In retrospect, it’s probably for the best that this never aired

This was making the rounds a bit ago, but didn’t get quite the traction is deserved.

I had nearly forgotten, but about 10 years ago there was an effort by TV giant David E. Kelly (L. A. Law, Chicago Hope, Ally McBeal) to bring Wonder Woman back to TV. His star was Adrianne Palicki, then hot from Friday Night Lights.

The cast included Elizabeth Hurley (as the villain!), Cary Elwes — and a then unknown PEDRO PASCAL, which is why it’s hilarious.

The online clips look bad and clunky, so we’re probably all better off this didn’t sell. (Alan Sepinwall called it “embarrassing,” for example.)

The 80s were a special time

I think this Bulova ad makes that pretty clear.

Because some of you are CHILDREN, in order of appearance, we have:

  • Morgan Fairchild, famous mostly for a nighttime soap called Falcon Crest — a spinoff of Dynasty — but really a working actor for most of the last 50 years. Fairchild is now 71.
  • Johnny Cash. He’s too iconic to need a link, but had he lived — he died in 2003 — he’d be 89.
  • Bernadette Peters, mostly famous for being Bernadette Peters. She is now 73.
  • Roger Daltrey, of the Who. Daltrey is 77.
  • Cathy Lee Crosby was, at the time, mostly famous for being on a tabloid-tv show called That’s Incredible. She’s now 76.

And, of course, Muhammad Ali — also too iconic to need a link — who passed in 2016. He’d have turned 79 in January, though.

On rules, and exceptions to those rules

On Saturday, I was finishing a small group ride when we passed a “boomer bar” up in the Heights that’s usually blaring Freedom Rock or whatever. This time, it was a cover of Changes, which prompted me to say to the person next to you that “you know what? There’s just never any reason to cover David Bowie. It’s perfect already. You will not add goodness to the universe by trying.” They laughed, and we rolled on.

This morning, I am forced to confront one of those situations where an exception basically proves the rule.

Turns out, if you’re Trent Reznor, it’s okay.

Christopher Plummer died today. He was 91.

He’s been famous for a long time, and famous recently for some great older-man roles (e.g, Knives Out), but for me and people my age and older, this is who Christopher Plummer was: The Nazi-flag-ripping guy you’ve seen in memes these last few years.

SM88 150 5

World War II was never far from the public imagination when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s — I mean, the Nazis are the bad guys in Raiders, and were even in present-day pictures like The Boys from Brazil — but when they made The Sound of Music in 1965, it was barely 20 years ago.

That’s like the dot-com boom until today, say. Or 9/11.

Media was different in the 70s, too. I mean, I figure most Heathen readers are about my age, but imagine trying to explain to someone that you couldn’t just watch most any movie you wanted whenever you liked. So when Sound finally came to television, in 1976, it was a big damn deal. From Wikipedia:

The first American television transmission of The Sound of Music was on February 29, 1976 on ABC, which paid $15 million (equivalent to $67,394,737 in 2019) for a one-time only broadcast that became one of the top 20 rated films shown on television to that point with a Nielsen rating of 33.6 and an audience share of 49%.

I added the emphasis. Imagine 49% of the TV watching public all watching the same thing today. It’s impossible. But in 1976, there were only 3 networks — plus PBS, and maybe the commodities channel. People watched what was on for the most part. Woe betide whatever was programmed against it on NBC and CBS!

I actually remember this night. My sister was a fairly new infant, and my parents were still married. I was a month away from my 6th birthday, but they allowed to stay up and watch it with them. I remember them singing along, and I must have dozed, but then I woke up to them singing with Plummer and then with everyone in this scene:

My mother could sing okay, but my dad really not at all. Didn’t matter; he was singing along, too. To this day, the song reminds me of that moment.

Godspeed, Christopher Plummer. 91 is a good long life, but I sure wouldn’t have minded if you’d hung out a bit longer. Someone snarky on Twitter noted that maybe this time would could get Kevin Spacey to replace Plummer?

“The band was formed when the members were teenaged pupils of Mount Temple Comprehensive School and had limited musical proficiency.”

It’s June 1, 1978. You and your mates in your high school band get to play on TV — national TV!

Bono here is freshly 18, as is Adam Clayton (who was born on my birthday 10 years prior). But Edge and Larry haven’t had their 1978 birthdays yet, and are just 16.

They’re all 60 now, or nearly so. They’re still in a band.

How Microsoft is Sucking Today

I have a LOT of stuff in Dropbox. It’s a great tool, and it’s fairly priced, and as such I’ve been using it across Mac, Windows, iOS and now Linux for a decade. It’s great.

However, I don’t always want EVERYTHING. I’ve realized that while this is great for iOS access, or for keeping my main working files synced across my main, backup, and Windows laptops, it’s a bad fit for temporary working files that I may want across multiple VMs within our virtual environments, so I turned on OneDrive for this.

I figured I’d just pull in files for ClientX and ClientY, because that’s what I’m working with right now. (DropBox HAS selective sync, but i have so much stuff in mine it’s easier to just manage this in parallel.)

Well. Now’s when I remember that MSFT can’t really do ANYTHING that isn’t fundamentally weird or broken or otherwise infected with terrible ideas from marketing. And here’s the example:

OneDrive assumes you want to include your Desktop, Documents, Pictures, and a few other things in your OneDrive sync automatically, and will not allow you to opt out because these folders are “special.” WTF, right?

I didn’t notice this until my CustomerX environment suddenly had a desktop full of other random working files, which was unwelcome. I tried to disable Desktop sync, but was stiffarmed, so I went back to the “master” virtual machine and tired to disable it there. Nope, same message: Desktop is “special” and can’t be unselected.

What I COULD do was unselect everything WITHIN Desktop, so I did that.

And then all the files in my master desktop disappeared.

After some poking around, it turns out OneDrive just took fucking CONTROL and moved all that data into the special OneDrive Desktop. Why? Fuck you, that’s why. Same with Documents, etc. It’s like transparency and predictability are COMPLETELY UNKNOWN in Redmond. Seriously, how did this kind of behavior get past beta?

Dropbox doesn’t do shit like this. You tell it what folder to sync, and go from there. What’s wrong with that approach? I guess, it’s just insufficiently invasive and weird.

It’s not just about OneDrive, though. I spend a LOT of time in virtual meetings. We use GoToMeeting, but we also end up joining client meetings set up in WebEx or Teams or Skype or even Zoom — basically whatever they have, if they want to set up the meeting. (We VASTLY prefer GTM, because it works way better, so mostly it’s that, but sometimes you gotta go to their house, so to speak.)

The new version of Teams is installed on my Windows environments, but, turns out, you cannot use it to join meetings set up by organizations you’re not a member of on Windows or MacOS. The only supported way to join on those systems is to use Edge or Chrome.

WAT.

I don’t have Chrome installed anywhere, so this means it’s impossible to join Teams meetings with customers from my Mac at all. (I use my iPad.)

Again: What the fuck were they thinking here? No other meeting platform is so goofy and limited. Even Skype worked better.

I swear, MSFT has been awful way more often than they’ve been good for my entire career, and that’s nearly as long as MSFT has existed.

Who Is Josh Hawley?

Well, the Times has you covered here.

Tl;dr? He’s a raging right-wing theocrat indistinguishable from the Taliban but for the flavor of religion.

In multiple speeches, an interview and a widely shared article for Christianity Today, Mr. Hawley has explained that the blame for society’s ills traces all the way back to Pelagius — a British-born monk who lived 17 centuries ago. In a 2019 commencement address at The King’s College, a small conservative Christian college devoted to “a biblical worldview,” Mr. Hawley denounced Pelagius for teaching that human beings have the freedom to choose how they live their lives and that grace comes to those who do good things, as opposed to those who believe the right doctrines.

The most eloquent summary of the Pelagian vision, Mr. Hawley went on to say, can be found in the Supreme Court’s 1992 opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Mr. Hawley specifically cited Justice Anthony Kennedy’s words reprovingly: “At the heart of liberty,” Kennedy wrote, “is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” The fifth century church fathers were right to condemn this terrifying variety of heresy, Mr. Hawley argued: “Replacing it and repairing the harm it has caused is one of the challenges of our day.”

**In other words, Mr. Hawley’s idea of freedom is the freedom to conform to what he and his preferred religious authorities know to be right. ** Emph Added

Go read the whole thing.

26 Movies, from Zuckerspace

There’s a meme on FB asking folks to list their 26 favorite films. Obviously, I complied, but not in the expected way, and obviously too I’d prefer to have the list here.

& so:

  1. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)
  2. Miller’s Crossing (Joel and Ethan Coen, 1990)
  3. The Hunt for Red October (John McTiernan, 1990)
  4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Russo Brothers, 2014)
  5. It’s A Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946)
  6. Rushmore (Wes Anderson, 1998)
  7. True Grit (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2010)
  8. Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992)
  9. Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016)
  10. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
  11. Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)
  12. Up (Pete Docter, 2009)
  13. No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007)
  14. Ali (Michael Mann, 2001)
  15. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Peter Weir, 2003)
  16. The Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont, 1994)
  17. Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990)
  18. Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)
  19. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman, 1975)
  20. Airplane! (Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, 1980)
  21. Sling Blade (Billy Bob Thornton, 1996)
  22. Henry V (Kenneth Branagh, 1989)
  23. The Station Agent (Tom McCarthy, 2003)
  24. Flesh and Bone (Steve Kloves, 1993)
  25. The Long Kiss Goodnight (Renny Harlin, 1996)
  26. Birdman (Alejandro Inarritu, 2014)

Of course, that’s just today; on another day, the list might be different.

However, the whole process reminded me of how much I loved Flesh and Bone, and so I thought ot look at Wikipedia. It was directed, as noted, by Steve Kloves, who also wrote it. Oddly, has directed only one other film — but his filmography is still pretty notable.

He wrote and directed The Fabulous Baker Boys in 1989, and then has writing credits on Wonder Boys and then on every Harry Potter film, which presumably kept him busy and fed for a while. There’s also a writing credit on The Amazing Spider-Man, and producer credits on the Fantastic Beasts films.

Then, at the bottom, is his upcoming return to the director’s chair: an adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Tim, though that’s been in dev hell for a while. The book is great, though, and it’d be fun to see this guy direct again.