Tuesday, July 05, 2022

TV: Good taste is the reason viewers ran from MS. MARVEL

DISNEY+ has been promoting MS. MARVEL for weeks now and we even had a call asking us, pleading with us, to tackle the show as the DISNEY+ exec (and friend) argued, "You applaud strong shows with strong women."


Yes, we do.


Which is why we can't applaud MS. MARVEL.


What positive thing can you say about  MS. MARVEL?  That it trades one foreign stereotype ('exotic') for another ('fat')?


3 JESS

 

She's supposed to be a superhero.  Why is she so out of shape?  You'd think all that running would give her a muscular build -- or even make her thin.  It's like watching Hillary Duff try to play Sharon Tate -- the muppet face, the thick body, the weird  voice -- it's just not believable.


When the visuals aren't failing MS. MARVEL, the story is.


If this was someone's life project, we might be more forgiving.  There are many things wrong with, for example, YENTL in terms of story telling.  But Barbra Streisand worked years to bring it to the screen and it is set in another era (a film era, not a world era).  


This isn't the case with MS. MARVEL.  It's set in today's world and there probably are first generation American teenage girls who are fighting for freedom.  Hopefully, they aren't as pathetic as Kamala Khan is onscreen (she was never pathetic in the comic books).  Her parents won't let her go to a comic-con.  She's sixteen years old.  And they won't let her do this and they won't let her do that  And her mother is always tut-tutting.


Grow up.  America couldn't have related to that 20 years ago, let alone today. 


This isn't a superhero series, it's THAT MS. MARVEL GIRL!  Diamonds . . . daisies . . . snowflakes . . . THAT MS. MARVEL GIRL.  Remember when Ann Marie had to beg her father to let her be an actress living in New York?  Remember when Chrissy Snow had to beg her father to let her live with Janet and Jack?  Yeah, it's all these decades later and it's only more pathetic.


MS. MARVEL should have been a sure winner.  In the comics, Kamala's the closest to Peter Parker which is why this televised version that turns her into a female half-wit, their Lenny from OF MINE AND MEN, is so pathetic but it is so in keeping with DISNEY+. 


They want the world to believe that the reason for the poor response to this show is sexism and/or racism.


We were told that we would get that "right away" if we took a look at the show.


What we got was that Kamala's best friend Bruno (Matt Lintz) was better suited for being a super hero -- and action scenes -- than Kamala as played by Iman Vellani is.  


Kamala is an airhead, a klutz and a stooge.  That's quite a combination.  Somehow, we're supposed to find it cute and appealing.


That's how DISNEY+ rolls, you understand.


JESSICA JONES?  That was MARVEL via NETFLIX.  You won't find adult women on MARVEL via DISNEY+ -- you just find irritating and outdated stereotypes.



WANDAVISION was complete and total sexist garbage.  Because a woman fronted it to the press, and because she lied,  the press pretended otherwise. Jac Schaeffer (a woman) told the press that WANDAVISION was not sexist and that, "It was extremely important to me that we not do the lazy thing of having a superpowered lady who can't handle her powers and goes crazy."


And the dumb idiots believed her.  First off, watch the damn show and stop pretending that the final episode redeems all that came before because it doesn't.  Second, you don't need to go past that quote to grasp that Jac has internalized sexism.  Translation, who the hell says "superpowered lady"?  Third, that isn't the 'lazy thing,' it's the sexist thing and that she can't call it that goes to how she was able to put it in the series to begin with.


No feminist talks like that.


WANDAVISION was sexist and it got applauded.  It was applauded because it was sexist.


And then came DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS which as least didn't treat Wanda like a tinkly little toy object.  It went where the TV show was too timid to go -- to the full range of Wanda's rage.


And only then, when Wanda actually got to have a real range of emotions, did the reviewers -- the same ones who had praised the sexist WANDAVISION -- turn up to decry the sexism of this concept.  They didn't care that it was sexist on WANDAVISION because they could promote as 'positive' and 'uplifting.'  Truth, Wanda was just pathetic on that TV show.


Grasp that they had no problem with WANDAVISION's Wanda -- a sexist portrayal, to be sure.  But when the character possessed anger and fury as mighty as her powers, they were stunned and offended. 

 

Pathetic Wanda from WANDAVISION, trapped in bad sitcoms and barely using her powers each episode for anything other than Samantha Stevens type BEWITCHED magic soothed them.


This nonsense has allowed DISNEY+ to do one insulting TV series after another with women.  Men?  They get to be FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER (the best MARVEL series DISNEY+ has produced) or MOONKNIGHT or LOKI or HAWKEYE.  Women?  They're a joke.


An 'action' show about a female superhero ignores the woman's powers to instead put her in an episode of THE BRADY BUNCH or THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW or . . .   And now a show about Ms. Marvel that ignores her super powers and her learning to use them to have her instead face the glower of her mother -- it punctuates each moment of an episode like a canned studio laughtrack.  


And what, pray tell, is DISNEY+ going for with SHE-HULK: ATTORNEY AT LAW if not laughter?  That, and that reason alone, is why you hired Jessica Gao as your writer.


They don't treat women seriously. 


So along comes this portly 'superhero' with Mommy issues and, no, no one wants to watch it.  That includes us and we're actually fans of the MS. MARVEL comic book which we started reading with issue six -- in which she goes up against Wolverine and holds her own and in which her mother isn't in a single comic book panel the entire issue.

They don't treat women seriously.  How did Kamala get her powers?  In the comic book, it's tied to a larger MARVEL storyline but in the TV show she just gets a pretty bauble from a relative.  And, in the comic books, she has multiple powers (these let her win against Wolverine) but in the TV show, she's a glorified Green Lantern with all the power coming from that pretty little bracelet.  Gone are her healing powers, her strength, her shape shifting, her . . .


You really have to look down on women when you're taking a character that was created less than ten years ago and you're removing the powers she has and you're also changing her origin -- that connected her to the MARVEL universe -- to instead make her the lucky recipient of a bracelet that gave her powers.  


MARVEL has done lousy by women for years now and that includes in THE AVENGERS films.  It's equally true that Elizabeth Olsen should have demanded Scarlet Witch in those films have actual powers and not just theatrics.  She was more powerful than Dr. Strange but we didn't get to see that.  Nor were we ever shown one reason why Wanda would fall for the machine that was Vision.  We're not saying it couldn't have been believable -- it was in the comic books -- but we're noting it wasn't even shown.  


Until the emergence of Carol Danvers in the films (Carol was the original Ms. Marvel in the comic books) as Captain Marvel, women were treated as sidekicks.  DISNEY+ chooses to treat them as jokes.  Then they want to whine that no one's watching their sexist portrayals and whine that this refusal to watch garbage is sexism.


It's not sexism.  It's being discerning.  


And Sam Rami didn't direct a sexist film.  He didn't write the Dr. Strange sequel nor did he write WANDAVISION.  He took the character that writers created and made her an amazing powerful being. At last, Scarlet Witch is a force to be reckoned with.  You can call that many things but we honestly wouldn't call that sexism.  Nor we would ever recommend MS. MARVEL -- a dull and insulting TV series that makes an episode of DORA THE EXPLORER look like KILL BILL VOL. 2 by contrast.




 

Performative whores

fraud squad

 

 

The Supreme Court killed ROE with DOBBS and if you were expecting the so-called Squad to lead than you really are sad and sheltered.

Here's what one of the fake ass bitches said, Ayanna Pressley, come on down -- and don't forget your wig hat!


"President Biden must recognize this as the public health emergency that it is and commit to utilizing every executive authority necessary to protect abortion access, including expanding access to medication abortion and over-the-counter-birth control, and protect the safety of those seeking and providing abortion care. States including Massachusetts have taken steps to become havens for those seeking necessary abortion care and I encourage other states to follow suit.

“Abortion care is still legal in Massachusetts, and I urge residents to continue seeking care if they need it. To the millions of people whose rights have been stolen overnight due to the cruelty and callousness of this extreme Supreme Court, know that this fight is not over. The Senate must abolish the filibuster and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act into law. We must expand the court to restore its integrity. I won’t stop fighting for policies and budgets that affirm abortion care as the fundamental human right that it is.”


What Biden must do?  Bitch, you're in the US Congress.  What the hell are you going to do?


You showed more strength when you were wrongly praising Will Smith's attack on Chris Rock:

#Alopecia nation stand up! Thank you #WillSmith Shout out to all the husbands who defend their wives living with alopecia in the face of daily ignorance & insults


That Tweet shouldn't gotten your ass kicked out of Congress as you praised violence.  You showed you were nothing but filth when you wrote that Tweet.

Take your wig hat and shove it up your useless ass.  Nobody's buying your bulls**t anymore.


You and your other cowardly cohorts do nothing.  



Take AOC.  Whenever she's feeling especially down and powerless because, after all, she's just a sitting member of Congress so she has no real power, she does a 'reclamation.'  We shudder to think that her next social media post will be about how her taking a dump is now also a personal reclamation.  And, no doubt, a political act.


If so, it's the closest she's gotten to political off the campaign trail.


They're fake asses.  Every damn one of them.


They didn't protect ROE and they're not even working to bring it back.


But vote for 'em!!!! Vote for em!!!!


Otherwise, they might have to get real jobs.

 

---------------------------------


Illustration is Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Fraud Squad."





xxsszs

Media: RIP Black Agenda Report?

BLACK AGENDA REPORT is a staple of many on the left.  But that is changing.  


Glen Ford, Bruce Dixon  and Margaret Kimberley left THE BLACK COMMENTATOR to form BLACK AGENDA REPORT with Leutisha Stills, Nellie Bailey and Anthony Monteiro.  Somehow, those last three names tend to get left out.  We know CRAPAPEDIA is sexist so we weren't surprised that they had no entry on Margaret Kimberley.  But we were surprised that there was no entry on BLACK AGENDA REPORT or Bruce Dixon.  Glen only got an entry when he passed away last summer.  He was 71.  Bruce passed away two summers prior at the age of 68.  Now, in yet another summer tragedy, BLACK AGENDA REPORT appears to have passed away as well.


When created, it proclaimed it was "News, commentary and analysis from the Black left" and the radio program BLACK AGENDA RADIO no longer has a co-host but still proclaims it's a show "from a Black, left perspective."


We'd say we weren't sure why BLACK AGENDA RADIO continues to exist but the reality is that lefty public affairs radio program fight a real battle to get on the air on traditional radio stations and are loathe to ever give up the toehold they achieve.


BLACK AGENDA RADIO used to feature Glen and Nellie but now Margaret Kimberley hosts it alone. She does that as radio becomes less and less important.  She does it as BAR has allowed its internet video presence to completely die away.  Search "BLACK AGENDA REPORT" on YOUTUBE, for example, and you'll find yourself with Danny Haiphong and his LEFT LENS which Margaret sometimes joins him for.


Danny's not Black.  And his guests aren't either.  His last 20 shows have featured no African-Americans at all.  You have had Li JingJing and Ian Goodrum, Scott Ritter, Scott Ritter, Li JingJing and Ian Goodrum, Camila Escalante, Richard Wolff, Scott Ritter, Richard Wolff, Carlos Martinez, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Li JingJing and Ian Goodrum.  It would appear that the easiest way to get on LEFT LENS would be to be White and a convicted sex offender like pedophile Scott Ritter who is required to register as a sex offender but somehow isn't required to note that whenever he pops up online.


You have to go back 21 shows to get to Jacquie Luqman showing up with co-host Margaret to have Black faces on the program.


Danny's been allowed to take a lot of control since Glen died.  Too much in fact.  


Scott Ritter?  Really.  That's a guest to have?  Because one of the people most opposed to Scott Ritter being brought on as a trusted source is the late Bruce A. Dixon.  One of us (C.I.) knew Bruce fairly well through Bobby Rush (whom C.I. has known for years) and we spent Sunday morning working on C.I.'s semi-infamous journals which, prior to the Iraq War, were bound journals with letters stapled in and photographs.  But, as the Iraq War required speaking out regularly, the journal  became boxes of individual papered journal entries, letters, e-mails and photographs.  We were looking for a particular exchange and there it was, at the end of 2005, Bruce expressing his disbelief over the tour Sy Hersh was doing with Scott Ritter when Scott's arrest was fully known.  Bruce didn't buy the cover story Ritter was peddling about it being nothing, the arrest just being an attempt to discredit him.  And Bruce couldn't believe Sy was using his own reputation to save Ritter from being known as a pedophile.  Bruce wrote at length of how distasteful he found this and why.  (On the latter, if Margaret was at all close to Bruce, she knows exactly why Bruce found Ritter offensive.)


So, congratulations, Danny Haiphong, you didn't just stab BAR in the back, you stabbed one of its founders in the back.  


But founders are dead or disappeared these days at BAR  Per the official story, only Margaret Kimberley remains in this world -- take that Nellie Bailey, take that Leutisha Stills and Anthony Monteiro.  While they are disappeared, BAR does now manage to publish Richard Medhurst -- who, like Danny Haiphong -- is not Black.


What was once supposed to be an outlet providing "News, commentary and analysis from the Black left" has now morphed into something far different.


Is it too late to fix things?

NETFLIX has been on a very dangerous trend lately -- stand up revue specials that just don't cut it -- like the one Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin hosted and the one before that which Billy Eichner hosted.  We weren't expecting much from Amy Schumer and company after that. 


But, what do you know, put an actual successful stand up comic in charge of a stand up revue and she can deliver.  Amy Schumer sure did.  And she didn't go for applause, she went for actual laughs via actual jokes.  AMY SCHUMER PRESENTS: PARENTAL ADVISORY was hilarious -- that was Amy, that was her guests Ron Funches, Jaye McBride, Christina P.m  Rachel Feinstein, Chris Distefano and Lil Rel Howery.  It was a hilarious special and, after the last two stand up revues, who would have thought that was possible.  It was a bigger surprise than finding a worthwhile documentary on AMAZON (which we did, TRACKING EDITH).  


So who knows, maybe BLACK AGENDA REPORT can pull itself out of its death spiral?  One step that would help immediately would be putting BLACK AGENDA RADIO on YOUTUBE.  They don't have to provide video.  It wouldn't hurt -- but even just the weekly audio with a blank screen would be an improvement.  It also needs to recommit to its purpose.   Otherwise, it really is time to start making funeral arrangements.

 

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For more on this topic, please see Betty's "Danny Haiphong has destroyed BLACK AGENDA REPORT" and "It's called BLACK AGENDA REPORT for a reason" and Marcia's "They have destroyed Black Agenda Report."



Ty's Corner

 ty

 

Oh, Glenn.  At the end of the day, you still suck a cock.

 

I don't have time for Glenn Greenwald.  As he rushes around in a flurry to dry hump every conservative journalist and reassure them that homophobic Clarence Thomas is a 'good guy.'  

 

Glenn's whole shtick began in college where the scared little gay guy sought out conservative men -- in part due to his strong urges for humiliation.  And there he let them tell their f*g jokes and reassured them that others were just too sensitive and couldn't take a joke.  He provided cover for homophobia even back then.

 

He went onto self-style as an important voice.

 

But he always got it wrong.  

 

He was for the Iraq War, for example.  And he went around whoring for Barack Obama, a fact he loves to lie about now.  But he and his hag Jane Hamsher.  He felt so like a boy around Jane as they trashed Hillary Clinton with sexist remarks.  He never apologized for that.  He pretends like all the whoring he did for Barack never happened, just like he tries to fudge the truth about his support for the Iraq War.

 

And he's wrong again today.

 

 

Clarence Thomas made clear in his concurring opinion in DOBS that he wants to overturn marriage equality and return to the days when anal sex was illegal

 

So it's really pathetic to watch Glenn Greenwald rush around insisting that Thomas is a good guy.

 

He's not.  He's a piece of trash.  One who is actively working to overturn the rights of the LGBTQ community.  And Glenn's giving him cover.  Glenn attacks the Ts in the group and makes the transphobic thinks that's okay because, well, a gay guy does it so it's okay.

 

That's all Glenn Greenwald's ever been -- the excuse for straight people to attack LGBTQs and, at the end of that road, Glenn may yet found out, that ends with them attacking him as well.  David Brock is pretty pathetic.  But at least he was able to finally see as the 90s wound down that there was no place for a gay man in the GOP.  Glenn's more pathetic than David Brock.  As he plays footsie with the people who would kill us, he doesn't grasp that, at the end of the day, to them, he's still just a cocksucker like the rest of us.


-------


Added: An e-mail came in telling me I was a homophobe.  Bitch.  Please.  You should have known, I'm a gay, African-American man.  That's a known if you've ever read this site before.  So spare me the "As a straight man, you should not say . . ."  As an idiot, you should not e-mail -- how 'bout that?  Sounds good to me.


Some important videos you may have missed

 While others have dithered in the wake of the Supreme Court killing ROE, Katie Halper's been on a hot streak.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is a story of betrayal -- one long betrayal

Repost from THE COMMON ILLS:

 

Today is a story of betrayal -- one long betrayal

The Supreme Court struck down ROE V WADE today.


Who's to blame?


There's a lot of blame to go around.  We need to be sure to blame our so-called friends.


You know the ones, the people who have betrayed us repeatedly.  Do not encourage them by being a doormat now.


ROE V WADE on Thursday June 24, 2022 did not mean what it meant when the ruling originally came down.  That's because politicians have repeatedly watered it down.  Year after year.


It's so important, Joe and Nancy tell us, it's a woman's right.  It's healthcare, it's about fairness and --


I believe that.


But if they truly believed that,  how do they explain doing nothing to assist working class women and women in poverty?  Those were the first women targeted when ROE became the law of the land.


The politicians talk really good but they don't do a damn thing.  


They stood by, the entire Democratic Party, year after year, as ROE V WADE was gutted and watered down and they had arguments over trimesters and wanted to look 'reasonable.'


Look, here's one of the liars now, Hillary Rodham Clinton:


Most Americans believe the decision to have a child is one of the most sacred decisions there is, and that such decisions should remain between patients and their doctors. Today’s Supreme Court opinion will live in infamy as a step backward for women's rights and human rights.


Really, Hilly?


Because I wasn't born yesterday and I damn well remember even THE NEW YORK TIMES being shocked by you joining the chorus of the post-2004 election with claims we needed to back off abortion and we needed to do this and that.  


"Shared ground."


Did you forget that?  Were you too busy last night worrying who Bill slept with to remember what you actually did?  January 2005, Patrick Healy's "Clinton Seeking Shared Ground Over Abortions" ran in THE NEW YORK TIMES.  


Hillary, you weren't fighting for abortion rights, so don't pretend that you were.  You're one of the reasons -- and a symptom of the corruption -- that landed us here.  


Don't try to be SHERO when you've been a backstabbing, self-serving shrew.


The Democratic Party knows women think they have no where else to go.  Many Republican women began fleeing the Republican Party to go over to the Democratic Party -- that waves began in the 80s -- due to that party's anti-choice stance.  


Year after year,  women were lied to and we were used.



To the younger generation: Be smarter than we were.


(Which, honestly, won't be that hard to do.)


We believed the liars.  We believed that they gave a damn.  The liars who showed up at election time to tell us that we had to vote for them to keep abortion legal.


These liars never fought for abortion.


They just wanted our votes.  


That's why we have the current make up of the Court.  


They voted for these people.  The Democrats didn't stop Alito.  They could have.  I'm not Senator _____'s former lover that he left crying in the halls of Congress after the Alito vote -- and if I weren't biting my tongue right now, I'd throw her to the wolves because she was another one of our 'friends.'  Glad you got some senatorial dick _____, shame you didn't do what you were supposed to for abortion rights.  


You did it.  We saw it.  I know what your meltdown was about.  You were blubbering, no one else wanted to talk to you and, as usual, someone shoves me and says, "Go comfort her."  You were an embarrassment then, you're a bigger one now.  This is on you and anyone else in a pro-choice group that saw their role in DC as whoring around with male politicians.  You weren't doing what you were paid for -- unless the male members of Congress were paying you, dear.


And let's be clear that I'm not speaking of Cecile Richards.


No, problems with Cecile are that she's a weak ass who never should have been put in charge of a serving line -- let alone Planned Parenthood.  "Abortion Barbie,"  Is that what we're going to remember her for?  That turn of phrase.  The idiot didn't help abortion rights and wouldn't have known how.  She accomplished nothing in her life except for riding on Mommy's coat tails.


Now I loved Ann Richards.  But my love for her does not mean I think we need to put her half-wit daughter in charge of a pro-choice organization.


She got a year book credit -- she did nothing -- but Cecile got a year book credit and isn't that enough?  Shouldn't we all be happy?


No.


It's not enough.


These are fundamental rights and not only did politicians lie to us and use us but our so-called leaders did as well and we saw so many inept women elevated to positions of power when they had no experience and when they repeatedly accomplished nothing.


We needed a voice, an advocate, not someone slipping into bed with Senator ____.  We needed women who knew how to fight not women playing footsie under the table with the senator while they insisted to us that they were focused on our needs.


A lot of liars brought us to this moment.


That does include Ruth.  Yes, RBG.  Ruth Be Gone.  


It's a shame Barack Obama was not Fitz on SCANDAL.  Had he been, he could have just taken care of her like Fitz did with Supreme Court Justice Verna.  



Ruth gambled.  She gambled with our rights.  We didn't give her the okay to do that.


And let's stop the nonsense about why she did it.


She did it for 'female solidarity.'


Not with you.  No, she didn't care about you.  She didn't care about the average woman.


Ruth refused to take her sick ass off the Court the way Barack asked her to (begged her to) because she KNEW Hillary was going to win and she was going to announce her retirement right after Hillary was sworn in so that Hillary could appoint a woman justice -- the First Woman President!!!!! Appointing a woman to the Supreme Court!!!!!


I hope she got wet vag while she was fantasizing that.


I mean, I hope Ruth got something out of it.


Because we sure as hell didn't.


If you're not getting how politicians on 'our side' played you for years, think of the Global Gag Rule (aka Mexico City policy -- wherein if you take US funds and you're an organization in another country, you are forbidden from discussing abortion).  A number of pro-choice organizations spent years whining like little babies about the Global Gag Rule.


'Oh, it's wrong' -- they told us -- 'Donate! Donate! Donate!'


And they never really pushed for it to be outlawed.  That would require action.  And they were in DC to party and to play, apparently to get some dick, and to play and, honestly, to betray.


These organizations are  now using ROE V WADE being overturned to steal more money.  (Again, real organizations do not put someone's daughter -- someone's ineffectual daughter -- into a leadership role just because her mother was famous.)


So the politicians in the Democratic Party could have ended the gag rule at any time.  They could have passed a law.  That is, someone remind Nancy Pelosi, why they are in Congress:  To legislate.  


But they didn't pass the law.


Instead, what we saw was a never-ending back and forth that treated women and women's rights like a political football while team Dem and team GOP did what they wanted.


Bill Clinton is president!! He'll do an executive order!!!


And he did.


And then Bully Boy Bush undid it.


And then Barack put it back.


And then Donald Trump undid it.


And they told two friends and they told two friend and they told two friends and so on and so on -- as the shampoo commercial used to say.


They did nothing.


The party didn't want to do anything.


They held women hostage each election cycle.  (The same way that the GOP uses gun rights to hold people hostage each election cycle.)  


At any point, they could have ended the Global Gag Rule on abortion with the passage of a law.


At any point, they could have codified ROE V WADE into law.


But to do so might mean lower turnout.  If we can't frighten the women into voting for us, why will they????


They won't.  You do nothing for women.  You gutted the safety net which doomed families.  That effects all children and it effects some men but it effects a huge number of women.  Not a lot of dead beat Moms out there (though, if you are one, take comfort in having Melissa Etheridge as your poster gal).  


This doomed the lives of many woman.  It doomed the lives of their children.  


But Bill and the Dems wanted to please big business ('reinventing government was the buzzword) and they wanted to show they were tough -- on the people most in need.


Their actions do not warrant voting for them.


If you're someone on the left, the Democratic Party's actions do not warrant you voting for them.  


The last real attempt to help Americans was LBJ's Great Society program.


Look at right now, Biden put a privatization czar on the Social Security on the board that overseas Social Security.  We were just noting that in yesterday's snapshot:


Joe Biden has destroyed the economy with his war of choice and yet a lot of idiots will continue to defend him. He is not your friend, he is not on your side.  Matthew Cunningham-Cook (JACOBIN) points out:


Last month, President Joe Biden nominated a longtime advocate of Social Security privatization and benefit cuts to a key board overseeing the Social Security system. The move comes as Republicans get ready to push cuts to Social Security and Medicare, if they end up winning control of Congress during the November’s midterms, as expected.

The development suggests that there could soon be a coordinated push in Washington to cut the Social Security program, which provides retirement, disability, and survivor benefits to 66 million Americans.

On May 13, Biden chose to nominate Andrew Biggs, a fellow at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute think tank, for a Republican seat on the bipartisan Social Security Advisory Board, which was created in 1994 to consult the president and Congress about the Social Security system.

For years, Biggs has been a vocal critic of expanded Social Security and workers’ right to a secure, stable retirement free from the vagaries of the stock market. He has dismissed the retirement crisis as a nonissue and as recently as 2020 blamed problems with the Social Security system on “older Americans’ game of chicken.” And two decades ago, Biggs worked on a George W. Bush administration commission that pushed to privatize Social Security.


The fake assery of Joe Biden. 


At the end of this month -- which is next week -- the provisions put in place for school lunches two years ago as the pandemic started will expire because Nancy Pelosi didn't fight for it.


Women have many  issues to address.  But the issue of children falls overwhelmingly on women.  And the politicians don't give a damn.  In 1980, Jane Fonda produced 9 TO 5.  Where are our are onsite day cares?  If you can visualize it or dream it, they're supposed to be able to build it.  It was dreamed and visualized in the blockbuster film 9 TO 5, so where are they?


Time and again, what we need, we what we can identify as a need, is not delivered.


And time and again, Dems in need of votes talk a good game but, after the election, they deliver nothing.


Nancy, we're still waiting for all US troops to be pulled out of Iraq.  We're still waiting.  Harry Reid's excuse is that he's no longer in the Senate (and he didn't want to pull them out anyway) but what's your excuse.


Better question: What is your accomplishment?


Nothing.


Another year book credit, that's all Nancy being Speaker of the House was.


Women care about many things.  And women haven't been served by Congress.  Our needs have been ignored.  Budgets have excluded us repeatedly because 'there just isn't money, you understand.'


There's not money for a mother without a job in this market but there's $54 billion to give to Ukraine?


Now some women like war.  For example, there's a Hollywood starlet cheering on war on Russia who's married to a man who says he's bi.  And maybe he is.  But his last female partner  noticed the same thing that his current wife endures -- when he drags one man after another into bed with them, somehow, the two men always end up with their mouths on each other.  And the woman waits and waits and the men move further and further away from her in bed.  


He's not bi, honey, he's gay.  But he can't face it and apparently neither can you.


If there's anything sadder than being the beard it must be being the body pillow for a closet case.


At any rate,  some women do like war.  And some women are against abortion.  And some women like women and some women are Queen Bees who want to be the only woman in the room.  So speaking in generalities can be iffy.   But there are issues that have majority female support and Congress and the White House -- regardless of party id. -- do not meet those issues, do not address them.


The only thing that the Democratic Party had for women was: Vote for us to keep ROE legal.


It's not legal.  


It's been overturned.  


The issue now goes state by state.


The only thing that would have saved it would be legislating it.  But the Democratically controlled Congress refuses to do that.


As November approaches, they'll probably indicate that, if we turn out and vote for them, they'll do it next time -- the political equivalent of  "Check's in the mail."


If they wanted to do it, they would have done it already.

 

Not just this year, but at any time.  


Please note, Margaret Atwood wrote THE HANDMAID'S TALE in 1985.  That's before many of you were even born.  


They could have done it.


They refused to.


Shame on you if, as we did, you take them at their word and don't hold them accountable.


This is a very sad day for a lot of people.  


I'm sure if you're a young woman, it's especially disturbing for you.  Your whole life abortion has been a woman's decision -- as it should be.  Now you're having to fall back to a scary time many of us hoped was in the long ago past and something no woman would ever have to go through again.


I apologize to every woman out there because I was part of the problem.  I accepted what leaders said.  Don't do what I did.  You're much smarter than I am.  When politicians start talking their game, make them back it up.  And don't listen to your 'leaders' who show up to tell you who to vote for but don't call for action independent of politicians.  Those women aren't leaders.  They're making bank but they're not fighting for our rights.  


I believed women who told me I was unreasonable to think we could end the gag rule by passing a law or that we could do this or that.  We had to, these 'leaders' and 'activists' insisted, accept what we were given. And if you pushed back on that, because what they were advocating (silence and non-action) made no sense, you were told that you were being ungrateful.


And if you're dumb like me, you walked off thinking (as Cher would put it), "I am just one ungrateful little bitch."


No.  


We should have demanded. I should have demanded.  I can't change the past but I can urge you to watch closely for fake assery and to call it out when you see it.  


We were betrayed and that's what today is about.


It's been one long betrayal.  


Personally, I don't want to hear what the GOP did.  By 1991, if you thought the Republican Party was your friend on abortion rights (or much of anything else), you were smoking something pretty powerful.  The Republicans did what they said they'd do: Overturn ROE.  They apparently got tired of playing football and wanted to go home.  


But they couldn't have done it if Democrats hadn't betrayed us over and over and if we hadn't let them get away with it.


Today is a story of betrayal.  To the younger generation -- male, female and non-binary -- you're smarter than we were.  I don't have faith in politicians, I don't have faith in so-called leaders, but I do have faith in your ability and your strength to take up the fight and make this world what it needs to be.



 

 

 

 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

TV: Self-love doesn't help the vain get honest

Comedy is tricky. Or, we should say, good comedy is tricky. We keep getting reminded of that thanks to NETFLIX.



Take the ridiculous JANE FONDA AND LILY TOMLIN'S LADIES NIGHT LIVE. Huh?

3 JESS

It's a taped program. It's not live. In addition, it's billed wrongly as "an iconic celebration of women in comedy with stand-up sets from Cristela Alonzo, Margaret Cho, Michelle Buteau and more."

And more? What does that mean? "The professor and Mary Ann"?

Heather McMahan, Tracey Ashley, Brooklyn Decker, Iliza Shlesinger, Angelah Johnson-Reyes, Eliot Glazer, Rachel Bloom and June Diane Raphael are the "and more." It was too much for NETFLIX to list them?

That's a lot of talent, -- and much more comedic talent than the hosts had.

The comics are funny, it's Jane and Lily that are tragically out of step.

First off, we didn't need their garbage about Ukraine or anything else. This was not supposed to be a political special. Certainly not a war mongerer conference.

Did someone forget to inform Jane that she's supposed to be a radical -- not a conservative -- at this late stage in her life? She and Lily were pathetic. They decides to cite some 'heroes' and, strangely enough, for a comedy special, they couldn't seem to think of any comedians.  As an after thought, Jane appeared to remember Wanda Sykes (her co-star in MONSTER-IN-LAW).  Now, we know Jane's not ever going to cite Joan Rivers -- the two couldn't stand each other. But Jane was happy to name the late actress  Katharine Hepburn -- who loathed Jane. Lily and Joan got along so why didn't Lily cite Joan? It was a women's comedy special but both women seemed averse to female comics.


We really wish that these women who preach all the time and are forever patting themselves on the back could do a real self-inventory and get honest.  

For example, singer-songwriter Tori Amos.  Kat's "Kat's Korner: Jack Johnson finds his way back" addressed a lot of issues including that Tori's put partisanship above her art -- which is just sad.

But here's what sadder about these back patters who don't grasp that they are the problem.  That's Jane and Lily and it's Tori as well.

Let's focus on Tori.  How many times have we suffered through those women-in-rock and women-who-rock pieces?  We remember Tori forever complaining about those pieces.  

But Tori is responsible for those pieces.

She's been recording successfully since the early 90s.  So where are the women, Tori?

And don't bring up your daughter -- it's pathetic when nepotism is passed off as feminism.

Tour after tour, album after album, Tori keeps surrounding herself with men.  On stage, in the studio.

Maybe if the bitch would stop being such a Queen Bee and work with other women, it wouldn't seem so strange to sheltered journalists that a woman could rock.  Tori could have expanded the landscape long ago.

She's forever praising herself for being a feminist but just as Jane's never made a film that a woman directed, Tori won't go on stage with other women musicians.  

It's as though these women who are so entranced with their own reflection don't own an actual working mirror because they never see themselves as the rest of us do.

We were groaning when we saw Lily rush to cite her 'shero' Christiane Amanpour -- the woman who's always screaming for war -- be it on Libya or Sudan or Ukraine or what have you. Lily, you're a long, long way from peace, aren't you?

Listening to the women they listed -- which included Nancy Pelosi -- was to grasp just how out of touch they truly are today.

It was pathetic and it was appalling.

They offered no sense of history or perspective and we had to wonder about the omission of Cindy Sheehan since both women had praised Cindy in the '00s. Did Cindy's refusal to play in the duopoly game get her dropped from the list of admirable women?

If so, that may actually be more pathetic than Jane Fonda's promise in 2007 to keep speaking out against US forces on the ground in Iraq -- a promise she immediately broke.

And since the special was recently recorded, we were bothered that Sarah Weddington wasn't mentioned in the heroes list. Not a comic, but as we pointed out, none of the women were. Sarah should have been mentioned because the special was taped recently and Sarah is the one who successfully argued ROE V WADE before the Supreme Court. Apparently, as with Cindy, it was more important for Jane and Lily to note war hawks like Christiane Amanpour instead of women who actually took actions that mattered.

Watching the nonsense from Lily and Jane, we were reminded of Jane's film CAT BALLOU, specifically when Cat comes face to face with her former heroes, "Some gang of cutthroats and murderers. We used to whisper your names when we were kids - scared to say them out loud. How sad - you got old."

Indeed.

Gloria Steinem  posited decades ago that, unlike men, women get more radical with age. Are Lily and Jane not really women?

Lily's a lesbian so it was surprising that she didn't name any lesbians as a hero.

She was mainly attempting to act addle-brained. That was her comic bit.

It was a sad bit, a tired bit, but it was one more bit than Jane had.

Reality, Jane wants desperately to be seen as funny. She's wanted that for most of her adult life.

Why? When she truly was radical -- yes, as hard as it is to believe today, Jane was once radical -- some put her down by stating she was humorless.

That wasn't fair. Jane always had a sense of humor.

But she can't tell a joke. That is reality.

Give her a script and a character to hide behind and she can be delightful.

Let her play herself and . . .

Her most embarrassing industry moment remains the Academy Awards. She was delivering an intro about nominated scripts. She bore down on what she said were the two most scary words "Fade in."

She looked around at the somber audience quizzically, pondering where the laugh was?

She never found it.

She's just not funny. In fairness, this was the same night she chose to unveil ("sport," her detractors said) her breast implants and, for the woman who couldn't stop about telling people to make friends with their wrinkles, those huge fake boos were upstaging anything coming out of her mouth.

Except for the fake boobs, her hosting of the stand up program really called that former embarrassment to mind.

And it sort of put a damper on all that followed.

This is the second of NETFLIX's comedy events (third, if you count that HALL special) and we are left to wonder why they keep doing these?

Margaret Cho and Cristela Alonzo, for example, are two comics than can more than handle their own special, they don't need to be sharing the stage.

Margaret Cho acts in FIRE ISLAND -- a film streaming on PEACOCK.

Jane shouldn't do stand up. Stand up comedian Joel Kim Booster shouldn't try to write screenplays. He wrote the script for FIRE ISLAND -- an update on Jane Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. The first forty minutes are excruciating. Once we get into Joel's character and the film's Mr. Darcy, it begins to work. You actually care about those two.

Otherwise?

Too many movies -- and TV shows (think NAOMI) -- are just spitting out characters and confusing audiences.

The reason films used "types" -- Thelma Ritter and others for character roles -- was to help the audience follow. It's also why famous and semi-famous people are often cast in roles. Outside of Margaret Cho, most of the cast is unfamiliar to movie goers. Joel' screenplay starts with too many characters and they really needed to cast recognizable faces or at least distinct ones. CLUELESS, another update of Jane Austen, worked because it established characters and used 'types' -- the skateboarder, the preppie, etc.

Joel is fine as an actor but he front packs the script for FIRE ISLAND and it takes the film forever to recover. PSYCHOSEXUAL is the name of Joel's NETFLIX comedy special. It's often funny. Sounds like a qualifier is coming, doesn't it?

Because, of course, it is. His persona may just be saying things for humor. If that's the case, keep it up. But if he's serious about getting complaints from gay people about his jokes, he might try grasping that he's not The Voice for Gay America. His jokes come across as though they are. He doesn't say this is what he does, for example, he says it's what gay America does. And that may be why, for example, a gay man tells him that people like Joel Kim Booster are the reason his parents hate gay people.

Similarly, we present a feminist voice, not the feminist voice.

We tend to think we're right -- most people do. And sometimes we are. We think a lot of other feminists would be better off if they hadn't gone with the nonsense of "Believe all women." We were clear repeatedly that being a feminist does not mean that we walk along blindly or that we drop logic, reasoning or any other skills. Some readers were offended in 2016 when we began stressing that "believe all women" was a trap, not a feminist principal. But it seems many have now arrived at that belief.

NETFLIX is arriving at something. A reckoning?

We don't know. But just as it is not helpful to do a special for pride month focusing on gay rights when the big closer is a speech on abortion (again, not really an issue for the GBTs in the LGBTQ community), it's not really helpful to bring on hosts for stand up specials that think they can tell jokes when they actually can't. Just introduce the acts.

NETFLIX has recently (and thankfully) settled the lawsuit with Monique. That does not, however, mean that they've achieved representation. Joel Kim Booster's special was a strong addition to achieving diversity. We're still waiting on the trans special, however. If Dave Chappelle can deliver his jokes (and we support his right to do and NETFLIX's right to air it) then it's past time for the trans community to be on stage telling their own stories. That's what real representation is about -- authentic voices telling their own stories.

That's how we learn, how we expand and how we embrace. If NETFLIX really wants to help us with that heroic task and they want to make Lily Tomlin a host, might we proposed DEEP IN THE CLOSET WITH LILY Tomlin -- a 90 minute special where she dishes on how she spent a good chunk of 1978 pretending in public that she was in love with John Travolta. She could bring on others who felt they had to lie to American to have careers and we could all learn something from that. Sean Hayes could talk about how Cher accidentally outed him and Nathan Lane could talk about how Jason Alexander accidentally outed him.

 



Monday, June 20, 2022

Truest statement of the week

Felicia Sonmez demanded that The Washington Post live up to the highest standard — zero tolerance for sexism. She wouldn’t allow the organization to tiptoe around an issue our industry has tiptoed around for far too long. That’s why she’s no longer a reporter there. Or at least, that’s how it looks from afar.

In fairness, it’s exceedingly difficult to get the full story on a personnel issue. Privacy concerns make it difficult for an employer to be fully transparent. The Post told those who reached out last week it wouldn’t comment. I reached out to Sonmez but haven’t heard back.

According to a leaked termination letter, Sonmez was fired for, among other things, “maligning your coworkers online and violating the Post’s standards on workplace collegiality and inclusivity.” That came after several days after an internal dispute spilled out onto Twitter when another reporter, David Weigel, retweeted a sexist joke, and Sonmez called him out for it. The termination letter also cited Sonmez’s “insubordination.” Sonmez kept tweeting about newsroom culture after executive editor Sally Buzbee sent an email trying to squash the public back-and-forth.

But insubordination is a tool of necessity, used by every trailblazing journalist or activist working to change an unjust system. Sonmez was an activist trying to improve an industry long saddled by sexism. Her sin was trying to raise the bar on how sexism is treated inside newsrooms and covered by the media.

She was relentless, uncomfortably so. It’s why she stood out on the day NBA superstar Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash. While other journalists were praising his basketball legacy, she reminded people about the complexity of Byrant’s life, including a sexual assault charge. For that, she was briefly suspended by The Post and pilloried by many inside the industry and out, for daring to speak an uncomfortable truth — precisely what journalists are supposed to do. For that, and because she spoke openly about her status as a survivor, The Post prevented Sonmez from covering sexual assault cases. It was an egregious decision that spoke volumes about just how deep the roots of sexism remain.

-- Issac J. Bailey, "Felicia Sonmez’s Firing Highlights the Limits of Progress For Women In Newsrooms The Washington Post sent a message: Be nice when a man displays a bit of sexism. Or be quiet." (NIEMEN REPORTS).

 

 

 
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