A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..
I was never really a fan of the CBS series King of Queens, which originally aired from 1998 to 2007. However in the ensuing years I have watched it occasionally in syndication, and star Kevin James has gone on to a mildly amusing film career. So last year when James returned to television in a new series called Kevin Can Wait I watched a few episodes before quickly losing interest. I guess former King of Queens co-star Leah Remini did a guest spot on a couple of episodes of Kevin Can Wait near the end of Season 1, and the ratings spiked a bit…enough for the powers-that-be to offer Remini a permanent role. Okay, fair enough. But in order to accomplish this “retooling” of the series the producers decided to fire James’ new TV wife and kill off her character. I tuned into the Season 2 premier of Kevin Can Wait and have two observations. First of all, the once beautiful Remini has now apparently been frequenting the same type of Botox provider that ruined the formerly lovely face of Meg Ryan. Either that or she had a stroke that I didn’t hear about. Secondly, the way the departure of the wife was written…with a time jump and barely mentioning her “death”…was awkward, badly conceived & executed, and disrespectful to the actress. I had already become disinterested in the show because it was boring, but now I am actively cheering for its demise. Shame on you Kevin James, and shame on everyone involved in the debacle.
This is Liz Soeiro, a librarian at Cambridgeport Elementary School in Massachusetts. Ms. Soeiro recently rejected a book donation by First Lady Melania Trump, referring to works by Dr. Seuss as “steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes”. Theodore Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) died in 1991, so if he was a racist surely someone would have figured it out long ago. I’m not sure when this photo was taken, but Ms. Soeiro didn’t appear to have a problem with Dr. Seuss at the time. Perhaps it would be more accurate to surmise that her issue isn’t with Dr. Seuss at all, but rather with President Trump. Maybe the next time someone wants to donate books to the Cambridgeport school library they should send copies of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto. They might be a little heavy for the children, but I have a feeling the librarian would enjoy them immensely.
Ten years ago I wrote a bucket list of sorts called 45 Things to Do Before the Age of 45. Then on my 40th birthday I did an assessment, at that point looking back on my intentions with a blend of bemusement & melancholy. And now, as I am on the verge of actually turning 45 years old, all I can think is how fast a decade has flown by. Goals change. Life happens. I’m glad I made the list. There are still things that I want to accomplish, but I realize that some of the stuff I wrote down while lying in a hospital bed all those years ago (though it seems like just last week) are largely unattainable for various reasons, and I think I am okay with that. God has blessed me. Oftentimes I am too stubborn to understand that, to my detriment. Some aspects of my life haven’t turned out the way I hoped they might back when I was in college, but that’s mostly on me. I kind of feel like Rocky Balboa in the first film. I might not achieve victory in the traditional sense, but I keep getting back up and have thus far remained in the battle. To paraphrase 2 Timothy, I have fought the good fight. The race isn’t finished, but I am determined to keep the faith.
One of my bucket list items…one that I have been fixated on for many years…is to visit Las Vegas. In light of recent events one might assume that those plans have changed…but they have not. Let’s be honest…ever since September 11, 2001 most of us have looked at the world a little differently. We exercise a bit more caution and maybe hesitate to put ourselves in certain situations. In some cases it might be excessive fear & paranoia, but mostly I think it is simply judicious restraint. That being said, we still have to live our lives. Take that vacation. Go to the concert or ballgame or wherever else large crowds gather for merriment. Have fun. Be smart, but don’t hide. Artistic types like the Hollywood folks you see on TV & in movies tend to be right brain dominant, meaning they react emotionally. They are the ones that want to spit all over our Constitutional rights every time something tragic happens, and are precisely the kind of keyboard tough guys for which Twitter was tailor made. More logical thinkers understand that evildoers like this guy that shot up a country music concert in Vegas are…duh…breaking existing law and would do so no matter how many additional laws were on the books. I don’t want to dive into conspiracy theories or break down details of the tragedy…this is not the time or place and I am not the right person to do that sort of thing. Neither am I suggesting that we sweep the situation under the rug, throw our hands up, & say “ah well…c’est la vie”. However, I do hope that all the facts come out, mature adults can have necessary discussions, and reasonable decisions are made based on logic & wisdom…not emotion.
Speaking of television…
A colleague & I were having a discussion about TV shows…specifically the recent trend of remaking/rebooting/reviving shows like Dallas, Full House/Fuller House, Will & Grace, American Idol, Gilmore Girls, Boy/Girl Meets World, & MacGyver. As we were talking we both stumbled upon a revelation about the sly brilliance of the Netflix business model. I had just binged watched the first half of Season 3 of Fuller House, and I was reminded of Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, who once opined that “starting to watch a television show that might run for years isn’t a decision to take lightly”. Now I grant you, with DVR & other technologies things are a bit easier than when I was a kid. Back then if you forgot to set the VCR you had to wait for summer reruns to catch a missed episode. But the thought process is still accurate. Though television seasons seem to be somewhat shorter now than a couple of decades ago the fact remains that once one becomes interested in a show you are going to be watching it once a week every week for several months, and I’m not sure our collective attention span is capable of that these days. Netflix skips all of the hassle by releasing an entire season (or atleast a half season) all at once. I asked myself if I would have stuck with corny nonsense like Fuller House if it would have required a long term commitment, and I think the answer (based in part on how fast I lost interest in Girl Meets World a few years ago) is no. But binge watching a whole season during a sleepless night or rainy weekend…yes, I am glad for the short term distraction. Well played Netflix…well played indeed.