Archive for the ‘movies’ Category
On March 4th, The Thing in the White House sent out a bunch of angry tweets blasting the previous President for wiretapping Isengard Trump Tower. “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Then 30 mins later: “How long has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process? This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!” When asked to clarify this insanity, The Thing’s minions really could do nothing but heee and hawww. The Thing read it somewhere, they said. NY Times! Louise Mensch! BBC! Naturally once reporters dug deeper, they found that NO, none of those reports talked about wiretapping. Mensch broke the story on her right-wing blog HeatStreet on November 7th about the FISA warrant, but all she said was that a FISC court granted permission to “examine the activities of ‘U.S. persons’ in Donald Trump’s campaign with ties to Russia.” In question was a mysterious communication between two Russian banks and a server in Trump Tower. (David Corn of Mother Jones broke the story of the two banks and Trump Tower, but all media dismissed it as a bizarre conspiracy theory a couple of weeks earlier.) In the follow-up reports to Mensch’s story, BBC and the failing NY Times confirmed a FISA warrant, but nobody mentioned wiretaps… except Breitbart and then The Thing in its Tweets. Ahhhhh, the plot thickens. Where did Breitbart get the information about wiretaps at Trump Tower and did The Thing just leak top secret information in a series of Tweets? Sure seems that way. Will anybody hold him accountable? LOL.
There are fleeing moments when it feels like Lady Lindsey Graham and Hero John McCain might hold The Thing accountable for the numerous impeachable offenses it has committed. Earlier today Graham tweeted: “An attack on one political party should be considered an attack on all. We must push back on Russian election interference at home & abroad.” That sounds great! However it should also be noted that Graham had lunch with The Thing earlier in the day.
“Great lunch meeting with @POTUS today. President Trump is strongly committed to rebuilding our military which is music to my ears. (1/3)
President Trump is in deal-making mode and I hope Congress is like-minded. (2/3)”
“How good was the meeting with @POTUS?
I gave him my NEW cell phone number.”
Somebody responded: “1-800-DOOR-MAT?” And then “You, sir, are a profile in courage.”
And that, folks, is Lindsey Graham summarized in a handful of tweets. We have to get used to the notion that no, Graham and McCain won’t hold The Thing accountable for anything until they’ve gotten what they want from him: tax cuts for the rich, bigger military, gutting ACA, etc. etc. etc. Then maybe, possibly, once that’s all done, they’ll throw The Thing overboard.
Speaking of handing out cell numbers, can anybody afford a new cell phone after Republicans pass Trumpcare? Jason Chaffetz, the man who investigated Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s e-mails to death, and who doesn’t think there is any reason to look into Trump’s connections to Russia, went on CNN to start selling Trumpcare to America.
Americans have choices. And they’ve got to make a choice. And so, maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on, maybe they should invest it in their own health care. They’ve got to make those decisions for themselves.
This is, of course, patently absurd. An iPhone unsubsidized by a phone company might cover one month’s premium for a single person. How many iPhones does Chaffetz think people buy? Of course, Chaffetz himself doesn’t have to buy his own phone. He gets one from work. His cell bill gets covered too. “How much does an iPhone cost” is the new “How much is a gallon of milk?” and Chaffetz doesn’t know the cost of either.
Overall Trumpcare is going to gut poor people into oblivion. It gives tax breaks to the rich, provides insurance companies with tax deductions on CEO salaries, will raise costs of premium, reinstate caps, gut preexisting conditions. Millions of people will lose their insurance. Many of them were Trump voters. Sadly many of them were not. But they will suffer also.
Why do Republicans hate poor people? It’s a question that has been asked often and there are many answers. As it came up again in the current Trumpcare discussion, I was reminded of a scene in E.M. Forster’s great novel “Howards End.” In the 1910 novel Forster explored 3 groups of people from 3 different classes: the extremely wealthy and conservative Wilcoxes, upper middle class but liberal Schlegels, and poor but aspiring for something bigger Basts. The Schlegel sisters, Margaret and Helen, try to help poor Leonard Bast, but their well-meaning interventions in his life, as well as not-well meaning interventions from the Wilcoxes, prove disastrous. He loses his job as a clerk in an insurance company after following bad advice from patriarch Henry Wilcox. When the impetuous Helen (played by Helena Bonham Carter in the magnificent film, with Emma Thompson as Margaret) tries to make her case for helping the poor to the condescending 1%-er Henry Wilcox (Anthony Hopkins in the film), the following exchange takes place. Written in 1910, “Howards End”is still relevant in 2017.
From Chapter 22
He [Henry Wilcox] raised his finger. “Now, a word of advice.”
“I require no more advice.” [said Helen]
“A word of advice. Don’t take up that sentimental attitude over the poor. See that she doesn’t, Margaret. The poor are poor, and one’s sorry for them, but there it is. As civilisation moves forward, the shoe is bound to pinch in places, and it’s absurd to pretend that any one is responsible personally. Neither you, nor I, nor my informant, nor the man who informed him, nor the directors of the Porphyrion, are to blame for this clerk’s loss of salary. It’s just the shoe pinching–no one can help it; and it might easily have been worse.”
Helen quivered with indignation.
“By all means subscribe to charities–subscribe to them largely– but don’t get carried away by absurd schemes of Social Reform. I see a good deal behind the scenes, and you can take it from me that there is no Social Question–except for a few journalists who try to get a living out of the phrase. There are just rich and poor, as there always have been and always will be. Point me out a time when men have been equal–”
“I didn’t say–”
“Point me out a time when desire for equality has made them happier. No, no. You can’t. There always have been rich and poor. I’m no fatalist. Heaven forbid! But our civilisation is moulded by great impersonal forces” (his voice grew complacent; it always did when he eliminated the personal), “and there always will be rich and poor. You can’t deny it” (and now it was a respectful voice)–“and you can’t deny that, in spite of all, the tendency of civilisation has on the whole been upward.”
“Owing to God, I suppose,” flashed Helen.
He stared at her.
“You grab the dollars. God does the rest.”
It was no good instructing the girl if she was going to talk about God in that neurotic modern way. Fraternal to the last, he left her for the quieter company of Mrs. Munt.
“Don’t ever discuss political economy with Henry,” advised her sister. “It’ll only end in a cry.”
“But he must be one of those men who have reconciled science with religion,” said Helen slowly. “I don’t like those men. They are scientific themselves, and talk of the survival of the fittest, and cut down the salaries of their clerks, and stunt the independence of all who may menace their comfort, but yet they believe that somehow good–it is always that sloppy ‘somehow’ will be the outcome, and that in some mystical way the Mr. Basts of the future will benefit because the Mr. Brits of today are in pain.”
Also, in brief: Richard Steele, the British spy who wrote the infamous “pee pee” dossier, has resurfaced. While American Senators want to hear him testify about what he knows.
WikiLeaks is dumping top secret CIA documents.
And contrary to earlier denials that he’s never met the Russian Ambassador (a man nobody has ever met), a newly unearthed article in the Wall Street Journal from last April says that Trump met with the Russian Ambassador and greeted him warmly.
What’s on your mind Widdershins? This is an open thread.
A good weekend to you Widdershins!
Pardon me while I try to type while also rubbing my hands together in glee at the shellacking the Republicans are almost assuredly going to get on November 8th. Now I realize that we’re still two weeks out from election day, but barring anything really bad happening, the Republicans are definitely going to be crying the blues on November 9th. And, uh, those blues are going to be Democratic blue.
The Democrats, besides retaining the Presidency, also have a good shot of regaining the Senate – especially important if Hillary wants to get her nominations to the Supremes approved. There’s also a slimmer chance that they regain the House. Should we hit the trifecta this will indeed be a disaster for the Republicans. So in keeping with the theme of disasters, let’s take a look at some disaster movies. We know there are lots of them out there and I’ll add mine below.
(1) San Andreas
(2) The Hindenburg
(3) The Doomsday Flight
(4) Deep Impact
(5) Airport ~ 1970
(6) [for a laugh] Several scenes from Airplane
Okay those are my choices but there are tons of others ranging from natural disaster movies, disasters in the air, under the water and others. However I don’t think anything we can come up will compare to what the Republicans will go through next month. Please add your choices in the comments below.
Good Saturday and weekend!
We have arrived at the weekend and this week we definitely need a break from the weird week of politics; a palate cleanser as Chat would say. We watched a “forum” that, while the idea was good, the implementation was just awful and provided us with at least one new hashtag, “#Laueringthebar”. We saw the talking yam continue to lie and not be held accountable for it. We saw the moderator of said forum waste precious time (she had thirty minutes) on questions about emails with Hillary Clinton and then demand brevity when asking her “longform” questions about ISIS and the Iran nuclear deal, telling her to speed it up. Clinton was, and has been treated differently, and finally, people have noticed; here and here.
So to put this week behind us and for a change of pace let’s look at some movies, and specifically comedies. Comedy has been a staple in movies since their inception so there are tons of them out there. I’ll put up a few of mine and please share some of your favorites in the comments.
(1) Meet the Parents ~ Circle of Trust
(2) There’s Something About Mary ~ Dog Fight
(3) Planes, Trains and Automobiles ~ Wrong way on the highway
(4) The Marx Brothers ~ Duck Soup
(5) Woody Allen ~ Love and Death ~ Wheat
(6) Animal House ~ Double Secret Probation
(7) From the title of the post ~ Scenes from It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world ~Jonathan Winters
Okay! That’s a few of my favorites and I’ve barely scratched the surface. I want to leave room for your contributions and not have the page take forever to load. So please share some of your favorites below.
Good Saturday and weekend Widdershins!
If you are a fan of politics, a more-than-curious observer of the art form, or like most of us here, have a dog in this hunt, the next two weeks are definitely going to be your cup of tea.
We now know that the talking yam has picked Hoosier governor Mike Pence as his veep selection. Whether that’s a good choice remains to be seen but at least it did spare Pence the embarrassment of possibly running for reelection as governor and losing.
As to Hillary’s selection for veep, well we don’t know that quite yet. Elizabeth Warren was slated to speak to the convention as a keynote speaker on the first night, which would seem to indicate she wasn’t going to be Hillary’s veep selection. Then suddenly, yesterday, her name wasn’t on the list of speakers. Tongues are wagging about that news but all we can do is wait and see.
So Widdershins, with all of the hoopla of the conventions going on I thought we might take a a look at some movies about politics and the shenanigans and intrigue that go along with that topic. There are tons of them out there and I’m sure we all have one or more that are favorites. These are in no particular order.
(1) The Manchurian Candidate ~ 1962 version
(2) Advise and Consent ~ scene with Charles Laughton ~ his last movie ~ lots of insider politics
(3) The Candidate ~ Robert Redford
(4) The Best Man ~ Henry Fonda
(5) Primary Colors ~ Billy Bob Thornton scene
Obviously there are lots more movies in a political vein but you all get the drift. Please add your contributions below.
A good Saturday and weekend to you Widdershins!
I thought that for a change of pace this weekend we might look at some movies and more specifically some movies about moms since Sunday is Mother’s Day. A number of choices came to my mind almost immediately and with the help of the google machine a few other interesting choices popped up. Sometimes the portrayals of moms in the movies weren’t the best and sometimes the movie moms had some bratty or problem-children to deal with. Below are some of my choices. Please share your choices in the comments.
(1) Steel Magnolias – 1989 Yeah this one’s almost a given.
(2) I Remember Mama – 1948 – Irene Dunn This is a lovely little movie that you should catch whenever you can
(3) Mask – 1985 Cher and Eric Stoltz Cher plays unconventional Mom Rusty
(4) Terms of Endearment – 1983 Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger
(I used to call this one Terms of Endurance because of Aurora)
(5) Mildred Pierce – 1945 Good Joan Crawford
(6) Mommie Dearest – 1981 Bad/mean Joan Crawford
(7) White Heat – 1949 James Cagney Remember what I said about problem children?
Okay, those are my selections. Please add any clips you wish below. And a Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. Oh! And have a mint julep when you watch the Kentucky Derby today!
Since our dear chatblu is sailing around the Caribbean, sipping Mai-tais or some other exotic drinks, I thought this time for our lazy weekend we might look at some movies. More specifically dramas and even more specifically, costume or historical dramas. Now we don’t have to necessarily think of costumes as a requirement, but there are a ton of costume dramas; think of all of those Errol Flynn movies. I am going to play loosely with the term drama; we don’t have to be heavy in tone, just not comedic. Okay, with that away we go! (in no particular order)
(1) Elizabeth I – Helen Mirren
not my favorite of the Elizabeth movies but I just enjoy Mirren in anything.
(2) Elizabeth: The Golden Age – Cate Blanchett
I really thought Blanchett made a better Elizabeth than did Mirren.
(3) The Ten Commandments – Heston
Okay, so why do I really want to see Moses/Heston with a rifle in his hand?
(4) The Lion in Winter – Katherine Hepburn, Peter O’Toole
I know that Glenn Close did a version of this but for me, nothing compares to Hepburn.
(5) Robin Hood – Errol Flynn
Let’s face it: Errol Flynn was probably the king of the costume dramas back in the day
(6) Schindler’s List – Liam Neeson
Definitely a historical drama
(7) Mississippi Burning – Willem Defoe, Gene Hackman
Okay Widdershins, I don’t want the page to take too long to load so that’s my list. Please consider adding your own choices in the comments. Meanwhile I shall go back to my tickley throat and coughing. I have some meds now but it takes time.
Have an enjoyable Easter.
Well we’ve wrapped another week and basically there was a lot of bad or unpleasant news this week.
We’ve learned that ISIS may have the capability to print out fake Syrian passports. That type of news is certainly not going to help avert the raging paranoia that is…well…raging in the country right now. Nor will it probably stop the surge in gun purchases around San Bernardino California. Meanwhile, also in California, there’s a huge leak of methane gas that’s causing concern to nearby residents. Heading to the other coast we heard about a Boston commuter train lost control due to “operator error”, which translated into the train operator left the train without setting at least one of two brakes on the train.
I’ve purposefully left out politics because really, is there anything more to be said?
So with that I thought we would take a trip to the movies and especially comedic movies. We humans have used comedy throughout the ages as a stress reliever and to, at times, poke fun at ourselves. So with that in mind let’s take a look at some of our favorite and “classic” comedic movies. I’m only going to put up a few so that the post doesn’t drag too much in loading. However, there are tons of them out there so feel free to post whatever strikes your funny bone or your fancy. It’s a completely open thread.
(1) Monkey Business – 1931 Marx Brothers
(2) The Navigator – 1924 Buster Keaton (diving scene)
(3) His Girl Friday – 1940 Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant
(4) Auntie Mame – 1958 Rosalind Russell (Masterful Gaze & Horse Mount)
(5) Airplane! – 1980 Automatic Pilot Scene
(6) Mrs. Doubtfire – 1993 Robin Williams (looks like a lady scene)
* * * * *
So okay Widdershins there ya go! I tried covering a comic movie from different decades up to the 1990s. Obviously there are many more and besides which I didn’t even touch the 2000s. So put on your thinking or laughing caps and show us some of your favorites below. This is a completely open thread that you may take wherever you wish.