Monday, March 05, 2018

Truest statement of the week

“What’s going on here tonight and what’s been going on since October is simply filthy and disgraceful. [Applause, boos.] Sexual assault is horrendous, a crime, but that’s not what this is about. Harvey Weinstein was a convenient jumping-off point, that’s all. And you know it. What began with Weinstein has become a full-scale witch-hunt, in some ways more pernicious than the McCarthyite purges of the late 1940s and 1950s.
“Individuals have been essentially criminalized and ‘disappeared’ on the basis of unsubstantiated, often anonymous accusations. Some of our more talented and intriguing performers have had their careers destroyed. Academy Award winners Kevin Spacey and Geoffrey Rush have been thrown to the wolves. Poor Louis C.K. has been turned into a non-person. You know your Julius Caesar, of course, don’t you?:
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason.
“Casey Affleck didn’t dare show up here tonight. Only a few years ago most of you would have murdered a close family member to land a part in a Woody Allen movie. Now many of you are cheering on the sick and pathetic Mia Farrow. Shame on you! And where is Matt Damon, who had the audacity to point out there was a ‘difference between patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation’? Ben Affleck, Jeffrey Tambor, Garrison Keillor, perhaps James Franco, and Roman Polanski still! … these are the new criminals, the new demons. And as though it were not enough to destroy careers, you have nominated Christopher Plummer for best actor, which must be the first time someone has been honored for directly scabbing on a colleague.

“And the result of all this has been more repression and more censorship. Women haven’t benefited, except for a few at the top. The conditions of working women haven’t been affected in the slightest.


-- David Walsh, "The Oscar speech we’d like to hear Sunday night: 'Members of the Academy, what hypocrites and conformists so many of you are!'" (WSWS).












Truest statement of the week II

“This same affluent middle class had no ‘moral’ difficulty with Barack Obama’s 540 murderous drone strikes, “kill lists” and endless wars in Libya, Syria, Yemen and beyond. This same crowd, made rich and especially stupid by the stock market boom, has no problem with the endless suffering of the poor and the working class, men and women, in the United States or anywhere else. These self-pitying loudmouths, many of them multi-millionaires, would have us believe that their ‘daily torment’ is a world-historical occurrence.
“Pardon me, if I don’t take part in celebrating this well-promoted and well-remunerated ‘bravery.’ These allegations, some or even many of them may well be true—but I’ll stick my neck out, some of them are lies, self-serving, outright lies. [More applause, louder boos.]

“This is a Democratic Party-New York Times operation, it goes hand in hand with the anti-Russian hysteria and Internet censorship. [‘What are you talking about?’] Ashley Judd and Ronan Farrow, for example, are essentially Democratic Party operatives. They have no credibility whatsoever. All of these people supported Hillary Clinton, a warmonger in the pocket of Wall Street. Even if every allegation against Weinstein, for example, were true, he would not be one-hundredth the criminal that Clinton is, up to her elbows in the blood of the Libyan, Syrian and other peoples. [Gasps. Shouting in various parts of the auditorium. ‘You’re insane, get off the stage!’ ‘No, you have something there!’] Just a few more points—I’d like to finish, if you please. I realize you haven’t heard this kind of thing before, but it might be good for you.


-- David Walsh, "The Oscar speech we’d like to hear Sunday night: 'Members of the Academy, what hypocrites and conformists so many of you are!'" (WSWS).









A note to our readers

Hey --

It's late Sunday, almost Monday morning on the west coast.




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?




David Walsh gets a truest.
And David Walsh gets another truest.
The violence comes from the government -- and, read it, this is an Iraq piece.
Ava and C.I. wrote their piece on Saturday -- about THE DETOUR.  They weren't thrilled with it, they wanted to be done with it.  So they could focus on attending the awards.  Somewhere during the handing out of trophies, they texted to say hold off THE DETOUR because they were going to write a piece about the meaning of this year's OSCARS.  Incredible piece as always.
We read some e-mails.
List piece.
More music via repost of Kat's review of Joan Baez's awful album.
What we picked as the winner.
Repost of Marcia's review of a biography about Dusty Springfield.
What we listened to while writing -- you'll note we included some soundtracks.
Repost from Cindy Sheehan.
Repost from WSWS.





Peace,





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

























Editorial: School shootings

Why, oh, why?

The cry that's still in the air.

There are many reasons why -- oh, why.

Why so many mass shootings? Because our society is in a state of collapse.




Equally true, from Jane Wagner's EDITH ANN: MY LIFE, SO FAR (page 119):

I have read this on a shirt and it sounds true:
"Society deserves the kids it gets,"
but I have never seen
a T-shirt that said
what the kids did to deserve what we got.



How could children not be shooting guns?

Anyone puzzled by that needs to stop burying their head in the sand.

The Iraq War hits the 15 year mark this month -- and it's still going.  The Afghanistan War is still going.  When Barack Obama left office, there were six wars the US was engaged in -- and he was the first president to preside over a war for every year he was in office -- eight years, two terms -- despite being elected to end the Iraq War.


What do you think being raised in all this violence, in a society's who's only answer appears to be bomb 'em and shoot 'em, does to the children?

Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) observes:



Apparently there is nothing worse in America than the act of shooting white people. Ever since the latest attack at a Florida high school there has been talk of little else. The school shooting enveloped every other issue and was used to vilify Russia, the FBI, Bernie Sanders and the National Rifle Association all at once. One cannot watch a Youtube video without being subjected to the NRA’s public relations juggernaut meant to quiet a population which had forgotten about shootings for a while.
America has a unique history with firearms. The settler colonial state enshrined gun ownership into the constitution because of a determination to maintain chattel slavery and the violent enforcement which had to go with it.
More than two hundred years later that imperative remains. All the sound and fury about gun control is useless because this society demands that the slave patrol never disband. There are even arguments made to expand it. Not only must we live with armed police officers but there are new proposals to arm teachers in the classroom. These same teachers target black students for punishments and “zero tolerance” policies made necessary by the deeds of violent white people. Everyone from the buffoonish president to members of Congress weigh in with ridiculous proposals because the obvious solution will not be permitted in this country.


There are plenty of reasons why gun violence is so extreme these days -- they all go back to the US government.











MEDIA: Male norms, Russia hate and lots of excuses -- it's the 90th Academy Awards

What an awful and awkward event it was.  Male driven, women seeking male approval, females pretending that tokenism and boobs on display qualified as progress.

Oh, it was horrible.

As Isaiah noted, "Oscars So Full Of It."


 oscars so full of it


As Isaiah's comic explains, generic film maker Bryan Fogel -- of JEWTOPIA non-fame -- won for BEST DOCUMENTARY -- a newbie with no style or art defeating Agnes Varda, a true artist who's been directing since 1955 and who influenced the French New Wave -- it was robbery.


Of this hideous moment, WOMEN AND HOLLYWOOD's Melissa Silverstein gushed . . .

Greta Gerwig and Laura Dern walking out holding hands is everything.




Oh, keep it in your pants, Melissa.

Greta was sporting breasts, not displaying, sporting.

Way to be taken seriously as a director, dear.

Were you at the Academy Awards or a photo shoot for the cover of SPORT'S ILLUSTRATED swimsuit issue?

Learn a little self-respect and grasp that for every Melissa Silverstein drooling over your tits, there are plenty of us wishing that, as you posed as a role model, you'd conducted yourself as one.

Also, probably not the moment to talk about the need to be real, Greta, while sporting a necklace on loan worth more than most viewers will make in ten years of hard work.

Not every woman was an embarrassment.

Notice that Sandra Bullock, presenting Best Cinematography, did not sport boobs or embarrass herself with loaned out 'bling.'  She just looked classy and also managed to garner a few laughs.


Take a lesson, Greta, take a hard lesson.

As a nominee whispered to us while Greta was on stage, "Bitch be frontin'" -- and she wasn't the only one.

Salma Hayek, an actual actress of merit, shared the stage with two wax statues: 49-year-old Ashley Judd and 57-year-old Annabella Sciorra.

The latter two looked ageless -- not young, mind you, ageless.  Every crinkle of life had been pulled and ironed out.

All that work done before you've even hit sixty.

What will they resort to in their later lives?

For now, they're enjoying a career resurgence as professional victims.

Ashley, who's long been rumored to have slept her way into roles (this predates that harassment allegations she's made against Harvey Weinstein and, for the record, the biggest rumor of Ashley sleeping her way to a role involves Ashley bedding a woman), had a brief moment when she starred in a LIFETIME woman in jeopardy film that somehow made it to the big screen.  It's the same movie she then made over and over which was a huge help to movie goers -- allowing them to skip Ashley's latest same old and save a few bucks.

If Ashely once co-carried a hit, that put her ahead of Annabella.

The extreme cosmetic surgery probably left some wondering who Annabella was?

That's fine, that confusion has been the reality for Annabella throughout her career.

Even in Nancy Savoca's TRUE LOVE, Annabella was upstaged (by Ron Eldard) and, as everyone knows, Rebecca De Mornay stormed off with the film THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE.  Though Ronan Farrow -- in his typical dishonest manner -- called Annabella a "star" in THE NEW YORKER, she was never a star.  For a film or two, she was a leading actress.

A star delivers not just a performance, a star delivers ticket buyers.  A star carries a film.

Annabella was never a star.

She was a leading actress -- in bulls**t like the 'erotica thriller' WHISPERS IN THE DARK (a whopping $11 million in ticket sales in 1992).

She'd like to act again and, if PIXAR can make TOY STORY, some studio has to be able to make MADAM TUSSAUD and employ Annabella, Ashley and all the other actresses and actors whose faces can no longer register emotion due to addictions to botox, fillers, Restylane, et al.


We were pulled away from that fantasy casting as a woman declared that "the changes we are witnessing are being driven by a powerful sound," we had to wonder if she meant the muzak pumped into the office of plastic surgeons?


But we couldn't ponder that too long because Mira Sorvino was insisting that "everyone is getting a voice to express something that's been happening forever -- not only in Hollywood, but everywhere."

Really?

Everyone?

Because the victims without money and fame still have to struggle, Mira, you know, the way you struggled after winning an Academy Award for comedy, struggled to become a dramatic actress and were soundly rejected because you didn't have the chops for it or the smarts to stick to comedy?

Harvey destroyed Mira's career?

We kind of think THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS, SUMMER OF SAM, MIMIC and WISEGIRLS beat him to the punch.

But what do we know?

Every time we saw a clip with Armie Hammer during the evening, we were impressed by Armie's acting but puzzled as to why he'd made a film with Screech?

Last we'd heard of Dustin Diamond, he'd been arrested for pulling a switch blade on someone in a bar and here he was, tonight, nominated for Best Actor for his work in CALL ME BY YOUR NAME.

We kid, we kid.

It was Emily Loyd.

No, no, still kidding.


That pointy little chin belonged to Timothee Chalamet, a twenty-two year-old trick who was up for Best Actor.

Has a nomination ever been so undeserving?

No body of film work to stand on and a failed attempt to be the male equivalent of gamine, he appears to have been embraced by all the men of the Academy who wish they could sleep with the 17-year-old character he played in CALL ME BY YOUR NAME.


Possibly that desire explains why Armie, whose performance was actually an acting achievement, wasn't nominated -- envy that he got to play opposite Timothee in those love scenes?

It's still a man's world.

Even with the strong efforts by Frances McDormand to recognize all the female nominees, it's still a man's world.

Male is the 'norm' at the Academy Awards.

We realized that repeatedly.

Such as when Tom Petty's "Room At The Top" was performed by . . . Eddie Vedder.

Not Stevie Nicks who worked and toured with Tom repeatedly, you understand.

Stevie's a legend, a singer-songwriter who still sells albums.

But she's also a woman.

Eddie's a man.  So what if his group, Pearl Jam, was never as successful as Stevie's Fleetwood Mac?  So what if her solo albums actually sold and contained hits while his solo work is an embarrassment?

So what if Stevie's celebrated her fellow performers and Eddie's never gotten over his jealousy of Kurt Cobain -- jealousy, please remember, that led him to tell Bill Clinton not to take a moment to note the death of Kurt.

It was him on stage, not Stevie, performing Tom's song.

Because Eddie was a "he."

And that's why we suffered through his hog calling vocals that hopefully sounded better on TV than they did in the Dolby Theatre.

It's why we had that long shout out to war -- but not to peace -- during the proceedings with a series of clips that appeared to never end (yet somehow managed to undercut women's roles in those films).

It's why people cheered accused rapist Kobe Bryant.

Or maybe they were cheering rape?

At this point, honestly, what's the diff?

It's all a bunch of pretense.

A bunch of holier than thou failures using rape and assault -- and claims that saying no to giving a man a massage counts as assault -- to try to justify the failures of their careers -- and not the fact that they did cheesy ass movies that no one wanted to see.

Taint nobodies business, least of all Brendan Fraiser who's using his allegedly stroken taint (over the cloth, mind you) to insist he was traumatized and it effected his career too.

Thank you, Brendan, for bringing the whole proceedings to a new level of laughable when we'd previously thought the 'poor' gal on the Aziz Ansari date had already taken the gold in The Oppression Olympics this year.

There were no thank yous for that at the ceremony but the holier than thou Oscars did give thanks to our military while ignoring that the military members are also the ones being victimized, filing record numbers of assault claims.

But, hey, hey, hey, we applaud you and we applaud the glorification of war by Steven Spielberg and so many other hacks who, when they could have served, chose not to but, in their old age, glorify combat and war and destruction.

Just when we thought we were already choking on the hypocrisy, there was Gary Oldman winning!

Accused of domestic violence and he won.

Now we're not saying Gary didn't deserve to win.  He gave an amazing performance and the award is supposed to be for excellence on screen.

But we mention it because of starlet Greta Gerwig.

You may remember, she slammed Woody Allen because Dylan Farrow claims she was molested by him -- claims that have been tossed aside in two investigations.

But because chubby Dylan says she was molested, Greta won't work with Woody.

There's little doubt that Gary battered his wife.

So imagine our surprise to watch Greta leap forward to grab Gary's hand when he was announced as a winner.

Apparently, Greta has no real ethics -- that was kind of clear when she was talking about being real while dripping in diamonds.

Keep it whore, Greta, keep it whore.

And trust that the media will be right there with you, Greta.



   Retweeted
Even though "Faces Places" didn't win in the Documentary (Feature) category, Agn├Ęs Varda was awarded an Honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards:





Late in the game, Melissa got called on her sexual longing for Greta and how it allowed her to miss that one of the few living women veteran directors got overlooked for a Let's-all-hate-Russia victory.

So Melissa did that Tweet and we're all supposed to pretend like an honorary Academy Award is the same as a competitive one.

It's not.

Even Melissa knows that.

Hate Russia?

You were in the right place for it.

Hate those damn Commies -- that could have been a theme of the night.

Bryan Fogel won for his stupid and facile documentary attacking Russia.

Doping in sports!

Damn, Russians!

Uhm, golly, we remember Lance Armstrong.

We remember that Lance was doping and threatening people and destroying the lives of people who called him out.

But let's express our outrage at Russia, right?

And that wasn't the worst of it.

Oh, Rita.

How could you?

That's what we puzzled over as Rita Moreno used the night to salute "the great" Frank Capra.

What was so great about him?

That from at least 1947 forward, he was an FBI informant?  Ratting out people he suspected of being or having once been members of the Communist Party?

Was that what was so great about Capra?

Or that he pushed for the loyalty oath in the Directors Guild?

These awards are about the arts.

Writers and directors lost work because of Frank Capra.  (Ironically, he'd be grey-listed which is somehow fitting after all the people he ratted on lost work.)

Seriously, Rita Moreno, what the hell were you thinking?

Or did you just want to celebrate hate of Russia by taking it all the way back to the witch hunts of the HUAC?



It was embarrassing and stupid.

As embarrassing as Greta saying in a clip, "All the movies I loved were directed by men."

Really, Greta?

You never saw the work of Nancy Savoca (including DOGFIGHT)?  Lee Grant (including STAYING TOGETHER)?  Barbra Streisand (YENTL, PRINCE OF TIDES, THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES)?  Elaine May (THE HEARTBREAK KID, A NEW LEAF, MIKEY AND NICKY)?  Ida Lupino (THE TROUBLE WITH ANGELS, OUTRAGE, THE BIGAMIST, etc.)?  Jane Campion (THE PIANO, THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY, IN THE CUT, etc.)?  Lois Weber (FINE FEATHERS, HOW MEN PROPOSE, WHERE ARE MY CHILDREN?, etc.)?  Gillian Armstrong (MRS. SOFFEL, MY BRILLIANT CAREER, LITTLE WOMEN, etc)?  Betty Thomas (THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE, DR. DOLITTLE, 28 DAYS, PRIVATE PARTS, etc.)?  Kathryn Bigelow (NEAR DARK, POINT BREAK, STRANGE DAYS, DETROIT, ZERO DARK THIRTY, THE HURT LOCKER, etc.).  Dorothy Arzner (THE BRIDE WORE RED, CRAIG'S WIFE, CHRISTOPHER STRONG, MERRILY WE GO TO HELL, etc)?  Penny Marshall (BIG, AWAKENINGS, RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS, JUMPING JACK FLASH, etc)?  Nora Ephron (SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, YOU"VE GOT MAIL, JULIE & JULIA)?  Jocelyn Moorhouse (A THOUSAND ACRES, HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT, THE DRESSMAKER)?  Amy Heckerling (CLUELESS, LOOK WHO'S TALKING, FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, etc)?  Nancy Meyers (THE HOLIDAY, WHAT WOMEN WANT, SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE, IT'S COMPLICATED, PARENT TRAP, etc)?  Diane Keaton (UNSTRUNG HEROES, HANGING UP)? Sofia Coppola (THE BLING RING, LOST IN TRANSLATION, SOMEWHERE, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES, THE BEGUILED, etc)? Cheryl Hines (SERIOUS MOONLIGHT)?  Ava DuVernay (A WRINKLE IN TIME, SELMA, MIDDLE OF NOWHERE)? Penelope Spheeris (WAYNE'S WORLD, THE LITTLE RASCALS, THE BEVERY HILLBILLIES, THE BOYS NEXT DOOR, etc)?  Jodie Foster (THE BEAVER, LITTLE MAN TATE, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, MONEY MONSTER)? Joan Micklin Silver (CROSSING DELANCY, HESTER STREET, etc)?  Mira Nair (MONSOON WEDDING, MISSISSIPPI MASALA, SALAAM BOMBAY, etc)?  Kimberly Peirce (STOP-LOSS, CARRIE, BOYS DON'T CRY)? Lisa Cholodenko (THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT, LAUREL CANYON, HIGH ART)? Mimi Leder (DEEP IMPACT, THE PEACEMAKER)? Martha Coolidge (RAMBLING ROSE, VALLEY GIRL, REAL GENIUS, etc)? Karyn Kusama (GIRL FIGHT, JENNIFER'S BODY, AEON FLUX)?  Allison Anders (MI VIDA LOCA, GAS FOOD AND LODGING, GRACE OF MY HEART)?  Anne Fletcher (THE PROPOSAL, STEP UP, 27 DRESSES, THE GUILT TRIP, etc)? Randa Haines (CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD, DANCE WITH ME, THE DOCTOR, etc)?  Gina Prince-Bythewood (THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES, LOVE & BASKETBALL, BEYOND THE LIGHTS, etc.)?  Patty Jenkins (MONSTER, WONDER WOMAN)?



Greta was born in 1983.  Her formative years include the 90s -- check out the list of women who couldn't make a film Greta enjoyed: Amy Heckerling, Penny Marshall, Jocelyn Moorhouse, Nora Eprhon, Kathryn Bigelow, Barbra Streisand, Nancy Meyers, Diane Keaton, Penelope Spheeris, Jane Campion, Ida Lupino, Gillian Armstrong, Betty Thomas, Lois Weber, Dorothy Arzner, Nancy Savoca, Elaine May, Jodie Foster . . .

How sad and pathetic Greta is.

Women have successfully directed comedy -- sophisticated and low, children's films,  musicals, action, sci fi, fantasy, drama and melodrama but not one of those women earned any love from Greta.

Embarrassing included Sarah Silverman stating that "some people, in their hearts, are threatened or they're scared and there's really nothing to be scared of."

Maybe remember that the next time you attack conservatives, Sarah?

Barry Jenkins was babbling about how, women at the film WONDER WOMAN, were in tears and "this is what White men feel like all the time" -- apparently women need action films to be moved?  And apparently films like TOMB RAIDER and SALT didn't count?

Barry Jenkins didn't seem to grasp that he was defining the world by his terms and standards, not by women's standards or terms.

He took his male reaction as the norm -- which let him fit in perfectly.


Though Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph killed in their brief moment, the show was again hosted by a man -- as were the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards, the Spirit Awards, the Grammys -- pretty much everything in the last six months except The American Music Awards (hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross).

It was a man: Jimmy Kimmel.

And notice that in the patronizing stunt where Jimmy led a group of actors across the street to a movie audience, he chose one person among the ticket buyers to speak.

One person.

Excuse us, we mean one man.

Of course it was one man because Male and White are the standard and the norm for Jimmy Kimmel.


And tonight again demonstrated it was the standard and the norm for the Academy Awards.

"We're the interpreter of dreams," insisted Mira Sorvino.

You're the interpreter of something.  But those aren't dreams, honey, they're nightmares.






Mailbag

mailcall


Into the mail bag . . .


What happened to the plan to hold Joy Reid accountable every week?

This idea came up outside of Ava and C.I.  They only learned of it when they read the piece we wrote announcing that.

Ava and C.I. cover TV for this website.  And they've held Joy accountable in their pieces.

But they had a problem -- Betty and Ann agreed with them -- of Joy being a weekly take down.

A) Do we -- the others -- even watch Joy?

No.

B) Why was Joy selected?

It's not as though there's this wealth of African-American women on TV.

As they raised these and other issues, we got the point.

Joy's no worse than anyone else on MSNBC.

We absolutely will call her out as needed but to make it a regular feature?

Seems we were following a number of White males online in attacking Joy who doesn't even have a daily show.  We agreed with Ava and C.I. (and Betty and Ann) that we needed to drop that feature.

Leland wants us to return to covering comics "especially BATWOMAN."

We first covered Batwoman in "A Rucka, a Batwoman, a Zeus and a Heatwave" when she debuted as the lead in Detective Comics.

Batwoman autographed



Maybe next week,Leland, we can do something on comics again.

Brenda wants more music coverage.  For you, Brenda, we'll repost Kat's latest album review, okay?

And for Eric who wants more book coverage, we'll post Marcia's book review.


Lewis notes that Betty and Kat are both doing science these days and wonder if we could do a weekly feature on it as well?

Not going to happen.  As it is, we do a science feature about every two months and that will probably be the same figure for the foreseeable future.

Gordon wonders why we do features on our national parks?

Good question: Because they belong to us.  We need to realize that.  These are public lands.

Veronica wants more TESR Test Kitchen features.  We're gearing up one on drinks and one on candy so you should see at least one of those next week.









10 biggest male movie stars of the 20th century

1) Cary Grant

2) Jack Nicholson

3) Marlon Brando

4) Steve McQueen

5) Humphrey Bogart

6) Eddie Murphy

7) Alan Ladd

8) Paul Newman

9) Gene Kelly

10) Sidney Poitier



Our pick for the ten biggest male movie stars of the 20th century.

Note -- some are excellent actors, some aren't.  This is about stardom, not about best actor.





Kat's Korner: The punchline is 'Joan Baez'

Repost.


 Kat's Korner: The punch line is 'Joan Baez'


Kat: So phonie Joanie's retiring soon?

Can't happen fast enough.  In fact, it's way too late.


On Josh Ritter's "Be Of Good Heart," Joan Baez repeatedly sounds like she needs to stop singing and clear her throat.  But she never does.

So a strong song sounds really weak.

Or, when she tries to sing "the road stretched out before me," really bad as she makes a sound that suggests she's being strangled.

It will most likely send people running.

If we're lucky, it'll send them running to Josh Ritter's back catalogue -- I'd suggest you start with THE ANIMAL YEARS.

In the meantime, you're left with WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND, Joan Baez's latest album.

 fake joan

The title track's being pushed hard right now and that's a smart move.

What's left of her voice is used fairly well on this song that really doesn't require much more than a whisper and three notes.

No surprise, it's a Tom Waits song -- written by Tom and Kathleen Brennan.  No surprise because he's a singer but not anyone's idea of a vocalist.  It's the difference between Billie Holiday (who could put a song across with great feeling) and Ella Fitzgerald (one of the most technically amazing vocalists of the 20th century).

Baez records another Waits and Brennan composition for the album, "Last Leaf."

Her voice sounds ravaged on every note and by the second line of the first verse she's making noises that are neither attractive nor musical notes -- is it a death rattle that's being recorded?  It's hard to believe this isn't a live album or that the producer didn't work to patch together lines from various takes to offer the pretense at least that Joan can still sing.

The arrangements on the song are harsh as well and seem about a key to high for the notes she's failing to reach.

If you think it can't get worse, check out her second Josh Ritter song "Silver Blade" which is testimony to the reality that she's also lost all breath control.


"Well," you say, "Joan's politics.  Her politics are what shine through."

Okay, what politics?

She tries to sing Zoe Mulford's unironic and insipid "The President Sang Amazing Grace."

See, right there, that's where it ends for fake ass Joan.

The woman who, in 2006, was caught on radio -- AIR AMERICA RADIO -- referring to African-Americans as "coloreds" and finding herself so 'naughty' she had to giggle**.  (By the way, radio host, I know you read the site and e-mail C.I. from time to time, I'm being kind by not naming you but I still marvel over the fact that you didn't call Joan on this but just quickly changed the topic.)


Two years later, as if to atone? (Joan never atoned from trashing Coretta Scott King, did she?), she slammed back more Obama Kool-Aid than anyone.

And to that I say, whatever.

She finally endorses a presidential candidate for the first time ever.

Whatever.

But then comes the election.

Then comes the continued Iraq War -- the war that was going on when he came into office and continued after he left and continues to this day.

Then came all the wars he oversaw and the fact that he became the first president ever to have every years of his two terms -- eight years total -- with war going on.

Then came his drone war.

Then came his attack on the press.

And his attack on whistle-blowers.

And fat and fluffy Joan called it out when?

Never.

Not even to this day.

It's a damn shame she didn't retire after 2005's live album BOWERY SONGS.

Back then, her image, like her voice, was still somewhat intact.

She hadn't been caught using the term "colored" or demonstrating how funny she thought it was to call African-Americans "colored."  Her attacks on Coretta Scott King were not as well known.  She stood for peace.

These days?

What does she stand for?

A lot is made of the fact that, a year ago, she was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Why?

She's not rock.  She had no impact on popular music.

Put her in a folk music hall, sure.

But the answer to the lack of women in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- the refusal to induct Cher, Carly Simon, Melanie, Janet Jackson, Tracy Chapman, Tori Amos and so many others -- is not to induct the undeserving Joan.

Undeserving Joan.  Fake Joan.  Phonie Joanie.

She winds down what will most likely be her final studio album with "I Wish The Wars Were All Over" and there are some who will wrongly see it as Joan recording a song about today.


The song was first recorded by Tim Eriksen in November of 2000 (for his self-titled 2001 debut).  It has nothing to do with the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, the war on Libya, the war on Syria . . .

It's got nothing to do with today.

Not in a world where women are just as likely to fight in war as men but the song's "Pretty Polly" (how tired) sits at home and frets that the "king" has sent her beau off to war.

It's garbage.

And in the end, that's all Joan Baez's latest -- and many say last -- album is.

What a sad, pathetic trip it's been.



-----------

C.I. note, it was August 2005 when Joan Baez used the term "colored" to describe African-Americans -- she said it at least three times and giggled in self-amusement.











Our big Oscar betting pool loss



Jim, Dona, Ty, Stan, Betty, Rebecca, Ann, Cedric and Kat had an Oscar betting pool.

It cost $5 to buy in and you entered your choices in secret.

One of us -- at least one of us -- won on each category . . . except for Best Original Song.

We all lost.


And it turned out, we all thought the same song would win: Sufjan Stevens' "Mystery of Love."




We still think it should have won.






DANCING WITH DEMONS (Marcia's book review)

Repost from Marcia.

Dancing with Demons: The Authorized Biography of Dusty Springfield


Book time.  I read Penny Valentine and Vicki Wickham's Dancing With Demons: The Authorized Biography of Dusty Springfield.

In the US, Dusty, a singer, is known for "The Look of Love," "Wishin' & Hopin'," "Son of a Preacher Man" and, with the Pet Shop Boys, "What Have I Done To Deserve This" -- among other hits.

She was England's biggest female singer of the 20th century.

She triumphed in the sixties, then move to the US in the seventies.

The authors explain how throughout her chart topping days in the sixties, she had a secret, she was a lesbian.

In 1970, she gave an interview to The Evening Standard of London where she stated she was just as "capable of being swayed by a girl as by a boy."

Though you had David Bowie and other guys flirting with gay and bi, not a lot of lesbians.  And Dusty was a lesbian -- not swayed by 'a boy' at all.

But that interview changed her image.

Was she saying farewell to England with that interview?  Dusty was moving on to the US because she'd apparently climbed all the mountains Europe could provide.

But in the US, she wouldn't find that success.

She'd record Dusty In Memphis which is seen as a classic today but sold only 100,000 copies when it was released.  This despite "Son Of A Preacher Man" -- a track on the album -- being a top forty hit.

Why did it do so poorly?

I wasn't seeing the album in real time so I don't know.

But my hunch?

It was promoted wrong.  It looks out of date.

I can remember thinking it was a sixties album the first time I ever saw the cover.

It looks like the 60s.  And when the seventies are under way, who's going to spend time buying a 60s album?  You want something new.  Dusty's already a fixture of the sixties.  The album cover should have looked like its decade.

That was it for her and the seventies.

She had no more hits.

And worse was her personal life.  She was involved with women who betrayed her and hurt her -- in one instance, she was beaten so badly she had to have plastic surgery and her face was never the same.

The 80s were her scrambling to come back.  She'd also try to tell her parents she was gay but they didn't want to know.

Elton John -- who was vicious about her in his infamous seventies Rolling Stone interview -- would not be a good enough friend to help her.

It would be The Pet Shop Boys who would help her.  They were fans and would write the song "What Have I Done To Deserve This?" and ask her to record it with them.  It would be a top ten hit.  And her comeback.  And she did the song for the film Scandal with them and it was another hit.

She recorded an album -- was recording it -- when she found out she had cancer.

She would finish the album and promote it (A Very Fine Love) but the cancer would come back and take her life.

She hid in the closet -- which was common for her time -- in the sixties but stuck a toe out in the early 70s only to have her whole body pulled out (the turned on by a guy or a gal resulted in her being branded "lesbian" not "bi").

After that she grew comfortable enough privately to even tell her parents.

She went up against multiple bad affairs.  None of us deserve that.

She also made amazing music.

And she took brave stands -- not just the toe out of the closet.  Motown was championed by Dusty in England.  And she stood up to South Africa's apartheid system -- and did it in the sixties.  And she was slammed for it but she stood her ground.

And we need to stay here for a second because the book doesn't make this point and they should have.

In the seventies and early eighties while she was struggling and often in need of money?

At any time, she could have gone to South Africa.

They would have paid her hundreds of thousands of dollars to perform at Sun City.

Maybe even a million -- in many ways, she's the pop star that got the boycott rolling for the pop music world.

Having her play Sun City would have been a coup for the apartheid system.

But she never went looking for that.  She had her beliefs and her ethics and she didn't go there.

Linda Ronstadt did.

She wasn't in need of money.  She was charting with hit songs and having hit albums.  But in the time when Dusty needed money, Dusty didn't go.

This is a strong and moving book.

This edition's playlist

alicia


1) Alicia KeysHERE.


2) Sam Smith's THE THRILL OF IT ALL.




3) Janet Jackson's UNBREAKABLE.



4)  Aretha Franklin's ARETHA SINGS THE GREAT DIVA CLASSICS.



5) Tori AmosNATIVE INVADERS.



6)  FOOTLOOSE soundtrack.


7) TOP GUN soundtrack.


8) PRACTICAL MAGIC soundtrack.


9) Diana Ross' LADY SINGS THE BLUES soundtrack.


10) MOULIN ROUGE soundtrack.











Women Rise Together for Peace!

From Cindy Sheehan:


 Women Rise Together for Peace! (PRESS RELEASE)


March 1, 2018
For immediate release:
What: Women's Peace March on the Pentagon Against the bi-Partisan War Machine
When: October 20-21, 2018
Who: Women (and their allies) who are sick and tired of the US military war machine waging multiple wars and military misadventures around the world. 
CONTACT: CINDY SHEEHAN
                      CINDYSHEEHAN@MARCHONPENTAGON.COM
Dozens of prominent antiwar activists, groups, and journalists have endorsed the Women's March on the Pentagon on October 20th and 21st.
The Women's March on the Pentagon was envisioned by noted Peace Activist Cindy Sheehan (whose oldest son Casey was killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004) in direct contrast to the more democrat party oriented Women's March that has so far refused to address out of control US militarism as one of the root causes of violence against women.
From her home in Vacaville, CA, Cindy Sheehan stated, "There are many social ills in the US and globally which will not be addressed as long as the US slaughters innocents around the world and spends hundreds of billions of tax dollars doing so."
"A women led movement to address out of control militarism and the rampant patriarchy that causes it must arise so our children will stop fighting, dying, and killing the children of other mothers."
CINDY SHEEHAN WILL BE LEADING A SERIES OF MEETINGS ON THE EAST COAST IN APRIL (AND A NATIONAL CALL-IN CONFERENCE CALL ON MARCH 14)

April 5th in Washington DC
April 9th in Boston
April 10th in NYC
April 12th in Long Island
APRIL 13TH: LANCASTER, PA

Times and Places TBD
National Conference Call on March 14th.
Cindy Sheehan and other lead organizers are available for interviews, or for further questions. 







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