Monday, January 04, 2016

Truest statement of the week

As is always the case when he makes any references to the devastating conditions facing the bulk of the population, Obama speaks as if neither he nor the party that he presently leads has anything to do with it. But what is most striking is that the president accepts entirely the racial stereotypes that characterize bourgeois politics, and particularly the identity politics in which he embedded himself during his days in Chicago, namely that white workers are hopelessly backward and racist and are looking to be led by a demagogue. 

-- Niles Williamson, "Obama, Trump and the working class" (WSWS).

Truest statement of the week II

Braying and/or just dumb, 2015 was The Year of the Ass.  In fact, showing one's ass basicaly became the new high-five, punch-in, back slap, social greeting.

Jeb was blissfully unaware as he insulted Trump for . . . insulting others.  Blissfully unaware, but he was far from alone.  Some dropped their drawers, some were pantsed but visions of  butt cracks danced through everyone's heads as a chorus line of asses high-kicked their way through the year.

-- C.I., "2015: The Year of the Ass" (THE COMMON ILLS).

A note to our readers

Hey --

A Monday.

First, we thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

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

And what did we come up with?

A first truest for Niles Williamson.
A trust from C.I. (and she agreed only to finish this edition and get it posted).
If you're still drinking the Chicken Sop for the Soul at this late date, that's on you.

Ava and C.I. examine ABC's failed model.

TUSK is re-released, only to remind us of how bad the 70s were.
Another one bites the dust.
Could she really end up in the Oval Office?
We swear, we don't want to see them.
It does look like a young Barack.
What we listened to while writing.
Instead of highlights, we're noting year-in-review pieces.


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

Editorial: Barack's continued Iraq War

Chicken Sop for the Soul is being served.



Is it now and forever?

Ben Schreiner (DISSIDENT VOICE) notes, "Even so, it’s rather remarkable with American 'boots on the ground' in both Iraq and Syria that the leading contenders from both political parties -- from the neo-fascist reality TV star to that once 'dead broke' vagrant -- have actually pledged to escalate U.S. military intervention in the region by seeking to impose a 'no-fly zone' in Syria."

But do most Americans even talk about the boots on the ground at this point?

Seems like the only time any anger is expressed in the US over Iraq, it's to bring up Bully Boy Bush who left the White House in January 2009 and has largely lived under his rock ever since.

At a certain point, it's not that the media is dumbing us down.

No, at a certain point, we have to take responsibility for our refusal to recognize reality.

The Iraq War -- that we supposedly were against, the majority of most Americans were against -- has not ended.

So where's the outrage?

Drowned out by more servings of Chicken Sop for the Soul?

TV: Is ABC in the entertainment business?

How long would Ronald Meyer last as president and CEO of Universal Studios in 2016 if it turned out he had no new releases ready to exhibit?


We ask that because, despite continuing to bleed viewers each year, network television continues to display gross contempt for the viewers -- one network in particular.

If Meyer decided to bench Universal films for a few months, he'd be out of job.

So explain ABC to us.

SCANDAL and HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER (two dying but heavily promoted shows) do not return until February, ONCE UPON A TIME and QUANTICO do not air new episodes until March.

No other network is as bad as ABC,

Take NBC -- HEROES REBORN and THE BLACKLIST are among the shows that will return with new episodes on the network this week.

Like NBC, FOX is bringing back many shows this week.

And Tuesday is their new comedy block of all new episodes and this month also sees the return of THE X-FILES in mini-series format.

Yes, they're waiting until the end of March to bring back the network -- and TV's -- most talked about show (EMPIRE) but, hey, they're not ABC waiting until February to return FRESH OFF THE BOAT and THE MUPPETS, are they?

More to the point, Sunday night saw them begin airing two new shows.


The latter would do a public service if it would explain how to survive a bad sitcom -- which, for the record it is.

The live action show centers around a bland male lead -- yet another bland male lead.

It feels like every other failed FOX sitcom and the first episode seems to last as long as all of them combined.

Is there a point to the show?

Not really.

BORDERTOWN is the latest animated series from Seth MacFarlane.

It's frustrating as well.

But it stands a chance of getting better.

That's if it follows the characters and not the tired template that all of Seth's shows have been built around.

That template is dumb father,, dumber son, talking animal.

AMERICAN DAD used to air on FOX.

It started off a tired copy of FAMILY GUY.  Then it became something a little better as they explored Hayley more.  Then they married Hayley off on the show and pushed her to the back resulting in yet another lifeless show.  Not even sending Hayley's husband Jeff into space forever was enough to revive the show which now airs on TBS.

If that's where BORDERTOWN's headed, then there's no point in sticking around.

If they're going to make Becky a main character, the show might have something to offer.  (Voiced by Alex Borstein, Becky gets off the best joke in the pilot -- about wanting to get pregnant so she can fight for the legal right to an abortion.)

Both BORDERTOWN and COOPER BARRETT'S GUIDE TO SURVIVING LIFE should have started airing in December when there was so little original content.

With no real competition, they might have stood out.  Instead, viewers will most likely already be asking themselves how many more episodes they'll commit to?

Even if both series flop, however, FOX can point to them and other shows this month which demonstrate they tried.

ABC really can't point to anything.


Last season's slow building anchor returned for another brief run.

The attempt to pull in female viewers didn't mean any female characters being given meaningful time on screen but they did let a woman sing on endlessly about the need for the main character to take off his shirt -- she got more time in the frequently aired promo than in the actual episode.

And the ratings for the return underwhelmed.

As affiliates wait and wait for ABC to return brand product, it'll be interesting to see how long Ben Sherwood can continue to avoid criticism?

Fleetwood Mac's TUSK

1979 saw the supergroup Fleetwood Mac release the follow up to their monster album RUMOURS.  TUSK was an ambitious project -- an overpriced two-disc album which, guitarist Lindsay Buckingham has always insisted, was greeted with panic by executives with the Warner Bros. label who saw their Christmas bonuses flying out the window.

1977's RUMOURS would be certified for selling over 20 million copies.  By contrast, TUSK would be certified for selling 2 million copies -- but that's really one million because it's a double album.  (Check out the RIAA's certification policies if that's news to you.)

While the 1977 album would spawn the band's only number one hit (the Stevie Nicks' penned and sung "Dreams") and three other top ten hits (including the Christine McVie written songs "Don't Stop" and "You Make Loving Fun"), TUSK would only produce two top ten hits -- the highest charting was Stevie's "Sara" which reached number seven.

Yet, for some strange reason, when the album made its debut in the 90s on compact disc, the only song edited was . . . the biggest hit from the album "Sara."

Apparently the album's running time was too long for a single disc at the time and some genius, attempting to figure out which song to edit, said, "Oh, I know what will please people -- we'll edit the song the album's known for.  That'll please people."

It didn't.

And many fans of the band and fans of Stevie Nicks have avoided the CD version for years.

Though the edit was removed a few years ago, many didn't take notice and December's release of a new TUSK package may be the first chance the label has to get the news out.


The three disc set contains the full double album on the first disc -- with no edits.

It's the second disc and the notes that destroy the project.

The third disc is alternate takes of the same line up of the original album.

But disc two, twenty-two tracks, is nothing but crap.

Six different versions of Lindsay's insipid "I Know I'm Not Wrong" (a song that never charted in the top 100) and five of his overdone "Tusk"?

If you're thinking the other 11 tracks are all Christine and Stevie, you're wrong.

Christine's three tracks are "Think About Me" (which made it to number 20 on the top forty), "Honey Hi," "Never Make Me Cry" and Stevie's three are "Sisters of the Moon" (number 86 on the top 100), "Sara" and "Storms." The two women get six tracks.  The remaining five are more Lindsey songs.

Lindsey was a minor talent as a songwriter -- one who largely recycled the Mamas and the Papas.

The project reminds you of why Stevie's a star and why Lindsey's a freak.

Though Stevie and Christine consistently delivered the hits ("Landslide," "Rhiannon," "Say You Love Me," etc.) and Lindsey's freakish vocals were always something of a joke, so that the band wouldn't appear 'soft,' Buckingham was elevated as though his talent was equal to their own with his receiving more songs on each album than either woman.

There was also the never ending praise which tended to give him credit for not only his guitar work but for the drumming of Mick Fleetwood and the bass playing of John McVie.

TUSK was the last time Lindsey came off like a human being on a Fleetwood Mac album.

He'd fall for gadgets and sound like Gidget by the time MIRAGE came around.

He'd offer undeveloped song 'ideas' that left you groaning ("Empire State" and "Eyes of the World" come to mind).

Sexism was rife in those days.

And this helped Stevie and Christine.

Their fans saw how, despite their talent, they were treated as second class citizens by the rock press of the seventies.

It not only bonded them to their fans, it helped establish the critique of the inherent sexism in the rock canon that continues to this day.

As the three songwriters embarked on solo careers, Lindsey was the joke, the novelty act, who became a real freak when, after a decade of being know, he lied about his age (and ROLLING STONE let him) while promoting his failed solo album GO INSANE.

Meanwhile, Christine would get a top ten hit and a second top forty hit as a solo act while Stevie Nicks would become rock's high priestess with million selling albums with ten top forty hits and fifteen hits to crack the top forty of the US Rock Chart.

Lindsey would release nine solo albums -- not one of which went gold, let alone platinum.

Blame the critics who rushed to confuse his contributions to TUSK with genius.

The only thing he brought to TUSK was energy.

His songs themselves?

They said nothing, they offered nothing.

They were unshaped musical doodles.

But praised and egged on, he mistook himself for Brian Wilson (who actually knows how to write a song) and Lindsey's feet would never touch the ground again.

His nose is up in the air in the 'writing' Jim Irvin (failed journalist) offers for the package.


That's Irvin's term for "Sara."

Yeah, the album's most successful song.


The bulls**t sexism is back and front and center.

Irvin does little 'notes' on each track.

And for some reason, he always quotes Lindsey.

Even when it's Stevie or Christine's song.

Christine is never quoted once.

Stevie is quoted if she wrote the song.

But, again, so is Lindsey.

Lindsey was never Fleetwood Mac.

But sexism repeatedly served him up as the leader.

It was too threatening in the seventies for the rock critics to admit that the driving creative force in the band was two female songwriters, that the band's front person was, in fact, Stevie Nicks.

So she was short changed and a minor talent was repeatedly elevated.

If you're not getting just how short changed she is on this new release, check out the credits and you'll find she's only credited for vocals -- when the original release also noted her piano work on "Sara."

A lot of care was put into this package -- a lot of care to misrepresent.

Fans of Stevie and Christine should be outraged but so should any fan of the truth.

Yahoo Screen is no more

YAHOO SCREEN was a video service.

yahoo screen

It wanted to be like HULU or CRACKLE.

With Erica Oyama's Emmy nominated BURNING LOVE, it seemed likely that it could be a first notch video service.

In June 2010, Ava and C.I. hailed the program as the comedy hit of the summer.

And things only looked better as two more seasons of BURNING LOVE were offered and as YAHOO SCREEN offered a sixth season of COMMUNITY after NBC said 'enough' at the end of season five.

Rebecca long blogged on COMMUNITY and felt season five was a tremendous let down.  But from the first episode YAHOO SCREEN offered, she was singing its praises.

With a lower per episode budget and having lost long running characters, the show had to refocus and, in doing so, it hit a creative zenith.

But there will be no season seven -- as Angie Han (SLASHFILM) explains.

YAHOO SCREEN is being folded after too many financial losses.

Which is why HULU should be thrilled they've picked up THE MINDY PROJECT (after FOX cancelled it) and have finally created their own original show worth watching (DIFFICULT PEOPLE).

With a bigger push towards more original content (and not just offering clips from SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE), YAHOO SCREEN might have flourished.

Instead, it's now the AltaVista of streaming engines.

The nightmare -- for one and all

How could 2016 end?

One frightening scenario is played out in "Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Whatever Happened to Hillary Diane (American Horror Story)."

whatever happened to hillary diane

We'd all suffer -- not just Bill Clinton.

10 Things We Don't Want To See again in 2016

Bronze Booby Prize

1) Barack Obama's moobs.  Keep your shirt on, please.

Either that or buy a strong training bra.

2) More s**t served up by hack Medea Benjamin.

3) More silence on Iraq from hacks like Medea Benjamin.

4) More pretense that ObamaCare -- making a right to buy healthcare a legal obligation -- is the same as universal healthcare.

5) Andrea Mitchell's outrageous whoring for the Hillary Clinton campaign.

6) Narcissism passed off as self-empowerment.  And, by the way, if you really loved yourself, maybe you wouldn't show up for a Christmas music special and perform in your bra and panties?  Just saying.

7) More refusal to question Barack's 'plan' to 'liberate' Iraq by daily bombing the country.

8) More crap saying Jill Stein is the 2016 presidential nominee -- when the Green Party won't pick that nominee until August of 2016 at their national convention.

9) More censoring of Donald Trump.  A) Censorship is anti-democracy.  B) The more play his statements get, the more people can see what he's really like.

10) The Drone War.


Mike called it the Tweet of 2015.  We call it very, very funny.

I wish and would just work it out and get the band back together. its Xmas!!!
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This edition's playlist


2) Stevie Nicks' WILD HEART.

3) Stevie Nicks' BELLADONNA.

4) Stevie Nicks' IN YOUR DREAMS.


6) Steve Nicks' ROCK A LITTLE.





Year in review


"2015: The Year of the Ass" -- C.I. looks back at the year.

"The best of 2015 DVDs and Streaming"  "2015's best offeirngs for home video"  -- Ann and Stan cover home video.

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Whatever Happened To Hillary Diane? AKA American Horror Story"-- Isaiah shows us the 2016 nightmare.

"Kat's Korner: 2015 In Music" -- Kat picks the year's best.

"Ruth's Radio Report 2015" -- Ruth reviews the year in radio.

"2015 in Books (Martha & Shirley)" -- Martha and Shirley look at the community's  picks for the best in books.

"the 10 hottest hotties of 2015" -- Rebecca selects the year in hotties.

"Tweet of the year" -- Mike picks the best Tweet.

"My wish for 2016" -- Trina offers a wish for the year.

"TV: 2015 Fakery and genuine," "Candidate 2016 desperately needs," "Tweet everyone's talking about," "2015 Media Whore of the Year" and "2015's Song of the Year" -- our year in review contributions.

"2016: A Year of Barbarism?" -- Ben Schreiner's strong piece for DISSIDENT VOICE>

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