Monday, December 2, 2019

Idle Thoughts: Family of Grifters

Tweets from November, 2019:
  • 2019-11-01: Parasite (2019): Korean. Family of grifters con a rich family. All is going well until a complication arises. Then it's chaos. A black comedy with violence, suspense, and farce. Just when you think writers have written themselves into a corner, they escape. Over and over. A-
  • 2019-11-02: Whose was bigger? The Washington Nat's World Series victory celebration or the Trump inauguration crowd? Trick question: the correct answer to any question about whose is bigger is never Trump.
  • 2019-11-04: Echo in the Canyon (2019): Documentary about a magical place and time when the mid-60s California Sound was in its prime. Reminiscences by many of the musical geniuses of how they inspired each other. Lots of 2015 tribute concert. Lots overlooked. Not enough old video. B+
  • 2019-11-04: Thread. Maybe the most important message you'll read during the 2020 election campaign.

After the jump, more idle thoughts.

  • 2019-11-05: Jojo Rabbit (2019): A boy's family shelters a Jewish girl in WWII Germany. An imaginary Hitler mentors the boy to be a good Nazi. It's a comedy. Work with me on this. Nazi Germany through a boy's eyes. Movie does a good job of balancing farce, tragedy, and touching scenes. A-
  • 2019-11-05: I used to think Ron Paul was wrong but I believed he was sincere in his mistaken beliefs. With his son Rand ignoring the corruption and nepotism of Trump's family in a speech criticizing Hunter Biden, I can't imagine he's sincere. He's simply another hypocritical politician.
  • 2019-11-05: The "smoking gun" that reveals Rand Paul as a hypocritical politician.
  • 2019-11-05: The GOP seems to be changing their defense from "Dead body? I don't see no dead body" to "The dead guy had it coming."
  • 2019-11-05: There's a term Trump uses for political donors who gave a million dollars to his campaign to be appointed ambassador and pressure foreign countries to dig up dirt on Trump's political rivals and then admit it all, harming Trump. They are what he calls the Deep State. Devious.
  • 2019-11-06: Voters are strange, voting to restrict their own power. Prop 1, which would have allowed voters to elect judges to serve multiple cities simultaneously, was defeated. Prop 4, which makes it harder for the legislature to let the people themselves vote on a tax issue, passed.
  • 2019-11-06: This country is great. Woman cyclist flips the bird to the Trump motorcade as it leaves a Trump golf club. Woman loses job because of it. Woman decides to run for office. Woman is now on Board of Supervisors for Loudoun County, home of Trump's golf club.
  • 2019-11-06: A conspiracy theory that just might have a kernel of truth. Thread.
  • 2019-11-06: Giuliani associates Parnas and Fruman lobbied former Rep. Pete Sessions to dismiss Ambassador Yovanovitch. Sessions, who later received campaign donations from both men, wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging the ambassador's ouster.
  • 2019-11-08: Where the Crawdads Sing: A debut novel by a zoologist results in a most surprising union: a sweet murder mystery. A coming-of-age tale with a bittersweet climax. The setting, the Carolina coastal marsh, is a fully fleshed out character itself. A-
  • 2019-11-09: Undone (TV 2019): After car accident, young woman finds she has powers over time and space. With help of her dead dad, she tries to find out who killed him. Her struggle to figure out her own life is what causes this show to succeed. Rotoscoping animation gives a unique look. B+
  • 2019-11-09: Erath County, southwest of Fort Worth, has a sheriff that scares me.
  • 2019-11-12: Modern Love (TV 2019): Anthology. Adaptations of personal essays from NY Times. No violence. No shocks. No twist endings. Just the many forms that love takes. It does what it sets out to do very well. A welcome diversion. Lots of familiar faces. B-
  • 2019-11-12: Did you know that the City of Dallas has "a zoning restriction that prevents faith-based organizations from offering emergency shelter to the homeless in inclement weather"? What is wrong with people?
  • 2019-11-12: Putting today's weather in a global context: Monday might have been the first day in recorded history that no rain fell anywhere in Australia. And it's "ablaze with some of the most ferocious early-season wildfires the continent has ever seen." Climate change takes all forms.
  • 2019-11-13: Pete leaves north Texas for Waco. And he didn't even say goodbye.
  • 2019-11-13: I guess the NEWS is that someone under oath confirmed what everyone already knows, or at least anyone with a lick of sense not living in a sensory deprivation tank for the last three years.
  • 2019-11-14: Publisher: What if we start to put advertising all over the front page of the newspaper?
    Journalists: You can't do that.
    Publisher: OK. So we'll call it a "front page wrap."
  • 2019-11-14: DMN front page: "Trump: villain or victim? First public hearing reveals clashing narratives, new evidence." The only new evidence reveals Trump as villain. But don't expect DMN to lead with the evidence.
  • 2019-11-19: The Spy (TV 2019): Sacha Baren Cohen plays it straight in a serious role. And carries it off excellently. Real life story of an Israeli spy in Syria in the 1960s. High stakes. Suspense. What drives him, patriotism or adrenaline? Show lags when Cohen is not on-screen. B-
  • 2019-11-22: A Wild Sheep Chase: An early Haruki Murakami novel that shows his magical realism getting honed. Can a sheep really be at the center of political and economic power? Some might think it's a Wild Goose Chase, but I found it fun and mildly thought-provoking. B-
  • 2019-11-26: This is what it means when it's said that gerrymandering results in a system where voters don't choose their representatives, incumbents choose their voters.
  • 2019-11-27: Stephen F. Austin stuns No. 1 Duke, 85-83 in OT. If your preseason bracket had Stephen F. Austin facing University of Evansville in the NCAA championship game, give yourself a pat on the back.
  • 2019-11-27: Where'd You Go, Bernadette? (2019): Cate Blanchette as an manic-depressive, anti-social architect whose problems stem from leaving her career. Artists need to create. Great lead performance in a role that the audience can never quite connect with or cheer for in the end. C+
  • 2019-11-27: Have a frozen turkey and wonder when you should move it from the freezer to the refrigerator? Well, it's too late.
  • 2019-11-28: Knives Out (2019): Wry murder mystery that's worthy of and pays tribute to Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, CSI, and Murder, She Wrote. Convoluted plot (a donut hole inside a donut inside a donut hole) that never takes itself seriously (*cough* Daniel Craig's accent). B+
  • 2019-11-29: Stuber (2019): Big fan of Kumail Nanjiani but this movie misuses him. More a violent action movie than comedy. Does neither genre justice. Dave Bautista is given more role than he can carry as an actor. C-
  • 2019-11-30: Headline writers around the world must be jealous they didn't get this story: "Polish chef hailed as hero after chasing down London Bridge terrorist with 5-foot Narwhal tusk."

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