Category Archives: entertainment

No Bill. Just No.

This tweet was posted by Bill Cosby shortly after he left prison and returned to his home. IMHO, never has a bigger piece of BS been posted on the Internet. For those in the audience who are even older than I am, IMHO means, In My Humble Opinion. These acronyms abound in the world of social media but it is becoming more and more important that I remind readers that this blog represents my opinion. This is because now that Chief Justice John Roberts has achieve his lifelong goal of nullifying the Voting Rights Act and eviscerating the Fifteenth Amendment along with it, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas are taking aim at the First and the Sullivan exemption for critics of public figures may not be long for this world. That’s a subject for another day.

Today we have Bill Cosby. I have managed to avoid writing about Cosby for years. But this tweet, posted just hours after the comedian who was put on trial for sexual assault, convicted by a jury, and sentenced to spend 3-10 years in jail was released from prison, was the last straw.

No, William Henry Cosby, Jr., your release has nothing to do with innocence. It does not make you innocent. And your victory dance is both unseemly and unsightly for a man who remains, in my opinion, both a disgrace and a profound disappointment.

A disappointment, because I still remember my first serious date. The year was 1968. I had my new driver’s license. I had convinced my mother to let me borrow her car. I had convinced a very nice high school classmate to join me on this expedition. And she had convinced her father to trust me with his daughter on a Saturday night trip to downtown Chicago for a grownup dinner and then a show.

That show was at the Auditorium Theater, a newly restored nearly four thousand seat turn of the century venue. The performance consisted of Bill Cosby, alone, with a stool, a microphone, and a follow spot. And he had the packed house rolling in the aisles laughing our heads off for 90 intermission free minutes. This was the year Martin Luther King was assassinated. The year Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. The year of riots in many major cities at the height of the Civil Rights movement, the woman’s rights movement, the anti-Vietnam war movement, riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. I’m a lot older now but I can’t remember another year like that. It seemed to me as if the country was about to explode. But Cosby brought people together, young and old, black and white, it was an amazingly diverse audience. He told stories we could all relate to. He never used a profane word. It was a great first adult date and I talked about it for years.

But my disappointment with the guy once known to millions as “America’s Dad” is nothing. Cosby’s disgrace comes from the actions of his “other” persona. The persona he kept hidden from me and almost everyone else. For the man once defined by the character of Cliff Huxtable and Jell-O commercials is now defined as the man accused by some sixty woman of sexual assault. I know, it’s my opinion again. But you can’t ignore the accusations from so many, all basically telling the same story of a sexual predator who used drugs to have his way with women who could not defend themselves.

Cosby didn’t deny the events, he maintained they were consensual. He admitted to giving drugs to women in a sworn deposition in a civil lawsuit against him. The Fifth Amendment says you can’t be forced to testify against yourself. To force Cosby’s testimony in that case, the local district attorney promised Cosby would not face a criminal indictment. That district attorney left office and his successors broke the agreement.

Cosby was tried twice on criminal charges. The first criminal court proceeding against him ended in a mistrial, but the second jury concluded Cosby had drugged and assaulted Temple University employee Andrea Constand in 2004. He is not now and never will be, at he states in his tweet, innocent.

Which is why I most painfully concur with the decision to release Cosby from prison. It is because Cosby does get one thing right in his tweet when he gives “thanks to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for upholding the rule of law.”

The decision runs 79 pages but it boils down to one question. Did prosecutors break an agreement with Cosby? The answer is yes. The deposition testimony from the civil case cannot be used against him in a criminal trial. Justice and the rule of law are two separate matters. In this case, the cause of justice was not served. But the rule of law was upheld.

#####

Bernie’s Memes

There appears to be hope for the Internet. Perhaps that means there is hope for us all.

Coming off the challenging year 2020, and considering the crisis of January 6, 2021, it is often hard to find hope anywhere. But take a look at this. The picture above is a picture of Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont who runs as an independent but caucuses with the Democrats, ran for president as a Democrat and is one of the leaders of that party’s progressive wing.

Sanders is pictured at the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. He is alone in his folding chair, socially distanced due to the Covid pandemic, dressed in a heavy coat and oversized mittens due to the cold of the January day in Washington D.C.

Funny as the picture is by itself, what is amazing is what has been derived from it. For the few readers who might not know, a “meme,” pronounced “MEEM,” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.”

Many memes rocket around the world on the Internet in the form of a composite photograph, taking the image of a person or thing and dropping it into another photograph where it is clearly out of place.

And so we arrive at the Bernie meme. Proof that there is hope that our sense of humor has survived the trying times. Even Senator Sanders has noted his approval and plans to make use of the phenomenon to raise funds for charitable causes.

Update– CNBC is reporting that “Sen. Bernie Sanders said sales of merchandise featuring a viral image of the Vermont independent wearing mittens at the inauguration of President Biden raised a whopping $1.8 million for charities in just five days.”

And so, without further ado, a gallery of Bernie Memes, with thanks to the unknown creators.

Have a nice day.

#####

alex trebek

It is interesting how some things get to you. In the midst of all the election news, not be mention a bunch of other items going on in my life, I am deeply saddened to hear the news that Alex Trebek, who has been the host of the syndicated television game show “Jeopardy” since 1984, has died at the age of 80. He had been fighting advanced pancreatic cancer, which he revealed to his audience in March of 2019.

Read more

Issac Asimov at 100

I must have been eight years old. My Uncle Alan, my Dad’s older brother, had already established his expertise at “uncling” by introducing me to the Museum of Science and Industry buying me my first model train set, a Lionel Steamer, and showing me where he stashed his bottomless supply of Hershey chocolate bars.

Now he was to open up my world another notch by leading me to his stack of science fiction. The 25¢ pulp magazines of short stories, and the 50¢ paperbacks. On the top of the paperback stack was I Robot by Isaac Asimov. Right then and there began my decades long love for science fiction. Read more

Post Oscars

So. Its over. What did you think?

It wasn’t as long as some. And frankly, I didn’t miss the host. Besides, any show that begins with a trialog featuring Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph is an instant hit in my book. Why can’t we have these three host every event from this day forward? TV Shows, shareholder meetings, weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, etc. You get the idea.

Special recognition must be given to  Randy Thomas. “Never seen her,” you say? Probably not. But you’ve heard her. Ms. Thomas is the voice-over talent and announcer who for the last ten years has introduced presenters and vocally escorted winners to the stage with information about previous nominations and wins. For this hostless Oscar ceremony, Ms. Thomas was a star.

Read more

Me Academy. Pick Me.

Dear Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:

I respectfully submit my name for your consideration as the host of the 91st Academy Awards broadcast. I know you’ve had some difficulty filling this role. In fact, your track record in this area is pretty shaky. It’s another nice mess you’ve gotten yourself into!

Its hard to understand why finding a host for the movie industry’s biggest night, and one of the highest rated television broadcasts of any year, should be so difficult. But the rumor mill says many very big names in the entertainment industry turned you down this year. Oscar, you have a problem.

This year’s announced choice, comedian Kevin Hart, withdrew. Those darn social media posts from the past just keep coming back to haunt you. What you got here is a failure to communicate. I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse.

Read more