Sunday Reads: “May the shadow of the moon fall on a world at peace.”

 

The Orange Turd was at it again…

 

 

*Edited to add the first tweet…

Second tweet…

 

Okay, the heel part is bad…and that is what most people seem to be focusing on, but what pissed me off more was the asshole is still condoning the white supremacist. Right?

I wanted to share this artwork with you, by cecile.dormeau .  When I saw it, I immediately identified with the drawing. Many of you may also see yourselves…I tell myself daily, I don’t give a shit about the horrors around me, talking bout this jackass twit above. I avoid the news as much as possible, for the sake of my sanity…and still, I lie awake at night, unable to sleep because…

 

❓❓❓❓#when #happinesssecret #emothoughts #latenightquestion #overthinking #girl #sketchbook #feltpen #doodle #drawing #artwork #illustrator #illustration #instaart

A post shared by Cécile Dormeau (@cecile.dormeau) on

Here is the image if the Instagram does not load properly:

 

I just love Dormeau…follow her, she is fantastic.

 

Just a few more Tweets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enough of that shit…on to something in historic news:

Wreckage of U.S.S. Indianapolis, Lost for 72 Years, Is Found in the Pacific – The New York Times

In the 72 years since the Indianapolis, a United States Navy cruiser, sank about 12 minutes after being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine, the disaster has inspired controversy, dozens of books, a play and a famous scene in “Jaws.”

But the resting place of the Indianapolis had remained a mystery.

That was until Saturday, when a team led by Paul G. Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, announced that it had found unmistakable wreckage of the Indianapolis18,000 feet deep in the Philippine Sea, rekindling memories of the Navy’s worst disaster at sea.

“While our search for the rest of the wreckage will continue, I hope everyone connected to this historic ship will feel some measure of closure at this discovery so long in coming,” Mr. Allen said in a statement on his website.

Mr. Allen’s search expedition released pictures of wreckage on the sea floor, including a telltale piece of hull bearing the number 35 — evidence to the 22 still-living survivors that the ship they frantically escaped in the early hours of July 30, 1945, had finally been found.

The discovery promises to revive interest in the loss of the Indianapolis, the ordeal of the survivors and the controversial court-martial of the ship’s captain, Charles Butler McVay III. Roughly 400 of the 1,196 sailors and Marines onboard died in the initial attack, but those who escaped spent five days floating in shark-infested waters before they were rescued.

Only 316 men were saved after an aviator spotted them by chance.

I associate this wreck with the monologue from the film Jaws…

 

More on the find:

Photos from the wreckage of the Indianapolis, released Saturday by Paul G. Allen. At left, an anchor windlass mechanism; at right, a box that apparently held tools and spare parts and that bears the cruiser’s name. CreditPaul G. Allen

There is a lot more at the link, so please go and read the rest, plus watch the video about the underwater archaeology expedition.

Sad to see this come across my news feed last night:

Dick Gregory, cutting-edge satirist and uncompromising activist, dies at 84 – The Washington Post

The comedian Dick Gregory rose to national prominence in the early 1960s as a black satirist whose audacious style of humor was biting, subversive and topical, mostly centered on current events, politics and above all, racial tensions. His trademark was the searing punchline.

“A Southern liberal?” he once said. “That’s a guy that’ll lynch you from a low tree.” Another: “When I get drunk, I think I’m Polish. One night I got so drunk I moved out of my own neighborhood.” On segregation: “I know the South very well. I spent 20 years there one night.”

Mr. Gregory, 84, died Aug. 19 in Washington. His son, Christian Gregory, announced the death on Mr. Gregory’s official social media accounts. The cause was not reported.

His expert timing and bold humor — often pulled from the day’s headlines — inspired the careers of comedians such as Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor.

Mel Watkins, a journalist and scholar whose books include “On the Real Side: A History of African American Comedy,” said that Mr. Gregory broke the mold among black comedians by employing political satire at a time when audiences expected black performers to do minstrel skits in baggy pants and outsize shoes and use slapstick humor.

“He was the comic that made white America aware of the fact that African American comedians were perfectly capable of satire,” Watkins said. “He was sharp. He was urbane. He smoked a cigarette on stage. He was very calm in demeanor but very outspoken in what he said. … He brought in current political and social issues into his comedy — which was astounding to most white Americans at that time. It was during a time when blacks were considered incapable of doing this.”

Read the rest of that obituary by T. Rees Shapiro, it is a very good article.

More on Dick Gregory:

 

Just a few more links for you, in dump fashion:

‘Las Ramblas cries but it is alive’: Barcelona recovers historic defiance | World news | The Guardian

‘It’s a total mess’: GOP sheriffs reportedly under pressure from Trump to break the law– via Raw Story

White Supremacists Didn’t Show Up In Boston, But These Awesome Signs Did | HuffPost

Sewing Seeds of Hate: Donald Trump’s Unforgivable Disgrace – SPIEGEL ONLINE

Steve Bannon returns to Breitbart: ‘I’ve got my hands back on my weapons’ | US news | The Guardian

 

One last visual feast before we go…there are some marvelous photographs here:

People in the Earliest Photography – These 39 Rare Portrait Pictures That Were Taken From the 1840s ~ vintage everyday

 

Girl wearing a white chemisette, holding long watch on chain, 1845

 

That is only one image for you…please go click on the link to see the others.

One day more:

 

My daughter sent me this tweet that is making the rounds…it is from a newscast in 1979. A reporter is discussing the next solar eclipse, on August 21, 2017…where he hopes to find…a world in which:

“May the shadow of the moon fall on a world at peace.”

 

Don’t know whether to laugh or cry…

I think I will cry.

This is an open thread.

 


Wednesday Reads: Nothing else to say. Oh, and cartoons…of course.

 

 

 

 

Image above from tweet   Aug 13

Remember…about those statues: Robert E. Lee opposed Confederate monuments | PBS NewsHour

“I think it wiser,” the retired military leader wrote about a proposed Gettysburg memorial in 1869, “…not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered.”

Now, about the Orange Asshole…

There is absolutely nothing I can say that would add to the discussion over yesterday’s White Supremacist in Chief press conference…everyone of us who voted for Hillary knew exactly what that asshole stood for…and where this country was going if he was elected. Fucking hell, did she not predict word for word…this shit a year ago?

*Video from Occupied Democrats…but it is the one place to see it edited succinctly.

 

And…I am so fucking sick of the phrase Alt-Right…

Alt-Right, Alt-Left, Antifa: A Glossary of Extremist Language – The New York Times

President Trump angrily denounced the so-called alt-left at a news conference on Tuesday, claiming that the group attacked followers of the so-called alt-right at a white supremacist rally that exploded into deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday.

“What about the ‘alt-left’ that came charging at the, as you say, the ‘alt-right’? Do they have any semblance of guilt?” he asked. There was “blame on both sides,” he said. “I have no doubt about it.”

Both phrases are part of a broad lexicon of far-right terminology that has become important to understanding American politics during the Trump administration. Many of these terms have their roots in movements that are racist, anti-Semitic and sexist.

Here is a brief guide to the meaning of those expressions and others used by white supremacists and far-right extremists.

Look, even the creator of Godwin’s Law is calling it what it is…

 

 

Check out this Facebook post from the Alt National Park Service…and see the comment about calling the Alt-Right out for who they are:

 

So Fuck the “Alt-Right” and call them what they are…Alt-Right=White Supremacists!

 

Okay, real quick, before we get to the cartoons…Banjoville is in the news again. This time it is for a teacher and sexual assault…which happened to a student back when my daughter was in Middle school. Both she and my son know the victim and from what I understand…this arrest did not come as a surprise to them.

Ex-Ga. teacher arrested for having sex with 15-year-old student – NY Daily News

What makes me so disgusted, is how FoxNews presented the case:

“Sex Romp.” Oh give me a break…this is a predator…committing a crime against a child.

What also is disgusting is the amount of people in the community who are actually supporting the alleged criminal in this situation. The prayers being called for this teacher…how she just made a mistake. Reading them is just as gross as the comments on that FoxNews thread. Yes, you can imagine the remarks.

A couple more links for you:

Trump’s manufacturing council includes Elon Musk, Michael Dell and Mark Fields | TechCrunch

Here’s the full list of members on the new manufacturing council:

  • Andrew Liveris, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Bill Brown, Harris Corporation
  • Michael Dell, Dell Technologies
  • John Ferriola, Nucor Corporation
  • Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool Corporation
  • Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company
  • Ken Frazier, Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson
  • Greg Hayes, United Technologies Corp.
  • Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • Jeff Immelt, General Electric
  • Jim Kamsickas, Dana Inc.
  • Klaus Kleinfleld, Arconic
  • Brian Krzanich, Intel Corporation
  • Rich Kyle, The Timken Company
  • Thea Lee, AFL-CIO
  • Mario Longhi, U.S. Steel
  • Denise Morrison, Campbell Soup Company
  • Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing
  • Elon Musk, Tesla
  • Doug Oberhelman, Caterpillar
  • Scott Paul, Alliance for American Manufacturing
  • Kevin Plank, Under Armour
  • Michael Polk, Newell Brands
  • Mark Sutton, International Paper
  • Inge Thulin, 3M
  • Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO
  • Wendel Weeks, Corning

 

Now for the cartoons:

 

 

 

 

 

08/16/2017 Cartoon by Kevin Siers

Cartoon by Kevin Siers -

08/16/2017 Cartoon by John Branch

Cartoon by John Branch -

08/15/2017 Cartoon by John Branch

Cartoon by John Branch -

08/12/2017 Cartoon by John Branch

Cartoon by John Branch -

Oh yeah…forgot about that?

Setting the stage for Charlottesville: 08/16/2017 Cartoon by Jen Sorensen

Cartoon by Jen Sorensen - Setting the stage for Charlottesville

08/15/2017 Cartoon by Nick Anderson

Cartoon by Nick Anderson -

 

08/16/2017 Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson

Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson -

 

 

Nick Anderson cartoon: 08/16/2017 Cartoon by Nick Anderson

Cartoon by Nick Anderson - Nick Anderson cartoon

Clay Bennett editorial cartoon: 08/16/2017 Cartoon by Clay Bennett

Cartoon by Clay Bennett - Clay Bennett editorial cartoon

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump and whiplash: 08/16/2017 Cartoon by Bruce Plante

Cartoon by Bruce Plante - Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump and whiplash

08/16/2017 Cartoon by Scott Stantis

Cartoon by Scott Stantis -

08/16/2017 Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies

Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies -

And on that cartoon, let’s end this post…open thread of course!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sunday Reads: A Brutal Slap Run Down

I should have started this post last night 12 hours ago, when we were eating dinner together as a family and my daughter told us the news that a white nationalist terrorist ran down some anti-protesters at the KKK/NeoNazi rally in Charlottesville…killing one. There was video of the terrorist act…obviously deliberate, my daughter said…and the tRump still had not made a statement condemning the killing.

I couldn’t start this post around midnight, when the migraine that started at dinner was in full force. I could feel the blood pumping into my brain and seemingly out each hair follicle. It was the most painful migraine I’ve had in a long time…

I started to write this post at 6:30 on Sunday morning, I still have not been able to view any news, tweets, Facebook post or videos of the vehicle being driven into a group of anti-hate protesters. Fear, disgust and something I cannot even describe in words is keeping me from reading about what happened in Charlottesville. I’m sure there is a # hashtag now trending. I don’t want to know what it is…

The display on Friday night with Nazis sans hoods carrying tiki torches was enough to make me realize that the white nationalist rally on Saturday would be dangerous. I think when my daughter told us that one of those hateful bastards…actually just one of tRump’s base, killed and injured people so violently…it only validated my feelings that the situation is far more out of control than many claim.

I didn’t live through the war for Civil Rights and the freedoms that never came to many people of color in places of the United States. (Even though the majority of SCOTUS believes/believed that it has…) I know things will get worse. But I am concerned that this time it will become more obnoxious and over-saturated in its violence. Like filters on Instagram used to enhance pictures, only people won’t be using apps to manipulate the images of their hatred. The audacity of the violent terrorist acts will speak for themselves.

Now here we are, on the verge of a literal nuclear catastrophe on one side of the globe….as well as, government sanctioned racism/bigotry/sexism and a war of hate on nuclear proportions here on our own soil…with the most explosive and incendiary president in this country’s history.

Well…it is almost 7:30, and I should read the news and find links to share with you all. Let’s do it in a link dump, of updates and tweets. It may not be much, don’t know if my mental capacity will be able to withstand the onslaught of “ultra violence” this morning.

Here we go:

“Criminal Homicide?” Uh…terrorist act? Hate crime?

This is the letter I received from Richard Cohen, President of the Southern Poverty Law Center last night, many of you probably got the same message, but I thought it would be a good starting point:

After the deadly clash between hundreds of white supremacists and counter-protesters today in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Trump called for Americans to “come together.”

 

He used similar words in his victory speech in the wee hours of Nov. 9, even as white supremacists began to celebrate.

 

The problem is that Trump’s words are hollow.

 

His calls for the country to unite will continue to be meaningless as long he fails to take responsibility for his role in dividing it – something he conspicuously avoided again during his press conference today.

 

“It’s been going on for a long time,” Trump said. “Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama.”

 

It’s true. America has had racial strife since its founding.

 

But from the day he came down the escalator in the tower that bears his name, Trump consciously poured fuel on the fire. He ran a racist, xenophobic campaign that energized the radical right – that “unearthed some demons,” as U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford put it.

 

The day after Trump was elected, hate incidents soared. Many of them were carried out in his name.

 

Neo-Nazi David Duke, the former Klan leader who endorsed Trump during his campaign, had this to say about the deadly violence in Charlottesville:

 

“This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take our country back. We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said he’s going to take our country back.”

 

Duke’s words reflect the views of a white nationalist movement that sees Trump as its champion.

 

Let there be no mistake: This is a fascist movement that threatens not only extremist violence but our democracy as well.

 

All the while, Trump continues to employ as his chief strategist the former head of Breitbart News, Stephen Bannon, who has proudly boasted that he provided “the platform for the alt-right” – a fancy term for white supremacy in the digital age.

 

All the while, the Trump administration continues to play down the threat of white supremacist violence.

 

Trump calls for the country to unite. But he is still ducking responsibility for his role in dividing it.

 

Until he apologizes and takes responsibility for the damage he has caused and enacts policies to mend the wounds in our country, his words will continue to ring hollow.

The article below has been updated this morning at 8:30 EDT:

Pictured: Woman killed at anti-white supremacist protest | Daily Mail Online

  • Heyer, a paralegal with the Miller Law Group PC in Virginia, was a native of Greene County and graduated from William Monroe High School.
  • Heather Heyer, 32, was protesting hate-fueled white supremacist march in Charlottesville on Saturday when James Alex Fields Jr, of Maumee, Ohio, allegedly plowed his vehicle into the crowd, killing her
  • ‘She died doing what was right. My heart is broken, but I am forever proud of her,’ Heyer’s mother said
  • Heyer, a paralegal and native of Greene County was passionate about social justice and her final public Facebook post, dated from 2016, read: ‘If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention’
  • Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas said a total of 35 people had been treated for injuries after incident  
  • Police arrested Fields Jr, 20, who was charged with second-degree murder Saturday night 
  • The Dodge Challenger was filmed ramming into a line of people, then reversing quickly away from the scene 
  • FBI and federal prosecutors announced that they have opened up a civil rights investigation into incident 
  • The Unite the Right rally was held at Emancipation Park and hundreds were seen stomping through the city
  • A local state of emergency was declared around 11am and the rally was determined an unlawful assembly 
  • State police helicopter covering the rally crashed near a golf course within city limits, killing two officers  

The woman who was mowed down and killed at an anti-fascist rally in Virginia has been identified as Heather Heyer.

Heyer, 32, was protesting hate-fueled white supremacist march in Charlottesville on Saturday when James Alex Fields Jr, of Maumee, Ohio, allegedly plowed his vehicle into the crowd, killing her and injuring 19 others.

Fields Jr, who is being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, has since been charged with second-degree murder.

[…]

Video of the Dodge Challenger, which is registered to Fields, showed the driver accelerating into the crowd throwing bodies into the air as people scream before reversing at high speed.

According to the jail’s superintendent, Martin Kumer, Fields was also booked on suspicion of malicious wounding, failure to stop for an accident involving a death, and hit and run. Kumer said Fields is being held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

Three additional arrests have also been made related to the rally; Troy Dunigan, 21, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, arrested and charged with disorderly conduct; Jacob L. Smith, 21, of Louisa, Virginia, arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault and battery, and James M. O’Brien, 44, of Gainesville, Florida, arrested and charged with carrying a concealed handgun.

The deadly crash came after violent clashes erupted as hundreds of white supremacists including armed militias marched into Charlottesville sparking violent confrontations with counter-protesters.

Police cleared the scene with tear gas but the violence continued. Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas said a total of 35 people had been treated for injuries, 14 of those were from individual engagements on the streets.

Horrifying video from the scene of the attack showed the silver muscle car speeding towards a group of fleeing anti-fascist protesters.

Another clip showed the vehicle ramming into the crowd at high speed and victims crying out in pain as they desperately sought medical help.

Witnesses said the car was traveling up to 40mph when it hit and reversed before ramming into the crowd again and speeding off with someone’s shoe attached to its bumper.

[…]

In addition to the dozens of people hurt in the accident, at least 15 people were already being treated for their injures during other destructive clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters at Emancipation Park before the controversial Unite the Right rally.

The day was met with more tragedy, when a Virginia State Police helicopter, carrying two officers, crashed inside city limits and thick black smoke was seen rising from behind the trees.

Lieutenant H Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, Virginia, was piloting the aircraft. The other occupant was Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, Virginia. Police confirmed that they both died at the scene.

There were no other injuries and the cause of the crash remains under investigation at this time by state police, the FFA and NTSB.

 

I urge you to go to the link and look at the pictures and read the rest of the article, especially the disgusting quotes by Richard Spencer.

 

Some Twitter Reactions:

 

 

 

I am just seeing these responses…and I feel like I want to throw up.

This is the tweet that @bluegal is referring to:

That link above goes to this: run over car protesters meme – Google Search

 

 

The AP is finally using the term “White Supremacist” :

Disturbing stuff there….and here:

Check out that thread of tweets…supposedly from the murderers Facebook page.

 

And I will end with this little nugget of shit:

No word yet as to just which turd fuck senior White House Official said that…stay tuned.

This is an open thread…


Wednesday Reads: Eclipse From Reality…Hump Day Cartoons

Cartoon by MStreeter -

08/09/2017 Cartoon by MStreeter

 

The upcoming total eclipse is big news here in Georgia. I am sure it is making the rounds of top stories in states where folks will observe the complete and total event. In Banjoville they are closing the school:

Solar eclipse 2017: Some schools close on Aug. 21, traffic plans during eclipse | AL.com

Expect heavy traffic along the path of totality for the Aug. 21 complete solar eclipse. (Contributed photo/Department of Transportation)

Areas along the prime viewing path of the Aug. 21 complete solar eclipse are bracing for an influx of visitors and traffic.

In Nashville, the city’s school board has opted to close on the day of the eclipse. According to the Tennessean, more than 400 teachers and 100 bus drivers were scheduled to be off that day, with only a half-day possible for high schoolers and no pre-kindergarten. School officials cited other concerns in deciding to close, including heavy traffic.

Dubbed the “Great American Eclipse,” the main viewing path – or path of totality – for the complete solar eclipse spans from Oregon to South Carolina and includes portions of Tennessee. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park part of the viewing path and has several activities planned on that day.

My daughter works for the Georgia DNR, at Vogel State Park, and they are expecting to close the park because they will have reached full capacity within an hour after the park opens on Aug. 21st.

Concerns over traffic tie ups are growing as the eclipse nears. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, some 200 million people – a little less than 2/3 of the nation’s population – live within a day’s drive of the path of the total eclipse.

The traffic will not be the only effect this eclipse brings…5 surprising effects the total solar eclipse will have besides darkness

Subtle differences may be noticed in areas that only experience a partial solar eclipse, but much bigger changes will take place along the narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina that see a total eclipse of the sun.

1. 360-degree sunrise/sunset

While everyone’s attention will be focused on the sky, looking down can reveal another scene that not many have experienced.

Spectators that look at the horizon during totality will witness the colors of sunrise and sunset around them in every direction.

This 360-degree sunset effect is caused by the light from the sun in areas outside of the path of totality and only lasts as long as the face of the sun is covered by the moon.

2. Stars and planets

As the moon causes day to turn to night, the darkness will reveal the stars in the sky as well as a few planets.

People shouldn’t waste too much time looking for planets and constellations since many of these can be seen at night during different parts of the year. However, the eclipse will make it easy to spot Mercury, a planet that can be tricky to spot due to its close proximity to the sun.

I hope many of you get a chance to see these…Number 4 on the list has a historical record to match…

The celestial alignment will also reveal the sun’s corona, the area of hot gas the surrounds the sun.

A few lucky spectators may even be fortunate enough to see a meteor streak across the sky during the brief period of darkness.

3. Light pollution and city lights

Those watching the total solar eclipse from a city, parking lot or street corner may still see some light during the brief period of totality.

This light will not be from the sun, but rather streetlights that automatically turn on when it gets dark outside.

These automatic lights will not ruin the eclipse, but it may make it more difficult to spot planets and stars in the sky during totality.

4. Temperature change

Not only will an eclipse cause the environment to appear different, but also feel different.

“When sunlight fades at twilight, we always notice how things start to cool down. The same is true for the temporary dimming during a total solar eclipse,” NASA said.

Depending on factors such as the time of year, cloud cover and the length of totality, the air temperature can drop more than 20 degrees F.

During a solar eclipse in 1834, the air temperature in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania reportedly dropped by 28 degrees F.

Astronomers aren’t expecting the temperature to drop quite that much, but people may still feel the temperature drop by around 10 degrees F.

Here is a graph of the temperature change from a total eclipse in Zambia, 2001;Credit/Dr. Mitzi Adams NASA/MSFC:

temp change eclipse

The fifth thing you can see is something called Shadow Snakes. Now this one is a bit more tricky to witness, and does not always occur:

5. Shadow snakes

One of the rare phenomenon to look for during the total solar eclipse is something called shadow bands or shadow snakes.

“Shadow bands are thin, wavy lines of alternating light and dark that can be seen moving and undulating in parallel on plain-colored surfaces immediately before and after a total solar eclipse,” NASA said.

Some people also call these shadow snakes since their wavy motion can look like snakes slithering on the ground.

The article says if you want to see them, it is best to put a piece of white poster board or sheet on the ground and keep a close eye on the lookout for them. There is a video of the Shadow Snakes at the link, so please go and take a look at that…it took me a few minutes to realize what I was watching, until I noticed the faded glimpse of shadows streaking across the white portion of the screen. Very faint and difficult to see. It is almost like looking at those popular 3-d posters from back in the day…you would have to stare into them a long time and then pow…you saw it.

 

I have been actively avoiding the news the past week and a half. First because my aunt and family were in town, then it became a natural defense mechanism. The few times I did come out to see what was going on, stories of nuclear catastrophe caught my attention:

Trump Threatens ‘Fire and Fury’ Against North Korea if It Endangers U.S. – The New York Times

 President Trump threatened on Tuesday to unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea if it endangered the United States, as tensions with the isolated and impoverished nuclear-armed state escalated into perhaps the most serious foreign policy challenge yet of his administration.

In chilling language that evoked the horror of a nuclear exchange, Mr. Trump sought to deter North Korea from any actions that would put Americans at risk. But it was not clear what specifically would cross his line. Administration officials have said that a pre-emptive military strike, while a last resort, is among the options they have made available to the president.

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Mr. Trump told reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., where he is spending much of the month on a working vacation. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

What the fuck? It made me welcome this bloody story out of Australia:

 

If you can’t see that video from Time magazine…here’s two articles for ya…

Flesh-Eating Sea Fleas Feast on Teen’s Feet at Australian Beach – Motherboard

It’s not shark jaws you have to be worried about, but microscopic pincers.

If you’re terrified of the ocean because of sharks, you should reconsider—the real thing you need to be afraid of is invisible.

As reported by Australian news outlet The Age, 16-year-old Sam Kanizay decided to cool off after a difficult football practice on Saturday night by taking a dip in the water at the Dendy Street Beach in southeastern Australia. When he came out, his legs were dripping with blood.

Sam Kanizay’s father, Jarrod Kanizay, told Australian news outletnews.com.au that his son didn’t know he was bleeding until he stepped out of the water.

“He went back to his shoes and what he found was blood on his legs. As soon as we wiped them down, they kept bleeding,” he said. “There was a massive pool of blood on the floor [at the hospital].”

But the culprit wasn’t sharks, stingrays, or any of the usual suspects in marine attacks on humans.

Tiny ‘meat-loving’ marine creatures ‘eat’ teenager’s legs at Melbourne beach | Australia news | The Guardian

Experts left stunned by possible sea lice bites after Sam Kanizay emerged from the beach at Brighton with severe bleeding

[…]

University of New South Wales marine invertebrates expert, Alistair Poore, said he had never seen a case like it.

Poore told Guardian Australia the biting must have been caused by a marine invertebrate, most likely sea lice. But he said a large number of sea lice would be needed to cause such extensive bleeding.

“If it is sea lice, then it is a pretty dramatic example of it,” Poore said.

He said often beachgoers mistook stinging from the remnants of jellyfish tentacles with bites. But Poore said the bleeding in this case appeared too severe for that scenario.

[…]

The next night, Kanizay went back to the beach with a pool net full of meat and captured the creatures he said were responsible.

“What is really clear is these little things really love meat,” he said of a video showing the bugs in a tray of water devouring chunks of meat.

Now that is some scary shit.

Forget all about Marabunta…

 

Now for some cartoons.

08/09/2017 Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies

Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies -

 

Clay Bennett editorial cartoon: 08/09/2017 Cartoon by Clay Bennett

Cartoon by Clay Bennett - Clay Bennett editorial cartoon

Cartoonist Gary Varvel: Trump vacation Tweets: 08/09/2017 Cartoon by Gary Varvel

Cartoon by Gary Varvel - Cartoonist Gary Varvel: Trump vacation Tweets

08/09/2017 Cartoon by David Horsey

Cartoon by David Horsey -

08/02/2017 Cartoon by David Horsey

Cartoon by David Horsey -

08/09/2017 Cartoon by Kevin Siers

Cartoon by Kevin Siers -

08/09/2017 Cartoon by Joe Heller

Cartoon by Joe Heller -

08/05/2017 Cartoon by Joel Pett

Cartoon by Joel Pett -

Playing the Country Card: 08/09/2017 Cartoon by Jen Sorensen

Cartoon by Jen Sorensen - Playing the Country Card

Judge Jury and Executioner in the Philippines War on Drugs: 08/09/2017 Cartoon by Angelo Lopez

Cartoon by Angelo Lopez - Judge Jury and Executioner in the Philippines War on Drugs

Working Vacation: 08/09/2017 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Working Vacation

This is an open thread….


Wednesday Reads: Dr. Doctor… Hump Day Cartoons

Sometimes, you just shouldn’t get outta bed.

White House officials tricked by email prankster – CNNPolitics.com

A self-described “email prankster” in the UK fooled a number of White House officials into thinking he was other officials, including an episode where he convinced the White House official tasked with cyber security that he was Jared Kushner and received that official’s private email address unsolicited.

“Tom, we are arranging a bit of a soirée towards the end of August,” the fake Jared Kushner on an Outlook account wrote to the official White House email account of Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert. “It would be great if you could make it, I promise food of at least comparible (sic) quality to that which we ate in Iraq. Should be a great evening.”
Bossert wrote back: “Thanks, Jared. With a promise like that, I can’t refuse. Also, if you ever need it, my personal email is” (redacted).
Bossert did not respond to CNN’s request for comment; the email prankster said he was surprised Bossert responded given his expertise. The emails were shared with CNN by the email prankster.
White House officials acknowledged the incidents and said they were taking the matter seriously. “We take all cyber related issues very seriously and are looking into these incidents further,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told CNN.
Cyber experts consulted by CNN say the incidents are illustrative of how vulnerable Americans — even those in the highest reaches of power — remain to the potential threat of spear-phishing, the process through which officials are duped by hackers, and expose government computers and systems to various cyber threats. No one in any of these situations clicked any links making them vulnerable, and the prankster appears motivated by mischief not anything more malignant, so the severity of these White House pranks should not be overstated. But spear-phishers often begin the process by falsely posing as a friend or associate before asking the victim to take further action.
Okay then…be sure to click on the link and read the rest of the other prank emails that fooled the tRump ship of fools. However, it is funny to note that the younger son…saw through the joke.
Well, my family is in town…and I know there is more shit hitting fan, but I don’t know the details, so here are your cartoons:

 

08/01/2017 Cartoon by Kevin Siers

Cartoon by Kevin Siers -

08/01/2017 Cartoon by David Horsey

Cartoon by David Horsey -

08/01/2017 Cartoon by John Branch

Cartoon by John Branch -

Scaramucci out: 08/01/2017 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Scaramucci out

08/01/2017 Cartoon by Nick Anderson

Cartoon by Nick Anderson -

Smooch of Death for the Mooch: 08/01/2017 Cartoon by J.D. Crowe

Cartoon by J.D. Crowe - Smooch of Death for the Mooch

07/31/2017 Cartoon by J.D. Crowe

Cartoon by J.D. Crowe -

08/01/2017 Cartoon by Tom Stiglich

Cartoon by Tom Stiglich -

07/31/2017 Cartoon by Tom Stiglich

Cartoon by Tom Stiglich -

Clay Bennett editorial cartoon: 08/01/2017 Cartoon by Clay Bennett

Cartoon by Clay Bennett - Clay Bennett editorial cartoon

 

Clay Bennett editorial cartoon: 07/30/2017 Cartoon by Clay Bennett

Cartoon by Clay Bennett - Clay Bennett editorial cartoon

Imploding: 08/01/2017 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Imploding

Flaming Scaramucci: 07/30/2017 Cartoon by Rob Rogers

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Flaming Scaramucci

08/01/2017 Cartoon by Bob Gorrell

Cartoon by Bob Gorrell -

07/31/2017 Cartoon by Bob Gorrell

Cartoon by Bob Gorrell -

07/31/2017 Cartoon by Matt Wuerker

Cartoon by Matt Wuerker -

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And with that last one….I close this out.

This is an open thread.

 


Sunday Reads: Fractured Faction Tales

Sometimes you come across an article that hits home…it reaches out to you, states something obvious or maybe significant in a literal way, that you connect with…you find yourself completely immersed in the writing. Hey, it could be a passage written with such clarity and precision, the idea put forth hits you dramatically and changes your way of thinking. A paradigm shift.

Well, this first link I have for you did not do any of that for me…it probably won’t do any of that for you…it pretty much reiterates the same shit we have been talking about for years on this blog. Dakinikat and Boston Boomer have gone to great lengths to bring up most of the same…if not the exact, points. But I found it interesting to see this op/ed by Michael Goldfarb in The Guardian, highlight many topics of disgust that has been fodder for those who read Sky Dancing. I encourage you to read the whole piece: Is the American republic built to withstand a malevolent president? | Michael Goldfarb | Opinion | The Guardian

The principle of common good underpins the constitution. Donald Trump is gleefully shredding that ideal

he Trump administration, having passed the six-month milestone in office, kicked off the next phase of his presidency with an explosion of crazy, spread over the past seven days. Like sweeps week on The Apprentice, every day saw some headline-grabbing event to garner ratings. It started with leaks against his former bosom buddy, attorney general, Jeff Sessions. President Trump, “sources” said, was planning to fire him. It moved on to a speech to the Boy Scouts of America jamboree, where Trump told the story of a property developer who lost a fortune and was lurking at a New York party with the “hottest people”. Later, there was a tweet announcement banning transgender people from the military.

This explosion of crazy concluded with his new White House chief of communications, Anthony Scaramucci, calling the New Yorker’s political correspondent Ryan Lizza to trash virtually everyone in the White House. He compared himself positively to the president’s dark lord and special adviser, Stephen Bannon: “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock. I’m not trying to build my own brand off the fucking strength of the president.”

Doesn’t Scaramucci, or “the Mooch”, as he was known on Wall Street, have a mother? Won’t she be ashamed to see him talking like that in public? The week ended with a big name fired: White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus.

And up on Capitol Hill things weren’t a lot less calm. There was the closed-door interrogation of Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, on Russian connections to the Trump campaign. Then came the Republican Senate majority’s inability to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, featuring John McCain voting yes, to debate the bill, then no, to kill it stone dead – until The Apprenticegoes into reruns.

All of these events, and a dozen more I don’t have space to mention, create a picture of utter chaos across the American government. Trump has ridden roughshod over not just the customs and norms of presidential behaviour but also basic standards of human decency.

Oh…and let us just pause to remember that the events Golfarb mentions above are things that transpired in the last week! But back to the article…

In doing so, he has forced journalists and the institutions they write for to change their basic standards of acceptable language. We use the words crazy and stupid now in our reports because some of the behaviour and actions of Trump and his team are crazy and stupid. We debate whether to refer to the Trump administration or the Trump regime, with all the pejorative connotations that word carries. The New York Times is still the Grey Lady, but it has to print “sucking his own cock”, because that’s what the president’s top communications official said.

People on the outside wonder where the famous checks and balances are that have made American democracy function for more than 230 years? They are still there and, up to a point, still working. For example, presidential power was checked when Trump’s ban on travellers from seven Muslim nations was halted by the courts. The ban is now mired in a legal process.

However, what the madness, abnormality or whatever you want to call it emanating from the White House does draw attention to is the real problem in American politics – the Republicans are no longer a political party but a political faction, a much more dangerous thing.

Goldfarb continues his discussion with Madison and the dangers of factions….where James Madison,

…defined faction as “a number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community”.

As y’all know, this shit has been coming on for some time within the Republican Party.

…the US has, over the past quarter of a century, become ungovernable at the national level. Sadly, Madison, having identified the threat in the 18th century “that either a minority or a majority” might become a faction, was unable to think of a solution to the problem that might work in the 21st. The minority in the country – the Republican faction – is now the majority in both houses of Congress and in the state governments. It holds the White House, although neither of the last two Republican presidents gained office while winning a majority of the popular vote.

Trump’s overall approval ratings may be historically low but his support in the Republican faction remains remarkably high. And for a reason – Trump has delivered for them. He appointed Neil Gorsuch, a hard-right judge, to the seat on the supreme court the Republican faction wouldn’t allow President Obama to fill. Immigration from Mexico has slowed dramatically. And in a wave of executive orders, he overturned many Obama-era environmental rules and reinstated the Dakota pipeline project. What’s more, Trump daily drives liberals absolutely crazy with his politically incorrect tweets. The base of the Republican faction, roughly 36% of the population, will stay loyal to him.

Ultimately, the supreme constitutional checks on presidential behaviour remain article 1, section 3: impeachment, or the 25th Amendment (which deals with succession). If the Republicans were a political party as they were at the time of Watergate, that would have to be a consideration for Trump and his team. It might moderate the administration’s behaviour if there were a genuine threat of being constitutionally removed from office. But there isn’t. The Republicans are a faction and the president is one of them.

So Trump carries on in office, unchecked and unbalanced. A majority of Americans, and most of the planet, watch and say, this can’t go on. But it can. For a while, at least.

Like I said, please go read the whole article at the link, it goes more into Madison and Jefferson and a few other things.

And while you think about all that, keep this in mind: Suffolk County Cops’ Ex-Chief In Prison For Police Brutality | Crooks and Liars

Yeah, that bunch of cops who cheered and hollered in agreement when tRump advocated police brutality and violence…their ex-chief is in prison for committing those same kinds of crimes.

For a quick review on yesterday’s tRump twit’s Twitter activities: ‘Is this your airing of grievances?‘: The internet mocks Trump’s out-of-the-blue ‘Festivus’ gripes

 

In other political news, Georgia paper says race between black and white candidates ‘could feel like Beyonce vs. Taylor Swift’

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution on Saturday said the Democratic race for governor in Georgia could be like a battle between pop stars Beyoncé and Taylor Swift.

The publication explained that Georgia state Rep. Stacey Abrams — who is black — could be facing off with state Rep. Stacey Evans — who is white.

“If certain parties have their way, next year’s Democratic race for governor in Georgia could have the feel of a feud between Beyoncé and Taylor Swift,” Atlanta-Journal Constitution wrote.

But the analogy is drawing some rebuke on social media.

“Delete this and try again,” one reader wrote on Twitter.

“Whose idea was this? Maybe let’s not simplify complex women candidates into pop stars? Don’t remember y’all reducing Perdue to a pop star,” said another.

“There is so much wrong with this tweet: it’s condescending/sexist, it reduces serious issues to entertainment, & it fails to inform. Stop,” a third person added.

“A race for governor that could feel like Beyoncé vs. Taylor Swift? What kind of professional journalist floated this trash out there? SMH,” remarked a fourth.

The comparison to Beyoncé, at least, does have some significance. As the Atlanta-Journal Constitution explains, the recently-formed political group “Get in Formation” is hoping to rally black women behind Abrams. The group takes it name from Beyoncé’s hit “Formation.”

If you want to read the original article that started this latest…I can’t even think of something sarcastic or witty to call it, controversy…take a look here: A Democratic race for governor that could feel like Beyonce vs. Taylor Swift | Political Insider blog

If certain parties have their way, next year’s Democratic race for governor in Georgia could have the feel of a feud between Beyoncé and Taylor Swift.

Or so I have been informed. I have let my attention to music industry politics slide since Simon & Garfunkel broke up.

What I do know is that state Rep. Stacey Abrams is attempting a profound shift in how Democratic primaries are won in Georgia, which in turn could have broad implications for biracial dynamics within the party.

Abrams, an Atlanta lawmaker and former House minority leader, is one of two major candidates on the Democratic side of the 2018 contest. The other is state Rep. Stacey Evans of Smyrna. Both are lawyers. Both have admirable, by-the-bootstraps biographies.

Abrams is black. Evans is white.

In politics, you often lead with candidates who look like the voters you need – but don’t have. This is one reason why Republicans give prominent roles to African-Americans within their camp.

Likewise, Evans fits the pattern of recent Democratic attempts to return to power by appealing to white, independent voters – even though a strong majority of the party’s voters and activists are black. It is a general election strategy.

A video that accompanied the launch of Evans’ campaign, entitled “16 Homes,” told of Evans’ mobile-home upbringing in far north Georgia. It set many Democratic mouths to watering.

“She has a powerful message,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said of Evans early this month, via Twitter.

This is the thinking that Abrams wants to subvert, with a nationalized campaign that unites white Democratic progressives with African-American women. The latter are the most reliable demographic within the Democratic party, nationally and in Georgia.

“I’m not going to shy away from the fact that people of color have to be centered in my campaign, because I know I can talk to people of color and white people at the same time, and they’re not going to recoil from one another,” Abrams said Thursday on Hellbent, a feminist podcast.

“We have to stop recruiting the candidates that look like what we wish we had, and we have to recruit candidates that look like where we are,” she said.

Enter Beyoncé. Or at least a slice of her lyrics.

“Get in Formation” is the effort by three national, black-oriented political organizations that debuted earlier this month – with the goal of rallying black women behind Abrams. The Beyoncé reference was no accident. “Formation” was a hit from last year’s “Lemonade” album.

“It honors the power and solidarity of black women. It definitely resonated with black women, but also with all types of women,” explained Sharline Chiang, a spokeswoman for San Francisco-based Democracy in Color, one of the three groups behind the project.

Read the rest at the link….if you want to.

I thought this next remembrance, brought to you by Josh Marshall at TPM was a nice bit of escapism. Maybe it is because Marshall and I are the same age…and we both loved Leslie Nielsen? Leslie Nielsen and the Meaning of Life – Talking Points Memo

Leslie Nielsen died 6 1/2 years ago at the age of 84, a respectable degree of longevity after a working life as an actor that stretched over 60 years. I started thinking about him today for no particular reason: I was paddling around the Internet, reading one thing and then another and then happened upon Leslie Nielsen. For what it’s worth, my browsing history shows a series of searches and pages tied to the firing of Reince Priebus followed by stuff about Leslie Nielsen. How I got from one to the other I do not know.

Leslie Nielsen, Forbidden Planet, 1956.

Today I poked a bit deeper into something I’ve thought about here and there many times. Nielsen began his career in 1950 during the so-called ‘Television Golden Age’. According to his Wikipedia page he appeared in 46 live TV episodes in 1950 alone. His first big success was in the 1956 sci-fi flick Forbidden Planet. From 1950 to 1980 he worked more or less in this vein as a successful TV and movie actor. But if his career had ended in 1980 he would be indistinguishable from and largely immemorable as one of hundreds or thousands of mid-grade actors and actresses who populated film and television over many years but who few of us today would remember or have any need to remember.

But in 1980 Nielsen appeared as Dr. Rumack, his first ever comedic role, in Airplane!, a wildly successful spoof of the then popular transportation disaster movie genre. (Nielsen had also appeared in one of the classics of the genre, 1972’s Poseidon Adventure.) The Dr. Rumack character was an early iteration of the deadpan/ridiculous Det. Frank Drebin character Nielsen went on to play in the Police Squad!/Naked Gun franchise, the character he is now known for.

If you’re my age or older you’re old enough to have some memory of the pre-Airplane! Nielsen, which I think is at least marginally necessary to fully get the magic of the characters he played for the next 30 years of his life. It wasn’t just that Nielsen wasn’t a comedy actor. Nielsen specialized in a genre of mid-20th century American male screen roles from which all traces of comedy or irony were systematically removed through some chemical process in pre-production or earlier. He was the straightest of straight men. That’s what made his comedic roles – playing against that type or rather playing the same type in a world suddenly revealed as absurd – just magic.

Oh please, go and read that one in full. It is a nice tribute to Leslie Nielsen. It also makes a nice contrast to my last link for you today. When you think of movies, and the kind of “entertainment” that is put into production today…it isn’t really too far off from the Idiocracy film within a film,  “Ass” :

 

Narrator: The #1 movie in America was called “Ass.” And that’s all it was for 90 minutes. It won eight Oscars that year, including best screenplay.

 

 

Last link: How to Make a Movie Out of Anything — Even a Mindless Phone Game – The New York Times

Hollywood is aggressively adapting material that doesn’t have a narrative or even any characters. But not all intellectual property is created equal.

In 2013, a movie producer named Tripp Vinson was thumbing through Variety when he stumbled upon a confounding item: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, a pair of writers and directors, were working on something called ‘‘The Lego Movie.’’ Vinson was baffled. ‘‘I had no idea where they were going to go with Legos,’’ he says. ‘‘There’s no character; no narrative; no theme. Nothing.’’

A sharply handsome man in his mid-40s, Vinson has worked in Hollywood for 14 years, racking up 19 producing credits. He’s a journeyman producer who specializes in popcorn flicks; over all, his films have an average Rotten Tomatoes score of 30 (out of 100). Vinson may not win Oscars, but he knows how to get his projects into theaters. He has survived and advanced in Hollywood by quickly adapting to trends — what’s selling and what’s falling out of fashion. His filmography reads like a map of Hollywood’s shifting sands.

Vinson has produced a movie starring Pierce Brosnan as an aging master thief (‘‘After the Sunset,’’ 2004); a movie about Coast Guard swimmers with Kevin Costner (‘‘The Guardian,’’ 2006); and a psychological thriller with Jim Carrey (‘‘The Number 23,’’ 2007). He has made two movies about exorcisms, one with Laura Linney (‘‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose,’’ 2005), the other with Anthony Hopkins (‘‘The Rite,’’ 2011); a thriller about a psychic who helps the F.B.I. hunt down a serial killer, also with Hopkins (‘‘Solace,’’ 2015); and a romantic comedy with Anna Faris and Chris Evans, the guy who plays Captain America (‘‘What’s Your Number,’’ 2011). He has even made a dance-­competition movie (‘‘Battle of the Year,’’ 2013).

Since Vinson got into the business, something has changed in Hollywood. More and more movies are developed from intellectual property: already existing stories or universes or characters that have a built-in fan base. Vinson thinks it started in 2007, when the Writers Guild went on strike. ‘‘Before the strike, the studios were each making 20-­something movies a year,’’ he says. ‘‘Back then, you could get a thriller made. After the strike, they cut back dramatically on the number of films they made. It became all about I.P.’’ — intellectual property. With fewer bets to place, the studios became more cautious. ‘‘The way to cut through the noise is hitching yourself onto something customers have some exposure to already,’’ he says. ‘‘Something familiar. You’re not starting from scratch. If you’re going to work in the studio system, you better have a really big I.P. behind you.’’

Ugh….oh boy.

Vinson didn’t see how Legos could be the basis of a feature-­length film. He watched in disbelief as the movie raked in $69 million its opening weekend, grossed almost $470 million worldwide and was almost universally lauded by critics. ‘‘It was magical and fresh and really profitable,’’ he recalls. The movie was clever, telling the story of a Lego construction worker caught in a battle between good and evil, which is eventually revealed to be all in the imagination of a boy playing with his controlling father’s Lego set.

Vinson started looking for undervalued I.P. to guide his next movie. He wanted something an audience would already be familiar with, something that was culturally ubiquitous but could be made new again. He started his search in the public domain. He had succeeded with his Jules Verne and Brothers Grimm adaptations, and besides, old material like that had the advantage of being free. Nothing caught his eye.

Next he started looking around for a big-name console video game to acquire. Perhaps something in the mold of ‘‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’’ or the ‘‘Resident Evil’’ series, which has made well over a billion dollars at the box office. ‘‘The video-­game companies can be really hard,’’ Vinson says. ‘‘Ubisoft and Activision have their own in-house film-­development arms so people decide to spend their money on games and hardware as the vs248h monitor for gaming. A lot of the others are hard to get rights from. They feel like Hollywood can’t figure out how to make a good video-­game title. Why give it to them to have them screw it up? That can hurt game sales.’’ Not only were the companies difficult to bargain with, only a few titles even made sense for an adaptation. Vinson’s analysis revealed that megaproperties like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto sold tens of millions of units per installment, but after those top titles, sales dropped to levels that would make an adaptation risky.

So Vinson started looking at mobile games. A cursory investigation revealed that the very best selling mobile games didn’t move tens of millions or even a hundred million units — they could reach into the billions. He happened upon Fruit Ninja, a wildly popular series of games that, since its debut in 2010, has been downloaded well over a billion times. A million people play Fruit Ninja per day. He contacted Half­brick, the company that developed the game.

As usual…it is all about the money…and sales.

 Vinson found the mobile-­game developers at Half­brick to be more approachable than their console counterparts. They’re usually smaller, younger companies. They see Hollywood as a good opportunity to sell more games. And, most important, they aren’t protective of already existing characters and plotlines — generally because they don’t have any to speak of.

Vinson worked out a ‘‘shopping agreement’’ with Half­brick, a contract that gave him exclusive film rights to Fruit Ninja for a limited period so that he could recruit writers and then take a proposal to the studios. If the project sold, Half­brick would then negotiate a deal to sell the film rights to the studio, a deal that, based on the ubiquity of the game, could run up into the high six figures. Vinson then realized that he was faced with a formidable predicament. There are no protagonists or antagonists in Fruit Ninja. There’s no mythology. No moral. The game play involves staring at a wall as pineapples, watermelons, kiwis, apples and oranges fly up into view. The only thing you do is swipe at the fruit with your finger, cutting them in half. Sometimes there are bombs, and you’re not supposed to swipe at those. ‘‘There’s a fun game to play, but that’s it,’’ Vinson says. ‘‘The challenge was: What the [expletive] am I going to do with Fruit Ninja?’’

Have some fruit on the screen farting? Hey, it will win an Oscar for best screenplay!

This trend toward I.P.-­based movies has been profound. In 1996, of the top 20 grossing films, nine were live-­action movies based on wholly original screenplays. In 2016, just one of the top 20 grossing movies, ‘‘La La Land,’’ fit that bill. Just about everything else was part of the Marvel universe or the DC Comics universe or the ‘‘Harry Potter’’ universe or the ‘‘Star Wars’’ universe or the ‘‘Star Trek’’ universe or the fifth Jason Bourne film or the third ‘‘Kung Fu Panda’’ or a super-­high-­tech remake of ‘‘Jungle Book.’’ Just outside the top 20, there was a remake of ‘‘Ghostbusters’’ and yet another version of ‘‘Tarzan.’’

This year there is more of the same — the third installment of ‘‘XXX,’’ the Smurfs, ‘‘Pirates of the Caribbean’’ (a franchise based on a theme-park ride), a King Kong movie, Thor, the sequel to ‘‘Blade Runner,’’ a remake of ‘‘Beauty and the Beast,’’ ‘‘CHIPS,’’ ‘‘Power Rangers,’’ another ‘‘Star Wars’’ movie, a ‘‘Guardians of the Galaxy’’ sequel, two Stephen King adaptations (‘‘The Dark Tower’’ and ‘‘It’’), ‘‘Wonder Woman,’’ ‘‘The Mummy,’’ ‘‘The War for the Planet of the Apes,’’ a retelling of Agatha Christie’s ‘‘Murder on the Orient Express.’’ Every stripe of intellectual property is represented: from comic books to best sellers; from the public domain to unnervingly recent source material like ‘‘Baywatch.’’

This environment has fostered, in some producers, a sense of desperation. When I asked Vinson if the changes his business has undergone over the past decade have inspired him to panic, he told me: ‘‘Absolutely. It’s forced me to look at everything as though it could be I.P.’’ Increasingly, that means non­narrative I.P.: stuff with big followings but no stories, or even characters, already cooked in.

‘‘The Angry Birds Movie,’’ which was based on a mobile game, was released in 2016 and took in over $349 million worldwide. The game itself consisted of flinging birds at pigs, but it at least provided its writer, Jon Vitti, with protagonists (the birds) and antagonists (the pigs). There was also Adam Sandler’s 2015 movie ‘‘Pixels,’’ a disaster story that united characters from classic 1980s arcade games. Allspark, a subsidiary of Hasbro, has scored two big successes with a pair of movies based on the Ouija board. The first installment, ‘‘Ouija,’’ cost an estimated $5 million to make but managed to earn more than $103 million in the worldwide box office; the sequel, ‘‘Ouija: Origin of Evil,’’ made $81 million on a reported $9 million budget.

Fucking Hell! You know what? I will stick with TCM and other classic movies via DVD.

This summer’s most prominent example of non­narrative I.P. is ‘‘The Emoji Movie,’’ a film that dramatizes the imaginary lives of emojis. The film’s director and co-­writer, Tony Leondis, told me that ‘‘The Emoji Movie’’ actually began with a quest for some other form of I.P. About two years ago, he was thinking about what his next project should be, and he asked himself: ‘‘What are the newest and hottest toys out there in the marketplace?’’ He looked down at his phone and realized they were right there in front of him: emojis. Everyone uses them.

Unlike board games, emojis don’t have rules to play with. Or mythology. They don’t even exist in the real world. So Leondis created a universe for them: The emojis live inside your phone and are on call 24/7, waiting to be sent to your screen when needed. Each has to make the same expression every time they’re summoned. He created a character, Gene, a ‘‘Meh’’ emoji who is born multi­expressional, violating the rules of the emoji universe. ‘‘The idea that each emoji has one expression only was the key to figuring out the whole story,’’ Leondis told me. ‘‘Then we asked ourselves about the world: What do the apps look like to emojis? What happens when you delete an app? And what would happen if emojis were wreaking havoc inside other apps than their own?’’ Leondis told me that production moved along at a breakneck pace — it was two years from pitch to release. A lot of studios, he told me, think ‘‘The Emoji Movie’’ has the potential to be the beginning of a multifilm franchise.

 

And if you think I am kidding about the Ass movie and this Fruit Ninja thing, take a look at who is writing the script for Vinson:

The pair came up with a reality competition show called ‘‘Green Card.’’ The concept was simple: An ultra-­nerdy American guy is set up with beautiful contestants flown in from all over the globe, who compete for his affection. The winner receives a green card. (The State Department wouldn’t allow it.) There were other near misses for the duo in the reality field — a competition called ‘‘Jocks vs. Nerds’’ that a producer told them MTV liked so much it had considered putting the show on TV five days a week. (The show never aired.) They developed a hybrid scripted-­reality series called ‘‘Anchorwoman’’ (tag line: ‘‘Would you trust a bikini model to deliver the news?’’) that Fox canceled after its first night.

[…]

When they were approached by Vinson, the first thing they did was download Fruit Ninja. Lavin called Damiani after playing for a while. They agreed: There was nothing there. Just fruit. Their work on projects like ‘‘Flat Stanley,’’ though, had shown them that having less to work with provided a greater degree of creative freedom. Lavin and Damiani spent hours discussing the essence of Fruit Ninja. ‘‘For me, it is the messiness, the immediate release of destroying fruit,’’ Damiani told me. For Lavin, the soul of the game is the feeling of ‘‘frenzy.’’ ‘‘There’s like a 60-­second version of it where you can see how fast you can kill fruit,’’ he says, which ‘‘puts your brain in this weird, bizarre focused place.’’ As he sees it: ‘‘This would be the movie to go see stoned. I can imagine going in and seeing it in 3-D — just imagine a 20-foot-high pineapple monster. That shot of yellow and orange. I’d go see this movie a dozen times.’’

Okay, if you think this is some kind of joke…this is a fucking article published in The New York Times.

While they were developing the movie, Damiani and Lavin were also attending career days at elementary schools in the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood. Sometimes they went to four classes a day. These gave them the opportunity to do some informal market research. Every time they brought up the script they were working on, they found the same reaction. The kids would ‘‘put their hand in the air, raise a finger and start swiping like crazy.’’ Lavin told me, ‘‘Whatever movie we wrote, it had to be an extension of that energy, that desire to tear up everything in your path and take charge.’’

Early on, Lavin and Damiani struggled to find a narrative entry point. They started with the premise that there was a magic book and an evil fruit overlord. Vinson rejected that idea. Their next concept involved scientific experiments on fruit gone wrong. Vinson didn’t like that either. Eventually, a working narrative emerged: Every couple of hundred years, a comet flies by Earth, leaving in its wake a parasite that descends on a farm and infects the fruit. The infected fruit then search for a human host. The only thing keeping humanity from certain doom is a secret society of ninjas who kill the fruit and rescue the hosts by administering the ‘‘anti-­fruit.’’ The produce-­slaying saviors are recruited from the population based on their skill with the Fruit Ninja game. With civilization in imminent danger, a cadre of unlikely heroes materializes — a little boy, a college-­age girl, two average guys. The action starts after each of the story’s heroes returns home after a horrible day and plays Fruit Ninja to relieve some stress. Damiani told me this aligns with the Fruit Ninja brand: ‘‘Anybody can play. Anybody can be a master.’’

Ah…a movie for anybody…from a game for anybody, that comes from Hollywood…a place in a city where dreams are made of…La La Land…which is part of a bigger nation run by a lunatic. Fuck us all to hell! Why can’t some Fruit Ninjas just go and take care of that monster orange bastard hanging out in the White House? They can do away with the rest of his sad sacks of melon balls and apple twats. Now that…that is a movie I would gladly pay to see.

This is an open thread.ga


Wednesday Reads: tRump’s Good Deeds

Cartoon by Glen Baxter

tRump continues to carry on his “good deeds” today… Trump Says Transgender People Will Not Be Allowed in the Military via The New York Times although more than a distraction from the monstrosity of yesterday’s best, great, good dead  deed. (Wow, mighty slip of the fingers there, eh?)

Health care bill: Senate votes on full Obamacare repeal – CNNPolitics.com

The Senate’s marathon debate to dismantle Obamacare enters Day Two on Wednesday, as Republican senators continue painstaking deliberations to reach an ultimate agreement on health care reform.

The first order of business Wednesday afternoon: senators will consider as an amendment an Obamacare repeal bill — without an immediate replacement — that Congress passed in 2015 and was vetoed by former President Barack Obama.
Well, lets take a look at some of the Twitter responses from the last 24 hours:

 

 

 

 

As we look at cartoons today, we can appreciate the drawings of medieval beasties:

 

 

 

 

Now for the cartoons. This one from Pat Bagley is gold…its gold!

Jamboree: 07/26/2017 Cartoon by Greg Kearney

Cartoon by Greg Kearney - Jamboree

Flout’s honor: 07/26/2017 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Flout's honor

Repeal and replace: 07/25/2017 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Repeal and replace

07/26/2017 Cartoon by Charlie Daniel

Cartoon by Charlie Daniel -

COMEDIAN-IN-CHIEF: 07/26/2017 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - COMEDIAN-IN-CHIEF

tRUMP LOYALTY: 07/25/2017 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - tRUMP LOYALTY

PARDON ME: 07/21/2017 Cartoon by Deb Milbrath

Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - PARDON ME

 

07/26/2017 Cartoon by Bob Gorrell

Cartoon by Bob Gorrell -

From a right “leaning” cartoonist:

07/26/2017 Cartoon by Nate Beeler

Cartoon by Nate Beeler -

Nate Beeler was always ragging on Obama…and he was fucking hateful to Hillary. I wonder how he feels now.

07/25/2017 Cartoon by Nate Beeler

Cartoon by Nate Beeler -

07/26/2017 Cartoon by David Horsey

Cartoon by David Horsey -

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump and the Boy Scouts: 07/26/2017 Cartoon by Bruce Plante

Cartoon by Bruce Plante - Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump and the Boy Scouts

07/26/2017 Cartoon by MStreeter

Cartoon by MStreeter -

07/26/2017 Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies

Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies -

Seems a lot of cartoonist had the same idea…

Table the Label: 07/26/2017 Cartoon by Jen Sorensen

Cartoon by Jen Sorensen - Table the Label

 

Hopefully you can see the Facebook embeds:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is an open thread…