- Don Rickles unavailable to ghostwrite insults.
- Wife refuses to rehearse Adoring Gaze for when I’m caught with exotic Eastern European hooker.
- Satanic coven won’t release me from Vows.
Growing up, we thought our grandparents had witnessed the most amazing era in human history. Sure, we saw the Moon landing on TV, but we were only ten at the time, and while it was certainly cool, we lacked the experience and understanding — and poetry — to put it in a larger context. Our grandparents had seen biplanes, for chrissake. They knew what the Moon meant.
We would have been old enough to hang out at the pinball arcade when we started having thoughts like that. The place was an ad hoc mechanical museum, not because the proprietor had any taste, but because some machines were cheaper to rent than others.
The old ones had their charms, all bells and spinning scorewheels and worn boards. But the lines formed around new shinies like Captain Fantastic, with electronic sounds and digital numbers. Truly that was the future of quarter-enabled entertainment.
Until the night Pong showed up.
We love third-string Marvel characters, the ones who aren’t big enough for movies or networks, and so end up dwelling in the Netflix basement. We love them because Saving the World has gotten pretty boring at this point in cinematic history — Superman reversed time forty years ago, after all, and after you’ve shown that you can rewind Earth’s spin without throwing everybody into space, you’ve pretty much established that the planet won’t blow up next time.
Besides, Beneath the Planet of the Apes blew up the planet forty-five years ago, so no point going there either.
The Marvel bench lives in the world the first-string saved, satisfying the Gods of Continuity, but their problems don’t amount to a hill of beans in it. That actually makes them more interesting in practice, since their writers have to stretch to make them even worth watching. We have no inherent reason to care about street crime in Hell’s Kitchen. Unless you provide one.
Case in poi—
J. Edgar Hoover, who was smashing gender norms before it was cool, had his panties in a bunch about Martin Luther King Jr. MLK had a suspicious proclivity to exercise his First Amendment rights, which, if allowed to spread, might undermine the Republic by forcing it to live up to its ideals.
So Hoover did what Americans expect an FBI chief to do: He
drove a Ford spied on a United States citizen:
Under the FBI’s domestic counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) King was subjected to various kinds of FBI surveillance that produced alleged evidence of extramarital affairs, though no evidence of Communist influence.
What kinds of surveillance? Well, for starters, how about this:
Hoover deployed agents to find subversive material on King, and Robert Kennedy authorized wiretaps on King’s home and Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) offices in October 1963.
(Readers of a Certain Age may only remember Bobby Kennedy as a Sainted Martyr. But he was also Brother Jack’s attack dog as attorney general, and before that, a rabid anti-Communist working for Joe McCarthy. History is fun!)
Wait, what? There’s more Sport? We thought Sport came to an end a few weeks ago, when Your Denver Broncos (now Our Denver Broncos, given our recent vertical relocation) won the Super Soaker (or whatever), which was one of those quaint Colorado traditions we thought we could happily ignore until two days later a million fucking people assembled downtown for the express purpose of turning our morning commute into bloody hell.
All the retail high-potency vape pot in the world (or the legally available part of it) won’t make up for that shitstorm.
But since we’re a Socialist Anarchist this year, at least until the convention, political propriety requires us to share the glory and announce our annual Festival of Fail, the Stinque Braquet, hosted again by Braquet Dowager Mellbell, whose beloved Cardinals have already won by refusing to show up.