EXPECT THE WORST – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I’ve figured out how to mentally and emotionally survive the next three years under Donald Trump. (If there is a God, please let it be only three years!). I’m not proud of the plan I’ve come up with. But I think it will work for me. It is not for the faint of heart. So for some of you, don’t try this at home.

Basically, I’m going to expect the worst from the Federal Government on most fronts. So, I have already mourned the loss of an environmental policy that actually fights climate change. Therefore, I will not bleed again and again as the environmental progress we’ve made is chipped away, bit by bit. At the end of Trump’s term, I’ll be thrilled if we can still safely breathe the air and drink the water, at least in most of the United States.

I have already surrendered the ideal that the U.S. Government will promote any kind of individual rights – civil rights, right to choose, LGBT rights, freedom of speech and press, freedom from deportation, hate crimes and voter suppression, etc. I will look only to the Blue states to protect individual rights, as many states have already promised to do. Selfishly, I live in a Blue state block so I hope to be shielded from the worst of the onslaught against rights that will take place elsewhere in the country.

I know that neither health care nor public schools will get the programs or the financial support I believe they should get. So I won’t freak out at every attempt to destroy both systems. I’ll hope that the inertia of a huge bureaucracy (and the incompetence of the Trump administration) will at least mitigate the radical nature of the changes the Trumpettes want to make. But basically I will assume that for public education and national health insurance plans, the next three years will be like Moses’ time wandering in the desert. (At least this time it should be three years and not forty!)

Conflicts of interest will be huge. Regulations will be nonexistent. Autocratic rhetoric will be rampant. As for foreign policy and the economy, if we don’t end up in a major recession, a nuclear war or under martial law, I’ll consider it a win.

The one area where I can’t hide my head in the sand, is the media. My only hope that we will again function as an enlightened, progressive country, lies with the press/media. We can keep our ideals alive if at least some voices in print, on TV and online remain sources of ‘facts’, ‘truth’ and ‘real news’. With their support we can fight back against the dinosaurs roaming the land trying to destroy everything about us that is decent and good. We will survive to triumph again as long as progressive voices continue to be heard and continue to share ideas and plans for political resistance.

Other than keeping some form of resistance and truth alive, I have no hopes for the Trump years. So I can’t be disappointed or surprised by pretty much anything. I won’t enjoy watching the world going to Hell in a hand basket. But I may be able to weather the experience without having a complete meltdown.

A “NEW” OLD FRIEND IS AN OXYMORON

 

The red finches are back – old or new friends?

We were watching a show on TV last night and someone was about to dump one of his old friends from childhood. His father pointed out that as you get older, “old friends” become fewer, so if you want to still have anyone to talk to as you age, maybe you want to think about that.

“A new ‘old friend'” said dad, “Is an oxymoron.” Like “senseless violence” (when is it sensible?) or “an instant tradition,” you can’t have a new “old friend.”

Other favorite oxymorons —  if it’s “free for just $5,” it costs five dollars. Even if it’s “free” with shipping and handling, it isn’t free. When AT&T offers you a “free phone” and then tacks on $75 in taxes and fees … it’s not free.

Free means “costs no money.” Not “costs less than it would at retail.”

Probably, so is an upgrade that removes half the functionality you used to depend on. The people who run WordPress should ponder that.

THE APRIL 1ST ODDBALL CHALLENGE

Long walk in a very small mall

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: April 1, 2018


And so April arrives. The weather is pleasant, finally. Not exactly cozy, but not so cold. The crocuses are up and the day lilies are pushing their way out of the ground too. Another few weeks and it will REALLY feel like spring.

Watch the black screen! 

The book to read 

Waiting for dinner?

Atop the sofa again …

GARRY ARMSTRONG REVIEWS “THE TEN COMMANDMENTS”

We did our annual viewing of “The Ten Commandments” last night. It’s an annual rite of Spring and Easter Eve here.

We watched on our hinky DVD. The discs and the player are so hinky and old that we had glitches in the climactic scenes as Moses, Moses and the freed slaves begin their bigly Pilgrimage out of Egypt. We could have watched on ABC, but they have a gazillion commercials. Not in the mood for all that advertising time.

The movie

“Ten Commandments” really is a fun event thanks to Cecil B, beginning with his on-stage intro. The curtains seemed to open slower this year. Could be the hinky DVD or maybe the curtains open slower with each passing view. We always appreciate Cecil’s humility. I’m surprised he didn’t include himself as one of the on site contributors to the events in his bigly classic.

There is so much to appreciate if you just let yourself go and enjoy as a guilty pleasure. The humongous cast. Especially the featured players in very small size print as the open credits role. I never spot Clint Walker, who I suspect was one of Rameses’ body guards. Woodrow “Woody” Strode is obvious as the Nubian King who comes to pay tribute to Pharaoh (Sir Cedric Hardwicke). I don’t know who played the sexy Nubian Queen who obviously drew the scorn of Anne Baxter. She was clearly aware that once you go Black you never go back.

Lawrence Dobkin, with a wonderful toupee, has a lot of face time as one of Moses, Moses confidantes. Dobkin, you mavens surely know, was a busy chrome dome in 50’s television. Ditto Michael “Cochise” Ansara as an Egyptian Guard. I don’t think Ansara had any lines, just a few grunts and yells.

I scanned Anne Baxter’s cortege of scantily clad girl friends. No familiar faces but they were bigly bodacious. No “sisters” in Anne’s gang. No wonder she was jealous of the Nubian Queen.

Eddie G. Robinson probably had a blast as the nefarious Dathan, a toga and sandals version of Enrico Bandetti and Johnny Rocco. Eddie G “played” everyone with that smirky smile. He and Vinnie Price were a marvelous villainous duo. Vinnie was the syndicate “John” and Eddie, the pimp.

John Carradine always looks befuddled as Aaron who takes the fall for anything that Moses, Moses screws up.

Debra Paget, the central casting White Indian Princess, is the so fetching and vulnerable damsel who will do ANYTHING for John Derek’s Joshua. ANYTHING. Wonder if she did a Playboy spread for Derek? Debra preceded Ursula Andress, Linda Evans and Bo Derek in Joshua’s photography studio.

For all our jibes, Cecil B’s special effects are still impressive in our CGI era. The Red Sea parting alone is worth a rally of cheers.

Charlton Heston and the 10 commandments

A quickie question: Why weren’t Moses, Moses hands burned when he picked up the two ten commandments plaques after God just burned them into the rocks? Follow up question: Who did the voice of God? This was way before Morgan Freeman’s time.

So let it be written, so let it be done.