Emerald City.

Emerald City/Facebook.

Emerald City/Facebook.

I have never liked The Wizard of Oz. I didn’t like the book, and I hated the movie. I’ve avoided it in all incarnations ever since having to watch that mess on television when I was a young sprog. I’ll probably give this, um, take on Oz a miss too. It will be a visual feast, no question about that, given direction by Tarsem Singh. (The Cell was one of the most visually beautiful movies ever, but boy, was it stupid. If you want visually stunning and a good story, watch The Fall.) Tarsem Singh knows how to bring the stunningly beautiful, but he needs to be reigned in a tad by a good story and by a specific sense and style. Else it’s just a free for all, and that’s what happens here, going by the trailer at least.

This looks enjoyable enough, in a popcorn way, but the trailer exposes a terrible mishmashmush of, well, damn near everything, and some glaring admissions of “hey, went with bog standard norm boring.” A serious plus is Vincent D’Onofrio, because when isn’t he a plus? But I found the trailer troubling, on many levels.

Dorothy isn’t white. Well, that’s a start, I guess. I was initially heartened by the pride rainbow in the Kansas farmhouse window, but that gets quickly blown away, along with Dorothy. Could have been exciting if Dorothy were genderqueer, or lesbian (there’s no reason the scarecrow love interest couldn’t have been genderqueer or lesbian, right? But no, standard uber-hunky white British dude.) Well, it is on network teevee, so it’s probably best not to expect too much. The munchkins are gone, replaced by what looks to be some sort of semi-primitive tribe of Indians. There’s progress for ya. The rest of it looks like they tried to steal from every fricking culture and era ever, a bit Chronicles of Narnia here, a bit Game of Thrones there, and probably a bit of The Holy Grail somewhere, too. What it doesn’t seem to have is its own distinct style, and that’s enough to keep me away, even if I do want to watch just for the eye candy, and boy, is there a lot of that.


Joy in Comments.

James Charles.

James Charles.

It’s a good way to start a day when you can take joy in comments, where you get to see people standing up against bigotry, fear and hate. Cover Girl recently featured their first male model, James Charles.

When 17-year-old James Charles was named the first male ambassador for CoverGirl this month, the company’s message was simple: “All of our CoverGirls are role models and boundary-breakers, fearlessly expressing themselves, standing up for what they believe and redefining what it means to be beautiful,” the makeup brand said in a press release. “James Charles is no exception.”

Mr. Charles is gorgeous, and no doubt has quite the career in front of him. There always has to be someone though, who just has to have a near heart attack about it all. In this case, a mother of a six year old, who wrote a long, hand-wringing screed on the awful at Homeschool Base. Outside of a bible thumper or two, the comments were filled with people who made one excellent point after another, many of them pointing out that answering the question of “why doesn’t daddy wear make-up?” being the easiest ever: “because he doesn’t want to.” Generally speaking, most children don’t have trouble happily accepting such things, and then they won’t be concerned about who wears cosmetics, because some people like to, and some people don’t. Of course, that wasn’t the problem troubled mom was worried about. It’s danced all around, but of course, the main worry is “oh god, what if my 6 year old son wants to try make-up?” To which, my answer would be “let him.” On with the screed!

Mommy, why doesn’t daddy wear makeup?

This is the question my 6-year-old asked me on Friday afternoon. We were watching Countdown to Christmas on ABC, and a commercial came up in between watching Toy Story.

A commercial for mascara.

[Read more…]

Sunday Facepalm.

Grant Stinchfield.

Grant Stinchfield.

NRA TV. There’s something that is unneeded as an extra hole in the head. The host of NRA TV is Grant Stinchfield, pro-Trump, and quite the conspiracy fan. There are times I miss television, and there are times I’m very grateful I decided I could live without it. This is definitely the latter.

Grant Stinchfield, the host of a new venture from the National Rifle Association called NRATV, has written on social media that minorities should be blamed for gun violence and promoted conspiracy theories that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was murdered and that “maybe Israelis” shot down a Russian passenger aircraft.

Launched earlier this month, NRATV plays material from the NRA’s video archive 24 hours a day, with Stinchfield breaking in to give live updates. Many of the updates involve promoting the candidacy of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and are branded with a graphic that says, “ELECTION COUNTDOWN: SAVE THE 2ND.” (Though Stinchfield, a conservative Texas-based radio host and former Republican candidate for Congress, previously authored a column in which he said he regretted voting for Trump during the GOP primary.)

Media Matters has the full story, along with an assortment of Stinchfield’s conspiracy tweets.

The Last Word: Chairman David Archambault II.

The protests at Standing Rock. Ruth Hopkins has a good column about watching the feds, and why they are so distrusted. If you hadn’t read it before, catch it now. Revos.2040 breaks the news that the Army Corp of Engineers do not have a written easement for Dakota Access. Mike Myers has a wonderful column up on the Ties That Bind, about the Haudenosaunee Confederation’s longstanding treaty with the Sioux Nations.

Josue Rivas is doing incredible work, documenting the protectors and life at the camp.

A young warrior at the opposition to Dakota Access Pipeline.

A young warrior at the opposition to Dakota Access Pipeline.


School has started for the children at the camps. The 2016 Tribal Summit will take place as planned, and there will be discussion about the pipeline. Pow Wow is on, and Sacred Stone Camp will have information and education booths up.  We still need help. Holler, shout, spread the word, signal boost, please! Join us, stand with us. Come to camps. If you can’t, please signal boost, send or drop off supplies, or donate. Sign the petitions, whatever you are able to do!

Support Sacred Stone Camp. Legal Fund Help. Support Native YouthSign the Petition. Sign urgent petition.

About this ^ last, because I’m sure someone somewhere will be offended. If you look at Etsy, or any other site where people sell stuff, you will always find a fucktonne of people happily appropriating all things Indigenous. Non-Indigenous people run around wearing Plains headdresses with abandon, people dress up as “Pocahotties” and all kinds of other thoughtless, bigoted isht. If you’re one of those people, this last applies. If you know one of those people, this last applies. If you’re busy making money and taking advantage of appropriating Indigenous culture, the very least you could do is to support those you rip off.

What’s the Buzz?


A wonderful slate of new LGBT movies and TV shows is up at The Advocate:

The Intervention 
In theaters now

This ensemble comedy is a darkly funny take on relationships. The premise: When four couples go for a weekend getaway, one of the pairs learns that the rest have planned an intervention to tell them they need to get a divorce. The cast is full of talented young comedic actors, including out actress Clea Duvall (Argo, Girl, Interrupted) and lesbian icon Natasha Lyonne (Orange is the New Black, American Pie) playing a couple for the second time (they ended up together in But I’m a Cheerleader). Duvall also directed the film, which is being compared to The Big Chill, and is currently fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Spa Night
In theaters now

Spa Night is about a gay Korean-American teenager (Joe Seoh of Gridiron Gang), who struggles with the idea that he can’t live up to his parents’ expectations, while at the same time exploring the underbelly of gay Los Angeles nightlife. The movie is an impressive 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with reviewers calling it an “instant classic” and an “extremely personal film.” It’s also the very rare film that puts gay Asians front and center.

One Mississippi 
September 9, 2016

One Mississippi, brilliant lesbian comic Tig Notaro’s semi-autobiographical Amazon comedy series about returning to her small town following the death of her mother already has its pilot available to watch on Amazon, and it’s fantastic. The show, which is produced by Louis CK, is currently a 90 percent on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, and if the pilot is any indication, the show is the perfect vehicle for Notaro’s incredible talents.

October 21, 2016

Another emotionally charged and aesthetically beautiful film, Moonlight stars relative newcomer Trevante Rhodes (Tyler Perry’s If Loving You is Wrong) at three different points in his life as he tries to reconcile his faith with his sexuality. Playing his love interest is Andre Holland (Selma, The Knick), and the entire supporting cast looks solid. This film looks like it could be the antidote to the #oscarssowhite problem that has plagued Hollywood.

There are four more trailers at The Advocate, click on over to watch.

Star Trek: Discovery. There is Hope.


It’s early days yet, but there’s hope for a more inclusive Trek in the news series, Discovery, which is set 10 years before the original series. A female lead has been promised, however, she will not be the captain. Sigh. So, not all that great on the inclusive front, but a bit better. There’s noise about a Black female lead, but the role has not been cast. At least one LGBT member has been promised as well, but it would be nice if these roles were more than tokens, after all, it is the 21st century.

When Star Trek (briefly) returns to TV screens next January, it’ll be with a women in the lead position, a crew full of aliens, and at least one gay character, presenting a utopian, space-faring future that sounds like an actual nightmare held by the sort of people set to vote for Donald Trump. CBS announced the first character details for Bryan Fuller’s upcoming Star Trek: Discoveryset to debut on the network in January 2017, before moving to CBS’s online All Access service—today at a Television Critics Association press tour event. And while we still don’t know much about the composition of the show’s crew, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter are both reporting that the series’ lead will be female—but not the captain of her ship.

A.V. Club has the full story.

A Neuroscientist Tackles Loyalty to Trump.

Audience member Robin Roy (C) reacts as U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets her at a campaign rally in Lowell, Massachusetts January 4, 2016. (BRIAN SNYDER / Reuters)

Audience member Robin Roy (C) reacts as U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets her at a campaign rally in Lowell, Massachusetts January 4, 2016. (BRIAN SNYDER / Reuters)

A neuroscientist takes on the remarkable loyalty and obliviousness of those who support and follow Trump. It’s a fairly comprehensive article, starting with the well known Dunning-Kruger effect, and ending with the unfortunate affliction of being entertainment addicted. Just a bit from the end of the article here, click over for the full read.

  1. High Attentional Engagement

According to a recent study that monitored brain activity while participants watched 40 minutes of political ads and debate clips from the presidential candidates, Donald Trump is unique in his ability to keep the brain engaged. While Hillary Clinton could only hold attention for so long, Trump kept both attention and emotional arousal high throughout the viewing session. This pattern of activity was seen even when Trump made remarks that individuals didn’t necessarily agree with. His showmanship and simple messages clearly resonate at a visceral level.

Essentially, the loyalty of Trump supporters may in part be explained by America’s addiction with entertainment and reality TV. To some, it doesn’t matter what Trump actually says because he’s so amusing to watch. With Donald, you are always left wondering what outrageous thing he is going to say or do next. He keeps us on the edge of our seat, and for that reason, some Trump supporters will forgive anything he says. They are happy as long as they are kept entertained.

Of course these explanations do not apply to all Trump supporters. In fact, some are likely intelligent people who know better, but are supporting Trump to be rebellious or to introduce chaos into the system. They may have such distaste for the establishment and Hillary Clinton that their vote for Trump is a symbolic middle finger directed at Washington.

Full article here. I found the Hypersensitivity to Threat and Terror Management Theory sections very interesting. Going by that, it’s much easier to see why so many people have flocked to Trump, and manage to defend every horrible, evil thing he says.

Four White Women Agree.

Fox News presenters Sandra Smith, Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, Elizabeth McDonald and Meghan McCain speak to guest David Webb (center)

Fox News presenters Sandra Smith, Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, Elizabeth McDonald and Meghan McCain speak to guest David Webb (center)

The University of Houston’s Student Government vice president, Rohini Sethi, was hit with sanctions last week after she posted a message on Facebook that read: “Forget #BlackLivesMatter; more like #AllLivesMatter”

“For her to say on her social media ‘forget black lives matter,’ it’s almost as if to say if all of us were to die tomorrow, she wouldn’t care,” University of Houston Black Student Union President Kadidja Koné explained to The Washington Post on Monday.

But four white women hosting Fox News’ Outnumbered on Monday expressed outrage over the sanctions.

“The penalty was so harsh,” host Elizabeth McDonald complained. “The student leader, the president also said… you don’t go to jail for First Amendment violations but she deserves tougher sanctions. Who is this guy? He should be tossed out of his job.”

“I still don’t understand why saying ‘All Lives Matter’ is controversial,” co-host Meghan McCain chimed in. “I don’t understand why you can’t have empathy and understanding for the Black Lives Matter movement and also think that all lives everywhere — including by the way in the womb — also matter. Like, it’s really hard for me to understand how this is controversial.”

Monday’s Outnumbered guest, conservative radio host David Webb, declared that Black Lives Matter was a “violent movement” with “anarchists” behind it.

“It is such a false argument,” co-host Lisa Kennedy Montgomery opined. “It’s so offensive because when you say ‘All Lives Matter,’ you are not intending to say — for most people — is black lives don’t matter, but that’s how it’s taken.”

McCain asserted that universities would let students “go off on Trump” and “to say the most awful, disgusting, horrific things and there would be no recourse.”

“But you say this,” McCain added, “you say ‘All Lives Matter’ and you get demoted and you get your job taken away. That’s crazy.”

“Is there just no open discourse?” co-host Sandra Smith wondered. “Can you just not have a conversation on college campus anymore without someone being offended or having to delete a Facebook post where someone shares their opinion?”

“I’m for not backing down anymore,” Webb said. “You can take your safe space crowd — it doesn’t exist, this is college. This is supposed to be an expansion of our minds.”

Spoken from the safe space haven for bigoted, obnoxious, oblivious assholes. Right. Well, there we have it folks, the incredibly stunning, eloquent, and rational argument for all lives matter. Four white women agree!

Via Raw Story.

Thug is Racist? Really?

Bob Goosman. Facebook.

Bob Goosman. Facebook.

A Dallas weatherman who resigned before he could be fired over a Facebook post calling the victims of police violence “thugs” said he didn’t know the comment would be interpreted as racist, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Bob Goosmann, formerly chief meteorologist for KRLD, posted the comment on Wednesday and by Friday had resigned, stating that he would have “rightly” been fired had he not.

“As many of you have probably noticed, I’ve stayed away from politics on FB,” Goosmann had written. “The DNC parading the mothers of slain thugs around on their stage has me furious.”

He has since deleted the post.


“I used the word thugs in my post, but I thought a thug was just a violent person,” Goosmann wrote in response to criticism. “The definition of thug does not mention any race. I will say I talked with an African American acquaintance and he told me that he feels like when he hears the word, it is in reference to an African American individual. I had NO IDEA.”

Perhaps if you actually talked with people of colour now and then, you might have known that. Not that I believe that “I had no idea” line.

Via Raw Story.