The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: The Best Years of Our Lives

June 30, 2010

The first Fourth of July after we moved back here from California my son and I road our bikes to Main Street bikes to watch the parade. We had decorated our bikes with some red, white and blue streamers in the wheels and a small flag. The town is we live in is so small that when we showed up we were asked if we wanted to be in the parade.

That afternoon there were some thunderstorms and we were inside for some TV watching. I happened upon “The Best Years of Our Lives,” a film by William Wyler. To say it’s the kind of film that Hollywood doesn’t make anymore is the mother of all understatements.

Made in 1946 the film follows the lives of three American servicemen who are returning from “The War.” They are view heroically by the filmmaker and the other characters in the film. In two shorts scenes where minor characters try to say that the war was wrong or that the country was duped the characters are strongly and quickly rebuked.

To show how much Hollywood has changed in 54 years “The Best Years of Our Lives” was this glorification of the American fighting man won eight Oscars including one special for Harold Russell a veteran who had lost both of his hands n a training accident in the service. I try to watch the movie every year around the Fourth to remind myself how uplifting and inspiring film can be.  I also love watching the scene where Dana Andrews chews out the haughty lady and loses his job at the drugstore.

If you have never seen the film make it part of your independence weekend.

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The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: “The Bedwetter” by Sarah Silverman

June 23, 2010

Several weeks ago, when “The Bedwetter” by comedian Sarah Silverman was released, I said I would review it for Big Hollywood. I went to the local bookstore and found it and the cost was $25. TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS!  The thought of giving Miss “Go to Florida and get your grandparents to vote for Obama” twenty-five of my hard earned dollars put knots in my stomach. I stood there in the bookstore and read the cover and the end flaps. I was thinking if I was at all impressed I might spend the money. Though we are worlds apart politically I love comedy and if it seemed a good read I would plunk down my AMEX. I figure that if it sucked I could return it and get a refund.

 I have to admit to a few things before going any further. One, I am very cheap, two, I am not a big Sarah Silverman fan and three, I figured there might be some way to get a pirate e-copy for free.  I read a few pages and went home.

I went to Amazon.com and read the forward, afterword and figured if I selected the “surprise me” tab often enough and opened and closed the browser several time I might get to see the whole book for free. After an hour of being cheap and trying to scam a free read I saw a used copy for $14 and rationalized that this money was going to the reseller and not to Ms. Silverman so I ordered the book.

As a conservative I can’t afford to limit myself to entertainment choices that agree with me politically. I read Ms. Silverman’s book hoping to get some insight into why so many people seem to think she is the modern Lenny Bruce. My thinking was even if she isn’t my particular cup of Earl Grey at least I could see what all the buzz is about.

 I have a number of comedy pet peeves and one of them is the “fake funny quote” on a comic’s resume or promo material. The problem is that has been done to death, and most of the time it isn’t really funny. Yet, there on the cover a book by a comedian who is reported to be on the leading edge of comedy are the quotes from her childhood “friends.”(I think that is what the joke is supposed to be.)  Then I opened and read the self penned forward. Been done. 

The problem with Ms. Silverman’s book isn’t that is bad. If it really sucked I would be gleefully slamming it. The problem is that most of the book is extremely ordinary. The first seventy or eighty pages are a non-chronological recounting of her childhood and early career. From her bedwetting to her teen depression she recounts her ups and downs in somewhat surprisingly limited detail. One detail that Ms. Silverman does share is that when she was a teen she was taking up to 16 Xanax a day! I felt sorry that no one in her life had the common sense to say, “Man, that’s a lot of psychotropic drugs for a teenager! Maybe we should question that.”  There is a short section on her dad, who she says hates rich folks, so maybe she is now that list. The later part of the book deals with insider information about her show on Comedy Central. Since I wasn’t a fan of the show the section held my interest a little less time than the current World Cup hoopla.

There were several parts of the book I did find enjoyable and made me move Ms. Silverman up a few notches on my great comic rankings. First, was that at one point she stabbed Al Franken in the head with a sharp pencil! That’s funny and cool at the same time. Secondly was that after being criticized for telling a great satirical joke that included the word “chink” she got a lot of guff from a guy at an Asian anti-defamation group. After trying to explain the joke and apologizing to the guy he would not be placated. So, on national television she called him a douchebag! That makes me think there may be hope for Ms. Silverman. Now that that’s over would anyone like to buy a copy of “The Bedwetter?”


The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy:

June 18, 2010
One thing that many pundits have overlooked in the recent primaries is that Sarah Palin is batting 1000.
 
I believe this is because there are a lot of folks she is backing  are not traditional politicians.
 
I wrote a brief post two days a go about one such person in Massachusetts, Mike Stopa running for Congress.
 
Now let me introduce you to another.  Len Britton who is running for Senate against Pat Leahy. If you are from Vermont or know smeone hwho is let them know about Len. Check out his website and the video link for a funny but true ad they are running on the web.
 
We are the new activists! It’s the one great thing President Obama has done for our country.  
 
www.Lenbritton.com
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1W8lZrEvOg
 

The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: Too Smart for Politics

June 17, 2010

 There are very few conservatives in the academic world. I hate to lose one of them but in the ultra-left State of Massachucetts Dr. Mike Stopa is running for Congress.

If you live in the Bay State please check him out!

Mike’s campaign was brought to my attention by his friend, campaign worker, fellow smart guy and teacher at my alma mater Miami University Alve Hare who also suggests a few links to check out.

http://www.stopaforusrep.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4gMO-6QHng


The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: Morons! I am Surrounded by Morons!

June 14, 2010

 

Every time Alec Baldwin opens his rather large pie hole I feel like Struther Martin in the movie “Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.”  There is a scene where Butch and the Kid are riding down a mountain with Martin who plays the boss of a mining camp. They are looking for bad guys at every turn. Martin tells the guys there is very little chance of being robbed while they are going to get the payroll and them utters, “Morons! I am surrounded by morons!”

In case you aren’t familiar with some of Mr. Baldwin’s more erudite comments let me walk you down a memory lane of some of his greatest hits.  Way back in 1998 Mr. Baldwin called for the killing of a federal official. Here is the quote:

“I’m thinking to myself if we were in other countries, we would all, right now, all of us together, . . . would go down to Washington and we would stone [Republican U.S. Representative] Henry Hyde to death! We would stone him to death! Wait! . . . Shut up! No, shut up! I’m not finished. We would stone Henry Hyde to death, and we would go to their homes and we’d kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families.”

He later claimed he was “joking.”

Last year he insulted two ethnic groups with one comment about getting a mail order bride from Russia or the Philippines for procreation purposes. Apparently being a big TV and Movie star doesn’t have the same sex appeal it once did. Isn’t it sad that Mr. Baldwin has gone from Kim Basinger to begging for sexual slavery on TV? The government on the Philippines was so incensed by his comment it banned him from traveling there.

He later claimed he was just “joking.”

He has also called Vice President Dick Cheney a terrorist. Here is the quote,

“Cheney… terrorizes our enemies abroad and innocent citizens here at home indiscriminately.”

This time he didn’t go to the “joke” excuse. He just changed “terrorist” to: “liar” “thief” and “whore” but didn’t supply any details.

The reason I bring up this short history of Mr. Baldwin’s public remarks is as a prelude to his most recent piece of nonsense on The Huffington Post. His most recent screed is about British Petroleum, the Supreme Court, folk music and some other stuff … I think. It’s pretty scattered. Keep in mind when you go read this that it wasn’t improvised banter like his other “jokes.”  He sat down and “wrote” this. I don’t want to get too snarky here because maybe Mr. Baldwin suffers from ADD or is an alcoholic. Maybe that is why he has trouble organizing his thoughts.

Let me try to respond to just a few of them. He wonders if and why corporations have rights. Why, yes they do, Mr. Baldwin. All corporations like the one you work for, General Electric have rights and responsibilities. Just like people! That’s what the word “corporation” means.  Just like BP should be held responsible for the clean up in the Gulf, GE should be called to task for the American men and women killed in Iraq an Afghanistan due to GE doing business with Iran. Why don’t you have a chat with your boss Jeffrey Immelt about taking responsibility for that? http://news.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474977226327

Mr. Baldwin slams conservative judges on the court. They are boot lickers and lackeys of the “Evil Corporations. In his universe liberal Justices Ginsburg and Sottomayor have no agendas. They are as pure as his conversations with his children.

He closes his rant with a call to boycott BP. I am going to try to tune into his psychic waves and imagine he means don’t go down to your local BP station for a few gallons of gas and a Diet Coke. How, Mr. Baldwin does that hurt the BP brass? My guess is that Mr. Baldwin is one of the few people in America with less understanding of the oil business than the President. You see Alec; the guy down at the corner is usually an independent business person. Often they are LEGAL immigrants who have put their life savings into coming to America and owning something. They buy gasoline at a wholesale price from BP and resell it. They also sell Diet Coke, cigarettes and other wonderful products. If you put that guy out of business all those evil corporations will sell their stuff to the guy down the street and Tony Hayward keeps flying around in his jet. Please, the next time you are out and about pick up a clue or two.

Mr. Baldwin also says he keeps thinking about the lyrics of the old Woody Guthrie song “This Land is Your Land.”  He doesn’t say what he is thinking.  Maybe he has some sort of telepathic powers to let his followers know his thoughts on the song. Maybe he is thinking about it because it mentions the “gulf stream waters.” Maybe he is thinking about it because of the communistic undertones of the lyric like this verse which argues against property rights.

“As I was walkin', I saw a sign there
And that sign said: no tresspassin'
But on the other side, it didn't say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!”

These days I tend to like the last verse.

                        “In the squares of the city, In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office, I see my people.
And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin'
If this land's still made for you and me?”

Of course, since I am a right wing nut job my dissent is on Mr. Baldwin’s list of things to do away with.
Perhaps I should remind him of something Justice Ginsburg said, 
“Dissents speak to a future age.”

THe Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: Hollywood Hates the South

June 10, 2010

I was reading Pam Meister’s excellent piece on Big Hollywood about Hollywood’s lack of attention to the continuing ecological disaster in the Gulf. In it she echoed my sentiments from a month ago when I wrote about the lack of Hollywood’s attention to the floods in the home of country music, Nashville.

I have also noticed that most of Hollywood’s liberal elite’s never seem to take a position in opposition to the current administration. For example, how much outrage have we heard about Guantanamo lately? Answer: none. How many antiwar demonstrations have we seen since President Obama escalated his war there? Answer: very few. Now that I’m thinking about it how much media coverage do we see about far left true believers like Cindy Sheehan who are still protesting since the new administration took over? Answer: darn little.

Since drawing attention to the situation in the Gulf of Mexico would also draw attention to the lack of leadership by the President, Hollywood has been laying low. Owever,How I believe there is another reason: Hollywood hates the South!

Why, would liberal Hollywood types hate the South?  They are indulging in an out of date stereotype about the people who choose to live there. You see, Hollywood liberals get most of their information about life from the movies they make. They think of the South as the South from 1956. In their world anyone who is white, conservative and from the South is obviously a bible thumping, uneducated, red neck, racist with a white robe and hood stashed away somewhere nearby. When it comes to politics Southern States are deep red except for New Orleans, an area worthy of their charity. Think I’m wrong? Look at the imbalance between Hollywood’s help to The Big Easy and the rest of the area affected by Katrina.

In the Hollywood stereotype Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi are the center of the GOP stronghold called “the solid South” and that area deserves whatever karmic destruction is sent their way.  Maybe when the oil starts hitting Florida in mass quantities they will begin to show up to clean some pelicans. Then again, that is the state that cheated Al Gore out of the White House. Hey, speaking of Vice President Green Jeans where has he been through all this. Isn’t he the Nobel Prize winning expert on the environment?


The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: Sir Paul, Tell the Walrus to Be Quiet

June 7, 2010

“I don’t ever try to make a serious social comment.”
Paul McCartney

Too bad Paul didn’t stick to his own advice. Last Wednesday former Beatle and once great songwriter Paul McCartney was invited to play a short gig at the White House. Fair enough! Maybe we have run out of American superstars to show up for the weekly party. For some unknown reason Sir Paul decided to try his hand a little comedy while he was in town even though comedy legend Jerry Seinfeld was standing right behind him. Maybe Jerry had asked if he could sing “Yesterday” and Paul figured turnabout was fair play.

Since Mr. McCartney isn’t a professional I’ll lay off the fact that that joke he made was so hackneyed that it rates right under a “McNugget” reference. Bush jokes are also a little out of date. Maybe I should dust off some of my Clinton stuff if I get an invite to a Wednesday fiesta.

Besides that I have a few other problems with Sir Paul.

First and foremost is that for someone who has made some of the bonehead moves in their life that Paul has shouldn’t really be casting aspersions at anyone else’s intellectual level. Do the words “Heather Mills” mean anything, Sir Paul? How about carrying pot into Japan?

Second the joke wasn’t funny. I am a right wing nut job but when someone who is good like Lewis Black, Jimmy Tingle or Will Durst takes a meat cleaver to the right I can usually laugh because their take is original and funny.

Third and this is my biggest complaint, if you ain’t American butt out! I was talking to a friend who is an English singer this week. He just got a great gig in Vegas and was joking about how “tough” it would be to live here with people of low intellect like Bush and Palin. He’s isn’t the only one. Recently, singer Shakira, a Columbian, was chiming in on how “racist” we are because of the new tough laws in Arizona. Awhile back English Twit-Laureate Russell Brand let loose with some Bush bashing on some minor awards show he was hosting. How is it people who are here as guests feel free to insult our country? If you are an American I’ll listen to you have to say. You want to give Glenn Beck a verbal smack down, fine! You got a dog in the fight. If you are a guest, mind you manners. Keep your feet off the chairs and don’t talk bad about your hosts. Come here, make your money and then say “Thank you!” on your way out the door.

To my English friends- let me remind you of the downward arc your little island has been on since Lady Thatcher let public office.  I’d put GW’s smarts up against Jacqui Smith, Gordon Brown or any of the many Marxist writing for the Independent. As for Sir Paul let me quote your pal John Lennon, “The only thing you done was yesterday.”