Tuesday, July 7, 2009

His Time of the Month

If you grow up part of a minority group in America there are some things you just “get”. One of those things is probably more fine tuned in someone who is black and then, in order, Hispanics, Muslims, homosexuals, women—(even though they are in the majority, women are most often treated like members of a minority)--- Asians old enough to remember their treatment in the 1940s and the internment camps definitely qualify and would probably come next or, perhaps, the Jews… especially those of a certain age. I fall into this last category.

Like the blacks, the Hispanics, the Muslims, gays, women and Asians…. I “get” it; I recognize a bigot when I see one. I hear the buzz words. I am familiar with the terrain of their terminology. Now that we have an African American as President, and it is more prevalent than I have heard in… oh, such a long time…, my antennae are even more attuned than usual.

These days, here in the USA, we Jews are close to our apogee in terms of popularity. I am happy to relate it has been a long while since anyone saw those bumper stickers reading We Need Oil, Not Jews!! Thanks to Christian fundamentalists, who have come to realize you can’t have a “day of days” without an Israel, plus a whole bunch of tough guy “chicken hawks” rooting for the Jewish State to nuke Muslims… especially seein’ as how the US doesn’t “have the guts” for such a task… why, things have been down right quiet on the anti-Semitic front.

Bigots come in all shapes and sizes, but all brands of bigotry have ignorance as the common denominator. You can’t be at the top of your game and be a bigot. Prejudice of race, gender, sexual preference or religion has its root in stupidity and since we, as a people, are dumbing down even faster than most of us can calculate it is becoming a very big issue. Sarah Palin as Vice President? Rush Limbaugh as the spokesperson for one of the two great political parties of this nation? What ever happened to conservatives such as Nelson Rockefeller, Jacob Javits, Earl Warren, William Taft, Dwight Eisenhower… even Richard (you may not have liked him, and he may have had some personality flaws, but dumb he was not) Nixon?

I am reminded of this because of a memo I received today from our distributor of the Cagney & Lacey reunion films. Several retailers throughout the country have taken exception to the sub-title, The Menopause Years. I smiled when I heard this. I have been down this narrow road before.

What do we know? We know, for sure, that the merchants in question are guys. I mean, can you imagine a woman taking exception to the word “Menopause”? These male managers are taking exception and offense, and just like that southern governor, who so sanctimoniously lectured all of us on the sanctity of marriage before he started using his Passport to Argentina, these retail giants are determined to dictate their sensibilities… or what they like to call their “values”… to everyone else in their community. Since most of these middle managers… whether at retail stores or at your local TV station are guys… and, let’s face it, not the brightest lamps on the tree, our DVD distributor has a problem on his hands.

Never mind that every woman in the western world hears the word menopause in this context and knowingly smiles… Never mind that Cagney & Lacey is a brand name that is as current as your latest NYTimes crossword puzzle. This is another opportunity for stupid to win and it is the closest that this male manager is going to get to drape something in his own version of a Burka. You can bet, he just ain’t-a-gonna miss that opportunity.

Here’s your opportunity… drop by a store selling DVDs sometime soon. Don’t buy anything. Just tell the guy at the counter how you feel about this, tell him that come September you want to see Cagney & Lacey: The Menopause Years on his shelf or maybe this fall he will find a whole bunch of gals in burkas on parade outside his store. I would bet there is a female TV anchor out there in your town who would love to cover that story.

Barney Rosenzweig

July 09


Judy said...

So, last night I was watching network TV (almost a thing of the past for me now) and a L'Oreal commercial came on. It was an ad for their Age Perfect Re-Cushioning Serum Anti-Menopausal Skin. That's a mouthful, so I made sure to write down the product's name after the commercial ended because - (a) I could probably use me some and (b) it serendipitously jibed with your blog, BR. Commercials being what they are and doing what they are designed to do, it tried to make the case that if I used this miracle serum I, too, could look like the stunning but "mature" woman posing on screen. And to drive it home, the word "menopause" or "menopausal" was uttered again and again and again while all of America, I'm sure, was sent into cardiac arrest. "Cagney & Lacey" has faced some weird shit in its day but this new development is right up there. I could say that if men got hot flashes this wouldn't even be a discussion on the table, but that'd be snide and sarcastic of me and certainly not true of the good one's, like yourself. The whole world's gone nuts, I think. I'll be anxious to see how this unfolds but will also put in a good word at my local DVD retailer. Judy

Dori said...

Hey, Barney. This is off the topic, but I see your condo is on the market. Are you moving off your island? Moving to Panama? What's the plan??

Zandra LaPoI said...


Thanks for keeping us informed on what is going on.

I have checked Amazon.co.uk and there is no listing at this time for the menopause years.

When are we in the UK likely to see it? If there is a wait I will pre-order from Amazon.com and take the customs hit!! I had to pay an extra £12 for them to release my US Copy of Burn Notice!! B******s!!



Anonymous said...


Thanks for the info, I hope that the DVD release date is the same for Canada!! Anymore word on season 2 & beyond coming out on DVD, unfortunately I can't watch the TV.com episodes in Canada :(

CagneyandLaceysWebSquad said...

Barney replies to Zandra LaPol:

It all has to do with rights and ownership and other picky details.... The Menopause Years is controlled by this not-so-humble former ex-somebody only in the USA. Other folks (less worthy I hasten to add, lest I lose my "not-so-humble" status) have the stuff I made in all other parts of the world. The version being put out by Moger Entertainment on my behalf here in the US has unique material (liner notes by moi as well as video interview excerpts with Tyne Daly, Sharon Gless, Barbara Corday and guess who). I have no idea nor control of what goes on elsewhere, but if you wish to partake in the current round of fun you will have to do so either by way of Amazon in the US or..... stay tuned... very possibly this web site.

Barney Rosenzweig

Rach said...

Hi Barney

I wanted to say thank you for updating us! I'll be purchasing the "The Menopause years" collection very shortly for my Mom and myself from Amazon US. I think it's fantastic that it's being released.

Off topic - I have to say I really like the new site design as it's alot more interactive and looks great!

Have a wonderful week, Rachel B:)in Canada

CagneyandLaceysWebSquad said...

Barney replies to Rach:


Glad you like the new design... it is all a mystery to me and so I urge Ms Jacqueline A. Danson to read the compliment and to take the win... As usual, Carole R. Smith had more than a little to do with this as well, mostly coming under the category of having to put up with my lack of navigational skills vis-a-vis the Internet or any of its workings. Glad to hear you are purchasing The Menopause Years for yourself and your Mom, but why stop there? Your friends have Moms as well and what about your co-workers? The Canadian dollar is doing great so throw caution to the wind and do all your Christmas shopping with us and do it this fall. Would you believe that I was once a shy child? Probably not.  Thanks again for the support and the comment.

Rach said...

Hi Barney

Thanks for your response! I thought it was great. I love Christmas and shopping they go together very well for me.*g*. My BFF also enjoys C&L so good suggestion. If you're selling direct from this site I would buy from here and of course I love the idea of fridge magnets, pens etc that go into stockings.
Have a wonderful weekend and I simply say TGIF!!
Rachel B =)

PS I see the new blog for the fans which is great! Love that addition!

CagneyandLaceysWebSquad said...

Barney replies to Judy:


Thanks, Judy: Sometimes I think no one is reading my more serious stuff. The menopause blog was one of those that I hoped would stir some of the old Cagney & Lacey "to the barricades" kind of response, but it was not to be.

I asked that the blog be forwarded to Maureen Dowd at the NYTimes and whatever/whomever of the old feminist crowd that might still be interested in such a thing, but these days I am never sure if those kind of requests get done or if they do that anyone gives a hoot. So far, Judy, its you and me.

Hell, in the 80s I could have turned that bit of narrowness into a two-part C&L episode and had pickets outside of whatever male bastion I named. But today the outrages are so much bigger and more obscene that I guess it is tough to get noticed with just old fashioned sexism.

Too bad. I thought Rachel Maddow might have had some fun with this one.


CagneyandLaceysWebSquad said...

Barney replies to "Anonymous":


My rights in terms of the distribution of The Menopause Years relate only to the US so you will have to deal with an outfit such as Amazon in the USA or, quite possibly us here at Cagneyandlacey.com

We won't know about this last for a while yet and, quite frankly, I don't know who controls the rights in Canada and elsewhere, but whomever they are they will not have the package that we have put together.

No word as yet as to the release of the rest of the series on DVD... a lot will depend on how this release of The Menopause Years goes. If we are successful, I would sure have an argument with which to go to the powers that be to give us another chance away from the very lame group of itinerant managers that put out the first season. 

Fingers crossed.


CagneyandLaceysWebSquad said...

Barney replies to Rachel B's second comment:


Thanks for all the new stuff on the site goes to Jacqueline A. Danson and Carole R. Smith. They continue to persevere in the face of my daily mood swings from apathy to hostility.

The Menopause Years goes on sale end of September and we will know well before that if we are going to offer them through the site, but--if not--Amazon is a good bet.

Better still is to ask your local retail store to carry The Menopause Years when released this fall.

As efficient as Amazon can be, it would be great for us to have those videos on shelves where not only the motivated you, but the impulse buyer gets a chance to step up and make a purchase.


CagneyandLaceysWebSquad said...

Dori said:

Hey, Barney. This is off topic, but I see your condo is on the market. Are you moving off your island? Moving to Panama? What's the plan?

Barney replies:

Our place on Fisher is no longer on the market (did I hear some way ask "what market?) Things are flat here in Florida and I write of the market, not the topography. So it is no to selling and a definite no to Panama.


CagneyandLaceysWebSquad said...

Dori said...
Thanks for the fast reply.

July 23, 2009 7:46 PM

Kristy said...

I have been in my own peri-menopausal frenzy for the past few months and checking this site is one of the many things I've neglected. Why didn't anyone tell me that my early forties would be so much fun? Aging parent, daughter coming of age, hormonal imbalances, mood swings (no hot flashes yet) - WHAT FUN! Not...

I am not at my most eloquent these days so forgive me for bluntly saying I cannot believe how far up their crumbling assets these store managers have their heads. What is this - the 1950s? Like when the word pregnant couldn't be used on "I Love Lucy" (and those double beds weren't exactly conducive to making a Little Ricky). It really is hard to fathom anyone being offended by the word menopause. Commercials all hours of the day for erectile dysfunction ("my doctor told me about LEVITRA" - does that sound like a hooker name to anyone else?)... That is a huge double-standard. I take offense... I will have words with store managers when I can trust myself to use my "inside voice" again.


CagneyandLaceysWebSquad said...

Barney replies to Kristy:


Now that is more like it! I have been waiting for someone... anyone... to get as indignant as I and finally here comes Ms. Kristy. Better late than never. I was beginning to despair, but you have now made this old guy smile so thanks for that... Man the barricades and.... get your burka ready.


Rach said...

Hi Kristy -
Your blog was well said! I'm 38 years old and my menopause years will be here soon enough.

Hi Barney -
Thank you for responding! I will be speaking to my store managers (Best Buy, Wal-Mart)to ask them to carry this "Menopause" collection. I'm in Canada and the stores should automatically carry this on our shelves. Goes without saying.*g* Otherwise as mentioned I will be purchasing on Amazon or (if it's offered) here.

Have a great day everyone =), Rachel B

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the response to my questions about the DVDs & there availability in Canada. Also, you can let the powers that be who own the rights to the show and usually pander to the young that I am 30 years old (and was 3 when C&L first hit TV)and I own the season 1 DVDs, will be buying the Menopause Years DVDs and if they ever get off their butts and put out the other seasons of C&L on DVDs I'd buy ALL of them too.

Anika said...

I'm just glad to hear you and Sharon are still happily married! Way to go.

Lynn said...

Hey Barney:

You know I would even pay money to see toni collette and renee zelwegger play christine cagney and mary beth lacey oh yea! If and when there is a C&L movie made in 2010, who else would you have to get to protray the rest of the C&L cast? I'm sure sharon and tyne would even pay money to see toni collette protay mary beth lacey, and renee zelwegger protray christine cagney in a 2010 movie remake of the tv series origanl of C&L. So more power to yea barney.

Arlene said...

Hi Barney,
You have a wonderful way with words. I hope you will write more books. Until I read your C&L book, I knew nothing about the entertainment business. In parts it was quite technical, but using your brand of humor, you educated your readers while keeping it interesting and easy to read.

It seems that you have made it a life long goal to see all of C&L released on DVD's. I sincerely hope we will see that happen in your (and our) lifetime. As Sharon well knows (having had the privilege of talking to her on numerous rfamily cruises), that series had a profound effect on my life, at a time in my life when I didn't feel life was worth living. I would love the opportunity to own and view the entire series again. Best of luck to you in that endeavor.

Thank you for this site and for allowing all the C&L fans an opportunity to express ourselves.

I wish both you and Sharon good health and happiness for many more years.


Terry said...

Hi Barney - I just found your Blog while looking at the CL site. My co-worker are SO excited about the marathon on 1/15. I've really missed them, but we both are hooked on Burn Notice and absolutely love Sharon in it.
That said, I can't imagine what women find so offensive about mentioning menopause. I got a chuckle out of the title. Personally, I can't wait for it to be over with. It just signals the next chapter in my life.
As far as bigotry is concerned, I am a Bible-believing Christian who works for the Federal Government. I am not allowed to share my beliefs about Christ with the veterans I serve, even though I believe that their knowledge of His forgiveness would help them get over the horrors of what they did during their service to our great country. I pray daily for Israel, for peace and reconciliation between different faiths, and I thank you for sharing your views.