Category Archives: GTP Stuff

Your 6.19.19 Playpen

I don’t agree with Donald Trump on many things — okay, I don’t agree with Donald Trump on most things — but when it comes to his assessment of Joe Biden, I have a hard time arguing.  This is creepy.

At the event, Mr. Biden noted that he served with the late Senators James O. Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia, both Democrats who were staunch opponents of desegregation. Mr. Eastland was the powerful chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee when Mr. Biden entered the chamber in 1973.

“I was in a caucus with James O. Eastland,” Mr. Biden said, slipping briefly into a Southern accent, according to a pool report from the fund-raiser. “He never called me ‘boy,’ he always called me ‘son.’”

How nice.  This is Robert Caro on Eastland:

Screenshot_2019-06-19 Tim Dickinson on Twitter

That Biden thinks this is a solid rationale for supporting him is… well, the kindest adjective I can come up with is out-of-touch.

I’m really looking forward to that special moment in the first Presidential debate when Biden accuses Trump of enabling racists and Trump responds with, “I’m not the racist.  You’re the racist.” and brings up his good buddy Eastland.

Jeez, I really hate the conventional wisdom that we get the elected politicians we deserve.  Because it’s true.

The floor is yours, folks.  Be gentle.

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Your 6.12.19 Playpen

Thought this would be a fun exercise.

Here are mine, with bonus commentary.

  1. The Beatles, A Hard Days Night.  The record and movie that launched thousands of bands.  Seriously, if you weren’t around when it shipped, it’s hard to understand the impact of this album at the time.  It was the first Beatles album comprised of entirely original material.  It’s also still the most youthfully exuberant album I’ve ever listened to.  Even the sad songs are full of energy.
  2. Big Star, Radio City.  I’ve written about this record before.  Really hit me emotionally as an eighteen-year old and still does.  These guys were the victims of some of the worst promotional/distribution work of all time.  I didn’t learn of the record until I read a Steve Simels’ review shortly after its release and by the time I went in search of it, it had already been relegated to cut-out bins — assuming you could even find it.
  3. Elvis Costello, This Year’s Model.  This came out back in the day when I ordered a bunch of music imported from England.  I liked Costello’s first album, so I managed to get a hold of TYM before I read any reviews.  I don’t know if I’ve ever been more surprised by a record when I dropped the needle.  Fierce, brilliant word play and musicianship to match.
  4. The Rolling Stones, Brussels Affair.  The Stones at the height of their considerable powers.  Mick Taylor rules!  (But you knew that.)  I’m pleased to say that I actually managed to tape the original, King Biscuit version when it aired in 1974, but the official 2011 release is much better sounding.
  5. Derek and the Dominos, Layla.  All I can say is that it’s a real shame Eric Clapton didn’t pine after a few other men’s wives.  He was never better than this.

Go ahead, take a shot in the comments.

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Your 6.5.19 Playpen

Game of Thrones may have been HBO’s popular darling, but I’ve just finished watching two of the most impressive shows HBO has ever put out there, both of which were far more satisfying productions.

  • Chernobyl is simply incredible.  This five-part series is a drama, not a documentary, so while its attention to recreating the era is impressive, it’s not slavishly devoted to the entire truth.  Details have been modified to make for better viewing, but the essential truth of the story is there.  And that essential truth is both horrifying and compelling to watch.  The horror is not just in watching what the nuclear accident wrought, nor is the herculean effort to prevent an even larger disaster all that is compelling.  The best and strongest part of the story Chernobyl eloquently tells is the day-to-day horror of living with the consequences of a rigidly authoritarian society.  If you’re trying to impress upon someone an appreciation for living in a free country, don’t shove them at a hack like Hannity.  Plop them in front of Chernobyl and leave them to understand what they have.
  • I’ll be honest with you.  While I was excited to hear the news that HBO had approved making a Deadwood movie wrapping up the loose ends the series’ untimely demise left remaining and encouraged by the early words coming from the actors about the script, I still had concerns about whether they would be able to pull it off in a condensed format.  I am here to tell you Milch indeed stuck the landing.  (Yeah, it’s a little ironic he accomplished something in two hours that the GOT writers couldn’t in six episodes.)  Deadwood:  The Movie is brilliant in every way you might expect if you’re as big a fan of the series as I am.  Okay, the plot isn’t much (although plot wasn’t really a big deal for the series, when you think about it), but the dialogue and the attention lavished on the characters, major and otherwise, shines.  The story is a reflection on the passage of time and the toll it takes on people, which is a brilliant use of the real world time span between the end of the series and the movie.  The acting is compelling; Olyphant, in particular, gives the best performance of his career.  One thing I’ll say is that while it’s offered as a standalone story, it’s far more enjoyable if you’ve watched the three previous seasons.  In any event, it’s not to be missed — especially Ian McShane’s final words, which constitute one of the great closing moments in the history of television.

Speaking of Olyphant, this is a little story that has to be shared (WARNING:  minor spoiler alert):

… and Seth confronting Hearst in the thoroughfare with Dan and Johnny backing his play. After the first few takes of the latter scene, director Daniel Minahan gave Olyphant freedom to try alternate versions of Bullock’s scripted reply to Hearst threatening to come for him: “Expect you will, Senator.” Olyphant tried a few that neither of them liked as much as the original line, then noted that if this was Justified, Raylan would say, “Let me know, Senator. I’ll circle the date.”

Perfect.  Reminds me of this line from Justified:

Add your takes in the comments and try to be mindful of others who haven’t seen either yet, but intend to.  If you can’t avoid discussing something that’s a spoiler, at least warn the rest of us before you post your thoughts.

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Your 5.29.19 Playpen

My offering this week is a cause for celebration.

B’s Cracklin is one step closer to reopening.

The popular barbecue restaurant in Riverside has been shuttered since early March when a fire broke out in the pit area and left the building heavily damaged. At the time, owner-pitmaster Bryan Furman vowed to rebuild.

In April, Furman told the AJC that he was assessing two locations, and if either worked out, it would be a temporary measure while he continued to search for a new permanent B’s Cracklin’ location in Atlanta.

Furman has settled on a temporary fix for his barbecue joint. He has signed a lease at Emory Point, in the former Marcello’s Pizzeria spot at 1679 Avenue Place. This week, he will begin the paperwork process to seek necessary licenses and permits, including for a smoker.

Awesome news.  I’ve been jonesing for some of his hash and rice.  Can’t keep a good pitmaster down.

Feel free to discuss barbecue to your heart’s content in the comments.  Try not to drool much.

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Your 5.22.19 Playpen

I would describe the final Game of Thrones episode as disappointing, rather than a total disaster, mainly because I found the writing lazy, probably due to the rushed arc of the final season, crammed as it was into six shows.  There were plenty of narrative gaps that left me shaking my head.

While, as I said, it wasn’t a disaster, it did feel lacking, enough that I felt a need afterwards to revisit the finale to another show to remind myself that there are folks out in TV Land who know how to get things right.

That’s just about perfect.

And it’s the lead in to this week’s Playpen topic:  give us your list of great television finales.

See you in the comments.

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Your 5.15.19 Playpen

As some wag on Twitter put it yesterday, the US is going to invade Iran and then Trump will run in 2020 claiming he was opposed to doing that.

For the record, this is a very bad idea for the same reason invading Iraq was.

And with that, today’s Playpen is yours in the comments.

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Your 5.8.19 Playpen

Okay, a subject of critical importance:  what’s your favorite sports movie?

For me, there are a lot of worthy contenders, but at the top of the list:

Share yours in the comments.

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