Category: Uncategorized

A Big Funeral For Me, But Not For Thee…

A Big Funeral For Me, But Not For Thee…

So here’s an interesting one. John Lewis, a Civil Rights hero in the 1960’s and a fairly generic liberal politician ever since- he boycotted Dubya’s inauguration in 2000- died earlier this month. The double standard of celebrating his life in full, as though COVID-lockdown culture didn’t exist, comes as no surprise by now.

Very revealing, though, was this exchange on Twitter, between a man who’s father had recently died, and a news anchor defending the double standard. The news anchor explains to the feudal serf that since his father “was not John Lewis”, he did not deserve the lockdown exemption, like Lewis did.
No photo description available.

This exchange angered a lot of people, but not me. Almost since the beginning of this whole thing, I’ve said that this “New (Ab)normal” was largely, if not exclusively, an excuse for those in power to grab more of it. The problem is, when a rightwing nutjob like myself says it, I’m just reading from my script. When those who do the elites’ bidding say it, however, their words carries a lot more weight. So thank you, Mr. Newsman, for proving my point!

In plain English, either…

A) We’re dealing with a horrible plague, and we ALL need to dramatically alter life to do our part, no exceptions.
B) We’re NOT dealing with a horrible plague, and after making a few minor adjustments, we ALL need to go back to living our lives.

The bottom line is that the sooner more people see through all of this, the better off all of us will be. Well…ALMOST all of us….

Rolling Stone Magazine (and I) Reflect On Beatles Breakup, 50 Years Later


The Beatles original lineup of John, Paul, George, Ringo, and Harold Nixon (Richard’s older brother)
I always think it’s interesting when people look back in wonder at “The Beatles” as this amazing supernova, when the “supernova” part of it actually ended long before they did.  By the summer of 1966, they were annoyed by the whole thing, took a vacation, came back, and were never really the same.  No more touring, hardly even any live appearances, started taking themselves WAY too seriously, and just got…kind of weird.  Even if they were as commercially successful as ever- someday, maybe I’ll “get” why Sergeant Pepper was this otherworldly masterpiece, outside of producer George Martin doing most of the hard work– the nostalgia that Boomers reference almost all took place between 1963 and 1966.  By 1970, it already seemed like they had been separate entities for a while, and had they “stayed together”, it probably would have been mostly in name, anyway.  Also, the whole notion that Phil Spector “ruined” Let It Be only became conventional wisdom, once it was revealed that he was a psychopathic nutcase.
Putting all that aside, the details were still interesting, how the breakup unraveled and caught everyone off guard.  Another interesting sidenote is they did collaborate from time to time with each other (ie.  It rarely gets mentioned because none of it was very inspired, probably a good indication that breaking up was for the best.

The MyPillow Fight- What It Was Really About

Send this picture to someone in 2015, and they’d probably wonder why Reality TV Star Donald Trump is standing next to the President.

In these trying times, it’s nice that we can still take a short break from harrowing events, to fight online about things that are absolutely meaningless. At yesterday’s press conference, Mike Lindell, better known as “The MyPillow Guy”, was given a high profile opportunity to address the nation from The White House. Normally, this sentence might seem absolutely surreal, if not for the fact that Donald Trump- DONALD TRUMP- is The President of The United States! Anyway, at a White House press conference with millions and millions of viewers, Mr. Lindell announced that his company was making 50,000 masks, a very necessary step in the fight against the coronavirus. In addition to this announcement, he threw in some very nice words about God and Donald Trump himself, although it’s unclear if the President was able to make the distinction. But I digress.

Anyone who spends too much time online could see what was coming a mile away. On one side, there would be snickering about the spectacle of watching a guy from late night infomercials, addressing the nation during a very serious crisis. On the other side, there would be people countering against these “elites”, daring to mock a man for showing his faith, while contributing his company’s services to the only cause that seems to matter these days. Of course, very little of this was actually about Mike Lindell at all. He was merely a proxy for the ideological battle that has been going on in this country for decades now, and particularly since Donald Trump was elected. Throw in the fact that our sports leagues have been taken away from us- hopefully not for too much longer- and THIS has become the nation’s pastime.

Without diving further into this issue- I mean, seriously, there are far bigger things to worry about- what Mr. Lindell is doing is a net positive for the country, and we need industry to step up with these types of efforts as much as possible. But for those who are not MAGA types, let alone those who identify with “The Resistance”, the presentation seemed tacky. We’re in the middle of a life or death situation, and this guy is giving a speech that could could have easily been saved for the Republican National Convention! Surely there are other companies out there who have also reallocated their resources to “fight the good fight”, but those companies are not headed by big-time Trump supporters, so they won’t be getting valuable prime airtime that could have been put to much better use. Some liberals even suggested that Lindell used his time in the spotlight to cynically promote his company, to which conservatives defiantly responded by saying they would be sure to make purchases from MyPillow. None of this resolves anything, of course, other than confirming that Mike Lindell really does know how to advertise.

All in all, though, the whole thing provided a somewhat entertaining, if unintentional, distraction for us. And regardless of what you think of Donald Trump, Mike Lindell, or the MyPillow product itself, we could all use a little bit of entertainment these days, whenever and wherever we can find it.

Killed By Too Much Death – How The Inevitable Game of Thrones Remake Can Avoid The Same Mistakes

Killed By Too Much Death – How The Inevitable Game of Thrones Remake Can Avoid The Same Mistakes

Okay, yes- the headline is clickbait.  Obviously there will be no remake any time soon- certainly not in this generation- no matter how many people sign that petition.  And death has been a cornerstone of the franchise since the very first scene of the very first episode of the very first season.  But we are now less than 24 hours away from the series finale, and quite honestly, it feels like an episode of “Deal or No Deal” where the main choices are between the suitcase with $4 or $8.  So how did we get here?

The Law Of Diminished Returns

All the significant deaths in the show’s earlier history had a purpose greater than the characters themselves.  Ned Stark was sold to us as the main character, and he was around just long enough for us to be invested in this deception.  He was the first McGuffin Protagonist in television history.  When he lost his head, the viewers lost their minds.  But as it turned out, this is what really kicked the show into another gear.  The truth, in hindsight, is that Ned really wasn’t long for the GOT world- the survivors in this reality are cunning, devious, one step of the game, etc. etc..  Ned was as straight a shooter (or swordsman) as it gets.  Had he somehow lived, we probably would have grown increasingly tired of his “honorable” behavior.

This is even more true of Robb Stark and Katlyn Tully Stark.  Robb was a pretty boy who thought he had it all figured out.  Katlyn offered wisdom such as, “Never trust a Greyjoy!” -right in front of Roose Bolton, no less.  Their deaths took place in arguably the most famous scene in GOT history- aka “The Red Wedding”- which is really saying something.  Given that Arya was right outside the gates when it all happened, it really had us invested in the tragic fate of the Starks, as well as the horror felt inside and outside of the wedding.  These are characters (along with Robb’s wife) who were far more important in death than in life.

Things started to turn, ever so slightly, in season 4.  Yes, we ALL wanted Joffrey dead.  As the most unique hybrid of spoiled brat and ruthless tyrant ever depicted onscreen, his mere presence sickened us.  But he was a worthy antagonist for the series- almost TOO worthy- which was never recaptured once he left.  And it’s true that his death produced one of the most interesting subplots of the series for a while, leading up Tyrion’s trial and outburst.  But once that simmered down, King’s Landing just didn’t seem quite as interesting- especially after Tywin Lannister got taken down, as well.  (I couldn’t have been the only one hoping for an Arya vs Tywin face-off down the road.)  Basically, Cersei was left to carry the whole thing on her own, which she did a great job of.  But then the Tyrells were killed off, along with the High Sparrow.  These were Cersei’s greatest opponents, and they all deserved a better fate (from a storyline point of view) than, “Cersei blew them all up.”  And now, in addition to that, Cersai and Jamie are gone!  And what was all that about her getting pregnant?  What was the point in that, other than Tyrian to remind us, for the trillionth time, that Cersei isn’t a monster because she loves her children??  Calgon, take me away!


The ever sprawling subplots were always a potential weakness in Game of Thrones, as the universe expanded beyond The Wall, King’s Landing, and Winterfell.  (I’m excluding Daenerys’s journey, as that was basically a separate universe with only one thing happening at a time, prior to Tyrion and Varys arriving.)  I can only speak for myself, but I had trouble keeping track of it.  By the time I finally figured most of it out, it turned out not to matter, because someone was always getting killed and changing direction of the whole thing.  The Veil, The Iron Born, Dorne, Stannis Baratheon, The White Walkers featuring The Night King on Lead Guitar…where the hell did that all take us?  How does ANY of that fit in to where we ended up, with King’s Landing laid to rubble?  Back in season 3, I complained there was too much “Khaleesi” (I didn’t know her real name, since Jorah kept calling her that).  In hindsight, they should have spent MORE time on her, as her descent into madness was the main thing that ended up mattering.  Along the way, they could’ve mixed in some Sansa, Arya, and Jon- the TRUE protagonists of the show.  (Sorry to not include Tyrion, everyone’s favorite character, including mine.  But since he was reduced to an incompetent, overly-sentimental adviser, his journey didn’t matter much, either.)

As I’m typing this, I realize how cynical it all is.  The true answer lies in the fact that the writers probably didn’t plan this far ahead.  All the subplots were entertaining while they were going on.  But this show isn’t Happy Days, where we can just watch the episodes we enjoy, and just shrug off everything after the shark was jumped.  This is more like a movie series, like Lord of the Rings, where all these different elements are supposed to matter in the end.  This was true of Harry Potter, which also lost some steam as the series went on- as most series do- but made sure that long insinuated story arc were ultimately explained.  I’d be happy to take all of this back if I’m wrong, but with exactly one episode left, it’s hard to see that being the case.


Stannis got the Red Lady pregnant.  To some sort of demon monster, who killed Renly.  (Some say it was dark magic.  I just think a one thousand year old woman getting pregnant is bound to lead to some complications.)  That was the last we heard of it.  Jon Snow was dead.  Then he wasn’t.  The Red Lady told us Stannis was going to lead a great army.  Then he didn’t.  There was a mystical king of the undead, leading to a massive attack beyond The Wall.  There was a Three Eyed Raven who knew the past, the present, and the future.  There was a faceless man who spoke in third person.  But at the end of the day, we’re left with the Starks trying to defeat Daenerys, which begs the question, WHAT WAS THE POINT OF ALL THIS???


The stuff with Joffrey was very convincing.  When Sansa was being humiliated and enduring unimaginable cruelty, we all felt the cruelty with her.  And then…Joffrey died.  So, Sansa ends up being “rescued” by Littlefinger.  She showed some real growth in her dealings with Littlefinger.  And then?  Littlefinger drops her off at the pound, to be with Ramsey Bolton.  HUH?

Ramsey’s hold of Winterfell was one of the more worthwhile subplots, even in hindsight.  Having Rickon run towards Jon in “The Battle of The Bastards” finally gave Rickon a reason to exist in the GOT universe- and that reason was to die.  (Sorry, Rickon, but you know it’s true.)  But did we need to get poor Sansa involved in all that?  She ended up escaping (I still don’t know how, but whatever…) and going back to the Veil.  Wouldn’t it have been better for her to be at the Veil the whole time, where we can watch her and Littlefinger play against each other?  From what I understand, that’s what happened in the books.  And Ramsey was more of a Theon story-arc, anyway.  Inserting Sansa in there just felt gratuitously cruel.  And there’s plenty of cruelty in Game of Thrones that we don’t need anything gratuitous thrown in there.

Oh, one more thing- Littlefinger playing Arya against Sansa seemed to have so much potential.  Bran telling them the truth just felt like the easy way out.  Littlefinger’s demise was inevitable, but like so many of the other deaths late in the series, the whole thing just felt rushed.



Daenerys vs Jon may have been a worthy battle, had there been more of a buildup.  As I’ve said before, I was expecting Jon to be torn between Sansa (and Arya) going against Dani.  But that’s all been ripped to shreds.  It’s a simple battle of good versus evil now.  The most curious thing to me is not so much how it will play out in the show, but how it will play out in our culture– we are living in a time where strong female leads are all the rage.  Now, Game of Thrones has left us with the strong female lead turning into all rage!  And not 100 Aryas, or Sansa, or Yaras, or 10 year old girls running The House of Mormot (seriously- what was THAT all about??) will be able to make up for that.  The potential fallout from this is likely to be the most interesting thing of all.

Even though the series fell apart at the end, it’s still worth remembering that this throughout most of its run, Game of Thrones was one of the greatest TV shows of all time.  It’s just that the early seasons were the best- basically, everything through season 4- and it’s not even close.  This is near unanimous opinion.  This isn’t to say I don’t respect other opinions- I’ve had plenty of opinions throughout my life that go against the grain, and I have a strong distaste for those who mistake conventional wisdom for absolute truth.  So if you like the later seasons better, that’s fine.  But if you’d like to make a case as to why, in the hopes of having others reconsider their own, it had better be a good one.

Game Of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5 Review

Forget Cersei.  Forget Joffrey.  Forget Roose Bolton.  Forget Ramsey Bolton.  Forget Michael Bolton. The face shown here is the REAL villain in Game of Thrones!

And we thought being tricked into believing that Ned Stark was the main protagonist was a misdirection.  It turns out that the entire series was a misdirection!

That’s it.  That’s the whole review.  Enjoy your day, everyone!


Season 7 Review- The North Remembers, And So Do The Writers

Nothing says “male bonding” like hunting for bears.  Zombie bears.
There were so many stories to follow throughout the series, and it was nice to see them merge together fairly smoothly.  It was satisfying to see everything come together after spending all this amount of time binge watching the show for over a month, trying to keep up with all the characters and storylines.  I could only imagine how much MORE satisfying it would have been for the people who’d been watching this show as the episodes came out new, spending YEARS wondering about how all this would play out.
Daenerys’s integration into the mainland and main story made her character much more compelling and interesting.  I stand by my feelings about her first six seasons- more than 75% of the show’s total existence- and how stretched out the whole thing felt.  Emilia Clarke’s charisma shined through all of Daenerys’s smug, self-righteous, one dimensional nature.  Now that Daenerys is part of the full GOT world, finally facing the adversity and even some horror that the other major characters have been exposed to throughout the series, it’s nice to Clarke’s additional acting skills, as well.  She also looks pretty badass riding a dragon.
Speaking of dragons…the fact that the White Walkers got one of them was an unexpected twist.  The whole series we were led to believe that ONLY Daenerys could control them, leaving us to wonder what could possibly stop her.  Now we finally know.
I also liked Uncle Greyjoy, who reminded me of cross between Liev Schreiber, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, and Eric Savin from Iron Man 3.  I initially rolled my eyes at his contrived, shoehorned introduction into the Iron Born storyline, one of the more pointless storylines (IMO), right up there with Dorne.  It was just nice to finally see a villain- or ANY character, for that matter- actually look like they were having FUN in this sick, demented world.  (Bronn sort of does, but he’s usually pretty low key about it.)  Kidnapping his niece, Blossom, wasn’t very nice, but so what?  Other than Sam Tarly and his girlfriend, who gets rewarded for being nice aroun here?  And the one nice thing I can say about the Dorne characters is that the innovative way Cersei was torturing them really was terrifying, even if they pretty much deserved it.  Hats off to the actresses.
What else, what else…oh, the scene where the boys were all went camping north of the wall.  Seeing those guys, most of whom didn’t really know each other, bonding together and facing serious odds felt like a refreshing, conventional, good ol’ fashioned action movie.  I liked that, as well as the Lannister vs Tyrell fight, even though they want back to the somewhat lazy “…and then the dragons killed everybody” Super Mario Brothers star to finish it all.
The season finale meeting between the parties was entertaining, with all the friends, enemies, and show history on display for everyone to see.  The tension felt palpable and real.  Also impressive was how the writers integrating the smallest details from the beginning of the series, like Arya meeting up with her old pet wolf.  Some of the references were so obscure I needed the writers to explain it after the episode.
(I wish I could say how mindblowing Jon Snow’s true identity was, but I accidentally found out on Google, several episodes earlier.  The fact that he’s now romantically involved with his aunt would be pretty jaw dropping, but given everything else we’ve seen in this show, I’m numb to it.)
Setting up Littlefinger was a surprise, but in the wrong direction.  It seemed like a battle of Arya versus Sansa was brewing, and that was really going to be something fun.  Instead, it turned out to be a conspiracy against a known bad guy.  *shrug*  If this was the end of a movie, then great.  But we’re heading towards the final season, and I want to see some twists and turns.  Yeah, yeah, yeah- so the white walkers tore down The Wall and headed straight for the heart of the GOT world.  So what??  We pretty much knew that was coming, literally since the beginning of the series, before we were even introduced to the main characters.
For a show that doesn’t let a storyline go to waste, why is everyone pretending that Jamie Lannister didn’t try to kill Bran in the first episode?  That never gets mentioned in any context anymore.  We’re just kind of supposed to go along with the idea that Jamie’s basically a good guy trapped in a bad situation.  That’s not the guy we met at the beginning of the series!  His acting is good, and he’s definitely one of the more colorful characters.  But it just stretches credibility, even in THIS universe, when he was so instrumental to so much of the deceit and violence early on.

And speaking of Bran, what’s with the emo act?  “I’m not Bran.  I’m the Three Eyed Raven.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to listen to some Morrissey.”  (I don’t know if Morrissey is emo, he just always struck me a svery intentionally miserable.)

Grandma Tyrell revealing that she was Joffrey’s murderer happened waaaaaaaaaaay too early in the series.  The audience should have found out when Jamie found out.  Revealing it shortly after it happened was, in hindsight, pointless.  In fact, the whole Tyrell storyline, which actually once seemed so promising, didn’t deliver as much to the arc of the show as I would have hoped.  It was almost the opposite of the Daenerys storyline- whereas hers was simple and drawn out but very critical to the overall plot, the Tyrells were complex, intriguing, but barely worth thinking about once they were out of the picture.
And now, finally, WINTER IS HERE…

Game Of Thrones Season 6 – Too Tired and Burned Out To Put Together A Full Review

The Good

Everything at the center of the Lannister universe continued to be fascinating. Outside of, “Well, I’ve gotten THIS far,” the Lannisters are the most compelling reasons why I continue to stay engaged in this show. It’s the closest to a conventional soap opera, but a very GOOD soap opera. Of course, now that Cersei has literally blown up that entire universe, what happens beyond that? Once again, we had all kinds of complex storylines end with, “And then, they died.” Marjorie was, IMO, the most underappreciated female characters in the GOT universe, in a universe increasingly focused on GIRL POWER (a 10 year old lordess*? Really??), and now we’ll never know what kind of schemes she had in mind.  *I don’t care if that’s not a real word.  I’m sticking with it.

In spite of the Starks not getting much time together on screen throughout the series, the bonds between them seem very real. Unfortunately, the Starks only seem compelling when things are going wrong, with the possible exception of Arya. Now that she has magical powers and a thirst for blood, it’ll be interesting how that weaves into the rest of the show.

I’m glad The Hound isn’t dead. His redemption story is hopefully one that will be rewarded.

The completion of the Hodor storyline was, surprisingly and somewhat unfortunately (given what a minor plot that was), the most satisfying ending to any storyline so far. It was heartbreaking, heartwarming, as well as a true surprise.

The Bad

Even if we get a sufficient explanation as to why Jon Snow was brought back from the dead- and so far, we haven’t- his ability to escape the battle which, by all rights, he and his ragtag forces should have been destroyed by the sadistically brilliant (or brilliantly sadistic) Ramsey Bolton, is close to Daenerys-like “Super Mario Brothers star” levels. (ie. “Oh my! How’s she going to get out of this one? Oh…right. The dragons, and the ability to walk out of fires unharmed. Naked, but unharmed.”)  I also wasn’t crazy about Sansa being held captive by another sadist.

There’s so much more, but I’m tired. Watching and recapping nearly a decade of episodes in a month has turned into a job. So now, I get to find out what happens when Daenerys finally approaches Westeros. Within a few days, I’ll know why everyone was so mad about this past Sunday’s (3rd to the last overall) episode.

Game Of Thrones Season 4 – I Knew Inigo Montaya. Inigo Montaya Was A Friend Of Mine. Oberyn Martell, You’re No Inigo Montaya


Most of season 4 was an improvement over season 3.  The gratuitous (IMO) NSFW content was toned down, at least by Game Of Thrones standards- the operative word being “gratuitous’.  There was more than enough horror and debauchery, but most of it felt worthwhile, even redeeming some of the earlier, seemingly throwaway content.  (One lesson I’m learning about Game Of Thrones- there is very little throwaway content.)  While my general feeling about on-screen romance ranges from apathy to antipathy, sitting through some of the “sweeter” scenes between Tyrion and Yoko Silverman (aka “Shae”) was worthwhile, given the horrifying, painful ending.  Part of the genius of Game Of Thrones, much like 20th century Simpsons and 21st century Archer, is that the landing punch (or, in the case of the cartoons, punchline) is often not the final one delivered.  First, we have Tyrion sending Shae overseas, convincing her that he never loved her.  This was hard to watch.  Then, Shae lies about Tyrion, to make sure he’s found guilty- also mixing in some painful truth, just to throw it in Tyrion’s face.  Surely THAT’S the knockout punch, right?  Nnnnope- Shae becomes Tywin Lannister’s whore, humiliating and breaking Tyrion’s heart into a thousand pieces!  OUCH!!!  That’s it, right?  Nnnnnnnnnope- Tyrion ends up KILLING Shae!!!  =O  Merlin’s Beard!  (Sorry…wrong British adventure series.)

Killing the woman he loves surely had to be difficult, hence, killing the father he hated was probably a piece of cake.  Too bad Tywin couldn’t live an extra 10 minutes- he’d have seen the son he despised shipped off- literally shipped off- like cargo.  Literally cargo!

But I’m getting way ahead of myself.  I just finished watching the episode, so that particular scene is fresh in my mind.  Honestly, though, it was one of the only really worthwhile sequences in the final two episodes of an otherwise stellar season.  As for the escape itself…well, that was pretty lame.  I mean, there’s this whole season where Joffrey is poisoned to death (!), Tyrion is accused (!), Tyrion demands trial by combat (!), Tyrion is found guilty (!), and he gets out of it by…being set free by his brother?  The writers must’ve decided that one at 2:30 AM, when they were tired- much like I am as I’m typing this.  But, as always with Game Of Thrones, the open ended questions and cliff hangers override any weakness in previous story threads- there’s just too much going on to look back…except when blogging a review, of course!

And speaking of disappointments, it was a slight letdown that Jamie didn’t get to fight for Tyrion, which would’ve been the ultimate catch 22- Jamie wins, Tyrion is set free.  Jamie loses (as in dies), Tyrion is killed, and the Lannister name- at least Tywin’s branch of it- dies.  But Oberyn, the stereotypical Spaniard guy- I’ll call him Antonio “Ben Garant” Bandares, for my own amusement- was a pretty good replacement.  It was a nice twist that he wanted to see The Mountain confess his crimes at death, which is exactly what happened…unfortunately, tbough, the death turned out to be Oberyn’s.  (Who didn’t see THAT coming a mile away, after he got cocky?)

Then, there are the Stark girls…excuse me, women…who are gravitating towards the center of the story, especially with the Starks and Lannisters in ruins.  As someone with a…let’s say “old fashioned” sensibility about gender roles, even if I’m fairly progressive in practice (but this isn’t about me, of course)…it’s nice to a story where women rise to power in an appreciative way that transcends the Brie Larson fan club.  A large part of this is because we have actually seen the girls grow up in real time- the casting directors did a great job choosing Arya and Sansa.  The image of Aria taking control in the season premiere, as she got her revenge on her former captor, was one of the highlights of the series, and FAR better than anything we’ve seen with Danaryus, who, as I’ve said before, rose to power when she learned to…well, enjoy it.  And, even independent of that troubling aspect of Danaryus’s rise to power, everything with her just feels so unearned.  Watching Arya and Sansa go from one dangerous situation to another, and become better (or at least stronger) for it, just makes them that much more empathetic.

Speaking of Sansa, I have to admit her character has unexpectedly grown on me, as she’s grown up.  Her “proper” act, behaving and sounding more like royalty than the rest of her family, made her seem entitled and whiny at first, but all that made her that much more interesting when she became clever and manipulative.  Similarly, Arya’s restlessness and defiance evolving into vengeance seeking has been fun and rewarding to watch.  However, leaving “The Hound” to suffer in the middle of the mountains seemed unnecessarily cruel, after the two of them seemed to form a real friendship.  But cruel irony always lies at the heart of Game Of Thrones- The Hound reminded Arya of the cruel things he did and thought, in the hopes that she would end his life.  Arya, evolving into the cold cun…umm, cunning woman that was, ironically, shaped partially by the hound, ironically showed her wrath by not killing The Hound, which is exactly what he didn’t want.  Similarly, Littlefinger may have taught Sansa TOO much about deceptive behavior, as she seems to be using it on him.  I guess we’ll find out.  (As a sidenote, wasn’t Arya’s aunt getting ejected to her death the most predictable thing ever?  Also, I believe they should do a DNA test on her, as she seems more likely to be the sister of Stannis’s wife, than Mrs. Stark.)

Then there’s The Wall.  I’m getting tired, so I’ll just say that a whole episode dedicated to the battle felt unnecessary, though I’m sure many people enjoyed it.  That’s fine.  For me, it slowed down all the different parts of the Game of Thrones universe.  But okay, it’s an adventure show, and people like action, and so on and so forth, so it’s fine.  There were two irritating things, though, both involving (you guessed it) romance.  For the Tarly story (I thought he was Tully for a while- he looks like a Tully.  Then, I thought he was Gilly.  He looks like a Gilly…) it is very apparent that Game of Thrones is primarily written by men.  For all the naked women and violence and war and everything else, nothing says “male writers” like having a fat, buffoonish coward, suddenly finding bravery and protecting a woman to sweep her off her feet- never mind that he initially shipped her and her baby off to some shady tavern, to be abused and almost killed by Wildings!  (With all the gender role reversals, good luck finding one for THAT stereotype!)  Tarly seems like he comes from a different universe altogether, anyway.  How has this guy survived ’til this point?  The second thing is Jon Snow’s girlfriend.  They had this whole buildup, then she just stares at him, points her arrow, only to get shot himself and die in his arms?  The writers must have come up with THAT at 2:30 AM, as well.

Getting back to the main point, Snow going off to meet with the Wildings, while Stannis Baratheon and Sean Connery-ish guy “conquer” the area…well, let’s see where they go with that next season.  Stannis doesn’t strike me as a sustainable kind, any more than Joffrey.  He’s also a lot less interesting, outside of the powers given to him by “The Lord Of Light”.

The way they all got off their horses in sync made me imagine a medieval boy bond.  (No pun intended on the in sync.)

The disintegration of the Starks and Lannisters as a central theme to the Game of Thrones universe is a clear indication that the show will be moving in a new direction- a direction hinted at in the very first scene of the very first episode.  Ghouls and living dead and all of that…I don’t know how that gets inserted, but we’ll find out.

I’m really sleepy, so I’ll  wrap this up…the Khaleesi storyline was a vast improvement over previous seasons, with National Geographic guy’s double agent identity giving him a better back story than “guy who explains stuff”.  And you KNOW that those dragons won’t be locked up for long.

The Theon Grayjoy story didn’t seem interesting, which is probably why the writers took half a season to address it.  We’ll see what Sadist Sean Astin has for the future.

I personally find The Queen Who Keeps Getting Married and The Lady In Red to be more desirable than Danaryus.  But that’s just my personal preference.

Young Keanu and The Three Eyed Raven- what the hell is all THAT about??

Onto season 5……………………………..


A Potential Solution To End Tanking

There should be no “mixed feelings” from fans about a game winning buzzer-beater, like the one D’Angelo Russell hit on April 9th. (source:

We all know that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but just how MUCH grease does that squeaky wheel need? Maybe that wheel needs to work on its defense, or three-point shooting, or ability to use metaphors!

In the case of the NBA draft, good intentions have led to unintended consequences, as with most things in life.   The worst team is given the greatest shot at getting the number one pick, thereby leading teams to play for their future, instead of playing for pride.  These two goals shouldn’t be mutually exclusive, so how about this- for the first and third worst teams, the number of lottery balls are reversed.  In other words, the team with the third worst record will get the most to choose from, while the one with the worst gets the third most.  (A flip like this would still keep the second worst team with the second greatest chance.)  Under this scenario, the worst team would still have a sizable shot at the best pick, while ensuring that they no longer strive to be the worst team on purpose.  Losing is bad enough, but losing on purpose demoralizes the players, the fans, and anyone else with a vested interest in the franchise.  Taking away the incentive to do that would make tanking a thing of the past.

You’re welcome, NBA.

The more things stay the same, the more they stay the same- Y2.01K bubble achieves unprecedented levels of madness…again

The more things stay the same, the more they stay the same- Y2.01K bubble achieves unprecedented levels of madness…again

Dow 20,000 is already old news- the Dow Jones’ seemingly stratospheric milestone in January would cause panic, if reached again in April (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

What started out as an echo bubble, roughly eight years ago, has long since outgrown the bubble it was echoing.  How much it has outgrown the previous one remains to be seen, but there is no question- ZERO- that we have been witnessing economic madness for some time now.  And, with respect to Commentary Magazine’s claim that, “there is no the-sky’s-the-limit attitude today on the Street,” there are a heck of a lot more of those, than claims that we may be overdoing juuuuust a little bit, let alone ones of impending economic doom.  (There are a few exceptions, though.)

In the interest of full disclosure, I can no longer keep track of how many times I’ve been wrong about seeing The Top, as I have been proven wrong REPEATEDLY.  All I can do, from this point forward, is create markers for A Top, which is to say that I’ll track new, distinct levels of crazy, whenever they appear.  One of these days, A Top will be shown to be The Top, but that won’t be known until after the fact, as these things only become etched-in-stone in hindsight.

Draw your own conclusions.

With that in mind, here is the first “A Top” to be documented on this site- on March 29th, 2017, reached another record high, with Barclays, a company that wouldn’t even exist if not for the bailout of ’08, declaring that it’s only a matter of time before Amazon becomes a $1 trillion company.  (The money quote, pardon the pun- “it’s just a question of when, not if, in our view“.)  I guess you’d have to have a high opinion of a company that could waste $500 million on another company that goes bust within five years, then quickly shrug it off, like someone who left a few quarters at the laundromat.  After all, this is a company that is now worth more than 700% (!!!) of its high, a level assumed not long after as ridiculous and unsustainable. In fact, the level was seen as so ridiculous after the 95% collapse from its high, it nearly wrecked Henry Blodget’s career, once his lofty predictions went kaput.  Of course, that could NEVER happen now, because (all together now)…


And indeed, it is, according to San Francisco Fed President John Williams, who cited Goldilocks, to explain what was happening right now with our economy.  You read that right, dear reader- in justifying what has been happening with our economy, an elite professional in the financial community cited a fairly tale!  What an accidentally perfect metaphor, for what we are witnessing right now.  This claim is all the more absurd, considering how the Goldilocks analogy was used- and then ridiculed- during the Y2K boom and bust.  But don’t worry about that now, because…


bernankeAnd hey, remember when Alan Greenspan justified his lack of foresight about the Y2K bubble, because he claimed that bubbles can’t be seen in advance?  Well, guess what- it turns out that not only CAN we see bubbles in advance, but we know for sure that we’re NOT in one now!  We know this, because someone from Harvard told us this– and people from Harvard are really smart!  After all, Ben Bernanke went to Harvard, and…hmm, well maybe that’s not the best example here.  But I’m sure we don’t have to worry much about that now, because…


Anyway, happy investing.