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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Salon: Opinion: Britney Cooper: "We Must Abandon Bill Cosby: A Broken Trust With Women, Black America": Why the Cosby Show Is a Great Role Model For America

Salon: Opinion: Britney Cooper: We Must Abandon Bill Cosby: A Broken Trust With Women

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

In 1984 when the Cosby Show came on the air on NBC, I was eight years old in September, 1984. Actually I have more to say about this, but in the mid 1980s African-American families were stereotyped as poor, low-class, un-educated, single-parent with the mother trying to raise multiple kids on her own in some run down ghetto inner-city area. Dad completely out of the picture, perhaps in prison, or mom unaware of who the father of her kids are. The Cosby Show certainly not by itself, but they changed the way Americans looks at African-Americans and African-American families.

That alone makes the Cosby Show a success. Because even thirty-years ago not all African-American families were in that poor situation. Sure a lot of them and more than the national average as still is the case today. But the Cosby Show did what few other shows and perhaps only the Jefferson's did in the 1970s. Which was to show successful African-Americans and their kids. And that they have made it in America and that the entire community is not poor, un-educated, low-class, not knowing who their father was or dad leaving them when they were young.

The Cosby Show was sort of a stereotypical American dream. Dad is a successful doctor, mom is a successful lawyer. They live in a beautiful upper class neighborhood and house in New York City. They have great intelligent beautiful kids who are all doing well and are all successful. They were living the upper middle class dream and showing Americans another side of African-American life that probably far too many Americans perhaps of all races were not aware of.

And as funny as this show was and I don't know if there has ever been a funnier and better comedian on TV with their own sitcom than Bill Cosby, but as funny and as popular that show was, it had a very serious message. That African-Americans can make it in America and that Americans of all races can live, work, socialize with each other and not be bogged down by the fact that someone in the group or multiple people in the group has a different complexion or from a different race.

The Cosby Show was about a successful New York African-American family, but the show wasn't about race. It was about the lives of these people in this family and the show hardly focused on race at all and rarely if ever cracked racial or ethnic jokes on the show. Because that is not what the show was about, but it was about another side of the African-American story that hadn't been told up to that point. That not all African-Americans are poor and un-educated with criminal records etc. But that they are also successful and educated and doing very well in America. 



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Salon: Opinion: Jeffrey Taylor: Reza Aslam's Atheism Problem: "Fundamentalists Aren't the Issue, Apologists For Religions Are"

Salon: Opinion: Jeffrey Taylor: Reza Aslam's Atheism Problem: Fundamentalists Atheists Aren't the Problem, Apologists For Religions Are

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Jeffrey Taylor makes a good and I would argue real Atheist argument against religion. Even though he writes for Salon, (ha ha) he didn't use his article to bash Christianity. But to say that all religions have serious issues more or less and that is a big reason why he doesn't believe in religion. Which has been my whole point and is my whole point about religion and a big reason why I'm Agnostic. That religions are too restrictive for my more liberal outlook on life as someone who wants to and lives openly. And religions tend to be followed by people who don't understand their religion and do horrible things as a result.

There are good people of all faiths and I doubt anyone serious disagrees with that. And yes there are radicals probably in all religions that give that religion a bad name. But the problem is there are enough radicals to not only give Christianity and Islam a bad name, but to do a lot of damage to society and other societies that hurt a lot of people. Including people who follow the same religion and follow that religion incorrectly and do horrible things in the name of their religion. Even though their religion does not sanction their horrible acts.

I'm not saying that religion is bad and that all religions are bad and dangerous. That is where I would probably separate from Sam Harris and I've backed him several times on this blog the last few weeks. It is people who don't understand the religion that they follow, including religious leaders that don't follow the religion they follow. And lead that inspire people to do horrible things that is the problem. And something that is going to have to be addressed if the Middle East is ever to become a stable place where people can live in peace and live good lives. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sam Harris: Blog: Interview With Cenk Uygur From The Young Turks

Sam Harris: Blog: Young Turks Interview 

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger  

What I respect about Sam Harris's atheism is that he's the real thing. He doesn't say Christianity is horrible and should be put down, especially when radical fundamentalists are in the news doing horrible things. But then defends the right of fundamentalists Muslims when they do and say horrible things about people they do not like and defend their right to free speech and Freedom of Religion. Even when these leftist political correctness radicals probably are against Freedom of Religion.

My example of that would be Salon and their coverage of now famous Real Time With Bill Maher show  that Sam Harris and Ben Affleck were on. When Ben Affleck was defending political correctness when it comes to criticism of Muslims, but have no problem attacking Christians when they do and say things that probably most Americans not just disagree with, but even find disgusting. Salon is garbage by the way and that is putting it nicely. They are not much more than a propaganda operation for the far-left in America.

If you a real Liberal and even a real Atheist, you are not going to defend the right of free speech for people you agree with as a Liberal, while trying to shut up the opposition. As we see with leftist fascists on campus that try to block right-wingers from speaking at their schools. And if you are a real Atheist, you are not going to bash one religion and say that it is evil or whatever, while you are saying another religion is perfectly normal and legitimate. One of the points of being an Atheist is that you don't believe in religion and are against religion period. Which I believe is two of the points that Sam Harris is making. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Miss Green Again: Video: The Carol Burnet Show: Dinner and a Movie, Captain Cliche Strikes Again


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Alan Alda playing Captain Cliche on The Carol Burnett Show. The man who probably watches too much TV and too many movies and unable to think for himself. Doesn't sound that unfamiliar to the faddists who follow every trend just to be cool or awesome. We especially see that with technology today where so many Americans feel the need and must have the latest technology, computer, smart phones etc. Because they won't want to be the only one that doesn't have the latest phone or whatever. And be the only one with Iphone 5 instead of 6 or whatever.

I called Alan Alda Captain Cliche in this scene, but Cookie Cutter would've worked to. Someone not able to think for them self especially when they are talking to people they like and want to like them. So what they do to compensate is use material that they've heard from other sources. There's cookie cutter humor that I'm not a fan of that we see today with so many sitcoms and movies using other people's material and lines because it worked and sound cool there, so they use that with their project as well.

But if you know the real Alan Alda as opposed to this dope he played in this sketch, which he did very well, not that it takes a lot of effort to play a dope, but you know that Alda is anything, but cookie cutter or cliche when it came to his own humor. And that he is very spontaneous and off the cuff, flip and real quick with his wit. As we saw with MASH where he had a big role in the material that was used and as we've seen throughout his carer and with his personal appearances. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

What About Larry: Video: Bravo's Inside the Actors Studio: Kevin Spacey's Impressions: Smart Answers to Stupid Questions


This post was originally posted at FRS Citizen Journal on Blogger

People have asked me what's my style of humor, my sense of humor and how I come up with lines and so-forth. I'm not saying I'm a professional comedian or anything (at least I haven't gotten paid for being funny, yet) . But I have been able to make people laugh hysterically, intentionally and unintentionally in the past. And I've told them simply my sense of humor is off the cuff, I say what's on my mind when I'm thinking it. Rather than "that sounds funny and use it two weeks later". To me humor has to be fast and relevant. Example of a bad joke. Cracking jokes about Priests at a football game, is probably not a smart play.

First of all you're likely to offend a lot of people there and not seem funny, but insulting. Which to me are two different things, but you're going to get strange looks (or end up wearing someone else's lunch) like making a Catholic joke at a football game when some half-naked moron runs on to the field during the game and people will look at you like "what does a drunk Priest in Church have to do with the guy who ran on the field". You're humor needs to be relevant and needs to make sense. And what I do is, I see myself as an analyst of life, we all are and I make judgements and comment on things that I see whatever is that interests me. If you watch the sitcom MASH or Seinfeld, that's exactly what they do. Here's the situation, what you think about it and they would look for the funny side of it.

Alan Alda who played Hawkeye Pierce, my favorite sitcom character of all time. If not in TV in general would be performing surgery and cracking jokes as he's doing it while saving the patients life. One to relax the people he was working with in that stressful environment, but also to relax himself. "This is the situation and this is what's funny about it was their approach to comedy". To give you a personal example, I use to work in customer service, have about twelve years experience of that. And we were surrounded by people, customers mostly for whatever reason, they were nervous or whatever. But would go brain dead when they would approach you and ask the dumbest questions possible.

No joke when I worked at a movie theater, we had to wear these loud maroon colored red polo shirts. With the name of the movie theater on them, with these corny name tags on them. I'm Joe or Sally or whatever, with your name on them obviously, (what was the first clue). We just got a lot of customers that were either, drunk, high or both or perhaps just had brain surgery, but their doctor actually removed their brain by accident.

Smart answers to dumb questions

Customers would constantly walk up to me and ask, do I work here. And seriously this is no joke, I would always reply with a smart ass answer and I never got in trouble for it. And I would say no, I stole this shirt or I'm a member of the theater fan club.

"Do you sell popcorn?" No we are the only movie theater in America that doesn't sell popcorn. We sell Chinese food instead, but sorry no chopsticks you have to eat with your hands.

Again true story, one day I'm in a ticket booth, selling tickets, naturally. (If you would guessed I was selling sporting equipment, you would be wrong). And someone asked, me where do you buy tickets, I told them three blocks down the street at the gas station, but if you want your oil changed or need gas, you have to buy it here.

Another person asked what size is the small popcorn. I said small we aren't trying to fool you with false advertising even though that would be very tempting because of the quality of our customers. "Well what does it look like"? It looks small. Again no joke someone asked how much are free refills, I told them five bucks, but we only take travelers checks. Again this is the situation in front of me and that's what I was thinking right at that moment.

That's the style of humor that you get from Kevin Spacey the actor/director/writer, but I would throw in comedian as well. The guy could've been a full-time professional comedian if he wanted to. Watch the movies Swimming with The Sharks and Hurley Burley, The Big Kahuna and you'll see what I mean. I would add Chris Walken and Tom Hanks to that list because their humor is so spontaneous, off the top of their heads, they don't need scripts or writers. They do that for themselves which is what all great comedians do and is a style of humor I've patterned mine behind.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lain Lucey: Video: Same Time Next Year, 1978 With Alan Alda & Ellen Burstyn: The Ultimate Weekend Getaway From Reality


This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Same Time Next Year might be the best romantic comedy of all-time. And if it isn’t, it might be the smartest romantic comedy of all-time and definitely in the top one percent of both categories. Because I don’t believe it was trying to be funny, but the movie was just so natural. With the two main characters George and Dorris played by Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn, who were just so real with both having noticeable flaws that came out often especially George. And the two both looking for something different in their relationships.

The only part of the movie I do not get is the opening scene. Why would two happily married people be out in the country by themselves having dinner by themselves? What were they doing there all alone when they are both happily married with kids. But that is how the movie and this love affair that is only one weekend a year, but for the next twenty-six years starts. And this would actually be a movie that should’ve had a second chapter. To see how this couple made out because both of their spouses die in the movie.
What I also love about this movie is when George and Helen weren’t making love in the movie, the rest of the movie was conversational between this couple. And you get to learn so much about them. About how vulnerable and lacking in self-confidence George was. And how unsure he was and easy to blame himself about things and how bad of a liar he was. To Helen wanting a stronger man in his life stronger than the man here husband was. These are two very good caring people, but two real people looking for something different in their lives.
Northern California Coast

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Chris Early: Video: CBS's Dallas: The Best of J.R. Ewing: The Funniest Prick in the Southwest


This post was originally posted at FRS Citizen Journal on Blogger, November, 2012

The J.R. Ewing character played by Larry Hagman is one of my favorite characters of all time on TV. Because he was so real, didn't try to be the nicest guy in the World and wasn't the meanest. But he was one of the best, let's say dick's of all-time, not because he was the meanest, but because of how clever and funny he was. And the words he chose to at other peoples expense. J.R. Ewing was a dick, but he played by Larry Hagman was so good at it, that you almost had to respect him for it. "That asshole can really put you down". 

J.R. is one of those people that you always knew where you were with him. And if you weren't on the top of your game, he would be more than willing to let you know about it. Kinda of like that judge mental parent or perhaps uncle, where nothing is ever good enough for them. So what you always do is everything you can to try to please that person, to keep them from criticizing you. Which helps you in a way, because it gives you incentive to improve and be at your best. The constructive critic. 

I call J.R. Ewing who was played by Larry Hagman of course and I'm not sure anyone could've played J.R. better, because their sense of humors matched up so well, the funniest prick in the Southwest. Because he knew how to put someone down, or put them back in their place, especially when they were out of line. But he was accurate and direct. Someone who would tell you the way it is and make you laugh at the same time.