Tuesday, August 31, 2004

If You Use Internet Explorer

Go to mozilla.com and download firefox as your new web browser. You won't need explorer anymore. I've only used it for ten minutes and like it more.

What a bold speech last night, or at least the part when he addressed terrorism...I'll link it up later, my computer is messed up right now, but basically, he pointed at Europe and said, appeasement of terrorism has gone on too long and only emboldened the terrorists. He chastised a world in which allows political agendas to be heard through terrorist violence - why else, he argued would Yasser Arafat have a nobel peace prize.

He's not a great speaker, but on this point I think he was exactly right.

"Terrorism did not start on September 11, 2001. It had been festering for many years.

And the world had created a response to it that allowed it to succeed. The attack on the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics was in 1972. And the pattern had already begun.

The three surviving terrorists were arrested and within two months released by the German government.

Action like this became the rule, not the exception. Terrorists came to learn they could attack and often not face consequences.

In 1985, terrorists attacked the Achille Lauro and murdered an American citizen who was in a wheelchair, Leon Klinghoffer.

They marked him for murder solely because he was Jewish.

Some of those terrorists were released and some of the remaining terrorists allowed to escape by the Italian government because of fear of reprisals.

So terrorists learned they could intimidate the world community and too often the response, particularly in Europe, was "accommodation, appeasement and compromise."

And worse the terrorists also learned that their cause would be taken more seriously, almost in direct proportion to the barbarity of the attack.

Terrorist acts became a ticket to the international bargaining table.

How else to explain Yasser Arafat (news - web sites) winning the Nobel Peace Prize when he was supporting a terrorist plague in the Middle East that undermined any chance of peace? "

Monday, August 30, 2004

I hate little tid bits of wisdom, like...

Strong handshakes and I judge a man by what shoes he wears, blah, blah, blah.

I judge a guy by what stupid, simplistic oversimplications he makes about other people.

As you'll note, I'm self-conscience about my handshake.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Mean Creek

Saw it this afternoon, it had some good and not so good parts. I loved the girl in it - thought she was amazing. Didn't understand some things, like how could the fat kid not know how to swim? Whatever.

During the previews, a film called Bush's Brain was previewed, a hyper-paranoid look at Karl Rove suggesting he mind controls all of Bush's behaviour. My reaction...what the fuck is going on in this country? Have we been reduced to paranoids without any sense of control over our own lives? This trend is troubling to me, a loss of rational thinking about problems and people and solutions and reduction to paranoid fantasy's, chasing phantoms as substitute for our problems. It's truly insane. Documentary films are the crazy left's answer to Rush Limbaugh and I have contempt for both...

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Now That's What I Call A Good Review

I want to read Cloud Atlas, now.
Interesting People and Things to follow up on

Joe Roth: Head of Disney, produced Rushmore, likes soccer, started Revolution Studios to make less-commerical fare.

V.S. Naipaul

Nobel Prize winning author, travel writer, indian, super rough on Islam.

New York Time Magazine article on suicide bombers


The Power of the Blogosphere

I certainly relate to the "low-level" blogger. All the advice to "grow" your readership basically says:

1. Find other low-level bloggers and post with them.

2. Send interesting stories to high level bloggers to get a post.

I've sent a couple of posts to instapundit and never gotten a link. I still curse myself for not being present when GW Bush spoke at USC admist protesters and counter-protesters and instapundit was asking for on-the-scene commentary. It could have been me.

I haven't found many "low-level" blogs worth posting to. I actually don't search for "low-level" blogs like myself. It's simply a matter of time and effort.

What I've done to promote a readership is basically word of mouth and tried to get whom I think are interesting people with interesting voices to read and interact with my blog. I've encouraged people to start blogs themselves, but that's usually doesn't work much.

Drezner, Sullivan, and Instapundit all frame blogs within the context as a challenge to big media, uncovering unreported stories - famously the Trent Lott fiasco, the criticisms of the New York Times, and now the Swift Boat veterans issue. More importantly, however, blogs seem to be a big hit AMOUNGST people who work in the media. They read blogs and figure out the issues people are talking about - the stories which ought to become news. Drezner points this out in the article above - blogs frame the debate.

There are others who think blogs are personal online diaries. I woke up today and ran two miles. So-so talked to me last night at the bar. This type of thing.

I tend to think of blogs as somewhere in-between. The analogy I've been using is that blogs are an ongoing online college dorm room discussion. The point of talking about personal things isn't to record what happened, but to analyze it. It's sociology and psychology. The political angle is about ideology and the way in which we ought to interact with others.

College is probably one the best American institutions. The Dorm Room discussions are probably one of the biggest intangibles of one's college experience, beyond classes and parties and significant others and all of that, it's the late night discussions about beliefs and dreams and hopes. Blogs can do that for free, whereas college costs an arm and a leg and ends after 4 years.
The Russian Plane

Like I said in this post, Al Queda's a brand now, see the article.

Friday, August 27, 2004

The Risk

Is my blog a personal journal? I'd like to think not...I hate the idea of a personal journal, but I like the idea of publications with personality. I know there's a difference, I just hope I capture it.

Speaking of which, there's a good chance I will be fired from my part time job. I showed up massively late today, because, well, if I sleep past my alarm, I wake at 7am and I'm already 2 hours late.

Bottom line, I need the money, film school is so damn expensive, and I really don't want to be fired. But I wouldn't have much of an argument if they decided they wanted to replace me.

Maybe I'll be able to blog more, that is, if I can keep my internet connection.
One of my favorite blogs, going bad

Why is instapundit constantly talking about the Kerry-swiftboat issue. Who cares?

It's such a boring topic, honestly.
Supposedly Divided

Or so was the topic on NPR today. Some political theorist from Stanford was talking about how the country isn't actually divided when it comes to issues, that it's the political elites who are divisive. He looked at polling data and it suggested that most Americans are fairly middle of the road on nearly every issue, the war, the economy, education, abortion...but the political activists and lobbies and special interests and ideologues, that is, the politically active population who are deeply divided.

He pointed out that only 7% of Americans watched Farenheit 9/11 and only 8% listen to Rush Limbaugh. The vast majority don't have an interest in either one.

Furthermore, ideologues on both sides push issues to the forefront that don't really concern most Americans. Gay marriage hardly affects anyone. Abortion hardly affects anyone. These are symbolic political positions - all about showing "what side" you are on. Real political issues are the war on terrorism, education, the economy and jobs - these are issues that matter to a vast majority of people because it affects us.

I find this to be utterly true. If you get a group of people together over drinks, they're mostly going to agree on the right way to do things, and at the very least, acknowledge the possibility of another way working...but this is not what the ideologues would have you believe. They would have us believe that their is deep division amoungst Liberals and Conservatives and one way is the right way - and it's their way.

Thursday, August 26, 2004


We regret this later.
There's Something Comforting...

About teenage cruelty. It makes me partially nostalgic. Creepy, eh? Does this in some way prepare us for the real world, make us better people?
Vincent Gallo

Was on Howard Stern this morning and talking shit as usual. Interesting guy, I want to check out his new movie, Brown Bunny, which is out this weekend in LA.

He is apparently a Bush supporter and criticizes liberals for having such contempt for regular jo americans. He also mentioned that anyone with a profound vision is likely to be reviled. I find this interesting, but don't make the connection that being reviled necessarily means you have a profound vision.

According to Ebert (see trivia section) Brown Bunny is the worst movie ever screened at Canne. If that doesn't make you want to see it...

I think his point about liberals is interesting. There is a tendancy amongst coasty liberals to truly believe in their heart of hearts that most Americans are big stupid slobs. Maybe they're right. But they don't extend that same criticism to people living in the third world, in Africa, in Arab countries - those people are devoid of opportunities and fairness, and are merely misunderstood. To say, savage is unthinkable and racist.

Why is it fair to be so harsh on Americans and not equally harsh to say, Palestinians who espouse suicide bombings? Or vice versa, why not extend to humanitarian compassion we feel towards "victims" to all people. Is there a class of victims who deserve sympathy and a class of "victors" who deserve contempt? What class are you in?

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Fuck Filmmaking

What gnarly day. 546 is a hectic frigging class, 4 entire crews watching and commenting on everything with 8 faculty - what a mess. What a model of how not to make an interesting and bold movie. Beyond all that, organizing a crew this large with schedules and personalities is a nightmare unto itself. And USC, what a bureaucratic and expensive mess. It's over.

On a bright end note, I saw the best silent movie I've ever seen this evening - the Lodger, by Hitchcock. Glad I'm not going to pay for the class.
So This is the Best Article I've Read on Health Insurance in a Long Time

Nevermind, make that ever.
Waking Life

I'm intermittently watching the Linkletter film that I've seen parts of before. It's a fun film to watch intermittently. I like how he uses characters from his other movies, Ethan and Julie from Before Sunrise, years later, the kid from Dazed and Confused. It's nice to wax intellectual sometimes.
Regardless of Whether It's Al Queda

They're using the Al Queda tactic, or brand. Al Queda's a freaking franchise now, open to any lunatic with ability to raise a little cash to wreck havoc. Grrreeaat.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

"You have to kiss ass"

Or so says the DP on my project as they took away his TA-ship. What I don't understand is why one person gets a scholarship, a tony job, and a TA ship and another gets...nothing. And why is it so damn hard to register for classes?
Al Sadr

If we've learned nothing from the last couple of years, it's we can't negotioate with dickheads. Take him down, I say...

We talk about our credibility, etc, but why doesn't anyone ever hold guys who have proven to be untrustworthy responsible. This guy is a thug, plain and simple, negotiation for him is a tactic, not something that can be taken at face value.

I hope the Iraqi governing counsel shows some balls here.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Back to School

First day of school, was busy. I'm trying to stick it out with an internship and work, but am not really sure how it'll all pan out.

Went to a sitcom pilot class today with mostly undergraduates. Don't think i'll be staying in it - but I guess it depends of what other classes I get into.

Can't figure out how to print this stupid movie magic budget form

Sunday, August 22, 2004


In addition to taking down the twin towers and the pentagon, al queda might also succesfully take down the CIA.

At least people are thinking and moving and shaking.
Casino's In California

I didn't find a good article on Casino's in Cali, but basically they're talking about expanding gambling all around urban areas (prop 68) in addition to the Indian gaming, etc, etc. I played poker the other day at the Commerce Casino off the 5 freeway. When did gambling become legal?

Anyhow, half of me hates the idea of legal gambling...it basically amounts to being a regressive tax when the government collects gaming money (lotteries and they collect from casinos). I don't think the government should be out there gaming for money. It seems wrong to me.

The other half of me loves to gambling and to play cards, so I say, bring it on. Specifically, it's the Asian half.
This Is Becoming a Bad Habit

Hi all
I made a mistake on the dates I sent you earlier
the shoot dates are
test Sept 4,5
First principle September 18,19 and then the next 3 weekends
Pick ups October 23,24

Posting emails, that is.

So after you've spoken to your locations, your actors, your crew, your donators, and made all of your arrangements...adjust them for a week earlier. As if producing for the first time wasn't hard enough. Talk about annoying.
I Told You So

It's not the government we should be concerned about messing with our free speech - it's our employers.

I can see both sides of the issue, but to what degree do we self-censor ourselves to keep our jobs. My guess: a lot.
Politics and Humor

Good article on Bush humor. It says it's gotten meaner, but the examples don't seem all that mean.

My friend went to see F 9/11 yesterday and it was weird to think about the movie again, since I haven't thought about it much since I saw it. She saw it and said, "It's propaganda, entertaining propaganda."

Well, it made a lot of money.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

When You're Right, You're Right

Of course Bush could stop them, or should we say Rove? I like how Edwards is calling him on it.

Who really cares anyway what happened 30 years ago in a complex situation? I guess maybe that's what Bush is going for...
I Love Sports

As much as I cringe every time I heard about the US Men's Bball team, I have to admit I love the fact that other teams can compete with us.

Is that unpatriotic?
Moralistic Friend

So my friend from college was a little outraged at the reality show blogging posts. Her argument: the girl didn't know I was posting her emails. It's true, what can I say. I let the potential amusement of the exercise outweight that consideration...especially because mostly only people I know read the blog. It's basically crank calling, which is mean, but funny...and then recording it.

So I've taken out references to the specific girl, so now we run less risk of anyone being able to connect to the whole thing personally and it simply becomes a little slice of life. Come to think of it, now, it really isn't all that interesting or dramatic anyway.

I always use the test of how I would feel about it if someone did it to me (which isn't always good, because I have weird sensibilities), but I would think it's quite funny and only be upset if it reflected on me poorly in the eyes of someone I cared about. Which, I don't think this does, for her.
Garden State My Ass

So this guy Zack Braff has a blog. That's pretty cool. But I really didn't like Garden State much, a super faux-intellectual film that wasn't quite funny enough or poignant enough to get my attention. Every jack-ass wannabe of my generation, though, seems like like the film and I could quite possibly just be way off in my assessment. It did feel like a movie I could have written, if there wasn't anyone to beat the pretention out of me. At the same time, the guy laid out his heart on the page, so I'll give him that. It's just I'm not sure that particular heart has all that much to say.

And for godsake, is Natalie Portman still 14 years old?

Friday, August 20, 2004

So Full of Shit

I want to kick this Judo-champion's ass. I swear I'd fight this fucking guy, even though he might break my bones.

He's protesting Israel. That's the biggest bullshit I've ever heard. Does anyone believe this stuff anymore? The Muslim world has a deep, deep, deep, problem, not just with a fanatical group, but with "moderates" that allows them to stand by and think that for one second his refusal to play an Israeli athlete is anything other than pure anti-semitism.

There are genocides occuring in Africa. There is brainwashing and cannibalism in North Korea. There are atrocities all across the Arab world being committed against Arabs by Arabs....And the only thing this Iranian athlete decides to make a political stand against is the state of Israel?

The sheer narrowness of this position astounds me. And I have no idea how to combat it.
Fired for Being Gay or For Blogging?

Check out this frigging article in the San Fran chronicle.

Those who know me remotely well right now can see my face getting red with anger about this. The absolute outrage, that someone could be fired for a blog post. What the f****k?

Okay, and being fired for being gay....I make fun of gay people and gay things, but being fired is just plain fucked up and especially in San Francisco and ESPECIALLY a teacher. If they fired all the gay teachers, well, imagine that? Who the hell would teach art and drama? Bad joke. I just need to prove I'm heterosexual.

But seriously, I must have had 4-5 gay teachers growing up and at least 4-5 more in college/grad school - homeroom, math teachers (several), sound profs (gay holman). It never affected me a bit...it was just more thing to either like or dislike about a person. If I liked the teacher, they were cool and different and open minded. If I didn't like him/her, he was a homo on top of being a toolrod.

This is an outrage. Where is Gov'ner McGreevy to stomp on these religious freaks.
I Need to Move On From This Topic...

...but it's waaay too much fun. The latest:

Hey, Greg.

I have no idea what you're talking about. [halo] I don't know that they consider themselves to be a rival band, but that's how I see them. They're the near-epitome of the kind of LA band I hate: mildly talented and extremely arrogant musicians masquerading as intellectuals. Only the lead singer admits he hates my band, but he does it so vocally I'm forced to do the same. Peurile, perhaps, but whatever. Anyway, here's my band website if you're interested - (blank) I'm currently looking for a new bass player (and maybe guitar player), so if you know anyone, send 'em my way.

Screenings sound like fun. I've had enough school-sponsored gallery shows to have developed a taste for the de riguer post-event cheese party. Let me know the next time you have one.

Okay, so she's not really helping me lose interest in dating her. Look at the website (it's been censored)- this girl is a like a hidden rocker chick (see those tats in the pictures) badass.

So my only course of action is to, if I get any time, surreptitiously check out a show and see if she's any good.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Conclusion to Reality Blogging

Since no one posted a suggested reply, I responded myself:

Hey (blank),

Well handled. Subtle, yet clear. To answer your question, we have screenings. Usually they’re pretty fun. I know most of the people who worked on the films, and it’s followed by a Charles Shaw and cheese party at USC, which despite being in a crappy part of town, is a nice campus.

I didn’t know you were in a band. Cool. Even cooler is the fact that you guys have a rival band. I’ll pack tomatoes and keep my eyes open this weekend.

Take it easy,

I hope my email properly closes the door on the situation. I don't think there is any point in staying in platonic touch with the girl. For me, it'll just be frustrating and a waste of time, despite her being a nice, and HOT, chick. The whole boyfriend thing is not worth it, even if they were on the outs...which I have no indication of. I think there's two schools of thought for decent guys to take: 1) Hey, they're ain't no ring and 2) It's too messy with another man in the picture. I've played both angles before and think #2 is the appropriate one to take in this case.

A little analysis on the email string. The first "No" clue came in her first response...and I overlooked it because of the positive possibilities. My suggestion that we "hang out" was countered with "we can keep in touch." Had she been truly interested, she would have taken the "hang out" cue and run with it. But I think my second email was a good one, because it made it immediately clear what I wanted and she got it, if she had any questions about the first one.

Her second response was a nice way of saying:

1. I miss school.
2. I have a boyfriend.
3. I'm in a band.
4. Where do you show your work?

I'm not really sure if she's just being nice about the asking about the filmmaking stuff, or she trying to get an invite to a screening, or what. I did like that she shared the band info - which I found interesting, because why would she want to share that information with me? I mean, honestly, why would she even want to stay in touch? I barely even know her. Maybe, just like lots of working people in LA and after college, they just don't know that many people and would like to have a wider net of friends.

In any case, that's about as sophisticated as I can get. I will say, I'm disappointed that no one drafted a response, despite at least 15-20 hits in the past two days looking at this stuff (which is a great thing!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2004


Hey, Greg. Jesus, I'm so jealous. I wish I were back in school! If I could do it again, I'd drag it out a little longer instead of graduating in four years like a good little Asian American. I have fantasies of fleeing back into academia someday.

I'd love to check out the festival Saturday, but I can't; my boyfriend's buds are in town, and they're staying with us all weekend. I think my friend's band might actually be playing at the festival. If you see the (blank), throw tomatoes at 'em for me. They're something of longtime rivals of my band. They've been around longer, but we look better.

So aspiring musicians have bands and concerts to play. Artists have shows and galleries. What do aspiring filmmakers have?

'Nuff said. If one decides to make a comment on this one, it must be a fully crafted response. I'll use the best one...promise, unless no one responds, of course.

Time Elapsing

Meeting with make-up folks - some really good people out there, and scripty's...can't check email to post the Reality Show Meets Blogging Posts, but will do so as soon as I get back to a better computer...problem with gmail is that you can't see your email on certain crappy computers.

But, on a cool note, we just met with a make-up guy that works on an internet show called thespot.com which airs 30sec-1min scripted reality situations over the internet. There are online journals and 1-800 numbers for fans to call and interact with the cast. It's basically a fake reality show. AWESOME! Apparently, it's a soap opera and Fox is trying to pick up the show as real TV show. I love this idea of truly interactive media, TV meets blogging, meets phone sex, meets friendship, meets entertainment, meets acting, meets digital camera technology meets what else?????
Jennifer's Comments

Check out the comments section on this post. Jennifer is now my favorite person at my new job...

With this asking a girl out situation, my friend has encouraged me to use the George Costanza "opposite" method, doing exactly what I wouldn't normally do - write a short, pithy, direct response. It's worth a shot.

I've just getting a bunch of things together to start school next
week. There's an art and music festival in Silverlake this weekend,
we should go.


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Reality Show Meets Blogging Update

Well folks, it's been a hectic day of working, rushing to a casting session, getting a haircut (and actually falling asleep and missing my turn initially) and then to res-fest on a spur of the moment invite from a buddy to watch some Nike sponsored ads and short digital stuff at the Egyptian....more on all that crap later.

I got home eager to see the response from the email yesterday, and as promised here is the post:

Hi, Greg! We can definitely keep in touch, but email me at my personal account; the company frowns upon extra-curricular contact, even if it is friendly contact with a former employee.

So you miss (blank) yet? :) What are you up to?

Oh yeah, yeaher. Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

Monday, August 16, 2004

Reality TV Meets Blogging, Meets Greg

My buddy stopped by today and we got to talking about women. I lamented about this super hot girl I used to work with and how, of course, I did nothing about it. He was fresh off a friendster success and talking to a college classmate of ours who is seeing like 4 girls right now...he got all juiced up and insisted I email the girl.

I was like, nahhhhh, but over the course of an hour of back and forth discusssion, we crafted up this:

Hi (blank),

Since retiring from (blank) I realized that I would miss the free pencils and chatting with you. We should hang out - if you brought a couple of pencils I would be the happiest ex-(blank) employee ever.


So that's off in cyberspace and I'm awaiting a response, which, will indeed be posted. I have my predictions of what the response will be, but I think it's more fun to just let real life play it's course.
Annoying World

At my shitty email writing job this morning I was chatting with a coworker who used to be a reporter. I was incredulous, "Why would you quit being a reporter to write emails?"

Her answer: 15,000 G's a year extra in salary. But it wasn't as if she was a sell-out, she needed to pay back student loans...

This reality bugs me, both on a societal and personal level. I'll be in the same position after I finish my MFA. I'd hate to have loans dictate what I spend my time doing (in a way, they already are, I'm working at the lousy job). But on a political level, we always talk about jobs, jobs, jobs, without much concern about what TYPE of jobs they are. Sure, we talk about quality, ie money, but not what type of work we do. And I would like to live a world where people make themselves useful by doing something they care about. I guess if we lived in that world, no one would work as an email clerk taking orders from customers overseas.

And structurally, I guess we're doing a valuable service, getting customers their materials in a timely fashion so they can build their projects and so on, so forth. But who wants to spend their life being a useful cog in a machine (granted, we get leisure time, so we can have families, hobbies, etc)...I really don't know. I do think humans are on this planet to do something other that be a cog in a corporation and we could live in a world that doesn't reduce people to means (in the work sphere), rather than ends.

But it's also not as if we can look back on human history and see a time where people were doing work they enjoyed or loved. That, I'm sure, is a recent development, one my grandmother muses "wasn't even something they thought about." Most of human history has been about survival - and most of the 6 billion people living on the planet today probably feel the same way. And here I am whining about how college loans are annoying because they force people to live and work in crappy, high paying jobs. Hmmm, well, that's America for you.
All of a Sudden

Last night I think I found an amazing laundromat to use for the film shoot. We'll wait to hear the verdict from the rest of the crew, but I'm excited, and it's a giant relief for the time being. The owner is great, he told me a story about how 15 years ago he was working retail and a commericial crew came to shoot a commericial at the place where he worked. He said to himself, if he ever had his own business, he would rent it out for a film shoot. He hasn't thus far, but asked me whether I knew how to advertise his location. I told him it was the least I would do for him to allow us to shoot there, so I need to find out how to advertise, I know of a few resources, but don't know what the big studios use...I'm sure Brenda, my producing teacher, will know.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

An Event Planner

With Gabe and Dan, two of my Pomona Classmates, we're going to try to plan an Alumni event that showcases creative works of Pomona Alum...We'll set up a projector outside, showing movies, spinning music, with hopefully painters work, poets, whatever. It has the possibility of being awesome, and a showcase....

The party ought to be able to pay for itself with alcohol...

Saturday, August 14, 2004

A French Political Doctrine from 1945

Long, but interesting stuff. He proposes a tri-polar world, the Anglos, Russians, and the French-led Latin world.

Maybe they're really not our friends.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Nuclear Bombs

I don't stay up at night thinking about this, but maybe I (sic: we) should.

Experts think that there is a 50/50 chance a nuke will go off in a major US city in the next ten years. That's better odds than me directing a feature within that time, I should think. Man.

I think we need to have black op teams out there trying to sell nukes. We need to gather intel on everyone trying to buy nukes and freeze their money - and whack 'em if we can't contain them.

We need to have a two part plan for containing nukes:

1. Diplomatic - Prevent proliferation. Although everyone agrees on this, there doesn't seem to be much we can do - act too soft, and they build nukes, act too tough and they build nukes. Nukes = power. It's sucks, but it's true and no one is ever going to give up power.

2. Back - Up plans. We've got troops in Afghanistan, troops in Iraq, and troops in South Korea. One reason this is good is that we can quickly go in grab Paki nukes, Iranian nukes, or North Korean nukes, should something go terribly wrong...like say, Musharef gets assassinated, or someone starts a war with Israel, or North Korea and Japan decide to go to blows.

The other thing is containing what's already out there. Who freaking knows where all the uranium is...

Yup, the world is going to hell, for sure. We're in the second nuclear age, and frankly I think we have just as much reason to be scared as the first (although annihilation doesn't seem to be the issue, just constant fear).

All this bickering between Europe, US, and S Korea, left and right, Kerry, Bush, Michael Moore...will dissolve in the event of a mushroom cloud. We'll be bonded together in an anger and fear hundreds, if not thousands, times more powerful than 9/11. Our reaction to such an event might even be scarier than the event itself.


Well here's another article by the same guy saying the same thing, but citing some experts.

Derosa seems to think I'm a nutjob writing about this...his attitude last night at the bar sipping White Russians seemed to be "Who cares..." (add the Jersey inflection). If it happens, it happens.

Well, kind of. I agree we can't control everything, but we can try to minimalize the possibility of such horrific tragedies. In WWII, 50 million people died and the world, somehow, kept spinning. So in that respect, yeah, we'll survive, I think. But we can also go the Tom Cruise in Collateral route - we're just a little speck on speck in the universe - so who gives flying fuck about any of it.

Maybe the answer is to simply entertain ourselves as much as possible while we're here. But I don't think that. And no one I care to spend any time with thinks that.

Kevin and Alice also think I'm crazy - Kevin logically thinks such analysis needs to be weighed against prior odds of such a catastrophe and so on...basically saying, which I think is true, the predictability of such things is fairly absurd and impossible and has so many intangible factors that any type of number is basically bogus. I agree with this, but don't think the conclusion is that we throw caution to the wind, give up and say, ahhhh, it's too tough - tempting and true as that may be. The probability is a guide, a weight and not meant as some type of absolute truth.

Alice seems to think that I way overestimate the possibility of getting a nuclear bomb. She insists that it's really difficult to do so, and terrorists can't do it. I hope so. The problem with Alice's thinking, and I think most people think this way, is that to me, it is the way a heathly human being faces the world. We don't constantly worry about horrific things that really aren't within our control. If one did, no one would ever hop in a car, go out at night, or take any type of risk.
But what I'm proposing is not that we stay inside all the time, but that we reevaluate our security situation given new information and new realities. We have all sorts of systems set up to minimize risks, speed limits, safety belt laws, well-designed cars, police, the essential trustworthyness of people out at night, etc. If we didn't have these things in place, and weren't constantly reevaluating the effectiveness of such structures, the world would be a much more dangerous place.

The post-9/11 climate in America is both fascinating and freaky. There are a wide array of different reactions. There are two principal modes of thought and all sorts of nuances and subsets within those groups - Mode 1) 9/11, while tragic, does not essentially change the way I view the world. This was a criminal act and we have structures to deal with it, the UN, the FBI, the CIA, etc. Mode 2) 9/11 was a wake up call to a new type of world reality, previously unimagined, where small, clever groups of people can challenge huge power structures (ie nation-states, buildings, infrastructure) using relatively unsophisticated technology, cell phones, email, box cutter, airplanes, and home-made bombs.

Alice believes in Mode 1... But there are times when the world is radically changes, the French and American revolutions, the Industrial Revolution, World War I. Old ways of doing things become antiquated overnight. Imagine being the first army to face a foe with bow and arrows. Or artillery. All of sudden, everything you ever imagined to be the way to do things goes up in smoke. The longer you deny the reality - that your foe has arrows and can shoot you from a distance and you keep charging at him with a sword, the stupider you are. At first, maybe he can't shoot the arrow straight, and you can get him with the sword. The second time, he can shoot the arrow, but it can't penetrate your armour, and you get him again. The swordman, however, must realize that eventually, the bow and arrow is going to be effective...but if he keeps insisting on using the sword, and even if he becomes like a Jedi Knight with the thing, some day, the bow and arrow guy is going to bust out a powerful bow that can splice through armour at a 100 yards when you weren't even aware he was there.

To me, we've been the swordsman with respect to Islamic, Al Queda-like terrorism, we keep using the sword, but their bow and arrow keeps getting stronger and stronger and more effective. We need to adjust and try new things and get creative and imaginative and ruthless.

Catfight. Yeh, Yeh, Catfight.
No Sex, Please


EIDC is in charge of issuing film permits for Los Angeles. Students used to receive this service for free, but starting next week will be charged $50 per project.

For EIDC, I can see this making sense, they have to do as much (if not more) paper work for students because students are invariably doing these things for the first time and doing it themselves. I figure the studios have money and are paying someone to do it as a job (as with independent productions).

In the end, however, this basically means the end of using permits for small student productions. If you ask me, this is a good thing. Small scale student productions should not require a permit. Generally, you're in and out and nobody even notices you....although there are going to be incidents, I'm sure. Someone is going to do something stupid and get in a shitpile of trouble.

We're going to have hundreds of students from USC, UCLA, Chapmen, Loyola, LACC, AFI, all running around with DVs...I can see this being a nightmare from an administrative sense. It already is.

The whole permit thing ought to be easier than it is. I got this really angry vibe from the workers at the EIDC when I did my permit today...I could see it in their eyes, when I told them I might want to make changes later, this "Another f--king student, who makes me do all this work for free." Well, it's not as if they aren't being paid the same - it'll probably translate to some of them losing their job. For some reason, some folks are terribly resentful of anyone asking anything of them. I don't think this is a good trait of an employee. Half the dead beats working at USC are that way.

But then I talk to this chiller guy, Josh, who was like - yeah, I'll handle your permit. No worries, just get the changes in to me at a reasonable time before the production and I'll take care of it. Here's a guy who actually gives a shit about what he does and understands where I'm coming from. He wants to help and probably disagrees with the charging students (or at least reluctantly views it as a financial necessity). He kept saying, "look, you got it in before the deadline."

I'm the same way at different jobs. My internship, I'm like tell me what you need, I'll do it. Don't worry about money or food or whatever they throw at me sometimes...I do it because I like it. I'll stay late because I want to help.

At my bullshit email writing job, I'd like to have the same attitude. But yesterday, this inept supervisor gave me shit about coming in at 5:05am (not 5am). Now I'm the type of person to come in at 5:05am and leave at 10:20am to make up for the time without anyone ever noticing. Over time, these things even themselves out. You be chill with me, and I'll return the favor. And vice versa.

But because of this lame incident, I left today at 9:30am sharp. I was at the beginning of an email I could have worked in 5-10 min, but instead I dumped it back to the inbox and left on time. The reason: If they're going to be lame and strict about time, so am I. It makes no difference to me or the world whether I do that one little email. Had they been chill about time (which some of them are, granted), I would have stayed and finished it. I don't like working like that - like a freaking prisoner fighting every moment for being treated fairly....I like to chill and take long breaks if I feel like it on an easy day, and work a little extra on a heavy day. That's the way the world should be, except for simple minded fools who feel compelled to go by procedures because they don't trust their own judgement and much less, that of others. I'd like to a bigger person, but why? And if I were truly bigger, I'd just quit, but I need the money.

Production News

For all the hard work, there's been remarkably little payoff on my end. My co-producer on the other hand, has done a great job. She hooked up food donations from Whole Foods today - yum! And she hooked up film stock without a meeting. Yeah! Two fewer things to think about. Meanwhile, I'm out there negotiating with Laundromats to dump a ton of money at them to let us shoot....this was one I wanted to find a donation, but I don't think it's happening. I thought a tax write-off might be worthwhile for a laundry, but I don't think they pay much in form of taxes because of the high electricity and operating costs. Something to remember if I ever decide to go into business.
Ebay and Craigslist

EBay bought 25% of Craigslist. Craig insists it won't change things. I was bummed the other day to discover they were charging for job postings. I was annoyed because I'm trying to post for a student film, looking for all things from gaffers to a script supervisor.

But despite it being annoying for me, I do agree with the idea in principal. I think the jobs on Craigslist should be paying jobs (unlike mine) and I think if you're using craigslist to find employees, you ought to pay for the post. It's only fair.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Before Sunrise

A lovely, lovely little movie. Dave Eggers wrote something to the effect that people in the early twenties don't have interesting stories, except to them, as they're living it....I though it was kinda clever, but don't really think it's true. (Note: cleverness seems to have elevated itself over truth in popular storytelling - this is Tarantino's...and my's, because I like him so much, fault)

To me, this little movie - made when I was a junior in high school - proves him wrong. Although, I guess you could argue there isn't much story here...but whatever, I found their lives interesting and TRUE.
The Great Esctasy of Woodcarver Steiner

One of most interesting documentaries I've ever seen, Werner Herzog profiles Steiner, a ski-flyer so talented he needs to handicap himself to keep safe. The slow motion images of ski-flying (he doesn't jump, he flies) are astounding.
On Howard Stern Today

I fully plan on linking up to Howardstern.com soon and posting things up on the site, since they talk about it a lot on the show. Today Robyn brought in her nephew, a high school grad going to MIT next year. Everyone was so proud of how smart the kid was...they started talking a little about the war and the kid, although shy, clearly was the voice in favor of the Iraq war. Now the kid wasn't in favor of Bush, but he clearly thought the war was a good idea - and this is a theme I think goes a little unnoticed. The kids of the baby boomers don't think it's cool to be left-wing. It was cool for our parents to be left-wing...and hence, uncool for their kids to follow. It's not to say being right-wing is cool, but there's no romance in being anti-war, as there was during Vietnam. I mean, honestly, who really wants to be like Michael Moore?

Generations are interesting.
Gay Gov'ner

Ha. Who's next? Tom Cruise?

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Economic Upswing

As Greenspan smugly demures about the strength of the economy and his ability to steer the ship through rough waters, I have to say I agree with him...

I'll tell you why. I take email order for an industrial supply company. We ship all sorts of tools and supplies, like metals and nuts and bolts, and screws, and all sorts of things all around the world. People generally use our projects when they are building something. Many of our customers do not pay tax because whatever they are buying is going to be re-sold as another good.

Our sales have been up for most of the summer, and is one of the reasons I was hired. It is a good indication that when customers are buying the types of goods that go into making other goods, that the economy is doing well.

In recent years, the Asian market has grown and is another reason why I was hired. More than most, the Asian customers use email to place orders. Being in the LA office, we take the Asian orders early in the AM. I end up taking a lot of these orders every morning. The growth in Asian purchasing at my company has coincided with the rapid growth in China.

And just recently, in the past two weeks, we've gotten a bunch of orders from around the Middle East. Our office does not handle the Middle East, but we forward the messages onto another office. I've noticed an increase and any type of building and production going on over there is good for modernization.

So that's my hopeful confirmation of Alan Greenspan, for whatever that's worth.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


This will be a new forum on publicmusings: a weekly debate. In this section, people are encouraged to write whatever they want on the given debate topic. I urge a little bit of research before responding. The hidden goal of this, is of course, to generate some audience participation.

This week's question: Should Edgar Martinez go to the hall of fame?

Let the debate begin.
On A Shitty Note

We lost a location possibility today in the laundromat we wanted to shoot at. It completely fell through, the guy didn't understand the size of the production, despite two conversations. It looks like we'll need to pay for the laundromat. It sucks.

The documentary I'm interning with this summer just got more funding from PBS. PBS called them right away and said they had their shit together and they're cutting a check right now. It's a tough business, but calls like that are really nice.

Monday, August 09, 2004

ArcLight and the Grove

Are too expensive. And they have staggered prices on weekend nights. I've started going to Burbank and Pasadena if I want to see a movie on a Friday or Saturday night. I end up saving $5 a pop with parking and the movie cost and the quality of theaters, especially in Burbank are equal to that of the Grove.

The Grove on a weekend is a total nightmare, a traffic filled parking lot out of some sort of weird futuristic hell hole, where we sit in traffic in order to park to go to a faux Italian Palace, Shopping Center.

Other nightmare traffic recently - LAX last night. Cars were overheating because the traffic was so bad.

Getting stuck in the Ghetty parking lot, I was pretty sure there was going to be mass carbon monoxide poisoning as everyone was trying to leave the summer concert series at once and a 4 level traffic jam in an underground parking garage seemed ripe for disaster.
K-Town Update

Well, the NY Times is reporting on LA's K-town. They even touch upon the discrimination.

"It seems like you have to be Korean to get into some of these places."

Recall this post.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

What Ever Happened to the 49ers?

A sad, but true article.
Where is the money, Lebowski?

Funny little article here.

Saw Garden State last night. Snooze a rooze. I didn't get into it at all, really. I didn't find myself laughing when the rest of the audience did. I didn't get into all the emotional, sappy stuff. Maybe I was in a weird headspace after liking Collateral so much.

Too much yapping. Coversation after conversation, I found indulgent...look at me, I'm so deep. I'm so wacky and cooky. Boring.

One theory for my dislike is that the filmmaker is too much of my contemporary and the story is in a way, too close to home. But I dunno, I just didn't like it for whatever reason.

Saturday, August 07, 2004


I loved this movie. First, lemme describe the situation: I awoke at 4am for my work, figuring when I got off at 9:30 I would go straight home and back to bed to get some honest rest for a night planned with film school friends...instead I stopped at the Commerce Casino and played hold em with a bunch of jewish and hispanic men. One of the guys was a fairly young Latino guy, maybe in his 30s, gruff as hell - the best poker player I've ever played with. He had things figured on every hand and read me twice, taking two pots of mine.

I had my costume designer meeting at 1pm, did some errands for my 546, finally figured it was time I could get my nap in and I walked by the Los Feliz Theater showing Collateral at 4:15. It was 4:05. The matinee costs $4.50 there, and the prospect of sitting the air conditioned theater...well, I went in. Somehow the combination of spotenaiety, sleep deprivation, the newness of the theater to me, put me in the absolute perfect space to see the movie...

The first few minutes blew me away. I remember thinking - this the best movie of the year, honestly, I thought that in the few five minutes. Then some of the dialog with Jada and Jamie Foxx goes on a little too long and was too on the nose, and I was like, all right, maybe not. But then the movie gets started and we go on this brilliant ride with Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx. Mann does some crazy awesome shit with the camera, characters, music. I was bobbing my head and shaking my leg through part of the movie, a DJ experience in the theater. We have scenes shot in digital at night, we have the story being told through shallow focus, Mann focuses an element and moves to the character with his lens and without camera movement (beyond the little hand held shake). He focuses on little details, hand rails, sandwiches, all sorts of grimy, little elements of life.

The movie is tremendously exciting and plain fun to watch; funny- really funny in some parts. Tom Cruise looks amazing - he looks grey, his whole look is this soft grey, not an old-man grey, but this weird wolf-like grey as described in this New Yorker review, which is a good article.

But what the article doesn't address is Mann. He's the closest thing to a DJ of any filmmaker alive, music is vital to his asthetic, to his vision, it's purposefully mixed together - I'm positive he writes and reads scripts with songs in mind. He mixes in his head. He's obsessed with technology as a enabler and a crutch and how it intersects with our lives and existence. The entire train sequence is a brilliant techno-nihilistic ending, perfectly expressing perhaps what ought to be our greatest fear - never to be noticed. The cell phone running out of battries, advanced bugging techniques, computer downloaded hit lists, but not just digital technologies - cars and freeways, transportation systems, airports, power lines, city scapes, he paints them beautifully and pathologically at times. The final sequence, Tom Cruise reminds me of the Terminator, chasing and tracking down Linda Hamilton and Reese....look for the clues.

Mann is also obessed with examining the male condition. Male relationships are the primary relationships in all of his best work - Manhunter, Miami Vice, Heat, the Insider, and now Collateral. He talks about fathers. He talks about doing. Being a man of action, not words. He's obsessed with people who are competant - Jamie is a fantastic cab driver and is what draws everyone to him, Vincint and Jada. He view women through the lens of a MAN. They are beautiful, a source of strength and inspiration and vulnerability, and yet somewhat distant and puzzling. I love his examination of men and women, in Ali, in Collateral, in Heat.

The story fits together perfectly as well. Every scene is connected to ones around it. It flows beautifully through cuts of birds eye view of the cab roaming the city. But all the scenes come together, especially the end. Perhaps the most genius scene is when Vincent and Jamie are pulled over by cops after Vincent has killed his first victim. The cops are giving them shit and going to get in a shootout with Tom Cruise, but are called away to respond the the location of the murder itself, the place where Jamie and Tom had just come from. Brilliant.

There are also a couple of very sudden moments. Moments that come out of nowhere that you cannot forsee. These tend to be violent. The movie keeps you on your toes.

And Mann is the MASTER of action sequences. The end of Heat is still the best action sequence, to me, in any movie. We have his second best action sequence in this film, during a hit at a club, with a True Romance - endinglike, sets of different characters coming together, packing heat, a shootout in a crowded club. His action sequences go on long, and capture the moments before and right after the sudden violence...like the Jazz musician getting the blue note, the back beat.

A completely thrilling movie experience. I'd say best picture material.

More reviews:

NY Times: best point is Mann's other obsession with doing the job well, at the expense of everything else, women, etc. In this respect, he's more aligned with Howard Hawks than John Ford, whose mentioned in this article.

SF Gate: he makes an interesting point about Cruise's greyness as a mechanistic thing. This plays along with my Terminator theory.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Bend in Like Beckham

Weird that I hadn't seen this movie yet, considering my semi-affection for British films and my soccer love. I thought it was okay. Too much schmalz and music and feel-goody stuff for my taste, but I didn't hate it or anything. I actually thought some of soccer scenes were filmed well. Not as good as the Nike commerical in the airport, but hey, that's a Nike commericial.

Interesting where our standards now lie.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Oh Yeah, That's Why I'm in Film School

Horrific day. Woke at 4am after watching an amazingly poor movie, Breakin' 2 Electric Boogaloo at cinema night and losing a whopping $6 in poker. Work sucked. I came super late to a film set I was supposed to help build and ended up doing nothing...got carried away helping the producer, a friend, get some mouldings for the set and did no building. I left after getting USC stationary and doing some location scouting - more vital to my 546 than learning about building.

The laundry rooms and dorm people at USC were horrible to me. Couldn't be less helpful, more passing the buck, go see so and so, and so and so says to go see another so and so. Nightmare. Nothing comes of it. I must leave to meet a costume designer. She's 40 minutes late. Meeting goes pretty well. Then Tom and I started talking about the newest version of the script and had 1.5 hours of good creative discussion.

All of that, 4am-7:30pm of a ridiculous nightmare of a time, of a day, of a life, for 1.5 hours of juice. And now to watch a film with my friend.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Visitor's Down

My number of hits are down, I wonder if it has to do with fewer posts... or declining interest.

Man, producing a short film is a major pain in the ass. Without money, everything is hard. Meeting with misc crew; nailing locations - this requires scouting, schmoozing, writing up letters, getting insurance, sealing the deal, getting permits; helping cast, giving script feedback, organizing the shoot. I need an intern. I am an intern. Weird.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Tuesday's are a Bitch

I hate not blogging, but Tuesday's are rough, working in the AM, interning in the afternoon. I'm not sure what I'll be doing once school starts...my boss at the internship correctly points out it's almost against your interest to work during school since you're spending so much to be there. Weird logic, but I guess it's the same as a bankrupt company operating...

In reading these articles I'm doing for the internship, I came across an interesting book review on a book on Patricia Highsmith. She said something along the lines of, "the public lust for justice bores me...living has never been about justice, so it baffles me why we publicly crave it..."

That's a total paraphrase, she said it much better. My thoughts on a nice day - she's full of shit and making an excuse to behave in her own self interest. My thoughts on a cynical day - she's right and to the extent we feign justice is to the extent we think it works in our benefit to do so.

Ahhh relativism, it makes things so much easier...

Monday, August 02, 2004

Oh Man

Sometimes I worry we have a bunch of jack-asses running everything. Years old intelligence? Unbelievable. How did we pick today to freak out?

Of course, I'd also be the first one to talk shit if something happened and we didn't prevent it.
This Will Ruffle Some Feathers

I remember in AP History we used to play a Jeopardy like quiz game. I was pretty cocky in the game and the question for our group, I thought, was what was the greatest crime against civil liberties during the 1920s? I said to my group - it's gotta be the Sacco and Vanzetti trial. I confidently announced the answer on behalf of the group in order to take the classroom lead. EHHHHH. Wrong!

What! I exclaimed.

The Japanese Internment, smiled Mrs. Loughran.

Impossible, I said. That happened in WWII.

If you listened to the question, we said what is the greatest crime against Civil Liberties in American during the 20th century?

The lesson, she told me, was that I should have listened to the question.

I know realize, the lesson is also that the Japanese Internment holds a unique place in the minds of American's, as an unquestionably horrific thing done to AMERICANS. There were plenty of bad things done to many groups throughout the 20th century in America, jim crow, for one. But the internments are so clear-cut. Or are they?

Michelle Malkin explores it. By the way, how does an Asian women get the last name Malkin?
Ghenghis Cohen

Last night a friend of a friend had this folk band playing at Ghenghis Cohen, a place up on Fairfax. The set up was strange, a fairly nice Chinese restuarant in front, and off to the side, a small room with pew-like benches set up to watch a small stage. A single aisle runs through the middle and a waitress goes up and down ordering drinks for people on each side of the row, 4 people to a bench, with about 10 rows. Anyhow, the band was three sisters apparently related to the guy who sang Cat's in the Cradle (I always thought it was Cat Stevens, but apparently it isn't - which makes sense why it wasn't on his greatest hits album) and Wes Crazen, the famed movie producer of Nightmare on Elm Street and the Scream series. Wes was their father and step father and the Cat's in the Cradle guy was their uncle on the mom's side, methinks.

The music was not for me. It sounded like the musical equivalent of the Virgin Suicides. It felt like if they weren't singing, they'd be cutting themselves. Maybe they do. I think the last some was called Kill Me Now and the lyrics were about as extensive as the title. Kill Me Now, Kill Me Now, Kill me Now. Good voices to be sure, but come on...a little creatively here, folks...

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Iranian Sex Changes

I have no idea what to say about this. We live in a weird world.

"The ayatollah replied that his case was different from that of a homosexual and therefore he had his blessing."

Something interesting about gmail is that they refer to exchanges as Conversations. It looks like a file folder, which each persons comments responding the the prior persons comments.

I remember the first month I started my first job out of college, I spat out some emails in pretty loose fashion, not capitalizing, using slangish terms, being generally conversational. This guy at my work had taken a liking to me, this older guy, semi-intellectual, unclearly gay or straight despite having a wife, shot back to me a response making fun of how I was writing my emails. I shot back, of course, a theory espousing email as form of conversation versus a form of letter writing...expediency and so forth. He shot back that basic grammer and communication was vital to understanding each other. I shot back that he understood what I was saying. He shot back, not everyone would, that in business, one needs to be clear. He shot back something about the Price is Right. I shot back that he was being condescending. He shot back that I was a straw man. And so on.

I guess in business they tried to formalize email and make it a medium of official language, that of memos and newspapers and letters, but cleary it is not exclusively that. Email is this brilliant medium that doesn't fall neatly into one thing or the other, but to me, it a conversation that can become official if necessary. Email isot something that is official and when lazy folks get ahold of it can become conversational.

Maybe it's just because I love conversations and hate formality. But hey, I'm willing to fight that fight.

Someone ought to give this guy a movie deal.

First they're good at soccer, second they have hot women, and now THIS.

I only have one thing to say: Brrrrathil, Brathil, Brathil!