Movies, Politics, Sport

A Week in Review: 28th September-4th October

The Presidential debate shows just what Donald Trump has done to America

And what he has done is taken an enormous dump on its reputation, its methods of discourse and shown the country’s sordid underbelly of racism, misogyny and general intolerance. He tries to replicate the tactics and incidents that saw him win the electoral college vote in 2016 but after four years in office, he’s not the rank outsider anymore. He’s not the protest candidate who you vote in a fit of pique. He is the incumbent President of the United States of America, the Commander-in-Chief. He’s had four years to show the American people that he deserves to continue in the job on merit. He knows his record is so poor however, that he resorts to the name calling, the conspiracy theories and the shouting. He never allowed Biden to get word in edgeways, eventually prompting Biden to exclaim “Will you shut up man?!” I don’t I’ve ever seen someone in a debate driven to such frustration that they have exclaimed ‘will you shut up.’ But then most debates don’t have Donald Trump as one of the participants. And he’s enough to drive anyone up the wall.

But this was an embarrassment for all America. This may be what jolts some American voters into the realisation that Trump is just not someone you want at the helm for another four years. He cannot conduct himself with any decency. His automatic defence system is to lash out. He makes every attack personal. Nothing is below the belt, it’s there to be exploited. He went after multiple members of Biden’s family, namely his sons. Joe Biden has a fairly tragic family history and to attack him for that was unconscionable. You can disagree with someone for their political views and argue and debate with them about your political differences. John McCain and Barack Obama showed it was possible back in 2008. McCain famously defended Obama at a Republican event saying they had fundamentally different ideas on how the country should be run, but that Obama was ‘not a man [they needed] to fear,’ adding that he was a ‘decent man.’ There is no respect in this election, nor was there is 2016. Actually, there has never been any respect shown to anyone by Donald Trump in his entire life. He made his political career early on by straight up insulting people. His supporters try and say this is why they like him, because he’s tough and takes on the political establishment with no apologies. It just masks an incredibly fragile ego. The name calling, taunting and everything else you see is all to bring attention back to Trump and feed his need for adulation. That’s why he loves holding the rallies. They make him better when there is a crowd of people cheering his name. But it is such a dangerous time that America cannot afford to be stuck with a man who is so incredibly narcissistic he will willingly undermine and flout scientific advice to receive his fifteen minutes of being told just how wonderful he is and what a good job he is doing.  

Chelsea might not be the finished article yet, but they’re on their way.

It was a great way to go into the international break for Chelsea, with a convincing 4-0 win at home over Crystal Palace. It was a perfect tonic to a week that had started off with a hugely frustrating 3-3 draw against West Bromwich Albion and an even more frustrating penalty shootout loss to Tottenham in the League Cup. I’ve already said that I don’t think that Chelsea will win the league this season. There will be some time needed for all the new signings to bed in and get settled. But the performance, particularly in the second half was encouraging. The Blues dominated the ball throughout the game, kept working and found the first vital breakthrough. From there, Palace had to come out of their shape to try and equalise and that enabled the creative players to find pockets of space further up the pitch and that led to the increased margin of victory.

Chelsea have a lot of young players in the squad for this season as well and they will sometimes make some mistakes. But the more these players play together, the more they will understand each other’s style of play. This is a squad that will truly hit its stride and become the force all Chelsea fans are hoping for in a year or two. Lampard now has to manage increased expectations from both the fans and the board; the fans who will want a consistent side for the foreseeable future after a few years of rather yo-yo like form in terms of being way ahead of the field and then significantly behind the pace. And the board will want to see tangible improvement after a significant backing of their manager in the last window.

I don’t think Chelsea have been particularly smart about the final weeks of the transfer window. The powers that be should have sorted out who would be leaving while simultaneously working on the incoming players. Instead they found themselves on the final day of the window with too big a squad and rushing to get some players out the door. I’m also not sure with some of the players who look to be heading out the door. It just seems like the wrong players are going out on loan and we are going to be looking at the rest of the season with too many players in a couple of key positions. That could easily cause a lot of disgruntled players sitting around not playing as often as they would want. Lampard will have to manage that.

Bond pushed back again as entertainment continues to feel the squeeze

It was announced this last week that the latest James Bond release, No Time to Die had been pushed back again, to April of next year. This has seen Cineworld announce the decision to keep all its theatres shut until further notice. Meanwhile, Odeon have decided to open a quarter of their theatres from Friday to Sunday. It continues a trend we saw from the very beginning of the pandemic with studios postponing their major releases. For example, Marvel has also pushed back the release of Black Widow until next year. Other studios have decided to shift over to a direct-on-demand release, and it hasn’t been completely successful. This is again showing just how hard the entertainment industry has been hit by the pandemic. People just haven’t returned to theatres, live or cinema. And since the demand isn’t there, the supply has had to dry up or adapt. Live music is also suspended until further notice.

You can absolutely understand why the studios have made those decisions. On-Demand releases wouldn’t do films designed for the big screen justice. Films like the Bond films, Marvel films, Fast and Furious 9 deserve to be seen on the big screen. But this move is putting even more pressure on venues in particular. They need people coming through the turnstiles to survive and without that regular attendance, they can’t manage by themselves. Many are warning of closure if something more drastic is not done soon. Going to the cinema, to a show, or a gig is an occasion to be savoured and enjoyed. To lose it would be a real shame. More people would be out of a job and we would lose more ground to restoring ‘normality,’ whatever that might mean nowadays.

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