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Showing posts from June, 2020

Say it ain't Moe

Is it too soon to worry about going too far? Despite Broadway being known as “the great white way,” Hollywood has always been pretty pale; and pretty tone-deaf when it comes to pushing white actors and actresses into roles that were originally written as something other than white. Remember, Tom Cruise was The Last Samurai . Yep, that happened. When Doctor Strange came out, people lost their mind because Tilda Swinton was cast as the The Ancient One. Similarly, when The Mandarin debuted in Iron Man 3, everyone screamed: Ben Kingsley??! But wait, (SPOILER) he’s not the real Mandarin, he’s a down-on-his-luck actor hired to PLAY the Mandarin. So that’s OK. Whew, dodged a bullet. I was not a comic book guy growing up, though I very much like the MCU, and so these slights didn’t bother me at all. I also was not a person of color growing up, but I nonetheless understand the pent up anger and frustration surrounding the number and quality of black roles – any ethnic roles, really – outside

In defense of Karen

The headline pulled my eye because it said those two magic words: Trader Joe’s . Yes, Trader Joe’s, the mecca of suburban privilege, my flat-out favorite grocery store (sorry Wegman’s, I love you, but if both you and Trader Joe’s fell in the water and I could only save one of you, I’m just saying you’d better start treading water). The next words said, “customer goes nuts,” in that precise order, which made the story absolutely irresistible! I had to know. Forget that the news organization was TMZ; I will take that hit. But there was cell phone footage and a woman going ‘nanas because she would not wear a mask and they had asked her to put one on or leave. And she did not like that one bit! It’s priceless, view it here . Now, before I get to the real point of my post today let’s just agree that this woman is the worst. She allegedly wore a mask to enter the store, because it’s the law in California. I go to my local TJ’s once or twice a month and they definitely make it easy for you to

Lord and Lady Kardashian

Explain something to me. Who gives one flying crap about Ex-Prince Harry and Ex-C-List Actress and Princess-for-5-minutes Meghan Markle? I mean, OK, I get why British folks would care. Here's this uber millennial who grows up royal, dips his quill in the global mainstream pool, likes it, marries a starlet (kinda), then abandons his legacy and birthright (and country) to go live the Suite Life of Meg and Harry in the Colonies. I would be peeved too, if I were from the UK. But I would like to think that if I were from the UK, I would be peeved for a hot minute, and then these young a-holes would be dead to me. As long as my tax dollars weren't supporting them anymore in their little vision quest, God bless 'em and don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out. But what about the rest of the world?  According to the Los Angeles Times , "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who are settling into life in Los Angeles, have signed on with the New York-based Harry Walke

Taylor Swift cuts to the chase

OK, OK, I'm a fan. I'm pretty sure I've copped to that before, even in writing. I'm the teensiest bit embarrassed, being a 57-year-old man, but I'll live. I like her old stuff, when she was a teenager and an absolute beast of a songwriter. I like most of her newer stuff - again because I find her writing exceptional, her overall lyrical sensibility refreshing and genuine, and you can typically enjoy her music while you're doing other things. Her music is like french fries: it goes really well with pretty much everything. Lately TSwift (my daughter swears that's a thing) has been as much an activist as she has been a musician. I confess I typically don't like when celebrities take up political causes. I watch TV and movies and listen to music to escape, generally, not to double down on all the crazy going on around us. But I have to admit I like most of what she says, and the fact that she puts her time, effort and money where her mouth is. Walk the walk,

On Leadership: There is no spoon

Dear Diary: It happened again today. I was reading the news on my big, middle-aged guy computer monitor and eating a huge salad that was too late for lunch and too early for dinner. So many things to think about, so many pressures to write. Like: The Supreme Court upheld DACA . That’s two times in one week the Supreme Court that Donald Trump front-loaded has flipped him off. Are they insane? Impaired in some way? Being extorted by radical liberal interests? Or are they just doing their job, as the founding fathers saw it, and balancing executive (and legislative) power with impartial judgment? I have my suspicions, but we may never know. After all, why would a group of nine men and women vote to do the right thing, just ‘cause?  John Bolton is trying to publish his book . Two problems with this: One, he’s a piece of crap. He had an opportunity to do the right thing, but he didn’t. Then he had an opportunity to tell his story, but he declined. Then he wanted to tell his story, but his f

Harry Potter and The Enraged Trans Community

I’m exhausted.  I’m exhausted by the inescapable negativity, the sheer venom, that’s everywhere. I stay away from social media to avoid it. I hold my tongue to avoid invoking it. But nothing I do seems to shield me and I feel it wearing on me, scraping away any protective covering I may have had at birth. Everyone has a reason why their rage is justified under the circumstances. Assessing them is an impossibly slippery slope. Black Americans have the slavery card, and generations – no, centuries – of systemic social and governmental policy that has sought to marginalize them, and worse. That’s fairly compelling as justifications go. Others are less compelling and it’s hard to know where to start to call “bullshit.”  And then there are the Jews. Worldwide they have been exiled, concentration camped, bombed, kidnapped and slaughtered for millennia, not centuries. Tens of centuries. But when a thousand Jews get together to raise a ruckus they call it the Oscars. Okay maybe that’s not funn

Life after The Snap

What if Thanos was right? If you don’t know who Thanos is, you should probably just stop reading. There’s only so much I can accomplish in 1,500 words or less. If you DO know who Thanos is but have not seen Avengers: Infinity War or Avengers: Endgame , STOP. Because: spoiler alert. Everyone else, which basically means everyone, please continue. Yesterday I went in to the office. I had a face to face meeting in the building where our new offices will be sometime before the end of this year. The meeting started a little late - like three months late. It was originally scheduled for first week in March, when the world turned upside down. So I had, for the first time in three months, what I used to call a normal day.  I woke up, a teeny bit energized because something different was going to happen. Life under quarantine becomes familiar to the point of contempt and, eventually, madness: the same comfy t-shirts, the same every-three-or-four-days shaving schedule (because who cares?), the s

Racism is for the birds

Nero famously fiddled while Rome burned.  Closer to home, while cars were set alight in Philadelphia and looters attacked nearby King of Prussia Mall, I retreated to my backyard in search of peaceful coexistence. When you want harmony, you can’t do much better than Mother Nature. Or so I thought. If you’re a reader of my blog, you know my proficiency identifying local birds and their lifestyle habits is very recent and completely in conflict with my prior experience, particularly in college. If you haven’t read it, take a moment . So today I’m kind of an expert. Let’s just say I can identify a bunch of flocking birds. I can recognize some by their call, some by their color. I can usually tell which is the male of the species because, as with humans – particularly in and around San Francisco – the males are by far more colorful and fabulous. I don’t begrudge anyone what their heart seeks. If you’re gay, bi, trans, nonbinary, or whatever the newest designations are that I have yet to lea