Wednesday, August 10, 2022


The garbage that is DISCOVERY never goes away, does it?  Which is how we arrive at a mid-week piece after doing three already.  That classy and quality company that is DISCOVERY has produced what they're calling a documentary. 

Well thank heaven, right?
a new illst

The Iraq War is long overdue for an American documentary that examines the lies and notes how the only US withdrawal that ever really took place was the bulk of the American media leaving (fleeing) at the end of 2008.  In fact, WEVV's 44 NEWS reports, "A deployment ceremony was held in Evansville on Tuesday afternoon for hundreds of Indiana National Guard soldiers who are headed to Iraq.  Tuesday's ceremony was held as a sendoff for approximately 300 members of the 1st Battalion, 163rd Field Artillery."  So thank heaven DISCOVERY is using its wealth of resources to cover such an important topic.

What's that?

It's not about the Iraq War?

Okay, well the plight of young males who are assaulted and abused does get enough attention -- in fact, when the abuse of boys was finally getting some media attention in the Me Too era, Cheetahs like Patricia Arquette, Michelle Williams, etc, hijacked the narrative to make it about how many millions 'poor' actresses weren't getting.  (See "MEDIA: Male norms, Russia hate and lots of excuses -- it's the 90th Academy Awards.") 

Oh.  The Cheetahs must be in charge at DISCOVERY because they're not going to explore that either.

Well goodness knows that Jane Fonda's weak ass Friday Fire Drills aren't seriously addressing climate change (or raising awareness) so climate is an issue that needs media attention -- sorely needs it.  

Since it needs attention, it is apparently the last thing DISCOVERY is going to explore.  Instead, they're going to offer HOUSE OF HAMMER.  Christopher Lee fans shouldn't get excited -- HOUSE OF HAMMER, not HAMMER HOUSE OF HORROR.

This isn't about the British horror films.  

It's not about much when you consider that DISCOVERY boasts that it offers "factual" programming.

What's the woman's name?  The Patti Davis of the Trump family?

We don't like nobodies who pretend to be somebodies.  Patti used to trash her parents, Nancy and Ronald, and try to hob knob on that basis when not bragging that she composed a song for the Eagles (we side with Don Henley on that claim).  We never trusted Patti and we don't trust the Trump-ette.  Others applaud her but we (a) don't trust her and (b) find it pathetic when anyone tries to make their name, fame and/or money off of trashing their relatives for sport.

We don't care for Trump-ette and HOUSE OF HAMMER is full of Trump-ettes.

We watched the first two parts.  Maybe part three turns the whole thing around?  (It couldn't.)

It's garbage and, sorry, DISCOVERY+, it's not even factual.  Maybe that's to be expected when you bring THE QUEEN OF METH on board to do another cheapo piece of TV trash.

Armie Hammer does exist.  He's an actor.  He was a working actor until he started getting smeared. That does bother us -- because we know Armie, because we believe in fairness, and because this is a human life being destroyed with claims that don't add up.

The 'documentary' wants to alarm us.  We're not alarmed.  We grasp that humans are sexual beings and we long ago worked our way through Nancy Friday's work and through own 'research.'  In fact, we assume most adults have -- at least done their own 'research' at any rate.

We bring that up because if you are raped, you are raped.  If you are assaulted, you are assaulted.

Bad dating is not rape or assault.  Dating that did not please you or work your own personal kink is not rape or assault. 

Claims and charges were made against Armie Hammer.  

He lost his career over them.  The Los Angeles Police Department investigated and did not bring charges which means that they couldn't substantiate any of the charges.

Not that surprising when you're being told by Trump-ettes that Armie was intimidating and that was assault.

"I decide when you sleep, when you eat, when you [expletive]. I am 100% a cannibal, I want to eat you."

The 'documentary' includes that.  As proof of how evil Armie is.

Seriously, they do.  

These and other texts were exchanged with women Armie was interested in.

Doesn't sound like assault.  Sounds like someone into power-play in the bedroom feeling out a potential partner to see if they have the same interests.  Considering the popularity of 50 SHADES OF GREY, we're stunned that anyone's shocked by the texts.  

We never hear anything like, "I objected but he showed up and did this to me!"

Again, it's like someone exploring consent.

We thought consent was a good thing.

And if we're dating someone, we'd like to know what we're going to be doing in the bed before we get there.  

Armie has power issues in bed.  No doubt, if the woman replies, "Fine, but sometimes I like to spank a bad boy," he would have been up for that as well.  Show us any guy who initiates dom talk early on and flip him over quickly because he's also a sub.  

Armie's not the only one being trashed in the documentary.  A Trump-ette in the Hammer family (no, we're not going to amplify her name) shows up to dish and she's so proud of herself that she's a producer and a consultant.  She's there to trash multiple relatives including great-great-granddad.  No one is safe with a Trump-ette in the family.  

What any of this has to do with some accusations that were investigated and found to be wanting, we have no idea.  

And, on that, we don't believe that every investigation is fair. Jamie Leigh Jones?  We believe her.  We tell ourselves that no one could win against Dick Cheney's Halliburton.  We know many people feel that is 'case closed' because of the verdict.  And if that's what they feel, that's what they feel.  We're not going to yell and scream at them.  We'll state our opinion and move on.  And that's what we all have to do, make our own judgment calls.  We don't find the accusers particularly believable.  Also true, some of what Arme's accused of does not rise to the level of assault or rape.  Please break that news to nervous nellies Courtney Vucekovich and Julia Morrison.  Also let them know that, when looking for Prince Charming, men who are already married are rarely, if ever, a catch.  In other words, sometimes you invite your own problems.  We're not saying, "She was asking to get raped."  No one is asking for that -- except the loon E. Jean Carroll who told CNN viewers that rape was "sexy."  Courtney and Julia weren't raped or assaulted.  They didn't like texts that they received.  Courtney didn't like Armie tying her up -- afterwards, she didn't complain or protest before.  She chose to go along with it.  We remember, back in the not-so-distant-day, when women were expected to have a little self-respect, you reply that you're offended by whatever offended you and either dump the person or work through it.

What we're saying is: Bad dating is not a crime.

Yes, it may feel like one and you may feel very wronged but it's just a bad experience that you're going to have to get through.

Repeating, bad dating is not a crime -- sometimes it just feels like one.

We decried the attack on Aziz Ansari for the same reason that Ashleigh Banfield did: It wasn't assault and it wasn't rape.  A woman goes out with Aziz and has enough fun to want to go back to his place.  She let's him go down on her multiple times and goes down on him.  After the date?  She decides she was assaulted.

No, dear, you weren't.

You may regret what you did, but you weren't assaulted.  

And we're sorry that no one in your life was able to counsel you and explain that very few people alive today are without a night or two that they don't regret in retrospect.  That's modern dating.  And we live and we learn.  That's what you do if, after sexually pleasuring Aziz by your own choice and allowing him to sexually pleasure you by your own choice, you wake up with regret.  Chalk it up to an experience and learn from it.  Don't whine that you were assaulted or raped because you weren't and you insult real survivors when you equate your bad date with a violent encounter.

There are many women -- the huge numbers would surprise you -- who have been assaulted and/or raped.  DISCOVERY+ will not offer a documentary about that.  But they'll smear Armie Hammer and roll in the gutter for ratings.  They call it entertainment but, in wiser times, society called it exploitation.

Disclosures, we know Armie.  Also Jim is opposed to this going up.  He thinks it should be held for Sunday.  We'd love to do that -- it would mean we'd already done our piece for this week and could actually have some free time.  However, we do know Armie and his career has been harmed and he has been harmed.  We're not going to wait to view the third episode to weigh in on this garbage and we're not going to wait until Sunday.  Jim did ask us to note the other features that went up earlier this week and we will do that:  
P.S. People who have not watched any of the HOUSE OF HAMMER are calling this 'documentary' "shocking."  Dull, that's the best word for it -- along with cheap and exploitative. 





Monday, August 08, 2022

DISCOVERY trashes itself in the entertainment industry (Ava and C.I.)

WARNER BROTHES is under new management, as Miki Howard might put it.  And we'll say it out loud: That's not a good thing.

Various TV shows on the WB-owned HBO MAX have been and are being cancelled.  Last week, the news was that a new Scooby Doo animated film and a live action BATGIRL film would not be released.  Not released to theaters, not released on HBO MAX.  Instead, the films would be buried.  

Now in TV shows, films and fictional books, movies are cancelled all the time.  In real life?  No.  

In 1971, WARNER BROTHERS sort of cancelled A GLIMPSE OF THE TIGER -- the film, starring Elliott Gould with Kim Darby co-starring and Anthony Harvey directing.  There was one problem after another on the set.  The studio blamed Elliott and his drug use.  Elliott countered that he was not the problem.  At one point, the director stormed off the set and the project.  He would return.  He and Elliott would exchange punches.  WARNER BROTHERS shut down production.  They could have filed for insurance at that point.  Instead, WB's John Calley contacted Barbra Streisand.  The actress had now starred in multiple films and earned an Academy Award for FUNNY GIRL.  Could WARNER's finish the project with her in the lead?  She said yes in part to mitigate any damage Elliott might incur (the two shared a child, Jason Gould, and were in the process of divorcing).  She agreed to Peter Bogdanovich as the director and a script rewrite resulted in WHAT'S UP DOC? -- one of the biggest films of 1972.

Though the production had been vastly out of control, the studio briefly shut down filming but didn't shut down the film.  They knew that they had a good chance of landing Barbra (a more bankable film star than Elliott) and that meant they had a good chance of having a hit via some emotional extortion (they played on Barbra's love for her soon-to-be-ex-husband).  HEAVEN'S GATE was a film that never should have been made.  Michael Cimeno did not have an understanding of the human condition -- which is why THE DEER HUNTER is about as deep as a LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK.  More to the point, the film was not a hit.  And it couldn't be widely seen and receive any Academy Awards -- the studio knew that.  As Steve Bach outlines in FINAL CUT: ART, MONEY AND EGO IN THE MAKING OF HEAVEN'S GATE, United Artists knew they had to make sure Academy voters saw select reviews and not the film itself.  

UA was a small studio and it depended upon relationships with artists.  That's why Michael Cimeno was not fired during the filming of HEAVEN'S GATE -- a point Steve Bach dances around and obscures, but that was the issue.  Often confused with FIRST ARTISTS (whose successes included Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw's THE GETAWAY and Barbra Streisand's THE MAIN EVENT and A STAR IS BORN), UNITED ARTISTS would last a few more years than the other studio.  (What is called UA today is not UA.  After MGM took it over, it really did cease to exist as anything but a vanity label.)

UA was doomed primarily by its inability to attract new artists after the debacle of HEAVEN'S GATE.  Yes, indulging Michael Cimeno made them look bad on Wall Street.  But the attacks on Cimeno, after backing the film, bothered a significant number of members of the film community. Instead of taking the loss for a bad film that they funded, they went to the press with horror stories about Cimeno, undermining him in an attempt to save their own asses.  Soon, they'd lose Woody Allen to ORION.  They retained the James Bond films but little else.

And then there was YENTL.  A musical starring Barbra Streisand was seen as a money maker.  Barbra wanted to direct YENTL and UA had agreed to it.  After the Cimeno debacle, they began to go lukewarm on the deal and tried to punish her -- making her personally responsible for any overage, underpaying her as an actress and as a director, imposing a schedule for the editing phase that was nearly impossible, etc.  Barbra produced, directed, starred in, co-wrote and oversaw the editing of YENTL which was a hit in 1983 but the pressure put on her -- especially during the editing -- was like nothing a studio had done before -- with a man or a woman.  Between the way they sabotaged Cimeno and the way they disrespected Stresiand, UA's image was dirt. 

WARNER BROTHERS, by contrast, had worked hard to develop relationships with 'the talent.'  That included Barbra, Clint Eastwood, Goldie Hawn, etc.  And that allowed WARNER's to bring in a number of artists over the years.  Allowed.  Past tense.  Despite Hollywood being an entrenched world, when things do change, they change quickly.

And things are changing for WARNER BROTHERS, HBO, HBO MAX, et al.

AT&T has sold  WARNER BROTHERS to DISCOVERY and it's a new era for a historic studio -- new, but not good.

Unlike 20TH CENTURY FOX, WARNER's didn't need to change its name to move into the 21st century but it did need to take a few steps.  The most successful step was in streaming.  HBO MAX was created to rival NETFLIX. And it was something worth bragging about.  In a little over a year, they had not just established themselves but they had become a content producing streamer that people wanted to subscribe to.

AT&T wasn't keeping up with the times and DISCOVERY is the broadcast equivalent of THE SUN tabloid.  DISCOVERY's version of a streamer is basically bad reality programs that play like public access.  AT&T never knew what it was.  As far back as 2014, they were planning on phasing out landlines.  They're phasing out DSL.  They're not really sure what they are or who they'll serve.  Combing the low quality of DISCOVERY with the dubious nature of AT&T and you're left with the new WARNER BROTHERS that stands for nothing.

HBO is no longer a first-rate stop for show runners.  That's due to the ongoing blood letting at HBO MAX -- which, to be clear, talent is not drawing a line around and is instead seeing it as all just "HBO."  There are other players that can be pitched new series.  That's bad for HBO and HBO MAX because they really depend on new show runners -- existing show runners at HBO  coming up with new successes for HBO has been a very rare hat trick.  

But BATGIRL and SCOOB'S HOLIDAY HAUNT really are at the core of ongoing industry discussions.  

BATGIRL, as Marcia noted, being shelved forever has sexist and racist implications.  

But it has other implications.  

If you're a director, those are serious implications.  You don't spend a few months filming and that's it.  You are developing the project (unless you're a last minute replacement) and you are casting it and you are directing it and then you are editing it.  If you're a producer, you have similar time issues on a project.  You are dedicating at least two years to a project and you know that it could be cancelled, put into turn around, whatever, at any minute.  You know that and, as a director or producer, you work in that system.

No one has worked in the system that DISCOVERY has created.


Remember those films?

Sometimes, they were always planned as that.  However, sometimes a studio would lose faith in a film or be displeased by the final cut and shuffle it off to video with no theatrical release.  Sometimes, a film can overcome that in the long run via a cultural reevaluation.  But you cannot reevaluate what no one can see.  And, if they take the insurance money for BATGIRL and SCOOB'S HOLIDAY HAUNT, no one will ever be able to reevaluate anything.

A deal was made with the understanding that when BATGIRL was completed, it would air on HBO MAX.

Now that's not happening.

We spoke to three producers and four directors who had films in the top 20 top grossing films of 2021.  All seven told us they're not doing business with HBO or WARNERS or whatever they call themselves -- one added "not under this regime."  Why would they put their time into a project when, at the end of the day, DISCOVERY might just decide to grab the insurance money instead.  

We also spoke with one agent at CAA who questions how an insurance company can write off a completed film just because the studio doesn't want to release it -- "I'd love to see that written insurance claim," he told us. 

Films are not going to turn out the way a script reads.  Filming will change that.  

Studio heads may or may not like the completed film.  

But BATGIRL was not supposed to be released to theaters.  Yes, after getting Michael Keaton back as Batman for the film and Brendan Fraser as the villain, it might have seemed worth pursuing that possibility.  However, it was always intended to be a film that would debut on HBO MAX.  We're not understanding how what is in fact a TV movie is unreleasable?  You put it on streaming and it's streamed or not.  If it has any curiosity value, it will get a certain number of streams regardless of the quality.

BATGIRL has built in curiosity factors.  First off, Batgirl has been a popular TV and comic book character since she was created in the late 60s.  Second of all, Brendan has been on a career rebound.  Third, Michael Keaton is still considered by many to have been the best Batman.  That's three curiosity factors it had two weeks ago.  A fourth emerged last week -- people expecting the film to be a train wreck since  DISCOVERY is saying it will never, ever be released. 

 These despotic moves may be seen as 'cost cutters' by the 'brains' at DISCOVERY  What they don't seem to realize is now that they're in the entertainment industry, they're not going to be able to bully around the talent.  Every move they have made since taking over has been wrong footed.  They are harming an existing brand and they are fools if they don't grasp the work that went into creating HBO MAX and making it a success.  A producer told us, "When Coke bought COLUMBIA in the early 80s, a lot of people freaked.  I didn't.  I knew they wouldn't last ten years owning COLUMBIA.  If DISCOVERY can't adapt, look for it to unload in less than five."  Let's all hope he is not just a good producer but also a good psychic.
8/8 /22 piece corrected to note DISCOVERY's sole ownership.

Can we get a fact check on aisle five? (Ava and C.I.)

It's a rare week that passes where POLITIFACT -- a partisan website -- isn't the laughingstock of the world as they bend over backwards to, for example, portray a lie out of Joe Biden's mouth as something other than a lie.  The same courtesy is never extended to a Republican..

GOOGLE and other idiotic corporations want to lose objectivity and ride on the 'Feeling Groovy' Democratic Party bandwagon.  

There is a need for fact checking.  The main reason for that isn't politicians.  Yes, they are natural born liars.  But the main reason for fact checking is lazy and stupid journalists who think they know enough to write something.  On what would have been the late Judy Garland's 100th birthday, a number of journalists rushed to weigh in and, as Kat noted in " "Kat's Korner: JUDY IN LOVE -- an artistic masterpiece," they just sported their stupidity.

If we had the time, every week, we'd be offering fact checks on journalists -- 20 to 30 a week because that is how stupid and lazy they are.  

Doubt it?

a natural woman

Carole King.  Singer-songwriter.  A songwriter of over 40 hit songs prior to becoming part of the singer-songwriter movement of the 70s.  Responsible for more classics than most people could name on a game show off the top of their head.  

She's a legend.

Why can't people get the facts right?

Forget that, let's zoom in on an outlet.  PBS.  Taxpayer money pays for their lying.

Tom Casciato wrote "Why doesn’t anyone talk about Carole King’s other No. 1 album (including her)?" and there are so many problems with it.


See if you can spot why Tom Casciato should never be allowed to write about popular music in the paragraph below;

Music fans old enough to remember 1971 can be forgiven if they remember it as the year of Carole King. That was the year, after all, when the “Tapestry” hurricane hit American culture – hit and never really left. 14 million units sold, four Grammy awards, two No. 1 singles (“It’s Too Late” and “So Far Away”), 25th on Rolling Stone’s list of the all-time greatest albums – you get the point. When its 50th anniversary came around this year, it was rightly hailed by Esquire as “an enduring reminder of how art can stay engrained in our cultural consciousness.”

You see the problems?  

First off, "So Far Away" wasn't a number one hit. Not even on CASHBOX -- a US publication largely forgotten today but whose chart rivaled BILLBOARD's chart in real time.  On BILLBOARD, "So Far Away" did make it to number 14 on the pop chart and to number 3 on the adult contemporary chart.  

So Carole didn't have two number one songs from TAPESTRY?

No, she did.  

"I Feel The Earth Move."  That's what the idiot forgets.  "I Feel The Earth Move" is known for being an incredibly well written song, it's considered the definitive example of prosody and is frequently taught in composition classes for that reason.  

It went to number one.  

Stupid idiots at PBS apparently never heard of the double-A single.  It's when both sides go number one -- the A-side and the B-side.   This doesn't happen very often, but it does happen.  The Beatles had number ones with the double-sided single "Come Together" and "Something." It can also be called a "dual single" and an "AA side."  Along with Carole and the Beatles, other artists having a double-sided hit include Brenda Lee, Nat King Cole, Fats Domino, the Beach Boys and Connie Francis. 

So that's a problem.

Then the idiot wants you to know about "Carole King's other number one album" -- he means MUSIC and he writes, "Released just in time for Christmas, it hit the top of the charts by January of ’72, and went on to become another platinum seller, the second most popular album of her stellar career."


Is it the second most popular album of her stellar career.  It's certified with a million -- some in shipping, some in sales.  What about HER GREATEST HITS SONGS OF LONG AGO.  Exactly how he is determining that MUSIC is more popular than that collection since both are certified platinum.  Both can claim a million copies.  How is he determining that MUSIC is more popular?


PBS wants you to know that "Tom Casciato is a documentary filmmaker and a Special Correspondent for PBS NewsHour Weekend."  Apparently, his credit as "f**king idiot" is only to be implied.

By the way, if you think we've been too hard on the liar, his piece is entitled "Why doesn’t anyone talk about Carole King’s other No. 1 album (including her)?

Did you not see the problem with that?  That's fine as long as you don't self-present as qualified to weigh in on music.  But if, like Idiot Tom, you do self-present that way, then you have a huge problem.

TAPESTRY went to number one (for weeks).  As did MUSIC.

But, and here's the thing, so did 1974's WRAP AROUND JOY.  Yes, Carole has three albums that hit number one on BILLBOARD's TOP 200 albums chart.  

Tom's pathetic errors went up at the PBS website -- under AMERICAN MASTERS -- on March 24, 2021.  PBS has refused to correct his article to this day.  

They don't correct their errors.  Ever.  And they don't require anyone to be factual when writing about music.  Which is how you get Harvey Kubernik's "Carole King's Monumental TAPESTRY Album" published at PBS' website February 15, 2011.

Harvey lies, "Sedaka also introduced Carole King and Gerry Goffin to Don Kirshner, who helmed a publishing company, Aldon Music, with Al Nevins. King and Goffin subsequently worked with Nevins and Kirshner’s Aldon Music (in the Brill Building)."


No, Harvey, just no.


PBS might let you lie, but we're not going to.  From RUSS & GARY'S "THE BEST YEARS OF MUSIC:"

An interview with American pop music songwriter Toni Wine by Song Facts (SF):

Toni: There were really two huge buildings that were housing publishing companies, songwriters, record labels, and artists. The Brill Building was one. But truthfully, most of your R&B, really rock & roll labels and publishing companies, including the studio, which was in the basement and was called Allegro Studios, was in 1650 Broadway.

SF: But you were associated with the Brill Building?

Toni: Well, music from those days, people kind of condensed the area to the Brill Building area. That always bothered me, because the Brill Building is its own building and 1650 is its own building. It’s New York City… there are lots of streets, but these two buildings happened to be, basically, diagonally from each other. And the Brill Building housed different organizations. They were more of the Tin Pan Alley building. According to a lot of interviews and a lot of stories, they say that all the music was in the Brill Building. We weren’t. We were in 1650. Carole King, Barry Mann, Gerry Goffin, Cynthia Weil, Howie Greenfield, myself, and tons of people, a lot of times are written as being housed in the Brill Building. We weren’t. We were in 1650 Broadway.

SF: I guess what I’m getting at is the songwriters were not associated with each other in those two buildings. So it’s not like you would get sent over to one building from the other or anything.

Toni: No. Wherever their companies were, that’s where they were basically housed. I mean, we all loved each other, we were all brothers and sisters going to each other’s offices. We just didn’t work in each other’s offices. And a lot of people refer to the Brill Building, because the Brill Building has gotten great publicity, where 1650 did not get great publicity. But boy, we had a lot of music coming out of there.


Who you gonna believe -- a PBS liar or Toni Wine who co-wrote the eternal classic "A Groovy Kind Of Love" and worked in the same building as Carole King?





We don't do greatest hits, we're not a juke box, we don't take the stage and play the same song over and over.  A number of e-mails have come in over the last few years insisting that we missed this or that book that a woman rocker/popper/whatever wrote.  

Yes, we did a phase where we were attempting to amplify books by women in music.  A phase.  We never said it would continue forever.  We also never said that we'd review every book that came out.

The phase ended sometime ago.  

Ty reported that e-mails had started back up now that SOUL SURVIVOR: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY has been released.  We actually had already decided we'd review P.P. Arnold's biography..  (Disclosure: One of us, C.I., knows P.P. and has for years.)  Ike Turner raped P.P. and we watched as an event that happened and was known in the 60s was turned into 'allegedly' in the US.  

In the book, P.P. notes that she told her sister and a few friends about it when it happened and over the years.  Yes, and some of the friends P.P. spoke with were speaking to others.  This crime was not a secret.  

The book starts with P.P. getting a call from a friend who needs her to go to an audition with her -- to audition to be a new Ikette -- part of The Ike and Tina Turner Revue.  She wants to go, she wants to sing, but she's got two children and a husband who beats her.  She lies to David that she's picking up a check for some session vocal work and she auditions.  Tina and Ike want the three women to be part of the act and want them to go to a club that night to see the revue.  P.P. notes that David will beat her up.  Ike's convinced he can sweet talk her husband.  Finally, she figures in for a penny, in for a pound and goes.

It's her first time in a nightclub.  She really likes the Ikettes on stage.  They've had success outside of Ike and are leaving.  She's blown away by the band and she's amazed at what a star Tina is onstage.  

She's rightly wary of Ike.

P.P. shifts, from chapter to chapter, to a chapter explaining her progress in music, to a chapter detailing her ancestors and how they finally end up in California -- after her parents and grandparents many years in Smith County, Texas (cities such as Tyler, Rusk, Henderson, etc).  She manages to make both storylines interesting.  It also gets to the survivor in the title of her book because she is a survivor from a long line of survivors.

Sadly, that includes survivors of domestic abuse.  She saw her mother beaten and she herself is beaten.  When she wants to join the Revue, she's told (by her mother) that her father will have to decide.  He's not for it at first.  Then she begs and pleads and he appears to feel some guilt for forcing her to marry David.  He'll tell David that some of the beatings have gone too far -- as P.P. notes, this implies that other beatings were just fine.  

She's on the road after four days of rehearsals and she and the other two do a great job.  But, a few nights later, they displease Ike and he orders them out of the limo he travels in and onto the badly torn up bus with the band.  That's the first inkling that Ike's not going to be a kind father figure.  From there, Ike's true nature just keeps popping up.  He shows up, for example, at her hotel room and rapes her.  Afterwards, he then tries to pay her for it.  She refuses payment.  A little while later, he corners her again and tries again but she's saved when a backup singer shows up.

In the brief one year period that she's an Ikette, she manages to appear in the concert film THE BIG T.N.T. SHOW and to go into the studio to record backing vocals for the Phil Spector produced "River Deep, Mountain High."

It's no wonder that, once in the UK where the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger tells her she should be pursuing a solo career, that she immediately is on board.

What was to go back to in the US?  Her husband had been getting $175 of her $250 a week and was not saving it for a house (as he had said they would) or sending a portion to her mother who was looking after the two kids.  Performing music there meant violence on the road -- she recounts being refused service at a cafe and a bathroom station at a gas station for "coloreds" that was inhumane.  In the UK, she didn't encounter the same sort of overt racism.  

So she begins her solo recording career.  "As Time Goes By" has been done by many since Mick and Keith Richards wrote it for their band The Rolling Stones but few have ever invested it with all that P.P. does.

She sings "Tin Soldier" with Small Faces backing her and in 1967 became the first artist to record Cat Stevens' "The First Cut Is The Deepest."  

It's a strong story and a remarkable one.  She got a chance and she ran with it.  She made a better life for herself and she thrived -- not just survived, thrived.  We strongly recommend this book.

2022 Deaths

Each year, people are born and people die.  Reader Troy Montgomery e-mailed noting that many community sites note passings and thought we could keep a running link page on that.  That's a good idea.  We'll try to include this in future editions this year as sites cover additional deaths.  You'll note a lot of links go to Ruth because she tends to cover passings more than anyone else in the community.  The list may not be complete and the only order for the first twelve is the order of what we remembered while we were doing this -- the order we remembered the deaths in. 



1) Sally Kellerman -- see Ruth's "Sally Kellerman"


 2) Ronnie Spector -- see Betty's "Ronnie Specter," Ruth's "Ronnie Spector" and C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot"

2) Naomi Judd -- see Kat's "Grace Slick, Naomi Judd," "One more time honoring Naomi Judd" and "Naomi Judd"


3) Sidney Poitier -- see Betty's "A great actor passed -- not a great person, not a great lover, not a great activist"

4) Ray Liotta -- see Ruth's "Ray Liotta"

 5) Peter Bogdanovich -- see Stan's "Peter Bogdonavich"

6) Andy Fletcher -- see Kat's "Andy Fletcher"


7)  Bo Hopkins -- see Ruth's "Bo Hopkins"


8) William Hurt -- see Ann's "Not sure if I believe Marlee Matlin now"


9) Meat Loaf -- see Kat's "Meat Loaf"


10) Howard Hessman -- see Ruth's "Howard Hessman"


11) Rosa Lee Hawkins -- see Ruth's "Rosa Lee Hawkins"


12) Dwayne Hickman -- see Ruth's "Dwayne Hickman"


13) William Hart -- see Ruth's "William Hart of The Deflonics has passed away

14) Mark Shields -- see Ruth's "Mark Shields"


15) Nichelle Nichols -- see Ruth's "Nichelle Nichols

16)  Bob Rafelson -- see Ruth's "Bob Rafelson has passed away"


17) Olivia Newton John -- see Kat's "Olivia Newton-John"


Curiosity celebrates ten years on Mars


August 5, 2022

10 Years Since Landing, NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Still Has Drive

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover took this 360-degree panorama at a drill site nicknamed “Avanavero” on June 20, 2022, the 3,509th Martian day, or sol, of the mission.

Curiosity's 360-Degree Panorama of 'Avanavero' Drill Site: NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used its Mast Camera, or Mastcam, to take this 360-degree panorama of at the “Avanavero” drill site. The panorama is made up of 127 individual images taken on June 20, 2022, the 3,509th Martian day, or sol, of the mission, and stitched together back on Earth. The color has been adjusted to match the lighting conditions as the human eye would perceive them on Earth. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS. Download image ›

Despite signs of wear, the intrepid spacecraft is about to start an exciting new chapter of its mission as it climbs a Martian mountain.

Ten years ago today, a jetpack lowered NASA’s Curiosity rover onto the Red Planet, beginning the SUV-size explorer’s pursuit of evidence that, billions of years ago, Mars had the conditions needed to support microscopic life.

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Turns 10: NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover set out to answer a big question when it landed on the Red Planet 10 years ago: Could Mars have supported ancient life? Scientists have discovered the answer is yes and have been working to learn more about the planet’s past habitable environment. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS/JHU-APL. Download video ›

Since then, Curiosity has driven nearly 18 miles (29 kilometers) and ascended 2,050 feet (625 meters) as it explores Gale Crater and the foothills of Mount Sharp within it. The rover has analyzed 41 rock and soil samples, relying on a suite of science instruments to learn what they reveal about Earth’s rocky sibling. And it’s pushed a team of engineers to devise ways to minimize wear and tear and keep the rover rolling: In fact, Curiosity’s mission was recently extended for another three years, allowing it to continue among NASA’s fleet of important astrobiological missions.

Stay curious with NASA and celebrate the agency’s Curiosity Mars rover’s 10th anniversary on the Red Planet with a two-sided poster that lists some of the intrepid explorer’s inspiring accomplishments.
Curiosity 10th Anniversary Poster: Stay curious with NASA and celebrate the agency’s Curiosity Mars rover’s 10th anniversary on the Red Planet with a two-sided poster that lists some of the intrepid explorer’s inspiring accomplishments. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download poster ›

A Bounty of Science

It’s been a busy decade. Curiosity has studied the Red Planet’s skies, capturing images of shining clouds and drifting moons. The rover’s radiation sensor lets scientists measure the amount of high-energy radiation future astronauts would be exposed to on the Martian surface, helping NASA figure out how to keep them safe.

But most important, Curiosity has determined that liquid water as well as the chemical building blocks and nutrients needed for supporting life were present for at least tens of millions of years in Gale Crater. The crater once held a lake, the size of which waxed and waned over time. Each layer higher up on Mount Sharp serves as a record of a more recent era of Mars’ environment.

Now, the intrepid rover is driving through a canyon that marks the transition to a new region, one thought to have formed as water was drying out, leaving behind salty minerals called sulfates.

“We’re seeing evidence of dramatic changes in the ancient Martian climate,” said Ashwin Vasavada, Curiosity’s project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “The question now is whether the habitable conditions that Curiosity has found up to now persisted through these changes. Did they disappear, never to return, or did they come and go over millions of years?”

Curiosity has made striking progress up the mountain. Back in 2015, the team captured a “postcard” image of distant buttes. A mere speck within that image is a Curiosity-size boulder nicknamed “Ilha Novo Destino” – and, nearly seven years later, the rover trundled by it last month on the way to the sulfate-bearing region.

The team plans to spend the next few years exploring the sulfate-rich area. Within it, they have targets in mind like the Gediz Vallis channel, which may have formed during a flood late in Mount Sharp’s history, and large cemented fractures that show the effects of groundwater higher up the mountain.

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used its Mast Camera, or Mastcam, to take this 360-degree panorama of at the “Avanavero” drill site.
'Paraitepuy Pass' From a Distance: This scene was captured by Curiosity on Sept. 9, 2015, when NASA’s Mars rover was many miles from its current location. The circle indicates the location of a Curiosity-size boulder that the rover recently drove past. To the left of that is “Paraitepuy Pass,” which Curiosity is now traveling through. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›

How to Keep a Rover on a Roll

What’s Curiosity’s secret to maintaining an active lifestyle at the ripe old age of 10? A team of hundreds of dedicated engineers, of course, working both in person at JPL and remotely from home.

They catalog each and every crack in the wheels, test every line of computer code before it’s beamed into space, and drill into endless rock samples in JPL’s Mars Yard, ensuring Curiosity can safely do the same.

“As soon as you land on Mars, everything you do is based on the fact that there’s no one around to repair it for 100 million miles,” said Andy Mishkin, Curiosity’s acting project manager at JPL. “It’s all about making intelligent use of what’s already on your rover.”

Curiosity’s robotic drilling process, for example, has been reinvented multiple times since landing. At one point, the drill was offline for more than a year as engineers redesigned its use to be more like a handheld drill. More recently, a set of braking mechanisms that allow the robotic arm to move or stay in place stopped working. Although the arm has been operating as usual since engineers engaged a set of spares, the team has also learned to drill more gently to preserve the new brakes.

To minimize damage to the wheels, engineers keep an eye out for treacherous spots like the knife-edged “gator-back” terrain they recently discovered, and they developed a traction-control algorithm to help as well.

The team has taken a similar approach to managing the rover’s slowly diminishing power. Curiosity relies on a long-lived nuclear-powered battery rather than solar panels to keep on rolling. As the plutonium pellets in the battery decay, they generate heat that the rover converts into power. Because of the pellets’ gradual decay, the rover can’t do quite as much in a day as it did during its first year.

Mishkin said the team is continuing to budget how much energy the rover uses each day, and has figured out which activities can be done in parallel to optimize the energy available to the rover. “Curiosity is definitely doing more multitasking where it’s safe to do so,” Mishkin added.

Through careful planning and engineering hacks, the team has every expectation the plucky rover still has years of exploring to ahead of it.

More About the Mission

JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, built Curiosity for NASA and leads the mission on behalf of the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

For more about Curiosity, visit: and

News Media Contacts

Andrew Good
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Karen Fox / Alana Johnson
NASA Headquarters, Washington
301-286-6284 / 202-358-1501 /

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