About naikanomtom

Chicago native, former Florida resident and now, a Virginian. This is an extension of my now deceased YouTube channel, which will feature blog posts of various subjects, most of which will be fun and or lame. Subjects will include my thoughts on film, humor, food, politics and of course anime. Although I don't have the heart to dabble in anime music videos nowadays, I hope this will be a welcome place for my old fans, and a low-key refuge for new ones.

NOW IT’S DARK: Naika Reviews “Blue Velvet”

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There’s always an unsettling darkness stirring underneath Small town America, and no film revealed that better than David Lynch’s 1986 masterpiece, Blue Velvet.  At first glance, everything about this film screams 50’s suburbia, but one hard look inside is all it’ll take to reel you in.  Like the movie itself, the town of Lumberton will trick you with familiar songs and smiling faces, only to sucker punch you in the throat with rabid, oedipal savagery.  Sure, the world around you will get hazy, and you’ll blackout a few times, but once you wake up, you’ll see.  You’ll really see.  That gas.  Her closet.  His rage, and her blue robe.  These are all love letters, fucker.  Straight from your heart.

David Lynch regular Kyle MacLachlan plays Jeffrey Beaumont, a young college student on break who returns to Lumberton in order to help tend to his Dad’s hardware store after a stroke.  He doesn’t seem too pleased to come back to his old life at first, but his whole summer changes when he comes across a strange sight in the grass: a severed ear, rotting under a swarm of ants.

It is from here that we begin our descent into the darkness.

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After submitting the ear to the Police, Jeffrey becomes reacquainted with Detective Williams, the lead investigator on a related case, and his daughter Sandy, portrayed by the incomparable Laura Dern.  It’s through Sandy that Jeffrey learns that both the ear, and her father’s case, may have a possible connection: the nightclub singer named Dorothy Vallens (portrayed by Isabella Rosselini).  Despite being told to stay out of the case, Jeffrey & Sandy soon concoct a plan to sneak into Vallens’ apartment to search for any clues that could further the investigation.  The scheme basically involves Jeffrey posing as an Exterminator so that he can snatch away Dorothy’s spare key.  With Sandy keeping watch in the car outside the building, Jeffrey hopes to sneak in, look for clues and get out before Dorothy gets back.  It sounds simple of course, but like all plans, they tend to get fucked FAST.

So the first part of the plan works.  Jeffrey’s a bugkiller, he meets Dorothy, he scopes the scene and gets the key with no issue.  As part two of the plan approaches, Jeffrey and Sandy stop by to see Dorothy sing at the local nightclub.  I’m guessing they came by to have a better sense of where Dorothy is before they do more sleuthing, but what happens next is what makes the film so dreamy and iconic.  Draped in eerie blue lights, with long, red curtains behind her, Dorothy sings a stunning rendition of Bobby Vinton’s Blue Velvet that’s so full of class and melancholy that you’ll remember it long after you’ve finished the film (this is especially so in the second singing scene later on).  Like what we’ve come to know in Lynch’s Twin Peaks, scenes like this echo that strange yet familiar feeling we see from the Roadhouse, where somehow, ordinary things like singing a song in a murky bar seem ethereal, dark and in another plane of existence.

However, our heroes can’t stay in the bar for long.  Jeffrey and Sandy rush to Dorothy’s apartment, with Jeffrey being the one to sneak in while Sandy stays in the car to honk the horn should Dorothy return.  Through a series of fuck-ups however, Jeffrey soon realizes that Dorothy’s back and he finds himself hidden in the closet, peering from the darkness through sheets of light.  From here, his role undergoes a savage reversal as the young sleuth suddenly becomes the voyeur.

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Dorothy isn’t stupid however, and she spots Jeffrey without fail.

Instead of reporting Jeffrey to the authorities however, Dorothy instead takes interest in him, with a strange mixture of confusion and sexual curiosity.  However, that’s cut short in order to introduce us to the villain of this story: Frank Booth.  He knocks on the door and she knows exactly who it is.  Dorothy then hides Jeffrey back into the closet in order to keep him safe, which not only places him back into the role of voyeur, but shows us our first real glimpse of Lumberton’s dark side.

As Frank Booth enters the scene, we already get a sense of how fearful Dorothy is of him.  He barks orders, demands booze and, most of all, demands compliance.  He demands servitude.  He demands her to be called ‘mommy.’  And he does all of this while taking in a strange gas from a hidden respirator in his jacket.  All of a sudden however, Frank convulses into an unstable mass of madness as he goes straight to Dorothy, mauling her in a mix of abuse, humiliation, gas-breathing, snarling and oedipal dry-humping.  It’s a ferocious scene that cuts to the core of baby-boomer misogyny, leaving us, and Jeffrey, all in tatters.

Once Frank leaves, Jeffrey emerges from his voyeuristic shroud to console Dorothy.  She embraces him and not only displays affection for him, but demands that he be with her as she calls him by her husband’s name.  As the film progresses, Jeffrey soon finds himself balancing his time with Sandy, his own investigation into Lumberton’s seedy underbelly, and his growing sexual relationship with Dorothy, who has her own dark desires as well.  During this time, we go on a journey with Jeffrey to witness how Frank Booth terrorizes Dorothy in a surreal, night-time world where dreams come to life in a strange veil of drugs, sex and 60’s pop music.  This is best exemplified in one of my favorite scenes, where Frank Booth and his cronies discover Dorothy’s relationship with Jeffrey.  What ensues is a midnight joyride full of strange questions, profanity and a meetup with the effeminate criminal known as Ben (suave fucking Ben to you, you fucker…).  It’s something that I don’t want to spoil here, but it really encapsulates what’s both daring AND jarring about Blue Velvet.

Overall, Blue Velvet gets a standing ovation from me.  It’s a dark and mysterious film that feels like a dream wrapped in a nightmare.  Filled with madness and mercy, the dark and the divine, Blue Velvet hits all the right notes for a thriller, and possibly a horror film (though that’s stretching it), but does just enough to make itself so much more.  With that said, there is still so much of David Lynch’s oeuvre that demands my attention, including Eraserhead, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire, but this film is the one that I keep coming back to.  This is especially the case now that Twin Peaks: The Return is all over.  For me, this film just has the right amount of Lynchian horror, quirkiness and production design that I just find myself saying, “Well shit, it’s like the early Twin Peaks, but crazier!”  All in all, Blue Velvet is a masterpiece and it demands your attention.  Now, if you’re on the fence about David Lynch (especially since his track record for diversity is pretty suspect), I urge you to simply give it a try and watch it all the way until the end because the vision behind it all is one of a kind.  Only a handful of films can make the ordinary seem so hellish, and Blue Velvet delivers it all in the form of candy-colored dreams.

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August, September and October have been AWFUL

I’m serious.  These last few months have been utter shit.  First off, we had storms.  Crazy ass storms, like Harvey and Maria.  The latter of these storms have crippled an island full of Americans (assuming you consider Puerto Ricans as Americans, and if you don’t, then shame on you) who, in the words of Donnie Trump, should be grateful that they weren’t hit by “a real catastrophe like Katrina.”  Seriously, what kind of President SAYS that to his fellow Americans AFTER a catastrophe?

Furthermore, what kind of President risks the lives of millions of people across East Asia by joking about nuclear war, making fun of his Secretary of State on Twitter and insulting a Dictator with a line from an Elton John song?  Seriously, who the hell does that?

Then we had the whole NFL kneel-gate, where Trump basically hates ANYONE that questions the flag WHILE Puerto Rico is undergoing this massive crisis.  And yes, he did this WHILE demonizing players who protest the anthem (you know, sons of bitches…) publicly, when he could’ve demonized those Nazis marching all over Charlottesville.  I hope y’all know how much I hate Trump as a President, but dear God he’s really REALLY good at being an awful, AWFUL human being.

And then there’s Las Vegas.

Gun control?  Security?  Being safe at a music concert despite having toothless policies to police firearms in American?  Ha ha ha.  Yeah right motherfuckers.  I’m not even appalled by this antifa fake news conspiracy bullshit.  I’ll just shake my head and move on because cowards in Congress don’t believe in actual, common sense gun regulations that EVERYONE agrees should happen here.  This shit should not have happened, and yet here we are….again.  Dear God…

I think Trevor Noah’s video below sums up a lot of what I’ve been feeling for the past few months.

Yeah, it’s been a horrible few months…

Whose Side Are You On Asian-America?

Seriously Asian-America, whose side are you on?

Are you gonna get with the program and pound your feet on the pavement?  Are you gonna do what’s inconvenient and help call white supremacy out when it has its hands on minority throats?

Or are we gonna play the model minority card?

Or feign indifference?

Or point the finger at ‘those undeserving black people’ because ‘they didn’t work as hard as we do?’

This is the penultimate question that needs to be asked amongst all of us here in America.  After the violence that happened in Charlottesville earlier this month, I began to wonder if this will spur more of us in our community, including myself, to act and fight alongside other people of color when more of these hateful rallies roll into town in the near future.  However, folks like Chris Newman, a Charlottesville farmer and native, remind us that it isn’t always the tiki-torch bearing Alt-Right mongrel that dehumanizes us.  Sometimes, it’s that hipster asshat with his artisanal cookie shop and winery.  Sometimes, it’s that liberal white chick who’s really into exercise:

It isn’t Richard Spencer calling the cops on me for farming while Black. It’s nervous White women in yoga pants with “I’m with Her” and “Coexist” stickers on their German SUVs.

Newman also added that for Black people in general, places like Charlottesville are filled with business that use Blackness for their own gains without employing any Black Americans in the mix.  In addition, Black Americans’ lack of representation in the town pigeonholes them into tropes and symbols stripped of any depth, while its other citizens (da white pipo) occupy a variety of depictions that other POCs would friggin’ die for:

Check out C’Ville Weekly’s Instagram feed when you get a moment, and try not to notice that the few depictions of Black people are limited to sports, singing, criminal justice, or single parenthood. White people, meanwhile, are represented as political activists, chefs, cogs in the gig economy, musicians, dancers, people who get married, visual artists, songwriters, architects, landscapers, thespians, artistic directors, wedge-heel-wearing rugby players, dog lovers, farmers, firefighters, and people who play with their kids in cul de sacs.

Richard Spencer is not the editor of C’Ville Weekly.

Truth is, as a Black dude, I’m far less bothered by the flag wavers in this picture than this town’s progressives assuming its race problem has nothing to do with them. The former is a visual inconvenience. The latter could leave my daughters without a father.

I was shocked and angered about what I saw at Charlottesville.  Hell, I still am.  However, we can’t kid ourselves here and say that this was unprecedented.  We can’t keep acting like ‘Oh dear, this is the worst thing I’ve ever seen.’  What I’m trying to get at is that none of this shit started with the Alt-Right steamroll of Charlottesville.  None of this started with Trump or with ‘Crooked Hilary’ or with the end of the Obama Presidency.

It starts when you give off that suspicious look to somebody darker than you on your Saturday morning jog.

It starts when you touch somebody else’s hair without permission, even though you have blonde hair and you wouldn’t dare let anyone else bump into you, let alone touch your hair.

It starts when you show amazement at how ‘articulate’ your ‘ethnic’ co-worker is when you finally have the gall to say hi after avoiding them in the office kitchen for six months.

It starts when you feel obligated to ‘save’ others, or pretend to want to learn about their ‘interesting’ culture in tone-deaf Facebook posts.

It starts when you follow Black kids around your store all the fucking time for no damn reason.

It starts when you give your darker customers wrinkled, furrowed looks but smile like you just discovered the goddamned sun when a white customer walks in.

It starts when you parade around New York to defend Peter Liang.  That’s right, Peter-fucking-Liang.

It starts when you do stupid shit like this:

Notice that what I wrote seems so interchangeable between white folks and Asians.  We talk about white oppression a LOT in this country but don’t ever fool yourself into thinking that we Asians in America don’t engage in that kind of shit either because these small and seemingly insignificant actions can add up into full-blown beliefs that dehumanize other people of color.  As a result, we are compelled to look at darker people with suspicion and prejudice.  This is why beauty shop patrons can get hurt or killed for nonsense in this country.  This is why our pals from the Old Country make insensitive skits and advertisements that denigrate people of African descent even though they have the resources to better inform themselves.  This is why we crave these Anglo-centric ideals of success that puts us AND other minorities on the backseat.  This is why we just don’t give a shit.  This is why we are silent.  We don’t want any trouble.  We just want to be left alone.  We just want to ‘live in peace.’

In response to this indifference, groups like Asian-Americans Advancing Justice or Letters for Black Lives  have emerged to bridge the chasm.  These groups are important because they realize that the battle against both racism and White Supremacy must begin by looking inward.  They know that the Asian-American community is not monolithic, but diverse.  However, they know all too well that no matter how many well-meaning members of our community show-up and do our part to help speak up or protest, we will still have the specter of Anti-Blackness hanging over us.  We will still be related to the family member that talks bad about Black folks in our restaurants.  We will still be the man that makes money off of Black beauty supplies in Black neighborhoods.  We will still be the assholes that have the nerve to sell you booze all day long while decrying that ‘you should stop being lazy and get a job.’  We still killed Akai Gurley.  We still defended Peter Liang.

Sebastian Whitaker from Affinity put it to us this way:

The idea that just because we are Asian and have our own history of oppression does not justify our anti-blackness. We are still partaking in and perpetuating harmful ideas which still oppress black people today. Depicting black people as “thugs” and “gangsters” is a tired trope which has led to many negative outcomes such as the hyper-incarceration of black men, as they are viewed as inherently being angry and guilty of crimes.

We also need to deprogram this mentality that “we’re not like them”. This model minority myth in which we’re “hard-working” and “successful” as Asian people is harmful in itself, but also should never be used as an attempt to dehumanize black people in order to please white supremacy. “We’re not like them” is saying we’re better than them, and stereotypes black people as being poor criminals while we’re the hard-working and successful Asians who overcame our oppression and essentially assimilated into whiteness. In reality, while we obviously have our differences, we’re not better or worse than each other, just different. We shouldn’t have to bring down black people in order to raise us up, especially to adhere to white supremacy.

So to sum it all up, we need to do more.  We SERIOUSLY need to do more.

I’m not here to stomp on the real progress Asian-American activism is doing.  I’m not an authority on this, and I’ve only started waving my signs this year.  However, I’m here to stomp on myself for not being on the streets sooner.  I’m mad at myself for not walking the beat to yell down bigots and I’m saddened to see us sulk in fear instead of marching with others.  What you saw in Charlottesville might just be the beginning, but for a lot of people in America, this shit ain’t new.  It’s time we call our people out and wake up.  It’s time to quit chasing that whiteness that so many of our people crave.  Put away your uber-hip Matcha cake, burn your collection of ugly-ass Abercrombie shirts and stop selling $14 Pad Thai.  Use that time you spend on Yelp to engage with Black, Muslim, Latino and LGBT people and start the healing process.  Use your ears to listen to others’ concerns about how we prey on other communities of color while rarely giving anything back in return.  Use that money from your oh-so-fly white-collar job to go make a sign so that you too can protest like so many others did before us.  Use that education (y’know, the education that your parents constantly talk to your relatives about?) to talk to your selfish, asshole parents about how racist they can fucking be, and tell them that you’re not okay with that bullshit.

Now, ask yourself one more time.  Whose side are you on?

Some Short Words on Netflix’s “Castlevania”

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So yes, Castlevania on Netflix is neat!  It’s already great to see a legendary game franchise finally getting the animated treatment, but even better, it’s amazing to see said franchise get a WELL WRITTEN adaptation in this format.  My first sight of the trailer made it appear as though Castelvania 3: Dracula’s Curse would be the focus and right we were.  We got Trevor Belmont, Alucard, Sypha and lots and LOTS of exposition into Symphony of the Night territory with both Lisa Tepes and Count Dracula.  All in all, Castlevania is worth a watch and below are my quick thoughts on what’s good, bad and ugly about this new show.

The Good – The Look, Story & Sound:  First off, let’s start with the best thing about the show, and that’s the script.  Utilizing Castlevania 3 and Symphony of the Night as starting points, Warren Ellis and the gang do an excellent job of fleshing out the backstory of Vlad Tepes, his time in Wallachia and yes, how he meets Lisa.  Furthermore, the show goes to great lengths in depicting how HORRIBLE the Church is to EVERYONE, and that maybe, just maybe, Dracula’s bloody reign across the land is ample punishment against an institution that’s as evil (or more) than him.  Lastly, I think a good word needs to be said about how well thought out the characters of Trevor, Sypha and Alucard are.  Sypha especially gets the Golden Treatment here as a benevolent ass-kicker with magical know-how.  Trevor is great as the drunk exile who’s seeking a purpose in life amidst the madness ravaging the land and Alucard….well, we don’t know that much about him, but here’s hoping that Season 2 will do more in that regard.

Speaking of our three heroes, we need to give Sam Deats and his team a round of applause with the Ayami Kojima-inspired character designs.  Everyone not only looks great, but they’re damn true to form for an animated video game adaptation, especially in regards to Trevor and Sypha.  However, we can’t applaud this show without talking about the action.  Let me be clear and say that the action can be sparse at times, but when it shows up, it’s awesome.  This is best exemplified in the well-animated battle between Trevor and Alucard, which has a languid fluidity that’s got the trappings of Spike Spiegel’s first fight scene in Cowboy Bebop’s Asteroid Blues.  And finally, let’s not forget that Castlevania has some top-notch voice acting.  When it comes to Bishops, drunks and even Count Dracula himself, rest assured that we’ve got some damn fine storytelling behind the mic.  So all in all, when it comes to the Look, Feel & Sound of Castlevania, I think we’re all golden.

The Bad – No Grant, Sparse Combat and Power-Ups:  Mad props to Warren Ellis for his work on this show and all, but one gripe I have with him is that we’re without the presence of the climbing pirate known as Grant, where he feels that he didn’t fit with the overall timeline of the show (and that his name was ‘stupid’).  Not the end of the world mind you, but it’s pretty damn unfortunate because if we were able to see Ellis do some nice work in fleshing out the Speakers and the Belmonts, then I’m sure we could’ve repackaged Grant as a thief or bandit with a heart of gold.  Also, the man vs. monster action was SPARSE! (I think I said that already)  For a show that’s adapting one of the most illustrious chapters of the Castlevania franchise, I was hoping for more vampire whipping and less choir-boy busting, but that’s just me being picky.   Lastly, I really didn’t see enough of the fun elements that made the games so enjoyable, i.e. the POWER-UPS.  Now we DID see holy water being used during that great fight between the townsfolk and the monsters (led by our inebriated Vampire Slayer), but what about the axe and the boomerang?  Hell, what about using the whip to even greater effect?  You know, the mainstay weapon of the franchise?  These criticisms aren’t deal-breakers mind you, but we’re making Castlevania folks, so let’s remember that adding the words ‘camp’ and ‘video game’ aren’t entirely ‘bad’ things here.

The Ugly – The Blah Blah Blah:  If there’s any element about Netflix’s Castlevania that deserves to be in the ‘ugly’ category, then it’s the pacing.  You know why?  Because it’s ALL OVER THE PLACE!  Scenes where drunks make gossip may seem necessary for exposition but they inadvertently drag episodes, which make the long stretches of the show a slog instead of a series of eye-catching reveals.  Even Dracula’s ‘walk’ to his burnt home before he goes AWOL is paced so poorly that it makes him look awkward and STUPID which, for that instance at least, undermines how much of a villain he’s supposed to be.  Seriously, how is Dracula and the word ‘inaction’ even in the same damn sentence!?

I think we all understand that animation is an expensive endeavor, and although it’s not uncommon to create still scenes with heavy voice work as filler, the Castlevania team could’ve used their resources to visually convey these expositions without having to slowly pan across landscapes while yapping our brains to mush.  Aside from the ‘sleeping soldier’ tale, Castlevania not only needs to work on how it paces itself via exposition, it simply needs to inject more mythos into its myths.  It needs more mystery.  It needs more spooky.  It needs more creepy that’s paced RIGHT!

Overall, Netflix’s Castlevania is worth the watch.  Despite it’s brief run time and strange, groggy pacing, the show does wonders in adding new nuances to the Castlevania 3 storyline.  Furthermore, it’s got great character designs, well-animated fights (when they DO show up), a slick script and a boat-load of voice talent to back it all up.  So yeah, check the show out and cross your fingers for a much-improved Season 2.

The Twin Peaks MINDF*CK!

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I am thoroughly enjoying the Twin Peaks Revival.  So much so that I would rather lose sleep on a Sunday night than to miss the buzz from whatever Lynch & Frost may throw at us next.  From Dougie Cooper to Richard Horne, from the sights of the good ol’ cast to hearing Albert cussing out Gene Kelly, it’s been one helluva ride back to the quaint world of Twin Peaks.

Then came Episode 8.  Motherfucking Episode 8…….

I have no words to describe what just happened last Sunday.  No words except that it was a surreal mindfuck.  7 episodes in and I was already convulsing about what in God’s name was going to happen next.  Was the simple charm of Dougie Coop finally ready to give way into our Special Agent Dale after he judo chopped Ike the Spike?  Was Hawk going to find more clues to unravel where that missing page went from Laura’s diary?  Were we gonna see more hijinks from the Horne Brothers, or even Dr. Jacoby?  What about Ed, Nadine & James Hurley?  Will we get to see more heartbreaking moments with Bobby Briggs?  Will we get to see more of Laura Dern as Diane?

Well, we didn’t see any of that.

What we saw was this:

From there we saw creation, obliteration, the collision of worlds, the birth of Bob, the Experiment, the cans and, yes, we saw the Golden Orb.  We saw Laura Palmer.

However, these surreal, brutal flashbacks weren’t over.  They weren’t done with us yet.  Other horrors had emerged in its wake, many of which we can never look away from again.  The eeriness of the Woodsman.  The head crushing.  The gutting of Bad Cooper, and yes, the bug crawling into the little girl’s mouth.  There’s so much that we don’t know in this episode that it’s simply mind-boggling.  It changes how we view Bob, how we view the Trinity test and yes, how we view Laura.  Was she sent by the Giant as a heroine to fight the coming darkness?  How crucial is she in the push-and-pull between Good and Evil?  Did Bob know all along, hence the abuse and suffering that he put her through via Leland?  Noel Murray from the New York Times explains this hour as such:

I think we saw mankind setting loose forces beyond its control with the introduction of potentially civilization-destroying weapons in 1945. That test blast may have been what brought Bob into the world, and thus re-engaged our celestial overseers. But as is often the case with the way the universe works in “Twin Peaks,” nothing happened instantaneously. The darker elements took root gradually, while the warriors meant to combat them — like the spirit of Laura Palmer, or the various non-malevolent forms of Agent Dale Cooper — slipped into the world in ways both clumsy and imprecise.

This is one of the most provocative ideas from the original series that these new episodes have been carrying forward: this sense that even the most well-intentioned humans are incapable of interpreting and acting on the messages coming from the gods, who neither think nor communicate as we do. That’s why the dark side keeps winning out — except on rare occasions when someone as completely unselfconscious as “Dougie Jones” just blindly follows the directions from above, winning slot-machine jackpots and brilliantly analyzing insurance documents along the way.

It’s because of this disconnect between what the immortals are saying and how the humans are responding that it seems inadequate to reduce this hour to a simple explanation.

Whatever it may be, I believe we can all count on one thing:  that this Episode is TV history in the making.  We all thought that Lynch & Frost would be ill-prepared for this era of the boob-tube.  We were worried that it couldn’t be done.  We all feared that Twin Peaks would render itself a dud after 25+ years and be laughed off by the fucks that wouldn’t want to understand it.  However, it’s only Episode 8.  We’ve been totally mindfucked.  All our collective heads are spinning just to make sense of what we all saw and we are all hooked.

That’s right everyone.  It is happening again.

Note:  For those of you who might not know about Twin Peaks and are interested, see below:

What the Heck is Going On?

Police investigate a shooting scene after a gunman opened fire on Republican members of Congress during a baseball practice near Washington in Alexandria

This past month has been insane. Hell, even the start of this week featured Foghorn Leghorn as he testified in front of a Congressional Committee about Lyin’ Trump.  However, I was NOT prepared for Wednesday morning, where someone from my home state came to my current state to shoot up Republican lawmakers as they trained for a charity baseball event against their Democratic counterparts.

I saw the news pour in from the lobby TV before I made my way out of my apartment complex and the first thing I thought was how close this was to my proximity? Was it going to be like what happened to Gabby Giffords?  Was it by the hands of a liberal who went off the rails? Did it really need to come to this?

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that regardless of how you feel about the assailant’s politics or penchant for violence, it’s stunningly clear that in the midst of this Trump Presidency, we are losing ourselves. The Comey testimonies, along with Trump’s reaction to alleged ties with the Russian Government, have now revealed the disturbing possibility that Donny might have obstructed justice like a cheap dictator with aviators.  The fact that an investigation into this obstruction has surfaced is not surprising, but we all need to hope that Mueller doesn’t get the axe either in this case.

It’s harrowing stuff folks.  Really.  However, one’s outrage about these very disturbing allegations (or other issues in general) has to be tempered so that it’s channeled in the right way.  Go talk to your Reps.  Hash it out with your Conservative friends and co-workers.  Point it out to a fellow passenger on the Metro whose face is frowning just as much as yours when you both read the Express.  Get your pals together and run for office.  Do all those things.  Just don’t go out and hurt people.   Just don’t. We don’t need that shit right now.  We’ve got enough of it in front of the TV as is.

A Great End to a Disappointing Arsenal Season (2016 – 2017)

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It’s Memorial Day today and after returning from a quaint little Jazz festival in Alexandria, Virginia, I just thought I need to make a few blurbs about Arsenal.  I originally wanted to write another hate-filled speech about Cheetos Emperor Donaldore J. Trumpfuckery the 15th and his ties to a secret cabal of one-eyed KGB kickboxers, but that’ll be for another day.  Today is for the vets, and it’s also for me to celebrate Arsenal’s victory over Chel$ki F.C. to win the 2017 F.A. Cup.

Our season in the Prem started out well, and things were looking good between November 2016 and January 2017.  However, losing Santi Cazorla was a massive blow, and as you already know, the wheels started to come loose a little later in the campaign.  Losing to Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Tony Pulis F.C., and Watford, along with ties to fucking Bournemouth and some offsides bullshit with Citeh dented both our hopes and our top four chase, making us 5th for the Europa League.  A big blow to us for sure, but I really REALLY want to stay positive and hope that there’s a silver lining in that as well.  If Chel$ki and United fall into the Europa League with little ire from the press, why can’t Arsenal, right?  (I’m being sarcastic of course)

However, I’m still not in the Wenger Out camp.  I’d only do so in order for Uncle Arsene to be spared of all this stuff.  That’s not to say that Arsenal aren’t without problems.  I’m as sick of it as anyone else when it comes to our pattern of implosion, but to visibly vent our frustrations on Wenger does him or us no justice.  Protest the way we play, or get in the board’s face about investment or even a change in tactics, but for reals folks, please don’t dis Uncle Arsene.  He doesn’t deserve it.

So give the old man credit for that back three.  Give him credit for his selections.  Give him AND the players some cred for smacking Mourinho in the face after beating ManU in the Prem and give him his due for giving us one helluva F.A. Cup final.

If you watched the final, then you know how exciting it was.  I was screaming at Arsenal all day to make sure they didn’t fuck anything up and sure enough, they didn’t.  The first 5 minutes was all Arsenal with some amazing possession and, handball or not, a neat goal from Alexis Sanchez.  I’m glad we got in Chel$ki’s faces and I’m glad we got some fortune for once.  Ramsey offside?  Yeah right.

However, with all the chances we had throughout the first half, the game should’ve been out-of-sight with 4-0.  We dominated the midfield battle and for all the excuses Chel$ki fans can make about not being at the races, save it.  You guys put out THE title-winning eleven and for an occasion like the F.A. Cup final, you guys looked ordinary.  Oh, and that Ozil tackle on Hazard?  Priceless.

The second half saw the Blues amped up with a few more fouls, penetration and pace, which only made David Ospina look cooler and cooler with some fine saves.  Per, Rob and Nacho held Neaderthal Costa back pretty well for the most part.  Well, except for his goal of course.  But that was after the Victor Moses dive.  Which he got a red card for.  Sweet.  Again, you’d think Arsenal would be safe after that but then we got Costa’d.  I kicked a box at home as my head boiled with fury.  For an Arsenal fan like me, this usually means that we would not only implode, but  Per would break all three of his legs somehow, Ox would get a Red card for being Gibbs (again) and Phil McNulty would begin masturbating at the thought of writing another thinly-veiled ‘Arsenal-are-weak-get-Wenger-sacked’ fluff piece.

However, in only a few short minutes, Phil would have to go limp and clean his chin in disgust because when Olly Giroud came on, he made made a beautiful cross to an unmarked Ramsey, where he cannoned a header past Courtois (the best GK in teh Prem mind you).  The roar of the Gooner faithful thundered the air, the blue poop of London groaned and the Red Sea parted in Divine Rapture.  I wasn’t the only one jumping for Joy.  I clutched my Wife, I held on to the sky and was ready for Arsenal to defend for their life.  What a feeling, and what a goal!

Ospina and the rest of the defense had to then pull in one helluva shift to make sure the game didn’t turn into 2-2, with a brilliant save to keep us all in.  Mesut should’ve scored when Arsenal broke free but had to settle for the post, Courtois’ leg and a corner and I wished to God Giroud got his 100 goals for the club, but when that final whistle came, I didn’t care.  We saw through the challenge.  We beat the deserved Champions of England.  We won the F.A. Cup.  And we did it with our BFG Captain making his FIRST START OF THE SEASON!

I’m not so sure if this ‘saved’ our season because there’s just sooooo much that we still need to work on.  Injuries, motivation, mentality and, overall, contracts.  It sounds like the ‘same old Arsenal’ tag that most shit pundits like to beat us with, but it all happened at the latter half of the season, not the tail-end of November like usual.  We’re starting to slowly find a way to play without Santi, but we need to really rethink our defensive transitions because teams are finding out how to exploit us in our own half.  It’s my hope that the maturation of Xhaka in the Prem will help in that regard, but like many new signings at Arsenal, they usually don’t mature until they take a pounding.  Keeping Sanchez and Ozil are should be the main target of the club this summer, and if we do, we need to drill Sanchez to avoid turnovers at all costs.  I also personally think Giroud and the Ox should still stay at the club, with the former being a beast from the bench and the latter shining as a wing back.  Finally,it’s my hope that with a win like this, we can take a serious look at our problems, use Spurs’ current form as a kind of jealous motivation, and our sinking into the Europa doldrums as a silver lining for experience as we try to recoup ourselves to do something big next season.

Until then guys, let’s savor this win and tell the rest of the naysayers to piss off.