Posts Tagged ‘Disney’

Ashley Bennett

It is very easy for me to focus on all the bad news going on. But there are stories recently that really pleased me, and I should note that fact occasionally:

ITEM: A whole bunch of diverse people were elected in November, often with a dollop of irony.

Voters in Helena, Montana, elected Wilmot Collins, a former refugee from Liberia, as their mayor, in a state where the issue of refugees have sparked political tension.

Ashley Bennett defeated John Carman for the Atlantic County, NJ freeholder seat. “Carman posted a meme on the day of the Women’s March [on January 21, 2017 with]… the message, ‘Will the women’s protest be over in time for them to cook dinner?'” This inspired Bennett to run against him. She had been targeted on a white supremacist blog for saying the Confederate flag has no place in New Jersey.

Danica Roem will be the first openly transgender woman to win a seat for the House of Delegates in Virginia, beating Bob Marshall, the state’s self-proclaimed “chief homophobe.”

And there were other groundbreaking elections.

ITEM: “The Walt Disney Company lifted its ban of Los Angeles Times critics from its press screenings after a widespread backlash prompted several media outlets to announce their own boycotts of Disney movies,” The Associated Press reported.

Disney was ticked by the Times’ September reporting on its relationship with the local municipalities, stating that the company received unwarranted assist from local governments on taxes, subsidies, and rent. Disney said the series was “biased and inaccurate…, wholly driven by a political agenda.”

“Disney’s punitive measures against the Times led to many outlets refusing advance coverage of the studio’s films, including The New York Times (which called Disney’s ban a ‘dangerous precedent and not at all in the public interest’), the Boston Globe and The A.V. Club.

Multiple critics groups announced they would bar Disney films from awards consideration, “hammering the company for choosing to punish journalists ‘rather than express its disagreement with a business story via ongoing public discussion. Disney’s response should gravely concern all who believe in the importance of a free press, artists included.'”

ITEM: In October, state trooper Ryan Sceviour arrested Alli Bibaud for driving under the influence. “Bibaud is the daughter of Dudley District Court Judge Timothy Bibaud.”

Sceviour’s initial arrest report said Bibaud told officers she got the drugs in exchange for sex. The report also said Bibaud claimed her father was a judge and offered Sceviour sex in exchange for leniency.

Trooper Sceviour filed a lawsuit alleging that after he arrested Bibaud near Worcester, “he was told to revise the arrest report to remove the references to sex and Bibaud’s father so as not to embarrass the judge.”

Colonel Richard McKeon, the superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, who reportedly ordered the trooper to remove the embarrassing information, retired.

Roy Moore is a lawless theocratic lunatic

Scientology and the cult of tRump

The Rules of the Gun Debate: The rules for discussing firearms in the United States obscure the obvious solutions

My Daughter Was Murdered in a Mass Shooting. Then I Was Ordered to Pay Her Killer’s Gun Dealer

Sandy Hook mom: ‘We value guns, flags & fake acts of patriotism over people, pain’

Inside the Federal Bureau Of Way Too Many Guns

Just What We Needed: More Inequality, Bigger Deficits

From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories

Forensic Science: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Statistical indicators of President Obama’s eight years in office

The Day Donald Trump Watched An Octogenarian Bleeding To Death And Did Nothing To Help

Adjunct professors in America face low pay and long hours without the security of full-time faculty. Some, on the brink of homelessness, take desperate measures

The Five Stirring Stanzas That Proved a Poem Can Help End a War

“The Closet” where a black camper slept is preserved in Schroon Lake, NY

How to Protest Without Offending White People

Comic: Back to the Future of Racism

Chuck Miller’s two-week boycott of ESPN

Finding Your Roots: Bernie Sanders and Larry David (may be available only in the US and until 31 Oct)

Free counseling for those affected by Hurricane Harvey from BetterHelp.com for up to three months

Want Change In Education? Look Beyond The Usual Suspects (Like Finland)

How to handle being “unfriended” on Facebook

Naturalist At Large environmental cartoons by Don Rittner and Raoul Vezina (1983)

“Mr Brunelle Explains It All” Cartoon Gallery

The Vast Influence Of Donald Duck

How one election changed Disney’s relationship with Anaheim

EU English

The Mary Tyler Moore Show Fall Preview

Y.A. Tittle dies at age 90. He was the first New York Giants quarterback of my youth

Sputnik’s 60th birthday

30 Of the Most Amazing Images from Electron Microscopes

Now I Know: The Town that Drives Itself and Why We Yawn and Why Once You Pop, You Can’t Stop and The Ben and Jerry’s Flavor that Left a Bad Taste Behind

Floss Firstenberg Alper Obituary: Floss was an amazing listener, a trusted confidante, the focus of many people’s erotic dreams, an oft-invited dinner guest and irreverent as hell

MUSIC

Waiting For The Waiter – MonaLisa Twins ft. John Sebastian

Coverville 1187: Cover Stories for Gerry & The Pacemakers and Everything But The Girl

Magic Moments – Perry Como

Merrily We Roll Along – Eddie Cantor

The family attended a Sunday matinee of the new Disney movie Moana.  It was showing several places, but we will always opt for our favored venue, the Spectrum 8 in Albany.

I noted that it reviewed well. After I saw it, I was struggling with my feelings about it. I’ve pushed back against the reductivist that all the Disney princesses are, ethnicity aside, largely clones of each other.

The good:
This movie fortunately avoided even a hint of romance Read the rest of this entry »

jungle-book-2016I’ve never read the 1894 stories by Rudyard Kipling known as the Jungle Book. Nor did I ever catch the 1967 film that was the last full-length animated film produced by Walt Disney himself. And no copy exists in the Albany Public Library; I may have to get a copy through interlibrary loan.

I have watched scenes of the older film featuring the songs I Wanna Be Like You and especially The Bare Necessities.

So seeing the 2016 version, done with special effect animals and scenery, plus a real boy (Neel Sethi as Mowgli) in the center of the action, was a very different experience. The technological challenge was daunting for director Jon Favreau, who has piloted such diverse fare as Iron Man and Chef.

He succeeded.

My wife claims that I flinched more in this film that the three of us saw at Albany’s Madison Theatre on Sunday than she can recall, especially with the appearances of angry tiger Shere Khan (voiced by Idris Elba). I recognized right away the voice of Bill Murray as the crafty bear Baloo, and that was actually a relief after all the action that had taken place up to that point.

All the voice actors were quite fine: Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, the panther; Lupita Nyong’o as Mowgli’s wolf mother, Raksha; Giancarlo Esposito as Akela, the wolves’ father; and Scarlett Johansson as the snake Kaa. The late Gary Shandling had a small role as Ikki, the porcupine. Even Favreau got into the act as a pygmy hog, and used his kids Madeline and Max as Raquel the rhino and a young wolf.

Still, the standout, both visually and aurally, may be King Louie, voiced by Christopher Walken, who’s seeking the “red flower.” My spouse, who’s not a Walken fan, even said so. This is NOT Walt’s Louie.

If The Daughter had been five, I believe this film would have terrified her, but as a tween, she’s more impervious to scary movie action.

This is a fine film. Read SamuraiFrog’s review.

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 10.52.08 PM

Louisville doctor says breakthrough treatment could wipe out cancer in a decade. Even better, one of the subjects in the story is my friend Eddie, the Renaissance Geek!

Keefknight Cartoon: Colon. One of my brothers-in-law died from colorectal cancer in 2002, at the age of 41.

Why I Left the Right: How Studying Religion Made Me a Liberal.

The White House Welcomes Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church. See this powerful documentary in full (60 minutes).

The Disappearing Soldier.

Kintsugi: The Art of Embracing Damage.
Read the rest of this entry »

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