by John Walters

Starting Five

1. NoKo, Oh, No!


“They Will Be Hit With Fire And Fury Like The World Has Never Seen”* ¬†**

*Unless you saw Game of Thrones last Sunday

**The judges will accept “Nuclear Winter is Coming”

Yesterday, while on vacation in Bedminster, N.J., and surrounded by his cabinet, President Donald Trump warned North Korea that it “best not” continue making idle threats about nuclear weaponry or else…the quote above.

So that’s a red line. And to make that threat between the anniversary dates of Hiroshima (Aug. 6, 1945) and Nagasaki (Aug. 9, 1945) is verrrrrrry interesting.

And then North Korea‘s state-run TV threatened a missile strike on the U.S. territory of Guam in the Pacific. It’s starting to sound real, although MH’s editorial board can’t exactly understand why either country is hostile toward one another except for the fact that both are led by maniacal, mentally unbalanced tyrants.

Allow us to be Jon Snow here and note that while the Lannisters (Trump) and the North (Korea) are rattling sabers, the REAL enemy (Climate Change) is coming for us all. A recently released draft report from 13 federal agencies concludes that temperatures have risen “rapidly and drastically since 1980” and that the past three-plus decades have been the warmest in 1,500 years.

2. Like a Rhinestone Cowboy

One of 12 children of an Arkansas sharecropper, Glen Campbell learned to play the guitar well before puberty (though he never learned to read music) and never looked back. With his good looks, folksy charm and genuine sense of humor, Campbell became a session musician for the  likes of Frank Sinatra, toured with the Beach Boys as Brian Wilson’s replacement in 1964-65, appeared in the 1969 film True Grit (alongside John Wayne) and went on to a string of country-and-pop hits, such as “Wichita Lineman” and “Rhinestone Cowboy.”

Campbell, who had been suffering from Alzheimer’s since 2011 and was quite public about his fight with the disease, died yesterday at the age of 81.

3. I’m Sorry, Sir, Your Name Does Not Appear To Be On The List

Jack Johnson pummeled opponents and dated white women. He was an O.G.

So ESPN’s BLM website (Clay Travis would likely refer to it as “their more overt BLM website”), The Undefeated, published a list of “The 50 Greatest Black Athletes,” the results of a survey of more than 10,000 people.

Note: It’s a very, very strong list. I mean your top six, counting down, are Serena Williams, Jesse Owens, Willie Mays, Muhammad Ali (“I am the Third Greatest!”), Jackie Robinson and Michael Jordan. Wilt Chamberlain, arguably the most dominant athlete in a team sport in the past 50 years (i.e, in the history of big-time team sports), is 26th.

Tiger has won 14 majors. Not only should he be on the list, he should be in the top 10.

The three biggest names not on the list (and there’s no excuse for this): Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant and Jack Johnson, the boxer who was the original black athlete that scared the hell out of White America.

Names I’d have taken off or lowered: Do Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles really both need to be Top 10, or even on the list? I love Larry Fitzgerald, too, but are you really trying to tell me he’s greater than Tiger? Child, please. Isaiah Thomas? Over Kobe??? C’mon.

It’s still a better list than Rolling Stone‘s “100 Greatest Movies of the Nineties,” which excluded Saving Private Ryan and Good Will Hunting. Blech!

4. Netflix’s Newsworthy Day

Few wealthier men wear the “homeless guy about to ask you for ‘spare change'” look better

Early yesterday Netflix announced that it was bringing back David Letterman to host six one-hour shows next year. In each show Dave will interview one guest (but will Paul be there???). “Here’s what I have learned,” Dave said in a statement. “If you retire to spend more time with your family, check with your family first. Thanks for watching, drive safely.”

Who will be Dave’s guests? I’d guess a wish list would include Barack Obama, Sean Spicer, Tom Hanks, Elon Musk, Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger. Your suggestions?

Later yesterday, after Disney announced earnings (and failed to beat estimates), the Mickey Mouse Club announced that after next year its properties will no longer be seen on Netflix. Disney will begin its own streaming services, which will just create more of a headache for consumers.

The streaming service’s stock (NFLX, that is) dropped more than 3% after hours. Is this smart strategy by Disney, an act of desperation to stave off a rising leviathan, or a little bit of both? And will other content-producing companies follow Disney’s lead in an attempt to starve Netflix, which now has $20 billion set aside to create original content?

5. Star, 80

“Is it safe?” Hoffman and Olivier in the same scene (you need to watch this film as a double feature with “Three Days of the Condor,” starring Hoffman’s co-star in “All The President’s Men,” Robert Redford

We missed it, but Dustin Hoffman turned 80 years old yesterday (also, Jerry Garcia, who died 22 years ago when he looked 75, would have turned 75 today). He’s one of America’s essential actors, on a one-handed list, for the past 50 years. Here are the five Hoffman films you absolutely must see, from the MH editorial board.

  1. The Graduate
  2. Marathon Man
  3. Rain Man
  4. All The President’s Men
  5. Tootsie 

Also receiving votes: Midnight Cowboy and Wag The Dog (and he’s fantastic in Dick Tracy in a limited role).

Music 101

Deceiver’s Chamber

Ah, the vicissitudes of the food service industry. Occasionally you walk into work to bartend a party for 1,400 and learn that your new co-worker is a 6’10 Aussie who plays lead guitar in a heavy metal band. So please enjoy the musical stylings of Hellbringer performing at the Maryland Deathfest.

Remote Patrol

vicissitude (noun)

alternation between contrasting things; a change of fortunes

4 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Give me an hour of Letterman and Jim Carrey, full beard and all. They could reminisce on nature, and I’d be cool with that.

  2. Great call. Let’s add Jerry Seinfeld to that list. And Howard Stern. And Meryl Streep. And Charles Barkley.

  3. Who were those 10,000 survey respondents? All located in the Bay area? LeBron James 29th? ARE THEY KIDDING?! That is almost as egregious as Tiger not being on the list! And jdubs, I’m disappointed in you. I don’t believe it’s sexism but it reflects your disparaging & OBTUSE view of certain sports that you slag both Simone Biles & Gabby Douglas. The latter was not just the 1st black American, but 1st black female to win the Gymnastics All-Around Olympic Gold medal. HUGE deal! For DECADES, non-white girls felt (& often were) excluded from this sport, much like black ballet dancers were told they “didn’t have the right body type”. That Gabby BROKE THROUGH this ceiling was huge & will influence generations in this country if not the world. As for Simone, she is the best female gymnast in HISTORY. No debate. Here’s a fact – she was not even at her best at the Rio Olympics & yet she made EVERY OTHER COMPETITOR look like they were amateurs. She was that far ahead of everyone. In difficulty AND execution. She will not have the length of sporting career as Serena & Venus Williams because the pounding & abuse the body takes in gymnastics is like no other. Hell, your beloved football looks like BOWLING compared to gymnastics in that regard.

    I almost (ALMOST) feel sorry for the cranky pants (usually male) who constantly trash the “judged” sports, who refuse to even acknowledge them AS sport. AS IF ALL SPORT is not made up of constant judgment calls. What’s a foul? Was that a flagrant foul 1 or 2? And your fave – didn’t that guy travel? Was that a false start? WHO actually crossed the line 1st? Did that guy’s leg come over the hurdle “properly”? (I just saw 2 competitors disqualified at the World Championships for this apparent failure), on & on.

    As for Jack Johnson, are you REALLY surprised he wasn’t on that list? WHO even knows about him these days except for hardcore sports nuts or boxing fans? Yes, back in the day, he was the most famous athlete in America. But then again, cycling in velodromes was one of THE biggest sports too & who remembers those stars? Except for those of us who love sports & the history of sport?

    I not only agree with Kobe’s omission from this list but it makes me laugh. And unlike yourself, I am not actually a fan of Ali (could NOT stand him back in the day – arrogant blowhard whom I only liked when he verbally jousted with someone even more arrogant & a bigger blowhard – Cosell) but think he should be #1 over Jordan. In fact, I’d have Jordan much farther down the list, but that is my personal dislike of the man & not the athlete showing.

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