Wow Robert Reich Isn’t Mincing Words

I can’t say I disagree with him however. (From his FB feed)
Congress passed a one-week extension of funding for the Department of Homeland Security just hours before the deadline on Friday night, but the right-wing Republicans in the House (some of whom were swept in after the 2014 midterms) are determined the next extension will include a ban on the President’s immigration enforcement priorities. And if Boehner doesn’t play along, they’re threatening to oust him as Speaker.

America has a long tradition of white mostly-southern radicals who’d stop at nothing to get their way – seceding from the Union in 1861, repudiating federal laws during Reconstruction, enacting Jim Crow laws, resisting desegregation orders in the 1950s, refusing to obey civil rights legislation in the 1960s. Fast forward to Newt Gingrich’s takeover of the House in 1995, and the Gingrich-led government shutdown at the end of 1995. And then the 2011 showdown over raising the debt ceiling. On top of this, Republican-controlled states gerrymandered their districts and repressed the votes of minorities — giving electoral advantage to the most radical right-wingers they could recruit. And now we’re suffering the logical culmination of all this: the largest group of government-hating, racist, homophobic, misogynistic know-nothing, climate-change denying, evolution-denying, science-denying, anti-immigrant House Republicans in history, bent on taking America back to the 19th century.

Oscar’s Red Carpet

I admit that I love watching what everyone wears as much as the next woman. I have adored looking through fashion magazines since I was 11 or 12 years old and I visited the stationery store in my neighborhood in August for the September/Fall issue of Seventeen magazine on a daily basis. Then I lovingly turned each page and wrote down everything that I just had to have (not that I did in fact get those things mind you).

When watching the Oscars, or any red carpet event, you are watching a style of dressing that one rarely gets to do on a regular basis, if at all in one’s lifetime. Yet to see all the elegance is breathtaking.

On Facebook I notice a lot of very nasty and negative comments about various celebrity choices. They were getting too personal (that actress should never wear….) and I don’t like that tearing down of a person. I’m sure we have all made bad choices in our clothing at one time or another.

What I love though is just looking at the dresses and tuxes and noting who the designer is. You may not like the way a particular actress is wearing a dress but the dress itself may be divine.

This year I thought a number of dresses were divine and so were many of the tuxes.

Here are some of my favorite picks:

Black Christian Siriano dress (worn by Kelly Ripa)

Black and white Rosetta Getty (worn by Patricia Arquette, congrats on her Oscar win. She was fantastic in Boyhood)

Marc Bouwer gown (worn by Robin Roberts). Loved the color of this dress. Is it burgundy? Fabulous.

I liked the tux by Ralph Lauren (worn by Michael Keaton) and loved the one by Prada (worn by Common). I didn’t much care for all the navy and blue tuxes but you have to give credit for trying to do some color instead of basic black. For anyone interested, Jared Leto’s baby blue tux was a custom Givenchy and was a little too much for my taste but you’ve got to give him credit for pulling it off so well.

Alberta Ferretti gown (worn by Laura Dern). Also liked the color. What is that called? Platinum?

Pale pink Zac Posen gown (worn by Viola Davis). I thought it was classic.

Black Yves St. Laurent dress (worn by Margot Robbie).

Silver Zuhair Murad gown (worn by Anna Farris).

Black and gold Marchessa gown (worn by Rita Ora). Also very classic.

Chartreuse Elie Saab gown (worn by Emma Stone). Such an unusual color but it is stunning.

Pink Miu Miu (worn by Kerry Washington). The detail on the peplum is what makes this dress.

Black and white Tom Ford (worn by Reese Witherspoon). Very simple. It’s what makes this gown special.

I liked the Valentino dress (worn by pregnant Kiera Knightley). If you have to be pregnant then this Valentino could be the one to wear.

The red (RED!!!) Givenchy Haute Couteur  (worn by Rosamund Pike). This dress is stunning. I want this dress. The lace, the scalloped bodice. Love, love, love!

Another love! was the Calvin Klein Collection white dress (worn by Lupita Nyong’o). This is another stunning dress. I couldn’t pull it off but by God, I’d sure like to try!

A third dress that I adore is the baby blue Tadashi Shoji (worn by Octavia Spencer). The shirring, the pleats and the other detail are just lovely. This looks like a dress us mere mortals could wear to an evening wedding, although dancing in it would be difficult with the train.

By the way, I didn’t like the Atelier Versace dress (worn by Jennifer Aniston) at all. I probably would have liked it if it had a lining so that the legs were not showing as they were. It just doesn’t look finished to me, almost like an undergarment.  I suppose the pale skin tones were part of the issue. How does one make a color I wear almost exclusively in my undergarments, usually called “nude”, look attractive? I don’t really know the answer to that.

A few of the other dresses, some of which were labeled as “best” among the professional critics, looked like pajamas to me. In fact, a number of the ones I particular disliked and thought they looked like pajamas or undergarments were Atelier Versace. A dress that perplexed me was a Givenchy that looked like a sparkly black bra with a royal blue over-piece (worn by Jessica Chastain). It made no sense to me whatsoever.

As you can see, I liked a lot of the fashion worn on the red carpet.  My choices were not based upon the people wearing them although I suppose how an outfit fits a person could make a huge difference. Yet, I try to think of the dress on a mannequin and make my decisions based on that. Overall, I think the red carpet this year did not disappoint. For pictures that include the designer information see Red Carpet Photos.

Grammy Performances

Yeah, I know I’m a week late but I have good reasons. First, everyone was posting about them in real time on Facebook and I didn’t want to piggy back. Second, I wasn’t watching the Grammys in real time. I taped it on my DVR (do you still say “taped”?) and watched it over the weekend. Nice! I fast forwarded through at least an hour’s worth of commercials and any performances and such that didn’t appeal to me.

So here are my favorite performances.

My favorite was Annie Lennox with Hozier. Annie nailed it! I have to say that until recently I wasn’t sure from the radio if Hozier was a man or woman. Now I know he’s a man. I’m so impressed that Annie still has such amazing pipes. I remember when Eurythmics were introduced on MTV back in the early 1980s and I was so inspired by her. Then she put out such lovely solo performance work over the years. Now at age 60, she is amazing.

My second favorite performance was Ed Sheeran with Herbie Hancock, John Mayer and The Roots, followed by a performance by Jeff Lynne and ELO (that would be Electric Light Orchestra to the unenlightened, pun intended) with Ed Sheeran.

My third favorite performance was Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. I find their partnership quite interesting and lovely.

I know a number of people had negative comments about Pharrell Williams’s performance and pissed a few people off. I, however, thought the performance was brilliant art.

The remainder of the performances were okay. Some were more okay than others. I still think it’s funny how many people think that Sir Paul is a new artist that was given a break. I think the songs that Kanye West sung were good because Paul co-wrote them. Just my opinion. I don’t dislike Kanye’s music but I don’t  like it either. I dislike him however. So since I don’t find most of the music inspiring and I don’t like him, I’m not going to go out of my way to obtain any of it. (I think I have a few mp3 songs on my cloud player.)

So that’s my review of the Grammy performances in February 2015.