Monday, November 08, 2021

Media: Save us from the know-it-alls

We live in a world of know-it-alls. And how's that working out for the country?


Rachel Maddow has long played a know it all despite knowing nothing. She went from a pro-war radio pundit to AIR AMERICA RADIO where she demonstrated that she didn't know anything including publication dates. She's show up for AAR's UNFILTERED on Monday mornings talking about how "in this morning's WASHINGTON POST," this or that had been reported. Problem?

It wasn't Monday morning's POST. It was from Sunday or Saturday or Friday. But she would repeatedly insist that it was that morning and here she was, the first to break it to you.

That's really disturbing when it happens over and over. It goes to a dishonest core and it goes to the ability to lie about even the smallest thing. Lie? Yes, lie. It happened over and over. Elaine was an UNFILTERED listener and she knew everybody on that chat board -- knew them online. And the regular listeners knew Rachel was lying. How? They pointed it out on the boards during the show, think Rachel had misspoke. She hadn't. And she never self-corrected. It became a hallmark of her AAR radio career. She was lying. And she lied all the time.

When Lizz Winstead was informed that UNFILTERED was being pulled off the schedule in one month and would be replaced by a Jerry Springer show, Lizz walked. Not Rachel. Rachel went on every day and lied to listeners that Lizz was sick. When Elaine and others challenged that on the message board of the show (one of us had passed on to Elaine what had actually happened), they would be dismissed. When Elaine posted on the board what had actually happened, Rachel decided to comment or 'comment.' Lizz would not want anyone talking about this, Rachel insisted, and it was hurtful to talk about it.

Really? Because what would have helped Lizz is if no one would have lied. If AAR listeners had been given a month's notice that UNFILTERED with Lizz, Chuck D and Rachel was being pulled to be replaced with a radio show from trash TV's Jerry Springer, there would have been a huge pushback that would have made it very difficult to remove UNFILTERED.

But Rachel was part of the lies that let the show get removed.

Instead of saving the show, Rachel worried about setting herself up so she'd have a job. To ensure that happened, she lied repeatedly on air and off air? Little girl got her daddy to post to the show's message board. He did it under multiple names and no one was the wiser for a bit. They did wonder where all these new people -- with all the same thoughts -- were suddenly coming from. Then one of the longterm posters informed everyone that these seven or so 'new' posters all had the same IP address and were, in fact, Rachel's father.

After UNFILTERED, Rachel did get two opportunities from AAR; however, she couldn't deliver an audience. Not a real surprise. Her approach was haughty and she didn't come across as warm. Without seeing her Scott Baio mug, she was just an annoying voice. She began appearing on the cesspool that was MSNBC. Yes, it had moved past extreme homophobia but it was still massively sexist. And Rachel spoke with AP about that. Some wrongly thought Rachel wanted to address sexism and make some changes. No, as soon as AP published the interview, MSNBC gave Rachel her own show and that shut her up.

They were very sexist. Hillary Clinton was seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination and you had all these MSNBC men saying vile things about Hillary -- she was "pimping her own daughter." You also had so called reporters for NBC NEWS appearing on MSNBC and bragging on air that they couldn't be objective because they were such huge fans of Barack Obama. When Katie Couric called some of this sexism out -- sexism that continued after Rachel got her own show -- Keith Olbermann -- remember that woman hater -- declared Katie "the worst person of the week." That's how it went back in the 'glory days' of MSNBC.

It's always been a sewer and Rachel quickly ended up the network's very own gutter girl. She wasn't calling out her male peers for their rank sexism -- that continued long after 2008. In fact, Chris Matthews -- whom Rachel spoke against in that AP interview that MSNBC rushed to cover up -- didn't leave the network until 2020 and Rachel was his on-air best pal.

MSNBC made her wear make up -- a lot -- and even that didn't bother her. At times, she appeared like a heavily painted fun house but as long as they were paying her salary, she didn't care. What's self respect to a whore but something that might cause you to lose sleep?

She lied on air over and over repeatedly and began to really 'shine' as a liar who would whip up the crazies (her core audience, by the way). So when Russia-gate came along, it found the perfect mid-wife in Rachel Maddow.

Russia-gate was nonsense and Rachel pimped it endlessly.

Aaron Mate. We wanted to give him a gold star and brag on him. We kept hearing he'd done a great job in the last days by nailing down Rachel's lies about Russia-gate with a brand new column.


Yea! We could praise him.

And then we read it.

"Russia-gate has no rock bottom" is the title and right below the title there's a photo of Rachel Maddow.

Good, he's going to get to the point and document and explain her various deceptions, right?

Wrong. Not counting pull quotes (even his own from previous articles) or Tweets, just the new words he typed for this article, he's at 1387 words before he gets to a sentence with Rachel Maddow's name in it.


By way of comparison, we're not even at 1000 words yet and we've already established Rachel's shady character -- something we've been doing for years

1387. Does Aaron have a point to make about Rachel because we really don't have that kind of time. More to the point, we don't need to make that kind of time.

Russia-gate? We didn't need Aaron Mate to call that nonsense out for ourselves. Both of us knew the late Stephen Cohen and when we had a question regarding claims, he's the one we went to. But, here's the thing, we were already calling out Russia-gate before we had to consult anyone.

We were speaking to various groups and it started popping up. We knew, on its face, it was garbage and called it out from the start.

Aaron Mate? Sorry, we knew him only as one of the liars about Libya from when he was on DEMOCRACY NOW! The show through whatever tiny bits of integrity it had into the waste bin in order to push for war on Libya. They were downright hateful to the late Glen Ford of BLACK AGENDA REPORT. No, we don't forget things like that, sorry.

But we were happy to have a reason to praise Aaron. Or happy to think we would praise him.

Again, we made the mistake of reading him.

1387 words?

Who does he think is going to read the piece? The new 'hook' for him is to call out Rachel and her refusal to correct the record. That could get some new eye balls on the topic. But not if they're waiting 1387 words before he can get to the point.

A lot of people bought into the lies of Russia-gate. They did so because the media sold these lies. So calling out a media figure who sold the lies is a good idea. Expecting people read over 1387 words before you even mention the name of a media personality is more than a bit much.

If you're boasting on your Twitter feed that you're taking on Rachel Maddow and your article begins with a photo of her, you really should mention her not later than the last sentence in your first paragraph.

On the issue of Donald Trump and his scandals and his 'scandals' -- the latter being media nonsense and lies -- we had this little trick we used. We were there to talk about the wars and we were not speaking for people to hijack our discussion with the 'hot Trump topic' of the day. So what we would say is, "So they said this is happening any minute now? Then let's wait for that (arrest/removal from office/whatever). Let's give it 24 hours and if it doesn't happen and then you've been the victim of media malpractice yet again.

Preaching that practice to others saved us a lot of time and a lot of distraction. Following it ourselves did the same.

We're not know-it-alls. We don't pretend to know everything. There are many things we do not know. And we long ago followed Ellen Goodman's very wise advice regarding the Sunday Chat and Chews and how the same group of people showed up week after week to weigh in as experts when no one could be an expert on everything. As Ellen noted, it's just not possible. Of course that common sense would have to come from a woman -- far too many male blowhards think that they are an expert on every topic in the world.

Know-it-alls, sadly, usually don't know much at all. That's been the message of season three of HBO's TITANS though, strangely, we feel it's a message that the writers of the program missed. In other words, they sent message unknowingly

The know-it-all in season three is Dick Grayson -- the superhero without any powers and, sadly, without any brains. How many people was he trying to get killed accidentally this season? He was responsible for a lot of carnage. He only thought he killed Jason (Red Hood). He was responsible for the death of Hank (Hawk). And poor Barbara Gordon who had enough to put up with made the mistake of trusting him because he 'just knew' what was going to happen only to end up, yes, wrong.

Over and over, he was the know-it-all who knew nothing. So we were really confused when season three finally ending and he was still calling the shots on the team.

In terms of a trained leader of a group of fighters, we think it's really just Donna Troy (Wonder Girl). There's Kory Anders (Starfire) who is a trained fighter and was being groomed on her home planet to be the queen.

But, honestly, after the year Dick just racked up, even Krypto (Superboy's dog) could do a better job leading the Titans.

What's especially sad is that as inept as the character is? The performance Brenton Thwaites is delivering is just as bad.

Why did they, for example, kill off Hank?

Alan Ritchson delivered a wonderful performance and created a unique character. Mike was not the only one upset by Hank's death.


And Hank provided a different type of male character for the show. Strong performances are being delivered by so many -- Anna Diop and Damaris Lewis are amazing as sisters Kory and Komand'r (Starfire and Blackfire). Ryan Potter (Gar), Leslie Conor (Donna), Joshua Orpin (Conner), Savannah Welch (Barbara Gordon) and Karen Robinson (Vee) are wonderful. And then we get stuck with yet another scene where we're supposed to be impressed with Brenton Thwaites where we're supposed to be impressed with his acting and the character of Dick Grayson and the whole illusion just falls apart.

Which brings us to one of TV's supreme know-it-alls: Samantha Bee.

She was never that funny on THE DAILY SHOW and her personality has not transferred well to her own show on TBS. FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTA BEE was never a ratings hit. But it wasn't the ratings nightmare it's become since she returned last January. Long gone are the days of two million viewers. Gone also are the days of nearly two million and the days of 1/5 million and the days of one million and the days of . . .

This season, she's gotten her worst ratings ever. .45 was the most recent.

No one cares. In part, that's because her personality is grating and annoying. But what probably did her in even more this season was her announcement, last April, that she was and would be pulling her punches after Dan Rather asked her if that was happening on his podcast.

"I can't deny that that has happened. I mean, I think that's probably true across the board. You're like, OK, well we could be making jokes about, we could be making jokes about the infrastructure plan, but in general, I'm like, 'Wow, this is great. Why would I purposefully undermine something that is, seems to be a great idea, pretty much across the board?'"

Uh, because you're a comedian and you're supposed to traffic in jokes, not propaganda.

"Like I don't need to make jokes just to make jokes," she said, forgetting her occupation. "I like to make really targeted jokes. There are more worthy targets right now."

So the point everyone made from the start is true: She's one-sided and she's a propagandist for the Democratic Party. Don't mistake her whoring as something she's doing for the left. She's a whore for the Democratic Party.

How fitting that disgraced comedian Bee would confess to disgraced journalist Rather just how pathetic she was.

Know-it-alls like Samantha Bee always find the man to rub up against. Does it matter that Dan has a history of inappropriate interactions with women employed by CBS NEWS? Not to 'feminist' Sammy. Does it matter that he used sexism to try to destroy Connie Chung? Or Katie Couric? Or Diane Sawyer? Or Jane Wallace? Or . . .

Of course that doesn't matter to Samantha Bee -- just like it doesn't matter to her that Joe Biden probably assaulted Tara Reade.

Heaven save each one of us from the know-it-alls.




A note to our readers

Hey --

It's Monday 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? 

Not much.  Ava and C.I. wrote their weekly media piece.  We had hoped the rest of us could have a roundtable and that didn't work out.  So what were we going to do?

Meet up tonight and tomorrow night to finish up the edition?

Ava and C.I. were adamant that the edition note Diana Ross and her new album THANK YOU.

So we decided to repost community pieces on that topic and pair it with Ava and C.I.'s media piece and call it an edition.


Ava and C.I.'s media piece.


Kat reviews Diana's new album.

Betty reviews a book and notes Diana's new album.

Ann takes on the racism involved in a review of Diana's album.

Isaiah notes his favorite tracks from Diana's new album.

Ruth talks about how Diana Ross helped change the landscape.

 And a funny thing happened when Kat waited for delivery of her copy of Diana's new album.





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



"Kat's Korner: No, Diana Ross, Thank You"

"Kat's Korner: No, Diana Ross, Thank You"  

Kat: Diana Ross has released THANK YOU and it's a great album -- one that allows us to look at the shortcomings in the system.

Such as?  It's been called Diana's 25th solo studio album released by the media and that's not accurate.  I may have repeated it myself online, that false claim.  I mentioned it to C.I. and she rolled her eyes.  Huh?  "Kat, THE WIZ."  Immediately, I knew two things (a) that it was a lie and (b) how the lie started.

This is Diana's 26th solo, studio album.  

Back in 2016, I wrote "Kat's Korner: Diana Ross releases a masterpiece (belatedly)."

She brings each song to life.

"Wonder Wonder Why" may be one of her strongest performances and, even if you're a fan of "Is This What Feeling Gets?" from the original soundtrack for THE WIZ, you'll love her version here even more.

Oh, and that's the thing.

This is not Diana's tracks from the film soundtrack being repackaged.

In 1978, she went into the studio with Suzanne de Passe and Lee Holdridge to record these thirteen songs.  In the years since, only "Home" has been released (in 2001).

And that's how you know Motown was over by the 80s.


These were not expected to be huge sellers or even strong ones.

The point was to make clear that Diana could handle more than top forty.

The point was to make clear that Diana was an artist.

This album was supposed to have been released in January of 1979, following the release of the film in October of 1978 (the film's soundtrack was released in September 1978).

The digital booklet notes:

When the film wrapped and Ross returned to Los Angeles, producer/arranger Lee Holdridge received a call from Motown.  "We've got to have her do some cover versions of these songs," he was told with some urgency.
"We literally ran into the studio in a great hurry to do this," Holdridge says.  Luckily, this was not Holdridge's first time working with Motown or Diana Ross.  "I did all the orchestrations and arrangements for the film MAHOGANY, and 'Do You Know Where You're Going To' was a big hit for her," he adds.  "So she knew exactly who I was.  We knew all the keys and stuff like that, so we tried to emulate what some of the film tracks were like.  Diana was excited about it."

Months later, Cher would star in her ABC's CHER .  . . SPECIAL featuring a 15 minute segment of her playing all the parts in the musical WEST SIDE STORY.  But before that happened, Diana should have been presented to the public playing all the parts from THE WIZ.

And the film could have been rescued somewhat by the album being released.

As it headed to the second-run houses, the dollar theaters, DIANA ROSS SINGS SONGS FROM THE WIZ could've provided incentive to check out the film.  It would have also telegraphed just how strong a singer, how great an artist, she is.

As she demonstrates on "Don't Nobody Tell Me No Bad News" and on "Believe In Yourself," she could have easily played the role of either Evillene or Glinda The Good Witch in NBC's broadcast last year.  Her medley of "You Can't Win"/"Slide Some Oil"/"(I'm A) Mean Ole Lion" argue she could have handled the roles of Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion as well.

Do you get it?  DIANA ROSS SINGS SONGS FROM THE WIZ is a studio album.  It was recorded for a January 1979 release.  It didn't get released until 2015.  Like BLUE.  Diana recorded that album in 1971 and 1972 but it didn't get released until 2006.  CRAPAPEDIA rightly counts BLUE as a studio album.  But DIANA ROSS SINGS SONGS FROM THE WIZ is wrongly listed by CRAPAPEDIA as a "compilation" album and appears wrongly listed with various best of and greatest hits albums Diana recorded.  These are not recordings from the film soundtrack of THE WIZ.  These are recordings of those songs done by Diana in a studio after the film for an album.  Every song on this album was recorded after she had completed THE WIZ and was intended for this album.  It was Diana taking on the entire soundtrack and she did a wonderful job.

But she's a woman and she's African-American so CRAPAPEDIA doesn't give two s**ts about the truth.

I care about the truth.  Sometimes I'm a little slow on the take.  So when I read Friday's snapshot, a point C.I. was subtly making went right over my head.  I nodded along and thought I got it.  Then I talked to Ann (read her "I'm really tired of the every day racism.") and really got the point.  Brit critic at THE GUARDIAN was utilizing racism to dismiss Diana -- her new album and her accomplishments.  He was doing it by resulting to the sexist and racist criteria that allowed the male created the rock canon that tossed in a few tokens but otherwise excluded all women and men of color.    Ann's documented it far beter than I could so make a point to read what she wrote and grasp what we allow and what we ignore encourages racism.

THANK YOU, the 26th solo studio album by Diana Ross, is an amazing accomplishment.  And, if we include compilations and her work in the sixties with the Supremes, this is at least her 123rd album.  

That's a lot to compete with.

Is it Diana's best album?  

No, I don't think so.

I think THE BOSS is her best album.  That 1979 album features the title track, "It's My House," "I Ain't Been Licked," "No One Gets The Prize," "All For One," "Once In The Morning" and "Sparkle."  And, for me, it's Diana's finest album.  It's gorgeous -- the vocals are so powerful and crisp, the musical arrangements are perfection.  

THANK YOU?  Out of Diana's 123 or so albums, I would rank it . . . number two.

I have loved THE BOSS since I first heard it in 1979.  That's a lot to compete with.  And I also love her 1980 album diana, 1984's SWEPT AWAY, 1985's EATEN ALIVE, 1992's THE FORCE BEHIND THE POWER, 1999's EVERY DAY IS A NEW DAY, 1970's DIANA ROSS, 1971's SURRENDER, 1976's DIANA ROSS, 1972's soundtrack to LADY SINGS THE BLUES, 1989's GREATEST HITS LIVE, Diana Ross & The Supremes' 1968 REFLECTIONS, 1993's STOLEN MOMENTS: THE LADY SINGS . . . JAZZ AND BLUES, 1994's DIANA EXTENDED: THE REMIXES, 2020's SUPERTONIC MIXES, 2015's DIANA ROSS SINGS SONGS FROM THE WIZ, 1966's THE SUPREMES A' GO-GO, 1967's THE SUPREMES SING HOLLAND-DOZIER-HOLLAND, 1968's DIANA ROSS & THE SUPREMES SING AND PERFORM FUNNY GIRL, 1977's AN EVENING WITH DIANA ROSS, 1994's A VERY SPECIAL SEASON, 1973's TOUCH ME IN THE MORNING . . .

Against all of those albums and many more, THANK YOU ranks number two as the best Diana Ross album of all time.

It's that good.  It's that great.  It's truly wonderful.

Thirteen tracks of perfection.  Keyon Harrold's trumpet on "Just In Case" is moving and layered and nearly as textured as Diana's vocals on the song.  The music doesn't compete with Diana.  On every track, it enhances her vocals.  And it's real music.  The way some critics are describing the album, you'd think it was Madonna in the '00s.  As Ava and C.I. observed in the 2006:

The fear, for many, with Madonna was that, at age 80, she'd still be slithering across the stage, in her panties. After "Justify My Love," Erotica, dripping wax on a bound Willem Dafoe in Body of Evidence and the Sex book, that fear seemed valid for some. Us, we would have preferred that she pursue that track. It would have been interesting. Instead, the same fawning and thoughtless critics that led her to believe she was gifted and talented, stage managed her into something else: boring.

That's pretty much all she's been now for over a decade. Boring.

We blame the critics who applauded her 'soft' side move.

They're the 'thinkers' that were seeing 'meaning' where there was none for most of Madonna's career. (In better days, Madonna laughed and sneered at them. Choosing to embrace them has killed any excitement in her career.) They're the type who, as early as the Who's That Girl tour were seeing 'empowerment' in the performance of "Live To Tell" where, for the song's ending, Madonna slumps then stands erect. They penned over-thought, embarrassing praise like this:

". . . a pose that suggest surrender and desolation, and then . . . as if recovering her strength and courage through an act of titantic will . . ." (We'll be kind and not name the 'author' of that crap.)

People, she just stood up. The really bad rewrite of Joni Mitchell (lyrics) with the drone that would dominate in her later music had come to an end. She needed to do something on stage. (Another nitwit saw in that brief moment the battle against AIDS. We'll spare you his tripe.)

It was that kind of crap that led her away from actual songs ("Cherish," "Like a Prayer," "Holiday," "Angel," "Dress You Up," etc.) into what she is today: 'inspirational.'

With her more recent work (heavily on display in the concert NBC broadcasts) grafting banal lyrics onto the never ending wump-wump beat of a drone, some saw the influence of the Kabbalah. While she does now repeatedly present herself as the modern day Aimee Semple McPherson -- it's Church of the Madonna. Don't blame Kabbalah, these days it's all about her.

There was a time when that might have made for an interesting tour and, certainly in the past, she's been able to mount stage shows that grappled with the tensions between sexuality and spirituality, conventionality and iconoclast. These days, she's just another boring celebrity and who would have ever thought you could say that about Madonna?

Sister Madge's following eats it up, they pay hundreds for a ticket and (due to ticket pricing more than anything) the last two tours have been seen as financially successful. Anything resembling art (even pop art) long ago left the building, but there are people across the country, around the world, willing to waste a couple of hundred to listen to her dither on, with the drone behind her, about how tough it is to be Madonna.

The drone.  The lack of anything resembling music, let alone music that pops.  "Let's Do It" pops on Diana's new album.  It's a stripped down track with fluttering lines and strong percussion. 

The piano work by Charlie McLean on "I Still Believe" is right up there with the piano on "More And More" and Valerie Simpson's piano work on THE BOSS.  The song also features some of Diana's deeper register.  She really has a great lower register and I'm always surprised she doesn't feature it more.  Yes, I love it when she goes to the top of her range and, yes, that work clearly influenced Michael Jackson.  But she's also got a gorgeous lower register.  1982's "Fool For Your Love" is one of the few songs where she really resorts to the lower register for the entire song.

Diana co-wrote that 1982 song, by the way.  She also co-wrote 1982's "So Close"  and "I Am Me," 1984's "Fight for It" and "Swept Away," 1983's "Girls," 1987's "Shockwaves"  and1999's "Hope Is An Open Window."  

I mention that because one prissy critic wants you to know Diana co-writes nine of the thirteen tracks and he (you knew it was a 'he,' didn't you?) insists she's not really been a songwriter and really just previous co-wrote 1981's "Work That Body."  Uhm, no.  

She and the other songwriters do a great job on THANK YOU.  Those writers include her oldest daughter Rhonda Ross who wrote, all by herself, the delicious "Count On Me"  -- another song with great piano work and with a vocal from Diana that really delivers.

I love the background vocals on "Come Together."  I love all the extra touches and flourishes that go into this album to make it so special and wonderful.

In Betty's "WHO IS THE GREAT EARTHA KITT? (and thank you, Diana Ross!)," she notes:

I also highly recommend Diana Ross' THANK YOU. A fantastic album. I am loving it. It is wonderful and I cannot praise it enough. If you like Diana, you are going to love this album. One of the songs features a syncopated vocal like on "Now That You're Gone" (diana album) or "Not Over You Yet" (EVERY DAY IS A NEW DAY album). I love all the songs and even the ones that I loved as singles work so much better on the album in the context of the other songs.

She's talking about "In Your Heart" and it's really something with the syncopated vocal, the drum rumbles, the caressing musical notes.

I love this album.  I love the title track, I love "If The World Just Danced" -- all of it.  

I love the lyrics, I love the vocals.  In the album notes, Diana explains THANK YOU Is a "songbook of love."  That's truly what the album is.  It's a celebration and reflection of what we have and what we can have.

"The Answers Always Love" probably sums up the album.

Diana Ross' THANK YOU is an album you don't want to miss.  It's everything a musical album should be.


[Note: For this review, I used C.I.'s advanced copy of THANK YOU.  I have paid for my copy, it's just been lost in transit, see my "Once upon a time AMAZON revealed they were a liar" from Friday.]






WHO IS THE GREAT EARTHA KITT? (and thank you, Diana Ross!) (Betty)

WHO IS THE GREAT EARTHA KITT? (and thank you, Diana Ross!)

Monday night, I was watching COZI. A number of you e-mailed to say you caught an episode of THE NANNY and Eartha Kitt was on. Yes, she sang on the cruise. I didn't know she was on THE NANNY! I'm sure I did in real time because I did watch that show when it was new and I do catch it now on COZY.

Well that's a lie.

I've never watched all of the final season. We knew the show was coming to an end. I saw when Fran learned she was pregnant and Nora Dunne was her doctor. But I've never watched beyond that -- not even in syndication. Sorry.

I'm sure it's great and all, the end of the show. But I just couldn't say goodbye to it. I didn't watch the end of WILL & GRACE's first run until the revamp started. And Stan will tell you that he's never watched the final episode of FRIENDS despite loving the show and owning all seasons on DVD because he didn't want to see it end. So I guess I'm not alone.

But I did love the show.

Back to Eartha.

I reviewed John "John L. Williams' AMERICA'S MISTRESS: EARTHA KITT, HER LIFE AND TIMES" and I discussed it at THIRD "KINDLE UNLIMITED (Betty, Ava and C.I.)" and for $1.99, I can't complain about the digital book too much, I guess.


That said, America Selby's WHO IS THE GREAT EARTHA KITT? is a much better book -- and it's fre to read if you have KINDLE UNLIMITED. This providies the contexxt that is mssing from Williams' book. And it also doesn't reat Eartha like she's an idiot.

Or a liar.

Let me go to liar. I was really offended by the way Williams dismissed Eartha's conversations regarding her parents. I think she's better geared to know who her mother was. I also think that if she has no father of record Williams needs to grasp that he's proven nothing by advancing his claim as to who Eartha's father was. I might have been more charitable about his 'sleuthing' (years, after everyone is dead and all he knows is that the man was White) if he hadn't been so dismissive of Eartha over who her mother was.

Selby takes her at her word -- and why wouldn't you?

Now for the idiot aspect.

I didn't go into that. I had planned to in the discussion with Ava and C.I. because I knew C.I. would know.

In 1968, while playing Catwoman on TV, Eartha was invited to the White House and told Lady Bird some truths about Vietnam. This got Eartha banned for years.

According to Williams, she's an airhead that doesn't know what she's talking about and made no sense. White, British guy, do you think Eartha's skin color makes her stupid? Because that is how it came off. Selby, by contrast, quotes Eartha and notes that she was well spoken and a woman who had traveled the world by this point and spoke multiple languages, plus she was volunteering with a youth center. She's in her forties by this point and Williams doesn't think she's capable of making a coherent statement against the war?

That just really ticked me off.

Now America Selby's book is much briefer but it lets the moments register and it provides context. I highly reccomend WHO IS THE GREAT EARTHA KITT?

I also highly recommend Diana Ross' THANK YOU. A fantastic album. I am loving it. It is wonderful and I cannot praise it enough. If you like Diana, you are going to love this album. One of the songs features a synchopated vocal like on "Now That You're Gone" (diana album) or "Not Over You Yet" (EVERY DAY IS A NEW DAY album). I love all the songs and even the ones that I loved as singles work so much better on the album in the context of the other songs.

I scream, SCREAM, THANK YOU back to Diana because she's given her fans like me the greatest gift with this album.

 Trina did a book review this week that you should check out, "A A Novellie's Joan Rivers: The World's Funniest Funny Lady, Her Life & Tragic Death."  Also check out the following media and book coverage at THIRD:


"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):



I'm really tired of the every day racism (Ann)


I'm really tired of the every day racism.

As an African-American woman, I'm get really tired of the racism, the every day 'soft' racism that exists and largely gets ignored.  Kat's "Alexis Petridis LIES about Diana Ross and her chart history" rightly calls out the White Brit critic who lied about Diana Ross' single career in the UK, insisting that it screeched to halt after 1986 when Diana had the number one hit with "Eaten Alive."  As Kat documents, after "Chain Reaction," Diana went on to have -- from 1992 to this year -- 18 more top 40 UK singles -- including hitting number 2 with two different recordings.  

Just to comparison shop, Paul McCartney, in the same period, had 14 top 40 UK hits on the singles chart.  Like Diana, Paul emerges on the charts first in 1964 -- Paul with the Beatles, Diana with the Supremes.  The two are contemporaries.  Paul had to team with Rihanna and Kanye for one of those hits (meaning if Cliff Richards had replaced Paul on that song, it still would have been a hit) and with Kanye solo on another (ibid).  Another?  A Christmas song -- one where he's a vocalist . . . along with Bono, Chris Martin, Dido, Robbie Williams, Joss Stone and many, many others.

So grasp that.  On the UK single charts, Diana, in the period for 1992 to present, has outperformed rock legend and UK homegrown boy Paul McCartney but the Brit Priss wants to claim Diana's singles career ended in 1986.  It's stupidity.  

Is it also racism?  It may be.  

That's what C.I. is talking about in Friday's snapshot:

Kat's bothered by a review THE GUARDIAN gave Diana's album and, as Kat demonstrates, the pompous and overpraised critic didn't even get Diana's post-1986 chart history in his own country correct  More to the point, Diana's often gotten bad reviews upon release.  The Brit priss Kat calls out calls out the lyrics.  Truth for those who don't know, if you're presented with a new album and you're being paid to review it, the quickest way to do the review is to focus on the lyrics.  You can read them on the sheet and don't have to actually experience the album.  That's for all artists.

Diana?  She's like Bob Dylan at this point.  Everyone's invested in her that listens to her and they all know the album she should make.  They just know it.  And when she releases a new album (or he when Bob releases one), they're listening with one ear towards what's been released and one ear towards what they wished she'd record.

But the specific point I want to make here is the Brit priss doesn't like the lyrics and laments that they're not the same quality as the ones on 1980's diana.  When that album came out?  There were reviews savaging it for . . . the lyrics.  In fact, Nile and Bernard were never praised for their lyrics in real time -- not for their work with Diana ("Upside Down," "I'm Coming Out," "My Old Piano," etc), not for their work in their band Chic, not for their work with Debbie Harry, not for their work with Sister Sledge, not for . . . 

No one wishes Diana would go into the studio with Valerie Simpson again more than me (Valerie and her late husband Nick Ashford produced many great albums with Diana and their work together is among the best of Diana's career -- including the hits "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "The Boss," "No One Gets The Prize," "Surrender," "Remember Me," "Reach Out And Touch (Somebody's Hand)," "It's My House," "Ain't Nothing But A Maybe," etc.  But that's not where Diana is right now.  She's produced an album during the pandemic that's attempting to get your dancing and smiling and to highlight some of the pleasures that we can find at a very crazy time in this world.  

It's a great album.  Elaine and I are on treadmills working out as I dictate the snapshot and Diana's THANK YOU is what we've got blasting right now.

I get it and you may too.  There's a revolution that's taken place in the music world in recent years.  A number of 'classic' performers -- White men who were given top placing on ranked lists -- now have to compete because we don't embrace the racism that rewarded them.

It's the racism that keeps Diana's accomplishments from being recognized.  It's the racism that would like to hold down Beyonce.  They claim it's about authorship.  But it's not.  Singer-songwriters? True ones, people like Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, etc?  Musical geniuses.  They tap into the human spirit and create songs that move us.  

But let's not confuse their art with the sound rhymes that a pedestrian poser, like James Taylor -- talking about the White man, not the lead singer of Kool & The Gang -- serves up. Yet for years, that hack has made various lists while real artists didn't get on those lists.

And the 'defense' was 'authorship.'  He wrote his own songs.  He wrote his own bad songs, America, Mona (his love for the dead pig he shot) and all the other crap where he pretends to be something he's not -- a limo driver, a truck driver, a person with actual feelings.

Now while he was being ranked highly, gender kept his then-wife from being ranked at all.  Carly Simon was the talent of that marriage.  She is a singer who could have had a huge career in the big band era because she can actually sing.  More to the point, she's one of America's great songwriters -- and she has multiple inductions and multiple awards (including Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe) to prove how amazing she is as a songwriter.

There are talented White men.  John Lennon immediately springs to mind.  I think Chase Rice is one of the strongest male performers making music today.  Robbie Williams is someone my husband and I have many, many albums by.  The late George Michael is another (though we have less because he released far fewer albums than Robbie).  Sadly, the music 'canon' includes countless White men who are not talented at all.

So to promote skin color, not art, the music rankings were based on 'authorship' which didn't mean melody and didn't mean dance-ability.  It meant did some aging boy in a man's body write bad lyrics that we could pretend aspired to the poetry of Robert Lowell.  

And that's how the list was made.  

And if you were Smokey Robinson -- a great songwriter -- you got left out because (a) you weren't White and (b) you wrote songs people actually liked and could dance to.  

And that's what C.I.'s noting on the reaction to Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards' work -- with Chic and with the various artists that they worked with.

They wrote "We Are Family," an anthem to this day.  Many people have forgotten the group (Sister Sledge) but the song remains which is how we know it's amazing.  

But Niles and Bernard are African-American men.

The Guardian's reaction to Diana's album that C.I.'s talking about -- rush to the lyrics and judge it by that?  It's racism and that's what she's pointing out and that's why she's highlighting the critical reaction to Niles and Bernard.  

I'm really tired of the every day racism that we have to put up with in this world.

Cedric and I have listened to Diana's Thank You non-stop -- we bought it for streaming -- since yesterday and we love it.  And the failure to accept this as a dance album because it's a dance album goes to the racism that says anything that African-Americans are more talented in (like dance) must be racism.  

And even the dance issue, I've read a few reviews of Thank You by other White critics, oh my goodness.  Does every White critic do that overbite 'dance'?  I thought that was a stereotype of White men but apparently not.  Because it is a dance album.  Some of them are some dance and ballad.

White guy critics, do you know how to dance?  Do you not grasp that there's a form of dancing known as slow dancing?

Are White guy music critics just a bunch of nerds who never pressed their bodies against someone they desired?  Is that why they look down on dancing so much?

I don't know.

But Diana's released an amazing album and the words fit the music.  They may or may not thrill you if you try to read them as poetry.  But they are meant to be sung.

I'm really tired of the every day racism.  Be sure to read Kat's "Once upon a time AMAZON revealed they were a liar" and let's all do our part to stop the racism.  

If you're not aware of how far we've come, grasp this:  Rolling Stone put Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in their top ten albums of the 500 best albums of all time back in 2020.  We did that.  We forced that.  By refusing to accept racism and demanding music be judged on its own merit and not skin color, we made that happen.  The year it came out?  In 1998, Rolling Stone gave its critics awards to . . . the Beastie Boys -- whose Jerry Lewis shtick had already aged poorly -- for Hello Nasty -- not an album anyone really listens to anymore but, hey, they were White guys and in 1998, that mattered more to Rolling Stone than actual music accomplishment.


This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


Diana Ross has a new album (Isaiah)


Diana Ross has a new album

Let's celebrate on of the real legends, Diana Ross.

Her new album is THANK YOU and it was released Friday.

Kat's "Kat's Korner: No, Diana Ross, Thank You" is a rave review of the album. 

And if you stream any of the videos that I have posted here, I think you'll be blown away.

There's only one Diana Ross and she's not just entertained us, she's changed our world.

Here's C.I.'s ""Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):




Diana Ross (Ruth)


Diana Ross

Please read Kat's "Kat's Korner: No, Diana Ross, Thank You" about Diana Ross' new album THANK YOU.  TV Diana Ross is a legend.

I am old.  Old as dirt.  I was just starting college when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.  That was 1963 and it was a very dark period.  1963 could not end quickly enough.  When 1964 came around, we had the Beatles and we had the Supremes.  The two groups dominated radio.  And the Supremes dominated TV as well.  The Beatles did when they were in the country but they were from England.  The Supremes were from Detroit.  They dominated TV which, back then, featured a lot of music.  There were music programs.  There were variety programs.  There were talk shows.  All required musical acts.  

And Diana Ross, the lead of the Supremes, was magnetic in front of the camera.  As a result, she broke down numerous barriers that had prevented Black artists from being featured on television.  Berry Gordy, head of the label MOTOWN, saw the Supremes as trailblazers and the group became night club entertainers and Vegas entertainers.  Diana was the star.  She would do a special with Lucille Ball and Dinah Shore.  She would host TV programs.  As more opportunities were created for all people of color by Diana's high TV visibility, there would be those who followed down the trail blazed by her who would send her up or mock her -- such as Dionne Warwick did when she finally got a TV special.  

Diana could sing and dance.  With LADY SINGS THE BLUES, the world would learn that she could also act.  And she was nominated for an Academy Award.  

Diana broke down doors.  

She also sang some of the best pop songs of the 20th century -- including?

"Stop In The Name Of Love," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Do You Know Where You're Going To," "Baby Love," "I Hear A Symphony," "Touch Me In The Morning," "Swept Away," "Missing You," "Upside Down," "If We Hold On Together," "Pieces of Ice," "So Close," "Surrender," "Reflections," "All Of You," ''Where Did Our Love Go," "Why Do Fools Fall In Love," "Dirty Looks," "Reach Out And Touch Somebody's Hand," "Muscles," "Telephone," "I'm Coming Out," "The Boss," "Back In My Arms Again," "No Matter What Sign You Are," "Endless Love," "Chain Reaction," "Remember Me," "Love Child," "Take Me Higher," "Mirror, Mirror," "Come See About Me," "My World Is Empty Without You," "It's My Turn," "You Can't Hurry Love," "You Keep Me Hanging On," "Last Time I Saw Him," "My Mistake Was To Love You," "One Love In My Lifetime," ""It's My House," "Forever Came Today," "Love Is Here And Now You're Gone," "Getting Ready For Love," "Workin' Overtime," "When You Tell Me That You Love Me," "Take Me Higher," "The Happening," "When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes," "Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart," "In And Out Of Love," "I'm Livin' In Shame," "The Composer" . . . 

Look at all those songs and there are so many more that she sang lead on that charted.  

She is a trail blazer and a legend.  

And THANK YOU is an amazing album.  I spent the day listening to it.  

I highly recommend you stream it as well.  I think you will love it.

 My top five tracks from the new album?

1) "In Your Heart"

2) "If The World Just Danced"

3) "Count On Me"

4) "The Answer's Always Love"

5) "Thank You"

This is C.I.'s ""Iraq snapsot:" 





Once upon a time AMAZON revelead they were a liar (Kat)

  "Once upon a time AMAZON revealed they were a liar"

Kat:  Are you an AMAZON PRIME member who believes next day delivery is what you're paying for?  Or maybe you order off AMAZON and look at the day they tell you it will be delivered and believe them?  If so, you may want to stop reading because this little fairy tale doesn't end with a happily ever after.

Diana Ross Tweeted:

My new album ‘Thank You’ is released now, it's all I've dreamed of. From my heart to your heart. You breathe life into these amazing songs. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. #dianarossthankyou
Diana Ross - Thank You
The new album out now!

Diana Ross' THANK YOU came out today.  Weeks ago, I ordered it on AMAZON and I'm AMAZON PRIME so that means next day delivery.  So they shipped it yesterday and it was supposed to arrive today.  And I checked with them -- customer service -- throughout the day.  Yes, it would arrive by 8:00 pm tonight.  But I also checked with UPS.  At 5:00 pm, I was online chatting again.

What were they going to do to fix it?

Fix what, I'm told, it's arriving at 8:00 pm today.  Maybe they need to refresh their screen?

UPS told me on the phone it would be Tuesday.  AMAZON didn't ship it right.  

So I don't tell about the Tuesday or the conversation with UPS, I just say I know it's not arriving today.  Let Venkatraman check a moment.


Well, she's so sorry, it's not arriving today.  But it'll be there tomorrow or Monday.  Anything else she can help me with?

Yeah, she can help me to someone better than her because I have no use for liars.  I know she's only trying to close the chat and get rid of me and that the album will not be arriving until Tuesday because I spoke with UPS.  I know that the package is not even in the state of California currently.

I then get Sathya who apparently doesn't even read the chat transcript before she starts lying to me and telling me my item will be delivered tonight at 8:00 pm.   I tell her that it's not being delivered to me today.  And she goes to check and says there's some delay (yeah, I already knew).

Sahtya:  You'll receive your order.

me: When?

Sahtya: You'll receive your order.

me: When?

I paid on time.

Hell, I paid ahead of time.  And I was promised it would be here today.

Sahtya: It will probably be tomorrow.  Is there anything else?

me: Yes, get me someone else now.  I've already spoken to UPS and I know it won't be delivered until Tuesday.  You've lied to me, get me someone else.

At this point, she tells me that she is the highest point of escalation.  No, she's not.

And I am pissed.  Finally, she says she can have someone call me.   Will they call today or Monday?  She says today.

I give her my number and speak to a guy named Noel.

 Noel starts in on the could be tomorrow, could be Sunday but will be there by Monday.

No, not in the mood.  I already know from UPS that it will be Tuesday.

Noel finally stops me and tries a new tactic.

When the screen says a time, it's not a really a time.  So right now, Diana Ross' THANK YOU, if I order it again, the screen says:

Delivery date: Nov. 72021


So, if I order it right now, I can have it on Sunday (and I'll just give Dak-Ho the copy that arrives Tuesday).  Right?


Noel says that this is an estimate and everyone knows it's an estimate.


There's nothing that says it's an estimate.  There's no asterisk referring you to fine print.  

It's a promise.  Read it again:

Delivery date: Nov. 72021

As far as I'm concerned, that's a contract.  And I enter into believing that they're telling me the truth.  

But, according to Noel, these are just words and just estimates.  I might get it Sunday, it might be later.  "And everyone understands that."

Really?  Because, no, if I see that, I see a promise.  I see a promise that it's going to be delivered and be delivered by that date.

But Noel says no.  And the one day delivery on PRIME?  "You get many things with your PRIME subscription . . ."


I pay for many things with my PRIME subscription.  Quit acting like you're giving me a gift when I'm paying for it.  

I should not expect one day delivery as a person paying from PRIME, Noel tells me, even though that's what I'm promised.

As I told Noel, he's not any help at all and if AMAZON's got these hidden policies, they need to post them.  If the time promised for delivery is not a promise, they need to say that on their website.  

I wouldn't have ordered though them otherwise.  

It was late at night, I was online, I thought, "Oh, go ahead and order it and then you won't have to worry about it getting here.  It'll be all be taken care of."

Coz we all know how lazy I am.  If I had that burst of energy that night, better to pre-order and pay so I didn't have to worry about it again.

However, I now have to worry any time I use AMAZON because when I order and I'm told a delivery date, that's not a promise.  That's just an estimate.  And my problem there is with the carrier.

Strange, because I didn't enter into a relationship with a carrier.  I paid AMAZON for a product that they were selling.  They're the ones who told me when I'd get it.  

But according to AMAZON this is not their problem.  This is a problem between me and the carrier.  

It's really nice how no one's accountable anymore, isn't it?

Noel kept asking what he was supposed to do?

I said, "Well for one thing, stop saying Monday.  Say we will put in a new order right now and we'll get it to you on Sunday."  

Well it shows Sunday on the website but it would probably be Monday or Tuesday, he says.

I just can't.  

This is such nonsense.  If you promise something, then you promise it.  And you should be held accountable.  But, hey, now I know that AMAZON, when it tells you when the package will arrive, doesn't mean that that's when it will actually arrive.  Could be days later.  Noel said it could be a week later.  It's just an estimate.  

"I just want to lower your expectations," Noel told me. 

I'd love to see that AMAZON commercial on TV.  "Hi, I'm Noel and I work for AMAZON.  I just want to lower your expectations.  That's what we do, here at AMAZON, lower your expectations.  So you won't get upset when we fail to deliver on our promises."

Must be nice to be able to get away with lying to people on your website over and over and feel no guilt.  Must be nice to be that much of a crook.  

 I'll be doing my review of the album, probably tomorrow.  I'll be using C.I.'s advanced copy that she's had for some time now. I could do that on reviews.  I try not to.  I think I've done that once before -- and I noted it in the review.  Otherwise, I pay for it.  If it's good and I recommend that you buy an album, I'm not going to be a hypocrite and say, "Buy it!" -- even though I haven't.  So I buy all that I review (with that one exception that was noted a few years back).  It'll either go up tomorrow or Sunday.  If that's too long for you, I will note that no where on this website did I ever say "Diana Ross' THANK YOU will be released on Friday and I will be reviewing it Friday."

But, if I had said that, you damn well better believe you'd be reading a review of the album right now.  Because some of us take promises seriously.

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