Monthly Archives: June 2020

RIP Carl Reiner

Anyone can tell a joke. Anyone can attempt to be funny. But it takes a truly gifted comedian connect with the audience.

The late Carl Reiner was one of those gifted comedians. He passed away yesterday at the age of 98. Born to a Jewish family in New York City in 1922, Reiner was also a writer who worked on early 1950’s classics such as Your Show of Shows and Caesar’s Hour. His collaboration with Mel Brooks on the 2000 Year Old Man was and still is comedy gold. Creating, producing, writing, and starring in The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966), he introduced the audience to characters are still beloved decades after they left the air.

In the entertainment industry, he was a jack of all trades. Writer, director, actor, comedian, etc. He will be fondly remembered as both a human being and an entertainer whose work made millions laugh.

In the words of our mutual ancestors, may his memory be a blessing. Z”l

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Filed under History, New York City, Television, Writing

Thoughts On the SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

For a millennia, men have controlled everything about women, our bodies included. It is only in the past century or so that we have fought to take back the control of our bodies that was ours in the first place.

Yesterday, SCOTUS ruled in favor of blocking an anti-abortion law in Louisiana. In a nutshell, the law said that doctors were prohibited from performing the procedure unless they had admitting privileges at a local hospital.

On the surface, the law does not sound all that bad. It sounds almost preventative, waiting for the day when something goes wrong and an ambulance would have to be called. But, looking at the fine print tells another story. It closes all but one of the remaining abortion clinics on a technicality, putting the lives of the female residents of Louisiana at risk.

What is interesting is that Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal members of the court. In doing so, it is my perspective that he is looking to the future of this country. It is a future that true equality exists between the sexes and women are finally seen as fully-fledged human beings.

It is only a small step. But when small steps come together, they can lead to major change.

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Filed under Feminism, National News

New Randy Rainbow Video-COVER YOUR FREAKIN’ FACE! – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody

Logic and common sense are concepts that are usually timeless and universal.

For example, common sense says that when you get into a car, you buckle up. If G-d forbid there is an accident, the seat belt reduces the chances of severe injury and death. As Covid-19 continues it’s stranglehold on humanity, some idiots refuse to wear a mask. A mask, like a seat belt, save lives.

Enter Randy Rainbow’s newest video, COVER YOUR FREAKIN’ FACE! – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody.

Using the song Put On a Happy Face from the musical Bye Bye Birdie, Rainbow uses his trademark humor to remind Americans (especially you know who) to put on a dam mask.

Personally, I don’t think that the concept takes a rocket scientist to understand it. But then again, you know who did proclaim himself a “stable genius” at one point.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I a hoping that this nation comes to its senses and votes for Joe Biden in November.

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Filed under Music, National News, Politics, Randy Rainbow

Fosse/Verdon Review

When one transcends from ordinary human to legend, we forget that this person is still a human being.

Fosse/Verdon premiered last year on F/X. Stepping in the gigantic shoes of the late Broadway legends that are Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon are Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams. Told over the course of multiple decades, the series follows the professional and personal ups and downs of the main characters.

Though they separated (but never legally divorced) in 1971, Gwen and Bob were joined at the hip. She stayed by his side as he cheated on her with multiple women, dealt with addiction issues, and never truly faced his demons. On his end, he relied on her as a respected professional collaborator who understood his unique way of working.

This is one of the best miniseries that I’ve seen in a long time. Both Rockwell and Williams are flawless in their roles, humanizing these giants of the entertainment industry.

I absolutely recommend it.

Fosse/Verdon is available to stream on Hulu.

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Filed under Hulu, Television, TV Review

Gloria, A Life Play Review

Great women do not become great overnight. It takes years or even decades to be worthy of the title of greatness.

On Friday, Great Performances aired Gloria, A Life. Starring Christine Lahti, the play tells the life story of legendary second wave feminist Gloria Steinem. Via a small cast made up entirely of female performers, the audience is introduced to the real woman behind the icon.

I’m thrilled that this show was filmed for television. I didn’t see the play while it was open, though looking back, I wish I had. I loved it. It was educating, enthralling, and entertaining. If nothing else, the play is a reminder that the issue of women’s right is just a prevalent today as it was fifty years ago.

I absolutely recommend it.

Gloria, A Life can be streamed on the Great Performances website.

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Filed under Broadway Play Review, Feminism, History, Television

The President is a Traitor

The main role of the President of the United States is to protect the country and her citizens. His or her personal needs are second to the needs of the country. In our history, most American Presidents have at the very least, understood this concept. I can’t say the same about the man who currently holds the title.

According to a damning report in the New York Times, you know who was advised that Vladimir Putin and the Russian government has been paying bounties to to Afghan terrorists to kill American troops. Instead of supporting and protecting members of the American military as he has routinely stated, he is letting Putin walk all over him.

Putin is not dumb, by any stretch of the imagination. One does not hold onto power for twenty years without learning a thing or two. He knows how to play the game. The problem is that you know who does not know how to play, nor does he listen to those who have.

If this report is true (though knowing him, it probably is), then you know who is a traitor. He has sold this nation out for his own needs. What is worse, he has sold us out to someone who is using him to bring the United States to its needs.

If I were to list every reason that you know who should not be re-elected in the fall, this reason would be number one. He claims to be a grade-A salesman. Instead he is being sold a bill of goods that is putting us all in danger.

He MUST not win a second term.

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Filed under National News, Politics

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga Review

The story of the underdog is as old as humanity.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga premiered on Netflix on Wednesday. Lars (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams) have been best friends since childhood. Coming from a small town in Iceland, their dream is to win the Eurovision Song Contest.

It appears that their dream will be just that. Then an opportunity reveals itself. But like any dream, there are roadblocks. Lar’s father, Erick (Pierce Brosnan) is a cold fish when it comes to his son.

Alexander (Dan Stevens) is a Russian competitor who appears to be romantically interested in Sigrit. He also might be using Sigrit to break up the duo. But Sigrit and Lars have been doing the will they/wont they dance for years. Can they win the contest and finally admit of their feelings for one another?

I have mixed feelings about this movie. It is supposed to be part absurdist comedy and part inspirational film. The inspirational half of the film works just fine. But the absurdist comedy falls flat on it’s face. I should have been laughing out loud, but I wasn’t.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Filed under Movie Review, Movies, Music, Netflix

Wearing a Mask Should Not Be Political

Human history is full of people who ignore logic (especially scientific and medical logic) for their own comfort.

Back in the 17th century, the groundbreaking astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei was accused of heresy by the Church. His crime was that his theories were contrary to the belief that the sun moved around the Earth. Today, we know that his discoveries are respected scientific facts. But to the authorities of his time, his statement was a punishable crime.

Flash forward to 2020. Covid-19 has ravaged our nation and our world. For months, doctors and scientists have been telling us to stay home and wear protection when we have to go outside. Logic would dictate that listening to the experts is simply common sense. This is an airborne disease that has the ability to kill indiscriminately. But when politics get involved, both common sense and logic go out the window.

As the number of cases starts to decrease in the Northeast, other states in the South and the West have seen a sharp increase. One might think that given the overwhelming evidence, the residents and political leaders of these states would follow the guidance from the experts. But some still have their head in the sand.

I hate wearing masks and gloves when I go out as much as the next person. In this summer heat, the gloves cause my hands to sweat. It can be difficult to breathe under the masks. But I wear them not for my protection, but for someone else. The last thing I would want on my conscious is that someone is in the hospital, on a ventilator because I was too selfish to wear a mask.

The fact is that protecting ourselves from Covid-19 should not be a political act. But it has become one. If nothing else, that speaks volumes about where this nation stands, both politically and socially.

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Filed under History, National News, Politics, Television

Joe Biden’s VP Pick & the Political Mistake That Was Sarah Palin

When it comes a Presidential election, the choice of Vice President can make or break one’s campaign.

Back in 2008, the late Senator John McCain chose former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate for that year’s Presidential election. While we may never know if it was that decision that cost him the Presidency, we do know that this woman became a political joke.

Saturday Night Live had a field day that year. Tina Fey playing Palin was comedy gold.

As this year’s Presidential election comes closer with every day, Democratic nominee Joe Biden is under pressure to choose his running mate. After promising to choose a woman, there has been speculation about who his VP will be.

I would love to say that race does not play a role in his choice. The choice should be based on experience, who is the best person for the job, and professional chemistry. But race, unfortunately, does play a role.

For me, as a voter, I would not be surprised if he chose Kamala Harris or Stacey Abrams. If he wants to be President as badly as he says he does, he needs to prove that his administration and policies will be inclusive and respectful.

The last thing he or the Democratic party needs is a reboot of the political mistake that was Sarah Palin.

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Filed under Feminism, National News, Politics, Television

Flashback Friday-React Channel (2010-Present)

A good Youtube series has to have the following qualities: compelling, entertaining, and the desire to for the audience to want to come back for more.

Since 2010, the React Channel on Youtube has been seen by millions of viewers. Created by the Fine Brothers, the channel that includes series such as Kids React and Elders React, has created a niche that is unique to the Internet age.

As a viewer, I can’t help but be addicted to this channel and its various series. It is so good that one could watch for hours, forgetting everything else.

I recommend it.

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