Showing posts from June, 2013

Buttering Up

Can you imagine the world we would live in if we were all judged based on things we said or did when we were young and foolish?

Actually, if you are a celebrity, you do live in that world.

If we could whip out an instrument, not unlike a defibrillator, and measure what's in Paula Deen's heart at this very moment, then maybe she wouldn't be persona non grata right now.

Maybe she wouldn't be hemorrhaging support from her network and from her endorsement clients and she wouldn't be kept away with a ten-foot pole by her on-air colleagues.

If we could go into that ticker of Deen's and find out whether she is, today, an abhorrent racist Southern belle, wouldn't that be great?

Wouldn't it save a lot of angst and hurt feelings if Deen's true views of those of color were as easily determined, were as black and white (no pun intended), as the fact that she, once upon a time, used racial slurs?

Deen, fired by Food Network and dropped by Smithfield as a spokesp…

Looney Tunes?

Every summer, I wonder the same thing.

What might it be like to drive an ice cream truck?

Can you make any money doing it? Is it boring? Or is it among the most fulfilling things to do in life?

I don't know anyone, personally, who's commandeered a roving vehicle, selling frozen confections out of the back. So I can't draw on anyone's experience.

Maybe you're reading this and are acting like Arnold Horshack from "Welcome Back, Kotter"---bouncing out of your seat, raising your hand and shouting, "OOH! OOH!"

Maybe YOU know someone who has driven an ice cream truck. Maybe you yourself have. Maybe you do currently.

Hey, I'll just be thrilled if you're reading this, period.

I think about ice cream truck driving every summer because, of course, we have such trucks roaming our streets these days. The thing that strikes me though---and this would be a big negative for me---is the ad nauseam repetition of the truck's music.

The trucks that cru…

This Mike Isn't On

Well, lookie here---we have ourselves another "only in Detroit" moment.

Specifically, only in Detroit, when it comes to politics and city administration.

Mike Duggan won't be the next mayor of Detroit. If this was football, you'd say that he got waylaid by an end around. If it was basketball, you'd say that he got backdoored. If it was hockey, you'd say that he got caught with his head down. If this was baseball, you'd say that he got picked off third base while staring into the stands.

OK, enough with the sports analogies. But not enough with the mess that yanked Duggan from the August 6 mayoral primary ballot, for it has only just begun, and it hasn't even yet had an effect on the citizenry.

Duggan won't be mayor because he won't be on the ballot. He can't even be a write-in candidate.

Duggan, bidding to become the first white mayor of Detroit since Roman Gribbs was replaced by Coleman Young in 1973, has been bumped out of contention due …

The "Other" Amanda Show

The former child star is a breed of his or her own.

You never know what you're going to get once the lights dim and the shows are canceled and the cherubic face is no longer in the public consciousness.

There's almost like a cocoon that the star lives in, in the interim period between the time the last inch of videotape or film is recorded, and when he or she re-emerges. It's during that incubation when things either go fine or terribly wrong, it seems.

Then the former child star emerges, splashing back onto the scene like a frog landing on your windshield.

Too often, the incubation wasn't kind.

The round, full face isn't so round or full anymore. The bright eyes aren't so bright.

He or she isn't 17 years old anymore.

The star is back on the scene, but with a cocktail in one hand, a cigarette dangling from the mouth, and telling the world to go screw itself.

The face is gaunt, the eyes baleful and blood shot. The frame is considerably more bony than what yo…


It might have started with LOL. Not sure. My Internet experience dates to 1998, but my chatting with other folks came several years later.


We need a new dictionary. Not for new words---for new abbreviations and acronyms.

I remember, as a youngster, happening upon my mom's old shorthand tablet, from the days when she was a secretary. I can still see the hieroglyphics on the spiral bound pages. How in the world, I thought, could anyone make heads or tales out of this gobbledygook?

My wife was also in clerical work, and she used to write in shorthand as well. She kept some of her old tablets, too.

It's getting to where the "shorthand" that people use on the Internet, thanks to Social Media, is almost as undecipherable to me as the Gregg shorthand stuff from back in the day.

I know the basics (see above examples), lest you think me a total Luddite.

But the use of abbreviations and acronyms is getting out of hand. I can't keep up.

As usu…

Those Were the Days...

I've always felt that the best litmus test for measuring the impact an actor has on the audience is asking myself, "Could I see anyone else playing that role?"

Try as I might, I can't see anyone in my mind's eye other than Jean Stapleton playing Edith Bunker.

Could others have done it? Of course. Could they have been good at it? Absolutely.

But could anyone have done it better?

It wasn't until near the age of 50 that Stapleton, who died last week (she was 90), became known to anyone other than hardcore theater goers and sharp-eyed TV viewers in the medium's Golden Age.

She wasn't the first stage and live TV actor to find fame past 50 in the age of pre-recorded television shows "filmed before a live audience" (as they still like to say, up front).

Stapleton finally found her fortune when she hooked up with "All in the Family" creator Norman Lear and co-star Carroll O'Connor in 1971, playing the confused, bemused, and sometimes a…