Friday, August 18, 2017

Kid Rock for Senate?


Kevin Robbins of Hometown U.S.A. and I had this enchange in the comments to Entertainers and sports organizations condemn Charlottesville violence and trademark infringement.
[Kevin:] I trust Senator Stabenow will chew up and spit out little bits of Kid Rock next year. The Republican primary, presuming there is one, should be a show for the ages.

[Me:] Me, too. Thanks for mentioning that. I really have been neglecting a big story in my own backyard. I'll have to remedy that in the near future.
It turns out I have been ignoring this story for longer than I thought.  Nearly six months ago, Stephen Colbert observed If 'President Trump' Is Hard To Say, Try 'Senator Kid Rock'.

Kid Rock is running for Senate in Michigan, and there's only one man standing in his way.
LOL!  Unfortunately for Kid Rock, his primary opponent won't be the fictional Shrieking Joe.  They're the very real Bloomfield Hills businesswoman Lena Epstein, who was Michigan co-chair for Trump, and retired Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bob Young.  In addition, businessman and Iraq War veteran John James of Farmington Hills has formed an exploratory committee, as The Detroit News reported.  Follow over the jump for my analysis of that field.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

'Riverdale' leads television shows with seven Teen Choice Awards


Yesterday was my time to feature the movie winners at the Teen Choice Awards.  Today, as I promised yesterday and teased weeks before then, it's time for me to report on the television winners.  I begin with the cast of "Riverdale" accepting the surfboard for Choice Drama TV Show.

We're HYPED that Riverdale won Choice Drama TV show! Share to show your love!
"Riverdale" was the most honored show last Sunday, earning seven surfboards, two more than "Beauty and the Beast" did in the movie categories.  The video listed them, but here they are again from Deadline Hollywood along with my reactions: Choice Drama TV Show, Choice Drama TV Actor for Cole Sprouse as Jughead (K.J. Apa as Archie was nominated for Choice Breakout TV Star), Choice Breakout TV Show, Choice Breakout TV Star for Lili Reinhart (But Apa didn't win, Reinhart's Betty did), Choice TV Ship for Sprouse and Reinhart (as I wrote last month about the nominees, "Betty and Jughead?  Betty and Veronica are supposed to fight over Archie with Reggie trying to date the loser, while Jughead sits on the sideline"), Choice Hissy Fit for Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossum, and Choice Scene Stealer for Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge.  Wow!  Between winning Best Action/Thriller TV Series at the Saturn Awards and all these awards won here, I think I really should watch "'Archie' pretending to be 'Twin Peaks,'" even if or maybe because it's such an odd interpretation of "Archie."

Did I call these wins?  Mostly no, even though I was rooting for "Riverdale" in most categories.  I thought "Pretty Little Liars" would win Choice Drama TV Show, even though I noted "Riverdale" was getting a big push from either the studio or the network (that may be a distinction without a difference, as the studio is Warner Brothers, half-owner of The CW) and that I'd have voted for if I could have (I missed the deadline).  I also thought Ian Harding from "Pretty Little Liars" would win, too, but would have voted for Cole Sprouse if I could.  On the other hand, I voted for "Stranger Things" to win Choice Breakout TV Show, but expected "Riverdale" to win.  I also voted for Millie Bobbie Brown to win Choice Breakout TV Star, but expected K.J. Apa to win.  Neither happened, but at least it was a "Riverdale" star.  I expected "Bughead" to win and it did.  Finally, I didn't even come close with Choice Hissy Fit (I thought it would go to Luke Evans' Gaston) or Choice Scene Stealer (I voted for Michael Roker, then noticed Colin O'Donoghue as Killian "Captain Hook" Jones from "Once Upon a Time" on the ballot and switched my vote on the second day).  Two-and-one-half out of seven is not good prognosticating, but the actual results were more to my liking.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the television winners.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

'Beauty and the Beast' the big winner at the Teen Choice Awards as speculative fiction dominates the movie categories


After teasing my readers multiple times, I'm finally getting around to the winners of the Teen Choice Awards.  Today, I'm writing about the movie winners, which, as Deadline Hollywood reports, were dominated by speculative fiction films.

The big winner was "Beauty and the Beast" with five awards, Choice Fantasy Film, Choice Fantasy Movie Actress for Emma Watson, Choice Movie Villain for Luke Evans, and Choice Movie Ship and Choice Liplock for Emma Watson and Dan Stevens.  This result actually yielded fewer awards than I expected the box office leader for 2017 to achieve, as I predicted a "Beauty and the Beast" sweep of all nominated categories, which would have given the live-action remake of the animated film seven awards.  The categories it lost were Choice Fantasy Movie Actor, which went to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson for his role in "Moana," and Choice Hissy Fit, earned by Madelaine Petsch of "Riverdale."  I did predict that The Rock would win a movie award, just not this one.  Still, I'm happy about it.  As for "Riverdale" upsetting "Beauty and the Beast," I'll have more about that when I write about the television awards.

Three of the surfboards for "Beauty and the Beast" were earned in whole or in part by Emma Watson, Choice Fantasy Movie Actress, Choice Movie Ship, and Choice Liplock.  She won a fourth for Choice Drama Actress in "The Circle."  I'm pretty sure that means she won more awards than any other film or TV performer.  Congratulations!  As for "The Circle," I ignored it other than noting that Watson was in it, but it turns out that it's a thriller set twenty minutes into the future, which means it also qualifies as a science fiction movie, which IMDB considers it to be.  That means that only three surfboards for movie categories went out to films that were not speculative ficion, Choice Drama to "Everything, Everything" (I called that), Choice Drama Movie Actor to Kian Lawley for "Before I Fall" (I missed that one), and Zak Efron for "Baywatch" (I thought the other nominee from "Baywatch" would win).  That's actually one fewer than I expected, as my weak prediction was for Amandla Stenberg to win for her role in "Everything, Everything" instead of Watson.  This is one case where I am happy to be wrong.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the movie awards, including Action, Sci-Fi, and Summer Movie.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Colbert on the nuclear crisis with North Korea


Besides Charlottesville, the other big story  over the weekend was the threat of nuclear war with North Korea.  I'll be a good environmentalist and recycle what I wrote on my Dreamwidth account for Presidential Joke Day.
I'm posting about National Presidential Joke Day both here and at Crazy Eddie's Motie News. There, the post was SNL mocks Trump for Presidential Joke Day. Here, it's Colbert saying Stephen Doesn't Want The Earth To Blow Up.

As a homeowner and inhabitant of the planet, Stephen is really hoping Earth continues to be.
Doomer though I am, I'm with Colbert. I may repost this at Crazy Eddie's Motie News on Tuesday, after I post the worksheet for "Treasures of the Earth: Power" that I promised to post three weeks ago, the winners for Dramatic Presentation at the Hugo Awards, and the winners of the Teen Choice Awards.
Posted here as promised along with the first two on the list.  The Teen Choice Award winners may take a little longer.  Stay tuned.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Entertainers and sports organizations condemn Charlottesville violence and trademark infringement


I promised I'd write about the winners of the Teen Choice Awards today.  That's not happening, but I do have a report from the red carpet of the Teen Choice Awards: Teen Choice stars react to 'heartbreaking' Charlottesville events by the Associated Press.*

Yara Shahidi, Ashleigh Murray, Gigi Gorgeous and Grant Gustin react to the violent events in Charlottesville, as they arrive for the Teen Choice Awards.
I found Shahidi and Murray to be very articulate and insightful about the event, while Gorgeous was merely adequate and Gustin a bit disappointing, if properly appalled.  Then again, his character Barry Allen never fought Nazis during the Golden Age; that was the province of Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash.  If John Wesley Shipp, who plays Garrick on "The Flash," had made such an inarticulate response, I'd have been really disappointed.

Moving from entertainment to sports and from national to local, WXYZ reports on the Weimar moment in Charlottesville in Detroit Red Wings condemn use of logo during white nationalist rally.

The Detroit Red Wings are condemning the use of the team's logo by white nationalists during a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va. on Saturday.
I hope the Red Wings and NFL find the person responsible for infringing on the logo and punish him to the full extent allowed under civil law, which means (probably) he will be bankrupted.  That's a small thing compared to the one death and 19 injuries, but it will be something.  Speaking of which, WXYZ has more on the vehicle (murder weapon) in How metro Detroit is connected to deadly white nationalist rally in Vi[r]ginia.

The white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. that is being linked to three deaths has two metro Detroit connections. A woman from Canton Was at the rally this afternoon an[d] captured video of the crash on Facebook Live, moments after the car ran into protestors.
Yes, the car used to belong to someone in Michigan.  If the Detroit media find any connection to Detroit or Michigan in a story, they'll promote it.  At least the former owner is not responsible, while the driver is from over the state line in Toledo, Ohio.

Finally, I called the incident a Weimar moment earlier.  That's because it's another step up in violence from 1968 has arrived with a Weimar moment in San Jose.  There, the political violence was relatively disorganized, partisan mob on partisan mob.  Here, the organized attacks and counter-attacks and the first stage of uniformed political militias (logos on shields passed out to the alt-right demonstrators, along with helmets and batons) reached the stage I first described in The torches and pitchforks came out for Trump last night, complete with actual Nazis.
The protests and the conflict afterward stuck me as just one step short of Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold fighting with the Stahlhelm, Bund der Frontsoldaten during the Weimar Republic.
The counter-protesters weren't that organized, but they were more organized and ready for violence than I had seen them since Trump declared he was running.  I think we've gone beyond 1968 to something the U.S. hasn't seen since the Silver Shirts were active in the 1930s.  That's frightening.

ETA: It's not just the Red Wings and NHL objecting to the misuse of their images and products by the alt-right.  Now The Hill reports Tiki brand denounces use of torches by white supremacists.

*I'll post the winners later this week, perhaps beginning as soon as tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

'Arrival' and 'The Expanse' win Best Dramatic Presentation at the Hugo Awards


Today, I'm fulfilling the second promise I made at the end of SNL mocks Trump for Presidential Joke Day, "stay tuned for...the winners for Dramatic Presentation at the Hugo Awards."*  Tor.com has announced the winners of all the Hugo Awards, so it's time to check my prediction that "I think "Arrival" will win this category in a walk."  It did.  Eric Heisserer can put the rocket for Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) next to his Saturn Award for Best Film Screenplay and the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation.  Congratulations!  The best science fiction film of last year really did win, the Saturn Award for "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" notwithstanding.


It turns out that I didn't make a prediction for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form); I was too busy whining that "Westworld" wasn't nominated.  It turned out that the episode I proposed, "The Bicameral Mind," didn't qualify.  It has a running time of 90 minutes, which meant it qualified for the long form category, not the short form.  "The Original" would have qualified at 68 minutes, but it wasn't nominated.  Darn.  I reacted by deciding to promoting "Westworld" at the 2017 Saturn Awards.  It worked, as it won the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Television Series.

As for what I would have predicted in April, it would have been “Black Mirror: 'San Junipero'” or “Doctor Who: 'The Return of Doctor Mysterio.'”  However, if I were voting, it would have been for "The Expanse: 'Leviathan Wakes.'"  Much to my pleasant surprise, it won.  Congratulations!  My favorite of all the nominees won!

It turns out that it was the second time for this story at the Hugo Awards.  The book "Leviathan Wakes" was nominated for Best Novel in 2012 but didn't win.  Looks like being turned into a television show helped it the second time around.

As for the rest of the nominees, it looks like the insurgency posed by the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies is over, as none of their nominees won (again) and most of the slate didn't even get nominated.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that these people, like the Gamergators, have become more active outside of fandom.  Ugh.

*The first I satisfied by posting Worksheet for 'Treasures of the Earth: Power'.  The third will be about the winners of the Teen Choice Awards.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Worksheet for 'Treasures of the Earth: Power'


Yesterday, I told my readers to "stay tuned for the worksheet for "Treasures of the Earth: Power" that I promised to post three weeks ago" and which should have been posted two weeks ago.  Oh, well, I'm known to run late and still have some proposed series from six years ago unfinished, so two weeks isn't bad for me.  Follow over the jump for the worksheet, which the students were able to use much easier than the one for "The End of Suburbia."  I had to write a guide for my students to find the answers to that one.

Friday, August 11, 2017

SNL mocks Trump for Presidential Joke Day


National Day Calendar says today is a political holiday.
National Presidential Joke Day is observed annually on August 11.

A day to recognize the humor often found and yet not so appreciated in the highest office in the land, National President[i]al [Joke] Day offers a nod to the gaffes, social missteps and sometimes downright hilarious mistakes presidents make. During an election year, the scrutiny of the constituency can be brutal; the presidential candidates should be prepared to handle the presidential joke.  The citizenry will be listening!
...
Of all your presidential memories and history lessons what is your favorite presidential joke? Use #PresidentialJokeDay to share on social media.
I don't have a good presidential joke of my own to tell that will work in print.*  However, I don't have to.  I can outsource the joke telling to experts such as Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update on White House Staffing Changes.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, including White House staffing changes and North Korea's threat to use nuclear missiles.
I think that demonstrates in part why SNL tied "Westworld" for the most Primetime Emmy nominations this year.

I'll get back to SNL and the other Emmy nominees later, I promise.  In the meantime, stay tuned for the worksheet for "Treasures of the Earth: Power" that I promised to post three weeks ago, the winners for Dramatic Presentation at the Hugo Awards, and the winners of the Teen Choice Awards.

*I do a series of one-word impressions to the Cartoon on oil dependence I posted as a Blast from the Past five years ago.  I told it to one of my classes Wednesday and it killed.  Unfortunately, I don't allow videos of my lectures, so I don't have one to post.  Darn.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Kunstler and I discuss zombies and bags of dog poop


I've been posting my saved comments other blogs to my Dreamwidth account and found three of them that are responses to the blogger or his readers about zombies.  Today, I'll post the shortest, which was a reaction to James Howard Kunstler on Death to All Zombies!
“A zombie is a terrible thing to behold, but a zombie holding a bag of dog-shit is like unto the end of the world.” No, a zombie holding a bag of dog shit is funny. All that needs to make it funnier is setting the bag on fire. Of course, the zombie will still try to eat your brains, but you’ll get a good laugh out of it. Just don’t step on the burning bag once you shoot the zombie in the head.

I'll get around to posting the other two later.  When?  Before "Fear the Walking Dead" returns next month.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

'Love Has No Labels' and 'Women's March' among 2017 Emmy nominations for Outstanding Commercial


I wrote that I would write more about the Emmy nominees at the end of Religion and politics at the 2017 Television Critics Association Awards as 'The Handmaid's Tale' wins two awards.  Instead of writing about speculative fiction, like I did for "Westworld," "Stranger Things" and "The Handmaid's Tale" making news with multiple Emmy nominations for drama series.  I continued my pursuit with posts about Star Wars, The Walking Dead franchise and 'Gotham' and other superhero shows, I'm planning the first of a series of entries about politically themed nominees, much as I did for the political-themed nominees at the 2017 Television Critics Awards.  I'm starting with just one category for today's entry.
Commercial

John X Hannes & Smuggler (“Calling JohnMalkovich.com – Squarespace”)
R/GA & Tool of North America (“Love Cam – Ad Council: Love Has No Labels”)
R/GA & MJZ (“We Are America – Ad Council: Love Has No Labels”)
McGarry Bowen & Hungry Man Productions (“Why I March – Women’s March on Washington”)
72 and Sunny & Hecho en 72 (“Year in Search 2016 – Google”)
The middle three are expressly political and the last one is about last year's news.  Given that it was an election year, a lot of that was political, too.  Only the very first had no political content, so it goes last in this post.  That means the second one listed goes first, although the Ad Council on YouTube doesn't call it "Love Cam." It's Fans of Love.

For years, kiss cams have been a big part of American sports culture. This year, Love Has No Labels puts a twist on the kiss cam by turning it into a symbol for unbiased love. In the stadium, fans cheered for love in all its forms - regardless of race, gender, disability, age or religion.

Love Has No Labels is a movement to open our eyes to unconscious bias. While the vast majority of Americans consider themselves unprejudiced, many of us unintentionally make snap judgments about people based on what we see - whether it’s race, age, gender, religion, sexuality, or disability. By becoming aware of our own biases, we can work to end bias in ourselves, our families, our friends, and our communities. Rethink bias at www.lovehasnolabels.com.
...
Music: "Show Me Love (feat. Chance the Rapper, Moses Sumney, and Robin Hannibal) [Skrillex Remix]" - Hundred Waters
I enjoyed that, but I liked the next public service announcement even better: We Are America ft. John Cena.

To love America is to love all Americans. John Cena takes a break between dropping body slams to drop some truth – that patriotism is more than pride of country, it’s love beyond labels.

While the vast majority of Americans consider themselves unprejudiced, many of us unintentionally make snap judgments about people based on what we see - whether it’s race, age, gender, religion, sexuality, or disability. The Love Has No Labels campaign challenges us to open our eyes to our implicit, or unconscious, bias and work to stop it in ourselves, our families, our friends, and our colleagues. Rethink your bias at www.lovehasnolabels.com.
I think history is on the side of one of these two will winning.  I'll explain why over the jump -- after the other three nominees and last year's winner.