I bought these Bruno Magli lace-ups roughly 15 or 16 months ago. Online, marked down, size 13. But they felt too small. I’d been wearing 12 all my life (or since I was 13 or 14), but I shifted into 13 about a decade ago. For well over a year I’ve been reminding myself to have them stretched out by a local Armenian shoe-repair guy. Tatyana says if I was smart or practical-minded I’d send them back to the online seller and ask for size 14 replacements. But I’ve waited too long to do that. (Plus I almost always throw away boxes and receipts — I can’t stand to have that clutter lying around.) Plus I can’t abide the idea of wearing 14s. I can’t do it. Only big galumphs wear 14s. I am not a grizzly bear or a three-toed sloth or Richard Kiel — I am a deer, a fleet fox, a thoroughbred racehorse.
10:55 pm [posted by a smart guy named Mike Vatis]: “Just a reminder for people losing their minds right now. Biden was not really expected to win, and does not need to win, Texas, Florida, Georgia or North Carolina. A landslide win by Biden that included some of those states would have been wonderful, a clear renunciation of Trumpism. But the greater likelihood has always been that the race would come down to Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — again.
“Plus we’ve known for a long time now that the early vote counts (i.e., the ones you’re seeing now) in Michigan and Pennsylvania would comprise election-day votes, which would favor Trump, as many Democrats voted by mail or voted early, and those votes are tallied later. And we’ve also known that, because of the way different votes are counted in these key states, Trump’s strategy has been to (a) declare victory tonight or tomorrow morning based on the early vote counts, and (b) use the courts (and public disturbances) to stop the counting of any mail-in votes after tonight.
“DON’T PLAY INTO HIS STRATEGY BY WETTING YOUR PANTS, PEOPLE!
“All the votes must be counted, period. We won’t know the results for several days. That has always been the likely scenario, and that is what everyone should have been preparing for. Don’t let dashed hopes of a resounding early victory for Biden now drive you into Trump’s trap of believing that Trump somehow won.
“Also: Biden has an alternative path — if he does not win Pennsyltucky, but takes Wisco and Michigan, he can still get to 270 if he takes Arizona and the single electoral vote accorded to the Omaha congressional district. That alternative path is still very much alive, too. So there may still be some very good news tonight out of Arizona and Omaha. And there may be some very good news out of Wisconsin early tomorrow morning (once Milwaukee county votes are tallied). But Michigan and, especially, Pennsylvania, will take more time. So be patient, and don’t do Trump’s work for him.”
10:45 pm: A recent 538 poll (posted on 11.2) had Demicratic challenger Sarah Gideon leading Republican incumbent Susan Collins in the Maine Senatorial race. The latest AP tally of today’s Maine vote has Gideon well behind Collins. In short, the 538 poll bore very little relation to what was in the minds of Maine voters.
9:55 pm: Anyone who claims he/she knew that the Biden vs. Trump vote would come down to a cliffhanger is lying. Two or three (including Joe Biden) predicted it would be closer than expected, but almost everyone believed that a decisive Biden victory was in the cards. Some were predicting a possible landslide.
What’s unfolding may well turn into a variation of Bush vs. Gore. Who knows? But what a mess, what a shocker. And there’s definitely something wrong with the polling industry. It’s infuriating that they got it so wrong.
Hey. So how’s everyone doing? pic.twitter.com/8I0XwuqM7F
— Marc Bernardin (@marcbernardin) November 4, 2020
9:10 pm: James Carville to MSNBC viewers — “Come down off the ledge, put away the razor blades and the Ambien….hang in there, we’re gonna be fine. The [final] count is gonna be good for Biden. I don’t mind putting the champagne on ice. I’ve waited four years for this…I don’t mind waiting another four days.”
As of right now (9:20 pm) Biden has 213 electoral votes vs. 136 for Trump. It’s all going to come down to the final tallies in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Arizona — a good portion of the remaining votes being mail-ins.
7:50 pm: The tight numbers are horrifying. I’m going through an out-of-body experience. I feel like my brain is melting. I’m blaming the pandemic for his horrible evening, because we’re mainly talking about “live” voting and that means mostly Republican votes since righties don’t get Covid.
So yes, mail-in ballots could save Biden-Harris, but their stunning under-performance is mainly due to purported associations between Biden-Harris and hardcore p.c. lefty messaging….wokesters, cancel culture, looters, p.c. fanatics, Critical Race Theory, p.c. hatred of cisgender white guys, “Defund The Police” instead of “Re–Think The Police“, Robin DiAngelo‘s “White Fragility”, the Portland and Seattle marauders, the BLM ers and the Rosanna Arquette metaphor.
Yes, I know — there’s no rational reason to believe there’s strong linkage between the agendas of Joe Biden and odious wokesters, but how else to explain what’s happening?
You can’t tell me anyone gives a damn about Hunter Biden‘s laptop. Are older white cisgender male voters (including Cuban-Americans) afraid of Kamala Harris being President, considering Biden’s advanced age? I believe it has to be the wokester factor. Two years ago an Atlantic article reported that a vast majority of Americans hate cancel culture. Tonight they registered their displeasure, or so I strongly suspect.
Yes, Virginia…the woke left may (I say “may”) have pulled off the seemingly impossible — i.e., getting a compulsively lying, incompetent, sociopathic brute re-elected President of the United States. Maybe. Rank evil may actually triumph again. Trump supporters are voting for a form of social suicide and climate destruction They actually voted to support recklessness, incompetency and stinking-to-high-heaven corruption.
If I was a pollster I would be thinking about ways to obscure or camoflauge my appearance…fake noses, fake beards, fat suits, Woody Allen-styled fishing hats. Mobs with clubs and ax handles will be out looking for them on Wednesday morning, and I wouldn’t altogether blame them.
All along the argument against Trump has been irrefutable, but somehow the radical left has managed to weaken or dilute the argument for Biden, which is ridiculous given that he’s never been and never will be in any kind of wokester pocket. He’s a sensible, practical old-school center-lefty.
I can’t believe this is happening. I’m almost having trouble breathing. This could still come down to mail-in ballots…right? Plus all the predictions about Democrats ending up flipping the Senate in their favor…even that isn’t happening. Lindsay Graham and Susan Collins have been re-elected! Good effing God!
6:55 pm: I don’t like all these close races. Same day voting is favoring Trumo; mail-ins will mostly help Biden. There are nonetheless millions of voters out there who are flat-out loose-screw nihilists…they want to give an incompetent, lying criminal another four years, if only to spite the wokesters.
North Carolina numbers are driving me crazy. Trump has taken the lead in Ohio. Once the Pennsylvania mail-in ballots are counted (probably by Friday), it’ll be okay. I’m nonetheless nervous, anxious, biting my nails. And I’m feeling really angry at the pollsters. I want to literally punch them out.
Friendo: “The polls are off like they were in 2016. There should be a total overhaul of the polling formula. I hope to God this doesn’t extend for weeks and weeks. There’d better not be recounts.” Journo pally: “I’m feeling some 2016 deja vu.”
5:25 pm: A mere Biden victory will not be emotionally satisfying. I want Biden to beat Trump badly, or at least fairly badly. Right now…who knows? And what’s with those Trump-supporting Latino males?
5 pm: Red and blue states are voting accordingly. Biden has 85 electoral votes vs. Trump’s 55. Many millions want the beast to stay in the White House, and many other millions not only disagree but are slapping their foreheads in disbelief.
4:30 pm: This is like Oscar night only much, much better, so I guess I’ll start timestamping with running commentary starting around…uh, now. Biden has taken Virginia and Vermont, and will probably win North Carolina. Oh, and Trump has won Kentucky, West Virginia, South Carolina and…uhm, Indiana. In the cards. Florida will probably go for Trump. (Panhandle rubes + an apparently sizable percentage of Miami-Dade Latino males.) And also Georgia, it seems.
Trump: “Losing is never easy” pic.twitter.com/KzLJCwDvzS
— chris evans (@notcapnamerica) November 3, 2020
Philip Noyce‘s Lakewood, a tense relationship thriller starring Naomi Watts, finished shooting in northern Ontario a week or so ago. Lensing happened in and around the North Bay region, subbing for Maine. A six-week shoot.
Slogan tease: “Someone is threatening the fictional northern Maine town of Lakewood.”
The cast and crew were tested for Covid three times each week. Masks, social distancing, all the required protocols.
Greg Goldstein synopsis: “Lakewood follows a mother (Watts) who desperately races against time to save her child as authorities place her small town on lockdown.” What does that mean? A lockdown over what? Covid contagion, BLM protestors, an active shooter, an army of reptiles?
The Lakewood script was written by Chris Sparling. It’s being produced by (this is a long list) Watts a la Jam Tart Films, Zack Schiller and David Boies, Limelight’s Dylan Sellers and Chris Parker, Untapped’s Andrew Corkin and Stratagem’s Alex Lalonde. Limelight’s Alex Dong is an executive producer.
Pic is basically a one-hander, performed almost entirely by Watts in the vein of Steven Knight and Tom Hardy‘s Locke. It’ll also allow Noyce to show his knack for staging inventive suspense. When it comes to nail-biters, fewer distractions means a more gripping scenario.
Contrary to the photos, the Lakewood producers didn’t insist that each and every cast and crew person wear whitesides — it just worked out that way. Notice: As part of a new mild-mannered policy, Hollywood Elsewhere accepts that whitesides are ubiquitous and no longer has a “problem” with them. Live & let live.
Campaigning in comfortable work boots and sneakers (even if they’re whitesides) is a cool thing, a signature thing. I like what she’s saying. Seriously. Especially being 5’2″ and all.
But the tracking shot should have stayed with her another ten seconds or so.
Mrs. Vice President. pic.twitter.com/wvmrgFLmoa
— Jill Biden For FLOTUS (@Jillbiden46) September 15, 2020
Last weekend Margot Robbie‘s producer husband Tom Ackerley offered further proof that the low-rent bruh uniform (about which I reposted three days ago) is scrupulously followed worldwide, regardless of wealth or status. Shorts, low-thread-count T-shirt, backwards baseball cap, closely-trimmed whisker beard, whitesides without socks. From Timbuktu to Tunbridge Wells to Tallahassee, they all look like the exact same bruh.
Regimentation, sartorial fascism, the primal urge to belong, etc.
The couple and friends played at the Loz Feliz 3-Par Golf Course (3207 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039), a nine-hole operation located near Atwater Village and located alongside the L.A. river.
Margot Robbie, Tom Ackerley at Loz Feliz 3-Par Golf Course.
After all these months of dismissing Typewriter Joe Biden, I’m now in the double-back position of wanting him to prevail against Bernie the Destroyer.
I know Bernie has the nomination all but locked up, but even with the coronavirus + recession advantage, Bernie will still scare the shit out of right-leaning voters and thereby excite their turnout on 11.3. Biden won’t scare them so much; ditto Buttigieg. That’s an extremely critical factor.
Not that it stands a chance of becoming a determining or decisive factor. Not unless the COV-19 outbreak becomes so bad and the economy goes into such a terrible tailspin that Trump’s wounds prove insurmountable…unless that comes to pass we’ll be stuck with The Beast until January 2025. And that’s pretty close to death.
The heart portion of this CNN town meeting video begins at 6:00. HE readers will note that Chris Cuomo is wearing whitesides.
Brad Pitt coronation night at the Santa Barbara Film Festival…a real movie star comes to town, and the waters part. Oh, to touch the hem of the robe! To be close, to witness, to savor the aroma! The Gilbert & Sullivan ring of it all…the Major Miraculous Magnificent Maltin Modern Master Award! Every last Arlington seat filled. The longest lines, the loudest cheers and squeals.
Brad was loose, casual, obliging…a modest and self-effacing Lancelot. Interviewer Leonard Maltin didn’t elicit a single opinion from the 56 year-old actor, producer and Oscar nominee. The questions were mostly trite, fawning and obsequious (“How was working with so-and-so? How did you find your character? Did you attend the Oscar ceremony that year? How did you get to be such a wonderful movie star?”). And Pitt played along at every turn.
Pitt said he “made a few enemies” during the making of Moneyball — Steven Soderbergh and who else? He really admires Robert Redford‘s subtle acting, and recalled that during the making of A River Runs Through It Redford told him to “never exhale” when the cameras are rolling “because you’re letting all the energy out…you’re letting it escape.”
Interviewer-author Leonard Matlin, Brad Pitt at finale of last night’s event.
HE declaration: I’ll aways be in awe of Pitt’s wonderfully layered Billy Bean performance. Relaxed and anxious at the same time, and also mysterious on a certain level. He’ll probably never top it. Second favorite all-time performance: The couch stoner in True Romance.
Pitt said he turned down the Neo role in The Matrix — “I took the red pill.” (Was that before or after Will Smith passed on it?) His verbally indecipherable Irishman in Snatch was deliberate as far as director Guy Ritchie was concerned — audiences not being able to understand most of what he said was part of the deal.
HE questions if I’d been in Maltin’s seat: (a) Do you agree that Hollywood actors have to lead the fight against the wearing of “whitesides” and gold-toe socks, or are you non-committal on that front?; (b) Whom do you like among the Democrats running right now, and why? (c) What are the most interesting attitudinal differences between your generation and that of your kids?; (d) What are the three performances you’re proudest of? (e) Which performance, if any, would you like people to forget about, or at least put into a sealed box?; (f) What’s changed since you embraced sobriety, and what’s your craziest drinking-days story?; (g) Do you still get ripped or have you left that behind also?; (h) You’ve met or worked with just about everyone in the industry — who in your judgment is the most under-appreciated or the least understood?; (i) Have you ever sampled any of Harrison Ford‘s cooking? (j) What is your favorite exotic getaway spot, and why?; (k) What kind of motorcycle do you own, and do you have a problem with the term “rumblehog” when it comes to describing large European-style scooters with leather saddlebags and carrying cases?; (l) What are your favorite comfort-blanket movies?; (m) Two or three of your favorite albums or recording artists?; (n) You’ve said you value the idea of speaking dialogue in a clear and easily understood way — what’s your opinion of actresses who lean on vocal fry, uptalk and sexy baby voices?
Raised-in-Russia Tatyana insists it’s uncouth to wear shoes in our home. Not doing so shows a lack of breeding and refinement.
“Okay”, I’ve replied, “but that’s exactly what I wasn’t taught by my middle-class, college-educated parents when I was a kid.” My dad would toss his loafers when he napped on the couch, but when people visited nobody followed suit…ever.
I was always told that only commoners sat around barefoot or with socks. The Beverly Hillbillies theme song ends with the singer saying “take your shoes off…set a spell,” etc. My earthy, Kentucky-born paternal grandfather used to say the same thing when we visited. I’m fairly certain that visitors to the Kennedy family compound in Hyannisport were never urged to do this.
To me shoe-wearing is more socially acceptable because well-heeled shoes are more attractive to look at. (Unless you’re wearing whitesides.) Who wants to look at someone’s knobby toes, covered or uncovered by gold-toe socks? Depending on who you’re with, feet can be extremely problematic. There’s nothing better to wear in someone’s living room that a pair of nice Bruno Magli lace-ups.
Last night Tatyana and I attended an A-plus Parasite party at the Sunset Tower hotel. Crowded but not oppressively so, and attended by some of the coolest creatives in town — Guillermo del Toro (who officially co-hosted with Colleen Camp), Leonardo DiCaprio, Noah Baumbach, Laura Dern, Michael Mann, HE’s own Phillip Noyce and Vuyo Dasi, Portrait of a Lady on Fire‘s Adele Haenel and Noemie Merlant, Jay Roach, Eli Roth, Lukas Haas, Kevin Bacon, Show Me What You’ve Got‘s Svetlana Cvetko, Dolemite In My Name‘s Larry Karaszewski, Knives Out producer Ram Bergman — along with the usual industry-journo crowd. Plus a lavish buffet supper, etc. The coolest gathering in town.
Hardly anyone wore whitesides, and I was checking, believe me.
There was such a feeling of “this is the place, these are the people, this is the film” that it began to hit me that Parasite, a richly cinematic, very incisive serving of social portraiture that is nonetheless hampered by ludicrous plot turns in the second half, might win the Best Picture Oscar. You can always sense a favorite when everyone comes to the favorite’s party. Everyone wants to be chummy and hair-mussy with the perceived winner in whatever realm. It’s just human nature.
I’m trying to deal with this curious premonition like a mature adult, but there’s a little part of me that’s going “please, God…no.” I’ve been calculating all along that Bong Joon-ho‘s film (his finest ever) would take the Best International Feature Oscar without breaking a sweat, but it can’t win that plus the Best Picture Oscar…can it?
The most exciting and pleasing moment of the evening was when I went over to Adele Haenel and…well, behaved like a typical adoring fan, complimenting her Lady on Fire performance and telling her I’ve seen it three times (in Cannes last May, twice in Los Angeles) and chit-chatting about this and that.
The second most pleasing moment was hearing from journalist pally Bill Desowitz that “many” people he’s spoken to feel the same way about Parasite as I do — i.e., Bong’s best, very commendable but calm down.
Yes, I know — Vertigo‘s second-half plotting is just as ludicrous. But it ends so magnificently. Scott looking down from the bell tower, his hands outstretched, cured of his phobia, Madeline gone.
I’m not trying to fight city hall. If the Best Picture Oscar has Parasite‘s name on it, so be it. I won’t be angry or upset about this exactly, although I will feel disappointed. The Irishman is the best film of the year, hands down. I know it, the Godz know it, many people out there know it, and history will verify.
Tatyana wanted to visit Top of the Mark, the 19th story bar-restaurant on the penthouse level of the Mark Hopkins hotel. I hadn’t visited since the mid ‘80s so what the hell. It opened in ‘39 and became quite the essential stopover for WWII officers (slender, nattily uniformed, in the company of classy ladies in bright red lipstick) bound for combat in the Pacific or returning from same.
The cultural atmosphere at the Top of the Mark is a little different these days. A few nice-looking people, sure, but also a fair amount of overweight, horribly dressed proletariat commoners wearing baggy jeans, knitted skullcaps and whitesides. A time-traveling anthropologist comparing the differences between 20th and 21st Century clientele would be struggling for the right politely descriptive phrases while conveying an honest assessment, as I am now.
The truth is that over the last 60 or 70 years certain aspects of American culture have not only gone downhill but sunk into the swamp. We’re talking about the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire here. Herb Caen would be in shock.
Look at these humanoids, these Millennial and GenZ fashion plates in their jeans, T-shirts and whitesides, hopping up and down with anticipation of winning a free getaway in Ojai or whatever. I’d forgotten that Drew Carey has been hosting this show for 12 years now…Jesus. Salivating materialistic frenzy by way of a mosh pit. The American dream, the culture we live in, etc. What would Mark Twain, Sinclair Lewis or Abbie Hoffman say?