Omicron & Joe Manchin & Chris Noth & Spider-Man… Oh My… sigh…

First: Hope everyone’s having a decent time as we head into the holidays. Sorry for the dearth of posts but, as pretty much expected, things have been extra-busy lately and finding the free time to post -much less do much of anything with the very little free time I’ve had lately- has kept me busy.

Naturally, there’s been a bunch o’ stuff going on, not a lot of it good.

First up is Omicron, the latest COVID 19 Variant which has, unfortunately, become a real issue worldwide. Why? Because it appears this variant is even more highly transmissible than Delta, the last variant, and further appears to be leading to record-breaking infection rates. In New York, for example, has a new one day reported infection record (you can read the full article here):

The previous record, set 11 months ago on Jan. 14, crumbled when Gov. Kathy Hochul announced 21,027 new positive cases statewide Friday.

Locally, we’re getting grim news as well regarding surging infection rates. The only positive, if one is to look at it as such, is that at least so far it appears Omicron might be a weaker infection despite its strong ability to be spread. In other words, those who catch it appear to have more mild symptoms. Doesn’t mean, however, that some people aren’t showing stronger symptoms.

I can’t help but wonder if the lag in people getting vaccinated has allowed this virus the time to mutate and therefore become much more infectious.

Regardless, there still exist those out there who refuse to get vaccines and, sadly, they may find themselves in the bullseye like never before. Which is not to say those of us who have been vaccinated -even those who have gotten a booster- need not take this seriously.

There’s no poetic way to say this: It sucks. It really, really sucks.

Onto the second topic and…

Politics…. Beware…!

So this morning Joe Manchin, senator from West Virginia, decides to go on Fox News (you just know that’s no good) and announces he’s a “no” vote on Joe Biden’s Build Back Better legislation.

He’s always been slow on the legislation, but there seemed to be a deal made where the Infrastructure Deal was allowed to pass with the understanding that the BBB legislation would be passed… in whatever form Manchin finally agreed with.

There were progressives within the House who didn’t want to pass one piece of legislation without the other, and it was only because of the promise that the BBB would be passed that the Infrastructure Bill was finally allowed a vote.

Therefore its not terribly surprising Manchin’s statement today has left many absolutely furious with him.

Frankly, they have every right.

I don’t know where things go from here. I believe this great country needs more of an investment in its infrastructure and services to the citizens. I believe we need to spend more on climate change. Almost all the elements I’ve read which are in the legislation feel like they are good.

But even if Manchin had issues with the bill, even if he didn’t feel the bill worked for him, this move, going on TV and publicly making this announcement… it’s chicken shit stuff.

Dude, what prompted you to do this? One can’t help but wonder now if all those other negotiations, all that other “work” done on the bill to date… was him bullshitting and hoping to get the Infrastructure bill done so he could then pack up his toys and set fire to everything else.

It really casts him in a negative light, IMHO, and I never had a particularly positive or negative impression about him before.

If you’re curious, you can read more about Manchin’s statement and the blowback in this article by Daniella Diaz and presented on CNN:

Manchin says he won’t vote for Build Back Better Act

Next up is actor Chris Noth.

I like Chris Noth. Liked him since first seeing him many, many years ago in Law & Order.

Chris Noth, on the left, with Jerry Orbach on the right

He’s had a long and very successful career, more recently playing the role of “Mr. Big” in Sex and the City.

There was an interesting bit of controversy because in the premiere of the latest Sex and the City featured a stunning element involving Mr. Big’s character and… Peloton?! I don’t want to get into SPOILERS but if you don’t care about Sex and the City, you can Google that stuff yourself.

Anyway, its fascinating the way things blow up in the news and Mr. Noth has certainly become a cause celeb, but for all the wrong reasons. I suppose it was because the actor became newsworthy (he’s been around, as I said, a long time, but he’s never been front page news until the events of the first episode of the new Sex and the City).

The reason Mr. Noth is suddenly in the news? Because there have been actresses that have gone on record to accuse Mr. Noth of sexual assault. You can read about this in the following article by Lisa Respers France and found on

Chris Noth Peloton ad suspended after sexual assault allegations

It’s a sad story to read. Again, I’ve like Mr. Noth’s acting in various shows. Obviously, what he projects on screen and in his acting jobs has little to do with the person and, if the stories are to be believed, this is yet another actor who may well find his career aborted. In that respect, what struck me was the speed in which Peloton reacted to this and cancelled the ads using him.

It feels like maybe they know the accusations have some merit and wanted to rid themselves of Mr. Noth as quickly as possible.

Finally, Spider-Man No Way Home is doing absolute gangbusters at the box-office. The opening box-office weekend is projected to be $253 million dollars, the third highest opening of all time and easily the highest opening since the start of COVID.

I have to say -and I make no claims of being a psychic or anything- I’m not shocked the film is doing gang-busters.

The fact is the Marvel Universe films remain extremely popular and the trailers for this movie, to me, were intriguing. Understand: I’ve tired of the MCU films. Since the dual release of Dr. Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy and my subsequent disappointment with both films, I’ve found myself blasé about the whole thing.

I’ve also found the Spider-Man films -the first two- rather unimpressive. I thought the first Tom Holland starring one was ok after a weak opening and found the second (the one that came right before this one) near unwatchable for the first 2/3rd of the movie.

Yet even someone as jaded about the whole MCU thing found the trailers for No Way Home intriguing!

So good for them. I’ll catch the film when I can.

Anyway, I don’t know if I’ll carve out the time to post again before the New Year. I’ll certainly try.

But if I don’t, my best wishes to everyone out there.

Hope the New Year proves far better than the last two.