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”