by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

Brown Out

What is the purpose of all this football and why does it have to always extend into the time when 60 Minutes is supposed to start? a non-sports-viewing friend wondered recently.

“Football,” I replied, “is simply the surrogate to man’s primal need to defend his turf or to acquire someone else’s, which all goes back to being able to eat and then find a suitable mate so as to sustain the species. It’s truly a small sacrifice on your part if 60 Minutes begins 11 minutes late.”

When we talk about football, or all sports, what we are doing is using it as a prism to discuss human behavior or values. Mary Cain’s editorial last week about being trained by Alberto Salazar was not primarily about her Olympic aspirations; Colin Kaepernick’s workout this Saturday is not primarily about which team he will sign with. And last night’s Steelers-Browns game is hardly about who won or lost.

“This is something that will follow him the rest of his career,” former NFL offensive lineman Damien Woody told Scott Van Pelt on the midnight SportsCenter last night. “It’s criminal.”

What Woody was referring to, if you had already gone to sleep, was the play above in the final seconds of the Browns-Steelers contest in Cleveland. Myles Garrett of Cleveland went from trying to take down Pittsburgh’s Mason Rudolph as he released a screen pass to trying to take off his head.

What exactly was going on there? Garrett will likely be suspended the remainder of the season. His teammate, Larry Ogunjobi, along with Pittsburgh’s Maurkice Pouncey, will also be suspended, albeit for a shorter period of time.

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Marie Yo’

Pizzazzgate moves to Day 3 of the public hearings as former U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and guy-who-overheard-Gordon-Sondland’s-phone-call David Holmes are set to provide testimony. Today, as compared to yesterday, is an LSU-Bama and Penn State-Minnesota Saturday afternoon as compared to a Clemson-N.C State and Notre Dame-Duke Saturday night.

California Shootin’

Two students, one a boy and another a girl, are murdered at Saugus High School in the far northeastern reaches of San Fernando Valley yesterday in California. By a classmate on his 16th birthday. Yet another school shooting.

Three off-duty police officers had just dropped off their kids at the school and rushed back when they heard the shots and saw students fleeing. The suspect had already turned the gun on himself by the time they entered the quad, but did administer first aid.

This morning on CNBC Andrew Ross Sorkin discussed legislation being brought forth, legislation that his campaign of articles in The New York Times helped bring about, that would have banks track irregular movements of money in relation to gun purchases. Of course Joe Kernen pushed back and called this Sorkin’s—he used these words— “pet cause.”

You could see Sorkin’s hair on fire. I”ve never seen him so exasperated on TV. If the clip comes up somewhere, I’ll post it. So far, no.


A piece worth reading from The New York Times on how calling Tom Hanks an “Everyman” is something of a disservice. His starring role as Fred Rogers opens this weekend.

Genius Bar (Who’s At Least A Decade Away From A Bar)

This is Laurent Simons of Belgium. He’s nine years old and about to graduate Eindhoven University of Technology with a degree in electrical engineering. He also has a cool haircut. But he couldn’t make the basketball team.

We always notice that these prepubescent academic prodigies never major in liberal studies. Just an observation.

Five Films: 1956

The closing shot to end all closing shots, an elegy to the Wild West
  1. The Searchers If this isn’t the best Western (it is), it’s certainly the best John Wayne Western. It’s also the most scenically arresting one. The scene that always gets me: the terror on the women’s faces inside the cabin when they realized they’re surrounded by Indians and there’s no escape 2. The Ten Commandments Jesus may be the more important biblical figure (unless you’re Jewish), but Moses is definitely the biblical behemoth of cinema thanks to Charlton Heston’s portrayal (and who looked more Jewish than Charlton Heston?). That’s Edward G. Robinson as the devious slave trader and Anne Baxter—the same woman who played Eve in All About Eve—as the seductive Egyptian princess. 3. Invasion Of The Body Snatchers One of the smartest allegories ever made; again, it’s set in the midst of the McCarthy era. It’s just as timely today, if not more so (I thought I knew those people) 4. Giant Before there was There Will Be Blood, there was this grandiose epic starring a beguiling Elizabeth Taylor, a stoic Rock Hudson and an unharnessed James Dean (the film was released after his death). It doesn’t quite measure up to its Gone With The Wind-y aspirations, but still a must-see. 5. High Society Have you heard/It’s in the stars/Next July we collide with Mars. For the party scene alone and this duet between Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, this makes the list. Grace Kelly in her latest “I’m in love with my father” role (he’s 56, she’s 27) as we’re supposed to believe she’s already divorced from the Crusty Crooner and is now about to be won over by him again (this is The Philadelphia Story re-set as a musical in Newport, Rhode Island).

Just missed: Forbidden Planet Leslie Nielsen as the commander of a ship that lands on a planet with a lone survivor from a previous mission. It’s the forerunner for Star Trek, basically, and it’s fun to see Lt. Frank Drebin in his serious leading man days.

5 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Major props for “pizzazzgate.” That’s gold.

    I have to give The Searchers another try. I haven’t seen it since Intro to Film at ND and it left me a little cold back then. My favorite Western has always been a different Ford/Wayne collaboration, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

    • Give it another try. Besides the sheer beauty of it on a large screen, it has a lot of little touches (some very funny) about what life was like on the frontier back then. The yodeling guitar player with the hots for Laurie. Mose, the loony but reliable sidekick. Liberty Valance also fantastic.

  2. “Getting to know you
    Getting to know all about yeewwwww”

    Seriously, SERIOUSLY you list that PALE IMITATION of The Philadelphia Story starring a “character couple” where the ex-wife could have been HIS DAUGHTER instead of The King & I?!!! Well, I don’t know you at all! Hell, just watching Yul Brynner standing there with his legs apart & arms on his hips is more EXCITING than being creeped out by yet another male sexist fantasy Hollywood coupling! Humpf!

    “Shall we dance
    On a bright cloud of music
    Shall we dance?”

    Anyhoo, you will notice that I am NOT listing Carousel as a fave musical movie. And not just because it included (YET AGAIN!) the dreaded, ubiquitous “dream ballet sequence”. ARGH! Nope, have you watched this movie/seen the show on stage? Do you know the plot? Yuck! It’s a tragedy that 2 of the best musical songs of all time are in this show (If I Loved You & You’ll Never Walk Alone).

    And I can’t decide if I’d replace one of your other stellar listings with it, but The Man Who Knew Too Much is one of my top 2 or 3 fave Hitchcock films. This one starred our guy Jimmy Stewart & Doris Day. (Yes, once again a large age difference in a movie couple but not half as revolting as Crosby & Kelly!).

    Which makes me ponder – which was worse in 50s films : the vomit-inducing age differences in film couples or the seemingly mandatory dream ballet sequences in musicals? Tis a “puzzlement”. 😉

  3. Garrett should not only be suspended the rest of this season, he should be ARESTED for ASSAULT.

    On the other hand, if Sorkin just once, reaches over & stabs Kernin with a pen, I’d vote NOT GUILTY BY REASON THAT THE OTHER GUY HAD IT COMIN’.

  4. I’ve been meaning to ask this the past few weeks – since you’re able to watch (or at least listen) to more CNBC TV in the morning, can you tell me what most of the “experts” are predicting for the markets over the next 1-6 months? What’s the chances of the Nasdaq going up another 4% between now & let’s say 12/7 (ohpleasepleasepleaseplease)? Of course, usually EVERY DAY there are diametrically opposed views espoused on the TV channel & on that website by the so-called experts, but I was wondering how the televised ‘prophets for profit’ are leaning. And do YOU have any gut feelings or insight?

    Also, I noticed your TSLA tweets the past 2 weeks. Does this mean YOU’ve profited from the run-up? If so, congrats. I’m not an Elon Musk fan so if it’s the next NFLX, it will just be one more stock that takes a rocket ship without me. (See what I did there?)

    What I DON’T understand is when I see/hear about the markets are setting new records, blah-blah-blah, like we’re all getting rich. HAH! Last year ended in the RED. If you average in this year & last, it’s just, well, AVERAGE! Plus, even though my 401-k is doing well, my taxable stock account is STILL quite a bit BELOW where it was over a YEAR ago! Not even AAPL & DIS could drag it all the way back up.

    Speaking of ‘the Mouse House’. You know how I always bemoan that I shoulda-coulda put all my opening cash into AMZN but instead, diversified? Well, that wasn’t my only mistake that 1st year. Besides AMZN & YHOO, the other stock I knew I wanted to invest in from the very beginning was DIS. (Heck, since I was a kid!) But unlike almost every other stock in Nov 2008, DIS was not beaten to a pulp & I kept waiting for a cheaper entrance. I really, really WANTED to buy 200 shares but ended up with only half that in early 2009 & have regretted it since. How much? Well, I 1st bought into AAPL a year later & a few more times since & it’s just under a 10-bagger for me. So, prettee good. My DIS, however is a 20-bagger. If I’d only put the same amount of money into DIS, as I did AAPL, I’d be doing the Dance of Joy right now! And I wouldn’t just be an “Amazon Princess”, I’d be a DISNEY PRINCESS too! 😉 🙂

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