Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Guess the Party!

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Hey, gang, let’s play a game. It’s called “Guess the Party!” Oh, come on! It’ll be fun! The rules are simple. You read the story of a politician in legal trouble and try to guess whether said politician is a “culture of corruption” Republican or of some other party that is not the “culture of corruption” Republican Party. Okay, let’s play!

The young mayor of Detroit has been trying hard to take out of the news the sexual pecadillos and subsequent difficulties of New York governors. Apparently, he’s had an affair and he’s been charged with perjury and obstruction of justice regarding it. I am no more concerned about mayor Kilpatrick’s alleged sexual conquests than I’ve been with those of the various governors of New York or past presidents of the United States. My interest here is this: Corey Williams of Associated Press has written a 300 plus word article chronicling the issue and not once mentioned the party affiliation of Mayor Kilpatrick. Has AP ever written a story about a Republican in legal trouble without identifying the party affiliation in the lead paragraph?

Why is it that, when a politician who is not a “culture of corruption” Republican get’s into legal trouble, reporters lose all interest in party affiliation but when “culture of corruption” Republicans do, it is the first and most vital piece of information about which the reader must be informed? I’m stumped.

By the way, mayor Kilpatrick is a member of one of the two major political parties but is not a “culture of corruption” Republican…but you’ll have to look somewhere other than this article to find that out.

Now wasn’t that fun?

We Don’t Need No Steenkeeng Record Companies

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

First Radiohead; now Nine Inch Nails. This makes two popular bands whose latest CDs were released online. They’ve completely bypassed the recording industry. There’s nowhere else for this trend to go but UP.

Another dinosaur is slooowly losing its grip. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of douchebags. The world is full of meanspirited amoral industries, but when it comes to taking a shit on the general public, the Recording Industry Association of America stands head and shoulders above the rest.

As you know, the RIAA has sued thousands of individuals. For the heinous crime of downloading music for free, they’re often sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars each. OK, so it’s wrong. But a $200,000 fine?

On top of that, the RIAA has virtually strangled Internet radio. Sky-high royalty fees — for which the RIAA is responsible — have forced a lot of webcasters to close down. Their new fees (retroactive to 2006) are proportionally much higher than those paid by large commercial broadcasters. It was nice while it lasted.

Record companies have also been catching it from Big Box retailers. Because CD sales have gone way down lately, Target and WalMart (among others) are setting aside less shelf space for CDs. And as fewer CDs are available in stores, the public will buy fewer CDs, stores will set aside even less space for CDs, and the cycle continues…

Personally, I probably won’t make use of these online CDs. I’ve never downloaded anything (but I listen to music on YouTube a lot). I’m one of those Luddites who has to have a solid physical record reel-to-reel tape eight-track cassette CD right in front of me, with a label that says “Name of Song” by “Performer.” (But I still tape music off the radio, which supposedly brought the recording industry to its knees in the 1970s.)

But as people buy fewer CDs and get more music online, the RIAA will ultimately go the way of the covered wagon repairman. It can’t happen soon enough.

What? Nothing yet on the Spitzer scandal? [Edit: I see I’m not the first]

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Very well then, allow me to be the first [Edit: I see someone beat me to posting on this.]. It is being reported that Eliot Spitzer, Democratic Governor of New York, has been ‘caucusing’ with some pretty high class and expensive prostitutes. When I say expensive, I mean in the $1,000 and $5,500 per hour, $50,000 per week-end range. He at least has the decency to avoid the “wide stance” style defense and is considering resigning. He’s made his apologies. Spitzer hasn’t been charged with a crime, yet, although, depending upon how he paid for the services, he could be charged with a crime worth up to five years in prison if he attempted to conceal the source and purpose for the payment, which I think it likely that he almost certainly would have done. The question is, what now?

Can he — should he — stay in office? Of course if he committed a crime, even if he’s not indicted for it, he probably will have to resign. After all, as chief executive for New York, he’s the guy at the head of setting policy for prosecutions and the administration of justice in the state. How would it look to have someone who committed a crime while in that position to stay in office. And, of course, if he’s convicted of a crime, he’ll be forced to resign or be impeached as I doubt he can run the state from his prison cell.

But what if he committed no crime? After all, presidents have engaged in sexual daliances while in office — Kennedy and Clinton spring immediately to mind but they certainly don’t exhaust the list — why should governors resign just because they’ve been caught in extra-curricular activities? Spitzer isn’t even splitting hairs over what the definition of ‘is’ is.

This also raises the question, peripherally, of whether prostitution should be illegal at all? The Libertarian in me says “No” but the Christian moralist in me says “Yes.” The ‘we mustn’t enact Christian morals into law in a secular nation’-ist in me says “I’m not sure that there aren’t sufficient societal harms involved in prostitution to keep it illegal even without questions of religious scruple but it’s possible that those societal harms aren’t mostly the result of its being illegal” so I just don’t know.

Anyway, what do you all think?

Attending a Wingtard Convention: Inside the Belly of the Beast

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

You’ve gotta check out this article. It’s long, but it’s an excellent read: appalling, hilarious, infuriating, absurd…

The author, Leonard Pierce, infiltrated the annual meeting of the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC). He got in by posing as a lobbyist for the American Milk Solids Council. We know that two percent of America has gotten rich beyond belief in the past 7 years, and that 19% still think George W. Bush is doing a heckuva job.

Knowing those statistics is one thing, but just imagine being surrounded by thousands of these people. As Pierce describes it, “Here’s a description of Hell: a huge room full of all the people you hate most, and they’re all having a wonderful time.”

There’s a speech by Dick Cheney (of course). During his speech, the crowd starts cheering and yelling “Four More Years!” Cheney gives the usual soundbites about 9/11, telecom immunity and the wonders of torture. But the most telling thing about Cheney’s speech was the observation that: “His defense of torture gets a standing ovation, but his praising of our fighting men in uniform does not. It takes a man to fight, but it takes a train to waterboard.”

Next comes Mitt Romney’s famous speech where he says he entered the race because he loves his country and now he’s leaving (the race, not the country) for the same reason.

And there has to be a speech by Dumbya. Before Boozo the Clown even begins his speech, the crowd starts chanting “Four More Years!”

Bush’s speech itself had the predictable Bushisms: “Dick Cheney is the greatest vice president in the history of the United States.” The Bush Administration “didn’t seek the approval of editorialists…and we darned sure didn’t seek permission from groups like Code Pink and MoveOn before taking action.”

But check out Pierce’s description of Bush:

“In person, he looks a little haggard and tired: no legacy to speak of, no friends overseas (whither Pooty-Poot? a nation turns its starving eyes to you), and another boatload of corpses to go and frown at later today. He won’t last as long as his old man once he’s out of office: With no one to stand in the way of, with no one to infuriate, with no press hanging over his shoulder for him to mutter ‘fuck off’ at, he’ll wither away and disappear, just another burnout boomer with prostate cancer and no hobbies.”

Congress asks the DOJ to investigate Roger Clemens..

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Obviously they have nothing better to do right? No wars, no recession..From MSNBC:

Congress asked the Justice Department on Wednesday to investigate whether Roger Clemens made false statements to a House committee.

The chairman and ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said they sent a letter to Justice.

“We believe that his testimony in a sworn deposition on Feb. 5, 2008, and at a hearing on Feb. 13, 2008, that he never used anabolic steroids or human growth hormone, warrants further investigation,” committee chairman Henry Waxman and ranking Republican Tom Davis wrote. “That testimony is directly contradicted by the sworn testimony of Brian McNamee, who testified that he personally injected Mr. Clemens with anabolic steroids and human growth hormone.

Christ, even a huge sports nut like me thinks this is pure unadulterated bullshit.

The Seven Dirty Words Live On

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

Old LadyComedian George Carlin used to do a gag called, “Seven Dirty Words You Can’t Say on TV“. He used the words prolifically to make the point that they were simply words - not bombs nor bullets nor anything else that might cause lasting harm. In fact, I’d say that 99% of the adult US population has used at least one of those words at some point and the remaining 1% are liars.

So here we are, several decades down the road. We’ve weathered wars, natural disasters, terror attacks, and dozens of other momentous events, but we’re still apoplectic when poppa says a bad, bad thing. In fact, a bad word slipped just this morning. It was the word that begins with a “c” and ends in “unt”. It happens to be the title of one of the monologues in the Vagina (not “va-jay-jay“) Monologues and that is exactly how Jane Fonda used it when she let it slip on the Today Show.

And That Goes Double for F*ck
Fonda isn’t stupid. She knew what the reaction would be. It appears that she simply didn’t parse the word carefully before saying it and the NBC censors didn’t hit the 10-second delay button in time. NBC cut the offensive language in the west coast edition of Today and apologized to viewers for the slip up. There was a similar stink, and attendant apology, last month when Diane Keaton inadvisably said f*ck on the air. One would think those apologies would be sufficient, but of course, that would be much too simple.

Conservatives are p*ssed and jumped on the story like flies on sh*t - NewsBusters and right wing diva, Michelle Malkin to name two. Newsbusters put it this way, “Besides her left wing activism, famous North Vietnamese propagandist Jane Fonda spouts foul language on morning network television, when some children almost certainly saw it.”

Um, yeah. I wonder what word the commenter uses to describe Fonda in private?

Oh, Go F*ck Yourself
True, children could have seen it, but they also could have seen or read it on the NewsBusters and Michelle Malkin websites, both of which carried the monstrous offense to humanity verbatim. The kiddies could have also seen more traumatic fare, like death footage from Iraq, but I didn’t hear the moth*rf*ckers pis*ing and moaning about that.

I’ve toned the words down in this post out of respect to those who find them offensive, not because they offend me personally. But I have been known to say, co*cksu*ker when I’m aggressively cut off in traffic or the word t*ts in the throes of passion. I’m not perfect and neither are those who choose to make an issue of it, not even Dick Cheney. After all, he delivered a pithy message to Senator Patrick Leahy on the floor of Congress a few years back.

The Big Dick told Leahy to, “go f*ck yourself” (NSFW).

‘Nuff said.

 


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WGA Stike Ending Vote

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

I had no sooner clipped the coupon for the rope that I was going to hang myself with from the Sunday paper Home Depot flyer and I was saved by what is supposedly the end to the Writers Guild Strike. Much like most of America and I’m sure all you Canadian satellite dish TV borrowers (wink, wink), I have been at my wits end with reruns and reality television programs that seem to go nowhere other than proving that there are jerks in the world that will do anything for a dollar.

I’ve backed the Writers Guild of America from the start of the strike because of the simple fact that writers create the content that shows up on the screen. Everything you see on your television or buy online of any television series was written by someone and in that effort they deserve to be monetized wherever that product is sold. If somebody is getting paid to resell that content then the writers deserve payment too!

Over at the Washington Post they have this to say on the WGA strike resolution vote.

Guild Leaders Urging Writers to VoteBy LYNN ELBER
The Associated Press
Sunday, February 10, 2008; 6:34 PM

LOS ANGELES — The Writers Guild of America moved swiftly Sunday toward a resolution of its three-month-old strike, with guild leaders deciding to recommend the contract to members and ask them to vote on a quick end to the walkout. By calling for separate votes on ending the strike and accepting the contract, the union cleared the way for the entertainment industry to return to work almost immediately.
Membership meetings will be held Tuesday in New York and Los Angeles to allow writers to decide whether the strike should be brought to a speedy end, said Patric Verrone, president of the guild’s West Coast branch.

“This the best deal this guild has bargained for in 30 years,” Verrone said.

The tentative contract secures writers a share of the burgeoning digital-media market, he said, including compensation for Internet-delivered TV shows and movies.

“If they (producers) get paid, we get paid. This contract makes that a reality,” Verrone said. But, he added, “it is not all we hoped for and it is not all we deserved.” - Washington Post

Neither party really wins in these sort of situations but they are necessary for the progression of fair business and fair labor practices for future generations of writers and producers. All of the lost wages by the writers and producers working for the entertainment industry will never be recouped but the principal of the strike was sound. Congratulations go out to both sides for coming to a possible resolution to some of the issues they have.

In the end the real winner in this discussion is the customer that views or reads the products created from the minds of not just individual writers but groups of them that make that favorite television show possible. You the viewer will benefit from the fact that the people writing those dramas, comedy and family based shows will have fresh writers ready to burn up the keyboards and make your television come to life once more. Now that the throw up reality crap is not the only thing to watch, real mind blowing twists and turns and plots of deviation with an evil undertone where the sexual innuendo is a mile a minute will broadcast into our homes once more. And that is just the cooking shows….

Papamoka

Feel free to link to or borrow this post…

Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk


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