Monday, August 21, 2017

Truest statement of the week


The scoundrels and misleaders in the Democratic Party are leaving no stone unturned in their effort to escape responsibility for their ignominious defeats. There is no evidence of the Russian government “hacking” the election. Instead evidence points to a leak at the Democratic National Committee which revealed the gory details of their corruption and incompetence.
The lies have fallen apart one by one. After months of repeating that seventeen intelligence agencies agreed on Russian election interference they finally admitted that the number was actually three. The Democratic Party is willing to risk hot war and irreparable damage to the system in order to escape blame for their electoral failures. They have been exposed as little more than a brand management team that does nothing to help the millions of people who are still willing to vote for them.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus such as Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters have been in the forefront of this charade and now they have been joined by others. The Root online magazine announced it is joining this dubious group in doing the business of the bipartisan war party and the discredited democrats. “How Russia Used Racism to Hack White Voters” was the first installment in a new series, Black Guide to Russia. The Root promises that “each story will analyze the latest developments of the Russia investigation with a fresh, black perspective.” What is the black perspective on 21st century McCarthyism, on the craving for endless war or supporting the party which consigns black voters to the losers’ column?

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: The Root and Russophobia" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).









Truest statement of the week II

Four Michigan Democrats running for governor in the 2018 election spoke in Flint on August 12 at a town hall forum. The event, billed as the kick-off in the contest for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, was held in Flint, the former center of General Motors auto production and symbol of social devastation caused by mass layoffs and plant closures. The city of 100,000 recently gained national and international attention as a result of a health crisis caused by the lead poisoning of its water supply by state and local authorities.
The decision to hold the initial Democratic campaign event in Flint was presented as a sign of the Democratic Party’s sensitivity to the ongoing problems faced by Flint residents as a result of the water crisis, and the party’s commitment to address them. The Democrats are fearful of the anger among Flint workers and youth over the failure of the government to take any serious measures to address the water crisis. Their aim is to contain and dissipate that anger.

What the town hall forum in fact demonstrated was the indifference of the Democratic Party to the crisis facing Flint workers and its inability to propose any serious policies to address either the immediate crisis or the longer-term economic and health issues facing Flint residents, especially children, whose mental and physical development has been jeopardized by exposure to toxic levels of lead. The event was an exercise in cynicism and political evasion.

-- WSWS, "Democratic gubernatorial town hall in Flint: No policies to address lead poisoning disaster."





A note to our readers

Hey --

A Sunday.

Somehow we did it four weeks in a row.



Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:



The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.



And what did we come up with?

Another truest from Margaret Kimberley.
A truest for WSWS.
How did we get this out of order?  Who knows?  We'll let it stand.  Ava and C.I.'s review of NETFLIX's latest.
And it always has been.
Your feedback on the Emmy nominees who should have been.
Let's try to be rational.
Seriously.
Greenpeace got very little attention.
As did this action. Repost from Party of Socialism and Liberation.
Repost from Great Britain's SOCIALIST WORKER.
What we listened to while writing.


Peace,






-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.





Editorial: Truth is hard for PBS


More than 1 million people once lived in Mosul, Iraq, a city reduced to rubble after three years of ISIS occupation.




Really?

Mosul reduced to rubble over the last three years?

Kind of seems like it was reduced to rubble during The Mosul Slog which started in October of last year.



By the way, how many hard hitting stories did PBS do on the War Crimes carried out by the militiais in Iraq during The Mosul Slog?

Right, zero.

Thanks PBS.


peebs


Keep distracting with BS -- the same way you did in the lead up to the Iraq War.














xx

TV: The disappointing DEFENDERS

Friday, NETFLIX debuted THE DEFENDERS.

thedefenders


Eight episodes unraveled, pulling four previous shows together DAREDEVIL (two seasons aired so far), JESSICA JONES (one season so far), LUKE CAGE (one season) and THE IRON FIST (one season).

It could have been an opportunity for The Water Cooler Set to rethink their trashing of THE IRON FIST and Finn Jones.

Finn Jones, you may remember, was trashed for playing the character of the Iron Fist by people who felt the White character in the comics should have been retooled into another race.

They didn't have that feeling, remember, about either Jessica Jones or Matt Murdoch (Daredevil).

As they wrote their attacks, it became obvious that (a) they didn't know about the character Iron Fist and (b) they didn't understand contrasts.

Krysten Ritter was rightly praised for the character of Jessica Jones -- brash and haunted.  Charlie Cox's portrayal of Daredevil benefited largely from the atmosphere of the first season (season two didn't have the same power).  Mike Colter's Luke Cage was filled with promise (that still hasn't panned out).


Then there's Danny the Iron Fist.

He has/had idealism -- something missing in the other three.

For that he was slammed.

Is Superman slammed for that?

Danny was "Moon River."  Henry Mancini's one octave and a note song Audrey Hepburn could sing, all white keys -- no sharps, no flats.

IRON FIST was far more popular outside The Water Cooler Set because Danny was actually the traditional superhero.

(You can even argue that neither Jessica Jones nor Luke Cage currently qualifies as a superhero -- you can even argue that, though no one from The Water Cooler Set did.)

In THE DEFENDERS, Finn's Danny at times seems to be the only contrast and you long for Luke and Jessica especially to stop trying to out bad ass the other.

Colter's best moments are not with either Cox or Ritter -- or even Rosaria Dawson who again plays Claire and again manages to hold your attention.

His best moments, his only fresh moments, come from his interaction with Jones.

Probably because so many of the other characters are minor keys not fully developed.

Brooding only goes so far in the action genre.

Much is made of Colter and Jones' discussion about privilege.  Did everyone miss the slow build up to friendship that happened in subsequent episodes?

If Jones' Danny is the high point of THE DEFENDERS, what's the low point?

Probably when Sigourney Weaver's Alexandra dies.

Weaver makes Alexandra fresh and fierce and we need her especially in those early episodes where the rhythm hasn't hit its stride and things aren't adding up.

That said, it never really adds up.

Daredevil dies in the big climax.

You know, like Superman in BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE?

And, like Superman, at the end of that movie, it turns out Daredevil isn't really dead.


But it kind of feels like MARVEL's NETFLIX franchise is.

A team up of Luke Cage and Danny Rand (in the comics, they were teamed for POWER MAN & IRON FIST) might be interesting.

But even THE DEFENDERS is a let down.

Readers of the comic at its height can be forgiven for wondering: Who the hell are these characters?

Except for Luke Cage, they're not The Defenders.

Where's Hellcat and Valkyrie?

Oh, yeah, that's the other thing.

Jessica Jones.

Four characters, still only female superhero.

At their most popular, THE DEFENDERS comic book featured at least two women on the team: Hellcat and Valkyrie.


Why are we accepting this?

Yes, Weaver is a villain and Elektra's brought back to life to be a villain.

But why are we not noticing that in 2017, there really aren't super heroines on NETFLIX?

Grasp that, unlike the faux Social Justice Warriors of The Water Cooler Set, we're not asking that an existing character has their gender changed -- the way they trashed Jones' Danny for not being any other race than White.

No, we're asking that a series called THE DEFENDERS, loosely based on the comic book of the same name, feature two female characters who were part of the team.


From issue four of THE DEFENDERS to the conclusion of the comic book title, Valkyrie was a member.

Hellcat?

Yes, Trish Walker is a version of the character -- Jessica Jones' friend and adopted sister.  But she's a powerless version of her.

Hellcat is a member from issue 44 to 124 (issue 125 starts THE NEW DEFENDERS).

Why are we applauding a mini-series that features only one female super hero?

We're not.

Strip away Colter, Jones and Weaver and THE DEFENDERS has little to offer.

It seems to just tick off cameos and plot points as what should have been a rallying cry instead goes out as a sotto voiced whisper.






The ten we missed

Back in July, we offered "The Acting nominations that should have been."  Here are the top ten people readers said we overlooked.


Estrenando Nueva Música...

1) Jennifer Lopez.

Her portrayal on SHADES OF BLUE has been praised here and we readily agree with readers that it was an oversight that we did not include her on the list for BEST ACTRESS in the drama category.  She clearly had earned a right to be on the list.  Well over 50% of the e-mails pointed that out and we do not dispute the point in the least.

After Lopez, the next three were all from the same show.

2, 3 and 4) Dan Stevens, Jean Smart and Aubrey Plaza.

The three were in FX's LEGION.  Stevens, some readers felt, should have been nominated for BEST ACTOR while Smart and Plaza should have been nominated for BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS.

5) Aja Naomi King.

King plays Michaela Pratt on HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER. Last season was a standout for her and many e-mails argued she deserved a nomination for BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS.


6 and 7) Rami Malek and Christian Slater.

Readers pointed out Rami Malek had won the Emmy for BEST ACTOR last go round but wasn't nominated this time by the Emmys or by us on our July list.  They felt this was an oversight.  They also felt Christian Slater had earned a supporting nomination for the same series.

8) Gavin Houston.

Oprah Winfrey's OWN network is often overlooked but many readers felt Gavin Houston had more than earned an Emmy nomination for his performance of Jeffrey Harrington on OWN's THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS.

9) David Alan Grier.

THE CARMICHAEL SHOW wrapped up its final season this month and did so, a number of you noted, without ever getting an Emmy acting nomination.  Those readers noting this felt David Alan Grier had more than earned a supporting actor nod.

10) Kat Dennings.

2 BROKE GIRLS' Kat Dennings also never received a nomination for her comedic work.  As many of you pointed out, Julia Louis-Dreyfus' automatic nomination has made Louis-Dreyfus the most overrated actress currently working.















On monuments



Well I looked at the granite markers
Those tribute to finality to eternity
And then I looked at myself here
Chicken scratching for my immortality
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name


Chicken scratching for some immortality.

Can we all grasp that everyone -- as many as 50% in PBS' poll last week -- objecting to demolishing statues is not a racist?

Can we agree that a lot of people have a problem with change, regardless of what the change is?

Ourselves?

We believe history is ever changing, constantly being re-evaluated.


And we believe Lucy Hughes-Hallett more than established that with her book CLEOPATRA: HISTORIES, DREAMS AND DISTORTIONS as she examined how history, throughout history, had portrayed various versions of Cleopatra.  As Hughes-Hallett notes in the opening of her book:

A story is a protean thing, changing its nature as well as its shape when viewed from different angles. A single set of facts, arranged and rearranged, can point to a variety of contradictory conclusions. The vicissitudes of Cleopatra's legend, to which so many different morals have been attached, may act as a reminder that even the simplest piece of information can be made to serve a polemical purpose. Every story-teller, whether journalist, historian, poet or entertainer, is also -- willy nilly -- something of a propagandist.


We learn as time goes along, we hopefully advance.

As such, we re-examine.


wreck

What once seemed triumphant now appears to be a wreck.

It's called learning, it's called evolving.

We don't disagree that some statues need to be removed -- and certainly include the statue of J. Marion Sims in Central Park.

At one time in our history, the 'good doctor' was considered praise worthy.

Today, we're advanced enough to agree that forced experimentation on women who had no say in the matter is not just wrong, it's criminal.

Future generations will always reflect and reconsider -- that is their right.

And in that struggle to sort things out, to rethink, some monuments will come down.

Change happens.

And for some it is a struggle.

That doesn't make them racist or bad people.

It just means that some people are always going to be scared of change.








How about they stick to reporting?

On Sunday's RELIABLE SOURCES, personality Brian Stelter wondered if journalists should not begin questioning the sanity of US President Donald Trump.

If the president is "unfit" -- then what?

Uncomfortable questions about Trump's fitness
See more at cnn.com




Because?

That's what the media does?

We realize it's not as fun as gas bagging but the media is supposed to report.


It's not supposed to concern itself with playing therapist.

It's not supposed to put people on the couch.

We grasp that Brian Stelter has never grasped journalism.

We get that.

But shame on anyone who pretends that those barely trained to perform journalism are now capable of determining someone's mental capacity.



In the meantime, let's ask a more easily answered question.

Is Brian Stelter too ugly to be on TV?


Yes.







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