Mary Birdsong
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  • October22nd

    Apparently the all-boys Catholic highschool, which had previously agreed to be one of the locations for the Moore/Page vehicle FREEHELD, wasted no time backing out of the deal once they found out the film was about…

    (bum bum bum buhhhhm…) a lesbian couple!??!

    Currently “filming in sin.”

    This leads me to believe that the students themselves were not consulted on this decision at all.

    ‘Cause I can’t think of ANYONE who’d be more psyched to watch two hot chicks shoot a movie about lesbians in their school than a bunch of teenage Catholic boys. Can you?

    Oh, Roman Catholic Church! Stop being so… well so CATHOLIC!

    I’m lucky enough to have been cast in the role of Ellen Page’s mom in the film.  And I’m so proud to take part in this project.  And even though I truly love Pope Francis, this latest (typical) behavior by the Catholic church makes me so glad I am NOT counted among its army of “good Christian soldiers.” From baptism onward, I was definitely on the Catholic fast track, to be sure.  So what happened to lead me astray?  Well the groovy seventies happened, for one.  But it was more complicated than that.

    Prima comunione modificato-1.jpg

    Does this go?

    You see, I have a small, but meaningful, bit of first-hand knowledge on all things Catholic.  My mom used to cook and clean for the “sisters” at a convent in NJ. I was baptized in a Catholic church. I attended Catholic kindergarten. And then at the age of seven I received first communion as a Catholic. (Oh, the sweet taste of “Jesus Wafer!”)  The clouds parted, the holy dove appeared, and then so did Neil Diamond, singing “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon!”

    In my teenage years I was supposed to seal the deal (so to speak) with Hayzoo Crisco® by having my Catholic confirmation ceremony, but I never GOT confirmed.

    Many Catholic kids my age were doing it. So why didn’t I? Did my mom oversleep that day? Maybe I was sick. Or maybe we just plain couldn’t afford the fancy white outfit. I don’t remember the reason.  But I know I wasn’t a conscientious objector either.

    Whatever it was that stopped me from experiencing the sacrament of confirmation, the bottom line is this:

    Since I am not a confirmed Catholic, it follows that I must be an UN-confirmed Catholic, ergo…

    I AM A CATHOLIC RUMOR.

    I wasn’t EXCOMMUNICATED from the Catholic Church. I’m still allowed to go there and eat the body of Christ and sing and stuff like that. But I’m merely someone for confirmed Catholics to gossip about.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have LOTS of sinning to get to, so those who are confirmed will have some juicy rumors to spread about me.

     

  • October2nd

    Mary Birdsong plays Fionnula Sears in Episode 7 of The Knick.

    Got GILF?

     

     

    In case you saw me in episode seven of The Knick this week (“Get The Rope!”) I feel it my womanly duty to post the photo on the left… as a reminder to Hollywood that I’m not an ACTUAL drunk, racist, Irish grandma named Fionnula Sears- but I still like being in her skin. #ewthatsoundedcreepy!  This series really is one of the best things I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of.

    But in Slant magazine‘s recap  of the episode, I’m not sure whether to be flattered or insulted by Steve MacFarlane’s review:

    As ambulance driver Cleary (Chris Sullivan) strategically keeps the crowd at bay, Sears’s mother (Mary Birdsong) clamors into the Knick, where her son barely continues to breathe.  Drunk, spiteful, and filled with colorful colloquialisms, Fionella Sears is almost too extreme a character to exist within Soderbergh’s fragile ecosystem of class and race pressures. Both funny and genuinely unpredictable, she commands attention whenever she’s on screen, with elder cops and little Irish boys standing at her beck and call.

    She offhandedly tells the Knick’s staff that Phinny’s “got more pluck in the little finger than all of ye have got in all your sorry souls,” and the cops all take a swig of whiskey in solidarity, but it feels facile. Phinny dies, and she incites the crowd to “hang every one of them black bastards. Take down every one of ‘em fuckin’ darkies. Rip their throats and grind their eyes down to jelly! Make ‘em pay for what they done to my Phinny!” To which men in the crowd immediately comply, tackling and beating random black passersby at a moment’s notice. Maybe this is how it really went down in 1900, but the randomly plucked characters and easy incitement feel more like a complex story is being told in a cheap amount of time.”

    (Pssst…. Hey, Steve? Mr. MacFarlane? Her first name is spelled “Fionnula” (not Fionella), but don’t worry, she’ll probably be too drunk to notice.)

    And here’s a great review of the show by a critic who didn’t like it at first, but is newly converted! Read Emily Nussbaum’s thoughtful addendum to her initial misgivings in The New Yorker.  I, for one, greatly respect a critic thoughtful enough to occasionally don her flip-flops and reverse a decision made too hastily.

    (And hey before we part ways in this intimate bloggy space, do this GILF a solid by telling the folks in the Cinemax suits you want more Fionnula Sears shenanigans on season two of  The Knick. Go to their Facebook page here, or tweet at ‘em here.  And check out their page on Cinemax’s website here.)

    As Fionnula would say: TANX, LUV!

  • October2nd

    Patients’ Symptoms Raise Concern About Ebola in New York – NYTimes.com.

    America- We're super chill.

    America- We’re super chill. Unless you’re Mexican…ish.

    Why is America so super chill about people being brought onto US soil from Ebola-riddled areas in Africa (who could possibly spread the deadly virus here), yet is all freaky-pants cray-cray when we’re asked to give refuge to a bunch of little Latin American kids fleeing crack dealers (who stalk them in the school system and will rape them if they don’t sell drugs)?

    I don’t get it.  But maybe that’s why myyyyyy face isn’t the one gracing Lady Liberty’s smoking’ hot bod in New York Harbor.

    Of course- I think we SHOULD grant entry in both cases, but it just strikes me as funny how, as a country, American histrionics aren’t consistent when it comes to our borders and who we let cross them.  It’s just the Mexican* thing that gets our citizens (literally) up in arms.

    I think it’s because illegal crossing of the Mexican border is so easy to understand.  It’s easy to visualize school bus after school bus vomiting out streams of little illegal immigrant invaders– diaper-clad drug lords sucking on their juice boxes and waving their M-16s.  But it’s much more difficult to imagine some virus running around taking our jobs.

    * The latest hot-button “border bunch” isn’t technically from Mexico, of course. They’re from other countries that are kinda LIKE Mexico.  They’reMexic-ish: Honduras, Guatemala… places like that that. But, we’re American, and we don’t really care.   So let’s just call them Mexican.

  • September21st

    MEAT & OKRA…      & MEETIN’ OPRAH!

    (Because okra’s gross.  But Oprah’s not. And if ANYONE can give this slimy, Cajun-cooked freak a TV-ready makeover, it’s Oprah.  Here’s my killer idea for the world’s worst cooking show.)

    There's okra. There's Oprah.  And you get to meet them both!

    There’s okra. And there’s Oprah. And you’d get to meet both!

     

    It’s perfect for the FOOD NETWORK (or O.W.N. - not sure which).  Maybe it’ll be one of those new-fangled shows that are simulcast on two channels at once! Okay, so the concept is simple- Every episode, a Southern lady would makes a dish that includes  meat, and a mushy, slimy vegetable that creeps me out (aka OKRA). Then Oprah comes out and eats it. Come on- it writes itself!  Seriously, I really do hate okra, unless it’s in a gumbo or something, but this  recipe for Ground Beef Chili with Stir-Fried Okra actually looks pretty good, and is very healthy. This nice lady at biscuitsandsuch.com seems to like okra a lot, so maybe I should re-think…

    …those slimy little sci-fi lookin’ green sumbitches!  Aaaaaghhhhhh!!!!! 

    This is Capt Kirk on planet okra- do you read me?
    CAPT. KIRK on PLANET OKRA

    (Photo of Oprah, sans her adorbs okra accessories, courtesy of rolling out.com)

  • September16th

    Come to Sit n Spin this Thursday @Comedy Central Stage.

    (I’m telling a story that includes two grown-up black dudes named Bunny and Lambchop.)

    and it’s freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    Weeeee! (will be expecting you)!
    Weeeee (will be expecting you)!

     

    All shows start at 8pm at The Hudson Theater in Hollywood

    Limited seating, so be sure to call (323) 960-5519 for reservations.

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