Saturday Open Thread (Non-Election Edition)

Why am I watching the Late Late Show with James Corden for the third time this week (having never seen it before?) Because he's so happy.

I'm serious. I'm really tired of bickering, negativity and Republicans. And bedtime has to be the worst time to watch, read or write about politics.

Since we already have new threads up today on South Carolina, Nevada, Trump and Hillary, here's an open thread for non-election related topics. All other topics welcome -- happy or not.

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    Embrace Of The Serpent (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 10:56:48 AM EST
    This opened Wed.  It's no where near me yet but if it's near you it might be a perfect break from "election"


    Embrace of the Serpent is like no other movie I've ever seen
    The Colombian Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film is a stunning journey into the jungle

    Meanwhile, David Gallego's cinematography captures the way the jungle can feel incredibly alien -- but he also makes it feel more and more like home as the film goes on and we come to identify more with Karamakate.

    I'm making Embrace of the Serpent sound more high-minded than it feels while watching it. Guerra packs the story with enough stuff that there's always something weird or funny or interesting happening on screen. And as the movie approaches its ending, it finds something true and wise in its many, many incidents, drawing them together into a larger meaning.

    Everything is fleeting, says Embrace of the Serpent, even a whole tribe, or a way of life. But there is something running between us, some through-line, that is eternal, symbolized by that ever-rolling river. We live and we die, but we pass pieces of ourselves forward, and in so doing, we live again, both as memories and as hazy reflections cast on muddy water.

    The search for the sacred plant (none / 0) (#10)
    by jondee on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 12:27:59 PM EST
    is an archetype that goes back to epic of Gilgamesh and forward from there to Goethe's obsession with locating the primordial "urpflanze" from which all other plants derived..

    And of course, all the shamanic plant-gathering journeys that still go on to this day..

    Movies with South American backdrops almost always seem to enter a deeper level of reality for whatever mysterious reasons..Werner Herzog's Aguirre, The Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo, The Mission, Curse of the Spiderwoman, Burn!, which Brando always said was the best thing he ever did..

    Funny story: Klaus Kinski, a gifted prima donna who made Christian Bale look like the ultimate team player, apparently drove everyone so crazy
    during the filming of Herzog's films that the local tribesman came to Herzog and offered to kill Kinski for him..

    Btw Captain, is that a ferret in your pocket, or are you just happy to hear from me?


    It's a ferret (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 12:37:36 PM EST
    You know what I thought was interesting


    Seems a little counter intuitive to make a jungle movie in B&W.

    I have a feeling it adds a lot to the dreamlike quality.


    Yeah, that's the first thing (none / 0) (#12)
    by jondee on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 12:46:26 PM EST
    I thought when I heard it was in black and white. On both counts.

    I love B&W jungle films. (none / 0) (#13)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 01:08:46 PM EST
    Harlow and Gable in Red Dust.  Cagney and Ann Sheridan in Torrid Zone.  And who can forget Sterling Hayden in The Asphalt Jungle.

    Not B&W, but worth finding: The Valley, Obscured by Clouds. Scored by Pink Floyd.


    King Kong (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 01:17:24 PM EST
    James Corden is really happy. (none / 0) (#1)
    by caseyOR on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 05:40:06 AM EST
    Always upbeat and laughing. And I do like Karaoke Carpool.

    I'll add him to my recording list (none / 0) (#2)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 06:34:17 AM EST
    No way I can stay up that late!  I do like him when I've seen him on other shows. And did you see him in the film of "Into The Woods"? He was very good!

    If you get bored (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 09:15:20 AM EST
    You should consider COLONY on USA.

    an alien show that's not at all about aliens.  I know I've said this before but persistence has worked in the past.  


    Still have 2 seasons of The Americans (none / 0) (#4)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 09:52:58 AM EST
    to get through! But I will keep it in mind for after that. I am overloaded though and find myself wishing I were reading more, like I used to. So I may have to cut back on my TV - horrors!!!

    Did my relentless (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 10:02:31 AM EST
    Pushing of the Americans have anything to do with it?

    I love that series and have been chattering about it since the first season but I don't specifically ever remember discussing it with you.

    About COLONY.  So interesting.   It's really about military occupation.  The psychology of it.    What happens when families are divided between collaboration and resistance.   Based loosely on the Nazi occupation of France.    You never see the aliens.   May never see them.   And it doesn't matter.   I think that is sort of basic to the philosophy of the show.   They are just the occupiers pulling strings behind the scenes.  

    Sawyer from LOST and Laurie from WALKING DEAD are great in the leads.   Laurie reprieving her roll as the duplicitous wife.  


    I don't remember you talking about it (none / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 02:13:13 PM EST
    but maybe it was one of the influences. So many people have been raving about it, and critics I like saying it is the best show on TV I had to give it a try. Love it! I'm going to Amazon and chill the rest of the day!

    I'm sympathizing with your sad news (none / 0) (#21)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 02:51:28 PM EST
    extra much today. My 14 yr old doggie didn't want his breakfast today, and he didn't want to go to the park like we do every Saturday morning. I always have known his appetite will be the last thing to go, since he has always been the biggest chow hound I know. I got him some good meaty wet food at the store a little while ago, and that did seem to perk him up. Hoping he is just having a bad day.  

    So sad knowing the time is winding down with this sweet old soul.


    Hope it's just a bad day (none / 0) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 03:20:27 PM EST

    He's doing better now (none / 0) (#23)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 03:49:14 PM EST
    Better enough to bark at me if I don't sit with him. But he's not in the room with the Amazon capable TV! No Americans! The things I do for these dogs....

    My vet (none / 0) (#29)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 04:08:22 PM EST
    Who is great, says if they don't feel like eating for one day you shouldn't try to hard to get them to.  Sometimes they just have an upset stomach or something and they know if they feel like eating.
    Plus, I know from personal experience, some times you just end up cleaning it up.

    Thanks, that helps! (none / 0) (#32)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 04:31:08 PM EST
    True, I'd rather he not eat than lose it all over the place. He probably knows best!

    I'm watching (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 10:11:05 AM EST
    The funeral for Justice Scalia.  Today he is mot a man who i think did some great damage to our country with his jurisprudence  (but on the other hand, he was a strong proponent of the Fourth Amendment),  but he had a family and friends who are having their mourning on display for the world to see.   His son, a priest, is saying the mass - I don't know how he's he going to get through it.

    The "originalist." (none / 0) (#18)
    by KeysDan on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 01:44:58 PM EST
    for dust you are to dust you shall return (Genesis 3.19).

    A better version (none / 0) (#24)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 03:54:41 PM EST
    Nice. (none / 0) (#35)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Feb 21, 2016 at 02:47:41 AM EST
    Let's also include "Dust," by Fleetwood Mac (1973):

    "When the white flame in us is gone,
    And we that lost the world's delight stiffen in darkness,
    Left alone to crumble in our separate light.
    When your swift hair is quiet in death,
    And through the lips corruption thrust to still the labor of my breath.
    When we are dust, when we are dust."



    Ah the Danny Kirwan Bob Welch (none / 0) (#45)
    by jondee on Sun Feb 21, 2016 at 11:18:20 AM EST
    FM incarnation..

    That was a very underrated band, imo.

    Danny, who honed his chops jamming with Peter Green, somehow ended up homeless..

    I hope he's o.k and safe and warm somewhere now.


    That's terrible news! (none / 0) (#71)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 07:59:16 PM EST
    I hope he's okay, too. He's a great guitarist and songwriter. It's funny, because I first came to like Fleetwood Mac when I was in 9th grade, when Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined the band and they broke through into mainstream pop music with their "Fleetwood Mac" album. I not only had absolutely no idea how profoundly the band had moved away from the blues rock roots of its earlier incarnation, I didn't even know those roots existed. (And why should I, since I was only 14 at the time?)

    I didn't discover FM's earlier music until college, when a dorm mate turned me onto the period when Kirwan, Green, Welch and Jeremy Spencer were still with the band. I love listening to "Bare Trees," one of my favorite albums from the 1970s, on a rainy afternoon. Awesome stuff.



    I got to see Straight Outta Compton recently (none / 0) (#8)
    by McBain on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 11:39:30 AM EST
    I don't know if it's accurate but its definitely an entertaining film.  

    There were lots of stereotypes.... just about every african american was a rapper, drug dealing street thug or prostitute. Every cop was abusive.  The jewish manager takes advantage of the artists. Same old story but fun to watch.

    The acting, writing and direction were solid. I recommend this movie.  

    That's a pretty funny comment (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 12:09:07 PM EST
    I take it that you've never been to ... (none / 0) (#33)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Feb 21, 2016 at 02:19:55 AM EST
    ... Compton and south-central L.A.

    Driven though (none / 0) (#44)
    by McBain on Sun Feb 21, 2016 at 11:11:43 AM EST
    what's your point?  Have you seen this movie yet?  

    I haven't seen it (none / 0) (#48)
    by CST on Sun Feb 21, 2016 at 02:52:35 PM EST
    But it's a movie about rappers who started out as drug dealers in one of the most violent neighborhoods in America so...

    Maybe it's spot on? (none / 0) (#49)
    by McBain on Sun Feb 21, 2016 at 08:31:10 PM EST
    Have you seen it?  I'm just saying every character is a stereotype. No surprises.

    One of the things that makes the film interesting is the use of mostly unknown actors. Ice Cube's son plays the part of his father and he's good.

    Another strength is the opening scene... very intense.


    It is spot on (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by vicndabx on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 12:31:01 PM EST
    but not for the reasons you appear to be stating.  No, not everyone was a drug dealer.  Yes, certain characters whose real-life counterparts they represent were alleged to have sold drugs.

    It's a stereotype if you believe that all blacks are drug dealers and rappers.

    It is however a biopic about a rap group.  It's not a surprise to those familiar w/the group.


    To be clear, this is what I said.. (none / 0) (#61)
    by McBain on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 04:22:15 PM EST
    "just about every african american was a rapper, drug dealing street thug or prostitute."

    Do you disagree?  

    This was a good film.  It was also full of negative stereotypes.  


    Again, maybe you dont understand (none / 0) (#64)
    by vicndabx on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 04:52:37 PM EST
    the movie is about the rise of a rap group, and specifically, their being one of the founders of west coast rap - so yeah, it was supposed to be about rappers.

    I didn't see any prostitutes in the movie.  Women at parties, yes.  From what I remember, there was on drug dealer portrayed in the movie - Eazy-E.  They showed who he dealt with, ostensibly for character development.  They should show a nice clean version so as not so offend?  That kind of defeats the point of the movie and the impetus behind the rise of NWA.

    Again, negative stereotypes is your term, but not shared by many, including me.  In spite of poor choices; often due to circumstances you may not be able to appreciate, some turn those choices into something positive.  Eazy-E and Jay-Z to name a few.

    For what it's worth:  charitable rap stars

    Recently, Dre and Jimmy Iovine donated a combined $70 million ($35 million each) to the University of Southern California. The money went to help further the education of thousands of students in Los Angeles, as most of the funds went to creating a new degree at the university -- blending liberal arts, graphic and product design, business and technology. This became the largest gift by a black man to any college or university in the country.

    Where's the criticism of the Godfather, Too Big to Fail or any other movie w/white stars that portray "negative stereotypes?"


    vicndabx: "Where's the criticism of the Godfather, Too Big to Fail or any other movie w/white stars that portray 'negative stereotypes?'"

    ... about "The Godfather" back in the day emanating from the Italian-American community, which focused on alleged stereotyping. In fact, when "The Godfather" first aired on network television back in 1974, NBC repeatedly ran a disclaimer during commercial breaks stating that the story was a work of fiction, and that the ruthless and violent criminals depicted therein were not at all representative of any particular ethnic group as a whole.



    There's been plenty of criticism (none / 0) (#68)
    by McBain on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 06:35:18 PM EST
    for negative stereotyping in the Godfather and other mafia movies.

    The only non stereotyped character from Straight Outta Compton I can think of was Easy E's girlfriend who had some knowledge of contracts and the law.

    Of course the movie is about rappers from the mean streets of LA.  I didn't go into it expecting the Cosby Show.  


    I saw "Straight Outa Compton" when it was first released last summer. (And quite honestly, logic eludes me as to why so many people thought it appropriate to bring young children under the age of 10 to see the film. If ever a movie had an overtly adult theme and fully deserved an "R" rating, "Compton" was it.)

    Keeping in mind the late Adam Clayton Powell's admonition that one must beware of both Greeks bearing gifts and "white liberals who understand the Negro," I grew up in suburban Los Angeles, and I am familiar with the pervasive poverty and social volatility that underscores life in the predominantly African American neighborhoods of west Pasadena, south-central L.A., Compton, Inglewood and north Long Beach.

    I am also fully aware of LAPD's longstanding notoriety regarding issues of race and ethnicity, particularly under the not-so-benign leadership of chiefs William Parker, Ed Davis and Darryl Gates.

    It was, after all, Chief Parker's blunt promise to then-LAPD Lt. Tom Bradley that no "Nigras" would ever attain the rank of deputy chief to command white officers on his watch (a ridiculous segregation that was formally abolished only upon Parker's death in 1966), which compelled L.A.'s future mayor to leave the department in 1961 and commence what eventually became a fabled career in city politics.

    Even during Bradley's long tenure as mayor, LAPD was virtually untouchable due to provisions in the city charter which kept both the department and the L.A. Police Commission independent of the mayor's office. For decades, rogue factions of LAPD, such as existed in Rampart Division, operated with near-impunity in the city's minority neighborhoods, terrorizing local residents and shaking down merchants, legal and illicit alike.

    I've therefore no reason to question the accuracy of the onscreen depiction of NWA's story, the violent nature of their neighborhood and the so-called "gangsta" subculture. If anything, according to several women such as Dee Barnes, who were associated with NWA at the time, "Straight Outa Compton" tends to gloss over and downplay that subculture's inherent misogyny.



    Drove through it on my way to (none / 0) (#62)
    by McBain on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 04:29:11 PM EST
    the Watts Towers Arts Center.   Los Angeles doesn't get enough cultural credit.  The overall city planning and architecture might not be great but there several quality museums and beautiful things to see.

    On that, we can agree. (none / 0) (#65)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 05:10:50 PM EST
    Two fabulous museums are in my old stomping grounds of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley -- the Huntington Gardens and Museum on Allen Ave., and the Norton Simon Museum on Colorado Blvd.

    Both are highly recommended to Southland visitors. In downtown L.A., the Broad Museum recently opened to tremendous critical acclaim. Like the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, it's designed to showcase the personal collection of its namesake, which it does to great effect. The Southwest Museum of the American Indian, located northeast of downtown in the Arroyo Seco, has a fine collection of Native American art, crafts and artifacts.

    I know that it's fashionable in some circles to sneer at L.A. as some sort of private backwater of the shallow and self-absorbed, but the city's cultural attributes are indeed quite considerable, and its museums rank among some of the world's very best.

    The Getty Museum in Malibu has one of the best collections of Greco-Roman art anywhere, and the Getty Center overlooking Westwood not only houses a formidable collection of western art, the sweeping view of the city from downtown L.A. to Pacific Palisades, offered by its outdoor terraces and overlooks, are simply stunning.



    Where I live (Silicon Valley) (none / 0) (#69)
    by McBain on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 06:41:39 PM EST
    It's very fashionable to sneer at LA and call people who live there "shallow".  My experience has been the opposite for the most part.  

    That being said, I'm not sure I'd want to live in LA because of traffic. It can be bad where I live but at least it's predictable.... avoid rush hour and you're usually OK.  


    LOL! People who live in Silicon Valley ... (none / 0) (#73)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 08:43:35 PM EST
    ... should not complain about traffic. When Elder Daughter was playing with her volleyball team in the 2010 NCAA West Regionals at Stanford, it took us about 6 hours to drive from my mother's place in Pasadena to San Jose, and then another 90-100 minutes to drive the 20 miles to Palo Alto from San Jose on U.S. 101 -- at 1:00 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon.

    We crept at about 5-10 mph the whole way. It was awful! Had I known my way around there street-wise, I'd have gotten off the freeway and driven the surface streets, but I didn't.

    The next day after the Regionals (Elder Daughter's team was ousted by the home team Stanford in the first round), it was the same thing. After a few miles of creeping, I decided that the traffic south was going to be as bad going as was coming. So I ended up turning around and going north to take the Dumbarton Bridge over to Fremont, and then taking I-580 through Dublin and Livermore to I-5 for the trek back down to L.A. Added about 60 additional miles to the trip, but probably saved two hours of aggravation through San Jose.

    Next time we're headed to the Bay Area from L.A., we're flying there.



    Funny... (none / 0) (#79)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 23, 2016 at 02:17:03 PM EST
    ... what is it with Californians and always stating the routes they drive ?

    There used to be a show on the TV about Californians.  I remember two things, them taking off work to be with their friends and watch a police chase and the stating what roads they used to get somewhere.  It was cancelled after a year, but enough people take jabs at the direction thing that there must be something to it, then I see your post...


    i saw it and liked it (none / 0) (#82)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Feb 24, 2016 at 12:15:33 AM EST
    It was about the rise, success and split of a famous real rap group, NWA. Of course there were rappers. I don't remember any prostitutes.There were some groupies, but there are groupies in every rockumentary.

    I've never been to Compton but I've represented many defendants from Compton on crack cocaine cases in federal court in Colorado. The discrimination is very real.  

    It was a good movie. The only consistently violent character that comes to mind was Suge Knight, and he has denied the portrayal. The group's manager, Gerald Heller, has filed this lawsuit against the film's producers and writers and Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy E's widow.

    In a breach of contract, copyright infringement and defamation lawsuit seeking  $110 million in damages, former N.W.A manager Gerald Heller is going after NBCUniversal, director F. Gary Gray, Legendary Pictures, the screenwriters of Straight Outta Compton as well as Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, the estate of Eazy-E and the rest of the infamous gangsta rap group.

    I don't know much about rap history, so I can't say  much more, other than I liked the movie. I think the police brutality scenes were a pretty accurate reflection of those times.


    What is going on with Pres. Obama (none / 0) (#20)
    by NYShooter on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 02:45:14 PM EST
    in his "lame duck" final year?

    After seven years of (IMO, welcome) benign neglect towards Western Europe, basically, telling them they'll have to fend for themselves, and pay for their own defense needs, he's gone ballistic in this, his final year. After preparing them (70 years after WW2) that a draw-down of American troops was way past due, its now been revealed he'll be asking Congress for a quadrupling of funds to ramp up our presence there. This potential, massive increase in US military forces in Europe is apparently due to some sort of perception of a threat from "Russian aggression".

    What makes this new, belligerent sounding proposal strange to me is that Russia has recently behaved in a manner that, more or less, indicates a desire to move closer in cooperation with the West. From tamping down tensions in the Ukraine/Crimea, to, possibly, playing a useful role in Syria, I don't see where Russia is looking to increase problems for us.

    I know we have some very well informed students of history and geo-political intrigues here, and, would like here some thoughts on this important topic.

    My spidey sense says we are about to stop (none / 0) (#25)
    by ruffian on Sat Feb 20, 2016 at 04:00:17 PM EST
    fighting Putin with cheap oil and go back to means of military intimidation. Fill your tanks.

    The Russians want to cooperate because ... (none / 0) (#34)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Feb 21, 2016 at 02:29:29 AM EST
    ... the sanctions imposed upon them by the United States and western Europe after the Russian invasion of Crimea have had a devastating and debilitating effect on the Russian economy. For all the country's physical size, Russia's economy is smaller than that of California, and is roughly comparable to that of Spain. The Russians were and are very vulnerable to economic coercion by the West.

    La Reina de El Chapo, Sunday Night (none / 0) (#36)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Feb 21, 2016 at 06:58:50 AM EST
    7pm ET on Telemundo.

    The wife of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán, Emma Coronel Aispuro, said in her first-ever interview that she fears for the life of her husband and has not seen him since he was recaptured on January 8.

    The exclusive Telemundo interview between Coronel Aispuro and Mexican journalist Anabel Hernández will air Sunday February 21 at 7 p.m. ET on Telemundo, in a news special titled "The Queen of El Chapo."

    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#37)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Feb 21, 2016 at 07:45:31 AM EST
    Any interest in this?

    Queen of the South

    Ahead of its upfront presentation on Friday, USA Network has picked up its drama pilot Queen Of The South to series with a 13-episode order for a 2016 premiere. The pilot was developed and produced by Fox 21 TV Studios (then Fox TV Studios), which will now co-produce with Universal Cable Prods

    Based on best-selling book La Reina Del Sur by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Queen Of The South tells the story of Teresa Mendoza (Alice Braga). When her drug-dealing boyfriend is unexpectedly murdered in Mexico, Teresa is forced to go on the run and seek refuge in America, where she teams with an unlikely figure from her past to bring down the leader of the very drug trafficking ring that has her on the run. In the process, she learns the tools of the trade and strategically positions herself to become the leader of the Cartel.  M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller (The Final Girls) wrote the pilot and are executive producing with David Friendly (Little Miss Sunshine) and Pancho Mansfield (Damien). Charlotte Sieling directed the pilot

    It's on my list


    USA (none / 0) (#38)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Feb 21, 2016 at 07:57:41 AM EST
    Has been kickin it recently.

    Mr Robot was amazing

    I love COLONY.

    They have several other high profile show I don't follow.

    This could be good.   Some good folks involved.


    I watched parts of one or two Mr. Robots (none / 0) (#39)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Feb 21, 2016 at 08:20:15 AM EST
    and in at least one huge respect, it was a fail.

    The guy spent way too little time camped at his screen.  I realize that a realistic portrayal of an infinitely skilled super hacker would be boring at a level most can't conceive, (Do I eat the whole Cheetos first, or the broken ones?) but, for really, this was a do not pass go problem.


    "for me, really," (none / 0) (#40)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Feb 21, 2016 at 08:21:02 AM EST
    He's also (none / 0) (#41)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Feb 21, 2016 at 08:29:12 AM EST
    A lot cuter than the hackers I've known.   Which is another "realistic" detail best skirted probably.

    Don't get me wrong, I liked the idea, a couple (none / 0) (#43)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Feb 21, 2016 at 09:59:34 AM EST
    of kids taking down EvilCorp or whatever it was called.  

    What really boggles is the number of shows, movies, & advertising currently being produced.  I may quibble about the cliche littered plots and scripts but the technical quality of modern shows is incredible.


    I couldn't stand watching him or (none / 0) (#83)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Feb 24, 2016 at 12:16:09 AM EST
    the show.

    I wrote an entire post on it (none / 0) (#80)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 23, 2016 at 09:24:42 PM EST
    Blooming Forsythia (none / 0) (#42)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Feb 21, 2016 at 09:54:38 AM EST
    Feb 21/2016 9:30 am

    It's 78
    It's been in the high 70s and low 80s for about a week.

    For context this is supposed to be the coldest time of the year here.

    I for one welcome our new Climate Overlords

    Donald, my recent house guest (none / 0) (#46)
    by fishcamp on Sun Feb 21, 2016 at 11:41:03 AM EST
    left the book "Sunny Skies, Shady Characters" by James Dooley.  It doesn't seem to be too well written yet, but I'm only on chapter three.  He's dealing with the corruption at the Kukui Plaza right now.  It's filled with Hawaiian corruption.  Lots of info about the good and bad sides of Don Ho and his bodyguards.  You probably know all the characters.  Have you read it?

    No, I haven't read Dooley's book. (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 04:49:45 PM EST
    With regards to his account of so-called "corruption" at Kukui Plaza, I think it's important to understand those allegations within the very real context of the longstanding internal rivalry and discord within the Democratic Party of Hawaii, as it existed at the time between the respective factions of Govs. John Burns and George Ariyoshi and Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi, who was certainly a colorful political character if ever there was one.

    (Disclosure: Two of Mayor Fasi's six sons, Charles and David, have been personal friends of mine for 25 years, which you ought to take into account when reading this comment, because I'm not necessarily unbiased.)

    That is, those Democrats who supported Burns and Ariyoshi were and still are inclined to believe the corruption charges that were leveled against Fasi, while Fasi's supporters were and still are equally as adamant that those charges arose from a longstanding vendetta conducted against him by those two governors, in order to preclude the mayor's political challenge to Ariyoshi in the Democratic primary. (For what it's worth, Ariyoshi's attempts to keep Fasi out of the 1974 and '78 primary races didn't work.)

    All of this played out during the decade immediately prior to my own arrival in the islands. And being highly aware of the internal acrimony but personally unfamiliar firsthand with all the sordid details regarding Kukui Plaza, I take great pains to avoid any appearance of taking sides in this ongoing controversy, which still simmers sometimes not so quietly underneath the surface of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, even though nearly 40 years have since passed.

    I would further note that after departing the Honolulu Advertiser, James Dooley went to work for wingbat Malia Zimmerman and her right-wing (and now-defunct) Hawaii Reporter. That enterprise recently dissolved in some very bitter public acrimony when Malia's aging ex-paramour State Sen. Sam Slom (R-East Honolulu) apparently decided that she was getting a little long in the tooth for his tastes, subsequently traded her in for a newer model, and then pulled the plugged on its funding. Malia's now working for -- surprise!! -- the Fox News affiliate in L.A.

    So, it's not like Mr. Dooley doesn't have an agenda of his own, or is without his own axes to grind. He was reporting regularly on Kukui Plaza for the Advertiser back in 1976-78, only to see the story he was chronicling unravel badly on him when the case went to court, and the state's primary witness against Fasi -- a developer who was admittedly the mayor's friend and crony -- subsequently recanted on the stand, saying instead that he had perjured himself to the grand jury under pressure from prosecutors, who were themselves eager to implicate Fasi in a bribery scandal. The case against the mayor was dismissed by the judge with prejudice.

    (That witness also died shortly thereafter, leading to unsubstantiated insinuations from more than a few of Gov. Ariyoshi's supporters that Mayor Fasi - who was Italian-American -- called in some mob friends from back east and had him poisoned. From all indications, though, his death was from natural causes.)

    I'm likely not going to read Dooley's book, but by all means, please enjoy it because he's certainly a good and entertaining writer. I would only caution you to take any of Dooley's allegations about local pols and even Don Ho with a grain of salt, a slice of lime and a shot of Cuervo, much as I do.



    Always nice to be reminded that The Rolling Stones (none / 0) (#47)
    by FreakyBeaky on Sun Feb 21, 2016 at 12:52:40 PM EST
    ... used to be The Rolling Stones.

    OMG! Downton Abbey surprises (none / 0) (#50)
    by caseyOR on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 06:27:46 AM EST
    me again. Of all the twists and turns DA has thrown at us over these six seasons is any more surprising than the revelation that the popular advice to the lovelorn columnist for Edith's magazine is none other than Spratt, the Dowager's butler? Quelle surprise !

    Edith is right about Mary. She is a b!tch. Why can't Edith be happy?

    Only one episode left.

    If you are itneresred in that era of history (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 02:07:17 PM EST
    and the 'great houses', there is a book I have on Audible called 'Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey',by the Countess of Carnarvon, which is about the history of Highclere Castle, where Downton Abbey is filmed, and the Carnarvon family. It is a well researched and well written account of very interesting people. Almina was the acknowledged but illegitimate daughter of one of the Rothschild brothers who married the Earl of Carnarvon that was the sponsor of the Howard Carter excavations that discovered King Tut's tomb. For her part, she was a lot more than an excellent event planner and hostess - she really did turn the manor house into a hospital during WWI, as happened in Downton Abbey, and when the need grew too great for the house, used the Rothschild fortune to open up and administer hospitals in London. The book has very moving letters and descriptions from soldiers that were sent to her hospitals and received the best care possible there. She seemed like a combination of Cora and Cousin Isobel.

    I found the book a lot more interesting informative than I expected - I would have been happy with a good description of the house and grounds, which it also has.


    and downstairs too... (none / 0) (#57)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 02:12:33 PM EST
    there are letters and diary accounts from some of the servants and their relatives that shine a lot of light on what it was like to live that life. Basically it seems to me the show is pretty accurate in that regard. Very hard work, pride taken in doing it well. In this family anyway they kept staff for generations.

    You beat me to it (none / 0) (#51)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 10:19:28 AM EST
    That was a very good episode. Tear jerking, funny, surprising.

    Though I found Mary most believable when she was insisting Henry was wrong for her, the rest of the family talked me into it while they talked her into it.  And I'm sure she will make things right with Bertie for Edith as part of her new happiness. I hope Edith takes Thomas off to be butler in the even-greater-house.

    And Mrs. Patmore's house of ill repute...wish that would be a spin-off show.

    Plus - puppy!!!!!

    I am really going to miss this show.


    Must add I am glad they did not go (none / 0) (#52)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 10:20:55 AM EST
    the Mary-Branson route. They are good friends and siblings-in-law, but I never saw them as a romantic pair.

    I have Branson pegged for Edith's editor.


    I want to have tea at Mrs. (none / 0) (#53)
    by caseyOR on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 12:01:29 PM EST
    Patmore's house of ill repute. And, yes, it would be a great spin-off, and we could learn what Daisy does with her education.

    I never saw a romance blossoming between Tom and Mary. She is too committed to the whole keeping up appearances thing. And Tom, though she loves him, is not just a commoner but an Irish Catholic commoner.

    I agree about a possible romance between Tom and Edith's editor.

    So much to wrap up in one final episode.

    Please let Edith be happy!!!


    "Poor old Edith! She couldn't even make her dolls do what she wanted."



    Yes, let Edith be (none / 0) (#60)
    by KeysDan on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 04:16:28 PM EST
    happy.  Edith is now a more sympathetic character, but, as for that sibling rivalry, she "started it." Edith spread that gossip about Mary and Mr. Pamuk, potentially damaging her virtuous place in society.

    yes it was a good episode and (none / 0) (#81)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 23, 2016 at 11:26:29 PM EST
    I didn't like the two before it and fast forwarded through much of them. This one was so much better And yes Mary is a b*tch, I've never liked her character.

    Ten Years Ago Today... (none / 0) (#55)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 02:04:21 PM EST
    ... on February 22, 2006, Justice Clarence Thomas asked a question during arguments on a death penalty case and hasn't asked one since.

    The streak is a record -- no other justice in modern history has gone more than a term without asking a question during oral arguments. It's also a source of curiosity and angst in the legal community.


    Give the guy a break, (none / 0) (#59)
    by NYShooter on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 03:37:55 PM EST
    he's been spending all that time trying to figure out how that hair got on the coke can.

    Gov. Kasich channels his inner Ward Cleaver. (none / 0) (#67)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 05:37:17 PM EST
    To be fair, here's his quote in full context:

    "How did I get elected [to the state legislature in 1978]? I didn't have anybody for me. We just got an army of people, and many women who left their kitchens to go out and to go door to door to put up yard signs for me. All the way back when -- you know, things were different. Now, you call homes and everybody's out working. But at that time, in the early days, it was an army of the women that really helped me get elected to the State Senate."

    A woman in the audience retorted, "I'll support you, but I won't be coming out of the kitchen."

    Yeah, it's great to score a cheap laugh at Gov. Kasich's expense, but those pundits who are upbraiding him publicly for his "women left their kitchens" remark -- with the sound bite neatly truncated at the end of that particular sentence -- really do need to move on. When I heard it in full context, rather than as a creatively edited snippet, I understood fully what he was saying. It was a different time and era.

    I think it far better, instead, that we criticize Kasich over his recent approval of the Ohio legislature's decision to terminate state funding of Planned Parenthood programs for poor women.


    I get what you are saying but 1978 was not 1958 (none / 0) (#72)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 08:15:14 PM EST
    I can't help but remember my mom was working 70 hrs a week at two jobs in that period. Definitely would not have found her at home if he called.

    A heck of a lot of women Hillary's age were also working in 1978.


    Yes, they were. (none / 0) (#74)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 08:48:19 PM EST
    My mother was a widow and sole breadwinner for her family throughout most of my childhood, until she remarried when I was in high school. But I'm going to give Kasich a pass on this one for being terminally afflicted with a "Father Knows Best" syndrome, and reserve my ire for the decision to defund Planned Parenthood, which I think is a lot more important and objectionable.

    Yeah, I have no ire really (none / 0) (#76)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 08:56:04 PM EST
    Just yet another clueless example of why I will never vote republican.

    The idea that the real (none / 0) (#77)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 09:00:45 PM EST
    world changers were the women campaigning for Kasich.

    Actually I guess we'll find out.


    While I agree with you on your final deduction (none / 0) (#70)
    by CoralGables on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 07:44:54 PM EST
    you're giving Kasich too much leeway on the kitchen line. The ERA passed the Ohio legislature in 1974. In 1978 Kasich shouldn't have been channeling his inner Ward Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver...a show that went off the air in 1963.

    You know, I probably am. (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Feb 22, 2016 at 08:55:07 PM EST
    But if I'm going to get outraged over everything these clowns say, I'm likely to blow a cerebral gasket before the end of the month is out. The best I can offer for Kasich's "women left the kitchen" comment is an exaggerated eye roll. Besides, one of his own supporters -- a woman, natch -- took him to task for it in front of the TV cameras and everybody. So that'll suffice for me.