Coming to a Theater Near You

clapboard

 

An imaginary business meeting

CAMERA 1 FADES IN
Agent (excitedly): Listen, JB, This can’t lose! Sequels are in–look at them: Star Wars! Men in Black! Marvel Comics! Harry Potter! This is the ultimate! It’s got life and death, skullduggery, and intrigue! If we don’t make this movie, someone else will and they will be the ones to be rich and famous!

CUT TO CAMERA 2 ON JB
JB (skeptically): I know, but it’s incomplete. We don’t know how it’s going to end. It’s missing key plot points to make the story work.

CAMERA 2 PANS FROM JB TO AGENT
Agent (somewhat frustrated): Working in sex is no problem. Part of this will be set in DC and it’s crawling with gorgeous, young female staffers. Even better, we’ll be filming in the south–Southern Belles, no unions, tax breaks, sunshine–it’s perfect.

FADE TO CAMERA 1 WHICH INCLUDES BOTH AGENT AND JB IN THE FRAME
JB (thoughtfully): Why in the south?

Agent: That’s where the “remain in place” directives have been the weakest and will probably be the first to be eliminated. That’s essential to the plot.

Sharp focus on JB with soft focus on the agent
JB:
How are you going to guarantee the . . . .

CUT TO CAMERA TWO ON AGENT
Agent (Interrupting, then leaning forward toward JB): The states we’re looking at are lifting their restrictions early. There’s bound to be a second wave;  we’ve even hired people to protest self-isolation in several states.

CUT TO CAMERA ONE–BOTH JB AND AGENT IN FRAME–FOCUS CLEAR ON JB
JB (shaking his finger at agent): You’d better be right. If the second wave doesn’t have at least 100 thousand dead, I’m going to be pissed! If I’m going to pitch this to the investors, it needs a snappy working title.

CAMERA ONE–SAME FRAME–SHIFT FOCUS TO AGENT
Agent (smugly): Coronavirus–The Sequel

 

 

 

Trust Me, I’m a Doctor

snakeoil-and-medicine-shows

Trump is trying to ignore (as much as possible) qualified experts, like Dr. Birtz and Dr. Fauci, but don’t worry. As an experienced fake-reality television personality, he’s now got Dr. Oz (great name for a flim-flam man) and Dr. Phil.

Oz is, at least, a medical doctor, although his bona fides list him as “a television personality, pseudoscience promoter, etc.” as well as a surgeon. Incidentally, surgeons are not experts on epidemiology.

Dr. Phil on the other hand is also a television personality, author, and former psychologist who holds a doctorate in clinical psychology, but is not licensed to practice. Incidentally, psychologists, including those who are unlicensed, are not experts on epidemiology.

Now given that your survival is in the hands of television personalities, don’t you feel better?

 

 

Political Quotes

Here are some interesting quotes that might have come from a political party’s guide for today’s candidates and campaign managers.

  • “The victor will never be asked if he told the truth. ”
  • “The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged to one category. ”
  • “Humanitarianism is the expression of stupidity and cowardice.”
  • “I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few.”

Like most quotations, they may not be 100 percent accurate, but you get the idea. The source of these was a very popular and powerful politician. If you don’t recognize them, maybe the next one will help.

  • “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

The author?  Adolph Hitler.

So Perfect It’s Good

The administration provided an update on their effort to resolve the COVID-19 pandemic. Scattered throughout a two-hour self-congratulatory and often-contradictory campaign speech were several potential facts. We did not get a transcript of the president’s speech, only an abbreviated summary. We have not fact-checked the entire document, which appears to be written in crayon, although it might be lipstick, making it somewhat difficult to read. This is our best shot:

“Our response to the hoax pandemic has been perfect–so perfect, it’s good. Good.  Real good.

“In the past I’ve rated my leadership as a 10, but that obviously is too low, even on a scale of one to five. Let me explain some of the amazing things I’ve done. I removed all those pesky doctors and scientists from the pandemic task force. I also removed every inspector general I could find. All they did was slow down progress.

“Next, I put Vice President Pence in charge of the pandemic task force. I’ve heard good things about him, I’m not sure I ever met him, but people say good things about him. He has years of expertise for this type of problem.

“Next, I put Jared Kushner in charge. It might be the same task force, it might be a different one. It doesn’t matter. Jared has so much experience. Many years. He has more years experience than he’s been alive.

“I announced that I may create another task force. Is it the second, or is it the third. Who knows. More is better. I’d put Ivanka in charge, but I don’t want her to keep missing her guitar lessons.

“You know, she created over two thirds of the jobs in America. The other third were stolen by hoards of immigrants when they weren’t raping, murdering, or smuggling drugs. So if you ever had a job, it’s thanks to Ivanka. Besides, she’s hot. I mean, if I weren’t her father, mmm mmm. Gotta love Ivanka.

“Finally, I’ve managed to seize millions of dollars worth medical equipment and supplies that was being hoarded by hospitals. All they were doing is using things once, then throwing them away. Wasteful. Sad.

“In any case, my performance has been perfect and getting better.”

 

Biblical Thoughts for Today

When you live as long as I have, there is plenty of time to read, so I’ve taken advantage of the opportunity. There is much to be learned from the various sacred texts of people throughout the earth. Today I’m going to focus on the New Testament of the Christian Bible.

First, I have no quarrel with those who place high importance on attending religious services. Your Jesus said a couple of things that you might want to meditate on.

  • Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27)
  • “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least
    of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’   (Matthew 25:40)

I suspect passing along disease during a pandemic might apply. I leave that for you to discern whether it applies to you.

Second, many celebrate this Sunday as Palm Sunday, when Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem to wild adulation, which Jesus did not seek. Not many days later, the crowd’s tune changed to the demand for His torture and death.

I commend this thought to the rich and powerful for whom adulation is so important.

No Integrity Allowed

Trump fires intelligence community watchdog who told Congress about whistleblower complaint that led to impeachment

CNN Headline

Apparently, the White House has decided that integrity is a disqualifying factor for employment in the federal government. This is probably why CAPT Brett Crozier, the skipper of the USS Theodore Roosevelt was cashiered. CAPT Crozier put the safety of his men above himself and his career. Such blatant integrity is not to be tolerated.

A final irony is that a REAL Navy Captain was fired on the orders of an ACTING Secretary of the Navy. Since Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly’s action does not appear to be a public relations coup, let’s see how long it takes for Trump to throw him under the bus.

I can’t wait to see how historians portray this president for middle school civics classes in twenty years.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

https://pixel.nymag.com/imgs/daily/intelligencer/2017/01/06/magazine/06-kushner-lede-2.w512.h600.2x.jpg

People say–many people, many-many people–that self-proclaimed stable genius Donald Trump, has the hoax, but not a hoax, Corona Virus situation under control. His solution is perfect–read the non-transcript. It’s perfect.

So, to those of you having difficulty breathing, a 104 degree fever, and hallucinations, don’t worry. It’s all okay. It’s totally okay.

Trump’s gut, which is smarter than you will ever be, told him to put Jared Kushner in charge of the pandemic. One reason is because Jared (the son-in-law, not the jeweler) did such a marvelous job in negotiating peace between Israel and Palestine. The peace was perfect, except for the continuing hostilities and casualties. However, it was perfect, just perfect.

Kushner, a real estate developer (not a slumlord), requires no education or experience in medicine, epidemiology, or disaster management, to be the obvious choice. Out of 329 and a half million people in America, including 11 million medical doctors and tens of millions of other scientists, HE is the one with the unique skills to handle this.

Kushner’s other bona-fides include marrying into the Trump family, although, his wife chose to keep her surname. Many people say, or so I’ve heard, this males things easier during a divorce. But then again, that might be a hoax. Or not. Or fake news. Or not.

In any case it’s good. It’s perfect. Just perfect.

 

Darwinistic Intervention

Updated Guidelines for Management of Hospital-Acquired ...

Fox News, that bastion of conservative conservatism, is at the top of the prime time news ratings with 2.3 million viewers. This means that 0.00007 percent of Americans are watching Fox News primetime. (Audience figures from Fox, US population data from the the US Census Bureau–census.gov),

Fox uberstar Sean Hannity’s show almost triples that with an audience of 6.5 million, which represents 0.0002 percent of the American population.

In comparison, The Simpsons cartoon, in its 31st year on the air (Fox) still draws about 4.08 million viewers, down from its peak of over 14 million in the early 21st century.

However, inside this wonderfully encouraging conservative silver lining, there’s s dark cloud. This is caused by the novel corona virus, COVID-19.

  • Fox and Hannity viewers have a median age of 65 (down from 66) the median age for susceptibility to COVID-19.
  • Fox and Hannity viewers, by virtue of age, have a variety of pre-existing medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, asthma, allergies, diabetes, etc. that may make them more susceptible to acquiring the disease and more difficult to recover.
  • Older people with underlying medical issues are more likely to experience opportunistic infections such as pneumonia, and possibly tuberculosis.  Antivaxxers might be at higher risk.
  • Fox and Hannity viewers often live in rural communities in which sophisticated medical care is less readily available and at a greater distance.

What happens if the current administration’s base, believing that the Corona Virus is a fake, intended to discredit the president, succumb to the COVID-19 at a disproportionate rate?

Could this be a Darwinian event?

 

 

Consider the Source

Thirty-one year-old actress-singer Vanessa Hudgens made some inappropriate comments about the coronavirus and is desperately attempting to correct the indiscretion.

If the opinions were presented by a 31 year-old physician, epidemiologist, or other scientist, I’d agree that it was a serious matter. However, actors and singers are not good sources for medical advice. They are skilled at emoting. Much of the time, they are presenting words and actions written into a script or a song that are not their own.

So why do we put so much stock into what celebrities say and do? I’ll explain that in a forthcoming diatribe. For now, please, consider the source. Don’t expect scientists to sing. Don’t expect physicists to win Oscars. Don’t seek medical advice from actors or singers.