by John Walters
Tweet Me Right
President Trump sent a classic “I Can’t Believe She Ghosted Me!” letter yesterday to Nancy Pelosi that you can read here. Only five paragraphs end with an exclamation point (!) so it’s nice to see that he’s maturing.
The letter is strewn with lies, misleading statements and one very presidential “motherf****r” reference. On the other hand, it’s refreshing to see Trump end a relationship with a woman that does not include a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
By the way, this from Frank Bruni in The New York Times, “Twas The Eve of Impeachment,” is the best thing we’ll read today.
You Had One Job!
Building airplanes. That is what Boeing does. That’s it only job. And building airplanes has made the winged-flight manufacturer a Fortune 500 company and a pillar of the Dow Jones’ 30 companies. It’s not as if every country has an airplane builder. They’re a little more time-intensive to construct than, say, automobiles.
You know what’s a terrific feature in an airplane? The ability to stay aloft, and that is a feature that has seemingly eluded Boeing’s latest model, the 737 Max. The design flaw (“It’s not a bug, it’s a feature”) has resulted in two crashes and hundreds of needless deaths (note: how pissed off would you be if you were one of those who perished? Quotes we never get but, man, if there were a post-mortem beat reporter who could obtain them…).
So now Boeing has announced that it is suspending production of the 737. That would be kinda like Fruit Loops saying they’re no longer making Fruit Loops because they’ve misplaced the formula that makes them fruity. Or loopy.
Anyway, shares of Boeing are down more than 25%, from $446 to $328, since March 1st. Meanwhile, company executive huddle in their worldwide headquarters in Chicago (not Seattle) listening to Tom Petty’s “Learning To Fly.”
The Old Man and The See How He Runs*
*The judges, back from an extended Cancun getaway, will also accept “The Iceman Runneth”
That’s 84 year-old Roy Svenningsen, who last week completed the Antarctic Ice Marathon in 11 hours and change. Svenningsen, from Edmonton, has run in some 50 marathons over the past 55 years with his best time being an extremely fast 2:38 in Helsinki (likely back in the Sixties).
He is the oldest person to finish this race, although the news reports here are sketchy at best. This used to be known, when I ran it in 1997, as the Antarctica Marathon. News reports say that the man who won the race set a new record of 3:34, which is slower than the time several runners (self included) did back in ’97. Anyway, good for old Roy.
The good folks at Outside magazine have a feature titled “7 Adventures To Start The New Decade With A Bang.” None of them involve shooting guns, oddly. Anyway, here’s their list: Watch a Total Solar Eclipse (next one in the States is in 2024), Ride Across A State (I assume bike ride? May I suggest Rhode Island), Attend a Far-Flung Festival, Make A Pilgrimage (those two are nearly the same, no?), See A Waterfall That Looks Like It’s On Fire (an excuse to visit Yosemite, which I highly recommend), See The Northern Lights (this one tops our own bucket list), Sleep In Space (if you’re sleeping, what’s the point?).
Five Films: 1977
For a third consecutive year, a Hollywood film dominated the zeitgeist. The exception here, however, is that in 1977 not one but two films did. In my 6th grade class, every girl knew all the words to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and every boy was scribbling X-wing fighters or the Millennium Falcon on the back of his spiral notebook (bad artist that I am, I was two years behind, still attempting to master a dorsal fin). What a time to be alive.
- Annie Hall: Forget the zeitgeist for a moment and consider Woody Allen’s masterpiece, and Best Picture winner, about being young and single and neurotic in Manhattan. Not only was this an inspired love letter to NYC, but also to humor itself. The scene in which Alvy Singer steps out of the theater line and speaks to us, the audience? Genius. The final scene of the film takes place on the corner of 63rd and Amsterdam, a spot I often stop at (just across the street from P.J. Clarke’s) and ruminate on life’s deeper meanings. La di da, la di da, la la. 2. Star Wars: I’m nowhere near the fan boy that most of you are, but I enjoyed it. If you can ever unearth the Siskel & Ebert clip in which they deconstruct the movie and posit that it’s really just a classic Western taking place in a galaxy far, far away, it’s worth your time. And no, I’ll never refer to it as Episode IV: A New Hope. 3. Saturday Night Fever: A better soundtrack than film, but only because it’s the best-selling soundtrack ever and stayed at No. 1 on the album charts for 24 weeks, nearly six consecutive months. There’s a good reason for this: the Bee Gees’ songs were great. 4. Slap Shot: Is this the first great cynical sports film? Paul Newman is wonderful as the aging player-coach of the Charlestown Chiefs minor-league hockey team and the cult-hero, Hansen brothers, I’ve always thought, had to be inspired by The Ramones. 5. High Anxiety: There are a couple of Richard Dreyfuss films vying for this fifth spot, but for sheer guffaws give us Mel Brooks’ riffing on Alfred Hitchcock with the help of Harvey Korman and Cloris Leachman (as Nurse Diesel). Not his best, but still very funny.