Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Dustin Diamond back in action

 
I don't know what I have against Dustin Diamond. I should identify with him! The poor devil. He had a brother who died in childhood and his mother died during the run of Saved by the Bell. Half his family died before he was fourteen. Nobody on Saved by the Bell liked him. Mario Lopez was rude to him when he got a black belt in karate. He became a stand-up comedian and all the real comedians hate him. He paid a band to let him perform with them. He threw an empty water bottle harmlessly into the crowd and someone threw a full water bottle back at him, hit him in the head and he had to be taken away in an ambulance which the rest of the band found extremely funny.

He has just enough fame to keep his career barely limping along and since he has no education he has no hope of earning any kind of a living doing anything else.

On the other hand, there was the sex tape, the horrible tell-all book and the "celebrity" boxing. He's the poor man's Tom Cruise in terms of people hating him.

Anyway, there's this guy called Eric Roberts who is apparently a movie star. He and Dustin Diamond have just starred in a direct to video movie being put out by Sony called Joker’s Poltergeist about the mass murder in the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

One article announcing the movie listed Eric Roberts and Dustin Diamond as the stars although, on imdb.com, you have to click "see full cast" to find Diamond's name. The movie is listed there as Joker's Wild. Users gave it one star.

The plot, according to an online review:
At an illustrious movie premiere in a packed theater of, at best, 23 people, a madman in a clown mask opens fire on the audience. One year later, the theater is reopening, under objections from the public. As the theater makes it’s return, to the shock of no one, clowns start murdering people, or taking them to a nightmare dimension, or hell, or something equally uninteresting.
I haven't seen it. I might watch a little if it's free somewhere. Sounds like it's in terribly bad taste.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Gallagher once again


Okay, so I'm sorry to bring up Gallagher again. Gallagher is the '80s prop comedy sensation known for smashing watermelons with a large mallet. He's turned racist, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-gay and has started lecturing comedians on the importance of not drinking water on stage.

Gallagher was interviewed on Marc Maron's podcast. From the interview:
Gallagher: "Most comedians are terrible. They should listen to me..."

Maron: "Okay. I will hear you out."

"...and I help them when I can."

"What is your problem with most comedians?"

"Well, like I just said, their show has no dynamics [sic] and it's not a show based on their knowledge of the audience; it's a show about them. And comedy is not therapy. Just because it's a--"

"Wait a minute. But if you're talking about a show about them, if some--if you're saying that a person that talks about themselves on stage is not a comedian then you're dismissing a great many great comics."

"Yeah."

"Yeah. So you--"

"They did it wrong."

"No, they didn't do it wrong."

"Okay, you walk in a doctor's office and he talks about his problem instead of---"

"That's an old joke. If a comedian talks about himself and that is funny--if a comedian is a storyteller---by your rubric, you're dismissing---"

"He can't work a state fair."

"Who the fuck wants to work a state fair necessarily?"

"Everybody."

So imagine my surprise when I stumbled on this from seven years ago about Gallagher alienating the audience while performing at a county fair:

http://blog.oregonlive.com/hillsboroargus/2010/08/fruit-smashing_gallaghers_cont.html

From the article:
About 2,400 people attended the free show, which headlined opening night for the 2010 fair. Many of those 2,400 left before the performance was 30 minutes old.
Gallagher, best known for wielding a sledgehammer to smash food onstage, started his show with a 45-minute set that included dozens of profanities and off-color jokes, particularly disparaging to homosexuals.
Many of the jokes are not fit for publication in this newspaper. Here are two we can share with you:
“Why didn’t Ted Kennedy mind dying of brain cancer? Because he wanted to have a hole in his head like his brothers.”
“You’ll notice there are no Mexicans here. They’ll be here to clean up later.”
 ...
Golladay was also bothered by the comedian as he was throwing mini candy bars from the stage. As Gallagher spotted a woman in a wheelchair, he said, “Let’s give it to the lady in the wheelchair. Maybe it will cure you and you’ll jump up.”
...
Inside the amphitheater, many members of the crowd were younger children, who cheerfully chanted his name before the show started and wore ponchos in anticipation of the watermelon smashing. Gallagher launched his first profanity two minutes into his performance.
...
She said when she hired Gallagher she was thinking about what kind of crowd she wanted to cater to.
What crowd was that?
“Fans of Gallagher. We hired Gallagher knowing he had a good fan base, and fans would come out to support him,” she said.
But don’t many people just know Gallagher as the watermelon guy?
“I couldn’t tell you what people may or may not know about him,” Perkins-Hagele said.

First time I saw Gallagher was when he was on the game show Make Me Laugh. Some years later, in high school, I had this friend whose family had Showtime and HBO and little else. They lived in a small rental house. The family--the mother, my friend and his sister--slept every night in beanbags in front of the TV. The lights were all burnt out and the TV was their only source of light. I sat there watching Gallagher's comedy special. He was rolling around on roller skates the whole time. I remember this one bit he did but I don't want to talk about it.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Roger Moore again



Here's an article on Roger Moore:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/26/roger-moore-in-bondage/

Starts with this quote:
“You can’t be a real spy and have everybody in the world know who you are and what your drink is.  That’s just hysterically funny.”
— Roger Moore
Years ago, some comedian made a joke about the Beverly Hillbillies movie. He quipped that Buddy Ebsen was the Sean Connery of Jed Clampets, like anyone taking on the role later was somehow lesser. But this article quotes those who disagree:
A.O. Scott, penning for the New York Times, tired at the reminders that Connery was the better one, “real” in so far as these approximations can be. “The Connery consensus seemed like part of a larger baby boomer conspiracy to bully people my age [he's 50] into believing that everything we were too young to have experienced firsthand was cooler than what was right in front of our eyes.”
Sinclair McKay, reviewing Simon Winder’s otherwise compelling The Man Who Saved Britain, also states his allegiance to Camp Moore.  “There was just one error of judgment and it’s a mistake most Bond aficionados make: Winder has little time for Roger Moore, who was in fact the best screen Bond of all.”
I see the James Bond movies as being about a guy who works for a horrible, abusive boss who is openly hostile to him, but his job lets him get away from the office for days at a time, drive around and stay in hotels. In Roger Moore's first James Bond movie, M and Miss Moneypenny barge into his apartment in the middle of the night and start pushing him around in his own house.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Work on your titles for God's sake

 
I'll say this----Rick Schmidt (author of Feature Filmmaking at Used Car Prices) really needs to work on his titles. None are very inspiring.

Here are his movie titles (most available on Fandor):
A Man, a Woman, and a Killer

1988: The Remake

Emerald Cities

Morgan's Cake

American Orpheus

Blues for the Avatar

Loneliness is Soul

Welcome to Serendipity

Crash My Funeral

Sun and Moon

Maisy's Garden

Chetzemoka's Curse

Release the Head

Mirage

Rick's Canoe

White Stork is Coming

Prospects

Tears of Bankers

Sticky Wicket

Here are some much better titles of movies written by Schmidt's erstwhile collaborator, Wayne Wang:
Chan is Missing

Life is Cheap...But Toilet Paper is Expensive

Blue in the Face

Chinese Box

The Center of the World
I don't like the Toilet Paper one, but the others I like okay.

Now, George Kuchar's work was very different. imdb.com lists 237 movies he directed, and the list is probably incomplete. But here are just a few of his titles. How could anyone not want to see THESE movies:
A Woman Distressed

Lust for Ecstacy

Confessions of Babette

Hold Me While I'm Naked

Corruption of the Damned

Eclipse of the Sun Virgin

Pagan Rhapsody

The Devil's Cleavage

Symphony for a Sinner

The Nocturnal Immaculation

Muffled Darkness

Mecca of the Frigid

The director of A Hard Day's Night was talking with a couple of the Beatles. One of the boys asked if he had heard Ringo's odd way of speaking. For example, once, when they had worked late rehearsing, Ringo said, "That was a hard day's night." The director instantly recognized that it would be a great title. The boys dashed off the song that evening.

The title was better than the song. 

Was Anthony Weiner victim of Republican dirty trick?



Weren't there claims at some point that it was all a Russian conspiracy?

Now it's being claimed that Anthony Weiner's teenage sexting case was a Republican dirty trick. The girl was sixteen when she started talking to Weiner, not 15 as she claimed. She was above her state's age of consent, but not the federal age of consent that applied in this case, or the age of consent in New York that also could have applied.. And the girl falsely claimed to be "big fan" of Hillary Clinton when, it's claimed, she celebrated Trump's victory on social media---her father was a Republican with connections to high ranking Republicans in his state, her mother was outraged on social media at the suggestion that Black Lives Matter and her grandmother was a Teabagger.

This is from an article is by Russ Baker who also claims that George H.W. Bush took part in the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. He claimed that John Hinkley, Jr's, parents cheerfully sacrificed their son in hope of Bush could become president.

The Hill repeated the allegations and Democrats are spreading the story online, but no one has contacted prosecutors or the FBI for comment. And for some reason, Anthony Weiner's lawyer failed to bring any of it up as their client prepares to go to prison.

Read it here:

https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/05/22/exclusive-weiners-underage-sexting-girl-lied-damage-clinton/

If it was a "dirty trick", it succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, like Trump's campaign itself.

Somebody should make a movie. A girl's conservative parents push her into sexting a degenerate in the Democratic Party, but the Republican Party turns on her when she falls in love with the big lug.

Anthony Weiner disturbing the peace with a bullhorn while waving the flag of a hostile foreign power.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Roger Moore, RIP


Roger Moore has died at 89.

When I was a kid, I was forced to sit through all the James Bond movies made up to that point. They were playing every Friday night on one of the networks and my brother wanted to see them for some reason. I liked Roger Moore better than Sean Connery. They were about the same age but Moore seemed younger and hipper, perhaps because he had his own hair.

But I didn't really like the movies. Even when I was ten I thought it was absurd that SPECTRE had a far more advanced space program than the U.S. or Soviet Union. The fights weren't exciting, the gadgets were stupid and I didn't understand what women saw in the various James Bonds.

Roger Moore thought it was ridiculous that James Bond was a spy but he walked around with everyone knowing who he was and what he did for a living. He told Dick Cavett that he was on the set of that terrible James Bond movie--the one where he was in Venice in a specially outfitted gondola--and a woman asked him if he was ever going to do a serious movie. He told her how much this movie cost per day of shooting and thought that made it pretty serious, but he said he knew what she was talking about.

Reminds me of Robert Downey Jr responding to a similar question, except Downey had no sense of humor about it.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Brief quote from "Ja Rule"


"That's not fraud, that's not fraud! False advertising, maybe. Not fraud."

--Middle aged ex-convict "Ja Rule" assuring Fyre Media employees that they're not going to prison.

In 2010, Ja Rule had been sentenced to two years in prison for attempted criminal possession of a weapon. In 2011, he was sentenced to an additional 28 months in prison for tax evasion.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Weiner apparently going to prison


Prosecutors are recommending a 20 to 27 month sentence for obnoxious New York Zionist Anthony Weiner.

He should have fled to Israel like I said.

Weiner blubbed as he plead guilty to sending obscene material to a 15-year-old  North Carolina shiksa. 

According to Politico:
A tearful Weiner said his “destructive impulses” led him to send the explicit images, and he admitted to “encouraging her to engage in sexually explicit conduct” in late 2016.
“This fall, I came to grips for the first time with the depth of my sickness," Weiner said, his voice cracking.
"I had hit bottom," he told the judge, and said he began “to take a moral inventory of my defects. … I accept full responsibility for my conduct. I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse.”
 Now he'll be a registered sex offender.

Weiner the Zionist

It's from 2011, but here's an article by Juan Cole on Weiner. He writes:
"A social liberal in American terms, Weiner is so blinded by his allegiance to Israel and so studied in his ignorance of the Middle East that he has played a uniformly sinister role in that aspect of foreign policy."
The article lists things Weiner did that were worst that sexting. He:
1. Called for Columbia University professor Joseph Massad to be fired for being critical of Israel; Weiner thus spearheaded a new McCarthyism.
2. On the Israeli attack, in international waters, on the Mavi Marmara relief ship, Weiner sputtered: “”If you want to instigate a conflict with the Israeli navy it isn’t hard to do. They were offered alternatives. Instead they chose to sail into the teeth of an internationally recognized blockade.” The blockade of Gaza civilians is a breach of international law; it is not internationally recognized and has on the contrary been condemned by almost every nation and human rights organization.
3. Alleged that the New York Times is anti-Israel: “Amnesty International in particular, has always had bias against Israel, and frankly I would argue that in many cases, the New York Times has, as well.”
4. Alleged that the Palestine Liberation Organization is still listed by the US as a terrorist organization. It was dropped from the list over 2 decades ago.
5. Tried to bar the Palestinian delegation to the United Nations from New York.
6. Alleged that Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestine Authority, is not the head of the PLO. He is.
7. Refused to condemn the use by Israel of cluster bombs on the civilian farms of south Lebanon in 2006.
8. Alleged that the Israeli army does not occupy the West Bank and that there is no Israeli Army presence in the West Bank.
9. Called Israel’s war on Gaza a “humane” war. 400 children were killed.
10. Voted for Iraq War authorization in 2002, before later turning against the war.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Clouded Yellow, 1950

 

Trevor Howard uses his secret agent skills to help Jean Simmons escape an apparently false murder charge.

James Bond movies reportedly boosted the British "Secret Service's" public image, but this movie, made in 1950, was kind of a mixed bag. Trevor Howard is fired for a single mistake and unable to find work because he can't put being a secret agent on his resume, then the Secret Service threatens and spies on him to keep him from revealing any of their secrets. He's forced to work for a wealthy eccentric helping him catalog his butterfly collection. Jean Simmons plays his disturbed niece.

In this thing, Howard can only outsmart the cops up to a point. He karate chops a couple of guys and says Sorry, old chap, as he does it, but that's it. The revelation of who the real killer wasn't much of a surprise and I don't think it was supposed to be.

There were a couple of odd things. At one point, a woman is taking her son to the bathroom on a crowded train and Howard escapes his captors by telling her he'll take the kid for her. He picks him up and carries him away and the mother is happy to let him do it. The other secret service guys are blocked by the crowd. Things were very different back then.

There's a scene where Jean Simmons is on the roof of a tall building. She runs to the edge and barely stops in time. There's no wall or railing to keep her from falling over the side. I don't know if they had some other safety apparatus but it looked terribly dangerous.

I watched this on a cheap Roku channel called "Pub-D-Hub" which carries only public domain movies. Some, like this one, are pretty good, but most are old B movies which are usually terrible. In some cases they use movies they simply recorded off TV---there are couple with the TCM logo in the corner, and some were copied from DVDs with the company logo in the corner. For this one, they had a very good copy from Janus films.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Good news and bad news

Well, here's some good news! Trump allegedly shared some intelligence with Russia, warning them of plans by ISIS to bomb commercial airliners. They already bombed one Russian airliner. I don't know why anyone would object to warning them. They don't want to thwart ISIS's plans?

But the Israelis reportedly have their yarmulkes in a bunch over it. They're claiming that they're the ones who provided that information, but they have a history of taking credit for stuff like that whether they had anything to do with it or not.

So now Israel is threatening to withhold intelligence from the United States.

The Israelis spit in Obama's face over and over and over the entire time he was in office, and his response was always to grovel at their feet even more abjectly. I don't know how Trump would react. Obama had no self-respect and Trump has way too much.
 
So maybe it will seriously damage U.S. relations with God's Chosen Apartheid State.

But I keep getting my hopes up and nothing ever comes of it.

Of course, Trump is soon going to Israel and Saudi Arabia. Both countries are pushing for war with Iran. Who knows what that moron will do. World War Three may be at our throats.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Teachers and adult cinema


When I was in high school, I ran into one of my teachers at a local art theater. They were showing Louis Malle's Murmur of the Heart. It's about a rich French kid with a heart murmur who has sex with his mother. I was there to see the same movie, of course, so I couldn't shame him, but it was only about twelve years earlier that a teacher from the same school was nearly fired when some parents saw her buying a ticket to The Graduate.

Some years later, I knew a high school teacher who ran into a couple of her students at a porno film. They were excited to see her.

"Are you 18?" she asked them.

"No, but it's okay," they assured her.

I don't know where I'm going with this or why.

In high school, they showed us a horrible school movie. It was set in the Civil War. A horrible, scrawny, pasty, long-haired hippie plays a Confederate soldier who flees from a battle, swims naked in a river and is shot and killed by some Union soldiers. It was just horrible. Worst full frontal nude scene I've ever seen in a fiction film. Why would they put that in a movie and why would they show that movie in a school? The teacher warned us that there'd be a naked guy in it. I'm sorry I didn't opt out.

At the time, I had the idea that the filmmakers were trying to cash in on the success of "Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge". I don't know why the Confederates are always the heroes/victims in these things. There are contemporary photographs of Civil War soldiers and none of them had long stringy hair.

Shane, Oedipus Rex

It was in Technicolor but here's a still in black and white.
I shouldn't have watched Shane so soon after watching Oedipus Rex.

If you ask me, Shane was an Oedipal fantasy. Shane was Joey's alter-ego in his Oedipal conflict with his father. The whole plot was Shane moving in with the family and replacing the father, Joe Starrett (Van Heflin). His son idolizes Shane, his wife is in love with him. In the end, the father announces he's going to town to almost certain death so that Shane can marry his widow. Shane pistol whips him and goes to town in his place.

"And Mother wants you. I know she does!" Joey tells Shane.

Stranger movie than I realized.

Brandon deWilde startled by the gunshot.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Last samurai

Just like that idiot Tom Cruise movie I didn't see.

American in Japan, 1890s.
Actual samurai, 1866

Another girl with a gun

Frida Kahlo

Friday, May 12, 2017

Billy McFarland's not paying his employees

Two brilliant criminals at the climax of their most magnificent effort.


Well. Here's a recording of Billy McFarland telling his employees that they're not going to be paid, but they're more than welcome to keep working anyway. Apparently he hasn't been giving anyone pay stubs and others who left the job had trouble collecting unemployment benefits because there was nothing to indicate they had ever been employed.

Ja Rule appears briefly at the beginning of the recording. He sounds like a moron.

The recording appears here on vice.com: https://news.vice.com/story/audio-fyre-festival-founders-reveal-to-employees-nobodys-getting-paid

The employees are under legal notice not to delete files or emails from the computers and their idiot boss doesn't know how unemployment insurance works.

"Billy, should we be concerned about the FBI?"

"I don't know. I think that's an individual thing," Billy replies.

Man, I'd hate working at that place. It's just lucky nobody died at that "festival".

I'm more amused than outraged by all this. I don't know how much sympathy the employees deserve. It just makes me feel better that I was never a young go-getter.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The preppie outcast

Elderly former preppie Solondz.
Hearing about Todd Solondz going to prep school and then to Yale reminded of this.

I was working in an art gallery. A local guy who'd been living for years in California or somewhere came in wanting to show his work. He presented himself as some sort of genius. He gave us a copy of his bio. It said that he left the public school system for private school when he was a teenager then enrolled in college at a young age. He enrolled in "Lane College" and graduated when he was only sixteen, the youngest person ever to do so.

We showed the biography to someone who had known him in school. He said that the guy got expelled from high school and went to a special class for delinquents. There is no "Lane College". He meant Lane Community College where he took some free classes to prepare for the GED which he apparently passed when he was sixteen.

I thought his background as a juvenile delinquent was more compelling than the crap he made up. I'd rather see the work of a former troubled teen than that of a rich preppie.

So what should I think about Solondz? He told Marc Maron that his prep school was no good but it helped rich kids get into elite universities---it got him into Yale. He wasn't there on scholarship. His parents paid his way in. Doesn't this cast a pall over his whole career? Should I be impressed by a preppie just because the other preppies didn't like him?

Something Harvard Men tell each other

A Harvard Man and a Yalie were in a men's room. The Harvard guy starts to walk out.

"Hold on there, old chap!" cries the Yalie. "At Yale, they teach us to wash our hands after using the lavatory!"

"Really," the Harvard guy says. "At Harvard they teach us not to pee on our hands."

Something MIT boys tell each other 

How many Harvard students does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Just one---he holds it up and the world revolves around him.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

I know it's crazy



Back in the days of analog TV, I liked seeing stuff letterboxed. The lowest resolution analog video looked good to me if the picture was letterboxed. It seemed cinematic.

Now that TV's are widescreen, it's the 4x3 aspect ratio that seems cinematic to me. They have to cut off the right and left sides of the screen. Even low quality video in that aspect ratio somehow looks good to me.

I know it's madness.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

My sensible advice

 
I'll start with a bit of a correction. Jon Jost's movies are available HERE on Vimeo for $10 or $15 each.


Watched a long interview some Germans did with Jon Jost on YouTube.

It was posted a few years ago. His movies, he said, were then seen by a couple thousand people at film festivals and that was it. But I'm not sure what he was spending on them. It was reported elsewhere that he made several on digital video that cost a hundred or a hundred fifty bucks each. He shot a movie in London for a few hundred dollars including airfare. Being seen by a couple of thousand people was probably pretty good relative to the cost.

But he might try selling his DVDs for less than $30. He said on another YouTube video that he filmed scenes for some of his movies without permission in restaurants in Portland and elsewhere. You think they'd put a stack of DVDs by the cash register and sell them to customers thrilled at the possibility of seeing an arthouse film shot in that very restaurant? If you're paying fifteen bucks for lunch, what's another five dollars? Not terribly good advice, I know. That's wouldn't solve much of anything.

I saw another video on YouTube of a guy talking about self-distribution. An English guy had made a terrible action film for a few thousand dollars and was looking for a distributor. He lived in a high crime area and had some local English gang members appear in the movie. He had DVDs duplicated and packaged for $2 each and arranged to have them sold in local shops for $5 each, cheap enough to be bought on impulse and too cheap for anyone to bother bootlegging. He made over $20,000 that way. The distributor he approached told him to just keep doing what he was doing.

I never understood zero budget filmmakers charging so much for their DVDs. I suppose there must be a reason for it. I'm fascinated by extreme low budget movies, but other than those of Mike and George Kuchar, I haven't found any of them especially enjoyable. I can't see paying thirty bucks for something I very likely won't want to sit through more than once or twice.

Back in the silent era, a studio boss supposedly got into the movie business because his mother saw a movie theater and told him it was a great business because people pay before they see what they're getting. I almost never pay more than a few bucks for a DVD if it's a movie I've never seen. (I did pay around $100 for a good copy of the Soviet production of War & Peace and was quite happy with the purchase.)

Rick Schmidt was charging over $30 for his DVDs. I don't know how many he was selling. I was interested in watching them but I never saw any until they appeared on Fandor. I'm glad he's doing well, but, to be honest, I'm also glad I didn't pay $30.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Todd Solondz, Billy McFarland went to same prep school

 
Here's a bit of trivia. Director Todd Solondz went to the same prep school as Billy McFarland. McFarland, of course, was the rich idiot behind the Fyre music festival disaster/fraud.

Solondz talked about Pingry prep school on Marc Maron's WTF podcast.

He talks a little about what it was like. It was full of rich kids but really wasn't very good:
SOLONDZ: "...Mine was not a boarding school but it was based on that template, let's say, of that structure of the English kind of tradition, and when I first went there my first three years it was boys only and then it went co-ed for high school while I was there. And it was--there were a couple other Jews in the school, but they were Jews who went to country clubs and I never---they played tennis and there was like in that Garden of the Finzi Continis sort of--kind of Jew."

MARON: "Upper-middle-class country club Jews."

"Yeah, which I hadn't been exposed to and from my family when I applied and was accepted to the school was a very big deal and--because my family on the one hand was very--always very Zionist, always very pro-Israel, very---the Holocaust was an omnipresent factor. My Mom came during the war to this country. And so it was very much shaped with the sense of the Holocaust preceding my exsistence."
...
"--they also had a certain kind of assimilationist impulse that--the idea of--not consciously but on some level wanted to de-Judify, to be able to associate and climb the social ladder...if not to pass to certainly socialize in the upper tiers of society..."

"WASP culture..."

"Yeah, and so to be accepted in that kind of a school was a big deal for them. But it was inevitable that I would have a rough time, not because I was Jewish, but I was definitely artistically inclined kind of kid. I had been writing really ever since I was reading---I had worked on a kind of novel for three years...in elementary school, and so I was very--that kind of kid that would never be accepted socially a place like Pingry."

"Were you bullied?"

"By certain kids, yes. I always had--fortunately was fast so I never actually got beaten up, but certainly I was bullied. It was not a good school and one of the--what was not good and the message I got from it, and I felt very passionate about this, was that was my older siblings went to public school--by the time I came along, my parents could afford to send me to private school and they thought I was special, let's say, and---and what I came away with and what I felt when I was there that this school was not a good school. The distinction between this school and public school was just income, that the children came from very wealthy families, whereas in public schools they uniformly did not."

"It also facilitates a certain class structure and enables richer kids to get into certain schools and it probably helped them along those lines."

"Yeah, of course. So I didn't want---I never wanted---I remember making this fatal mistake early on when I first went to this school and they asked, Does anyone play a musical instrument, I raised my hand. And I learned that was the worst thing to do was to confess that you played the piano because that was of course total sissy fag and so forth, was kind of thing...." 
So, there it is. Solondz went on to attend Yale---McFarland went to some private university and dropped out the first year. Solondz attended prep school and was surprised at how mediocre it was; McFarland thought that it alone made him extra special, that it was all the education he'd ever need.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

MSNBC weekend prison line-up


What does it say about these people that MSNBC has nothing but "reality" shows about prisons on weekends? All those wonderful liberals who want to start wars with Syria and Russia, put Nazis in power in Ukraine and chuckle over people in prison for entertainment.

“They make so much money," enthused Rachel Maddow, "it's like having an ATM in the lobby that you don’t need a card for.”

The prisoners they're exploiting are paid nothing. 

They don't allow camera crews in mental hospitals, but with the mentally ill now being warehoused in prisons, it's the next best thing.

RT reported on this, how MSNBC makes a fortune off prison porn but refused cover a nationwide prison strike:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3HA_cp8m2s

Canada's thriving entertainment industry

Canadian series Orphan Black.
Listened to an interview with Norm MacDonald on Marc Maron's WTF podcast. Didn't know Norm was Canadian.

The interesting thing to me was that MacDonald had performed at a major event in Toronto just a few months after he started doing stand-up. This happened because there was a quota---they had to have a certain number of Canadian comics perform otherwise they would be overrun by comedians from the United States.

They also said--this was a joke but I assume there was some element of truth--that if you were a comedian and you remained in Canada, sooner or later you'd have your own TV show.

I've had other people tell me this---that Canada has a quota for TV programing produced in Canada. They have their own TV series, sit-coms, mini-series and so forth. Most, they say, aren't very good although I've seen some that were fine. There was The Boys of St Vincent mini-series and another mini-series shown on network TV in the U.S. 

All countries seem to have the same problem---they're being flooded with American TV shows that cost millions per episode to produce but are dumped on foreign markets at low cost. The countries' indigenous TV industries have trouble competing. For Canadians it's worse because the cultural differences are less pronounced. 

In the U.S. people in Maine will watch shows about Southern California but, in Europe, Norwegians won't watch shows from Italy or vice versa. You can drive from Germany to Romania in a day and a half---why won't they watch each other's shows? Imagine how bad American TV would be if every region of the country--every state--had to produce it's own shows.

So, anyway, go to Canada! Become Canadian! Get into the less competitive Canadian television industry! Get some of that Canadian government grant money and make some Canadian movies! You could be the next Guy Maddin! You could be the Canadian Steven Spielberg! The Canadian Werner Herzog! Even if you fail, at least they have universal healthcare and sensible gun control. The people there are nicer than in the USA, which is embarrassing because you'll always feel like a jerk for not being as nice as everyone else.

Years ago, we got a Canadian channel here. They used more profanity on Canadian TV and had nudity. But I watched the movie Bullitt and they cut out the car chase. I assumed this was due to censorship and not some terrible mistake.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Roku didn't drop RT after all



Now I feel bad for calling the innocent people of Roku "vermin". And "bastards".

An anonymous comment below reads:
Well after several post with no resolve I simply went back to channel search on roku ando "added" RT while never removing it from my lineup and it quickly installed and played back! Don'the understand it but I do have it back playing. Just a goof or its been put back in. No answer but it worked and is playing just fine. Try it and post results.
I tried it. Simply added RT again. It worked. I am happy. 



The vermin at Roku dropped RT without warning.

You can still watch online (go to the link and click "live") and you can get it on Roku by going through YouTube. Do a search for RT on YouTube and click RT America.

To hell with those bastards. There are other Roku-like products.

RT has Larry King, Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz among others.

Remember when Obama attacked Trump for being interviewed on RT? Obama kept referring to "the interviewer". Repeated a question "the interviewer" asked Trump. "The interviewer" was Larry King. Why didn't Obama say his name? He didn't think anyone knew who Larry King was? Has Obama ever been on The Larry King Show?

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Billy McFarland

Billy McFarland. He certainly looks like a genius.
If anything good comes from the Fyre Festival, it will be Billy McFarland and "Ja Rule" being sued into poverty. I hope that happens, anyway. It's been noted that whatever insurance they had on the festival has no doubt been voided by intentional fraud if nothing else.

McFarland went to the $35,000-a-year Pingry prep school full of horrible young people like himself. At least he had the good taste to victimize his own ilk.

Ja Rule has a GED. But so does Paris Hilton. A large percentage of high school graduates can't pass the GED so he's probably demonstrably smarter than a lot of those Pingry brats.

Quite a few years ago, there was a spate of made-for-TV movies based on true stories about poor boys who went to expensive prep schools on scholarship and then committed terrible crimes. There was the Billionaire Boys Club thing, the Preppie Murder case, and it seems like there was something else.

I don't know why they pick on young fellows from working class backgrounds. Surely the world is full of horrible, horrible rich kids.

Look at Woody Allen's Match Point. A murder story about a lower class English guy who works his way into the upper crust. Does Woody Allen identify so completely with the rich that he sees people who didn't inherit their wealth as a physical threat? He could have made it about a proletarian Irish family who worked their way up to join the bourgeoisie only to be victimized by some Billy McFarland-like English aristocrat.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Vision boards, Oprah, The Secret



Long ago, I told a co-worker who had just bought some lottery tickets that, in order to win, she must TRULY believe that she WILL win.

Don't check your tickets, I told her. Checking shows doubt. Just call in to work, quit your job, tell everyone you know that you won the lottery and drive to lottery headquarters to pick up your winnings.

It was a joke. But it turns out that there are people who say pretty much the same thing who aren't kidding, or pretend that they aren't.

Somewhere, I heard someone mention "vision boards", I can't remember where.

Here's one visualizing breakfast cereal with fruit on it and a candle.
I thought of the low budget comedy The Color Wheel (2011), available on Fandor. One character has her "vision board", a piece of poster board with little pictures of the stuff she wanted pasted on it.

"They say that if you put your hopes and dreams on paper they're more likely to come true."

"WHO says?"

"Experts."

According to The Secret, the book promoted by possible future presidential candidate Oprah Winfrey, if you go around pretending that all your dreams have come true, the universe will reward you by causing them to actually come true for some reason. And you're supposed to make one of these vision boards to gaze at. It's a "powerful tool".

I walked in several years ago and my mother was watching this crap on Oprah.

"Have you gone crazy?" I asked.

She thought it would probably be helpful to have a clear idea of what your goals are. I couldn't convince her that they meant everything they said literally.

It turns out that the authors of The Secret are opposed to people doing anything at all to achieve their goals. That shows doubt. Just keep pretending and you'll trick the idiot Universe into giving you things.

A guy in Psychology Today said that experiments on college students showed that it's visualizing FAILURE that helps you succeed. Visualizing success just wrecks what little chance you ever had.

That's my advice for would-be filmmakers, for film students. Visualize failure and humiliation at every turn.

Visualize yourself as a young Francis Ford Coppola, offering to work as sound man on a Roger Corman movie even though he'd never done it before, botching the job and trying unsuccessfully to blame the cameraman. (He actually did this.)

Visualize yourself organizing a luxury music festival in the Bahamas, selling tickets for thousands of dollars each when you're obviously incapable of organizing anything.

Visualize yourself directing an industrial video, screwing it up so badly you get sued by your client and become a laughingstock when it goes viral.