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Mr. Brown Rambles #2

* Bad people can still make fine art. I love Michael Jackson's music while acknowledging that he was a man who had serious demons that were never exercised over the course of his life. I'm just getting into the works of writer-director Woody Allen and I think his movies are just incredible from what little I've seen, yet I do think he's definitely a pervert at best and a messed up child-fucker at worst with the allegations that he molested his own daughter, Dylan, during his widespread split with actress Mia Farrow in '92. Johnny Depp, in spite of taking paycheck roles since he rose to superstar status with the Pirates of the Caribbean movies as Capt. Jack Sparrow, I still think he's one of our generation's finest actors, and he's a woman-beating piece of shit (allegedly). People who make exemplary art shouldn't be punished just because they're a shitty human being, nor should they be driven out of the Oscar race, which is what is happening to Nate Parker and the upcoming slavery drama, The Birth of a Nation (due out Oct. 7). For those of you who don't know: in 1999, Parker was accused of raping a fellow college student while he was attending Penn State; he was later found not guilty on all four counts in court. However, the event has re-surfaced as the Sundance winner has picked up considerable Awards buzz as a possible frontrunner for Best Picture, though now, with stories written about Parker's past from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, The Daily  and other media outlets, it seems that it's slipping further into irrelevance (the fact that the same studio that financed the film, Fox Searchlight Pictures, has also bought the rights to distribute the biopic Jackie, doesn't help it's chances). Stories like this aren't exactly new in the Awards rat race, as those who follow and talk about it will tell you, but I hate the idea of a quality piece of work being denied because the artist is a questionable person at best, POS at worst. And speaking of the Oscar race....

* As much as I enjoy the Kris Tapley's, the David Poland's, the Anne Thompson's, the Sasha Stone's (and yes, even the Jeffrey Wells's) of the movie beat discussing who and what should get nominated, who'll get screwed, and which film, director, actor & actress will take home the big prize; I sometimes wonder if these gurus of gold ever get sick of diving into the rat race because, as much as I, myself, enjoy the race itself, that for all the essays on why The Revenant is a masterwork of cinema, the counter-hit pieces on how Zero Dark Thirty endorses torture and shouldn't be nominated, the seemingly endless diatribes on why Room sucks, etc., etc., - there's this sense I pick up that the covering of the Awards season isn't all that much different from the norms and customs I experienced in high school which made those four years sometimes unbearable: cliques, sabotage, backstabbing, verbal bouts, frenemies - all this drama and bullshit that goes down each and every year has to drive those guys insane!

* Here's a "hot take" - hot takes is just another word for a troll trying to stir up the pot without adding anything interesting, thought-provoking or any nuance to the conversation, and nowhere is this trend becoming more prevalent than in sports talk. Look, I don't want to listen to boring sports talk radio hosts who don't have a little personality or pizzazz, but I don't want the other extreme either - an obnoxious hack who thrives on throwing out meaningless takes which either haven't help up from the start, takes which didn't pan out over the course of time, or takes that are just plain, grade A bullshit. I'm talking about hacks like Stephen A. Smith, who confuse yelling over people like a petulant child with having a debate with his co-partner on the other side of the chair. I'm referring to Skip Bayless (the same douchebag who speculated that Troy Aikman was hiding in the closet), another hack who constantly rags on LeBron James, despite the fact he's made six straight NBA Finals appearances and won two titles with the Miami Heat and one recently with his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, is widely considered to be the best player in his sport. The same guy who thought Robert Griffin III would be a better overall player than Andrew Luck, despite that Luck has advanced in the playoffs each of his first three seasons, and got a bad break with a lacerated kidney injury that sidelined him for most of the 2015-16 season.; whereas Griffin had one good season his rookie year, and followed the next three years with injuries and poor QB play which led to his dismissal from the Washington Redskins at the end of last season. The same guy who rode on Tim Tebow's jock strap when he arrived in the NFL and continued defending him, despite the consensus that Tebow, while a fine athlete, just didn't have the intangibles to be a pro-level QB in the league. I can't stand when noise, stupid takes and just being aggressively irritating and obnoxious are thought of as good sports talk: it isn't. It's just fucking lazy.


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