Friday, June 24, 2016

For Your Consideration: Fred Savage

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy, The Grinder

Straight men (not heterosexual men, mind you; comedic straight men) seldom get the credit they deserve. The Grinder is one of the best shows on television (and maybe I mean broadcast television, but given my disinterest in Veep, Girls, The Unbreakable Kimmy SchmidtLouie, Orange is the New Black, and House of Cards, maybe I don't) and Savage is key to that.

This is an old post I never finished. Despite the lameness of this post, vote for Fred.

Forgotten Movies of Greatness: Avalon

It's a bit of a windy road that prompts me to post this. It involves Elizabeth Perkins, an actress I don't think much of, despite wanting to. Even confusing her with Elizabeth McGovern doesn't help.  And Weeds was totes overrated.

Avalon was fairly well received when released in 1990. It followed Diner and Tin Men in Barry Levinson's series of Baltimore period films, and earned 4 Oscar nominations. It was a one-two punch (with Music Box) at introducing me to the wonderful Armin Mueller-Stahl who would later earn an Oscar nomination for Shine (not bad for a white male).

Joan Plowright, Aidan Quinn and Elijah Wood are all great; two of them would go on to bigger and better, while Aidan would make Benny & Joon and disappear.

Hey America, Let's Get Some New Analogies!!!

L to R: Rep. John Lewis (D GA); some white dude;
Rep. Katherine Clark (D MA); Rep. Donna Edwards (D MD)
A quick annotation on a meme:

  1. They were protesting my right to own firearms, are you sure that's what they were doing? I mean, I know there's a bit of nuance in much of the public policy debate about gun violence and gun control, AND AMERICA DOES NOT LIKE NUANCE ONE BIT (unless it's covered in cheese sauce and comes with unlimited breadsticks, and even then we'd rather just have the cheeseburger), but come on. When House Republicans did this exact same fucking thing in 2008 was it called a protest against our right NOT to have oil drilled in the arctic reserve. They were worried about the soaring price of gas (and rightly so as gas went from $4.21 a gallon that year to $2.32 a gallon today), but deep down they just wanted a vote. That's all any of us wants, a motherfucking vote.
  2. This seems to be calling out some kind of hypocrisy but this aspect is logically consistent. If you are worried about mentally unstable people with firearms, you will protect yourself. Take it one step further: not only is the capitol building secured by armed guards, you also can't enter the building without passing through a metal detector. Isn't it actually hypocritical to advocate for no gun control and then have systems to keep those guns away from you?
  3. They are communists, and we know that because communists are bad and they are bad ergo they are communists. They are gun-grabbing because, while no one has made even the slightest move toward confiscating even the first gun, that sense of persecution makes the writer feel righteous. And they are babies who want to make us slaves. FOR FUCK'S SAKE, SLAVES?! Are you fucking kidding me? Dear white guy who wrote this. Rep. Lewis has endured more physical and psychological attacks than you ever will thanks, to the fact that you are a fucking white dude in the south who is bolstered by white male privilege that you will never acknowledge but trust me, as a white male who grew up in the south, I guarantee you benefit from every day. Calling him a baby speaks to either your cripplingly limited sense of history or your limited ability to form a cogent argument. Either way, fuck you. Baby. Oh, and make us their slaves... the dude who was involved in the transformational struggle to secure blacks their rights as Americans after a century after slavery of being treated like second class citizens after a century of treating them as ACTUAL FUCKING SLAVES isn't going in to make anyone a slave. Dammit, you know what, it is time for America to get some new analogies. Let's take a time out on "slavery" and "the Holocaust" and "Hitler".

I bet you $100 some white guy wrote that. Some white guy oblivious to what John Lewis went through 50 years ago and who doesn't actually comprehend that slavery was a real thing that happened to black people. He may have gone to my high school (prom theme: an evening at Tara [something that white kids would have enjoyed far more than the black kids, luckily there were no actual black kids at my high school]).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Song of the Day: "Sorry"

As you know, I love the Lemonades: Beyoncé's uppity anti-police angry multimedia therapy recent visual album and reason [white] people can't feel safe in their own homes these days*.

I love this song. I love this video. I love this album. I love this visual album.

Despite, you know, the threats to me as a white male American. (Luckily I'm not a police officer.)

Song: "Sorry"
Artist: Beyoncé

* Probably. I mean, sure there's no obvious causation but you have to admit: 1) you're white (or possibly Asian) and B) you don't feel as safe in your own home as you used to (this may be related to that handrail you've been meaning to fix or recent oil train derailments or concern about tripping over a dog, whatever). Ergo correlation. That's all I need.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

For Your Consideration: Donna Lynne Champlin

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

And that's not even including British Paula.

Sadly, I rarely get what I want in this category (sorry Marcia Gay Harden, sorry Jessica Walter) so I'm crossing my fingers for a nomination, but not a win.

For Your Consideration: "West Covina"

Outstanding Music and Lyrics, Rachel Bloom, Adam Schlesinger and Jack Dolgen, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend "Josh Just Happens To Live Here!"

The show typically has two musical numbers per episode. They've ranged in quality from tolerable to fucking genius. This is the first musical number from the show's first episode, and it's stuck in my head for months. Fucking genius.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

For Your Consideration: Anthony Mendez

Outstanding Narrator, Jane the Virgin

His nomination last year was one of the few redeeming aspects of last year's awards. Here's hoping he can take home the award, and help The CW earn some Emmy respect.

For Your Consideration: Constance Wu

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Fresh off the Boat "The Real Santa"

A fresh and funny show that balances the Asian-American experience with the American experience with the family experience with, you know, all the other shit. Randall Park is adorable as the dad, but Constance Wu is fantastic as the mom. Mom/business partner/wife/investor/neighbor/friend really. Oh and daughter/sister. All kinds of shit, really.

Hopefully, she can get a foothold in the category since Amy Schumer and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss may be the only locks.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Quote of the Day (Feisty Latina Edition)

"We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are 'isolated.' They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere. They are the ones who recognize that unlawful police stops corrode all our civil liberties and threaten all our lives. Until their voices matter too, our justice system will continue to be anything but."--Sonia Sotamayor in her dissent, Utah v. Strieff
It is disappointing, but not really surprising, that the US Supreme Court ruled 5-3 to allow evidence gained during a bogus police stop/search if the "suspect" is found to have an existing warrant. This continues the unbridled string of rulings to favor law enforcement over Fourth Amendment rights which contributes to people of color being stopped for driving while black and sometimes shot in the fucking face (although in all fairness, that officer is facing criminal charges, probably only because he was wearing a body camera--ubiquitous cameras, they will both destroy and redeem us).

Stop & Frisk Results: Not at all racist.
During oral arguments, Samuel Alito predictably stood up for the man and attempted to diminish the implications of siding with Utah by calling it unlikely that traffic courts would start issuing more warrants just to provide police with a post hoc justification for stopping any [minority] person they wanted. Sotomayor wasn't having it: "I’m very surprised that Justice Alito doesn’t know that most of these warrants are automatic. If you don’t pay your fine within a certain amount of days, they’re issued virtually automatically."

Sotomayor points out that in Ferguson, Missouri, a town known for predatory police practices, 76% of the adult population have a warrant out on them. Under today's decision police can stop any person at random in Ferguson and if they happen to find something incriminating on them (something they should never have found without probable cause for the stop) there's a 3 in 4 chance that the cops get to admit that into evidence by virtue of an unpaid fine of some kind (which is a vicious cycle already).

Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, has no problem with whatever the man tells him to do. This has been true since his first day on the bench in 1991. He's going to be very upset when he realizes he's black.

Song of the Day: "Shout Part 1"

Chris Collingwood is the voice of Fountains of Wayne. I've long considered Adam Schlesinger to be its soul. I base this on Schlesinger's non-FOW output, a litany of magical, infectious pop music that has made me giddy and, a couple of times hit the heart of my deepest existential struggles

On the other hand, Collingwood is likely responsible for this. Everybody gets a ribbon!

The band parted ways and Collingwood's first post-FOW release, Look Park (produced by Mithcell Froom) coming soon. There's a suggestion in this article that collaborating with Froom was intended to yield a less pop sound.

Advantage: Schlesinger; he's not afraid to put sophisticated music into a pop music format. Which is teh aweSUM.

Song: "Shout Part 1"
Artist: Chris Collingwood

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Time For Another Sugarbaker

Time sure flies: can you believe it's been nearly 4 years since the last time I awarded the Sugarbaker Award? It's previous names were the Sugarbaker Award for Southern Women and the Sugarbaker Award for Strong Women, and even though it's going to a strong southern woman, it needn't be limited in the future. Speak up and you too might be a recipient.

Today's award goes to Betsy Phillips, a writer in Tennessee for a post she made at Nashville Scene calling out state politicians with anti-gay records for their "thoughts and prayers" after last weekend's shooting in Orlando: "Don't Pray for People You Don't Love. It's Insulting."
"Are your LGBT constituents supposed to feels safe, when a guy who 'disagreed' with their "lifestyle" just murdered fifty people, that another guy who 'disagrees' with their 'lifestyle' is handing out the same fucking gun to his friends?"
So Tennessee picks up the third Sugarbaker. Your move, rest of the world.