Thursday, April 1, 2021

Random Thoughts: 43,909. A Stake in the Ground.

Tweets from March, 2021:
  • 2021-03-02: 516,346. In Texas, 43,909. Might as well put a stake in the ground to mark where we were when Abbott declared the pandemic was over in Texas.
  • 2021-03-02: With this action, Texas GOP forfeits any claim to be pro-life.
  • 2021-03-03: GOP cancel culture strikes a blow against mean tweets, unironically.
  • 2021-03-03: North Texas GOP didn't want her for Texas House. Now north Texas GOP doesn't want her for US House. Katrina Pierson is failing at a higher level now.

After the jump, more random thoughts.

  • 2021-03-03: It's a Sin (TV 2021): London flatmates in 1980s face the onset of AIDS. Equal parts joy (of coming out among supportive friends) and sadness (AIDS was a death sentence in 1980s). No preaching, no politicking, just drama, with focus always on the friends. Great ensemble cast. A+
  • 2021-03-04: Headline: "Amazon tweaks cardboard box tape in new app icon after some saw Hitler's mustache in the design." So, Amazon cancels Hitler. This is sure to stir up the right.
  • 2021-03-04: You'll know we're getting close to the end of the pandemic when governments quit running vaccine registration sign-up events and instead just tell people that anyone who wants one can just "come on down" anytime to get a vaccination.
  • 2021-03-05: Headline: "School funds won't take hit. State says aid to flow based on attendance before the pandemic." OK then, but an alternative headline could be: "Inadequate funding to continue."
  • 2021-03-05: I got my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine (yay!) last Sunday, and I've needed a nap every day since. In other words, it had no effect on me.
  • 2021-03-08: Harry and Meghan: it sounds like the Royal Family, the "firm," didn't learn a damned thing from the experience with Diana.
  • 2021-03-08: Does the City of Richardson execute drug raids? How many?
  • 2021-03-08: Coming 2 America (2021): African prince faces succession arguments with his American son, his daughter, and a rival dictator. Cast is full of big name stars. There are few crude or sophomoric jokes. Watchable; not as bad as feared. The big musical numbers are very good. C+
  • 2021-03-10: Tom & Jerry (2021): Movie suffers when Tom & Jerry aren't on the screen. Live action story about a hotel wedding doomed less by the cat and mouse hijinks than by the couple's incompatbility, which kids won't get and adults will find boring. Watch a classic cartoon instead. D+
  • 2021-03-10: Asked how he would describe himself politically, Jacques Barzun replied, "Like any sensible man, I am a liberal, a conservative, and a radical."
  • 2021-03-10: GOP as a white supremacist party is not a new phenomenon.
  • 2021-03-10: Richard Nixon, who had received substantial Black support in his 1960 Presidential bid, against John F. Kennedy, told a reporter for Ebony that "if Goldwater wins his fight, our party would eventually become the first major all-white political party."
  • 2021-03-10: Texas Rangers "officials stress over and over that voluntary compliance with mask requirement is essential to this plan working responsibly." IOW, officials admit plan won't work.
  • 2021-03-10: McConnell considers Garland qualified to serve as Atty. General but not SCOTUS justice. Raw politics at work.
  • 2021-03-11: In my NextDoor, a person posted a request for anti-maskers to "please kindly respect the stores mask policy." You can imagine how that went over. In one day, the post has attracted 250 comments.
  • 2021-03-12: Lt Gov Dan Patrick just doesn't get it.
  • 2021-03-12: Small Axe: Lovers Rock (TV 2020): One night at a house party in London in 1980, where Jamaicans slow dance to a reggae blues beat. Short, at 68 minutes. Not much plot beyond girl meets boy, but a whole lot of mood. It's enchanting as camera weaves among dancers and singers. B-
  • 2021-03-15: The Dig (2021): A love story of sorts based on real life. In 1939 Suffolk, a widow hires an excavator to dig up mounds on her farm, finding Anglo-Saxon treasure. That leads to more people and two love triangles, plot details that detract from this understated and lovely movie. B-
  • 2021-03-16: Miss Scarlet & the Duke (TV 2021): Victorian era woman takes over father's detective agency when he dies suddenly. She faces sexism and professional jealousy from the Duke. Of course the woman is smarter than any man. Mysteries satisfy. Good job at refreshing an old genre. B-
  • 2021-03-17: Minari (2020): Korean family moves from California to a farm in Arkansas, seeking a better life. Movie avoids the predictable plot devices in favor of letting us watch the struggles of a typical American family. Quiet, touching, life-reaffirming without being over-sentimental. B+
  • 2021-03-17: Yesterday was the first day in a year that we went to a movie. We attended a weekday matinee. The cineplex has 24 screens and there were only 12 cars in the parking lot. If you do need to isolate from the public, a weekday movie matinee might just be the best place to do it.
  • 2021-03-18: Small Axe: Red, White and Blue (TV 2021): British-Jamaican joins London police in attempt to fight police racism from the inside. John Boyega tries, but does he only alienate family and community? It's infuriating to see racism in authority and feel powerless to stop it. B-
  • 2021-03-18: "Texas Public Utility Commission chair resigns." The resignation came 2 wks after Gov. Abbott promoted him, then he was caught telling investors that he would protect their windfall profits from the big freeze and Abbott would in turn protect him. SMH.
  • 2021-03-18: "Cherokee County, Georgia, Sheriff's spokesperson allegedly posted a photo of a racist, anti-Asian Covid-19 shirt on Facebook." One of the officials who will now try to tell us that a mass murder of Asian-Americans wasn't, in fact, racist.
  • 2021-03-21: ACU!
  • 2021-03-21: "Third dose of Sinopharm vaccine needed for some in UAE." Is this an issue with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines? How many Americans are being tested for low anti-body response to these vaccines?
  • 2021-03-21: It appears that Gov. Ron DeSantis wants credit because "not everyone is dead" in Florida. Kind of a low bar to clear. COVID-19 deaths in Florida: 32,712. COVID-19 deaths in South Korea, with almost twice the population: 1,696.
  • 2021-03-22: Sound of Metal (2020): Rock drummer must deal with sudden deafness. It's not a punk-metal movie. Riz Ahmed's acting brilliantly captures the five stages of grief. Movie's sound brilliantly captures the experience from drummer's perspective. Some nice supporting roles, too. B+
  • 2021-03-23: Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021): The 4 hr director's cut. A quest to keep 3 "Mother Boxes" (not "Infinity Stones") from uniting and destroying the universe. Lots more characters than dialog. Lots of hand-to-hand combat. Can't superheroes plan any more complicated strategy? C+
  • 2021-03-23: See that blue line? That's the Fed "printing money." See the red line? That's inflation. Maybe you can see how "printing money" automatically leads to runaway inflation. I can't. There's more to economics than what politicians tell you.
  • 2021-03-24: Nomadland (2020): Frances McDormand plays a restless woman traveling the American West, living in her van, taking seasonal jobs, meeting others like her. Character driven. More documentary than drama. Poetry, not prose. You can't know America without knowing this movie. B+
  • 2021-03-25: Small Axe: Alex Wheatle (TV 2021): Back story of English-Jamaican author Alex Wheatle, abandoned as a baby, grew up in government homes, jailed for participation in 1981 Brixton riot, where he discovered books from a Rastafarian cellmate. Equal parts frustrating and inspiring. B-
  • 2021-03-25: Texas AG Ken Paxton. How is this indicted crook still in office? Why aren't Texas GOP officials calling for his resignation?
  • 2021-03-26: Behind Her Eyes (TV 2021): Is it a drama about a love triangle (or two)? Or a sci-fi story about dream worlds and astral projection? Or a whodunnit mystery? Well OK then. It's hard to know who to root for. Slow to develop, it finishes in a whoosh. Well-crafted in all respects. B+
  • 2021-03-27: Register to get the vaccine. Wear a damn facemask. Avoid crowds. People are still getting sick and dying.
  • 2021-03-29: Promising Young Woman (2020): Woman whose best friend was raped seeks revenge. Kind of a #MeToo vigilante justice mission targeting men who take advantage of drunk women. A thriller and a psychological study of an extreme response to grief. Great acting by Carey Mulligan. B+
  • 2021-03-29: Every time there's a rash of driveway car break-ins, someone recommends people install driveway floodlights. I can't shake the idea that all this does is assist the burglar by illuminating his target. Change my mind.
  • 2021-03-29: FL Gov. DeSantis wants to forbid store owners from refusing service to unvaccinated persons. But refusing service to gays? He's fine with that. That's a store owner's right.
  • 2021-03-30: Time (2020): Oscar nominated documentary. Videos taken over 20 years by wife of a man sentenced to 60 years for robbery. He did it. She did too (she got 5 years). Their kids suffered because of it. America's mass incarceration is unjust, but this movie is not the best example. C+
  • 2021-03-31: Made You Look (2021): Documentary about art dealer who sold fakes for millions of dollars. Despite all the red flags, she says she believed the works were genuine. Collectors trusted her. Scary how gullible everyone was. Even after the con collapsed, few people seem upset. B-
  • 2021-03-31: The reason why the federal government (and Richardson ISD, for that matter) should borrow as much as they can productively use. Real interest rates are negative, meaning that whatever money we borrow today, we pay back with cheaper dollars later. Money is free.

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