This Afternoon’s Broadcast is brought to you by…

Olivia Newton John.

Silent Majority vs. Major Whinority

I’m interested in learning what others here think about whether there is a “silent majority,” and, if so, just how major is it? I don’t mean Republican and Democrat, or even Left and Right, I mean the percentage of people who believe in live and let live and mostly want to be left alone by government.

I had been thinking there are a majority of Americans who want the federal government services we have (maybe even more), but the last election caused me to think that may not be a majority. Still hard to tell, since so many registered voters didn’t vote.

But the ferocity with which Leftists have been attacking this administration gives me more concern. On the surface it’s very loud, very vocal, very impressive, but each instance dissipates quickly and much of it is beginning to look a little flimsy; like the fake village the citizens of Rock Ridge constructed in Mel Brooks’ documentary, “Blazing Saddles.” I wonder if, like the Great and Powerful Oz, it may be smoke, mirrors and amplified sound and projected imagery in a panic to keep us from pulling back the curtain?

Tuesday Open Thread

Val Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! Share these with the big government fan in your life.

Finally, An Awards Show I'm Excited About

Snowflake Awards

If you’re like me, you’re not particularly looking forward to the Oscars, a once-interesting awards show that has devolved into 3-4 torturous hours of limousine liberal back-patting, pretentiousness and conservative-bashing. (Not that I care, but for the record I expect the Hollywood-centric “La La Land” to win Best Picture, even though that’s apparently racist. Somehow.) Well, if you’re looking for a much more conservative-friendly alternative, The Blaze has you covered.

The Snowflake Awards, hosted by Tomi Lahren and Doc Thompson, will air on Oscar night as a sort of anti-Oscar show, and will present “awards” to the most obnoxious liberal snowflakes in America. As they put it:

The Snowflake Awards was established to honor notable hypersensitive citizens, those who, when subjected to the slightest pressures of life, begin to melt!

You can go to their website now and vote for Best (meaning most obnoxious) Snowflake, Best Hypocrite, Best Meltdown, and more. No word on whether or not the losers will get participation trophies.

The Walking Thread: Rock in the Road (S7, E9)

TWD 7.9

The back half of TWD Season 7 kicks off with a midseason premiere that is (relatively) uneventful, but very well-made and entertaining. None of the usual fireworks, character deaths or major plot revelations, just good solid storytelling, bolstered by lots of watchable character interactions, humor, and a fantastic action set piece in the middle. There was a feeling among many fans that the first half of the season was trying too hard to score an A and ended up getting a C; “Rock in the Road” is a solid crowd-pleaser that should earn a B+. Seeing Team Rick back together and working toward a common purpose, combined with a generally more upbeat tone makes a huge difference.

The episode opens with Father Gabriel on night watch at Alexandria, suddenly deciding – seemingly out of the blue – to take a bunch of supplies and flee the town. This seems weirdly out-of-place for someone so devoted to Rick’s group and the Alexandrians’ survival, but more is revealed later in the episode.

The bulk of the show is focused on Rick’s attempts to raise an army to fight Negan and the Saviors, a much more difficult task than he expects. He and his group first try to convince Gregory to join them, but Gregory refuses (in his usual cowardly, smart-ass way that makes you both want to laugh and punch him in the face.) Just as they’re about to give up, they find out that Enid has gone behind his back and convinced the people of Hilltop to join them, whether Gregory likes it or not. Hey, Enid did something useful finally! Good on her.

From there, they are led (thanks to a helpful Jesus) to The Kingdom, where they meet with King Ezekiel (Rick’s bewildered reaction to Shiva the tiger is one of the episodes’ many funny moments) and try to convince him to join the fight as well. Ezekiel ultimately says no, arguing that the price in his people’s blood will be too much to bear. He offers to let Daryl stay in The Kingdom, where he will be safe from the Saviors, and he stays at Rick’s insistence – Rick is playing the long game, hoping that Daryl will be able to change Ezekiel’s mind.

From there, the group makes their way back to Alexandria, but not before the centerpiece of the episode, in which they find an explosive-laden trap the Saviors have set for a large oncoming herd of Walkers and decide to take the explosives for themselves. This sequence, in which the heroes must deal with dangerous dynamite while the herd bears down on them, is incredibly tense (think Wages of Fear with zombies) and ends with one of the most satisfying zombie kills in the show’s history, as Rick and Michonne tie a chain between two cars and drive it right through the herd, slicing dozens of them to shreds. Awesome stuff.

They get back to Alexandria just in time for Trevor (Negan’s right-hand man) and the Saviors to show up and turn the town upside down searching for the missing Daryl. As expected, they throw their weight around, make some veiled threats, and leave. Rick discovers that Father Gabriel has left and, finding a clue that indicates he went to the boat that Rick and Aaron pilfered, track him into the woods, where they are surrounded by a whole new group of people who seem well-armed and quite able to handle themselves. As the episode ends, it remains to be seen whether Team Rick is in danger, but Rick looks around at these strangers and suddenly smiles. It seems to have dawned on him that Father Gabriel had a plan, and now that plan has led him to the soldiers he needs at last.

TWD 7.9.2

Random thoughts on this episode:

*Nice to see Rick give Father Gabriel the benefit of the doubt and not assume he was simply running away. He’s certainly earned it at this point.

*I know we’re supposed to hate Gregory for being such a smarmy jackass, but the writing combined with Xander Berkeley’s performance makes him really enjoyable to watch. The way he calls Rick “Ricky” and ends the meeting with “I want to thank you all for not being here today”…his douchebaggery is just a lot more entertaining than it has any right to be.

*Loved seeing Rick and Michonne working together on that car-chain zombie takedown. They’re a good couple, but even better as partners in ass-kickery. And while we’re on the subject, the team finally reunited with Morgan at The Kingdom, so it looks like the Rick-Morgan bromance is back on!

*I liked the fable Rick told about the rock in the road. It came off kind of corny, but that was the point – he was talking to a guy (Ezekiel) who was all about coming off as showy and eccentric, so the story was right on his wavelength. Of course, it didn’t work, but there’s still plenty of episodes to go yet. I think he’s given Ezekiel plenty to think about.

*Another reviewer questioned why we were supposed to hate Gregory but respect Ezekiel, even though they both turned Rick down. I think the answer is, Gregory did it because he was a selfish coward, but Ezekiel did it because he cared about his people and didn’t want to sacrifice them. There are many reasons to not fight a war, and not all of them are noble. Reasoning reveals character, and character matters.

*There’s a fan theory that the reason Father Gabriel left was because he found (offscreen) the list of loot caches written in Latin on Spencer’s body, and figured out there was another community out there. Being a Catholic priest, it makes sense that he would know Latin, and he must have instinctively figured out a way to help the war effort.

*Negan doesn’t show up in this episode, but we do hear his voice over the radio, mourning the Savior that Daryl killed: “Without Fat Joey, now Skinny Joey is just Joey.” I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there.

This Afternoon’s Broadcast is brought to you by…

Pete Townshend.

Fooled Again (I Don't Like It)

Tom Petty deservedly honored this past weekend at the MusiCares pre-Grammys weekend show. Millions-mile-long list of acts paying tribute to a man who’s carved out an even millions-more-miles-deep catalog over five decades. As a lifelong fan over all those years, very cool seeing not only a wide variety of genres representin’, but a multi-generational vibe as well, luminaries like George Strait and Stevie Nicks down to millennials The Lumineers and Cage the Elephant. Not sure if cameras were rolling to record the event, but I’d be willing to drop at least $100 on a DVD/Blu-Ray/CD combo if so.

Friday’s 27th annual benefit set a couple of records, first in fundraising, with Recording Academy president Neil Portnow announcing that the evening had brought in more than $8.5 million for musicians in medical or financial need. (That eclipses the previous record of $7.2 million taken in at last year’s Lionel Richie night.)
It also set a new benchmark — luckily for the assembled — for length. While recent MusiCares tributes to Richie, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand were all in the 16- to 20-song range, the T Bone Burnett-produced musical portion of Friday’s gala stretched to 27 songs, spread across three hours and 20 minutes, with the best arguably saved for last — that being a 40-minute Petty mini-set that included contributions from Jeff Lynne, Stevie Nicks, The Bangles and Dhani Harrison.

Plus, unlike the childish behavior we’ve seen from the left as the awards season ramped up as the Trump inauguration and administration kicked off last month, it was actually refreshing to hear even a slightly more mature thought-process in action.

Spektor, however, had no qualms about tying in Petty to the current climate. Of her selection of “I Forgive It All,” she said, “I was truly being haunted by that song, in the best way possible. A line that’s really been helping me when I get pissed off is, ‘People are what people make ‘em. That ain’t gonna change.’ And then the chorus is ‘I forgive it all,’ which I’m trying to do.”

Sure, sure, it’s not as if Trump supporters need (or care about) forgiveness from the entertainment crowd, but still better than the violence- and vitriol-laden filth which flowed at the Women’s Marches, or most of the immature whining Saturday Night Live spews non-stop. Baby steps? We’ll see.

I do know, however, the night’s host Ed Helms took me in two vastly different directions.

“I hate to bring things down right off the bat, but due to the White House’s executive order, that rendition of ‘Refugee’ has been banned. And we just got word that Randy Newman has been placed on a plane to Syria. Already, he’s in the air. … It’s bad news if you’re a Randy Newman fan, but I know, myself, I feel safer.”

I wholeheartedly admit this made me laugh quite a bit. Nice jab, perfectly “roasty,” no argument from me. That said, though, what followed, even as impressive as the Petty song drops were, had me grimacing from the piling on of ignorance.

“Trump is basically saying to the Internet community, ‘You Wreck Me,’ ” Helms continued. “And the immigrant community is like, ‘Don’t Do Me Like That. Stop Dragging My Heart Around. You know, I’m just Runnin’ Down a Dream. I want my daughter to be an American Girl. Honestly, You Don’t Know How It Feels. Back in my home country, we’re Free Fallin’, OK?’ And Trump is just like, ‘Yer So Bad.’ And the immigrant community is like, ‘Listen to (Your) Heart.’ And Trump is like, I Won’t Back Down. #ItsGoodToBeTheKing,’ which is a weird thing for a president to say.”

Really, “Dr. Faggot”? I don’t seem to recall Ed having a problem when the previous President strutted around for eight years (with no clothes on, mind you) and waved his executive order pen-and-phone around as if they had crown jewels on their ends, but all of the sudden he develops an anti-regent conscience? Sigh. So predictable.

Tell you what, though, I’m willing to give Mr. Helms and his wacky bunch of oh-so-concerned artistic community a break if they can tell me the name of the director who landed himself in prison when President Obama handed down a decree that director’s YouTube film somehow sparked the Benghazi riots which left multiple Americans dead. Hey, even the losers get lucky sometimes.

Monday Open Thread

The Oroville Dam is seen on Sunday, February 12, 2017.

If there is any justice, heads will roll in the State of California’s government at this thoroughly preventable disaster. Seeing as California is a one party state — no Democrats will suffer.

From The Trailer Park: Baywatch

The TV show was an excuse to watch boobs bounce, so this actually looks like it might be fun.

RIP LTG Hal Moore

Garryowen!