Showing posts with label celebrities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label celebrities. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Nelsan Ellis


Nelson Ellis died of alcohol withdrawal. I think it is a good thing that the family was open about the cause of death. People need to get over the notion that alcohol is harmless. Alcohol kills living cells. The chemistry and biology is crystal clear. What is not so clear is why lawmakers decided that the one recreational substance to make legal would be the deadly poison, alcohol.

I watched all of True Blood, and in it, Ellis was indeed a good actor. He made the most of a bad script, which was the only thing holding him back. The story itself was pretty stupid, as were everybody's lines. I watched it mainly because the acting was pretty good. True Blood is a bunch of good (and good-looking) actors making the most out of a bad script. The music, special effects and camerawork were good too. I am always attracted by depictions of the supernatural.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Johnny Depp


Reading about Johnny Depp's horrible management of his money, I'm reminded how overpaid are the male superstars of Hollywood. They are worthless. Completely without value. They could be replaced in a day just by browsing the theatre department at a local university. Talent is plentiful. Talent is everywhere. There is not an actor in Hollywood worth more than a million a year. Instead of spending 2 million a month on a lavish lifestyle, Depp should be moonlighting at McDonald's. Real, honest work would do him a world of good. Never saw the fascination with spoiled, addicted, selfish, puffed up no-talents like that one. Spending $5 million to blast Hunter Thompson's ashes over Colorado is the height of stupidity. Why not just gather millions of dollars and have a bonfire with it, why don't you? Meanwhile, the rest of us work for a living.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Kathy Griffin


I remain dismayed with my favorite comedian, Kathy Griffin, because her stunt posing with the head of Trump was bad in every conceivable way. There is no possible way to defend the thing.

The trouble with Kathy Griffin is she went out of her comfort zone. She is best on her feet, alone, in front of a live audience. She fell into one of the oldest traps there is. The person she tried to poke fun at, Trump, she made into a victim, and for once Trump actually got sympathy from the left. She alienated her best fans. I have to wonder whether she has gone completely bonkers due to these fad diets she keeps taking to strive after a 20-something appearance in a 50-something body. She has a good look, but it's a struggle, because she's gotten quite old now and she's not at all comfortable with being old and is scared to death of being sidelined by younger, more attractive comedians, both male and female. Her fear and her mental befuddlement due to the diet pills is what resulted in lack of judgment. But her star will diminish now. I hope she goes back to live performances.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Nomi Marks


I dreamt about the above character in Sense8, a great Netflix sci-fi show. I did not associate her with the show and could not place who she was. She was this highly-placed, important woman at a company that I also worked for and was very busy, just like in the show. She may have worked in HR or R&D or been an executive. She seemed nice and helpful to me and gave me water, followed later by grapefruit juice. I can't remember much that is specific to the dream other than a pleasant exchange, not a conversation exactly, but some kind of shared understanding. What we actually said to each other, if anything, is lost. The esoteric writer DuQuette opines that drinking in a dream is like drinking the waters of Lethe, but what is true for him may not be the same for me. The Nomi Marks entity was good, trying to recharge my batteries through these beverages. Offering drinks was a kindness, nothing more.

Through Wikipedia, I learned Nomi Marks is played by Jamie Clayton, a transgender woman. I like Clayton's work in Sense8. She appears interesting and genuine somehow. That is why my mind has incorporated the character in my dreams.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Like Statues

Some people are like living statues. They no longer have much to say really, though they may have at one time been world-famous writers. Give a pass to them, mindful that such a fate awaits us all, and remember them not as they are now, but as they were, for that is what they, too, prefer.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Dr. Oz Looks Like The Grinch

Dr. Oz peddles miracle weight-loss products on his show. I think the guy looks like The Grinch, that villain created by Dr. Seuss. Some doctors go into medicine because they want to help people, but a lot go into medicine because they want to make a lot of money. Raspberry ketones, indeed, Dr. Oz.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were Justified

I've been reading a biography of Dr. Richard Feynmann--Genius--and remembered the old controversy, which I first read about in the People's Almanac and later Howard Zinn, regarding President Truman's decision to nuke Japan during WW2. I think later events have confirmed Truman was right to make the difficult decision. One does not condemn entire towns to destruction lightly, but I think that leftists were wrong to ignore the fate of millions of American GI's and their allies. What we did not need in this country were more casualties and expenses from a long, expensive war that was the fault of Japan, Germany and Italy, the aggressors.

Japan should send the U.S. a thank-you note and a gift every year on the anniversary of Hiroshima and on the anniversary of Nagasaki, just to let us know how grateful they are that we ended their vicious military dictatorship and bestowed upon them a gentle, mild, republican form of government under which they have prospered. If the war had continued, then much needless bloodletting would have occurred, and many men would not have returned from that war, which would impact many generations far into the future. Sometimes the patient requires a harsh medicine to eliminate an infection.

Whenever an evil, warmongering tyranny gets its due, that is not an atrocity, that is poetic justice. In truth, we should and would have nuked Berlin, if the bomb had been ready, and it may be that Germany would have been better off for it, if it could have avoided the destruction caused by the last year of conventional warfare and the separation of their territory into two opposing sides, East and West.

I find Feynmann's life inspiring. The U.S. gained much due to its milder anti-Semitism. We were not entirely benevolent to the Jews but certainly much more welcoming than Europe. When Nazi Germany began persecuting the Jews, they lost one-fourth of their physicists, among other intellectuals. Of course it was stupid, self-destructive, pseudoscientific nonsense on their part, just like homophobia is today. Purge people at random for no good reason, and you stand to lose some of your best and brightest, as well as a lot of innocent and good people.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart is the funniest man alive. . . and his Daily Show will be watched even a thousand years from now for insight into our time. Of course, he is backed up by a phenomenal team, brilliant writers who furnish him with killer material by research, insight and wit. It is a mistake to overlook these silent partners, but I do not know their names. Yet if I did, then we would overlook the people who support and nourish those people, such as their families and friends, and so on in a neverending chain that eventually encompasses the whole world. Jon is golden product of our age, and we are proud to have produced him. He is creating classic television that will never die.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Bill Maher & Richard Dawkins

I'm not a big fan of Bill Maher. He had Richard Dawkins on his show and could think of nothing better to talk about than Islam. I know enough about Richard Dawkins to know that there are a lot of other subjects, more interesting, more stimulating and more intellectual to talk about than the state of Islamic fundamentalism in the world. Why beat a dead horse? At least Jon Stewart got a little deeper on the Daily Show when he had Dawkins. Bill Maher likes to flog pet subjects to death. I suspect he likes to pose as the liberal that is "standing tall" against America's enemies. In other words, he is playing to the same audience that tunes into FOX news.

The only people who don't like Dawkins are the ones that have never read his books and have only heard of him second-hand.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Elizabeth Warren

I watched the Daily Show with the interview with Elizabeth Warren. She was eloquent and intelligent, with a certain power of persuasion. I believe what she says about the need for financial reform. I would vote for her if she ran for President.

I think it is likely that the next President will be female. It is time, and I think it is the right thing to do. It would give a boost to women. Either Warren or Clinton would make a good candidate for the Democrats.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Former Justice Stevens

Former Supreme Court Justice Stevens, now 94, had a good interview with PBS recently. I agree with his proposals, at least to the extent he described them.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Patrick O'Brian & Gore Vidal

I was amused to find a reference to Gore Vidal in O'Brian's "The Wine-Dark Sea" on p.157. A midshipman or petty officer named Vidal is described as chapelist, democratic or even republican in his views, in other words a left-winger, that is, for early 19th century England. There the resemblance begins and, perhaps, ends. This Vidal conspires to free an imprisoned Frenchman by the name of Dutourd, who seems to be a pacifist that wants to start a democratic, money-optional commune on a deserted island. The reference may pass unnoticed by anyone that hasn't read Gore Vidal. At first I wondered whether O'Brian intended a mild rebuke of Gore Vidal's political views, but upon reflection I think the author just meant to tip his cap to a fellow historical novelist. I can't assume that O'Brian's views were that much different than Gore Vidal's, other than on the subject of homosexuality, where O'Brian had difficulty.

Gore Vidal's literary criticism is remarkable in its profound silence upon O'Brian. I only found one sentence indicating Gore Vidal was even aware of O'Brian. I think Gore may have found O'Brian too abundant with minute facts and technical details, too objective, and lacking that strong point of view which Gore always invested in his own work. Gore had a profound distaste for war and did not like to read or write portrayals of war. By contrast, O'Brian's books drip with blood and gore.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Dennis Rodman

Rodman is a lightning rod, now that he's gone to North Korea and declared he's BFF's with the North Korean tyrant. As a target, he is too easy, and for a while I declined to blog about the issue, but it bothers me. I used to watch Braves baseball and used to root for Dennis Rodman when he was part of their team.

That the tyrant uses Rodman at certain moments as a distraction is clear. Recently, the tyrant murdered his ex-girlfriend and her friends, out of mere pique, and sent their families to prison camps. Just a few days after that story broke in the media, Rodman was invited to North Korea, and of course he accepted.

Rodman, for his part, seeks to use the tyrant to promote various business deals. Looking at his picture in the media, wearing a silver hat and sunglasses and sucking on a cigar, I am reminded of the "thug lifestyle" espoused by so many rappers, an ideology devoid of ethics or loyalty that justifies the pursuit of money and power at any price. What a boring and pointless existence to lead. I think that if I had been a fan of Rodman, I would no longer be one after he cozied up to the dictator. Such sycophancy is evil and casts a long, dark shadow over everything Rodman has ever done or ever will do. A thousand years from now, any chapter on the life of Rodman must include a section on his dealings with the bloody tyrant, the callousness shown to the tyrant's innocent victims, and the praise that Rodman lavished upon the violent dictatorship, all of which Rodman did of his own free will, even while being a millionaire and living in a free country. Rodman has marred his legacy forever.

There is a comparison to be made between Eric Snowden and Dennis Rodman, their contrasting motivations and possible outcomes, the benefits and drawbacks of wickedness versus acts of conscience. Some men do a selfless act for what they deem to be the greater good, even at considerable risk to themselves. Other men do a wicked deed for selfish gain at little or no risk to themselves. Is there an unseen advantage to selfless acts of good? Is there a God watching in the sky with a ledger, taking account of all the good deeds and evil ones and weighing them for later judgment of the soul? Perhaps that extravagant fantasy cannot hold water in the popular consciousness, but still there may be subtle and difficult to understand advantages of good. What is the purpose of life? What is the value of existence? Maybe being a catalyst for positive change is its own reward. Maybe the advantage accrues not to the individual, but to current and later generations. Good people may view themselves as expendable, and take comfort in the good works that they do and the good effects that are achieved by their sacrifices.

Gore No Fount of Wisdom

After watching a documentary on Gore Vidal last night, I was reminded of my late hero's unwise traffic with Timothy McVeigh. I think Gore was a whore for attention and lacked discretion in distinguishing good attention from bad attention. I think Gore gained nothing by that traffic and gave his ideological opponents a gift that keeps on giving. Perhaps Gore had grown decrepit in his old age and lost some of his judgement or perhaps his decisions were all in character. Killing a bunch of people should not be a means to get attention for a cause, or else civilization is truly dead. The terrorist committed an act of war, and there is not much to discuss about war. War is answered by war, violence begets violence and so on.

Viewing clips of Gore through the years, I agree with others in finding him foremost an entertainer, secondly a critic, and only last a philosopher. Many things that he said do ring true, but he exaggerated for dramatic effect, as writers like to do to stave off their nemesis, the reader's boredom. I think Gore could have chosen his battles more carefully, but then would Gore have still been Gore, and would anyone have ever heard of him at all? Perhaps he reckoned on accruing occasional setbacks in seeking the greater goal of achieving notoriety and success as an entertainer. I would not make the mistake of asserting that Gore was wise however. Clever, yes, very, and cunning as well. Perhaps he was wise in the sense that his personal life seemed surprisingly neat and solid. He never wanted for money, and his relationship with his partner endured to his death. He seemed quite content and lived to a ripe old age, enjoying the admiration of a legion of fans right to the end. In reading Gore, I think it is important to perceive that he exaggerates and sometimes takes extreme positions that seem far out on a limb because he is a performer, an entertainer that is doing his best to engage an audience that he may indeed hold in some secret contempt.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Documentary on Women in the 17th Century

The BBC churns out high-quality documentaries on a regular basis. I like to learn about history, but I also like shows concerning wildlife or any kind of science. I like best those shows that have a strong narrator, who may be seen or may be off-camera. Recently, I watched a documentary about housewives and harlots in 17th century England. I felt this was a good topic, because shows seldom touch upon women in history, because most leaders, scientists, generals, etc. were men. The narrator was Dr. Lucy Worsley, apparently some sort of academic who speaks in a compelling way, one notices right away. She is female in a male-dominated profession, rather tomboyish, and my partner noticed that she speaks with a lisp, most unusual in television, although to me it seemed she had a German accent. When I first saw her, I thought she was ill-looking, but the more one watches her speak, the better she wears. She conveys a zest for the subject and an engaging manner of speaking, lisp or not. One admits her learning and poise, and then her beauty. Her material is well-written, although I noticed that she does tend to harp upon the same narrow topics, when a broader view might have been more appropriate. I felt like some material was being repeated, and wish that the show had been heavier on facts and lighter on interpretation, leaving interpretation to the audience, in the style of Werner Herzog.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Trey Bilings Show is Hidden Gem

Not too many people have seen a thirty-minute film called "The Trey Billings Show," but it is one of the best comedies around, and the star, David Drake, is completely incredible in it. With the help of camera tricks, he plays both a zany, self-absorbed talk show host and his interviewee, a fictitious famous actress fallen on hard times, appearing on the screen at the same time.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Elisabeth Moss is into Scientology

I was flabbergasted to learn my latest favorite actress, Elisabeth Moss, a star on Mad Men, belongs to the Church of Scientology, but then again, I have to ask myself, how many Catholic actresses are there, after all? Catholicism has proven weird too, and Islam has never been a walk in the park, either. Even Judaism looks downright peculiar at times. I guess my main beef with Scientology is that it seems obscure and mysterious, even cult-like. The story about evil Xonad, alien from outer space who lives in a spaceship and is trying to control our brains with negative theons, just seemed too funny to be a religion. I was hoping that Moss might be a mild Methodist or even an Episcopalian at worst, or atheist or agnostic at best. But she actually believes in Xonog or whoever it is floating around in that spaceship and beaming negative theons into our brains. I guess to look at the matter objectively is to admit that her theology is no weirder than the competing ones. I'm glad she at least made clear that she does not support or condone any of the homophobia in the Church of Scientology.

For the record, I feel that Elizabeth Moss is a bright star, and when she's in the picture, one can't keep one's eyes off her. Even when she is supposed to be ugly, due to dowdy clothes and indifferent make-up, she's really not.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Isy Suttie of Peep Show

Isy Suttie, Mark's girlfriend in the unique UK comedy Peep Show, is an atypical beauty. Her expressive face and gorgeous blue eyes in season 8 episode 3 are not to be missed by anyone that is open to the concept of feminine beauty. Although her role isn't demanding, she brings an uncommon authenticity to it and can't improve, having already achieved perfection. Half her charm lies in her demerit, her deviation from the popular notion of beauty, her uniqueness, hence her attainability. She's not thin, not like so many ambitious actresses today, nor very young--not some mere child, but thirtysomething--and she has a big nose, a beak in fact, larger than most men's noses--and we know that a big nose correlates with a big penis in men--and regular breasts, but she's fifty flavors of awesome somehow, and one wonders how she attracts, what is her secret? An inner joy, a light within, a mystery that must be studied further. Isy Suttie is the fun gal that geeks would like to get with and more to the point, that geeks think they actually could get with, the woman that wouldn't shoot them down or misuse them, a straight-shooting, plain-speaking, laughing, warm and sunny type of woman, with a Welsh accent that reveals itself at unexpected moments, adding to her mystery and allure, as when she says to Jez, "But is Mark fawn?"

I don't know why Peep Show hasn't caught on in America. It's about the best comedy there is on television. It's quirky and offbeat. My fellow Americans just don't know what they are missing. Peep Show is easily the coolest show on television. I have yet to interest any of my American friends in the show. It is an acquired taste. I think it grows on one, becoming funnier the more times it is watched. The first time, a viewer suffers from information overload. There's just too much narrative and too many things happening at once. Understand, this is both a weakness and a strength. The show makes extraordinary demands upon the viewer, indeed, and that is its weak point, if there is any weak point, reducing its popularity in the mainstream. By the second and third viewings, the viewer is prepared and has already absorbed much of the storyline, so the show increases in value over time, unlike most other shows, becoming funnier the more times it is watched. I cry foul to critics until they watch the show thrice. If by the third time they aren't laughing, then fair enough.
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by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Friday, December 7, 2012

Respect for Nurses

There should be a rule that no one should mess with nurses. I can testify that nurses work harder than anybody else. The stress level of their job is through the roof. I couldn't do it. I don't have the stamina. I'd never hassle a nurse, and the Australian DJ's who hoaxed a nurse over in London ought to be sacked for doing so. Hoax a banker, politician, or businessman, but never anyone in the medical profession or for that matter, law enforcement or firemen. I understand humor and fun and games and enjoy a good hoax myself, but some people work in uncommonly high-stress jobs and should be given a little bit of slack by the public, and in particular radio DJ's, who are dispensable to begin with, let's face it. Everybody needs a nurse. A DJ, we can do without. I don't know whether some people understand just how difficult it is to become a nurse in the first place.

I could care less about the royalty / Kate Middleton connection. Even though I'm liberal, I'm not particularly anti-royal. I'm a pragmatist. If royals conduct international diplomacy, support charity and worthwhile causes, and use their position as a bully pulpit to support worthwhile and humanitarian causes, then royals might actually do some good in the world, more so than some of our wealthy who inherited their fortunes and do nothing. I think the question of whether royalty is good or bad depends upon the words and deeds of the royals.Post a Comment
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.

I read an article in the New York Times today about Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., who has been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, the same illness that my father suffers from. Three things about mental illness I can tell you:
  1. People do not understand it and are afraid of it.

  2. Mental illness is subtle sometimes and can be treated. I would expect that many of J.J.'s peers suffer from similar disorders with varying severity.

  3. It is common to blame the sufferer, whereas with a physical ailment the cause, such as cancer, is blamed rather than the victim.
I remind myself to forgive my father, because he is crippled by manic-depression. An observer is tempted to forget the illness during his periods of lucidity. I am tempted to react to him in normal fashion as I have all my life, but now his illness has progressed until his mind is ruled by the illness, with little of his better, former self remaining.

Mental illness raises fascinating ethical questions. Perhaps one should forgive everybody, because all evil under the sun may be the result of mental illness, undiagnosed and untreated. Can free will exist in a mind impaired? Today we know only a few mental illnesses, but how many conditions exist without labels? Of course universal forgiveness was the position Jesus adopted. Perhaps we are too limited in both resources and wisdom to adopt this position on a societal scale or even an individual one.Post a Comment
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments
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