Rooting For Ashley Judd


A career in the arts should never lead to this sort of nightmare:
California’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Ashley Judd can pursue a sexual harassment claim against convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein. Per The Hollywood Reporterthe court stated that the nature of Judd and Weinstein’s relationship was “sufficient” enough to give the actress grounds to sue. 
In Judd’s complaint, which included stories that she first revealed to the public in October 2017, the actress alleges that Weinstein propositioned her for sex in a hotel room about 20 years ago. Judd declined, saying that she was only able to escape by telling Weinstein that she’d sleep with him if she wins an Academy Award. 
Weinstein would go on to blacklist Judd from Hollywood film roles, particularly within his company, Miramax. 
“As in the enumerated relationships, their relationship consisted of an inherent power imbalance wherein Weinstein was uniquely situated to exercise coercion or leverage over Judd by virtue of his professional position and influence as a top producer in Hollywood,” a judge wrote. “We have no difficulty concluding that the California Supreme Court would reach the same conclusion, obviating the need to certify the question.”
They should grant people immunity and allow them to come forward and admit that Weinstein was able to convince them not to cast Judd in their projects. I mean, it's not a case where she wasn't qualified or capable of being in the movies all of a sudden, right after telling Weinstein that she wouldn't have sex with him. It's more a case where her career was derailed shortly thereafter.

Numerous actresses can probably make the case that their refusal to submit to Weinstein's predations hindered their careers. We need to make this right and correct what was done. No one should have this kind of power. Ever.



Remembering Carrie Fisher



Byron Lane used to be Carrie Fisher's assistant. This is what she taught him:
You once worked as Carrie Fisher’s assistant, and that job shaped this book. Why did you want to use that experience in your novel?Working for Carrie Fisher saved my life in so many ways. I was in a funk when I got the job and her energy and zest for life lifted me up. She taught me so much about friendship and family and writing and life. We had so much fun and so many adventures. When she died, I wanted to capture the spirit of our time together. She always used to say, “Take your broken heart and make art.” And, so, that’s what I did. I think she’d be proud of me.
What are the characteristics you need most to be a personal assistant in Hollywood?Being a celebrity assistant can be a tough job and an amazing experience. If you’re intuitive and naturally inclined to be a helper, you’ll do great. The vibe of your boss will color the experience and make it more or less pleasant, but at the end of the day, it’s about service. If you find the right fit, you can have a life-changing and brilliant time. I wish everyone was a lucky as me to work for someone as amazing and cool as Carrie Fisher.
I have always believed that she should be remembered for her writing and for her acting because she was equally good at both. She was an outstanding performer, and that extended to her one-woman shows that were based on her books. No one was more complex than Fisher in terms of how she succeeded in two vastly different industries. It is rare, but not unheard of, for someone to be wildly successful in one field and then to be an absolute giant in something different, but there it is.

Lake Street


I took this entirely by accident just after Memorial Day 2020 on Lake Street in South Minneapolis. This is the view looking east towards St. Paul.

The Fake Balcony


This architectural abomination hangs off the side of a Popeye's restaurant, and extends out over the drive through lane.

What the hell is it? Why is it there?

Clearly, it's designed to invoke the balconies one would find in New Orleans. But, can anyone go stand on this thing and hoot and holler and throw things? No, because that would mean they would have to get on the roof of the Popeye's and then jump off said roof and stand on a rickety balcony that has no function. This is just sad.

I can imagine a scenario where someone shows up at Popeye's drunk, and climbs up onto the roof where they actually do have a ladder. Then that person shimmies over to the balcony and falls down onto it. They stand up, dazed, and the whole thing collapses onto a Ford Escort parked at the drive through window. Everyone is injured, but not severely. Just enough to be a nuisance, you see.

That's the Popeye's drive through balcony. Just enough of a mistake to be annoying.

We Need More Stories About Friendship

Rachel Shukert, left, showrunner and executive producer of Netflix’s “The Baby-Sitters Club,” at her Los Angeles home, and Ann M. Martin, author of the book series “The Baby-Sitters Club,” at her New York home.

(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)
Don't let the subject matter throw you off. This isn't a throwaway series of books for young adults. These are the books that turn people into readers, and this is a show that focuses on the overlooked skill of friendship:

Premiering Friday, the 10-episode reboot opens with a modern wink to an origin story as important to some as Spider-Man’s or Batman’s. Sporty seventh grader Kristy Thomas (Sophie Grace) watches as her single mom, Elizabeth (Alicia Silverstone), is in need of a sitter to watch her youngest son. Elizabeth huffs about young people these days being hard to get in touch with, as well as the high fees of internet-based babysitting services: “When I was a kid, my mother would just call some girl in the neighborhood on a landline,” she says. “And she would answer, because it was part of the social contract.”
Kristy’s great idea is born: a babysitting club.

She enlists her shy bestie Mary Anne Spier (Malia Baker) as secretary, their artistic friend and neighbor Claudia Kishi (Momona Tamada) as vice president, fashionable new girl from New York City Stacey McGill (Shay Rudolph) as treasurer, and eventually environmentally conscious California transplant Dawn Schafer (Xochitl Gomez) as an alternate officer. (Claudia also serves as the resident BSC host because she has a phone — one of those now-vintage transparent landlines with brightly-colored hardware — in her room.)
“When I saw them all together for the first time, that was one of the top five moments of my life,” Shukert says. “Maybe ahead of my wedding, but after having my son.” The way she speaks with reverence about the series, it’s easy to believe she isn’t joking.

That adoration, steeped in childhood memories untouched by the corrosion of time, made for a surreal adaptation process. Shukert says rereading the original book series, which ran until 2000 and has sold more than 180 million copies, she was struck by how she remembered very specific details — like Stacey painting her toenails with pink polish accented by a green dot or Claudia having white tights with plaits all over them or how Eleanor Marshall, one of the kids the girls babysit, was allergic to strawberries. But what came more sharply into focus was how the girls’ environment and experiences shaped how they navigated the world...

The reason why we need more of this type of storytelling is obvious--we're inundated with images and viral videos and police reports about individuals who cannot navigate polite society without looking like a jackass.

It's my personal opinion that there is a crisis in our society that centers around an inability to find and make friends with people who can check our impulse to do stupid shit. You need people around you who can call you on your bullshit. And you need to understand that this affects everyone, not just adults. So, if there's a vehicle out there for young people who can watch real friendships evolve and change, then this is the type of content that should be applauded and rewarded.