Monday, February 29, 2016

Just What a Girl Needed

With all the depressing bickering, petulant, and bigoted rhetoric flying around, I can't lie, it is taking its toll on me.  Those that have read my blog for years now, I've taken a big break because there's little to add to the noise and just complaining seems redundant.  We are all feeling the fear and pain and WTF moments.  So, last night, came in the nick of time.  Actually, something new and meaningless to complain about....

The Oscars!  Chris Rock as the host was f**king incredible.  Edgy, funny, and pointed.  Better than I could've hoped.  He took on the ""all white" Oscars head on and made incredible observations and cutting remarks.  He didn't lower himself to classless humor, but smart and thoughtful.  Not everything he did hit out of the ballpark, but on the A.  The show is always too long.  The producers tried with their ridiculous thank you crawls underneath the winners' announcement but fell completely flat and useless.  I do commend them for trying, but won't be back I'm sure.  They could cut many of the clips and combine them into one.  Show a clip of the movie, the actor, etc. all at the same time.  The clips they showed for the writers didn't work for me at all. It's difficult to show the writers' contribution in a clip so it just took up too much time.  The opening clip montage was 3 minutes that I couldn't get back and didn't add anything.  We were all waiting for Chris Rock's monologue.  The montage could have been cut, too.  

Without any doubt or hesitation, Lady Gaga was the high note both emotionally and visually.  Her performance was heart wrenching, singing her Academy Award nominated song, "Til It Happens to You," co-written with Diane Warren.  It is the song from the documentary, The Hunting Ground, which focusses on all the sexual assaults on college campuses.  Vice President Joe Biden introduced the song with a call to action and a very impassioned speech.  Gaga's performance reached a climax when dozens and dozens of survivors of campus sexual assault walked downstage.  There wasn't a dry eye in the house or here at home. Deeply moving and puts so much in perspective  of real problems and issues.  When they went to commercial and off-camera, Brie Larson hugged each and everyone of the survivors as they passed by her.  What a highlight!  What a month Gaga's had her gorgeous Star Spangled Banner, her tribute to David Bowie and now this.  

As Mad Max kept winning for just about every technical award, the show lagged.  Feeling left out, having not seen either Mad Max movie.  Thrilling that there were a couple of huge surprises late in the evening to pick up the excitement and energy of the home viewer.  Stallone the presumptive Supporting Actor winner, lost out to the stupendously talented Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies.  Thrilled beyond measure on that one. Not against Stallone, just love and appreciate the huge talent that is Mark Rylance.  Not a fan of The Revenant, I started to slump down and feel like the evening was over, then Leonardo DiCaprio made a glorious speech when he won for The Revenant (which I didn't think was his best performance by any means, but a fine actor deserving of praise.  If you never saw one of his earliest movies, What's Eating Gilbert Grape? do yourself a favor).  And then, Best Picture....Again, The Revenant, which hands down deserved Best Cinematographer, was not my favorite movie of the year at all, but had won so many previous awards during the season, I figured I could nod out...but the greatest thing occurred.  Best Picture went to Spotlight!!!  What a great movie!  What an important topic and incredible investigative reporting, which seems to have gone the way of cursive writing.  Well-deserved.  I hope everyone sees it, if they haven't.  

In Memoriam, David Grohl sang beautifully Blackbird over and over and over again while the photos displayed above him.  Notably absent and surprisingly so...Abe Vigoda.  A very long career and so memorable in one of the best films of all time, The Godfather.  I don't really know why someone doesn't just write down a list of names from January 1-Deccember 31, or whatever dates they include, so that people don't get forgotten.  Just shouldn't be that hard, but every year people get missed.

All in all, I give the evening two thumbs up. If they could just streamline the show, it could be the most fantastic celebration for those in the theatre and those at home.  Keep trying next year.  

Sidebars:  Sigh, Super Tuesday tomorrow and that's all I can say.  Well, obviously I could say more, but trying to stay above the fray. -- Saw the current production of Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway.  Not without criticism but if you haven't ever seen it, it's definitely worth the price of admission.  Danny Burstein is wonderful.  He owns his Tevye.  -- Tonight is The Bachelor.  Can't wait.  Fantasy Suite night.  That really helps me forget what is going on in the world.  LOL!  --  The Voice begins its new season tonight, too.  Christina Aguilera is back instead of Gwen Stefani.  -- Sorry to see Melissa Harris-Perry gone from MSNBC.  She brought a different voice than the rest of the talking heads.  MHP, you will be missed by this viewer.  --  That's it for now on this Leap Year Day!  Enjoy the extra day.  It won't be around for four more years.  

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

She's Still Standing, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Election season is always difficult, but this one has really taken on a whole new level of bickering, stress, and lows.  I am a registered Democrat and always will be.  Can't wrap my head around the Republicans and it's just getting worse.  So I sit and watch Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.  Both are intelligent candidates.  Both have much to offer, but as in 2008,  I am always surprised how women aren't lining up behind Secretary Clinton.  It happened with Obama, too.  Both were imperfect candidates, but many women seemed to feel more comfortable standing with Obama.  I knew many of those women.  And, again, today,  Senator Sanders won the women's vote.  SMH.  What are women waiting for?  Will there ever be a good enough female candidate to stand by?  I have written and pondered before why Clinton gets the ire of many and especially women.  Many people thinks she's a liar, but seriously?  Who isn't?  Every candidate and Presidential candidate winner has always lied.  It's part of the system.  It's part of the way it works.  "Say what you have to say to win votes."  Obviously, not all liars are created equal, but why women don't stand next to and behind Hillary Clinton, how they did with Barack Obama, is a mystery to me.  

I know that women are our own worst enemies.  I keep hoping that we evolve to back each other, not blindly, but embrace the greatness and the flaws.  We are still not there yet.  Do I like Bernie Sanders?  Sure.  I have admired him for many years for his vision and stances, but seriously he can't do what he wants.  As noble and great as his visions are, it can't happen. Remember, the great Bill Clinton promised that he'd allow gays in the military?  Yeah, that didn't happen.  When he got to the White House, he found that wasn't possible yet, so he compromised to "don't ask, don't tell."  Not a resounding success, but he didn't realize the pushback or the obstacles.  He thought he'd come in and it would be a simple fix.  Obama came into the White House and started the Affordable Care Act, but before he actually started the legislation, he made a deal with the pharmaceutical companies.  In that very moment, I knew that the ACA was compromised.  Obama blew it.  The great hope of the future, that got young and old so excited, proved quickly, once again, that your vision may be what many want, but that's not how things work.  

Even more important in this Country, a reasonable, moderate legislative body.  The divide is far too great.  That's where the laws of the land are created.  Not in the White House.  More important than the Congress?  The Supreme Court!  There could be 4 Supreme Court Justice openings in the next administration.  That is crucial that we protect our Supreme Court from the crazies.  The crazies don't even want to follow the laws already in existence.  What chance do the people have if the crazies take over more?  

So, I got off topic a bit.  Ladies and Gentlemen,  note the difference between how Hillary Clinton gets treated. Sexism rules still.  She has weathered more scrutiny than anyone and has handled herself with aplomb.  Bernie Sanders hasn't been scrutinized thoroughly yet.  The Jewish/atheist thing hasn't even been scratched.  If the reverse were true, Hillary would've been hit with the interrogation lamp.  Look, I don't care about anyone's religion, as long as it doesn't effect me or my government, but much of America does.  There are multiple examples of uneven terrain in this race.  T***p hasn't had to talk about his personal indiscretions, two immigrant wives, friendships with questionable folk, nothing.  He's a shiny new penny.  Sanders is new to many people and that's probably his appeal, too.  

Hillary Clinton has been around a long while.  She's been skewered for decades and still kicking.  She's withstood more barbs and investigations than anyone in my lifetime and come out the other side.  Listen, do I think she is perfect?  Far from it, but I do think that she's learned from her mistakes, life experience, and  blazed a trail for others.  None of those things can be discounted.  She is without question the most qualified person running on either side to become President.  Who else running can say that?  On this day, Groundhog's Day, I am standing by Secretary Clinton, but let me be extremely clear, and this will not change, I will support whomever is the Democratic Presidential nominee.  I can only hope that's true for all Sanders supporters.  I never thought I'd be alive for the first African American President.  I have great hope that I will be alive for the first woman President of the United States of America.  It is time.

Sidebars:  Okay, so February television sweeps are starting off with a bang.  Tonight, the first episode of The People vs. OJ Simpson on FX.  Hopefully, it will be 10 glorious weeks!  Wednesday and Thursday nights, Richard Dreyfuss as Bernie Madoff.  I can only hope it's as good as expected. -- It's Super Bowl week.  Too much air time for all the talking heads to break down every portion and piece of the match-up between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos.  They will talk it to death and regardless of what they say, the game will be what it will be.  That's the continued problem of a 24/7 cycle.  Have to fill all those minutes of every day.  I am just hoping for a very exciting, non-injury, and close game.  May the best team on that day win.  I just hope the halftime rumors prove to be true and Bruno Mars shows up.  Otherwise, it will be Coldplay and Beyonce. -- Didn't see all of Grease Live, but will get to it.  Heard it got big kudos.  I do send out both huge applause and condolences to Vanessa Hudgens who lost her father that day from cancer.  Proving once again that "the show must go on."  From what I saw she soared. -- SAG Awards were enjoyable.  I'm sure you can catch them on TNT on demand or online.  How many self congratulatory Awards shows are there before the Oscars? -- A big plug, not that she needs it, for my husband's friend, Maureen Sherry.  Her book, Closing Belle, released today, has gotten so much praise and press.  Hoping it makes the NY Times bestselling list.  Getting my copy today.  -- Here's to gorgeous February weather in NYC.  Enjoy wherever you are!

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