Back by overwhelmingly tepid demand…
by John Walters
The most stunning television moment of the year thus far? The murder of Howard Hamlin, the climactic scene from the first-half finale of the final season of Better Call Saul. When the series began, I’m not sure even
co-creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould knew where Howard’s (Patrick Fabian) character was headed. To see him was to loathe him: Tall, blonde, handsome, a partner (through nepotism) at the firm of HHM. But, as this final season has progressed, Jimmy/Saul (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim (Rhea Seehorn), our supposed protagonists, have revealed themselves to be the unscrupulous ones. Which Howard lays out in his final scene, just moments before his murder at the hands of Lalo Salamanca (the scene-stealer of the past two seasons).
Plenty of viewers have compared it to Hank’s death in Breaking Bad. A good guy in the wrong place at the wrong time, the unwitting victim of the bad actions of our main character. Too, our main character tries vainly to save his life, but it’s already too late the moment the candle blows. Howard never knew Jimmy was involved with the cartel, just as Hank never knew Walt had such dangerous friends. A gut-punch scene, and Fabian owned it. Outstanding writing here.
*A tip of the golf cap to Monte Burke, who first used this term. The judges will also accept “Sand Trap” and “Golf Sheikh Up.”
This morning the as the Saudi-backed LIV Tour teed off its inaugural event in London, with top pros such as Phil Mickelson (above), Dustin Johnson and 15 other PGA Tour vets in its stable, the establishment PGA Tour
launched a tee shot of its own: all LIV Tour players are suspended from the PGA Tour and are not allowed to play in any PGA Tour events. The LIV Tour returned fire, calling the edict “vindictive,” which is comical seeing as how the Saudi leaders backing the LIV Tour are known for exacting revenge.
Is the free market a good thing? Almost always. Do players have the right to make a choice? Of course. Would partnering with the Saudis be the first time a pro athlete/league got in bed with a vile government (not including our own)? Hardly.
The thing is, though, that when it comes to pro sports leagues, we fans prefer that all of the premier players remain in the same one. Imagine if Dr. J had spent his entire league in the ABA. As it is, we only had a chance to watch him on the downside of his prime.
The One Word You Never See
We’re a little too fatigued to wade into the gun battle or Roe v. Wade or the Jan. 6 conflict today, but we would like to bring up one point related to both. And it has to do with our favorite batshit crazy American political party, the Republicans.
We listen to their rhetoric, particularly when it comes to guns and abortion, and we always hear the same words: “faith” and “God,” and “prayer” and “religion” and, of course, “The Bible.” But, to quote Ann and Nancy Wilson, “What about love?” That’s right. Love. “Luuu-uuuv, what about, what about….?” Love. You know? That thing Jesus talked about. Like, a lot. You know Jesus. He’s the Thanos of Christianity.
Notice how rarely you ever hear a member of the MAGA cult use that word in relation to governing, or getting along with our fellow Americans, or even in how they shape their political views? And you can flat-out forget “empathy.” But what about love? Why don’t they ever use it?
I’ll tell you why: because love is the last thing they’re about. What they are about is obedience. And control. And power (theirs). And subbmission (yours and mine if we ever disagree). All of the words they use are related to blind obedience. Perhaps to a patriarchal figure. In a blue suit.
Think about that as you listen to them. When does love ever come out of their mouths, either verbatim or in tone? Never (unless you happen to be in total lockstep with whatever they happen to be prescribing at the moment).