Saturday, April 08, 2006
Sadly, it would seem that in the years betwixt and between, she has still not learned that it is considered best to actually have some goddamn information on a topic before you begin judging it.
She apparently can't tell the difference between bloggers like Kos and Debbie Schlussel, or indeed, from a hole in the ground and her...
If memory serves they didn't even have the ending until the night before it was to be shot-and possibly not even until that morning(!)
It was the kind of filmmaking, in other words, that many writers (including myself) decry. We look at all the sequels and formula romatic comedies that are moved into production without finished or adequate scripts to be "fixed on the fly." And we say, "Why can't they take the time to get the script right first? The movies would be so much better then."
And then, "Casablanca," a movie that moved into production without a finished or adequate script, is named the best screenplay of all time. By writers, yet. It's times like this I wish I drank more.
"Tootsie," number 17 on the list, is an example of the writer gang-bang class of screenwriting, according to one of the credited writers, my hero Larry Gelbart. Same for "Jaws" (#63)
For the record here's the full list. My favorite film in the top 10 is "Some Like It Hot," by Wilder and Diamond. And I still think "Pulp Fiction" is way, way overrated. Kinda glad to see Ramis & Rubin's "Groundhog Day" get in there-that's a movie that really holds up. My man James L. Brooks gets in with "Broadcast News."
Then again, any list of supposedly great screenplays that includes "Star Wars" is not a list I can take wholly lying down.
Although he is known for his tolerant, humane views, he is a surprisingly harsh critic of homosexuality. If you are a Buddhist, he says, it is wrong. "Full stop.
No way round it.
"A gay couple came to see me, seeking my support and blessing. I had to explain our teachings. Another lady introduced another woman as her wife - astonishing. It is the same with a husband and wife using certain sexual practices. Using the other two holes is wrong."
At this point, he looks across at his interpreter - who seems mainly redundant - to check that he has been using the right English words to discuss this delicate matter. The interpreter gives a barely perceptible nod.
"A Western friend asked me what harm could there be between consenting adults having oral sex, if they enjoyed it," the Dalai Lama continues, warming to his theme. "But the purpose of sex is reproduction, according to Buddhism. The other holes don't create life. I don't mind - but I can't condone this way of life."
What with the indictment, the coming perp walk, and the hypocritical crocodile tears of partisanship, his troubles have been a positive boon.
But, I know what you're saying.
You're saying, if only there was some evidence that he'd actually gone so far as to whore out his own daughter as a tub toy for lobbyists.
Well, guess what.
There is such evidence.
My mother taught me the proper thing to do in situations like this...
So, Mr. Delay, should you be looking in, thank you so much for the inspirations for my little blog. I hope it will be a comfort to you in prison that you did, at least, do some good.
Here he is aligning himself with Janet LaRue, chief counsel for Concerned Women for America, and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.
These are both conservative, "faith-based" groups. You may remember the CWFA, they're the ones who promote name-calling in school, warned parents against allowing their children to watch Buffy and think Barbie leads to lesbianism. They were among those who called for a boycott of a doll company because it was partnered with a non-profit corporation that promotes high self-esteem among girls, even if they be lesbian or bisexual. And they're the ones who even found something to object to on the coffee cups at Starbucks.
As for the group led by Tony "I'm named after a closeted gay actor who was best known for playing a psychopath" Perkins, among other friendly things, the Family Research council has a connection to the Ku Klux Klan.
Exactly the sort of people it makes one feel good to see John McCain sucking up to.
Friday, April 07, 2006
From this morning's Hill e-newsletter: "DeLay said Thursday that announcing his resignation has been liberating. Quoting Martin Luther King. Jr., DeLay said, 'Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last.'"
The novel that means most to men is about indifference, alienation and lack of emotional responses. That which means most to women is about deeply held feelings, a struggle to overcome circumstances and passion, research by the University of London has found.
Maybe I am writing chick lit after all...
"On the whole, men between the ages of 20 and 50 do not read fiction. This should have some impact on the book trade. There was a moment when car manufacturers realised that it was women who bought the family car, and the whole industry changed. We need fiction publishers - many of whom are women - to go through the same kind of recognition," Prof Jardine said.
It's true, actually, I don't read much and I'm right in the middle of that age group. I read all the time, but it's mostly nonfiction, apart from a few mystery series to which I'm addicted. Echidone finds fault with the studies, and not without reason:
So let me summarize: Two studies are done with different sized groups of respondents, neither selected properly. The two studies have different questions for the subject to answer, and result in two different lists of books. Conclusion: men and women are different breeds of people! Perhaps. But it's much more likely that these are not well-done studies and that we can't draw many conclusions from them.
As an aside, I have read all the books on the men's list and also all the books on the women's list. None of those changed my life much. What did change my life was Agatha Christie's The Murder on the Orient Express. I was around eight years old when I read it and it blew my brain. To think that they were all guilty!
She's probably right. For the record, I've read more of the men's list than the women's, the men's list is also longer than the women's (we're obsessed by length).
Go to Wikipedia and look up your birth day (excluding the year).
List three neat facts, two births and one death in your blog or journal, including the year.
( September 1 )
1972 - In Reykjavík, Iceland, American Bobby Fischer beats Russian Boris Spassky and becomes the world chess champion.
Almost 15 years later, Benny Andersson, Tim Rice and Bjorn Ulvaeus' Chess becomes one of my favorite show scores. Coincidence?
Russia - Knowledge Day
But you knew that.
In the Harry Potter books September 1, the day on which the Hogwarts Express departs from Platform 9¾, always falls on a Sunday; this means that the first day of lessons is always a Monday.
"Everyday is like Sunday, Everyday is silent and grey."
1939 - Lily Tomlin, American actress, comedienne
1946 - Barry Gibb,English singer (Bee Gees)
1969 - Drew Pearson, American newspaper columnist (b. 1897)
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Interesting quote from the director, who reportedly has long wanted to do a serious film about the life of Jesus:
'The most historically correct image of Jesus and his time is to be found in The Life of Brian, the comedy by the Monty Python team.'
But here's where the book's author, Rob van Scheers, doesn't help his case. In the chapter on Basic Instinct, he's trying to draw a parallel with North By Northwest. He does this by reprinting a page or so of the dialogue from each.
Let me make myself clear: He gives us a chance to make a direct comparision between Ernest Lehman's dialogue and that of Joe Eszterhas. This is not a good move. Lehman's dialogue is sheer pleasure and Eszterhas' puts one in need of a shower.
Not that Lehman is credited, of course, which brings me to my next point. In the same chapter, Verhoeven boasts of how he childishly tried to make the date-rape scene in the movie as offensive as he could. As a kind of "I'll show you!" to the demonstrators the film had attracted.
He then praises Michael Douglas' "bravery" in playing it so explicitly. Not a word, however (in the whole book) about Jeanne Tripplehorn, who only had to play the victim of the date-rape; therefore showed no courage, and deserves no admiration.
My, my. All this good, interesting material-and I haven't even gotten to the chapter on Showgirls yet...
And Mr. Libby said, "Gimme a C chord! La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la!"
Turns out, the people who authorized the leaks were (prepare yourself for a shock)...Dick Cheney. And George W. Bush.
Who could have seen it coming, who? I mean, what were the fucking odds?
|You Are Fozzie Bear|
You're the life of the party, and you love making people crack up.
If only your routine didn't always bomb!
You may find more groans than laughs, but always keep the jokes coming.
"I often wonder how I'd react to [Hitchhiker's] if I wasn't me, but I was still me, so to speak, and how much I'd like it, and how much I'd be a fan or whatever. The way I would perceive it in among everything else. Obviously I can't answer that question, I have no idea, because I'm the one person who can't look at it from outside."
From J.D. Salinger, as quoted by Gary Ross, in Why We Write: Personal Statements And Photographic Portraits Of 25 Top Screenwriters, edited and photographed by Lorian Tamara Elbert.
In Seymour: An Introduction, J.D. Salinger gives great advice about writing. He says that writing is easy. You just pick the book you want to read more than any in the world, and you write it for yourself.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Then tonight's "Veronica Mars", after two or three episodes that seemed to be pulling out of the steep dive into irrelvance the series had fallen into in previous weeks, fell right back into it.
Then I come across this little gem of information:
After getting a lesson in improvisation at the legendary comedy workshop The Groundlings, the models are challenged to successfully deliver a mostly-improvised CoverGirl commercial, and one lucky girl, whose improv skills are superior, wins a guest starring role on "Veronica Mars," on AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL
Ah, but there's good news tonight. On that same web page, you'll find a banner ad for "The First Annual Reality TV Convention." And in what state is this waste of time being held?
Come on people, say it with me...
Despite a free-preview weekend, the second-season premiere of Showtime's Huff averaged a low 372,000 viewers Sunday, down from 456,000 for the 2004 series opener.
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised; the fact that I like 24 and it's actually a top 20 show is the surprise.
Deputy press secretary for...Homeland Security Brian Doyle was indicted in Polk County, Florida and awaits extradition on charges that he attempted to seduce what he believed to be a 14-year old girl over the internet.
...as far as I recall, the one thing you could say about the crop of Bushies and their Republican allies, in contrast to Clinton, was that it was never about sex. (Don't ask me why that ever made a difference; the irritating combination of prurience and prudishness endemic in this country is a wonder to the rest of the world... and not in a good way.)
Well, guess what? This one is about sex. And the grossest kind of sex: icky sexual advances toward what Mr. Doyle believed to be a 14-year old girl (he is 55). I guess the Bush Administration will write him off as an isolated incident and a very minor player in the great scheme of things.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
But as I say, that's all vague and based on heresay. Now...now he's ripping off Thomas Dolby. I'm sorry, we don't allow that here on Dictionopolis In Digitopolis, wherin we consider Mr. Dolby a Jesus of keyboard music, one of the great living songwriters and producers.
Mr. Dolby posted on his blog a few days ago...
"Kevin Federline, whom I’d never heard of until a few days ago, appears to have illegally sampled one of my compositions...And laws aside, he owed it to me as an artist to ask if I minded that he recorded a vitriolic rap over the top of my music.”
“So K-Fed, if you’re reading this, I’m asking you nicely to take the track down ASAP. Or maybe you’d prefer me to come after some of your wife’s ill-gotten gains?”
Go Pulp Culture on his ass, Tom. Blind him with science.
Thanks to Paste Magazine for telling me about this.
DeLay's lawyers must have sat him down over the last 72 hours and explained to him that he needs to focus on not spending most of the rest of his life in prison.
He says he's doing this because of the polls. Firedoglake says that's a bit out of character, and suggests his former chief of staff pleading guilty to conspiracy might have had something to do with it.
Jane also notes the reaction from the GOP faithful.
there is always comedy from the Free Republic:Seriously. He’s been much more open about speaking of his relationship with God, and he might have decided he’s going to spend the rest of his life working for foster care, and for his Christian values.
It is extraordinarily hard for a mark to accept he’s just been sold a case of snake oil.
AmericaBlog agrees Delay's doing this becuase he's in even bigger trouble than any of us thought.
If Delay told Chris Matthews he pulled out of the race because the polls were bad, well then clearly that isn't the reason.
Bad news for the Republicans. Rather than take Delay out of the picture, Delay is now an even bigger story. The ongoing investigation is going to make news until the election. And this puts to rest any of the Republicans' snarking about how the prosecutor was a Democrat. He clearly caught delay doing something wrong.
But back to the Republicans, way for Delay to ruin the one year anniversary of the Terri Schiavo fiasco for the religious right. Though it's ironic that last week was Schiavo week since that's when the Republicans really started melting down. And Delay's downfall shows it ain't gonna get any better any time soon.
You know who I believe, but judge for yourself...lord knows, Tom Delay is a classy guy.
Monday, April 03, 2006
...it's important to hold someone like Mr. McCain — who is still widely regarded as a moderate, in spite of his extremely conservative voting record — accountable when he cozies up to Mr. Falwell. Nobody thinks that Mr. McCain shares all of Mr. Falwell's views. But when Mr. McCain said that the Christian right has a right to be part of the Republican Party, he was in effect saying that Mr. Falwell's statements are within the realm of acceptable political discourse.
...if you choose to make common cause with religious extremists, you are accepting some responsibility for their extremism. By welcoming Mr. Falwell and people like him as members of their party, Republicans are saying that it's O.K. — not necessarily correct, but O.K. — to declare that 9/11 was America's punishment for its tolerance of abortion and homosexuality, that Islam is a terrorist religion, and that Jews can't go to heaven. And voters should judge the Republican Party accordingly.
The Koufax awards have gone out. As usual, they're a good way to separate the big boys and girls from the kiddies in the blogsphere. The bright and shining stars of the firmament therof include:
The Smiths-loving Shakespeare's Sister
The much-cited-here firedoglake
And Tennessee Guerilla Women, who are currently the second-best reason not to simply peel up that state and flick it away like an old scab (the best reason being, of course, the music).
You can find good readin' and reportin' at them all.
Wow, tell us Mr. McCain, exactly when was it that Falwell stopped being an agent of intolerance? Was it when, just days after the September 11 attacks, Falwell blamed gays and lesbians, and pro-choice Americans, and the ACLU for the September 11 attacks? Yeah, that was a great moment in tolerance.
Or was it a year later in October 2002 when Jerry Falwell said that Mohammed was a terrorist?"I think Muhammad was a terrorist. I read enough of the history of his life written by both Muslims and - non-Muslims, (to know) that he was a – a violent man, a man of war."
Or was it in March of 2006 when Falwell told Jews they're going to hell?
And this is John McCain's new Very Best Friend. So, for those of you who like McCain...I was just wondering: How you like him now?
Sunday, April 02, 2006
That sound you hear is every single straight man in America saying "No thanks, I'll wait for Cinemax."
Ice Age: The Meltdown may be set millions of years ago, but it was Basic Instinct 2 that looked like a relic from another era. The long-gestating sequel to the 1992 thriller that made Sharon Stone's career seduced only an estimated $3.2 million from 1,453 sites. In terms of number of tickets sold, that's about an eighth of the opening of the first Basic Instinct, a smash in its day that evidently did not resonate through the years. The success of The Silence of the Lambs sequel, Hannibal, after a 10-year wait was an exception—unless they're iconic, thawing out franchises after more than four years generally leads to sizable drops in grosses.
I'm going to say "ouch" for Ms. Stone. When your film is sold almost solely on the promise of seeing you in the buff, and a nation decides "Eh. We've seen it."
...Well, I'm guessing that must be one cold splash of water.
I'm guessing Paul Verhoeven and Joe Eszterhas have had a happy conversation about this, too.
Long version: The second-season premiere of "The West Wing" was the two-part In The Shadow Of Two Gunmen, which is commonly held to be that show's finest hours.
"Huff" did not meet that standard, and may satisfy people like me who have 13 episodes of experience with these characters under our belts more than the hoped-for new, larger audience.
Why? Well, first of all, let's get the bad stuff out of the way. I was surprised that they didn't change the percussive dialogue samples in the opening credits. I love them (I love the whole flippin' credits sequence) but they're all from the first season and I had assumed they'd mark the transition by changing them.
I feel that "Huff" really shouldn't be two hours. Taking more time and space than most shows would is a big part of the series' dramatic strength, but one-hour episodes seem to be just the right doses. With a two-hour running time, there was room for one too many speeches I would have trimmed, were I in the cutting room.
There's a period of adjustment to be reckoned with, when you come to a new season of a series-like dropping back into their world. "Gilmore Girls" handles this really well, actually-when time has gone by between episodes, they often make it that time has gone by for the characters, too.
It's kind of unfortunate that so much real time has gone by between seasons of "Huff"-this is supposed to be a week after the end of last season but Huff's son has, shall we say, gone through a growth spurt.
I don't know how "The Sopranos" does it-I don't watch, but don't they take something like four years between seasons? I used to think that was better than the treadmill of network TV, but there's a definite drawback if you're dealing with adolescents.
Plus there was a line referencing the hurricane. Trouble is, if the first season is set when it first aired (2004)and this is only a week later...topical references to the outside world should be avoided, is what I'm saying.
The episode also suffered from having to clear up the debris left at the end of last season. At one point Huff's assistant and friend Paula, trying to comfort his wife, Beth, tells her that all the angst the family has suffered is: "Just god trying to move a whole lot of shit out of the way at once." I can't help feeling that was the writer wailing as he cleared the decks.
And yet...my sympathies are still so wholly with the title character I almost found myself praying along with Paula tonight as she asked Jesus to show him the way.
Huff for me is the center of it. I take the opening credits, that end with a pullback to show the back and side of his head, semi-literally: It's all inside him. But I care about almost all the characters and I'm invested in what happens to them both physically and emotionally. I love to see the way they reach out for, sometimes connect with but more often than not miss each other.
In fact, I'd say, the biggest problem with this ep was that the writing needs to get out of the characters' way. There was a little bit of what I'll call "Kevin Smith syndrome," where you're acutely aware of the writer stopping the forward flow of the action for a pithy phrase.
But I loved what Beth's mother told her husband the first time she saw him (I'm being spolier-free).
|You Are Teal Green|
You are a one of a kind, original person. There's no one even close to being like you.
Expressive and creative, you have a knack for making the impossible possible.
While you are a bit offbeat, you don't scare people away with your quirks.
Your warm personality nicely counteracts and strange habits you may have.
I've just requested a handful of them from the library to see if they live up to that potential.
However, this final sentence from a PW review of one of their books (that will remain nameless) does return me to something like my earlier state of agitation:
Although the author, who completed this novel shortly before her 80th birthday, lacks the skills of romance heavies Steele and Krantz, her story will be appreciated for its pastoral atmosphere by readers who yearn for a fiery romantic yarn that accommodates an alternative lifestyle.
"Lacks the skills of romance heavies Steele and Krantz."
I'm just gonna go die now.
...while far be it from me to judge books by their promotional blurbs...they all sound awful. Romance-novel awful. And it makes me think oh god, I know what's going to happen.
I used to worry my manuscript would fall between two poles; too gay for the "traditional" audience, not enough so for the gay audience. Now I think it's going to be: Too gay for the mainstream, too good for the gay & lesbian press.
(That's it, Ben. That's the kind of unwarranted arrogance that'll be sure to cushion the blow when the form-letter rejections start rolling in)
There should be a category for "She's made you some kind of laughing stock, because you dance to disco and you don't like rock"
|You Are a Glam Rocker!|
You put the "show" in rock show with your larger than life self.
No doubt, you are all about making good music...
But what really gets you going is having an over the top show.
Glitter, costumes, and wild hair are your thing - with some rock thrown in!
David Bowie: I once asked [John Lennon], "What do you think of what I do? What do you think of glam-rock?" He said [imitating Lennon], "Aww now, it's great you know, but it's just rock and roll with lipstick on."
On Wednesday of this week, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 in the morning, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06. This won't ever happen again.
Via News From ME.
Now, If you look over to the right there and click the View my complete profile link you'll find, among other things, a link to my Amazon.com Wish List. If you're amazed at the quality of information passed on this site (I know I am), please consider making a small donation to the Buy Ben Those CDs And Books He Can't Score Through The Ink 19 Gig Fund. I thank you.
What would you being saying if this had been done by someone with the last name of Clinton?