Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bernie Tiede's going back to prison

Sociopath Bernie Tiede is on his way back to prison for murdering elderly widow Marjorie Nugent after stealing millions of dollars from her.

He was the subject of a movie, Bernie, directed by Richard Linklater, starring Jack Black in the title role as an effeminate assistant funeral director who befriended a wealthy widow, taking expensive vacations with her (that she paid for), hanging around with her, shooting her in the back four times and keeping her body in a freezer, pretending she was still alive as he continued to spend her money until her family convinced the police to search her house.

Tiede was sentenced to life in prison and served 16 years when he was released while his sentence was being appealed. He wasn't appealing his conviction, but he claimed that the jury should have taken into account his claim that he was once sexually abused by an uncle during sentencing. The state apparently intended to let him go free by simply not bothering to re-sentence him until the victim's family objected.

After the re-sentencing trial, the jury gave Tiede 99 years to life. The prosecutors used financial records to prove that he had embezzled millions of dollars from Nugent while telling her he was investing it in the stock market. In his confession, he said he had been thinking about clubbing her to death for some time before he shot her.

"I had thoughts of hitting Marjorie in the head with a bat or anything for a couple of months prior to November 19th, 1996," he said.

He had been staying at Richard Linklater's home during the appeal.

I saw the movie Bernie. Tiede might have been somewhat sympathetic if he had been a fictional character who murdered another fictional character, but, even then, I wouldn't let him in my house.

Tom Cruise "fascinatingly dumb"

A quote about Tom Cruise from Jean-Pierre Mocky, French director, screenwriter, and producer from his memoir,  Je vais encore me faire des amis! (I'm going to make some more friends!). I don't know if it's available in English. This is a translation found on line:

"[Stanley Kubrick] died in March 1999, two months before the release of Eyes Wide Shut, his last movie. I was invited to the preview screening in France, which was attended by Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. She arrived on stage an hour late, and for this, just to set the mood for us, her then film partner and husband harshly reprimanded her in front of the audience in the UCG Normandie theater! The screening was followed by a dinner at the Man Ray, which used to be a very famous restaurant on the Champs-Élysées: Nicole Kidman chose to stay away (out of fear, no doubt, of prolonging the bickering), and I found myself at a table with Tom Cruise, with whom I spent two interminable hours. I learned at least that he's fascinatingly dumb. Not only did he speak exclusively about his own precious self, in more than glowing terms, of course, but after a logorrhea in which he sang me the praises of Scientology, this deluxe traveling salesman tried outright to convert me; the only thing that was missing was the membership application and my signature at the bottom right! When the time to leave finally came, I wondered how people with minds so flat can possibly lead such careers. And I'm still wondering."

Monday, April 11, 2016

Only (Canada, 2008), I'm a good person/I'm a bad person (Canada, 2011)

Watched a very nice movie on Fandor, Only, made in northern Ontario, Canada, in 2008 by Simon Reynolds and Ingrid Veninger. About a kid who lives with his parents at their motel. He sleeps in the rooms, swims in the pool. The bulk of the movie is him hanging around with a girl staying there with her parents.

Reynolds and Veninger play the kid's parents. The kid is played by Veninger's son, Jacob Switzer.

As Francois Truffaut noted in one of his interviews with Alfred Hitchcock, seeing kids in movies doing things they're not supposed to endears them to the audience. In this film, we see the kid sleeping in one of the rooms with potato chips he was eating in the bed. He walks through the halls in his underwear and goes swimming in the pool. His parents have trouble getting him to do the work he supposed to do but are still amused by him.

Saw another movie also starring and directed by Ingrid Veninger, I am a good person/I am a bad person, also available on Fandor. Her son appears in it, too, in a much smaller role.

Veninger plays an arthouse film director going to film festivals in Europe. She performs an oral act of love on her husband before she leaves and, later, there are a couple of scenes of her sitting on a toilet. I'm not even related to her and I don't want to see her doing that stuff. Imagine how her poor son must feel. The poor kid appeared in a movie he couldn't possibly want to see. His first scene is him calling his dad for something while his father and mother are committing their crime against nature.

The kid was in a movie but he can't tell his friends for fear that they'd watch it. "Dude! That was your MOM?"

Movie was more interesting than I'm making it sound. I liked it. Filmed in Toronto, Paris, Berlin, and Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. At one point, her confidence is shaken by a rude question from the audience. Don't ask filmmakers rude questions!

I hope to heck she doesn't google herself and read this.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

They're always cheating the victims

We had a school shooting here years ago. A 15-year-old undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenic killed his parents, spent the night in the house with their bodies, then went to school in the morning where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria. In jail, they pumped him full of anti-psychotic medication. But the district attorney insisted that he was perfectly sane. They convicted him of murder and the surviving victims celebrated outside the courthouse oblivious to the fact that they had just been cheated out of compensation. If the kid had been ruled insane, they could have filed claims and collected on his parents' home owner's insurance. Since insurance doesn't cover intentional acts, they got nothing.

And now we have Dennis Hastert, the former Speaker of the House, once second in line for the presidency.

It turns out that if you withdraw more than $10,000 at a time from the bank, the bank has to report you to the government. And, Hastert learned, if you withdraw $9,000 at a time, they'll report you for evading being reported by NOT withdrawing $10,000.

The FBI asked him what he needed all that cash for. He told them he didn't trust banks. The FBI arrested him for lying because he was actually using the money to pay off a young fellow he molested when he was a high school wrestling coach decades earlier.

The prosecutor wrote:

"He made them feel alone, ashamed, guilty and devoid of dignity. While defendant achieved great success, reaping all the benefits that went with it, these boys struggled, and all are still struggling now with what defendant did to them."

So how did the prosecutor help them? By revealing the crimes Hastert was paying to cover up, thus denying them any further compensation. The statute of limitations is long expired. They can't sue him now. The money he was paying them was all they were going to get and the prosecutor put a stop to that while pretending to sympathize with them.

They can't even sell their story to the Enquirer now that the prosecutors have revealed the details.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

A brief anecdote within a brief anecdote

I was at the gas station. The attendant was on break and was "vaping". I didn't approve, but I told her it was nice that you can smoke in a gas station now. She got mad and said she didn't smoke, she vaped. Then she told me about the time she threw up trying to smoke a cigar.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Batman v Superman

I haven't seen the movie and I'm not going to see it. But isn't Batman just a middle aged guy in a Batman suit? What's he going to do to Superman?

Not surprisingly, Batman resorts to using kryptonite. Hell, I could defeat Superman if I had kryptonite. There's no trick to that. It could be absolutely ANYBODY vs. Superman.

Anyway, the movie will have to gross $800 million just to break even. The critics don't care for it. It doesn't look like it's going to lose money and it doesn't affect me in any way, but I hope it fails.