WHY TED LASSO?

Changing American Tastes in TV

When I first heard the name Ted Lasso, I thought he might be a Lash LaRue character from a 1950s cowboy movie. Then I found out this modern-day character is played by Jason Sudeikis and my interest was piqued. I wanted to give the show a try but was disappointed to learn it was on Apple TV+, one of the few video platforms we didn’t have.

While out West for a wedding this summer, my significant other spent some time with her old friend who had Apple TV+ and she watched the first eight Ted Lasso episodes. She got hooked and she bought the Apple gizmo when we got home so we could experience Ted Lasso.

I’ve always liked Jason’s approach to humor, so I expected quality comedy, but after watching the first season I realized a number of things were happening with Ted Lasso.

First, the premise isn’t new. It’s similar to the Charlie Sheen movie Major League, which was released in 1989 when Sheen was still funny. Both feature a woman who takes over a professional sports team, but the similarity ends there. The woman in the Sheen film wants to grow her franchise for profit while the Lasso woman wants her London soccer team to fail to anger her ex-husband. To that end she brings aboard Mr. Lasso, an American college football coach from Kansas City who knows nothing about soccer, a game known as football in the UK.

I had an epiphany watching Ted Lasso win seven Emmy Awards the other night. Americans are moving toward different kinds of entertainment and sources of distribution. Maybe it’s not such a remarkable observation. After all, technology has been driving the migration away from over-the-air television during the last ten years. But thinking about the many aspects of how Americans now consume entertainment made me realize just how profound the changes are.

Network TV is no longer satisfying people, especially those who can afford multiple platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Paramount+, Disney+, Peacock, Apple TV+, Sling, YouTube and, well, I could go on, but I’ve made my point. Smart TV’s have enabled the use of those applications at the touch of a button, but it’s not just technology that drives binge watching, it’s the content.

Ted Lasso came along at a fortunate time. We fell for this guy who’s been forced to be away from his family back in Kansas City, perhaps reminding us of FaceTime with our kids and family during Covid. In a sense, the soccer team members are Ted’s kids, and he is trying to give them fatherly advice, even when in the beginning of the series, they totally disrespect him. Lasso knows nothing about soccer but that doesn’t matter. He was brought in to destroy the franchise.

Ted Lasso is a story about redemption. The lead character’s analogies, metaphors and daily doses of shortbread biscuits brought to his boss are totally misunderstood by the locals, but he slowly grows on them. The success of the show has also spawned social media and exploitation experts to give us things like this.

It’s not a sports story as much as it’s a “dramedy” filled with tons of pop cultural references that are easy to miss if you aren’t watching closely. Corny pun driven quips flash by to keep the pace fast and crisp. Clever writing like, “This place reminds me of that movie Once. I liked it so much I watched it twice!” will make you laugh.

The show was developed by Sudeikis, Brandon Hunt, Joe Kelly and Bill Lawrence. The lead actors are totally involved in the writing, as was true with Jason’s roots in Second City and SNL. Unlike most shows, the characters’ lines are not created by a committee of writers and the language is not shaped or censored by attorneys and network suits. The writing technique gives characters their natural vulgarity and relatability. They also have kids using adult language that throws viewers off at times and, well, is funny.

There are some truly heart moving moments in the show. I find myself feeling for these people despite my natural blocking of predictive emotional heart plucking or equally obvious embedded lessons being dispersed. Why is this? Could it be, just damn good writing?

There is a certain vulnerability to Jason’s portrayal of Ted Lasso. The hyper-positive “Pollyanna” outlook of the man, which is magnified by his “cracker” over the top southern accent, keeps you wondering if Ted is the ultimate goldfish out of water or if he’s playing everyone for what they want him to be. As he slowly evolves from “wanker,” to “semi-respected wanker” and you root for him. In our age of cynicism and division, we can see the globalism of the team as well as the divide between the Americans and Brits, but mostly we go along for the ride. Lasso affects everyone, and even lacking success, he makes them feel good about themselves. Instead of a preacher, a politician or even a spouse, we all want to be around someone who rises above the shit of everyday life.

As I watched shows like The Crown, The Queen’s Gambit, Hacks and Mare of Easttown win most of the awards, the influence of British writers, actors and producers on American entertainment became obvious. Then it truly hit me. Oh my God there were no awards for ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX or other US network shows. We shouldn’t judge an entire medium based on awards, but people were missing the point while yelling “Oscars and Emmys so white.” The audience was way ahead of the award shows.

Over-the-air networks still have millions of viewers, but they focus on competition shows like The Bachelor, Dancing with the Stars and The Voice along with one-season, second-class sitcoms. Perhaps this should come as no surprise. As viewers’ language and community standards change, network TV cannot “go there.” Sure, shows like Blackish are funny, but they fall short of the quality of humor that can be seen for a small monthly fee. We are changing and how we spend our entertainment time is also changing. The only network shows I regularly watch are the late-night talk shows, nightly news, and true crime shows like Dateline, 20/20 and 48 Hours. I’m sure there are many other just like me.

TV has always been used as an escape and the streaming platforms offer better escapes now. Just as Howard Stern left over-the-air radio to be able to say what he wanted on satellite radio, many talented people are now escaping to HBO, Apple, Hulu, Showtime, Amazon Prime and other streaming networks to share their uncensored and authentic stories. The success of Ted Lasso is the canary in the coal mine. The video streaming services have become the renewable entertainment sources of today and tomorrow.

BRAND NEW BOOK

We knew that the great divide in America would have a major effect on the presidential election in the year 2020, but something else was lurking that we didn’t anticipate. The world suffered a global pandemic of Covid-19, and everything changed. The lockdown motivated one author to write MASHED POTATOES: Covid, Cancer & Comfort Food. The cover ironically claims the book is a “humorous” recollection of 2020, but one might ask, “Where was the humor?” This is a work of survival to motivate those who desire to get beyond Covid-19, beat cancer and defend our precious Democracy.  The world got Covid, the writer got cancer and we all ate copious amounts of comfort food. It’s time to swallow the truth, survive the madness, take a large spoon and savor some delicious MASHED POTATOES. Get some here. 

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them. Kindle and Paperback Click Here

 

New Modern Art – Doodles and Cartoon Website

www.thedreamwindow.com

 

 

 


REMEMBER THE ALAMO

Trump’s Final Road Trip

I couldn’t help noticing Donald John Trump’s schedule. After 1,141 days in office, with a grand total of 321 days playing golf, he’s headed to the southern border to brag about his 400 miles of almost finished wall. Mexico paid zero pesos for this unnecessary project and has zero interest in what will be the subject of this pathetic, broken man’s last speech. Trump doesn’t want to talk about the hundreds of thousands of American lives lost to COVID, the insurrection he caused at Capitol Hill on January 6th or the stark reality that in just a few days he will no longer be president.

The Real Alamo

Trump defended himself with his speech in Alamo, Texas yesterday. He won’t be at the actual historical structure, and that’s great news, but the irony of this location cannot be ignored. My father’s family came to America in the late 1600s. They landed at the James River settlement and then traveled through Dover, Delaware before settling in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where they became farmers.

Some of my lineage ended up in Tennessee and there is amazing family research that reveals that we are related to Davy Crockett. He died at age 49 during the Texas revolution at the Alamo in 1836. It’s ironic that our President will be in Texas bragging about his wall and its central aim of curtailing immigration or, as Trump puts it, keeping the “Bad hombres” from coming here to rape, murder and exploit us. Perhaps his stupid rhetoric and policies lowered the numbers of people who migrated north, but who really wants to enter the United States in the midst of a raging pandemic? Our southern neighbors are neither stupid nor killers; they are just immigrants looking for a better life.

Internet chatter has led the FBI to issue a warning about armed protests in all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C. during Joe Biden’s inauguration. Coupling that with the bloodshed at last week’s deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol convinces me I have been correct. The blog writings here haven’t been springing from a left-wing lunatic spreading fear about an unhinged president. I’m just a patriot who has been trying to warn you that Donald Trump is an evil, destructive, anti-democracy power-hungry demagogue.

Sometimes there’s a need to share the backstory of honorable people who fight for noble causes and creeds. Davy Crocket and the freedom fighters from Tennessee weren’t on a mission to free people in the “country” of Texas, they were involved in a deeply flawed and politically motivated land grab. Most of the people who moved to the Texas territory were colonizers eager to snatch up the land Mexico was handing out by the acre. To get the land, they were required to convert to Catholicism and sign up for Mexican citizenship. Few did what they agreed to, and instead hatched a plan to get rich growing cotton in the excellent Texas climate. Mexico had banned slavery, so the settlers turned to the US government to help them acquire slaves whose free labor would pave the way to their dreams of wealth.

The Mexicans fought bravely to save the land they felt was theirs, and Davy Crockett was killed in battle. The war cry “Remember the Alamo” was born and used to raise money for troops. The United States government annexed Texas in 1845 and the skirmish for slaves led to the Mexican American War, which lasted from 1846 to 1848.

Back then the newspapers of countries around the world destroyed the credibility of the United States because of its promotion of colonization and cheap land. With the insurrection at the Capital last week, we are once again losing the high-moral ground of democracy for the people, by the people. The citizens of the world plainly see our modern day version of Napoleon, but he’s taller, fatter, slimier and stupider. His name is Donald Trump.

This self-destructive man was told by his White House lawyer and the former Attorney General that he cannot and should not pardon himself. Sources say he replied, “If I can’t pardon myself, then no one will get pardoned.” At that, he picked his ball, went home and locked himself in his room.

The Walls of America

Trump’s obsession with walls provides a revealing, remarkable insight about the man. He doesn’t allow just anyone into his walled reality. Only those who come groveling and shoveling praise get past his locked door. Some have suggested to Trump that he doesn’t need expensive, ugly walls at the border, that fences would suffice. Ironically, we now have walls and fences around the White House, the Capital and the Supreme Court. Donald Trump has brought us an unwelcomed lockdown, and we will have more than 15,000 troops guarding the presidential transition next week.

The good news is that military presence will be a force ready to evict the son-of-a-bitch if he refuses to leave the White House. Today may be Donald Trump’s last official road trip, but no later than January 20th he will take his last trip on our dime to Mar-A-Lago, where he can melt back into the realm of “private citizen.” But please make no mistake, his dream of becoming today’s equivalent of Robert E. Lee is dashed. The National Guard knows what they are doing and will not allow any domestic terrorists into the halls of freedom.

After learning that several of the Capital Police are being investigated for aiding and abetting the terrorists, the thin blue line has faded a bit. What country is this? It’s time we sanitize all three branches of government. A great start will be expelling all the Senators and Representatives who tried to steal the election from the people.

Donald Trump is not an Aaron Burr, the man who killed Thomas Jefferson. He’s just an old, orange pumpkin who has TOTALLY FAILED as a president, a father and a person. At a bare minimum, he owes a deep apology to all of us. Short of that, LOCK HIM UP.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here


CANCER ON THE PRESIDENCY

The Wrecking Crew of Giuliani & Powell

Some people get thrown into the spotlight of American history even when they don’t deserve any oxygen. Still, we give them the glory, and by “we” I mean the ever-needy media with their cameras and microphones catching the mucus of lies that drips out of their collective mouths.

I lived in New York when the Twin Towers collapsed after the 9-11 terrorist attacks and saw the leadership Mayor Rudolph Giuliani showed to the entire world during it all. I also attended a seminar where he spoke about leadership. It was illuminating and inspiring, so he wasn’t always like this. By “this” I mean his recent highly partisan and hairbrained activities on behalf of President Donald Trump.

I think Rudy started to fall off the logic track when he ran for president and obsessively used the 9-11 attacks as the reason why people should vote for him. Rudy’s “hero” claims, however, bothered those who lost family members and friends during the attack. After his unsuccessful run, Rudy started practicing law and using his fame and celebrity to gain high paying contracts to “advise” nations and people around the world.

Rudy Bleeding For Trump

As Giuliani became closer with Trump, he began a sort of conspiratorial process, warping the details of actual happenings or completely fabricating others to keep him tight with our bulbous leader. He showed Trump how easily he could morph pure, outrageous lies into “facts.” Trump was just paranoid enough to believe he needed Giuliani by his side, and this gave “the mayor” a golden opportunity to manipulate the President.

While Rudy was in Ukraine, he took a few facts at face value and then created a dark “deep state plot” around them, Russian leader Vladimir Putin played Rudy to increase his hold on the 45th President. While he was being tried for impeachment in the Senate, the Donald went crazy looking for defense lawyers. He found lots of willing partisan has-beens to lie for him, like Jeffrey Epstein’s good friend Alan Dershowitz.

Along that path, Trump picked up Sidney Powell, a lawyer from North Carolina with a connection to many cases and comments that blended right into the conspiracy-driven notions of our demented President. During a recent press conference held at the RNC in Washington, Ms. Powell showed her real skin.

Sydney Powell

Powell’s unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about election interference were disconcerting, even for some Republican supporters of Trump. Sidney claimed there was a “deep state plot” to frame Trump’s disgraced advisor Michael Flynn and, as his attorney, she was involved in getting Flynn to reverse his guilty plea.

Sidney Powell has promoted personalities and concepts associated with the QAnon conspiracy group. She has discussed a supposed effort involving international Communists, “globalists,” George Soros, Hugo Chávez (who has been dead since 2013), the Clinton Foundation, thousands of Democratic and Republican officials, including Trump ally and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, to rig the election in favor of Joe Biden. Soon enough after spewing her falsehoods, she became the victim of the “cancel culture” of Fox News.

While making the rounds at all the pro-Trump media shows, Sidney Powell laid the foundation for her own demise. Tucker Carlson didn’t like Tucker’s approach, and he attacked her during a ten-minute monologue at the top of his Fox News show saying, “What Powell was describing would amount to the single greatest crime in American history; millions of votes stolen in a day. Democracy destroyed. The end of our centuries-old system of government.” He further disclosed that she became “angry and told us to stop contacting her” when his producers invited Ms. Powell to appear on his show and share her evidence. After that, the Trump sycophants attacked Fox News and their boy Tucker because he wanted to expose the evidence. Why?

The “cancel culture” that Tucker Carlson decries every night is very much alive at Fox News, and for years Rupert Murdoch has employed that approach to those he doesn’t like, just as Trump has. So, what would be more important to Trump? The opinions of Rush Limbaugh, Mark Leven and the far-right loonies, or his desire to overturn the election results? Ha! Do I have to ask?

Man Doing Brain Measurement

Last night, November 22, 2020, Sidney Powell’s Wikipedia page was suddenly updated: “Trump campaign lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis issued a statement that Powell is “practicing law on her own” and is not (or is no longer) a part of the Trump legal team.” According to The Washington Post, “The Trump campaign cut ties with Powell because she was seen as harming Trump’s broader legal efforts, and that President Trump disliked the coverage she received on Tucker Carlson Tonight.” So, score another point for Tucker, who clearly must be the actual President of the United States.

Thus, we’re down to Trump’s two loyal lawyers, Jenna Ellis and Rudy Giuliani. Their legal arguments are just sanitized versions of what Sidney Powell was saying. When a lawyer of the sitting Republican President attacks a loyal Republican Governor of Georgia because the people of his state voted for Biden, I guess that is a road too far. Not that I would go out of my way to defend Brian Kemp, the voter suppression king of the south, but he signed the document that gave Joe Biden the state because he was doing what he is legally bound to do. He followed the law and didn’t cheat.

The ugly effect of Giuliani on the Trump presidency harkens back to the words John Dean said to President Richard Nixon during Watergate, “I think that there’s no doubt about the seriousness of the problem we’ve got. We have a cancer within — close to the presidency, that’s growing. It’s growing daily. It’s compounding. It grows geometrically now because it compounds itself.” Those are the actual words that Mr. Dean spoke to Nixon. Giuliani is a cancerous growth on Donald Trump’s legacy and presidency, but there is no one brave enough to make the rotund orange leader understand.

Sidney Powell was thrown under the bus because Rudy didn’t manage her, as if anyone could. They simply dismissed her because that’s how they roll. The American public has fired Donald John Trump, but he hasn’t yet received the word. He’s a fool surrounded by suckers and dupes, stark proof that Trump never took the job seriously. He’s just a spoiled brat game player on the playground, but he holds nuclear weaponry. He must be neutralized and removed, ASAP.

Brand New Book for the Recovery

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

 

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.