Archive for March 1, 2008

Greatest TV: The Prisoner

March 1, 2008

The greatest three minutes ever in TV:

No words, just the theme music. Framing, editing, pacing, just unsurpassed! Then the standard episode intro which gives the “backstory” (as those dopes in Hollywood call it) in the shortest and most dramatic manner.

And this is perhaps more relevant today than it was then:

Next, backwards, the omega then the alpha:

Another clip for these days:

From the 1960s. And decades later, TV has yet to match it.

Here’s McGoohan to tell it like it was:

Nazicrats

March 1, 2008

Lawyers ask federal judge to approve Nader lawsuit against former DNC chairman

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) – Lawyers for Ralph Nader asked a federal judge Friday to let a lawsuit proceed against former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, arguing that McAuliffe oversaw an unprecedented conspiracy to keep Nader off the ballot in the 2004 presidential election.

Nader, who is making his third presidential bid this year, filed suit in October against McAuliffe and Washington lawyer Steven Raikin. Nader claims that his constitutional right to run for office was damaged by two dozen groundless lawsuits in 18 states challenging his right to be on the ballot. The lawsuits were coordinated by top Democratic Party officials, Nader said, with the dual purpose of keeping him off the ballot and bankrupting his campaign with hefty legal fees.

“This is not how democratic elections is a free country are supposed to run,” said Oliver Hall, a lawyer for Nader, during a pretrial hearing Friday in U.S. District Court.

Dozens of lawyers were enlisted to wage what Hall called an unprecedented effort “to prevent a candidate from exercising his First Amendment rights to run for office.”

Lawyers for McAuliffe, who now is chairman of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign, and Raikin asked U.S. District Judge James Cacheris to dismiss the case. While denying any wrongdoing, they said the issue is a moot point since the two-year statute of limitations on such cases has come and gone.

“It’s too late, and too little,” said McAuliffe’s lawyer, John H. Young.

Nader’s lawyer said the statute of limitations should not apply because the defendants conspired beyond the 2004 election to conceal their role in keeping Nader off the ballot. It was not until after the elections, Hall said, that Nader learned about the loose relationship between the Democratic Party and lawyers working with the Ballot Project Inc., an organization directed by Raikin that was formed to keep Nader off state ballots in 2004.

Emphasis added by me.

Change the name of your party, DNC. It has nothing to do with democracy.

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Vote Nader 2008 website

Reference: Michael Ovitz (2)

March 1, 2008

Vanity Too Fair

For a long time now, how the media wrote about Ovitz has been a litmus test of their journalistic integrity. Those who wrote honestly and accurately about Ovitz paid a big price in the form of punishment. Those who didn’t were rewarded. And that’s the primary reason why, whenever anyone talks about Ovitz as the most hated man in Hollywood (an appellation that Vanity Fair repeats), details are few and far between. Because if you make money for people in Hollywood, or for that matter sit for interviews that will sell magazines for media conglomerates, they’ll overlook a lot of character flaws. It took real courage for both show-biz denizens and the reporters who follow them to lay bare the profound and lasting effect that Ovitz had on Hollywood for 27 years through threats, intimidation, bullying, blacklisting and destabilizing. Burrough’s article skips over that. Instead, it claims “the ultimate story about the dark side of Ovitz” is the stale tale about Ovitz buying a Malibu property out from under Meyer. As if Ovitz’s gay bashing on its own pages isn’t even in the running. Hollywood villains have gone from naming names in the 1950s to name calling in the year 2002.

Also:

His obvious awkwardness around homosexuals at work was hard to hide. There was the day a group of CAA agents were gathered in the conference room for a meeting with client Dolly Parton and her effusively gay manager Sandy Gallin, when Parton took off her earrings and necklace, and Gallin put them on himself. Inside and outside the glass walls, agents laughed at the sight of Gallin vamping until that moment when Ovitz walked in, and the room immediately fell silent. Ovitz continued the meeting without once acknowledging the joke. “And Gallin knew this and loved seeing Ovitz squirm. He did it strictly for reaction,” recalled former CAA agent Tony Ludwig. Ovitz’s own dislike of homosexuals had become institutionalized for the first 10 years at CAA, where the climate was tantamount to an anti-gay employment policy. Why homosexuals did not fit the CAA mold had nothing to do with gays themselves and everything to do with Ovitz and his carefully crafted image of the agency as a monolith of conformity.

Obviously the guy was in the wrong business to begin with. Perhaps he would have been better off in real estate. Or snake oil.

Note to self: Pay attention to whisper campaigns. The oppressed can’t say things out loud.

Even More FAIL From Jeff Zucker

March 1, 2008

New game shows are losing propositions

Thanks, NBC, for reminding us once again of how much we truly need TV writers. By delivering two dull, weightless new game shows, “Amnesia” and “My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad,” the network is scaring us into an appreciation of scripted television. Watch these two hourlong slogs and you’ll be crying out for new episodes of “According to Jim,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Cane” – anything that involves memorized lines and stage directions.

The TV was on in another room while Amnesia was running last night and I was at the PC. Just from the audio alone it sounded insipid, slow, and dull.

Great work there, Zucker!

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But … but … I thought they were great shows!!

Quarterlife Drops Dead On NBC

March 1, 2008

Quarterlife’s Brief Life on NBC

The NBC audience for the premiere was 3.9 million, such a pittance it was deemed a flop.

And they moved it off NBC to Bravo!

Also:

“Quarterlife” drew decent-size audiences for the web, about 6 million views in all since the launch, according to a Quarterlife spokeswoman. That’s across all the sites hosting it: MySpace, which promoted it on its front page, YouTube, where it had its own channel, and at quarterlife.com. The trouble is, those audiences in TV land are considered beyond paltry, especially given the total was over three months, not all in one night. The YouTube channel lists 100,543 views, with 2,970 subscribers and videos watched at 1,695; the latest MySpace video, episode 33, had been played 35,320 times by midday Feb. 28.

A sneak peek that aired on MTV the afternoon before the NBC premiere drew about 246,000 viewers, in line with its daytime audience. Whereas NBC looked at “Quarterlife’s” 3.9 million and saw a major drop off from its lead in, “Biggest Loser,” over at MTV, it was only off about 8,000 viewers from the show leading into it.

Any way you cut it, I think those are pretty rotten numbers. Consider that MySpace touts over one hundred million members — and less than ten percent bothered with it?

I didn’t even know Quarterlife had begun on MySpace. And I’m a MySpace member! The promotion was terrible.

Another serious flaw of the series was touting its “net awareness.” As I wrote here:

Look, movie makers, stop making movies with people sitting at keyboards and screens. Just stop it right now! None of that is exciting. I don’t care if you think you’re reflecting what you think is Real Life — why do I want to watch a movie where people are doing what I just did before entering the theater?!!?

That goes double for something I’m going to be watching at my PC screen! I’d rather watch something totally different than my environment — like Space Hospital!

Bringing Quarterlife to NBC is just another example of Jeff Zucker’s inability to lead a television network.

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ARGGGGH!!! How do I kill this goddammed Internet?!!?

CloudBook Notes For March 1 2007

March 1, 2008

CloudBooker finally got his! He gives an unboxing tour, first impressions, review of gOS, CloudBook vs EeePC photos, and contorts it to indulge in video watching!

Laptop Mag seems to have stopped all CloudBook posts without any warning or word why.

Hey Baccalà! continues his CloudBook adventure. He notes, among other things, the hard drive is too slow and also that Sony should be very afraid of cheap subnotebooks. He’s also tried several games, so go to the home page and read through everything.

Gadgetell has a set of Everex CloudBook vs. Asus EeePC pictures.

PopSci.com has Battle of the Ultra-Mobile Linux Laptops: Cloudbook vs. EeePC vs. My Old Thinkpad.

Notebookreview.com has Everex CloudBook First Thoughts Review with two embedded YouTube videos.

CLUMPC.com has news of a new Linux for subnotebooks such as the CloudBook and EeePC: Linpus Releases First OS Aimed at Cheap Linux UMPCs, as well as other goodies about using the EeePC.

And if you really want a CloudBook, too bad. It’s Out Of Online Stock at Walmart.com!

Reference: Drudge Tools

March 1, 2008

Drudge Tracker

The Top Drudge Headlines of the Past Two Weeks

Drudge Report Archives

The archives takes a snapshot of the DrudgeReport.com every 2 minutes 24/7

Drudge Retort

Drudge Siren

DrudgeSiren.com is a companion site to The Drudge Report that provides e-mail and SMS alerts whenever “The Siren” appears at the top of the page. You’ll be notified first when breaking news happens.

Stupidity: Is It A Flu?

March 1, 2008

Earlier this week, a news report blared that 1 out of every 99 Americans is in jail.

Apparently, that number is still too low!

Exhibit A: Alleged store robber leaves his W-2 form

Exhibit B: Police: Man Gets Shot to Avoid Work

Note to potential criminals out there: If you have to turn to crime, you are too stupid to live. Please kill yourself and stop annoying everyone.

J.K. Rowling Is Wrong

March 1, 2008

JK Rowling bashes ‘Harry Potter Lexicon’

NEW YORK – As the creator of the Harry Potter books sees it, her kindness to fans might come back to haunt her.

In papers filed for a lawsuit in Manhattan, J.K. Rowling says she feels betrayed by a fan, Steven Vander Ark, for his role in trying to publish an unauthorized reference work, “Harry Potter Lexicon.”

Ark is editor of a Web site containing a fan-created collection of essays and encyclopedic material on the Potter universe, including lists of spells and potions found in the books, a catalog of magical creatures and a who’s who in the wizarding world.

Rowling said she was especially irked that the site’s owner and the lexicon’s would-be publisher, RDR Books, continued to insist that her acceptance of free, fan-based Web sites justified the efforts.

“I am deeply troubled by the portrayal of my efforts to protect and preserve the copyrights I have been granted in the Harry Potter books,” she wrote in court papers filed Wednesday in a lawsuit she brought against the small Muskegon, Mich., publisher.

She said she intends to publish her own definitive Harry Potter encyclopedia.

At one time in her life, Rowling must have been a fan of something.

Has she forgotten what that was like?

I understand her commercial point of view. A good compromise here would be for the editor of this fan-based book to donate the proceeds to a charity of Rowling’s choice.

Although Rowling might think such a book would dilute the market for one she’d author, I don’t think that’d be the case. People would rather have official, authorized material. They only turn to unauthorized versions when no others are available.

Just as with ebook versions of her work.

J.K., please get ebook versions out there!

Previously here:

J.K. Rowling: A Year In The Life
Quote: J.K. Rowling

Stage6 Is Now Gone

March 1, 2008

All the links I recommended here now lead to the homepage with the shutdown notice and the Veoh blurb.

Well, they gave us an extra day. I hope all of you used it wisely.

Now go register over at Veoh!

Now I have to go into all my posts and update them. This might make RSS messy.