I’ll be at the San Diego Comics Fest in Mission Valley, at the Town and Country hotel Saturday and Sunday, I’ll be on a bunch of panel’s Sunday but will be wandering around the rest of the time. Feel free to say hi. I’ll be in my wheel chair as I haven’t mastered the leg yet. But I am getting there.
Today is the anniversary of the passing of my friend Steve Gerber. We worked together on the Ultraverse for Malibu. We shared lots of lunches together when we met for our writers group in Las Vegas. I met Steve in 1984, when he was living in Las Vegas and I went there with cat yronwode and Deal Mullaney for a distributor’s convention. We became friends over the years. He was a very smart and decent human being. (Art by Val Mayerik)
I used to blog about politics. I have my own views about things and I am not ashamed to admit it. I do not follow the herd and never have. But I stopped doing it because politics is an ugly business. Both sides have companies that invest millions in social media to spread lies about a topic or a person. They try to shape the debate about an issue or a candidate with falsehoods. A lot of people buy into this stuff and the internet is full of it. The big media are some of the worst offenders, but some people think that it’s only THAT channel that does it. No, sorry.
I’ll freely admit that back in the 90s I got into a lot of wasteful arguments with people online that could have been spent making money and creating comics. So I decided years ago t not get into it or try to. I don’t always succeed because some people want to fight. They don’t want to listen. I sometimes feel compelled to try to reason with people. To point out that something they said, may not be the way they seem to believe it is. There is always two sides to every story. But some people do not want their views challenged. And when you try to suggest they might be wrong, well it’s your fault. You are a tool of the corporations or what have you. I once told an anti-smoker that I believe smokers have rights to not be treated like criminals and force to stand in tiny areas where they can smoke outside. And for that I was called a stooge of the tobacco industry even though I never smoked and don’t like being around it. But I believe in civil rights.
So, today I had to defriend someone on Facebook. I rarely do that, but in this case it was kind of mutual since they pretty much said I should. It was because they just could not stop getting into long winded arguments with me and other people whenever anything, no matter how mild, was said politically. And even when I said nothing that to trigger their reaction, they would make it up!
Like I said, I don’t like wasting time with pointless arguments that are never going to be resolved because one side just wants to argue. Argue and have the last word. Sorry, but I’m not into that. Much better things to do which is why 99% of the time I don’t discuss politics online anymore.
What really gets me is when people try to tell me what I think. If you dare disagree with them, well you must be the opposite. There is only a binary reality with some people. Black or white, off or on. Democrat or Republican. The world is not two dimensional but to them it is. I have always been non-partisan. I have never believed either of the two parties are really for their respective platforms. It’s proven every time one of them gets power but you can’t tell people that because most people are into team sports. They believe their “side” are “the good guys”. Even if the “good guys” are screwing up the country it’s the “bad guys” fault. They see life like a comic book.
But I maintain the parties don’t care about “the people” and haven’t in a long time. If there is any binary it’s the elites vs the rest of us. The elites want you to think they are for whatever BS they are selling this week and they want you to agree with them, which of course is so they can benefit. It never occurs to the believers that their priest is a molester. Not until they are burned very badly.
We’re at a time in history where a lot of believers have been burned but they are angry. The anger is often misdirected because as I said, the elites spend millions to get you to hate who they want and to agree with what they want.
I would rather not argue with people anyway. I try to get along and always have, But I do have my principals so if we disagree, so be it. It’s just leave it at that.
If the absurd brouhaha over the Oscars diversity guilt trip wasn’t enough, they changed their rules to appear to make things “more fair”. But in doing so took away the voting rights of a lot of actors who have been in the academy for decades. One of them is Bill Mumy, star of Lost in Space and a regular guest actor a ton of TV shows from the early sixties up through the nineties. Because he hasn’t been as active in recent years, largely because of another thing Hollywood is very guilty of, ageism, Bill has been kicked down to a level where he has no vote in the Oscars anymore.
In a open letter to the Academy he said:
I started working as an actor at the age of five in 1959. I made my debut in a major studio feature film when I was six. I worked prolifically in both features and television and was accepted into the prestigious voting ranks of the actors branch of the Academy in 1975.
Some of the producers, directors and fellow actors I’ve had the privilege of working for and with include: Walt Disney, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Jimmy Stewart, Shirley Jones, Gene Kelly, Rod Serling, Lucille Ball, Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Stanley Kramer, John Cassavetes, Judy Garland, Martha Coolidge, Jack Palance, Burt Lancaster, Jack Klugman, Ed Wynn, Brigitte Bardot, Cloris Leachman, Claude Reins, Franklin Shafner, Irwin Allen… The list goes on and on and on. My point is: I learned my trade from Masters and I strongly feel that I’m still qualified to view films and share my opinions on them via an Academy ballot.
Sadly, the Academy no longer feels that is true.
Considering how many great performances he did through the years, included three classic Twilight Zone episodes and a host of others, it just goes to show that punishing innocent people because the system was unfair to others is just another form of injustice. This is the problem with divisive nonsense like the #OscarsSoWhite campaign. A recent study by The Economist show blacks actually get represented pretty well based on their population percentage. Latinos and Asians on the other hand are all but ignored.
Life isn’t fair and awards can’t go to everyone. We live in an age where a lot of children are given awards for just showing up. And now these adult children think they are entitled when an award is largely a popularity contest or political and is rarely based on real merit. The academy is making themselves look worse, not better, when they knuckle under to the whiners.
But isn’t that a sign of the times?
There’s something seriously disturbed about this remix of The Shining. But it’s also hilarious if you like this kind of humor.
I was going to post that this election cycle has been pretty entertaining so far. I mean, Palin endorsing Trump, Glen Beck endorsing Cruz in response, Hillary under a cloud of indictment, Sanders thinking raising taxes by 19 trillion dollars is going to stimulate the economy and create jobs (oh, man. Now that’s funny!). But, the lies being tossed back and forth just makes it another ugly year. Perhaps even uglier than the McCain/Obama or Gore/Bush elections. Changing of the guard elections are the worst.
The nation keeps getting more, not less, divided. In part because so called leaders claim to try to bring people together and they do the opposite. We’re at a sad stage in history where political interests spend millions of dollars on fake AstroTurf campaigns and social networking agitprop and people actually believe the crap that gets put out by the BS political websites, which are aimed at making you mad, if you are dumb enough to buy into it. They want you mad. They want you to think you are smart to believe their lies. That’s the sick part. It’s very easy to double check the claims. But most people are too lazy.
There’s also this thing called confirmation bias. People will agree with something if it sounds like something they already believe, whether it’s true or not. It’s why so many people are full of it.
Add to that all the racial animosity which is ginned up by political groups who think dividing people is the path to getting them to vote for who they want them to. This is especially vile. Listening to the hateful rhetoric on the Oscars has been a good example. People who express an option supporting merit over race get called racists or sell outs. And this is over a stupid award which has always been political and rarely goes to the right person or movie.
It’s all kind of depressing and I don’t see how either of the two likely presidential contenders are going to fix that. They are both divisive in their own way. One wonders how bad it will get before people are actually at each other’s throats.
I hate the snow and refuse to live in snow country. Maybe it’s because I lived in warm climates most of my life, but I just don’t enjoy it. My last experience was in 2009 when I got showed in up in Washington. It was only a couple feet of snow but that was bad enough because I lived back off a road and had to get a neighbor to use his mini-plow to clear my drive way. And then driving over icy roads, and worrying about pipes freezing, no thanks!
So you have my sympathy if you are dealing with it right now. I told my nephew, who moved to Minnesota last year, Winter is coming. He now knows what that means for real and not the abstract.
Fortunately, it rarely snows in San Diego. I can even wear a tee-shirt during the daytime. I appreciate the snow in movies and maybe looking out a window inside a warm house, but that’s about it.
I’ve always found the Oscars annoying because it’s a dog and pony show. I stopped watching them a few years ago because they aren’t even remotely entertaining anymore. The hosts today are abysmal. I never liked the fake Hollywood glam crap. The red carpet is boring. And all those stars pretending to care about this BS or another. Oh, look how much I CARE!!! I have the same ribbon on that 900 people in this room have!
And they always nominate guilt movies or pretentious ego films. Occasionally someone who deserves it gets an Oscar but so many times lame stuff wins. Look through the Oscar wins and so many great films lost over the decades while forgotten junk was the winner. Hitchcok and Kubrick also never won an Oscar for their work. Two of the greatest and directors in the history of the business.
This White Oscars meme is also bogus because it’s a strong year and there are only so many slots. I’m sorry but Concussion isn’t better than The Short or Spotlight. Will Smith is good but aside from his accent he’s not doing anything new. Beast of Many Nations probably should have been nominated but the Oscars are political and its a Netflix movie. Creed was great but it was basically another Rocky sequel. Hollywood is biased about a lot of things, Not just race. They also hate genres and TV which Netflix is kind of a version of. Spike Lee is the Kanye West of directors always looking for a chance to pimp himself in the media. But his act is not going to win him any Oscars or diversity gold stars. Chiraq blew. Sorry General Lee.
I doubt I will watch it again this year either. The only thing I feel they do half way right anymore is the remembrance segments. Except they often snub some actors in those, which is unforgivable.
So, you could say I am also boycotting the Oscars. Because they’re a snooze.
My favorite Eagle died today. He was 67. I freely admit I am a Eagles fan. I know some people hate them but they were my favorite band in High School and I still love their music. My favorite Frey song wasn’t an Eagles tune. It was this little crime drama ditty he did for Miami Vice. It’s not just a great jam, it tells a story and is a really strong statement on the war on drugs.