Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Random Thoughts: Every Strategy All At Once

Tweets from November, 2021:
  • 2021-11-01: I expected this under Trump. I didn't expect his influence to last this long. "U.S. is now running an uncontrolled experiment with every strategy all at once. COVID-19 policies differ wildly by state, county, university, workplace, and school district."
  • 2021-11-01: Greg Abbott's dance. Move far to the right to compete with DeSantis nationally and to fend off primary challenges in Texas. But don't move so batshit crazy right that moderate Texans shift to Beto. It's a careful dance. And he's doing it all from a wheel chair.
  • 2021-11-01: "What we're teaching our kids to do is quit." — Coach Gary Patterson of TCU in 2018, not in 2021, when he ...well...quit.

After the jump, more random thoughts.

  • 2021-11-02: Reservation Dogs (TV 2021): Comedy set in a small town in Oklahoma where four indigenous teens with no prospects dream of escaping to California. At times funny, poignant, irreverent, despairing, and quirky, it always feels authentic. Paradoxically, it made me like Oklahoma. B+
  • 2021-11-02: Is it a coincidence that the two most screwed up airlines right now, American and Southwest, are both headquartered in Texas?
  • 2021-11-03: Only Murders in the Building (TV 2021): Three true crime aficionados living in the same building make a podcast to investigate a murder. More silly comedy than serious mystery. Best work by Steve Martin and Martin Short since Three Amigos. Selena Gomez balances the silly. B+
  • 2021-11-03: The passage of Prop 3 is bad news for public health, and therefore bad news for all Texans, including churchgoing Texans.
  • 2021-11-04: Stupid and a liar to boot. Aaron Rodgers is literally a cheesehead.
  • 2021-11-05: The French Dispatch (2021): Stories from a mid-20th century American journal in Ennui-sur-Blase, France. Quirky look, quirky stories, quirky acting. Packed full of top-tier actors. If you love Wes Anderson, you'll understand. Others will leave theatre scratching their heads. B-
  • 2021-11-06: Four years after Donald Trump's failures to get anything done made "Infrastructure Week" a punchline, Joe Biden gets it done.
  • 2021-11-06: It's a great time to be a Ram!
  • 2021-11-08: Today I had an example of my privileged status. Someone asked about needing a document notarized for a "VSF" and I had no idea what a "VSF" was.
  • 2021-11-08: A fellow legislator dissing Ted Cruz is not surprising to Texans who endure Cruz, but the intensity is still a bit of a surprise.
  • 2021-11-11: Luxor (2020): Surgeon from war zone on R&R in Egypt reconnects with her former lover, an archaeologist. He lives in past. She is traumatized by her work in the present. Very slow, meandering movie. Movie is a treat for tourists who have visited Luxor and its temples and tombs. B-
  • 2021-11-12: Review: Unworthy Republic: History of the "Indian Removal" from the Southeast in the 1830s. Self-deportation, forced expulsion, or extermination. Too few Americans know this. It was done to clear the land for slave labor camps for cotton growing. Andrew Jackson was behind it. B+
  • 2021-11-14: The right tightening the screws. They don't want religious liberty. They want religious domination.
  • 2021-11-15: Spencer (2021): Diana's last Christmas with the Windsor family at Sandringham House. More fable than fact. Diana is shown as on the verge of insanity. Despite the big house, big staff, extended family, movie and Kristin Stewart do a great job of portraying Diana's loneliness. B+
  • 2021-11-17: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021): Immigrant to America returns to China, where his father's grief for his dead wife is so great that son resolves to kill him. Huh? Movie has a kid-cuddly creature, kung-fu action every five minutes, dragons, and Awkwafina! C+
  • 2021-11-19: Belfast (2021): Boyhood tale set in 1969 Belfast at the start of The Troubles. Buddy's world is torn apart by the start of a civil war, but this is a 3-generation family movie, not a war movie. Funny, sad, tense moments. Always genuine. Highly recommended for the whole family. B+
  • 2021-11-20: Jungle Cruise (2021): True to the Disney theme park ride, down to the corny jokes, with the dated racist elements smoothed over. Emily Blunt seems to be having a ball. Dwayne Johnson's acting isn't half bad. Still, too long and quickly forgettable. C+
  • 2021-11-21: tick, tick...BOOM! (2021): Lin-Manuel Miranda's meta-musical about Jonathan Larson trying to write a musical (before his hit "Rent"). Are all intense artists self-absorbed jerks to their friends? Andrew Garfield can act, but not sing. Full of cameos by Broadway legends. B-
  • 2021-11-22: Nuclear Family (TV 2021): Mom, mom, and two daughters. Everything is fine; everyone is happy. When the sperm donor wants to be accepted as father to one of the girls, things get messy. Three part documentary made by the daughter creates suspense. Well crafted and fair to all. B+
  • 2021-11-23: King Richard (2021): Will Smith disappears entirely in the father of Venus and Serena. Unfortunately, the character has only one side, the obsessive and controlling side. It's Venus and Serena who are the heroes here. Or the mother. Without that it's just another sports story. B+
  • 2021-11-24: Y: The Last Man (TV 2021): A unexplained disease kills all males on Earth, except one, an escape artist with a monkey. That's the first 15 minutes. The rest of season 1 is devoted to loosely connected subplots of women mostly unrelated to the fact that the species is doomed. C-
  • 2021-11-26: Review: Twilight of Democracy: Conservative intellectual Anne Applebaum's personal account of the decline of Western liberal democracy and the rise of authoritarianism. The same threads run through Poland, Hungary, Brexit, Trump, and Spain. Different rhyme, but the same story. B+
  • 2021-11-29: The Beatles: Get Back (TV 2021): 8 hours watching like a fly on the wall as the Beatles laugh, bicker, compose, and rehearse for 3 weeks, then give a live performance (their last). No narration, no context, just in the moment with genius, getting to see creativity at work. A-
  • 2021-11-29: Maybe we'll finally get an edit button for Twitter.
  • 2021-11-30: Pro-tip on how to keep squirrels from gnawing through cords used for outdoor Christmas decorations: throughout the entire holiday season, keep the lights stored in a closed metal box in your attic.
  • 2021-11-30: Passing (2021): Adaptation of 1929 novel. Two light-skinned black women, one passing as white, explore who is happier or more free. Neither? Has look of an old B&W movie, but don't be fooled.The undercurrents of tension, jealously, and suppressed emotion are forever modern. B+
  • 2021-11-30: Historical ignorance combined with tribal politics makes for batshit crazy utterances like this.

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