Very early this morning I awoke to a sensory-rattling noise of what sounded like a gathering of Macaw's in heat. Rapid overlapping chatter, often rising to squawkish bleats, boomed-out from TV speakers.
Oh Gawd! I fell asleep with the TV on again! This time the channel was MSNBC and the cacophony was from "Morning Joe" where Mika Brzezinski usually attempts to speak while her erstwhile co-host and program's namesake, Joe Scarborough, blathers on with one of the usual round-table suspects or special guests, blithely ignoring her attempts to join the chat. Everyone's pitch was higher than usual with the fervor of today's Florida GOP Prez Primary voting. And, for a change, Mika had a chance to speak for minutes at a time without interruption!
Perched in the palmy trees, or rather, by the sandy beach in Miami inside a deli, the on-location hosts and guests were in Political Heaven Game Mode. A primary in a "Must Win" state in the general election is one of the dress rehearsals for the media to get their Poli-Sexy on and strut their stats. With the "Morning Joe" clique, adding to their hyper enthusiasm today was the presence of Mr. Always-Wired Chris Matthews spouting predictions and views.
Between Mika and Chris, the shrillish circus indeed came to town down there and people like me could hear them squealing even with the Mute button in play.
In truth, I've kept the remote on "Mute" because no matter who wins tonight's primary - the Newt or the Mitt - the GOP will remain divided on who they will crown as their Prom King until the very last minute.
Yep. The choices are that bad!
And, to add another insult, did anyone see and hear the clip of Mitt Romney singing a few stanzas of America the Beautiful yesterday? Whew! Talk about flat! If nothing else, at least we have someone currently in the Oval Office who knows how to sing on key. America has a New Idol! Now, if only Simon Cowell were part of the final judgment process, the entire mess of the coming months before the November elections would be moot - for either Mitt or Newt.
P.S. In case you were wondering..... The above picture of Cowell isn't to ward off the sound of Paula Abdul's reaction to being fired by Simon from the X Factor! But that's another story for another day.
Yep. The annual SAG (Screen Actor's Guild) Awards were in full throttle last night/early evening, and one might expect a Flog or two toward someone or something about the program today. Not really. What's to say? Almost everyone who "should" have won did. There were very few surprises - at least from my armchair assessment view.
The SAGS are conducted in an easy-going atmosphere, considering how many celebs and their "handlers" were seated almost on top of each other in the already too-close-for-comfort Shrine Auditorium. And the fashion? I'm not crazy about gowns. I like to see tux's. Not much to say there, either. "Hey, nice satin lapel ya' got going on..."
No, not gonna go there today. Instead, let's view a controversial subject quite high on my list: Medical Marijuana. Of course, last night's Hollywood festivities have nothing whatsoever to do with why weed/grass/pot/MJ is on my mind this morning.... Especially when the product-placement champagne bottles on the tables were the size and height of many of Kate Middleton's hats.
The other day I spent a few hours with a friend who informed me that she and her husband have doctor-prescribed Medical Marijuana cards and shop for their supply at a legal dispensary in their Suburban neighbourhood while jaunting around on regular errands. How nice - and convenient, I commented. Pick up the pet food and dash across the street to buy a few ounces of "legal medication" and bounce back to the car and be on one's way for a Mani-Pedi.
I'm a major proponent for Medical MJ and believe the continuing illegality of it is one more indication of how both social and financial forces in the U.S. maintain the Black Market on an herb that has been used for hundreds of years to cure nausea (along with other ailments), and is not at all the danger to society we have been fed for ages. Statistics via often dubious studies always cite how marijuana is a "gateway" drug to harder substances, and once a person has tasted that pungent herb, the next thing they want to do is smoke crack, snort coke and inject heroin.
Uh. No. Not always. What I'd like to know is how many MJ users started-out drinking alcohol? From what I have read and witnessed throughout my life, are car crashes, horrendous domestic/public fights when one or more in a family/group are under the influence, compromised livers causing jaundiced eyes, broken blood vessels in the skin and so on.
Yes, I've seen the sad, horrifying pictures of Meth addicts. Crackheads. Heroin users. The physical deterioration is often astounding. But have you seen the same with those who don't go beyond marijuana? A glazed, sleepy look and an odd smile or two are the primary physical "ravages" of smoking weed. The overview of MJ use cannot in any reality compare to alcohol and hard drugs. Read this: Alcohol vs Marijuana Truths
I am so excited! With the recent announcement by the peculiar, although august, The Headwear Association, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Something-Or-Other across the quaint-sounding "Pond" in yon ole' Merry England, has been crowned Queen Of Hats, or, to be properly informative, "Hat Person of the Year." Details Here
In air-sniffing circles such a title is less than prestigious. It's rather common. In others, 'tis a wonderful thing as England is now awash in more outrageous or haute couture hats for the ladies than ever (it seems).
I'm happy about the latest Royal Newz because I love to observe what is attached to the heads of diverse English women at numerous events ranging from weddings to soccer and tennis matches and what is worn to a simple luncheon, of course. Must wear a hat there as well if one is to be "seen."
Oh, where-oh-where did the non-runway throngs of American Women and their once-interesting hats go? At the moment, the primary hats worn by American women are trendy fedoras, which I love. But, when the elite meet in almost every city of supposed trendy style, it is rare to see a hat worn inside a function. Too bad. Hats can be very Fashionista-Chic...again.
But, I digress, eh? It's time to return to the point: the English hat fetish! I also enjoy the subject because it allows me to add a new flurry of Hat Images to the above slideshow.
As I view the animals, flowers, satellite-like receptors, flora and odd forms of fauna strategically designed to tilt at often gravity-defying angles (perhaps with a little help from glue or pins), my face lights-up and I'm chortling away, LMFAO, GWD (I made that up for Grinning With Delight).
From the frumpy to the frilly, many of the hats are a visual treat and often silly.
It's a good thing to have a laugh, particularly when it's a shared experience.
Wow! It's the afternoon and I have yet to find the mental clarity to write a word! It's been a busy morning here in Shauna Z-land. Doorbells ringing, was I listening? When I did, it was not glistening. The plumber was here, there was a sad tear, finding out the water heater's dead.
I think I'll dash to the bath and have a shower now before the water begins to cool.
Ah, the lack of drama in my life is just becoming too boring. (If you're new to this blog, check the archives. Hah!)
The Flogging Whip is fired-up and ready to have at it with the constant negative "I told you so" focus on personalities such as Demi Moore who choose to marry and/or date and/or co-habit with men considerably younger than them/they/her/they are/yadda-yadda/themselves. Talk about double standards! I don't need to tell you how many men marry/date younger women, do I? Nor do I feel that I need to remind everyone how men with younger women are only bashed in the media when the woman is considerably younger in what may be considered an almost pedophilia way. But it never fails that both women and men - particularly women, it seems - love to make disparaging remarks toward other women who prefer younger men as their companions. So what if JLo likes her men young and dancing? So what if Madonna wants to hang her many hats on the nubile body parts of guys who don't mind following a Diva around the world for fun and pleasure? The insulting remarks being tossed at Demi Moore for her current physical and apparent woes over the ending of her marriage to Ashton Kutcher are antiquated and completely judgmental. If Demi likes 'em young, then so be it. If she is ailing because it didn't work out it doesn't mean she is living in an Arrested Development mind-set. To me it means she knows what she likes. And at one time she liked the younger Ashton. At one time she also cared-for and married an "age appropriate" Bruce Willis - and that didn't work out, either. Many marriages and relationships of all age comparisons have their troubles. I am tired of the Double Standard, the endless whisperings when women take control of their lives and choose who or what makes them happy. As with any marriage or relationship, when it ends, someone is hurt. Just because Demi is now in treatment for a variety of reasons does not give a free pass to call her "immature" and "she should have known better" in endless interwebs chatter. Are we still living in the 50's?
What's with all of the above, you may ask? With regard to the overkill of definitions on "elite" I'm showing all of us precisely what the word means so that the next time we hear Newt Gingrich and other GOPer's pound on how there is an "Liberal elite" running the country, that most of the media are of the "elite," we can all sit back and laugh at the continuing hypocrisy of uber wealthy white men who live in expensive homes, make more money in one day than most Americans make in a year, run up credit lines at posh shops such as Tiffany and take cushy cruises, among other expensive outings and activities/behaviours.
If people like Newt want to bandy-around the word "elite" as an indication of intellectuals rather than his own lifestyle, then I will gladly defer to his gratuitous use of the word because from what most of us have been witnessing over the months, the GOP is sorely lacking in brain-power, thus, are not intellectually "elite" but behave more like effete supercilious assholes toward each other as well as those who are not "like them."
I mean, puleeze! How in the world can a wealthy person such as Gingrich suggest that children should take over janitor duties and not come across as an out-of-touch, out-of-sensitivity-chip elitist? Isn't the cliche'd view of "elite" to set apart those who work with their brains and not with their calloused hands? And when was the last time anyone saw Mitt or Newt, for example, digging around in their fertilizer-fed rose gardens? Or hammering a nail or two in wood rather than in the heads of their rivals?
But such logic doesn't cross the minds of those who are manipulating their "base" with the class warfare innuendos and outright lies when they know the word will resonate all the way to the voting booths despite their hapless followers' inability (or refusal) to see that by voting for a quasi-Washington "Influence Peddler" (aka "Lobbyist") they are allowing the most Insider of Insiders to run amok once again through the Halls of Power for their (not our) own advantage?
And that's just Newt. What about Mitt, who now appears to be way too elite for his effete political party? Or, too "moderate" which is another way of twisting the word to list around in the shifting winds of the GOP's weekly crowning of their Second Coming?
Oh you silly, silly hypocrites! Isn't George Will one of the "Media Elite"? He's been writing for years from the tony perch of numerous magazines and prestigious newspapers. Is it not "elite" to have a successful TV show where a mouthpiece such as Bill Oh-Really spouts his well-spoken points of Conservatism while making an enormous amount of money from Fox News? Why isn't Rupert Murdoch, Fox's Big Daddy, considered part of the "Media Elite"?
Because he isn't a Democrat, that's why. Nor is George, nor is Bill.
And the shrill shilling of the buzz word "elite" never, ever can pertain to a media mogul whose primary purpose in business is to keep the cash flowing via the false accusations toward members of a political party that would rather ensure the health and general welfare of those without power and wealth than shove them off to live under bridges and in tents on land now owned by the federal government with money many of the homeless once paid for from out of their ripped pockets when they had the opportunity to make a few dollars before some "elite" group of suits sat in a warm and cozy conference room one day and decided to foreclose on their homes.
Now, that kind of behaviour is what I deem to be "elite." How about going after them?
Good morning, I think. Maybe not. First off, in Southern California this morning a light rain is bringing life back to the supposed "Winter" season following too many weeks of dry, sunny weather. I love rain, and when California brings actual weather-weather, I'm quite happy. However, rain also brings with it a cat (mine) who thinks that I am responsible for the drops of water falling upon the wooden balcony where she likes to roam for a few minutes following her breakfast.
Usually a calm and quiet companion, my little Familiar looks at me with suspicion, raises her head and sends-out a loud and long, irritated Mee-Ouch-At-You-Now! She paces by the glass door, watching the rain fall and wants so much to go out and play in it. Until I open the door for her and she is hit with the cold air, the splashes of rain on her fur, and backs away with a scathing upward glare in my direction. I shrug. "Not my doing," I tell her.
The Negative Ions in the atmosphere also provide mine furry friend with extra energy, so while I write I see a whiz of black blurs dashing hither and yon in the background, including a leap or two in the air as she tosses one of my errant hair bands around in play.
Ah, good, I think. She's having fun! And then she disappears for an hour. Where'd she go? Under the bed or hiding in one of her extremely difficult to find "safe places" in the house? My parent-owner-friend guilt begins to slip into my consciousness. Shouldn't I spend a little more time with her? Playing? Reassuring her that the rain will eventually end and she can once again stalk around on the balcony to terrorize the nearby birds in the way-too-near trees? No, I think. I've already spent more time than usual petting her tummy, tweaking her nose, and telling her that she's a "Good Girl."
It's okay, I tell myself. She's used to seeing me behind a computer screen at this time of day. And so I return to work. Suddenly I hear a loud galloping sound moving from one end of the house through the hallway. A black blur flies into the room, pounces on a small rug in front of the armoire, makes rumbling-around sounds, turning the rug upside down, and fleeing the scene - all within seconds!
My focus somewhat askew, I decide to take a break and turn on the TV to catch the latest news from voices rather than written words and enjoy another cup of strong black tea.
Relaxing on the loveseat where I have been writing, the TV is turned-on. I'd like to know what's new beyond Heidi and Seal, Mitt and Newt. Instead, I hear the now-maudlin-to-anyone-with-a-heart opening chords of Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" - the soundtrack to one of the most depressing commercials in the world!
Cute, sad, frightened dogs and cats who have been abused and abandoned stare out at one with earnest eyes and break-your-heart-in-seconds expressions. Some are in Animal Shelter prisons while Sarah's music pours tons of pathos into one's ears and the accompaning voiceover reminds us that if we don't immediately run out to our nearest animal shelter and take one of these sweet-looking animals home with us they will soon die! Or send money ASAP so they won't die! Whatever, don't let them die!
Gee, thanks, Sarah. I want to throw myself off the balcony now! (By the way, I'd throw your agent off the balcony, too, for allowing you to have your once-beautiful tune forever associated with, thus turned-into, the anthem for pre-euthenized helpless and abused dogs and cats!)
This well-intentioned yet cynical-and-manipulative-in-the-guilt-factor commercial has been running for several years in the U.S. I've learned not to look at the images. I immediately change the channel. I'm one of those people who can't go into an animal shelter because I'd adopt every one of the dogs and cats if I could.
And then I look around my room. I see my black and gorgeous furry friend reclining on the floor near my feet; stretched out near the floor vent where she likes to spend much of her time when it's chilly inside and out. She's calm again. And so am I. It's okay, I remind myself. She was a Rescue. She never had to spend time in a shelter, but a series of Foster Homes brought her to the brink of a cat breakdown until she ended-up at my home over five years ago.
I may not be able to save all the homeless animals in the world, but almost every pet I've had was a rescue in one way or another. It's better to be able to take care of at least one pet than none at all is how I view it.
OMG! One of the few Hollywood couples whose marriage the most Jaded of the Jades expected to live on for almost ever is, sadly, over. At least that's what TMZ is reporting (See This). And we know Harvey Levin doesn't flit around when it involves serious Intel from his many direct sources.
A day away from Saturday's "Breaking Story" and no new newz has erupted to shine that glaring spotlight on "WHY?" After reeling from the horrendously unexpected, utterly mind-numbing parting of Russell Brand and Katy Perry, how can anyone endure the current Show-Biz Fizzle of a yet another relationship and/or marriage falling from the starry skies? My primary excuse for not writing about the thunderous news yesterday is hidden within the second word of this sentence.
Obviously, my writing attention was focused elsewhere. Sorta. If one can consider listening to Chuck Todd (of MSNBC and NBC) ramble on most of yesterday afternoon, looking increasingly smug as I suspect he thinks (as does NBC) that he is the new Tim Russert (NO FRIGGIN' WAY); a worthy commentator for political machinations. (Perhaps a year ago. Now? Not on board with Todd...)
As expected, Newt whomped on Mitt.
What a shocker! Who could ever imagine a "Morals Guy" spouting BS rhetoric in the fringe Bible Belt (although closer to the belt than a Bible, as it were) would win?
Now, back to substance: Seal and Heidi Klum, married since 2005, are done. Kaput. Finished. Heidi is to file for divorce at some point next week, per the report.
As with TMZ's accurate and credibility-building jump on all other news sources with the first official confirmation of the death of Michael Jackson, former side-eyed readers and TMZ TV watchers will give Levin his due when it goes beyond the transparent Kar-Kash-Ins "leaks" – thus, every entertainment-based website or blog, along with general news sites, have reported the seemingly done deal.
Surprised indeed were many fans and supposed "friends" of the couple who have avoided less public drama in their personal lives than most in their lair of fame. That's why the attention of a mere mention of divorce between them has been so immediate.
Let's view a few links for the reports. Why not? Of any recent Hollywood divorce/separation, this one reigns supreme in the "Who Would Have Thunk It?" category:
If I'm not mistaken, something's going on down in South Carolina today. Another one of those "Primary" things the GOP has been duking-out for the past few weeks. The odd aspect to this latest Popularity Contest is that the once front-runner, Mitt Romney, may not win. Instead, the Bellower, Newt Gingrich, is giving Mr. Perfect a new wrinkle in his button-down shirt.
It appears that the anti-Romney forces now view Newt as their man! Particularly since he snarled at "Juan" the other night/day in that oh-so-perfect condescending tone with a verbal wink that "Juan" is not like "us."
That sort of racial innuendo has brought mucho dinero's to Gingrich's once-waning campaign. All of a sudden, we have yet another "will he or won't he" guess-fest on whether or not Mitt will receive the GOP nomination. Poor guy. First he thought he had won the Iowa Caucus, only to learn yesterday (officially) that Rick Santorum had beat him in the corn field where dreams are made of. Or dashed. Plucked right out of the husk.
I have an idea which could solve the GOP's choice dilemma: Place Mitt and Newt into a blender, mix with hubris, add waffles with butter and syrup, toss in some Bling, a dash of false promises, pious pandering, and – voila! – you have Mute!
The grumbling isn't over at all when it involves Newt Gingrich's behaviour toward his now-ex, Marianne Gingrich, whom he unceremoniously dumped at the onset of her serious illness for his mistress of 6 years (now wife), Callista.
The guns are out on the hypocrisy he so blithely ignored when he was doing his best to impeach President Clinton for his mindless dalliances with the now infamous intern with whom he "did not have sexual relations..." while Newt was doing his own "having sexual relations" on-the-side thingy.
What's the difference, you may ask? Newt wasn't president. He was simply the Speaker of the House! The gavel-banger of all things immoral and corrupt in the Democratic administration! The "idea" man; the face of all that was so very chaste in the Republican party at that time.
With an unflattering ABC interview making the rounds from the former Mrs. Gingrich stating that she doesn't believe Newt has the moral character to be president, wanted an "open marriage" (ahem), the Comments sections on several websites flashing the story, reek of the usual war between Democrats and Republicans:
(R) "Oh no you don't, you Liberal a-hole! What about JFK? John Edwards, huh?"
(D) "That's not what we're talking about here. It's Gingrich's hypocrisy."
(R) "You are saying that cheater Bill Clinton was moral enough to stay in the White House but not Newt because he cheated? That's lame, man."
(D) "At least Clinton kept the economy strong. Repubs are such jerks. More affairs on your side of the aisle than ours, genius!"
(R) "Go f-k yourself!"
(D) "Better than doing it with a Republican hypocrite!"
And so it goes, back and forth. There is no point to this comparison, really. Whether a married Republican cheats, or a Democrat breaks his vows, the bottom line seems clear: It's The Menz of Power syndrome. Period. That's all there is. In addition, these guys are, well, GUYS. Guys on a power trip. Add to it that they are politicians, and what you have are professional liars and back-door squires (in more ways than one).
The truth went out of politics a very long time ago, particularly with regard to personal issues. Politicians, as with any American citizen, have a "right to privacy." The only situation in which I believe it is important for a president to be honest with the world and their country regarding personal issues is when - a) they have a life-threatening illness that makes it impossible to do the job; b) they pound on their bully pulpit over moral issues and plan to take away the private rights of their citizens while behaving in the precise manner they tout as "inappropriate" for a "Leader"; c) hide financial gains made through dubious dealings.
Those kinds of things. So, be it a Republican or a Democrat, people are people = flaws. Those with sincere ethical and moral standards are also of different parties. So, JFK messed around with many women while he was president? Methinks he did the same before he was the Leader of the Free World. Newt messed-around on his wife for years but isn't considered presidential material for that reason? The tune from Democrats is that if he lied to his wife for 6 years, he would have no difficulty lying to the country were he to become president.
Excuse me while I choke. Chances are Newt's already lying about his true beliefs on race relations. Obama doesn't tell the full truth, either. Most presidents have to parse words when serious sheet is flying behind-the-scenes on both the national and international level. Military stuff. Bomb threats. Aliens. (Hah!)
Therefore, although I don't back infidelity, it's extremely naive to think that somewhere along the way to the White House, the Menz of Power have been tempted by "other women" and yet somehow managed to race away unscathed from the talons of so-called "easy sex" because they belonged to one particular political party and one perfect wife.
I think that Mr. Gingrich is an ass primarily because he is one in my "book." Were he a Democrat I would feel the same. The argument between Dem's and GOPer's is really a moot one. Yes, I understand that most of the negative reactions to GOPer's who have been caught in affairs stems primarily from the pious, "I'm a loving husband and go to church every Sunday" speeches and pristine images which does wave the Hypocrisy Flag quite high. I don't care for Bible-thumping by those who are going home (or to a hotel) to do exactly what they preach is so abhorrent to the "moral fiber of America."
But, although I certainly don't want Gingrich as the next President of the United States for reasons well beyond his personal failings, the argument I'd love to see on more Message Boards and Comments sections involves what a candidate wants to do for (or TO) our country. You know, the "What have you done (will do) for me lately?" measurement. Not how slippery all the zippers have been over the years.
Today many websites, such as Wikipedia, are closed in protest over SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) that is rearing its ugly face at those of us who utilize the freedom of the Interwebs. That's why you'll see the big black box covering the Google logo above the Search bar.
Since this blog is but a mere drop in the Interwebs ocean, I chose to remain open today, if for nothing else than to keep the ball rolling while offering the few crumbs of education in two different forms: One is a clear, professional explanation of what SOPA means, and the second link is a lovely, raunchy way to really grasp what could be coming down the Wild West trail of the Internet if something and/or a bunch of someone's don't block/stand-up to the bill and do something. If you want to do something, here is where you can express your opinion: Petition
The new year is beginning with more horror stories than the general horror most of the GOP are feeling with Mr. Neutral Mitt I'm-No-Way-At-All-Like-Any-Of-You Romney leading the PAC, and, of course, the Poll-Pundit-based pack.
First off, before 2012 had barely staggered in with the global baggage of an economic and revolutionary explosion-implosion hangover from 2011's painful ways, a body was found on Queen Elizabeth's property at the Sandringham Estate outside London.
Oh wow! A true English Mystery was afoot! How wonderfully curiously dramatic! Weeks later, the body has now been identified, and it is indeed clear that something not very nice preceded the find.
Now, we have another: this time a very American-Slasher-Movie-Like murder mystery in the Hollywood Hills by the quintessential icon of the town of Tinsel, the Hollywood Sign! Beneath (and/or within some kind of reach) hapless hikers with a dog happened upon a real life version of a vintage Vincent Price film minus the moody charm of a sultry Raymond Chandler noir–laden staccato-paced narrative, when the severed head of someone was found on what one would have thought would have been just another hike in Paradise!
Calling all TV Crime show producers and writers: you, and perhaps only you, can profile this case when it's glaring at you from your lofty corner office with a wave of the scary murderer's hand and the sense of "Look at me and what I've done!" call for attention. I mean, Gee! If former FBI Profiler Dayle Hinman can subsist on a somewhat stilted yet factually accurate cable program for how many years now of reruns, surely there is a mind (or two or more) in this town full of the needed twists and turns required to unravel this new place-appropriate, true crime mystery. A few details: Watch Your Step
On that happy note, I bid you all the best of walks and hikes in your future, knowing that at all times the wonders of nature may also bring the dismay of another form of life's decay.
I'll add my voice to the loud chorus of "Boo's" to Mr. Ricky Gervais and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for Gervais' more-than-muted non-performance as host of last night's overly-hyped Golden Globe Awards. After weeks of promising extreme heat in the form of slings and barbs aimed at the celebrities who would be sitting, literally, at his feet, it's almost as if he didn't show. Who was that frightened, almost timid, absolutely not funny little man who replaced the acid-tongued "Bad Boy"? They looked like the same guy, but when the mouth opened, nothing of interest slurred-out. What a waste of hype! The entire Globes once-festive atmosphere is growing more PC by the second. Where were the wits and quips in general? By the way it all went down, looks like the only thing going-on was in Seth Rogen's pants.
Are you caught-up in perfection? Do you have zero tolerance for mistakes, glitches? Do you believe that in order to be great, to create, to even walk straight, requires absolute adherence to perfect form and formulas? If so, you're missing one of the Best Wonders of Being Alive: learning from mistakes. Creating out of the perceived "norm" of intention.
Now that we live in a seriously Techno-focused society, the word Glitch has become a frequent word to explain-away anything that has gone "wrong" during the execution of a non-human task (although its original meaning is broad). Anything that has created a "problem" (ie; an unexpected blockage/mistake/curse-worthy incident) based on the temporary disruption within/from/by a technical device, is a "glitch."
Most of us have used the term, which is handy to have in one's vernacular in the event of an embarrassing error we caused ourselves but prefer to ignore and are prone, instead, to point the blame-finger at an inanimate object which, in truth, at times does seem to have its own agenda and inexplicable way of doing things without our help.
More often than not, these little "glitches" occur because we don't quite know what we are doing with the digital camera or new cell phone or printer or game or the HD Flat Screen TV.....
But, alas, I say and have said for years, "glitches" can be fun! Unexpected mistakes are often the birth of a brilliance and innovation no one would have found had cheese not been left out in mild temperatures too long so that it grew mold which, given a creative mind and knowledge of Science, eventually was discovered to be nature's First Antibiotic known as "Penicillin."
So, in the spirit of how almost everything important in Life must have been brought to us through an "accident" of sorts, or, in new language, "a glitch," so it is that current/"new" art is benefiting from the deliberate play with a camera through the photographer's "glitches."
The plan for today's blog was to find something or somebody to Flog, of course. But, while on my way through the webs, my attention was diverted by a rather clever and oft-pretty (or otherwise unique) set of images hot-off-the-press of a Pro Photog's deliberate "glitches."
Tis the time of year in the entertainment industry when awards shows begin tumbling out of the TV and streaming Interwebs Feeds. This is when it's more important than ever for the Stars To Shine - in more ways than the weekly facial. It's nip and tuck and clean-up for the preen-up on the red carpets all over Hollywood-Land.
Thus far this week Hollywood has hosted The People's Choice Awards, The Critics Choice Awards, and the oh-so-way-insider AFI's thingy which happened last night. If you're not in the American Film Academy or know someone-who-knows-someone-who-knows-someone who is, then you've only seen the official photo op's and the usual paparazzi shots of those who participated = which means everyone you've already seen at the Critics Choice fête, will see tomorrow night at the always loose and sure-to-be-uncomfortable-for-some-in-the-audience annual Golden Globes, sponsored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (aka "I'll have two lobsters, 10 bottles of Dom and a paid vacation to-vote-for-your-project/person" kinda peoples - it has been said a thousand times), as well as at the upcoming Academy Awards, SAG Awards, DGA Awards, and a few who crossover into music for the Grammy Awards.
Huff-Puff. What a whirlwind season! I'm exhausted just viewing the award gala's itineraries!. The hours it takes for the women (and a few of the Metro-Menz) to get ready with the right outfit, the best expression, the finest manicures, the Red Carpet Runway practiced poses, is daunting.
No, I mean it. Imagine going through several months as if you had alternate weeks of prepping for (and going-to) a Prom, Homecoming, then another Prom and yet another Homecoming, etc.
For women it's madness! Gowns, jewelry, hair, makeup. Fashionista's all over the world will be picking your every choice apart, along with how your face looks (depending on your age), coupled with your own expectations riding high (or low, if not non-existent) for you or your project to win (or lose) one of the awards.
There are Pre-Award Parties, Post-Award "After-parties" mingled with special luncheons filled with your peers. God Gawd, that's a lot of Image Pressure! That's a lot of socializing! And, if you're only around as a presenter with no current films or TV shows or CD's to plug, you absolutely must, must, mustbe at your best should you run into Spielberg or another director or producer or hyphen with whom to make nice for another gig.
Most industries have their annual retreats where peeps of the same company or mind-set/interests go to pat each other on the back and hang-out in public and in private while scoffing-up expensive culinary delights, flirting, making deals, shaking hands...posing for pictures. The difference with the entertainment biz is that, as I'm mentioning, most of this happens more than once a year and within a condensed time-frame.
In the process, one can become so immersed with their image, their accolades, that it's not completely uncommon to forget key people to thank when accepting an award.
Tsk. Not a very bright ommission. Remember when Julia Roberts neglected to thank Erin Brockovich when Julia won the little nude golden man? Yeah, that old example. Well, somebody who should have known better did a similar douchey non-mention at yet another podium, this time just a week ago, and this year in Palm Springs.
Some people just won't learn. Or have they?
(Warning: No rumours, here. It's a fact. Don't know to whom I'm referring? It's okay, then. You wouldn't care anyhow.)
Whatever, tomorrow night at the Golden Globes could be interesting. With Ricky Gervais back again to slap more egos into hyperventilation, all eyes will be watching if a certain couple may need an intervention.
I'd like to expand on a story from one of the links from yesterday's post to provide the Flogging Whip with a sense of satisfaction today.
The story/article/information concerns the apparent plan for various TV markets to show graphic anti-abortion "bloody fetus" images via a paid ad during the Super Bowl's commercial time-outs. Tell me, is this what you want to see while rooting-on your team of choice? Do you want to have your pizza and hot wings while viewing a gory image no matter what the purpose?
I didn't think so.
What irks me the most about the aggressive anti-abortion message is not only how distasteful the idea is, but the In-Your-Face at any cost many radical factions of the political-cultural populace will go to pound their message into your living/screening room.
An image of a bloody fetus is not always from an abortion. The image from a miscarriage will cause a similar vision. How lovely for those who have had the misfortune of a miscarriage to suddenly find themselves hit with what, to them, has to have been a sad and upsetting episode in their lives on a day meant for fun and social gatherings. Where are the minds of those behind this not very brilliant idea? Mean-spirited and off-target, that's where.
There is a time and place for such images to be shown on TV. News programs. Special Reports. Ads on the pious 700 Club and other programs of similar focus. Places where the audience may expect to see such advertisements. Similar to images of war and the bloody aftermath of same, at least when I tune in to a "Special report" on the maiming of soldiers, I'm prepared to either tune-out or look away if I don't want grim images to stick to my brain.
Oh sure. Those who are behind the ads want to use the huge audience of the Super Bowl to make a large statement to those who don't, they think, share their views, or may be waffling on their position to be Pro Life or Pro Choice. In a way, it's an interesting, albeit controversial platform, which is precisely what "they" want. Controversy = lotsa chatter pro or con. Either way, the message is "out there" to the masses.
Nevertheless, I call a huge Foul.
Perhaps Madonna can divert attention from the egregious intentions of the Commercial Crashers by wearing one of her less-than-chaste on-stage outfits during her halftime performance. You know, do something equally radical minus the gore so that beyond the game we'll have another On Stage Gaffe to chortle and Twatter about for years to come. This is one time I'm hoping Madge will bring back the wild child she once was and stop trying to impress with her latest matronly dress.
Should you care to refresh yourself on the details of the ads, (or for the first time), go here to read it and steep. (Different link from yesterday.) Spare Us From The Nuts
Today's Flog involves a subject not in the larger bold headlines of the moment - unless you are a True Geek and care about the details of technology, or, if like millions, you have become completely dependent on/addicted to your latest cell phone, Netbook-of-sorts (aka some kind of computer generated "pad" - ahem) and must be texting, tweeting, Facebooking, emailing (what's that?) every other minute. You must be plugged-in on some level or else you wouldn't be here, reading a blog on the Interwebs.
And I, of course, would not be writing on such a device and reading most of what is going on in the world from the same techno-based products most of us have at our fingertips. Therefore, we are in this together. Up to a point. Unless you are attempting to change the code in CSS or HTML while building a website, then our shared experience may take different paths.
I've taken the Flogging Whip to the amazingly mind-numbing coding structures and conflicting instructions in the past. Admittedly, there has been progress with my ability to learn the basics. But now I've hit another confusing wall and have had a headache from attempting to decipher what I honestly believe "should" be easy coding steps along with CLEAR instructions to do the seemingly simplest of web developer tricks.
Have your eyes glazed-over yet? "Is she going all techie again" you may ask? Yep. I am. However, to wake you up a bit before I go on, check this out! Beyoncé claims she DID NOT have a C-section!The much heralded birth (why? I don't know), was supposedly "natural and peaceful." Uh hum. Okay. Whatever.
Back to the issue at hand: I would like to do two-three things on a new website: Add custom social media icons in the "Header" area where the site's tile is placed. I also want to tighten the space within the "box" where several "widgets" have been posted. If you are not familiar with any of these terms, allow me to bring you back to temporary reality for a moment: Guess who is leading in the New Hampshire Primary today?
Okay. On with the ragging.... First, most "Headers" require a change in coding to add anything that is not static. So, that means I must change a few squiggly marks in CSS or HTML (or both) with great care in the perfect spot to make it happen. But, not all "Headers" are the same. So, one researches the information for a particular template's coding to make it interactive.
That's when the non-fun begins. One instruction may be different than someone else's instruction. The template's author's Support Page doesn't address a simple way to do this. So, on to a tech forum go I to find answers. No one speaks/writes to each other in plain language on those places. I then call a techie friend. Sorry, I'm having trouble, too, they say. Good luck!
Then I call a pro who I am willing to pay. Sure we'll do it, but first we need payment in advance and a promise to give us your First-Born. No thank you, I say. Been there with other "professionals" and "done that" and still they fall short and require endless emails and phone conversations for the most basic instructions. Draining on every level.
So I back away and decide to focus on changing the excess space in the "box." This is called the "Padding." More research on how to change the size. More conflicting instructions. I try a few. No change. Is it me, I wonder? Reading others' experiences trying to do a similar change shows that I am far from alone. "This didn't work" one will remark with a little ;( - while another goes on to tell us what they did to make it work. Great, I think! Finally! I copy the code, place it where it is supposed to go. Check it twice. And nothing changes.
Hours later, going to HTML For Dummiesand other places where novices can learn basics, I'm still confused. I take a break from it all for a few days to save my already strained eyes from popping out of my head.
Okay, I think. I can at least connect my site to a Facebook SHARE code, among Twitter and others. I look for the codes. Facebook would prefer that people now "Like" a page rather than SHARE it, so I must hunt for the right code. I finally find it, but the custom, cool FB (and other) icons I have downloaded aren't syncing with the links. Plus, I still haven't found a way to add them to my "Header" without creating major complications.
I am a cat chasing my tail at this stage. Why continue, you might wonder? Well, I seem to have learned most of what I know in every area of Life through trial and error; making mistakes or running-up against roadblocks which have required me to learn-as-I-go, which is why I have made it as far as I have. I want to learn. I read and watch tutorials. Other times I use my basic brain coupled with intuition. Sometimes it's understandable and sometime it's not.
For today, all I will admit is that the "Padding" issue should relate to a room where I should place my weary body to bounce against for several hours, and the "Header" concern should be how to get rid of my headache.
Pssst. Lindsay Low-Hand may be portraying a young Elizabeth Taylor in an upcoming Lifetime Movie Channel production. OMG! Who is she sleeping speaking with these days?
Where to begin this fine Monday morning? Should we traipse through the land of the American GOP Presidential Primary in New Hampshire, or wander into the electronic flashes of the paparazzi's cameras as they followed Prince William and Duchess Catherine walking the red carpet in the UK for the London premiere of War Horse?
Better yet, why not fall in line with all news outlets to welcome the latest Golden Child of the entertainment industry now that Beyoncé and Jay-Z have produced a baby girl while basically shutting-down an entire floor of a hospital?
What to do, what to do? The New Hampshire primary is a pivotal route for all presidential hopefuls to take if they are to win their party's golden gavel. From the way polls and pundits are tilting, Mitt Romney has quite a head start. So what else is new? How about getting all of these debates and primary's over and done as soon as possible? Thus far, the GOP "Choose Me! Choose Me!" Pageant has debated 20 times since last year. Enough is enough, don't you think? Talk is cheap, you know, although it costs a great deal of money to put on those shows.
I believe most thinking Americans know how tomorrow's vote will play out. It's akin to watching a film where one knows the ending within the beginning credit roll. May as well sleep through the details, eh? Or leave the room/theatre altogether and have the popcorn in the lobby/kitchen. Yawn.
With regard to the Royals trotting a carpet to watch a film where, once again, the ending is clear from the start, writing about what Kate wore (lace) and how people are ragging on William supposedly not holding an umbrella far enough over her head on their way into the theatre, there really isn't much news other than how strange it is for the future Queen of England to be allergic to horses. I wonder if she needed an antihistamine to get through the horsey tale (forgive me).
Actually, poor Kate may have to take antihistamines every day considering how the scent of horses must permeate every inch of every castle, lawn, and person with whom/what/where she lives/visits/walks/meets/greets. And for heaven's sake, outings with Camilla must be a sneeze-a-minute!
Alright then, it's on to Mr. & Mrs. Beyoncé and their secret private screening screaming during the now-named Blue Ivy child's delivery. (Okay, it was a C-section and not a labour of latex gloves...still...) It's understandable for anyone who is giving birth (and possibly shouting obscenities to their husband/partner/doctor/nurse in the process) to want privacy.
When one is a Diva and the other a Diva-Dude with peoples wanting to sneak around to get the first picture ($$$$$) of the blessed event, having strong security in place is obviously the way to go. But taking-over an entire hospital floor? Perhaps such excess could be excused were it not for this: For Shame!