IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

Mellow Yellow Fellows

The Los Angeles Rams overcame those color-rush yellow unis to beat the San Francisco 49ers 41 -39 (“39ers, amirite? Hello?”) last night on “Thursday Night Football” (slogan: “When it’s on, it’s on”). Under first-year coach Sean McVay, AGE 30, the Rams are 2-1 and have the NFL’s most potent offense.

McVay, the youngest head coach in modern NFL history, is making waves in a city known for them

No, seriously. The Rams are averaging 35. 7 ppg (No. 1), Jared Goff is No. 2 in the league in passing yards per attempt and Todd Gurley (above), a.k.a. The Gurley Man, is No. 1 in rushing touchdowns.

Up next for L.A. on October 1th? At Dallas. That should be interesting.

Meanwhile, sure it’s not the wisest thing to kick off a game at 5 p.m. local time in a stadium next to a major freeway at the southern tip of San Francisco Bay, but does the NFL really expect us to believe Levi’s Stadium was filled, as they say, to 100% of capacity last night? Or is it just a matter of scores of secondary-market tix going unsold?

2.Mad Men*

Kim is 33 years old, or younger than Ivanka. Trump is 70, or older than the DPRK

*The judges apologize to all the good—and bad—folks at Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce

Tuesday: Donald Trump calls Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man” and threatens to “totally destroy” North Korea in a speech at the United Nations general assembly.

Thursday: Kim releases a statement in which he promises to “definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard [senile old person] with fire.” Ooooooooh. So Khaleesi of you.

 

Friday: Trump tweets that Kim is “definitely a mad man.”

Small blessings, but at least they’re only lobbing insults at one another compared to what both have in their arsenal. Meanwhile, can someone put out an alert to Dr. Phil?

 

3. Another Kelly At 9 A.M.

The New York Times story is titled “Megyn Kelly Is Ready For Her Closeup,” to which we ask, “Is she?” The former BFF (Blonde Fox Female) steps into the 9 a.m. hour of NBC’s Today on Monday, instantly becoming the second-most popular Kelly (Ripa) at that  hour on TV.

Kelly is smart and pretty and all, but we kind of feel NBC paid for the Megyn Kelly of five to seven years ago as to the MK of 2017. It’s like that insane deal (at the time) Sony gave Michael Jackson in the 1980s after Off The Wall and Thriller had been released. The time to have gone into business with The King of Pop was before then.

4. “We haven’t seen this many people come forward to speak out against a bill since Cosby.” 

It’s extremely satisfying to watch Jimmy Kimmel, to borrow a term used by a famous orange-haired men earlier this week, “totally destroy” Senator Bill Cassidy this week. Of the many terrific points he made, Kimmel wondered aloud why so many congressmen and Fox flunkies go directly to ad hominem attacks about his qualifications to discuss health care when the man in the Oval Office’s main qualification to be there was that he once said, “Meatloaf, you’re fired.”

Later in the show Senator Al Franken appeared, and the Democrat from Minnesota and erstwhile Saturday Night Live writer quipped, “You know, I usually don’t like it when comedians get involved in politics…”

5. Bye Bye, Bettencourt

Liliane Bettencourt, the heiress of French cosmetics company L’Oreal, has died. Bettencourt was 94. Why should you care? With a projected worth of $44 billion, Bettencourt had been the world’s richest woman (now the mantle belongs either to Baby Ruth candy bar heiress Sue Ellen Mitschke or to Oprah; probably Oprah).

Music 101

Archie, Marry Me

Can a band whose members originate from the eastern Canadian islands of Cape Breton and Prince Edward make it big? Alvvays‘ (pronounced “Always”) self-titled 2014 debut album hit No. 1 on the U.S. college charts. The band, led by lead singer-songwriter Molly Rankin, released its second album earlier this month.

 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?*

The MH film musicals department reminds readers that 1961 Academy Award Best Picture winner West Side Story featured a Puerto Rican character named Maria, but that it was 1965 Oscar Best Picture winner The Sound Of Music that had a Maria, decidedly not Puerto Rican, who was the subject of the above lyric. The staff regrets any misunderstandings.

Hurricane Maria, having left Puerto Rico “100% without power,” possibly for months, now heads towards Turks and Caicos. Imagine that: no electricity for months. The night is dark and full of terrors.

2. Top Jimmy Struts

This is what a beatdown looks like. And what a double-down, as well as a refusal to back down, looks like. Good for you, erstwhile co-host of The Man Show. 

Plus, Jimmy Kimmel has the facts on his side. What I’m reasonably certain of is that we asked Kimmel and the president to take a shot test on the details of Obamacare and Graham-Cassidy, that the late night talk show host would record a much higher score. What does that tell you?

3. Hey! My Balance Sheet Is Up Here

 

Is the woman above A) In the top 100 players on the WTA Tour B) the lead singer in a Chaka Khan cover band C) the CBO of one of the most oft-mentioned companies in America?

This is Bozoma Saint John, the 40 year-old Chief Brand Officer at Uber. Boz, as she is known, was born in Ghana but her family emigrated to Colorado Springs (back when that town was not riven by the strife caused by The Mad Pooper!) when she was 14. A graduated of Wesleyan, Saint John went from being a marketing executive at Beats, to holding a similar job at Apple after that monolithic brand acquired Beats, to her present-day job at Uber.

Her Twitter handle is @badassboz and we believe it. This is a dynamic, smart, beautiful, confident (Above: “I’m not afraid. I’m not afraid. I’ve never been afraid of anything“) and strong African-American woman. And as the first black woman at that high a level in Silicon Valley, Boz is also a pilgrim. If you’re wondering when Cosmopolitan is going to do a feature on her, they already have.

4. Bronx Bombings

The New York Yankees swept a three-game set from the Minnesota Twins this week, but what may linger more in our memory were the strikes by balls (see what we did there?). On Tuesday night Chase Headley was struck dangerously close to the Holy of Holies.

Yesterday, teammate Todd Frazier nailed a foul ball line drive that struck a young girl. She remains hospitalized this morning. The girl’s family declined to provide her or their names, but expect her to be the Rosa Parks, so to speak, of protective netting extending along the sidelines of Yankee Stadium.

5. What A Foo Believes

How about pairing one of America’s hardest-rocking bands with late-night TV host James Korden? Nothing about this conceit is new, of course, but sometimes it works better than others. This, with Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters, is one of those times. Who knew you could shred to a Rik Astley tune? That’s Pat Smear (wonderful name), bleached-blond in the back center, who used to be sorta the fourth member of Nirvana.

We love the answer as to why the Foos all pile into one van together even though they regularly have three vans prepared to transport the six members: “Because you don’t want to be the one guy not in the van” “Because then you know who they’re talking about.” Honest and hilarious.

It’s not actually much of a secret, but Foo Fighters have a tremendous sense of humor. Stick around to the very end to see what we mean.

Related: The Foos have never been featured in the segment below. We’ll fix that next week.

Reserves

 

Too good not to include.

X squared + Y squared = Z squared

Music 101

I have no need of friendship/Friendship causes pain/It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain…

By 1966, teenybopper rock songs (“Wake Up, Little Susie”, for example) seemed inappropriate in a world in which JFK had taken a bullet to the head, Vietnam was becoming that problem that would not go away, and civil rights unrest here at home was no longer something that people could pretend was not happening. The Beatles released Revolver that year and the Beach Boys Pet Sounds, but Simon & Garfunkel were months ahead of them with Sounds Of Silence, an album whose first words were “Hello darkness, my old friend…” This song, the final track, reached No. 3 on the Billboard charts.

Remote Patrol

The Vietnam War (July 1967-December 1967)

PBS 8 p.m. (re-airs at 10 p.m.)

Now we’re deep into the shit. As Dr. Benjamin Spock of all people said in last night’s episode, and I’m paraphrasing, This is a war in which tens of thousands of American men and Vietnamese will die because of LBJ’s pride (that’s a president, not a Sweet Pea).

“Life isn’t fair; get used to it.” That was the advice the commander at the Army Ranger Training School, Chargin’ Charlie Beckwith, gave his recruits. Incidentally, Beckwith was a former University of Georgia football player who was good enough to play in the NFL but chose the Army instead; he later would lead the ill-fated raid in Iran to rescue the hostages but instead resulted in the deaths of eight men.

 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

Land Fall

A devastating earthquake, magnitude 7.1 and with an epicenter 75 miles southeast of Mexico City (the world’s 5th-largest city), leaves more than 200 dead (it could have been much, much worse). And how come earthquakes are not named?

Mexico City as the earthquake hit

Meanwhile, at a similar latitude but 1,000 or so miles east, Hurricane Maria and her 155 m.p.h. winds strike San Juan, Puerto Rico, just two weeks after Irma visited. It has been called “potentially the most destructive storm in modern history.” Are you beginning to get the idea that Someone Up There isn’t pleased?

2. The Wrath Of Con Man

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.” —Jules, Pulp Fiction

“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.” —Donald Trump, Sept. 19 United Nations Speech

We imagine the president is too busy rattling nuclear sabers this week to catch any installments of “The Vietnam War.” Sad!

Would it be so terrible if Donald and Kim Jong-Un took Jules’ advice when it comes to impending hostilities and just both acted like “two little Fonzies?” And you know what Fonzie is? Cool.

Meanwhile, Rolling Stone‘s Matt Taibbi had a few thoughts on our president’s “malignant narcissism” and on America’s inflated sense of its own “exceptionalism.” Highly recommended reading.

3. Scoring Down, Snoring Up In The NFL

 

(We truly hope the above becomes the NFL’s 2017 slogan)

We are two weeks into the NFL season and the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers (the name may refer to their 2017 point total) have scored a combined one touchdown. The NFL used to be boring, but at least teams scored. Currently 15 of the 32 franchises are averaging fewer than 20 points per game.

If it were just outstanding defense, you could make an argument that this is still good football. But as we were writing that, Cam Newton just overthrew a wide-open Christian McCaffrey again. Newton’s Panthers beat the Buffalo Bills 9-3 on Sunday. Four field goals.  The Seahawks beat the 49ers 12-9 in a game that had one TD and five field goals.

Football is famine.

4. Hoskins Does It Again

Last night with the scored tied, two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh inning, Philadelphia Phillies rookie Rhys Hoskins saw 10 straight fastballs between 96 and 98 m.p.h. against Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez. Hoskins fouled off multiple full-count offerings before hitting a three-run go ahead double and the Phils won 6-2.

With all the well-deserved hoopla (and pomp…and circumstance) focused on fence-clearing rookies Aaron Judge (44 homers) and Clay Bellinger (38), Hoskins has arrived late and staked a claim of his own. He’s the Hurricane Maria of rookie sensations. Since being called up to the bigs on August 10, the Jesuit High School (Carmichael, Calif.) alum has smoked 18 home runs with 43 RBI in just 39 games.

How do those numbers fare historically? Through a player’s first 34 games (Hoskins is in the midst of a relative HR drought at 5 games) his 18 home runs were the most in MLB history and his 43 RBI in his first 39 are the second-most ever behind only Albert Pujols (44). Bollinger has the NL ROY sewn up, most likely, but expect Hoskins to get a few votes.

(RELATED: AS OF LAST NIGHT THERE HAVE NOW BEEN 5,694 HOME RUNS HIT THIS SEASON; THAT’S A NEW MAJOR LEAGUE RECORD AND WE STILL HAVE ONE WEEK-PLUS REMAINING THIS SEASON)

5. The Mad Pooper Strikes Again!

Terror in Colorado Springs as an as-yet unidentified female jogger has at least twice been spotted taking a dump in the same spot outside a resident’s home. The assailant does bring T.P. to wipe herself, so these are pre-meditated attacks. Thoughts and prayers, C.S.

Music 101

Jesus Of Suburbia

Green Day played the Rose Bowl last Saturday night and is playing Central Park’s Great Lawn this Saturday. How’s your week going?

Remote Patrol

The Vietnam War (January 1966-November 1967)

PBS 8 p.m.

If you watched last night, we’re getting to the point where it becomes clear that former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara’s pride/ego/arrogance helped to sentence tens of thousands of Americans (and exponentially more Vietnamese) to early deaths. You can read more about all that in David Halberstam’s The Best and The Brightest.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

Will The Quick Blonde Fox Jump Over The Lazy Doggerel?

Here comes Laura Ingraham, 54, to host a nightly Fox News program at 10 p.m. and take on MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell. More to the point, Sean Hannity is moving up an hour to do direct battle with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who has recently begun to win that hour (against “The Five”).

A few notes on Ingraham: she grew up in Glastonbury, Conn., graduated from Dartmouth (’85) where she was the first female editor-in-chief of the Dartmouth Review, and graduated from the University of Virginia law school in 1991. She was outspokenly homophobic until she learned that her brother Curtis was gay (funny how that works, hey, alt-right?) and reportedly once dated Keith Olbermann, who later dated and lived with Katy Tur (the book he could write).

Ingraham’s show begins on October 30. A former Fox News female of similar follicular hue, Megyn Kelly, opens her daily NBC hour, 9 a.m., on September 25 (again, bad investment, NBC).

2. Now Soccer Is A Game Of Inches?

Manchester United has a new striker from Belgium, Romelu Lukaku, and its fans are so giddy about his Premier League-leading five goals thus far that they have adapted the lyrics of a song by local legends The Stone Roses to read thusly:

 ‘Romelu Lukaku/He’s our Belgian scoring genius with a 24 inch penis/Scoring all our goals/Bellend by his toes.’

Naturally, an advocacy-rights group named Kick It Out has labeled the chant as racist and wants it banned, although we’d have to ask whether instantly associating an alleged two-foot python with the color of its owner’s skin is not more racist? Also, has anyone in Kick It Out stepped inside a pro sports locker room because we have and…well…

3. The Four Hosemen?

Speaking of members only, bummed that we failed to notice this during the obligatory Frank Leahy montage for the Notre Dame-Boston College contest (he coached at both schools). By the way, Josh Adams rushed for 229 yards to surpass 2,000 in his career ( he is now averaging 147 ypg). The junior from Warrington, Pa., hit the 2,000 mark in just 316 (maybe we should have titled this entry “Josh 316?” The judges say, “Nah”) carries, the fewest in school history. According to school SID Michael Bertsch, the previous record-holder for reaching 2,000 in the fewest carries (323) was George Gipp.

But seriously, thank God there are no Manchester United locker room shots with a certain naked Belgian footballer in the background. We don’t even own pearls to clutch.

4. “Let’s Play Nine?”

The important numbers for Jose Altuve: .348, his batting average, the best in baseball; and 5’6″, his height

The Boston Red Sox are 86-64 and have the American League’s third-best record. The Houston Astros are 91-58 and have the A.L.’s 2nd-best record. Unless the Yankees, three back in the A.L. East, pass Boston or the Indians, 1 1/2 ahead of Houston for the best overall mark, falter, Boston and Houston will meet one another in the American League Divisional Series.

What makes that more intriguing is that Houston travels to Fenway Park for a season-ending four-game series later this month. A 4-game series is unusual enough, not to mention one in which two teams that are not intra-divisional play to end the season. Houston and Boston could very well wind up playing nine consecutive games against one another.

That’s an awful lot of outfielders

Note: The original World Series, in 1903, was the one and only best-of-nine series. The winner in that series, in eight games? The Boston Americans, who would later come to be known as the Red Sox.

5. “The Vietnam War” Companion Books

If you’re taking our advice and watching Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s PBS documentary, The Vietnam War, here are two outstanding companion tomes (seriously, two of the best history books our staff has ever read, and don’t we sound like Clay Travis now [“I’m smaht! I read history books! I know more than you do about The Civil War! BOOBS!”]):

The first is Once Upon A Distant War by William Prochnau, which would be the first book we’ll assign as reading as soon as some college invites us to teach a journalism course. It’s all about the scribes (David Halberstam, Malcolm Browne, Peter Arnett, Neil Sheehan) who have been heavily cited in the first two episodes of the doc and credited as the men who told the truth about Vietnam while the Pentagon and the White House fumed.

The second is by Sheehan, who has deservedly gotten mucho camera time to open the series, and is titled A Bright, Shining Lie. It’s all about John Paul Vann, the military advisor whom Sheehan and his colleagues first admired as the straight-talking in-the-field commander, but who also had a closetful of skeletons. Vann, referenced a lot in the second episode, becomes the symbol of the U.S.A. in Vietnam for Sheehan. It took him more than 12 years to write this book, an obsession.

Reserves

Pfeiffer: All about Eve

Some horror films are gory; Mother is allegory. Remember that. How many people who are walking out of it don’t realize what they’re watching?…Clayton Kershaw surrendered the first grand slam of his career last night, to the Phillies, and the Dodgers lost 4-3. Kershaw has allowed nine earned runs in his past three starts after allowing a total of two in his previous seven…You may want to catch Conan O’Brien‘s special from Israel (TBS, 10 p.m.) tonight; he shines when he’s doing his wanderlust thing.

Music 101

Feel Good Inc.

Is Gorillaz the most important animated band since Josie & The Pussycats? In 2005 the band, which is primarily Blur lead singer Damon Alban but in videos consists of four fictitious animated members—2-D on lead vocals, Noodles on guitar, Murdoc Niccals on bass and Russel Hobbs on drums—released this worldwide hit that went Top 10 in 17 different countries. Alban has had far more success as the invisible genius behind Gorillaz than he has ever had fronting his “real” band.

Remote Patrol

Jerry Before Seinfeld

Netflix

So that’s what those “Netflix Is A Joke” billboards are all about. Jerry Seinfeld’s special about how he got started in the biz begins streaming today. Why are you still here?

 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

Lena Waithe became the first black female to win a writing Emmy

“Tonight, We’re Binging Ourselves”

Where does the word “Emmy” come from? We’ve always just assumed that TV people love a word that has both “me” and “my” in it. Host Stephen Colbert did a fantastic job with the opening monologue (with an assist from MH fave Chance The Rapper). Two of his better lines…

This season CBS will have twice as many Sheldons as any network in history”

And of course, Bill Maher. I assume he’s black because he’s so comfortable using the N-word.”

And then there was a lot of diversity and Julia Louis-Dreyfus and John Oliver, and Oprah was lovingly poked at the way folks on stage poke at Meryl Streep during the Oscars and SAG awards, while the president was not so lovingly poked at because…

Can we please move the Emmys to winter time, too?

2. Coliseum Classic 

La La Land nearly became Longhorn Land on Saturday evening as unranked, unloved Texas marched into the L.A. Coliseum with a backup freshman quarterback and came soooooo close to upsetting No. 4 USC (who woulda thunk?). If you watched, you saw Texas dominate up front defensively (the Trojan rushing attack was limited to 1.9 yards per carry) and limit Troy and its Heisman darling QB, Sam Darnold, to seven points all game outside the final minute of each half.

Oh, but those final minutes.

Matt and Vince thought that even though Texas lost, their effort was alright, alright, alright

One more note from the 27-24 double OT USC win. In extra time Texas outgained USC 49 yards to 25. Oh, but if Longhorn QB Sam Ehlinger had only been able to hold onto that pigskin when it was yanked from his clutches on the one. Still, a thrilling, incredible, Gus Johnson special. I cannot wait to read how Bill Platschke trashes it.

3. Blah Blah Bland

 

Roger, I tried to warn you. One of these franchises needs to relocate to Billings.

4. A (Medium) Rare Scoop

 

Didn’t anyone currently operating in Washington, D.C., watch All The President’s Men??? You discuss sensitive information in abandoned parking garages late at night, not while dining al fresco at BLT Steak in broad daylight! Related: There are media members who can afford to dine at BLT Steak?

 

5. The MH Domin-Eight

Dante Pettis has three punt return TDs and three receiving TDs in three games. In South Bend, he’d already be rehearsing his Heisman speech.

Yes, the staff fully acknowledges, 100%, that investing concern or agitation over the weekly AP rankings is a vestigial obsession. They don’t actually matter, after all. Still, seeing that 0-1 Florida State, 1-0 Miami (lone win, 41-13 versus Boston College) and 1-1 Florida (0-2 save for a 63-yard prayer) are ranked in the Top 20 while, for example, 3-0 California (with a win over an “S-E-C!” West squad) is not makes you wonder who vets these pollsters (and if perhaps someone forgot to visit Wisconsin, which should be ranked higher than Michigan, as well). Also not getting enough love, at least as compared to those three brand-name Sunshine State schools thus far: unbeatens Iowa and Vanderbilt.

Anyway, here we are with our weekly top eight:

Alabama (3-0): The beat down of Florida State reminds you that when Roll, Tide! cares, they’re an awfully tough out. Up next: at unranked but 3-0 Vanderbilt, which leads nation in Scoring Defense.

Clemson (3-0): Tigers put a big SHUSH on Lamar Jackson -repeat-Heisman chatter Saturday night. Up next: Boston College.

Oklahoma State (3-0): Ranking Pokes over Penn State because both played Pitt, but only one put up 49 first-half points against them (granted, OSU got leftover-hungover Pitt). Up next: No. 16 and unbeaten TCU.

Penn State (3-0): Nittany Lions have yet to leave Happy Valley but the offense is humming. Up next: Kitties face first road test at unbeaten, unranked Iowa in ABC’s prime-time game.

Oklahoma (3-0): Sooners had first-half, emotional-letdown hiccup versus Tulane before cruising. Up next: at Baylor.

Washington (3-0): Dante Pettis has returned six punts this season and housed three of them. Up next: at 3-0 Colorado, which has nation’s No. 4 Scoring Defense.

Wisconsin (3-0): Badgers traveled to Provo and handed BYU its worst home loss, 40-6, in six seasons. Up next: Bye.

Georgia (3-0): Dawgs are No. 5 in Rushing Defense and that win in South Bend may look better as season progresses. Up next: 3-0 Mississippi State.

By the way, you’ve got SIX teams in the A.P. Top 11 playing 3-0 opponents this week: Alabama, Penn State, USC, Oklahoma State, Washington and Georgia, while a seventh, Michigan, visits a much-improved 2-1 Penn State. Look out for ShakeUp Saturday.

 

Music 101

Please Read The Letter

Old golden gods of rock never die, they just occasionally record duets with country starlets. Here’s Robert Plant, Led Zeppelin front man, with Alison Krauss, with a tune that won a 2009 Grammy as Record of the Year. It was originally released 11 years earlier on an album, Walking Into Clarksdale, by Plant and his Led Zep axe man, Jimmy Page.

Remote Patrol

The Vietnam War

PBS 8 p.m.

What exponentially greater factor of Americans will be watching Dancing With The Stars during this time slot and why is my face buried in my palm?

 

THE TELLURIDE REPORT

by Michael DePaoli

In which our intrepid correspondent indulges in the delights of the annual Telluride Film Festival.

Depending upon how fast you might drive, the town of Telluride in the four-corner region of Colorado is about six hours from Albuquerque, seven hours from Salt Lake City and Denver, and eight hours from Phoenix. Once you arrive, you will find hotel rooms that are wildly expensive, and parking that is severely limited. There are no fast-food restaurants in town, and the speed limit signs on the streets are irrelevant because there is always a pedestrian in your way. If you might be lucky enough to book a room at the New Sheridan Hotel (built in 1895) you must park in the median on the main street of town in order to unload your luggage, and then they hand you a parking permit and tell you to drive behind the hotel into the residential neighborhoods and find a place on the streets where the signs allow “G” parking to occur.

There is nothing about attending the Telluride Film Festival that is not a hassle. So, why have I attended the event six years in a row? Because Telluride is an escape for movie lovers. In the past I was in the audience when Ben Affleck introduced his film Argo. I was also in the audience when Barry Jenkins introduced his film Moonlight. This year, Angelina Jolie introduced First They Killed My Father, and Gary Oldman introduced Darkest Hour.

Elisabeth Shue

(copyright Michael DePaoli)

At the recent Festival over Labor Day weekend, I was minding my own business (Editor’s Note: We highly doubt this) walking away from the Palm Theatre where I had just seen the premiere of Battle of the Sexes, when a woman stopped me and asked me for directions to the Galaxy Theatre. It was Elisabeth Shue! I said, “Hold on, nobody gets out of here without singing the blues.” It was a line from one of her films called Adventures in Babysitting. Ms. Shue gave me a courtesy laugh. Technically, it was more of an annoyed giggle with a roll of her eyes, but I did not care. Elizabeth Shue was talking to me. She starred in The Karate Kid, Cocktail, and Leaving Las Vegas, and the entire world was made just a little bit nicer because of her angelic onscreen presence, and there she was talking to me.

Ben Mendelsohn

(Copyright Michael DePaoli)

I met Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One, Darkest Hour) inside the gondola car traveling from the town to the ski village. I met Michael Weatherly (NCIS, Bull) at the opening night picnic, which they call The Big Feed. At dinner my seat was right near Ken Burns (miniseries on Vietnam War and Baseball). Emma Stone walked right past me and smiled at me (or maybe she smiled at the person next to me, I am not sure).

My friends at home ask, “Why are you so starstruck?” And, my answer is that at Telluride they are not stars, they are just normal people, they are movie lovers who want to watch movies!

At the Telluride Film Festival you must buy a pass to enter the movie theatres. But, the pass does not guarantee you a seat. Each movie is first come first served, so you must get into line at least an hour before each movie starts. While waiting in line, you meet fascinating moviegoers from all over. While in line for one movie I talked to the friendly litigating lawyer from Denver. The next day I waited in line with the stunning architect from Costa Rica. There were dog lovers, and beer lovers, and even people who kept talking about 420 (whatever that might be). As soon as one movie ends, you see people dash out the exit doors and run to get into line for the next movie. The popcorn and candy that they sell before each movie is your lunch for the four-day festival.

Michael Weatherly

(Copyright Michael DePaoli)

All of the movies at Telluride are good. Some are better than others, but each and every movie meets the quality standards of the judges. In six years at Telluride, I have never seen a bad movie. So, please keep that in mind when I give you my two cents on the selected movies listed below, which all were shown at Telluride 2017:

The Shape Of Water: A creative and charming alien porn flick where they deliver hard-boiled eggs instead of pizza.

Battle Of The Sexes: Emma Stone is adorable, but this movie would be just another run-of-the-mill docudrama if not for the brilliant break-up speech delivered by Elisabeth Shue to Steve Carell.

Jamaica Man: A short movie worth downloading, because it shows the unique perspective from another side of life.

Darkest Hour: If Ben Mendelsohn and Gary Oldman might not win best supporting actor and best actor, respectively, at all the award shows, then something would definitely be amiss.

First They Killed My Father: This historical masterpiece packs a punch. It leaps into your consciousness.

Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool: All Annette Bening. There were other actors on the screen, but they do not matter because Annette Bening was absolutely transcendent.

Hostiles: This is a real Western movie where chaos and doubt are captured in every scene.

Downsizing: Phenomenal actors who were too large for this tiny vehicle of a movie.

Eating Animals: Avoid at all costs if you might have morality and a conscience and you love to eat meat.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

Lindor exults after his game-tying double

A Quest Called Tribe

Number 22 did not come without suspense. The Cleveland Indians trailed 2-1 with two outs and two strike to the Kansas City Royals when Francisco Lindor hit a game-tying double off the left field wall. One inning later, Jay Bruce ended it with a walk-off single. It was Cleveland’s first walk-off and first extra-inning victory of the now historic streak.

With the win, Cleveland takes over the ALL-TIME WIN STREAK record in MLB history. The 1916 New York Giants posted a 26-game unbeaten streak, but one of those contests ended in a tie.

2. Rubicon Crossed

followed by…

(Why did he type “untruth” instead of “lie?” Is that a libel issue?)

followed by…

 I briefly worked with Clay Travis. He’s a smart guy and a personable dude in person. Like Donald Trump, he’s big on promoting himself as a straight talker, and also like the president, he diligently avoids speaking bluntly on topics that would alienate a white supremacist audience.

Unlike Trump, Clay is not a liar. He’s just a guy who meticulously picks his battles so that he never has to come out against subjects his legion of followers find dear. That’s convenient and for him it has also proven profitable. But it’s also cowardly. And deep down, or directly on the surface, he knows he’s a sellout; a craven victim to his own naked ambition.

He’s rich (just ask him). But as soon as he’s transparent about racism as he is about, say, antifa, that will be a first. He’s the dude who spends 100 hours mocking or exposing BLM and then justifies it with a throwaway line such as, “I’m the least racist person I know.” Great. But the fact that you have to even say that, well, why did it come up?

Meanwhile, I like what our mutual former editor and bonafide great egg, Barry Werner, tweeted:

 

3. Judge Bombs

Baseball’s most majestic swing

During last night’s 13-5 against the Orioles, Yankee rookie Aaron Judge blasted two bombs, had six RBI, and DID NOT STRIKE OUT. The blasts put Judge’s home run total at 43 with 16 games remaining. Remember when The Ringer posted this edgy headline?

Most home runs in one season by a New York Yankee, age 25 or below:

Babe Ruth, 1920: 54 (age 25)*

Mickey Mantle, 1956: 52 (age 24)*

Lou Gehrig, 1927: 47 (age 24)

Joe DiMaggio, 1937: 46 (age 22)

*led American League

Judge is sitting pretty to tie either the Yankee Clipper or the Iron Horse. It may be time for an iconic nickname.

4. Lalas Land

Lalas, right

Earlier this week former World Cup and American soccer dude Alexi Lalas leaped across the abyss from erstwhile athletic hero to GOML spokesperson by calling the U.S. Men’s National Team “a bunch of soft, underperforming, tattooed millionaires.”

The USA is 2-2-3 (3 losses) in World Cup qualifying after recent losses to the likes of Costa Rica and Honduras. In responding to Lalas’ criticism, Michael Bradley borrowed a line from the Lannisters: “The lion doesn’t care about the opinion of the sheep. But Jozy Altidore had a better comeback:

 

 Altidore’s girlfriend, Sloane Stephens, won the U.S. Open last week, by the way.

5. A Reptile Dysfunction

In Sri Lanka a talented young reporter for The Financial Times, Paul McClean, was apparently killed by a crocodile. An Oxford grad just a month shy of his 25th birthday, McClean sounded like a special young talent, if you read this piece.

McClean was on holiday with friends in a remote part of a remote nation when a croc dragged him into a lagoon.

Reserves

As long as they’re coming to Times Square, there’s only one real choice for celebrity guest picker

Well They’re Coming/To My Ci-TAYYYYYYY!!!!!!

ESPN’s College GameDay, in the “I’ll just have a Bud Light” of on-campus location decisions, opts for Times Square on September 23rd. The nearest FBS campus is Rutgers, and the nearest that anyone in Manhattan truly considers a legitimate college football power is three-plus hours west in State College.

What a lazy decision. Or was it about the budget? Or about promoting the Disney Store and ABC’s nearby GMA studios? Or was it just about ego (“We’ve even been to Times Square!”). Pullman, Wash., and Iowa City, Iowa (the Hawkeyes host Penn State in an early Big Ten unbeatens clash) were better options.

Music 101

Son Of A Son Of A Sailor

As far as Top 40 hits go, Jimmy Buffett has only had a few, and only one higher than 30 (“Margaritaville” went to No. 8 in 1977). Still, the 70 year-old who was born on Christmas day, 1946, has as loyal and as cult-like a fan base as any American artists this side of the Grateful Dead. This tune was the title track of his 1978 album.

Remote Patrol

Vietnam

Sunday 8 p.m.

PBS

America’s foremost documentary filmmaker, Ken Burns, has tackled The Civil War and World War II, so it was only a matter of time before he dipped his lens into this quagmire. The 10-part, 18-hour series will air each night from Sunday through Thursday this week, take Friday and Saturday off, and then the final five episodes air Sunday through Thursday the following week.

You have to wonder if a late edit will include this fan post about Alabama’s freshman quarterback from Hawaii:

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

Capitol/Hill

Nontroversy? Kerfuffle? Another entry for The Daily Harrumph? Also, is conflating Linda Cohn‘s suspension for publicly criticizing her employer and Jemele Hill‘s lack of a suspension for calling the president “an ignorant white supremacist” fair? Answer: No.

Cohn deserved to be suspended because, even though we agree with every last thing that she said, when you publicly slam your own employer, that employer has the right to respond in its own way. As for Hill, she, too, spoke freely about a matter and we largely agree with her thoughts (not that it matters) (he’s more of an opportunist and a white, comma, supremacist, than he is a white supremacist), but she was simply expressing a political opinion. She was not publicly second-guessing her employer.

Hill has since deleted this tweet. In a feature that ran in The Ringer just yesterday, she boasts about how she does not delete tweets.

As for the White House, it has fired so many staffer in the first eight months of the administration, an administration whose top dude constantly sends out inflammatory, duplicitous and malevolent tweets, that hearing Sarah Sanders remark that Hill’s tweets are a “fireable offense” are comical.

 

By the way, Hill sure upped her Q Rating in the past 48 hours, no? If we were more cynical, we’d call this a brilliant career move. It sure got this story much more attention.

2. “Watson, Come Here. I Need You”

After Week 1, in which Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien started Tom Savage (no relation to Peter Tom Savage, who does not exist but whose name reminds us of former FSU QB Peter Tom Willis, because who can figure out how our minds work?) at quarterback, he has now opted to go the Alexander Graham Bell route and start rookie Deshaun Watson.

Savage, out of Rutgers, went 7 of 13 for 62 yards but was sacked 6 times. Watson, who led Clemson to consecutive national championship games and won it last January, was 12 of 23 but led Houston to its only TD in a 29-7 loss to Jacksonville. Up next, tonight in fact, for Houston, is the Cincinnati Bengals. Mr. Watson, meet Mr. Burf–oh wait, he’s suspended again.

3. Strange Days At Bitcoin

This is Joy Corrigan, who has nothing to do with cryptocurrency, and if you ask us why she’s here, we’ll just claim that The Big Lead hacked our site.

We really do not understand what Bitcoin is, or does, even when we read its Wikipedia page. Best we can acknowledge is that it’s a form of payment between people who only exist for one another digitally. But we think Jacob/Jason Antsey/Anstey* understands it, so perhaps he’ll explain below (ft., it’s “Jacob Anstey”).

What we do see clearly is that Bitcoin stock was at $608 one year ago today and is currently selling at nearly SIX TIMES that price ($3,500), even though this morning it is down nearly 10% on bad news. Something to keep an eye on. Ticker symbol BTC.

4. Buh Bye, Mr. Shkreli

Someone in this pic will soon be someone’s bitch, and perhaps the price of avoiding that fate should rise 5,000% for him.

While awaiting sentencing and free on $5 million bail, human slime Martin Shkreli felt the urge to demonstrate that he still doesn’t get it. Shkreli posted on Facebook, ““On HRC’s book tour, try to grab a hair from her. Will pay $5,000 per hair obtained from Hillary Clinton.”

He later said it was satirical, but the judge didn’t care. She ordered Shkreli, 34, jailed until his January 16 sentencing, at which time he could receive 10 years in prison. See ya. Say Hi to Craig Carton, who resigned yesterday from WFAN, if you see him.

5. Your Knot Wrong, Wendell

Not again with Joy Corrigan! We were hacked. No, wait! It was a staffing issue.

Our friend Wendell Barnhouse, an inveterate ink-stained wretch, has made this plea for editing and editors. We wholly support his crusade. To illustrate his point, Wendell has collected an array of editing errors over the past month. One slight clarification, friend: the  biggest role of producers these days, except in situations in which writers produce their own stories (as I did at Newsweek) is to 1) find a photo and 2) slap on an SEO-friendly headline.

By the way, read the second graf (“To err is human…” carefully).

 

Music 101

Sunshine

In 1971 John Denver released “Sunshine On My Shoulders” on an album, and then three years later as a single, and it went to No. 1. Also in 1971, Jonathan Edwards released this tune on his debut album and rose to No. 4 on the charts.

A Word, Please

visceral (adj)

relating to deep inward feelings rather than to intellect

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

1. 2-0 For 20

Behind a five-hit, complete game shutout from Cy Young hopeful Corey Kluber, the Tribe Moneyball’ed its way to a 20th consecutive win (they’re now 89-56). That tied the 2002 Oakland A’s’ mark and is one behind the 1935 Chicago Cubs, the longest MLB win streak. The Indians go for their 21st in a 12:10 matinee at home this afternoon versus the Tigers (Is ESPN going to televise this?)

Oh, and the Dodgers finally won, breaking an 11-game losing streak, with Clayton Kershaw on the mound. He’s 17-3.

2. Teddy Bare

Believe us, it isn’t easy to find a photo of Cory Chase fully bloused…now where were we?

It’s funny. During his ill-fated presidential run, Republican senator Ted Cruz was quick to note his fondness for The Princess Bride. He even quoted it, ahem, liberally. Turns out that Cruz also likes (or so his Twitter feed tells us) the film Mom Bang Teens 20. The film’s star, Cory Chase, is upset not that Cruz, who once proposed a bill to ban sex toys in the Lone Star State, watched her film but that he apparently pirated it.

Cruz has blamed his curious choice of film preference to a “staffing issue.” Can’t disagree with that.

3. Football Fright In America

You go to a Dallas Cowboys game-watch party in Plano, Texas, and you wind up one of Spencer Hight‘s eight murder victims. Hight, the estranged husband of one of the viewers, Lara Hight, who was hosting the Giants-Cowboys viewing party, mowed down an octet of viewers before being shot and killed by a policeman. Lara was one of the victims. She had filed for divorce earlier this year.  Monday would have been their sixth wedding anniversary.

4. Wily Coyote

Now 48 years old, former USC and Oakland Raider quarterback Todd Marinovich is back slinging it with the SoCal Coyotes and looking eerily like Woody Harrelson. The erstwhile wunderkind threw seven touchdown passes in his debut two weekends ago in a 73-0 win against the California Sharks. Despite a dozen or so drug arrests in his past, he’ll probably still get a nibble from the NFL before Colin Kaepernick.

5. Love Him Do

There are stars, there are superstars, and then there are Beethovens. Count Sir Paul McCartney in that last group. The MH staff took a field trip to Newark to catch McCartney and his band, which is playing NINE shows in New York/New Jersey this month, last night and we were absolutely GOBSMACKED.

The set list was historic: McCartney and his four band mates (the two guitarists, southern California natives Rusty Anderson and Brian Ray, are TOO good-looking) led off with “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Junior’s Farm,” “And I Love Her” and “Jet.” They closed with “Band On The Run,” “Let It Be,” “Live and Let Die” and “Hey Jude.” Imagine (sorry, John) singing along at the end of that tune (“Na, Na, Na, Na-Na-Na-Na, Na-Na-Na-Na, Hey Jude”) with the actual dude who wrote it. The encore included “Yesterday,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” a scorching “Helter Skelter” and, at last, a triumphant and transcendent “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End.”

Also mixed in: “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “Something,” “Eleanor Rigby” and “Lady Madonna,” and we’re sure we’re forgetting a few. McCartney, 75, remains a humble and gracious and humorous master showman, and he sprinkled the set with fascinating and often very funny anecdotes about Jimi Hendrix and Mick and Keith, for starters. He is funny. McCartney noted at one point that Sgt. Pepper’s was released “fifty years ago” then held out his arms as if to say, “WUT?!?” After a beat he quipped, “That was before my time.”

If you’ve never seen this founding member of the Beatles, and perhaps the most fabulous member of the Fab Four, and you have a chance to make one of these shows, do it. Any amount spent under $300 for a ticket, for a true music fan, is an absolute steal.

Music 101

Doctor, My Eyes

We’ll note it again, but if you watched the Eagles documentary, the late Glenn Frey tells an excellent anecdote about the genesis of this tune from a piano and a cup of tea in a small apartment in the MacArthur Park section of Los Angeles. This song, released in 1972 on Jackson Browne‘s eponymous debut album, peaked at No. 8. His signature song, “Running On Empty,” released three years later, peaked at No. 11.

A Word, Please

ephemeral (adj.)

lasting for a very short time

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

Best. Team. Ever? Worst. Team. Ever?

We notice that millennials, when they put down their avocado toast long enough to type, are fond of delineating items with “ever” and “of all time.” Thus a favorite blogger of ours identified Lamar Jackson as the “least respected, least talked-about Heisman Trophy winner ever” (Joe Bellino‘s family would like a word) and a college football writer pal identified Chris Finke—we believe he was joking—as the “grittiest” Notre Dame football player “ever.”

Which brings us to last month’s SI cover, which is fast becoming the greatest example of the SI jinx…dare we say it…OF ALL TIME! The Los Angeles Dodgers have lost 11 straight and are 1-16 over their past 17 games (3-16 since the issue hit newsstands).

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians have won 19 in a row and are one game away from tying the 2002 Oakland A’s and just two away from tying the greatest MLB win streak EVER, 21 games, by the 1935 Chicago Cubs (the 1916 NY Giants won 26 in a row, but a tie was part of the streak). Corey Kluber, the Tribe’s ace, takes the mound for them tonight versus Detroit. We smell 20 straight.

2. Mas Sergio Dipp, Por Favor!

We can only imagine what Lisa Guerrero was thinking…

3. The Southernmost Inhabited Spot On Earth

This is Estancia Harberton, a ranch in the Tierra del Fuego region of Argentina. Founded in 1886 by a British missionary as a working sheep ranch, it is now mostly a tourist spot where visitors come to see penguins. It is located at 54.87 degrees South (and the MH editorial staff once sailed past it).

4. RIP, Don Ohlmeyer

Most American sports fans will remember Don Ohlmeyer, who passed away on Monday at the age of 72, as one of the giants of the golden age of sports television (along with ABC’s Roone Arledge and Chet Forte, and NBC’s Dick Ebersol). We’ll remember his as the most infamous pool-hustler/Notre Dame undergrad since George Gipp. Read here. 

5. Please, Not Another Orange-Haired Clown

This is Pennywise, the central figure in Stephen King’s novel-turned-movie It, which is now officially “box office boffo!” The film raked in $123 million in its opening weekend, crushing the existing record for a September box office opening by more than double. Isn’t it rich? Don’t you agree?

Music 101

The Boys Are Back In Town

And when I tell you that she was cool/She was red hot/I mean that chick was steamin’…

U2 is a rock band from Dublin, but perhaps the original ROCK band from Dublin was Thin Lizzy, whose 1976 hit belongs on any soundtrack of the Seventies. That guitar instrumental is turn-it-up-while-driving-your-Camaro essential. Lead singer Phil Lynott, a true black Irishman, died of heroin-related causes at the age of 37 in 1986.

A Word, Please

propinquity (noun)

An inclination