Big Love

This insane tv show about a Mormon man in Utah with three wives is endlessly fascinating because of all the nuances of the exponential relationships that ensue as a result of all the in-laws times three…
The latest episode featured, among other things – a more than maternal kiss from Margene to Ben – another romp in the hay for Albert -with his state-appointed auditor – of whom he happened to take an incriminating photo of while in bed together – not sure how this will play since Albert’s in the photo too – Lura won’t like it much, neither will the 10,000 folks at Juniper Creek who don’t look kindly upon homosexuality…a co-worker suggested that Alby could simply cut his face from the picture or airbrush the eyes & nose out of the picture-Dale’s wife would know the bed was not theirs…Albert also hallucinates that his dead father’s talking to him…Sissy Spacek’s guest turn as a sassy political wonk was a delight – her character definitely put Bill in check…

The past few episodes and, indeed, the past season have made it clear that the children of deceitful, scheming, treacherous parents often have  children of the same ilk – take a look at Nikki and Alby’s parents – Adaleen and Roman Grant – need I say more?  Or Bill Hendrickson’s mother and father? Cara Lynn quickly announced to the police that her mother had a gun in her purse…sound like J.J or Nikki style behavior to you?

Speaking of J.J. – is he going to blackmail Joey & Wanda or turn them in? I’d go with blackmail since I think he’s a serious power-tripper. What does he have of Wanda’s that’s precious??

Yes. This is a soap opera all right, but boy can these folks act and the writing is just superb, if not downright funny at times – who thought Ben would end up exposed on camera as Margene’s beau??

Check out:

IF you search for chloe sevigny big love clips  on google videos – you’ll see why she’s been nominated several times and finally won. – brilliant summary of the first episode of the season with very keen insights. – she’s always been one of my favorite characters on the show and this blog is a hoot…

What do YOU predict will happen this season????

Current News items that piss me off…

Ok. Here’s the latest set of things in the news over the past couple of weeks that have made me want to scream.

Rush Limbaugh & Pat Robertson on Haiti. Why do we pay Rush Limbaugh $400 million dollars  again??  Why do we give him air time? Similarly, Conan O’Brien gets paid around $40 million plus to walk away from the Tonight Show. How many people could we provide with health insurance using that money?? When I hear how we’re paying Limbaugh $400 million, Howard Stern $500 million, and O’Brien $33 million for him and  $12 for his staff- (just to NOT do a TV show, mind you), and then I hear Republicans and various pundits tell us we can’t afford national healthcare, I start looking for the nearest blunt instrument and hope there are no witnesses.

Senator Scott Brown -(ugh!) won largely because of the backlash against the Democrats’ healthcare reform plans. Who can explain to me why it’s ok to spend billions on Iraq and Afghanistan in the name of national security, but not ok to spend billions on national healthcare?? Why is it ok to raise tens of millions of dollars to help Haiti, and take care of Haitian children here in the U.S. on the taxpayers’ dime but not ok to raise such an amount or spend taxpayers’ money to care for our own children?  Now, please don’t think I feel that the Haitian people don’t deserve our help – they absolutely need all the help they can get – and probably more, but why can’t the American people get some of this compassion and charity without being slammed as socialists and liberals??  This demonization of health care reform seriously needs to stop.

The conservatives and Republicans talk about how it would raise taxes, but what they must know and I don’t is that health care costs will remain stable or decline if we’re not paying more in taxes. They must also know that lower taxes will give everyone more money to spend on anything they like instead of paying for health care, education, and the other rising costs of living. They seem convinced that if you and I pay less in taxes, we will be able to take that money and party in Rio. I really need a Republican accountant and income tax preparer this year… – Double standard?  – No. But since you feel the need to comment…

The inability to distinguish between stating the obvious and tacitly approving of segregation is staggering. It blows my mind how Republicans and conservatives are trying to spin this into a “double standard” on the part of Democrats. These Johnny Comelatelys to the party of diversity and equality think they have any moral authority on the topic of race just because they appointed an African American as RNC chairman in 2008???  I seriously don’t think so.

Too bad folks don’t want to fork over the money for universal health care in this country – is it such a bad think to want to be able to see a doctor without having to worry about going broke?? Prescription drug prices are too low or something? I don’t get it…

Issues of Identity-Part 2

My argument regarding sexual identity in the following essay is three-fold:  a) outsiders don’t have the right to disallow therapy or treatment merely because they believe it to be ineffective b) outsiders don’t have a right to set limits on the sexuality of others and c) outsiders cannot accurately gauge the motivations behind sexual behavior or the urge to alter that behavior with foolproof accuracy.

In the summer of 2009, the APA repudiated the efficacy of “reparative therapy” for treating/curing homosexuality. There are a few logical problems here – although they are experts in the field of mental health, they didn’t  provide clear reasons for why reparative therapy is ineffective. The organization simply issued statements to the effect that it doesn’t work and could be harmful, but never explain why the therapy doesn’t work or how they know with certainty that it can’t work. This underscores a similar problem with this position;  it puts the A.P.A. in the business of fortunetelling and clairovoyance. None of us knows with 100% whether or not some drug or treatment will be discovered to reverse sexual orientation. Viagra didn’t exist 50 years ago either, and that’s had a big impact on the sex lives of some senior citizens. There are new drugs and compounds discovered all the time, many with as yet untold effects.  Who’s to say there won’t one day be some kind of gene therapy which could eliminate the predisposition to homosexuality?

Although I am very libertarian, and don’t think anyone should be forced to be heterosexual, I also don’t think anyone should be forced to remain homosexual if they don’t want to be. Denying someone else desired treatment because you don’t like it’s motivations or affiliated political ramifications  doesn’t justify interfering without someone’s free will to choose the therapy or treatment he or she sees fit. I also don’t think many people want to be told what they are or are not capable of doing in the privacy of their own bedrooms. Who wants to be told they are incapable of fucking the opposite sex or their own in 10-20 years if they harbor that secret desire?

One of my online debaters insisted that the urge to change one’s orientation is not self-derived, but that such an urge is attributable to the influence of family and society. Although I don’t deny that may be true in some cases, I believe it may also be true for some to be very unhappy with their romantic experiences in the GLBT community.  A search of Craigslist personals and similar websites can turn up no shortage of those seeking anonymous sexual  and/or NSA (no strings attached) encounters. “No love. Just sex” sang Salt’N’Pepa decades ago, illustrating an attitude that never seems to go out of style. If one wants a committed relationship with a member of the same sex, but can’t find one, that is likely to prove frustrating. Overwhelming passion directing one towards those who will never care about one’s welfare may prove to be an unwelcome passion. Enough lonely nights and despair can motivate as surely as outward pressure. So can envy of straight friends and acquaintances and their smiling children. Who can say with certainty how these factors will play on the minds of any given individual over time? Who doesn’t want to be perceived as having a normal life? Internal motivations are individual and no hard and fast rules can be made.

Recently, I discovered this NY Times article from a few years ago, which puts an interesting scientific and sociological spin on things.

Other interesting thoughts on sexuality from across the web:

Am I bisexual?


Good Wife-another dynamite episode…

Family really is often the best to look after family. Molly, a nanny hired by Alicia to look after young teens Zach and Grace is initially competent -she informs Alicia that Zach and Becca, his older, oversexed girlfriend are in the living room at Molly’s insistence. Good move, but then later in the episode, Zach and Becca are in his bedroom and oversexed Becca is desperately trying to seduce Zach-younger sister Grace reports this to Molly who replies “He just needs some privacy. I don’t want to infantalize him.” SAY WHAT??? Grandma Jackie has a stroke almost on cue, but her reservations about Molly are indeed proven correct when Alicia learns that Molly has suggested to Grace that she get a shot to protect her against a sexually transmitted disease. Grandma sometimes DOES know best…

Zach and Grace aren’t toddlers or young children, so it’s really a bit unreasonable to expect that a stranger off the street is going to command their respect right away (although Grandma Jackie didn’t do that well at quelling their computer argument). Why can’t Alicia find a nice chess club for Zach and/or some project for Grace? Keeping them cooped up in that apartment is no good. Supervised activities would be better.

Another question that came to mind when Alicia visited Peter in prison; where is Alicia’s family? She mentioned having informed Peter’s sister of Jackie’s stroke, but what about Alicia’s own mother and father and/or siblings? We haven’t heard a peep about them and we should considering all the strain Alicia’s been under.

Ah, the lovely Kalinda (superbly played by Archie Panjabi). Whose side is she really on and why did Peter fire her? It was wonderful to see her in action this episode and these and other unanswered questions should keep people wanting to see more of Kalinda.

This of course, leads to Peter’s appeal. When will he, Alicia, and company blow the lid or Glenn Child’s machinations (if indeed he’s the master puppeteer…) ? When will Peter return home? Will he and Alicia stay married? Stay tuned folks…

Watch the Good Wife online.

What are your thoughts?

Issues of Identity-Part 1

Identity. It’s the foundation of who we are, or who we want to be, and it may change depending upon the people and situations with which one may come into contact.

Tiger Woods – Yes. I know about the sex scandal. YAWN. Prior to that, people were on his case for failing to identify as 100% black/African American, despite the fact that he isn’t. His marriage to a white, Nordic woman did little to appease these critics. Harold Ford Jr., I’m sure is able to relate to this.

I have never understood why strangers think it any of their fucking business whom a person marries or what someone’s family history is, but we seem to have many obsessed with these matters here in the USA. I suppose this view (among others) makes me a privacy  advocate of sorts, I was very pleased with the passage of GINA – the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. Getting people to realize that family history is personal might be a small step in the direction of tolerance, as would the realization that all humans have common ancestry.

That many people aren’t 100% black but choose to identity themselves as such is all well and good, as is the fact that everyone is genetically mixed to some degree, but why should that trump freedom of self-definition and self-determination? Why do people have to identify in a way that only serves the emotional and/or political motivations of others?

How you are perceived is a big part of your identity. Harry Reid, who I feel is under attack for acknowledging the elephant in the room that is racism and its impact on election outcomes, alluded to the belief held by many that in order to be accepted by the majority, you must emulate that majority in some way. In this case, having lighter skin and speaking in a manner more acceptable to the majority were perceived as desirable assets which made Obama a more palatable candidate in a presidential election. The apparent reluctance on the part of conservatives and the GOP to admit this political and perceptual truism infuriates me.

Mr. Reid touched upon what many people of color face in relation to member of their own communities or in connection to the majority. “You don’t act black.” (Or Latino, or any other label you care to insert). So many people in minority groups are challenged daily to prove their street crediblity within their own group, is it any wonder that some reject the majority culture while others embrace it at some level? Whose culture do you embrace (more)? This is a key question of identity and is being unanswered and unasked by Mr. Reid’s detractors.

Interesting article about perceptual segregation…

Terrosism 2010 – why there are no easy solutions…

Lest the Republicans think they’re the only ones worried about national security, I thought I’d bring up the topic here.

What are our weakest security leaks?

According to various exports’ reports online and in the news – they are:

A recent BBC article reported on a Slovak police test of the security system involving planting of explosives on innocent Irish passenger. I’m going to sound alarmist here, but this does raise the possibility of corrupt officers planting/fabricating material/evidence to railroad anyone they or those in power happen to dislike at any particular moment.

A National Geographic show to be aired on January, 10 2010 will deal with protecting the US. borders against illegal entry into the country by immigrants and terrorists. Smuggling is a huge threat to our national security, and I found this report quite interesting. Of course, the Government has the security checkpoints conveniently detailed.

As you know, the human factor being weak in the security chain was recently reported regarding the Ft. Hood, TX case.

See also:

  • Mahalo’s collection of smuggling links & news articles.
  • Recent TSA security measures.
  • Another blogger’s security thoughts…

Good Wife-one of the best TV shows around…

Despite the ripped from the headlines set-up ( à la Eliot Spitzer), the Good Wife , a Chicago-oriented legal drama which debuted last fall, has dynamite, original writing and great acting. One of the things I love most about this show is that it’s multidimensional. Each episode peels away another level of the onion to reveal personalities, politics, motivations, allegiances and the crosscurrents thereof.

The episode of 1/5/10 made it clear how Will Gardner is a womanizing manipulator who sees the fairer sex as pawns in a game. Alicia’s value to him? She’s someone he could potentially manipulate and use to undercut Diane, maybe even potentially replace Diane if the opportunity arises… Alicia’s value to the firm? She handles the public well. But make no mistake, this episode made it clear just how much of a chess game the entire legal process is – for example, if the wife of your political enemy is pissed off at him, maybe the advantage will go to your side at trial…Want to win in court? Know which judge has which political leanings and push his/her buttons accordingly…

Here are some great links about the show:

  • Cary’s Corner-Played by Matt Czuchry, this is a blog detailing cases related to the most recent episode – sharpen your pencils legal eagles!
  • New York Times blog-Great articles/analyses from the New York Times.
  • Money Watch– interesting economic perspective on this show.