Monday, February 29, 2016

Pat Robertson Counsels Grandmother: Avoid Your Lesbian Granddaughter's Wedding!

CBN's "700 Club" had been less obsessed with homosexuality during the past month, but their ratings must have slipped a bit because suddenly they've been making digs against gay people and families on the television ministry.

The most recent example happened during today's Bring It On segment when co-host Terry Meeuwsen shared the following question by a viewer named Alice: "My granddaughter claims she is a lesbian after being raped 5 years ago. I've heard she is planning a wedding in March. I'm at a loss on how to support my son, his wife, and other family members. Should I go to the wedding -- hate the sin and love the sinner? I've prayed and prayed without any sense of direction. What are your thoughts?"

Here is Pat's response:
Pat Robertson: My thought is... I know you're supposed to love her, so by all means let her know that you love her but you cannot participate in a ceremony that you feel is wrong and violates your religious beliefs. And to go to that, you're denying what is very important to you. So you need to tell the granddaughter, "Look, I love you. I'm with you. I think what your doing is wrong and I cannot participate in your wedding." Period.
Just recently, Pat was asserting that gay people don't know real love. His efforts to counsel people away from the evidence of same-gender love and romance and to wedge distance between LGBT people and our hetero loved ones just serves to keep that blinders pulled down over the eyes of our hetero relatives.

You can watch the entire segment here.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Will Kitty Ravencraft Get Killed by her Publisher? Find Out in Astro Comix's Fantastic First Issue of DIE KITTY DIE! #1

Remember DIE KITTY DIE!, the creator-owned comic book series created by Dan Parent and Fernando Ruiz and successfully funded on Kickstarter? Those of us who funded this project were sent links to Astro Comix's first digital copy of DIE KITTY DIE! this afternoon -- and it is so much fun!!

Here is the concept. Kitty Ravencraft is a shape-shifting witch who can transform into a cat. Kitty Comics publishes a series of Kitty-related comic book and they used to be some of the most popular comics around, including spin-offs like "It's Kitty," "L'il Kitty," "Kitty Fashion Parade," and "Kitty's Guys & Ghouls."

But today's comic book market ain't what it used to be. Kitty's comic book sales have tanked and now Kitty Comics wants to reboot her comic book with a hot new creative team and the ultimate gimmick. They want to kill of the real life Kitty Ravencraft! Not only will her death cause a spike in her sales, but it will allow to stop paying her royalties for her comic books!

Of course, that poses the question: How do you kill a witch? It turns out that Kitty isn't the only comic book character with a real life counterpart. I'm assuming that Kitty Comics will pluck Kitty's would-be assassins from their inventory of characters!

DIE KITTY DIE! #1 has a great balance of cartoony humor, adult suggestiveness, and blatant homages to Archie Comics and Harvey Comics. The final page promises boatloads of magical hijincks in issue #2 -- and I really can't wait!

You can purchase your own copy of DIE KITTY DIE! #1 (assuming you didn't participate in last year's Kickstarter campaign) by following this link and getting your own story! Eventually, there will be print copies of this comic book available to readers too.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

"Fuller House" Season One Debuts on Netflix

I have been hearing about Netflix's latest original series, "Fuller House," for over a year. I rarely watched ABC's "Full House," which is the 1987-95 sitcom that featured all of the adult members of this new program's cast. In my defense, I was in high school and college when "Full House" originally aired, plus it was very cheesy. Which can be a good thing. But I wasn't into cheesy so much back in the late 80s!

Here was the original concept. Danny Tanner's wife was killed and he was struggling to raise his three daughters (DJ, Stephanie, and Michelle) on his own. So he invited his brother-in-law Jesse and his best friend Joey to move into his house and assist him with raising the girls. The show eventually introduced a woman named Rebecca to the program and she ended up marrying Jesse and having twins boys. Lastly, the show featured an obnoxious neighbor girl named Kimmy Gibbler, who loved the Tanner household just as much as they were annoyed by her.

29 years later... DJ Fuller recently lost her husband and now finds herself raising three sons (Jackson, Max, and Tommy). Her sister Stephanie and her best friend Kimmy move back into the family home (along with Kimmy's daughter Ramona) to assist her with raising the boys. Danny, Jesse, Joey, and Rebecca are still around -- just not very often. They all live in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, but enjoy coming back to visit every few episodes!

I was actually surprised by how much I really wanted to watch this series last night. I watched about five episode before crashing. The pilot episode was a reunion -- both for the characters and for the fans of the program. This was problematic because I wasn't familiar with several of the lesser known characters. But I quickly caught up.

Subsequent programs fell into a familiar pattern of sitcom cheesiness. Jackson and Ramona fighting over bedrooms. Joey teaching the kids how to play without electronic devices. Stephanie posing as a single mom in order to score dates with cute guys. Max getting sprayed by a skunk. Plus, a guest appearance by Macy Gray of all people!!

Frankly, it was a lot of fun!

One major complain! "Fuller House" needs some male eye candy. I was particularly disappointed to realize that Jesse's twin boys, Nicky and Alex, aren't on the program more than once (apparently). They're very easy on the eyes and their absence is a major pity. I might need to start an online campaign to get them back regularly during season 2!

Lastly, there were two people from the original program who outright refused to participate (even as a one-time special guest) on "Fuller House:" Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who played the childhood role of Michelle Tanner.

Keep in mind that Ashley hasn't acted in over a decade and has no interest in returning. I get that. But the official explanation is that they were busy designing clothing, which prompted this pointed joke by the entire cast:

The cast skeptically mugged at the camera for nearly sixty seconds while the studio audience roared. I thought it was funny...

BritishFest 2016's Main Guest Announced: Actor Michael Henbury!

I've shared my enjoyable experiences at BritistFest back in 2014 and 2015. BritishFest III (the Trilogy!!) is scheduled for June 3-5, 2016, and it will be back in Omaha, NE, again. You should check out the BritishFest website for more information about this summer's event.

BritishFest just announced Main Guest for 2016: British actor Michael Henbury!

Henbury, standing at 2'11", is officially the smallest man in Britain. However, that's not why he's been selected. Henbury has a 30+ acting history in a variety of popular films, including "Labyrinth," "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2," "Willow," "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi," and "The Chronicles of Narnia" television series!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

CBN Features Story of Ex-Gay Former Prostitute & Recovering Addict // Implies His Life Is Typical of Every Gay Man's Experiences

CBN featured another anti-gay story this morning involving an ex-gay man who was 1. abused as a child, 2. recovering from drug addiction, 3. a former prostitute, and 4. HIV-positive. Everyone abused him and took advantage of Robert throughout his life until he met that one special Christian couple who prayed for him at the restaurant where he once lived:
"They knew that I was living a homosexual lifestyle and they didn't judge me. They didn't condemn me. They just loved on me. It was like I had started building a relationship that was a healthy relationship."

That helped Robert see that the man he was with -- and the ones before -- had been using him all along. "This person made me think of every bad thing that I've ever gone through in my life by them basically manipulating me into buying them drugs. And I said, 'I'm done!'"
Eventually, Robert broke up with his abusive boyfriend and turned to Jesus for salvation.

He joined a faith-based addiction recovery program, which somehow made him ex-gay:
"I have not had any homosexual tendencies, desires, act outs in over six years. That's totally gone."
Oh, and he had a wife now.

I really hate this narrative. CBN never features ex-gay stories from those who haven't been abused or who haven't struggled with addiction. The people whom they feature lived totally dysfunctional lives -- and of course, it's everything about being gay and nothing to do with the chemical addictions that they fought to overcome.

You can watch the whole segment here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Charlotte, NC, Passed LGBT-Inclusive Nondiscrimination Ordinance // Man Dressed Up as "Gender Royal" King and Screamed at City Council Members

The City Council of Charlotte, NC, held a public hearing last night on whether or not to update its nondiscrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

I watch the live-stream of this meeting for a while. I was immediately treated to minute-long diatribes informing me that people would be able to believe that they are cats if this passed. Also, the public weren't saying that trans women rapes kids. They just repeatedly asserted that rapists will put on wigs so that they can rape your kids. And you won't be able to do anything about it because it will be a hate crime.

Which is ridiculous. By that token, a man currently can rape another man in a public restroom or a woman can assault another woman or a child and there's nothing the police can do about it because they're in the public restroom associated with their birth gender!

Anyway, I listened to this crazy show for a half-hour or so before deciding that I really don't need to listen to the crap from these haters. Which is unfortunately, because I ended up missing this public spectacle:
Members of the High Council! My loyal subjects! I am King John the Merciful! I have heard the arguments of the LBGT community -- how they've been oppressed and discriminated against because of their orientation. How liberating! Because all of my childhood I have felt the urge to boss people around. I have always known that I was born to be a king over the whole world, but I kept it a secret until today. Today, thanks to this movement I am coming out of my kingly closet and I am taking my rightful place as your Sovereign Ruler! Today, I identify as Gender Royal. All of my life I have been offended because people don't bow to me and call my Your Highness. Everyone is king-phobic! And so, since my sovereign rule is law, I decree that anyone who does not bow and call me Your Highness shall be fined under a hate speech law. 

I hope my satire illustrates how breathtakingly ridiculous these LGBT arguments are and what a slippery slope they are! And how corrupt and illegitimate this Council is...
Speakers were only allowed one minute to speak, so His Highness was verbally redirected from the podium so that the next person could speak. But His Highness wasn't finished yet:
You talk about decorum, but you've made a mockery of your office, Mayor! It's a mockery! I decree all of you... {unintelligible} Bring in a new City Council! 
His Highness screamed some other statements before he was threatened with being removed from the Council chamber.

People like His Highness ended up demonstrating the need for this kind of nondiscrimination ordinance. The revised ordinance passed by a margin of 7-4.

Monday, February 22, 2016

"Survivors" 40th Anniversary: Episode 32 ("Reunion")

This is the thirty-second in a series of blog posts dedicated to the 40th anniversary of BBC's "Survivors" television series. "Survivors" followed a core group of characters who managed to survived a devastating viral outbreak -- one which managed to kill off somewhere between 95-99% of humanity. Society has crumbled and now those who remain must relearn the old way if they have any hope of surviving much longer.

Tonight's episode is the midway episode of the final season, titled "Reunion." This is an interesting transition storyline. Not only does one of this program's longest-running characters get a post-Death reunion with a relative, but we also catch up again with Pat and Jack and the children.

Our traveling Survivors discover that Hurbert's friend Walter -- some previously unheard of shepherd -- has fallen off a horse and broken his leg. Fortunately, Walter is aware of a nearby veterinarian who tends to the medical needs of the surrounding people.

Walter is taken to Sloton Spencer, home of Dr. Janet Millon and her companion, Philip. She operates on Walter's leg with the assistance of Jenny and Charles. Charles notes that she's almost like a real doctor. She points out that she is a really doctor. In fact, she's better able to treat people and than pretty much anyone else that Charles and Jenny have met so far!

Later on, we discover that Janet and Philip have it pretty easy. They have plenty of food and booze. They even have hot water for laundry and baths. It's so nice that they will eventually decide to move everyone from Challoner to Sloton Spencer!

Here is one of the chief reasons: Young John! Jenny was looking through a photo album and noticed pictures of John. It turns out that Janet is his mother and she was unable to find him after the Death! Jenny tells Janet that John is back and Challoner, which leads to her decision to go get the kids with Janet and Hubert and then bring everyone back to the estate!

Meanwhile, Charles learned that Greg was literally at Sloton Spencer that morning. He goes off on his own to find Greg and discovers that he's already moved on. This causes him to track down Jenny and the others for the rest of their journey.

Our travelers decide to stay with Seth and phone over to Challoner to let everyone know about John's mother and about the plans to relocate their home. Pet and Jack bring the kids to Seth's home, but not before Pet beaks the news to John:

As you can see, John isn't having any of this. Nobody can figure out why, but John has completely shut down now that he's learned of his mother's survival. I mean, check out this awkward reunion.

The group goes ahead with their plan to move to Sloton Spencer and, soon enough, everyone is back. Though John is still treating his mother like a bunch of smelly fish or something.

At first, they think it's because he's mad that she put down his favorite cows during an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. But then they remember that Janet had mailed a letter to his grandmother instructing her to keep John away from the estate in order to spare him from witnessing the animals' death. They believe that John misinterpreted Janet's letter to mean that she didn't want him to ever return!

Charles goes out with John and has a bit of a talk with the young boy:

This was just what John needed to hear and pretty soon he's happily reciprocating his mother's hugs!

Once again, I'm getting tired of this never-ending "will we ever find Greg again" sub-plot. I hate to say it, but Greg would have returned to Whitecross or Challiner by now if he was truly motivated to see Jenny or Baby Paul again.

But I do like the idea of more people reconnecting with long-lost relatives. It makes Abby Grants' efforts to find Peter Grant seem much less futile now that we have seen several surviving family groups.

Also, it's interesting to note that Janet and Philip have a working car. That's two cars in two subsequent episodes!

Maybe modern society's rebirth isn't so far-fetched after all!

Next week, we will watch "The Peacemaker."

Casting Details Released for New "Are You Being Served?" Remake!

I've blogged before about my favorite British sitcom, "Are You Being Served?" It's still my favorite. I watch reruns of this old program most Saturday evenings on Iowa Public Television -- and have done so since the late 80s!

Over the years, I have watched each of the program's performers pass away. More recently, word came out that the BBC plans on remaking "Are You Being Served?" with a whole new cast. It will start off with one special and if it does well enough, then they will commission a whole new series!

Now the BBC has announced the casting details for this new program!

Jason Watkins has been cast as Mr. Humphries, the campy gay salesman originally portrayed by John Inman. I remember Watkins best for his role as a vampire leader in the British version of "Being Human," But he's been in a ton of movies and TV programs.

Sherrie Hewson has been cast as Mrs. Slocombe, the stuffy head of Grace Bros' ladies clothing department originally portrayed by Mollie Sugden.

Niky Wardley has been cast as Miss Brahms, the lower class junior in the ladies department originally portrayed by Wendy Richard.

John Challis has been cast as Captain Peacock, the grumpy store-walker originally played by Frank Thornton.

Roy Barraclough has been cast as Mr. Grainger, the elderly (and often napping) senior menswear salesman originally portrayed by Arthur Brough.

Arthur Smith has been cast as Mr. Harman, the pot-stirring maintenance man originally played by Arthur English.

And Mathew Horne has been cast to play the new Young Mr. Grace, grandson of the original Young Mr. Grace originally played by Harold Bennett.

Mr. Lucas and Mr. Rumbold don't appear to be in the new series. Instead, two new characters have been created: Miss Croft (played by Jorgie Porter) and Mr. Conway (played by Kayode Ewumi).

Here is how the new program is described:
The BBC say: "It's 1988 and Young Mr Grace is determined to drag Grace Brothers into, well 1988, but he has a problem on his hands. 

"Mr Humphries, Captain Peacock, Mr Rumbold and Mrs Slocombe all seem to be stuck in another era. A new member of staff, Mr Conway, joins the team but will he help shake things up or will he just put a pussy amongst the pigeons?" 
The new program will be recorded on March 5th. My understanding is that it will be broadcast sometime this fall.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Nero at Daycare -- 02/19/16

Nero had a fun time at doggy daycare this past Friday. Lots of romping around in the warmer temperatures. Check it out!:

Friday, February 19, 2016

Can Archie Survive a Date with Sabrina the Teenage Witch?

I just finished reading BETTY AND VERONICA COMICS DOUBLE DIGEST #241, which features the latest chapter of the "Many Loves of Archie Andrews." This is an ambitious 10-part series of short stories that's been appearing at the beginning of each of the BETTY AND VERONICA DOUBLE DIGEST comic books. Each chapter features a story involving Archie Andrews and some romantic misadventure. Stories so far have included Betty & Veronica, Noelle Claus, Valerie Smith, and Cheryl Blossom.

If you are like me, you were probably a bit confused when Sabrina the Teenage Witch was included in the list of eight girls who nominated Archie in Teen Vague's annual "Best Boyfriend of the Year" contest way back in BETTY & VERONICA HALLOWEEN ANNUAL #237. Lots of my online Archie friends were also confused by Sabrina's inclusion in this event. I mean, none of us could remember a time when the two had even dated!!

It seems that Betty and Veronica are equally clueless in this story. They kick off "Witch Way Out" -- which incidentally features story & pencils by Dan Parent, inks by Rick Koslowski, letters by Jack Morelli, and colors by Glenn Whitmore -- grousing about Archie's wandering eye -- and then wondering why Archie never chased after Sabrina!

This reminds Archie of the day sometime last year when he and Sabrina briefly dated! It was a bit of a rebound situation, actually. Archie was tired of watching Betty and Veronica arguing over him and Sabrina was tired of fighting with Harvey about something. So naturally, the witch and the redhead decided to try each other out for size -- but only after Archie meets Aunts Hilda and Zelda! (And presumably survives the experience!!)

The news of Sabrina's new mortal boyfriend went over like a lead balloon with her aunts -- which is actually possible in the Spellman household, given enough magic and incentive! Sabrina actually made a good point when Hilda asked her why she refused to date a young warlock. "I go to a mortal school! There aren't any warlocks to choose from!"

Which is an excellent point! If Hilda and Zelda are such anti-human bigots, why don't they enroll Sabrina in a private school for magic boys and girls? Maybe this has been explored before in the comic books. My history with Sabrina the Teenage Witch is pretty much limited to Reversedale, Melissa Joan Hart, and Archie Horror. So I'd appreciate any insight in the comments section!

Anyway, Aunt Hilda didn't really like Archie...

Archie was swift enough to figure out in three pages what Harvey never quite realized in 50 years of comic book history: Sabrina and her aunts are witches! Can Archie cope with a witchy girlfriend, or will her family chase him out the door?

Find out for certain when you get your own copy of BETTY AND VERONICA COMICS DOUBLE DIGEST #241! Also, there are tons of classic reprint stories featuring Betty, Veronica, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, plus Little Betty and Little Veronica!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Archie Comics Featured on "Jeopardy!"

Archie Comics was heavily featured today on "Jeopardy!" The program had an "Archie Comics" category on the program. Here's how it went:

Answer #1 for $200: In 2013, Mac Cosmetics introduced "Archie's Girls, a line named for these 2 rivals for Archie's attention.

Question: Who are Betty and Veronica?

Answer #2 for $400: Archie lives in this midwestern town based on Hiawatha, Kansas, where creator John Goldwater once lived.

Question: What is Riverdale?

Answer #3 for $600: In 1963, Archie Comics introduced this Teenage Witch who sometimes helps Archie & the Gang with their problems.

Question: Who is Sabrina?

Answer #4 for $800: An inspiration for Archie was this 1930s & '40s movie series starring Mickey Rooney as a typical teenager.

Question: What is "Andy Hardy?"

Answer #5 for $1000: A straight F student, this star athlete is overly protective of his longtime girlfriend Midge.

Question: Who is Moose?

Needless to say, I would have aced each of these questions!