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Why I Love PBS Reason #46: Vicious

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I am not sure how I feel about this show. I say that after watching the first three episodes back to back.

 

There are so few shows where a couple have been together for as long as Freddy and Stuart. Forty eight years is a long time in reality, let alone on television.  Not just because tv doesn’t like showing characters who are that old.

 

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These guys are douches. Seriously.  But they are douches who are happy and love each other.

 

Which I guess makes them more like a real couple than most tv couples.


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It may also remind me a little of my relationship with my friends…

Why I Love PBS Reason #45: The 4th of July

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I posted yesterday about my annual 4th of July ritual.  

It is a wonderful movie, and has more than just wonderful music, some of it that will break your heart.  It also has some great points about the importance of America.

 

America is more than just a landmass.  It is an idea.  It is easy for those of us who were born and raised here to forget that idea.  

 

I had a client come tell me that his wife’s birthday is the 4th of July, and how excited she was to be sharing that with America.

I had another client, who is learning to speak English, and struggles to read, carry around a copy of the Declaration of Independence and take it to her English teachers to help her figure out the words she didn’t know.  How many American’s have read the Declaration?

I had a client ask me if it was ok for him to celebrate the 4th of July, because one of his (American) neighbors told him he couldn’t, because he wasn’t American.

 

These are people who are hoping and praying that the idea of America is real.  Not a land of milk and honey, but a place where they can be safe. Where they can work and raise their families and not worry that someone is going to come into their home at night and kill them all because of their religion, or language, or ethnic group.

 

It is hard for me to tell them they are safe, when so many news stories say that they are not.

When they turn on the news and see pics like this, where people are telling children to go back where their lives are in danger.

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Children who fled what they fled, being told by Americans that they are not welcome.  

 

Americans who have forgotten the idea.

 

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In case any of our readers here at Pretty Boss Shows have forgotten, this is that idea:
Give me your tired, your poor,

your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

 

Lately, we have, as a nation, seemed to forget, or at least ignore, that idea.  Political leaders, social leaders, leaders in government.  They are making decisions for WE THE PEOPLE that seem aimed to divide us, not bring us together.  That are legalizing discrimination and hatred.

 

I know that the people, those huddled masses, haven’t all forgotten.  But sometimes, it is hard to stand up and say

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But you can say that.  You can stand up against the hate and the fear.  

Help us Send Horton to DC.

 

Watch more PBS.


And remember the idea of America.

Holly Post: They’ll Never Believe This Back at the Shire…

With all our talk of sending Horton to DC (seriously, today more than ever there are some Supreme Court Justices who could use it.), I’ve had elephants on the brain.

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In fact, yesterday I went to a baby shower for an elephant.  Semba, one of two mature female elephants at Tucson’s Reid Park Zoo, is a couple weeks away from having her third calf.  She’s been cooking the hefty tot for nearly two years, and she seems to be looking forward to going on maternity leave.  She even has a registry!

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Sex in the Wild is a four part series that explores pregnancy and even family planning among elephants, orangutans, kangaroos, and dolphins, from “Did it hurt?  When you fell from Heaven?” to “YOU DID THIS TO ME!”  It seems Botswana, dealing with a pachyderm population explosion even employs chemical birth control.  (At this time, Hobby Lobby does not employ elephants.)  

Yeah, I went there.  I’m not happy about the Supreme Court’s decision that corporations and cell masses are people, but the women stocking their shelves and bleeding to death are not.  I can’t change the decision, but I can help people affected by this decision find other jobs.  I’ve offered my resume building services to any Hobby Lobby employee now looking for new work with a company that treats them with dignity and respect.  And to all those people claiming it’s this corporation’s right to practice their sincerely held religious beliefs, I humbly offer a Double-Double with a side of Animal Style Fries.  In-n-Out practices their sincerely held fundamentalist values by giving their employees a livable wage and non-intrusive benefits, and by giving back to the community.  

I don’t often get too preachy, but as Cerridwen reminds us, it’s our blog and we can say what we want.  If this decision makes you feel helpless, I get it, but you’re not helpless.  You can BE one of the helpers.  Help someone get a decent job that doesn’t want to Hobby Lobby their hoo-ha.  Send a copy of Horton to Chief Justice Roberts (then send us a selfie!)  Or donate a gift to Semba.   

WE ARE HERE.

—-hmh









Why I Love PBS Reason #500: Stonewall Uprising

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It has been a month of anniversaries. Freedom Summer last week, and now Stonewall.

Forty Five years ago yesterday, the gay rights movement really began.

 

I think it is easy to forget some of these things in modern society. It is easy to forget that in living memory, the world was a very different place, a very scary place if you did not subscribe to the status quo.

 

But for 6 days in 1969, people said no. They said they would not be beaten down any longer.

Can you imagine that? I can’t.  I can’t imagine being afraid of the police, being afraid of your neighbors and family and community.  And I can’t imagine being pushed past fear to first, riot, then form a movement that is felt today.

 

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Children, turned out of their homes, came together to try and make the world a better place.

 

And because of what they started, every week now, it seems, there are more and more victories for equality.

 

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More than 6o years ago, people fought for equality based on the color of their skin. That fight lives on.

More than 50 years ago, people fought for equality in the voting booth. That fight lives on.

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And more than 40 years ago, people fought for equality based on who they were, and who they loved. That fight lives on.

 

Even though it is sad that the fight has to go on, it is good to know that there are people out there, white or black, Democrat or Republican, gay or straight, who will fight for equality, in every form.

 

That is why Pretty Boss Shows is pushing the Horton Project.  A simple way to show the world, and those who talk to the world, that equality is important, no matter what. That doing the right thing is important, no matter what.

 

Help the fight live on.  Take part.  Send Horton to DC.

 

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Why I Love PBS Reason #55: Freedom Riders

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This is the perfect weekend to launch our Horton Goes to DC quest.

Fifty years ago today, three American’s were murdered in an American town. Their crime was to ask ALL Americans to stand up for the ideals that we claim: freedom and justice for all.

These three men, James Earl Chaney, Michael Shwerner and Andrew Goodman were in Mississippi to register people to vote.  They became martyrs for that cause. A cause that is in great threat once again.

 

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America has always had this great promise.  A promise that we have never lived up to.  But that doesn’t mean we should stop trying.

 

In the summer of 1961, hundreds of young Americans took to the busses to force our society to live up to that ideal.

 

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They were abandoned by their government, by those who had sworn to serve and protect. They were beaten, burned, arrested.  And eventually triumphant.

 

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They showed all future civil rights movements the way.

 

And in an age where we are once again struggling with the unfinished work of our great nation; where we struggle with the ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; where we struggle with the idea of liberty and justice for all, it is good to look back at what brought us here.  And at what gives us hope to go on.

 

In Freedom Riders, JFK is quoted as saying “Those who do nothing invite shame”.

And sometimes, shame is a motivating emotion.  

 

I prefer what Rep. John Lewis said: The way of nonviolence, the way of love, the way of peace.

 

And that is what Horton is about: love.

 

It doesn’t matter what your political ideology is. All that matters is that you do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do.

 

So, 50 years after a group of students showed us the way, let’s remind those who have have been asked to represent us in Washington the message of Horton.

 

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A Quest!!

prettybossshows:

Our Editor-in-Making-Stuff-Happen had a good idea: “Y’know, we could totally make #HortonGoesToDC a viral campaign. #NeedAnotherSumnerProject

So, loyal viewers, we have a quest and will need all your help to be successful!

THere are 435 Congressional…

I’ve already sent Horton to new House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.  All the mail has to be security screened, so it will take about two weeks, but that just means he can use the holiday break to do some value-added reading.

A Quest!!

Our Editor-in-Making-Stuff-Happen had a good idea: “Y’know, we could totally make #HortonGoesToDC a viral campaign. #NeedAnotherSummerProject

So, loyal viewers, we have a quest and will need all your help to be successful!

There are 435 Congressional representatives, 100 Senators, 9 Supreme Court Justices, POTUS, Vice President, not to mention members of The Cabinet.

 Get a copy of Horton Hears A Who and send it to the political figure of your choice with a note about why Horton is important for everyone*.  Tweet us a selfie with a sign that says “I sent Horton to [insert recipients name here]” with #HortonGoesToDC.

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 Maybe we can even get some of them to tweet us their replies.

At the very least, we will spread the message that PBS and Horton personify:

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 Sorry…couldn’t resist…

*This note should be non-political.  Please keep it positive and affirming of everyone, regardless of political affiliation, religion, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Feel free to quote Mister Rogers though….

—cj

Why I Love PBS: Summer Reading

As long time viewers of the blog,and my friends and family, and random people on the street, know, I like books.

So it is no surprise that if Holly is going to make a summer reading list, I have a few additions for you/her.

 

First is the book that I think should be on all lists, book or otherwise:

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I love this book. I really do.  I have it on my Nook, and I have 2 copies on hand so when I read one to death I have another in case I want it.

 

I really like Terry Pratchett and am always surprised when people tell me they haven’t read the Disckworld books.  What is not to love? These are books set on a world that is flat and rides through space on the back of four elephants who ride on the back of a turtle.

 

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What I love about this series is that it is social commentary at its best.  Each book takes an aspect of contemporary life and focuses on it, describes it, dissects it, in a way that won’t offend. Usually.  

I think the best of these is Small Gods.  It is about where religion and faith meet. Where society end up when they have more fear than love. It talks about the best of us, and the worst of us. And it has a happy ending!

It is about acceptance and friendship and sacrifice.  It is about doing the right thing, even when you aren’t sure what that is.  It is about evolving as a person, as a society, as a culture.

In short, it is about all the things I have learned watching PBS.

 

I have mentioned before one of the reasons I need an Official Apologist who completely abandoned me at Phoenix Comicon and left me to squee without any supervision, is Rachel Maddow.  The second book on my list is Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power.

Yes, it is a great book, but it was written in 2012. You would think something like this would be more intellectual and historical than a contemporary read.  And a couple weeks ago, I would have agreed.  Unfortunately, with the current state of things in Iraq and the old band getting back together, this book is even more relevant than ever.

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That makes me sad.

 

The next couple on my list I have mentioned before.

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I haven’t actually read Your Inner Fish yet.  It is on my list, and hopefully things will slow down a little this summer and I can read it.  My boss says he will hire someone in the next month or so to help me out.  So maybe by Christmas…

 

I have read the majority of Jared Diamond’s books, and really enjoy them.  My favorite is still Collapse, though I am really enjoying the one on Traditional Societies.

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The last on my list is another one that I think should be on all lists, regardless of the purpose.  Especially in the current climate of partisanship and violence.  No matter your opinion of gun control and women’s rights and American troops overseas and…. the list goes on and on….

I hope everyone picks up their copy of Horton and re-reads it. Read it again and again until the message takes hold.  Give a copy to your friends and family.  Send one to your representative, your governor, anyone who is a decision maker.

 

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All too often adults, especially those in power, think of this as a childrens book.  They think the message is something they can put aside and not use again like training wheels.

But it isn’t.  If more people remembered Horton, this world would be a better place.

 

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Remember Horton, and do the right thing, because it is the right thing, regardless of what those around you say. Not because of what it will gain you, or cost you.  

 

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Wait, isn’t that the message we learn watching PBS?

 

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Happy reading folks!!

Holly Post: Summer Reading List

It’s summer, so everyone from TED to Real Simple is offering you stacks of books you’ll want to at least pretend to have read by fall.  And with the popularity of tablets and e-readers, you can pretend you’re reading great lit, and nobody has to know you’re really gobbling up Sue Grafton.  And because listicles are easy to write, we here at Pretty Boss Shows are happy to give you some Pretty Boss Books for summer.

1. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams.

Okay, sure.  You’ve read it.  Many times.  Memorized entire chapters including the recipe for PanGalactic Gargle Blasters.  But when was the last time you read it?  When was the first?  I did an informal and highly unscientific poll recently, and most of my friends admitted they first read H2G2 when they were kids.  Junior high or high school, most often.  I was ten.  And while not strictly written as a children’s book, it works for kids.  It’s not graphically violent or sexual, and it requires a pretty vital imagination.  So here’s my challenge to you: read it again as an adult. Try to read it without eagerly anticipating your favorite parts and see it as a new story aimed at people like Arthur Dent, well-meaning adults sidelined by karma and bureaucracy.  

2. Redwall, Brian Jacques

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If you’re one of those smug assholes who has already finished the Ice and Fire series, George R. R. Martin’s spoiler companion to HBO’s Game of Thrones, then perhaps it’s time to visit (or re-visit) Redwall.  Much like GoT, but y’know…less tit, more mouse.  Unlike Hitchhikers, Redwall was written for children but worked for adults.  

3. The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt

Regular Pretty Boss followers have by now figured out that I am a huge Sherlock fan, and Cerridwen is not.  Part of this is rooted in her insistence that Arthur Conan Doyle ripped off Poe.  Part of it is her genetic immunity to the ineffable charms of Benedict Cumberbatch.  (Who am I kidding?  He’s plenty effable.)  But we both love a good mystery.  So while I’m waiting two long years for three more episodes of Cheekbones & Crankypants, we can both chow down on the latest Donna Tartt novel The Goldfinch.  This is her first novel in eleven years, and only her third book overall.  It won a Pulitzer.  It would be easy to hate her for this, if The Secret History hadn’t been…well, The Secret History.  

4. Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape, Danica McKellar

This is Danica McKellar’s fourth girl-centric math book, and it makes Common Core concepts a lot less scary.  McKellar is a Gen X STEM heroine, and other than a wasted guest shot on Big Bang Theory, the girl can do no wrong.  Her books present math in a practical, fun way that doesn’t resort to Pink Aisle pandering.  I should probably pick this one up.  I rocked algebra and trig, but geometry was always alien to me.

5. Horton Hears a Who, Dr. Seuss

Cerridwen once had a high school/college assignment to write an essay about a book every elected official should read.  She chose Horton.  “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”  This is a lesson too easily forgotten by the people we choose to represent us.  After watching her buy multiple copies of it, I suggested she get a copy and have people of influence sign it.  It’s a cool collectible, and it serves as a reminder to those who hold the pen.  She brought it with us to the Idea Swap mixer at Phoenix Comicon, and several of the awesome people there signed it.  It’s also been signed by Tucson mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Bad Astronomer Phil Plait.  

I’ll be reading a few of these by this pool as the summer rolls by.  Got more suggestions for us?  Let us know in comments!


—hmh

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