by John Walters
*Apologies for the twilight edition. The staff has been busy doing that job that pays the bills.
1. XI’s The One
Yes he’s comin’
To your sacris-tay,
If you wanna papal blessin’ for your ying yang,
Or you want some absolution for your ting tang….
Pope Francis XI lands outside of Washington, D.C. as Twitter girds itself for Latino immigrant quips.
2. Cruz Control
Last night on Colbert (Don’t make me call it The Late Show; at least not yet), GOP candidate Senator Ted Cruz. I thought he acquitted himself well, even if I disagree with some of his points, until he decided to refer to Supreme Court justices as “five lawyers in Washington.” By that standard, he’s just an Ivy League twit.
Colbert’s intro was a jab: “My next guest is a first-term Senator and has an immigrant father (he could’ve added “and a Harvard law degree”). No, it’s not a rerun of 2008.”
Here’s the thing about Ted Cruz for me. He’s smart, but he’s not very warm. No chuckles. No charm. Does that matter? Personally, I think it does in that job. But your mileage may vary.
Tonight on Colbert: the big fish, El Trumper-ino. Set your Twitter to “Hot Fire.”
3. Yes, He’s An Absolute Jerk…But Is He a Good Capitalist?
By now, I imagine, you know who Martin Shkreli is: 32, hedge-funder, makes a boatload of cash, buys a small pharma company (Turing) that happens to make a drug, Daraprim, that AIDS patients need.
Shkreli then raises the price of one tablet of the drug from $13.50 to $750, a 5,500% increase, presumably between bites of lobster mac and cheese at Del Frisco’s. Tells The New York Times, “It really doesn’t make any sense to get any criticism for this.”
Please, America, if you happen not to live in New York or San Francisco: humans of this level of douchebaggery really do exist. I’ve met them. I’ve served them.
Two thoughts: Let’s say you or I were to overpower Mr. Shkreli (I think you could) and hold his head underwater. Every 20 seconds you’d pull him up and tell him that a gasp of air would cost him $100 and ask how he would like to pay. Now, from a consequences standpoint, is there any real difference between that and what he is doing?
On the other hand, when you mix for-profit businesses with life-saving measures, who is the one to decide what is fair? What if water were not a utility? You’re going to have to pay for it if you want to survive, no? Now, imagine when some company spends millions or billions on a drug that will save people’s lives. Without their investment, the drug does not exist. So who are any of us to tell them what their price point must be?
That’s all I have to say about that…
4. Selfie-Assisted Suicide
So that dude who died taking a selfie at the Taj Mahal? That makes 12 selfie-related deaths this year worldwide (reported), as opposed to 8 shark-related deaths. Does that mean the selfie-stick should be hunted out of existence?
5. Where In The World?
Hint: This is not Dubai or anywhere in the UAE.
Yesterday: Trondheim, Norway.
Up, Up and Away
You (or maybe I) forget how many classic Sixties pop songs for which The Fifth Dimension are responsible. That’s lead singer Marilyn McCoo. There’s no song that was better built for Muzak, but this is one of those tunes that I loved hearing when I was in the back seat of the wood-paneled station wagon circa 1971.
The song won THREE individual Grammys in 1968, including Song of the Year, and is the apotheosis of what was known as “Sunshine Pop.”
ABC 8 p.m.
It’s time to put on makeup. It’s time to light the lights…
Is there anyone who didn’t love the original Muppet Show? Funny, very funny, with some heart thrown in. I was always a Fozzie guy myself. Hoping this new show isn’t all about Miss Piggy.