Tuesday, July 10, 2018


Jim: Roundtable time and we're face to face for a change.  Remember our e-mail address is thethirdestatesundayreview@yahoo.com and we can also be reached at common_ills@yahoo.com.  Participating in our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim; 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); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report; Trina of Trina's Kitchen; Wally of The Daily Jot; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. Betty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.


Jim (Con't):  Okay, let's talk movies.  Rebecca?

Rebecca: Can summer try offering us something other than superheroes?  Have we not had enough comic movies in 2018 already?  We've had BLACK PANTHER, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, DEADPOOL 2, ANT MAN & THE WASP and we've still got VENOM, AQUAMAN and, in February of 2009, X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX.  Do we really need all of that?  It's so bad that the new MISSION IMPOSSIBLE looks like a return to reality by comparison.

Marcia: I think the burnout factor has set in.  I won't be surprised if AUQAMAN tanks.  The ones with a built-in audience tend to do well.  For the last decades, Aquaman has not had an established title, not a continuous one.  He's starred in limited editions comics.  Over and over.  I really can't believe what it took to get Wonder Woman, a comic book star, to the big screen by contrast to how easy it was for Aquaman.  I mean Batgirl is more popular than Aquaman.  Most DC characters -- male or female -- are.

Cedric: I agree and I wonder about VENOM too.  I'd like it to be a hit for Tom Hardy.  But you've got the issue of does it have a wide audience and also the issue of Michelle Williams has turned off a lot of people with her antics.  I do wonder why a Venom or Aquaman gets a movie before a Batgirl, Black Canary, Huntress, Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, Storm, She-Hulk or Spider-Woman.

Marcia: And, excuse me, Storm deserves a film.  You can strip her out of The X-Men as easily as you do Logan.  She's got a whole backstory that, like her powers, is hugely impressive.

Ann: Well it's not just the movies.  Look at THE CW.  They've got GREEN ARROW, THE FLASH, BLACK LIGHTNING, SMALLVILLE before they were ready for SUPERGIRL.  And then there's the way the big team of LEGENDS OF TOMORROW is basically men.

Cedric: Which is like the nonsense of DEADPOOL 2 where they killed off Vanessa and they argued it was okay for two reasons -- one, she comes back to life at the end and, two, they have so many other strong women in the film.  First, that doesn't excuse it, they're sidelining her for the entire movie.  Second, they didn't have a lot of other strong women.  Even if you include Leslie Uggams supporting character Blind Al, she's only one of three.  And there are what, 12 or 13 strong male characters in the film?  No, it doesn't even out.

Stan: And don't forget the Marvel universe on NETFLIX.   You've got THE PUNISHER -- was anyone really asking for that suck ass series?  No.  But it's a male character.  And you've got LUKE CAGE, IRON FIST and DAREDEVIL.  That's four Marvel shows that revolve around men.  You've got one that revolves around a woman: JESSICA JONES.  I don't understand why NETFLIX doesn't get slammed the way the movie studios do for its own failure to create female super hero programming.

Jim: Agreed.  Now you and Rebecca saw a film that wasn't a superhero film and you loved it, right Stan?

Stan: Right, SORRY TO BOTHER YOU.  We both loved it.

Rebecca: Stan notes it in "Hit comedy of the summer?" and it's a film that actually had something to say, an actual point of view.  Imagine that.  Alan J. Pakula may be dead but riveting films of interest still exist.

Ann: And after Stan and Rebecca praised it to us, Ruth, Cedric and I went and saw it.  See SORRY TO BOTHER YOU.

Ruth: It is hilarious and dark and has a point of view.  It is a great film.

Jim: An e-mail from reader Danny Y notes that he's glad we've upped our book coverage community wide.  Now, here, we just keep a running tally of the community sites' book reviews.  Mike, you did one on Saturday, "Media critiques -- Nora Ephron's SCRIBBLE SCRABBLE."

Mike: Right.  There's a lot of backstory on this.  First of all, we know everyone wants more book coverage.  So ideally we're going for one book review at a community site a week.  Second, Martha and Shirley do an end of the year piece on books the community loved.  There's been confusion regarding that.  Does the book have to have come out that year?  No.  If enough people want to vote for THE AGE OF INNOCENCE or THE GREAT GATSBY or whatever, that book can make the list.  So we're not just doing newly published books.  It's been a pretty varied list of books that we've covered -- both in terms of authors and genres.

Dona: I'm going to get them in here:
"Judy Garland (the biographies)" -- Kat.
"UNCOMMON TYPES: Let's kill whomever taught Tom Hanks to type" -- Elaine.
"Anne Sexton: THE COMPLETE POEMS" -- C.I.
"Charlotte Chandler's MARLENE" -- Elaine.
"A sexist woman writes She's a Rebel and distorts music history" -- Ann.
"barbara ehrenreich's 'natural causes'" -- Rebecca. 
"Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook" -- Trina.
"Blackfish City" -- Marcia.
"THE CHICKEN CHRONICLES by Alice Walker" -- Ruth.
"Harry Belafonte" -- Mike.
"THE SAME RIVER TWICE (Alice Walker)" -- Isaiah.
"Dancing with Demons: The Authorized Biography of Dusty Springfield" -- Marcia.
"Good for Jimmy Stewart, bad for readers" -- Stan.
"Conversations with Toni Morrison" -- Marcia.
"Forced Into Glory: Abraham Lincoln's White Dream" -- Ann.
"He Ran All The Way" -- Trina.

Dona (con't): So, with Mike's Nora Ephron review, that's 22 pieces on books.  And that doesn't count the pieces that make it into the community newsletters.  So far, C.I.'s the only one who's noted poetry.  I don't know if that'll change.  Bigoraphies are big and so is non-fiction.  So far, Marcia's the only one who's covered fiction.

Ty: And that's always been our short coming, community wide.  But to correct something that Jim said, we do have a feature we do hear on books.

Jim: Oh, that's right!

Ty: Yeah, we need to do one this edition.  So far, we've had "10 to Read (Rebecca)," "10 To Read (C.I.)" and "10 To Read (Jim)" and "10 to Read (Dona)."  We need to do another one this edition.  Cedric, can we grab you?

Cedric: Sure.

Dona: Actually, can we do Cedric and Marcia this edition?  I thought we had done Marcia and passed C.I. a note after I couldn't pull it up while Ty was speaking.  C.I. wrote back that Marcia did a list last October, before we started this feature.  So, Marcia, could we repost that or could you look at it and see if you wanted to update it?

Marcia: Absolutely.

Dona: Thank you. 

Jim: Let's stay with art and entertainment for a moment.  Ann, you've written about ABC's upcoming THE CONNORS.  You don't plan to watch.

Ann: No, I don't.  Sara Gilbert proved to be as big an ass as her real-life sister.  As fake too.  Had she kept her damn mouth shut, I'd be watching.  But her need to go on her lousy talk show and trash Roseanne Barr?  F**k you, Sarah.

Stan: And I agree 100%.

Jim: Okay, let's pull in Isaiah, Betty, Cedric, Ty and Marcia.  Roseanne was fired by ABC for a Tweet that called Valerie Jarrett a cross between the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes.  Thoughts?

Isaiah: I don't think Valerie looks like an ape or a monkey.  I also didn't realize she was African-American.  I've drawn her for years in my comics -- she was my favorite character during Barack's administration -- and I thought she was Persian.  I can completely believe that Roseanne did as well.

Cedric: The comment didn't bother me at all.  It still doesn't.  It may have been a bad joke, it may not have been, but it didn't strike me as racism.  The guy who played Kramer on SEINFELD screams the n-word at people in a club and no one pulls SEINFELD off the air.  The reaction to her Tweet was nonsense.  It had to do with her support for Trump and her success and the determination to silence her.  That's reality.  If anyone reading is unaware, all of us speaking right now on this topic, we're African-American -- or Black, as Betty prefers.

Betty: I do prefer it.  I didn't think the Tweet was funny.  I saw it as going for funny.  I think it missed.  I didn't think it was racism -- nor did I take offense when Red Foxx used to call Aunt Esther a gorilla on SANFORD & SON.  It was an attempt at a one liner and it failed.  To me it was not the end of the world and I also, sorry, thought Valerie was Persian.  I knew she was from Iran.  I assumed her parents were Iranian.  Sorry.

Marcia: First, I loved the reboot.  It was funny and dealt with real issues.  I didn't think the Tweet was racist.  Like Ava and C.I., I do see how some people could believe it was racist and intended that way.  I'm not someone who has to leap to negative conclusions about everyone.  The ridiculous response to the Tweet is part of the nonsense I just shake my head at these days.  We're so eager to be offended and outraged.  The same thing said by someone else and we're not offended but let Roseanne say it . . .

Betty: Or Donald Trump.  They throw a fit over everything.  Barack Obama goes on THE TONIGHT SHOW and makes fun of Special Olympics particpants.  No one treats it like the end of the world.  Trump supposedly makes fun of the disability of a reporter and it's time to be outraged.  Did he make fun of the disability?  I don't know that he did. I know everyone jumped to that conclusion.

Elaine: I want to make a wider comment. I'll wait until we're done discussing Roseanne.

Jim: Okay.  Ty?

Ty: Roseanne is not racist.  She is very big on Israel.  I disagree with her there.  I support the rights of Palestinians.  I can disagree with her politically and not think she's a monster.  I didn't find the Tweet offensive.  I did find Samantha Bee calling Trump's daughter a "feckless c**t" to be offensive.  But I saw it as an attempt at a one liner, like someone said earlier, Marcia?

Marcia: It was Betty.

Ty: Thank you.  As Betty said, it was a one liner.  I think it failed but I saw what she was going for and didn't see it as racist.  I did find it telling that Amanda Marcotte jumped all over Roseanne and that only Ava and C.I. had the guts to point out that, in 2008, Amanda was not only ripping off the work of African-American women, she was also publishing a book that used racist illustrations -- not to comment on the racism.  It had African male 'savages' attacking 'poor' blond women.  She's a f**king racist, Amanda Marcotte.  How dare she slam Roseanne.

Stan: I'm glad we're having this discussion.  It was an over-reaction and it was an attempt to silence her.  If she hadn't been a Trump supporter, she would have gotten a pass.  Can we throw to C.I. because I know she's got something to say here.  She called ABC to begin with, including for failing to have a back up in place.

C.I.: Okay, Stan's talking about the day the news broke that she was fired, Roseanne was fired.  It was the stupidest thing in the world.  It was really stupid for ABC to do.  I noted in real time that they could continue the show without Roseanne, pointing out how NBC changed VALERIE'S FAMILY to THE HOGAN FAMILY.  ABC failed to do that.  When other shareholders agreed with me that ABC had betrayed them, when the grumbling was loud, the stupid idiot who cancelled the show was told she better get her damn ass in gear or she'd be fired.  At which point, stupid idiot tries to put together THE CONNORS.  By then it was too damn late.  Sara Gilbert had weighed in.  ABC should have a spin-off in place.  ABC should have spoken to the cast and told them, "Shut the f**k up."  No one had to tell that Laurie Metcalf or John Goodman because they're decent people.  Sara Gilbert isn't decent.  She's an actress who would have no career today without Roseanne Barr.  And Roseanne didn't care that Sara was gay.  Others did and that's one reason Sara had so much trouble after Roseanne went off the air in the 90s.  That and she's a bit of a bitch and has that reputation.  She thought she was the star of POISON IVY -- Drew was the star -- and she thought it was going to give her a movie career.  It didn't.  She had no career.  She was lucky to find herself on that awful talk show that's only on the air because it's cheap to make.  Sara Gilbert is part of the cheapening of America.  Soap actors are out of work because of trash like Sara.  Maybe she thinks it's a fair trade since she couldn't get any work either -- not as an actress. So she shoots off her stupid and ungrateful mouth and the result is about 70% of the peopel feel like Ann does: they aren't going to watch the show because  of her trashing Roseanne on that stupid show THE TALK.

Ava: Which also exists to give Julie Chen a job.  Let's be honest about that.  Julie's not talented either.  She just married a man who runs a TV network.

C.I.: True.  ABC should have had a plan in place before stupid idiot cancelled the show.  It was the number one show ABC had.  Channing Dungey --

Stan: Who does look like an ape.  I'll say it.

C.I.: Channing Dungey is president of ABC entertainment.  Her job is to protect the ratings.  She wants to dump Roseanne, then do it right.  Stupid f**king idiot didn't know what she was doing and cancelled the show.  She's not fit to hold that job.  Again, NBC -- in the midst of a lawsuit with Valerie Harper -- knew how to play it.  CBS when they were in a lawsuit with Lynne Redgrave knew how to play it.  "It" being their job.  You want to dump someone, you dump 'em.  That might be right, that might be wrong.  But you damn well protect the ratings.  Channing was a stupid idiot who should be fired.  A spin-off wasn't even considered by her.  She's that damn stupid.  Before she announced the cancellation, she should have done her job by securing a spin-off.  All the actors were going to get paid -- they had pay-or-play contracts.  They were going to get paid.  ABC was going to pay for the second season without an episode filmed.  What a stupid idiot Channing Dungey is.  She was willing to waste millions.  She's there for one reason.  It's not to win awards -- and she didn't deserve a Crystal Award -- apparently, there's no one else to give them to now so she got one in May.  She's there to make money, that's all ABC cares about and those of us with stock expect her to make money for us.  She screwed up by not having the spin-off in place -- she hadn't even thought of it -- before the cancellation was announced.  She further screwed up by not telling Sara Gilbert to keep her thoughts to herself.  Now, as ABC's own polling shows, Sara looks like an ungrateful bitch, that's how the public perceives her, and Ann's opinion is that of 70% of people polled by ABC about the upcoming series.

Stan: And the woman looks like an ape.  I'm saying it, not C.I.  And I'm saying because it matters.  Not just because she's ugly -- and, yes, Channing is ugly.  I'm saying it because as a woman who looks like an ape herself, she over-reacted to the Tweet.

Cedric: I agree with you, Stan.  And, to be clear, before Roseanne got in trouble for that Tweet, Stan was noting that Ryan Gosling looked like an ape.  It's not a Black related issue these days.  We've moved past it.

Jim: Ava's waiving to speak.

Ava: C.I. and I take notes so I had to make sure she was up to speed before I spoke, sorry.  I'm not touching on Stan's point -- anyone who wants to can.  But to get back to her actions, the ABC president of entertainment's actions, this was appalling.  ABC had nothing to show for 2018 except ROSEANNE.  It was their only real hit.  MODERN FAMILY is losing viewers.  BLACKISH has lower ratings now that it's on a different night.  THE MIDDLE wrapped up its final season.  What do they have?  They don't have Shonda Rhimes, she's moving to NETFLIX.  Her GREY'S ANATOMY?  Paying that hideous Ellen $20 million means GREY'S is no longer profitable.  That's why they fired Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew in March.  They couldn't afford them while paying that ridiculous salary to Ellen Pompeo.  CBS cancelled KNOT'S LANDING when it was still a hit show.  Why?  It was an ensemble show -- like GREY -- that had gone on for years -- like GREY -- which meant the cast was getting more and more money because each season they deserved a raise.  But it was no longer going to be profitable to pay Joan Van Ark, Michelle Lee, Kevin Dobson, Michelle Phillips, Nicolette Sheridan, Ted Shackleford, William Devane and possibly Donna Mills.  It wasn't worth it any longer because it was costing to much to make the show.  Channing Dungey previously cancelled ABC's highest scripted show -- LAST MAN STANDING.  She can pretend otherwise, but everyone believes it was because of Tim Allen's politics.  He's right-wing.  That's probably why she made no effort for THE MIDDLE to do another season -- Patricia Heaton's a right-winger.  Channing had let her personal politics and her industry stupidity determine ABC corporate decisions.  She's refused to pay attention to the bottom line.  She should be fired immediately.  Instead, she's been put on notice that she better turn ABC around this fall or she will be fired.  She should have been fired the minute she cancelled ROSEANNE with no back up plan.  She's a stupid f**king idiot who's not fit to run a network.

Stan: And she looks like an ape.  Is it because of her race?  I don't think so.  Her sister Merrin doesn't look like an ape or a monkey.  But, as an African-American, I'll note one more time that Channing Dungey looks like an ape.

Jim: Okay, Elaine?

Elaine: We were talking about the reaction to Roseanne's original Tweet, how it was so outsized compared to Michael Richards -- he played Kramer on SEINFELD -- to his actual behavior, yelling the n-word at African-American customers at a comedy club.  And Betty was noting how Barack Obama made fun of Special Olympics participants on an episode of THE TONIGHT SHOW and it wasn't the end of the world.  It wasn't even a 24 hour cycle story.  We have a real tendency, as a people, to assume the worst of those we don't like and to give the benefit of the doubt to those we do like.  We need to take a look at that and ask ourselves why that is and how we can address it.  Ava, Kat, Betty and C.I. and I were talking about that recently.

Kat: I'll share that I was convinced we were all about to be hauled off under Bully Boy Bush.  What the corporate media and others now tell us is Alex Jones-ish and out of bounds?  Matthew Rothschild was writing about at THE PROGRESSIVE under Bully Boy Bush.  He was all into reporting on the round ups that were coming and the FEMA prisons and blah blah blah.  And I bought into it.  Let's stop pretending about what happened and that we have been as flat out nutty and insane as anyone could accuse Alex Jones as being.  I should note that I only know of Alex Jones from the corporate media so they may or may not be distorting him.  I'm not trying to attack Alex Jones.  I am trying to note that what he's accused of by the corporate media, those types of actions and claims had a huge reception on the left when Bully Boy Bush was in the White House.  And we were told by many that Paul Wellstone's plane crash wasn't an accident, I mean, I can go over it all.  And it did play with mind and it did screw my thinking.  Of course, the reality is Bully Boy Bush is such an idiot, it's hard to picture him planning anything.

Betty: And our answer to that in real time was to make Dick Cheney the pupateer, secretly in charge of everything.

Ava: And just as we go out of our way to see the worst in someone we don't agree with, we go out of our way to excuse, minimize and justify behaviors in others.  It's why so many allowed the Iraq War to continue under Barack Obama.  And when he sent troops back in, in 2012, we were the only ones -- C.I. and I -- screaming our heads off.  Even Tom Hayden ignored that aspect of Tim Arango's report.  That should -- Intentionally ignored, C.I. just mouthed.  Correct, Tom intentionally ignored it.  That should have been a debate topic.  As September wound down, Tim Arango of THE NEW YORK TIMES gets into print the fact that Barack's sent US troops back into Iraq while claiming to have ended the Iraq War and not one damn moderator dares to ask about that in any of the presidential debates.

Trina: They didn't want to know.  They made that clear -- the press.  They oohed and ahhed over Barack like he was their newborn infant instead of holding him accountable.  It was disgusting.  As bad as Donald Trump is, at least when he does the things Barack repeatedly got away with, we're allowed to feel outraged.

Ruth: And the Tom Haydens and the Laura Flanders told us repeatedly, in 2008, we could not hold Senator Obama accountable in the primaries, but we would in the general election.  Only they did not.  And then they never held him accountable in his first term or his second term as president.  Rebecca had an f-you post to Ms. Flanders recently and I have to say that I agree with her 100%.  Don't try to walk back over to the left now, Ms. Flanders.  We know you are a whore.  We know now your career depends upon lying to us, misleading us and trying to sheep-herd us.  We are not falling for it again.  F**k you.

Mike: I'm laughing.  I agree with Ruth but she's the last one I expected to say the f word.  What we've learned is that these people can only make money by controlling and conning us.  The Democratic Party's only going to give them money and support if they sheep heard us on over to the Democratic side at election time.  So to make their money, they will manipulate us.  That's what they do.  That's what they do every time.  And now we saw it and we need to remember it.  We need to remember that when we support these people, when we become their 'audience,' that's how they use us.  "Oh, I'm popular, give me money, DNC, and I'll steer the voters to you."  There are very few people you can trust.  I trust WSWS and BLACK AGENDA REPORT without reservations.  Otherwise, forget it.

Wally: Unless it's a community site!

Mike: Right.  Sorry.  I know all of you.  I've been through the battles with you so I know where you stand and, yes, I do trust all of you.  But Norman Solomon?  Forget it.  He pretended the Iraq War mattered.  And it did to him -- as long as Bully Boy Bush was in the White House.  Otherwise?  He couldn't care less.

Wally: Just to be clear on this, I just went to Norman Solomon's personal website.  He's got categories you can check.  I clicked on Iraq.  The last time he wrote about it?  2010 -- and then about the defense bill.  He's a fake ass.  I agree with Mike.  Norman's a fake ass, Amy Goodman's full of s**t, they can all kiss my ass.

Elaine: Okay, so let me ask, could any of them be forgiven at this late date?

Trina: I would say yes and I would say that what they'd have to do would be to take Iraq seriously and own up to how they stayed silent.  I'm not going to be tricked by them.  But I don't run on hate and I do believe in forgiveness.  But this goes back to Hillary.  'Poor Hillary,' she has to explain her vote.  It's a mistake, she voted for the Iraq War by mistake.  Well it would have taken more than words to prove that and all she ever offered were words.  So, from these hucksters, these Laura Flanders, it's going to take more than words.  They have all ignored the Iraq War.  You read what they published in 2005 and 2006 and you'd never believe that if the Iraq War was still ongoing in 2018, they wouldn't be calling it out.  But that's what happened.  Can they be forgiven?  If a serious effort is made to atone, if they truly make an effort to work on ending the war, I'm up to forgiving them.   But I won't accept Hillary's lip service and I won't accept their lip service.

Jim: Which makes me think of a point Jess made before Barack was even declared as a candidate for president so this must have been back in 2006 or 2005.

Jess: Legacy?  Yeah, they better think their legacies.  Tom Hayden died a useless drunk who spent his last years not trying to end an illegal war but trying to whore for the Democratic Party.  Danny Schechter turned himself into a disgrace by ignoring wars to carry water for Barack.  He'd send us e-mail after e-mail whining about how he needed to do that, he had to do it, he had to make money.  Danny lived high on the hog.  He could have done with a little less money.  He chose to whore that's what he'll be remembered for: whoring.

Jim: And on that note, let's wrap up.  This is a rush transcript.

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