UGLY TRUMP: Women Hear What You Are Saying

images-1“Women hear what Donald Trump is saying.” This was candidate Carly Fiorina’s simple dignified debate response to Donald Trump’s ugly mocking of her face. The GOP debate crowd roared with cheers. It was Fiorina’s best campaign moment. And it made Fiorina perhaps the only political player this season to land a punch on The Donald. Until Heidi Cruz.

I’m no fan of Ted Cruz– but as a middle-aged woman, I am repelled by Trump’s ugly unwarranted attack on Heidi Cruz and her appearance. However offended Trump was by the snide super-PAC ad on his super-model wife, he had no right to mock Heidi Cruz for not looking like a model herself.

imagesThe smart attractive Ms. Cruz responded with grace and restraint in the eye of the Twitter tornado. Up to 75% of US women already have an unfavorable impression of Trump. Let’s see how high that number climbs post-Heidi.  There’s only one ugly person in this picture and that’s The Donald.images-1

Regarding his repulsive words and actions, to paraphrase Fiorina: women hear exactly what Trump is saying.  And female voters in November from both parties will likely be voting for Hillary, maybe thanks in part to Heidi.  For once, I agree with Ted Cruz. “Leave Heidi the Hell alone.”

UPDATE: after what HuffPost aptly called ‘a particularly ignoble week’ in the GOP race, Ted Cruz and Trump seem locked in a race to the bottom: who can limbo lowest?

(images: mediaite, GoogleImages)

gopages-2What a joy it was to watch the three GOP frontrunners ripping each other apart in their Texas debate like Scorpions in a jar.

We loyal Democrats have got months more of this to come.  FINALLY some OPPOSITION RESEARCH unleashed on The Donald.GOP

Each new charge is an Attack Ad in itself, which Rubio with his newfound money will be releasing as we speak– love it that Trump is being SUED FOR FRAUD this summer over the ludicrous Trump University.

That is a great ‘counter’ to any trumped-up ‘Scandal’ they might throw at the Democratic nominee, whoever he/SHE may be.

Love the illegal worker questions, the Trump jobs overseas and the unreleased Tax Returns (GO, MITT!) (Hillary Clinton, BTW, has released ALL her tax returns ever filed…)

Love the insane hypocrisy of TOILET-MOUTH TRUMP demanding an apology from the feisty Mexican leader for using the F-word.images-1

The Donald can dish it out but he sure can’t take it. His loony-tunes 30% will stick with him but the saner 70% of the GOP voters will continue to divide and conquer their own party.

These candidates are doing the Democrat’s job for us.

And Rubio, the most plausible of the bunch, is going to have his own Scandals served up to him by Trump (the credit card issues; the house sold to the lobbyist; the Republican money going to Rubio’s home repairs…) Ted Cruz has a much more serious Goldman Sachs issue than giving a speech.  NONE of these clowns can play the Scandal Card without having it boomerang.

Plus dear Dr. Carson– “the FRUIT SALAD of their lives”– who could make this stuff up?  Go, GOP!

(images: GoogleImages, politics.concordmonitor, startelegram.com)


Happy to announce the upcoming publication of a star-studded ANTHOLOGY ON SOAP OPERAS co-edited by blog-mistress Elizabeth and stellar author Suzanne Strempek Shea— the book will be out in MARCH of 2017 from McFarland Books.  Among the acclaimed authors who will hold forth on Soaps is the fabulous Nancy Holder, with her own distinctive take on DARK SHADOWS…the book will also feature dark and shadowy thoughts from Susan Lilley (see her own DS essay)

Nancy Holder John Urbancik HiRes 1Nancy Holder is a New York Times bestselling author and recipient of five Bram Stoker awards for her horror fiction. She has also received a Scribe award for Saving Grace: Tough Love based on the TV show of the same name, and a Young Adult Pioneer Award from RT Booklovers. In addition to her original horror and dark fantasy, she writes licensed “tie-in” novels, short fiction, and episode guides for TV shows and movies including Crimson Peak, the new Ghostbusters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Beauty and the Beast, Teen Wolf, Hellboy, The Rocketeer, and many others. A dedicated Sherlockian, she is creating a Holmes world for a new gaming system. She also edits and writes comic books and teaches on the popular fiction faculty of the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing program offered through the University of Southern Maine. Forthcoming in June is the teen thriller, The Rules. Socialize @nancyholder.

DARK SHADOWS: Look Homeward, Vampire

by Nancy Holder


The Internet Movie Database describes Dark Shadows like this: “The rich Collins family of Collinsport, Maine is tormented by strange occurrences.” To which I reply, “No kidding.” The Collinses were hung as witches, chained in coffins, dragged backward in time, committed to asylums, left on the doorsteps of foundling homes, and bedeviled by curses.

This Gothic soap opera came on the air in 1966 and lasted for 1,225 episodes in its original five-year run. Dark Shadows games, novels, comics, a comic strip, audio plays, fan conventions, and two motion pictures fed the enormous fan base, which at one time numbered over twenty million viewers. It had a rocky start, credited to a slow pace and the presence of an unknown, relatively untested, ingénue named Victoria Winters as its protagonist. The series was saved by the introduction in episode 211 of Barnabas Collins, a vampire and the ancestor of the Collinses who reside in (and bicker in) the ancestral home in Maine. Victoria Winters’s last episode was 665.dimages-1

A prime-time reboot occurred in 1991, which lasted only one season, and another reboot was attempted in 2004 but was not picked up. Most recently, Johnny Depp starred in a 2012 remake. Big Finish, a UK company, continues to produce DS audio plays; Lara Parker, who played Angelique, writes Dark Shadows novels for Tor Books, and mystery and chick-lit writer Kathryn Leigh Scott, who played Josette DuPrés, Barnabas’s ill-fated fiancée, keeps the flame alive with DS memoirs and behind-the-scenes “making of” books.

simages-2What makes Dark Shadows so eminently watchable, and so beloved? Why does it continue to come back from the grave of cancelled shows and rejected pilots? To answer this question, I decided to do something I’d never done before—watch the first two years of episodes, and many others I had missed. And I found my answer.

When DS came on the air, I was living with my family on a US Navy base in Yokosuka, Japan. We had no TV in English, and our newspaper and radio station were produced by the military. The Viet Nam War was raging, and our base was one of the places where sailors came to get patched up so they could go back to hell. We got news about the States from the new kids, but they forgot to tell us about all kinds of things. Anti-war protestors. Hippies. And Star Trek. And Laugh-In. And Dark Shadows. Continue Reading »

The Donald the Loser: The Price of Cheap Laughs

dtimagesCall it a Loser Boomerang.  Being a bully cuts both ways. Back when he seemed so inevitable, Donald Trump would do anything for a cheap laugh– mock a disabled reporter, taunt Jeb Bush like a schoolyard bully, make bathroom jokes about Hillary Clinton. But, as he is only beginning to discover, there is a price for cheap laughs.images-1
When the tables turn on a bully, they turn with a well-deserved vengeance. The Donald woke up the day after his Iowa defeat to find his name linked to Loser.com. A commentator and Jeb Bush supporter on MSNBC unleashed her Donald impression first thing in the morning, branding Trump in Trump tones the night’s biggest looooser.images
If it were anyone else, I’d feel some sympathy. Instead I feel a relief as if a fever had broken. Maybe America and the GOP have not gone completely round the bend after all. Maybe we are not doomed to The Donald. We can thank, partly, Iowa Nice for refusing to drink the Trump campaign Koolaid.
But Nice alone cannot defeat Mean. You must fight fire with fire. So credit must go to the mean-spirited but tireless Ted Cruz, who marched through 99 Iowa counties to roundly defeat the lazier more arrogant Trump.
As MSNBC noted, ‘Trump has a ceiling and he has reached it.” Or as Larry King, a former king of our celebrity culture himself, once observed: America gorges itself on a story, then pauses, then belches. I don’t dare think the Donald is vanquished, but I think America the celebrity glutton has reached that pause before the final big belch.
Then maybe we can begin to clear the air.

(photos: business.com)

CM Author Photo-2Casey Martinson is a writer from Ithaca, NY, currently enrolled in the Stonecoast MFA program at University of Southern Maine. He holds a BA in English Literature from Oberlin College. Check out his tumblr page here.

We’ll Always Have Potedaia

by Casey Martinson

I don’t remember our first time watching Xena: Warrior Princess but I’m sure it happened by accident, early senior year, 1998. The day’s classes behind us, I can imagine myself absently channel surfing on our thrift store couch as you prepared the afternoon tea. (For legal reasons, I’m going to say it was tea.) Probably, there wasn’t much on.


Season FourI’m sure we watched ironically at first, smirking at the low production values of an early episode: the amusing twang of a bit character’s New Zealand accent, a CGI monster that looked about as life-like as the stop-motion Gorgon from Clash of the Titans, Xena’s lamentably trampish Season One make-up, designed no doubt to entice straight, adolescent males.[1]


Yet, as September died into October, we progressed from watching accidentally to tuning in on purpose when the opportunity presented itself to recording every glorious minute on VHS: Monday through Friday afternoon re-runs, and once a week, the newest episode in Season Four.


I still remember the evening I came home at the appointed time to find that another of our housemates had already claimed the television to watch Party of Five. When she refused to cede control of the remote, I stormed off to my room and fantasized about Xena murdering all the Salinger siblings in a berserker rage. That’s when I knew: I had reached a new level of fandom.


We seemed to have discovered the Warrior Princess at the very height of her cultural impact. Lucy Lawless hosting Saturday Night Live joined our collection of tapes. Then Lawless on the Today Show. We did not go home for Thanksgiving, but stayed in our drab little house on Pleasant Street to watch the all-day Xena marathon on USA. My mother drove from three hours away to make sure we had a proper dinner. Continue Reading »

donald-trumpTRUMPed: Can Celebrity Nation Escape the President We Deserve?

Update: and here’s one more reason we need to escape our Trumped fate; Hillary is vindicated; she saw it coming that Trump’s Muslim comments are used to recruit terrorists.

In a nation where celebrity ‘trumps’ all, we deserve The Donald we may wind up electing.  Can we escape that fate?  Half the country now states they’d be ’embarrassed’ by a Trump presidency.  His latest foray into toilet jokes and sexist slurs might please his crowds, but women make up over half the voting populace.  Many of us are sick of arrogant men running down women– and running this country.

Frank Bruni points out in his Dec. 26 NYT column that Donald Trump’s ‘disgust’ over Hillary Clinton’s bathroom break is but the tip of the ‘icky’ iceberg in Trump’s juvenile obsession with female bodily fluids.  He famously mocked Megyn Kelly as ‘bleeding’ from unnamable organs and allegedly screamed at a woman in a meeting who left to pump breastmilk that she was ‘disgusting,’

To state the obvious, Donald is the one who embodies the D-word– not only ‘Disgusting’ but ‘Disgraceful.’  For his capital-D  Dissing of women, Muslims, Mexicans and much more, Trump trumps all other candidates for Disgraced Celebrity of 2015 (his second time claiming this prize!).

dtimagesEarlier this year on this blog, Luis Luque described The Donald as “a myth, a legend, a reality TV star, a corporation, a misogynist, a prognosticator, a Twitter feed, a brand, a bully, a braggart, a boor, a ratings bonanza, a bombastic billionaire buffoon blinded by ego, a bloviating blowhard for the entertainment of the blogosphere, a bumbling big-mouthed businessman blundering back and forth between banks and bankruptcy, and perhaps most surprising of all, a serious presidential candidate—at least in the minds of people fooled by what they think sounds like blunt talk about important issues.”idtmages-1

Penny2 offers this New Years Wish/Curse for the GOP:

“I am just partisan enough to wish Cruz on the Republicans for the supreme pleasure of watching Hillary wipe the floor with him.  I am not partisan enough to wish Trump on them.  Let’s not give one more second of media time to his awful musings.”

Thanks, Penny and Luis.  As Will Ferrell as George W. Bush observed on SNL, the GOP voters do not want someone who knows how to govern.  They want someone who is ‘Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs‘… Our country is irreversibly and certifiably Cukoo for Celebrities.  We made Trump what he is today. Will we make him President as well?

(photos, Washington Post, Daily Beast, via Google Images)