Cumberland Falls, Cumberland Falls State Park, Honeybee/Corbin, Kentucky

**PLEASE NOTE** - I use no other social media and my comments are closed due to persistent harassment and impersonation by one individual - sorry :(

Saturday, July 27, 2019

PS On CCGC and Seinfeld Including Both Jewish and Muslim Comedians ...

Kudos to Seinfeld for including comedians of all races, faiths, genders on his show - and it's actually NOT a political thing.

Remember that he very bluntly states that he will only invite people he likes and thinks are funny, and he has no problem with "offensive" humor, so his choices really have nothing to do with politics.

Also recall from the post below that Jerry Seinfeld is actually a political independent, but was very Republican until the late 2000s and is now mostly liberal, but still says some Republican-ish things.

In other words, his doing so really isn't political - if not already a personal friend, he'll invite you on his show if he likes you, thinks you're funny, and especially if he thinks what you're doing is fresh, groundbreaking, and boundary-pushing, in some way.

Regardless of whether if it's his own personal political taste, he respects the bravery in your humor and will invite you for a ride - regardless of your race, gender, or religion.

To my point, in watching this series (including catching up on old episodes we'd somehow missed), it was amazing to see how many Jewish comedians used stage names that were more Christianized, British, or "more acceptable" German names in order to blend/be accepted by white Christian society :(

Now, we know that often people change their names to "cooler" sounding stage names, but despite basically inventing the stand-up comedy routine, prior to the late 1970s, if Jewish people wanted to be in show business, they were essentially forced to change their names to something sounding more British-Isles or "acceptable" German, such as ...

Al Jolson (Yoelson)

Fanny Brice (Borach).

The Fine Brothers AKA The Three Stooges (Feinberg)

The Marx Brothers (kept their name because it was "acceptable" German, at the time)

Jack Benny (Kubelsky)

Henny Youngman (Yungman)

Milton Berle (Berlinger)

George Burns (Birnbaum)

Danny Kaye (Kaminsky)

Marty Allen (Alpern)

Jerry Lewis (Levitch)

Red Buttons (Aaron Chwatt)

Phil Silvers (Silversmith, kept but shortened his name, passes for British Isles;)

Lenny Bruce (Schneider)

Buddy Hackett (Hacker, which was an Ellis Island name change from previous unknown name)

Joan Rivers (Molinksy)

Alan King (Kniberg)

Shecky Greene (Greenfield)

Sid Caesar (Ziser, family changed to Caesar at Ellis Island)

Don Rickles (changed from unknown Lithuanian name to Rickles at Ellis Island)

Mel Brooks (Kaminsky)

Carl Reiner (kept name as "acceptable" German)

Woody Allen (Konigsberg)

Gene Wilder (Silberman)

Madeline Kahn (Wolfson, changed to "acceptable" German)

Such a shame they felt they had to change their names, isn't it?

That even post-WW2, there was still so much anti-semitism in America, they felt they had to change their names, every single time :(

And then, something magical happened in the late 70s/80s - now, Jewish comedians were out and proud with their real names (unless difficult to pronounce or remember) - and today, Jewish comedians can take credit  for not only inventing the stand-up comedy routine, but most comedic media that make us laugh today :)

In fact, though it's debatable (Carl Reiner in the above list has possible grounds for debate ) - I traced the trend of Jewish comedians using their real names back to 2 women -  my girls, Bette Midler and Gilda Radner, 1970s? 

(I LOVE Gilda, she was one of my influences as a kid  - I used to do her "Judy" skit as a child ;)

Jerry Seinfeld

Larry David

Jon Stewart (Leibowitz)

Sacha Baron Cohen

Amy Schumer

Jonah Hill (Feldstein, supposedly changed his name to distance himself from father, already in the business, to avoid preferential treatment/avoid nepotism complaints)

Judd Apatow

Paul Rudd (family changed from Rudnitsky at Ellis Island)

Seth Rogen

Jack Black

Chelsea Handler

Andy Samberg

Seth Meyers

Adam Sandler

Sarah Silverman

Billy Crystal

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Jerry and Ben Stiller.

Howard Stern

Jon Lovitz

Robert Klein

Lewis Black

David Brenner

Garry Shandling

Gilbert Gottfried

Richard Belzer

Bette Midler

Gilda Radner

Thus, I think it's safe to say they got the last laugh, in the end :)

And then I noticed something about the Muslim comedians he featured: Aziz Ansari and Hasan Minhaj (and there are rumors of The Big Sick's Kumail Nanjiani next season).
Despite the racist/faith-predjuced heat being on Muslims instead of Jews, right now - Muslim comedians are flat out refusing to change their names to something more Christianized/British-Isle or "acceptable" German sounding from the get-go - and they don't give an F what you think about it lol.

You've got to respect that, right?

Nothing against Jewish comedians who felt they had to change their names for years - and of course, you could understand why, especially with anti-semitism, the holocaust, and WW2, but Muslim comedians/actors are essentially saying:

"Nah, I'm good. I'm not changing my name for you, like you're better than me and I'm supposed to be ashamed of myself. I'm an American-born citizen too (except for Kumail, though he IS a US citizen)"

"So if you judge me before you come you see me, based on my name, race, or religion, you may F right off, I don't want you at my show anyway."

"You clearly have no sense of humor, unless someone non-white, non-Christian, or female is somehow slurred, bullied, injured, tortured, maimed, or killed in the process."

Bravo, to the brave male and female comedians of both faiths, now using their real names - and I think I speak for all the non-Trumpers in America when I say, not only am I glad to have you here, but in fact, I PREFER your company, here, instead of Trumpers? lol

Friday, July 26, 2019

Netflix's "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" with Jerry Seinfeld Season 11 is Here - With Eddie Murphy!

You can imagine the pitch for this show was probably much like NBC's original Seinfeld series - they both are literally about nothing - and yet we can't stop watching them.

And now, the ride everyone has been waiting for - Eddie Murphy rides shotgun with Jerry Seinfeld!

... in a 2004 Porsche Carrera GT ...

... and it was so worth the wait :)

(As a quick aside, in case you're wondering which comedian Jerry is vilifying in the above clip - it's the only comedian he's ever publicly vilified - whose name was bleeped out of the final cut  - however, not-so-super-sleuths have uncovered that it's his archenemy, Bobcat Goldthwait - they can't stand each other, long-running feud.  Man, Jerry was furious when she mentioned him, he wouldn't shut up about it.  You could just see Bridgett wishing to God she'd never said his name and wanting to climb in the bag with her little dog, but she had no idea he hated him that much.)

I cannot tell you how big Eddie Murphy was in America in the 1980s.  In fact, I once tried to convey to my daughter how Eddie Murphy single-handedly changed our culture and elevated people of color to superstar status and lead-actor box-office draws, but I don't think she got how revolutionary that was - because by her time, both Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson could reel in a box-office hit by playing the lead character, and also because a lot of our now-stale American vernacular is actually because of Eddie Murphy - but it was brand-new shockingly hilarious at the time - but we'll get to that later. 

For now ...

What IS it about this show?

(Said in Jerry Seinfeld intonation).

I think with CCGC, it's the combination of Jerry, seeing what comedians are really like offstage, and what classic/rare beauty or or junked up clunker Jerry picks to represent his guest's personality.

We're insatiably curious about the private lives of our celebrities, we Americans - it's a sickness, really :)

Well, I should say that my husband and I are actually immune to most of that noise, but I am curious as to what comedians are like offstage.

Mostly, my Detroitian husband loves the show because not only is it funny, but he salivates over the cars Jerry rolls out.

However, he walks out of the room for the comedians he can't stand.

For the record, those people are mostly Ricky Gervais, Jay Leno, Don Rickles, Howard Stern, and actually, Seinfeld co-creator, Larry David.  He likes Jerry, but not Larry David.  

In other words, he dislikes the arrogant, insult-style comedians, you see, and I get it - and truth be told, sometimes I've been turned off/offended by certain comedians, myself, I think we all have - but I've told him he really should watch these episodes anyway, because Jerry - no stranger to overconfidence himself, despite recently-found humility - knows how to put the arrogant ones in their place and remind them what they actually do for a living and how lucky they are - even Alec Baldwin, which is hard to do :)

(Alec Baldwin comes across as you think he might - very hilarious, but very arrogant, too, almost angry.  As if he might punch you to make himself feel better, then hug you and make you laugh about it 5 minutes thereafter lol)

Sometimes you're surprised at how they are, sometimes they're exactly like you think they would be (at least with the cameras still rolling).  

Sometimes they're completely self-absorbed or it's like watching part of their act - they can't step off stage when the camera is on.

Other times, they're so open that they're almost vulnerable, it's like watching their therapy, and yet still hyper-aware of everything said and what's going on around them, as if they're always listening and scanning their environment for their next joke - because to comedians, everything is a joke, even the most mundane things that happen to us every day.  

It's extremely interesting to just watch how their minds work, the brilliance and speed at which they can turn everyday things into comic gold.

What I also find interesting is how nervous many of them seem at first because Jerry Seinfeld as the current King of Comedy is essentially promoting you on his show (or just curious about you) could essentially make or break your career, and they know it.

As for Jerry himself, this was his compromise to doing a talk show, because he says he can't make conversation with just anybody, he has to find you intriguing.

Now, that could be in a good way or a bad way - either he thinks you're really good or he just wants to meet you because he's just trying to figure out what the hell everyone else sees in you and wants to know more (i.e. clearly, Seth Rogen was one of those latter people lol).

He's surprisingly easy to make laugh, as well as really good at putting people at ease, by saying the most random things, especially if he can tell they['re nervous, like, "Can I use your bathroom?" as an opening line ...

... - just to remind them, "Hey, I'm a regular guy and comedian,  just like you - I'm just trying to help a struggling brother or sister out." :)

Jerry is really at his best with people who are just his personal friends with that he finds funny (i.e., Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker) and of course, Seinfeld co-creator Larry David (upon which the character of George Costanza was loosely based).

It was literally like watching an episode of Seinfeld (and one of my favorites because it's insight into their relationship and material.)

Jerry has stated repeatedly on interviews that you can't be on the show just because you're a comedian - it's his personal choice.

In fact, though Jerry appears to never take anything seriously and have the the depth of a coffee saucer, he actually does have a heart these days (many thanks to his wife, Jessica, for that).

In fact, he essentially went to bat for Margaret Cho - he's always supported her since the beginning, despite being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and making jokes about her own rape  - she considers it therapy and says every time she tells the jokes, her rapist is terrified she's going to say his name, and she loves that ;)

She makes these jokes (especially about her Korean mom's reaction to her rape) about rape that are actually hilarious, and yet you feel bad at laughing - but she doesn't want you to feed bad, she wants you to laugh - not at her, but with her :)

*Btw, in case you missed the point in her video clip, standing with shaved head and fist, the reason everyone previously on her side is running away from her is because they're scared of her shaved head and "angry Margaret" - they want funny Margaret - thus, she expresses her pain with humor - get it? It's both funny and sad at the same time)

She says people get angry or don't know whether to laugh at her jokes about these subjects, and she reminds them comedy is the best way of dealing with difficult subjects and bringing them to the forefront - and that most comedian's stand-up is based on pain, actually :)

I, too, believe Margaret Cho was a comedic pioneer of sorts, not only for Asian-American comedians, but for how funny women could be - who has gotten a bad rap mostly because she crossed lines in comedy that men cross every single day ;)

I'm a Margaret Cho lover from way back, too - in fact, I remember a joke from Margaret's very first stand-up tour, in which she said:

"Imagine explaining our love of crappy 80s music when we're old. You know one day, we'll all be sitting around some nursing home, saying, "Put on Hungry Like the Wolf again, Buffy!"

I personally would love to see Wanda Sykes on there, who IMO, is basically the black female Jerry Seinfeld.

Saying Grace at Wanda's house - and Lucas's "disingenuous prayers" and feeling like The Help in her all-white family (again, it's a joke, people!).

And the ghost story she told on Ellen has now reached legendary internet fame (Ellen loses it listening to it).

Though hilarious, Wanda claims this ghost story is actually 100% true - she claims saw the ghost of an old black slave at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia, during Obama's presidency.

(This one's shorter than the first, so if you just want a glimpse of Wanda's schtick, watch this one.)

Don't let Wanda's genuine, everyday, Southern/down-home approach to comedy fool you -  because Wanda is hyper-intelligent.  Clearly liberal now, but she originally came from a well-educated, ultra-religious, military black Republican family, has a bachelor's degree in marketing from Hampton University, and once worked for the NSA as a contracting agent.

In fact, though she states she still has the security clearance, she recently took Vanity Fair's lie detector test, partly motivated by wanting to prove, once and for all, that she does NOT still work for the NSA lol.

However, from what I understand, it's never going to happen that she's on CCGC - because she previously worked very closely with Larry David on "Curb Your Enthusiasm," but apparently, they fell out shortly thereafter, and they now can't stand each other - and of course, Jerry supports Larry - and America will suffer, because the Seinfeld/Sykes combo would be an oxymoron-but-natural combination - and fantastic, IMO.

Now, if you're thinking Jerry is a liberal pushing a liberal agenda, be careful - he's only a fairly recent liberal - he was previously Republican. 

Sometimes he says things that are still out-of-touch white-privilege Republican, but mostly, he just thinks all subjects should be grounds for comedy (except jokes making fun of children and foul language are off limits, for him personally).

In fact, to be honest, I wasn't a super fan of Seinfeld, the show - although Julia Louis-Dreyfus, in real life, is nothing like Elaine, Elaine reminded me (and many other people) of my older sister, which is  not a good thing).

Also, the characters were a little too shallow, selfish, and whiny about white-privilege problems for me  - but there were certain episodes that were gold (the soup Nazi and low-talker/puffy shirt episodes). 

However, Jerry's stand-up and every day schtick makes me laugh - as does this show

And there are times you can tell he is the one who is actually nervous (with the late Jerry Lewis, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, and Barack Obama).

Speaking of Barack Obama, though both Jerry and Eddie are strong Obama supporters, he had this to say (they're comedians, no one is safe) ...

OMG, have we missed you, Eddie Murphy - please come back and do stand-up again, the world needs you to make us laugh again?

These are two of the most brilliant men on the planet, it was well worth the wait.

Where has Eddie been?

Well, he had a string of bad movies after previous comic gold.

"Coming to America" is STILL one of my favorite all-time comedy movies, and still makes me laugh at least 20 times, every time I watch it - especially this scene scene with "Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate."

(And yes, that's Eddie Murphy playing that character, too, under all that makeup and hair.) 

Give it up for the house band, Sexual Chocolate - in church.

(Mic drop. Mic static/reverb)

For anyone who has ever been to one of these basement church fundraisers, whether you're white, black, Latino, whatever (except you do have to be protestant to get it, because none of this shit would ever be allowed to go on in a Catholic church) -  you'll especially get it, more than anyone else :)

In fact, I often found myself snickering at these bad and borderline-inappropriate church-basement goings on, as a child, which often led to trouble.

I'm like, "Oh, okay ... some creeper with a band named "Sexual Chocolate" is on stage in our church basement, hitting on all the underage girls AND boys, but I'M inappropriate for laughing at this bizarre display AND I'm not allowed to listen to Prince because HE'S "of the devil?" LOL" ...

That clip was proof that what I was laughing at, as a child, WAS funny,  and Eddie Murphy knew exactly what I was talking about  ;)

So what happened to Eddie Murphy after his initial movie boom?

Well, you know how when people get to that Robert DeNiro or Meryl Streep stage of accomplishment, where they just start doing silly shit because they can, either because they like it or they're trying to promote a friend's work?

Yeah, so Eddie did that - only it was too soon ;)

However, Eddie just does whatever Eddie wants to do - because like those other names listed above, he made just as much money, so Eddie Murphy can afford do whatever the hell Eddie Murphy wants to do.

What's fascinating to watch is how his mind works, he's actually kind of a quiet guy, always scanning his environment to create his next impersonation or find all our little human idiosyncrasies and turn them into material.  

And his memory, my God, he remembers every gig he did, every location, every date and time - the man is brilliant.

What do you expect from (still) the youngest member to ever take the stage on Saturday Night Live (at 19 years old) and revive the show from near death, after the original cast left two years prior?

What I was most interested to see was his thoughts on Bill Cosby, which he gives with surprising insight.

For those of you who may not remember, Eddie and Bill had a running public feud, with Bill Cosby's public criticism that Eddie's stand-up video "Delirious" was too "foul-mouthed and dirty" on stage.

This is the video with the now legendary "Ice Cream Truck" routine, which is both adorable and foul-mouthed hilarious at the same time, and adding the word "psyche!" to our American vernacular for all time, and also how simply adding the words "an' shit" to anything you say, makes it funnier  - i.e., "Trump trynna act all presidential an' shit." See? Funny.

Eddie's retort to Cosby was classic Eddie gold.  

First of all, to get this next clip, you have to remember that also, at the time, Bill Cosby, was promoting Coca Cola's "Have a Coke and a smile."

Thus, Eddie incorporated the phone call from Cosby into his new stand-up comedy video, "Raw," momentarily shade back.

Keep in mind, as he tells Jerry during CCGC, this skit was an actual phone-call conversation between himself and Bill Cosby that Cosby admitted to (in fact, came out publicly with it first).

At first, he took Cosby's chastising like one of Cosby's kids, but eventually got mad that Cosby never had bothered to speak to him before in his life, but called him up, acting like foul-language was the only thing he did or talked about during the show.

Then he got mad, at both the call and Cosby's public condemnation, but instead of firing back, incorporated it into the call into his stand-up act for laughs - rendering a dead-on impersonation of Cosby, and culminating in Richard Pryor's advice, which was to tell Cosby, on behalf of him, to "Have a Coke and a Smile and STFU."

Ya wanna talk about who is "too dirty" now, Cosby?

Because let's review and bring you up to speed.

Eddie Murphy's now riding shotgun with the funniest, wealthiest, most famous white guy on the planet, in a Porsche Carerra - and your nasty butt is in prison for drugging and raping numerous women.

I'm pretty sure it's YOU who wins the "Too Dirty" Lifetime Achievement Award, Cosby - with the prison sentence to prove it

However, Eddie Murphy was actually still respectful, but provided us with further insight about that feud, back in the day.

Now, we all already knew that Eddie Murphy was influenced by Cosby, and we also knew that , Richard Pryor was Eddie Murphy's biggest influence (Pryor was God to Murphy).

So the actual BIG reveal during this CCGC episode was learning that - Pryor's fondness for Murphy, in return, was apparently mostly for show -  and that they actually had a very strange and strained relationship.

This was likely a shock to us all, because we all thought they were the best of friends and like father and son - and at times it was, but at times it wasn't.  

Eddie explains that is because back in the day, there was only room at the top for only one black funny man per decade, in America - and neither Pryor nor Cosby wanted to give up the throne - either for each other, nor Eddie - when Eddie didn't even want a throne, he just wanted his two childhood heroes and comic legends to approve of him and like him :(

That's super sad, don't you think? 

Eddie actually was very hurt by this, as he worshiped both men as black comic legends - but such is life in the entertainment industry, I suppose. 

However, to end this post on a better note, the most exciting  reveal in the clip is that Eddie says he's going to make a return to stand-up (with Jerry supporting him 100%) - I can't wait!

Oh FFS, Brits, Ya Silly Copycats: Regarding Your New Trump-Fried Political Prostitute

... for all your superiority-to-America complexes, your excessive pride in tradition, and how fond of yourselves you are in general ... in the end, you now copy everything we do - to your own detriment! LOL

So ... you liked Trump so much you had to go out and find your own silly, slovenly, bumbling, populist-pandering and propagandized-panic-button-pushing, Trump-fried, spoiled-brat baby?

I mean ... THIS picture of outside of 10 Downing Street looks very proper British, not at all Americanized  ;)

Economic conservative/social liberal my arse, the man will say anything to get elected -  by the people you're the least proud of, in your country - just like Trump. 

FFS, what a transparent political prostitute - you must be so proud :)


And then of course there's THIS ... 

Whether the backstory is true or not doesn't matter, just look at him - in fact, I hope it is, for his sake - at least they give SOME explanation for why he looked like this?

Otherwise, I swear, he looks just like the creepy guy that sits by himself at Starbucks with his laptop all day, never looking up, until they kick him out at closing time. 

Wow, that's some attention to detail he has-  eh?

Hehehe - Sorry, I can't stop laughing.

One of these days, you're going to be sorry you've grown to copy our culture so much, UK, mark my words. 

Until then, perhaps come up with a fresh, new, original idea of your own, once in a while, GB?

I mean, it's been several hundred years, after all.

And just a word of caution on your rise in Nationalism and your Brexit over-fervor?

Do you really think holding on so tightly to your glory days is a good idea, and that doing so will help you find a stronger voice, more relevance, and an actual purpose, in today's modern world?

In fact, isn't your doing so precisely the reason for your stagnation and steady decline in global relevance, for the past century or so?

And to top it off, you've essentially just branded yourselves with the mark of America's biggest historical blunder to date.

Well, good luck with that ... RIP Great Bygone.

Oh, you poor sods - one can't help but feel even more sorry for you as we do for ourselves ;)

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Haha! Feedback On My Mitch McConnell Impression (Video, Two Posts Down)

... Mark showed the video to some friends at work today, who apparently laughed their tookuses off.

His friends:  "I know Chrystal wrote it, but who's doing Mitch's voice, it's pretty close?"

Mark was like, "No, that's Chrystal, too!" 

Mark's friends: "That's Chrystal?!? What?  Nuh uh ... no way!  LOL.  It doesn't sound anything like her!"

Haha!  Thank you, ladies and gentlemen - and I assure you, that is me! 

Yep, took out and dusted off my old childhood voice impression skills - glad you dug it :) 

Friday, July 19, 2019

Possible Mitch McConnell for Senate 2020 Ad? ;)

So, in the car today, I did my Mitch McConnell impersonation for my husband - who loved it :) 

(Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, is one of two senators from my state, the other is Rand Paul.  I know, I try not to kill myself daily over it.)

Thus, I came home and made this video (did it in one take, so not perfect, but you get the idea).

I kinda lost the "McConnell" voice about midway through, trying not to laugh, but here it is - "Cocaine" Mitch McConnell for Senate in 2020.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

"Hey, Ho, What's This World Comin' To" ... Mini-Laugh for the Day ...

Upon texting a friend, I updated her on something, then ended it with, "In other news, we have blatant racist in the White House.  That is all.  What's going on there?"


Then I turned to my husband and said, "Hey, ho ... what's the world comin' to ..."

This reference to my great-great grandfather, who apparently said that regularly in the 1920s and 1930s under different circumstances,  always makes him laugh.

Apparently, my great-grandmother, known to many simply as "Mama Mann," (as their last name was "Mann") used to feed people in soup lines off her back porch during the depression, as well as host her Baptist Women's Circle meetings in her home, serving finger sandwiches. 

Every week, my great-great grandfather - who was disabled in the civil war (and generally a PIA for my great-grandmother to care for), would dress up in his Confederate Army uniform (sigh, I know), and come down the stairs so the ladies would fuss over him, much to the dismay of my great-grandmother, who was pro-Union Army.

And yet she still cared for his ignorant, racist butt anyway because he was disabled and she felt it her Christian and wifely duty to care for her father-in-law.

That was Kentucky - you had a choice to fight for Union or Confederate, you see - sometimes brother against brother.  

Most of my family fought Union, but there were some straggler Confederate idiots in my family, too - and my grandmother said my great-great grandfather Mann was Confederate, but we're not sure - that's still being researched.  What is certain is that he was sometimes difficult with Mama Mann.

My great-great grandfather would promptly eat all the finger sandwiches for himself, then proclaim loudly throughout the Christian Women's Group, "Hey, ho ... what's the world coming to, when a man can't get a sandwich in a room full of women?" ... Several times, disturbing the meeting until somebody paid attention to him again.

After about the 5th loud exclamation, Mama Mann paid attention to him, all right. 

Mama Mann was the most compassionate soul in the world, but she could get tough when she needed to.

Her daughter, my grandmother was also very compassionate, but wouldn't say "Boo" to a fly.  

Apparently, I take more after my great grandmother, lol.

Because Mama don't play ...

(No, this is not an actual pic of my great-grandmother and great-great grandfather.)

"Now, Mr. Mann, you know you very well you already ate nearly all those finger sandwiches that were for my Ladies' Circle meeting yourself, and you oughn't have, because of your sugar diabetes. So you just sit over there quietly and behave yourself until my circle meeting is over, and then if you're still hungry, I'll fix you something else."

"And if you CAN'T behave yourself, you may go sit out on the porch swing all by yourself. Hush up, now, it's our lady guests' turn to eat and speak. "



And sometimes, he found himself out on the porch swing, let me just tell you THAT, right now.  

Still exclaiming "Hey, hohhhhhh..."...  until she shut the front door on him lol.

In other words, though just 1 hour a week, when my homemaker great-grandmother had her women's church meeting, that was apparently "taboo" according to Confederate white men, who wanted women to be waiting on them every hour of every day, dang everybody else.

It's interesting that the world has changed - and yet Confederate-style white men haven't changed a bit, isn't it? 

Now there's something I bet Trump men haven't thought about - just who do you think is going to take care of you, when you get old? 

Women will, that's who - whether at home or in retirement or private-pay healthcare facilities (which are predominantly staff by women) :)

That's if you're lucky and behave yourselves - lest you might find someone has dumped your ignorant, belligerent, racist, misogynistic butts in the state nursing home ;)

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Baby Boom, Revisited - 32 Years Later ...

This movie was on the Roku Channel, and I haven't seen it in years.  I was interested in how things had changed for women in the workplace since, and the answer is - not much.  Don't judge from the poster - it isn't exactly what it looks like.

JC Wiatt is a mid-to-late 30s marketing account executive in NYC.  She has lived her life exactly according to plan, graduating summa cum laude from Harvard with an MBA, making six figures, living with her boyfriend, an investment banker, Stephen (Harold Ramis).

They call her the "Tiger Lady."

She works 60 to 90 hours a week and takes no vacations - work is her life.  She claims she has no biological clock and children make her uncomfortable - they don't even have a pet or houseplants to care for - live is all about them.

Soon, the CEO asks JC about becoming a partner, but wants to be assured that she still had no plans for children in the future (which of course is highly illegal and would never be asked of a man, but is still asked anyway and never enforced).

 He tells her his wife handles the house and the kids and grandkids (and later reveals he doesn't even know their names) and decorates and "Hell, I don't even know what else she does" because he's never home - his wife is essentially hired help.

JC reassures him she has no biological clock, she's about work - period.

Then she receives a call in the middle of the night, telling her she has an inheritance coming from a long-lost cousin who died in a tragic accident.   Being that both her parents and his are dead, and neither had any brothers and sisters, his estate went to her.  The connection is bad, and she can't hear what the estate attorney is saying, but she accepts the inheritance and agrees to meet the attorney's rep at the airport to sign the papers.

A woman appears off the plane, holding a 14-month-old little girl, and asks her to sign for the inheritance.  JC asks if they can move this along, she has a business lunch to attend, and signs the papers without reading or asking what the inheritance is until after she's signed it, trying to rush this meeting along.

It is then that she finds out that - the 14-month-old little girl, Elizabeth - IS her inheritance.

Of course, this freaks her out, and the woman has to catch another flight.  JC agrees to take her temporarily until she can find suitable parents to adopt.

She proves she has no idea of how to carry a child, appearing almost disgusted with her, and you begin to worry because there are some women who truly aren't cut out to be parents.

She takes the child to the business lunch with an important account exec and pawns him off on the coat-check girl, eventually offering her use of her entire credit card, if she will just care for this baby for an hour.

Eventually, the baby cries so loudly the entire restaurant can hear, and the coat-check girl brings her to JC, informing her that she just threw up all over her and she needed to take her back now.

She signs Elizabeth up to an adoption-agency list, but is told that it will take several days. She assures her boyfriend they can handle, they are two summa cum laude graduates from Harvard and this is the simplest form of a human being, they can figure it out and handle it.

Famous last words.

Over the next few days, after attempting to feed her linguine carbonara (which of course ends up all over the house and she and her boyfriend), duck-taping her diaper on, bringing her to work with her in the frantic search to find a good nanny quickly, she believes that she definitely isn't cut out to be a parent.

Worse, her boyfriend assumes that because she's a woman, this will come naturally to her. Erm, no - not with zero experience.

However, Elizabeth likes her and is affectionate and playful with her, and she can't help but grow attached to her, no matter how hard she tries to be "business-like" with her.

After an unfortunate meeting with a shareholder, in which Elizabeth sprays her milk bottle on the chairman of the board, she realizes she has to do something and fast, or work is going to suffer.

It is then that she laments how women can even work at all with this going on?

It is then that she's just a little bit nicer to her secretary ;)

A call comes from the adoption agency that parents have been found and she breathers a sigh of relief - but with a surprising twinge of sadness and uncertainty.

Being that this was an open adoption, she insisted on meeting the parents before handing Elizabeth over.

Unfortunately, they are rural-America evangelicals, who make it clear right away that they wanted a white male child, but would take her because no others were available, but they'd raise her strong, just like a farm boy.

He asks his wife if "she'll do," and she answers, "Yes, sir.  Fern's gonna be a great farm hand to help our family."

"Oh,  hell no," says JC - and she walks out of the office with Elizabeth, undoing the agreement with the adoption agency and agrees to keep her permanently.

"Fern?  And she called her husband, 'Sir,' it just gave me the chills."

And how could you give up this face? :)

When her boyfriend finds out that she's keeping her - their relationship is over and he moves out.

After going through several irresponsible and scary nannies, JC decides that if she's going to do this, do it right, do most of her herself - read all the baby-care books she can get her hands on, research the best educational toys, and after hearing mothers lament their toddler babies not getting into the right preschool program at the park, she panics and decides to enroll Elizabeth in flash educational classes for her, after the mothers tell her it's too late for her to enroll Elizabeth into the right preschool unless she does this, and if she doesn't get into the right preschool, she won't get into the right prep, college, and so on.

I laugh because privileged white American moms are still like this today, actually worse - the pressures other women put on each other and their children to succeed, they go to ridiculous levels to over-schedule and over-educate their children - all work and no play.

Actually, I really wish it focused on other women more in the office, too, instead of just the men - because often women are worse on other working women than men, more competitive (see yesterday's posts). 

So she's now flexing her time.  Still working crazy hours, but also taking Elizabeth to classes.

 (LOL at the sign on the wall that says "College Begins at Birth.")

Soon, she discovers that her protege (played by James Spader, who is always good at playing a weasel) has essentially undermined her and assumed her office and all her accounts are given to him except one.

Humiliated, JC leaves, and decides to take all her savings and retirement money to Vermont to buy rural weekend farmhouse that she's had her eye on for a couple of years - sight unseen.

This is unusual for JC to take uncalculated risks, but that's why she's doing it - she felt that her calculations never paid off anyway. 

She moves with Elizabeth into the farmhouse, and discovers why she should've seen it first - the well for water has dried up, the roof caves in, and any number of other calamities that begin to eat through her savings.

Out of money and exhausted, she essentially had a momentary nervous breakdown in front of her plumber and passes out ...

... only to wake up in the office of Sam Shepard, whom she thinks is a medical doctor, revealing that she has no idea who she is anymore, nothing has gone as planned, and she hasn't had sex in almost a year or even seen another human being during the long winter.

It is then that Sam Shepard reveals - that he's actually a veterinarian lol.

Humiliated again, she storms off in a huff, and though he greets her in town, obviously interested in her, she avoids him or becomes very nervous, which leads to her often acting like the "Tiger Lady" routine, and him telling her she reminded him of a bull terrier, wound too tight, and then kisses her :)

Having no idea what she's going to do from Vermont, and with no money to move back to NYC, she decides to sell her homemade, organic applesauce (that she spent all winter making) at the local corner store - which people are buying up like candy.

It is then that she remembers the other side of herself - the brilliant marketing strategist.

With no money, and the surrounding stores refusing to sell baby foods, she begins a grass-roots level marketing campaign, buy one, get five free, in front of schools, grocery stores, parks, and street corners, and Vermont tourist attractions, and she publishes ads in all of the local papers, with testimonials (that was what you did, back then, before social media) :)

After doing so, requests come in to not only her booths, but local grocery stores are asked if they carry it - and begin to call her to ask for it.

At the time, distributing organic baby food to supermarkets was unheard of, it was an untapped market - so the story of her home-grown business marketing plan's success takes off and is mentioned in business magazines, is sold regionally at every grocery store, and she employs the whole town as her labor force.

It isn't long before her old company calls her and asks to begin negotiations for an acquisition, with her as a brand manager.

She says to herself, "I'm back" and goes to New York, and is offered a $3 million buyout, they create a better distribution center, $6-figure salary plus bonuses, access to the company jet.

Can you guess what she does?

If you want to watch the movie, stop here ;)

The Tiger Lady realizes - she's not the Tiger Lady anymore - and doesn't really want to be.

Now, she is 50% brilliant marketer and 50% mom, loves both and is great at both - and she shouldn't have to sacrifice one for the other.

Companies should allow you to do both by flexing time, providing childcare, and sick time for sick children without penalizing you - because those things help you perform your job better :)

She decides she's made enough money thus far to build her own distribution center and knows how to negotiate contracts - and she's going to do it herself, branching out into other organic products as she went.

And she happily returns home to Vermont with her new, loving family :)

The End :)

The point is, You COULD have it all and wouldn't HAVE to choose - if the both men AND women in the workforce could give women a little more, they'd get back double  :)

Can you tell me 32 years later why things aren't like that?

And why even though this isn't Oscar-worthy material, why we don't just make pleasant movies that make you smile anymore?

I mean, I love complex stories, I wanted to be a screenwriter.

But sometimes you just want to smile :)

The Milgram Authority Obedience/Compliance Experiment Explains Much About What We're Seeing in Society Today

So, my husband is watching Tracy Morgan's "Scare Tactics" today, in which friends pull scary pranks on their friends and film it (some of which are questionably ethical themselves lol).  One of the pranks reminded me of Milgram's Authority Obedience Experiment - and it dawned on me of how relevant Milgram's experiment is today.

For those who don't know, in 1963, Stanley Milgram, and Social Psychologist at Yale, performed a study, seeking to understand how the Nazis justified to themselves objectifying, torturing, and murdering 6 million people - and additionally, raised ethical questions as to experiments performed on other humans and animals (not only by the Nazis, but by Milgram himself).

Essentially, his theory was that if a person(s) seemingly in  power or with authority simply told a group with less power that someone deserved punishment, and ordered them to display aggression towards that person/group, people automatically believed them and obeyed - even if the order was to physically harm to other human beings.

Though people balked that people aren't that stupid, to prove the theory, he set up a fake experiment, where the the subject of the experiment was told he was helping with a psychology experiment regarding how people learn.

The subject enters the room with another person who is presented as another "study helper," but is actually an actor.  The two draw lots as to who will be the "teacher" and who will be the "learner" - except of course the cards are rigged to always have the subject be the "teacher."

The "learner" (actor) is led to another room and the "teacher" witnesses him being strapped to electrodes.

The teacher then returns to the other room to conduct the experiment.

He is told by a man in a gray lab coat, who is the presented as the scientist, that the subject, as the teacher, will be asking questions to the "learner" in the next room, and for every wrong answer, the "teacher" will administer an electric shock - and increase the electric shock with each wrong answer.

The shocks ranged for 30V (labeled "mild") to 450V labeled "very severe."

He was given audio, so that he could hear the "learners" painful outbursts.

The setup looked something like this ...

If they struggled with continuing to administer the shocks, they were given a series of prods to continue from the white-coated scientist:

Prod 1: Please continue.
Prod 2: The experiment requires you to continue.
Prod 3: It is absolutely essential that you continue.
Prod 4: You have no other choice but to continue.

Of course, the actor was told to give purposeful wrong answers to receive electric shocks and cry out in pain.

The study was performed 18 times, a total of 636 participants - all white males, ages 20 to 50, skilled laborers to professionals.

The results were 65% of the participants continued to administer to the full 450V of electricity to the "learner" (supposedly rendering them nonresponsive) - and 100% continued to 300V of electricity to the "learner" (enough to permanently injure them.)

There was some correlation between how physically close in proximity the "authority" was to the "teacher."

(I found this interesting, considering social media and aggression studies currently being done).

Milgram had this to say about his conclusion: 

"The legal and philosophic aspects of obedience are of enormous import, but they say very little about how most people behave in concrete situations.
I set up a simple experiment at Yale University to test how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist.
Stark authority was pitted against the subjects’ [participants’] strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and, with the subjects’ [participants’] ears ringing with the screams of the victims, authority won more often than not.
The extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and the fact most urgently demanding explanation.'

Milgram himself only performed the experiment once, but it was performed 18 times on 636 people.  This is not the "magic" random sample standard of 1200 people - but it made a lasting impression.

It could not be performed again today because of public awareness of the experiment, which would bias the results - however, it WOULD be interesting to perform this study on women.

Essentially, it at least gave some credence to his theory that at least part of the reason the Nazis were able to objectify and murder so many Jews was that a person or person in an authority position that they respected told them to.

Of course, that's not the only piece of that puzzle - scapegoating - is another big piece.

But it's interesting how we can see that on display today - mainly with Trump.

However, see if you've ever seen this in other situations in society, which has you scratching your head about why groups of people went along with things they knew were harmful to others.

And that is Social Psychology 101.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

So We're Midway Through ST-3 (Stranger Things, Season Three)...

(Updated) Still AWEsommme! How to explain the mass appeal of Netflix's Stranger Things to people who haven't seen it?  OK, imagine if The X-Files, Alien(s), ET, Goonies, Stand By Me, It, The Wonder Years, Freaks and Geeks, and any Coen Brothers' movie you've ever seen, all had a group baby, to an 80s soundtrack (that's also a hint to the plot this season) - tack on Invasion of the Body Snatchers, especially this season ;)  Part horror sci-fi, part soap opera, part comedy.

Except my husband, Mark, just said, "Exactly - except how is it like ET? The interdimensional beings (Demodogs) are monsters?"

Me: "Well, if you think of "Eleven" as ET, even though she's not an interdimensional being or extraterrestrial herself - that we know yet - but what explains her superpowers? The way the kids find her and hide her, at first, even dress her in a wig to disguise her - it's exactly like ET. I suspect she's sort of an interdimensional/extraterrestrial (lineaged) anti-demodog, she just doesn't know it yet. But they may never say."

"Because remember, just like Eight, the government didn't give her those powers, they discovered and used them, trying to train her from childhood to be a weapon and killer. Eight was older when they discovered her ability, then stole her from her parents. However, with Eleven, her mother showed signs of psychokinetic ability already on testing, but was too old to train, so they stole her daughter, Eleven, at birth, told her mother she died, lobotomized/electroshocked her mom to discredit her as crazy to shut her up, and hoped to raise Eleven, using her gifts to train her into a weapon/killer, too, but failed - because not only does Eleven has more power than they bargained for, but more empathy and conscience."

"Eight, though older when discovered, trained better, and went 'fallen angel.' She escaped, but is full of hate for what they did to her and is obsessed with revenge and can kill without conscience or remorse. However, Eleven refuses to hate, she's too sensitive, empathetic, and incorruptible - which is a good thing, because she was also the most powerful lol."

"She's capable of snapping necks like twigs, with a simple toss of her head, or psychically spy on anyone to answer normal teenage-angst dilemmas, but she won't - she doesn't want to spy on or hurt anyone, she just wants to forget, be a normal teenager, learn to fully speak and communicate, love and be loved, enjoy the world she was never allowed to experience. But she will, if anything tries to hurt her or others, and only if an immediate threat. Even then, if you notice, she won't kill unless absolutely necessary, she'll at first find ways to just physically deter them, unless they try to take her back or whatever it is just keeps coming at her/them."

"So, IMO, the "gifted ones" are essentially like angels to combat the demons, except they have free will - they can turn fallen angel anytime, like Eight did - it's a free-will choice. The demodog-infected or killed don't have a choice, but the uninfected and anti-demodogs, do."

"Like the Aliens movies, it's the intersection of science and spiritual - science and spiritual don't have to be mutually exclusive, one explains the other and is dependent on the other, they're interdependent. But the Duffer brothers may never say, leave you to draw your own conclusions."

Mark: "Oh, yeeaaahh - it IS like ET!?! Like Stephen-Spielberg's-childhood-imagination movies in general - Super 8, too. Also Stephen-King's-Childhood-Imagination books and movies, too." 

Me:  "Yes! It's a 'Best of the 80s' tribute with a new spin."

Clever dialogue, superbly acted, wicked special effects, characters you care about, no loopholes in the plot, appropriate jumps and scares - so suspenseful you can never watch just one - as we all know, I'm a tough critic, previously wanting to be a screenwriter.  

Bravo x3, Duffer Brothers, still rocking it for Netflix for Season 3!

PS - Hahaha!  We just watched the episode where Mike asks El(even):  "Does your species like M&Ms?"

That's a direct reference to ET (and the fact that she's a girl because they had a prior argument, he got caught lying to her), except it was Reese's Pieces debut, which sent sales skyrocketing.  Movie branding works (as long as it's not overdone, which Stranger Things is pushing it ;)

God, I wish I could make money at being a library for movie metaphors , but alas, no lol

PPS - Episode 7, one more to go - Oooh, but El can be infected, like everyone else (but can remove it herself?  Or can she?  Completely?  What will happen to her superpowers?

Loving the shift from our government being responsible for opening the portal in season 1, to some members of our government doing the right thing in season 2, to Russians re-opening it in season 3 (with politicians being paid off to let them in) - perfect for the Red Dawn 80s, and perfect for today - brilliant!