by John Walters

Starting Five

Earth Day at 50: ‘We Are Stardust’

Today is the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, and in a strange way I don’t know if the planet has been in better shape, or at least trending that way, since 1970. Traffic is down. Air traffic is waaaaaaay down. The skies are cleaner. Sea tortoise hatchlings are making their way from nests to the surf having only to worry about predatory birds and not Instagramming millennials (I stuck that in just for you, Jacob).

Seems to me that a clean Earth and 21st century man, to this date, are at odds with one another. It’s kind of like that person who knows they need to lose 20 pounds but damn, hat In-N-Out drive-thru is right there and the line of cars is only in the single digits.

And then along comes the coronavirus. Kinda like how a terrible fever or flu makes you lose 8 pounds in one week and you think, Well, that was hell, but I can finally fit into those skinny jeans I bought back in 2006. That’s what the coronavirus is, writ large. Will we pay attention?

(Well, this White House won’t, but hopefully some American leader will soon be as enlightened as Trudeau or Macron or Merkel). To quote the eternal Joni Mitchell:

We are stardust
We are golden (We are billion year-old carbon*)
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

*The parenthetical added by CSN for their version

Mission Kim-possible

Did the season finale of Better Call Saul leave you a little empty? Skeptical? Confused?

Let’s get Lalo’s Great Escape out of the way early. Yes, it’s Houdini-esque and brilliant and he knows who set him up. Nacho is simply a pawn. I was wondering, as the two men drank beers out by the fire pit —night owl Lalo unintentionally preventing Nacho’s 3 a.m. back-gate exit—if Nacho would simply come clean with him and take his chances. Would Lalo have forgiven Nacho for what he did to his tio, Hector, if Nacho had redeemed himself by squealing on Fring and thereby saving Lalo from the assassination attempt? Did it even go through his mind, or did he know he’d be a dead man, either via Fring or the Salamancas, for doing so? Either way, I think Gus could’ve found a better wet squad than this. Does he even watch Seal Team 6, Sundays on CBS?

Now let’s get to Kim. Nothing in her DNA suggests she’d go this far to take down an innocent man and ruin his career, which is what she’s suggesting to a skeptical Jimmy that they do to Howard. Even Jimmy thinks this is beyond the pale, at least he does in the privacy of the swanky hotel room (with a second bed to put all your crap on… I used to love having a second bed when I traveled for work to use as my storage space).

So what’s the game here? What is happening and what do the writers want us to think is happening, to distract us? And how much should we glean from that show intro/flashback a few episodes back where tween Kim is pissed at her mom for showing up late to pick her up from band practice at school and also being inebriated?

From that vignette I gleaned (maybe I’m wrong?) that Kim is stubborn and that she does not suffer bad actors with any patience. But yet she endures Jimmy week after week? Is love that blind? Is that the paradox we’re supposed to be seeing?

Or, OR, does Kim see setting up Howard and reaping a $2 million instant windfall as a means to pursue her true legal passion, being a pro bono defender? Or, OR, is that simply a front for her to gain access into the cartel underworld so that she can accomplish an even bigger mission, taking out the cartel… and if Howard has to be an innocent victim in all of that, so be it? Or, OR, is it something else?

Because here’s what we know. When Howard says to Kim, “You know who really knew Jimmy? Chuck,” she knows he’s right. And maybe that triggered her. But for all the shenanigans Kim has pulled, with Mesa Verde and with getting Huell out of hot water and even with the bar fly d-bags, she’s never gone this far off the reservation. And she’s never deliberately set out to harm an innocent man. And Howard never treated her poorly. He’s been square with everyone. Maybe a country club pretty boy, but not an evil sort.

We’ll see. But the idea of Kim descending into a life of amoral activity… sorry, just don’t see it.

And by the way, it might just be that some TV reviewers are so blind in their adoration of Rhea Seehorn that they whiff on some of these calls. I mean, I get it. I did a profile of her for Newsweek back in Season 1 of the show. But some of these critics adore Rhea/Kim so much that I begin to question their objectivity or critical thinking when it comes to her character. Because, on the surface, nothing she’s done the past two weeks is on the up and up.

I don’t think Kim is “breaking bad,” as Alan Sepinwall suggests. I think when she said to Jimmy, “It’s not going to happen again,” and yet he stayed at the foot of the bed that she realized that he’s not quite ready to give up the glory, the money and the sizzle of being a “friend of the cartel.” And I think just maybe she’s decided that the only way to combat him, and in effect to save him, is to battle the cartel indirectly as a pro bono defender who learns their operation from that side of it. Maybe? No?

Meet Ron

As much as you love Will Ferrell, you’re going to love him even more after watching this clip if you haven’t seen it before. There’s a very wise man inside that kooky character.

Carry On

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and start YouTube’ing classic rock? I don’t, I’m just asking. I mean, WHO would do that?

And I mean, I’m glad that you don’t —because I certainly wouldn’t—but if you did, would you scroll down and read the comments? And if so, would you perhaps come across a comment such as this from “Tackless”:

About 25 years ago a group of us construction workers were on an elevator coming down from a top floor in a high-rise. David Crosby got on a few floors later. we all recognize him and everybody started whispering that’s David Crosby . I watched him smile at the recognition. He got off a few floors before the bottom and when he did I held the door so it wouldn’t close and I let him walk a few steps before I yelled YO ! He turned around and I said don’t forget to tell your wife you were on the elevator with Tom Bradford today. He looked at me and cracked up . He said that’s good my friend, I’ll make sure I do that.

Sports Year 1877

The inaugural Lawn Tennis Championship is held at the All England Lawn & Tennis Club in Wimbledon, south London. Only a men’s singles event is held and Spencer Gore defeats William Marshall, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in the final. Both men are British.

Pitcher Jim Devlin of the Louisville Grays and three teammates are permanently expelled from the National League after they are found to have conspired with gamblers to lose games (Devlin led the league in Losses in both 1876 and 1877). #ItsAllBeenDone

Future world champion John L. Sullivan, arguably the first iconic pugilist, wins his first bout as an amateur in Boston via first-round knockout.

The Montreal Gazette publishes the first formal hockey rules.

The annual Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race ends in a dead heat and there is no video review to settle the matter.

The first intercollegiate lacrosse match, between NYU and Manhattan College, is staged.

Yale wins its first college football national championship, finishing 3-0-1 (the tie was against Princeton, in Hoboken).

10 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. So, even before those religious wankers started wailing this pandemic was “God’s punishment for this” or “God’s punishment for that”, I started sussing out “the truth” – that it’s Mother Nature (AKA ‘the earth’) justabouthavingenoughofus & damnit, she’s “pulling over right now!” to teach us all a lesson. She’s “had it UP TO HERE” with our destruction of her glorious attributes & while acknowledging some of us have realized the errors of our selfish ways & are trying to right centuries of wrongs, there just aren’t enough of us & then the most powerful country on this earth actually elected as their “leader/spokesperson” a SOCIOPATH & denier of said destruction & that was the last straw!

    In fact, Mother Nature “messaged” me in my dreams the other week – “ISIS, SCHMISIS, you want to terrorize an entire world, bring them to their knees? You launch a “little virus” & watch it spread around the globe! That will get all those pollution-spewing machines off the road & “my” air will once again be clean & oh-so-sweet. My beaches will be trash-free & my wildlife will get a break. And if you folks don’t heed this warning, I’ll let the virus take out half the population as I did back in the 14th century & the earth will just ‘reboot’. I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR.”

    I think she means business. I read last week that the ozone is actually “repairing itself”. You go, girl! (Couldn’t help myself). One of the 1st things you learn while growing up on a farm is “you don’t f*ck with Mother Nature”. Too bad everyone didn’t learn this lesson. 🙂

  2. Also wanted to ask you – what do you think of Harvard (benefactor of a $41 BILLION dollar endowment) having their greedy paw in the CARES ACT cookie jar?

    But those naive, stupid, grasping parents who wanted their kids in a ‘top school’? Oh, THEY must go to prison! How dare THEY “try to cheat the system”…


    • Susie B.,

      Because you seem to remember I told you I left school early without a degree, I feel obliged to let you know I’ll be returning to school in the Fall. Hopefully in 7 or 8 years, you can call me Dr. Anstey as I practice psychiatry.

      • Is this a joke as the Grand Poobah suggests or are you really going back to school to one day become a Dr? I hope it’s the latter as I think it would be wonderful! I would also love to know what prompted the change in your belief that higher education is not neccesary. Do you feel a “calling” towards this career? Something that happened to you or loved ones (or this damn global pandemic!) that made you see the importance & impact of good mental health & the disaster that befalls if it is missing?

        My oldest niece graduated with a degree in Psychology a couple years ago & is now in grad school at Johns Hopkins. I’m not sure if she will continue all the way to her Doctorate & become a psychologist or stop after her Masters. She also works part-time in the Youth/Teen ward of a mental health facility & has seen upclose the tragedy of mental illness.

        Anyhoo, if you really are going back to school, I hope you keep us updated & know that you have a ‘virtual’ cheerleader rooting for you, future Dr Jacob! 🙂

        • Haha! It is no joke.

          My viewpoint on college has still not changed. I don’t think it is for everyone, and I think it is dependent on the individual’s circumstance in life and what they want to do. For many career fields, apprenticeship opportunities are available and the ROI is much better forgoing college. So I still don’t recommend someone take on massive amounts of debt to become a journalist or anything in business (supply chain, sales, marketing, etc.).

          It just so happens to be that the thing that I want to become requires a doctorate’s degree, which is a good thing. How would you feel if your doctor told you they didn’t have their degree (let’s just forget about the illegality of all of this for the thought experiment).

          What I was doing with my life didn’t require a degree for me to be “successful”. Life changes, you discover things and you go with the flow.

          I’m not sure I’d call it a “calling”, but what has transpired in my life has played a role in my decision. I’m not sure how many people know what they want to be when they grow up when they are 18. Hell, I don’t even know people know what they want to be when they are 50. I’m now 25 with a much better perspective on the world. I know what I want to learn and what I don’t want to learn, Corona be damned.

          Thanks for the encouragement!

          • Jacob,

            If this is what you wish to do, all the best. Just an FYI, and I may be wrong, but it used to be that to become a psychiatrist you needed to go to medical school and get an M.D. To become a psychologist, you don’t. You’d got the Masters/PhD route. Just an FYI and who knows, things may have changed.


          • Thanks, JW (I can’t seem to reply directly to your comment).

            I didn’t realize I mentioned psychiatry in my initial comment. It was supposed to say psychology. Big error on my part.

            I mentioned Dr. Anstey, moreso to just poke fun at Susie B. Even though I would like to attain a PhD (research), rendering the “Dr.” title somewhat factually correct, I was never planning to pursue a medical degree. I’m of the mindset of only using the “Dr.” title for actual medically-trained professionals. I’d prefer to be known on a first name basis. Or by my alias, Jason.

            I’m pursuing a BS in PSYC instead of a BA in PSYC, because a lot of my motivation is to study the brain. The University of Nebraska – Lincoln doesn’t offer a Neuroscience degree, but that’s what I’d go get with my Master’s.

          • On the flip side, $SHOP is looking good since I recommended it as a buy. Maybe I’ll just become a hedge fund manager and waste other people’s money instead of my own.

  3. In defense of the Instagramming millennials, have you seen the TikToking Gen Z’ers?

    This got me thinking…

    Facebook Boomers (oh, my…)
    Gen X Tweeps
    Instagramming millennials
    TikToking Gen Z’ers

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