Birth Year V: The Murkins, Part 2

This week as promised, we’ll look at the smaller U.S. car companies and their 1954 offerings:

DeSoto Firedome

DeSoto Powermaster

Hudson Hornet

Kaiser Special

Nash Metropolitan

Packard Caribbean

Studebaker Commander

I know the “Studdy” has many fans, but it’s only the best of a very bad bunch.  By popular demand, here’s the 1954 Corvette:

Thanks, but if we’re going to do 1954 sports cars, I’ll still take the Mercedes 300SL, thank you:

Which brings to the end of the 1954 Birth Year series.  Thank you all for playing along.

…and even though I don’t do Hallmark holidays, here’s one for all us dads, today:

And for the record, here’s Your Humble Narrator and the Son& Heir, each pic taken at age 23:

Didn’t even bounce.

Dangerous

[sorry this post is late — I set it to appear at 6pm, not 6am]

Apparently, the U.S. is not a safe place to be — in fact, there are 127 countries safer than ours.

I guess that it all depends.

Here in Plano, I see sights like this every morning in the pre-dawn hours — dozens of them, mostly jogging all by themselves, and I seriously doubt that you’d see much of this in, oh, Qatar (#31) or Oman (#69), let alone in Jamaica (#83).

Of course, I wouldn’t imagine you’d see many of the above in the South Side of Chicago or in Detroit, either, which just proves how dangerous averages can be.

What comes to mind immediately, by the way, is that according to the study, San Salvador and Honduras are ranked higher than the U.S. — begging the question as to why, then, thousands of their citizens are supposedly fleeing crime and persecution and flooding our southern border.

Actually, I call bullshit on the whole thing.  Reason:

South Africa is ranked one place higher than the U.S., at #127.

While there may be safe and unsafe places in the U.S., there are no  safe places in South Africa whatsoever.  As I said:  bullshit.

Acid Trip

Brit TV personality Jo Brand has landed herself in hot water (warning:  link contains pics of Jo Brand) with this silliness:

The BBC has defied calls to sack comedian Jo Brand after she suggested on a Radio 4 panel show that protesters should throw acid instead of milkshakes at right wing politicians.

However, as stupid as that statement was, this was worse:

Nigel Farage accused the 61-year-old of ‘inciting violence’ and called on the police to act after her comments on an episode of Heresy.

I know that this is Britishland, where the fuzz can arrest you for making an off-color comment on Twitter, but my main point is quite simple.

As long as the loony Left (and few are loonier than Jo Brand) can continue to talk trash like this and remain unpunished, the better for all of us — because, as Longtime Readers will know only too well, I’ve often suggested tying socialists to a chair and beating them to death with a baseball bat.  It is, of course, just hyperbole;  I don’t really want to beat anyone to death (except maybe for a few of the worst socialists), and I’m reasonably sure that if some loon decided that a little acid be tossed in, say, Jeremy Corbyn’s face on the “good for the goose, good for the gander”  principle, that Jo Brand would be “shocked, shocked ” that someone took her at her (jocular) word.

Ultimately, of course, this is going to turn around and bite the loony Left, for two reasons.  In the first case, most ordinary people would be horrified if, say, Boris Johnson or Mike Pence were to get a faceful of acid, and the political repercussions would be severe — the loonies would alienate even more voters from their side than they’re already doing.

The second case, and I speak here of the U.S. specifically, would be a lot worse than simple political repercussions:  some would-be acid-tosser [sic]  would be quite likely to get a .45 bullet in his  face the minute he raised the jug.  And the rest of America would cheer the shooter to the rafters.

Once again, I say that the Left seems to be all about violence because they think we’re evil;  but I don’t think they’ve really thought this through, unless they have a martyr complex (and they might — they are that twisted).

As long as they keep talking shit like Jo Brand has, we can just laugh at them, until, that is, some loony gets “triggered” into action.  But using the rozzers to arrest people for talking shit is wrong — I believe that’s covered in one of the Constitutional Amendments, somewhere — because the minute we conservatives support that nonsense, it’s going to get used against us, a lot more than against them.

Remember:  words mean nothing (in terms of legal action);  it’s deeds  that (rightly) engender a response from agents of the State.

Or a response from a concerned conservative (see “.45 bullet” above).  The Brits don’t have that 0ption, of course, because they have no Constitution and no real Bill of Rights so the fuzz can fuck with the citizenry all they want, but that’s their  problem.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go and oil a length of rope.  Then it’s range time.  Those .45 bullets won’t aim themselves, you know.

Goals Matter

Oh, good grief.  This is what you get when you have ignorant people talking about matters they know nothing about:

Should The U.S. Women’s World Cup Team Have Run Up The Score Against Thailand?
Not only did they run it up to an absurd outcome (13-0), say critics, but they danced their way through it, celebrating after most goals. At what point is an opponent sufficiently beaten and even humiliated that mercy can be shown?
The answer is: Never, bro. This is Trump’s America now. The cruelty is the point.

Oh FFS, this has sweet fuck all to do with Trump, or “Trump’s America”.  Here are the facts.

In professional football (okay, soccer) competitions, goal count matters — both for and against.  If two teams are tied in terms of wins, losses and point totals (usually, three for a win, one for a tie and zero for a loss), then the deciding factor is the goal difference between the total number of goals scored by  the team and the goals scored against  the team.  All other things being equal, the team with the higher differential will go through into the next round, or (in the case of league tables) be named the champion.  All teams know this, and there’s no “mercy” in professional soccer, no “running up the score” and certainly there’s no “cruelty” in scoring as many goals as you possibly can against your opponent.

And I’ll finish with this:  assume that the U.S. team’s group results showed that (say) Germany won their matches 4-0, 5-0, 4-0, 3-2 and 3-0 (5×3=15 points, goal difference:  17),  while the U.S. team won their matches 13-0, 2-1, 3-2, 2-1 and 2-1 (also 5×3=15 points, but goal difference:  18).  In this scenario, had the U.S. not run up the score against Thailand, then Germany would win the group and go on to the next round.

Under these circumstances, not running up the score and failing to progress would probably cause the U.S. team’s manager/coach to be fired, and rightly so.  As I said earlier:  goals count in professional soccer.

This weepy-waily shit about cruelty  and running up the score  comes from the modern pussified culture where participation trophies are awarded, scores aren’t kept and the won-lost record isn’t tallied.  In the real world, as with everything else, life is less forgiving.

As for the so-called reporter who wrote this silly article:  ignore everything else he ever writes, because if he screws up something as easy as this, he’ll probably screw up something important.

Less Is More

The best-selling author Alistair MacLean was once asked why none of his novels contained any sex scenes, and I remember his answer as though I read it yesterday:

“It slows down the story.”

He added:  “”I like girls, I just don’t write them well. Everyone knows that men and women make love, laddie – there is no need to show it.”

I’ve never forgotten that maxim, although I haven’t always followed it in my own writing.  Basically, I believe that reading a book can  allow for a little slowdown in the story — unless it’s a breakneck-paced thriller (like those of MacLean).

Movies, however, are a different matter altogether.  Even in love stories, I’ve found the sex scenes to be a pace-killer, and unlike books, where you can take as long as you like to get through them, a movie has to be consumed pretty much in one go.  And unless the movie is all about sex (straight porn or an art movie like Gaspar Noé’s Love  or the depressing 9 Songs ), sex scenes are pretty much unnecessary.  You want the actors to have sex?  Show them together in a bedroom, or near one, have one start to undress the other, and then cut to the morning, showing them still together.  They had sex, we get the point, thirty seconds, tops (Cary Grant and Eve-Marie Saint on the train, in Hitchcock’s North By Northwest ).  Now get on with the story.  Others, of course, may disagree with me — like SFGate.

I know it’s a San Francisco media outlet, but really?

Sex is disappearing from the big screen, and it’s making movies less pleasurable

Ummmm… no.  Oh sure, when you’ve been watching some tired plot rerun from every movie made since 1920, why not have (say) Katherine Heigl bonk Keanu Reeves for five minutes or so?  (Because a. they all use body doubles for the close-ups and b. see above for why a movie shouldn’t need a brake pedal.)  SFGate continues:

Today, whether it’s in “Long Shot” or “Rocketman,” the sex scene has been reduced to a shorthand, an instantly recognizable grammar that begins with some jokey or flirtatious foreplay, cuts to some flesh (tasteful enough to honor the actors’ no-nudity clauses), then discreetly cuts away when things get real. You know what happens next, the camera seems to tell us. Do you really want me to spell it out for you?

Well, yes.

Well, no. But let them continue:

When you deprive audiences of a really good sex scene, you’re depriving us of what was once one of the greatest enjoyments of going to the movies, a part of classic cinematic grammar that, when choreographed with sensuality and sensitivity, can be memorable as genuine entertainment – maybe even great art – and not just a lascivious clip on Pornhub.
What’s more, you’re pretending to build a world grounded in realism that is completely devoid of one of the core elements – and joys – of the human experience. It’s as if Hollywood – fixated on families, teenagers and global markets – has given up on American adults as anything more than arrested adolescents interested only in revisiting the distractions of their youth.

Frankly, I can count maybe a dozen really fine sex scenes I’ve seen in movies, but scores more that have actually made me laugh out loud or exclaim in disgust.  Those  scenes — and let me be very clear about this — have occurred in movies that are aimed at “families, teenagers and global markets” —  in other words, where sex scenes are not part of the plot, and therefore completely gratuitous.

And here’s the basic problem.  When the word “adult” became a synonym for “pornographic”, we lost a perfect description for a movie type, aimed at adults per se, that could  contain a decent sex scene — e.g. The English Patient  or A Good Year — and said movies have, over the years, almost disappeared from the studios’ offerings.

What’s also disappeared is the directors and writers who could create a decent sex scene.  Instead, we’ve ended up with cretins like Michael Bay and Jud Apatow, who taken together couldn’t do something that could coax a semi(-woody) from a randy twenty-year-old, let alone from an actual adult viewer (like, say, me).  Considering that I have only watched one Marvel movie (the first Iron Man, and that only because of Robert Downey Jr.), none of the Transformers and ditto the Guardians of the Galaxy, you may consider me well outside the mainstream — and not for the first time, either.

What I want is to watch true  adult movies — as I said, aimed at adults, not porn — with grownup stories, mature actors, (not necessarily “old” — another piece of modern terminology which gets up my nose) and realistic conclusions.  And if a sex scene is an integral part of the story, fine — but it doesn’t have to be graphic.  A good example is the sex- and nude scenes between Alex Baldwin and Meryl Streep in It’s Complicated — a howlingly funny and accurate depiction of sexuality in an otherwise silly movie which was integral to the plot but which, thank goodness, involved grownups and took less than a minute of film time.  (And thankfully, you don’t get to see Meryl’s nude body, but — and this cannot be left unsaid — you do  get to see Baldwin’s horrible hairy ass.  It is very definitely part of the plot, however, and it’s hysterical.)

As with so many things, they used to do it better in the old days — think of any sex scenes in the black-and-white era involving, say, Gary Cooper or Robert Mitchum and their various female co-stars, and you’ll see what I mean.

What we did not need to see was a scene of thrusting buttocks involving James Stewart and Donna Reed in It’s A Wonderful Life  — and thankfully, we never did.  It was all left to our imaginations… even though the two above were, in the terms of today, totally hot.

Much better in our imaginations, I think.