Tagging Lines

Semantics matter. Defund the Police does not mean Reform the Police.  Once you have to explain you’ve lost the cause.

Black Lives Matter elicited backlash from some who took issue that all lives should matter. It took a long time, but now has become the accepted slogan of racial injustice by law enforcement. CHAZ has been dumped and replaced  in Seattle for some stupid reason.

Make America Great Again. MAGA is immediately recognized as the Trump supporters’ brand. Whereas Hillary’s was I’m With Her. What?

A new ad attacking Biden has the tag So Wrong for So Long. Don’t have to explain it, so it sticks. Does Biden even have a bumper sticker?

C’mon Dems. Tag lines work. Get better at it!

Storylines

Schwab PGA Tournament storyline coincidentally apt. Harold Varner III in contention. One of few ever Black golfers to win or even play. Without galleries, it’s up to Nick Faldo to give us some good gossip. Like Bryson deChambeau drinking crazy amounts of protein shakes. Thus, the gut. Hasn’t improved his annoying slow rudeness.

Knives Out. Don’t see many movies. But. This got major nominations and awards? For ensemble. Okay, good cast, mostly bad acting. Daniel Craig’s accent was distractingly awful. Original Screenplay. Really? Pretty flimsy. Campy at best. Must have been a bad year for film.

Parts Unknown

Traveling through current parts unknown, it is fitting that we remember Anthony Bourdain today. Lamenting the loss of this visionary poet, raconteur, chef as we pass by shuttered bistros and shattered dreams.

Nostalgic for Tony’s New York of debauchery and mystery. What would he do to resurrect the City and its dining scene.

Protest Pandemic

We didn’t have enough to worry about. Now the racial injustice protests have spread across the entire country. Even here outside our window and all over the Upper West Side.

And. Yes. There is still that other pandemic. Doesn’t look like these crowds are social distancing or wearing masks. Which is worse? Getting Covid or hit by a bullet? Such choices.

Maybe we should all get into a SpaceX rocket and get outta here!

Re-Writing Hollywood

Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. Quentin Tarantino’s re-writing of the Manson Family murder spree. Brad Pitt a happy-go-lucky hero.

Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood. Period piece with anachronistic wish-list of political correctness. Rock Hudson as his true Roy Fitzgerald. Pedantic message-laden editing that re-casts racial, social & Oscar history.

But. Happy endings are necessary now more than ever.

Objectively Speaking

NYTimes article about Ronan Farrow’s “Resistance Journalism”.  In other words, he did not prove many of his inflammatory conspiracy theories. Sound familiar? Journalism is an anachronism in this media environment. Cable News always has a clear bias and agenda as do most networks. Newspapers have had a point of view for decades. It’s rare to find any true journalists anymore. Ronan Farrow is clearly not one, either. Most people are happy to read what they want to believe on the left or right, that matches their righteous indignation and moral outrage. But. It’s a sad commentary on what once was an honored profession.

Frank Bruni wondered whether it is better to vote for a “confused” or “corrupt” candidate. Is that the choice we’re left with? If Biden’s bumper sticker is I’m not Him, it’s as uninspired as I’m with Her was in 2016. No driving message to vote FOR.

And. While I’m at it. If Sports announcers don’t change their remote commentary to fit the times with a lot more enthusiasm and detailed color, it’ll be a boring slog without fans or multiple cameras in real time. The Skins golf exhibition was unwatchable for more than ten minutes.

Love in the Time of Corona

Rodrigo Márquez is the son of Gabriel García Márquez, Colombian author of One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera.

Rodrigo writes a letter to his late father in today’s NYTimes. He wonders what Gabriel would think about the current coronavirus given his plots around an insomnia pandemic and cholera. Perhaps that luck and fate determine whether one suffers and dies alone or surrounded by love.

Ironically, Rodrigo’s film Four Good Days about addiction was screened at Sundance this past January where it is said the coronavirus may have had the earliest detected spread in the U.S.

So New?

Not much. Fresh TV content is mostly done. Daytime. Primetime. Even Jeopardy! Until productions go back into operation, it’s all re-runs all the time. Okay. One good newish series. Unorthodox. A slice of life in a fringe Jewish cult with a great performance by an elfin powerhouse.

Biden. An old pol denying culturally-accepted behavior in the old timey days. Nothing new there. #MeToo oozing hypocrisy. New blood. Please.

Even ordered a long-lauded book. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Never appealed. Yet. Was running out of options. So glad I did. One of the best reads in years.

A New York Restaurant Story

Gabrielle Hamilton owns an acclaimed East Village restaurant called Prune. It’s a small 15-table closely seated cozy boîte. As Hamilton herself recognized, it was becoming an anachronism in the new dining scene of brands rather than personalities, even before the coronavirus crisis.

Her NYTimes piece about the struggle to figure out what to do in this strange new environment is a poignant, poetic homage to the heart & soul of her 20-year James Beard– winning labor of love. It is a metaphor for so much now that it elicits a tear. One of the best reads of the year.

She began her torturous dilemma during the first warnings of an emerging pandemic “after 10 days of being waterboarded by the news”. What to do? An absurdiste lament, “That we are still a thread in the fabric that might unravel if you yanked us from the weave”.

The best quote is about how the industry has changed over the years, “The Brunch. The Brunch. The purebred lap dogs now passed off as service animals to calm anxieties that might arise from eating eggs Benedict on a Sunday afternoon”.

– Hamilton’s memoir Blood, Bones & Butter one of my faves. She is also featured in my old Northampton anthology Table’s Edge.

Agoraphobia Should Be A Choice

As an agoraphobe for the past too many years, shopping or going to a busy restaurant or for a walk in the Park takes some courage. Yet. There was the glimmer of having a choice. Now that seclusion is mandatory, it seems silly to feel trapped. And. The scared shitless diet is no fun either.

Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters – along the same theme.