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Stepin’ Fetchit Meet Myra Breckinridge

from Never Yet Melted (in part):

Rodrigo Kazuo and Meg Perret found their classroom environment at Berkeley hostile, even when their professor was lecturing on Karl Marx (!), because the Western canon is exclusively composed of works by dead, white, European males, not a single person of color or transgendered individual makes the cut.

Because a majority of founders of Western thought were gay, Black women…

Sigh.

BTW, have you noticed more ‘persons of color’, homosexual, transgendered or perhaps gender-confused folks in your favorite television shows of movies?

I have.

NOT THAT I CARE, PARTICULARLY.

I remember my Father (who had some bigotry issues) railing against the infusion of Black folks in 60’s and 70’s TV in much the same way.  He said it was much the same in the 40’s and 50’s with Jewish people.  They went from being 3% of the population, to a significant minority of those in entertainment media.  (He, of course, forgot that the only work many Jewish folks could get was in the entertainment field!)

And it was much the same with Black folks.  13% of the population, but represented numerically larger in the entertainment media in the 70’s.

NOT THAT I CARE, PARTICULARLY.

My questions are these:  Does the actor bring quality to the role, or further the plot?  Or were they just added because of political correctness?

And now we have this infusion of gay/transgender etc. folks.  Some are quite entertaining, but in my humble opinion, some are just over-the-top.  And included for shock effect and/or political correctness.

Which does a disservice both to them in their sexuality or color, and to the audience by their inclusion for political reasons.

Stepin’ Fetchit meet Myra Breckenridge.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some folks I find clever, and entertaining, regardless of ethnicity or bent.  Others are just plain annoying.  I won’t give you specifics – you probably have your own.

A couple generations ago, Black people were largely invisible, or stereotyped, and gays (etc.) were just flamboyant characters.  No mention was made of their sexuality.

But now it seems we’re out of the box, for certain.

There’s a popular cable series about polygamy.

What’s next, pedophilia and bestiality?

Where do we go from here?

We should be inclusive of different cultures and sexuality.  As long as it reflects percentages and social mores.

Of course, I’m a libertarian.  (Until mandated) I can always change the channel.

You Remember How I Love Character Actors?

I also love to hear when they are still alive, and kicking!  So often when I hear about them, it’s in an obit, or an almanac mention of years ago, when they passed young.

Then, last night I came across THIS on Facebook:

l storch 92Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a birthday photo (yesterday, with cake) of LARRY STORCH at age 92 (today)!  Those unfamiliar with Mr. Storch by name might remember Corporal Agarn in F-Troop, or the Maharishi presiding over the funeral in Blake Edwards’ S.O.B., or a wonderfully inept criminal in an episode of the Alfred Hitchcock Hour.  Or the voice of Mr. Whoopee in his life long friend Don Adams’ cartoon Tennessee Tuxedo.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LARRY!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LARRY!

So glad you are still with us, Larry!  And such a rich life…(link)

Gun Free Victim Zones Create ‘Sitting Ducks’ Says Federal Judge!

(Courtesy of Fill Yer Hands, in part)

In a landmark ruling today (08-16-14) in the lawsuit against Cinemark by victims of the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting, US District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson ruled that because they are Gun Free Victim Zones,

“the patrons of a movie theater are, perhaps even more than students in a school or shoppers in a mall, ‘sitting ducks.’”

This means that the owners of the Century Aurora 16  Theater should have known its patrons faced a risk, and taken steps to protect them, which they did not.

Perhaps this is FINALLY the beginning of the end of forced victim, free-fire, targets-of-opportunity zones.  Now, if we can extend this to all schools, colleges, churches and government buildings, we can take back some of our sovereignty!

And our right of self defense.

What A CRUMMY Week!

…and it’s only TUESDAY!

Personal stuff aside (higher humidity making havoc of my arthritis, for example) there’s Robin Williams gone.

And tonight, the news about Lauren Bacall…

She was the one woman who could tame Humphrey Bogart, and did so, giving him two children and a number of films together.  She was sultry, and had a sexy voice that sizzled off the 40’s movie screen.

And didn’t take any s*** from anyone, all while showing class today’s young actresses could only dream about.

R.I.P.

Betty, if you need anything, please follow your own instructions!

Suicide Is Painless

Some of you may recognize the post title as the theme song to the film and TV show M.A.S.H.  It’s ironic.

It’s obvious from the outpouring of emotion that the recent suicide of actor/comedian Robin Williams touched many people.  And caused THEM pain.

As a libertarian, I believe I’ve the right to do with my own body as I wish.  You do, too.  As long as it doesn’t affect other people negatively.

And there’s the rub.

I can eat more than is healthy, eat the ‘wrong’ foods, smoke or drink if I wish, watch ‘questionable’ videos, read unsavory material, and most of this doesn’t directly affect my family, friends, or former coworkers.

But, what if I choose to do something permanent…?

Why is it it appears the more artistic of us are the most tortured?  Or is that a misconception based on the fact famous people get the media attention?

When I heard about Robin Williams, my first thought was he has children.  And based on that fact alone, he should not have taken this path.

And then I thought of Ernest Hemingway, another artistic person with issues who ended his own life.  And Vincent Van Gogh.  And so many others.

If you have such issues, please get help!  Know that there are people out there who care.  And that the World would be lacking without you.

h/t The Actor’s Studio

“Paging Claude Rains!”

or some Romulan ship…

(for all you Gen X or Y types, Claude Rains played Captain Renault in Casablanca, and was The Invisible Man!)

invisible

h/t Plan of the Day

The You Tube Files – Missing TV and Guffaws

Being a child of TV/movies, I’m always looking for things referencia obscura for my daily You Tube posting.  You Tube is terrific, because almost every snippet or clip I desire seems to be there.

I DID say almost…

There was a one-season-wonder, a police who-done-it in 1995, starring Karen Sillas, called Under Suspicion.  (The TV show, NOT the films.)

It was good stuff.  Sadly.  it’s not available on VHS or DVD – and You Tube only has a couple short segments featuring some guest star I don’t care about.

But, perhaps one day…

However, I did remember something else that had slipped through the cracks.  Another not-straight-to DVD wonder.

It Came From Hollywood.  If you like MST3K, you’ll LOVE IT!

Apparently, there were so many obscure clips in it they could no longer get rights to, it was too expensive to re-release on DVD.  So I held on to a VHS player in hopes of one day buying the one VHS copy that used to be available on Amazon.  (It’s also available on Laserdisc!  Woo-Hoo!)

But, in my travels, I found it in it’s entirety on You Tube!!!

(sadly, some of the transfer to video isn’t great, but considering many of the films mentioned aren’t either…)

Rather than putting a whole film on my You Tube link, I’m putting it here.  I’m in serious need of guffaws!  I’d suggest full screen viewing.

 

More Than Just Creepy…

c leeI always thought Christopher Lee the actor to be good at his craft, because he creeped me out!  But blogger friend Borepatch linked the esteemable Mr. Lee to some amazing facts:

Christopher Lee: Metal Rocker and total bad ass (in part)

But his life is nothing short of astonishing.  He witnessed the last execution via guillotine in France.  He fought in the Winter War in Finland in 1939.  He was in the SAS in North Africa during the War.  He was cousin to Ian Fleming, who tried (and failed) to get him cast as Dr. No (he had to wait until Man With The Golden Gun to play a Bond villain).

And, at AGE 90, he’s doing symphotic metal!

You really should visit the link and see what he did and does!

More than just creepy – who knew?

Happy Birthday Walter!

On this day, in 1894, Walter Brennan was born!walter brennan2

(Regular readers know I love character actors!)

Certainly all of you remember him from ‘The McCoys’ aka ‘The Real McCoys’ 50s television show.  But he was so much more.

He was in such diverse films as The Invisible Man and Bride of Frankenstein.  He received the very first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor as Swan Bostrom in Come and Get It (1936).

And most of us remember him as the preacher in Sergeant York:   “Them’s a mess of beef critter’s, Alvin.”

He was a conservative and religious (although private regarding which variety of religion).  He died of emphysema at age 80.

While travelling in Oregon with the family (in 1986), I got to drive by his ranch.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to stop.

I’m certain it would have been cool, even though he’d passed in 1974.  I even do a passable impression of him, although my roommate tells me it’s the same as my Pepperidge Farm guy impression.

“Lilly Langtry, Lilly Langtry!  (Judge Roy Bean in the Westerner)

We miss you, Walter.

h/t Wikipedia

Dennis Farina RIP

dennis_farina_1lrgDennis Farina, veteran TV and movie actor, and former Chicago cop, passed away this morning in Scottsdale, AZ., from a blood clot in his lung.  He was 69.

I loved the personas this man brought to the screen.  One of my all-time-favorite TV shows is Michael Mann’s Crime Story, wherein Farina played incorruptible cop  Lt. Michael Torello in 1960s Chicago.  He carried a 1911 Colt with the grip safety held down by a stack of rubber bands!

He had homes in Arizona, and his home town, and I missed meeting him once, by that much.  One of my regular haunts used to be a gun store in central Phoenix.  I also worked there part time.  One day I sauntered in, and the crew advised me Dennis Farina and a pal had just been in the store!  I was 10 minutes late!

Fortunately, I’ve an autographed photo, somewhere.  Sadly, it’s not signed to me.

You’ll be missed, sir.  Time to break out the Crime Story DVDs – which I’ve largely memorized.

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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