Category Archives: entertainment news

Alphabet keeps growing

I am going to need to carry a glossary with me eventually while referring to a certain segment of our society.

OK. Here we go.

The gay community a while back began using the term LGBT to define itself. It stood for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender; the way I see these things, the terms lesbian and gay mean the same thing, as it defines those who are attracted sexually to others of the same gender.

Then LGBT added the letter Q, meaning queer. When I was a kid, queer was thought to be an epithet; no more, apparently.

Let’s throw in the letter P, which stands for pedosexual. I understand there’s a connection between homosexuality and pedophilia, although I understand that pedosexual refers only to boys. Sheesh!

Now we see the letters “I” and “A” added along with a plus sign.

So … the identity of some of us is now expanded to read LGBTQPIA+

What the hell? Is your head spinning? Mine sure is.

I am not comfortable even talking casually about individuals’ sexual orientation. It’s none of my damn business. I have never discussed sexual intimacy with strangers.

But this growth in the alphabet-soup listing of individuals with a seemingly endless list of sexual orientations borders on the ridiculous. What about the I and the A? Here’s what I found:

  • Intersex: A term to describe individuals who are born with variations of sex characteristics that do not fit with binary definitions of male or female bodies.1
  • Asexual: Sometimes shortened to “ace,” this term refers to someone who has little or no sexual attraction; they may, however, experience romantic attraction.

Oh, and how about the +? It means: The ‘plus’ is used to signify all of the gender identities and sexual orientations that are not specifically covered by the other five initials. An example is Two-Spirit, a pan-Indigenous American identity.

Are you confused now? I damn sure am.

Their music is timeless

Here’s a quickie quiz for you: How many popular music acts can you name where children generations removed from their time in the spotlight can remember every lyric to every song they seemingly ever recorded?

Time’s up. I can think of one: The Beatles.

OK. Maybe there are others.

Still, it makes today such a special day in popular culture history. Sixty years ago this evening, TV variety show host Ed Sullivan introduced John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr to America: Here are … The Beatles!

I was among the millions of youngsters who watched ’em that night in our living room.

I’ve been singing their songs ever since. So have my sons and maybe one day so will my granddaughter.

A Christmas film? You bet!

I will be brief with this blog post, in that I want to deliver a simple, straightforward message.

“Die Hard,” the first in a series of films, should be considered a Christmas movie. It’s a Christmas movie, man! Period!

Bruce Willis portrays Detective John McClane, whose wife, Holly — portrayed by Bonnie Bedalia — is attending a Christmas party. Terrorists led by Hans Gruber — portrayed by the late Alan Rickman — take the partiers captive.

McClane fights like the dickens to free them. There are Christmas references sprinkled throughout the film. McClane is successful, Gruber falls 30 stories to his death.

And everyone is able to enjoy Christmas.

I feel better already just making this proclamation.

Yippee-kai-yay … !

Elvis is still dead!

Yesterday marked an event that is burned indelibly into my memory and for the life of me I cannot explain precisely why.

I walked into a convenience store in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 16, 1977 to make a purchase of some kind. I looked down at The Oregonian news rack that carried the early edition of the next day’s paper and saw the headline in big, bold type:

“Elvis Presley dead at 42”

What the … ? 

Hey, you know that moment has to rank right with other seminal moments in my life and in the life of Planet Earth. We know where we were when President Kennedy was gunned down, when the shuttle Challenger exploded, when 9/11 occurred, when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.

What’s more, I remember my first kiss (and the girl’s name), the first time I laid eyes on the woman I would marry, the day the Army summoned me for service, the first time I heard the greatest song ever recorded, “Hey Jude.”

And when we learned that the King of Rock ‘n Roll had passed on.

He was a young man. I can barely remember my 42nd year in this world which, I suppose, makes me an old man. I get it. That’s because I am!

My wife and I visited Graceland a few years ago. We got a glimpse of how Elvis lived. I look back on that visit now and nod in understanding how it was that he was gone at such a tender age.

Rest in eternal peace, Elvis.

‘Oppenheimer’: grim history lesson

J. Robert Oppenheimer knew the moment he decided to take on a monumental task in the 1940s that he likely would create a monster.

Indeed, that monster has been — more or less — caged up by nations around the world that have developed nuclear weapons. The United States was the first nation on Earth to develop The Bomb, and in August 1945, it decided to seek a relatively quick end to World War II by being the only nation (so far) to use the weapon in war.

“Oppenheimer,” a film I watched today with my sons, tells the gripping story of the physicist’s struggle dealing with what he created. It speaks to the awesome power of the atomic bomb and also whether scientists could perfect a bomb that fused atoms — rather than splitting them — to create an even more devastating weapon to use against our enemy in Japan.

On Aug. 6, 1945, Hiroshima felt the wrath of the first of two bombs; the second one dropped on Nagasaki three days later. Five days after that Japan surrendered.

Mission accomplished … in the eyes of those who believed the A-bomb was the better option than to send troops ashore in Japan.

The film tells a chilling tale of deception among the scientists working on the project. It speaks to the monstrosity that Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi and other brainiacs assembled.

“Oppenheimer” depicts a meeting between the title character and President Harry Truman in the Oval Office. Oppenheimer wonders aloud whether he did the right thing by creating the weapon. President Truman — portrayed in the film by Gary Oldman — tells Oppenheimer the world “doesn’t give a sh** who created it. The people of Hiroshima care who dropped it. I did that.”

Right there is a case study in nerves of steel by the president of the United States.

But the world still has this weapon in the arsenals of many more nations than anyone likely envisioned in 1945. May we never see its use in war ever again.

Sir Paul is (gulp!) 80?

As a general rule I don’t use this blog to comment on public figures’ birthdays.

Today, though, I will make an exception and offer a brief salute to a musician who helped raise me, who helped guide my musical taste well into adulthood. I refer to the 80th birthday of Sir James Paul McCartney.

You know who he is. He comprised one-fourth of the world’s greatest band, The Beatles, along with the late John Lennon, the late George Harrison, and Sir Ringo Starr.

I have seen Sir Paul perform three times. First time was in 1965, in Portland, Ore., at the Memorial Coliseum; he played with his aforementioned bandmates. The second time was in 1993 at the Houston Astrodome, where he performed as a “solo” act with his band. The third time was in 2019 at Globe-Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

As I have noted many times over many years, the boy can still play. He can still rock ‘n roll with the best of ’em.

To think he’s 80 years young and still going strong … wow!

They say it’s your birthday, Sir Paul. Thanks for all you did to make me the man I am today.

Questions will linger

OK, let’s see where we stand with this tragic mystery.

A music superstar, Naomi Judd, has just died of what her daughters and her husband have termed “mental illness.” Judd’s husband has issued a statement declaring there would be no further details provided on the cause of death. He has asked for the public to respect his family’s privacy.

I, too, am shocked and saddened to hear of Naomi Judd’s death. I am not a huge fan of The Judds, the name of her twosome with her daughter Wynona. However, I grieve for them and for the terrible loss they have suffered.

My point is simply this: I believe the family of someone who built a huge career and following from an adoring public should be a bit more forthcoming on the circumstances of that superstar’s death.

You have asked the same questions as I have been asking since I heard the terrible news. What precisely took this woman from the public entertained? How does “mental illness” produce a physical malady that can prove fatal?

I also am quite certain that some reporter eventually is going to learn the details of what happened over the weekend and will reveal it to the world.

I don’t pose this inquiry out of malice. Or out of morbid curiosity. Indeed, additional information about the illness that claimed the life of a genuine music superstar — and well-established public figure — could produce what they call a “teachable moment” for those who are suffering from mental illness.

That all said, I am now going to pray privately for the family Naomi Judd leaves behind.

Cartoon characters ‘go at it’?

Ted Cruz is truly a reprehensible excuse for an elected public official. Consider the idiocy that flew recently out of the Texas Republican U.S. senator’s mouth.

He suggested that Disney characters — cartoon characters — could end up performing sex scenes. At some sort of forum, Cruz hinted that Disney Corp. could have Mickey Mouse and Pluto “going at it.” He was picking up on the GOP’s culture war against Disney.

What the hell is Cancun Ted talking about?

This bozo has an astonishing streak of lunacy that bursts forth with all too much frequency.

Ted Cruz cannot be taken seriously … for anything!

Not a good look, Will

Given that I didn’t watch the Oscars ceremony Sunday night and that I didn’t really care two hoots about any of the films or actors being honored, I was surprised to learn this morning after rolling off the rack about the “real story” of the night’s event in La La Land.

Will Smith smacked Chris Rock in the face over a stupid joke that Rock made about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

That became the top story on the TV news shows today. To which I said … huh?

My take is this. Will Smith should not have pranced onto the stage and smacked Rock, a guy I do not consider to be much of a sympathetic character. He could have kept his emotions in check and perhaps had a “frank” and “manly” discussion with Rock after the show.

But … he chose instead to make a spectacle of himself, to get his name plastered on headlines around the world.

Oh, and then to supplant another story that really is worth telling, which was the Best Actor honor that Will Smith won for his role as Venus and Serena Williams’s father in “King Richard.”

Enough on that. I need now to concentrate on issues that really matter … like the bloodshed in Ukraine.

Sen. Cotton wimps out

Tom Cotton this morning revealed himself to be what many of us have known for a long time. The U.S. senator from Arkansas is a wimp, a weenie and, dare I say it … a coward.

The Republican appeared this morning on ABC News “This Week” program. He was grilled by George Stephanopoulos, who asked Cotton three or four times a simple, straightforward question about the “leader of your party,” Donald John Trump.

Why can’t Cotton condemn the GOP “leader” for calling Vladimir Putin “savvy” and a “genius” for invading Ukraine and putting virtually all of Europe in potentially dire peril.

Cotton would answer the question. He kept telling Stephanopoulos that he should invited The Donald to appear on his show, presumably to let him answer the question himself as to why he keeps cozying up to his pal Vladimir Putin.

It was a remarkable demonstration of cowardly evasion from a U.S. senator who gets paid to talk to media representatives and to convey messages to those he represents on Capitol Hill.

Sen. Cotton didn’t go there. He choked.