Wednesday, June 16, 2021

LOKI really sucks -- look at the reviews

First off, read Ruth's "Done with THE BLACKLIST" and let me co-sign. The minute the last episode of THE BLACKLIST airs with Liz, I'm done with the show. I may stream old episodes online but I will never, ever watch an episode from season nine. F**k the show and NBC and, yes, even James Spader. Acting like Megan Boone is not half the show? That we can just be rid of her?

Season eight proved that there is no show worth watching without her on it. The minute she vanished from the show for all those episodes, THE BLACKLIST wasn't worth watching. It was dull and boring. And, let's be clear, NBC has a huge problem with sexism. And getting rid of the main woman on the show doesn't help their image. And Park is a hideous character,

Second, read Ava and C.I.'s "TV: Moments of Wonder" -- it was supposed to go up Monday night.  THIRD lost everything.  Some blogger glitch. Ava and C.I. typed their piece and the 3 book pieces because they do those.  Jim and C.I. wrote an editorial (we all helped but it was really just Jim and C.I.) and Ty and Jim typed that, typed a "Jim's Corner" and I don't know what else.  So Jim and Ty go to publish and something happens and it's all gone.

Ava and C.I. are told and they're attitude is, Forget it.  We're not typing anything else tonight.  Come Tuesday, they retyped their piece.  (Which was read to us by Jim on Monday.)  And then were told that it would go up Wednesday.  They said, "Hell no.  Stan's noted it at his site already.  He's going to have to explain where it is as it is.  Going to Wednesday, oh no."  So it was a mini-edition, no editorial.  Ava and C.I. could redo the TV piece because they write it out in long hand and then 'jazz it up' when they type.  So they basically had everything but the features they didn't work on there was nothing and they had to be recreated.  

Now from "TV: Moments of Wonder:"

We wonder a lot lately about a lot of things. Like if ZOEY'S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST had been entitled CHICAGO ZOEY'S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST would NBC have renewed it? Or take LOKI. It's a DISNEY+ MARVEL offering. It's also an embarrassment, a huge embarrassment.

Mainly, it's yet another example of how MARVEL keeps failing with TV. By contrast, DC has been hitting all the right notes for decades -- SUPERMAN in the fifties, BATMAN in the sixties, LOIS & CLARK in the 90s, ARROW, THE FLASH, SUPERGIRL, all the way up to SUPERMAN AND LOIS. Yeah, there were clunkers along the way -- the 90s saw a lousy FLASH that audiences ran from. But compare MARVEL's live action TV offerings and there's no contest. The only hit TV show they had trough 2020 was THE INCREDIBLE HULK from the 70s. Along the way, they flopped with SPIDER-MAN and so many others that the bar was set so low MARVEL AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. was seen as a hit.

It wasn't a hit. It was a case of product made by the broadcaster allowed to air when it should have been cancelled. ABC-DISNEY-MARVEL aired the garbage for seven seasons mainly because the government no longer concerns itself with anti-trust issues. The first season? The highest the show ever ranked and even then it wasn't in the top forty. Each year, less and less people would watch -- the 76th most watched show in its second season then dropping to 85th and then dropping to 110th and then -- you get the idea.

Audiences rejected the show. And they did so for good reason. It was immature and poorly thought out. It revolved around Coulson. Who? The minor character who provided jokes and laughs in the Iron Man films because he was meant to be a humor device. That is, after all, why Clark Gregg was cast in the role. Gregg's had a long career and is talented but you don't put the actor most successful for playing Christine's pathetic joke of an ex-husband in THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE, you just don't cast him with his skill set as the lead character in an action show. Nor do you make Phil Coulson the main character of an action series. He was irritating and embarrassing and the show's biggest problem that never got fixed. Instead, popular characters were regularly written off -- Ward, Lance, Bobbie, etc -- but Phil remained -- even when he died, he remained, episode after episode.

MARVEL, briefly, had some success partnering up with NETFLIX. They did that by taking notes. JESSICA JONES, for example, was turned down by ABC but reworked for NETFLIX. Along with DAREDEVIL, LUKE CAGE, IRON FIST and THE DEFENDERS, JESSICA JONES was a show worth watching. The crap ABC-DISNEY churned out then and since? Really not.

They have offered garbage like THE RUNAWAYS. Action-adventure? If a yawn is the proper response to action, then yes. They offer these weak, pathetic shows and then justify it by claiming they're aiming at children. Remember, DISNEY+ couldn't stream the series LOVE, VICTOR starring gay-for-pay Michael Cimino. Just too controversial for DISNEY+ -- so we get watered down garbage, embarrassing garbage.

THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER offered hope. It was a tight show that really exceeded expectations. But before it came the awful WANDAVISION -- a sexist plethora of tropes -- as though they were attempting to film Charlotte Perkins Gilman's THE YELLOW WALLPAPER but from the point of the view of those forcing the 'cure' on the woman.

Mike and Stan have already written of turning off LOKI during the first episode and that's probably the smartest reaction. Yet another show created around a feather weight. This isn't a show for adults and it's not really a show of any kind.

It's proof that MARVEL and DISNEY+ are not a good experiment, that's about all it is. At the end of the first episode, a character pops up who appears to be the one that showed up in AVENGERS END GAME and told Natasha and Clint that one of them would have to die. Why didn't the episode open with that? And then work backwards?

Despite it being decades since Quentin Tarantino first successfuly screwed with storyline, the Disney-fied MARVEL shows continue to move from boring plot point to boring plot point in chronological and linear order. Many praised shows -- including BREAKING BAD -- have screwed with the timelines (and ripped off Tarantino) but doing so has never occurred to ABC-DISNEY-MARVEL. Then again, they appear to be creating content for a 4-year-old audience so maybe they think that viewers won't be able to follow anything more complex than "See Spot run"?

Again, we wonder.

If you're not getting how bad LOKI is, here's some video reviews.

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

 Wednesday, June 16, 2021.  What progress can the Iraqi government claim and look at Ana Kasparian pretending she's a sister who's been harassed.

Yesterday, the Government of Iraq Tweeted:

Cabinet Spokesperson, the Minister of Culture , holds a press conference in Baghdad to brief the media on today’s Cabinet meeting and developments in Iraq.

And how do you think those briefings go?

Our economy is still oil-based and we are in danger of being left behind should other countries seriously commit to renewable energy.  Part of the reason we fail repeatedly to attract foreign investment that would allow us to diversify our economy is due to our well known rampant corruption throughout the government.  The other part?  People are scared to do business with us.  Arresting and imprisoning Australian Robert Pether is not helping us there.  We have provided no real reason to the world for his arrest.  We have made no serious moves to hold a trial.  It appears to the world as though we just arrested him to either force better terms on our existing contract or to void the contract.  When we resort to kidnapping foreign business persons and throwing them in jail, we get a bad image on the stage?

Think it goes like that?  

Yesterday, DessyMac Tweeted:

Aust Eng Robert Pether & Egypt Khalid Zaghloul TRAPPED AND ILLEGALLY ARRESTED 69 days ago in Iraq. EMPLOYEES held as leverage in a CONTRACT DISPUTE. NO charges. IRAQ IS NOT A SAFE PLACE TO WORK. #FREEROBERTPETHER #zahahadid #iraq #Australia #egypt #Engineer

Think they brought up Chatham House's paper, presented tomorrow, about Iraq's "politically sanctioned corruption"?

When they got around to the issue of  security, did it go something like this?

Iraq continues to maintain a standing army.  Though we have brought the various militias into the military -- guaranteeing a salary for them -- they continue to refuse to recognize the Prime Minister as the Commander and Chief of the military.  At the end of last month, when thug leader Qasim Muslah was arrested, his co-horts responded with threats, they stormed Baghdad and they encircled the Prime Minister's compound.  

#Iraq : Who will win show of force as commander in PMF Qasim Muslah is arrested on suspicion of orchestrating assassination of prominent pro-democracy activist? First top official in Hashd al-Shaabi arrested over wave of killings of activists since October 2019 - #قاسم_مصلح

Mina al-Oraibi Tweeted earlier this month:

Iraq releases top Iran-backed militia commander Qassim Musleh. Courts claim it was due to lack of evidence, yet thousands of innocent Iraqis languish in prisons for YEARS without trial or evidence.


 Adam Tweeted the following:

There is no security&no law to have fair election.Same faces if not worse (militias)will be elected this time. Imagine Qassim Musleh was freed as they provided the Judge with Musleh’s passport that he was in Iran at the time of the killings.They stamped it in the Iranian embassy

Musleh’s has 4000 militia members under his control ,at least 100 members in his death squad . He would certainly send his thugs to commit crimes. He was freed for lack of evidence !!

Where's the progress that they can note at any weekly meeting?  Just not feeling it.


We're due to hold elections in October.  We still don't have basic laws in place though, like how to guarantee security during the election process.  We have, however, disqualified over 135 people from running for Parliament.  We've done little to ensure that Iraq's who have had to leave the country will be able to vote and, honestly, we don't much care about that.  We're really eager that we might be able to just not hold elections since Joe Biden is now US President.  Remember 2010?  We held elections in March of that year.  Nouri al-Maliki refused to step down despite losing.  For over eight months, the government came to a standstill until Joe Biden, then Vice President, oversaw The Erbil Agreement -- a contract that overthrew the election results and just gave Nouri a second term?  We're hoping he does something similar this year but sooner and before we have to hold elections and pay all the costs that will entail.

Over the weekend, THE NATIONAL offered:

Mr Al Kadhimi faces an uphill struggle reining in militias linked to powerful political parties backed by Iran, who gain funds from the Iraqi state and have infiltrated government ministries and the security forces.

These groups, including militias within the state-sanctioned Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), have been working to implement Tehran’s foreign policy in Iraq. These include the ousting of US and other foreign coalition forces invited by the Iraqi government to help fight ISIS.

Iran-backed PMF groups also stand accused of killing hundreds of Iraqi protesters who are demanding an end to Iranian-influence, corruption and poor services

Mr Al Kadhimi’s attempts to hold the groups to account have often stumbled.

In June 2020 the prime minister was pressured to release 14 members of the Kataib Hezbollah militia who were accused of attempting to fire rockets at foreign forces stationed within Baghdad international airport, and had been arrested at the scene by the state's Counter Terrorism Service.

Last week, the Iraqi Higher Judicial Council ordered the release of a PMF commander, Qassem Musleh, who was accused of murdering an activist and running protection rackets.

Militias are using murder and intimidation to force Mr Al Kadhimi into a corner and preserve their powerful role in the Iraqi state.

On June 7, the campaign to undermine his government took a more ominous turn when Col Nebras Shaban, an officer in the intelligence services, was shot dead near his home.

Mustafa al-Kadhimi has been prime minister since May 7, 2020.  As noted earlier, elections are expected to be held this coming October in Iraq.  A month or a couple of months from now, they may have a prime minister.  (2010 holds their longest record for the time between elections and announcing a prime minister-designate -- 2010 saw the process take over eight months due to the political stalemate).  Mustafa has not accomplished much.

His inability to protect the activists or to hold their murderers accountable has led some to say that they will be boycotting the upcoming elections.  Mustafa had a chance to turn it around earlier this month when he ordered the arrest of a militia thug but then the man was released without a trial.

Can he win over the activists -- and the many Iraqis who support the activists -- before the elections take place?  Who knows but Sura Ali (RUDAW) reported:

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi met on Saturday in Nasiriyah with protestors and the families of a number of activists who were killed in the October (Tishreen) 2019 movement, stating violence against activists comes as part of a “battle the state is waging against corruption.”

Kadhimi’s media office said the PM met the mother of protestor Omar Sadoun, one of dozens who were killed in the so-called Nasiriyah Massacre that occurred on November 28, 2019, one day after demonstrators torched the Iranian consulate. 

He also met with the family of Anas Malik, who died earlier in June of this year from wounds he sustained in the massacre two years ago. 

In addition, Kadhimi met the mother of a prominent Nasiriyah activist, Sajjad al-Iraqi, who disappeared on the evening of September 20, 2020, after being kidnapped by unknown gunmen. 

"The absence of activists and the assault on them comes as part of a battle waged by the state against corruption and devastation and the expansion of corrupt abusers…..the youth chose their place in the trench of confrontation with these people from the moment they went out to protest for Iraq," Kadhimi said.

Upcoming elections already carry a great deal of back door negotiating.  For example, Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr already entered a conditional agreement with Mustafa regarding possible partnership and now Moqtada's attempting to seal a similar agreement with the Kurds.  Of elections in Iraq, Guy Burton (INTERNATIONAL POLICY DIGEST)  observes:

There the connection between leaders and society has become weaker. Despite the presence of many political parties and electoral competition, many voters feel disconnected from the political process. The negotiations which take place to form governments after elections provide little space for the public while Iraq’s post-2003 governments have been perceived as distant and unrepresentative. That contributed to growing frustrations in society in relation to the lack of economic opportunities and income, poor public services, and growing public insecurity and disorder. This culminated in an outburst of protests during 2019 and 2020. As a result, when Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi came to power last year, he proposed to bring elections forward.

On the topic of upcoming elections in Iraq, Xofran el-Radi (JNHA WOMEN'S NEWS AGENCY)  reports:

Women were removed from all fields, from politics to social life, from art to economy for centuries. But women have reentered these fields after struggling for their rights all around the world. One of these fields is politics. Women have been struggling to be effective in this field. Women have been removed from this field in many countries. In many countries, women have been actively working in this field by participating in politics with the gender quota system.

In a world where women are murdered, subjected to violence, and to all kinds of injustice, women’s participation in politics is very important. Women’s participation in politics means that more laws will be enacted on issues such as violence against women, femicide, sexual abuse, suspicious deaths of women, and punishment of perpetrators. Last year, the Baghdadi government decided to hold a snap election and announced that the Iraqi parliamentary elections would be held on June 6 but were delayed as the Independent High Electoral Commission asked for more time to organize the elections. Iraqi women activists and members of the media have been carrying out awareness campaigns for the upcoming elections.

Women deal with real issue every day and around the world.  So I'm just not in the mood for bitches.  I'm less and less in the mood for bitches.  In fact, see February's "DUMB BITCHES or SISTERHOOD IS NO EXCUSE FOR PRAISING A BAD BOOK.''

Feminism is not your excuse for doing a sorry ass job.  Feminism is not a cloak that protects you from criticism.

I'm referring to the hideous Ana Kasparian who suffers from toxic masculinity but is now trying to cry and moan that she's been harassed by Jimmy Dore.  It was years ago but poor Ana didn't have the strength to speak up until now. Shudder, cry, sniffle, bad Jimmy, noted that her skirt was so short you could see her thong!  Oh the horror, oh the outrage.  It was like, Ana needs you to know, being raped.

So many ways to reply.  First off, dumb bitch, we aren't as stupid as you hope we are.

Bulls**t.  Thats the call to your claim.  You wore an outfit that was inappropriate.  Not the first time.  You wore it in the workplace.

Ana, you dress like a slut.  That assessment came from one of your co-workers years ago.  I've never spoken to Jimmy Dore, I don't know him.  But I am friends with a woman you worked with.  And you were an embarrassment.  "Slutting around"?  I use that term from time and that friend -- I'm sure you know which woman I'm talking about -- taught me that term and applied it to you.

You came in day after day, while she and other women were trying to get a toe-in at TYT and you'd be dressing like a slut, "goodies on display," as she said and flirting with men, hanging all over them.

That's you, Ana.

And you be you.  But don't turn around and whine that someone made a joke about your outfit. 

It was a pattern with you.

And it's not sexism.  It's you not knowing how to dress appropriately in the work place and not knowing how to keep your hands off men -- including Cenk.

Long before I could even put a face to your lousy name, I knew all about you.  And that was based on the opinion of women, actual feminists, who knew you and who worked with you.

Jimmy made a joke about your inappropriate outfit.  Get over yourself.

And stop pretending you're a feminist.  Your work demonstrates that you are not.

Women deal with real issues every day and you and TYT ignore that.  You offer smutty grabage not real issues and you do nothing for women so just drop the pretense.

Jimmy, a comedian, made a joke.  Get over yourself.

ADDED at 1:32 PM 6/16/21: And, Ana, your use of the term "f*g" not so long ago in the work place is also well known by people who worked with you -- as are your 'jokes' that speak of homophobia, so keep pulling at that strand and see where it lands you.

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