19 Years

19 years since I and several thousand of my closest friends walked across a bridge from downtown Washington D.C. into Arlington, Va. and ended up seeking a beer and comfort with my Dear Old Dad—who was in Crystal City and therefore felt the walls shake in the conference room he was in—in the most frazzled feeling neighborhood bar I have ever experienced.

I’ve never been one to agree with those who believe these attacks were actually an inside job. I think hubris and stupid on the parts of Dubya and Cheney and their people was what allowed those 19 shits to commandeer and weaponize those planes. Leadership’s inability to “connect the dots” was cited many times to explain it away, as was a “lack of imagination.” I think Dubya and his crew believed that the Republican party had vanquished The Clinton and therefore did not have to listen to their boogey-boogey talk about some swarthy spectre plotting a devastating attack from some cave bunker.

One would think that the events of 19 years ago would have generally adjusted our leaders’ outlook toward the proactive squint, that it would cause an incoming administration to heed and respect the dire warnings of the outgoing, regardless of politics, regardless of that floating feeling of victory and the rush to plant one’s ass behind the Resolute desk.

One would think.

The author who’s had it most right this year is Steve Benen in The Impostors: How Republicans Quit Governing and Seized American Politics. Read that, and you will truly understand the landscape on which we traverse today.

Many were lost at once that day, as many are lost in slow motion through the marathon attack we face now. May better times be near.

A Few Quick Movie Recommendations

I have been doing pretty well lately at picking the movies, so I thought I’d list a few here that I’ve seen lately that are highly recommended. All of them are better than Birdman.

Top Five: This 2014 Chris Rock film might have fallen below the average movie fan’s radar, but it is a must-see. Rock plays comic and movie star Andre Allen as he is interviewed in a day-in-the-life piece by Times reporter Chelsea Brown, played by Rosario Dawson. This film is smart, hilarious, and it will have you tossing around your own “top five” list. I believe I’ve mentioned this film in a previous post. It is worth mention again.

Joker: Origin stories for the most enigmatic super-villains of all have been fast and loose since the character never really had such a backstory in the comics. Hangover director Todd Phillips and actor Joaquin Phoenix may have created the best such story yet. A satisfying yet subtle story arc for the guy whose brand of evil everyone hates to love.

The Nice Guys: Russell Crow and Ryan Gosling schlemiel and schlimazel it up as would-be PIs who get entangled in a fiendish, twisted plot that has them way in over their heads. This 2016 “neo-noir” effort is just about worth seeing to watch Margaret Qualley, daughter of Andie MacDowell, who would next go to play a pivotal character in Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Knives Out: I most recently witnessed Knives Out, a true, effective whodunnit led by Daniel Craig but with countless surprising notables including Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Christopher Plummer FTW. No matter how many steps ahead you think you are of this 2019 mystery, you’ll only see this plot zooming out to pass you hard. Apparently writer/director Rian Johnson should stick to more earthly works.

Gloomy Day

The sky was gloomy today, maybe our effect from the hurricane, or is it hurricanes, which reflected the mood I was in. It’s Jacob Blake. Then it’s that kid murdering people in the street who walked right by the cops with his long-gun in tow, and they just waved at him. Isn’t that astonishing? The kid just murdered two people, then he walks right by the cops, and they’re like, how yinz doin’?

And the Republican National Nightmare marched on for night three. It’s got to be some kind of day when former Notre Dame Coach Lou Holt questions your spirituality, but that’s the kind of day Joe Biden had today.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany hasn’t been in the White House Press Room in 13 days. But she showed up to advocate for Trump’ reelection today, one of many highly inappropriate appearances that I hope will be ripe for investigation by Congress.

Philadelphia Eagles Sportsball Player Jack Brewer ended up speaking, though this was in some question as he is under investigation for insider trading. Nothing weird about that.

And there were more lies and more propaganda, and I yelled at my TV a lot.

Most of the day though, I’ve been thinking about the horror show that happened in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the cop who grabbed the black man’s shirt and shot him seven times in the back; the white teenager striding down the street with an AK-47, murdering people and then skipping past the police officers, likely because for some reason a caucasian person with an assault weapon doesn’t ring any bells for 5-0.

What is wrong with us?