Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Random Thoughts: Just a Ploy for More Money

Tweets from January, 2022:
  • 2022-01-01: "Dallas recorded a 13% drop in homicides in 2021." Wait, what? Didn't the National Fraternal Order of Police just scream about "SKYROCKETING MURDER RATES." You don't think it was just a ploy for more money, do you?
  • 2022-01-02: Guys, ask yourselves, "Have I told my wife even once this year, I love you?"
  • 2022-01-03: RT: "Donald Trump releases a statement endorsing Hungarian strongman Viktor Orb├ín for re-election, saying he 'truly loves his Country.'". A good pairing to my blog post about Anne Applebaum's article in The Atlantic: "The Bad Guys are Winning."
  • 2022-01-04: Don't Look Up (2021): Two astronomers detect a comet headed towards Earth and can't convince anyone to care. Of course, half of America consider it Fake News. A satire that doesn't quite land because today's reality is satire. If it hits, we'll deserve it. Loaded with stars. B-
  • 2022-01-05: The Matrix Resurrections (2021): Tired franchise resurrected with nothing new to add. Lots of dialog about how dead characters are alive again. Token "bullet time" fights. Overstuffed with world-building. No chemistry between Neo and Trinity. Keanu Reeves's hair is still good. C+

After the jump, more random thoughts.


  • 2022-01-05: They are calling the National Championship game "A rematch for the title." If Georgia wins, maybe we can have a World Championship game. Call it a re-rematch for the even bigger title. Keep playing until you get the result you like.
  • 2022-01-05: In 1970, Richardson ISD's campus demographics were 96 percent white, 3 percent black and less than 1 percent Hispanic." - Dr. Jeannie Stone. Was Hamilton Park's population that small in 1970? Or wasn't it considered part of RISD?
  • 2022-01-05: Texas Atty General sees vaccine mandates as giving people a "choice between their job and their health." Wait, what? Get vaccinated and have both your health and your job. Refuse to get vaccinated and risk having neither health nor job.
  • 2022-01-06: Landscapers (TV 2021): Couple is suspected of murdering wife's parents. Is their story believable? Original filmmaking with surreal elements. Less a mystery than a compelling character study. Olivia Colman is outstanding as the mousy wife, David Thewlis as the caring husband. B+
  • 2022-01-06: Pro-tip from Axios: "Situational awareness: Today is the Epiphany, the traditional feast day, the twelfth day of Christmas. At the stroke of midnight, all holiday decorations become tacky. Except inflatables. Those were always trash."
  • 2022-01-06: I have faith in the military putting their political allegiances aside when they put on the uniform. They served well during the Trump administration (people like Gen. Flynn excepted). I have less faith in many police unions sharing that same professionalism.
  • 2022-01-07: According to a 1977 article in D Magazine, "out of 35,208 students in the District, only about 1,000 — or less than 3 percent — are black."
  • 2022-01-07: The Lost Daughter (2021): Woman vacations alone in Greece. Events cause her to revisit regrets from her past. Dialog is scarce and emotions are suppressed. Movie needs voiceover narration by Olivia Colman's character to explore the question, can one be an "unnatural mother"? B+
  • 2022-01-07: The days of the GOP trying to stop Covid are long over. Now the days of the GOP downplaying the seriousness of Covid are ending as well. I predict the next posture the GOP will adopt with Covid will be "Covid is good." Parents will hold Covid "parties" for their kids.
  • 2022-01-09: Vote. Vote for candidates who support public education.
  • 2022-01-10: Encanto (2021): Disney animated musical. Huge ensemble, mostly female. Latina power. Abuela's magical house gives magical gifts to all except Mirabel. When magic stops, it's up to Mirabel to save the day. Everything is enchanting. Grading for family viewing, it's a hit. B+
  • 2022-01-10: She's an influencer!
  • 2022-01-10: It's an insane map. Vote to re-elect @NathanForTexas to show the map drawers that their gerrymanders aren't welcome and won't work. They'll need to propose popular programs instead.
  • 2022-01-11: Read this live-tweeted thread for a snapshot of the thinking of people moved to speak at school board meetings.
  • 2022-01-11: I fear the US will go the way of Hungary (or Russia). Weaknesses of our own Constitution will be exploited for a right wing government to take over "legally" and then set things in place that make it impossible for them ever to be removed democratically again.
  • 2022-01-13: Hawkeye (TV 2021): Clint Barton is on the way out and Kate Bishop is getting started. The crisis surrounding the handoff is crowded with characters and subplots. I would trade a quiver full of trick arrows for a gun. On the plus side, it's Marvel's best Christmas show. C-
  • 2022-01-14: Licorice Pizza (2021): Southern California, 1973. Teen boy and mid-20s woman, independent go-getters, both too busy hustling to connect. Movie is a series of good standalone scenes that lack a connecting thread. Sean Penn and Bradley Cooper each get a scenery-chewing cameo. B-
  • 2022-01-17: Some called it "a bizarre final play call." In Green Bay they call it a "McCarthy."
  • 2022-01-18: Being the Ricardos (2021): It's an Aaron Sorkin movie, so more dialog than action. Even the explosive Desi/Lu marriage is more talk than passion. If you want to know what made "I Love Lucy" so significant, or you don't know what the Hollywood Red Scare was, this is for you. B-
  • 2022-01-19: Texas voter registration forms limited because of supply chain issues." Because of course. Blame the supply chain for people's inability to register to vote. You know what would solve this? Online registration.
  • 2022-01-20: Eternals (2021): Too many characters. Too complicated. Character motivation is never clear, so you can't tell who the bad guys are. The humor falls flat. Normally, action scenes make up for these failings, but even those scenes got repetitive. A miss by Marvel and Chloe Zhao. C-
  • 2022-01-21: Review: Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity. The Agricultural Revolution didn't change everything. It wasn't even a revolution. No one can write "big history" anymore without considering the questions raised here. B-
  • 2022-01-21: Didn't Donald Trump tell everyone he went to Wharton?
  • 2022-01-22: I wish I had the audience of this spoiled millionaire athlete. (Full disclosure: I'm a shareholder in the franchise he plays for.)
  • 2022-01-22: In fond memory of Sydney J. Harris: I am a critical thinker. You are a contrarian. Aaron Rodgers is a troll.
  • 2022-01-23: Because of the misinformation Aaron Rodgers spouts regularly, I can't say I feel sorry for the Packers' playoff loss and I am a Packers' shareholder.
  • 2022-01-23: I wish some reporter had asked Aaron Rodgers in the post-game interviews, "Do you think you would have played better if you had been vaccinated?"
  • 2022-01-23: My provocative opinion? Public holidays celebrating Confederates as "heroes" have no place in modern-day America. There. I said it. Call me disloyal to the great Confederate State of Texas. I don't care. State of Texas Holiday Schedule - 2022.
  • 2022-01-24: Headline: "Abbott unveils his 'Parental Bill of Rights'". I just wish he'd first respect the original Bill of Rights.
  • 2022-01-24: I think I can speak on behalf of the board that it would not make sense to start any serious search [for a new superintendent] prior to having a full board, so prior to the May election." -- RISD board president Regina Harris.
  • 2022-01-24: If Don Huffines disowned every white nationalist, what little support he has would dry up almost entirely.
  • 2022-01-24: I just finished getting a routine colonoscopy. Everything is good. I was a little groggy still when the doctor talked to me afterwards but I remember him saying something like I'm in great shape. I don't even need to wear a seat belt when driving anymore. Or something.
  • 2022-01-24: The Chiefs' win against the Bills was ridiculous. The Bills missed a strategy to win. With 13 seconds left and 75 yards for Chiefs to go, Bills should have just tackled the Chiefs' receivers at line of scrimmage. Penalty is only five yards, but precious time runs off the clock.
  • 2022-01-25: Station Eleven (TV 2021): Flu kills 99% of humans. Survivors carry on. Lots of cuts between times and places and characters' stories. There's Shakespeare and a graphic novel, adding metaphor and symbolism. It gets surreal at times. The humanity at heart makes this so good. A-
  • 2022-01-25: Exxon commits to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050." Yay, I guess. But isn't that like Smith & Wesson committing to zero gun deaths inside their factories? Or Philip Morris pledging to ban smoking in its manufacturing plants?
  • 2022-01-25: My suggestion for reforming NFL's overtime rules? Leave everything as is, EXCEPT no coin toss. Award first possession to some achievement on the field. More yards gained during regulation, or more time of possession. First possession is still an advantage, but now it's earned.
  • 2022-01-25: A side benefit of this rule change is it encourages teams to keep playing late in a game headed for overtime. If the score is tied and a team gets the ball near its own goal line with seconds to go, but they need yards to get possession in overtime, they won't just take a knee.
  • 2022-01-26: Lewisville ISD is closed for the rest of the week because of staff absences due to COVID-19." You so want to get over the pandemic. You're so ready to go back to normal life. Congratulations. Covid-19 doesn't care.
  • 2022-01-26: I don't think it's a stretch to guess Breyer is retiring now, while the Dems still control the Senate, so that Joe Biden can pick his replacement. In 2023, that's likely to change and McConnell will never confirm another Biden nominee.
  • 2022-01-26: U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) sends mail-in ballot applications to voters after Texas banned the practice for local election officials." One law for you. Another for Congress.
  • 2022-01-26: I'm old enough to remember when "pro-life" Republicans at least pretended to care about families. They actually wanted to do things to support them. Today they force women carry a fetus, then turn their backs on them saying something about the child being "their choice."
  • 2022-01-27: Yeah, I'm still receiving Trump fundraising emails. Today's contains a poll. "How would you rate the state of our nation right now? TERRIBLE. HORRIBLE. VERY BAD. ALL OF THE ABOVE."
  • 2022-01-27: Bad national publicity for Granbury ISD. A big warning to RISD school trustees. Don't think of joining Granbury as the spear point of Greg Abbott's book banning push.
  • 2022-01-27: Law and order. Another empty slogan.
  • 2022-01-27: US economy in 2021 grew at fastest pace since 1984." It's morning in America.
  • 2022-01-28: The Righteous Gemstones - S01 (TV 2019): Satire of a family of spoiled, selfish preachers at a megachurch. Plots involve blackmail and a heist but mostly it's the complicated family dynamics that drive the story. Blasphemous. Gratuitous nudity. Crude humor. Meh. C+
  • 2022-01-28: Our lucky day. USPS will deliver both our new voter registration cards from Dallas County and our requested Covid rapid tests from the Biden administration. I guess if you're rich, white, and privileged, government works for you. ;-)
  • 2022-01-30: Florida set to produce the smallest orange crop since 1945. Expect juice prices to skyrocket." Expect your Facebook feed to soon be full of people blaming Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for high OJ prices. Just kidding. They'll all blame Biden.
  • 2022-01-30: Trump Says He May Pardon Jan. 6 Capitol Rioters if He Wins in 2024." Of course he said that. And he may even do it. But he does it for clickbait. Next he'll say he'll consider appointing the QAnon Shaman to the Supreme Court. And he'll get another round of headlines.
  • 2022-01-31: The House (2022): Three 30-minute stop-motion animations. Same house, different timelines. House is either haunted, infested with fur bugs, or infested with deadbeat renters. Not much in the way of plot. Quirky and weird. Kind of movie college kids might like to watch stoned. C+
  • 2022-01-31: It's gratifying to see the Detroit Lions finally making it to the Super Bowl.
  • 2022-02-31: What a wasted opportunity for the Packers. They beat the two Super Bowl teams in the regular season. Of the four teams in the conference championship games, they beat 3 of 4. Their only loss was by six points to Kansas City in a game that Aaron Rodgers didn't play.

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