Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bah, DiBlasio!

I didn't vote for our Mayor.  I didn't like him from the moment I was introduced to him through my television screen, but I tried to have hope when he was elected.  I knew people that were supporters and tried to have faith, but....I can't stand him.  I think that Bill DiBlasio is the worst Mayor this city has had in decades and maybe ever.  He comes across completely inauthentic.  When his big campaign promise was the banning of the horse and carriages, I knew we were in trouble.  There are so many other far more important issues in this city, besides the fact that I think it's all being propelled by emotion and not facts.  I love the Horse and Carriages.  It is one of the last bastions of the past in this town.  They have put into place more restrictions for the well being of the horses.  If the City Council actually passes to ban the horses, I surely hope that all the facts that their decision is based are revealed.  What happens to the horses if they can't work anymore?  I've heard they get put down.  Is that true?  I have also heard that one of DiBlasio's biggest campaign donors wants the land that the stables sit.  Is that true?  Facts, people, just the facts.  Not emotion!!!!

Every time Mayor DiBlasio opens his mouth, it's a disaster.  After a long grueling decision making process (and I say that with every ounce of sarcasm), the DiBlasios decided to move on up to Gracie Mansion where every Mayor has resided other than Mike Bloomberg.  This past weekend, we were treated to the news, that he added a fence without permits so that he could have more privacy.  Seriously???  It's the People's home.  It's just on loan to him.  No Permits!!!!!! What the hell was he thinking?  I hope that the neighborhood makes him take it down.  Who the hell does he think he is?

He was in office for 6 or 7 months, when he did something no other Mayor has done since I've lived here...he took a two week vacation to Italy with his family.  Really?  After only 6 months???  We foot the bill for some of that trip and it's totally unacceptable.  It's disgusting.  Again, he plays the "everyman" and just isn't.  I am a bit surprised that there wasn't a louder out cry about that.  

It was also revealed that the historical artwork that grace the walls of City Hall and Gracie Mansion aren't diverse enough for him.  Are you f**king kidding me??  It's historical portraits.  You can't whitewash history and change it to your liking.  You can't pretend that the history in New York is different than it is.  It's history!  

DiBlasio has alienated much of the police force in recent weeks.  He needs their backing and he's loosing them.  He was asked by one police association not to show up to a fallen officers funeral.  During the protests this past weekend, two police officers were injured by a few unruly protesters throwing a garbage can at their car windshield.  DiBlasio called it alleged.  The police are furious.  They feel completely unsupported.  Who can blame them?  Overall, all of the protests have gone on without incident from both sides, but if he doesn't back his police force....

We are only at the tail end of his first year.  It is going to be a very long term.  I see no hope while he parades around this city as "Mayor."  We are the fools that suffer.  Who in the world can run in 2016?  Please, please someone step out of the shadows.  I guess you can tell, that when DiBlasio speaks, my blood boils over.  Sigh.

Sidelines:  Okay, on a happier note.  It is the first night of Chanukah, Christmas is in a week, 2015 is in two weeks, and we get to start all over again.  The Voice finale is tonight.  Vacation begins soon.  Seniors everywhere are finding out about college acceptances.  So, to everyone, wishing you and yours a very healthy and happy New Year.  May all your dreams be bright.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Clap Yo Hands If You Believe in Fairies

Maybe it would have helped if the producers of Peter Pan did the "black" version, like they did for Hello Dolly and Pearl Bailey in the late 70's-early 80's.  It definitely needed something.  Look, I am over-the-top pro-musical lover.  I never want to be harshly critical so that NBC doesn't continue to do live musicals.  Bringing musical theatre to the masses is a fantastic idea.  Love, love, love it, but how in the hell can you decide to produce Peter Pan and do it on a school night from 8-11?????  That is so ridiculous.  Craig Zaden and Neil Meron should be producing live musicals for the night before Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving itself and begin a new family tradition.  If they don't want to "waste" it on a holiday weekend, for god's sake, perform it live on a Friday night or start it earlier.  What kid in elementary school can stay up until 11pm?  It was hard enough in my home and I wanted to watch it.

However, they didn't make it easy for viewing.  Peter Pan isn't a great musical, but it has some tug-at-your-heart-string songs that if you grew up with Mary Martin or Sandy Duncan will always get you.  Allison Williams was a curious choice for Peter Pan.  Not a high profile choice and not from the Broadway stage.  Her father, Brian Williams, is the known entity to America.  She was serviceable to good.  Very likable, but not a big wow.  The Wendy was long in the tooth and had the teeth to bear that out.  I can't believe there isn't a teenage Broadway starlet that could've done more justice to the role.  The large male company of pirates and lost boys were all very good and definitely came from the land of Newsies.  I am a huge fan of Kelly O'Hara and she didn't disappoint, but if we were going to cast actors too old for the parts, she may as well have played Wendy....Christian Borle was a new twist to Smee and probably would've made a great Hook but....

Christopher Walken cast as the villain, Captain Hook, was, on paper,seemed like a coup, but it didn't make it to the screen.  He is too old.  I can't believe that I am saying it, but he is. He is 71 and too old to play Captain Hook on the small screen.  He looked pasty and wrinkled.  Maybe if his portrayal was outrageously fantastic, it would have been overlooked, but it wasn't.  He hardly came to life.  At times, he looked like he was reading his lines.  He looked down a lot.  He came to life, slightly, when he got to dance.  Maybe he was tired.  I sure was.  Can you imagine them hiring Glenn Close to play Peter Pan?  It would never happen.  She's "too old."

What they decided to do to the Ugg-a-Wug song was so dumb.  I can't believe that we have become so PC, that they had to modify the Ugg-a-Wug to basically oy-vey.  I really don't know what they were singing but, come on, it's a silly little song.  The songs that were added, shouldn't have been.  They didn't add, but seemed that the actors were contractually given "moments" so they'd do the musical.  Those unmemorable songs just highlighted how draggy the production was.  It never should've been 3 hours.  Too many WalMart commercials.  

Though from a production stand point it looked beautiful and fantastical, I can't believe that you can still see the cables for flying.  It is 2014 and there are no invisible cables that can help make the magic magic?  It was so awkward and odd in this day and age not to have a more high tech answer for flying than Flying by Foy.  It bunched up just like it does in any stage production under the actors' costumes.  Really?  That really surprised me.  If they couldn't do better than that, maybe this wasn't the right musical to pick....

I can't go more in depth because I felt nothing, really.  I was sitting in my chair thrilled in the beginning.  I love the opening of Peter Pan when Pan and Tinkerbell first show up, but 90 minutes into it...I was bored.  They should have picked up the pace, cut the new songs, and been done.  They could have bought back the local time and started this three hour production at 7pm. It was the wrong musical to choose. There are so many great scores and stories.  Curious why they'd  pick Peter Pan for their second outing. Anyway, it wasn't unbearable, please don't think that's what I am saying, but I love, love, love musical theatre and I want it to be introduced to the masses so they will hunger for more. 

Sidebars:  I can't even call this a sidebar, but an after thought.  My last RantsandRuminations was prior to the Eric Garner Grand Jury decision.  I'm sure you all know by now, but the Grand Jury, again, decided, not to indict the police officer that killed Eric Garner.  There have been many protests in the streets since that happened, disrupting traffic everywhere.  Largely, peaceful protests.  More will continue.  Maybe the Grand Jury system needs to be revisited.  More another day, I'm sure on this.  It's Friday.  Enjoy your weekend, hug your family and friends, let go of the bad, and hold on tight to the good.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

We Wait....

I clearly don't have enough knowledge about our judicial system.  Most of what I know is from Perry Mason and Law And Order.  Having made every wrong decision in the Ferguson case, we in NYC are waiting for our own decision in the Eric Garner case against the NYPD.  Hoping against all hope that no matter the decision, there will be peaceful protests only.  

Are Grand Juries used when you're not sure there's enough evidence to press charges?  Not every indictment goes through a Grand Jury, right?  In the Mike Brown murder, there seemed to be plenty of evidence to take it to a public trial, but the jurors decided there wasn't.  In the Eric Garner case, the police tried to question a large black man thinking he might be selling cigarettes illegally on the street (which I'm not sure there was any evidence of that ever), he resisted, and about 8 cops tackled him to the ground, one cop put an illegal choke hold on him and, as everyone heard, he said he couldn't breathe and he died on the street.  There is vivid video of this altercation and death that has been seen millions of time.  The Medical Examiner of NYC declared the death was homicide.  So what's the issue?  I'm not being flip, but if homicide is the determined death, someone has to be responsible, right?  

So, here we wait.  For some reason, we are not getting the national attention, which may be a good thing for the city.  Every New Yorker knows this story.  Every New Yorker has seen the video.  It's unfathomable to me that the Grand Jury wouldn't vote to indict, but clearly, I don't get the system.  I think every crime should have its day in court, unless both sides voluntarily can plea it out.  Every victim's family should get to have the chance to hear what happened to their loved one.  Let's throw out all the superfluous lawsuits and keep the courts open for real crimes, there are plenty of those.  

We wait for news.  There will be no National Special Bulletin interrupting your TV shows.  Local news will interrupt, because they interrupt for just about anything.  I really can't believe that the outcome will be the same as it was in Ferguson.  I can't believe it, but my Pollyanna glasses are getting cloudier. 

And so we wait....