Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

From Child Stars to Train Wrecks…What Happened? (A KJ Rant…Err…Analysis)

January 23, 2014

Miley and JustinWhat is it with child stars nowadays?

Every time you turn on the news, one of the little critters is losing their mind and doing something stupid. Whether it is Miley Cyrus riding “nekkid” on a wrecking ball, Britney Spears shaving her head, or Lindsey Lohan…errr…umm…being Lindsey Lohan, each and every one of them nowadays seems to grow out of their common sense.

Take Justin Bieber… Please.

Alright, I know that was cheap shot, but he’s got it coming. Just yesterday, the moron was arrested racing down a neighborhood street, which his buddies had blocked off with their cars.

While this clown was being arrested, he launched into a stoned-out-of-his-mind verbal tirade against the police officers, that made “The Wolf of Wall Street” seem like “The Sound of Music”.

So, what is the reason that all these former child stars are losing their minds in such a fashion, as they get older? Is it the “Bird in a Gilded Cage Finally Free” Syndrome? Is it hormones? Are their chakras out of alignment? Have they all joined up with Barack Obama on the Choom Gang?

I truly believe that the rising occurrence of child stars losing their minds as they grow older, coincides with the breakup of the Family Unit and the moving away from Christianity in this nation.

The difference between the child stars of today and the child stars of the 1960’s is very evident. Yes, there were a number of those 1960s stars who lost their way, as they got older, but, it was nowhere near as commonplace as it is now.

What part does the child star’s parents play in their flame-out?

We have all heard the expression “stage mother”, or in the case of Billy Ray Cyrus, “stage father”. These are parents who want to manage their offspring’s career, much to the chagrin of Hollywood professionals. Often, the professional aspirations of the parents exceed those of their child and they push their little darling into show business, whether the child wants to be there or not. In these instances, where the child star is actually living out their parent’s dream, it comes as no surprise that they lose their mind when they reach the age of consent.

Then, you have those parents who want to be their child star’s best friend, just like in the real world. I know you have seen them. These are the parents whose child runs over them and they cannot figure out why they do not mind. The difference between a normal parent and child relationship and the relationship between a child star and their parents is the number of people who see the child when they misbehave. When a normal person’s child misbehaves, their actions are only seen by and influence a limited number of people. When a child star misbehaves, the whole world knows about it.

And, by the time they reach the age of Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber, those permissive parents have no control over their offspring, whatsoever.

Billy Ray often has referred to the style of parenting which he used with Miley as laissez faire parenting.

I call it lazy.

Billy Ray’s, and his estranged wife’s lack of parental guidance has produced a degenerate young woman, joining the infamous ranks of  Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan.

Think about this: a young fresh-faced, pre-teen girl, who was once marketed as the role model for young teens, with her likeness on clothes, lunch boxes, notebooks, and backpacks, in the center aisle of Walmarts around the world, transformed into a then-20 year 0ld, with her rear up in the air, on all fours, like she was a canine in heat, on the MTV Video Music Awards, seen around the world.

The 24-Hour News Cycle does not help matters one bit. These young stars are under the spotlight from dawn to dusk…. and are then chased around town by the paparazzi, late into the night.

Add unscrupulous “handlers” to the mix, and you have the definition of a Walking Disaster, waiting to happen.

Without  the support of a strong family unit and a belief in Christ, the only place for these young people to learn values and morals are from all of their “Bad Idea” Friends out there in Hollywood. And, unfortunately, as we are seeing in the cases of Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber, along with their common sense, their fresh-faced innocence goes straight out the window.

Like the unfortunate Britney Spears, they become  has-beens before their time. That is, if they don’t die from an overdose first, like Heath Ledger and River Phoenix did.

There seems to be a lot of Americans out there who enjoy watching these once seemingly-innocent child stars become degenerate train wrecks.

I don’t. I see the washed-out shell that they have become and wonder what might have been.

I remember watching black comedian, D.L. Hughley, perform. When someone in the audience would get too rowdy, he would tell them that they need Jesus. Of course, he meant that as a joke.

However, in the case of these rapidly falling stars, it is a fact.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Political Correctness and the Washington Redskins

October 21, 2013

political correctnessWhen ol’ Billy Shakespeare wrote,

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

He most assuredly was not talking about an athletic team.

As you probably heard by now (if you’re now living under a rock like those guys in the Geico Commercial), the Forces of Political Correctness are aligning themselves in a concerted effort to force the NFL’s Washington Redskins to change the name of the storied franchise.

However, just as Liberals are wont to, they disregard whether as many people are as offended as they think there  are.

Foxnews.com reports that

Two Washington D.C. radio stations have pulled advertisements paid for by a group calling on the NFL’s Washington Redskins to change their name.

The ad was scheduled to air this weekend on WJFK-FM, a sports-talk station, and WPGC-FM, a so-called “Rhythmic” station. Paid for by the Oneida Indian Nation, the spot called for Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change the team’s nickname, which it has had since 1933.

“By changing his team’s name, Mr. Snyder can create a better historical legacy for himself — one of tolerance and mutual respect, not of racial epithets,” reads part of the ad’s script. “Native Americans do not want their people to be hurt by such painful epithets. We just want to be treated as what we all are: Americans.”

According to the Washington Post, Steve Swenson, senior vice president of CBS Radio Washington, said in an e-mail to the Oneida Indian Nation that “[b]ased on the amount of on-air debate, adding paid commercials from one side is not something that we think is beneficial for this discussion and for our audience.” Both WJFK and WPGC are owned by CBS Radio.

“It is unfortunate and un-American that the station permits the team to slander Native Americans on the public airwaves with the use of the r-word, but doesn’t permit Native Americans to use the same airwaves to object to the use of a racial slur,” Oneida Indian Nation spokesman Ray Halbritter told the Post.

Ads calling on the Redskins to change the team’s name have aired in every market where Washington has played this season. The Redskins host the Chicago Bears Sunday afternoon. Snyder has vowed never to change the team’s name.

The Oneida Indian Nation may Object, but that doesn’t mean that all Indians object to the name, as ABC News Reports…

There are Native American schools that call their teams Redskins. The term is used affectionately by some natives, similar to the way the N-word is used by some African-Americans. In the only recent poll to ask native people about the subject, 90 percent of respondents did not consider the term offensive, although many question the cultural credentials of the respondents.

All of which underscores the oft-overlooked diversity within Indian Country.

“Marginalized communities are too often treated monolithically,” said Carter Meland, a professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota.

“Stories on the mascot issue always end up exploring whether it is right or it is wrong, respectful or disrespectful,” said Meland, an Ojibwe Indian.

He believes Indian mascots are disrespectful, but said: “It would be interesting to get a sense of the diversity of opinion within a native community.”

Those communities vary widely.

Tommy Yazzie, superintendent of the Red Mesa school district on the Navajo Nation reservation, grew up when Navajo children were forced into boarding schools to disconnect them from their culture. Some were punished for speaking their native language. Today, he sees environmental issues as the biggest threat to his people.

The high school football team in his district is the Red Mesa Redskins.

“We just don’t think that (name) is an issue,” Yazzie said. “There are more important things like busing our kids to school, the water settlement, the land quality, the air that surrounds us. Those are issues we can take sides on.”

“Society, they think it’s more derogatory because of the recent discussions,” Yazzie said. “In its pure form, a lot of Native American men, you go into the sweat lodge with what you’ve got — your skin. I don’t see it as derogatory.”

Neither does Eunice Davidson, a Dakota Sioux who lives on the Spirit Lake reservation in North Dakota. “It more or less shows that they approve of our history,” she said.

Political Correctness is actually nothing more than censorship.It’s a censorship of words, thoughts,  even dreams, by people who believe that not only are they the “smartest people on the room” but also the most caring.

And, because, in their own minds, they are the “smartest people on the room”, Liberals do not care what you and I think about the efforts toward changing the name of an NFL Franchise, they just want to show America and the wide, wide World how enlightened they are.

Pay no attention to the storied history of the Washington Franchise.,, say the Liberals, it is more important that those aggrieved get the notoriety that they deserve…and possible some remuneration.

Who will the Liberals try to get to get of their name, next? The Atlanta Braves, the Florida State Seminoles?

Distinguished actor Gary Oldham, Commissioner Gordon of Batman fame said that,

Political correctness has become a straightjacket.

Indeed it has.

archiesammyIf there had been this straightjacket in place back in the 1970s, Archie Bunker’s chair would not be sitting in a place of prominence in the Smithsonian Museum, as a tribute to one of the most successful, ground-breaking shows in television histor. “All in the Family”, revolved around an average working class stiff in New York. The program, produced by Norman Lear (himself a politically-active Liberal) made us laugh at our own misconceptions, while showing us that “sticks and stones, or life’s vicissitudes, may break our bones, or our hearts, but words will never hurt us”, and turned a character, who was originally planned to be an example of a  hateful bigot, into a beloved television icon, as Americans identified with Archie…laughing with him, instead of at him.

This push to change the name of the Washington Redskins, led by a bunch of wussified “smartest people in the room”, including President Barack Hussein Obama, is , as ol’ Billy Shakespeare would have described it,

“Much Ado About Nothing”.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Jerry Lewis and the MDA Telethon: A Metaphor for Modern American Society

September 2, 2013

jerry-lewisSo, here we are, September 2nd, Labor Day, 2013…and there is a huge gap in today’s television programming.

For 45 years, American families would, while spending time together, watch the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon. The telethon would begin on Sunday Evening and continue for 21 1/2 hours, ending on Monday evening at 5:00 p.m. Central. Co-hosted in later years by Ed McMahon and Norm Crosby, stars of stage, screen, and television would appear, alongside corporate executives, all there to raise money for “Jerry’s Kids”.

And, when I say “stars”, I mean STARS.

Jerry’s good friend, Sammy Davis, Jr. would come on every year, on Monday afternoon, and do a solid 30 minutes of entertaining., usually badgering Jerry, until he would come out and do a couple of songs with him, usually ending in a tap dance “challenge”.

Mr. Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton, would come on after that and bring down the house, with several high energy numbers, wearing his huge American Eagle Belt Buckle, and “TCB” Necklace, which Elvis Presley gave him as a sign of friendship and respect.

Speaking of the King, while Elvis did not appear live every year, usually, also sometime Monday Afternoon, Ed McMahon would say,

Jerry, we just received a call from Graceland.

Which meant that Elvis. known thoughout my hometown of Memphis for his great generosity, had just phoned in a huge donation.

Perhaps, one of the most poignant moments in the history of the telethon came when  the Chairman of the Board, Francis Albert Sinatra, showed up, Frank told Jerry that he had brought a friend with him and asked him to come out. That friend was Jerry’s ex-partner, Dean Martin. The two had been estranged for years. Jerry became emotional. He hugged Dino, and, when everyone became silent, he asked,

So, you been working?

2 years ago, after 45 years of magnanimous service, raising untold millions for the MDA, the 85 year old Lewis was cruelly and unceremoniously dumped. In fact, the MDA did not even have the guts to tell Jerry Lewis that they dumped him!

Last year, Before the 2012 MDA Program, showbiz411.com posted this report about the results of the 2011 trimmed-down “telethon”,

The 2011 telethon, shrunk to six hours from 21, was ghastly. When it was over MDA trumpeted that they’d made $61 million– up 4 percent from the prior year when Lewis was at the helm. MDA boasted it did better without Jerry.

Alas, it wasn’t true. MDA has just posted its 2011 federal tax form 990 on its website and this tells a much different story. MDA was only able to collect $31 million of that much publicized amount. Without Jerry Lewis to cajole or persuade or inveigle, exactly half the amount came in that was promised by the public. Whether people simply reneged, or never actually pledged that amount at all, remains to be seen.

MDA will argue this happens every year: the tote board total is never what actually comes in. But in 2010, MDA crowed about $58 million at the end of the telethon with Jerry; $48 million came in. In 2009, the first telethon after the recession, the shortfall was about $15 million–$60 million announced, $45 million arrived.

For last year, MDA lists gross receipts from the first non Jerry Lewis telethon at $30,683,816. The charitable contribution portion was 18,059,876 . This left a gross income of $12,623,940.

A 50% shortfall is unprecedented. Because of it, the Form 990 shows a running $30 million loss or more in all categories stated on the MDA return from the beginning of 2011 to the end. Net assets and fund balances seem severely depleted.

And public support dropped overall, not just with the Telethon. In 2010, MDA claimed it received over $174 million in gifts and grants (including the telethon). In 2011, there was a big drop: the number was only $157 million.

Even more disturbing: revenue less expenses left MDA in the red for 2011 at $19 million.

MDA’s now deposed CEO, the man who got rid of Lewis, Gerald C. Weinberg, still pulled down his nearly $400K a year salary in 2011, which he’d been making fo years. The top staff at MDA all make decent six figure salaries as well. Weinberg and most of that staff are no longer working at MDA.

To be fair: MDA divides up the millions that do come in to dozens of worthy hospitals, universities, research programs, and facilities. The halved $61 million is still a sizeable chunk for these donation-starved groups. However: without the bad publicity and the controversy around Jerry Lewis, MDA might have been able to collect a higher percentage of pledges which would have benefited these groups even more.

Something happened at MDA in 2011 that’s never quite been explained. They committed a kind of hari-kari, taking an established brand and flushing it down the toilet. On Sunday night, the so-called remnants of the annual telethon are down to three hours. Almost everything is pre-taped except for local cut ins. The acts have no relationship to the history of the MDA.

Because it’s taped, there will be no drama to see if they can top last year. Of course, last year doesn’t really exist since the actually collected $31 million is far below the amounts from preceding years.

In 2012, the MDA Program was renamed the “MDA Show of Strength”. It was scaled down to a 3 hour program, featuring mostly pre-taped segments.

This year’s program, was once again referred to as a “telethon”. However, it was only a 2 hour program featuring Ryan Seacrest introducing pre-taped segments.

After MDA gave Lewis the Fickle Finger of Fate, they continued to insist

We honor Jerry Lewis, we admire the work he’s done for us, and we respect his decision to retire.

That particular quote came from Valerie Cwik, the MDA’s interim president, at the time. She replaced Gerald Weinberg, who was reportedly behind Lewis’s ouster and who stepped down as president, after 54 years with the organization.

She made the lame argument that the changes in the telethon were part of a necessary evolution in fundraising strategy, to put less emphasis on the once-a-year event.

It has to change because the American audience has changed. A 21.5-hour show doesn’t fit in a 140-character world.

Okay. I know that Lewis had a reputation as an ego-maniacal pain-in-the-rear to work with, but, these were people’s lives that the MDA was messing with. It could have, and should have, been handled differently.

It showed no respect whatsoever.

What happened to Jerry Lewis, seems to be happening to American Society in general.

This lack of respect seems to be an epidemic in this country. In the workplace, I have noticed that there sure does seem to be a lot of 20-somethings who have no respect whatsoever for decorum, their co-workers, or authority.

Now, I may just be a 54 year old fuddy-duddy Cracka, but I have no desire to see your brand new shoulder tattoo in the business office, ladies…nor your neck tattoo with Pookie’s name on it, young Skillet.

And, when older folks in your place of business try to tell you how the world works, kiddies, you had better listen to us. We’re trying to help.

This is real life. You’re not playing “World of Warcraft” or “Final Fantasy”. People’s families depend on their paycheck. And, when you do not “pull your weight” at your job, you affect everyone’s incomes.

As the MDA is learning the hard way, the “young and culturally hip” are usually not as reliable as the “experienced and professional”.

Of course, as it always has been…some folks have to learn things the hard way.

Until He Comes,

KJ

The Summer of Hollywood’s Hiroshima

July 19, 2013

lone ranger and tontoTo say that Hollywood is having a bad summer would be an understatement. The Liberal Intelligentsia, in all of their pompous glory, incorrectly assumed that Americans would pay our hard-earned money to go see anything they put out on a movie screen, schlock or not.

Once again, the “smartest people in the room” turned out to be the dumbest.

The costliest failure so far has been The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp, which cost $250 million (£165 million) to make, and had a huge marketing budget. It was savaged by critics as a “bloated, unfunny, sometimes downright bizarre train wreck” amid a “summer of garbage blockbusters.”

Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer in The Lone Ranger (Rex Features)

Disney may have to write off up to $150 million losses on the movie, which was largely ignored by cinemagoers despite being released over the July 4 holiday weekend. It took in just $29 million that weekend in North America, losing out heavily to the animated comedy Despicable Me 2.

Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum in White House Down (Rex Features)

White House Down, starring Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum, took just $25 million on the June 28 weekend, while Pacific Rim, a story of alien monsters, while praised by many critics, still brought in only $38 million over the July 11 weekend. More people went to see the Adam Sandler comedy Grown Ups 2.

R.I.P.D, a $130 million science fiction film about police officers fighting villains in the afterlife, is predicted to take in only around $20 million this weekend.

To be considered successful, blockbusters aim to take in about half their budget over the first weekend.

The movie is being released at the same time as Red 2, a tale of retired hitmen starring Bruce Willis and Dame Helen Mirren, which is expected to split the audience.

The series of big budget disappointments has come just a month after Steven Spielberg warned that Hollywood was facing a “meltdown” because of its over-reliance on blockbusters.

Speaking at the University of Southern California in June, Spielberg predicted “an implosion where three or four, or maybe even a half dozen, mega-budget movies are going to go crashing into the ground.”

Analysts said the failures were partly a result of competing studios trying to release too many big movies at the same time. There are more than 20 films with a budget of more than $100 million being released this summer, six more than last year.

The studios have ploughed resources in to so-called “tent pole” films, which are accompanied by costly marketing, and are expected to make large profits. But, to do so, they all need to arrive in cinemas over the summer months.

Until late June, Hollywood had been on course for a record summer, following the success of early hits including Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness. and Fast & Furious 6.

However, as fatigue set in with audiences the movie industry entered what has been labelled the “dud zone,” in which big releases have fared less impressively than lower budget productions. A slew of expensive films remain to be released in late July and August.

One exasperated studio head told The Hollywood Reporter: “You had too many $100 million-plus movies, not to mention $200 million-plus movies, jammed on top of each other. There isn’t enough play time, and the result has been more movies that wipe out.”

I believe that there are other reasons for the horrible summer movie receipts.

First, Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Why should we blow $50 dollars at the movies, when we can stay at home, and watch our cable or satellite television programs, or watch a movie on DVD or Blu Ray? There are other downsides, to going out to watch a movie besides the outrageous cost: The idiots you have to sit next to.

When my bride and I went to see Iron man 3, earlier this summer, I was seated next to a woman who played and talked on her cellphone, sighed loudly, and talked to her friends during the movie, all in an effort to make us move somewhere else in the crowded theater. My crime? Do the words “creepy a@@ cracka” ring a bell?

The other problem that these summer movies have, is simple: They aren’t worth seeing.

Hollywood has been losing their collective mind for a while now. While our soldiers were fighting and dying in Iraq, they were releasing films that criticized our brave military and our country. Those movies bombed spectacularly as a result.

Earlier this summer, There was a movie about Liberace and his young protegé/confidant/lover Scotty Thorson, featuring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, in those roles. The studio released it to Europe first, where the heathens over there, gave it rave reviews.  It was never released to American theaters, because American capitalists refused to distribute it. They knew that Americans would not pay their hard-earned money to watch a movie denigrating an American Icon, like the legendary, beloved showman, Lee Liberace.

One of the movies expected to be a blockbuster this summer, “The Lone Ranger, cast Johnny Depp as Tonto, and rewrote the legend to center around him, instead of the title character.

The audience simply did not buy Captain Jack Sparrow as Tonto.

When we envision the crime fighting duo of the old west, Americans see Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels. Two outstanding gentlemen, both on and off the television screen.

The last point I want to make, is the total disconnect of “Hollyweird” from the average American’s belief system of ethics, values, and faith. All the great movies and television shows my generation watched growing up, reinforced those values.

We knew that the Ranger and Tonto would beat the snot out of the bad guys, and rescue the rancher’s daughter. We knew that James Bond would defeat SPECTRE and get the beautiful Bond Girl.

We smiled when we heard that Superman fought for “truth, justice, and the American Way”. We threw our rubber tomahawks at the trees in our front yards, just like “Daniel Boone”. We knew that John Wayne would rescue Dean Martin in “Rio Bravo”.

And, all the guys wanted a red Gran Torino with a white stripe down the side, like “Starsky and Hutch” drove.

You want to know why the Sherlock Holmes movies, the Iron Man movies, and the Star Trek movies have all done so well? It’s simple.

They are throwbacks. They are entertaining. They are not dirty or vulgar. There is plenty of action with a great story line wrapped around it, and GOOD TRIUMPHS OVER EVIL.

Americans have to deal with enough ugliness trying to survive under the harsh reality of America under Obama. 

We go to movies to be entertained, not to be lectured to by a bunch of snotty-nosed, America-hating, relative morality and situational ethics-loving Liberals. 

Average Americans are more perceptive than Liberals think we are.

This summer’s movie failures have proved it.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Father’s Day 2013: A Legacy of Love

June 16, 2013

Today, all across the world, Fathers will be honored by their children, natural, adopted, foster, and those that they took in as one of their own. Did you ever wonder how this Global Remembrance got started?

There are two stories which are attributed as being the origin of Father’s Day.

According to the first tale, it all began in 1910, when Sonora Smart-Dodd of Spokane, Washington, tried to figure out a way in which to honor her dad, a remarkable man, who had single handedly raised six children. Sonora, naturally, loved her dad with all her heart, and wanted everyone to recognize him for what he had done for her entire family. She made the decision to declare day of tribute, a Father’s Day, if you will, on her father’s birthday – June 19.

The next year, Sonora contacted the local churches in an attempt to get them to throw their support behind the celebration, but they simply laughed her off. After that setback, it took a while before Sonora’s proposal once again started gaining attention.

A bill in support of a national remembrance of Father’s Day was introduced in 1913. The bill was approved by US President Woodrow Wilson three years later. The bill received further support from President Calvin Coolidge in 1924.

This brought about the formation of a National Father’s Day Committee in New York within the next two years. However, our Federal Government, not exactly being strong in the pursuit alacrity, took another 30 years before a Joint Resolution of Congress officially recognized Father’s Day. Then, implementation of the bill was postponed another 16 years until President Richard Nixon declared third Sunday of June as Father’s Day in 1972.

The second story of the origin of Father’s Day involves Dr. Robert Webb of West Virginia. According to this version, the first Father’s Day service was conducted by Webb at the Central Church of Fairmont in 1908.

Around my house, we always thought that Hallmark and Walmart invented it.

I have written before about my Father. At the time, I focused on his service in World War II.  However, there was more to my Daddy than that. He was an American Hero at home, as well.

Daddy married my mother in 1948. They were both working at Sears and Roebuck at the time, and they were both divorced. My mother had a young daughter from her first marriage, whom Daddy raised as his own.

My beloved sister came along shortly thereafter, and, nine years later, I was born. To this day, I swear that they were going to name me “Oops”.

My earliest memories of my Daddy were of him making me breakfast, while singing hymns around the kitchen. My Daddy sang in church choirs, and had a glorious tenor voice.

My Daddy is the one who made sure that I was in Sunday School every Sabbath morning, and in his own, gentle way, he led me to the Savior.

My father, uprooted us to Florida when I was a toddler, and ran a Pure Oil Station with my uncle Mallory, a Pensacola cop, for a short while. When we returned to my hometown of Memphis, he and my mother went back to work at Sears, where they stayed until their retirement in the early 80s.

My sister used to take me with her to pick up our Daddy, and I would have a big time sitting on the tractors and go karts there in the Farm Store, which he managed.

The great thing about Sears back in those days, was the fact that they had a candy counter. Every payday, he brought home to me “a prize”, of either malted milk balls, chocolate-covered raisins, or fresh, warm cashews.

On the days when Daddy didn’t work, he spent time with me. We would go to Court Square in Downtown Memphis, and feed the squirrels, or he would take me to the Memphis Zoo, and walk me around while I was sitting on top of a pony.

As I got older, he ferried me back and forth to school and school events.

He also was there for me, during all those hours spent in the Doctor’s Office and the Hospital, as I struggled to breathe with severe asthma.

My Daddy’s name for me was “Brother”, as in “Baby Brother”

He loved to say,with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye,

Hold on to something, Brother. I’m taking the garbage out.

On Saturdays that he was off, our ritual included Saturday Morning Wrestling, at 11:00 a.m., starring the Fabulous Jackie Fargo, Tojo Yamamoto, Don and Al Greene, and some  smart-aleck kid named Jerry Lawler.

That was usually followed by a Tarzan or Jungle Jim movie starring Johnny Weissmuller.

I got my love of music and comedy from my Daddy, spending hours watching The Three Stooges, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Jackie Gleason Show, and The Lawrence Welk Show.

If there was one thing, in this life, I was certain of, from the day I was born, until he went to be with God on December 29, 1997, was that my Daddy loved me.

Right now, in America, it is harder than ever to be a Dad.  Any male, who is not impotent, can sire a child…as is being proven daily across our country.

However, it takes a man to be a Daddy, a Papa, a Pop, a Pops, somebody’s Old Man, or, simply, Dad.

I’ve had the privilege of having a hand in raising three step-sons, one nephew, and one very special daughter.  I would not give back one moment of those experiences for anything that this world can offer.

I was not a perfect role model.  I made mistakes.  But, looking back, I know, in my heart, that I’ve made a difference in their lives. And I thank the One who made me for that opportunity.

I pray that I was able to pass along at least some of my Daddy’s legacy of Christian Love to those I have had a hand in raising. I now have a 5 year old grandson, whom I get to spoil, every now and then.

Dads…it costs nothing to pay attention….and give love.

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6

Happy Father’s Day!

Requiem for a Bad Dog: John McCormack 1955-2011 (2nd Anniversary Edition)

March 10, 2013

Prologue: Today marks the two year anniversary of the death of a Mid-South legend, larger-than-life Radio Personality John “Bad Dog” McCormack.  Here is a tribute which I wrote, upon hearing of his passing.  One man CAN make a difference. He is truly missed.

If, when we’re standing before God, the amount of good we do with our lives, and the amount of joy and happiness that we are able to bring to this world of pain is brought up, then, Thursday afternoon, the Pearly Gates shook with the infectious laughter of one giant of a man.

John “Bad Dog” McCormack lost his long battle with AML late Thursday Afternoon at Methodist University Hospital in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.  Bad Dog was an on-air personality for 22 years at WEGR Rock 103, a Classic Rock Station.

Bad Dog began as a part of the Wake-up Crew with Tim Spencer and Bev Hart.  Dog was basically a 14-year-old kid in a man’s body.  He was a natural-born prankster, and became known for his creation of “The Twilight Phone”, an anonymous prank call he would make to unsuspecting citizens.

In one memorable call, he impersonated an Apartment Manager, calling a guy who dumped his fiance’s dead pet Piranhas into the apartment lake, claiming that they came back to life and the poor sap had to reimburse the apartment $2,8000 for draining and restocking the lake.  And then, there was Bad Dog”s possibly most famous call, where he talked to an older gentleman named Mr. Lannum, impersonating a collector attempting to collect on a  past-due cable bill.  Mr. Lannum went ballistic, cussing a blue streak that is still talked of in hushed tones to this day, 20 tears later:

When he finally clued the individuals in to whom they had been talking to, each one of them eventually forgave him, because, after all, it was Bad Dog.

Another routine that Bad Dog came up with, was remarkable.  In a city known for racial polarization, he came up with the idea of numbering their show’s Black listeners, thinking that actual black listeners would be few and far between.  Well, Bad Dog received a big surprise.

The routine became very popular among Memphis’  Black Community, as people called in to talk to Bad Dog.  He would make up a hilarious “oath” for the listener to say, and from then on, whenever this individual would call in to talk about the subject of the day, they would self-identify as Black Listener Number So-and-So.  Everyone loved Bad Dog.

However, the most incredible thing that this man accomplished during his time with us started when he, Spencer, and Hart decided to begin a yearly Radiothon in support of St. Jude Hospital’s Ronald McDonald House.

Over the last 20 years, Bad Dog and his co-workers have raised over $7 million dollars to help build and maintain the refuge for cancer-stricken kids and their families, so they could have some semblance of normal life while they undergo treatment at St. Jude.

Bad Dog McCormack was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in late October 2009.  He was still working mornings, though his new partner was Ric Chetter.  Clear Channel Communications, in their infinite wisdom, had split up the popular Wake Up Crew in November of 2006, firing Newsperson Bev Hart, and, eventually moving Rock 103 Program Director Tim Spencer to mid-days.

Bad Dog continued to work as he underwent treatment, as he felt that this was the best medicine for him and was what God had called him to do.  His courage in the face of his own mortality was an inspiration to the entire Mid-South, as his barrel-house laugh continued to reverberate through the car speakers of the Mid-South every morning.  He also continued to work the annual Rock103 Radiothon, letting nothing stand in his way of helping the kids.

Bad Dog underwent a bone marrow transplant in November of 2010.  He seemed to be doing better, and, in December, an online poll of Memphians voted him The Most Noteworthy Memphian of the Year.

On February 10-11th, Bad Dog was at the mic, around the clock, for the 20th Annual Rock103 Radiothon.  When it was over, he announced that more Leukemia had been found.  He remained upbeat, and said that this was just par for the course.

Meanwhile, Clear Channel Communications, again in its infinite wisdom, fired Ric Chetter, and moved Bad Dog and Tim Spencer to afternoons, while bringing in a morning show named Free Beer and Hot Wings, 5 guys syndicated out of the Great White North, whose humor about hockey games is about as relevant to the Mid-South as hunting moose. (They have since been pulled from the Memphis Market. Quel suprise!)

Bad Dog took this change in his usual good-natured stride, happy to be back with his old partner-in-crime, Tim.

Then, last Thursday, Bad Dog took a turn for the worse.  He was rushed to Methodist University Hospital in Downtown Memphis, where he passed away from an aneurysm, brought about by his Leukemia.

In an interview with the Commercial Appeal, Bad Dog made this comment about his battle against Leukemia and his love for the kids at St. Jude:

When I see what they are going through, I have no reason to complain. They are so young and have so much pain. I’ve lived a blessed life. If I died tomorrow, I’d go with a smile on my face.

He also, in his usual big-hearted, gentle way, left a statement to be released after his death:

I have gone to be with God and he is holding me tightly and I am surrounded by many of the Ronald McDonald’s House kids. Do not say you have lost a friend… One is only lost when you don’t know where they are… you know where I am. I thank each and every one of you for your support and prayers. I love all of you and that will never go away. When you are having a bad day… think of my laugh or a Twilight phone or the time we met. None of us is guaranteed tomorrow, make every day great, be the spiritual leader of your family. May peace be with you. Your friend, Bad Dog.

John”Bad Dog” McCormack, 55,  leaves behind his two sons, Buck and Tucker, a huge family, and thousands of fans.

As one of those fans, please allow me to say thank you, Bad Dog, for brightening up a lot of dreary mornings.

A sign currently on display outside  a local jewelry store says it all:

BAD DOG MADE MEMPHIS A BETTER PLACE.

My 1,000th Post: Whodathunkit?

December 16, 2012

Christian America Fish LogoI am an anachronism.

I was told that, in no uncertain terms, the other day, by a bunch of young “Libertarians”, on a Facebook Page I had posted and commented on the last few years, created for Conservatives and Libertarians.

My crime? I refused to be in favor of legalizing marijuana, and I had the nerve to say that I felt that it was more dangerous than alcohol. What’s more, I refused to say that there was a moral equivalency between them.

But, that’s a discussion for another day.

Dictionary.com defines an anachronism as

something or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time, especially a thing or person that belongs to an earlier time.

I suppose that’s me.

I started this Blog as a way to vent my frustrations with the ever-evolving “societal norms” and political mayhem around me. A lot of things just grated on my nerves. They still do.

I was “reared” (as we say in Dixie) by a Mother and Daddy (Southern colloquialism for a Male Parental Unit) who were members of the Greatest Generation. In fact, I was born 3 days before my mother’s 40th brithday. To this day, I believe that they were going to name me “Oops”.

My view of the world around me was shaped and nurtured by my Daddy, a Christian American, and the finest man I’ve ever known, who served with an Army Engineering Unit, as a Master Sergeant, in World War II, and who jumped off of a perfectly good boat into a hail of gunfire to join his American Brothers in the tide-turning American Victory known as “D-Day”.

Between him and my Mother, they taught me what it was to be a hard-working, Middle Class Christian American Conservative….and, to be proud of it.

But now, at 54 years old, having just seen an anti-American, Muslim-sympathizing, political-pandering, class warfare-preaching, card-carrying Communist, get re-hired for a job in which, if he were in the private section, his butt would have gotten canned  within the first 3 months, I’m beginning to feel like I’m beating my dadgum head against the wall until it’s bloody, and for no cotton-pickin’ reason at all.

Why am I feelng that way?

Well, there are several reasons.

1. This country re-elected an idiot. Now, I realize that’s been done before. But, they all paled in comparison to this guy. I believe that “Scooter”, my pet name for Barack Hussein Obama (mm mmm mmm), burnt up the vast majority of his gray matter during his “Choom Gang” days in Hawaii, and now, as an old friend, a former Meth-head, who, sadly, later committed suicide this time of year, used to tell me, he has “2 brain cells left and they’re fighting to the death”. I pray we survive the next 4 years.

2.  Evidently, Americans, at least the majority of the ones that actually got up off the couch (Pookie, included) to vote on November 6th, want the Federal Government to take care of them, cradle to grave. Rush Limbaugh labelled this symptom, “The Baracky Claus Effect”.  I pray, that, just as the Proletariat eventually figured out in the old Soviet Union, Americans are going to wake up one day, to find that mega-dependence on The State to run your life, leads to the loss of personal freedom. And those, who believe that they are “the most enlightened people in the room”, will be the first ones hollering, when they discover that their freedom has been taken away.

3. America seems to be devolving into a collection of Libertines. Notice, I did not say “Libertarians”, although, both descriptive words come from the same root word. A Libertine is, per Merriam-Webster.com,

a person who is unrestrained by convention or morality: one leading a dissolute (lacking moral restraint) life

Being a Libertarian used to mean you wanted less Government in your life and less restrictions on your personal happiness. Notice I said used to mean. Now, Libertine and Libertarian both seem to mean the same thing to the majority of posters self-identifying as members of the latter group on Internet chat boards.

Caligula’s Horse approves.

I suppose I could pontificate on the fallen nature of Man at this point, but, that’s fairly self-evident…and, as the late Freddie Prinze used to say, “Ees not my yob, man.”

4. Finally, I was told the other day, during the before-mentioned “discussion” on that Facebook Page, that my blog was considered a “joke”. I allowed this to hurt me very deeply. You see, since April of 2010, I have devoted a lot of time and effort to putting my ideas, however old-fashioned and cornball they are, down on paper. I truly enjoy doing it. I must. I haven’t made a dadgum dime off of it. Although, as I’ve previously written, it did help me land my present job.

So, where do I go from here? Do I run away, with my tail between my legs, and live out the rest of my days in quiet desperation?

To any of you who repled, “yes”…you don’t know me very well.

Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world.

My Creator, while endowing me with certain inalienable rights, also endowed me with an indomitable will. Then, somewhere along my journey, He gave me the gift of being able to express my thoughts and feelings on this computer keyboard.

I will not give up. I will not surrender my Christianity, my love of the greatest nation on God’s green Earth, or my Conservatism, to appease those who wish everybody would just get in line and acquiesce to the prevailing “societal norms”.  I follow another set of guidelines, written a long time ago, but which remain as relevant as the moment in which the Hand of God guided those who wrote them down.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, – Colossians 3:23 (ESV)

In conclusion, there are people I wish to thank, who have invested a lot of time in me and my blogging.

First, I wish to thank my dear friend, Gene Hoyas, aka Col. Manly Rash/The Bulldog Pundit, who allowed me to be a regular contributor to any Blog in which he was involved, and whose guidance and writing tips were such a help.

I thank my lovely bride (I married up), who, since April of 2010, has put up with losing me to this endeavor every evening at 9:00 p.m.

I thank the rest of my family, my extended family of friends and faithful readers, and those of you who just drop in from time to time to check out what my latest rant is.

I thank my Earthly Father, who made me all that I am, and led me, in The Way in which I should go.

Finally, but most importantly, I thank my Heavenly Father, from Whom all blessings flow. Without Him, I would be nothing at all.

May God Bless you all.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Obama Campaign’s Bird-Brained Idea Backfires

October 10, 2012

…and the feathers are flying.

First, let’s hear from the rather large fowl in question:

Big Bird, it seems, isn’t thrilled about his cameo in the presidential race.

The folks at Sesame Street are asking the Obama campaign to pull down a TV ad released Tuesday that mocks Mitt Romney for vowing to yank the subsidy to PBS.

At the presidential debate in Denver last week, Mr. Romney said he would end the subsidy in view of the nation’s fiscal troubles.

“I love Big Bird,” the Republican challenger said “… But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.”

Up went an ad by team Obama called “Big Bird’’ that suggests Mr. Romney is targeting children’s programming rather than legitimate threats to people’s economic interests.

The ad shows images of Bernie Madoff and others implicated in various financial and corporate scandals. A narrator then intones: “And the evil genius who towered over them?”

A silhouette of Big Bird flashes on screen.

“Mitt Romney knows it’s not Wall Street you have to worry about, it’s Sesame Street,” the narrator said.

The ad is airing on national cable and broadcast TV, in time slots devoted to comedy shows, the Obama campaign said.

Sesame Street isn’t amused. Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit educational organization that produces and owns the show, issued a statement Tuesday saying “we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns. We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down.”

A blog post on the Sesame Workshop website said that “Sesame Street would not exist were it not for PBS and its local stations, which is the distribution system for Big Bird and friends to reach all children across the United States, particularly the low income children who need us most.”

Of course, everyone has an opinion on this issue. No one wants to be seen as being chicken:

From Obama for America: 

Big. Yellow. Loved by kids everywhere. And only one candidate has the courage to go after him. Today, Obama for America is out with a new TV spot because, while President Obama passed historic Wall Street reform to hold big banks accountable and give consumers tools to make informed decisions for themselves, his opponent, Mitt Romney, has shown true conviction by vowing to take down Big Bird and keep Sesame Street under control.

From Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein:

Watching the “Big Bird” ad… I couldn’t help but think back to this part of Obama’s February 2007 speech in Springfield, Ill. when he launched his first campaign for president: “What’s stopped us from meeting these challenges is not the absence of sound policies and sensible plans. What’s stopped us is the failure of leadership, the smallness of our politics — the ease with which we’re distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our preference for scoring cheap political points instead of rolling up our sleeves and building a working consensus to tackle big problems.”

And Chuck Todd notes on MSNBC:

Serious question though: We’re six days later. The Obama campaign, on their own, seems to be looking back at the debate, not yet figuring out how to turn the page from the debate. Maybe it’s understandable given what we’re seeing given the bounce in the polls, and that it’s part of the entire campaign conversation. But of course they’re the ones running these look-back-at-the-debate ads. And you have to ask yourself, every time they bring up the debate, is that good for Obama or is that good for Romney?

Finally, the Republican Candidate, himself, got in a zinger yesterday:

Mitt Romney, speaking to a crowd of about 1,200 on a farm here in Van Meter, Iowa, criticized President Obama’s recent focus on Big Bird on the campaign trail.

“You have to scratch your head when the president spends the last week talking about saving Big Bird,” he said. “I actually think we need to have a president who talks about saving the American people and saving good jobs.”

But, Mitt…Obama can’t explain how his domestic policies have brought us to this point. That would be claiming responsibility for his own mistakes. Didn’t you know…after 4 years…it’s still Booooosh’s fault?

Anyway, kiddies, don’t feel sorry for the Bird. He aint exactly hurtin’ for money:

The 2011 IRS 990 form for Sesame Workshop (formerly the Children’s Television Workshop), the producers of Sesame Street, revealed that they received $7,968,918 in government grants last year. That sounds like a hefty amount, but the 990 also revealed that Sesame Workshop received $44,984,003 in royalties last year, which includes sales of Sesame Street brand merchandise like “Tickle Me Elmo” dolls. That means Big Bird made five times in merchandise sales than what he received in government grants.

An even closer look at Sesame Workshop’s finances shows the government funding Romney wants to cut is only a small part of their budget and may not be necessary at all. In 2011, Sesame Workshop received $31,555,192 in grants and donations last year apart from the U.S. government. They also raised over $2 million in additional funds from various fundraising events. In all, Sesame Workshop raised almost $34 million in private funds for Sesame Street, aside from government grants.

In addition, Sesame Workshop brought in almost $30 million in revenue from content distribution and media production. In total, Sesame Workshop brought in over $122 million in revenue, not including government grants. On their website, Sesame Workshop claims corporate, foundation, and government support make up 35% of their budget. Realistically, however, government funding only accounts for just over 6% of their budget.

Sesame Workshop has faced drops in revenue in recent years and seems to have weathered it. Recent tax returns reveal a drop of 3% to 5% in budgets in recent years, so a loss of government funding would certainly not mean the end of Big Bird. In 2009, they laid off 20% of their workforce in a cost-cutting move, and still survived. However, salaries still make up a large part of their budget. In 2011, they paid out over $54 million in salaries, a high percentage of their budget for a non-profit.

And, if he needs to, he can always do commercials.

Big Bird: Future Spokesperson for Church’s Fried Chicken.

The Aurora Massacre: Is Hollywood the Problem?

July 26, 2012

Famous Hollywood Director Peter Bogdanovich (Targets, The Last Picture Show) weighed in a few months back about a disturbing trend he had noticed in the current crop of movies.

The Hollywood Reporter has the story:

People go to a movie to have a good time, and they get killed. It’s a horrible, horrible event. It makes me sick that I made a movie about it.

We made Targets 44 years ago. It was based on something that happened in Texas, when that guy Charles Whitman shot a bunch of people after killing his mother and his wife. Paramount bought it, but then was terrified by it when Martin Luther King was killed and Bobby Kennedy was killed. The studio didn’t want to release the film at all. So they released it with a pro-gun-control campaign, but that made the picture seem like a documentary to people, and it didn’t do too well.

It was meant to be a cautionary fable. It was a way of saying the Boris Karloff kind of violence, the Victorian violence of the past, wasn’t as scary as the kind of random violence that we associate with a sniper — or what happened last weekend. That’s modern horror. At first, some of the people [at The Dark Knight Rises] thought it was part of the movie. That’s very telling.

Violence on the screen has increased tenfold. It’s almost pornographic. In fact, it is pornographic. Video games are violent, too. It’s all out of control. I can see where it would drive somebody crazy.

I’m in the minority, but I don’t like comic book movies. They’re not my cup of tea. What happened to pictures like How Green Was My Valley or even From Here to Eternity? They’re not making those kind of movies anymore. They are either making tentpole pictures based on comic books or specialty pictures that you pray someone will go see.

The fact that these tentpole movies are all violent comic book movies doesn’t speak well for our society.

Obviously, there is violence in the world, and you have to deal with it. But there are other ways to do it without showing people getting blown up. One of the most horrible movies ever made was Fritz Lang’s M, about a child murderer. But he didn’t show the murder of the child. The child is playing with a rubber ball and a balloon. When the killer takes her behind the bushes, we see the ball roll out from the bushes. And then he cuts to the balloon flying up into the sky. Everybody who sees it feels a different kind of chill up their back, a horrible feeling. So this argument that you have to have violence shown in gory details is not true. It’s much more artistic to show it in a different way.

Today, there’s a general numbing of the audience. There’s too much murder and killing. You make people insensitive by showing it all the time. The body count in pictures is huge. It numbs the audience into thinking it’s not so terrible. Back in the ’70s, I asked Orson Welles what he thought was happening to pictures, and he said, “We’re brutalizing the audience. We’re going to end up like the Roman circus, live at the Coliseum.” The respect for human life seems to be eroding.

I disagree with the distinguished director concerning a few points.

Movies based on comic book heroes aren’t a cause of violence per se. When Christopher Reeve starred as Superman, there was not an outbreak of violence reported, nor has there been one after the current Marvel Superheroes Movies, including The Avengers.

The difference between those movies and The Batman Trilogy? They weren’t dark in tone. They were uplifting. Sure, there was plenty of violence in them, but, it happened to “the bad guys”, as a comeuppance.

The Batman movies, take an already dark and brooding character, and somehow, make everything that’s going on in the world around him, even darker than he is, as if there was no sunlight or hope in the everyday world.

I believe that the majority of Americans, Conservatives, have always had respect for human life.

However, we live in a time in our country where Traditional American ethics and values, including our Christian Faith, have been ridiculed and mocked by the Left and their Power Brokers as being antiquated, restrictive, ignorant, and even, bigoted.

And the majority of the movies which Hollywood has expectorated out in the last few years have reflected this skewed and intolerant view of Traditional American ethics and values.

For example, movies like Redacted, about the Iraq War, which Americans shunned like a Yoko Ono Concert.

When a movie is entertaining, and doesn’t try to run down our country, or teach anti-Christian or anti-American views and values, people turn out in droves, like they did in the case of “The Avengers”.

Americans are looking for another John Ford or Frank Capra, but instead, Hollywood’s giving us Tim Burton and Rob Zombie.

The Land of the Free and the Home of the Oblivious

July 5, 2012

Yesterday, while the majority of Americans were celebrating our country’s Independence and loving our Freedom with family and friends, there were some nattering nabobs of negativity that were on Twitter showing their backsides: 

@chrisrock

Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks

4 Jul 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite

sarah@mamaswati

#headwall RT @chrisrock: Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks

4 Jul 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite

Chris Rock

@chrisrock 4 Jul 12

Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks

Some Americans let Rock know exactly what they thought of him:

David Burge@iowahawkblog

@chrisrock Good one! I bet your Guatemalan house staff got a good chuckle.

4 Jul 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite

Loren Heal@lheal

The Declaration of Independence led directly to emancipation, @chrisrock. No nation with that as a foundation could long tolerate slavery.

4 Jul 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite

Jon G.@ExJon

Oh FFS, grow up. RT @chrisrock: Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks

4 Jul 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite

Raging Conservative@RagCon

So, “Reverend” @TheRevAl , you are going to rebuke @chrisrock for his racist tweet right? I mean you walked with MLK right? #tcot

4 Jul 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite

Andy Hall@LazerANDYHALL

Hey @chrisrock – how’s that foot taste, pal?

4 Jul 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite

Truth is hard.

Update: Actor Don Cheadle finds Rock’s tweet absolutely guffaw-worthy.

Don Cheadle

@IamDonCheadle

“@chrisrock: Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks” Haha

4 Jul 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite

Back in 2002, Wheel of Fortune Host Pat Sajak wrote down his thoughts about the Hollywood Elite…and hit them right between the eyes:

I could go on with a laundry list of silly and hypocritical things said and done by some of my fellow Show Business luminaries, but the point here is not to make them look silly. They’re perfectly capable of doing that without my help. The larger point is the disconnect between the realities of this nation and its people, and the perceived realities of many in the entertainment community.

I don’t mean to sound too harsh—or hypocritical. After all, I seem perfectly happy to have cashed my checks for the more than 30 years I’ve been in television. And I’m not exactly working on the Dead Sea Scrolls. I do make a living by selling vowels and spinning a giant multicolored wheel! So who am I to be pointing fingers? Well, I’m just someone who wants to feel prouder than he does—as proud as he once was—about what goes on in his industry. And that’s why I spend only part of my time around it. I need to step back occasionally. I think it does help me see the world more clearly.

And that’s the irony of it all. Most of you, in a very real way, are more aware of what this nation and this world are about than the supposedly well-connected and in-tune people who inhabit our media culture.

Former CBS newsman Bernard Goldberg has written a best-selling book called Bias, in which he maintains that the real problem with the media is not a bias based on liberal vs. conservative or Republican vs. Democrat. It is a bias based on the sameness of worldview caused by social, intellectual, educational and professional inbreeding. These are folks who travel in the same circles, go to the same parties, talk to the same people, compare their ideas, and develop a standard view on issues that makes any deviation from them seen somehow marginal, or even weird.

They think they have diversity in their midst because they take pains to hire a representative mix of gender and race. But there is no diversity of thought. On the great social issues of our time, there is an alarmingly monolithic view held by what has become known as the “media elite.” You can bet that the New York Times is careful about how many women it hires, but you can also bet that it is not very careful that these women hold diverse views on issues they’ll be writing about, such as the environment, gun control or abortion. My guess it that a pro-life view within the wall of the Times is a pretty rare one. And the same holds true on the entertainment side.

It is just assumed that “right thinking people” hold certain views. If you don’t… well there’s the problem. How can you portray people fairly in film or on TV if you think their attitudes are so foreign?

How can you write about people fairly if they seem so out of touch with that you are used to in your everyday life? That might help explain why religion is rarely depicted as a natural part of life in the average sitcom or drama series, despite the fact that tens of millions of Americans say that it is important to them.

At a dinner party in Los Angeles recently, our hostess was about to say some grudgingly kind words about President Bush and the way he was handling the War on Terror. She prefaced her remarks by saying, “Now I know everyone at this table voted for Al Gore, but… “ Well, she knew no such thing. She just presumed it. It’s what “right-thinking” people did. This “false reality” is a phenomenon that permeates media circles.

It’s the phenomenon that caused Pauline Kael, former film critic for The New Yorker, to remark after Richard Nixon’s election sweep in 1972, “I can’t believe it! I don’t know a single person who voted for him.” This was a man who won in 49 out of 50 states and she didn’t know one person who voted for him. And I don’t think she was dealing in hyperbole. She simply had never met those people. She couldn’t believe they really existed.

It’s the phenomenon that allows the media to “rediscover” patriotism and heroism in the wake of September 11, when millions of others in St. Louis, Cleveland, Salem, Phoenix, Cheyenne, and a thousand other cities and small towns, know that those traits never went away.

It’s the phenomenon that explains Hollywood’s disdain for Big Business. You read about it in the newsmagazines and see it in the movies. Big Business is bad. The people who run these businesses are heartless, often criminal, brutes. There is no regard for the little guy. Thousands are laid off while the greedy business executives reap windfall profits. Never mind that some of the biggest and least-competitive businesses are in entertainment. They merge, they lay off thousands, while stock options accrue to the top executives. Top talent at networks and in movies get tens—even hundreds—of millions while so many of their co-workers lose their jobs. They simply don’t see the contradiction. They are above it.

And, perhaps worst of all, it’s the phenomenon that allows movie studios and television networks to program with an utter disregard for your kids and your communities. It’s not that they’re evil people. They have kids, and they care about them. But they see no connection between what they do and the results of what they do. And, besides, you’re not really families and communities. You’re ratings, demographics and sales.

You see, they are—for the most part—clueless. Clueless about this country and its people. Clueless about you. And they are afraid. They are afraid of the new technologies… afraid of the dwindling numbers of viewers or readers or listeners… afraid for their very existence. So, don’t you see, they have to do what it takes to survive. They must survive. They are important. Who do you people out here—the ones they fly over on their way to the other Coast for meetings—who do you think you are?

Well, you are this country. You are its future. And I think that’s a very good thing to be.

Hollywood’s disconnect with the rest of America explains the rise of Redbox and the titanic collapse of America’s Box Office Receipts.

Americans don’t want to spend more on these Liberal idiots than they absolutely have to.

 


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