The Small Screen

Robin and I watched an excellent movie the other night, entitled “Mank.” It’s a biopic about Herman Mankiewicz, who was a brilliant screenwriter with a strong self-destructive streak. He’s the man who wrote the screenplay, along with Orson Welles, that became “Citizen Kane.” Some people think that “Kane” is the greatest movie … ever.

On Netflix. The superb Gary Oldman plays the title role. ‘Twas two hours well spent. I will watch it again one day soon.

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Thursday night we had a lovely snowfall that began around suppertime. Now when I call a snowfall “lovely,” I am not talking about the kind that catches you out on the highway and turns an ordinary drive into a white-knuckle enterprise. Nor am I referring to the sort that howls around your home and rattles the shutters, obliterating everything beyond two feet in front of your eyes.

Nope. I am talkin’ ’bout the variety that produces those big flakes that drift slowly down in the yellow light of a streetlamp. Where the total accumulation amounts to little more than a quiet inch or two of snow on the streets and sidewalks. Everything gentle.

Just enough to change the way the world looks and sounds.

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From The New Yorker

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What a horrorshow out there in Washington DC. If my father were still alive, I think he might take that old GeHa bolt-action shotgun of his, load it with buckshot, and go hunting Republicans. He never had much love for the way members of that party used to behave, way back before they outed themselves as the spineless and blatant enemies of democracy that they are today.

I wouldn’t let him go, of course. He’d just get himself into a whole lot of trouble, and he was never a very good shot, anyway.

(If you’re reading this, Dad, I love you, but … let’s be straight here … your strengths were many, but marksmanship was not one of them.)

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These days we are living in a world where all manner of ugliness has been unleashed.  Where we find the foulest words coming out of the mouth of the person who lives just up the block, where public servants are threatened for doing their job, where our basest impulses are encouraged. A world where lies so big we should be laughing at them are taken seriously by thousands, perhaps millions. 

It’s fascism of a neo-Mussolinic variety that we thought was dead, but have now found that no one had driven a proper stake through its heart because here it is on the street again in all of its violence and vileness.

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Honor, honesty, truth, courage, compassion … these will win the day once again, but it will not be without a painful struggle.  Now that this assemblage of demons and succubi have been released it will be the very devil to put them back in their box.

 And then … what do we do with this new knowledge we’ve acquired about some of our neighbors and “leaders?”  Those people who have been willing to go along with or enthusiastically support these last four years of monstrous behavior?  Can we ever trust them again?

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