Friday, Oct. 23, 2020
From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood Station, Des Moines, Iowa.
ITEM ONE: Netflix released the third season of “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman” earlier this week — and goodness, it is good to see Dave again, even if this series is the most serious to date.
Letterman post-“Letterman” provides a remarkable view of a man confronting the meaning of his life and pushing himself to be more than a retired late night talk show host. This is not to denigrate the unassailable accomplishments of Letterman as a broadcaster, comedian and host. It does, however, suggest that Letterman has seen more to life than the next zippy one-liner for the Top Ten.
He essentially apologized to former President Barack Obama for his ignorance of racial justice issues in the first season of the series in 2018. He travelled to India to illuminate the potential for renewable energy and the challenge faced by the scattershot power grid for a 2016 National Geographic series “Years of Living Dangerously.”
Now, Letterman meets with Kim Kardashian West, where the retired host says he underestimated her intelligence and talents — the kind of thing a man might do as he wrestled with issues of sexism and gender inequity in society. He discusses comedian David Chappell’s raw, powerful special after the death of George Floyd while in custody of Minneapolis police and delves into the history of the small Ohio town where Chappell lives.
Perhaps Letterman is an avatar for America at the end of another long, punishing election cycle. We’ve been forced to confront a lot of terrible and sad things about our nation’s history and present while the pandemic disrupted nearly every aspect of daily life.
One hopes Letterman represents a generation of Americans who find their country needful of thoughtful consideration and meaningful conversation instead of more rage, anguish and bad craziness in the age of outrage.
Whether that metaphor holds is a matter to be determined, but at any rate, the series is first rate and worth the investment of eyeball time.
ITEM TWO: The New York Times published a thoughtful look into Iowa’s economic struggles in the pandemic despite the lack of a lockdown seen in states with liberal governors. The typist expressed his fears about his beloved neighborhood Jethro’s in previous columns. The pandemic crushed small-concert venue Vaudeville Mews, even though it is allowed open with social distancing protocols.
Hot Sheets belabors the point that an impotent Congress and incompetent White House’s failure to pass a stimulus harms not just the typist and his fellow unemployed Americans, but the economy as a whole. America’s economy is 70% consumption — buying stuff. The pandemic has put a squeeze on discretionary money and with the biggest buying season of the year — Christmas — already underway, a mild or poor holiday shopping season could multiple the business closures exponentially.
Remember this as you vote, friends. Your government failed you. But, in the end, we the people are the government. With the power fo the vote, we can make sure our country does not fail.
ITEM THREE: Purists will always argue the best James Bond was the original, Sean Connery. The typist concedes Connery’s Bond defined the character, but the typist favors Pierce Brosnan’s “Goldeneye” as the best movie in the series if for no other reason than Brosnan’s Bond chased rogue Russian villains with a tank through Red Square.
However, perhaps the most Bond, James Bond film of them all is “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” with the highly criticized George Lazenby in the lead. But the villain’s lair in the Swiss Alps combined with the fantastic ski chase and the tragic death of Diana Rigg’s Contessa make it the typist’s No. 2 despite Lazenby being only slightly off as Bond.
These are the kind things a man considers watching round-the-clock Bond movies on Pluto TV.
ITEM FOUR: Four more silly jokes to learn and say for Beggars’ Night in Des Moines:
Q: Why don’t lobsters share?
A: Because they are shellfish.
Q: What did the horse say when he tripped?
A: Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t giddy-up.
Q: What prize do you get for putting your phone on vibrate?
A: The no bell prize.
Q: Who took the frog’s car?
A: It was toad.
ITEM FIVE: The National Weather Service predicts snow Sunday into Sunday evening with totals up to 6 inches in some areas. One to two inches of snow are expected in the metro. Or, as it will be reported on local television, “THOUSANDS FLEE AS WHITE DEATH FALLS FROM SKY!”
ITEM LAST: The Big Ten makes its return to football competition this weekend. They planned to play in the spring because of the pandemic. Then the schools realized their entire athletic budgets depended on football. So they decided to play a shortened season and at least get some money. The Pac-12, which also cancelled its own cancellation, returns next week.
The typist would just like to point out that of the five power conference involved in the college football playoff system, three of them have numbers in their name: The Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12. Of those, only one of those conferences accurately infers the number of teams in the conference. The Big Ten has 14 teams. The Big 12 has 10 teams. Only the Pac-12 actually has 12 teams, though one of them is Colorado and no one is sure if that counts.
It’s a sad state of affairs in American when so many associations of institutions of higher learning can’t fucking count.
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