Monday, May 20, 2019



Dipping into the mailbag again to reply to some of the e-mails.

Jordan e-mailed asking if Trina really believed racism didn't exist in the US anymore?  What's Jordan talking about?  The post "Eugenics??????? Who knew that racism was still around and that a college would look the other way?"

Trina: I might have been better off typing it "Eugenics????? Who knew THAT racism was still around and that a college would look the other way?"  My point was, "Eugenics?"  I thought that went out with the Nazis.  I can't believe that a college would look the other way.  Jordan's not the only one who was confused by my typing.  I got about 12 e-mails asking me the same question.  For the record, yes, I know racism is still around.  I did, however, think eugenics had been long ago discredited.

Ray liked Stan's review of "JOHN WICK 3" and wondered what one movie Stan would like to see on TCM or available to stream?

Stan: There are so many but I think I would go with but I'll pick WHO IS KILLING THE GREAT CHEFS OF EUROPE?  It's a comedy from 1978 that stars George Segal, Jacqueline Bisset and Robert Morley.  Bisset was nominated for a Golden Globe for the film as was Morley.  It's a funny movie and I feel a lot -- a huge number -- of George Segal films are not available and that people don't realize what a great leading man he was in films.  I think most people today know him as the grandfather in THE GOLDBERGS and as Maya's father on JUST SHOOT ME.  And he's funny on those shows but he did some great film work and so much of it -- THE BLACK BIRD is another example. THE HOT ROCK,  -- is not available on streaming or showing on TCM.  He really is one of the most underrated leading film actors of the 70s and 80s -- he did THE DUCHESS AND THE DIRTWATER FOX with Goldie Hawn, with Jane Fonda he did FUN WITH DICK AND JANE, with Natalie Wood he did THE LAST MARRIED COUPLE IN AMERICA, A TOUCH OF CLASS and LOST AND FOUND with Glenda Jackson,  with Denzel Washington and Susan Saint James he did CARBON COPY -- he and Elliot Gould are probably the two forgotten leading men of their period and they really deserve more appreciation and more recognition.

Lawrence e-mailed to say he likes how Betty writes things like "We are really sad and pathetic" which finger point at all of us and not just at others.

Betty: Thank you, Lawrence.  I'm no better than anyone else and I try to make that clear in my posts.  Sometimes I get the point across, sometimes I don't.  But I'm just as much a product of the culture of fear that our media-government culture instills in us.  I do think that we all have more in common as people than we have different.

ZSX e-mailed to ask Isaiah about "Primary thoughts" and doesn't he feel he has an obligation to draw Donald Trump?

Isaiah: No, I don't.  First off, I have done comics about Trump -- both when he was a candidate and after he became president.  But I'm not obsessed with him.  I think so many people have let him steal their joy and have even become unhinged.  Chelsea Handler's spoken of her reaction to him and wrote about it in her new book as well.  Good for her on that.  But he is not all powerful and he is not God and this desire to make him your focus 24-7?  I'm not going along with that crap.  I lead a healthy life.  He is not the center of my world.  I also believe, firmly, that Trump -- as is true of all US presidents -- is more of a threat to non-Americans than he is to us.  In the US, we have checks on the executive branch.  Outside the US?  There's no check on a president's ability to kill -- whether in a declared war, an undeclared war, a secret operation, a drone war, what have you.  I look back at my life since 2016, and I'm glad that I've had a life.  I don't think a Debra Messing, for example, can make that same claim.  I laugh daily, I see friends, I go to church, I am with my family, etc.  I do not let Donald Trump dictate my life.

And, since this is a humor question -- Isaiah does comics, we also brought Wally and Cedric in on this one.

Wally: Like Isaiah said, there are too many people who are obsessed with Donald Trump.  Their every day, their every hour is about him.  They're pathological and they accomplish nothing.  If we have a Trump joke, we'll do it, but he's not our go to.  Cedric and I are much more interested in those with a pathological response to Donald Trump than we are with Trump.  Look at the ridiculous Fran Lebowitz.

Cedric:  So many just let him steal their joy, so many just give him their power.  To us, the big jokes are the Alyssa Milanos and Debra Messings who live on Twitter and are constantly in a rage.  They're not very smart and never really understand an issue but they Tweet constantly.  They think they're brave and bad-ass but they're really just centrist Democrats who don't know the issues -- whether it's Syria or healthcare -- and really need to sit their tired asses down.  It's also true that we don't want to live in a panic and always be trembling the way those ridiculous professional victims appear to do.

 "5 great tracks from Dionne Warwick" went up after an e-mail had come in from SnowCap79 wondering if Elaine had stopped noting music at her site?

Elaine: I try to do that at least once a week.  I don't always succeed.  That should be my blog's subtitle "I don't always succeed."  And I'm fine with that.  But, yes, in a perfect world, I would be doing music twice a week.  I think it provides more reality and humanity than what passes for a 'news' program these days ever could.  I trust music, I don't trust those that sell wars.  To relate to a topic above, my life does not revolve around Donald Trump.  I happen to love Jack Johnson's music but I do not have ALL THE LIGHT ABOVE IT TOO and I haven't listened to that album and don't plan to anytime soon.  I don't need Donald Trump on my speakers.  And I do not need Jack Johnson bringing Trump into my home.  I don't know why he felt the need to be partisan but I don't need Jack Johnson to tell me who to vote for.  There are so many great and needed topics to write about, I don't see Donald Trump as one of them.  I kind of thought the agreement that Jack had with those of us who listen was that he'd provide a better world in his songs, not focus on crap.  He broke that agreement with me.

Laverne, a Green Party members, wrote Friday asking why Ann didn't highlight the Green Party at her site.  Ann, for the record, just did a post entitled "Howie Hawkins."

Ann: I understand Laverne's frustration. I do share it.  But the reality is that the Green Party still doesn't use the internet the way they should.  C.I. highlights the Green Party more than I do and she gets e-mails from the Michigan group, for example.  But she would highlight them daily if they had that kind of content.  I don't know why the party itself on a national level can't offer a press release every day -- at least one.  I don't know why Green candidates are not willing to use the internet to get out there repeatedly in front of the people.  There's a move to draft Howie to run for president.  That was my excuse for highlighting his Tweets in the post I did.  But too many days there is no Green issue to highlight.  I understand Laverne's frustration and share it.

Peter notes Rebecca's "dynasty - a blake and crystal episode" and wonders what her hopes for the show are and who she'd pick to be the new Alexis?

Rebecca: I think the show needs Alexis and that it needs to be a strong actress.  My personal choice? If I were casting, I would cast Heather Locklear in the role immediately.  If I were Heather and wanted the part, I'd have it written into my contract that I was not to be a foil for Fallon but an actual character.  Too many of the characters exist solely to advance Fallon.  I'm watching DYNASTY, not FALLON.  I like Fallon but most episodes have way too much of her.  My hopes for the show?  A recasting of Steven and Steven and Sammy Jo back together.  There's really no reason for Sam to be on the show if he's Steven's ex-husband.  Certainly, no reason for him to live at the Carrington mansion.  I also firmly believe that Monica Colby needs to do more on the show, she is one of the best characters and probably the only one the audience can really relate to.

Many wrote on about Ava and C.I.'s "TV: NETFLIX continues to underwhelm" with most hoping Ava and C.I. will continue to cover NETFLIX because, in the words of Rhonda, "they are the only ones who really report as opposed to just quoting from a NETFLIX press release."

Ava: Thank you, Rhonda and everyone else.  We will continue to cover NETFLIX -- we address it this week.  But we will continue to cover it -- both in terms of reviewing programming and also in terms of using our sources at NETFLIX to explain what's really happening.  The so-called press specializing in entertainment has given NETFLIX one pass after another.  Their economic model is not feasible and people at NETFLIX we speak with grasp that -- even if the press pretends otherwise.

A. McDougal wants to know when Kat will be doing another music review.  That e-mail came in before Kat's "Kat's Korner: Dionne's back and she's better than ever" went up Sunday.

Kat: I wish I did album reviews every week but (a) I'm lazy and (b) I don't always have something to say about a new album.  I try to do 11 a year now and a wrap up for the end of the year.  I've only done three so far this year.  I need to do more.  Hopefully, I'll get on the ball.  I like Imagine Dragons' ORIGINS, for example, but I only started listening to it this month -- it came out in November.  Do I review something like that?  Is there a point?  I think actually there is.  I think my audience is a little different and that I can add a spotlight that might turn on a few more people to it.  Who knows?

Conor e-mailed asking what Marcia thinks will happen to Chelsea Manning?  Marcia's "The witch hunt of Chelsea Manning continues" last week was her most recent piece on Chelsea.

Marcia: My guess?  My hopeful guess is that we're all so outraged that the court is forced to release Chelsea -- she's back behind bars again for refusing to testify -- and that they're forced to drop any fines against her.  They are no longer just holding her behind bars to try to force her to testify, they are now also charging her for each day.  That's outrageous.  She's a whistle-blower.  She performed a public service with her brave actions.  I am very appalled that only one presidential candidate -- Tulsi Gabbard -- has spoken out against what is being done to Chelsea and to Julian Assange.

Judy felt Ruth's "Doris Day has passed away" deserved praise and she writes, "I'm a few years younger than Ruth is but wonder if she's realized how many great people we are going to be losing in the next ten or so years?"

Ruth: Yes, I am aware.  It is scary.  Most of the great MOTOWN artists are now over 70 so that means many of them could be gone.  We will be losing many actors from TV shows we loved in the fifties, sixties and seventies.  We have already lost so many who were major cultural points in my lifetime: Mary Tyler Moore, Aretha Franklin, Prince, Penny Marshall, Stan Lee, Herman Wouk, Tim Conway, Peggy Lipton . . .  It is something, the passage of time.

"Tulsi house party you can do" resulted in Charlie e-mailing to say to thank Mike for the great idea.

Mike: All I did was take C.I.'s suggestion in the gina & krista round-robin and blog about it.  But I'm glad if anyone runs with it.  It was really productive when Elaine and I did it with our friends.  I'm firmly supporting Tulsi Gabbard and I hope others will be inspired by her as well.

You can reach us at or at and we do try to read all e-mails.

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