From television and film:
- Fictional Languages (uwelingo.wordpress.com)
From television and film:
According to Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, Suzanne Somers is an expert on the Affordable Care Act and its impact on retirees.
Yes, that Suzanne Somers.
She says the health-care law is “a Socialist Ponzi scheme.”
You can judge by reading the column here, but I feel the following is the most important part of the opinion piece. It was tacked onto the end after publication:
CORRECTIONS AND AMPLIFICATIONS:
An earlier version of this post contained a quotation attributed to Lenin (“Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state”) that has been widely disputed. And it included a quotation attributed to Churchill (“Control your citizens’ health care and you control your citizens“) that the Journal has been unable to confirm.
Also, the cover of a Maclean’s magazine issue in 2008 showed a picture of a dog on an examining table with the headline “Your Dog Can Get Better Health Care Than You.” An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the photo showed and headline referred to a horse.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion (no matter how air headed it may be). But no one is entitled to back up their opinion with their own facts. And, unless it was a photo of a great dane, I don’t know how you confuse a horse with a dog.
Yep. That’s a dog. Horses aren’t allowed to sit on exam tables. That … and the word “dog” in the headline … should have been a giveaway.
Let’s dig into the vault of old television.
From 1950 to 1960, Groucho Marx had a game show on NBC-TV called “You Bet Your Life.” It was a simple show. Groucho would have a couple of people come out. They’d talk for a while, then he’d ask them four questions to get to a $500 prize. If they answered correctly, they’d come on again at the end of the show and spin the “Wheel of Fortune” for a chance at $10,000, which was a ton of money back then.
I was looking at some Marx Brothers clips (I don’t have to explain to you who the Marx Brothers were, do I? If so, go rent the movie “Horsefeathers.” That’s all you need to know.) and saw a link to this episode of “You Bet Your Life.”
Now consider the context. This is a nationally broadcast game show in the 1950s, and Groucho has a black couple on. Today, that’s no big deal. But back then, it had to be scandalous. Black people were rarely seen on television. If you read Jet magazine well into the 1970s, one of the highlights was the last page before the back cover. That gave a listing of all the black people scheduled to be on national television that week. The appearances were so rare, the listings didn’t even take up a half page of a mini-magazine.
The entertainment industry shied away from showing black people because of concerns over offending white viewers in the South. But here’s Groucho with a black couple and a boatload of kids. No mention of race. No uncomfortable jokes. Just a straightforward back and forth with a nice family. Though I did think bringing the kids on was a bit much.
Anyway, the husband and wife leave the show with $2,500. The family is happy, six kids in tow and number seven in mom. And Groucho invites them back for another appearance.
And I’m left to wonder: Whatever happened to that family?
No way!!! Really??!!!
Yep. The couple on “You Bet Your Life” was the Sylvers. And the little kids grew up to be The Sylvers.
Now I’m thinking, no that can’t be possible. I’m jumping from point A to point Z without going through the rest of the alphabet. Until I found this clip:
It’s really them. The couple ended up with 10 kids. Dad left mom to hang out with Ike Turner. Mom and kids moved to crime-ridden Watts. And then the kids formed a megahit disco group that later fell apart because of drug abuse.
All this new knowledge because I saw a clip with Chico Marx that made me laugh. (Yeah, I was looking at the “swordfish” routine from “Horsefeathers” with Groucho and his brother Chico and then stumbled on this history of the Sylvers.)
It’s like Richard Pryor saw the future.
Baby Titus was on a roll, sinking shots like Luke Hancock in the NCAA finals. Then the brainless wonderboy of Fox News decides, “Hey, baby. Catch this.”
Baby’s not there to catch. Baby’s like Kobe Bryan. He’s there to shoot.
Dude, the kid’s 2-years-old. There’s this issue of hand-eye coordination. Notice that when dad has the ball, he puts it in the kid’s hands. But Kilmeade, the first time he touches the ball, figures a pass is in order because, hell, otherwise he’d have to take two steps to hand the kid the ball.
Think I’m overreacting? Check this out:
After returning from commercial break, Kilmeade asked: “Do you really feel that I was at fault there or should have Titus had his hands up?”
Hit Girl, what do you think?
The Republican House has hit a new low:
Republicans muscled a pared-back agriculture bill through the House on Thursday, stripping out the food stamp program to satisfy recalcitrant conservatives but losing what little Democratic support the bill had when it failed last month. It was the first time food stamps had not been a part of the farm bill since 1973. …
The food stamp program, formally called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, was 80 percent of the original bill’s cost, and it remains the centerpiece of the Senate’s bipartisan farm bill. …
Representative Frank D. Lucas, Republican of Oklahoma, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, said he would try to draft a separate food stamp bill “as soon as I can achieve a consensus.” But conservatives remain determined to extract deep cuts to the program — cuts that members of both parties in the House and Senate have said they cannot support.
This means no food stamps until the Republicans get their act together. And that’s been impossible.
People are going hungry in America. The poverty rate is rising because the GOP is doing everything in its power to undermine every social program promoted by President Obama.
Republicans want you to believe that food stamps are being abused by minorities. But the vast majority of people on food stamps are white. And they aren’t in the big cities. They’re in rural America, places that are Republican strongholds.
This was in The Washington Post this week:
Here, in the rural hills of Tennessee, is the latest fallout of a recession that officially ended in 2009 but remains without end for so many. More than 1 in 4 children now depend on government food assistance, a record level of need that has increased the federal budget and changed the nature of childhood for the nation’s poor.
You really have to read the full story (here) to fully understand the impact of today’s action by John Boehner and his minions. Poor people are going hungry. Things are getting worse. And the party that wants to give bigger tax cuts to the rich has just taken food out of the mouths of children.
Why this political party exists … why poor whites throughout America blindly follow the GOP when all it wants to do is destroy them … is beyond comprehension.
You’ve probably seen this already, but just in case you haven’t:
Remember when the right was going nuts, saying that “Sesame Street” was indoctrinating children into the gay lifestyle?
Bert and Ernie are two grown men sharing a house and a bedroom. They share clothes, eat and cook together and have blatantly effeminate characteristics. In one show Bert teaches Ernie how to sew. In another they tend plants together. If this isn’t meant to represent a homosexual union, I can’t imagine what it’s supposed to represent.
(Reverend Joseph Chambers on his radio show, 1994)
And then the left went nuts:
Bert and Ernie conduct themselves in the same loving, discreet way that millions of gay men, women and hand puppets do. They do their jobs well and live a splendidly settled life together in an impeccably decorated cabinet. ”
(The Real Thing by Kurt Andersen, 1980)
Finally Bert and Ernie did interviews:
“All that stuff about me and Bert? It’s not true. We’re both very happy, but we’re not gay.”
(Ernie to students at Carnegie Mellon University, 1997)
“Oh, you had to ask that question. No, no. In fact, sometimes we are not even friends; he can be a pain in the neck.”
(Bert to Spencer Howson when asked if he and Ernie are “more than just good friends” in an ABC Brisbane radio interview, March 7, 2005.)
But this was the best response:
They’re puppets. They don’t exist below the waist!
(Steve Whitmire, who has performed Ernie on Sesame Street since 1993, to students in a Q&A session at Carnegie Mellon University. September 10, 1997)
There’s lots more where that came from here.
The above illustration is another winner from XKCD.com.
A quick physics lesson.
Our television and radio transmissions travel at the speed of light. If technologically sophisticated, intergalactic beings are able to pick up those signals, this is what they’re hearing, based on their distance from us.
Let’s say there’s a technological being on a planet orbiting the star Castor (upper left hand corner) in the Gemini Constellation. That system is about 50 light years away, which means that a television signal sent in 1963 is just arriving there. “The Flintstones” first broadcast in 1960. So, for the past three years, a scientist on a planet orbiting Castor has been trying to figure out what the hell this means:
Is this really how we wanted to make first contact?
This comes as a shock:
The cable channel, and managers Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders, say the 51-year-old Gandolfini (gan-dahl-FEE’-nee) died Wednesday while on holiday in Rome.
In a statement, HBO called the actor a great talent and a gentle and loving person.
Gandolfini played conflicted mob boss Tony Soprano in the groundbreaking HBO series that aired from 1999 to 2007.
The last thing I saw him in was “Zero Dark Thirty,” where he played the CIA director.
But this is what he was known for the world over:
Since 1999, every time I drove through the Lincoln Tunnel from Manhattan to my home in New Jersey, this is the view I had and the song that played in my head.
RIP, Tony Soprano.