Category Archives: Television

Today I am thankful for….

I stopped subscribing to cable (aka “cut the cord”) long ago and now rely solely on streaming for my television needs. Which, for me, includes Netflix, Apple TV and Amazon Instant Video. 

Which works out fine. Unless your internet goes out.

Which mine did three days ago after, it turns out, a large tree branch blown by heavy winds into the telephone pole out back disconnected the coax into my house.

After three days and two tries, Cox cable finally made it out to take care of the problem. 

So, today I am thankful I do not have to spend this holiday watching broadcast TV and reruns of old sitcoms that make today’s treacly sitcoms look sophisticated.

Jeez, what a waste land.

I endured two episodes of “The Love Boat” back-to-back, each one with a different Julie Your Cruise Director because the original Julie Your Cruise Director was let go because of her cocaine addiction — which was a novel malady back then, at least in the public consciousness. 

Enjoy the short video below, wherein Oprah talks with Julie #1 and Isaac (the bartender on “The Love Boat”) about how differently Hollywood approached drug addiction back then.

I will add that one of the novel features of MeTV, the broadcast network of old American television, is that it gets the stars of those shows back in the 70s to do appearances today plugging their old shows. 

Jamie Farr (“M*A*S*H”) looks not a whole lot different than he did back in that Korean War dramedy. Hunk Adrian Zmed of “TJ Hooker” fame? Not so much. 

I’m not sure how I feel about these commercials. On the one hand, they are entertaining in a sort of where-are-they-now kind of way. On the other hand, they are a bit jarring. 

Oh, and I am thankful for all my friends and family. And living a nice quiet and normal life. And cake.

An after-school satan club?

Right-wing and mainstream media have been filled with breathless stories about the After-School Satan Club. The group says it was created to counter the work of the Good News Club, a child evangelism organization that operates in thousands of schools worldwide, many of them public schools. They claim to reach over a million children each year.

They can do this in public schools because they operate after school and parents have to opt-in to the programs because they are not considered official school clubs, but rather function as after-school private clubs.

The After-School Satan Club markets itself as being founded upon “free inquiry and rationalism, the scientific basis for which we know what we know about the world around us. We prefer to give children an appreciation of the natural wonders surrounding them, not a fear of everlasting other-worldly horrors.”

All well and good. Free country and all that.

But as comedian Jim Jeffries points out in the YouTube video below from his eponymous show on Comedy Central, the After-School Satan Club is in zero schools yet still begs for money for doing, well, apparently nothing but stroking the egos of its founders and causing problems for those of us who want to present science in schools as a rational, non-threatening alternative to the know-nothing, anti-education agenda of the most conservative theologies in America.

No matter how any atheist might feel about religion in their own lives, not all people of faith are the enemy. I have a church a few blocks from my home, First United Methodist Church of Omaha (FUMC), that focuses on the goodness and kindness and love that humans can bring to one another while still being believers in a higher being. FUMC does amazing work in the community around social justice issues.

I would rather see these churches built up, instead of insisting on the fool’s errand of trying to rid the world of religion.

After School Satan is doing far more harm than good, but their efforts do illustrate an important point: the progressive side has just as many stubbornly doctrinaire people as does the right-wing side, with one important difference: many of them are people with formal education. That does not, apparently, stop them from doing very stupid things.

On a final note, the National Science Teachers Association has this to say about starting a science club in your own schools without any of that annoying, useless BS about Satan.

Fox News, fingers in ears, screams “la, la, la, la, la!”

I love this tweet so much I had to share it.

The possibilities are endless with the indictment of Manafort, et. al. This signals to every person in Trump’s orbit that anything is fair game.

And whom do you suppose in the Trump rogues’ gallery of grifters has evaded taxes, at the very least?

Bannon? The Trump children? Trump himself?

That’s the thing about a special prosecutor. He is ostensibly looking for collusion with the Russians in the election. But if, in his investigation into that area, he runs across something else against the law? Tough luck, pal. 

You know Donald Trump has something in his closet. This guy can grab pussies with impunity. Who knows what other rules he thought don’t apply to him?

This is eventually gonna push Orange Dear Leader over the edge. You know it will.

Fox News is going to have to queue up a lot of B-roll for shitty stories on America’s favorite candies and laundry detergents to keep everyone’s mind on something else. Good luck with that.

In most other presidential administrations an indictment of a key player would leave us wondering who else is dirty. With these people you have to wonder who isn’t. The lot of them have the faint whiff of grift about them.

The show begins today. Where it will lead is anyone’s guess. 

These are interesting and very dangerous times in which we live.  A federal prosecutor just threw down the gauntlet to a mentally unstable president with access to the nuclear football.

Fox News’ official response to the Manafort indictment.

No, New York Times, Irma predictions were not wrong

The graphic above is from the NY Times home page just now. Notice the suggestions that storm predictions were wrong. They were not.
 
It’s important to note this not only to point out that whomever writes the Times home page does not have a clear understanding of hurricane path prediction, but also important because people living on the West Coast of Florida also did not understand these same concepts and might be in danger because of it.
 
A meteorologist on CBS-N (don’t recall his name) made a very good point last night about the media reporting on this issue.
 
The forecasted path of a hurricane is usually represented on maps by a single line with points of time along the line where the hurricane might be.
The predicted path of a hurricane (black line with circles) and the wider cone of a possible path in which all residents should be ready to evacuate.
 
The cone of the storm’s path is the likely area a storm will affect. It is represented by, just as it sounds, a cone on the map. It is less specific than the single line but is no less important.
 
Hurricane forecasters have always said the cone of the storm — the area most likely to be hit hardest — was different than the apparent path at any given point in time.  The Gulf side of Florida was always included in Irma’s cone. Using that information, residents of the state’s Gulf coast should have been ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice, even if they were not under an evacuation order because early on the storm looked to be heading up the east coast of the state. But western Florida was always considered high risk.
 
The sub-heading on the Times home page both misrepresents the actual storm predictions, but also does a disservice because it reinforces the notion that science is somehow to blame for not knowing the shift of the storm from east to west.
 
Science had predicted that a hit to the Gulf side was highly possible. Because people did not understand that some people are at additional risk.

Welcome to Wisconsin!

You can exercise with anything you find around the house, garage — even the television news studio. ANYTHING! As these good ole boys will show you.

Now and then the local morning news programs have a producer who books a segment with local citizens who prove to be unintentionally charming and amusing.

Now get off that couch and break out those cinder blocks and beer kegs and get yo ass movin’!

I love this so much. I really do.

Wait for the tennis racquets, which made me think these guys might have been putting everyone on.

Is the Russian Trump operation ongoing?

If you’ve not been watching Rachel Maddow connect the dots on Trump and Russia, you’ve been missing a thing of beauty.

Alaska is the most sexually diseased state

Jimmy Kimmel has fun with STD stats. Close behind Alaska are Louisiana (2), North Carolina (3) and Mississippi S (4). Hmmm, I wonder what these states all have in common?

Could it be they are all red states that went for Trump? Could it be they are all states with voting adults who vote in sanctimonious and religiously hypocritical ways? Or could it be these are states which receive more in federal funding than they give into the federal treasury, thereby forcing blue state residents to pay for the federal benefits they receive?

Let’s just say they are all states that stand to lose more under a Trump presidency than any others, and leave it at that.

As for the Alaska numbers, in a footnote state officials revealed that many of the state’s out-of-wedlock births and STDs were among Sarah Palin’s children, thereby skewing the numbers.

Ha! Kidding!

 

When incompetent cartoon characters match real life

It’s striking how often The Simpsons and Family Guy inadvertently anticipated today’s Republican Party.

Mother of Dragons

Some parents are too cool for words. 

Looks as if it was taken at a ComicCon somewhere.