Peace And Love Is All I Got

The Victims of the Uvalde, Texas, School Shooting | Time

I was planning on a Rundown for today and then Tuesday happened.

We don’t even get to catch our collective breath before the next slaughtering of innocents punches us in the gut all over again. It seems a hopeless effort to hope and pray that maybe the world will go quiet for a spell, and it leaves me wondering if anything is ever going to make sense ever again.

I sat down and tried to write something about those twenty-one souls as I watched the news footage coming out of Uvalde. And then it hit me, the madness of it all. Here I was writing about yet another lost day, not even a week removed from my last post about a mass shooting. And then I wondered if a post about Texas would even make it to Friday before the next horrible moment arrived. After that, all I had left was the crying.

Life is so incredibly fragile as it is without provoking the fates. We don’t stand a chance so long as we allow hate and ignorance to matter as much as they do. We lose the value of ourselves when we accept the worst as a matter of course. We need to be doing better than this. As a neighborhood, a town, a city, a state, a country. As a whole.

We need to be better. As parents and neighbors, as strangers and as friends. And we need to expect better of everyone who is entrusted to serve their constituency. They do not answer solely to those who vote for them. They have to answer to us all.

Our children deserve better.

The Annoyances Post . . . Back and Butter Than Ever!

Inappropriate Construction and Traffic Signs That'll Make You Look Twice

As the legendary Ella Fitzgerald once crooned, into each life some rain must fall. Of course, the Queen of Jazz presented this unfortunate reality with the kind of elegance that made  heartbreak seem like a stroll through Paris Hilton’s walk-in closet. The quixotic heft of her brilliant lie left our simple minds believing that clouds were a cursive weep that helped ease the pain of bad whiskey and even worse decisions.

Regrettably, Ella never did get around to explaining why it is that we have to live with annoying shit. Cosmically speaking, the lack of such a nope-us of an opus is a missed exit that can never be undone since it never was done done in the first place.

Which is pretty annoying in its own right . . .

I watched Happy Gilmore 40 times in one summer holiday. It has lessons for us in lockdown | Culture | The Guardian

  • Golf. Having played it, I can honestly say it’s a sport tailor made for those with infinite patience. Oh yeah, and sadists too. As for viewing? I watched the last few holes of Tiger’s first win at the Masters. Because, history. And I watched Greg Norman go from hero to spiro at the Masters the year before, because I love disaster flicks. And that’s it. Because to me, watching golf is right up there with watching flies paint.
  • Last night I planned on staying up to watch Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals between my Heat and the Celtics. I hadn’t watched a single minute of a Miami Heat game this postseason and what did I get for my time? A 20-1 start for the Boston Celtics, after which I turned on something else. I’m a penny stock investor when it comes to my sports portfolio and I’m not ashamed to admit as much.
  • Circus Peanuts. How in blessed hell are these marshmallow monstrosities still breathing our air?
  • There is no messing with the serrated edges on a roll of aluminum foil. I’d sooner be stuck in a phone booth with zombies.

A Phone Booth Was Just Put on the National Register of Historic Places | Smart News| Smithsonian Magazine

  • And that reminds me. You know what really annoys my ass? The total liquidation of the public phone booth. I mean, for aesthetic reasons alone they should bring them back!
  • Miller Lite commercials that still have the audacity to peddle flavor, forty-seven years after their introduction. The science of our taste buds ruled on that shit back in high school and it came back with a verdict of As Fucking If
  • When did they pass a law that most every contemporary female musical artist has to sound as if they just woke up? And every male artist has to whine the lyrics?
  • Youtubers who post rants while sitting in their car.

A Floor Art Piece: Project 62 Abstract Mountain Framed Canvas | Best Modern Decor From Target 2021 | POPSUGAR Home Photo 5

  • Target art. As if the masters ain’t dead enough.
  • This idea that every last popular (and in many cases, even the not so popular) flick needs to get a reboot is absurd, not to mention lazy. Fresh ideas people! Find ’em!
  • People who turn their car radio up so that everyone knows about their shitty taste in music. And they think it’s cool, even though it’s the exact opposite of cool.
  • Hoverers.
  • Amazon. Every time I dial up their tunes, I get prompted to sign up for their Unlimited plan, which I have zero interest in. All I want is to randomly plug into some shit I may or may not have jammed to previously. I don’t do playlists because, like everything else in the world, it has become so repulsively cliché.
  • Airbnb commercials.

I would like to thank my special guests Ella Fitzgerald, Douglas Adams and Ayn Rand for being the inspiration for this post. And my since apologies to Tim Anderson and Josh Donaldson for never making it out of the Green Room. But rest assured Imma have them back later this week because I simply cannot allow their level of stupid to go unpunished.

Until then, remember kids. Keep your friends close and your beverage of choice closer.

The Rundown

The total lunar eclipse is seen on May 26, 2021, in Auckland, New Zealand. / Credit: Phil Walter/Getty Images The night sky produced the kind of show network executive can’t touch earlier this week when the Super Flower Blood Moon (Say that four times quickly) took the prime time stage. Shutter bugs and moon freaks alike got their heaping helping of the moon pie. Somewhere out there, Carl Sagan is jotting it all down on his cosmic scorecard.

Tom Brady's historic $375m Fox Sports deal shows familiarity breeds content | Tom Brady | The Guardian

How did I forget to mention this guy last week? Tom Brady inked a deal with Fox Sports to be their lead football announcer whenever he decides to hang up his cleats. The deal is for 10 years and $375 million, and not for nothing but . . when was the last time you tuned in to watch a game because of the announcer? Anyways, the Brady deal was front page news last week. When Fox Sports cuts a bunch of staffers as a result, well, good luck finding that story.

allengetty.jpg

My Hero(es) Of The Week! 

The Buffalo Bills will field a championship contending team this season and maybe . . just maybe, they’ll bring something special home to the good folks of upstate New York come next February.

And while it is illegal (In Florida, of course) for a Miami Dolphins fan to root for their rivals to the north . . let’s just say I wouldn’t be upset in the least if they do break on through to the other side and put the legend of Scott Norwood to bed for good and forever. Because these guys have come together for their community with everything they have. They have shown a mettle and a spirit that transcends athletic competition and speaks to who these men are and what they’re about.

This week it was announced that the organization and the NFL have donated $400,000 to local charities. But they didn’t stop there. Not even close. The team decided to visit the site of Saturday’s mass shooting; they laid flowers, visited with neighbors and distributed food to those in attendance. And then they let their town know their outreach was only just getting started. In an age when celebrity athletes come and go like tech stocks, these guys pulled an audible.

They’re here to stay.

The Boys' Creator Calls Out Trump Supporters Dressing as Homelander | IndieWire

Homelander’s attempt to take over the world was thwarted by Sen. Chuck Edwards, staving off a cataclysmic showdown between the archvillain and Thanos for galactic domination . .

Oh shit sorry, I got my comic book characters all mixed up. It was US Representative Madison Cawthorn who got shown the door in his bid for re-election this week. Which means North Carolina will not be serving as a pipeline of comedy fodder to late night shows anytime soon.

Donald Trump insists he was really never that into him . . .

NASA picture of Mars 'doorway' spawns conspiracy theories - this is what you're really looking at | Science & Tech News | Sky News

The Mars Curiosity Rover captured an image of what appears to be a doorway on the planet Mars earlier this month, and lemme tell you . . . it was magical. Until the experts chimed in with the bad news.

It ain’t a doorway.

What looks like a doorway is actually a fracture in the ancient sands that hardened over millions of years, taking on the appearance of a doorway without actually, yanno . . being a doorway. No welcome mat will be needed after all. Don’t bother clicking “Buy Now” for that doorbell camera on Amazon. And there’s no reason to be sending a motion sensor light to NASA. Of course, I could always do like the average American and just ignore the truth. Yeah, I think I’ll do that.

You know what? Ignorance is a hell of a lot more fun!

Baby formula shortage: Changes Abbott made ahead of Michigan plant restart | Fox BusinessThe US is in the throes of a major shortage in infant formula after U.S. manufacturer Abbott Laboratories issued a nationwide recall in February after complaints of bacterial infections were reported. And while the news that Abbott has been given the green light to resume production is welcomed news, it’s gonna take a double dipped effort to get back up to speed.

That’s why President Biden is invoking the Defense Production Act, to assist manufacturers in obtaining the necessary ingredients, toot sweet, in order to ramp up production. As part of the order, commercial airliners will also be importing baby formula from overseas to fill in some of the gaps.

Mitch McConnell doesn’t get any.

Life don’t play.

Chef Imad Alarnab knows all about that, after having been run out of his home after the Syrian uprising in 2012. Up until then, he had translated his passion for food into a string of restaurants and cafes in Damascus. This began a long and arduous journey across several countries and a two month stay in a refugee camp before he landed in the UK.

It’s where he started his life, and his business from scratch.

With his flow being low, he hosted pop-ups for charity. And then he started a GoFundMe page and then the dream started coming into focus. Again. In his new home. And now, his star is shining brighter than ever on the London food scene. Do yourself a favor and check out the video above. And you can thank Cincy “Beach Walks” Angle for it.

HODGES' HEROES: First-grade class honored after saving Limestone County teacher | News | waaytv.com

Did you hear about the serious incident that happened at Cedar Hill Elementary School in Ardmore, Alabama back in January? You probably didn’t. And that’s because it didn’t involve fear or sensationalism, which are the big money makers when it comes to moving the needle for many news outlets.

Tracy Hodges was presiding over her first-grade charges when her vision became blurred.

“I couldn’t even find the door and I couldn’t make out the three children who were sitting in front of me,” said Hodges.

Her body began to convulse and she fell out of her chair, hitting her head. Before she lost consciousness, she asked her kids to get help. And then everything went black and it was up to this room full of seven-year olds to respond. Quickly. And that’s exactly what they did; two kids staying behind in the classroom to keep watch while the rest of them split up and raced down several corridors to expedite the process.

After undergoing a battery of tests, Hodges came back positive for Covid, which resulted in her seizure. She credits her kids quick thinking and calm under pressure with making the very best out of a bad situation. “I was in the right place at the right time,”.

Her students received certificates and medals at a special ceremony held at the school. The town’s sheriff and district attorney, police chief and fire rescue team showed up to recognize “Hodges Heroes”, even if the kids weren’t all that interested in the spotlight. What mattered most of all was having their teacher back. They didn’t much care that the media caravans and the eyes of the great big world weren’t in attendance, because all the people who really mattered to them were already there.

Stop the presses.

Ahead Of The Rest

Buffalo shooting: what we know about the victims so far | New York | The Guardian

We’ve stopped counting all the losses.

There’s no reason to keep score at this point, considering how one tragedy bleeds seamlessly into the next. From Buffalo, New York to Orange County, California to some other town that is doomed to the same fate, real soon. To tell the truth about who we have become would be to admit defeat and that kind of self reflection ain’t in our DNA.

It’s been twenty-three years since Columbine introduced us to the future with a horror movie script that has become commonplace in 2022: The senseless carnage, all the warning signs left unheeded and the political war chests that cash in on the latest tragedy like vampires at the end of the world.

The reality of yet another lost day is that too many people have stopped pretending to give a damn. The media treats each new mass shooting like a severe weather forecast, focusing on the details for a day or two at most before moving on to the next storm front. Meanwhile, our elected representatives will stick to their respective company lines as if a quarter century’s worth of ruinous endings never really happened. What’s left unsaid is that these reckonings have become our national seal. And while we might be trailing the rest of the world in too many areas, we’re ahead of the rest when it comes to lost days.

There is no line in the sand when it comes to this perpetual cycle of violence, just as there is no middle ground when it comes to meaningful dialogue that could help to prevent more of the same. The indivisibility of our republic is being sold for parts by merchants whose menacing narratives feed the public forum with rage while liberty and justice get clobbered in its wake: Without reason, without compassion and without any indication that we’re going to be able to climb our way out of this nightmarish pit before it swallows us.

Ten lives were taken from the world on Saturday afternoon in Buffalo, New York. Six-hundred and forty seven years worth of living was stolen away to the mysteries of somewhere else. And we can only hope that the somewhere else they find possesses the kind of peace and reason and truth this world never has been very good at. Not even twenty-four hours later, on the other side of the country another soul was lost to the unrelenting madness.

There are questions that seep into my brain if I allow my mind to wander through all the decades worth of unimaginable losses which have gone unanswered. These questions come to me as if I just woke from a Mary Shelley fever dream, but the truth is she probably couldn’t have imagined such darkness inside her most manic of writing streaks. These questions speak to the division we have cultivated as a society and the seeds of hate it has spawned; seeds that have grown into angry redwoods, intent on blotting out the sun and replacing it with a never ending night.

What if this is how it’s always going to be? What if it’s too late to save ourselves . . from ourselves?

The answers are more frightening than that.

 

The Rundown

Russia to develop a new 'doomsday plane'

Vlad Putin was all set to roll out his Doomsday Plane at Moscow’s Victory Parade on Monday but the flight was grounded because of weather. The modified plane, referred to as the “Flying Kremlin” would house the country’s leadership in the event of a nuclear event. The plane has no passenger windows in order to protect its passengers from the after effects of a nuclear blast and it can be refueled in mid-flight, allowing the power brokers to remain airborne.

Sounds impressive, right? Okay, now let me repeat what happened to this powerhouse last week. A plane that was built to endure the effects of a nuclear event . . . was grounded because of rain.

The Wicked Witch of the West called. She wants her punchline back.

A Pill Available in Mexico Is a Texas Option for Abortion - The New York  Times

The insufferable hypocrisy of American politics is coming home to roost.

Scores of women along the southern border of Texas have been scouring pharmacies in Mexico for abortion pills since the state whose motto is Friendship passed a strict anti-abortion law last September. To make matters worse, we’re talking about unregulated pharmacies here. Sadly, these women are not privy to the options afforded all those holy rollers who want to flip the script on Roe v Wade. Because for all the proselytizing these peeps dish up, they’re going to play a game of hush when it comes to them and theirs. They’ll find the avenues that privilege affords them and to hell with everybody else. It brings to mind the words of Sister Joan Chittister in an interview with Bill Moyers, when discussing the truth of abortion.

“I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”

That says it all right there.

Patron the mine-sniffing dog is capturing Ukraine's hearts

Hail Patron! This two and a half year old mine sniffing Jack Russell Terrier who is my Hero Of The Week! here at The Rundown. The dude is so much more than just another pretty face, as evidenced by his prolific resume when it comes to saving the day. Patron has sniffed out more than 200 (You read that right) explosives since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.

For his tireless efforts in saving lives and educating the civilian population, Patron was awarded a medal for “Dedicated Work in the Ukraine Army.” He’s got a trophy case and an online following and that’s all well and good. But all he really cares about is doing the job, every single day. Because in life, some may want to write the lessons and others may want to teach them. But the ones who change the world?

They live them.

New Mexico | Bureau of Land Management

It’s Day 37 of the raging wildfires that have engulfed 237,000 acres in New Mexico while enlisting more than 1,800 fire and rescue workers to battle it and officials say there is no end in sight. The devastation began when two smaller fires merged and laid waste to more than fifty square miles in one day.

High winds and drought ravaged forests have pushed these men and women to the brink, but somehow they’ll keep moving. They will always have a reason to keep fighting back, because that’s what service looks like.

God bless them all.

Long-shot Rich Strike wins the 148th Kentucky Derby - CNN

80-1 underdog Rich Strike won the Kentucky Derby last week, and I was grateful to have the space of a week’s worth of time to deliver up this news. Because in horse racing, every result is a dubiously fitted fairy tale these days. The sport is rife with rich creeps who are expert when it come to writing up regrettable endings to feel good stories. But for now? Rich Strike turned the gambling books upside down and shook their pockets clean.

Okay, so the trainer Eric Reed has come under fire for some coarse things he may or may not have tweeted about Vice President Kamala Harris. And jockey Sonny Leon was suspended for careless riding in the race before his Derby win. But so far, no evidence has been presented that someone doped this beautiful creature.

It’s probably safe to celebrate the upset win now. Probably . . .

Corrections Officer Vicky White, who helped inmate Casey White escape, died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds: authorities - ABC7 Chicago

“On the Run with the Whites” is the working title for that guilty pleasure limited series that will be coming to a streaming service near you (And maybe it won’t be Netflix after all, but I’ll get to that in a moment).

Because the worst? Happened.

Okay, not the worst, since Casey Cole White fought the law and the law won, catching up with the runaway couple in Evansville, Indiana after a nearly two week manhunt. And now the man who fatally stabbed a fifty-eight year old woman in 2020 is no longer a menace to society.

Vicky White wasn’t going out like that. She knew she was facing hard time and so she put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. And now the network vampires won’t get their day in court with a woman who threw it all away for fleabag hotels with shitty room service. Instead we’ll get the fictionalized version of these two.

You can put money on it.

Netflix Q4 Earnings: Why The Stock Is Tanking - MavenFlix - TheStreet StreamingBut don’t go putting any money down on Netflix, because they’re looking a hell of a lot like Rocky Balboa in Rocky III. And the other streaming services are Clubber Lang, intent on teaching the former champ a lesson in humility. Netflix stock has plummeted by 75% in just the last six months and the memory of their pandemic mighty has given way to plugging leaks with measures that won’t promote the growth they have come to expect. It happens to every heavyweight champion sooner or later.

Netflix got punched in the mouth. Now we’ll see how they respond.

I began this week’s episode in the air, and that’s where I’m gonna end things. The only difference being, Vlad ain’t got his hands in this mix so yeah . . it’s a story that worked out beautifully.

You know the action movie scenario where the pilot loses consciousness and one of the passengers is called on by air traffic control to land the plane even though they have no blessed idea how? Welp, Darren Harrison is the passenger I’m talking about and guess what? He actually lived to tell that harrowing tale.

Harrison was on board a single engine Cessna Caravan that was headed back to Florida after a Bahamas jaunt when the shit hit the fan or in this case, the propeller, when the pilot became incapacitated. It was a Jesus take the wheel moment with the only problem being that in spite of his beard, Harrison ain’t that guy.

This was the intersection of heaven and earth and the guy who had no idea how to fly a plane wasn’t ready to let the cosmos have the last word. Not so long as he had a chance to grab that winning lottery ticket more commonly referred to as terra firma. And then he was becoming fast friends with Robert Morgan, a certified flight instructor with over 1,200 hours of flight time. And then Harrison was focused on an A+ from his teacher, since the results of this particular excursion were pass/fail.

Morgan summoned every bit of his calm and cool and he gave a master class to his new pupil whilst pulling up images of the plane he was shepherding and also coordinating with Palm Beach International for the emergency landing. Which happened, without a single other hitch. After which Harrison got to thinking on the miracle of life. No, not this one. The one that will be happening later this year when he becomes a father.

I bet you he nails that landing too.

 

The Rundown

The Enormous Consequences of Overruling Roe v. Wade | Time

Nothing is sacred.

Lost in the hue and cry of the Supreme Court’s initial draft to reverse Roe v Wade is the fact that someone leaked these inner workings, including Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion on the nearly fifty-year old decision. This isn’t business as usual, far from it.

Don’t get me wrong, I vehemently disagree with Alito, whose rhetoric was filled with the kind of thinking that got us 2016. This idea that a woman’s right to an abortion shouldn’t be federally protected is as much of a breach of the public trust as the fact that someone decided to share it. I don’t agree with the leaking just the same as I don’t agree with Alito or his four other conservative compadres. Because it speaks to just how far we have fallen as a society, on both counts.

We keep waiting for better but we keep getting worse.

No Mow May' Gives You a Reason to NOT Mow the Lawn: Leave the Weeds to Feed the Bees

If you’re like me, the thought of mowing your lawn is right up there with dentist appointments and doing your taxes. Welp, now you can take the rest of the month off from those duties if you so choose thanks to a really great cause that will serve to help your local bee population. We are smack dab in the middle of “No Mow May” and as the kids would say, I am here for it.

By cutting this chore out (pun intended) of your May calendar, you won’t pillage a bee’s village of dandelions, clover and violets, thereby giving them ample time to grub and in turn grow their colonies for the coming summer months. So if your next door neighbor accuses you of being lazy, just tell them it’s all about bio-diversity. And if that doesn’t work, tell them to buzz off. (Big thank you to Dale for this bee-licious get).

When it comes to the defamation trial involving Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, I feel as if you can add a “Way” to the acronym TMI. Please make them stop.

Cheers to the Toronto Blue Jays . . . fans. You didn’t think I was gonna dish props to my beloved Yankees’ young and ridiculously talented rivals to the North, did you? Of course you didn’t. But when it comes to their fan base, I can bring the love because well . . they started it.

Missing Alabama inmate, corrections officer had 'special relationship': Sheriff - ABC News

It’s been almost a week since Corrections Officer Vicki White and inmate Casey White went on the lam in Alabama. On a completely related note, Lynyrd Skynyrd called and they want their song (all of them) back.

Anyways, officials have concluded the two were in cahoots and needless to say, her fellow officers are shocked and devastated. It’s an all around bizarre and regrettable story and you know what my takeaway is? Jon Hamm will play the inmate in a movie with the over/under on the release of the streaming masterpiece being two years.

You’re welcome.

Someone rushed the stage during a Chapelle appearance at the Hollywood Bowl this week, attacking the comedian before getting his ass beat by security. After the episode, Chris Rock comforted Chapelle on stage. You cannot make this shit up and really, why would you? 

Dodgers drama looms as no one 'wants to stand' with Trevor Bauer

Trevor Bauer is a major league pitcher with a million dollar arm (Actually, it’s a $102 million dollar arm) and not much else going for him . He’s been on the bench since last July after MLB suspended him over allegations of physical and sexual assault by a San Diego woman. Since the suspension, two more women have stepped forward with their own stories to tell. So Bauer becomes the latest major league creep to get found out but this time there’s a twist. The league office handed down a 2 year suspension at the conclusion of their investigation. That’s some heavyweight shit crashing down on the prime of his career and hopefully it’s a message from the league that enough really is going to be enough.

You listening Roger Goodell?

You know what the difference is between your drunk uncle and all those so called NFL “Draft Experts”? Neither do I . . .

I want to thank Frank “Beach Walks” Angle for filling in last week here at Sorryless. And as it turns out, there’s just a little bit more Cincy where that came from. Yesterday he sent me the amazing story of Denis Estimon, whose family immigrated from Haiti when he was in the first-grade.

In high school, the young man started a student group called “We Dine Together” with the idea being to give every kid a chance to belong. As a boy living in a new country, he had to overcome a language barrier and a completely uprooted existence. He understood first hand the challenges of feeling isolated and alone and he wanted to do something about it. So he did.

In a world that seems to provoke the sum of all our many fears on a daily basis, it’s important to remember just how much a simple kindness really can mean. The world is a complicated place, full of hits and misses, rights and wrongs, wins and losses. So the idea is to add to the win column, best we can, however we can. And it helps to know that beautiful outcomes are entirely within our means, because that’s how kindness works.

It’s a choice.

 

 

 

The Rundown

Pope Francis Calls for Peace on Easter | Time

Pope Francis looks out over St. Peter’s Square where more than 100,000 pilgrims gathered to hear his speech celebrating Easter Mass. The Pope prayed for peace in Ukraine while praising all of the people around the world who have opened their hearts and minds, their wallets and their homes to aid refugees of the war torn country. He called these acts of charity a sign of the hope that still exists in humankind.

Imma be taking a break for the rest of April, and while I would love to tell you that today’s post will be all sunshine and rainbows, of course I can’t. That’s not how the world operates, and it’s not going to do us any good to pretend. So instead, I’ll chase all the shower-soaked stories with the flowers we grow when we rise above.

Let’s get to it.

Five to split $50,000 reward in New York subway shooting case

Gun violence is our national seal, but if you’re looking for more urgency from our elected officials when it comes to enforcing tighter gun restrictions, good luck. Why should they be bothered when they can hide behind the fact that a majority of the population is just fine with the status quo? So we’ll keep getting stories like last week’s shooting on the northbound N train in Brooklyn, where Frank Robert James opened fire on morning commuters. James was wearing a gas mask and was carrying two smoke grenades, gasoline, a hatchet, fireworks and a Glock 9-millimeter handgun. At the conclusion of his rampage, ten people were shot and twenty-nine were injured, after which the shooter fled the scene.

Pregnant Brooklyn subway shooting victim recalls 'death trap'

Time stood still on that subway platform as people lay bleeding and dazed while others came to their aid and a few others gave chase. Inside the shroud of smoke and madness, unarmed civilians didn’t sit by and let James go. They tried to stop the man responsible for shattering their sense of normalcy. Ordinary people came together to make the kind of difference that doesn’t pretend away all the forgettable endings this world has to offer. They had a better idea than all those who cower in silence when action matters more than ever before. They didn’t accept what they were given.

Neither should we.

Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter, take it private | Fox Business

Elon Musk’s love affair with Twitter is like something out of a sordid Netflix documentary. You know the plot; Boy meets social media giant, they hook up and pledge their love for each other. And then things start going off the rails and the next thing you know, boy is stalking social media giant and things go from bad to hearse.

Musk agreed to join the board of directors for the San Francisco based company, and then he reversed course. And then he made a bid on the company he already owns 9 percent of. His offer of $43 billion didn’t go over well with the company’s major investors who cried bullshit over what they consider a lowball offer. They also ain’t digging on Musk’s contention that the social media giant has grown stagnant.

Meanwhile, Tesla investors are growing fidgety as they consider what a successful close by Musk would mean for their earnings. And Twitter employees think he’s just playing hit and run with their stock. And let’s not forget free speech advocates who fear what an unhindered Musk might do with an enormous thought engine like Twitter.

Like I said, look for this drama to end up on Netflix.

This is a crazy, unjust attack': Pink Floyd re-form to support Ukraine | Pink Floyd | The Guardian

Few things in life are forever, other than McDonald’s French fries, protest songs, the Simpsons and rock band divorces. But what happens if you took two great tastes that ended up tasting great together?

Pink Floyd did just that when they got (most of) the band back together again to create a song protesting the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The title of the song is Hey Hey, Rise Up and it’s the band’s first new track in twenty-eight years. David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Guy Pratt join Nitin Sawhney, with Andriy Khlyvnyuk of the Ukrainian band Boombox contributing vocals. Gilmour describes the song as a show of anger at a superpower invading a peaceful nation.

Big props to the band for letting Ukraine know there is somebody out there.

Here’s to Duke, a three-year old mixed breed whose long strange trip from Kosovo to the states almost didn’t happen.

Of all the Army bases in all the world, this handsome pooch walked into Sergeant Kelsey’s unit looking for some grub. And from there a friendship grew, one day at a time, one meal at a time, with lots of tail wagging and hugs to go around. And it got to where Kelsey decided that maybe it was time for the dog he coined with the name Duke to find a forever home with him.

And then one day, Duke stopped making the scene. When he was found several days later, Duke had been shot and was in rough shape. Paws of War- a New York based charity- sent an emergency veterinary team out and saved the dog’s life after which the Alamal Foundation provided foster care for him during his recovery.

These days, it’s all cake and war stories for Duke. But mostly cake.

It’s easy to believe the end of the world is circling our cosmic drain. We have plenty of reasons to start pricing compounds in the middle of nowhere, what with all the madness has seeped into our everyday.

Think about it. We don’t even slow the news crawl down for mass shootings unless there are a significant number of casualties, and even in those instances, we don’t stay with it for very long. The idea of world peace is a meme. Diplomatic efforts are oftentimes a preamble for bad shit on the horizon. And maybe it always has been this way, but God knows the price to be paid gets higher with each new laundry bill.

If you’re looking for a sacred patch of grass to rest your weary head on, we ain’t supplying. Not in a world where terrorist attacks become political capital and a virus that has claimed more than six million lives is believed by many to have been nothing more than a hoax. How do you even respond to that without screaming?

When did the world become one great, big hostile takeover? And how do we respond without losing our sanity? How can we trust ourselves when surrounded by so much doubt? Why do we insist on sticking to the blueprint of Rudyard Kipling, who preached patience and love in the face of an unrelenting storm?

Because maybe he understood full well that the stuff we don’t know is the stuff we can still do something about. The proof showed up last week, in a Times Square subway station of all places. And it filled that unforgiving minute Kipling once wrote about with a song that lets us know hope ain’t done with us just yet.

Not even close.

But wait . . .  there’s (one) more!

My Polonius Has A First Name

Cop Rock,' The Most Infamously Awful Show In TV History, Is Finally Coming  To DVD

I’ll be posting the last Rundown of April early next week. For now, Imma preempt the regularly scheduled programming to bring you something completely stupid. I mean different.

Both.

As Newton Minow is my witness, my television habits weren’t always a lost cause. As a boy, I rather enjoyed the snarky resilience of James Garner in The Rockford Files. I crushed on the comedic genius of I Love Lucy. And then I chased that with Newhart, Moore, Franklin and Burnett. And I was socially conscious, even if I didn’t watch Good Times or The Jeffersons or All In The Family for any other reason than I loved those shows. 

And then adolescence came calling and my sophisticated palette was replaced with a vagabond warrior of the airwaves whose mission it was to kill my brain cells without using illicit drugs. So while I would love to blame the insidious nature of streaming services for obsessing my compulsions, Imma fess to my own mess, considering my long and sordid history when it comes to the entertainment I consume. Want proof? I watched a couple episodes of Cop Rock back in the ’90’s. Or, a couple more episodes than the family of the show’s creator, Stephen Bochco, watched. Clearly, I put the boob in tube.  

Since my therapist isn’t cool with me recording our sessions, I enlisted the Corleone family to dramatize the time I brought up my television viewing to her. 

As far as shows are concerned, I don’t do medical dramas or family dramas or best friends for life dramas. You know why? Because personally, to do so would be masochistically redundant, that’s why. 

  • Minute To Win It- Imagine a game show written by drunk people. With Guy Fieri as host. 
  • Hardcore Pawn- A reality show featuring a family run pawn shop in Detroit. More staged than a Ted Cruz breakfast on the shooting range. Dumber too.
  • Joe Millionaire- I took the wayback machine to retrieve this gem from the early 2000’s for a reason. Because I watched this one with my kids and somehow, did not receive a visit from child services.
  • Cooking With Paris- Ms. Hilton in the kitchen will never be confused with a Julia Child special.
  • The Punisher- Not completely horrible, but if you were to create a Superheroes League Division, this show would be the Baltimore Orioles.
  • The Tiger King- The streaming equivalent of voting for Donald Trump. 
  • Rock of Love- 25 women compete with the prize being Poison lead singer Bret Michaels. I watched this without having a gun to my head. 
  • The Ultimatum: Marry Or Move On- So THIS is what purgatory looks like! 

You’re probably thinking my movie diet can’t possibly compete with that level of stupid. Actually? This is where things really get nuts.

If you make the regrettable decision to keep on reading, you have to promise me you won’t judge. Okay . .  who am I kidding? Of course you can judge me. Hell, I would be disappointed if you didn’t. 

  • Killer Sofa- If you’re under the impression this was a documentary studying the link between obesity and television viewing? Nope. This is a movie about a killer sofa. 
  • Power of the DogOf fucking course Imma mention this flick. It wasted the talents of a star-studded roster- Jane Campion, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Benedict Cumberbatch. And then it hid behind a losing personality by showing up with a stunner on its arm- in this instance, the backdrop of New Zealand. And none of it mattered because I’m dumber for having spent a couple hours in its company.
  • Bolero- Bo Derek was in it, okay?
  • Showgirls- Yep.
  • Catwoman- If you’re sensing a trend, welp, this is what happens when a guy doesn’t dig on porn.
  • Birdemic- I think the writer James Nguyen was trying to pay homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. I think it’s a very good thing Nguyen is a writer and not a brain surgeon. 
  • Cats- Oooooookay, I’m no longer in denial. 
  • Jason X- The tenth installment of the Friday the 13th franchise in which Jason goes to space. Yes, you read that right.

I could go on but instead I think I’ll heed the advice of that Polonius fellow I mentioned in the title to this post. The dude believed that brevity was the soul of wit. Which is one of my all time favorite Shakespeare quotes, even if Hamlet didn’t think so since he ended up killing the guy. 

If only Shakespeare had been a screenwriter.

 

 

 

 

The Rundown

Jackie Robinson's final words send powerful ripples decades later | Sporting News

Next week will mark the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first game as a Brooklyn Dodger. When he stepped out of the dugout and onto the grass of Ebbet’s Field on April 15 1947, Jackie took on sixty-seven years of segregation in major league baseball. His journey transcended the sports world and it served notice to everyone who insisted on looking in the rear-view mirror to find the greatness of America. He proved that we find the best in ourselves by moving forward.

When asked about his decision to bring Jackie Robinson to Brooklyn, general manager Branch Rickey said that “Some day I’m going to have to stand before God, and if He asks me why I didn’t let that Robinson fellow play ball, I don’t think saying ‘because of the color of his skin’ would be a good enough answer,”.

That quote always gets me.

Volodymyr Zelensky urges UN to condemn Russia, take action on alleged war crimes

President Zelensky says Russia is preparing for a “new bloody wave” of attacks in eastern Ukraine and made an urgent appeal to NATO for more weapons. The idea of any substantive inroads being made as far as peace talks between Russia and Kyiv grow more dismal with each passing day. Local officials have warned civilians that this will be their last chance to leave as Russian forces tighten their grip on the border. More than 5,000 civilians have been killed in he port city of Mariupol, with Mayor Vadym Boichenko calling it the new Auschwitz.

The owners of a sprawling nature resort tucked deep in the pine woods of British Columbia are taking the news out of Ukraine to heart by opening their doors to the country’s refugees. Their goal is to host 100 people on their 81 acre property which was formerly known as the Grouse Nest.

Their new Name? The Ukrainian Safe Haven. Refugees will be provided with all of the essentials as they attempt to piece their lives back together. Inside the darkest of times, perfect strangers are making good on a refrain that never goes out of style.

Home is where you hang your heart.

I would love to tell you my Netflix habits have gotten smarter with time. I really would love to tell you that. Alas, when my evening fare consisted of The Ultimatum: Marry Or Move On, it seems I am a lost cause when it comes to educational nourishment in my streaming diet.

If Tiger Woods Tees Off At The Masters, He'll Be Playing To Win | FiveThirtyEight

It might not be the popular opinion of golf geeks or sports talkies but I’ve had my fill of Tiger Woods.

In present day, he is arguably the greatest golfer of all time but in 2009 there was no argument. Back then he was destined to surpass Jack Nicklaus for the title belt before his star crashed, literally and figuratively. We came to learn he was even more prolific as an adulterous jerk than he on the links. His personal life and his career spiraled from there as a result of his self-destructive arrogance, but you’d never know it from listening to the talking heads gush about his return to Augusta this weekend. They wax poetic on the former king of the sport as if he wasn’t the sole reason for his demise. I’m sorry, but Tiger Woods ain’t giving me a reason to watch the Masters.

In fact, he’s giving me yet one more reason not to.

Eric Church is a new age country singer and I never planned on knowing that much about him. And then he canceled a concert last weekend so he could attend the Final Four and watch his beloved UNC Tar Heels and I felt as if I knew too much about him. He is trying to mend the fences by staging a free concert now but I have to wonder how many people will decide they don’t want to go back to Church. You knew I was going there, right?

NEA statement on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's Senate Judiciary Committee vote | NEA

The Senate yesterday confirmed the nomination of Ketanji Brown yesterday by a vote of 53-47, making Brown the first black woman to serve on the highest court in the land. This result was as bi-partisan as things get in these times with three Republicans crossing the aisle to ensure the confirmation. It’s a much needed win for Biden as well with the mid-term elections just around the corner.

Father Says Homeless Man Saved Daughter And Her Friends During Sacramento Shooting – CBS Sacramento

Last weekend proved once again that we have no rock bottom.

When it comes to supply chains, there is no disruption when it comes to the carnage humankind is capable of. There is no line we will not cross, no sacred place we will not desecrate. Saddest of all is the realization that people killing people has become a routine part of our everyday.

Tim Langer doesn’t own a television or a computer and he doesn’t get to read the newspaper all that much. You can excuse his ignorance when it comes to our other pandemic seeing as how he is living on the streets. His ‘home’ is a tiny space off K street in downtown Sacramento, where he is invisible to the rest of the world most days. And then an eruption of gunfire roused him from his sleep, thrusting him from the shadows and directly into the line of fire. That’s when he came across a couple of panic stricken young women and he made sure they would live to see morning.

“From what I could see, the state of war, I was just trying to calm them down and keep them reassured that everything was going to be all right.”

When faced with a moment where actions mattered more than words ever could, Langer made his way through the darkness that was busy stealing six more souls. He placed himself in harm’s way, shielding the women with his body as he raced them to cover. And to that never ending pit of hopeless outcomes that was hunting for more lives to take his message was a resounding one.

Not today.

The Beatrix Kiddo Invitational: Volume Uno

Beatrix Kiddo - Kill Bill Digital Art by Zapista OU

My first dalliance with an Invitational post came about thanks to a vision I had whilst partaking of Marlboros, martinis and oxy as I watched The Departed. In the luminescent halo of smoky observance, I found Vera Farmiga’s likeness staring back at me and that’s when the mystery of it all became the history of it all.

It was a religious experience that would never be replicated . . . until another idea rolled up on me just recently. The fingerprints of this provocation can be traced to a summit with apple pie moonshine and Guinness; the medicinal qualities of which provided me a time-released muse with the hemi of a semi.

And so, I present to you the Beatrix Kiddo Invitational. As in badass with a capital Boom! This compilation of badasses only includes fictional characters of stream and screen since the turn of the millennium. So apologies in advance to the luminaries of the badass industry- Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, Dirty Harry, Pepper Anderson and the Mod Squad, among so many others. They were the original masters of ass-kicking legend

Our invitational is all about handing out propers. There is no particular order because let’s face it, badasses don’t stand in line.

They make their own.

The jacket of Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) in No Country For Old Men | Spotern

Do you know why Anton Chigurh is a badass legend? You might think it has to do with his hopped up grasshopper relentlessness . . . his DIY skills when it comes to removing shrapnel from his person . . . or the business of his inner evil bloodhound. Oh yeah, and he walked away from a crash in which he gets t-boned, with a bone sticking out of his arm. No doubt, its an impressive rubric of badassery. But the reason he’s a legend is because he sports a Dutch boy haircut in No Country For Old Men and not a single mention is made of that fact.

Everyone but Daniel Craig Wants Another Daniel Craig Bond Film | Vanity Fair

Daniel Craig as James Bond. Because he took the evergreen enterprise and he went where no Bond had gone before. He’s the most prolific drinker in the Bond series, which is pretty fucking impressive when you consider that his deadlines are quite literal. Craig’s Bond is equal parts Jack Bauer and Cary Grant. Add to that, his rendition of the character was honored at the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic games in London when a stuntman parachuted into the stadium. A little shaken but not stirred.

Marvel's Jessica Jones: season two will explore fall-out from Kilgrave murder | Radio Times

Kilgrave is the antagonist in Marvel’s Jessica Jones, and when it comes to villains he is one of my all timers for a reason. He’s a snappy dresser with a murderous glacier of a heart, and he provides the witty banter of a Shakespearean gangster. If you’re looking for a fighter, he most certainly ain’t that. Nope, he wins by controlling people’s minds like a televangelist on commission. A badass with a brain is a very dangerous thing.

What Makes Heath Ledger's Joker the Perfect Villain in The Dark Knight Video

Heath Ledger’s turn as the Joker in The Dark Knight is the stuff of legend. The late actor gifted bat fans with a master class in badassology, and he transformed Christopher Nolan’s franchise in the process. Ledger reprised a role made famous by guys like Caesar Romero and Jack Nicholson and made it his own, entirely so. Rumor has it when veteran actor Michael Caine first met the Joker on the set, he was so terrified that he forgot his lines.

Now that is badass.

The Walking Dead' Season 6 Finale: Negan Arrives, and Then... ? - The New York Times

There was a time when The Walking Dead was appointment television for yours truly. By the sixth season, I was seriously considering a divorce until it came to my attention that Jeffrey Dean Morgan had been cast as the show’s next villain.

I reconciled.

Negan provided me with a reason for staying, even if his coming out party turned a lot of fans off. Welp, those peeps must have forgotten the context of a zombie apocalypse where diplomacy will get you skewered. And okay, yes, perhaps our boy was a little over the top when it came to the business end of his barbed wired baseball bat named “Lucille”. But I know one thing for certain; a more tempered Negan wouldn’t have made it all the way to the end of the show’s eleven year run. And while he has changed a ton in the ensuing years, he never lost that swing.

Welcome to Pee-Pee Pants City. Population: Me.