Beauty and the Gay…

Okay, so just thinking about the fact that there are people who now will not allow their children to see the new Beauty and the Beast movie because it features a gay character. Nevermind that it’s basically a story about Stockholm Syndrome and bestiality, but having a gay character was just a step too far for them. (Not that I’m judging.) (Okay, maybe a little bit.)

And it occurred to me though, we’ve had gay characters in movies and TV for a very long time, this is nothing new. And I’m not talking about Will & Grace, or Billy Crystal’s Jody on Soap, I’m going way back…

Remember Bewitched, remember Uncle Arthur, brilliantly played by the late Paul Lynde. Totally gay. Uncle Arthur was every family’s old gay uncle. And we loved him. Just back then nobody talked about the fact he was mid-40’s, never married, but had the same “roommate” for 27 years.

Or I Dream of Jeannie. Here you have the lovely Barbara Eden playing an extremely beautiful woman, who totally adores astronaut Tony Nelson. would do anything for him, and who literally knows magic and has a thousand years of experience to draw upon. And does he hit that? No. He does not. He doesn’t even let his presumably hetero buddy Roger hit that. There has never been a more totally gay character on TV than Tony Nelson.

So you say, fine, but those aren’t kids shows. Sure, okay, let’s talk kids shows.

Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie have been documented for years. Two guys, one bedroom, one bed, and half their conversations take place with one of them in the bathtub. They are the arch-typical urban gay couple.

And remember Captain Kangaroo? Did you ever see a Mrs. Kangaroo? Of course not. But Mr. Green Jeans was always around, wasn’t he? And who else would keep a dancing bear as a pet?

Just Stop

Let’s just stop a minute and be honest about what’s going on here…

Facts show very clearly trans-gendered women are not molesting little girls in public restrooms. But some want to believe that, or promote that, because it justifies their hatred of the trans-gendered.

Facts show very clearly that Mexican immigrants do not commit more crimes than citizens. But some want to believe that, or promote that, because it justifies their hatred of Mexican immigrants.

Facts show very clearly that Muslim immigrants and refugees are not running around killing Americans. But some want to believe that, or promote that, because it justifies their hatred of Muslims.

This isn’t about crime, or murder, or molestation, or terrorism. The facts just don’t support it. So when you take that away, what’s left?

Hate.

It’s all about hate. Pure and simple.

And for the first time, in a very long time, we have a government that is willing to use any justification, real or imagined, to act on that hate. We don’t want the “other” here, they’re not like us, they frighten us, they disgust us. So… If they’re not here, we’ll shut them out. If they’re already here, we’ll kick them out. If we can’t kick them out, we’ll make their life hell, so they are forced to act “normal”, and we can pretend they’re not “other”

Like it or not, that is our new national identity. Hate.

This nation was not founded on hate, and one day soon, the rest of us will rise up and take our country back. And all you hateful assholes can continue hating, but we will no longer let your hate define who we are. We will reclaim that shining city on the hill.

Stop the Presses!

A few quotes about the press…

Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.
— Thomas Jefferson

Our first object should therefore be, to leave open all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.
— Thomas Jefferson

The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state: it ought not, therefore, to be restrained.
— John Adams

Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government: When this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins.
— Benjamin Franklin

A popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy, or perhaps both.
— James Madison

Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed , and no republic can survive … and that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment.
— John F Kennedy

Societies that repress journalists ultimately oppress people as well.
— Barack Obama

The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!
— Donald Trump

 

 

Scooby Doo – the lost episode…

S C O O B Y    D O O

Episode: Scooby Doo and the Great Orange Trumpmonster

Page 9.
_______________________________________________

DISSOLVE TO…

The gang is gathered triumphantly in the Lincoln Bedroom. The Great Orange Trumpmonster is bound neck to toe in ropes, and leaned up against some wooden barrels.

SHAGGY: Jinkies guys, I can’t believe we caught a REAL Trumpmonster!

VELMA: He’s not a real monster, Shaggy, there’s no such thing.

SHAGGY: Really?

VELMA: Sure, just look…

Velma reaches over and pulls the rubber mask off of the head of the bound Trumpmonster, revealing a familiar face…

THE GANG (in unison): Old Man NIXON!

TRUMPMONSTER/NIXON: And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling hippies.

SCOOBY-DOO: Well, pardon me!

SHAGGY: Good one, Scoob!

The gang laughs uproariously. Scooby and Shaggy give each other a high five.

FREEZE FRAME.

ROLL CREDITS.

 

 

Super awesome GIF by Chris Phillips
(click here to see animated version, and check out his other work)

He’s Ba-aack….

Alright, I’m back. That “break” lasted for all of three days.
 
What I found was, by laying off of social media (except a very well cultivated apolitical twitter list), I had far more time to spend on “real” media. And while this greatly cut down my exposure to fake news and other nonsense, it dramatically increased my exposure to real news. And while fake news is damned annoying, it is not nearly as terrifying as the real thing. There’s some real dystopian shit going on out there.
 
I wanted to ignore it, I really did. But if I’m going to go down with the founding principles of our republic, I’m going to bitch and scream and and moan and cry about it all the way down. You guys are just going to have to deal with that.
 
So, let me answer this question, which I’m sure some of you are thinking: Why have you become so political, you didn’t used to be that way?
 
In the “old days”, I would make a political comment every once in a rare while. I only did this when something was so egregious or outrageous or important that I felt everybody needed to be aware of it.
 
Well, guess what. That has NOT changed. I still post a political comment only when something is so egregious or outrageous or important that everybody needs to be aware of it.
 
It is not my fault those moments now come several times a day, rather than once every two or three months. Believe me, I wish things could get back to the way they were too. This is exhausting. But it is important. We all need to be aware of it. Like I said, there is some serious dystopian shit going on out there.

Taking a Short Break…

It seems like every day I see at least five new things coming from Trump or his administration that are so completely unprecedented both in their utter stupidity and in their capacity for damage to the American way of life, that I can no longer watch. I can’t watch while this petulant toddler continues to dismantle, piece by piece, what was once the greatest nation on this planet. And even worse and can’t watch all of the apologists and enablers who have signed on to blindly follow this idiot. I no longer recognize my own country, and I find that deeply disturbing. So…
 
I think it’s time for a media break, for the benefit of my own mental health. If you’re going to destroy the country I love, I’d rather not watch. And if you idiots are going to blow up the planet, I’d probably rather not see it coming anyway. So, I’m going to try a media blackout for the rest of February. We’ll see how I feel after that. I may tweet something from time to time, but that’s about it. I will not be reading or responding to much of anything. If you need to reach me, I’ll still respond to PM’s. And there’s always ancient tech like phone, text, and email.
 
One last thing, if anyone hears a date announced for the Science March on Washington, let me know. I like science, and I like Washington, so a march might be just the thing.
 
Take care. Thank you all for your support. See ya in the funny papers…

That’s Trillion, with a “T”…

The GOP’s latest budget resolution proposes to increase the national debt by nearly $1 trillion per year, every year, over the next 10 nears. So I was curious. What could one buy with ONE TRILLION DOLLARS? Here are some of the more interesting answers I found…

– Every sports team. All of them. NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and NASCAR, and still have plenty left over for beer and nachos.

– A new home, new car? How about five million new homes. Or forty million new cars.

– Need a new phone or laptop? Fuck it, buy Apple. Yes, the entire company, and put the remaining $200 billion on an iTunes gift card.

– You could fund an entire war. Think of the naming rights… Curtis Wiggins presents: The War in Iraq. A Curtis Wiggins Production.

– One copy of the Office, complete series, on DVD, for every single person on the planet. No one would ever have an excuse to not get your references ever again.

– Want to take a cruise? Hell take all of them. You could buy a thousand cruise ships.

– Prefer to drive? You could pave the entire US Interstate Highway System in 24K gold leaf. I mean really, why subject your forty million cars to mere concrete and asphalt.

– Remember that song “I’d like to buy the world a Coke…” You could literally do that. With refills.

– Hungry? You could buy every McDonald’s on the planet. And every Burger King. Have it your way, indeed.

– And here’s the weirdest one I found. You could buy a free funeral and lifetime supply of eggs for everyone living in poverty in America. I’m not sure what this guy’s plan was exactly, but I think he wants to kill off all the poor people by way of high cholesterol…

Solstice

You may have noticed over the past six months that the sun is dying.

Every day it climbs a little less high into the sky than it climbed the day before. It hangs low in the sky, visiting us with its warmth a little less each day. Every morning it wakes later, and every evening it retires earlier. If it were to continue its malaise, it would eventually be unable to climb even above the horizon, leaving us in a perpetual night. Alone. To die.

Fear not, today the sun is reborn. It is renewed. Beginning today it will climb higher in the sky every day, it will visit us with it’s life sustaining warmth for longer and longer each day. In a short time snows will melt, rains will come, plants will spring forth again, and a new generation of baby animals will be born into a new land.

The circle of life on our tiny little rock will continue on, for at least another year. The sun and the earth care not whether we live or die, yet today, because of their movements, our tiny little lives are saved, to continue on, for at least another year.

It is a time to celebrate, and reflect, and take joy in the knowledge that we live, we are alive and well and living on planet Earth, for at least another year.

Feel free to celebrate this miracle with the religious ritual of your choice.

The Bob Dole Connection

Okay, so it’s come to light recently that Bob Dole was behind the Trump-Taiwan call. Yes, the same Bob Dole that ran for president and lost to Bill Clinton.  That same Bob Dole just guided Trump into torpedoing nearly 40 years of US-Chinese relations.  We must ask, why?

Now granted, Bob Dole is working for a law firm, which was reportedly paid $140,000 to make that call happen, and we all know the only difference between lawyers and prostitutes is, well, there are some things a prostitute will not do for money.  But…

I wonder if there’s more to it than that. Is Donald Trump actually Bob Dole’s ultimate payback to the Clinton’s and/or the American people for refusing him the presidency? Is Bob Dole an evil mastermind, slowly and quietly plotting his revenge since 1996?

Let’s look at the evidence. Fortunately we now live in a post-rational fact-free world, so manufacturing evidence is much easier than it used to be.

First, if you remember, Bob Dole had this weird tendency to always refer to him self in the third person, as in “You’re always going ‘Bob Dole does this’ and ‘Bob Dole does that.’ That’s simply not something Bob Dole does!”  (actual real quote) And we all know from movies and television that people who refer to themselves in the third person are mentally unstable, right?

And we all know that the whole Trump running for president thing started at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner, where Trump was publicly humiliated by Barack Obama.  Did Bob Dole invite Trump to that dinner?  I can’t prove that he did, but more importantly, I can’t prove that he didn’t either.

We also know that, unlike many Republicans, Bob Dole supported Trump early and often, stating that he was supporting Trump because he couldn’t vote for George Washington (another actual real quote).  Has Bob Dole been working quietly behind the scenes to help Trump win the nomination, and then the election itself.  I certainly can’t prove that he hasn’t, can you?

Also, is it just a mistake that the Dole/Kemp campaign website is still live?  No really, it’s still there, check it out: http://www.dolekemp96.org/main.htm  Why would he leave that up? Clearly he’s still bitter about losing.

Lastly, we all know the connection Bob Dole has to fruit, what with his stickers on bananas and pineapples all over the country.  Wouldn’t it be his ultimate revenge to defeat Hillary by getting an actual orange elected president?

Why the “Hamilton” incident is a big deal…

In case you’ve been living under a rock the past week (understandable given the current environment), here’s what happened…

VP-elect and anti-LGBT poster boy Mike Pence attended a performance of “Hamilton” on Broadway.  Now Pence doesn’t strike me as the musical theater type, but good for him, getting out and getting him some of that big city elitist culture.

The cast and crew, being made aware of his presence, felt the urge to make a quick statement to him at the end of the show, during their curtain call.

The audience, some of them anyway, being made aware of his presence, felt the urge to boo him.

The President-elect, as he is wont to do, felt the urge to promptly lose his shit and launch into a minor Tweet-storm tirade.

The immediate reaction of most of us, on either side of the Great American Trump Chasm, is to dismiss this as nothing more than the usual nonsense.  It’s Trump being Trump, responding to elitists being elitists.  All sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Sure, the hard-core supporters got bent about a perceived lack of respect.  And the hard-core opponents either took the opportunity to remind us about Pence’s embrace of “conversion therapy”, or pointed out how this non-event was distracting from bigger issues like Trump’s $25 million fraud settlement.  But most of us, honestly, just didn’t think this was a big deal.  Certainly nothing to get worked up about.

And that is where we are dead wrong.

Allow me to explain.  But first, let’s clear up some of the details.

It has been said that the cast of Hamilton booed Pence.  They did not.  The audience did.  If you’re whole problem with this is that the audience was disrespectful to Pence, you have a valid point.  You’ve completely missed the larger point, but your point is valid.  And by all means, please, feel free to criticize an audience for booing someone they don’t like.

It has been said that the cast of Hamilton made a disrespectful statement to Pence.  They did not.  Below is the entire statement, as read by Brandon Victor Dixon, the actor who played Aaron Burr.  Judge for yourself…

“We, sir, are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us — our planet, our children, our parents — or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir, but we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us. All of us.”

That’s it.  That’s the entire statement.  You will notice that, despite what I imagine was an overwhelming desire on their part, not once did they include the phrase “hey, asshole…”.  Instead, they opted for the far less offensive “sir…”

If you find their statement disrespectful, you may want to go to your nearest college campus, find yourself a nice quiet “safe space”, and re-calibrate your sensitivity threshold.  You may find it has been accidentally set to “liberal”, or worse yet, to “millennial”.  As quickly and calmly as possible, you will want to move that setting back to “conservative”, or if you’re feeling particularly frisky, to “suck it up, buttercup”.

Seriously though, the statement made was a respectful yet earnest call for inclusion, a reminder of shared values, and an expression of hope.  It might be viewed as presumptive, not without reason, but I fail to see anything about the statement or the way it was read that is intrinsically offensive.

It is also, and this is the important part, a perfectly valid expression of Constitutionally protected free speech.

And here is the problem, and here is why this incident is a big deal.  Donald Trump described this statement as “harassment”.  At that moment, this became a big deal, because, as hopefully you already know, harassment is not Constitutionally protected free speech.  Nor should it be.

In one tweet, less than 140 characters, our President-elect has transformed a protected statement of hope and inclusion into a potentially criminal act of harassment. Let’s just stop and think about that for a moment.

Now obviously, if something like this were to go to court, I think we all feel comfortable that the court would not agree with this Mr. Trump’s transformation. And that is some comfort, but…  It shouldn’t have to come to that.

The leader of the free world should understand the difference between free speech and harassment. The President of the United States should respect the Constitutional right of his country’s people to speak to power without condemning it as a criminal act. Criminalizing political speech is the exact kind of tyranny our Bill of Rights was designed to prevent in the first place.

If this is how our future president is going to regard the First Amendment, and if this is how he is going to regard anything said that remotely questions him or his administration, we are in for a very difficult time.

Shake up Washington if you like, throw out what you want, but that cannot include the Bill of Rights. Above all else that must be preserved. Too many brave men and women have fought and died for those rights to just toss them out on the whim of an orange man-child who has never bothered to read them.