Thursday, November 24, 2022

Simu Liu and Quentin Tarantino's cat fight

Consider this a follow up to "Can a MARVEL movie make a star?"   Simu Liu is sounding off at Quentin Tarantino.  I actually like the actor and I'm not a big Tarantino fan.  But I think he's wrong.  He's ticked that Quentin said MARVEL doesn't make stars.  It doesn't.  Simu wants you to know his movie made over $400 million in ticket sales -- his MARVEL movie.

Yeah, well, Quentin didn't say these films didn't make money.  He said they didn't make stars.  So when Simu Liu can point to three non-superhero movies he's made with the same box office, we'll listen.

He also wants to insist that Quentin's films were "white as hell."  Is he talking James Cagney WHITE HEAT?

Don't think so.  Believe he means White as hell.

I wish he were right.

PULP FICTION?  Samuel L. Jackson is one of the stars -- along with Ving Rhames.  THE MAN FROM HOLLYWOOD?  Jennifer Beals stars and Paul Calderon is in it as well. JACKIE BROWN?  Pam Grier stars and another star if Samuel L. and also in the film are LisaGay Hamilton, Chris Tucker, Tommy Lister Jr., Hattie Winston and Sid Haig.  The two KILL BILL films have Lucy Liu and Vivica A. Fox as stars and Sonny Chiba, Chiaki Kuriyama, Gordon Liu. Kenji Ohba and Kazuki Kitamura also play prominent roles. DEATH PROOF has Rosario Dawson, Sydney Tamiia Poitier and Tracie Thoms.  INGLORIOUS BASTERDS?  No person of color in the first ten performers.  DJANGO UNCHAINED has Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and Ato Essandoh among others. THE HATEFUL EIGHT has Samuel L and Demian Bichir and Dana Gourner among others.  Which brings us to ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD which has Mike Moh, 

I'd be hard pressed to name another director who started in the 90s and can claim the same on inclusion.  (Spike Lee started in the 80s.)

So, no, the charge of "White as hell"?  That belongs with the ones directing Meryl Streep and the like.  

Be sure to read Ava and C.I.'s "TV: NETFLIX giveth and NETFLIX taketh."  Elvis Mitchell is a White phenomenon -- the Black community long ago realized what a liar he was -- long before MOVIELINE (a magazine I really miss) fired Mitchell for lying in writing.

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2022.  The continued US war against the LGBTQ+ and climate change in Iraq.

Starting with last weekend's attack on the gay club in Colorado Springs.  Abby Zimet (COMMON DREAMS) notes:

At a Monday press conference the victims were identified: Kelly Loving, who just turned 40 and was "like a trans mom" to friends; Ashley Paugh, a straight 35-year-old mother who worked to find homes for foster children; Raymond Green Vance, 22, who was at the club for the first time to celebrate a birthday with his girlfriend and her family; Derrick Rump, 38, a "lively, loving" bartender and performer at the club who "made it what it was"; and Daniel Davis Aston, 28, a trans bartender and performer who'd just completed his medical transition and was, said his mother Sabrina, "the happiest he had ever been." Growing up, she recalled, Daniel told her at age four he was a boy and wouldn't wear girls' clothes: "Those are our children - we don't care how they dress or what they identify as. It doesn't harm anybody." After he began living as a trans man in such hateful political times, she "always worried" about him. "It's just unbelievable. He had so much more life to give," she said. "I didn't want to be part of this, the losing a child club." In a dark twist, he and the others were murdered minutes before Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors the memory of trans people killed in anti-transgender violence." Club Q had planned to mark it; instead, people gathered at inter-faith events to denounce "theologies of hate" and ensure "our arms could be as wide as possible to embrace a community that's hurting."

Eerily echoing other massacres, from Columbine to Pulse to Uvalde, a makeshift memorial went up Sunday outside Club Q - flowers, candles, a plaintive sign for "Love Over Hate." (Maybe.) Police who'd arrived the night before praised the "incredible act of heroism" that ended a shooting that could have been even worse. For that, they can thank Richard Fierro, a 45-year-old brewery owner and veteran of four Army deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan who was there celebrating a birthday with his wife and daughter; when he saw the flash of gunfire, he instinctively "went into combat mode." Charging through the panicked crowd, he tackled the gunman, who he said weighed over 300 pounds, yanked a handgun away from him, and started beating him with his own gun while yelling for other patrons to help. A man shoved the shooter's AR-15 - another one! - away, a drag performer stomped on the gunman with her high heels, and Fierro kept pummeling as he and the gunman screamed curses at each other; he was so bloody police at first arrested him. Fierro was a major with two Bronze Stars when he left the Army in 2013: "I was done with war." He "never thought I'd have to deal with that kind of violence at home, (but) everybody in that building experienced combat that night...they were forced to." His wife's two best friends were shot; his daughter, who broke her knee running for cover, lost her longtime boyfriend, Raymond Green Vance.

The gunman, identified as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, remains hospitalized; he has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of a bias-motivated crime. He is the grandson of former mayor and outgoing California GOP state assembly Randy Voepel, who was almost expelled by colleagues after he praised the Jan. 6 attack with, "This is Lexington and Concord. First shots fired against tyranny." Aldrich's mother Laura Voepel praised her father online: "You work hard to improve our lives." In 2021, she also called police to report her son was threatening her with a homemade bomb and multiple weapons; after he refused to surrender, a tactical support unit evacuated nearby homes, a crisis negotiator was called in, and a standoff ensued. Aldrich was eventually arrested and charged with five felonies, including felony menacing and kidnapping, but charges were inexplicably never filed, thus allowing him to evade Colorado's Red Flag law and buy a shiny new AR-15, because America. Aldrich was living with his grandparents at the time, said a former landlady who recalled his "aggressive side," but he'd visit his mother to watch movies with her when not threatening to bomb her. She in turn often went online asking church members for help for her son: Does anyone have a fan to donate to him? Can anyone recommend a trauma/PTSD therapist? And in May, saying "he's made huge life changes," did anyone know a private boxing coach? "He's 6'6" tall," she wrote, "and hits like a freight train."

Nervously careful law enforcement officials have said the mass shooting at a gay nighclub is being investigated "through the lens of a hate crime." Ya think? You mean it might be connected to a right wing that deems every queer person and half the country's Democrats "groomers," or to a rise in rabid anti-gay, trans and drag show rhetoric, or to hundreds of state bills curbing the rights of "others," or to emboldened fascists proclaiming who should or should not exist? Or to bellicose Proud Boys disrupting peaceful Drag Story Hours in t-shirts that say, "Kill Your Local Pedophile"? Or to a Florida GOPer proposing to charge with a felony and terminate the parental rights of any adult who "brings a child to these perverted sex shows"? Or to the hate-mongering and bomb threats against hospitals offering health care - aka "castration" - to trans kids? Or to Herschel Walker, a day or so after the shooting, still running a trans-phobic ad with a young Aryan college swimmer whining "a man won a title that belonged to a woman, and Sen. Warnock voted to let it happen." Or to, let's not forget, Tucker Carlson, who accuses trans-supportive schools of "sex crimes," declares "no parent should put up with this for one second," and tells viewers their "moral duty" is to dole out "instant matter what the law says. "This is an attack on your children," he intones, "and you should fight back." On Twitter: "This language will get people killed." And so it has.

Finally, there's Colorado's gun-toting, queer-bashing, deeply hateful Lauren Boebert, who had "the f**king audacity" to fake-grieve the "absolutely awful" shooting and declare, "The victims & their families are in my prayers." Wait. Is this the same Boebert who's ceaselessly trafficked in anti-LGBTQ hysteria? Who's attacked the left as pedophiles and "sick, demented groomers," warned drag queens to "stay away from our children," equated LGBTQ-inclusive flash cards with "indoctrination," charged a kid-friendly drag show was guarded by masked Antifa guards with AR-15s - "Remember, they only want YOUR guns. They want to use theirs to protect their depravity" - and urged, "Take your children to  CHURCH not drag bars," though God knows how many children have been molested in church; in drag bars, evidently zero. The furious response:"This is on you...You are to blame...LGBTQ people like me are less safe in this country because (of) people like you...Conservative identiy politics puts homicidal jerkoffs into motion...You are the hate that leads to violence." And from one woman, when Boebert tried to make it about generic crime - "This lawless violence needs to end" - "Good gosh she's an awful thing." Ditto, said AOC, who called out the hypocrisy: "You don’t get to 'thoughts and prayers' your way out of this. Look inward and change." And change your grotesque Christmas cards - same to the other MAGA freaks - with your four spawn clutching AR-15s. Fred Guttenberg: "This is what grooming looks like."

When Lauren Boebert starts using the term "grooming,'' press outlets need to note in every story that her husband Jayson is a groomer who was arrested for exposing himself to young females and who entered a plea of guilty.

These are facts.

Her lunatic assessment that drag queens, transgender persons or gay people are grooming anyone need to be confronted because the only known groomer in Colorado Springs is her husband Jayson Boebert.  So if she wants to talk about groomers, the media should help her out by pointing to Jayson.  

She lives with a groomer.  That's why it's always on her mind.  

And when she lies that he's innocent, the press needs to note that he entered a plea of guilty, that he was convicted and that he had to serve two years probation.  Again, these are facts.

She married a groomer.

Stop letting her smear innocent people while she lies to cover up her groomer husband and insists that his arrest never happened and he was innocent and blah blah.  Shove the truth down her hypocritical throat.

Alastair and Zachary Patton-Garcia broadcast on their YOUTUBE channel and cover a variety of topics.

At the end of the video above, Alastair and Zachary touch on the Colorado Springs attack.  They make many solid points.  Alastair notes that this grooming nonsense is an attempt to other the community.  And he is correct and I want to make two points here.

Whether you choose to recognize it or not, there is a war in this country against the LGBTQ+ community.  It is an ongoing war that's lasted decades.  In the 70s, the freak show was Anita Bryant.  Lauren apparently wants to be the 21st century Anita Bryant.  

Not only is silence not an option in this war, inaction isn't an option either.

There are members of the LGBTQ+ community who wanted to see BROS and didn't go to the theater because they were frightened of what might happen.  They waited for digital (BLURAY in stores now).  That's why straight allies needed to step up.

Comedy isn't for everyone.  And no one has to see a movie.  But if you had the money to go to the movies when BROS was in theaters and you saw something else, you weren't a good straight ally.  If when Billy Eichner was getting attacked, you didn't defend him, you weren't a good straight ally.

A group of homophobes hated the film before it came out because of a statement one character made in the trailer (and they didn't even get her line right).  Oh, it's making fun of straight people!!!!

If it had, after the years and years of jokes and 'jokes' about the LGBTQ+ community, fine.  Handle one movie and pretend that gives you an idea of all the TV episodes and all the films over the years that the community had to deal with.

But that's not the film Billy co-wrote.

The film he co-wrote made fun of everyone.  It made fun of straight people, it made fun of gay people, it made fun of trans people, it made fun of bi-people, it made fun of ageists and this and that and it made fun of celebrity (Debra Messing deserves so much praise for her scenes in the movie).  There was no sacred cow.

And all the people whining about ''woke'' -- many of whom trashed BROS -- missed the whole point that Billy's character Bobby has to live with that, has to work with that, and it's one of the things he learns (tolerance) and it's something all the ones griping about ''woke'' should have been able to relate to.

The film is pro- humanity.  It's not anti-straight.  It is the straight couple, two of Bobby's friends, who are most supportive and encouraging that he date and then get back together with Aaron.

We've covered it here -- and I'll get to that point in a moment -- and Ava and I've covered it repeatedly at THIRD -- most recently with "BROS: An American Film Classic (Ava and C.I.)" -- and it seems like people are being willfully blind to what took place.

We let up a little last week on BROS coverage because other things came up (and I'm also recovering from another eye surgery) but we've covered since the beginning and that means see what people are saying.  

The homophobia has been off the charts.  

I'm bothered by it and it's not directed at me.  It's directed at Billy mainly and I have no criticism of him over how he's handled himself.  I don't think I could have been as reserved as he was.  

It's disgusting when you read these homophobic rants on Twitter.  

It's even more hurtful when you see a certain group of uneducated Twinks on Twitter who feel the need to trash BROS in order to praise the very sad and very bad rip-off of Jane Austen that is FIRE ISLAND.  Underfed of body and of mind, these Twinks keep insisting that FIRE ISLAND is better because it's more diverse.  I'm not remembering an African-American character.  I know there's only one women in the cast.  I think some people look in the mirror, see only themselves and make that their measure of diversity.

Equally hurtful is the attacks on the film and Billy coming from gay conservatives -- but when you're let in on a pass, you know you have to attack the designated targets.


Drive-by e-mails say, "The shooter's gay!"  I've not seen that in anything but e-mails since the snapshot went up.  What I saw before the snapshot went up?   The shooter allegedly uses non-binary pronouns.  If the shooter does use those -- are they used for real?  I have no idea.

But as I noted about the gay conservatives on Twitter attacking BROS above, buy a clue, in a climate of hate others will tag along.

That's what's so frustrating about Glenn Greenwald -- have you never seen my critique of him?  I know his type.  I am not shocked but I am offended frequently when he mouths garbage like Clarence Thomas is a good person.  No, he's not.  Good people do not try to destroy others.  Good people don't harass Anita Hill.

Glenn is the gay conservative who hit the campuses at a time when he could slowly ease out about being gay and his right-wing friends would sort of accept him.  Sort of -- ask David Brock what sort of acceptance is.  That's why David turned to the left.  

So Glenn learned to make all the meek comments that he makes and learned to take any insult or hit because it proves (in his mind) he's tough and sneers at everything.  That's b.s.  And he needs to lose that attitude because it's not helping his husband or their children.  He feels no need to help the LGBTQ+ community -- which is how he ends up on TV, after DOBBS, blathering on about how good Clarry Thomas allegedly is.

Good people do not work to overturn progress.  Good people are not bigots.  

So the shooter may be non-binary.  May not be.  Shooter lives in a society where bullies -- Marjorie Greene who can't keep a husband, Lauren Bo-bo who married a groomer -- scapegoat others.  Shooter most likely internalizes that hatred.

Like the gay conservatives on Twitter who make a point to attack Billy Eichner and BROS.  They think it makes them look tough and that by attacking the 'soft,' they (like Glenn thinks) will be accepted.

Ask David Brock how that worked out because it never works out.

You can try your best but you're never going to be who they want.  You can parrot every one of their talking points but you can't change who you are and they don't accept who you are.  

Clarry's concurring opinion in DOBBS should have made that clear to everyone.  

Clarry's as disgusting as Candace Cameron Bure.  They act like they accept you -- Candace even lies that she loves you -- but they don't.  All along Thomas has been waiting to gut due process.  All along Candace has been waiting for a homophobic outlet to open up.

Saager and Krystal had a segment this week.  And it grated on me when Saager was presenting it.

I don't think we let the homophobes grab religion.

There are many religious people in this country.  There are many who are LGBTQ+ and that can be hard on them because of historic discrimination and historic violence.  I don't think we make it harder on them by identifying these homophobes as the religious -- which is how Saagar set it up -- the religious against the gays.

He did that because he was tying in some other issues and I grasped that.  But it just grated on me because this isn't abstract for me.  It's not like I'm watching WILL & GRACE (a great show) and saying, "There are some gay people, that's what they look like!"  I have many friends and, again, when it comes to religion, the most common gay couple I know is one where one is deeply religious and the other isn't (like many straight couples).

People like Clarry are not good people.

Glenn can pretend all he wants but he's never going to fit in with the crowd because at the end of the day they are laughing about what he does in bed behind his back.

Again, The Three Hags of Apocalypse were happy to pretend to be David's friend but they weren't.  I have many negative critiques of David Brock but, to his credit, he didn't play a fool for life, he was able to learn. 

Whatever Shooter is, the targets were marked by the bullies and the shooter played along with what was declared acceptable.  

The right attacked BROS and ran with the attack.

Before the film came out, I stated it was not going to make the  box office prediction and I explained why -- it wasn't playing enough.  Opening weekend, some theaters were only showing it once or twice a day.  It was the same length as SMILE but, around the country, you had SMILE being shown in a theater six times a day and BROS twice.  It was never going to be able to make the same amount of money.  

And when it didn't make that same amount of money, the right wing started using it as proof that the country was sick of LGBTQ+.  

That's part of the attack that took place, the physical attack in Colorado Springs.  

That idiot Josiah and others on YOUTUBE and their preaching that BROS had gone too far and that it was time for the straight people to rise up.

I'm sorry, I'm not here to make you feel better.  

These attacks on the film are part of larger attacks and that's why it was important for straight allies to turn out for BROS.  

We largely didn't.

And Billy was right in his initial comment that was treated like a herasy.

We need to support one another.  As I've noted over and over, the LGBTQ+ community has decried the overturning of ROE, they have spoken against it, they have shown support.  

We need to start showing more support for them.  It can't just be our wiping away a few tears at the next tragedy.  We need to be true allies.

Second point, this a private conversation in a public square.  We already built this online community.  So it's surprising when outsiders think they can dictate or intimate.

A number of drive-bys have been bothered by the coverage of BROS here.  One of the e-mails that made Shirley laugh (Martha and Shirley read the bulk of the e-mails to the public e-mail account) was the one that insisted we'd gone "gay, gay, gay!"  A three-gay rating in fact.  And the e-mailer wanted it known that there were other issues.

There are other issues.  And there are over 100 posts that go up here each week.  If all you're seeing is gay that might go to your own bias and discomfort.

This site is pro-choice.  And we came into it that way and shortly after we started the Democratic Party tried to sell about abortion -- and we got attacked by various bloggers for not going along -- bloggers supposedly on the left.

That didn't make me change our stance.

Your discomfort with the LGBTQ+  won't make me change our stance.  

I do get it though.

As I see what REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT and BREAKING POINTS and THE HILL and Jimmy Dore and others cover, I get it.

You could watch six months of those programs and never once know a gay person existed in the US.  I get it.  It must, by contrast, be very in your face to come to this site.  Good.  That's why we're still here.  

We posted Matteo Lane's new comedy special yesterday but I also want to include it in a snapshot.

We can't go back in time.  But if you like comedy, you can stream the above comedy special Matteo's done and you can show some support and it's not even going to cost you the way a ticket would.  We need to be better allies.

Turning to Iraq . . . 

Abbas Hashem fixed his worried gaze on the horizon — the day was almost gone and still, there was no sign of the last of his water buffaloes. He knows that when his animals don’t come back from roaming the marshes of this part of Iraq, they must be dead.

The dry earth is cracked beneath his feet and thick layers of salt coat shriveled reeds in the Chibayish wetlands amid this year’s dire shortages in fresh water flows from the Tigris River.

Hashem already lost five buffaloes from his herd of 20 since May, weakened with hunger and poisoned by the salty water seeping into the low-lying marshes. Other buffalo herders in the area say their animals have died too, or produce milk that’s unfit to sell.

“This place used to be full of life,” he said. “Now it’s a desert, a graveyard.”

Iraq is battling several years of drought, the governments of both Iran and Turkey are blocking the flow of the two big rivers running through Iraq (the Tigris and the Eurphates), everyone is expected to be effected by climate change; however, Iraq has been named the fifth most vulnerable country in the world.  Dust storms are increasing in frequency and in force.  Speaking to the United Nations at the start of October, the US Deputy Rep to the UN, Ambassador Richard Mills, noted that climate change was one of the challenges Iraq is facing, "Complicated challenges face the next government – including passing a budget, developing oil and gas legislation that is acceptable to the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, improving the provision of electricity, combatting climate change, promoting private sector development and job growth, and increasing women’s participation in the workforce."  Last month, the International Organization for Migration pointed out, "Displaced families are likely to be among the most vulnerable to climatic and environmental changes that can impact livelihoods, food security and social cohesion. Sustainable return and rein-tegration can be determined by many factors but the role of climatic change and environmental degradation in return dynamics is insufficiently understood."

Earlier this month, Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) reported:

Iraq must take quick action to combat climate change as its affects would make it one of the most water scarce countries in the world, the UK’s ambassador to the country told The National.

Iraq is the fifth most vulnerable country to climate breakdown, impacted by high temperatures, droughts and frequent dust storms, presenting a serious threat to the public’s livelihood, according to the UN.

“There are a range of challenges for Iraq, reduced rainfall, desertification and increased droughts. There’s a wider list of things that needs to happen for Iraq to curb climate change,” Mark Bryson-Richardson told The National.

He said the new government in Baghdad must focus on water management as a “real priority” to improve its usage and prepare for and manage droughts.

“It’s going to be a challenging journey, Iraq will be one of the most water scarce countries in the world in the coming years,” Mr Richardson said during a visit to the UAE this week,

The diplomat’s comments come as world leaders gather for the UN climate summit in Egypt this week.

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