Trump vs The Weinstein Equivalence

Scene 1:  White House West Wing; Monday 8 a.m.

President Trump (PT) – Mike, Mike!!!  Where the hell are you, guy?

Vice President Trump (VPP) – Right here Mr. President.  How can I help you?

PT – Mike, that slug is up to her old tricks again.

VPP – Can you be more specific, Sir?

PT – Yeah, that old witch Hillary tried comparing me to Weinstein.  I’m not gonna let her get away with that.

VPP – A twitter barrage this morning then?

PT – Not good enough.  As my hero Deadpool would say this calls for maximum effort.

VPP – Yes, but he’s usually referring to mayhem or some even worse form of ultra-violence.

PT – Well, I’m not ruling anything out yet, but I think we can limit this to non-lethal means.

VPP – Sounds like a very balanced and measured response on your part sir.

PT – Exactly.

VPP – Might I ask what avenue of attack you plan on employing?

PT – I’m gonna go after Bill.

VPP – Go after him how, particularly?

PT – Let’s just say it will involve a fishing expedition.  I want to land the Great White Whale.

VPP – What’s the bait?

PT – His favorite meal.

VPP – Never mind.  Let’s pretend I didn’t ask.

PT – Exactly.

Scene 2:  A deserted warehouse somewhere outside Washington D.C.; Midnight, Wednesday of that week.

Former President Clinton in a trenchcoat and downturned fedora walking down the sidewalk toward an opened lighted doorway.

Bill Clinton (BC) – I’m here for the Seafood Surprise.

Doorman – What’s the password?

BC – The Big Dog is on the hunt again.

Doorman – Okay, come on in.

BC – Hillary ain’t gettin’ lucky tonight!

 

Scene 3: Inside the warehouse a short time later.  A poorly lit room containing an enormous cylindrical steel tank with a glass port from which an eerie bluish light emanates.  Two men in white lab coats with clip boards stand raptly attentive at the view port.  Suddenly a squad of uniformed policemen and some plainclothesmen burst into the room through a double door.

Agent in Charge (AIC) – Alpha Squad, detain the lab personnel.  Beta Squad, set up the camera equipment.  The rest of you follow me over to the viewing port.  (over his radio) The target is secured.  Send in the VIP.

(President Trump enters the area and approaches the AIC.)

PT – Good work Bob, that was masterfully done.  Congratulate your team.

AIC – Thank you sir.  Would you like to view the subject now?

PT – Like isn’t exactly how I’d describe it, but let’s get it over with.

Stepping over to the view screen and next to a video crew actively recording, they see the otherworldly image of a giant squid fully 40 feet long cowering against one of the outlet valves while a very pasty, flabby aged man wearing an aqua lung, flippers and nothing else was performing unspeakable acts with several of the squids tentacles.  It was apparent even to the cephalopodically untrained eye that the squid was extremely embarrassed and very scared.

PT – Yeah, that’s him alright.  He was always hanging around the steam room at the New York Health and Racquet Club so, unfortunately, I can confirm that’s him.

AIC – How do you want to handle the arrest?

PT – What agencies have jurisdiction?

AIC – Off-hand I’d say the ASPCA and the shellfish division of the FDA.

PT – Fine, but make sure the newspapers get some of this footage for tomorrow’s front page.

AIC – Well, the only one that might print this is National Geographic and even they might black box it.  Personally, I’m gonna need a lot of gin to unsee this.

PT – Yeah, I’m going with witch hazel and turpentine.

AIC – That should do it.

 

Scene 4 White House West Wing, the next morning.

VPP – Sir, I’ll have to say your fishing trip has been an unbelievable success.  Former President Clinton was preemptively neutered by the attending veterinarian during his extraction from the squid tank.  The Clinton Foundation is being shut down and liquidated under the RICO laws, Chuck Schumer has decided to become a republican and Nancy Pelosi has switched from tuna salad to chicken and is retiring from Congress.  Even the New York Times has taken a vacation from bashing you and is evaluating a change in editorial perspective.  I hear they’re going to go with a headline tomorrow that says “We Were Wrong, Lock Them Up.”

PT – That reminds me, what’s going on with Hillary?

VPP – Well Mr. President, no one has seen her since yesterday but there is a report that after the giant Squid was released into the Atlantic off the Potomac some sailors reported a strange island appeared off the coast that included monolithic masonry that they said had a very strange geometry and that a winged squid-headed dragon emerged and flew straight for the Clinton town house.  After what the neighbors described as a combination of gale force winds and the screeching of a banshee they saw the Dragon carry off Secretary Clinton out to sea.

PT – Well, I’m no fan but I wouldn’t want to see that happen to anyone.

VPP – Considering how you feel about Hillary that’s quite generous of you, sir.  After all she is an old woman.

PT – Are you kidding me?  I’m worried for Cthulhu.  I mean, he’s clearly outmatched.

VPP – Point taken sir.

The Great NFL Boycott Dividend

I remember reading an account of the effort that went into the Apollo 11 moon landing.  This counted all the effort into the space program including the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions up to that time including all the work done by both government workers and contractors during this series of projects.  The estimate was 1.5 million man-years.  Breaking this into man-hours (~ 2,000 hours per year) gives us a figure of 3 billion man-hours for this colossal and remarkable achievement.

How many hours a week are expended watching football?  Well, let’s say twenty million fans watch one game every Sunday and Monday.  And let’s say they devote 4 hours to each game.  That’s 160 million man-hours per week.  And let’s say that there are twenty weeks of football a year.  That comes to 3.2 billion man-hours each year.  Hmmm.

Now of course, I’m comparing apples and oranges.  There’s a big difference between a military project motivated by a space race with an existential foe on the one hand and on the other hand twenty million guys trying to forget the grind of the rat race for a few hours every week.

But considering that if you’re not watching the NFL because they’re unpatriotic, that sort of makes it a patriotic act.  Damn, I’m an American Hero!  I always thought I’d make it.

But seriously, it seems there’s a lot of time being freed up by an NFL boycott.  Now granted, not all of these viewers are steely-eyed missile men so we’re not talking about moon landing or Manhattan Project results.  But if these hours were devoted to nothing more constructive than helping their kids with their homework we’d be looking at a significant improvement to America’s trajectory.

And even if they just used the time to do something else recreational like reading a book or surfing the net, that would be a good chunk of change taken out of the pockets of ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and especially ESPN.  These people are the ones who have created this social justice monster and they are the ones who should reap the results.

What would be fun to do would be to consciously gather up those hours for yourself and use them for some specific purpose or project.  Even better, people could band together and reclaim that time (or the equivalent) to accomplish something useful and hopefully rewarding.  Imagine if you had a group of buddies who typically watched the Sunday and Monday night games and instead started a bowling team.  They could even have the wives come along and play.  Or if it’s just the guys put together a poker night.  Is there any way to call that less useful than staring at the tube?

So, is this a permanent change or just a blip?  Well, the NFL boycott is looking more and more like a popular idea.  The drop in viewing is so significant that the media has stopped pretending it’s just due to baseball or weather or whatever.  Now they’re just hoping that the owners can paper over all the anger and everyone will forget and go back to loving football.  Well, I think that ship has sailed.  I think a lot of guys have discovered just how much time they get back for other good stuff if they turn off the NFL.  I think, short of a groveling apology by the Kneelers, that a lot of the fans won’t be coming back.  Hell, for some of them, even that won’t do.  We know how they really feel.  They hate this country and by extension they hate us.  Good.  Right back at them.  Think what you can do with an extra four or five hours on your weekend and a good night’s sleep on Monday night.  Multiply that by a few million men and to paraphrase Apollo 13, “Goodell we have a problem.”  Call that a mission that won’t be controlled.

The Yankees Rescue My Sports Season

Back in the 1990s I would watch the Yankees with my kids and we’d enjoy the show.  Some years they went all the way and won the Series.  Sometimes they got knocked out.  But Steinbrenner always fielded an interesting team and they mostly entertained.  When the new Millennium turned in 2001 and the Yankees lost in the seventh game of the Series against the Diamondbacks management decided to clean house and got rid of several of the older veterans.  They were replaced with very high-priced free-agent upgrades.  But the team lost its soul.  They were just hired guns.  And as often as not, they severely underperformed.  And it went on and on and on.  If the Yankees had just allowed a couple of rebuilding years and gone for some young talent they would have come back strong and saved hundreds of millions of dollars.  And then they bought A-Rod.  Wow.  And then they let Jeter continue as the shortstop even after he needed a walker to get around the infield.  And all the fun was gone.  Nothing but whining year after year.

But now Jeter has mercifully retired.  A-Rod will get the next 10 years of his Yankee salary from the Fox Sports Post-Game Studio where his damage will be limited to English grammar and comprehension.  And this year the average age of the line-up is ten years younger than during the Jeter/A-Rod era.

Just in time for my boycott of the Kneeling NFL the Yankees are playing playoff baseball again and having a hell of a lot of fun.  So now I can watch the Yankees with my grandsons and tell them about guys like Scott Brosius, Tino Martinez, Paul O’Neil and the other Yankees that were put out to pasture to make room for Jason Giambi and A-Rod (at ten times the salary and half the production) and the other steroid juiced duds who infected the 2000s.  And even if they get knocked out before the Series they provide a positive attitude about hustling for the play and running out a grounder because they’re not aging multi-millionaire’s yet.  They’re still on their way up and they have excitement about playing.

And the best part is they’ll stand for the Anthem and won’t be wearing socks that call cops pigs or glamorize thugs.  They still seem to respect the Flag, the Country and the Fans.

Read this American Greatness Article, The Method to Trump’s Madness, by Victor Davis Hanson

I should have a regular topic called “American Greatness” Topic of the Day.

https://amgreatness.com/2017/10/16/the-method-to-trumps-madness/

The latest gem is “The Method to Trump’s Madness.”  Victor Davis Hanson makes a lot of great points here. He addresses the reason why Trump employs such a bizarre strategy as Twitter Attacks on other politicians and the Media and even the NFL.  Here’s a sample:

“The issue is never just Trump’s outbursts or tweets in isolation but, rather, the comparisons between them and his targets. Again, attacking NFL players may not be presidential, but Trump’s pushback is often judged by many voters on the basis of its intent—in other words, an effort to oppose the growing trend of multimillionaire athletes refusing to stand for the National Anthem. If we have never seen a president stoop to fight with the NFL, we have also never seen the NFL kneel to self-destruct by offending millions of its fans. If the president cannot defend a national tradition of standing in honor during the National Anthem, who else could?

Pollsters, pundits, and the media have vastly underestimated how many in America loathe multimillionaire celebrities, pampered athletes, and triangulating politicians—the usual targets of Trump’s invective.”

Read the whole thing. It’s extremely well thought out.

Universal Classic Monster Movies – An OCF Classic Movie Review – Part 7 – The Lesser Works and A Final Verdict

The follow-on episodes to each of the primary monster movies vary in quality but the one given is that anything with a title that begins with “Abbott and Costello Meet …” isn’t going to be scary.  It could be funny, but definitely not scary.

Sort of in a class by itself is the first sequel to Frankenstein, “The Bride of Frankenstein.”  This movie has a lot of interesting things going on.  The actors who portrayed Dr. Frankenstein and the Monster in the first film reprise their roles here (Colin Clive and Boris Karloff).  The script is leavened with a little humor.  Some scenes add some human interest to the Monster’s otherwise predictable behavior of grabbing people and things and tossing them about.  One of the best known of these is the Blind Man Scene.  The Monster escapes from his enemies.  He’s been shot and is on the run.  He wanders into the cottage of a blind man who welcomes him and treats him with kindness.  The Monster is sheltered and his wounds treated.  The blind man teaches him to speak and introduces him to bread and wine and even the pleasure of a good cigar.  And he learns what music is and he calls the Blind Man friend.  Of course, inevitably, reality strikes back and a couple of hunters show up at the Blind Man’s cottage and tell the blind man he’s living with a monster.  And somehow, they manage to burn down the cottage before fleeing from the Monster.

Standouts performances in the movie are Dr. Praetorius and Minnie, Elizabeth Frankenstein’s Housekeeper.  Dr. Praetorius is a competing mad scientist who has also dabbled in the creation of human life and wants to convince Dr. Frankenstein to create a woman.  Minnie is an almost Shakespearean character who combines the qualities of busybody and wise fool with the ability shriek like an air raid siren.

 

The Monster meets Dr. Praetorius while he is selecting body parts for the Monster’s bride in the catacombs beneath the graveyard.  The Dr. offers him wine and a cigar and they become quite chummy.  So much so that the Monster becomes Praetorius’ henchman in a plan to kidnap Elizabeth to force Dr. Frankenstein to complete the Bride project.

 

Appended to the story is a foreword that portrays Lord Byron, Percy Shelley and the Frankenstein authoress (his wife Mary) discussing the story on a stormy night and segueing to the creation of a mate for the Monster.  Interestingly, they cast the same actress, Elsa Lanchester, to play both Mary and the Monster’s mate.

 

The final scene where we see the meeting between the Monster and his prospective bride the atmosphere is bizarre and overwrought to say the least.  Suffice it to say that Monster love does not conquer all.  The spurned monster decides to blow up the laboratory taking himself, Dr. Praetorius and the Bride “to kingdom come.”  But interestingly, he decides to spare Dr. and Mrs Frankenstein.  So, once again, the producers decided that a non-literary happy ending was the way to go.  Assuming that they realized they would need descendants of Dr. Frankenstein to allow for further sequels I guess you could say this decision was at least monetarily warranted.  Artistically, maybe not.  It is pretty much acknowledged that the quality of the Frankenstein sequels after the “The Bride” falls off almost asymptotically.  The next installment “The Son of Frankenstein” has a few good moments that mostly don’t involve the Monster but otherwise is mediocre.  After that the rest of the series is almost unwatchable.

 

And unwatchable is how I would describe the rest of the sequels and reboots that fill out the Universal Classic Monster movies.  The later installments of the Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman and Mummy series are very poor indeed.  The Mummy series was not continued after the original film but instead rebooted with the new Mummy character identified as Kharis played by our old friend the Wolfman, Lon Chaney Jr.  In these later movies, the Mummy is never given any personality but mutely wanders through each of the movies of this series wrapped in his bandages and chasing ponderously after the protagonists who are murdered one by one for possessing the Scroll of Thoth (or whatever they called it in the later series).  I think in the last of the series I remember he is somehow or other running around the bayous of Louisiana hunting the scroll and its owners.  In the last scene, he is seen plodding into the swamp until he is lost to sight under the muddy water, apparently ending his undead life far from the deserts of Egypt as a soggy meal for alligators and crawfish.  A fitting end.

 

So, what’s the verdict?  Is the Universal Classic Monster series a worthwhile cinematic collection or an embalmed thing that is only noteworthy as a museum piece to be fussed over by academics and fanatics?  I vote worthwhile.  Granted the movies are antique and the audience surely won’t be scared in the same way your great grandparents were.  But the movies still provide the fantasy experience that they originally were designed for.  In the same way, a nursery rhyme can still charm children who have never seen lambs and cows and ducks except on a screen so these movies give an archetypal experience of the dark fantasy world they are meant to represent.  Dracula is the evil seducer of young innocents.  Frankenstein’s Monster is the raging step-child of God.  The Mummy is a Promethean character punished forever for attempting to preempt the prerogatives of the gods.  Each of these movies is an outdated but enjoyable attempt to entertain an audience with a passion play of what happens when humans are juxtaposed with the darker side of the fantastic.  And because of the gap in time since they were made I think that the best audience for enjoying these films are kids.  I’d say 9 to 11 is about the optimal age group for maximum effect.  That age is old enough not to be scared by the images but not old enough to be jaded by modern movie magic.  And come to think of it, I think that’s how old I was when I thought these movies were great fun.

Universal Classic Monster Movies – An OCF Classic Movie Review – Part 6 – The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man, to be pedantically precise, is not a monster movie but a science fiction story.  H.G. Wells’ tale of a scientist who develops a technique to render the human body (his own) invisible is not really monstrous in a physical sense but because the technique drives the inventor insane we are back in the neighborhood of the Mad Scientist.  And since Dr. Frankenstein is then brought to mind we can shoehorn this science fiction story into the genre.  Claude Rains (the Wolfman’s father from an earlier chapter of this review) is the Invisible Man.  Or rather Claude Rains voice is the star of the movie, since until the very last scene we can’t see his face.  But it’s a very good voice.  And since often we can’t exactly tell what he’s doing he spends a fair amount of time telegraphing his actions to help us guess what his actions are that the other characters are pantomiming around.  And he’s an active fellow.  He kills a few people with his bare (invisible) hands.  He bludgeons some others and he goes in for some mass murder via railway sabotage.  He ends up a rather unsavory fellow.  But somehow there remains a somewhat sympathetic core to the character.  Based on the people who still try to help him he must have been a good man before his descent into madness.  Therefore, we can look at him as a victim of his own scientific curiosity.

All that aside, it’s a fun movie.  The scientific intelligence, megalomania and irritable persona of the Invisible Man is juxtaposed against the plodding mediocrity, skeptical common sense and parochial outlook of the English villagers and local constables who are dumbfounded and unbelieving as to the true cause of the strange goings on.  Whenever they declare the inexplicable events a hoax the Invisible Man steps in and gives them a painful (and sometimes fatal) object lesson in his reality.

In the thick of these goings on is my favorite supporting character Una O’Connor as the Innkeeper’s wife.  She is a wonderfully shrewish landlady whose suspicious and unkind treatment of the Invisible Man throws him off the deep end.  She possesses the most remarkable shrieking scream ever recorded on film.  She is a national treasure of sorts.  And as a tie-in she plays Dr. Frankenstein’s housekeeper in “The Bride of Frankenstein,” another movie where she chews up the scenery and shrieks a blue streak.

Of course, by the end of the movie and after murdering so many innocent people, the Invisible Man has lost almost all of the audience’s sympathy so that it seems just that he should pay the price for his crimes.  But he is allowed the touching death scene where he regains his humanity and seemingly his sanity.

So, to reiterate, this is not a monster movie but there is a Mad Scientist and several of our old friends from earlier Universal Monster Movies do show up.  It’s basically a tour de force for Claude Rains (or rather his voice). I give it my seal of approval.  Good stuff.

Roger Kimball at American Greatness Has Another Article I Like “Yes, Trump Is Winning”

I know, I know, I’m becoming a broken record.  But read it.  It’s fun.  He goes to an event at a social club and is hectored for supporting Trump and told that Trump is failing.  The list of accomplishments that follows is pretty comprehensive.  My favorites are the social repercussions (NFL, Hollywood scandals) that just seem to keep happening.  Give it a try.

 

Yes, Trump is Winning

When the Sleepers Awaken

A couple of months ago I wrote a post called “Talking to the Sleepwalkers” in which I described how I attempted to explain what Trump was all about to friends who were still looking at things from the point of view that the Republicans were actually conservative.  At the end of the post I wrote, “Did I wake anyone up?  I don’t know, but at least now I feel like I want to keep trying.”

Well yesterday an echo pinged back on the sonar.  I was pointed to an article in the WSJ by one of the folks I was talking about before.  It was entitled:

Is ‘Classical Liberalism’ Conservative?

Trump didn’t divide the right. Centuries-old philosophical divisions have re-emerged.

By Yoram Hazony

It’s a description of how the “New World Order” crowd convinced us (and themselves?) that they were conservative.  I guess I got through.  Good.  That’s a first step.  And an important one.  Until you know what the problem is, you can’t possibly start working to effectively to fix it.

A couple of years into this brave new world of right wing revolt we still don’t even know what we are actually doing.  The grass roots agitators aren’t even aligned.  In fact, they don’t even know what to call themselves yet.  Alt-Right, Dissident Right, Alt-West, Nationalists, Populists, etc.  And of course, factionalism and cults of personality and disagreements on just about every subject imaginable are on display and defeatists and concern trolls are packed cheek to jowl as far as the eye can see.

But it’s still infinitely better than not knowing why every action by “our side” was a defeat and every day brought a new outrage that went unchecked.  And Trump is still in his White House so “all’s right with the world.”  Of late my joy at his almost uncanny ability to trigger my worst enemies into paroxysms of rage is becoming almost embarrassing.  At work, I’ll be writing some mundane list or power point slide and I’ll think about his NFL or Weinstein tweets and stop and smile and get some coffee and e-mail a friend about it.  It’s definitely cutting into my productivity but it’s also lowering my blood pressure and overall that’s good for everything including ability to do work.  And I imagine it’s having the opposite effect on my left-wing counterparts.  They probably hear about these things and get driven into a rage spiral and that’s got to be bad for the blood pressure and quality of life.  Ah, sweet schadenfreude.

To get back to the original point, word’s getting out.  Reach out to the unaware.  They can be reached.  And Trump is doing his part.  He goes after those we aren’t allowed to touch.  The more Trump calls out the bullies the clearer it becomes that they are the problem.  Pretty soon even Great Aunt Sophie may know what Fake News is.  If everyone who can be reached knows what’s going on, then we can figure out whether a national consensus can be reached.  So, if 55-60% of the country can agree that the left is the problem (including the GOPE) then maybe we can turn this around.  If not, then we’re headed down the road to tribalism and identity politics and the end of the American Dream.  But even if we end up there we’re better off than if we got there without knowing why and how.  We can dictate some of the terms of the divorce.  Cold comfort?  Maybe, but I’ll take it.

These Guys at American Greatness Are Making Me Feel Redundant

Of course, I’ve never seen them post a Trump vs Morning Shmoe and Lycra.  So there is that.

Honestly, this guy Deion Kathawa in his article Conservatives Need to Stop Indulging Leftist Narratives

hits it pretty square on the head.  These “conservative” pundits he talks about would rather walk back everything they believe than have liberals call them bad names.  That should make it easy to decide who is on our side and who is along for the ride (or paycheck).

Now, of course, if they’ve taken your dog hostage and are threatening you with Fido showing up in your mailbox piece by flea-bitten piece, then, yeah, I understand.  But the worst these guys are up against is Twitter down votes.  Maybe Google will suspend their Gmail accounts.  Hardly the stuff of hard-boiled, hard-hitting humor blogging.  If groveling is an important part of your month then maybe you should be in a different line, like politics.

Anyway, the Daily Wire thing is very disappointing.  If you have to clear your comedy skits mocking leftists, through a leftist censorship committee, I think your usefulness (except as a useful idiot for the left) is done.  And that’s the good thing that’s coming from all this.  Once you figure out the game being played by the Left and the Fake Right you stop caring what people say about you and then you can say what you really think.  A young guy at work, nice kid, asked what I thought about the NFL kneeling crap.  Now I knew he didn’t care one way or the other (or so he says).  So, I said the players and the owners can do whatever they want.  And, so can I.  So, I’ll never watch another NFL game until they apologize for what they’ve been doing for the last year.  And since I know that will never happen in a million years I can start using the time I wasted watching football on something useful.  I can get an extra post done or write a story or go out and take some pictures or read a book by someone who writes things that I enjoy.  And by turning off the NFL I’ve done my small part to starve the rats.