Friday, May 28, 2010

RIP Gary Coleman.

Upon hearing about the too-young passing of Gary Coleman at 42, I'm reminded of the time I laughed at a (possibly staged) setpiece on an early episode of THE SURREAL LIFE (during its' stint on the then-WB network) where Coleman was pestered by Vanilla Ice to do the "What'chu talkin' about, Willis?" catchphrase.

Now, I'm regretting my earlier laughter.

Safe to guess it's absolute hell to be a child star and peak early and be discarded by the Industry once you age out of your "cuteness."

And, when your body stays childlike due to physical ailments, the hell is multiplied.

Any time Coleman had public tantrums or was prodded by showbiz media to have more tantrums to give them "good TV", the hell multiplied exponentially.

RIP Gary. Again, sorry for laughing without truly understanding.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

For a second year in a row, AMERICAN IDOL plays it ultrasafe.

Awhile back, I guessed that AMERICAN IDOL would give the prize to someone that Simon Fuller and his management team could easily control--relegating the more individualistic talent to runner-up.

And, for the second year in a row, it has happened.

Obviously, rootsy-bland Lee DeWyze is destined for AlternaLite radio formats in the U.S. (while 3rd-place Casey James--who did a not-bad duet of "Every Rose Has Its' Thorn" with miracle man Bret Michaels--will probably go the Chris Daughtry route).

As for Crystal Bowersox, what she should do (even if there's dumb gossip-column backlash) is order Fuller to leave her alone while the album is being recorded. And Crystal should pick her own producer; my top two suggestions would be Rick Rubin and T-Bone Burnett.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010



Unless there's some kind of 11th-hour renewal being devised, last night's season finale of LAW AND ORDER served as a decent-enough valedictory episode for the series' 20-year run.

I wish I could write reams of brilliantly articulate analysis of the show. Suffice to say that I began to be hooked on it around the summer of 1992, when I watched the late-night repeats on A&E.

And I've followed just about all of the series and spinoffs (excepting the CONVICTIONS one, where Dick Wolf seemed to be channeling EQUAL JUSTICE from two decades earlier) ever since--though SVU has devolved into over-the-topness for the past three seasons.

Hoping that the upcoming LAW AND ORDER: LOS ANGELES (nicknamed LOLA by the entertainment media) is an honorable carrying-forward of the franchise.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Re this morning's L.A. City Council meeting about nonprofits' $1/year leases.

The item below was part of this morning's Los Angeles City Council meeting; essentially, it was intended to end the $1 per year lease for nonprofit organizations (including Venice's Beyond Baroque). Highlighting below is by me.

ITEM NO. (9)
08-2762 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS and BUDGET AND FINANCE COMMITTEES’ REPORT relative to a proposed Non-Profit Lease Subsidy and Real Property Sale Policy. Recommendations for Council action: 1. ADOPT a Non-Profit Lease Subsidy and Real Property Sale Policy, including eligibility criteria/general terms and conditions, as specified in Attachment I of the Committee report, with a sunset clause of five years from the date of Council adoption unless extended by Council. 2. INSTRUCT the General Manager, Department of General Services (GSD), to prepare lease agreements for qualifying non-profit organizations for a minimum 5 year term, in accordance with the Non-Profit Lease Subsidy and Real Property Sale Policy, for consideration and recommendation by the Municipal Facilities Committee to the Council. 3. INSTRUCT the City Clerk to track the number and amount of subsidies for below market rate leases and real property sales by Council District and forward that information to the City Administrative Officer (CAO) for inclusion in financial status report. 4. INSTRUCT the CAO and the Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA), with input from the City Attorney and other appropriate departments, to develop application procedures, consistent with those adopted for Special Events Fee Subsidies. 5. REQUEST the City Attorney to prepare any necessary ordinance or amending ordinance to implement the policy or procedures including: a. Possible addition of a sole source requirement into the policy regarding sales of City-owned property to non-profit organizations, in addition to the established City process to declare surplus property. b. Additional language to differentiate non-profit organizations that work directly on behalf of the City from the broader definition of non-profit organizations. 6. REQUEST the Board of Commissioners of Airports, Harbor, Water and Power, Recreation and Parks and Library to consider adopting a Non-Profit Lease Subsidy and Real Property Sale Policy similar to that specified in Attachment I of the report, to the extent that terms and conditions are applicable. Further, provide a written response within 30 days to the Budget and Finance Committee regarding the applicability of such a policy on department operations and continue to provide status reports every calendar quarter, until such a policy is adopted, as applicable (Note: The Department of Recreation and Parks already has an adopted "Board Policy on Partnerships"). WEDNESDAY 05-19-10 PAGE 11
7. INSTRUCT the CAO and the CLA to review this policy and report back to the Council regarding the fiscal impact on the City in conjunction with the City's annual budget deliberation. 8. INSTRUCT the CAO and the CLA to report on: a) The timeline needed by the GSD to negotiate new leases with non-profit organizations; b) more detailed estimates of potential revenue as a result of new lease agreements; and, c) the timeline required to implement the tracking and reporting process. 9. INSTRUCT the CAO and CLA to expand the subsidy referenced in Attachment I to include any eligible funds that the Council District has direct control over and not limit the subsidy to the Special Fund Fee Subsidy Reimbursement line item only. 10. INSTRUCT the CAO and CLA on Attachment II of the Committee report to change all waiver references from a waiver to a subsidy. 11. INSTRUCT the CAO and CLA on Attachment II to evaluate and report on the need to include under Real Property Sales the requirement for a non-profit organization to create or retain one full-time equivalent, permanent job for each $10,000 of market rate sale price waived (subsidized). Fiscal Impact Statement: The CAO and CLA report that adoption of this policy is anticipated to increase General Fund and Special Fund receipts, primarily from limiting lease subsidies to 50 percent of market rate which is estimated to generate rental receipts of approximately up to $1.5 million annually. Community Impact Statement: None submitted.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Covering Ben Folds' "Rockin' The Suburbs."

The words of Folds and the intensity of Shatner and Eastwood--it's all here:

Needless to say, Ben Folds performed this song last night at the Music Box in Hollywood in a rather better fashion.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I just can't quit reading The Rooster from Wooster's blog.

Imagine a poet who is so aesthetically conservative, it emanates from him like the scents of curry powder or garlic. And imagine that poet longing for a more raucous past--though he's comfortable these days with controlled readings and controlled poets.

As that great philosopher/trickster Duke the dog from the Bush's Beans commercials might say:
"It's just crazy!!!!"
[UPDATE 5/3/10: On Victor's blog I made a reference to another poet which I later conceded was unnecessary--his response was to throw the word "bully" at me. So I include here comments of mine, followed by his response:
To be truthful, there are some insightful entries you write here--and I value your opinions on all things comic-book, Neil Gaiman, etc.But on the subject of poetry, you can be so fatuous on occasion that irreverent responses are warranted. Your original entry makes me imagine Mitt Romney longing for a tab of Blue Sunshine.If you want to be a shaper of poets and poetry, then feedback you don't want to hear will come with the territory.
You gratuitously insult people until they to pay attention to you. You're a bully. Sorry to be the one to point it out.As always, I don't care a whit what you do, and only take exception when you use my space to needlessly insult people who've done you no harm. Gratuitously insulting people is what your blog is for.
There you have it. I'm a bully.]