Friday, September 30, 2016

Random notes on ROLLING STONE 100 Greatest TV Shows article.

1.  Rob Sheffield, the ROLLING STONE in-house media cheerleader who apparently devised the concept for this list, loves anointing anything with "buzz" as much as Peter Travers.
2.  There's a fair number of series that should have asterisks for running far too long (THE SIMPSONS, ALL IN THE FAMILY, HOMELAND, HAPPY DAYS, SOUTH PARK, MASH), ultimately diluting the artistic/entertainment merits they began with.
3. Like Bill Maher or not, his earlier series POLITICALLY INCORRECT (which helped to make THE DAILY SHOW and THE COLBERT REPORT possible) deserves more recognition than REAL TIME.
4. Count the number of recent cable or online series on the list vs. network product (including Amazon'/s TRANSPARENT--this generation's equal to the early, excellent, seasons of ALL IN THE FAMILY.
5. I'd probably swap MST3K and BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD for SCTV and KING OF THE HILL.
6. Where's COMMUNITY?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

America and the Free World deserve someone better than a star of a Mark Burnett-produced reality show.

Omarosa Manigault, who achieved fame as a caricatured villainess on the early run of Mark Burnett's THE APPRENTICE (which starred the current Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump) spoke these chilling words recently:
“Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump,” she says. “It’s everyone who’s ever doubted Donald, whoever disagreed, whoever challenged him — it is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe.”

Friday, September 23, 2016

David Byrne playlist--Talking Heads/solo

1. Psycho Killer (Stop Making Sense version)
2. Crosseyed and Painless
3. This Must Be The Place
4. Television Man
5. Road To Nowhere
6. The Rose Tattoo
7. Marching Through The Wilderness
8. Good and Evil
9. Hanging Upside Down
10. Monkey Man
11. A Million Miles Away
12. Miss America

When I found out I didn't belong in a certain room.

Years ago, I went to one of those "how to submit to journals/litmags and get published" get-togethers at Beyond Baroque.

A then-well-known poet named Michelle Ben-Hur, when it was her turn to dispense advice, said something like this:
If you think of poetry as a hobby, then YOU DO NOT BELONG IN THIS ROOM!  (all-caps accurate since her voice got quite loud at that point)

Maybe I should have left the room at that point, since it was becoming clear that I wasn't going to qualify as an academia-friendly poet.   And, therefore, I really didn't belong in the room as defined by Ms. Ben-Hur.

But I wanted to fit in as best as I could--and there was at least one person sitting at the publishing  table who genuinely liked the poems I wrote in that period.

Fast forward to over a decade and a half later, where some of the then-SoCal-based poets/editors have moved to other cities in California--though the bulk of their litmags survive.

Coda: On a recent visit to Beyond Baroque, I discovered that the chapbooks I left there on consignment over the years have disappeared (doubting they were sold like hot cakes)--leaving just two copies of HOLLYWOOD POETRY: 2001-2013, which were apparently spared since they are Real Books instead of DYI.

Obviously, an example of the "survival of the fittest" ethic espoused at that long-ago seminar.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The perils of phrases like "basket of deplorables."

As I see it, Hillary Clinton's use of the phrase "basket of deplorables" to describe the different varieties of prejudiced people supporting Donald Trump's campaign was a misstep--even though, in advance, she prefaced it with a mention of generalizations.

Of course, the Trump campaign cut together a rapid response ad; it mixed the victimization tropes that fire up fundamentalist conservatives with footage of the Trump/Pence Louisiana flood photo-op where they briefly pretended to care about people other than themselves.

This reminds me of the self-pity ad made years ago by the Proposition 8 opponents of same-sex marriage featuring Gavin Newsom at another gathering of supporters.

Here's what the site said about the Prop 8 Newsom ad:
The Newsom ad opened and closed with [then] San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom saying, “It’s gonna happen—whether you like it or not.” As much as the words, the ad’s raucous and abrasive tone told voters they were not in control and that others were forcing them to accept same-sex marriage.

The more times that conservatives get told they're not in control and (by extension) they're being persecuted, the greater the likelihood of them turning out in force on Election Day.

And this makes it even more vital that the alliance of Clinton believers and pragmatic ex-Sanders followers will not take the next few weeks for granted.

Even if it might mean refraining from basketing bigots existing in the pool of voters/potential voters.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Revised poem: Somewhere There's A Someone

somewhere there's a someone
playing quiet electric guitar
on the patio of his Costa Mesa townhouse
with ROCKY II playing on TV in the den
he remembers his one year of local fame
as part of a cover band
playing Top 40 radio rock
such as Rick Springfield,
John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band,
John Cougar Mellencamp and Bryan Adams
then he plays the opening bars of
Springsteen's THE RIVER
and pauses to recall the line
about whether a dream is a lie
if it doesn't come true
or if it’s something worse

The redoubled double standard on Hillary Clinton's health coming soon.

Now that Hillary Clinton's current case of pneumonia has been grudgingly revealed by her campaign, it's time for those Americans "on the other side of the aisle" (i.e. Republicans who won't bring themselves to vote otherwise) to develop purposeful amnesia on the subject of male Presidents/Vice Presidents with greater health issues, from William Henry Harrison to Dick Cheney.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Donald Trump must not be anyone's President.

Phonetic pronunciation of a recent Donald Trump catchphrase aimed at African-Americans and other now-unlikely potential voters:

Quite a bit, as last night's frightening, invective-filled, violent-imagery-laden speech in Arizona (after a muted pass at looking Presidential in Mexico) proved.