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HOLLYWOOD TURNS TO FERGUSON

Indiego Films began shooting in Ferguson before the grand jury decision.
The project will be a docu-series and is being referred to as “The black
male crisis.” The production company: “It will illuminate the magnitude
of the murder of black males in this country.”

MACY’S THANKSGIVING PARADE

Now, back to my regularly-scheduled items.
FERGUSON, ETC.
New York Post: “Hands up, don’t shoot!” “If only Michael Brown had done last August”. . .NODDITTY-ODDITTYIn 2010, Ferguson was in the running to be tagged “All-American City” by the National Civic League. It missed, having no youth association. . .Some protestors in NYC hit the hashtag, #Stoptheparade, targeting the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. . .Lead-in to coverage of Ferguson, FOX2 aired a commercial for Premarin Vaginal Creme.” Voiceover: “Intercourse painful? Try Premarin creme.” Side effect: “Can cause uterine cancer.”
MACK & MABEL”
One of my favorite musicals of all time is “Mack & Mabel,” which had a pre-Broadway run at The Muny 40 years ago. Hometowner/producer David Merrick had cast Robert Preston and Bernadette Peters in the title roles of silent screen producer, Mack Sennett and his star Mabel Normand, depicting their off-screen romance. The music by Jerry Herman was enchanting. He came here to see the show on the giant stage. Backstage, Preston and Peters couldn’t have been more amiable. Merrick also arrived for the opening, despite his reported dislike for his native town. He told me that he wasn’t seeking personal publicity. But, when a newspaper photog arrived and confronted him, Merrick stood back like a Brooks Bros. model. One of his minions: “Merrick basks in it!”

THANKSGIVING, THE ANNUAL RITUAL

For Turner-owned cable CNN, the holiday is even more festive having surged in ratings following the grand jury decision on Officer Darren Wilson. The network dominated all cable with the important 25-54 demo and 6.25 million viewers. FOX News channel’s peak audience came in at 7.25 million. . .St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Valeria Silva apologized for her tweet on Monday about the grand jury decision: “No indictment for Officer Darren Wilson! Very sad day in America. How do I explain this to my black students?”. . .A message from a reader: “Today’s (Thanksgiving) issue of a thin Post-Dispatch was delivered to my house this morning. I went downtown and picked up a much thicker edition for four bucks. I guess we have to pay for all the ads.”

FERGUSON, BUDWEISER

The scene at Marley’s Bar in Ferguson last night was a snapshot of our divided town.  Inside, a nearly all-white crowd stayed largely quiet while looking through windows at the turmoil outside. Just a foot or two away, the sidewalk was crowded with largely African-American protestors. A white bouncer stood in the doorway, essentially letting police and reporters in from the cold to use the restroom (including the N.Y. Times’ John Eligon). On South Florissant in front of the bar, more than 75 police officers wearing heavy military gear milled around, making and enforcing a perimeter to prevent demonstrators from joining their colleagues nearer to the police station. A team of four clerics – representing the Presbyterians, United Church of Christ, and Eden Seminary – did what they could to maintain calm among all parties.
McGraw Milhaven and Bishop Geoffrey Dudley of New Life in Christ interdenominational Church were interviewed last night by Bill O’Reilly discussing the Ferguson controversy.
Among the local clergy protesting outside the Justice Center in Clayton: Rev. Deborah Krause of Eden Theological Seminary; Rev. Shaun Jones of the St. Louis Clergy Coalition; Rev. Erin Counihan of Oak Hill Presbyterian; Rabbis Susan Talve and Randy Fleischer of Central Reform Congregation and Rev.David Gerth and Rev. Susan Sneed of Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU). The event was spearheaded by Rev. Dietra Wise of Liberation Christian Church in north County, who also co-chairs the “clergy caucus” of MCU.
DRINK UP!
According to Anheuser-Busch InBev, the Budweiser parent company, nearly 44 percent of 21-27 year-old drinkers today have never tried the brand. Craft beer sales now outstrip the “King of Beers.” Craft beers and flavored malts have contributed to a 9 percent decline in shipments of Budweiser. To reach that demographic, this year’s holiday ads are replacing the Clydesdale horses with people in their 20s looking directly into the camera and calling out friends’ names as a narrator asks, “If you could grab a Bud with any of your friends these holidays, who would it be?”
CHILD MOLESTER BACK IN TOWN
Former teacher David Kramer, who pled guilty to two counts of child molestation in St. Louis county in 2008 and was sentenced to a seven-year prison term, has been released and is now living on South Grand. He had taught in U. City and in Australia.

FERGUSON CHAOS

Our town seems strange and silent. The TV sets in offices, lobbies and bars looked blank and sullen; they had enjoyed being the center of attention for so long, too. The city and the world had lived with the Ferguson crisis so long. The tension flares up, the air was out of the balloon.  Since August, we have learned too much, and much of it too. The grand jury decision came at nightfall and a CNN reporter wondered why it wasn’t held in daytime that might’ve eliminated much of the chaos. The eyes of the world focused on Ferguson.
* N.Y. TIMES: “Fury boils from plains to both coasts”
* LONDON DAILY MAIL: “Explosive U.S. grand jury evidence reveals how aggressive black teenager taunted white police officer before he was shot”
* SOUTH AFRICA DAILY MAIL & GUARDIAN: “Riots grip Ferguson”
* TORONTO STAR: “Violence, looting erupt in Ferguson”
* PARIS LE MONDE: “Mort de Michael Brown – 4 raisons qui ont conduit au non-lieu du policies”
* CHINA DAILY: “Ferguson grand jury has reached decision”
* TIME: “Ferguson erupts as cop cleared”
Anderson Cooper
on CNN from Ferguson: “This is a sickening sight!”


BUD LIGHT AT SUPER BOWL

The official beer sponsor of the NFL is set to create the Ultimate
#UpForWhatever experience: Bud Light House of Whatever. . .Enter
oddsmakers for Super Bowl XLIX at the University of Phoenix Stadium:
Green Bay Packers $300 (3 to 1); New England Patriots $350 (7 to 2) and
the St. Louis Rams $100,000 (1,000 to 1).

CARDINAL DOLAN AT SYNAGOGUE SABBATH SERVICE

At NYC’s Park Avenue Synagogue Friday night, Cardinal Timothy Dolan was introduced to the worshipers and his Eminence spoke for some time. He spoke about the horrors happening in Israel and the killing of rabbis in Jerusalem.

JON STEWART ON THANKSGIVING

“I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone
in my neighborhood to my house, had an enormous feast, and then killed
them and took their land.”

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