Golden Globes Announced: “Twelve Years a Slave” and Kerry Washington in Contention

•December 12, 2013 • Comments Off on Golden Globes Announced: “Twelve Years a Slave” and Kerry Washington in Contention

A few surprises.  Completely passed over for major awards were The Butler and Fruitvale Station.  Damn shame in the case of Fruitvale Station, but perhaps it will show up in the Oscar race.  And perhaps, it was released far too early for the voters to recall it at this particular time.  Strangely, Game of Thrones with its Red Wedding and Homeland were also snubbed.  This Globe race could be a harbinger for the Oscars.

My fear?  Idris Elba and Chiwetel Ejiofor will cancel each other out for Best Actor and someone like Robert Redford or Tom Hanks will slip in as “a compromise.”  Another dark horse for Best Actor at the Oscars?  Bruce Dern.

Barkhad Abdi, the Somali-American actor and indie film director who played the pirate leader Abduwali Muse in Captain Phillips, won a nomination from both the Globes and the Screen Actors Guild this week.  Methinks that the cadaverous Abdi, who came to this country from Somali via Yemen about fourteen years ago, also appealed to the imaginative nightmares of Globe voters to get him that nomination.  But with Bradley Cooper and Michael Fassbinder—who was crazed in 12 Years... —in the running as well, it’s going to be an interesting contest.

The frontrunners for Best Picture?  12 Years a Slave, as well as that paean to 2oth century corrupt politics and Mafia guys, American Hustle.  Dark horses may be Nebraska and The Wolf of Wall Street.  If director Steve McQueen is overlooked for 12 Years…, either by the Globes or the Oscars, I think that it will be a disgrace.

Continue reading ‘Golden Globes Announced: “Twelve Years a Slave” and Kerry Washington in Contention’

In the Never Forget Category: R Kelly’s Twitter Account Blows Up With Snarks About His Thing for Underage Girls, Not Questions About His New CD

•December 12, 2013 • Comments Off on In the Never Forget Category: R Kelly’s Twitter Account Blows Up With Snarks About His Thing for Underage Girls, Not Questions About His New CD


This is HILARIOUS.  And just desserts, too.

The Twitterverse has lit up since yesterday regarding #AskRKelly, an account created by the singer to promote his new CD, Black Pantieswhich has been come in for mixed critical acclaim.  However, instead of reading Tweets by avid fans about music, Kelly got smacked down via Twitter about everything else, including his notorious sex tape, his predilection for underage girls, his fashion taste, his sexual quirks, and his video closet series.  And the hits just keep on coming, even after Kelly pulled the plug on the account yesterday and then reportedly snuck it back online today.

Continue reading ‘In the Never Forget Category: R Kelly’s Twitter Account Blows Up With Snarks About His Thing for Underage Girls, Not Questions About His New CD’

Meanwhile, Back in Wisconsin: Madison’s Snuggle House Goes Out of Business Amid Fear…and Loathing

•December 11, 2013 • Comments Off on Meanwhile, Back in Wisconsin: Madison’s Snuggle House Goes Out of Business Amid Fear…and Loathing

One thing for sure, this is not the Seventies, and this is not the New Age or California.  More and more, I am convinced that this surely is the uptight, and not alright Midwest.  Madison may pride itself for being several square miles of liberalism and common sense, but compared to the Bay Area then up to now, it’s got a hell of a long way to go to rid itself of certain assumptions of what sexuality truly is.

How do I know the New Age and the Bay Area?  Because I was there.

There were businesses that offered training in or provided therapeutic massages, and offered hot tubbing and saunas.  Those that were created under false pretenses in certain cities were quickly smoked out and sent packing or were brought to court by the authorities.  Those that were unsanitary or were found to have given customers hot water-passed germs or infections were also cited, and if they did not come up to standards, were denied licenses—and also sent packing.

Why do I cite massage? Because, like snuggling, it’s personal. It involves a loved one or a stranger (in this case) touching you.  Snuggling and massage are two different things.  However, both go under the rubric of touch therapy.  It’s something that is good for you, not exploitative. Both can be non-sexual or sexual, but there was nothing sexual in what I experienced.

Continue reading ‘Meanwhile, Back in Wisconsin: Madison’s Snuggle House Goes Out of Business Amid Fear…and Loathing’

Live Streaming: Nelson Mandela Memorial Service, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, December 10, 2013

•December 9, 2013 • 5 Comments


Greetings, Americans and citizens of the world.

Coverage of the memorial service for Nelson Mandela is scheduled to begin around 4:00 a.m. Eastern Time Tuesday, December 10; 3:00 a.m. Central Time, and 1:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

The first streaming link is from SABC, or the South African Broadcasting Corporation. It is the South African public broadcasting entity, encompassing radio as well as television.   SABC provides three television channels that present programs in several major languages spoken in the country.  It is presenting ceremonies and interviews with citizens, historians, comrades and politicians who knew Madiba Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, and who were a part of the dismantling of apartheid and are still involved in rebuilding the nation.

I saw the news people present information as to the best way to get to the stadium by train, bus or car.  It’s been followed with some entertainment, with a folk-rock couple singing praises of Madiba (father) Mandela in two languages.

This streaming link is from eNCA.  Begun in 2008, eNCA, or Electronic News Channel Africa, is South Africa’s 24-hour news channel.  Their slogan, interestingly, is “No fear, no favour.”  I think it means that they will be unbought, unbossed and incorruptible toward its viewers.

PBS relayed the list of activities and speakers at the Memorial:

  • Choir sings South Africa’s national anthem
  • Opening remarks and interfaith prayers
  • Speech by Mandela family friend Andrew Mlangeni
  • Speech by family member Gen. Thanduxolo Mandela
  • Tribute by the former leader’s grandchildren Mbuso Mandela, Andile Mandela, Zozuko Dlamini and Phumla Mandela
  • Speech by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
  • Speech by African Union Commission Chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
  • Speech by President Obama
  • Speech by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff
  • Speech by Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao
  • Speech by Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba
  • Speech by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee
  • Speech by Cuban President Raul Castro
  • Keynote address by South African President Jacob Zuma
  • Sermon by Bishop Ivan Abrahams

This is the outline of national events during which South Africa bids farewell to the late freedom fighter and president:

  • Tuesday, 10 December is the day for South Africa’s official memorial service at the FNB Stadium on the outskirts of Johannesburg, which will attract world leaders as well as ordinary South Africans and will be addressed by President Zuma with tributes from other heads of state
  • The memorial service will be shown on big screens at three “overflow” stadiums – Orlando in Soweto, Dobsonville north of Soweto and Rand in the Johannesburg suburb of Rosettenville
  • Between 11-13 December, “selected international visitors and guests” will be able to view Mr Mandela’s remains at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
  • The public will be able to view the body from 12:00 to 17:30 on Wednesday and from 08:00 to 17:30 on Thursday and Friday
  • His body will be transported on Saturday, 14 December, from Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria to the Eastern Cape, with a procession from the airport at Mthatha to his home village of Qunu where a traditional funeral will be held on 15 December
  • A national day of reconciliation will take place on 16 December when a statue of Mr Mandela will be unveiled at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
  • Some 90 screens will be set up across the country to show all planned national events

If you have no access at work or elsewhere to a television, this is the place to be.  Thanks for coming.

Christmas Songs: “Christmas is All Around Me,” Sung by Bill Nighy as Billy Mack, From The Film, “Love Actually,” 2003

•December 9, 2013 • 1 Comment

When ex-druggie, burned out and jaded, has-been rocker Billy Mack told a British radio audience, Buy my festering turd of a record, in the film, Love Actually, I know that I wasn’t the only one rolling on the floor laughing.  However, I didn’t know that it was also included on the soundtrack as well.

Okay, I know, I know.  The Troggs, back in the Sixties, recorded this song, originally “Love is All Around”  in 1967.  And then WetWetWet covered it for Four Weddings and a Funeral in 1994, and it became a hit all over again.

Take it away, Wikipedia:

A parody of the song appears as a central theme in the British Christmas/romantic comedy Love Actually (2003), which, like Four Weddings and a Funeral, was written by Richard Curtis. On the film’s DVD commentary track, Curtis says that after the success of the Wet Wet Wet version, he “couldn’t think of a funnier way to start the film than by actually making [the British public] listen to the same song again.” In the movie, a burned-out rock star character, Billy Mack (played by Bill Nighy), changes the lyrics of the classic “Love Is All Around” to “Christmas Is All Around” and “come on and let it show” to “come on and let it snow” in what he freely admits is a cheap attempt to reach the Christmas number one spot, thus achieving a comeback “at any price”. The Christmas version appears periodically throughout the movie, with frequent references made to its being “crap”. The song is featured on the film’s soundtrack album, which in 2004 reached Billboards Top 40 and ranked #2 on the soundtrack album chart. It also achieved gold record status in Mexico and Australia.

The film as well as the soundtrack came in for a lot of mixed reviews—and sarcasm.  The most recent salvo protesting the film’s growing popularity as a romantic Christmas film came from The Atlantic magazine. Christopher Orr emphatically believes that Love Actually is not a romantic film.

As for the rest of the film—which is to say, the bulk of the film—I think it offers up at least three disturbing lessons about love. First, that love is overwhelmingly a product of physical attraction and requires virtually no verbal communication or intellectual/emotional affinity of any kind. Second, that the principal barrier to consummating a relationship is mustering the nerve to say “I love you”—preferably with some grand gesture—and that once you manage that, you’re basically on the fast track to nuptial bliss. And third, that any actual obstacle to romantic fulfillment, however surmountable, is not worth the effort it would require to overcome.

Hmmmm, he has a point about looksism and the grand gesture.  However, what can you do with a film within a certain length of time?  I personally did not think that Keira’s body was all that winning, although her character Juliet seems sweet at face value.  But what was it that her husband Peter and secret admirer Mark loved about her?  What made her loveable?  Who knows?  Orr also takes an indirect jab at the film’s soundtrack, suggesting that “the movie’s peculiar conviction that weddings and funerals ought to be livened up by (respectively) the Beatles and the Bay City Rollers, and so on” should not be used to gloss over the fact that nobody is really working at their relationships enough for us to really root for them to make it, at least for Christmas.

Other than new or previous feelings about this film and its accompanying soundtrack, I think it’s worth it to revisit Nighy’s contribution during the Christmas season, if only for laughs.  Enjoy.


That “Cartoon Scandal”: Episode 9, “YOLO”

•December 9, 2013 • Comments Off on That “Cartoon Scandal”: Episode 9, “YOLO”

Sorry that I am late with this one, but there may be nothing that will keep me from making a good pot of gumbo in the midst of Wisconsin cold and snow.  Yeah, there is only one more episode of Scandal left for this year (sorry, Gladiators) until February 27, 2014.  And if you hadn’t heard, there will be only 18 episodes this season because of Kerry Washington‘s pregnancy.  Never fear, no major character is going to die off this show.  Yet.

“Yolo” was pretty bloody, what with Quinn about to lose her life at the hands of the man she loves, and then the Vice President giving her husband more than a hickey to remember her by.

If you need more meat in your recaps, you might wanna try the AfterBuzz TV AfterShow above.

And then, if you still have the vapors after rewinding and playing the DVR, I simply cannot help you.  But here is Men on Scandal.

Amber Riley (from “Glee”) Becomes The Seventeenth Season Winner of “Dancing With The Stars”

•November 29, 2013 • Comments Off on Amber Riley (from “Glee”) Becomes The Seventeenth Season Winner of “Dancing With The Stars”

I can take or leave Dancing with the Stars; I’ve watched a few times when shows that I wanted to see were starting later in the evening, and nothing else was on.  I’ve also watched a few times when people you’d never think would be chosen as contestants were showcased, like B-listers Wendy Williams, Chaz Bono, Kirstie Alley, Hines Ward, Valerie Harper and Kristi Yamaguchi.

Continue reading ‘Amber Riley (from “Glee”) Becomes The Seventeenth Season Winner of “Dancing With The Stars”’

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