Thursday, June 30, 2022

Reagan Is Not Responsible for the Mentally Ill Homeless Crisis

In the Santa Monica Daily Press (June 29, 2022), Charles Andrews resurrects a favorite progressive canard when he sneeringly writes, "Thank you Ronnie Raygun for emptying the asylums." But the 1960s progressive counter-culture and the state legislature had more to do with that.

In The Fresno Bee (Sept. 15, 2022), Tom Balch writes: "The emptying of California’s state mental hospitals resulted from the passage, in 1967, of the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (named for the sponsors, two Democrats, one Republican).

"This bill, known as LPS, was advanced in response to pressure from mental health professionals, lawyers, patient’s rights advocates, and the ACLU. When fully implemented in 1972, LPS effectively ended involuntary civil confinement of mental patients in California.

"The Democrat-controlled Legislature passed LPS with overwhelming majorities; the vote was 77-1 in the Assembly, and the margin was similar in the Senate. Gov. Reagan signed the bill."

The bill was passed by veto-proof majorities, so Reagan had no legal authority to stop it. Had he tried to do so anyway, progressives would have denounced him as "a threat to democracy."

As for the milieu, well, it was the Sixties, and there was "something in the air" back then. In 1961, Thomas Szasz's well-received book, The Myth of Mental Illness, challenged the authority and expertise of the psychiatric profession.

A year later, Ken Kesey's best-selling novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, portrayed forced institutionalization as inhumane. In 1963, Dale Wasserman adapted the novel into a play. The 1975 film version won five Academy Awards. The tale of a sane person involuntarily committed to a "snake pit" asylum was a staple of horror, exploitation, and TV movies throughout that period.

Governor Reagan was but a small cog in a progressive, counter-cultural zeitgeist that, along with the ACLU, was combating forced institutionalization. Andrews has waxed nostalgic for those liberating times, so he should just kick back and enjoy its fruits. 


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Santa Monica Starbucks Ends Seating Due to Coronavirus

The Santa Monica Starbucks on the corner of Wilshire and 26th Street opens at 4 a.m., and normally has plenty of customers by 5 a.m. But not since Sunday.

I entered on Sunday, March 15th, shortly after 5 a.m., and saw that all the seats and tables had been stacked against a wall. It's "take-out orders only" for the immediate future. The reason, obviously, is the COVID-19 Coronavirus. "Take out orders only" is Starbucks way of encouraging "social distancing" to stem the spread of the virus.

These photos were taken March 15, at 5:18 a.m.:

And it isn't just that Sunday is a slow morning. The following three mornings -- Monday through Wednesday -- there were even fewer customers. Instead of three customers, it was only me.

I expect that many people aren't coming in for "take out orders" because sitting for a spell was always part of the pleasure of going to a Starbucks. It's why you paid such high prices for a cup of coffee. The ambiance.

The bathroom is also closed to the public.


Monday, December 17, 2018

SAG-AFTRA Can't Say "Christmas"

Add SAG-AFTRA to the list of organizations that can't say "Christmas." The Fall/Winter 2018 issue of SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles (the newsletter of the actors union's Los Angeles local) has a "Calendar of Events" on page 7 that states:

Monday, Dec. 24 -- Office closed for holiday

Tuesday, Dec. 25 -- Office closed for holiday

Monday, Dec. 31 -- Office closed for New Year's Eve

Tuesday, Jan. 1 -- Office closed for New Year's Day

Now, which holiday do you suppose the office is closed for on Decembers 24 and 25. There's only one that fall on those dates. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. So why not say it?

It's not like the newsletter was referring to the "holiday season." It was referring to two specific days that contain only Christmas.

And it's not like the newsletter is averse to mentioning other holidays. New Year's Day is specifically named.

The only reasons for SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles's newsletter to refrain from writing "Christmas" is that union leaders themselves find the word offensive -- or they fear that the word might offend non-Christian readers.

This is no oversight or trivial thing. The newsletter's editors certainly thought it was important to avoid writing "Christmas." They made a conscious decision to mention one holiday by name -- "New Year's Day" -- while simultaneously avoiding the name of another holiday -- "Christmas."



Friday, June 22, 2018

Sacramento Bill Promotes Diversity in Hollywood -- But Only "Below the Line"

Sophia Bollag of the AP reports that the California legislature is making diversity hiring a condition for tax credits to the film industry. Unfortunately, this only applies to "below the line" workers.
Bollag writes [June 19, 2018]:

"The film commission assigns credits based on a production's 'below the line' jobs, including set builders, makeup artists and extras -- not the highest profile workers, such as starring actors and directors. Applicants who receive the tax credit would help fund a program to train people from underrepresented communities to do 'below the line' jobs on film sets."

That's commendable as far as it goes. But diversity in the workplace will always depend upon the kindness of employers until the gatekeepers to jobs -- producers, studio executives, talent agents, casting directors -- also more accurately reflect our nation's racial, religious, ethnic and gender makeup. Diversity among "below the line" workers is nice. Diversity among decision makers is better.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Rose McGowan Trashes Quentin Tarantino's Foot Fetish Rose McGowan's new book, Brave, recounts her decades of suffering sexual harassment -- and even rape -- at the hands of Hollywood's top men. While the meat of the book targets producer Harvey Weinstein, McGowan also trashes other Hollywood notables.

At one point, McGowan expresses disgust at Quentin Tarantino for his foot fetish. Tarantino had allegedly told McGowan that he enjoyed watching her paint her toenails in a movie scene. McGowan writes:

"Tarantino has a known foot fetish. That means Tarantino paid extra money to jerk off to my young feet and he told me about it loudly, over and over, for years in front of numerous people, as if I should be so thrilled that he donated his solid-motherfucking-gold semen that is clearly better than all the other semen in the world, and he gave it up for little ol' me? It's time men realized their semen isn't all that."

While McGowan's "revelation" might disgust some people, it comes as no revelation to readers of the Hollywood Investigator. The Investigator reported on Tarantino's foot fetish as early as 2004!


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Al Franken: I Don't Like Homosexuals

Hollywood comedian turned Minnesota Democratic Senator Al Franken paints himself as a progressive. But he has a homophobic past.

Richard S. Lee interviewed Franken for The Harvard Crmison [April 16, 1976], and reported:

[Franken] recalled writing a skit called "Seamen on Broadway" that was rejected from the Hasty Pudding show "by some preppie so they could take some other preppie's skit." Franken started to smile again, but his tone was serious, too serious. "It's not preppies, cause I'm a preppie myself. I just don't like homosexuals. If you ask me, they're all homosexuals in the Pudding. Hey, I was glad when that Pudding homosexual got killed in Philadelphia."

The smile became so broad it pushed his eyes shut. He couldn't stand it any longer. "Put that in, put that in," Franken laughed, leaning over the desk. "I'd love to see that in The Crimson."

Read the entire interview.


Monday, November 06, 2017

Actresses Selling Sex to Join the Actors Union

Everyone in Hollywood is suddenly discussing sexual harassment in Hollywood. The practice is apparently widespread and widely known. Which begs the question, if sexual harassment is so widespread and widely known, why did everyone wait until now to discuss it?
I can attest to its being widespread and widely known. Even casually accepted as the norm. That's been my experience....

Read the rest of this shocking story in the Hollywood Investigator.