Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oh, For The Love Of Chikin, Already!

So, if you haven't heard by now of the major clusterfuggle that is "Chick-fil-A v. The Gays" then you simply must be living under a rock. But if you haven't, here's the Reader's Digest Version, complete with all the bipartisanship I can muster:

1) Chick-fil-A is a growing fast food chain that makes super yummy chicken sammiches (ooops, sorry I'm being biased already!).

2) Chick-fil-A is a family-owned company -- specifically, the Cathy family.

3) Chick-fil-A's business model is based in Biblical tenets (thus, they are closed on Sundays to honor their Sabbath, among other things).

4) Chick-fil-A has always donated money to political campaigns and organizations that support their business model, some of which are not gay-friendly.

5) Some folks found this out rather recently and a rumbling began in the gay community. A boycott was called.

6) Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy admits he does not support the gay lifestyle or marriage equality in an interview with the Baptist Press.

7) The gays hear about it and all hell breaks loose.

8) The Jim Henson Company publicly severs business dealings with Chick-fil-A due to their stance on marriage equality.

(This pic flying around Facebook made me laugh - c'mon, it's funny!)

9) Not only does all hell break loose again, but purgatory, heaven and whatever plane ghosts live on all join in. It's absolute mayhem.

10) Chick-fil-A stops putting Muppet toys in their kids meals, citing the toys as dangerous. Many think the company's lying in an attempt to save face. Chick-fil-A denies the allegation.

11) Chick-fil-A is accused of creating a fake Facebook account posing as a teenage girl to defend against the thousands of unfriendly posts made by the company's haters. A couple posters call "the girl" out as a fake, post a stock photo found online used on "her" profile and by the next day the account has been deactivated. Chick-fil-A claims they did not create the fake account and that they never would do such a thing.

There. You're all caught up.

Now, I've been noticing two particular arguments consistently brought up by Chick-fil-A's supporters:

1) Chick-fil-A isn't discriminating against anyone. They hire LGBT people and they serve LGBT people.

2)  Tolerance goes both ways.

If you're reading this blog you probably already know my feelings on marriage equality (I'm for it) and gay people in general (I don't think it's a sin to be gay and yes, I think they're born that way). Here is the response I'd like to make to the above two points and I hope supporters of Chick-fil-A will read it with open minds and hearts. I know why you feel the way you do, because I used to feel exactly the same way once upon a time, for all the exact same reasons you do. So I hope you will give yourself the opportunity to look at the other side of the coin as vividly as you possibly can.

1) I am actually a fan of Chick-fil-A's business model in general. I think more businesses would do well to follow much of its example -- closing one day a week and holidays (Jewish businesses still do it and no one complains), operating debt-free, donating to organizations that help the community flourish, supporting families being together and staying together. I'd even be okay if Chick-fil-A ran commercials that stated flat out, "We're a Christian company, built upon Christian beliefs. Eat more chikin." It's their right to do all of that.

The problem is in where they put their money. It's not like they're "The Cathy Family Christian Bookstore." If that were the case, wouldn't you then certainly expect them to put their money in very specific, most likely  religiously-oriented places? Why yes, you would, as is their right (and if you didn't expect it and go cause a stink about it, well then you're just a moron). But when Dan Cathy himself has said, "There is no such thing as a Christian business," and he's selling non-religious chicken sandwiches across the nation for the love of Pete, then why take the profits and financially support organizations with such controversial agendas? Why not put that money toward things that better the community for EVERYONE, regardless of religion, sex, sexual orientation, race or creed? No doubt they donate to many organizations like this, but honestly...if a certain minority's money is green enough for you to take as payment, then you should probably not be turning around and giving it to organizations that are trying to legislate said minority into second class citizenship. THAT is not only blatantly biting the hand that feeds you, but it IS discrimination, no matter how you look at it. If Chick-fil-A were hiring and serving black people and then turning around and donating profits to the KKK...see? Chick-fil-A is financially supporting continued discrimination, period.

Be Switzerland and none of this would be happening...just sayin'.

(For the record, it's my feeling, as a believer in the separation of church and state, that NO business or corporation whatsoever should be allowed to donate money to ANY political campaign or religious-based organization...things would be A LOT different in this country on both sides of the fence, wouldn't it? But we all know that isn't going to happen. Like...ever. Unless the people overthrow the government and start over from scratch. So ever.)

2) Tolerance absolutely does go both ways. I tolerate Chick-fil-A supporters' religious opinions, even though I disagree. I understand why they feel the way they do. Jesus works for them and they want everyone to experience that and they think if only everyone could, this world would be a better place. I think 95% of people think the way they do out of genuine concern for what they perceive to be the greater good, whether I agree with it or not. And so I tolerate, readily, everyone's religious beliefs and I know that many supporting the boycott do as well. one has to tolerate a corporation's business practices, particularly when those practices are unethical in that person's opinion. I do not have to tolerate Chick-fil-A taking my hard-earned money and giving it to a cause I am vehemently against. Just like I do not have to tolerate the banks taking a government bail out and sending its CEOs on vacation with it. Catholics didn't tolerate "The Last Temptation of Christ" when it came out back in the 80's. Those One Million Moms (which are really only a few hundred thousand) don't feel they have to tolerate...well...just about anything, really. Here in the U.S., we get to vote not just at the polls but with our wallets, too. This is an example of true capitalism at work.

In addition, no one should tolerate a person's basic rights being threatened because someone else thinks they shouldn't be able to have them. I think some people do not deserve to be parents. This does not mean that passing a law that decides which people can reproduce and which cannot is remotely ethical. Even if I believe with my whole heart that it would benefit the greater good for some people to be forced to have a little snip-snip or a little knot tied - and I very well might be right - infringing upon someone's right to live his or her own life as he/she sees fit is never the right thing to do. Otherwise, you might find someone infringing upon yours one day.

Gay people are not aliens from another planet put here to destroy the earth as we know it. They are human beings like any other who just want to be allowed to live and love in peace. They are tax-paying members of our society who have families that deserve to be protected under the law just as much as Steve and Suzie SuperChristian do...or Mike and Mary Muslim...or Jerry and Joanna Jew...or Wayne and Wynona Wicca...or Neil and Nancy NewAge...or Burt and Betty Buddhist...

...or the Cathys.

Monday, July 23, 2012

And the Emmy goes to...

I thought it might be time for me to a) write a freakin' blog and b) write a freakin' blog that isn't super heavy. "Of what shall I write?" I queried. And then it came to me after reading the latest ever-so-fabulous blog on this year's Emmy nominations from Your TV Tour Guide ..."Well, since I'm taking this acting thing somewhat seriously lately...why don't I weigh in, too?" After all, fair reader, you just KNOW I have something to say about all of THAT. Plus it's just plain frivolous fun.  smiley Thumbsup

Okay well, most of the time. There is some seriously amazing work going on in television right now and anyone who calls the tv an "idiot box" needs to spend one day on a (real) television set to accept their well-deserved arse-kicking. When used properly, television can be a wonderful, creative, exciting, funny, joyful, powerful - and grueling - medium, of which the creators, cast and most certainly crew deserve some respect.

Unless you're responsible for Jersey Shore. Then I would like you to take notice of the hand basket you're in and the deep, fiery abyss at the end of the road you're on.

But I digress. Here are my feelings on this year's nominations. Let me know what you think, too (there is a link to leave a comment at the bottom. Just sayin.).

Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
Girls (HBO)
30 Rock (NBC)
Veep (HBO)
Modern Family (ABC)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

So the only show I watch in this group is Modern Family and I love it so I'm gonna root for them, even though the Academy loves its raunchy cable shows and 30 Rock and Big Bang are both quality shows from what I hear from my friends who watch them. And secretly, though I love me some Tina Fey, I'm getting a little burnt out on her and think she should take some time for some sleep at some point before she becomes Tina Feybot.

Who I pick: Modern Family

Who I think will win: Modern Family

Unconscionable snub: The Middle (ABC). I laugh out loud watching that show. Right out loud. Guffaw. And it's all because of the genius actors playing the kids. 

Zooey Deschanel (New Girl)
Lena Dunham (Girls)
Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)
Tina Fey (30 Rock)
Julia Louis-Drefus (Veep)
Melissa McCarthy (Mike and Molly)

This is a category in which I almost couldn't care less who wins because I watch none of these shows. Amy Poehler has the career my leetle seester should have (seester's cuter and funnier, trust). Zooey Deschanel is just doing her trademark cute-and-quirky. I love Melissa McCarthy but I can't stand the way in which the lead characters are treated by the people supposedly closest to them on this show so I won't watch it. Lastly, I kinda think Edie Falco should take a note from the Oprah playlist -- it's ok to decline a nomination because you've had enough already -- really, it is!  So, whomever wins, more power to ya, sister.

Who I pick: Melissa McCarthy

Who I think will win: Edie Falco

Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)
Louis C.K. (Louie)
Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory)
Don Cheadle (House of Lies)
Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)

Hmmmmm. Another category I don't care about because I don't watch any of these shows. CLEARLY I need to start watching more comedy (and the networks need to start making some worth watching...?). I'm going for Don Cheadle here. He's one cool dude and that's enough for me.

Who I pick: Don Cheadle

Who I think will win: Alec Baldwin

Mayim Bialik (Big Bang Theory)
Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie)
Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live)
Sofia Vergara (Modern Family)
Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives)

Well...if we're basing this one on whom I perceive to have the hardest job talent-wise, I'd have to go with Kristen Wiig, taking on half a dozen characters every show. But we're not. I love that Blossom's been nominated after all these years. I hope she wears a snappy hat to the ceremony. BUT...I don't think anyone's going to beat out the late Mrs. McCluskey, and perhaps they shouldn't, because she was so brave as to let us see her without her hair on camera in her final episode, not to mention facing head on playing a part that was foreshadowing the inevitable in her own life.

Who I pick: Kathryn Joosten

Who I think will win: Kathryn Joosten

Unconscionable snub: Eden Sher as Sue Heck (The Middle)

Ed O'Neill (Modern Family)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family)
Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
Eric Stonescreet (Modern Family)
Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live)
Max Greenfield (New Girl)

Seriously with this category? C'MON, ACADEMY!!! I love this show but just how much did ABC pay you?

Who I pick: Bill Hader (hardest job)

Who I think will win: Hell if I know!

Unconscionable snub: Charlie McDermott as Axl Heck (The Middle)

Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Breaking Bad (AMC)
Downton Abbey (PBS)
Mad Men (AMC)
Homeland (Showtime)
Game of Thrones (HBO)

Though I want to see ALL of these shows (I don't have any movie channels and my Netflix is currently on hold for a bit...probably should've mentioned that up front) and I hear they are all exceptional, I'm going with Breaking Bad because I HAVE seen it and I honestly cannot imagine how any show on this earth could possibly be better overall than was this show's fourth season. I mean for realz. Bit my nails to the nubs! 

Who I pick: Breaking Bad

Who I think will win: Downton Abbey (British accents always give an edge)

Unconscionable snub(s): Oh let's see...Fringe...The Good Wife...Supernatural...Grimm...Dexter...lots of good stuff going on in drama right now.

Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)
Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
Kathy Bates (Harry's Law)
Claire Danes (Homeland)
Glenn Close (Damages)

I adore The Good Wife and because I think it was woefully snubbed in the drama series category, I'm pulling for Julianna. Her tight rope between detached lawyer and loving mother is quite something to watch.

Who I pick: Julianna Margulies

Who I think will win: Claire Danes

Unconscionable snub(s): As with every season for the last five, the Academy shamefully overlooked the brilliant, complicated work of Mary McCormack as Mary Shannon on In Plain Sight (and this past was its last season, so it's too late now!). 

Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)
Michael C. Hall (Dexter)
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey)
Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
Damien Lewis (Homeland)

Alright, I'm a very recent Dexter convert, having raced through six seasons in about a two and a half week span (sleep? what sleep?), so I would be personally tickled to see Michael C. Hall take it. But season six was admittedly not the show's best from a story standpoint nor from a character standpoint (for that I go with season five, though I know many would disagree with me), so I think I have to give the edge to Bryan Cranston for sinking his teeth into some amazing material and basically showing everyone how it's done.

Who I pick: Michael C. Hall or Bryan Cranston (I ain't mad at either of 'em)

Who I think will win: Steve Buscemi (wild guess)

Unconscionable snub: no doubt there are several whose names simply don't come to mind right now...

Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife)
Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)
Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)
Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey)
Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)
Christine Baranski (The Good Wife)

Because I'm so incensed that Jennifer Carpenter wasn't nominated for her brilliantly-layered-foul-mouthed-barely-holding-it-together-sister-of-a-serial-killer Deb Morgan in Dexter, I will probably turn off the tv entirely while they are reading this category. Okay, not really. I'll watch (and scream "JENNIFER CARPENTER!!!" at the tv after the presenter reads "And the award goes to...").

Who I pick: Jennifer Carpenter (write in). But if that doesn't work, Archie Panjabi.

Who I think will win: Jennifer Carpenter (write in). But if that doesn't work, it'll probably be Maggie Smith.

Unconscionable snub(s): HAVE I MENTIONED JENNIFER CARPENTER??? BUEHLER? Also, the absolutely luminous Jasika Nicole playing Astrid (Anna/Astro/Adelle/Adelaide/Amy/Amanda, etc.) Farnsworth on Fringe. Her relationship with Walter Bishop is what made me stick with the show in the beginning and her Alternate Astrid confirmed for me what a diverse talent she is. 

Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad)
Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey)
Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)
Jared Harris (Mad Men)
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)

I don't know whether to root for Aaron Paul's seething, recovering-junkie, broken-hearted cat-toy-to-Walter-White or Giancarlo Esposito's terrifyingly quiet portrayal of drug kingpin Gus Fring. I'd be okay with either. And I wouldn't hate it if Peter Dinklage won, even though I haven't seen the show. I think it's amazing all he has accomplished in his career and I find him incredibly inspiring.

Who I pick: Aaron or Giancarlo

Who I think will win: Jim Carter or Peter Dinklage

Unconscionable snub: John Noble as Walter Bishop in Fringe, Alan Cumming as Elliott Gould in The Good Wife (seriously Academy, in both cases - WAKE UP!!!), and Dean Norris as Hank Schrader in Breaking Bad.

Game Change (HBO)
American Horror Story (FX)
Hemingway & Gellhorn (HBO)
Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia - Masterpiece (PBS)
Luther (BBC America)
Hatfields & McCoys (History)

If American Horror Story doesn't win, I will be writing a STRONGLY worded letter to the Academy.

Who I pick: American Horror Story (hands down)

Who I think will win: American Horror Story

Unconscionable snub: Not a clue - there aren't that many, are there?

Julianne Moore (Game Change)
Connie Britton (American Horror Story)
Nicole Kidman (Hemingway & Gelhorn)
Emma Thompson (The Song of Lunch - Masterpiece)
Ashley Judd (Missing)

Now, one of my new favorite dramas of the whole year was ABC's Missing, which I didn't expect ANYTHING out of. However, it was actually like watching 24 if it had actual emotion and an unbelievably gorgeous backdrop. I was pleasantly surprised and REALLY aggro when it was cancelled. That said, I am very happy to see Ashley Judd's name on this list -- if ever an actress without kids of her own played a desperate mama lion convincingly, she certainly did.

Who I pick: Ashley Judd

Who I think will win: Nicole Kidman 

Unconscionable snub: n/a

Woody Harrelson (Game Change)
Clive Owen (Hemingway & Gelhorn)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia - Masterpiece)
Idris Elba (Luther)
Kevin Costner (Hatfields & McCoys)
Bill Paxton (Hatfields & McCoys)

Who WOULDN'T vote for Benedict Cumberbatch, simply because it's such an AMAZING name?

Who I pick: Good ole Ben

Who I think will win: Clive Owen 

Unconscionable snub: n/a

Sarah Paulson (Game Change)
Frances Conroy (American Horror Story)
Jessica Lange (American Horror Story)
Judy Davis (Page Eight - Masterpiece)
Mare Winningham (Hatfields & McCoys)

I will always love my Mare for St. Elmo's Fire, but Jessica was so off her rocker in American Horror Story that I can’t imagine anyone else winning. Except maybe Frances Conroy. But I think the edge is Jessica’s.

Who I pick: Jessica Lange

Who I think will win: Jessica Lange

Unconscionable snub: Taissa Farmiga as Violet Harmon in American Horror Story. Quite the convincing depressed, suicidal teenager.

Ed Harris (Game Change)
Denis O’Hare (American Horror Story)
David Strathairn (Hemingway & Gelhorn)
Martin Freeman (Sherlock – Masterpiece)
Tom Berenger (Hatfields & McCoys)

Gotta go with Denis…he freaked me out!

Who I pick: Denis O’Hare

Who I think will win: Not a clue, so I’ll say Ed Harris cuz I lurve him

Unconscionable snub:  Even Peters as Tate Langdon in American Horror Story. A very convincing depressed, homicidal teenager.

That’s pretty much the extent of the categories I want to touch on…mostly cuz I’m tired of copying and pasting and I thought this was gonna be a quick blog but it turned out to be never-ending! So let me know what you think. No doubt there’s plenty of tv I missed that should’ve been honored. Guess we’ll see how it all turns out on September 23rd!