Donald Trump in Ghosts Can’t Do It

To be fair, I’m not sure the creepiness is primarily Trump’s fault. He was working with John Derek’s screenplay and direction, and it is not unreasonable to argue that Derek was the worst writer/director in history among those who made three or more films in those capacities. He made Ed Wood look like a combination of James Cameron and Scorsese. Trump had to deliver and react to absolutely preposterous dialogue, all while the cameraman was filming everyone in turn with too-close close-ups.

In these circumstances, Daniel Day-Lewis and Tom Hanks would have seemed creepy.

But not AS creepy.

The beloved Stan Lee has passed on at 95

He was the last man standing among the team that created Marvel’s iconic heroes. Steve Ditko died a few months ago. Jack Kirby, who was the oldest of the trio, passed away in 1994.

Other people will write about Stan’s accomplishments, so I want to discuss the astounding community and environment that shaped him. He was in the class of 1939 at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, which was then a public all-boys institution. In his year alone, he shared classes with Paddy Chayefsky, the famous playwright and screenwriter, and Lawrence Tisch, who would become president of CBS. One year ahead of them at Clinton were Marty Balsam, Robert Q Lewis, Sugar Ray Robinson, A.M. Rosenthal of the NY Times, and David Begelman, who would become the head of Columbia Pictures. When Stan was a senior, some of the underclassmen included Richard Avedon, James Baldwin and two popular comic actors, Don Adams (Get Smart) and Larry Storch (F Troop). I could list many others from those classes who would be approximately as accomplished in their own fields, but you wouldn’t know their names because they made their marks outside of the entertainment fields. The list of famous and accomplished graduates from that one public high school is mind-boggling.

And of all of them, Stan may have made the greatest impact on pop culture. He was kind of a late bloomer compared to some of the men mentioned above, who were household names in the 50s and 60s, but when Stan hit, he hit big. He started to become known to comic book fans when he was 40ish, and his fame just kept escalating as his characters emerged in movie after movie. It was still ascending when he was in his 80s and 90s! As Stan himself would say, “Excelsior.”

The characters he created or co-created are now known throughout the world: Spider-Man, the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Dr. Strange, X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, Daredevil … the list goes on and on.


UPDATE from the comment section: “Pretty amazing that the school also had alums that included Bill Finger and Bob Kane (class of ’33) the team that created Batman. That one place is responsible for the majority of great superheroes.”

On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, the guns fell silent.

The Imperial War Museum has released a recording of the moment the war ended, patched together using recordings from their collections. The artillery activity it illustrates was recorded on the American front near the River Moselle, one minute before and one minute after the war ended.

NFL round-up, week 10

The only real news this week is that the Pats lost. They have been as good as usual in Foxboro, but are 2-3 on the road.

Well, I guess this is news: the friggin’ Bills scored 41 on the road. In the previous six weeks they scored 0-13-13-5-6-9. If only they could play the Jets every week.

The Eagles’ woes continue. The defending champs lost at home, dropping them to 4-5, so all is not sunny in Philadelphia. Fortunately for them, their division has no real runaway power team, so they are still contending for a playoff spot.

There’s a lot of scoring this year. The Steelers scored 52; the Saints reached 51. At age 39, when quarterbacks used to be well into their new careers in beer commercials, Drew Brees is turning in epic performances week after week. With only a single interception all year, he has completed nearly 80% of his passes, well on pace to crush the record of 72%, which he just set last year. Kenny Anderson set the completion percentage record in 1982 at 70.6%, and held that record for 27 years. Things have changed. Brees alone has broken it four times recently, and at this point in the 2018 season, five different guys are on pace to top Anderson’s old record.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot …

The Cleveland Browns kicked ass. They have a winning record at home this year (3-2-1)!