Fuck ’em

Cutting back on televised categories is EXACTLY what they should do to make the show watchable, but somebody really screwed up when they decided to include editing and cinematography in the excised group.

Here are the words of the academy member who nailed it:

“You move the Oscars for the two jobs that are hand-in-hand collaborations with the director but televise the award for animated short.”

If this were my choice, I’d televise ONLY

Best Picture
Best Animated Feature
Best Foreign-Language Picture
Best Documentary Feature
The four acting categories
The two writing categories
The two music categories
Editing
Cinematography

Absolutely nobody cares about shorts of any kind.

I am not discounting the value of production design or sound editing or special effects or anything else, but the viewers simply don’t know any of the nominees and therefore have no interest in the outcome.

While that is also true of editing and cinematography, it obvious that the overall pace and coherence of the film, as well as its appearance, are two of the most important elements in the process. As Alfonso Cuaron wrote, “In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing.”

Actually, I think Cuaron is wrong in saying no film has ever existed without editing. Alexander Sokurov’s Russian Ark, a complex feature-length film which is considered a masterpiece by some, was shot entirely with the camera rolling in one single uninterrupted take, and went straight from the camera to the theaters. But Sokurov just did that to prove he could do it. Cuaron’s point is valid in general.

He didn’t use the word “lied.” He said “contradicted by other evidence.”

“The committee has identified several individuals with direct knowledge of the phone calls you denied receiving from the White House.”

The king of the Big Dick Toilets was not subpoenaed, but he did testify under oath.

Oops.

Whitaker’s 15 minutes are just about up. In fact, he may no longer be acting AG when you read this. Barr’s confirmation vote should be held on Thursday.

Lyndon LaRouche, the political extremist and conspiracy theorist who ran for president in eight consecutive national elections, died Tuesday, his political action committee confirmed. He was 96.”

One of the more fascinating tidbits: he ran one of his eight Presidential campaigns from prison! He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for running some scam or another, but he only served about six years. I presume they let him out early because they just got tired of listening to him. I think even Charles Manson found him “a little out there.”

Although he did nothing that I know of on the internet, he was the true father of internet nutbaggery. He was a prominent nutburger before it was even a thing. If you took ten of his wackiest positions and intermingled them with ten headlines from the late, lamented Weekly World News, nobody but a true LaRouche expert could tell the difference.

Although LaRouche was pretty much wrong about everything he ever said, I suppose he may well turn out to be right about his overall premise:

“A central tenet of his apocalyptic platform warned of an inevitable global downward slide into crisis.”

True enough. That may not happen in the next ten or a hundred or even a million years, but I suppose it is inevitable. Maybe it will occur fairly soon in cosmic terms, or maybe not until the sun burns out. Making that prediction is sort of like predicting that Dwayne Johnson will die. No matter how fit and healthy he seems today, your prediction has to be right eventually.

Joey Heatherton in Bluebeard (1972)

I’ve told the story many times, but for those of you who haven’t heard it, she once hit on me. I was in the piano bar at The Sign of the Dove, in a toney area of uptown Manhattan on 3rd Avenue, which was my favorite hang-out when I was in NYC. (It is no longer there. It was razed around the turn of the century when its block was cleared for a high-rise.)

The idea that Joey Heatherton hit on me sounds ridiculous until you realize that she did not look like the Joey Heatherton in the film clip linked above. THAT Joey Heatherton would have been hanging out with Sinatra and his pals and she probably would have had her entourage throw me in a puddle so she could use me to step over it. MY Joey looked sick – terribly thin. Some of the people in the bar told me she had some substance abuse problems, but I don’t know that for a fact. I do know that she looked more like the “now” version of Joey in this picture, and that she was wacked out of her tree that night, either drunk or stoned. Hell, she must have been out of her mind to hit on me.

She became livid when I declined, so enraged that the bartender called security and had her ejected. I felt kinda flattered by the attention – until the barkeep told me that it was a recurring scene there, and that she always reacted like that when rejected, which happened frequently.

Stella Stevens in Slaughter (1972)

We so rarely see large natural breasts these days that it’s easy to forget what they look like.

Has any human contributed more to grade-B entertainment than Stella? 1 In addition to all the abysmal movies she appeared in, she gave birth to Andrew Stevens, and therefore gave us another complete generation of “other crap.”

By the way, Stella is still with us. She turned 80 in October.

(1) I deliberately excluded William Shatner from that question with the word “human.” He is more than a mere mortal in the grade-B universe. He is a god.

Trump’s claim about Beto’s rally: “He has 200 people, 300 people.”

The facts: “Estimates from O’Rourke’s anti-border wall protest show that 7,000 to 8,000 people attended his rally. Some other reports put attendance as high as 10,000 to 15,000.”

Trump’s claim about his own rally: “The arena holds 8,000. And thank you, Fire Department. They got in about 10,000. Thank you, Fire Department. Appreciate it.”

The Fire Department: “Fire Department spokesman Enrique Aguilar told the El Paso Times on Monday that Trump did not receive permission to exceed the limit and that there were 6,500 people inside the building during the president’s rally.”

No wonder he doesn’t want us to see his tax returns! Not a big numbers guy.

In some degree to fairness to Trump, he’s probably not much worse at numbers than most other politicians. I have to say that I never once saw any of our campus activists, right or left, YAF or SDS, in a non-required math class. They were not big on classes where you couldn’t assert your superior solution by shouting down the opposition.

And it’s not just a right-wing phenomenon. Remember that Elizabeth Warren claimed that the number of Americans incarcerated for low-level marijuana offenses was greater than the number locked up for all violent crimes! That claim was even more ridiculous than Trump’s boasts about his crowd sizes. The numbers are not even vaguely comparable.

* In the federal prisons, of the approximately 180,000 prisoners, only about 250 are there for drug possession, and only about 12% of those involve marijuana. That means about 30 people in the entire vast expanse of the United States. Of course that is 30 too many, but those 30 are a drop in the bucket compared to the inmates who were convicted of violent crimes.

* In the state prisons, about 3.4% of all prisoners are in for drug possession – of any kind of drug, not just reefer. Assuming the same ratio as the Feds (marijuana possession offenders as a percentage of all of possession offenders), that means about 5000 people are incarcerated for marijuana possession in a total prison population of more than a million. It is regrettable that we have imprisoned more than five thousand people for possession of some doobie. If I were the president, I’d pardon them all. But again – that is an insignificant group beside the violent offenders (some 700,000).

Action Movies Feature A Hidden Villain Revealed In The Third Act

SPOILER ALERT:

Yes, and sometimes it screws up the entire movie. Bad Times at the El Royale was a pretty good movie until it introduced a third act villain (the Mighty Thor) who was completely irrelevant to the main mystery, therefore suddenly becoming a completely different movie. Unfortunately that new movie wasn’t nearly as good as the one that got interrupted.