Lemme 'splain... 

Nobody knows, What kind of trouble we're in. Nobody seems to think, It all might happen again. [guitar solo!]





My Overflow






Ted Barlow




This Modern World

Talking Points Memo

The Onion



Sisyphus Shrugged


The Poor Man

Nobody Knows

River Tech Review


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Dead bird carcass day

Going to San Fran to eat some turkey.

My girlfriend's family all wait about 3 hours from when they sit down to open a menu when at a restaurant; when it's thanksgiving it's 4 hours from the time they decide to think about maybe eating that evening. So if you're going to eat with these people you have to eat before the allotted eating time because the actual first bite won't reach your mouth till an average of 4 1/2 hours from the time you sit down with them.

The last time we ate with them was at a restaurant and I was starving but everyone very conspicuously didn't even touch their menus for the first hour or so. In fact, when the waiter would come by and ask "ready to order" or whatever, the point was made that "we haven't even looked at the menu yet". Meanwhile my blood sugar is dropping and though I'm not diabetic, I'm maybe 15 minutes away from becoming one.

Anyway, it'll be a good trip. And while you're eating your Butterball keep in mind:

We have a terrible, terrible president and my god the very country may be turning into a theocratic plutocracy and why the hell does anyone like Creed?

I don't know why you should. Just do.

Movie News

The George Bush commercial is done. At 45 seconds it's cool, at 30 seconds it's clever but... just OK I guess. I dunno, I'm actually pretty proud of it but looking at the Bush in 30 Seconds website's forum area it's clear some people are, like, spending money to make their ads. There's also a lot of lame-ass ideas over there though, so maybe my chances are pretty good.

I don't get it. The whole point of the contest is to make political ads like none ye have ever seen, but all these people are scrambling to get photos of the prez and footage from the SOTU speech, they want to contrast his words with quotes from other great Americans... Man, let the DNC do that shit! Make something no ad exec would ever think of, fer chissakes.

When it goes live I'll direct you to it so you can go give it high honors.

Now onto the freakin' doc I've been avoiding.

Friday, November 21, 2003

This is so sad.

Python Swallows Woman's Body Up to Waist

RANGAMATI, Bangladesh (AP) - Villagers searching for a missing woman found her body swallowed headfirst up to the waist by a 10-foot-long python, police said Friday.

Basanti Tripura, 38, was collecting wood in a forest when the python attacked her Tuesday in Rangamati district, police said.

The snake crushed the woman in its coils and had swallowed half her body before villagers discovered her. They retrieved the body after killing the snake with iron rods and sticks, the police official said.

Was is really necessary to kill him?

Let him eat in peace.

Come on... He won.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Prez Turd

Not only is Bush possibly the worst president in our history, he's got to be the worst national leader of first-world nations in the world today. Some days I simply can't believe I'm not a disembodied brain in a jar being fucked with by grad students.

George Bush? President? That C average getting, coke sniffing, AWOLeaving, failed business having, blind drunk, death sentence giving former figure-head governor born with a silver spoon in his mouth and a brain that cares not for intellectual stimulation?


You got to be kidding me. Americans are stupid, fat and lazy, but we're not that stupid, fat and lazy.

Today's evidence is here, here and here.

Bush acknowledged differing views about U.S.-led involvement in postwar Iraq, but said, "Whatever has come before, we now have only two options: To keep our word or to break our word."

"Failure of democracy in Iraq would throw its people back into misery and turn that country over to terrorists who wish to destroy us," Bush told about 400 foreign policy experts and invited guests.

He was warmly received with applause.

Bush asserted that there are times, as with Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) in Iraq, when "the violent restraint of violent men" is justified.

"In some cases, the measured use of force is all that protects us from a chaotic world ruled by force," he said.

[Bush is] far worse [regarding environmental record] than No. 2, who's Warren Harding. Based upon the fact that we have 30 major environmental laws that are now being eviscerated. All of the investment we have made in our environmental infrastructure since Earth Day 1970 is now being undermined in a three-year period of astonishing activity.

The NRDC Web site lists over 200 environmental rollbacks by the White House in the last two years. If even a fraction of those are actually implemented, we will effectively have no significant federal environmental law left in our country by this time next year. That's not exaggeration, it's not hyperbole, it is a fact.

As I say in the Rolling Stone article, many of our laws will remain on the books in one form or another. But we'll be Mexico, which has these wonderful, even poetic, environmental laws, but nobody knows about them and nobody complies with them because they can't be enforced.

"Marriage is a sacred institution between a man and woman," he said. "Today's decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court violates this important principle. I will work with congressional leaders to do what is legally necessary to defend the sanctity of marriage."

Please, please, I beg of you, oh pimply graduate researchers who live vicariously through my imposed virtual world, please don't let the Bush program continue to play President.

Please, please, please, delete that string, I'm begging you. It sucks in here.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Assholes, assholes everywhere, and not a boot with which to kick.

I sent an email out to people I've known who are interested in the entertainment biz, etc., seeing if anyone wanted to help out with my Bush commercial. I mention it all has to be non-SAG, meaning I can't use any actors that are in the SAG union, and I get this from one of the people:

Well that's just perfect.  This administration is exceptionally hostile to unions and labor in general, so it's just perfect that you'd be making an anti-W. spec commercial with non-union talent.  Wonderful.

He replied to everyone on the list with that, which I thought was very rude. I wrote back to everyone apologizing and explaining to use a SAG actor you must have a SAG contract which means you must get a permit which means you must get insurance and you must hire an off-duty cop to watch over everything. All of that adds up to $1000-$1500, all for a contest anyone with a camera can enter.

Also, the SAG contract, though the actor can work for free, requires that if distribution is obtained, regardless of the amount of $$ anyone is getting, at that point you must negotiate pay with the actor prior to owning the rights to sell your work. In other words if you use SAG actors for free you have to pay them SAG wages prior to any distribution- and I think the pay is at least scale regardless of whether or not the producers make any money.

Anyway... he writes this back:

As an actor, and, as I'm sure you can tell, someone who's very active in my unions and is a real Union Man, I don't concern myself with the costs producers (in this case, you) incur.  My concern is for the actors.
Everything you've said about needing insurance for a union shoot proves my point.  What if one of the actors running the obstacle course falls and breaks his leg?  The guy's in a cast for 6 weeks and can't book any acting work, and if he's shooting a spec spot for free he's probably working a day job, and if that day job is something like waiting tables he won't be able to make any money.  Who's going to care for him?  He got hurt on a non-union shoot with no insurance and so the guy is screwed; no workman's comp, no union rep to stand up for his rights, to explain his options to him, nothing.  I think that's wrong.  I hope no one, actor or otherwise, gets hurt on your shoot.  But if they do... what then?
In terms of paying the actors, I believe under a SAG Experimental Film contract you don't have to pay actors anything, even at time of distribution, especially since "distribution" in this case isn't a money-generating project with ticket sales or air time, etc. but rather distribution means a contest without payment or compensation for anyone.  I'm pretty sure of this, but not absolutely positive, so you could check with a SAG rep to be sure.
And I don't think pointing out the irony of using non-union, non-paid, no-benefits-of-any-kind workers in an anti-W. spot is "asinine" at all.  This administration is so anti-union and anti-labor that W. himself, barring the subject matter of your shoot, would be proud that "management" (you) is getting labor to work for free without any kind of benefits or protection.  The entire republican party would be proud of you!
Again, I don't want to bicker with you.  I'm a member of Moveon.org, and I have a feeling that you and I agree on a lot more than we disagree.  But I don't like to see actors working with no protection, and a union shoot, even under the non-paying Experimental Contract does provide some protection for the talent.  Of course that costs money, and I understand you're not a movie studio or network that can easily afford it.  But listen, in all seriousness, if you call SAG and explain the situation, they might be able to give you contract options and provide alternatives that would make it possible for your shoot to be SAG and give your actors some protection, but still keep the shoot affordable for you.  Might be worth a try...

It's shit like this that makes trying to make movies all on your own so fucking tedious and annoying.

I went off on the guy. It's so fucking stupid what he's suggesting. There's union actors and non-union actors. In order to become union you've got to obtain points, or credits or whatever they call them, toward becoming union by working in union gigs. Actors want to become union because it makes them eligible for union roles which means eligible for TV and real movies, not just independent flicks and arthouse theater. However, something like 95% of all union actors are not working actors and make little if any money from acting, but being in the union keeps them from working on jobs they could get in, yes, independent productions that either pay less than scale or nothing at all.

So it's a catch-22, if you're union you're eligible for the big bucks and the big time, but chances are you're not working at all and if you want to act in that cool indie flick that can't afford to be SAG, you can't do it, unless you want to risk being kicked out of SAG.

They're not flexible at all, they're absolutely rigid because, duh, they're a union and that's the nature of the beast. Once contracts become individually negotiatable the union ceases to exist, but this asshole, who's a big "union man", seems to think they're open and flexible to negotiation.

Whenever I do a project there's always at least one asshole that goes out of their way to anger me or insult me or otherwise try to ruin my day and it just drives me fucking nuts. I mean, this guy went out of his way to first insult me in front of about 12 other people, and then to equate my entry into a fucking contest with the Bush administration's assault upon unions.

The fucking nerve.

Just thinking about it makes me want to find this guy and knock his block off. Why the hell would anyone be so stupid and aggressively confrontational?

Ah, man...

It was a fucking entry into an online contest! There's no money involved! No one gets paid if I win! There's no commercial potential for the thing at all! If I was looking for people in Bumwad, Kentucky no one would railing on about how every image committed to video has to have a SAG contract attached to it. What a fucking tool.

And the sad thing is, this is thhe sort of person wingnuts think of when they think "liberal". I mean, here's an asshole who is so inflexibly devoted to a bizarre absolute he makes Tom Delay look nuanced.

Sigh. Alright, enough bitching.

The shoot went well, though I didn't have as many people as I wanted for the crowd (there's a crowd and two runners, you'll see). Now I got to edit the fucker and get back to the doc I'm working on.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Bush Commercial

I mentioned a few days ago the MoveOn.org "Bush in 30 seconds" contest (I'm too lazy right now to link to it- that and I have tickets to Alien on the fucking world's largest cinerama dome!).

Well, I've got my script and now I'm looking for actors.

If you happen to be in the LA area and would like to be in my commercial send me an email or leave a comment.

NOTE- You don't have to be an actor. There's only two speaking parts and then I need a crowd of 6-8 people. It would take a couple hours one Saturday.

G'wan... be a star!

Saturday, November 01, 2003

It's happening again

I'm losing it. My sense of humor, that is.

I've got to stop going to Calpundit and arguing with the fuckwads who always, without fail, take everything you write and turn it into an indefensible absolute:

It seems like many conservatives aren't willing to acknowledge the power and position theocrats enjoy in the GOP.

That's ridiculous. We do not want to install a God-Emperor King into a ruling throne of power! The fact that you think we do shows just what a radical leftist communist you are!

I really can't stand it any more. People who do that make me physically ill because it's such a deliberate, malicious act. They're simply incapable of representing their opponents' areguments in an accurate manner. In fact, they never argue ideas or data or anything, they just twist your words around so you spend the whole time restating your argument.

I can't fucking stand it, and just thinking about it is making me angry.

I know I should just let it go but... see here's the thing. Someone who does that constantly is not someone who has any integrity or intellectual honesty. I don't care where on the political spectrum they are, if they do that they're a fuck and anything and everything they say, think or believe is a sham and a mockery. How could someone with a scruples' compass so messed up that they can't debate honestly be believed or counted on for anything, even opinion?

What I mean is someone like that is not going to assess anything in any sort of even-handed manner- they're simply going to be unable to do so. Everything they come in contact with is going to be filtered through a wretched, guile-filled filter and come out completely fucked up on the other end. This is essentially what people like Ann Coulter do (uh-oh. A puppy somewhere has died for mentioning the name of the beast).

The woman twists everything and lies constantly and yet still offers herself as a honest broker of ideas- she's just right, is all. A lot of people wonder if it's all an act. I don't think it is because I meet people online all the time who argue in the exact same manner. They're articulate, sometimes civil, but incapable of debating honestly.

There's something off with them.

See, I think most people, especially liberals, give people too much credit.

People suck.

Most people seem to think wwe're all pretty much the same, just some people have different opinions. Personally I think it's a person's makeup, general personality if you will, that (sometimes) determines a person's opinions. By sometimes I mean only if it does. Some people are capable of looking at the world, processing the information accurately, and basing their opinions upon that information. some extreme examples would be Pat Buchanan and Paul Krugman. They both use reality as the basis for their ideas. Yes, their ideas are waaaaaay far apart, but they both use the same information.

Someone without this capacity is not going to view the information the world gives them in a accurate manner; it's going to be tainted and misinterpreted. It's sort of a fuzzy line to draw, where does the processing of info end and opinion forming begin, but what I'm talking about is the first act of acquiring information. That first look, smell, rough, reading, sound, etc. Many people can take it in, see it for what it is for the most part, and then incorporate it into their intellectual process. Some people... everything comes in tainted.

An example- There's a tribe in Africa for whom there is only two colors; black and red. Every color is either black or red. Now, if you think about the word "color" as you normally would this isn't going to make any sense, you have to think of color as "category". Now it makes sense; they divide all colors into two categories: black and red.

So for these guys if they see something that's brown it's "black". If they see something that's yellow it's "red" (I guess). That's obviously going to effect how they interpret the world somehow. How exactly, I'm not sure.

Now imagine Ann Coulter (Eeeeesh!). She sees a puppy she doesn't see a young dog, she sees an animal some liberal do-gooder is going to try to mold into some wussy, no-bark wimp when it should have a collar with spikes and a bad temper and bite anyone it doesn't know because that's its true nature so it can protect you and your family's wealth.

That's what I mean. So for instance, someone like this catches a liberal saying "I think we need to fund public education more", they're not going to hear the opinion that public education should receive more funding, they're going to hear:

We shouldn't allow anyone to be rich so we can indoctrinate children into a godless, commmunist system to control their lives.

Or something equally as stupid.

So, I got to lay off for a while, cuz I just can't stands it no mo'.

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