Sunday, August 06, 2017

Truest statement of the week

Corporate social media is not neutral. It’s not especially social either, except that like so much else in capitalist society, the product is produced by ordinary people – our social interactions, our entertainment choices, our networks of friends and associations and all the rest which is captured by outfits which claim it as their private property to be sold to the highest bidding marketers. Social media is on the one hand a deceptively named marketing contraption, and on the other an actual tool of ruling class propaganda and information suppression.
The aggregate of human interaction hijacked by Google, Facebook, Amazon and their lesser cousins is in moral truth as much the commons as are nature and the environment. It’ is impossible to imagine a truly just world where the public conversation doesn’t belong to the public, where these things belong to and are run any other way than in the interest of all the people rather than that of a handful of billionaires and their stooges. That place and time is some distance away yet, but there are things we can do today.

-- Bruce Dixon, "It's Getting Real – Google Censors the Left. And Us." (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

A Sunday.

Somehow we did it two weeks in a row.

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,
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?

Another truest for Bruce Dixon.
The Iraq War continues while people treat reality like a sports game.
Ava and C.I. weigh in on THE GUEST BOOK.
Justin Raimondo gets this one.
Transphobia has no place on the left.
Beyonce will never be all that her desperate fan base wishes she were.
Another TESR evaluation.
Again, this is becoming a regular feature.
So much, actually.
The efforts to censor . . .
. . . must  be fought.
What we listened to while writing.
Press release from Michigan Greens.
Press release from Senator Isakson's office.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.


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

Editorial: It's not either/or, it's both + and

How simplistic is your world?

Maybe you're so stupid you go around applauding Barack Obama.

He didn't close Guantanamo, he didn't provide single-payer, he failed in his promise to end the Iraq War.

He was destructive to the entire earth.

And maybe if you got your head up out of your ass, you could grasp how he's seen around the world.

Around 20,000+ bombs dropped in Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and more. Obama is indirectly responsible for the deaths of thousands.

He's a dickhead. He's responsible for the death of thousands of innocent people in Yemen Somalia Syria Iraq and Afghanistan

And millions of displaced. Let's not forget he turned Libya into a failed state & war zone, there is currently a civil war there.

Of course, to grasp that, you'd have to have a brain and not just a worship impulse.

Not a lot of brains on Twitter.

Dems gave us Social Security, Medicare and ACA. GOP gave us Watergate, Iran-Contra, Iraq Quagmire, Trumpcare and Russiagate.

The GOP also ended slavery, if you want to play that game.  The Democrats also gave us Vietnam.

Still want to play?

Reality: No one's hands are clean.

Reality: The Iraq War goes on and your refusal to grasp that goes a long way towards explaining why global opinions of Americans continue to be so low.

TV: An anthology can be a very weak collection

"I'm not normally a strip club kind of a guy," Danny Pudi says over eight minutes into THE GUEST BOOK.  Pudi built up a lot of good will over several seasons of COMMUNITY playing Abed.

As the episode continued, he pretty much used up every bit of it.

a new illst

"She gave me a nickname right away: Tiger!" Danny Pudi voiced overed. "Up to that point, the closest a woman has ever come to calling me a Tiger before was when my wife called me a p**sy at my uncle's funeral."

In the role of said wife?

Lauren Lapkus is . . .

A nightmare?

Her role of Sandy is a non-starter.  Anne Ramsey was more sympathetic and lovable in THROW MAMA FROM THE TRAIN.

Typical worry for Sandy?  That her husband will drive drunk, hit someone and end up in prison sleeping all day "while I have to raise that screaming banshee you put in my twat."

THE GUEST BOOK is TBS' attempt at a new sitcom -- a comedy anthology, in fact.

They've never worked, by the way.

Anthology shows were all the rage in the fifties.

Academy Award winner Loretta Young moved over to television in 1953 with a dramatic anthology series which ran for eight seasons and won a Golden Globe and four Emmys (three for Loretta).


The bulk of the anthology shows were dramas.  On the list previously, Danny Thomas, Bob Hope and Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez included comedy.

In terms of the fifties and comedy anthology shows?  There was THE EDDIE CANTOR COMEDY THEATRE.  And for America, that was pretty much it.

In the late sixties, LOVE AMERICAN STYLE would come along and actually be a success.

However, it was the exception.

LOVE BOAT and FANTASY ISLAND are not classified as anthology shows but that is what they were.

And they introduced the notion of a regular weekly cast to comedy anthologies.

A regular cast playing the same characters.  CAROL & COMPANY might have benefited from something similar.  The two season NBC comedy anthology presented the same cast each episode but in different roles each week.

Greg Garcia has at least surrounded his show with recurring characters -- locals who interact with each episode's guests.

RAISING HOPE was Garcia's gem.  His duds include FAMILY MATTERS, MY NAME IS EARL and YES, DEAR.

How does GUEST BOOK rank?

It's better than his duds but, as yet, it's no RAISING HOPE.

It strives to be funny but it rarely is.

Episode two features Stockard Channing who is a good sport but really can't bring her devout Christian character to life.

At one point, reading the lodge's guest book, she notes, "Some lunatic wrote a filthy story in the guest book about women and feet.  I can't imagine how crowded hell must be these days."

You can imagine Vicki Lawrence going to town on those lines.

Stockard doesn't.

Other efforts at humor also fall flat such as when Stockard's adult son reveals how he got his atheist fiancee, played by Mary Lynn Rajskub, to accept the cross given her, "I told her I would go down on her four times for every time she goes down on me."

There are often outrageous lines that would produce huge laughs if the scenes -- and the timing -- were shaped.

That's the problem with single-cam shows.

Actors mistake it for drama.

They're unable to bring it to life.

They shoot the scenes and head home.

And convince themselves they've brought the script to life.

They rarely do.

MY NAME IS EARL is party of what destroyed NBC Thursdays.

That hideous show was a single-cam show and it was not funny at all.  Many complained that it was preaching the cult Scientology.  They should have been more focused on the lack of humor.  It was a dud.  The ratings dropped each season.

It just wasn't funny.

YES, DEAR -- a dopey show, at best -- provided more laughs in one episode than MY NAME IS EARL managed in one season (and all the laughs from MY NAME IS EARL came via miracle worker Jaime Pressly as Joy).

We're not suggesting that the anthology series go multi-cam and live studio audience in season two.

We are suggesting that you don't write zany lines to be delivered as though you were ordering from the TGIF appetizer menu.

For example, why write Stockard's character into a non-believer at the end and give her lines explaining her leaving the church like this, "My nipples are an inch long.  Jeff won't even go near them.  They look like the tail end of a balloon animal."?

The point would seem to be for laughs.

But the laughs just don't come.

Maybe the answer is to cast comedians or sketch artists in episodes?

Tracey Ullman, for example, could create a character all on her own -- and judging by the episodes broadcast thus far, the cast is all on their own.


Otherwise, the best answer is for TBS to pull the plug and make this a one season series.

Tweet of the week

NEW FROM JUSTIN RAIMONDO: Has Seymour Hersh Debunked ‘’? Hersh says Seth Rich contacted

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