Monday, July 11, 2016

Random Stuff 'N' Junk

Hi there! Welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, now with gluten free gluten. I'm Dave-El and does anyone else hear that strange buzzing sound? 

Time for (as it says in the title)...

Random Stuff & Junk! 
Random Stuff & Junk! 

Random Stuff & Junk! 

Random Stuff & Junk! 

This weekend, the El family ventured forth from the Fortress of Ineptitude to see Ghostbusters. You may wonder how we did that when the new Ghostbusters movie doesn't come out until this weekend. This was the original classic from 1984 directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd and Harold Ramis. 

We went to see this in the company of others at Geeksboro Coffeehouse and Cinema. It had been years since my wife Andrea and I had seen it and somehow or another, my daughter Randie had never seen it at all. 

The original Ghostbusters is not a perfect movie; try not to think about the plot details too much. But it serves the comedy very well, especially with Bill Murray's affable but off kilter charm. Who else but Murray could pull off one of the funniest lines in movie history? "Yes, you honor. This man has no dick." Gets me everytime.  

But everybody has amazing moments to be bring on the funny. I'd forgotten how funny Ernie Hudson was. "I've seen things that would turn a man white!"  And Annie Potts as the Ghostbusters' overworked secretary gets some real sharp lines and she's just too darn cute too. I know we're all supposed to have eyes for Signourney Weaver (who is, make no mistake, luminescent in all her scenes, even the demon possessed ones). But Annie is just... special, somehow. 

Seeing the original Ghostbusters paves the way for next week's release of the new movie with the all female group of Ghostbusters. There's been some controversy over making a new Ghostbusters with women instead of men which I think as revealed some disturbingly outdated attitudes about women. I'm thinking, who cares? As long as it's funny, right? 

So far the reviews have been fairly positive. No, not an amazing reinvention of cinema by any means but not the total debacle that some had predicted or even hoped for. Some far the consensus is that there are lots of good laughs but don't think about the plot too much. In order words, kind of like the original Ghostbusters. Anyway, I think we might be heading out to see the new film next weekend. 

Actually, the El family spent more time than usual away from the Fortress thanks to Randie's new obsession. Which is the same obsession of millions of other people: Pokemon GO. 

If you think people spend way too much time walking around looking at their smart phones, this past weekend may have made that particular problem look more like an epidemic. Like the classic Pokemon card game and the video game, the object of Pokemon GO is to find and capture different Pokemon creature things. The twist here is the app uses a combination of GPS, Google maps and, I don't know, pixie fairy dust to to create a variety of virtual Pokemon out in the real world. In other words, if you want to catch these Pokemon, you're gonna need to leave the house. 

The upshot is that people are OUTSIDE in the AIR and the SUN with OTHER PEOPLE. It is a video game that actually encourages physical activity in the real world. Which is not a bad thing. So yay that. Maybe I can talk my daughter into doing a post on this. 

Speaking of the real world, this weekend saw more tensions here in the United States over relations between the police and the African American community. Click here for The Daily Show's Trevor Noah as he makes I think a very valid point: being in favor of seeking justice for black men being unjustly shot dead by the police does not automatically make one against the police. This piece was recorded before the events of Thursday night where an African American sniper shot and killed 5 police officers in Dallas TX but I don't think Trevor's position is any less valid because of it. Instead, it reinforces the need balance the needs of justice with the needs of protecting the dedicated men and women in uniform who work to keep us and our streets safe. 

As I noted in Friday's post, while the deaths of black men in LA and MN presented different circumstances from the death of the police officers in TX, the end result is the same: too many dead for no good reason. We need to agree that the protection of both our law enforcement officers AND the citizens they serve are two separate but very worthy goals. 

As long as we insist one cannot exist with the other, then nothing will get resolved and we'll see more protests like this.

And more chances for people... both cops and civilians... to get hurt.  

Roger Ailes of Fox News has been accused of sexual harassment by long time but now former Fox news anchor person, Gretchen Carlson. And now 6 other women have joined in the echo these accusations.  

Whether or not Ailes is guilty of harassment towards Carlson or any other woman, that will be for the courts to decide. But it does had a disturbing dimension to Ailes whose overall vision of the Fox News channel has includes more than significant amount of female objectification. Women on air are not allowed to wear pants. In fact, skirts on Fox's female anchors and pundits tend to be incredibly short. There's even a leg cam who's sole purpose is to hone on the best looking legs on the set. 

By the way, here is Gretchen Carlson. 

And no, I did not post a series of photos of Carlson in skirts and heels for any prurient purpose. I posted those pics in the cause of science.


On one hand, who am I to complain about Fox News obsession with the legs of their female anchors? Why, I'm a leg man myself (as I grasp my lapels and go "harumph!"), apparently just like Roger Ailes. But unlike Roger Ailes, I'm not in charge of a major "news" network with the power to hire and fire women and with access to directors in control booths to demand the removal of on screen graphics so I can better see the legs of the women I can promote or demote at will. 

And that bit about Ailes demanding the removal of graphics because they were blocking his view of a pair of legs? True story. 

By the way, click here for a You Tube video to give you an idea of what Gretchen Carlson put up with when she was on Fox & Friends.  

And just in case the video is taken down, here is Steve Doocy with his former Fox & Friends co-star.

You're welcome, America.  

Lin-Manuel Miranda stepped into the Broadway spotlight one last time this weekend as Hamilton in the crazy successful musical he created and wrote. Miranda and his ground breaking creation has really capture the imagination of lots of people but none more so than America's youth. 

Too often history is presented as a dry subject with no resonance to current life. Hamilton is history conveyed not in historical dates and milestones but in terms of raw human drama. It's about people with ambitions and dreams and desires, giving their all to make them come true. Hamilton is a story based in history but with people we can recognize and empathize with. 

At least, that's my best guess at the appeal of Hamilton. Haven't actually seen the play, just bits and pieces here and there. Maybe I can finally see Hamilton when one of those touring productions gets underway in the next year or two. 

And I think that that will do it for today. So what else is coming up on the blog? 

Tuesday: Presidential politics. Really? Is that STILL going on? We're mere weeks away from the party conventions and there's still dissension in the ranks... on both sides.  

Wednesday: Comic book stuff! Changing demographics in the world around is changing who gets to be in a comic book. Not everyone is coping. 

Thursday: The Pixar Project is back with a look back at Finding Nemo as part of my family's Pixar re-watch.  

And after that? Your guess is as good as mine. But I hope you come back to find out. 

Until then, remember to be good to one another.

Well, It's Monday Again.

Well, it's Monday again.  It keeps happening.  This weekend, I think I finally moved beyond my sinus infection and/or tick bite. My ...