2017 was a good year for the publishing industry, at least from my perspective. Below are top ten books for 2017.
- The Genius Of Jane Austen: Jane Austen was a genius, this book explains why.
- Growing Up Fisher: Joely Fisher’s unconventional autobiography is a look into her very unique Hollywood family.
- What Happened: Hillary Clinton’s brutally honest reminiscence of the 2016 Presidential Election is one for the ages.
- Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman: This must read book examines how female celebrities are questioning what is acceptable for a woman.
- The Making Of Jane Austen: Jane Austen was not born a writer, she made herself into one.
- Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Leia, Princess of Alderaan: The book tells the story of Princess Leia two years before the events of A New Hope.
- Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening: Saudi Arabia is known the world over for its oppressive laws against its women. Manal Al-Sharif is fighting to change that.
- Mr. Rochester: Written from the point of view of Edward Rochester, Charlotte Bronte’s most famous hero, the book is an eye-opening story on the man readers thought they knew.
- You Can’t Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump (A So-Called Parody): Alec Baldwin co wrote this hilarious book from the mind of you know who. Ridiculously funny.
- The Great Gasbag: An A-to-Z Study Guide to Surviving Trump World: Written by The View co-host Joy Behar, this novel is for anyone who needs a laugh, especially considering what has come out of D.C. this year.
This will be my last blog post for 2017. Wherever you are, have a safe and happy new year. See you in 2018.
Filed under Book Review, Books, Charlotte Bronte, Feminism, History, Jane Austen, Jane Eyre, Movies, Star Wars, Television, Writing
The list of prominent men accused of sexual assault or harassment by their female colleagues continues to grow. The newest name on this list is Australian actor Geoffrey Rush.
Rush, star of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, has stepped down from his role as as president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts because of claims of inappropriate behavior by female staff.
The fact is that male privilege has gone unchecked for far too long. We are so ingrained, as a worldwide culture to not only show preference to men, but to look away and/or call women names who have had the balls to speak up when men have taken advantage of us sexually.
Frankly, it’s about bloody time that change is finally happening. If it makes some people (especially men) uncomfortable, then so be it. I would rather be uncomfortable and know that we are finally seeing real change rather than go back to watching the same sh*t happen all over again.
I could go on, but I think the skit from Saturday Night Live last night says it all.
One of the best facets of a democracy is the ability to openly mock and satirize those in power without the fear of repercussion or execution.
Saturday Night Live has been satirizing politicians for as long as it’s been on the air.
With the election of Donald Trump, the comedy basically writes itself. The new book, You Can’t Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump (A So-Called Parody), is co written by Alec Baldwin (who has played Trump on SNL since last year to hilarious perfection) and Kurt Andersen. Written from the point of view of SNL’s parody of Trump, the book tells the story of his Presidency so far.
This book is so funny that the reader has choice but to laugh out loud at points. It feels almost cathartic to read, especially considering that the real life Trump is possibly leading America down a black hole that we may not be able to climb out of.
I recommend it.
When the news broke last month that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault by a number of women, it was only the tip of the iceberg. The newest member of this not so honorable club is Al Franken, Saturday Night Live alumni and current senator from Minnesota.
In 2006, while on a USO tour, Leeann Tweeden accuses Mr. Franken of forcibly kissing her and having a picture taken of them while she slept. The picture is of Mr. Franken pretending to fondle her breasts.
Should Mr. Franken resign from? Honestly, I don’t know. In an ideal world, I would say yes, but considering that an empty seat in the Senate would create an imbalance that would tip in favor of the Republican, I say no.
At least unlike other politicians accused of similar acts (Donald Trump, Roy Moore), Mr. Franken has apologized and promised to make amends. But unlike his predecessors, there is pictorial evidence that is irrefutable.
The problem continues to be that women are still seen as sexual objects without thoughts, feelings and ambitions. Until the day when the concept is eradicated for good, then we will continue to be seen as and treated as sexual objects.
Anthony Scaramucci (known as The Mooch) has the shortest political career in recent memory. He was hired a week and a half ago to replace Sean Spicer as the White House Communications Director. As of today, he no longer retains the position.
The question on everyone’s mind for the last 10 days has been who would play him when Saturday Night Live returns in the fall.
We may never have the pleasure of seeing Saturday Night Live’s sendoff of Scaramucci, but we still have Mario Cantone playing the Mooch opposite Anthony Atamanuik as Donald Trump on The President Show. It’s absolutely perfect.
Wayne’s World turns 25 on February 14th.
Wow, I feel old.
Based off the Saturday Night Live skit of the same name, star and co-writer Mike Myers was able to turn a three-minute sketch into one of the funniest movies from the early 1990’s.
I think one of the qualities that makes this movie so appealing is that Wayne and Garth are so ordinary. They’re just two guys filming a TV show in a suburban basement. That’s it. It’s so simple, but it works. While some of the references are a bit dated, these characters are not. Anyone could do the same thing today with a video camera and a youtube account. If I could put a finger on what makes this movie funny, I would. I can’t explain it, but it is hilarious, absolutely brilliant and the screenplay has some of the funniest lines I’ve ever heard.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I think that the scene where they are singing Bohemian Rhapsody is in the car just so perfect.
If you have not seen this movie, I recommend that you see it immediately. I promise that you will laugh. It’s just that good.
Happy Friday and to all my readers, have a good weekend.
There is an old Jewish saying:
“May you live until 120”
Betty White may not be 120, but she comes pretty close today, on her 95th birthday. Her career has lasted nearly a century. Starting her career in radio in the 1940’s, she made the transition to television in the 1950’s. Generations of television fans have grown up with her, laughed with her and adored her.
For my part, I remember watching The Golden Girls as a kid. Rose Nylund was not the sharpest tack in the box, but there was something endearing about. Maybe it was those crazy St. Olaf stories.
Before Golden Girls, there was Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Sue Ann was sweet as apple pie, when she needed or wanted to be. But behind the sweetness was the barbs.
Someone once said that age is nothing but number. Betty White proved that when she hosted Saturday Night Live in 2010, holding her own against performers decades younger than she.
She continues to inspire fans and fellow performers with her humor, her commitments to animals rights causes and proof that old age, especially in women is not a reason to sit back and let someone else enjoy life.
Happy Birthday, Betty White. May you actually live to 120.
Last night, I wished a happy 90th birthday to Mel Brooks.
What I did not know is that June 28th is also the birthday of another legendary Jewish comic, the late Gilda Radner.
Born in 1946, Gilda Radner is remembered as part of the original cast of Saturday Night Live, then known as the not ready for prime time players. Standing on the shoulders of Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett, Gilda paved the way for the careers of Tina Fey, Rosie O’Donnell, Ellen Degeneres, Amy Schumer, Roseanne and other female comedians. While some of her characters were broad and perhaps a little on the annoying side, other characters were sweet and maybe a little naive.
After leaving Saturday Night Live, Gilda acted in several movies, including Haunted Honeymoon(1986), with her husband, Gene Wilder. She left this world in 1989, dying from ovarian cancer. After her death, Gilda’s Club was established as a support system for those fighting cancer.
Happy Birthday Gilda, wherever you are.
In it’s over 40 years on television, Saturday Night Live has introduced audiences to its fare share of memorable characters and skits.
One of the earliest skits were the Coneheads, aliens with pointy heads who claim to come from France.
In 1993, the Coneheads made it to the big screen. Reprising their small screen roles were Dan Aykroyd as Beldar, Jane Curtin and Prymatt. Instead of Laraine Newman, who played Connie on television, Michelle Burke was cast as the film Connie. The plot of the film revolves around the Conehead’s plan to conquer Earth. It seems simple, until they have a child and the government is keeping a close watch on this very interesting family.
One of the earliest films that was based on a Saturday Night Live skit, it hold’s true to its television roots. To me at least, there is also a universality of being an immigrant (which is what the Coneheads are) and reacting a child who is being raised in another culture.
Do I recommend it? Yes.