What responsibility does a filmmaker have when making a film that claims to be “based on a true story” or “inspired by actual events” (or whatever weasel words they use to warn us that they’re making some of this shit up)?Continue reading “Based On A True? Story”
Los Angeles’ Billion Dollar Orphans
I’m willing to bet good money that most of the people who are aware that the Chargers NFL franchise plays their home games in Los Angeles do not reside in the City of Angels but in their former home of San Diego, where the heartbroken local football fans are painfully aware that they no longer have a home team.Continue reading “Los Angeles’ Billion Dollar Orphans”
Hollywood’s Green Book Problem
As a movie, Best Picture winner Green Book was fine, I guess. It’s certainly worth seeing for the performances of Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen in the lead roles, but the fact that Mortensen was considered the lead actor while Ali was the supporting actor is a clue to why this movie is problematic.Continue reading “Hollywood’s Green Book Problem”
A Non-Conforming Take on the First Amendment
I frequently hear, when someone feels they are being unfairly silenced, wholly specious claims that their First Amendment rights have been violated. A celebrated example was when, Phil Robertson, one of the guys from the reality show Duck Dynasty, made appalling remarks about LGBTQ+ people and atheists and the A&E network (very briefly) removed the show from their schedule. People who largely share Robertson’s homophobic views cried foul, claiming that A&E had violated his First Amendment rights. Many people pointed out that this was bullshit, but some for what I think are the wrong reasons.Continue reading “A Non-Conforming Take on the First Amendment”
Russia Derangement Syndrome
The #MAGA crowd has a nickname for what they see as the irrational hatred liberals have for their Lord and Savior, Donald J. Trump. They call it “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” In their eyes, the left is inexplicably apoplectic because their Great Leader is somehow making America great again by giving away trillions to billionaires, bankrupting the treasury, and by not making Mexico pay for a wall.Continue reading “Russia Derangement Syndrome”
With Friends Like These…
Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, one of two Muslim women elected to Congress in the Blue Wave of 2018, is feeling the heat, recently succumbing to pressure to apologize for tweets that the political establishment deemed anti-Semitic.
Rep. Omar committed the unpardonable sin of suggesting that the United States government’s often indulgent attitude to the State of Israel might be influenced by political contributions by the lobbying group AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee).
In reality, there was nothing counter-factual or anti-Semitic about her remarks and she should never have needed to apologize.Continue reading “With Friends Like These…”
Can You See the Blatant Lie in this Cartoon?
The cartoon above showed up in my Texas cousin’s Facebook feed. Now, I love my cousin from Texas dearly, and she’s one of my favorite people, but we do see the world from very different perspectives.Continue reading “Can You See the Blatant Lie in this Cartoon?”
Racism is a Position, Not a Party
One commonly-played, and uncommonly dishonest, card that right-wing media likes to play is to perpetuate the lie that the present Democratic Party is ideologically unchanged from the Democratic Party of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th Centuries, and thereby the Democratic Party of Barack Obama and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is solely responsible for the nation’s sins of slavery and racial segregation, while Republicans are the party of the Great Emancipator, Abe Lincoln, and therefore deserve credit for everything good that has ever happened to black Americans. Sean Hannity detached his lips from Donald Trump’s ass long enough to repeat this garbage in a recent broadcast, but it appears to be a boilerplate script that resurfaces regularly on Fox News and other conservative outlets.Continue reading “Racism is a Position, Not a Party”
Unfortunately, a Superdelegate is not someone that the Avengers send to a political convention, because that would be kind of awesome. Instead, it’s an undemocratic phenomenon within the Democratic Party that is effectively keeping old school machine politics on life support.
Why I’m an Atheist
The facile answer to the question of why I am an atheist is that I was born this way, and it’s true that every human being ever on earth begins life without the concept of religion. That must be externally imprinted on us, something human civilization has proven depressingly efficient at doing. In my case, despite my parents’ best efforts, including six years of Catholic middle school and high school, religion failed to find a firm purchase on my mind.