The Return of Stuff Happens, week 8: Take us away from this, Oscar!

Nothing happened in the world this week, so I’m going to devote this blog to the Academy Awards.

imgres-1Yes, I know that things did happen in the world this week, but 90% of them involved Donald Trump, and I just cannot read, write or hear another word about the creeping orange terror. Seriously, this guy is sucking up all the oxygen in the universe. The Oscars will not be immune from Trump disease; my guess is host Jimmy Kimmel will take his share of fairly mild shots at Trump (Kimmel is not especially nasty like Stephen Colbert, who hates Trump with a passion), but nothing like Chris Rock’s single-minded obsession with the ‘Oscars So White’ uproar from last year. Kimmel will probably leave the pontificating to the winners; I can hardly wait to hear what the winner of best sound effects editing thinks of Trump.

So, in lieu of a recap of what Trump did this week, here are my ill-informed opinions on this year’s major Oscar candidates.

Supporting actress

Haven’t seen enough of these movies to make an informed decision, but that has never stopped me before.

My guess is that Viola Davis has a lock on this award for her performance in Fences. Why? Snot, lots and lots of snot. I haven’t seen Fences, but the one clip I’ve seen has Davis in full ACTING mode, screaming at Denzel Washington with snot cascading from her nose. Now, THAT’S acting. Also, from what I’ve heard, Davis should have been in the lead actress category, but whoever makes these decisions wisely submitted her name in the supporting category to better her chances of winning. This category contains the most ‘what the hell?’ nomination of the year — Octavia Spencer for her competent, but hardly inspiring, performance in Hidden Figures. Hell, she wasn’t even the best actress in that movie.

Supporting actor

I’ll take a guess at Mahershala Ali for Moonlighting, because he has received multiple winsw for this role from other award givers.  I saw Moonlighting last night, and I am baffled as to why this performance is winning so much praise. Most of the others will be eliminated for various reasons. Jeff Bridges in Hell or High Water is a previous winner, and in that movie he’s basically playing his late career Grizzled Jeff Bridges. Lucas Hedges in Manchester by the Sea is very young, apparently. Dev Patel is very good in Lion, but he is really a lead role. It could be Michael Shannon, a veteran character actor in a category that loves to award veteran character actors, but has anyone seen Nocturnal Animals?

Lead actress

Another tough call. I loved Emma Stone in La La Land (more on that later), but Emma Stone is just naturally loveable, and I don’t know if she did enough to warrant the Oscar. Meryl Streep is typically terrific in Florence Foster Jenkins, but Streep getting an Oscar nod is so automatic it has become a running Oscar joke. Natalie Portman seems to have the inside track for his spot-on impression of Jackie Kennedy’s breathy, little girl speaking style for Jackie, but the movie is mediocre. I think it’s between Stone and Portman, and I’ll go with Stone.

Lead actor

In the early going, it looked like Casey Affleck had a lock on this for Manchester by the Sea, which I haven’t seen and may never see (every review of this movie contains the words “sad” or “depressing”). He’s still the odds-on favourite, but it could be Denzel Washington for his ACTING!! in Fences, which I have also not seen. All the others will have to content themselves with being nominated, particularly Viggo Mortensen for something called Captain Fantastic, which, despite the name, is not a Marvel superhero movie. Bet on Affleck, but don’t bet a lot. (By the way, Michael Keaton should have been nominated for The Founder.)

Best picture

imgresI will be genuinely disappointed, and surprised, if La La Land doesn’t win. I’m all in on this movie; it’s one of those rare films that is just a pure joy, one that luxuriates in the art of filmmaking. There has been the inevitable backlash against La La Land  —  there aren’t enough black people in it, the jazz isn’t real jazz, it doesn’t make a statement, Ryan Gosling isn’t a good enough dancer – but that’s all nitpicking from people who just can’t enjoy a movie for what it is. Well, screw them. La La Land is a movie movie,  the kind of entertainment that can only be achieved in a motion picture.

As for the other films:

  • I saw Moonlight last night, which is, from what I’ve read, La La Land‘s chief competition. These films are literally as different as black and white. Moonlight is the life story of a young black man who grows up a closeted gay in the projects of Miami. We follow him through his teens, and on into his inevitable adult life as a drug dealer. Moonlight is what I call a critic’s film, where the people who are paid to watch movies fall all over themselves praising it. My guess is that the average moviegoer will find it a very tough slog. It’s one of those movies that doesn’t know how it should end, so it just … ends. And I have no idea why it is called Moonlight.
  • Manchester by the Sea I haven’t seen, and might see only when it comes to Netflix. As noted above, it is frequently called sad and depressing, and I get enough of that in the real world;
  • Lion is a good film with a solid emotional punch (much better than Moonlight), but it could have benefited from being about 10 minutes shorter;
  • Hell or High Water is also good, with plenty of atmosphere and a good story, but it’s one of those movies where you get the feeling you’ve seen it before. I liked it, but can’t honestly remember much about it;
  • Hidden Figures is one of the multiple based-on-a-true-story films on the Academy list this year. The story of the genius black women who were forced to work in obscurity (or worse) in the early days of the space race, Hidden Figures is a top notch made-for-TV movie, but not an Oscar winner;
  • Fences I haven’t seen, but from what I’ve heard it is basically a filmed play, which doesn’t bode well for its chances;
  • Arrival I haven’t seen, but hear very good things. And it has a Canadian director, Denis Villeneuve, so there’s that;
  • Hacksaw Ridge is a bit of a baffler. Another true story, based on the heroic exploits of a consciousness objector in World War II, this Mel Gibson film is so over-the-top violent it verges on torture porn. Dozens of men are blown to bits, dismembered, set ablaze, shot through the head, bayonetted, disemboweled, etc. all in close-up, gory detail. Hundreds of bombs go off in titanic fireballs (which didn’t happen in WWII). It’s not a very good film at all, and I don’t know how it made the cut. Sully was a much better film. So was Hail, Caesar! or Deadpool, or The Nice Guys, or Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, or The Inflitrator, or London Has Fallen (OK, just kidding about that one, London Has Fallen is one of the worst movies of this, or any other year.

So that’s it. Enjoy the Oscars, but here’s a tip. Set your PVR to tape it, and lauch into it about an hour in. That way you can easily skip the commercials and the acceptance speech from the winner of best sound editing.


Bill Paxton, not to be confused with Bill Pullman. 

Bill Paxton, 61, a familiar face to film and TV viewers for years. Paxton died from complications from surgery on Saturday. Paxton’s fame rose in the 1990s thanks to roles such as Morgan Earp in Tombstone (1993), Fred Haise in Apollo 13 (1995), the lead role in the 1996 hit Twister and as treasure hunter Brock Lovett in Titanic (1997).His television credits include a lead role in HBO’s Big Love, for which he earned three Golden Globe nominations, as well as Hatfields and McCoys. He was frequently confused with Bill Pullman … Bernie Custis, 88, the first black to play quarterback in pro football, with the Hamilton Tiger Cats in 1951. He is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.


The Return of Stuff Happens, week 7: Horror in Sweden?

Doesn’t it seem like weeks ago that Justin Trudeau visited Donald Trump?

It was the story on this side of the border for days. But Trudeau had barely lifted off from Washington and his visit was forgotten, overwhelmed by a tsunami of terrible Trump news. But let’s briefly look back on the Trump-Trudeau visit, which seems to have been quite well received by the Canadian chattering classes.

While it was big news here (a Canadian PM visiting a big shot like the U.S. prez is always big news here) I checked out the American broadcast channels on Monday, and found a mixed bag. The Trudeau visit got only fleeting coverage on NBC and CBS – still pictures of Trudeau and Trump, and not a single voice clip of Trudeau. ABC, on the other hand, covered the visit most comprehensively. Calling Trudeau a “outspoken critic” of the ban/not a travel ban (not true; he made a few subtle references to Muslims), ABC devoted quite a lot of time to Trudeau and the Canadian attitude towards refugees, including clips of Trudeau welcoming Syrian refugees. On this side of the border, of course, we were infatuated with the whole thing, focusing on Trudeau’s ability to avoid the grotesque, macho-man Trump handshake. The late night talk shows barely noticed his appearance. Only Seth Meyers (the best of the late night news comics, by the way) noticed that Trudeau was in Washington. Displaying a photo of Trump and Trudeau, Meyers said it looked like “a snowboard instructor meeting a drowned ghost”. Not his best line, but we’ll take it.

During their press conference, Trump looked detached, almost bored. He had much bigger fish to fry than a visiting Canadian prime minister; his national security advisor was accused of lying about his conversations with the Russians (oh, those Russians), and was later fired. That scandal sucked up all the news oxygen, so Trudeau came and went with hardly a ripple of interest from the U.S. media. As it turned out, the Trudeau visit was Trump’s best moment of the week. His cabinet is literally falling apart, with resignations, withdrawals and suitable candidates running for the hills. Trump held a press conference on Thursday that was an epic, off-the-rails rant that had jaws dropping across the world. On a Friday night tweet, he called the ‘fake news’ media (in his view, that is the New York Times, NBC, CNN, ABC and CBS, but not Fox) “the enemy of the American people”. You know who else used the phrase ‘enemy of the people’? Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong. Just saying…

And finally, if that wasn’t enough, he held a “campaign rally” in Florida on Saturday night. Ignore, for a moment, that there is no campaign going on. Still, thousands of rabid fans turned out. Trump attacked the media, of course, and let loose with one spectacular headscratcher.

“You look at what’s happening”, he told the slavering masses. “We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?”

Nobody, as it turns out, because nothing happened last night in Sweden, at least not in the terrorist context. Who would believe this, indeed.

Meanwhile, here in Canada, the Conservatives had a poor week.

First, as you can see in this clip from the House of Commons, Conservative MPs laughed out loud when Edmonton MP and cabinet minister Amerjeet Sohi mentioned that he was a former bus driver. Apparently, being something as lowly as a bus driver was just absolutely hilarious to the lawyers and assorted other mucky-mucks on the Tory side. Worse yet was the reaction from Conservative leadership candidates to a fairly routine motion from a Liberal MP, Iqra Khalid, that that would, if adopted, have the House of Commons “condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.” A Commons committee would study ways to reduce “systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia” and report within eight months. It’s important to know that a motion is not a law, just an expression of the opinion of the members. But that didn’t stop Conservative leadership hopefuls. Kellie Leitch, Maxime Bernier, Andrew Scheer, Brad Trost, Chris Alexander, Kevin O’Leary and Erin O’Toole said they disagreed with the wording of the motion, with the wretched Leitch starting a website called “Stop M-103,” claiming many Canadians are worried their freedom of speech will be stifled. This utterly innocuous motions would have sailed through the house with nobody noticing had it not been for the Conservatives playing the Muslim card to rile up the base. Meanwhile, the MP who proposed the motion claims to have received 50,000 emails (which, to be honest, sounds like a wild exaggeration), and they weren’t very nice. She did read parts of the emails in the House, which included these gems:

  • “Kill her and be done with it. I agree she is here to kill us. She is sick and she needs to be deported.”
  • “We will burn down your mosques, draper head Muslim.”
  • “Why did Canadians let her in? Ship her back.”
  • “Why don’t you get out of my country? You’re a disgusting piece of trash and you are definitely not wanted here by the majority of actual Canadians.

And this is just two weeks after the Quebec mosque killings.

The Conservatives also held another leadership forum this week, or so I am told. My pathetic local rag, the Edmonton Journal, never mentioned a word about it, but I did hear that Kevin O’Leary’s first foray into speaking French was, as the French would say, a débâcle. Just like the pathetic Tory leadership race. But hey, at least they have a race. Nobody has yet to step forward to lead the federal New Democrats. 


Darrel K. Smith, 55, a wide receiver and slotback who played eight seasons in the the Argos and the Eskimos. He was traded to the Esks in 1993 in the biggest trade in CFL history, invovling 16 players …  Al Jarreau, 76, R&B and jazz singer and seven time Grammy winner… Stuart McLean, 68, all-Canadian broadcaster, humourist and author, creator of the long-running CBC Radio show The Vinyl Cafe … George ‘the Animal’ Steele, 79, a wild man wrestler known for tearing up the turnbuckle with his teeth, and his green tongue (accomplished with the use of green Clorets mints). In real life, he had a bachelor of science degree and a master’s degree.

This is on you, American voters

Sixty two million, nine hundred and seventy nine thousand, eight hundred and seventy nine.

unknown-1That’s how many people voted for Donald Trump. And that’s how many people should be looking at themselves in the mirror and saying “What the #@*% was I THINKING?”

Yes, you 62,979,879, this is on you.

Sure, you can blame Hillary Clinton – cold, calculating, devious, privileged, ethically slippery, old, female, etc. And you can point to Benghazi and the private email server scandals, even though you’re not exactly sure why you were outraged, but you sure were. And you can blame the Democrats for taking their base for granted. And yes, you can blame ‘the system’ which you saw as so corrupt that it needed a complete housecleaning. And OK, you can say that you really, really wanted to Make America Great Again, a tacit admission that it wasn’t great anymore.

Yeah, there are lots of reasons, and you can rationalize all you like. But here’s the bottom line: you were presented with someone who was revealed during the campaign to be a circus clown, a compulsive liar, a 1950s-era sexist pig, a duplicitous businessman with a string of dubious failed business ventures behind him, a foul-mouthed vulgarian, a man who wasn’t qualified to be the mayor of Pocatello, Idaho much less the most powerful nation on earth … AND YOU VOTED FOR HIM!

Now, to be fair, not every one of you 62,979,897 have to take the blame for his. At least a third of those who voted for Trump were just stupid. I think that number if fair. I mean, think about all of the people you know – friends, relatives, co-workers, neighbours – and chances are that you consider more than a few of them to be stupid. The kind of person that causes you to roll your eyes at the very mention of their name, while muttering, “He is SUCH an idiot.” These are people who are, for whatever reason, just naturally stupid. They don’t know it, of course, which makes them even stupider. You can’t get mad at them for voting from Trump any more than you can get mad at a blind man for bumping into you.

Then there are people who just vote Republican. About 28% of Americans declare themselves to be Republican. These are often they type of people who always vote Republican, because their daddy voted Republican, and their granddaddy voted Republican, and their great-granddaddy voted Republican, and their great-great granddaddy voted Republican. There is no talking sense to these people either. They are in the general classification of being stupid, but for a reason.

So, that leaves maybe a third of the 62,979,897 people who voted for Trump – people who were not just plain stupid, or Republican stupid – who made an educated, active decision to vote for Trump. I’ve seen these people on TV. Nice, middle class folks, house in the suburbs, solid job, well educated. These people, millions of them, looked at this clownish, lying, sexist, racist xenophobe, and said, “Sure, let’s give him a shot. Couldn’t be any worse than what we have, right?”

Yes, it’s you folks who handed control of the most important government in the free world to someone with zero experience in government. You’d be enraged if your company put an entirely inexperienced person in charge of your office, but you were OK with your government being run by an idiot. You’re the ones who have given Russia – evil, rotten, Russia – the upper hand in their quest for eastern European domination. You folks rolled the dice on electing a clearly unhinged, orange-tinted egomaniac in the hopes that he would turn out to be a pretty good guy after all.

Well, it didn’t work out that way, did it? And this is on you.

The Return of Stuff Happens, week 6: All Trump, all the time

Has there ever been a leader (or, in this case, a ‘leader’) who has so dominated every minute of every news cycle the way Donald Trump has?

In the pre-Trump era, you could easily go a few days without hearing or seeing one word from the President of the United States. Today, we can’t go 24 hours without some new outrage from Donald Trump, or his chaotic, lunatics-running-the-asylum White House. There are days when Trump packs two or three newsworthy outrages in a single day. This guy tweets like a 13-year-old girl who just HAS to comment on everything she sees, no matter how stupid it may sound.

Consider this week. After a panel of judges let stand another judge’s decision to overturn his travel ban/not a ban on seven mostly Muslim countries, Trump tweeted: “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” Yes, he’s taking the courts to court. On Thursday, he called Sen. John McCain a loser for questioning Trump policy, even injecting some sarcasm into a tweet, by calling McCain “our hero”. On Wednesday, he tweeted about three different polls, all supporting his travel ban and how truthful he is with the media. He also posted this baffler: “Big increase in traffic into our country from certain areas, while our people are far more vulnerable, as we wait for what should be EASY D!” No one is quite sure what an Easy D is. The same day, he tweeted a link to a story headlined “16 Fake News Stories Reporters Have Run Since Trump Won”. And on the SAME DAY, he tweeted this about the decision by department store Nordstrom’s to stop carrying Ivanka Trump’s poor selling clothing line: “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” Wait, what? Trump needs sometime to push him to do the right thing? And is that ‘terrible’? On Monday, he tweeted a series of attacks on the ‘failing’ New York Times. On Feb. 4, he spat out 10 tweets, including the random “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump may be the first president with ADD.

Trump, by the way, has 24.5 million followers and has tweeted 34,500 times. But how many people does he follow?

The answer, incredibly, is 42 … 15 of which have the name Trump in the handle.

Trump v. Trudeau

On Monday, Prime Minister Trudeau finally has a face-to-orange face meeting with Trump. Trudeau, seen by some as the standard-bearer for liberal policies in the west, is under pressure by some to stand up to Trump about his immigration ban. This would be foolish; right now, Canada is not noticeably on the Trump administration’s radar. If you have a neighbour who’s a bit of a psycho and who is feuding with his other neighbour, why get involved? Trudeau should, and will, talk trade with Trump (for a few seconds, anyway; Trump’s ADD will kick in quickly), and do everything he can to avoid the ban/not a ban controversy. It is not the place for a Canadian prime minister to comment on internal affairs of any other country. I suspect Trudeau will find some way to insert the fact that Canada has allowed 30,000 Syrian refugees into the country … and just leave it at that. For a little historical perspective, please read my column from Edmonton Prime Times about past meetings between prime ministers and presidents.


Richard Hatch, 71, star of the old Battlestar Galactica series … Irwin Corey, 102, a stand up comic often called Professor Irwin Corey, the World’s Foremost Authority … Mike Ilitch, 87, owner of the Detroit Red Wings and Tigers, and more importantly the man who inflicted Little Caesars pizza on the world.

The Return of Stuff Happens, week 5: Horror hits home; Trudeau breaks a promise; Stupor Bowl ads

Events on Sunday in Quebec City served as a reminder, if we needed one, that Canada is not immune to madness.

Last Sunday, a sad loser walked into a Quebec City mosque and opened fire on people who were praying. Yes, praying. He killed six,  injuring many others; it could have been so much worse. The gunman was the cliched loner who kept to himself, except in this day and age when your online presence can be tracked, and it was revealed that he was a fan of the far-right, and anti-Muslim.

Canadians, as is our way, united in shows of support. Tens of thousands turned out for candlelight vigils across the cold country on Monday in a heartening display of unity and compassion. But the sad fact is that there is a strain of Islamophobia in this country that no amount of candlelight vigils and overt displays of affection can hide. And it is especially true in Quebec, which has a sometimes tense relationship with newcomers, particularly Muslims. (I haven’t heard them, but I have read that Quebec City has a number of popular right-wing open line hosts who regularly target Muslims.) To be sure, Canada is remarkably open to immigrants, particularly so in this time when our nearest neighbour is going in the opposite direction. But Sunday’s tragedy tells us that not everything is not peace and love in Canada. We are, after all, no different than anyone else.

Trudeau in trouble

Justin Trudeau messed up royally this week, something that has become a fairly regular event.

You may remember (but probably don’t) that Trudeau promised, repeatedly, that we would have a new way of voting next election that eliminated the ‘first past the post’ way we’ve been electing MPs since time began. The existing system, the opinion goes, favours the big, mainline parties and disenfranchises millions of people who vote for someone other than the Liberals and Conservatives. Trudeau promised – on the campaign trail, and in his first speech from the throne, and up to just a few days ago – to have a new system in place by the next election.

Well, uh … forget that. This week, the Liberals said that despite a parliamentary report outlining a way forward, despite coast-to-coast consultations, despite thousands of online submissions, no “consensus” has emerged, so they’re not going to change the way we vote after all. Just too much work, apparently. The real reason has nothing to do with consensus, of course; this government, and all governments, make hundreds of decisions without consensus (pipelines, assisted dying, legalized pot, etc.). The real reason was that the system preferred in the parliamentary report was not the one the Liberals wanted. The New Democrats and Greens, who had the most to gain from changes, were in high dungeon, practically spitting with rage and invective (one NDP MP called Trudeau a liar). Trudeau was also taken to task for giving the duty of making the announcement to a rookie minister who was just handed the portfolio (and who apparently handled it very badly), instead of taking the heat himself. That’s pretty gutless.

So it’s a great, big broken promise from Trudeau, handled in an especially artless manner. We won’t know until the next election the impact of broken promises (this wasn’t his first) will have on the Liberal fortunes. My guess is that the general public isn’t that hot and bothered about electoral reform; it’s just too much of an ‘inside baseball’ thing to annoy too many people. But any more of this, and it will be very easy to paint Trudeau as a shameless promise breaker … yes, even a liar. It’s a self-inflicted wound, but not a fatal one. But a lot of self-inflicted wounds can become infected, and ultimately fatal.

Meanwhile in Tory land …

Remember last week, when I took Conservative leadership candidate Kelly Leitch’s campaign manager to task for spreading lies? No? Oh, well, I did. Take my word for it. Anyway, the idiot, Nick Kouvalis, resigned this week for finally going too far. He called a political science professor a “cuck,” short for cuckold, an insult used by some Donald Trump supporters in the U.S. to attack supporters of Hillary Clinton. The insult has an even more offensive meaning among members of the alt-right. Also this week, Kevin O’Leary, seen by many as the front runner, stepped in it big time. On the day that three of the victims of the Quebec mosque massacre were laid to rest, O’Leary posted a video of himself firing high-powered automatic weapons. Why? Who knows. The one thing for sure is that his timing was terrible. On Saturday, O’Leary made his first appearance at a Tory leadership debate. He was, of course, immediately the target of many well-rehearsed barbs about his part-time Canadian residency, his weak links to the Conservative party, his reality show fame. From what I saw (and I couldn’t watch it all; 14 people makes for a brutal debate format), he didn’t respond, simply answering the questions the way he wanted to answer them. He actually came off pretty well, I thought, although his comment earlier in the week that we will eventually “hail King Trump” was at the very least off-putting. O’Leary is a seasoned performer, and supremely confident. The worst performer by far was Kelly Leitch, who literally talks out of one side of her mouth in a grating, nasal drone, and says stuff about arming all women with pepper spray so they can defend themselves. I don’t see any of the candidates giving Justin Trudeau any sleepless nights.

Our long Super Bowl nightmare is over

Free at last, free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last … to watch American Super Bowl commercials.

For years, the CRTC mandated that only the Canadian feed of the Stupor Bowl, from CTV, would be shown in Canada, depriving millions of Canadians of the one thing really worth watching on Stupor Bowl Sunday – the commercials. The reason was to ensure that all Canadians had to watch Canadian ads, essentially ensuring that CTV could make a tidy profit on the most watched event on TV. This year, however, the CRTC said, screw it – the American feed (this year on Fox) could be aired into Canadian homes, giving us the chance to see the Super Bowl of Advertising in all its creative glory. (With most of the commercials already available online, this isn’t the big deal it used to be. Here’s one for Kia that’s really quite funny, and a killer from Mexico avocados.) CTV and even the NFL protested vigorously, but to no avail. So instead of watching commercials for Phil’s House of Shag Carpeting Warehouse or whatever, we can now watch the best of American advertising talent. CTV is fighting back with a contest offering prizes of $50,000 and $100,000, but you can only enter if you watch the CTV broadcast for on-air information on how to enter.

Meanwhile, in Donald Trump’s America, chaos reigns

Immediately after his ban on immigration or even visitation from eight mostly-Muslim countries, stories emerged of families being split apart and would-be immigrants who have waited years to become American having their hopes dashed.

Sean Spicer, afraid of five-year-old boys.

At Dulles Airport in Washington, a five-year-old Iranian boy was detained (apparently in handcuffs for some time) for five hours away from his mother because he was considered a potential security risk. Trump’s press spokesman, the pitiful Sean Spicer, told the incredulous media:  “To assume that just because of someone’s age and gender that they don’t pose a threat would be misguided and wrong.” He’s correct, of course. History is rife with examples of five year old terrorists.

Thousands of Americans have taken to the streets in furious protest over Trump’s actions. It’s safe to say that in two weeks of Trump, more people have taken to the streets to protest than in Barack Obama’s entire eight years as president. Two weeks into the Trump era, and I am exhausted. I can’t stand to read or hear another word about this megalomaniac, but there is no escaping him. I would move to Australia, but he’s even making news there by dissing the Aussie PM. God help us all.


Brunhilde Pomsel, who worked as the private secretary of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, has died. She was 106 years old. Though Pomsel worked closely with Goebbels and his family—she spent three years transcribing his reflections and taking his dictation—she maintained until her death that she knew nothing about Hitler’s Final Solution.