Now I’m Instagraming

instagram-logo-9ON DISCOVERING my pal Bill O’Reilly is on Instagram, I decided to join.

You can find me under the user name of tzurumutarense.

Can you say tzurumutarense?

Perhaps I’ll become one of those “influencers” we hear about, people who get millions of followers and then try to get freebies at resorts and high-end stores in return for mentioning the name of the resort or store. No, wait, that’s YouTube.

O’Reilly is fond of posting photos of his dog, a Welsh corgi, the same breed favored by England’s Queen Elizabeth. But I have no dog.

I would like to be an influencer, however.

Perhaps I need to get a dog.

An incurable affliction

I’M AN OLD MAN, and I don’t like it one bit.

New ImageThis phenomenon sneaks up on you like a rat snake. First, you feel the energy level slipping. I initially noticed that about a decade ago when I was in my mid-60s.

That’s when I quit mowing the yard in summertime.

Then your body begins to jig and jag in various ways, nothing that puts you out of commission (yet), but it’s noticeable. Your balance becomes unreliable. You feel this most on standing from a chair or bed.

What separates the sickness of aging from other afflictions like a bad cold, the flu or injuries from a motorcycle accident is that you can recover from a bad cold or flu and, with luck, from accident injuries of every sort.

But there is no recovering from getting old. There is no pill to take. You will not take an aspirin and feel better in the morning. It’s a downhill skid.

This is rather disturbing, that there is no cure for the first time in your life. But I have been fortunate. I can say there is no cure for the first time in my life because — knock on wood — I’ve never had anything incurable befall me. Others are not so lucky.

I have no vices, and I’m skinny svelte. These things work in my favor. I used to have vices. Smoking, drinking. But I quit smoking about 30 years ago, and I quit drinking on a March evening in Houston, 1996.

I started smoking at age 19 when I was in the Air Force. I smoked pipes like David Niven, cigars like Fidel Castro and cigarettes like millions of people. Oddly, it was not very difficult to stop smoking. I tapered off. No cold turkey for this boy. I recommend that method.

I started drinking in my mid-20s when I was married to my first wife. It was moderate at first, and I favored Southern Comfort, which is ghastly now that I think back on it. Syrupy swill.

After the first divorce at 26, I got serious about drinking, switching to alcohol for adults, and I remained serious about 25 years. I wasn’t a falling-down drunk nor a nasty one. But I did drink daily, every single, solitary day. Then I quit. Life improved immensely.

Oddly again, quitting was easy, easier than stopping smoking.

And I was not always skinny svelte either. I weighed about 55 pounds more than I do now until I was in my early 30s. Heftiness is bad for your health, and you’re less likely to reach an advanced age if you’re a meatball.

I weigh now what I weighed at age 21.

So, no smoking, no drinking and skinny svelte, all positive things if you don’t want to die prematurely, and I will not die prematurely.

It’s too late for that. I can only die via the normal schedule.

I’m hanging in there, but I don’t like it. And there’s no good solution. There is only one cure. And you know what that is.

The truth about Roma

romaTHE MOVIE Roma is receiving lots of hoopla, as is its star, an indigenous schoolteacher from the Mexican state of Oaxaca and first-time actress with the name of Yalitza Aparizio.

The hoopla perhaps is greatest over Aparizio.

At the risk of being labeled a Philistine — I don’t care — I hold a less breathy opinion of the movie and its star who has been nominated for an Academy Award (Best Actress!), something I find silly.

The movie is quite good, but it’s no Casablanca or Sophie’s Choice. It’s not even The Wild Bunch, another movie set in Mexico.

I’ve seen Casablanca maybe three times, Sophie’s Choice twice, and The Wild Bunch about 14 or 15 times. It’s a cult classic. I’m a cultist.

Roma is quite good. It has subtleties I doubt many people outside of Mexico will notice and/or understand. I’ve seen it twice. I did the repeat after reading that lots of nuances are missed the first time, so a second visit is advisable. I liked it more the first time.

But I’ll grant it’s a very good movie. That is if you can make it past the first 20-25 minutes which are glacially slow. Snooze time.

Now let’s move onto the star, Aparizio. For most of the movie her character is as deadpan as Keanu Reeves. It requires little talent to deadpan. However, this is one of the subtleties non-Mexicans will miss. Domestics in Mexico are indeed deadpan more often than not.

This is especially true if they’re indigenous.

The only scene in Roma where Aparizio shines is the segment in the hospital where she has her baby. It’s a gripping scene, and she does a great job of acting. Kudos to her.

Here is why the movie, and Aparizio especially, are receiving so much praise and why she’s laughably been nominated for an Oscar. The movie pushes all the PC buttons for Hollywood types.

  1. Filmed in black and white.
  2. There are subtitles.
  3. The star is Mexican
  4. The star is indigenous and female.

These factors have sent America’s West and Northeast coasts into a swoon. I predict the movie will win the Best Picture Oscar and Aparitzio will win as Best Actress, all for the four reasons just stated.

Recall that the 2013 Best Picture winner was 12 Years a Slave, another movie dear to politically correct hearts. After winning that year, it came to light that a number of Academy members voted for 12 Years a Slave without actually having seen the movie. Incredible.

So Aparizio will take the Oscar home.

And in another year, she will be forgotten, back to teaching in Oaxaca, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Good teachers have value.

The Oscar has become as political as the Nobel Prize, a fact that has rendered them virtually meaningless. Aparizio’s winning as Best Actress will be up there with Barry Obama winning the Peace Prize and Bob Dylan the prize for Literature. Sad.

Stark raving mad

THINGS HAVE flown out of control above the Rio Bravo since I departed. I hope I am not to blame, the lack of my stabilizing presence.

Every morning, on reading the Gringo news online, I get one new shock after another, and it seems to be worsening.

A few days ago, a teacher in California banned holiday candy canes in her class because they’re shaped like a J, and that could stand for Jesus!

Oh, dear.

thThese loony events are legion in the United States, but you do not encounter them in Mexico.

Of particular note is the sex insanity. A subset of that is letting men who are posing as women play in women’s sports. Of course, the fake women always win, and the real women always lose.

Muscle matters.

The most recent example is a guy named Hannah Mouncey who is playing for Australia’s Women’s Handball League, whatever that is. Yes, this happened in Australia, but similar things occur in the United States.

Hannah Mouncey is 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs 220 pounds. The women he plays against are, well, not even close.

This lunacy is almost, or probably entirely, confined to the historically white world, the United States, Canada, Australia and Western Europe where, not coincidentally, political correctness runs amok.

Latin America does not do this, nor does Asia or Africa. It’s a mental disease of the White Man’s World.

The ability to think rationally is necessary for a functioning society, and rationality is vanishing where it matters most. This must make China very happy. Don’t underestimate the importance of that.