Category Archives: Media Coverage

Shawshank Redeemed

Yet another Greatest Films of all time reduced to numbers list

I agree that the whole concept is kind of pointless

I was asked recently for my favourite film of the last couple of years as a part of a social networking intiative, so I took a look at IMDB just as a mnemonic. Wow that list was stupid. But understandably stupid in overvaluing recent popular middlebrow hits. A lot if other lists of this kind gravitate to “I am supposed to like it because it’s a classic even if I have not seen it” criteria.

However I think it is somewhat misplaced to criticize some of this outside of the context that most people do not have a ready made list. If you asked me this question today and 3 months from now, my answer would be wildly different just based on top of mind. Even people who you might expect to have somewhat prepared lists could be problematic. It strikes me as reductionist for serious critics to, well reduce film to numbers on a list and while obsessive film nerds certainly do this sort of thing, that doesn’t make it right. (or prevent Buckaroo Banzai from making the list)

On to the list itself. Plenty of quibble room, but probably only 10% real howlers. Many of the choices I would question can be explained if you are accounting for influence or precedence over pure art.

The English language bias is inevitable, particularly when you introduce the cumulative effect of averaging these 187 critics. The temporal context? I don’t know if the dissin’ by omission of post 1980 cinema (no Coen brothers?) is better or worse than the overrepresentation of pre-1935 films.

Anyhow I am sure that I could come up with another 50 films that are equally deserving. And there is always the question of representation. Billy Wilder was infinitely more talented and than Spike Lee and had a body of work that dwarfs Lee’s largely over-hyped pedestrian canon but The Apartment and Some Like it Hot don’t belong on this list and Do The Right Thing probably does.

Actually as a huge Wilder fan I find The Apartment nearly unwatchable but that is due to Shirley Maclaine. It does have a seminal performance by Lemmon as the light comedy everyman role (the Tom Hanks of his day for you kids) that is to me meaningful in the history of film. And about 30% of these choices seem to be about influence or film history or the development of the medium. And if that is the criteria than where is Mann’s Thief and The Matrix by the Wachowskksiwisisskki siblings of indeterminate gender which are almost Blade Runnerlike in their influence on my generation.

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Boy in the plastic bubble

Bubble boy

I have often wondered if the Washington Press establishment existed in some kind of hermetically sealed dome cut off from the infectious outside world. At least in Logan’s Run the bastards blew up after 30 years.

David Broder has a remarkable piece in today’s Washington Post that insists that Bush Administration war crimes and crimes against the Constitution should go unexamined.

What is it in Washington? I expect the Peggy Noonans of the world to want to sweep the failings of their idols under the rug, and have no problem with doublethink but the entire establishment political press is on this bizarre “bygones” initiative. The whole panel on the Gwen Ifill show was on this bent.

How much of a rocket scientist do you have to be to understand that this is not about revenge or partisanship (as MonicaGate surely was) nor is it peripheral to the actual governance of the Nation (as MonicaGate surely was)?

After lying the country into an unnecessary and ruinous war, wiretapping the entire world and letting Wall Street run Ponzi scemes, the Bush Administration created an obviously fake legal rationale to retroactively provide cover for torture, which accomplished nothing other than degrade the moral authority of America and serve as a major recruiting motivation for her enemies.

Now I am not looking to “punish” them for the awesomely bad policy judgment on Iraq or Financial regulation. While I think their hearts were in the wrong place, I think they legitiately believed their own nonsense.

But constitutional and legal mockeries to deprive citizens and others of rights (NSA Wiretapping, Gitmo, Torture) is not a policy dispute. It is a perversion of the foundation of AMerican law and a violation of core principals. And Laws. And Oaths.

But this quote takes the cake:

“The memos on torture represented a deliberate, and internally well-debated, policy decision, made in the proper places — the White House, the intelligence agencies and the Justice Department — by the proper officials.”

How can you possily get this so wrong. The only accurate words in the quote are “torture” and “deliberate”.

Mr. Broder, those memos reveal a deliberate, craven attempt to shoehorn torture into a definition that makes it some form of spa treatment. It was not “well-debated” it was shockingly poorly debated, both in scope and intellectual honesty. A policy was made essentially based on the contrivance of four lawyers, whose work was kept secret for years. Officials were told of the fact of an administrative opinion authorizing torture, but not the details. When we see the details it is obvious they were not kept secret for National Security reasons but rather to hide the transparent phoniness of the legal rationale.

The Bush Administration took a terrible event and turned it into a war and a near bankruptcy of the nation. Unless we can show that this was all just to make Haliburton money, maybe that does lie in policy disputes. Ruinous, insane, unjustifiable policy, but not criminal.

What is it about the criminality of violations of basic rights through perversions like the Patriot Act and legal rationales for torture do you not understand?

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FBI database links long-haul truckers, serial killings

A report published in the LA Times suggests “serial killers working as long-haul truckers are responsible for the slayings of hundreds of prostitutes, hitchhikers and stranded motorists whose bodies have been dumped near highways over the last three decades”

Wait a minute. Trucker, three decades….

bj-and-the-bear

What if the killer is not the trucker, but his loveable chimpanzee sidekick?

If I were the Landers sisters I would be very nervous

landers

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Rusty and me… and Hitler

Rush

Salon has an April 1 special contribution from “Julie Limbaugh” about the difficulties of growing up with a surname made infamous by one bad man.

My sympathetic letter of response is buried among the vitriol on Page 17 of the letters section.

A similar experience here

I know how you feel.

I grew up in Fort Lee New Jersey in the 1960s, when there was a large Jewish population. I felt like a complete outsider. I wasn’t Jewish, or bigoted or even all that aware of cultural differences.

But you try telling that to people when your name is Bobby Hitler.

My father was a proud man, and despite the obvious hassles, felt that changing the family name would be a dishonor to his father, who had died before World War II. I can respect his intent but it really became a single minded obsession that he continued to prosecute long after the inevitability of the struggle became overwhelming. But you could say that we Hitlers share this trait.

School kids wouldn’t play with me. Either their parents warned them away or they rejected my authority and plotted against me. I tried to form my own clique called Scholastic Aptitude or SA for short but eventually had to disband it suddenly when my right hand man Ernie turned out to be a little weird.

Simple events like Halloween were uncomfortable. One year all the kids on the block went out as army men and I tried to join in.

Adolescence only made things worse. Girls all asked if I had only one ball. And forget about trying to grow a mustache !

Eventually you grow up and come to a place where you can make a decision for yourself. I never knew my grandfather, my experience was completely different from my father’s so I felt no obligation to continue. I started to use my mother;s maiden name. And that is why 19 days from now on April 20 when people are reminded of Hitler’s birthday no one will cast a hateful glare my way.

Bobby Stalin

Happy April!

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“Fake Steve Jobs” vs Fake News vs Fake “Real Steve Jobs” Health News

Confused yet?

Dan Lyons who infamously blogged as Fake Steve Jobs
has attacked CNBC on their air for their slavish acceptance of Apple propaganda lies on the health of on again off again CEO and Chief Technical Messiah of the MacTards.

How do you pick a favourite in a pit full of vipers?

‘Fake Steve Jobs’ attacks CNBC in on-air tirade

Apple has always made some good products but ridiculously overpriced and overhyped them and the religiosity of the MacTards and their veneration of Saint Steve doesn’t help. Google MacWheel and find the Onion’s on target satire.

CNBC set a standard for “stock analyst” puffery and promotion disguised as news in the run up to the dotcom bubble and the Enron/Worldcom/Tyco/Global Crossing fraudscape and governance meltdown.

The real and shameful failure of corporate governance has led to many attempts to improve this through sideshows of reporting like Sarbanes Oxley, or public viewing of the CEO’s stool sample. It is a bullshit distraction that ties companies up in reporting nonsense and frees them up to continue massively imprudent mismanagement (Wall Street) or obsessive focus on day to day fluctuations of the stock price (any publicly traded company). It is hard to criticize corporate governors or management for not having an executive succession plan that looks ahead 6 months when everything encourages them to not plan their business past today’s market close.

The fake steve jobs blog was hilarious but Dan Lyons is scum. I find it hard to believe that he attacks CNBC for falling prey to the sophisticated Apple PR machine when this asshat referred to independent analysis of the SCO vs IBM lawsuit published on Groklaw as “to bash software maker SCO Group in its Linux patent lawsuit against IBM, producing laughably biased, pro-IBMcoverage”. His foundation for treating a completely baseless absurd constantly changing greenmail lawsuit by “SCO” was essentially “some guys from SCO told me they have some really really good evidence but they can’t show me.” Or anyone. Ever. As it turns out.

Oh and i case you have not seen the Onion’s report on the Mac Wheel
Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard … well you should.

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My Lesbian crush grows

The Huffington Post Reports on Rachel Maddow calling out (sic) guest Dr Laura Andrea Tyson for failing to disclose her role as a Board Member of Morgan Stankley in discussing the Baninking Bailout.

First to disclose my conflict. I think Rachel Maddow is adorable, endearing, intelligent and kind of compellingly shy. I have since the first time I saw her on Olbermann. She is a breath of fresh air. I just wish they had cancelled Chris Matthews instead of Dan Abrams to make room for her.

And just as quickly as my crush developed, I thought there is probably very little chance that it would be reciprocated in any way. It is not that I thought we were incompatible. We are about the same age and share common interests. But while my gaydar is not too finely honed, I had not doubt that Rachel appeared to have suited up for the other team. Again, it didn’t affect my crush at all, because it was you know, a crush on a TV personality.

So I am more than happy to celebrate Rachel. But it is sad to have to celebrate her for doing something that you would just assume would be standard practice for her profession. But sadly in the world of professional log rolling that is the national media, being a ethical professional apparently is worthy of note.

Duly noted. Good for you Rachel.

After Enron and Worldcom and Global Crossing and on and on it became common on Financial television for guests to disclose any relevant holdings or conflicts of interest. So the rah-rah press cheerleaders for the fake economy were suddenly shamed into addressing some of the most basic facts behind the pump and dump stock promoters and “analysts” who had used this access for years to dupe the public.

And 7 years later, after more and bigger scandals, the securitization of junk derivatives, and pumping short term revenue at the expense of unlimited risk, we are astonished when a member of the political media actually calls out a conflict like this? And people are making excuses for Dr Tyson not disclosing this obvious conflict?

What is truly stunning is that his corruption is tolerated. Yes, Dr. Tyson should have disclosed that she was A BOARD MEMBER of Morgan Stanley before making any comments as an “expert” on matters involving the taxpayer funded no-strings attached bailout.

A key piece of data here. Dr Tyson is paid $350K per year to serve on the MS Board, which probably amounts to about $10,000 per hour for actual duties. Big companies do not pay independent directors that kind of money because the job is so onerous, so you might want to consider what they are really buying.

Like maybe access to have their interests represented in the national media by spokeswhores posing as independent experts.

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Filed under Economy, Media Coverage

Woodward: Bush Said His Iran Strategy Was “They’re A**holes”


Perhaps John McCain can condescend to Bush and suggest that “They are Assholes” is a tactic, not a strategy.
More on War Wire
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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