We’ve Got to Get (Constructively) Mad!

With only scant clarifications / updates, news anchorman Howard Beale’s above rant, featured in the 1976, Paddy Chayefsky written, Sidney Lumet directed flick, Network, remains relevant today.

First, let’s specifically address Beale’s “punks are running wild in the streets” and “banks are going bust” references.

Today’s “punks”, in actuality, are Flaw and Disorder Trump’s jackbooted stormtroopers, who mindlessly obey their boss’s barked out unconstitutional orders to invade American municipalities, viciously attack duly pissed off demonstrators and simultaneously trample their 1st Amendment Rights… hallowed Constitutional rights which, in part, categorically state…

“Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

As for the banks… while… so far… ATM’s are still cranking out currency (so fast the ink is almost wet), it’ll only be a matter of time before the unsustainable smoke and mirrors economies, worldwide, go up in smoke and get shattered into glass shards.

Next, let’s discuss societal unraveling, in the abstract. When we temporally, forward-project Beale’s remarks re cowering in our dwellings, fretting about home invasions and brushing off homicide stats as the “accepted norm”… well…

Pitted against today’s pandemic backdrop, are not we, the homebound, fearing COVID-19 will soon be kicking down our doors, sickening us to death and carving our names into our tombstones? Hell, here in America, when Trump speaks his mucked up mind re America’s… so far… 177,000 pandemic fatalities, with nary a blinked back tear, he’ll say, “It is what it is.”

At this juncture, let’s discuss Beale’s recommendation, “First, you’ve got to get Mad, etc.”

The key word, here, is “First”.

Once we’re done yelling “I’m as mad as hell, etc.”… once we slam our windows shut… we must next channel our outrage constructively by voting smartly. That starts with slamming the window of opportunity on ALL opportunistic, high and mighty candidates ISO high elective office.

 

Stay Safe at Home! Stay Publicly Masked! Stay Healthy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boon or Bane?

For optimal effect, prior to playing back the clip, above, read the set up, below…

The boon to having a vivid imagination is being able to effortlessly create and play out flights of fancy within the silver screened theatre of the mind. Once this becomes second nature, our comedies, dramas, even… ahem… fantasies can compete with the likes of Netflix™, Hulu™ and Disney Plus™. Even better, were it possible to successfully, storyboard such noggin notions to the film industry’s execs, they’d wind up paying us handsomely, and brilliant careers would be ours.

And that scenario, in itself, illustrates the MINOR point I’m trying to make here. All in all, this does sound win-win… uh… until we consider the “tails” side of the coin.

The bane to having a vivid imagination is WHEN… When… when… (it’s now time to scroll up to start up the blog topper clip)

It’s now Monday, November 2, 2020… the day before Election Day in America. In Scene One we find the Tyrant-ass-saurus Rex… the pea-brained, tiny handed, prehistoric reptile who’s gleefully trampling the U.S. Constitution… grinding that once hallowed document’s atoms into the Oval Office carpet. He’s so hellbent on fraudulently clawing his way to reelection that, in Scene Two, we witness him bellowing out his marching orders… deploying his private army… the armed to the teeth throngs of boneheaded, bristling with testosterone, bloodthirsty, bleating, roaring, rampaging goon squads.

Their Destinations: All voting precincts with high concentrations of Democrats.
Their Hard R-Rated Mission: To tear gas and/or gun down people attempting to exercise their Right To Vote!

Now, just in case Hollywood / Bollywood would find such content too violent for their liking…

Their Destinations: Ditto the above.
Their PG13-Rated Mission: Use flamethrowers to incinerate in-person and absentee paper ballots (all voting tech, too).

Regardless of the MPAA ratings, each dystopian narrative, in itself, illustrates the MAJOR point I’m trying to make here. All in all, it’d be lose-lose… after all, there can be no real winners were the wretched, brutal Tyrant-ass-saurus Rex and his goons able to burn America to the ground.

We can only hope our tossed in the air coin defies the mathematical odds and comes up heads each and every time!

 

Stay Safe at Home! Stay Publicly Masked! Stay Healthy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chain Yanking While Social Isolating Can Be Fun

Don’t read the post, below / view the clip, above, if you click by at a time of mourning or other heartache.

I just had the distinct pleasure of shutting down a telemarketer (and likely scammer). Right from the get-go, I cut thru his paint-by-the-numbers pleasantries to ask, “What’s this call all about?” He replied (words to the effect) that he’d be helping me plan my own funeral. How nice…

While there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with pre-planning for life’s end game inevitability, when juxtaposed against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic (which has already got many of us obsessing over death), this was just too damned ghoulish and in bad taste… especially since the “funeral director” was delivering his spiel while his headset was picking up all of that background, boiler room chatter.

Hmm… one would expect some canned, low decibel, somber organ playing or strumming of harps. But hey, if they can’t dig the importance of ambience, it’s their funeral… right?

Anyway, this all left me with the impression that, were I to buy into his scam, my body would eventually wind up on an assembly line conveyor belt, leading to a bubbling cauldron where my mortal remains would be cooked up into a concoction (confection?) known as Soylent Green.

Soylent what? You ask? Short answer: crunchy human granola bars. Somewhat longer rundown…

Soylent Green is the title to the 1973, dystopian, Sci-Fi flick, set in (then futuristic) 2022 NYC, where the main protagonist, Thorn, resides amongst the multiple millions of struggling, starving, homicidal maniacs who battle each other, daily, to score that generic, protein rich foodstuff (and unnaturally… in the process… unwittingly becoming cannibals).

Which brings us back to that crass telemarketer and what went down in the end…

I cut Mr. Reaper off mid-sentence to deadpan, “Uh, I’m donating my body to science.”

CLICK! (his phone, not mine)

I burst into laughter.

Which proves that chain yanking while social isolating can be fun.

 

Stay Safe at Home! Stay Publicly Masked! Stay Healthy!

 

 

 

 

The Four(?) Stooges vs. The Coronavirus?

While the above clip’s total playback time is 17:09, the content needed to compliment my commentary, requires only the opening scene, which concludes at the 5:15 time index.

This past May, Donald J. Trump trotted out his Operation Warp Speed. This undertaking’s goal, if achieved, would expedite the R&D of the vaccine and/or therapeutics required to inhibit / halt the deadly rampage of coronavirus.

While I can set aside partisan politics, long enough, to wish them all well in this endeavor, it is still fair to point out that the time to have engaged Warp Speed had been way back in January of this year.

Had Trump… right from the get-go… expeditiously shut down our homeland… i.e., ordered everyone to immediately hunker down in their homes and mask up in public… he could’ve speedily contained this scourge and, in the process, bought the medical community far more time to “science the shit out of this.” *

Oh, btw, when it comes down to R&D, Warp Speed isn’t always advisable. After all, abiding by the slower paced, more orderly scientific method is how to best avoid making hasty decisions, which can lead to deadly mistakes.

To extend Trump’s Star Trekian-based metaphorical reference, a bit further, it’s also fair to point out that while using Warp Drive did get crews of the U.S.S. Enterprise and other Federation starships out of trouble, fast, that faster than the speed of light velocity, ofttimes, swiftly got them into trouble, too. Beyond that…

• How can we muster even a milligram of trust for the power-hungry, autocratic Trump, who, deep down, knows that his bid for reelection is not the shoo-in he once thought it would be and, consequently, is now heavily into his panic mode.

• What credibility does Donny even have, anymore, when he’s a.k.a. the [1] hardcore science denier, [2] pusher of dangerous drugs (e.g. Hydroxychloroquine) and [3] advocate for frying internal human flesh with UV radiation and injecting FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY, household cleaning products? BTW NEVER, EVER FOLLOW DEADLY ADVICE, SUCH AS THIS!

SIDEBAR: Doper Donny probably doesn’t give a second thought… maybe not even a first… re whatever dope he may be popping, snorting, shooting up and/or shoving up his ass. But, just because Donny duz it, duz not mean that you and I should ever follow that non-leader.

Tying this all into our video’s narrative, if Operation Warp Speed is successful, fourth stooge Donny’s eventual sales pitch is guaranteed to sound similar to snake oil salesman Moe’s spiel. Worse yet, the fake prez’s rush job mentality is bound to prove infectious to his own R&D team, perhaps even compromise their scientific method / lab work… cause it to deteriorate into something resembling that of Larry and Curly (note how their own “R&D” “efforts” devolve into a silly, willy-nilly choice of toxic chemical elements and compounds… i.e., to speed up their desperate search for a cure for Lumbago (the disorder, which their “patient”… the sheriff… suffers from).

So, where does that leave us? Well, having zero confidence in Trump, it’s not unreasonable to conclude that, were The Three Stooges still alive, today, in spite of their frantic antics, they’d still have a far better shot at rapidly stumbling onto a more efficacious coronavirus shot.

As for whatever inoculation, which Fourth Stooge Donny’s Operation Warp Speed personnel may wind up concocting? Well, on the day Team Trump rolls that out, I’ll be thinking more than twice about quickly rolling up my sleeve.

 

Stay Safe… Stay Home… Stay Healthy!

 

 

 

* words uttered by astronaut Mark Watney… actor Matt Damon… (from the Sci-Fi film, The Martian).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael / Marty B. Goode

Mention the name Michael J. Fox and (at the very least) two particularly memorable acting roles will instantly come to mind… namely… the big screen’s, Back to the Future, time-tripper Marty McFly and the small screen’s Family Ties, right-winger Alex P. Keaton.

As for that latter character, we’re talking about every aging hippie’s, where-did-I-go-wrong, parental-concerns-come-true. Imagine how disillusioned the Sixties, Woodstock era, flower children, liberals Steven and Elyse Keaton must’ve felt upon discovering how their Eighties era, politically rebellious son, Alex, is aspiring to be a materialistic, arch conservative Reaganite WHEN… correction… IF he grows up? YIKES!

Even so, the politically conservative Alex did have his socially redeeming qualities. Neither he nor his parents and siblings were ever conservative with their genuine love for each other… love, which could easily bridge the political divide.

Contrast that with today’s families. Let’s call them Families UnTied. Here’s where we find America’s party planners wringing their hands while tying to figure out “safe” holiday, dinner table seating charts. You know… just to [1] keep their invited, politically polarized family members (and friends, too) at arm’s length and [2] prevent them all from engaging in altercations that’d be far worse than a food fight. Long sigh…

On a much happier note… let’s turn our attention to another of Fox’s particularly memorable ventures into the entertainment world spotlight. In our blog topper video clip… he’s the honored, guest guitarist at a Coldplay concert… cast in the dual role of playing himself and reprising his Back to the Future character. Both Michael and Marty… get to stand center stage, play to their heart’s content, wow their adoring fans by really making that ol’ electric ax sing.

Obviously it’s heartwarming to see Fox being able to momentarily forget about life’s troubles for awhile. However, we must not forget the stark realities, too.

As most of us already know, this Coldplay concert venue was… still is… especially noteworthy… seeing how… since 1991… Fox has been courageously, fiercely rebelling against Parkinson’s Disease. Of course, as to be expected, there have been health setbacks, too. But Michael J. Fox is a courageous man who still has dreams of the day where medical science will come up with either a cure for Parkinson’s or, at the very least, find medicines / therapies to better keep it in check.

Working towards materializing his dream… towards getting back to a happy future, Fox has been going the activism route to put a public face on Parkinson’s… even appearing before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee back in 1999. From his first book, Lucky Man, author Fox elaborates on resorting to whatever it would take to win over conservative poliiticians’ hearts… that is… if politicians… in every negative connotation of that “P-word”… even have hearts. Said Fox…

I had made a deliberate choice to appear before the subcommittee without medication. It seemed to me that this occasion demanded that my testimony about the effects of the disease, and the urgency we as a community were feeling, be seen as well as heard. For people who had never observed me in this kind of shape, the transformation must have been startling.

Regrettably, what should’ve been Fox’s eye and government purse opening tactics hadn’t sufficiently startled the science hating, conservative politicians… neither back then nor now. Indeed, twenty years later these critically flawed lawmakers still see nothing wrong with sadistically taking their budgetary ax to nearly all medical research.

The very entities who are supposed to selflessly represent their bosses… the very voters who elect them… are selfishly lavishing tax breaks upon themselves / feathering their own nests, instead. Their fallacious feelings of self-importance… their ME ME ME vs. WE WE WE ‘tude is what’s upstaging Michael J. Fox and every other person in desperate need of help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fate is the Hunter / Film Review

 

Back in 2005, soon after my sister had dropped me off at LAX for my return flight to Michigan… well… let’s just say that not all was well. At that point I was feeling a bit disconcerted to see the mechanics… right out the window… working on the very 767 that was supposed to fly me home. My only consolation was that the alert flight crew engineer had discovered the mechanical failure prior to take-off.

During that three hour long delay my mind had plenty of opportunity to flash back to… and dwell on… every airline disaster film I had ever seen… starting with the very first one… Fate Is the Hunter. Indeed, not all that many years after this 1964 production had left the big screen… it had “landed” in TV land’s Late Late Show time slot.

Well… thanks to YouTuber Allan Visser… just a couple of days ago, I got to watch Fate again and soon realized that what had impressed me about it way back then, still has the same effect on me today.

All in all, we discover a well written script, great casting, good character development, plenty of plot twists and turns and surprisingly convincing pre-CGI era special effects. Oh, there is one other worthy of mention detail… the plausible forensic investigative techniques that the characters employed in reconstructing the accident… up to the point where the dead pilot’s best friend (also a pilot)… along with the ill-fated Flight 22’s sole survivor… the flight attendant (who’s familiar with much of the disastrous cockpit events) take off in the exact same model jet… fly off on the identical heading and… and… and…

Well… uh… just in case you might be planning on watching this flick I’ll refrain from revealing too many details.

Yeah, I realize that what interests me will not necessarily interest you and even if it does, you might not have the luxury of spending 1 hour and 45 minutes out of your life to view it.

So… that’s why I’m linking to the FILM TRAILER (but be warned, viewing it can be a bit confusing considering the considerable number of film flashbacks).

I’m also providing an indisputable time saver, too… a link to the Wikipedia essay where it’ll only take about three minutes for you to read the entire film’s plot. I’m labeling this Wiki link SPOILER ALERT as a final warning to those who are planning on viewing the full film.

And speaking of the full film…

Captain Savage, our pilot, is completing his pre-flight checklist and is just about ready to head down the runway…