The Randy Rainbow Podcast Review

It seems that everyone and their mother has a podcast these days.

Back at the end of September, Randy Rainbow added another accomplishment to the list: podcaster. Each episode is broken up into two sections: responding to fan questions and an interview with a celebrity friend or admirer.

With his trademark wit, honesty, and musical styling, he is as entertaining as ever. I find myself laughing, and wishing I was in the room as he was recording it.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

New episodes of The Randy Rainbow Podcast are released every Thursday.

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Wuthering Heights Musical Review

Wuthering Heights is one of the most respected and disturbing novels in literary history. Emily Bronte‘s story of soul mates, violence, and strict class distinctions has kept readers coming back for more for multiple generations.

The Off-Broadway musical adaptation of the book is playing at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn. Created and directed by Emma Rice, Liam Tamne plays Heathcliff and Lucy McCormick plays Catherine. As in the original text, Heathcliff and Catherine have an intense connection, but the cultural mores of the 19th century keep them apart.

The best way to describe the show is a Kate Hamill-esque, slightly rockish production. Though it is not completely canon, it is fun, and entertaining and holds close to the text it is based on.

If there was anything that stood out to me, was the highlighting of Heathcliff’s racial ambiguity. Though it is subtle in the book, Rice makes it pertinent and timely.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Wuthering Heights is playing at St. Ann’s Warehouse until November 6th. Check the website for ticket prices and showtimes.

To Leave or Stay on Twitter, That is The Question?

Social media may seem innocuous. It is an opportunity to expand your world, connect with other people, etc. But like anything in life, there is a downside.

After nearly a year of speculation, Elon Musk announced that he had finally purchased Twitter. One of his aims with the platform is to ensure that free speech continues to be the raison d’être of the site. He also plans to limit permanent bans of those who have been considered to be problematic (he who shall not be named among them). By the way, Kanye West‘s account has already been reinstated.

The question is, do those who truly believe in free speech and democracy jump ship or stay and fight?

It’s understandable why many have considered leaving if they have not done so already. The signs are already pointing to the website possibly becoming a right-wing shithole.

But what I think we have to remember is that the ultimate power is in our hands. If we stay and continue to speak up, we can show Musk that he is not the all-powerful deity that he thinks he is. It also comes down to advertisers. That’s the only way the company makes money. At the end of the day, if we, the users stay, that will hopefully show Musk that he cannot allow Twitter a free for all.

Which is why I intend to stay.

P.S. If you want to follow me, you can do so at Writergurlny.

Yesterday was the 4th Anniversary of the Tree of Life Massacre

The massacre or murder is a moment in time that is forever frozen in our individual and collective memories. Though time may pass and things may change, we can never forget who we were and where we were at that point in time.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the Tree of Life massacre.

A new HBO documentary, A Tree of Life: The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting, tells the story of that day and the people who were affected by it.

Accompanying the film is a music video for the song “The Tree of Life“. Sung by Idina Menzel, it is both a heartbreaking reminder of the death of 11 innocent lives and the inner strength that it takes to live with that loss.

May the memories of those killed that day be a blessing. Z”L.

A Tree of Life: The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting is available for streaming on HBO Max.

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Kanye West’s Anti-Semitic Comment Should Disturb All of Us

The Holocaust did not start with concentration camps, gas chambers, ghettos, and mass killings. It started with words, lies, and false accusations.

Kanye West is one of the most respected rappers/musicians in the industry. I’m not a fan, but he is considered by many to be a genius wordsmith.

He is also an anti-semite. A few days ago, West stated that he would go on “Death Con 3” on Jews. His excuse was the following:

 “The funny thing is that I actually can’t be antisemitic because black people are actually Jew[s]”

He also wore a shirt to a fashion event that said “White Lives Matter”.

And as expected, the cherry on top is the usual response from the right.

I don’t know if this is due to his mental health issues or if this is his way of grabbing the spotlight. If it is due to mental illness, then he should seek out help if he has not already done so. If he just wants attention, this is not the way to go about it.

While promoting her new film, Halloween Ends, actress Jamie Lee Curtis (whose father is the late Jewish actor Tony Curtis), responded to West’s comments on The Today Show.

The fact is that words matter. They can hurt and they can kill. Perhaps West should consider that before opening his mouth.

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P.S. If West thinks that pretending to be a right-wing nut will save him from the racists, he has another thing coming.

Throwback Thursday: Ricky Nelson: Original Teen Idol (1999)

Though it may seem that the concept of the teen idol is an old one, it is actually rather new in terms of cultural history.

The 1999 TV movie, Ricky Nelson: Original Teen Idol, tells the story of the late actor/singer Ricky Nelson (Gregory Calpakis). The younger son of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson (Jamey Sheridan and Sara Botsford), Ricky was a performer from a young age. Starring with his family first on radio and then on television on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, he was sold to the then young audience as a heartthrob. Then as he aged (as many young performers experience), his name fades from the headlines and he has to deal with no longer being in the spotlight.

Though the narrative is by the book, the story is familiar to anyone who has seen the trajectory of many young actors and singers. After being in the limelight and dealing with everything that comes with that while growing up, they become an afterthought or a piece of nostalgia when the newer model comes along.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

Its Been 21 Years Since September 11th and it Still Hurts

There are some moments that are so seared into our memories that it is impossible to forget, even if we try to.

Today is the 21st anniversary of September 11th. Though it has been more than two decades since that day, the pain and grief are both still fresh. I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t help but shed a few tears.

The one thing I will always remember about that period is that for a brief moment, we were one people. It did not matter where one lived, who one voted for, or which deity one prayed to (if they believed in a deity in the first place). It only mattered that nearly 3000 innocent lives were taken by hate.

Given what is going on in the world right now, I wish that we would remember that unity for more than just one day. I wish that we would remember that we are all our sibling’s keepers. These days, we are divided by external factors and by some who take advantage of those divisions for personal or political gain.

May the memories of the victims, the first responders who died in the years since then due to the toxins from the wreckage, and those who gave their lives fighting against terrorism be a blessing. Z”l.

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Throwback Thursday: La La Land (2016)

Movie musicals appear, from afar, to be a thing of the past. While they were popular during the younger years of the baby boom era, audiences seem to have other tastes these days.

The 2016 movie, La La Land, is a modern movie musical set in Los Angeles. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) both have dreams that are not set in their reality. He is a pianist and she is an actress. As they have their meet cute, fall in love, and try to stay together, their careers start to come to fruition. At a certain point, they have to make a decision about their future and whether it is worth fighting for.

I’m not a huge fan of the genre. But I appreciate this film because the filmmakers did a good job of remaining in the present while honoring the classics. This is the third film that these two actors have made together (the other two are Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011) and Gangster Squad (2013).

I thoroughly enjoyed it. Gosling and Stone have become one of those iconic movie couples whose on-screen chemistry works, regardless of genre or narratve. It is a sweet, romantic story that hits all of the right notes and has an ending that feels just right.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

The Similarities Between the Violence Against the Rohingya and the Holocaust are Too Scary to Ignore

Since the beginning of our species, humanity has evolved in ways that our ancestors could have never dreamed of. But there is one aspect that is unchanged: hate.

In Myanmar, the official policy against the Rohingya people, a Muslim minority has been discrimination and violence. On a recent episode of the WNYC show, The Takeaway, the subject was the brutal treatment of this specific group, which has escalated in the last five years.

The similarities to the Holocaust are too scary to not ignore.

  1. Spreading lies and slowly dehumanizing a specific minority.
  2. Enacting laws that strip them of their rights as citizens and human beings.
  3. Removing access to educational and professional opportunities for both children and adults.
  4. While the world looks away, those in power continue on their path, knowing that nothing and no one is standing in their way.
  5. Destroying homes and taking material possessions at will.
  6. Forcing many to become refugees and ramping up the persecution of those who stay.
  7. Outright murder.

While I was listening to this story, I could feel and hear the cries of the six million murdered. Their souls reach through time and space, asking why it is happening again. I wish I could answer them. But I cannot.

Maybe this time, the rest of the world will pick their head out of their asses and stop this madness. But knowing what has happened in the not too distant past, I highly doubt it will happen.

May the memories of everyone who has been killed by hate be a blessing. Z”L.

P.S. In the English city of Norwich, human remains were recently found in a well. Tests revealed that the victims (three of whom were young girls) were all murdered in a medieval pogrom simply because they were Jews.

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New Randy Rainbow Video: Lock Him Up Yesterday! – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody

Hindsight is always 20/20. That does not mean, however, that we are stuck in the past. We can learn from the past, if, we are willing to understand that a mistake has been made.

Randy Rainbow released his new video on Thursday. Entitled Lock Him Up Yesterday! – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody, Rainbow uses the Beatles’ song Yesterday to underscore the fact that the former guy should not have skated the law for as long as he has been allowed to.

Only Rainbow can take a beloved song like Yesterday and use it to emphasize what many Americans knew all along. This man has broken multiple laws and must get his day in court. Just because he is a former President does not mean that he is immune from prosecution.

The only way to make it clear that what he did is wrong (legally speaking) is to let the justice system do its job. If he is allowed to get away scot-free, this opens the door to events that I do not ever want to consider as a possibility.

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