The Rundown

We’re gonna dress this episode up a little differently. Rather than an organized panel of stories Imma provide some ramble on my amble instead. I’ll make like the hot brands and just sizzle my stream of consciousness until it’s done to your liking. I mean my liking. Maybe both. I blame this change-up on the fact I’m currently re-reading Milton’s Paradise Lost, which is as close to an acid trip as I’m ever gonna get.

The Rundown will be taking next Friday off, and nope, Delta had nothing to do with this particular cancellation. I just wanted to clear the runway for Frank “Beach Walks” Angle’s ode to July. I think I speak for Cincy when I ask, where has the fucking time gone? Okay, I was speaking for myself.

Let’s get to it . . . .

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced this week that he won’t be ordering the kiddie vaccine for his state. And I get how there are parents who ain’t gonna dosey dosage with their toddlers. But some will, and shouldn’t the Gov give his people the right to make up their own minds? Rights ain’t pick and choose. Rights are rights. Right? In some alternate reality, DeSantis is lead man for a heavy metal garage band but in this one he’s the front runner for the GOP in 2024. Unless chaos truly is our future and the Seinfeld administration we endured last term achieves re-run status.

With Joe Biden running up the kind of tab that would make a gold club gangsta rapper blush, the seams of our republic are begging for a leader to take the helm. What we’re getting instead speaks to the inflationary cost of hubris, where short change heroes dominate the landscape. And John Wayne isn’t walking through that door, because he was only saving the days when they were make believe.

It seems we’ve lost sight of compromise. We don’t value consensus when winning is the only thing that matters. Even comedy has gone tragic. Like, Dave Chappelle saying thanks but no thanks to having the Duke Ellington School of Theater renamed after him was understandable. The dude and his alma mater had gone fifteen rounds over his comments about the LGBTQ community on a Netflix special, after which he got torched for it. Chappelle says his material ain’t personal but the attacks on him were, so he wants to avoid any further distractions by exiting stage left. They’re going to rename the school the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression and I have to ask. Why not stick with Duke Ellington’s name? Or is that old guy logic?

When smart people say dumb things: Gun rights advocates whine about how pols and celebs have armed bodyguards and so their calls for gun control are hypocritical. Did I miss where these bodyguards were responsible for our mass shooting epidemic?

The danger of our times is that grass roots efforts have been replaced with gluttony. Rights are no longer a collective dynamic, they’re a retrofitted designation. We don’t debate, we square off in the octagon. Our ethos is bought and sold inside a slimmed down power structure that favors the wrong kind of American dream, and the price we’re going to pay for not getting along is coming fast.

Gas pump memes as ludicrous as the skyrocketing prices - al.com

Which is why I thank the goodness of the world every chance I get. And I’m a fool for the stoics who cultivate hope in the now. People like Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov, who put his medal where the money was when he auctioned off his Nobel Peace Prize on Monday. He scored $103,5 million croutons in the doing, which is like twenty-five times more than an auction had ever raised for such a venture. The monies are going to Ukrainian child refugees.

Nobody asked me but . . . Ansel Engort is a home run in the HBO crime drama Tokyo Vice, and he reminds me of Michael Douglas in the ’70’s cop show The Streets of San Francisco. Which is my way of heaping high praise on the young man’s performance.

So there is plenty of good to dig on, and Cincy is helping to provide our walk-off story for this week. It’s about a young man named Miles Copeland whose achievement on the hardwood outshines anything the big leagues have to offer. Copeland is a firefighter for the Toledo Fire Department who also happens to play semi-pro basketball. When referee John Sculli collapsed during a game recently, Copeland showed off the kind of skill set that won’t ever get cut or traded. He spent half an hour bringing a man back to life, because it’s not just something he was trained to do, it was something he was born to do.

Even in the darkest of times, humanity’s got game.

 

 

 

The Non-Annoyance Post! Volume: WTF?

The Starry Night - Wikipedia

Welp, it was bound to happen sooner or later.

In a world where annoyances are everywhere, I thought I would breathe a little minty refresh into my tired old series by heading in the opposition direction. Don’t expect this kind of thing to become a habit; not with five dollar gasoline, Marjorie Taylor Greene-isms and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s dominance still prevailing over our pizza party. But for now . . . right now?

Mellow it is . . .

  • Tom Cruise movies. I know he ain’t for everyone, but if you’re going to lay down a bill to go see the latest blockbuster, he’s gonna squeeze every penny out of it. I’m a fool for his Mission Impossible franchise, and his Top Gun reprise is a master class in endorphin rushology.
  • Rainy nights

Made up words Memes and Images - Imgur

  • Making up words (See above). Because it follows the same blueprint as my young parent disciplinary methods. As I would tell my kids when they said something they shouldn’t have said: Make certain it’s not mean spirited. And it better be funny.
  • Coca Cola. About once or twice a month I treat myself to an ice cold Coke. And I’m talking the classic. I don’t do diet or sugar free.
  • Vintage juke-boxes
  • Peanut Butter Chex. It’s not really cereal, but it’s still a slightly better idea than a hot fudge sundae. I marry my PB Chex to some yogurt because it’s a taste-bud titan.

Murderers' Row - Wikipedia

  • The New York Yankees ridiculously impressive start. I realize it means little when you consider the MLB continues to disassemble the essence of the sport by making the regular less important. And I also realize Aaron Boone’s teams have a penchant for folding in the most important games. But hey, how else was I going to fit an annoyance and a non-annoyance in the same post? Hmm? Huh? Hmm?
  • An actual good night’s sleep
  • Getting into my jams at the end of the day. Because it means I am officially done with the outside world unless some cataclysmic event forces me to switch back into my street clothes. No, check that, why would I be going outside if there was a cataclysmic event going on? Never mind.
  • Dark chocolate. And the fact that it’s good for you allows me to eat twice as much! What?

  • Nightmares. Nothing serious, like the death of a loved one or another Trump term. But I’m plenty fine ordering any other type of temporal tempura off the menu. Nightmares are free entertainment, and if I’m having one, it means I’m sleeping!
  • The Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. And not for nothing, but the Prime series is a peach accompaniment to the books.
  • Bird song in the morning
  • Playoff hockey
  • My uncanny display of will power when it comes to pizza. I could eat the stuff every single day for the rest of my life. And I realize if I did, that life would probably be over in oh . . about a week and a half. But so far in 2022, I’ve only partaken once. Which has to be my own personal best. And okay . . now Imma be craving pizza. So let’s two say times thus far in 2022, which is still impressive. To me.

Welp, I won’t be doing that again anytime soon but thanks for humoring me until the next Annoyances Post! gets cooking in my mental crockpot. And as Casey Kasem (never) used to say, keep your seat on the ground if you’re coming from the bars!

 

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.

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.

 

The Rundown- April 1st Edition

FUNNY SIGNS | Learn Hot English 230 | Pocketmags.com

I caught some flack (not named Roberta) for last week’s downer of an episode, which I didn’t think was all that dark . . but whatever. I do understand these are tough times we’re wading through, and so in honor of the day that makes fools of us all, Imma fool ’em right back.

My regularly scheduled programming will return next week with more stories of death and destruction, as well as how to write off that purchase of Madden NFL 22 as a business expense. But for this week, we make party.

Welp, let’s get to it.

Hillary Clinton to voice 'Into The Woods' role in Little Rock

She’s baaaaack!

No, Hilary Clinton isn’t running for office again, no matter how hard Sean Hannity prays for that ratings winner. And seeing as how she has an allergy to winning elections against anyone not named Rick Lazio, it’s probably a good thing for whatever is left of the Clintonian legacy.

Instead Ms. Clinton will voice the role of the Giant in Stephen Sondheim’s adaptation of Into The Woods. In the role, she plays the vengeful widow of the giant Jack slayed in his climb down from the beanstalk. Hilary says she prepared for the role by poring over footage of interviews she granted during her time as First Lady.

Rick Madeira, of Fall River, Mass., rides an electric unicycle Monday, March 14, 2022, in Fall River, Mass. Madeira, who has taken to riding his electric unicycle to work, saving on gas and cutting his commute time in the process, says he has the answer for those upset with high gas prices. Madeira's Gotway Nikola Plus electric unicycle, with no seat or handle bars, just places for his feet, can go 70 or 80 miles on one charge, and reaches speeds of up to 40 mph. (Colin Furze/The Herald News of Fall River via AP)

Rick Madeira of Fall River, Massachusetts has come up with the solution to rising gas prices, and while it won’t get him an invite to the White House, I’m sure Jimmy Fallon’s people will be in touch.

Madeira rides his electric unicycle to work and he says it has cut his commute time in half- from eight minutes to four. I’m not sure how an eight minute commute inspires an individual to hop aboard a ride with no seat . . . or windshield, or handlebars, or doors or air bags. His Gotway Nikola Plus can go up to eighty miles on a single charge, and reach speeds of 40 mph. “It’s just more convenient, and it’s obviously more fun,”. If you characterize the possibility of becoming road pizza as fun, you probably hail from New England.

As fun as this looks, I’ll stick to horses.

Coach K retirement: How many Final Fours has Duke's coach been to? - DraftKings Nation

March Madness has almost struck midnight and once again, the tournament that bills itself as the place where Cinderella balls out . . . ain’t that at all.

Okay, props to the Saint Peters Peacocks out of Jersey City for making it to the Elite Eight this year. And big props to the U, as the Miami Hurricanes came up just short of their first Final Four appearance in school history. But in the end, as happens every single year, the bluebloods dominate the final weekend. For all the manufactured upsets in which teams are seeded on a mostly subjective scale, this sport has become a bettors paradise and little more. When the only familiar names in a sport belong to the head coaches, what do you expect? And I’m not just venting because Imma come up short in my office bracket.

But it doesn’t hurt.

PS- Imma be rooting for Coach K to go out on top.

Carrot Top Tickets - StubHub

April 1st BREAKING NEWS . . . .

Former President Donald Trump announced this week that he will not run in the 2024 Presidential election, while offering an apology for his boorish behavior over the last half century. He also accepted full responsibility for his role in last January’s riot at the Capitol and promised to be totally cooperative going forward.

“Also, I lost the election to Joe. Actually, he didn’t just win, he kicked my ass. I was embarrassed so I made up this huge lie about how the presidency was stolen from me. It was really a gag, because who in their right mind would really believe that shit? I was pulling stuff out of my ass . . from vote dumping in the middle of the night to corrupted servers to an army of the dead showing up . . . I didn’t expect many of my followers to play along, but then they all did!”

He spoke to reporters before his morning round of golf, which he lost resoundingly, after which he filed suit to have the results overturned.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty (TV Series 2022– ) - IMDb

I dove into Winning Time with tempered expectations, considering how fictionalized accounts of real life events seldom bear any resemblance to the original. And for the first couple episodes, I was right. It was a kitschy dip into the shallow end of sports lore and it was good enough for me. The casting is spectacular, with Quincy Isaiah shooting his shot as Magic Johnson and nailing it. Jason Clarke as Jerry West is inspired, as is DeVaughn Nixon’s turn as Norm Nixon- the point guard who preceded Magic’s Showtime Lakers. And okay . . . John C. Reilly does a great job as Dr. Jerry Buss, even if I can’t extricate Talladega Nights  and Stepbrothers from my brain when I watch him. But that’s a me problem.

And then the show began dishing up revelations that moved the needle. Gems like how Pat Riley wasn’t always the coolest cat in the room, and how Magic’s ascendance was hard earned and how a little known offensive genius named Jack McKinney was responsible for ushering in the up-tempo style of play that transformed a franchise and the league.

Good stuff.

Oscar Statuette | Oscars.org | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The 94th annual Academy Awards was held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday night. With three hosts proving unable to carry the load of one solid emcee, the show was proving to be a rudderless waste of time.

And then it happened.

In a shocking turn of events that left the audience buzzing, The Power Of The Dog did NOT win the Oscar for Best Picture. And thank fucking Christ for that because it would have been a complete mockery of the event. Imagine the memes on social media? The wall to wall coverage all week long? Yikes! When you consider all the great Oscar winning films of the last century, the idea that Power would have joined that legendary list is, well, how do I put this nicely?

It would have been a slap in the face.

The Rundown

What pundits are saying about Zelensky's address to Congress | TheHill

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed our Congress this week, appealing to our elected representatives for more aid and weapons. He also called for the US to institute a no-fly zone over Ukraine. President Biden is making good on the first two requests but thus far has refused the third. The reason for his refusal is simple; it will push NATO forces and more specifically, the US from the sidelines and into the middle of this war, inextricably.

It’s a hell of a thing to watch people suffer and know that we could do more, but at what price? A ramped up escalation that pits us against Russian forces? Even if that scenario doesn’t lead to a nightmarish conclusion involving nuclear missile strikes, it most certainly draws us ever closer to a not so fictional midnight.

It’s vital that we weigh our responses to both Putin and Zelensky at this point in the conflict, seeing as how the wrong move could not simply heighten tensions, but throw them over the cliff. And in a sea of horrible possibilities, we sure as hell don’t want to introduce yet another one.

I love Bono, but his poem to Ukraine on St. Patrick’s Day will not be remembered in the same vein as The Joshua Tree. Just saying.

The Windy City celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of one of the most unique St. Patrick’s Day celebrations going. Back in 1962, a few chaps from the Chicago Journeymen Local Plumbers Union were making merry on the Holy Day when the spirit(s) of the 17th prevailed against their better judgement. So they dumped 100 pounds of dye into the Chicago River, and the rest became local history. The moral of the story? Believe in the magical qualities of mayhem.

The Batman (2022) - IMDb

Marco’s Micro-Movie Review- The Batman feels like David Fincher dreamt it up after a really bad breakup; dark and gloomy with a unrelenting hopelessness that saturates the (too long) three-hour caper. Solid performances all around, but none better than the Riddler- played by Paul Dano- whose wicked ways don’t just cross the line. They torch it.

Look: Tom Brady Has Message For Manchester United

Well, shit . . .

Rainy days and Mondays usually get us down, and this kid is no different. And kudos to him for going all Hamlet with his feelings rather than just bottling them up, because lets face it, that shit’ll kill you. Letting it all hang out is the way to go. And not for nothing, but he should be expecting a call from Ron Howard any day now.

Tom Brady news that I actually found interesting? Someone bought Tom Brady’s final touchdown pass for $516,628  . . . just hours before Brady announced that, well, it wasn’t going to be his final touchdown pass after all. And now I don’t feel so bad about that loan I made to my pal Fat Tony when he wanted to get into bookmaking.

Hyperion Horses for Sale | Hyperion Stud

The Fed announced this week that it will raise interest rates, with more hikes to come over the course of 2022. The full-court press is in response to a consumer price index which came in at an eye popping 7.9 percent in February, its highest level since early in the Reagan administration. They’ll keep raising rates with the hopes of getting the economy to chill for a tad, but this strategy is likely to butt heads with the supply chain issue we’ve got going on so . . . . I’m pricing horses as promised. I found a beauty in Maryland, one owner. She’s a retired grandmother who only rides the horse to and from church on Sundays.

15+ Of The Best & Funniest Daylight Savings Time Memes

The Senate passed a bill this week that would call for a year-round daylight saving time. No more messing with the clock every fall, the clock would remain stuck where it is now. And not for nothing, but it’s an idea whose time has come. Okay . . that was worse than Bono’s poem, sorry. The House still needs to sign off on the bill, after which it would go to President Biden . . . because he has nothing else to concern himself with these days.

A volunteer’s work is never done, and thank God for that.

The latest evidence that hope and love are the most valuable commodities on the market comes to us from Siret, Romania. That’s where 7-year old Arina and her family are living right now after fleeing Ukraine for a refugee camp that is located almost six hundred miles southwest of their home. More than 2 million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24th. More than 85,000 of them have found a safe haven in Romania.

When a psychologist at the camp learned that Arina was celebrating a birthday, he made sure there would be a cause for celebration. After which a lot of people with a lot of really important things to tend to made it happen. Because in that moment, the most important thing in the world was to make this beautiful child smile. Hell, it wasn’t just important to them, it was everything.

It became the kind of moment that possesses a language all its own, one known to the dreamers and lovers and fools of a world who still believe in the best of humankind, after all of this. As they sang to her, they achieved that smile they had been searching for since tomorrow got lost. And as a peaceful snow fell through the thick of night, it was as if the heavens were looking down in applause.

Happy Birthday Arina.