Wednesday, March 2, 2016

I didn't vote (yet)

Good morning, friends  It's the day after Super Tuesday, so named because a few years ago numerous states decided they wanted a say in who would be nominated by each political party for President.  It's also the Wednesday after the Oscars, if that matters.

Let's address the political stuff first.  Hillary Clinton continues her march of inevitability toward the Democratic presidential nomination.  Bernie Sanders isn't going to go away, as he won two primaries and a caucus last night, but Clinton won the rest and opened up a pretty large lead on her challenger.

The Republican side is far more entertaining at present, as Donald Trump is still steamrolling his competitors for the most part.  Ted Cruz, the Tea Party Senator from Texas, won three states last night, and word is that Florida Senator Marco Rubio finally won a state as well.  But what's more intriguing is how the Republican Party is attempting to line up against a candidate that their own members are voting for in large numbers.  Former candidate and Senator Lindsey Graham yesterday offered the opinion that the party may need to rally around Ted Cruz as their last hope to stop Trump. Of course, Graham also said in a recent speech that his party had gone "batshit crazy."

Kentucky's Republican caucus will occur on Saturday.  It was arranged this way to allow Senator Rand Paul to run for President (he has since "suspended" his campaign) and still have an opportunity to be on the ballot for reelection to his Senate seat.  I'm not registered Republican, but the results will be interesting all the same.

Trump was in Kentucky for an appearance yesterday, and, yes, Chris Christie is still at his side.  From what I observed in news clips, it's an odd dynamic to have Christie standing behind Trump while Trump speaks, but they've been doing that since Christie endorsed Trump a couple of weeks ago.  One wonders what Trump has promised to Christie once he wins the general election this fall...

Now, let's talk about the Oscars.....

First, let me add my comments to the legion already out there about the surprises of the night.  I didn't think "Spotlight" would win out for Best Picture over "The Revenant" (I have seen neither, by the way) because the latter seemed so inevitable.  I felt that way because all we were hearing about that film was how difficult it was to make, how the cast and crew endured enormous hardships for the sake of authenticity, etc.  The Oscar voters often cannot turn down something like that, but in this case, they did.

I also assumed, as most did, that Sylvester Stallone would receive the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for "Creed," presumably as a sort of lifetime achievement award.  I have not seen this but those who have raved about Stallone's performance as Rocky Balboa.  The winner in that category, Mark Rylance, was superb in "Bridge of Spies," which I just saw last week.  He was most eloquent in accepting his award, which wins him extra points in my book.  And because I did not recall having seen him previously in any movies, it's possible we may not see a lot of him in the future.

To me the greatest surprise, and one that delighted me, was how many awards were taken by "Mad Max: Fury Road."  In fairness, they were the type you might expect:  sound, production design, costume design and other awards that most would consider "background" honors.  But let's face it, if you're trying to create a world that does not currently exist, you have to get those things right in order for the audience to be drawn in, and this film succeeded.  By the way, if you had not read this previously, it might interest you to know that "Mad Max's" editor, Margaret Sixel, is married to director George Miller.

Before I close for the day, I want to add a couple of comments about sportscaster Erin Andrews' lawsuit against a voyeur and the hotel that somehow enabled him to be so.  Andrews has been in the news over the last couple of weeks as a result of testimony in this case and her reaction to it.  Full disclosure:  I was never a fan of hers, never thought she seemed well informed or to be a particularly good reporter.  I also never thought she was nearly as stunning as so many men that I know felt she was/is, and her voice has always affected me much like fingernails on a chalkboard.

Here are some things to consider, most of which were already well known or have come to light in the trial:

Andrews has improved her status in the world of sports television since this occurred, as she is now the primary sideline reporter for Fox Sports' broadcasts of the NFL, major league baseball and other events

The man who spied on her and recorded her while in her hotel room was convicted and served a sentence for his crime

Andrews' suit originally named the Marriott Corporation as a defendant, but they were removed because it was determined that they could not be held responsible for the actions of their hotel operator, a franchisee

What will Andrews do with the $75 million she has requested in damages in her suit?  Is this money intended for a specific cause or purpose?

Let's be clear--if this had happened to me or someone close to me, my reaction would probably be different.  But frankly, I had pretty much forgotten about all of this until the lawsuit came to trial.  I'd guess that many others had, too.  But here we are, talking about it all over again.

Anyway, that's my two cents' worth.  Have a good Wednesday.

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