Debauchery and Debate – Episode 4 – Halloween Edition

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Halloween is a week away, so we’re in holiday mode. Yes, we were away for a couple weeks, thanks to traveling and illness, but now we’re back, talking about favorite Halloween movies, crazy wildlife, costume faux pas, and sex! Take a listen!

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Debauchery and Debate – Episode 4 – Halloween Edition

Learning Literacy from Drag Queens?

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A middle school in Colorado decided to invite Jessica L’Whor, a drag queen, to speak with kids about life, careers, and literacy. And then people’s heads caught on fire.

No, there wasn’t talk about sex. The name “Jessica L’Whor” wasn’t used, because it was admittedly inappropriate for the situation, so she was simply “Ms. Jessica.” And, the administration didn’t bother to warn parents about this scheduled appearance. After the fact, the school principal said that if the school ever decided to have such a controversial guest again, she would warn parents ahead of time so they could request that their precious little angels be excluded.

Now, this event has been mentioned in the press as a “career day,” which it wasn’t. It was a literary day, which presumably means that the guests were talking with students about the importance of literacy. One might question the point, and more importantly, exactly what a drag queen could contribute to these discussions, but c’est la vie. The reality of the situation is that we have yet another school getting into trouble over “sex” for reasons.

Sure, they probably won’t do this again. However, if they did and those warnings went out to the parents, yes the kids who would be excluded will either figure out a way to “forget” turning in that note from home or they will resent their parents. Why? The simple answer is the last thing any middle school wants to viewed as is “uncool” (or whatever term they’re using for the same.)

Let’s also be at least a little realistic here. Out of the parents who complained about this, one can wonder how many bothered to specifically block RuPaul’s Drag Race from their televisions. Well, maybe it wasn’t necessary, because maybe some of those parents are the ones who don’t allow television watching at all in the first place. The point is that no matter how much any parent wants to shelter their kids from the world, the fact remains that the world is still out there. It’s filled with good and bad things, hazards and helpful situations, and yes, it has drag queens. Now, if you’re thinking that your kids will suddenly decide to become a transvestite just because they saw one in school, you have some serious issues. First, you’re assuming that whatever you are attempting to teach your kids is being absolutely ignored. Second, you’re not giving your kids credit for being capable of thinking things through before they decide to do something. Finally, you’re assuming that every single interest your kids will ever have in their lives will last forever.

Now, if all of that were true, we really would be a great deal of trouble as a society. Otherwise, just remember, kids tend to want to do whatever their parents say they shouldn’t, and kids are naturally curious about everything. Freud and Jung figured that out a long time ago. Perhaps that should be a required lesson for all adults before they become parents.

Image: Facebook/Jessica L’Whor

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Learning Literacy from Drag Queens?

Debauchery and Debate – Ep. 3 Taylor Gets Gritty!

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If you’re not scared, Taylor’s co-host really is – okay, maybe not. But, you have to admit, he’s definitely Gritty! In this week’s Debauchery and Debate, there’s a little more talk about the television premieres, and The House with a Clock in Its Walls. More importantly, find out what movie Taylor is promising to view! Throw in a sex robot brothel that’s doomed, and a special anniversary, and you’ve got it.

A little hint about that last one here:

In case you didn’t notice, yes we are on iTunes! Stay tuned for more options to listen!

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Debauchery and Debate – Ep. 3 Taylor Gets Gritty!

Molly Ringwald and Rethinking Her Films

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Of course, with the #MeToo movement, it was inevitable that many parts of our pop culture would be re-examined through the lens of today. Molly Ringwald decided to do that with her own films, while talking with NPR this past weekend.

One thing that was mentioned, not by Ringwald, but by the writer of the article, was a specific line from Sixteen Candles.

“I’ve got Caroline in the bedroom right now passed out cold. I could violate her 10 different ways if I wanted to.”

That was from Jake Ryan, the guy Ringwald’s character wanted throughout the film, and who was played by Michael Schoeffling.

Seeing those words absent context definitely is a little disturbing, however it’s important to note one word in that line – “could.” By that point in the movie, it was abundantly obvious that Schoeffling’s character wasn’t at all interested in the girl in question. Just that simple fact makes that troubling line far less menacing. Now, you can start having your issues about that same girl apparently taking the virginity of the “nerd” who drove her away from the party that night if you like.

The point is, even looking at this film through the hyper-sensitive lens we’ve created today, it is still really not that bad. Sure, Ringwald has her reservations, but she’s looking at it as a mother of teens now. Honestly, I’d be wondering if there was something very wrong with her if she wasn’t cringing at least a little, not over her own performance in the film, but over some of the drunken flamboyance in it.

John Hughes made films about the things teens actually did, after their parents and teachers told them not to do “all the things.” He depicted the choices among the taboos, knowing that whenever you told a teen not to do something, you were often begging them to disobey. That is what real teenagers did then, do now, and will undoubtedly continue to do until the end of the human race.

But, even when Hughes would hint at potentially terrible behavior, there was that recognition of limits. In this case, Hughes had Jake Ryan point out that he could do terrible things with his girlfriend, but that was all. Stating you understand the fact that you could do something terrible is not the same thing as actually doing it. If we’ve gone so far off the rails that even discussing potential bad ideas is verboten, we really are lost.

Image: 20th Century Fox

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Molly Ringwald and Rethinking Her Films

Debauchery and Debate Podcast – Episode 2 Unsolicited D!ck Pic Edition

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You aren’t seeing things, and are probably really happy that this is just audio – not video! Liz and Taylor are back discussing entertainment, particularly premiere week on broadcast television, as well as creepy mascots, and you guessed it – an unsolicited d!ck pic Taylor just had to send Liz! Before you start cringing too much, make sure you listen. It really will surprise you, not scar you! We promise!

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Debauchery and Debate Podcast – Episode 2 Unsolicited D!ck Pic Edition

Dad ‘Breastfeeds’ Baby – Internet Burns Down

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New dad Maxamillian Neubauer became an internet meme of sorts when he posted photos of himself “breastfeeding” his baby on Facebook. Yes, it did involve fake nipples and a milk delivery system, so we’re not talking about medicine going crazy. But, the level of hate Neubauer has seen on social media is quite simply disturbing.

He was lucky, in the sense that his wife just had some complications that prevented her from breastfeeding. Of course, it’s fair to guess that the people who were calling him out for being unnatural at best, profane terms at worst, didn’t bother to think of alternative situations.

Would there be so much venom spent on this if the picture was of a father doing the same thing after losing his child’s mother in childbirth? It is a valid question, because this milk delivery system probably has been used in that kind of situation.

The point is to do something that most professionals agree is good for newborns – establish skin on skin contact with parents as soon as possible to aid in emotional bonding between parents and children.

So, babies born in situations where their mothers are unable to breastfeed shortly after birth should be denied this even if the father is willing to step in with the help of a milk delivery system? Further, those fathers are somehow “creepy,” “disgusting,” or any other negative term because they want to make sure their children sense from early on that they are loved? That is what we are talking about – parental bonding is love.

I’d like to think that all of that negativity is just the result of people not thinking through what they were saying before posting. That’s quite common. Maybe they just went with their gut reactions to just the photo, didn’t bother to read the story behind it, and may not have been so hateful if they realized Neubauer wasn’t doing a stunt to shock people. Perhaps there would have been fewer hateful comments if people would have read about the fact that his wife wasn’t physically capable of breastfeeding. Or maybe it’s just another sign of the rampant lack of empathy out there. If you’ve read this far and had initially been upset with the photo, where do you stand now?

Image: Facebook/Maxamillian Neubauer

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Dad ‘Breastfeeds’ Baby – Internet Burns Down

Debauchery and Debate with Liz and Taylor – Podcast Episode 1

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Did you miss us? We heard that some people have.

Liz and Taylor are back “on the air” – well, at least on a brand new podcast. If you’re hoping that they’ll be discussing politics, sorry to disappoint you. Life’s too short, so they’re spending time talking about fun things.

For their first episode, there’s talk about the Emmy’s, Captain Marvel, Sean Penn, and an upcoming show on HBO. Take a break from being way too serious, and listen!

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Debauchery and Debate with Liz and Taylor – Podcast Episode 1

Anna Kendrick and the Celebrity Love Affair with Obama

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Anna Kendrick was recently talking with Stephen Colbert, and explained her less-than-respectful interaction with Barack Obama.

While it’s true that Kendrick really was in awe of Obama when she was with him, she definitely had an Eliza Doolittle at the races style response for him when he talked with her.

Yes, that was Kendrick admitting on national television that she called Obama an asshole to his face, and then proceeded to point out his lack of knowledge about the citizens of her home state of Maine. If that wasn’t enough, Kendrick also placed meeting Beyoncé and her daughter, Blue Ivy, higher on her scale of noteworthy celebrity run-ins.

Of course, there was a comedic feel through all of the exchange, but it probably did not wander too far from the truth of the matter. Politicians have turned Washington into Hollywood-East with their determination to be in the spotlight, but the denizens of Tinseltown still are more concerned with approval among their own. Kendrick, as an actress, cares far more about the goodwill of Beyoncé than Obama because the former is more likely to help her build her career.

Yes, celebrities dabble in politics, even to the point of running for (and taking) public offices, but like anyone else who has a career outside of the political sphere, if they aren’t vying for a permanent political career, they must care more about people in their own field. The ones who lose that perspective lose out, which is what we see from many entertainers who have chosen to be vocal about their political views when they don’t match the typical Hollywood stand on the issues. Is it unfair? Yes, but life isn’t fair. The entertainment industry also isn’t the only career area where people can face issues if they are vocal about their personal politics. While the right tends to suffer more, there are also situations where expressing any political views – right or left – can be detrimental to one’s career.

As for Kendrick and her moment of calling Obama an asshole, that could be just a tall tale, or it could be absolutely true. Either way, the fact that she told the story the way she did indicates something that too many people keep forgetting these days. While politicians can be very entertaining, they are not truly entertainers. Those who really are entertainers may say they adore some politicians, but that adoration ends where their concern for their next paycheck begins, assuming that they don’t want to see an end date on their list of jobs on IMDB.

Image: YouTube Capture

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Anna Kendrick and the Celebrity Love Affair with Obama

To Amazon Prime, or Not to Amazon Prime

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Amazon Prime is causing some degree of debate for subscribers this year, since they decided to increase the yearly fee by $20.

I dodged the increase, since my Prime day fell in May, but there are others who are considering the real value of Prime membership now. Gizmodo‘s Adam Clark Estes brought up some important issues surrounding the ubiquitous Amazon, and the nature of Prime membership.

Personally, I can’t empathize much when it comes to building up a Pantry order to get free shipping, since I think I’ve made only a couple of those orders myself – one was delivered to a friend. However, my reasons for never getting sucked into the Pantry buying has everything to do with the fact that I tend to shop local regardless. My food purchases on Amazon are scant, and include imported items that I simply can’t find at all in my local stores.

I also can’t speak to the idea of buying for the sake of buying, and getting the most out of my Prime membership fees. It’s true that I can end up with piles of Amazon boxes in my house, but that’s typically because of holidays. Otherwise, my purchases tend to fall in the category of “I can’t find it at all, or I can’t find it for less in a regular store.” That said, multi-packs of inexpensive earbuds, charging cords, phone and tablet cases litter my purchase history, right beside various specialty purchases like beach cabanas and soccer cleats. Yes, I am definitely guilty of having my kid try on shoes in a store, checking the price on Amazon, and if the shoes aren’t needed for another 48 hours, buying them online instead to save money.

We aren’t living in a “Smart House”, and it’s doubtful that we ever will. Frankly, the concept of my refrigerator being hacked terrifies me. So, I never seriously considered purchasing the privacy-invading nightmare that is Echo. I tried to make use of Siri and Cortana, and because those experiences were filed under “epic failure”, Alexa never caught my eye. Ok, maybe it did a little, when the stories about dildos being offered as a potential purchase when someone asked for something innocent surfaced. But, that’s just prurient humor that can be enjoyed via YouTube, not in my own home on a device that cost me a couple hundred dollars.

My point is that while I understand that Prime membership probably has lead many people down the path of impulse buying to a degree that probably is harmful, it doesn’t have to be that way. Are there compelling reasons to cut back on the use of Amazon in general? Definitely. Estes enumerated several of them, from unfair labor practices, through price-gouging on at least some products to make up for “free shipping”. Personally, as long as I remain the one in control of the situation, I suspect that I will continue having Amazon Prime. But, no matter what, yes I will be taking stock of the situation in April, well before my Prime day arrives.

Image: By Quote Catalog

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To Amazon Prime, or Not to Amazon Prime

Jennifer Lawrence Is Going Political

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Jennifer Lawrence is taking a year off from acting, so she can get political. Before anyone starts rolling their eyes, it’s important to recognize that unlike many of her colleagues in Hollywood, she’s not talking about paying lip service to pet causes or using the spotlight to push a national political agenda. Lawrence apparently isn’t taking this step to run her mouth on politics, like some people have complained about with other celebrities.

Lawrence is choosing to involve herself with a grassroots non-partisan organization dedicated to fighting political corruption. Her chosen organization is Represent.Us, and appears to be a slightly idealistic group that is determined to remove money from the political influence game. We’re talking about campaign finance reform, on a rather severe level. Otherwise, the organization also appears to be interested in using technology to fix our ballot boxes, since they want to remove bureaucracy between voters and the act of voting. While it’s not a totally hopeless cause, it is fairly limited, and definitely will be most effective from the bottom up – local first.

And that is why Lawrence should be commended. She is leading by example, showing her fans that it is important to know about our political process, and how they can get involved, too. We can only hope that in addition to promoting her own work at Represent.Us, Lawrence decides to learn about similar organizations focused on other issues – offer suggestions to young people who may not be interested in her personal cause. We can also hope that more celebrities take a cue from her, and choose to promote political organizations on the grassroots level instead of using their status to fire up divisive politicking and rhetoric. Young people particularly need to learn that political change doesn’t happen in large leaps at the top. It happens with incremental steps and hard work from the bottom up.

Image: By Jennifer_Lawrence_at_the_83rd_Academy_Awards.jpg: Mingle MediaTV derivative work: Tabercil (Jennifer_Lawrence_at_the_83rd_Academy_Awards.jpg) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Jennifer Lawrence Is Going Political