Monthly Archives: July 2012

I support gun rights, but their extremist supporters here in the U.S. always go too far. And, they keep terrorizing the American body politic into doing their bidding.

QBG_Tilted Tiara

Egregious actions and the complete lack of human empathy, compassion and ethics is what this week has brought to us in the wake of Aurora. I will not go on a tear about Gun Rights or my position on them, yes, I have one and it might surprise many who know my history. What I will do though is pull some very real actions and words from this past week’s headlines and talk about why we are completely out of control as a nation, that we casually accept this behavior and these words. That many of us think nothing of these ‘Leaders’, elected or otherwise vomiting their vitriolic and noxious thinking into the airwaves without a single person standing up and saying to them;


Example One – Rep. John McCaherty (R-High Ridge)Missouri will be raffling off an AR-15…

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July 28 Notable Birthdays

If today is your birthday, “Happy Birthday!”

Cartoonist Jim Davis (Garfield) is 67.

Actress Linda Kelsey (Lou Grant, Day by Day) is 66.

Actress Georgia Engel (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Betty White Show, Goodtime Girls, Jennifer Slept Here, Coach) is 64.

Actress Sally Struthers (All in the Family, Five Easy Pieces, The Odd Couple) is 64.

Drummer Simon Kirke (Free) is 63.

Actress Lori Loughlin (The Night Before, Back to the Beach, Rad, Secret Admirer, The New Kids, Amityville 3: The Demon, The Edge of Night, Full House) is 48.

Actress Elizabeth Berkley (Saved by the Bell, The First Wives Club, Random Encounter, Any Given Sunday, Africa, The Elevator, Soulmates) is 40.

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On July 28…

1866 – Author Beatrix Potter (Peter Rabbit books) was born in Kensington, England.

1868 – The 14th Amendment to the Constitution was adopted.

1896 – The city of Miami, Florida, was incorporated.  It had a population of 260 at the time, but now, boasts population more than 2,000,000 people.

1945 – A B-25 bomber crashed into the 79th floor of the fog-shrouded Empire State Building in New York City, killing 14 people.

1976 – An earthquake estimated to be as high as magnitude 8.2 struck Tangshan, China, killing about 242,000 people in and around the city.

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Brown Out

The death of actress Lupe Ontiveros made me think again about the roles that Hispanics are often forced to play in mainstream American television and cinema.  In a 2009 interview with NPR, Ontiveros mentioned that she’d appeared as a maid more than 150 times during her career.  In fact, her biography on entertainment web sites note that she’s best known for playing maids and housekeepers.  I’m certain she had aspired to do more.  But, maids and housekeepers are pretty much the only roles available for Hispanic actresses in the otherwise eclectic American entertainment industry.  Other stereotypical roles include, at best, gardeners and busboys; at worst, gang members and drug dealers.  Is that all there is for us?

Not long after she won the 1939 Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Gone with the Wind, Hattie McDaniel received staunch criticism from the NAACP for her constant portrayals of Black women as domestics.  McDaniel retorted, however, that she’d rather make a living portraying housekeepers than actually working as one.  That didn’t really satisfy the NAACP, but McDaniel was going to lose either way.  Yet, the housekeeper role was just about all any Black actress could get for decades.  Now, even a cursory glance at television and movies will show Black women as lawyers, judges, doctors, law enforcement officials and business women.

But, Hispanic women still wear that traditional apron, while holding a dust rag.  They aren’t the Hispanic women I’m accustomed to seeing.  Most Hispanic women in the U.S. have done more with their lives than get married and bear children.  They, too, are lawyers, judges, doctors, law enforcement officials and business women.  As with Black women, the vast majority aren’t involved in drugs or prostitution; they’re not gang members; they don’t breed like rabbits.  Yet, that’s what’s presented to the American populace in various entertainment mediums.  Hollywood just can’t seem to move past the stereotypes.  Its producers and directors are stuck in neutral.  It really must hurt to admit the truth, though, and the truth is that the American entertainment industry isn’t as open-minded as it thinks it is.

When Ontiveros took the role of Yolanda Saldivar in the 1997 movie Selena, it was quite a departure from the usual.  This was a tragic true story about the brief life and sudden death of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, a Spanish-language music star popular in the early 1990’s.  Saldivar had been head of Selena’s fan club.  But, the singer’s parents caught Saldivar embezzling money from their daughter.  When confronted, Saldivar shot Selena in a hotel room.  The younger woman was about 2 weeks shy of her 24th birthday.  That Saldivar had engaged in criminal behavior sort of feeds back into the stereotype that – overall – Hispanics are of the nefarious mindset.  But again, that may have been the best Ontiveros could get.  It was still different than portraying a housekeeper.

It’s ironic that the main star of Selena is Jennifer Lopez who is now undoubtedly one of the most well-known performers in Hollywood.  When Lopez won the part, Mexican-American groups complained because Lopez is Puerto Rican.  They viewed it almost as an insult, which is like some people saying they’re Sicilian, not Italian.  What’s the difference?  And, who really cares?  But, it could have been worst.  Ironically, Hispanics altogether protested loudly just a year earlier when the movie version of the musical Evita came out with Madonna in the title role of Eva Perón and British actor Jonathan Pryce as Argentine president Juan Perón.  I had to wonder, at the time, if the producers couldn’t find any real-life Hispanic actresses who could actually sing and act.  But if you think about it, Eva Perón and Madonna had a lot in common; they’re both ersatz blondes who only think they had talent.  But, Jonathan Pryce?

One of Ontiveros’ last roles was as a cantankerous mother-in-law opposite Eva Longoria’s bitchy suburban princess in ABC’s Desperate Housewives.  Longoria, for one thing, fit in quite well with her Anglo co-stars, and I’m sure no one besides Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly noticed the difference.  Actress Shari Headley, who starred alongside Eddie Murphy in the 1988 film Coming to America, once commented that auditions often felt like family reunions; the same actresses would show up whenever a casting call for a Black female character was announced.  Ontiveros, Longoria and other Hispanic actresses could have easily said the same.

I know Ontiveros wanted more from her career and could have done more with it, if given the chance.  But, she took what she could get.  It often wasn’t much, but she wasn’t just going to fade away.  And, neither is any other Hispanic performer.  They won’t just drop into oblivion somewhere, so a handful of Americans can feel comfortable with what they see on the TV or movie screen.  That’s an impossibility.  Stereotypes may persist, unfortunately, but we’re changing that – one character at a time.

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6 Lost Olympic Sports

I’m glad they banished live pigeon shooting, but I think they need to bring back rope climbing.  From National Geographic.

Solo Synchronized Swimming



Jeu de Paume (Palm Game)


Rope Climbing


Hot-Air Ballooning


Live Pigeon Shooting


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July 27 Notable Birthdays

If today is your birthday, “Happy Birthday!”


TV producer Norman Lear (All in the Family, Maude, Good Times, Sanford & Son, Powers that Be, The Nancy Walker Show, The Jeffersons, Hot L Baltimore) is 90.

Actor Jerry Van Dyke (Coach, My Mother the Car, The Judy Garland Show, The Headmaster, Accidental Family) is 81.

Peggy Fleming (1968 Olympic gold medalist: figure skating; Olympic Hall of Famer; ABC sports commentator; International Women’s Sports Hall of Famer) is 64.

Betty Thomas (actress: For Peter’s Sake, Dream On, actress: Hill Street Blues; The Seventh Sign, When Your Lover Leaves, Troop Beverly Hills) is 64.

Singer Maureen McGovern (Different Worlds, The Morning After) is 63.

Actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta (The World Is Not Enough, Maria Maddalena, Picking Up the Pieces, Just One Night) is 44.

Actress Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live, City of Angels, Chuck & Buck, Duets) is 40.

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On July 27…

1789 – The Department of Foreign Affairs was established by the U.S. Congress and President George Washington.  The agency later was named the Department of State, or the State Department.

1953 – The armistice agreement that ended the Korean War was signed at Panmunjon, Korea. The war lasted three years and 32 days.  The truce negotiations between North Korean and U.S. delegates representing South Korea lasted two years and seventeen days.

1974 – The U.S. House Judiciary Committee began impeachment proceedings against President Richard M. Nixon over the Watergate affair.

1995 – The Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. opened to the public on the 42nd anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War.  U.S. President Bill Clinton and President Kim Young Sam of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) dedicated the memorial.  A plaque at the flagstaff reads, “Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered a call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met.”

1996 – An early-morning pipe-bomb blast in Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, killed 2 people and injured more than 100 others, as an overnight celebration erupted into chaos.  Eric Robert Rudolph, who eluded police until his capture May 31, 2003, pleaded guilty to the bombing on April 13, 2005.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Tweet of the Day

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Retro Quote

“England is just a small island. Its roads and houses are small.  With few exceptions, it doesn’t make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy.  And if it hadn’t been separated from the continent by water, it almost certainly would have been lost to Hitler’s ambitions.  Yet only two lifetimes ago, Britain ruled the largest and wealthiest empire in the history of humankind.  Britain controlled a quarter of the Earth’s land and a quarter of the Earth’s population.”

– Mitt Romney, in his book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, published last year.

Romney is starting to sound like George W. Bush – born with a silver spoon in his mouth and a gold cork up his ass.

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