn’t make much sense. But, we never expect much sense.

When Cooper regains his wits, he is able to say, “I am the FBI,” with all the swagger fans of the show wanted to hear. Perhaps Sheriff Michael Ontkean will make an appearance in the final show.

Whatever will the final two-hour monstrosity of this TV Guernica give us? We know that Sherilyn Fenn has a revelation while looking in the mirror.

Twenty-five years passing will do that.