Tag Archives: 2020

Happy Thanksgiving, All!

We all know that 2020 has been a difficult year, to say the least — and that this Thanksgiving, for many of us, will be unlike those in the past.  Let’s each be thankful for what we do have — whether it is our health, our homes, our hopes, or one another.

Pictured — lead-glazed glass painting depicting the potato harvest and Thanksgiving in the Hippolit Church in Amelinghausen, Germany.

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Photo credit: Oxfordian Kissuth, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Roanoke Times features “A Roanoke Thanksgiving”

I got a nice surprise when I woke up this morning — The Roanoke Times published my holiday poem, “A Roanoke Thanksgiving.”  You can find it right here.

As you might remember if you follow this blog, I penned this poem about my adopted city at about this time last year.  Thanks to the good folks over at The Roanoke Times for letting me share it today with my neighbors!



Happy Halloween!!!

I hope you’ve got something fun planned.  Granted, I don’t exactly look terrifying in my discount glow-in-the-dark hockey mask, but hey.

I DO have an excellent Halloween pun for you.

If I summon two demons today to do my bidding, but instead elect to lease them out to you, why is that a GOOD thing?

Because it makes me the lessor of two evils.

Damn, I’m good.

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A few quick words on “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (2020)

If you want to debate the ethics of Sacha Baron Cohen’s prank-driven comedy, maybe there’s a conversation to be had.  The people subjected to his “Candid-Camera”-meets-“Jackass,” politically charged, ambush-style comedy are typically very unhappy about it.  And I realize that Cohen (like any one else) should not be immune to criticism.

But the man’s work is damned hilarious; you can’t argue with that.  Like 2006’s “Borat,” this new film made me laugh out loud repeatedly (even if I cringed at times too).  “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” is simply a first-rate comedy; I’d rate it a 10 out of 10.

This is due largely to Cohen’s twofold genius.  First, he succeeds in creating a truly funny fictional character that could easily make us laugh in a scripted TV sitcom, or a “Saturday Night Live” sketch.  Second, Cohen again demonstrates his mind-boggling ability to gain the trust of his targets — and then manages to stay in character throughout the elaborate pranks.  (If you think about it, it’s probably tougher than we might realize.  There can’t be any second takes for what we see unfolding before us onscreen.)

A movie like this easily might have suffered from the addition of a second comedian who isn’t as funny as Cohen.  But newcomer Maria Bakalova hits it out of the park.  (She plays the fictional daughter of Cohen’s titular bumbling foreigner.)  She is nearly as funny (and just as good at keeping character) as he is.  With Sacha Baron Cohen, that’s saying a lot.

Again, some of what you see in this film will be cringe-inducing.  But it’s damned funny stuff.

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