Tarry for the Nonce

June 30, 2004

Blame Canada

Filed under: Entertainment — lmwalker @ 5:33 pm

The Film and Television Action Committee wants the Bush administration to protect their jobs:

U.S. cinematographers and other film industry workers have asked the Bush administration to take action against Canadian, Australian and other government filmmaking subsidies that they say have lured away tens of thousands of jobs . . .

FTAC is supported by the Screen Actors Guild, various technical film workers unions and “tens of thousands of rank and file entertainment workers” according to its Web site. Unions representing cinematographers and other theatrical workers also asked separately for the Bush administration to crack down on “runaway” film production.

So Hollywood wants to get rid of the Canadians? Hmm. They could start with Peter Jennings.

We’re in the Money

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 5:24 pm

U.S. employment likely surged again in June, taking gains this year to some 1.4 million jobs . . .

“I think the gains will be quite widespread again, and as we saw in April and May, we are likely to create slightly more higher-paying than lower-paying positions,” said Lynn Reaser, chief economist at Banc of America Securities . . .

“The economy has turned very sharply in Bush’s direction, so his biggest weakness is becoming a strength,” said Cary Leahey, senior U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities . . .

The shift in political rhetoric from the “jobless recovery” lament of the Democrats to “nearly a million jobs in 100 days” of the Bush administration appears to have reached consumers, whose confidence levels hit the highest level in two years in June, according to a Conference Board report this week . . .

Friday’s report is also expected to show a sixth straight monthly rise in hourly earnings, though the workweek will likely be unchanged at 33.8 hours, according to a Reuters survey of economists.

Longer hours and fatter paychecks are seen by experts as evidence the economy is on the threshold of even stronger job gains in the months ahead.

Despite the focus on the Federal Reserve Board upping the interest rate, I can’t believe Reuters admitted as much as it did.

Feel Like a Pawn of War?

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 5:17 pm

View the Al Qaeda strategy handbook:

Al-Qaeda reportedly planned to target Spain as the weakest link of the coalition in Iraq to force its troop pullout, according to a document from the terror network.

“We consider that the Spanish government cannot suffer more than two to three strikes before pulling out (of Iraq) under pressure from its own people,” said the document obtained Wednesday by AFP from Raido France Internationale’s regional office in Beirut . . .

Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, elected after the train bombings in Madrid which left 191 people dead in Spain’s worst ever terrorist attack, withdrew Spanish troops from the troubled country in May . . .

The document, entitled “the Iraq of Jihad (holy war): hopes and dangers,” was prepared by the “information agency for the support of the Iraqi people — office of services for the Mujahedeen (holy warriors).”

A lengthy chapter of the document focuses on “the main allies of the United States in their aggression against Iraq: Britain, Italy, Poland and Spain, as well as some Arab countries.”

But most of the chapter is about Spain, considering that the pullout of Spanish troops would “constitute a pressure on the British (military) presence that (Prime Minister) Tony Blair would not be able to bear.”

“It will not take long for pawns to fall, but the headpiece (US) still has to be knocked down,” it said.

Checkmate.

Dinohalitosis

Filed under: Rambles — lmwalker @ 3:16 pm

Did dinosaurs have bad breath?

Re-creating the breath of a T. rex for a huge model dinosaur in London’s Natural History Museum posed challenges all of their own.

“We spoke to paleontologists, who gave us a description of the dinosaur. Basically, the bigger the creature, the smellier they were,” said Knight, who is passionate about accuracy. “The dinosaurs would have had open sores from fighting, and rotting meat stuck in the gaps between their teeth. We needed all these features in the eventual odor.”

The T. rex breath turned out to be so revolting that the curators instead opted for a milder swamp smell to evoke the creature’s natural habitat.

Perhaps they could just offer him a toothbrush.

Irish Traditions

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 2:37 pm

The song The Orange and the Green amuses me. (Some context is probably necessary, unless you are aware of Irish history.)

Babylon 5 did a parody called The Purple and the Green.

The Economics of Cinema

Filed under: Entertainment — lmwalker @ 2:25 pm

I have discovered Box Office Mojo. I was mostly looking at The Passion of the Christ box office stats (and trying my absolute best to ignore the stats for Titanic, whose success continues to stick in my craw).

The Passion of the Christ was:

The Return of the King didn’t do too badly either.

In the Hen House

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 12:39 pm

The FNC is doing well:

FOX News Channel (FNC) garnered more than 50% of the cable news audience in primetime and total day during 2Q’04, according to Nielsen Media Research.

In contrast, CNN and MSNBC both attracted less than a third of the same market share in 2Q ’04. In primetime, FNC commanded 55% of the cable news market share, averaging 1.4 million viewers, while CNN claimed just 32% of that audience with 828,000 viewers. During Rick Kaplan’s first full quarter as president, MSNBC’s primetime line-up attracted a paltry 13% of the cable news audience with 321,000 viewers (down 41% in viewership year to year) . . .

In the key 25-54 demo, both CNN and MSNBC lost more than half their 25-54 audience in these day parts over the same period last year . . .

In addition, FNC sustained its programming dominance capturing nine out of the top ten shows in cable news, as CNN’s heavily promoted primetime lineup continued to flounder. CNN’s only show in the top ten, Larry King Live, remained stagnant at number four with 1,291,000 viewers, trailing FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor (2,051,000 viewers), Hannity & Colmes (1,492,000 viewers) and The FOX Report with Shepard Smith (1,339,000 viewers) respectively.

I’m not a big O’Reilly fan because I find him rude, but booya anyway. Go Fox News!

June 29, 2004

Sing a Little Song

Filed under: Entertainment — lmwalker @ 6:20 pm

The American Film Institute has released their list of Top 100 Movie Songs. It’s a good, solid list. Of course, I can think of one or two that are missing (clearly not enough Rogers and Hammerstein) . . . but I don’t really disagree with any of the ones chosen.

Running Out of Movie Ideas?

Filed under: Entertainment — lmwalker @ 6:16 pm

I’m glad that MSNBC is acknowledging horrendous movie remakes.

The remake of Psycho was one of the most asinine ideas ever. And it doesn’t help that I despise Anne Heche.

Biased Movie Critiques

Filed under: Entertainment — lmwalker @ 6:05 pm

Through Beautiful Atrocities, movie critics share their reviews of Moore’s film . . . and The Passion of the Christ. My favorites:

William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

    F9/11: A masterful job of ridiculing the personality, intellect and employment resumé of George W. Bush … could well become the docu-equivalent of “The Passion of the Christ” and even affect the presidential election.

    Passion: Despite Gibson’s claim that he’s finally telling “the true story,” his movie strikes me as less faithful to the Gospels than the earlier Christ movies. Crammed full of scenes and dialogue and minor characters that he’s completely made up.

So is he acknowledging that the first movie is not faithful to the truth and completely made up?

David Edelstein, Slate:

    F9/11: After the screening, a friend railed that Moore was exploiting a mother’s grief. I suggested that the scene made moral sense in the context of the director’s universe, that the exploitation is justified if it saves the lives of other mothers’ sons.

    Passion: A two-hour-and-six-minute snuff movie—The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre—that thinks it’s an act of faith.

Suffering is okay . . . as long as it happens to a woman.

Geoff Pevre, Toronto Star:

    F9/11: A plea for America’s deliverance … it may not be an argument one agrees with, and it may be unbalanced and propagandistic, but it is both convincingly argued and sincerely motivated.

    Passion: A work of fundamentalist pornography.

Um . . . I guess I’ll just leave that one alone.

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