Kennedy Center Honors: Lear, Estefan, Richie…

The Kennedy Center Honors, which took place on Sunday, December 3, will be aired on CBS-TV on Tuesday, December 26 from 9-11 p.m., EST.

Carmen de Lavallade
When the announcement of this year’s Kennedy Center Honors were first announced, I was afraid it might not take place at all. When Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter called [Norman] Lear a few months ago to tell him about his selection, “Lear said he’d be thrilled to have it (at last!)”

But the television pioneer “just couldn’t abide the idea of standing in the White House shaking Trump’s hand. Days after the Kennedy Center announced this year’s honorees, Lear told reporters that he would boycott parts of the event.”

As it turned out, on August 19, 2017, “the White House announced that the President of the United States and the First Lady will not participate in 2017 Kennedy Center Honors activities.” The KCH reps were “grateful for this gesture.”

Norman Lear is the honoree I’m most familiar with. He was the creator and producer of several successful and groundbreaking TV sitcoms in the 1970s including All in the Family, Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, all of which I watched for most or all of their runs. And, at 95 he’s STILL working, putting out a new version of One Day at a Time, this iteration with a Hispanic cast.

I did not recognize the name Carmen de Lavallade, but I am quite familiar with two of her cohorts. She “is a multifaceted dancer, choreographer, actor, and teacher… De Lavallade brought [the late] Alvin Ailey to the studio for his first ballet class, which began a long career of collaboration between the two dance world giants.” Her late husband Geoffrey Holder “would choreograph works for [her], including her signature solo Come Sunday.” Here’s a recent profile of her on CBS Sunday Morning.

Lionel Richie has been a massively successful singer-songwriter, first with the group The Commodores (Easy, Brick House, Three Times a Lady) then as a solo artist (Truly, All Night Long, Hello). His duet with Diana Ross, Endless Love, spent nine weeks at #1 on the Billboard charts in 1981. He wrote Lady for Kenny Rogers, which reached #1 in 1980, and co-wrote the benefit single We Are the World in 1985. Richie was a staple on MTV in its early days.

In 2018, my wife and I will be seeing the musical On Your Feet at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady about the lives of Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio. Their group, the Miami Sound Machine, was big in Latin America but took a bit longer to break into the US market. When the band recording more in English, they started charting with won radio DJs over, and had massive success with songs like Conga!, Anything for You, 1–2–3, and Bad Boy. Theirs is a story of Cuban immigrants who “brought a Latin-infused sound to the American mainstream.”

I was a little surprised to see LL Cool J on the list. It’s not that he hasn’t been enormously successful as a hip hop artist that has crossed over to the mainstream with songs like Around the Way Girl, Hey Lover, Doin It, Luv U Better and Control Myself. It’s that his name doesn’t usually pop up on the list of the best or most influential hip-hop artists. Still, he has segued that musical success into a thriving acting career. He currently appears on NCIS: Los Angeles, which I must admit I’ve never seen.

The Kennedy Center Honors, which took place on Sunday, December 3, will be aired on CBS-TV on Tuesday, December 26 from 9-11 p.m., EST.

October Rambling: Enough with Dystopia; the Conservati​ve-to-Engl​ish Lexicon

from KUBE 93 Seattle Facebook page
from KUBE 93 Seattle Facebook page

My favorite website these days is The Weekly Sift. Sam Harris and the Orientalization of Islam and 7 Liberal Lessons of Ebola.

Sexual Assault in the Bakken Shale “Man Camps”.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Civil Forfeiture. “Oliver references a September report from The Washington Post, which states that, since 9/11, police have seized $2.5 billion in 61,998 cash seizures from people ‘who were not charged with a crime.’ ‘Under civil forfeiture laws, your property is guilty until you prove it innocent.'” Read more. And here’s another example

Modern art was CIA ‘weapon’.

The Forgotten Coup – How the US and Britain Crushed the Government of Their “Ally” Australia.

A Conservative​ve-to-Engl​ish Lexicon, 2nd edition.

Author Wants Southern States To Secede Over Gay Rights, Name New Country ‘Reagan’.

Whites riot over pumpkins in NH and Twitter turns it into epic lesson about Ferguson.

The Problem With That Catcalling Video.

A veteran teacher turned coach shadows 2 students for 2 days – a sobering lesson learned.

Condolences to my buddy Steve Bissette, whose dad passed peacefully on October 28.

The late Marcia Strassman was NOT happy on Welcome Back, Kotter.

Unfortunately, the cancer has returned for Eddie Mitchell, the Renaissance Geek. Send him a good thought.

How (Not) to Talk About Vaccines.

Atheist At A Funeral: A Contemplation In Four Hymns.

Want to see the Dole/Kemp 1996 campaign Web site? Dustbury notes that you still can see it and a lot more at the 4president.org site.

In an excerpt of The Republicans: A History of the Grand Old Party by American history professor Lewis L. Gould, he recounts the mid-’90s Republicans’ desperation to preserve their image — and how that desperation led them to impeach President Bill Clinton.

Chorus Nylander – Rebecca Jade Interview. Also, Brianna Cara, Angie Sagastume and Rebecca Jade sing the national anthem. Plus Help Rebecca Jade make a new album!

Cover versions you may not have known were covers.

Quincy Jones on Sinatra, Mentorship and His New Clark Terry Documentary.

2014 may be the first year ever with ZERO platinum-certified albums since they started the designation. But never underestimate Taylor Swift.

The Technical Constraints That Made Abbey Road So Good.

Chuck Miller: They’re tearing down 309 South Broad Street in Philadelphia.

Jeff Sharlet: The Writer Who’s Using Longform to Take Instagram to the Next Level. BTW, he recently sent me a pic of his late mom, his sister, himself and myself from c. 1979.

Ken Screven on being the only black kid in the class. I can relate; that was me for most of K-9.

Enough With Dystopias: It’s Time For Sci-Fi Writers To Start Imagining Better Futures. To that end, both SamuraiFrog and Jason Bennion recommend the new book by Jaquandor called Princesses in Space! Stardancer. Read all about it at his new site, ForgottenStars.net. Especially you, Uthaclena.

Speaking of Jaquandor, he reviews a book about minor league baseball that makes me want to read the tome. Or better still, go to a game. Cartoon: Why Baseball Is Better. Short audio: Take Me Out to the Ball Game – The Skeletons. Commercial: Throwing like a girl.

These Are the Grammar Rules You Don’t Need to Follow. Also, 10 Grammar Mistakes People Love To Correct (That Aren’t Actually Wrong). OK, but I just can’t say “data is…”

TV Legend Norman Lear: ‘Even This I Get To Experience’. He was the creative force behind All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons and many more programs.

The Nine Lives of ‘Saturday Night Live’.

Film Reviews by Cotton Mather.

Dull Men’s Club.

Playtex Living Spacesuits. Don’t think the movie has come out yet.

My computer screen went sideways this month, for some reason. I found how I turn it back: Try pressing Ctrl + Alt + UP Arrow Key, or try Ctrl + Alt + and a different Arrow Key.

SamuraiFrog’s alphabetical Muppet gallery includes Lenny the Lizard and Mr. Johnson (one of my FAVES) and Nutty Bird and Ohreally and the wonderful Prairie Dawn; the school plays on the latter are great. Plus Bill Cosby and the Muppets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLeUvZvuvAs&feature=share
Sesame Street: Janelle Monae- Power of Yet

John Cale & Brian Eno / Spinning Away

A mildly interesting story about Mark Evanier, Henry Kloss and home electronics. But this coda is even better.

The Strange History of Corn Flakes, which, being a cereal aficionado, I actually knew.

Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.

GOOGLE ALERTS (me)

Arthur writes about that Raven no racial/sexuality labels thing. (BTW, Cosmo responds to Raven.) He also muses about mayonnaise.

Dustbury notes the Tchotchke Index.

Jaquandor cites me watching MASH reruns.I also made his sentential links HERE.

Both Jaquandor and Dustbury are sad about the apparent cancellation of the Fantastic Four comic book.