Under the Fedora: Showers, Culture & Ebert

An amazing thing happened at the Supermarket yesterday.

I was in the 12 items or less line when a family of three were behind me started talking to the cashier. I tend to hear all kinds of things that I store away but when the young lady named Catlin told her friend about her father talking about putting a TV in the shower for her it stopped me cold.

I had to turn and inquire:

“What about water on the set”

“It would be high”

“The water is going to splash off of you and up”

“We’re going to put plexiglass over the screen.”

As my head continued to spin I finally turned to this young 15 year old girl standing with her parents and asked the following question:

“Young lady, can you tell me one thing that is going to be on your television set that is so important, so critical and so unavailable in repeats that it can’t wait for a time when you are not wet and naked in the shower?”

She silenced me in three words:

“Red Sox Games”

How does any New Englander answer that?

It is totally impossible to explain Red Sox fandom to a person from outside New England but let’s put it this way…

When you’ve lived in New England in General and Massachusetts in particular there is one fact that is incontrovertible.

No matter how bad things get in Massachusetts and their pretty bad, when the Red Sox open with two wins in Yankee stadium all is right in the world.

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Totally unrelated, next time you feel sorry for a career minor leaguer just remember if they have at least one day of MLB experience the minimum wage is $67,300.

Don’t tell Elizabeth Warren

 

Weasel Zippers reports on a new FATWA out of Saudi Arabia:

a Saudi cleric, Sheikh Abdullah Da ‘ud, took it a step further on live Arabic TV by insisting that “it is forbidden to be around handsome youth, those beardless boys who have a touch of temptation in them [fitna].”

No word on if this is going to be extended to homely teen boys. I can imagine the teen insults now:

You’re so ugly the ban on “handsome” beardless boys doesn’t apply

Do they have crucifixion for teen bullying in Saudi Arabia?

 

April Fools day I only tweeted out jokes or things I considered funny.

Although some of them were really good a quick read though the lot confirms that my future is not in standup.

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Michael Graham had an event this week to try to figure out what the GOP should do in the state.

The thing is the GOP voter has already figured it out, they left and became powerful elsewhere. Why do you think Massachusetts has lost 5 electoral votes since they took control of the state legislature and never lost it?

If Massachusetts in particular & New England in general doesn’t change they’ll be down to 24 EV or less and then the GOP won’t care if we have power in the state or not.

 

Maryland has decided they want to pass tough guns laws even though Baretta may have reached their limit and is thinking of pulling a magpull on them.

Who Knew Maryland was doing so well they could spare the jobs? Then again they abut DC so since Obamaconomy is all about growing government they might have a few extra jobs to spare

I wonder if CPAC will consider moving as well?

Speaking of CPAC it’s been two weeks since CPAC and I’m still posting video, boy I shot a lot down there.

 

 

The sudden re-definition of acceptable belief concerning Gay Marriage is putting a defacto religious test on all sorts of walks of life. That nobody in the media seems to have a problem with this tells you how disconnected the media has become with the other have of US culture.

In fact we’re already seeing it:

Two homosexual students at George Washington University have announced a coordinated campaign to try to rid the campus of its Catholic chaplain, the GW Hatchet, the school’s independent newspaper reports.

Seniors Damian Legacy and Blake Bergen said they can no longer tolerate what they describe as Father Greg Shaffer’s anti-homosexual and anti-abortion beliefs. They say they are upset that Fr. Shaffer counsels homosexual students to lead a celibate lifestyle.

As this IS the official belief and doctrine of the Catholic Church this complaint if upheld would effective bar Catholic teaching and Catholic chaplains at George Washington University

Well at least Catholic Universities aren’t doing this, I mean you wouldn’t see a Catholic University like Gonzaga for example refuse to recognize the Knights of Columbus or something:

“The Knights of Columbus, by their very nature, is a men’s organization in which only Catholics may participate via membership,” says a letter obtained by The Cardinal Newman Society written by Sue Weitz, Vice President for Student Life. “These criteria are inconsistent with the policy and practice of student organization recognition at Gonzaga University, as well as the University’s commitment to non-discrimination based on certain characteristics, one of which is religion.”

I wonder how much money Gonzaga gets from endowments and donations from Catholics who think it is a Catholic University?

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There are two ways to look at this story, the first is the idea that political correctness has gone crazy

 

There’s a good reason the city is hiring lifeguards that can’t swim. Public pools are largely used by Latino and African-American kids, but most of the lifeguards are white and this creates a huge problem. “The kids in the pool are all either Hispanic or black or whatever, and every lifeguard is white and we don’t like that,” says a Phoenix official quoted in the story. She added that “the kids don’t relate; there’s language issues.”

The second is more incredible, the idea that officials care so little about the lives of their own citizens they are willing to put Latino and black children in danger of death in order to shut them up.

Words can’t adequately describe this.

Finally film critic Roger Ebert has died. There are three movie reviews he did that should be read by everyone. The first is his review of the Passion of the Christ:

This isn’t a movie about performances, although it has powerful ones, or about technique, although it is awesome, or about cinematography (although Caleb Deschanel paints with an artist’s eye), or music (although John Debney supports the content without distracting from it).

It is a film about an idea. An idea that it is necessary to fully comprehend the Passion if Christianity is to make any sense. Gibson has communicated his idea with a singleminded urgency. Many will disagree. Some will agree, but be horrified by the graphic treatment. I myself am no longer religious in the sense that a long-ago altar boy thought he should be, but I can respond to the power of belief whether I agree or not, and when I find it in a film, I must respect it.

The Brown Bunny (the re-cut version):

Chambers might in fairness have explained that I was responding to Gallo calling me a “fat pig” — and, for that matter, since I made that statement I have lost 86 pounds and Gallo is indeed still the director of “The Brown Bunny.”

But he is not the director of the same “Brown Bunny” I saw at Cannes, and the film now plays so differently that I suggest the original Cannes cut be included as part of the eventual DVD, so that viewers can see for themselves how 26 minutes of aggressively pointless and empty footage can sink a potentially successful film.

And Birth of a Nation:

Some of the film’s most objectionable scenes show the Ku Klux Klan riding to the rescue of a white family trapped in a cabin by sexually predatory blacks and their white manipulators. These scenes are credited with the revival of the popularity of the Klan, which was all but extinct when the movie appeared. Watching them today, we are appalled. But audiences in 1915 were witnessing the invention of intercutting in a chase scene. Nothing like it had ever been seen before: Parallel action building to a suspense climax. Do you think they were thinking about blackface? They were thrilled out of their minds.

Today, what they saw for the first time, we cannot see at all. Griffith assembled and perfected the early discoveries of film language, and his cinematic techniques that have influenced the visual strategies of virtually every film made since; they have become so familiar we are not even aware of them. We, on the other hand, are astonished by racist attitudes that were equally invisible to most white audiences in 1915

Politically I disagreed with Ebert a LOT, but in his field, which was movie reviews and analysis he was a master and no amount of disagreements on other subjects will ever change that.

Rest in peace.

There will be no Under the Fedora next week in honor of my 25th Anniversary. Thanks Val.