Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Truest statement of the week

 We are now in a living hell in this country, and all that consumes this pathetic American population is which repugnant candidate of one or the other political parties will be selected as their new master. Both sides of the herd are playing each toward the middle, while both sides of the political class are using the election circus that they purposely created for their own advantage, in an attempt to gain power for themselves over the proletariat. This of course is to the detriment of all except the ruling class of monsters. The two fighting factions that are the most prevalent, those supporting the Republicans or those supporting the Democrats, are equally very stupid, and cannot understand that by fighting against each other, they are simply allowing this evil totalitarian system of rule to continue on while gaining strength that will be leveraged against the people in order to benefit the few in the top one percent. No matter who ‘wins’ any election, we all lose.


--  Gary D. Barnett, "Government Is not Owned and Controlled by the People, People Are Owned and Controlled by Government" (INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE).

Truest statement of the week II

Black Agenda Report has long understood the Democratic Party to be a graveyard for social movements in the United States. An online push led by Jimmy Dore and the Movement for a People’s Party to #Forcethevote only further confirmed the true function of the Democratic Party. The call was simple. So-called “progressive” Activists pushing #Forcethevote  asked “progressive” members of the Democratic Party to withhold their vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House in exchange for a floor vote on Medicare for All. Democrats have grown in number while the Democratic Party’s control of the House has shrunk, thereby making Nancy Pelosi’s path to Speaker of the House more precarious. 

Not one member of “the Squad” withheld their vote for Pelosi or made the demand of a floor vote for Medicare for All a subject of protest during the proceedings. What was revealed in the weeks leading up to the vote, however, was the ongoing Obama-fication of “the Squad.” Jimmy Dore and other activists demanding a Medicare for All floor vote were relentlessly attacked on social media. Benjamin Dixon, Sam Seder, Nomiki Konst, and other mouthpieces of the so-called “progressive” media accused Dore of being a federal agent , an Assad apologist,  and a “grifter.” Popular left-ish journalists Krystal Ball and Kyle Kulinski agreed with the tactic on principle but maintained their loyalty to “the Squad” as a viable leftwing political force. Activists in the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) renounced Jimmy Dore publicly but avoided the political issue of the floor vote despite the demand being a key part of their organizing strategy toward Congress.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez insinuated on Twitter that Dore’s brash and profanity-laden criticisms amounted to “violence” toward her.

 The backlash against #Forcethevote is indicative of a hive mentality among so-called “progressive” Democrats that is eerily reminiscent of the period of Obama’s presidential reign. Obama’s eight years in the Oval Office were a lonely time for those at Black Agenda Report and anyone else who upheld the principles of Black self-determination, socialism, and class struggle. Nearly the ENTIRE left ignored or condemned criticisms leveled against Obama. Obama was the “chosen one and his status as the “first Black president” was beyond reproach. Critics of Obama from the Left were called racists and GOP apologists. Obama’s impact on the political consciousness of the Left was so immense that Black Americans, typically the most progressive constituency on issues of economic justice and war, had grown more economically optimistic  and pro-U.S. intervention than ever before by the end of Obama’s first presidential term.

 In 2016, I wrote a ten-part series on the Obama legacy and clearly delineated how the “first Black president” operated as the more effective evil of U.S. imperialism. Conditions for Black America worsened under Obama, with Black wealth placed on a collision course toward zero during his two terms. Obama refused to prosecute bankers and killer cops but found time to sip contaminated water in Flint, Michigan and call protestors “thugs” in Baltimore in the aftermath of the police murder of Freddie Gray . Furthermore, Obama’s “Grand Bargain” with the Republican Party included a non-stop regime of austerity that ballooned the war machine at a time when left critics of Obama were being marginalized and denounced at every turn. The political stagnation engendered by Obama’s sheer presence in the White House paved a smooth road for Donald Trump’s successful 2016 presidential campaign.

-- Danny Haiphong, "The Obama-fication of “The Squad” Strengthens the Right at the Expense of the Left" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).



A note to our readers

Hey -- 

Early Wednesday morning.

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? 








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






Editorial: Shame on JACOBIN

JACOBIN is a self-proclaimed Marxist publication though some critics argue it's the bible for the DSA and a sheepdog for the Democratic Party.  It can be both, it can be neither.  Whatever it is, it frequently offers coverage of issues that otherwise go ignored.  

Which is why there was hope when their video podcast was going to address Iraq.


Hope that vanished quickly.

What they aired was empire.  They can pretend and lie and whore if they want, but all three people -- the hosts and the guests -- promoted xenophobia and empire.  


Add one arrogant asshole to two giggly co-hosts and it's going to get embarrassing no matter what the topic.  


But the Iraq War -- an ongoing war, an ongoing tragedy -- was reduced to jokes and snide, above-it-all sneers.  Never once were the Iraqi people noted.  It was their lives that were destroyed and are being destroyed but in typical Mad Maddie Albright fashion, they were rendered invisible.  Everyone involved should feel ashamed of that broadcast.


The US-led war has turned the nation into a country of widows and orphans.  Weapons the US used in Iraq have resulted in birth defects.  The Iraqi people live under a system created by the US government and it does not represent them.  Year after year, the US installs or co-installs prime ministers who fled Iraq like cowards while Saddam Hussein was the leader, cowards who only returned to Iraq after the US invaded.  They don't represent the Iraqi people.  They don't even pretend to represent the Iraqi people.


It's a corrupt system -- again, one set up by the US government -- where millions and millions disappear every month from the public funds while certain politicians -- Nouri al-Maliki, for example -- get rich and richer and no one's ever supposed to notice.


It's a corrupt system which has resulted in over a year of steady protests.  The security forces attack the protesters.  And the world either yawns or looks the other way.


Last Wednesday, Human Rights Watch published "World Report 2021" and this is from their section on Iraq:

Arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, and extrajudicial killings of demonstrators by Iraqi security forces in late 2019 and into 2020 led to government resignations and the nomination of a new prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, in May 2020. Despite an initial seeming willingness to address some of Iraq’s most serious human rights challenges, al-Kadhimi’s government failed to end abuses against protesters.

Iraq’s criminal justice system was riddled with the widespread use of torture and forced confessions and, despite serious due process violations, authorities carried out numerous judicial executions.

Iraqi law contained a range of defamation and incitement provisions that authorities used against critics, including journalists, activists, and protesters to silence dissent.

The Covid-19 pandemic had a particularly harmful impact on students kept out of school for months during nationwide school closures, many of whom were unable to access any remote learning.

Excessive Force against Protesters

In a wave of protests that began in October 2019 and continued into late 2020, clashes with security forces, including the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF or Hashad, nominally under the control of the prime minister), left at least 560 protesters and security forces dead in Baghdad and Iraq’s southern cities.

In July 2020, the government announced it would compensate the families of those killed during the protests and that it had arrested three low-level security forces officers. As far as Human Rights Watch is aware, no senior commanders have been prosecuted. After a spate of killings and attempted killings of protesters in Basra in August 2020, the government fired Basra’s police chief and the governorate’s director of national security but seemingly did not refer anyone for prosecution. In May 2020, when Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi took office, he formed a committee to investigate the killings of protesters. It had yet to announce any findings publicly as of late 2020.

In May, security forces in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region arrested dozens of people planning to participate in protests against delayed government salaries, a persistent issue since 2015. At August 2020 protests by civil servants in the Kurdistan Region demanding unpaid wages, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) security forces beat and arbitrarily detained protesters and journalists.

Silencing Free Speech

Iraq’s penal code, which dates back to 1969, enshrines numerous defamation “crimes,” such as “insult[ing] the Arab community” or any government official, regardless of whether the statement is true. Although few individuals served prison time on defamation charges, the criminal process itself acted as a punishment. Reporting on corruption and abuses by the security forces was especially risky.

Authorities also invoked other laws and regulations to limit free speech. The Communications and Media Commission (CMC), a “financially and administratively independent institution” linked to parliament, in 2014 issued without legal basis “mandatory” guidelines to regulate media during “the war on terror”—a phrase it did not define. These guidelines were updated in May 2019 and renamed the “Media Broadcasting Rules.” They restrict freedom of the press to the point of requiring pro-government coverage.

The CMC suspended Reuters’s license under its broadcast media regulations powers for three months and fined it 25 million IQD (US$21,000) for an April 2, 2020 article alleging that the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country was much higher than official statistics indicated. Authorities lifted the suspension on April 19.

The KRG used similar laws in force in the Kurdistan Region to curb free speech, including the penal code, the Press Law, and the Law to Prevent the Misuse of Telecommunications Equipment.

Civil society efforts were successful in preventing passage of a deeply flawed cybercrimes bill in November.

Arbitrary Detention

Iraqi forces arbitrarily detained Islamic State (also known as ISIS) suspects for months, and some for years. According to witnesses and family members, security forces regularly detained suspects without any court order or arrest warrant and often did not provide a reason for the arrest.

Iraqi authorities also arbitrarily detained protesters and released them later, some within hours or days and others within weeks, without charge.

Despite requests, the central government failed to disclose which security and military structures have a legal mandate to detain people, and in which facilities.

Fair Trial Violations

In January 2020, the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) published a report assessing the criminal justice system, based on independent monitoring of 794 criminal court trials, 619 of them for men, women and children charged under Iraq’s dangerously overbroad  counterterrorism law. It supported Human Rights Watch findings that basic fair trial standards were not respected in terrorism-related trials.

Iraqi judges routinely prosecuted ISIS suspects solely on the overbroad charge of ISIS affiliation, rather than for the specific violent crimes they may have committed. Trials were generally rushed, based on a defendant’s confession, and did not involve victim participation. Authorities systematically violated the due process rights of suspects, such as guarantees in Iraqi law that detainees see a judge within 24 hours and have access to a lawyer throughout interrogations, and that their families are notified and should be able to communicate with them during detention.

Detainees have shared graphic accounts of torture during interrogations in Mosul’s prisons under the control of the Ministry of Interior, in some cases leading to their deaths. These allegations are consistent with reports of the widespread use of torture by Iraqi forces to extract confessions instead of carrying out robust criminal investigations.

Authorities can prosecute child suspects as young as 9 with alleged ISIS affiliation in Baghdad-controlled areas and 11 in the KRI,  in violation of international standards, which recognize children recruited by armed groups primarily as victims who should be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society, and call for a minimum age of criminal responsibility of 14 years or older. One Mosul committee improved its handling of the prosecution of child suspects.

Conditions in Detention

Authorities detained criminal suspects in overcrowded and in some cases inhuman conditions. According to media reports, authorities released 20,000 prisoners in April as a preventive measure in response to the Covid-19 pandemic but did not share any information on the identities of those released and the criteria for selecting them. Authorities refused to respond when asked to share or make public the number of people in Iraqi prisons, making it impossible to assess whether the releases sufficiently reduced the acute overcrowding to enable social distancing. In July, there were 31 Covid-19 cases reported at a prison in Baghdad.


None of these issues were addressed.  In what can only be described as Empire Privilege, Felix Biederman pontificated endlessly about jokes he wanted to tell and 'online' activism and how he always knew this and that (yeah, right) but it never left the domestic shores, did it?  Pity we can't say the same for the US military and contractors that were unleashed on Iraq.  

The Iraq War continues and it will always continue when so-called discussions about Iraq render the Iraqi people invisible.  Shame on all involved.

TV: Can anything be worse than fall 2020?

Fall 2020 will go down as the worst for primetime TV ever.  A hundred and one excuses were provided -- mainly the coronvirus pandemic -- and they were all weak and self-serving.




NEXT was the worst of the worst and it's worth noting that ROTTEN TOMATOES showed the Water Cooler Set was behind it.  They're not behind shows that star women -- they're never behind shows that star women -- but they got on board with this garbage.  It could have been an interesting series.  Could have been.  But it made the mistake of wrongly assuming a thriller/action show needed to star a 58-year-old man (John Slattery) and that it needed him to play a character that no one could care for.  Add in the turgid nature of the show, the always-over-the-top storylines and the 'plotting' that showed no care taken to set up anything from one episode to the next but instead just make it up as you go along and you were left with a hugely expensive flop.  

Kim Cattrall starred in FOX's other flop last fall, FILTHY RICH.  Kim did a great job in the role and the series got higher ratings than NEXT.  But even strong performances from Kim and Steve Harris couldn't save the show.  What could have? 

Corey Cott shirtless might have helped.  By the time the show was cancelled and burning off episodes, he finally took his shirt off.  The hairy chest added depth to the baby-face and the so-so performance.  For a few moments, his character Eric finally seemed like he might be a man and not an 11-year-old boy.  The show really needed some young men but it didn't have one.  Benjamin Levy Aguilar played Antonio who was a single father though he never seemed interested in women or sex and was such a mama's boy you wondered how he ever found time away from Mommy (Alanna Ubach) long enough to get to second base, let alone have sex.  The third limp dick was Mark L. Young as Jason who is really Mark.  As Jason, he flirts with Jason's sister and you might be grossed out by that were it not for the fact that it's so very clear, from an acting standpoint, that Mark L. Young wouldn't know what to do with an erection if he somehow managed to sport wood in the first place. 

Note to FOX, little boys led around by plot twists and paired with sexy and competent actresses do not make for desirable, they make for awkward and impossible to believe.  Long before we found out Eric was addicted to online porn and long before we saw him start an affair (in one fully clothed scene after another, by the way), we'd assumed that his inability to come across as an adult and as a sexual creature meant that Eric was deep in the closet and we waited for the man who would come along and wake the sleeping beauty the hell up.

There was so much garbage.  And it didn't have to be that way.

TRICKSTER, for example, just started airing last week on THE CW.  It's got a strong cast led by Joel Oulette who looks like Dean Cain back in the day, it's got a strong premise and it looks different than most American shows.  That's in part because it's a Canadian TV series.  Which goes to the fact that ABC, CBS, THE CW, FOX and NBC could have all been raiding from any of Australia's TV networks*, CBC, BBC and ITV to provide English language programming that was new to most in the US.  THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES, for example, could have easily been placed on any US network.

Well . . . maybe not any network.  Probably not NBC.  Certainly not after NBC's SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE ripped off THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES by stealing a skit that they'd aired two months prior.  But other than NBC, it could have aired on any network in the US.

When they did go trolling outside the country, US networks appeared determined to find the worst offerings available which is how THE CW ended up with DEVILS.  Who was going to watch this show -- with or without Patrick Dempsey in the lead?  The answer was no one -- not even in Italy where the show was made and where the highest rated episode got .64 million viewers.  In a country of sixty million, the show couldn't even turn out a million viewers for any episode.  NBC has more success with Canada's CTV series TRANSPLANT -- a little more, not much.  They also grabbed, from Canada's GTN, NURSES which has done a little better. 

The only US production to hit with viewers was David E. Kelley's BIG SKY which started airing on ABC last November.  

Again, there's never been a more disappointing fall season.  And, yes, we are aware that NBC elected to air two -- only two, "Roanoke" and "Katarina Rostova: Conclusion" -- episodes of THE BLACKLIST during this time.

As 2020 drew to a close, the general consensus was that 2021 had to be better -- it had to be.  Actually? It could be worse.  It could be.  We'd like to think 2021 will be better for American television but it might not be.


HBO appears eager to let everyone down.  Saturday nights? Since June 6, 1992 -- barring a sporting event, concert or something similar -- that's when HBO airs a new movie -- debuts one for the network.  It can be an original HBO film or it can be a theatrical release that is airing on television for the first time.  Did you miss they're offering Saturday night?  








A 17-year-old film.  Is HBO trying to be TCM now?  


Where's the new movie?


Don't think it was over on HBO MAX because it wasn't.   

Let's look at the TV series offerings.


CALL YOUR MOTHER finally debuted on ABC last week.  The sitcom stars a woman -- so you know The Water Cooler Set attacked it.  Krya Sedgwick makes a strong lead.  The program's biggest problem?  Sherri Shepherd.  Sherri's not giving a bad performance.  She's always an asset in a sitcom. But in her brief appearance in the pilot, she made you wish that Krya's Jean wasn't leaving her life in Iowa to move to Los Angeles.  No one in LA registers as strongly -- or as favorably -- as does Sherri's Sharon.  That said, Joey Bragg, Rachel Sennott, Austin Crute, Emma Caymares and Patrick Brammall do deliver and could end up creating very strong characters.  This is a sitcom.  No sitcom is ever the same as its first episode.  They feel their way along in the first few episodes.  Which is how you get Megan Mullally testing voices for Karen Walker when WILL & GRACE first aired.  It's how you get a glimmer of what Ted Baxter will become -- only a glimmer -- on the first episode of THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW.  None of the cast is misfiring so there's a good chance that, four or five episodes down the line, the characters may really register.

The characters are already registering on FOX's CALL ME KAT.  Well . . . most of them.  Mayin Bialik stars as Kat who runs a cat cafe in her follow up to THE BIG BANG THEORY.  She's steady and sure and the jokes land.  Supporting cast members Leslie Jordan (Beverly Leslie on WILL & GRACE), Kyla Pratt, Julian Grant, Vanessa Lachey and, especially, Cheyenne Jackson really deliver.  There's a name we omitted.  

Swoosie Kurtz.  Swoosie's been delivering in one role after another for years -- the films WILDCATS, DANGEROUS LIASONS, CRUEL INTENTIONS, AGAINST ALL ODDS, REALITY BITES; the TV shows LOVE SIDNEY, SISTERS, MIKE & MOLLY and MAN WITH A PLAN.  Hell, she's been delivering since she did a spot on THE DONNA REED SHOW.  But she's not delivering here.  If Swoosie can't deliver as Sheila, the problem's with the role, not the actress.  Is there a reason that Kat's mother has to be in every episode?  We're not remembering that on THE BIG BANG THEORY where Sheldon and Leonard's mothers visited from time to time but weren't on every episode.

Swoosie and Mayin have a good chemistry but Sheila flounders with every other character.  (By herself, speaking to a knick-knack, Swoosie really delivered as Sheila.)  The writers put her in situations with the other characters -- Phil, Randi, Max, etc -- but no one's thought out a relationship with any of these characters.  Does Sheila like them?  Do they like Sheila?  It really seems like the creative team stopped working on Sheila the minute Swoosie was cast and figured she'd be able to pull off whatever.  

They're right that Swoosie can pull off a great deal, she's a wonderful actress, but she can't create out of nothing, they have to give her something to work with.  She'll shine it, she'll perfect it, she'll make it seem real and honest -- but you have to give it to her in the script.

Hopefully, the writers will work on Sheila.  

Debra Jo Rupp is not as talented as Swoosie Kurtz but Debra is very talented -- as her acting on FRIENDS, SEINFELD and THAT 70S SHOW attests.  Her acting can't save WANDAVISION.  Maybe nothing can?

It's a garbage show offered by DISNEY+.  Long teased and finally delivered -- over a year late -- it's tired, dull and about as funny as a four-year-old attempting to tell a half-remembered knock-knock joke.  This is a thought piece passed off as entertainment.

What if Scarlet Witch Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) of the Avengers films had their own TV show?  So far, so good.  But even though the fans want to see them in an action TV series -- the sort MARVEL used to do so well on NETFLIX with JESSICA JONES, DAREDEVIL, etc -- the 'thinkers' decided it would be funny and new if they sent up 50s TV, "Let's make one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe a dutiful little housewife!''  If the thought seems tired and boring, please grasp MAD MAGAZINE did that to Wonder Woman in 1954 -- it wasn't funny then, just misogynist and that's how this garbage plays today.  Apparently, the 'geniuses' behind this garbage missed the fact that POWERLESS and the fact that NBC cancelled that 'sitcom' about superheroes two months after it started airing.

Equally true, there's no chemistry at all between Wanda and Vision -- Laverne and Shirley had more sexual chemistry than these two do.  Paul's playing a robot so that can be excused somewhat . . . up and until you try to make them into the Stones on THE DONNA REED SHOW.  (Despite trying to steal the opening of THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, neither Paul nor Elizabeth has the charm to be Dick Van Dyke or Mary Tyler Moore.)  It's dull, it's boring, it's uninspired and it is misogynist -- as were the Avengers films that Elizabeth Olsen appeared in where Wanda was repeatedly pushed to the side despite her being more powerful than Iron Man, Hawkeye, the Hulk, etc.  

At the end of the first two episodes, we learn that a threat is about to emerge.  We'd say the scarier notion was that WANDAVISION might think they'd achieved with the tired episode of the boss comes to dinner and the tired episode of the characters do a variety show for charity and next work on a younger family member joins the show.  These were paint by numbers, tired episodes one had already seen on BEWITCHED, THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, GET SMART, HAPPY DAYS, etc.

"Ava and C.I., you allow that CALL YOUR MOTHER and CALL ME KAT can get better but not WANDAVISION!"

You're right.  WANDAVISION is a mini-series.  That's it.  They should have delivered from episode one.  This is a mini-series.  Not only should they have delivered from episode one, the twist at the end of episode two means that the show was wasted with the first two episodes.  This should have been an action series.  It also needed to include women behind the scenes -- women, not tokens.  One female producer with the other five -- five! -- being men?  That's a token.  All the episodes are directed by a man.  In 2019, they wanted so much credit for CAPTAIN MARVEL being a film with a female lead and for it being co-directed by a woman.  Two years later and they celebrate misogyny both on the screen and off.


While HBO can't deliver a new movie a week, NETFLIX is promising to do just that throughout 2021.  It's already delivered the best show of January.


A weekend ago, we worked hard to get two features completed by Sunday afternoon with the hope that the edition would publish quicker as a result (it didn't):




We were dead tired but also hungry.  So we made a snack and surfed around while we talked.  We ended up on NETFLIX and saw LUBIN.  We figured we'd watch one episode.

Dead tired, we watched every episode, one right after the other.  The show is that addictive and that good.  Omar Sy holds your attention and if you ever enjoyed ABC's REVENGE, you will love LUBIN.

Believe it or not, right now, the best hope for TV in 2021 is the streaming service NETFLIX.




* Australia's ABC alone could have provided US networks with episodes of HARROW, MYSTERY ROAD, TOTAL CONTROL and FRAYED -- all of which stood a good chance of striking a chord with US audiences. 


Tooth Brushes

Corporations are responsible for pollution.  We're not idiots.  We never bought into the nonsense that GE pimped, trying to push the blame off on individuals back in 2007.  From Ava and C.I.'s "TV: Global Boring:"

Big Business was all on board with this special. It's the perfect message for them: If everyone would just buy (more expensive) light bulbs, we could end environmental pollution!

We believe in global warming and believe the cause is man-made; however, we're not so stupid to believe that the toxic air so many of us now breathe came about due to individuals.

The special repeatedly broadcast it was up to you to fix the problems that you have caused but "you" was a funny sort of plural that never included Big Business. (Needless to say, the words "Hudson River" were never mentioned on a G.E. aired special.) While individuals can make a difference with the choices they make, it's also true that until Big Business (and, no, Bloomberg, the taxi cab industry in NYC is not Big Business) is forced to stop polluting, individuals taking actions in their own homes are merely slowing global warming, they are not preventing it. And the special, the alleged environmental special, had no time to address that. (Again, Trudie raised that very real issue and was shut down by Ann Curry and told to stick to 'personal stories.')

So please don't take this article for, "Tooth brushes are destroying the world!!!"  But our issue is when did they decide, the corporations, to waste so much plastic on the handle of a tooth brush?

Via Proctor & Gamble, here's the typical tooth brush found in stores these days.


The one below looks more like the ones we grew up with.


Note how much less material is used for the handle.  Even better, the one you're looking at is bio-degradable because it's made of bamboo.  The bamboo tooth brush is available at Spotlight Oral Care.

Tweet of the week

 From Ajamu Baraka:

Do you think it might be a little dangerous & even irresponsible implying that 75 million people who voted for Trump are Nazis? That seems to be the new line from right-wing neoliberal media even as they say the people shouldn't worry because Biden will bring people together!





In 2018, community sites took turns covering a book every week.  You can see "In 2018, we read books" to review that coverage.  We didn't want to repeat ourselves in 2019 or 2020.  So when Marcia came up with a way to cover books but with a twist, we were all for it.  Marcia's idea was for us to digital books -- we're largely a printed text crowd -- and to use AMAZON's KINDLE UNLIMITED.  So for 2021, we'll be doing a book a week and trying to just use KINDLE UNLIMITED. This week, we're talking with Kat about "How Mabel Normand's many scandals (at least five) destroyed her career " which is her review of  William Thomas Sherman's MABEL NORMAND: A SOURCE BOOK TO HER LIFE AND FILMS.  Kat, what did you think of the book?

Kat: The book?  I liked the book.  I did not like Sherman's part of the book.  I read the whole book and then I felt like I knew about it and I mentioned to you, C.I., about Mabel's two scandals plus her friendship with Fatty Arbunkle as a third scandal and you say, "There are five scandals."  I had to think about that and you jogged my memory.  And having read the full book, yeah, there are five scandals.  But Sherman only counts three.  The other two were bigger than he explains in the text.  At least a third of the book is newspaper clippings -- newspaper article about Mabel and magazine articles about her.  And the studio stood by her and kept giving her a chance for four of those scandals.  It was only when that woman sued for divorce and stated Mabel had slept with her husband -- in the hospital, no less, that her studio finally walked away from her.  That should have been in the book's text.  I feel Sherman didn't have a firm grip on his subject.

You weren't familiar with Mabel Normand other than from Stevie Nicks' song named after her, right?

Kat: Right.  Never heard of her.  Sorry.  She was a silent film actress.  A star for many, many years and considered to be beautiful.  I don't see the great beauty.  She was a contemporary of Charlie Chaplin's and they made films together.  But reading the book didn't make me want to go out and watch any of her films.  He tends to downplay her films -- especially if you read the clippings.  Her films were successful, even after her fourth scandal.  That's why the studio kept her around for so long.  

Would you recommend the book?

Kat: Only for the clippings.  I want to read something I wrote back on December 29th at my site:

I'm near the end of a book I'll be reviewing this month.  One thing to note -- C.I. knows everything.  The book's about an actress Stevie Nicks did a song about.  We all think the woman's career was derailed by X.  But it was derailed, as C.I. told me, by four events that poisoned her with the public.  If you read CRAPAPEDIA, you never get that because they missed the story.  But she alienated the audience and that's what ended her career. 

Right.  I don't count Fatty.  If you do, there are five.

Kat: And writer Sherman does count it but he doesn't count when Mabel is being blackmailed -- scandal one -- and goes to the police.  This resulted in a lot of newspaper ink.  The man was arrested.  The press is saying she was blackmailed over using drugs.  This sets the stage for the murder of the director which some press reports will note may have been a murder carried out by Mabel's drug dealer because the director was trying to get Mabel to stop using drugs.  If you don't grasp the first scandal, you really don't get how, when it gets to scandal five, everyone just wants Mabel to go away. 

And what did you think of KINDLE UNLIMITED?  

Kat: If they don't offer some new titles soon, I probably will bail after the two months, honestly.  In terms of entertainment, I don't really see a lot of books on that subject.  I wish there were more bios but there really aren't and don't get me started on that Charles Rivers Edition nonsense or 'hourly' books -- books that supposedly track the career of an actor or musician by the hour.  Those are garbage.  

So you're not impressed?

Kat: Not really.  I had hoped for a stronger entertainment selection but it just isn't there.  






In 2021, we'll be covering digital books.  So far this year, the coverage includes:

Rebecca's "the mommie dearest diary: carol ann tells all"

Kat's "How Mabel Normand's many scandals (at least five) destroyed her career"

This edition's playlist






2) Aretha Franklin's YOUNG, GIFTED AND BLACK.


3) Aretha Franklin's SPARKLE.


4) Prince's PARADE.


5)  Peggy Lee's 2 SHOWS NIGHTLY.


6) Dionne Warwick's SHE'S BACK.





8) Harry Style's FINE LINE


10) The Mamas and the Papas' THE PAPAS & THE MAMAS


#RyanGrim #ForceTheVote #MedicareForAll Ryan Grim Is Wrong About Force The Vote






#RichardMedhurst Jimmy Dore Attacked for Defending Assange





The Boutique Left/Neo-Progressive MOCK Force The Vote & Push Reliance On The Dem Party






Left Lens Live: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the American Empire w/ Ajamu Baraka






Sorry, U.S. Government: That Was NOT a Coup





Why #ForceTheVote Was Important To Understanding POWER.



 a park painting 11

This piece is written by Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Kat of Kat's Korner, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Marcia of SICKOFITRADLZ, Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends, Ann of Ann's Mega Dub, Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.



 "Iraq and the lack of a buy-in" -- most requested highlight by readers of this site.

"Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot," "Protests continue in Iraq with protesters killed, ...," "True that," "A thought," "Things just get worse," "Grab bag," "Shouldn't Naomi Klein flee the US -- like her daddy did?," "Julian," "Robert Brown and the news," "Joe's Gaffes," "On his way out of office, he does one thing right," "President Kennedy and the Church Committee," "Interesting (and original) essay at ANTIWAR.COM," "Nancy Pelosi's mockery of office," "We got someone arrested -- how guilty should I feel?," "Howie and Angela," "Idiot of the Week," "Bernie Sanders and other hogwash,"  "From bad to worse," "Curiosity on Mars," "Am I the only one sick of Rev Yearwood?," and "THIS JUST IN! THE BIDEN PLAN!," "Joe Biden to enlist Distracting Donald in new administration," "Trump helped get him elected, Trump now tasked with saving his adminstration," "Donald got him in the White House and now Joe wants Donald to save him again" and "Donald Trump will provide the cover!" -- news coverage in the community.


"5 great Nanci Griffith songs that should be much better known," "80s song on my mind," "Whitney," "80s song," "80s song," "Music," "80s song," "Songs," "80s song," "Again on the 80s," "U2 (The history of their disappointment)," "80s song" and "Laura" -- music coverage in the community.


 "Layered Burrito Bake in the Kitchen" and "Soup in the Kitchen" -- Trina serves up some recipes.


"books"and "How Mabel Normand's many scandals (at least five) destroyed her career" -- book coverage in the community.

"armie," "armie hammer," "franchot tone was bisexual," "Ranking Jodie Foster's top 20 movies," "Get real," "What's coming?," "WONDER WOMAN 1984 really sucks," "Children's programming," "The awful film continues to bomb,"  "Michael Apted," "WandaVision," "Who thinks Trevor Noah's funny?" and "Dinah Shore's desperation" -- TV and film coverage in the community.








Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }