On an evening when I am burned out from covering all the news, on an evening when all I want to do is not watch the news, what happens?! Why, what else: major news. Air strikes in Syria after that awful chemical attack that killed 70 people on Tuesday.
So, because I cannot wean myself off of the news cycle, I have to tune in to this depressing news. That’s what I am doing now.
The world is a mess. The latest bad news to report is that Russian warplane that got shot down by Turkey the other day.
Turkey, of course, is mad at Russia for its support of the Assad regime in Syria. Moreover, Turkey is part of NATO. Now, you have a lot of people openly speculating about whether this will drag the whole world into World War III. In our newspaper, our militarily-minded columnist Brian Zinchuk talks about the mess in Syria and what this means. He says things are getting out of hand.
If things get much worse I fully expect the late night shows, which are turning into entertainment-free zones as it is, will be no fun to watch for the foreseeable future. Not that Americans seem in any kind of mood for any humor at all these days (political correctness etc.) but they will definitely be in no mood for jokes if a war breaks out.
The only reason I am glad is because I was getting tired of seeing it crowd out all the other news on CNN.
Predictably, though, Syria is reacting by declaring victory, which is exactly the type of attitude which will get them right back in trouble again.
Welcome to News from Nowhere for this Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, and on a day when we stop and remember the victims of the worst terror attack on American soil, all the talk is about crisis in the Middle East. Again.
Once again Syria is front and center in the news. And just so you know — no I did not tune in to President Barack Obama’s speech last night. I completely forgot it was on and missed it.
The talk lately has been about the Russians and their plan to have Syria hand over all the chemical weapons and save us all from the USA-led missile strikes. The irony is not lost that President Vladimir Putin looks more like a Nobel Peace Prize candidate than Obama at the moment. Anyway, here is a rundown of developments from yesterday, and again today, courtesy of CNN.
Speaking of CNN — I notice they’re airing Crossfire again.
You know, I think this is actually a step in the right direction. CNN went straight downhill immediately after they got rid of that show. In fact, that was the day they got rid of me as a viewer. Now they actually stand a fighting chance of getting me back, but they really have to lay off all this depressing world news. All this Syria-all-the-time coverage gets old at some point.
More politics; yesterday was Primary Day in New York City, and you know what that meant, folks — it was Decision Day for two civic embarrassments: comptroller candidate Eliot Spitzer and mayoralty candidate Anthony Weiner.
Amazingly, they lost. Wow, New York voters actually have some sense.
Anyway, the NY primary blog can be found here at the Daily News. I ought to go cover local politics in New York instead of where I am now, it’s way more interesting there. Lots of nuttiness.
Over in Australia, they also had an election. Unfortunately, it was a lot duller than the New York campaign, but we still saw a big change as Tony Abbott’s coalition kicked Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party out.
Other crazy news from the past several days:
Ariel Castro is dead.
CBS and Time Warner settled their dispute in time for the NFL season to start.
NASCAR is full of crooks — more comment on this mess later.
Apple unveiled its new iPhone and its shares went in the sink.
It’s been HOT in Toronto during the Film Festival.
And finally, at last, we have a hurricane! Our first of the season! Woo hoo!
That is it for the moment.
I keep on changing my mind about what I think the chances are of Congress approving a Syria strike. Now I think the chances look dim again. It seems like the left-leaning Democrats and the libertarian factions of Republicans are banding together to defeat it.
With things unravelling in Congress, President Barack Obama yet again plans to pre-empt your favorite television shows on Tuesday night to take his case on Syria to the nation.
I don’t see what that can do — it looks like the nation is already against him on the issue. Besides, it isn’t the nation Obama needs right now. It’s Congress, and quite frankly, I don’t think too many of those fools in Congress even watch television.
We’ll see what transpires. In any event, the good news for now is we won’t have any air strikes interrupting any football games on TV this weekend.
Well, we welcome all you school-hating students back to school again with another News from Nowhere — led once again by the usual bad news regarding the Middle East.
Here are the latest developments on the US and Syria. It sure looks as if President Barack Obama is going to get authorization for air strikes on Syria. The leadership of both parties support the idea. Until recently, I thought it would be a tough sell to Congress, but that was before I heard the hawkish comments the other day of both Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsay Graham. So it seems to me that Obama is going to get enough votes to go ahead unless Congress does something totally unexpected.
The big excitement today was the hearings of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in which Secretary of State John Kerry made his case for a military strike. From what I gather, the social media people were all excited because McCain was caught playing video poker on his iPhone during a dull stretch of the hearings.
In political news north of the border, we’ve had nothing of the same level of importance or gravitas — just this recent nonsense about Liberal leader Justin Trudeau admitting he smoked pot as an MP.
That led to Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne admitting she smoked pot, and Toronto mayor Rob Ford admitting he smoked pot, too.
Honestly, folks, this is the level it has sunk to in Canadian politics. Instead of talking about serious issues like war in the Middle East, or God forbid, the economy, people here want to know whether their favorite politicians did weed.
For the record, though, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he’s never done pot: “Do I seem like I smoke marijuana?”
On to other news now, this time from Hollywood. The much-vaunted casting has been announced for that movie Fifty Shades of Grey, based on the novel that all the women are so ga-ga over. Clearly, though, the fans are reacting as if the filmmakers were smoking something when they picked the cast. (Ha ha ha. That’s supposed to be funny.)
Two no-names, Dakota Johnson and Charlie Hunnam, have been cast as the leads and the fans are not happy.
In that CNN article I linked to, it compared this to the recent outcry from the fanboys, not to mention fans, over the Ben Affleck casting as Batman in the upcoming Superman-Batman movie. People sure seem to get up in arms over the slightest details of movies, even before they are even made these days. Why not wait and see how Affleck actually performs as Batman? THEN maybe you can criticize him. People are just too quick to judge.
As for Fifty Shades of Grey, it really doesn’t matter who the lead is going to be because they’re going to end up big stars anyway by the time this movie is released. Besides, few people really knew about Sharon Stone before her racy role in Basic Instinct, but that movie turned her into a huge star. So I’m not so worried about the casting.
Again, let’s see the movie and see how that turns out before we rush to any conclusions. Beyond that, I don’t have much to say about Fifty Shades of Grey. I don’t get why this novel appeals to women — it sounds like it promotes exactly the activity women say they hate (S&M, etc.), yet they’re flocking to buy this stuff! Color me confused.
In other casting news, as a longtime fan of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. TV series I am very happy that movie plans are moving forward, and here is some casting news that I read at Ain’t It Cool News. Interesting that Guy Ritchie is directing it — dunno why I didn’t hear more about that before. I guess I have simply been out of the loop.
I’ve also been out of the loop with respect to news that the Miss America pageant has returned to the fall and will be held Sept. 15 in, of all places, Atlantic City.
Yes, folks, Las Vegas is out after seven years, and the former longtime host Atlantic City is back in as the venue for the venerable pageant. That’s the way it oughta be, darn it.
Here’s another article from a few months back about what all transpired with the Miss America decision to pull out of Vegas. As an aside, it has been a bad year for Las Vegas in general with respect to beauty pageants. Good old Donald Trump also pulled the archrival Miss USA pageant out of Vegas and will now host it at the Doral Golf Club near Miami, Florida; meanwhile, the Miss Universe pageant is going to Russia. So don’t go to Las Vegas expecting to see beauty contests any time soon — at least, not major ones.
That’s pretty much all for now. I’m planning to post something to wrap up summer at the box office soon, and I also plan to say something about hurricane season, or more accurately, the lack of one right now.