Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Taking TV watching way too seriously

I just read an article about actual complaints to the FCC about skits on Saturday Night Live in the past few years (I read a lot of weird things.)  The following complaint about a skit on an October show featuring Bruno Mars, jumped out at me:

... Apparently this was a re-broadcast of a program aired at Halloween. There is a comedy skit which repeatedly referred to and then depicted anal sex, rape and bestiality involving a man dressed in a hairy, white Yeti costume. By the end of the skit, the victim of the sexual attack has a change of heart and is depicted as being convinced into accepting the rapist's love. I don't think women's rights groups would accept this type of depiction involving a woman today. I am offended by the gay acceptance message this skit portrays. The implication is clear, if we got past our fear and tried anal sex, we would like it and then accept it....

I always say - I wish I could be this funny

February 5, 1927 -
Buster Keaton's movie The General premiered on this date. Keaton's picture received both poor reviews by critics and weak box-office results when it first opened.

The film upon release was a box office disaster and received negative reviews.  In response to that, United Artist told Buster Keaton that he was now restricted to movie making. After this, the studio would not let him make his own movies, he had to do what the studio gave him to make.

February 5, 1936 -
Charlie Chaplin Little Tramp makes his final silent-film appearance, Modern Times, was released on this date.

This was one of the films which, because of its political sentiments, convinced the House Un-American Activities Committee that Charles Chaplin was a Communist - a charge he adamantly denied.

February 5, 1953 -
Walt Disney's 14th animated feature, Peter Pan, opens at Roxy Theater, on this date. This was the last Disney film released through RKO, as Walt Disney established his own distribution company, Buena Vista Distribution, by the end of 1953.

Walt Disney had been trying to buy the film rights to J.M. Barrie's play since 1935 having been smitten by a traveling production of the play when he was a child. The hold-up in negotiations was because Barrie had bequeathed the rights to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London. Disney finally secured the rights in 1939.

February 5, 1956 -
Don Siegel subversive take on 50's Communist paranoia, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, premiered on this date.

Don Siegel was very against the optimistic outcome of the movie, but the decision to give hope to the audience was forced upon him by the studio. Most people dislike the ending, agreeing with Siegel's original intention to end the film with Miles trying to warn people of the alien invaders, in vain.

February 5, 1967 -
The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour premiered on CBS-TV, on this date.

Mom actually liked both of them equally.

Today in History:
Today is Liberation Day in San Marino. Americans remain woefully misinformed about San Marino.

(American remain woefully misinformed about most countries that aren't located between Canada and Mexico, but today is only Liberation Day in San Marino, so let's not get off-topic.)

About seventeen-hundred years ago, during an epic game of hide and seek, Marinus the Stonemason ran up Mount Titano in Italy to hide from the Roman Emperor Diocletian. It was a good hiding spot and he was never found. He started his own country to pass the time, and the Republic of San Marino survives to this day, an island of foreign nationals in the middle of Italy.

Citizens of San Marino are not San Mariners. They are Sammarinese.

The population of San Marino is about 25,000. The population of San Marino, California, is about 13,000.

The California town was named in 1878 by James de Barth Shorb, who had built his home there and didn't think people would go for Shorbtown. Instead, he named it after the Maryland town in which he'd been born.

That was reportedly San Marino, Maryland, which the California town's website claims to have been named "for the tiny European republic."

There is no Maryland town named San Marino. (If there is, they haven't yet made their presence felt on Google.) Foul play is obviously afoot.

Proceed with caution.

February 5, 1783 -
A large earthquake in Calabria, Italy leaves 50,000 dead on this date.

Luckily none of my wife's or a good friend of mine forebearers were involved or they wouldn't be here.

February 5, 1816 -
Rossini's opera Barber of Seville premieres in Rome on this date.

It was one of the earliest Italian operas to be performed in America and premiered at the Park Theater in New York City on November 25 1825.

February 5, 1914 -
William Seward Burroughs II, junkie, novelist, murderer, painter, professional sodomist and performer was born on this date.

Except for a couple of things on his CV, he is my hero (well him and Julia Child.)

February 5, 1919 -
Four of the leading figures in early Hollywood: Mary Pickford, Charles Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and D. W. Griffith, incorporated to form their own company to better control their own work as well as their futures. The company was United Artist.

Late in 2011 it was reparted thatt MGM reacquired its 100% stake in United Artists from Tom Cruise (and his group). 

February 5, 1940 -
Hans Ruedi Giger, Swiss painter, sculptor, and set designer best known for his design work on the film Alien, was spawned on this date.

He had a very happy childhood.

February 5, 1941 -
The SS Politician wrecked off the coast of the Isle of Eriskay in the Hebrides on this date. It carried some 20,000 cases of whisky, which the natives hid from customs agents.

The story was told in the 1947 book Whisky Galore by Compton Mackenzie. The book was made into a film in 1949. According to official files recently released by the British Home Office, there was nearly 290,000 ten shilling notes on board as well (this would be the equivalent of several million pounds at today's prices), not all of which was ever recovered.

And so it goes.

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