There was some anti-gay marriage pledge that the GOP candidates were supposed to sign this month. Of course, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum agreed to it, as one would expect. But the third was Mitt Romney. Not only is his position unfortunate, it cements that “pandering” problem he has. Beyond that, pandering didn’t work in 2008, and in fact backfired. Oh, and this was widely circulated, but I still like it: the best message for marriage equality.
There was a time when I used to actually enjoy Andy Rooney, the long-time 60 Minutes commentator who retired in October 2011, and died less than a month later. It was even before I knew who he was. I remember watching a series of CBS News specials called ‘Of Black America’, back in the days when network television would/could broadcast such things, and as it turns out, Rooney wrote two of them. He also penned ‘Black History: Lost, Stolen, or Strayed’, which won him his first Emmy.
Then he did a bunch of quirky shows in the 1970s and early 1980s Continue reading Andy Rooney
I was fascinated, at some oddly arm’s-length manner, about the death of Steve Jobs. Genius, no doubt; visionary, for certain. And, though I never purchased an Apple product – no MacIntosh, no iPod, no iPad, I recognize the impact Apple’s design had on PCs, and just about everything else. I have also seen all but two of the Pixar films.
I came across this article, “arguing against a Jobs hagiography.” I LOVE the word hagiography; it’s almost never used in the literal sense – biography of a saint – but rather to inbue characteristics on the dead that are overblown or inaccurate, usually with an admonition not to do so.
But before I get to that, the baseball playoffs begin today and Scott wants to know:
How do you think the MLB playoffs will go?
I expect that Boston will beat Atlanta in the World Series.
Wait, are you telling me NEITHER of them even made the playoffs after MASSIVE leads in the wild card race on Labor Day? I got a haircut yesterday, and a Red Sox fan walked into the shop and immediately, before anyone could even say a word, noted that the Yankees’ collapse in the 2004 playoffs (up 3-0, lost in 7 games to the Red Sox) was worse than the Bosox slide this year. Maybe. This year was certainly worse than the 1951 Dodgers’ collapse.
OK. Yankees over the Tigers, though with Verlander pitching for Detroit, anything’s possible. The Rangers over Tampa Bay. Texas over NYY.
Phillies over Cardinals. Brewers over Diamondbacks, though I know almost nothing about that Arizona team. Philadelphia over Milwaukee.
Phillies over Rangers.
Rooting interests, in order: NYY, Milwaukee, Detroit, Tampa Bay, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Arizona, Texas.
I remember reading earlier this month that actor Cliff Robertson, “who starred as John F. Kennedy in a 1963 World War II drama and later won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a mentally disabled bakery janitor in the movie ‘Charly,” had turned 88. Then, I discovered, he died the very next day. Some fans will recall that he was the “very first man ever to enter ‘The Outer Limits’, in addition to…his two trips to Rod Serling’s original ‘Twilight Zone’.” And yes, he was Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben. (NO relation to the rice of the same name.)
Eleanor Mondale died. She was the hallmate of my wife’s best friend in college. Continue reading September Rambling
Because I was out of town, I managed to miss a couple of significant cultural anniversaries. One was the 50th anniversary of the first real Marvel superhero comic, the Fantastic Four, by Stan Lee and Jack “King” Kirby. Mark Evanier explains why it had a November cover date. Check out this hour-long Kirby documentary. And here’s a link to the intro to the FF TV show.
The other was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Lucille Ball. I watched most, if not all, of the episodes of every single one of her ongoing series, from the seminal I Love Lucy (1951-1957; 8.9 out of 10 on the IMDB scale), which started before even TV Guide and I were born, but lives through the clever concept known as the rerun; to the star-studded (and too long, in my recollection) episodes of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour (1957-1960; 8.6); to The Lucy Show (1962–1968; 7.3), which was the one with Lucy as Lucy Carmichael, Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz in the earlier shows) as Viv, and Gale Gordon as Lucy’s testy boss, Mr. Mooney.
Continue reading August Rambling
The great thing about Sherwood Schwartz, who died earlier this month, is not just that he created two popular TV shows. He also wrote, or co-wrote, their iconic themes.
I never, not once, did I see The Brady Bunch, during its initial run. But I knew exactly what it was about, just by watching the theme. It was the story about two widowed people, each with three kids, each the same gender as the parent, who, along with the housekeeper, became a blended family.
There was a period of about 20 years in my life when the comic art form was extremely important in my life. One of the most impressive people working was Jeff Jones. I think I met him only once, at the FantaCon comic convention in Albany in 1980.
But FantaCo, where I worked in the 1980s, published at least two of his stories, in the anthologies Gates of Eden and Deju Vu. The covers were done by Michael Kaluta and Bernie Wrightson, respectively, two of his colleagues in something called The Studio. And both titles, on a purely commercial level, were abject failures, though brilliant on an aesthetic one.
So I lost track of Jeffrey Jones by 1994. I didn’t know, for instance, that Continue reading Jeffrey Catherine Jones