Comments

  1. birgerjohansson says

    Goddammit.
    I learned about it a few hours ago, and was sad the did not get a 100-year birthday in January 17th.
    We had the Swedish new year four minutes ago, but I feel no joy.

  2. Walter Solomon says

    She lived a long, eventful life so it’s not the worst news considering all of the lives who’ve been cut short in this country from disease and violence just this year alone.

    That said, I can think of quite few public figures I’d have rather see go instead of her.

    RIP Golden Girl.

  3. raven says

    Headline NBC
    US Shatters Daily Coronavirus Case Count as Omicron Surges

    Bloomberg.com

    Cases Rise ‘Through the Roof’ as Omicron Sweeps Across U.S.
    Peak could reach one million infections per day by mid-January

    As the omicron variant sweeps the country, daily cases are reaching unheard-of levels, crossing the half-million mark, and are only expected to go much higher.

    Seems to be a theme here. Today, two years into the pandemic, Covid-19 virus cases have just set a US record.
    One source is claiming this 6th pandemic wave will peak at one million infections per day in two weeks.

    Well, Happy New Years anyway.
    If you are reading this, it means that you are still alive and have so far survived the pandemic.

  4. PaulBC says

    John Morales@21 Well, she’s legendary in the US, particularly in recent years, though I still remember her mostly from the Mary Tyler Moore Show in the 70s. Maybe that has made it to Australia by now. “Who’s Mary Tyler Moore?” you ask.

    Nvm.

    (Sheesh, and I have heard of Paul Hogan, the Wiggles for crying out loud, and that guy who got killed by a manta ray.)

  5. John Morales says

    Legendary, as in King Arthur, Alexander the Great, William Tell, Lady Godiva, Cleopatra, Queen of Sheba?

    OK. Someone should update the Wikipedia page. Then I might learn about this alleged legend.

  6. direlobo says

    “Legendary, as in King Arthur, Alexander the Great, William Tell, Lady Godiva, Cleopatra, Queen of Sheba?”

    Yes. Exactly.

  7. StevoR says

    @ 3. raven : Locally we’re enduring a big outbreak of Omicron thanks to the stupidity and mismanagement of our LNP govt which reopened the state and relaxed rules. We did have it under control befroe that but now .. Sigh.

    https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/conditions/infectious+diseases/covid-19/about+covid-19/latest+updates/covid-19+dashboard

    &

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-01/sa-records-2100-covid-cases-as-hospital-numbers-jump/100734254

    I was going to go to the T20 New Years Eve Adelaide Strikers vs Sydney Thunder cricket game – even had tickets and something I’ve been wanting to do for years but reluctantly decided not to risk it and follow the health advice to stay home instead. I was surprised the game actually went ahead with a number of the players tetsing positive to covid as a previous game where just one person tested positive got cancelled the other day. :

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-12-31/big-bash-in-doubt-as-players-test-positive-to-covid/100733656

    Really hope that doesn’t turn out to be a superspreader event. We’ve had a child under 2 die and a man in this 30’s in ICU fighting for his life there too. Not sure if they had the Omicron strain or not but think they did and it has certainly killed elsewhere – milder than Delta though it is.

  8. StevoR says

    Oh & Happy New Year all!

    “We’ll drink the cup of kindness yet..” Let’s hope and work to make 2022 a better year.

  9. PaulBC says

    Just watched livestream of the ball dropping in Times Square and the swearing in of the next NYC mayor. I have to wait a few hours here.

    I liked the choice of John Lennon’s Imagine to ring in the New Year. Do the religious nuts get that it’s a secular anti-nationalist manifesto? I mean there’s nothing very deep there, but I agree with it. Or do people just not even notice these things when it’s a pop song?

  10. PaulBC says

    Ask and Google shall provide:

    Imagine was born out of radical politics. Lennon said that Imagine was “anti-religious, anti-nationalistic, anti-conventional, anti-capitalistic… but because it is sugar-coated, it is accepted.”

  11. PaulBC says

    John Morales@19 Oh, interesting. I wasn’t actually listening to whether they’d altered the lyrics. I am pretty sure the singer did say “no countries” but I was distracted by other things. Unless I’m mistaken, I was “around” on Pharyngula and Panda’s Thumb in 2012, just not as frequently. I got interested in this part of the blogosphere around the time of the Kitzmiller trial. I had younger kids and more work pressure.

    Imagine was even used in an episode of Quantum Leap, a notoriously religious science fiction series. So I often wonder what other people hear when they listen. Lennon is probably right that he slipped a lot of it through with the “sugar coating.”

  12. unbelievingdwindler says

    “Why do people say “grow some balls”? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.”

    ― Betty White

  13. PaulBC says

    I’ll note that I’m not even sure why a Black tap dancer would be a point of controversy, even for racists. Or did they only want to watch white tap dancers in blackface. I don’t get it.

  14. jamesorpin says

    You say you’ve read the links provided but can’t see why people are using the epithet legendary?

    “ Legendary, as in King Arthur, Alexander the Great, William Tell, Lady Godiva, Cleopatra, Queen of Sheba?”

    What definition of legendary are you using? From your list it’s not purely mythological. It’s also not simply the more modern ‘famous and admired’ definition.

    She certainly fits the second.

  15. John Morales says

    Paul, just because the name was hitherto unknown to me does not mean I don’t admire a woman who clearly had an impressive career and was admirable on top of that.

    FWIW, I have this thing about unmerited superlatives which are used instead of ‘remarkable’;
    incredible (credible)
    amazing (does not maze)
    unbelievable (believable)
    stunning (does not stun)
    and so forth. I could go on, but I figure you get my meaning.

  16. unbelievingdwindler says

    John Morales @ 22 Yes ;)
    I was very surprised to learn I had incorrectly attributed that quote to the late White. Thank you for that.
    Felix Año Nuevo.

  17. John Morales says

    unbelievingdwindler, funnily enough, that’s kind of a legend about Betty! ;)

    (and no worries, I generally check before commenting)

  18. John Morales says

    [Silentbob, he’s a better commenter these days, like me.
    Reformed.
    Spare him]

  19. tuatara says

    I remember Betty White from the Golden Girls. The thing that struck me most about her was her sense of humour.

    Speaking of which, over at The Beaverton.
    https://thebeaverton.com/2021/12/god-announces-long-awaited-golden-girls-reunion-special/

    HEAVEN – After years of speculation from fans, God announced today the highly anticipated Golden Girls reunion special is now available for subscribers of Heaven.

    “We’ve been wanting to do this for some time now,” said The Almighty from his office. “With today being the 0th anniversary of Betty White’s passing, we’re happy to surprise afterlife long fans with this special to commemorate the occasion.”

    The eternity-long special is expected to see White reunited with her fellow deceased stars Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty. According to rumor, other co-stars that White had barely outlived might make an appearance to share memories, such as Chloris Leechman, Ed Asner, and Gavin Macleod.

    “I’m so excited for this to release! I thought they’d never get Betty White up here!” said dead Golden Girls enthusiast Myrtle Prior. “I was a little disappointed that it was religion-locked, but apparently you can get a 30-day free conversion to Heaven, so I might sign up for that and then cancel it right after.”

    In other afterlife entertainment news, Hell is teasing that Bill Cosby will be coming there soon with infinite showtimes available.

  20. birgerjohansson says

    So… Desmond Tutu, then Betty White.

    And now omricon gets a free pass because the boss of Delta Airlines does not like to pay money to sick workers. Guess who I would like to sacrifice to the gods of disease (I know there are no gods but I will do the whole Kali-Ma ritual from the Indiana Jones film, just to brighten up the end of the year).

  21. KG says

    Like John Morales, my reaction was “Betty who?”. Cultural icons don’t always travel. But commiserations to her family, friends and fans.

  22. Ridana says

    According to rumor, other co-stars that White had barely outlived might make an appearance to share memories, such as Chloris Leechman, Ed Asner, and Gavin Macleod.

    They could’ve included the entire main cast, but it’s especially odd that they left Mary Tyler Moore off that list of costars from The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

  23. imback says

    @36, I guess “barely outlived” means “died less than a year later than.” Leachman, Asner, and MacLeod all died in 2021.

  24. StevoR says

    @ 31. Silentbob : I was a massive douche & totally wrong back then (2013 & before) & I unreservedly apologise to you and everyone else for that now. I have learned and will do better.

    @ 32. John Morales : Thankyou.

    @27. John Morales : I think common useage means that words change or shift meanings over time. I thought you didn’t know who she was hence asking for links but now I gather you’re were trying to make a point over the exact cases where its okay to use the word “legend” which, okay I guess, but in the way people use the word now, meh. Nah. I think the description of her as a legend is justifiable FWIW.

    Also does not maze? That’s sounds like isn’t a maze as in, well, those entertaining confusing often hedge-y labyrinth thingys.. In which case a straight line would be a-maze-ing?

  25. brucegee1962 says

    I think the main reason for White’s iconic status in the U.S. in recent years has a lot to do with the popularity of The Golden Girls, and even more with her defying stereotypes. There is an expectation that when actresses get past a certain age, they’re supposed to gracefully glide off the stage. She just…didn’t. She kept popping up all over the place, and people loved her for it.

    Speaking of The Golden Girls, lots of times when critics talk about a show like that, they say it “opened a door” or some such tripe. But it really didn’t. Are there similar shows nowadays that focus on seniors? Given how Boomers have always tended to keep the media spotlight firmly on themselves, I would have expected there to be half a dozen senior-focused shows these days — but there really don’t seem to be.

  26. stroppy says

    She was a pioneer of television and an institution in the entertainment industry, both in front of and behind the camera, and has been strong across several generations. She was also an endearing personality and brought a unique sense of humor to her acting that successfully subverted expectations of the characters she played.

    Her CV is impressive
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_White

  27. dstatton says

    The more you learn about her, the better she gets. She took a real risk by featuring Arthur Duncan on her 1954 show. 1954! A lot of pressure when she was young and not powerful in the industry. She resisted. “Live with it.” A real mensch.

  28. unclefrogy says

    I saw the headlines but did not want to read the article.
    I remember
    her show back in the 50’s (I am old)
    I may not have understood everything but I did get the mixed messages and confusion everyone thinking it was different always ending with everyone talking at once loudly and fast
    then a voice “Betty say good night” everyone would stop she would turn to the camera say “good night”
    then everyone would go back to talking at once as if nothing happened
    Good Night Betty!

  29. stroppy says

    Reminds me of Burns and Allen.

    At the end of a show they’d make a curtain call and have an exchange. Gracie would say something inane, and George would say, “Say goodnight, Gracie.”
    Gracie would turn to the camera and say, “Goodnight Gracie.” Then they’d take their bow and play out.

    Vaudeville was still hanging on by a thread.

  30. Walter Solomon says

    PaulBC @24

    I’ll note that I’m not even sure why a Black tap dancer would be a point of controversy, even for racists.

    Perhaps because he was on with a white woman. Anything that could make someone think of miscegenation, regardless of how innocent, was a big no-no back then.

    This is why Nat King Cole’s TV show was considered controversial for its time — it wasn’t that it was hosted by a Black man but that the Black, male host had white women as guests.

  31. stroppy says

    PaulBC @24

    As you might expect, there was a big stink coming from the south.

    From Snopes

    According to the 2018 PBS documentary, “Betty White: First Lady of Television,” (available on Netflix) Duncan credited White for his first big break. “I credit Betty White for really getting me started in show business,” he said.

    In the documentary, White described that “all through the South there was this whole ruckus, they were going to take the show off the air if we didn’t get rid of Arthur because he was Black.”

    Added Duncan: “People in the South, some of them resented me being on the show and wanted me thrown out. And it was never a question at all.”

    White said she wasn’t going to budge: “Evidently through the South at that point it was a very heavy [thing], and I said, ‘I’m sorry, but he stays […] Live with it!’” White said
    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/betty-white-arthur-duncan/.

    It was a problem even for Eddie “Rochester” Anderson.

    Eddie Anderson’s cross-media and cross-racial stardom was very real in the U.S. popular media between 1940 and 1943. Unfortunately, a series of unforeseen events, and the growing racial strife in the nation during the war curtailed Anderson’s film career. MGM attempted to build Anderson into a greater star, featuring him in its all-star black cast dramatic musical production of “Cabin in the Sky” with Lena Horne. But “Cabin in the Sky” was released in summer 1943, just as race riots erupted in Detroit and other manufacturing and military base cities over labor strife. Timid film exhibitors did not play up Anderson’s film or stardom for fear of violence playing out in their theaters. Racist white backlash against blacks gaining footholds of integration and prominence in American public life began spreading across the south. Anderson’s subsequent appearance in “Brewster’s Millions” (Paramount, 1945) caused the film to be banned in Memphis for its portrayal of pleasant interracial interactions. Although he remained the most prominent (and highest paid) black performer on radio and television through the late 1950s, his stardom faded to being only a core component of the Jack Benny ensemble.
    https://notevenpast.org/eddie-anderson-the-black-film-star-created-by-radio/

  32. notaandomposter says

    from what I can tell she was genuinely a good person, and did good things. Above and beyond being a acting/comedic talent, she opened doors to the underrepresented in entertainment, was an ally to the gay community (even was so at a time when that would end the careers of those in the entertainment biz), and for decades has been an activist for animal welfare – long before ‘it was cool’ – she was involved with improving conditions for animals at the LA Zoo, the ASPCA, and was spokesperson for both pet welfare and preserving endangered species (and didn’t ‘drink the kool-aid’ of the radical PETA crowd)
    She was an entertainment giant that used her celebrity to raise others up, and champion worthy causes – and when eulogizing her, I think the praise she’s been receiving is well deserved.

  33. magistramarla says

    notaandomposter@47
    She was much beloved for her animal welfare work here on the Monterey Peninsula. She lived in Carmel, and from what I’ve heard, had a lot to do with the shelter here becoming a no-kill shelter.
    She also supported our Monterey Aquarium. About a decade ago, I turned a corner into an exhibit at the museum, and there she was, leading a presentation for little kids.
    She was a force of nature.

  34. magistramarla says

    brucegee1962@39
    Check out Grace & Frankie, starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.
    Also, The Kominsky Method, starring Michael Douglas.
    Both are comedies about growing older, and my husband and I belly-laugh our way through each episode.
    They are both on Netflix.

  35. unclefrogy says

    @50
    and not at all frivolous Hollywood type sit com they have real guts to them real people all though a little eccentric

  36. davidc1 says

    @44 In one episode of Fawlty Towers,Basil says to the Major,Say goodnight to the folks Gracie.
    I wondered what he was on about.
    The best TV progamme about growing old is One Foot In the Grave.
    Don’t known if you Americans have heard of it.I think there was an American version with that Crosby bloke.

  37. gwelliott says

    What actually happened is Betty White grabbed 2021 by the throat and then dragged them into the fires of Mordor in order to save us all. I suggest this is added to the canon. (I saw this on Facebook and rather liked it).

  38. stroppy says

    @53
    There is a fair amount of British programming available in the U.S. I watched One Foot in the Grave a number of years back on PBS which ran Britcoms among other things. These days it seems to be mostly Downton Abby, the Great British Baking Show, and a raft of dreary dramas which make me wonder what the hell is going on with you characters over there aside from Brexit, hooligans, and NEDs. Too much scrumpy?

    They also ran an Australian show called Mother and Son or something with a geriatric mother. I remember thinking the show was a little rough at the time.

    Britbox also shows britstuff.

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