Tuesday, March 31, 2009

National Poetry Month is just one day away.

April is National Poetry Month--and here's a link to a YouTube video of two of my poems about poetry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gh0D17w-aq8&feature=channel_page

Angie Harmon's a conservative from Dallas, Texas--and Fox News loves her.

The undoubted high point of actress Angie Harmon's career was playing Abbie, the go-get-em assistant prosecutor on LAW AND ORDER. Years after that triumph, Ms. Harmon (I'm guessing due to some kind of talent deal with Disney/ABC, who aired her last series THE WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB) is now just another supporting player on the bland Christina Applegate yupcom SAMANTHA WHO?--and Ms. Harmon's also receiving publicity for being an anti-Obama Republican: http://www.popeater.com/movies/article/angie-harmon-deemed-racist-for-hating/404722

Somehow, I don't think Abbie, no matter how conservative her politics and her attitude towards criminals, would have given Fox News the time of day.

Monday, March 30, 2009

RIP to Steven Bach and LA CITY BEAT.

Former United Artists executive (he was around for the release of films such as APOCALYPSE NOW, MANHATTAN and RAGING BULL) and biographer (including books about Marlene Dietrich and Leni Riefenstahl) Steven Bach recently passed away. Here's the NEW YORK TIMES obituary: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/28/movies/28bach.html?_r=1&scp=64&sq=%22los+angeles%22&st=nyt

Given the passage of time and the current disinterest in examining films of yesteryear, it's likely that Bach's role in Michael Cimino's HEAVEN'S GATE (an overreaching followup to the critical and popular success THE DEER HUNTER)--plus Bach's still-worth-reading memoir FINAL CUT--won't be remembered by today's media.

LA CITY BEAT, formed years ago to keep LA WEEKLY from having a monopoly on the city's alternapaper market, died as of last week's issue: http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2009/03/weekly_down_citybeat_to_s.php

Recent editorial/business decisions didn't help, including hiring Rebecca Schoenkopf and Will Swaim (in separate regimes) to give the paper some of the OC WEEKLY bratty "attitude" (more apparent during Schoenkopf's tenure)--and the discharge of respected film critic Andy Klein.

And now, one can imagine that Mike Lacey and Jill Stewart are in triumphant celebration--bathing in the delusion that their now unchallenged center-to-right alternapaper speaks for all of Los Angeles, and praying that no one comes up with enough capital to challenge them either in paper editions and/or on the Web.

White House: GM and Chrysler not too big to fail.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Time for the Wergle Flomp deliberately-bad-poetry contest to die.


Like a lot of poets, I'm aware that some poetry contests are little more than con jobs that will publish your poem--in hopes you'll buy a pricey book that it is anthologized in. And the contests are designed to separate people from their money instead of being a measure of true poetic worth.

But the idea of the Wergle Flomp contest--write something deliberately "bad" to send to a con-job contest and then send it to winningwriters.com--is more snide and asinine than good for the craft of poetry. Unfortunately, a lot of people enjoy the stick-pins-in sadism of Wergle Flomp because of the "I'm SO superior to you" virus in certain poets--particularly those with pretensions to literary worthiness.

If you go onto the Winning Writers website, take a look at their links regarding poetry contests. And refuse to go the Wergle Flomp route--so both the "con"tests and Winning Writers will get the message.

[UPDATE 3/29/09: Here's my response to the comment made by Adam of Winning Writers: Thanks for your letter, but I stand by my original post. Winning Writers' information on dubious contests should stand on its own without the throwing-of-literary-feces represented by Wergle Flomp.]

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck and his six-foot wall.


Next, Bill O'Reilly--feeling hurt since Glenn Beck is apparently the new favorite blowhard of Roger Ailes--will likely build an eight-foot wall, plus add a few guards toting machine guns to keep nonfans and angry far-leftists away......

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Screenwriter talks about wanting to screw up SUPERMAN.


I found the above link by wandering on to the fanboy-friendly Rotten Tomatoes site. I fear that the screenwriter I won't mention by name (he helped give the world last year's supersilly WANTED), probably thinks the SUPERMAN franchise needs a big shot of "dark" and "edgy."
(Certainly the Cinematical writer buys into the idea that, because of the success of THE DARK KNIGHT, the public wants all superhero fare to be similar in approach.)

In my opinion, Bryan Singer's SUPERMAN reboot from a couple of years back was a sound concept (continuing the Richard Donner reverence-laced-with-humor approach and pretending the latter two Christopher Reeve entries didn't happen); it just erred in being overlong and, at times, oversomber.

Rather than opting for "dark", it wouldn't hurt for Warner Brothers to refine the Singer approach--with, say, Jon Hamm as Clark Kent/Superman.

Trust me, the audience will be there.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

An idea that's finally here: DVDs/CDs on-demand of previously out-of-print material.

Here's the link to Warner Brothers' recently announced we'll-make-DVDs-on-demand archive: http://www.wbshop.com/Warner-Archive/ARCHIVE,default,sc.html

The titles range from early MGM talkies such as THE BEAST OF THE CITY to lesser-known films from directors such as John Frankenheimer (ALL FALL DOWN) and Francis Ford Coppola (THE RAIN PEOPLE).

At this point, there are only a small number of choices available; I'd like to see WB dig a bit deeper in its vaults to unearth Howard Zieff's 70's comedies SLITHER and HEARTS OF THE WEST, John Flynn's THE OUTFIT (a Donald Westlake-writing-as-Richard Stark adaptation with a great cast including Robert Duvall, Joe Don Baker, Sheree North and Robert Ryan), Richard Quine's THE MOONSHINE WAR (an Elmore Leonard 30's bootlegging saga with Patrick McGoohan, Richard Widmark and a somewhat-cast-against-type Alan Alda), and--for Roy Orbison completists--Orbison's lone star vehicle, THE FASTEST GUITAR ALIVE.

In the realm of recorded music, Sony is now making some previously out-of-print albums (i.e., Joe Strummer's first solo album EARTHQUAKE WEATHER) available on Amazon.com in either CD-R on demand or download formats as part of their Back From The Vault series: http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_7154062_3?ie=UTF8&node=1264123011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=browse&pf_rd_r=0ECHMR595C00RM3MSQ9Y&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=472542131&pf_rd_i=5174

One can only hope that the on-demand services for customers wanting their favorite previously-out-of-print movies or record albums will last at least a few months before the bean-counters get nervous and pull the plug because megaprofits aren't being made.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Catching up with Walter Hill's JOHNNY HANDSOME on its 20th anniversary.

In the wake of Mickey Rourke's Academy Award-nominated comeback in THE WRESTLER, there's been a revival of interest in his work from roughly the early 80s to early 90s. In fact, the Best Buy I went to a few days ago in Canyon Country, CA had a special Mickey Rourke display.

Last Tuesday, I went to the closing-by-midsummer Virgin Megastore on Hollywood Boulevard and bought a standard DVD of JOHNNY HANDSOME--a mostly-forgotten Rourke-starrer from 1989--for $10.

The storyline--disfigured Louisiana criminal gets a second chance after experimental plastic surgery turns him physically "acceptable"--is serviceable enough.

While the film isn't top-tier Walter Hill (who directed) or Mickey Rourke, it has enough incidental pleasures to make it worth renting or buying at a low price. The performances of Lance Henriksen and Ellen Barkin (as a sort of bayou Boris-and-Natasha), a pre-wise-old-sage Morgan Freeman (when he was still allowed to be edgy) and Elizabeth McGovern (making something fairly substantive out of a standard good-woman role) will hold the viewer's interest. And the running time is a reasonably quick 93 minutes.

Given how low the quality bar is being set for 2009 mainstream theatrical film releases, subpar entries in the Walter Hill filmography (see also RED HEAT, ANOTHER 48 HOURS, LAST MAN STANDING) are beginning to improve with age.

The Artist formerly known as John Cougar holds forth on the music biz.


Mellencamp makes an interesting point about how the advent of airplay/chart sales monitoring like SoundScan changed the game of how songs became popular (i.e. singles didn't break out from smaller markets into wider popularity, but were "forced on" the public by the record companies).

But there's no mention of the kinds of payola that used to exist (and likely still does). And to keep his argument from getting too complex, Mellencamp quickly slides past the issue of turning current music as commercial jingles (i.e. his sale of the song "My Country" to Chevrolet)--an action which, in Mellencamp's case, seems to have gestated from a desire to find an alternate way of securing the massive airplay he received during his 82-87 heyday.

NYTIMES on the Obama Administration's buy-bad-assets plan.


Notice carefully the part of the article where the Captains of Business bare their fangs and growl at the ideas of pay curbs and transparency.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Borders Books cut-cut-cutting DVDs and CDs from stores.

If you wander into a Borders Bookstore (as I did yesterday), you'll see red-tagged 30% discounts on a number of CDs and DVDs.
[UPDATE 3/23/09: I just received a standard customer e-mail from Borders which indicates that this sale isn't happening in certain cities such as NYC and San Francisco.]

Apparently, the chain is delivering on its desire to cut CD/DVD space by 70% (as was recently written about in ROLLING STONE).
[UPDATE 3/26/09: A story here confirms this: http://www.switched.com/2009/03/26/borders-to-quit-selling-cds-and-dvds/?icid=mainhtmlws-maindl4link5http%3A%2F%2Fwww.switched.com%2F2009%2F03%2F26%2Fborders-to-quit-selling-cds-and-dvds%2F]

Given Borders' continued commitment to keeping audiovisual content priced as high as possible (except for sales on older catalog product), one shouldn't be surprised that the available stock will be trimmed.

For the casual customer, this means remaining items will likely consist of what the chain predetermines as "best-selling". And the young staff will be losing their voices repeating the mantra: "We don't carry that in our store. We can special order it--or you can just go on our website."

It's easy to make a paranoid jump (given the company's financial state: http://www.borders.com/online/store/PartnerSiteInvestorsView) that entire sections of books may be next.

Poetry, perhaps?

RIP British reality TV star Jade Goody.

It wasn't until Jade Goody (best known as a reality TV star in the UK) developed terminal cancer that she became known in America. Here's an obituary from THE NEW YORK TIMES that I just found on Twitter: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/23/world/europe/23goody.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

Thursday, March 19, 2009

U2's Dave "The Edge" Evans planning to do for Malibu what he's doing for Dublin's Clarence Hotel.


Bank of America wants you to see MONSTERS VS. ALIENS in 3-D--at no extra charge.

No need for me to add anything; I'll just post the link to Nikki Finke's DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD DAILY column: http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/whaaat-bailed-out-bank-of-america-paying-for-consumers-to-see-hollywood-toon/

The old 70s gimmick Sensurround returns in a new guise.


This will give a new generation the shakes and rumbles that Universal's Sensurround speaker system treated moviegoers to from roughly 1974 (with the release of EARTHQUAKE) to 1979 (the release of the original BATTLESTAR GALACTICA series pilot as a feature film).

And, as coincidence would have it, the D-Box Motion System will be first used on a Universal release--the upcoming fourth installment of THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS franchise.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The film legacy of Natasha Richardson.

Here's a link to the NEW YORK TIMES obituary for actress Natasha Richardson, who died earlier today: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/theater/19richardson.html?_r=1&hp

Ms. Richardson's film appearances were relatively few in recent years; her final film (according to imdb.com) was the Emma Roberts-in-the-UK comedy WILD CHILD, which has yet to receive a US release.

Of the theatrical features I saw Ms. Richardson in, I would recommend her two films for director Paul Schrader (PATTY HEARST and THE COMFORT OF STRANGERS), David McKenzie's ASYLUM (which co-starred Ian McKellen) and James Ivory's underrated THE WHITE COUNTESS. She was also in Ken Russell's GOTHIC, which can be found on DVD in an apparent public domain print with three other films.

And there's THE HANDMAID'S TALE, with direction by Volker Schlondorff and a screenplay by Harold Pinter. Imdb describes the plot as follows: In a dystopicly polluted rightwing religious tyranny, a young woman is put in sexual slavery on account of her now rare fertility.

As coincidence has it, THE HANDMAID'S TALE is currently playing on the Encore Love cable channel.

Adding my voice to the no-to-AIG chorus.

One can't help but wish that the ghost of Moe Howard, leader of The Three Stooges, would appear on Earth to administer a few slaps and head-bops to Christopher Dodd and Edward Liddy. And extra slaps to the too-cautious Tim Geithner and Larry Summers as well.

Don't forget to read Matt Taibbi's long-but-explanatory article about the current financial mess--and AIG's key role in it--in the current issue of ROLLING STONE (the one with GOSSIP GIRLS Blake Lively and Leighton Meester on the cover).

Taibbi still has his Achilles heel of disdain for blue-collar America (sort of like Gene Kelly playing H.L. Mencken railing about "all-American idiots" in the 1960 film of INHERIT THE WIND), stereotyping over-their-head-in-mortgages-they-can't-pay-back homeowners as meth-addicted boobs.

Look past Taibbi's occasional spasms of condescension and you'll find a chilling tale of how Wall Street gambles with your money--and has no intention of changing its ways or giving up its opulence. And our current administration doesn't want to get too tough with the high-living titans and their destructive incompetence (and to be fair, a McCain administration likely wouldn't be any better)--because they "know things" about their complex money-castles-in-the-air that "ordinary" people don't.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Warner Brothers likely to get even more safe post-WATCHMEN.

[NOTE: The post below is to be read strictly for entertainment value. Irresponsible behavior is not encouraged.]

It's a reasonably safe guess that you, the reader of this blog entry, could conceivably make a prank call to Warner Brothers in the guise of a talent agent or producer. And you could even talk yourself into a chance at securing a meeting to pitch either a superhero project (preferably DC) or an adaptation of a self-help book or even a remake of an in-house property. Maybe you could say something like: "I know exactly how to make WONDER WOMAN a durable four-quadrant franchise."

With the box office underperformance of WATCHMEN (an uneven--sometimes effective, sometimes ubersilly--film which was probably the best attempt at ultra-adult comic book fare since the original, and definitely superior, ROBOCOP in 1987), it's safe to say that Alan Horn and the good folks of WB will be even more tippy-toe careful in what they greenlight in the future (another bellwether of whether "edginess", even the manageable budget variety, gets more chances to be bankable at Warners: the box office performance of the reportedly-megaraunchy OBSERVE AND REPORT with Seth Rogen and Anna Faris--opening next month).

At this point, potential pranksters could consider pitching WB on a PG-13 comedy adaptation of the 70s self-help book I'M OK, YOU'RE OK--and suggest Rainn Wilson as a hippieish 70s Marin County shrink who gets cryogenically frozen and thawed out in the late 2000s.

The cynic in me thinks that Alan Horn and Jeff Robinov would pay top dollar for such a pitch.

And, don't forget, the 70s sex manual JOY OF SEX came very close to getting made at Paramount in the early 80s as a vehicle for John Belushi. (It did get produced a few years later as a low-budgeter directed by Martha Coolidge and starring quirky cult-actress Michelle Meyrink. And it flopped.)

Safe to guess that lightning could strike twice.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

And now for some comic relief from Katy Perry.

Attractive-but-supershallow Top 40 hitmaker/co-savior of EMI (along with Coldplay) Katy Perry recently did a look-at-me-in-undies photo shoot for ESQUIRE and uttered this very unintentionally funny overassessment of her future career prospects and the current media:
"I'd like to say I'd like to be as big as a Gwen or a Madonna, but I think those days of achieving that level are over. The media is bringing everybody down."
[in response to the ESQUIRE interviewer asking Ms. Perry if she wants to be as big a star as Gwen Stefani or Madonna]

Being visually-appealing-but-molded-from-soulless-plastic will only take one so far. I'll make an easy guess that Lily Allen will outpace Ms. Perry in career longevity--even if Ms. Allen never becomes a savior of EMI.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Celebrating the upcoming 15th anniversary of the release of JIMMY HOLLYWOOD.

Here's a film-workplace story with some humor and some horror:


And I'm glad I write poetry now. It satisfies any remaining desires of mine to be a part of show-business-of-sorts without being yelled at and/or being made to feel responsible for the fates of 149 other crewpeople on a set.

In terms of the finished product--
Here's a comment I wrote for Amazon.com in 2004, with some updates:
Barry Levinson's comedy/drama about an actor-turned-Hollywood crimefighter (JoePesci), his skeptical lover (Victoria Abril in a rare English-language performance)and his addled but adoring young friend (Christian Slater) was a fast flop in the spring of 1994--perhaps due to the public's lack of interest inseeing a film about a "loser" eager for a chance to become a "legendary" starlike Errol Flynn and live the glittering Hollywood lifestyle (with a home infashionable West L.A.) and his frustration over that lifestyle remaining forever beyond his reach.

In the 10 years since JIMMY HOLLYWOOD's release, the advent of both the internet and the glut of reality television series make Levinson's taleof an ordinary man thrust into a sort of fast-food version of stardom more relevant than ever [particularly with Nadya Suleman's current fifteen-minutes-plus-fourteen-children period of notoriety].I was Pesci's stand-in on the film, so my opinion isn't completely objective.But I do believe that Barry Levinson is noteworthy for treating audiences with intelligence and respect [although I have some issues with MAN OF THE YEAR,which fumbled its comic-becomes-President premise]. And I believe that JIMMYHOLLYWOOD, underrated and largely unseen over the past nine years, deserves to be rediscovered and re-evaluated on its DVD release.

I'm presuming that this is a bare bones DVD [it was]. But some interesting outtakes should still exist--including a scene of Pesci and Slater singing aLeonard Cohen song called "Democracy".

Since the above piece was written, JIMMY HOLLYWOOD is now available from Lionsgate (offloaded from Paramount) as half a double-bill DVD along with Ron Howard's pretty-much-forgotten American/Japanese culture clash comedy GUNG HO (with Michael Keaton, Gedde Watanabe and Mimi Rogers).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Op-ed article about legalizing marijuana.....in THE LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS.

Given the rock-ribbed conservatism of L.A.'s Valley newspaper DAILY NEWS (an operation stripped to the bone by William Dean Singleton--who presided over the end of the once-readable DALLAS TIMES HERALD), it's a bit of a surprise that they printed this pro-pot legalization op-ed piece by someone from the NORML organization:

But maybe the idea will be kicked around by San Fernando Valleyites who may not want the recession to bite them too hard in their collective posteriors.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

CNBC: When you're a cable network encouraging the buying of stock in a scorched-earth economy.....

I'm not sure how many people saw CNBC's Erin Burnett (known as "International Superstar" to MSNBC' s Joe Scarborough) on last night's REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER.

Ms. Burnett, at one point, resorted to tired Republican talking points about the rich paying too many taxes and even used the phrase "wealth destruction"--which caused Maher to justifiably respond with the word bull----.

Read Nikki Finke's recent column entry about CNBC (which is apparently bludgeoning its audience to buy GE stock and raise it from its current doldrums): http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/hey-jeff-immelt-blame-your-own-cnbc/
[UPDATE 3/9/09: Here's a link to a HUFFINGTON POST column mentioning Erin Burnett, plus Joe "GE makes things" Scarborough doing his best to aid General Electric in its hours of pain and decreased profits: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/09/imorning-joei-breaks-out_n_173132.html]
And here's a suggestion for a future CNBC network-branding ad: Have the on-air personalities (including Ms. Burnett, Jim Cramer, Maria Bartiromo and fake-populist trader groupie Rick Santelli) sing or lip-sync an irony-free version of Randy Newman's "It's Money That Matters."
[UPDATE 3/13/09: Glenn Greenwald, in a post-mortem view of the Cramer/Jon Stewart sitdown on last night's THE DAILY SHOW, reminds us that the "don't question what Authority tells us" ethos is still followed by prominent journalists including David Gregory and Charles "Charlie" Gibson: http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/03/13/cramer/]

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Book publisher Michael Viner on his new "get": Blago.

Michael Viner, the man who has published books such as YOU'LL NEVER MAKE LOVE IN THIS TOWN AGAIN (testimonials of Hollywood call girls who named Names), defends the deal he made for a tell-all-my-way book by the former governor of Illinois: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-viner/why-we-gave-rod-blagojevi_b_171973.html

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Shortsightedness of the music business and the print media.

This motto should be tattooed on foreheads of all people involved in the recorded music and newspaper industries: NOT ALL OUR CUSTOMERS GET MUSIC AND NEWS SOLELY THROUGH COMPUTERS. IN FACT, SOME OF OUR CUSTOMERS DON'T EVEN OWN A COMPUTER.

Two articles about the closing of all Virgin Megastores by this summer: http://www.walletpop.com/article/_a/bbdp/all-virgin-megastores-in-us-to-close-by/367924
Rolling Stone's take (check out this week's U2-cover story mag, where a print story on Virgin claims, among other things. that Borders Books are threatening to cut music-and-DVD space by 70% and other "Big Box" chains are threatening to cut their CD stock unless CD prices are lowered further):

A back-and-forth on a RS comments site regarding the FYE chain closing stores:
[FYE employee]:
I’m shocked at some of these posts. I was a store manager for FYE for 7 years, my store was closed last year. You people know nothing about the cost of doing business. The stores are not making any money. When you margins are around 30% there is no money to be made.
The music industry is gone, and It will never be back. You can thank Wal-Mart, Circuit City, Best Buy and downloading.
For the idiot who posted, “charging $18.00 for a CD a bad business model.” Go kill yourself.
We are witnessing an entire industry go under. Think about all the people that have lost their jobs. The people that were in the music industry were not in for the money. They were in it because they loved music.

[rebuttal from another poster]:
Dude-I realize you were a former FYE manager, but the problem wasn’t with you: It was a bad business model. The companies that have staying power are the ones that accept change and adjust the business model accordingly. Maybe on a smaller scale..But what dipshits at the top didn’t see this coming? Lack of selection, extremely high prices on product that is the bread and butter of an industry on the verge of collapse, and a dwindling economy= no business. I hate downloading as much as the next guy. People who haven’t heard real music and prefer the shitty sound quality of an mp3 are determining the course of the industry, it’s a sad thing. I love vinyl. I’d rather buy a cd by an artist I like..But truth of the matter is, I support the small indie retailer in my town, who happens to do a booming business even on these troubled times. One of the reasons= reasonable prices. If the profit margins aren’t substantial, the company needs to find a new way of doing things…Change (even bad change) is inevitable. You have to adapt…

(Full posts can be found here: http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2008/01/18/decline-of-the-music-industry-hits-home-rolling-stone-loses-its-fye/)

And, regarding newspapers, it looks to me like a dog-chasing-tail story:
Advertising revenue declines--maybe from loss of circulation, maybe from poor economy. Corporation which owns newspaper wants to keep maximizing profits, so massive cuts in newsroom and printing staffs are made and number of pages are reduced. Public reacts negatively to lower quality of newspaper and loses interest in buying individual copies/subscriptions.

Repeat all of the above until newspaper is sold or goes out of business entirely.

To blame the poor health of the traditional newspaper mainly on the Internet and its greater facility for updating and adding news/sports/business/entertainment stories (plus the banner ads on websites) is sheer self-destructive silliness.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Rick Santelli--the homeowner "loser" comment was apparently planned.

Rick Santelli of CNBC calling homeowners in trouble "losers" was despicable--and not condemned enough in the mainstream media. Here's an article that demonstrates how nonspontaneous Santelli's Chicago outburst really was (having read this, memories of US Women's Soccer icon Brandi Chastain's too-calculated tearing off her jersey in post-victory throes a decade ago are returning): http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/03/02/was-santellis-tea-party-rant-planned-in-advance/

Meghan McCain gives dating tips-of-sorts, moans about how potential suitors may want to meet Dad.

Tina Brown--after editorial stints with VANITY FAIR, THE NEW YORKER, and the short-lived TALK--now has a webzine called THE DAILY BEAST.

Ms. Brown has given John McCain's daughter Meghan some blogging space. And here's Meghan on looking for the perfect man: http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-03-02/looking-for-mr-far-right/

Take away the Presidential campaign/political ideology factors and you have the standard "rich-young-daughter of a celeb" litany of complaints.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Article on the death of the VHS tape and the disappearance of VHS from video stores.


In a perfect world, articles like this would provide some impetus for certain vintage VHS-only titles to get fast-tracked DVD release consideration.

But, as we know, the world of cinema-for-sale-or-rent is somewhat less than perfect.

U2--act progressively, do business ultraconservatively.


I still like U2's music and will buy NO LINE ON THE HORIZON (likely in the basic single-CD edition instead of the other pricier variants) sometime this week. But the "make money, make money, make a lot of money" ethos of the band and ubermanager Paul McGuinness (let's not forget that they invested in none-too-progressive Forbes magazine and also the unfortunate tale of the Bono-and-Edge-owned Hotel Clarence in Dublin--a classic old hotel my wife Valarie and I stayed in over a year-and-a-half ago--which has been largely razed with neighboring buildings comandeered to build a "new" Clarence apparently because Paul Hewson and Dave Evans wanted a bigger profit margin).

And it's safe to guess that the forthcoming stadium tour won't be cheap for fans. Readers are free to guess how far north of $100 the most expensive seats will sell for.
[UPDATE 3/9/09: Prices are in a sliding scale from $250 to $30--allegedly 10,000 seats a show will be at the $30 level. Here's a comment from Bono about the reasoning for the $250 price level: http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2009/02/no_taxes_on_the_horizon.html]

If I were to meet Paul McGuinness, I'd have two questions for him:
1. How much more money do you and your band need?
2. Are you aware that a recession is going on?