Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Tears For a Clown: Jerry Lewis 3/26/1926 – 8/20/2017 (A KJ Unofficial Biography)

August 21, 2017

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American Icon, Comedian, and Philanthropist Jerry Lewis passed away from natural causes yesterday at the age of 91.

Born Joseph Levitch in Newark, New Jersey, his career in show business spanned 70 years. beginning with his first appearance with his parents, who were both entertainers, in the Catskill Mountains Circuit at age 5.

Per FoxNews.com,

He began using the professional name Joey Lewis, but later changed it to Jerry, reportedly to avoid confusion with comedian Joe E. Lewis.

In the summer of 1946, Lewis teamed up with  (Dean) Martin – first with a nightclub act, then radio and television appearances. Martin was the suave, debonair singer while Lewis was the zany, boyish sidekick with the huge grin and squeaky voice.

They went on to make a series of movies together before the partnership ended in 1956 and both launched successful solo careers.

Lewis became a major comedy star with his first solo film, 1957’s “The Delicate Delinquent,” followed by “Rock-A-Bye Baby” and “The Geisha Boy.” His later films included “The Bellboy,” “Cinderfella,” “The Nutty Professor” and “The King of Comedy.”

He also appeared in stage musicals and in 1994 made his Broadway debut as the Devil in a revival of “Damn Yankees.”

Lewis was consistently respected abroad and a perennial favorite of French critics, sometimes to the amusement of fans at home. In 2006 the French Minister of Culture awarded him the Legion d’Honneur, saying he was the ‘French people’s favorite clown.”

Throughout his career, Lewis worked ceaselessly to raise funds for muscular dystrophy and was even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.

He was married twice, to Patti Palmer from 1944 until 1980 and to SanDee Pitnick from 1983 until his death. He had five surviving sons from his first marriage (a sixth died) and a daughter from his second.

Lewis was not only a masterful comedian, he was also a skilled Song and Dance Man and a gifted actor.

Perhaps his biggest mark on American Society was the outstanding work he did for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and his “kids”.

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”.

Here is an example of how their friendship and antics together would entertain us every year:

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 throughout 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 during the 1976 Program, 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, how ya been?

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

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.

During 2016, the current MDA President reached out to Lewis and attempted to smooth things over with him, opening the door for possible voice-over projects in the future.

I swear, “The Smartest People in the Room”. a.k.a., Modern American Liberals, screw up everything.

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.

However, Jerry Lewis also devoted over half his life for “his kids”, visiting them in hospitals around the nation, with no cameras around, along with calling and visiting Corporate CEOs and A-List Celebrities, getting them to help him raise money for those kids and adults struck down by these debilitating Muscular Disorders.

His ouster by MDA showed no respect or gratitude, 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  “millennials” who have no respect whatsoever for decorum, their co-workers, or authority.

Now, I may just be a 58 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 would be well-served to 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 learned 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.

And, that’s when they find out that they are not as smart as they think they are.

But, I digress…

Jerry Lewis’ legacy will be that of a man, who, with all of his flaws, left an indelible mark on both the Entertainment and Medical Industries. The money which he helped raise for the Muscular Dystrophy Association helped advance their fight against neuromuscular disease.

And, while he was able to lend his talents to that great cause, “Jerry’s Kids” knew that they never walked alone.

Rest in Peace, sir.

Until He Comes,

KJ

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An American Original: Glen Campbell April 22, 1936-August 8, 2017

August 9, 2017

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Music Fans received some sad news, yesterday.

From Glen Campbell’s Official FB Page:

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Glen is survived by his wife, Kim Campbell of Nashville, TN; their three children, Cal, Shannon and Ashley; his children from previous marriages, Debby, Kelli, Travis, Kane, and Dillon; ten… grandchildren, great- and great-great-grandchildren; sisters Barbara, Sandra, and Jane; and brothers John Wallace “Shorty” and Gerald.

In lieu of flowers, donations for Alzheimer’s research may be made to the Glen Campbell Memorial Fund at BrightFocus Foundation through the donation page at Careliving.org.”

This special post is dedicated to the man from Delight, Arkansas.

No American accomplished more or proved to be a more versatile and integral part of our country’s music industry than Glen Campbell.

He was born Glen Travis Campbell on April 22, 1936, on his family’s farm in Billstown, Arkansas. Campbell was one of 12 children, the son of Wesley, a sharecropper, and Carrie Dell,. The impoverished family all worked, picking cotton, when they weren’t picking musical instruments.

When he turned four, his father bought Glen a $5 Sears and Roebuck guitar and within a few years, Campbell was appearing as a paid act and performing guest spots on local radio stations.

At the age of 16, Campbell dropped out of high school and left to seek his fame and fortune out West, where he played with bands in Wyoming’s bars and roadhouses.

In 1961 at the age of 24, Campbell relocated to Los Angeles. Taking a job at the American Music Company, a small publishing house that employed a staff of songwriters, Campbell wrote and recorded the single Turn Around, Look at Me. The record had a little success, but, more importantly, it caught the attention of Capitol Records, who signed him to a contract.

Glen quickly became known as a skilled session guitarist and finger-picker and went on to work as a sideman with artists including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, the Righteous Brothers, and the Monkees. Hot producers Phil Spector and Jimmy Bowen also regularly tapped Campbell for their recordings.

In 1965, after Brian Wilson’s retirement, Campbell was invited to tour with The Beach Boys as a temporary bassist. In 1967, he recorded the song Gentle on My Mind, and his career as a solo artist kicked into high gear. His next single By the time I Get to Phoenix also made the Top 40 and earned a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance. That same year, his song, Gentle On My Mind, earned the Grammy for Best Country and Western Recording.

Campbell’s career was on fire, as the Country Music Association honored him as the Entertainer of the Year and, in 1968, Campbell released his biggest hits to date:  Wichita Lineman and Galveston.

Then, in 1968, Campbell appeared on The Joey Bishop Show.  The Smothers Brothers saw the program and liked what they saw so much that they gave him with the opportunity to co-host The Summer Smothers Brothers Show. Campbell’s down-to-earth personality and musical skill impressed CBS executives, and thus was born, in 1969, The Glen Campbell Good Time Hour.  The program was a combination of musical acts, comedy segments, and nationally-known guest stars. The show, which was produced by The Smothers Brothers, became a No. 1 hit in the United States and the U.K., making Campbell an international star.

After conquering television, Campbell appeared in movies, playing a memorable role as an ill-fated Texas Ranger opposite John Wayne in 1969’s True Grit. Campbell proved to still have the magic touch in the 70s, as the overwhelming success of two No. 1 singles, Rhinestone Cowboy (1975) and Southern Nights (1977), further cemented Campbell’s status as a crossover success.

Then, in the late 1970s, while dating singer Tanya Tucker, Campbell’s abuse of cocaine and alcohol threatened to destroy his career. The couple’s wild and violent relationship, combined with his poor record sales, kept Campbell on the cover of the gossip magazines.

However, after touring for a few years in the 80s, and breaking up with Tanya, Glen left Los Angeles, successfully overcame his drug habit, and became a born-again Christian.

However, even born-again Christians falter.  Campbell was arrested in Phoenix on drunk driving and hit-and-run charges in November 2003. He crashed into another car at an intersection, and left the scene of the accident. He went on to plead guilty to extreme DUI and leaving the scene of an accident, and was sentenced to 10 days in jail.

Campbell released a tell-all autobiography in 1994 by the appropriate title of Rhinestone Cowboy.  In 2005, Campbell was rightfully inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. After that, he continued to appear at theaters in Branson, Missouri. In 2008 he released an album of cover songs entitled Meet Glen Campbell.

In 2011, the following story appeared on people.com:

In his new song, “A Better Place,” Glen Campbell sings, “I need the ones I love Lord/More and more each day.”

The lyric is more personal than the world knows: In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, Campbell, 75, and his wife, Kim, revealed that the singer has Alzheimer’s disease.

The couple have decided to go public with Glen’s diagnosis because he’s hoping to say farewell with a final slate of live performances this fall – and they want his fans to be aware of the musician’s condition.

“Glen is still an awesome guitar player and singer,” says Kim. “But if he flubs a lyric or gets confused on stage, I wouldn’t want people to think, ‘What’s the matter with him? Is he drunk?’ ”

The Grammy-winner, whose “Rhinestone Cowboy” topped the charts in 1975, had been suffering from short-term memory loss for years, but the Alzheimer’s diagnosis only came six months ago.

“I still love making music,” says Campbell. “And I still love performing for my fans. I’d like to thank them for sticking with me through thick and thin.”

In 2014, Glen’s wife, Kim, wrote the following opinion piece for Fox News, in conjunction with the release of his final album  and a documentary, detailing Glen’s journey through the stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.

It touched my heart. I believe it will touch your heart as well.

My husband, Glen Campbell, has stage 6 Alzheimer’s disease. Seven months ago, at the recommendation of his doctors, we placed him in a memory care facility close to our home in Nashville.

It’s a community that’s designed specifically for the needs of those who have Alzheimer’s and dementia. They have all kinds of therapies and activities that stimulate parts of the brain affected by the illness. It’s a safe and secure environment where he receives around-the-clock care.

It’s been good for him. He just seems more at peace there than he was at home, where he became increasingly agitated and frantic.

He lives in a mental fog most of the time. He’s lost most of his language skills and has a hard time communicating. He still has moments of lucidity, though, and those moments let us know he’s still in there and that he’s the Glen we’ve always known. He can make short sentences and say things like “I love you” and “We are so blessed.”

The aides and nurses say he must have been a godly man because they always see him thanking the Lord. I’ve seen him walk over to the window and lift up his hands and say, “Thank you, heavenly Father.” 
The aides and nurses say he must have been a godly man because they always see him thanking the Lord. I’ve seen him walk over to the window and lift up his hands and say, “Thank you, heavenly Father.”

Those moments are so comforting because when you’re facing your mortality, that’s when you want to know God is there. That’s when you really want to draw close to Him.

When I see him do that, I know God is with him, and he’s aware of His presence. He’s relying on the Lord and gets his strength from Him.

People should not give up on others who have dementia. The essence of who they are is still alive and still in there.

He’s still the Glen Campbell he’s always been. He’s always especially loved children and old people. There’s this little lady in a wheelchair in the facility, and she can’t speak at all. He will walk over to her and take her little hand in his and say, “You are so precious.”

He’ll kiss her on the forehead, and she’ll just look up at him. She has no idea who he is, but you can tell it comforts her.

Even in his affliction, he’s ministering to people and trying to be a blessing.

In between those moments, he’s lost. He wanders. He can’t communicate. He doesn’t understand what others say to him. It’s very hard to direct him even to sit in a chair in the dining room.

When we did the film, “Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me,” which documents his last farewell tour, Glen was in stages 2-4. He knew what was happening to him and he wanted to let people know what Alzheimer’s is really like.

He was passionate about making this film because he hoped it would be a catalyst for more funding for research to find a cure. He wanted to encourage other families who are dealing with this disease to keep living their lives, supporting each other and lifting each other up.

When Glen got the diagnosis and decided to go public, it was because he wanted fans to know what was going on in case he exhibited odd behavior on stage, like repeating a song or forgetting what key it was in.

He just wanted them to understand. But after he made the announcement, we all wondered if anyone would want to come see someone with Alzheimer’s perform.

We wondered if his fans would rather remember him the way he was. Maybe it would be depressing. Or maybe no one would be interested either way.

But what we found was the exact opposite. The first show he did after making the announcement sold out. From the time he walked on stage to the time he walked off, it was one standing ovation after another. It was clear fans were there to shower him with love and to root for, support and encourage him. It really blessed Glen and encouraged him to continue on.

Offers began to pour in from around the country for Glen to come to their cities to perform.

What began as a five-week farewell tour turned into 151 dates. His last show was at the Uptown Theater in Napa, Calif., on Nov. 30, 2012.

The first 15-20 minutes were a train wreck. He was having difficulties. His guitar wasn’t loud enough. It didn’t have the quality he wanted. He became very agitated on stage. He kept turning his back to the audience. His band was very uncomfortable. It was a tough show.

But the audience, again, was so supportive. They cheered for him without fail and without question. They loved him unconditionally.

He snapped back and finished the show strong. It was good, but it was clear it was time for us to end the tour and say farewell.

He closed the show with “A Better Place.”  

Daily we pray for grace and mercy as he approaches the final stages of this illness and are so thankful for the moments we see Glen being Glen.

If the final worth of our lives is measured by the lives we touched then Glen Campbell passed away a very rich man.

God bless and Godspeed, sir.

Until He Comes,

KJ

The Day the Libs’ National Temper Tantrum Went Too Far: Kathy Griffin and Her Phony Apology

May 31, 2017

Kathy Griffin Performs At Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza

You couldn’t find a group of people outside of an insane asylum who are just more out of touch with reality [than actors]. – Chuck Woolery

Truer words were never spoken.

FoxNews.com reports that

Kathy Griffin admitted Tuesday she “went too far” on her latest photo shoot with controversial photographer Tyler Shields in which she is holding a bloodied mask of President Trump. 
 
The gory photo first published in TMZ from Griffin’s photo session with the famed Shields, known for his shocking pictures.

In a Twitter post late Tuesday, Griffin said the image “is too disturbing,” and that “it wasn’t funny.”

“I understand how it offends people,” she said, adding “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my career.”

According to the gossip site, Griffin joked with Shields on set they would need to move to Mexico after the photos were released or fear imprisonment. In her Twitter post on Tuesday, Griffin said she was going to “take down the image.” 

“I went too far and I was wrong,” she said.

People took to Twitter to express their disdain for the photo shoot.

Reps for Griffin did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.

Chelsea Clinton called it “vile and wrong” in a Twitter post.

Shields told Fox News that Griffin was hoping to create a bold message.

“Kathy and I are friends and we worked together before, so when we started doing this shoot, she said, ‘I’d love to do something political. I’d love to make a statement,'” he explained. “We kind of figured out what would be the best image to make out of that.”

Shields added the image was meant to serve as art and he’s aware that it could make some viewers uncomfortable.

“That’s what art is meant to do,” he said. “Some people look at it and they love it. Some people look at it and they hate it… I understand there are going to be people that hate this. It’s a very touchy subject… but this is not real. We didn’t kill anybody nor do I feel anybody should be killed. It’s no different from a movie. It just happens to be a still image.”

Shields tweeted a link to a YouTube video called “Behind the scenes with Kathy Griffin” but the video has since been removed. However, he later told Fox News that the video had glitches, which prompted him to take it down and then re-upload it.

This is hardly the first time Shields’ photos have caused uproar. He previously received death threats over a photo he took of “Glee” actress Heather Morris with bruises on her face. The photo was criticized for making light of domestic abuse.

As for his recent collaboration with Griffin, he doesn’t regret it.

“I can’t speak for her, [but] I know she loves to stir the pot,” he said. “For me, I love the idea we have freedom of speech. The fact that I’m allowed to make an image like this says a lot. To me, that’s a powerful thing… nobody’s killed me for this image so it’s not that bad. I love Kathy and I hope they let me visit her in Guantanamo.”

“Bold message”, my hindquarters.

This poor excuse for an actress, a comedienne, and a human being is “ate up with” Trump Derangement Syndrome to point of becoming homicidal.

The “Home Training” which we all experienced as average Americans living in America’s Heartland was either nonexistent in her Wonder Years or it never took hold.

I am quite certain that when this disgusting image of her holding the bloody severed head of the 45th President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, was seen by the Far Left Hollywood  Elite, they had quite a laugh over it.

Those of us who were “raised right” were absolutely disgusted with both the image and the psychotic heifer in it.

Once again, the Hollywood “Elite” on the Left of the Political Spectrum who voted for Hillary Clinton to be our next President of the United States of America, continue in public to show their hindquarters, while throwing the longest temper tantrum that the world has ever seen over the results of an American Presidential Election, that happened almost five months ago.

These self-proclaimed activists, are making a lie out of the claim that they have made for years that they are the most tolerant…and “gifted” among us.

In fact, these sore losers remind me of the hysterically sobbing children that you hear in every Walmart across the country.

It’s not that those children are crying because they are physically hurt. Just like these Hollywood Liberals, they’re crying because they did not get their way.

This epic meltdown by those who are paid handsomely to entertain us is a direct result of an isolated ignorance of average Americans’ desire to rid ourselves of those in the Halls of Power who told us repeatedly that they knew what was best for us and “who we were”, while their actual mission was to turn America into a Third-World Barrio in their quest to make us a Socialist Paradise.

All during the Presidential Campaign, the Democratic Party, along with those in “Showbiz”, through their minions in the Main Stream Media, assured us that it was a foregone conclusion that Hillary Clinton would be our 45th president.

There is a reason for that.

The Liberal Elite have always believed that our country revolves around the big metropolitan areas in the Northeast and in California. They have always looked down their noses at what they derisively call “Flyover Country”, the same area that many of us call the Heartland of America or simply “home”.

This meltdown which promises to last way past Inauguration Day, is a reaction caused by their own unbridled and unsupported arrogance.

Just like their fellow Modern American Liberals who run Democratic Party, the disconnected “dancing monkeys” in Tinsel Town and the Big Apple, like the mentally deranged Kathy Griffin, never saw Trump’s victory coming.

At this point, all their incessant national temper tantrum is doing, is making them look like fools.

I don’t remember any of us average Americans asking them for their opinion as to how we should vote, do you?

Perhaps, if they got their noses out of the air and actually associated with their families and former friends “back home”, instead of kissing each other’s hindquarters at the latest Premiere or “social event”, perhaps they and reality would not have taken divergent paths, and they would conduct themselves and  comport themselves like those Hollywood Legends before them, who served their country during World War II, doing whatever they could to help America defeat fascism.

Now, these pampered ,self-righteous, oblivious Lightweights wish to restore to power the fascists that Americans defeated at the Ballot Box on November 8th, 2016.

As we say down here in the part of America’s Heartland, known as Dixie…

It just don’t make no sense.

Oh, and by the way, the only reason that the psychotic heifer Kathy Griffin apologized is found in the excerpt from The Washington Times

After she posted the image, numerous people on social media not only criticized her but also tagged the Secret Service, the agency charged with protecting the president and handling assassination threats.

The agency’s Twitter feed acknowledged the reports Tuesday evening and said it is “on it!” 

“On it! @SecretService has a robust protective intelligence division that monitors open source reporting & social media to evaluate threats,” the agency wrote.

“Threats made against @SecretService protectees receive the highest priority of all of our investigations. #ProtectionNeverRests,” the Secret Service continued.

And, about that apology, Kathy…on behalf of the other “Deplorables” out here in the Heartland:

Turn it sideways and stick it where the sun “don’t” shine.

Until He Comes,

KJ

 

Free Speech for Me. None for Thee: Intolerant Liberals Strike Down “Last Man Standing”

May 15, 2017

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You gotta be real careful around here (Hollywood). You get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody else believes. This is like ’30s Germany. – Tim Allen

Truer words were never spoken.

Heatstreet.com reports that

It’s TV upfront week, which means major network cancellations are being announced left, right and center.

But the liberal ABC Television Network’s decision to axe Tim Allen’s hit Friday night comedy “The Last Man Standing” has caused consternation among fans who suspect the highly rated multi-camera sitcom has been nixed primarily because of Allen’s right-of-center political beliefs.

The show was ABC’s second-most-watched comedy this season, with 8.1 million viewers, only behind “Modern Family”. Deadline Hollywood, which broke the news of the cancellation, reported that “The Last Man Standing” was “hitting ratings highs in its sixth season.”

Many viewers of the show think that the decision is being made by liberal ABC, owned by Disney, primarily because the series is about an unashamedly conservative character (Mike Baxter) played by a conservative actor. Allen told Jimmy Kimmel in March that living in Hollywood right now was akin to being in Nazi Germany.

Leading the protest is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who tweeted: “Looks like ABC is playing politics with your show despite decent ratings. Sad.”

Many fans of the show are furious on social media and are calling for a boycott of the network.

There are four petitions on change.org begging ABC to re-consider their decision. Neither Allen nor the network have commented on the move, but ABC is understood to be citing the fact it doesn’t own “The Last Man Standing” (Fox produces the show) and the show’s aging viewer demographic to explain why it pulled the plug.

It is, however, also possible that it has do with ABC‘s reluctance to promote conservative politics on its network. It has been reported that Bob Iger, the longtime CEO of Disney, is flirting with an idea of running for president in 2020 as a Democrat.

He told The Hollywood Reporter back in June that “a lot of people—a lot—have urged me to seek political office,” but denied thinking about running for California governor or senator. (He didn’t deny the possibility of running for the White House.)

ABC’s beleaguered news division is also staunchly liberal. President Trump mocked ABC News “Chief Global Affairs Correspondent” Martha Raddatz (whose second of three weddings was attended by Barack Obama) for “crying” during election night coverage after it became clear Trump had won an historic victory.

“How about when a major anchor who hosted a debate started crying when she realized that we won?” Trump said during his “Thank You” tour in Cincinnati back in December.

(Raddatz has denied crying, though it certainly looked like it.)

Waterworks or no, ABC’s bias extends well beyond Raddatz. The network employs George Stephanopoulos, a former Bill Clinton operative, as its grandiosely titled “Chief Anchor and Chief Political Correspondent”. Stephanopoulos was exposed during the presidential campaign for having donated at least $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation, and therefore had to grudgingly recuse himself from moderating any debates. ABC enriches Stephanopoulos to the tune of more than $10 million a year.

Furthermore, ABC’s Chief Foreign Correspondent Terry Moran referred to President Trump’s inaugural address as reminiscent of the anti-Semitic rhetoric of 1930s Nazi Germany.

ABC came under fire last year for its failed sitcom “The Real O’Neals” which cruelly mocked Irish Catholics. The hopelessly homophobic fictional Irish Catholic family in the sitcom had a statue of the Blessed Virgin above their toilet and made Jesus-shaped pancakes for breakfast. The executive producer of “The Real O’Neals”, Dan Savage, on whose life the sitcom was based, is known for his obscene sex advice column, and for gaming Google search results on conservative Christian Senator Rick Santorum so that the first search result for “Santorum” was a page defining the Senator’s name as “a frothy mixture of lubricant and fecal matter as an occasional byproduct of anal sex.” Savage also famously once tried to sicken conservative activist Gary Bauer by licking the door handle to his motel room.

ABC also recently was fiercely criticized for mocking police and Middle America with its March gay rights miniseries “When We Rise”, which appeared to glorify the firebombing of police cars and overwhelmingly portrayed white, straight characters as ignorant, hateful rubes.

Unlike “The Last Man Standing”, “When We Rise” was a catastrophic ratings bomb.

Isn’t it funny how those who claim to be the most tolerant among us, are actually the most intolerant of all of us?

Average Americans are being treated as subhuman by the self-proclaimed “Smartest People in the Room”.

These “spoiled brats”, still weeping and wailing in the throes of self-afflicted agony over the miserable failure of Hillary Clinton to defeat Donald J. Trump on November 8, 2016, do not care about the “Will of the People”, but, rather, they are intent on reinstating. restoring, and enforcing their Far Left Political Ideology, resulting in a “Tyranny of the Minority”, which we are seeing play out, as they attempt to hold on to their “FREE STUFF” bestowed upon them by the “benevolent masters” of the Democrat Party, by trying to block President Donald J. Trump’s mandate which he was given by the average Americans who elected him the 45th President of the United States of America.

The use of Karl Marx/Saul Alinsky-inspired “Class War Politics” funded by “non-profit” organizations, who are in turn funded by Former Nazi Sympathizer and Billionaire George Soros, has inspired these “protestors”, leading to a divided nation, the likes of which has not been seen since “The War of Northern Aggression”.

When our Founding Fathers sat down to provide form and substance to the laws and procedures for governing this new country, which they had fought and won a bloody war over, by pledging their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, they were very aware of the price of tyranny.

They determined that this new nation would be a Constitutional Republic, having had their fill of monarchies.

And, that Sacred Document, our United States Constitution, gives each of us the right, including Trump, Tim Allen, and the writers of “Last Man Standing”, to speak our minds and be heard.

According to a Gallup Poll, published on January 16th, 2016, Conservatives are still the leading Political Ideology in America at 37%, followed closely by “self-described” Moderates at 35%. Liberals remain the Minority Political Ideology in America, comprising only 24% of our population.

The Liberal Elite have always believed that our country revolves around the big metropolitan areas in the Northeast and in California. They have always looked down their noses at what they derisively call “Flyover Country”, the same area that many of us call the Heartland of America or simply “home”.

This meltdown, as witnessed by Americans since the election returns came in on the night of November 8th, 2016, is a reaction caused by their own unbridled and unsupported arrogance.

Just like their fellow Modern American Liberals who run Democratic Party, the disconnected “dancing monkeys” in Tinsel Town and the Big Apple never saw Trump’s victory coming.

At this point, all their incessant national temper tantrum is doing, is making them look like fools.

I don’t remember any of us average Americans asking them for their opinion as to how we should vote, do you?

Perhaps, if they got their noses out of the air and actually associated with their families and former friends “back home”, instead of kissing each other’s hindquarters at the latest Premiere or “social event”, perhaps they and reality would not have taken divergent paths, and they would conduct themselves and  comport themselves like those Hollywood Legends before them, who served their country during World War II, doing whatever they could to help America defeat fascism.

Now, these pampered ,self-righteous, oblivious Lightweights wish to restore to power the fascists that Americans defeated at the Ballot Box on November 8th, 2016 by possibly running the head of Disney, Bob Iger. against President Donald J. Trump in 2020?

A guy who allowed his “Braintrust” to cancel his second highest-rated Comedy on his Broadcast Network because it was a Conservative Show with a Conservative Lead Actor, and tick off millions of viewers?

Seriously?

Sounds pretty “Goofy” to me.

As we say down here in the part of America’s Heartland, known as Dixie…

It just don’t make no sense.

Until He Comes,

KJ

March Madness and the Story of a Basketball Player Who United a City

March 19, 2017

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Here we are, in the middle of the NCAA College Basketball Tournament., that time of year, which has been dubbed “March Madness”.

This time of year, I always think about a man who made a difference in my life and that of many others.

HIs name was Larry O. Finch.

You may or may not have heard of him.

The following is a post which I wrote 6 years ago, upon hearing of his death in 2011.

I am reposting this because, in this age of superficial spoiled brat professional athletes, it  is a story about a man whose life was not only filled with a love of the game, but with love for his fellow man.

And, it being a Sabbath Morning, there is no better time to relate this story.

The year is 1972.  A skinny, undersized asthmatic kid, new to Wooddale Junior High, is about to be annihilated in a game called Bombardment, a rather sadistic game thought up by the 9th grade P.E. coach for his personal amusement.  Resembling the movie “Dodgeball” on steroids,  two teams (usually the delinquents on one side and their victims on the other), would line up against both sides of the bleachers waiting for the coach’s whistle.  Then the massacre would ensue.

Sure that I was about to breathe my last, I felt a hand on my shoulder, and a kind voice telling me to stand beside him.  I looked up to see the smiling face of Larry Finch, Senior shooting guard on the Memphis State University Tigers Basketball Team.  He had just taken an Internship at my school!

Of course, that was the year that they lost the NCAA Championship to Bill Walton and the UCLA Bruins.  I don’t think that anyone in the nation hollered at their television set louder that night than I did.

Over the semester, we became friends.  I became a Tiger fan for life, eventually receiving my degree there  in 1980 in Radio, TV, and Film.  While there, I had the privilege of calling radio play-by-play for the Women’s Basketball and Men’s Baseball teams.

Larry is also the reason that I went on to play and coach basketball, a 4th grade team and a church team, respectively.  My coaching record is 25 – 4.

But, I digress…

Anyway, I’m writing this story because my friend, the Memphis Legend, Coach Larry O. Finch, has passed away at the age of 60.

From the Commercial Appeal:

Finch, the University of Memphis’ winningest basketball coach with 220 victories, had been in poor health since suffering the first of multiple strokes in 2001. He was 60. He had also had a heart attack.

Finch is perhaps the most beloved figure in the history of Memphis’ basketball program, leading the 1973 team to the national championship game and coaching the Tigers from 1986 to 1997.

Larry was born in the Orange Mound section of Memphis and went on to play for Melrose High School.  He and his fellow high school teammate, 6’9″  “Big Cat” Ronnie  Robinson, decided to play for Coach Gene Bartow at Memphis State University.

This was during the height of racial unrest in Memphis.  Larry had been advised not to go to Memphis State, but he loved his hometown and his hometown university.  He and Ronnie turned out to be 2 of the finest bridge builders Memphis has ever seen.  He graduated as the all-time leading scorer in school history and is presently still in second place on that list.

Larry went on to play professionally with the Memphis TAMs, the Memphis Sounds, the Baltimore Hustlers, and the Baltimore Claws.

Per biographicon.com:

In the 1980s, Finch was an assistant coach for Dana Kirk at Memphis State. Kirk was forced to leave Memphis State after violating NCAA regulations, and Finch was made head coach in 1986 in order to restore order to the program. Finch was head coach from 1986 until 1997.

Finch’s tenure at Memphis State/University of Memphis was successful. He posted 10 out of 11 winning seasons, and seven 20+ win seasons. He recruited and developed such players as Elliot Perry, Penny Hardaway, and Lorenzen Wright. His 1991-92 team led by Hardaway and David Vaughn went to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament.

As a player, Finch was known for his shooting prowess, and his skills remained intact throughout his coaching days; he would routinely win games of H-O-R-S-E against his players (including the great Keith Lee, among others) and against assistant coaches in long distance shooting contests after road game practices.

In the company of such renowned coaches as Gene Bartow and John Calipari, Larry Finch remains in second-place for all-time wins in University of Memphis history (behind only Calipari).

In 2002, Larry suffered a stroke, which left him paralyzed and affected his speech.  Later that year, at halftime of the Memphis Grizzlies’ annual Martin Luther King Day game, NBA Legend Bill Russell grabbed the handles of Larry Finch’s wheelchair and wheeled him across a spotlight-lit basketball court.

The entire arena cheered and cried at the same time.

And now, this Memphis Legend is gone.

You’re probably thinking to yourself, how can you consider yourself a friend of Larry Finch?  You only knew him for a short time.

In the early 80s, while Larry was an Assistant Coach under Dana Kirk, I was working at Memphis Cablevision.  I was passing through a front office packed with customers, there to pay their bill.  All of the sudden, I heard a familiar voice shouting my last name at the top of his lungs.  It was Coach Finch!

He grinned that big ol’ grin at me, and hugged me until I thought my ribs would bust.  Then he asked me how I was doing, eager to hear about my life, and we talked as if there was no one else in that lobby.

And now, almost 30 years later, I’m sitting here, trying to write this post with tears in my eyes.

That’s how I know.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Requiem for a Bad Dog: John McCormack 1955-2011 (Six Year Anniversary Edition)

March 11, 2017

Yesterday marked the 6- Year Anniversary of the death of a legend known throughout Memphis and the entire Mid-South, larger-than-life Radio Personality John “Bad Dog” McCormack.  Here is a tribute which I wrote, upon hearing of his passing on March 10, 2010.  He is still 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 $2,800 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 years 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. [The program bombed miserably.]

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 [now 6 years ago] on display outside  a local jewelry store says it all:

BAD DOG MADE MEMPHIS A BETTER PLACE.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Holier-Than-Thou-Wood: As Expected, the Oscars Turns into a “Lecturing the Deplorables While Bashing Trump” – Fest

February 27, 2017

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…I always thought I was a liberal but I came up terribly surprised when I found I was a right wing conservative extremist…I have always listened to every human being I’ve ever met about how I should feel.  But this so-called new liberal group… they never listen to your point of view and they make a decision as to what you think and they’re articulate enough and in control of enough of the press to force that image out for the average person.  For some reason, maybe it’s these pictures, they have not been able to do that with me…it hasn’t affected my career in popularity in spite of the fact that they’ve tried to make them do it.  There isn’t a hell of a lot we can do to change human behavior.  We keep making laws to try to change human behavior but we can’t do it…You’re being conned into Keynesianism and socialism now but it isn’t going to stop the selfishness of human behavior.  It isn’t going to stop the greed.  If you take $20 and give a dollar to every son of a b!tch in the room, you come back a year later one of the b@st@rds will have most of the money.  It’s just human nature.  We’re never gonna whip it with a lot of laws. 

As communication gets better and you make people conscious of somebody in trouble, starving or something like that, the average person will help…I think there are people who try to affect a thinking where they know more than some other son of a b!tch and try to pull a false impression on what human nature is.  We’ve proven we go back to hope at the first opportunity…and bam they’re out there ready to grab it.  So we are optimistic; we have to be optimistic.  What else would we be if you lose optimism?” –  John Wayne

Well, Duke…I guess when you lose optimism, you sound like a bunch of spoiled brats.

Entertainment Weekly reported last night that

The first salvo against Donald Trump was fired only a few minutes into the Oscars — and then they just kept on coming.

After a joyous opening musical number by Justin Timberlake performing best original song nominee “Can’t Stop the Feeling” that brought the crowd to its feet, host Jimmy Kimmel took the stage at the 89th annual Academy Awards and threw out one POTUS joke after another:

“This is being watched live by millions of people in 225 countries that now hate us,” Kimmel said (full monologue video below).

Kimmel also had this to say: “I want to say thank you to President Trump. Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist? … It’s gone thanks to him.”

And this: “In Hollywood, we don’t discriminate against people based on what countries they come from. We discriminate on them based on their age and weight.”

Kimmel also made jokes about “mediocre” and “overrated” Meryl Streep — a reference to Trump’s criticism of the actress, who slammed him during the Golden Globes last month.

And the ABC late-night host noted that actors will give speeches that “the president will tweet about in all caps during his 5 a.m. bowel movement tomorrow.”

But Kimmel also surprised by throwing out this plea for unity: “If every person watching this show … if every one of you took a minute to reach out to someone you disagree with, someone you like and have a positive, considerate conversation — not as liberals and conservatives, but as Americans —  we could make America great again.”

The host also joked that he’s the wrong person to unite the country. “I can’t do that,” Kimmel said as the camera shifted to showing Hacksaw Ridge director Mel Gibson, a best director nominee, seated in the audience. “There’s only one Braveheart in this room and he’s not going to unite us either.”

After the monologue, Kimmel wasn’t done: “Doctor Strange was nominated for special effects — and also Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.”

Later, when Iranian director Asghar Farhadi won for The Salesman, the award was accepted on his behalf by Anousheh Ansari, famed for being the first female space tourist. Ansari read a blistering letter from Farhadi, who declared last month he would not attend the Oscars in the wake of Trump’s executive order blocking citizens from Iran and six other predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. (The ban has since been halted by judicial decisions.)

“I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight,” Farhadi said via the letter. “My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and from the other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law which bans immigrants entry into the U.S.” Ansari was interrupted by cheers here, then continued: “Dividing the world into the ‘us and our enemies’ categories creates fear — a deceitful justification for aggression and war. These wars prevent democracy and human rights in countries which themselves have been victims of aggression. Filmmakers can turn their cameras to capture shared human qualities and break stereotypes of various nationalities and religions. They create empathy between us and others — an empathy we need today more than ever.”

Trump’s immigration policy was also in the spotlight when The White Helmets — about the Syrian civil war — won best documentary short. U.S. immigration authorities reportedly barred its 21-year-old cinematographer Khaled Khateeb from traveling to Los Angeles for the Oscars. Director Orlando von Einsiedel noted, “It’s very easy to feel these guys have been forgotten, the war has been going on for six years, if everyone here could just stand up and remind them that we all care that this war ends as quickly as possible.”

In another instance, actor Gael Garcia Bernal took a shot at Trump’s border wall plan while introducing best animated film: “Flesh and blood actors are migrant workers. We travel all over the world. We construct families, we build life, but we cannot be divided. As a Mexican, as a Latin American, as a migrant worker, as a human being, I’m against any form of wall that wants to separate us.”

And when Zootopia won that category, director Rich Moore pointedly noted, “We are so grateful to audiences to audiences all over the world who embraced this film with this story of tolerance being more powerful than fear of the Other.”

After all these references to Trump policies, Kimmel tweeted to the president while on stage: “Hey @realDonaldTrump u up?”

Once again, the Hollywood “Elite” on the Left of the Political Spectrum who voted for Hillary Clinton to be our next President of the United States of America, continue in public to show their hindquarters, while throwing the longest temper tantrum that the world has ever seen over the results of an American Presidential Election, that happened almost five months ago.

These self-proclaimed activists, are making a lie out of the claim that they have made for years that they are the most tolerant…and “gifted” among us.

In fact, these sore losers remind me of the hysterically sobbing children that you hear in every Walmart across the country.

It’s not that those children are crying because they are physically hurt. Just like these Hollywood Liberals, they’re crying because they did not get their way.

This epic meltdown by those who are paid handsomely to entertain us is a direct result of an isolated ignorance of average Americans’ desire to rid ourselves of those in the Halls of Power who told us repeatedly that they knew what was best for us and “who we were”, while their actual mission was to turn America into a Third-World Barrio in their quest to make us a Socialist Paradise.

All during the Presidential Campaign, the Democratic Party, along with those in “Showbiz”, through their minions in the Main Stream Media, assured us that it was a foregone conclusion that Hillary Clinton would be our 45th president.

There is a reason for that.

The Liberal Elite have always believed that our country revolves around the big metropolitan areas in the Northeast and in California. They have always looked down their noses at what they derisively call “Flyover Country”, the same area that many of us call the Heartland of America or simply “home”.

This meltdown which promises to last way past Inauguration Day, is a reaction caused by their own unbridled and unsupported arrogance.

Just like their fellow Modern American Liberals who run Democratic Party, the disconnected “dancing monkeys” in Tinsel Town and the Big Apple never saw Trump’s victory coming.

At this point, all their incessant national temper tantrum is doing, is making them look like fools.

I don’t remember any of us average Americans asking them for their opinion as to how we should vote, do you?

Perhaps, if they got their noses out of the air and actually associated with their families and former friends “back home”, instead of kissing each other’s hindquarters at the latest Premiere or “social event”, perhaps they and reality would not have taken divergent paths, and they would conduct themselves and  comport themselves like those Hollywood Legends before them, who served their country during World War II, doing whatever they could to help America defeat fascism.

Now, these pampered ,self-righteous, oblivious Lightweights wish to restore to power the fascists that Americans defeated at the Ballot Box on November 8th, 2016.

As we say down here in the part of America’s Heartland, known as Dixie…

It just don’t make no sense.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Americans Do Not Like to Be Lectured to by Liberals…as ESPN and Hollywood are Finding Out

December 1, 2016

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Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.- William F. Buckley, Jr.

Breitbart.com reports that

The Nielsen estimates revealed that ESPN lost 555,000 subscribers during the last month.

In other words, ESPN essentially lost the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. This, coming on the heels of last month, the worst month in ESPN history, where the network lost 621,000 subscribers. 

In the last two months, ESPN has lost 1,176,000 subscribers, a subscriber loss nearly the size of the city of Dallas, Texas. ESPN currently has just over 88 million domestic subscribers. In 2013, a mere three years ago, ESPN had 99 million subscribers. That’s right, in the last three years, ESPN lost somewhere in the neighborhood of ten million subscribers, the rough equivalent of the combined populations of New York City and Phoenix.

Now, in fairness, ESPN has contested the subscriber estimates that Nielsen put forth, citing the omission of multiple factors, including streaming services and digital device numbers. However, if the Nielsen numbers even remotely approximate the true subscriber loss, it means ESPN has lost hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue over the last three years alone and if the trend continues, is well on its way to collapse.

Certainly, the cord-cutting phenomenon that has hit networks across cable television has a definite impact on ESPN. Though, that’s not the entire explanation for the network’s cratering subscriber base. ESPN Ombudsman Jim Brady, admitted that the network lurched way too far to the left in recent years, alienating many viewers.

There’s also evidence of that in these numbers. According to Deadline Hollywood, “Disney’s other sports channels fared better. ESPNU had 71 million subs, down 1.4%. ESPNEWS and SEC Network — not measured by Nielsen — were flat based on December data from SNL Kagan. The former had 70 million subs and the latter had 62 million.”

What do ESPNU, ESPNEWS, and the SEC Network all have in common? They are, by far, the least opinion-driven and ideological of all the ESPN channels. ESPN’s slate of uber-opinionated, radically leftist programs such as Around the Horn, First Take, Pardon the Interruption, His & Hers, and others all appear on ESPN or ESPN2, the channels which have seen the greatest decline.

ESPNU, ESPNEWS, and the SEC Network primarily feature sporting events, simulcast radio shows, or straight news reporting with very little opinion, or, at least very little political opinion. Those channels have either marginally declined or stayed flat.

Something tells me there’s a message there.

You betchum, Red Ryder.

In a related story, The Washington Times reports that

Hollywood actor Mark Wahlberg has a message for his fellow thespians: Stop talking politics.

The star of “Patriots Day,” an upcoming film on the Boston Marathon bombing, sat down with Task and Purpose to promote his work. The website, which is dedicated to issues of interest to veterans, asked him what he thought of Hollywood’s recent attempts to undercut Republican Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

“A lot of celebrities did, do, and shouldn’t,” Mr. Wahlberg told the website. “You know, it just goes to show you that people aren’t listening to that anyway. They might buy your CD or watch your movie, but you don’t put food on their table. You don’t pay their bills. A lot of Hollywood is living in a bubble. They’re pretty out of touch with the common person, the everyday guy out there providing for their family.”

The actor went on to say that although he is at ease navigating the entertainment industry and enjoying its perks, he still understands what it’s like “not to have all that.”

“I’m very aware of the real world,” he said. “I come from the real world and I exist in the real world. And although I can navigate Hollywood and I love the business and the opportunities it’s afforded me, I also understand what it’s like not to have all that.”

“Patriots Day,” which is set for release in U.S. theaters Dec. 21, tells the story of heroism displayed by law enforcement personnel on April 15, 2013, after Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev killed four people and wounded 264 others during a terror attack at the Boston Marathon.

The second story is related to first story because “Marky Mark” Wahlberg hits the nail on the head:

People in “Show Business”, and that includes Professional Sports, and the reporting of it, need to stop their self-appointed mission of spreading Liberal Propaganda.

As ESPN and Hollywood are finding out the hard way, average Americans want them to shut up and entertain us.

That is the reason that Hollywood has been having more misses than hits, in the last several years.

As Wahlberg said, the Liberals who run “Hollyweird” are totally disconnected from the average American’s belief system of ethics, values, and faith.

In other words, “Truth, Justice, and the American Way”.

All of the great movies and television shows my generation watched while we were growing up, reinforced those values.

One of the movies expected to be a blockbuster a while back, “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 Americans 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.

We knew that the Lone 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 in admiration 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 in the 1970s wanted a red Gran Torino with a white stripe down the side, like “Starsky and Hutch” drove.

Even though they “underperformed”, you want to know why  Americans go to see movies like “American Sniper”, the Captain America Movies, the Avenger Movies, the Spider-Man Movies, the X-Men Movies, and  “Guardians of the Galaxy”?

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.

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

American Sniper shows very plainly that we can triumph against Radical Islam, the Political Ideology masquerading as a Religion, which Obama dares not call out by name.

Heck,  “American Sniper” even did well in Islamic Nations.

Why? As President Ronald Reagan realized, all those decades ago, the followers of Mohammed respect strength, not weakness.

So, why did Americans flock to see this movie in record numbers?

Americans were living vicariously through the late American Hero Chris Kyle.

Americans respected his legacy of heroism. That is why, when Former Professional Wrestler, and lunatic Jesse “The Body” Ventura sued Chris’ widow, Americans wanted to string him up in the middle of the Town Square.

As I have written several times, America is still a Majority Conservative Nation.

Look at an Electoral Map of what happened during the Presidential Election of November 8th.. America is a Sea of Red, with little Blue Enclaves, up in the Northeast and on the Left Coast.

“American Sniper” blew the doors off at the Box Office and at the Redbox Rental Kiosks, because average Americans are being forced to cut back on their Entertainment Budget.

Americans have to pick and choose very carefully the movies they go to, simply due to the high price of tickets, refreshments, and gasoline and Obama’s stagnant economy.

That is the reason that Redbox is so popular.

And, the reason why more Americans are “cutting the cable”.

Americans can choose to view the movies and television shows that they like to watch.

A while back, my bride and I made the mistake of renting “Noah”. Thank the Lord, we only paid $1.28 for it. Even at $1.28, it was still over-priced.

But, I digress…

Hollywood and the Television Bigwigs on the East Coast need to pay attention to which television programs and movies the American public are watching at home…and make more just like them.

Average Americans are more perceptive than Liberals think we are.

Until the Liberals in Hollywood (and New York City and Washington, DC) realize that, they will continue to fail.

Just as their precious Democratic Party and the Presidential Candidate that they thought could not lose got their hindquarters handed to them on November 8th.

“Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid. ” – John Wayne

Until He Comes,

KJ

 

A KJ Sunday Morning Reflection: The Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams of the Class of 1976

July 31, 2016

th7VYM1V3QPROLOGUE: “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”, hosted by Robin Leach, was a nationally-syndicated television program, which  ran from 1984 to 1995. It led to a new era of celebrity-worship, spotlighting the eccentricities and excesses of a different member of the “rich and famous” each week. The program always gave special attention to the prices paid for the various luxuries with which the perceived “upper crust” enhanced their daily lives, ranging from spacious seaside villas, to classic cars, to gold-plated bathroom fixtures.

“Everybody Has a Dream” – Billy Joel – “The Stranger” Album, released September 29, 1977

According to infoplease.com, the following significant events occurred  in 1976…

  • Supreme Court rules that blacks and other minorities are entitled to retroactive job seniority (March 24).
  • Ford signs Federal Election Campaign Act (May 11).
  • Supreme Court rules that death penalty is not inherently cruel or unusual and is a constitutionally acceptable form of punishment (July 3).
  • Nation celebrates bicentennial (July 4).
  • Israeli airborne commandos attack Uganda’s Entebbe Airport and free 103 hostages held by pro-Palestinian hijackers of Air France plane; one Israeli and several Ugandan soldiers killed in raid (July 4).
  • Mysterious disease that eventually claims 29 lives strikes American Legion convention in Philadelphia (Aug. 4).
  • Jimmy Carter elected U.S. president (Nov. 2).

Additionally, of no less significance than these other world-altering events, in Memphis, Tennessee, 360 teenagers sat in their high school gymnasium on a hot May evening, in blue caps and gowns, as their lives changed forever.

By now, you are probably saying, so what?

Well, boys and girls, this graduating class was different.

Brought together by a court order requiring students to be forcibly bussed across town to other schools, in full swing by their Sophomore Year, these adolescents ( as their American Literature teacher would call them) warily gravitated toward each other as other fellow classmates left them as their parents placed them in newly-formed private schools.

As their time together in that high school rolled on, something quite remarkable happened.

These students began to realize that they were not so different from one another, after all.

You see, these were the days when a broken home was an abnormality, instead of an accepted fact of life, and a time when success was not measured by the size of the money clip in your pocket, but rather, the strength of your family ties.

While school discipline was something to be feared, it didn’t hold a candle to what you would face from your parents when you got home.

School fights happened after school and were accomplished with poorly-aimed fists, not firearms, leaving little damage to the combatants, except wounded prides and backsides, when they got home.

Teachers were the subject of awe and legend…and ruled their classrooms, educating and encouraging their charges to take what they had learned and to make a good life for themselves.

The social lives of these teenagers, were no less educational, filled with learning about how to actually talk to and get along with one another and getting to know themselves as well.

Why am I waxing nostalgic about this long ago high school graduating class?

I was one of them.

Over the last two evenings, I have been experiencing a flood of memories and emotions as I attended my 40th High School Reunion.

Masterfully planned and executed, the event went off with a hitch, with old friends reuniting, filling each other in on the highs and lows of the journey upon which God had taken them during the last 40 years.

Prestige and our economic and societal status took a back seat to demonstrations of affection, understanding, and laughter as we shared remembrances of our time together as “crazy” teenagers, “caught up” with one another’s lives and families, and told stories about beloved friends who were no longer with us.

The “Rich and Famous” are paupers compared to us.

For the past two nights, this disparate collection of former Memphis Teenagers once again discovered how blessed we truly were…and are.

So, this Sunday Morning, I congratulate the Bicentennial Graduating Class of 1976.

We survived.

I love y’all.

I wish to finish this reflection with the words of an old Irish toast, turned into a benediction, that I used to sing in my home church’s choir.

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

And the rains fall soft upon your fields.

And, until we meet again,

May God hold you, HOLD YOU, in the Hollow of His hand.

Amen.

Until He Comes,

KJ

 

 

CMT Awards 2016 and The Death of Country Music

June 9, 2016

th (73)Filed under the category of “Liberals Have to Ruin Everything”…

Foxnews.com reports that

Viewers who tuned into last night’s CMT Music Awards were left wondering whether or not they were watching a country music award show.

The fan-voted show kicked off with a number of collaborative performances featuring country stars and others outside the genre, from rockers Cheap Trick to rapper Pitbull.

Keith Urban, Brett Eldredge and Maren Morris started the show off at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. That was followed with an outdoor performance by Billy Ray Cyrus with recent Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Cheap Trick. Then the show went back indoors for a performance by Pitbull, pop singer Leona Lewis and Cassadee Pope — all while Jason Aldean, Nicole Kidman and more watched in the audience.

The performances did not leave fans happy with the show.

“Can someone please explain to me why #Pitbull just performed at the #CMTawards? Wasting time when real county artists could be performing,” one viewer asked.

“Why cut Cam short short to have 5th Harmony ruin a show,” another asked when the “Burning House” singer sang with the pop group.

…Comedian and singer Wheeler Walker Jr. chimed in saying, “Take out the music & the hosts and this show isn’t half bad.”

It wasn’t until Blake Shelton was joined by the Oak Ridge Boys to sing their song “Elvira” did viewers perk up. The “Doing It To Country Songs” singer also took home the first CMT social superstar of year award and joked about drunken tweeting.

“The audience has been dead most of the night till this Blake Shelton/Oakridge boys mashup. That was so fun!” a fan wrote.

…Chris Stapleton, who took breakthrough video of the year for “Fire Away,” performed his song “Parachute” alongside his wife, Morgan, much to the viewers’ delight.

“Chris Stapleton! First real country artist performance tonight,” a user tweeted while someone else added, “@ChrisStapleton is by far the best example of bridging old & new country music.”

Another highlight from the night was Tim McGraw’s win for the night’s top honor. He won music video of the year for “Humble and Kind,” ending Carrie Underwood’s four-year-winning streak.

But it was Little Big Town’s performance with Pharrell Williams that was the most talked about moment.

The hit-making producer-rapper-singer, who produced Little Big Town’s new album, performed alongside the Grammy-winning country group.

Little Big Town won group/duo video of the year for their Grammy-winning smash, “Girl Crush.” It was their first-ever CMT win.

“This is a real surprise,” Kimberly Schlapman said onstage, standing next to Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet.

The country world has recently been welcoming of pop stars, and not just onstage: On her popular album “Lemonade,” Beyoncé performs a country original called “Daddy Lessons,” which the Dixie Chicks covered in concert and others in the genre praised. And last year, Justin Timberlake was the highlight of the Country Music Association Awards when he performed alongside Chris Stapleton. Timberlake’s song “Drink You Away” hit the country charts after the performance.

Other performers included top country singers such as Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean.

Erin Andrews and NFL star J.J. Watt hosted the show.

On this Mississippi Summer Morning, just a few miles away from Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, I sit here reflecting on the influence which actual Country Music had on my young life, growing up with my Mother and Daddy.

Every family, to this day, has rituals that they observe like clockwork.

Our Saturday Night Ritual was to eat homemade hamburgers, spaghetti, or crockpot beans off of TV trays and watch Hee Haw, the syndicated country music variety show, out of Nashville, which starred Buck Owens, Roy Clark, and a “cast of thousands”.

The snotty folks up in the Northeast Corridor never could figure out what made that “hick show”, that lasted 25 years,  so popular.

After all, it was about traditional American Values, love of God and Country, respecting our American Musical Heritage, and featuring talented performers who wrote songs, sang, played their own instruments, loved and appreciated their fans, and actually behaved like average Americans.

Plus, they had the good grace and common sense to keep their private lives, private.

At this time in our country’s history, when morality has become relative and ethics situational, we find our souls crying out to hear something that will soothe our troubled souls. Instead, we find synthesized, mass-produced Pop Music and “so-called” Country Music, actually more Pop Music, manufactured in New York City (pronounced like they do in the Pace Salsa Commercials), advocating meaningless one-night stands and encouraging the debasement of the human soul, instead of its ability to rise above any obstacle in its path that might hinder individual achievement.

With all of today’s over-produced, under-written Pop and Country-Pop Music flooding the airwaves of both broadcast and satellite radio, Americans my age wonder where all the great Country Songwriters and Performers have gone to?

What is happening to country music reflects a lot about the culture we live in.   Artists who actually lived what they sung about like Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette, The Statlers, Jim Ed Brown, Porter Waggoner, Hank Williams, Jr., Randy Travis, Jeannie C. Riley, and Elvis Presley have been replaced by fashion models and wannabe rock stars.

Please don’t get me wrong.

There are still Americans performing country music.  Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Reba, Martina McBride, Clint Black, Montgomery Gentry,  Brooks and Dunn (who are back together and appearing with Reba in Las Vegas), Rascal Flatts, among others, are still attempting to keep the spirit of Country Music alive.

However, in our culture of fast lives, fast food, and instant gratification, superficiality sells.  That’s how we got stuck with Barack Hussein Obama (mm mmm mmmm).

It is easier and more profitable for a record company to sell someone who looks good and can sing a little, or release a country music album made by a fading rock star, than it is for them to market someone who is unbelievably talented and writes their own songs, but who resembles your next door neighbor.

Remember the Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison Country Music CD fiascos?

No?  I don’t blame you.  I wouldn’t admit it, either.

Can you imagine Hank Williams, Sr., Patsy Cline, or Buck Owens trying to get a record deal today?

I’m sorry Mr. Williams.  Your vocalization is way too twangy and you drink way too much.  “I Saw The Light”?  What kind of song is that?  A song about redemption?  Get real.  “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”?  Who Cares?  You’re just not marketable.

Ms. Cline, we can’t use you.  You look like somebody’s next door neighbor.

Mr. Owens, what is the “Bakersfield sound” that you’re talking about?  That won’t get any airtime in New York City.   “Act Naturally”?  That’s a song?  Next thing you know, you’ll tell me that the Beatles will want to record it.

Now you know why Toby Keith formed his own record label.

The big recording companies like RCA Nashville and Arista are run like any other business.  Executives are transferred from other cities and other divisions within the company and are judged to be successful by the amount of revenue they generate.  The decision was made several years ago to turn country music into pop music.  Country Music started the transition from Kitty Wells to Taylor Swift and from George Jones to Kid Rock in an effort to claim a bigger share of the CD-buying public.  The disconnect arises when you take a genre that has traditionally sung  about God, America, family, and heartache and try to make it about fashionistas, MTV, and shallow people with situational morality and ethics.

Just like the Liberal Politics of the outspoken harpies, the Dixie Chicks, it just doesn’t work here in America’s Heartland.

Or, as we say in Dixie,

That dog don’t hunt.

Alan Jackson and George Strait were prophets.

Nobody saw him running from sixteenth avenue
They never found the fingerprint or the weapon that was used
But someone killed country music, cut out its heart and soul
They got away with murder down on music row

The almighty dollar and the lust for worldwide fame
Slowly killed tradition and for that someone should hang
They all say not guilty, but the evidence will show
That murder was committed down on music row

For the steel guitars no longer cry and fiddles barely play
But drums and rock ‘n’ roll guitars are mixed up in your face
Old Hank wouldn’t have a chance on today’s radio
Since they committed murder, down on music row

They thought no one would miss it, once it was dead and gone
They said no one would buy them old drinking and cheating songs
Well I’ll still buy ’em
Well there ain’t no justice in it and the hard facts are cold
Murder’s been committed, down on music row

Oh, the steel guitars no longer cry and you can’t hear fiddles play
With drums and rock ‘n roll guitars mixed right up in your face
Why, the hag, he wouldn’t have a chance on today’s radio
Since they committed murder down on music row
Why, they even tell the posse to pack up and go back home
There’s been an awful murder down on music row

“Murder on Music Row”. George Strait/Alan Jackson, 2000

Last night’s CMT Awards wasn’t just a murder.

It was a MASSACRE.

Until He Comes,

KJ