To honor Presidents Day, which we traditionally do by trying to forget that Barack Obama ever happened, we're taking a Presidential approach to today's blog. Which is to say we're glancing at whatever's on our desk, scribbling a few words which may or may not be salient, then quickly moving on to the next topic so we can finish in time for a round of golf. Except that in our case, it's a round of drinks.
• Mueller's Indictments - After a long (and unfortunately ongoing) investigation, Bob Mueller has revealed that a bunch of Russians had 9-to-5 day jobs which consisted of posting bullcrap on Facebook and Twitter, not to help elect anyone, but just to screw with our heads. An effort which falls somewhere between minor espionage and snickering assholery.
We are shocked - shocked! - to discover that it's not a good idea to get your news from blips and blurps on social media, nor is it a great idea for Americans to forward inflammatory political messages without first checking to see if they're factual.
This is, we suppose, evidence of Russian "meddling" in an election (and not for the first time), but semantics matter (unless you're anti-semantic) and meddling simply means the Russian trolls were sand in America's vasoline - irritating, annoying, and inconsequential. "Meddling" does not mean "affecting the outcome of the election," which flat out didn't happen.
• Trump's Sex Shenanigans - Frankly, my dears, we don't give a damn. We don't know if the accusations are true, but we do know that it's really nobody's business except Donald and Melania Trump. If he's screwing around on her, then he's a cad and a scoundrel. If, on the other hand, he has her permission to enjoy occasional flings and does so with porn stars and Playboy centerfolds, we can only shake our heads and say "it must be fun to be a billionaire."
This represents no hypocrisy on our part when compared to our feelings about Bill Clinton. Trump hasn't spattered the Oval Office with DNA while screwing young interns, he hasn't committed violent rape and then have his wife cover it up, he hasn't lied about it while under oath, and he hasn't done it on taxpayer-funded time. As Hillary was so fond of saying, "it's time to move on."
• Black Panther Movie - This thing is a huge box office success, and critics are proclaiming it to be a great and socially important film because if they didn't, they would be called racists. And for all we know, it's a fine superhero movie which we'll enjoy watching on Netflix someday.
But the mainstream media is arguing that the release of this film is a moment of great meaning in our nation's history, finally giving African-Americans real pride in their cultural heritage of being descended from superpowered comic book characters.
We've got a question: why is it that African-Americans should find meaning and pride in a CGI-packed movie about the imaginary black leader of the most technologically advanced civilization on Earth instead of finding such validation during 8 years of an actual black leader of the most technologically advanced civilization on Earth? Was it that Barry needed a cat mask and ebony bodysuit, or was a Half-Black Panther just a doomed concept from the start?
Again, we're not trashing the film or people's enthusiasm for it. But can we please turn down the volume on the many stories about the movie's importance and its undertones of racial divisiveness?
Stories which, for all we know, were planted by Russians.
AND ONE FROM THE VAULT...