Posts Tagged ‘Streep’

Bob Gaydos

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020


Vlad, Rudy, Meryl, Rand and Joe

   I started writing this report, which I intend to deliver on a fairly regular basis, a couple of weeks ago. It was my latest attempt to keep up with the news in the Era of Trump without being caught up in the daily chaos and without ignoring items of interest in the rest of the world, including my backyard and even my own mind. Mostly my own mind.

  072F2413-04EB-42B5-8BE1-B11114B646CD   It turns out, turning off Trump is harder than it sounds. As I was compiling my first non-Trump report, the Dotard went and made it all about him again by declaring that a lethal virus roaring through China was no threat to the U.S. and, indeed, was another Democratic “hoax” intended to make him look bad. So coronavirus took over the news and I scrapped my first report. 

    But now, while staying in place as much as possible and simultaneously trying to maintain sanity, I find it more necessary than ever to look for other items of interest — local, national, international, even personal — that might be worth sharing with whomever decides to read it. I guess it’s the newsman’s DNA circulating in my veins.

      So I’m giving it another shot. I’m also using an approach I’ve stolen before. An old-time sports writer favorite of mine, Jimmy Cannon, used to occasionally sum up his take on world events with his “Nobody asked me, but …” columns. It’s a handy writing device. Covers a lot of ground and keeps the writer from getting too wordy. While I’m stealing Cannon’s idea, I won’t steal his signature phrase. I do have some scruples.

     So, “By the way ….” 

     — Did anybody notice that, while the rest of the planet was hunkering down to control the coronavirus, Vladimir Putin was busy rewriting the Russian Constitution to allow himself to continue as the country’s leader until 2036? He got the whole parliament to resign, rewrite Russia’s constitution, got the top court to agree with the changes, and set a nationwide vote on the new constitution for April 22. With or without the coronavirus. He says it’s under control and there’s no reason to delay the vote. This vote bears watching for lots of reasons you can probably deduce for yourselves.

     — By the way, is Rudy Guliani in self-isolation? Ukraine? Asking for producers at Fox News.

     — By the way, the creative genius who came up with the title for Meryl Streep’s latest movie — “The Laundromat,” on Netflix — didn’t do Streep, the film or its subject any favor in my humble, non-movie-critic opinion. There’s no laundromat for starters. The movie is about a whistleblower who uncovers an epic legal off-shore money-laundering, tax evasion operation in Panama. Millions of files.  Lots of political names. True story. Streep plays a swindled widow who, in the movie, blows the whistle on the operation. The director’s come-along-and-we’ll-tell-you-a-story approach is clever, but it trivializes the magnitude of the worldwide con job known as the Panama Papers. A news story that didn’t last as long as Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign. Movie’s still entertaining though.

       — By the way, Rand Paul, ain’t karma a bitch? After being the lone member of the U.S. Senate to vote against an aid bill that included free coronavirus tests for all Americans, he became the first senator to test positive for the virus. Of course, his test was free. And he admitted he had no symptoms. And he continued to go about his usual routine before his test results came back, including visiting the Senate gym. Now, typically, he’s criticizing the government system for testing, rather than acknowledging his own poor, individual choices. Apparently, his personal libertarian philosophy of individual freedom does not include individual responsibility. Putz. It’s Yiddish.

       — And finally, by the way, has anybody seen or heard from Joe Biden lately? Just asking for millions of Americans.


Bob Gaydos is writer-in-residence at

Two Bobs: Unconventional Movies

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

By Bob Gaydos

The two Bobs were back at their table in Dunkin’  Donuts after a two-week hiatus. Nothing much had changed. Republicans were still courting the rich, white, arrogant and dumb, white, delusional votes. Democrats were still tying to figure out how the guy who killed bin Laden and ended the recession was still having trouble connecting with some Americans. Did I mention he was black?

“So did you watch the Republican convention, last night?” writer Bob asked ketchup-dressing Bob. (An aside here: Writer Bob had carefully perused the menu and discovered, surrounded by muffins and donuts, an entry called “egg white flats.” It came as turkey, ham or veggie options. He tried the veggie, which turned out to be rather tasty. Some might regard this as a new development.)

“Nah, I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. Too depressing.”

“Me too. They had Ann Romney and Chris Christie as the main speakers. Can you think of two more glaring examples of over-indulgence? Christie was the keynote speaker — an overweight, arrogant, bully. This is what you stand for? OK, so I can’t write about that since I didn’t watch it. Well, I probably could, but I’d rather not. Seen any movies lately?’’

‘‘Yeah, my wife and I saw “Hope Springs,” with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. Went with another couple.”


“Well, I thought it was going to be a comedy about an older married couple trying to energize their dull life together.”

“That’s what the previews showed.”

“But it wasn’t really funny. They hadn’t had sex in four years and I found their struggles unfunny. I was disappointed. I mean, they had Steve Carrell play the therapist. He’s supposed to be funny.”

“I had a similar experience. Wanted to check out the Downing Theater in Newburgh. Never been there and heard nice things about it.”

“What did you see?”

“Beasts of the Southern Wild.”


“‘Beasts of the Southern Wild.’ Read that it won a big prize at Sundance and it was a fantasy about a young girl called Hushpuppy going in search of her mother and encountering prehistoric creatures.”

“And …?”

“Well, there were creatures. Kind of prehistoric wild boars. But they really weren’t in much of the movie. And the girl — who was terrific, a six- or seven-year-old with great screen presence — doesn’t really search for her mother so much as accidentally finds her in a ‘dance hall.’

“Mostly, it was about a lot of drinking, alcoholism really, and people being content living on the water in squalor. Although when the storm came, freeing the beasts and flooding the people’s homes, they blew up a dam that protected their more successful neighbors who lived on land. Survival. But then, when they were rescued and safe, they had to escape. They went back to the water, following the girl, who unknowingly found the mother who had abandoned her and her drunken father. Then the beasts showed up, all big and huffy, and kneeled down to the little girl instead of eating her and her friends. She kind of represented the cohesiveness of nature, or something. It was full of symbolism … lots of symbolism.

“… I really have no f****n’ clue what the movie was about.

“But we liked the theater, so we’ll probably go back. And I’ll read reviews more carefully, or stick to writing about things that happen as advertised, like Republican conventions.”