Let''s start with Madonna. E-mails pile in from non-community members saying that I should be defending Madonna from sexism.
Seth MacFarlane has been hostile and sexist. His shows have done one crack on Madonna after another that are not funny and that are filled with hatred of women. These include but are not limited to the episode where Peter, Peter's father and Brian can all agree they hate Madonna and Brian adds that she only had sex with Dennis Rodham to get back at her father.
Because that's what a White frat boy has to believe.
It's racist and sexist.
Then there's homophobia where they repeatedly try to brand Madonna's audience as made up solely of gay men. They're not idiots. They know this nonsense was used in the early eighties to get Barbra Streisand off popular radio.
Long before FAMILY GUY ever aired episode one, Quentin Tarantino had opened his first film with a scene set in a diner and gangsters arguing over Madonna's music.
You don't sell as many albums as Madonna has without appealing to a very mass market.
That's about all I can offer on Madonna because we're not the loony HUFFINGTON POST.
Madonna whines about Prince getting away with outrageous costumes on stage.
I believe that's the period where pop radio largely ignored Prince.
But, more to the point, Madonna's behavior was outrageous.
She'd really kicked things off with the video for "Justify My Love" -- and the ABC NIGHTLINE special. It was 1990 and she seemed obsessed with sex -- as the video made clear. This was followed by TRUTH OR DARE which was similarly sex obsessed (not limited to her use of a bottle in one scene of the film). Then there was her get-out-the-vote spot -- her nude with the American flag draped over her. This was followed by the book SEX -- a nudie clip job posing as a book. Then came EROTICA -- an underrated album but again with an obsession on sex. This was followed with the hideous film BODY OF EVIDENCE which was just out right trash on every level including the promos. And, guess what, we've only gone from 1990 to 1993. We could continue, the next year, she would toss a pair of panties at David Letterman on his show and suggest he sniff them.
It was just so much overkill.
And so hysterical because she repeatedly tried to portray herself as a great beauty.
She's never been beautiful. On a rare day, she can pass for pretty. Mainly, she's just been well groomed.
She meets Tony Ward -- a present her brother bought for her -- and puts a cigarette out on his chest?
I don't know what we're supposed to talk about here but I did think it was clever that when she'd gone way too far and was trying to walk it back she came up with "Human Nature" and the line "Oops, I didn't know we couldn't talk about sex."
Prince did not pose nude for dozens of photos in a book called SEX. Prince did not present himself as the kinky lover in BODY OF EVIDENCE. Prince didn't toss his briefs at TV hosts (or launch into a series of f-word rants as Madonna did).
More importantly, Prince wrote songs.
He didn't put his name to songs he didn't write.
He didn't get a songwriting credit for one word added to a song (as Madonna did).
Prince explored sex as did (briefly) George Michael. But Madonna did it in a way to designed to shock and in a manner that was tawdry. America recoiled.
Had she done what Prince did, would she have gotten into trouble?
Maybe, maybe not.
They'd both ruled for the second half of the 80s and pop isn't a world known for long careers.
Madonna was smarter than Prince or George when it came to fighting with labels. She won the battles that consumed the two men. She also made millions off her own label -- chiefly via Alanis.
For an artist whose voice is created in the studio and whose songwriting talents are questionable -- and non-existent since 2000 -- she's had a remarkably long run. Or had. She's not been able to go top ten solo since 2005. But she once had a strong run of hits.
As Ava and I noted in 2006's "TV Review: Confessing to no talent:"
Madonna in concert, to your average broadcast TV viewer, is going to mean some of the hits. Maybe you won't hear them all, but how could you? 1997 and 2004 are the only years she didn't release a top forty hit. Many years have contained multiple hits. So hopes of "Into the Groove" (not technically a single -- though played constantly on radio, it was on the dance mix of "Angel"), "I'll Remember," "Dress You Up," "Keep It Together," "Rain," . . . well it just wasn't going to happen. What Sheena Easton calls hits are blips for Madonna.
But is it too much for the average viewer to assume that a special starring a performer with something like 46 top forty hits might offer up at least five of those hits over a two hour span?
Myself, I'd rather listen to Janet Jackson who's an actual artist.
Meanwhile, the US Defense Dept announced yesterday:
Strikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft as well as rocket artillery conducted nine strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Bashir, two strikes engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle bomb.
-- Near Beiji, two strikes destroyed a cave entrance, four ISIL fighting positions, two weapons caches and a heavy machine gun.
-- Near Mosul, four strikes engaged two ISIL tactical units, destroying seven front-end loaders, three fighting positions, two ISIL-held buildings, two tractor trailer trucks, a vehicle, a land bridge and three tunnels. Six tunnels were damaged and two bridges were disabled.
-- Near Tal Afar, a strike destroyed an ISIL armored vehicle.
Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.
And this morning, they noted:
Strikes in Iraq
Rocket artillery and attack, bomber, fighter rotary and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 10 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
-- Near Beiji, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Haditha, a strike destroyed an ISIL bunker.
-- Near Mosul, five strikes engaged two ISIL tactical units; destroyed five ISIL-held buildings, two vehicle-borne-bomb facilities, three vehicle-borne bombs, six fighting positions, three mortar systems, a heavy machine gun, a weapons cache, two front-end loaders, two tactical vehicles, a tunnel and two pieces of engineering equipment; damaged 15 supply routes; and suppressed an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Rawah, a strike destroyed an ISIL dump truck and damaged an artillery system.
-- Near Tal Afar, two strikes engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a tactical vehicle.
The State Dept doesn't offer anything like that.
They used to.
Until Hillary killed that weekly update.
And Congress went along with it.
Now billions of US tax payer dollars go to Iraq and there's not even the slightest pretense of accountability to the American people.
June 19, 2014, US President Barack Obama publicly insisted the only answer to Iraq's various crises was a political solution.
But while he began dropping bombs on Iraq daily in August of 2014, he hasn't had time for diplomacy efforts during the same period.
Stratfor Enterprises notes the recently passed 2017 budget for Iraq:
Baghdad is caught between a rock and a hard place where its budget is concerned. Discontent is growing among the Iraqi people after years of austerity measures, but between stagnant oil prices and the conditions of Iraq's World Bank and International Monetary Fund loans, there is no end in sight to the spending cuts. Iraq, whose oil production is second only to Saudi Arabia's among OPEC members, is one of the most oil-dependent countries in the Middle East. In 2015, 85 percent of the nation's budget derived from oil export revenues. Despite OPEC's recent decision to cut oil production in 2017, the odds are low that oil prices will make a dramatic recovery in the next year. Assuming that the country would sell its oil at a modest $42 per barrel, Iraq's lawmakers arrived at a budget of 100.7 trillion Iraqi dinars (about $85 billion), a 6 percent reduction from this year's.
And this austerity nonsense is exactly why Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani repeatedly warned Iraq taking money from the IMF.
But Hayder al-Abadi, like so many fools before him, couldn't resist the immediate cash.
Now Iraq will be enslaved the way so many other countries have been.
Maybe Hayder will be forced to resign?
Remember when we were calling out the nonsense of Hayder's popularity?
Others are finally starting to notice it as well.
The Mosul operation has not made him an untouchable by any means.
Day 56 of the never-ending slog.
And what can people point to?
How about the success of the operation in . . . creating refugees!
Mosul's just one 'success' after another.
Mosul doctors struggle to save civilians on Iraq front line
Just one 'success' after another.
. . . after another . . .
15 civilians killed in Mosul
. . . after another . . .
Iraq: UN says Mosul death toll ‘staggering’ https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20161202-iraq-un-says-mosul-death-toll-staggering/#.WE6e9bXrPrM.twitter … via @MiddleEastMnt
Day 56 and remember when Elise Labott (CNN) exploded in an October State Dept press briefing when a reporter dared to rightly call it a slog?
Poor, stupid Elise.
Maybe today she'll try to make up for that stupidity by asking about the three Americans being held by Iraq?
New content at THIRD:
- Truest statement of the week
- Truest statement of the week II
- Truest statement of the week III
- A note to our readers
- Editorial: 3 Americans held in Iraq?
- TV: The end of the TV musical?
- Tweet of the week
- Grow The F**k Up
- The sexism and homophobia of Rosie O'Donnell
- Airhead Milano
- This edition's playlist
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