Tag: Entertainment

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We live in an age of information overload (however muddled by misinformation). With each decade, the potential for individual persons to learn about distant things improves. Books, radio, telephones, automobiles, television, internet, and many other innovations combine to provide access to pictures, stories, and people around planet Earth. Among the most recent technological advances are […]

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The Greatest Showman, Great Communicator 2.0?

 

In “Enter Trump,” John Hinderaker points out that President Trump stayed in the wings with Mariano Rivera while “Hail to the Chief” played. Then Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” filled the room and the President walked out with “The Sandman” who put batters to sleep better than anyone else in baseball history. Put this together with his Jamestown speech and his New Mexico rally and there may be an answer to how you overcome a relentless hostile 24/7 propaganda campaign posing as “news reporting.”

If you know boxing and MMA, and President Trump really does, you know the timing he used. Let the formal government riff end. Cue the announcer and bring up the music, walk up through the crowd as your song hits its stride. Showmanship, high level showmanship:

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Even though the car quickly became the most popular form of transportation in the United States shortly after the introduction of the Ford Model T in 1908, the train would remain an important form of transportation, especially transportation over long distances up through the middle of the twentieth century. As such, trains (both passenger and […]

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Many people find semantics boring. But I never did. An ongoing discussion in Ricochet’s Gamers and Geeks group about the definition of roleplaying games (RPGs) reminds me of my philosophy professor’s lesson on semantics. When trying to clearly identify what a thing is, identifying what it is not can be helpful. Our teacher challenged us […]

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I’m Dumping HBO: Here’s Why

 

We have Direct TV bundled through our local phone company. To keep costs down, I call to see what deals are offered and how I can cut our expenses. Right now, we have a very low rate on movie packages for a year, including HBO. They push HBO all the time. However, I’ve noticed that HBO content has been offering more controversial and explicit material. I’ve flipped through channels of the same old tired movies to “documentaries” and other programming that is actively pushing alternative lifestyles, sex, and drugs. I just read a story that has pushed me to cancel HBO.

Here is the story from Fox News that pushed me over the edge, a show called “Euphoria“:

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Google’s presentation of its impressive new game streaming service began with images of boardgames, arenas, sports stadiums, and concert halls to show how entertainment has provided a social glue throughout history to bring people of different backgrounds and beliefs together in joy. Hence the name, Stadia. “Create + Scale + Connect” are the three goals […]

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Great Character Actors: Ward Bond

 

There’s no real point to this post other than to briefly discuss and celebrate the career of one of the great character actors of all time — Ward Bond (1903-1960). First, I have to admit I don’t know much more about Bond’s life than that presented in his Wikipedia biography.

Let’s see … I did know that he’d played football at the University of Southern California along with John Wayne and that he and Wayne began their acting careers when they and other USC footballers were hired by director John Ford to appear in “Salute,” a 1929 movie about football. I also knew about the drinking and the conservative politics (among other things he was an early and proud member of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals). I didn’t know about the B.S. degree in engineering nor did I know that he suffered from epilepsy.

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A Bright Spot

 

I read Ricochet and Powerline pretty much every day because that is the kind of nerd I am. One thing that comes from such a habit is an eerie feeling of impending doom. Crikey! Things are bad and getting worse! So here is a story that may help restore your faith in the American people, at least a subset of Americans stashed away in the Midwest.

My youngest son is a Marine and doing a three-year stint of recruiting duty. He alerted us to the fact that The President’s Own, the Marine Corps top band, was doing its annual tour in the upper Midwest and that the concerts were free if you reserved a spot. The President’s Own is descended on a direct line from John Phillip Sousa and staffed by professional musicians, who also happen to be Marines. Needless to say, a retired person should know better than to pass up legitimate free entertainment, so Mrs. Chef and I decided to go. The tickets for the show in Minneapolis were sold out by the time I tried to get some but tickets for the show in Mankato were available. Mankato is just an hour and some south, plus we have relatives to visit, so the trip was on.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America look at generic congressional ballot polls showing the Democratic blue wave might not threaten Republicans as much as was previously thought. They also think Laura Ingraham took the wrong tone during an immigration rant on Wednesday night, and they suggest the immigration discussion focus […]

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Eurovision 2019: The Hip Hop Beat of the Mideast Conflict

 

Two weeks ago, the organizers of the Eurovision Song Contest, made a startling announcement: The contest rules which have been in place for six decades should apply … unless, of course, a singer from Israel wins the contest …. and then, well, we need to rethink the matter.

Because an Israeli singer, Netta Barzilai, did in fact win the contest in Lisbon in mid-May, the European broadcasters had a dilemma: Follow the contest’s long-standing rules, or develop and apply a new, special set of rules that only apply to Israel.

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Short Story: The Beast

 

I looked over the case file again before going in. “How’s it look in there?”

“He’s awake. Looks like he has a hangover. Very quiet, though.” I nodded, and the guard released the first door. I opened it and went in, first hearing the click as the door locked behind me, then hearing the click of the lock ahead. I opened the door and went in. The man sitting on the edge of the bed looked up at me, but I saw no signs of aggression.

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Congratulations to the talented Bruno Mars for six Grammy awards last night. His fun, catchy pop hits, accompanied by his fabulous dance moves have propelled him into a force to be reckoned within the highly competitive world of music. Yet, many are downplaying his successful night with disappointing headlines that he beat out “expected” hip […]

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Why Still Pay for Cable?

 

I remember the day vividly…

It was a cold evening in December here in Upstate NY. After a long, hard day at work, I turned on the TV to ESPN to watch some mindless programming, i.e., highlights and analysis. What I witnessed was shocking, and ended up being an enlightenment for me when it comes to entertainment. The screen was filled with the following:

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are cautiously optimistic that Republicans may soon pass a tax cut and while the proposal is not perfect, it moves in the right direction on a number of fronts. They also react to Disney becoming an even more mammoth presence in entertainment with the […]

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Why do you care to see fancy architecture? What is the appeal? The history, you might say. It represents a time long past; of emperors and kings, or of barbaric tribes and silk roads, or some such. For the science, you might say. What incredible engineering was necessary to build these grand structures! For the […]

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Many products and activities are designed so that parents can entertain their kids without being hammered into a stupor in the process. Classic cartoons like Looney Tunes, for example, were carefully designed with senseless violence and silliness for the kids but also adult humor too subtle for kids to understand. Some are so excellent that, well… […]

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America and Marvel, Part II: Reflections of and on Society

 

A few days ago, I talked to my associate Prof. Harmon who raised a fundamental question by way of a preposition. This is not as rare an occurrence as you might think. He asked whether I meant to speak of American cinema as a reflection of American society or a reflection on it. As I said, the movies are our human way of seeing what we’re like, as humans. But what does that mean more clearly?

“Reflections of society” involves the obvious meaning of imitation. What you see on the screen is what the movie-makers saw looking around — America. But this could mean two different things, being that no movie can reflect America as a whole. American movie-makers might offer Americans the images they think will please them — they see what Americans approve, and are governed in their works by that experience. This would mean cinema is a kind of flattery; a barely concealed form of self-congratulation. Every theater-going experience is really an awards ceremony in disguise. There is more than a little truth to that. Do people leave the theaters of this great notion in a soul-searching mood, somewhat chastened by the experience, or rather smug, and even self-important?

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A Confederacy of Dunces

 

I absolutely despise “alternative history” fiction. The distortion of real history is bad enough.

Enter David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and executives at HBO. Time-Warner’s pay channel has commissioned the creators of “Game of Thrones” to create “Confederate,” an alt-history series where the American Civil War ended in a stalemate and the Confederacy is now a 21st Century nation with institutionalized slavery. This is, as liberals would say, “problematic.”

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I just finished watching an episode of Chicago Justice. I have largely enjoyed the Chicago offerings, starting with Fire. I found them delightfully void of overbearing politics and Fire was such a nice break from serial crime drama. If they had led with PD and Justice, I don’t think Wolf’s Chicago based Law & Order […]

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If there was one, I apologize to whoever wrote it, but at least the main page hasn’t mentioned her Grammies dress. Don’t know if she is sincere (I think she is) or merely gambled on what proved to be marketing dynamite, but it did take courage to champion Trumpism in that uber-liberal context. I’ve heard […]

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