Saturday, December 13, 2008

Some people are REALLY excited about Obama

I know there are certain people in the country and around the world who are excited about the impending Obama presidency, but as it turns out there are some people who are really, really, REALLY excited about the impending Obama presidency.


Via: Global Orgasm

"The world is celebrating the election of the new USA President, Barack Obama, and the hope for change that he has stirred in our hearts. We are riding the wave of joy and renewal, which gives us a flying start for this year’s Global O! It’s the Global OOObama Factor! "

Apparently the big day is December 21st. As if the next few weeks weren't busy enough now I have to squeeze this in. And if that's not bad enough it turns out that the "Global O Time" for Los Angeles is 4:04 AM. I mean come on, I have kids. The last time I saw that hour of the day I was driving toward a location to shoot the sunrise.

Fortunately there are commemorative t-shirts available.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Ultimate Story of Personal Transformation

As the LA Times trips over itself to toss laurels on Benicio Del Toro for his performance as the psychopathic murderer Che Guevara in the feature film biopic so poignantly titled, "Che," (a film reviewed after it's 4 hour 18 minute premier at Cannes by Daily Variety as a "commercial impossibility") one small piece of humor arises in toward the end of the story.

The piece describes Del Toro's next role as "perhaps the ultimate story of personal transformation. What could they be talking about? Shakespeare, Ibsen, Williams, O'Neill???

No, nothing so esoteric.

It's "The Wolf Man."


Sunday, November 30, 2008

The X-Files Hopenchange™ is Out There

I have to admit, being the slightly off balance UFO nut that I am, that I'd love to see the government reveal everything it has squirreled away in the deep dark file cabinets hidden in those deep dark basements with wet and dripping walls about UFOs. According to this story (Via Hot Air) there is currently Hope™ that it just may occur during an Obama administration.
Desperate to see the US emulate the British Government and disclose reported "contact" with UFOs, the enthusiasts have written to Mr Obama to ask that his administration comes clean about the contents of America's "X-Files".

They believe they have good prospects of success after public statements of support from both John Podesta, who is running Mr Obama's White House transition team, and Bill Richardson, the Governor of New Mexico - a UFO sighting hotspot - who is expected to secure a cabinet post.

The trouble is that I almost hate to see the cover-up ended. I mean who hasn't had a blast staying up late to listen to Art Bell/ George Noory talking with some expert about what the truth really is, or reading the Majestic documents or thrilling to every little detail about Roswell (before it became a cultural phenomenon) or even just cruising around on the Mufon web site. If the government reveals all then all that goes away - poof! Suddenly Unidentified Flying Object becomes Identified Flying Object. And what fun is that?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Groups of focus

As I sit here with the kids watching one of those great stop-motion Christmas specials from my youth on DVD and the turkey in the oven racing toward 161 degrees (cooking by thermometer will set you free) I had a few more thoughts on story (and also a glass of wine in my hand so forgive any alcohol induced rambling that might ensue).

As a writer I'm fascinated with story and story telling and the impetus for telling a particular story. What, after all, is it all about? I was particularly struck by McKee's statement that the feature film, is for all intents and purposes, dead. I'm intrigued by it because I think that in a very real sense it's true. But why? Why is the feature film dead (or dying). Television, as McKee says, has taken over the realm of compelling stories and while I agree, I still find it distressing and the eternal optimist that resides within me and the soul of almost everyone who engages a career in Hollywood wants it very much to not be true.

Although there are and have been a growing number of shows on television that I love, my heart belongs to the cinema. Sitting in a worn, slightly funky, rough-fabric upholstered seat, the sticky floor, the darkness, the screen, the smell of various and sundry concessions always infused with some sort of popcorny odor, finding those little, out-of-the-way theaters that show those little out-of-the-way films with lobbies that just scream for a new coat of paint (and perhaps a mop) - the whole damn thing that just makes the movies magic. And yet as I scan the pages of the Los Angeles Times Calendar section, looking for a reason to hire a baby sitter and brave the crowds and sit through the provocative world of theatrical commercials I find myself less and less inclined to venture out and more and more inclined to agree with McKee and venture in, whether to use TV as a medium or as a surrogate appliance (to watch movies on DVD). True, as a 40-year-old father of small children I am not in the prime audience demographic for the studios, but as a complete and total film geek/maker, I'm frequently eager to overlook the selections of focus-group-guided film executives and find something if not big and exciting and mindless then at least small and weird.

But as I wrote in my previous, and rather longish and ramblingish post on story, our stories, when it comes to feature films are chosen by a smaller and ever smaller politically and socially biased crew, such that the hero's quest is now only told if the dragon to be slain is a tenured member of the military-industrial complex (I'm not even going to mention the recent trend in horror - the so called gore-porn flicks). Even comedy has become banal and monochromatic. The trouble is that the movies themselves have become banal and monochromatic. It's not just political or socially based banality and monochromaticism (to coin a word). The trouble I think is that feature film has forsaken the story and gone after the concept and while that can be good in small measure, it blows chunks when everyone does it. Can you sell it in a 30 second commercial or an internet blurb? Can you get asses in the seats on the first weekend - get a huge opening so that everyone goes out and buys the DVD? The rest of movie and by and large the audience's reaction to it be damned. It's a strange way to make a film - a strange approach toward showmanship. It's a strange way to sell a product. It's somewhat PT Barnum, somewhat proctologist. Of course with the advent of blackberries and the internet it's the audience that's starting to strap on and the Ivy crowd that's playing Bendover Boyfriend. A really piss poor movie is no longer guaranteed a giant opening just because every theater in your 47 screen multi-plex is playing it on a 5 minute-rotation. And with ticket prices what they are, dinner prices what they are and the possibility of starting off the night watching "Lost" with your girlfriend on the couch in your parent's basement with the lights off (which is kind of the whole point of a date to begin with) just seems to give audiences a little more reason to lace up that latex appendage.

My guess is that things will change back. The Feature film is a form that's really an evolution of something that's been around since at least the Greeks trod the boards and probably earlier. The trouble as I see it though is the film is an art form that benefits from a singular vision as apposed to a group vision (which is not the same as the whole auteur thing - which, as a director, I really disagree with) and movies these days are made by groups of all sorts, groups of writers, groups of executives, groups of groups (production, finance, marketing) and of course, the inevitable groups of focus. Once movies become bad enough as business for the giant conglomerates, it will change back. People will pick up the reigns and film will once again become a respected art form.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hard hitting journalism at the LA Times

Times are tough, the economy is on the rocks, companies are lining up at the Federal trough to feed off the backs of working Americans, the entirety of the America auto industry is about to collapse. There are two wars going on and a substantial portion of Southern California has been reduced to ash. It is in this atmosphere that the Los Angeles Times continues it's tradition of hard-hitting, Pulitzer Prize winning journalism with a front-page, above-the-fold photo of President Elect, Barack Obama...buying a sandwich.

Friday, November 21, 2008

McKee is definitely the man

McKee is definitely the man when it comes to writing. I took his course and it was one of the best long weekends (and money) I ever spent. I'm certainly not going to argue with him about this.
If screenwriting guru Robert McKee has the plot right, Hollywood is the villain in the piece and TV is the hero. But how the story ends is another question.
"Hollywood films? The death rattle of a dying industry," said the acclaimed screenwriting instructor, in Paris for one of his sold-out "Story" seminars.

"The best writers are creating TV series. It's all in TV," he told AFP.

I'm certainly not going to give him an argument.

Whole thing here.

What about drugs?

(again) Via Hot Air:
If a job application included a question about religion, especially for a government position, First Amendment advocates would rightly go ballistic. The ire of Second Amendment activists is easily understood, then, arising from the questionnaire prospective Obama administration employees must complete. The 59th question demands to know whether the applicant or anyone in his/her family owns a firearm...

I was just wondering if the questionnaire has any queries regarding illegal drug use. I mean, you just want to make sure that all members of the administration are in line with drug laws. You know???
Obama’s transition team declined to go into detail on why they included the question, suggesting only that it was done to ensure potential appointees were in line with gun laws.

A view of the world through two New England towns.

Via Hot Air:

David Brooks puckers up and lays a big juicy fat one on some Obama Administration derriere with this column today. Now I'm not one to jump on the David Brooks as RINO mule-driven wagon train, but this column is so sycophantic and giddy over the prospect of a all-Ivy, all-the-time Oval office that it's almost impossible to take it seriously.
Already the culture of the Obama administration is coming into focus. Its members are twice as smart as the poor reporters who have to cover them, three times if you include the columnists.

While Brooks is delirious over the fact that a cadre of academic over achievers has taken up residence on Pennsylvania Ave, I'm not so thrilled. I mean, call me a bleeding heart liberal, but there some merit in having maybe a few people from diverse backgrounds somewhere in the Oval Office? Weren't we trying (and by "we" I don't actually mean to include myself) to achieve just such a thing with this election? Doesn't selecting an administration with such similar educations constitute some kind narrowness??? Granted because their names at suffixed with a "D" that automatically affords them an expanded and magnanimous world view, but - and I could be entirely wrong about this - there are one or two people in this country who are smart, successful and went to a (God forbid) state school?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The log line was not developed by shamans sitting around a campfire.

This piece by Dr. Helen on Pajamas Media regarding conservative culture is interesting (as is her conversation on PJTV with Bill Whittle on this topic) and strikes fairly close to the bone for what I hope to do with this blog.

… culture drives politics and not the other way around, at least in my opinion. Because of this, it is imperative that if conservative and libertarian ideas are to survive, we must educate people in ways that they can relate to — and this means popular culture in the form of books, music, television, movies, and social groups, starting with education.

I find this thought compelling, not entirely because I was just at a gathering where the call for story and specifically conservative story was made, but because it gets to a fundamental of not only culture but also society and about the human condition in general. It illustrates why story is important to the human race and why we are at a dangerous crossroads regarding story.

Getting conservative ideas into mass media is tricky on a good day and it’s either got to be done surreptitiously or, most likely through alternate means. But what is important in terms of this argument is not so much the lack of conservative ideals in mass media as what that lack reveals about the process by which stories in mass media migrate from creator to audience. Story has been of supreme importance to mankind since William Goldman’s ancestors squatted around campfires shaping myth and roasting brontosaurus burgers. There is no doubt that the campfire has certainly evolved over time but it is not the campfire we are concerned with, nor the storytellers. It is the fire starters themselves that concern us.

Everything we learn about who or what we are comes from story. We learn through example and what is an example but a story of something that happened to someone else. History is story, language is story, love, life and even science to great degree comes to us through story. The great and small myths of humanity are all stories that have endured because they pass along wisdom. Many of these stories not only bridge cultures but exist spontaneaously in cultures geographically, developmentally and philosophically divergent from each other. The hero’s quest (as I reveal my Joseph Campbell acolyte status) follows certain rules no matter the teller or his language. Theories abound as to why this is. It could be because of a common root for all myth; a creation story for all creation stories or it could be a set of common experiences in diverse areas distilled through biologically similar minds, or even, as some say, a single God speaking in many languages. But regardless, for countless generations, stories were passed down around campfires or in temples or the written word and the accumulated wisdom of the ages became available to those coming behind. We have not only a genetic link to our ancestors but a narrative one as well. Now however, there is a risk that link could be broken. As more and more people receive what they know about the world through mass media the link to the past, the link to our narrative past, to the accumulated wisdom of the ages, is in danger.

That storytelling itself has assumed a new form is obvious. The campfire is now burning bits and bites instead of wood, but whether told by a grandfather, celluloid or silicone, the process by which stories reach the campfire has changed and that's what's important. This is not a critique of storytelling per se, this is a critique of the bias inherent in the system of bringing these stories to the public. Political bias favoring the leftward side of the spectrum is only part of the problem.

The passing of stories has veered from the realm of myth designed to transfer a greater or even simpler wisdom to the realm of whatever inspires someone at a Hollywood talent agency or production company or studio or publishing house to see dollar signs. This is not only a tremendous loss for human kind but also a dangerous direction in the course of human events. We are no longer taught lessons that have filtered down from our great-great-grandparents because they are enduring truths or are illustrative of the human condition or because they impart knowledge or lessons or aspects of culture or belief, but hit with stories structured almost pathologically into three acts created in and by Hollywood and it’s affiliates because they sell, or more specifically because someone thinks they will sell. In this scenario, the new and easily exploited is valued far greater than any other consideration.

Now don’t get me wrong. This is not an anti-capitalist screed. There is absolutely nothing wrong with selling your work. There is nothing wrong with capitalism in itself and there is nothing wrong with profit. The free market should be a marketplace of both dollars and ideas and ideas should be part of the currency as well as the commerce. But the problem is we are not talking about a free market where the seller’s ability to reach his buyer is dependent only on the laws of supply and demand. We are talking about a very controlled market where the whims and wishes and tastes of a very few determine what will and will not be sold. We are not selling to a wide audience we are selling to a very narrow one.

In Hollywood, for the storyteller, the audience – the market at large - is frequently a later consideration. Pick up any screenwriting or novel writing book or take any writing course and a significant part will be about reaching script readers and agents and development executives and producers. These are the people writers must appeal to in crafting stories and must appeal primarily to or they will never have the chance to appeal to anyone else. Of course there are exceptions to this. With the rise of the internet, YouTube, affordable cameras, editing technology and self publishing services there are markets and avenues opening that are not guarded by these middle-men. An alternate media is forming and it is taking shape quickly, but it is without question that the vast majority of human kind gets its information and entertainment through traditional mass media and mass media is inserting itself and co-opting more and more forcefully the alternate means.

While middle-men are common in many industries and they can and frequently do decide what to present for sale, most often they are ruled by what the market wants. They see a need and they fill it. It is rare in this world for personal, philosophical bias to rule the day, but in media it is almost universally the rule of the day.

Why is this important? It’s important because in a society where mass media takes on the role of storyteller or myth maker and where mass media permeates and informs so much of society even outside entertainment, it means that fewer and fewer of us are telling fewer and fewer stories. It also means that a startlingly small number of people are deciding which stories are worth telling at all. It becomes tremendously important therefore to understand how and why they make their choices.

The quality of storytelling is not at issue. Though and argument could be made that poor storytelling seems more and more to be the rule, especially in feature film, there are great stories that do make it to television or the silver screen or even the pages of books but they are in large measure stories that also meet the requirement of being first and foremost commercial and which fall into, or at least don’t contradict a certain political philosophy. There are countless “Erin Brockovich” stories but precious few “Horatio Alger” tales. Stepping from obscurity to achieve greatness is OK in Hollywood as long as you’re going after social injustice and engaged in pursuit of “the man"; a plot line so common, in fact, as to be formulaic. This is so common in fact that it can often overpower economic concerns. Witness, for example, the string of flops about Iraq or the decision to make a movie about a President who most of the country doesn’t particularly care (try to blow that past Louis B. Mayer) by a man who couldn’t be trusted to make an objective film about his own mother. In the real world, however, there isn’t always social injustice and many people aspire to be “the man” – or at least live in peace and harmony with him and their wives and three point two kids in a nice four bedroom house with a lawn out front and a decent retirement account. That, after all, is the American dream. That traditional life is what most of us aspire to and what those of us who lives find filled with conflict and drama. Those films are few and far between. Conflict and drama are largely ignored by Hollywood when it comes to traditional life, the odd Christmas/Holiday movie-of-the-week being the exception. Why? Because the former is clearly preferred, politically and economically by those who make the decisions.

The reason this is important to conservatives specifically and to humanity at large, should be as obvious as the bias that exists in Hollywood. If our stories are to be told, if ancient stories are to be told, they have to capture the minds of readers who approach their choices from an economic standpoint colored heavily by a specific socio-political bent – whether they realize it or not. Market forces do not drive decisions, but ideological forces do. What that means is that the broad swath of experience that needs to be handed from generation to generation is narrowing considerably and in many cases it is being choked off. But it’s important to tell all stories because this is how we learn. This is how children learn and how – most importantly – conflict resolution is learned. “The Three Little Pigs,” “Jack in the Beanstalk,” “The Ugly Duckling” are all stories that are told to children to teach them about dealing with the world and about dealing with conflict and resolution in a way that not only entertains them but captures their attention. But it’s not just about children. We don’t finish that learning as we age. Stories teach us until the day we die whether we're hearing them or telling them. And when we tell them, our audience’s reception of them is colored by how they have been taught, largely through consuming other media, to perceive the actions, events and motives in the story. If only “Jack in the Beanstalk” is told, and only from the viewpoint of Giant as oppressor, we might then begin to see the Wolf as a freedom fighter in “The Three Little Pigs.” The “Ugly Duckling” could be portrayed as a tale of triumph over adversity, but if we are not to hear that aspect of it because it conflicts with the zeitgeist in Bel Aire, then we lose a valuable piece of knowledge and a valuable piece to the puzzle of who and what we are. What's more if only "Jack in the Beanstalk" is told and is told as a tale of social injustice, then the conflict-resolution learned in the story is violence - the giant is, after all, killed by Jack in the end. That's important because the audience is learning that violence is justified in this situation. But social injustice is an amorphous concept. Children can easily see bullying or a teacher playing favorites as social injustice and if they are taught repeatedly to deal with it through violence, then we have a problem. Certainly a leftist philosophy would see this a vital message, and as part of a spectrum, that's fine, but the problem here is that other messages are not making it through. It is important that stories are told and it is important that a wide range of stories are told from a wide range of viewpoints. Right now, those who seek to tell stories that do not fall into the prevalent philosophy face a hostile environment and if past experiences are any judge that environment will only get tougher.

We learn, as Dr. Helen suggests, through culture and in our world culture is more and more presented through media. Currently our media and therefore our culture is overseen by people of an inflexible philosophy. That is not healthy. The internet and the availability of inexpensive production equipment may help change this, but it won't unless people take them up and do so. Moreover, it won’t unless we aggressively guard and protect these outlets. Concepts like the “Fairness Doctrine” and “Net Neutrality” are living dragons licking their chops in anticipation of biting the heads off dissenters. Mass media, for the moment, still has the vast majority of the audience and it's where the stories are told it is where opinions are made. Some have taken to hiding in plain site, hiding messages and ideas within shows that appeal to that narrow audience in Beverly Hills but this is clearly not enough. The system must be changed. The human race is in danger of not only losing a vital link to its past, but heading in a dangerous direction. We are halfway down a slippery slope and so far there are only moguls ahead.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

AP gets tough on Photoshoppers

Hot on the heels of the recent "fauxtography" scandals of (insert news organization here) detailed with a loving hand here the AP decides to crack down...

...on the US Army.

"For us, there's a zero-tolerance policy of adding or subtracting actual content from an image," said Santiago Lyon, the AP's director of photography.

For US, that is those who are writers, this falls neatly into the genre know as tragicomdey.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Optimistic Hero with a Thousand Faces (well, maybe more like 40)

I spent a good part of this afternoon in the valley talking with compatriots about story. Well, not really talking so much as listening and then talking a little about story as well as other things pinging, post-election, around the minds of conservatives. Most of what I heard was well spoken and well thought, coherent, intelligent and on point (rather unlike this blog). Not exactly how the typical movie would present a scene with a group of conservatives. In fact there was not one evil capitalist (played by Richard Dreyfus) chuckling in the corner while plotting to steal Christmas geese from the mouth of whatever Tiny Tim happened to fall into his greasy arthritic claws.

But with all the talk and ideas, there is a definite feeling among creative conservatives that our stories need to be told. America needs heroes and many of my ilk feel that we can provide them. There's an obvious problem of course, in that Hollywood is a place where the keys to the realm are held by people who clearly oppose what we believe and believe themselves, in many cases, that our beliefs stem from either ignorance or evil. Without question, getting our stories out is a daunting prospect. But it is representative of the eternal optimist extant in both those who have endeavored to make a career in Hollywood and conservatives in general that talk of how difficult it might be never really came up. How ironic that the general feeling of the day tended to be - to borrow a phrase - yes we can.

Social, Moderate, Yes, No, Maybe

HotAir discusses a comment by Christine Todd Whitman and Robert M. Bostock regarding their assertion that this election was lost because of the social conservatives.

Ed Morrissey has this to say: Bollocks. The data shows that moderates moved to Barack Obama, which comes as no surprise after eight years of Republican control of the White House. Unless Whitman shows that Bush’s position on embryonic stem-cell research was the leading issue on voters’ minds, her extrapolation that the shift in moderates came from a sudden allergy to social conservatism is the worst kind of statistical manipulation. It’s correlation without causation.

My feeling on this is yes and no. Well, maybe. I think in most of the hot button social conservative issues, stem cell, abortion, gay marriage, et al are fine and dandy when all things are equal, but when the going gets tough most Americans probably prefer to focus on making sure the foundation is safe before moving in the furniture and I think this economic crises appeared to be a case of the foundation cracking. We suddenly had a lot of people looking at retirement accounts that were vanishing and talking heads screaming about a second great depression. In that environment I think the social issues took a back seat. The problem was that we had a candidate who couldn't articulate a plan or much of anything else to deal with the economy and the party fell back on hoping that Palin would bring in the socials, which she did. The trouble was, most Americans wanted the candidate who at least didn't look befuddled when it came to the economy - or at least had answers - ANY answers. McCain consistently lacked those. To be honest, I think Iraq won W. the last election. In spite of how bad things might have been there and how many people were dissatisfied with it, I just don't think the country could stomach turning a raging war over to Kerry.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Here's an interesting story on Pajamas about the potential future of the Republican party. I have to admit this rings a bell of truth with me (and my libertarian leaning soul) and causes me a bit of worry.
In fact, the problem is that the GOP is approaching Dixiecrat status — not in belief, but in political reach. Tom Davis (R-VA) knows a thing or two about that. The congressman from affluent Fairfax, Virginia, a D.C. suburb, announced his retirement after seeing his wife lose her state senate seat in a wave of blue. He has witnessed his district vote in successive elections for two Democratic U.S. senators and the Democratic presidential nominee. In a recent interview he said, “We’ve become a regional party, basically become a white, rural, regional party, and not a national party. And we’re going to have to retool ourselves.”

Of course there's tremendous doom and gloom and woe-is-me proselytizing from all corners of Republican thought these days but given the still bleeding nature of the wounds it may be a little early to start spreading word of the demise.

That being said there is some concern forming in my mind about the dominance of the so called "social conservatism" in the GOP. Which doesn't mean that I don't share some of those beliefs, but I'm a little uneasy, having grown up in a family that played belief, among other things, very close to the vest. But aside from personal reasons I think there's a tactical and practical reason to downplay social and religious issues, but my thoughts aren't fully formulated on the subject, so rather than plow, in the grand tradition of the interweb, forward with half-formed thoughts, obtuse logic and general rumors and innuendo, I'm going to hold off for a few until I can really put things down on paper (metaphorically speaking).

But if you just can't wait for those rumors and innuendo, well, apparently Oprah Winfrey has tried to purchase Area 51.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Traditionalists vs. Reformers, cage match

Well, there does seem to be some soul searching in conservative circles these days. I have to admit that with the overwhelming defeat of Republicans nationwide - especially in my native state of Connecticut, I am a little concerned for the future of the movement (not so much the party).

Anyway, a few interesting thoughts on the topic here and here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Lots of turmoil

There's a lot of turmoil in the world of conservatism.

Friday, November 7, 2008



What the heck is going on with Minnesota? First Jessie Ventura for Governor, now - maybe - Al Franken for Senate? What's next, Jenna Jameson for Attorney General?

Actually, I wouldn't mind too much with Jenna. At least you know who she's fucking.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Creative Conservative

Now that the election is over I'm going to try to stop snarking a current events and get back to the real purpose of this blog which is a discussion of policy from a creative point of view. This is particularly interesting given a commentary yesterday in Forbes on "The Triumph of the Creative Class" which has some good points, yet seems to miss the point.

Kotkin, the author of the piece attributes great importance to the creative class, which apparently includes us Hollywood types (primarily, but does also include hedge fund managers and silicon valley types).

Anyway, it's an interesting read but I think it misses the mark. Certainly the "creative class" he talks about will have great influence over or in or certainly a lot of invitations from an Obama administration but he seems to lay on them a kind of world shaping philosohers mantle, which I just don't see. I mean, spend a little time hanging out with agents.

There's also the sense that this so called creative class moves with a purpose and while I think that's true, I also think he's wrong. The purpose isn't philosophical, it's monetary.

But there is a certain philosophical bent that comes across in films and television and I think there's a reason for it. It comes from the way Hollywood is, from the essence of how Hollywood culture is formed. It's an interesting story and I hope to tell it. I hope someone will read it. Onward and upward. Hope and change, baby!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Via Hot Air:

I'm sure a lot of us have seen this video by know, but I'm just appalled by this. After the gracious concession speech McCain gives to Obama, they turn around and start this classless crap? What do these people think was going on before Palin got the nod? And what do they get out this? Do they really think it's going to distract us from the terrible campaign they ran with or without Palin?

Arab Reactions to Obama\'s Election

Arab Reactions to Obama's Election

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my two-year-old gets to have ice cream

A friend of mine wondered in his status on facepage why Republicans don't scream and yell about leaving the country when Democrats win. I don't know, but my guess is the reactions are somehow akin to when my two-year-old gets to have ice cream.

A proud day for our country

Like John McCain said last night, and I'm paraphrasing, I'm an American first. The historic aspect of this election, what it says about our country and just the fact that it happened are all reasons to be proud of our country.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The last seven years were great. Now go f*** yourself

All that needs to be said that is this man's name is one letter away from moron.

Jim Moran.

Chronicles of the Gang of 3 continued

So if the Big O gets in today, we're looking the "fairness" doctrine right between the eyes. Here's Chuckie Schumer talking about it and equating political speech with sexually explicit speech.

Why doesn't someone ask him - or Pelosi or Reid - who's going to decide what qualifies as left and what qualifies as right. See what's going to happen is that in order for the fairness doctrine to work there's going to have to be someone - or some committee that's going to have to rule on what kind of speech is what. FCC Commissioners, you say? Guess where they come from. They are appointed by the President and approved by the Senate. Which means, the Big O gets to say who they are and then Harry gets to rubber stamp them. Sounds like the road to free speech to me. I'm not even going to bother with the fact that only three can be affiliated with the same political party.

It's on

And I can tell it's on because of all the crap on my facebook page this morning.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Things seem slow today

The blogosphere seems slow today. Instapundit is hopping but most of the other sites I frequent seem a tad slow.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


This could easily be subtitled:

"Change You Can Believe In, at least for now."

hat tip JammieWearingFool

They are incorrect, we are bad.

Michele Catalano writes on Pajamas Media about losing friends because of who you vote for.
It saddens me that the political discourse in this country has become so volatile and divisive that people are afraid to say who they are voting for. It saddens me that there are an awful lot of stories like mine out there — too many people who have felt a loss over politics.

I could not agree more but the trouble is I think she's got it backward. She's talking about admitting she's voting for Obama and the reaction of her conservative friends. Now (the phenomenon of conservative pundits and former generals switching teams aside) perhaps my experience is slightly skewed - living over here on the left coast and working in Hollywood. But from my standpoint this story is the kind of crap the lefties have been tossing around about how narrow-minded Republicans are for years. I'm not even going to talk about what happens if you admit you're a conservative in Hollywood - but let's just talk about friends.

My wife and I were at a party the other night with friends we know are strident Democrats. These are also friends we know not to discuss politics with. We were indirectly informed of this somewhere along the way when one of them told my wife that she couldn't talk to her sister because her sister voted for Bush. But at this party we discovered another conservative. It was secretive, quiet and clandestine. We spoke in hushed tones and furtively wished each other luck on November 4. Why did we behave this way? Because we like our friends and enjoy hanging out with them. We don't bear them any grudge or think any less of them because they're going to help drive this country into the re-education camps. No. They're nice, we get along, our kids are friends. It's OK. It's America. People can disagree. But the sad truth of it is that if we did talk politics it wouldn't be too long before we were out on the curb with the sister.

See here's the thing. And I have a little credibility (in my anonymous state) in this issue having voted for Bill Clinton over Dole. I talked that up and I didn't lose any friends. Sure I had, as Michele claims, people call me a long-haired hippy, but it was mostly in jest. Most people who know me actually, uh, know me. But here's the difference. We believe our friends are wrong. They believe (if they knew (and we know from conversing on the subject with them regarding others) that there is something wrong with us. They are incorrect, we are bad.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Let me get this straight.

Obama wants to tax the rich. Gonna give a whole bunch of breaks to the middle class. Right?


That's what he's saying. And yet here he is taking donations which his $600 million dollar campaign no doubt badly needs from his poverty stricken aunt.

Am I missing something?

Via: Michelle Malkin

Federal Election Commission records show that Onyango donated at least five times to her nephew’s campaign in July and September. Three of the donations were for $5 each, and two of the donations were for $25. Records compiled by The Huffington Post show she gave a total of $260 to the campaign.

I'll be crying too

Dennis Prager often says something to the effect that the left is one frothing torrent of emotion. It feels good, it must be right and if it must be right, it must be good.

One of the things that continues to floor me is the continuous non-reality of the lefties who seem to believe that Obama, because it feels so good to support him, is something more than what he is, i.e.


I'm guessing a $200 Vegas hooker would feel pretty good, too.

via JammieWearingFool:

To walk on Broadway, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, is to feel their pain. “Oh, God, I’m optimistic, but I can’t look at the polls,” said Patricia Kuhlman, 54, nervously tapping her Obama/Biden ’08 button. “I’m a PBS/NPR kind of person, and, O.K., I do look at some polls.”

Ms. Kuhlman shakes her head and says, “If he doesn’t get this, I’ll be crying so hard.”

What the hell is going on in this woman's life that is going to make her cry over a politician???

Two by Milton

“Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government.”

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand”

Friday, October 31, 2008

Gratuitous Political Gratuitousness

Finally a measure I can get behind!

Oh wait a minute. I just read the rest of the sign. Maybe it's not what I thought. Dang. For a minute there I thought election day was going to be a blast.

Goose Liver Pate and Baby Seal Sushi

I keep trying to explain the fundamental differences between conservatives and liberals lefties to my lefty friends and it's been tricky, but thankfully here's the Big O to sum it all for me. We conservatives are just selfish. Yep, that's it. That's the difference. We just don't want to pay taxes on income over $250,000, $150,000, $120,000 because we'd rather keep that money so we can spend our evenings slathering ourselves with Siberian Mink Oil and rolling around naked in piles of cash before sitting down to a nice dinner of Goose Liver Pate and Baby Seal Sushi.

Oh wait - there's one small problem - at least for me. I don't make over $250,000, $150,000, $120,000 - at least at the moment. Sure I'd like to and heck, one script sale - BANG, I'm in. Of course in that case maybe I'll do what I'm already doing and donate more of it to a good charity or two. Shoot - but I forgot all about how selfish I am.

Pinkie to O: Blow me.

Via Hot Air:

“The point is, though, that — and it’s not just charity, it’s not just that I want to help the middle class and working people who are trying to get in the middle class — it’s that when we actually make sure that everybody’s got a shot – when young people can all go to college, when everybody’s got decent health care, when everybody’s got a little more money at the end of the month – then guess what? Everybody starts spending that money, they decide maybe I can afford a new car, maybe I can afford a computer for my child. They can buy the products and services that businesses are selling and everybody is better off. All boats rise. That’s what happened in the 1990s, that’s what we need to restore. And that’s what I’m gonna do as president of the United States of America.
“John McCain and Sarah Palin they call this socialistic,” Obama continued. “You know I don’t know when, when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness.”

This reveals the basic underlying philosophy of the Left - that one cannot possibly be charitable unless they use the government to redirect their funds - ED MORRISSEY.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Tax System in Explained in Beer

My brother forwarded me this (he works in finance so I trust him on tax issues.). I have no idea who wrote it but heck it's online so it's fair game. (He works in finance so I trust him on tax issues).

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

- The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

- The fifth would pay $1.

- The sixth would pay $3.

- The seventh would pay $7.

- The eighth would pay $12.

- The ninth would pay $18.

- The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers,' he said, 'I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. 'Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.

But what about the other six men - the paying customers?

How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33.

But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).

The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).

The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).

The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).

The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 ( 22% savings).

The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. 'I only got one dollar out of the $20,' declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,' but he got $10'

'Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved one stinking dollar, too..

'It's unfair that he got ten times what I got!' 'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back when I only got two? The wealthy get all the breaks!' 'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!'

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half the bill!

And that, boys and girls,is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

4 minutes too long.

Anyone who's ever directed or written a film or TV show and has bitten through their tongue while watching some name-brand actor take credit for it because he's got - well - a name (and a fawning "media" reporter sitting opposite him) - will appreciate this video. My guess is that it's supposed to be an attempt by a bunch of Hollywood lefties to appear "American". But it shows brilliantly what happens when actors go off-script (or work without one). To me it says:


Via HotAir

Photoshop skills... weak

As evidenced by the jagged edges on my "Hollywood" flag image up there on the top left, my photoshop skills are weak at best. Still working on it.

Obama's Red Guard Civilian Security Force

Given the way things are going with people who happen to ask inconvenient questions of "the One" this whole Civilian Security Force thing is getting me a little nervous. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it came down to "Madam Obama" picking a "group" of four to set it all up.

Uh... you guys realize this has been done before, right? Via Wikipedia:

Red Guards (simplified Chinese: 红卫兵; traditional Chinese: 紅衛兵; pinyin: Hóng Wèi Bīng) were a mass movement of civilians, mostly students and other young people in the People's Republic of China, who were mobilized by Mao Zedong between 1966 and 1968, during the Cultural Revolution.

I'm here for the party...

Many of us on the right side of Hollywood Boulevard have spent years wondering what people like Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn and George Clooney are thinking when they support their wacky left-wing causes (although, to be fair, George may just be a sincere lefty, rather than a wacky one.) And sure, George W. is an unpopular president, but why do they hate him beyond all sanity?

Could it be that 8 years of Lincoln bedroom hopping with the Clintons have left them jonesing for a Democrat President in the way that a saxophone player might jones for a little horse? What gives? Why are all those Hollywood types so hungry for the D side?

Thankfully, Daily Variety (our resident trade rag) takes the time to lay it all out for us.
The Bush administration has been short on most things socially. White House screening invites are far and few between.

"He’s dull," Feld said of the current president. "He doesn’t drink, he goes to bed by 9 p.m., and he and his wife are not partygoers."

They aren’t big party-throwers, either.

"They’ve had maybe a half-dozen state dinners in eight years," Feld said. "No big entertainment events, no A-list guest lists."

Apparently, it's not as much about Power to the People as it is Power Party Time.

As if the entertainment industry needed to look a little more shallow.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The LA Times - Stranger than Fiction - or is it?

There's been a lot of chatter around and about the blogosphere concerning the LA Times and it's suppression this Obama video. It's even gone (having now received a link to the story from my mother) viral and people are, rightly so, suspicious as all hell. There are quite a few excuses and theories being postulated as to the Tinsel Town Fishwrap's motivations and it does seem strange. Protecting their source? From what? Has the man/woman committed a crime? Are they likely to suffer harm through release of this video? When you're dealing with a mob witness or government whistle blower - sure - I get it. Woodwar, Bernstein - I'm right there with you. But how does this rise to that level? Someone with a home camcorder in the audience - maybe they won't get invited to any other parties. A corporate or event video company hired to film it? Maybe in danger of losing a gig? Seems like small change to me.

But what about something that's so obvious it's being entirely overlooked. (And I'm not talking about the Obamaniac one-upsmanship that's likely to happen at the next newshawk convention.)

What if they (or the writer) made the whole thing up? Could this be another Jayson Blair?

OK, you say, in that case why cover for him? The paper's actions and lack of convincing reasons are making them seem wholly biased. Their credibility, already weak in many corners, is taking a hit of major proportions. Why not just throw him to the wolves and attempt to salvage whatever reputation they may have left?

It may be an easy answer. The LA Times, like most newspapers is losing readers like crazy. They just endured another round of layoffs and as one who subscribes (one of the few), I can tell you it's approaching the thickness of a well round pamphlet. Maybe the conversation wasn't something like, "how can we protect our sources," but maybe it was something like, "we can still run a paper if only 50% the population (the half we don't really care about) doesn't believe what we write, but if 100% of the population doesn't believe it..."

NOTE: I've noticed that among all the Obama signs in my neighborhood very few actually have print editions of the LA Times sitting under them in the morning.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We do so love the phone

Here in Hollyweird, the phone is king. Agents, managers, producers, publicists, everyone is on the phone all day, every day. Maybe this is just one more way to get a big O.

Via Jammie

A flier sent by Michigan Democrats featuring a photo of Barack Obama that urged voters to submit an absentee ballot application includes a telephone number connecting callers to a phone sex line.

Big Brother is Watching.

People in Hollywood complain all the time that they're scared of George W. Bush. How he's snooping around into everyone's lives, playing Bog Brother and suppressing free speech.

Then there's this: "Ohio official OK’d records search on Joe the Plumber"

Yeesh. I mean, come on people!

Working on the Hollywood sign

Since I'd like to gear the substance of this blog toward entertainment I've decided to experiment with the blogger template. I removed the stock photo in the upper left and added a stylized Hollywood sign. So far, I'm not overwhelmed with how it looks.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nobody knows anything, except for me

William Goldman once said, "nobody knows anything" (or words to that effect, it's been a longtime since I read the book) and people in Hollywood love to quoth the Goldman, "Nobody knows anything! Nobody knows anything! Nobody knows anything!!!!!" The trouble is that while most people LOVE the sound of their gums beating out that particular rhythm to highlight how really awesomely cool they are for working and making it in such a fickle business, what they're actually saying to you is "nobody knows anything, except for me."

Anyone who's had a pitch meeting or discussed a script with a manager/agent/producer will understand exactly what I'm talking about. Anyone who's read a copy of a script that got "passed around" for years before someone picked it up and made it on a shoestring only to spawn a giant hit and a run of progressively deteriorating sequels will understand what I'm talking about. The irony is that this example proves the theorem but of course the reason all those scripts get passed on while other "read, Pear Harbor" films get made is because people, read Hollywood types, really believe they know something.

Case in point: "W" currently tanking at fewer and fewer box offices near you.

Now I'm not a big fan of Oliver Stone but this isn't a critique of one of America's favorite cinematic revisionists, it's really an explanation of why relatively intelligent people would sink $30 million into a film that by definition won't have an ending about a president with approval ratings only slightly higher than Ted Bundy. "Hey, I know, let's make a movie about a president that no one likes, hire a guy who no one trusts to make it and cast a bunch of actors who hate - I mean really HATE the people they're portraying. Now that's GOT to be a winner."


See what I mean? Nobody knows anything. The film tanked. It is not a winner. The problem is that cell phones were ringing all over Beverly Hills because while the prospect on it's face wasn't that great - there were probably a lot of people who just "knew" it was going to be big. How can it NOT be? a particular digitized conversation might go, "We're ALL talking about it."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"Spread the Wealth Around" TM - in theory and in practice

A friend of mine emailed me this anecdote today. I think it's worth repeating. I also think it's worth sending to all the "actors" you know. It might give them quite a shock.

"Here's an simple example of Obama's "redistribution of wealth" plan . . .

Today, on my way to lunch, I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read "Vote for Obama, I need the money." I laughed.

Once in the restaurant, my server had on an "Obama 08" pin. Again, I laughed as he made clear his political preference...imagine the coincidence.

When the bill came, I decided not to tip the server and explained to him my reason for this was that I was embracing the Obama "redistribution of wealth" plan, and since he was an Obama follower, he would understand.

He stood there speechless and in disbelief when I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need...that being the homeless guy outside the restaurant.

Needless to say, the server was pissed and abruptly walked away.

I then went outside and gave the homeless guy the $5 tip, and told him to thank the waiter inside since I decided he needed the money more than the waiter.

Needless to say, the homeless guy was grateful.

As I drove off, In thinking about my "redistribution of wealth" experiment, I realized the homeless guy was very grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was very angry that I gave away the money he had earned, even though I had decided, based on Obama's "redistribution of wealth" plan, that the homeless guy deserved the money more.

What I further realized was that "redistribution of wealth" is an easier thing to accept in concept rather than in a practical, everyday life application.
What's your thought, America? Is this Obama "redistribution of wealth" plan something we as a democracy really wants??"

A few tough questions and a big F.U.

wow. This is just incredible. I guess this Joe isn't used to having tough questions asked. Boy he does try to keep that smile plastered on though.

and double wow: here.

My Dog is depressed

Apparently a couple of guys from ACORN registered him to vote and he was all excited. I feel bad breaking his heart.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cool Hand Barack

While this article in the NY Post is not part of the hagiographic meme circulating through the rest of the media, it does make reference to Barack's so-called, "cool" in the face of economic crisis. Am I dreaming? Of course Barack is cool. The worse the crisis gets the better it is for him and it's not like anyone's exactly pressing him (pun intended) on the details of how he's going to fix it once he's in office.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Columnist Asserts that "Black" is a Code Word for "Black"

Following things to the logical extreme, Joe Schlobotnik, a columnist for the San Francisco People's Daily Dog Trainer and Coupon Circular has determined that right-wing fascists of any and all stripes who refer to Obama as Black are actually engaging in double-speak.

"What they're trying to do," Schlobotnik writes, "is to infer that Obama is actually black. It's a scare tactic that harkens back to the days of Jim Crow, Amos and Andy and Daffy Duck when black was not only black but also not white. It's subtle, yet right in your face at the same time. When a Democrat calls Obama black there's a warm, glowing feeling of Martin Luther King and sitting around in a circle singing "Kum Bay Ya" because Democrats are sensitive people, with good hearts and high IQs who know instictively that black is not actually black but something more subtle, something spiritual that says, yes - we can! But there's no question that when a Republican calls someone black, what they're really saying is, hey, I'm a neo-nazi-racist thug."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

LA Times flexes its psychic powers

The Los Angeles Times runs a front page, above the fold ANALYSIS (read: opinion piece) on last night's debate and in a blast of psychic superpower declares that it "appears to do little to shift the dynamics."

Now this could be true today, but remember that paper was lying in my driveway at 6am this morning which meant that it went to the presses overnight which meant that the "analysis" of how the debate shifted or did not shift any dynamics was written LAST NIGHT well before anyone had any IDEA of what dynamics might have shifted.

Of course it might not be psychic powers, it might just be wishful thinking.

Nary a word about free speach

Wow - to borrow a phrase from the Master, they told me if George Bush were re-elected whole communities would rise up to squash the free speech rights of individuals.

But this is ridiculous. Yeesh.

I mean, do I need to actually point out the hypocrisy?

Because, you know, I will.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Photo Editing Shopping at the LA Times

As a director/filmmaker I'm keenly attuned to how images appear onscreen and how the framing, lighting and other aspects of an image can inform a viewer's perception of the subject.

There are two images on the front page of the LA Times this morning:

I've posted them in the order they appear on the paper with Obama on top and McCain below (in fact below the fold)- itself a choice that expresses a point of view. Now the article that accompanies them is about how even Republicans are abandoning McCain in this time of economic crisis. There's also a graph that makes Obama's victory look inevitable. But my concern is the pictures. Remember - the LA Times probably has thousands of images to choose from in illustrating a story, so the choice of any two images expresses the opinions of the editors in an incredibly subtle way that even they may not be able to fully understand. Let's take a look.

The top one of Obama makes him look strong - glancing off firmly into the future - the American Flag is bright, strong and crisply in focus behind him. He is lit from above so his chin is solid - ready to take one on the jaw for America (his eyes are in shadow - which if I were lighting it myself I would have fixed, but it doesn't detract from the image). His expression is confident, serene. Slap a cowboy hat on him and a cigarette (not a stretch) and you've got the Marlboro man. There is no ambiguity in this picture. It's the photo of a hero.

Let's take a look at McCain. It's a profile and is lit from below so that he looks old - this is never a flattering point of view and if you were photographing a middle-aged woman (say Barbara Streisand this way, you might have your head lopped off). We can see the sagging skin under his chin and the shadows that play across the rest of his face make him look dramatic and accent his wrinkles. His expression looks slightly - uncertain. We're not sure at all where he's looking or what he's thinking. The America flag behind him is dark and out of focus. This is an ominous picture. But there's something else about this picture that concerns me greatly. What the hell happened to the star field? Aren't the stars on the American flag supposed to be white? In this case they're dark - in fact they appear darker than the blue. Trick of the light, you say? Just the way it's been lit. Then why do the stripes only inches away appear white? It looks to me as if someone has inverted the contrast on the star field. I have photoshop on my other computer so I haven't had time to take a crack at how this might work, but at first glance it looks a little fishy.

Why? Why indeed would someone want to portray the symbol of our country as altered right behind the face of a man running for president - on the front page of a major newspaper no less. Why place him photographically in a situation that appears ominous?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


The reviews are in for Oliver Stone's "W". Both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have seen it and the reviews are luke warm which means it must be dreadful. Variety's review generally refrains from lobbing any grenades into the "Bush" legacy but HR offers us this choice tidbit: ""W." is not really a political movie per se; rather, it's a movie about a man who went into politics but probably shouldn't have."

Monday, October 6, 2008


I went to another screening last night with my peeps and wound up invigorated, inflamed and actually kind of scared. The film was The Third Jihad and it's definitely recommended viewing for those of you who are not cowed by the MSM and still actually a little concerned that there's this beast out there that's still very much gunning for us. Give it a look.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Maybe they're referring to the Monty Python "Holy Grail" version of the little fluffy bunny

Drudge linked to this but it's a great example of something that I've been annoyed with for years; that is an editorial masquerading as news. There's absolutely no question that this story is OPINION and not fact. Also, it's hard to imagine someone referring to Sarah Palin as a "fluffy bunny" as anything but sexist. Then again, they could be referring to that fluffy bunny in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sarah needs to learn some sleight of hand

I have to admit I'm a little disappointed with Sarah Palin's interview with Couric. I'm not down on Sarah entirely and still think she's a great choice, but my take on the interview (and I haven't seen all of it yet) is that she's a little green. Doing interviews like that takes experience.

No one ever actually answers questions in situations like that. I'm almost sure that Barack Obama has never answered a question straight in his life, but there are tricks and techniques you learn after a while. Redirection is the key - sleight of hand. Some people call it dodging but people like Hillary are masters at it. You get asked one question and you answer another. The trick is the link. You have to link it. You have to make the audience watch one hand while your other is hiding the coin.

It's like this.
"What other Supreme Court cases are you concerned about?"
"It isn't a specific case, it's all cases. You can't look back, you have to look forward and you have to select justices not based on specific cases, but on principals because that's what the American people want and right now the American people, our people are hurting and they're hurting because the elitists in Washington are more worried about what pet project they get into this rescue bill than in helping out main street. "

You have to answer with a non-answer, but it takes a few years in the saddle to get that. The real pros can finish with a hot button issue that the interviewer will be compelled to follow up - thus getting them entirely off topic and the trick is complete.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I thought they hated us because of Bush?

Nobel literature head: US too insular to compete

Interesting story from the AP today. Shucks, apparently us Americans is just too dumb to do any serious writin'.

It's funny, I wonder how academia is reacting to this. No doubt it's Bush's fault. All those poor creative writing professors, who have slogged through the salt mines of hungover student-filled classrooms, only to race home and pound out 1200 words a day, before heading off to whatever cocktail party happens to be that night so they can talk about the hope and change inspired by everyone's favorite centrist, tarred by association with the illegal invasion of Iraq.

Oh yeah - and wiring taping.

And waterboarding.

Hope and change, baby!

Monday, September 29, 2008

95 Democrats

So they're busy blaming Republicans on Capitol Hill for crushing this bailout bill, but 95 Democrats voted against it. How the hell can they expect the Republicans to go along if 40% of the Democrats are not going along with it?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Why the Left Screams

I've been around far more than my fair share of leftist loons (quite a few of whom I truly cherish as close friends) - what working in Hollywood and being the hard core "Burner" that I am and it's always bothered me that I have to maintain a secret identity (not unlike a super hero) among many of my friends or colleagues for fear of losing them as friends or colleagues. I used to like to talk about politics and argue and really go to town, but out here, on the "left" coast you kind of take your life in your hands. Not just because people might stop talking to you, but because they might start screaming at you. I've had a heck of a lot of conversations that degenerated into my just being shouted down. No debate, no dialogue, just yelling. I don't like to live that way. But I don't like to keep quiet.

I have to admit, I haven't fully watched Friday night's debate. I have kids and while we watched the first 20 minutes or so, someone had to make the Mac and Cheese and then we just got the second season of "Dexter" on TV and I had a "Feasting On Waves" and THREE "Ghost Hunters" all lined up on the DVR and... what the was the point?

And yes, I'm going to tie this in to my first paragraph.

Look, I'm going to admit it right here and now, there's no way I'm going to change my opinion of Barack Obama (or John McCain) because of a debate. Presidential debates are probably useful for people who live in caves and come out once every four years to decide who they're going to vote for, but the truth is that anyone who's been paying attention has made their decision long ago and if you're undecided and you do make up your mind based on the debate - yeesh. All it is, is a grudge match. It's about is who got who or who made a better point, who scored, who looked strong or peeved or interrupted or rambled or who couldn't remember the name on his bracelet, but what the hell is that supposed to tell me about which one's better for president? What do I take away from the debates that I hadn't already known before?

"Uh, Mr. Putin, uh... you know, about that invasion of, uh.... Georgia... uh, I have, right here, the bracelet of a United Nations Security Council member who lives on Main Street and not Wall Street and is solidly middle class and is...uh... going to, uh, you know... have 95% of his taxes cut...uh... who's name is... uh.... uh.... hard to read upside down..."

(oops - please don't read that if you're in Missouri)

The point is I've already made up my mind and I've done enough reading and paying attention and trust my convictions enough to understand why. Which - in a roundabout way - brings me to my ultimate point.

As is painfully obvious, most of the main stream media is fully on board the Obama bus (that is until they get tossed under it (apparently it's pretty crowded under there)). There are a million problems with that, but one of them is that if you aren't really paying attention (don't read the papers, don't watch the news, don't read the blogs and the alternative blogs and seek out opposing points of view) and simply - like a lot of people, I suspect - absorb presidential politics by some kind of strange osmosis from the world and entertainment at large, all you're going to know is gosh, Obama is well, you know, COOL. It's like a kind of mass hypnosis experiment. You're sitting on the subway listening to the "Black Eyed Peas" on your iPod and across from you some old guy is reading the (your-city-name-here) Times and you catch a headline about how someone 20 years ago said McCain never fully answered the question of whether or not he still eats Twinkies. Or you're watching Letterman, who has to be smart, because he's, you know, on TV and he talks about how McCain is old and that has to be bad because, you know, he's OLD. Or you're watching Law and Order and they run one of those deep and subtle episodes where they ever so delicately riff on the absolute HORRORS of (insert-politically-correct-sacred cow-being-gored-conservatives-of-the-moment-here). In other words the media, from top to bottom is overwhelmingly leftist, so if all you do is pay attention to what you happen to run into throughout your day, all you're going to get is one side of the argument (or diatribe as the case may be).

But if you want to know more than what the "gate keepers" (cough) feel like telling you (or feel you ought to know) then you have to seek out other forums and news and blogs and then you wind up reading and listening and hearing things explained and thought out far more completely than a Top Ten list or a Tina Fey skit.

Which is why, I think, to finally get back around to my first paragraph, that lefties scream. Most conservatives I know tend to be far more informed and firm in their convictions because in order to have those convictions you have to get out there and read and research and that means seeking out conservative voices. So what happens is that you are already being exposed to the other side through whatever Sundance Channel (alright, that's not fair, no one actually watches Sundance Channel) happens to be showing, but you also go forth and seek out opposing viewpoints and after spending hours and hours in your car/shower/bathroom honing your arguments, you're ready to go. So when you do take the leap (or flirt with career suicide) and get into a political conversation with someone from the other team, you can easily parry, riposte and counter-riposte until a firm middle ground is reached at which point your opponent thinks you're a heartless tool of big industry who would not only prefer, but take pleasure in letting little kids go to bed hungry.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Blocking the Path to 9/11

I saw a documentary last night (and no, I was not the one there who actually had pink hair) called, Blocking the Path to 9/11 that was extremely pertinent to what's going on in the media today. It was about the docudrama, The Path to 9/11 that appeared on ABC and portrayed events leading up to the attacks of September 11 and the Clintons' attempts to have the film pulled/ censored. It was also about the Democrats (at large) apparent willingness/ eagerness to have the film stopped including, incredibly, Harry Reid and others (who admit on camera that they have not seen the film) threatening ABC with having their broadcast license revoked and the Main Stream Media's eagerness to buy into and accept unconditionally whatever it was that the Clintonistas were telling them.

It was a fascinating and blood boiling film and really should be seen by a wider audience, especially given the current climate.

What struck me as particularly relevant to what's going on right now was a section in the film that detailed a series of what were essentially fabrications on the part of Clinton "operatives" (a word with bad connotations which the LA Times (at least) loves to ascribe to anyone having to do with the Bush Administration or Republicans in general) who really made up an amazing series of lies to outline a perceived Right Wing Conspiracy ™ which 0they blamed for instigating the film. (There's a hilarious section of the doc (well, hilarious to any of us working in Hollywood) where the lunacy of that was explained.) It also details the amazing way those lies worked their way into the Main Stream Media as fact and it bore a striking resemblance to what's happening with Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin (read here for an amazing piece of work on this.) As with most of my conservative friends (who also remain hidden in underground bunkers of Laurel Canyon and wear paper bags over their heads when venturing out for their iced-chai, decaf lattes) I've been stunned and appalled at the lies strewn about by anyone with a keyboard and internet access that get taken up and just blathered out. What is more amazing, is there seems to be a concerted effort to do this. Eyeball this, for instance.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Maybe he wouldn't have anything to do.

Sure maybe McCain is trying to score some political points with this, but for him and his message it does make sense. Obama's reaction to it though really confused me, but the more I think about the more this makes a lot of sense. Obama has no juice in the Senate. John McCain has been there for years and is without doubt a mover and a shaker, but Obama's been there for maybe four and has spent at least half that time on the road shaking hands, kissing babies and tossing former supporters under whatever bus happens to come along. It's not at all clear to me that if he went back to Washington to help deal with this crisis he would actually have anything to do. He doesn't have relationships to call on and doesn't have favors or chips to call in. As I said earlier, he might not even remember where his office is.

Maybe he just doesn't remember where his office is?

Via Riehl World View

1) Say you can understand Obama's point of view as he has never been engaged in anything this serious on Capitol Hill, or anywhere else.

and 2) Volunteer to let his VP nominee sit in for him against Obama on Friday.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

What if the Messenger Commits Suicide

I was a journalism major in college and although I never actually went into journalism as a profession, I've been a news junkie ever since. I had my first newspaper subscription when I was in 5th grade (it was a class project) and rode my bike to deliver the local fish wrapper from ages 9 to 14 and I think I have permanent nerve damage in my nose and ears from riding my bike in the freezing cold - not to mention being bitten by dogs 5 times. Still, given such adversity, I was undaunted in my eagerness to consume the "news." But I've become disillusioned over the years with the press's coverage of anything having to do with anything conservative. Now, while I have not been a particularly big fan of the Bush Administration, I've been - well - flabbergasted (full disclosure: I've never actually used that word before) by the treatment of the press. For instance, has anyone noticed that our economy - which has just taken a huge turn for the worse - has, according the meme running through the LA Times (my local rag), been in the crapper for years?

But, given the current onslaught of press coverage detailing, among other things, the dubious character of Sarah Palin (who I happen to be a big fan of) what concerns me is that if McCain is elected we'll have at least four years of doom and gloom (and possibly 8). I can't see anything but despair in the press if there is another Republican president and such an overwhelming onslaught of negative reporting (in spite of whatever the reality might be) is only going to make the divisions in this country deeper and stronger. The Democrats blame the Republicans for partisan turmoil and vice-versa. But the problem is clearly (at least to me and a growing cohort of others) the press and the further problem is that more and more people are starting to distrust the press and the press (I'm really talking about the newspapers), is dying a slow death as they become less and less believable and less and less relevant in the lives of at least 50% of this country. But that's a big problem for this country. What happens if the press becomes a big red nosed clown with the only people paying attention to it are the people who are willing to believe whatever it is they're told as long as they already agree with it?

Of course there is a rapidly growing alternative in the blogosphere, but the blogosphere consistently relies on the main stream press, at least for inspiration. Also, television news relies heavily on the reporting of newspapers and news agencies, which by and large can devote more time, resources and space to a story (however dubious that story may be). What's going to happen to television news if the newspapers and news gathering services go down?

Clearly, given the polls regarding how the country views the press and their sliding (dare I say, plummeting) circulation rates, the press is in trouble but what astounds me is they don't seem to care in the least.

The press has been our messenger for years. They have rightly had an adversarial relationship with power but now they've become an ally of power and have moved from reporting to propaganda. Sure the country has problems, it's always had problems from the very founding of the republic and for the relatively recent past we've relied on the press to warn us when those problems have gotten out of hand. There is an old expression that says don't kill the messenger. I think the press has gotten by on this for a very long time. But what happens if the messenger commits suicide?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Replacing Biden

I disagree strongly with this piece on Hillary replacing Biden. For one, I think that ship has sailed. I really doubt Obama lost that many of Hillary's supporters to begin with, plus the only actual executive decision the man has made in his political career is picking Joe Biden. How's it going to look to the undecideds that he didn't even get that right?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gotta love the Nuge

Via JammieWearingFool
“With all due respect, many in the entertainment industry are deep into mind-altering substance abuse, and when one’s logic and intellectual calculating powers are replaced with dopey feel-good, fantasy-driven denial, the democratic party serves them well,” Nugent blasted.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I have a degree in journalism and I have to admit, this is not something I ever learned:

ABC News Edited Out Key Parts of Sarah Palin Interview

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This tells you all you need to know.

For those of us (you) out there who are staying up nights worried about what the intellectuals in Europe thinks of the United States, there's this:

World wants Obama as president: poll

On the other hand, there's also this:

No consensus on who was behind Sept 11 - global poll

I was thinking, when I first sat down to blog this that perhaps the two were contradictory, but the more I think about it - they're really not.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

They're not getting it

The amazing thing that I've noticed about the left's reaction to Sarah Palin is that they just don't get it.

Evidence here.

S.C. Dem chair: Palin primary qualification is she hasn't had an abortion

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Picture # 42

This is the blog of John McCain's daughter Meghan and I've been reading it for a while because I think it's a cool view of behind-the-scenes of a political campaign.


Anyway, picture #42 down on the list just tugged at my heart - the Vice Presidental Nominee of the Republican party holding - not just a package of baby wipes - but COSTCO baby wipes. If there's a way to place her more squarely in my world (I've got two kids - one in diapers) I don't know what it is.

Why Pink Hair?

Except for one or two people who know me very well, almost no one I know would identify me as a conservative. There are two reasons for this. One, is because I work and have worked in the entertainment business for the last 18 years I have largely, when it comes to matters political, kept my damn mouth shut (though, come to think of it that goes largely for living and having friends in Los Angeles). The second reason is because my life doesn't typically appear to be conservative. I'm a filmmaker, a burner (which means I attend Burning Man regularly and do weird things there like wear pink (again pink) mini skirts) and a writer. My work ranges from advertising to erotica (though it my trip into the realm of the erotic was VERY short, it serves as illustrative for this example (and would no doubt be career defining if I were ever to run for office)). I am, in short, someone who would be likely to live his life with pink hair (if I actually had any hair left to dye).

Right but why pink? A few weeks ago I was at a John McCain fundraiser in Beverly Hills (thanks to a few wonderful FOA leaders) and there was a girl there who had pink hair. Of course everyone (everyone being the three other people I was with), including my wife, was shocked to see this girl at an obviously Republican event - but my comment to that was, "you know, if I had hair, it might very well be pink." To which my wife replied, "Well, yeah, but you don't have hair."

The whole and entire point of this is just as there are gay republicans who kind of surprise people by being gay, so too are there republicans like me - artists, creatives, weirdos - and it is from this standpoint that I undertake this blog (anonymously so as to keep the toenail hold I have in the business) and it is from that standpoint that I seek to comment on the world and politics at large.