The Week in Review
The Weekend Preview
Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President. (bold mine)
On alternating days this week the “President” went from being Teleprompter-Man to Unhinged Man without missing a beat. If we go back to the Charlottesville tragedy two weeks ago, we have seen Mr. Trump’s “unpredictability” on full display. Shifting from his “statesman” (?) pose, painfully reading from a Teleprompter (with difficulty, always) to his “Rallyboy” (Phoenix) & Twitter-Ranter modes, Trump has certainly sown seeds of concern regarding his mental health and stability.
Even if we ignore Trump’s obvious craziness, we have to take note of the man’s basic indecency. Despite numerous personal appearances and almost daily “messages” on Twitter this “President” never mentioned Heather Heyer, the 17 sailors killed in the Pacific Navy accidents, or John McCain’s brain cancer (while in Phoenix!). In McCain’s case, of course, he attacked the Senator for not voting for that joke of a Health Care bill the Senate tried to foist on the American public. The man is a disgrace.
And now he’s threatening to shut down the government if he doesn’t get his Wall --- which, of course, he promised Mexico would pay for!
2. Dick Gregory
For those of us old enough to remember Dick Gregory --- starting with his appearances on Jack Paar’s Tonight Show --- the man was a pioneer and true trailblazer not only in comedy but also in Civil Rights. Mr. Gregory could meld incisive wit with important social commentary. Watching tributes to Dick Gregory, someone mentioned the “triumvirate” of Gregory, Lenny Bruce, and Mort Sahl being the Godfathers to George Carlin and Richard Pryor, who set the stage for all of the brilliant social/political satirists now populating stages around the world. If you’re not familiar with Dick Gregory, see what you can find on YouTube and be enlightened.
3. Jerry Lewis
Many of my friends think I’m crazy (or French!) because I believe Jerry Lewis was a brilliant talent. Go back and watch “The Bellboy” and “The Nutty Professor,” movies that Lewis wrote, produced, directed, and starred in, and you’ll see that he was not just a human Gumby doing slapstick. Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy (1982) showed an unexpected side of Lewis to many, as a dramatic actor (and if you haven’t seen it, you should) while highlighting the dangers of being famous. Lewis's impact on generations of comedians on the big and small screen (Jim Carrey, Ben Stiller, Larry David, et al) is immeasurable and, in his own way, he was a King of Comedy
1. The Mayweather-McGregor “fight”
Huge amounts of money have been invested in this farce. What is most astounding is how much hype is surrounding this stupidity. From a “Big Picture” perspective, however, in the Age of Trump this makes complete sense, right? If you happened to watch the Phoenix “rally” this week you could see the parallels between that throng and those who are cheering in Las Vegas awaiting the Mayweather-McGregor “fight.” That McGregor is from the UFC world --- the most primitive “sport” imaginable (the real “gladiators,” in the worst sense of that word) --- should make people scratch their heads and simply say, “What?” But UFC is now comparable to WWE entertainment and equally lowbrow, to say the least. While boxing is brutal, it is called “The Sweet Science” for a reason. UFC “fighting” is simply legalized street fighting, isn’t it? Brawling made legal? At any rate, if somehow you’re paying to view this, enjoy it. I’ll just be glad when all the hype ends and we don’t have to listen to the sound and fury, truly signifying nothing.
There are no “big” new releases this weekend but if you want to have some mindless fun, go see Logan Lucky and/or The Hitman’s Bodyguard ! Logan has been referred to as “Redneck Ocean’s 11” because it’s a Steven Soderbergh “heist” film set in West Virginia/North Carolina but it’s actually not. Great performances from Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, and Daniel Craig (with excellent support from Katie Holmes & Riley Keough) make the clever script fun and deserve a look. Hitman is a “paycheck” movie for Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson but if you like action, car chases, and good old-fashioned head-smashing (Atomic Blonde style) this is well worth the Senior Admission or $7.00 Tuesday price I paid to see it.
BLAST Coming Attractions