Call It a Name Oscar Wilde Dares Not Speak

DATELINE:  Calling Your Name

Chalamet Timothee Chalamet, aka Lolita!

If you’re wondering about the title of the movie Call Me by Your Name, it is a sign of gay regression.  In an age when women keep their own name upon marriage, gay men are prepared to give up theirs.


This is the movie that its young teenage star (Timothee Chalamet) earned an Oscar nomination. It’s not so much for performance, but for the fact that he plays the most intelligent teenager on film in almost a decade or perhaps longer.


Like Sue Lyon 50 years ago, Chalamet epitomizes a male Lolita, also earning an Oscar nomination as a supporting actor and symbol of loincake. The only things missing from his acting are heart-shaped sunglasses and a lollipop.


Elio is a bilingual, bisexual child prodigy at the piano. His father is an important professor who spends the summer in Italy and needs a long-in-the-tooth graduate student assistant to do nothing in particular. The characters seem to be on an endless vacation. Elio mostly cavorts around in his bathing suit.


The story is adapted from a novella by James Ivory which caught our eye. He wrote all those great Ivory-Merchant movie screenplays 30 years ago. As he approaches 90-years of age, he has come up with another one: stunning ennui on display.


Armie Hammer played Leonardo’s boyfriend in Hoover, and was Depp’s boyfriend in the Lone Ranger, and now has his sights on a teenager who is more winsome and more often unclothed than Frankie Avalon in his prime Beach Party get-up.


Pardon us, but teenagers are lacking experience and maturity—and Humbert Humberts of the world never seem to learn this.


Chalamet and Hammer insist they are not gay, but only play gay (for pay) on screen.


Frontiersmen of America, Episode 2

 DATELINE: Never Surrender

 Robert I. Mesa   Robert I. Mesa as Tecumseh

History Channel and Leonardo DiCaprio present the second documentary in the series, Men Who Built America: The Frontiersman.

This time, they take two storylines and entangle them for their parallels: Tecumseh (played by hottie Robert I. Mesa) starts off as a young man whose tribe is wiped out largely by smallpox, brought on by the American settlers flowing into the Ohio and Indiana territories after the Revolution.

The twin sides of the story feature Meriwether Lewis and William Clark being saved by their guide Sacajawea, who meets a long-lost brother and intervenes on behalf of her friends. Jefferson’s plan to have a peaceful settlement soon meets the reality of the greed of American settlers.

On the other hand, Tecumseh’s brother is a visionary who helps the Native American bring together tribes into a united nation. To that end, Tecumseh creates Prophetsville, a symbol of Pan-Indian unification.

The stories diverge from there. Lewis ended up committing suicide and Tecumseh’s village is wiped out in a genocidal attack by Tippecanoe Harrison himself, who parlayed the vile sneak attack into political capitol.

Tecumseh never trusted the British who tried to curry his favor, but the Americans were worse, convinced of their destiny to drive out the natives to settle the land from coast to coast.

The episode manages to bring the highs and lows of American roots into one trail, both of tears and joy. You cannot blame Tecumseh for wanting revenge whose power was enhanced the the New Madrid earthquakes—and an alliance with the British in 1812.

Yet, Tecumseh knew the quality of mercy is never strained. He wanted a diplomatic settlement to the war.




Kingpin Whitey Bulger on History Channel

DATELINE:  King Whitey & Crown & Anchor Gay Bar!

Jimmy  Rough Trade Whitey Bulger

Leave to History Channel to insult women with their series called Kingpin during Women’s History Month. The good news for women is that the first episode, of Kingpin features no women.

Indeed, the episode glorifies the bloody thughood of young Jimmy Bulger who rose from boy prostitute to homicidal maniac. Oh, you mean they didn’t mention the fact that Whitey Bulger started out as a frequenter of gay bars in Boston in the 1950s. The moniker Whitey came from his alabaster skin and blond hair.

The producers also left out the salient fact that Whitey’s brother was one of the most powerful politicians in Boston for a generation, the founder of the St. Paddy’s Day roast, Billy Bulger of South Boston.

Apart from general inaccuracy and consulting a bunch of stiffs who are thrilled at Whitey’s shenanigans, the series is nothing short of appalling. Boston ought to sue History Channel for slander and libel.

We remember that Boston was not Chicago in the 1920s. Crime was localized, however violent.  People like Howie Carr, radio celeb and sometime author, know better, but jumped at the chance to be on screen.

Carr knows better than anyone how Whitey, known as Jimmy in his more refined circles, was a frequenter of Jacques, one of the more notorious gay bars of the the 1950s in Bay (aka Gay) Village, among his foibles and indiscretions.

Cutie-pie and rough trade Jimmy carried on in P-town too, at the Crown and Anchor Bar, where he stayed with its owner often. There, too, he canoodled his affair with movie star Sal Mineo. Oh, they left that out too?

sal Sal Mineo

You don’t want to alienate the audience for this kind of drivel. They wouldn’t cotton to affairs among the cognoscenti when a bloodbath would do.

You can check out most of this stuff in books (try Mafia & the Gays) on the Mafia and Whitey, including one by Howie Carr.


Boone Starts Building America

DATELINE: History Channel Series

boone 1820   Daniel Boone, age 84

Leave it to the ever-sensitive History Channel to honor women’s history month with two new series. First on the docket is the Men Who Built America’s sequel: the frontiersman. The other is Kingpin, a series about four criminal thugs.

Don’t let that stop you from watching. The frontiersman series starts with Daniel Boone. It’s produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, probably based on his experience from playing The Revenant. No, Jeremiah Johnson is not among those to be studied.

As documentary dramas go, this is superb. It is an old-fashioned American view of rugged individualism. John Wayne would be proud, not to mention the Fess Parker. In the weeks ahead, the series will also tackle Davy Crockett, Kit Carson, Andrew Jackson, Lewis & Clark, and as a nod to political correctness, Tecumseh. That episode may be the most illuminating.

A few unusual commentators, like Gen. David Petraeus, offer their insights.

Boone was in parallel to the Shot Heard ‘Round the World in Lexington by defying King George and going out to settle territory beyond the Appalachian Mountains.

Boone was a superhero of the 18th century, running 150 miles in 4 days to warn settlers of an impending attack by Indians.

The show gives credit to the daughter of Boone, Jemima, who was heroic in facing kidnapping by Native Americans.

It appears the British put a bounty on American heads and gave the Native Americans rifles to take back their land. It was a losing proposition either way for them. The writing was on the fort’s walls when a rainstorm stopped the Native Americans from burning down the place.

Though it is basic American history, we suspect that most viewers will find it all new stuff. We are always grateful for intelligent TV viewing.


Red Sox Owner Tom Werner & Bill Cosby



Once again, the Boston sports media has fallen down on the job.

Over the past year or so, there have been ample opportunities to ask owner Tom Werner, the media expert of the Red Sox and co-owner of the largest share with John Henry, about his dubious association with Bill Cosby.

You might better remember Werner as the man who decided to fire Voice of the Red Sox for years, Don Orsillo, for no reason except trust in his own good judgment and disregard of fans.

Now it’s come back to us in the age of #MeTooism, that Tom Werner was one of the first great enablers of actor and sexual predator Bill Cosby as a Hollywood TV producer.

Werner was the producer of the Cosby series from 1984 to 1992, making both men rich and giving Werner the opportunity to buy the Red Sox in subsequent years.

Tom Werner is not to become confused with Werner von Braun, the space scientist. They are heavens apart.

No member the media has asked Tom about how he enabled Cosby. No member of the media has asked him for his opinion on all of the charges against his former star and pal of the series.

Unlike the previous owner named Tom (that’s Tom Yawkey, folks), Tom Werner had no problems with hiring black people and using them to profit. Tom Werner has been instrumental behind the name change of Yawkey Way in Boston near Fenway Park, with its racist connotations, to turn back the clock to the original name, Jersey Street.

But, we digress.

What did Tom Werner know and when did he know it about Bill Cosby? No one seems to have asked him the question. So, we will.

Tom, did you have any idea about all the women that Bill Cosby was accosting?

Cosby was the Harvey Weinstein of the Dark Ages in Hollywood. Werner was apparently the man behind the curtain in those dark ages. For years he helped Cosby become a success.

If there are any Red Sox fans who belong to #MeToo’s movement, they should be asking about Werner too.




Grapes & Gold of Wrath: Civil War Curses

DATELINE:  Look Away, Look Away, Dixieland!

ClotRobert Clotworthy

If there is a revelation about Civil War gold in this new series, the big goldmine belongs to Marty Lagina. He has put his production company with Ancient Alien and Oak Island narrator Robert Clotworthy’s dulcet tones behind a new show, Curse of the Civil War Gold.

Marty Lagina admits as he exits Oak Island for the season, that he has money to burn. Why does he need a gold treasure when he already owns one? For the first time in five seasons on Curse of Oak Island, we are treated to a visit to his business on the new series, which happens to be a giant winery in Michigan.

There’s gold in them thar grapes.

So, Lagina finds a group of high school teachers with a penchant for getting rich slowly who come to him for funding. It is a surprise that Marty allows them into his inner sanctum boardroom. His office kingdom is right out of the movies, and these obsequious gold diggers beg for money.

The formula is the same:  two brothers, their close friend (also a history teacher in a Michigan high school). Since this is hardly the kind of eclectic, adventurous crew we find on other adventure reality shows, Marty Lagina throws them Gary Drayton, his Australian metal detective, the only real holdover from the Oak Island show.

Lagina will appear as a deus ex machina, or Professor Kingsfield, at the start and finish of each episode, putting down his cynical pronouncements.

When the Michigan high school teachers set off for Dixieland and Georgia where Jeff Davis was captured, we wondered how the locals will take to Yankee hunters wanting to find the Confederate treasure.

This is an enterprise borne out of greed and likely to be as unpleasant as suggesting that J. Wilkes Booth and Jesse James were members of a Masonic-style Knights-Templar wannabe group known as the Knights of the Golden Circle, behind the gold curse.

A bunch of pro-slavery advocates with gold to hide, the KGC and their gold cache should be justifiable confiscation, kind of a government asset forfeiture.

Will a bunch of mundane Michigan high school teachers take the prize? This series is betting you care. Marty Lagina is crushing his grapes before their time.



Yawkey Way: One-Way Street in Boston

DATELINE:  The Way in Boston

Which way?

When you say the word “racism,” in Boston, you better smile, pardner.

Yes, the birds of a feather are in a snit over the name change on Jersey Street. It was once called Yawkey Way in honor of the Hall of Fame owner of the Boston Red Sox. He died in 1976, and the city of Boston, found it in its heart to name the little bypass in front of Fenway Park after its Southern gentleman, Tom, who tried to buy a World Series in the 1930s by hiring the best players. He failed.

The Colonel, as it were, in baseball, a game for white gentlemen, as it was once called.

Yes, right in Boston, you had an owner who was never truly part of Boston. He never showed up until after the season started and then sat in his high-above-field box like Nero.

He was instrumental in keeping the Red Sox lily white until Pumpsie Green showed up to sit on the bench for a few seasons. He was used as a pinch-runner most of the time. The Sox were the last team in the majors to sign a black man to play.

Race, if it was in the forefront of that Georgian peach, Yawkey’s mind, was never to advance civil rights of black people. He made Ty Cobb look progressive.

The Yawkey Way is not to be confused with the Patriot Way, under an owner who is the epitome of billionaires in Boston.

Uncle Tom Yawkey kept it white for as long as he could.

We have a memory of attending a Red Sox game in the early 1960s when the only black face we saw in the stands was Bill Russell of the champion Celtics. The Red Sox were never world champs under Yawkey.

When the game ended with another hideous Sox loss, I was behind Russell who was tall, silent, and dignified. Why was he there? Perhaps to see the second black Sox player,  pitcher Earl Wilson. That is lost to memory, but Russell was the tallest man leaving the box seats. No one spoke to him, and we walked out of the park—and he went in one direction and I, the other way on then Jersey Street.

Wilson was later traded several weeks after complaining about racism to the Boston media.

We saw Russell at several games over that year, while Yawkey sat high above, looking down. In those days, celebrities did not join Colonel Yawkey in his perch, certainly not a black man.

We think now Russell showed up to make a point: he loved baseball and hated racism. He was the only black face in the crowd.

Imagine: 30,000 seats filled with white fans, and one black man.

And now there is a hulla-baseballoo because Boston wants to dump Yawkey Way in a place where black players were jeered just last season by racial taunts. The present owners want to change the name of Yawkey Way back Jersey Street.

It’s still Yawkey Way, no matter what you call it.



Nutcase Shooter in Trump’s Camp

DATELINE: Trump Rallies the Troops

Cruz Trump Supporter

President Trump promised more federal aid for mentally ill people after the Florida shooter was revealed to be a troubled youth named Nikolas Cruz.

In his inimitable half-baked style, President Trump failed to mention the word ‘gun’ in his speech to the nation, but he did mention crazy people. He must have crazy on the mind.

This apparently was before he had learned that the shooter posted a picture on Instagram wearing one of Trump’s campaign hats, the notorious ‘Make America Great Again’ chapeaux.

Yes, you guessed it, Nikolas Cruz tried to make America great again by killing 17 people. Trump would not want you to know that he was a member of a white supremacist group,as well as a Trump supporter. That makes both Trump and Cruz two-time losers. Too bad we can’t deport those people.

Alas, Trump supporters are the salt of the earth and are genuine American citizens. Because the 19-year-old couldn’t buy a gun in Florida he went for an assault rifle. It’s much easier to shoot, buy, and use. He was partial to merchandise with American logos. Hence, he posted a photo wearing a bandana over his face with stripes on it.

As for more money for mentally ill Americans, already cut out of the health plan proposed by Trump, we think it is a good idea to have more money for the crazy people who voted for Mr. Trump. We can’t think of a group that needs more mental health than Trump supporters.

We can hardly wait for Sarah Shuckabee Slanders to rationalize this one.



Another Day of Infamy in American School and Media

DATELINE:  Your Regular Massacre

Michigan J. Frog

The United States is now run by a bunch of singing and dancing toads.

While the History channel chose to show a series of violent TV episodes on Al Capone and gangsters like Bonnie & Clyde to celebrate Valentine’s Day, in Florida a real Valentine’s Day Massacre was going on in a Florida school.

Good call, History Channel. Set the tone for all of America.

In the real world, 17 students were killed by a gunman who once was expelled at the school for bad behavior. He learned his lesson, didn’t he?

President Lamebrain Trump offered empty prayers on Twitter, but lost interest when he found out the shooter was not an illegal immigrant.

Congressman Seth Moulton called on the President to get off his “fat ass” and do something about guns.

Donald  Trump, Jr., attacked a gay Olympic athlete for wanting to postpone meeting Vice President Mike Pence who advocates killing all gay people.

In Boston at an alleged sports news radio station, whose call letters are WEEI, but should be WDUMB, plan to have a day of sensitivity training for their yahoo staff of idiots.

This is the alleged sports news station that advocates attacking Tom Brady’s five-year-old daughter with insults, and offers Charlie Chan racial imitations of Tom Brady’s Asian lawyer.

This loathsome band of semi-talented buffoons typifies Boston sports, which typifies American politics, which likely spurred the Red Sox this week to call for action against the radio station.

Sponsors and advertisers are leaving in droves. On-air personalities are claiming they will be fired if ratings lag and are forced to act like fools for money.

Welcome to America in 2018. Happy Valentine’s Day.




Tom of Finland: Not Everyone’s Cup

DATELINE: Movie with Message


To review a movie for a highly limited audience is risky business when you know the vast majority of readers will blanch at the subject.

So, we come to Tom of Finland, an extremely well-produced and well-acted movie in both English and Finnish (subtitles here) about the homoerotic artist who altered gay culture in the years after World War II.

He was a Finnish war hero suffering form post-traumatic stress from his experiences, but was attracted to muscle-bound men in provocative poses and uniforms. Pekka Strang plays Tom who is nothing physically like his fantasy models.

As hinted at in the movie, to blame Tom and Robert Mapplethorpe for the AIDS epidemic is almost as ridiculous as claiming they are in the league of Michelangelo.

However, all that aside, the movie is important as cultural history—and provides an interesting insight into repression and police brutality against gay men in the 1950s and 1960s.

Seumas Sargent is the American named Doug who brings Tom to the American scene where he finds his fantasies have come to life in California in the 1970s. Of course, the AIDS crisis victimizes most of these sexual pioneers. Gay clubs had long lines waiting to enter before 1980, and after 1985, the same clubs were shuttered.

Is this movie for you? Probably not even all gay men will find Tom’s work more than hyperbole of manliness. He seemed to have a big audience in the leather-clad gay lifestyle. Tom’s art is almost a satirical look at male sexuality, stylized and provocative, erotic and blatant.


Lawrence of Arabia: Hi-Def, Small Screen

DATELINE: Whatever Happened to Michel Ray & John Dimech

Michel ray & o'toole O’Toole with Michel Ray

Impossible, you might say, to watch the biggest, grandest, most spectacular epic film ever made on the small screen?

High Definition is the response, and TV screens are not exactly tiny nowadays. Not since its premiere in 1963 have we seen such a gorgeous print of David Lean’s masterpiece. Though we have seen the four-hour epic a dozen times or more since it first appeared, we were not prepared for the sharpness, clarity, and beauty, that stunned us in the restored version in HD.

It was like seeing it again for the first time.

The story of T.E. Lawrence, WWI hero who became a god to the Arab tribes he led against the Turks for the British, is more complex than you might expect. The film flows from spectacular set-up to another. You have the majesty of riding camels in the desert, to Lawrence’s moment to join the Arab cause with his two teenage boyfriends. There are the scenes of rescuing Gassim from the Nefud desert to the walk atop the derailed train he blew up while the crowds of soldiers cheer him on.

Peter O’Toole was not discovered for this role, nor just introduced. He had made several films, but the role of Lawrence catapulted him into legendary fame. He amazes in every scene. And the music swells in tandem.

Nearly every star (Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Quayle, Arthur Kennedy, Claude Rains, Jack Hawkins) is gone now, leaving us their juicy performances. None is more delightful than to see the final film of Michel Ray. He quit movies after this to become a billionaire businessman. Not a bad decision. And, his partner John Dimech also disappeared from films after several more appearances.

The two played the Arab boys who adored Lawrence. Sal Mineo was bounced from one of the roles because Arab countries objected to his role in Exodus as a Jew.  Michel Ray went to Harvard and married well. Dimech went into art on Malta.

Stories behind David Lean’s spectacular film abound, yet the film itself stands then and now as the greatest ever made. Yes, we never say such things lightly. We had not seen it in 20 years—and it left us breathless once again.

Prepare to commit yourself to an experience unparalleled.


Rocky Time for Super Bowl Losers

DATELINE:  Wagering on Super Bowl LII

Rocky M Rocky

In an unparalleled version of fake news, the real Rocky will be the subject of a wager against the fake Rocky.

You guessed it:  those publicity-seeking mayors are wagering on their respective teams again. Philadelphia versus the City of Champions, Brockton.  It’s the fictional Rocky Balboa of movies versus Rocky Marciano whose original retreat was Brockton. All those Rocky movies with Sylvester Stallone were set in Philly. Since the Patriots and Eagles are fighting it out in the Super Bowl, the mayors saw their chance and pounced.

If the Eagles win, the statue of Rocky Marciano will be decked out in Philly cheese-steak and, if the Patriots win, clam chowdah will be dumped on Rocky Balboa.

It must be an election year. In any respect, Mayors Kenney of Philly and Carpenter of Brockton met recently at a mayors’ conference in Washington, D.C., apparently on vacation from their hometowns. There, they met between conference panels on real issues to settle the score on fake issues.

Brockton bills itself as the City of Champions (a few other boxers you may never have heard of came from there too). Alas, Brockton has been down in the dumps for years economically.

Philadelpha, home of cream-cheese and cheese-steak, bills itself as the City of Brotherly Love. Alas, Philly has its pitfalls too.

So, it’s a match of those who love champs and chumps. The loser of Super Bowl LII will wear the other city’s uniform for a time, and be subject to thrown rotten tomatoes and sundry other items of bad taste.





Old GOATS like Tom Brady

DATELINE:  Satchel, Howe, MJ

 old geezers

There’s one in every sport.

Tom Brady is not alone, except in his particular game of choice.

Once in every great sport of major-league proportion, there comes in individual who seems to challenge the notion of growing old, who makes Destiny his puppet.

In hockey that man is Gordie Howe who is scoring goals in his 40s and 50s.  He even had the chutzpah to stick around until he could play hockey with his grown sons as professionals.

In basketball, the man is Michael Jordan who at age 40 scored 40 points in a game. He could not retire until a third attempt at leaving hoops.

In baseball, the man is Satchel Paige who was a MLB Rookie at age 47 and who pitched three innings against the Red Sox at age 59 allowed only one hit. Luis Tiant was his teammate in Cleveland.

So, fans, Tom Brady is in fine company. At age 40 he is leading his team to another Super Bowl.

What did these men have in common?

They could never retire, never wanted to leave the game, never admitted admitted time was the greatest enemy who could win against them. They were obsessed with their game. To them playing their game was a Religion and each of them was a high priest in the arts of sport.

To be allowed to observe and to follow one of these special careers and individuals does not happen often, as you can see from each sport’s history.

Today, in football of the NFL, you are a witness to something that happens only in several generations, and only once in the sport in a hundred years.

You will not see their likes again. And, Tom Brady is not done.






Trump Is a Racist

DATELINE:  Crazy Comes in Second

Hynkel's Dance Partner Trump Celebrates World Diversity

In case somehow you missed the news, Donald Trump is a racist.

When you quack like a duck, you must be Daffy Duck.

Happy Martin Luther King Day, all you, racists.

According to a tirade given at a bipartisan meeting at the White House on Thursday, January 11, Trump railed against countries in Africa and Haiti, as being in a “s**thole,” but he didn’t use the euphemism when he said they are in the crapper. In all likelihood, he puts the residents in the same crap or crapper.

Don’t ask Trump for a bill of love or kindness. He is from the Lady Macbeth school of milky humanitarianism.

We expect some kind of denial from the White House, as per usual. However, it is beginning to look like a white Christmas and a white America. That slogan really should read: “Make America White Again.”

We are frankly horrified.

Trump wishes there were more Norwegians coming to America, rather than Haitians.  We will take those poor huddled masses, as long as they’re white. That should play well in Alabama. We’re not sure about the rest of the world.

You might say Trump is just playing the new Hitler on TV, but that would be giving him some.

Rounding up illegal immigrants with his Nazi police force called ICE, Trump is not quite setting up his concentration camps yet for a Final Solution. He’s probably waiting till the second term to do that.

In the meantime, we sit and wait like those huddled masses in Germany in the 1930s as they carted away their neighbors to unknown countries from where no traveler returned.

Your turn may be next.


Tom Brady Channels His Latent Trump

 DATELINE: Entre Nous

TomTom's HairDooDoo

You don’t have to scratch too much below the surface to hit a soft spot on Brady’s Botox sensitivity. When questioned by the damn media, Testy Tom laid into them by crying, “Out, out, damn spot.”

In one of his patented sweet nothing pressers, he told the adoring throng that he does whatever he can to win games: and how dare anyone in the press corps question what happens between the QB Great and the Head Coach Great. Belichick and he are above the masses and gossip-mongers.

Yes, being a member of the elite allows him to disdain lowly reporters trying to do their meager, low-paying jobs. One Patriot player once mused that those reporters must make hundreds of thousands per year for their easy job of sports misreporting.

Brady shut down one of the working stiffs of the press by telling him that his conversations with Belichick are not known to anyone and are strictly “between he and I.”

Well, Tom, your public university education is showing: it’s “between him and me.”  Yes, once again you are the object of a preposition, if not a plot of media feeding frenzy.

The Alex Guerrero controversy in which Belichick has acted like Trump’s CDC, according to reports, has banned the viral words “Guerrero” from appearing at any press conference, on any JetKraft, or on the football sidelines with bylines.

Next, we expect Sarah Shuckabee Saunders, the daughter of one-time presidential candidate and relative of some chicken-licking operation, to come to the podium and berate the Fourth Estate on Tom’s behalf.

Brady’s power of affable can shut off with the flick of a fickle fan like his presidential pal. He never talks about his conversations and/or Belichick’s verbal morsels from the inner sanctum, and the coach never discloses anything either:  so, Tom pointedly asked like a White House king, what is the source of these stories?

If you dismiss hearsay from gossip, and Tom never shuts down his many blab friends, we will always know.

There are many people out there who consort with Tom Brady well enough to be considered experts—and that’s not “between he and I.”