Thursday, December 29, 2016

Good News and Bad News

The bad news is that horrible evil people like this exist.

White Supremacist Planned. . . to Murder Obama, Muslims

Like so many right-wingers, he proclaimed his intention to "take his country back."

And that they've been emboldened by having as their president-elect a man they see as, if not one of them, at least someone who is sympathetic to their evil cause in Orange Julius Caesar (tm)

The good news is, they're mostly stupid as fuck.

White Supremacist Planned to Use 'Death Ray' to Murder Obama, Muslims

Like so many right-wingers, he proclaimed his intention to "take his country back."

And speaking of horrible people who are stupid as fuck. . .

Texas Republican: Gay people were sent by Russia to destroy America

1st November 2016, 8:16 PM

I guess it's an older story, but someone posted it on Facebook yesterday.

A Texas Republican activist has compared gay people to termites, claiming homosexuality was created by the Soviet Union to destroy America.
Steven Hotze of Conservative Republicans of Texas made the shocking comments at the ‘Stand 4 Truth; evangelical conference, which was held over the weekend in Houston.

Stand for Truth Conference? Now there's an ironic misnomer.

In the speech, snipped by Right Wing Watch, he warns: “The homosexual movement has really infiltrated… think of them like termites.

Nope. Not gonna do that. I believe I will continue to think of them as my friends Mark and David or my friends Cheryl and Eva, or. . . well, you know, like just people? Not insects?

… think of them like termites. “They get into the wood of the house and they eat away at the very moral fabric of the foundation of our country.

 “This is exactly what the Marxist movement was all about… If you remember, [Soviet leader] Khrushchev came and said we’re going to get your country one way or another, and the way they want to do it is to destroy the moral fabric and create moral anarchy in our country so that our people no longer live righteous lives but they’re living lives that are ungodly."

Image result for louis ck facepalm gif

 Wow. Where to even begin? First of all, the Marxist movement was more about the workers owning the means of production and the equitable distribution of goods and services than it was about who does sex with whom.
 Secondly, what  Kruschev said  was "we will bury you," which was not a threat to destroy America, but a boast that Soviet-style Communism would outlive our system. It's like when you say about an old person "oh, he'll bury us all." You don't mean "watch out for Oldie Olsen, he's going to murder us!" You mean thjat he'll still be going strong when we're all dead and buried.

Third, the Russians had nukes. If they wanted to destroy us, they could have nuked us. Instead of somehow undermining the "moral fabric" of our country and waiting while somehow this leads to some sort of decline of. . . something. . . that would eventually. . . oh, come on! this is so stupid! Why would they possibly choose the slowest possible method of destruction? Their entire empire collapsed while they were waiting for Errol Flynn and Georgia O'Keefe to bring down capitalism by sexing same-gender partners?

Also, the Soviets rather famously were not religious people. One of the tenets of their system was atheism. Why the hell would they have thought that they could hurt us by causing us to be less "godly?'

“When you do that, you lack moral courage, because you can’t very well stand up and oppose people doing wicked things if you’re participating in the same activities.


Are you sure about that?

Because it's never seemed to be a problem before.

“Now you’ve got pornography… it’s legal to have pornography on the internet, but we, in some jurisdictions of the country, you can’t stand up and say that homosexuality is wrong or immoral activity, whether it’s the promotion of adultery or premarital sex, we can’t say that that’s wrong because that’s hate speech.
“But it’s perfectly legal according to allow pornography to be perpetrated upon our public, and even in our public schools to be taught and shown.”

Okay, first of all there re exactly ZERO jurisdictions where you are not allowed to say that adultery or homosexuality or premarital sex is wrong. ZERO. Expressing your stupid shitty opinions is 100% legal in all 50 states. You'll probably get a lot of eye-rolls, maybe some snickers, and hopefully someone will confront you (verbally) but there is nowhere in America where you are not allowed to say those things.

Second. You know you have to actually seek out pornography, right? Not that it's hard to find, but you have to actually go into a liquor store and say "I'll have a copy of Giant Wangs Monthly, please," or go online and type in whatever kind of weird stuff you're into. It's not like you're going to be walking down the street and see Betty Blows Baltimore playing on a jumbotron in the town square.

Oh, and you know what actually is illegal? Showing pornography to school children. I would very much like you to name one single solitary public school in which pornography is shown and/or taught and I will go there right now and audit a couple of classes. Go ahead, name one. We'll wait.

Yeah, that's what I thought.

And this guy is even more shitty and stupid than that guy:

A Texas pastor recently prophesied that paedophilia will soon be renamed ‘happy’ and legalised.
Rick Scarborough of Vision America made the claim while preaching at Trinity Family Church in Forney, Texas.
He fumed: “What’s next? Paedophilia?
“When we called homosexuality, instead of sodomy, ‘gay,’ it changed everything because everyone wants to be gay. So let’s just change paedophilia to ‘happy’ and we’ll have all kinds of leagues of happy people and we’ll have the lobby for happy people.

Oh my God, I had no idea! The reason gay people exist is because the word gay sounds so nice! It all makes sense now! Everyone goes through some down times, times when they feel the opposite of gay. Gay as in lighthearted, carefree, don we now our gay apparel, etc. So obviously, a young fella who's feeling down and would like to feel happy could easily fall into the trap of looking up the word "happy" in a thesaurus, see that "gay" is listed as a synonym and think "oh, all I need to do to be happy is go get nailed by a dude! That will stop me from despairing of ever finding a girlfriend!"

I guess the part that I don't understand is, if that works, if changing the word works, why the holy fuck would you want to change the name of pedophilia to something positive? I just do not get these freaks at all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016: The Year in Television, Part IV

Best DramaRectify

Sadly, this was the last season of Rectify. I still have the final episode sitting waiting in my DVR, I hate to think that once we watch that one, it's over.
If you haven't been watching it - and since it's on Sundance Channel, I assume a lot of people haven't, Rectify is the story of Daniel Holden , a man who has spent his entire adult life on death row for a crime he may or may not have committed (he honestly isn't even sure).

 It's about him adjusting to real life after 19 years in quasi-solitary confinement waiting for death.

It's about dealing with the aftermath of trauma, it's about family dynamics and the fragile bonds of marriage. It's a bit intense. And this season especially has been pretty sad. But it's beautiful.The cast is amazing. The writing is perfect, it's shot beautifully, if you don't mind how slowly it moves, it's about as close to a perfect show as you're going to see.

Best Action/Adventure/Mystery show: Orphan Black

The story of a woman who discovers that she is one of a series of clones and her investigation into the tangled web of government and corporate espionage behind the cloning experiment might sound a little silly (I was skeptical at first) but Orphan Black might just be the most compelling mystery show of all time. ( and don't say LOST. LOST was dumb)

And what makes the show even more amazing is that five of the main characters, and a few minor ones, are played by the same actress:
the Performer of the Year: Tatiana Maslany

Every character she plays has a different affect, a different accent, a different vocal timbre, different mannerisms, etc. It's easy to forget that they're all played by the same actress. Often, she has to play multiple characters in the same scene, conversing with each other, it must take ages to film each episode. If she only played Sarah Manning or Allison Hendrix, or the terrifying and hilarious Helena, she would be a front-runner for best actress, but considering she plays them all. . . wow! Amazing!

Best Comedic Actress: Kristen Schaal

Either as a live-action performer in Last Man on Earth, or the voice of precocious troublemaker Louise Belcher on Bob's Burgers, Kristen Schaal was killing it all year.

Best Comedic Actor: Rob Delaney

I've only just started watching Catastrophe on Amazon, but so far it looks like it might be the funniest show of the year. Possibly. (And I know the season I've been watching came out in 2015, but I'm watching it now, so it counts as this year. My blog, my rules.) And this is pretty much all due to the two co-stars, Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, who also produced the show and wrote all the episodes.

 In fact, Sharon Horgan would have been in the running for comedic actress of the year had it not been for Kristen Schaal.
Watch Catastrophe if you've got Amazon Prime. If not, follow Rob on Twitter. @RobDelaney

Other TV shows we've enjoyed or loved or were entertained by this year:

The Americans

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

People of Earth

Better Call Saul

The Last Man on Earth

The Walking Dead

And I'm probably forgetting at least one.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

West Virginia's Drug Problem About to be Solved!

West Virginia has a serious problem with prescription pain killers.,w_680/f_auto,fl_lossy,pg_1,q_auto/r9ka3zfoa6p3enufcscm.jpg

Drug Companies Have Been Pumping Opiates into West Virginia

Nine million oxycodone doses into a town of 392 people.

In six years, drug wholesalers showered the state with 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills, while 1,728 West Virginians fatally overdosed on those two painkillers, a Sunday Gazette-Mail investigation found.

So this is serious business. This is a serious public health crisis. But don't worry, Joe Manchin (alleged-D) has a plan!

JAKE TAPPER: What do you want president-elect Trump to do about this problem, sir?
SENATOR MANCHIN: We need to declare a war on illicit drugs. You talk to most addicts -- and I go to these spots and talk to the recovering addicts. we have got some places that are really having some success rates, Jake. most of them are run by reformed addicts. they got started out as a kid smoking occasional -- what we call recreational marijuana.

Seriously? Your answer to the opioid epidemic in your meth lab of a state is to crack down on marijuana? A drug that is not addictive and is impossible to overdose on?  That's your answer?

If the Walking Dead were happening for real in your state (and I have no evidence that it is not) would you decide to crack down on vampires?

Hint: these are not vampires, so probably.

Sorry, that's a terrible analogy because vampires would be really dangerous, at least as dangerous as walkers.  Also, from what I can tell, being a vampire is pretty addictive.

But I digress. So, Senator, what happens after the kids start with the recreational reefer?

from there it led into prescriptions, taking out of their parents or grandparents medicine cabinet and become a cool kid. Then it turned into where they were hooked. now heroin comes on. Now the fentanyl comes on. it's unbelievable. President Trump needs to say day one, we're not going to lose a generation. we're going to fight this and crack down on the FDA and crack down on the DEA and make sure we look at this.

Crack down on the DEA? You know the DEA is the group that combats drugs, right? I think you might need to crack down on the drug companies who produce and distribute these pills. And the pharmacies that function as cartel middlemen, you might need to crack down on them. You don't "crack down" on the agencies that are tasked with preventing drug problems. If anything, you might want to give the FDA some teeth, maybe an enforcement budget? Maybe you might want to re-direct the DEA's priorities into busting up these opiate rings instead of busting cancer patients who smoke pot to  ease their suffering?

It's good to see that Manchin has such a strong grip on the problems his state faces in these modern times.  Maybe he can do something about these gas lines and get our hostages out of Tehran too.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

South Carolina to fight scourge of self-love

Bill seeks to put porn block on computers sold in SC

Okay, that seems reasonable. Every computer has to have porn-block software so that parents can switch on the blocker when their kids have access to the computer. Seems fair that people should have that option. Oh, wait. This is South Carolina. I must be missing something.

An Upstate legislator is hoping to prevent anyone who buys a computer in South Carolina from accessing pornography.
State Rep. Bill Chumley, R-Spartanburg, said the Human Trafficking Prevention Act would require manufacturers or sellers to install digital blocking capabilities on computers and other devices that access the internet to prevent the viewing of obscene content.

 Okay, first of all, Human Trafficking is an extremely serious problem. It's an incredibly heinous crime and for you to lump consensual adults getting it on on camera in with this atrocity is not only dishonest, but really shitty.

 The bill would fine manufacturers or sellers that sell a device without a digital blocking system installed. But any manufacturer or seller that didn't want to install the system could pay a $20 opt-out fee for each device sold. 

How is that a law? You must do this. Unless you don't want to bad enough to pay twenty bucks. 

 Any buyers who want the filter lifted after purchasing a computer or device would have to pay a $20 fee, after verifying they are 18 or older.

 Best twenty bucks this guy ever spent!

 So not only do you have to pay money to not have the thing you didn't want in the first place, but you have to swear out some kind of statement verifying that yes, I am over 18 and I enjoy jerking it! South Carolina may not be able to legally prevent their citizens from masturbating, but they can at least shame them for doing it.

 Chumley said the effort, co-sponsored by state Rep. Mike Burns, R-Greenville, would combat crimes against children and protect children from exposure to sexually explicit materials.

 Right, because it's not like young people could figure out a way around a filter. No one is less computer savvy than kids!

“If we could have manufacturers install filters that would be shipped to South Carolina, then anything that children have access on for pornography would be blocked,” Chumley said. “We felt like that would be another way to fight human trafficking.”

Um, I'm sorry, what exactly is the connection here?
How is preventing children from seeing pornographic images (a laudable goal) connected to fighting human trafficking (another laudable goal)?

Ha! trick question. It isn't.

Look, South Carolina, just come out and say it. You want to stop folks from pleasuring themselves. You are just so afraid that someone might have a non-reproductive, non-marital climax that you're willing to pass laws putting blocks on computers because oh my god, what if someone see a boob?

Why, they might get impure thoughts! And a man might be tempted to touch his own penis! And honestly, a man touching a penis? How is that not gay? Looking at naked ladies might turn men gay! And then where would we be? All our men leaving South Carolina to move to San Francisco or New York City or wherever those types live! It's a slippery slope from seeing a boobie to the entire population of South Carolina dying out!

Plus, it might make Jesus sad, and isn't that the real reason we have legislators? To make laws that keep Jesus happy?

Monday, December 19, 2016

2016: The year in Television Part III

True Crime Show of the YearThe Killing season,0,182,268_AL_.jpg

No lurid reenactments. No leering hosts.. .

. . . just two documentarians, Joshua Zeman and Rachel Mills (Cropsey, Killer Legends) investigating the murders of 10 sex workers in Long Island, an investigation that leads them to Oklahoma City, Arizona and California. There are no attempts at clever murder-related wordplay, no effort to make murder into entertainment, and no satisfying ending with a perp being led away in cuffs. Just the unsettling conclusion that there may be many more monsters out there than previously realized.

Best Sad ComedyOne Mississippi

If you're not familiar with Tig Notaro's annus horribilus, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. She underwent a radical double mastectomy while going through a painful breakup. After recovering from the surgery, she contacted a horrible intestinal disease and while suffering through that lost her mother unexpectedly. So, you know, a rich vein of comedy gold!

One Mississippi is based on her experience returning to her childhood home in MS in the aftermath of her mother's death. It's not really a "comedy," exactly, more like what they used to call a "dramedy" back when they were trying to make that a thing.

Tig is great in it, because Tig is always great, but what makes the show so compelling is her stepfather, played by John Rothman, Bill is a warm, kind, loving man who is so emotionally repressed that he is unable to effectively express any of it, let alone express his deep grief over the loss of his wife. It's almost hard to watch his face as he tries to hold it all together, and one could be excused for tearing up while watching him. I've only seen the first 4 episodes, I think, so I can't vouch for the entire season, but so far, it's really powerful with enough laughs to keep it from getting too dark. It's an Amazon  exclusive, so you can binge the entire season if you have the strength.

Best Overall ComedyBroad City

What's to say about Broad City that hasn't already been said? It's no longer the best-kept secret on Comedy Central, if you haven't seen it by now, there's really no excuse and we really have nothing else to discuss.

Best Comedy that is a one-woman tour de force: Lady Dynamite

Brilliant stand-up comic Maria Bamford created and stars in this Netflix show based loosely on her own life, including her mental breakdown and subsequent recovery. She is, as one might assume, BRILLIANT!
Unfortunately, the supporting characters don't measure up. Even Ana Gasteyer (whom I normally love) as super-agent Karen Grisham doesn't add much, just a steady stream of four-letter words in service of nothing. Her manager, played by Fred Melamed, exist solely to kiss Maria's ass in an overly cloying way. Her personal assistant is incompetent and unprofessional, but not in a humorous way. And still, with all those millstones around her neck, Bamford shines. She carries the show on her back and makes it all work with aplomb? Is that a real word? Aplomb?

Oh, to be fair, Maria's parents played by Ed Begley, Jr and Mary Kay Place are good, but aren't in many scenes.

Best TV TrendFunny Women

Maria Bamford, Abbi and Ilana, Amy Schumer, most of the best comedies this year star women . And SNL is dominated by the ridiculously talented women in their cast - Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Aidy Bryant, Vanessa Bayer. (although I could do without Cecily Strong, but whatever.)!!-:strip_icc-!!-/2014/11/24/804/n/1922283/c3cf20f860c4f501_thumb_temp_cover_file8452101416851100/i/SNL-Girl-Group-Songs.jpg

And Kaitlin Olsen is getting her own show after years of being hilarious on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Maybe the one good thing to come out of 2016 was finally putting the "women aren't funny" trope out of its misery.

Disturbing TV Trend: More shows about "little people.

They're just people!
Can we please not treat them like oddities in a circus sideshow?
How many people are tuning in to watch this? How many people are endlessly fascinated by the day -to-day lives of ordinary, boring people who happen to be unusually short? Can we not treat these people liks a goddamm freak show?

Ans also, given the emphasis on "Little Women" shows,

 Can we please not fetishize them? Don't get me wrong. I am not at all saying that dwarves can't be beautiful, attractive, sexy, etc. Of course they can. Just look at the above pictures. A lot of these women are very attractive. But when they're being brought out specifically as "little women," not beautiful women no matter their height, it just gets creepy. Just as creepy as it would be to trot out a bunch of giantesses as sex symbols due to their tallness. . There's a difference between saying Ohh, that short woman over there in the red dress, boy is she attractive" and "I'm hot for tiny chicks." Am I right? maybe I'm wrong. Either way, they're just people. Can we not make a big deal about their height?


Friday, December 16, 2016

2016 The Year in Television, part II

Most Inexcusable waste of Time of the YearThe MAD TV reboot.

In its original incarnation on FOX, MAD TV was hilarious, filled with talented comics like
Key and Peele, Stephanie Weir, Will Sasso, Nicole Sullivan, etc.

But this year's version on the CW (who knew they were still around?) had not one funny person on it. Not one. This version of the show was so bad, and the producers knew it was so bad, that not only did each episode feature guest stars from the original version like Bobby Lee and Ike Barenholz, but each episode contained at least one clip from the original show. Often more than one. It was pathetic. So they knew before the first episode ever aired that they had nothing. And they put it on anyway. It's inexcusable.
You're recording this show in Los Angeles. You have access to the Groundlings who produced Will Ferrel, Jon Lovitz, Melissa McCarthy and others. You have access to the Upright Citizens Brigade which produced Amy Poehler, Kate McKinnon, Rob Cordry and more. Hell, there are probably at least a dozen other sketch comedy groups in LA. Last time we were there, we saw a group called "House Full of Honkies" that included Wayne Brady. And Brady was like the fourth or fifth funniest guy in the group.
And there's nothing stopping you from getting on a plane and going to Chicago or Toronto to raid Second City. You could even come here to Atlanta to raid Dad's Garage, like FX did when it plucked Amber Nash and Lucky Yates to star in Archer.

There is just no excuse for plopping this turd onto your network and calling it MAD TV.

And speaking of Archer. . .

Biggest drop-off of the year: Archer

I don't know what happened. For six seasons, Archer was one of the funniest, sharpest, most clever shows on TV. This year, everything just fell flat. Like the joy had somehow gone out of it. I can't blame the move to Loss Angeles or the switch from Spy to Detective Agency, because the previous move from Spy Agency to Drug Trafficing Cartel didn't hurt the show one bit. Maybe they just ran out of jokes. Maybe they lost some writers. I don't know. Hopefully this was just an off year and they'll be back strong next year.

Programming Mistake of the Year: Cancelling The Grinder

Look, I'm not saying it was brilliant. It wasn't Curb Your Enthusiasm or Arrested Development. But it was consistently funny, and the cast was terrific. I don't know how long they could have run with this premise of an actor who thinks he's qualified to practice law and the sycophants who enable him, but it worked for one year. Why not give it one more to see what could happen? What else are you going to run in that time slot, FOX? Seth MacFarland have another "edgy" animation show in the pipeline?

Show that went off the air just in time: The Good Wife

It was time. I loved the Good Wife, but it was starting to verge on the silly. The constant changing partnerships, the political campaigns, the idea that a former D.A. who had just been released from prison could win his office back, go on to be governor and attract Democratic Party big-wigs who viewed him as V.P. material had gotten to be a bit much. It had a good run, and an oddly satisfying conclusion. It was time.

More tomorrow.