Archive for the ‘ Boy Am I Pissed! ’ Category

The Casting Couch

For the life of me I can’t believe anyone is surprised at the allegations against Hollywood Mogul Harvey Weinstein.

This post is in NO WAY intended to condone, excuse, or minimize the behavior he is alleged to have committed.

But really folks, the casting couch is nothing new.

Rumors about the casting couch came from Hollywood as far back as 1910 when many producers, directors, and executives promised stardom to women and men for sexual favors.

Joan Collins described her own casting couch experiences in Past Imperfect: An Autobiography in 1978.

Shirley Temple claimed that a producer exposed himself to her…when she was 12!!

Woody Harrelson said in an interview that “…every acting business I ever entered into in New York seemed to have a casting couch…I’ve seen so many people sleep with people they loathe in order to further their ambition.”

Before you go off on me for comparing Weinstein’s alleged rape culture behavior to the Hollywood Casting Couch, bear in mind that unwanted sexual advances, forced sexual acts, and coerced acts for movie roles are all one and the same.

Rape is rape even if a movie career is the prize.

Not to mention that the very idea of someone using their artistic, political, industrial, or managerial power to procure sex and force someone to engage in unwanted acts should be abhorrent to everyone.

As the story develops, it is glaringly apparent Harvey’s story was the best kept secret in Hollywood.

And the most tolerated.

I don’t get it.

Sure, sure, I might be able to wrap my head around and actor or actress submitting to sexual overtures to further their career.  After all, it’s the Hollywood way, we’ve heard about it for ever.  And it’s “just sex,” right?

Well, no, actually, I can’t.

And I can’t wrap my head around the daily additions of respected actors who obviously knew what Harvey was UP to.

Gwyneth, Angelina, Brad, Ben.

And what about Seth MacFarlane’s joke from the Oscar nominee announcements back in 2013?

After announcing the best actress nominees, MacFarlane concluded with, “…congratulations you ladies will no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.”

He claimed recently it was because he was angry for a friend who had had to endure Harvey’s advances.

#secretnotasecret

Weinstein thought his power and his politics would protect him.

But even as all this comes to light, there are historical records alleging sexual abuse, unwanted sexual advances, and out and out rape by Harvey and others from the likes of Goldie Hawn, Megan Fox, Charlize Theron, Mickey Rourke, Ryan Philippe, Lisa Rinna and her husband Harry Hamlin, Susan Sarandon, Teresa Russell;  the list goes on, and the acts, comments, and requests are far to lurid for my family friendly blog.

Even Cher wasn’t safe.

Neither were minors.  Corey Feldman and Corey Haim were “…given drugs and passed around in the 1980s…”

So why are we shocked?

Movies and Television and advertising for that matter are all based on selling sex; and based on the objectification of women.

Women have been the focus of automobile ads since automobile ads began.  Fragrance, beer, liquor, and just about any other product have sexy and often scantily clad nymphets hawking their wares.

Good strong roles for women often come wrapped in a bikini while James Bond is clad in a Tuxedo.

And what’s to be done?

I am afraid not much if women and men seeking fame and career continue to keep silent.  Bravo to the ones who’ve come forward, who’ve had enough.

Sadly, I’m pretty confident that as long as there’s a Hollywood, there will be a Harvey.

Shades

When Mrs. Trump stepped off the plane with the President on their return from Las Vegas, she was attired in Black and her eyes were hidden by D&Gs.

All the sudden, twitterers went into outrage.

There were wisecracks galore.

Weed comments, eye roll comments,

I don’t get it.

I wonder if she would.

Repeat, Nah, Probably Not!

On September 29, 1789, the first United States Congress adjourned.

The met in New York City’s Federal Hall; the Capitol wasn’t even constructed, heck, Washington D.C. wasn’t even there!

In that first session, the boys did the following… On April 1, they had a quorum and elected officers.  Five days later, the Senate did the same thing! That same day, the House and the Senate, in a joint session, counted the votes of the Electoral College and certified that George Washington had indeed been elected the first President of the United States and second runner UP, John Adams was VEEP!

On April 30, GW took the oath of office in New York City at Federal Hall.

Martha was so proud she posted a picture of the proceedings on Instagram.  It got lots of s!

When they got together back in March, the gang got busy.  The regulated time and manner of oaths of office, created the Tariff of 1789, created the first Cabinet Department, the Department of Foreign Affairs, which was aptly named as Thomas Jefferson was the first Secretary of State, and boy did he have affairs!

In July, Collection of Duties was regulated when they established the Customs Service.  In August they created the Department of War (later PCed down to the Department  of Defense.) The Department of the Treasury and a Judiciary Act came in September which established the federal judiciary and the office of the Attorney General.

That same month before taking off for home, the boys approved 12 amendments to the US Constitution and guaranteed us freedoms and rights, set clear limitations on governmental power, and sent them to the States for ratification.

Of course the states pussy-footed around and it took longer than anyone had hoped!

North Carolina became the 12th state to ratify the Constitution and joined the Union.  There were Tarheel parties everywhere!

Then the boys took off for home, vacation, checking out things at the plantation, kissed a few babies, raised some cash, and basked in the glow and praise of their constituents who were thrilled at all they had accomplished.

Wonder if that’ll happen this year?

Nah, they’d have to accomplish something first!

Competition…Women’s Work

Under the cover of darkness in the wee hours of the morning of August 16, 2017 a piece of history was removed from Wyman Park Dell in Baltimore’s Charles Village.

The offensive statue had resided in the park since 1948.

Commissioned in 1928, it was the first double equestrian statue in the United States; World War II delayed its completion and dedication for twenty years.

Much has been said about the fact that Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s father, The late Thomas D’Alesandro, JR, former Baltimore Mayor, dedicated the statue with the words “Today, with our nation beset by subversive groups and propaganda which seeks to destroy our national unity, we can look for inspiration to the lives of Lee and Jackson to remind us to be resolute and determined in preserving out sacred institutions.  We must remain steadfast in our determination to preserve freedom, not only for ourselves, but for the other liberty-loving nations who are striving to preserve their national unity as free nations.”

He added, “In these days of uncertainty and turmoil, Americans must emulate Jackson’s example and stand like a stone wall against aggression in any form that would seek to destroy the liberty of the world.”

But let’s not dwell on that, nor the fact that Representative Pelosi now finds the statues so offensive.  I don’t harbor every treatise and belief of my parents either.

The fascinating story about this piece of art, and I will to my dying day declare many of these statues art, is once again, the story of the artist.

Laura Gardin Fraser was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1889.  The Civil War had been over for 24 years, she was from the Nawth, and I doubt she grew UP dining at the table of the Lost Cause.

She married sculptor James Earle Fraser.  But we’ll not give him press today other than the fact that he was her teacher and they fell in love and married.

In 1931 she won the competition to design a new U.S. coin, a quarter with George Washington on the obverse.  Her winning design was ignored by Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon.  Mellon selected a different design by John Flanagan.

Alas, the glass ceiling was not shattered.

In 1999, her design was coined as a commemorative five dollar gold piece.

Though she is most well known for her many designs of medals such as the commemorative Oregon Trail Half Dollar, she did win commissions to do heroic-sized statues.

Henry Ferguson, the owner of Colonial Trust, donated $100,000 for a monument honoring the final meeting of Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jonathan Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorsville.

The meeting occurred the day Jackson would be struck down by mistaken friendly fire.

The competition for the commission was tough.  Held in 1936, six noted American sculptors were invited to submit designs.  Lee Lawrie, Paul Manship, Edward McCartan, Hans Schuler, and Frederick William Sievers, who would go on to create the magnificent monument to Matthew Fontaine Maury in Richmond, Virginia, and Fraser all competed for the job.

Fraser was the only woman invited to compete, and was the first woman to win a major sculpting commission from a municipality.

The future of the statue is in limbo as the city tries to find a new home for it.  If we are looking for accuracy and political context, Chancellorsville Battlefield sounds like a good place for the work of art.

The removal of the dual equestrian statue has cured no ills; it has only proceeded to eradicate a piece of Women’s History.

Though there are many reasons espoused for removing or contextualizing the statues, no one seems to be thinking about all of the history they represent.

Well, no one other than me, I suppose.