American Exhale

How much time do you think it was from when the polls began closing on Election Day 2020 to the moment Joe Biden was declared our next President of the United States?

I got you babe!

LESS.  THAN.  FOUR.  DAYS.

For those of us who felt really desperate to hear this news, and at last count that number was close to a record 75 million, it felt like just less than FOUR. YEARS. 

And that is because…IT.  WAS.

It definitely did not feel like the Good Place

When Joe Biden officially becomes our 46th POTUS on Jan. 20, 2021, that’s when you will hear the final collective sigh of relief.  But for right now, the almost 75 million of us will just have to satisfy ourselves with one collective exhale.

And a good night’s sleep.

Say goodbye to junk food, Nate Silver and even Steve Kornacki at the Big Board.  He needs his sleep, too. (Note:  If you’re unfamiliar with Kornacki’s Khakis or obsessive Kornacki Watch, well, here’s a link to get you started).

#TrackingKornacki #WILSONNNN

It’s amazing the indulgences we humans choose and the indignities we humans can get used to, isn’t it?  When I told one of the many doctors I manage to still go to for check-ins that I was beginning to wonder whether my obsessive addiction to this election and its results has any real point to it he asked me how it made me feel?  To which I said:

Actually, it’s strangely calming.  If the apocalypse comes, I can warn people in advance and try to figure something out for myself and the people I love.

To which he said:  Well, then it’s not a problem.

I’m a GENIUS

Nor was binge eating junk food in those super intensive last two weeks really an issue for any of us.  No two weeks of putting any kind of crap into your body will likely kill you.  Heck, some people can do it for 74 years.  Just look at ….

Okay, I promised myself I wouldn’t mention HIS NAME so I’m not going to.  Mostly because –

WE DON’T HAVE TO TALK ABOUT HIM ANYMORE!!!!

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, yes, I know.  He’s not gone yet and there are a couple of more months where anything can happen.  But while we’re exhaling, can we also take a few moments to just feel good about ourselves???

The first WOMAN in our almost 250-year history – not to mention the first WOMAN OF COLOR during that time – has just been elected VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

That’s Kamala Harris. 

Introducing MADAM Vice President

Not to mention, do you know she is also the FIRST DEMOCRAT FROM CALIFORNIA IN U.S. HISTORY to ever be elected to one of the two top jobs?

You’re welcome, America.

Are we forgiven for this now?

We have also lived to see another brilliant woman of color responsible for spear heading the dismantling of the death grasp the Republican Party has on the throat of the Old South when it comes to presidential elections.

That’s Stacey Abrams. 

It was her persistence and dedication to voting rights and voter registration after she lost her 2018 race for governor due to voter suppression that was key to flipping GEORGIA BLUE just a couple of nights ago.

She knew #AmericanHero

I mean, if that had been me I think I’d just about be crawling out from under my covers by now.

Which brings us to our President Elect.

I’m old enough to vaguely remember when this balding young guy who just got elected to Congress found out his wife and daughter were killed in a car accident that also badly inured his two young sons. 

I also remember my young self thinking:

That’s one of the most horrible things I’ve ever heard! This guy’s life is toast.  Oh my god, how can something like that happen???? 

Which was the same moment Joe Biden turned to the universe and said, Um, not so fast.

Drive the ‘vette to DC, Joey

See, it’s not an accident at this time (and in this year) he became president after a near half century of public life that included TWO unsuccessful runs for the White House.

After four years of hysteria and desperation, he is about the ONLY politician in the country who could collectively move and inspire us simply by proclaiming to a small crowd of our fellow citizens in a Delaware parking lot, during a pandemic, things like:

  • We Won’t Lead by the Example of OUR POWER but by the POWER OF OUR EXAMPLE…
  • THE ONE WORD THAT DEFINES AMERICA IS…POSSIBILITY.

And

  • KEEP THE FAITH…then… SPREAD THE FAITH.
My moment of zen

Yes, somehow these were the very words we all needed and longed to hear.

See, when you talk about how you’ve lived, and the principles that have worked for you, you don’t need to insult your enemies, lie to your supporters or indulge in the LONG CON in order to get them on your side.

All you really need to do is tell the truth.

Could you have imagined that as THE winning strategy last week at this time?  Can you even imagine four years of it???

Yes we can.

Mama Cass – “New World Coming”

A Twee Too Much

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 12.47.50 PM

There are a few things I need to get off my chest.

  1. I won’t be seeing the Jurassic Park reboot.   I found the first one interminably dull after a short while and this was at a packed screening in cushy seats where other people were loving it.
  1. My flat screen TVs, all of which are smart (certainly much smarter than me) have become the enemy. If I so much as graze one of their buttons in the wrong way I am left with nothing. No sound, no picture, snow or a frozen image. This can then only be remedied by calling one of five sources for help (all of whom I’ve bothered more times than I can remember) – a call which is even more embarrassing than admitting this problem publicly to all of you.
  1. I’m tired of people who can’t carry a tune or barely can sing but seem to do so quite well because of modern technology, passing themselves off as musicians and singers – and convincing the record industry and downloading public this is so.   You can’t croon or play if you are unable to achieve the effect without the help of heavy machinery.giphy
  1. Losing ones hair and figure is not fun nor is working out more than you ever did in your lifetime just to maintain status quo, health or to just look presentable enough to avoid scaring small children. On the other hand, cutting into your face or having fairly recent medical school graduates inject you with poisonous waste products from exotic animals so your skin can seem as taut as the sheets on a new recruit’s army cot seems even worse. And certainly more expensive.
  1. Ronald Reagan was a TERRIBLE president and don’t let anyone reinventing history in the forthcoming election year try to tell you any different.

because a picture of Reagan would make me barf, enjoy this litter of puppies

because a picture of Reagan would make me barf, enjoy this litter of puppies

This all started with a screening I attended of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl this weekend. No one likes a good cancer movie more than me, and certainly there isn’t a guy on the planet who gravitates more to an indie tearjerker – especially one that sold for near record millions at Sundance like such predecessors as Little Miss Sunshine – one of my all-time film festival (or any other kind of festival) favorites.

Now I hope all the filmmakers who made Earl go on to have long and happy careers (Note: They all inevitably will), not to mention most of the actors, who mostly did stellar work (Note #2: You can decide the muggers for yourself when/if you see it) and seem to have been enjoying themselves during filming. But if I have to watch one more hip, young, piece of cinema demographic filled with endless snide, deprecating dialogue bouncing off of colorful, macramé-like images shot through endless gradations of a fisheye/crooked/or skewed lens, I WILL just spend the rest of my life inside, watching my smart TVs, where I vow I WILL call one or more of you to figure out the problems with each and every one of them.

And just know by that time there will be many, many more.

It’s writer-director Wes Anderson time – meaning that’s what 100 minutes of Earl longs to give you via an unfresh and un-new visual and storytelling style– which in turn is unsurprising since WA’s frequent producer, Indian Paintbrush, distributes this one. Yup, it’s Quirky McQuirk-Quirk, Jr. with just a dash of sincere 60s/70s film homage and postmodern emotionless emotion thrown in.

And now I'm exhausted

And now I’m exhausted…

Question: If Odd is the New Norm then what is the New Odd? Would that be Mundane? It brings to mind the master originator of contemporary postmodern, David Lynch, and when he made The Straight Story in 1999, a pretty conventional tale of an older man crossing several states to visit his dying brother. The director publicly admitted that he had gone just as far as he could go with strange in his past so he decided the truly revolutionary strategy for him was to go plain. So just who will step up and assume the mantle of the then mid-career David Lynch? Anyone? Bueller?

Or perhaps let’s put it another way:

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE — will someone make an impression out there doing PLAIN – which these days merely means unadorned and with a lack of tricks???

And not from this guy.. please

And not from this guy.. please

I knew the moment I saw Wes Anderson’s Rushmore 17 years ago and was left dazed and confused – something I have never been when watching a Richard Linklater film, by the way – that I was in trouble. But never did I dream that Mr. Anderson would be responsible for a commercial cottage industry of distanced, strange and bizarre just for strange’s sake.

This, of course, is how I also felt as a very, very young man when everyone was making such a fuss about National Lampoon’s Animal House, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Ghostbusters. I mean, they were fine, all fine – but the notion that they’d spawn endless sequels, reboots and their own cottage industries? Well, no wonder the president of Columbia Pictures didn’t hire me for that film development job in the 1980s – especially when I answered my personal favorite studio film of the previous year was Ordinary People. What an idiot I was. Though Ordinarily People could clearly be rebooted today – albeit with hand drawn animated inserts for the teary parts and with Mark Ruffalo and Parker Posey playing the parents of – the young new Miles Teller?

Coming soon to a theater near you

Coming soon to a theater near you

By the way, I think Miles Teller is among the best of the best in Whiplash and The Spectacular Now. He might yet one day win an Oscar even though his older generational acting doppelganger, Michael Keaton, never has (Note: He should have this past year). I also believe Miley Cyrus is very talented, imaginative and not a flash-in-the-pan, Amy Winehouse was not for a moment ever overrated and that the pastiche conceits of American Horror Story works every bit as well in its way as do the broad and stylized comic turns of both Broad City and Girls do in theirs. (Note: Coincidentally, Me, Earl and the Dying Girl was written by American Horror Story alumn Alfonso Gomez-Rejon).

But sometimes it is the job of each of us, especially those who have no other platform to do so other than in an obscure personal blog, to rail against the popular – to call out what we perceive to be The Emperor’s New Clothes.

pitch-perfect-enough-gif

The gay community, not to mention any number of other un-American US citizens tried unsuccessfully to do this all through the Reagan years of the eighties – when during that president’s stewardship AIDS became a pandemic and tax cuts for the rich and corporate deregulation helped spawn the economic meltdown of the late 2000 naughts we are all still recovering from.

Yes, I am on a soapbox but how else do our collective voices forestall Jurassic Park 33 – which you all may think you want now but, trust me, your grandkids will be cursing you for. Those same kids will also likely be listening to the new 2100-age, as-of-yet unborn Sinatra singing live in each of their rooms through some kind of still undiscovered clone entertainment mechanism.   And by the way, these kids will have all also adopted their own brands of voluntary male pattern baldness for their inevitably overweight selves because certainly by that time they won’t want to look like their grandparents – since at that point they will all be sporting perfect bodies without exercise and be tossing around their long luxurious manes of intact original hair thanks to some new, priceless and certainly voluntary (Note: Though we all know socially it won’t be, not really) medical option.

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

I’m not sure I’ll be around then – yet given the aforementioned advances there is a possibility I could at least still be carted about like an old embryo in a trendy Mason jar. However, I am 100% positive I still won’t get Rushmore, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl or Ronald Reagan.

Generation gap, my eye – the latter of which might actually be all that is left of me. If so, it will still be just as discerning as it ever was despite what the majority is saying.

This, as Martha Stewart says – and you know that SHE will definitely still be around then – is a good thing.