Monday, January 30, 2017

QUICK SNARKING THE SAG AWARDS

Evil of me, but can't resist:

Ashton Kutcher proclaims himself a citizen of the world. Good idea since so much of your audience is in places where they don't speak English and are thus spared having to listen to your inane line readings, it's probably better you should be a citizen of the world. I suspect, like all those would be Canadian actors, you might find actual citizenship in another country not quite as easy to achieve as you imagine.

Emma Stone is proud to reflect back to society things that aren't scary and tricky, but seems unaware that a reflection that no one looks at is very like the sound of one hand clapping. No one notices.

I almost went to see HIDDEN FIGURES, but decided that it was just one more liberal lecture where everyone vehemently proclaims they'd all rather die of cholera than admit a white man ever did anything right that benefitted humanity.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus claims to be the daughter of an immigrant who fled Nazi occupied France. Okay, her parents had a hard time in life so we'll forgive them for dumping you on our doorstep. But the next time I send my grandfathers, fathers, aunts, uncles and cousins off to fight and possibly die because somebody in some dumb country got themselves in a big mess, I hope to get, if not gratitude, at least a little respect.

But, no good deed goes unpunished as they say. I didn't watch the awards. Watching actors who are not acting is dangerous to your IQ. You suddenly find yourself singing endless choruses of DUKE DUKE DUKE DUKE OF EARL EARL EARL EARL, I'm not sure why, but it always happens.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

STAR WARS AND HAN SOLO FOREVER!!!!

One sunny afternoon in the Sherman Oaks huge public park on Hazeltine Avenue in the valley, way back in the early nineties, I was momming it with the kid, who was five, when a strange group of people showed up in a nearby picnic area. From a distance, watching them play volleyball, I found it very hard to tell the men from the women. All had long hair, frequently in ponytails, and all were in tight clothing that was shorn of any kind of gender cues in color or style. Bizarre, I thought. Word went round among the other moms and Spanish nannies substituting for moms that these were Clinton reelection campaign workers celebrating their victory. 

The Clinton campaign elders did not mingle with us hoi polloi, but one of the little girls came over to the children's park area where there were all kinds of park equipment to play on, including swings.

The protocol that the park kid regulars had evolved for themselves was that if the swings were full, you stood by the anchor poles and waited your turn. We were in that park almost every day and there was never any problem with this. All the kids understood how it worked, waited for a swing to be free, or changed their mind and played on some other of the park apparatus.

But, this Clinton election kid wasn't a park regular. As one of the swings became free, she raced after it, grabbed it for herself, and plopped herself onto the seat. My son who had been patiently waiting his turn by the side, came over to her and very politely explained that when people wanted a swing they waited for a turn by the side until one was free. He pointed to show her where she could go and wait her turn.

She gave him a haughty look and informed him that it was her swing and she wasn't going to let him have it and if he tried to take it away, she'd go get her mommy who would sue him. Whereupon she put her nose high in the air and prepared to swing.

You may wonder that I remember this, but who could forget a six year old child threatening to sue over a swing? I knew we were in deep trouble as a nation when I looked at those creepy lawyer types celebrating the victory of equally creepy Bill Clinton. But it was what came next that taught me to trust my son, pop culture and human nature to come through when it counts.

My five year old son looked a bit miffed. Then he gave her a dismissive look, drew himself up and said, "S'cuse me, Princess," delivering the perfect Han Solo put down, imitating his hero. Then he turned and walked away with great dignity. He's still a STAR WARS fan and God Bless him and all the boys who admired Han Solo, and God Bless STAR WARS.









THE WOMEN AGAINST BEING A WOMAN MARCH


Who are the women at the Women’s March today? I’ll tell you because I was a feminist many, many years ago. I was a biology major at Columbia University and a very serious, intellectual student, who was forced to earn my living as a fashion model. Of course, normal girls envied me for being a model. I got to put on make-up, get my hair done, wear pretty clothes and get paid. Like everyone else at Columbia, I regarded these activities as ridiculous and annoying, but the pay was so good I was willing to go along with the gag.
It was while working for Vogue magazine one week that I really became exasperated with these silly, female editors who were having a spat over who got to use a certain silk scarf in their photo shoot. The other editor at her shoot with her photographer had the scarf and refused to send it on to the editor I was working with so we could use it. Consequently, several models, a photographer, and his assistants spent the entire day sitting around while our editor made angry phone calls.
I was bored and angry about the waste of a day, when I could have been doing something important, like studying organic chemistry. These sorts of experiences were all too frequent in the fashion world. Well, after one too many scarf episodes, I got on my high horse. It was appalling that to earn a living I had to waste my days with women whose sole purpose in life was deciding which scarf to wear. These women knew every sign of the zodiac, but had no idea what the periodic table of elements was! They were hopeless.
In a fit of righteous anger, I joined NOW. I’d show those silly editors a thing or two, yes, I would. How I looked forward to receiving the free gift that accompanied my new membership. What sort of fascinating and intellectually obscure book or perhaps a compass or some small, but cool, piece of technology would arrive that I could take with me on bookings and show off when scarves were being discussed. How I would lord it over the numbskulls I was working with, even if they didn’t get it, I’d know I was engaged in far superior activities, though trapped as a model.
When the happy day came and my NOW gift arrived, I opened the treasured box with a sense of excitement and reverence. Here were women like me, women who cared about serious issues, who thought big thoughts about important things, and who would know that all the elements in the universe were on the periodic table. Yes, I’d found my kind of women.
The square box was really too small to hold a book. Inside there was tissue paper, out of which fell into my hands a necklace with the NOW logo in a circle. I don’t think it’s possible to convey in words the crushing blow this necklace delivered to my whole world as I gazed woefully at my gift from my feminist sisters. Not only had they sent me a necklace, I knew enough about jewelry from my day job to know that it was without a doubt the ugliest necklace anyone had ever created. It was a cheap, shoddy chain with the NOW logo in faux wood. There was no way I could wear it to my bookings. They’d have laughed at me right out of the studio. Even I hated that necklace. Any woman that would wear a necklace as blatantly awful as this one was in a word, pathetic.
I was shattered. I had to rethink everything. Didn't Feminists care about chemistry or world affairs? I’d have been happy with a Spanish English dictionary, but a necklace? OMG The more I thought about it, the more it became clear that a feminist was a person who didn’t even know how to be a woman.
The women I worked with were part of multimillion dollar industry. They knew real stuff, like how to look good and be fashionable. Women and men both liked to look good. I liked to look good, too. My standards were quite a bit lower than theirs, but I wouldn’t have been caught dead in that NOW necklace.
I begin to take the fashion ladies much more seriously and appreciate that while dressing up might not be as important as the periodic table of elements, it was a real skill that often rose to the level of an art. Respect for womanhood and its charms and value was born in my heart and intellect. I liked being a woman. Not only that, I had to admit that nice clothes did make me feel very special. I liked high heels and chic suits. I liked having my hair look good, and making the most of my facial features.
Feminists were a sad, fraudulent variety of womanhood. Everyone wants to look as attractive and be as attractive as they can. This doesn’t stop anybody from doing serious work. It’s perfectly fun and energizing.
Well, it was a slippery slope that I was on. First, I bought a few nice designer clothing pieces, then got some great shoes, wore make-up when I wasn’t working, and my descent into femininity culminated in accepting kittens from girlfriends, and I finally even got a puppy. It turned out that being a woman was alright. I even got to have a baby, but that came much later. However, being a mother was the very most demanding, intellectual and important job I ever had, and also the most fun.





Thursday, January 19, 2017

TRUMP AND WASHINGTON AT VALLEY FORGE


Trump’s decision to run for president is the living personification of boldness and confidence. None of the people paid huge salaries to know what’s going on took him even slightly seriously. He was every MSM pundit’s joke.

I confess that I never would have dreamed that the confidence and experience of one individual could topple and completely rout the multitudinous and titanic worldwide edifices of power, money and influence as decisively and efficiently as Trump did. He defeated not only the trillion dollar global bankers, the Democrats and their buddies in the media, Hollywood and Universities, but the Republicans, who actually outspent Hillary in trying to bump him off their ballot.
I was a Republican until I watched Jeb Bush in action. Then I knew I’d been had by the faux conservatives for decades. All their rhetoric about entitlements were a lot of hooey. Jeb Bush oozed as great a sense of entitlement to wealth, power and position as Hillary, the only difference being that he was not so blatantly greedy.

Watching Trump defeat all the staggeringly powerful forces in the world arrayed against him and the threat he posed, I felt I understood a little better George Washington’s actions at Valley Forge. I have always marveled and wondered at his boldness in staging a raid in the dead of a punishing winter with ill-equipped, bare-footed, and starving men against vastly superior forces, trusting only to his strategy and his men’s mettle in battle. The freedom loving deplorables beat the highly trained, well financed, invincible Hessians. Trump, too, led his rag tag army of deplorables, tweeters, rally attendees, social media, door to door’s campaigners, and won. He recreated our nation.

What splendid generals and aide-de-camps were at Trump’s side. The sweetly courageous Kellyanne Conway, facing the jackals of the MSM, the stalwart Steve Bannon, energetic Rience Priebus, ever lovely Ivanka and Jared, cool and calm, open-hearted Melania, Eric and Donald, his father’s pride and joy, invaluable men at arms. What a victory! I never knew victory could be so sweet. It is sweetest when you are barefoot and starving in the cruel mid-winter on Christmas, which is what many of us in this country had been increasingly feeling.

“And gentlemen in America now a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon”
Trump’s election day. (Shakespeare’s Henry V St. Crispin’s Day speech, additional dialogue by Marcy)

Surely, Washington had faith in the creator, but just as important, he had faith that his creator had especially created him to make the most of his talents and believe in the truths life had taught him. I think the same must be true of Trump.

That one man took on the world because he knew he had a better way to do things and believed in himself puts Trump in a small and very exclusive class of individuals who have lived their purpose and gifts to the fullest and given their fellow man their best. Not only is this kind of self-actualization and confidence an inspiration and example to us all, it strengthens us as people and makes vital the muscularity of individual purpose. The express and perhaps most important purpose of our great, noble, and eloquent United States Constitution seems, at its most subtle, to be to give the chance and the means, and to constantly wrench the gates open to all the men and women in every field to achieve their greatness, no matter how big or small. Even the sparrows, yes Lord, but also the eagles.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

MEMO TO MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: NO, YOU WON'T SURVIVE


I Will Survive video
No, Matthew, I saw your sad little video singing very badly the song “I Will Survive” but the fact is it’s over for you and everyone else in Hollywood. None of you have a prayer. Your careers are histoire. You and all your Hollywood friends were in the brown nose business, not the movie making business. But the new America doesn’t want brown nosers. We’ve been conned by them for the last thirty years. They don’t know how to do their job, or any job, so they brown nose people with money.

Even your Hollywood buddies are embarrassed by your silly video because they are holed up somewhere trying to figure out how they can survive. They recognized your little stunt for what it is: a blatant attempt to brown nose Hollywood moguls and money men. Too, too obvious Matthew, but then subtly was never your line, was it?

Just caught you on Netflix streaming among the dreck in two movies.

HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DATES starring yourself and Kate Hudson. Kate Hudson is the kind of woman most men find so obnoxious that it wouldn’t take more than five minutes for her to lose any guy. But the guy in question here is yourself, Matthew, such a poor excuse for a man that no girl would ever consider you a catch. As a matter of fact, let me be cruel, because you’ve made so much money under false pretenses, I feel I’m entitled to some cruelty. I think of you as the Texas Tick, a man so loathsome that he’d have to stick to a woman like a tick to even get a first date. You’re the kind of guy who would end up with a Kate Hudson and consider himself lucky.

FAILURE TO LAUNCH starring you and Sarah Jessica Parker. Here you play a man who women are always running after, but who brings them home to his parents’ house to dump them. Sarah Jessica Parker, who as far as I know, claims the biology of a woman, but projects the personality of a neuter, is hired to lure you out of Mommy and Daddy’s clutches. In this movie, you remind me of a Goony Bird, with your chicken legs and clucky accent. You are a sad fellow, Matthew, but I don’t feel too bad because you’re undeservedly rich, so suck it up.

It is perfect that in this movie your Mommy is played by Kathy Bates, the stereotypical American loud mouth. She would have son like you. I’ve had a beef with her since she and Jack Nicholson did ABOUT SCHMIDT, the movie which purported, in a very condescending and patronizing way, to be about fly over country, (You know, the place where us rubes who voted for Trump live. We are the people who populate your pet hate the Electoral College.) The theme of this movie is that if only all you friggin Baptists and uptight Christians out there in fly over country would get naked in hot tubs with Kathy and Jack, you wouldn’t be such repressed idiots.

Well, Kathy, Jack, Matthew and the rest of you, we prefer not to get naked with you. We don’t even like to think of you naked or even with your clothes on. You and all of Hollywood have lost your mojo. You’re just not sexy anymore. Katy Perry can dress up like a technicolor cupcake, but Hello Kitty is cuter. You’re so not cool, you’ve lost the secret, and you are so annoying. You've been found out.

So, no, you won’t survive. At least, not as actors, writers, directors and producers. You are in America’s rear view mirror and fading fast.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

SEX IN HOLLYWOOD - BRUCE BERESFORD


Just watched Bruce Beresford's MR. CHURCH, a movie about a black man down on his luck who works for two white women and forms a relationship. I mention the skin color because turns out, for Hollywood, this plot is a genre unto itself. You remember Brucie boy directed DRIVING MISS DAISY to great acclaim, another of the black men down on their uppers working for white women and forming a relationship genre. This is perfect example of Hollywood thinking. If it's black men down on their uppers falling in with white women, let the Aussie direct it, he did it before and we gave him and everyone associated with the movie all kinds of Academy Awards. Virtue signaling to ticket buyers.

I must say in MR CHURCH Eddie Murphy gives an absolutely superb performance that is well worth watching. He creates a Mr. Church who is a man of infinite sorrow, joy, love, and love of life, while at the same time, his plight is deeply moving, affecting, and full of the mystery. It is a tour de force of acting that should not be missed. He acts everybody else right off the screen, and that's lucky because the rest of the movie just wanders without him.

I have seen the movie DRIVING MISS DAISY. I realize I am treading on sacred ground to say that I thought it was lousy. I love Morgan Freeman who could read the telephone book aloud and hold an audience spellbound. Ditto Jessica Tandy. But Jessica Tandy is playing a character who is supposed to be a woman of Jewish heritage living in the 1940's south, where people of Jewish extraction were about as common as, well, in deference to Aussie Brucie, kangaroos.

Jessica Tandy, an English actress, played the role of the Jewish lady, Miss Daisy, as if she were an offended Philadelphia High Church Episcopalian; in other words, she played Miss Daisy as a snooty, prim old lady. That's not a very juicy acting choice and makes the theme of the highly lauded movie “prim old lady discovers black man can be human.” I feel she was very miscast in this role or misdirected.

But Hollywood was dead set on turning this story into titillating lightly on the edge of the forbidden land of miscegeny. For those too young to remember, miscegeny was the crime of illegal intermarriage between races. I can hear Hollywood’s favorite Aussie director even now titter, titter all the way down the Academy Awards red carpet to pick up his naked little man statue.   

However, the play the movie was based on seemed to me, from listening to the lines in the scenes, to be something altogether different. Misunderstanding material from another source is such a common occurrence in Hollywood that no one should be surprised. But the story actually seems to be about two people who’ve been the victims of racial stereotyping for their whole lives in the deep, provincial south. Their experiences have made them both vigilantly alert to prejudice in everyone, including each other and themselves.

The scene over the missing can of salmon is a perfect example of this. Miss Daisy’s black chauffeur is late to work one morning, because the day before he’s eaten a can of salmon from her pantry. For fear of being accused of stealing it, as black men always are, he stops on the way to work to replace it immediately. And of course, Miss Daisy has summoned her son, because she has noticed the missing can and, for fear of being accused of being the Jewish pound of flesh stereotype of Shylock, she has been lax in her housekeeping until that day when she is almost sure there is a can of salmon missing. It truly is a comedy of errors, in the Shakespearean sense. Both protagonists are fearful, suspicious outsiders in the provincial southern culture and finally transcend all prejudice to love and trust each other as friends. Bringing that theme to life would require subtly and insight into the human condition, not just exploiting the racial overtones, a dramatic endeavor far, far beyond the perception or understanding of anyone in Hollywood.

But old Brucie has another bad habit as a director. He conflates porn and serious purpose, for the delectation of those too timid to either think seriously or enjoy porn for porn’s sake. You know the old mantra of we can get away with a porn scene because we’re handling such a ‘serious’ social issue that it’s almost required. Just to prove how dedicated to truth we are, we will have a full-frontal f****** scenes by real actors, because life is full of real sex and seeing sex in a scene makes the truth excruciatingly real. Just excruciating.

See how they do that? Slip the porn in to sell tickets. Clever devils, aren’t they? But, it’s okay because the director is Aussie, which means he has a British accent, so he, like all Brits, is considered a direct descendant of Shakespeare and above reproach.

I refer to him as Bruce BaresItAll. Whenever he isn’t the miscegeny director of choice, he’s slipping some juicy porn into fake serious subject matter. So, you didn’t go to see the movie because of the sex. No, no, the sex was proof of its serious purpose. Right?

Here’s some evidence of what I’m talking about:

DOUBLE JEOPARDY: in which Ashly Judd gets down and dirty with her husband who then turns around and truly F**** her. Women’s rights are for women who don’t enjoy hard core sex. Those who do, get punished. A worthwhile liberal truism.

BLACK ROBE: in which a native American is shown to be susceptible to doing the dirty and getting himself killed so the good guys, one of whom is a priest, can escape. Priests cause trouble in somewhat flawed native American Garden of Eden.

PARADISE ROAD: Here the Japanese engage in mass white female nudity with overtones of lesbianism, too, as I recall. But the women sing opera and defy their captors, so, we can see this is a worthwhile, historical film.

A GOOD MAN IN AFRICA: A good man is hard to find? Or vice versa? When the good man is Sean Connery and Joanne Whalley is in the cast, we know we’re going to get a delightful eyeful of female flesh. She can always be depended upon to take her clothes off to great effect. Never saw it, so I have no idea of the social justice theme here.

THE LAST DANCE: Woman on death row starring Sharon Stone. Need I say more?

Ah, Hollywood, if I hadn’t seen it for myself, I wouldn’t have believed that people could sink so low and be so obvious. They make Sodom and Gomorrah look like kindergarteners at the depravity game. Fire and Brimstone anyone?
















Monday, January 9, 2017

MERYL STREEP IS A FRAUD




"Widely regarded in the industry and by the public as the greatest living actor "BALDERDASH!

If she's such a great actor, (notice she is gender free, like all liberals, she doesn't even know how to be a woman, much less a human being,) where is her interpretation of any of the great and defining female roles?

Where is her LADY MACBETH? With fourteen Academy award nominations, she had only to pick up the phone and it was a done deal, money no object, give her anything she wants.

Don't tell me the public wouldn't show up. In 1913 the great and distinguished actress Margaret Anglin toured the nation in MEDEA, IPHIGENIA IN AULIS and ELECTRA to sell out crowds. Yeah, it wasn't the public that got small, it was the actors. But of course, Margaret Anglin was a real actress.

John Barrymore became a household name for his performance in HAMLET. Lynn Fontanne was famous for THE TAMING OF THE SHREW and Eugene O'Neills STRANGE INTERLUDE

Katherine Cornell played the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning to acclaim in THE BARRETS OF WIMPOLE STREET.

Julie Harris towered in the one woman show THE BELLE OF AMHERST when she transported audiences nationwide to the intellectual community of Amherst in the Nineteenth Century enchanting them with the most delicate murmurings from the soul of the poet Emily Dickenson. And she managed this prodigious feat all by herself on stage using only some props, some lights and her ACTING. A real actress.

A friend has just reminded me of Anne Bancroft. Who can forget her iconic performance as Annie Sullivan in THE MIRACLE WORKER?

Or Denzel Washington in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING? In anyone's book, this man is a serious contender for the title of 'greatest living actor.' Why? Because he's a dangerous actor, which make him exciting to watch. He takes chances. He's not another Hollywood lap dog, and they know it and fear him. No chance of him getting the title of greatest living actor until he's safely dead or senile.

So you can't blame the audience. They showed up for all that high brow stuff. And the Russians didn't hack Meryl's Blanche Dubois.

What do we get from Meryl? We get impersonations of Margaret Thatcher and Julia Child. Impersonating someone is a parlor trick, not acting. It doesn't illuminate that person's character, it merely reminds you of them by copying their speech patterns and physical mannerisms.

When has Meryl Streep EVER shed any light on the human condition, the agony and ecstasy of life, the moral and physical challenges that make being alive such an exquisite glory and terror, so capable of nobility and depravity? You know what I mean, when did she ever do any ACTING???

Don't fact check me all the spurious awards she's received from liberal newspapers and organizations. Mere rubber stamps, easy calls. Who will argue with them? More lies, just like the #FakeNews always lies.

She's the queen of the fleshpot called Hollywood. This means she doesn't have to pee or get naked and have her private parts rubbed by other actors on the screen to get to work. She's the designated 'great actress'.

But really, what great role is she associated with? What great acting has she ever brought to the stage or screen?

Trump is absolutely right, only he didn't go far enough. She's not just over-rated, she's a complete fraud as an actress. She doesn't act, she pompously preens.

And if you think I'm wrong, remember Ava Gardner, who never got an Academy Award, in THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA or NIGHT OF THE IGUANA or Hemingway's THE SUN ALSO RISES. She may not have been the best actress ever, but she was damn sight better than Meryl Streep. And she was a woman, all woman.


Or Katherine Hepburn in one of the most touching American classics Booth Tarkington's ALICE ADAMS, where she plays a young woman who loves her family, but they are an embarrassment that holds her back in her career and social life. Heartrending.

Or Irene Dunne in I REMEMBER MAMA. Or Irene Dunne in PENNY SERENADE. Or Irene Dunne in anything.

Let me be crude for a moment. MERYL STREEP WOULDN'T MAKE A PIMPLE ON THE ASS OF ANY OF THOSE GREAT ACTRESSES!!! There, I've wanted to make that point for years.













Sunday, January 8, 2017

DEBUNKING ECONOMIC MYTHS from Mark Antrobus on twitter

Frankly, I don't know who this Mark Antrobus is, but he makes such succinct and eloquent points that I'm just going to post his remarkable tweets.













Friday, January 6, 2017

JAN 5 ADORATION OF THE MAGI

GREAT CHRISTIAN ART
Adoration of the Magi by Botticelli 1445 -1510
Adoration of the Magi by Durer

Adoration of the Magi Mantegna
Adoration of the Magi Giotto