Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Truest statement of the week

The DSA, from its founding by the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, was explicitly founded as a part of the Democratic Party. And its orientation within the Democratic Party was throughout the Carter administration, throughout the Tip O’Neill reign of the conservative Democratic Party in the 1980s, throughout the 90s throughout the Congressional Progressive Caucus. So the DSA has had 50 years to push the Democratic Party to the left from within. Over that period the Democratic Party has gone further and further to the right, to the point where the DSA is in the absurd position of trying to be a socialist organization that has five members of the Democratic Caucus in Congress supporting Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi. 

-- Eric London, "Joseph Kishore, Eric London discuss DSA’s celebration of Trotsky assassination on 'Eclectic Radical with Chris Richards'" (WSWS).






Truest statement of the week II

Workers are seeing these organizations for what they really are: anti-labor institutions that are “unions” in name only, and that are run by unaccountable and affluent upper-middle class bureaucrats—pulling down six-figure salaries—who have nothing but contempt for the workers they represent. These “unions” function not as defensive organizations of the working class, but as direct and enthusiastic accomplices of the corporations in the exploitation of the working class. 

-- David North, "Volvo Truck workers in Virginia return to the picket lines: A turning point in the US and global class struggle" (WSWS).






A note to our readers

Hey --

It's Tuesday night.

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, Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
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: An apethetic press continues to ignore the realities

    Joe Adams Tweets:


    wth is wrong with you??? Why won't you mention Turkey and Erdogan's atrocious crimes against the Kurds and other minorities?? How twisted are you???



    We hear you, Joe, we hear you.

    It's very frustrating how so many look the other way as Turkey breaks one law after another.

    They bombed a UN refugee camp over the weekend.

    That attack was against the law.  Yes, that is our opinion.  But, yes, it's also the opinion of the US government.  If you missed it buried in a REUTERS report:


    U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield visited Ankara last week and said she told officials that "any attack targeting civilians at Makhmour refugee camp would be a violation of international and humanitarian law".

    A violation of international and humanitarian law?

    A US official on the record.  So why isn't that law breaking the lead story?  




    TV: Mini-King and Mini-Halston

    Tone and perspective can add a great deal. Too often, however, they're missing in television works. We were reminded of that once again while watching APPLE+ mini-series LISEY'S STORY. Like many offerings these days, it's based on a work by Stephen King. The cast includes Julianne Moore, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Joan Allen and Clive Owen. Due to that, we were expecting an acting tour de force. However, that was about all we were expecting. 

    3 JESS 

    CASTLE ROCK was saved by acting -- by acting and nothing else. The HULU offering, also based upon a work by Stephen King, was the typical TV offering, hastily shot, poorly planned and no real visual point of view. The camera existed solely to shoot whomever was speaking at the time. A show that really uses strong visuals to tell a story, something like Gregg Araki and Steven Soderbergh's NOW APOCALYPSE, is a rarity. If Detroit used to be an assembly line, TV is more of a bakery using the same cookie cutter pattern. The thinking seems to be, 'If we all look the same, we can spread around the blame."

    LISEY'S STORY doesn't look the same. It has a muted, fogged look that adds to the texture of the story unwinding.

    Scott Landon (Clive Owen) was an author who was shot dead by a man claiming Scott stole his life and story. Lisey (Julianne Moore) is his widow who is dealing with demented fans including a rude professor who wants to grab all of Scott's papers. She and her sister Darla (Jennifer Jason Leigh) are also dealing with the mental issues of their sister Amanda (Joan Allen). Amanda appears to be communicating with her late brother-in-law.

    The Water Cooler Set seems iffy on it and we're wondering if it's because it's a female-led show or if they're just unfamiliar with the storyline? This adheres to the novel King wrote and hints of what it to come -- including a monster that will destroy one of Scott's fans -- have been established in the opening episode. The story unravels in an almost dissociative fugue state which is more than appropriate for the plot of the mini-series.

    We've waited and waited for some offering from APPLE+ that we could praise. This is it, LISEY'S STORY is a stand-out and could point a way forward for the streamer -- as an auteur service, a streamer where quality and vision matters. In a very crowded market, that could allow APPLE+ to stand out.

    As we noted last time, the pandemic has been a Golden Age of streaming for NETFLIX which has had a huge number of offerings worth watching. But not everything has been a high mark.

    For example, HALSTON was hideous. So hideous, in fact, that we'd propose Ryan Murphy not ever be connected to a project set in the 70s again. It reeks of internalized homophobia and gives off the creepy vibe so many projects once did where they went for 'tolerance' -- as though humanity is something you have to force yourself to tolerate.

    The mini-series is based upon the life of the one-named fashion designer Halston. Ewan McGregor plays the role with all the reach of Christopher Reeve trying to 'understand' homosexuality -- an understanding we never felt that Christopher had to reach that hard for since, after all, he had that semi-infamous affair with Casey Donovan back when Chris was mouthing lines on LOVE OF LIFE, Ewan seems to think bitchy is the way to play Halston and it may very well be one way to play him. It might have even worked had the series had wit, style or camp. Instead, it's just sort of tired and dirty, as though it were inspired by Madonna's "Bad Girl" video.

    There's no joy to be found in the sleazy morality tale that is HALSTON.

    When we watched ROCKETMAN, we thought Taren Egerton did an amazing job but we rolled our eyes over John Reed. Richard Madden was effective in the part. But we rolled out eyes because of the way he was portrayed in the film. Reid was the bad guy. Okay? Some would disagree -- some we know very well -- but okay. But did Elton and company need to lie to turn him into the bad guy? We see Reid being rough with Elton when the two are involved. Bad Reid1 -- that's what we're supposed to say.

    But the reality is that, in the 70s, Elton was known for being into, for lack of a better term, rough trade. Elton didn't want to be cuddled all the time. And that's why Reed was attractive to him.

    It would have been more truthful to show that, in the early stages, Elton was excited by Reid. We don't deny that abuse took place. But without understanding the way Reid treating Elton roughly initially delighted Elton, you never understand how the two ended up together let alone had the basis for a long standing relationship.

    Halston, like Elton in ROCKETMAN, never really appears to enjoy sex. It's something to do and check off the list.

    Where is the joy in HALSTON? Drugs don't make the title character joyful, sex doesn't, even success doesn't. It's a joyless life and feels like one of those preachy 70s and early 80s TV specials about how we should pity the homosexuals.

    How do you make a series about the fashion industry in the 70s -- the height of recreational drug use and disco and sex (pre-AIDs era) -- and not find any joy? More to the point, why should anyone want to watch a depressed and depressing offering like HALSTON? Ryan Murphy is good at churning out product but he appears to have lost both vision and perspective.


    KINDLE UNLIMITED (Jim, Ava and C.I.)



    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 Jim about Anthony Curcio's STEPHEN CURRY: THE CHILDREN'S BOOK: THE BOY WHO NEVER GAVE UP.  Jim, you went with a children's book.

    Jim: Right.  Dona and I are parents and so I do look for children's books.  I've honestly not been impressed with the offerings at KINDLE UNLIMITED until I came across this one.  

    Did you like it because of the sports theme?

    Jim: That helped get my son's attention and hold it, yes.  But it really does have some great illustrations.


    Jim: Yes, on every page but some of the drawings also include a photograph.  I really like the illustrations a great deal.  

    On the AMAZON page for the book, several reviews complained -- about the print book -- that pages were out of order or cut off too soon.  Was that a problem with the edition KINDLE offered?

    Jim: Not at all.  The digital version was fine.  Pages in order, no cut off pages.  

    With the other children's books you've sampled, what were some of the problems?

    Jim: A lot of illustrations didn't pop.  Sometimes it was the color, sometimes it was the style.  I liked the illustrations but, more importantly, my son loved them.  They really deserve praise for the way they're drawn and for the colors they use.  

    Your thoughts on KINDLE UNLIMITED itself?

    Jim: I've probably found three good books on coaches but otherwise I'm mainly looking for books to read with my son.  Dona's found a few books she likes.  I think if you're a group of people using one subscription, it's probably better.  I don't know if it was just me, for example, if I'd have enough interest to justify a monthly subscription.  But if you and your family or you and your friends team up for one subscription, I think it's worth it.

    Which goes with what Dona told us last time, "I don't think it has enough value for someone to subscribe beyond one month."  

    Jim: Hey, when she's right, she's right and she's usually right.



    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Kat, Ava and C.I.)"


    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Kat, Ava and C.I.)"


    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Betty, Ava and C.I.)

    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Stan, Ava and C.I.)


    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Betty, Ava and C.I.)"

    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Isaiah, Ava and C.I.)"

    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Elaine, Dona, Ava and C.I.)"

    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Mike, Ava and C.I.)"

    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Trina, Ava and C.I.)"

    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Stan, Ava and C.I.)"

    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Marcia, Ava and C.I.)"

    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Kat, Ava and C.I.)"

    "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Rebecca, Ava and C.I.)"




    Stephen Curry: The Children's Book: The Boy Who Never Gave Up
    by Anthony Curcio









    I think I can, I think I can.


    Remember that?  


    No, it's not an elderly man taking his first Viagra.  It's THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD.  Children's stories -- especially good ones -- stay with us.  And if you're a parent (I am), you think about lessons the books can impart as well as how they can entertain.


    Steph Curry is a famous basketball star, an MVP, someone whose father, Dell Curry, played for the Charlotte Hornets.  He's also the topic and main character in Anthony Curcio's children's book STEPHEN CURRY: THE CHILDREN'S BOOK: THE BOY WHO NEVER GAVE UP.


    Despite having a father who played in the NBA, no one thought Steph would grow up to play in the NBA.  Throughout his life, he was told he wouldn't.  He was told he was too short.  But he practiced and practiced and by high school was excelling.  Despite that, even colleges weren't going after him.  But he did have interest from Davidson College and he went with it and proved everyone wrong about his height meaning he couldn't play in the NBA.  


    It is, basically, THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD but about a real person.  We're working with our son on reading and a book about Steph Curry sold itself to him because he loves basketball.  


    We enjoyed the book and that includes the artwork. No illustrator is credited so I'll assume that Curcio did the illustrations.  Congratulations to Curcio because they really pop.  I strongly recommend this book.


    Stephen Curry: The Children's Book: The Boy Who Never Gave Up
    by Anthony Curcio


    We're not psychics

    Back on May 10th, we offered a list of ten shows that we thought would be cancelled in "10 shows we think will be cancelled in the next weeks." How did we do?


    FOX is "burning off" episodes. It's not cancelled, it's not renewed. We think it will not return for a third season but we're fine to mark it "incomplete" at this point.


    Saints be praised, this show that never should have aired got the axe.


    We were wrong, this Topher Grace led show will have a second season.


    Sadly, this disaster was renewed.

    5) DEBRIS (NBC)

    But this one got the axe.

    6) MR. MAYOR (NBC)

    We were wrong -- and this actually got a second season pick up back in March.

    7) CLARICE (CBS)

    Incomplete again -- no word yet. We'd guess it might move to PARAMOUNT streaming but no decision has been made.


    We were wrong. This got a second season renewal.


    We were wrong. Renewed for a second season.

    10) THE CON (ABC)

    No word.

    2 right, 5 wrong, and 3 incomplete. Not a good score, no.





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


    Jim's "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Jim, Ava and C.I.)"

    Dona's " book to avoid (Dona)"



    Ty's "KINDLE UNLIMITED's gay erotica (Ty)"




    Betty's "THE COLOR PURPLE"



    Betty's ""Kim Berry and Andrea Williams' DIAMONDS AND CURLZ""

    Isaiah's "Marco Bonafede's WORDLESS COMICS"



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

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


    Marcia's "Paul Jay's bad Gore Vidal 'book'"


    Stan's "Adrienne Barbeau's bad book THERE ARE WORSE THINGS I COULD DO"


    Trina's "Mexican Casserole and a book in the Kitchen"


     Mike's "Book review CONVERSATIONS WITH CAPOTE"





    Tweet of the week

    From Margaret Kimberley:

    I knew Joe Biden's son was an idiot, and that he made money off of his father's name, and introduced him to shady Ukrainians. So I didn't defend him. So glad I didn't. dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9 #RacistHunter

    Josh Bernstein joins TCC to talk about Elections and foreign policy.









    Krystal Ball: Workers REVOLT. Has Low Key General Strike ALREADY Started?






    #TheJimmyDoreShow The Young Turks Embarrass Themselves Pushing Pro-War Straw Man







    This edition's playlist





    1) Nick Jonas' SPACEMAN.


    2) Chase Rice's THE ALBUM.


    3) Liz Phair's SOBERISH.


    4) Harry Style's FINE LINE


    5) Cher's STARS.


    6) Fiona Apple's FETCH THE BOLT CUTTERS


    7)  Mavis Staples' LIVE IN LONDON.


    9) Tracy Chapman's OUR BRIGHT FUTURE.


    10)  Bob Dylan's ROUGH AND ROWDY WAYS.








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