Tuesday, August 14, 2018

KKK Recruitment Packages Distributed in Sioux Falls, Iowa

Every few months, recruitment pamphlets for the Ku Klux Klan show up around Iowa. The latest batch was distributed in Sioux Falls, which is in the northeast corner of the state. Typically, they have simply been pieces of paper with web addresses. Not this bunch.

These KKK fliers are kept in a plastic bag, complete with informational materials, a KKK recruitment poster, and candy.

It seems that multiple Sioux Falls residents woke up to KKK recruitment fliers and candy on their driveways and on their sidewalks.

It's not clear how many KKK packets were found over the weekend in Sioux Falls, but they aren't illegal -- even if they are intimidating to those traditionally targeted by the Klan.

Jon's Blog Daily Meme: The Social Worker You Want to Have

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Remembering Mrs. Garrett's First Visit to Eastland Academy in "Diff'rent Strokes"

I'm still smarting a bit following the news of Charlotte Rae's recent passing. I turned on the television earlier this afternoon and immediately noticed that MeTV is doing a series of tribute episodes of different programs that featured her work, including the first episode of "The Facts of Life," an episode of "The Love Boat," and the final episode of "Diff'rent Strokes" season one. I know that I must have seen this episode -- titled "Girls School," but I really don't remember watching it. This is the episode that first introduced Mrs. Garrett and the TV viewers to Eastland Academy.

Here is the set-up: Kimberly Drummond apparently goes back and forth between her home and her boarding school. Because why wouldn't you? Her dorm mother was chased from the school by its obnoxious headmaster, Mr. Crocker, and somebody needs to help Kimberly make costumes for a really bad school play. So she recruits her family's maid, Mrs. Garrett, and brings her to her dorm to meet all of her friends.

And all of her friends are pretty much everyone from "The Facts of Life" season one: Nancy, Sue-Anne, Blair, Tootie, and Molly. Plus some chick named Jennifer. But no Natalie or Cindy. And don't even think of asking about Jo. She won't be around for a couple more years!

Mrs. Garrett is given a bunch of costumes to sew and very little time to do it. That doesn't stop her from reading the badly-written script, sparring with the headmaster, and digging into Nancy's private family business. It seems that Nancy's father just lost his job and she'll need to leave Eastland at the end of the school term. So Mrs. Garrett spends half of the program trying to convince Mr. Crocker that he should dig up a bunch of money for a special scholarship to keep Nancy around until she graduates.

Which is more than she ever did during the numerous episodes for poor Jo struggled to pay for her own tuition! I mean, Mrs. Garrett and Jo were tight. They worked together. They lived together. They laughed together. They ate together.

Mrs. Garrett just met Nancy and she was already pulling strings with the Drummonds and the Eastland hierarchy to keep the girl around! I guess money really does matter!

"Girls School" featured a self-centered, obnoxious headmaster named Mr. Crocker. He re-wrote "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and tried passing it off as his own. He was rude to the students, to Mrs. Garrett, and to pretty much anyone else. It doesn't surprise me that he didn't last very long at the school!

Anyway, that was our first glimpse of Eastland Academy -- and the first indications that Edna Garrett was ready to be more than a housekeeper! She was asked to come to the school to be the girls' new dorm mother. And she initially declined the offer. But she was back within six months!

Jon's Blog Daily Meme: Jaws VS Meg

Speaking of "The Meg...":

Saturday, August 11, 2018

"The Meg" Makes Its Film Debut -- And Why I Won't Be Watching It

"The Meg" debuted this weekend. It's the story of a group of scientists who fight to overcome a prehistoric megalodon shark that has burst into society and begun eating all sorts of people.

I read "MEG: A Novel of Deep Terror" back in the late 90s, which spawned this movie. In the book, a pregnant megalodon got pulled to the surface waters from deep within the Mariana Trench and began eating all sorts of people and marine life. Mama Meg is eventually killed, but Baby Meg is captured so that earth's scientists can study it and learn all about prehistoric sharks.

I didn't realize it, but Baby Meg must have gotten loose because a whole series of sequel novels have been published since then, including "The Trench," "MEG: Primal Waters," "MEG: Hell's Aquarium," "MEG: Origins," "MEG: Night Stalkers," "MEG: Generations," and "MEG: Purgatory."

I'm sure that "The Meg" is a wonderful shark movie. But I'm choosing to avoid it. Largely because of this silliness from the trailer:

In case you can't tell, a couple has gotten married and they are out in the ocean on a yacht. They then go swimming as a group. Their tiny dog is left unattended and jumps into the ocean. Everyone is oblivious to this. Or they think it's cute. The little dog swims deep into the ocean and Meg appears.

I have no clue if the dog lives or dies. I have no clue if the wedding party lives or dies. I just think that it's largely reckless and irresponsible for this dog to be out in the ocean for any reasons.

Let's pretend that Meg doesn't actually exist. There are regular sharks in the ocean. There are other sea predators in the ocean. There are currents in the ocean. And there is the strong likelihood that the dog will sink into the water from exhaustion if it actually swam that far from the ship.

I just hate films that display horrific treatment to dogs. I really do. And I totally realize that it's fiction. But it's fiction that can easily be reenacted in real life -- and with little consequence. I refuse to watch "Urban Legend" for the same reason.

It sounds like lots of other people are watching "The Meg" and I hope they do well. I mean, lots of people invested a lot of time, money, and talent into making this movie. I just won't be one of those watching it.

Money Talks Imperil Future of "Star Trek 4"

It's unclear whether or not there will be a "Star Trek 4" movie after money talks have broken down between actors Chris Pine and Chris Hamsworth (who played Captain James T. Kirk and George Kirk, respectively) and Paramount Pictures and Skydance Media:
The deal points came down to the usual suspect: money. Pine and Hemsworth, among Hollywood’s A-list when starring in DC or Marvel movies, are said to be asking the studios to stick to existing deals. Paramount, according to insiders, contends that Trek is not like a Marvel or Star Wars movie and is trying to hold the line on a budget. The actors, according to sources, insist they have deals in place and that the studios are reneging on them, forcing them to take pay cuts as they try to budget a movie that is following a mediocre performer. Pine, at least, has had a deal in place for several years. The actor, now a key player in the Wonder Woman franchise, signed up for a fourth movie when he made his deal for 2016's Star Trek Beyond. Hemsworth has been attached to Trek 4 since Paramount, then run by the previous regime headed by Brad Grey, announced the fourth installment in 2016, although his exact status remains murky.
"Star Trek" made $386, "Star Trek Into Darkness" made $467, and "Star Trek Beyond" made $343.

Jon's Blog Daily Memes: Does Your Dog Have Park Tags?

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Iowa City: City Council Voting on Proposal to Tighten Laws Against Leaving Dogs in Hot Cars & Against Leaving Dogs Outside for Too Long

The City of Iowa City is looking at new legislation that would put more bite against pet owners who leave their pet in a hot car, or who leave the animal outside for an extended period of time. Currently, bad pet owners face a $10 fine for such situations. The proposed change would raise the fine to $100. The city is proposing that pet owners can only die their dog up outside for 30 minutes within a three hour period.

According to the Iowa City Animal Center, there have been 50 calls between May and August 1st about animals being left unattended in hot cars.

The Iowa City city council voted unanimously on this proposal earlier this week. They must vote on it two more times before it will get passed.

Jon's Blog Daily Meme: Housing