Mourning Joe

Morning Joe

I don’t understand this show. Why does the camera sit squarely facing Morning Joe as his partner, Mika, tilts toward him at an odd angle?

Part of the answer may be that they’re not exactly partners, but that Mika is a sidekick. I am aware of the optics of talk shows where the host sits at a desk and the sidekick sits on the couch on an angle. But this is the only news program where the two “anchors” sit akimbo. The visuals are very odd. In fact, sometimes she turns in a complete 90° angle so that she is in profile. She is not as tall as Joe, so that doesn’t help either.

When I first viewed this show, I found it very puzzling. It looked as if the woman is pretty obsequious to the man, in terms of both body language and in the way she defers to his comments.  She may begin an argument, but Joe kinda talks right over her and she yields very quickly.  She acts very much as a second fiddle; she gazes at him as if he’s some sort of News God and she is just a visiting Girl Scout whose principal responsibility is to fawn at his wonderful words of wisdom. She sits too closely to him, so when she turns to genuflect, she goes into full profile.  It is an attractive profile, but please.

Later, I found out that she is the daughter of former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.  How odd. That connection alone commands respect in the world of politics and government.  Does she need a job this badly?

She frequently talks over Joe to be heard in a somewhat passive aggressive way because the guy never shuts up, of course, but in a manner that weakens her presence by acting as a supplicant to him.  It is not good for her image, it is not good for the viewer to watch this on-camera lowering of self-respect. She seems a bright, capable anchorwoman and doesn’t need to be under his largess.  I wish she would take over from Elaine Quijano, the truly awful anchor of CBS News, whom I watch on streaming media. Yikes.  The queen of flat affect! More on her later.

Mika channeling a showgirl.

Stupid Times Article #73

I’m not even sure how to approach this one.

I’m reading this article in last Saturday’s paper with great interest, until halfway through it, I realize I’m not reading what I think I’m reading.  The subject?

Mickey Spillane’s wife is dead!

What?  Wow, she must’ve been pretty damned old.  After all, I think of Mickey Spillane as the ultimate hard-boiled detective writer of the ’40s and ’50s, creator of many noir outings in both book and movie form. I figured he was long dead, so she must’ve been pushing 100.

But the article says… no, no… ah! She was 78. Ok. 78?

So I do the math, and figure the tough guy must’ve enjoyed his newfound wealth and fame and married a hot, young 21-year old as he approached the cusp of 40. Yeah, that kind of adds up. Tough guy and gun moll. Probably a new convertible thrown in for good luck…

Of course in the wedding picture, Mickey looks kinda boyish at 39… but the bride looks the right age, and “in the role that introduced her to the public eye more than half a century ago, she was a wife.” Okay, so she was famous because she married a famous guy. On the other hand, here’s something about Mickey being involved with “the neighborhood rackets.” Ohhh, so that’s where he got his authenticity from, he was a bad guy himself at one time. Great story!

Their granddaughter eulogized about the happiness of the famous couple until her grandfather passed away, so Mickey did predecease her by a number of years. That makes sense.  They maintained wedded bliss until “he was shot and killed.”  What?  The famous author Mickey Spillane died a violent death? So his wicked past must have finally caught up with him.  Another great story!  Who knew?

And now we see a photo of her son–Mickey, Jr.’s–restaurant “Mickey Spillane’s” on 9th Ave. in Hell’s Kitchen, sporting an appropriately hard-boiled logo of a morose gumshoe. Reminds me of the now-defunct “Mickey Mantle’s” on Central Park South and for some reason the now-defunct “Grampa’s” on Bleecker (owned by Al Lewis of “The Munsters”). I guess there’s nothing wrong with capitalizing on Grandpa Spillane’s name. And there, she ate lunch every day with pride.

Never mind that almost all passers-by probably assume it was named for the famous pulp novelist of the same name.

Huh? What was that?

Lemme read that line again…

Never mind that almost all passers-by probably assume it was named for the famous pulp novelist of the same name.

… are you kidding? I re-read from the top.  Apparently, there was some minor gangster who also happened to be named Mickey Spillane. He had nothing to do with the famous writer Mickey Spillane.  He was some dude named Michael who, by chance, was called “Mickey.”  Are you following me?

This woman in the article has NOTHING whatsoever to do with famous writer Mickey Spillane. None of these people do!

What is wrong with this newspaper?  What is wrong with the writer of this assinine piece?  His name is Michael Wilson, just to let everyone know:  BUYER BEWARE.  I felt like calling Mike on the spot to ask what the hell the point of this article was.  If the dead woman was named Marge Zdzinski, guess what, no article. Then again, maybe I’m the dumbass here and missed something crucial in the article.

I look up the real Mickey Spillane. He died in 2006.  Not even close.  He married a woman named Mary Ann. Then someone named Sherri, then Jane.

Never mind that almost all passers-by probably assume it was named for the famous pulp novelist of the same name.

What a scam.  What a rip.  Seriously, Michael Wilson, get a real job. Shame on you, New York Times. I want my 15 minutes back.  Idiots.

Harvard Alumni Magazine Bloopers

Now even Harvard people can’t write!  I feel like I am living the movie “Idiocracy.”  Again, it’s not so much that people write badly.  It’s that editors let it get through!  They’re the ones who are supposed to be in charge!  Their job is to make all that copy presentable.  It’s an article about Harvard trying to expand it’s real estate holdings into residential neighborhoods.  We all know they’d eventually like to swallow up the whole city of Cambridge… gets rid of all those unpleasant poor and blue-collar people. I’ll add details later.  I’m too upset right now.

Here’s some details–it’s the May-June 2007 issue of Harvard Magazine.  An unattributed article called “Ready for Growth? begins on page 60 in the mag section entitled “John Harvard’s Journal.”  After a good lead line, the first paragraph goes all to hell with sentences like

The public first heard of the project in 2003, but as this issue went to press, a neighborhood association remained concerned about aspects of it, the job was out for bids, but Harvard had yet to secure permission from the city to proceed.

The thing that threw me off was the botched list of facts telling me 1) a neighborhood association remained concerned about aspects of it, 2) the job was out for bids, and 3)  [??]  There was no 3!   There wasn’t even an “and.”  Instead, there was a “but.”  But I realize now that the comma after “aspects of it” should probably have been a semicolon or a colon or a dash.  More run-on sentences, my pet peeve.

Soon enough, there’s a semicolon that should have been a period.  It’s one of those long sentences beginning with “In March 2004…”  There’s no reason on God’s green earth that the word “planning” should be followed by a semicolon.  The next part of sentence, beginning with “after 14 public meetings,” is undeniably a complete sentence, easily able to stand on its own two feet.  There’s more where that came from, but I’m tired, and it’s late…