Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Les Miz!

 

Years ago, my Mom asked me to accompany her to the local community theater to see a musical called Les Miserables. Not really my thing at the time, I was a devotee of JC Superstar and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (yes, I was and am a Webber fanboy) and this new stuff maybe wasn't for me. But, I was blown away by it's grandeur. 

The latest touring show of Les Miz came into town last night for a weeklong stay. And as usual, it was spectacular.

I mean this thing has it all. Love, crime, bad cops. revolution, unrequited love, comedy, tragedy, cute kids, redemption, a fascinating story, and great great songs. Yeah, it can be a downer, but it's also inspiring. I dare you to not want to rush the Nebraska Unicameral and wave a red flag as they take away your rights, give away the store to the wealthy, arm every yahoo, and say the stupidest crap ever.

The story involves a criminal named Jean Valjean, prisoner 24601, released from slavery, who turns his life around, becomes a true Christian , becomes a rich man, cares for a young mothers child after she  dies, yet is still pursued by a bad cop named Javert. Meanwhile the young people are fed up with the wealthy, the government that enriches them at the expense of the people and plot a revolution. The daughter of Valjean falls for a student named Marius, all at the expense of the tragic Epinine, who loves Marius. The revolt occurs, it fails, all are dead except Marius and the rest is history.

This touring company is top notch. Every single major character in this grand musical has a moment to shine with a classic solo. They ALL knock it out of the park.

Fantine gets I Dreamed a Dream, the song that got Anne Hathaway an Oscar. Haley Dortch as Fantine got huge applause. The first of many.

The innkeeper Thenadier and his wife provided comic relief with Master of the House and also brought down the house.

Javert gets to shine with Stars. Preston Boyd as Javert was probably the most talented singer on the stage and blew everyone away with his baritone. Chills.

The ensemble killed with the classic Do You Hear the People Sing. It's still going in my head.

Epinine played by Christine Hwang ran away with On My Own. She was a delight and received huge applause. More chills.

There's so much more. One More Day. Look Down. It's so great.

Look I understand this huge loud long musical may be a chore to a lot of people. There's a shitload going on and subjects come at you really fast and at times it could become too much to handle. 

I mean you go from laughter to tears to sympathy to cheers to sadness to joy to tears again to joy again back to cheers to grief. It's a lot to process. 

But if you love grand spectacle on a stage, special effects, great stories and fantastic singers who all come to play, by all means go see it. I'd go back tonight if I could. It's that damn good!

Thanks Mom. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

A Hero In Nebraska!


 The legislature here in Nebraska is composed of 49 individuals. That's it. No House just a so-called Senate. Why this happened is because way back in depression era Nebraska, while the voters were building the gigantic capitol building known as The Penis of the Plains funded brick by brick dollar by dollar, legalizing horse race betting, making public power the only option, they also cut the size of the legislature down to one house system called the Unicameral. They also paid these people about $1200 per year right up until the late 1980s when they raised the salary to $12000 a year. Wow, how generous. Thus the state senators tended to be rich ranchers and farmers from the rural areas and rich Republicans from the affluent parts of Omaha and Lincoln. This is basically the norm even now. And the results are as predictable as can be. Rural, and their right wing agenda, run this state mostly because the wealthy Omahans and Lincolnites are right on board.

However, I will say unlike many states with a band of ogres gerrymandered into veto proof majorities, the trolls and rudeness that permeates politics in many states has been avoided here as Nebraska Nice has generally prevailed. Until now.

The 2020 election in Nebraska reflected the times. The Republicans elected for the first time are loud, mean and perfectly willing to blow up an entire system to get what the lobbyists, the PACS, and a billionaire ex Governor and his puppet new Governor have paid them to do. That is outlaw abortion, take away the rights of trans kids, outlaw drag shows, allow any yahoo to carry a gun without a permit and funnel tax money meant for public schools straight into the pockets of Charlie Kirk, Betsy DeVos , the Catholic Church and the religious kooks who want to start a "private school" under the lie of "school choice" for the poor. That's about it. That's all the dark money wants. 

Now originally, after the election the filibuster proof 33 vote threshold was thought to have been avoided. You get 33 genetic Republicans into office out of 49 and you can do what you wish. This was avoided. Or so we believed. Unfortunately there are Democrats who have a price and that price was met. Democratic turncoats came to the surface and the 33 votes have been achieved to stop filibusters. 

Step up to the plate Senator Machaela Cavanaugh. A Democratic (though "officially" non partisan) Senator from Omaha (she literally would be my Senator if I lived across the street) decided hey fuck you bullies, you may win in the end, but I am going to take you down on your "vanilla" bills that actually benefit your constituents like rural broadband, property tax relief and allocation of state funds. You want to limit women's health care rights, let any goober carry a gun, drive trans kids to suicide, destroy the public schools and ban drag shows you are paying a price.

So Senator Cavanaugh began to filibuster EVERY fucking bill that came up. She's been talking for over a week about a bill that changes a simple process regarding property taxes that nobody in their right mind would oppose. She's been talking about trans children killing themselves, women dying of complications during pregnancy after being denied abortions, and anything that she can think of. Fish fries, girl scout cookies, and her new colleagues being bullies and assholes. 

This is YOUR government Nebraska. You voted for these Republican shitheels thinking well everybody pivots and all is polite and casual. Well they aren't any longer. The people taking legislative seats are election deniers, conspiracy theorists , white nationalists, and gutless Democrats who think they have to vote with the crazies because they seek further office, like Mayor of Omaha . It's pathetic. It really is.

But some have courage. Machaela Cavanaugh is going to exact a price for these radical bills introduced by these nuts and GOP puppets. You get a drag queen ban, you get a abortion ban, you get a trans ban, you get a gun bill but ya know what you aren't getting ? Property tax relief, rural broadband and other things that actually affect your voters. But on the other hand fuck em, they voted for these nuts.

You're a hero Senator. Keep on talkin!

Saturday, February 25, 2023

McCarthy The Spineless Invertebrate!


 When the gutless spineless invertebrate Kevin McCarthy turned over 41K hours of Jan 6 tapes to a carnival barker named Tucker Carlson the other day make no mistake this is a concession to the Caucus of Dumb Fascists who eventually got out of his way to achieve power. The Republican establishment, who voted for McCarthy the entire 14 times they kept trying, is of no concern to McCarthy. His ass kissing of Marjorie the Loud, Matt the Pedo, Lauren the Dumb and others is his utmost concern to fight off death threats from the trash and challenges from the floor of fools.

The real reason this action occurred was not for "transparency" or "freedom" or that selective adoration of the "First Amendment" but to begin the two year long revision of history about what happened on January 6, 2021. What we all saw was an insurrection begun by a narcissistic law breaker who had the power to unleash a gang of white supremacists and criminals on the Congress, who just happened to be located in the Capitol. The launching of a  lynch mob of armed and dangerous scum onto real people like Nancy Pelosi, Mike Pence, Chuck Schumer and any other person following the rules to certify an election in which one man beat the other by 7 million votes. Gallows, sing songy Naaaancy, taking dumps in waste baskets, attacking undermanned police forces, tazing people, hitting people with lead pipes, attacking cops with flagpoles, carrying traitorous flags , smearing shit on the walls, attempting to climb into the House chambers to kill people 22 feet away, we ALL saw it. We all saw the mob. We all say the cult leader tell the mob to go to the Capitol and stop the certification to keep his filthy criminal ass in power.

But Tucker Carlson, an admitted liar, an admitted entertainer, a man so devoid of principles that even AFTER he's exposed as calling guests of his lunatics and liars, continues to push those lies about Jan 6. He did it this week. And there are millions who are so empty of curiosity and brain power that they just swallow his poison. 

Carlson is going to edit those tapes to further his cult into believing a coup is righteous . Believing that a violent insurrection was nothing more than a tourist visit into a public place by a group of white people exercising their right to visit a "sacred" place. The history of Jan 6th isn't a criminal act to the McCarthys of the world, it was a homage to a treasonous cult leader with a violent mob of morons. The fear of these pipe wielding miscreants is overwhelming the so-called "normal" Republicans who must pretend to back the former Thug in Chief. See Nikki Haley. 

It was just some touristy old lady in a Trump hat being escorted down the stairs by a "beleaguered" police officer. That's what Carlson will try and sell to a captive audience that already believes it. His real point is to sell it to the ignorant with no opinion about anything. 

But what we CANNOT forget is Kevin McCarthy on the phone with Trump the Twat on Jan 6, 2021

T****---"Well Kevin , I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are"

McCarthy-- "MORE UPSET? THEY'RE TRYING TO FUCKING KILL ME!!!"

And

McCarthy--"WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU'RE TALKING TO?"

And

McCarthy-- " I'M DONE WITH THIS GUY!!!"

Apparently he's not. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

I Know Something You Don't Know!


 Hey Emily Kohrs! Thanks for your service but shut the fuck up, pretty please!

Emily has shown up all over the media, twitching and saying things like she doesn't even vote and how much she is awed by drunkard Rudy Giuliani. Her brain seems stuck in 2002. 

She thinks she's being clever by giggling and saying things like the recommended indictments are "not a short list" and "not rocket science" to figure out who she means hee hee hee. 

Meanwhile the former guy is over on his pseudo twitter taking back his praise of the grand jury for their "total exoneration" and now screeching about "racism" against him and back to the "perfect phone calls" bullshit. You know, the "perfect" phone call where he threatened the Georgia Secretary of State with legal consequences if he didn't come up with 11,000 votes fellas. This isn't good because he riles up his violent thugs who are probably sending death threats to Emily Kohrs and DA Fani Willis. Perhaps Emily doesn't care as ignorance is bliss but I know Fani Willis does. Why give this Florida retiree a heads up that he's close to indictment?

I've heard former prosecutors state that blabbermouths like her are a prosecution nightmare and she's arming Trumps crooked lawyers with ammunition to ask for jury impropriety and shit like that to muck up the legal gears.  

Look I dont know who the grand jury recommended to Willis to indict. Kohrs was at least smart enough not to let that fly out of her trap. But the sly little "its not rocket science" to figure out who the list includes really aint helping. If I was one of those conspiracy whackos I'd start hollering that she's TRYING to fuck this up. But since I know better and my tin foil hat is in the wash, I'd just say she's loving the attention. 

So please , Emily, could you please stop acting like a giddy teenager who knows a secret and is just dying to tell you without telling you (wink wink) and just shut the hell up!

My own instincts say a whole lot of fake Georgia electors, Rudy Giuliani , Lindsey Graham and perhaps Mark Meadows and if all is just, Fat Donald will be very sad very soon . Damn I hope so.

But lets leave this to Fani Willis now and forget about Emily Kohrs.

One of the lingering questions I have is how in the name of Jimmy Carter did this yapping Yorkie become foreperson??? Did they vote her foreperson to get her to stop talking? That I would understand.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

State Of The Union!


 Hey I thought that octogenarian cognitive declining Sleepy Joe Biden was President but what we got the other night was Scranton Joe, who rolled up his sleeves and told the screeching spider monkeys of the GOP to put up their dukes.

Biden was masterful. He showed everyone who watched that he was the cat playing with the mouse before he swung it around by the tail and threw it outside. Scrappin Joe knew what he was doing. He was baiting the most baitable gang of low IQ trash that the Republicans keep electing to the House. He turned the SOTU into the House of Commons complete with screeching and some guy banging a gavel saying "orrrrrrrrrduh" but he had the gavel and he wasnt about to bang it. 

When Puncher Joe brought up the FACT that GOPers, in writing ,promised to gut Social Security and Medicare or in Rick Scott's crayon scribblings,  besides forcing children to pledge allegiance , he also wants to sunset all  federal legislation including SS and Medicare every 5 years, they reacted like WWE fans to the return of Vince McMahon. The yelled and hollered and screeched "liar" and "bullshit" and looked for vines to swing from. Cruella DeVille wannabe Marjorie Taylor Greene stood and hand gestured and screeched like a redneck mommy arranging a fight between her children after school. Mike Lee, a truly despicable Utah Senator who on tape wanted to tear up SS and Medicare "by the roots", reacted with a face like a man caught in the act of masturbating in public. Who me? Your eyes deceive you Officer Joe.

The Republican Party has been trying to kill off Social Security since Joe Louis was beating up his Bum of the Month Club. Now suddenly when called out by Preacher Joe, they wail like a cat getting his tail rolled on by the GOP rocking chair. And then Crafty Joe hit the Mousetrap button with "I enjoy conversion" as the GOP yapping yorkies stood and applauded SS and Medicare being left alone forcing Ronnie Reagan to spin in his grave.

Now we all know they are lying. We know Rick Scott ,in his every 5 year sunset promise, would choke the life out of SS and Medicare under the ruse of "saving it". Republican words are pointless and mostly lies. Keep an eye on the fuckers, they ARE coming for SS and Medicare as much as dog goes after a mail truck. They cant help it, they just think all people are miserable thieves and will kill 99 people to keep one from jobbing the system, ya know like Rick Scott did stealing  Medicare and Medicaid money.

There were other key points put out there by Rocky Joe. A minimum tax of billionaires, child tax credits that took so many kids out of poverty until the GOP reinstalled poverty by refusing to renew them, $35 monthly cap on insulin for the over 65 crowd to which Kevin McCarthy made a face like he was diabetes itself, and taxing stock buybacks which were cut back in the 2017 gift to the donor class. All were met by steely silence from the GOP zoo. 

The speech reminded me a lot of the 2012 debate with Ayn Rand fan and non-teenager Paul Ryan. When Ryan would state some stupid 1920's Coolidge economic point, Bare Knuckle Joe would lean back, chuckle, and do everything but point at this clown and say "this fuckin guy". That was the GOP the other night, on the receiving end of a knuckle sandwich from Scranton Joe......Those fuckin guys


Wednesday, February 8, 2023

To Kill A Mockingbird!


 Everybody read To Kill A Mockingbird in middle or high school right? It either slammed you over the head with reality or you blew it off because you were a dumb kid. The 1960 novel by Harper Lee won the  Pulitzer and the 1962 movie won Oscars and this play (in Omaha this week) carries on that tradition of greatness.

The touring company of the play, adapted by Aaron Sorkin of West Wing fame, stars Richard Thomas as Atticus Finch, the local tax attorney assigned the job of defending a poor black man from charges he raped and beat a young white woman. Thomas is a force, a great casting choice since the first act Atticus is a rather meek man trying his best and suddenly realizes the folly of 1930s Alabama when defendant Tom Robinson tells the truth, says the one thing he was told not to say and Atticus becomes a warrior for justice.

The narrators are Scout , the feisty daughter, Jem, the frustrated son, and Dill, the friend wiser than he appears. These three pop in and out to explain what is going on with humor and a sense of right and wrong. All 3 actors are tremendous in their roles and the glue that keeps this together.

Calpurnia. the Finch black housekeeper, played by veteran actor Jacqueline Williams, is the moral conscience of this show. She holds her tongue the entire play as Atticus insists on being polite to the racist  dregs of society until she can stand it no more and blurts out a line that really hit home. 

"I believe in being respectful , no matter who you disrespect by doing it" 

And with that line Atticus realized Calpurnia is 100% correct.

The racism in this play is sledgehammer like. The small men who make up the most virulent racists are so  not because of "economic anxiety" but because of generations of lies and abuse. Bob Euell (who fell on his knife) is the racist scumbag who started it all with a charge that Tom Robinson assaulted his young daughter Mayella when to anyone with a working brain knows it was him who did the deed. 

Mobs, the Klan, a railroading prosecutor. the n word with a sneering "er" are all here. It's pretty goddamned uncomfortable to hear white people say the n bomb. (Last week at Fences it was jarring but because it was blacks saying it to each other not quite as). But Sorkin has inserted just enough humor to keep Mockingbird from being a damned dirge.

There are cartoonish characters for sure. The Bob Euell character became a bit too much of a stereotype to me after a while with his enhanced accent and white trash demeanor. 

The original Scout from the 1962 movie, Oscar nominated Mary Badham, plays the nasty old bag Mrs DuBose. The character is completely unnecessary but I get while she was cast as a sort of tribute to not only the past but to her. Yeah its a complete novelty but I get it.

The judge played by Richard Poe, is a joy as a guy fed up with stupidity and his exchange with the prosecutor objecting to Tom's swearing in is all of us. Jeff Still as Link Deas , a local man who employs black folk and seems to be on the right side of history has a scene that is all of us also. 1930s Alabama folk suck. 

Hey, with the rise of white nationalism disguised as Christian nationalism making a comeback, this book, movie and play is still completely relevant to today and probably always will be. That makes me sad.

Go see it. You'll be happy you did and if you were a dumb kid when you were assigned this book back in school, you'll finally see what you missed. 


Saturday, February 4, 2023

Up Up and Away!




Run for your lives cuz up there is a Chinese spy balloon and since no fake crisis goes untouched by the gang of screeching monkeys called the GOP it's the worst thing ever, until next week. The balloon, which has been determined to be either 60,000 feet in the air or 100,000 feet in the air floats over Montana and then Tennessee or wherever a cynical Republican politician resides. The politicians, all catering to a base of voters who don't read, don't research, and watch whatever network sends them into a frenzy the easiest, know damn well this spy balloon is basically harmless. Once somebody figured it you could see it up there all hell broke loose. 

Montana representative Ryan Zinke (Crook-Mt) tweeted three words, Shoot. It. Down. A real tweet full of such peasantry as to ask Rip to walk out of the bunkhouse and fire a shot that takes it down to the Train Station. James Comer (Hillbilly-Ky) , a guy accused of beating women and forcing them to have abortions, called out the Chinese for sending the balloon full of "bioweapons" out of "Wuhan". Screeching neanderthal Marjorie Taylor Greene called for the balloon to be "shot down" and that President Agent Orange would have never tolerated this when in fact he tolerated it everyday of every year because look folks, they spy on us and we spy on them every single hour of every single day. 

There are spy satellites up there that make space look like the 405 at rush hour. Some belong to us, some belong to China, some belong to Russia, some belong to the UK, some belong to North Korea some belong to Jesus. They are watching us all the time. But a fucking balloon somebody can see is somehow the 2023 equivalent of Pearl Harbor. No Billy Bob in Tennessee or a J D Vance in Ohio is going to shoot down anything that far up. Have these idiots ever heard of New Years Eve?

Look, the Defense Department is jamming the balloon, rendering it useless, as they do with spy satellites because that's what their fucking job is...Defense...

The balloon is a non issue. Only to money grabbing Republican politicians and criminals running for the 2024 nomination is this an issue......BECAUSE IT MAKES THEM MONEY ...Trump sent ME a text (oh I am STILL paying for going to that Trump rally) saying SHOOT IT DOWN and then begging for $40.

Calmer heads shall win out (I hope) and the Republicans will move back to throwing shit against the wall and seeing what the marks will become outraged enough to send them money about.

Meanwhile for now. Let the idiots go outside and look up in the sky and get the balloon in their sites. Pew Pew!

The ultimate reaction to the balloon was Rep Eric Swalwell, responding to the Donald Trump Junior coke fueled tweet about Fang Fang where Junior spelled balloon "baloon"...Swalwell gently pointed out to the twitching freak Junior that baloon is spelled with two L's...like 8ball.