Wednesday, May 31, 2017

All Things Must Pass?

I just read Rob Sheffield's Dreaming The Beatles.  It's a collection of essays about the group and their effect, told in generally chronological order.  His insights are often fascinating, often humorous and occasionally bizarre.

I recommend the book, but I don't want to go into detail.  Check it out for yourself.

I'd rather discuss how the Beatles--and this is a point made by Sheffield--have become a renewable resource.  How much more can there be to say about a band that broke up in 1970?  Yet there are hundreds of Beatle books, with more coming out every year.

And while they were the best-selling musical act in the 1960s, they've sold even more albums since they broke up.  They still sell a million a year in an age when no one buys albums.

For quite a while after their breakup, commentators tended to note the band was very much of their time.  Turns out they were wrong.  The Beatles were, and are, for all time.  Otherwise, how would they have tens of millions of fans whose parents weren't even born when the group broke up?

There's one more test, I suppose.  Will they continue to be so popular after the band as a going concern is no longer in living memory?  My guess is yes, but I'll never know.

PS  More evidence of their popularity: Sirius radio just introduced a Beatles channel.  I checked it out and the first tune I heard was "Only A Northern Song." Are they trying to test me?

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

You Must Remember This

Driving around yesterday, I heard some guy on the radio complaining that on Memorial Day Americans don't properly remember who died fighting for their country.

So this is what it's come down to.  Any time we have a holiday for or tribute to veterans and our military, conservatives make a point of saying how far short we fall.

You know, you've got all year to claim we're not patriotic enough.  Maybe you could give it a rest on the holidays.

PS  Same for people who complain we've forgotten the meaning of Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.

News from 1994

Hillary Clinton’s Team Is Worried the Resistance Doesn’t Want Her

Hillary 2020!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Burt Alone

The opening line from a blurb in the LA Weekly:

Burt Bacharach is one of the most influential songwriters of the 20th century, responsible for four dozen top 10 hits and nine No. 1 singles, from amongst the hundreds of songs he composed with writing partner Hal David.

Hits make him successful, and perhaps talented, but why say "influential"?  That's a good word to describe lesser-known artists who had or have a big effect, but is it the best word for people who are famous on their own?

In general, I don't like stressing influence when talking about someone good.  Influence is fine, but it shouldn't be the main thing.  A influences B who influences C who influences D and so on.  Fine, but when do we get to the good stuff?

And in Bacharach's case, this isn't even correct, it's just lazy thinking.  He had a particular style--both in songwriting and producing--that virtually no one else copied.  His sound reminds one of the 60s, but even then it sounded like no one else.

So for all his hits, he had very little influence.  I'd like to see that in a blurb.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

GA Of Georgia

Gregg Allman has passed away.  I know people die, but the past year and a half has seemed especially hard on musicians.

He was a performer all his life, but his best years were probably the late 60s/early 70s, with and without brother Duane (who died at age 24).

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Double Dan

I've been listening to a lot of Steely Dan lately.  In the rock era, there were few groups (okay, they're really a duo) who had such sophisticated songwriting.  In fact, there's a lot of Dan hatred out there, and I think it may be because people like their rock basic and powerful.  So do I--when it gets too arty, it can lose its essence.  But when it's smart, and fun, why complain?

For most of the 70s the band released an album a year, and, with the occasional successful single, sold well.  They started out more pop-rock, and as they went along they verged into a more jazzy feel.  The new sound produced Aja, their biggest album, but I can't say it was a positive development.  It led to Gaucho, the last original album in their early run, which is where I get off the Dan train.

But listening to something like their second album, Countdown To Ecstasy (their worst-selling, probably because there was no single), it's just one great song after another. Even the lesser-known material still brings pleasure.

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Day Late And Three Dollars Short

Yesterday I missed noting it was the fortieth anniversary of the release of Star Wars.  I was reminded of that last night when I attended Cinefamily's Star Wars Mixtape.  It was a 97-minute collection of rarities and oddities--outtakes, TV clips, commercials, news reports, interviews, parodies, etc.  If you're in Los Angeles, they'll be repeating it twice this weekend, so you might want to check it out.

Much of the collection I'd never seen, but I was shocked to find a rarity in the mix I thought only I knew about.  I'm pretty sure it's from the film Youth Gangs Of Wildwood High*, an ultra-low budget teen comedy I saw in the early 80s.

About the only thing I remember from the movie is a teenage couple discussing what movie to see and one suggests "Revenge Of The Jedi." That made me laugh back then.  "Revenge" was the original announced title, but by the time the high school film came out it has been changed to "Return."  So the moment they thought would make the film sound current was a total failure (as was everything else in the film).

That anyone else knew about this, much less had a copy, was shocking.

*But it can't be Youth Gangs From Wildwood HighAccording to the IMDb, it was originally a film called Team-Mates, released in 1978.  It was rereleased in 1983 with a new title to take advantage of Fast Time At Ridgemont High.

Which would mean unless some new footage was shot, there was no way anyone could have known the false title of the third Star Wars film.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Team Work

When show biz duos break up, they often claim they're still friends.  Still, don't they keep score to see who's doing better?

One of the biggest breakups ever was Martin and Lewis, who ruled show biz from 1946 to 1956.  Jerry Lewis was generally considered the big talent, while Dean Martin a decent straight man and singer.  But after the split, Dean more than held his own--in fact, he probably out-performed his old pal Jer in the long run, becoming a major movie star, TV star and recording star, still on top after Jerry's film career had petered out. (Though Lewis did do everything on his films--acting, writing, directing--creating something that was unique.)

A more recent case is the comedy team of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.  Their show A Bit Of Fry And Laurie spread out four season from 1987 to 1995, and they worked together on other projects.  But since those days, while both have done fine, I don't think there's much doubt Laurie became the bigger star.  His lead work on the hit series House alone, for which he was nominated for numerous Emmy and Golden Globes, got him more attention and, I'm certain, a lot more money, than anything Fry has done.

A closer case is David Cross and Bob Odenkirk, creators of Mr. Show, which ran from 1995 to 1998.  Since then, Cross has done stand-up and appeared in numerous TV shows and movies.  He played Tobias Funke in the highly-regarded Arrested Development, as well as creating his own series The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret.  An impressive resume, but Odenkirk may just have him beat.  It took him a little longer to really get going, but when he did, it was in the role of a lifetime--Saul Goodman, first appearing as a regular on Breaking Bad, and now starring in his own show, Better Call Saul.

The most recent case I can think of is Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. Their sketch comedy show, Key And Peele, ran from 2012 to 2015 and got them a lot of positive notices.  Since then, they did a movie together, Keanu--not a hit.  Meanwhile, Key has done okay for himself, appearing in movies like Don't Think Twice and Why Him?, but hasn't really broken out.  And now, Peele has hit it big--not as an actor, but as a writer-director.  His low-budget horror film, Get Out, has become a blockbuster.  We'll see how he follows up, but for now, he seems to be leading the race.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

It's Not A Game

Typecasting is a high-class problem.  But if you do manage to get a role that everyone knows you for, many who cast films or TV might think twice before giving you a very different sort of part.

The funny thing is, I have a problem with the opposite issue.  If a good actor--Bryan Cranston, to pick an obvious example--plays a farcical sitcom character for seven seasons, I'm more than ready to accept him in a dramatic role as a teacher turned meth dealer for five seasons.

What can be harder to deal with is someone playing something too similar to what he's already done.  Anyway, that's what I was thinking while watching the recent King Arthur movie.  (If you haven't seen it, I'm not surprised, since it flopped.)

Early on, there's a scene where one character, played by Michael McElhatton, is searching for another, played by Aidan Gillen.  But all I could think was "why does Roose Bolton want to find Littlefinger?"

If I worked in casting, I'd be happy to consider the Game Of Thrones people for many roles, but I'd keep them out of fictional medieval settings.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hollywood Futures

I recently saw a trailer for the movie Tulip Fever.  It's an historical drama based on the novel set in 17th century Amsterdam, when there was a mania for tulip bulbs that created a huge economic bubble.

But the trailer reminded me of another kind of bubble.  Almost every film made is a speculation of one type of another, and that certainly includes Tulip Fever.

There's no way to guarantee a hit, but Hollywood likes nothing better than stars for insurance.  But established stars cost a lot, so even better is an up-and-coming star.  And right now, they're going long on Tulip Fever's lead Dane Dehaan.  He's already appeared in a fair number of films--including the latest Spider-Man where he was the Green Goblin--and Hollywood is betting on him big this year.

He's 31 and looks half that.  He has a resemblance to Leonardo DiCaprio, and perhaps producers hope he'll be the new Leo (or will be confused with the old one).  You may not believe in stars, but would The Revenant have made a quarter as much money without DiCaprio?

So DeHaan is starring in three major productions this year.

First out was A Cure For Wellness, which has already flopped. Next to come are Tulip Fever and the biggie, Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets.  DeHaan's career rests on their performance.

I have no idea how they'll do, but if they fail, this could be one of the biggest drops since the Taylor Kitsch crash of 2012 (Battleship and John Carter).

Monday, May 22, 2017

BB Back

Bush is back. Billy Bush, that is.  He's given his first big interview since being banished from NBC seven months ago.

In it, I discovered he's got three daughters, 12, 16 and 18.  That made me feel for him.

What's he been doing since he left TV?

[He's] engaged in a lot of soul searching, a process that includes time walking on fiery coals with spiritual guru Tony Robbins and a stint at a Napa Valley healing retreat.  He took up yoga and meditation, developed a boxing routine and read books like 10% Happier, written by ABC News anchor and buddy Dan Harris.

That did not make me feel more sympathetic.

That retreat was The Hoffman Institute.  He plans to return to TV and utilize what they taught him.

One thing I learned at The Hoffman Process is that I've always relied on my charm and my quick wit and all that, but I've kept my depth in the shadows.

I decided to go back to the original transcript of Bush and Trump to see what was really said.  I never read the whole thing before, and I doubt many have. (As you might guess, Not Entirely Safe For Work.)

The setting, remember, is a bus.  Donald Trump is preparing to appear on Days Of Our Lives.  It's 2005 and he's recently gotten hitched to Melania, following five and a half years of unmarried life.

It starts with Trump describing how he tried to score with some woman who is not identified (I don't believe):
Trump: "I moved on her actually. You know she was down on Palm Beach. I moved on her, and I failed. I'll admit it. I did try and fuck her, she was married."
Unknown [Bush?]: "That's huge news there."
Trump: "No, no, Nancy. No this was [inaudible] and I moved on her very heavily in fact I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said I'll show you where they have some nice furniture. I moved on her like a bitch. I couldn't get there and she was married. Then all-of-a-sudden I see her, she's now got the big phony tits and everything. She's totally changed her look."
Then (I think) they see Arianne Zucker approaching.  She's the woman Trump will be appearing with on the show.
Bush: "Yes. The Donald has scored. Whoah my man."
Trump: "Look at you. You are a pussy."
Bush: "You gotta get the thumbs up."
Trump: "Maybe it's a different one."
Bush: "It better not be the publicist. No, it's, it's her."
Trump: "Yeah that's her with the gold. I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful... I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything."
Bush: "Whatever you want."
Trump: "Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."
Bush: "Yeah those legs. All I can see is the legs."
Trump: "It looks good."
Bush: "Come on shorty."
Trump: "Oh nice legs huh."
Bush: "Get out of the way honey. Oh that's good legs. Go ahead."
Trump: "It's always good if you don't fall out of the bus. Like Ford, Gerald Ford, remember?"
They get off the bus and here's how he acts when he meets an actual woman.
Trump: "Hello, how are you? Hi."
Zucker: "Hi Mr. Trump. How are you?"
Trump: "Nice seeing you. Terrific. Terrific. You know Billy Bush?"
Bush: "Hello nice to see you. How are you doing Arianne?"
Zucker: "I'm doing very well thank you. [Addressing Trump] Are you ready to be a soap star?"
Trump: "We're ready. Let's go. Make me a soap star."
Bush: "How about a little hug for the Donald, he's just off the bus?"
Zucker: "Would you like a little hug darling?"
Trump: "Absolutely. Melania said this was okay."
Bush: "How about a little hug for the Bushy, I just got off the bus? Here we go, here we go. Excellent."
And they continue walking and talking.

May as well work in white font, then

"[E]ye rolling and inference need to be banished from the news"

What would be left?

"Ow, My Balls" has arrived, only it's "What the Frack is Wrong with You People For Not Listening to Us?"

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Spinning Class

In my local convenience store, by the cash register, I saw some fidget spinners on sale.

I'd never heard of them, but that's what YouTube is for.

Still don't get it, but it'll be over soon enough.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Face Offs

Here's a piece in The Hollywood Reporter about the toughest time slot battles in TV's new schedule. The headline says there are six, but I only count five.  Talk about bad editing.  (And they're actually about the major networks, so it's missing quite a bit.)

Here are the battles, with my choices.

Tuesday, 9 p.m.: Black-ish (ABC) v. The Mick (Fox) v. Superstore (NBC) 

I occasionally watch Superstore, and I've never gotten into Black-ish, but I guess I'll go with The Mick. Though if I miss them all it's no big deal.  I expect Black-ish to win this battle, though out of its safe Thursday slot, it may be vulnerable.

Tuesday, 9:30 p.m.: The Mayor (ABC) v. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox) v. The Good Place (NBC) 
This one is painful.  Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Good Place are two of my favorite comedies. (Not the first time in recent years two comedies I like are scheduled against each other.  Look above to see what's at 9 pm--why couldn't one of them have flipped?) Having to decide between the two, I don't think I'll have time to check out The Mayor.

Thursday, 8 p.m.: Will & Grace (NBC) v. The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Never watched Will & Grace before, so I don't think I'll start now.  The Big Bang Theory is getting tired, but I guess I'll stick around.

Thursday, 9 p.m.: This Is Us (NBC) v. Scandal (ABC)

One show on its way up, the other on its way down. Still, NBC is making a big move with its hottest new series.  I'm guessing the fans will stick with it, though some shows just don't work so well in new time slots.  As for me, I'll watch This Is Us if I watch anything.

Friday, 8 p.m.: Once Upon a Time (ABC) v. Blindspot (NBC) v. MacGyver (CBS) 
Friday at 8?  I'll be out at the movies.

I guess I've earned my PhD in newspaper reading

"Journalists drink too much, are bad at managing emotions, and operate at a lower level than average, according to a new study"

Hm. I have a strange new respect for life coaches.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Dishonored Lady

I'm not the film guy here but I can watch them like anyone else and do a little stream of consciousness.   During last week's rainy weekend in New England, Amazon Prime recommended a whole slew of older films and I picked this one because I liked Hedy Lamarr's look on the ad.    Dishonored Lady was a 1947 film featuring Hedy as Madeleine Damien, a very social career girl (and budding scientist-typist) with a past (and a present too at the start of the film).  They never come out and show her being a bad girl but they do a whiz bang job of implying the hell out of it.   These drippy no good guys just seem to want to follow her around everywhere.  ( Per, apparently the Hays Office held it up for while for being too dirty and in the end, the moviemakers caved and cut all the fun smutty stuff).  Trivia Note- A 1932 film Letty Lyndon featuring Joan Crawford has been unavailable since 1936 because it apparently plagiarized the play upon which Dishonored Lady was based. 

There is a murder mystery aspect that's not much of mystery and a big court scene which has very little to do with the actual law (the murder defendant subject to the death penalty is just too depressed to let her high-priced counsel ask the witnesses any questions)- its mainly a character profile and sort of love story (there's still one decent guy out there damnit).  Also does great violence to the notions of modern psychiatry.  Morris Carnovsky plays one pushy therapist. He shows up everywhere in his patient's life and takes an active role in getting these two crazy kids together.  He invokes his confidentiality sort of willy-nilly in the trial scenes, not afraid to break it and go off at length when something interests him.   I think we are all just meant to assume that everyone who works in magazines, fashion, jewels or attends nightclubs are skeevy drunks up to no good.  (Also they really could have used Uber as you can never get a cab which fact results in many plot points).  The cops portrayed are not going to win any good conduct commendations from the ACLU.   And spoiler alert, the film sets you up for a sort of a thoughtful ambiguous ending but at literally the last moment, it just can't help itself.  (I read it was tacked on in production).

Familiar faces include (in what must have been a role that was cut down) Natalie Schafer- Lovie from Gilligan's Island- as the work friend/buttinsky and Margaret Hamilton channeling her wicked witch persona as the landlady.    Reading up on the film afterwards, I see it went way over budget and disappointed mightily at the box office.  But I'm writing about it 70 years later, so there's that.

Break Out

Better Call Saul, now in its third season, has become one of the better dramas out there.  The idea of a prequel to Breaking Bad, without its main characters, and lower on violence, was a tricky concept that Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, for the most part, have pulled off.

Watching it, however, reminds me in one way of the Star Wars prequels.  We go back in time to see how things got to be where they are.  And there's a fillip every time we see a character or situation introduced that we're already aware of.

But I wonder how it would play if I hadn't already seen BB.  Would it stand on its own?  And even more than in the SW prequels, which had mostly new characters, would I wonder who these people and why are they here?  Would I think they fit as part of an integrated story, or would they feel retrofitted?

Also, if someone were new to the whole thing, in what order would I suggest they watch? If you watched BCS before BB, some big surprises (like who Gus is, or for that matter, who Saul is) would no longer work.  You'd know, for instance, Mike's entire back story, and so when we start getting glimpses of his life in BCS, they're not that big a deal.

So I think I'd follow Sheldon Cooper's advice on these things: "I prefer to let George Lucas disappoint me in the order he intended."

So, how much is my take home?

She warned that one hour for sex might not be enough time for women to “switch gears and get in the mood.”

I'm tired of excuses. I want to hear solutions.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Camille Paglia's editorial in Time starts thus:

History moves in cycles.  The plague of political correctness and assaults on free speech that erupted in the 1980s and were beaten back in the 1990s have returned with a vengeance.  In the United States, the university as well as the mainstream media are currently patrolled by well-meaning but ruthless thought police, as dogmatic in their views as agents of the Spanish Inquisition.  We are plunged once against into an ethical chaos where intolerance masquerades as tolerance and where individual liberty is crushed by the tyranny of the group.

I've heard this general concept expressed elsewhere, but I don't agree.  The anti-free speech political correctness of the 1980s has been a steady force ever since.  It may have been slowed at various times and places, but those behind it have been tireless.

So why do some think it was beaten back in the 1990s? I'm not sure but here are at least two reason I can imagine.

1) The 1992 Supreme Court case R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, which struck down a hate speech law.  This was a victory for free speech, but it didn't change the hearts and minds of those who believe speech they don't like should be stopped.  (And, of course, this only applies to the United States.)

2)  The Bill Clinton presidency. He was attacked for allegedly harassing women, and many on the left saw no choice but to defend him, and attack the attackers.  So some might have imagined the same people were getting soft on relations between the sexes, but this was seriously misreading the situation.

Speaking of shooting your bolt

"But in view of the chaotic events of the last few weeks, and the president’s unpredictable and apparently erratic behavior, it is not too soon for Americans to begin to ask, in a calm, principled and nonpartisan way, about the legal standards for removing him from office."

We're going to give you a calm, principled, nonpartisan trial, and then we're going to hang you.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

It's Not The Same

Remember the days when same-sex marriage was a dangerous issue?  Just goes to show you, nothing is as powerful as an idea....  The latest survey has almost two-thirds of the voters supporting it.

More interesting, 47% of Republicans support legalizing gay marriage.  (Too late guys, it's already a right.)  Almost half of the GOP sides with something that was political poison less than a decade ago.  And I bet if you surveyed the younger half of those voters, it'd be well over half.

I'm only bringing this up to quote myself.  From a post on March 20, 2013:

...we'll never again have a Democrat candidate for President who doesn't support marriage for gay couples.  The bigger question is how long will it take for Republicans to do what Democrats are doing right now.  I suspect the change will be swift--that within a decade we'll have a Republican candidate for the White House who supports gay marriage.

Pajama Guy gets results!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


I've been watching Genius, the first scripted TV show produced by National Geographic.  It's about the life of Albert Einstein.  I thought the pilot, directed by Ron Howard, was merely adequate, but the subject is interesting enough that I've remained.

At first, it looked like the show would be switching back and forth between young Einstein (Johnny Flynn) and older Einstein (Geoffrey Rush), but after three episodes (tonight is the fourth), it seems to have settled down into a chronological story.

Which is a good idea.  The most dramatic part of Einstein's life are the early years.  He had trouble getting an academic post and yet, in 1905, at the age of 26, produced four papers which revolutionized science.  And during this time, he had romantic and family problems.

By the time he was 40, he was world famous.  He won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1921 and spent the rest of his life as perhaps the best-known scientist in the world.

But the truth is his later years are far less interesting. Yes, he was major figure, who talked politics with world leaders, but his philosophical discussions aren't as exciting as how he helped change our physical understanding of the world.  And, scientifically speaking, he'd pretty much shot his bolt by the time he hit his 40s.

So it's the young, not especially well-known Einstein, who is better to dramatize.  The show is ten hours, and it will eventually get to the Geoffrey Rush years.  Rush is a fine actor, but I'll miss the young man, not sure of his place in the world, but who understands the world better than anyone.

Classic Kasich

This link has nothing to do with Kasich, but he's a classic exemplar of the problem:

Obviously true. Something every, what, fourth grade student should know? Call it eighth grade for incompetence inflation.

Yet you have yammering from every politician that they're going to be the "jobs" president, governor, what have you.

How about just doing your rather small and pathetic job, which is primarily staying out of everyone else's way? It's obviously harder than it looks. Much easier to claim to be something you're not, since then it's impossible to falsify anything you claim to be doing.

(I have to admit I paused on the commander in chief of the United States, getting stuck on the analogy to chief justice of the United States. But the salient point is CEO, as much as it is an equally stupid affectation to pretend the entire country is a member of the armed forces. I've never seen so many militia supporters in the mainstream.)

Monday, May 15, 2017


Speaking of vigor (see below), we all know what that is. But what's vim?

While we're at it, what's a kaboodle?

(My autocorrect really wanted that to be "caboodle," but as long as it doesn't mean anything, I'll spell it for visual pleasure.)

Hey, we've all been there

Man arrested after 'masturbating vigorously' in public because he 'hates Portland'

Vigah. It's important to do things with vigah.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sheer Follies

I was reading some reviews of Ziegfeld Follies Of 1943 (presented 11 years after Ziegfeld's death).  The show was not well-received but ran for over a year and turned a profit.

Top-billed was Milton Berle, several years before he became TV's top star (and several years before TV truly started).  Some critics liked him, some thought he was too much.

Here's what Burton Rascoe had to say in the World-Telegram:

By facial expressions and gestures, Berle can make things as flat and crude as "That was Lee Shubert's teeth falling out" (when a slight crash inadvertently occurs behind the backdrop) seem very laughable to some.

Burton seems pretty naive.  An inadvertent crash?  More likely advertent.  Sure, the thief of bad gags was always ready with a quip--generally someone else's--but he also loved planned accidents so he could seemingly ad lib about them.

As late as the 70s, when he hosted Saturday Night Live (maybe the worst host ever--Lorne Michaels allegedly wouldn't allow it to be rerun), he requested someone make a loud noise backstage so he could say "that's NBC dropping another show."

He was told "that's not how we do things here." (Ah, the clash of generations, always amusing.)

What, another Sunstein column?

"Might they be a precursor to something far worse?"

Gosh! He's just so darn reasonable, he must be saying something worth listening to.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

And The Cancelation

So 2 Broke Girls has been canceled by CBS after six seasons.  I watched an episode once, near the beginning.  The leading ladies were charming, but the show was awful. I couldn't imagine watching it again.

Yet it had an audience.  I guess they liked the gals, and the cheap, vulgar jokes.  The cleverest thing about it was each episode title started with "And The..." as if it were a continuation of "2 Broke Girls." (Not that clever, and other shows have had similar tricks, and not something actually on the show itself, but what are you gonna do?)

It was one of the shows that seemed like it would always be on, but I guess even something this bad had to come to an end.  (Is there any chance it'll be picked up by another channel?  It's numbers are still better than a lot of shows out there.)

I suppose Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs will go on to other series, though the odds are against them appearing in another show that runs this long. I would guess starring in a sitcom for six years would set them for life.  Anyway, I hoped they saved their money.

It's odd, but this show will leave a hole in my schedule as the half hour each week that I make sure never to watch.

PS  Both The Great Indoors and Powerless have been canceled after one season.  So two strikeouts for Community actors on the big networks.


This will win them back the House: Screech at your voters, "What is wrong with you?"

Everything you need to know about hateful people and fascism is right here. In this disgusting creature's world, moms need government to make sure their kids arent' "eating crap."

Michelle, darling, we've been eating your crap for years. That's why we have President Trump.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Did I Miss The Party?

Evolution is a great theory for explaining biology, but less useful as a metaphor for society.  Yet we still get weird articles, like Matthew Goldberg's piece in The American Spectator, "Who's Really The Party Of Darwin?"

Goldberg wonders 'why is it that if the left is the self-proclaimed "party of Darwin," its adherents are the ones advocating positions contrary to Darwin's theory of evolution?'

"Party of Darwin?" I've never heard Democrats proclaim themselves such. I've never heard anyone describe them that way, in fact, until I saw this article.

He goes on:

...the main takeaway from natural selection is that competition is both an inextricable part of nature, and the impetus for evolution. With that being the case, it is hypocritical for the self-anointed “party of Darwin” to express such anti-competitive sentiments. The progressives who gleefully deride creationists are the same progressives who seek a larger role for the state.

What? Living things may compete over how successfully their genes spread, but evolution is not a moral teaching. Biologists aren't saying competition is good or bad, and they're not saying nature is kind or cruel.  Nature doesn't care either way.  The competition doesn't even create something "better," just something more fit in the present--if things change, something that's been around for a long time can quickly be replaced.

Humans care, however.  And in setting up their society, they can decide how much competition is a good thing.  There are solid arguments that free enterprise is a good idea, but one of them is not that Darwin supports it (whether or not Darwin supports it, by the way).

Goldberg concludes:

To oppose capitalism is to oppose competition, and to oppose competition is anti-Darwinian in every sense. [....] The worldview of any given conservative creationist is likely more Darwinian than that of the biology student who fawns over Bernie Sanders. With that in mind one wonders: who’s really the “party of Darwin”?

This is simply gibberish.  It's not a culture's job to follow a tortured metaphor in order to set up its economic system.

And incidentally, it's not as if biologists try to be "Darwinian."  Darwin was not a god, or a saint.  He was a scientist with brilliant insight, and thus an important historical figure.  But his knowledge was limited (by today's standard) and he got plenty wrong.

If you believe (if that's even the right word) in evolution, you don't swear fealty to Darwin.  You don't even have to read his work.  You certainly don't need to proclaim you're in the "party of Darwin."  You simply need a basic understanding of modern biology.  There should be nothing partisan about that.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sh, It's SH

Some are making a big deal about Steve Harvey's memo to his talk show staff:

Good morning, everyone. Welcome back.
I’d like you all to review and adhere to the following notes and rules for Season 5 of my talk show.
There will be no meetings in my dressing room. No stopping by or popping in. NO ONE.
Do not come to my dressing room unless invited.
Do not open my dressing room door. IF YOU OPEN MY DOOR, EXPECT TO BE REMOVED.
My security team will stop everyone from standing at my door who have the intent to see or speak to me.
I want all the ambushing to stop now. That includes TV staff.
You must schedule an appointment.
I have been taken advantage of by my lenient policy in the past. This ends now. NO MORE.
Do not approach me while I’m in the makeup chair unless I ask to speak with you directly. Either knock or use the doorbell.
I am seeking more free time for me throughout the day.
Do not wait in any hallway to speak to me. I hate being ambushed. Please make an appointment.
I promise you I will not entertain you in the hallway, and do not attempt to walk with me.
If you’re reading this, yes, I mean you.
Everyone, do not take offense to the new way of doing business. It is for the good of my personal life and enjoyment.
Thank you all,
Steve Harvey
I don't see anything wrong with this.  First, his show, his rules.  If it weren't for him, there wouldn't be a show.

Second, they're sensible.  I don't know exactly what goes on backstage, but he runs the show and so everyone wants to talk to him.  Except if they're all constantly coming at him, he can't get anything done.  Even if it's just for him to get more peace, that's probably for the good of the show.

If you need to talk to him, fine, schedule an appointment.  And if you think this system doesn't work, schedule an appointment and discuss it with Steve.  The show exists to please an audience, not fulfill every wish of the employees. That's why they pay you.

web page hit counter