Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Special message to ignorant, bigoted conservatives during Covid-19: Go ahead, meet up in big groups, go to church, hug and lick each other, spread the virus amongst yourselves!

Neo-cons resemble zombies at a recent U.S. protest against public safety
I've gotten so angry lately when I hear about idiotic conservatives bitching and whining (even more than usual) about how they're being oppressed by public health rules trying to minimize the catastrophic health impacts of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

In their latest attack on science and basic facts, many conservatives are now taking to the streets to hold unsafe protests, thus making the public health emergency potentially even worse.

These entitled whiners, mostly White, have no idea what it's like to live under rules, whether written or unwritten, that greatly limit their choices - so to finally face some inconveniences these days seems foreign to them.  They're like spoiled children angry they can't play in the park anymore.  

We've seen this entitled conservative bullshit spreading in parts of the United States.  The evil scumbag Trump is encouraging public protests as he thinks they somehow reinforce his own insidious messages, all of which are only designed to re-write history to benefit himself and his re-election hopes.  I'm convinced Donald Trump doesn't truly give a shit about public safety.  He only wants the economy to recover - not to help out ordinary families who are also facing economic crises - but to help him win re-election.  Yes, this is what happens when you irresponsibly elect a narcissistic sociopath as President - you get total chaos during a health crisis and the death rate from the virus skyrockets - over 40,000 and climbing in the U.S. alone when a more responsible president would've taken action sooner and saved many of those lives.  I'm sure Hillary Clinton would've saved thousands from the horrible fates they are now set to experience thanks to Trump.  

Brazil's conservative president, Jair Bolsonaro, has been doing the same idiotic thing: playing down the virus for months, first pretending it's all a hoax, only begrudgingly accepting the truth in recent weeks, but still undermining public health with irresponsible messaging that encourages other idiotic conservatives to take to the streets. 

Most conservatives, who usually demand full consequences and responsibilities for liberals and other people they don't like, of course, exempt themselves from personal responsibility and consequences.

"Consequences are for liberals," they might as well be saying.   That's certainly always been my impression of conservatives. 

Well, it's time for consequences to finally hit these ignoramuses.  Covid-19 doesn't discriminate based on race or gender or sexual orientation like conservatives love to do.  As the educated know, it can infect anyone.

"The blood of Christ" won't protect these idiots, as one American woman recently claimed to the TV cameras while driving into a fundamentalist church parking lot to attend a service.  Many conservative governors in the U.S. have refused to ban church services during this crisis.

I do sympathize with all who have temporarily lost their livelihoods because of this crisis, including small business owners who can't operate and might lose their businesses as a result.  There is a lot of economic pain out there at this point.  Vulnerable people like minimum wage earners have been the worst hit.  Liberal governments have been pumping economies with measures intended to help get us through this.  First in line for government handouts have been, of course, conservatives. 

Sadly, collective welfare needs to trump individual profit at this point.  Adopting stringent rules this spring to protect public health and safety will allow the economy to be re-opened safely as soon as possible in the near future.  Irresponsibly re-opening the economy too early is likely to cause extra thousands of people to die horribly from this virus and possibly a second, even more severe wave of illness later this year.  Let's keep our eyes on the ball and not be distracted by these whining, entitled idiots.  

The only silver lining to this pandemic might just end up being a natural culling of ignorant conservative bigots.

When these arrogant folks go outside, meet up for big protests, attend church services, end up spitting on each other or licking each other or whatever they end up doing together, it will cause the virus to spread further among them.  As most of these idiotic conservatives live in Fox News-style echo chambers / bubbles where they never interact with intelligent liberals, the bulk of the consequences will be faced by them. 

Here's my special message to these ignorant bigots: keep it up.  Get out there.  Infect each other.  Go home to your conservative, no-doubt-bigoted elders and give them the virus too.

And I don't really need to say this to liberals, most of whom are educated and intelligent: continue to practice social distancing, stay away from conservatives, and you'll probably be fine. 

If, at the end of this Covid-19 crisis, we have far fewer idiotic, paranoid, angry, bigoted conservatives, that will be a good thing. Yes, I said it.

Monday, April 13, 2020

New Gay Short Film Trailer - “The Big Snore”

I'm thrilled to release the trailer for my new short film The Big Snore on YouTube.

Yes, you read that title correctly.  But I can assure you the film will not put you to sleep - quite the contrary.  It will make you laugh, turn you on, and warm your heart, when it's finally released.

The film is about a light sleeper who struggles one night to get some rest amid his man's loud snores.  While the story is not auto-biographical, it was, of course, inspired by real life experiences.  My husband Sam informs me that I'm an occasional snorer, as I can attest he is as well. 

This is the culmination of months of work.  I raised money for this project last fall and was very proud to get most of my budget from that fundraising.  Thank you so much to everyone who generously donated.

With that funding, I hired a great crew and we shot this little story in one day in November.  I especially want to thank my two lovely, awesome actors, Scotty Murray and James Chapman, for their great performances.  My cinematographer Adam Seward brought so much talent to this project including the beautiful colour treatment.  Even Sam helped out with everything that shoot day, including set decoration.  He asked specifically for the credit 'Set Decoration & Bitch,' and that's the credit he's received.  I love you, baby.    

Post production work started a few days after the shoot and finished in early March.  A special thank you to George Kallika for his hard work on the sound mix as well as the music!

I also submitted the film to the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC), a not-for-profit distributor of Canadian queer short films (among other films in their collection), and I am thrilled that they have added my film to their queer film festival catalogue.  As such, they will be submitting it to film festivals around the world over the next year or so (they only submit to film festivals which pay screening fees, of which the CFMDC will take 30% should I get programmed.  The bonus for me is I will save a lot of time and money by not having to submit the film myself to dozens of film festivals.) 

Then, of course, Covid-19 hit us all in mid-March.  And as we know, most film festivals in the immediate future are postponed until the summer or fall.  So, the public release of The Big Snore will have to wait.  I do hope that it will be programmed into film festivals, should they happen, this summer or fall.  My fingers are crossed.  My longer term plan has always been to eventually publish a censored version of the film on YouTube after its festival run is completed, unless of course an exclusive distributor wants to purchase the rights first. 

But in the mean time, I'm very happy to share the trailer on YouTube and of course on this blog.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Bernie Sanders lost because he didn't really try to win over centrist doubters

Independent Senator Bernie Sanders
Politics is ultimately about one thing: winning.

Claiming your policies are overwhelmingly popular but you still always lose elections?  If those policies are as popular as you say, then that means you've failed the most important test of a political leader to connect your candidacy in the minds of those voters with that policy popularity.  It means they like the idea, but they don't think you're the one who is capable of implementing it.  

If others can steal a handful of your policies and then convince voters they are the better stewards of society including the economy and, thus, you lose, well you deserve to lose.

Because politics is about winning.  

All major campaigns and candidates have the potential to win.  It all depends on various factors, but most important can be the actions of the candidate and his/her campaign, how they communicate their message and how they reach out to people not inclined to support them.

If that candidate can't quite communicate a message that emboldens supporters and wins over doubters in order to win a majority of the vote, that candidate fails.

That's not the fault of voters.  It's the candidate's fault.

This week, Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign to become the Democratic presidential nominee in 2020. 

Bernie Sanders has been a loner on the periphery of politics his entire career.  He's been comfortable there.  He incessantly demonized the political establishment and encouraged his supporters to do the same.  This tactic got him a lot of notoriety and support in 2016, but failed to win that year.

In 2019/2020, Bernie largely took the same strategy.  He thought he could somehow inspire a massive turnout of new voters the likes of which the country had never seen.  This massive new turnout would overwhelm centrist Democrats and allow his movement to take over the party.   It would also turn out in places like Pennsylvania and Michigan and Iowa to elect Sanders over Donald Trump later this year, he predicted.

But then the primaries started happening and Sanders' support slumped, dropping significantly from 2016.  His promised massive turnout of youth and the disenfranchised didn't materialize.  In Iowa, his support was almost half of what it was in 2016.  In New Hampshire, a state he swept in 2016 with 61% support, Sanders again barely got 25% of the vote this year and was almost beaten by Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.

Sanders did very well in the Nevada caucus and then was widely described for a few days by mainstream media commentators as the "Democratic front runner."  But Sanders then made a major mistake, as this CNN opinion piece makes clear:

After Joe Biden crushed Sanders and the rest of the field in South Carolina, a stampede of centrists galloped toward Biden in time for Super Tuesday.  The ease with which centrist Democratic voters embraced Biden on Super Tuesday and subsequent primaries showed the extent of Sanders' failure.  Biden now has an insurmountable delegate advantage.
This all leaves one flawed Democrat - Joe Biden - standing.  It's true that Biden's last two debate performances had improved immensely from previous debates.  He is starting to show the message discipline he'll need to possibly win this thing in November.  The impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is making all things exceedingly difficult to predict, including the November presidential election.  There are signs the American public is starting to turn on Donald Trump whose pathetic vanity is getting in the way of providing the kind of leadership his country desperately needs. 

If it had been up to me, I would've picked Elizabeth Warren to be the Democratic nominee, even though I had many doubts about her ability to connect with enough voters in the battleground states to win.  She was the least flawed choice for Democrats, in my opinion. 

When it was clear Warren was not going to win, I started cheering for Bernie Sanders.  I sympathize greatly with his causes including universal public health care for all and getting the corrupt influences of big money out of politics.  I much preferred a septuagenarian who would fight for universal health care over another who merely promised slow, incremental change.

But I'm also a pragmatist, something no doubt many far lefties and Bernie bros will view as a weakness.  I am willing to give up getting everything I want in order to get at least some of what I want.   

I will be honest.  I did have heart palpitations when imagining an election fight between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.  I worried that a highly polarized fight between a self-described "socialist" and the despicable incumbent would result in victory again for Donald Trump.  There are too many sad examples of similar big socialist defeats throughout history, the December election in the U.K. being just the latest example.   I envisioned a devastating, crushing Sanders loss this November, followed by four more years of Trump's inanity.  (That was, of course, before the Coronavirus, which has changed everything.) 

No, Democratic voters instead have chosen a safe centrist as their party's nominee.  Biden is at least quite likeable, I will admit.  More likeable than Hillary Clinton could ever be.  Biden's ability to authentically express empathy is one of his greatest strengths.  Amid the chaos in health care and the economy this year, a safe centrist who wants to bring the country back together to heal might just be what a majority of U.S. voters want.  I hope that translates into a victory in the Electoral College.

One hope: Biden picks Elizabeth Warren as his running mate to inspire and excite the progressives in his party.  If he chooses another safe and uninspiring centrist like him as his VP, I'll become very pessimistic about Biden's chances. 

In the mean time, I'm ruminating about the lessons that have been learned or re-learned this year in the Democratic primary: Grumpily refusing to reach out, belittling those who don't support every single one of your brilliant ideas, has proven itself to be a recipe for failure.

I hope the next progressive hero who comes along does better and learns the most important lesson: "It's not about you, it's about us."

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Canadian TV masterpiece "Schitt's Creek" comes to an end...

Billboard promoting Schitt's Creek this season
I just want to write a quick shout-out to the great TV comedy Schitt's Creek, which is coming to a series end this Tuesday April 7th. 

Beautifully written, produced, directed, and acted, this quirky little show has become a major hit across the world since being picked up by Netflix (after a few years of decent success on CBC in Canada and Pop in the U.S.) 

I've always been a hard sell when it comes to new television shows, perhaps particularly Canadian shows.  The premise of this one - a rich family loses everything and is forced to relocate to a remote town they bought years ago as a joke - didn't especially intrigue me.  But man, was I wrong about this one!! 

After so much good word of mouth, I finally took the plunge alongside my partner watching the pilot episode just over a year ago courtesy of Netflix.  We were absolutely hooked after the first episode.  I was particularly intrigued by the pan-sexual / queer character of adult son David, played by the uber-talented Dan Levy, who created and wrote the show alongside his famous father Eugene who also plays patriarch Johnny Rose.  The incredible and hilarious talents of Catherine O'Hara as matriarch Moira Rose and Annie Murphy as daughter Alexis Rose round out the beloved family.  A wide array of characters played by superb actors surround them.  In six seasons, the laugh-out-loud jokes have been abundant.  

If you've got Netflix, I highly recommend you give it a shot as soon as possible.  It is perfect TV binge material, particularly for these hard times.  I'd describe each episode as 22 minutes of sublime joy! 

The best part of the show for me has been its portrayal of the romance between son David and his handsome fiance Patrick, played by the adorable Noah Reid.  The queer content has been so matter of fact, so nonchalant, it has been a wonderful breath of fresh air.  The unconditional acceptance and support the couple has received from David's family has been one of this show's treasures. Another treasure has been the frequent sight in recent months of the giant billboards featuring the lovely same sex couple kissing (seen above.)

Do yourself a favour and watch Schitt's Creek in its entirety as soon as possible.  (The sixth and final season is only still playing on CBC Gem or Pop, but it should show up on Netflix hopefully as soon as possible.)  In the mean time, here is one of my favourite moments of the entire show: