Thursday, May 21, 2020

AT HOME WITH AMY SEDARIS returns and ABC cancels five shows

TRUE TV's AT HOME WITH AMY SEDARIS returned last night. The show has been Emmy nominated for this show and that was more than deserved. Yesterday kicked off the third season. Each season is 10 episodes. Amy plays a character also named Amy Sedaris. She's a local Martha Stewart type who does a show out of her home about cooking, crafting and hosting parties.

Amy Sedaris, the actress, is very funny. She played Jerri Blank on the TV show STRANGERS WITH CANDY and on the movie they made of the same name a few years later. She was also on RAISING HOPE as Martha Plimpton's competitive cousin. In addition to playing Amy, Sedaris also plays Patty Hogg who is a pushy woman a few years older than Amy and also one of Amy's friends. She also plays Nutmeg (a crazy character) and others. Another friend of Amy's is Chassie Tucker -- played by Cole Escola. I have to be honest, I didn't know until last night's episode that Chassie was played by a guy. I did not realize that. Chassie is a mess. She's always a mess. Also in the cast is Paul Dinello (who played the art teacher on STRANGERS WITH CANDY) and David Pasquesi (who played Jerri's stepfather on SWC).

So last night saw Amy 'pregnant.' A woman wanted Amy to participate in her maternity fashion show and brought a fake baby bump for Amy which made Amy decide she was pregnant -- didn't know his name or see his face, she said. Then she told a man he was the father and he told her they hadn't seen each other in 15 years. She told him it was a cryptic pregnancy. She even had a doll that she pretended was her baby.

To show you what I mean by Chassie being a mess, Chassie came by and saw the doll and got jealous. She even tried to drop the baby in boiling water. Then she left having a temper tantrum and saying that now that Amy had the new baby she didn't want Chassie anymore.

Each episode is supposed to be Amy at home filming her show.

It really is a funny show and my only complaint? That they only do ten episode seasons.


ABC made some cuts today, canceling Single Parents, Bless This Mess, Schooled, Emergence and the reboot of Kids Say the Darndest Things. Many took to social media to express their disappointment and to say goodbye — and this includes the cast and creators of the shows.

Okay, that's bad news -- except for KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS -- there's enough cheap garbage on TV already without us having to endure KSTDT.  Did anyone need them to bring back WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE?  Did anyone need to see smug Jimmy Kimmel in prime time.  And what's the point of Dr. Phil and Jane Fonda and other people who are millionaires playing on a game show called WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE?  What a load of garbage.

SINGLE PARENTS was funny.  It was my 'safety' show in the summer.  I'd stream it on HULU in the summer when new shows weren't around.  SCHOOLED?  It got so much better as it went along.  I really enjoyed season two -- especially the way they had developed the coach's character via the love story.  Those were both funny shows and I think it was a mistake to cancel them.  BLESS THIS MESS?

Dax Shepard?

If you want to be sure that I don't watch something, cast Dax.  I can't stand him.  Everything he projects, everything he does is irritating and annoying.  Remember in the '00s when everyone would slag on Dane Cook and talk about how unfunny he was?  Dax makes Dane look like George Carlin.  Dax is Jerry Van Dyke.  Dax is useless and irritating and he drives viewers away.

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, May 21, 2020.  Attacking Tara Reade isn't feminism though it clearly helps some make a quick buck.

Cher performing Stephen Stills' "For What It's Worth." Cher's version appears on her 1969 classif album 3614 JACKSON HIGHWAY.

There's battle lines being drawn 
And nobody's right if everybody's wrong 
Young people speaking their minds
Getting some much resistance from behind

As a friend with the Biden campaign gloated to me on the phone last night, "We knew what we were doing."  Yes, they did.  The campus papers are pretty much mute right now.  That was always the biggest block for Joe.  It's not just that young adults don't like him.  It's also that they're better educated on assault and harassment.

The generational divide that's been at the heart of Joe's lukewarm reception continues.  And you see it at THE NATION where the elderly write so many columns that 46-year-old Dave Zirin is the 'youngster' in the mix.

Joan Walsh? 61.  Katha Pollitt?  70.  Patricia J. Williams?  68.

I had to ask Jim to look into that 2007 e-mail from THE NATION.  Ava and I had been sick of the imbalance at THE NATION in terms of gender.  They were publishing far more men than women.  We'd started to track it.  Around July 4th, THE NATION had e-mailed frantically.  They wanted the story killed.  They would do anything.  They would publish Ava and myself (we had no interest, thank you), they were going to be hiring women columnists shortly -- and young women at that.  Could we please kill the story?

Do we look like whores?  Maybe.  But we're not.

We tracked it for a full year and served up "The Nation featured 491 male bylines in 2007 -- how many female ones?" on December 23, 2007. 149, by the way, that's the answer.  They had 491 male bylines that year and only 149 female bylines.

And you don't see what women are up against?  Even on the so-called inclusive Democratic left (as opposed to genuine left).

Well they never did hire a young woman -- 46-year-old Melissa Lacewell Harris Perry was the closest they got.

They don't get it, like so many, they just don't get it.  They don't want to get it is probably the reason why they don't get it but it really doesn't matter.  What matters is we're in the 21st century and they're stuck in the 90s with their James Carville mindset.

They smear and attack Tara with rape culture because they must stop Tara and any other woman who might come out -- two have now hinted publicly about coming forward.

Katha Pollitt, you're the new Midge Decter!  To this generation coming up right now, that's what you are.  Embrace your descent into frivolity -- or further frivolity.

They don't get it.  They didn't get Anita Hill in real time either but we'll talk about that tomorrow.

Alexis Grenell (NEW YORK DAILY NEWS) plans to vote for Joe but is dismayed by the attacks on Tara Reade:

Reade may be only the latest in a long line of inconvenient women to pipe up about a favorite son, but she’s the first to appear post-#MeToo in the middle of an election year where the sitting president has botched the response to a pandemic that’s killed more Americans than the Vietnam War. All of this leaves less bandwidth for her in the public imagination, as she asks us to weigh her individual pain against the agony of watching our whole world bleed out. It certainly doesn’t make her any easier to like.

The thing is, it’s not necessary to like or not like Reade, because either way we cannot know what happened. I’ve read through every shred of “evidence” and I still can’t make sense of the facts or my feelings about them. I have no qualms about supporting Biden — we can’t re-elect the titular head of the death cult formerly known as the Republican Party — but my ambivalence about Reade is what keeps me up at night. I want her, and anyone else who comes forward about alleged abuse, to be allowed to be unlikeable and legitimate. I want people to be able to separate feelings from facts, and when the facts don’t lead somewhere conclusive, not to fill in the blanks with feelings. I want us to learn that sexual abuse rarely comes with a certificate of origin and to sit with that discomfort.

Alexis bills herself as a feminist.  Is she?  I'd say no.  Xenophobia doesn't really belong in feminism.  Maybe she's a domestic (and domesticated) feminist (tabby)?  The Vietnam War?  If we're going to count deaths, we should include the Vietnamese.  It was their country.  Reducing a war to the deaths on only one side -- regardless of the war -- is not just short-sighted, it's xenophobic.

But Grenell is a writer and she's right to be concerned about what's taking place which puts her far ahead of Katha Pollitt the faux feminist that we addressed in yesterday's snapshot.  Others are addressing her nonsense as well.  Here's Sady Doyle:

Here, from Katha Pollit's latest piece on Reade, is a problem troubling me with this coverage: Pollit names four-count-em-four witnesses corroborating sexual harassment, three of them roughly contemporaneous to the event. Then she calls it merely "possible" Reade was harassed.

The evidence for the assault itself is much weaker. But every witness, even hostile ones (like the ex) corroborates the harassment at least. Why "possible?" Why not "likely?" In any other circumstance, feminists would likely say "can be relatively sure harassment occurred."

One element of Reade's claim - the most inflammatory, the rape - has the weakest evidence for it. But we DO have corroborating accounts for the harassment, more than are often required to take a claim seriously. If we're feminists, we should take that as our grounds for argument.

If the worst insinuation of Reade's critics is true -- that she inflated a sexual assault claim to a rape claim to get press attention she was missing -- that's a tragedy about a woman who went unheard so long she risked something desperate and destroyed her life in the process.

Another scenario is that a vulnerable woman, who struggled with money and an abusive marriage after being sexually harassed at work, was later preyed upon by bad political actors and convinced to escalate her claim. Again, that would be horrible, but it would also be tragic.

In no scenario does Biden emerge spotless. In no scenario does his track record with women become irrelevant. What makes Biden look worst, all this, is the rush to demolish Reade in the hopes of restoring some "feminist" reputation Biden does not appear to have ever deserved.

Katha Pollitt is an embarrassment.  She opened that hideous column attacking Tara with the reveal that she would vote for Joe even if were seen on the street eating a baby.  Is she trying to restart the spirit cooking nonsense?  Is that stupid?  I thought we agreed that nonsense was harmful, that people were wrongly being threatened because of it.  But here's Katha offering, like a good whore, where her line in the sand is.  The entire column is an embrace of and advancement of rape culture.  That's not feminism.

Candice Russell Tweets:

Watching the Tara Reade coverage has become like some sort of trauma induced version of Groundhogs Day so of COURSE “professional feminist” Katha Pollitt just HAD TO give her two cents on sexual assault again (hint: still just as problematic as when she wrote about mine)

By the way, when Katha attacked Candice, Katha wrote, "Why not say, 'These are serious allegations, and we're going to look into them'?"

Double standard?  Katha denies there's one with regards to Christine Blasey Ford and Tara Reade.  But there is one.  There's also a double standard to how Katha responded with Candice and with Tara.

The rank hypocrisy that wafts off Katha is something no FDS will ever send running.

COMMON DREAMS' Eoin Higgins offers:

Wow, Katha Pollit doesn't believe Tara Reade, what a shocking surprise, what's next, that she's a TERF?

It's left to Anthony Zenkus to provide the realities Katha avoids:

There is rarely "definitive proof" in rape cases. The reason so many victims never even come forward. And yet 1 in 6 women are victims of rape or attempted rape in their lives. Funny how that works.

Let's note two more from Zenkus:

After being called out by multiple women for nonconsensual, inappropriate touch which they viewed as harmful, Biden joked about consent multiple times. Mr. Biden: what is so funny about consent? #AskBidenAnything


We need nominee who doesnt think it's fair game to touch the thighs of sex assault victims after they talk about their assaults, and who then jokes about consent after being called out on his gross behavior. Biden needs to go. Consent is not a joke. #DropOutJoe #AskBidenAnything

Andrew Levine (COUNTERPUNCH) notes:

Let’s begin with the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, whose leadership decided to throw Reade to the curb because of the identity of her alleged assailant. According to Reade, she only realized after reading Ryan Grim’s reporting for The Intercept  that this happened owing, in all likelihood, to the nonprofit’s professional relationship to Anita Dunn, a Biden advisor who works for SKDKnickerbocker, the PR firm for Time’s Up. Leaving aside any other critiques one has of The Intercept and Joe Biden, it is a tremendous faux pas for Ryan Grim to let a journalistic bombshell like that be published without forewarning to his source. The Watergate conspirators were given more courtesy, as demonstrated by the classic exclamation “[Washington Post publisher] Katie Graham’s gonna get her tit caught in a big fat wringer if that’s ever published!” What was he thinking?
In 2019, both the Associated Press and the Washington Post worked the story but ultimately canned coverage. The AP had the story in April of that year, when, simultaneously, everyone was publishing about Biden being too touchy for people’s comfort case and point this particular column in Clinton lap dog Ezra Klein’s Vox. Even if there were inconsistencies within Reade’s story (purportedly the reason for squashing it), she deserved a fair hearing and a forum. These venues have given far more airtime to far more dubious actors over the years (cf. 2016 Donald Trump campaign) and have no shred of credibility here. Sexual trauma and memory are very messy things from top to bottom. There are plenty of women who have very public accounts of suppression and triggering that causes them to recall details sometimes years after the events.

We're living in a different century and what's going down will not have consequences.  In this century, a woman writes her own "For What It's Worth" and performs it.  Stevie Nicks:

In Iraq, REUTERS reports:

Royal Dutch Shell evacuated some 60 foreign staff from Iraq’s Basra Gas Company as a security measure following a protest over delayed pay, company officials said on Thursday, adding production was unaffected.
The staff were flown out of the country on Wednesday after workers protested at the headquarters of Basra Gas Company (BGC), a venture between state-owned South Gas Company, Shell and Mitsubishi, to demand payment of their delayed salaries, officials said.
“Shell confirms that as result of a security breach at the accommodation camp of Basra Gas Company, we have temporarily relocated Shell secondees,” Shell said in emailed comments.

The following sites updated:

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