Sheldon Greenbriar’s Spring Blurbomat

Time for some fresh dish and ‘dat:

  • Just got off the phone with Gregory Sierra, Julio from “Sanford and Son.” He’s organizing a boycott of Arizona. I lost interest before he could tell me why.
  • Whatever happened to Frusen Gladje?
  • What was your favorite “Must-See TV” classic? “The Single Guy”? “Suddenly Susan”? “Caroline in the City”? I vote for “Veronica’s Closet.”
  • I could listen to Georgia Engel talk all day long.
  • Why do so many “That’s Incredible!” fans refuse to recognize “Real People,” and vice-versa? I loved ‘em both.
  • Who’d you rather: Sarah Purcell or Cathy Lee Crosby? And for the ladies: John Davidson or Skip Stephenson?
  • I loved Madame. Wayland Flowers, I could do without.
  • Am I the only one who gets depressed at the end of awards season? Only nine more weeks until the Primetime Emmy Award nomination announcements. I’ll be presenting with Sybil Danning.
  • I’ll leave you with some words of wisdom from my good friend, Kenny Loggins: “I am not free if my freedom is predicated on reacting to my past.”

Preschool prom

In metro Atlanta and a few cities across the nation, some early childhood programs are giving their students a chance to experience prom, senior week and senior class trips before they march across the stage to receive their “diplomas.”

The pomp and circumstance is part of a growing trend to introduce 4- to 6-year-olds to what they can expect as high school seniors. It’s part dropout prevention, praise and picture-perfect memories for parents.

So are they going to take the young’uns to Panama City?

Seriously, who thinks this is a good idea?

Larry David on Goldman Sachs

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” fans probably remember an episode from the first season in which Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen invite the Davids to a Paul Simon concert. Larry thinks the concert is on a Friday and assumes the Dansons have stood him up.

“You know, call us and lie!” he says to Cheryl. “We don’t want to sit here like schmucks. A lie is a gesture, it’s a courtesy, it’s a little respect.”

The Goldman Sachs officials who testified before Congress yesterday could’ve at least pretended to be contrite. Instead we saw the “Fabulous Fab” play the victim, complaining that he’s been the target of “unfounded attacks.”

Not all fundamentalists are the same

HuffPoster Diana Butler Bass, writing about the “South Park” imbroglio, ably disproves her point.

I can’t and won’t defend the Revolutionmuslim website. But violence against those who depict the Divine is not just an Islamic problem. It is worth pointing out that Christianity has a long history of violence against visual depictions of Jesus, the saints, and God. In 1987, Serrano’s Piss Christ provoked death threats and violence from Christian fundamentalists and conservative Catholics across the U.S. and Europe and caused political outrage on two continents. In the 19th century, American Catholics were regularly targeted by Protestant mobs for “worshiping” statues while Protestant ministers lost their positions if they placed visual depictions of the crucifixion, Mary, or the saints in their churches. Two hundred years before that, Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan army smashed religious artwork in English parish churches. During the 16th century Protestant Reformation, followers of Luther and Calvin looted cathedrals and convents carting off valuable paintings and statues to burn them in public squares.

While I don’t dispute that some assorted fanatics threatened Serrano’s life, such a response was not sanctioned. And there was no recent precedent, like the brutal murder of Theo van Gogh (referenced by Revolutionmuslim).

Bass notes a “religious-moral superiority” by Western culture, and what’s wrong with that? Western culture doesn’t condemn women to life under a burka, or execute gays using a method of hanging designed to cause a slower, more painful death by strangulation. That’s the past. In countries like Iran, it’s the present.

I detect a whiff of religious-moral equivalence in Bass’ thesis.

The (not-so) secret life and death of a white supremacist

I’ve covered my share of Klan rallies, most of which were organized by Richard Barrett, leader of the Mississippi-based Nationalist Movement. I first met Barrett, murdered last week by a day laborer, in January 1989 at a sparsely attended march through downtown Atlanta.

Hundreds of National Guard troops were dispatched to protect eight white supremacists, one of whom had a Kirstie Alley-sized goiter protruding from his neck. More than 1,000 counterdemonstrators also showed up, some with mischief in mind. I remember hiding under a car to duck cinder blocks that were being thrown from atop downtown parking decks. One of our photographers was plunked in the head by a rock, breaking his camera.

Barrett returned the next year, with even fewer protesters and more protection, for a rally across the street from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s tomb. He was a pathetic grandstander, disliked even by his fellow white Supremacists.

Perhaps this explains his unpopularity:

White supremacist Richard Barrett may have sexually propositioned the black convict accused of killing him, according to sources close to the investigation.

As the leader of the Mississippi-based Nationalist Movement, Barrett regularly railed against homosexuality, calling it “the most detestable crime against nature.” But in white supremacist circles, Barrett’s sexual orientation has been known by some. (His white supremacist publication, All the Way, regularly featured articles on young white men, including some photographed shirtless.)

Judge them by the candidates they support

Tea Party favorite J.D. Hayworth, vying to unseat John McCain in Arizona, said that state’s absurd birther bill doesn’t go far enough.

Hayworth, who has cited the possibility of “identity theft” as a reason to want to see President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, said the Arizona measure is “too narrowly drawn” because it would force only presidential candidates to produce evidence of their citizenship and other qualifications.

Identity theft? Sounds like something Tea Party faves Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin would dream up.