by John Walters

Starting Five

Bad Santa

Today marks the start of the two-day Krampus Festival in Austria. In central European folklore, Krampus is a half-man, half-goat creature who punishes bad children and man do we need one on this side of the Atlantic.

A Millennial Christmas Carol

This came to us yesterday. You know this scene from Dickens’ “The Christmas Carol,” where mean old Ebenezer Scrooge wakes up on Christmas morning and realizes that he is still alive. We decided to put a 21st-century spin on it:

“Oh, boy, (blah blah blah), fetch the prize turkey from the poulterer and bring it to Bob Cratchett…”

(the turkey arrives at the Cratchett home where Bob’s wife and his kids have some questions):

“Is this a free range turkey?”

Was it cooked in peanut oil because I’m allergic?”

Dad, I thought this was going to be a vegan Christmas.”

“Listen, pops, tell ‘Okay, Boomer’ over there to stop disrespecting my juice cleanse. Just return the bird and tell Mr. Scrooge to Venmo us the money.”

Duke Or Earl

First, you have to get past the idea of GOP Congressman Matt Gaetz being offended by someone being mean and crass. But, yeah, Professor Karlan, while making a valid point, needlessly scored a hit on the one member of the Trump family who, for all intents and purposes, is innocent. And it undermined her testimony.

Friend of the blog Moose, who is Canadian and thus is able, like prime minister Trudeau, to laugh at America from afar, suggested that if only Professor Karlan had invoked a hypothetical son, “Earl,” or even suggested president Trump could name his dog “Duke” but not name him one, things would have gone much smoother for all involved.

Deer In The Highlights

The Milwaukee Bucks won again last night, a 127-103 blowout at Detroit. That’s 13 in a row for Milwaukee, who are now tied with the Lakers for the lead’s best record at 19-3. Anyone ready for a Giannis versus LeBron NBA Finals?

Giannis, the reigning MVP, is your early 2020 MVP leader: 2nd in the NBA in scoring and fourth in rebounding. The Bucks are gonna roll over the Eastern Conference this season if everyone remains healthy.

By the way, the Bucks have Kyle Korver on their roster, who like LeBron entered the NBA in 2003. I believe only Vince Carter, who is an alien, and perhaps Jamal Crawford, have been in the league longer.

The Lakers also won last night but LeBron’s blatant uncalled palming violation is all that I will remember.

Batman And A Joker

This, from comic Hasan Minhaj, is both funny and educational. I mean, think about it, should a super hero really have a butler?

Five Films: 1968

Another classic year in films and five is not enough. We’re still talking about these films more than half a century later. Imaginative, exploratory and existential, set against the backdrop of perhaps the most turbulent year of the American century.

  1. Planet Of The Apes: The first time I saw this, I was probably six or seven years old and was quite sure it was the coolest film I’d ever seen. It would be decades before I appreciated the allegory being laid before me. And General Irko haunted my dreams for most of the Seventies. 2. 2001: A Space Odyssey: A masterpiece, from Stanley Kubrick. I believe it was Charlton Heston, or maybe Orson Welles, who walked out of the Hollywood screening and barked to no one in particular, “I don’t know what the hell is going on in this movie!” Not an easy ride, this, but the special effects were decades ahead of their time and the overriding message well, many of us may still not be ready for it. 3. Bullitt: Steve McQueen and the first blow-your-doors-off car chase scene in film history, shot on the streets of San Francisco and Marin County. McQueen plays a San Francisco detective assigned to protect a witness whom the mob is after. 4. Night Of The Living Dead: A horror classic that feels like a documentary, shot in black-and-white and with grainy footage to make it even more creepy. Countless films, and one jumped-the-shark-a-while-ago TV series, owe everything to this movie. Oh, and spoiler alert: the black dude is the one person who escapes being trapped all night in the house surrounded by zombies only to take a bullet as he emerges from the local Ohio posse. How you like that ending, Colin Kaepernick? 5. The Thomas Crown Affair: What a hot streak Faye Dunaway was on from 1967 to 1975: Bonnie and Clyde, this, Chinatown, Three Days of the Condor, and Network. With Steve McQueen and an Oscar-winning theme song (“Windmills Of Your Mind”).

Not on the list but worth noting: Rosemary’s Baby, The Producers, Where Eagles Dare, The Lion In Winter, Oliver! Also, another movie that may have inspired a Seinfeld gag. There was a film from 1969 titled Rachel, Rachel. Remember how Dark Victory gave us Prognosis Negative?

2 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. “I’m reviewing the situation
    Can a fellow be a villain all his life?
    All the trials!
    And tribulations!
    Better settle down & get myself a wife!…..

    I think I better think it out again!…

    What happens when you’re 70?
    Must come a time when you’re 70.
    When you’re old & it’s cold
    And who cares if you live or you die
    Your one consolidation’s the money you may have put byyyyyy

    But it’s wrong to be a rogue in every way.”

    For the last 50 YEARS, whenever I rethink (ahem, “review”) something, I hear Ron Moody as Fagin singing this little ditty in my head. πŸ™‚

    Yes, Oliver! is #1 on my 1968 list. A close 2nd is Funny Girl (Don’t rain on my parade, jdubs!.) But the songs are GREAT in Oliver! & yes, I know them all…’Food, glorious food! Hot sausage & mustard!”… “Wheeeeere is loooove, does it fall from skies above” (I always snivel or outright bawl at this part),…”Consider yourself at home, consider yourself one of the family!”… & I’ll conclude with –

    “In this life, one thing counts!
    In the bank, large amounts
    I’m afraid these don’t grow on trees
    You’ve got to pick a pocket or two, boyz
    You’ve got to pick a pocket or two!” πŸ™‚

    I also had your #1 & #3 on my list. Along with –

    The Green Berets – partly because the theme song became a radio hit & we always sang along & partly because of John Wayne & Jim Hutton. I was still too young to understand what was going on in Vietnam; that ‘joy’ came a few years later…

    The Secret War of Harry Frigg – a WWII action/”comedy” starring Paul Newman. Not seen until I was in high school & seen AT high school on the annual Movie Day.

    Yours, Mine, and Ours – comedy starring Lucille Ball & Henry Fonda & about 12 kids or so. Two widowers with a ton of kids each, meet, fall in love, marry & try to be one BIG happy family.

    And two Disney movies, both starring Dean Jones – The Love Bug & The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit. The latter is what informed me of The International Horse Show in Washington, DC held every year & I started pleading with my aunt to take us. She did, beginning when the Capital Centre was built in Largo, MD (outside DC) around 1970, I think. Held in the latter weeks of October, I went with my aunt several years, then with friends at MD & then a vendor from work that I dealt with actually got me the best seats in the place for several years for free, whoo-hoo! The last couple years that I went, it was held in the then new arena in DC & I took my younger sister & her oldest daughter. I think they still go every year, but I’m SAVING EVERY FREAKIN DIME, so I don’t. Maybe again someday. “I’m REVIEWING THE SITUATION!” πŸ™‚

  2. I saw a clip on the late night Sports Center & Sweet Pea said he had a “malfunction” (of the brain, I guess) & didn’t realize he’d done it till a coach showed him tape at half-time. Well, one man’s “malfunction” is another gal’s “brain fart”, which I had just yesterday mistaking the singer of ‘If Ever I Would Leave You’ in the MOVIE (& not the Broadway show) of Camelot. It happens!

    And big freakin deal about the “Baron” reference! It was about the NAME/position, not the kid himself & about what the FUEHRER in the WH is trying to do in this country! I thought it was spot-on. That it bent those Nazis in Congress out of shape made it even better!

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