Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Youth, Beauty and Strength Cause Predictable, Boring, Bi-Partisan Angst

‘Consider for a moment, the way mainstream media – on the right AND left – worked itself up into a frenzy over Hillary Clinton’s bout of pneumonia during the 2016 presidential election. Honestly, I still have unresolved anger toward MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow for devoting her entire show to Hillary’s 9/11 Memorial fainting spell the Monday after it occurred. Clinton set global flying records during her time as Secretary of State. This same badass endured hours of pointless Benghazi testimony WITH A CONCUSSION, yet was compared unfavorably on the vitality scale with a fat, orange septuagenarian who sniffs his way through televised remarks. Talk about a nothingburger of journalistic malpractice.

But I digress…

The preoccupation with Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez on the right is the same old toxic brew of fear and lust that any intelligent, tough young woman must unfortunately learn to brush off early in her career. It’s sad, pathetic and exhausting, but not unexpected. I wish I could say that the criticism of AOC from the left comes from a completely unique place, but alas, no. Arrogant patronizing is just another tactic birthed by male insecurity.”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

Advertisements

NFL Postseason Preview: The Bears, the AFC South and the Perennial Patriots

“If you’re like me, you look forward to the day, like cycling’s Lance Armstrong, and baseball’s A-Rod before him, when Brady is exposed as the creative doper and career cheater that he is. I wrote it. Come at me bros.

Floatation therapy, my rosy red behind. The story of Tom Brady’s disgraced body coach and business partner Alex Guerreo is far from over, and there’s more to the quarterback’s anger surrounding it than the indignation of a close friend. But for now, we’ve no choice but to swallow the absurd notion that a 41 year-old man can take that many hits and stay at the top of his game, naturally, for 19 years.

While non-Patriot fans await the inevitable post-career schadenfreude that will accompany Brady’s public defrocking, as 2018 closes, we must wonder if any team can stop New England from marching through the playoffs. The Kansas City Chiefs still have a shot at the AFC’s Number One seed, and could end the Patriots Super Bowl hopes, even after losing their last two games. The team is that good.

And should the San Diego Chargers have to settle for Fifth Seed, I wouldn’t count them out of the Super Bowl running either. It would be quite satisfying to watch fellow old man Philip Rivers (37 years old), who led his team to six out of seven road victories this year, put the Patriots away at home.”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

La Ruta

The cast of ‘La Ruta’ at Steppenwolf Theater Company. (Photo: Michael Brosilow)

“With the world premiere production of La Ruta, written by Chicago playwright Isaac Gomez, the theater company burnishes its progressive reputation with another bold, beautiful and timely piece of art. A late 2018 look at the recent, intersectional history of North American trade, gender dynamics, gang warfare, and their collective impact on personal freedoms, director and ensemble member Sandra Marquez leads a stunningly talented all-female cast to an unmitigated dramatic victory.

It’s the late 1990s and NAFTA has created new opportunities and threats for the women living in Mexican border towns. Many of them make arduous bus commutes to work long hours for little pay in U.S.-owned factories. La Ruta — inspired by real testimonies — allows audiences to drop in on the stressful demands that keep them fighting, laughing, singing and working, while unseen men administer a metastasizing culture of fear, corruption and violence that clings to the periphery of every word and action.

In this Steppenwolf production, most of the live music is offered by guitarist, singer and actress Laura Crotte (Desamaya) who leads her fellow cast members through poignant, piercing musical interludes interwoven through the play’s action. A trobairitz (the feminine troubadour) for the late 20th century, the combination of Ms. Crotte’s musical gifts and acting talents result in a stunning visual soundtrack that penetrates the eyes and ears. Audiences are initially drawn in, then bid goodnight by the performer’s siren calls for love, peace and justice. There were more than a few misty eyes in the audience after this week’s first press opening, a testament to La Ruta’s powerful combination of song and drama.”

Read the complete review on The Broadway Blog.

Which GOP Hopeful Could Unseat Trump in the 2020 Primaries

“In light of Donald Trump’s no good, very bad week of scrutiny and informational drip courtesy of Robert Mueller’s investigation, it may be time to have a look at the Republican crowd. In the event that Trump has not already resigned in disgrace, nor been tossed from office via congressional impeachment proceedings, who will step up to challenge 45 directly? Believe it not, the GOP’s general kowtowing to, and enabling of Dear Leader notwithstanding, there are a few experienced, well-known names in the mix…

Given that the last and only candidate in American history to successfully unseat the sitting president of his party in primaries, then go on to win the nation election, was James Buchanan, any Republican challenger is bound to have tempered hopes. But until, um… very recently, Buchanan was also ranked as the most unpopular POTUS in our great nation’s antiquity.

That record stayed intact from the Civil War through January 2017, and records are made to be broken.”

Read the full post at Contemptor.

Cubs Pay Moral Cost for Tendering Contract to Russell

“Maybe the move shouldn’t have come as a surprise given management’s recent familiarity with dubious character trades, but for a number of Chicago Cub fans (including myself) it did. Last week, and five months before he is eligible to return from a Major League Baseball-mandated suspension for violating its domestic-violence policy, the Cubs tendered a contract to shortstop Addison Russell.

Yes, baseball is a business but the Cubs of this era have built a reputation for being the good, fun-loving guys – zoo days for the players at Wrigley Field, bullpen dances, “Try not to suck,” Anthony Rizzo’s 2017 Roberto Clemente Award, “#EverybodyIn.” The Cubs care about the community, each other, their fans. Not everything is about winning and the budget, right? For many female die-hards, however, as well as members of Wrigleyville Nation who belong to the LGBTQIA community, the team’s self-propelled narrative of moral rectitude is wearing a little thin.”

Read the full post at Wrigleyville Nation.

Familiar

(l to r) Cedric Young, Celeste M. Cooper, Ora Jones, Lanise Antoine Shelley, and Jacqueline Williams in ‘Familiar.’ (Photo: Michael Brosilow)

“Danai Gurira has built a Hollywood brand playing characters known for their physical and mental strength. In television shows such as AMC’s The Walking Dead, and blockbuster films like 2018’s Black Panther, Ms. Gurira commands attention with portraits of women who can love and be loved, while also kicking ass and making important decisions. Ms. Gurira has become an icon for the #MeToo era as women work to create safer, more powerful and public spaces for themselves, as well as a global HIV advocate. Who among us hasn’t fantasized about going full General Okoye on a street harasser?

Yet I confess that until recently, I was unaware of Ms. Gurira’s accomplishments as a prolific and celebrated playwright. Is there nothing this woman can’t do? I’m an excited fangirl all over again after attending the opening of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s newest production, a mounting of Ms. Gurira’s 2015 play, Familiar. With humor, sharp dialogue, physical comedy and, not incongruently, large helpings of emotional heft, the work engages questions of identity, family dynamics, and the immigrant experience.

All productions as successful as this one start with great source material. Familiar drops in on the Chinyaramwira family, Zimbabwe-Americans living in Minnesota. In climate and culture, the Midwestern locale couldn’t be more different from life in the African nation, and Ms. Gurira looks at a wide scope of contrasts with remarkable balance. For every obvious benefit of material wealth and comfort, the play argues, there’s a tradeoff. These various concessions are explored through the play’s philosophically diverse characters, and they are brought together through an enduring trope of emotional volatility: the family wedding.”

Read the full post at The Broadway Blog.

Problem Solvers Caucus Promotes Nothing but a Boring, Threatened White Male Narrative

“A coup led by mostly middle-aged white men, whose largest accomplishments involve the drafting of bi-partisan proposals on immigration, infrastructure and budget which crashed right into the immutability of right wing fanatics. How boring. How uninspiring. How behind the times. The PSC is the liberal(ish) answer to the Freedom Caucus, without the organic, kamikaze courage of its convictions.

The Problems Solvers Caucus’ only fundamental creed is a cynical nod to transcendence of country over party, serving to reinforce the cultural trope of the white male savior. The only true road to sober, moral leadership runs right through the Caucasian male middle – ideologically and geographically.  What a scam. I might enjoy watching the PSC’s floundering futility a lot more, if it didn’t carry with it millennia of painfully racist, misogynist, subjugated baggage.”

Read the full post at Contemptor.