If the coronavirus has done one thing, it has accentuated the differences between the 1% and the rest of us.
Over the weekend, Madonna posted a video to her Instagram and Twitter pages, claiming that the disease is the “great equalizer”.
To say that she got called out for her b*llsh*t is an understatement.
While other members of the 1% in Hollywood are doing their part, Madonna sits in a bathtub as roses float by and does nothing.
I have nothing but respect for her as musician and a woman who paved the way for multiple generations of female musicians. However, instead of using her name and influence for good, she is only thinking about herself.
*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.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 Roseanne and The Conners. Read 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.
In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Roseanne and The Conners to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.
In the history of television, housewives have been portrayed as paragons of motherly and wifely virtue. Their houses and their appearances were magazine ready, their children are angels and their husbands came home to perfect families. Roseanne Conner (Roseanne Barr) broke that mold the moment she appeared on our television screens. She was brash, outspoken, far from modelesque and her family was imperfect.
Roseanne and her husband, Dan (John Goodman), have three kids. Becky (played by Alicia Goranson and then by Sarah Chalke), Darlene (Sara Gilbert), DJ (Michael Fishman) and Jerry Garcia Conner. In addition to her kids, Roseanne’s sister Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) is always stopping by.
The Conners are the average middle-class American family and Roseanne is the average middle-class American wife and mother. She and Dan are juggling their kids, their jobs, paying bills, keeping their marriage going, etc. Over the course of the original series, Roseanne has multiple jobs, a breast reduction, and a fourth child.
When the series returned, Roseanne was still Roseanne. But with a new twist. While dealing with knee pain, she has become addicted to the pain killers. It’s what kills her on-screen while her off-screen alter ego, Roseanne Barr became a persona non-grata after some rather unsavory comments made via her Twitter account.
To sum it up: in being real and representing real women, Roseanne Conner and the actor that played her changed the way that women are portrayed on television. Roseanne was imperfect, complicated and faced the same everyday situations that the viewers faced. It is that grounding in reality that makes her memorable and lovable.
Dealing with bullies is, unfortunately, a part of life. The question is, how do we respond? Do we shrink in fear or do we throw it back in the face of the bully?
Every December, Time Magazine announces who their “Person of the Year” is. This is usually someone who is noteworthy or is working to improve our world. This year, the person of the year is Greta Thunberg.
The adult thing to do would be to first congratulate her and then perhaps emulate this bold and unapologetic young lady. But you know who took the usual Twitter temper tantrum because someone else was in the spotlight.
We all know that you know is a bully. His tweet was as follows:
“Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”
Her response was pure perfection. Her bio on her own Twitter feed has been updated to the following:
“A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.”
Seeing that their potential victim gave it back to them, most bullies would have given up. But you know who is not the average bully. Someone in the Presidential campaign photoshopped you know who’s head on Miss Thunberg’s body.
One of the truths of life that we all learn as we get older is that we can’t always win. However, we can be mature about the loss and let someone else step into the spotlight. But as we have learned over the past three years, that if nothing else, you know who has the maturity of a four-year-old.
It’s not exactly a secret that we have a Presidential election coming up next fall. There are, as of now, more than twenty Democrats who would like nothing more than to dethrone you know who.
That being said, it would behoove you know who not to alienate voters.
His latest Twitter attack against citizens and politicians of color is against Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland).
Yesterday, he stated the following on Twitter about Representative Cumming’s district: “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
There are some who hesitate to call you know who a racist. If it looks like a racist, swims like a racist, and quacks like a racist, then it probably is a racist. The problem is that there are too many who will either make excuses for his racist comments or brush them off.
I have two major issues with those who either make excuses or brush them off. The first issue is that this man represents America to the rest of the world. It doesn’t matter what the average American believes or does not believe, when one thinks of America, they think of the President. The second issue is that we, as a culture and a country are working to make up for the way we have treated citizens of color in the past. Instead of bringing us into the future, you know who is dragging us back to the past.
If I had one piece of advice for you know who, I would say that it is unwise to alienate voters. We, as voters, have a long memory and do not forget what our political leaders have said and/or done, especially when we walk up to the ballot box.
The cornerstone of any thriving democracy is freedom of the press. When this freedom is severely curtailed or taken away, that is a sure of sign of a dictatorship.
Last week, The White House revoked CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass. Today a judge reinstated it on the basis that revoking the press pass infringed on Mr. Acosta’s First Amendment rights. Standing behind Mr. Acosta was not just CNN, but other media outlets, including Fox News.
How long before the man-child who unfortunately bears the title of President Of The United States take a tantrum on Twitter?
Anyone who knows me or has read this blog knows that I completely disagree with anything and everything that comes from Fox News. However in this case, I have to applaud whomever made the decision to stand up for freedom of the press. When this essential freedom is denied to one, it is denied to all. We can disagree from here to eternity about who is right and who is wrong when it comes to politics. I have no issue with that, the ability to disagree but still live with one another is what makes America a great country. But when it comes to our basic freedoms, if we don’t stand up for them, they could disappear and we would never know it.
When one grows up, the expectation is that one grows out of the immature name calling and accusations that are part of the school yard experience. Unfortunately, some never grow out of it.
Earlier this week, the lawsuit that Stormy Daniels filed against you know who was thrown out by a Judge on the grounds of freedom of speech. He responded by calling her horse face on Twitter.
While I don’t know, nor do I care if the alleged affair is fact or fiction, what I do care about is his behavior. He is not only a grown man, but the President Of The United States. There is an expectation of decorum, maturity and responsibility that is non-existent in this man.
I have to wonder what the rest of the world thinks of this man. I hope that the everyday American is not judged by the actions of you know who. I also have to wonder what the parents of the young children today are telling their children. How are they supposed to teach their children how to treat others with respect and dignity if you know is setting an example of being a mean-spirited, closed-minded and to be frank, cruel human being?
I don’t have the answers. The only thing I know is that we have a school yard bully in The White House.
The conventional political wisdom is that young people are either illiterate about politics or frankly don’t give a sh*t. They are more interested in the latest trends and spending time on their phones.
In this case, conventional wisdom is wrong.
The other day music superstar Taylor Swift publicly announced via Instagram that she is supporting Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper, two Democratic nominees who are running for office in Tennessee. As a result, 65,000 citizens registered to vote. Former Presidential candidate and current Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee sniped back via Twitter that 13-year-old girls cannot vote and threw his support behind Marsha Blackburn, Mr. Bredesen’s opponent.
We all know that 13-year-old children cannot vote. But they have older siblings, cousins and neighbors who are of age to vote.
What Mr. Huckabee forgets is the power of young people voting and using their political muscle. If the survivors of the Parkland shooting had not used their collective rage/voice to remind this country of the true cost of gun violence, it would have become just another school shooting that most of us would have forgotten by now.
Young people have the power to change the world, to fix the mistakes of their elders. They also have the ability to vote out any politician whom they believe is not doing the job that voters elected them to do.
While celebrity endorsements, especially of politicians can be a little iffy sometimes, they have the reach that a politician may not have.
I think, perhaps Governor Huckabee would be wise to mind his words, especially if he plans to run again for Governor. He may find out on election day that he is out of a job, because of the young people.
The job of the Attorney General Of The United States is supposed to be an apolitical decision. While he or she is appointed by the President, their job is to enforce the laws of this country. Their job is not to use the justice system to go after the President’s opponents, regardless of whether these opponents are real or just in the mind of the President.
You know who hasn’t gotten that concept through his thick, orange skull.
After months of abuse on Twitter, Jeff Sessions couldn’t take it anymore. His response to you know who is as follows:
Sessions hit back, saying in a rare statement, “While I am Attorney General, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations. I took control of the Department of Justice the day I was sworn in, which is why we have had unprecedented success at effectuating the President’s agenda”.
It’s nice to see that Jeff Sessions finally grew a pair. What you know who has never understood about the role of the President is that he is not just the CEO of America. America is not a private corporation that can be bought and/or sold when changes in business occur. He is a public servant who is beholden to the country and the voting public. Until he figures that out, he will never be the President that he thinks he is.
Freedom of speech is one of the cornerstones of any legitimate and thriving democracy. But while many will claim that they can say anything, freedom of speech has boundaries.
Last week, “journalist” and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was removed from most social media platforms (with Twitter being the exception). The removal was based on the determination that Mr. Jones violated the terms of service.
The issue as I see it, is that freedom of speech is a very broad and subjective phrase. Freedom of speech could be as simple as an average citizen stating that they disagree with a government official and not being thrown in prison or executed. It could also be as complicated as a member of a far right group using certain words that many would recoil from in disgust.
The fact is that Mr. Jones is entitled to speak as he pleases. Trying to restrict or compartmentalize freedom of speech is akin to a slippery slope that one cannot climb out of.
However, it should be also understood that when one signs up for a social media platform, there are rules that users have to follow. If the users don’t follow those rules, then the people running the platform have every right to close their account.
As simple as the term of “freedom of speech” may seem, the truth is that the concept is complicated. The Alex Jones case, I think, has opened many of our eyes to this fact.
There used to be a dignity and a proud sense of self associated with the office of the President Of The United States.
Then Donald Trump became President. That same dignity and proud sense of self quickly went down the drain.
Randy Rainbow’s new video is entitled “YOU CAN’T STOP HIS TWEETS! A Randy Rainbow Song Parody”.
A satire of the song “You Can’t Stop The Beat” from the musical Hairspray, the video highlights how his use of twitter is beyond out of control. Social media is well and good, but he needs to do the job the American people hired him to do.
BTW, here is the original song, just in case your curious.