Friday, June 28, 2013

Tackling the "N" Word and other things

Since the release of Paula Deen's Southern tendencies have been made public, the s**t has really hit the fan.  The fact that she used the "n" word 3 decades ago or even two weeks ago took her down. Her sponsors dropped her faster than a hot potato.  Many of her sponsors, like the Food Network, dropped her the day the story blew up.  People, let me remind you, her contract was up.  This huge controversy gave them the out not to renew her and pay her.  Clearly, it was a business decision, not a moral one.  After that, 6 more sponsors dumped her.  She tried to clean it up and apologize but she came off insincere and completely phony.  

There has been so much dialogue this week on talk shows about the use of the "n" word.  It's great to have open dialogue about it.  I, like Oprah, don't think that there is any place for the word.  I know she had a sit down with Jay Z a few years ago to discuss it.  To Oprah it is a word that should never be used; to JayZ he wants to remove the power from the word.  Here is the problem for me:  who gets to determine who can or cannot use the "n" word.  Who is the judge and jury on that?  I heard a young black woman talking about that every group has a slur that only they can use, but that's just not so.  Jews do not, don't think Hispanics do, maybe homosexuals are allowed to use the "f****t" word but it makes me cringe.  

So think about this, kids are listening to the "n" word in music all the time.  They have no idea of the history of the word and the pain and suffering it has caused generations of a people.  How do they navigate when and if they can say it?  The only white person I know that can use it freely in rap is Eminem.  I think that the "n" word shouldn't be an acceptable word for anyone. It makes it confusing and unclear.  Maybe all the rappers and others that use the word and are trying to take the "sting" out of it, need to go to class and listen to their forefathers who fought for civil rights and are continuing to fight today.  I just think it's too dicey. There is some invisible line drawn in the sand and you are supposed to know who can and who can't. Who's the arbiter?  

Okay, people, what the hell is wrong with the world with all the double standards?  Paula Deen is kicked to the curb for unacceptable language and Aaron Hernandez is suspected of at least 3 murders and had a big NFL contract with the New England Patriots and big endorsements. The Patriots dumped him fairly quickly once he was charged with the 3rd murder.  Puma took about a week.  I guess they had to really see the evidence the prosecutors had.  I can't believe that he allegedly shot someone in the face in February and wasn't charged.  So Paula Deen has gotten a public stoning for language and Aaron Hernandez got away with one shooting months ago and now is paying for the alleged, heinous murder of last week.  Aaron Hernandez seems like he has been a violent and bad guy for a long time. Where was the NFL commissioner then?  Seems like athletes always get the benefit of the doubt and second chances.  That's a rant for another day!

Sidebars:  Big Brother 12 began. Julie Chen continues to be annoying. The NBA Draft was last night and boy, it's like watching paint dry.  The only standout was the plethora of international players drafted to all the teams. The NY Knicks for one of the only familiar names drafting Tim Hardaway, Jr. Hope he can shoot as well as his father.  It's the weekend.  I hope that you enjoy it.  It's going to be rainy here.

Please re-post or forward to a friend.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Okay, I really mean no disrespect, but I find it offensive and disrespectful for the Governor of New Jersey to order the flags to fly half-mast for James Gandolfini.  He did it for Whitney Houston also.  In my many years, flags were flown half-mast for people that gave their lives for their country.  President Kennedy, the Challenger astronauts, 9/11, and so on.  Until Chris Christie, never did I hear of flags flying low for entertainers.  I think it cheapens the honor and the meaning intended.  There must be another way to honor great sons and daughters of States and the Country than that.  On Broadway, they dim the lights for great Broadway talents to honor their memories.  It's a fantastic tradition.  Jersey needs to come up with something else.  I don't know what.  They could turn off all the lights on the boardwalk in Atlantic City.  They could have a moment of silence on all the local radio stations.  Jersey can't have this one for great entertainers.  

There were no clear lines of when to fly the flags at half-staff until President Dwight D. Eisenhower and they are clear.  They are for Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Senators, Memorial Day, etc.  Governor Chris Christie read the guidelines and find another way.  It's wonderful to honor the great men and women that have been raised in New Jersey, but not this way.  Christie isn't the only Governor to have ordered this but somehow it has gotten far more high-profile coverage, probably due to social media, than anyone ever.  Maybe it should be a topic of debate at the next Governor's conference.  

Finally watched and listened to the new Robin Thicke song called Blurred Lines.  I kept hearing about it but hadn't heard it.  Okay, I know people love him.  I don't.  Huge hit, but not for me.  This song keeps getting touted as the song of the summer.  I don't see it and now having watched the video....I think it's both narcissistic and misogynistic.  I don't get it.  I don't know what scantily clad women with fully clothed men is saying other than trying to make the song a bigger hit than it deserves.  Don't get it. I don't even want to encourage you to watch it, but if you have, let me know what you think.  

Have you seen the Justin Bieber stoned instagram video?  Again, where are his career handlers?  Where's his Mom?  With every step he takes on social media, he looks like a bigger ass than the day before.  Can't he just go away? That's all I have to say about that.  

The Twinkie is making a return in July!!  That's fantastic.  More interested in it being here than eating it because it's such a pop culture punchline.  

The George Zimmermann trial began this morning.  Already, it doesn't feel like it's going the way of the prosecution.  

Watched Nik Walenda last night walking across the Grand Canyon.  How scary and dumb.  

Watched the new series Devious Maids produced by Mark Cherry and Eva Longoria.  Not sure if it has a long life, but will try it again.  

Tonight, The Bachelorette.  

There's so much more to cover, but enough for one day. We're having a heatwave in the East.  There's extreme weather all over, so be careful out there and enjoy.

Please re-post or forward to a friend.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Possibly Disrespectful

Earlier this week, I was in a roomful of people honoring someone that died a few months ago.  A beautiful memorial with wonderful stories and lots of love.  The next day, a professor from UCLA died suddenly and the outpouring of love was palpable.  To end this week, we had the tragic and untimely death of James Gandolfini in Rome.  

What these three people have in common, from where I sit, they were very complicated men.  The praise heaped upon each of these men after their deaths has been superlative. While they were all alive, the unconditional love was not so apparent.  The memorial we went to was someone that I knew, personally.  He was very close to my husband.  He was a true character, gruff, off-putting, and hilarious.  Not always easy to love and a very complex soul.  I don't think anyone really knew him, but he touched many lives indelibly, for better and for worse.  The professor had a bigger than life personality, but he had his favorites always.  I wasn't one of them.  He was perfectly pleasant to me, but I often felt invisible.  Couldn't get into the "in crowd."  I wasn't anointed.  Reading the outpouring of accolades and love surprised me in many ways.  People praised him for making them the person/writer they are today.  I didn't get that.  Even then I knew that his professionalism was questionable.  He had a deep well of knowledge, but chose to share with the special ones.  

And finally, James Gandolfini.  I didn't know him other than from his characters.  He didn't seem friendly at all in life.  He was great as Tony Soprano.  The role of a lifetime.  Couldn't ever top that.  I was shocked at how young he was.  That he began The Sopranos in his late 30's was so surprising. Today in The New York Post, they reported his final meal consisted of four shots of rum, two pina coladas, two beers, two orders of fried prawns, and a large portion of foie gras. *   I found that shocking.  Shocking for anyone to consume and in front of his teenage son.  Maybe the reports are incorrect.  The autopsy report is supposedly coming out today.  We will certainly find out about his health or lack there of. The accolades since his death are not surprising, but I always wish we, who don't know the person, could hear the good things while the person was living. 

So what am I trying to say today?  Well, death always seems to wipe away the negatives.  Maybe that's the brain's plan, but seems to me that the deceased people deserve to know how you feel before they die or maybe while they were living, they weren't as fantastic....It's just something to think about.  There is no right or wrong answer here, just hopefully thought provoking.

Sidebars:  The Voice ended and Danielle Bradbery won.  She's incredible and I think really will have a big career.  Still urging you all to watch America's Got Talent.  It is a combination variety/freak show.  Last night was game 7 between the Heat and the Spurs.  Most of America was rooting for the Spurs.  Only Floridians were happy.  Hate the Heat!  Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins should both get a Stanley Cup.  These hockey games have been so evenly matched, it's a shame that anyone has to lose.  Series is even 2-2. On a very personal note, my incredibly beautiful and fabulous children are turning 16 this weekend!!!  I can't believe it.  Where does the time go?  Enjoy your weekend!

Please re-post or forward to a friend.

* According to the autopsy, no drugs or alcohol were found in his system...!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Small Annoyances

I can't talk politics.  It's making me crazy and depressed.  So, I will go forward with things that bug me.  Does anyone here watch Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?  There is the syndicated version and the Facebook version that you can play yourself.  In the computer version, if you make it to the $100,000, you keep whatever money you made along the way plus the $100,000.  On the television version with Meredith Viera, once you make it to the $100,000 question, you lose the money you made along the way or it's not really a $100,000 question. I think it is so annoying and why hasn't anyone called the producers and ABC out on it?  It's so cheap.  

Since the shows inception, they have tweaked it so that very few even win much of anything, so they are making money hand over fist. When Regis Philbin began doing the show, contestants actually walked away with big money.  Since Meredith took over and the rules have changed, the majority of people walk away with much less than $25,000.  It makes it less fun. But seriously, the false advertising that you are getting a $100,000 question is really annoying.  I am sure many of you aren't interested or care, but just imagine that you get the first 10 questions correct and you have earned upwards of $60,000.  The music and drama changes because you made it to the $100,000 question, but really it's only a $40,000 question.  How cheap can the producers be?  Why doesn't a television watch group call them out?  It's not quite as scandalous as the $64,000 Question of the 50's, but it lacks truth.  It should be called the $100,000 question minus whatever you've earned up to that point question.  

Okay, I'm sure you are bored by now, so I will move on. I just can't talk about politics because it's getting me down.  They are all good for nothing, do nothing, hypocrites.  So, I am refocusing my attention to lots of fluff this week.  I watched The Voice finale and The Bachelorette last night.  The Voice is still a very well produced show.  Still wish they could do it a bit faster than 2 hours when there are only 3 finalists left but....Tonight before they announce the winner, Cher!!! Cher is performing on The Voice.  Totally excited. You never know what you will get from her.  The Bachelorette is  trying so hard to make a difference in the world in their own way.  Last night, one of the dates was taking a helicopter ride around the Hurricane Sandy damaged Jersey coast.  Then boots on the ground to walk around the hard hit neighborhood of Seaside Heights.  They "met" an older couple whose home has been decimated and got some life's lessons about love and marriage.  A bit corny, but great to highlight the troubles still hanging on for the people of Jersey and all the kudos to the Red Cross.  So, tonight if you need some mindless, yet enjoyable television viewing...America's Got Talent.  It is a throwback to the old variety shows of the 50's and 60's but hi-tech.  Give it a go.  Also, Game 6 of the Spurs/Heat.  Spurs lead 3-2.  Go, go, go Spurs!!!!! The Boston Bruins lead the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1.  If Doc Rivers gets traded to the Clippers, they are the luckiest NBA team!  

So this is a mixed-up bunch of stuff, but I just had to write and get this off my chest.  Enjoy your Tuesday.  More soon.  

Please re-post or forward to a friend.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Do Not Disturb

Okay, so we now found out that the government has been collecting phone records on basically all of us.  Well, not exactly, but that's how it's been reported.  Many talking heads once again are talking as if the government has tapped our phones.  This is a big story, but not how the faux outraged are speaking.  We want the government to keep us safe from terrorists.  Did we not say at all costs?  Isn't that why we take off our shoes at airport security? How incredibly annoying and inconvenient! I am an American who doesn't like us to know everything.  I think knowing everything doesn't keep us safer.  I don't think that Snowden is a hero.  I'm not sure he is a traitor, but he is a criminal.  What needs to be addressed and changed is how many top classified jobs are outsourced to profiteering companies.  The government has given approximately 1.5 million people top security clearance.  Seriously?  1.5 million have access to the most important and sensitive government information???  That is ridiculous.  That is the part of the story that needs to be addressed.  That is the travesty.  

Do you think that anything is private?  Do you care?  If you care, than get off your computer.  Go off the grid.  Not ready to give up your Smart Phone or computer?  Didn't think so.  We love all the instant gratification but it comes at a cost.  Nothing we do on the internet is private.  Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and every other search engine/social media site know everything.  So, all this faux outrage about the invasion of privacy is ridiculous.  If you really want privacy, you will have to live like the Amish, not that there's anything wrong with that.  

Okay, now I am switching to fluff because greater minds have written about the privacy issue.  Can I please talk about the disastrous young people in our midst? Lindsey Lohan has been quiet lately because she has yet to break out of the Betty Ford Center.  Maybe she actually took the judge seriously. She will go to jail if she bails out on rehab.  That's thankfully "under control."  Amanda Bynes.  Wow, I don't know how it happened. It seemed like her downward spiral was overnight.  I'm sure it wasn't, but....Where are her family and friends?  Agents?  Managers? Attorneys? Why doesn't someone take her home and keep her home.  Knock some sense into her, not literally.  Paris Jackson....There are no words. No surprise that she's all messed up, but I am sorry about it.  She doesn't have a shot if she can't get out from under the Jackson's.  They are not a healthy family.  There's just a lot of them.  

Finally, the ultimate thorn in my side...Justin Bieber.  I can't dislike him enough. He's coming off as the most spoiled rotten brat ever.  He has lucked into becoming a multi-millionaire and is acting like an ass.  His antics are far too frequent.  Where are all of his handlers?  When are his 15 minutes over?  I've been waiting but the juggernaut keeps going. Almost daily there is some pejorative story about him.  He isn't talented enough for us to be subjected to all of this B.S. From neighbors to restaurants to clubs, his narcissism knows no bounds.  Me, me, me, me, me.  Scooter Braun, Usher, his Mom, created a monster.  It's on them to help him or help us!

Sidebars:  Love, love, love The Voice.  It's down to the final three. I couldn't pick.  They are all great, truly. I won't spoil who's still there in case you haven't watched, but wow. The Bachelorette was both amusing and annoying.  One of the bachelors had a girlfriend so she came on and confronted him.  The girlfriend seemed so over the top, not sure how much was "acting." Felt fake.  I know, surprise, reality television fake. Happiness is seeing the Spurs decimate the Heat. Yay to the Blackhawks to beat the Bruins in 3 overtimes in game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Too much rain. Rain, rain, go away, come again in the Fall.  We are drowning here.  Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there.

Please re-post or forward to a friend.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

If it's Sunday, it's NOT Meet the Press

Of all the weeks for the NBC Sunday news shows to be pre-empted....It must be making Chris Matthews and David Gregory crazy.  So, now, I am going to attempt to fill the void of the week's topics.  Well, really, isn't there only one topic?  Another "scandal" hitting the Obama administration?  How do all the leakers all leak at the same time?  How does that work?  Are there secret leaker meetings and they discuss how and when would be the best way to leak the classified stories?  It's unbelievable the few weeks the White House has had and I for one am not up in arms.  I have already discussed the first three "scandals" in A Trio of Bull on 5/20/13, so I won't rehash them here, but the latest is the 4th.  The outrage on both sides of the aisle with the leak that the Obama Administration, Congress, and the NSA have been monitoring your Verizon cell phone calls is laughable to me.  When did you think we had privacy? And again, the talking heads misspeak and say they are listening to your phone calls.  They are not listening to your phone calls.  Maybe they are just a step away but this isn't the era of J. Edgar Hoover.  They are looking at interesting or red flag call patterns.  

If I am a cell phone user and am receiving or getting calls from Yemen, not such a good idea.  Red flag.  Makes sense to me.  How do you think that the United States Government has been fighting international terrorism?  There are only so many tools and methods to try to keep us safe.  This monitoring started in the 90's they say, but really got stepped up after 9/11 during the Bush years.  During the 2000's, there were few guidelines so maybe more invasive, but Congress did put very tight checks and balances into effect so that everyone is watching everyone's rights.  Did you see the movie Casino?  Remember the scene where they show how the Casino works and who is watching whom?  Well, this reminds me of that.  Congress, both parties, on the Intelligence committee get the reports of what's going on, secret FISA judges must approve, and it's all supposed to be in secret.  Fine by me.  How do you fight terrorism if everyone knows the play book?  

Seriously, people, you can't have your cake and eat it too.  If you want to be kept safe at home from terrorists, then we have to give up privacy.  It's that simple.  Well, maybe not simple, but we are in a new age, and this is the new normal.

Sidebars:  Here in gorgeous's the Puerto Rican Day Parade. A day that locals along the parade route fear yearly.  I think that it's gotten much better than in years gone by, but heck, I am not a big lover of any parade that clogs up traffic.  This is the biggest one of all.  Tonight are the Tony Awards.  I haven't seen so many shows but still have much hope for an entertaining show hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.  And really, NPH? Who could've ever seen his career play out after Doogie Howser?  What a talent!  Also, The Real Housewives of New Jersey and another NCIS marathon on USA.  Game two of the Heat and Spurs in Miami. Come on Spurs!!! Can you steal another win in Miami? Enjoy your Sunday and I hope that this filled a bit of your Sunday morning void.

Please re-post or forward to a friend

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Stepping In It

Okay, so Major League Baseball/ESPN, and AP leaked insinuation and names against some baseball players that used illegal substances to gain an edge.  The drug kingpin allegedly is Tony Bosch who ran an "anti-aging" center in Miami and doled out all sorts of drugs to players.  He has supposedly made a deal to name names and dates, so the feeding frenzy begins.  Tony Bosch hasn't said a word yet, but the sharks are circling already.  Sports writers favorite punching bag in baseball, Alex Rodriguez, is continuing to take the brunt of it.  Makes me laugh a little bit because his play the last season or two stunk and then he got injured and hasn't played since.  Maybe he should sue Tony Bosch since the drugs didn't work. My biggest concern is that once names are floated out there, they can't ever get their reputations back. I am not defending A-Rod, but the Steinbrenners will do anything not to pay him the remainder of his overbloated and ridiculous contract.  

The other problem with this whole MLB drug problem is that the Players Association and the Owners need to come together and clean out the sport together, committed, and transparent.  If they really want to clean up the game, they have to really clean up the game.  I allege that they don't really want to do anything but publicly shout their dismay to look good, as if they really care.  I think Baseball only cares when they get caught.  The Owners have profited hand over fist in the past 20 years over juiced players breaking batting records.  Baseball is already suffering the loss of fans in the seats all over the country. I think the television ratings are down and they are beginning to see the cracks in popularity.  So, how do they overcome it? Do they keep turning away from illegal drug usage?  Do they get together with the players and say they will have weekly spot check drug testing for an indeterminate period?  MLB has a problem, so do the owners and players.  The fans are the ones that truly suffer, not only do we have to pay exorbitant prices for seats and food at the ballparks, we have to figure out a way to process our feelings over the cheaters.  It may just be a few, but many are responsible. 

I just hope that we can wait to vilify players until we get facts and evidence. To be continued....
A few words on the disgraced, anti-semitic fashion designer, John Galliano.  The man who made horribly anti-semitic statements a few years back and keeps apologizing, doesn't get it.  He says that it was the alcohol and drugs that made him say, "I love Hitler," among other things.  Are you kidding me?  In my wildest imagination, there is no way that I would ever go off on a people or a religion and blame it on drugs.  He needs to man up, accept responsibility, and maybe do a tour of concentration camps and speak to the last remaining Holocaust survivors, then, maybe, he will have a change of conscious.  John, it wasn't the wine. It wasn't the drugs. It was the ignorance and hate inside you.
Senator Frank Lautenberg passed away this week.  He was the last remaining WWII veteran in the Senate.  He made a big impact on the Senate and our lives.  Did you know he spearheaded no smoking on planes?  For that alone, I am grateful.  What I don't like (whether Republican or Democrat) is that the Governor of New Jersey appoints an interim Senator.  He can change the balance of power with his choice.  It's the law.  I get that, but it should be changed.  Governors in any situation should have to stick to the party of the decades politician.  The voters should be the only ones to shift the power. 

Sidebars:  Did you hear that Kevin Durant star of the Oklahoma City Thunder donated a million dollars to the recovery effort after the tornadoes that swept through the area?  I was so impressed.  I didn't hear Nike donating.  If you did, let me know.  Blake Shelton and his friends raised a lot of money with their televised fundraiser.  Kevin Durant you were raised right.  The Voice sent home the "right" person last night.  They are all so talented that it's impossible to really choose, but it was the lesser of the greats.  The Bachelorette still both amuses and disgusts.  How they pick the "villains" would be fascinating.  To be a fly on the wall in that casting session. On a personal note, want to wish my sister and her husband a very happy 25th anniversary!

Please re-post or forward to a friend.