Screenings, premieres and seeing people true stories are based on

So, I’m on my way to a baseball game, because the Washington Nationals have a deal where you can pay $75 for standing room tickets to all of the team’s home games in September. And as I’m about to go into the Metro, my brother calls and asks if I want to go to a special movie screening at the Newseum.

Let’s see: Use the $5 ticket to stand up for a nine-inning baseball game, or get in free on a movie that will cost $12 when it opens in D.C. theaters on Sept. 23. Movie it is.

But here’s where it gets strange (for me. I’m sure other people do this all the time and are used to it). It’s at the Newseum, and there’s an open bar. Free drinks!

Waiters are carrying around hors d’oeuvres. Free food!

And as we walk into the theater, there are boxes of popcorn and candy and bottled water. Free snacks!

So into the theater and head up to the cheap seats, because, like, it’s free and there’s no such thing as a cheap seat when you’re not paying anything. But someone comes along and asks us to move to one of the rows closer to the screen, because they don’t want the stars of the movie coming out to talk to empty seats up front. OK.

But before the movie, there are speeches.

So we get one from a Disney executive, since it’s a Disney movie.

Then we get one from a congresswoman from Brooklyn.

Then we get one from a congresswoman from California.

Then we get on from a senator from Delaware.

And all of them make it a point to recognize the senator from New Jersey sitting in the row in front of us.

(Is this how we do movie screenings in the nation’s capital?)

And when they’re done, they bring out two people who are the main subjects of the film, “Queen of Katwe,” based on a true story about a female Uganda chess prodigy.

And then the two stars of the movie: David Oyelowo, who was nominated for an Academy Award for playing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the movie “Selma” and Lupita Nyong’o, who won the Academy Award for “12 Years a Slave.”

Here’s the background trailer:

So this is the second time in a week that I’ve been to a performance where the subjects of the story actually show up at the event. Last week, it was at Ford’s Theatre (yeah, the place where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated) for the second night of a new musical about the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. (And yes I realize how potentially tasteless that sounds, and no, the name of the musical wasn’t “Springtime for bin Laden.”)

The musical, “Come From Away,” was very good and is headed to Broadway. It’s the story of how the citizens of Gander, Newfoundland, pulled together to take care of the people on the 38 passenger jets that were rerouted to the small island community when all of the air traffic to the United States was grounded. The special appearances were by the woman who was the captain for a Paris to Dallas American Airlines flight, and a middle aged couple (Brit man, Texas woman) who met and fell in love during their five days in Newfoundland and later got married.

Following the performance there was a half hour Q&A with the playwrights and the subjects of the musical.

(Oh, by the way. The Nats lost in 10 innings.)

The view from Trump Tower

1303ckcomic-view-from-trump-towerThis is a pretty accurate representation of how the soulless yam sees the rest of the world.

And just as a reminder: If you think the GOP could have come up with a more acceptable candidate for president, here’s a look at one of the last Republicans standing during the primaries, the governor from the land of the Saps (based on the above map):

John Kasich waded into the [New Hampshire] state primary last week, endorsing Republican Chris Sununu at the Legislative Office Building in Concord. The former presidential candidate then promptly stole the spotlight.

Following the announcement, the Ohio governor toured downtown Exeter with Sununu and his posse in tow. Inside a bookstore he didn’t much discuss Sununu’s candidacy. Instead he looked at the latest Harry Potter book and pondered why British actor Daniel Radcliffe is an atheist. Then he wondered aloud which Olympians would find success after the recent Rio games.

“You know that Daniel Radcliffe has declared himself an atheist?” Kasich said to no one in particular. “I’m serious. What a weird thing. Why would a guy who has had all that success just, I mean, what the hell is wrong with him?”

Yes, when they think of Harry Potter, some in the alt-right freak out over witchcraft:

But this guy talks about atheism.

And he was considered the sane Republican.

 

Decoded: Racist stereotypes that used to be the opposite

Let’s just say that somehow the racists still find a way to apply all of these stereotypes to African-Americans. Which can in itself be a loaded term, because Africa is a big continent, and it consists of black and white people.

Like how many of you refer to this person an African-American?

Yes, Charlize Theron is African American. She became an American citizen in 2007. She was born in South Africa, and when she won the Oscar for the 2003 movie “Monster,” it was considered an honor for the nation. Nelson Mandela said so, so it must be true.

Now if we ever become a land that elects a caramel clown for president, and people just like these two weren’t world famous but still had high moral character, which one do you think the alt-White/alt-Right folks would let in while claiming the other was a terrorist sympathizer?

That was a roundabout way of saying that the stereotypes in the first video aren’t applied to African Americans, they’re applied to blacks. And since all of these once ethnic stereotypes have been turned on their ear, repurposed into racial stereotypes, let’s deal with the fact that race, from a scientific standpoint, isn’t real:

And now that we’ve done our dissertation on skin color, let’s get to the issue that is guaranteed to further fuel the Trumpster fire that’s making America hate again.

Are Hispanics/Latinos white?

Well, yeah, there are whites who are of Latino heritage (I’m old. It’s going to take a while for me to reach Latinx).

One immediately comes to mind, and he’s a hero to the alt-racist crowd:

George Zimmerman says he acted in self-defence

That’s George Zimmerman. He’s the pseudo-Neighborhood Watch fascist who got away with murdering Trayvon Martin, a black kid headed to his father’s house, in 2012. Zimmerman was born in America (Virginia to be exact). His father is American and his mother came from Peru. But he was white until someone down in Florida decided to make him Latino so people would stop saying the murder was racist.

Which is was. And still is.

Hot enough for you?

8-21-mcfadden-vertical

So the denier lives until he’s 75. That seems to encourage denial, which I don’t think is the point of the cartoon.

How about this to scare you:

gl_sst_mm

Right now, there are eight tropical storms happening on the planet. One is about to hit Japan and two are headed in the direction of Hawaii. Four are hurricanes (typhoons, cyclones, whatever you want to call them). Notice how they’re all around the red band? That’s because the oceans are warming and that allows the storms to build.

We are on track for the hottest year in recorded history. The coasts are going to be underwater sooner than you realize.

Just ask the people in Louisiana.

The hard-boiled sons of Emmitt Till

Sixty one years ago today, whites in Money, Miss., murdered a 14-year-old boy in Money, Miss., for whistling at  a white woman. He was from Chicago, visiting family for the summer. His name was Emmitt Till:

They put Till in the back of a pickup truck and drove to a barn at the Clint Shurden Plantation in Drew. Till was pistol-whipped and placed in the bed of the pickup truck again and covered with a tarpaulin. Throughout the course of the night, Bryant, Milam, and witnesses recall their being in several locations with Till. According to some witnesses, they took Till to a shed behind Milam’s home in the nearby town of Glendora, where they beat him again and tried to decide what to do. Witnesses recall between two and four white men and two and four black men who were either in or surrounding the pickup truck where Till was seated. Others passed by Milam’s shed and heard someone being beaten. Accounts differ as to when Till was shot; either in Milam’s shed or by the Tallahatchie River. The group drove with him in the truck to Bryant’s store, where several people noticed blood pooling in the truck bed. Bryant explained he killed a deer, and in one instance showed the body to a black man who questioned him, saying “that’s what happens to smart niggers”.

In an interview with William Bradford Huie, published in Look magazine in 1956, Bryant and Milam said they intended to beat Till and throw him off an embankment into the river to frighten him. They told Huie that while they were beating Till, he called them bastards, declared he was as good as they, and had had sexual encounters with white women. They put Till in the back of their truck, drove to a cotton gin to take a 70-pound (32 kg) fan—the only time they admitted to being worried, thinking that by this time in early daylight they would be spotted and accused of stealing—and drove for several miles along the river looking for a place to dispose of Till. They shot him by the river and weighted his body with the fan.

His mutilated body was recovered and taken to his mother in Chicago. Where she held an open casket funeral so the world could see what the white Mississippians did to her boy. Thousands viewed the body. It was one of the major events of the civil rights era.

There was a trial, but this is Mississippi in the 1950s. The murderers were found not guilty.

They were murderers though. Several months after the trial, they were interviewed by Look Magazine. Here’s what one of them said:

Well, what else could we do? He was hopeless. I’m no bully; I never hurt a nigger in my life. I like niggers—in their place—I know how to work ’em. But I just decided it was time a few people got put on notice. As long as I live and can do anything about it, niggers are gonna stay in their place. Niggers ain’t gonna vote where I live. If they did, they’d control the government. They ain’t gonna go to school with my kids. And when a nigger gets close to mentioning sex with a white woman, he’s tired o’ livin’. I’m likely to kill him. Me and my folks fought for this country, and we got some rights. I stood there in that shed and listened to that nigger throw that poison at me, and I just made up my mind. ‘Chicago boy,’ I said, ‘I’m tired of ’em sending your kind down here to stir up trouble. Goddam you, I’m going to make an example of you—just so everybody can know how me and my folks stand.’

Today, this guy would be called a member of the alt-Right. He’d attend a rally for a megalomaniacal yam, chanting “Make America Great Again,” and throwing sucker punches at people standing quietly holding a copy of the U.S. Constitution in their hands.