I am not one bit shocked to hear the Loop Trolley in University City is shutting down at the end of this month. The mayor and other authorities claim it’s only temporary, that they need time to figure out a way to make it successful. I say they should have done that before they approved the thing and poured more than $50 million into the project, which never had anything close to decent ridership numbers (in the few times I spotted it on Delmar Avenue, there were no more than a handful of people onboard). The trolley was the brainchild of Joe Edwards, who I admire for all the businesses he’s owned and supported along that street, but this boondoggle was doomed from day one.
Last week, some loudmouths on Film Twitter were complaining that Anna Paquin, who plays the grown daughter of Robert DeNiro’s character in “The Irishman,” only spoke seven words in the film. They see this as an example of Martin Scorsese’s misogyny, but it’s not. The truth is that Paquin’s character only is a minor presence in the movie, and part of the plot line is her refusal to talk to her father once she learns (as a youngster) that daddy was a criminal and murderer. Besides, if we’re doing a word count for every actor in the movie, Harvey Keitel appears on screen several times in “The Irishman,” but I don’t remember him saying anything. We heard the same complaints about Margot Robbie in “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood,” but I relished the sequence in which she sat wordlessly joyfully watching herself on the movie screen. It was a marvelous performance that shouldn’t be obscured by the number of syllables she uttered.
One of these days, a company founder is going to appear on “Shark Tank” and get no one to invest in their business, perhaps with the sharks explaining why it was a bad idea that had no chance of succeeding in the first place. Then the entrepreneur will walk out to the lobby set and proclaim on camera, “You know what? They’re right. I was dumb to think this would work. I’ve lost a lot of my own money with this enterprise, not to mention what my friends and families put into it, and it’s time to call it quits. Thanks for waking me up to reality, sharks!” It would be the most viral clip the show has ever generated. But as a regular viewer, I’m not holding my breath.
And finally, I don’t know anything about art, but I do know this: a banana duct-taped to a wall ain’t it.