I've noted before that things were differnet when I was younger. I worry that some today couldn't handle life a little while back. They can't handle differing opinions. They need everyone to agree with them or it's amicro-aggression. I'm way, way, way to the left. Encountering different view points was helpful. It helped me clarify where I stood, made me better able to argue my point.
I am bothered that we are encouraging people to scream censorship. When I was younger, the notion that censorship would be screamed? Well that's what the right-wing does, right? Nope. It's been the left for a long time now. I lost a lot of respect for Debra Sweet (The World Can't Wait) when she started denouncing a film that she had not seen. Say, "I don't want to see it." That's fine but to act as though you're an expert on a film that you've never seen? To call for censorship?
I know there was big money in that specific attack and I hope Debra wasn't in on the pay off. The Debra I knew years ago wouldn't be. But the Debra from years ago wouldn't have called for censorship.
I say put it out there -- book, film, argument, essay, whatever.
I reserve the right to call it trash if I think it's trash but I'm not pulling it off the shelves or burning it.
Live and let live appears to have vanished as a slogan.
C.I. has always, this goes back to when I first met her, back when she was dating my brother, before we were in college together, had the attitude of she wants her say. If you disagree about something and she thinks it's a topic worth pursuing, she will have her say and that's it. She's not interested in converting you, she just wants her opinion on the record. That's really the attitude I ended up adopting. Let's just listen to each other and I'm okay.
I don't try to censor anyone and I don't want anyone censoring me.
> Just a free exchange.
But that's not what we're seiing and I'm sick of hearing that words are weapons -- some are making that ridiculous argument to justify Will Smith's act of violence earlier this week when he assaulted Chris Brown.
So what I write about these days is mainly free speech. I'll note music sometimes. I love music. I'm not much of a TV watcher. But I can listen to music all day long. Without ever getting tired of it.
I have too many favorite artists to list them all but they do include: Jack Johnson, Carly Simon, Stevie Wonder, Prince, PJ Harvey, the Beatles, Elvis, Diana Ross, Chase Rice, Van Hunt, Animal Collective, Linkin Park, Jonas Brothers (because of my daughter who loves Nick Jonas -- I believe many people have daughters like that -- I know Betty does), Dionne Warwick (another favorite of my daughters), System of the Down, Stevie Nicks, John Lennon, Sarah Vaugnan, Laura Nyro, PP Arnold, George Harrison, David Saw, Prince, Lauryn Hill, the Supremes (only with Diana), the Four Tops, Van Morrison, Jill Scott, Eric Clapton, George Michael, Sam Smith, George Ezra, Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, Kate Nash, Nirvana, Afghan Whigs, Soundgarden, Janet Jackson, Jody Watley, Janis Ian (who became a complete nut during Donald Trump's presidency and fell for every lie and every conspiracy, ay-yi-yi), Third Eye Blind, Phil Ochs, Sam Cooke, The Fugees, Rickie Lee Jones, Nanci Griffith,India.Arie, Pink Floyd, Love, Lone Justice, Maria McKee, Curtis Mayfield, Womack and Womack, Roberta Flack, the Mamas and the Papas, Brenda Russell, Ashford & Simpson, Jefferson Airplane, the Doors, the Kinks, the Pretenders, Oasis, Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, Ben Harper, Cass Elliot, Jimi Hendrix, , Cher, Demi Lovato, the Replacements, Husker Du, Gene McDaniel, Anita Baker, Heart, Tina Turner, Rick James, Tracy Chapman, Rod Stewart, Fiona Apple, Sting, the Police, the Pointer Sisters, Blink 182, Barry White . . .
Again, I love music and could spend an hour listing everyone and still not have even listed half of my favorites.
I'm mainly just posting these days to amplify C.I.'s snapshot and keep a tiny bit of a spotlight on the ongoing Iraq War.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Tuesday, March 29, 2022. We return to the topic of yesterday . . .
Let's pick up with Will Smith's assault on Chris Rock. A few issues were raised in e-mails and I was thinking about following up to answer or include those and P Diddy had to comment to news outlets but then Will released his 'apology' and I knew we'd have to go another day.
First off, P-Diddy, you're trash. You degraded J-Lo's image when she was with you, you lowered her brand. And that's not just because of the shootings. Not just.
If you missed it, PeePee Diddy has interjected himself into the story. He wants you to know, hand to God, pinkie swear, that he's talked to Chris Rock and he's talked to Wil Smith -- he's the Jimmy Carter of the entertainment world (in his mind), and they're just fine ane . . .
We don't give a crap what you say. Get it through your head, music man. This was not your event. This was an event for the film industry. We don't need to herar from your trashy ass. You're nobody in the film world. You're a failed actor who probably showed more than he realized when he tried to act. Pee Pee Diddy, no one needs to hear from you. Most of us don't believe you. But what you think's going on doesn't really matter to the indursty that you are not a part of.
Supposedly, late yesterday, Will Smith issued an apology. He didn't.
And I won't lie like CNN did. CNN 'quotes' him. Here's the actual words.
in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last
night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my
expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition
was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.
I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.
I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.
I am a work in progress.
What a load of garbage. I say that as somoeone his publicist called about the 'apology.' Point of fact, I am not leading the backlash. For me, the Academy Awards outrage was the silence over Urkaine and the White people while never a minute of silence for the Arabs around the world -- not in Iraq, not in Syria, not . . .
That was the focus of the thing I wrote the night of the Awards. As I explained in yesterday's snapshot, at the after parties, it kept being brought up and those who know I write here had read it and were reading it and were telling me that I missed the big news of the night and . . . . I'm not leading anything. Every year I do campaign for friends to to be nominated and to win. I also do my part to ensure that certain people do not win. (Yes, I did enjoy Sunday night.) Will Smith is not an actor of note or merit. I was opposed to him winning -- and I did not vote for him -- but a few weeks back, when it became obvious he stood a good chance of winning, I didn't swing into action to try to tip the scales against him. He didn't matter enough to me. I had other dogs in that fight and stayed focused on preventing them from winning. (Again, Sunday was a very good night for me.)
When I was called about the statement being crafted, I said very clearly that he didn't need to bring Jada into it. I said he needed to take responsiblity for his actions, that he was a middle aged man, and he needed to apologize to Chris and to the industry.
He couldn't do that. If he were your child and started making excuses for someone he struck at school during his so-called apology, you'd stop him.
And let's get something else clear.
I've had cancer. Twice. I've had chemo. I don't want to hear about poor Jada's 'medical condition.' She's bald. Big deal. It's not life threatening. It hurts her vanity? Too damn bad. Wear a wig. Or don't tell the world about it.
She's bald. Jokes have been made about bald people forever and a day. As bald jokes go, "Can't wait for GI JANE 2," is not that harsh. He could have made a Kojak joke.
Willie's not taking accountability. And for the member of Congress that applauded this b.s? Ayanna Soyini Pressley, you are unfit to serve in Congress. That pains me to say. But you are unfit. We have noted you here and I have often been impressed with you but you're applauding that violence is disgusting. Oh, you're bald too so we all have to walk on egg shells1!!! F**k you. If you were speaking and someone came up onstage and slapped you, I don't think you'd be offering a Tweet of glee. Your hypocrisy and your inability to see beyond yourself goes to how unfit you really are. I am very disappointed.
Jada's bald. Get over it.
It's not a life threatening condition, stop pretending like it's cancer or MS or any real disease that threatens someone's life. Women have worn wigs forever and a day. If she choose not to, more power to her. But don't then whine because someone makes a single sentence joke.
And, for the record, Jada would be damn lucky to star in GI JANE II. It's not like she's had a film career in years, not as a leading lady. And, like Will, she's aging out of the roles. So she'd be damn lucky to star in GI JANES II.
What Will did was offensive.
Most of the e-mails are noting that he'd be expelled from a school for doing what he did.
And that is true. Equally ture, he's not a child. He's not 14 or 15. He's not a young man, even. He's a middle aged man lliving a few blocks from elderly.
He is responsible for his actions. He is responsible for the message he sends.
That dopey apology began the minute the Academy announced that they were conducting a formal investigation into the events. Thats when he decided he couldn't just stay silent (and the plan was to then go on Jimmy Kimmel and crack some jokes).
This was an industry event. Any other industry that he pulled that crap in, he'd be out of it right now. They wouldn't be making excuses for him or give a damn that his wife is bald.
They would note that this was an industry event and he degraded the industry. He brought his trashy ways into the venue and then stormed the stage to attack an invited persenter.
You need to grasp that, if you haven't already.
Because the industry is film, it's televised around the world. So the whole world saw. It lives on forever on YOUTUBE.
He embarrassed the industry. And we're only more embarrassed because on the night he acted the fool, we gave him an award.
He spat on the event.
Again, my big concern was Iraq.
But I did listen at the after parties as people made solid points. What he did was offensive.
This is not some b.s. awards show. No offense, but it's not The People's Choice Awards or The American Music Awards. It's the industry itself handing out these awards. It may seem silly on the outside and on the inside of the industry but it is our awards that we choose to hand out, our night when we honor film.
Amd over a single semtemce. Will Smith thought he had the right to leap form his seat in the midst of a presentation, storm the stage and assault the presenter.
That is not allowed. That is outrageous.
(And, as many of you note in your e-mails -- it was a woman who had made jokes about the very 'dramatic' marriage of Will and Jada from the stage and Will didn't go after her).
Chris Rock's joke was mild. And I hate that we have to say that. It doesn't matter what Chris Rock said. In no world would that be allowed.
At an industry event, Chevy Chase destroyed his career. It wasn't the Academy Awards. But he felt the need to show just hostile (with words only) he could be and he made statements that were offensive. That's why Chevy ended up on TV -- and was lucky to end up on TV. His opportunites dried up throughout the 90s and he was offered garbage. And the reason was the stunt he pulled at an industry event.
If he'd done that on live television at the Academy Awards, he never would have been able to be cast in COMMUNITY.
Will Smith embarrassed the industry.
Mila was brought on so that the Academy could put on their best and most caring face for the public. Ah, look at them, they care, they really, really care.
Awards, as always, frequently went out to undeserving winners because the Academy liked the 'look' of awarding a film about uplift or whatever.
And there in the middle of this celebration -- and carefully crafted p.r. -- Will elected to act the fool.
He didn't just disgrace himself, he disgraced the industry.
And he woke up today and, guess what, Jada's still bald.
Chris Rock didn't make her bald.
Again, she doesn't have cancer, she's not dealing with a life threatening condition. She is losing her hair. It happens and you can go natural, you can wear scarves, hats, wigs , whatever.
Because of Will's actions there are now safety concerns. I was noting the jokes that Helen and Judi would show up next year with armies of bodyguards. And they were jokes. At the after parties. But now?
People are really worried.
What if they're presenting an award next year and some Will Smith doesn't like the joke or doesn't like the winner and storms on stage?
This has never happened in the history of the awards. 94 times, statues have been handed out. Never.
This is not minor. This was not some one outside the industry streaking across the stage. This was someone the industry chose to recognize and he responded with violence.
He shouldn't be at any Academy event ever again -- that includes the awards. That pass shold be pulled from him immediately.
Any efforts to look the other way or not come down hard will encourage others.
This was an industry event. He dsigraced himself, he disgraced the industry and he brought physical violence onto the stage. That's outrageous.
I'm not calling for him to lose his award. If others do, that's fine. And that is a possibility. But I am now joining with the many other voices saying that the Academy has to take a very strong stand on this matter and that we never need to see the producer of this show again since he failed to protect Chris Rock. Where was security Why wasn't Will imemediately evicted as he should have been?
Calls were made and they were all the wrong calls.
I don't even know if he deserved to give an acceptance speech to be honest. Not after that stunt. They should have played music once he was handed the award and that should have been it. His actions didn't deserve a reward.
That there are people out there justifying Will's actions and minimizing them goes to what a dangerous precedent could be set. And that's why the Academy needs to come down hard.
Still in the US (and California) there's news regarding Omar Abdulsattar Ameen, the Iraqi refugee who is fighting to remain in the US. Don Thompson (AP) reports):
A U.S. immigration judge in California has halted the deportation of an Iraqi refugee to Iraq for fear that he could be tortured if he were returned there. Assistant Chief Immigration Judge Tara Naselow-Nahas in November ruled that Omar Abdulsattar Ameen was eligible to be deported because he lied on his immigration papers. The decision came even though a federal judge earlier rejected allegations that he had killed a police officer on behalf of the Islamic State group. On Monday, advocates praised Naselow-Nahas’ decision blocking Ameen’s deportation to Iraq, although she ruled against him on other grounds. U.S. immigration officials declined comment.
This is a case KCRA 3 Investigates has been following since Ameen was arrested in 2018. The U.S. Government claimed Ameen was a terrorist with ISIS and that he murdered an Iraqi police officer. Not only did it turn out that "Ameen" was not in Iraq at the time the alleged murder happened in 2014, but the judge also found the government's evidence had "substantial deficiencies" and is "ultimately unpersuasive," which led to the decision not to deport Ameen to Iraq.
"It is a big deal," Ilyce Shugall with Immigrant Legal Defense and part of Ameen's defense team, said. "It's a big deal for two reasons; really one, because the judge found that he does need protection from removal to Iraq and made a finding a very clear finding that she believes it is more likely than not that he would be tortured if returned. The second reason it's a big deal is because it's now the third time that a court has found that the government cannot prove that Mr. Ameen was involved in terrorist organizations or terrorist activities."
No, it is not safe in Iraq. The judge recongizes what the Academy Awards did not. Tomorrow, Baghdad is supposed to be the location of the vote for a president. Twice that has failed.
The following sites updated: