Friday, March 14, 2014

OMG; what year is it?

Long time, no post.  How different is my world view in 2014?  Let me think on this awhile.  One change.  Don't watch MSNBC now at all.  Still a strong progressive, but I went from faithful follower to fed up ex-viewer.  Others?  Anyone?  Hello?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Our specials today are. . .

Memo to political detractors: Get Your Wines Straight.

Honestly. This current flappette over Barack Obama's remarks about small town life (read: Pennsylvania) is backwashing over, wait for it, the San Francisco area. Naturally. Obama made the remarks here two weeks ago and the right-wing (and Clinton campaign, honest-to-god) has had at us "San Francisco Democrats" ever since.

San Francisco Democrats? Doesn't that have a positively 1984-ish "vibe"to it? Paging Mondale/Ferraro.

OK, VR-W Conspiracy, go for it. Keeps you off the streets. But, hells-bells (as my sainted Kansas mom used to say when pushed to the edge), let's strive for a modicum of accuracy.

About wines. Pat Buchanan, self-anointed and appointed right wing whiner par excellence has seen fit to label us "The brie and chablis set". Hmmmm. I personally have not seen a wheel of brie in quite some time (maybe at the very back of my refrigerator. I'll check later.) But chablis? Oh, please!!!! Pat and Co. have been asleep through at least two vino iterations here in the upper Golden State. Chardonnay supplanted chablis about the last time I cleaned out my fridge. I don't believe that you can even buy chablis in San Francisco anymore. Then pinot grigio seductively crept in.

All I'm saying, Right Wing/Clintonistas, is this: field trip yourself to a Beverages 'N More in the Bay Area and then get back to me. We'll have some of the aged chablis and brie I just excavated from the dark corner of my ice box.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Journeyman: Redux or No Dice?

Well, what's a well-educated (see previous post), sensitive, latte liberal, Left Coaster supposed to do when she falls--and falls hard--for a TV show? And not a show on PBS. Oh no. Not even on Upper Echelon Cable--or, horrors--basic cable. But on the TV That Dare Not Speak Its Name. Yes, Broadcast Television.

To be more precise: NBC. You know, TV from the Paleolithic.

What happened, as best I can recall is this. Around September, 2007, I happened upon a vaguely snarky review of the new fall series, "Journeyman", in the San Francisco Chronicle. The term that hooked my usually spotty attention was: time travel. But not the prosaic and shockingly common time travel to the future. Nosirreebob. I don't even trust the future. Do you?

No. Time travel to the past! And, again, no--not that been-there/done-that time travel to the distant past. "Journeyman" turned out to be about time travel to the relatively recent past, i.e., decades even I can still remember. Sort of. And, icing on the media cake: the series was set in and around my favorite geography: San Francisco. It was good-looking in another way, too. The lead actor was Kevin McKidd, late of HBO's yummy costume drama, "Rome." (I mean, have you seen this guy? OMG.)

So, I watch episode 1. And it's pretty good. I decide to give NBC's long-mothballed motto, "Must See TV", another whirl, and I watch episode 2 the following Monday. And the second episode is really good. By now I'm hooked on this tasty and smart look at the late 20th century Bay Area from the not-so-much smarter early 21st century.

What really sealed the deal was this: around episode 3, I sat up abruptly on my couch (on which I customarily lounge) to say out loud, This show has just jumped exponentially* in complexity and depth. I'm astounded! It's rounding the "j-curve"** and is heading straight up!

The rest of the episodes rolled around each Monday like polished jewels. Until the 13th, unlucky installment. Episode 12 had appeared as expected, on its appointed Monday, the 17th of December. All blue skies and calm waters. But the next episode, and the last, as it has turned out, appeared just two days later, on an alien Wednesday--with all the abruptness and surprise of a Bay Area earthquake. After that, silence from NBC.

What's a heart-broken TV snob to do?

(to be continued. . .)

*Thanks to the very late and great Thomas Robert Malthus.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Berkeley Grad, '70, Meets Comedy Icons

(Note: This serendipitous event was early in March, 2008, pre-blog. So I add it here now.)

Sometimes you get a second chance. And tonight I was lucky. I got a chance to see two of my political comedy heroes together. Dick Gregory, 75, and Mort Sahl, now 80 years old (and 2 weeks after a stroke had left him blind in one eye), performed a long "Hungry i" type set in my home town. Last summer, Mort Sahl was booked into the same little theater and I dithered around and missed the show. After I saw the marquee advertizing tonight's show--and even though the man on the phone said they were sold out--I trekked down to the box office in the hope of a spare ticket. There was one--and I got my second chance.

In these times of political darkness (just before the dawn, one hopes) seeing these two old men, near the end of their lives, on stage, living links to the late 1950s, the Kennedy years, the Civil Rights Movement, The Great Society, The Viet Nam War--and earlier Presidential races (Gregory was a candidate more than once)--had the audience, at first, in almost a trance of disbelief. Can these two men still be here? Can they still be sharp? Can they still care what's happened to America and the world in the last decade or so? Yes; yes; and yes.

Dick Gregory, who began tonight by handing out fruit to the audience--reminding me of the serious fasts he endured earlier in his life--mused over and over at "the changes, the changes. . ." Sahl wondered who would save America, while lamenting that none of the current presidential candidates had anything even resembling a sense of humor. They sat together on stage at the end of the evening, these old men, embodying much of the last 50 years of progressive political commentary, comedy, and dissent.

Under the freshly-opened plum blossoms on the sidewalk trees, I walked home, still laughing and still with tears in my eyes. Sometimes you do get a second chance.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Which hemisphere?

Your choices would be four: Northern, Southern, Eastern, or Western. And whatever your choice, you're in some kind of trouble. But, since it is Saturday night, we'll let that go for now. . .

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Welcome to my view of this mixed up world. Or is it my mixed up view of this world? Politics, popular culture, TV, gardening, architecture, cats--and my current passion: saving NBC's smart and inventive new show, "Journeyman"--all are fair game.

Meanwhile, for extra points (I was college instructor for ages): google The Coriolis Effect. It rocks the world!