Sunday, October 26, 2014

Truest statement of the week

If the polls are correct and Democrats lose ‘control’ of both the Senate and the House of Representatives they have only their own fecklessness to blame. The eternal refrain that the Democrat Party must ‘move back to the political center’ now places Barack Obama several miles to the right of conservative Republican Richard Nixon in every conceivable dimension of governance. As Mr. Obama’s first Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel put it when Democrats regained the House and Senate in 2006, ‘now we (Democrats) can get corporate campaign contributions again.’ As the current Mayor of Chicago Mr. Emanuel finds himself promoting the same neo-liberal interests at the local level that he helped promote nationally in the Obama administration.

--  Rob Urie, "Neo-Liberals be Damned, Let the Democrats Rot" (CounterPunch).

Truest statement of the week II

The November 4 election will decide whether the Democratic Party or the Republican Party has a majority in the Senate and in the House of Representatives, but it will not change the basic political direction of the United States, since both corporate-controlled parties are committed to programs of militarism, attacks on democratic rights, and slashing spending on domestic social programs.

-- Patrick Martin, "Democratic Senate candidates sound right-wing themes in pre-election debates" (WSWS).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Yet another Sunday.

First, we 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,
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?

Rob Urie gets his first Truest.
Patrick Martin rakes up another Truest.
It really is amazing how little attention this has received.  The peace or 'peace' movement is silent and so is most of the media.
Ava and C.I. explain how the first show to get the axe this season was also one of the worst.

Aretha Franklin has just released another legendary album.  On her latest, she salutes some of her female peers.  Here, we celebrate some of her best recordings that never got issued as a single.

He spoke for many with this Tweet. 

We had a Jamse Risen piece that didn't come together and, at the last minute, Ava and C.I. dashed this off to round out the edition.  
Short feature.

What we listened to while working on this edition.
A repost from Great Britain's Socialist Worker. 
The VFW offers some election advice.

A repost from Workers World.

A repost from Betty.

Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.


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

Editorial: Another US service member dies in Iraq

Friday, the Defense Dept issued the following:


Release No: NR-539-14
October 24, 2014

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

  The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

Lance Cpl. Sean P. Neal, 19, of Riverside, California, died Oct. 23, in Baghdad, Iraq, from a non-combat related incident. The incident is under investigation.

He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Crisis Response - Central Command, whose headquarters element deploys from Camp Pendleton, California.
For more information, media may contact the I Marine Expeditionary Force Public Affairs Office at (760) 763-7039 or after hours at (760) 207-5865.

Barack Obama's increased war on Iraq has already cost the life of 1 US service member.

And where are the peace groups?

Excuse us, the 'peace' groups?


They Tweeted non-stop.

Mainly about Palestine.

They never noted the death.

United for Peace and Justice?

Not a word from them since early October.

Iraq Veterans Against the War (if Bully Boy Bush is in the White House) didn't say a word at their site or on Twitter.

Once upon a time the above pretended to be against the illegal war.

Today, their mouths are so full of Barack's dick they can't even speak out when a US service member is killed in Iraq.

TV: The axe falls

When ABC's Manhattan Love Story tanked in its debut and bled viewers in the following three weeks, the network was shocked.

To out of touch suits, the show seemed a sure thing.  One programming suit exclaimed that it was this decade's Dharma & Greg.

That anyone could think that goes a long, long way towards explaining not just how the hideous 'sitcom' got a slot on the fall schedule but also how the show bombed so quickly and so hard.

That's the heavily circulated promo photo ABC put out for the show.

It telegraphs all that is wrong with the alleged romantic sitcom.

In a romantic comedy, who are the stars?

The couple who will overcome odds and fall in love.

The leads are not the couple in the center, they're the ones on the far right.

Even in the promotional material, ABC couldn't get things right.

But that photo points to much more.

For example, Kurt Fuller?

Who the hell wants his tired ass in a romantic comedy?

ABC insists there were older characters on Dharma & Greg.  Yes, each had parents.

There were four older characters --two men and two women.

Is Fuller paired with the young woman standing next to him?  No, that's Chloe Wepper playing the daughter of Fuller's character.

Romantic comedy.

Greg of Dharma & Greg was not a dog. (The highly handsome Thomas Gibson played the role.)

Series lead Jake McDorman can't make the same claim.

Yes, the heavily photo-shopped publicity shot did manage to make McDorman look thin but even all that photo shop allows cannot make McDorman attractive.

Do looks matter?

In a romantic comedy, they do.

And they mattered in this series when it came to women.

The female series lead, Analeigh Tipton, isn't just an actress, she's also a model (one who heavily resembles Denise Richards from certain angles).  So, yes, she had to be beautiful.

But Nicholas Wright doesn't have to be, does he?

He's the male in the center couple, the one sporting the look of Max on One Day At A Time, a look viewers strongly rejected in the hirsute seventies and one that has not come into vogue in the many years since.  As a hygiene challenged troll in Accidentally On Purpose, Wright was funny.  Especially his slow burn as one hot woman after another shot him down.

But in the fantasy land of ABC, he lands the hot Jade Catta-Pretta?

Even Chloe is cute.

But chubby, schlubby Jake McDorman is the best looking of the males?

Looks do matter.

And when the three female leads in your sitcom are all pretty and the three men are all repugnant, unless the sitcom is entitled Trolls: A Love Story, the audience is going to grasp that they're being sold an inferior product.

That should have been obvious to ABC from the start, even before the leads were cast.

On what basis did the network believe Jeff Lowell could create a romantic comedy?

His work on The Drew Carey Show?

Did they think executive producer Peter Traugott could steer the romance challenged Lowell over the bumps and potholes?

If so, based on what?

His past work on According to Jim?

Two men who trafficked in sexist stereotypes were put in charge of an alleged romantic comedy which was really just another delusion that ugly men can land hot women -- what bar are Traugott and Lowell getting drunk in?

The sexism was on display from the start.

Chubby Jake McDorman was walking down the street -- and sweating from the task -- as he looked at the women around him deciding who he'd nail.


All of them.

And viewers can be forgiven for initially laughing at that as they mistook this for the joke: that sweaty chubs could lure even one of those women into bed.

Meanwhile, Analeigh's character Dana was walking along obsessing over purses.

Because, in the world According to Jim, women are never attracted to men or thinking about sex.  And in the world According to Jim, men only think about sex.

Some wrongly felt the show was trafficking in Women Are From Venus, Men Are From Mars.


It was Men Are Jim Belushi, Girls Are Bimbos.

Girls, not women.

Despite the best efforts of the three actresses, they were playing girls.  They couldn't overcome that built-in device of the script.

And girls are such little bimbos that they can't handle this modern technology like this new thing they're calling the internet.  Stumbling on the net, Analeigh's Dana wrongly posts a man's name (McDorman's character) to her Facebook leading everyone to believe they're a couple.

Manhattan Love Story apparently takes place in the same world where Mattel's Barbie says, "Math is hard."

The show took six actors inexperienced in the romantic comedy genre and refused to put them before a studio audience.

It may not have saved the show but the silence from a studio audience would have given ABC a heads up that Manhattan Love Story was a dud.

In a way, we're sad the show's become the first to get the axe this fall.

While each episode failed to provide laughs, the publicity material the network kept putting out was unintentionally hilarious.  Our personal favorite was a bio sketch of Jake McDorman which insisted that the actor left the Boy Scouts to pursue acting.  We weren't aware that the Boy Scouts, like a monastery, placed such demands on young males or stood in their way of becoming bad actors.  We now picture the Boy Scouts as Lori Singer's father in the original Footloose, bound and determined to snuff out any and all fun.

If that is indeed who and what they are, they can take pride in the fact that McDorman, even post-Boy Scouts, continues to carry out that mission as one viewing of any episode of Manhattan Love Story will make clear.

 lost viewers each week

Aretha's Top Ten Tracks (non-singles)

When it comes to recognizing female artists, Judy takes a pass and, as usual, the real work was left to a strong woman: Aretha.

Aretha Franklin's new album is Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics and, as Kat notes, it's a winner.

As Aretha takes time to celebrate the work of her female peers, we compile a list of our top ten album tracks (non-singles only) Aretha's offered over the years.

1) "Dr. Feelgood (Love Is a Serious Business)" (I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You)

2) "Sister From Texas" [Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of the Sky)]

3) "Let It Be" (This Girl's In Love With You)

4) "Loving You Baby" (Sparkle)

5) "Until You Say You Love Me" (Who's Zoomin' Who)

6) "I'll Dip" (A Rose Is Still A Rose)

7) "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)" (Young, Gifted and Black)

8) "Sweet Bitter Love" (Who's Zoomin Who)

9) "He's The Boy" (Through The Storm)

10) "Integrity" (Who's Zoomin Who)

Tweet of the Week

One Media Fail After Another (Ava and C.I.)

All Things Media Big and Small continues to epic fail on all issues big and small.

We were reminded of that when Taylor Swift's People magazine cover prompted a rush of nonsense.

That's Taylor recreating Mia Farrow's People magazine cover from years ago.

Kurt Schlosser (NBC's Today) insisted, "People magazine is celebrating its 40th year, and to mark the occasion the iconic weekly has re-created its very first cover, which featured actress Mia Farrow, by using a new shot of singer Taylor Swift."

He can insist all he wants, that won't make it true.

The lie's pimped by People, that doesn't make it true either.

Crapapedia may be 'source' three, but it's an idiot as well:

 Stolley’s almost religious determination to keep the magazine people-focused contributed significantly to its rapid early success. It is said that although Time Inc. pumped an estimated $40 million into the venture, the magazine only broke even 18 months after its debut in March 1974. Initially, the magazine was sold primarily on newsstands and in supermarkets. To get the magazine out each week, founding staff members regularly slept on the floor of their offices two or three nights each week and severely limited all non-essential outside engagements. The premiere March 4, 1974 edition featured actress Mia Farrow, then starring in the movie The Great Gatsby, on the cover. That issue also featured stories on Gloria Vanderbilt, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and the wives of U.S. Vietnam veterans who were Missing In Action.[5] The magazine was, apart from its cover, printed in black-and-white. The initial cover price was 35 cents.

"Only broke even 18 months after its debut"?


People's success was considered amazing.  Sport's Illustrated had been the last previous weekly magazine launched in the US and, as Nora Ephron noted in her March 1975 piece for Esquire ("People Magazine," collected in Scribble, Scrabble), "Sports Illustrated lost twenty-six million in the ten years before it turned the corner, and People is expected to lose considerably less and turn the corner considerably quicker."

Poor Crapapedia and all the stupid, sexist men that blog there.

How many times can you lose your virginity?

We believe it's only once.

And we believe you can only have one first issue.

People's first issue did not feature Mia Farrow on the cover.

Nor was the March 4, 1974 issue the first issue of the magazine.

People magazine featured Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton on the magazine's first cover.  This was in August of 1973 and the first issue was, as Nora Ephron noted, "test-marketed in seven cities."

They blew their 40th anniversay, yes, so the magazine's spinning.

But, again, a magazine only has one first issue.

People magazine, and its cronies, like Time with their celebrity profiles, have infiltrated the media and now pass for news.

If you ever doubted that you missed Anderson Cooper's garbage on 60 Minutes tonight.

Cooper fawned over the mediocre band Foo Fighters and their so-so talented leader David Ghrol.  It was as if REO Speedwagon was being awarded a Grammy.

Today's modern day celebrity profile was pioneered by People and Time and, again, Nora Ephron documented the slide.  This time in an Esquire essay entitled "How to Write a Newsmagazine Cover Story" which offered

1) Find a subject too much has already been written about.

2) Exaggerate the significance of the cover subject.

3) Find people who know the subject personally and whose careers are bound up with the subject's.  Get these people to comment on the subject's significance.  

4) Try, insofar as it is possible, to imitate the style of press releases. 

5) Use statistic where ever possible.  Better yet, use statistics so mind boggling that no reader will bother to do simple arithmetic to determine their impossibility.

6) Study the examples.

And that pretty much sums up Anderson Cooper's garbage which included him declaring that band "one of the last great American rock bands that consistently sell millions of albums" and to insist "Foo Fighters' sound is raw, real rock 'n' roll."

Cooper doesn't listen to rock, never has.

More importantly, millions of albums?

Maybe the new one next month will sell a million copies in the US.

But 2007's Echoes, Silecnce, Patience & Grace only went gold (half a million).

And 2011's Wasting Light also only went gold.

Foo Fighters are no longer a million selling band and haven't been for over seven years.

But it was cute of Anderson to whore for a generic, faceless band churning out useless crap.

Journalism is the real victim of today's celebrity culture.

Crapapedia listed some of the stories but ignored much.  The big stories for 1974 in the Mia issue?  They included a look at the Loud family.

PBS kicked off the 'reality' garbage glut with that piece of crap posing as a documentary.

And the new focus on celebrity by non-Hollywood mags demanded that celebrities like the Louds be created -- the famous for being famous.

And now they are all over the TV today.

They're losers who have no talent.

Sorry, Kim Kardashian, Cher called it correctly on you and your kind.

People watch these 'celebs' because they are losers, because they are train wrecks.

It makes the audience feel better about themselves.

And who wouldn't feel like a giant comparing themselves to the homophobes featured in Duck Dynasty?

Or Sons of Guns 'stars' Stephanie Hayden and Kris Ford whose latest scandal finds them arrested for child abuse.

Or there goes Honey Boo Boo, right off TLC.


Mama June's dating a convicted sex offender, a child molester, in fact.

Mama June's prince served "10 years [in prison] for forcing oral sex on an 8-year-old."

These are the non-entities that the media has elevated to celebrity status.

People like Khloe Kardashian who wants you to know she's still upset over her divorce from a failed NBA player.

She calls her mom a bitch, attacks her friends and does other nonsense on camera and that makes her a  'star'?

She's a nothing.

And she'll be remembered the same way the Loud family are today (all but gay son Lance are forgotten).

The crap is watched.

Not by large numbers.

You'll notice the broadcast networks, when they do 'reality,' make it a contest because otherwise it doesn't pull in a large enough audience.

So the crap is featured on basic cable where it's cheap to make.

'Reality' TV has ruined MTV, TLC and A&E.

A few years back, all three had strong brands.

Today, they're just known airing trash TV.

But don't just blame basic cable.

Blame the media that treats them as celebrities and chronicles their photo ops, treats them as something other than the circus freaks they are, pretend they are somehow a part of art.

Blame a media that will lie about who was on a magazine's first cover or that will lie that a band sells millions when they don't.  In a world where people are famous solely for standing in front of a TV camera, truth will always be less important than spin.

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