Here’s What I Know: Fred Willard’s best role, Lynn Shelton’s 2019 gem, and Yadier Molina’s greatest tool

What the hell is going on, everyone?

As COVID makes its last sweep through the spring season and everyone scrambles to their self-formulated ideas and theories about what’s going to happen in the fall and winter seasons, life is still happening down here in Princeton Heights. People are walking dogs, pushing babies around in strollers, and smiling more while keeping that edgy exterior that can result in a quick formation to the street to avoid contact.

One of the most fascinating things that has come around in the two months since this thing truly took over is witnessing the way certain people adapt and others stay the same. For introverts who don’t like large gatherings, this is the dream scenario. Being told to stay in and not go out for extra socializing is right up a certain crowd’s avenue while others struggle with their suddenly dormant lives.

I am in the middle. I don’t mind a drink at a bar with a friend. Going to the gym is a mind strengthener. Seeing a movie in an actual theater would be great. I like all the social things that the majority likes, but I don’t rely on them to be happy. It’s icing on the cake for me, going out and operating among the large parties. But I have never been a hard partying type or someone who NEEDS to go out. Show me a good stiff drink at a dive bar with my dad and I am all in.

I don’t think there’s any shame in missing the ordinary delights. You aren’t damning the hundreds of thousands who are still sick and staring down some sort of death by saying you miss a cold beer in a chilled glass at a bar. The worst thing about the pandemic is how certain people have used the hazards and possible deadly side effects of COVID to preach to others and act important. As Crash Davis said in BULL DURHAM, they are as full of shit as anyone else. Do your thing, be safe and alert, and go to sleep at night.

Now, let’s get into a few things I know in this special exclusive post for the Dose. The KSDK News desk is a little slower and thinner on the weekends, so I come here and play a little. Along with the freedom to write about whatever I want without the fear of having the article pulled down or questioned, I can also fire out the random FUCK and get away with it. So let’s run a little before the evening gets here.

~A few words about Fred Willard. The seasoned actor passed away at the esteemed age of 86 on Friday, leaving behind a fine body of film and television work. The man was in 311 different projects, the last being the upcoming Steve Carell-starring SPACE FORCE on Netflix. He worked and worked, never requiring the spotlight or byline of a movie poster. While he was great in many projects, he will always be Ed Harken, ANCHORMAN’s weary news producer who had to put up with Ron Burgundy’s mindless bullshit.

Harken knew a thing or two about a thing or two. He knew that diversity didn’t equal up to old wooden ships used in the Civil War era. He knew that female power was the strong suit for a news program. He had a troubled son but held high morals and standards for news-but Harken also couldn’t resist laughing at Champ’s BBQ/women joke. He was the old school, just like Willard. Rest in peace, sir.

~Lynn Shelton also passed away this week. She was only 54 years old and made the kind of low budget indie darling films that the Hollywood machine doesn’t care for unless they turn into the next LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. Shelton once declined the chance to direct BLACK WIDOW, fearing the large corporate machine would chew up her version and spit out a diet can of recycled crap. So she made sweet small films with big hearts like last year’s SWORD OF TRUST. She worked with Marc Maron a lot, and wrote a helluva role for him in this movie about unlikely souls coming together in the pursuit of an ancient war artifact. 54 isn’t enough time.

~There is talk of homeschooling potentially taking place in the fall with schools being unsure of having their kids coming back. There’s also doubt about whether or not they can do a whole day of school. All of this makes me want to vomit. I’ve seen myself challenged unlike anytime before with the homeschooling of my son over the past 6-8 weeks. It’s fucking hard, people. He doesn’t see me as a teacher, but as dad and someone I can try to manipulate. I’ve begun many evenings in a small to large fit of rage due to the inability to comprehend even the simplest of problems to my son. There’s part of me that doesn’t want my kid to get this new inflammatory disease, aka COVID sibling, by going back to school. But there’s also the urge for me to shout as loud as I can that schools and teachers can’t expect parents to do their work for them again this fall. Figure it out. You have the summer.

~Yadier Molina stated in an ESPN interview weeks ago that he wants to be known as the greatest catcher of all time, and people reacted like he said something terrible. Look, will Molina go down as the best catcher ever when the Hall of Fame comes calling around 2028-29? Probably not. But I don’t mind the guy staying hungry and not wanting to settle for less than first place. That’s what makes him unique and special. The man has caught all the games for 16 years and still wants to win more and be more. That’s the takeaway. Yadier is still hungry and wants more championships. Why is that such a surprise to people or so wrong?

Would you have felt better if he said that it’s okay to be considered the second or third best catcher of all time? I wouldn’t. I want all the hunger in the world from Molina. That powers his entire game. He can’t rely on the tools given to him. Molina’s career has been based off hard work and relentless drive to be better. Look at his early career as a hitter? He went from a .205 hitter to a .300 hitter in less than 3 seasons. He won his ninth Gold Glove in 2018 after missing it the two years before. He’s like Iron Man, with that reactor in his chest being the relentless drive to win more. Without that, the whole machine breaks down.

~I really appreciated Ryan Murphy’s HOLLYWOOD by the end of the first season. While the beginning was bumpy and all over the place-setting up the characters and their stories-the final two hours really honed in on what the show was going for. Instead of just telling a story about old Hollywood, Murphy imagined a world back then where a black man could win an award for Best Screenplay and a gay man could be a star. He broke down the barriers and served up a provocative WHAT IF type tale. Dylan McDermott had the best role of his career as an old lion getting one last chance to be a movie star. Loved every minute he was on screen. Go watch it.


-People still can’t drive. A virus can’t change that.

-People still take the lives of others. That will never change because our species is infected with a need to be violent.

-I no longer drive for Uber or deliver food. I don’t have to make a living on the streets. I can honestly say it’s a comforting thing not having to go hustle for small change.

-Call your parents. Trust me on this one.

-“The Last Dance” concludes tomorrow. It’s made me appreciate Jordan even more. I’ll write more about that later.

For now, goodnight and take care.


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