Walking In A Winter Wonderland – Dean Martin

Walking In A Winter Wonderland – Dean Martin
Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?
In the lane snow is glistening
A beautiful sight, oh, we’re happy tonight
Walking in a winter wonderland

Gone away is the bluebird
Here to stay is a new bird
He’s singing a song as we go along
Walking in a winter wonderland

Well, in the meadow we can build a snowman
And pretend that he is Parson Brown
He’ll say, “Are you married?” We’ll say, “No, man
But you can do the job when you’re in town”

Later on we’ll conspire
As we dream by the fire
To face unafraid of the plans that we made
Walking in a winter wonderland

In the meadow we can build a snowman
And pretend…

‘The Masked Singer’: Who Was the Third Celebrity Eliminated?

‘The Masked Singer’ (Michael Becker/FOX)

by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya | Another celebrity was unmasked at the end of the night. FOX’s ‘The Masked Singer’ – Season One. THE MASKED SINGER: Deer in the ‘Mask On Face Off’ series premiere of THE MASKED SINGER airing Wednesday, Jan 2 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)

The Masked Singer continued on Fox on Wednesday night, with five of the remaining 10 undercover singers returning to the stage to sing once more in front of a studio audience and celebrity panelists Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke. This week, the celebrity panelists were joined by special guest Joel McHale. Nick Cannon returned as host. The lion, deer, peacock, unicorn and monster all gave performances and dropped additional clues about who they might be.

The lion, who was suspected last week of being in a girl group, went first. New clues hinted that she’s involved in political activism, with footage of protests playing during her new clip package. “Now I feel like I can be a frontrunner,” she said, adding that she likes the anonymity of the mask. “Using my voice to help others has always been very important,” she said.

For her performance, the lion sang “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone and, as with her first performance on the show, she proved that she has some singing training. “I just love how you’re always so poised onstage,” Scherzinger said, commending her presence. “Your grace, power, control are unbelievable,” McCarthy added. “You’re way more talented than Ken Jeong,” McHale joked. McCarthy guessed that it was Kelly Rowland again. Scherzinger guessed Hailey Baldwin, McHale guessed Emily Blunt. McCarthy asked the lion if she currently has a platinum album, and she replied, “I have nothing gold or platinum on my walls yet.

The deer was up next, and his next clue package referenced the fact that he was in the bottom after his first performance. “Being in the bottom ain’t my style,” he said. “I used to be able to sell salt to a slug,” implying that he has done car commercials before. “I know how to throw,” he also said before throwing a bunch of objects around.

He sang “Get Your Shine On” by Florida Georgia Line and didn’t do many dance moves. He had a Southern twang, and the panelists picked up on the fact that he might be on the older side. “I can tell you’re not a professional singer, but I can tell that you’re definitely game,” Jeong said. The general consensus was that he is an athlete. McHale guessed Brett Favre, Thicke guessed Ben Roethlisberger, and Scherzinger guessed Terry Bradshaw. “I have multiple world titles,” the deer said. “I started in track and field then went to horses.” McHale posited that it could be a player from the Denver Broncos or the Indianapolis Colts.

“When I stepped on that stage for the first time, I loved being able to perform without anyone knowing who I was,” the peacock said in his next clip package. “Everyone thinks they know me.” He said that he started as a teenybopper and also mentioned a fear of heights. “But there’s more than meets the eye,” he said.

The peacock sang “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic and put on another fun show. “I think you’re a professional singer,” Jeong said. “I thought it was another electrifying performance,” Scherzinger added, calling him a natural-born performer. McHale guessed Neil Patrick Harris. Thicke floated the names David Copperfield and Criss Angel, still thinking he could be a magician. “I have performed in Las Vegas,” the peacock hinted. Thicke guessed Tom Jones.

In the unicorn’s second clip package, she once again referenced the fact that she lacks confidence. “I came here to conquer my fear of singing and of being judged, and I did it,” she said. “This week, I’m going to exude model behavior.” Three baby unicorns also appeared in the video.

She sang “Oops!… I Did It Again” by Britney Spears, and the performance was autotuned, but McCarthy praised her vulnerability. “You have such a sweet, kind, gentle voice,” Thicke said. Scherzinger guessed Denise Richards, but also wondered if she could be a gymnast because she had said she was going for gold in her clip package. Thicke guessed Gabby Douglas, and McCarthy guessed Mary Lou Retton. Kayla Maroney was also one of the guesses. The panelists asked her if she was known for being a gymnast, and she replied: “in the bedroom.”

The monster closed things out ahead of the reveal. “When I was given a second chance, I realized I had to do a little reset and move forward,” he said in reference to almost being eliminated. “From behind this mask, I can finally show the world my true self.” He said he’s back in the swing of things, and it was implied that he has traveled around a lot.

He sang “I Don’t Want to Be” by Gavin DeGraw. His vocals were strong, and he even hit a really high note at the end. “After watching you perform, I’m, like, this is the weirdest show on television,” McHale said. Thicke called it his favorite performance, particularly praising that high note. Scherzinger said that he must have sung before. Thicke guessed Nelly. “I like to keep my head in the game,” the monster said. Thicke then guessed Derek Jeter, and Cannon threw out Kevin Hart.

The studio audience and panelists voted between the singers, and the bottom artist was the deer. The panelists made their final guesses as to who could be under the mask. Scherzinger guessed Terry Bradshaw again, and Thicke and McHale agreed. McCarthy used the horses clue to guess Peyton Manning, formerly of the Colts and Broncos. Jeong guessed John Elway. The deer struggled to get his mask off, but finally revealed himself to be two-time Super Bowl MVP Terry Bradshaw.

kayla kumari upadhyaya  @KaylaKumari

staff writer / writes about tv / reporter / co-creator , a gay webseries u should watch

The Avengers: Infinity War

by Dewayne Hamby | Like the epic comic-book crossover events it’s lifted from, there are many moving parts and countless characters in play, so much so that writing a non-spoiler-filled review is a feat unto itself (Marvel Entertainment/YouTube)

If you’re yearning to see super-powered beings demonstrating true heroism, Avengers: Infinity War, released from Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures, is the blockbuster you’ve been waiting for. It’s a refreshing return to the classic, morally unambiguous ideals of the silver age.

Since the creators dreamed up superheroes, the common thread, woven into the fabric of their literary DNA, was the selfless act of defending the defenseless. Ole’ Spidey even learned early on that, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Your power is not yours alone. It belongs to those who need it.

Somewhere, however, that innate heroic purpose often gave way to clannish ego-centered supernatural battles or attempts at rectifying messes their own clumsy abilities created. Infinity War, however, finds a war coming to earth, and the ones who can do something about it don’t run; they rally and fight.

Like the epic comic-book crossover events it’s lifted from, there are many moving parts and countless characters in play, so much so that writing a non-spoiler-filled review is a feat unto itself. Still, as anyone who has seen the previews can surmise, the action is literally non-stop and plays against dozens of earth-bound and intergalactic settings. Somehow the dozens of fan-favorite characters, even supporting ones, manage to get enough of a spotlight to satisfy their respective fanbases.

Heroes in this film do not wrestle with their destinies. They don’t brood or debate or agonize over putting themselves in harm’s way; they run into danger like stepping into their true calling. It is inspiring and beautiful. At one point, Tony Stark, feeling the weight of responsibility, chides Peter Parker for stepping into this fray, but Peter, though still a teenager in high school, is fully aware of the stakes. He’s ready and willing to go down fighting, telling Stark to be a neighborhood Spider-Man he has to make sure the neighborhood is still standing.

The consequences of the battle are severe and serious; however, the tone is frequently light. On the faith front, Jesus Christ is mentioned in a brief, throwaway line by Star Lord, played by one of the more outspoken Christian actors, Chris Pratt. Shuri, played by another prominent believer, Letitia Wright, also has a significant role in the film.

Anthony and Joe Russo, who delivered the smash Captain America: Civil War, have created a pitch-perfect, wildly-satisfying film. Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely somehow managed to capture the voice and spirit of so many heroes, including well-placed comedic banter between newly-paired heroes such as Star Lord and Thor, and Dr. Strange and Iron Man. Even Thanos (Josh Brolin) is fleshed out more than one might expect.

Through 18 films, every step forward in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been building to this, since Iron Man first took flight in 2008, bringing along with it the hopes and dreams of millions of fans. Avengers: Infinity War delivers on the hype. It is everything superhero fans were hoping it would be, and more. You’ll want to see it again.

Infinity War is rated PG-13 for language and violence and stars Robert Downey Jr., as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Don Cheadle as Colonel James Rhodes/War Machine, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Paul Bettany as Vision, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Benedict Wong as Wong, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Dave Bautista as Drax, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, with Benicio Del Toro as The Collector, with Josh Brolin as Thanos and Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord.

DEWAYNE HAMBY is a communications specialist and longtime journalist covering faith-based music, entertainment, books and the retail industry. He is also the editor of the White Wing Messenger, director of communications for the Church of God of Prophecy, and author of the book Gratitude Adjustment. Connect with him at his entertainment blog, dewaynehamby.com or on twitter – @dewaynehamby.

‘Mindhunter’ Offers a Stark Warning About the Limits of Empathy

by Cameron McAllister | “I am human and nothing human is alien to me.” — Terrence (Photo by Patrick Harbron)

I know we’re still cheering for the arrival of Stranger Things 2, but I’m here to tell you that Mindhunter is Netflix’s best show to date.

The series, which premiered its first season run of ten episodes on October 13, is a loose adaptation of John E. Douglas’s book by the same title. A former FBI investigator in the behavioral sciences unit, Douglas and his partner, Robert Ressler, pioneered the research that would culminate in the psychological profile of the kind of criminal we now classify as a “serial killer.” The phrase itself was coined by Ressler and has since migrated from the field of criminology to the world of pop culture, spawning its own unique subgenre that includes everything from Silence of the Lambs to Dexter. The continued popularity of Douglas’s story is yet another testament to our abiding cultural obsession with the most extreme forms of criminal deviancy.

All adaptations involve some embellishment, but this series offers a truly deft amalgamation of fact and fiction. In order to free their character development from unnecessary constraints, for instance, the writers opted to supply Douglas and Ressler with fictional counterparts: In place of Douglas, we get Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff waving farewell to his Frozen days), a bright-eyed idealist whose baby face masks a much more complex obsession with his chosen subject.

Raspy-voiced Bill Tench, meanwhile, walks into the picture with a cigarette in his hand and an ironic gleam in his eye—very much the seasoned veteran to Ford’s eager rookie. However, Tench’s gruff outward demeanor hardly matches his sensitive inner landscape. Though Ford’s theoretical brilliance will take the two men into uncharted territory, it is Tench who recognizes the moral complexity of this new terrain.

But it’s the factual material that makes the show simultaneously mesmerizing and repulsive. Apart from one scene of explicit violence and its uncompromising opening credit sequence, Mindhunter focuses mainly on the psychological dimensions of its criminals. This visual restraint, however, hardly makes it any less disturbing.

When Tench and Ford journey into the maw of the maximum security prison system to interview the nation’s most notorious murderers, their casual conversations involve such outlandishly grotesque scenarios that the net effect is almost more surreal than horrifying. Imagine discussing necrophilia in between slices of pizza and you’re in the general ballpark of these meetings. But fact is often stranger (and more terrible) than fiction, and these interviews are taken directly from official transcripts, adding a whole new level of malevolence to these little consultations.

 In the show, Holden’s idea of treating these incarcerated criminals like lab rats is greeted with a mixture of perplexity and disdain. Why would anyone want to interview someone like Charles Manson or Ed Kemper? What can we possibly learn from such demented minds? Shouldn’t we restrict our efforts to putting these people behind bars? If these questions seem naïve to us now, it’s largely a tribute to the paradigm-shifting influence of Douglas and Ressler’s work.

On top of directing four of its ten episodes, David Fincher also serves as the executive producer of Mindhunter, and fans of his work will note the clear affinities between the show and two of his most accomplished films—namely, Se7en and Zodiac. Interestingly, both films showcase the tension that erupts when unchecked obsession meets with the restraint of painstaking analysis. Since the medium of television offers the distinct advantage of detailed character analysis, Fincher uses it to refine his exploration of this conflicted dynamic, showing us how Ford’s insatiable curiosity begins to encroach on his personal life. The tension is intensified by the arrival of Wendy Carr—a steely academic recruited by the bureau to formalize the methodology behind the prison interviews. Carr has little sympathy for Ford’s unorthodox tactics in the interviews, which involve everything from catering to a prisoner’s shoe fetish to matching their obscene lingo.

Despite the undeniable breakthroughs offered by their unique fieldwork, both Carr and Tench recognize that clear boundaries must be established between themselves and their subjects. Ford’s apparent “immunity” to these interviews is a source of anxiety for Tench who finds their work deeply troubling. He also recognizes that his younger partner’s growing facility in earning the trust of sociopaths is calcifying into a kind of heedless pride, a pride that forms an uncomfortable parallel with the men they’re interviewing. Unlike Ford, Tench knows that there is such a thing as getting too close.

 Though it concerns events that took place in the late ’70s, Mindhunter is very much a show of its time. Arguably, the central virtue of our cultural moment is empathy. In its contemporary guise, this virtue presents itself as a steadfast refusal to marginalize any form of difference, no matter how exotic or extreme. Leslie Jamison’s superb Empathy Examsoffers a vivid encapsulation of this contemporary mindset:

Empathy comes from the Greek empatheia—em (into) and pathos (feeling)—a penetration, a kind of travel. It suggests you enter another person’s pain as you’d enter another country, through immigration and customs, border crossing by way of query: What grows where you are? What are the laws? What animals graze there?

Mindhunter asks us to consider whether there are limits to empathy. Expanding on Jamison’s metaphor, the show asks whether it’s possible to travel to the country of another person’s pain only to find yourself indefinitely detained, your passport confiscated. When does empathy move beyond identification and become transformation?

Like any serious story, Mindhunter pays its audience the compliment of high expectations. True, the show does feature sensational material—but it also abounds in long stretches of meandering dialog, much of it punctuated by technical jargon and academic references. Emile Durkheim’s social theories make an appearance in the first episode; Erving Goffman and Freud follow as the series progresses. Though the storyline remains compelling, this is not a show for multitaskers.

The unique forms of isolation imposed by the modern world have given us a rich tradition of films and shows that steadily push their loner protagonists to a climactic point of catharsis. The explosive finale in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver still sets the standard. David Fincher brings us close to Scorsese’s chaotic intensity in Mindhunter’s final episode. After a failed suicide attempt lands the 6’9” Kemper in the hospital with thick bandages on his thick wrists, Ford gets a call informing him that he’s listed as the man’s sole medical dependent.

Without hesitation, Ford races to the airport and soon finds himself sitting by Kemper’s side in the hospital. Size is very difficult to convey onscreen, but Fincher ingeniously centers his lens on Kemper’s massive feet, which the covers simply can’t contain. We also see a thick metal chain fastening Kemper’s legs together, a stark reminder of the patient’s lethal capabilities. All of these disparate qualities—the bed, the bandages, the room’s sedate lighting, the giant feet, the chain—combine to create a scene of nearly impeccable menace.

 When his subject leaps from the bed with the prowess of a predator in the jungle, Ford finally understands that he’s not the one in control—that he’s not some kind of exotic sociopath-whisperer. “I could kill you right now if I wanted to,” Kemper intones. We then watch as Kemper enfolds Ford in his mammoth arms, whispering sinister possibilities in his ear.

Ford breaks loose and staggers from the room in a blind panic, his legs melting beneath him. The full weight of his own radical empathy exams comes crashing down on his head all at once, and it arrives with the force of a revelation. It’s a masterful conclusion to the first outing of a very promising show. (Word has it that Fincher wants five more seasons of Mindhunter. It’s a testament to Season One’s success that this ambition doesn’t sound presumptuous.)

Though Christian audiences may be appalled by its subject matter, Mindhunter shouldn’t prove too shocking. In his short story “Genesis and Catastrophe,” Roald Dahl recounts a conventional childbirth. The tale is initially straightforward, if a little melodramatic. Like a chemist adding a volatile compound to a beaker, however, Dahl instantly transforms the narrative with one explosive detail: the baby is Adolf Hitler.

Dahl’s little conceit would garner the same results if it were applied to any of Mindhunter’s killers. Every hardened criminal was once a squirming infant. With its uncompromising depiction of aberrant behavior, Mindhunter is definitely not for everyone—but Christians can affirm the show’s somber reminder that the gravest danger always involves underestimating one’s own capacity for evil. We don’t have to travel as far as we think we do to see the darkness in others.

Cameron McAllister is a speaker and writer with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM). He lives in the Atlanta area with his wife, Heather. You can find him online @cammcallister7 on Twitter, and listen to him talk about signs of life in today’s culture on the Vital Signs podcast.