Thursday, March 31, 2022

Baseball 2022 preview, part 3: AL East

 Last year, the Toronto Blue Jays were the popular pick to win the American League East. Of course, it didn't happen. This year, the division isn't quite so easy to figure.

Toronto gave up two of their 2021 acquisitions, infielder Marcus Siemien (Texas) and pitcher Steven Matz (St. Louis), as both went back into the free agent pool. They still have a nucleus of youth in 2nd generation stars Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., & Cavan Biggio. This year, they picked up Matt Chapman (Oakland) and Raimel Tapia (Colorado) to help the offense. They also acquired Yusei Kikuchi (Seattle) and Kevin Gausman (San Francisco) as free agents to compete for spots in the rotation. Gausman returns to the American League after a Cy Young-worthy season in San Francisco, and how the Giants let him walk, I don't know.

As for the Yankees, they're always a threat. With Joey Gallo & Anthony Rizzo on board for a full season, it helps solidify the lineup, more so with the acquisition of Josh Donaldson (Minnesota) in a trade that sent Gio Urschela and Gary Sanchez out of town. They are bent on making Miguel Andujar into an outfielder, and picked up Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the Donaldson deal after Minnesota had gotten him from Texas. New York also has Marwin Gonzalez (Boston) in camp.

For local fans, we have some bad news. It appears the team's 2nd run on WPIX has come to an abrupt end, with 21 games scheduled to air this season on Amazon Prime, still produced by the YES network. (YES is co-owned by the Yankees with Amazon & Sinclair Broadcasting). What that means is that any games airing on local TV not airing on YES will be on Fox or ESPN. Do you really want to torture yourself with listening to 80-something John Sterling on radio?

The big story in Boston is the signing of Trevor Story (Colorado) as a free agent. Story, with Xander Bogaerts settled at shortstop, will play 2nd base instead. The opening came up when Dustin Pedroia retired at the end of last season. That moves Kike Hernandez out of the starting lineup, although he can play the outfield. The Red Sox welcomed back Jackie Bradley, Jr. after a year in Milwaukee by sending Hunter Renfroe to the Brewers. I don't think that was such a good idea. Ace Chris Sale starts the season on the injured list. Eduardo Rodriguez is gone, taking away a key part of the rotation. Bringing in Rich Hill (Mets) might not be the answer.

The only news coming out of Baltimore was picking up Rougned Odor from the Yankees as a free agent. They are not a threat.

Tampa Bay surprised everyone by winning the division, but you could say it was done with mirrors. Sure, Randy Arozarena won Rookie of The Year, but the league is used to him by now. Wander Franco is a star in the making. Ace Tyler Glasnow is on the 60 day injured list to start the season. The Rays will not sneak up on anyone again

Projected order of finish:

1. Yankees.
2. Boston.
3. Toronto.
4. Tampa Bay.
5. Baltimore.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Sports this 'n' that

 The biggest shock on Wednesday came with the announcement that Bruce Arians was retiring from coaching, 13, nearly 14, months removed from winning the Super Bowl with Tampa Bay. Arians will move into a front office role while defensive coordinator Todd Bowles gets another chance as a head coach. Bowles came to Tampa after 4 seasons as the head man with the Jests.

Bruce Arians. Photo courtesy Yahoo!.

There had been some criticism during the 2021 season about Arians and Tom Brady not getting along, or even Arians failing to rein in Brady's competitive juices to protect him from injury. We'll see how well Bowles can manage Brady and his ego.
There have been blowouts in pre-season baseball over the years, but not quite like the one between St. Louis and Washington on Wednesday.

The Cardinals celebrated the return of prodigal son Albert Pujols, who will retire after the 2022 season, by destroying the Nationals, 29-8. OUCH! I wouldn't put too much money on Milwaukee repeating as NL Central champs.....
I found it amusing that a number of wrestlers, past and present, commented on the dust-up between Chris Rock and Will Smith Sunday at the Oscars, and that some commentators on Reddit tried to treat this like it was a bigger deal than it really was. So Rock made a bad joke, got called out via getting smacked upside the head, and the former "Fresh Prince" is now running the risk of expulsion from the Academy because of violating the code of conduct. Yeah, I think I get it.
You have three celebrities taking part in matches at Wrestlemania this weekend, one of whom is an active WWE announcer. Two of the three will win. Which ones?

Ex-NFL punter Pat McAfee, whose last match was in NXT, will face Austin Theory in one of two Raw vs. Smackdown bouts on the card. Theory has played the dimwitted protege of CEO/Chairman Vince McMahon since December, and for all the talent in the world----he should be challenging for the US title----he gets this spot because he plays the lunkhead so well. However, McAfee picks up his 1st win.

Reality TV vet Johnny Knoxville now will have some of his Jackass buds backing him up against former Intercontinental champion Sami Zayn in a gimmick match designed to ensure Knoxville goes over.

YouTube star and boxer Logan Paul cast his lot with reality TV vet and grand slam winner Mike "The Miz" Mizanin vs. the Mysterios, Rey and son Dominick. Between the Paul brothers, they're natural heels, and they are of the same character stripe as Theory in that they're not exactly playing brain surgeons, if ya get what I mean. Proving that some C-listers do lose, Paul eats the pin, and maybe WWE will never hear from him or his brother, Jake, again.

Rumors have Shane McMahon returning for the big dance. He should stop at Planet Fitness first, and see if he can shed some lead.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Maybe Emma Weyant should've been attending Minnesota........

 A week ago, Florida Governor Ron DeStupid signed a proclamation declaring Virginia swimmer Emma Weyant the winner of a NCAA freestyle race that was actually won by Pennsylvania's Lia Thomas, a transgender athlete.

Now, the GOPers are doubling down, as Colorado Misrepresentative Lauren Bow-Wow and others have drafted a resolution honoring Weyant.

Photo courtesy Yahoo!.

Instead of giving Thomas credit where it's due, the GOPers are throwing more red meat to their bigoted, low information voter base, and adding to the haterizing of the LGBTQ community. The resolution will not go anywhere, as the GOPers don't have the votes to pass it. They'd rather ignore how our society has become more inclusive over the last several years, fear mongering the voters with hateful rhetoric that, in DeStupid's case, sometimes becomes legislation passed into law.

Thus, whether she likes it or not, Emma Weyant has become the latest "champion" in the eyes of the Repugnant Party and their warped ideology. If they thought of it, they'd probably move the White House to Minnesota, where their college mascot is a gopher. Problem is, real gophers probably have more on the ball than these faux "patriots".

The simplest advertising campaign (1978)

 EF Hutton had a series of short ads produced in the 70's and 80's with a simple message. "When EF Hutton talks, people listen". Literally. Take this 1978 spot, for example:

I've heard of stopping traffic, but this is a real grabber.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Cop Mock: Sledge Hammer! (1987)

 Five years after Police Squad! was given a month on the air, ABC tried again with a police spoof.

Sledge Hammer! fared slightly better, getting two seasons, and a short-lived comic book.

David Rasche was cast in the title role as Hammer, a "Dirty Harry" parody who takes his job a little too seriously. Harrison Page (ex-CPO Sharkey) is his commanding officer. Anne-Marie Martin is Hammer's partner, Dori, who finds Hammer attractive despite his abrasive personality.

As noted, Marvel Comics, which at the time was a subsidiary of New World, published a short run series based on the show. You'd probably find it today in remainder bins.

In this sampler, a blow on the head turns Dori (Martin) into a female Hammer.

Veteran producer William P. D'Angelo (Run, Joe, Run, Monster Squad, etc.), known more as a producer of children's shows, was brought in as a producer here, but was gone more than halfway through the first season. Writers Al Jean and Mike Reiss later became bigger names for their work on The Simpsons and The Critic.

No rating. Never saw the show.

Baseball 2022 preview, part 2: NL East

 You can argue that were it not for a lockout this winter, maybe a lot of free agent signings don't happen. Some were made before the lockout, including the Mets bagging Starling Marte and Mark Canha from Oakland. The moves that the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves made, however, question whether or not Brian Snitker's club can repeat. We talked up the Mets in part 1, so let's look at the rest of the division:

Atlanta: Freddie Freeman is gone (Dodgers), replaced by Matt Olson at 1st base (Oakland). Not quite the wash you'd think it is. Also Jorge Soler, who locked up the World Series for the Braves, ended up being a 3 month rental (Miami). Marcell Ozuna is awaiting reinstatement from the league, if he hasn't already gotten it, after leaving last summer due to domestic issues (which prompted the Soler signing). Joc Pederson, another World Series hero, has returned to the NL West (San Francisco), so what was management thinking?

In terms of pitching, what does Atlanta have to count on behind Max Fried & Ian Anderson? The Braves won't see all universe outfielder Ronald Acuna, Jr. until opening day at least as he recovers from a knee injury.

We're going to be watching around these parts to see if anyone's rocking replica Anderson jerseys.

Miami: GM Kim Ng has her work cut out for her. Yeah, she signed Jorge Soler to add some depth to the Marlin offense. However, catcher Jorge Alfaro is gone (San Diego). Derek Jeter resigned as CEO, and I'll bet that the other ex-Yankee, Don Mattingly, won't be long for South Beach if Miami gets off to another slow start.

Philadelphia: Management again is going all in, hoping to make the extended playoffs. The Phillies picked up Nick Castellanos (Cincinnati) and Kyle Schwarber (Boston/Washington). Schwarber can play outfield, and also spell Rhys Hoskins at 1st base if needed. Joe Girardi's bullpen has made some improvements. Hector Neris is gone, replaced by Brad Hand & Juerys Familia, who finished last season with the Mets. With Castellanos & Schwarber mixed in with Hoskins & Bryce Harper, the Phils have a lethal middle of the batting order.

Washington: A summer collapse prompted the Nats to send Schwarber to Boston, but they have Josh Bell at 1st for now, with Ryan Zimmerman having retired. They picked up Nelson Cruz (Tampa Bay/Minnesota) as a DH to protect Bell & Juan Soto in the batting order. Cruz can also be a 1st base option if anything happens to Bell. The Nationals' biggest concern has to be their pitching. After Patrick Corbin & Stephen Strasberg, what's left? Depending on the schedule, they'll have a reunion with Anthony Rendon if the Angels come to town.

Projected order of finish:

1. Atlanta.
2. Mets.
3. Philadelphia.
4. Washington.
5. Miami.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Weasel of The Week: Donald Trump

 The Archduke of Affluenza struck again on Saturday.

Speaking before members of his brainwashed base in Commerce, Georgia, Pecos Pampers, aka Donald John Narcissus Trump, accused Supreme Court nominee Ketanyi Brown-Jackson of being "disrespectful" of GOPers asking what he thought were "nice" questions, when it was really the other way around.

Photos courtesy Getty Images.

Talk about tone deaf!! In the same speech, Trump lavished praise on North Korea's Kim Jong-Un, calling him "smart", just as he did with Russia's Vladimir Putin weeks ago. However, it's his backward assessment of Brown-Jackson that has his critics lining up again. Sycophants like Hee Hawley, Timex Cruz, and Moldy Graham went on the attack with an eye toward discrediting Brown-Jackson. Good luck with that, jackasses. It got to the point where Majority Whip Dick Durbin had to shut down Cruz & Graham when they went over their allotted time, and wouldn't stop asking stupid questions, nor let Brown-Jackson answer them in a satisfactory manner. Of course, Cruz & Graham were hammered by late night yakkers like Jimmy Kimmel & Seth Meyers, and deservedly so. They'll see that Trump has put himself right back on the firing line after Saturday.

Trump had to get his two cents in for the benefit of his brainwashed supporters, who don't know any better. As a result, Trump, and not Cruz or Graham, gets the Weasel ears this week. He's got enough of those to pass around anyway.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

What Might've Been: Toni's Boys (1980)

 Late in its 4th season, Charlie's Angels was down to its last original Angel (Jaclyn Smith) after Kate Jackson had left the series. Shelley Hack was a 1 season solution, replaced by Tanya Roberts in the final season.

With ratings slowly dropping, someone convinced Aaron Spelling to do a back-door pilot for a spin-off series, which was a vehicle to bring back 60's icon Barbara Stanwyck (ex-The Big Valley).

In the episode, "Toni's Boys", Stanwyck's character of Toni Blake is an old friend of Charlie Townsend (voice of John Forsythe), and a widow whose late husband was a private detective himself. Toni's three operatives include a rodeo champion (Stephen Shortridge, ex-Welcome Back, Kotter), and a track champion (former Olympian Bob Seagren, who'd been dabbling in acting for a few years, including a stint on Soap). When the Angels (Hack, Smith, & Cheryl Ladd) are targeted for murder by an unknown enemy (Robert Loggia, ex-T. H. E. Cat), Charlie calls on Toni and her team to lend a hand, despite the Angels' objections.

Unfortunately, the only video currently on YouTube is privatized, hence the group still shot.

Spelling would keep Shortridge on his payroll, although Aloha Paradise (previously reviewed) was a dud as well.

No rating. Just a public service.

Baseball 2022 preview, part 1: The Mets

 The Mets begin their 61st season in less than 2 weeks. The usual pre-season hype has them in contention for a playoff spot, if not a division title. We'll look at the NL East another time, but let's focus on the Mets.

After 2 underperforming seasons under Luis Rojas (now a coach with the Yankees), Steve Cohen lured Buck Showalter out of the MLB Network studio, and back to managing. Maybe now the carousel can stop spinning in the dugout.

One misstep was not keeping members of the Mets' 2021 "Bench Mob", who've moved on. For example, Kevin Pillar signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers the other day. Another one was letting Michael Conforto test the free agent market. He's another one listening to bad advice from Scott "20 Mule Team" Boras, and is paying for it, as he remains unsigned less than 2 weeks before Opening Day. To fill the void, the Mets picked up Mark Canha & Starling Marte from Oakland. They also bolstered their infield options by signing Eduardo Escobar (Arizona), who can spell J. D. Davis at 3rd, Francisco Lindor at short, or Jeff McNeil or Robinson Cano at 2nd. Yeah, Cano's back after missing 2021 due to a PED suspension. Travis Jankowski (Philadelphia) was brought in on a minor league deal as outfield insurance.

Speaking of the Phils, they heisted relievers Brad Hand and Jeurys Familia via free agency, so Familia's 2nd stint in Flushing is over. Aaron Loup followed Noah Syndergaard to Los Angeles (Angels). Building a new bridge to Edwin Diaz in the 9th inning is not going to be easy. Marcus Stroman signed as a free agent with Chicago, and promptly threw shade on the Mets after 2 seasons in Flushing. That translates to bulletin board material when the Cubs & Mets play. However, Stroman's slot in the rotation figures to be filled by another acquisition from Oakland, Chris Bassitt.

Of course, the rotation is fronted by a lethal 1-2 punch of Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer, who came over from the Dodgers as a free agent. With 5 Cy Young awards between them, figure they're the reason for all the increased hype over a possible division title run, especially after Atlanta lost Freddie Freeman. Offensively, Escobar, Canha, and, when he's healthy, Marte, will look to make up for the departure of summer pickup Javier Baez (Detroit). The addition of a DH in the NL will take the bat away from deGrom, Scherzer, et al, but I wouldn't put it past Showalter to use them as pinch-hitters, and maybe exploit the new Shohei Ohtani Rule and let them bat in the DH spot when they pitch. We'll talk more about the new rule next week.

The projected lineup (no particular batting order):

1B: Pete Alonso.
2B: McNeil/Cano/Escobar.
SS: Lindor.
3B: Davis/Escobar.
LF: Canha/Dom Smith.
CF: Brandon Nimmo.
RF: Marte.
C: James McCann.
DH: Smith/Cano/Escobar.

The pundits have the Mets as high as 2nd, maybe winning the division. Call me a pessimist if you want, but there are holes, particularly in the bullpen.

Prediction: 2nd, Wild Card.

Of course, I could be wrong. NL East preview on Monday.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Celebrity Rock: A Beatles medley (The Carol Burnett Show, 1967)

 From season 1 of The Carol Burnett Show, and courtesy of the series' official YouTube channel:

Carol and guests Bobbie Gentry, Gwen Verdon, & Phyllis Diller impersonate the Beatles in a medley of songs from "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", including the title song, plus "With a Little Help From My Friends" (Phyllis as Ringo Starr) and "When I'm 64" (Carol & Gwen doing some soft shoe as John Lennon & George Harrison; Bobbie was Paul McCartney).

We all know Phyllis was a trained concert pianist, but she was given a trumpet, while Gwen played the keyboards. To think this episode premiered two weeks before Halloween......

Sports this 'n' that

 Former WWE champion Triple H (Paul Levesque) made it official today.

Due to a cardiac event nearly 7 months ago, Levesque, 52, has retired from in-ring competition, his last televised in-ring appearance having taken place 14 months ago. Already in the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of DeGeneration X, he's likely going into the Hall as a solo act, following behind Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and Kliq mates Shawn Michaels and the late Scott Hall as 2-time Hall of Famers, and that solo induction could come as early as 2023.

Levesque explains his situation in this excerpt, previewed on First Take, and to be shown in its entirety tonight on Stephen A.'s World on ESPN+:

It is unclear whether or not Levesque will return to office duties, either at the home office in Stamford, or at NXT HQ in Orlando, where Michaels is currently head writer for NXT. Levesque spent most of his career with WWE, beginning in 1995, after a 2 year stint in WCW, and some time in the New England independent circuit.
The NFL is still reeling over the decision by the Kansas City Chiefs to trade all-world receiver/kick returner Tyreek Hill to Miami for draft picks. Now you know why former Ravens & Jets defensive back Bart Scott, on ESPN the other day, said he doesn't see the Chiefs repeating in the AFC West, despite Patrick Mahomes.

Miami has been looking for a deep threat, and at the end of the day, the Chiefs play in a smaller market, and might not have been able to afford Hill once his contract expired.
More controversy at the NCAA men's tournament, as two more top seeds were toppled on Thursday. Arkansas, coached by Eric Musselman, took down overall #1 Gonzaga, and social media was buzzing with complaints about the officiating, though commentators on Yahoo! argued that the Razorbacks' defense did more to win the game than the Zags getting rooked by the zebras.

Arizona also lost, defeated by Houston, while #2 seed Duke advances to the Elite Eight. The pieces are moving in place for one more Duke title run. Don't believe me? Tune in tomorrow, and see if Duke advances to next week's Final Four.

On The Shelf: Two 70's icons meet, and a legendary brand is revived

 Readers of a certain age will remember when DC would have Superman & Batman team up in World's Finest, which went through a number of format changes in 40+ years of publication, ending around 1983-4 after 324 issues.

Subsequent revivals have not included the World's Finest brand, but veteran writer and comics historian Mark Waid has changed all of that. Apparently, one of the conditions of Waid returning to DC was to use World's Finest for this latest revival (full title: Batman-Superman: World's Finest). The first story arc is set in the recent past, recent enough where it won't be affected by pending events in Justice League and the summer event, Dark Crisis. Waid and artist Dan Mora have all but emptied the box in the opener, with Poison Ivy, Penguin, Metallo, and the Doom Patrol. The first arc figures to go six issues. Where it goes from there? Keep reading.

Grade: Incomplete.
In 2019, Dynamite held the licenses for two 70's action series, The Bionic Woman and Charlie's Angels, but didn't get full rights. If they did, they'd have been able to use the likenesses of actresses Lindsay Wagner (Bionic Woman), Cheryl Ladd, Jaclyn Smith, and Tanya Roberts (Charlie's Angels), the better to fuel a 4 issue miniseries that brought the characters together.

Roberts had joined Angels in its final season, two years after The Bionic Woman had ended its run on NBC instead of ABC. We've discussed that matter in the past. Anyway, this is fan service for devotees of both series. Cameron DeOrdio's script is simple enough to understand, though the Angels not even bothering to change outfits to go with those ski masks in the first issue was a minor misstep meant for laughs.

Soo Lee's art recalls a simpler time in the comics industry. Nothing spectacular, or out of the ordinary. Ye humble critic ordered the trade paperback back in September 2020, so it finally surfaces more than 18 months later, thanks in large part to supply chain issues and other mitigating factors. Dynamite hasn't done much with either franchise since, but then, they're too busy spamming Red Sonja, Vampirella, Bettie Page, and Elvira down the readers' throats.

Charlie's Angels vs. The Bionic Woman gets a B--.
The reason Dynamite is spamming the above mentioned licensed properties is because it gives them a license to print money, but how far is too far?

Last year's Vampiverse miniseries spins off The Vamp in a June 1-shot, which Dynamite excitedly hypes as a contemporary to The Shadow. The idea is that Vampi has become a vigilante in another reality. Vampiverse is being solicited as a trade paperback for a June release as well. As for Red Sonja, are you ready for Samurai Sonja? Yeah, that's also a thing coming out in June. I'm begging Marvel to get the license back.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Desert GOPers want to make voting records public. Would someone please introduce them to reality?

 Obsessed with the non-existent notion of voter fraud in 2020's elections, GOPers in Arizona are drafting a bill that would make the voting records of every eligible voter in the state public knowledge.


This is tantamount to invasion of privacy at an obscene, extreme level. It's sickening, and, in reality, it is unconstitutional. It's almost certainly going to get smacked down at higher levels.

Farron Cousins explains:

What the GOPers in cactus country want to do is get back in the good graces of former president Donald Trump, who thinks he is still in charge of the Republican Party. They need to give that up, and start thinking for themselves again.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Names making news

 One month after its launch, Truth Social, the Twitter-esque platform created by Donald Trump, and managed by former Congressman Devin Nunes, is still in trouble, and its creator isn't even bothering to contribute even one "Truth" (their version of tweets).

We could say that, given the former president's advanced age, he may have forgotten he had access himself. Then again, he just can't let go of his obsessive need to have his messages being posted, second-hand, on Twitter.

Self defeating, don't you think?

Meanwhile, Trump has rescinded his endorsement of Alabama Misrepresentive Shmoe Brooks, who wants to move up to the Senate. All because Shmoe's advisors have convinced him to drop the 2020 election as a talking point.

"WAAAAHHHH! We need to keep talking about 2020!! WAAAAHHH!"

Please call your service, Mr. Brooks. Your career is over.
Why do GOPers have a problem with making history?

When it's not them making history, that is.

Judge Ketanji Brown-Jackson, President Biden's pick for the Supreme Court, is being given some unnecessary heat from Missouri Senator Hee Hawley. who is trying to sell the idea that Brown-Jackson is soft on certain crimes. And this geek had the nerve to do a photo op before the hearings?

The opposition on the red side of the room is coming from the usual suspects so far, specifically Hawley and Raphael "Ted" Cruz, whose flimsy arguments are so bad, you can't even make toilet paper out of them.

Brown-Jackson will be confirmed. The heat is because the Democrats, it is said, put some emotional stress on Brett Kavanaugh a couple of years back.

This, in effect, is what Trump wrought in Washington. Politics in the form of schoolyard feuds. It would help if in the mid-terms, the immature GOPers, including Hawley, are sent packing.
Maury Povich, like Jerry Springer before him, has informed NBC-Universal that he will end his talk show at the end of the season, his 31st.

Maury launched in 1992, after Povich left A Current Affair. Seems to me the daytime talk landscape is changing, ever so slowly, back to an old school variety show format, this just as Ellen DeGeneres is ending her show as well, but for different reasons.
Masked Singer host Nick Cannon will have some free time after the season.

Cannon's self-titled daytime chat fest has been cancelled after 1 season due to low ratings.

Locally, Nick Cannon had the misfortune of airing opposite The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and couldn't capture the youth demo that follows Singer.

Sinclair Broadcasting, which owns WRGB & WCWN, now has three hours of programming to fill in the fall. 2 hours on CW15 with the departures of Maury and Cannon, and 1 on CBS6 (Ellen).


CBS6 will follow its competitors and add an extra hour of news. CW15 will find something to fill the slot, as this is two straight seasons where they've had duds at 4 pm (ET) (Daily Mail was yanked after 1 season). We suggest poaching some off-network repeats filling late night slots on CBS6 on the weekends (i.e. SWAT, SEAL Team).

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Will someone teach the GOPers the meaning of societal inclusion?

 By now, you've heard, I'm sure, that Lia Thomas, a transgender athlete competing for the University of Pennsylvania, won a Division I championship in the 500 yard (Yard? What? It's supposed to be meters, right?) freestyle over Olympic silver medalist Emma Weyant, representing Virginia.

Predictably, the GOPers, including a transgender celebrity in Caitlyn Jenner, are having a collective cow.

File photo from the 2021 Summer Olympics of Emma Weyant.

The argument, of course, is that Thomas, who, like Jenner a few years ago, transitioned from male to female, has an unfair advantage over biological female athletes. The NCAA, taking note of how inclusive society has become in recent years, gave Thomas the green light to compete.

If you have a separate division for trans athletes, then there's no argument. Simple as that.

Since Weygnt is originally from Florida, their gasbag, homophobic governor, Ron DeStupid, issued a proclamation today declaring Weyant the rightful champion. All DeStupid is doing is continuing to alienate the LGBTQ community in the Sunshine State to further his political agenda and ambitions.

In reality, the official record stands, and DeStupid is simply making whine out of sour grapes just to get a headline. Now, who does that sound like?

We live in a more accepting, inclusive society in the 21st century, but head-in-the-sand GOPers like DeStupid would rather send us in the opposite direction to a more innocent time. It's way past time the GOPers got a collective clue and joined the rest of modern society.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Musical Interlude: New York State of Mind (1977)

A quick explanation before this next clip.

The Muppet Show stockpiled musical numbers that were originally produced for the UK audience, so these would be made available for American audiences later on.

One such case is a cover of Billy Joel's 1976 hit, "New York State of Mind", which was originally taped for season 2 in the UK, and used in a season 3 episode here. Floyd Pepper is on lead vocals.

Yes, it's a truncated version, which clocks in at just over 2 minutes.

As you might figure, Dr. Teeth was inspired by Dr. John, and Zoot is an amalgam of saxophonists, including the late Clarence Clemons.

Sports this 'n' that

 Last season, Matt Ryan, while with the Atlanta Falcons, shot a Cold Call commercial for Tide detergent with Gordon Ramsey (Master Chef, Hell's Kitchen, Next Level Chef, etc.), "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and Ice-T (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), still in Falcons colors.

If they bring him back this coming fall, since the ad is still being used during NCAA basketball telecasts, he'll have a new uniform, or wear street clothes.

Reports are that Ryan, after 14 seasons in Atlanta after being drafted out of Boston College in 2008, is being traded to Indianapolis for draft picks. The Colts need a quarterback after sending Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders, also for draft picks. Ryan would be the 3rd different starting QB for Indianapolis in as many years.
Not too shocked to read of some sour grapes coming out of the TCU-Arizona 2nd round game in the men's NCAA tournament on Sunday. The Wildcats won, 85-80, in overtime, but there's some gripes about----what else?----fouls not being called in the 2nd half that could've conceivably prevented OT. Seems to me that the NCAA and its media partners (CBS/TNT/TBS/TruTV) want to make sure that most, if not all, of the top seeds are still playing once we get to the final four April 2 & 4.

In this writer's opinion, it is also possible that they could arrange for Duke, a #2 seed, to go all the way to send coach Mike Krzyzewski to retirement with one last championship. This is why I'm not that big on college hoops anymore. The not-so-secret politics behind the scenes have poisoned the college & pro game more than the deals with sponsors like Nike. It's all about what would generate the biggest numbers in terms of television ratings come that first weekend in April.
Minnesota's Gable Steveson captured another national wrestling title on Saturday, then retired from Greco Roman competition on Sunday, clearing the way for his transition to the pro game and WWE. Rumors have him in Dallas for Monday Night Raw on April 4. Brother Bobby is already in WWE, under a stage name, and paying his dues in the ring. Stay tuned.
In a case of the rich getting richer, the Boston Red Sox signed shortstop Trevor Story over the weekend after Story left Colorado as a free agent. Problem is, manager Alex Cora has no plans to move incumbent shortstop Xander Bogaerts to a new position, which is why MLB insider Jon Heyman, appearing on MLB Network, suggested Houston or the Yankees would be a better fit for Story, as they, especially Houston, would need a quality starting shortstop. Houston, of course, lost Carlos Correa, who signed a 3 year deal with opt-outs after each of the first two seasons (Scott Boras, anyone?), with Minnesota.

Boston also re-signed Travis Shaw, who returned last summer in a trade with Milwaukee, while the Yanks picked up Marwin Gonzalez (Boston, Minnesota, Houston) in a minor league deal. 

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Can you find the subtext? Who Killed Supersleuth? (Burke's Law, 1964)

 From season 2 of Burke's Law:

A convention of detectives leads to murder, a plot we'd see on the big screen in later years. While Amos Burke (Gene Barry) misses the party, he has to fend off a nosy shutterbug who's more than willing to throw Les & Tim (Regis Toomey & Gary Conway) under the bus because the murder happened virtually right under their noses.

In "Who Killed Supersleuth?", we get parodies of Mr. Moto (J. Carrol Naish, who'd flopped as Charlie Chan a few years earlier) and Hercule Poirot (Ed Begley), though one would suspect a cross between Poirot and Nero Wolfe makes more sense. Carl Reiner (The Dick Van Dyke Show) is a British inspector from Scotland Yard. And your hostess is Zsa Zsa Gabor.

I'm trying to remember if Lorenzo Semple, Jr. also wrote Zsa Zsa's 1-off as a villain in the series finale of Batman in 1968. Just asking.

Yeah, Reiner's doing a parody of Boris Karloff's Colonel March of Scotland Yard or British sleuths in general.

No rating. Just a public service.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Musical Interlude: Pancho & Lefty (1983)

 Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard hit #1 on the country chart with their duet cover of Townes Van Zandt's 1972 ballad, "Pancho & Lefty". If you look close, Van Zandt appears throughout, including the concluding sequence in a modern day bar while Nelson & Haggard are playing cards.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Forgotten TV: The Eve Arden Show (1957)

 After Our Miss Brooks ended its radio run (the TV version ended a year earlier), Eve Arden returned to CBS with a self-titled sitcom in which Arden played a widower raising twin daughters, with help from her mother (Frances Bavier, three years before The Andy Griffith Show), who doubled as a housekeeper.

The supporting cast also included Allyn Joslyn, whom pop culture fans might know from a later recurring gig on The Addams Family, and Willard Waterman (ex-The Great Gildersleeve). However, neither actor nor Bavier were still around at season's end, when the series was cancelled. Arden co-produced the series herself through her production company, Westhaven Productions, with CBS & Desilu.

I'm guessing that the TV Brooks might've gone into syndication by 1957, which may have had something to do with this series getting cancelled, despite being coupled with The Phil Silvers Show.

Right now, let's take a look at the opener.

Give Arden credit for taking a chance after nearly a full decade, between radio & television, of playing a school teacher. Viewers just didn't buy in, and it would be nearly a decade before she'd land another series (The Mothers-In-Law).

No rating. Just a public service.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Weasel of The Week: Ye (Kanye West)

 The poster child for bi-polar disorder (he says he has it, and sometimes acts like he does) can't go a day without being a Weasel.

Kanye West, or, Ye, since he legally changed his name, had his Instagram account suspended for 24 hours because he wouldn't stop harassing ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her beau, Pete Davidson (Saturday Night Live), and won't stop fabricating stories about the latter.

For someone who claims his ex won't let him see his kids, this speaks a lot of volumes to the contrary......

Photo courtesy Yahoo!.

West took his oldest son, Saint, 6, to a recent game between Golden State & Boston, and Saint actually got to meet Boston star & Subway pitchman Jayson Tatum. West also picked up Saint and his brother & sisters for school, then tried to lie and claim Kardashian banned him. With the soap opera playing out on a daily basis, the avenue for lying is gone.

For what it's worth, Davidson was recently tapped to be the next celebrity headliner, following TV icon William Shatner and Michael Strahan, on a space flight funded by Jeffrey Bezos. At least Davidson can say he went to space. West? He's a space cadet in his own mind. He's also picked up, as you can see, another set of Weasel ears

Seems to me he won't go back on his medication unless Kardashian calls off the divorce, dumps Davidson, and comes back to him. Bullies and control freaks are like that. We can see right through Ye on this one.

Musical Interlude: The Town I Know So Well (1991)

 Top o'the mornin' to ye lads & lassies. 'Tis St. Patrick's Day.

It would be too easy to find something by, for example, U2, Van Morrison, or The Cranberries. However, we are remembering a fine fellow from Northern Ireland who settled here in the US many years ago after a teaching career in England.

Eamonn McGirr owned an Irish club that bore his name in Loudonville, as memory serves, and hosted a weekly radio show, Proud to be Irish, on one of the local channels, 'til his passing in 2004. He has a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for a marathon singing performance for Cerebral Palsy in 1996. With his band, the Go Lucky Four, he had a hit with "Up Went Nelson" in 1966.

Here, he's at another Eamonn's, this one in Massachusetts, with a cover of Phil Coulter's "The Town I Know So Well". Jim Larkin, who shot the video, was a frequent collaborator with McGirr here in the 518.


Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Baseball this 'n' that

 The World Series champion Atlanta Braves are convinced Freddie Freeman will take his talents elsewhere.

To that end, the Braves acquired Matt Olsen from the Oakland A's, then signed Olsen to an 8 year contract. Freeman remains a free agent, with preseason games starting on Saturday.

The Yankees are moving on from Gary Sanchez & Gio Urshela.

The two were traded to Minnesota in exchange for All-Star 3B Josh Donaldson on Monday, a sure sign that Hal Steinbrenner wants to end what is now a 12 year World Series draught, and ASAP. Keep in mind, the Yankees are in the hunt for Freeman. The Bombers also got Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who was a Twin for a hot minute after being acquired from Texas last week.

With a universal DH in the bigs this season, the Washington Nationals acquired Nelson Cruz from Minnesota specifically to be the DH. You know they'd love to get Kyle Schwarber back after dealing him to Boston last summer.

Speaking of the Red Sox, reliever Adam Ottovino, who was in the Boston bullpen last season, returns to New York, this time with the Mets on a one year deal.

Cincinnati sent outfielder Jesse Winker and infielder Eugenio Suarez to Seattle for pitcher Justin Dunn and two minor leaguers. The Reds had already parted with catcher Tucker Barnhart (Detroit) and pitchers Wade Miley (Cubs) and Sonny Gray (Minnesota). Assume, then, no one is giving the Reds a chance in the NL Central.

The days of rotating the divisional interleague matchups are over.

Starting in 2023, a more balanced schedule will enable teams to play every other team in at least 2 or 3 games. Don't ya think they should've done that in the first place?

Monday, March 14, 2022

Musical Interlude: Nobody Wants You When You're Down & Out (1966)

 "Nobody Wants You When You're Down & Out", also known as "Nobody Knows You When You're Down & Out", dates back to 1923, when it was written. Most famously recorded under either title by Bessie Smith and Bobby Womack, the track fell into the hands of actor-comedian Richard Pryor in 1966. 

Pryor, appearing on the Kraft Summer Music Hall, was a man of many talents. It's just that until this video emerged, no one knew he could sing.

This clip is bracketed with some real-world footage chronicling the struggles of African-Americans of the period.

Now, that makes me wonder if he did sing when he guest hosted Soul Train a few years later.

Names making news

 Once upon a time, while she was the "Money Honey" at CNBC, Maria Bartiromo was immortalized in song by the punk rock legends, The Ramones. I forget which one of the band members had a crush on her, prompting the song.

Today, she's a Fox Shmooze/Business gasbag who took the party line Sunday, trying to claim that President Biden is a "partner" to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. Nothing could be further from the truth.

But, then, what would you expect from Fox, other than to avoid the truth.
Tom Brady will be playing in the fall, after all.

The 7-time Super Bowl winner announced on Twitter Sunday he was ending his retirement after less than 2 months. Apparently, Brady was afraid Tampa would trade for troubled Houston QB Deshaun Watson, or elevate Kyle Trask, who carried a clipboard last season, to the starting role. Not only that, I think he's coming back so his BFF, professional lunkhead Rob Gronkowski, doesn't sign someplace else.
Wrestling Hall of Famer Scott Hall was on life support over the weekend after suffering three heart attacks following hip surgery.

Hall, who won tag titles under his own name in the AWA & WCW with multiple partners (i.e. Kevin Nash, Curt Hennig) and in the then-WWF as Razor Ramon, where he also won the Intercontinental title, retired from competition in 2010. At last check, he's to be taken off life support once his family arrives. Son Cody had been with New Japan Pro Wrestling a few years back.

Update, 8:27 pm: Hall has passed away at 63.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Musical Interlude: Calling Elvis (1991)

 Dire Straits' final studio album, "On Every Street", was released in 1991. For the first single/video, "Calling Elvis", Mark Knopfler and the band took a page from the Grateful Dead.

What I mean by that is the use of puppets, under the direction of the legendary Gerry Anderson, who used characters from Thunderbirds, in addition to the puppet Straits. The live-action portion was directed by veteran Steve Barron, and the story surrounds a woman who thinks Elvis Presley is still alive (because that was still a thing in 1991).

On The Shelf: Another Batman miniseries by Tom King, and other observations

 The series finale of The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries proudly marked the 50th anniversary of the first meeting of the two icons by having more guest stars than you could shake a Bat-pole at.

A fair number of villains are congregating, and have captured Batman & Robin. A makeshift Bat-signal, created by Mystery, Inc., brings Batgirl, Batwoman, Ace the Bat-Hound, and the rest of the Bat-family to the rescue. Predictably, Shaggy bonds with a minor villain, Condiment King, over food.

At the center, however, and this should've been expected anyway, is Bat-Mite, billed here as Batman's biggest fan, which means that Larry, Robin's biggest fan from Teen Titans Go!, was that series' parody of the 5th dimensional imp.

Something tells me a sequel series is nigh.

Rating: A.

Meanwhile, prolific writer Tom King has launched a 6-part Bat-miniseries, Killing Time, which brings together Catwoman, Riddler, & Penguin in a caper that quickly goes off the rails. Thankfully, King uses the traditional look for Riddler. We're digging David Marquez's work on this, and also interested to see if there's any romantic subtext between the Bat & the Cat.

Rating: A.
Spinning off the series premiere of Disney+'s What If?, the story of Peggy Carter as Captain Carter continues in a 5 part miniseries, now set in what amounts to the present day. Plans call for Iron Man to appear in this series. This, too, I think, is going to merit a sequel.

Rating: Incomplete.
Naomi is going on its 2nd break after just 7 episodes on CW, as apparently, the network wants to stretch the first season out to the May sweeps.

Meanwhile, creators Brian Bendis, who works as a producer on the TV show, David Walker, & Jamal Campbell, have started Naomi: Season 2. The first issue gets readers up to speed if they didn't read the 1st mini, published under the now-defunct Wonder Comics imprint in 2019, or haven't seen the show yet. In other words, this is loaded with expository dialogue. Things will pick up with issue 2.

Rating: Incomplete.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Sports this 'n' that

 There are those that believe Syracuse was screwed after the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) suspended Buddy Boeheim, the oldest of coach Jim Boeheim's two sons currently on the Orange roster, one game for punching a Florida State player in the 1st round of the ACC tournament this week. Syracuse subsequently lost to Duke, which will play for the ACC title today vs. Virginia Tech.

It is the final season for Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who, along with Jim Boeheim, felt that the league didn't do things the right way. Had Buddy Boeheim been called for a flagrant foul, level 2, he would've been ejected, and probably would've missed the Duke game anyway. No foul was called in real time, but the league, after the game, issued the suspension.

Now, there are going to be conspiracy theorists who will say the league did this to make it easier for Krzyzewski, since Buddy Boeheim was Syracuse's leading scorer, to advance in the tournament. Virginia Tech eliminated Duke's in-state rival, North Carolina, on Friday, creating a fresh matchup for the tournament final. A Duke win sends them to the NCAA tournament, which starts next week. The next question would be if Duke runs the table, and wins one more national title for their outgoing coach. That will bear watching.
Joe Buck has been the lead voice of NFL football and Major League Baseball on Fox the last several years. That all changes this fall.

Buck is following game analyst Troy Aikman to ESPN, where they will take over Monday Night Football from Steve Levy (currently a studio host for NHL hockey) and Louis Riddick. Brian Griese has left ESPN for a coaching job.

Son of legendary television & radio announcer Jack Buck, Joe Buck has his detractors, largely for the way he calls games. I haven't had any problem with him, to be honest. Fox will be looking for a new #1 NFL team, and someone to fill Buck's chair with John Smoltz for baseball. In the latter, I'd say that would open the door for MLB Network's Robert Flores, himself an ESPN alumnus, to land a major gig.
Stay tuned.
A grand jury chose not to indict Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson on sexual harassment and/or assault charges, so now the speculation begins as to where Watson will land next after not playing in 2021. Ambulance chaser Tony Busbee's case apparently fell apart because of his questionable tactics.
Scary moment for former WWE champion Big E (Ettore Ewen) Friday on Smackdown when he landed on his head during a match, and had to be removed from the arena on a stretcher. Ewen posted a message on Twitter saying he was told he had a broken neck. Prayers for a speedy recovery.

In other WWE news, Hall of Famer "Stone Cold" Steve Austin will appear at Wrestlemania not to fight, but to stand up for his native Texas against Canada's Kevin Owens. Apparently CEO/Chairman/head nutcase Vince McMahon was hoping Austin would come out of retirement after 19 years for a match, but it doesn't appear to be the case.

McMahon, 76, is wisely, as of now, avoiding getting in the ring with Smackdown analyst Pat McAfee, who instead will take on Austin Theory at the big dance. Theory has appeared on Smackdown two straight weeks to confront & provoke the former All-Pro punter. I've a feeling the story will reveal that Theory's acting on his own, seeking approval from McMahon.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Weasel of The Week: Tim Winter

 While most of right wing media is obsessed with scapegoating President Biden for the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Parents Television Council is back in the news to do what they do best, whining and complaining about today's television, ignorant of the fact that television is not what it was 70 years ago, and isn't changing back.

PTC President Tim Winter is whining about Disney+ adding the former Netflix series Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, & The Defenders to the streaming service next Wednesday, March 16. His out of date attitude being, of course, that shows rated TV-14 or TV-MA don't belong on Disney+ or any of the company's linear channels, despite improvements in parental controls that will be implemented next week.

File photo of Charlie Cox courtesy of Netflix/Everett Collection.

Disney spent the money to acquire those series after Netflix decided to remove all five series, plus The Punisher, from their roster. Disney, remember, is Marvel's parent company. Winter and the PTC think television should revert back to the standards of the 50's & 60's, ignorant of how society has changed over the last 60-70 years.

All Winter is doing is reminding the rest of us that the PTC is still around, and won't go away. Get a clue, Winter. You can huff & puff like the Big Bad Wolf all you want, and you're not getting your way. Enjoy the Weasel ears, punk. You deserve them.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Names making news

 We wrote the other day about how Donald Trump's latest social media project, Truth Social, is tanking. 2 1/2 weeks in, there are over 800,000 subscribers waiting to be registered because of an internal screwup. As previously noted, Trump himself only used the app once, and hasn't been back, opting to continue to use press flack Liz Harrington to post messages on Twitter.

Trump created Truth Social as an alternative to Twitter, despite the fact that there were already a small group of right wing apps with similar goals. Given his history of failures outside of the real estate industry, and the three seasons spent as an owner in the original USFL, the fact that Truth Social is tanking isn't a surprise.

Farron Cousins breaks down what's wrong.

Trump doesn't hire the right people for projects like this. Considering that he hires lawyers from Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe, and they're failing.....!
The NFL draft is still a few weeks away, but the Denver Broncos & Seattle Seahawks made a big swap on Wednesday.

After 10 seasons with the 'Hawks, Russell Wilson is headed to Mile High country, in exchange for draft picks, tight end Noah Fant, and QB Drew Lock, whom the Broncos gave up on last season. The AFC West will be more competitive this year, just at the QB position alone, as Wilson joins Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City), Derek Carr (Las Vegas), and Justin Herbert (Los Angeles).
After all the hoopla, Aaron Rodgers is staying in Green Bay after all.

Rodgers inked a new 4 year deal the other day, worth $200 million, or, $50 million a year. Apparently, State Farm isn't paying him enough for those goofy commercials.
Filmmaker Ryan Coogler ("Black Panther") was a victim of mistaken identity the other day in Atlanta, when police there mistook him for a bank robber. Fortunately, the police were spared the embarrassment when they realized their mistake.
Florida Governor Ron DeStupid intends to sign into law a controversial bill that is aimed at the LGBTQ+ community. Of course, he's getting pushback, and he deserves it.

First, Kate McKinnon used an appearance during the Weekend Update segment of Saturday Night Live to poke fun at DeStupid and the legislation. Then, Bravo executive Andy Cohen, host of Watch What Happens Live, railed against DeStupid on Wednesday's broadcast.

Both McKinnon & Cohen are openly gay. I'd not be surprised if another NBC-Universal personality, Rachel Maddow, will have something to say about DeStupid on her show.

Homophobia is not a new thing in Florida in particular. Remember how former Miss America Anita Bryant lost an endorsement deal with Florida Orange Juice in the late 70's when she took a stand? 
Apparently, Charles Barkley wants some of what fellow TNT analyst and NBA contemporary Shaquille O'Neal is getting.

In addition to the occasional commercial, both on TV & radio, for Capital One, Barkley is the voice-over announcer for Subway's current ad campaign. O'Neal, of course, shills for Papa John's, Icy Hot, Gold Bond, Epson printers, and The General, an independent insurance company. Barkley's got a way to go yet to catch up.

Musical Interlude: Ordinary World (1993)

 Duran Duran's 1993 CD is often referred to as "The Wedding Album", as evidenced by the first single and video from the album, "Ordinary World". Of course, it got heavy airplay on MTV. Today, it still gets airplay on adult contemporary and oldies channels. Former Missing Persons guitarist Warren Cuccurullo joined the band prior to the release of the album, and would later launch a spin-off project with keyboard player Nick Rhodes, TV Mania.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

A teacher is hospitalized------by a 5 year old student

 About a week ago. a teacher at a Florida elementary school was attacked by a 5 year old special needs student after the child, and a 4 year old playmate, had been placed in "cool down", or, "time out" rooms after they were throwing objects and flipping chairs in the classroom.

The key words here are, "special needs". What it doesn't tell us is exactly what the issue is with the child. Autism? Asperger's Syndrome? Something else? Media accounts don't go into detail, citing confidentiality requirements.

The last place you'd find a violent assault on a teacher.

All we know is that the police were considering pressing charges against the child, but uncertain if he can ascertain right from wrong. Failing that, and some commentators on YouTube have already said this, any charges against the child would actually be filed against his parents as they'd have to accept responsibility for his actions. From media accounts we have reviewed, this was the third time this student has sent the teacher to the hospital. The child needs help, that much is certain.

While Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is discouraging people from protecting themselves against COVID, we haven't heard a peep from him regarding this incident. Apparently, a special needs kindergarten student is beneath his notice.

And what of the parents in this case? Let's say they can't afford to get their son into therapy to address his issues. The district possibly could, if able. This is the sort of school issue that DeSantis should be looking into if he wants to earn some points with the people he's offended with his self-serving rhetoric against COVID and the LGTBQA+ community. 

All I know is that this sort of thing doesn't happen here in the home district.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

When the back door is closed: Discovery at Fourteen (The Bold Ones, 1972)

 Near the end of season 3 of The Bold Ones, NBC asked Universal for a pilot for a possible spin-off series. In the industry, it's called a back door pilot.

"Discovery at Fourteen" fills this role, as the only regular appearing is David Hartman. The focus instead is on Jane Wyman as Dr. Amanda Fallon, with Mike Farrell (ex-The Interns). The plot centers on two boys, brought to the Craig Institute by their grandfather (Jim Davis, ex-Stories of The Century). The family hides a secret while dealing with the boys' injuries.

Ron Howard (still billed as Ronny at the time, and was otherwise on The Smith Family) also guest stars.

As we all know, Jane Wyman would later land her own series (Falcon Crest), but I fail to comprehend why this didn't work. There would be another back door pilot the next year, with Henry Darrow (ex-High Chaparral) as a detective, and that one's not presently available on YouTube.

No fair rating. Just a public service.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Truth Social is a bust. Then again, its creator isn't doing anything on it, and........

 Donald Trump will be 76 in June. One more sign that he's not entirely, ah, with it, if ya will, comes in the form of how quickly his social media venture, Truth Social, is tanking, and instead of looking for scapegoats to blame for the inevitable demise, the former president should consider raging in front of a mirror.

Farron Cousins explains:

2 million viewers at the start, shrunken down to roughly 300,000 two weeks later. No subscribers because of a screw-up that hasn't been repaired. It doesn't help, either, that Trump had designed it so that subscribers would not be allowed to post negative comments. In other words, it was meant to be an extension of the bloviating man-child himself, who wants to read people praising him, not dissing him. Dude, it comes with the territory!

Add the fact that Trump has used the site just once himself, opting to continue to play his little game of chicken with Twitter instead of tending to his own farm, if ya will. Easy way to discourage interest. Once word got out that you couldn't use the forum to shred the former president for being a self-absorbed jackass, Truth Social's days were instantly numbered. 

They say preparation is the key to proper planning. Trump doesn't know a blueprint from a blueberry, much less a Blackberry. They'll be writing Truth Social's obituary in about 2-4 months.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Give this guy a cookie and make him go away!

 Ok, so I borrowed from the late Don Rickles.

However, it fits embattled, deranged MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell to a T.

At a rally in Arizona, Prince Pillow claimed he was going to file a class action lawsuit against "all machines" because of the 2020 presidential election he still insists, 16 months after the fact, was rigged.

File photo courtesy Getty Images/Washington Post.

What Whinedell meant to say, of course, was that it was voting machines he was going after (of course). However, his latest gaffe had Twitter roasting him like a pig on a barbeque spit. One Twitter user went so far as to joke that his washer & dryer were hiring an attorney.

Bellevue is calling, though Whinedell would be better served going to a confessional first.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

In Theatres: The Batman (2022)

 Each auteur, or, filmmaker, has his own vision when it comes to franchises such as DC's "The Batman".

Ten years after Christopher Nolan had completed his Bat-trilogy with "The Dark Knight Rises", and after Ben Affleck walked away from this project, Matt Reeves took over as co-author & director, with Robert Pattinson ("Twilight") stepping into the cape & cowl.

Set two years into the hero's career, "The Batman" is built around a demented serial killer, the Riddler (Paul Dano), but it's not really the Riddler we all knew. Of course not. Reeves used the real-life Zodiac case as an inspiration for turning Riddler into a psychopath far removed from previous iterations of the character. In truth, Riddler, as we see him in the movie, is actually a mash-up of the Prince of Puzzlers and a more recent add to the Batman's Rogues Gallery, Hush, subbing Hush's bandaged face covering with a mask & goggles, Whereas past screen Riddlers have been cunning, but not crazy, Dano's Riddler is both. His cover as a forensic accountant recalls a similar path taken in the Gotham series.

Because modern fandom and WarnerMedia suits practically demand it, Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz), is inserted as a waitress working at the Iceberg Lounge, currently under the management of one Oswald Cobblepot, aka Penguin (Colin Farrell). The romantic tension between Bat & Cat is there almost instantly. Cobblepot has a more pronounced limp than he had on Gotham, but the how & why of the limp has never been revealed. It's early enough in Batman's career where police Lt. James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright, What If?) is working hand in glove with the Caped Crusader, over the objections of his superiors.

Clocking in at a shade over 2 1/2 hours, "The Batman" does feel as though it was padded at the end with the flooding of Gotham Square Garden after Riddler had been captured. The fact that he has followers will lead some to suggest a political allegory involving a certain demagogue.

Let's check the trailer:

While the soundtrack is sleep inducing to some, I could recommend a retro soundtrack, a la Marvel's movies, to wit:

"I Love a Rainy Night", Eddie Rabbitt.
"November Rain", Guns & Roses (because most of the movie is in the rain).
"Are You Gonna Go My Way?", Lenny Kravitz.

And that's just for starters.

Rating: A-.

Friday, March 4, 2022

Musical Interlude: Bring Back The Time (2022)

 New Kids on The Block, or, NKOTB, are back, prepping for a tour that will launch in June. Of the 5 band members, Donnie Wahlberg has been the most visible in recent times, thanks to his transitioning to acting (i.e. "Saw", Blue Bloods).

The new single, "Bring Back The Time", is a time trip back to the 80's with the boys, along with Salt 'n' Pepa, En Vogue, and Rick Astley (blink, and you'll miss Rick), who will join NKOTB on the summer tour.

Visually, there are mock-ups of the following:

"Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)"--Journey, 1983.
"Whip It"--Devo, 1980.
"I Ran (So Far Away)"---A Flock of Seagulls, 1982-3.
"Flesh For Fantasy"---Billy Idol, 1983-4.
"We're Not Gonna Take It"--Twisted Sister, 1985.
"Rio"---Duran Duran, 1982.
"Addicted to Love"--Robert Palmer, 1986.
"Mickey"---Toni Basil, 1981.
"Once in a Lifetime"---Talking Heads, 1980 (they went overboard with the parody of David Byrne).

Salt 'n' Pepa even cribbed some lyrics from LL Cool J's 1987 hit, "Goin' Back to Cali". You'll know what I mean.

Of course, you'll pay through the nose for tickets (they're likely coming to SPAC), because that's the way they roll these days.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

What defines a 21st century GOPer? No shame

 Just to illustrate how overexposed she is to the thin air in her home state of Colorado, Rep. Lauren Bow-Wow went on Laura Inkblot's Fox Shmooze propaganda show Wednesday, and essentially doubled down on her poor attempt at ruining President Biden's State of The Union message a night earlier, saying she'd do it again.

Do the people of Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, et al realize they elected immature children dressed as adults to office?

We attempted to get a comment from a GOPer spokesman:

"Sorry. I fell asleep, and missed it all."

Yeah, I'll bet.

Earlier Wednesday, Tabloid Carlson decided to demand that Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson's LSAT scores be made public, something not demanded of anyone nominated by Donald Trump. Carlson played the racist card, to be sure, appealing to all the suburban Archie Bunker wanna-bes, and of course got roasted on Twitter. 

To continue to refer to his garbage hour as an opinion program is a joke in and of itself. We get it. It was a slow news day, other than Fox Shmooze misreading the situation in Ukraine........

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

A little of this and a little of that

 So Major League Baseball's owners have decided they're not ready to let the players back into camp and prep for the season. The fat cats are being petty, petulant children. One reporter for the NY Daily News went so far as to say the lockout is aimed at Mets owner Steve Cohen, who spent major cheddar to get ace pitcher Max Scherzer away from the Dodgers in the off-season. So the Mets will be on the hook for the luxury tax. Cohen isn't sweating. He feels he has to give the fans the best possible product on the field.

The other owners, on the other hand, are playing hardball, delaying the start of the season as long as they can. What they're forgetting, of course, are the people that actually help pay for the players' salaries, and that's the fans themselves. That's going to make it that much harder to win back the fans after this is over.
Speaking of owners, word's come down that a group of the original owners of USFL franchises in the 80's are suing Fox over copyrights, one would guess. 70's icon Larry Csonka, who played with Miami and the Giants, with a stopover in the World Football League in between, is siding with the ex-owners. No word on whether a certain bloviator in Florida, who had a stake in one of the USFL franchises, is involved, as if he needs another lawsuit to worry about.
During President Biden's State of The Union address Tuesday, two GOPer airheads decided to spoil the party, if ya will, by doing what they do best, make fools of themselves.

Of course, that would be Empty-G (Marjorie Taylor Greene) and Lauren Bow-Wow, whose sole goal was to call attention to themselves and overshadow the proceedings. The news media is certainly paying more attention to their juvenile stunt than the official GOPer response from Iowa governor Kim Reynolds, which was largely BS anyway.

This morning on The View, the panel, with guest Michele Tafoya (ex-Sunday Night Football), had plenty to say, and moderator Whoopi Goldberg put the two dimbulbs on blast.

Tafoya, in case you don't know, left NBC Sports after the Super Bowl last month to pursue a career in politics as a GOPer herself. Here, she's filling the vacant chair left behind by Meghan McCain as part of a continuing series of guest-co-hosts until they decide on a permanent co-host.

Musical Interlude: One in a Million (1983-4)

 "One in a Million" was the final single from the Romantics' 1983 CD, "In Heat", and peaked at #37 on the Hot 100, which is a shame, since it had such a good beat.

I envy the actor playing the clerk at the ice cream shop, and having those ladies dancing on the table in front of him.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Dunce Cap Award: Care to take a guess?

 "Dumb Donald is really dumb!"---Gene Rayburn, Match Game, many times between 1973-84.

Proving his ignorance of history once again, Donald Trump is trying to take credit for something he tried to effectively destroy while he was president, and that is NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), which has been around almost as long as ol' Pecos Pampers himself.

Worse, he's got NATO, which has no membership fees, confused with one of his country clubs. Farron Cousins explains.

It's at the point now where Trump will say anything to distract attention from his myriad legal issues. Problem is, his act has long since past stale, even moldy. I'd say bacteria went on strike, but that happened when he was in the White House. Instead, Trump, who thinks Joe Isuzu was a real person, not a fictional character back in the 80's, gets another Dunce Cap, plus a set of Weasel ears. With the senior moments he's had of late, jail may be the least of his concerns. If I'm Melania, I'd start searching for a psychologist.........