Monday, May 25, 2015

MEMORIAL DAY: PS

Three quick thoughts about this Memorial Day now ending:

1: A lot of us didn't know that the first Memorial Day occurred when freed slaves gathered to honor the Union soldiers who died for their freedom. (Don't see much about that in history books or in movies etc. because the North had to bend over backwards to make the South feel better about losing and to backtrack on promises made to the freed slaves so as not to upset Southern whites etc.)

2: A lot of people seem to think Memorial Day honors all veterans of the military, like me, but it is only about those in the military who died in war.

3: Seems to me we need to expand that and honor all who die in wars, like the people in the towers and the four planes on 9/11 etc. and all the civilian casualties on either side of any war...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

UP THE IRISH!

Yes, the voters in the country me and my clan descend from voted in a democratic election—no filters, no gerrymandering, no electoral college, etc. just one person one vote—overwhelmingly to become the first country in the world to democratically vote "gay marriage" legal, or, to put it another way, the first country in the world to vote to not keep two people from getting married if they so desire.

And the kicker is: up until as recently as 1993, homosexuality was illegal in Ireland. Talk about a rapid turn around. Take that most-every-other-country-in-the-world.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

For some reason I can't embed this video like I usually can, but check it out: my friend Peter Case on David Letterman back in the day, great of Letterman to have him (or whoever made the decision) and terrific performance from Peter.

LETTERMAN FINALE

Tried to stay up to watch the Dave Letterman show finale but couldn't stay awake. I found it pretty much the same as the few other times I tried to watch it. A few great laughs, a couple of good laughs and then a lot of filler that frankly bored me.

I know he's seen as a late night TV innovator and his show and style of humor inspired a lot of other late night show hosts (Conan O'Brien most obviously) even if Letterman got a lot of his ideas from Steve Allen on the original Tonight Show long before Johnny Carson. (Letterman was seen as a great innovator when compared to Carson's more straight jacketed format and style.)

Happy for those who dug Letterman that he was around so many years for them...me, I'm looking forward to Colbert...

Monday, May 18, 2015

BESSIE

Despite being predictably formulaic and oversimplified, HBO's BESSIE is totally worth watching because of the performances by Queen Latifah as Bessie Smith and Mo-Nique as Ma Rainey. I don't know what the beef is that Mo'Nique has with business associates or record companies etc. but she sure is a consistently impressive actress (proof being PRECIOUS and now BESSIE, entirely different characters with entirely different qualities) and Queen Latifah...

...I first saw Queen Latifah perform before any recording of hers came out. It was at a showcase for new talent thrown, if I remember correctly, by a record company in L.A.  Latifah was a teenager, the youngest performer on the stage that night, but she was the most impressive and memorable. When she came on stage and started performing it was electrifying, I felt my whole body respond, and even commented to the woman I was with that we were witnessing history.

She was born to play Bessie Smith, queen of the blues. And after watching this HBO film, it's clear Mo'Nique was born to play Ma Rainey. Their scenes together are nothing but great entertainment and pure performing brilliance. That's my take anyway.