Saturday, November 06, 2010

Stuff-be warned some politics

1. Movie posters have been real pop art since the early days of the silents. I'm always on the look-out for for good ones and thanks to Ain't It Cool I came across the above today. Great B movie title and equally great art.

2. I'm beginning to wonder if Zach Galifianakis is going to last much longer at the top. Unless he's hiding the kind of talent that would allow him to play other kinds of characters I think he'll burn out pretty fast doing his take on irritating child-like assholes.

3. Nobody's raised this point yet but I wonder if there's not something more behind Keith Olberman's suspension than his political contributions. The always stupid Howard Kurtz wrote this morning that Olberman should apologize to MSNBC. Wrong as usual. MSNBC should apologize to all of us who owe Olberman for being the voice of truth for so many years. Yes he can be a gasbag, a blowhard, a narrow-minded lefty, a poor imitation of Edward R. Murrow--but he's proven himself to be a brave, witty, insightful commentator who always offers the real facts first and then his commentary. People don't seem to notice that many of his guests quietly (and often) disagree with him. There's a real give and take sometimes. Whatever piece of shit suspended him should himself be suspended--by a thin frayed rope over the Grand Canyon. One of my real heroes Sen. Bernie Sanders calls it "a disgrace" and writes about it here on Huff Post.

4. I noted on my political postings that Jon Stewart irritated me at his rally when he seemed to equate left tv/radio talkers with right radio/tv talkers. This "equivalancy" bullshit spoiled the entire rally for me. The other thing wrong with it was that it wasn't about anything. Sanity? What Stewart was sanctimoniously promoting was mediocrity and cowardice. Bill Maher really took him on and down last night. This is just a few minutes long but well worth watching.

5. I'm sorry to see so many of these celebrity couples divorcing, I'd be even sorrier if I knew who the hell any of them are.


Peter L. Winkler said...

Regarding Galifianakis, every few years another unattractively untalended comic actor comes along and suddenly becomes ubiquitous. Most of them never go away. First there was Pee Wee Herman, then Pauly Shore, Jim Carrey, and then Adam Sandler.

I hear that Pee Wee Herman may make a comeback. Pauly Shore seems to have disappeared, though only death can stop these guys.

Maybe Galifianakis will pull a Robin Williams and play a psych killer or a straight, unfunny part, for which he'll probably be highly praised.

Feh! on the lot of them.

Dave Zeltserman said...

I don't know, Ed. Zach Galifianakis is very good in Bored to Death (as is Ted Dansen).

Tom Mason said...

Hi Ed -- TV writer Mark Evanier makes the same observation about Keith Olberman that you do - that it feels like there's much more to the story than is being told.

Matt said...

Word around the campfire is there are two things going on.

One is that someone at Comcast found out about Olbermann's donations and made a few calls to MSNBC. Until the Internet completely kills for-pay cable, Comcast's massive share of content delivery still gives them this kind of power. And given their rabid Republican track record, it's no surprise they'd use this info to hurt a purported progressive.

The other is that Olbermann isn't performing like he used to. And his projected numbers are only getting softer. MSNBC - which, as a corporation, is no slouch at leading Republican lines itself - has been sort of looking for an excuse to save on his salary which they no longer feel contributes to their margin.

Oh, and you should absolutely check out Bored To Death if you haven't already.

Ed Gorman said...

Yeas Matt I have checked out Bored To Death, that was one of the performances I was pointing to. Same old same old. He may be able to stretch some. We'll see.

Charlieopera said...

The suspension is silly. I don’t think there’s a person out there who cares whether these clowns donate or not. My issue with Olbermann (and all the rest of them, O’Reilly, Maddow, etc.) is the obviousness of their agenda (the inflections of their voice, etc.) ... for someone who cares nothing for what either party has to say anymore (they both unashamedly represent corporate America), I could care less what either of them (parties) claim or propose. I simply don’t believe them.

I’d like to see someone go after both parties with equal venom (and/or truth seeking), but that isn’t going to happen in my lifetime (the closest is Jon Stewart, I guess). As for Maher’s issue with Stewart, I saw that too but I can’t help but think he’s being a bit hypocritical himself (Maher is) when he marginalizes his disappointments with Obama while spinning white house “accomplishments”. I forget who it was that just interviewed Moore a few days ago when Moore pleaded (again) for Obama to grow a pair and try and ram home some legislation (too late now, probably), but he did finally recognize the power breakaway parties might wield come 2012 (except this reminds me of the health insurance situation when he backed down right before the vote and supported the watered down compromise insurance companies are doing just fine by).

Olbermann was a GREAT sports caster (at least I thought so) ... now I can’t stand to hear his voice (and refuse to). MSNBC and FOX have chased me to CNN for most of the news I listen to these days (the lesser of two evils ... so shame on me).

Bills only down by 7 right now ... this could be the week we win one ... or lose our 8th ... or lose our 8th and third consecutive in OT ... the possibilities give Bills fans a reason to live ...

Todd Mason said...

Well, though I have not audience to speak of, I had similar criticisms to those of Bill Maher of the Sanity/Fear rally, and delivered them earlier:

Mostly what I see in both the Juan Williams and Keith Olbermann cases is bosses having temper tantrums and taking an excuse to slap down "disobedient" talking heads (or, in NPR's case with Williams, voice from a barrell, the closest approximation to a talking head on radio). Comcast wouldn't need to be involved, though I wouldn't put it past them...while NBC is no longer owned by GE, I doubt the corporate culture there has changed altogether from when it was pretty blatantly the news broadcast network of The Man.

Gallifinakis is an excellent stand-up comedian who is being typecast, and in BORED TO DEATH he has at least a decent set of (sadly still rather sophomoric, but clever) scripts to work his film work, not so much. If he, like Jim Carrey in ETERNAL SUNSHINE or Will Ferrell in STRANGER THAN FICTION can find a vehicle as an actor that might actually use his talent, he might show you something...but, of course, neither of those were the highest-grossing films of their respective careers, by some distance. Pauly Shore is vomited up from time to time, but he was always a joke, who couldn't tell nor deliver one. His mother ran an important (and reportedly often highly unpleasant, for the comedians) comedy nightclub, and that was his sole pathetic route to any sort of performance career. Richard Simmons with no other agenda. Joe Besser with less assured schtick.

Famous people divorcing? Oh, well...can't even name 'em.

For your leftist news coverage, well, on TV you have LinkTV and a few scraps elsewhere (not MSNBC), and on radio Pacifica...and not a lot else. Though I enjoy NPR's ON THE MEDIA about as much as I do THE DAILY SHOW and THE COLBERT REPORT (and REAL TIME...which is more incosistent than the former three). Certainly DEMOCRACY NOW! and the TED show and such can be seen and heard on the Link/Pacifica feeds.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Oberman's viewer numbers continue to grow though I liked him better when he did not push the agenda so much as he does now. Now, he seems to stray too often into preach mode which I don't care for. Frequently his guests do disagree with him and that discussion is always civil--not something seen elsewhere.

What strikes me as hypocritical is the fact that apparently Ed Hurtz and somebody else who escapes my mind at the moment donated to Republican candidates WITHOUT PRIOR APPROVAL (which is Oberman's sin supposedly) and are still on the air. Apparently Oberman's real sin is donating to Democrats as if he had donated to the Republican/Tea Party folks, he would still be on the air.

At least, one can hope we get six weeks off before the ads for 2012 start.