Episode #768: Vague To The Point
First Broadcast: 6/19/17
On June 14, 2017, a man named James T. Hodgkinson shot and wounded four people at a baseball field in Virginia, one of whom was Republican Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana. Hodgkinson died from wounds he received when security guards returned his fire at the scene. While his exact motivation may never be known, Hodgkinson was reported to have asked Republican Representative Ron DeSantis of Florida, who was also on the field, whether the people playing that day were Democrats or Republicans; he had a history of making anti-Republican remarks on social media; and he was a supporter of Bernie Sanders' campaign for President in 2016. Predictably, right-wing media (and The New York Times, of all places) seized on these facts to paint Hodgkinson's attack as the most severe symptom of what they regard as an alleged wave of leftist violence--which is ridiculous when you consider that Sanders has supported bans of automatic weapons and of high-capacity magazines; Sanders himself is a proponent of non-violent protest; and mass shootings in this country have been perpetrated on and by people of many different political persuasions. Some even want to use this shooting as an excuse to tell those opposed to Donald Trump's policies to stop their criticism of him--but I don't think I need to tell you that one idiot's violence shouldn't stop legitimate non-violent opposition to an incompetent and hurtful President, especially one who deserves to be impeached as much as Trump. Here's hoping things to get too much worse before that happens.
Episode #769: About Bob
First Broadcast: 7/3/17 (Episode mistakenly shown in widescreen aspect ratio by MNN.)
The third season of "Twin Peaks," a.k.a. "Twin Peaks: The Return" is perhaps the most fascinating program on television right now, and Episode 8 is the most jaw-dropping episode so far, the "pure heroin version of David Lynch," as it were. Was it "the most artistically ambitious hour of narrative fiction in the history of television"? Is it "one of the greatest hours of television I’ve ever seen"? Is there "nothing to point to in the history of television that helps describe exactly what this episode attempts"? The answer to all of the above is probably "YES," and then some. To paraphrase what François Truffaut said about 71-year-old Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy ("Frenzy is a young man's picture"), Episode 8 of this season of "Twin Peaks," directed by 71-year-old David Lynch, does not feel like the work of senior citizen coasting on one's reputation, but instead surges with imagery and sound in a unique way that literally "forces your brain to work differently." I feel privileged to be able to watch these episodes in real time for the first time, experiencing them as an entirely new event in both television and cinematic history. There's no reason why you should deprive yourself of the same pleasure.
Episode #770: Floppy-Haired Buffoon
First Broadcast: 7/17/17
To paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy, if you receive an email proposing a meeting between you and an emissary bearing material from the Russian government intended to aid your father's election to the Presidency of the United States, and your response is "I love it," you might be a criminal. This story is still developing faster than a plummeting approval rating, so I'll pose this question: Is the downfall of Donald Trump and/or Junior worse than the downfall of Fredo from the Godfather movies? I'm sure we won't be done with this any time soon.
Episode #771: Losing Track
First Broadcast: 7/24/17
There have been so many developments in the unfolding connections between Donald Trump and Russia that it's pretty easy to get confused about who did what and when. Our confusing President isn't helping things when he talks either. However, one thing seems to be constant: "It was always about the money." Stay focused, and let's hope the Grifter-in-Chief and his friends don't fuck up the country before they're thrown out of power.