About brobrubel

Retired journalist. I've reported and edited for newspaper in Florida, Kentucky, New York, Brussels and London. I also spent a few years as a government flack in Pennsylvania. This blog contains random thoughts on politics, world affairs and entertainment

On parallel Earth

I think the pee tape is a myth. But it would be great if it were true.


The normalization of the pussy grabber’s posse

A couple of weeks ago, “60 Minutes” gave a handjob to one of the most repulsive cretins that ever entered the White House. Charlie Rose managed to bring on Steve Bannon, the right wing promoter of the alt-right band of racists, and let him vomit his demented philosophy before millions of people.

Rose actually said to him:

Can I remind you, a good Catholic, that Cardinal [Timothy] Dolan is opposed to what’s happened with DACA? Cardinal Dolan.

Somewhere in heaven, the Holy Trinity shouted out: “JESUS, Charlie! WTF!!???

Maybe Rose just doesn’t know that Bannon’s actions merit him suites in Dante’s second through ninth circles of hell.

But that doesn’t piss me off as much as last night’s Emmys, when this happened:

JESUS, Stephen! WTF??!!!???

A blatant lying liar who since January has lied lying lies comes out and does a joke about what a lying liar he is and the audience APPLAUDS?!?!

JESUS, Emmy audience! WTF????????

The consistently condemned media elite are giving the condemners a free pass for all the misery they’ve caused? The only saying that makes any sense in this case is the one about capitalists selling their executors the rope to hang them with.

Jezebel puts this in perspective:

During Sunday night’s Emmys, Spicer made a cameo on an awards show that repeatedly patted itself on the back for its diversity. “Colbert thought it would be funny and surprising, and that’s what mattered most,” wrote CNN, citing a source familiar with the production, on the decision to include Spicer. It was indeed surprising that Stephen Colbert would let him roll in for the sake of a “joke” that riffed on the most innocuous of Spicer’s many infractions. It was surprising that so many smart people in the audience seemed to find his appearance hilarious, or at least reacted as they thought they were supposed to. That is, perhaps, with the exception of Melissa McCarthy, an actor who perhaps knows more intimately the vagaries of Spicer’s tenure as press secretary, and looked embarrassed on behalf of Hollywood.

Yet “Spicey” as a comedic foil and as gallows humor worked on SNL and elsewhere because spoofing him doesn’t require collusion. The Emmys, supposedly run by “liberal Hollywood,” hosted the man who announced to the world that Muslims would be banned, that the wall would be built, that Hitler “didn’t sink to using chemical weapons.” His appearance embodied the limitations of a television industry that is so performatively gung-ho about inclusion, at least until there’s a chance to make a cheap joke. (Before you bring up Jeb Bush at the Oscars—at least he was long-neutered by that point.) …

… One of Saturday Night Live’s best skits this year was a spoof commercial, in which Scarlett Johansson portrayed Ivanka Trump, and advertised a signature perfume called “Complicit.” Shot in soft lighting, a voiceover cooed, “She’s beautiful… she’s powerful… she’s Complicit.” It was the first line that came to mind watching Spicer cart himself out onto the Emmys stage, a cheap trick deploying an inexcusably predictable joke. If an industry meant to critique is so quick to redeem a peabrain “just doing his job” like Sean Spicer, how far will its standards recede? If their intent is solely to entertain, then we know the answer.

These are bad people. Stop normalizing them!


The other side of modernity

I’ve had a few “Blade Runner” moments. Times Square at midnight in summer. Listening to Japanese radio while standing on a hotel balcony overlooking downtown Honolulu. Walking from building to building across interconnecting  enclosed pedestrian bridges in Hong Kong. The marvel of the Las Vegas strip.

In those moments, I felt like I was looking into the future. But it was the present. And the reality is those experiences are now part of my past.

The cliche is true. The future is now.