The Slap Heard Around The World

Lisa and I watched the Oscars last night but somehow, I managed to be out of the room when Will Smith stormed the stage and slapped Chris Rock.  I’ve since watched the incident on YouTube and I’m pretty sure I understand what happened.

Chris made a joke about Jada starring in GI Jane 2.  A lot of people are making excuses for Chris, saying that he didn’t know that Jada suffers from alopecia.  I don’t really buy that because I knew it and if a random person like me knew it, I find it hard to believe Chris didn’t know it.  I think Chris was doing what he always do, which was roasting his audience.

Will laughed at the joke.  Watching the footage, it’s obvious that Will laughed long and hard.  Jada did not laugh and she gave Will a look that said he was going to be in big trouble after the ceremony.

Realizing he was now in trouble with his wife, Will tried to make up for it by overcompensating, which in this case meant walking up on stage and slapping Chris Rock.  Will then went back to his seat and yelled at Chris not to say his wife’s name.  What significant is that Will didn’t say that to Chris on stage.  Instead, Will returned to his seat because Will knew that the Best Actor presentation was still coming up.

Chris started to say, “I could have said….” and he was probably going to mention something about all of the rumors that have surrounded Will and Jada’s marriage over the years.  But Chris thought better of it and moved on to awarding best documentary.

According to the reporters who were at the ceremony, Will and Jada huddled with Denzel Washington, Tyler Perry, and their publicist during the commercial break.  When the show returned to commercial, Will won his Oscar and then gave his weird speech where he seemed to put the blame on God for expecting too much of him.  It was all pretty dumb.

As for the rest of the show, it was ok.  I was happy Troy Kostur won and that Dune swept the technical awards.  Otherwise, it was a boring show and we will all have forgotten about it by next week.

Zelenskyy and the Oscars

I really hope that Zelenskyy does not appear on the Oscars tonight.  Right now, Zelenskyy is winning the hearts of people across the world.  I think appearing on the Oscars, as is rumored might happen, would only serve to cheapen him and his struggle.  It’ll make him look like just another celebrity, instead of being a man fighting to protect his country from a tyrant.

Despite all of the attention that Ukraine and Zelenskyy have received over the past month, I think some people still fail to understand that this is a serious struggle and a serious war and that, given the way Putin deals with his enemies, Zelenskyy is not only fighting to save Ukraine but also his own life.  Appearing on the Oscars and doing a bit with Amy Schumer will only distract from the seriousness of what’s actually happening in Ukraine right now.

Jeff Fortenberry Resigns

This is good news.  Fortenberry was a Republican Congressman from Nebraska who, for the past few years, has been dealing with legal and ethical issues.  He was finally convicted on charges related to foreign campaign donations.  Fortenberry had been taking a defiant tone all through the trail but, with the guilty verdict, he has announced that he will step down.  I was dreading the idea of him running again and being tied, Todd Akin-style, like a millstone around everyone’s neck.

This is a seat in Nebraska.  Following redistricting, it’ll be a little less red than it is currently but still, this is Nebraska and given the way the year is shaping up, the GOP should be able to hold onto it with little trouble.

Filemon Vela Resigns

U.S. Rep Filemon Vela (D-TX) will resign from Congress

Filemon Vela resigning from Congress is just weird.  He was already retiring at the end of his term but, by suddenly resigning, he’s ensuring that the taxpayers will have to pay for a special election, along with the usual general election.  He’s resigning to join a law firm but wouldn’t that firm be willing to wait until his term expired in just a few more months?

Vela’s putting Democrats in a bad position because the candidate to succeed him in November is Vincente Gonzalez, who is currently representing a different district.  (The two districts will be combined by redistricting at the start of the next Congress.)  If Gonzalez runs in the special election, he’ll have to resign from his current seat which will lead, however temporarily, to two empty Democratic seats at a time when the Democrats have a very slim majority.  Chances are that the Democrats won’t seriously contest the special election so, for at least a few month, Vela’s seat will be occupied by the Republican who will be running against Gonzalez in the general.  It’ll be a mess but I guess Vela was really eager to get out of Washington.

The Worst Job In Politics…

…is being Vice President.  You get all of the bad publicity of your boss but you get absolutely none of his power.  If you’re a good politician, the Vice Presidency is terrible because your skills are wasted for at least four years.  If you’re Kamala Harris, the Vice Presidency is terrible because it’s just a position that reminds everyone of how incompetent you are.

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you do eventually get to move up.  Joe Biden did it, despite the fact that Obama was apparently telling everyone behind the scenes that they should go with anyone but Joe.  Mike Pence would obviously like to do it, though I think Mike’s moment has probably passed.  Usually, though, being Vice President is just four unrewarding years of being forced to take whatever project the President doesn’t want to get involved with.

There’s a reason why Veep is considered to be the most realistic show about politics.

Hugh Grant As The Doctor?

From the Guardian:

Doctor Who? Hugh Grant is ‘in talks’ to take over from Jodie Whittaker

It’s really not a bad idea, though some people will undoubtedly complain about replacing the first female Doctor with Hugh Grant.  As the article mentions, Grant is actually doing the best work of his career right now so stepping into the role of The Doctor might be seen as step down.  But it’s also ben rumored that Grant was offered the role when the series was first revived.  He turned it down because he was concentrating on films but reportedly, he regretted his decision when he saw what the series became.  And I’m sure that the show’s producers regretted the decision every time that they had to listen to Christopher Eccleston talk about how much he hated starring on the show.

Russell T. Davies is returning as showrunner.  He says he wans to give Doctor Who a “Marvel-style” makeover.  No one is quite sure what that means but it sounds like Hugh Grant’s Doctor could fill the role that Robert Downey, Jr. filled in many of the Marvel films.  It also means that the Doctor might not be at the center of every episode, which would allow Grant time to do other projects as well.

One thing that is for sure is that Doctor Who went off the rails during the Whittaker years.  That’s not the fault of Jodie Whittaker, who did the best she could with what she was given to work with.  Casting a star like Gant might get the show out of its ratings slump, though it would also mean tacitly admitting that the Whittaker experiment didn’t work out.

I think Grant would do well in the role.  Personally, I’d still like to see Bill Nighy in the role, though Nighy may be too old for it now.

The best Doctor, by the way, remains Peter Davison.

The Most Tone Deaf Thing You’ll See Today

Today, in tone deafness:

Definitely “Nobody said this would be fun” is a perfect strategy for the midterms and I encourage Democrats everywhere to run with it.

Andy’s Not Done Just Yet

It’s been less than a year since Andrew Cuomo stepped down as governor of New York and he’s already talking about challenging his successor in the primary.  That polls show that Cuomo is only a few points behind Gov. Hochul in a possible primary is evidence of both Hochul’s weakness and the power of the Cuomo name.

From Anthony Weiner to Eliot Spitzer to now Andrew Cuomo, what is it that keeps New York Democrats from just taking the L and moving on to a non-political life?