Monday, January 30, 2017


The only time Sinatra deigned to light a
cigarette for someone who didn't
break legs for a living.
Ever since Frank Sinatra helped throw the 1960 Presidential election toward JFK's boudoir, show folk have believed that they have the duty not only to tell people who to vote for, but that everyone cares enough about them that they'll stop whatever they're doing to listen.

(Now, this sarcasm doesn't include my friends in L.A., Leo, Betsy, and Jim. There's always a chair waiting for them at the Casa Fish-Eye dining room table anytime they tire of 75-degree sunny skies for 32-degree, 70% chance of snow.)

President Trump's decision to temporarily stop immigration from Muslim countries was ripe as a Georgia peach for a topic at last night Screen Actor's Guild Awards. 

You know the SAG Awards, right? They have the only award -- the Actor -- named after themselves. Because being an actor is the greatest thing possible. And who better to start the revolution in his opening remarks than the noted prince of perspicacity, that baron of brilliance, Ashton Kutcher?

“Good evening, fellow SAG-AFTRA members and everyone at home – and everyone in airports that belong in my America!", he bellowed in his best I'm-really-more-mature-than-I-look voice. "You are a part of the fabric of who we are and we love you and we welcome you!” 

The Ghandi of
Beverly Hills.
By the way, Ashton, maybe it's because you fly in private jets and, thus, never have to actually stand in NSA security lines or wait for all passengers to board before taking off to whatever gated tropical home you're vacationing in, but airport TVs are tuned to CNN, not TBS. The only exception to the CNN rule I've ever encountered was during a layover at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, which was devoted elusively to Fox News. (The West Coast isn't the only place that plays into stereotypes.)

Or does he think that refugees from war and theocratic nations, having been suddenly rejected from the promised land, are saying to each other, Hey, let's watch the SAG awards on our $800 iPhones before we go back to our certain beheadings! 

As for the "fabric of who we are" -- well, that fabric doesn't exactly fit the people who run Hollywood's TV and movie studios in the 21st century, which is still proudly white, male, and American-born. Refugees are welcomed to Beverly Hills, alright -- to trim lawns, wash dishes, and wipe baby's asses.

Show biz's yearning for exclusiveness, in fact, was rather muted when anyone who was anti-abortion was barred from joining the recent Million Women March in Washington. Those women were forced into a segregated march of their own.

It was kind of like when black women at NASA weren't allowed to dine with their white colleagues in the cafeteria -- just as was portrayed in Hidden Figures, which won the SAG award for Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture.  

I'm not one of the "shut up and sing" people who are unable to separate politics from the person. As far as I'm concerned, show folk can keep yakking until the grass-fed cows come home. But if they embraced irony in their work as much as they did in real life, every movie would be The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Just not as good.


Personal notes to my Hollywood friends: 

Betsy: Keep fighting the good fight regarding the SAG-AFTRA voiceover strike. Don't cave like the writers did in 2008.

Leo: You were robbed at the ACE Awards. (I don't know if you were nominated, but you should have been.)

Jim: I'm still available for freelance work!

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