AddThis

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin- Interviewing Nick Di Paolo: 'On Offensive Comedy and Political Correctness'

Source:The Rubin Report- "Nick Di Paolo on offensive comedy and political correctness.
Nick Di Paolo (stand up comedian) joins Dave to discuss his comedy career, his problem with political correctness and so many stand up comics today, why he believes comedians should be at the forefront of speech and free expression, and more."

From The Rubin Report

I think the great comedian Mel Brooks had the best comment about political correctness that I've ever heard when he said in 2017 that: "political correctness is killing comedy." We've become at least with the left-wing such an uptight country now where comedy has almost disappeared ( unless you're making fun of right-wingers ) that everything is taken seriously. Comedy: "Professional entertainment consisting of jokes and satirical sketches, intended to make an audience laugh." Comedy is simply just making fun of people and situations that deserve to be made fun because they've done or said something stupid or embarrassed themselves. When someone tells someone that they're as dumb as a brick. because they're constantly speaking nonsense or can't find their own hand in front of their face, they're literally not saying that person is a brick. They're saying they're dumb as a brick and act like they don't have a brain. When people do redneck or ghetto jokes and I do that all the time, we're not saying that call Caucasians are rednecks or that everyone with a rural background is a redneck. We're saying that people from those communities who are rednecks are rednecks and speak a certain language and have a certain accent that perhaps only people from that community can understand. Who see Yankees and everyone with a metropolitan accent as foreigners and perhaps even invaders. ( Sort of how Trump voters who view anyone with black hair and brown skin ) When people do ghetto jokes and I do that myself as someone who went to an urban melting pot high school in the early 90s, we're not saying that everyone from the African-American community are ghetto. We're simply making fun of ghetto people and mimic the way they talk and act. But not labeling all African-Americans as ghetto. There's real-life and then there's comedy. When your'e watching sitcoms or any other type of comedy, that is not actually happing, since they're pretending and acting out. Real life is real, comedy is just an expression about the stupidity of life and what comedians are seeing from their own personal experiences and not meant to be taken seriously. People who take comedy seriously are people who weren't around and perhaps had an off day when whoever who has the job of passing sense of humors around was passing those around. And are the biggest tight asses in the history of the world and have redefined that term. When someone makes fun of you, the first thing you do is to see if that person has a point and self-examine yourself. If the joke is spot on, you have nothing to complain about and if anything should laugh at yourself and use the humor as a learning experience. If the joke really is off target, then you laugh it off or fire back or enjoy the rest of your life. But unless the person is calling you a racial or ethnic slur, you really have nothing to complain about.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Amelia Nell & Vocalocity: Rita Hayworth as Gilda- Best Moments

Source:Amelia Nell & Vocalocity- The Love Goddess Rita Hayworth, as Gilda. 
"The exquisitely beautiful Rita Hayworth was divine in her most famous role as Gilda (1946)."

From Amelia Nell & Vocalocity

Gilda, is a very good if not great movie that is sort of a great soap opera or dramatic comedy that has everything from mystery, to crime drama, to comedy even. But if you take Rita Hayworth out of the movie and replace her with an ordinary looking woman, or a woman who is pretty and maybe even sweet looking as well, but nothing special, I believe Gilda becomes a very mediocre movie. I believe there a lot of guys who could've played the Johnny character ( played by Glenn Ford ) and I believe Ford does a great job as well, but a lot of guys could've played Johnny.

Source:Juliet in Paris- The Love Goddess Rita Hayworth, as Gilda 
Imagine Myra Breckinridge without Raquel Welch or Hart to Hart without Stefanie Powers, The Killers without Ava Gardner, they would still be good movies perhaps, Hart to Hart perhaps not because I don't believe would be a good show without Stefanie Powers, but there certain actresses and actors that without them the complexion of the movie or show changes dramatically. Sort of like a great basketball team without a certain player on the team, because they have this presence that is not just memorable, but unforgettable.

Source:Load MP4- The Love Goddess Rita Hayworth, as Gilda 
Rita Hayworth wasn't called The Love Goddess because someone in Hollywood went through a whole book of nicknames to give a random actress and decided that The Love Goddess was the best from the book to give any actress. She was The Love Goddess because millions of men in America and outside of America all wanted her and to be with her and be the Mr. Rita Hayworth the top pinup from the 1940s, a big reason why millions of American soldiers wanted to return from Europe and Japan in the 1940s and come back to America to see and listen to Rita Hayworth.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Politico Magazine: Derek Robertson- 'How Howard Schultz Created a Personality Cult at Starbucks'

Source:Politico Magazine- Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and potential 2020 spoiler. 
"Ever since former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced his potential independent presidential bid, the feedback has been … mixed, to be generous. Democrats denounced him as a misguided election spoiler at best, and an entitled egomaniac at worst. Schultz hasn’t done much to dispel those characterizations, with a string of defensive statements and acidic attacks on Senators Kamala Harris’ and Elizabeth Warren’s policy agendas. It was a botched rollout that led to some fairly obvious questions: What is this man’s policy agenda? Why might he be running for president? Who was asking for this?"

From Politico Magazine

"Before he was a possible presidential contender, Schultz was the coffee giant's CEO. He first spoke to "60 Minutes" in 2006. For more, click here: CBS News

From 60 Minutes

Source:CBS News- Howard Schultz, before he was a narcissistic, wannabe politician. 
I'm not interested in Howard Schultz's so-called potential independent presidential run at least for this piece, but more interested in what he created not just with Starbucks, but the broader pop culture in America. Starbucks, really since the late 1990s or so is not just just a coffee house, but it's a fashion statement and status update. Americans, especially yuppies and hipsters not just like Starbucks coffee, but feel the need to be seen liking that coffee and feel the need to have everyone know that they like that coffee and go to if not Starbucks on a regular basis, perhaps some other popular coffee house in their community.

Starbucks cups are not just coffee cups, but their fashion statements. Hipsters and yuppies feel the need to not just walk down the street holding their Starbucks cup or another coffee house cup, even if their cup is empty, but feel the need to be seen either on their phone or looking at their phone, even if they're not actually speaking to anyone or don't have any latest texts or voice mails that they haven't seen or listen to yet, while holding their coffee house cup at the same time.

Coffee house coffee whether it's Starbucks or any other coffee, is to America and American pop culture, what tobacco was in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s before Americans figured out how addicting and how bad tobacco was for you. Except coffee house coffee and coffee you get at your local bakery or on the street, is a helluva lot better for you than tobacco and alcohol even. So you have a lot of hipsters and yuppies in America who know it's not only cool to drink and be seen with coffee house coffee, but it's not nearly as bad for you as tobacco or alcohol.

Starbucks, is not just a coffee house, but like with new technology especially smart phones they're ways of living. It's a way of life for them and way for people to be popular. "Look at Joe and Mary, they not only have the latest smartphone that just came out an hour ago, but they're in touch with the latest celebrity news stories and scandals, addicted to reality TV, and are addicted to Starbucks coffee and coffee houses as much as we are. Even know every single Starbucks drink by heart. They must be as awesome as we are." Which is how Starbucks customers, hipsters, and yuppies want to be seen. And Howard Schultz, is a big reason for this coffee house culture that we've been living with in America for the last 20 years or so. Whether he deserves credit or blame for that, I'll let be the judge.

Monday, February 11, 2019

AZ Quotes: Bill Parcells- 'This Is Why You Lift All Them Weights, This is Why You Do All That'

Source:AZ Quotes- Bill Parcells, when he was head coach of the New York Giants 
As someone who grew up just outside Washington in Bethesda, Maryland and still live there, I grew up a Redskins fan and still am, ( even though Dan Snyder makes it harder for me to remain a Redskins and NFL fan each and everyday ) it gives me great pain to say anything nice about anyone who has ever worked for the New York Giants. Especially someone who not just had great success with the Giants, but had great success against the Redskins while with the Giants. The Redskins and Giants, are great rivals.

The only team that the Giants hate more than the Philadelphia Eagles, are the Redskins. And the only team that the Redskins hate more than the Dallas Cowboys, are the Giants. Welcome to the NFC which is just one small, but great family where everyone hates each other. Which might not be that untypical of the modern American family, especially with the current political situation and division. The NFC East is one of those places that's not that different from the modern American family. For example ( pardon my language ) you can all your brother an asshole or even make fun of your father or mother, but if someone else does especially outside of your family does, you want to kick their ass to set them straight. We don't actually hate each other, we even respect it each other which makes it easier to acknowledge greatness from another team in your division when you see it.

When a car company makes a great car, you bet your life that your competitors will see that and respect that. Perhaps even take notes of what makes that car great and why it's so popular. And when another team in your division does something great, or produces someone who is great like a player, or in Bill Parcells case a great head coach, other teams take note of that to see what made that coach so success with that team.

You could argue that what made Bill Parcells a great head coach was his knowledge for football and the NFL. A great ability to see talent and get the most out of the players that he had and of course that's all true. There are maybe 10 different NFL head coaches that knew enough about football and both sides of the ball that they could've been either a successful defensive coordinator or offensive coordinator: Don Shula, Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, perhaps Bill Cowher, maybe Bill Walsh who gets credit for being the great offensive mind that he was, but the man had a great football mind as well and the San Francisco 49ers played his defenses and defenders were his players, not the defensive coordinator's. But one guy who really sticks out as a great football mind at least post-Tom Landry is Bill Parcells.

But as great a football mind that Bill Parcells was in the NFL and especially with the Giants where he won 2 Super Bowls in 5 years in New York ( or New Jersey, depending on your perspective ) and his knowledge of the game both defensively and offensively is an important factor, there's one more factor that I believe is more important and a bigger reason for his success in the NFL and that's his honesty. Like with the Giants ball control power offense where they almost told the defense what play they were going to run, because they only had a handful of both running and passing plays, there was no deception with the Bill Parcells Giants, they were either going to power run or perhaps pull a sweep outside with Joe Morris or someone else, or QB Phill Simms would go play action and hit a post to his TE Mark Bavaro or WR Lionel Manuel and there was also no deception or bullshit ( to be frank ) in how he treated his players. They always knew where they stood with him.

The classic Bill Parcells quote where he's on the sidelines I believe talking to his offensive line during a game and he's trying to motivate them and get them to play harder and he says, "this is why you lift all them weights, this is why you do all that shit!" Telling them the reason why Parcells makes his players work as hard as he possibly can, is not to punish them and to wear them down, but to make them as strong as they can and to make them as great as they.

It's that old Chuck Knox quote when he was the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams in the 1970s when they were at practice and he tells one of those players, "to be a champion, you have to pay the price." Coach Knox, was also famous for working his players very hard. Bill Parcells, wasn't interested in being popular even in New York, but wanted to build champions and he did that they only way he knew how to which was through blue-collar bluntness and hard work and he was very successful with his approach.
Source:NFL Films: Bill Parcells- Mic'd Up- New York Gants head coach Bill Parcells, being carried of the field after winning Super Bowl 25 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Politics and Prose: Dr. Eric Motley- Interviewing Elaine Pagels: 'Why Religion'

Source:Politcis and Prose- Eric Motley and Elaine Pagels at Politcis and Prose, in Washington 
"Elaine Pagels discusses her book, "Why Religion?", at Politics and Prose on 11/30/18.

When Pagels, author of groundbreaking studies of the Gnostic Gospels, was asked, “Why religion?" she found that her own life illuminates both why she’s made a career of studying religious texts as well as why religion itself still exists in the supposedly secular 21st-century. The daughter and wife of scientists, Pagels was taught to trust the rational, but she found herself attracted to religious music and rituals for how they engaged the imagination. After the loss of her five-year-old son in 1987, followed by her husband’s death in an accident in 1988, Pagels turned to religion for help in facing her grief and anger. Interweaving the fascinating scholarship behind books such The Origin of Satan and Revelations with her own experiences, Pagels’s memoir is as emotionally affecting as it is thought-provoking.

Pagels is in conversation with Dr. Eric Motley, executive vice president at the Aspen Institute and author of the memoir Madison Park."

From Politics and Prose

As someone who is Agnostic and proud of it who believes in reason, science, facts, and only has faith in people, things, institutions that I trust based on the evidence that I've seen from being around them and talking to them, I can actually see why people would be attracted in religion. As someone who believes in the First Amendment which includes the Freedom of Religion in America, ( sorry Hippies, I'm not spiritualist and I'm not a Communist either ) I can see why people would want religion, be involved in America, and even need it. I guess the difference between an Agnostic and an Atheist, especially a fundamentalist Atheist ( and yes, there is such a thing ) like a Communist to use as an example.

Source:Good Reads- From Elaine Pagels 
This is not an official definition, but that might only be because there isn't any official definition of religion, but my personal definition of religion is basically basic set of moral values that people believe and follow, as well as the belief in God. Now, depending on what religion you are a member of determines what moral values that you believe in and follow that helps you in your life. I can easily see how people can get positive benefits from being a part of a religion and get positive benefits from attending church and listening to their religious leader every week give a sermon, especially when they're going through rough times and need help getting through those tough times. Even though religion is not for me and I prefer to use evidence and reason to get through those tough times in our lives.

Source:C-SPAN- Elaine Pagels, on C-SPAN 
Elaine Pagels, lost both her son and husband in the span of a year back in 1987-88, apparently wasn't very religious before those tragedies in her life, but found religion after that and I can understand someone who goes through those tragedies especially in such a short period of time would feel the need to get help from religion and learn about that and try to figure out for themselves why they're being put through those tragedies one following by another. Religion, has been used by alcoholics to get over their alcoholism. It's been used to help career criminals who are doing long-term prison sentences get their life going on a positive track so once they're finally out of prison they can become positive members of their community once they're free. As much as I might hate religious fundamentalism in all forms, ( and trust me, I do ) people should also understand and beware of the positive aspects of religious life as well.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Atlantic: Nora Johnson- 'Sex and The 1960s College Girl'

Source:The Atlantic Magazine- From Nora Johnson 
Source:The Atlantic: Nora Johnson- 'Sex and The 1960s College Girl'

At risk of sounding partisan and this is not the first time I've taken this risk as a blogger: as much as the Christian-Right and broader Far-Right in America, especially Christian-Nationalists put down and critique Saudi Arabia and other Islamic states for their interpretation of Islam in their government and Islam in general, they actually have a lot in common with Islamic-Theocrats and the Islamic-Right in the world and have for a very long time. 50 plus years or longer and share very similar if not identical cultural and religious views, especially when it comes to women's place in the world.

Source:IMDB- Sex and The 1960s College Girl film 
And why do I mention this? Because really from the time the American Republic was founded in 1776, up until 1963-64 or so America was the Christian-Right utopia for them when it came to the women's place in the world. They were basically servants of men who were raised to grow up, meet a good man who could take care of them financially, but spend their lives taking care of him at home, as well as their kids. As Joe ( or whoever the man was ) would go out in the world and make a career for himself and earn a good living everyday, while his wife Mary ( or whoever the woman was ) would be at home waiting for him managing the home and taking care of their kids.

According to the Christian-Right and the broader Far-Right in America, we as a country have been going to hell since the mid 1960s and have been destroying their utopia. With personal freedom and individualism running rampant around the country with so many Americans of all races and ethnicities, as well as religions, both men and women daring to have the freedom to make their own decisions. And no longer feel trapped and having to live in their parents cultural basement and feeling the need to have to live the way that their parents and grandparents lived in America. With women wanting to go to college and then get themselves a good job and get married and have kids later on, instead right away, she now had the cultural freedom to do that.

If men didn't want to get married at all and not have kids, or perhaps have kids and raise them, but not get married to the mother of his kids, he could now do that, because he had that same cultural freedom. And the same freedom for women as well.  This piece from Nora Johnson from 60 years ago and this video covers that. Women now had the same freedom as Americans as men do with the same freedom to run their own lives. Decide for themselves if they wanted to go to college and get a good job, or get married early and stay home to raise their kids. Wasn't like women were now required to get educated and go to work, it's just that now they had the personal and cultural freedom to make that decision for themselves.

In 1963 or so with Baby Boomers graduating high school and now in college, they were let out of their parents basement and this cultural closet that they were living in now had the freedom to be Americans and live their own lives, regardless if their parents and grandparents approving of their lifestyles or not. And with the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which made it illegal for employers to discriminate against people based on race, ethnicity, but gender as well we saw millions of American women of all races and ethnicities now entering the workforce. The sitcoms of the 1970s with show like Mary Tyler Moore and Maude illustrated that with how America was changing culturally and we haven't looked back ever since and probably never will.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Lana Turner Online: 'MGM Presents Lana Turner- 1948'

Source:Lana Turner Online- Hollywood Babydoll Lana Turner.
"MGM presents Lana Turner  - 1948."

From Lana Turner Online

Source:Lana Turner Online: MGM Presents Lana Turner- 1948

When  think of Hollywood Babydoll Lana Turner, ( which is exactly what she was ) I think of the Queen of the Hollywood Soap Stars. Meaning, her only real experience in soap operas, was being on Falcon Crest in the 1980s, but she lived the life of a soap opera character and star. What would be called today a reality star. She lived on the tabloids with all her different marriages and breakups, she dated an Italian gangster putting her personal as well as her daughter Cheryl Crane's safety always at risk every time she was seen with Johnny Stompanato.

Source:History For Sale- Hollywood Babydoll Lana Turner 
Her daughter goes on trial for murdering Johnny Stompanato in the 1950s, even though it's pretty clear she shot him in self-defense at their home. Lana's whole life looked like one gigantic publicly stunt, except that it was real-life reality TV and not what's supposed to pass a reality TV today. It's as if her life and career was written by the best team of Hollywood script writers in the history of the world. You would have had to live her life to ever even attempt to try to believe the real-life that Lana Turner actually lived. And that it wasn't just the best written movie, soap opera, or reality TV show that was ever written.

And then before she gets Falcon Crest in 1982, she had already done at least three soap opera movies in the 1950s and 60s. The Bad and The Beautiful, from 1952 with Kirk Douglas, that looks at the lives of three up incoming Hollywood workers. An actress, writer, and director where's there's constant backstabbing and screwing over in that movie, mostly by the Kirk Douglas character. That movie looked like one of the best episodes of Melrose Place that was ever written. Peyton Place, that was both a TV soap opera and movie soap opera. Love Has Many Faces from 1964, where she plays a woman who falls in love with multiple gigolos in the movie, perhaps her best movie. Madame X from 1966, where the plays the wife of a diplomat where her mother in-law pays her to get out of town, because she doesn't want her around her son anymore.

Lana Turner, is very interesting for another reason. She's one of the most underrated, as well as overrated actresses ever. She's not the best actress who has ever worked, but not the worst either and when she hear people talk about her you get the idea that she could be the best or worst depending who who you're talking to. I believe she's one of the best soap actresses who has ever lived and a great comedic actress as well. It's a damn shame that she never worked with Alfred Hitchcock or Neil Simon, because she was a great dramatic comedy actress with great sense of drama and comedic timing.

The great soap operas tend to be funny and the great soap actors and actresses, also tend to very funny. Melrose Place, but General Hospital are great examples of that. I believe she was limited to do dramatic comedy and soaps, but is one of the actresses to ever work in those genres and should get the respect more respect for that.