Aborted In The First Trimester

Michelle Wolf’s really awful Netflix show canceled after three months:

The move comes just a couple of weeks after BET announced it was cancelling The Rundown with Robin Thede after its first season. That cuts the number of late-night-style shows hosted by women in half, with only TBS’ Samantha Bee and Hulu’s Sarah Silverman left standing.

And with a little luck, Bee’s wretched show will be dying from apathy before too long.

It’s not all good news: The Joel McHale Show With Joel McHale also got tubed.

 

The Fringe

A friend of the blog writes:

Marxist collectivism mixed with the egalitarian charm of Rousseau.

The MN Fringe Festival is the most natural child of The Blue Blouse (Синяя блуза) theatre troupes of early USSR.

Here you will find every SJW/Artiste that suckles at the teats of state government and the Foundation Hive.

The big buzzword in this year’s prospectus is the delivery of a limited number of Juried, Curated (read pre-censored) productions

I think that’s all true – at least in directly. Because the writer is correct – it’s impossible to calculate the damage that government subsidy of art has done to, well, Art. And the Fringe Festival is often a great place to see what happens when society pays for way too many mediocre terrible artist to create too much “art”.

That’s Entertainment

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Something new for SITD – a movie review.

I almost skipped “The Greatest Showman” because the reviews were bad.  Critics hated it.  P.T. Barnum wasn’t cool.  The film focused on the wrong things.  They wanted it to be about racism, not circuses.  But I’m tired of being scolded for sins I didn’t commit and I’ve always enjoyed the circus so when I happened to be on an airplane where the film was available to watch on the seat-back screen, I dove right in.  I’m glad I watched it.  I recommend you watch it, too.

I don’t know much about Barnum’s personal beliefs and I really don’t care.  Every genius, every general, every giant had warts but that’s not why we remember them.  And sure, the film shows historical social disapproval of inter-racial dating, but that’s nothing new.  The plot device is “star-crossed lovers” and it’s as old as Pyramus and Thisbe, as classic as Romeo and Juliet, as popular as Showboat or West Side Story.  Get over yourselves, people, it’s just a movie and more importantly, it’s a lot of fun.  I particularly liked the “Come Alive” scene and the finale.  They show the circus that I remember when I was a kid and the magic came to town.

We could use a lot more of that in America, today.

Joe Doakes

I keep wondering if, much less when, the social pendulum is going to swing back the other way.

It just keeps swinging out toward “absurd”.

Actually, that’d be a fun blog project someday; trace the rise and fall of ideological intolerance over time.  Toxic Metastatic PC isn’t the first bout of it our culture has had, although it’s a doozy.

 

Things I Never Thought I’d See

A worthwhile speech at an MTV Awards show:

David French noticed it:

Look, I know Pratt’s speech wasn’t exactly the message a Baptist preacher would share, but it’s an antidote against a lie. He’s speaking to a generation of young people who know that something is very deeply wrong. It’s a generation wracked by depression and anxiety in spite — or perhaps because — of the fact that they’ve been told time and again how perfect they are….

We conservatives spend a lot of time sharing outrageous celebrity clips. We grit our teeth through awards shows. And we properly lament messages that have distorted our culture. But every now and then, there’s a ray of light, and it can come from unlikely sources, including from the lead singer of the fictional band “Mouse Rat.” Last night, Pratt used his platform to share some important truths. Yes, it’s a small drop of reality in an ocean of cultural lies, but we can still hope those truths find purchase. Or, to put our plea in the words of our Savior: He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

So go forth and don’t be a turd.

Berg’s Seventh Law In The Headlines

Berg’s Seventh Law: “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character, humanity or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds.”

Remember during the campaign, when Donald “The Donald” Trump’s history of sexist japes, braggadocio and womanizing went from being a Hollywood inside joke to grist for a desperate Clinton campaign to dig out of a hole?

Of course you do.  You couldn’t escape it.

And as I saw that unfolding in Hillary’s attempt to claw her way into office, I kept thinking;  “Yes, it’s about drawing attention away from Bill and her history of committing and abetting unspeakable horrors upon women to the winking and chuckling of their buddies in high lefty places”.

But I  also thought “it’s gotta be more than this”.

And with the juxtaposition of Roseanne Barr (whose show was tanked within a day of her racist jape on Twitter) and Samantha Bee (who will be a cause celébre on the left, just you watch), it became clear; the borg that is Big Left just doesn’t think their own (the “elite” at the top of the prog pile – the Clintons, Emmanuels, Feinsteins, Waterses and the like) can be guilty of anything.  

Case in point:

When you have a movement whose “elite” (koff koff) takes private jets halfway around the world to conferences where they tell everyone else to move into apartments and take transit? That sends its kids to private academies but hectors you for putting yours in a charter school? That parks its money in tax shelters run by rooms full of tax lawyers and tells you you’re unpatriotic for wanting your taxes lowered?

Who tell you “Misogyny is bad” while excusing…ugly stupid misogyny (in terms so patronizing and sexist that they’d have gotten any Republican politican exiled to rural Alaska)?

I guess I can see why they deflect to “Racism” when talking about why Trump won.

Wait Just A Minute Here…

You’re saying that a woman who said bankers should be beheaded, who did an “ironic” version of the National Anthem that would have been tossed out of a karaoke bar, who claimed (apparently falsely) to be an incest survivor, who posed as Adolph Hitler in a Jewish satire magazine, who tweeted out George Zimmerman’s parent’s address and phone number (and called Zimmerman a “vigilante”), said something stupid and outrageous?

I need to be writing this down.

Another Idea Whose Time Has Come

Planned parenthood is giving Disney some writing advice:

And if your goal is to indoctrinate children, that will be a perfectly fine idea.

Although if you want to sell tickets in the parts of the Merica where people actually have children, probably not so much.

I’ve got a few suggestions, though:

  • We could do a version of Beauty and the Beast where Belle is a competition three gun shooter who befriends the Beast – a handsome guy who majored in women’s studies, has been thoroughly cowed by campus feminism, and needs to be brought out of his shell.
  • Perhaps reboot of Cinderella, where the heroine is a plucky young National Review reader who is constantly tormented by her social justice warrior stepsisters?
  • Maybe a version of Aladdin, where Jasmine is the spoiled daughter of a liberal K St. lobbyist who encounters a plucky young ex-paratrooper entrepreneur who turns her world upside down?

The possibilities are completely endless.

We

Unexpected

I never cared for Donald Trump – his public persona, at least.

And I certainly have never been a big fan of Roseanne Barr.

The debut of the reboot of Rosanne shows what I know, I guess.

Roseanne made a triumphant return Tuesday night, blowing past projections with a 5.2 adults 18-49 rating and 18.2 million total viewers for the debut of its revival, which drew 10% more viewers than the original series finale 21 years ago.

While nostalgia was expected to bring in eyeballs, no one predicted such a huge turnout on premiere night for the blue-collar family sitcom with a Donald Trump-supporting protagonist, especially among the younger demographic. But then, few predicted that Trump would become the Republican nominee and would win the presidential election when he first announced his candidacy.

But one thing that has become predictable is that liberal Hollywood and New York are shocked, shocked, that people in “flyover land” can take a break from fawning over Los Angeles and New York-centered, virtue-signal-clogged, impeccably progressive entertainment to partake in a little of (let’s be honest) the cultural Resistance:

But it worked, leaving many TV insiders shellshocked today by the magnitude of the revival’s ratings success that revealed the untapped potential of comedies that provide realistic portrayal of blue-collar America. What’s more, Roseanne did that while also making a social commentary, something rarely seen since All in the Family, Norman Lear’s 1970s classic that has long been rumored to get a reboot.

Y’know what’d be fun (and never, never get greenlit)?   A reboot of All in the Family with a crusty, intolerant patriarch who was a former hippie, longtime “progressive” activist and virtue-signaling bigot, whose daughter marries a hard-working conservative square-stater.

That would be a fun reboot.

Predictable

For a few years, I listened to the NPR comedy game show Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me – a tongue-in-cheek program that features a panel of dubious celebrities answering current-events questions to win prizes for members of the audience.  The host is the razor-sharp Peter Segel.    Sure, the condo prog politics bubbled under the surface; it’s NPR, after all.  But it was generally so good – and so in line with what passes for political comedy these days – that it worked.

But lately – not coincidentally, for the past year and change – Wait Waiot‘s shots at  President Trump have gotten flabby, predictable – really, cringeworthy.  The sound of a staff of writers taking the cheap easy laugh, over and over.

It’s not just obscure radio comedies.  Donald Trump seems to be making comics dumber:

…the Trumpian option in their comedy has rendered [Bill Maher, Steven Colbert, Seth Meyers and others] charmless while strikingly limiting their audiences to those who share their politics. I recently wrote a book on the subject of charm, in preparation for which I asked a great many people to name five persons in public life they thought charming. No one could do it. In a political time as divisive as ours, a public figure loses roughly half his following—and hence his charm—just as soon as he announces his politics. For an entertainer to do so is perhaps even more hazardous.

The whole thing is worth a read.

Culture Police Blotter

While smoking the happy weed is the latest libertarian distraction, the term “Marijuana” is suddenly on the outs:

Today “cannabis” and “marijuana” are terms used more or less interchangeably in the industry, but a vocal contingent prefers the less historically fraught “cannabis”. At a time of intense interest in past injustices, some say “marijuana” is a racist word that should fall out of use.\

Bu then, by that same token, isn’t smoking ganja (I’m swtiching  to appropriating Jamaican culture, thanks) itself appropriative?    Aren’t all those lilywhite honky weed activists stealing the recreation of all those Mexican immigrants and black jazz musicians?

And as long as we’re going to start policing the language for appropriation – shouldn’t we scupper the word “Jazz”?  Originally a New Orleans black term for the horizontal mambo, it was originally adopted by white critics to disparate “negro” music.

Isn’t it time for a more complete linguistic housecleaning?

You Just Knew This Was Coming

I mainaged to get through the nineties without seeing more than an episode or two of Frazier, Roseanne,Seinfeld, and of course the big sitcom icon of the era, Friends.  

But thanks to the miracle of Netflix, I managed to binge my way to currency in the NBC classic sometime over the past year.

And when I watched it, I thought “what an almost quaint throwback; it almost felt like a seventies sitcom” – which, in many ways, it was; a transition between the  manners of 70-s and ’80s TV and what we have today.

But as I watched – and mostly enjoyed – I couldn’t help think that stories like this were pretty much inevitable:

Having been given a new life on Netflix two decades after it debuted on NBC in 1994, Friends is being seen by a suspicious new generation with beady new eyes. Those eyes are more determined to find something to be offended by than anyone was in the 1990s, when the Paul Reveres fighting the political-correctness revolution were already warning you, “The idiocy is coming! The idiocy is coming!”

“Millennials watching Friends on Netflix shocked by storylines,” ran the headline of a piece by Ilana Kaplan, writing from New York for the Independent. Examples of the kinds of things Millennials apparently find shocking: “New audiences claimed that Rachel would have been fired for sexual harassment because she hires an assistant who isn’t qualified for the position because she wants to date him.” Fat jokes — “Some girl ate Monica!” cried Joey (Matt LeBlanc) — are also now out of bounds, the Independent huffs. Using the royal “we” for extra authority,

Cosmopolitan writer Katie Stow says “the show is getting ripped to shreds for its ‘problematic’ content and — even as hardcore fans — we can’t help but agree,” scoring the sitcom for “chucking offensive and inappropriate hand grenades all over every episode.” This must be the first time in recorded history that anyone compared Friends’ cutesy banter to hand grenades.

I can not wait for the millennials to have teenagers and twentysomethings of their own.

The Poet Receives The Graft; The Taxpayer Gets The Shaft.

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I suppose it’s nice that St. Paul still has a Poet Laureate, but I can’t find a website of her commissioned works.  Last poem I recall her writing for St. Paul was “Ode to the City Budget” or something like that, from about 2006.  You’d think a government worker would be more productive.

Wait, what am I saying?

On the one hand, a person might be forgiven for thinking that awarding the Poet Laureate title to a poet who produces no poetry, was simply an excuse to shovel a little graft to a Party insider.  It is St. Paul, after all.

On the other hand, awarding an honored title in exchange for doing nothing is a long-standing Democrat tradition, see, for example, my congresswoman, Betty McCollum, “The Phantom Rep”).

Joe Doakes

A Laureate Poet in Saint Paul
Accepted her government’s call.
She looked once and laughed
at her office’s graft,
and then walked away with a haul.

Hebegone

Full disclosure: I’ve loved Prairie Home Companion since the first time I heard it. While Garrison Keillor’s politics were…not ones I share – I (like a lot of conservatives) can put politics aside for good art and entertainment. Which, if you grew up small-town and Scandinavian, Keillor was.

But I also remember his reputation as a boss in the eighties – let’s just say in an industry (radio in general) where people are dysfunctional, socially “unorthodox” and frequently lack conventional social skills (present company excepted, but I know you know what I mean, Bob), and where success breeds rock-star-like entitlement, Keillor was a standout. Not in a good way.

Keillor has to be a non-fictional character – because if you wrote a fictional smug, entitled, presumptuous, arrogant, hypocritical limo liberal like Keillor, you’d be accused, fairly, of going past satire straight to caricature.

Anyway – immediately after Keillor wrote an op-ed in the WaPo condemning the commoners besetting Al Franken, Keillor is out at MPR  (and their APM production arm) for none other than sexual harassment.

Minnesota Public Radio and its parent organization American Public Media said Wednesday they’ve cut all business ties with Garrison Keillor as they investigate a report of “inappropriate behavior” by Keillor involving someone who worked with him…The allegations relate to Keillor’s conduct while he was responsible for the production of “A Prairie Home Companion.” They came to the company’s attention last month and were referred to a special committee of its board for investigation, APM chief executive Jon McTaggart said.

We don’t know all the details – but remembering Keillor in his heyday, nothing would really surprise me, in my humble but not-utterly-uninformed opinion. .

Life Cycle Of Uselessness

It was over a year ago that we carried the story of the Pillsbury Foundation’s buyback fiasco.   Which doesn’t narrow it down much; while the buybacks last year in Minneapolis were very poorly organized, their effect on crime was the same as any other buyback program.

Nil.

But this buyback was different in one way; unlike other buybacks that just sell guns for scrap (allowing criminals to dispose of crime guns without leaving a paper trail), the guns gathered were doing to be donated to “artists” to do “art” that was supposed to “raise awareness” about “gun violence”.

A friend of the blog writes:

more “gun art” that will never be displayed on anyone’s wall

The Pillsbury folks paid for this apparently

The only thing really on display (at least in the objects pictured) is the paucity of imagination in these “artists”

Look at the things that have created great art over the centuries:  Longing, anger, the search for justice, the search for God, the quest for beauty – lots of motivations.

“Spoiled, subsidized, entitled, Urban Progressive Privilege-sotted pseudo-“artists” barking like dogs on their political masters’ command” isn’t one of them.

What Could Be The Problem?

Hollywood is afflicted with the flops:

This weekend, for example, Warner Bros. is putting out a white flag on “Blade Runner” after three tough weeks. They’ve cut the number of theaters showing Denis Villeneuve’s beautiful film by 855. So far, “Blade Runner” has made just $66 million.  Audiences have not clamored to it. And now, week by week, Warners will quietly take it away.

Warner’s isn’t alone. Universal is pulling Tom Cruise’s  “American Made” from 539 locations after a month in release. The Doug Liman directed thriller has made just $43 million. Good reviews haven’t helped push Cruise fans to theaters. One problem was lack of promotion since Cruise wasn’t available. Also, audiences may have just soured on him after “The Mummy” and other flops. With both studios, it wasn’t for lack of trying.

It could be that America has just discovered it has options to be lectured by out-of-touch coastal millionaires, be they on the silver screen, a news program set, or the silver screen…

…nah.  That’s crazy talk.

 

Retrospective

Variety does a two-part cover story on Bruce Springsteen.  And it’s worth a read, if you’re an uberfan.

And I guess I am.

Others are not – and among this blog’s audience, that’s in large part due to Springsteen’s limo-left politics.  I’ve always figured I care as much about musicians’ politics as I do about politicians’ iTunes playlists; I’ve also noted that if I limited my music by politics, I’d be listening to nothing but country-western and Ted Nugent.

But on the subject of politics:

I’m ambivalent about … sort of getting on a soapbox. I still believe people fundamentally come to music to be entertained — yes, to address their daily concerns, and yes, also to address political topics, I believe music can do that well. But I still believe fundamentally it’s an affair of the heart. People want you to go deeper than politics, they want you to reach inside to their most personal selves and their deepest struggles with their daily lives and reach that place; that’s the place I’m always trying to reach. I’d never make a record that’s just polemical, I wouldn’t release it if I did. To me, that’s just an abuse of your audience’s good graces. But if I’m moved, I’ll write, say, something like “American Skin” [inspired by the 1999 shooting death of Amadou Diallo by New York City Police officers — who were later acquitted]. That just rolled very naturally for me, and that’s as good a topical song as I’ve ever written. And when it comes up, I write ’em. If I felt that strongly, I’d do it now. But I watch myself, because I think you can weigh upon your audience’s indulgence in the wrong way.

Someone tell Katy Perry.  mu

Anyway – worth a read, if you’re a fan.