Thank you to C.I. who got on Twitter a weekend or two ago -- when idiots were pimping The October Revolution's anniversary demonstration as a protest by Motada al-Sadr's followers. Most Americans, sadly, would buy the lie because our media ignored The October Revolution -- young Shi'ites in Iraq standing up to corruption -- despite the fact that it thrived from October of 2019 through the early months of the pandemic, despite the fact that it forced Iraq's prime minister to resign, despite the fact that hundreds of activists were murdered and many more wounded as a result of standing up. So C.I. got on Twitter to stand up to the liars and, because of that, we now know how to put a Tweet in.
In the old days before Blue Check, you just copied and pasted. Do that today and you end up with this huge black circle with a check in it. We didn't know there was a work around. C.I.'s on it for ten minutes and she's figured it out. (But, back in college, one of her jobs was assistant to the system manager -- she was the night person for the university's computer system. And she taught herself that job and she can do HTML and pretty much everything if she takes a moment to look at something.)
Now to deal with Call Me Kat. Five of you e-mailed explaining you hadn't see it yet this season. It's moved. same night but now it's on thirty minutes later. 9:30 EST. Ratings are down so far this season. Maybe people don't know about the time change?
Maybe they do know and they're tired of the show? It was a mistake to open with Kat and Randi at odds. It's not funny. They're not Laverne and Shirley. It's hard for the viewers not to take sides. And in both episodes where this has happened, Kat's been in the wrong. It's like what your parents argue. It's uncomfortable so it's not funny. They need to stop that now. When Randi and Phil or Kat and Phil bicker, it's funny.
I also had Wanda writing to say she thinks she's done with the show. And I can understand that.
What was the point of Nick (Andy Favreau)? He came on last season. He rocked Kat's world with sex and he ends up her landlord and raises her rent and now he's just gone?
Wanda's pissed. She wrote that Max is perfect for Kat "but they don't get them together, they bring on Oscar and we all love Oscar and then they have Kat break up with him and he's gone and now that guy Nick's gone as well. This cast changes way too much."
I see her point.
Having Sheila going blind? That was the last story they needed. They need something funny and uplifting. And yet they've lost Oscar and Nick and now they've got a downer story and they open with the worst possible storyline -- Randi and Kat fighting.
It can only get better is my feeling.
And one good thing about this season? Cheyenne Jackson has gotten even hotter. And how did he do that? He was already one of the hottest guys on TV.
I'm going to stay with it and I'm hoping in a episode or two it'll be back to its normal funny. But I do understand if you're disappointed with the two episodes so far this season.
Friday, October 7, 2022. BROS, Iraq, Julian Assange and much more.
On BROS, I made the points I wanted to make in the last
two snapshots (here and here) and thought we were not going to cover it
today. Then came the online push claiming that FIRE ISLAND does what
BROS did not.
No, it doesn't.
have no understanding of film if you believe that. First off, FIRE
ISLAND did not become a conversation. Second, it wasn't a strong film.
The first act is slow and weak. Ava and I covered it when it came out:
Jane shouldn't do stand up. Stand up comedian Joel Kim Booster
shouldn't try to write screenplays. He wrote the script for FIRE ISLAND
-- an update on Jane Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. The first forty
minutes are excruciating. Once we get into Joel's character and the
film's Mr. Darcy, it begins to work. You actually care about those two.
Too many movies -- and TV shows (think NAOMI) -- are just spitting out characters and confusing audiences.
The reason films used "types" -- Thelma Ritter and others for character
roles -- was to help the audience follow. It's also why famous and
semi-famous people are often cast in roles. Outside of Margaret Cho,
most of the cast is unfamiliar to movie goers. Joel' screenplay starts
with too many characters and they really needed to cast recognizable
faces or at least distinct ones. CLUELESS, another update of Jane
Austen, worked because it established characters and used 'types' -- the
skateboarder, the preppie, etc.
is also the fact that it's a celibate film. Did no one notice that?
Honestly, a number of gay people on Twitter are pimping this as better
than BROS but it's a chaste little film for the female/male lead. If
you don't get it, it's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen. It's an
adaptation. Joel Kim Booster makes a lovely Elizabeth Bennett, but not
much of a gay man living in 2022.
film has many things going for it. But it's akin to an independent
film like IT'S MY PARTY in terms of look and feel. It wasn't an advance
and considering Joel's remarks in his NETFLIX special -- his angry
screeds -- I'm surprised anyone's pimping this. Ava and I also noted
that, "His persona may just be saying things for humor. If that's the case,
keep it up. But if he's serious about getting complaints from gay
people about his jokes, he might try grasping that he's not The Voice
for Gay America."
I'm glad that
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE still resonates. But FIRE ISLAND reminds me of the
play a famous blowhard wrote in college. It was his life story. He
made himself front and center in the play. And every other character
existed to tell him how great he was. They really weren't characters in
their own right. After he started writing films (and, later, bad TV),
he just knew his play would connect with me. (I'd passed on his
previous projects.) I was ambushed while having lunch (a friend tipped
him off). I was still a smoker then, thank goodness because I couldn't
have made it through his play without a vice. Indulgent was the kindest
I told him it was
as though Jules (Demi Moore's character in ST. ELMO'S FIRE) had written
her own story. There was no understanding of the world around her (I'm
not talking politics or anything other than her immediate world) and
that the other characters were all props for the main character (him).
There was no arc of growth. It was just one indulgent scene after
screenplays, I've read a number, I've acted a number and I'm also good
at plot points and finding where the beat should be (those last two are
with regards to films I'm not a part of but that friends who are
directors seek my opinion on).
are many reasons you can like a film. It can be a hideous mess like
1987's ANNA but you can love it for Sally Kirkland's outstanding performance. Jane
Fonda elevated KLUTE to film classic with her performance -- the finest
performance by any actor or actress in a film that was released in the
second half of the 20th century. You can love a film because the
character reminds you of someone you love -- or of yourself. A film can
be a significant piece of art all around -- SOME LIKE IT HOT, for
example -- and you love it for that reason.
there are aspects to applaud with regards to FIRE ISLAND. But, no,
it's not on the level of BROS. It's screenplay dithers at the start.
It's casting is way off. It feels like a Greg Berlanti project and, no,
that's not a compliment. Greg wasn't the unnamed blow hard I was
referring to above. That blowhard is straight.
It may reflect your life onscreen and that's great if it does. But by any critical measure it's just an okay film/TV movie.
It's not revolutionary or brave -- I think Doris Day got more action in PILLOW TALK than Joel Kim Booster did in FIRE ISLAND.
And to be clear, FIRE ISLAND isn't a bad film. It's a weak film. AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS is a bad film.
Fire Island came out with a bang as not only was it released during pride month, but according to Mashable, it was the sixth most streamed film during the week of its release, outperforming Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Meanwhile, Bros was unable to outgross the Avatar re-release and is currently being vastly outperformed by the new horror film, Smile.
24th is when SONIC 2 came out on streaming. That means it was in its
fourth week of streaming release when FIRE ISLAND 'beat it.' JURRASIC
WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM is a 2017 movie. And that week that is
highlighted? FIRE ISLAND is not the number one streaming film -- not
even number one of rom-coms. No, Sandra Bullock's LOST CITY is number
three -- and it came out on streaming May 10th -- and weeks and weeks later
it still beat FIRE ISLAND. I don't know how you see that as a win but
most people aren't stupid enough to scan Crapapedia and then write a
report. You can call it cribbing but let's be honest, it's plagiarism
-- and plagiarism of a very bad source.
came in number five last weekend. It's harder to sell tickets -- a
pandemic, Hurricane Ian, fears of harm over buying a ticket to a movie
with a storyline about gay people, etc -- so don't compare the two --
but if the metrics were exact, BROS still did better. Yet WE GOT THIS
COVERED starts out their (mis)report insisting BROS bombed. (BROS sold
1.5 million in tickets -- that's Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday --
Thursdays numbers will be released later today. People are continuing
to see the film.)
thing, stop writing about the movie if you didn't see it. And I'm not
really sure what you can understand about a film and its response in the
United States when you're writing from Australia -- in other words,
maybe butt the hell out. It's interesting that BROS is said to be "less
gay" than FIRE ISLAND. That's not accurate. Again, maybe don't
comment on the movie you didn't see. Aaron (Luke MacFarlane) is a "BRO"
singular. And Bobby (Billy) thinks Aaron only likes BROS. But Aaron
is the only BRO in the film. (Some men in the club may or may not be
BROS -- they don't have dialogue and we don't know.) I'm sorry that
idiots on Twitter who haven't seen the film have influenced an idiot at
WE GOT THIS COVERED to write about something that's completely
inaccurate. There are tons of characters in the films -- gay, lesbian,
bi, trans, etc -- Aaron's the only BRO. We assume that his old friend
from high school is probably a BRO. (Bobby makes that assumption when
he's worried that Aaron doesn't find him attractive.) But Aaron spent
his life assuming that his hockey team buddy was straight. And he's not
acting very BRO when he's in bed with Aaron, Bobby and Steven.
Dobson's character may strike some as a BRO but a BRO wouldn't have a
Barbra Streisand poster up on their wall. Again, it helps, when
critiquing a film, to have actually seen it.
There are a multitude of characters in BROS -- they are not all the same.
that's what screenwriter Joel Kim Booster doesn't grasp -- not everyone is alike,
not everyone is the same. Actors in FIRE ISLAND can only do so much
with a weak script.
idiot at WE GOT THIS COVERED is repeating a false charge and that is why
you really need to see a movie to comment on it. The exception is
commenting that you have no interest in seeing the film. I'm fine with
that. I have always been fine with that. But if you don't see the film
you really shouldn't be talking about what it is or what it isn't
because you honestly don't know.
loved WORLD CAN'T WAIT and Debra Sweet (I know Debra). But when she
started slamming a film and calling for it to be censored -- when she
hadn't seen it? We dropped WORLD CAN'T WAIT.
an artist first and foremost. And I'm not ever going to support cries
of censorship to begin with. But when you start attacking a work that
you haven't seen?
Go find another person to plug your activities because it won't be me.
failed to do the basics before jumping into this conversation. You're
an idiot, Erielle Sudario for writing the article. And it reveals how
vested you are in attacking Billy and what he has done that you rush
your ill thought out words into print. They couldn't pass a fact check.
Don't they teach journalism in Australia?
true, since I'm now writing on the topic again, let me plug my friend
Luke who is better looking than anyone in FIRE ISLAND. He has true
charisma. Not just chemistry with Bobby, but true charisma. And he looks hot as hell in the film.
We need to point out the sexism involved in Twitter segment that WE GOT THIS COVERED elected to amplify. A small
group of gays are saying FIRE ISLAND is better because it's their life
(they wish) and they're worried about representation.
Or are you just self-involved jerks?
Because I only saw Margaret Cho playing a lesbian in FIRE ISLAND.
14 people in the main cast and only one's a woman -- and this is representative?
If that truly reflects your life, what a sad life you live.
are 21 characters in the main cast of BROS. I am counting Debra
Messing who plays herself -- and is hilarious -- as a character because
she's in more than one scene. I am not counting Kenan Thompson, Ben
Stiller, Amy Schumer, Seth Meyers or Kristin Chenoweth as characters --
they do cameos. Explain to me also which FIRE ISLAND characters were
bi, trans or non-binary? Again, a small group of Twitter trolls are
playing 'woke' but just sporting their hatred of women and anyone who
isn't like them.)
unruly Twitter children are out of their minds as they drool over their
own mirrored reflections. It's why they rush to celebrate FIRE ISLAND
-- a bunch of young, gay men -- and say BROS -- whose characters truly
are LGBTQ and straight -- isn't 'representative.'
AND TEQUILA has offered two strong pieces covering BROS this week.
We've already noted the first one in a snapshot but let's put it in this
And now here's the more recent one.
one more time that today is October 7th. Why? Monday will be October
10th. It's very unlikely that, over the weekend, Iraq's politicians are
going to pull their act together. October 10, 2021 was when Iraq held
elections. Still waiting on the formation of the new government. No
new prime minister. No new cabinet of ministers. No new president.
will be one full year on Monday. And there's no end in sight. Blame
it on a Biden? Iraq's always struggled some but the last time it took
this long? Joe Biden was in charge of Iraq. Then-President Barack
Obama had put Joe in charge. It was 2010. It took 289 days for the
government to be formed -- 289 days after the election.
that instance, the incumbent -- former prime minister and forever thug
Nouri al-Maliki -- refused to honor the results and step down. So Joe
oversaw The Erbil Agreement -- a contract signed by Iraq's political
leaders which tossed the votes aside and gave Nouri a second term.
go round, Joe's been notoriously absent from the scene of the crime.
Despite repeating urging from the Congress, he's done nothing. Well,
sometimes doing nothing is sending a message. Noted failure Mustafa
al-Kahdimi is the 'caretaker' prime minister at present since the
Parliament still can't name one. And Mustafa and Joe are not, to put it
Joe doesn't go to Iraq. They don't talk.
Mustafa did visit the US last month. He and Joe were both at the
United Nations. But Joe ignored him and didn't visit with him. He met
with many -- including the Prime Minister of Japan -- a man whose name
the White House struggled with repeatedly in press releases announcing
the visit. They sent out a written message on each meet up.
There was no meet up with Mustafa and, as a friend with the State Dept stated to me, "That was the message."
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi's visit to Erbil looks like a
courageous step in the current delicate circumstances that Iraq, one of
the most important countries in the region, is going through.
This step proves that Kadhimi, although he leads an outgoing
government, wants to be the prime minister of all of Iraq and of all
Let's translate that whoring into reality. This is what Khairallah's really saying:
buddy Mustafa and I remain close and I don't disclose it anymore than
various press outlets Mustafa used to work for ever disclose that
Mustafa was their employee before he became prime minister. That's why
we pimp him as some great leader when he's an inept failure who has
accomplished nothing despite being handed the post of prime minister.
The US Ambassador has told Mustafa that now is not the time for oil
disputes -- not with Opec's recent moves and inflation -- and, Iraqi
court verdict or not -- Mustafa was told to get his ass to the KRG and
try to make some sort of peace between the KRG and Baghdad and do so
quickly because the US government is really tired of Mustafa.
can pin a lot of the blame on the press that covered for Mustafa and
pretended he wasn't the problem. He didn't fix anything. Things got
even worse under his 'leadership.'
Prominent Iraqi cleric Muqtada
al-Sadr has ordered armed groups under his control to suspend their
activities in almost the entire country in order not to increase
tensions after weeks of heavy clashes in Basra province between the
cleric's forces and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), a coalition
of pro-Iranian militias.
Salih Mohammed al-Iraqi, a close associate of Sadr, said in a statement on
behalf of the Shiite leader that they were freezing all armed factions,
including the Saraya al-Salam, and banning the use of weapons in all
Iraqi provinces except for Salahaddin to “avoid sedition” in Basra,
adding “otherwise, we will take other measures later.”
Iraqi also called on the commander-in-chief of the armed forces Kadhimi
to control the “disrespectful” militias of Qais al-Khazali,
secretary-general of AAH, as they “know nothing but terror and money and
AAH? Danny gets that part right "the League of the Righteous (Asaib Ahl al Haq or AAH) militia."
10, 2020, the US State Dept designated Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq as a terrorist
organization. Prior to that, it was most infamous for killing US
troops in Iraq. You'd never know that from the sobbing some in the US
gave when one of its leaders was killed. Long before that happened, it
was a terrorist group and Barack Obama was happy to make deals with the
For those unfamiliar with the League of
Righteous, among other things, they kidnapped 5 British citizens in
Baghdad and, when Barack Obama's
administration entered into negotiations with them, released 3 corpses
and 1 hostage alive (Peter Moore was the one alive) after their leaders
were released from prison and, much later, released the corpse of the
fifth British citizen. The four turned over dead were Jason
Swindlehurst, Jason Creswell, Alec MacLachlan and (turned over much
later) Alan McMenemy The Obama administration's decision to enter into
talks with the group was shocking considering the group also brags of
their attack on a US military base in Iraq in which five American
soldiers were killed.
This morning the New York Times' Alissa J. Rubin and Michael Gordon offered "U.S. Frees Suspect in Killing of 5 G.I.'s." Martin Chulov (Guardian) covered the same story, Kim Gamel (AP) reported on it, BBC offered "Kidnap hope after Shia's handover" and Deborah Haynes contributed "Hope for British hostages in Iraq after release of Shia militant" (Times of
London). The basics of the story are this. 5 British citizens have been
hostages since May 29, 2007. The US military had in their custody Laith
al-Khazali. He is a member of Asa'ib al-Haq. He is also accused of
murdering five US troops. The US military released him and allegedly did
so because his organization was not going to release any of the five
British hostages until he was released. This is a big story and the US
military is attempting to state this is just diplomacy, has nothing to
do with the British hostages and, besides, they just released him to
Iraq. Sami al-askari told the New York Times, "This is a very sensitive
topic because you know the position that the Iraqi government, the U.S.
and British governments, and all the governments do not accept the idea
of exchanging hostages for prisoners. So we put it in another format,
and we told them that if they want to participate in the political
process they cannot do so while they are holding hostages. And we
mentioned to the American side that they cannot join the political
process and release their hostages while their leaders are behind bars
or imprisoned." In other words, a prisoner was traded for hostages and
they attempted to not only make the trade but to lie to people about it.
At the US State Dept, the tired and bored reporters were unable to even
broach the subject. Poor declawed tabbies. Pentagon reporters did press
the issue and got the standard line from the department's spokesperson,
Bryan Whitman, that the US handed the prisoner to Iraq, the US didn't
hand him over to any organization -- terrorist or otherwise. What Iraq
did, Whitman wanted the press to know, was what Iraq did. A complete lie
that really insults the intelligence of the American people. CNN reminds the five US soldiers killed "were:
Capt. Brian S. Freeman, 31, of Temecula, California; 1st Lt. Jacob N.
Fritz, 25, of Verdon, Nebraska; Spc. Johnathan B. Chism, 22, of
Gonzales, Louisiana; Pfc. Shawn P. Falter, 25, of Cortland, New York;
and Pfc. Johnathon M. Millican, 20, of Trafford, Alabama." Those are the
five from January 2007 that al-Khazali and his brother Qais al-Khazali
are supposed to be responsible for the deaths of. Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Robert H. Reid (AP) states
that Jonathan B. Chism's father Danny Chism is outraged over the
release and has declared, "They freed them? The American military did?
Somebody needs to answer for it."
never did answer for it. People treated it as normal that a leader
responsible for the deaths of five Americans was released from American
custody. Barack should have been called out.
Well he was.
the Arabic media, the League of Righteous called him out, mocked and
made fund of him, bragged about delaying the release of Alan McMenemy to
show Barack who was running things.
should have been called out in the US media. The news of it registered
with military families but otherwise it was just a headline quickly
Land of snap decisions
Land of short attention spans
Nothing is savored
Long enough to really understand
In every culture in decline
The watchful ones among the slaves
Know all that is genuine will be
Scorned and conned and cast away
Dog eat dog
People looking seeing nothing
Dog eat dog
People listening hearing nothing
Dog eat dog
People lusting loving nothing
Dog eat dog
People stroking touching nothing
Dog eat dog
Dog eat dog
Land of short attention spans.
President Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange for the
'crime' of exposing War Crimes carried out by the US in Iraq and
Afghanistan. Let's again note this Kevin Gosztola report on a British
television discussion of Julian.
on Piers Morgan’s “Uncensored Program” yesterday provided its mass
audience with a rare and unvarnished demonstration of the two sides in
the case of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who is imprisoned in
Britain and faces extradition to the United States for exposing American
On the one hand, Assange’s wife Stella Moris outlined the dire
precedent that the US is seeking to establish by prosecuting a
journalist for publishing true information. She spoke eloquently in
defence of the democratic rights of Assange and the population at large,
as well as on the importance of upholding international legal norms.
the other hand, John Bolton, a lifelong Republican politician and state
apparatchik, ranted and raved as he asserted the “right” of the
American government to ruin the life of anyone who gets in the way of
its “national interests.”
The program was broadcast on British
television’s TalkTV station, and has already been watched hundreds of
thousands of times on social media.
The response demonstrates the
true public opinion of Assange, which is generally buried by the
official media. Moris has received widespread praise for her thoughtful
and principled comments, including her statements on Bolton’s own
relationship to war crimes. Bolton’s remarks have been condemned as
dangerous and frightening.
Morgan began by noting that Assange has
been locked up in Britain’s Belmarsh Prison, a “very high security” and
“grim” facility, for almost four years, following seven years of
arbitrary detention at Ecuador’s British embassy. Where did Moris think
the case would go, and what did she hope to achieve, he asked.
who is herself a widely-respected human rights lawyer, explained:
“Julian faces a potential sentence in the United States of 175 years for
doing journalistic work. For receiving information from a source and
publishing it, and it was in the public interest. It was about US war
crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he revealed tens of thousands of
civilian deaths that had not been acknowledged before.”
Morgan said that he would play “devil’s advocate,” repeating the oft-repeated claim that while the Guardian and the New York Times had redacted the material from whistleblower Chelsea Manning, WikiLeaks had dumped it online, placing individuals at risk.
if she accepted this argument, Moris replied forcefully: “I don’t
accept it, because it’s not true. WikiLeaks did actually redact all of
those documents that Manning gave to WikiLeaks, and in fact it was in
cooperation with those newspapers.”
WikiLeaks, Moris noted, had
withheld 15,000 documents from the US army’s Afghan war logs, and had
been criticised by some for extensive redactions of the Iraq war logs.
The publication of 250,000 leaked diplomatic cables, in full, had not
been the doing of WikiLeaks. Instead it was the outcome of Guardian journalists recklessly publishing the password to the tranche in a book.
Last month leading members of both US political parties met with
high-ranking soldiers of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion at the Capitol in
The week-long meetings in Washington by the
fascist delegations, who were warmly greeted by Republican and
Democratic politicians alike, have gone virtually unreported in the
In their posts first exposing the visit, journalist Moss Robeson
revealed that one of the Azov soldiers that visited the Capitol was
Giorgi Kuparashvili. Robeson wrote that Kupraashvili is a “a
co-founder of the Azov Regiment and the leader of its Yevhen Konovalets
Military School, named for the founder of the fascistic Organization of
The Azov Battalion was founded in 2014
by white supremacist Andriy Biletsky. The organization is teeming with
fascists and racists who idolize Stepan Bandera,
a fascist who as a member of the OUN-B collaborated with the Waffen SS
during World War II in carrying out the Holocaust in Ukraine.
embrace of neo-Nazis in the Capitol by both big-business parties
obliterates any pretense that the US government is fighting for
“democracy” or “human rights” in Ukraine, or anywhere else.
publicly available Telegram posts, the Association of Families of
Azovstal Defenders, an organization comprised of family members of Azov
soldiers, boasted that Kateryna Prokopenko, Yuliya Fedosyuk and Alla
Somilenko joined Azov soldiers, Kupraashvili, Vladyslav Zhaivoronka and
Artur Lypka in holding face-to-face meetings with Democratic and
Republican legislators alike.
Episode two of the third season of Call Me Kat aired tonight. Randi and Kat aren't at loggerheads and that was good. Max sold a song. It was going to be used in a commercial. It was a song he wrote about his dad and coming home. So they all get ready to watch it at Carter's bar and Randi even shouts everyone down to get them to hush so they can watch the commercial.
It's for dog food. And a person sings the first or so line and all the rest is from the dogs barking.
Max is humiliated. And then it turns into an internet thing and he decides to own it by the end.
Phil was selling his mom's moonshine.
The main story was Kat's mom Sheila.
Her drivers license is expired. Kat was on her case to get it renewed and kept trying to take her keys away until she did. Then it turns out that Sheila's not going to get it renewed. She has macular degeneration. She's going to be blind in five or so years. That's why she didn't renew it, she can't pass the eye test.
Their story ended with Kat showing up to take her to yoga and do errands that day.
Thursday, October 6, 2022. We're part two on BROS today and we also note a new event in Iraq and an anniversary.
This week, the late Cass Elliot
got her star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame thanks to the very hard work
of her daughter Owen Kunkle. Cass was a one-of-a-kind vocalist. With
The Mamas and the Papas (Michelle Phillips, Denny Doherty and John
Phillips), she sang on such classics as "Dream A Little Dream Of Me,"
"Safe In My Garden," "California Dreamin'," "Creeque Alley," "Dancing
Bear," "Midnight Voyage," "Got A Feeling," "Monday, Monday," "I Saw Her
Again Last Night," "Sing For Your Supper," "12:30 (Young Girls Are
Coming To The Canyon)," "Dedicated To The One I Love," "Too Late,"
"Words of Love" and many more. As a solo artist, her classics included
"California Earthquake," "Make Your Own Kind Of Music," "It's Getting
Better," "New World Coming," "Move In A Little Closer Baby," etc.
"Different" (video above) is a song she performs in the film PUFNSTUF.
There are so many classics waiting to be rediscovered. I'd include
Cass' version of Judee Sill's "Jesus Was A Crossmaker" . . .
. . . and of Laura Nyro's "He's A Runner."
done a great job honoring her mother. Cass is remembered to this day.
And her music pops up everywhere -- yes, LOST, but I'm thinking of
Hettie MacDonald's BEAUTIFUL THING. That 1996 film is an important
We're back to BROS and we're back to my
marveling over how some people are so uninformed and some are taking
part in the backlash without even grasping it.
BROS is the best comedy of 2022. Billy Eichner
co-wrote the screenplay and he stars in the film with Luke Macfarlane.
People are continuing to see it and maybe if theaters were running it
it would be making even more money. I've already detailed how
homophobia on the part of theater owners led to less showings on the
Friday it debuted. But what's going on now, especially with AMC
theaters, is it's only been shown once or twice a day. Even so, it made
$1.4 million on Monday and Tuesday -- Wednesday's numbers will come out
It's an important film and let's address that because people don't seem to understand what an important film is.
are carping and blaming Billy -- on that, I haven't seen anything like
that since MOMENT BY MOMENT -- when, as Academy Award winning film
editor Verna Fields (JAWS, WHAT'S UP DOC?, PAPER MOON, AMERICAN GRAFFITI
. . .) observed they refused to let the film die. They being the
industry. They slammed and they ripped apart long after it had faded
away. The film starred Lily Tomlin and John Travolta. It was directed
by Jane Wagner. And it was attacked because the director was a lesbian.
MOMENT BY MOMENT is not a great film. It's not an awful film. There
were awful films released at that time and they were allowed to fade
away. But there was a concentrated effort to go after the film. As
Verna pointed out, many, many films bomb and they're allowed to die but
with Jane Wagner's film, they wouldn't let it. They kept after it, kept
insulting and destroying it inflating it into the all time worst movie.
let's teach the lesbian her place -- that was the industry's goal.
Everyone knew Lily was gay and that she and Jane were in a relationship
-- everyone in the industry knew. And no studio wanted Lily out of the
closet and they didn't want her working with Jane. Which is why Lily
and Jane would find their success on Broadway.
industry doesn't honor coming out. It never has. Ellen came out and
ABC pissed all over her show -- adding that warning before every
episode, for example, refusing to promote it, acting as though it was a
flop when it was still doing better than SPIN CITY or the awful show
that replaced it.
Ellen got another shot at sitcoms.
But CBS refused to back it. It didn't belong on Friday nights --
something they realized when the show landed Mary Tyler Moore and Ed
Asner as guest stars on one episode. CBS suddenly moved the show to
Monday nights for one episode. Oh, wow, look at the high ratings, look
at the difference a time slot can make. Then it was immediately shove
it back to Fridays.
CBS didn't want to support it -- like they didn't want to support PARTNERS.
Sometimes, the industry is more interested in laying down the law than they are in making a profit.
some of the garbage being published in the trades reads like an effort
to destroy Billy. Even sadder, the trashing is finding an audience
gleeful to join in.
(As noted before, I know Luke Macfarlane and consider him a friend. I don't know Billy, I've never even met him.)
Billy has made an amazing film and egged on by the trades, some of the garbage is mutlyping online.
And some supposedly saw the movie.
blame Billy, for example, because BROKEBACK was a hit!!!! If BROKEBACK
is a hit then BROS would be too -- it must not be any good!
Did they not see BROS? The dead cowboy?
believe Billy makes that point in the film -- sadness and death
straight audiences are more than fine with now. That's where we've
progressed as a society. We can applaud BROKEBACK and even the hideous
LOVE SIMON and its after birth LOVE VICTOR.
Original content? Sometimes about the only thing nice you can say is: Well it's new content.
We thought about that as we suffered through LOVE, VICTOR. HULU decided
to do a TV series out of the film LOVE, SIMON. And they brought along
all the baggage from the film.
You may remember Jennifer Garner and other stars of the film tried to
pimp the movie. BLACK PANTHER had done incredible at the box office for
many reasons, The people behind LOVE, SIMON suspected one reason for
the film's success was that BLACK PANTHER was being pushed as a film
with a person of color playing an admired comic book hero. Outside of
Wesley Snipes in the BLADE films, that had not happened.
In the crazy world where Jennifer Garner has some sort of career despite
so-so talents, it seemed logical to tell people that they should see
LOVE SIMON because it was about a gay person.
Here's the thing, and we objected in real time, Chadwik Boseman played
Black Panther (and did so with an amazing performance). Boseman is a
person of color.
LOVE, SIMON? It starred boxy Nick Robinson as a gay man. But, here's
the problem (pay attention, Jennifer), Nick Robinson is not gay (or, if
he is gay, he's in the closet).
The idiots didn't get it. They still don't.
LOVE, VICTOR is supposed to instill gay pride. How?
Michael Cimino stars as high schooler Victor who, yes, is gay.
And, if this were 1992, that might be something. But it's not 1992, it's 2020.
How can a series preach gay pride or even just tolerance (we've never
been fans of tolerance) when the gay character is played by a straight
actor (judging by his INSTAGRAM)?
If being gay is okay (and we agree that it is), why are you casting straight actors in the role?
Anybody remember IN AND OUT? One of the jokes in the movie is that Matt
Dillon's straight character plays -- and wins an Oscar for playing -- a
gay character. That was funny in 1997. In 2020, it's just sad.
What a great message for the world, for the youth, for us all -- It's okay to play gay.
Not to be gay, understand, but it's okay for a straight person to play gay.
Both LOVEs refused to cast an out gay actor -- as either Simon or Victor.
sorry, love Scarlet Johansson to tears, but, no, when trans actors are
getting cast so little it is not right for a non-trans person to play a
This was our beef with Cleveland of
FAMILY GUY and THE CLEVELAND SHOW -- Ava and I tackled that repeatedly
at THIRD -- why is a White actor voicing Cleveland on FAMILY GUY and it
only got worse on TCS when other non-African-Americans were brought on
to voice Black characters.
Can a straight actor play a
gay character? Sure. They might even be able to play it well. But
when out actors are still trying for something more than a bit part,
casting gay leads with straight actors is offensive.
And don't pretend that Billy and Luke both being out wasn't an issue. Don't pretend for one moment.
could have cast a straight actor as his love interest. We would've
gotten a crappy movie -- because after that concession, he would have
had to make many more -- and some ass would be posting online about how
it was a hit that made $65 million for the studio. No, it didn't -- we
really need to educate on markets and on theaters and on the issue of
who makes the most upfront -- I'm tired of idiots trying to handicap the
box office when they don't know what the f**k they're talking about.
They're usually quoting crapapedia -- that's where they get garbage
about how LOVE SIMON is the X on the all time list of top grossing teen
romance movies per BOX OFFICE MOJO! That link doesn't work because it
never did work because that's not a truth. And if you want to make a
list, you better grasp that SIXTEEN CANDLES had $80 million in ticket
sales because you can't take that 80s movie and put it on the list
without putting it into today's dollars.
Billy made a movie that mattered.
we've talked about this to groups this week someone will raise a hand
or clear their throat and I know before they open their mouth where they
are about to go . . . "No offense, but I think the pushback in society
is to a degree because of trans people."
Do you think that?
You may be right.
And I think: Good.
There's always going to be a backlash, the pendulum is always going to swing one way and then the next.
It is important that people press for progress. That's the only way it ever happens.
trans community shouldn't be silent and they shouldn't have to wait for
their rights. We should all be pushing for equality.
You don't win anything by being silent. You don't win anything by saying, "I'll fight in a few years."
Did the trans community make some people uncomfortable? Again, if they did, good. That's how we grow.
And Billy's made a great movie in terms of entertainment. But he's also made a historic movie by being so true to himself.
and Luke are the first gay (out) actors to play a same-sex couple that a
film's focused on where they fall in love, where they have sex and
Your crappy LOVE SIMON, if you've
forgotten, makes the climatic moment of the film Simon finding out who
his admirer was. Yeah, that's all they could handle in the 90s and LOVE
SIMON is not going to push for anything better than what we could have
seen decades ago.
ABC let Ellen come out but they
didn't know how to deal with her once she was out. It was one thing for
her to have a non-romantic kiss with Laura Dern on the coming out
episode (idiots continue to refer to it as a romantic kiss -- no,
Laura's character is already involved and in a relationship) but when
Ellen found Lori, the next season, ABC had such a huge problem with it.
SIMON takes you to the first gloricous sunset and that's all some can
handle. Billy went beyond that and his film is transformative.
when he was president, Barack Obama got really pissed at Joe Biden when
Joe went on MEET THE PRESS because Barack was going to do a slow-roll
on marriage equality and Joe forced everyone's hand. Joe also noted, in
that appearance, that attitudes had changed towards gay people because
of WILL & GRACE. Joe was right.
Without representation, people don't exist. That's true in a democracy and it's true in the arts.
Billy's put some truth onto the screen. He's changed the country as a result.
am very limited on what criticism I will take right now on Billy
because he has not gotten any where near the credit he deserves for what
Or for the crap he's had to put up with over the last days.
insulted us!!!! Get a damn grip. He said straight people didn't turn
out for the movie. He's right. as a group, we did not turn out. It's a
He's blaming!!!! It's a fact and I didn't hear
blaming in it, I heard shock and surprise. And he has every right to
have that (or any other) response. The film achieved. Where's the
I don't think they were steered to it. When
you have the kind of reviews BROS got? That's one of your trailers.
Not "Such and such on Rotten Tomatoes" -- a small segment of the
audience cares about RT. That's about it. What you do is you pull
quote from reviews and make that a trailer.
UNIVERSAL didn't want to do that. The attitude was, "We've spent enough
promoting the film." And that was before it opened. Before.
film with those of reviews? A studio goes all out -- drama or comedy.
They go all out promoting. Studios live for those kind of reviews.
now, UNIVERSAL's not doing a good job. There should have been multiple
trailers. There should be clips on YOUTUBE that you can stream --
multiple clips. There are not.
And where is the romance in the trailer?
do get a kiss . . . after some pushing and shoving that others mistake
as a physical fight and think they have to break up -- cue laughter. As
a scene in the movie, it more than works. In the trailer? Looks a lot
like the reaction to 1982's PARTNERS (the comedy starring Ryan O'Neal
and John Hurt).
Why was UNIVERSAL more scared of romance being shown in the trailer?
Time and again, you look at everything that went down and you see institutionalized homophobia.
Billy was up against all of that. And he made an incredible film.
I see people posting that the trailer turned them off because it mocked
straight people. A number of people are insisting that they are butt
hurt over that.
Then they 'quote' the line and get it
wrong. But more to the point, that same trailer - the only trailer --
had Billy and Luke speaking and saying gay people were so stupid.
That happened before the joke about straight people.
It's interesting to watch this conversation and see what gets emphasized and what goes unspoken.
Alice Walker has always said she writes the world she wants to see.
And that's what you have to do. Most of us will never see the possibilities unless someone gives us a glimpse.
BROS, Billy goes beyond the climatic coming out moment after which
Hollywood wants the gay characters to go away or to drop deep into the
background and be supporting characters. He goes beyond the
BROS shatters everything that Hollywood has created over many, many decades.
He didn't settle, he pushed the conversation along. He took us, in one film, further than Hollywood's done in three decades.
And that's what you do if you're an artist, it's what you do if you're an activist.
No one is ever going to be happy to let go of their prejudice and their entitlement.
Chappelle (who I know and like) has too much fun mocking the
transgender community. He's too vested in it. And, in his mind, you're
an awful person if you're asking him to stop and think for a moment. I
said when the criticism mounted against Dave that he needed to listen
and that people were right to press him on this issue. That's not
censorship, that's a dialogue, that's an exchange in the public square.
The trans community pushed their issues and that's what they needed to do.
They have every right to participate in this democracy, they have every right to raise their issues and to say "Here I am."
only by doing that are they going to be heard and are they going to be
appreciated. That's how it is for every minority group. You have to
But you have to fight smartly. That's not a
slam on the trans community, I think they've done a wonderful job. That
is a slam on some of the people posting carps online about BROS. Billy
delivered. It's not his fault that the studio didn't. It's not his
UNIVERSAL did the bare minimum ahead of the film
and now they're willing to let the film die. They're not trying to fix
their mistakes. They're not rushing out a trailer that is nothing but
pull quotes. They're not rushing a trailer that's showing romance.
They're not even flooding the internet with clips.
want the credit and their egos stroked. They haven't done anything
wonderful. Billy worked his ass off. UNIVERSAL's basically copying
Aaron Spelling in the 90s, copying him in 2022. That's not bravery and
it's nothing that should earn them any credit.
elements within the industry gleefully sharpen their knives for Billy, I
wish there was a real pushback leading us to all acknowledge what he
Billy is not Orson Welles and BROS is
not CITIZEN KANE. But we're seeing Billy getting that treatment, the
post-CITIZEN KANE treatment where the industry turned on Orson.
Let's turn to Iraq before I start swearing (as always, the snapshot is dictated).
As we approach the 20th anniversary of the fateful congressional vote
authorizing the invasion of Iraq, many are questioning what would have
happened had Congress refused to go along. There was widespread public
opposition to going to war at the time. The Catholic Church and every
mainline Protestant denomination came out against the war, as did
virtually every major labor union and other left-of-center organization
that took a stand. The vast majority of the U.S. Middle East scholars
opposed an invasion, being aware of the likely disastrous consequences.
The vast majority of the world’s nations, including most of the United
States’s closest allies, were also in opposition to the war.
Unlike the near-unanimous vote (save for Rep. Barbara Lee) the
previous year authorizing military force in Afghanistan following the
9/11 attacks, the Iraq war resolution was far more controversial. A
sizable majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives voted
against the resolution authorizing the invasion, which came to a vote on
October 10, 2002. The Republicans then controlled the House, however,
and it passed easily.
This left the determination as to whether the United States would go
to war up to the Democratic-controlled Senate the following day. To the
astonishment of many, several leading Democratic senators crossed the
aisle to support the war authorization, including Senate Majority Leader
Tom Daschle, Assistant Majority Leader Harry Reid and Foreign Relations
Committee Chair Joe Biden, as well as such prominent senators as John
Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, John Edwards and Dianne
All this was well-known at the time. Since then, however, a number of
these Democrats, particularly those with presidential ambitions, have
lied about their votes — and much of the mainstream media have allowed
them to get away with it.
The primary excuse they have subsequently put forward has been that
the “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution,”
as it was formally known, was not actually an authorization for use of
military force against Iraq. Instead, these Democrats claim they did not
actually support George W. Bush’s decision to invade in March 2003 but
simply wanted to provide the administration with leverage to pressure
Iraq to allow a return of UN inspectors, which President Clinton had
ordered removed in 1998 prior to a four-day bombing campaign, and Iraqi
president Saddam Hussein had, quite predictably, not yet allowed to
Despite wording in the congressional resolution providing Bush with an open-ended authority to invade, John Kerry claimed in 2013 that he “opposed the president’s decision to go into Iraq.” While running for president in 2016, Hillary Clinton insisted
that she voted for the resolution simply because “we needed to put
inspectors in, that was the underlying reason why I at least voted to
give President Bush the authority,” and that she did not want to “wage a
preemptive war.” Similarly, during his 2020 presidential campaign,
he supported Bush’s war resolution not because he actually wanted to
invade Iraq, but because “he needed the vote to be able to get
inspectors into Iraq to determine whether or not Saddam Hussein was
engaged in dealing with a nuclear program,” and further claiming that,
“Immediately, the moment it started, I came out against the war at that
In reality, at the time of the vote on the war resolution, the Iraqi
government had already agreed in principle to a return of the weapons
inspectors and were negotiating with the United Nations Monitoring,
Verification and Inspection Commission on the details which were
formally institutionalized a few weeks later. (Indeed, it would have
likely been resolved earlier had the Bush administration not repeatedly
postponed the UN Security Council resolution in the hopes of inserting
language that would have allowed the United States to unilaterally
interpret the level of compliance.) In addition, all three of these
senators voted against the substitute amendment
by Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, which would have also
granted President Bush authority to use force, but only if Iraq defied
subsequent UN demands regarding the inspections process. Instead, they
voted for the Republican-sponsored resolution to give President Bush the
authority to invade Iraq at the time and circumstances of his own
choosing, regardless of whether inspectors returned.
More critically, when Bush launched the March 2003 invasion a full
four months after large-scale weapons inspections had begun with no
signs of any proscribed weapons or weapons facilities, Clinton, Biden
and Kerry still argued that the invasion was necessary and lawful.
the imminent launch of the invasion by saying, “I support the
president. Diplomacy over avoiding war is dead. … I do not see any
alternative. It is not as if we can back away now.” He added, “Let loose
the dogs of war. I’m confident we will win.”
when last we saw Moqtada and his massive man boobs (MOOBS), he was
retreating from the political process in a huff, pulling a Greta Garbo,
he just wanted to be alone. Look who's back. MEMO reports:
On Tuesday, the leader of the Sadrist
movement, Muqtada Al-Sadr, agreed "to dialogue, if it is public, and in
order to exclude all participants in the previous political and
Commenting on the briefing given by the
Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations
Assistance Mission for Iraq, Jeanine Plasschaert, he said in a tweet,
"With regard to the briefing by the UN representative, what she said
caught my attention as she said the main reason for what is happening in
Iraq is the corruption that everyone agrees exists."
"Indeed, this is very true and accurate,
and the first step for gradual reform is the exclusion of the old faces,
their parties and people from the next government in accordance with
the aspirations of the rebellious people," noted Al-Sadr.
ignores his own corruption, of course. And he wants newbies because
he's still hopeful that he could dominate the process. He thought he
could do that back in November as well. That's what led to months and
months of the political stalemate. In case anyone forgot, the
government should have been formed after the elections and the elections
were October 10, 2021 -- we're four days short of a year since the
elections and there is still no new prime minister, still no new
president, still no cabinet.
Let's note this tweet:
the day of the protests, we noted this was not Moqtada's protest. This
was The October Revolution which began in 2019. But if you're still
confused -- and a few e-mails are coming from confused people -- a
protest that Moqtada was responsible for would not have slogans against
It's a media failure because the US media largely
ignored The October Revolution and only covers protests if Moqtada's
involved. But after a year or two, if you're still weighing in and
getting wrong, I think you have to take some responsibility and not pin
it all on the media. Exactly how many times are you going to trust the
US media on the topic of Iraq considering their well known history of
lying the country into war? Or are we still pretending it was all just
Those words were spoken
by president Joe Biden at the recent Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)
Annual Legislative Conference. No doubt he was purposefully evoking
Congressman James Clyburn’s 2020 endorsement. Clyburn famously said,
“I know Joe. We know Joe. But most importantly, Joe knows us.” The
identity of the other party in the first person plural was never stated,
but was widely assumed to mean Black people. The oligarchs of the
democratic party had chosen Biden and that meant Clyburn went along as
well. He is not the king maker he is made out to be. Of course the
importance of his endorsement extended beyond the South Carolina primary
and was considered to be a stamp of approval for all of Black America.
The CBC hasn’t improved any since that time. The annual conference
host is the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, which this year
secured a sponsorship from Amazon, the corporation whose warehouse
workers suffer injuries at double the rates
of counterparts at other companies. Amazon’s low pay and working
conditions churn out low income workers so rapidly that in many places
their warehouses have run out of people to hire. The behemoth
corporation fought tooth and nail against a successful Black led
unionizing drive at one of their warehouses in New York.
As always the CBC conference was sponsored by corporate giants such
as Amazon, Coca Cola, Pepsico, Delta airlines, Bank of America, fossil
fuel corporations Dominion Energy, BP, Exxon Mobil, Conoco Phillips, and
big pharma corporations such as Genentech, Johnson & Johnson,
Ferring, and Bristol Meyers Squibb. It is no coincidence that
Congressman Clyburn receives more campaign money from big pharma than
any other member of the House of Representatives. As the House Whip he
is unlikely to allow any legislation that his funders would not want to
Biden acted like the good white boss in his appearance, telling jokes
about attending Howard University, bragging about appointing Ketanji
Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court and supporting Historically Black
Colleges and Universities, “With the CBC, we invested an historic $5.8
billion dollars — that’s “B” with a — “B” — billion dollars…” He even
told a story about the Voting Rights Act being passed when neither he
nor CBC members seemed to be concerned about protecting it after SCOTUS
made its most important provisions null and void. Biden bragged about
Medicare negotiating drug prices but left out the fact that this won’t
happen until 2026 and will apply to only ten drugs. Kingmaker Clyburn
surely played a role in securing that outcome.
The Black political class is doing what it always does, serving as a
prominent buffer class, and giving a pass to the democratic party. That
is their most important function, not fighting for their constituents,
but keeping their constituents in line by propping up Obama or Biden or
any other democratic president while mouthing fake condemnation when
republicans are in office.
If Biden is the good white boss who can tell jokes and get reliable
laughs in return, he won’t be taken to task for giving Ukraine and the
military industrial complex $80 billion. He won’t be asked about the
failure of Build Back Better or why the majority Black city of Jackson,
Mississippi has a failing infrastructure that doesn’t provide clean