Jul 30, 2009
I like that his movies kinda straddle a line between comedy and drama. His movies, while not laugh out loud funny, always make me smile. Particularly things which are kind of "Slice of Life" type of situations that you can relate to. Much the way a lot of British humor is.
An example of that type of humor, which as I said isn't laugh out loud funny, but for some reason always makes me laugh is in his last film "The Darjeeling Limited" when three estranged brothers are on a train going through India, when it just stops suddenly. The brothers gets off the train to see the Engineer, and several other men standing in the distance arguing. They approach a man and says "what's going on? Why did we stop?" and the man replies that they were lost.
Which prompts Jason Schwartzman to say quite possibly the most OBVIOUS reply in the history of film (one in which I actually said his line a second before he did) "How can we be lost, we're on rails"
And I just laughed at that. Don't know why but I did.
Anyway, his new film is out and it's a stop-motion animation film called "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" based on a book by Roald Dahl (James & The Giant Peach).
And below are trailers for some of his other films. They're an acquired taste, I believe, and it's not really easily comparable to other films out there so I don't really know what to say "oh if you like....then you'll like this".
I recommend getting Rushmore and you'll know right away whether or not this is your type of movie.
Jul 29, 2009
One of my favorite singers to listen to is Jill Scott. I've loved her music ever since I first discovered her back in early 2003. Most people know her through her music, and some know her from her recent foray into the realm of acting, in films like "Why Did I Get Married?" and the HBO television series "The Number One Ladies Detective Agency".
A friend of mine recently started watching the "Ladies Detective Agency" series, after having read the first book. She was not aware that Jill Scott was a singer as well, so I thought I'd post up some music videos showcasing "Jilly from Philly" as she's known.
Here's some of my personal favorite songs that she's done.
YOUTUBE LINKS COURTESY OF HIDDEN BEACH RECORDS:
*sigh* And to think there are many people who believe this.
This video is from MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast July 28, 2009.
Jul 24, 2009
So I was reading the internet the other day, as I'm often wont to do, and came across a story that intrigued me. A police officer arrested an African American scholar, Henry Louis Gates, on his property, after neighbors saw him trying to break in. The neighbors, seeing a black man trying to force his way into a house, called the police and reported it.
And this intrigued me, not because of the obvious racial implications that this poses, because let's face it: Unfortunately this happens WAY too often. There's hundreds possibly thousands of instances throughout the this country's history of policemen arresting African American and Latino people for circumstantial or bogus reasons. So that's not what intrigued me.
What intrigued me is the fact that this seems to be a direct lift from a 1993 film called "Amos & Andrew" starring Samuel L. Jackson and Nicolas Cage. In the film, Jackson is a best selling author who has a summer home in an upscale white neighborhood. He goes back there one summer and doesn't have his keys so he tries to break into a window to get into his home.
A white neighbor sees him, and thinks, "hmmm... a black man is breaking into a house in this all white neighborhood. Let's call the cops". So the police get there, the house is surrounded, the news crews show up and the police soon find out that they've made a very huge mistake. However instead of just saying so, they end up employing a criminal (Nicolas Cage) to try to help them out of this jam.
I swear when I read this I was like "is this a remake? Is Hollywood THAT stumped for original ideas that they're ripping off a really bad 1993 comedy?"
And yet it's not a remake. It's not even a movie. It's sadly very real. And much like Jackson's character, Henry Louis Gates did not react politely, and was justifiably outraged that the police would (at least seemingly) be racially motivated in trying to arrest him when he was in his own home.
This case is filled with ugly accusations of racial profiling and prejudice, and ever since President Obama weighed in and said that he felt the Cambridge police acted "stupidly" in arresting the President's friend, the hate and anger and racism has been ratcheted up even more, particularly in the right wing blogosphere.
You have sites that are bringing the obvious (Obama's black, Gates is black, the cops are white = Obama's a race card player), and saying that Obama is attacking the "white police" just like the "white firefighters" were attacked last month, according to Rush Limbaugh.
Nothing says "America" like a heated and inching towards violent rhetoric involving Race Relations.
If only this was just a movie.
Jul 23, 2009
In the wake of Walter Cronkite's death, the search was on for whose head to place the crown of "America's Most Trusted Newsman" on.
And the votes are in, and to many people's surprise it's Jon Stewart, host of the Daily Show. The Daily Show, for those who don't know, is a satirical news program.
And while many may scoff at this, or mock him, or say "what does this say about the state of news in this country", I don't really have as big a problem with it as a lot may. I mean, if you really think about it, he's one of the few non-biased people out there giving the news (satirical or otherwise).
He hammers the right and the left equally. If Obama screws up, he's there to stick it to him and expose his hypocrisy and screwups, just like he did with President Bush.
"Jon Stewart confronts Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala on Crossfire"
Can you say that about too many others out there? Keith Olbermann has shown a willingness to criticize Obama, however his venom drips everytime he speaks of former President Bush, and is the least likely to be considered non-biased when it comes to anything having to do with him. Rachel Maddow, who I adore, has a tendency to be a bit too sarcastic and snarky when it comes to those she disagrees with. And the difference between her doing that and Stewart doing that, is people tune in to Stewart for that take on the news.
On the other side you have Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity from Fox News who take every opportunity to slander, mock and degrade President Obama and his family, without any sense of shame. And they all were cheerleaders for Bush during the last eight years, so they're not exactly non-biased either.
CNN and ABC and CBS they all have their problems as well, whether they're as pronounced as the ones I mentioned or not.
In fact, there's very few people I would consider even remotely appropriate for that title. Bill Moyers, sure but I think Stewart reaches a far wider audience. I think that people who view what Stewart does as simply "comedy" is missing the big picture. And Stewart, while being humble, often shuns that view of him as a trusted newsman, and plays his show off as being on Comedy Central, so no one should take him seriously.
However, he IS taken seriously, whether you believe that's right or not. And as I said, he's shown time and time again that he can be fair and balanced, something a certain other network sure as hell can't say. If I had a complaint it's that he has a tendency to let some people come on his show and get away with a bit much, without really hammering them.
And yet there's times like THIS, when he really went after Jim Cramer for his reporting, without being a dick about it:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Jim Cramer Pt. 2|
But if I had to pick someone to be the America's Most Trusted Newsman, I can't think of a more appropriate person.
Jul 22, 2009
A few months ago I wrote about Michael Vick being released from prison, and asked whether or not he had paid a big enough price for what he had done. I talked in that about how, in my opinion, he had done his time and should be allowed back. I also pointed out how in the NFL, there were athletes who had killed PEOPLE and were still in the league, such as Leonard Little.
Since then, another NFL player killed someone with his car while drunk and with marijuana in his system, Donte Stallworth, and only got 30 days in jail, and will probably play either next year or the following.
So shouldn't Vick be allowed back in? Otherwise you basically say that killing animals is worse than killing people.
Now Vick is done with his sentence. He's no longer under electronic monitoring, and he's going to meet with Roger Goodell about his return to the league. Sources are saying that as long as Vick seems contrite and remorseful about what he did, then he'll be let back in as long as he stays out of trouble.
I listen to a lot of sports talk radio, and on ESPN, All Night host Jason Smith set up a convincing argument for why he believes that Vick HAS to be suspended prior to coming back. He said that if you or I went to prison for 20 months and came back, is our job going to be there waiting for us? Probably not, Smith said. In fact, he jokingly said that they probably wouldn't even answer our calls.
And I agree to a point. But this is where I respectfully disagree with Smith.
True, if I worked at a restaurant (for example) and I got arrested for running a dog fighting ring, or some other felony, and went to prison for nearly two years, once I was done with my sentence, I more than likely may not get my old job back. Especially if they KNEW what I had done.
However, I COULD get a job in my chosen profession. So if my chosen profession was to be a cook, I could get another job at another restaurant. So if I was no longer being hired by Chilis, I could go to Pargos or Applebees or whatever, and more than likely get a job, as long as they were cool with my criminal record. I wouldn't necessarily be blackballed from the restaurant industry for what I had done.
Now let's look at Vick. His old job, as the Quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons, is unavailable. Owner Arthur Blank has said so, plus they have their quarterback of the future, in Matt Ryan. So, no, Vick's old job is not available due to what he did.
However, he IS free to get a job in his chosen profession, which is professional football, specifically the National Football League.
Why should be be prevented from coming back immediately and starting for a team (not likely) or backing up another quarterback (more likely)?
If you want Vick to be treated like you or me or whoever, as Smith said, then he should be allowed back without suspension.
Because if we get arrested, go away for 2 years and come back afterwards to another job, the head of the Restaurant industry (if there was one) wouldn't be saying "you have to wait six months before coming back".
And therein lies the essential problem with this argument, which I've heard from more than just Smith. Vick's not in a situation like you or I. The work industry you are in, more than likely doesn't have someone overseeing all the businesses that controls who gets hired and who has to serve suspensions before coming back to work.
It's up to the individual businesses to decide whether or not to hire you. And same with Vick.
It's up to the individual teams to decide who if anyone will hire him. Goodell's job is to dole out punishment to those who step out of line. Vick was already suspended and barred from even going to the stadium before his trial. He went to prison for 20 months, and he has lost hundreds of millions of dollars.
He's going to have PETA, that organization that supports terrorism, on his ass no matter WHO hires him because let's be honest here, this is more attention than PETA's had in awhile.
They're gonna milk this for as much as it's worth, which is less than they'll make it out to be.
The man has paid his debt to society, according to how this country is set up. Let the man get back on with his life, and his career.
This is really becoming irritating. Let's be clear here. I voted for Obama. I support Obama. If I could go back and change my vote, I wouldn't do it. I'd STILL vote for Barack Obama.
That said, he's REALLY beginning to irritate me.
He's gone back on several things that were big issues for him. He claimed he was going to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell, which is a horrible law that should never have been put into effect. And since he's been President, there's already been one soldier, Dan Choi, that has been court martialed for coming out and declaring himself gay.
And now he's also gone back on something else that is a BIG deal. During the campaign, he criticized former President Bush's signing statements. Where he would approve a bill, but after signing it, he'd sign another paper saying that he didn't have to follow that, or a specific part of that.
Many people were justly outraged at Bush's abuse of power in these signing statements, and when Obama was asked about that on the campaign, and whether or not he would do that as well, he said that he would not.
And.....yet he's doing it.
This is really not a good thing. He's beginning to validate all those people who said that he was just another Bush. That he was not going to do anything different than what has been done.
I hold out hope that things will get better, but he's not exactly off to the wonderful start that I had hoped for.
Jul 19, 2009
Over the years we've heard many Evangelicals talk about how evil and scary that Harry Potter guy is, and how the books are indoctrinating children into the world of Witchcraft. Despite the idiocy over people getting bent out of shape over fictional characters, it's just plain stupid, in my opinion.
Harry Potter isn't making children want to be witches or warlocks or whatever. In fact, many Christian Evangelicals have talked about how the books have caused children to turn to Satanism, and forsake the Bible as "boring lies". Unfortunately for them, that email that went around, was actually from The Onion, a satirical news site.
And the idea that children are turning to Satan because of these books, is just flat out absurd!
As JK Rowling herself, a Christian mind you, says in response to this:
I absolutely did not start writing these books to encourage any child into witchcraft. I'm laughing slightly because to me, the idea is absurd. I have met thousands of children and not even one time has a child come up to me and said, "Ms Rowling, I'm so glad I've read these books because now I want to be a witch."
So after years of gnashing of the teeth and tearing of the cloth, suddenly the Evangelicals are ...praising Harry Potter? Praising the Christian allegories in it? Wow, so it appears that jumping to conclusions about something, before it's even finished is not the right way to handle things, huh?
Conservative Christian reviews of the new Harry Potter movie are surprisingly positive.
"As 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' opens, we are once again reminded of the characteristics that make him something of a Christ figure," Connie Neal writes for the evangelical Christianity Today.
"It is more likely that at the end of the viewing or reading, rather than the allure of magic ... what remains are the scenes that evoke values such as friendship, altruism, loyalty, and the gift of self," wrote L'Osservatore, the Vatican's semi-official newspaper.
Even Focus on the Family's pluggedin finds something redeeming: "Harry, whatever his faults, embraces such unglamorous words as 'duty,' 'responsibility' and 'sacrifice.'"
Has Harry or one of his Hogwarts cohorts cast some sort of spell over conservative Christendom?
...In fact, as more conservative Christians seem to be realizing, the "Harry Potter" series actually promotes Christian themes.
In the final book of the series, Harry reads two verses from the New Testament: The first (from I Corinthians 15) on his parents' tombstone that says, "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death"; a second (from Matthew 6) on another tombstone that reads, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
"Those two particular quotations he finds on the tombstones at Godric's Hollow, they sum up -- they almost epitomize the whole series," author and Christian J.K. Rowling told MTV in 2007.
Examples of Christian allegories in the Harry Potter series:
One of the Health Insurance companies, Cigna, was involved in those attacks. Now, Wendell Potter, a former Executive with Cigna, has come out and said that Michael Moore "pretty much nailed it on the head" with Sicko.
Ed Schulz interviews Potter, and I love how in the beginning Shulz points out the "talking points" that the Republicans (bought and paid for by the Insurance Companies, as are some Democrats) put out there to try to turn the public against Health Care reform.
And here is the Bill Moyers interview, where Potter speaks about how Michael Moore had it right the whole time.
Jul 18, 2009
For about a year now I've heard of these people, known as "Birthers", who challenge the legality of President Barack Obama's presidency on the basis of his allegedly being born in Kenya. Or Bali. Or Indonesia. Or...pick a place.
He was asked to release his birth certificate, so he did so. Not good enough. It was validated by World Net Daily, an extremely right wing site. Then WND decided that they weren't going to pay attention to that, and insist that he never provided proof. Even though they already agreed he had.
As of this posting, the original WND posting explaining that the Birth Certificate was legit and was not the product of forgery, is still on their website, and is easily found with a search. Why they continue to lie and say that it's not verified, is beyond me.
In fact, every single point they've made has been countered and proven false. It is beyond a doubt now that his birth took place in Honolulu Hawaii, and these people (including Rush Limbaugh) just keep on furthering this nonsense.
This video by The Young Turks pretty much annihilates all of their arguments, while also pointing to the FactCheck.org (a non-partisan site) that verified that it was in fact, a legit birth cetificate.
But that doesn't matter to these "Birther" idiots. They continue to say that the real BC hasn't been released, and that there's this discrepancy, and that one, and the other one, but it's all bogus. All their arguments have been debunked, they just refuse to acknowledge it.
And now it's getting even MORE press, since that idiot in the military refused to go to Afghanistan, because he challenged the legitimacy of Obama's Presidency, and said if he goes over there and does his job, than he can be held responsible for war crimes, and if captured he wouldn't be benefitted by the Geneva Convention. All because Obama's not "REALLY" the President, in his demented mind.
What is wrong with these people? Seriously. At what point do they say "you know what? We're essentially the laughingstock of the United States right now. Maybe we should quit while we're behind".
But no. They'll never stop, no matter what. There could be a video of Barack's mother giving birth to him, while holding a copy of that day's Honolulu newspaper, and the name of the hospital printed on the wall behind them, and it still wouldn't be good enough for these people. At least a judge has already dismissed one of these ridiculous cases.
I say enough. Just leave them be. Let them ramble on all they want, and from now on if these people keep filing lawsuits based on something already proven false, then charge them with filing a frivolous lawsuit. Fine them, jail them whatever. Until they decide to stop wasting the courts time, and to stop wasting everyone else's.
If they want to waste their time, more power to them though. But leave the rational thinking people alone.
Jul 17, 2009
Rachel Maddow, thankfully, slams Buchanan for his bullshit racist rhetoric. Just another shining example of why Rachel Maddow is good for the public political discourse.
Jul 16, 2009
Ted Nugent is at it again. The rocker, who for some reason gets an outlet to write his rantings in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other papers, has once again decided to come out and dump on President Obama.
He's quoted on the website Spinner.com as saying the following:
Still, Nugent holds out hope for the country. "I believe that we the people will eventually see the criminality of the Obama administration and eventually stop them one way or another, so I have eternal faith in my fellow man," he says. "I can't believe this experiment in self-government is over. I can't believe the documents our founding fathers clearly articulated and wrote are going to be abandoned for tyranny and slavery, and that's really what Obama represents. He represents that 'you people are so stupid and inept, I'll have to cover you.' I just don't believe that's true."
Now, there's two points here. One, he believes that Obama represents Tyranny and Slavery? Really? I love how he views Obama's administration as "criminal" as he does later in that piece, and yet he sat back during Bush's eight years of lawlessness and blatant "screw you we'll do what we want, Constitution be damned" and didn't say anything.
Now we have a Black President and he's just outraged, I tell you. Amazing.
And second, he seems to be advocating for a violent overthrow of the Obama Administration. Saying that he believes the people will "stop them one way or another". That's kinda sketchy there Nuge.
Don't forget, this is the guy who went on Bill Maher's show back in the 90's, (on Politically Incorrect on ABC) and when Maher tried to point out that hip hop producer Dr. Dre was the hip hop equivalent of Phil Spector, in the regards to how brilliant he was and how influential he was, Nugent basically just laughed in his face at the idea that he would compare the two. Without actually saying it, it was clear what his thoughts on the idea of Dr. Dre (a black man) being equated with the influential Phil Spector. Whether he said it was the "computers" or "not human beings playing it" or not, it was fairly clear what he meant. But I could be reading that wrong. Always a possiblity.
Also he made violent threats against both Obama and Hillary Clinton during the runup to the November Elections.
Maybe his whole deal is more political than racial. I don't know. I don't pretend to know his heart. However, he seems more than willing to judge other people, so perhaps people have the right to pass judgement on him.
Two wrongs don't make a right, I realize, and we shouldn't stoop to the level of those we have dislike for the words of, but there comes a point when someone makes enough suspect comments about another human being that you have to question it.
Why make so many excuses for Bush and Cheney, while lashing out at everything you see wrong with Obama?
Questioning Obama is not racist. Finding fault with his policies, is not racist. And contrary to what Rush Limbaugh would have you believe, the very act of disagreeing with Barack Obama, or any Black person for that matter, does not make you racist, although there are many out there who would disagree with that logic.
He's done things that I flat out disagree with, and have been angered by. The racist accusation comes out when you, in the course of disagreeing or criticizing, you insert racial stereotypes, or racial allegations. Or even invoke the idea of race at all.
Criticize his policies all you want. Leave the race out of it.
Now what he's said this time is not racist. Nothing close, at least that I saw. What I see is someone, like many Republicans, who want to pitch a fit because they are no longer in power. They see their influence slipping away, and they're freaking out over it.
Look no further than the Sotomayor hearings for examples of THAT.
Ahhh, Nugent, Nugent, Nugent. When you pass on who will supply us with the wingnuttery that we're accustomed to hearing from you?
Guess Joe the (not exactly a) Plumber and Sarah (Quitters suck, but I'm quitting) Palin will have to do.
They should get married and run as husband and wife for President. That would be awesome!
That remains to be seen, but here's some videos of his. Just fantastic singer, and musician.
"Me and those Dreaming Eyes of Mine"
"Left & Right" featuring Method Man & Redman *INCLUDES CURSING*
"I Found My Smile Again"
"Break Ups 2 Make Ups" - Method Man featuring D'Angelo *INCLUDES CURSING*
Jul 15, 2009
Download and then sit back and relax and just let this take you over.
01. Floetry - Say Yes (Instrumental Intro)
02. Alicia Keys - Diary
03. Floetry - Say Yes
04. Fertile Ground - Come 2 Me
05. DJ Come of Age presents: Monday Michiru
06. Sade - King of Sorrow (Cottonbelly Remix)
07. Xscape - Feels So Good (Remix)
08. Dwele - Hold On
09. Sunshine Anderson - Your Woman
10. Les Nubians - Makeda (Instrumental)
11. Anthony Hamilton - Coming From Where I'm From
12. Goapele (Interlude)
13. Erykah Badu & Common - Love of my Life
14. Raphael Saadiq - Be Here (Instrumental)
15. Ursula Rucker - Brown Boy
16. Errol & Jazzy Jeff - Rock Wit U (Instrumental)
17. Goapele - Closer
18. Raphael Saadiq - Doing What I Can
19. Amerie - Why Can't We Fall In Love? (Instrumental & Vocal)
20. Raphael Saadiq - Can You Feel Me?
21. Projections - Backbone
DOWNLOAD LINK HERE
Jul 12, 2009
But when does it cross the line? In my opinion it crosses the line when a site like Free Republic, which is a highly popular conservative website, allows it's readers to comment and post racist slurs and incredibly offensive remarks about the Obama's 11 year old daughter Malia.
Recently Malia was photographed wearing a shirt with a peace symbol on it. The Free Republic commenters, or as they're known as "Freepers" made all sorts of ugly comments and insults about the 11 year old, including calling her "ghetto street trash" a "typical street whore" and wondered "When will she get her first abortion?".
Beyond the pale? Yeah, I think so.
And the reaction by the Freepers? To attack the people who exposed this. The FR site allowed the comments and threads to be on their site for a full day until it was complained about. And they reacted by attacking the person who complained, posting their email address encouraging their unhinged and racist readers to flood the person's email box with more of the same.
This is where the Republican movement is right now folks. There are some very well meaning and very polite and respectful people in the Republican party. There is also a huge side section of this party that is outraged at the election of the country's first Black president, and have lost their f*cking minds.
You can tell by them releasing the "Obama Waffles" box with the stereotyped black caricature. Or them sending an email out with the picture of the "Obama Bucks" featuring pictures of Fried Chicken, Watermelon and ribs on it. You can tell by the conservatives forwarding emails with pictures of Obama with a bone through his nose dressed as an African tribesman.
Or those who constantly put forth the false meme that Obama is a Muslim, as if that's supposed to be some vicious slur about someone. Ben Affleck had a great point when he was on Bill Maher's show last year during the election. He pointed out that when that woman stood up at John McCain's rally and said that she thought Obama was "an Arab" that McCain simply said, "No, he's a good guy". He pointed out (video below) that "Arab" and "Good person" are not antithetical.
But that doesn't matter for the Freepers and their ilk. They will use any and every disgusting vile racist attack against Obama and think nothing of it. And not only will they smile while doing it, but they'll also feign outrage that anyone would be offended by it. And then they'll attack you and post your personal information so you can be attacked as well.
These people are what's wrong with this country. These people are the bane of good people's existence and they need to be gotten rid of. Not violently, of course, but they need to just go away. They need to take their backwards ass thinking and just shut up about it.
Dissent is a wonderful thing. This President has given us many things to be upset about so far, but attacks on his 11 year old daughter, calling her a whore and "Ghetto street trash" and referring to Michelle Obama as "Mammy" is way out of line.
But you know there is a silver lining to this whole thing. At least we know how these people think. We know what they are. They've exposed their ignorance and their knuckle dragging philosophy for the world to see.
It's like the saying goes, "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know."
Jul 11, 2009
So the news has just come out recently that ASCAP has lost it's freaking mind. SERIOUSLY. Not only did they come out and claim that they should get paid everytime your ringtone goes off in public, but now they're sending out letters to sites demanding payment for embedding youtube videos on their blogs and sites.
The phrase "out of control" comes to mind.
This smacks of two things. First of all is it seems that it's a money grab. The music industry doesn't know how to market itself, so they're seemingly hemorrhaging money. People aren't really going to the brick and mortar stores anymore, and combine that with so much lackluster products being offered up to the public, is it any surprise that they're not making as much money as they used to, before the internet came along?
So due to them not making as much money as they would like, they're trying to snag every nickel and dime they possibly can in any way imaginable, even if those ways are just profoundly stupid.
I mean, this is the same industry that has the RIAA suing dead people and single mothers for anywhere between a couple grand and 1.92 million dollars for allegedly downloading music illegally online. That's a great way to win back your customers! Take all their money so they can't afford to buy your product. Way to think with your brain, folks!
But the second thing that comes to mind is that they (ASCAP) just don't want you embedding videos. When you send out letters demanding to be paid for embedding a youtube video on someone's blog or site, you're essentially saying "don't do this". It's not about the money, because if they're smart (a leap in logic, I know) they KNOW that nobody is going to pay to embed a youtube video on their site. It's just not going to happen. Sure, you'll get a couple sites that can possibly afford to do that, but the VAST MAJORITY of blogs and sites out there are simply personal blogs (like this one) that is not set up to make money and is just a way to vent about things, or post up about cool things they like. They can't afford to pay to embed videos and even if they could, they won't do it.
And ASCAP knows this. They have to. So therefore it stands to reason that they don't necessarily expect to get paid. They just don't want you embedding music videos and movie clips on your site away from youtube.
Same logic goes towards artists that charge exorbitant fees and percentages for sampling their music. They know that very few if anyone is going to go for sampling someone who's going to want damn near all royalties for that song. So it's a deterrant.
And that's what this is. I believe that if this goes forward, that it will signal the death of youtube.com. It's not a money making asset as it is. It is well known, probably one of the top ranked websites on the internet. Definitely top 10, maybe top 5. But it's not making money for Google, especially with all the lawsuits going against it.
If you subtract all the hits it gets third hand via blogs and aggregate sites and whatnot, Youtube will be even less profitable than it is now.
Perhaps this is a way to fix that. Maybe if everyone who wants to see a video goes to the site and thus sees advertising and that grabs a few more pennies for Google. I don't know.
But I know that if I got a letter, there's no way I'm paying them a damn thing. Whether or not I'd keep posting youtube embeds, that's another thing. There's plenty of other sites that will pick up the slack. They're easy to find out there and will do the job.
This is just another example of the Music Industry not knowing what the hell they're doing. And with this type of activity, they deserve to fail. And will have no one to blame but themselves when they do.
Jul 10, 2009
Which is a more prescient threat to this country's stability and security as it pertains to the military? Homosexuals or neo-nazis/white supremacists?
If it's the Army, well they apparantly feel that homosexuals are the biggest danger. How else to explain the fact that according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a hate group watchdog based in Alabama, that there are dozens of members of a hate group website that are currently enlisted in the US military and are based in Iraq or Afghanistan?
All while Arabic translators, a much in demand position in the military, are being forced out of the military because they publicly declared they were gay.
Does this make sense to anyone? Being gay somehow makes you unfit to serve, and would somehow present a danger to those around you, however being a neo-nazi or a white supremacist who is asked to sleep and live and fight beside soldiers of various races isn't a problem to the military? A potentially explosive situation with potentially dire consequences as these racists believe that African Americans, Hispanic, Jewish, Asian, etc people are beneath them and are inferior in every way shape and form. And we're supposed to just expect that to go well?
This is against military regulations FOR A REASON.
courtesy of The Comment Factory:
This legislation was the extent of provisions until 1986 when reports again surfaced of Army and Marine Corps members participating in Ku Klux Klan activities. This forced the Secretary of Defense at the time, Caspar Weinberger, to make a statement stipulating that, “Military personnel… must reject participation in [supremacist] organizations.” The 1986 policy change was modified further in 1996 when language was added to DOD Directive 1325.6 that dealt specifically for the first time with neo-Nazis and white supremacists. It explicitly “prohibited activities” by these groups in the military. This change came after the murder in 1996 of two African Americans by racists at Fort Bragg, NC. The murders led to an investigation that ultimately revealed 22 soldiers at Fort Bragg with known extremist tendencies.
In April, the Department of Homeland Security issued a memo warning of right wing extremists using returning military members who had become disillusioned with the war and might be susceptible to propaganda.
This was met with derision from those on the Republican right, but it seems that not only was that memo incredibly on the mark as the recent murders of police officers and abortion doctor George Tiller has shown, but also it seems to have not really gone far enough.
There's racists in the military that are assigned responsiblity of fighting side by side with people who they despise and want to kill. How is that good for moral of the soldiers?
The morale of the soldiers is what the excuse that's given when they expel someone for being gay. That it will disrupt the morale of the troops. Somehow everyoe will be all weirded out by the gay guy and oh my God what if he looks at me a certain way???
But meanwhile there's an even more dangerous threat to the morale of the troops, and the SAFETY of the troops.
Many soldiers have spoken about this and many have said the exact thing I've been wondering. "Can I trust him?"
How can you know that a white supremacist fighting with people of "inferior" races, will do everything he can to protect those he's fighting with? That he'll have their backs to the very end? Wouldn't that go against everything the racist believes?
courtesy of Stars & Stripes
One participant under the username “WhitePride85,” who said he is a 24-year-old staff sergeant from Madison, Wis., wrote: “I have been in the Army for over 5 years now ... I am a SSGT ... I have been in Iraq and Kuwait ... I love and will do anything to keep our master race marching. I have been a skinhead forever.”
This whole thing stinks and the Government needs to investigate this and do something about it NOW. Otherwise everytime they kick someone out for their sexual orientation, they should have to stand up and answer "how many racists do you have in your ranks? How many OPENLY racist white supremacists are in the military right now? Are they deemed less of a threat than this soldier you're court martialing?
Is Dan Choi, the recently deposed Arabic Translator who's facing a courtmartial for publicly stating his sexuality, a bigger threat than an extremist who views African Americans and Jews as inferior to White people?"
These are all questions that President Barack Obama should be forced to answer. He's essentially punked out when it came to repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell, which is a joke and a farce to begin with. Obama campaigned on this issue, and promised he'd repeal it. And now that he's President he's basically saying "oh I'll get to it, but not now" saying that there's more important things on the table.
And those things are important. Things like the wars and the economy. Those things are extremely important. However, I suppose it's too much to take your pen out and sign your name to a piece of paper. That's too time consuming, I suppose.
President Obama, you need to step up and do the right thing. Not just repeal DADT, but also to set out to rid the military of these racist bastards now! There are American lives at stake here.
Jul 8, 2009
Lebron James hosts a "Skills Academy" every year in his hometown of Akron Ohio, and at this year's game, Lebron got dunked on by a college basketball player from Xavier, Jordan Crawford. This is one of those things that are must see videos!
Only you won't see it. And that's because Lebron James had Nike confiscate tapes from the only two cameras rolling at that time so the footage wouldn't end up on youtube.
Are you kidding me? Lebron James has really fallen hard in the last several months. There's his bitch out when the Orlando Magic thumped his Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals, and he walked off the court without congratulating the Magic players, or addressing the media.
There's his reportedly telling Trevor Ariza that he was "of course" staying in Cleveland past next summer while trying to entice Ariza to sign with the Cavs. Ariza later declined to sign with Cleveland saying that he wasn't convinced about Lebron and felt that James was simply saying what he had to say to get Ariza to come there. Which would have made Lebron look like even a bigger jackass next summer when he opts out like everyone KNOWS he's going to do.
And now there's this. Lebron James, a man who the media has crowned King James. The man whose high school basketball games at St. Mary's was broadcast on ESPN. A man who bypassed college, went straight to the NBA and proceeded to light up the league, is so thin skinned that he can't stand for people to see him getting dunked on by a college player.
As has been mentioned before, this is a man who has bought into his own hype.
This is someone who's ego has been stroked for so long, and has heard everyone talking about how he's the best baller since Jordan, and has somehow bought into the idea that he's just flat out better than everyone else. That he's in such a league of his own that the mere idea of him getting dunked on is going to do irreparable harm to his ego if it gets out. So he sics his Nike pitbulls on the camera men and they take the tapes.
Now, there's obviously the question of what were the camera men thinking by giving up the tape. Why would you do that? Why would you give your tape to ANYONE? You were perfectly within your right to film there, there was no problem leading up to the dunk, but suddenly Nike wanted your tapes? I'd suggest telling them to do something with that request, but it might not be polite.
Lebron needs to toughen up. He needs to act like he's the role model like he wants people to believe. I'm sure he does many good things in his life for the community in Cleveland, however this pretty much wipes out all of that in the eyes of many, at least for the time being.
He's exposed himself as an insecure child in a man's body. He can't take criticism, which has become evident. He can't take being beaten when everyone assumes he's gonna win (see Magic def. Cavaliers 2009 Eastern Conference Finals), and he's shown now that he can't stand to be upstaged, least of all by some lowly college player.
Sack up, Lebron. Sack up and man up.
Jul 7, 2009
His performance in Manic was one of most scary and completely believable that I had ever seen, and the fact he didn't get nominated for an Oscar is just criminal to me.
He and Zooey Deschanel (who he co-starred with in Manic) star in a film called "500 Days of Summer" and in there Zooey brings up that the two of them were like Sid & Nancy, causing him to reasonably point out that Sid stabbed Nancy 7 times, and while they'd had disagreements, he'd hardly consider himself Sid Vicious. Which caused Zooey to humiliate him by saying that HE was Nancy, and that SHE was Sid.
That born out the following video on the internet of Zooey and Joseph playing the roles of Sid & Nancy (Respectively) to the absolute hilt. And it's been said elsewhere, but I'll repeat it, that Joseph Gordon-Levitt has yet to give a half-ass performance no matter WHAT it is, and that rings true especially here.
This could have just been a goofy internet video with him dressed up playing a woman, but he just goes all in on this and is simply amazing to watch act. In fact the only time I actually laughed in this was the final line in the piece by Zooey. This isn't a funny video, rather an excellent example of two fine actors giving it their all in what could of been a throwaway video.
If you haven't seen his movies yet, check out films like "Manic", "The Lookout", "Killshot" or "Stop/Loss". He's simply one of the greatest young actors working today.
Jul 6, 2009
This may or may not come as a complete surprise to people, but I'm throwing my hat in the ring to endorse Sarah Palin's candidacy for Republican Presidential Nominee in 2012. Note, I'm not endorsing her to WIN. Just to run and to be the Republican Nominee against Barack Obama.
There are many reasons for this, all of which will make perfect sense when I'm through laying out my thoughts here. However before I do so, I'd like to give my thoughts on the very idea.
Ever since Sarah Palin burst onto the political scene last year, after the Republican nominee for President John McCain stunningly picked her as his running mate, Palin has shown a great affinity for the limelight. Even when the limelight is not hers.
She loves being in the presence of cameras, no matter what the outcome. Whether there are questions being lobbed at her that she can't answer (such as what magazines she likes to read) or there are animals being slaughtered in the background, she being oblivious to it all, she is addicted to the attention given her by being on the television and in front of a microphone.
It's an incredible thing, although not something unique just to her. I think deep down we all would be media whores if we were given the opportunity. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. Just how you go about it, I suppose. There are plenty of people who are in front of the cameras every day that don't make fools of themselves. John Amato, over at Crooks and Liars, regularly goes on the talking head shows, and manages to avoid some of the pitfalls that Palin falls into, such as not knowing what you're talking about.
And even though she's hugely annoying and her fifteen minutes have been up about an hour ago, I can't get enough of her. Just like former Chicago Governor Rod Blagojevich, I can't get enough of her on TV. If the two of them got a reality show I'd probably watch it every week and buy it on DVD when it came out. They're that fantastic to watch in a "Sweet Jesus, Thank You For Not Letting That Be Me" type of way.
So therefore, I desperately want her to run and be the Republican Nominee for President in 2012 against Barack Obama. And these are the reasons why.
It benefits EVERYBODY.
It helps Sarah Palin because for once she's in the spotlight and she doesn't have to share it. She had the light a bit when McCain chose her to be his VP, but it wasn't REALLY hers (not that that mattered for her), and the focus was mainly on McCain. This time it gets to be All Sarah All the Time, until the rules dictate she has to finally nominate a VP. She'll control who talks to her, who doesn't, who can ask questions, and who can't. She'll probably start working on a Presidential Bill to exile Shannyn Moore to a secret facility somewhere before she even nominates her VP.
It helps the Democratic Party because this could very well possibly lead to the greatest Democratic Landslide in Presidential History, making Warren Harding's popular vote annihilation over James Cox in 1920 look miniscule in comparison.
It helps the Democrats in Congress, because the Republican voters could be so enraged that their party nominated Palin, that they could revolt and just not show up at the voters booth, causing the Republicans to lose EVEN MORE seats in the House and the Senate.
Question: Has there ever been a House/Senate with their makeup entirely consisting of one party?
Second Question: And if that happened, and it was 100% Democrats in the House and the Senate, would they STILL have a hard time passing bills?
Food for thought, anyway.
And this helps the Republicans politicians out because now they are free to live their lives and indulge their proclivities in private. No more being outed by newspapers or magazines or documentaries. No more prying eyes into their predelictions. They're free as they wanna be, as Ziggy Marley once sang.
This truly is a win/win situation. Sarah Palin, Republican Nominee for President. Has a nice ring to it, no?
As a postscript to this, I actually went to register the blog name "Run Sarah Run" but apparantly it had been taken by a runner. Named Sarah. Go figure. Leave it to her to ruin my plans. lol
Just kidding Sarah.
Jul 2, 2009
BET had their awards show recently, and they hastily put together a tribute to Michael Jackson after his death, that several artists were to perform including Neyo, Jay Z, Dream and Chris Brown. However, Chris Brown was told by BET that he would not be able to perform.
According to those close to Brown, both Chris and his handlers practically begged BET to allow him to take part. Chris Brown grew up with MJ's music and considered him his idol. He wanted badly to take part in this tribute.
However, BET said no. And now it's coming out that the reason that Chris Brown was denied the ability to pay tribute, is that Jay Z himself told BET that if they allowed Chris to perform, then he (Jay Z) would not perform.
Now at first glance, you might say "good for Jay Z". I mean too little attention seems to go to the fact that Chris Brown did in fact beat up Rihanna. At the time he got a lot of criticism, but we tend to overlook things like that when someone has a talent such as athletics or music (see Kobe Bryant, R. Kelly, etc, etc, etc).
However there's a more serious aspect to this situation, that I'm not sure people are aware of. At what point does a company, in this case BET, decide that they're going to allow an artist to tell them how to run their company, and let that artist dictate policy?
I realize Jay Z is probably one of the more powerful artists out there. And him saying "I'm not going on if Chris performs" that would no doubt have repercussions as it pertains to ratings and the such.
But don't you take a stand somewhere?
I realize we're talking about BET and they sold their soul a LONG time ago. The network has embraced genocidal behavior and glorified it and built their reputation on it. There's nothing good on BET worth watching, for someone wanting to see healthy examples of African American life or culture. I mean, does anyone even REMEMBER that they refused to air a lot of rap videos that were positive in tone? Artists like Tribe Called Quest, Camp Lo and Brand Nubian among many many more, because they were deemed "irrelevant" to their demographics they were going after? Perhaps not enough killing and drug dealing and sex in their videos, I suppose.
Unless you want to see mindless drivel and reinforced negative stereotypes of African Americans as thugs and sexual deviants and objectifying of women, then there's no reason to even turn to that channel.
However, this goes to the larger idea of a company having standards. BET and MTV started out as a way for labels to market their artists. Artists would hope to get their videos played on these channels, and perhaps get to stop by one of their hip hop countdown shows to get their faces out there for promotion. Exposure. They needed BET and MTV to build their names.
However now that the names have been built up, it's like the inmates are running the asylum. This is no different than a magazine interviewing a subject, and that person saying they won't do the interview unless they get full editorial control. And then the Magazine folding like a deck of cards and giving that editorial control, thus not revealing anything the subject doesn't want.
I mean, look at just today's news. The Washington Post was setting up to sell access to it's reporters, and by extension their contacts in the White House for anywhere between 25,000 and 250,000. That would buy, "off the record, nonconfrontational access" to congressmen, members of Obama's administration and going so far as to offer the paper's own reporters and editors, according to a Politico article. That has since been cancelled after the uproar, but you get the point?
With the ascension of blogs in the culture now this is even more prevalent. And if it's not a publication sacrificing whatever journalistic integrity it might have had, it's a blog or a magazine selling it's soul and just putting out a total blowjob of an article in hopes of attracting an interview or an exclusive from that person in the future.
It's shameful. It reeks of selling out, and it's sad that companies like BET have zero integrity, zero honor, and absolutely NO SPINE in their backing down to Jay Z's threats.
Yeah, if Jay Z walked that would have hurt the awards ratings. But this is a tribute to Michael Jackson. This is the BET AWARDS SHOW, not the Jay Z Tribute. Not the JAY Z AWARDS SHOW.
When you sacrifice your integrity and parley that into favors, there's essentially only one thing you can honestly call yourself after that. A whore.
And that's what BET is. A whore.
Should Chris Brown have been allowed to perform? I dunno. I think he's a scumbag for beating on Rihanna no matter whether she hit him first or not. I'd like to see him get a lot more blowback for what he did than he has gotten. But if he wanted to perform at the tribute, and BET didn't have a problem (and they apparantly DIDN'T until Jay stepped in) then he should have gone on.
That decision is up to BET. or it SHOULD have been up to BET. They should never sacrifice their integrity (or what little they had left) by kowtowing to an artist that at one point was depending on them for promotion.
But that would take balls and a spine, two things BET seems to be in vastly short supply.
Jul 1, 2009
Now I'm not the biggest fan of Obama lately. He's totally flipped on several promises he made during the campaign, some of which I'm very concerned about. That said, there is NO excuse for this jackass to go on TV and wish for Bin Laden to attack the USA and detonate a massive weapon, just to reflect badly on Obama. NONE.
Wanna guess what network this guy was on saying these things? Three guesses and the first two don't count.
Scheuer: The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States. Because it's going to take a grass-roots, bottom-up pressure. Because these politicians prize their office, prize the praise of the media and the Europeans. It's an absurd situation again. Only Osama can execute an attack which will force Americans to demand that their government protect them effectively, consistently, and with as much violence as necessary.