On February 7th of this year, President Donald Trump, having been fully briefed on the danger posed by COVID-19, stepped to the podium in the White House briefing room and warned the American public that the virus was both airborne and lethal.
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For a while there, before things got as unimaginably bad as they’ve gotten, I somewhat enjoyed writing about the unprecedented incompetence, corruption, scandal, and cartoon-like madness of Donald Trump’s chaos presidency. There was mystery and intrigue and reasons galore for me to vent my righteous outrage about the petty, self-obsessed, lizard-brained conman who had ridden a wave of racism, misogyny, ignorance and greed into the most powerful office on earth … and, most compellingly, there was what, on multiple occasions, appeared to be the very real possibility that damning and richly deserved consequences were about to befall him.
It is adorable that Old Me had the capacity for that sort of optimism. I miss him.
Years ago, in my former, pre-dystopian life, I had a blog where I mostly wrote about the sometimes humorous, always chaotic, generally rewarding experience of parenting two children who were, at the time, very young. I was, in the colloquial term of that fancy-free, pre-Trump day and age, a “Daddy Blogger.”
Half a century. Yikes.
Listen, I’m optimistic about how much time I have left, but even if all of this working out and healthy eating pays off, an objective reading of the actuarial chart still suggests that I’d have to squint pretty hard to see the halfway point in my rearview mirror right now. Add to that the fact that each year now passes more quickly than the one that came before it and it’s easy to imagine that whatever time I do have left is going to feel exponentially more brief than the previous five decades.
You would think that, having spent five decades on this planet, and all of that time as an American citizen, and most of my adult life as a Democrat, I would have, by now, purposely drowned in a bathtub any remaining vestiges of my political optimism and idealism, but here we are.
In the wake of this week’s news that Senator Kamala Harris has restructured her campaign to go all-in on Iowa, I feel compelled to make a case for her candidacy … and even if you’re undecided, or you’ve already made up your mind to support someone else, there are good reasons for all of us to keep her in this race.
It seemed like it was going to be so good, didn’t it? That first “Stupid Watergate” movie? The stolen election, the illegitimate president committing obstruction of justice in public over and over, the Large Adult Son tweeting out evidence of collusion with Russia, the American hero poised to take them all down? Man, I really enjoyed those first two acts.
[COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY] WARNING [BECAUSE ANYONE WHO CARES HAS SEEN THE MOVIE BY NOW]: SPOILERS THAT WILL SPOIL ALL OF THE SPOIL-ABLE THINGS IN “AVENGERS: ENDGAME” ARE SPOILED IN THE SPOILER-FILLED REVIEW THAT FOLLOWS (WHICH, BY THE WAY, ALSO IS CHOCK FULL OF SPOILERS).
Alrighty, then. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…
My problem with “Avengers: Endgame” is not that it isn’t well-paced or well-shot, or that the story is not well-conceived, or that the action isn’t amazing, or that the actors didn’t deliver great performances, or that the creators failed to bring to life a comic book in a truly eye-popping and heartfelt fashion. To the contrary, the film nailed it on those counts. In fact, as cinematic achievements go, “Avengers: Endgame” is a visual feast filled with some of the most incredible comic-book action ever committed to film, wrapped around a clever plot that, had it not been for my disappointment with some crucial character decisions, would have left me standing on my chair cheering as the credits rolled. My ability to enjoy the many otherwise excellent elements of this movie, however, was insurmountably handicapped by some storytelling choices to which I could not object more.
And so, without further ado, I give you:
“What ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Did Wrong and How It Could Have Been Awesome, According to Some Random, Old Dude with a Blog Who Has Never Created a Comic Book, Nor a Movie, Nor a Comic-Book Movie, Let Alone the Top-Grossing Comic-Book Movie of All Time.”Read the rest »
When I was much younger and didn’t follow politics closely enough to understand what really was going on, I believed that, regardless of who held the office, the president of the United States was mostly a figurehead — more of a symbol than an actual policymaker with the power to steer the country in one direction or another. Having lived through and followed rather closely the Clinton, Bush, Obama, and, unfortunately, Trump presidencies, and having compared the policy positions of those men with those of the opponents against whom they ran, I know now that I, of course, was wrong — mostly.
Time for a thought exercise. (Don’t worry; it’s an easy one.) Imagine, if you will, that there is a criminal in the White House. Investigators know it. Prosecutors know it. The people closest to him know it. And, of course, the criminal himself knows it.