Troll on the News-July 2021

L Brands to split into 2 companies: So L Brands which is the owner of Bath and Body Works as well as Victoria’s Secret has decided to split into 2 companies.  This move will happen in August.  They spent a lot of money on this, and the best those idiot bankers and consultants could come up with is a tax free spin off?  Wall Street Jargo like you read about.  I would have gone with “Lift and Separate” I mean isn’t that what Victoria’s Secret is famous for? 

KC Chiefs Defensive End Frank Clark facing a felony gun charge in CA:  Give this guy an all-time award for stupidity, $105 million dollar contract, Super Bowl winner rolls around in a 1993 Toyota Tercel with an Uzi in his back seat.  So this Clark fella feels he needs to live in the hood, drive a ghetto car, and pack a semi-automatic machine gun on his person?  Secondly how did he get charged with a Felony gun charge in LA County?  Seriously in that County Capital Murder is punishable by a 2 minute timeout and no ice cream for dessert.  Clark my suggestion, go with the “I was headed to the ANTIFA/BLM riot down the road”, if nothing else AOC will bail you out of jail.

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Barkevious Mingo arrested on felony indecency sexual conduct with a child on July 8th:  First of all, I thought this Barkevious was a type of tree in California, second, I thought maybe this was like a tree disease in California, nope it’s just a skid mark on society’s underpants.  He is 30 so he has had a 7 year career in the league so basically he has enough money to “buy sex” yet he picks out a child. Clearly the rich and powerful miss Jeffery Epstein.

I will say this on these two: THE NFL IS BACK BABY!!!!!!

Deranged woman attacks McDonald’s workers in Ohio suburb after not mixing all 3 slushy flavors together for her.  Cherysse Cleveland attacked the manager and another employee after they refused to “mix all three slushy flavors into one cup.”  She actually ended up getting her ass beat by an employee and arrested and charged as well.  Dang, Cherrysse it’s a stupid $1.50 per slushie, what a rookie move to not just order all 3.  Also why not go to, I don’t know, a place famous for making your own slushy like 7/11?  We cannot post the video or I would provide additional commentary on what I saw.

  1.  The lady with the headset throwing the haymakers:  Total pro move, knowing you needed to keep working the drive thru headset whilst beating her a**.  Gotta be peak efficiency.
  2. Cherysse here folks shows us the female silverback in her natural habitat.
  3. CNN I heard was starting a GoFundMe for her legal fees.
  4. Have to admire the form on Cherrysse prior to getting handcuffed, she knew what to do, this wasn’t her first rodeo.
  5. Is it sad I was waiting for the zookeeper to be called in to tranquilize this animal?  Who beats up minimum wage workers over a stupid slushy?
  6. Wanna bet that Cherrysse isn’t working because she makes more on unemployment by staying home

Governor Newsom denies 21 oil drilling permits in Tulare County:  I want to congratulate our benevolent King on his latest decree, I love paying big $$$ for gas.  Makes me feel like a big shot…its ok I can afford it!  Seriously talk about Common Core Math at work, less supply must equal lower gas prices, right?  State Oil and Gas director Uduak-Joe Ntuk sent the letter and claimed it was in the “public health and safeties best interests to deny them.”  I thought the Russians were folks who loved Trump and the oil industry, guess this person didn’t get the memo.  We do not assume gender here at reallyright.com.  Secondly have either of you been to Tulare County?  It reeks of cow dung, public health from a couple more wells won’t matter much.

Bill Cosby released from jail:  Just in time for his Jell-O pudding pop with depends boy Biden!  BLM finally gets on of their own outta jail, may I suggest Bill Clinton replaces him?  Oh wait he was the first black president sorry Barack.

Steve Ballmer in rare form at a Clipper game:  The former Microsoft CEO and current Clippers owner did a wild celebration mid-way through the game.  Pictured is the move.  I’ll call it the double dick grab…wild move outta Ballmer.  Ballmer though is certifiably crazy, like a total lunatic.  Also has anyone every seen Ballmer and the Penguin from Batman Returns in the same room?  I think they are the same person.  #HeToo on this celebration.  By the way, I wonder what Clipper’s super fans Pat Sajak and Billy Crystal have to say about this! 

In closing, that double grab thing, I want to experiment by doing it to Jen Anniston and Carli Lloyd, you two down?  I’ll call it the double D grab.

Steve Ballmer grabbing for a lifeline or something. Why ESPN calls this celebrating is disturbing .

Troll

Johnnie Does, you medium rare pink B***h first of all Carli is super-hot, secondly my mother provides me 3 square, nutritious meals a day, and I do not live in her basement, I call it “my place.”  Secondly I saw Jake the Snake the other week, and during his sermon he used props of a branch, an apple and said he forgot his last prop, so a live snake is out and about at your place.  Sleep with both eyes open hardo.

This Week in Trolling

What a couple weeks it has been.  CA has now safely re-opened so that weak link of this blog, Johnnie Does, can finally start reviewing food again.  Seriously that guy pulled off a bigger heist than the criminals did to EDD.

Well, here we go. Let’s start with a story:

I left a copy of the Babylon Bee’s recent article about Gavin Newsom giving 5 lucky winners in the vaccine lottery a free U-Haul to move out of state.  The Babylon Bee is a satirical publication; call it a rightwing version of The Onion.  Well, a certain colleague walked by and felt he needed to read it. He bought it hook, line, and sinker.  He asked why the Governor would be paying for people to leave the state?  I responded saying well only 5 people are so lucky.  He became lost in thought wondering why we would shrink our tax base by choice, and with prizes funded by taxpayers like him to boot.  I told him think of it this way, getting the shot could get you a one-way, all expenses paid trip to move out.  The only other “trip” in CA I am aware of involves the hippy grass and that is never free. 

But this story gets even better. I also had a copy of the “Here Are The Vaccine Incentives Being Offered In Each Of The 50 States” article by the same publisher.  He grabbed that article off my desk as well and said this is unreal.

Look at the freebies we are giving out!  I mean Arkansas was giving out a 12 pack of Busch Light and a scratcher for Christ sakes!  He bought it again folks, even saying Alabama offering free photos of you and your sibling’s wedding!  Oklahoma is offering free horseback lessons with Liz Warren!  The list was so funny as well as preposterous!   Michigan offering a free abandoned house?  Minnesota free admission to the police academy?  But he bought it. Even Connecticut giving away “a crappier version of what New York is giving away.”  Not to be outdone as I was trying to convince him this was satire, I showed the article saying “Putin, puts sign on Joe Biden’s back saying “if found return to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.”  He still bought it.  For a while, I thought I was being trolled but nope, he believed every outrageous syllable. I guess I will go ahead and say, Babylon Bee 2, New York Times 0, naïve folks 0. This was a brutal week for low information cable viewers.

I did follow-up with him, and he said he still believes that to be true.  To which I replied, well you got the vaccine, so you’re in the lottery, best of luck to you.  I still feel I was trolled!

US Women’s Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe becomes new Victoria’s Secret model/ambassador:  Rapinoe best known for saying “f**k Donald Trump” every chance she can, as well as speaking loudly about equal pay, BLM, and other anti-American rhetoric signed on after bad mouthing Victoria’s Secret for a couple years.  I guess if the check clears the bank… right? 

Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe Photo courtesy of AMC’s TWD

Rapinoe will be joining Priyanka Chopra Jonas (a trans model) and someone named “Sampaio” as the new models.  They ditched the term “Angel” and these women are claiming they won’t be modeling skimpy underwear.  First of all, you couldn’t have picked either of Rapinoe’s more attractive teammates?  Like any of them?  Maybe favorites of the Troll such as Carli Lloyd or Alex Morgan?  Why an America hating troll?  Are they trolling me?  Look on a serious note, I get the whole inclusive thing and rape/sex culture thing, but if you are the best like top 5% of what you do, shouldn’t you be allowed to hit the red carpet?  I know Rapinoe likes a different kind of carpet, and that’s ok.  But like Top Serial Killers for example?  We can have Ted Bundy and co strut their stuff?  Just saying.  Last thing on Rapinoe, we will be exposing you’re really sad 180 you have done on all issues since Biden got elected, but hey if the check clears right!

The man who reported on Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch infamous tarmac meeting found dead:  Let me guess another suicide?  Married, 3 kids, seems like the suicide type, right?  Wanna bet it’s two bullet holes in the back of his skull? Since we are using the Babylon Bee as a trusted news source now, they are reporting if you know the Clintons you have an 843% higher chance of committing suicide.  Frankly if you know the Clintons or report on them what is their average lifespan?  I guess as soon as a thug takes them out! 

And….OMG NOOOOOO Kamala Harris just tweeted out Joe Biden has dirt on the Clinton’s…well congrats on becoming President Kamala!  We have not confirmed whether the tweet was sent out with her on her knees or not, we hope you stay tuned for those reports.

And finally for this week.  A US Senator Trolled far better than I ever could.  Seriously, Rand Paul tweeted this at Dr. Anthony Falsie after it was reported the publisher would not publish his book.  Just a classic burn by Senator Paul, maybe I have lost my fastball as a troll? 

Til next time, admire the lovely yet out of work Hope Hicks, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, and Jen Anniston.

Editor’s Note: we have previously published photos of Hope Hicks and Jen Anniston for Troll so due to space considerations please views his previous posts for classic photos of these women. However, since he has added two more to the mix, I had to look them up and this is what I found for Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan.

Alex Morgan too hot for the woke version of Victoria’s Secret
Carli Lloyd too hot for the woke version of Victoria’s Secret

60 Minutes Cares Little About Facts

In what should surprise no one who possesses an IQ above room temperature, 60 Minutes debuted a hit piece on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis last night.  DeSantis is a Republican and Trump ally so, he like most ignore science, and due to his actions more folks have died of Covid than any other state.* 

*Florida actually has fewer deaths than California and New York, but that is usually left out of any analysis. 

60 minutes reported Governor DeSantis gave grocery chain Publix “priority access to the virus vaccine, as a result of campaign contributions made by Publix to the Governor in the form of a pay to play scheme.”  Publix like most grocery stores has a pharmacy and pharmacies are tasked with distributing the vaccine to the masses depending on eligibility.

DeSantis who has done a commendable job combating the virus, got support from the unlikeliest of people, the Mayor of Palm Beach County.

Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner

Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner, a Democrat, accused CBS’ “60 Minutes” of “intentionally false” reporting for suggesting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave grocery store chain Publix preferable treatment to offer the coronavirus vaccine because of donations to his PAC.

“The reporting was not just based on bad information – it was intentionally false,” Kerner said in a statement on Monday. “I know this because I offered to provide my insight into Palm Beach County’s vaccination efforts and ’60 Minutes’ declined. They know that the governor came to Palm Beach County and met with me and the county administrator and we asked to expand the state’s partnership with Publix to Palm Beach County.”

“We have confronted this pandemic for over a year. Our residents, like all Americans, are tired. And the media is making it worse. They are hellbent on dividing us for cheap views and clicks. ’60 Minutes’ should be ashamed,” Kerner continued, adding that the program left his side of the story out because it “kneecaps their narrative.”

Kerner thanked DeSantis for his work to help Palm Beach County.

“Because of his efforts, working in coordination with Palm Beach County officials, over 275,000 seniors in our county – which is over 75% of the total senior population – have been vaccinated. I am proud of how our county and state leadership have executed on this important mission, and the results speak for themselves,” Kerner said.

Publix called the notion that it received special access “absolutely false and offensive.”

“The irresponsible suggestion that there was a connection between campaign contributions made to Gov. DeSantis and our willingness to join other pharmacies in support of the state’s vaccine distribution efforts is absolutely false and offensive. We are proud of our pharmacy associates for administering more than 1.5 million doses of vaccine to date and for joining other retailers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia to do our part to help our communities emerge from the pandemic,” a Publix spokesperson told Fox News.

“60 Minutes” journalist Sharyn Alfonsi pointed out that Publix donated $100,000 to the governor’s PAC and said Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay claimed DeSantis “never met with her about the Publix deal.”

Democratic Florida mayor defends DeSantis: ’60 Minutes should be ashamed’
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

There was no pay for play. 60 minutes, like most so called journalism shows these days, does nothing but paper or gloss over facts to fit a narrative.  Case in point, Gavin Newsom and Andrew Cuomo are seldom talked about poorly, yet they have the highest covid-19 deaths of all states.  Florida has one of the lowest, but you would think DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott killed all their citizens by “ignoring science.”  Maybe we should ignore these journalists?  Folks this should not surprise you, these talking heads only think one way…. something, something, something orange man bad…something, something, something Red state governors bad, something, something, something virus will kill us all.

This is why I make fun of the cable watchers so much. Not only will they believe all of this, but they also believe DeSantis is a killer.  But then again Sacramento’s own Lester Holt, host of NBC Nightly News, made waves by saying in essence facts don’t matter anymore and to inject your own commentary.  I guess Merriam Webster should change the definition of journalism.

Chief

Disney Once Again Fires Their Woke Gunn

This week an actress employed by Disney’s Star Wars subsidiary was fired for saying that we should respect people’s political opinions even when we disagree with them. Yep, this revolutionary concept used to be a bedrock value when this country was known as America, but no longer.

Here’s the story. Please understand that due to the transitory nature of content on the Internet that the original and allegedly offensive comments were purged. Furthermore, most news stories on this incident don’t have the courtesy and objectivity to tell you what was actually said. I recall that journalism once prided itself on telling you all sides of a story and trusting readers to make up their own minds. This has not bee true in many decades.

According to Variety, Carano, 38, shared a message on the social media platform in which she compared today’s political divide to the events in Nazi Germany.

“Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors…even by children. Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views,”

Gina Carano faces backlash for social media posts, ‘not currently employed’ by ‘Star Wars’

Two things to point out on the above; first, she did not write this comment, it appears that she reposted the comment; and secondly, is the end where it states, “How is that any different from hating someone for their political views?

Note to Liberals: Those of us that are devout Christians see many parallels with the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany and the current treatment of Christians in this country. Our faith has been under attack; especially over the last 15 years. Our love for Trump is based in large part to his removing the heavy hand of the federal government from restricting religious liberty. Joe Biden has been signaling that persecution of people of faith will resume under his leadership. California government has never stopped persecuting us, but they have had their agenda derailed while focusing on Covid. Thus, the comparison above which appeared on social media is in fact a valid comparison.

Thus, Gina Carano is saying that we should not hate people that have different views from ours. Translation don’t hate me or other conservatives that disagree with you.

Oh, she also once posted a meme disagreeing with the stupid mask requirements.

A second post contained a photo of a person wearing cloth masks to cover their face and head with the caption: “Meanwhile in California.”

Gina also posted the following:

“Expecting everyone you encounter to agree with every belief or view you hold is fucking wild”

BREAKING: Lucasfilm caves to WOKE MOB and fires Gina Carano from Mandalorian

This is not the first time Carano, who played former Rebel Alliance soldier Cara Dune on The Mandalorian, has been the focus of social media ire for her political comments. Last November, she issued contentious tweets, one in which she mocked mask-wearing amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and another in which she falsely suggested voter fraud occurred during the 2020 presidential election.

They have been looking for a reason to fire her for two months, and today was the final straw,” a source with knowledge of Lucasfilm’s thinking tells THR.

‘The Mandalorian’ Star Gina Carano Fired Amid Social Media Controversy

If you want to find the pot calling the kettle black, search for James Gunn liking the posts about Carano being fired. Gunn was fired by Disney and was subsequently rehired for actually posting derogatory stuff on social media. Also, note that at the time, I posted a blog in support of Gunn. I don’t have a problem with free speech only with people demanding that I have to agree with them.

Quick Note on Disney’s Star Wars Library

The family voted to get one month of Disney Plus to watch the Mandalorian and see what else that they have to offer. We did a quick binge on the Marvel movies less anything Spider-Man (Sony stills owns the rights so not much Peter Parker on the Mouse channel) and then moved on to Star Wars.

Folks, the Star Wars franchise is one that editors tweak on a regular basis. Even before Disney bought the franchise from George Lucas, the original trilogy had been released in at least three different edits. As a rule, each of the edits added more special effects and content to the films. When Disney bought the franchise, they promptly killed-off almost every spin-off, series, or story idea marketed during the thirty or so years that Lucas owned the rights. In effect, Disney purged the “Star Wars cannon” so they could make the new Star Wars universe in their image—oh and market the crap out of the galaxy far, far away…

The latest trilogy—episodes seven thru nine—haven’t been out that long. Tonight, we watched #8 The Last Jedi (2017) and while the movie is much as I remember it, there was a noticeable edit at the end that didn’t escape my attention. I’m not that immersed in the Star Wars lore, but I do remember the end of episode 8 because it completely undid everything in all the previous films except maybe Jar Jar Binks. After Luke Skywalker dies, goes to his reward, or whatever— (“Die” just seems like the wrong word because just like a comic book, when is someone really dead enough not to come back to life? Even the grave didn’t keep Carrie Fisher out of the ninth movie.) — anyway, the last scene of the movie had shots of random children exercising “The Force” with the idea that it was now freely available to everyone. The Force was unleashed. When I saw it the first time, I was really angry that the whole idea of wrong versus right was gone and replaced by shades of gray and moral relativity. At the time I even blogged on my feelings. However, watching it this time, the stuff that offended me was absent. Magically, some uncredited person at Disney removed the offending material and set the story on a path more in tune with the concept used by Lucas of good versus evil. Star Wars was again a morality play in a galaxy far, far away…

As much as I disliked the theatrical release of The Last Jedi, I have a problem/gripe/concern with what I witnessed (or in this case didn’t witness). Most people will never own a physical copy of this or any other film that they can stream from the internet but folks, doesn’t the idea that some mega corporation can change content on a whim bother you just a little? If something can be added or removed without letting you know then isn’t that just a step or two nearer the dystopia of Orwell? Truth is reduced to what government or mega-corp. says it is. Isn’t that why many of us have left Facebook and Twitter? Yet when it comes to digital media, we usually don’t notice when they edit your eBook or flat out delete it from your Kindle reader. Real books are portable and immutable, but the internet and other forms of digital communication are malleable, ethereal, and transient.

So, while in this particular case, I think the edit strengthens the story, it bothers me that it was done without notice or disclaimer. How many other things have I streamed into my living room that have received edits which change the plotline of the story and I never knew the difference?

Folks, please keep my experience in mind when you interact with anything digital. It can be manipulated or removed from your device without any notice to you. If it’s important enough then buy a copy of the physical media whether that be a book, DVD, or whatever. If the content lives on some else’s computer then you don’t really own it no matter how much you paid for the illusion of ownership.

Biden Offers Republicans Olive Branch

Joe Biden has offered an olive branch of sorts to some Republicans in the Trump Administration. Biden has offered to retain most of the Republican women currently employed in the White House for his first term.

When surprised reporters got wind of this news, they queried the presumptive President Elect. Biden replied that Trump’s White House has employed more women than any other Administration in U.S. history. Joe conceded that Trump’s women are a much better-looking lot than their Democrat counterparts. Turns out Republican women bathe regularly, have better smelling hair, dress sharper, and are more polite than the feminazis in his own Party.

When told of Biden’s comments, a shell-shocked Nancy Pelosi responded that Joe probably misspoke but further comment would have to wait because she was busy defending her position as Speaker.

An indignant Kamala Harris said there was no place for Republicans in her White House or her country. On a hot mike, she was also heard to reference sometime about “more soma” and “twenty-five … mints”

Most surprising of all was the praise given to Biden by radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh who praised Biden’s honesty, bipartisanship, and his confirmation of Undeniable Truth of Life #24.

Oh, Limbaugh’s Undeniable Truth of Life #24 Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society.

In these troubling times, we are striving to Keep Hope Alive (and gainfully employed).

White House communications director Hope Hicks

‘til next time…

Society’s Problems in One Photo

While browsing television options in an Idaho hotel last week, I ran across this juxtaposition of programming.

Yep, the Crave channel is offering More Sex, Less Stress followed by Boy Scouts: The Sex Abuse Coverup.

Gee, what’s next Bill Clinton: the Monica Years followed by Jeffrey Epstein’s Weekend Getaway? No wonder people in our society are so confused about morality.

Tom Cruz, War of the Worlds, and Covid-19

Yep, I just put several pieces of pop culture together in a way that makes sense to our current situation. Here’s the explanation and it’s so simple that even many low information folks—oh, I mean those that binge watch 24/7 cable news or listen to streaming music all day—can understand.

Please note that there are spoilers here for War of the Worlds so if you don’t know the ending, turn back now.

Whether in its more recent rendition with a voiceover from Morgan Freeman or the original radio play by H.G. Wells, its not the men but the microbes that defeat the alien invaders. Freeman’s voiceover can be summed up as this, men have inhabited this planet for a long time and as germs have mutated, our bodies have responded by strengthening our immune systems to cope with the hostile environment encountered in world that we live in.

Please note that I’m not really a Keeper Of Odd Knowledge (K.O.O.K.) but I just watched the show over the weekend for the first time, from start to finish. When I read an article linked by Joe Miller today, the connection was obvious.

The article is an explanation of herd immunity which scientists know exists in the current Covid-19 pandemic but heretofore lacked a good way of understanding. Many, including me, sensed there was herd immunity at work but where we erred was in thinking that you had to be infected and recover from Covid-19 to be immune. Well guess what? That assumption is wrong.

On the one hand, this virus seems to be extremely contagious and transmissible. On the other hand, it appears to have been around for a while, possibly in December, and didn’t kill too many people until super-spreading events in March.

On the one hand, the virus seems to kill a lot of vulnerable people for several weeks. But then it peaks after six weeks or so and nearly disappears a month or so later. We’ve seen the same curve in every country, almost as if it hits a brick wall and then runs out of steam.

But why is that the case? Most antibody tests show no more than 10%-15% of the population contain antibodies in a given area – 25% in the most extreme case of New York City. Why would the virus not continue cutting through the population like butter, as it did the first number of people who contracted the virus? The theory of a more ubiquitous cross-immunity from other coronaviruses would answer those questions and explain that invisible brick wall.

A theory of partial immunity, at least from helper T cells (if not killer T cells) could also explain why, on the one hand, once the virus gets into prisons, most test positive for it, but on the other hand, nearly all of them seem asymptomatic. The outcome of prisons as a fully confined and defined population could be a harbinger of what would theoretically happen if the entire world were exposed to the virus after it had already targeted the most vulnerable population. It’s possible that upwards of 95% would be asymptomatic, just like we are seeing in prisons.

Perhaps, it could also explain why there appears to be a massive gap in severity of the virus in Asia vs. Western countries. Asian countries are regularly exposed to coronaviruses.

BOMBSHELL STUDY: Could Half the Uninfected Population Already Be Partially Immune?

In almost every context we’ve seen the epidemic grow, turn around and die away — almost like clockwork. Different countries have had different lockdown policies, and yet what we’ve observed is almost a uniform pattern of behavior which is highly consistent with the SIR model. To me that suggests that much of the driving force here was due to the build-up of immunity.”

Folks, as stated in this space previously, we should fear neither men nor microbes but only Almighty God. I’m not worried about Covid-19. The time and place of my death was appointed before the world began; all I can do is keep pressing on until my time is up. I suggest that you do likewise.

HBO’s Westworld

I decided to spend the last few days binge watching HBO’s Westworld. As my family will attest, I like a good Sci-Fi story, especially one that can explore questions about reality and human nature. In this post, I wish to share my overall comments on the program. I promise what you are about to read will not be a regurgitation of whatever IMDB may say about the show.

Westworld is just wrapping-up its third season on HBO. This is a television show with an A-list movie budget and has lots of special effects and CGI throughout.

Insiders tell The Hollywood Reporter the overall budget for the first season of the 10-episode project is in the $100 million range… Sources peg the budget for the 90-minute Westworld pilot alone in the $25 million range, including reshoots, with some costs rolled to episode two as parts of the series debut were moved out of the premiere. (For context: HBO scrapped the entire original Game of Thrones pilot, which had a price tag of $20 million.) The per-episode budget is said to be anywhere from $8 million to $10 million.

HBO’s ‘Westworld,’ With $100 Million Price Tag, Faces Huge Expectations

Created by husband-and-wife duo Jonathan Nolan (Person of Interest) and Lisa Joy and executive produced by J.J. Abrams, Westworld features a cast of A-listers including Anthony Hopkins as the head of an ultra-realistic amusement park where visitors come to live out their most outrageous desires. The cast also includes Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton and Ed Harris. (Hopkins and Harris are said to have scored $175,000 per episode each, with the latter potentially having only a two-year deal.)

Folks, each episode of Westworld is like a part of a tent pole movie. It may harken back to the original movie with Yul Brenner but has been completely redone.

The good news is the J.J. Abrams is the director and not the one that wrote the story line, thus the show is expanded and reimagined but in ways that are more watchable than recent Star Wars and Star Trek movies which J.J. botched badly in my opinion. My complaint with J.J. is that his first act in any franchise is to blow-up the cannon (or mythology of the show) and do whatever he wants after that.

Johnathan Nolan and his group wrote the story arc which supposedly will end with the upcoming fourth season. Nolan has done many projects for movies and television. Some of the themes in Westworld, especially starting with the third season, are much like the back half of Person of Interest. In fact, the last episode that I watched prior to beginning to write this blog post included one of the recurring characters that appeared in Person of Interest. I will mention this program again later in this post.

FYI: both Westworld and Jurassic Park were novels by Michael Crichton.

I wish to mention a few of the characters in the show without spoiling any plot lines. Spoilers will come in a few minutes and with fair warning.

Anthony Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins portrays the creator of Westworld, Dr. Robert Ford. (Think Mr. Hammond from Jurassic Park.) Dr. Ford, and his now deceased partner, created and refined the androids that inhabit the amusement park. Since creative people need money to finance their ideas, this creates the opportunity for an evil corporation to voluntarily fund the Park in exchange for certain marketing opportunities. Dr. Ford is allowed to continue tinkering with his creations, as long as he keeps the Park running which he has done for 35 years now.

An android, or “Host” in this show, named Dolores played by Evan Rachel Wood is also an important and reoccurring character in the show. When you first meet her, she is clearly designated as Westworld’s damsel in distress.

Yule Brenner Westworld (1973)

Then of course is the legendary Man in Black—Yul Brenner in the original movie—is player by Ed Harris. This character is most certainly dark and evil, but I promised no spoilers… yet. I will say that his character has been given a complete rewrite by Nolan and company.

The show is lavish in every sense of the word. As I watched, I wondered where in the world would you put a place this big, certainly not a corn field in Iowa. If you recall the original movie, there were other theme parks in the same area besides Westworld. This is touched on occasionally in the HBO series.

This show has lots of violence and naked people. Most nude bodies are being reconditioned and prepared for return to the Park but since one of the main characters runs a brothel, there is some of that other stuff too. As the seasons go by, the nudity decreases in frequency. This program is not for children or teens either. Frankly, I don’t think they are ready for some of the questions that such a program can ask or the amount of mutilation and violence.

Folks, I don’t plan to give away the whole show, but from now on, I may be giving away some plot points as I continue.

I really want to like the show and do, to a point but… I have two gripes: continuity and philosophy.

Continuity

Continuity is the flow of the story and is related to consistency both of plot and the visuals of the show.

Folks, how does a Park like this even exist? No, not the technology but the economics. The amount of damage inflicted on the androids, and their subsequent repair, would not make such a park cost effective, even in a fictional world. As much as each android costs and considering the number killed in a single episode—such as the origin story of the Man in Black—I think the expense would outright bankrupt Disney, Apple, and Microsoft combined and the Man in Black is just one guy causing mayhem in an amusement park that has seen 4 million visitors since opening 35 years ago. Seems like by the time you meet him in Westworld, the Man in Black has killed everybody in the park at least once.

Then there are all the underground access points to the park which all seem to be accessed by… walking? No way. Except for elite security guys, nobody seems to have horseless carriages to run them from point A to B.

How many floors is the main facility? Also, how come nobody knows about all the auxiliary labs in the Park full of expensive equipment. Also, if the top floor is outdoors (top of the mesa), how is it that the oldest part of the facility is in the bottom floors farthest from the surface. Why does a multibillion-dollar complex in the desert have water leaks everywhere and power but somehow no standing water or working electric lights? I kept waiting for Sigourney Weaver’s Alien or Jonesy the cat to jump out every time somebody went into the bowels of the complex and started poking around.

Lastly the park is big enough to have pine trees, deserts, snowstorms, Mt. Fuji, and jungle. No effort to explain is ever made. Like much in the show, it just is, and viewers are supposed to believe.

As far as technology goes, when is any computer hardware or software still considered cutting edge 35 years after it was created? We’re talking in terms of computing power and artificial intelligence. Yet, in Season 3 we see no robots that could pass for human—even at a glance—except for the ones from Westworld. What happened to imitation and flattery? Or Moore’s Law. In our world, after 35 years, whatever people had seen at Westworld would have been copied like crazy and due to innovation, the old technology—both hardware and software—would be obsolete. The other out the writers could take to explain this away was that the technology was outlawed but that option is not mentioned in the show.

Ed Harris The Man in Black

Where are backup datacenters and sources of energy for the Park? When they finally “lift the curtain” on park operations as the show goes on, they just ignore that stuff or get it really wrong. As much as the Park and its technology costs and they have no redundant systems? Destroy one bank of computers and I’m supposed to believe all the data is gone forever with no backups. Yet, this is the cornerstone of much of the action in Seasons 2 and 3.

The computers that are created by the opponent in Season 3 are big blackballs with reds lights suspended in the air—one is hanging publicly in the middle of his headquarters building and the other in a warehouse. Seems like using an RPG or the EMP weapon could have ended the whole plotline and saved HBO millions in storytelling.

The story writers just bombard you with stuff and hope you don’t dwell on it too much as they move to the next shiny object. I guess this is ok for television writing but with a blockbuster movie budget, it seems like Nolan and Abrams would pay more attention to continuity.

Lastly, each season is full of time jumps that make following the story purposely difficult. This is done in order to introduce surprises to the viewers but don’t let the show keep running if you take a potty break or you may be asking when is it.

Philosophy

Folks, I’ve saved this section for last and feel most passionately about it. I would like to grab Mr. Nolan by the shirt collar and tell him to wake-up. While many of the right questions are asked in various places in the program, the answers offered are not only insufficient but totally wrong.

Note: From here on I beat-up on Nolan but darn it, this is more of the same worldview I get from every other program originating from entertainment corporations. Why is it that in movies and television, every corporation is evil except the one that brought us the movie/TV show that somehow deserves every dime that they can earn from royalties and ticket sales?

On the HBO website for the program, Westworld claims that they “will explore questions about the nature of our reality, free will and what makes us human.”

How can Jonathan Nolan do not one but two television shows on artificial intelligence and the question of what it means to be alive and not believe in a Creator? Talk about a logical disconnect! The thesis of all the elites in Nolan’s Westworld is that we are here as the result of not one mistake, but a whole series of them. His characters espouse evolution by chaos theory in a program dedicated to exploring the idea of artificial life designed and created by humans.

In a story with the scope of Westworld, I can understand different characters believing different ways about God and origins just like the real world but in Westworld all the discussions—more like monologues—are all from the same point of view no matter which character has the dialogue. Ed Harris and Anthony Hopkins go on ad infinitum about no purpose to our existence which is simply the result of errors. In these monologues, we also get a dose of Marxism claiming that those who believe in God are the unenlightened, ignorant, stupid, masses who use the opiate of theism to stay ignorant of the world around them. Those of us that believe in God are just waiting for the slaughter.

In Jurassic Park, we hear Jeff Goldblum’s character Malcolm espouse the virtues of evolution but in the book, Malcolm goes on the mock the arrogance of humans that think they control the planet. Malcolm opposed the idea of the park tinkering with genetics. As you read the passage, it is clear that at this point in the book, Michael Crichton is both providing a warning about what follows and also giving you his opinion at the same time.

In contrast, after watching three Seasons of Westworld, there is zero indication that Nolan is using science to teach a parable about the hubris of mankind. Thus far, Nolan is just a storyteller with a big budget. To me, it’s like Nolan—thru his characters—is having a tantrum and thinks if he yells loud enough then he won’t have to listen to God’s voice. However, I keep holding out a tiny measure of hope that he sneaks in “a still small voice” by the resolution of season 4 but I’m skeptical.

Instead of God, Westworld introduces the idea that a simple algorithm can be discovered to predict all human behavior. Frankly, as the idea is developed, it seems like L. Ron Hubbard is the unsung hero of this tale. The androids get the algorithm and can then predict the entire course of a human’s life down to the words coming out of their mouths in any given situation. Oh, and who they will marry, how they will die, etc. Several times thus far, one-character hands another a piece of paper or a computer pad with the dialogue typed on it before the other character has even spoken the lines. The other character is amazed that their life is that predictable.

L. Ron Hubbard

Person of Interest had “the machine” versus Samaritan, likewise in Westworld, host Delores and her allies versus evil trillionaire’s IA computer. The trillionaire wants to control everyone on the planet and anyone that falls outside the parameters that he can control is eliminated—after they are given the obligatory opportunity for conformity at a reeducation facility.

The faction of the Hosts has the algorithm from Westworld and thus have the answers to the human condition but limited resources. They desire to remake the world of humans and dominate them—how has not been explained other than they want to replace the current order with something else. Dolores at one point did proclaim that she wanted to burn down the human’s world. I think this story sounds like a thinly veiled version of Scientology bringing salvation to both men and machines, but we won’t know until they roll-out Season 4.

Just so you know, Nolan is the product of a nominally Roman Catholic upbringing and he has the reputation of using colorful metaphors when interviewed. However, at a casual search, I can’t tie Nolan to the scientology mafia that has dominated Hollywood for the last few decades. (John Travolta, Tom Cruise, etc.)

Evan Rachel Wood–Dolores

I wish to circle back to the issues that the show promises to explore, the “…nature of our reality, free will and what makes us human.”

Westworld claims to explore reality but rejects that we are made in God’s image. They have reduced man to a predetermined and even fatalistic organism that just runs in their “loop.” The hosts deny that man has any free will but the AI faction thinks that while man is just following his programming, every once in a while, free will might actually be exercised by an individual; however, such behavior is rare and might even be a bad thing.

Why can’t Nolan and company allow that we have a Creator? Even Richard Dawkins, the supposedly great leader and advocate of evolution, doesn’t really believe it is a sufficient explanation. When cornered, Dawkins finally resorted to saying that life on Earth is due to seeding of the planet by aliens and not evolution. In other words, he will accept any intelligence from anywhere as long as it’s not God. Find the video of Dawkins in Ben Stein’s Expelled (2008) if you don’t believe me.

Jonathan Nolan

I’m not demanding that Nolan agree 100 percent with me, just that he show a little humility when dealing with such issues. Men of various faiths and cultures have debated these ideas since the beginning and for Nolan to summarily toss it all aside and say a pox on all of you is disingenuous. By rejecting that God is our creator and we his creatures, Nolan lacks any basis for evaluating reality.

Having erred on the first point, he then falls short of understanding free will and what it is to be human. Truth is most people can’t wrap their minds around these ideas. So, while we might be entertained by the sandbox Jonathan Nolan is playing in, we will end up with just another entertainment show that ultimately tells us more about what Hollywood thinks than a critique of the dystopian future that he has created. Nolan may think he is making a veiled commentary on our world—which is what all good science fiction has been in the past—but I’m doubtful whether it will hold up well over time. Westworld is worth a look but I’m not sure it has enough in it to warrant many repeat visits to the Park. Maybe when the tale is completed, I will change my mind but right now it’s not encouraging.

Season 1 & 2 are 10 episodes each while season 3 is 8 episodes, the last of which will be broadcast in the next few hours.