Friday, June 3, 2022

My opponent is a fiend who likes Joe Biden

Mayim Bialik is the latest host of “Jeopardy!”

    My routine is fairly fixed. I wake up, write something, walk the dog, eat something, water the flowers, write some more. A little exercise, maybe run an errand and it’s time for dinner. Not what I would call a life of thrill and triumph. Maybe even a rut. Even so, it’s my rut, shuffled by me, and I’m content enough. It not only could be worse, it will be.
     At least there isn’t a lot of television. Sometimes, if my wife is working downtown, I’ll sneak in half an hour of “Peaky Blinders,” a BBC program about a violent crime family in the 1920s. There’s a quality about Irish actor Cillian Murphy, a wide-eyed, expressionless stare that is endlessly satisfying to watch. Another numb, shell-shocked witness to numb, shell-shocked times.
     My mother, however, is in the hospital, and for the past two weeks I try to drive there every day, sit at the foot of her bed, and make small talk. Wednesday I was there at 3:30, and she announced it was time for “Jeopardy!”
     I don’t have to explain what “Jeopardy!” is, right? A popular game show where answers to questions on a range of subjects are given to three contestants, who try to provide the questions that evoke them. “Jeopardy!” debuted on television when I was 3, and I’ve been watching it ever since, when somebody else watches. “Let’s watch ‘Jeopardy,’” is not a thought I’ve ever had.
     Since I’m always with company, I like to blurt out the answers to show off how smart I am. There is something very circle-of-life about watching it with my mother now. We watched it in the mid-1960s, hosted by Art Fleming, on our black-and-white Zenith. And we’re watching it still, on a flat screen TV, almost 60 years later. That’s sweet, right? Or horrible. Or both.
     This being primary season, most commercials were a Punch and Judy Show of Republican candidates having at each other. Their opponents are all liars and scoundrels and, worse, closet Democrats, either on their payroll, or harboring the secret shame of having voted for Joe Biden. Montages of awkward photos narrated with frozen contempt.

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  1. The best part of all the insane ads for governor is an ad attacking Irvin will be followed immediately with an ad for Irvin.
    But Sullivan's ads are the weirdest, what with his Stepford Wife next to him all the time nodding in agreement with whatever useless crap he's spouting!

  2. So I just read about the Re Thug Licon debate last night & that downstate fool Bailey doubled down on Chicago being a hellhole & even mentioned the man who was set on fire the other day as a reason for that.
    What he left out was the creep that has been arrested for that is from the suburbs, Melrose Park I believe!

    1. Well, Clark, to a downstater Melrose Park is the same as Chicago and for that matter even to a native born Chicagoan such as myself: when I was in boot camp in San Diego, a recruit told me that he was from Chicago too; turned out he was from Arlington Heights -- close enough, if you're far from home or desirous of casting aspersions on a political opponent.


  3. I don't know how far into Peaky Blinders you are but I am sure you are aware that as the 1920's progress certain ..things...start to happen in the world and Cillian Murphy's Tommy is certainly very satisfying to watch as he deals with those things. Great, great show!

  4. My take: Irvin is running to be Illinois' Chief of Police. Bailey is running to be Illinois' Donald Trump. Sullivan is running to be Illinois' Pope.

  5. Well, here in North Missitucky (AKA Ahia), we just got done with a five-way GOP primary for the U.S. Senate seat, which meant five horrible advertising campaigns. "Millionaire Hillbilly" and author J.D. Vance, who was endosed by Orange Julius, defeated runner-up Joshua Aaron ("Josh") Mandel--a far-right Marine veteran who has served as treasurer of Ohio, and who was also a state representative

    Having previously lost to Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown in the 2012 U.S. Senate election, Joshy decided to go for broke this time. The worst TV spot showed him wearing camo and walking through the woods with an assault rifle, accompanied by his three young kids. Then the screen was filled with the words: Pro-God, Pro-Gun, Pro-Trump. But the Ohio electorate, which was actually intelligent enough (for once) to realize he isn't qualified to be a pool boy, sent him down to defeat again, this time by almost 90,000 votes.

    1. You're forgetting that it's a Jewish god that Joshie worships, not the one all the evangelicals do.

    2. Forget, hell...I'm one of the tribe, and I know damn well what he is. I just thought it might be offensive to bring up his Jewishness. My shiksa wife hates his guts, and labels Josh as "a shanda fur die goyim" which literally means, in Yiddish, “a shame before the nations,” describing embarrassing behavior by a Jew where a non-Jew can witness it.

      In addition, I was hesitant about saying what I originally wanted to say..."He isn't qualified to be a pool boy at the JCC." Posting that four years ago, during Josh's last senatorial campaign, resulted in my being banned from commenting at our local alternative weekly, for what they labeled as anti-Semitism.

    3. Actually, ''A schande fur die goyim' means you're shaming us Jews in front of the goyim, or mishagoyim as my dad always called them!

  6. In the case of me and my Dad, I'm the one who keeps track of when it's time for afternoon tea and our shared viewing of "Jeopardy!" whenever I am visiting him at his North Shore assisted living facility. Our sessions of "Tea 'n' Jeppy" have become less frequent these days, but the interaction that this show stimulates between us and the game, and us with each other, is unique for a TV show; we're not just sitting idle and staring at a screen. Blurting out answers before the contestants do, getting something right when they get it wrong, examining their wagering strategy for the Final Jeopardy round: none of it gets old, and the outcome can be genuinely dramatic. I especially enjoy that moment when the winning contestant first realizes that he or she has won, and we get to see raw emotion from even the most stoic contestants, what appears to be in some cases the high point of their entire life.

    That's what makes the jarring interruption of those idiotic political ads even worse than usual. Why don't we just skip past Irvin and ask Ken Griffin what he wants, since it's obvious that if Irvin wins, Griffin WILL be getting his phone calls returned. These ads (for any candidate) are being blasted out so widely and so early that it's as if the candidates think we don't know how to operate a Mute button, or Fast Forward. They're like a $50 million version of those insipid robo-calls by local candidates who are convinced that IF we answer the phone (Caller ID is a wonderful thing) and find a recording babbling at us, we are actually going to listen to the whole thing. Instead, we are going to spend this summer trying to avoid them at all costs, and mostly succeeding.


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