Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few days, you’ve heard the sordid saga of Roseanne.  She starred in a rebooted version of her old Roseanne show and it was a big hit, landing on the top three of TV shows being seen, according to Nielsen ratings.

And then she threw it all away by tweeting a racist statement regarding ex-Obama official Valerie Jarrett.  (You can read some of the shenanigans here).

Tom Arnold, Roseanne’s ex-husband, appeared on CNN and offered his opinion about this situation, which you can read about here.  In so many words he states that he isn’t surprised by what happened and implies it is his opinion Roseanne is self-destructive person who was bound to blow up the good that was created.

My 0.02 cents?

I feel for Roseanne.

I think there’s something broken within her.  Further, I worry she suffers from either mental problems and/or medication (self or prescribed) problems.  Mind you, I’ve got little more than suspicions regarding this (though her pointing out that she was taking Ambien as an “excuse” -a lame one at that- for her racist tweet indicates she is indeed taking at least one medication).

If she isn’t already, Roseanne needs to see someone, whether it be a psychiatrist or psychologist, and look into what is going on within her.

I’m not a fan of Roseanne’s show.  Indeed, I’ve never seen one full episode of the original or new series and therefore will not miss it now that its gone.

However, as destructive as Roseanne has been to her career, one has to feel sympathy for those who worked on the show, both in front of and behind the cameras, only to suddenly find themselves without work despite being in an incredibly successful show.

A great shame.

Sketchin’ 74

I’d already made a picture based on the 1941 Tom Tyler starring Captain Marvel serial but, given I’m currently doing some serial favorites, figured I’d give it another go.

If there’s one serial modern audiences may want to see it’s this one, which features a hero that is more in line with Dirty Harry than the more quippy/humorous heroes so popular today.  Hard to believe this serial debuted only three years following the first appearance of Superman in Action Comics #1 (1938) and a mere year after Captain Marvel’s first appearance in Whiz Comics #2 (1940).

Even more incredible are the serial’s special effects which, though not all that great by today’s standards, are remarkably good given the year it was released.  Recommended… though I wouldn’t encourage anyone to sit through the whole thing at one go!

What is wrong with these people…?

Over at there’s a report by Mary Papenfuss regarding…

Florida Cop in trouble after wishing car accident on gun violence protest

Essentially, a Florida policeman decided it would be clever to slam school shooting survivor David Hogg, who was behind a “die in” event at the Publix groceries due to the fact that the company was giving money to a pro-gun candidate (they have since stopped) and posted the following:

I hope some old lady loses control of her car in that lot. Jus sayin …

First: David Hogg has become something of a boogeyman to the NRA.  Why?  Because he has them scared.  He -and a few others- are the face of a movement that may be hard to slow, that of young people who are fed up with the many school shootings and idiotic (at best) “responses” from the politician regarding these tragedies.  They demand legislation to rein in the too-many and too-powerful weapons out there and the noise they’ve made is being heard.

Second: Even if you are a rabid 2nd Amendment type, this is the essence of free speech and, yes, democracy: You protest peacefully and you make yourself heard.  You do this because you strive for change.  In the case of Mr. Hogg and others like him, you do this because you don’t want to see any more young people like him die senselessly in another school shooting tragedy.

Let me repeat this: He doesn’t want there to be more school shootings.  He doesn’t want there to be more senseless deaths.  And what he’s doing, whether you like it or not, is not resulting in anyone getting hurt.  Indeed, the only thing that seems to be hurt are some people’s egos.

Such as, I suppose the policeman who posted that tweet.


Solo: A Star Wars Story’s (2018) release

Frank Pallota over at notes that the Memorial Day release of Solo: A Star Wars Story hasn’t exactly been a box office juggernaut:

Solo: A Star Wars Story disappoints at the box office

According to the article, the movie drew in approximately $101 million, a decent amount but far lower than the hoped for $150+ million that was originally estimated.  Interestingly, over at Box Office Mojo they list the movie’s three day weekend take at a lower $83 million, but I’m not certain if their estimate does not take into account today’s date (it is Memorial Day, after all) and thus is a lower amount.

Regardless, the movie hasn’t done all that well, especially given its a Star Wars movie and, equally oddly, the reviews for it were generally positive.

Count me, though, among those who isn’t terribly surprised.

No, I’m not some kind of movie release guru or have psychic powers (how I wish!), it just seemed there were many factors working against the movie almost from the get-go.

To begin, the movie’s troubled production -it was originally being directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie, 22 Jump Street) but they clashed with the powers that be at Disney and were essentially fired from the production and replaced, hastily, with Ron Howard.  Rumor had it that the movie was nearly done with its principle photography by that point.  There was also word that actor Alden Ehrenreich wasn’t doing all that well stepping into Harrison Ford’s shoes and was given acting lessons while the movie was filming (I don’t know if I believe this… seems a particularly nasty rumor and smells a bit like someone who has a real beef with the actor trying to hit him where it hurts).

In some ways, that element reminded me of what happened with the Justice League film.  Initiated under the direction of Zack Snyder, he left the production (or was fired, yet more rumors) after his adopted daughter committed suicide and the movie was taken over by Josh Whedon, who went on to remake much of the film and released what was a decent, if obviously very different work from what Mr. Snyder would have likely given us.

Justice League underperformed as well, and my feeling is that those early news of a troubled production had to weigh on potential filmgoers’ minds as they did with Solo.

But there’s more.

Solo also has the misfortune of being released at the tail end of two very big hero/effects films: Avengers Infinity Wars and Deadpool 2.

In fact, it seems in retrospect rather silly to release so many films like these one on top of the other.  I’m noticing, for instance, that Avengers Infinity Wars, after a red hot initial release, has cooled down considerably at the box office and drew in “only” $16 million in its fourth week of release.  It appears almost spent at this point.  Similarly, Deadpool 2 came out of the gate hot but not quite as hot as was hoped, and I can’t help but wonder if maybe being released so soon after the Avengers film that too didn’t suck up the oxygen in the box office as well.

You see, there are only so many dollars out there to be made in films and if we have three very big films targeted to the same audience released at roughly the same time, the audience might have to pick and choose which one they will see, and the end result might be a sense of box office “failure” that might not be the case had more care been made toward finding an appropriate release date.

Finally, and as mentioned in the original CNN article I linked to, there is a worry that people might have a “fatigue” toward Star Wars properties.  It’s a logical concern: Too much of a “good” think might prove, in the long run, not so good.

You can certainly oversaturate a fan base and it is possible this is what may be happening.  On the other hand, the film comes very shortly after the release of The Last Jedi which, to many fans, left them with a source taste in their mouth and this too could have dissuaded some people who otherwise might have given the movie a look to skip it.  At least for now.

(Apropos of nothing, I have a copy of Last Jedi and plan to see it soon enough.  The back and forth -those that are well thought out and not just trolling- among fans of the film and detractors certainly has me curious)

Regardless, I’ll probably skip Solo for now and catch it later on when it reaches home video.  Which is, coincidentally, what I’ll likely do with Infinity Wars.

Sketchin’ 73

Released in 1942, Spy Smasher is a serial based on a then very popular comic book series by the same name.  Which goes to show, some of the comic book characters so popular today in film might one day be, for the most part, forgotten.

I personally loved this serial and watched all three and a half hours of it a number of years ago.  It was remarkably brisk, full of adventure/fistfights/car chases and seemed to never let up, even if the story’s logic wasn’t… er… very logical.

One of the more amusing things about watching it in one sitting was that after a while I realized the film’s makers were using the same city blocks for much of their outdoor action, and because the serial was as long as it was, I began to get an understanding of the layout of these city blocks.

So much so that in a later episode, our heroes are filmed from street level rushing out of a building, running down the steps and to a waiting car, then driving away at full speed.  Then they come to a screeching halt before another building and rush out…

Only by that point I knew the building they just arrived at lay directly across the street from the building they emerged from!

Fun times…! 😉

Maybe getting an Echo isn’t such a great idea after all…

Rachel Withers at reports on how…

Alexa recorded a couple’s private conversation and sent it to a contact

The headline essentially gives the whole story away, but I’ll offer the following from the article itself:

A former smart-home enthusiast, named only as Danielle … and her husband recently received a call from her husband’s employee in Seattle, telling them to unplug their Echo immediately. The employee then went on to tell the couple that he had received recordings of their (mercifully) mundane chitchat—a conversation about hardwood floors, which Danielle and her husband had been having.


The big question for those who own one of these devices is: How exactly did this happen!?

When I read the article yesterday, there was no clear answer.  Apparently, one has now been offered by parent company Amazon:

Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like “Alexa.” Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a “send message” request. At which point, Alexa said out loud “To whom?” At which point, the background conversation was interpreted as a name in the customers contact list. Alexa then asked out loud, “[contact name], right?” Alexa then interpreted background conversation as “right”. As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely.

Sounds like a lot of things had to go “right” for this screwy situation to happen.

I dunno.

Then again, the Echo is extremely popular -and has been since its release!- and this is the first time such a strange occurrence has happened.

Still, be careful what you say around your Echo!

Oh… NFL…

Mike Freeman offers the following article at regarding the new NFL policy regarding players kneeling during the National Anthem.  Based on the article’s title, I dare you to guess where he stands on this issue:

Scared NFL makes epic mistake with Anthem policy

The bottom line is this: After a year of Trump jawing about how players who kneel during the National Anthem are somehow “disrespecting” the American flag (they are not), the NFL, under fearless leader Roger Goodell (how does he keep his job?!) decided they would fine any team whose players kneel during the Anthem.

Yep.  That’ll solve everything.


I understand some people feel it is disrespectful to kneel during the Anthem.  Fine.  But if you can remove your angst about that visual for one second, consider why these people are doing this.  Perhaps, with just a little empathy, you may come to realize their actions are rooted in a very just cause and, further, their actions are the definition of benign and *gasp* peaceful.  I mean, I could understand the angst if the players dropped their pants and mooned the cameras or gave the ol’ “one gun salute” during the Anthem, but they are not doing that.

You are bothered by the actions because you’ve allowed yourself to be bothered by them.

I used to really, really love watching professional Football.  Nowadays, with article after article about the extent of damage playing this sport causes to player’s brains, the bizarre rules and rule changes, the way the league muffed domestic abuse, and now this…

…well, if the NFL fears losing viewers, they might want to look within.  From my perspective -and mine alone!- they’re already doing a great job at it all by their lonesome.

Oh… Elon…

Found this article by Seth Fiegerman and presented on

Elon Musk wants to rate journalists.  He’d call his site Pravda

I like the things Mr. Musk has done.  I’d like to think if I had his money -and genius!- I’d want to do something like what he’s done.  Push for the abolition of combustion engines by creating very good electric cars.  Work on batteries/battery packs that, in conjunction with solar panels -which he’s also working on!- may one day replace the need for power plants.  Work hard on creating economical ways of exploring space.  Heck, even his Boring Company’s work on creating efficient, high speed underground subway systems is something worth pursuing!

All worthy goals and, while there are certainly setbacks here and there, one has to admire the man’s scope and drive.

But, come on Mr. Musk -and if I could be so bold as to offer this advice- don’t have such a thin skin about journalists.

Given the very high profile you have in the world, there will be people who second guess and, yes, outright talk negatively about the things you’re doing.

The way to shut them up is not by showing yourself to be thin skinned -and create this silly “Pravda” crap- but by constantly improving your product until everyone benefits from them.

Take a moment to relax and let that stuff go, then prove them wrong with your new and better releases.