I have always taken pity on Sacha Baron Cohen’s victims, no matter how much they seem to deserve it. He plays on their vanity and makes them say terrible things, but he also deceives them by using something less laudable: the desire, present in most people, to avoid talking to someone else – in this case, Baron Cohen’s buffooning alter egos – social pain. or embarrassment.
There is, it turns out, an exception to this weakness of mine, one person whom I’m only too glad to see Baron Cohen torment. Step forward Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York and America’s second most horrible man, who over the weekend continued to fight his lead role in Borat’s new sequel. In a secretly filmed scene from the film, Giuliani is shown accompanying Borat’s “15-year-old girl” to a hotel room, before lying on the bed and gluing his hands to the front of his pants. He later said he had “brought my shirt back”.
Even Fox News confessed to being “disgusted” by this episode, but four days after the scene was announced, Giuliani did what he did best and slipped away by engaging in another argument. On Sunday, the 76-year-old sat in a car on New York’s Fifth Avenue stuck in traffic caused by a group identifying themselves as “Jews for Trump.” Counter-protesters arrived and spotted Giuliani’s tiny frowning face through the open window in the passenger seat of the car. Video footage from the event shows him watching like a creature in a Beatrix Potter story presented for the sole purpose of receiving comeuppance. Screams followed.
“Who do you prefer for the next four years?” Giuliani said in an interview afterwards. “This bunch of rude people who don’t seem to have a vocabulary beyond three words, or these very nice Jews who … don’t say anything back and do nothing but exercise their right to say they are for Donald Trump. To which the answer is, of course, whoever gets behind the wheel and keeps driving until Giuliani is safe on the horizon.
To get away from the world, I’m on a TV frenzy, even though my choice of shows sometimes makes it worse. On Tuesday I finished Utopia, Gillian Flynn’s horrifically timed adaptation of the cult British show of the same name in 2013, in which an influenza pandemic threatens the world. A laborious disclaimer runs at the start of the show (Utopia is a work of fiction “not based on actual, related, or current events”), which raises the question of how far the creators have come to delay its transmission. . One of his themes is how you can’t trust government health officials when the world falls victim to an unreliable vaccine.
If it was masochistic to watch, I appreciated her for her comic book thrills and the way she played out like Scooby-Doo but with torture. A better escape is The Undoing, HBO’s new thriller starring Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman, set in the airless world of hyper-rich Manhattan. Grant, who once described his own cast of actors as “grimly narrow,” thrived where other former romantic heroes have fallen, and as someone who since Four Weddings and Funeral has been, so to speak, totally straightforward for Grant, it’s really rewarding. . Orlando Bloom, stranded on the terrible Carnival Row; Jude Law, inefficiently rushing into The Third Day; Paul Bettany, hopefully never to be seen in any context again; and here is Grant, courteous, handsome and still a little mumbling, stringing television hits after the others.
Kim Kardashian West threw a surprise party on a private island to celebrate her 40th birthday, an event that left her feeling, she wrote on Instagram afterwards, “humiliated and blessed,” especially “during these times. where we are reminded of the things that really matter ”. It was never clear how much the Kardashians stalk us naked but, given that of all their shortcomings, lack of self-awareness has never been one, it’s fair to assume they know what it is. ‘they do. The Instagram post was not deaf, it was precisely about the brand.
It was the same story with Kendall Jenner’s commercial for Pepsi, in which the model was pictured solving aggressive police in the United States by giving a cop a can of cola. She too was accused of tone deafness, while the ad, which was filthy, stupid and self-centered, was very much in line with the family’s production. Above all, it guaranteed to generate in the form of outrage more water for the Kardashian mill. If we want them to leave, we must give up the pleasure of hating them and replace it with stone indifference.
There’s no sleight of hand in our building this year, but a socially distant Halloween parade around the block, in which all the kids will be required to wear masks (not the fun kind). At school, Halloween is prohibited due to allergen problems. A good thing to get out of the reduced school hours, therefore, is Halloween at the Learning Center, the facility provided by the city where children go to learn remotely on the days they are not in school. Today, for their greatest pleasure, they were able to dress (the only condition, “no sword”).
Our particular learning center is in a public recreation complex, and it’s a lot more groovy than school. The staff work for the parks department rather than the education department, which means more tattoos and piercings and fewer fawn-colored cardies. It also means that although it’s entirely indoors, it has a forestry school vibe without competition.
After a day of fun on Halloween, my kids came home to the moon to the new way of doing things. “We played a game and if you win you have candy and if you lose you also have candy.” I have opinions on this price-for-all approach, but given the state of the world, I decided to drop this one.
Like everywhere else in New York City, The Learning Center’s only unbreakable rule is that everyone entering wears a mask. The number of ways in which people find wearing their masks wrong continues to be odd. There’s the problem of the waistline, when the wearer successfully drapes a narrow strip of fabric over their nose and mouth while leaving large expanses of the chin exposed. There’s the nasal blinker, which covers his mouth but thinks that nasal breathing doesn’t release a viral load. And there is the person who wears it hanging on his ears but pushed down like a kind of hammock on the chin. (This person delays the consumption of potato chips so that their mask can stay in place.)
Like the little hacks and variations kids make on school uniforms, each has their own unique style, with the added thrill of potentially infecting those around them with a deadly disease. Happy Halloween.