Friday Clutter: Facebook, Governor DeSantis, NBC Peacock, Traffic Deaths, Roger Goodell, David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch, Whitesnake, Queen and David Bowie, and more
Welcome back! How are you? What a crazy week. Sorry we had to step out for a few days. A couple of things hit at the same time, and we had to focus on that craziness for a while. However, everything seems to have settled down (fingers crossed.) Any big plans for the weekend? We've got the New England Patriots game and the Doctor Who premiere, so that will be fun, and then the rest probably depends on the weather, as another storm approaches tomorrow. Anyway, enough chitchat - let's get to work. BDH and Little Buddha made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, because it's time to clear out some Friday Clutter.
Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook is changing its name to "Meta." That should make all of the company's current problems disappear, right? Zuckerberg and friends hope that people will be distracted by the shiny new toy that is, "The metaverse, a three-dimensional digital world created by augmented and virtual reality products and services," instead of focusing on Facebook being terrible for democracy and mental health. Question: If Facebook is making the real world worse, why would we want to participate in a fake one that these people are creating? Whatever you call it, Facebook needs to be forced to make real changes in its business practices and stop promoting misinformation in the name of profit.
New name, same mess. (pic via dnaindia.com)
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continues to do whatever he can to put his constituents in danger: DeSantis is suing the Biden administration over the new vaccination requirements for federal contractors, claiming President Biden doesn't have the authority to implement the rule. The Republican Party is a clear threat to the safety of the United States. The coronavirus has claimed almost 750,000 lives in the U.S. so far, and DeSantis and the rest of the GOP are doing everything they can to make sure that number eventually tops one million people.
A new survey indicates a large number of unvaccinated workers claim they'll quit if they're forced to be vaccinated or tested. We're willing to bet about 95% of them are flat-out lying, and if we're wrong, let them leave. Enough with the temper tantrums. If these people won't take action to reduce their danger to others, let them be unemployed. They're free to make whatever decision they like, but that doesn't mean they can avoid consequences. Enough coddling. Do the right thing or get out.
Rich people are whining about a plan to tax rich people? That's weird.
You don't often see this: Yesterday was a rough day on Wall Street for Amazon and Apple, as both companies missed on their earnings reports. Both cited supply chain issues as one of the main reasons for them missing their targets. This logjam is one of the biggest things the Clutter investment team will be watching in 2022.
It doesn't seem like things are going well with NBC's Peacock, with Comcast announcing a $520 million loss for the streaming service this quarter. Company executives are trying to claim that they're happy with the overall direction, but that feels like a tough sell. Have to say we've almost completely forgotten Peacock exists, except for checking out 10 minutes of the WWE's last pay-per-view. Maybe we should take another look and see if there's anything we're missing. Are you watching anything on there?
There were over 21,000 traffic deaths in the U.S. in the first half of 2021, according to the government. This is a case where statistics can tell all sorts of different stories. The deaths are up 18.4% compared to the same time last year. However, more people were driving during the first six months of this year as pandemic restrictions eased, and, "The death rate for the first half of this year rose to 1.34 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. It’s up from 1.28 deaths per 100 million miles in the first half of 2020." Anecdotally, we would say that we've seen many more terrible drivers on the road this year. People flying down the highway like they're in a NASCAR race, along with those folks who change lanes without using their blinkers who come within inches of hitting other cars. Long story short, it's dangerous out there, so be careful, friends. We want all of you here with us for years to come.
Some folks were angry that the Boston Red Sox brought back Alex Cora to manage the team after he served a year-long suspension for his role in the Houston Astros cheating scandal. However, the fact that Cora got this group to just two games away from the World Series makes it clear that he's the right choice to lead the team, and hopefully he'll be here for many more years to come.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league doesn't plan to release the results of its investigation into the Washington Football team, so you know the allegations of sexual harassment and mistreatment of women by the organization must be even worse than what's been reported so far. In case there's any doubt, Goodell's job isn't to make sure misconduct is punished. He's there to make the billionaire owners even richer and not let anything get the way of that. He's a hack who takes the hits in the press to cover for his bosses, and he's well-paid for it.
Two of our favorites are playing the same role in different movies: David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch are both starring as former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, a man who died from polonium poisoning after criticizing Vladimir Putin's government. We would of course be obligated to watch both projects, but while Cumberbatch's is for HBO, Tennant's is for ITV, which we don't get, so the former Sherlock Holmes gets our attention for now. No word yet on a release date for either show.
It's hard to find a positive review for the new Marvel movie, The Eternals, and it's opening in theaters only on November 5, so this feels like one we can miss without too much regret.
The CBS sitcom B Positive has apparently reset itself in its second season. We don't watch the show, but we're curious to see how this works out for the Chuck Lorre comedy, because the same thing happened with Mom (another Lorre production), and that ended up effectively being three different programs which were all good. Can Lorre pull that off again?
James Andrew Miller has a new book about HBO coming out on November 23. Boston Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert highlighted an excerpt about former Sopranos star James Gandolfini, which reminds us about the oral history of Saturday Night Live that Miller co-authored with Tom Shale years ago. This might be something BDH and Little Buddha would enjoy reading.
The Hollywood Reporter has an interesting extensive profile of Will Ferrell.
David Coverdale says the next Whitesnake tour will be his last, although he still plans to make more music, both with the band and other artists. Coverdale is 70 years old, so maybe this will really be it for him on the road, although these kinds of announcements tend to fall apart after a couple of years.
Okay kids, that's going to do it for now. We heard someone mention that this past Tuesday was the 40th anniversary of the release of the Queen/David Bowie classic, "Under Pressure," so how about we close things out with a live version of that tune for today's, "Song of the Day."
Besides loving the song, it's always fun to watch Freddy Mercury have that entire Wembley Stadium crowd in the palm of his hand at the start of the clip. What an amazing front man.
Thanks for stopping by, everyone. It was so much fun to catch up with all of you. Enjoy the rest of your day, be good, and we'll see you again soon. Until next time, that's today's Clearing out the Clutter, and we are outta here.
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