Tag Archives: Full Frontal

2016: The Year In Review

This has been my mantra for the year.

Well, beloved, we’ve come to the end of another year, which means we’re about to be inundated with “Year in Review” posts/articles/programs. And, yes, I’m doing one, too. “Year in Review” posts aren’t what you’d call a regular feature here. Unlike my annual Thanksgiving posts, I haven’t written one of these since 2012. I’m not exactly sure why, it’s not like the past four years have been uneventful or anything. In fact, I’m not sure why I’m writing this one. Probably because I figure a post about 2016 will get some views and, like all writers, I’m a bit of an attention whore.

The consensus view seems to be that 2016 has been a rather shitty year. After all, it’s seen:

  • An orange-hued shit demon take advantage of the pain and fear of a large swath of the country to become President of the United States,
  • A bunch of idiotic yahoos in my home state of North Carolina pass an obviously discriminatory law and then commit political suicide by standing behind it in the face of overwhelming opposition both in the state and abroad,
  • The most deadly mass shooting in U. S. history, in which 49 people were killed because of their sexual orientation and/or gender expression.
  • Unarmed black men shot down by the police, mostly for the crime of just being black (that’s not new, but it was a big part of this past year).
  • An election that may have hacked by the Russians. At the very least, they influenced the voting toward the candidate they preferred.
  • And the death of a beloved celebrity every time we turned around.

Not exactly the best year on record, huh?

Still, it hasn’t been all bad. 2016 has also seen:

  • Working class people find a new (unlikely) champion in a 78 year old Jewish socialist. Now, if the Democratic Party (who likes to think of itself as “the party of the people”) would just get on board.
  • An announcement that Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman would be replacing former president (and slaveholder) Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. This is good because not only was Jackson was a slave owner, he was an asshole.
  • Jabba the Hut stunt double, Roger Ailes, resign as chairman and CEO of FoxNews. Ailes did so amidst a hail of accusations that he has a proclivity for making lewd remarks and/or advances to his female employees. And, punishing them when they reject him.
  • Pat McCrory lose his job as Governor of North Carolina to Roy Cooper. The best part is that McCrory engineered his own downfall with the hated HB 2, which was actually supposed to hurt his opponent, Cooper. Ain’t karma a bitch?
  • Samantha Bee debut her most excellent show, Full Frontal, on TBS. Bee, smart woman that she is, blew off the industry standard  live interview portion of the news parody format and stuck with her strength, scathing, intelligent satire. And, the television world is better for it.
  • A new Star Wars movie come out. It’s called “Rogue  One” if you’ve been living under a rock. I’m going to see this weekend and I can’t think of a better way to ring out this year.

Do these things offset losing David Bowie and Carrie Fisher in the same year? Probably not, but you’ve got to accentuate the positive. Even when the positive is not all that great.

It’s been said that 2016 has been the worst year ever. But, the truth is, it hasn’t. Not by a long shot. We’re not engaged in a global conflagration, an entire race isn’t in the process of being exterminated, there isn’t a plague killing off a significant portion of humanity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s been fun and I’d like to do it again. Just that it’s not been that bad. Hey, most of us even survived it. I’m not giving odds on 2017, though. I have a feeling it’s going to be a motherfucker.

Christians For Trump Pt…, Oh, Who Cares

This is the man that evangelical Christians are lining up behind. Take a minute to get your head around that thought.
Evangelical Christians are enthusiastically supporting this man. Take a minute to get your head around that thought.

Since the beginning of the year, I have written several pieces about the tangerine-hued hairball the Republican Party has hacked up on our political rug, aka Donald Trump. Most of them have focused on my bewilderment at evangelical Christians support of Trump and the fact that, no matter what he says or does, the man’s popularity continues to grow.

According to a report from the Pew Research Center, Seventy-eight percent of evangelical Christians support a thrice-divorced casino owner who has committed adultery on numerous occasions, made multiple semi-incestuous comments about his daughter and appeared on the cover Playboy. Wait, what? Isn’t this stuff on their laundry list of mortal sins? I am so confused.

In part, this groundswell of support may be due to the fact that evangelical leaders absolutely love them some Trump. (Is it just me or that sound vaguely sexual?) From Jerry Falwell Jr. to Pat Robertson to James Dobson and more, the big names on the Religious Right are falling all over themselves to endorse this baby-handed fucktrumpet. You have no idea how much I wish I was making this up, but I…Am…Not.

First up there’s Liberty University president and first-born son of Jerry Falwell, religious right icon and founder of the Moral Majority. Falwell has endorsed Trump offered up his university as a forum for this unhinged Oompa Loompa. Trump may have appeared on a Playboy cover, but he was never in a gay cartoon. And, isn’t that what really matters?

Then there’s James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, who has personally vouched for Trump’s evangelical bona fides. Recently, at a meeting with Trump and evangelical leaders, Dobson said that Donald had “found” Jesus. (He was hiding behind the couch the whole time.) Obviously, Dobson and I have very different ideas about what it means to be a Christian.

Finally, there’s Pat Robertson, the televangelist’s televangelist. Pat is famous for his gaffes and crazy talk and his interview with The Donald was no exception. At one point, he tells Trump “You inspire us all”. Inspire us all? To do what? Shit on immigrants? Dump on veterans? Relentlessly attack anyone who is remotely critical of anything you say or do? If you’re a Christian and Donald Trump inspires you to do anything other than vomit, I’m pretty sure you’re doing Christianity wrong.

This love is filtering down to the masses, too. Check out this report from Full Frontal with Samantha Bee:

Did you get that? If not, starting at the 1:17 mark, an evangelical Trump supporter says, “I believe, truly, that Trump is appointed by God to lead this nation back in the direction it needs to go.” Another states that “Donald Trump is the answer to our prayers.” But, perhaps most chillingly, is this remark from a young (possibly pre-teen) man: “We know that he is a godly man.” Holy Shitballs, you guys!

Someone, somewhere, may read this and think, “Yeah, but what about Hillary? She’s no paragon of Christian virtue.” Yes, you are correct. Clinton’s embrace of Wall Street and support of the use of force overseas should cause any Christian worth their salt no small amount of distress. But, there are two “yooge” differences: 1) Clinton hasn’t attempted to make her faith part of her brand the way Trump has and 2) she isn’t receiving the same, hypocritical praise that is falling on the Donald.

In a recent Facebook discussion with some of my friends who support Trump, one said that “we do not have a true Christian option for president.” I responded that, given all the compromises one has to make to even run for President, I’m not sure a true Christian option is possible and he agreed. So, why don’t we drop all the bullshit about a candidate’s faith and judge this solely on the basis of who will do the best job? Yeah, don’t bother responding; I already know the answer.

One Million Moms Is At It Again

SAM_s1_G+_CoverAt the risk of sounding like a broken record, One Million Moms is at it again. And, by “at it again”, I mean they’re upset about another TV show they haven’t seen. This time, it’s Samantha Bee’s upcoming series, Full Frontal. This time, however, there’s a new wrinkle: they’re wound up over the title of the show. Yes, beloved, you read that right: the title.

Last week, the Moms posted a new petition blasting Bee’s new show because, and I quote, “The title of this show alone is unacceptable. Even though airing later in the evening since it is a late night show, the name will appear in the TV lineup of programs scheduled and previews will air earlier during the day.” Really? I hate to break to these blue noses, but your kids hear a hell of a lot worse things than “full frontal” at school. Maybe even at home.

What, exactly, is so wrong with the term, “full frontal”? I suppose the problem comes from its origins: it was first used to describe depictions of nudity. As the Oxford Dictionary puts it, “with full exposure of the front of the body.” But, the phrase has picked up another meaning along the way: nothing concealed or held back, direct, hard-hitting, etc. Hell, even the Urban Dictionary, a publication that never misses a chance to be magnificently crude, defines “full-frontal” as “thoroughly, completely and totally (from full frontal nudity).” Of course, another definition says, “when a celebrity shows more than just their bum in a film (ie: their penis or bush). This is usually for artistic reasons but clearly some serial full frontalists just like taking their kit off for the camera!” But, still…

Of course, OMM has other issues with the show, including things like “vile content and language” and…, well, that’s about it. They don’t really mention anything else because they can’t; there’s not much out there because Bee and her husband, Jason Jones, only started working on scripts back in May. Do you know what that means? The Moms are pissed about episodes that haven’t even been written yet. Holy shit.

In previous posts about the Moms and their desire to control everyone else’s viewing habits crusade against indecency in pop cultureI’ve said that before they ask, nay, demand, that a network pull a show from its line-up, they might want to actually watch it. Getting worked up over something that’s still being written is a bit over the top even for a group like OMM. Which makes me wonder if there’s another problem with “Full Frontal”. Like maybe Bee, herself.

What’s so bad about Samantha Bee, you ask? Well, for one, she’s a Daily Show alumnus and you know how conservatives feel about that (hint, they don’t like it). But, the real problem may be found in an  article from the Advocate: Bee is “a longtime LGBT ally who specializes in finding the funny in feminism.” An ally and a feminist? Now, things make a little more sense.

To be fair, however, the teasers for Bee’s show do lend a certain credence to the Moms concern about content and language. Like this clip:

And, like most comedians these days, Bee does have a well-deserved reputation for pushing the envelope. But, so does Larry the Cable Guy and I don’t see any petitions about keeping him off the air. I wonder why that might be?

Conservatives love to talk about “personal responsiblity”, but only when it suits them. When it comes to things they don’t like,  they have no problem making decisions for the rest of us. They need to remember that every television is equipped with both a channel selector and an on/off switch. And, that no one is forcing anybody to watch this stuff. In other words, the Moms need to worry about their house and let me worry about mine. I mean, this is America, after all.