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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)

Ode To Dumb Blondes Everywhere

It was reported yesterday that Donna Douglas, most famous for her portrayal of Elly Mae Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies, had passed away January 1, at 81.  Or 82.

Except for the ubiquitous TV show, she never made her mark in Hollywood.  She chose to embrace her typecasting because people loved the show and her role in it.  After the show was cancelled, she got involved in real estate, and reverted to her first loves of gospel singing and charity work.

Unlike so many of the blonde bombshells who descended on Hollywood after WWII, she stayed true to herself, and was obviously not the dumb blond stereotype.

Marilyn Monroe (the most (in)famous for the dumb blonde, who wasn’t) tried to parlay her talents into a serious acting career.  Her insecurities and need for love from (in)famous politicians did her in.  Ms. Douglas avoided those pitfalls.

If there ever was a model for ‘stay true to yourself’, it was Donna Douglas.

Goodbye Donna D.*

Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled…

More than just our Elly Mae

donna douglas

*borrowed from Elton John’s Goodbye Norma Jeane

The Bill Cosby Thing

cosI love Bill Cosby.  The public persona of him.  Funny, kind, charitable, good to children.  He took a segregated world of us and them and made us we.  He understood that people are people, have children, they act like kids and parents act like parents.  No matter what color you are.

He made a lot of money doing this, and got a doctorate along the way.  And, was a good friend of his co-star in I Spy, Robert Culp.  They spoke every day after they met initially to do the show.   And for the rest of Culp’s life.   Culp taught Cosby about acting and how Hollywood works.

I disagree with Bill Cosby about guns.  His son was murdered.  That could color your view.  I agree with him regarding self-respect and education.

I love his comedy.

As to these allegations that have surfaced.  At first, I was shocked, surprised.  I didn’t want to believe.  I mean, this is BILL COSBY, not Al Sharpton!?

But then I remembered Michael Jackson.  And Bill Clinton.  People in famous and monied positions are easy targets for predators.

And sometimes ARE predators.

Jackson paid some folks off.  Whether it was easier than a trial or simply efficient, I do not know.  Cosby paid some folks off.  Clinton used his power and influence to intimidate folks into silence.

And there was more physical evidence regarding Clinton than Cosby!

Bill Cosby has yet to have his day in court.  And THAT’S what we’re supposed to be about.  Justice.  The women who have come forward (16 17 by this morning’s count) have no physical evidence and have nothing to gain.  Those who allege payment were already paid.  And concerts have been cancelled and reruns excised from TVLand.  The testimonial evidence appears damning, but…

Innocent until proven guilty

I read that somewhere.

Being tried in and by the media is the price of fame.  Mel Gibson and Lindsay Lohan know this.  So do Bill Clinton and President Obama.

It helps to have them on your side.

The Trouble With Tribbles

(As the election is FINALLY over, and it’s been a while since we shared a Guffaw!)

As told in LOLtrek GIF style!

Tribbles-Gif_zpsmq6l3lx1

Click to play whole episode, if it doesn’t work right!

When it comes to television entertainment, many times I’ve been behind the 8-ball!  For example, I liked science fiction as a child (must have read Bradbury’s Marooned on Mars 20 times in the 4th Grade, and watched Forbidden Planet and The Outer Limits whenever they were on).

But most 60’s TV, sci-fi wise was lacking.  Lost in Space?  Puleez!

I kept hearing about this show Star Trek from my geek friends.  “Gotta watch it!”  So one night when my parents were out for the evening, I turned it on.  The episode, unfortunately, was ‘The Trouble with Tribbles’.

I thought it was the stupidest thing I’d ever seen – right up there with the Adam West Batman show.  Of course, I didn’t understand ‘camp’.

Fast forward a few years and Star Trek went into syndication.  And I started picking it up by default.  Except for Tribbles, I never watched it in prime time.  Later, I learned to appreciate it.  Great stuff!

It was as if I determined I didn’t like all grapes because the one I picked was sour!

Of course, since that time, I became a minor trekker (not trekkie) and have seen most of the later TV permutations and movies.

(I even dated a beautiful sci-fi nerd who had Star Trek porn – but, that’s another post! :-) )

My career as an (unsuccessful) television critic continued when it was announced M.A.S.H. would become a TV show.  I’d seen the film, and read the book, and decreed there was no way they could do those things on television!  Of course, they softened and rebranded it, and it lasted (I think) eleven years!

This from the kid who was profoundly annoyed when they replaced The Man From U.N.C.L.E. with Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In!

The times (and me, apparently) were a’changin’!

Behind The Times

Most of you know I was raised on TV and movies.  It was an escape from my somewhat dysfunctional family and from the daily stress of life.  My roomie and I still enjoy much on electronic media, especially now that so many choices are available.

I recently completed watching the many morality plays that made up Have Gun – Will Travel.  Certainly NOT your typical horse opera.  And I went looking for something else.

And I found something.  It was produced in 2008.  (see, behind the times!)

john adamsJOHN ADAMS

It was an HBO production, and I found it on On Demand on DISH.  A seven part mini-series.

This, too, is no horse opera.  It is based on the David McCullough book about our second President, and his life leading up to his Presidency.  He was not handsome; he was not a great orator.  He didn’t stir the passions his cousin Sam Adams did.

But, he WAS a man of principle.

I find myself wondering if he was the last man of principle to hold that office, politics being as they are.

He abhorred slavery, and unlike some of the other Founding Fathers didn’t own any.  He was very uncomfortable with Dr. Franklin’s dalliances while they were on a diplomatic visit to France during The Revolution, and by all accounts was loyal to his wife.  He was not afraid to pick up a gun in defense of his country.

But few remembered the second President.  Until the book and this mini-series.

You should read/watch it!

Ethics

We have been watching Madam Secretary, a new TV show this season on CBS.  At first, the idea of the show distressed me, because I was thinking it was a stalking horse for you-know-who, especially if it was produced in the manner of The West Wing (a show some years back with Martin Sheen as the Prez).

Fortunately, it doesn’t appear to a stalking horse.  However…

Episode 3 (shown last week) dealt with ethical issues.  In short, the Secretary’s husband, a university professor, was placed in the middle of a diplomatic crisis when an American (who was caught spying for the U.S. in Pakistan, from info from a Snowden-like leaker) was scheduled to be executed.  The professor could stop the execution by giving a Russian diplomat’s daughter an ‘A’ instead of her earned ‘C’, so the Russian would be convinced to give their version of an American missile to Pakistan (under the table, of course).  (Ah, diplomacy!)

The professor’s course was (ironically) in Ethics, and he said he would be violating all he stood for by giving this bribe so the spy’s life would be spared.

The Secretary of State (who was trying to manipulate the Pakistanis, the Russians and her husband) finally convinced her husband he would not violating his ethics if he allowed the Russian’s daughter to take an incomplete (after the approved time for grades), thus her grade point would not be affected, and she could retake the course.

And ultimately, the American would be freed.  And he was.

Now, I recognize this is only a television show.  And I recognize in the real world, many times things are shades of grey, rather than black and white.

But, this is being sold as okay?  Ethical?

At least we know where the ‘real’ Madam Secretary’s ethics stood.  She was fired as an attorney on the Watergate Committee for “lying and unethical behavior”.

And the second episode of the TV show was entitled “Another Benghazi”.

Hardly a stalking horse!

“They’re All Lined Up, Like Good Little Nazis!”

Some years ago, there was a local news ‘reporter’ named Sol Q******.  Now Sol was reporting live from the Central Avenue bridge during a time when rain had made the Salt River flow through Phoenix, and the bridge had been damaged.  And it was one of the few ways people could commute from South Phoenix to Central Phoenix, and vice versa.

And the authorities had determined cars could cross the bridge in one lane-one direction – then one lane-the opposite direction.  Single file.

At least it was something!

And good ol’ Sol intoned, “They’re all lined up, like good little Nazis!”  This was about 10:15 in the 10 PM newscast; by 10:25 there was an on-the-air-apology from the station execs.

And Sol had to find work elsewhere.

Look at your Internet, cellular telephone, land line and Email providers records.  How many of them either buckled under pressure or voluntarily leapt at the chance (Google) to cooperate with government elimination of your rights?

All lined up like good little Nazis.

Witness THIS from my good friend Borepatch:

Comcast says that if you use anonymity services that you’re a criminal

Well OK, then:

Reports have surfaced (Via /r/darknetmarkets and another one submitted to us) that Comcast agents have contacted customers using Tor and instructed them to stop using the browser or risk termination of service. A Comcast agent named Jeremy allegedly called Tor an “illegal service.” The Comcast agent told its customer that such activity is against usage policies.

The Comcast agent then repeatedly asked the customer to tell him what sites he was accessing on the Tor browser. The customer refused to answer.

The next day the customer called Comcast and spoke to another agent named Kelly who reiterated that Comcast does not want its customers using Tor. The Comcast agent then allegedly told the customer:

Users who try to use anonymity, or cover themselves up on the internet, are usually doing things that aren’t so-to-speak legal.

Are there any ISPs that aren’t miserable Quisling bastards?

And, of course, word is out that Tor security has been compromised.  I wonder if the government is behind that?
NAH…

Have Gun – Will Travel

I’ve been finding enjoyment on our satellite television with the On Demand feature.  While the choices are numerous, the quality choices are limited, however.

I just finished watching virtually all the episodes of  Night Court.  I met Harry Anderson once, he’s great, and it’s great stuff.  And John Larroquette won three Emmys for his roll as the slimeball D.A. Dan Fielding.

paladin1Having completed that, it was time for something different.  They do have Have Gun – Will Travel.  Not the first of the ‘adult’ Westerns in the 50s, but certainly the second.  (The first having been Gunsmoke).

Richard Boone’s hard living hadn’t yet completely ravaged his once handsome face.  And the stories are not just gratuitous violence, they are morality tales for a simpler time.

I do mean the 1950’s, not the 1880’s…

I often chuckle at a childhood memory surrounding this, though.   When the show started in 1957, I had just began school and was reading, reading well.  But there were many words I didn’t yet understand.  What kind of a stupid first name IS WIRE, anyway?  :-)

paladin

 

 

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

"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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