Everybody Loves a Lover Edition
Hello Internet Stranger! Gee, I feel about ten feet tall.
Welcome to The Weekly Click. I’m your host, Sean McDevitt.
The Weekly Click is a collection of things I’ve posted on my blog, The Multiverse. Not everything, but items I thought were worthwhile. Stick around, things could change again. I’m still experimenting with the format.
As always, The Weekly Click has been this thing I just do for fun. I hope you all get the same charge out of clicking and reading the links as I do gathering them all up for you.
Be seeing you,
What Lucasfilm Should Be Doing
I’ve been putting off writing a review of The Book of Boba Fett because I just wasn’t sure how I felt. Thinking more on it, I decided to post my plan on how to fix the Star Wars universe, not just The Book of Boba Fett and it felt better.
Unsurprisingly, I think Star Wars needs more movies.
I think Kennedy is fearful of messing up a new trilogy or stand-alone movie. She should be. Still, if Dave Filoni is in charge of the creative, something unique will happen. I’d bet on it.
Star Wars needs big tentpole movies enhanced by the Disney+ streaming shows. Black Widow aside, Marvel has done this by continually moving forward. Their streaming shows enhance the ongoing story.
It’s high time Star Wars did the same.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know over at seanmcdevitt.net.
In the Dark
Eliza Strickland and Mark Harris, writing at IEEE Spectrum, outline a trend I never would have thought possible. Hundreds of recipients of retinal implants will be “in the dark” after the company makes them goes out of business—an outcome expected imminently after layoffs at Second Sight, which no longer makes the devices. The story is horrifying.
These three patients, and more than 350 other blind people around the world with Second Sight’s implants in their eyes, find themselves in a world in which the technology that transformed their lives is just another obsolete gadget. One technical hiccup, one broken wire, and they lose their artificial vision, possibly forever. To add injury to insult: A defunct Argus system in the eye could cause medical complications or interfere with procedures such as MRI scans, and it could be painful or expensive to remove.
For me, this is the story of the week. I am blind in my right eye and I always look at technological developments surrounding “bionic” eyes. The Six Million Dollar Man notwithstanding, medical technology has not advanced enough to reconnect the optic nerve so I quickly move on when the story is about “fixing” retinal blindness. Still, the ramifications of this is uncharted. Smart patients will start demanding rights to service, repair, and upgrade these kinds of implants and the technology has to become available when company’s go belly-up.
What do heart transplant or cochlear implant recipients do?
Pulling Back the NIL Curtain
David Ubben, writing for The Athletic, published a fantastic story about what’s going on behind the scenes at Tennessee, where an in-house “college sports collective” is aiming to raise $25 million a year to fund athlete name, image, and likeness deals. Not a typo.
Things that have been included in Tennessee’s NIL deals so far:
Some deals have reached six figures overall for certain athletes. It is still surprising to me that this is all legal and “normal.” Of course, this is just a starting point for NIL deals across college sports.
The schools that are at the forefront of NIL are going to benefit the most. Five-star student-athletes are about to get paid serious cash.
Imagine what it’ll be like in five years.
Mike Isaac and Sheera Frenkel, reporting for The New York Times, has the most important story of our time: What employees of Meta will now be called by their android/alien boss.
Google’s employees are called Googlers. Amazon’s workers are known as Amazonians. Yahoo’s employees were Yahoos.
So it was a conundrum for employees at Facebook, long known as Facebookers, when the company renamed itself Meta late last year.
The terminology is now no longer in question. At a meeting on Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and Meta’s chief executive, announced a new name for his company’s employees: Metamates.
I work for a company where we are called Horizonites and it is mildly eye-rolling inducing, but also a way to “brand” all employees. Metamates sounds like a fiber supplement.
Also, could you maybe worry about the existential crisis of misinformation and white supremacy Facebook has wrought upon society?
Batman versus Deathstroke Animatic
A recent Reddit thread brought to light an animatic of Batman versus Deathstroke. It was created by Monty Granito and his wife as a sample portfolio piece to help them get work in the field. It was never connected to a movie.
It’s too bad this never was filmed.
Thinking About the DH
Bernie Miklasz, on his Bern Baby Bern column for Scoops With Danny Mac, has a few smart thoughts about the DH coming to the National League
Pitching has become so specialized, MLB makes extensive use of designated pitchers — mostly relievers that have a specific duty for a specific situation and rarely work more than an inning at a time. They’re specialists. They aren’t asked to hit. They aren’t utilized for their fielding. They aren’t on the club to steal bases.
Maybe they’ll drop down a sac bunt now and then, but the sacrifice bunt is slowly fading. In 2009, MLB pitchers delivered 671 sac bunts. Last season, there were only 421 sac bunts.
Most of these highly specialized relievers hunt strikeouts and others entice ground balls. They aren’t nine-inning ballplayers who bring a complete set of skills to the job. And there’s nothing wrong with that. We just accept them for what they are — specialists. That’s what confuses me about the DH argument.
If you flat-out dismiss the DH as a one-dimensional specialist that violates the tradition of the nine-man game, then what’s up with the double standards in play as you accept dozens and dozens of one-dimensional specialist relievers?
There’s a hard line of separation in today’s game: teams invest small fortunes in pitching. They want good pitching. They need good pitching. They need a deep supply of pitching. None of the salaries being paid to pitchers contain one dollar invested with the pitcher’s hitting in mind.
So why do we continue to insist that pitchers hit?
It doesn’t help the team. It doesn’t help the pitcher, it doesn’t enhance offense. And we’ve seen pitchers hurt and miss considerable time — including Wainwright in 2015 — while swinging and/or running.
What, exactly is the benefit?
Yes, yes, yes. A thousand times yes.
Now, if the Cardinals want to bring Albert Pujols back… I’ll enjoy every minute of it as a fan. It really does not make sense from a baseball perspective, but maybe DeWitt is quietly freaking out about the possibility of lagging home attendance in 2022.
Will He Stay or Will He Go?
I don’t really care too much about Sean McVay or the Los Angeles Rams. However, the story about McVay considering retiring at age 36 is interesting. Dylan Hernandez, writing for the Los Angeles Times, has the story.
The Rams were only a handful of hours removed from a Super Bowl LVI celebration that extended into Monday morning when coach Sean McVay said two words with potentially alarming implications for their future: “We’ll see.”
That was McVay’s response to The Los Angeles Times when asked whether he would return to coach the Rams next season.
I find all of this fascinating. He’s been a coach for five years. He’s only 36. He has decades of coaching ahead of him. Why retire?
It seems like the most natural thing to do once you are set for life financially. Of course, I think I know the answer. To get to that level where you are in an incredibly high-paying job like a professional athlete, you are obsessed with that sport. Change it to lawyer or doctor and the dynamic doesn’t change. Those individuals want to keep doing the thing they love.
If I were a betting man, I’d say McVay stays a head coach for at most five more years and then moves to something possible just as lucrative, but with far less pressure and stress like broadcasting.
Still, I’d love to see the number of people 40 years old or younger who become so financially wealthy at a relatively young age that they can retire and do so.
Ivan Reitman Dies at 75
Ivan Reitman, director of comedies such as Animal House and Ghostbusters, is dead at 75.
Known for bawdy comedies that caught the spirit of their time, Reitman’s big break came with the raucous, college fraternity sendup “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” which he produced. He directed Bill Murray in his first starring role in the summer camp flick “Meatballs,” and then again in 1981′s “Stripes,” but his most significant success came with 1984′s “Ghostbusters.” Not only did the irreverent supernatural comedy starring Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis gross nearly $300 million worldwide, it earned two Oscar nominations, spawned a veritable franchise, including spinoffs, television shows and a new movie, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” that opened this last year. His son, filmmaker Jason Reitman directed.
So many movies that were part of my life growing up. Rest in peace.
Mazars Cut Ties with Trump Organization
Ben Protess and William K. Rashbaum, writing for The New York Times, outline why Mazars USA, the accounting firm the Trump Organization has been using for a decade, has said it cannot stand behind its annual statements.
The letter instructed the Trump Organization to essentially retract the documents, known as statements of financial condition, from 2011 to 2020. In the letter, Mazars noted that the firm had not “as a whole” found material discrepancies between the information the Trump Organization provided and the actual value of Mr. Trump’s assets. But given what it called “the totality of circumstances” — including Mazars’ own investigation — the letter directed the Trump Organization to notify anyone who received the statements that they should no longer rely on them.
Of course, Mazars knew Trump and the organization were shady. However, this is all about breaking ties with Trump. Pence split with Trump. Others in the Republican Party have disassociated with Trump. Mazars jumping ship is to save their skin. The rats are leaving the sinking ship. My guess is that the accounting firm was informed of a subpoena coming their way, and this was an opportunity to try and minimize damages. The employees at Mazars better be polishing up their resumes.
This revelation is another bullet for the New York attorney general’s case against the organization. It’s racketeering, everybody. Are you shocked?
Still, it is tiring to see the piling on of “potential findings” and nothing coming of it all. Maybe this time, the creditors will come calling. Wake me when Trump actually goes on trial or answers the questions under oath. I’ve gotten my hopes up too many times that this criminal conman will ever face real accountability.
Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, Reviewed by Ethan Coen
Jeff Maurer has a fun Substack called I Might Be Wrong, writing humorous essays. He was a former Senior Writer for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, so the guy has some chops.
It was recently brought to my attention that I needed to read one from way back in January, where he wrote a review of Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth as if his brother Ethan wrote it, and it is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. It starts off this way and never lets up:
In The Tragedy of Macbeth, long-time Hollywood presence Joel Coen — who has 18 prior films to his credit — takes sole creative control of a project for the first time. The result, not unlike the tale of Macbeth itself, is a tragedy of epic proportions.
In the interest of full disclosure, my editor has requested that I mention that I was Mr. Coen’s writing partner, producer, and creative collaborator on the aforementioned 18 films. I am also his brother. We parted ways prior to Macbeth in a split that the press described as completely amicable. Despite my prior association with Mr. Coen, I feel that I am entirely capable of reviewing his work in a fair and objective way.
Macbeth is Joel Coen’s shittiest movie by several billion light years. If all the elephants in all the world crapped into the same canyon for 100 years, you would still not have a pile of shit half a large as Joel Coen’s dumb-as-a-dog-dick rendering of this classic tale. One can’t watch Macbeth without getting the sense that something is missing; some inspired element that gave Mr. Coen’s earlier work an aura of ebullient genius is absent this time. The wit, verve, and undeniable rugged machismo that characterized the other 18 films in which he happened to be involved are nowhere to be found here. Ultimately, one must conclude that what’s lacking is talent itself.
The ending of the second paragraph and the start of the third made me laugh so hard it was embarrassing. Just read the whole thing.
By the way, Dick Van Dyke is 96.
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