The Golden Globes, Hugh Laurie and Meryl Streep Two Heroes (OpEd)

Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes

Last night, purely by accident, I watched the vast majority of The Golden Globes. I rarely watch awards ceremonies anymore. They invariably annoy, what with enforced time schedules that force recipients to rush acceptance thank you speeches and hosts that are not all that funny.

(There are exceptions, however, Chris Rock is and always will be “rolling in the floor” funny. And yes, I am referring to Mr. Fallon and his flat impression of Chris…)

Nothing really stood out, until Hugh Laurie made his oh so dry joke about being on the last ever broadcast of The Golden Globes. He too, like Meryl Streep, mentioned the foreign press, referred to the president-elect and the strained relationship between Hollywood and the orange man who will be sworn in on January 20th.

Laurie’s remarks were on point.  Sadly his dry English wit was lost on a few folks. Laurie is a very funny chap who made his point about Donald Trump via humor.

Meryl Streep, however, did not ape Jimmy Fallon or Hugh Laurie she got straight to the point.  Zeroing in on the most detestable thing about this country’s soon-to-be new leader, she let Trump have it with both barrels and did not even need to mention his name.

The reaction, which everyone knew was coming,  was swift and childish.  Trump’s followers reacted by saying that “overpaid celebrities” should stay out of politics.

All this would be fine and good if they practiced what they preach.  Ms. Streep is a very talented performer, hardly anyone in the trade can master accents like Meryl or completely inhabit a part like she can. Her celebrity status is from years of hard graft, learning her trade and art while fine tuning her performance continuously.

Trump’s only real talent seems to be the ability to disappear when his employees need paying. Although it could be said that his other talents include going bankrupt, lying and tweeting out his nether region…

Granted, Trump is himself something of a  celebrity or “star.” Reality television made the man a household name and reality TV, and the networks who continue to produce this tripe, can also be held accountable for grooming the American public into believing that these odious people actually have some sort of validity.

Regardless of the responses from Trump and his deluded, and disturbing, supporters, both Meryl Streep and Hugh Laurie were two of the heroes who took last night’s opportunity to take a closer look at the new president elect without the racist, misogynistic, and avaricious glasses that his proponents wear.

The disturbing news that Trump is aping Adopt Hitler’s first moves is not the first sign that this individual cares nothing for the country he is about to lead. As Meryl Streep pointed out, the man is a bully who is  surrounding himself with likeminded people.

While Ms. Streep pointed out the vileness  of what Trump did to a reporter during his march to the white house, she neglected to mention the fate of bullies in general. They may well bluster and use their power to run roughshod over those less fortunate, in this case the constituents of the United States, but most of these disgusting power mad animals do, eventually, get their comeuppance.

Dictators, something that Trump clearly aspires to be, do not fare well in the long run.

Hitler, supposedly, committed suicide, Mussolini was hung by his own people in a petrol station, Gaddafi hid in a culvert until he was found and killed, Saddam Hussein was led up a ladder and hung. Others, like Pol Pot died of “mysterious” circumstances.

Certainly there are those dictators who manage to rule for long periods of time, with little to no recriminations,  but these occur in countries where the average educational level is less than that of America.  Although, disturbingly, the US has opted to elect the snake oil salesman rather than run him out of town on a rail…

Getting back to the Golden Globes and the award’s ceremony; La La Land was the big winner of the evening. A modern musical set in Hollywood. It seems ironic that a fantasy was the real winner on the last “proper” awards program before the inauguration. (The People’s Choice Awards is a bit of a “Johnny come lately” having started in 1974, while the “Globes” have been around since 1944.)

Hollywood stars have always been the voice of conscience in this country. Somewhat ironically, however, this time the stars are warning of an evil that is not just in America’s backyard but one that will be running the country all too soon.

Supporters of Trump may be celebrating but unless they are members of the monied and privileged classes they will soon learn that there is little to celebrate.

It also bears mentioning that, via the auspices of supporting a free press, Ms. Streep took the journalistic community to task as well. Reminding the news crowd that their job is to present the truth, not to “normalize” misbehavior or to ignore the wrongs and injustices committed by those in power.

May God grant that they listen and then tell the truth.

 

Trump Wins: Stephen King’s ‘The Dead Zone’ for Real (Editorial)

The Dead Zone Martin Sheen as Greg Stillson

After living in England for over three decades, I returned to a country that was beyond recognition.  January 2014 saw me landing in Las Vegas and starting a new job that would fizzle out in a years time.  I had not been privy to a stateside election in years and already the country was rumbling about 2016.

Leaving Vegas, and winding up in the last resting place of an immigrant camel drover, I found myself surrounded by snowbirds who all seemed to be republican. This did not bother me to any great extent as I had lived in country where the two main parties were mirror images of the Donkey and the Elephant: Labour and Tories.

I favor neither party but instead have always looked to the “runner.” In the UK it was more important to vote for the party. The Prime Minister was sort of an addition to the whole thing.

Donald Trump, this country’s president elect, was, in essence, a television reality star. The orange male equivalent of Kim Kardashian without the sex tape. A loud mouthed goon who was rude, crude and a man who obviously appealed to a large amount of people.

The moment I realized that this man with the ridiculous hair and bullying attitude was being taken serious, I thought of Greg Stillson from Stephen King’s 1979 b00k, The Dead Zone.

Stillson was a buffoon, a joke to the people of the country and yet when the book’s protagonist, poor doomed everyman John Smith,  touched the candidate he saw him starting World War III; with nuclear missiles.

The picture was perfectly formed in my head as I watched small clips of Trump’s rallies. Surely, I thought,  this man will not last long in the final stages, there must be someone more  qualified. Alas the republican party chose this lunatic to be their presidential candidate and once again I thought of King’s madman Stillson.

For those who have not read King’s book, Greg Stillson was mad, not “angry” mad but nutty as a box of frogs mad. He had an anger management problem and some severe wiring problems under his bonnet.

I cannot for the life of me remember what colour his hair was but it is not important. What is important  is that in my mind, from the first televised appearance of Trump, he was, and is, Greg Stillson.

There was no hard hat, or throwing hot dogs to the crowd, but Trump fit the bill of the madman who would bring an apocalyptic end to America like a tailored glove.

This is not the first time that someone has made the connection. Google “The Dead Zone” and Trump’s name comes up. (Sorry, but I cannot for the life of me refer to this man as president.) This entire election has been  surreal and this has been a nightmarish end to a vicious election. One where both sides played the internet like an instrument.

Perhaps this has been on the cards for a long time. I truly do not know. I had taken on another country as my home and never envisioned coming back.  The return home was not planned.

It was odd coming back to the country that spawned me. The whole place was different and PC mentality was making everyone touchy and overly protective.  The racist card was being thrown down everywhere and an entire political party was backing a homophobic, misogynistic reality television star with multiple bankruptcies to his name to run the country.

Now it is over.

Stillson  Trump is in. The man who cannot, apparently afford the good tanning gel, the kind that does not turn your skin orange, is the 45th president of the United States.  He has chosen a vice president who echoes his sentiments exactly in regards to the LGBT community, minorities and immigrants.

History has been made here. The electoral college, not the people they chose Hilary by popular vote, God help them,  have put Trump in charge of the country.

Young people are taking to the streets to protest Trump as president on the same day he was announced the winner of the race. This has not, to the best of my knowledge, ever happened before. (Of course it might have but living in the UK I might have missed it.)

Despite all the Pollyanna’s out there who now say we have to grin and bear it and that we must stick together, I hope you remember that when this once mighty nation has crumbled under one man’s lunacy.

The electing of Trump has been called a “white lash” by Van Jones. With all due respect sir, I disagree. I think this was a “Black lash.” Caused by far too many people who were upset over an eight year time period that the president of the US was a black man.

Before signing off and leaving politics behind for another four years, I would like to point something out. This election was massively influenced by social media. Each side promoted enough vitriol to damage the most secure of egos.

On Facebook alone there has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth and a common misconception. Younger members of the American public seem to believe that a president serves eight years. Not so, my dear Millennials. A presidential term is still and always will be, four years.

With two American presidents serving two terms in office, it is easy to see where the confusion started. It is also the sort of ignorance that enabled someone less qualified than your cousin Murray, the city dog catcher, to be elected president.

 

Miss Universe 2013 Models Million Dollar Swimsuit

Miss Universe 2013 Models Million Dollar Swimsuit

It was well publicised that the winner of the Miss Universe 2013 pageant would be modeling the million dollar swimsuit the day after she won the crown. That is exactly what happened on Monday November 11. The swimwear was designed by  Yamamay as a special commemorative outfit for the 2013 competition.

Miss Universe and the Million Dollar Swimsuit

Miss Universe and the Million Dollar Swimsuit

It is somewhat ironic that the Miss Universe competition being held in Moscow, Russia this year will feature not only a swimsuit segment, but the winner of the crown will also get to wear, and be photographed in, a million dollar swimsuit. Since Miss World 2013 did not even have a swimsuit competition because of hard-line Muslim protests in Bali, Indonesia where the event was held, it feels like the organization wants to make up for that little setback.

 

Miss America 2014 Won by Foul Mouthed Miss New York Nina Davuluri

Miss America 2014 Won by Foul Mouthed Miss New York Nina Davuluri

Somewhat amazingly the 24 year-old foul mouthed contestant Miss New York Nina Davuluri has won the 2014 Miss America pageant. The new Miss America comes from Syracuse, New York and this is the second year in a row that Miss New York has won the crown. Mallory Hagan, who was crowned in the 2013 beauty pageant was also from New York.