Monthly Archives: July 2020

The Ultimate Social Media Hypocrisy: Iran, Twitter, & Israel

When the Internet and social media took off decades ago, they both seemed to be a beacon of freedom of speech and communication. We would speak to and (virtually) meet people who we might otherwise not meet and become a better world.

But while the technology has changed, the world has not.

While the social media giants claim that they are all for freedom of expression, they continue to ignore the elephant in the room. That elephant is racism and antisemitism that continually flows from various tweets and posts.

Twitter, while claiming that hate speech is not allowed on the platform, does not prevent Iranian officials from threatening Israel with annihilation via tweets.

I wish it was easy to remove ourselves from social media. But, they are so much of a part of lives that to do so would be akin to cutting off a limb. The only solution is that the people who run the social media platforms follow through on their terms of service. The question is, will they?

Probably not.

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Filed under International News, World News

New Amsterdam Character Review: Karen Brantley

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series New AmsterdamRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

Managing a large organization is not easy. It requires negotiation, patience, and the ability to make tough decisions. But that does not mean that those decisions will always go over well.

On New Amsterdam, Karen Brantley (Debra Monk) is a wealthy businesswoman and the Chair of the Board of Directors at New Amsterdam Medical Center. Her business perspective often clashes with Medical Director Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold). His point of view is that the patients come first and the business side of running the hospital comes second. Even if that means stepping out of the box. The problem with this is that Karen is often left cleaning up the mess of Max’s unorthodox choices.

But Karen is not all work and no play. When a impromptu memorial is put up in memory of those who were lost to drug abuse, Karen reveals a part of her life that no one knew up to that point. She includes an image of her daughter, who died from her addiction.

In a light-heartened moment that surprised both the audience and the characters, Karen receives a flirty text from Vijay Kapoor (Anupan Kher). She responds in kind.

To sum it up: A full character is one in which the audience sees the whole person and not just one aspect of their lives. A good writer knows how to slowly reveal who the character is outside of the initial introduction to the audience. The revelations of Karen Brantley outside of her role within the hospital gives both the audience and the other characters a chance to know her and have a complete understanding of her motivations.

Which is why she is a memorable character.

This will be the last New Amsterdam Character Review post. The next group of characters I will be reviewing are…will be revealed next week.

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Filed under Character Review, Feminism, New York City, Television

Flashback Friday: Upstairs Downstairs (2010)

When it comes to BPD’s (British Period Dramas), the audience only sees the world from the perspective from the upper classes. The world is not seen from the point of the view of the servants or the average working folk.

In 2010, the reboot of the 1970’s series Upstairs Downstairs premiered. Both programs told the stories of an upper class aristocratic couple and their servants living in 1930’s England.

At the outset, the premise of the program sounded interesting. But it had two strikes against it. The first strike was that I tried watching Upstairs Downstairs, but it didn’t hook me as I hoped it would have. The second strike was that Downton Abbey premiered at the same time in the States and the rest is history.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Filed under Downton Abbey, Flashback Friday, History, Television, TV Review

No, The Election Date Will Not be Moved

One of the hallmarks of any dictatorship is their need to control the election and the outcome of the election.

Earlier today, you know who suggested that the upcoming election in November be moved for so called “mail-in voter fraud”. In a surprising move, members of the Republican party completely rejected the notion.

This is not the idea that comes from a democratically elected President. This idea comes from a dictator who will do anything to hold onto power.

I am utterly shocked that the Republican party finally grew a pair.

I wonder how long it will last.

Happy Thursday.

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Filed under National News, Politics

RIP Herman Cain: The Reason Why We Wear Masks

In the nearly six months since Covid-19 became the number one news headline around the world. So far the score is Covid-19-1, humanity-0.

The latest victim is businessman and former Presidential candidate Herman Cain. Some reports have pointed to his unmasked attendance at you know who’s rally in Tulsa at the end of June.

I wouldn’t wish anyone dead and I would dare wish Covid-19 on anyone.

But the doctors and the medical experts have been reiterating the same information for months. Stay home if you can. If you must go out, put on a mask at the very least. Avoid large crowds and stay at least six feet away from other people.

The facts are clear. If we are survive this virus and return to a state of semi-normalcy, we MUST listen to the experts. We cannot and should be so foolish to think that we are not at risk of becoming sick from Covid-19. Anyone who does so put their lives and the lives of their loved ones at risk.

RIP Mr. Cain. Perhaps we will finally learn from our mistakes.

P.S. Does anyone else believe that it is karma that Louie Gohmert refused to wear a mask and tested positive for the virus?

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Filed under National News, Politics

Throwback Thursday: Desperate Romantics (2009)

Art is forever changing. For every artist that creates work based on the standard of the era, there are other artists who are willing to take risks and try something new.

Desperate Romantics was a television miniseries that aired back in 2009. Starring Aidan Turner (Poldark), Amy Manson (Once Upon a Time), and Rafe Spall (Wide Sargasso Sea, a prequel to Jane Eyre), the program tells the story of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Set in Victorian era England, the viewers follow the story of four artists who set out to create a new way of seeing the world through painting.

When I originally heard about this series, it seemed to be right up my alley. It had all of the elements of a BPD (British Period Drama) that usually grab me as a viewer pretty quickly.

But, I am sorry to say that I couldn’t get into the series. There was something about it that just didn’t click.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Filed under Books, Charlotte Bronte, History, Jane Eyre, Once Upon A Time, Poldark, Television, Throwback Thursday, TV Review

China and the Uighurs: The New Nazi Germany

If there is one thing that has lasted throughout the history of humanity, it is the appalling way in which we treat our fellow humans.

After the Holocaust, the phrase “never again” echoed from the lips of the survivors.

Unfortunately, “never again” has become an empty statement over the decades.

In China, the Uighurs are a Muslim minority. According to reports, the Chinese government have been forced to leave their homes for “re-education camps”. A segment on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver released on Youtube on Monday revealed the harsh treatment that these people are experiencing.

Watching the segment immediately took me back to everything I know about the Holocaust. The details change, but the basic facts are the same: a minority or minorities are dehumanized and forced into a specific location/murdered/tortured because of who they are.

I had hoped that 75 years after the end of the Holocaust, we might have finally learned from the mistakes of past generations. But humans are still humans. We still hate and kill one another strictly based on a face value identity.

Maybe one day, we will finally treat each other with respect and dignity.

Happy Wednesday.

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Filed under History, International News, Television, World News

John Lewis Will Always be Twice the Man You Know Who Is

When the late Congressman John Lewis died almost two weeks ago, America was reminded of what a hero truly looks like.

In the past, when an American such as Congressman Lewis dies, the President is front and center at the memorial service.

You know who chose not to pay respects to the late Congressman.

The difference between you know and Congressman Lewis is that Congress Lewis was an American hero who exemplified selflessness. He was front and center in the Civil Rights marches of the 1960’s, putting his life on the line for the rights and freedoms of others.

I would be thoroughly shocked if you know who did anything for anyone else besides himself.

RIP John Lewis. Your contribution to American history will live forever.

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Filed under National News, Politics

Thoughts On the Boycott of Instagram & Twitter

Antisemitism is a disease. How does one route out a disease from one’s body? You hit with medicine. In this case, the medicine is truth and the power of the average person.

In response to the antisemitic posts appearing on Twitter and Instagram, a boycott has been called on both platforms for 48 hours starting this morning.

There is a distinct line between freedom of speech and spewing hate. Until the people who run the social media world realize this and follow the rules they created, they will be as guilty as the ones who spew racist and antisemitic lies.

I know that this boycott will be difficult. But if we do not move forward with the boycott, the message that racism and antisemitism is acceptable will continue it’s destructive grasp on this world.

#NoSafeSpaceForJewHate

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Filed under Thoughts On....

RIP Olivia de Havilland

If we lived in an ideal world, we would all live to old age. But we do not live in an ideal world. If one is lucky enough to see the golden years of their lives, then perhaps, they have come close to an ideal world.

Veteran actress Olivia de Havilland died earlier today. She was 104.

Two of her best known roles are Gone with the Wind (1939 and The Heiress (1949).

In Gone with the Wind, she played Melanie Wilkes, the Jane Bennet to the Elizabeth Bennet of the book, Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh).

In The Heiress, she played Catherine Sloper. Catherine is torn between her emotionally abusive father and a suitor who may be interested in her for the wrong reasons.

In addition to her storied career, she was an activist. The De Havilland Law is named for her, giving actors greater freedom in choosing their roles.

May her memory be a blessing. Z”l.

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Filed under Books, Jane Austen, Movies, Pride and Prejudice