Champ & Chumps

vic fortezza
3 min readSep 21, 2022

As I was taking my pre-dawn walk, I noted the beautiful stillness, the trees still in full bloom, the cloudless sky, and I was visited by the simple thought that life on earth is Paradise Lost, especially in light of the increased violence and political strife the world is currently suffering. Some of the sorrow is engendered by fatal illness and accidents, but most results from human folly. Many simply shrug, accept, rationalize foibles rather than adopt a “do better” attitude. I’m guilty of it myself, although to a lesser degree these days in my 72nd year.

So, is the civil suit brought by NY Attorney General Letitia James the “gotcha” Trump detractors have been craving? Stay tuned.

A record-breaking number of NY residents switched their driver’s licenses to Fla. in August, 5838 according to an article by Selim Algar at

Humans adapt, as this NYP headline attests: “New Jersey residents fight plastic bag ban, steal shopping baskets.” LOL! Touche`.

Love this NYP headline: “Save the planet by ending the UN General Assembly traffic nightmare.” Relax, the carbon emissions of elites are fine.

Dear pols who propose guaranteed income: Why work?

The following headline from illustrates why Republicans shouldn’t be too optimistic about the November elections: “Mail Ballot Fight Persists in Key States, Sure to Slow Count.” To win, they will have to lead by several percentage points at the polling booths to overcome the shenanigans.

This must rankle environmental zealots, headline from NM: “Alaskans Pocket Over $3K in Annual Oil-Wealth Payouts.”

Par for the political course, NM headline: “Feds: Minnesota Food Scheme Stole $250M; 47 People Charged.” Great except for all the fraud that goes undetected or is ignored.

The film world has at least one authentic tough guy, headline from “Tom Hardy snuck into a jiu-jitsu tournament and beat everyone.” According to the accompanying article by Phillip Nieto, the 45-year-old Brit competed in the 2022 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship held in Milton Keys, about 50 miles north of London. Here are five movies in which he starred: Inception (2010), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Dunkirk (2017), and The Revenant (2015), for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. There are 61 titles under his name at IMDb, including five in the works.

Another day of ideal weather for selling stuff curbside. My thanks to the woman who bought The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, A Pigeon and a Boy by Meir Shalev, In One Person by John Irving, and Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer; and to the woman who selected a hardcover in Russian; and to the gentleman who purchased five DVDs in that language and, a while later, returned with a donation of 20 or so of said. I am blessed.

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vic fortezza

I was born in Brooklyn in 1950 to Sicilian immigrants. I’ve had more than 50 short stories published world wide. I have 13 books in print.