Monday, January 23, 2023

Truest statement of the week

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has requested that the state Department of Public Safety provide a list of people who have changed their gender on Texas driver’s licenses. No plausibly legitimate reason for this ominous and menacing request has been given. Considering the record of Paxton, Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Republican Party, it is clear that there is every reason to suspect the worst. 

-- Andy Hartman, "Far-right Texas attorney general attempts to compile list of transgender residents" (WSWS).

Truest statement of the week II

With the announcement by Google parent Alphabet of 12,000 layoffs, the attack on jobs in the technology industry has been taken to a new level. The number of tech jobs eliminated in the first three weeks of the new year has already reached one third of the total of more than 241,000 industrywide layoffs in 2022.

While many of these job cuts are concentrated in the US, the assault on tech workers is global in character. In an email sent to Google employees on Friday, CEO Sundar Pichai wrote that the layoff of 6 percent of the workforce would impact jobs internationally and “cut across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions.”

Pichai also said the layoffs were made “to ensure that our people and roles are aligned with our highest priorities as a company.” In other words, as demanded by the financial oligarchy, the jobs of Alphabet employees are being sacrificed to ensure the profitability of the $1.27 trillion global technology conglomerate.

No one should underestimate the ruthlessness with which the corporate elite is pursuing its attack on jobs and living standards. While Pichai wrote, “We’ve already sent a separate email to employees in the US who are affected,” workers in New York City reported they learned about being laid off when they arrived at work on Friday morning and were denied entry into the company’s corporate offices.

With the Alphabet announcement, the number of tech job cuts this year reached more than 75,000, according to the Tech Layoff Tracker maintained by TrueUp. Among the other mass layoffs announced in 2023 are Amazon (18,000 jobs), Microsoft (10,000 jobs), Salesforce (7,000 jobs) and Cloud Software Group (2,000 jobs).

-- Kevin Reed, "Google lays off 12,000 workers as tech jobs bloodbath intensifies" (WSWS).




Truest statement of the week III

Dungy, like so many others, has used his faith as justification for discriminating against LGBTQ people, claiming homosexuality is antithetical to his Christian beliefs. But that’s as much nonsense as kids using litter boxes.

If you are Christian, you are supposed to follow the teachings of Christ. Not the humans who interpret them, or the churches that have taken license with them for their own gain. Christ’s own words – and nowhere in the Gospels does he say anything about homosexuality or gay marriage. What he did say was to love your neighbor as yourself, and to treat the most marginalized and vulnerable among us as you would him.

If you believe in the Gospels – again, Christ’s own teachings, not others' interpretations of them – can you honestly say he would approve of policies that ostracize and otherize gays, lesbians and, in this case, transgender and nonbinary people? That he would praise making them feel as if they are not worthy of belonging?

If you say yes, then you’ve heard what you’ve wanted to hear, not what Christ actually said. He preached love and acceptance, embracing lepers, prostitutes and the hated tax collectors, and had no use for those who proclaimed their piety while using it to demean and mistreat others.

It is a struggle simply to exist for many transgender kids. That Dungy thought it was OK to make it even harder for them wasn't cute or clever, and it sure wasn't Christian. 

-- Nancy Armour, "Tony Dungy shows his true values with hateful tweet that puts transgender kids at risk" (USA TODAY).

A note to our readers

Hey --

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? 


 Andy Hartman gets a truest.

Kevin Reed gets another truest.

Nancy Armour gets a truest.

Congrats to Iraq's winning team.

Ava and C.I. were planning on being off this week.  Sunday, they were saying they had nothing and had nothing to say.  Then late Monday morning, they ended up writing this.  Nothing to say?  Think again.  

We roundtable.

Ty takes on noted homophobe Jonathan Turley.

Ava and C.I. talk with Trina about the book she reviewed last week.

I just don't get it, even now after I wrote about it, I still don't get how a Tweet is more important than the entire line up of a radio network.

Crapapedia -- Ava and C.I. dubbed it that and they were right.

Repost of Trina's book review.

 What we listened to while working on this edition.



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





TV: Programming as comfort food

After 9/11 TV as comfort food was a big thing.  NBC's long running sitcom FRIENDS, for example ,pulled in more viewers than it had the two seasons prior to 9/11 and ended up the number one TV program.  There's nothing wrong with TV providing comfort -- especially when you consider how, too often, it seems to work hard to run viewers off. 

As television continues to experiment with ways to bring back former viewers, various efforts are attempted.  Last week, the effort was focused on rebooting sitcoms.  NETFLIX served up THAT 90S SHOW while NBC went with NIGHT COURT.

The original NIGHT COURT began airing on NBC in 1984 and ran for nine seasons.   Harry Stone (portrayed by Harry Anderson) presided over the court.  In the years since, Harry Anderson has passed away joining other late cast members including Paula Kelly (Liz), Markie Post (Christine), Selma Diamond (Selma), Florence Halop (Flo), Charles Robinson (Mac), Martin Game (Bernie), Jason Bernard (Judge Willard), John Astin (Harry's step-dad Buddy), Eugene Roche (Christine's father Jack), Gilbert Gottfired (prosecutor Oscar) and Florence Stanley (Judge Margaret Wilbur).  And you thought FRASIER was sad, right?

Actually, FRASIER is sad.  While John Mahoney has passed away, David Hyde Pierce and Jane Leeves are alive, well and apparently unwilling to work with Kelsey Grammer again.

Back to NIGHT COURT.  The reboot centers around Melissa Raunch who plays a judge -- in fact Judge Harry Stone's daughter Abby. She uses that relationship to get Dan (John Larroquette) to return as the night court prosecutor Larroquette won for Emmys for his portrayal of Dan on the original show.  Rounding out the cast are India de Beaufort (as ADA Olivia), Kapil Talwalkar (as the judge's clerk Neil) and Lacretta (bailiff Gurgs).  NBC served up two episodes last Tuesday.  And then they were surprised by the ratings.  NBC isn't used to having hits -- just a bunch of meandering shows with Chicago in the title.  

If they don't screw it up ("they" being the network), they have a hit on their hands.  The cast works well as ensemble and they have a lot of individual chemistry.  Break out star?  Probably Kapil with his character Neil.  

THAT 70S SHOW started airing on FOX in 1998 and aired for eight seasons.  It ended the same season as WILL & GRACE.  As we noted in real time, THAT 70S SHOW was the one that offered a satisfying ending.  (Thankfully, when WILL & GRACE returned for its reboot, it disowned the last episodes.)  So how do you come back from that?

Wisely, with a largely new cast.  The sitcom kicks the timeline 20 years later and we've got a new group of teenagers to please Kitty (Debra Jo Rupp) and incur the wrath of Red (Kurtwood Smith).  Debra Jo and Kurtwood are so perfect in their roles that it's tempting to think that adding anyone else to the cast would have made this a hit.  But think about shows like GOLDEN PALACE or THE ROPERS and you'll quickly grasp that a talented cast around the existing characters was still going to be needed.

Fortunately, they've got one.  Most of whom are under 18 in real life which means we don't comment -- good or bad.  We can note that Gwen and Nate live next door to Kitty and Red (in Donna's old house), that their mother has a touch of Midge in her and is played by Andrea Anders (who was so great in a small recurring role as Amber on MODERN FAMILY  -- she was also very good on THE CLASS -- a sitcom CBS should have stood with and given a second season). 

At the MOTOWN 25 reunion, Diana Ross declared, "It's not about who left.  It's about who came back.  And tonight everyone came back." That's pretty much the case for THAT 90S SHOW.  Doing guest sports are Laura Prepon (Donna from the original), Wilmer Valderrama (Fez), Tommy Chong (Leo), Topher Grace (Eric), Ashton Kutcher (Kelso), Don Stark (Donna's dad Bob) and Mila Kunis (Jackie).  They interact very well with the others in the cast and hit the ground running.  That's especially the case for Topher and Laura whose timing and chemistry is so perfect that it's hard to believe that it's been 15 years since they last acted together.  Both have gone on to other things.  Laura was great in the one season ARE YOU THERE, CHELSEA? as well as in 82 episodes of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK while Topher's found his footing in HOME ECONOMICS (which appears to get better with each episode).  But if you ever followed THAT 70S SHOW, you'll be hard pressed to want to see them be anyone other than Donna and Eric.  They're just too perfect together.  It'll probably take one of them writing a trashy tell-all about how the other had bad breath and did who knows what to ever destroy the magic of Donna and Eric.

Before we watched either show, we were worried.  Friends at NBC were convinced that NIGHT COURT was going to bomb.  When we watched, we wondered if they understood it was a comedy?  Then we were worried about THAT 90S SHOW.  But somehow, two new shows debut in the same week and not only do they not suck, they're actually quite wonderful.

Comfort food that you want to come back for.

And that's what CNN is looking for.  

People seem surprised by the notion of a talk show on CNN.  First off, that's all CNN has when not doing live coverage of a tragedy or disaster: Talk shows.  

Second, the idea's not the new.  Elaine has floated it -- not just at her site but also to CNN suits.  She's right.  LARRY KING LIVE anchored the night for years.  That was a talk show.  And CNN really needs another talk show like that.  Being mentioned -- now that the media's caught on to what CNN is planning -- are two people: Jon Stewart and Bill Maher.

LARRY KING LIVE was a little more serious than THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JOHNNY CARSON but just a little.  What we mean by that is it was comfort food with some dashes of news.  

Bill Maher can't serve comfort food.  He's too acerbic.  Nor should he be on a live broadcast on CNN.  Breaking news might happen and Bill was run off ABC for a reason.  Whether you supported him being fired for declaring that the terrorists who attacked on 9/11 were "brave" or not, you surely grasped that this isn't someone you put on a live microphone.  He has no tact and he has no class.  

That's before you factor in all the baggage he brings with him -- baggage that includes anti-Muslim, anti-Arab, anti-woman.

Jon would be the safe choice.  (We know and we like Jon, disclosure.)  Jon appeals to the center.  His work with veterans and first responders goes to the fact that he can reach across the aisle.  He's actually funny.  (People laugh at Jon's jokes, indicators applaud at Bill's attempt at humor.)

Jon is not the only one who could carry an entertaining talk show on CNN but if it really is down to him or Bill Maher, clearly he would get our vote.

What doesn't get our vote?  

NBC's football staff.  You're dealing with two (Mike Tirico and Matthew Berry) who couldn't pass a work place investigation and one who is a raging homophobe (Tony Dungy).  Last week, the rager went after trans persons and we were not just appalled, we were confused.  This is how the network that brought you WILL & GRACE behaves?  This is the network that launched "The More You Know" (shooting star, as Jack McFarland would note)?  There aren't going to be any consequences for ?

There's nothing comforting in that.


Jim: Roundtable time again. .  Remember our e-mail address is  Participating in our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude; Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report;  Wally of The Daily Jot;  Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. Betty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.



Jim (Con't):  So GLAAD announced their GLAAD Media Award nominees last week, C.I. posted it at THE COMMON ILLS and then we got: "Candace Cameron Saddle Burr and GLAAD's nominees for Outstanding Comedy Series," "GLAAD's nominees for Outstanding Documentary," "Thoughts on WSWS and (good going) GLAAD's Outstanding Drama Series nominees." "GLAAD's Outstanding Reality Program - Competition," "TV and streaming grab bag" -- which notes the nominees for the talk show category, "GLAAD's Outstanding live action Kids and Family programming, Graham Elwood, Woah Joe Biden," "GLAAD's nominees for Outstanding film -- streaming or TV," "glaad's nominees for outstanding new tv series," "GLAAD's Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series" and "GLAAD's Outstanding film nominees."  This was an attempt to really get the word out so check those out if you haven't already.

Elaine: And give Ann and C.I. credit because they talked about it and decided that the awards and GLAAD could be amplified, it was their idea.

Jim: Thanks, Elaine.  Ann, how did that come about?

Ann: Stan, for example, was highlighting various award nominations and I think I highlighted one myself.  Then C.I. and I were talking about BROS and it getting a nomination from GLAAD.  We talked about how GLAAD would probably be lucky to get a write up or two and how we could highlight in the community and do our part to make sure it got more than just a little attention.  Be the change you want to be and all of that.  So we ended up grabbing categories and highlighting.


Jim: Alright then.  THE DAILY SHOW is trying out new hosts.  Among those competing to be host?  Chelsea Handler, Kal Penn, DL Hughley, Leslie Jones, Wanda Sykes, Hasan Minhai, Sarah Sliverman, Marlon Wayans and John Leguizamo.  Any thoughts?  Leslie Jones went last week. 

Wally: Al Franken is awful and he's way too old.  He was part of the team writing SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE back in the 70s. He's 71 years old and needs to buy a clue.  

Betty: I wasn't following on COMEDY CENTRAL.  But I did stream the clips that C.I. posted at THE COMMON ILLS.  I thought DL was surprisingly good and had a real energy.  I thought Leslie Jones was fantastic and I've quoted, at work, some of her stuff from THE DAILY SHOW.  I could handle it if Chelsea Handler got it but, for me, if it's anyone other than those three -- Leslie, DL and Chelsea -- the wrong person has been selected.

Rebecca: Those are three strong choices but, for me, it's really got to be Leslie Jones.  I've been surprised at how good she's been.  She'd funny, absolutely, but she's been on point and just wonderful.  When she was the chicken -- is that one you've talked about at work -- giving the demands if people want eggs?

Betty: Yeah, that's one I've mentioned at work.  I love it when she says they have to get rid of Sally in that skit, "Sell Sally to Popeyes" is one of the demands.

Cedric:  She really has been hilarious.  DL was as well.  With Chelsea, too much is going to be about her signaling.  I just want to laugh people.  And what about when she went off the correspondent?  Wally and I were talking about that.  Wally?

Wally: The bit in that skit was that her best friend had dated him and he'd dumped her.  And she just went to town.  Even though it was her friend's fault.  It was so funny.  

Betty: I loved that.  They need to put that skit in its own YOUTUBE clip.  I'm going to post her this week regardless.  

Ty: Not tonight? 

Betty: Not tonight.  We're doing this roundtable on a Monday and I've got to hurry and post after we get done.

Isaiah: I've been watching THE DAILY SHOW and, listening to everyone talk, I think my vote's for Leslie Jones as well.  She's so funny.  And I've laughed repeatedly watching her but hearing Betty, Rebecca, Cedric and Wally talk about it, it really is obvious that she's the best choice.  She has taken it elsewhere and that's what the show needs.  Trevor Noah never worked for me because he was just a copy of Jon Stewart.  Leslie has really made it her own each time she's gotten behind the desk.
Ann: Yeah, I'd agree. She really has made it her own, more than anyone else who has attempted it.

Jim: Okay, new topic, Carson is upset that we didn't do a piece on Barbara Walters' passing.  

Ava: Is Carson the same Carson that's your cousin?  We shared our thoughts on Barbara repeatedly over the years.  There was no coda required.  Carson, Jim also wanted us to write about her.  We didn't see the point.  Enough people were covering her and most were doing so in a good way -- covering her career.  

Dona: On THE VIEW, I do want to stress that Star Jones married a gay man and divorced him.  I want to stress that because Star Jones was opposed to gay men marrying -- each other.  She was firmly against marriage equality.  Apparently, she wanted to save all the gay men for herself.

Jess: We actually quoted the e-mail she sent out after people criticized her for that on THE VIEW -- when she was saying that she voted God and that God didn't want two men to marry and all her other nonsense.  

Ty: It's hilarious and telling and justice that she ended up married to a gay guy.  And she turned that sham wedding into a gimmie-gimmie as she got companies to pay for this or gift her with that.  She was a grifter and then some.  Okay.  Sam Smith is a great singer.  Smith is also non-binary.  He was calling for the Brit Awards to go genderless on categories.  They did.  And now?  Best Artist has five nominees and not one is a woman.  Gale e-mailed wondering Ava and C.I.'s thoughts considering they wrote "Hard Pass on one Best Acting Academy Award (Ava and C.I.)."

Ava: C.I.'s pointing to me to start.  Okay.  First, I have no opinion on The Brit Awards.  It's a UK award organization.  It should represent the UK and they should make the decisions about their categories.  I have no comment regarding British awards or how they are determined.  Now hold for me, I'll take notes and C.I. can speak.

C.I.: What Ava said 100%.  In terms of what we wrote, we were referring to the Academy Awards.  

Ty: Summarize it for any who didn't read it.

C.I.: There is a push by some -- including THE LOS ANGELES TIMES editorial board -- for Best Actor and Best Actress to become one award.  In our piece, Ava and I spoke about how the nominees for Best Actress, for example, could be for any performer who defines as a woman and, for Best Actor, any performer who defines as man.  The role of actress has historically been different from that of actor.  Best Actor isn't about acting.  It's about what you represent and do you make the country feel good.  That's how really bad actors -- John Wayne, Gary Cooper, etc -- have won the award.  For Best Actress, a woman has to actually act -- generally a wide range of emotions.  Due to societal conditioning, a man wins for suppressing emotions while a woman wins for exploring.  Due to this, you really can't lump the two categories together at this point and see it as being in any way fair.  The two awards come with different expectations of the type of performance.  We are opposed to them being put into one role.  Back to Ava.

Ava: We've talked to Ty about what we wrote before because it resulted in a lot of e-mails.  We didn't touch on non-binary performers.  There aren't a lot of actors in lead roles using that definition currently.  If we work on this issue -- societal expectations -- and move towards one category, this could be done in around five years -- if the industry was serious about it.  By that time, it could be single category and incorporate binary performers.  At present, there are not that any who could garner a leading acting nomination. 

Ann: I don't know though, I think the points you both made are important ones and I don't see how the historical roles of women can 'compete' against men when they're being judged by different criteria. 

Betty: You are right.  Especially if the actor isn't a method actor, they're doing little more than stone faces and people -- voters -- are responding to their character and their character's meanings, not to the actual performance.  A Marlon Brando or a Dustin Hoffman is the exception in the actor category.  In the actress category?  Bette Davis is expected to pull out all stops, for example.  Jane Fonda's performance in KLUTE explores everything.  I think that's why we see that performance as the finest acting in film of the 20th century.  We expect so much more from the actress.  They have to grab us and rip our emotions from us.  A male actor just has to be a tour guide through the better parts of our nature.

Ty: Well said, Betty!  

Elaine: If I could, Sam's album GLORIA comes out on Friday.  In addition, this Friday sees the release of Carly Simon's LIVE AT GRAND CENTRAL -- the first time the album -- audio -- has been released.  And Diana Ross' SURRENDER, from 1973, gets a re-release.

Kat: Elaine and I have ordered our copies.  Noting that because Diana's album is a limited edition release.  You have been warned.

Jim: Betty, did you order as well?  

Betty: I did a three way sweep as well: Carly, Diana and Sam.

Jim: And you all used AMAZON.  Why?

Kat: Because we did not want to order from Carly Simon.  That's not me being mean.  Holly Near enraged people when they wanted to buy her album with Emma's Revolution.  That was a digital purchase but, even so, it left a bad taste in my mouth.  People were e-mailing me about it and they were upset because it was paid for but did not arrive.  That really ticked me off -- I'd promoted and reviewed the album.  So since then, it's just AMAZON for me.  Yes, Carly is selling physical copies at her website.  But I don't want to order from artists' websites after the Holly Near debacle.  I don't want to be mad at the artist.  So I just use AMAZON, sorry.  I will say, for anyone who wants to order from Carly, she does have two different versions of the vinyl.  One may be clear vinyl, I can't remember.  

Jim: Alright.  TV watching.  Did anyone catch anything good last week?

Elaine: Stan and I are both big fans of WILL TRENT which airs Tuesday nights on ABC.  

Stan: Huge fans.  And I will catch NIGHT COURT.  I've got it in the cloud but didn't have time to catch it.  This edition, Ava and C.I. praise it -- and THAT 90S SHOW -- so I'll catch them both as soon as I can.  

Ty: A question about the snapshot.  Today's "Iraq snapshot" went up later than usual.

C.I.: I dictate those and it was all done but it was mistakenly posted to post this evening and not this morning.  At lunch, I had friends calling asking where it was.  "It's right there."  Oh.  It's not.  So I went in and posted it.  Sorry.  Things happen.  

Jim: Including that you and Ava wanted this week off and said you were going to take it.  You didn't write anything Sunday.  Then, when we were getting ready to do the roundtable, it turned out that you had written the review that Stan's read.

Ava: Stan got a copy of it e-mailed to him.  We wanted his take because we didn't think we had anything.  Then, this morning, before lunch, we worked on what's going up this edition.  We copied and pasted it into an e-mail and sent it to Stan.

Stan: And I said this is excellent, you have to post it.  And it is excellent.

Jim: Alright, Mike and Ruth wanted to talk about Joe Biden's documents that keep turning up -- over the weekend, a fourth discovery, another trove of classified documents.  Who wants to go first?

Mike: Ladies first.

Ruth: Thank you, kind sir.  So President Biden has a classified problem.  He was attacking former President Donald Trump last fall over Mr. Trump's document problem.  Turns out, he was residing in a glass house.  Four discoveries.  Who knows how many more are going to turn up?  Could be none.  Could be many more.  He is the President of the United States and he does not know how to handle classified documents?  This is deeply troubling.  

Mike: For me, it comes down to the point C.I. made.  Donald took documents.  Donald refused to turn them over.  Donald knew where they were.  If Joe's to be believed, he had no idea he had those documents.  They were not secure, don't pretend they were.  If you don't know you have them, they are not secure.  Donald at least had his documents secured.  Donald also refused the request to return them based on his understanding of presidential powers.  

Ruth: Right.  You may agree or disagree with Mr. Trump on his belief that, as president, he was able to declassify those and, therefore, take them with him when he left the White House.  Again, you can agree or disagree but, like Mike said, Mr. Trump was arguing presidential powers.  Mr. Biden does not have that excuse.  These were documents he obtained before he was president.  He was vice president and may have even taken the documents when he was a senator.

Mike: So there is no excuse for this.  Joe should have returned them long before he ran for re-election.  His refusal to do so goes to the fact that I do not believe Joe Biden should be allowed to handle classified documents.  This is another example of something he is just not up to.

Ruth: There is no question that President Biden mishandled classified documents.  They were not returned and they were not secured and he did not even know he had them.  By the definition, he mishandled them.

Jim: Okay.  So what do you two think should happen?  Ruth, you first?

Ruth: I have no idea.  I am not convinced that more documents are not going to pop up.  I am also not convinced of the stories the press has run with.  We have heard what Mr. Biden's attorneys want us to hear.  Whether that is the truth -- let alone the whole truth -- I have no idea.  I think a Congressional investigation is warranted.

Jim: Okay.  And Mike?

Mike: I think Ruth's right but what I zoom in on is that Joe doesn't need to run for re-election.  He's an embarrassment.  He's senile and now we know he cannot even be trusted with secure documents -- and this goes back many years, meaning he's probably much worse today.

Elaine: Dona, we were talking earlier today about how if this hadn't come up, Joe's latest scandal, he would have already announced that he was seeking re-election.

Dona: Right.  And we were of the shared opinion that the Democratic Party can do much better than Joe Biden for 2024.  He is senile.  He assaulted Tara Reade.  He and his family are corrupt.  

Elaine: And don't get us started on Navy Joan and how Hunter is trying to prevent her from having his last name.

C.I.: (singing) "They say he gave her his child, he wouldn't give her his name."

Elaine: Exactly.  That's "Unwanted Number" from the film GRACE OF MY HEART.  And he won't allow his own daughter to have his name and he's trying to get out paying child support again.  What's a matter, Hunter, your sugar bro won't give you anymore money?

Ruth: It is disgusting.  And do not talk to me about family values when he has now spent two years in the White House, President Biden, and he has never ever had his granddaughter Navy Joan to the White House.  That is disgusting.  That is appalling.  Do not pretend you care about family values as you ice an innocent child out of your lives.  It is disgusting.  We would have, as a people, crucified Ronald Reagan if he did that.  Or Bill Clinton.  Any of our past presidents.  But somehow it is okay for Joe Biden to do it?  It is outrageous and offensive.

Jim: And on that strong note, we're going to wrap up.  This is a rush transcript. 


Ty's Corner



Naturally, someone spouts transphobia and Jonathan Turley rushes in to defend him.  Jonathan never worries about the free speech rights of trans persons or the LGBTQ+ community or even the drag queens who are just reading books.  Proud Boys can show up at the reading events of drag queens and terrorize and Turley has no problem at all but watch him wet his panties when Antifa protests.

Here's the reality that Turley and others don't seem to grasp: You don't have a legal right to a specific job.

If you're working for NBC, they're not hiring you to get bad publicity.  If you're bringing it on, you are a liability. Tony Dungy is a homophobe and a transphobe.  How is that part of NBC's brand?  

There are plenty of other former coaches who could provide commentary -- and let's be honest, his commentary isn't that valuable to begin with.

I find it really telling that NBC was mocking a football commentary crew last Saturday and it was FOX that SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE elected to go after, not their own network.  

And as crazy as Terry Bradshaw may come off, he's not going around making hateful statements.  Dungy is.  

Instead of calling him out, Jonathan Homophobe Turley of Transphobia University in DC defends him and lies for him.  Worst of all, he says that critiques of Dungy are "racist."  I read in vain for the racism in the statement that the GOP was using a Black man to hide behind.  

Turns out, racism is something else that Jonathan Turley doesn't know about.







Books (Trina, Ava and C.I.)



Last week, Trina's "Ellen Sander's The Lifestyle That Classic Rock Unleashed" went up and we're talking to her about the book.  So what did you think?  You didn't care for it.

Trina: I hated it.  Loathed it.  It was dull and plodding and it was so clear that the author thought she would get away with her faking and superficial writing.

You really did hate it.

Trina: I really did.  She never made a coherent argument once.  She'd toss out the names of bands, for example, and act like that disproved, for instance, an argument -- a well thought out argument -- that Richard Goldstein had made.  She didn't make a case.  She scribbled and then she checked a few names off a laundry list and that's how she wrote over and over again.

Now she was a music critic that came up professionally in the sixties.  You found her to be disappointing when put up against others, such as Ellen Willis.

Trina: I did.  They wrote with passion and they made the music come alive.  Her tired writing is dead on arrival and how can you cover the music of the sixties and be so damn boring?

Anything else?

Trina: You can read it for free if you have KINDLE UNLIMITED on AMAZON.  I don't recommend anyone read it but if you're going to try, at least don't waste your money buying it.

Thank you.

Jim's World



I am confused.  Joe Scarborough.  You know him?  The media personality.  He was on MSNBC back when AIR AMERICA RADIO was on.  I used to listen to them.  And every program I listened to -- Al Franken's show; Rachel Maddow and Liz Winstead's show; Janeane Garofalo and Sam Seder's show -- they all talked about him.  Specifically, they talked about how a young woman ended up dead in his Florida's office.  They would call her a "staffer" or an "intern" and they would suggest that a crime may have been committed and further suggest that he was responsible.

I bring that up because old man Joe did.  Kind of sort of.  He is upset that former President Donald Trump might get back on Twitter.  He insists that all Donald ever did was use his Twitter account to accuse Joe of murdering his staffer or intern.

That bothers him?

Then why doesn't he ever bring up AIR AMERICA RADIO.  This was not a minor thing.  They brought this up over and over, repeatedly.  And we know he knew about it because his legal partner Mike Papantonio was often on these shows.  In fact, I remember Mike listening to Rachel Maddow talk about Joe's 'staffer' and all Mike being concerned with was a nickname she tried to give him.  I will not repeat the nickname because I get that he didn't want it to stick -- and why.  And if you think about the nickname, it's actually funny that I'm using the term "stick."

So Donald Trump says something and old man Scarborough is upset.  AIR AMERICA RADIO did it for years, on the hour, and Joe never said a word.  That makes sense how?


It's called Crapapedia for a reason

THE WIZARD OF OZ? Most of us grew up on the classic MGM film starring Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale. We grew up singing along with the songs such as "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," "If I Only Had A Brain," "Ding-Dong The Wicked Witch is Dead," etc.  

Did you know that when the film came out, there was no soundtrack to buy in stores?  

In 1940, an album finally came out -- but it wasn't a soundtrack.  It was four 78 rpm discs where Judy sang but the other performers who sang in the film were not on it -- the Ken Darby Singers were substituted.   In 1956, MGM finally released a soundtrack (of sorts).  It was forty minutes long. 

You know what?  If CRAPAPEDIA had its way, in 1956, that album wouldn't have been noted when it was being released.  We say that because (see Betty's "Wikipedia needs to expell the sexist editor MBurrell") Carly Simon gave a live concert at Grand Station in New York back in 1995.  The concert was shown on LIFETIME and, later, a DVD was released.  

Fans of Carly (including Kat) have long complained that the concert was never released on cassette, CD or vinyl.  They think it is far superior to the HBO concert Carly did in 1987, CARLY SIMON: COMING AROUND AGAIN. On VHS and DVD this became LIVE FROM MARTHA'S VINEYARD.  In 1988, a year later, it was released on cassette, vinyl and CD as CARLY SIMON'S GREATEST HITS LIVE.

This Friday, Carly's Grand Central concert is finally coming out on audio formats.  It is entitled CARLY SIMON LIVE AT GRAND CENTRAL.  But if you go to WIKIPEDIA's list of albums being released this year, you won't find it.  Why?

Because a sexist idiot named Mburrell doesn't want it on the list and wrote "Removed Carly Simon live album as a re-release of 1995 initial release. Lists are for first release of original albums, not re-releases or deluxe versions, or compilations."

Stupid idiot is saying what?

CARLY SIMON LIVE AT GRAND CENTRAL is not a re-release.  It's never been released in music format before.  It's also not a 'deluxe version' of a previous album.  Nor is it a compilation.

They just make up whatever excuse they want to keep women out.  That's CRAPAPEDIA -- Ava and C.I. named it that nearly two decades ago and the title still fits.


Trina reviewed a book last week:

Ellen Sander's The Lifestyle That Classic Rock Unleashed

I read Ellen Sander's The Lifestyle That Classic Rock Unleashed & Other Stories -- stopping the title there.  Too many times I found myself wishing Ellen Sander had learned to stop when a stop was needed.  Instead, she goes on and on and on.

Ellen started writing about music (or something) in the sixties.  I thought I would enjoy this collection.  I love the writing of Patricia Kennealy-Morrison, for example, and of Ellen Willis.  Like Sander, those two women wrote about music in the 60s.  They produced some seminal writing.

If Ellen Sander did the same, she did not include in this collection.

"Is Pop Dead?" is an essay that captures her typical writing.  She thinks she's asking a high minded question.  Then she turns in the most superficial garbage in the world and we're supposed to be entertained as she repeatedly name checks (is this a gossip column) while never actually backing up her argument or, let's be honest, building an argument.

This essay is her supposedly responding to music writer Richard Goldstein's pronouncement that pop is dead.  

"No" is her answer.

She then uses a lot of words while name dropping but neither makes nor shapes an argument. 

This is the sort of pseudo bulls**t that people pull when logic is too much for them.  

I'm not a professional writer and don't pretend to be.  But were I music critic and responding to the claim that pop was dead, I would be able to construct an argument.  I would be able to make a case.  

Ellen writes as though it's all about word count.

I've never been more disappointed in a book supposedly about music.  

I would strongly recommend that you skip this book and instead read Patricia Kennealy-Morrison's Rock Chick: A Girl And Her Music or Ellen Willis' The Essential Ellen Willis.  Those two women knew how to write.  You can read them writing about an album that you've never even heard and they can bring it alive because they know how to write and they know how to construct an argument.  Ellen Sander just knows how to spit out words.

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

This edition's playlist

Ashford & Simpson Street Opera



1) Ashford & Simpson's STREET OPERA


2)  Diana Ross' THANK YOU

3) Robbie Williams' XXV


4) Diana Ross' THE BOSS.








8) Chase Rice's THE ALBUM.


9) George Ezra's GOLD RUSH KID



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