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.


How Many Oscars to Put Up a Billboard?

DATELINE:  Ebbing Tide!


Two major Oscars went to the star actors of Three Billboards Near Hibbing, Minnesota, or was it Ebbing, Missouri?

We think the ridiculous title seemed laughable at first, but becomes seriously apt by the end.

Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell play borderline sociopathic and violent characters who are held in check by the small-town sheriff played by Woody Harrelson.

Audiences have been deeply bothered by a racist cop (who may be latently gay) and vindictive mother of a murdered girl who become, weirdly, sympathetic, owing to the brilliant performances of Oscar winners Rockwell and McDormand.

The audience faces a story wherein characters repent and try to mend their nasty ways. It’s not looked upon with much favor. It becomes far worse if they turn into outright vigilantes, leaving us with complete moral and ethical ambiguity. We seem to forget Bruce Willis has just released his remake of Death Wish, the ultimate film about taking the law into one’s hands, just to entertain us.

The Oscar winners are surrounded by other tour de force actors, playing small-town Missourians to the hilt. And, there were likely no other stars who could have played the leads: we doubt that Meryl Streep or Tom Cruise could have pulled it off with such aplomb or lack of glamour.

The story has absurdist elements that make for that most deplorable of all genres: dramedy or black comedy, with fewer and fewer laughs along the way.

Perhaps life is not so black and white as good guys and bad after all, but our movies usually refuse to reflect this. This film challenges its audience to live with moral ambiguity in their art, as well as in life.

This is the first movie in quite some time in which characters mention Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde in the same scene, among other quirks, making this the most intriguing film of the year.





Inventor of Xmas? Charles Dickens, Really?

DATELINE:  Ghosts for the Holidays

Dickens with ScroogeDickens with Scrooge!

One presumes Dickens would be appalled that he was given the label as The Man Who Invented Christmas because in 1842 under financial pressure, he wrote a little ghost story in six weeks. We always thought Jesus probably deserved a little credit for inventing Christmas.

Having dozens of movie versions of the famous holiday tale about the reclamation of Ebenezer Scrooge, A Christmas Carol, it seems only fitting that a charming tale, slightly mythological rather than biographical, would be the latest incarnation of the story.

Dan Stevens, hot off Downton Abbey, plays a stylish, boyish Charles Dickens, a man surrounded by his own spendthrift ways and a brood of interruptions in his home, faces a daunting deadline to come up with a novella to make ends meet.

Stories about writers are usually deadly dull and impossible to show creativity, but this film manages to show how the characters, and caricatures, came to life for Dickens.

No small feat is the marvelous performance of the difficult quarry of Scrooge in the person of Christopher Plummer. He argues he wants his point-of-view better expressed, feeling the story is too one-sided!

The cast is up to the weird exaggerations of Dickens, including Jonathan Pryce as the author’s father. Many people in Dickens’ life take a role in his story.

Cute, by some standards, we see snippets of dialogue picked off the streets as Dickens goes on his daily duties. He hears the best lines and incorporates them into his text. But, it is his debates with Scrooge who visits him in his room that is the heart of the film.

Dickens purists might take issue with the pabulum portrait by Stevens, but this is a sentimental story, intelligently told, without profanity, sexual situations, or other unpleasantness, while maintaining dramatic and psychological effectiveness.

This is a film that insists Dickens did more for Christmas than you may want to believe. Yet, this is more than a holiday fest and more than a simple biographical movie. It is charming, an addition to the Christmas canon.



Twofer on Oak Island

DATELINE:  Family History Episode

Drayton Rising Star Gary Drayton!

On the longest of the five seasons of Curse of Oak Island, the series gave fans a grand send-off with two episodes back to back, before the finale next time. We find it hard to believe there are 104-hour episodes of the series, according to some History channel sources.

Though this episode does nothing to advance the treasure hunt, it may be one of the most interesting of the entire five-year history. For the first time, the series consolidates the backstory on all the hunters going back to the late 1890s.

The show is entitled “Family Album,” and it has a nice human touch to the families that supported the diggers and dreamers.7

Interviews with descendants enhance the narrative, but special attention is paid to Samuel Ball, an emancipated American slave who left for Canada after the Revolutionary War, and bought land on Oak Island, with suspected treasure he found.

The other intriguing figure is, of course, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who came to the island when his grandfather, Warren Delano invested in the latest scheme to find the jewels of Marie Antoinette. The allure of Oak Island never left FDR, even during his presidency.

The tie of wealth and high rank among the Masons seem to highlight the earlier treasure quest. The hints are that they knew something derived from their legendary ties to the Knights Templar.

The other intriguing point of the show is the explanation of the alleged curse—six have died, and a seventh must die before the mystery is solved.

The more recent families have re-visited the island at the invitation of the Lagina Brothers, and their appearances on earlier shows are re-capped with clips from the past five years. Of cours

Nothing earth-shattering, or bored from the ground, is here, but this turns out to be one of the best episodes in five years.



DATELINE: Penknife Mightier than the Sword


Now read all your favorite blogs for the year in one handy location: your tablet, your smartphone, or your computer.


Now available, The Loser’s Edition.

Normally we compile a book of annual snide comments about the winner of the Super Bowl, but this year we change horses in the fourth quarter.

Now you can trace the sour grapes of Malcolm Butler up to the sacking by Coach Belichick in the final hours!

Now you can see the complete reviews and reactions to Tom Brady’s reality TV series and all its deadly fallout!

Now you can learn how Trump has poisoned the Patriot well of victory!

Now you can find the fake news about Gronk’s Hollywood career!

Now you cannot find much about Julian Edelman, but he still shows up on the pages now and then!

Now you can see how the Yalta Peace Talks between Kraft, Belichick, and Brady really came about and really went nowhere!

Now available on Amazon, cheap price, cheap words, cheap ideas!

Recommended for smart readers always!




Gronk & His $$$$

DATELINE:  Man & Myth

re-stolen jersey

Gronk Down for Count

Notable New England Patriot cheapskate Gronk will lose at least $280,000 if he is suspended for the next game. As you might guess, this is anathema to a man who never touches his salary and lives off his endorsement money.

Far worse, he is due for bonus money based on the number of catches and touchdowns. Losing a game means big bucks down the drain.  And yet, this may be the silver lining of a man who has now created a reputation for playing dirty.

Why suddenly did Gronk decide to pile drive a Buffalo Bill in front of his family and friends? They were all present to see the hometown boy and Bills fan of his youth.

Perhaps he thought it was in the tradition of being thrown onto tables during tailgate parties (a big, brainless tradition in Buffalo where friends throw a drunken nitwit onto a burning table to watch his back break).

So, as you might expect, Fiesta Gronk is making an appeal not to be suspended for pile-driving the man who intercepted the pass meant for Gronk. He put the Buffalo Bill 1 foot into the ground. The poor schmuck, number 27, now has a concussion. When King Kong steps on you, you are usually dead. He should count his blessings.

Whether Ebenezer Gronk will recover his money or will have to do more Dunkin’ Donuts commercials ad nauseum, only commissioner Godell and his Fair Play for Cuba Committee knows for sure.

Instead this gives ground got unpaid vacation, and it gives him time to prepare for the bigger game into weeks with the Steelers. We are sure smarter heads will tell Gronk to take the suspension.

Dare we say this to Gronk? It’s only money.









Patriot Volcanoes Erupt in Buffalo

DATELINE: Tom & Gronk Blow Up

 Everyone expected the Pats to blow away the new Buffalo Bills. Never did we expect to see Tom Brady and Gronk give twin eruptions. It was as if Twin Peaks suddenly had two live volcanoes.

First, step by step, Niagara Falls may be Gronk’s hometown where hundreds of fans are there just to see him, but a funny thing happened during the game. Gronk fell off the high wall and may well be suspended for a game.

All that practice with the WWE has paid off: unsportsmanlike conduct welled to the surface after Gronk was slandered, hazed, libeled, and picked on, by the various Buffalo defenders. In a fit of pique, Gronk blew his top like Mt. St. Helens.

It was a landslide to see, but likely will cost the parsimonious Gronk a few bucks—and give him a week to rest up before he faces the dreaded Pittsburgh Steelers in a marquee bout.

As for Tom Brady, he blew up on the sidelines at his closest non-playing pal on the team: his offensive coach Josh McDaniels. Apparently, Josh made an off-hand comment that was indeed offensive to Brady.

The slow burn turned into a curse-laden tirade. Babe and Tommy sat slightly apart from the rest of the quarter and ignored each other. Usually you could not fit a piece of paper between them as the pored over the iPad replays tete-a-tete.

Second half someone must have sent roses because Tom was a new man—and the offense had new life. Though Brady had no touchdowns for the rest of the game, he was talking to Josh again.

Thank heavens. We deplore domestic violence and don’t want to see trouble in paradise.


Oak Island: Curtains to Curses

DATELINE:  Weekly Update #3

Rick lagina

Time for Just for Men?

As season five progresses, the series Curse of Oak Island seems in jeopardy.

From the off-season storms that decimated roads and other parts of the island, to the tragic death of the 17-year old son of Craig Tester we have had already sufficient warnings and dire omens.

The latest episode begins optimistically enough with the discovery of coins from the 1600s in a pile of dirt uncovered 60 years ago and never searched with a metal detector. We almost feel that the show will conclude successfully this season.

However, the good news became muted when the Canadian government sent a “cease and desist” letter to the Lagina operation, claiming they were vandalizing cultural artifacts after five years of digging.

After 400 years of hunters and hiders tunneling and bulldozing, and ravaging the little Nova Scotian island, this johnny-come-lately interference from some nitwit cultural ministry of do-gooders seems a day late and a dollar short.

In order to assuage the governmental cretins, the Lagina brothers agreed to hiring an archeologist to oversee their work. He promptly stops their digging when they overturn tree stumps and find indications of an old settlement.

We thought the troglodytes of do-good deeds only hid in the bowels of the US government, but the virus has spread to Canada’s guts for real adventure.

Rick Lagina seems crest-fallen. He might have to take that job with Just for Men for Beards. His jet-black hair mismatches his white beard—and he could make a fortune coloring both for an endorsement contract. He can draw on a big gay market, based on the number of people who ask us to find out if he’s gay.

Our other solution is far simpler. We suggest that Rick Lagina sacrifice himself by jumping head first into the Money Pit. This will end the curse instantly by giving the Island its seventh victim and reveal the treasure instantly—in our humble opinion.




Down with Men

 DATELINE:  All Men are Dogs


Just today we heard that Senator Al Franken and Sylvester Stallone have joined the sexual assault parade. There isn’t a man to be trusted.

In regard to Man, that generic sexist pig, for years we used to say, “Don’t shoot all the dogs just because one has fleas.”

We now admit that we were wrong. It’s time to shoot all the dogs. They cannot be trusted around women. They cannot be trusted in any kind of polite society. Straight men are Deplorables. Even Trump is one of them.

They should be isolated like some virulent pestilence. Clearly it is time for Amazon society. We don’t mean the buying Internet giant. We mean a society of women without men.

Why, heavens to Betsy, gay men cannot even be trusted around other men. The last month or two has proven the point. Men are dogs. They should be kept in kennels, if not euthanized.

It’s the only way to keep women safe. Even if we put them in prisons, we know they’ll go to their own kind. They are like cannibals. They have voracious sexual appetites.

So sorry to say, women will be better off with women in all leadership positions. Women should have all control over everything related to men. Then, only women will assault other women.

The grand experiment of male domination has now proven to be a complete and utter failure.

Why hang on to the old way? Out with the ganders and in with the geese. Out with the buck and in with the doe.

Castrate the dogs and let the mangy Curs keep to themselves in dog pounds.


Movie Gold or Fool’s Gold?

DATELINE:  Free e-Book


How often is there a free lunch in America?

This weekend may feed your movie-fan soul with a variety of film commentaries from the blogs of Ossurworld.  The latest book is called Movie Gold or Fool’s Gold? We suspect you may find both present in the digital pages.

Yes, the collected reviews are now together like the Musketeers: all in one convenient place for your perusal.  And, for the next few days, the cost is NOTHING!

Ossurworld likes Hollywood history, and this time he has put together recent reviews of classic movies he re-watched in 2017.

Amazon has a special feature for those who like something for nothing and believe you may actually receive more than you might bargain for.

If you want to know how to pick up Movie Gold or Fool’s Gold, just follow this highlight to the book-page to download. The offer is limited to a few short days–and dusk falls earlier as your Trick or Treat experience comes down the pike.









The Long & Short of 3-Hour Movies

DATELINE:  Time is Short


We have just informed well-intended friends who always recommend long movies to us, that our tolerance level has passed beyond endurance.

We are no longer putting three-hour movies on our dance card.

Gilligan’s Island started out as a three-hour tour, but turned into an epical series with TV movie sequels.

In our misspent youth, we watched Lawrence of Arabia multiple times. That was four hours a shot.  We also took in films like Cleopatra, or Ben Hur. It may be we saw them more than once.

Today long films are not a sign of epic historic proportion, like the Bridge on the River Kwai. We watched recently again Once Upon a Time in the West, which was not only long—but slow. Those oldies were fascinating, whereas today’s movies are pompous, overwritten stories by directors who happen to think of their own self-importance before the audience’s bladder.

Hitchcock thought film should err on the short side to match the human kidney tolerance. Even he exceeded our new guidelines by pushing movies to two-hours.

Nowadays we always figure there are six minutes of credits at the end. That helps if we skip that, though we are loath to do so.

We still believe the best movie is under 90 minutes. As much as we dislike Woody Allen, he had the right idea. Many of his best movies were only 75 minutes in length. Including credits.

Before you point out that we have watched many series like Downton Abbey, Bette and Joan, and Endeavour, all recently, we would point out that those are episodic and run usually an hour.

Most of the time they’re also self-contained. It took 25 years to film all of The Poirot Agatha Christie stories. We don’t intend to take 25 years to watch them. However, they are usually about an hour in length.  A few of the classics are shorter movies. More than tolerable.

The upshot of our complaint is that we are no longer in the market for epic movies to be watched in one long sitting. Our life is now counting down to a precious few days.

If we’re going to spend time on a movie, hovering over three hours in length, it had better be special.


Is Trump a Moron?

DATELINE:  Smarting Insults

rex Smarty Pants Rex Tillerson

After Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declined to refute the accusation that he privately called President Donald Trump a “moron,” we have to investigate the ramifications.

Kim Jung Un recently called Mr. Trump a “dotard.” It seems to be open season on the mental state of the MAGA-low-maniac’s personality.

Both moron and dotard used to be early 20th century terms used by prototypical psychologists. Then, the unwashed, deplorable public took up the words—thus rendering them on the lighter side of slander and libel.

Dotard used to refer to someone with Old Timers’ Disease in the old days before punchy and punch-drunk went the way of medical diagnosis.

Moron was frequently a level of retardation before that went down the tubes to emerge as Downs’ Syndrome. A moron used to be someone with the intellectual acuity of a ten-year-old. However, we have met some fairly sharp ten-year-olds—and feel that is a bum rap.

Our deplorable education system has finally resulted in a generation of deplorable voters electing a deplorable candidate. Let’s take quotes off the term moron.

Well, you know the term is often lumped in with idiot, imbecile, fool, clod, dullard, nitwit, dumbbell, jerk, and the all-purpose loser. It’s a big tent of disparaging terms proving all roads lead to Rome. You don’t need GPS to figure out that the map is littered with wrong turns.

We know Mr. Trump is lost in there somewhere. However, we have concluded he is most likely to respond to his favored sobriquet: son of a bitch, often used to delineate and denote NFL football players who have arthritic knees or pray for deliverance from “rednecks.”  But that’s another story.


Melania Trump: All Wet Look in Texas Flood

DATELINE: Capri Pants Optional


Mr. Ed knew some thing about lucky shoes. He had four of them, for all kinds of weather.

Melania Trump should take a lesson from the knowledgeable TV star. She has now reached the exalted heights of a talking horse—and her shoes may be most unlucky. The heels were longer than a hummingbird beak.

Choosing to accompany the President on a trip to flood ravaged Houston, Texas, to meet up with Harvey the 50-inch rainfall hurricane, Mrs. Trump wore black stiletto heels on her bare feet. We presumed the open-toed look was to let the water in and out as she stepped into puddles.

No one told her that sunglasses were not needed on a cloudy day. Her bombardier jacket was, however, the right touch—because critics were about to dump on her shoddy shoes. We would be the last person to suggest rubbers for Melania, or even the President, mainly because they usually will be ill-fitting for stilettos.

Holy water, whatever do the Trumps think when they go out to become the first tourists in a natural disaster, the likes of which now rival the Johnstown Flood of the 19th century?

No one expects Melania to need waders as she slogs her way through flooded streets. Indeed, we don’t expect Melania to step over any puddles as she is taking Air Force One, not a puddle-jumper.

We also expect that Mr. Trump will be as gallant as Sir Walter Raleigh who doffed his coat and let the First Lady of England, Queen Elizabeth I, walk across water like she was the anointed apostle of the Church of England. Melania did not wear a crown, only a FLOTUS hat to the flood. No irony intended.

When Mrs. Trump landed in Texas, she skipped trying to look like Jackie Kennedy disembarking with her President. She wore her hair in a pony tail, a la Mr. Ed, and she had exchanged her stiletto heels for a pair of Michael Jordan jumpers for kicks.

No, she did not bring the wet T-shirt this time.








Trump & Roach Motels

 DATELINE:  Hurricane Harvey Solutions


Hurricane Harvey may cause millions to flee areas about to be devastated by a Category 4 storm with winds over 140 mph.

Fear not, citizens. The Trump Homeland Security promises that checkpoints along the route will operate as usual, even if you are delayed from escaping the fury of Nature.

You must bear with the Homeland Security folks who put your life in danger because they have a job to do:  find those pesky illegals who are trying to save their lives from natural disaster.

Of course, this means you are damned if you do, and deported if you do. The upshot is that an unknown quantity of people will stay in harm’s way.

President Trump sent out one of his patented tweets that essentially said, “Rotsa Ruck,” like he was a Jetson dog.

“Good job, Brownie,” as President Bush once notoriously said as thousands died in Hurricane Katrina, and countless others suffered violence and lawlessness..

To that end, Emergency Shelters will become Roach Motels. Illegal aliens will check in—but won’t be allowed to check out.

roach motelFEMA Emergency Shelter

Yes, the storm will become the Trump Pied Piper, leading the tired and huddled masses to deeper dangers and fears.

What’s a little phobia?  Every day brings a little death in Texas where you cannot trust civil servants to be civil, or provide you with food and water unless you have papers to prove you are an American citizen.

There is no rest for those seeking refuge from poverty—or from impending doom. Your federal government is at work, like the Post Office, neither rain, wind, nor President Trump, will stop them from doing the work of the Grim Reaper.

Good job, Trumpie.


Trump’s Modest Proposal

DATELINE:  Cooking Up a Storm

trump apron strings

For a summer treat hot off the griddle, you may want to partake of a menu that caught the eye of Newt and promises a cheery Sessions of law enforcement.

The repast of yore starts with a DACA salad, with only the most tender of sprouts, with lettuce picked by illegal migrants under the hot sun.

Don’t forget to use the TPS sauce on those Haitian wings for an unforgettable dinner that Friday used to enjoy with his master Crusoe. TPS sauce can be poured onto countries like El Salvador, Honduras, and any African nation of your choice.

Home, sweet Secure Homeland, will be securer once more if you have the bug zappers in place and dis-invite any rebel republican senators who tend to be like ants at a picnic. We think the best BBQs are held behind great border walls to keep out the riff-raff.

German sauerkraut mixed with KKK-kale provides a kick that only a neo-Nazi could endure. You may want to mix that salad up with some tough police elbow grease.

Make sure you have enough alt-right to offset the Antifa pesto.  Red beets should be ready once you light the torches.

Roasted deported citizens who have a litany of civil violations always goes well with a Chianti and fava beans for those who like to watch the lamb go to slaughter. Civil rights and civilian clothes are optional.

Remember that this recipe at Kent State College once made America great. Nowadays you may want to have some congressional bicarb to hold down the dyspepsia and general sense of existential nausea after watching Master Chef Trump dump another hog into the pit.

Bone-head appetit, all you strict constructionists. The cookbook was made to be followed.

With apologies to Jonathan Swift.